I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

29 July 2008

Green tea is not enough

What I need every day - this list of demands in not negotiable:

  1. At least two large cups of good quality coffee prepared by someone else. If possible Vietnamese coffee 2x a week, cappucino's 2x a week and regular filter with milk 1x a week.
  2. Cigarettes that do not cause cancer
  3. An extra 3 hours
  4. More sleep
  5. Trousers that are not ugly
  6. More vacation time
  7. A helper monkey
  8. Air conditioning in my bedroom
  9. More self confidence
  10. Hammocks and nap time
  11. ETA 30 July 2008: Cherry was right, but I'm going to demand GBP rather than USD £3,500. Not too much, but really, just enough.

Okay then, get started

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28 July 2008

God Bless the USA

So in the midst of trying to plan this upcoming trip home and feeling all sorts of aggro about my family I got an email from my dad. I was prepared to be annoyed and bothered and possibly bewildered, but instead (oh a blessed instead) I was pleased to read that my Dad had located $250 worth of US Savings Bonds that we had all forgotten about!

$150 of these were gifts when I was a baby and $100 came when I won The Voice of Democracy Speech Contest in 1994 which was sponsored by the VFW. Even better, these savings bonds are now worth $633 and some odd cents. Sweet! According to the old man I'll get taxed on $495 of this but still, that's pretty awesome.

It's like I picked up a really good Community Chest card in Monopoly, better even than winning 2nd place in a fashion show. This will pay for our car rental and a couple American sized breakfasts as well.

Thanks America!


25 July 2008

For the Birds

About a hundred years ago when we were on vacation there was one day when I was standing in the sea while Jeremy lounged on the beach trying to read Don Quixote (he claimed, I suspect this was an elaborate code for napping) and drinking Coco Locos. I was jumping into the waves and floating tranquilly under a sky that was shifting from blue to overcast and back again every few minutes.
Nearer to the beach there were two pelicans floating in the water looking for fish. And near the pelicans there were tons of tourists crowding around taking pictures of the strange, almost prehistoric birds and they waited for some lunch (the pelicans did not have orange wristbands so they could not go to the buffet like us).
While I was watching the people watching the pelicans one of the birds suddenly shot up into the air and then arced over my head and into the water about 20 feet away from me. He was so fast that I couldn't see if he caught anything. Still it was an impressive display. I don't know why but it's an image that sticks with me now. O rather, a sequence of images, from the human need to gawk to the animal need to hunt.
There must some symbolism in there someplace.


23 July 2008

pros (+) and cons (-)

+Flex time kicks ass.
+I have written approx 10 pages this week so far. I know that doesn't sound like a ton, but it was all long hand, so that makes it more labor intensive.
+The coffee we brought back from DR is so freaking good
-Jeremy got in a bicycle accident on Monday night
-He has a minor concussion
-His hand is all scraped up
+He wasn't hurt any worse than that
+He was wearing a helmet
-3 hours in the Lewisham A&E Monday night was not a fun time
+3 hours is actually a really short amount of time to wait in A&E
-Planning our trip back to Michigan is kicking my ass
-A part of me is hoping our standby tickets don't work out
+It will be really great to go to the 2 weddings we're attending and to see lots of our friends
-Family squabbles are getting me down right now and probably will continue to do so for a few more weeks
+ + 2 birthday parties this weekne
+ Also one trip to the spa in Bethnal Green
-No more flex time this week.

+ = 9
- = 8

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21 July 2008


I'm trying to find the type of quote an 18 year old would make note of before leaving home all full of optimism, piss, and vinegar, and the quote websites are scrambling my brains to the point that I can't even think of good song lyricsor anything. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

In more pleasant news, we painted our bedroom this weekend, it is a lovely pale green now. soon we will put some vintage green wallpaper up on two of the smaller walls and then our bedroom will be complete. So long as we don't totally fuck up the wallpapering. I have wall papered before but have mostly blocked out the experience.

But still, the room looks nicer now that is an actual color rather than the non-color it was before (which was not bad just creamy and dull, the color you paint the walls when it's time to sell your house and you need to be as inoffensive as possible, or if you are boring, and I'm pretty sure these both are the case with the previous owner of our home).

And y'know other stuff, discovered delicious brownies at the new cafe near my house. Wrote three pages this morning during my flex time, Oliver still cute, Jeremy still a dork, life still good.

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18 July 2008


I haven't been able to post on here all week and I know that all my devoted readers are dying to hear about the minutiae of my life. How have any of survived this silent, silent week? Damn you Blogger for hurting people!

