Improbable Phrases

Who says that?

I Love This.

I just discovered this artist, Alexandra Khitrova, who goes by GaudiBuendia on deviantart. The Paper Golem, above, is absolutely adorable.

I also really like this one, called Aurora Polaris.

How fun is that?

Lovely, lovely stuff.


Rain, Soon.

The rainy season is almost here, which means that there have been absolutely ridiculous high winds the last week or so. I’ve started taking a hair tie down to lunch, just in case.

The last two rainy seasons have included massive flooding that basically shut down the city for days at a time. I have no idea if that will happen again, but it seems likely. There hasn’t been any change to the infrastructure here.

I realized last evening that it has not rained a drop here since I came back at the beginning of August. So, obviously, we’re due.

Here’s to the imminent change of seasons.

And Then, There’s That.

It usually takes about 8 weeks for me to get back on Indonesian time, sleep-wise. For the first two months that I am back in the country, I wake up at least once a night. And so I am pleased to report, just this week, at exactly 8 weeks in the country, I am now sleeping through the night. As much as that makes me sound like a colicky baby, it’s true. I am relishing the fact that I wake up right as my alarm goes off. Not at 1:30, or 12:45, or my least favorite, at 4:15 during the call to prayer which will wake me up so thoroughly that it’s a foregone conclusion that I’ll just lay there until 5:45 when my alarm goes off.

This phenomenon works in reverse, so the entire time I was home this summer I woke up at odd hours. Couple this with the fact that my parents live near a train track, and let me tell you I had some genuinely odd half-lucid dreams about being a conductor a non-zero number of times.

Here’s to a solid 8 hours of sleep. And a specific thank you to my circadian rhythms, which blessedly got it together in time for midterm invigilation. Have you ever sat watching primary students take 80 minute tests on 5 and a 1/2 hours sleep? I don’t recommend it. The monthly tests in late August were brutal.


Two girls gave me handwritten birthday cards. They’re both super adorable and clearly written on paper they had bought for art class. One’s Hello Kitty and the other is bright pink.

It’s nice that they wanted to make me cards. And to be honest, I am completely relieved that this was all it was. They kept saying that they had surprises for me in their lockers that they couldn’t show me until the end of the exams. After hearing about a surprise about 6 times, it started to take on a sinister quality. What was in there? And why couldn’t they give it to me until the end of exams? Oh, God. It was definitely going to be soy sauce.

Luckily not.


Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 7.08.38 AM

Screenshot from this morning.

Today I turned 30. Everybody at work knew, and even Google knew about it.

In Indonesia it’s common for people to bring in food for everybody on your birthday. I didn’t want to deal with a cake, and so I bought some boxes of TimTams and called it a day. Cookies are sort of like cake, yes? I mean, it’s all dessert.

A couple of the 6th graders told me that they were going to bring me a gift tomorrow. I have no idea what that means or whether they’ll do it.  We’ll see. Hopefully it’s not soy sauce. One of the girls told me that they throw soy sauce at each other for birthdays with their friends. This doesn’t sound fun to me, but I guess I’m not 12 anymore.

Several of the kids thought it was cool that I’m turning 30 on the 30th. One of them told me that they’d be turning 12 on December 12th.

All around a pretty good day.

Hopefully Unlikely

As a Christmas gift last year, my parents bought me a TV show on DVD that was all about aliens. Only you never saw the aliens, just the horrible things that they did. This made it far more creepy and distressing. I watched all of the episodes, since it was cancelled mid-season there are only 13 or so, and decided that I sincerely hope we are never contacted by aliens.

Threshold is from 2005, but the special effects hold up fine. They used all the tropes: alien babies, infection (and subsequent distrust) of the clergy, workaholics on the team, etc., but I think the format worked for them. I enjoyed it. I’m not sure what they would have done with more time, but I’m sure they had a plan.

What I loved, and wish more scifi shows would do, is that they didn’t explain everything. There were always things you had to guess at. I don’t like being told all the time exactly what’s happening. I like looking for clues. Too often TV assumes you are too dumb to pick out threads on your own. I liked being responsible for making connections.

But please, let the aliens skip our planet. Especially if they intend to inhabit our bodies as a means of running the planet.