Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What's so funny?

This website, that's what.

It's the radom advertising slogan generator. Spent last night with my flatmates wetting ourselves for about 90 minutes solid. You put in a word, the generator puts the word into a well-known advert. Here are some of the results we got..


Top Breeders Recommend Hookers

The Hooker with the Hole

Gonna be a While? Grab a Hooker.

Because So Much Is Riding On Your Hooker. (that's my personal fav.)

Momma's Got the Magic of Hookers

Nothing Sucks Like A Hooker

My Doctor Says 'Hookers'

Devon Knows How They Make Hookers So Creamy

Be Like Dad: Keep Hookers. (jesus h. christ...!)


The Curiously Strong Heroine

We Don't Make Heroine, We Make Heroine Better!

Better Ingredients, Better Heroine.

You've Got Questions, We've Got Heroine. (also works well with Hookers.)

The Good Heroine Kids Go For.

Get the Heroine Habit.

One You Start, You Can't Stop Heroine. (oh dear...)

Does You or Does You Don't Take Heroine?

Come Fly the Friendly Heroine.


God Is Mightier Than the Sword

Solutions for a Small God

God Is Good for You

Come One Come All to God (also works well with Hookers)

You're Never Alone with God

The God That Likes To Say 'Yes'

This Is the Age of God

Come See the Softer Side of God

Don't Be Vague: Ask for God

You've Got Questions. We've Got God. (Sounds like an advert for America.)


Hands That Do Dishes Can Be As Soft As Your Cunt

The Pope:

The Pope: The Other White Meat (!!!)

Tough On Dirt, Gentle on the Pope

Naughty, but The Pope

Pope-lickin' Good

And All Because the Lady Loves the Pope (also works for Heroine, Hookers, God, and pretty much anything else.)

Other words we found that worked well were dick, bunnies, death, and idiots ("I saw idiots and I thought of you!") Have a go, and if you get a moment to spare, put your funny results in my comments for everyone to enjoy. Have a good giggle!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Rites of Passage

"America is my country, but Paris is my hometown." Jefferson said that. Or something similar. Or was it Franklin? (Herebe should know. He knows more about American history than I do, upstart little colonial tosser that he is.) Anyway, the point is that Jefferson (Franklin?) found a place that became more home to him than the place where he was born, and so it is with me. As a cat enthusiast eventually caves in to the grating, pitiful yowls and big, fuzzy eyes and eventually takes the in the stray, England has finally taken me in. I've been adopted; i'm here to stay. I bought my first pair of Wellies.

I spent the morning collecting essays from 2nd and 3rd-year undergrads. It was bedlam. If they don't get there, essays in hand, by noon, we close the door and they are officially screwed. Today was my third day at the task of collecting, and I can tell I've seen every possible attempt at fudging the deadline. Or I thought I had, until today. This was priceless, it really was. May I tell you about it? (I promised the kid he was getting a mention in my blog today, so I'd better pony up, just in case he actually reads this shit.) Here's the scene: My cohort and I are in a room crammed to overflowing with books, shelves spilling over, filling every bit of wall space and then some. The room itself is pandemonium, never mind the goings-on. It is 12:01 pm. We have closed the door. The table in front of us is piled to overflowing with essays, each one with a color-coded cover sheet, thown in messy stacks. They cover almost ever inch of the table. Around the table on all sides, squished up against the chaos of books are our beloved undergrads. They are everywhere. We had to get them in the room so we could close the door and the deadline. Separate the sheep from the goats, as it were. Cohort and I are attempting to process the essays as fast as possible: sort, staple, stamp, sign, tear, stack. I hear a baleful student cry, "Oh my God!!!!" I ignore him. "I need to run to the library," quoth he. "I'll be right back."

"You'll be marked late," he was told.
"No! I'm here! But I have to leave, something' wrong."
"If you leave, you'll be marked late." We can't budge.

