I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

27 December 2007

Back in the File Factory

Gosh, it's hard to come back to work after two lovely days off. Two days spent reading in bed and watching movies. For Christmas dinner we made polenta with mushrooms and the following roasted vegetables: Endive and radicchio (too bitter for my tastes but Jeremy really liked them), roasted heads of garlic, butternut squash and apples, green beans with garlic, carrots in lemon juice, and fennel with red onion. We also sauteed some dionsaur kale and Jeremy made fresh bread that we spread the garlic on. It was all pretty tasty.

My favorite was the squash and apple dish followed closely by the green beans with garlic. My breath currently makes people run away with fear. I also had Gin and Tonics on Christmas eve because it's okay to drink gin on a Monday if you don't have to be at work on a Tuesday. I'm pretty sure that's in the Bible, probably in Acts or something, there are a lot of rules in Acts.

But now I'm back at my desk trying to motivate myself and get moving again. At least next week is only a four day work week to ease me back into the 5 day work week after. Still I'd rather have today and tomorrow off. Maybe I'll have a Gin and Tonic tonight to help ease the pain.

24 December 2007

Happy Christmas, Dear Reader(s)

I will be celebrating with a roast vegetable and polenta dinner, stinky cheeses, mulled wine and blueberry muffins.

Maybe some sugar cookies too.

If we tie any ribbons on Oliver I'll be sure to post pictures (providing he doesn't kill me first)

Hope you all have an awesome Christmas if only for the day off work.

21 December 2007

These are some people who have died (who have died)

When I was back in Detroit I found out that my old manager, Marco, from the Cass Cafe had passed away. He had cancer. I hadn't seen him since probably 2000 or 2001, but still it was a shock to hear this news.

Things about Marco
  1. It was claimed that he hired waitresses based on their cuteness (being hired at the Cass Cafe was a huge boost for my tiny ego, that bit is more about me though)
  2. Once, about 12 hours into a 14hour shift, he made me cry when he told me to get the fuck out of his way.
  3. He wore his hair in a long white pony tail.
  4. Every now and again he would yell out "Shot time for my girls!" and all the waitress would rin to the bar where he would pour us shots.
  5. He offered me and Renee a raise one year if we would stay and help clean the Cass from top to bottom on Labor Day (from $2.25 an hour to $2.50 an hour) but then after we did all the work he said he just promised us free pizza from Pizza Papalis. I threatened to quit and he backed down.
  6. He had a daughter none of us knew about until she just showed up one day, age 16, asking if Mark was around.
  7. When she moved in he totally cleaned up his act and tried really hard to be a good dad. I don't know how successful he was.
  8. One Hallowe'en he ordered us all to dress up if we were working. He asked me what I was going to be and I said 'I'm gonna be a fucking waitress, Marco.' And he said, 'Don't be a smart ass Kohl.' And I said, 'Just you wait!' When I showed up in an old orange Saunder's dress, Cat's eye glasses, red wig and support hose he laughed so hard he nearly cried.
  9. He was a mad scientist that year.
  10. He was a total lech, always leering at girls and making inappropriate comments, but he was also sweet in his own way.
  11. He always made the hooker who came in to use the pay phone buy a coke in a to go cup before she could make her business calls but he never gave her a hard time.
  12. He was always kind to crazy Gamey who came in every day for coffee.
  13. One night when we were dead slow he came up with a game for us to play we each had to list out all the alternative names we could think of for the penis. He totally won, he had over 40. My favorite was The Captain.

It is always strange to add another name to the list of people I will certainly never see again. It is hard for me to remove the hope and ambivalence surrounding my memories of these people, the idea that there will be one more time when we will laugh with or bitch at each other.

He was certainly too young to die and I am sure he is missed by many.

19 December 2007

Year in review

Worst things of the year
  1. Being put in charge of the stupid Legal Records team
  2. Finding out exactly how cold and damp my house is
  3. Family drama (imagine me saying it DRAH-MAH like an old drunk queen)
  4. Stinky and the Temp Wot Came from Essex
  5. Car crashes in Michigan
  6. Arthritis that won't go away
  7. Stomach pains and the stress that exacerbated them

Best things of the year

  1. Paris! Food in Paris, Drink in Paris, looking at Paris, Ice Cream in Paris, Chocolates in Paris, Paris Paris Paris! France, not Hilton)
  2. Venice! Gelato! Prosecco! Yay!
  3. Buying a house
  4. Meeting my baby niece for the first time ever
  5. Seeing my big kid nieces for the first time in ages
  6. Jeremy (he's a static best thing)
  7. Oliver (also a static best thing)
  8. Seeing my friend Lori and Harmony for the first time in years
  9. Spending good non crazy making time with my folks
  10. Learning that I am capable of handling being put in charge of the stupid Legal Records team
  11. Getting comfortable in my skin again for the first time in years
  12. Discovering that I am, in fact, "Everything that is good about America!" Sorry, baseball and apple pie, it's all me!
  13. Having at least three, possibly five wonderful glimmery wow my life is really good moments (quality not quantity that counts here)
  14. Seeing that my best things totally outnumber my worst things. Fucking sweet!

