Sunday, July 31, 2005

Weekly Weigh In


Family in my building

There was just a knock at my door, which freaked me out. I don’t expect knocks on my door in the middle of the night if I’m not expecting anyone. Add to that I am wearing grubby “I am sick” clothes, a knock in the middle of the night sends me into a panic mode. I’m not so worried about someone raping and killing me as I am about his thinking I am a crazy cat lady shut in. I peer in the peep hole and the guy looks harmless. I open the door and he launches into his story. “I fixed someone’s computer on this floor and I don’t remember what apartment it was.” He looks over his shoulder and whispers, “They were a transvestite.” I was immediately able to direct him to the right apartment. I’m not sure what it is about there always being transvestites in my building. In the eight years that I have lived here there have been three. Then again given the geographic location of my building, I’m surprised that there haven’t been more. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was an amputee. A transvestite amputee. She had some great boas. I think she was compensating for not being able to wear shoes. The transvestite that lives in my building now shares a studio apartment with an older couple that I assume are her parents. They don’t speak any English. The father sits out on the front steps chain smoking and always says “Hola” when I walk by. He has sad eyes. When I see the mother she says “Hey!” and mumbles something else that I can’t understand. I caught her once digging in my trash that I left outside my door the night before. She has had a few freak-out moments outside the building crying and ranting, the rest of her family trying to calm her down. I don’t know how they manage in a studio apartment, the three of them.

Bad Birdy

Foul-mouthed British parrot banished by embarrassed keepers A foul-mouthed parrot previously owned by a lorry driver has been banished from public areas in a British animal sanctuary after repeatedly embarrassing his keepers, they said. Barney, a five-year-old Macaw, is now kept indoors at Warwickshire Animal Sanctuary in Nuneaton, central England, when outsiders visit after abusing dignitaries with swearword-littered insults. "He's told a lady mayoress to f..(expletive) off and he told a lady vicar: 'And you can f... off as well'," sanctuary worker Stacey Clark said. Nor did the forces of law and order escape, she added. "Two policemen came to have a look at the centre. He told them: 'And you can f... off you two wankers'." Clark said sanctuary workers believed Barney either picked up the phrases from television or was taught them by his previous owner, a lorry driver who emigrated to Spain. "He does say 'Hello, big boy' and 'Thank you' when you give him a biscuit," she added. "But it's mainly naughty words and always to the wrong people. We're trying to teach him not to swear. Macaws are very intelligent birds."

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Feeling more humanish

Today was the first day I woke up feeling like a person and not the host for streptococci bacteria to nibble on. Still coughing like Camille, but there is hope. The Aristocrats just opened in New York and LA and I really want to go but right now laughing and coughing are a tandem event so that would be bad. The movie is a documentary about a joke that comedians have been telling each other since vaudeville. Not just any joke. . . the dirtiest joke that you will ever hear. You can watch The South Park version of the joke here. I got the matchboxes that I ordered for the wedding yesterday and they are so cutesy. There is something more than a little wrong with me that I am excited about little matchboxes.

Friday, July 29, 2005


I will be able to talk about something other than how I am feeling. Doc added levaquin to the meds mix and I got a new bottle of codeine laced cough syrup. I may not feel good but at least I am a little high while I'm here.

No Fever!

I was afraid I would have to call the doc again after Wednesday night. Night sweats, 102 temp, coughing. . . but Thursday I almost felt okay other than coughing fits and feeling like an elephant is sitting on me. Oh, yeah and the overwhelming exhaustion. I was feeling so good, I started to dig through my bookshelves pulling down the books I want to try and sell to used bookstores. Got half way through before I had to stop. I wanna be healthy. I wanna sleep lying down. I wanna be able to do my laundry. Been having mini panic attacks about the things I need to do that I am simply not capable of doing. I don’t even have the mental acumen to read. All I am good for is reality television.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I caught the reality show Bridezilla for the first time last night and my jaw dropped. Not only were these women remarkably self-absorbed and pushy, the amount of money they were dropping was obscene. One couple ended up refinancing their house to pay for their $70,000 wedding. $70,000!!!!! To my mind even if you could afford to spend that much, you shouldn't on principle. You should donate that money to some organization that helps people. Crazy. Why would someone spend that much money and start their life out together behind the 8 ball? I still had a fever today so my doc had me come in for an x-ray to make sure I don't have pneumonia, which I don't thank god. Just bronchitis and a mother of a step infection. She wants me to stay home the rest of this week. I'm crawling the walls here. I also don't have aircon so it adds another level of miserable to the whole experience.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Administration and the Fury

