me me me me meeeeeme....

Stolen from lizbuf for entertainment purposes.

1. Make a list of 5 things that you can see without getting up.
A post-it note with some login details I can never remember, an empty mug of coffee I've just drunk, a gold lucky waving cat that doesn't wave anymore because I need to change the battery, some haribo and an on-going crochet project.

2. How do you style your hair?
Wash, dry with a towel, run a comb through it when it's mostly dry. That's about as technical as it gets.

3. What are you wearing now?
DPM-ish pattern trousers, long sleeved t-shirt and a purple hooded top. Slippers. Dr Who socks.

4. What's your occupation?
Civil Servant of vague description, allegedly. I should really drop the allegedly since I've been working for the same organisation for nearly three and a half years now!

5. What do you hear right now?
No music on at the moment so just quiet boiler noises. A minute ago I heard a hamster running in his wheel downstairs but he seems to have gone back to sleep - sensible ham.

6. Who was the last person you hugged?
Probably my parents. I generally only hug under duress!

7. What is/was for dinner?
I'm still pondering. Either some beefy stew of gorgeousness that I made yesterday or something from the freezer since I'm trying to clear some freezer space.

8. What did you do today?
Up early for a Saturday (8:15am, though I overslept since I was supposed to be up at 7:45am) then went over to friends and we all went to Bristol Zoo, where we saw baby lion cubs, a baby tapir and hand-fed lorikeets with little cups of nectar. T'was very cool and the lorikeets mobbed us for the nectar and one sat on my head. It would have made an awesome fascinator at a wedding...

9. Dog person or cat person?
Love both, but cats are my fave by a whisker.

10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
From Nicola to Nicole, but I would claim it was pronounced Nicola...

11. What was the last thing that you bought?
Some broccoli, leeks, bananas and a bag of white chocolate buttons.

12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would quite like to see other bits of the US beyond the North East NY/Boston/DC areas, Canada, and most other English-speaking areas too. And Antarctica.

13. Where do you see yourself in five years?
God only knows! Maybe with superpowers, having became the first president of the world due to my ability to control the thoughts of others.

14. Favorite book?
Just about all of them. I'm just about to start the Amber Spyglass again in my re-reading of His Dark Materials and they are all pretty awesome although they make me cry. But also LOTR, Sherlock Holmes, anything by Bill Bryson, Harry Potter, even airport reading like Tom Clancy. I just can't stop!

15. What are you doing this weekend?
Been to the zoo. Need to do some chores like ironing (boo!) and my gerbils need some tank-rearranging. Also need to do more work on my OU understanding the weather course and should really give my bike a clean.

16. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
Guitar is very practical, and piano is quite impressive, but I do quite like the violin. Or something totally random like an accordian.

17. How are you?
Bit knackered, slightly sore feet. Disinclined to do the chores I should be doing.

18. What are you doing tomorrow?
See above.

19. What are you looking forward to the most?
Something nice for tea, being lazy, getting some stuff done when I feel less lazy, reading the Amber Spyglass.

(no subject)

I'm in the mood for dancing... except no, that's a lie. I'm actually in the mood for a random question-y meme-y thing.


1. What is your first name? Nicola, or alocin as it would be if anyone was cunning enough to reverse it...

2. Were you named after anyone? I don't think so. Allegedly my sister might be named after my Nan's street name (Claremont Ave) or the Twins At St Clare's books though (Guess what her name is? Hint - it's not "Mont", "Avenue" or "Twins At St")

3. Do you wish on stars? I don't think there's a whole lot of point, but maybe now and then if the situation is particularly dire.

4. When did you last cry? Not 100% sure - a few months ago probably, and I can't remember why.

5. Do you like your handwriting? When I'm writing slowly and carefully, it's okay. When I rush or write in biro it's a mess.

6. What is your favorite lunch meat? "Lunch meat" is a highly suspicious concept - surely any meat you eat at lunchtime would be classed as lunch meat? Does bacon count? I'm going to say bacon.

7. What is your most embarrassing CD? I don't have any CDs just MP3s, but I guess maybe Chris De Burgh or a worryingly large number of different versions of Mozart's Requiem - it's useful for writing to!

8. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Probably not since I generally find my own characteristics annoying in other people, because I'm just hypocritical like that.

9. Do you have a journal? Not other than this very infrequently updated pool of random postings!

10. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Of course not!

11. What are your nicknames? Friends and family often shorten Nicola to Nic, or Nicky if they're being annoying, or even Nicky-Noo if they're really trying to wind me up. Currently the rest of my team at work also sometimes use "Niola" (no C) or Dawn for reasons I won't go into...

12. Would you bungee jump? Don't like falling and my Mum would kill me. Nope!

13. Do you untie your shoes before you take them off? Yes or they're a pain to put on the next time.

14. Do you think that you are strong? Physically or mentally? Either way strong enough to cope in day to day life.

15. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Toffee fudge is a hard one to beat.

16. Shoe size? A UK 9 in most shoes, which is a pain.

17. Red or pink? For what? I like both in their way, but if we're going hair colour it's pink all the way!

18. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Not a whole lot of self control sometimes.

19. What do you miss most? Not appreciating things and people fully until they're gone or unavailable.

20. Do you want everyone you send this to, to send it back? I'm not sending it anywhere anyway, silly questiony thing...

21. What color pants/shoes are you wearing? Assuming you're a crazy US list, my "pants" (trousers, please for the love of God use the word trousers like sensible dialects do) are black and I've got some nice blue slippers on.

