Saturday, December 23, 2006

Grace's Christmas Message

That bugger that is my brother has got the heinous crime against humanity that is Mistletoe & Wine by Cliff Richard stuck in my head. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. I'm sure the Queen doesn't have to put up with this rubbish.

Anyway, time for my Christmas message. This is the time for reflection upon the year past; what has been loved, treasured, relished, reviled and abhorred. In fact, why not do Heroes & Villains? The tragic thing is, this reveals a lot about my psyche because I find it easier to come up with people I loathe than people who have inspired me. So I won't do that. It's going to be hard enough coming up with a top ten for albums of the year... it's just not been that inspiring this year, and last year was a bit of a stonker in that department.

My message to everyone is that you need kittens. Kittens bring joy. Reading and crosswords are also good. End of year quizzes are fun. But the best thing you can get yourself is a kitten.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Done and Dusted

The beast is slain!

It's been a bit of a rollercoaster of a week. Three finals (finished!); Paper that essentially became a behemoth (finished!); flat in NYC packed up, Christmas shopping done... all in the past seven days.

Plus, I had my teeth tightened yesterday. It's not every day you get to say that.

Oh, and my mum got two new kittens and kept it a secret! Hence the behemoth was somewhat interfered with by the hooligans that are Mabel and Stelling charging around the front room and knocking my laptop plug out of its socket, clambering up my legs and scratching the bejesus out of them, and generally treading on the keyboard and writing amusingly incoherent things. Much like my good self.

I also, along with my beloved other half, seem to have developed a weird manifestation of jetlag which involves me waking up at around five in the morning. Every morning thus far. Why I would normally wake up at midnight I don't know. Maybe it really is the witching hour...


Brilliant. I love being home...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Give and Take

I lost the lid to my very pretty pink coffee commuter mug thingy the other day, which was highly annoying. It had a habit of flying off as I hurled my rucksack around, and the other night it did just that. I watched in slow motion as I realised what the noise was, as it fell onto the tracks uptown at 66th street. DAMN YOU FLASK LID! The next day I asked for someone to recover it, but it was already 9pm and I would have had to wait an hour for the crew to turn up, and they wouldn't hand it into the booth at that station (don't be crazy woman, that would make sense!). Therefore I went back the next day and horror of horrors - it wasn't there anymore! But luckily for me, having to cross over to the uptown side to check meant that as the next train came in, I FINALLY got to see a celebrity. A bona fide, true, full on ***STAR***. Which then FINALLY got me on Gawker Stalker, which has been an ambition for a very, very long time. That it turns out that half my friends here have also seen him (including one on a regular basis because his girlfriend plays football for her club) is NOT THE POINT.

Anyway, my point is, I lost a lid, but achieved an ambition thanks to that loss. I wonder if losing my very sweet green and black Marc Jacobs fingerless gloves will be equally worthwhile in the long run...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In all seriousness...

I am not, generally, a big fan of Polly Toynbee, but she puts her finger on something in this article on the Tories' social survey that they've just published that bothers me immensely about the Tory party and the Bush Administration. This is that for a party supposedly big on small government, that is not part of their concern when it comes to moral matters. So the Bush government will cut taxes, give power "back to the States" but when it comes to abortion, will pass through as much federal legislation as is possible. There was a really good letter in AM New York (surely not!) recently making just this point - this is not a true, old school values Republican Party...
My, how the Republican Party of today has corrupted the party of not only President Lincoln but also that of Barry Goldwater, the epitome of conservative politics: big government, burgeoning deficits, instilling religion into our political system, governmental involvement in the personal lives of citizens (including but not exclusive to telling women what they can or cannot do with their very own bodies).

On more exciting news, I lazed in this morning and watched the last ever episode of Dawson's Crevice, which was immensely enjoyable, it must be said. I love slobbing when I know that I'm going to have to work all day today...

By the way, if you've not read this, you really, really, really should...

Sunday, December 10, 2006


That is the word to describe me this sunny but cold afternoon in NYC.

There could be several reasons - the extremely exciting and scintillating Chelsea-Arsenal match, which has just finished and, for the final fifteen minutes or so, was utterly brilliant.

It could be me getting worked up about looking over my notes on CEDAW... and seeing the "there is no heart to this treaty" comment which riled me so much at the time...

It could be me reading this utterly gorgeous article about civil partnerships in Britain, which brought more than one tear to my eye, it must be said.

However, it's none of these things but the incredible realisation that on 2nd January, 2007 will start off with a bang and make me incredibly, incredibly happy because THIS LIFE IS BACK!!!!! And it's going to be so, so, so, so good - bringing out the inner Anna in me (watch out, Mark - sorry honey, but it's NECESSARY) and reawakening my ENORMOUS crush on Jack Davenport. Yippeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

This week in Grace

I have moaned incessantly about my exams.

I have started the second book in the very cheesily named The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson, which is sold horribly on its backcover, but is an interesting account of European politicks around the end of the 17th century, tying in the feud between Leibniz and Newton, which is a lethal combination as far as I'm concerned. It's silly, but I'm utterly loving it.

I have also taken to listening to a greal deal of John Legend, the Future Sound of London, and Underworld as it's exam time... the latter two because they are classic working music, the former because it's utterly soothing to my miserable brow.

That's about it, really.

Oh, I have watched the mighty Spurs try to reclaim some of their dignity after the thrashing at the hands of Arsenal last week. And I shall be watching the Arsenal-Chelsea game tomorrow with a great deal of interest.

And ignored the pain in my heart that comes from the cricket.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Things making me happy in this miserable exam-obsessed time

1) Being able to slob and wear jeans and flats the entire time and not bother with the whole grooming business... not such a pleasant thing for everyone who has to look at me, but grand for me...

2) The new John Legend album - it is so utterly gorgeous, it makes me very very very happy.

3) The daily gofugyourself email - not that I'm necessarily going to stop checking the site... but still... lovely... my fill of genius scathing remarks...

4) The thought that very soon I can start assessing my albums/songs/films of the year - huzzah! And thank goodness for iTunes which has all those years in... fab.

5) The prospect of new Scrubs - I cannot cannot cannot cannot wait! It's been tivoed, and I will watch it before I go home, oh yes... am trucking my way through season 5 right now (thanks Comedy Central) and will get there by next week... yippeeeeeee!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


It appears that I am a creature who likes things to remain the same. I just went to the can machine in the school cafeteria, and they had CHANGED ALL THE BUTTONS AROUND - the seltzer water no longer being bottom right, but bottom left. That messed with my head. And you can no longer get full sugar Dr. Pepper.

This is how tragic my life has become.

I am also now in full exams messing with my head and sleep mode. Getting paranoid and worried about everything possible - legitimately, perhaps, given that I seem to have messed up my computer registration for my exams... oops.

We'll see.

UPDATE: 9.02: Panic over. Just needed to find the right stuff online. Thank you to the guy at Fordham who happens to also have the same name as a turkey provider at home... booootiful!

Monday, December 04, 2006


Today is the first day I've felt properly, fully cold - winter is here! I was coming back from the supermarket and my hands, gloveless, were ICY due to the holding of the bags...

