Monthly Archives: December 2008

>The antithesis of awesome


I follow a blog called “1000 Awesome Things” and I love the things that the writer lists. Many of the things are extremely awesome. They are usually simple things, but awesome nonetheless.

A highly non-awesome thing just happened at work – something that I hate more than almost anything. I had to use the toilet so I went into the… well, the toilets. There are four stalls. Out of the four stalls, I picked the one that had just been pooped in. Aurgh!

I hate that so much! It is bad enough that you have to deal with the turdy (my new word) toilet, but add to that the horror that someone might be waiting to use the facilities directly after you. They are never, ever going to buy your “it wasn’t me” story. So don’t even try.

>And the days just drag


I remember now why I’ve always hated working on a reception desk. Because I don’t sit still very well and that is all you do when you work reception. Sit. And because I’m only temping, there is even less to do on the reception desk than there (I hope) usually is.

As I run out of things to look at on the interwebs, the days get even longer. Today I read a bunch about Taoism. I’m going to need a new research topic for tomorrow. Any suggestions?

>Detwitting, not the same as detarding

>I deleted my Twitter account. I simply wasn’t using it and I’m growing increasingly concerned (once again) with the amount of time I spend in front of my PC monitor instead of doing stuff that doesn’t involve staring at pixels. Besides, I think the days of Twitter’s popularity are numbered. If I want to write a blog post that is less than 140 characters, I can do that here.

Original Comments:

wrote (on 28/12/08):
this post is 377 characters long so I can see how you could be restricted with only 140.
oh, Merry Christmas and stuff…

>What keeps me awake at night


People wonder why I can’t sleep. You know why? Because I think about stupid shite like this…


Last night I got to thinking about how hard it would be for conjoined twins to turn over in their sleep. Seriously! You would really have to plan that out and work together as a team.

>It’s a matter of perspective

>Case in point… the party my neighbours are having on a Sunday night would not seem nearly as annoying if I was at said party. Because I’m not, I wish they would all burn in hell.

>My growing vocabulary

I wanted just the right word to explain how I was feeling about it being soooo cold and snowy back home (just check out the Coquihalla Highway webcam) when it is a rather balmy and dry day here.

relatively speaking…

Of course, many people would suggest the German word “Schadenfreude” (taking joy in the misery of others) and it was the one I was looking up how to spell in order to describe the evil delight I was feeling in being able to have my window open today. In doing so, however, I discovered two other lovely and useful words.
The first is “epicaricacy” which is a rare English word (why do we always stop using the best words??) that was once spelled “epicharikaky”. The Greek etymology of this word is a compound of epi (upon), chaira (joy) and kakon (evil). Whoo-hoo! I love it!

The other great word that I’ve since picked up is Freudenschade, which is not only a non-word in English, it is a non-word in German as well. Score! A twofer!*

I found “Freudenschade” in an article that defines it thusly: “If Schadenfreude is feeling joy at the misfortune of others, then Freudenschade is feeling miserable at their joy. It’s a very useful emotion to have in your arsenal.”
I have to agree. I fall victim to Freudenshade nearly as often as Schadenfreude, which I’m now calling epicaricacy (which I can’t pronounce, naturally).

*I’ve mentioned that I’m using “Windows Live Writer” to create my blog entries now, yes? And that it does spell checking? Well, it hates the following words: soooo, Schadenfreude, epicaricacy, epicharikaky, epi, chaira, kakon, whoo-hoo and Freudenschade. However, it didn’t have a problem with “twofer”, which I thought was Canadian slang, much along the lines of “two-four” (flat o’ beer), “hoser” (loser), “hork” (steal), “garbarator” (garbage disposal unit) and a “large double-double” (a large Tim Horton’s coffee with two cream and two sugar). So I looked up “twofer” and apparently it is a real word. Who knew?

Original Comments:

Belfast Brendy wrote (on 22/12/08):
I knew.

Andi Struction wrote:

“Shade N. Freude” was almost my roller derby name, but I chickened out. How awesome would that be? Nerdy AND badass.

>Banal blog entry week continues


So, cooking in my apartment is difficult. I only have approximately 3 square inches of counter-space. I lack most of the apparatus necessary to cook anything decent. If I turn on the “oven” (and I use the term very, very loosely – it could either be considered a fairly kick-ass toaster oven or an extremely poorly endowed oven) the elements go out. I lack certain culinary skills. I call heating up a frozen pizza “cooking”. You get the picture.

I’m happy with no microwave oven, but as I’m eating at home more and more often, I find myself wishing I had a toaster. Because I’m eating more toast (bread is cheap). A toaster would make my life so much easier.

The problem when I “cook” is that I don’t pay attention. I have the attention span of a gnat. I start cooking and then I get distracted by something else – often by something shiny. And then I forget I’m cooking something and this leads to disaster.

Sigh. Most of the food I eat these days is either undercooked (I de-stove it before it is ready to ensure I won’t over cook it) or highly overcooked. Which means my house always smells like burned toast. Because I forget that I’m toasting something until I smell it and it is black on one side and still bread on the other. Ew.

I wish I had room on my counter (note: not counterS, counter. There is but one counter in my place. A little one.) for a toaster. Or I wish I had someone around to cook for me. Cooking for myself is balls. I bet someone else would rock at cooking toast. And then I wouldn’t even have to get up out of bed to eat it, let alone to cook it. That’d be cool.