11 December 2007

Revelations (minus the horsemen of the apocalypse)

Something you should know. For all his shortcomings politically my dad was really awesome on Thanksgiving. He drove into Port Huron after I called my folks sounding like a mad spaz from our smashed up car. He got to the hospital while they were taking my details, told me that Jeremy was fine, and held my hand and let me cry while I was strapped to the back board. He got the nurses to let me go to the toilet after they unstrapped me. And then he told me that white wine would mix just fine with Vicoden. "It's a muscle relaxer too," he said.

And then on the way home I was nervously jabbering about all sorts of things and started to talk about my lousy luck with everything from waxy tea to arthritis to shitty coworkers to a fucking car accident on Thanksgiving day and he said, "No, you're not unlucky at all. You're very lucky that the car got hit where it did and you both walked away. You're alive"

And usually that kind of statement really gets my goat and makes me sputter and bluster and grump around, but maybe the magic of Thanksgiving made me see the light because all I could think was that my dad was right. Totally right. I mean don't tell him that I agree with him or anything, because it's fairly rare. But yeah, I am lucky in a lot of ways (not the least of which is that I live in London, UK rather than London, Ontario like everyone at the hospital kept insisting, one nurse even told Jeremy that UK stood for Yukon Territory) and it is good to remember that. it is good to put the sarcasm and snarkiness on hold occasionally and just be glad I have this life. It's pretty fucking good despite my weather forecasting joints.

Some things about America

  1. Everyone there is awfully noisy
  2. The roads are super duper wide
  3. Portions are HUUUUUGE!
  4. People are louder
  5. Customer service is so much better than it is in the UK
  6. Detroit is sort of sad now.
  7. But, The DIA has been redesigned really well and the new layout is pretty awesome.
  8. This leads us to the hoodie I saw in the airport while we waited for our flight. It was green and in yellow letters it said: "Detroit is pretty awesome!" Way to aim for the mediocre Detroit!
  9. Trouble is brewing with my family, trouble I have no control over at all. Trouble I will be hearing about for awhile. Trouble I will continue to try and buffer my niece from. But still, trouble.
  10. It's hard to be a distant witness.
  11. Being an expat is a bittersweet experience. Home becomes a really vague and varied notion. My home is here in London, with Jeremy and Oliver, in our house. But my home is also still in Michigan and Chicago and every time I go back to those places they become less and less recognizable. IE The party store where I used to blow my allowance on Charleston Chews, 3 Muskateers and New York Seltzer has been torn down. The man who bought the house I grew up in cut down all but on of our fruit trees, the Chestnut trees and the pine trees that I used to play under. The mall has become a ghost town. Royal Oak is barely a shadow of what I remember, it's all chain stores now. My friends are buying houses. Lori's son is 4 and can speak in sentences. Everything is sort of the same, but very different.
  12. I miss my friends a lot. I only got to spend one day with them and it wasn't enough.
  13. I never, ever want to live someplace without decent public transportation ever again. Cars are boring!
  14. The snow was beautiful even if it did cause car accidents.
  15. I miss Thanksgiving.
  16. I may even miss my family just a tiny tiny bit. Don't tell any of them though, okay.

06 December 2007

Return of the Prodigal Kitten Face

Oliver came home last night. We were both very happy to see each other. I assume that Jeremy was happy too but really the important bond is that between girl and cat. Boy and cat have a secondary and therefore less important bond. This theory is supported by the fact that Jeremy never said at any moment on our vacation 'I really miss Oliver.' Or even 'I can't wait to see Oliver again.' He barely even responded when I made similar comments during those sad and barren Oliver-free days.

Oliver, if you're reading this, take note. Jeremy does not love you as much as I do.

We got to Catford where Oliver was staying with our old neighbor and her mean cat Pebbles (Oliver has scratches on his beautiful cheeks, damn you Pebbles!) and the minute we walked in the door we heard the sad tones of our boy meowing out as if to say, O! Carolyn! Rescue me! And he ran straight to me and reveled in the belly rubs he received.

I think they were starving him and denying him all affections because he was clearly smaller than he was when we left and he was needier than ever before as well. When I gave him his wet food he inhaled it as if he had not eaten in two whole weeks. Poor, poor Oliver.

He slept cuddled between us last night, waking intermittently to head butt me in the face and demand further attentions. Thank goodness he has returned to the warm bosom of my affection where belly rubs are freely handed out and received.

05 December 2007

Knocked Up

I don't watch Grey's (or is it Gray's?) Anatomy so I don't care about the first half of this article, but i agree with what she says in the last bit about Knocked Up. A movie a liked for a lot of reasons but also have issues with for exactly the reason she mentioned. The women were painted as awfully shrewish and that hardly seems fair.

I'm looking forward to seeing Juno when it comes out here because I think it will tackle a similar storyline (with younger characters obviously) in a more even handed way (character developmentally that is).

Jeez, too many parenthese up there. That has to be a sign of lazy writing.

04 December 2007

Jet lag is not fair

Dudes, I'm really tired.

There were a bunch of jerks on my overnight flight from Toronto who wouldn't stop yammering all night long. And some other jerk who kept falling asleep on the call button, so you know what i didn't do last night? Sleep. And so you know what not sleeping is? Hella lame.

Also, I watched Love, Actually and now I have questions. Like why didn't laura Linney get to do it with the hot guy? Not Fair! Why didn't Bill Nighy French his fat manager? And what the hell was with those 'Wisconsin Girls'? I have met girls from Wisconsin they are not so creepy, and they do not have southern accents.

I'm thinking about Love, Actually too much. That can't be good.