I grumble about the cold a lot, but it was actually pretty exciting. Also exciting is the advent calendar - maltesers, yum! - and the general trying to keep warm. It's time to handwash the old longjohns...

And so begins two weeks of very liittle other than work and work and... oh yes, that's right, more work. I cannot believe that the semester has gone so very quickly. What have I done? Things, apparently, although I'm not sure what. Speaking of which - time to actually get up and get that work done...

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I am suffering somewhat from a hangover brought on by celebrating the birthday of my favourite banana. While eating my vegan chilli in a desperate attempt to get myself back to a normal state of being, I managed to read this phenomenal article on Slate about the change in rhetoric coming our way from the Bush Administration on the war in Iraq. They are, essentially, going to try to repackage it as a failure in the Iraqis that they didn't want our help and it's all their own fault that we (the United States the the UK) came in, invaded their country, removed all resources and services like electricity or water, raped their children, and they just failed to get that we were doing them a service.

This is so disturbing to me... plus, in a week where I have been wrestling with my own imperialism concerns regarding feminism and my views on FGM, this definitely stands out as a way of saying that those crazy muslim types are just incapable of democracy. Deeply unpleasant all round.

On the positive side, a small, fairly unassuming guy from Durham has made my week by being only the third Englishman to hit a double century against Australia in Australia. Paul Collingwood is an inspiration - professional and talented in the field, works incredibly hard, and despite the doubters apparently didn't give up on his dream to play for England. And Play Well. Who to drop if Vaughan gets fit? What a glorious dilemma that would be... Paul, I salute you.

I also salute one Andrew Flintoff, who I love more and more each day. The six he thrashed off McGrath symbolized so much - his power, and dynamism, but also the fact that this was a day for nice guys giving unsportsmanlike ones a kicking. Apart from Pietersen. I still cannot abide him. It's a very gentle way to phrase what is such a visceral emotion. But there you go. Let's enjoy Fred again...

AND I've rediscovered one of my favourite music videos of all time - Witness The Fitness by Roots Manuva. It's genius. Thank you YouTube!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Here Comes Johnny!

World AIDS Day today. We have a table giving out our WAD packs in the cafeteria. Which is great, except some people have asked what that pack would contain - and look surprised when we say condoms. Which is strange. What else would it contain? Anyway, we are giving away ten condoms; a guide to where to: get tested / get counselling / get more condoms; a red AIDS ribbon; and a chocolate kiss.

And in tribute to the NHS, I can report that regardless of whatever moaning people do at home about it, in terms of family planning it is amazing. Utterly amazing.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


It's not even half nine. I was supposed to do five hours of work tonight.

Instead, I have drunk too much. Drunk too much bud light. That's embarrassing.

Not as as embarrassing as this, mind.

After several discussions of misogyny and me being one of the very few people who seems to think it's wrong to base a woman's worth on chastity (breathe, breathe, breathe) I have decided to have fun, pretty, sweet things that make me happy.

HENCE: Cupcakes, Cats, and Mr T.

PLUS the opportunity for a good old biatching.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I have been experiencing the joys, or not, of the U.S. medical system recently. It's very easy as a British person to feel smug about the NHS (i.e. it being basically free) even though we all have horror stories of our own to tell about waiting lists, or the sheer monstrous difficulty it is to get an appointment at the GP's office (both of which sort of apply to me). So I was trying to go into this with open eyes, is my point.

First, I went to the health centre at school, which I have discussed. That was good, what with it supplying referrals and all.

Last week I went to the orthopaedic guy (knee specialist) who sorted me out with exercises, a referral to physio, and instructions to buy orthotics and new shoes, which I have obeyed to the letter. The thing is, while sitting there, I was utterly terrified. Terrified. Rather than being impressed by the shiny offices, I just sat there being petrified about how much this was going to cost. And this is WITH insurance. Even though they accept mine. It was horrible. And now I'm waiting for my bill, wondering how much it's going to be.

This is particularly heightened because this morning I followed up on my other referral - to the dermatologist. For a brief, half hour period, I experienced the elation that the U.S. system can bring - she removed my mole without demur, there and then (I have been trying to have it removed for FIVE YEARS but every dermatologist I saw at home, plus my GP, refused); put me on topical antibiotics for my face and prescribed retin-A. So I went to the local chemist to get that filled (first time ever in the U.S., as I excitedly exclaimed to the guy there).

And there I fell down. My insurance doesn't cover that medication. At all. Not even generic, apparently. So I could pay for it. $139.99. I presume with tax to come.

Maybe they don't let this happen for serious medical conditions, I think to myself - and then I remember a tale told to me at the weekend of a student here (foreign) who is requiring contributions from her fellows students because her insurance won't cover her operation to remove cancerous lumps from her breast.

It strikes me that, being flamingly obvious, that is not right. Spots, so what? Cancer. Hmm.

I'd like a more frivolous thing to take my mind off this, please.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Why? Because my bleeding chart hasn't been updated. How am I supposed to proceed through the week not knowing which artist I listened to most last week? Luckily, I'm fairly sure I know which track I listened to most (step forward, Jungle Brothers' Because I Got It Like That (Fatboy Slim remix) - how I love you so).

But it's ANNOYING.


Other annoying things today: free coffee from the Dean - cold. Ugh.

PLUS I found the book that I lost about 10 days ago. Which means that we bought a hardback copy of it FOR NOTHING. It was slightly weird - I lost it nearly two weeks ago, and then I went to Corporations today and there it was, sitting on my desk. And it was definitely mine because the bookmark was my Planned Parenthood postcard. So thank you, mysterious spirit who kindly guided it back to me.

How tired I am on 6 hours' sleep is also immensely irritating. I am pathetic. I NEED SEVEN HOURS. NEED THEM.

Plus general annoyance at revealing (sort of) my GPA to someone to whom I had no intention of talking about how I did. But I just somehow let myself do it and I was annoyed. I don't want to talk about it. It's over and I have a job with people I really like, and that's all there is to it. So annoyed with myself - not a reflection, by the way, on the person I told, simply on myself.

PAH. But in other news, I have a relatively nice few days planned and I am loving the whole exam thing. Seriously. Weirdo, I know. Panicking about the amount of time left before finals, but still... I like having a fixed set of things I MUST DO AND CANNOT GET AWAY WITH NOT DOING.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Tomorrow should be an interesting day - or, at least, the hours nine until eleven in the morning (East Coast time).

