I Am Not A Reliable Narrator

28 August 2008


  1. Willie (see post below) has totally got me down. My legs have been sore all day, my stomach is full of cramps and nausea and I am just generally tired and feeling run down. Fucking Willie. The Feminax with naproxen that I bought is only just barely helping, that hardly seems right, it's supposed to be stronger than Feminax classic, but clearly today it is not. Stupid.
  2. They've totally tightened up the internet filter at my office which means so long to Facebook, farewell to commenting on Blogger, arrivederci to posting anything on Blogger really, and one big boo to the man. At least I can still get on to I Can Has Cheezburger and GoFugYourself. It could be worse.
  3. really those are they only two things vexing me at the moment, but I have cramps and aches and that makes every worse! Everything!

25 August 2008

So on Thursday when I was sitting at the dining room table all creating life in my notebooks and everything while I listened to The Essential Willie Nelson (recently purchased for a rock bottom price at Encore Records in Ann Arbor Mi) and that classic torch song You Were Always on My Mind started to play and me, I seriously started to cry. My nose started to twitch and then my eyes watered and I was crying! Seriously Willie, why you gotta pull that shit? I was shocked at such a display, true it was a private display, but I was shocked nonetheless. Later in the day while I considered ripping out the throat of anyone, yes anyone at all, small children and old kindly women were not exempt, who dared to call me on my office line to you know ask questions about my job and how to use the database or you know ask me to do any of the things I am paid to do I realized that maybe Willie was not entirely to blame. Maybe, just maybe, I was suffering from PMS.
And now as I think about this and suffer from the cramps that herald the end of PMS and the beginning of 5-7 days of ache I realize that I have never had a stupid name for my period. Maybe I'll call it Flo occasionally or My Monthly Visitor when I am feeling all retro or when I make fun of Mrs Biddle my 9th grade gym teacher I call it "that ti-yime of the muhnth" in an exaggerated southern accent but that's only because I'm in character. Anyhow, I think I may call my period Willie from now on, just when I'm in mixed company mind, when it's just me and Jeremy I shall continue on referring to it as this curse of Eve sent down by that bastard god to punish me for daring to be born a woman, but like that's too long for when I just need to say something like, "Oh Willie's in town, better stock up on the Feminax." And really, Willie and my period are the only two characters in my life who can reduce me to tears without even the tiniest notice.

Probably, I should never put disc 2 of The Essential Willie Nelson on random play. The results could be dangerous.

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22 August 2008

Things I hate and love

Outside of really big bad things, you know like war and poverty and racism and assholes, these are some things I really can't stand:
  1. Stepping in poop of indeterminate origin less than ten steps from my house in the morning (actually I still hate stepping in poop with a clear origin, but indeterminate feces is somehow just a little bit worse). It's really hard to get poop off your shoes. And it smells bad. Hate.
  2. Taking the bus on a rainy day. Because it's overcrowded and everyone smells worse than they normally do. The bus on a normal day is bad enough but add rain and it becomes nigh intolerable.
  3. The bug bite on my shin. Something in Michigan bit me and it still itches and is huge! Stupid Michigan bugs.
  4. Having to work totally sucks. For real, someone should just pay me for being me and therefore being awesome. I have been saying this for a long time. When will the people listen? When?
  5. PMS. Sometimes I can feel it building up. The bitchery starts small, like with hand gestures at the telephone when people ask me stupid questions about scanning documents (It's not rocket science, jerks!) and then grows and grows until I am spewing curse words at small children while swigging cheap red wine and begging strangers for cigarettes. Sometimes it sneak attacks and I go from Sweetie Pie Jones to Cruella DeVille in 2 seconds over the fact that someone moved my paperclip! MY PAPERCLIP!!!

