I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

30 November 2006

Don't worry little man, you won't have to beg at the window much longer! soon you will have a cat flap and all the autonomy a punk ass kitten could want. you shall run free through the streets of nunhead! south east london shall be your oyster!

Fear not, my friend, the green napping chair will come with us wherever we may go! it has been napped on by kittens in 2 countries, 3 states and 5 cities. its time has not yet come.
and there will be stairs for you to run on and a rosemary bush in the garden, life will be sweet, little man, ever so sweet!



sorry about the exclamation points before and to follow but big things are afoot!

we're getting the survey done on the house on monday morning! and the vendor found himself a home! and the vendo for that home has a home! there is no more chain, all the links are in place. we may be homeowners by january!
touch wood, of course.

when did i become adult enough to be a homeowner, surely the grown up police will show up any second now to end this whole charade.

i can't even believe this business. am i a yuppie now? i don't think i own enough argyle to be a yuppie



in the morning! that's when the taxi is coming to get me tomorrow, er tonight, er tomorrow technically.

i have to pack tonight and make sure i have 40 quid on me and make sure i don't forget my passport and don't bring any danger liquids on the airplane

3:15, yikes


29 November 2006

bullet points

  • I'm reading The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell and it made me miss my bus stop last night even though I was getting motion sickness from reading on the bus. I just couldn't stop reading, that's how much I like this book. It is about the title character, duh, who is institutionalized in Edinburgh for 60 years for such crimes as refusing to cut her hair and just being generally difficult in the 20's. It's also about her greatniece who is asked to take her in after the institution is shut down to be sold for property value. It's a fractured telling of what happened from the point of view of the niece, Esme and Esme's sister who is suffering from Alzheimer's.
  • That's a really bland description, it doesn't do the book justice. Maggie O'Farrell is really talented at the whole disjointed narration, she uses it pretty successfully in all of her books (although to be honest it was abit off putting in My Lover's Lover, my least favorite of her books, still an engaging read though.) After You'd Gone, her debut novel, uses it to excellent effect.
  • Oliver has begun a new plan of attack on my sanity by destroying a tea and coffee related items. Yesterday I came home to find the french press in pieces on the kitchen floor and the he woke me up by pushing our glass jar of cammomile tea off the highest shelf in the house at 2AM. I tell myself that he's just a kitten and he doesn't understand that he's being incredibly difficult, but honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't being a huge pain on purpose.
  • Some writing done at lunch yesterday but little else. Tonight I have no plans at all and I will use the time productively. I will, I will, Iwill.
  • We came in a disappointing 4th place at the pub quiz last night, I blame the flag for Kazakhstan, and therefore the Borat movie, alongwith the logo for Continental Airlines and the slogan for Panasonic. Ideas for life my ass!
  • Only two more days until I get to leave town and go to Copenhagen for the weekend. I am looking forward to slightly fresher air, the canals, good coffee, open faced sandwiches, and sleeping in.

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28 November 2006

my time alone or thinking about a family that is not mine but is, but isn't

i am not making the most of this week, sure it's only tuesday but i can already feel myself giving in to the slack. i had fried chicken for dinner last night, for goodness sakes! not good fried chicken either, fast food fried chicken that i will not give name to because i will lose the last shreds of respect anyone in the world ever had for me in the first place.

then america's next top model was the highlights show, damnit, and i didn't even turn off the tv and use that gifted hour to write, no, i found a repeat of SVU (with henry winkler as a bad man!) and watched that. but i barely even knitted and i still have two and a half scarves to go before my chrismukkah knitting is complete. dismal.

tonight is the pub quiz, but i have an hour and a half of solitude beforehand and i must not waste it. i did make up for things a little bit by writing on the bus today, but not enough, so tonight there must be more. if i'm not going to sleep well anyhow, then why bother trying at all. especially when i have the lives of the Atwood and Bernard families to sort out.

speaking of, the Atwood family, i don't think i want to keep that name? any suggestions? the family first names are Steven and Theresa (parents) and Charlie and Amelia (kids, 18 and 15 respectively) really it's the name Amelia Atwood that i like the least, so i need to either give them all a new last name or her a new first name. not sure which yet.