Tomorrow we discuss CEDAW - the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. We will be discussing cultural relativism, particularly, given the cultural objections to CEDAW. This is of particular interest to me for several reasons:

1) I have a slight tendency to be interested in women's rights, which you may have picked up from this website (although, of course, as with all things I do, it is a subtle and nuanced and in no way ranting discussion);

2) I went to see Catherine Mackinnon (due to this slight interest) speak a couple of weeks ago, and she is working right now on how human rights are or are not those of the rights of women, and the mechanisms of international law to deal with that or, indeed, entrench cultural patriarchy;

3) I am working rather intensely on another international convention, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and it is fascinating to compare them and the different approaches to the problems of racial and gender discrimination (although CEDAW does, interestingly, talk of the intersection between race and gender problems - and I cannot deny that my thoughts have been greatly informed by Mackinnon's talk);

4) Both Mackinnon and Catherine Powell, whose piece on CEDAW and Western cultural objections we read for tomorrow's class, talk about the failings of the international law system due to emphasis on sovereignty of nation-states and the nation-state as the founding block of international law. Now, of course, Bentham invented the term "international law" to deal with the law between nations... however, as this has evolved and human rights law has pierced that veil, that shield of states' protection, it's interesting to think about what we expect of nations and the international community - how often we appeal to the conglomeration of states to fix a problem in our own nation, rather than fix it from within.

It's also of great interest to me because we will be talking about cultural relativism, imperialism and topics along those lines, framed in a discussion of female genital mutilation. Some give it a "proper" name, infibulation, which I instinctively don't want to use because it gives a scientific sounding name to what is a procedure that I cannot but help think of as a mutilation, hence my maintaining that phrase. This issue really does illustrate the heart of many problems of the West and non-West clash, the problems of imperialism, race, culture... I understand many of the critiques offered of the opposition to FGM, and yet...

Critiques include:

1) That the objections to FGM suggest that women's sexuality is all that matters.

Having said I understand the criticism, this one I had a great deal of trouble believing, that someone would offer it up, genuinely. Women's reproductive health is central to life, per se - to bearing children, and, conversely therefore it is essential that they have control over something which is fundamental to humans in general and the power over which men (and other women) try to usurp. If one cannot see that there is a reflection on women's identity in society due to what your community values - complete chastity in a woman being the primary one, that all you are aiming for is to be someone's - anyone's wife - due to this operation which embodies those limiting values, then I despair.

2) That this is one of the worst kinds of western imperialism because it fails to recognize that women want this, practice this, and it reflects what the society wants.

Understand this; it's a genuine concern, and one that I as a white middle-class woman struggle with on an almost daily basis. However, I also have trouble with Western, white, Judaeo-Christian societies that believe that women's chastity determine their worth in society, and that all we want to do is be someone's wife at home with the children. If that's what you want, great - more power to you. Just don't think that we should all be like this because it's the only way to be a good woman.

and so on. you get the idea. pah.

Time to read Corporations - yum! Yum!!!

Or not.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I ate a disgusting amount of food and imbibed a frightening amount of wine this weekend, in the name of Thanksgiving, and it was glorious. Mr C put on a huge, wonderful spread, I made some pie (pecan and pumpkin; not together, mind) filling to accompany Scuttsy's pastry and the other half brought cheese. It was grand. So thanks given - to my dear friends who cooked so much delicious food that I genuinely thought I was going to burst on Thursday.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Win-Win situation

Well, at least, this post is something impossible to lose. I'm making a list of all the things to look forward to / bring back from Fair Albion when I go home this Christmas, and what better way than the website? I can't write that in a book which I promptly lose; same goes for a piece of paper; there will be limitless space (for all intents and purposes); even if I don't have the computer with me, I'll be able to access it. Only requires the internet - brilliant!

1) Maltesers. I miss them so.
2) The John Peel art exhibition - on until 23rd December... must go. must go.
3) Rimmel Concealer. Although, of course, they sell it at K-Mart. But it's just not the same as going to Boots... I miss Boots.
4) Orange squash. While I have come to appreciate Gatorade, particularly for its hangover-relieving qualities, there's nowt quite like a Kia-Ora, particularly after a run.
5) Ribena. See above.
6) Ginger Beer - not ale, beer. Old Jamaica, Idris - why do you desert me so in the US of A?
7) Soccer AM. Chamberlain, even Lovejoy - once you have FSC and their stupid phone ins and adverts, then you'll understand quite how desperate the football-watching is. Not the football itself, despite our cable company's insistence on our tv channel blurring and messing up every time we watch it. I'm talking about the surrounding culture. Which is why I write this I have to listen to Jeff and the Soccer Saturday boys over the internet.
8) Xfm. Despite various recommendations and so forth, I've yet to find a radio station I like here...
9) CURRIES. Ye gods I need a curry. CURRY. CURRY. CURRY.
10) Newspapers. The paper version. I read everything online. It'd be nice to sit down and read one. Find things out by accident, which is what I feel you lose out on from the internet - you click on things that look interesting but that's about them being put in front of your face, not drifting through. I think there are advantages to both, but I do miss sitting down and immersing myself in the paper...
11) Following on from that, crosswords. I don't do crosswords here. Well, I do, but it's not the same. I miss cryptic ones, which don't really exist in the same way here.
12) The ginge. My cat. I miss her. Plus, she lost half her tail, apparently, no one knows how - I want to see the poor little thing.

13) Darren - the new guinea pig. Mum says he's a sweetie.
14) The Velázquez and Impressionist exhibitions on at the National Gallery.
15) Something, somewhere, at the NFT would be good - there's always a great winter season, including this year John Huston... which is going to be grand.

More to be added...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


If you want your child to be a musical star - particularly of the rapping variety - then I believe the best thing to do is to give them a stupid, or, at the least, embarrassing name. And not of the "peaches" variety, but of the old-man style.


Snoop Dogg = Cordazer Calvin Broadus Jr. (ok, so Cordazer not so much, but Calvin?)
Ice T = Tracy Marrow (here, Ice T has the advantage of having a surname which is the same as a vegetable only grown and eaten by old men with allotments)
Hype Williams = Harold Williams (admittedly, not a rapper but a maker of some of the most spectacular rap videos of all time, my particular favourites being The Rain and She's a Bitch by Missy Elliott and Gimme Some Mo' by Busta Rhymes - one of the best music videos EVER)
Eminem = Marshall Bruce Mathers

Speaking of names, DGC gave me the link to this rather fabulous collation of the best spam names of all time. Because if they're going to send you hundreds of emails a day, they may as well make it entertaining. I was thinking of making a list of them myself...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I'm getting worried at how many episodes of Scrubs I've watched in the last few days.


Today was one of those days where I did very little work, but feel I've achieved something, nonetheless. I managed to find out some information for a reproductive health flier we're putting together at school. I went to the orthopaedic specialist and found out that I have chondromalacia, apparently. I ordered the orthotics required to get me running 10k races again. I have somewhere to work next summer - which I am very excited about. Cooked a ridiculously gorgeous meal with my other half. The other half also managed to get a bulb for the trés chic new lamp for our room, and new roach motels (yay!), and a copy of the book that I'd managed to lose last week.

I also managed to injure myself in a slightly less middle-classed kitchen accident than avocado stoning - the peeler. On two fingers on my right hand. Duh.

