Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pre-migraine Meme

I've had these meme questions sitting in the 'draft' folder for a while now, and can't remember who I stole it from. Memes are good when your brain is fried, Mr Migraine is just arriving for an unwelcome visit but you feel like writing something before he kicks the door in........

1. Tell us who the last person was that you showered with.
Just my good self armed with a puff full of douche gel. That still cracks me up - calling a shower a 'douche' here in French-speaking Geneva. Before that it would be years and years and years ...... even then it featured Sapphire who was around two at the time and we were in a hotel room that didn't have a bath. Getting in the shower with her seemed like the easiest way to get her clean.

2. Tell us about your favorite tee-shirt. 
I used to wear 'Diet Stinks' quite a lot but it, um 'shrunk' and didn't make the cut to squeeze into the 23kg of luggage we were allowed to bring over to Geneva. That's my story and I'm not going to change it.

3. Has anyone ever hit on you even though they knew you were taken?
Not in recent memory. I think I'm too old, disinterested and tired-looking to give even the faintest whiff of intrigue or availability. Actually, I did get propositioned by a bored female prostitute on a Friday morning, close to Christmas. Apart from economic necessity, it might also have been the intoxicating combination of a nanna cart, sensible shoes, fat face and my visible excitement at going to a lovely old church to participate in a second hand book sale.

4. Do you plan what to wear the next day?
Nope. I log on to check the weather forecast in the morning; think about what I'm up to for the day and what's clean and then decide. The plainer the better for me.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? Why?
Tired. The apartment gets stuffy at night because the blinds are shutters that roll down and then shut out not just the noise and lights outside but also the fresh air.

6. What's the closest thing to you that's black?
Watch strap and scuffy black boots. Sensible flat ones of course.

7. Tell me about an interesting dream you remember having.
I'm someone who rarely remembers their dreams but, funnily enough, last night's is still with me - I was stealing hair conditioner from Migros, the supermarket nearest our home. Why I have no idea..... if I was going to risk life and limb shoplifting, surely I'd choose something more valuable. Like say, meat here in Geneva?

8. Did you or might you meet anybody new today?
Yes. Milly and I chatted in broken French to an elderly lady who stopped to give her a pat. Plus the Fratman and a door-to-door salesman who wanted to sell me an automatic security system. "Non merci."

9. If you could be doing anything right now (or perhaps after you finish this ridiculous meme) what would it be?

Mr Migraine is starting to knock at my door and I'd love to take a nap, but worry that I'd be out of it for too long and be unable to sleep tonight. It's the warm weather and a built up bank account of lost sleep and finally feeling a bit more relaxed about things and feeling my eyelids get heavy and wondering if it's really worth sweeping the floor or following up the online accounts or zZzzzzzzz......

10. Do you floss?
Every night. I have Love Chunks to thank for this. Before we lived together, I thought flossing was something the dentist did to make your eyes water during a check up. He rather politely informed me that my morning (and hey let's face it - lunchtime and evening) breath might improve if I got rid of some of the (unnoticed by me) flotsam and jetsam lurking in the gaps.

11. What comes to mind when I say China?
HUGE economic power. Always the third word after reading 'Made In' on the back of any and every product that was purchased in Australia. Here it is just as likely to have 'Made in Switzerland' on it, but cost ten times as much. Tupperware (and its alternatives) might as well be made out of platinum here for the price.

12. Are you overly emotional?
Yes damnit and I wish I wasn't. I hate it that tears are always close to the surface and I can't shake things off and get over it like a mature, well-rounded and confident person.

13.If you could listen to just one rock album (CD, vinyl or mp3) which one would you pick ?
Super Trouper by ABBA. Played over and over in 1981 when I was a miserable and lonely Aussie girl living in Scotland. Loved every song and it made me feel..... comforted. It's no classic by any stretch but sometimes music or songs have that certain element that helps when you need it most.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
Insightful question! Um, lick madly at first and bite when it all starts dribbling down my hands, my wrist and drops plop off the end of my elbows. I'm not really a big ice-cream girl and rarely have one in a cone or in a bowl. Ice-blocks are more my things or I'll go straight to the chocolate and avoid the icy, melty bits in between.