>Yadda yadda yadda, me me me


“Talking much about oneself
can also be a means to conceal oneself.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes I wonder about this blogging thing. Not blogging in general – I’m sure the 19 blog posts created every second on the interwebs are all very worthwhile and highly interesting… but I wonder about the point of me keeping a blog. I don’t ever kid myself that my posts are worthwhile or at all interesting – Turbotastical Tales should come with a disclaimer warning those who have hearkened upon it accidentally that spending even a moment reading any of what’s here could cause permanent brain damage. There’s no un-reading what you’ve read here, people.

Anyway, back to me. I didn’t think I was the kind of person who was into disclosing too much about myself. And then I read that quote from Nietzsche (confession: I’m also hopeful that quoting the ole Nietzscherooni will add some class and smartness to my otherwise base and retarded writing) and it dawned on me what keeping a blog is really all about for me: it isn’t that I want to give up too much info about myself, it is simply that I like to hear the sound of my own voice (even when it is written) and that my voice is particularly melodious when I wax lyrical about my favourite subject: moi.

Seriously, for someone who hates it when people think they know any-freaking-thing about me (I don’t even go into the same shops twice in a row, lest they think they have a habit or two of mine figured out) I sure do talk about myself a lot. That must get aggravating for the people around me. It is just that my “best” stories usually involve me. Probably because I’m the most interesting person I know. Ha!

Whenever I read my old posts though, I notice that even though it is either all about me, or at the very least my opinion on things that aren’t me… overall I don’t think I’m giving all that much away. It may look that way at times; however, by being the writer and editor of my life events I have control over the portrait I’m painting of myself. For everything I let slip, there are 10 things I’m not giving away.

So anyway, thanks for sorting me out Friedrich, you uptight bastard. I didn’t like the one book of yours that I read, but you do say some pretty smart shite every once in a while. So, cheers for that Friedy. You’s alright. Thanks for classing up my blog a bit today. Sort of.

Original Comments:

Carey wrote (on 21/12/08):
I just realized you have been gone for over three years. Not because I didn’t notice you were gone, but because I get to read about you when ever I want so it feels like I “see” you every day. To be honest, I like the banal, random stories you write, because it would be like a conversation we would have in person. I don’t need you to disclose any more about yourself… I have enough dirt already…

Miss you

>Mental Flossing: What did you learn last year?


1. What’s the most interesting book or article you read in 2008?

This one is hard to answer, not because I didn’t read any, but because I read so many great articles this year. Unfortunately for my personal productivity, I discovered Google Reader and how to subscribe to RSS feeds in 2008. The good news is that I read more news. The bad news is that I don’t really have time for much else.

I did read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book “Outliers: The Story of Success” and I’m highly recommending it to y’all. In fact, I recommend all of his books (don’t worry, there are only three).

I also went to a cool bookstore this year: Blackwell’s in Oxford. There are three miles of shelving in the basement alone. So much booky-goodness!

2. What’s the best food you tried for the first time in 2008?

Does alcohol count as food? Of course it does! Gosia introduced me to Zubrowska (Bison Grass Vodka) and apple juice (a drink called, Wikipedia just taught me, “tatanka” or “szarlotka” in Polish or a “frisky bison” in UK English) . Pretty freaking tasty. Other than that, nothing is really standing out for me. As far as culinary adventures go… this year was 100 times tamer than last year’s adventures on Wangfujing Street in Beijing.

Beijing China - Fall 2007 (107)

3. What prominent figure’s death upset you the most in 2008?

Who died in 2008? I’m gonna have to look this one up… bloody hell! You can learn everything on Wikipedia! Okay, going through the list now…

Wow. World lost a lot of “prominent” people in 2008. I didn’t really hear about nary a one of them (although I do remember reading about both Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Heath Ledger) so I can’t really say I was upset by any of them. The last time a prominent figure died where I was honestly at all upset was Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in 2007 (and before that, Hunter S. Thompson in 2005).

A sketch by Vonnegut

4. What’s the most unexpected way the economic crisis affected you in 2008?

I think it would have to be how hard it has been for me to find another job. I’ve never had to struggle to even get in the door this much. And let me tell you how it feels, boys and girls. It feels like complete and absolute sweaty donkey balls. I don’t support fighting to find work.

5. What’s a new hobby you picked up in 2008?

You know… I don’t think I have picked up a new one. Unless you want to count “hanging out in English pubs” as a “new” “hobby”.

6. When you look back at 2008 five years from now, what will be the first thing that comes to mind?

That I could love being in London so much, yet be so miserably unhappy most of the time. It is the weirdest thing.

7. What’s your “Week-After-Christmas Resolution” (something you vow to start doing next Friday, but can give up on January 1st)?

On Friday, 26 December, I vow to start emailing/writing to at least one person each day.

Original Comments:

Holly wrote (on 20/12/08):
That I could love being in London so much, yet be so miserably unhappy most of the time.
— It’s strange, that is also how I felt. I loved the city so much, but my work situation was frequently difficult.

Carey wrote (on 21/12/08):
I like the new blog colours.
and I relate to number 6.

Jodi-Wan Kenobi wrote (on 21/12/08):
I’m glad you like it, Carebear. I thought about moving the blog over to either Blogger or WordPress so I can have my own url… but then thought no one but you, Hoolicia and my moms reads the damned thing anyway. And you know… we should probably leave it like that. 😉 So I just updated the colours so I could feel like I had a new blog.


>this morning, london smelled of cat food
the district line smelled of lillies and death