30 January 2008

Wise, wise Ethiopians after all - AND I KNEW IT!

I need a break. Hullo! I'm going to write this post using our adjectives and nouns in a very Portie manner. That way three of you will have a proper laugh and the others will exercisate the least used areas of their brains. See? Started already, let's see who can spot them all! Winner guaranteed to never have to read a middle-of-exams post again!

I am happy to announce I can be proud of my parents again. I took them to my fave sushi restaurant once so they too could share in the divineness that is sushi and they dared to hate it. HATE SUSHI, they did. I was beyond myself with grief, I had clearly been spawned by evil - elegantly-dressed, well-spoken evil but evil all the same. When the first exam results came out I decided to take them out for lunch to celebrate and cleverly just kidnapped them. I am not without a heart you know, there is a buffet with meat and other thingies. Lo, it turns out that what they cannot stand is wasabi, I am perfectly fine with that, they had sushi and loved it! And then they had some more! I am no longer ashamed we share a last name. We are going back there on Friday (mother's birthday) and then father's is 10 days later, and mine is in March so - do you see how bliss has franqueated the door to my heart? [I am also hoping that sushi fabulousness will keep some of the February soul-pong at bay]. I am easy to spot at a sushi buffet, I am the one weeping with gratitude at the sight of platters filled to capacity with temaki and California rolls (the tuna version). I can eat so much of it, apparently, that my mother became worried and urged me to - I cannot quite believe I am typing this - STOP EATING. This mother! Unfathomable. I, of course, seem to have learnt nothing in previous decades and therefore:

- Mother, how can it be that I either eat nothing at all and subsist on air or eat entirely too much?
- That, darling, is exactly it.

It couldn't have been easier if I'd brought my own cleaver and done it myself. Have jugular, will travel.

Remember that time I was almost posteriorly sucked into a cow's rumen? People shouldn't jump to conclusions, really they shouldn't, it's so precipitated. I wrote that exam already (passed it) (have actually been passing them all so far, wonder what's wrong) (TFU TFU TFU) and actually enjoyed studying for it. I enjoyed studying for a Large Animal subject! I was promptly chastised by life in that right after I was forced to delve deeply into the joys of Toxicology and now, as we speak, Technology. Did you know that you absolutely cannot be a good vet unless you know exactly how an industrial refrigerator works, circuitry and all? Say you're at an abattoir, inspectioning, and have managed to both retain conscience and not be hit by a few lungs or hearts on their way to the conveyer belt or worse, a gliding hook. Say some piece of machinery breaks down. Who amongst you would not immediately turn to the vet for reparation? I know I'd certainly take my dog to the Engineering faculty to have her anal glands expressed if I didn't know how to do it myself. This is why we are also taught photosynthesis in the greatest detail; if we ever come across a literally ballooning cow we absolutely do not need to take a perfurating instrument to her (left) hide in a savage-like manner in order to save her life, we can address the problem at the very beginning of the food chain bcs we are now equipped to quickly shed our clothes, perform a short interpretative sun dance and kneel on the ground to exhort the greenery to grow into something less gasifiable.

Gertrudes [Juhrtroodj] has had a horrible time pining for me but no worries, she's all better now, she's visiting. Exams will be finished in a month and I'll then ensure Gertrudes is properly buggered. It's her turn now. [Gertrudes looks exactly like I first pictured Doby's nose. Rectal House Elf, so very wrong.]

Finally, I heard back from my potential internship and YES, I have been accepted! As soon as exams are over in the Summer (optimistically, I have decided that I will not need to take any exams in September FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN YEARS) (TFU TFU TFU), and after a fairly indecent holiday period with NO EXAMS IN SIGHT I will spend my days (Mon-Sat, 10-13h + 15-20h) actually learning things I will be able to use in the future! Fun things, things abt reptiles and rabbits and chelonians and birds! Not too far away from a beach! In The Line, town starts with an O and it's abt 3 min from Shrimpy's house. Dudes...

And then I'll fly to Vancouver to attend Manuela's Moulin Rouge Special Edition wedding and slobber over her Jimmy Choos and Manolos, and then skip over to San Francisco to visit V. and see if I can break my personal record of flying back from the American continent with 115 paperbacks (and new clothes) in my baggage, and then the kittens with the head tea doilies will come out to groom the wolves and the giggling sauria and the world will realise I have secured myself yet another degree, a horrific one this time, WITHOUT THROWING MYSELF IN THE RIVER and all fighting and deception are worthless and that will stop instantly, and the cure for all diseases will fall from the sky wrapped in seasoned seaweed and can you tell I am having a terribly hard time superimposing all these possibilities of actual and normal fun onto what is my actual and abnormal life and has been for over 6 years?