Monday, November 20, 2006


That's the only way to describe how the fabulous Jamie Lidell concert on Saturday made me feel. Me and the 16 other people we went with, who were by far the most excited people to be there. It was bloody brilliant. Photos because can't really express just how genius it was, but will mention that the version of What's the Use? using Guilty Conscience was fantastic, the melding of When I Come Back Around and You Got Me Up also brilliant, and finishing with Multiply meant that everyone left with a smile. It was too short by half... but made me remember just how much I love live music. He seems to really well cover keeping the crowd happy with playing it straight, but also it's not just like listening to the album louder - he messes around with the tunes sufficiently that you feel as if you and he have a secret, in a way that people who just have the CD couldn't possibly...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Put your finger on your head and say red backwards

Eejit features here failed to go to the opening of the new Guggenheim exhibition on Spanish art. Quite why, I'm not sure. It involved the making of a chocolate cake, going to a birthday party, and yet, and yet... why?

Still, this week has been an intriguing one. Saw Catherine Mackinnon speak at Columbia - provocative and interesting, and I definitely want her new book on gender and international law. My instinct is that I generally agree with her, and she's a wonderful speaker - passionate, erudite - but that there leaves a problem of women never having any agency in that which they choose to do, which always troubles me. How does a powerful female academic fit into this scheme? all interesting questions...

Tonight is the Lidell at Webster Hall - am very very very overexcited.

And tomorrow, Casino Royale. Yipppppeeee!

It also turns out that while I'm crap at wine club, I'm pretty good at beer club. Go British genes!

I have also managed to lose a book that I was really enjoying reading, so I must grab that back. It's trashy, but I am really enjoying Quicksilver because I find the Restoration utterly fascinating and given that natural philosophers could hold prominent positions in society I am a sucker for anything vaguely mentioned Boyle or Newton... Also amusing because the other half and I were buying books for each other and both wanted to choose this one, but I chose not to because thought he might pick it up for me, which he did. That's not amusing at all, is it? Just twee.

I am also very very very overexcited because it's Thanksgiving this week, which I love - all the best bits of Christmas, i.e. stuffing yourself silly and drinking and being with people you love. Sadly not my family, but my substitute - the folk here that I've known for a very long time and love dearly. Made even better by random appearance of another old friend... It's great. A friend's friend died recently - at a very young age - and... it's just not on your radar that someone our age could die. Yes, of course it happens. But it's still enough of a rarity that I don't personally know anyone my age who has died. So it's time to appreciate just how bloody brilliant my friends are (a la Trent today) and therefore get monstrously full with them all. Huzzah!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Red Mist

It did descend today in Whole Foods. Whole Foods makes me long for the green green grass of home in a way that almost nothing else can.

It's cramped. It is unbelievably expensive. People shove in front of and hit each other with their baskets. And it's full of smug people who think their sophistication is complete because they no longer have to shop at Gristedes or Associated.


Sainsburys - even those stupid "to go" versions that have popped up in the middle of London - it just doesn't have that effect. Yes, it's smug and middle-class - bourgeois, as a 14 year old version of me might explode. But at least the aisles have space enough to facilitate a small child (or, indeed, a 27 year old woman) whizzing up and down on a trolley.

In other news, yet more evidence of why I (and many other sensible souls) really, truly, fucking hate hipsters. With the fiery depths of my soul. With the passion of a thousand suns.

Nothing but Good Times for Black People Since

Gaggle of black girls shriek on street.

Hipster girl #1: Ew, what happened?
Hipster girl #2: Slavery was abolished.

--Houston & Orchard

via Overheard in New York, Nov 16, 2006

She Was One of the People on the Laugh Track in Natural Born Killers

Hipster chick: Do you think New Yorkers are mean, or are we just so jaded we're not fazed by anything?
Hipster dude: I think it's a combination of both.
Hipster chick: Because, well, my friend just found out he has testicular cancer, and he's getting one of his balls removed on his birthday. And I thought that was hilarious. You know what else? Maybe New Yorkers are also whores -- I seriously considered sleeping with him just so I could say I was the last person to see his left ball.
Hipster dude: That's a bit soulless. But it's also a little funny.
Hipster chick: See, really, if you think about it in the right way, everything is funny.
Hobo: You're just a mean whore.

--Bedford & 6th St

Overheard by: Overheard in New York is based on that very concept

via Overheard in New York, Nov 16, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Todos dedos y pulgares...

I always love the fact that in English we have different words - entirely - for fingers and toes, whereas in Spanish, they use the word dedos, like digits, I suppose. Things like that I find endlessly fascinating about language - why do we Anglophones need the different words? Therefore, no se preocupen, queridas - ya tengo mi dedo entero, sino menos un poco de piel... por la segunda vez. Y me imagino que no sea correcto este título - como se dice este frase, esta expresión en español?

Something that really doesn't require words is this. I'm glad he pled guilty, and being a non-death-penalty supporter, glad he won't be executed. But still... I just want to know what motivated them to do this; what happens to you to make you become such a monster?

Monday, November 13, 2006


To remove half your finger once due to an incident with a salad spinner is an accident. To do it twice - on the same finger - smacks of carelessness. Or, at the very least, incompetence.

No couple is an island

Or, at least, I thought so until I received the rather wonderful news that two very dear friends, stalwarts of the not-getting-married-club, are engaged. I'm genuinely delighted for them. But it makes this whole long-term living in sin thing seem rather unfashionable and out-of-date. Apparently, getting married is where it's at. Nonetheless, just as Anna Wintour and Bono boldly resisted the move to smaller sunglasses, knowing that people would come back to the makeyourfacelooklikeafly ones, we shall resist. And overcome.

In sadder news, a small remnant of the very horsey child/teenager in me died today along with the passing of Desert Orchid. I even met him once, somewhere on the North Yorkshire coast on a summer holiday with the family. It was perhaps not as great as meeting Gazza, better than Butch Vig.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It was inevitable

I couldn't let the elections go by without some sort of comment, now could I? Particularly as in shallow matters, I am trying to avoid the orange horror that is my home-dyed hair. Turns out there's a reason why you pay $150 for it.

Anyway, maybe being the first time that I avoid the superficial by going to the important and serious...

1) While the overexcitement over the loss of Santorum is understandable, lest we forget: this Mr Casey is the son of the former Pennsylvania Governor who, while technically "losing" in the Supreme Court, narrowed abortion rights hugely in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. He believes, as his father did, that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Let's remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

2) South Dakota. Fabulously delaying the inevitable. I realise that there are those who not, understandably, acquainted with the dirty details of this, so I'll try and recap. South Dakota's state legislature passed a law stating that all abortions, under any circumstances, should be illegal. This led to a rather horrendous description by one of the lawmakers as to the only possible situation in which it would be allowed, and the inexcusable comment that allowing abortions for incest is wrong because it allows the abuser to bury the evidence. See this article for more info.

Anyway, the ranting is for elsewhere.

The point is, this is illegal under Supreme Court jurisprudence - no state is allowed to completely outlaw abortion without a health exception for the mother (Planned Parenthood v. Casey - see where this is all going?). Therefore this was done specifically to overturn that decision. How?