steven is still eluding me as a character. i can't figure out how his personality should be. sharlie remains sort of bland, i need to give him some fire and even some anger. theresa, jess and amelia are going well, but i think that's because i was working on them before. the bernard parents are coming along but i need to really fight against making them caricatures, in my head i see them in an old style english editorial cartoon with the title "The Bad Parents" on a banner above their heads. i don't like them but i need to make them real. i need to figure out how they got to this point. they must have been happy and in love with each other once, they must have been excited about their child at one time, how did they get to this moment when they can barely look at each other or her? what brought them to it. i need to boil it down.

a good thing though, writing in third person has been easier than i imagined it would be. i always always always write in first person and i am sort of pleased with myself for taking this on in third person. i kind of want to give the narrator more of a voice but i'm holding back right now, that's a stylistic choice i can make later, right now i would probably get bogged down.

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27 November 2006

the apocolypse is nigh


my employment is changing. i am being TUPE'd. TUPE is pronounced two-pee, and it means that because the company i work for lost their contract with the company where i am located i am being transferred to this new company. i imagine this is how professional athletes feel when they are transferred to a new team, except they get loads more money and they get to be on tv and they probably don't have to worry about whether or not their temps will lose their positions and then the retraining of the temps, so really it's probably not anything like that.

this weekend i went to the writers' group and a couple people asked me what i do. my response, something boring. the meeting was interesting and i got along really well with one of the guys. he lived in ann arbor for awhile and knew someone from detroit who claimed to have been raised by feral drag queens.
one guy is writing some neat sci fi with an interesting twist on the way spirits are able to move around and communicate, another is writing sort of bleurghy stream of consciousness stuff and his partner is writing a sci fi book about the near future and a quarrantined UK, there are two memoirs happening, one based in the tarot deck and another about a year spent trying to start making wine, and then the woman wo organisies is working on the 5th book in a series, of which two are published already that are sort of humourous takes on co-op living and the ideas of chosen family and i think prostitution sort of factors in as well.
i gave a really brief description of what i'm doing, and then felt really slackerly because i haven't been doing as much as i would like on it lately, and because i'm feeling sort of stuck. i keep getting caught up in the boring minutiae.
right now i just want to read crappy romance novels and eat bon bons and get so fat that a hole has to be cut into the wall of my flat to get me out of the house for my gastric bypass. or i want to get through this and actually write this lousy book and tell this lousy story, i just have to keep pressing on.

myabe i can get TUPE'd into the life of a successful novelist, like the chabon or atwood corporation could take over my contract, and i would just switch over with my benefits and salary in tact and possibly improved. that would be okay

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24 November 2006

to jasper

he was an elderly cat we brought home from the crazy cat ladies' cat rescue of streatham. he lived for years with an elderly woman who died leaving him homeless. at the rescue, there were some large former strays who picked on him so he spent most of his time hidden in the garden that was covered in chicken wire or under a bed.
the first week he spent with us he stayed under the couch except at night when he would pee on the futon and then come into the bedroom to make chirrupy noises. eventually he began to use the litter box with more regularity although there were still lapses, that we now know were caused by the kidney failure.
he would sleep in the bed with us and lay between our legs on the sofa while we watched tv. even though he was an old man (probably around 12) he still liked to play and would chase after bits of yarn and paper.
this is the last picture we took of him, just a couple of days before we had to have him put to sleep. it was probably the last time he ever managed the jump up to the sofa. he'd just come home from the vet where i'd been told that there was nothing we could do save for a shot of vitamins and rehydration. when he wouldn't eat any of the turkey i made for our thanksgiving party that weekend i knew he was probably through.
he was a sweet old man with his bird noises and his cuddles. i wish we had known earlier how sick he was, we would have been more understanding about his issues with the litter box. but i'm glad he was with us for his last few months, it got him away from the crazy cat ladies and the mean thug cats. even if his death did lead to the great spiritual crisis of ought 6. but that's another entry for another time.
this is about jasper, i wish i could have known him longer.