And these are some things I love (again excluding the obvious like Jeremy and Oliver the cat and Top Shelf Ramen Noodles and the color green)

  1. My neices. They're all rock solid awesome. The eldest is 16 and smart as hell. She takes college courses in the mornings and high school course in the afternoon. When she's done with high school she'll probably have the first two years of college finished and out of her way. She is also very pretty and awesome. The middle is equally awesome, she is obsessed with puppies (thus making her easy to bribe) cute as a freaking button and bright as hell, at 7 she is already a lot of fun to talk to and still giggles and looks at me like I'm a nut when I ask her if she's married yet and make other stupid jokes. And the littlest at 2 is fast becoming an evil genius. She's taken to stealing the other kids' socks at daycare and then she sits on said socks so that they will never be discovered! And no, she is not some mammoth thug baby, kid just wants more socks and has figured out a way to procure them. Also, she is adorable. My neices are awesome.
  2. Sleeping in and then reading a book for an hour in bed before actually moving downstairs. This is the ultimate decadence. If I just had a butler who would serve me coffee whilst I leisurely read in bed life would be perfect.
  3. My bathroom. It is beautiful and has a big tub and a heated floor. Therefore, I love it.
  4. New bedding. We just bought new sheets when we were back in the Americas and oh god they are the best ever. They are just from Target but they are sooo soooo soooooo soft and comfy and 2 more sets will be arriving soon in the box we are having shipped over! Hooray for the 4-500 thread count! And new down pillows too!
  5. Getting compliments. Compliments are awesome and I love them. Last week I got compliments on my shoes ("When I saw you'd changed into your Converse I was really psyched because I knew you meant business about dancing." And I did!), my bag (That's a sweet bag!" It is!) and 6 on my blue Italian necklace (although Jeremy claims these are compliments to him because he picked it out, but they are not because he would look silly wearing it whereas I looked awesome.) and they all made me feel really nice which makes me want to give out more compliments in the hopes that even more compliments will come my way. Have I mentioned how pretty you all are? Because you are one devastating bunch!


20 August 2008

My least favorite questions that people ask me when I go back to the US (with answers both given and imagined)

1. So, London, do you love it?

Given answer: Yeah it's really great.

Imagined answer: It's where I live, it's okay, but it's like living anywhere really. Mostly I hang out at home with my cat. The only things that truly set it apart from, say, Chicago, are the accents and the fact that I can get tasty Indian food delivered to my door (with a free biggun of beer!)

2. So what do you do anyhow?

Real answer: Well I work at *BIGBIGBIGCompany* but work for *OtherBigCompany* and am the team leader/supervisor of the legal records department. It's an okay job, they're letting me do flex time twice a week so I can work on writing a book, so that's cool.

Imagined answer: A boring boring job. Also I am trying to write a book.

3. Oooooooh. What's your book about?

Real answer: It's sort of a coming of age thing.

Imagined answer: Do you want to jinx me? Okay then, it's loosely based on my 19th year when I moved back home and everything sucked, but with more drama and y'know some funny bits, but mostly it's about loss of friendship and trust and regaining a sense of yourself after heartbreak on multiple levels and also about community and family and finding your place. Mostly.

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19 August 2008


We're back in the UK.

You know how sometimes people come home from vacation and they're all like, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

And you're all like, whatever asshole, I feel really bad for you after you spent a week in Maui or wherever

Well I need about 2 weeks to sleep off the jet lag and sensory overload from this vacation. One week simply isn't enough time to attend 2 weddings and try to see everyone you know in the two states where you spent most of your life. Especially when you add on all the travel related hijinks that grow out of travelling standby.

So here, my friends, is the rundown of my week in America:

Friday 1

Wake up at quarter to five in the morning in London. Take a cab to Heathrow and hope to get on first flight of the morning to Chicago. No joy there as a a party of four with priority showed up at the last freaking minute. Wait 2 hours, drink a ginormous coffee and then head to the gate to try for a flight to DC. We get on! We get Business Class! We get champagne as soon as we sit down! We get to DC where we proceed to not get on the first flight to Detroit (there were priests ahead of us in the queue, we knew we were screwed) and then the Chicago flight that we would have gotten on begins to get delayed, repeatedly. Finally at about 7pm we realise that even though this flight is a sure thing we will not arrive in Chicago until 11:00pm which means we will not see a bed until almost midnight and then we will have to wake up at 6am to drive to Michigan. We say fuck it and rent the ugliest rental car ever in DC and begin to drive. We make it to Breezewood, Pa (America's truck stop) and foolishly decide to stay at the Howard Johnson's because we can get to it without making a left turn. We get a room and begin the perilous walk to Perkins for some monochrome dinner and then head to bed. Jeremy looked at the sheets before turning off the lights. I will hate him forever for this as it lead to a night of psychosomatic itching and the belief that I was being eaten alive by some strange new breed of bed bug.