Knowing Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury adds a whole new appreciation to Sam Apple’s parody The Administration and the Fury but it is not necessary for a giggle. He recently won a Faulkner write-alike contest sponsored by United Airlines in air magazine, Hemispheres. There has been some drama because the magazine is refusing to put the story in their print edition, only online. I’m still really sick. Fever, coughing, the works. I hoped the drugs would have kicked in by now. If I do not feel better by tomorrow afternoon the doc told me to come see her again. All I did today was sleep and dream really crazy dreams. I am really bored of this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

mucho grande drugas

Doc put me on 1000 MG Augmentin. These pills are enourmous. They are big enough to build condos on. I also got some cough syrup with codeine so I will be a happy sleeping through the night girl. (I hope.) She wants me to stay home until Thursday so I suspect I will be climbing the walls soon. I just wanna get healthy. I have too damn much to do to sit on my ass all day.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

When will the coughing end?

I am sure my neighbors are about to kill me for my 2am hack fests. I am ready to kill me. Had a nice time last night hanging out at the Tiki Ti then dinner at El Chavo with Darren & Nate, Linda & Dog Mike, Joe and Mike. Pathetic that I was in bed by 10:30. This cough thing is the longest I have ever been sick. My fever came back last night again so I took some Tylenol at 2 am and it is over 100 again today. Blah. WARNING: Definite girly whiney bullshit approaching. Today I am starting my plan to undue the damage from the last few months and to get rid of the food baby I am carrying around in my gut. I lost 70 pounds low carbing a few years ago but the last two years I have been really lazy about maintaining and I let myself creep back up a bit and then after London? Forgetaboutit. So I am back on the wagon but not so much Atkins as more Anne Louise Gittleman. Veggies and fruits that support certain organ functions, eggs and lean protein. No coffee. No cheese. No sugar. No beer. No wine. No problem. I've always been one of those people when there is something that I want, it happens. It is just a matter of honestly working for what you want and not expecting it to be a gift from the gods. And I really wanna fit in the dress that I ordered for the wedding. I don't right now which isn't a complete tragedy because it does come in a larger size. So weekly weigh-in. Today I am 154 or 11 stones. Goal is 9 stone.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fun CD

I’m blasting Paul Anka’s Rock Swings. It must be understood that I adore Frank, Tony Bennett, etc so something like this is right up my alley. He takes rock songs and sings them with a swing arrangement. It’s fabulous. I am feeling better this morning than I did earlier which is good. Cats are flea free. If I had a cup of coffee and Stuart here, life would be perfect. Stu just called me and he and Ollie have been discussing what they want to put on the grave headstones. Ollie said that Stu should have, "If you are reading this, I am probably dead."

Happy Birthday to me. . .

I woke up at 1:30 AM PST and I have taken a definite turn for the worse. Fever is back. Coughing. Achy muscles. I need the nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, sleep better to feel better medicine. Or a gun to the head. Either will do. Will try to go back to sleep but it is so hot. (Can you hear my whining through my typing?) It says that it is 71 right now but I think they are lying to me.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Because I don't have enough to deal with

