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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Seven Random Things [20080312|21:11]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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becala tagged me for this one ages ago. I've thought about it off and on, and in typical nanila fashion, taken what was probably intended as a fairly shallow meme way too far. So I give you seven random things about me.


  1. I like weird tinned food. Spam. Condensed milk. Lychees. I grew up with them in Hawai'i. It wasn't until I moved to the mainland States that I learned (via humiliation, of course - the childhood type that burns long and bitterly) people thought that stuff was gross. But if you go to Oahu and order ramen from any proper noodle stall, you should expect a whacking great chunk of spam to be floating in it. And fishcake. I don't eat any of those things now, being somewhat obsessed with proper nutrition, but when I go home, I dive back into my old tastes (stinky pickle sushi!) with gusto.

  2. I'm no longer determined to date only people who share my taste for industrial music and goth/industrial nightclubs. In fact, that criteria was so deeply ingrained in me that it wasn't until I started dating someone who didn't share the same history with it that I realized it was there. I'm glad because in a way it's become exclusively mine. I feel I own those memories, those dancing nights, those difficult times when I drowned myself in sound to drown out the world I couldn't cope with. When I need to go back there to hide, it's still there for me.

  3. I'm not able to paint as much as I would like. If I thought I could scrape together a decent enough existence doing a job like my current one part-time and selling my paintings, I would. But London prices, my insecurities about my artistic ability and lack of training and my unwillingness to move back to the States prevent that from being anything more than a fantasy.

  4. When I see a pigeon, I have to suppress consciously the urge to spread my arms and chase it. My inner six-year-old is quite an insistent brat. Other things she always wants me to do include: shout "Here comes the traaaain" when the hot wind starts to rush down the tunnel in front of an arriving tube train, avoid stepping on the cracks in the pavement, run my hand along railings to play them like a monotone xylophone.

  5. I don't think I properly appreciated silence until I started commuting daily in London. A quiet tube or bus carriage, packed full of people and yet host only to the occasional rustle of newspaper or a soft "Excuse me"...now that is a slice of blessed peace in a crowded, noisy city.

  6. I'm terrified about the impending permanent swap from the Cluster to the Cassini job. It's impostor syndrome all over again, just in a new context. I'd thought I was over it, but I guess I'd just had a reprieve due to the extended bout of euphoria I had about putting my life back together again after it all fell apart, nearly two years ago now. Granted, I don't think it's as bad as it used to be. I know that the best strategy for coping with it is to own up to my ignorance and to read as much background material as possible. But it's still difficult not to be paralyzed by the fear that someone will discover I didn't know how to do a job that I wasn't supposed to know how to do before I started it in the first place. (The previous sentence will probably only make sense to those who also suffer from impostor syndrome.)

  7. I often wonder how I come across in this medium. Do people find me difficult to approach? Do I write too much or too little? Should I post more/fewer photos, or more/fewer paintings? Do I come across as overly protective of my personal life? Should I give up on content and just camwhore every day? I've been asking these questions for almost seven years (!), and the answers keep changing.
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[User Picture]From: angelcityblues
2008-03-12 21:47 (UTC)
1. Do you mean the fishcake that comes on a wood block with the pink outer edge? I will join you in the childhood love of both. I'll still buy fishcake once in a while. I'll only order Spam at the greasy-spoon down the street (served with grits and eggs, natch).

2. Ditto that. That and dating in that scene, especially in LA, is asking for either a) immature, manipulative high-school boy antics or b) herpes.

4. What do you mean, you don't chase them? I do that all the...ahem...what was I saying?

6. From one impostor to another, you're going to do fine. ;)

7. I think you should do, in this medium, whatever feels right and comfortable for you. Don't try to please everyone. I'm happy to know the parts you're comfortable sharing, whether they be pictures, or stories, or anything you want, really.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:28 (UTC)
1. I meant the pink outer edge fishcake. Wahey!

2. Haha. Yeah, unless I had a lot of other things in common with a person I met at a g/i club, I wouldn't date them.

4. Look, squirrels!

6. THEY KNOW. I know they know. They must know. Don't they? ;-)

7. That's true. On a related note, every now and then I get this urge to expand my community, especially when there's a lull in posts from my friends, and I'm not sure how to go about it. It's getting ever more difficult as more people go completely friends-only, too. I'll see someone post an interesting comment, then try to read their journal to get more of a feel for them, but when I can't, I just abandon the idea of trying to get to know them via comments exchange. I dunno!
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2008-03-12 21:52 (UTC)
I often wonder how I come across in this medium.