23 November 2006


this is my second thanksgiving in a row away from home.

last year we threw a party and then had to have our cat, jasper, put to sleep because of his failing kidneys.

this year we were too lazy to have another party and instead will just have a veggie roast and roast vegetables, maybe some peas on the side. i might be cultivating an unpleasant stomach virus as well. monday and tuesday nights my stomach hurt like hell on tuesday with the added bonus of my favorite diarrhea, and yesterday and today i have had constant heartburn, plus some ookiness in my gut so far.

i've cut out caffeine and all coffee related products and am eating bio yogurt with all it's bacteria and drinking green tea and water. been snorting the zicam we smuggled back from chicago but i fear it may be too late. if i'm going to be sick i need to do it fast because i want to be better by 1st december when we go to copenhagen for the weekend. the last thing i need is a mad cap hunt for danish toilets (which thankfully are nicer than italian toilets (not hard to do) but still a toilet hunt in a foreign country is never fun).

but thanksgiving, i miss it, even though it stresses me out juggling families and getting into the inevitable fight with either my brother or dad about politics and trying to avoid upsetting my mom by saying anything crass or critical about organized religion. i miss the way the house smells and setting up the tree on friday. i miss poking around and stealing bits of turkey. i miss the way the windows fog up from the heat of the food. i miss the creamed corn and the pumpkin pie. i miss the plates of left overs and my grandma's recipe for turkey surprise (a leftover casserole that is suprisingly tasty despite looking totally grody). and i miss the pockets of time where we all get along really well and we have huge belly laughs and we actually like each other for a few bloated gluttonous minutes.

thanksgiving is something you have to let go of to a certain extent when you move abroad and i miss it more than the 4th of july or, really, any of the other American holidays, despite all of the frustration it often brings along with it. it's easier to be sentimental about my family with an ocean between us.

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22 November 2006

pub quiz spoils

we came in second place last night, an while it is not on par with our former glory as pub quiz champions of the clockhouse and recipients of £72 split five ways after purchasing a round of drinks we did get a bottle of wine.

this was more than earned as the quiz master was a sort of spotty RPG type who kept making lame jokes and listening in on our conversations. i think he liked our little international team more than we could ever like him. we missed jez, the nromal ginger quizmaster, terribly and are eagerly anticipating his return in two weeks time.

i successfully knew that krakow is the second most populated city in poland (remembered because my coworker from gdansk says there are more vegetarian options in krakow than gdansk) and that the most expensive property on the american monopoly is boardwalk (although we had to fight the RPG dude for it because he swore it was broadway, which is wrong on so many levels! jeremy finally had to rin back to the flat, just a few doors away to take a photo on the digital camera to prove that all my yelling and protesting was not in vain.) if only we could have remembered what a mickey finn was or known what the city of geneva looks like based on a grainy photograph photocopied and veiwed in poor pub lighting.

it was fun though, i like that the pub quiz helps me get all my copetitiveness out of my system for the week. it makes me a mellower person for every other day of the week, and that's a good thing for everyone who has to be around me.

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oliver is not an effective alarm clock

most days i wake up to this little dude licking my chin and rubbing his wet nose on my face because he wants me to get the hell out of bed and do one of the following : a) feed him, B) let him out to run around the gardnen or C) both of those as fast as possible.

he is a task master.

but this morning, instead of being a pain in the butt he was all lovey dovey. but he waited for me to turn off my alarm clock on accident before climbing onto my chest. laying his head on my cheek and falling asleep with a sweet purr. therefore i overslept by an hour and woke up at 7 in a frenzy. no writing was done this morning, no lunch was made, all i had time for was some innefective ironing and a much needed shower.

the little bastard. this is clearly all his fault.


21 November 2006

things i think at work sometimes

shut up
shut up
shut up
shut up
shut up
i don't care abbout your marketing class
i don't care about your unfair tutour
do your work and shut up
for real
shut up!


When even Rupert Murdoch thinks it's a bad idea . . .

you know it's time to throw it in! thank goodness th OJ book has been cancelled along with the televised 'conversation with his american publisher (Source: Cnn.com). according to an LJ contact of mine one of the bigest bookselling chaians in the US was planning to sell the book without advertising and then donate all of their proceeds to DV charities and foundations set up by the Brown and Goldman familes.

i still don't know what to make of Judith Reagan, the publisher who says she saw it as his confession and that she was publishing it to give satisfaction to the other abused women out there. what satisfaction is there is seeing someone make loads of cash off his hypothetical admission of guilt? i hope all OJ has gotten out of this is some short lived free publicity and none of the rumoured advance.

