I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

31 May 2007

3 years

As of yesterday Jeremy and I have been married for 3 years. We celebrated with Art and Food.

First we went to see the Antony Gormley show at the Hayward Gallery
It was pretty awesome. Here are a couple pictures:

The show features 31 figures placed 1.5 square km in all directions from the gallery on rooftops. all of them are looking towards the gallery terraces.

This is an installation called Allotment. well, technically, this is me looking at the installation.

After the art we went to a restaurant called Morgan M. Below is a picture of the Garden Menu. The Garden Menu is a six course gift from the baby Jesus to me, with perfectly matched wines. I thought about taking pictures of each course but the baby Jesus told me just to eat them so instead you get a slightly blurry photograph of the menu and the true and honest statement that even though this was the most expensive meal I have ever had it was also the goddamn tastiest meal I have ever had. The service was excellent. The food and wine were amazing. There was a pre-dessert. Then there was dessert. THEN we were given tiny vanilla ice cream cones to clear our palates. THEN we were given chocolates with our coffees. I had rice pudding and I liked it, nay, I loved it, usually I find rice pudding to be the most meh of all desserts. Never again. I apologize for the blurriness of the photo, I will clarify if you wish to know more about my great culinary adventure.

ETA here are a couple more links with better pictures of the art



23 May 2007


I didn't do a whole lot in Brighton. I had a bacon sandwich. I looked in little boutiquey shops. I sat by the sea and read a trashy book. I drank coffee with no GI distress (A victory!) I had a delicious piece of vegan banana chocolate cake (I was too busy eating it to take a picture but it was delicious and beautiful, there were actual CHUNKS of chocolate in it!). it wasn't a very exciting day but it was really nice to sit next to the sea and listen to the waves. I thought about buying things and about doing things but the effort required for nonfood transactions just felt like too much bother.

I also got a bit of a sunburn.

I was home by eight o'clock and got a phone call from Jeremy with potentially BIG news. But nothing firm enough to offer more than that teaser. He's in Chicago right now for work

OH! And I saw these totally creepy carousel horses! They have names.

22 May 2007

In my absence

The sun is shining in London, and the BBC says it will shine in Brighton too! So I am traveling to the coast. I will leave you with the following photograph to keep you going while I'm away:

20 May 2007

to the sea

I'm going to Brighton tomorrow. I'm going to sit on the beach and look at the sea. i might do some sight seeing too. But mostly I really just want to smell the water

ETA 21 May 2007
I'm going to go to see the sea tomorrow. i looked at the weather section of bbc.com and it showed a gray cloud with not one but TWO rain drops falling from it when I checked what Brighton would be like this morning. Tomorrow there is a sunshine. That sounds more promising to me.

19 May 2007

and how did you find my blog this week?

was it through any of the following search terms:
  • sporadic bouts of diarrhea
  • zantac sluggish
  • my morning poo
  • proper dress for spamalot

i hope it was my morning poo. i really really do!

16 May 2007

Gall Bladder and Liver and Pancreas, oh my!

Today was ultrasound day for the above organs. And, of course, everything looks normal. My blood tests are normal too. Everything looks fine. Which is great an all, but I'd still really like to know why I feel nauseated all the time and why it still feels like someone is sticking hot pokers into my upper abdomen on a fairly regular basis? Because, you know, it would be nice if that would stop.

Plus my GP's office, eho are usually really nice gave me a super hard time about getting my referral filled out, they even charged me £15 (that's almost $30 USD) to have it signed which they have never done before. And then acted all pissy when I asked them why in, what I felt, was a totally non confrontational manner. Although given the nearness of my period I could be underestimating myself there.

Do you ever wonder if during those moments when you think you are being perfectly reasonable and calm you actually look like some horrible shreiking harpie to everyone around you? I wonder that all the time. I get really concerned about my accent too, I always worry that people are misinterpreting my tone and actually think i'm being a jerk when I'm just trying to make a joke or lighten a tense situation. Such are the pitfalls of expat living.

