Thursday, March 29, 2007

Finally, achievement

I actually managed to fulfill one of my New Year's Resolutions... for this week, at least. Yes, indeedy, I walked down from 96th St. It was a great opportunity to listen to some podcasts and catch up on Test Match Special and Woman's Hour, on things ranging from the lost art of dressmaking, to comfort women, to the loss of the old cricket grounds in the West Indies.

It is such a glorious morning. NYC is at the stage where it seems warm in the sun - beautifully so - but it's still rather chilly in the shade and after sunset. Yet you can feel things coming back to life, and everyone seems just so much happier. I love it so. This is my new Thursday plan. Honestly. Seriously. Walking is the way forward.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I give up

Read this on why women's assertion of their rights and equality is responsible for all society's ills and weep. Well, Zoe won't make you weep, but the Daily Mail - and the Independent, for pity's sake - and its jumping on the story... unsurprising but, yet again, depressing. It's just like that fricking Angry Harry website. Disastrous. But still our fault. Of course.

In more disappointing news, apparently L-Lo is going out with James Blunt Rhyming Slang. I officially, hereinafter, wash my hands of the stupid woman.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Life Without Coffee

I am reduced to drinking something described thus:
Just as a lovely waterfall brings a sense of refreshment to your eyes and ears, Mint Medley® will bring this same quality to your sense of taste. Enjoy Mint Medley® - its lively flavo[u]r refreshes any time of day.
That's according to David & Eunice Bigelow, anyway.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Irate Verbiage

One of the things I miss about home the most is the daily newspaper... I just miss my Saturday mornings surrounded by piles of the stuff. And what I miss most in those papers are the crosswords. American ones, despite being the original, are simply not the same.

When in Spain I was very kindly bought a subscription to the grauniad online crossword facility, and I have kept it up, paying my twenty quid a year. However, until the trip home, I had, alas, abandoned my crosswording for sudoku. Hussy-like, I know. Those little number puzzles are useful for pre-exam getting your brain into logical thinking mode. But they are, well... dissatisfying in comparison. There are a few knacks and you can basically do almost any one. Crosswords however, are infinitely more varied and complicated, because it really does depend on the mind of the setter. Whether you can understand the workings of the setter's thought process really does determine whether you can complete the puzzle. Bunthorne was the bane of my life, and I never got to grips with him--he always got to me, and I will be slightly annoyed about that for the rest of my existence, I imagine.

Yet I had a shock this week. After a conversation with an excellent ape impressionist, I was inspired to re-start doing crosswords. Imagine my horror at, this week, being able to solve a maximum of three clues in each of the daily offerings. It has been... horrible. I'm not completely depressed, as I've managed to complete the vast majority of the Times Jumbo Cryptic Bonanza thingy from last Saturday. Nonetheless, it has been disorienting, along with the rest of the week's shenanigans, to find that something I believed about myself is no longer really true. I'm sure that I'll get the hang of it again. I just would rather just have that hang right now, please.

Fortunately, Orlando appears to be more my cup of tea, but still... Not fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I am not keeping good hours. I'm really not. And I am extremely disoriented by being back. It's not just the time difference, although that of course is not a positive. Why I'm sitting up and watching Queer Eye, instead of sleeping, I do not know. After all, it should be sleep time... Still, there are other reasons for my complete and utter discombobulation:

First, the weather--I went from sunny, warm days (and yes, I mean that) in London to here, which is full of snow and cold. I know that in London it's now sleety, snowy and miserable, and here last week it was 60F, but the fact remains that it's been a bit of a shock.

Second, the light--before Spring Break, after leaving my internship at 5pm it would always, always be dark. On Monday, it was light. Furthermore, it was light when I arrived at school around 6. Yet, in my head, it was 10pm. Weird weird weird.

Third, the green (or lack thereof)--in London blossom is everywhere. There are leaves on the trees. Here, I know that there won't be anything for at least a month. There were so many birds singing to wake me up, the feel of everything springing alive. Here it's lighter, but all that life is still dormant, waiting to spring up...

