I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

27 February 2007

things about me that have not changed since i was a little kid

1. i still really like kittens, maybe not as much as my grandma thinks, but the love is still strong

2. i still really like bacon, again maybe not as much as my grandma thinks, but the love is still strong

3. when i hear a song i really really like i will play it over and over and over until i grow sick of it. this started with such hits as the theme from neverending story, time after time, and i've got a crush on you and has grown into maxwell's cover of this woman's work and my recent find, clem snide's cover of i'll be your mirror.

3a. i will still play the bangles' cover of hazy shade of winter over and over. when i was a kid i taped over my barbie and the rockers tape with this song just repeating to the end. at 12 (i think i was 12) i would sit in my bed, listening to this and writing my novel about 3 girls named annie, brilliantly titled "the annie chronicles" this novel, sadly, remains unfinished.

3b. i'm still pretty crap with titles

4. i can still consume ungodly amounts of candy. left alone with 1,000,000 pixi stix i would be finished with all of them in under 4 hours. i am more shocked than anyone that i still have teeth.

5. i will always and forever hate the following chores: taking out the trash, doing the dishes, and mopping

6. i would rather be reading a book most of the time

7. i still like to pretend i'm famous and that i'm being interviewed

8. i still like to dance around the house like a maniac (to the song maniac if possible) when i am home alone

9. i eat reese's peanut butter cups the same way (nibble around the edge until finished)

10. i am still prone to unreasonable bouts of anger although they are less likely to take the form of a tantrum and but just as likely to involve protracted bouts of sulking

11. i still laugh at jokes about private parts and bodily functions.

my new neighbo(u)rhood

This is the chapel in Nunhead Cemetery. You can't tell from this photo, but there is no roof on it anymore. Nunhead Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London (according to Wikipedia, which is always right) and it is around the corner from my house.

The best thing about Nunhead Cemetery is that it is half wild. it's suffered through so many years of neglect that much of it has been taken over by the flora of Nunhead. Some parts have been well cared for but most of it is totally overgrown. It's a pretty amazing site. And like I say, it's just around the corner!

This totally makes up for the recent addition of the following sign to my local pub: "Under New" Management! "Live Jazz" on Sundays!

Now I know I often play fast and loose with the rules of grammar, but such flagrant disregard for the proper use of quotation marks makes me want to weep. It's just not okay!

Thank goodness for Nunhead Cemetery, and double thank goodness for Jeremy's huge collection of vinyl which I'm sure will save us when the zombies attack.

23 February 2007

Another Commuter Scene

As the bus takes me past Peckham Rye, it passes another bus stop at the northern tip of the park. There was a murder near there this winter and one of those make shift memorials has been built up next to the bus shelter.

There are wilted flowers and notes and teddy bears and, worst of all, ties from school uniforms knotted around fenceposts. They are all dark blue and mustard yellow and they have been rained and snowed on so they hang limply over and under the dead flowers and tatty cellophane wrappings.

The street sweepers won't touch this memorial, I wonder if it will be there until it decomposes into the side of the pavement and all that's left are bits of shiny plastic and scraps of fabric on the fence.

22 February 2007

Aylesbury Housing Estate

I take a different bus to work in the morning now and it cuts through Aylesbury Housing Estate in Wandsworth on its way to Elephant and Castle. On the side of one of the tower blocks there is a lit up sign that just says "NOBODY IS NOT LOVED"

I know this is probably some evangelical thing but there are no church signs near it and it just makes me feel nice when I see it each morning. I like the dubious nature of the statement and the sort of double negative. I like that I can see it even when the bus windows are all steamed up.

I need to take a picture of it one of these days, I would like to put it above my writing desk so when I am feeling untalented and down on myself I can remind myself that even the Aylesbury Housing Estate believes that I am loved.

15 February 2007

Home Invasion

Following 5 of 9er's impassioned valentine ode to his cat, the lovely Eloise, I was filled with warm thoughts regarding my own feline companion, Oliver.

I even wrote him a song while I was doing the dishes last night: Oliver Oliver Oliver kitten / I think it's fair to say / that I'm quite smitten. / Oliver Oliver Oliver kitten / I don't even mind that much / how often I'm bitten. This is pop genius, I should sell it to the Sugababes. And this morning at 3am I even woke up to find him snuggled up into my side with his paw on my face. Then he helpfully licked my face after my alarm clock started going off as a way to tell me that only jerks hit their snooze button so often.

