Last day of 2008

Saw the Francis Bacon retrospective at Tate Britain this afternoon with Matt. We were trying to imagine having all that raw… rawness inside. Is it inside all of us, and are we just not artistic enough to express it as Bacon does? Now doing the decidedly un-bleak thing of drinking champagne with fresh pomegranate juice and thinking about designing (i.e. borrow a CC-licensed Flickr image and bung a few primary-colored pixel stars on it via Splashup) a New Year Day’s e-card. Heading down to Brixton in a bit to meet up with Mat and some of his friends. Was mighty tempted to stay home in the warm as am a quiet New Year’s Eve kind of girl, but it’ll be lovely to see Mat and be out, especially as I realized this is my first New Year’s Eve in London.

Thought-provoking Christmas

One of the things I am resolving for 2009 is to think slightly less and act slightly more, so I’ll start by writing a few more blog entries without feeling they need to be magnum opuses (so recommends Arianna Huffington, via Slate). E.g., I’m not going to check whether that’s the proper Latin spelling or plural of “magnum opus.” Warning: this one is a rambler.

It has been a wonderful holiday so far. Having very recently seen my folks in Bangkok and brother and sis-in-law in NY and keen to have a bit of quiet time in London, I decided to stick around over the holiday period, and took the opportunity to join Crisis Christmas.

Crisis is an NGO for the homeless that sets up several centers around London from 23-30 December every year. The aim is to provide those in London sleeping rough or in difficult accommodation with shelter, food, services (from massage to haircuts to medical care to advice to training), and companionship at a time of year where things can be especially difficult and lonely. It’s something of a London institution, having run since at least the 1970s, and people travel from all over the UK to volunteer.

Worked up until Christmas Eve enjoying the quiet with the few of us left in the office, playing streaming Internet carols on my laptop (developing an unhealthy love for Channel O, which plays only carols beginning with the interjection “O”, but of course! including my favorite, “…Holy Night”) and getting some thinking done. Then to Sainsbury’s (along with lots of other fellow last-minute-ers) to buy groceries, a quick phone chat with my brother (who was getting ready to cook a seafood supper for himself and N as per southern French Christmas Eve tradition), an hour’s nap, and then to the center at 10pm.

Continue reading

Deep thoughts

As I waited for the 55 Wednesday night, an Out of Service 55 passed by and it made me wonder: do Out of Service buses always travel back to the depot along their usual route so as not to confuse people on the street by having a rogue number 19 (for example) heading up Shoreditch High Street?

Getting ready to go

[Originally posted on LJ]

Thursday statistics

Fellow Japanese lunch eaters: 8
[Pa Mon, noomai, N’Eck, Dear, noman, microps, matana, Jill]

Iberry ice cream flavors tasted: 5
[Horlicks, green tea, red bean, Nutella, noi na (custard apple)]

National Artist exhibitions visited: 1
[Chakrabhand Posayakrit at the Silpakorn University Art Centre, across from the Grand Palace at Tha Prachan. The Old City, or Rattanakosin, is my favorite Bangkok neighborhood, and my favorite street is the studenty Phra Athit. Highlights include the Baan Phra Athit Coffee & More bar/restaurant, Hemlock philosophy café, the roti and mataba stall, the bread and sankaya (coconut custard) stall, Saffron teashop, Passport travel bookshop. Nearby are Thammasat (the LSE of Thailand and seat of political revolutions) and Silpakorn (founded to teach the fine and applied arts) universities and my favorite Bangkok park, the artistic, cooled by river breeze Suan Santichaiprakarn.]

Friends seen for the first time in at least two months: 5

÷

Passing the time Saturday while waiting to rejoin Book, Tip, Nan and Yai:

+66 1 801xxxx 1654h ICT >> Thought would be cool to sms you while wriggling my toes in the sand of a thai beach. Not brighton wifi, but the sand is whiter.
+44 7932 690xxx 1102h GMT >> Way cool. Currently having brunch in berlin. How cosmopolitan we are!
+66 1 801xxxx 1713h ICT >> Wow. I feel like we're in an orange advert. Xx
+44 7932 690xxx 1136h GMT >> The future's bright, the future's ginger!

We are lucky.

÷

A list of jobs I have held, as prompted by ephemer in response to a list of jobs to which I have given more than a passing thought. Though inevitably the tried-it list is much shorter and less colorful, I say life is long…

Jobs For Which I Have Received Monetary Compensation
(Includes one-time paid tasks. Can you tell which ones?)

Assistant to CEO of renewable energy company
Babysitter
Busgirl at fancy restaurant
Classified ads copytaker
Freelance copy editor
Layout designer for start-up philosophy/science magazine
Pianist at some company’s Christmas party
Resident assistant at academic summer program
Runner for NBC News coverage of Princess Diana’s funeral
Teaching assistant at Montessori school
Temp
Walk-on chorus understudy for a Washington Opera production of Rigoletto

Two kinds of chat

[Originally posted on LJ]

A post on iWire last week hilariously outlines a Kyoto-esque framework for offsetting emissions of hot air from anthropogenic blogging sources.1 I reckon journalist/pundit blogs are to LiveJournal as carbon dioxide (CO2) is to methane (CH4).

While puttering around doing some housekeeping in the general area of my desk, I went ahead and loaded BlogChatter, “a real-time event stream of weblog updates … Pings to BlogChatter are displayed instantly the moment they are received, and only persisted in memory for no longer than 30 seconds.” I kept it running for about two hours in the evening Thai time and ran it again the next morning.

Judging from the data so far (very incomplete, includes only weblogs on Movable Type), the blogosphere doesn’t breathe too evenly – it hiccups. At 20:04:57 ICT I blinked and twenty-three posts appeared. During western hemisphere daylight hours activity was clearly more frantic, approaching hyperventilation around 9 am EST. I imagine if the site supported LJ pings, nocturnal, er, emissions would be better represented. All in all strangely soothing. Like watching a fishtank.

Well, it beats sitting around waiting for people to post in your LJ.

A warm real-time, face-to-face coffee with noman tonight at the new Starbucks at Tops on Thong Lor (it’s even more hi-so than the one across from Oishi). Looking forward to seeing matana back in Bangkok this weekend.

1 As opposed to the 27 million blogging sheep in New Zealand.2
2 Yes, I know.