The ACLU/Planned Parenthood/some interest group would sue the state legislature. This would be struck down in the lower court on grounds that Supreme Court jurisprudence says that it is illegal. Then it would be appealed up, and struck down, accordingly. Then, finally, maybe a year or so later, it would be heard by the Supreme Court. Who, instead of simply striking it down - stare decisis and all that jazz - will rehear it because Day O'Connor is gone and Alito is on the court and he upheld the law that was struck down in Planned P:arenthood v. Casey. And they would uphold it and the guarantee of a woman's reproductive control over her own body and future - like, totally gone, dudes.

So that's how it would work. Hence the voting of South Dakota is important because that law cannot now be challenged in the courts...

Nonetheless, the Supremes heard the federal "partial birth abortion" act case today. Chances are, we're screwed.

3) My other half is growing a moustache. He says hello.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Bejesus...

...yes, managing to scare that out of myself. How/where/why? Not at the charms of Saw III, sadly, but finding out just how unbelievably high my blood pressure really is. I went to the health centre on Friday, to get a referral to stop the sad teenage-level-acne that I now have and try and sort out my knee injury (on my referral it calls me a "soccer player". I had to bite my tongue to stop myself shouting at the very sweet woman that in fact I was a football player and I cannot bear the word "soccer" - perhaps another indication of my rather elevated stress levels?). Anyway, aforementioned lovely woman took my blood pressure.


It was, in any measure, high. In fact, incredibly high. According to the American Heart Association, my systolic is prehypertensive and my diastolic was in stage 2 of hypertension.

I am not massively overweight (genuinely - I am about 2lbs thus at the moment for a woman my height), and I exercise a couple of times a week. And yet, and yet. Proof that the stress of work really is getting to me. Also rather bad was the managing to injure myself at football on Saturday which means I am loath to exercise just yet because my ankle might go again. Estupida.

Still, a woman calling herself The Vampire took my blood this morning for a full chemical work up, including cholesterol. I can't wait to find out how unhealthy I really am.

No, seriously. That's going to be so much fun.

Anyway, now the Note beast has been temporarily subdued, I don't know quite what to do with myself. The adrenaline is still coursing through my veins, and I don't know how to channel that. One attempt will be made with shopping and lychee martinis tonight. If that fails, goodness only knows what I should go for next. Maybe some soothing music. Time to stop listening to thumping techno beats and maybe have lots of lovely soft Roy Ayers, Bill Withers and suchlike.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What Have You Done Today?

Me, I have not saved a life, done anything constructive in terms of helping anyone.

BUT I have written a first draft of my Note. Excluding footnotes, 6,927 words. Yikes. With footnotes, 9,502. That's a lot of footnoting.

I have also witnessed the wonder that is Spurs finally beating Chelsea after 27 fruitless attempts in the League. The guy who scored our goal was four months old the last time we beat them in the league, apparently. Joyfully timewarner decided to go all flickering/can't see what's going on in the last ten minutes during the Chelsea onslaught on goal... but we held out. With a fair bit of luck, it must be said, but we've been lacking that of late, so no grumbling here.

I have also had a teeny weeny injury scare that absolutely terrified me. I don't even know how I got the ankle knock, but it was horrible. I am a physical coward, it turns out, surprising absolutely no one.

Having exhausted myself on the draft, I am now incapable of mustering anything like wit for this entry. But I am, finally, feeling a bit happier. Lychee martinis most definitely earned...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fitter. Happier. More Productive.

Well, maybe not. But I have nineteen pages, close to 3,500 words.

Writing. It's Fun.

In other fun news, I am going to have my first ever cholesterol test on Monday. I am terrified. I have therefore been eating nothing but celery since receiving that news.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cover Girl

I wrote a post which featured cover version ramblings; however, Sonic Youth's version of Into the Groove (seriously, you can listen to it, in brief) is possibly the scariest one I've ever heard, particularly when they start mixing in Madonna's version. Spooky!

Day one of trying to not eat junk food from the machines at school is proving difficult indeed. My belly is rumbling and I'm miserable. Still, probably a good thing, all told. The problem is, I really do enjoy peanut M&Ms. Bugger.

Still, Sherlock gets here tomorrow, so fun things planned if I can ever get my work done. Yay! Something joyful to look forward to.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Vispera de Santos...

Yet again I am not going to the Hallowe'en Parade in the Village. Because I simply have too much work to do.

That's not great.

Still, I have written my introduction to my Note. How much more time should it take me? I'm thinking a couple of hours... hahahahhahahahhahahahhahaha (maniacal laugh a la Vincent Price in Thriller - I'm au courant, oh yes).

Yet again, I yield to the work monster.


I am also eating like a pig. The idea was to eat like a pig on Tuesdays, alone, as a treat/no guilt sort of day. Sadly, that appears to be spilling over into my other days.




Sunday, October 29, 2006

...then three come along at once...

Yesterday was somewhat of a cultural day. Unusual, for me, I know, but thought I would share the things done/seen/said to show that am not complete neanderthal. Sorry, metro geico neanderthals.

We saw The Prestige, continuing the fine run of Christopher Nolan films... God, he's only 36, apparently, and he's made some seriously, seriously good films. It was strange, in that none of the lead characters was particularly appealing or sympathetic and yet, and yet... Christian Bale was fabulous, Hugh Jackman also good and Scarlett sported a surprisingly realistic and good London accent AND was not too showy or dopey, but just right. It was impressive. David Bowie's turn also very good fun, as acknowledged here (in an article about how he's usually boswellox in films but the author simply does not care). It's not going to mess with your head and haunt you as Memento still does, but as a blockbuster it was intelligent, thought-provoking and emotionally engaging. Recommended!

We also saw two art thangs - the Hopper and Picasso's influence on Americans at the Whitney, and the opening of Draw at the Fuse Gallery. Of the former, it was interesting. I thought, as always, how ridiculously evocative the Hoppers are; I don't know if it is because I've got them embodied in my subconsciousness, but whenever I am on a trip in the countryside here, it just looks like Hopper, as the French south so often looks like Cezanne. It's bizarre, but true. They are like photos from afar, but I prefer the Hopper paintings up close, with the smudgy brush strokes, the roughness visible.

As for the Picasso, it was a crowded, badly hung exhibition, in my opinion. However, it was extraordinary to see the range of styles and different artists so distinctly influenced by the great man. He was clearly a freak, a one-off. My favourites were definitely the Roy Lichtensteins, which somehow did a great deal with the Picasso-style... However, there were a couple of rip-offs of Les Demoiselles D'Avignon which were, frankly, terrifying - Man Ray and Max Weber just pinching the exact format and making the women a bit more blurred or overtly sexual, if that's possible. What I find about Picasso is that the man was extraordinarily well-grounded in classical art - apparently the postures for Les Demoiselles came from El Greco's painting of the Apocalypse, which is amusing given that he used that for brothel workers. His painting Masacre en Corea is based on Manet's Execution of Emperor Maximilian, which is in turn based on the Goya painting of the 1808 uprisings against the French. Yet, somehow, these references are just those - references that twist into something else. Maybe the closest thing is Las Meninas... I dunno. I realise I don't actually really know anything about art. I'm just making this up as I go along.