Apparently what was wrong was he had somehow lost the first page of one of his essays. Fortunately, they are required to turn in 2 copies of each. So he grabbed a pen and started copying out the first page from the duplicate copy of the essay. He was informed that if he got it done before the last person had gone through the queue (read: mob), he would be on-time. So this poor kid is sitting at a desk (which is piled 3 feet deep with books over every inch), madly copying an entire page of his essay. It was hilarious. He got it done, bless him. He'll remember that moment for the rest of his life, and probably tell his kids the story. And when he handed me that paper, he was officially half-way done with his degree. Congrats, kid.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Timorous English

This one's for you, TB. Enjoy! (Well, i guess the rest of you lot can enjoy it too i s'pose.) Take a few minutes to look around the site; your time will be rewarded.

Fucking tragic

This is one of the saddest stories I have ever read. If the dickhead who took this dude's leg is out there reading this, Give the man his fucking leg back you fucking cunt!!!

Mas fotografias de Banyoles para tu!

Coming off the water after a good, hard row. Notice how low the sun is. This is taken after our first outing of the day. H a r d c o r e. That's me in the lime green fleece gilet. All my kit is lime green (including my shoes). I don't know why either.

I know I'm slumping at the catch. I'm working on this problem and I've made measurable progress. But seriously, take a look at our bladework. Excpet for bow, who is dipping her hands just slighly before the catch, we are spot fucking on.
Remember when I told you about swimming in the freezing cold lake? (You know it's cold because in the previous photos we are rowing with HATS on.) This is the same lake. We are in bathing suits. We are about to jump in. We are nuts. (That's me on the right. Amazingly, my bikini isn't lime green. At the risk of being totally vain, how good do I look?!?!?)

(All photos curtesy of Hamish Roots at Roots Photographic.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Riding in boats with boys, part II

I said it would happen, and it finally did. This afternoon the senior women's 8 consisted of me and 7 blokes. I suppose you could say I was just filling in for the missing bowman in the senior men's B boat, but the fact is that i was the only woman at practice, so... they needed a man, i needed a team (and a man, but i didn't tell them that), ergo the obvious solution. We had fun beasting it down the river with the senior A boat chasing us. Held them off for the first 4 k, too. The overtook us on the straight, though. I was bummed. I really wanted to win so i could taunt them for being beaten by a girl. We'll get 'em next time, fellas, next time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Well, I'm sure by now you're all dying to know how my, *cough*, "date" went. That shouldn't be in quotes really. It wasn't a "date," it was just a date. There, i said it. And the front page headline tonight is: Date Went Fine. Really, he was very nice. He drove, so he didn't drink anything. I skipped dinner, so my 2 pints made me rather merry. He was very pleasant, we talked comfortably, none of those awkward pause moment thingys. He was a gentleman, didn't try anything dodgy or inappropriate. Not the kind of glaringly handome guy I'd get water-kneed for from across the bar, but looks aren't everything. So there you go. Pretty unexciting really.

Oh, but do take a look at this article on Disney buying Pixar. It's not really news (I knew it was going to happen months ago), but pay special attention to the frame (from Finding Nemo) the writer has selected to illustrate the corporate takeover. So much for objective reporting at the BBC! Hehehe.

Blind date

This evening i am embarking on a new phase in my life, one which will be known to my future biographers as "The Meatmarket." At 7 pm i will be meeting for drinks in a dingy pub in Clifton a visually-impaired, dehydrated piece of Mediteranean produce who I met online. If I'm not back by half nine, ring Scotland Yard.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

For a giggle:

You don't have to be a rower to appreciate this.

Mystery solved

Woke up at 11 am this morning to see bright blue sky hacking its way in through the gap in my curtains and the sound of dozens of church bells merrily calling people to services. I wondered why I'd never heard them before, and then I realized this is the first Sunday I've been in my room at 11 am, and not at the boathouse.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Livin' on the edge

Today I took a deep breath through my left nostril. It was pretty neat. I'm thinking about giving the right one a go tomorrow.


It's been over a week now. He hasn't phoned.

Or emailed.