Saturday 1

Wake up at 4:30 and shower in the most disgusting bathroom known to man. Go to one of the many gas stations in Breezewood, Pa and get a bunch of caffeinated drinks (and green apple flavored Jones Soda!!) and some granola bars and start driving. We stop in Ohio for sandwiches at a rest area where there is a sign advising us that it is illegal to bring a gun into the rest area. Guess this wasn't understood. Arrived in Ann Arbor at 12:30 begged and begged to be allowed to check in early, ran to Jerusalem Gardens and ate some food. SLEPT! Changed into wedding finery. I made a controversial decision to wear a black dress and was pleased to see, when we arrived at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens at least two other women in black dresses. The wedding of our friends Sara and Paul was beautiful. There was thunder throughout the ceremony but no rain, and then as they said their vows the sun came out. After the wedding it was on to the reception which was awesome and fun even if my feet were killing me and I was cursing myself for not bringing some back up shoes.

Sunday 1
Wake up drive to the wedding brunch held in a park in Ann Arbor. Hang for an hour drive to Cafe Marie in Ann Arbor to see my friend Kevin for the first time in four years and meet his baby daughter, Rachel aka Schmoop and see his wife Jenn for the second time ever. From Ann Arbor to Pleasant Ridge just outsdie Detroit where we dropped our stuff off at Jeremy's old friend Leah's and headed to Peking House in Royal Oak for dinner with 15 members of his family. Peking House is where they all go on NYE. One year I got to be a spy in the house of David there. Also they make delicious wonton soup. Returned to Leah's, drank some wine. Slept.

Target, purchased a lot of bedding. A lot. Bedding is expensive in the UK, alright? Went to Kohl's, bought work clothes, did not receive discount for having last name Kohl myself. Never do. Assholes. Hit graves of Jeremy's grandparents and mother and then got millkshakes at a Coney. Wondered if there is, like, a licensing board somewhere that has rules and regulations you must follow in order to open a coney. Should such an organizational body exist would they allow us to open a coney in London? Went to see Jeremy's dad and his girlfriend at their new place. Awkward, but that's normal. Go to see Jeremy's cousin Amy, Jeremy says the following, 'Y'know if you could find me a house in this neighborhood and a good job, we'd move back.' Amy gets a gleam in her eye. She is probably calling everyone she knows right now to see what's out there. Go to Cousin Josh's to hang out with his 8 month old and express envy over the huge rooms in his home. Return to Leah's go out to Woodward Avenue Brewery with her to discus life issues. return to house sleep.


Wake up at 7, drive to Port Huron, Meet Niece 1 at Denny's, eat breakfast, Jeremy is made paranoid by repeated insistent offers of coffee. Drive to Brother's house at 10:45 see sister in law and nieces 2 and 3, bring bribes in form of 1 talking cookie monster doll and one puppy that barks walks and sits (puppy is now names Princess Carolyn Elizabeth Kohl, Jr. Niece 2 is clearly a genius) at 12:15 head to meet parents for lunch at The Raven where I once saw an unfortunate young man play bad Oasis covers in a ruffled shirt. Eat lunch try to peer presure brother over Dad's cell phone to come out later for ice cream, go to bank and cash in US Savings Bonds, make £630, score. Get Life Insurance paperwork notarized so policy can be cashed in, head to Vantage Point for ice cream with niece 1, her boyfriend, parents and family friends. Boyfriend is cute but clearly trouble. Then we do a quick drive around Port Huron and my dad took us by my old house which now has a second house built on the lot and then on to Cheap Charlies, a restaurant where they purposely mispell everything on the menu, thus rendering it illegible to me, for dinner with parents, brother and his family. Tense, but that's not unexpected. Driveback to Detroit and get stuck in Dream Cruise traffic but eventually make it to my friend Lori's where I procede to drink a lot of Miller Lite. Slept.


