Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's not dogs I hate...

It's fucking arrogant dog owners who refuse to take responsibility for their canine's canines and insist "oh he's just being friendly!"

Friendly. My. ASS!!!!

yet again today I was accosted and terrorized by a dog that was not under the control of its owners. I was cycling along, minding my own fucking busines, when fido (a border collie mix by the look of him) came charging at me, full-tilt, and barking. Not joyful, tail-wagging, bark-bark let's play barking. More like get off my land you sheep-stealing sonofabitch barking. I have a dog; i do know the difference. The little furball jumped right in front of my front wheel, forcing me to grind to a sudden halt lest I leave tire tracks across his nose. I don't like running over dogs. As I said, it's not the dogs I hate, it's the owner. Believe it or not I really am a dog-lover.

The dog jumped all over me, still barking aggressively. His ears and tail were down. I screamed and yelled "help!" The owners, sitting under a tree about 20 feet away didn't even get up. "Come!" they called him. He came. "He just wanted to say 'hello,'" they told me. But they didn't aplogize, and they didn't hold on to the dog, because before I could begin pedalling away Spot came tearing at me a second time. "Put a leash on that thing!" I screamed before finally freeing myself and leaving.

You would think that dog owners would want to put their dogs on a leash for the sake of the dog's safety, never mind my own. but this hardly seems to be the case.

These people were in violation of the law. I looked it up. The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 states "A dog shall be regarded as dangerously out of control on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, whether or not it actually does so."

In this instance, as in many similar preceeding instances, I had very good reason to believe I was in danger of being harmed. There's nothing worse than dog owners who exclaim when their dogs misbehave "Oh he wouldn't hurt you!" Even if that is the case (which it's often not) I have no way of knowing that. As a passer-by I have no way of distinguishing between a neurotic and badly trained dog that likes to make a game of charging people and barking at them and a dog that is about to quickly and efficiently relieve me of my burdensome jugular vein.

Letting your dog menace people, even if it doesn't actucally physically harm them, IS against the law. But is this law enforced? How? What recouse do I have? What am I supposed to do in these situations? I'm not about to stand there and ask people for their names and details so I can have the local dog warden issue them a citation -- after all, they're the ones holding a dangerous dog. You think I'm going to exchange words with an annoyed pitbull owner? yeah, right. So what can I do? NOTHING.

There's not a fucking thing I can do. I'm the one who's been wronged, but there is nothing I can do about it. I can't complain, I can't fight back, and because pepper spray is illegal in this country, I can't even defend myself. I am totally at the mercy of stupid people with viscious, ill-trained dogs. Grrrrrrrr.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pain post

It's been a while since I got to regale (regail? sp?) you lot with the glories of the agonies of rowing, owing to my buggered back. So I thought this week instead I'd regale you with the agonies of physical therapy.

This week I had what I hope will be my last therapy session for a while. It's expensive, so Physio lets me off coming every week if I promise to torture myself regularly at home, as per his instructions. Of course I do, because I know it's the only way I'll ever row again, and for that I would crawl naked across a bed of broken glass. (Seriously.)

Normally sessions consist of me going through a series of excercises designed to train my gluts and lower back muscles to fire properly, and strengthen my core and pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are boring, and not too bad until I've done about 20 of them. Then they suck.

But this session was different. In checking my flexibility, Physio discovered a problem with the abductor on my right leg.

Do this test:
Sit up straight on the end of your bed, with your butt cheeks barely on the bed.
Draw your left knee up to your chest and hold it there with your arms. Your right foot should remain on the floor.
Now slowly lay down on your back on the bed, keeping your left knee to your chest and your right foot on the floor.

What does your right knee do?

Does it stay in place? Or does it flop way off to the right?

Mine flopped way off to the right, because the abductor in my right thigh (muscle at top of hip becoming a tight band of tissue down by the knee) was wicked tight. Physio tried to push my right knee back in line with my body, but nothin doin.

The solution? A deep tissue massage on the outside of my right leg.

You might think this sounds pleasant. You would be wrong. Very, very wrong.

I laid down on the torture table on my left side, relaxed in a semi-fetal position. Physio got out some oil and worked some into the skin of my outer thigh. And then he started to work the muscle.