Don't overindulge in ham. I now know ham. Trust me.

FRIDAY P.S. - Just wrote Technology and, in an exam consisting of 60 T/F questions plus 2 others where you're required to elaborate, what are the odds that one will, indeed, be Please describe the circuitry and general functioning of a domestic refrigerating unit? A BLOODY "DOMESTIC REFRIGERATING UNIT"! A FUCKING FRIDGE! And that question alone was worth 4 points out of 20, 4 whole points! Am foaming at the mouth a bit. Bloody, buggery , time-wasting hell.

19 January 2008

And The Truth shall set ye free

[The Defunct = the Ex, remember? That being said:]

Not quite 6 months into our relationship The Defunct gently woke me up from a (rare) nap and asked me to marry him. He also told me that 3 months bfr (
i.e., 3 months into the relationship) he'd gone ring-hunting with his mum but then he'd remembered I'd once said something abt blood diamonds and realised I might not be altogether pleased with the idea of owning a diamond that came to be thanks to the labour of children who should actually be in school being children and decided against it. [Also, diamonds are too blingy.] [Saphires, on the other hand...] Until that day, that is, when he could no longer contain himself despite the absence of the 3rd element in the blissful triad. Now, us Porties are a bit different from Anglos concerning engagements. But for very traditional families we don't realy do engagements anymore. Most people my age have no engagement rings and we are boyfriend/girlfriend until the day we marry, we don't really speak of fianc├ęs, it's a tad dated. Regardless, it should be a momentous thing and yet I wasn't giddy with excitement, I was a bit taken aback by it and told him that if things went on like that I'd certainly consider it in a far future but maybe discussing it seriously just then was premature.

Many of you will remember The Defunct. We are not on speaking terms, I simply ignore him and it's not really drama on my part. His behaviour (and I mostly mean the bits I haven't blogged abt, sorry) was so appallingly vile that I now absolutely think him a swine and have no interest in having any sort of contact with such a person whatsoever, regardless of who he is. I can forgive a lot but some things completely re-write a joint history and make it worth nothing. It's actually a bit frightening, when you think abt it. Some people are not worthy of any bit of you, regardless of how remote, and there is no turning back. That being said, I really have laid it all to rest in a way that amazes even me (the fringe benefits of annihilation) and although I know it hasn't it does feel like it all happened to someone else. I don't wish him ill, I don't wish him well, I don't wish him
anything, I'm empty of all feelings but the mild general contempt reserved for people capable of despicable acts. You need to understand all this to understand also that the caveat from past posts still applies, I will be talking abt him in this post but it's so I can talk abt me and the conclusions I've reached abt myself. And if I sound uncharitable at times, and I likely will, it's not meant to be seen as a derision of him. I, after all, am the one who kept choosing to stay.

To me it was incomprehensible that he'd want to marry me so soon. Post break-up I found out that after his ex broke up with him he'd flown abroad to ask her to marry him; he'll no doubt very soon wish to marry the next one. Looking back now, and knowing him the way I do (very dark bits included), I realise it makes perfect sense. It is not that he'd choose anyone, he has criteria but also this notion of how a relationship proceeds and I do not mean it ironically when I say he is a man on a mission. A Man marries and breeds, really quite simple. If things seem to go well, you marry; if things seem to go wrong, you try to marry as it will fix all. The wedding itself is the goal, not much thought is given to the marriage and what it entails (commitment, hard work, loyalty, even sacrifice). Hence, it is an easy decision even if the partners are recent or possibly mismatched. His notion of Love is a heavily romantised one in the mediaeval and biblical sense, with the man as the firm Patriarch whose knightness will ultimately keep the family basking in togetherness, and his bride will need him (a bit dependently) and look at him in adoration. This is also why he wanted to have babies almost fro m day one, which never really bodes well does it but he's still young, I told myself, he'll grow up some, he has to bcs I cannot play co-dependent and will certainly never be anyone's perpetually adoring geisha. [The fact that I was never dependent wasn't seen as healthy, it indeed caused a few problems instead.] I, on the other hand, have had an unlikely amount of men wishing to marry me and really, the only one I've ever wanted to really,
really marry was the so far love of my life from when I was 20. So maybe it isn't that it was an unlikely number, maybe I think it unlikely simply bcs I could never have married these particular men and they surprised me by not sharing my reasons for not wanting to. It dawned on me today driving back to Lisbon that it doesn't make any sense to ever ask myself if there is maybe something wrong with me because I have managed to reach this age without children or a marriage (broken or not) behind me, it's sort of self-explanatory. See, people marry for all sorts of reasons and my reasons for getting married are actually the ones that have prevented me from doing it so far. I've alyways thought that marrying someone, much like having chidren, should ultimately be terribly easy. You become a couple, you learn abt each other, if they ask you and it is REALLY REALLY RIGHT you say yes. As simple as that. We went to London in December of last year and after we'd both got our Jewishness officially recognised we could finally get married and for a short while I was giddy, finally. But then, funny thing, people would become very excited abt it and ask me abt concrete details and I'd say What?! Oh no, not anytime soon, no time, exams, vet school, no time, NO TIME, have I mentioned no time?? And I never blogged abt any of it, which - really. The truth is, if you want to marry that person, and if you, like me, dislike big wedding productions, you simply find a way to do it - or to at least start planning it. After said trip we also decided to start trying for a baby. My ovaries not being very cooperative for the most part I joined a fertility site to try and pinpoint my fertile period. I didn't manage to measure my morning temperature one single time, I kept forgetting. I did not fill any of the funny little squares with the required info. Coincidentally, and of course entirely unrelated, my libido vanished. Funnily enough, our relationship started desintegrating very fast after this. Reality does things

