… but not quite

Remember 2008? I do. I remember getting texts in the middle of the night, US eastern time, because the ruling coalition wasn’t coasting to an easy win. Failing to garner the two-thirds majority was the awakening. Change is possible, indeed.

Navel gazing self-indulgent post-election thinking led me to revisit my speculation from the electoral numbers after the 2008 general elections. And naturally, I had to pull this year’s numbers just to see how much closer we got (HINT: not much):

ge12vge13

SOURCE: SPR’s Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihanraya Umum http://resultpru13.spr.gov.my/

There will be plenty of nuanced analyses about what went wrong and where, especially within the battle for control of individual states. But we can all agree that east Malaysia is where the real fight for change needs to happen.

 

questions, part one

“How is it?”

That’s what everyone’s asking since I moved. And the truth is, I have no easy answer. Because it’s not “It’s GREAT” and it’s not “It sucks!”. Either of those is what people probably expect to hear. My usual response would be, “It’s ok,” which (I’m clearly paranoid that) the asker would misinterpret as, take your pick: disappointment, regret, cagey, unfriendly.

After spending some time trawling the blogs of people who pick up and move to a new country in my profession, I get the sense that it’s generally a black or white thing when it comes to this matter of where one lives. There’s very little ground for contented indifference.

It is what it is. That’s really what I want to say. It is what it is and that’s okay.

 

All over again

I’m moving on to another Ithaca in August. Casablanca, Morocco will be my new homebase for the next couple years, and perhaps maybe more than that. Because this moving around, as exciting as it is for the traveler in me, as soothing as it is for my restlessness, is damn stressful when it comes to the paperwork.

Running around, dodging bureaucratic red tape is as enjoyable as a case of shingles. Visa, permits, notaries, and photocopies of photocopies, all which will end up in some documentation purgatory, is waiting for me to give chase once I’m back home in KL. Thinking of it gives me hives.

But for now, I’m living in transit, in limbo, where reality can’t touch me. Until July.

2011 year in review by way of FB statuses

January
Finally finished “Mockingjay”.
Zomg is it tennis season yet?????
? I raise my placard in the air sometimes, saying ayo, point of info ?
Doing my tennis-season dance. Now, if only I can get some tv coverage…
OK, Netherlands.. I’ve been here for about 10 hours now and I haven’t seen women clogs, or windmills, or pancakes… what’s up with that?
Really Ms. Justine Henin, really?
Thank you, Facebook Friends. Because of you my delegation now yells STROOPWAFELS like they have tourettes. It’s also our official team snack.
via Min Yi: As Egypt falls, U.S. CBS Early Show billboard (in order): 1) Snowstorm in east 2) Obama on SuperBowl 3) Charlie Sheen’s health. ‘Nuff sed.
Do I really have to be at work tomorrow?

February
Sooo….. looking around, I don’t think the apartment will be clean in time for CNY. Might help if I took down Xmas lights, for a start.
So IU actually called a snow day? Color me surprised
Happy new year
Watched the taped Manchester derby. *fist pump* And, who says “taped” anymore?
Haven’t unpacked from last weekend’s trip but have to pack for this weekend. Almost do not want!

March
March Madness round the corner always brings back Celeb Sex Brackets memories.
Pancake Tuesday? More like PF Chang Tuesday.
Oh. My. Glee.
Facebookians, complete this sentence: “In my opinion, the best hotel/resort in Bali is….”
Just caught up with news — holy carp, Butler!
My friends are teh awesum; they send snail mail.

April
It’s turning out to be a tea with honey and two panadols every six hours weekend.
?. . . ? ? ? ? ?
May
Six more weeks till I get to squee like a tween @ the Glee concert.
Shuttle launch was AWESOME. Go endeavor! #STS134
I wish all teacher training included a 1-credit course in How To Work With Your Librarian (No, They’re Not Just There To Buy Books).
Oh hai Roland Garros.
Hands up if you, like me, did not grow up in the midwest/south and learned about the Fujita scale from Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.
Welcome home, endeavour crew #sts134

June
Li Na dishing it out to Sharapova. #rolandgarros
Spoke too soon. damn. #rolandgarros
When was the last time you heard ‘jia you’ in the french open? #rolandgarros
is now licensed for a further 5 years to mold young minds. What’s the world come to?
Lamenting lack of preservice exposure in teacher education to info lit and collaboration w/ librarian. Gonna start a revolution from my bed. Who’s with me?
Still trying to convince my brain it’s summer and to stop working.
Gonna miss out attending JK Rowling’s announcement re:Pottermore in London by ONE DAY. Darlene Geer Zuber, this is further proof of my bad luck, no?
OMG LONDON. OMG LONDON. OMG LONDON. *faints*
Sat next to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Wimbledon today. By next to I mean 150m away in a completely different court.