Of course, because I'm pathetic, and because I don't want to accept (even though it's obvious by this point) that he has no interest in ever seeing me again, I have these marvelous fantasies that he's been trying to reach me for days, but he lost the slip of paper on which I wrote my phone number, owing to the fact that (and this bit is true) that when we left the bar he was wearing his mate's coat, not his own (his mate having confused their coats earlier in the evening and left early with the wrong one). So actually, my number is sitting in the pocket of his mate's coat, not his, but he's forgotten about this little mix-up, and so is rummaging frantically among his possessions looking for a little square of neon-green paper on which is scrawled the email address and phone number of the only woman he's ever loved, and going hysterically mad that he can't find them. Of course, he's too embarassed to communicate this problem to his mate, who, two days ago, found a small square of neon-green paper in the pocket of his coat, looked at it quizzically, and threw it in the bin.

Soon, out of sheer desperation, he will get on a plane and fly back to bristol with the hope of finding me. Except he doesn't know the city well, and the only time he was ever to my flat he arrived slightly drunk and after dark, so he doesn't think he'll be able to relocate my building. Perhaps he's done it already. Perhaps at this very moment he's wandering the streets of bristol, alone, lost, pathetically calling my name, shivering from the cold draft let in through the crack in his broken heart (despite it being clear and sunny today).

yeah, right, whatever.

I wish I could stop thinking about him.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Thursday, January 19, 2006


i'm sick. i'm not getting any work done. and since i don't have a tv, i'm vegging out in front of the 'puter, blog-hopping. i'm officially a mouse potato. it's a sad day.

or maybe not. i just discoverd that i'm An Ideal Lover.

"You seduce people by tapping into their dreams and desires. And because of this sensitivity, you can be the ideal lover for anyone you seek. You are a shapeshifter - bringing romance, adventure, spirituality to relationships. It all depends on who your with, and what their vision of a perfect relationship is."

who knew?

more importantly, what are you?

glaring oversight

i just realized that i completely forgot to tell you all...!

I found out last thursday that a paper i submitted for presentation at a medieval conference was accepted, so i'm officially giving my first paper in February! I find this both exhilerating and terrifying.

And then I found out that my best friends on planet earth, Wally and Vi, are going to have a BABY!!! They've been trying for so long, a lot of us had kind of given up hope. In my whole life, I've never known anyone who had a baby (I was the last child born in my family), so this is a completely new experience for me. I find it both exhilerating and terrifying.

So, yeah, lots of goings-on in the Bitch's wee brain lately. Can't believe I forgot to tell you.


I'm sick. Two nights ago I didn't get any sleep because my sinuses were plugged up, I couldn't breathe, my head felt like it was going to explode, and every time I swallowed my ears popped. (Apparently my eustacion tubes were blocked or something.)

O Captain My Captain, who is a medic, told me to take Sudafed to unblock my sinuses. She said this would also clear up the ear thing. Cool, I said.

Last night I took Sudafed. It did help with the ears, but I still can't breathe, and it wired me awake all night. The pharmicist warned me that might happen, and suggested I take it in conjunction with a sleeping pill. So naturally, I took it in conjunction with two sleeping pills. It still didn't work. I got zero sleep.

So now I'm really sick (having had no rest) and REALLY FUCKING GRUMPY. And the damn dating service is finding all kinds of great fellas for me, conveniently located in places like Leeds, Newcastle, and Glasgow! Help, help: the irony is killing me. (Hot men in Glasgow is how I got into this mess in the first place.)

I'm going to go back to bed and pretend to sleep some more.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

One for the team

Today my dignity sacrificed itself on the altar of my ego. I joined a dating service.

I know I know. There's something so contrived and artificial about it, not the natural, organic process of glimpsing someone across a crowded train station and falling instantly, madly in love, blah blah blah.

Here's the thing, though: After last thursday night with Scott the Wonderscott, I realized what it was I'd been missing out on all these years. For the first time in my life, really, he gave me a taste (quite literally!) of how the rest of the world lives. Now that I've glimpsed the promised land, I'm less content to just sit here and wait for a messiah to bring me out of the darkness. Before I didn't really know what I was missing. Now that i do, i find i'm much less patient, and i flat out REFUSE to spend the next three years like I've spent the last 9, miserable and alone. Given my rediculous schedule, I just don't have the time or means to hang around in coffee shops and hope some tall, shaggy, intellectual boy sits down next to me and asks me what I'm reading. Not gonna happen. So I've decided I must take a more (please forgive me for using this word) proactive role in my love live. I need to meet people, that's all there is to it. And this dating service seemed like a pretty decent means of doing so. So there you go. I've done it. You may now proceed to take the piss.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The voices in my head