So I have a little present from Gordon's break out from the apartment last month. Quick back story. Garbo has hair matrix tumors on the back of her neck. I had them checked out 8 years ago and they are benign. So I am petting her last night and I noticed that the tumors were a bit crusty with a bit of dried blood. I started to dig around in her fur and I found that she has. . . Fleas. All three cats have fleas. I have fleas. I am so skieved out. I immediately hoped on the Internet and researched fleas and flea treatment and prevention. (What did we do in the good old days?) So the plan tonight is to swing by the pet store and by some flea shampoo and some kitty collars. Then I am going to the grocery store for borax. I am going to vacuum five times tonight with the cat collar in the bag. I am going to wash the slipcover to my sofa. I am going to borax my carpet. Then I get to wash three cats. I will then give myself first aid. I will then retreat to my bedroom, which has been a cat free zone for four years. I will from there drink a large bottle of Chocolate Stout that has been sitting in my fridge since Sunday. In the morning I am going to swing by the vet before work get Advantage- topical cream that is supposed to be good. Maybe some pills for them take. Margee said it is really bad this year because of all the rain that we got. Ten years of cat ownership and I never had a problem and now I gotta deal with this. Poor kitties. Poor me. Die fleas. Die!

Two Weeks Later- more London attacks

I woke up at five and began the losing battle to fall back asleep between the heat and my constant coughing. I decided to get up and IM Stuart and then maybe leave my house early and get a cup of coffee. I saw the news immediately. I called Stuart and he is fine. They are hanging out in the pub, which I have to say is one of the reasons I love the English. He said the tube is totally shut down (news says only Northern, Victoria and Hammersmith lines). I feel a bit shaky.


Doc says that I tested positive for strep and if my cough isn't gone by Monday I need to go see her. Annoying. Next weekend Stu will probably be in San Francisco for training so I am going to fly in to see him. So excited. Might go up the next weekend too when he is in Seattle so I can introduce him to my friends there, but we will see. Money is rather tight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Arranged Movers

Talked to a very nice man at Southern Winds International and the movers are coming August 15th. Kind of nice that the quote he gave me includes their packing my stuff. I guess it makes it easier for customs. Feels weird that other people will be packing my things. It really isn't that bad. $1,700 for 1,000 pounds and 200 cubic feet for packing my stuff, all of the shipping materials, shipping, customs and they deliver it to the London flat. Glad to be moving forward. Getting sick has really wiped me out. My apartment is a disaster at the moment. I haven't had the energy to do anything other than sleep.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Man shoots postman to get jailed

From the BBC. Deep sigh. A US man shot his postman so that he would get sent to prison for life and escape his crippling medical debts, investigators say. William Crutchfield shot 59-year-old postman Earl Lazenby in Snellville, Georgia, two weeks ago. He greeted the postman and collected his letters before lifting his pistol and shooting him seven times. Mr Lazenby survived the attack but the shots punctured his colon and intestine and fractured bones in an arm. After shooting Mr Lazenby, the 60-year-old electrical contractor drove to the police station and confessed. 'Inspired by bomber' Mr Crutchfield told police that he shot the postman as a way of escaping medical debts of $90,000 (£51,000). He said he feared losing his home and thought that living in prison would be better than surviving on the street. "He was saying that he wanted to be cared for by the federal government, that he was in poor health and wanted to be taken care of," Atlanta postal inspector Tracey Jefferson said. Mr Lazenby told the Associated Press news agency: "He took his mail and then said 'Hello'. And then just started shooting." He said the man then "casually got into his car and drove away". Mr Crutchfield reportedly told police that he had been inspired by following the fate of Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph. Under an April 2005 deal, Rudolph received four life sentences without parole. During his first court appearance Mr Crutchfield asked if he could plead guilty twice. "I'd like to get to where I'm going and start doing my time," he told the judge. Mr Crutchfield remains in jail charged with attempting to kill a federal employee.