i wonder about Nicole and OJ's daughter whenever this case comes back to light. she would be a teenager now right, or is she older? she must look like a younger version of her mother. i wonder if she believes that her father did it, and if so i wonder how she handles it, looking so much like her mother and living with the man who killed her? if he killed her, mind. what a messed up life both of those kids have had. i've got nothing deep or important to add to that. i just hope they've managed to have okay lives after being through such a shitstorm in their early years.

back in 1995 i was the editor of my high school newspaper, the Lighthouse. i had a strong rule that i finally broke towards the end of the school year. i refused to allow any mention of with OJ Simpson or Nancy Kerrigan in 'my paper' i was adamant about this and finally a couple of the reporters had an internvention and talked me down off my high horse. and here i am 11 years later. i don't know what's going on with big teeth kerrigan though, i imagine she still has more money than tanya harding, that queen of the shopping mall ice rink.

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20 November 2006

get thee to a nunnery

our offer on the house in nunhead has been accepted, now we need to see if the vendors are chain free (chain free being the two most beautiful words, in combination in all of the british english language) or close enough to chain free to keep this from taking forever and then we will officially rescind our offer on the east dulwich house and make firm plans towards becoming residents of nunhead.

the local pub has acoustic nights on wednesdays that often feature a woman who plays the hurdy gurdy and are hosted my a man who goes by the name of hank dog. there is also a pool table and a beer garden. and we will remain with walking distance of the ever important clockhouse pub quiz where we will someday regain our title of champions!


back in the saddle again

these are the things i have recently accomplished
  1. i am up to page 38 in the great semi-autobigraphical novel
  2. i defended my decision to write something based on my life and the lives of me family and i stand by that decision because it isn't really about them. it's drawn from an incident that really happened but the people it's happening to are not the same as my family they are very very different.
  3. i bought 2 turtle necks, one grew neck sweater, a shower curtain, 2 pairs of navy tights and a purse for the low low price of £24
  4. i called the estate agent and made an offer on a house in nunhead. jeremy made the second higher offer and we'll know today if it was accepted. this house has a name rather than a number. you can't get more english than that!
  5. i went to a really crowded and boisterous party on saturday night without having a panic attack, although i did leave early, but that's more about knowing my limits than mental illness.
  6. i talked to my parents and remain in denial about the seriousness of my father's current condition. they are being very bright and waspy about the whole deal so i'm going to stay the same.
  7. i made a scarf for jeremy's dad. it has cables!
  8. i actually woke up and made it out the door and onto the bus and into work today. this is possibly the greatest and most amazing acheivment of all.

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17 November 2006


there's a writers' group in my neighbourhood! the woman who is in charge has a couple published novels. dark humour s&m type stuff. she replied to my email right away and has added me to their mailing list and even though she used the word gentle in the description of the group i'm still going to go.

an aside: when i was in therapy dr. mary (i never called her this to her face, only in my head, in fact i never called her anything i would just begin talking about things totally unrelated to the issues i was having) would always tell me to be gentle with myself and i always thought this sounded like a load of hooey. i am already much too gentle with myself, i let myself slack off all the time. people have been gentle with me far too much over the course of my life, and i am pretty sure it is part of the reason why i never tried harder. constantly being rewarded for just doing enough is no way to motivate. wait except my dad was miserable. he could make me feel like shit for getting a regular a instead of an a+. once, when i was at college he left the most miserable guilt trip on my answering machine because of a poor spanish grade, so maybe this shoots my whole theory to hell?

the writing group though, i'm looking forward to it. a couple people are published and a few are not, i think that will be a good balance. they meet on saturday evenings but i'm okay with that. especially if the chemistry of the group works for me.

finding a good chemistry with other writers is tricky. i was very lucky when i was at wayne state to have a good group of friends who, like me, were sort of jerks. our manner of critique was 100% honest and true and you could absolutely trust what they were saying to you. if craig told me my story was a debacle then he was telling me that for my own good and it would be smart of me to listen. we all listened to each other. we weren't competitive because we were all very different writers. ted wrote his boozy beat inspired buddy tales, dave wrote his postmodern point driven pieces involving time travel and prometheus, craig wrote about his brutal military inspred tales, jessica wrote her wonky florida inspired stories filled with coccaine and antelopes and i wrote my first person narratives about coming of age among other things (except of course, for the debacle about the iron man triathalon, best not to think of it now). we all complemented each other perfectly.