It's difficult to describe the sensation. It wasn't a sharp, searing pain like when I ruptured my disk and it felt like I had a hot knife in my back (while I rowed 4 1/2 miles at race pace). It wasn't a dull throb, like a broken toe. It was warm and spread out from the pressure of his hand through my leg like a blood stain soaking through a white shirt from a bullet wound. It seeped through me, saturating the whole lower half of my body with burning, shaking agony.

I grabbed the pillow and clutched it with my fists, trying to steady my trembling body.

"Are you laughing or crying," asked Physio.

"A little of both," I replied, truthfully. He looked perplexed for a moment and then continued, not wanting to consider too carefully the implications of the athlete on his table responding to intense pain with laughter. Hot tears ran down my face and soaked the pillow. Up and down the side of my leg he worked, pressing the ball of his hand into the muscle with (what felt like) his whole body weight. Up and down, back and forth, wave after wave of hot pain following the place where his hand had been.

After 10 minutes he had me do the sitting test again. This time my abductor didn't pull my knee out of the line of my body. His massage hurt like fuck, but it worked.

Next step is to teach the Pirate how to perform the same massage on me, so i don't have to pay the physio 19 pounds to do it. This ought to be interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How King Edward I Killed My Fish

I'm sorry to announce that Sir Robin has gone (bravely) on to his eternal reward. On saturday when I left for the Pirate's he had a touch of clamp, but was basically OK. On monday morning when I returned he was in a bad way: clamp, tail rot, and ich.

Clamp isn't serious; it's usually brought on by stress and will generally clear itself up.

Rot is serious if it reaches the body, but I sterilized some scissors and cut off the blackened bits and removed them from the the water, so that would have cleared up as well. (probably.)

Ich is a different story. It's a parasite that lives under the scales of the fish, and when it matures it forms white bumps on the fish's body. It's very easy to identify, but by the time Bubbles is displaying symptoms it's pretty far on. Antibiotics can help (I've used them before with success), but with no car I was unable to obtain the necessary meds yesterday. The best I could do was to dump some salt in the water. A bit of salt won't bother the fish any (especially bettas, who live in semi-brackish water anyway), but can throw the osmotic balance of the parasite out of whack. That's the idea, anyway. I've never seen it work, but I know people who swear by it. The trick is the salt has to be pure NaCl, without ant-caking agents. In other words, Kosher salt.

Except that the English gave the Jews the boot in 1290 and the result is that you can't buy Kosher salt anywhere to this day.

So I used rock salt, which doesn't have anti-caking agents, but does have other minerals. I had no idea how harmful those minerals would be, but I did know that if I did nothing the fish was doomed. I figured there wasn't much to lose by trying.

Gambled, and lost.

Most likely the ich was just too far gone, because when I woke up this morning he was belly-up. But I'd rather blame the English for exiling the Jews for the death of my fish. That makes for a much better story.

(And just for good measure, my back hurts like a bitch today. Nothing like adding injury to insult, is there? So I'm going to lie on my bed and drink bourbon and cry a bit. I could really do with a good pirate right about nows.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Farts, Fish, and Fridays

I'm the new Girl Friday. Yeah, working as a receptionist one day a week. That day is Friday. So when my boss took me around to introduce me to the staff (all 75 of them), approx. 80% of them said, "So, you're our new Girl Friday!" and chuckled like it was original. Oh yeah, you fellas are too clever for me. *sigh* Whatever. It pays the rent.


Brave Sir Robin is unwell. He developed a touch of fin clamp last week. I've been treating it with with Aquari-sol but there has been no improvement. On Saturday I left for the Pirate's house, and when I got back today he had developed a serious case of fin and tail rot and a touch of ick. Great. The fishy trifecta of death. Whatever. I've gotten weaker fish out of worse jams than this.

I cut the rotten bits off his tail with scissors to stop the spread, and I've treated the aquarium with salt. The only tricky bit is that I can't raise the water temp because the tank is too small for a heater. Any clever ideas on how I can raise the temp of the water without boiling the little guy?


This bit is embarassing. I've been having serious farting issues. Even more serious than normal, that is. It's actually starting to interfere with my life. I've become afraid to go out. Just to give you an idea of how bad it is, when I was at my first day of work on Friday, the other receptionist kept asking me if I smelled "that sewer smell." I managed to convince her it was coming from outside whenever someone walked in the door because they were doing sewer repairs down the street. Yeah, it's that bad.