No more magical mushroom tours

I knew the law would be changing while I was gone. . . but damn! One of the things that I didn't do in London. Damn, damn, damn. I'm really shocked at how they are classifying them however. . .They are now considered a class A drug. ". . .they are now classified as a "Class A" drug, alongside heroin. Possession could lead to seven years in jail, while supplying them could result in a life sentence. " Seems a bit extreme.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Finished the new Harry Potter. Fantastic. Dark, dark, dark. Sad. Really, terribly sad. How can I wait two more years for the rest of the story? And for you Harry Hater's, Michiko Kakutani is on my side. Harry Potter Works His Magic Again in a Far Darker Tale By MICHIKO KAKUTANI In an earlier Harry Potter novel, Sibyll Trelawney, divination teacher, looks at Harry and declares that her inner eye sees past his "brave face to the troubled soul within." "I regret to say that your worries are not baseless," she adds. "I see difficult times ahead for you, alas ... most difficult ... I fear the thing you dread will indeed come to pass ... and perhaps sooner than you think." In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," that frightening prophecy does in fact come true - in a thoroughly harrowing denouement that sees the death of yet another important person in Harry's life, and that renders this, the sixth volume of the series, the darkest and most unsettling installment yet. It is a novel that pulls together dozens of plot strands from previous volumes, underscoring how cleverly and carefully J. K. Rowling has assembled this giant jigsaw puzzle of an epic. It is also a novel that depicts Harry Potter, now 16, as more alone than ever - all too well aware of loss and death, and increasingly isolated by his growing reputation as "the Chosen One," picked from among all others to do battle with the Dark Lord, Voldemort. As the novel opens, the wizarding world is at war: Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters have grown so powerful that their evil deeds have spilled over into the Muggle world of nonmagic folks. The Muggles' prime minister has been alerted by the Ministry of Magic about the rise of Voldemort. And the terrible things that Ms. Rowling describes as being abroad in the green and pleasant land of England read like a grim echo of events in our own post-9/11, post-7/7 world and an uncanny reminder that the Hogwarts Express, which Harry and his friends all take to school, leaves from King's Cross station - the very station where the suspected London bombers gathered minutes before the explosions that rocked the city nine days ago. Harry, who as an infant miraculously survived a Voldemort attack that killed his mother and father, is regarded as "a symbol of hope" by many in the wizarding world, and as he learns more about the Dark Lord's obsession with his family, he realizes that he has a destiny he cannot escape. Like Luke Skywalker, he is eager to play the role of hero. But like Spider-Man, he is also aware of the burden that that role imposes: although he has developed romantic yearnings for a certain girl, he is wary of involvement, given his recognition of the dangers he will have to face. "It's been like ... like something out of someone else's life, these last few weeks with you," he tells her. "But I can't ... we can't ... I've got things to do alone now." Indeed, the perilous task Professor Dumbledore sets Harry in this volume will leave him with less and less time for Quidditch and hanging out with his pals Ron and Hermione: he is to help his beloved teacher find four missing Horcruxes - super-secret, magical objects in which Voldemort has secreted parts of his soul as a means of ensuring his immortality. Only when all of these items have been found and destroyed, Harry is told, can the Dark Lord finally be vanquished. There are a host of other unsettling developments in this novel, too: the Dementors, those fearsome creatures in charge of guarding Azkaban Prison, have joined forces with Voldemort; Draco Malfoy, Harry's sneering classmate who boasts of moving on to "bigger and better things," appears to vanish regularly from the school grounds; the sinister Severus Snape has been named the new teacher of defense against the dark arts; two Hogwarts students are nearly killed in mysterious attacks; and Dumbledore suddenly turns up with a badly injured hand, which he declines to explain. One of the few bright spots in Harry's school life appears to be an old textbook annotated by its enigmatic former owner, who goes by the name the Half-Blood Prince - a book that initially supplies Harry with some helpful tips for making potions. The early and