of course, i lost touch with all of them. occasionally i hear from ted, usually when he's drunk. craig and i emailed a little bit when i found his info back in 2003 but he was in an MFA program and i was moving away so there wasn't a lot of time. dave and jessica i haven't heard from since 1999 and no amount of googling has brought them back to me.

i've tried to find that same balance but it never quite works out, i imagine it's because there's no alcoholic professor forcing us together anymore. graduation sent us off into different worlds.

i miss them all like crazy though, i miss the nights we closed down three bars and only barely stumbled home. i miss laying on the english dept floor peering under our professor's door to see if he really is in there like his office hours say (he had a sofa and was known to nap) and then finally saying fuck it and going to the bar to find him with another student ready to buy us a beer for our troubles.

so i will go next saturday and i will meet these people and i will do my best to remember that they will be different and that's okay. maybe at this point in my life i need something different.

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16 November 2006

news of the world

  • feeling better physically today so i kept my dreaded dental appointment where mrs. stephens the dental hygeinist scraped my teeth and told they looked much better than the notes on my record indicated. i bled a bit at my last appointment a month ago. i am also very flinchy at dental appointments due to my recurring nightmares about crumbling and or loosening teeth. also, i always feel guilty when i go to the dentist because as a cocky undergraduate whenever i would get writer's block i would moan and moan and get drunk and tell everyone that i was going to quit writing and become a dental hygienist, like working in dentistry was the worst imaginable fate. i know better now.

  • last night we looked at a house for sale in nunhead, for the uninitiated in south london neighbourhoods, nunhead is a little sketchy. not like detroit sketchy (i don't actually believe that anyplace in london can compare to detroit in terms of sketchy scary or bad but this could just be my american naivite) but you know, higher crime levels, fewer bus lines, etc etc. it was a nice house though with hard wood floors and a pretty garden. we're going to look at it again on saturday morning so we can see it with natural light.

  • the french estate agent proved the international inability to pronounce my name once more. no matter how many times i stress the short i sound in that last syllable the citizens of europe remain unable to say carolyn. they can only manage caroline and are simply unwilling to attempt any other variation.

  • no more news on my dad as yet. he should have come home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. i expect i will have an email from my mom when i get home. i can't yet tell how worried she actually is. her emails are always very low key even when she's at the highest code red state of emergency. plus she just ignores unpleasant things. she's spent the last, gosh, 10 months now, denying that i was ever seriously ill despite all evidence to the contrary. it's what she does, she's got a gift.

  • oliver was sorely disappointed to see that i was not staying home again today. not because he likes me or anything but because when someone is home all day he has free access to the garden whenever his manic little heart desires. otherwise, he is locked indoors since there isn't really a decent shelter for him out there when it rains, an it always rains. this is london after all.

  • we're going to copenhagen the weekend of 1st december last night jeremy called me to the computer and showed me a google map of a european city and said "know where this is?" and i said "no." and he said "that's the square in copenhagen where we got in a fight about change" (and he didn't mean like the idea of change as in changing jobs or moving or the possibility of a tube stop in or neighbourhood, no he meant change as in money and yes we did get in a very heated argument about it that ended with him saying "why don't you just shut up?" and me glaring at him and considering divorce, but we got over it and still remember that trip to copenhagen fondly which is why we are going back) back to the narrative, i responded by saying "oh yeeeah, you were being an asshole," and he said, "well you were being weird." so i biffed him on the head and then he panned out a bit and showed me the location of a restaurant we tried to go to but couldn't because it was fully booked. we'll reserve a table this time. somehow i think the secret to our love is wrapped up in this ability to have blow out arguments in a public square in a foreign city and then remember them with good humour. this is only a theory though.

  • that's all, i just thought one more bullet point would be nice.