Fourth, the change from suburban to urban. I spent all last week popping out to the garden, playing with the kittens, listening to the robins. I'd never realised quite how suburban my upbringing was, because I didn't live out in one of the Home Counties. Yet, playing around in the large garden, walking around during the day with almost no one on the street--pedestrian or motoring--I had the jolt, that epiphany, viewing my background in a way that, beforehand, I'd never really had the perspective to do so... My life here is incredibly urban, even though we're not in the centre of town. It's just... different. The re-evaluation was striking. It was odd, and illuminating.

Fifth, I miss cricket. It was so good--SO GOOD--to be able to watch it live. Talk about it. Sad, sad, sad to leave it behind. Still, as baseball starts again soon... I'm happy. Ish. And I do love my tivo. My mum's dvr is not the same - because it's hers. I love being in control!

Light of Day PS: It's one of those glorious NYC days where the sky is a perfect light blue, the sun is out, and it's luring you out... despite the fact that the forecast said that it's only going to be up to 44F, so you know it's bloody well cold out, you can't help feeling warmed inside... and the happiness to be back returns.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Just You and Me

I got back at an indecent hour last night--a mere five in the morning UK time, luckily only one here. Why is it that all my seriously "late nights" are after travel, rather than actually going out and having fun?

Still, a later blog will feature processing of the London Town trip. My more immediate concerns are two:

1) Why do I keep falling over? I fear the snow and my glorious light blue pixie boots are incompatible, which I could have predicted, but more worrying is their inability to grip on those moving walkway thingies at airports, and also, indeed, pavement. Prize bruises indicate their fallibility which is, essentially, a tragedy.

2) The other half triumphantly announced, about six weeks ago, that he had "finally bought an electric toothbrush." I had been ignorant of this item on his to-do list, and am fairly indifferent to its existence--quite happy with the normal one. However, it appears he has somehow managed to buy something which is actually using the infinite power source. The instructions say to discharge it fully once a month, yet we haven't charged it for about two weeks AND IT'S STILL GOING. I thought about just switching it on today and letting it run down while I was out, but I was scared it might use that as an excuse to get up and annihilate the apartment. Don't ask me why. But I am now scared of being left alone with the menace in the bathroom (which lame pun / reference to a song is where the title to this post comes from... I need some sleep, clearly).

Friday, March 09, 2007


Do these pharmacists also refuse to sell people condoms? Or is it just women with contraception that they object to? Do they even understand what EC is?

Just thinking about it, that's all.

F-f-f-f-f-f-Friday. Home to Blighty tomorrow. Which is why I was tickled by this part of Great Expectations that I came upon this morning:
We Britons had at that time particularly settled that it was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of everything: otherwise, while I was scared by the immensity of London, I think I might have had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow and dirty.
Yes, Charlie boy, it is - and it's mine and I love it. I cannot wait.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Maldito Chico

Damn you, Joshua Jackson! Pacey, Pacey, Pacey, how do I love thee? Before you got bloated and stupid facial hair, which I'm sure is a metaphor for the rest of this dreadful programme. But I am a sucker for anything Philadelphia Story-related, and that your boat is called the True Love still pulls me in and makes me root for you. Despite it being for Joey-too-poor-to-afford-a-bra-Potter (TM Scuttsy).

Incidentally, today is the THIRD DAY IN A ROW that it is too cold for civilised human beings to be outdoors. Apparently, in the mid-west they solve this by needing cars to get everywhere. Thank goodness for grey, cloudy, rainy London next week which will be at least 40F warmer than here. HUZZAH.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It was so cold today my eyeballs hurt.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Today I listened to a really very interesting piece on the power of women's hair in shaping their image, both to themselves and in society. It looked at the difference between baldness (through chemo, for example), and the incredible power from shaving one's head... and why it provokes such a visceral reaction, as per Britney. When I was growing up I, in my head, insisted I would never dye my hair blonde - red, attempted blue, even (my nape was blue, the hair horribly dull goth-style-black), but never blonde. Yet last week, when I mentioned that I was not like this due to nature, someone said that I was "very much a blonde." And not in a ditzy way, just... blonde. Your hair really does say something about who you are, in ways that perhaps I don't like. I feel strange that I now have long (for me), blonde hair when a lot of me is still the dye-your-hair-darker-brown, one-inch long person. I look at photos of me these days and I still have to filter the photo and realise that yes, the blonde one is me. I like my hair like this--but it's not how I see myself. Weird.

