Friday, July 18, 2008

Think of a number...

I've decided to give myself a ten minute break in which I have to think of ten positive things about this whole bar experience. Which, believe me, is not easy. Here's what I've come up with:
  1. I am now watching less than 10 hours of tv a week. Because I barely watch an hourlong thing when I get home at night. [Negative = not watching Six Feet Under or any Daily Shows at the mo - dammit. I LIKE tv. Still.]
  2. I have rediscovered classical music. While the downside is that I'm not listening to any of the fantastic new (and newish) albums I have recently purchased (Neon Neon, New Young Pony Club, MGMT), I have been rediscovering the joys of classical music as it is, apparently, the only suitable music for memorization. Elgar and Fauré are particular favourites. Recommendations for suitable, non-jaunty things gratefully received.
  3. Improved snacking. You see, because I am stuck sat on my backside all the time I can't be eating peanut m&ms whenever I feel like it. So anything low-fat and high-fibre to keep me full is consumed. Balancing consideration: level of crunchiness. Sadly, on my table in the library today are only people without headphones / earplugs, so the baby carrots are out right now.
  4. Resumption of detective novel obsession.
  5. Gym time? I am going 4-5 times a week because of the aforementioned arse-sitting.
  6. Reduced consumption of alcohol. Some friends have renounced the evil stuff completely, but I just can't face that. So it's one light beer (with lime) per night.
  7. I know now that I cannot write your will for you and expect a payout. So I'll forego the will-drafting to receive the cash, methinks.
  8. The return of fishwatch.
  9. Gratitude - for time after this misery, for the time up until now. That's it.
  10. TOH is an absolute sweetheart.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I've been following the debate back home about the appointment of women bishops with great interest - it's been thoroughly discussed on both Woman's Hour and The Today Programme (how I love Radio 4).

The interesting argument against women's ordination is not that based on regular sexism (the unsurprising ones where tradition is the most important things and women's ordination will bring about the apocalypse), but theology. Many feel that mandatory ordination is a betrayal of their theology - because none of Jesus' apostles were women, there cannot be women bishops. They, men and women alike, are threatening to break from the Church.

My anger, disappointment and depression at this is manifold. I understand that a person's theology is incredibly personal, and this is tradition and, for them, direct disobedience of the word of Christ. Nonetheless, my reaction is that what they fail to see is this is not just part of the strive to have women equal in jobs around the country, not simply the next target on the list for feminists. The lack of equality embodies my disenchantment with and disenfranchisement from not just the Anglican (and Catholic) church, but with the British establishment and general old boys' networks. The idea that a woman cannot be equal, cannot lead worship of God, is for me a fundamental stumbling block to Christianity - I cannot fathom a God who mandates that women are not equal to or worthy of men.

This is why I find those evangelical movements that mandate women's submission so terrifying, with their gender constructivist nature and their insistence that women are equal, just different - supposed to obey their fathers and then husbands because that's god-given rule. I simply fail to understand how we are equal if we are constrained to those roles and are not allowed to do the most basic of things within a proselytising religion - preach to the converted.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Today is one of those days where the pang of homesickness is quite overwhelming. Where it stings your eyes and, however briefly, takes your breath away.

That it comes on today is not that surprising - two dear friends have just got married in North London, where TOH is in attendance; and I'm listening to TMS on the radio, and I have a mountain of horrible work to do.

TMS is, gloriously, interviewing Stephen Fry in the Tavern Stand at Lord's, who talks of his conversion of people to enjoying cricket by comparing its interest and merits to a landscape, a Homer epic - not a Charge of the Light Brigade, all climax, which ends up more disappointing. He also referred to the heavenly thing that is being able to listen to TMS in a country where cricket is utterly unimportant. He related his experiences in Hawaii, which was lush, fringed with palms and sand, but he suddenly realised that something was missing - the cricket grounds that one sees everywhere in the background in similar landscapes in the Caribbean.

So, today, I miss home. I will try for cheerier posts when my melancholy (and self-indulgence) has passed.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lonesome tonight?

