I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

30 May 2008

The land of no bathroom

So we currently have a toilet. No, wait, up until this morning we had a toilet, now, we have no toilet. Lucky we have friends who are going out of town this weekend so we aren't totally SOL but we are pretty sick of it.

Oliver is at the end of his rope too. Yesterday when I came home he was standing on the dining room table and when I walked up to him he put his paws on my chest and rubbed his nose against my mouth then promptly leaned over and bit my wrist, as if to say, 'Listen, lady, I love you, but this is fucking ridiculous.'

He's right, it is, and I know it will be great when it's all done, it just feels like it's taking for fucking ever and I want to take a shower in my own home again! I was not designed for this life of inconvenience, I am a member of the middle class, I demand underfloor heating and luxurious baths, and I demand them now!

27 May 2008


I Bought some new shoes yesterday. My first ever pair of black Converse All Star Lo Tops. I've had millions of pairs of Chuck Taylor Hi Tops but never the Los. When I started wanting a lower version of the classic I fell in love with the suede Los with the white leather stars and the arrow type thing, either in dark green or grey blue. Even when I started mixing up the height of my Chuck Taylors, I always kept basic black on hand and only in the last year did I finally throw out the pair I bought my senior year in high school. There was a beatnik drawn on the toe courtesy of my friend Colleen.
My first pair were bought with my honor roll money in the 8th grade. I forget why I thought I needed them so desperately, I just knew I did. The store I bought them from only had them in men's sizes and they were too big for me and made me look like I was wearing clown shoes.

As I got older my feet grew into them (sometimes I think my feet stopped growing when my toes hit the white rubber guard because they knew they had found a suitable home) and I began to buy more and more Converse of varying colors.

  • Fluorescent Orange Converse (purchased by my Grandma Sadler at a garage sale)

  • Tri-colored Converse in pink, pale blue, and pale green from the $5 and $10 shop at the mall

  • Pink Converse (again courtesy of Grandma S and worn with dresses)

  • Green suede Los

  • Blue suede Los

  • I think one pair of brown suede Los as well

  • I have a vague memory of blue His too but I'm not sure

My friend Laura had yellow and black checkerboard His that were bright as taxi cabs. Heidi had a pair of denim ones and the all blacks with the blacked out star and soles. We used to hit the 5 and 10 every weekend and ravage their shelves in search of different styles. Sadly they never had any of the fold over ones (you know they'd reach up your calf if fully laced but would be one color on the outside and another on the inside so you could fold them down) in my size. The bast thing about my black hi tops was that I wore them down according to my slouch. When I last put them on my feet immediately rolled to the outside edges and suddenly I was standing like High School Me. Shoes as time machine.

Eventually I moved on to other styles, I've had flirtations with Gola and Saucony, but I feel sort of wrong if there isn't at least one pair of Converse in my closet. For the past year I've been meaning to buy a pair of the lo tops as I feel they are the ideal sneaker to pair with dresses and skirts and jeans and shorts and EVERYTHING really. Not that I don't love my brown and lime Golas. I do, I really do. But no matter how nice they are, they aren't Chuck Taylors. Also they don't match either of my red skirts.

21 May 2008

How did you get here last month?

Search queries that brought the people to me:

3 People
don't hate girl don't hate lyrics
If you're still looking, that's from Gold Digger by Mr Kanye West and is a good line to sing to your fella when you are trouncing him at Dominoes.

1 Person
sinead o'connor hippie
I've never considered Sinead to be a hippie. More of a free spirit.

1 Person
how do you know if narrator is reliable
This, my friends, is a tricky question. How DO you know if a narrator is reliable? You can't rely on everyone to be as honest as me and declare it in the title. You have to rely on textual clues. How do other characters react to the narrator? How do the narrator's actions back up his/her words? But really, ultimately, there is no way to conclusively know if a narrator is reliable, I would argue that you can't even be sure of a third person narrator as they can be the biggest liars of all. It's all about perception and perception is always skewed one way or the other, there's just no way to know for sure who's telling you lies. Everything has the potential to become a twisty noir narrative if you look into it deeply enough. All narration is flawed. That's the beauty of stories.