Despite my having claimed I'm mostly lucid abt relationships, which is actually true, I was avidly swimming in the Nile and sinking spectacularly. A big head-smacking clue came after we broke up when I realised (abt a week after the fact) that we had
in fact broken up, I kept asking my friends - and this is truly hard to admit in itself and also bcs it went on for quite a while - Where will I find another Jew now?? That shows some very healthy priorities, I'd say, apparently I didn't regret having lost that particular man but the fact the said man was a Jew in a country where they are so very scarce. It slowly dawned on me that I'd stayed with him in hope of a miracle bcs it had become apparent tops after abt a year that he would never be what I could be happy with. I remember talking with my friends abt it while I was staying at the beach that Summer in that very hopeful and slightly histrionic manner, you know, he could still change though right? RIGHT? The truth is, no man should need to change for me to want to be with him. I need a man whom I can admire and respect intellectually immediatly, a man whom I can talk to for hours, a man that amazes me and makes me feel grateful simply by opening his mouth. And The Defunct wasn't stupid, not at all, but he wasn't right for me. He was not enough, see, there was no awe. And yet I stayed, and I think it's partly bcs after a certain age you become so tired of relationships that come to an end and starting it all over again that you are tempted to overlook things that are at the very core of your needs, you crave the relief of it alll having been decided already, done. But in my case it was also very much bcs I had forgotten how being with someone you admire intellectually feels like. Uzi was like that intellectually, God but Uzi was a fucking genius with the best sense of humour but he was not a strong man and the men who choose me need to be so in order not to be intimidated, made insecure, emasculated simply by my being the way I am. There were many times when Uzi felt inadequate bcs he could not assert himself where life was concerned and I could and did, and he felt like he too should bcs most people can after all and yet. Simply being best friends was absolutely right for us, when you're a Very Small Animal the status change makes all the difference, he wasn't pressured anymore to be more than he knew how to be, I wasn't frustrated bcs I wasn't with a stronger man, we were happier. And the one after Uzi was mad as a hatter and meanwhile a lot of time had gone by since the good old days and I forgot, I just did. [Funny that no man since has ever measured up to that 20-year-old though. Funny that the man he is today, from what I glimpse at parties, doesnt quite measure up to his 20-year-old self either.]

When Udge came to visit and we discussed books I had the shock of my life, IT IS POSSIBLE! People can actually sit down and talk abt books for hours! No, people can actually talk abt ALL SORTS OF THINGS for hours! Did you know? Did you remember? And then I started thinking abt my motivations for being in a relationship that left me so intellectually starved and I have been ruminating for a good few months now. A few months after we broke up I became involved with someone else. I fell for this man fast and hard and one of the reasons was a) he talked b) he talked well, and I loved to listen. We talked for hours, WE ACTUALLY TALKED, that really didn't happen with The Defunct and God yes I need that, desperatly, and I was reminded also of how different it is to fall for someone bcs you are attracted to them and hope (since they have still some maturing to do) that they will yet become what you need to have in a partner on other levels as well; from falling for someone who pretty much has the initial whole package. I actually fell in love with this man, which was fortunate bcs he had fallen in love with me as well. I was cleanly swept off my fee and I couldn't help but notice that the way I felt exceeded how I'd felt when The Defunct and I had first started our relationship bcs the basic kit was present from the beginning, no need to wait.

