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.