15. Do you like your car?
Yes, Pierre the Peugeot 207SW is an adorable little silver spunk! Our previous car, Maggie the Magna, was sixteen when we sold her in May 2011 and Pierre is the first brand new car for Love Chunks and myself.

16. Do you like yourself?
Sort of. It's been an up and down relationship with many lessons learned, shocks discovered and things to look back on and smile about. Or wince.

17. Would you go out to eat with Charlie Sheen?

No. I never liked his stupid TV show; never thought he had much talent; never understood how he was admired for being 'successful' and wish that he'd had a vasectomy years ago - how many kids and wives have been left on the roadside now?

18. What was the last song that you listened to?
Something played by WRS - World Radio Switzerland, that caused Sapphire great embarassment. 'Beautiful' by One Direction. I haven't seen a music video in years, and it was catchy, so my hands tapped the steering wheel. Her shame and dismay at my reaction was both intense and scornful. The only other songs we've heard have been the US-dominated, middle-of-the-road soft rock classics played at every shop in Geneva we've visited. "More than words to show you feel.....That your love for me is real...."

19. Are (or were) your parents strict?
Fairly. Dad was a high school teacher so was well aware of the temptations and pitfalls. Mum only insisted on a curfew when I had my first real boyfriend - my remonstration that I'd easily be able to do as many naughty things before 1am as after didn't hold water.

20. Have you ever wondered what attending a wild orgy (if only to watch or...) would be like?
No. Movies like 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'Eyes Wide Shut' and several bad novels read under the covers as a teen dampened any interest or enthusiasm for the practice.

21. I say cottage cheese. You say:
I'm on a diet. It's boring, it's not fun but it's a food of some sort that's only in my fridge when I'm serious.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
In my three month stint as a barperson at the Savoy in London in 1991 I served a few - Liza Minnelli, Nick Faldo, Fergie. The biggest tipper was the Chancellor of the Exchequer!

23. What was the last movie that you watched at home?
Life of Brian, followed by 'The Holy Grail' - we thought that it was time for Sapphire to discover them. Luckily, she loved them both. "Brave brave Sir Robin...."

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
The silver crackle on the inside of the Cailler branchee wrapper, bubbles in my long-forgotten glass of water and glints of light bouncing off the various camera/iPad/data sticks scattered over the desk.

25. What countries have you visited?
England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Indonesia (well, just Bali and Ubud if I'm totally honest), Malaysia, Germany, Singapore,Luxembourg. Oh and Switzerland now.

26. Have you ever made a phone call while you were drunk that you've regretted? If yes, do tell.
I don't think so....... or if I did, I honestly don't remember it. I do remember, during O-week at first year uni staggering back to a friend's room and trying to write down the next day's timetable for introductory lectures. The next day I slept in, felt utterly sick and missed them all which was a good thing because what was written down was utterly illegible - not even sure it was in English.

27. Bacon or sausage?
Bacon. Always bacon. Sausages are full of a heap of stuff and then, maybe, a bit of iffy meat so they're best avoided.

28. How long have you had a cell-phone?
My first was in 1998 when I was pregnant and LC wanted to make sure that I was always in contact. I had it for another couple of years after that and always felt really embarrassed by it because it was the last of the brick-sized phones. Since then I've gone for the simplest and cheapest because I hate SMSing and all that fiddly stuff.

29. Who invented chop sticks?
The song or the eating utensil? If it was the song, my mother would personally like to kill them. Her one and only rule when playing her piano was that Chopsticks was never, ever to be featured on her hallowed ivory keys.

30. Who are you going to be with tonight?
Sapphire and Milly at home as Love Chunks is in Washington for work. I was going to take Sapph to an Aboriginal art exhibition at the UN, but forgot to send in an RSVP in time and the security is so tight that it was too late to put our names on the security-checked list. So home it is. Then again, home is the best nightspot in the world with friendly locals, comfortable clothing and food and amenities close to hand.

