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Condoms are important!

Behind the cut: three French anti-aids/pro-condom animations. Not suitable for those who are squeamish about sex or for those under 18 whose parents are squeamish about sex. (There, now don't blame me if you get in trouble :p )

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Funny word fact!

In Dutch a 'sourpuss' is a 'zuurpruim', which literally means 'sour prune'. 'Pruim' (prune) is a slang term for vagina... just like the word puss(y) is!

Back to the order of the day.

Tags:

Some of you may recall my endless stream of computer trouble ever since I got bad computer-karma for splitting up with a 'speaker to machines' (and taking the computer he built me, because my laptop had broken down).

The computer he let me have worked fine... up until a few weeks ago when suddenly it started to have sudden deaths, blue screens and weird warnings about threads stuck in device driver and failed overclocking. And then it worked fine again for a while, only to break down again, every time a little more often. Every time something wrong was happening, I smelled a faint reek of burning cloth, but I had no idea where in the computer the smell came from.

Yesterday morning however I found out the almost indisputable culprit of the mischief: a small rotor blade-thingy with a Club-logo was lying on the bottom of my computer case. Oh. Yeah. That explains a lot. No driver upgrade was going to help me here.

This morning my dad came round to take me to a repair shop. In the mean time, I could borrow a laptop that is officially property of my dad's business but which he had used privately as well. And it showed! The poor thing is teeming with viruses and malware, and I have trouble getting it to download a Windows update that it desperately needs. I don't think the wretch even has Service Pack 2! Last time it was on must have been in 2003 or 2004!

There's constant pop-ups, first from the messenger service (which I turned off right away) and now from various websites offering me virus and spyware protection software (!) and gambling games. It even goes so far that the pop-ups are triggered by the user typing words associated with malware and virus removal for example in google.

I feel seriously hijacked. I now run Spybot-Search and Destroy, Clamwin and Spyware Blaster (and the latter is VERY useful, it at least helps block the pop-unders that try to get me to authorize them to do stuff by hiding under legitimate sites using activeX). I ran my computer through the Panda software online scanner. I have Hijack This! and Startuplist installed, but not yet posted a log anywhere. And it just doesn't seem to have helped a whit. Pop-ups keep coming.

Apart from that it's a bit slow and gives huge lags on for example the chat, I'm guessing half due to age and half due to the piggy-back riders. But it works, and I have never been so grateful to have my thesis stored on an external hard drive.

The shop will replace the graphics card of which the fan had broken off. This laptop is not old enough to be so full of nasties, so I am going to try and mend it. It's a shame to just let it fester.

Tags:

I only knew what I should have done the night after it happened. Even with at least two people there who had taken an introductory course in psychology, none of us thought about it. In hindsight it's so obvious; we should have asked her help.

We were driving to a party last Saturday. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong: the people I was going with had had a fight on the way to where they'd pick me up, there had been a traffic jam, the girl who drove had had the car for only about a week or two and had found out on Friday that the fifth gear wasn't working (the car is old enough to drive its own moped, 16 years). The doors wouldn't close or open easily, and while we were driving to the location of the party, the Tomtom navigation system started displaying a battery-low warning while it was plugged in. Apparently the cigarette lighter it was plugged into wasn't working either.

The navigation system gave up right before we entered the village where the party was to be held, which sucked royally because the last part of a travel like this is usually the hardest. Thankfully we found a map by the road which led us quite easily to our target, but then we had to drive circles to find a parking spot.

The first time she tried to park the car, it went very awkwardly. The car apparently handles very badly, because what looked like an easy backward turn was too much to ask from the old tin can. It could squeeze into the spot, but much too far to the passenger side. Instead of going all the way out and trying again, she kept trying to get it better by going back and forth to her position, only going closer and closer to the passenger side until she only barely missed the car next to us with her mirror.

We went and found a different parking spot. She did pretty good, just kept wiggling to get it perfect. It's hard parking on someone else's instructions, I know this, and her boyfriend kept trying to help out but sounded impatient to frustrated ears, which only frustrated her more.

We had drawn an audience from the people in front of whose house we parked. They were concerned for their car, I guess; they kept staring out the window. Finally the car was parked, neatly as it should, no damage done. My friend got out of the car, tired, frustrated and not feeling well. Her boyfriend helped her sit down on the sidewalk, on the ledge of a raised flower bed, probably planted by the municipality. They weren't in a garden.

The woman who had watched us through the window came out. "What do you think you're doing, you're crushing the flowers!" she yelled, "they've only just been planted, what kind of person does something rude like that?"
My friend and her boyfriend both reacted angrily. "Oh, shut up, she's not sitting on the flowers, just the ledge!"
The woman got even angrier and started snapping about how we'd better not damage their car, and how anti-social we were. They got angry in return, I was speechless. To be honest, I thought the woman had come out to offer the girl who had just more or less collapsed at her front door a glass of water, to offer to call a doctor, something like that. I couldn't imagine how anyone could be so selfish as to value a couple of cheap geraniums that were probably not even hers over the obvious fatigue and discomfort of a fellow human being. I am naive like that.

In hindsight, I should have asked her for a glass of water. "My friend is tired and feels ill, do you have a bit of water for us?" Few human beings will deny an earnest request for help, being needed will flatter most people, and if you can get someone to do you a small favour they're more likely to start feeling sympathy for you even if before they didn't.

Instead, I griped to my friends on how we should have asked her if she would have asked my friend to go faint somewhere else if there had been a real emergency, or how she felt the first couple of times when she had to park a car, or how she would like to be treated if she ever felt weary in a strange city. Maybe I should have asked, it wouldn't have been effective right away, but it might have gotten her to think about it later.