A dialogue between my Catholic upbrining and my hornier half (which really is more like my hornier four fifths), with periodic interruptions from my mouth and the man of my dreams...

hh: oh yeah, work it baby; bust a move; swing those hips - you know you're on tonight!

cu: for fuck's sake, you're a disgrace. dancing in a club, half drunk. and that top! if you're parents could see you now...

hh: they'd be CRACKING UP! and not bothered in the least. piss off: i'm having FUN.

cu: hupmh.

hh: that blonde-ish bloke over there is rather attractive...

cu: which one?

hh: butt out; i wasn't talking to you.

but since you asked... the crazy tall one, the strawberry-blonde with the blue eyes in the black shirt, stading by the bar next to the short, freckly dude. don't you think he's rather fit?

cu: mm. i suppose so.

hh: hey, gorgeous! why don't you come over here and get your groove going with me?

cu: wha???

hh: for the last time, I WASN'T TALKING TO YOU! I'm winking at that blonde bloke!

cu: oh.

hh: he's grinning like a fool, and he hasn't taken his eyes off me for the last 3 songs. he's gonna need visene if he doesn't blink soon. and no wonder - have you seen me in this top?! Why the fuck isn't he coming over here?

cu: don't be such a retard. go talk to him if you're so taken.

hh: fuck off. i didn't ask for your advice. and i've been rejected too many times. i'm not doing any more chasing - it's time i was chased.

cu: that's the first rational thing you've said all night.

hh: CHASED, you moron, not chaste. i've made it obvious i'm interested. if it's mutual, he can get his hot ass over here and wiggle it to... jesus, what is this crap? if the dj weren't so cute i'd shoot him.

cu: oh so now it's the dj is it? get yourself under control, woman.

hh: it was just an expression. and for fuck's sake, GO AWAY! it's my birthday and i'm determined to counteract the contemplation of my age and mortality by spending one night acting like a drunk undergrad out on the pull, something i never once did as an undergrad, so it's about time i regained the youth i never used before it's too late, which it probably is.

cu: you don't need to fear death, you know. if you believe in the salvation of jes...

hh: AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! i cant HE-AR you!!!! la la la la la la...!!!

Ohh! did you see that? his mate pushed him out onto the dance floor. he's coming over here! whoo-hoo!!!!!!!!

mouth: hi. what's your name?

scott: scott

mouth: hi scott. i'm chaucer's bitch.

hh: he's not a very good dancer, is he? he know's where the beat is, and can put his feet down, but he has no idea what to do with the rest of his gorgeous, gargantuan body. and what a body...

cu: that's not a very christian thing to say.

scott: sorry, i'm not very good at this.

mouth: that's ok; you're scoring points for fearlessness.

scott: really? alright! (proceeds to up the intesity of rediculous bodily gyrations and make total twat of self for about 10 seconds, laughing.)

mouth: *giggle*

hh: oh, jesus christ!

cu: i heard that!

hh: fuck off.

mouth (several songs later): this is shit. you wanna get a drink and talk a bit?

scott (relieved): Yes! (at bar): what would you like?

hh: i thought he endured that rather well, don't you?

cu: with great forbearance and alcohol.

(mouth and scott proceed to chat with ease and without interruption until bouncers start ordering them to finish drinks and get the fuck out so they can go home.)

hh: this is going rather well. actually, this is going extremely well. come to think of it, this is going better than anything has ever gone before, ever. nicely done, mouth.

scott: the night's still young. you wanna go someplace else?

mouth: YES!!!!!!!!!!!

hh: YES!!!!!!!!!!!

cu: well, alright, if it's someplace public.

scott: what else is still open around here? i don't know the city...

mouth: me neither. let's ask Flatmate. Oi! Flatmate! Anyplace around here have an all-night licence?