31. Are you too forgiving?
Maybe. Although I've found that I've been furious and rock-hard angry over some incidents in life and very understanding about others. In hindsight it can be pretty interesting to think back on what was unforgivable and what was eventually OK.

32. When was the last time that you were in love?
Still am. Coming up to nearly nineteen years and counting.

33. Tell us about your best friend.
I wish there was an 's' after 'friend' - Love Chunks is my favourite boy friend.
Jill I've known since I was two days old. She's strong, beautiful, smart, funny, kind and interested in others. Just writing about her makes me smile and wish that she was sitting right here so that I could give her a hug and put the kettle on.
Milly might be a dog, but she spends more time with me than any other (visible) living creature.
And Sapphire. Darling daughter and terrific company.

34. What was the stupidest thing you learned in high school?
Algebra, sewing (I left Home Economics still unable to thread a bobbin into a sewing machine) and every single PE class.

35. What was the last thing that you cried about?
Being here in Geneva, trying to find my 'place'. It's a work in progress for me and the language barrier means that English is hard to find, as is reading matter and someone to provide you with information or the services you need. I worry about whether I'll find paid work here or what my real role is but it passes and I realise that yes, I am emotional and double yes, a huge worrier.

36. What was the last question you asked?
"Where's the squirrel?" Milly had stopped in her tracks, barked excitedly and yep, sure enough, there were two squirrels playing in the branches above.

37. Favorite thing to do this time of the year?
Almost springtime in Geneva, so it's still new to me. Open the living room windows as the heating is still on but the sun is amplified through the glass. Admire the view from both sides of our building (Jet D'eau from the bedrooms, Jura mountains from the living room). Eat the berries that are now appearing in the shops. Sleep with just a thin blanket. Take Milly for a walk in the mornings without having to wear a beanie or gloves.

38. If you had to get a (or another) tattoo, what would it be?
I'm not a fan of anything visible or words so I'm not sure. If I *had* to (ie forced at gunpoint), I'd love to work out how to have the Southern Cross put on but in a way that showed I love my origins but am NOT a bogan redneck. Not sure if that's possible though......

39. How would your best friend describe you?
Not sure - I've put her through the wringer over the years. Maybe quirky, chatty and determined? Food obsessed? Worrywart? Lovable odd ball?

40. Have you ever seen the Twilight films?
The first three, sigh. Sapphire has read all the books and yes, I took her to see the movies. Just like Mills and Boon for teens and, bad writing/acting aside, Ms Meyer is really advocating hanging on to your virginity for as long as you can - any wonder that parents are buying the books for their kids? What a relief it was when 'Breaking Dawn Part I' came out and Sapphire said that she was 'over it' and happy not to see it.

41. Ever walked into a glass door?
Many times. Not hurt myself though, just my pride.

42. Have you ever slapped someone?
As a kid, yes. Having two brothers means that a slap - as well as a good dead leg, hen peck and typewriter maneouvre - is part of the job description.

43. What hair style (for you) would you like to see return?
Mia Farrow / Jean Seberg / V for Vendetta-era Natalie Portman. I'm too old to be bothered with long hair.

44. What was the last CD you bought?
It would be too many years ago to remember - it's all itunes now, baby. Then again, we did put our CDs into storage before moving here as it was too hard to part with them.

45. Do looks matter to you?
To a point. No-one wants to run away screaming from the person with an enormous gaping nostril where their eyes should be, but someone who spends more time preening or rearranging their jeans to defy the laws of physics so that half their undies are on display but they can still walk is just as much of a worry.

46. What's the hardest bill to pay every month?
The rent, which eats up 40% of our income. Considering that our kitchen, bathrooms, wall tiles and floor coverings are all originals from 1970 it seems very steep. Living in a city that profits so handsomely from UN and overseas workers can really sting at times, especially when locals assume that we're all on enormous salaries***

47. Do you like your life right now?
Yes. LC is enjoying his job; Sapphire is happy with school and her group of mates and I feel as though I've got a group of friends I can rely on and have fun with. An income would be nice too, but I'm learning that it'll come when it comes.....

48. Do you have good vision?
Perfect. Never had a problem, but my mother has glaucoma so I have to get it checked regularly.