[Short Portie Cultural Tidbit: for us
falling in love does NOT equal loving someone. This always confuses Anglos, who, funnily enough, cannot go through an entire day without proclaiming their love for at least three people and God forbid you should hang up with a simple Goodbye. Falling in love to us means your throat meets you trembling knees whenever you think of them, not being able to sleep or eat, vibrating when with them, wanting to swallow them whole and be swallowed. Loving someone takes time and work - and luck.]

This, alas, does not mean things will end well and despite the fact that we had many things in common and were smitten with each other it didn't amount to much. But I am grateful for it bcs I was reminded of how different it is to be involved with a man who is actually
that already, and not someone who hopefully will shape up into something good. And the talking, ye the sheer amount and splendidness of the talking, and the maturity, the poise, and look, the mutual brain licking! I may be able to control younger/weaker men in a relationship but the price I pay isn't worth it at all so maybe I should try and handle my control issues and break this unfortunate pattern bcs really, people do have exactly the lives they want and if you hear someone saying I'm so unlucky, I only attract married men/philanderers/drug users/what have you IT IS NOT AN ACCIDENT, loads of other people don't. So at the end of the day this might not be the relationship that makes you happy but it's certainly the one you still want to have or else you'd have long ran for the bloody hills and really, isn't life too long to be lived at your expense? It bloody well is.

It is no accident that I haven't got married or have children, not at all. Shrimpy was telling me today that she fully respects people's right to have rational relationships, i.e., at my age, faced with a man who was Jewish, good-looking, pleasant enough, wanted to have a serious relationship and babies, seemed to have potential, it made sense for me to stay with him despite the fact that I'd always find
us somewhat lacking. But, I told her, even though I agreed that people certainly have that right I didn't and couldn't function that way, never had, and that was why I had never been able to officially commit to him and we were back on condoms after a very short while bcs wow, a bit of a fright when abstractions become actual possibilities isn't it. The truth is, he'd have married me for his own reasons but I couldn't bring myself to marry him for my own, bcs to me having a family + children is not enough of a good reason to compromise on what I find absolutely vital. I may live with you but marrying you is something else, there is a difference to me, institutionalised rituals do matter, and the deeper part of me (that which was not splashing abt in the water) knew we were doomed and I'd regret it.

Bcs, see, I did learn you can have it all, decency, intelligence, brilliant talker, same sense of humour, culture and manners, sex bomb. I had it once, it
is possible, I will never be able to officially settle for less than that. And now that I have learnt loads abt myself and am very much aware of where my minds' traps are I will never ever allow myself to rely on miracles or hope of what might be even non-officially, i.e., outside of matrimony. To put it simply, my bookshelves don't have you salivating, your clothes have no place in my closet. Never stray from The Truth for it, much like the printing dwarves, looks you sternly in the groin. This might mean I will never meet anyone whom I'm willing to be with the way I need to be with someone. It might mean I'll never marry, or have my own biological children since I'm not the sort to barshop for impregnation but the alternative is far worse. It either is or it isn't, and that which isn't becomes apparent rather fast. And I will always choose feeling at peace about my choices over being resigned to them. I like me well.

12 January 2008

I want Uzi

Sometimes it feels as thought the night will never end.

11 January 2008

Some of my best friends are Portuguese

  1. Eeek, first exam written. Surgery: Boney structures, Head, Abdomen. Professors, really? Bcs I can actually tell left from right on a bone, or visualise anything, for the matter? There's this thingy you do to the femur where you create a channel and pass a cerclage (wire) shaped like an 8 into it and then do something to it to achieve stabilisation (hip dysplasia, very fascinating) and I was looking at the drawings and I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND how it's supposed to work! In Portugal we have the habit of saying, when someone fails to understand something, "Shall I draw it for you?" [meant ironically of course, we once sort of ruled the world (can't fathom it) but really we are a nation of short, bitter, secretely sardonic Porties whose greatest joys are football, mall-haunting and Schadenfreude] and YES PLEASE WHY DON'T YOU, I'd love it if you could confuse me further. I am hopeless with this spatial rubbish, hopeless, and it's a humungous waste of my time (and theirs) for me to be forced to learn (ha!) how to perform such exotic surgeries. And boring, gosh but they are boring, especially orthopoedics. Anyway, it's written and with a bit of luck I will have passed it. Luck will be needed bcs, as is my wont, for some of the questions that required answers I remembered how many bulleted procedures there were, and part of the names, and on which page they were [1. on the bottom - left, 2.+3. on the top - right] and that, as you may imagine, is so very helpful. You know what else is brilliant? When your Professor takes a look at your colleagues' exams while you're still writing yours and sadly shakes his head. Yes, I am confident.
  2. Know what annoys the bloody hell out of me? Use your words. It sounds demented and drives me batty. Must be an Anglo Child-Rearing Proven Method of such complexity that it eludes me. I know what they mean but wouldn't it sound slightly less mental if the parent said Talk, PrincZ Tawonda, don't hit? Explain, please, if you can. Diana already clarified the Pink Eye Phobia Must Stay Away From School Or Else Race Extinction so you're good on that count. I'll leave the whole name thingy aside for now, there's a limit to the amount of perplexity I want to self-induce on any given day.
  3. Speaking of Porties, I laughed till I cried watching this, it so worth it, so sobering. Enjoy the minute, the world does know us. Ahhh, shabbat shalom, dahlings.