Flatmate: i don't know, but i've been chatting with this bloke who owns a local club. he's the man to ask. Oi! Clubowner! Anyone around here got an all-night?

Clubowner: nope.

mouth: fuck.

scott: fuck.

hh: double fuck.

cu: fuck.

hh: ha! i heard that!

cu: you heard nothing.

Flatmate: of course, Chantry Court is still open. It's not much for ambiance, and the drinks selection is limited, but it's quiet and safe. *winks*

hh: true, but if i invite him back to the flat, will he defacto expect me to sleep with him?

cu: a real gentleman would never expect a woman to invite him to bed on the first night, and if he does he's an asshole.

hh: that may be true back home, but things are different here. i don't know how it works here. perhaps mouth should say "i'd love for you to come up for a nightcap, but i don't shag on the first date."

cu: no, that's tacky, and it makes you sound cold. and what if he's offended that you would even assume that's all he wants?

mouth: well, would you like to come by my flat for a cup of coffee or something? i don't have much in the way of drinks, but...

scott: sure, that sounds nice.

hh: oh my god we've just invited a man up to our flat!!! holy shit we've never done that before!!! and he said yes!!! this is the best birthday EVER.

cu: oh my god we've just invited a man up to our falt, and he said yes. call out the national guard.

stomach (shouting in a general upwards direction): did one of you renobs just issue the command for all the resident butterflies to leave their perhes simultaneously and flap about like drag queens on speed? there's a chain of command here, you know. i need to be made aware of these things at least 24 hours in advance! jesus christ!...

cu: i heard that!

stomach: fuck off, you.

mouth: here we are: my humble camode. sorry about the mess - i really wasn't expecting company... but i'm glad you're here.

scott: me too.

mouth: would you like something to drink? we're all out of the hard stuff, but i've got tea, coffee, hot cocoa...

scott: tea, thanks.

narrator: over the next two hours it is revealed that scott, who has yet to stop grinning like a fool and whose eyes sparkle like the 4th of july, works in IT for SKY tv, and is in town on business, and is leaving tomorrow afternoon. he lives in Glasgow.

hh: GOD FUCKING DAMNIT!!! i KNEW there had to be a catch! If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. There's no way I could ever possibly have been this lucky. He's articulate, easy-going, smart, attractive, IS TALKING TO ME, seems to really have his shit together, seems attractracted to me, plays the bagpipes, enjoys scottish folk dancing, hiking, really digs my alternative lifestyle... he seems really nice. i like him, i mean i genuinely like him. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!! THIS ISN'T FAIR!!!!!!

cu: i'm sorry, hh. i know you were really excited (not in that way). it did seem like a really good thing.

hh: he's not making any noises about leaving, and it's 4:30 in the morning. is he waiting for me to ask him to stay?

cu: he does seem rather reluctant to leave.

hh: but what does that signify? does he really dig me? or does he just want a shag?

cu: does it matter?

hh: amazingly, yes.

cu: i'm proud of you, hh.

mouth: well, it's awfully late. i'm sure you want to get some sleep before your flight tomorrow.

narrator: scott, looking slightly crestfallen, gets up off the sofa and crosses the room to where CB is standing, leaning with her butt against the kitchen counter. he stands very close to her, though he has made no previous attempt to initiate physical contact.

scott: how about a kiss before i go?

mouth: with pleasure...

hh: (gasping) sweet mercy!... i had no idea. no wonder eveyone makes such a fuss. no one's ever kissed us like that. what arms! i feel surrounded, enveloped. this is amazing. i had no idea... Oh not the neck! oh, god don't stop!

cu: did you hear that, hh?

hh: hear what? i can't hear anything over the heavy breathing.

cu: it sounded like a moan.

hh: from whom?

cu: i can't even tell!

hh: i really like him, cu.

cu: i know.

hh: i'll probably never see him again. it's now or never.

cu: true.

hh: i've been waiting for this for a really, really long time.

cu: no one can deny it.

hh: he would stay if i asked.

cu: no doubt.

hh: don't i deserve it?

cu: that and more.

hh: why am i hesitating?

cu: because you want more than just to be some bird he shagged once on a business trip.

hh: i hate it when you're right.