1 person
sebadoh reissue
1 person
sebadoh bubble and scrape reissue blogspot
It's good, you should buy it, unless you have the original, then you are cooler than me

1 person
carolyn kohl
That's my name, don't wear it out

1 person
modigliani grave
It's in Pere Lachaise cemetery and it is pretty nondescript. His lover Jeanne Hebuterne's grave is next to him. She jumped out a window shortly after he died. They had a very tempestuous relationship and were famous for their arguments

One Month and 2 days

In one month and two days I will be in the Dominican Republic. One month and 2 days. The picture at left is going to be pasted into my mind as I try to make this month and 2 days go by as quickly as possible.
Because during this one month and 2 days my bathroom is going to be ripped out and I won't have a shower for at least a week and a half. I still have to work and be generally responsible. I still have to do lots of things that don't involve sitting on that beach and drinking cocktails. How is that right? It's not right, not right at all.

At least I've got another Bank Holiday on Monday. Small blessings.

One month and 2 days, one month and 2 days.

16 May 2008

Can't Get No (sing it like Devo, not Jagger)

This week I am solidly lacking in anything near satisfaction.

Job Satisfaction
Life Satisfaction
Creative Satisfaction
And it is all making me cranky. I keep shouting DIVORCE at Jeremy because he is getting on my nerves hard. And it's not even his fault, he's just being normal, it's me who's got the angst hard on.

So I'm trying to decide what to do about all this. I can't quit my job, because I need it in order to pay my mortgage and buy clothes at Primark and drinks at the pub. But I can start using my freetime more productively by starting to freelance.

I've always been scared of freelancing because I don't want to start thinking of writing as a chore, but seriously, it might be time to take that risk. The file factory is a chore and I still show up every stupid day. Why not at least spend some of my time doing a chore I find at least a little bit enjoyable. My excuses are silly and I need to stop making them. I'm hoping that if I can change one thing and start focussing on this important aspect of my life it will carry over and make me less miserable in other aspects.

I just need to motivate myself now. Unfortunately, that's my main weakness in life. I'm really good at motivating myself to watch American Idol or to look at every picture ever posted on I Can Has Cheezburger but am really crap at motivating myself to follow through with my writing. Probably (and by probably I mean definitely) because I'm scared that I'll suck.

So tell me internets, how do you motivate yourselves? What makes you get off your ass and actually follow through? Do I need to pud a shock pad in my sofa?

15 May 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Facebook just got blocked at work!

What the hell? I know, I know, technically, it has nothing to do with Legal Records, but I need the Scrabulous damnit! Totally lame.

I like books

I recently joined a website called BookMooch. It's set up to allow people to trade books all over the world and it's pretty cool. You only pay for the cost of shipping the books away from you and in return you get books back. It all works on a point system based on where you send the books. If you send the book to someone in your own country you get one point and if you send it out of your country you get 3. Likewise it costs you points to request a book. 1 point for books in country and 2 for out of country. You get to set up a wishlist and they tell you when the books you want become available. It;s a really nice setup that lets you get rid of the books you don't want anymore and also lets you pick up a bunch of sort of free books as well.

A lot of people register the books on BookCrossing so you can trace them around the world as well. I've only been doing it about 4 weeks now but so far I am very happy with it. The costs of shipping the books is much less than purchasing new books and I find it really nice to receive these little bundles in the post. Even though I've requested them and I know they are coming it is still awesome to get packages that aren't bombs or coated in Anthrax.

So yay for books! Especially the fluffy books I would normally feel guilty about buying!

12 May 2008

You want to know what doesn't work?