Draw - well, Maria Nielsen's piece was bar none the most beautiful thing there. Nuff said. But interesting, plus free beeeeer! It was really interesting - hers was so beautiful, and finished, whereas others just submitted pieces of paper. And maybe that was the point. I think that one of the reason I don't go out on a limb with art and I don't find modern art easy is the suspicion that I'm just not getting it, and it's all a bit above me and there exists some hidden joke that I'm just too stupid to get. Rightly or wrongly, I don't get that with old-school painting...

Flowing, by Maria Nielsen

Friday, October 27, 2006

All Souls...

This time of year is always slightly strange to me in the U.S., because everyone is utterly obsessed with that most godly of festivals, Hallowe'en. When I was a Guide, we weren't allowed to celebrate it at Guides because it was the work of the devil. But then, they thought that about Carnival too. And I left sharpish after that.

Nonetheless, my point is that this time of year, for most Englishfolk, is about celebrating the time we caught those evil folks, led by one Mr. Guy Fawkes, attempting to blow up the wonderful democratic institution that is our Houses of Parliament. Or, to see it from another point of view, it's the time where we in fact gloss over the fact that the fiesta is about hanging, drawing and quartering Catholics who may or may not have been stooges to cause the utter suppression, politically and legally, of Catholics within the country. Ahem.

Still, as we've decided to ignore that, and the majority of Yanks also acknowledge the dodgy beginnings and roots of Thanksgiving/Columbus Day (except in South Dakota) and still manage to have a jolly good time, I'm not going to be ashamed of the fact that this time of year is when I am most homesick. The smell of damp wood roaring away in a ginormous fire, carrying whisky in one's pocket in order to keep warm whilst you watch the glorious explosions of dynamite and metal oxides, eating disgusting amounts of candy floss and so on and then nearly vomming it up whilst on the whirling rotating eggs held together by what appears to be string... It's by far the best time of year. Which is why I got very confused when our Corporations professor referred to the seasonality of the fireworks business and how obviously June/July always looked better on the balance sheet. I didn't get it, honestly, for a good few minutes, and then it clicked into place. Because it's such a basic, integral part of my childhood and culture.

Nonetheless, I am trying to get into the H spirit (and yes, that's Hallowe'en, not heroin) this year, and so KTB and I were thinking of going everywhere dressed like Rainbow Brite for the next few days. The Other Half is grumbling about it, but tough, matey, this year we're going native. And therefore, in anticipation, I am trying to come up with a (slightly less obvious) playlist related to the big H with music that I actually already have on my iTunes...

1) Haunted By You - Gene
2) Kilo - Ghostface Killah
3) Witches' Rave - Jeff Buckley
4) Pumpkin - Tricky
5) Monster Hospital (mstrkrft remix) - Metric
6) The Boogie Monster - Gnarls Barkley (had to be done)
7) Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - David Bowie
8) Things I've Seen - Spooks
9) Invisible Man - The Breeders
10) Perhaps Vampires is a Bit Strong, But... - Arctic Monkeys

Grand. All other suggestions appreciated... Plus I couldn't let this go without some sort of rant...

Target will allow its pharmacists to refuse to fill contraception. Women are, unsurprisingly, annoyed at this - and where next, as someone pointed out - refusing to give people ARVs because HIV/AIDS may have been caught from "immoral" behaviour?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. That is genuinely frightening.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And I'm Back In The Game...

...or, more to the point, grumble grace is back. After having to be loveydovey with the world, I have made the decision to be grumpy again. Well, actually, I didn't make that decision, but was forced into it by the evils of the world. Well, not evils. But stuff that needs to be grumped about.

First, Rush Limbaugh - unsurprisingly - is an arse. Furthermore, so is Jim Caviezel and the wife from Everyone-Loves-Raymond-Oh-Really?-I-Couldn't-Give-A-Rat's-Arse-about-this-very-stupid-tv-programme. Essentially, Michael J. Fox - or "shaky daddy" as his kids call him, according to KTB who read his autobiography - is on an ad for a Congressman advocating stem cell research. And Rush Limbaugh has accused him of "faking" his condition in order to get sympathy for the ad. Nice. Nice.

Second, this was a v interesting thing sent to me by Banana. Shows that the British are not the only ones to have issues dealing with the niqab. I'm not getting into the British debate here, because it's way too complicated and I'm not certain what I think. But I do think that sensitivity may have been employed by this judge who refused to continue a woman's lawsuit because she wouldn't lift her niqab.

Enough grumbling. Enjoy some kittens!!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


81. The random collection of people making use of Riverbank Park - the old ladies chatting, the women slowly walking around wearing plastic bags to sweat more (no, I'm not joking), the highly kitted out guys who run at about 0.0001mph faster than walking speed, the strange people doing strange callasthenics, stretching and punching movements, the hard hard hard old guy doing press ups with his feet on a step 3ft up, hands on normal ground (seriously, that was impressive), and the incredibly athletic blokes playing a game of American Football. And us. Oh, and the old geezer who was very happy that we did ten laps (2.5miles) today. I was, too - 17.50 for two miles is not bad for me right now.
82. Having a red coat - which, thanks to my dear Mum and Wallis, I will have very very very very soon. Well, at Christmas.

83. The thought of the Velázquez exhibition at home this Christmas, and the upcoming Spanish exhibition at the Guggenheim - El Greco, here we come! Plus a fab looking display of "modern masters" at the Sainsbury Wing... I cannot cannot wait. I am, occasionally, cultured.
84. The names Alge Crumpler, Plaxico Burress and D'Brickashaw Ferguson - I love, love, love NFL.
85. Having a favatar. Even that name. Rocking.
86. Free drinks. Sorry, but it's true. Law Review Rocks.
87. Proper Cows. And anything with proper cows on them.

88. Saying "Hey Joe" to everyone I know called Joe and never ceasing to find it amusing.
89. Lily Allen's comments about the Pussycat Dolls - thank goodness it's not just me.
They're too skinny, takes all their clothes off, don't say anything, promote womanizing and look like lapdancers as far as I’m concerned. It's a really bad message to be sending young women. And not just for young women - but for young men. For them to believe that that’s what women are like in real life in such a hideous concept to sell to people. It's just terrible.

Plus the Peaches Geldof gem:
I would kick her over then kick her even harder when she was down... I would probably like, stamp on my can of Magners and then stab her in the ear. She (Peaches) did this documentary about Islam and it was really awful … What do you know about Islam you useless oaf?

90. Multiply by Jamie Lidell. There is nothing better to lift your mood. Same goes for anything by Stevie Wonder.
91. Gawker's Hall of Fame for those who are not blessed with social skills...

93. Pumpkins!

94. The Natural History Museum in London.
95. Central Park. And knowing why the leaves change colour. Science in action!

96. St. Pancras station.
97. Being a Prendergast Girl.

98. Hot water bottles.
99. Scallion pancakes from China Place.
100. That the internet exists to entertain all my self-indulgence and write entirely about myself. Huzzah!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


61. Having things I've heard be published on overheard in new york (me being pumpkin).
62. Catching up on people's blogs when I haven't had the chance to read them for ages and noting JUST how much they sound like those fabulous friends of mine.
63. Beryl.