I know dairy gives me gas, and since I'm out of my dairy-aid pills I've given up on cheese and milk.

I know red meat give me gas, but I can't afford to eat dead cow anyway.

I hate beans, so I never eat those.

Mostly I eat wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, couscous, live yoghurt, and loads of fresh veggies and fruit. Just to be safe I've cut out all the broccoli and cabbages.

I have no idea what could be causing this flatulence, but it's constant (several times an hour, all day, every day) and it's noxious. Even I can smell it, and when you can smell yourself it's a bad sign. I've been contemplating seeing a doctor, but I really don't think they'll take me seriously. Any bright ideas out there in the ether?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

How CB got her groove back

Yesterday was a big day. I went sculling.

Not just some little 15 minute, pissing-about piece of entertainment. Proper sculling. (Well, almost.) I did a 9 k piece on the Avon, and it was glorious.

After I hurt my back I rested for a while, but not nearly long enough. I went to training camp (waste of friggin mulah), and was only able to scull for 10-20 minutes, and with no pressure, and I was in pain anyway.

So I went back to resting, and continuted to do a lot of cycling and cardio stuff in the gym to keep my heart and legs strong and in good condition for the great, long-anticipated moment when i would Return like a bad Hollywood sequel.

That Moment, fellow bloggers and bloggettes (bloggettes? sounds like cheap french bread) has arrived. Rather than the sloppy, floppy, wet-noodle, fucking ineffective sculling I did in Spain (on training camp), yesterday was light, but controlled. I thought about suspending my weight, the position of my back, the pressure of the blades on my fingers. I thought about the tapdown and clean extractions, soft entrances, felt the blades engage. I feathered in my fingers, like rolling pastry dough. I thought about all the things I'd been taught, and I didn't get lazy. I squared up early, and the boat ran beneath me. Beneath me and the yellow sun ran the boat on the river, the river that was filled with placid ducks and blue silence.

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I knew it was bad,

but I didn't realize it was THIS bad. Good god almighty.

Shirt tales

By popular request, here is a photo of the shirts I bought yesterday, complete with matching cufflinks. (They're the cheesy knotted chord kind, but even buying three pairs of those was cheaper than one pair of gold ones that I could wear with all three blouses.)

(I have excellent taste, no?)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Good day

11 am

The phone rings. It's the Agency: "We have a job that might interest you... {details}... Shall we tell them you're interested?" Absolutely.

11:30 am

The phone rings. It's the Agency: "Are you available for an interview at 4 pm today?" Yep. "Fabulous. It's a very prestigious outfit, so you need to go suited and booted." Okey-dokes.

Problem. The Agency knows me well. They've seen me in interview attire. I always look professional. The fact that they felt the need to emphasize the point suggested that I needed to look more professional than usual. Except I've been wearing the very best clothes I own. But the very best clothes I own are all ill-fitting and old. My absolute best shirt is 3 years old and 2 sizes too big. Time to go shopping.

12:30 pm

Walk to T.M. Lewins, where they are having a sale on women's blouses. 40 minutes later and 82 pounds poorer I am the proud owner of three very nice, beautifully-fitting striped blouses with French cuffs and three sets of cufflinks to match. Whee!

1:30 pm

Look up company's website. Study structure, mission, news releases.

2:00 pm

Take shirts out of packaging, iron one for interview.

2:30 pm

Print off extra copy of CV for interview. Discover printer is out of ink. Email CV to Agency with note asking them to print for me so I can pick up on way to interview.

2:45 pm

Shower, dress, hair, makeup.

3:30 pm

Leave for interview, pick up CV en route.

4:00 pm

Have interview. It goes very well.

4:50 pm

Arrive home. Phone rings. It's the Agency: "The company would like to offer you the position." I accept!

I love it. 6 Hours from start to finish, and I have myself a new job. It's one day a week working front reception for a real estate advice company. It's perfect. It fits in with my life, it won't interfere with my research, rowing, teaching, other work, or visiting the Pirate, and the pay is good. So good, in fact, that one day a week will be just enough to cover my rent. So that, plus the other odd jobs here and there will be enough for me to keep my head above water. I am officially declaring the Crisis of the Bastards Who Took Away the Money They Promised Me and Screwed Me Over over. Now I'm just back to being my usual, tight-fisted self. Whee.