The cd players and mixing equipment at The Dogstar in Brxton. Also, the lines of communication between their 4 managers a pretty crap as well.
But still, we persevered and My Awesome Mixtape was an awesome night with much dancing (I pogoed a lot and shouted at people about acupuncture). My set was good although pretty light on the dancing as it was still early, although 2 girls did dance to Debaser and a lovely girl named Cordelia came up to me later and said she thought my set was great. I think Cordelia is great!
That's a picture of me helping Paula test the light with her camera. She wanted to see movement lines but mostly she just got me doing jazz hands. I was also trying to simultaneously eat a burrito and learn how to work the mixer while drinking a beer. Somehow I managed to accomplish all these feats. I am fucking talented. I don't remember my set list in it's entirety (or even in proper order because there were some malfunctions) but I can tell you that I stared off with Never Said by Liz Phair and Mandinka by Sinead O'Connor and then played songs by the following fine artists:
  • Caetano Veloso (Alegria, Alegria)
  • Cat Stevens (Here Comes my Baby)
  • G Love and The Speacial Sauce (My Baby Got Sauce)
  • Kanye West (All Falls Down)
  • OutKast (HeyYa)
  • Breeders (Saints and Cannonball)
  • Pixies (Debaser)
  • All Girl Summer Fun Band (Dear Mr and Mrs Troublemaker)
  • Starlight Mints (Submarine)
  • The Clash (London Calling)
  • Blur (Song 2)
  • T Rex (Children of the Relolution)
  • The New Pornographers (Mass Romantic and My Slow Descent Into Alcoholism)
  • The Bangles (Hazy Shade of Winter)
  • Nation of Ulysses (You're My Miss Washington DC)
  • Drive By Truckers (Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus))
  • Cibo Mato (Birthday Cake)
  • Sleater-Kinney (I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone)

And other stuff that I can't remember. Sadly the CD players I was using would not accept 9 to 5, Liz Phair's cover of Turning Japanese or Here Comes Your Man.

Over all, it was a really great night. we think that we had approx 70 people there over the course of the night and there was loads of dancing and even a few hi jinx were got up to. Jeremy played Sex Machine, Tragedy, lots of Blondie, Star Wars Disco and many other awesome songs (despite the order he received from one friend of a friend to "Play something I know!") Harvey rocked some Ben Folds Five, A Ha, more New Pornographers, and lots of other good stuff I can't remember. The main thing I remember about Julia's set was that she played Part Time Lover and I had to defend Stevie Wonder's honor quite vociferously.

Most importantly, we got our deposit back because our friends are a bunch of drunks who spent a total of £1600 at the bar.

And, in case you were wondering, I have had Hanging on the Telephone by Blondie stuck in my head since Friday.

My Awesome Mixtape

09 May 2008

You wanna know what works?

Acupuncture, that's what works! I was in pain all day yesterday after my physio therapy appointment with Andrei the sadist and then I went to see Dan the hippy and he stuck needles in my neck, hands, lower back and left ankle and when I stood up at 9pm I was no longer in pain!

Conclusion: Dan the hippy fucking rules and deserves the £40 I give him each week to stick needles in me.

He didn't even care about my stinky feet, I just may marry him.

ETA I sat on the ground for lunch today and when I stood up I felt fine! No Pain! It was awesome!

08 May 2008

Gimme Indie Rock (written as an elementery school student would write an essay)

I saw Sebadoh last night. They were good. They played all of Bubble and Scrape and then a few other songs as well. And all the girls sighed over Lou Barlow. I bought the reissue of Bubble and Scrape because even though I always liked Sebadoh a lot I never had any of their albums.

I am glad I got to see Sebadoh play live. I like them and I like their lo-fi brand of rock n roll.

07 May 2008

Carolyn is full of grouchiness and more grouchiness

  1. I broke my thermos yesterday. I tripped on my way up the steps and my thermos hit the floor and made a load crash and when I picked it up I could hear the lining moving around in a million little pieces like all of James Frey's drug addled lies. This means I have to pay for overpriced London lunches until I can replace my poor green thermos.
  2. Our dining room is full of bathroom stuff until the week of the 19th. If we tried to sell the house now would this qualify as a second bathroom?
  3. I had a weird dizzy spell yesterday and am having other small ones today. Panic attacks or onset of some stupid bug? Who knows.
  4. These dizy spells coincide with Sebadoh day! Not fair!!!
  5. I just feel generally curmudgeonly, maybe this is all some sort of subconscious prepwork for my role as DJ Zbornak, maybe I am just a miserable cow who is always meant to be grouchy. I don't know but I'm already sick of myself
  6. I am really on the fence about playing Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill on Friday as one of my opening songs. I am the first person playing music so I want to start off a little bit slow, first two songs likely to be this and Never Said by Liz Phar followd by Kanye West's All Falls Down and then I'll just start grabbing CDs at random. Is this too schizophrenic a start? I don't want to waste my best songs before people are ready to dance but maybe I should start strong. Making people dance is complicated.
  7. My stomach feels like butt. I hate my stomach. My head hurts too. I hate my head.
  8. grumpus grouch complain and moan