But I did neither. I was dumbstruck and frozen to the spot. And when she asked me one last time, starting to doubt herself maybe, "Isn't that rude then, sitting on someone else's plants?" all I said was: "She was just tired from driving, how CAN you value a couple of plants over a human suffering?"

But I don't think it registered at all. And I felt like I had failed at keeping the harmony in the world. But next time, I'll remember.

Squeaky clean

Rats, clean animals? My hiney! My rat cage regularly smells like a dung heap. But of course, I can hardly expect Onni to clean his own cage, so there I went for the semi-annual 'thorough' cage clean.

I literally kicked up a shit storm first. I had decided to clean the actual wire frame and shelves, and it's always a bugger to take out the shelves and put them back in by yourself. I can't reach around the cage to hold one end while attaching the other. So, I dragged the whole 50x70x90 cm frame into my itsy-bitsy bathroom, put the lot in my bathtub and sprayed it off with the shower head, as best I could.
Dirt and water everywhere! I undressed further and further in the hopes of saving my clothes. Meanwhile I had put the little hammock the rat has to sleep in in a tub of water in the kitchen, and the water turned yellowish brown within seconds. I suspect the hammock is one of the major contributors to the smell coming from the cage.  I changed the water (threw it in the toilet, the sink would clog up immediately) and now the hammock is taking a swim in a soapy bath.

I also cleaned the bedding, which is a task I don't do nearly often enough but it's a tough job on your own. The wire frame isn't heavy but very difficult to handle. It's almost 2/3rds of my own length wide! Needless to say it's not a favorite of mine.

So, the hammock is still soaking, but apart from that the cage is now more or less clean. I am not sure whether I stopped smelling the cage because I cleaned it or because now my nose is entirely blocked up (I just sneezed out snot that was as yellow as rats' piss). The rat is sleeping in a corner, probably hoping his hammock will be back soon. At least the cage isn't a bio-hazard anymore. I think.

Spilled tea

Will massage for computer help :(

Firsts

Fell in love: Fifteen or so?

Lost your virginity: Seventeen. And I didn't lose it, I tossed it out quite deliberately. My then-boyfriend (seven years older and more experienced than me, mind you) was baffled when I made my move, he didn't see that one coming ;)

Lost someone close to you: My mother's mother died when I was a child, but I don't recall much of it. The death of my mother's father made an impact on me though. I didn't see my granddad often and we weren't very close, but it still made me very sad. The person closest to me to die was my father's father. I loved him an awful lot, and I was a favorite of his.

Drank alcohol: Technically when I was about eight years old. My granddad (mother's father) always gave me sips of his beer when we met him at the bar where he usually went. I hated the taste and still do, but a man's beer-breath often reminds me of nice old men ;)

Smoked weed: Never.

Got your heart broken: must have been fifteen if my previous guess was right, but I guess unrequited love isn't the same as heartbreak. In that case, my heart got broken at age eighteen or nineteen, when my then-boyfriend (the one who hadn't anticipated my enthusiasm at getting deflowered) told me he had fallen in love with a colleague. The bitch later won the heart of another love-interest of mine, but then again, I hadn't had a chance with him from the start.

Got arrested: Never.

Smoked a cigarette: Never

Broken a bone: No broken bones. But I did have surgery where they scraped off a bit of my skull!

Got cheated on: Never, as far as I know. Unless 'in cyberspace' counts :p (I don't count it. I am not that stuck-up.)

Rode the city bus: I don't recall, really. Maybe around sixteen when I wanted to go to the 'Big City' by myself, but possibly much earlier.

Went to a concert: Never. I did go to my first real musical at age fifteen though. :)

Met someone famous: I met the writer Adriaan van Dis at age seventeen, if I recall correctly.

Dyed your hair: Fifteen?

Got your first cell phone: I think eighteen.

Got a Myspace: None.

Snuck out of the house: Never.

Got your own digital camera: Well, I had to hand it in to my parents when I returned to the country, but in 2003 :)

First time you got drunk: Never have been, to my knowledge.

Read Harry Potter: Never

Travelled across the ocean:

Wore a toga: School play, age fourteen! I played the Goddess Juno.

Travelled out of state: I don't live in a state ;)

Shopped at Abercrombie: ...what's that?

Went to Disney World: I have never been to Disney World in the USA or Japan, but I have been to what was then called EuroDisney in Paris, when my parents celebrated their 12,5 year anniversary. I must have been 11 myself. It was the only time we ever went.

Went on a date: Golly. Sixteen or seventeen. I am not sure how many weeks before my seventeenth birthday I met Dennis, but it's possible I first started dating him when I was still sixteen years old.

How old are you now: 24
I have a stupid, big mouth. Don't tell me anything you want to keep secret because I PLAIN WON'T REMEMBER YOU TOLD ME IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SECRET. Thank you.

Apr. 6th, 2007

I don't fit my kimono's anymore, and even if I did I forgot how to wear them. Somehow it's symbolic of my failures, of how I let people down; someone I know wanted me to wear one and I really wanted to show her, but I can't.

I hurt my arm trying to reign in the belt as far as I could. I couldn't tie it into a bow anymore.
I've lived here for over three years, very contently and safely. Tonight a motherfucker scared me and called me a whore; emotionally I want to refuse to let that make me avoid the streets at night, but damn, rationally I should take care of risk-management and not travel from the station towards home after midnight. I am not scared, but I probably should be; I don't think I am in a good position to defend myself in such a circumstance(under 5 foot/1,50m tall, overweight and in bad shape, backpack, sleepy from the train ride).

And damn, I thought I had a friendly neighborhood-thing going on here. :(