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15 November 2006

i stayed home today because i still feel like crap. probably i could have gone in but i'm tired of going to work when i feel gross

my dad had one of those deals where they put the dye in his arteries yesterday to check for blockage. this is the email i had from my mom this morning
Dad is in the hospital over night and I hope to bring him home early
tomorrow morning.
He has three blocked arteries but his heart muscle is strong so they feel
they can correct this problem with angioplasty (balloon inflation to clear
the artery) and stints that will help hold the artery open. But being that
this is your father there is one more little problem we have to check out
first. He has an aneurysm in the main artery to his heart located in the
stomach area that is quite large. It is something the doctor feels is
hereditary but before they can do the angioplasty he must have more test to
determine the size of the aneurysm or weak spot. These test will be done in
the next few days by a specialist and then the decision will be made if he
needs surgery on this weak spot or if it is just something they will watch.
Once that is out of the way he will go back into the hospital for the
angioplasty and get his arteries opened up.
The good news is they could do open heart surgery on him but because his
heart seems strong he can have the easier procedure. This is really good
news and means he will be back to normal fairly quickly. The bad part is we
have to find out about this aneurysm stuff.
It is after eleven and I just got home so I am going to bed and will write
more when I get him home tomorrow. He will have to take some more
medications to help the blood flow smoothly until we get him fixed up but
other than not overdoing he will just wait for the test.
Talk to you later,

not exactly good news but not exactly terrible, i mean nobody wants an aneurysm but at least he shouldn't need open heart surgery

small blessings, right?

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14 November 2006


i am sick. i am cold except for my face. which is warm. i can barely keep my eyes open and my throat is scratchy. my temper is really short and i just want to go to bed.

i had onion soup for lunch instead of the ham sandwich i brought from home.

let the crappening begin


13 November 2006

m stands for monday and melancholy

tired and achey and achey and tired
that's how i feel. not much point in elaborating.

last week this girl i went to high school with sent me a message on myspace to ask how i was doing and to see how my former best friend was doing.

this girl and i never got along in high school, largely because i took her place as best friend to the aforememntioned former best friend. i suppose that means we could start a former best friend club. this girl, woman really, lives in las vegas now, she's going to be a teacher. so she used that as the intro for the message, sort of like hey we have both lived in vegas neat. do you still speak with -----? let her know i said hi.

and for some reason i felt obligated to write back to this woman i don't even like with the truth.

yes i did live in vegas, i didn't like it. i hope it is treating you well though. sorry, but ----- and i haven't spoken since 1997 but i think she lives in chicago now. best of luck to you, carolyn

not surprisingly i haven't heard back from her. it always give me a shake when people i haven't seen or heard from in a long time ask me how ----- is. i feel like an 18 year old asshole all over again for picking the fight that broke up our friendship and then i get frustrated with her all over again for not being able to see through all the hurt and sadness i was feeling. not really a fair reaction i know, but it was a really irrational time and i still hold on to a lot of those base emotions.

i'm okay with the fact that we aren't friends anymore and i accept the fact that it was largely my fault, probably 85%, because i flew off the handle about an offhand comment she made about my recent break up with a boy she'd never approved of. there was a lot of history as well. of course. too much that is too tangled to go into.

i have written two letters trying to patch things, one was never answered and one was returned as she was no longer at that address. after a mutal friend died i invited her and another mutual friend out for drinks but they already had plans. and then one horrible night in denny's a couple of friends tried to get us to talk but it ended really badly. and that was it. we've said hi in passing, but there is nothing remaining. if i could say anything to her it would just be that i am sorry. but i have used up all my chances and i was never able to say it the right way. now ten years later when i am ready and able, it is far too late.

i mourn the loss of our friendship (imperfect as it was) far more than any botched romantic involvement before or since. when i think of the relationship whose end triggered that final blowout my one true regret has nothing to do with him. it has to do with the fallout that cost me her.

10 November 2006

rules for public transport

  1. keep your legs together, not because it makes you look slutty but because the seats are really really small
  2. do everything in yourpower to avoid touching me. we both have germs, i don't want yours
  3. deoderant. you smell, but you can fix it. it's easy
  4. no i don't want to listen to all the hits as played on your mobile. turn the JT off or put on some headphones
  5. don't make fun of my sneeze. yeahm you, i heard you mock my sneeze on the 363 last night and you're a jerk and i hate you. but you seeze funny too and that's why you had to make yourself feel better by making fun of mine. jerk.
  6. if you're sitting next to me and as a result i am all squeezed up against the window and an empty set of 2 seats opens up you should move. quickly. you'll be more comfortable, i'll be more comfortable. it's a win-win situation. for real.