*sights* the question is, was that a light at the end of the tunnel, or did i just stand on the platform while the one and only train left the station? nay, actually ask the engineer to pull out.

narrator: thus ended the best birthday of all time. it had the dichotomous effect of both heartening cb by proving beyond a doubt that it is theorhetically possible for a man to find her attractive (which heretofore had been a matter of considerable debate), and simultaneously sending her crashing into a fresh pit of thick despair as the following day it slowly began to sink it just how much she may have lost. Now she carries her mobile with her everywhere just in case he should happen to ring, but each silent minute another drop of hope leaks out of the bucket and disappears into the pavement. Happy 27th, Bitch.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The One, the Only... The Bullshit!

I need to beat someone up. Specifically, I need to beat up whose ever fucked up idea it was, lo these many epochs ago, that we're only ever supposed to fall in love once in our puny miserable life, and if that one doesn't work out, we're fucked forever, with no hope of happiness, contentment, or joy. Really, who the hell came up with this one!?!?!? When you think about it, it's absolutely upsurd. It's like saying there's only one food in the whole world you'll ever love, and you've got to taste a lot of different dishes to find it. If you do find it, yay for you and you can eat that one perfect food 3 times a day for the rest of your life and you'll never get fat or bored of it. But if you eat it and you have an allergic reaction, well, that's just too bad and you'll never have a tasty meal ever again ever, and you'll have to spend the rest of your cuisinatically sorry life eating gruel with candied earthworms. Seriously, think about that.

Why do we do it to ourselves? Is it really that much easier to go on whining and obsessing over what we've lost (i have done this myself once or twice) than to accept that there might be something just as good or even better just over the horizon. It does require effort, both physical and emotional. You have to get up from your sofa of self-pity (where you've been sitting eating Hagen-daas and watching reruns of your love life, hoping in vain that they'll make a new episode), walk out your front door, and...

Well, i don't know exactly. But i know you need to get out your front door at the very least. After that, i suppose you just keep your feet about you and follow the road. It's a dangerous business, but it's better than burrying yourself alive in a cave of sorrow and self-loathing, waiting for somone to take the initiative for you and resucue you. It might happen, but more likely you'll sit there, rotting, until you finally wise up and realize that the only person who can save you is you. Hopefully when that happens you won't be too old and weak to push aside the bouder and step out to meet the Marys.

The idea of The One is a self-imposed toruture device, created by some long-dead tosser (probably the same idiot who decided that people who masturbate burn in hell for all enternity, which i also refuse to accept on the grounds that even if hell exists, which i don't think it does, i'm sure as shit not going there for enjoying the body nature gave me) who spent all his life alone and wanted to make sure everyone else was equally miserable. (something about misery and company...) the idea has been perpetuated for centuries by literature. even in literature, though, The One usually falls into the realm of the ideal and unattainable. I'm thinking here of things the writings of such greats as Homer et al and all the adaptations of the Arthurian myth. It's a notion reserved for those priveledged few of society who live a life of all manner of social ideals (see "chivalry"), and even for those few, The One rarely succeeds. Even in the greatest love stories, it seems to bring failure far more often than success, and leave behind it a slime trail of depression and despair, like some giant putrid satanic snail crawling over the earth.

It seems that more recently, though, The One is thought of less as an unattainable ideal and more of a standard. We seem to think we're all entitled to find The One, and all else has become undesirable, unworthy, worthless. Suddenly The One has come to the masses, and we all want our One, our Only; nothing else (and here else equals less) will do. I blame hollywood. As a society we've all been sent on an emotional wild goose chase, told to expect in the course of ordinary life that which doesn't exist, and even if it did, the chances of coming across it are so infintessimally small it might as well not exist.