You come across as a rather special person who makes me laugh. There are nanoseconds when I wish I was twenty years younger, single and lived in London. And then I think 'lived in London' and go "ewwww".

Edited at 2008-03-12 09:52 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:22 (UTC)
And then I think 'lived in London' and go "ewwww".

Yes. I didn't think I'd tire of it for some time longer. However, if my tenure in the city (although not in the UK) had to draw to a close within the next year or two, I don't think I'd be too sad. It's tough to feel you're enjoying the place properly when working here wears you out so badly.
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[User Picture]From: becala
2008-03-12 21:55 (UTC)
Ironically, I almost made the meme into something similar, but then felt too protective of my personal life to really open up that way at that particular moment, so I went for shallow.

I think you should post more pictures, but just because I like looking at pictures of you. See previous comments about shimmying.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:20 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know that there'll ever be an end to the attitude swings re: LJ. I've been on an opening-up trend for a while now, which is good, but I'm always wary of factors that can abruptly tip the balance in the other direction.

More shimmying pictures. Noted.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:15 (UTC)
Whoa. That's really cool. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2008-03-12 22:15 (UTC)
I like spam too, and that's Really Really Weird in NZ. Also, canned corned beef. I think it's because stuff like that was never around in my childhood, so it was Forbidden Fruit (or Meat, I guess).

Also, I sometimes walk without standing on cracks, and my inner six year old rubs her hands in glee. Walking on cracks reminds me of the AA Milne poem about bears hanging around corners.

Sometimes I think I have imposter syndrom about being a grown-up. Like somehow, someday, someone will work out I've never actually accomplished anything adult.

I like your journal, and find it interesting, for what it's worth. I would like to see more pictures and paintings, because I like them, but not at the expense of words.

C.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:18 (UTC)
Forbidden Meat. Haha. I think you should invent a canned corn beef dish and call it that. And serve it on a plate shaped like a pope hat. Or perhaps that's going too far.

Thank you for the encouragement. I will pluck up my courage and try to do more.
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[User Picture]From: thefounder
2008-03-12 22:21 (UTC)
re: 2, i'm sort of like that with buses*, though i've never especially wanted to go out with someone who's into buses. bus bashing provided perfect escapism for me when i was at secondary school: something about which i could be enthused, something that involved adventure and exploration, and something over which i had control. i like that it's still something i can do to escape, though if i'm trying to escape from work related frustration i have to go bashing somewhere away from here. the joy of working for the main local bus operator...

re: 4, i used to do the fence xylophone thing. :) i'd forgotten about that until reading this entry. thank you for the reminder.

re: 5, the only thing i really hate about the Underground is how quiet the passengers are. passengers on buses in the West Midlands, where i grew up, are bad enough for sitting in silence, but there's usually at least some conversation. on the Underground, i find the silence and general mutual ignoring quite hostile.

re: 7, you come across as someone who is adept at seeing the beauty in the world around you and deriving much joy from it. that's partly why i enjoy reading your entries and think you don't write enough. :) another reason i enjoy reading your stuff is that...hm. finding it hard to word this. basically, i think you're lovely and i wish there were more persons like you in the world. i hope you don't mind me saying that. regarding the question of content, it's your LJ, so post what you want. i mean that. :)
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* i know it sounds silly, but it isn't. stick with me here. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:33 (UTC)
#5 It's funny, I used to feel like that about the tube and the buses, but actually I think it's not hostility that drives people to be silent and engrossed in their own worlds. It's just commuters trying to protect themselves against the exhaustion caused by being forced to be around so many strangers for so much of the day. I find that if you're polite and smiling to people when you do have to interact, others respond pretty positively. Outright hostility is surprisingly rare.

There's also quite a cute campaign for courtesy going on in London at the moment, with posters on the underground and in buses.

