The Princess

When I found out that today’s prompt word is ” Panicked“, somehow I thought of my dad. It is definitely unusual, because my dad is probably the most cool-headed person I have ever known in my life. I don’t want to sound smug or something, but I think there are only few people that can make my cool-headed dad into panicky mode. I am one of them… and the other one is the tax-man (who doesn’t get panicky when the tax-man comes?).

I suspect, it was the latest incident that makes me think of my father when I tried to think of who “panicked” lately. I have a suspicion that if it is not because of that, I might think of my mum instead — I think she fits the profile better.

But I am going to tell you what made my dad panicked last afternoon.

Our little alien family has a Whatsapp chatgroup, and although it is not one hundred percent active all the time, but when it is active the conversation would move pretty quickly from one topic to the other. My dad is new in this technology thing — I am not saying he is a technophobe, but I think he needs more time to keep up with this compared to my mother. As a result, it is still quite difficult for him to follow the movement of conversation in the family chatgroup.

Few days ago, I left an ambiguous message in the group. Yes, I left it deliberately because it was supposed to be an opening gambit for an incredibly lame alien joke. It wasn’t even funny in my world, it would be even worse if I try to translate it to English, as the joke would be completely lost in translation. However, at that time the chatgroup was quiet, and nobody responded to that particular message, so I just left it like that without any further explanation.

my hot water bottle agrees…

I wasn’t thinking, of course, that the message could be easily misinterpreted by anyone who reads it. My siblings have gotten used to my lame, slightly dark and alienly jokes, but not my parents. Especially with my dad, since the joke was half done, and was sent through a technology he is not used to, I think he genuinely though that there’s something seriously wrong happened to me.

So yesterday he made a phone call.

He was never a talker — not on the phone. It is usually mum who’s got the job to keep tab on the kids, and making individual phone calls to make sure we are okay. So yes, I can feel slightly special, that my dad actually made that effort to make the phone call himself. He didn’t sound panicked, but I know he was — thus the phone call. If he wasn’t panicked, he would just tell mum to check.

Actually… I think normally he would just ask mum anyway, if it is about my siblings. But, you see… I am my dad’s little princess. I am a bit older now, but I think unless you’ve done something really-really-really stupid, and you have broken your dad’s heart really-really-really bad, you would never stop being your dad little princess — doesn’t matter how old you are.

Just in case you want to know, the phone call only lasted few minutes. Here’s roughly the break-down of the conversation:

(phone rings)

Me: “Dad?”

Dad: “Hey, how’ve you been?”

Me: “I am alright… What’s up?”

Dad: “No, I just wondered why did you say that thing on the chatgroup…”

Me: “Oh! *laughs and then explains the joke*

Dad: “I see… Okay then… Did you want to talk to your mum?”

Me: “Not really…”

Dad: *sounds like he’s taking the phone away from him, and he’s calling my mum*

Yes. Did I tell you that he’s not really a talker on the phone?

But I feel so happy he called. I know that it doesn’t sound that special in this country, but in my alien culture… it is special. Dads are meant to be the tough, stoic ones, and mums are those who made those panicky phone calls. But my dad broke all that conventions for me, and I know exactly why.

Because I am The Princess.

x

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Politics

I have never heard anyone said openly that they like politics, even politicians. The most I heard from common people who I know is that they are interested in politics. I am not sure what’s wrong with politics, but I think there is a certain negative image about politics, and I think bad politicians have something to do with this negative attitude towards politics.

But I do love politics. I think it is one very important part of our life, and whether you want it or not, it affects a lot of aspects in your life. I think it is impossible to escape from it unless you are living alone in an uncharted territory, and you don’t have to trade or make contact with any society.

I don’t always like it though. I used to think that politics is synonymous with dirty. But like hacking — they have white hat and black hat, I think politics is the same. There are people who use politics to make personal gain, but there are plenty who use politics genuinely to help people. Read history, you will find plenty of examples: toppling down dictators, protecting women and children from exploitation at work or domestic abuse, the rights to marry someone regardless their religion, race, or sexual orientation.

Politics gives you the chance to change something. Or keep something as it is. It is THAT important, it affects how you go to work, how your business could expand, how your children get their education… So, I feel terribly sad when people say that they don’t care about politics. How can they?

I came from a very different world than the UK. I believe they’re catching up, but I think there is still a long way to go before the political situation could reach the level of stability we have in the UK. It’s okay, any progress is better than no progress at all. I am saying this from experience — how things were when I was very very young.

