In Like a Playful Lion Cub

Last night my sister-in-law and her husband came over for the first time. I know that would be more affectionately expressed as "my sister-in-law and brother-in-law," but I remain troubled my English's lack of precision here. Mr. Sister-in-Law deserves his own term that distinguishes him as being an extra step removed from me but, at the same time, closer in the sense that we both married in to this family. As opposed to, say the person who married my sister, not that I have one.

I didn't clean as much as rare guests deserve because my back has been increasingly fussy since the new school started. This is partially because my back is nowwell enough for me to sit at the real computer, which leads to sitting for too long until it's too late, and it's also partially because Mike being back in the classroom means I have lesson planning and marking to do. Does Mike need me to help with these things? No, not technically, but like all teachers, an extra pair of hands/eyes/flared nostrils willing to take commands can only be a brilliant thing. It's in both of our best interests that he's as content and satisfied with his career as possible. 

(Oh, and I suppose it benefits Mike's students, too. Think of the children! Actually, I can't express enough how great it is to be helping Mike make his classroom into the Knowledgedome of Excitement that mine never was. I would try, but at the moment computer time is limited to brain-drain babble and better genealogy through DNA, sorry.)

The apartment is clean enough, though, that I wish we were having a rent inspection before the inevitable happens. ("Property Company? Get over here before this paneer masala reaches its final destination!")

(I'm so sorry if I just ruined paneer masala for anyone. It's so delicious, isn't it? You should taste the malai kofta at our local Indian. We don't have the best overall Indian where we live, but we do have three takeaway options within walking distance, so the incentive to learn how to make a beautiful malai kofta remains low.)

We just signed a new lease, settling for another pet-free year. I can make it. I guess.

Even if we left this place, it's ridiculously hard to find a rental that allows pets. Feeding the two wild cats in the backyard is better than nothing (I tell myself, so sad when they run away from me).

Speaking of commitments, the 1992 Nissan that was a kind gift from the in-laws (again, terms fail: the car belonged to whatever word we shall assign my father-in-law's wife's father) finally became too costly to continue repairing. A couple of days later, we bought a 2009 Mazda 3.

My first non-American car! Oh, if my Michigan friends could see me now.

I tell myself it's okay; my conservative grandfather sold Mazdas for a bit after retirement. Actually, I wanted an Aussie car, a Holden, but the right one didn't come up.

A week passed, and once the financing/detailing/servicing/paperwork dust cleared, the new baby came home on Thursday. Damn, it's clean. If they had car inspections - that is, ones judged based on how much dust was wedged into the PRND2's grooves - we would win a special commendation tiara-shaped antenna topper.

(Pause. I haven't seen any antenna toppers here.)

We've already taken it out for Hungry Jack frozen Cokes ($1 coin!) twice. The fact that we got two each on tonight's visit is why I'm typing this at 3 a.m.

Related: I've returned from Yelp retirement, maybe. One car lot we visited was so bad I just had to write about it.

Tonight I'm trying to assemble an online book club, but my Facebook post from a few hours ago doesn't have any nibbles. This may be for the best. I don't even know how to host a Google+ Hangout. Possibly my book choices aren't doing it for people: The Daylight Gate or Five Star Billionaire. (I hope the latter has a forward explaining the lack of hyphen in the title.)

I admit that my relationship to the Purtian Hatevil Nutter (a distant great-grandfather) is influencing my selection of The Daylight Gate, which has to do with the Lancashire witch trials and one Alice Nutter, who some theorize as being a likely relation to Hatevil. The book I really wanted for option A is Loteria, but it's not... hold on... it's definitely available. How weird. When I went to get the link earlier, for Facebook, it was showing up as pre-order only. Well, we have three options now. ("We" being me and my bottle-brush mouse Benedict. You've not met.)

The Billionaire book appeals, though, because it's set in Shanghai (the blurbs hail the writing as turning the city into its own character), and lately Mike and I are both obsessed with a Chinese dating show called "If You Think You're The One." It's rather excellent. I can't explain it. Well, it's... no. I won't even try.

If you're reading this post because you were searching for the show, I want to say that I'm so horrified: this week the reruns suddenly turned to an inexplicable episode where the slow-talkin', cranky 15 and the Olympic rower 24 were missing. EXPLAIN. Or, don't. Spoilers! I've read a discussion on Whirlpool (which is a forum that you can be unaware of all of your life, until you come to Australia and discover that it's the top result for every question you Google, and none of this has anything to do with appliances) where people speculative that sometimes girls take breaks then come back, and/or that SBS 2 is airing the episodes out of order.


I apologize. I have learned much about the values and attitudes of today's Chinese person (who is also single and appearing on dating shows), but I cannot rein in my unattractive Western shouty-ness when my heart is like an expired milk carton full of angst that is just as full of angst as a recycled bottle of Gingerade. I APOLOGISE WITH AN /S/.

(I also apologiz/se for my obscure and lame allusion to the show's former contestants 1&2 - twin sisters - whose names were something like "Precious Jade" and "Jade That Is Just as Precious as Her Sister.")

To be clear, these are my current TV rankings:

  1. True Detective
  2. Chinese dating show
  3. How I Met Your Mother (always in hope of hearing Marshall Versus the Machines)
  4. Bob's Burgers, whenever it comes back
  5. Big Bang Theory, because I am loyal, like a Maine Coon cat, according to a recent Buzzfeed quiz

I dyed my hair last weekend. Supposedly it's Dark Chocolate Brown. That's all I've got.

Then I was too tired to finish writing this post. I tried reading Five-Star Billionaire. I tried reading The Daylight Gate. I took down my post about starting a book club. I couldn't sleep. I tried reading Bubble Witch Saga. (I am so up to my earholes in pedagogical bullshit bingo that I've almost stopped smirking whenever someone refers to a game as a text.)

Eventually, I slept. The next morning, Mike said, "Let's go up to Fremantle for the Chilli Festival." But that's another post.

10 March 2014 |