22. What are you listening to right now? My top 100 most played songs on iTunes, and it just kicked over to Man Overboard by Blink-182.

23. Last thing you ate? Jacket potato with cheese. Mmm.

24. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I haven't the foggiest. Maybe a purpley-lilac kind of colour?

25. What is the weather like right now? Getting dark. If dark isn't a weather type, then "somewhat cloudy".

26. Last person you talked to on the phone? Umm, my sister at the weekend I think. No - hang on, a requestor at work who hadn't read his letter properly, earlier this afternoon.

27. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? "Oh look, it's a person of the opposite gender"

28. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I stole it, heartlessly, from someone's blog and I haven't a clue who it was.

29. Favorite drink? A nice ale, or maybe espresso. Or maybe a milkshake. Or maybe a smoothie. Hard to choose!

30. Favorite sport? Ugh. I abstain.

31. Hair color? Brownish - mouse naturally, hennaed when I can be bothered.

32. Eye color? Hazel-ish.

33. Do you wear contacts? Glasses for driving and long-distance reading.

34. Favorite food? It's pretty hard to beat cheese, and maybe chocolate brownies for a dessert item.

35. Last movie you watched? Umm... I think it was Inception the other week.

36. Favorite day of the year? Christmas Day is pretty good, but unexpected happy things happen on a random base so it's hard to say.

37. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings with a scary twist maybe?

38. Winter or summer? Hmm. Spring and Autumn - I like to be difficult!

39. Hugs or kisses? Hugs.

40. What is your favorite dessert? Ooh I answered this already. Brownie please!

41. Who is most likely to do this meme? Oh do hush up about yourself, questions.

42. Who is the least likely to do this meme and comment? And again, shush.

43. What books are you reading? Currently part way through "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote.

44. What's on your mouse pad? It's the free Dell one that came with my PC!

45. What did you watch on TV last night? I watched a couple of "How I Met Your Mother" eps with friends.

46. Favorite smells? "Honey I Washed The Kids" soap from Lush.

47. Favorite sound? A cat purring.

48. Rolling Stones or Beatles? The Beatles probably, neither are my faves.

49. What's the furthest you've been from your home? Hmm, probably Washington DC.

50. Do you have a special talent? Regurgitation of random knowledge at random times.

51. What is your ring tone? My phone lives on silent vibrate, so the sound of a phone buzzing across a table usually!

There that's got some random question answering out of my system. Excellent.

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I love Wikipedia. Most recent time-gobbling find is List of words having different meanings in British and American English.

Who knew that in US English "bugger" is a "term of endearment, often used for children". If you referred to your friend's kids as little buggers here I think you'd get a dirty look rather than a happy smile. And I honestly had no idea that a jumper means a pinafore dress in America! (wtf?) The gulf between US-English and British English is sometimes wider than it seems, and that's even before you get on to the obvious pants/chips/fanny issues...

(no subject)

The Daily Fail Mail Dictionary

This is what is commonly known as win. Per example:

Facebook: Electronic devil-worshipping cult. Causes cancer, obesity and murder. All social networks are evil and full of paedophiles and German murderers. Responsible for 99.9% of teenage pregnancies and crime in Middle England.

History: Before socialist indoctrination through our teaching colleges, history lessons consisted of the learning of some 14,000 separate dates along with the transmission of much important information about the British Empire to generations of eager students. Nowadays it has been replaced by discussions on slavery and GCSE coursework asking teenagers to write essays about 'Do you think Anne Frank got really bored being stuck in that Attic with no iPod?'

Wheelie bins: Secret surveillance devices imposed on normally law-abiding citizens by local council jobsworths.

Suddenly the Daily Mail website makes so much more sense...

(PS Anyone who might read this and also be a UK citizen, over the age of 18 and not officially sectioned/incompetent/in prison convicted of a serious offence: remember to vote tomorrow! Ideally for the nice yellow folk, but really anyone other than the BNP and UKIP would be good.)

Public Service Announcement

I greatly love "public service announcement" advertising campaign posters; when done well they are just amazing in their ability to get an often unpleasant or unpopular idea across in one simple image. And here's about a gazillion of them that were singled out for their creativity in some random French exhibition:

I think this one has to be one of my faves:


Such a simple idea but it gets the message across in 0.5 seconds. The power of advertising can do so much more than sell the lifestyle behind overpriced designer goods... *feels worryingly close to being deep and meaningful about stuff*

(no subject)

Guess The Google Quiz

"What Google search term would have returned these images?"

I wonder what the age filter is on the images it picks? I got an average of 4 seconds per correct answer after being stumped for a while by what I thought was solely pictures of dogs and puppies, but there was a cat lurking in there too for "pets"...

Because it's good to know the *type* of crazy you have...

Paranoid Disorder:Moderate
Schizoid Disorder:Moderate
Schizotypal Disorder:Moderate
Antisocial Disorder:Moderate
Borderline Disorder:Low
Histrionic Disorder:Moderate
Narcissistic Disorder:Moderate
Avoidant Disorder:High
Dependent Disorder:Low
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:High

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --
-- Personality Disorders --

Right; so that's yay on the social ineptitude, compulsive behaviour and creation of elaborate fantasy worlds, and nay on the dependent, self-harming borderline stuff... Good to know.