Wildlife Exotique

It was a wild, wild weekend. (When is it not?)

Here is our local finned wildlife, doing what it does best. Nothing.

Our local furred wildife, attempting to reach his food bin by busting through the yellow, plastic cap on his mushrroom hut. *sniff sniff* I can smell eet! I know eet's there!

Here is our local feathered wildife. This winged mofo is trying to decide if I would pose a threat to his chicks were he and his bitch to roost on the ledge outside my window. I'm trying to convince him that yes, yes I would be a HUGE threat to his chicks. Noisy, shite-squirting, raucus, garbage-eating fuckwads. (You have no idea how unsettling it is to be sitting at your compter happily blogging working and suddenly look up to find a seagull, 6 feet from your face, at head level, staring at you through your window. Fuking unnerving, I can tell you.)

This weekend Pirate and I went to Longleat Safari park, where we saw even more wildife. It was wicked good. If you havn't been there, go. It's so much better than a zoo. The animals have loads of space to move around, and you drive through the park in your car. We saw lots of things.

We saw white rhino things:

And things with babies:

And more things with babies:
(This is a rock wallaby. See that second little head sticking out there? I want to be that baby. That is the warmest, coziest, snuggliest place ever. I want to live in a pouch.)

And monkeys on cars:
(These monkeys are experts at destroying windshield wipers and radio antennae. Pirate did not want to stop the car in this area because he didn't want monkeys tearing it to bits, like what happened the last time he was here. So the converstation went more or less like this:

Me: Aawwww! Monkyes!
Pirate: Aaagh! Monkeys!
Me: Stop the car, I want to take a photo.
Pirate: No! We're not stopping! The car is NOT. STOPPING.

Result: dozens of blurry monkey photos.)

There was some hot lion on lion action, complete with audience:

And butterflies on flowers:

And the wildest wildlife of all:
(photo removed)
Wild Thing, I think I love you!

We also had a couple really good talks this weekend. There was a lot of stuff that needed to be said. We talked about our chosen career paths and the ways in which we might be able to reconcile the logistical differences of our respective careers, etc.

We also talked about our religious and philosophical differences. I'm not going to go into detail, but we have very strong opposing beliefs on some subjects, and it's an issue I've been reluctant to discuss for a variety of reasons. It got quite emotional for both of us, and we havn't come to a final resolution, but we are a lot closer than we were 48 hours ago and I am feeling much reassured. It was agreed that if we can handle this issue, we can probably handle anything.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Moonlight sleeping on the midnight lake

Today I stopped to pet a cat.

There is nothing extraordinary about this. I often stop to pet other people's cats because mine died, leaving my life bereft of catness.

I sat down on the ground. I was wearing scrubby jeans, trainers, and a black fleece hoodie -- my usual goin' to the library, hanging out around campus comfy atire. The catness, a plump female tabby with a rather stumpy tail and agreeable disposition, was situated comfortably on the pavement next to me purring her approval of my finely-honed belly-rubbing technique.

A well-dressed gentleman with a John Steed-style brolly approached, looked down at me, and said, "Sorry, I don't have any change."

That's the second time this term I've been mistaken for homeless, I thought. "That's ok, mate," I told him. "I don't mind paper."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dear Art,

I've never written a fan letter before, but your performance at Bristol Colston Hall was so breathtaking I came straight home to write to you. I wish I could tell you this in person, but the guys in black T-shirts standing outside your coach were resolute.

What I want to say is this: thank you.

Your voice is one of the most stirring I've ever heard, and the world is a better place for having such beauty in it. Thank you for sharing your gift with us tonight, and for the last 30 years. As long as you draw breath in, I hope you let it out again in song.

You made several self-depricating references tonight to your part in the great Simon & Garfunkel duo, but I want you to know that the people in that hall did not pay 35 pounds each to hear the budget half of Simon & Garfunkel; they came to hear you. You, the artist. You, with your voice like warm snowflakes. You, with your passion and spirit that, after countless hundreds, if not thousands, of performances of Bridge Over Troubled Water and Sounds of Silence, has not diminished. If anything, the passion in your voice has grown over the years, because it now carries not only the electricity of idealism, but the force of experience as well.