But then, and this is where the menacing music would play if my life were a movie, everything changed. I was watching music videos and finishing my preparations for work when poor defenceless Oliver fell betwixt the sofa and the wall. I leaned over to pick him up and put him back in the window where he likes to watch the neighbors. He sat there looking sweet and helpless for a moment before leaping up and trying to blind me with his razor sharp claws! I narrowly escaped with only a scratch on my hand and my cheek, but I fear what could have happened or what could happen next time! He proceeded to race around the house menacingly as a means of intimidation. My kitten is a yob! Next thing you know he'll be listening to shitty music on the bus and wearing a hoodie. The horrors!

13 February 2007

if the simpsons have taught us anything, it's to watch out for dolphins

especially anti-terror dolphins

i am especially excited about the sea lions!

12 February 2007

Santa Claus

One of my staple stories about my past involves talking to Santa Claus on my dad's HAM radio every winter. My parents would hover in the background as my brother and I told Santa what we wanted. It was a pretty good solution to the general Christmas problem of finding out what your kids want without worrying about a phony letter. And we felt that we did not have to rely on anything so mundane as a postman to deliver our wishes, or worse the Sears Santa who was clearly not Santa and could not be trusted with such sensitive information. Instead we got to talk to the man directly. We knew that Dad could talk to the North Pole, there were cards on his wall to prove it, so it stood to reason that he could talk get in touch with Old Claus on demand.

Eventually, we realized that Santa's voice changed a bit each year, and that these jolly voices had begun to resemble the voices of a couple of Dad's friends. Buck and Russ.

Russ is still iving in Port Huron so far as I know. Healthy and happy.

Last year, Buck was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He had aggressive treatment and was given two months to live. This was probably in November. He died on Saturday. He survived for just over a year after the diagnosis. This isn't a surprise but it also isn't okay.

He was in a lot of pain and refused to touch his radios after one surgery until he could make it down to his HAM shack in the basement of his house without any assistance. He was famously derided for refusing to use the tallest and most powerful equipment and antennas. He was a DX man. The reason I call my dad Old Man is because that's how he and Buck referred to each other most of the time. Buck also used to call our house and leave messages that went like this "Duck, Buck, call." My dad's main nickname is Duck, this is related to his call, I am sure that he also called Buck's house and left messages that were the same except for the order of the first two words.

Buck had three daughters who he was intensely proud of. I remember when one of them moved to New York, even though she was older than me and i didn't know her well, she was an inspiration. It didn't matter that the best job she could get was waiting tables, she left. She has since moved back and has been staying with him for this last year, all three of them have been caring for him.

He was married to an amazing woman named Sheila who loved the opera. Sheila died a few years ago after a long fight with breast cancer. He aged quickly and visibly after she was gone.

He always had a chocolate lab, one named Hershey helped me overcome my fear of dogs as a kid.

In a lot of ways he was more a part of my life than much of my family. I still use the back pack he gave me when I was 18, the same brand his daughters got when they left home for college. He came to our wedding. He was at my confirmation lunch. The makeshift crown for his surprise 50.5 birthday party in our garage was the green chair that has travelled over the ocean with me. He was one of the few non-family members at my brother's first wedding.

I haven't seen him since the wedding, but still, there is a new hole in the weave of my life. Knowing that he isn't there is another rend, another loss. He didn't deserve this. He deserved the oldest and healthiest of ages.

After all, he was Santa Claus.

08 February 2007

let it snow

when i woke up this morning the weather men and women of the uk were proven right, there was indeed snow. i still don't think it qualifies as the blizzard that some were predicting but i did find myself wishing i had a camera as i took the bus along the rye. everything was muted and white except for a couple people wrapped up against the cold playing with their dog in the center of the park.

once i got to the city the worl had turned gray again, but it was nice while it lasted.