I'm no expert on love, but at this point i think i'm pretty close to being an expert on recovering from love. Once I tasted a strawberry milshake, and it was the loveliest, lushest thing i ever put in my mouth. I thought to myself, I could eat nothing but strawberry milkshakes for the rest of my life, and i would never miss a thing. I lived on strawberry milkshakes for several years. I didn't eat them often, and occassionally came near to starvation when I couldn't get my milkshakes and i refused to touch any other food, but they were so rich and filling that the smallest taste sustained me for weeks on end. But it turned out I'm lactose intolerant, and the strawberry milkshakes disagreed with me. I had to stop eating them, and it broke my heart. I never wanted to eat again. Eventually I accepted I had to eat or i would die, just shrivell up and die. There were times when that didn't sound too bad. But in the end i ate, and god was it awful. I thought, food holds no joy for me. I'll never taste anything sweet or nice again. I scrounged and scavenged everywhere I went, but all I found was slimy, wilted lettuce, used coffee grounds, dog chow, and curdled milk. I crossed the ocean and kept looking, tasting. One day I moved in next to and eclair, and i thought i'd found salvation.

I've tasted a lot of food, and many of the things I've eating i've loved dearly. They're all different, and there's no way i can say which i love more, strawberry milkshakes or hungarian goulash; hawaiin pizza or chocolate eclairs -- they're all wonderful and nourishing in their own unique ways. To compare or rank them would be to belittle and patronize their individual qualities. And even though it saddens me to think that i'll never eat another strawberry milkshake, i know there are other marvelous confections out there, lurking in sugar-coated glory beneath mounds of rancid bangers and stale bread, and i know that if i keep at it, there will always be other entrees to enjoy.

So stop whinging about what's gone, and accept that there's such an infinate variety of tastes in this world that you can't possibly sample them all, nor can you say you don't like something until you've tasted it. Like my mother used to tell me about food and kinky sex, "hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it." No matter how much you may long for what you've had in the past, there will always, Always, ALWAYS be other experiences out there equally wonderful. Go find one.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, me

Thanks mom and dad for the flowers, if not for the reminder that i'm getting OLD. Someone get me drunk. please.

That sounded really ungrateful. Seriously, thank you. I love them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


This is the lake in Banyoles where we had training camp. The pontoons are in the foreground, the Pyranees are in the distance. How fucking lucky am i?

(For more and better photos, take a look at my coach's website, Roots Photographic.)

Hard. Core.

I know longer fear the pain of natural childbirth. Why? I've shampooed my hair with 14 open blisters on my left hand.

The schedule:
7 am: wake up
7:45-9:45: power strokes
10 am: breakfast
11 - noon: technical work
1 pm: lunch
1:30-2:30: nap
3 - 5pm: rate pieces
shower, chill, hang out, do academic work if you can hold your eyelids up
8:30: dinner
9pm: debriefing from head coach
10 pm: lights out
11 pm: listen to screams/giggles of team mates falling victim to practical jokes. pray german national tean on floor below doesn't have energy to start a war.

training camp was awesome. there's just way too much to tell. take me out and buy me a drink and i'll talk about it all night, but here are the highlights:
  • I love quads. best boat ever. everything i love about an 8 plus everything i love about a single scull in one craft. genius. best of both worlds. exhileration times 50.
  • i love alpine likes. we were on the olympic course used in the barcelona games. it's situated in the foothills of the pyranees, surrounded by green hills and snow-capped mountains. still, beautiful, secluded, misty, frosty, flat, freezing cold and full of bird shit.
  • i love men. i love living with 20 perpetually half-naked men, blossoming into their manhood with petals of broad shoulders, long backs, and rippling thighs. there was so much eye candy i damn near got cavities in my corneas. and of course...
  • i love rowing. even on the sloggy freezing wet dribbly sleeting outings, i love the power, the synchronization, ambition, desire, the clunk (you know what i mean), whe water rushing past under the shell, the sweat, the heaving, the burn, the blisters, the calluses, the desire. i love it all. i never want to stop. i'm perfectly happy doing nothing all day but eating (not as much as i want, but as much as i possibly can), sleeping (given 20 minutes and a flat surface), and rowing (or sculling). it's utopia, paradise. the outside world ceases to exist, the only terrorists are the doubt-demons in my head 7K into 10K ergo, and if you pass out and collapse there are 20 pairs of hands attached to strong, caring team mates to carry you back to your bunk. it's the perfect womb for infantile athletes who fear and loathe the real world. like me.
Apparently I'm not a very good sculler....


