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August 24 2011

18:23

Braaaains!

Some months ago I participated in a cognitive ability psychological study: partly for fun, partly because it paid me $25 for each of the three sessions, but mostly to get what you see before you - MRI scans of my brain.

That's right: this is Lonita's brain on you.

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July 06 2011

02:48

Fuck you very much

I, along with most of the dispatch office staff, was handed this today at work.

Lmad-bl

I realise that a taxi service is not considered the most professional of businesses; but, I deserve better than to have a joke, a contest, and a punishment all made out of a raise that they won't even give me unless I sign a paper that says it's okay for them to treat me as even more of a joke than they already do. I do not deserve to be punished for the mistakes that others are making.

This is vile - on top of the array of labour law violations these people daily thrust upon us. We don't get scheduled breaks, not even for meals. We aren't allowed to have any reading material at our desks. And now this.

I am outraged in a most precise and disgusted fashion at the moment. I feel sickened.

Either give me a raise, or don't. But don't insult me with something like this. I am not going to beg for such a paltry sum, then spend my work day agonising over being nickel and dimed by my own workplace.

I am not signing it.

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June 06 2011

20:06

Blog move

For the time being, please see my tumblr site. All posting will be made there instead.

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19:28

Kilimanjaro

Two weeks ago a 16 year-old boy summited Mt. Everest and became the youngest person to complete the Seven Summits challenge, and good on 'im! Looking at those photographs of him made me feel very lazy, but in a good way.

It inspired me.

No, I am not going to climb Mt. Everest. Spending 70 days camping in the snow I do not consider to be a good use of my time.

However, I've set myself a five to ten year plan, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I'm not a mountaineer, nor enthralled by mountains (I'm a desert and desolate places fan, really), but I feel this urge to conquer something. Possibly I will change my mind, and for a great many reasons this plan is not likely to come to fruition - money not being the least of them. While it's not expensive, per se, to do this climb, it's still not cheap, and definitely a hardship when you get paid the sort of shit money I get for my labours.

Kili is not a technical climb, making it the easiest of the Seven Summits to ascend. You do not require any mountaineering or rock climbing experience in order to do it, as it is a walk. It's not an easy walk, requiring that you be reasonably fit, as about half the people who attempt it don't make it. Part of that is due to them attempting the faster and more steep climbs, which are much harder on the body and more likely to cause the things that are most likely to kill you on Kili - like altitude sickness and the effects thereof. There is a gentler, if less scenic climb, that takes about two more days to complete, but it allows for far more acclimation to the altitudes. It's got an extremely high success rate. That's the route I'd go. So what if it's less scenic? I've got rotten eyesight and will be almost six thousand metres above sea level - what am I going to see from up there, really? Rocks, snow, rocks, snow, crater, rocks, snow.

All drawbacks aside, including my impaired vision, I figure that if they can get a blind man and an amputee up Everest, they can get me up an African hillside.

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May 29 2011

09:07

Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but this made me spit pudding all over! He's so into it, it's great!

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May 28 2011

11:44
09:40

On Top of the World - Literally

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I'm looking at this photograph of George Atkinson who has just become the youngest person (at age 16) to complete the Seven Summits challenge by scaling the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. This is George on top of Mt. Everest. That's right, 8,848m above the rest of us, the world at his feet.

Two things cross my mind: How is it that, at the age of 11 years, you convince your parents to let you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. And, after this, most everything else in life is going to seem like a cakewalk, I'm guessing.

Good for you, George. You make me feel lazy, but that's okay. I'm comfortable in this, and think you're an amazing young man.

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May 27 2011

05:26

Fontana Dei Matti located in Gubbio, Italy

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"... with residents and tourists alike always flocking to the fountain, where, according to tradition, visitors can gain a license of "matto di Gubbio" (literally, madman of Gubbio) by being baptized with its waters after making three turns around the fountain. This ritual, though, must be performed with the assistance of a native citizen and, moreover, a real certificate that states the gained lunacy along with an honorary citizenship can be purchased nearby."