#7 Thank you. I'm in an opening-up phase with my LJ at the moment and I'd like to sustain it if I can.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 15:47 (UTC)
It's tough coming up with seven things. They came to me in pairs. Except that last one, which I made up to fill in the last slot. When in doubt, meta-LJ. :-P
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:13 (UTC)
#7: If I ever put quotes into my LJ profile, that's going in there. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: gourou
2008-03-13 00:32 (UTC)
"You are so money and you don't even know it."
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 15:52 (UTC)
Then where are all my beautiful babies, eh?
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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2008-03-13 00:33 (UTC)
#4 is just too adorable for words.
who knows about #7? i think you come across funny, intelligent, interesting with the hint that behind all that is a secret #4 and probably some 8s, 9s, 10s, and beyond.

and you should keep changing. otherwise you'd be a still life/dead.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:09 (UTC)
I find the reaction to #4 is polarized along the lines of, "Yes! I do that too!" or "Uh, okay. Weirdo."

Randomly, this reminded me that you used to do six word Sundays. I don't know that I ever responded, but I always enjoyed those. Start them up again, please, if you have time.
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2008-03-13 02:29 (UTC)
6. Impostor syndrome! I've never been able to give it a name! Thank you! Thank you! A million times: Thank you!

7. I enjoy everything you post. Everything. All facets. All the more/fewer choices? More. Just y'know, sayin'. It's reasonable to be protective of your personal life. Most reasonable. Wise, even. (Of course, I could just be saying this because I am.) I don't think you're overly so. Also: Mulling over the same questions here, except for five years (Really? *checks* Whoa.) which I'm sure comes as an utter and complete surprise. All hail the perpetual eljay identity crisis!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 16:05 (UTC)
Re 6: "This syndrome is thought to be particularly common among women who are successful in their given careers and is typically associated with academics."

That sentence has caused many a bout of long, sarcastic laughter. I haven't read any of the associated titles, but it's probably an appropriate time to put in an Amazon order and indulge in shaking my tiny fists silently in the air whilst reading on the bus.

7. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: behsharam
2008-03-13 02:57 (UTC)
If you decide to be less than healthy, I heave a horribly tasty spam recipe that involves velveeta to give you. Your tongue will thank you but the rest of your digestive system may never forgive you for it.

Regarding #5: I envy you. I don't know how many ridiculous phone calls I've been forced to eavesdrop on. I'm usually just trying to read my book.

Regarding #7: your journal is perfect the way it is. I'm not engaging in a bit of ass-kissing here; I mean it. There is just the right amount of everything.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 15:51 (UTC)
Man, I don't even know if I can get velveeta here. There's a Whole Foods in Kensington now, but I'm not sure that's in their repertoire. Astronomically expensive wine and cakes, now, they've got those in spades.

#5: I get around this either by catching a bus before 7:15 (that's when the kids start showing up) or the tube before 8:30. You can't make phone calls on the Victoria line, which helps a lot.
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[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2008-03-13 04:20 (UTC)
Actually, something quite funny. The pictures that you have posted stuck with me and I see your icon a lot. There's this new coffee shop that opened down the road and there's a girl that works there that looks exactly like the image impressed on me by your photos. I had to mention it to her because I must have come across rather creepy. She seemed relieved and we talk more than the morning coffee barista and customer normally do. (Not that this is unusual. I make friends everywhere. My wife was managing a restaurant/cafe/coffee shop when I met her. I used to go there a lot.) Anyway, this girl at the new coffee shop is Filipina and Vietnamese and she reminds me of you. Here name is Oko, but every time I see her, I think Leah.

I don't know. How do you come across in this medium? You are part of my life now. That's kind of absurd in a way. Such is the modern world...
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[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2008-03-13 04:20 (UTC)
I need to post more.
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2008-03-13 06:42 (UTC)
I think you come across as both the formidable mind and playful spirit you are, which is fabulous and don't ever dare change. I'd love to see more artwork even though it pains me by reminding me how little art I'm making myself. Overly protective? Nah, even if it's you're right to be so.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-13 15:55 (UTC)
Really? I thought you were on a roll with your pysanky thing. I quite liked those.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-03-14 11:32 (UTC)
I imagine that's probably so, yes. I also think that experience dulls the edge of the more discomfiting aspects as well. I believe my Cassini boss is totally free from its effects, but I have no idea if she's managed that because she's naturally confident or because she's had a few years of practice.
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