none of these are so difficult to do. i think the world would be a better place if everyone learned to follow my 6 basic rules of riding the bus/train/tram/funicolare/whatever

09 November 2006

it makes me giggle

i keep going to news sites so i can read things like this:

"bush asked rumsfeld to resign"

"rumsfeld stepping down"

over and over and over. i just feel all warm inside when i see it.

also, i wonder, is america better off without my vote? since i waited too long to register this year i wasn't able to get my absentee ballot, but almost everything turned out okay. more okay than 2004 anyhow. yes there are some sticky spots about things like gay marriage (what up with that, wisconsin?) and affirmative action (they say they don't need it anymore in michigan, yeah, okay) but seriously, i'm beginning to wonder if maybe my vote doesn't count. maybe it's just everyone elses'.

07 November 2006

when sleeping in means waking up at 6:30 it's probably time to shoot yourself

i slept in and didn't write this morning, but i will tonight while i eat dinner before heading over to the clockhouse pub quiz where my team will once more be attempting to win back our title of kings of the clockhouse pub quiz.

want to know about my NaNoWriMo attempt? want me to tell you all about it? okay, let's go! at first glance it would be easy to assume that it's about my family, specifically during the year 1992 and our sort of 1955 style crisis when my brother got his grirlfriend pregnant and then she hid it for 7 months. right up to there things are about the same. but here's what i'm doing, or rather here's what the writing is compelling me to do.

  1. i'm writing it from 5 points of view at the moment, all third person. the teenage parents, the parents of the teenage father, and the sister.
  2. i'm trying to be as sympathetic as possible to the teenaged mom. i want her to be so likeable, not not likeable, i want people to empathise with this miserable girl. i want you to get that she has made bad choices but that she has only meant to do good things (and if you know my thoughts on my former sister-in-law, you might be assuming, correctly, that this is not so easy)
  3. the adult father is not, i repeat, IS NOT a HAM radio operator. he'll probably have some other time consuming obsession, i haven't decided yet
  4. the sister is going to become firmly entrenched with the punk kids at her school, she is also very reticent in a way that i never was. i was shy but always knew what to say to make people laugh, she is not shy she chooses not to speak. also, by page 20 she's been kissed by a cute boy with green hair, that boy would have gone for my pretty blonde friend sara.
  5. the teenaged dad is not the smart ass my brother was. in fact he's the weakest character so far. i'm having a hard time making him real
  6. the adult mother, is actually pretty closely based on my mom so far. but she's going to be a lot more religious and i'm going to bring in a lot of her back story, she'll be from a much larger family and will have a lot more class issues
  7. and obviously, there will be intentional themes tying this miserable mess together. the main themes being about family, lies and loss of innocence. the three fit together well and i don't think it's too ambitious to try to address all of them.

i feel good about this in a way i haven't felt good about anything in a while. i know for a fact that the first chapter i wrote from the girlfriend's point of view is some of the strongest writing i've done in years and i felt elated after i wrote it. as i get further in i'll need to be careful and at some point i'd like to write a chapter from the future of the novel written in the point of view of the child, based on a discussion i had with my friend jessica in august about how it feels to be an unplanned child.

but that might all change. things always veer away from my plans when i'm writing. i don't do outlines in anything other than the loosest sense because they're rendered useless when the characters start to dictate their own paths and i'm just left to follow.

i'm really excited though and it feels pretty awesome.

06 November 2006

I (singular present tense posssessive)

i am just about ready to lop my right foot off at the ankle.
i won't though, it would probably hurt more than the arthritis.
i wrote over 5000 words last week. i need more.
i'm trying to do this NaNoWriMo thing again this year, i know it's sort of silly but i need deadlines. i don't function well without them, so i'm pretending that i'll be graded at the end of november. a grade based entirely on quantity rather than quality. quality is the goal for next year, i just need the pages now.
i am drinking more coffee , lately than i have in years. i blame this office job of mine.
i am going to have the flat to myself this week because jeremy is in italy for business. it will be good to have the time but it will be quiet and i won't have anyone to blame for interruptions and distractions.