Something nice though: While I was waiting to go to get the ultrasound done I realised I was really close to this galleria shopping area on The Thames where I went with my parents and the family friends we were travelling with 13 years ago during my first ever visit to London. At the time of that visit I went into a bookstore there and bought a copy of Paddy Clarke Ha, Ha, Ha, by Roddy Doyle (I heard him reading an excerpt from in on the CBC radio station a couple days before we left but couldn't find a copy of the book anywhere in Port Huron) the lady at the counter talked to me about how she had just got back from holiday and she was already coughing again and finding black bits in her snot (so much for that famed English composure, huh) and I laughed with her and tried to look like I knew all about city living and black bits in your snot. Strangely, that encounter was one of the ones that endeared me to London the most. More than Kensington Gardens and my first trip to the Serpentine Gallery. More than Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Own Theatre. About the same as walking across Tower Bridge and looking down the length of The Thames for the first time.

It was nice to find that bookshop again today and go back in to browse around. I still have a copy of that book and I'm pretty sure it still has a receipt for its purchase inside to be used as a bookmark should i ever reread it.

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14 May 2007

Sissy pants

I am a huge sissy. It's true. I have a really hard time watching and then recovering from scary movies.

I can remember attending slumber parties as a child and having to hide out upstairs reading a book while everyone else watched scary movies. I watched Silence of the Lambs, after reading the book, when i was 17 and I still occasionally have nightmares featuring Hannibal Lecter. When I was a kid Gremlins gave me horrible nightmares that kept me up all night. Even Goonies, a movie I LOVE!, gave me nightmares. At 21 I watched Along Came a SPider (that Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman masterpiece) by myself after dark and consequently had to turn on all the lights in my apartment in order to be able to spot any bad men who might try to kill me.

I managed the first 2 Scream movies relatively well, maybe because of the humour they seemed safer. But I never bothered with the 3rd as it looked boring. I refused to see the recent remake of Dawn of the Dead with Jeremy and have subsequently refused to watch special screenings of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a variety of other horror themed movies.

Recently I watched Shaun of the Dead and loved it, but it's not really scary, is it? It's about lovable losers who just happen to be dealing with zombies that they don't even notice for the first portion of the movie. It's not scary, it's comedy with zombies.

All this is a buildup to the fact that I leapt over a major hurdle this weekend and watched, finally, 28 Days Later. It was really good. There was only one part where I had to cover my eyes even though I had probably seen the grossest bit already, but other than that, I really liked it. It was just so properly creepy throughout. The bit where Jim is walking through desserted London was so nicely done. And Frank and Hannah's creepy council flat was great. So much of it was so good, I feel silly for waiting so long to see it, especially since I haven't had a single nightmare yet. But at the same time, I'm glad I waited because now I've seen it as someone who knows London well, and while I don't think that's necassary to enjoying the film, it did help me. It's the same with how I feel about Shaun of the Dead, I'm glad I saw it after moving here because even though it would have been funny before, it made a lot more sense having acquired my own local.

I don't know if this will extend to other horror films, certainly not the really gory ones, but I'm proud of myself for sucking it up and watching this.

Although now we have to deal with the troubling fact that Oliver appears to have the Rage Virus. What else would cause him to bite us while he sleeps. Zombie kittens, the next wave of danger!

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11 May 2007

Things I have been neglecting

  1. My writing. I have been sleeping too late and then not working on my writing at all
  2. Knitting. I have barely been knitting at all lately even though I have some really good ideas for sweaters with phrases knitted into them (it started with GRUMPUS and grew into 'Those are some fresh beats. Snap' Among others.)
  3. My kitten. The kitten always needs more attention. Just yesterday he came home with a scratch on his nose. Clearly he is acting out.
  4. My book club. I haven't even started Grapes of Wrath yet, I've been too busy rereading the Harry Potter books (oh Recken! if you are still interested in a being part of the book club let me know, we're meeting on June 3rd to discuss that Steinbeck epic Grapes of Wrath (which I have read but am certain I did not appreciate as a 17 yearold))
  5. Fun. I haven't been having nearly enough, what with all the stomach clutching and grupusing about. I need to improve that shit.
  6. My house. I can be pretty slovenly and the current state of my kitchen is a testament to this! If I can't have fun I should at least try to have clean dishes.