Remarkably do not have horrific hangover from all the Miller Lite. Jeremy's dad picked us up at 9 AM and we got some tasty tasty breakfast in Royal Oak before doing the following: Wayne State University Campus (where I was flooded with memories both happy and sad and bought a t shirt), tried to get into the MOCAD but it was shut, so instead went to the Detroit Artists' Market and bought some art (actually one that looks a lot like the wooden piece featured on the image on the homepage), went to Greektown, ate some lemon chicken soup, gave leftover to a bum, bought a D shirt, wandered around, went to the Pewabic Pottery Factory bought a detroit tile and a gift for my grandparents, wandered around the Heidelberg Project and chatted with Tyree Guyton, I gave him some pence coins for the house that makes cents and then drove to his office where we bought a copy of the book about the project. Went back to Lori's and got proper drunk at the Cass Cafe just like old times.


Woke up with a gigantic mosquito bite on my leg and a hangover to end all hangovers, but was still on the road by 7:30 to get to my grandparents in Three Rivers. Saw grandparents for an hour (not enough time) and then onto Kalamazoo to see one of my oldest friends Colleen for about an hour and a half (also not enough time) and then back on the road to Chicago. Went straight to Dana's and then on to the Chicago Diner for Chicago's best Bloody Mary (no joke, their bloody mary's are some kind of awesome) and then on to Simon's to meet with our hosts for the evening, Jessica and Brendan. Stayed up late talking and hanging with their dog Tulach (who is awesome and spazzy as hell) and then slept.

Friday 2

slept until ten in the morning, it was beautiful. Got breakfast in Wicker Park. Considered buying expensive shoes at Fluevog, still kind of wish I had. Buy books at Myopic based on recomendation from our friend Bengt's girlfirend Deena at the wedding written on a list that I stuffed into my bra then carriend around in the pocket of my jeans all week long, bought new pair of jeans at Free People, skinny jeans in fact, something I swore I would never do, but actually they look pretty cute. Then onto the rehearsal dinner where we sat at the kids' table with a bunch of friends. Back to J&B's where we saw our friend Keara and watched some swimming and discussed Michael Phelps's face (could only a mother love it?)

Saturday 2

Breakfast at god's gift to me, M Henry, I would happily, HAPPILY, eat at M Henry every day of my life. I had the breakfast bread and butter pudding topped with blackberries and peaches and a side of bacon and a side of potatoes and a bottomless cup of coffee and an orange juice and I was so very happy! We ate breakfast with Jeremy's cousin Karen, her husband Tony and their flirty flirty baby Theo. Then on to Ed and Poindexter's, platonic roommates and great big nerds, to change clothes and take a cab to the wedding of Tal and Anthony at the Glessner House on the southside of Chicago where we saw more friends, watched Ed and Poindexter get a phone number from the same girl (followed by a fight over who had dibs where I asked the following question: Maybe she'd like to decide who she has dibs on? and Poindexter replied, "We live in a patriarchy Carolyn") ate delicious food drank plenty of wine and danced a lot (I brought my converse this time, having learned from wedding #1) and then on to Brendan's birthday party and then sleep.

Sunday 2

Breakfast at the Flying Saucer where the waiter made fun of me for ordering bacon with a vegetarian entree and I was all like, whatevs dude just make it crispy. Then it was back to airport where we happily made it onto the first London flight available even if we were sent back to Economy Plus. I couldn't sleep at all on the flight so was able to watch Leatherheads, Son of Rambow, 21 and most of What Happens in Vegas before landing back in London at about 6 AM on Monday morning.