We were under a nasty dictator for 32 years. Until my preteen, he was the only president I knew. And even then I knew you don’t speak ill of him. Even then I knew that there are a lot of people disappeared from the face of the earth after speaking up about his government. I didn’t know why but I know that the five-yearly election is a sham — the winner is definitely the party that supported the president at that time, so… why bother voting? You don’t talk politics… it is either dangerous, or useless. People learned to be apathetic, and adapted to this political oppression.

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After 32 years with that, it is like Stockholm Syndrome to many of the citizens. Especially the older generation who lives longer with the oppressor. Sometimes I heard them longing for the “stability”, that “someone is taking control of the country”, and that “there are less thing to worry about”. They forgot that with freedom there are rights and responsibilities, and they come hand in hand.

I think some people just forget to count their blessings. A lot of people from the first world countries like the UK take their freedom in politics for granted. This general election is one of the perfect example — people are openly telling people that they could not be bothered to vote or even get themselves registered as an electorate. Why? Because all politicians are the same? Because they think that their voice don’t count?

I don’t have the right to vote in the UK, because I am not (yet?) a citizen of this country. But I would love to. I would love to have the rights to get the person who has got the better plan how to run the country in the government. I would like the rights to moan, complain, and protest… or even feel smug when the person I voted for do something incredibly cunning. I want that. I want that very much, thank you,

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So, for the sake of the country I am living in right now… If you are a UK citizen, please vote. Please go to wherever they told you where to go to, so you can exercise your rights and at the same time do your responsibility for your country. Or, you can get it posted, if you wish. And if even if you don’t have anyone you want on the ballot paper, just go there, and write something on it — “Stephen Fry, for PM” for example. Just get yourself heard…

Enough from this Alien today.

x

Control

I just learned about this thing called Daily Prompt. I think this is a brilliant thing to have. I think the idea is very similar to word of the day (it is “dox”, just in case you want to know), the difference is that with Daily Prompt, the word is given as the topic of the day, for you to write something. I think it is awesome, as it is not only work as a challenge, but also giving an idea of what to write when you practically have nothing to write.

A couple of days ago, I participated when the word was “yarn”, of course on my other blog where I posted a lot about my knitting projects. I mean, it is almost an insult not to participate in that particular topic, isn’t it?

Today’s word, is apparently ” Control“.

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I’ve struggled to decide whether I like yarn or control better. I think both are in my list of my favourite things — for different reason, but funnily enough could be related to each other. How? Well… Yarn sale makes me lose control, and when I try to maintain control, I would have to let go of some of my yarns… How’s that for confusing?

However, if I have to choose, I will definitely choose to be in control. I have experienced the moment where I don’t have control with things that happened in my life, and it was horrible. However it was also then, when I learned that even when I can’t control the situation surrounding me, there’s always one thing that I can take control over.

Myself.

Maybe it was that time when I started to get a little bit over the top with self-discipline, taking notes of what I eat, keeping up with my personal budget, making plans and making sure that the plans are executed properly… It gives me the sense of safety. Maybe it was why I don’t like it when I’ve been told that the plan is “to go with the flow”, or last-minute cancellation, or someone comes to visit unannounced while I have a plan to be a hermit for the day…

Some might say that I am a control freak. I don’t think so.

I don’t see anything wrong with being organised. I think it is completely logical not to put ourselves in a situation where things could just go entirely wrong. And, really, wouldn’t it give you this sense of victory when you can take an ultimate control of your body and mind

Well… for me it does. AND, if it makes me a control freak, I don’t mind at all.

The Scapegoat

From the place where I came from, I was never considered skinny. It might sound alien to you, but where I came from we have a completely different standard of skinniness than here in the UK. To be fair, this standard of beauty always varies so it is impossible to follow every single one of them. I prefer a standard that can be quantified, something that you can put in number — something that is more universal and objective, not just “in the eye of beholder” kind of standard. In this case, I prefer using BMI as a standard.

I am not going to make arguments about the relevance of BMI, or how this archaic standard should not be used in today’s society. Yada. Yada. I don’t think BMI is perfect, but as a general measurement tool, it is pretty much do what it says on the tin. So, move on…

In the beginning of last year, I found out that my BMI was pushing the end of the green limit, and I didn’t like what I saw on the scale. I can’t say that I was shocked either, because to be honest, one should be able to see the signs when one can no longer fit to the jeans one used to love so much. But as much as it didn’t shock me, it still left me with questions: how the hell I got myself to this bloody point? And I kind of blame it on my contraception pills.

