Monthly Archives: October 2008

what i talk about when i talk about running


now that summer is approaching and im not scared of stepping outside anymore, ive decided that i really need to get my shit together and start running again. to help me overcome this fear i have enlisted the best writer in the world haruki murakami.  his latest english translation is a series of journal entries as he prepares for various marathons in the US and around the world.


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Filed under books, japan, library

pantai kuta

i wish i was here right now.

[dont you reckon its really annoying when people try to show just how ‘international’ they are by throwing uncommon foreign words into sentences, especially in titles]

[btw paintai = beach in indonesian]

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Filed under sport, travel


first day back and the ridiculous reference questions still continue:

suntanned librarian (ST): hi xxxxx library how can I help you?
caller (C): yes, do you have a book about hobbies?’
ST: there are many hobbies, do you have any idea about what you are looking for?
C: no i don’t, which is why i want a book about hobbies?
ST: [simultaneously searching the library catalogue] i think it will be quite difficult to find a book on hobbies. what are you interested in?
C: i dont know. that’s why i want a book so i can see what I am interested in
ST: how about cooking? computers? gardening? knitting? [sex?, my colleague unhelpfully suggests] …
C: i really am not sure, that’s why I want a book
ST: the only book we have in our catalogue is called ‘how to turn your hobbies into a profitable business’, that’s not what you are looking for is it?
C: no…
ST: i think you need to come into the library and talk to us to get an idea about what you are interested in, we have books on every type of hobbies here, just not one book with a list of them all.
C: ok bye [hangs up]

ST: bloody hell that was a painful conversation


Filed under books, library

vacation reading recommendations

having recently returned from a couple of months hanging about in warm places, ive had the good fortune to read some stuff that i would not be caught dead being seen with in melbourne. 

[when you work at a public library, your borrowings are everybody’s business and everyone has the right to comment on them. like the time a while back i did some testing of the library management system book requests function and requested for myself a whole lot of self improvement books to see if they would be delivered to me.  the books were delivered to my office, several of them accompanied by notes from staff commenting on my choices…]

for the purposes of being a good librarian and being able to recommend new titles or genres to you, i have the following comments for these classic vacation authors that you could possibly never read because your reading tastes are too ‘highbrow’ for the likes of them:

jackie collins: the queen of chick lit.  over the top stuff that we love to read about such as shopping for diamond earrings and driving bmws and dating movie stars/gangsters who kill prostitutes for fun.  all the characters are totally unrealistic, but why on earth would you want to read anything in this genre about normal people anyway. you are on vacation to escape from your normal mundane life.

danielle steel: you dont need to study history if you read a couple of ds novels set across various world wars/national conflicts.  seriously, i think i know everything there  is to know about the russian revolution and the great depression now.

tom  clancy: just. dont. go. there.

james clavell: shogun, tai-pan, gai-jin, king rat…  orientalist sagas where the chicks are hot asian babes for western military men to rescue from their oppressive lives as prostitutes/concubines.  read in conjunction with danielle steel you get the his and hers versions of history.

of course there are many more, but these are the ones that i had the opportunity to read.

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rafflesia flower







the rafflesia flower is the largest flower in the world, found only in sumatra borneo and the philippines.  the bud [see right of image] takes 9 months to open, and then after 7 days it begins to rot.

apparently humans are not meant to touch the buds before they have opened, because the body chemicals react with the plant and destroy the bud .

i only wish that the park ranger had told me this BEFORE I went into the rainforest to check the flowers out.  i now have a guilty feeling that i touched some of the buds that the rangers had been carefully cultivating over the past 9 months.

so this post is the confession that i would make if i believed in a god that required me to make them. i really dont wish to go to hell for destroying a whole year’s worth of rafflesia flowers. i need forgiveness so i can move on with my life, never knowing the fate of those buds that i left behind in that national park.

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