So thank you. Thank you for sharing your gift, your warmth, your beauty, your energy, your song.


Your fan

Bowling Etiquette

I discovered this weekend that the English, though world-renowned for being the most polite people on the planet, have absolutely no concept of bowling etiquette. This may be due to tenpin bowling being a relatively new phenomenon on this side of the pond.

Fortunately for you all, I have been bowling since I was about 7 and competing on leagues since I was 12. I will now give you the benefit of my years of experience and teach you all how to behave properly in a bowling alley. You're welcome.

Rule no. 1: Stay by your own lane.

If your party is using only one lane, and you are therefore sharing a ball return with another party, stay the fuck on your own side of the ball return. Do not run around the ball return playing 'Duck-Duck-Goose,' 'Ring-Around-the-Rosie' or any other such nonsense like a bunch of crazed lemurs on crystal meth.

Rule no. 2: Use only your own fucking ball.

It is profoundly rude to use someone else's ball, as it can be extremely difficult for some people to find a ball whose weight and finger size and spacing suit them. If you are sharing a ball-return with another party and you use a ball belonging to a member of that party, that person will be forced to wait for you to finish your frame before s/he can proceed. This seriously slows up the action for the other party, and they will HATE you and spend their waiting time making voodoo dolls of your children.

Rule no. 3: Rack your ball when you are finished playing.

Every bowling alley has ball-racks lining the walls that are filled with balls for the public use. Theoretically. At the alley where I bowled this weekend (Hollywood Bowl at Cribbs Causeway) the ball racks were completely empty. Every single ball in the alley was sitting on a ball-return, regardless of wether or not it was being used. It took us 20 minutes to find balls to use, during which time we had to interrupt and annoy countless people. So when you're done playing, for fuck's sake put your balls away. It's just like playing with toys at home: when you're done using it, put it back where it belongs. If you can't handle that, go back to kindergarten; your teacher will be happy to explain it.

Rule no. 4: Don't bowl if someone on a lane next to you is bowling.

If you see that a person on a lane next to you (either side) is preparing to bowl -- that is, standing in position, ball in hand, staring at the pins and lining up their shot -- wait. Wait until they've thrown their ball, and then go. It's not difficult. But throwing your ball as someone else is preparing to do the same is extremely distracting to the other person. Like talking when someone is golfing: you just don't do it. So when it's your turn, pick up your ball, look to your left and right, make sure no one is in the process of bowling on either side, and then proceed.

It may sound like doing this will make your game take twice as long, but really it doesn't. If everyone in the alley is abiding by this simple courtesy the alley naturally falls into a rhythm of even lanes bowl, then odd lanes, even lanes, and so on. It works. Trust me.


(and this one's crucial),

Rule no. 5: Don't eat chips with mayonaise and then go sticking your slimey fingers in everyone else's balls.

This will lead to a shortened life-expectancy. I guarantee it.

There. Now that you all know how to behave civily in a bowling alley, you may go forth and enjoy the great game of bowling.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Betta blogger

(Did you see what I did there?)

Here is (brave) Sir Robin!

(bravely) attacking a piece of flake food...

(bravely) circling another flake before moving in for the kill...

I wanted to get a nice photo of him with his fins all fanned out and doing his "I'ma kick your fucking ass into the next pond" display, except Robin doesn't have an "I'ma kick your ass" display.

Because he's a pussy fish (Vaginus ichthus).

I held my finger up to the tank. He swam away.

I held my hamster up to the tank. He was strangely interested (kept following Bluto around as Bluto circled the tank looking for sunflower seeds), but not agressive.

I held a mirror up to the tank. This will get 'im for sure, thought I. Bettas are territorial, and when they percieve another male in their territory, will display aggresively. If two males actually come into the same bit of water, they will fight, often to the death.

(My old betta, Klingon, kicked my friend Betsy's betta's ass. I felt bad for Betsy, but I was so proud of my little aquatic warrior. It was a complete accident, mind. It's not like we were making them fight. It just happened, and it just so happened that my fish thrashed her fish. Hee hee.)