Oh, Beryl. I have failed you.
64. Woman's Hour Podcasts
65. Using my kitchenaid to grate apple to put in my instant porridge...
66. Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
67. Dandelion fountains!

68. My pretty pretty pretty phone.
69. A cold beer after a horrible horrible day...
70. Syndication of Scrubs - which means, essentially, it's on TWICE A DAY on comedy central AND twice a day on Fox.
71. The "secret" tunnel between 66th street and opposite the law school - excellent rain avoidance tool.
72. 66th Street station on the 1... it's so so so beautiful.

73. Having a papasan...
74. The TWoP reviews of the final seasons of Dawson's Creek...
75. The way that young folks think that bands like slipknot and staind are subversive and meaningful - the earnest soul wrenching goes on, generation to generation... sweet. And that they still write in tippex on their bags and wear DMs.
76. Jamie Bufalino's column in Timeout.
77. Playing spot the background extras on Scrubs - Snoop Dog Intern, Colonel Doctor, Doctor Mickhead, beard-faced Doctor - drinking game in the making, that...
78. Remembering that six months when my brother and I refused to get in or out of the car unless it was through the windows.
79. My pretty pretty pretty Brazilian placemats that I got from my lovely lovely friends for my 21st (although the fact that birthday was so many years ago is less smiley-happy-place).

80. The fact that my magic cookie bars sold out before ANYONE ELSE'S BAKED GOODS at our bake sale - and that we made $130 to send to Marie Stopes for safe birthing kits...

Sunday, October 15, 2006


41. The feeling of wearing fat face warm socks with my slippers - toasty!
42. Baking
43. When neighbours become good friends... (they should be there for one another)
44. House's comments to Chase on his floppy hair
45. Wedges - height with comfort - genius!!!!
46. Roast potatoes
47. Radar's ten dumbest congressmen. So, admittedly, the dumb ones being voted in time and again doesn't make me smile and think all is right with the world. But that people keep track of them and actually ARE trying to make them accountable makes it a little more bearable...
48. The Chrysler Building

49. Mashed potato
50. What Not To Wear - the British version, obviously. Trinny & Susannah are phenomenal.

51. The smell of strawberries
52. My purple glasses.
53. The Guardian football weekly podcast with my favourite sport broadcaster, Mr James Richardson. Urbane is the word...
54. Alistair Appleton. The true hero of both Cash in the Attic and House Doctor.

55. Dad's tales of Freddie the Factory cat
56. The oddly shaped squashes sitting on top of my tv.

57. Tivo. It's genius.
58. The words "Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville, and welcome to Jackass."
59. Stripey socks.
60. Soupey Twist. Soupey Twist.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Numbers 20-40

21. Mince Pies.
22. Scrubs
23. Eddie Izzard doing an impression of Italians... Ciao...
24. A Little Respect by Erasure
25. Having my hair washed by Jack at Hoshi Coupe.
26. The metrosexual cavemen on the Geico adverts
27. The Little Richard Geico advert
28. The Jungle Brothers. Particularly the Fatboy Slim remix of "Because I Got It Like That" and "Girl, I'll House You" - how genius are they? Phenomenal
29. My turquoise shoes from Poste Mistress...
30. My fabulous shower curtain from BBB.

31. The smell of michael kors perfume.
32. My new "The Navy Made Me Gay" badge.
33. Making snow angels.

34. The Old Jokes Home on popbitch.
35. My secret (less so now, obviously) passion for INXS and Will Young. Oops.
36. Jon Stewart's impression of George Bush. Hehehehe.
37. My cousins attacking other cousins.

38. Cheese & chilli-filled pretzels from outside the Met.
39. Christopher Eccleston's ears.
40. Velázquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja.

The Century is UP!!!!

I was going to write a griping thing about those things that are currently annoying me, but I can't do that for the 100th edition! That would be crazy and not a fitting celebration of all things gracegoesabroad. Although, some of you may be thinking to yourselves, actually, what would be more apt than moaning on missygp's part? That's all she uses the blog for.

So, instead, I am going to come up with 100 things that make me happy and smile and think all is right with the world. This may be staggered over some days... here are the first twenty.

1. My mum.
2. My other half

3. The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
4. "Smile" by Lily Allen
5. The English & Welsh Cricket Team currently holding the Ashes.
6. Andrew Flintoff

7. The view coming over the River in London on the way to Charing Cross via train
8. The GW Bridge

9. Jeeves & Wooster
10. Carlos Beltrán hitting his sixth post-season homer against the Cardinals
11. Tigers!
12. Kitten War!
13. Pumpkin cheesecake from Junior's
14. Beers at the NFT & NT in summer - in fact, the South Bank in general
15. The smell of pavements after a thunderstorm
16. My coffee maker
17. Fireworks

18. Being able to swear in Spanish
19. $4 lychee martinis at Verlaine
20. Carnival

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Not in these shoes

I am always impressed by my lack of sympathy when someone else's life pressures interfere with what I want. Hence my general rage at my friends' lack of blogging just because their lives are, you know, busy. I don't understand how you can't find twenty minutes of procrastination time in the day. That's just silly. Like those people who claim they're too busy to have twenty minutes to make a salad, or exercise... but that is, of course, me. oops. Understanding hat on.

I have, however, just spent a truly glorious two hours arranging my papers for my Note and my class papers. Now, if I could just do some work, that'd be grand.

Cocteles - ya vengo!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The One Who Walks In The Sun

Over the years, I have missed out on several fun occasions due to work things, and utterly far too frequently for my liking since joining law school. The top ones missed out on have been:

1) The Pharcyde - ok, so this was MA year, but so what? Thanks, character that makes me utterly innately incapable of doing anything for an essay until the night before.

2) 2ManyDJs - aaaaaaargh. Damn you note topic proposal!

3) Lily Allen - last night footnoting intervened. AAAARGH.

4) Screening of film on AIDS & Ethiopia and a woman's fight against feminization of HIV/AIDS. What was I doing? Footnoting.

5) Ok, I can't think of a five right now. But I will do.

Anyhoo, my point is that tonight, the rain is threatening to interfere with more fun that I had planned to not let law school ruin. SUNDANCE. EVERYONE. NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Monday, October 09, 2006

edgy and dull

Note to self: When making soup, allow to cool before serving. This then prevents tongue burning, which is deeply painful and, worse than the hurt, utterly preventable and moronic.

Still, onion soup = super yum.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


The Mets are, despite the absence of El Duque and Pedro, in the NLCS starting on Wednesday.

The Yankees are not in the ALCS.


There may be other, more imoprtant things taking place in the world. I am declining to think of those right now.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A New Hope

My second cousin was born earlier today, a healthy 6.5lb boy. No name as of yet. But very exciting, and reminded me that I can never work out how you'd be once removed or how you're a second cousin. Aha, I was mistaken. Apparently, according to this very useful (if still somewhat confusing) article on, the little ball of joy will be my first cousin, once removed, because my grandparents would have been his great-grandparents. There you go. The "removed" bit is to indicate a difference in generation. Second cousins are those with the same great-grandparents. Blimey. Congratulations, anyway, to the happy parents - I now have three once-removed-first-cousins. So the giant family grows some more!