i've got a huge backlog of stuff i really want to write/ publish/ post/ share/ preserve, what with me having no 'puter access for the last week. ergo, a lot is going to go up here in the next 48-72 hours as i play catch-up. the best way to start, i think, is from the beginning. here then is the first sunrise of the new year. i can't think of a better beginning than that. i mentioned earlier that on my flight over from the states i was treated to an exceptionally beautiful sunrise. here are some of the photos. please forgive the intrusion of the airplane wing. (it was keeping me alive after all, so i don't mind giving it a bit of the spotlight.)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Christmas Kitty and Belly Beagle

Here are the animals, alive if somewhat less than well, in their preferred habitats.

I'm off to Spain now. Rowing training. HARDCORE. See you in a week. Leave me some fun comments so I have something to look forward to when i get back next tuesday (especially you lot that never comment but i KNOW read this page. You know who you are...).

The year in review

2005 was a wierd year. it saw a great many personal changes in my life, some of them wonderful, some of them anything but.

I made 3 resolutions this day last year: to return to england, to regain my finanical independence, and to get some action of the horizontal tango variety. (To be fair, a meaningful relationship is much more important to me than sex, but you can't exactly put love on an agenda, as it's not really up to you.) Number one i got, number three i missed, and number two was mostly achieved. I'm supporting myself through loans, but they're my debts, not my parents, so we'll call that half a victory. One and a half of three objectives met, then. Could be worse.

I was home for christmas and just got back to bristol this morning. I was annoyed at being somewhere over the tip of greenland, by myself, 35000 feet in the air and not a kiss in sight, when the new year rang in, but there was also something surprisingly poignant about leaving america in 2005 and landing in england in 2006. i know that what we name any particular point in time is arbitrary and ultimately meaningless, but it's how we map and mark time in our lives' rhythms. i felt like i made a really clean break, a fresh start. last year at this time i was stressing over my application to york (which ultimately failed), my life and emotions were in upheaval, i had no direction, no plan, only vague desires with no visible means of achieving them. today i know what i'm doing, where i'm going, and how i'm going to get there. god it's refreshing. like many humans, i loathe uncertainty.

on the plane this morning i was treated to an exceptionally beautiful sunrise (i'll put up a few pics later). I aslo had the distinct sensation of rushing madly towards something or someone that was waiting for me. I wanted to cry out, "Hold on! I'm almost there! I'm coming!" But of course there's no one. I shouted, but no one heard. Perhaps it's just a reflection of the growing sense of belonging I have in this place, this country, this pieced and plotted land, furrow and fallow.

Or perhaps it's a ghost of desire past.


Among the less than pleasant developments of 05 was the final emotional acceptance that whatever there once was between me and my dapper gentleman of the storybook saga of yore (i will finish it for you one of these days, i swear), is no longer. I don't know why. There was no row, no falling out. He just gave up. When I left Manchester he told me I value you, I value our friendship, I'm not good at corresponding, but I do want to keep in touch. I hung on those words for the better part of 2005. I clove the them, sustained myself with the hope that when i returned to england he would be here, waiting for me. Instead of welcoming arms and the glow of friendship, I found a cold shoulder behind a locked door. I wept for weeks. Somewhere in the back of my brain i knew it was inevitable, but it took my brain a long time to convince my heart that it was over. It's still hard to let go. I've never been so close to love as when he held me, and it's hard to walk away from that. But you can only carry on a one-sided conversation for so many months, and my dignity will only let me beg for his attention for so long. I will always rue the loss of our relationship, and I will forever wonder what happened to his affection, but i'm finally reaching a point where I can think about him and remember the best moments of our time together witout crying (usually), and I've stopped instinctively comparing every male i meet to him. So i guess i'm moving on, wheter i wanted to or not. (i didn't; it's much easier to obsess over the ghost of a love that isn't there than to try and find someone new.)

so even though the year started out horrendously, it ended much better than it began, and that is encouraging. My health is good, my path is clear before me, there's fresh scar tissue growing over the most recent tear in my heart, and my prospects for all things in my life save love have never been better. Fingers crossed for ticking off that last resolution in 06. *wink*