July
Kuala Lumpur: see you in about 12 hours!
DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY. STILL RECRUITING
Got a date with the Boy Who Lived.

August
wandering inside Borders; send search party if you don’t hear from me in two days
Do you know what tests me during this holy month? If you answer Ramadan bazaar traffic then you’re korek.
Back to school in less than a week. Happy to see friendly faces, sad that summer is overrrrrr.
Oh hai, Kuwait. What’s up?
Salam Aidilfitri. Maaf zahir dan batin. Please send along duit raya.

September
So… does this mean we can’t call her Ralf anymore? cc: IU slissards
Do not use work email like it’s your facebook wall #howhardisthat
Rock: kids googling blindly for answers drive me nuts. Hard place: I want to tell the teacher, “Your assignment prompts kinda sucks.”

October
Life is like a box of chocolates… make sure you check the expiration date.
Britney Spears will be in Abu Dhabi! … 3 days after I leave the UAE. >.

November
Who needs to do a READ poster? Beyonce. #justsayin
Really, Kuwait? You eated all ur chocolate chips? How am I supposed to make buckeyes?
Heard that there’s a horde of librarians up in Grand Wayne Center. What up, Fort Wayne?
Finally home. Yeesh.

December
Not quite sex brackets but Quadrant members will still dig this.
HOO-HOO-HOO HOOSIERS!!
Someone make me eggnog, please?
IU/Bloomington folks – I have a friend interested in IU’s School of Public and Environmetal Affairs. Does anyone know anyone in SPEA’s grad programs that might be willing to talk to her?
Hello Malaysia!

fair with a chance of shower

I got to see more new places in 2011: The Hague, Netherlands, Dubai (finally), Oman and Bali, Indonesia. I returned to London and got to cross out “attend Wimbledon” from the bucket list. To cap the year, last week I caught a nasty cold when I returned to Hong Kong after seven years since my last visit. All in all, I think life has been well.

Things are about to change. Here’s hoping they stay the same after.

 

still

Who still loves a little Gillian Anderson in her life? Me.

Having tea with Gillian Anderson is a thoroughly pleasant business — a splash of muted glamour in a fairly drab London autumn. I thoroughly recommend it, as a more engaging companion it would be a challenge to find. [Source: The Spectator]

And it appears she is in negotiations to do stage work in NYC. Now there’s a reason to start thinking of a return trip.

 

Stephanie March, travel writer

So, as Devoted Fan gifted me an awesome link in the comments I wanted to share it with you (all three of you who actually still read this) the writings of Stephanie March at fathomaway.com.

Some of my favourite lines from the handful of entries:

I am in Dubai now, trying very hard not to fall asleep before my connection. The airport is a madhouse and, after a very short redeye, tough on the senses. It’s like being dropped into a bad mall — all Pinkberry and loud Katy Perry.

After the endless, ENDLESS ceremony, we socialized, played soccer, answered questions about our lives in the States, handed out silly bands and Starbursts, and hazarded the bathrooms. The boys made quite a show on the pitch and the girls fielded the usual, “What crops do you grow?” kinds of questions. So great.

Aggie, a beloved family friend, made it her life’s work to travel to 100 countries. She wanted those stamps in her passport and, bless her, at the age of 80 was making visa arrangements for Guatemala to check it off the list.

Aggie, I will smoke you.

 

desperate times, desperate measures

Yes, I’ve heard that SVU has asked Stephanie March and Diane Neal to return next season to save a Chris Meloni-less (*gasp* no Trinity of Lust) 12th 13th year.

And like a sucker, I’ll watch the eps that Ms. March will be on just because it’s Alex fucking Cabot. Because really, this show is beyond shark jumping and has gone on to octopus loop the loop at this point.

What I *am* excited about is the promotional appearances Smarch will do before the fall tv season begins. I’m hoping for more gems like the time on the Today Show when she got so excited talking about the shoot at the UN building (click to embiggen):

The simple things in life…