See, at that time I thought contraception pill was the logical explanation of the weight gain. It is logical because I have read a lot of articles, and have met a lot of people who gained weight after taking pills. And it was very easy to explain too. Pills affected the hormones, the hormones affected the metabolism system, and metabolism system affected how your body processed food that you ate. It was reasonable to think that the pill caused the weight gain.

So last year I stopped taking the pills and opt for a non hormonal contraception method. (I don’t want to argue about contraception either, I am not here to preach or to be bloody preached about that sort of stuff… so jog bloody on. ) And voila… with the help of calorie counting, I ditched that extra flabs, and go back to my old fabs.

But few weeks ago, I found out that I might be wrong to blame the pills. I have a written evidence that I was already THAT heavy a year before I started taking the pills. I realised I blamed the pills, because it was conveniently explain how I balooned. It is easier to blame something when you get fat… like blaming the situation: the fat genes (yeah, nothing you can do about it..), the big bones (maybe she’s born with it… ), the change of weather or lifestyle when I first move to the UK (food here are different and fattier…). Or blaming someone else: the government because they don’t give cheap and healthy food, the fast food companies for making food so tasty and cheap and fattening, the media for whatever (people do love blaming the media, so why not?).

The real reason…

Yes, it is very convenient if we always have scapegoat for everything, isn’t it? Failed to finish NaNoWriMo? Well, it is easier to blame it on the hard break up that made you cry day and night for 30 days so you cannot focus on writing than to admit that you actually spending so much time on NCIS marathon… no, tv series marathon, not actual marathon which is probably more productive and beneficial for your health. Can’t get a bloody job? Well, it is easier to blame it on the government and the immigrants for stealing the jobs by willing to do harder work for less money obviously, than to admit that you are actually underqualified for the job, but overestimate yourself, and extremely demanding worker… I mean if you are an employer, you make it very easy for them to make a choice, don’t you?

Losing an election? Blame it on the population, calling them stupid, or ignorant, or gullible. It is easier to do that than to admit how you have ignored their genuine worry about illegal immigration, the rise of the radicals, and instead of taking it in and think about how to resolve the problem you go back to them and call them unreasonable and paranoid. You think they’re going to vote for you when you do that? And you’re surprised you end up with Brexit? Or Trump? Or maybe next week… even Le Pen? It is easier to blame on these so called populists than to realise that you are actually losing touch with your own people, isn’t it?

Yeah… that doesn’t surprise me at all. Blaming others, and scapegoating is pretty much what people do. What surprised me is that I fell on the same pit too. I thought I was one of these special people who “get it”. Knowing how stupid and irresponsible it is to just blame others for something that happened because of our own doing doesn’t mean I couldn’t make the same mistake. Apparently, I am not immune to that, and realising that makes me think what else that I have done?

Pretty heavy eh?

That’s Monday for you…

Weekends…

Weekends are usually one of these two things. Either it would be the most productive days of the week — when you do everything that you’ve planned the whole weekdays, such as getting the allotment plot cleared, weeding the flower border, baking three different bread in the kitchen (just because you can), writing seven chapter of what soon will become the next bestseller… or even have a lot of walking and grocery shopping for the week ahead.

Or, you turn into the most useless creature of the planet. Glued to the sofa, watching the daytime weekend TV program (which is essentially the dumbed down version of the daytime weekdays TV program), and munching the content of the sharing pack of crisps yourself. Sometimes, if you can be bothered, you might make some effort to brush the crumbs from your clothes…

But whichever it is…

Weekends are the best because you can be alone.

I don’t know about most of you, but socialising is not really my favourite thing to do.

While some people get energised by being among the crowd, I found it makes me very uncomfortable and tiring. I could spend the whole day cleaning the gunk and grease from the oven, and feel very cheerful by dinner time, but I will be completely wasted after two hours of having a constant conversation. That’s probably why I am not a good host for any visiting guests.

Anyway… It is going to be a long weekend — they call it bank holiday weekend here.