Yeah, not much going on really. London is grey and rainy. I got approved to do 2 days of flextime each week (yay!) so on Mondays and Wednesdays I will now be working from 11 to 19:30 instead of 9 to 17:30. I am really happy about this arrangement.

I bought a new messenger bag. It's a Pantone bag in bright blue with a white and black Pantone label across the bottom. It is sleeker than my old bag and I love it.

Oliver remains cute.

My 16 year old niece continues to prove that she may be the most grown up member of our family. I imagine it's because she's the only black belt.

Last night Jeremy and I sat in the garden and smoked cigars and looked at our passion fruit blossoms and new grapes. It was a nice way to pass the evening.

11 July 2008

My Favorite Thing about Facebook is the Status Update (and when boys I used to have crushes on find me)

Carolyn is feeling homesick for Chicago
Carolyn knows that the Chicago she is homesick for is no longer there, life being an ever changing thing, nevertheless, she remains homesick.
Carolyn has had weird chest pains since Sunday.
Carolyn was convinced these chest pains were caused by some sort of exotic disease contracted whilst on holiday and was certain she was going to die.
Carolyn began writing her will.
Carolyn decided to call NHS Direct before completing her will.
Carolyn followed the advice of the nurse at NHS Direct and contacted her local out of hours GP service.
Carolyn was then deeply annoyed by the rude receptionist (since when is it okay to get all shirty with someone who's been in pain since Sunday and is just trying to keep from DYING?).
Carolyn then found out that she somehow strained her chest muscles.
Carolyn didn't even know she had chest muscles, she just thought they were boobs.
Carolyn doesn't even know how she could have possibly strained the muscles in her chest. She does not lead a strenuous life.
Carolyn is now convinced that she was abducted by aliens on Saturday night.
Carolyn never got abducted by aliens when she lived in Chicago.
Carolyn always knew where her injuries came from when she lived in the midwest. Except for when she drank way too much, but even then she could usually retrace her steps to the point of origin.
Carolyn once bashed her head when she fell off a snowbank in Detroit. Her roommate asked her if she was dead before helping her up.
Carolyn was mortified when the next day her writing professor sent a cute boy to the Cass Cafe to check her out while she had a scabby bruised head.
Carolyn still had about 5 beers with him at the 2nd Street Saloon and then they dated for about 2 months before Carolyn wigged out and acted like a nutbar.
Carolyn has always been exceptionally good at wigging out like a nutbar, especially where cute boys are concerned.
Carolyn would like to point out at this point, that he was also a little bit of a nutbar, just more quietly so.
Carolyn found it unacceptable that he used to come up to her after they stopped having naked times and give her a hug as if they were such good friends, they were not such good friends, he dumped Carolyn via email and she was not over it yet!
Carolyn was not ready for hugging yet and therefore took to hiding in whatever campus building was available whenever she sighted the aforementioned cute boy.
Carolyn 's college years were clearly fraught with drama.
Carolyn is happy to be out of the dating scene.
Carolyn is still feeling homesick though.
Carolyn would just like a taco or some Hot Doug's.

08 July 2008

Hold Music

Today's conference call is brought to you by that timeless hit, King of the Road.
I used to be able to play this song on the clarinet. In fact, King of the Road, was a yearly feature of the Chippewa Junior High School end of the year concert. Mr. Unger, best known the spit that would collect in his lower lip and occasionally launch independently at those youngsters both talented and unlucky enough to sit in the front row during class, used to dance around singing 'Ain't got no cigarettes,' as we played.
Word, Mr. Unger. I ain't got no cigarettes either. All I got is hold music and a desk full of files.
Oh crap, and now I've got that Goo Goo Dolls song from that movie with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, you know the one where he's an angel and she rides her bike into a truck done elevator style. Crap. Why couldn't they just put King of the Road on repeat?
Okay, so if I've been on hold for 12 minutes and 4 songs is it safe to assume that the conference call is not going to happen or do I give it one more song? A song that just might be Ben, heavy on the flutes?

03 July 2008


02 July 2008


So, now that my brain is mostly functional again I can safely tell you that my trip was almost entirely awesome. Let's break it down into list form.