09 May 2007

good and bad

i don't have crohn's disease or colitis, yay! but we still don't know why i constantly feel like someone is shoving hot pokers into my stomach.

next week i will have an ultrasound of my gall bladder, liver and pancreas done. luckily, i don't have to drink 2 pints of water directly before going in like i did when i had the ultrasound of my kidney done last year. that was no fun. i like to be able pee whenever i want. i'm no good at holding it in, just ask my dad, he learned that very valuable lesson when i was about 5 and he didn't listen when i asked him to stop tickling me.

i'm still just generally a grumpus. i'd very much like to be totally physically well again without worries about my joints or my stomach or what i am and am not allowed to eat.

grumpus grumpus grumpus.

i should knit myself a sweater that says grumpus

02 May 2007

Issues, I got subscriptions!

Issue the first, the sort of grody one:

Something is seriously wrong with my stomach. for the last 2.5 weeks or so I've been experience really bad sharp pains and sporadic bouts of diarrhea. Good times. So I went to the GP last Thursday and saw a very nice medical student who was super excited about my past issues with Salmonella and arthritis. I always mention it when i have anything wrong with my stomach because I've been told it can trigger other shit. It was cute how his eyes lit up when I told him how much fluid they drained from my knee, usually that makes people wince. Anyhow the verdict last week was that it was probably bad acid reflux triggered by a virus i had in March. They gave me a prescription for Zantac (further proof that I am actually an old man rather than a youthful 30 year old). Everything was going okay after that although I was still feeling sluggish but I've blamed that on all the cocktails on Saturday. But then I woke up at 4am yesterday with bad bad pains in my stomach. they passed and it was just mild pain for the rest of the day, no big.
This morning I woke up and had my Emergen-C with Glucosamine (OLD MAN = me!) and immediately went for my morning poo, in which I found mucousy blood. Not too dark but also not bright. And i was having some pretty bad stomach pain. It mostly passed but on the bus ride to work my stomach started to feel really tight in a weird way. So I set up someone else to take my conference call this afternoon and begged my way into an emergency appointment with my GP at 11 (I am still amazed that my GPs accept same day appointments, most places it is nearly impossible to do this, yet another testament to the fact that they are 100% better than my assy old doctors.) Anyhow, today's GP had me do a poo sample and had the nurse take some blood. She wants to be sure that the Salmonella isn't resurfacing even though she thinks that's unlikely and seems to be leaning more towards some type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
I'm holding out hope for an ulcer.

Issue the second:

I called up the Jungian to cancel my appointment tonight and he couldn't remember who I was. I get that he's probably a very busy man with a lot going on, and if I had called on say Monday or Friday, or really, any day when I didn't have a scheduled appointment, I wouldn't have minded that he couldn't remember who the hell I was after hearing a good sized portion of my life story. But shit dude, keep your planner to hand and try to remember your new clinets' names.

I'm probably not going back. i was on the fence about him anyhow, but if he can't remember my name I have a hard time having much faith in his ability to help me sort my shit out. Does that make me too demanding?

Issue the third:

I'm just not fond of myself right now. I feel like I'm being too grumpy and negative and like I need to just suck it up. I need to get over my job dissatisfaction and get more motivated with my writing and not be such a cow to my family. My brother was here on Monday night. We went out to dinner and I totally made all these jokes that I knew were making him uncomfortable, I was doing exactly what he and my parents do to me and it was so childish and lame. I do not want to be such a passive aggressive beast.

But maybe he wasn't uncomfortable at all, maybe he just thought my jokes were lame. Maybe I'm over analyzing. That is probably the most likely answer.

Issue the fourth:

I just used the term cow like an English person. I hate referring to women as cows, the only other time I've ever done that was in reference to my niece's mother and maternal grandmother when they were shitty to my niece and even though they bug the hell out of me I was still disappointed in myself for calling them cows.

Dr Mary, my Chicago Psychotherapist, always told me I was too hard on myself and that I needed to treat myself more gently. Right now, if I told her that I was an idiot for calling anybody a cow she would probably focus on the fact that I was calling myself a cow. we would probably both think the other was missing the point.