I kind of hope it is going to be a fun and productive weekend, but nobody knows. Who knows I will wake up tomorrow morning with a nasty spring flu (a.k.a terrible terrible hayfever reaction), and couldn’t even be bothered to even step out my front door. Hey! That’s not a bad idea. I could stay at home and write some more, or finish another knitting project…

Right… see you again soon.

x

P.S do

The Obscurity of The Seconds

You know what? It is ironic that this is actually my first time writing about my second entry.

I woke up thinking and reviewing in my head about my first post, and wonder how many people in the world is actually thinking that writing the second blog entry is actually a bigger achievement than writing the first one. I mean, yes it is definitely hard enough to start a blog, and make an introduction post to random strangers in the world wide web….

But following that up?

I learned from my experience that being consistent is more difficult than starting something. It takes mental and sometimes physical discipline, and willpower. Pick anything else than blogging for examples.

Dieting? It is easy to sign up for a slimming program, and lose your first kilos in the first weeks. But when it gets harder to shed the pounds… Some people gained back whatever they lost, with some extra on the backside. Going to the gym? Yeah… of course. Sign up for the annual gym membership after new year, and see how many is still coming back during the summer for the sixpack. Some people get their sixpacks somewhere else… most probably from the beer chiller.

Writing a novel? Oh… tell me about it. First chapters are always the most wonderful start. I don’t have to look further than my own folders to see the unfinished businesses these princes and princesses have to settle.

So, I think The Seconds are way underrated.

People celebrate their first jobs, their first cars, their first time doing the hanky panky on their first car with their first serious lovers. People remember the first US president, the first guy landed on the moon, the first black woman won Oscar… Even all you care about the aliens are all about the first bloody contact. I mean… really?

But as much as it is so cool to be remembered as the first… that is never the point, isn’t it? After a breakthrough, there should be a continuation of that, shouldn’t it? It’s kind of pointless to start something that has a potential to be awesome, if it has never reached to that potential isn’t it? Like having a real awesome knitting pattern for a cheerful Christmas jumper, and then casting on 174 stitches, and then never go past the ribbing (hands up if you hate ribbings!).

Have I told you I am a knitter too? No? See? Introduction doesn’t take you anywhere… You need the second post to know that I am a knitter. Maybe the next post to know more about me and my grumpy husband too. Who knows we will get more interesting by the day? Who knows after few entries you would think, “hang on a minute… they’re actually a bunch of arseholes…!”

First impression is not always right. It is totally overrated.

So… for the first time in my life… I dedicated a whole blog entry for the seconds in the world. The second wives or husbands (you don’t want to discriminate), the step parents, the silver medalers, the second children (or worse… middle children), the mistresses and concubines, the second in commands… I raise my cup of coffee to salute, and celebrate you…

To finish up this entry, let me remind you what AVIS rent a car said (and what a damn good slogan it has made) some odd fifty years ago: “we’re only number two… so we try harder…

x

A Thing Or Two About First Post

Writing the first entry on your blog is usually the hardest part in setting up a new blog. I should have known, as I have been blogging for several years, and have set up several blogs (admittedly I only post regularly in some of them). This time, I was hoping that it would be slightly easier, because this time, I am not alone in this.

Yessur!

This time, I have a partner in crime in writing. I finally drag that grumpy old git to this blogging world again (muhaha!), and hopefully this writing partnership would encourage us both to write more. I kind of like that idea, considering that writing (and reading for that matter) was how we originally connected.

Why is this blog called Alien VS Grumpy? Yeah, I can hear you asked from the noisy crowd out there… No. Just in case you are assuming that it has anything to do with the film Alien VS Predator, no it doesn’t have anything to do with it. Seriously, I don’t have a better answer for that… it’s just basically about me and my grumpy husband trying to expand our partnership into the virtual world.

Okay… it’s kind of obvious why my husband is called Grumpy. He’s not bashful nor dopey. And, although he could be slightly happy sometimes, his default mode is grumpy. He is even happier when he is grumpy. So yeah… it is quite easy to see why he is called Grumpy. But why am I the Alien? Ha ha… that’s the mystery of the universe. Let’s just say that I am a bit… foreign for this country. So we leave it at that for now.

Now, about what you can expect from this blog… well. For the sake of your mental health, I advise you not to hope too much. It is just us talking bollocks about a lot of random stuff that you probably don’t care about.

Have I told you that I am really good at advertising myself?

Anyway, if I write one more paragraph you will fall asleep because of boredom. I will just stop for now, hope that I remember to come back to write some more.

Hasta la vista baby…