Sunday, May 30

Scribery Shenanigans!

First semester's dead and gone, and has taken my biggest source of income with it. I really enjoyed tutoring Civil Engineers, who (despite their tendency to malapropise - because 'compulsively' and 'compulsory' practically mean the same thing, right?) were generally a lovely bunch. While I'm always on call for the family business, and I do enjoy its rewards - a roof over my head and all that - the net income I get from it doesn't do much besides fund my chewing gum habit.

So I've applied for a job as a Ye Olde Scribe. I prefer this title, not only because it's got a nice antique-y vibe, and implies that I'm the only literate person in the kingdom; but also because it doesn't make me choose between 'transcriber' and 'transcriptionist', neither of which sounds right. Anyway, I had to go through an online English test where I was cast into such intense shadows of doubt about my knowledge of grammar and whether 'weather' is spelled 'wether' wither...? that I began to feel rather Modernist (that is, anxious and ambivalent and ambiguously annoying) about the whole (hole? whorl?) thing.

But to my surprise and delight, I passed the test, and they sent me a four-minute sample clip of stuff to transcribe. I listened to several different voices speak in varying UK accents about Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake's relationship. When I was about to start writing, I realised that none of the people talking had names. Bugger! There must have been about fifteen different voices, some coming back throughout the clip, others just appearing once.

So what was I supposed to do? Give them names of my own? John, Mary, Sheldor the Conqueror, Squirtle? Or differentiate them as best I can: Posh-sounding British Man, Scottish (Probably) Man, Not-So-Posh-Sounding-But-Still-British Man, Lisping Woman, Funny-Sounding Man, Annoying Woman Who Speaks Too Fast To Transcribe Properly Damnit, Man At End Of Clip?

In the end, I just added a note saying "Yeah, I don't know who's talking, but this is definitely what they said" and sent it off. Hopefully, it'll be enough to land me some part-time work that doesn't involve pulling a 2010-themed rickshaw through Hillbrow or touching people's feet (fete? feat? pheet?!)

A girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, May 20

The *poof!* diet.

This may seem strange, but pants are very important to me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I wear skirts and dresses most of the time, but pants hold a special place in my heart. In pants, you can go horse riding and rock climbing and generally feel manly. Thus, you can see how it would bum me out (excuse the pun) to realise that none of my pants fit me anymore. I cannot express the depth of my sorrow without resorting to a sad-face icon:


So, seeing as I'm too lazy (and averse to throwing up) to develop a slenderizing eating disorder, my only other option is to be sensible. So I've started being sensible, watching what I eat and exercising. The eating part always trips me up because, when I used to keep a food diary, it would generally creep people out.  Because obviously, if I have a food diary, then I must  have a diary of all my social interactions (à la TBBT's Sheldon Cooper) and in it I must write down all their flaws and how I will dispose of them once the Revolution comes. Any-hoo, I totally don't have one of those social interaction diaries [innocent whistle] and when the Revolution comes, I'm probably going to wing it when it comes to disposing of unnecessary acquaintances.

So the food diary isn't very practical, but I found a great site called FitDay where you can enter all your food for the day, and how much you've exercised, and it does all the finicky math for you! It's quite magical. It even does pie graphs. Mmm... pie...

Erm, anyway, as for working out, my favourite thing to do is the Turbo Jam DVD's. It's basically a dance-cardio thing, and isn't mind-numbingly boring. It also helps that you have an option of having the music drown out the lead trainer's incessant motivational banter. The trick is not to look at the girl in the third row on the right, because she's got this huge Joker-smile on her face for 45 straight minutes, and it's rather unnerving.

I'm not on any official diet, I'm just staying below a certain amount of daily calories. So the upside is that on the plan, I can have a doughnut. The downside is that I can't have 49 more doughnuts. But that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the pants.

I'm not sure how long it'll take me to get back into the pants, but I figure if I keep this up long enough, in a week or two, tops, I'll be working out and there will be an epic *poof* sound and lots of glittery smoke, and I'll emerge looking like this:
(Minus the OMG-totally-kawaii!!!!!1!! star tattoo)
(And hopefully not upside-down.)

So that's my very sensible plan. Wish me luck!

I'm not dead! But if I was.... the orangutan did it.

I know this blog has gotten a bit dusty, but with exams and trying to maintain my 13-hour-a-day sleep schedule, bloggable events have been at a minimum. Shockingly, exams haven't eaten my soul this year like they usually do. Maybe it's because I'm postgrad now, and therefore have superpowers. It could also be that this year, I've actually read the books I'm writing on. You never know.

Right now (as I type) I'm studying, by osmosis, my Edgar Allan Poe stories. Besides the outside-class discussions (in which we came to the conclusion that Poe was the first emo mo-fo, yo) I have many helpful lecture notes, such as these important points:

- The detective stories offer absurd solutions
- Thus resolution is offered, but not comforting to the reader
- Life is random and depressing
- At any moment an orangutan could run into your house, strangle you and stuff you up the chimney.

PICTURED: Not as innocent as they look, a young orangutan plots yet another act of random violence.

I really don't get why Poe wasn't taken seriously as a writer back in his day. Who could have a fun, exciting, gothic murder-mystery without a couple of orangutans thrown in? Orangutans make every story better. I could probably have sat through The Notebook if there were orangutans. Or even Mariah Carey's Glitter. Just imagine: our darling, buxom heroine finally finds the mother who gave her up for adoption, and just as she walks gracefully across the street to confront the jazzy drunkard, an evil orangutan snatches her up, strangles her and stuffs her up a chimney!

Come on, I'd watch that.