06 February 2007

hey jealousy

i used to be really jealous of jeremy's ex mollie. like irrationally so. and he didn't help matters much by occasionally suggesting that he buy her the hello kitty (ahem) 'neck massager' ("she really likes hello kitty, why are you making a big deal about this?" i think my response was the ever eloquent, "dude, seriously?") or some other random ina ppropriate whatever.
plus the first time i met her she was looking all perfect and mod in a black mindress while i was standing there like a schlump in my overalls a probably dirty tank top and greasy hair smoking a cigarette and drinking keg beer (how is it that nobody snapped me up during those three years of celibacy? i was such a skinny butch vision!)

anyhow, at first it didn't bother me that much, she made me nervous because she was polished and pretty in a way that i just can't be. but it was no big deal. later when jeremy and i were living together and not doing so well my jealousy blossomed into some horrible three headed monster (is that charybdis?) that would bodily possess me whenever she was mentioned. and she was mentioned fairly often seeing as i lived with her ex and two old friends of hers. she never seemed like a bad person or anything she was just this beautiful west coast spectre hanging on the edges of our weakening relationship.

eventually jereemy and i moved to separate apartments and our relationship was reborn as something much stronger and resilient and i just stopped caring about this ex of his. he still talked to her every 8 months or so, but i realised that we were in this relationship and that the two of them had decided not to be together for a reason just as he an i were together for a reason. and i was cool with it.

fast forward to this summer, we went to san francisco for a week and a half. mollie offered up her spare futon so we could save money on accomodations. we accepted. even though i wasn't jealous, it still felt a little funny. going to stay with the girl who dated my husband for three years. the one he only stopped dating 3 months before he met. there was just so much history.

and for a few jet lagged moments as she was showing us around her house, it was a little awkward, but then as we all started to ease into the situation i realised something. she's pretty goddamn cool. she has desperately seeking susan on dvd and she knows where to get the best ice cream and she took us out for pupusas as soon as we washed the airplane stink off. she even threw us a tea party.

and yes, these are all potential reasons to be jealous of her again (she also has pretty awesome hair) but we got along so well that i couldn't be jealous. i liked her. she's really nice and she gets my jokes about jeremy and his millions of brown trousers and his double millions of records in a way that nobody else on earth ever will.

she's coming to visit us in april and i can't wait. i'm totally geeked to show her around our neighborhood the same way she showed us around the mission. i'm glad i got over it

05 February 2007

i just called

to say how much i care, oh i do.

i haven't had any internet since the 25th of January, well no email of livejournal access save for a quick post from the shoe lane library on monday.

and i miss it! less then i thought i would but i still miss it.

work is insane. less then i expected, but still insane.

the new house is good but packed to the brim with all our crap. it has less storage space than the old flat so we don't know where to put everything. but we're buying up all the white besta shelves at ikea and then we're going to get a side board and some kind of wardrobe for cleaning supplies and life will be better.

oliver has cabin fever as he is not allowed out of doors yet, but he's making do by attacking boxes and our legs.

we've had some conflict with our former landlord who says we left the flat in a 'disgusting state' which is a total hyberbole. if she had seen it the week before i would believe it but that lady doesn't know from disgusting state. regardless she gave jeremy what the english would call 'a right bollocking' and we need to hire professional cleaners to take care of the remaining layer of dirt that descended after we scrubbed and dusted and mopped. and obviously, it never makes you feel especially nice to be told that you are disgusting.

i also purchased a book called the cleaning bible today so we can try to avoid living in a similar state in our new home.

i've had the strangest dreams the last two nights.
in one i was in a madonna video and she and i were running around spanking young men with cricket bats.
in another i was going away on a high school band trip with all my english friends and even though i was married to jeremy (as a teenager mind) i still accepted a proposal from a boy i dated briefly and disasterously when i was 20.
in yet another i worked in a pet store and almost got fired for spending too much time on the phone and having my friends round to the shop but i managed to talk the manager into giving me another chance and became a model employee
and in yet anothereveryone turned into zombies, including jeremy and i was in hiding and i kept overhearing zombie jeremy telling all the other zombies that he hoped i would bring them food soon. i'm not sure if he meant that i would be the food or if he thought i would bring him unsuspecting human. i blame this dream on reading an article about the new movies by the makers of shaun of the dead (hot fuzz! a police buddy movie) and seeing a few minutes of the remake of dawn of the dead the other day.

so there that's what's going on.

and i mean it from the bottom of my heart.