middle sections of this novel meld the ordinary and the fantastic in the playful fashion Ms. Rowling has patented in her previous books, capturing adolescent angst about boy-girl and student-teacher relations with perfect pitch. Ron and Hermione, as well as Harry, all become involved in romantic flirtations with other students, even as they begin to realize that their O.W.L. (Ordinary Wizarding Level) grades may well determine the course of their post-Hogwarts future. As the story proceeds, however, it grows progressively more somber, eventually becoming positively Miltonian in its darkness. In fact, two of the novel's final scenes - like the violent showdown between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in the last "Star Wars" movie, "Revenge of the Sith" - may well be too alarming for the youngest readers. Harry still has his wry sense of humor and a plucky boyish heart, but as in the last volume ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"), he is more Henry V than Prince Hal, more King Arthur than the young Wart. He has emerged, at school and on the Quidditch field, as an unquestioned leader: someone who must learn to make unpopular decisions and control his impetuous temper, someone who must keep certain secrets from his schoolmates and teachers. He has become more aware than ever of what he and Voldemort have in common - from orphaned childhoods to an ability to talk Parseltongue (i.e., snake speech) to the possession of matching wands - and in one chilling scene, he is forced to choose between duty to his mission and his most heartfelt emotions. In discovering the true identity of the Half-Blood Prince, Harry will learn to re-evaluate the value of first impressions and the possibility that his elders' convictions can blind them to parlous truths. And in embracing his own identity, he will discover his place in history. As in earlier volumes, Ms. Rowling moves Harry's story forward by chronicling his adventures at Hogwarts, while simultaneously moving backward in time through the use of flashbacks (via Dumbledore's remarkable Pensieve, a receptacle for people's memories). As a result, this is a coming-of-age story that chronicles the hero's evolution not only by showing his maturation through a series of grueling tests, but also by detailing the growing emotional wisdom he gains from understanding more and more about the past. In addition to being a bildungsroman, of course, the Harry Potter books are also detective stories, quest narratives, moral fables, boarding school tales and action-adventure thrill rides, and Ms. Rowling uses her tireless gift for invention to thread these genres together, while at the same time taking myriad references and tropes (borrowed from such disparate sources as Shakespeare, Dickens, fairy tales, Greek myths and more recent works like "Star Wars") and making them her own. Perhaps because of its position as the penultimate installment of a seven-book series, "The Half-Blood Prince" suffers, at moments, from an excess of exposition. Some of Dumbledore's speeches to Harry have a forced, summing-up quality, and the reader can occasionally feel Ms. Rowling methodically setting the stage for developments to come or fleshing out scenarios put in play by earlier volumes (most notably, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," with its revelations about the young Voldemort, a k a Tom Riddle). Such passages, however, are easily forgotten, as the plot hurtles along, gaining a terrible momentum in this volume's closing pages. At the same time, the suspense generated by these books does not stem solely from the tension of wondering who will die next or how one or another mystery will be solved. It stems, as well, from Ms. Rowling's dexterity in creating a character-driven tale, a story in which a person's choices determine the map of his or her life - a story that creates a hunger to know more about these people who have become so palpably real. We want to know more about Harry's parents - how they met and married and died - because that may tell us more about Harry's own yearnings and decisions. We want to know more about Dumbledore's desire to believe the best of everyone because that may shed light on whom he chooses to trust. We want to know more about the circumstances of Tom Riddle's birth because that may shed light on his decision to reinvent himself as Lord Voldemort. Indeed, the achievement of the Potter books is the same as that of the great classics of children's literature, from the Oz novels to "The Lord of the Rings": the creation of a richly imagined and utterly singular world, as detailed, as improbable and as mortal as our own.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Got a flat!