And that's it. Our trip back to the Midwest in full. I wish we'd had another week to spend there since it pretty much feels like we packed a month into one week. Still, I'm happy we saw as many people as we did and that we got to attend the weddings, I just wish I'd felt slightly more awake for them.


07 August 2008

Mad Skills

I have trained my cat! That's right, I have don the unthinkable, the unholy, I have convinced the cat to do what I want so he can get what he wants. It is astounding! I have taught Oliver to duet with me!

Me: If you're hungry and you know it say . .
Oliver: Meow
Me: If you're hungry and you know it say . . .
Oliver: Meow
Me: If you're hungry and you know it then your meows will surely show it, if you're hungry and you know it say . . .
Oliver: Meow
Me: If you're hungry and you know it say . . .
Oliver: Meow

And then I give him his wet food and he looks at me with disdain, but still, I made the cat sing! This is genius! Now I just have to figure out some other songs that will work.


04 August 2008

Listen, I am sick of going to A&E!

So this weekend, we went to see Timon of Athens at the Globe with some friends. Going to the Globe is my second favorite stereotypically touristy thing to do in London. The first is going to the Tate Modern. Anyhow, we stood in the yards and watched the play which was good. I knew very little about it going in and really enjoyed the staging of it, although do have a few issues with the fact that the only women who got speaking lines in it were hookers sent forth to give disease to the men of Athens, but whatever, pick your battles and all that.

Afterwards we went to Scooterworks and had some nice coffee and talked and then moved on to a restaurant called Tas for some mezze. While eating my eye began to itch, so I rubbed it lightly and then it began to itch more, so I rubbed it again, and then it started to hurt. So I went to the ladies' loo (alliteration, yay!) and tried to figure out what the hell was causing all this trouble. I pulled back the eyelids and looked in every direction, I dripped water into my eye to flush it out but couldn't find a damn thing. So I finished dinner with a hugely bloodshot eye and then we took the bus home.

After an hour it was still hurting, actually hurting more so Jeremy made me call the medical out of hours line for Southeast London and they were like "Dude, go to A&E." And I was like, "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."

But we went to A&E where the kind assessment nurse gave me some local anesthetic and that helped for a bit but since it took 2 hours in the waiting room to purgatory that is a London A&E (although at least this time there were no bloody tissues on the floor and we did get called back before they paged someone to come to the waiting room with a mop and bucket (score!)) to see anyone it wore off before we went back to meet my new friend Les the Nurse Practitioner.

Les poked at my eyelids with Q tips and gave me some bad flashbacks to my one viewing of The Clockwork Orange. Jeremy bravely turned his back to me and stared at a corner while I said the following "Ow, ow ow owowowowowowowow ow ow ow ow owowowowowo ow." And then, THEN, Les was all like, "Hey how about some more local anesthetic in your eyeball now after I've finished shoving foreign objects in your poor sad bloodshot aching watery eye, Caroline." Way to be, Les.

Anyhow, after dumping some orange dye into my eye and shining a million lights into it Les found some small abrasions on my cornea. There was nothing foreign in there just the scratches from whatever had caused the trouble in the first place. So Les gave me some eye drops and sent me home but asked me to come back in the morning to make sure everything was cool.

So home we went and I put the drops in my eyes and took the codeine he gave me for the pain so I would fall asleep more easily and put on an eye mask to keep myself from touching my eye anymore. The eye mask, sadly, is the reason I was unaware that Oliver the cat fell off the bedroom window ledge while hissing at the neighbor cat (a long haired black cat I like to call Trouble), but luckily, Oliver is a cat and he easily survived his tumble and is now much more careful when sitting on window ledges.

Anyhow, when I woke up on Sunday I was much improved, just itchy and a little swollen, no longer watering and painful. But we went back to see Les the sadist once more and he declared that I was much improved and that I should continue on with the drops and all should be well.

Today has been better as well, but still, enough with the A&E for the summer, okay? Twice in one summer is more than enough, I think I've met my quota now and will happily stay away for the next year or ten if possible.

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