Also good, as it counteracts the news that my cat has lost half her tail. The other new addition to our family is a guinea pig named Darren. As you do.

So here, on that familial theme, is a photo of my gorgeous first cousins. Not removed, just young.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This Week In Short

My endlessly amusing (or, in fact, often incredibly depressing) look at the world around us for the first week in October brings me to the following:

1) Yet another observation that the more titles like "people", "democratic" and "republic" you have in your nation's name, the more likely it is that you have a crazy dictatorship on your hands. Case in point: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or North Korea as the rest of us know it. Am currently reading the Human Rights Commission (now disbanded due to complete inefficacy, particularly on Darfur and Uzbekistan) report from 2001. Report from DPROK only a mere fourteen years late. There is a part of the criminal code which allows for punishment of offences not included in the criminal code - GENIUS!


2) Although this is very scary indeed - how much information they have about us... it's crazy.

3) Russians are ingenious.

4) The joke in popbitch today made my day. It's the Bono one, by the way, which hasn't been updated, as of time of publishing.

5) I still feel a sense of pride that my alma mater is a rather good place... but I don't get the American idea that Oxford is better than Cambridge, given that every bloody survey of this thing and rankings for the last umpteen years has stated, rather clearly, that the light side beats the dark side. But the US folks are convinced. Wrong, but convinced.

6) Buy a TOTALLY AWESOME T-shirt!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Break up the sun there's nothing better left

Yes indeed, Days Like This Are Sweet.

The sun is SHINING, and I have tickets to the first game of the National League Championship Series, if the mets makes it!!!!!! So, lads, you'd better do me proud and get there. OR ELSE. WHOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEE.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I've been rumbled, I've been sold

Oh, the joys of nostalgia - finding a ten year old album of wannabe-Smiths-foppish types is available - an album that used to curdle your soul and make you feel the passion, the pain, oh yes. It's hard to be Left-Handed, you know.

I've been listening to very little else other than Sleep Well Tonight, which is cheesy, yes, but my god I loved it. I also loved getting it mixed up, when trying to find it online, with a song of the same title by the guy from Busted's band. Oops.

Which reminds me of a great playlist I put together of songs I, inadvertently, happened to have two versions of on the old itunes - the cover and original (or older cover, in some cases). I know I said I would keep this rubbish for myspace, but, quite frankly, it seems ridiculous to compartmentalize (and using a "z" there because it's a ridiculously American word/theme/idea, my British friends) such important parts of my life i.e. talking about myself (this blog) and my musical passions. My particular favourites are:

1) Night And Day - Fred Astaire/Ella Fitzgerald/Sondre Lerche
2) Billie (or Billy) Jean - Michael Jackson and Shinehead
3) Black Steel [in the Hour of Chaos] - Public Enemy and Tricky
4) Across the Universe - the beatles and Rufus Wainwright
5) I Idolize You - Tina & Ike Turner and Purple Wizard - particularly love the latter as they remove all the very dodgy submissive misogynistic crap that Ike somehow persuaded Tina to sing...
6) Float On - Ben Lee (weedy, it's true, but sweet) and Modest Mouse
7) Bills Bills Bills - Destiny's Child AND the GENIUS Beelzebub
8) Can you count having the sample and the cover? If so, I'm going for Can It All Be So Simple? by the Wu-Tang Clan and Ex-Factor by Lauryn Hill (although of course the Wu-Tang, in turn, sampled Gladys Knight).
9) The Greatest (TM) Cover Version of All Time (1): Heard it Through the Grapevine - Gladys Knight & Marvin Gaye. Yes, indeedy, it wasn't his version first.
10) The Greatest (TM) Cover Version of All Time (2): All Along The Watchtower - Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. As said in the Guardian, genuinely good cover versions are "a form of theft - Jimi Hendrix stole All Along The Watchtower from Bob Dylan and never gave it back".

And the reason for the gloomy, rain-stricken scene of a boat crossing the Panamá Canal is because I am gloomy over my lack of control, still, over my life. Still, that will lift due to both the win of Spurs sinking in, and the start of the MLB post-season, and, of course, because I am going to see the third (formerly first) most-watched movie in the U.S. tonight - embracing the zeitgeist, it's Jackass: Number Two for me. To balance this out, I am reading Nabokov, and then shall read Sebald. Yes indeedy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

When the Grass is Jewelled

Someone somewhere has authorised the weather to get cold. I don't know who, but I'm annoyed about it. But, then, it is now October. It is very strange, however, to realise that all of a sudden I'm going to have to wear outerwear again and socks/slippers indoors until the heating comes on, and even so, then they might be necessary. Coats, scarves, tights, gloves: all will have to come out of hiding. Yikes, I'll have to wash my thermals.

This is the distressing thing about winter in NYC - the knowledge that, basically, once it starts getting cold, that's it until about April. I find the lack of blossom and leaves on the trees until then upsetting, that it's so bleak. Yet, there is something exciting about the preparation: getting the gloves and scarves out, buying winter coats, gloves, a new hat here or there. Plus, what the winter months will bring in order to keep warm - hot apple cider, cherry and cream cheese strudels at Hungarian Pastry, Sunday nights huddling in watching American Football games where the players on the line of scrimmage look like dragons, breathing smoke, hearty soups made from all the root vegetables that we get in our vegetable box... and that joy of the first snow before it turns to dirty slush, and the elation that comes from that sunny, sunny day with the bluest sky in February. M is a huge fan of the change of seasons, and his excitement is infectious, for all my grumbling about the cold. I just wish I had better circulation. I'll have to start eating the raw garlic again.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Kapow! Shazaaaaam! Holy Roman Candles Batman!

I am so depressed about this article from the NY Times - In Tiny Courts of N.Y., Abuses of Law and Power - that I will give you just a few choice quotes before something else.

After a black soldier was upset about being called "that colored man" by a witness, Judge Pennington said it was ok, because “I mean, to me,” he testified, colored doesn’t preferably mean black. It could be an Indian, who’s red. It could be Chinese, who’s considered yellow.” Or a Simpson, obviously.

Justice Kadur heard a speeding case against her son in her own kitchen, then tried to cover up their family relationship in record books, the commission said, by misspelling his last name.

Justice Ralph T. Romano: Arraigning a man in 1997 on charges that he had hit his wife in the face with a telephone, he laughed and asked, “What was wrong with this?” Arraigning a woman on charges that she had sexually abused a 12-year-old boy, the justice asked his courtroom, “Where were girls like this when I was 12?”

A woman in Malone, N.Y., was not amused. A mother of four, she went to court in that North Country village seeking an order of protection against her husband, who the police said had choked her, kicked her in the stomach and threatened to kill her. The justice, Donald R. Roberts, a former state trooper with a high school diploma, not only refused, according to state officials, but later told the court clerk, “Every woman needs a good pounding every now and then.”


So let's see my fireworks photos instead!

Phew. Much better.