49. Where was your facebook picture taken?
In Luxembourg by Sapphire, with my ski parka zipped up as far as it would go. LC said I looked like a bear's gynaecologist.

50. Can you waltz?
Vaguely, but need to led. All forms of dancing - old, modern, drunken or utterly sober - scare me to death.

51. Do you have a job?
Kinda sorta. Freelance stuff that pays very little but does occupy my grey matter and my time. Have also won a position as an English tutor but now need some kids to tutor. Is it wrong to be hoping for a couple of kids in Geneva to be currently flunking badly enough for their parents to seek out my services?

52. What was the most recent thing you stole?
Some gorgeous-smelling shampoo from the Novotel in Luxembourg.

53. Have you ever crawled through a window?
YES - Jill had to shove me through their bathroom so that we could get inside her house without the key. (You can read about it here)

*** We're not.


Andrew said...

2. I have tee shirts that have shrunk too. It is something to do with them sitting in a wardrobe and not getting worn. It must be that the fibres contract as there is no other possible explanation.

Pandora Behr said...

Great meme (do you mind if I steal it?) and some wonderful answers. Love the pictures too - the one with the cat reminds me of how you were at college. Well done, and hope the migraine has gone.

drb said...

Hope migraine didn't linger too long, or it was a false alarm.
BTW, what is happening to the book you are writing?

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I haven't done a meme for a while - I might steal this (well the questions I haven't answered before on other memes).

Great answers.




Hannah said...

12. Cry detoxing is the way to go. Sometimes I wonder if we who write to breathe have a tendency to feel things so strongly that it's partly why we write... but I'm also too tired right now to explain that thought in a way that makes sense, so I might just hope you get where I'm going.

10. Flossing is the best.

1. Only once in my life have I had the opportunity to shower with someone (I mean, apart from younger platonic friends/family post-swimming-wearing-bathers showers), and my stupid bung toe prevented me. Somehow I didn't think it would be very sexy or fun to be in a little shower with multiple plastic bags around my foot and rubber bands cutting off circulation to prevent water seeping in...

The Elephant's Child said...

Migraines suck big time. Says the woman who also has one lurking behind my eyes.
I hope yours has gone, and I loved getting to know you a little better through this meme. And the bears gyno was an apt quip.
I am in awe at how much you got down before the migraine felled you.

JIlly said...

12. Being so emotional has it's ups too - you are very caring, empathetic, just lovely.
22. Don't forget we bumped into Margaret Thatcher at Expo too.
33. Thanks... that's lovely. All the same and more back to you.
39. Firstly, generous to a fault, a little bit crazy (in a good way), caring, loving, a little bit crazy, bit of a worrier, very loyal, smart as a whip (is that the saying??!), well smart as something that's really really smart - in the subjects that really matter (so excluding maths, science, etc), life of the party, not the best cook but definitely the best front of house/dinner host, chocolate fanatic, chatterbox, crazy dog lover, helper of the underdog, whacky, prettier than you give yourself credit for, a little bit crazy (I know I've put that in 3 times, but it just kept popping into my mind as I was thinking); but mostly the person I can have the most fun with (some of our crazy adventures are legendary). Miss You!! xx Jilly

franzy said...

46. We can beat that: I just whipped out the calculator. 43% of my income. And we just had an alcoholic move into the housing trust next door.
I'm not including Mele's income because 50% of that goes to the childcare that she needs to even walk out the door and go to work. She has to work for a whole day before she breaks even and actually starts earning money ... to spend on food, bills, blah blah blah ...

Kath said...

Andrew, I think that there should be a physics PhD thesis done on the topic of clothes that shrink when confined and forgotten in wardrobes.

Steal away, dear Pand. As for the photo of me and Sox the cat, are you saying that I looked like a fifteen year old at uni?

drb - Mr Migraine is still here. He started punching behind my eyes on Monday night but with the coffee machine and painkillers I've managed to take Sapphire to school and walk the dog and lie down in between....

Go for it, PlasMan - I've stolen enough of your memes!

Hannah, I can see that your showering decision was not taken lightly and was clearly the wiser one!

