I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Snakes on the brain

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No death overnight but a bit more unpleasantness. This morning's dream that had me stressed when I woke up related to snakes. I was in a room that kept morphing between my current bedroom and the one I had in my parents' house. Someone was in the room with me but I don't know who he was. He was a friend in the dream, just not someone from real life. Anyway I was sorting out all the cupboards, differentiating between stuff that's mine and stuff that's not mine.

Not sure what category it came under but the 3 fucking huge snakes were a bit worrying... except they weren't. I wasn't scared of them. Slowly I managed to take each one out of the wardrobe and put 'em down, 2 on the bed and 1 on the floor. I let them slither over me, and they were proper big fuckers, the types you get handlers draping over their shoulders and holding with both hands. I wasn't scared of them, just a little, I dunno, intrigued. Odd really, while not exactly familiar with these things I also wasn't totally freaked out -- yet I was also acutely aware of how freaked out I should be, what with hating snakes (and wanting to eat them).

Then, fairly suddenly, I freaked out. Nothing particularly triggered it, I was just sat between two of 'em on the bed, letting one of 'em slither around my hand (I was also totally sure these things were neither aggressive nor poisonous) and all of a sudden I thought, hold on, this ain't right. These are motherfucking snakes. Eek. Fuck. Snakes. Fuck. Get me the fuck out of here. Really. I'm not fucking having this. So I pegged it out of the room, past whoever-it-was, who was holding a snake in the aforementioned handlers' technique, a snake who flicked his tongue out at me on the way past. And once outside the room I woke up.

Seconds From Disaster is brilliant. I wasn't that impressed when I first saw it but a couple of episodes in and I'm hooked. It's the format (go over entire disaster, then go over it again detective style) combined with the voiceover guy's massive enthusiasm for disaster and tragedy that won me over. I really love the way the breaks seem to be timed to give him a bit of a rest, a chance to calm down and have a glass of water. Yesterday he was terribly excited that "the crew of the Kursk were seconds from NUCLEAR DISASTER!!!!!"

When I was in Japan I realised just how ignorant I was being by knowing none of the language, so I thought Yahoo! or Google could rescue me. All I wanted was a couple of simple phrases translated from English to Japanese, and both obliged, but unfortunately the translated responses were in Japanese script. Useful if I was after the sign for "Exit" or "Gents" or summat, but I wanted to be able to say stuff, like "Thank you" or "a beer please". The latin version would have gone down well, or even an audio version. Bah.

Also, Tokyo has Big Issue sellers. That surprised me a little. Turns out it's been around for at least 3 years.

New York City has a "department of health and mental hygiene". Mental hygiene?

2 comments:

Nige said...

Most English-Chinese dictionaries offer a Pinyin translation, which can be read fairly easily by your average ignorant Brit.

I just found http://linear.mv.com/cgi-bin/j-e/dict, which outputs in Romanised Japanese. It's one of the most ugly websites I've ever seen though, so watch out!

Nige said...

Damn, remove the comma from the end of that URL and it'll work.