Well, yes and no. TOH is currently sat in JFK, waiting for his plane to land so he can jet off back home - yes, destroying the environment, but in a good cause, namely the wedding of two wonderful people (which, for various dull and infuriating reasons, I cannot attend). Therefore, for the third time in the past couple of months, I have the house to myself for a week.

It's not entirely a negative experience, and particularly with the impending thing-that-shall-not-be-named (three weeks and it'll be over! ulp!), I will be able to do what I want which hopefully will be late nights at the library and not having to be a social creature. I'm just interested in how this reflects my time as a teenager, when I cherished the time before Mum and Bro got home, but only so long as they got home at a reasonable time - if they were unexpectedly delayed, I panicked like mad. I'm like a toddler on those harness things - I love my freedom but only so long as there's someone there to rein me in if I go too far. Similarly, I need the comfort of someone here, even when I'm pottering / blogging / playing Scramble on facebook YET AGAIN. I also love just sitting in companionable silence, slumped either with a book or in front of a Mets game or our latest Wire episode.
Now, with the fat cats around, at least the house isn't empty. But still... I have to remind myself of the things of I can't do quite so much if he's around:
  • Unfettered eating of aubergine, courgettes, and general vegetarianness (having said that, tonight's meal does indeed include aubergine but hot spicy sausage, too)
  • Watching of not-so-hot tv - unlimited Law & Order (it's revision for that-which-shall-not-be-named is how I'm justifying it), Bones, the OC repeats, plus good tv, too - Six Feet Under being my current series, and I cannot wait for the new Doctor Who on Friday (new as in for Sci-Fi - which is about 4 episodes behind, I think)
  • Starfishing on the bed
It's not quite the same.

Friday, July 04, 2008


It was seriously hard to concentrate on work yesterday. Partly because of the night before spent mostly at Verlaine - although the impact of energy prices finally became clear, seeing as lychee martinis there are now five whole fricking dollars. Damn the war!

Anyway, most of my excitement yesterday was based on my going, as I mentioned I might, to the NYPL branch round the corner from school. It was genuinely exciting - kid in a sweet shop type thing. Even slightly not so good libraries i.e. without a great selection, like not so great parks, really are wonderful things. Particularly yesterday - there were tons of people in this small library, renting books, dvds, reading papers, just hanging out with books. It makes me so happy, it's ridiculous.

Plus, the NYPL allows you to select books and sends you notification when they arrive - it's just like netflix - sahwweeeeet. So I probably sent just a little bit too long on that yesterday rather than doing some work... portuguese books (for the Mozambique portion of the summer trip), various classic detective novels (first of PD James and Henning Mankell and the second Josephine Tey), some light stuff I've been meaning to catch up on. Of course, this is the time to start re-reading Light Reading, as I am looking for inspiration, particularly for awesome holiday reading... I do love the library, indeed.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Resolved in June!

  1. Hurrah - done and done
  2. 28.2% - so 0.4% lower, and I am physically so much stronger than I was, it's brilliant. Not that it's noticeable in my physique, but I was able to shoulder press 40lbs, which I've never managed before. For two sets of reps. Repeat after me: BEEFCAKE!
  3. No dancing, but I have been generally misbehaving a little bit every now and then. Still, fun is OVER as of tomorrow so, you know, tough luck for me.
  4. No classic movies whatsoever, although we have got Fight Club out and are waiting for an opportunity to watch it. Plus, I am extremely keen to see Tell No One and fairly keen to see Hancock, both of which look like perfect films for this time of year, when I'm uberstressed (previous examples: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Hot Fuzz).
  5. Similarly I have been reading nothing but New York, Sports Illustrated and the New Yorker (and loved the articles on the new evangelicals and the itching one). However, I was thinking of going to the library to get out classic detective stories - maybe going to try PD James, as well as more Josephine Tey.
  6. No flowers
  7. No cooking
  8. No culture. But we may try to go to the zoo next week. And tomorrow I'm going to some jazz, hopefully.
Exciting life. Next month's is going to be awesome.