Thanks Elephant's Child. There was a typo that my father pointed out (via email, not blogger)!

Jilly dearest, thank you. I'll call you when Mr Migraine finally leaves and I'm able to string words together coherently....

Franzy, I hear ya buddy and I'll raise you another 20% of monthly income spent on Sapphire's school fees and pretty well the remainder getting sucked up with car payments, groceries and the evil, lurking medical bills that keep on arriving. HATE those window envelopes and feel like chasing away the La Poste bloke when he puts into the foyer on his motorbike.....

River said...

This is a great meme and I like your answers. I've seen a few good memes over the years, but many of them aren't so interesting and have questions I couldn't possibly answer.
(Also, why are memes always so long? 20 or 50 or 100 questions?)
I remember that ABBA album, I loved it too. I eventually bought the ABBA gold tape, before cd's came out.

Chestnut Mare said...

I love your pics - the one of you & your brothers is a crack-up!

I also remember Sox, & being in that same pose with him myself a number of times. He was adorable!!!

Jackie K said...

Great meme and interesting answers. I've never had a migraine but identify with a lot of other stuff in this post. Bears gyno comment made me laugh!

JD said...

Super Trouper is "no classic by any stretch"? Tell that to all the people who helped make it the UK's top-selling album of 1980. Tell it to the people who still play the vinyl on high rotation on their record player. Tell it to Bjorn and Benny, who surely wrote no better lyrics than those in the "Winner Takes it All". Tell it to all those Scottish pipe bands and singers who have covered "The Way Old Friends Do" and made it Scotland's 3rd national anthem. Tell it to Camera Obscura, who did such a great tribute to the title song. Tell it to all those weird circus posers on the LP cover who have been checked out by zillions of people over the years while the person checking them out has rocked on to "On and On and On". Tell it to anyone who's spent drunken, melancholy moments crying over the chorus of "Happy New Year". Kath, it's the second best album of all time. Surely that makes it a classic.

Ann O'Dyne said...

The Savoy Bar - woo hoo I am so impressed.
The photo of the cat is just divine.

I used to get migraines fortnightly like clockwork, then moved MEL >> SYD and never had another one. so strange because nothing else changed.
I hoped your move to GEN would do this for you. X X X

Red Nomad OZ said...

Whoa, what a marathon! If I'd put down all theresponses I had to your answers, I'd be writing the world's longest comment ... So all I REALLY have to say is 'Gimme Gimme Gimme ...'

Kath said...

River, I'm not sure why memes are long, but there's a lot that are just seven questions long. Seven deadly sins, Seven secrets etc. Gives me an idea to make up a few bizarre 'seven' series.....

I bought all the ABBA CDs back in 1988 when they'd just been re-released. This was long before ABBA Gold - they were still deathly unpopular, so I hid then under an Icehouse greatest hits CD when I walked over to the counter at Allan's to pay for them!

Kath said...

Chestnut, Sox was a great cat, wasn't he - I've never met one since who was such a cuddler; who yearned to be picked up and would rub his face up against mine.... I was telling Sapphire the other day about how we set up the Sox Appreciation Society which was ripe for a few misunderstandings!

Jackie, Love Chunks is the strong silent type but when he's inclined he's the funniest bloke I know.

JD, you're right, actually. I just didn't want to open myself up to scorn. It's a terrific album and, like them all, it's the unheard of songs that are the brilliant ones.

And what's the first greatest album then?

Ann, I lasted four months at The Sav - it was meant to be twelve months as a 'banqueting trainee' with three months in various sections but after a wonderful month in the bar, just four weeks of abuse and terror and exhaustion in the dungeon-like kitchens was enough for me.

And drb - the book is still happening; I just get very distracted by a few dozen other things (esp chasing paid freelancing work).

Fair enough, RedNomadOz. I find memes are pretty easy to write really because they're just automatic answers and perfect for Mr Migraine's unwanted attacks.

LJP said...

You say cottage cheese, I say Laughing cow light!! That stuff is a low calorie lifesaver!! Still, cottage cheese with gherkin is pretty nice! :-)

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