So I held a mirror up to the tank, and...

...he hid in his treasure chest.


I am feeling rather like the father of the gay prince in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

(Me: Go on! Kill him! Kill him and take his pond! He's got HUGE... tracts of duckweed!
Sir Robin: But I don't want that! I want to sing!...)

Anyway, he's a happy little guy.

Ooh, look! He's blowna bubble nest! Horny little scaled bastard.
When mating, the male betta builds a bubble nest, and after copulation with the female the fertilized eggs float in the sticky bubbles for protection. That he blew bubbles so soon after moving in to his new tank shows that a) he's happy, feels that this is definately his territory, and is ready to get on with life, and b) that he very much wants to get laid.

So basically like every other male i know. Ok then.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Flowers

I know I promised you photos of my new gown and fish (how often do you get to say that???), but I havn't got round to taking them yet. I will also be writing shortly on the appalling lack of proper etiquite in English bowling alleys, but I've been too busy. In the meantime you may amuse yourselves with these images I snapped around campus in the lovely spring sunshine.

Pink hyacinth in front of the cathedral:

A hillside covered in wild primrose:

A magnolia tree and daffodils behind the Russian Studies department:

Magnolia stellata somewhere on campus:

Flowering quince somewhere on campus:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Weekend excitement

Wow what a busy weekend!

Thursday (weekends start on thursday now), Pirate picked me up and took me to a leadership development seminar. (he gets browie points at work for attending these things.) the speaker spent the first 20 minutes talking in cliches, and the next 90 convincing me of a point about which i needed no convincing. so it was all a bit pointless, but it included dinner and it was an evening with the pirate, so that was ok.

Friday Pirate came over after an evening shooting (he's a toxophilite), and we went to a party where we had to leave after 5 minutes because we couldn't hear the other guests over the music and we couldn't see them through the pot smoke.

Saturday we

1) picked up my new evening gown, which is the first part of my birthday gift from the Pirate. (my birthday was in January, but it took a while to have it made.) Photos forthcoming.

2) went up on the Downs and ran around in the wind and mud playing catch and learning how to bowl a cricket ball properly. (I'm a bit rubbish, but he's a qulified coach and i'm an eager student, so i'm sure i'll get there eventually.)

3) went and got my Wishy! (This is the second half of my birthday gift.) My Wishy is lovely. He is a betta wishy, and his name is Sir Robin. We named him that because instead of attacking his reflection or a finger held up to the tank, he runs (bravely) away and hides behind his plants. Photos forthcoming.

4) went back to Pirate's house and took a walk around the countryside where he lives. We saw a family of baby rabbits, and i truly don't know which was the cuter, the baby bun-buns, or the Pirate's reaction to them. I've never seen a grown man coo like that before. I can't wait to make him a daddy someday.

5) had kielbasa for dinner

6) watched Kill Bill.

7) made sweet, sweet, lurve.

Sunday we

1) slept in and had a lazy morning lounging in bed, warm and snuggly (this is getting really nauseating, isn't it? oh, well.)

2) spent an hour being wishy-washy over how we wanted to spend the afternoon. those types of conversations drive me nuts, and usually the P is very decisive, so they don't happen often. thank god.

3) finally decided to go bowling (tenpin). Probably not the smartest idea in the world given my back, but it worked out ok in the end.

4) had a horribly, horribly, awful, terrible, unhealth, gross, disgusting, delicisous, amazing, fantastic, delectible, orgasmic lunch at Burger King. I havn't had a whopper in almost 2 decades. My GOD was that good. I so needed that.

5) eventually located the bowling alley (after 40 minutes of driving around with me suggesting we stop for directions and him continuing to drive while we both openly admitted we didn't know where we were going. argh!). At Hollywood Bowl I learned that people in this country have NO CONCEPT of proper bowling alley etiquite. The next post is going to be a manners guide to bowling tenpin. I kicked the Pirate's ass two games in a row. But that's not too surprising, since I've been bowling since I was 7, and on leagues since I was 11.

6) Watched Kill Bill 2.

Pirate is coming over again tonight, so I guess the weekend isn't quite over yet. I really like these Thursday to Monday weekends. I could get used to this.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I just remembered that yesterday was a bit of an anniversary for me. Yay, me!