We (plural present tense cooperative)
we've been trying to buy a house, and it's really been freaking me out, but this weekend as we looked at back up flats and dreamed about the perfect kitchen i stopped being scared and started feeling excited. it was a really nice change.

we also saw the movie 'little miss sunshine' and i know it was kind of cliche and unrealistic but i really liked it. it was nice to see the images of the american west and the freeway bridges and the little girl who played olive was pretty awesome. i loved her red boots and her belly which was the little girl equivalent of kitten belly. i plan to steal all of her dance moves.

03 November 2006

my kitten is the most awesome

even though he is barely a kitten anymore


i got a compliment on my jumper today, that's right it's a jumper, not a sweater or a shirt, a jumper, i'm in london.

normally this is not something worth noting, but since i knitted this jumper (yeah, i said it again) with very expensive wool, even some mohair! it is pretty awesome that it was noticed and appreciated by someone who didn't even know that i spent hours and hours crafting this particular jumper with my own two hands.


i can be really blase' about my marriage, i don't know why i get so weird, i say sort of mean teasy things abot jeremy in public. i joke about him being a dork and doing dorky things, even though that's something i really like about him. you know? i really like that he has a vespa, and i like that he likes sort of obscure hardcore punk rock and i like that he wears goofy trousers and i even liked that he didn't drink even though he sometimes gave me a hard time about drinking too much. for one whole year he didn't cut his hair and he got this big curly jew-fro and i told him he looked like a cross between shirley temple and screech. i wish he could grow his hair that long again but he says it wouldn't be professional.

i don't know, this isn't supposed to be some random list of what i love about jeremy, what i'm trying to figure out is why i'm such an asshole in general (almost mistyped that as sasshole, maybe that's what i'll start calling funny assholes that i like as opposed to jerky assholes i hate). it's easy enough to blame my family, we're always really sarcastic and kind of mean to each other rather than being nice, but i'm a grown up now, it's time to take responsibilty for my own inner meanness. it's stupid that i mock all the things i like, it's really pretty lame and i need to grow out of it. i mean yeah, i can still mock that he plays ultimate frisbee, because that's silly. but i shouldn't be so crappy about everything else. that will be my november resolution, not to be such a craphead.

02 November 2006


i'm tired of my ankles. i'm tired of the fact that almost a year after i ate a dodgy omelotte at a cafe in barcelona i am still suffering from the consequences. i am tired of myself talking about it but it's all i have to talk about, it seems. i know i bore people with my incessant blah blah blah about salmonella and achy joints but sometimes i can't think of anything else to talk about. sickness is not interesting, it does nothing to make you interesting, it only inspires pity and the sluggishness of the mind. arthritis in people under the age of 70 does nothing for your character it is only annoying and inconvenient. yesterday the doctor told me it might take 18 months to go away. everyone else has said it would take about 6 months. and of course there is the chance that these remaining pains in my feet, hip and jaw will just stay forever, my toes are already permanently, if only cosmetically affected, why not add regular and lifelong pain to that.

barcelona, beautiful but deadly!

01 November 2006

i take it all back

i'm an asshole, someone did die and i'm the big city jerk who was put out because her bus was delayed. i suck and am lame. it is officially official

vampirism and shooting related bus mishaps

after my rheumotology visit today i was sent to have blood tests taken. the lady who called me back had dyed orangish hair and walked with a stoop. she shook constantly and called me dearie and led me to the cubicle where she proceeded to draw blood from my right arm in the most efficient and painless manner ever! i was amazed. kings college hospital is a teaching hospital so you often get somewhat less than average care (especially in the blood draw cubicles) so it was really awesome to be so pleasantly surprised by this palsied old woman and her nimble needles.

but then, oh then, camberwell was shut down due to a non-fatal shooting last night and all the buses were being suspended, not rerouted, oh no that would have made sense, but completely stopped, unless they were going to the west end, which was not where i needed to be. so i had to back track back to scenic peckham and wait at the murder bus stop next to the murder library (don't get me wrong, i love that library but there have been two murders within ten feet of it, that place is a murder magnet!)

i know this will make me sound shallow and selfish but why can't the police here get it together so that my bus journey isn't doubled by a non fatal shooting that happened last night? i kno that gun crime isn't as common here, but geez!

yeah i'm a bad person, it's the rock solid truth.