06 May 2008

Ahh London

So on Saturday we were walking to a friend's 50th birthday party at the other end of lovely Nunhead from where we live and as we were strolling down Nunhead Lane we passed a group of young men (seriously, young, like the oldest was maybe 16) carrying planks with nails sticking out of the ends, baseball bats and rocks. Now maybe, just maybe, I'm judging here, but I'm pretty sure that no one has ever been up to good when they walk down the road with a wooden plank full of nails. No, I'm pretty sure that such a tool, especially combined with the other items mentioned are surely implements of no good. So we waited until we were out of earshot of these fine young citizens and called the cops as fast as our fingers could dial 999, which is pretty fast.

Within seconds of the call we heard and saw at least 3 cop cars in the neighbourhood with sirens and lights looking for these nogoodniks, but I chaven't been able to find out if anything actually went down. It was all pretty fucked up. I've never, not even in Detroit, witnessed a group of kids so obviously kitted out to fuck shit up. Maybe the kids in Detroit are just better at hiding their tools, or maybe it's just that guns are smaller. Although I only ever heard a gunshot in Detroit after the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup (sure I heard a lot of cars backfiring, but that's all that was cars backfiring, not gunshots, no no no.)

It's weird, even though I feel generally safer here than I did in Detroit, Vegas or Chicago there is also a greater feeling of unpredictability in London. People just seem to have a lot more aggression kept just under the surface here than they do in The States. I hate being out right after the pubs close, because some nights it feels like every drunk on the street is spoiling for a fight and they don't care who they have that fight with. I don't know if it's caused by lack of space, English drinking culture, or frustration over the recent elections, but the potential for violence always seems to be just under the surface here in a way that it wasn't in the cities I've lived in before even though I would say that all three of those cities were certainly more outwardly violent than London.

Criminal Acts Witnessed by Me since leaving Port Huron:
  1. Street fight conducted in front of my appartment on Ferry Street in Detroit Summer 98. Started when one dude closed another dude on the sidewalk for no obvious reason then they both went away and came back from opposite directions with friends. At one point the clothesliner requested that I 'tell this bitch to get off your property.' I let him know that I was just renting so it could hardly be considered my property in any legal sense.
  2. Attemped car theft later that summer, I saw a shifty looking character attempt to slim Jim my neighbours car one evening and called campus security on him, he returned twenty minutes after being picked up but saw me standing in the window like an angel of justice and took off.
  3. Gun shot in the parking lot of my building in Las Vegas, Spring 2000. I did not actually see anything nefarious as I was too busy cowering in one of the interior rooms in my apartment but I definitely heard a gunshot.
  4. Mugged at knife point in December of 2000 in Rogers Park (Birchwood and Ashland) only seconds after thinks, 'Wow, this is the safest neighbourhood I've ever lived in.' Jerk took my $27 and then I ran inside and called 911. The police had me ID him three blocks away while the shined a flashlight in my face. Way to make a girl feel safe, Chicago PD! I was the 4th o5 women he'd mugged that night and the 19th of 20 over the last month.
  5. Witnessed the mugging of a girl walking to her friends place on the corner of Broadway and Devon Spring 2004. Hopped off Jeremy's Vespa to help her collect her stuff (she held on to her bag like a trooper even after the Cracked out mugger (no really, he was cracked out as hell) dragged her across a parking lot.
  6. Spring 2007 witnessed burglary in progress on the corner of my street, after sitting on hold for ten minutes was finally able to inform police.
  7. Spring 2008 kids with weapons spotted roaming the streets of my neighborhood in broad daylight.