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Archive for February, 2013

I am a person who wholly believe in the expression, “Work hard, Play hard” but this past weekend had been painfully eventful. Perhaps a normal undergraduate student would have a better time of it but as a postgraduate now, I do feel like my age is slowly catching up to me. And by age, I mean the state of my liver.

Friday, I hosted an odd dinner party of sorts where I tried my hand at making some standard Japanese dishes. It would’ve been basic student fare or cheap convenience store food that one could get in Japan. A classmate and I made three pots of Japanese curry with a whole slew of tonkatsu (like a Japanese pork schnitzel) and karaage (Japanese bar style fried chicken) for a group of nine or so people. The food was a success. Then, the drinking started. Throughout the entire process, I went through a lot of beer. And having neglected eaten the delicious food I’ve just made (next time, try cooking for three hours and see if you can stand eating food), I got wasted as the night wore on.

As a somewhat petite Asian girl, I’d like to think that I can hold my alcohol quite well. This has been tested again and again in the past. However, recently, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend.

My memory seem to be going and my hangovers seem to be staying quite a bit longer… or taking quite a bit longer to kick in.

And so, Saturday afternoon when I rolled myself out of bed with a groan and stumble into the washroom, I realised I was still drunk.

The whole situation had been inconceivable to me then. How could I have still been drunk? That has never happened before.

So, I sucked it up, pushed through, went into the disaster zone known as the kitchen/party area and started cleaning up. Assuming the pounding headache I had, I thought I did it in record time before I had to force myself into the shower to get ready to go to a friend’s place to watch the rugby game.

I made it to her house in one piece just as the match started at 5pm. At 7pm, I got hit by a delayed hangover.

Does that happen to anybody else? This is something ridiculously new to me.

In any case, this continued for most of the night. Then, on Sunday, having been invited out to lunch, I made it about a quarter of the way there before I got hit by a dizzying spell and had to force myself to walk back. I spent the rest of the Sunday feeling sorry for myself and whining about my headache.

But this brings me all the way back to Monday where I woke up blinking and squinting at the disturbingly bright Scottish sun (isn’t that an oxymoron?). My flatmate, who had been drinking on the Saturday, shared my own feelings regarding the weekend.

In other words, we felt like Death.

So, the two of us decided to go for a walk to bitch about random things that girls usually bitch about. We decided to take a walk along the River Dee.

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This is the small path that is behind the university (RGU) and while pretty picturesque on a nice day, it does get quite muddy on the way to the old bridge of Dee. Here’s a couple of photos from our walk.

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Just goes to show how much a walk around does to clear your head and makes you think clearly after a weekend of drunken debauchery. It works heaps in getting grips with work and reality. And to think that I was a ten minute walk away from this for the last four months and had no idea.

~JGM

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Looks like Valentine’s has came and went. Significant others everywhere are breathing out that held breath and mourning their now starving wallets. People who have known me for a while now are already aware of this… but I absolutely detest Valentine’s Day.

Yes, that’s right. Here’s a JGM rant. Aren’t you lucky?!

You’ve probably heard it all before. Valentine’s Day is a bogus holiday. It’s so commericialised. Etc. Etc. Etc… Yet when it comes down to it, I do feel that people make an effort to do something on February 14th, regardless of whether or not there is a significant other involved. Girls dress nicer, guys are usually more on the prowl, or there is a general air of gloom and doom that hangs just around the periphery of those happy couples that won’t stop looking into each other’s eyes and sighing.

This might be a slightly cynical and bitter over-exaggeration but I do feel that there is still a conscious effort to “celebrate”.

As for me, I have boycotted the day altogether and have done so since I started my undergraduate studies. It’s unnecessary and above all, annoying as a concept and as a point of celebration. My inability to wrap my head around the idea of Valentine’s day revolves around the idea that there has to be a special date set aside to show someone you care about them. Why does that have to be February 14th? Why can’t that be a random Thursday night. Why not a Monday morning when your partner’s down in the dumps? Why not any myriad of other dates: March 7th, April 25th, May 10th…

I understand that there were religious implications to St. Valentine’s Day when it first took off (drove the snakes from Ireland and all that) but in our commercialised culture now, it is nothing more than a gong show of making significant others feel like they should do something to prove their love to… well, their love.

So what did I do this Valentine’s Day?

I did what I would normally do on a normal weekday and have done so for the last five years. I went to class. Sat in a meeting. Came back home and did a bit of reading to sort out research ideas for my dissertation before I answered emails regarding my placement and my volunteer position at an online journal.

As for the flowers? They were sent by my significant other the week before because I was feeling rather upset and was having a bad week.

Obviously, there are other implications to February 14th as well. It’s great for local flower businesses as that’s usually the bulk of their annual income. Makeup and fashion companies have a field day advertising for that “perfect date” look and a ton of products explode onto the market.

But I think there is a threshold of tolerance for so many cheap dollar-store quality pink and red bulldogs with pillows claiming how much they love you. And I might have reached that limit a few years ago.

But that’s just my two bits.

~JGM

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I don’t know why I keep fooling myself into thinking that the 2nd semester of the school year will be easier than the first. Even when there’s a smaller courseload, somehow, 2nd semester just seem a lot more stress inducing than its predecessor.

Up here in cold, windy, schizophrenic Aberdeen, the weather doesn’t seem to be helping my case at all either.

Not that I’m complaining or anything.

The course itself has been pretty damn interesting so far. We’re tackling the management aspects of Library Studies and I find it a lot more practical and useful than the things I’ve learned previously. Of course, with that comes a load of self-planned meetings, individual study time, and the strange feeling of wanting to smash my face against my desk a few times (especially after a class involving a rather disastrous group activity involving certain…individuals [hush now, we all know someone like that in our classes]). So, while my pile of work becomes bigger and bigger, I remain optimistic for the next few months. It is going to go by fast and dirty.

At this point, my marks from the previous semester have also started to trickle in one by one. I had high hopes of maintaining an A average (which I have surprisingly, never ever achieved in my undergraduate year) until the third mark dashed my hopes to the ground. Now, I’m just waiting for my last and final mark and hoping that the third course was the only setback. Over-achiever much? HAH.

The past weekend was Chinese New Year. Being an ocean and a continent away from my family, I spent it here in Scotland with a few friends over a few rounds of beer and a giant order of pizzas. Since none of our male counterparts (and by counterparts, I actually mean neighbours) deemed to show up, we had a rip-roaringly great time with “girl talk”.

Why JGM, I hear you ask, what do you mean by “girl talk”? That’s a rather sexist label on immature conversation isn’t it?

Yes, voice in my head, yes it is.

Five girls in one room with alcohol and pizza in their system… it is strange (well alright, not that strange) that the topics we ended up covering revolved around our monthly cycles, the issue of blue balls, and problems of bras. And all three topics were covered at length. Looking back now, it seemed like an impossible feat. We spoke, giggled, and guffawed our way through five hours of conversation on these three topics.

It was probably a good thing the guys didn’t show up. I don’t think they’d be able to wrap their minds around our fascination, confusion, and downright mirth with blue balls.

In any case… it was a good Chinese New Year.

Wishing you guys all the best on this side of the lunar new year,

~JGM

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