(The New Adventures of Old Christine, "Some of my best friends are Portuguese")

07 January 2008

How to survive unfertilised (and fertilised) eggs

This will be somewhat abt tampons, to balance out the corpse in the last post - life, death... I expect to lose most of you bcs you're mostly Anglos and Anglos are far more precious regarding such subjects, even the women - so go now, with my blessing.

Are you always in the mood for tampons? I'm not, and this month I couldn't really be bothered. [Actually, what I'd like to have is a diva cup but no luck finding one here in Europe's Armpit.] But life with tampons is much cleaner living, it becomes a bit aggravating with knickers to always have to ensure that there will be no pad dance and its delightful consequences, not every pair will do and even some old faves will occasionally let you down.

As I returned from a short if messy bathroom visit (dancing pad) (praise the bidet) (we discussed all things bidet so, you remember, classic bidet, not aerosolisation device) I stood in front of the wooden thingy with the drawers where I keep my underwear and socks (I cannot for the life of me recall the name of it, I can only think of cupboard and that isn't it, it would be worrisome if this weren't exam season) and tried to choose the perfect knickers, those that would not allow any South travelling of the viscous variety especially during sleep, and I came across -

My miscarriage knickers!

They're brilliant. They're made of some sort of elastic mesh, come up to my 1st pair of floating ribs (yes) and keep everything tight against the body, no leakage possible. And the funniest bit is, there was a time when looking at them hurt bcs I did want that baby. Now? I am simply happy to have found them again and I've also just realised anew that even when I think back to those awful weeks the only thing that hurts me is the memory of how much physical pain I was in bcs, and how amazingly bizarre life is at times, I am actually glad I miscarried. Isn't that a horrible thing to think? NO IT'S NOT. Children are forever and their creators are forever tied as well and No, thank God that No. That part of my life is so thoroughly processed and filed away that it feels like it happened to someone else (I knew it would be impossible to retain much of the good but I certainly didn't expect for it all to be forcibly expunged but once expunged it all becomes sort of clinical) but the relief is still present. When I think of what could be now...

I thought I was getting my period and it turned out I was a little pregnant, though not by much, though by enough that my body wasn't able to end it all, I had the protracted miscarriage from hell, I was in pain and vomit for
so long and so unnecessarily, it tooks me weeks and weeks to recover - and if you'd told me then I'd feel this, I wouldn't have believed you - but I very much do. I missed a cosmic bullet, what else is left to feel but gratitude?

And, shocker, the last thing I expected when I started off with tampons was to have this post end up here but neither do we ever expect great pains to become great comforts, so here is good. Here is good.

02 January 2008

And am not being ironic either

Short break from revising to bring you this exchange btwn me and my former vet school colleague [who is now a vet, a real bona fide vet! I mean, this degree did not kill her, she actually graduated, did you know it was possible? YES! And, a few days ago she asked me when exams started - she had forgotten, see! FORGOTTEN! Abt exams! EXAMS! Woooot!] [also, I know it's far more polite and gramatically correct to say "btwn my blablabla and I" but you try that with the sentence in btwn brackets that comes right after it and see how it sounds, go on] [Not connected whatsoever but I must simply share this or will burst into flames and hallo, are you female? Do you enjoy clothes and make-up and the likes? Are you always looking for e.g. the perfect moisturiser? Buy Beauty Confidential, a former beauty editor wrote it, I was in love by page 9. They know things. Well now, love dwindled a tad after p. 9, they do know things but she tries too hard to be cute. Just read the blog, same info, less aggro.] [Being a beauty editor in the UK or US would be one of my dream jobs. Honestly.] [Amidst apologies resuming original subject now - vet colleague, me, texting:]

Her: Stll wnt me t brng u Imagiolgy book?
I: Yes pls!
Her: Need t drop off corpse frst, wll come round rght aftrwrds

Sometimes I really, really adore my life. Cheers!