Speaking of nice hair... Everyone's condemning Ann Coulter, which is exactly what she wanted them to do. Gawker's reaction was fabulous (including the possible rationale that Coulter is just jealous of Edwards' rather fabulous hair). I particularly enjoyed this comment from Oovy:

When I see Ann Coulter, all I think is "jazzercise."

And you know what Oovy? She is indeed wearing what looks like a leotard on the front of her book. And now so will I... So will I...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Coming Home to Roost

I am a big fat coward, I reckon; very frightened of physical pain (the CIA would have no trouble getting any information it wanted out of me, no need to pay for a flight to Afghanistan). Moreover, I am scared of getting in trouble. I don't know if it's being raised by natural authority figures (teachers) or what, but I hate getting in trouble. It makes me shifty and prepared to give up all and sundry to avoid censure (there goes that whole "Leos are loyal" theory). Hence I think these Iranian women are utterly amazing and brave: Facing their oppressors head on, despite the well-placed fear of arrest and injustice. Makes you wonder whether you'd have the courage in a similar situation.

From the chicken in me to many of them coming home to roost. Colorado, due to its harsh new immigration rules, is having to turn to prisoners to maintain their agriculture. My particular favourite idea comes from someone in the project saying the merit of a hard day’s work outdoors was invaluable to an inmate. Yes, I'm sure they'll love it, particular as they'll probably get paid about a quarter of what the work is worth, and as soon as they leave prison they won't be employed by the same farmers, due to being ex-convicts. Priceless to an inmate indeed. I think people forget what an agrarian culture so much of the US still is, and how crackdowns on immigration are really going to paralyse large parts of this country, particularly huge economies like California's. You're just not going to get "real Americans" prepared to work such hard, miserable days for so little cash...

Enough ranting. Time to settle down and watch the Mighty Spurs (TM) mess up at West Ham again. Grand.

UPDATE: Currently 2-0 down, the second to a free kick that shouldn't have existed because it wasn't a foul. It's not going to be our day - their keeper has come up with the most ridiculous saves and nothing's going our way at all. Bugger.

UPDATE: Yikes. Somehow, despite trailing 3-2 with five mins to go, we won. Brilliant resilience, tragedy for West Ham (and if previous results brought about this editorial, what can the abused women of the world expect from tomorrow's Newham Recorder? Hard to imagine). Shame it couldn't go on all day - instead I actually have to do some work.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

How I Spent My Saturday Morning

Not my usual slobbing around the house, listening to Jeff et al. going nuts over Macclesfield v. Chester City. Oh no. Instead, I was outside the Margaret Sanger centre in lower Manhattan, essentially being a door opener for the PPNYC clinic. It was such a glorious morning--seriously blue skies.

It struck me, while there, that the protesters honestly think they're doing the right thing. That this is to help women's souls, and the souls of the foetuses that never make it. Seeing them made me realise that they really truly believe it's right for them to be there.

We're both there for moral reasons. Our frameworks are different. However, I would never turn up outside a church asking them not to go in due to the oppression of women, rejection of gay people and so on and so forth... There was also this weird understanding: They go home at midday, and so do we. Odd. Very odd.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Something strange is happening to me today.

I am not really hungry.

That doesn't happen very often. Casi nunca, some might say. And yet, today... it's all due to Dinosaur, where I scoffed a great deal of dead carcass last night. So disgusting to say in the light of day, so good at the time...

So all I've eaten is a pack of sourdough pretzels. I'm debating going for lunch, but I'm not really sure I want anything. Am I doing it just for the sake of it?

This is such unfamiliar territory; I just don't know what to do with myself.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

baby orangutan plays with tiger cub



I cracked this morning. Well, my stomach was rumbling and I needed something. So I had some decaf. I didn't even enjoy it that much. Still, no caffeine per se.

Anyway: Guilt? Check. Anger at oneself? Check. Searing tiredness? Check. General grumpiness due to too much work? Check. Therefore, give yourself a break and watch the baby orangutan and tiger cubs playing together. I nearly cried this morning, the cuteness HURT.