Wednesday, June 22, 2005

God, I'm lazy

I've never been the most energetic of people. I've never really participated in sports, for instance, 'cause it just seems so...tiring. I manage to drag my ass into yoga every couple of weeks, but even then I sit on the mat at the beginning and dread the sun salutations that are supposed to get our hearts going and warmed up. I've never understood people who bar hop or pub crawl. Surely the sensible thing to do is find a nice place, with some seating, and then stay there and do your drinking in warmth and peace? And if I'm already home after work, with my shoes off, sitting on the couch reading or watching TV? Almost nothing will get me up and out the door again. If you want me to go drinking with you after work, it's gonna have to be right after work.

All this I knew and have accepted about myself. However, I've noticed recently that I've become even more lazy, if that's possible. Going to a party, right from work, with work people, but requiring a 15 minute walk? God, that's just too much work for a party. Walking the extra few blocks to go to the main library instead of the local branch? Too much hassle. Paying more for groceries at the yuppier place because it's closer to the bus stop than the bigger, cheaper store? Perfectly acceptable. Getting up from my chair in the office to go the 20 meters into lab to check an experiment, for Christ's sake? Eh, I'll just wait until I have a few tasks lined up to do in there. It's getting so bad that I'm starting to wonder if I don't have an iron or vitamin deficiency or something. I mean, seriously: I'm actually too lazy to get up from my desk? That's ridiculous.

I had promised myself that I would go somewhere different at least once a month, but I didn't take advantage of the Stockholm opportunity, basically 'cause, yeah, you guessed it, I just couldn't face lugging stuff to the airport and lugging it back. This next weekend is the last chance I have to go somewhere for June, and I was going to take a train down to the countryside and walk around, just for the day. But, really, at the moment, I just can't be arsed.

Monday, June 20, 2005


I called my father up to say Happy Father's Day and he asked, as he has done every year since I left for college, when I'm coming home for summer. I think since I'm at a university, he assumes that it's just like school and that I get the summers off and would therefore come home for three months. Never mind that I actually haven't had summers free since 1999, and that, even before that, I never came home for more than two weeks, tops, during the summer. I always stayed in Portland and worked during the college summers. But it's cute that he ignores all previous experience and expects me to be at home, anyway.

It's actually very good for my mental and emotional stability, I think. It's a subtle reminder to me that, no matter what, I can always pack up and go home and he will happily feed and house me, for as long as I need it. Never mind that I'm nearing 30, never mind that I should, by all rights, be supporting him by now, never mind that I'm educated up to my eyeballs, he will always cheerfully take me in. I didn't appreciate this as a safety net until recently and it was further driven home (excuse the pun) when I was reading through the reader responses to the Class Matters special section in the NYTimes. A few people mentioned that they, and many others, had no safety nets, of any sort, familial or otherwise. If they lost their jobs or got ill, that would be it- they'd be out in the streets. And I, who has no savings to speak of, no pension or retirement account to draw on, no monetary wealth of any kind, would be in the same position if not for my family.

Now I feel guilty for not staying longer at home this August. Dang.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Speaking of movies...

There's apparently a movie out in the States (God only knows when/if it'll show up here) called Saving Face, which is about, get this, Asian-American lesbians! I know! Who'd a thunkit?! I've only read one review, which was mostly positive, but the accompanying picture had suspiciously media-friendly-looking lesbians. You know, really pretty femme ones. Anyway, might be one more thing to do while I'm home.

Yay! Home!

I finally bought tickets to go home. For once, I think it actually helped to wait until now. I'd been checking prices for months and was quoted $1000+ just for a round-trip ticket to SFO. An open jaw ticket to PDX/SEA and from SFO was costing $1400. Just absolutely ridiculous. But I found some flights, and although it costs more than I think it should, it's still cheaper than before, so I'll just count myself lucky.

I'm totally going for Chinese food as soon as I hit home soil. Although there are many Chinese here (more native Mandarin speakers in Dublin than native Irish speakers in the whole country, as they keep saying), there aren't any really good Chinese places yet. Another couple years, I think. And pho! Or any Vietnamese food!

I'm also going to buy more of those simple stretchy bras that I like from the Bon Marche. I've discovered that I'm slowly going back to my hippier years, vis-a-vis bra-wearing. I'm really disliking the nice, pretty, underwired things that I wore more frequently during the years in Seattle, and have been either going au naturel or wearing the aforementioned simple stretchy things, which are rapidly becoming worn out. (This is total oversharing, but hah! you're a captive audience.)

Let's see...what else to do while at home? Walk around like I belong there. I didn't notice this until I went over to the UK a few weeks ago for the literature festival, but I think in Dublin, I'm constantly aware that I'm non-native. Or, actually, I'm constantly aware that others are aware that I'm non-native. It's a little hitch that's always in the back of my mind. It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable or awkward; I can't describe how it changes my attitude, but it does, slightly. I didn't notice it was there until I walked out of the plane at Birmingham airport and it was gone. It was also conspicuously absent as I navigated around the airport and train and bus stations. (I was asked for directions.) I think I feel more natural; I don't get the feeling that, when I go up to ask about train tickets or whatever, that the person is bracing themselves for dealing with a foreigner. Not that I feel it happens in Dublin; people have been really nice here. I don't think this feeling is generated or re-inforced by the Irish. I think it's just this thing I have. I will have to think more about it now that I am aware of its existence.

Reading: A Suitable Boy, and Melvyn Bragg's The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language, although, to be honest, I haven't really been doing much reading lately. Also, I notice that the guy who did Princess Mononoke and whatever the hell that other popular anime movie was (y'all know how I feel about anime) has just released Howl's Moving Castle, which is based on the Diana Wynne Jones novel and one of my favorite children's books. I'm very upset about this ('cause y'all know how I feel about anime, plus you know they never do a good enough job when turning books you love into films), because now it looks like I will actually have to voluntarily pay money to see an anime film. And no, it is impossible for me not to go see this adaptation. Feh.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I was so looking forward to this weekend. It's the first in the last few weeks that I've had to myself and I had nothing particular to do. I was going to spend it shopping for random crap that I don't need (a good spring skirt comes to mind), reading, writing a news-filled letter to a friend, and maybe going to the modern art museum. But as it happens, I woke up on Saturday morning with a horrible cold. I should have seen it coming. Two of the lab guys had already come down with bronchitis and the last few days have been so gross and muggy in the office that I could feel the bacteria breeding in that warm, moist atmosphere.

I did manage some grocery shopping on Saturday (which is nowhere near as much fun as skirt-shopping), but went to bed early and spent all of today lying around on the couch, watching TV and alternating between cough drops and Lemsip. I couldn't even really concentrate enough to read one of the many many books I bought from the literature festival in Hay a couple weekends ago. Feh.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I was afraid this would happen

Okay, as you are no doubt aware, I haven't really been diligent about updating this blog lately. But I have excuses!

The first thing to bear in mind is that it takes me the better part of an hour to write what I think of as a decent entry. I can't just steal an hour from work, 'cause then I'm all stressed and feel rushed, which brings me to the second thing: I have to be in the appropriate mood to write about whatever topic it is I've chosen.

So now, the excuses. In the last month, I've had only a handful of evenings when I've had a few hours to myself, and those have mostly been spent sleeping or eating or doing laundry. There was the lovely German visitor, then one weekend to get errands done, then I went off to Wales to the Hay Literature Festival, then I had great friends from home visiting. So Thursdays to Tuesdays for the past few weeks have been shot. And then the few days I had left during the week, I felt guilty and thought I should work.

So there you go. There're my excuses.

However, the next few weekends look open, so far. Unless I decide to go to Stockholm.