  1. I don't know if you were aware of this or not, but I already have loads of white middle class guilt. Seriously, I'm really good at it. I've read that article about the invisible knapsack of white privilege like a million times, so going to a country where the average citizen makes between $5 and $7,000 USD per annum did not help lighten my load. We took a day trip to the town of La Romana, and the Caves of Wonder and the replica village of Altos de Chavos and the divide between rich and poor was made overwhelmingly clear. Also, our guide Raymond (say it RAY-mone) made his dislike for all thing Haitian abundantly clear. It wasn't a bad trip, but it also wasn't an easy trip for me, spent in the relative comfort of an air conditioned bus with bottled water and other spoiled tourists. I know we were bringing commerce and supporting people by plugging our money into the economy but still, it felt weird.
  2. Even though I did not touch the tap water, well I touched it, but not with my mouth, my stomach still went into revolt by the last three days. It wasn't hurting or anything, it just wasn't holding onto anything for very long. I think this was more due to the heavy greasy (delicious) foods at the hotel than anything else. Or maybe it was the Kontiki party boat where everyone was almost aggressively happy. My stomach, clearly, can only withstand so many demands that I party.
  3. Snorkeling is not my scene. After jumping off the Kontiki party boat with every intention to feed fish above a coral reef, I started to inhale water and freak out. So after hyperventilating I decided to return to the party boat and feed myself some more rum. luckily, even though I was the first to return I was quickly joined by other members of our team who also found themselves unsuited to such activities.


  1. The wedding was beautiful. Dana and Marc were married on the beach in front of a palm tree and an arbor covered in palm branches and tropical flowers. I will post pictures tonight. She wore a simple strapless white dress and some really gorgeous jewellery (she is a jeweller after all, she referred to the dress as a base for the accessories). The ceremony was accompanied by music from a band of three men who sang and played as the marriage certificate was signed and also viewed by about 40 beach goers including two topless little girls who very stealthily snuck up to the middle of the actual attendees to take pictures.
  2. Oh my God, rum cocktails before noon are totally the way to start your day (hey, maybe that's why my stomach wasn't feeling very well by the end of the trip). Have you had a Coco Loco yet? You should!
  3. The beach was great. I spent a lot of time there.
  4. Massage with hot stones for at least half the price such luxury would cost in London, probably a quarter of the cost really.
  5. The orange wristband. Sure it was pretty gross after seven solid days of wear, but it allowed me to eat and drink wherever I wanted to on the complex. Some people had yellow and blue wristbands, thus limiting their choices. Members of our party often wondered why those people even bothered going on vacation, nay, why did they even bother to exist when their experience was so clearly inferior to ours.
  6. We made new friends and got to know old acquaintances better. the 30 wedding attendees came from all over. Ireland, New York, London (ahem), Chicago, and Ann Arbor, Mi. Some of them I knew vaguely, having met them when I lived with Dana, some I had only heard of and some I have known for ages. All were really awesome and fun and funny. I think by the end of the reception we were all hoping to be made part of Marc's family. He already has 7 siblings, what's a few more?
  7. Jeremy bought me a pack of cigarettes! It was like the world went mad! He was smoking cigars and felt guilty so the only way he could think to appease himself was to buy me a pack of Winstons and claim that it was okay for me to smoke since it was vacation. I was all like, why don't you buy that kind of logic when I use it? And he was all like, just take this gift and leave me alone, puff puff.
  8. Banana Mangu. The delicious Dominican breakfast treat. Mashed bananas, baked with onions on top, it's a savoury mind boggling treat.
  9. Fresh mangoes for breakfast every single morning.
  10. Baby peacocks, everywhere!
  11. Flamingos!
  12. No sunburn! Oh they laughed at my SPF 50 until they saw that I was the only one without glowing red skin (poor Erin brought SPF 70 and still got attacked by the cruel equatorial sun)
  13. Palm thatched umbrellas on the beach
  14. Palm thatched umbrellas near the pool
  15. Law and Order episodes on the tv whenever I needed a break
  16. Beautiful flowers everywhere
  17. Laying on deckchairs on the beach at 1 in the morning listening to Marc and his siblings sing Irish folk songs with waves crashing in the background
  18. Tropical thunderstorms while sitting in an open air bar drinking bloody marys and listening to the rain.
  19. Full relaxation. On most vacations we end up doing a lot of running around trying to see everything, this vacation involved napping and not doing much of anything and that was exactly what we needed. I don't know if I ever need to do the whole all inclusive resort thing ever again (or at least for another 5-7 years) but it was really nice to do it this once.

For pictures either go to my facebook profile or here

01 July 2008

Bad Idea Central

So when Jeremy was ll like, you should just go straight into the office from the airport on Tuesday morning, I should have been all like, no I shouldn't, you crackhead.

But here I am with droopy eyes wondering why it isn't socially acceptable to start drinking rum based cocktails before noon in my everyday life. Why isn't that acceptable, anyhow? Why?