*plots diabolical ways to celebrate tonight with Pirate*

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Goddamn poverty

Last night I was ecstatic because I learned that Art Garfunkel* is playing Colston Hall next Thursday evening, and I determined to go.

This morning I want to kill myself because tickets cost an entire week's wages, so I can't.

Goddamn poverty.

*Art Garfunkel is my favorite vocalist of all time. His songwriting abilities are no match for Paul Simon's, but his voice is a gift to the human race: lighter than a feather in orbit, gentle as warm snowflakes. I grew up listening to his music, and his voice is as familiar and soothing to me as my own mother's.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Failed experiment in self control

I have a chocolate addiction. I mean a proper addiction. As soon as I've eaten a portion of chocolate I fantasize about the next opportunity to eat more. I'm never satisfied. Thinking about my next hit distracts me from my work. I'll take money out of the ATM just to buy a KitKat. And as soon as it's gone I want another. And another.

It is not possible for me to eat half a portion of choclate. If you put a twixt bar in front of me and tell to only eat one finger, I will eat one and then spend the next 20 minutes (if I last that long) staring at the other half until eventually I eat that, too. If a receptionist has a dish of chocolates on her desk I will take one every time I walk past, and then I will begin creating exuses to walk past so I can filch more chocolates.

A few times in my life I've gone off chocolate cold turkey. It takes about a month for the cravings to go away, during which time I'm in agony. But when they do, oh! the sheer relief of it all.

This is why it was such a Bad Idea for me to buy a gigantic bar of "Delux Belgian Plain Chocolate" from Sainsbury's for 85p last night. My flatmate often keeps bars of plain chocolate around and gives me little pieces now and again. I don't understand how he can have one in his room and not eat it all straight away. It just sits there on his desk and he doesn't touch it. This is so alien and unfathomable to me I can't begin to describe it.

But for some fucking reason I thought I could pull off the same stunt. So I bought the chocolate bar. I had a few pieces. (They were really good, especially given that it was cheap chocolate.) I put the rest in the cupboard in the kitchen where I wouldn't have to look at it. "Out of sight, out of mind," I told myself.

But I kept thinking about it. It preyed on my mind. "Just a few more nibbles," I told myself, "to make the craving go away." (What a load of bullshit. I bet every addict uses that excuse.)

I managed to eat only half of it before I went to bed, but that was yesterday, and as of right now the whole thing is gone. Less than 24 hours. And that was a huge bar of chocolate.

I really hate myself.

I wish I could stop.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Pirate returns

Pirate is home from India. Whee! He came home about midnight on saturday all suntanned and exhausted. Sunday morning after my coaching session I cycled out to his house. It's just over 22 miles from where I live, and it normally takes me 2 hours and change to get there, the last 6 miles being all more or less uphill. This Sunday I had spent an hour running around playing basketball with a bunch of teenagers, and immidiately got on the bike and set off. In the pouring rain. Into a headwind.

It took me 3 1/4 hours. And the rack on the back of my bike broke, so I had to carry my pack on my back, so my back was killing me by the time I arrived. AND I got a flat tire. Twice.

But it was worth it to hold him and hear his voice and feel his breath on my neck. Especially when I woke up screaming in the middle of the night from a horrendous nightmare. I have nightmares regularly, but not as often when we're together. This was only the second time since we met that I had a bad dream while I was in bed with him. I hate having nightmares, but it is wonderful to have someone there to snuggle you back to sleep.

He brought me a beautiful silk scarf from India. I'll wrap it around my neck and feel its warmth and remember the sensation of his breath on my skin.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Scone Also Rises

Pirate is coming home late tonight, and I will see him tomorrow morning. He's been gone for two weeks, and so will have no food in the house when I rock up to his place. Ergo, there needs be baking.

Thanks to Hendrix Cat I have a fabulous new recipe for treacle (molasses) scones. I've been living in England for a total of 2 1/2 years, and have spent the entire time complaining that I couldn't buy molasses anywhere. Then I get this recipe, go to the store, ask the clerk where the treacle is (having no idea what it is), get it home, open it, and voila! It's molasses! Who knew. Damn transAntlantic language breakdowns. Anyway, here's a picture of them:

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixt seale, and loe, there was a great earthquake, and the Sunne became blacke as sackecloth of haire, and the Moone became as blood."
-- Revelation, 6:12

Tonight there was a total lunar eclipse. We were priveledged to see it, not only because it's such a rare occurance, but because this is the first clear night we've had in months. Stargazing is not a popular past time in England for obvious meteorological reasons.

