I’m still here

I haven’t updated the Advent Calendar today because I was at the office Christmas party last night and was too tired when I got home. This morning I wasn’t feeling chipper enough to to my lightning-fast log on, upload, and log off magic trick. So, to the two people who actually look at it, sorry.

Foodie Friday — Fresh Tomato Salsa

fresh tomato salsa

How magnificent is fresh salsa? I love the flavour of lime and cilantro (and I never used to like cilantro) and the bite the jalapeño peppers give. Er, and the tomatoes.

“Salsa Fresca” or “Pico de Gallo” is easy to make, especially because it requires no cooking. Just be careful when handling the chilies.

Maybe if I ever feel the urge to prepare an appetiser (baby steps, let’s start with ‘no cook’ before I get to ‘cook’), I’ll do fresh salsa and corn chips. Right now I’ll settle for Doritos ‘hot’ salsa.

We are all closer

I remember my mother looking through the obituaries in the newspaper. I remember my father doing things like that as well, although I suspect he was always hoping to find someone he knew there so he could go to the wake and act like a good friend. The sadness of someone passing was always quite personal. My classmate’s dad died of cancer when we were both quite young. I had a schoolmate die of encephalitis when we were 16.

I was sad, people I knew had lost someone important to them. I went to the wakes, I went to the funerals. It was something quite… connected (I’m not sure what the right phrase would be here).

The Internet’s made things so different. We are struck by the deaths of people we’ve never met. I feel sad and sorry for more people I don’t know who have lost someone they loved. I feel it is such a shame that young lives end so prematurely. This week I read that Star Foster and Leslie Harpold passed away. I have never met either of them. I don’t think about them at any point during the day.

But it’s so depressing to read that young people with so much promise are gone. The Internet opens a lot of doors for everyone, but it also brings a lot of sadness. I didn’t need to read the blog of a young executive who died in New York on that day five years ago. I didn’t need to find out about Idle Days’ rare and fatal blood disease.

It’s as though the promise and potential the Internet brings comes at a price — you have to open your heart and feel all this sadness that you would ordinarily be spared.

(Wow, this sounds hokey. Sorry.)

Fun with hair

Getting my hair cut has been a battle all my life. As a child, there was a constant struggle between my mother and I when she took me to the hairdresser (she used to cut our hair but then I guess she later decided she was too busy). I would always ask the hairdresser (for some reason, I recall it being a bloke in a shop near the home) to go as short as he could, and my mother would always say no. “Shorter.” “No.” “Shorter.” “No.”

I dabbled with long hair when I was 14, cut it off when I was 15, tried again at 17, cut it off when I was 18 (left a tail! Agh!), got a flat-top when I was 19 and almost gave my mother a heart attack, tried for the last time when I was 25 (got too lazy to go for a haircut, essentially) and cut it all off when I was 26.

My normal standard of measurement with hairdressers is how much they charge. The favourite in Perth was only $12. In China, I preferred to get my hair massacred for 15RMB rather than a trim for 300RMB (wouldn’t you?). The only exception I’ve made is in Singapore, where Laurence has made several hundred off me over the last six or seven years. But he understands my needs, so I put up with the rates and inflation-adjusted increases. Sigh.

Girls with long straight hair will hate me. My hair is usually very well-behaved. Too well-behaved, in fact. I’ve been into the bed head, messed up look for years. Unfortunately, without the aid of ultra hold, so-crisp-it-could-snap-off gels, my hair just tends to sit there fairly uncontroversially. No flyaways, no unruly curls, adequate body. I just wash and go. Wash and go. No ‘comb’ in between. There’s no point in putting product in my hair — believe me, I’ve tried. After ten minutes (sometimes only eight) of looking trendily mussed, my Singaporean DNA calls upon my hair to do its duty and obey gravity. I just end up with greasy hair.

Except for the last couple of days. My hair’s grown out a little bit, so it’s kind of a long-ish crop right now. And I’ve got these two locks over my left ear that won’t lie straight. WTF? They sit there like freaking immovable statues when they’re short, now they’re longer and heavier it’s time to act like a freakin’ hippie?

And yeah, that whole post was written so I could complain about those two locks of hair.

The killer has privacy

So they’re definitely looking for someone who either lives alone or has access to somewhere isolated, as the woodland is just a dump site. Maybe he’s got a decent job and/or is a local and knows all the hideouts.

The police chief is probably doing the right thing by keeping fairly mum on the details. The bad thing is people like me with websites and news media are left to speculate like mad and GO INSANE doing it.

The Guardian says jewellery left on the victims (rings and necklaces) may be the killer’s signature (one man’s war on bling?).

And yes, it could be two people. It’s always possible. I just hope they find him soon, one less nutcase on the streets and all that.

100 million is still a lot

Blogging ‘set to peak next year’, reports the BBC. The ‘blogosphere’ (and that will be the first and last time I use that hated word) will level out at 100 million, according to predictions by Gartner. That’s because those who are interested in starting a bloog have already done so, and the attrition rate is high (the number of bloogs I’ve had to change in my links manager attests to that).

Frankly, colour me unsurprised, and it’s probably a good thing (the number of bloogs peaking, not me being unsurprised). It takes quite the personality to keep up the blooging mojo. Whether or not loads of people read your site, you’ve got to have kind of an addictive personality and be quite anal retentive, I think.