A license to be mad, you say? Sign me up!

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May 26 2011

17:35

All Missed Up

I don't like the title "Miss". It's so... extraneous (especially at my age), and even remotely demeaning, as if my name were not a sufficient thing.

Yet my bank insists it's necessary for the name field of my cheques. I've had to call and ask they remove it - again. What's more, I can't use the check-out on Yves Rocher's website, because it requires that I choose a title. You're just mailing me something (in this case, shampoo and lipstick) - why on earth would you need to know any aspect of my lifestyle choice, marital status, or what I do for a living?

As a 42 year-old single female, I find it a wholly and completely unnecessary linguistic and cultural affectation - unless you're a 12 year-old girl and it makes you feel important. I've got better ways to define myself than such a title as this, Miss.

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May 22 2011

09:36

Exchange

Me: Good evening. Blue Line Taxi.

Customer: I'd like a taxi to (I really want to add the address, but I won't).

Me: Okay. Thank you.

Customer: (snotty tone) You're very welcome. (as she is hanging up the phone) Fucking bitch.

Did I miss something? Possibly there is some other meaning of "thank you" to which I have not previously been privy? Have I been left out of the "thank you" loop?

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May 17 2011

03:02

25 Abandoned Yugoslavia Monuments

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"These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjac(a), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). [...] conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. [...] After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost."

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02:49

Maghidet, Libya

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More photos of deserts to feed the desolation-loving beast.

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02:47
02:37

The Accidental Sea

"I go there [Salton Sea, California] to catch a glimpse of what the world will be like without us. [...] a tragic failure, or a post-apocalyptic wonderland."

A place that combines both the desolate and the abandoned - and definitely on my list of places to go before I die.

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00:02

May 16 2011

19:50

Euthanasia Coaster : socks-studio

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“Euthanasia Coaster” is a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death.

Truly the most peculiar thing I've seen in a very long time. One does not necessarily wish to contemplate one's demise, but if one must go...

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03:34

Communion

I have just returned (a few hours ago, at this point) from the First Communion of my oldest friend's daughter. A simple ceremony in a comfortable church, and a large dinner reception after at a local restaurant that specialises in Eastern European cuisine.

I have seen some of the people that were there, my friend's family, off and on at various functions for the past twenty some-odd years - including adults that were small children when I first met them. That's a bit disconcerting, in a pleasant way, to see these people with their own children, their own adult lives, when your remembrance of them is so different.

I have no real contact with most of my own family - for reasons of choice, circumstance and proximity. Some of them are just too far away to see, and the ones that are not are people I'm just not close with. So, as I ate dinner today, I was thinking about that - thinking about how enjoyable it is, however infrequent, to have these family events, to have people come together to celebrate something, to eat together, and to be included.

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May 14 2011

13:28

Lament

This is the video for my cousin Cassie's band The Dorothies. She's got such a lovely voice.

Also, the painting of the poppies was done by her mother, my Aunt Marie - also a lovely person. :)

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13:09

A Tiny Apartment Transforms into 24 Rooms

 

In Hong Kong, because of the space, apartments are small and expensive. Gary Chang, an architect, decided to design a 344 sq. ft. apartment to be able to change into 24 different designs, all by just sliding panels and walls. He calls this the "Domestic Transformer."

I am not normally given to claustrophobia - but I think that this apartment would challenge even my ability to cope with a small space. It is amazing, though, how he's done this, and is definitely a model for urban dwelling when space is at a premium.

Thanks to my friend Tim for the link.

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May 10 2011

18:02

Types and Toms

After 42 years I have finally figured out what my blood type is: I asked my mother what hers was. I figured that since one or both of us would be dead if mine were different from hers, knowing hers would mean knowing my own.

I can't believe it took me 42 years to come up with that one.

I won't tell you how long it took me to remember which animal was Tom out of the Tom & Jerry cartoons, and how I finally managed to remember it.

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