It was beautiful. I've never seen one before. I had no idea the moon would be so red. Now I understand that verse from Revelation. One can only imgane what the ancients must have felt when they saw the moon darkening, disappearing in the sky before their eyes, and emitting that erie, garnet glow. No wonder they thought the world was about to end.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Personal to Emily Post: Fuck Off

A charming individual calling him/herself Emily Post had this to say in response to my post, Happy VD.

"he had the good sense to take me at my word. "

The fact that you had the need to write about it, just to say it out loud: I don't mind that he didn't do anything for me on V-Day, sort of shows how you did mind, and deep down, you wish he did something.

Regardless of the occasion, love is present. Therefore, to pay special attention to a particular day (however cheesy or overrated it is) to celebrate love just for the heck of it, means something.

Everyone wants fireworks. Even married couples who go out of their way to revive the fires that have somewhat been watered down over time.

You should be more upfront about your feelings. And he should stop treating you like one of the guys.

You're right, dear. I should be more upfront about my feelings.** Starting now.

Fuck right off, you patronizing, sanctimonious, self-important cunt!!!

Ooh, that felt good.

I know I shouldn't let verbal feces deposited in my comments box by an anonymous wanker get to me, but this was personal. This is someone telling me how I should feel and and how I and my absolutely wonderful, affectionate, generous boyfriend should act.

See Emily, here's the thing. Bitches like you are the reason it's so hard for women like me to convince men that there are honest women in the world who speak their mind and don't play the manipulative games you condone. You find it unfathomable that someone could actually mean what they say. You automatically assume I must have some kind of hidden motive. You assume this because that is exactly how you behave.

You're right about one thing: love is present, regardless of the day. That is precisely why the day is so superfluous! When I say that every weekend with the Pirate is like Christmas, my birthday, Valentine's and the Fourth of July rolled into one, it's because he really IS that generous all the time. What would you rather have: a boyfriend who takes you to a gorgeous, very posh, romantic, candlelight dinner on Valentine's day, or a boyfriend who does it on a random saturday just because? Exactly.

And what the fuck makes you think we don't have fireworks???! You're making an awful lot of personal, and rather ballsy, assumptions for someone who has never met either one of us.

Your comment about him treating me "like one of the boys" is offensive on several levels. They are as follows:
  1. There is nothing wrong with spending time with one's boyfriend while talking about/watching/playing sports, talking cars, playing video games, or doing the other things you imagine boys do. There is nothing wrong with this because first and foremost we are best friends, and that, more than anything else, is why we will still love each other and love being with each other when we're old and grey and broken.
  2. The flippancy of your tone insults men everywhere, and suggests that the bonds formed between heterosexual males are somehow weaker or less valid than those formed between sexual partners. I have observed that many men form incredibly strong attachments with their mates, often a loyalty surpassing that of their loyalty to a sexual partner. If this is the sort of deep, fraternal bond the Pirate feels toward me I would not feel slighted in the least.
  3. You are making an assertion about the nature of the relationship between me and my boyfriend based on absolutely no evidence because, as I pointed out earlier, you've never me either one of us.
  4. You not only assume you know something about me/us that you don't, but you presume to tell my boyfriend how to behave towards me! This I find utterly appalling. Based on what you've written above, I can safely say that if the Pirate were to follow any of your advice, it would be a significant decline in the quality of our relationship. If you have a boyfriend, I pity him. I would rather roll in broken glass and swim in a pool of lemon juice than spend 5 minutes in a room with you.
So if you feel the need to offer any more unsolicited advice, please consider adhering to the following unsolicited advice first: Pick up the nearest heavy object, hit yourself over the head with it 3 times, and then repeat the phrase 'I will not be a conceited, goody-goody twat' until the urge passes. Thank you.

**Anyone out there who thinks I'm not upfront about my feelings, raise your hand.

Yeah, that's what I thought.