Stuart looked at the flat in Balham that Jen had found today and we are renting it! It's a Victorian split level, built in wardrobes and bookshelves in the common area (which means we won't need to buy quite as many shelves). Stu and I have the 2nd floor bedroom. Very excited. They will be moving in the end of August or the start of September. Yesterday I realized I hadn't read The Order of the Phoenix since it came out a couple of years ago, so I read most of it yesterday and just finished it this morning which is great because now I can start The Half Blood Prince with everything really fresh in my mind. Knowing me I will probably finish it tonight. I love hiding myself away with a book and consuming it all in one go. I wish I could find a job where it was necessary to be a quick reader.

Friday, July 15, 2005

H Day!

The new Harry Potter comes out at midnight and I am very excited. For those of you that don’t like Harry, I can only say, with all sincerity, “Bite me.” (Ever notice that people who don’t like the books haven’t read them?) The dorky English Major in me would love to write a paper about why the books resonate so much a la Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. I went to work this morning but they sent me home. They still haven’t set up my computer from the move to the new office and it wouldn’t be a great idea to put me on the phones since I sound like Demi Moore after smoking a carton of reds. So, I am taking another sick day. The fever broke this morning but I am still attempting to remove internal organs from the force of my coughing.

Krugman's 7/15 NY Times Op-Ed

Karl Rove's America By PAUL KRUGMAN John Gibson of Fox News says that Karl Rove should be given a medal. I agree: Mr. Rove should receive a medal from the American Political Science Association for his pioneering discoveries about modern American politics. The medal can, if necessary, be delivered to his prison cell. What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we're not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern. I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals. But the real demonstration that Mr. Rove understands American politics better than any pundit came after 9/11. Every time I read a lament for the post-9/11 era of national unity, I wonder what people are talking about. On the issues I was watching, the Republicans' exploitation of the atrocity began while ground zero was still smoldering. Mr. Rove has been much criticized for saying that liberals responded to the attack by wanting to offer the terrorists therapy - but what he said about conservatives, that they "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war," is equally false. What many of them actually saw was a domestic political opportunity - and none more so than Mr. Rove. A less insightful political strategist might have hesitated right after 9/11 before using it to cast the Democrats as weak on national security. After all, there were no facts to support that accusation. But Mr. Rove understood that the facts were irrelevant. For one thing, he knew he could count on the administration's supporters to obediently accept a changing story line. Read the before-and-after columns by pro-administration pundits about Iraq: before the war they castigated the C.I.A. for understating the threat posed by Saddam's W.M.D.; after the war they castigated the C.I.A. for exaggerating the very same threat. Mr. Rove also understands, better than anyone else in American politics, the power of smear tactics. Attacks on someone who contradicts the official line don't have to be true, or even plausible, to undermine that person's effectiveness. All they have to do is get a lot of media play, and they'll create the sense that there must be something wrong with the guy. And now we know just how far he was willing to go with these smear tactics: as part of the effort to discredit Joseph Wilson IV, Mr. Rove leaked the fact that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the C.I.A. I don't know whether Mr. Rove can be convicted of a crime, but there's no question that he damaged national security for partisan advantage. If a Democrat had done that, Republicans would call it treason. But what we're getting, instead, is yet another impressive demonstration that these days, truth is political. One after another, prominent Republicans and conservative pundits have declared their allegiance to the party line. They haven't just gone along with the diversionary tactics, like the irrelevant questions about whether Mr. Rove used Valerie Wilson's name in identifying her (Robert Novak later identified her by her maiden name, Valerie Plame), or the false, easily refuted claim that Mr. Wilson lied about who sent him to Niger. They're now a chorus, praising Mr. Rove as a patriotic whistle-blower. Ultimately, this isn't just about Mr. Rove. It's also about Mr. Bush, who has always known that his trusted political adviser - a disciple of the late Lee Atwater, whose smear tactics helped President Bush's father win the 1988 election - is a thug, and obviously made no attempt to find out if he was the leaker. Most of all, it's about what has happened to America. How did our political system get to this point? E-mail:

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Love my doc

Still have a 101 temp and now my ears ache so I called in. I did manage to get some sleep after my 4:30 AM wake up by sleeping sitting up. I’m sure work thinks I am taking a piss but I don't care. I feel much too crappy. Called my doc but she is out today but the receptionist asked me what the dealio was and she said she would call the doctor. They just called me back and she is going to prescribe me a Z Pack (what the hell is a Z pack?) and they want me to go in and give them a throat culture to make sure I don't have strep. Going to swing by Cantors for some matza ball soup. My brain feels crispy from the fever. I am such a baby when I am sick.

My ebola

I feel beyond crapified. Keep waking up coughing, can't breathe. Blah. 101 temp. Think I am going to go to the doctor tomorrow. If it is bronchitis, they can't really do anything but it will make me feel better. I wish Stu was here to make me a cup of tea. Then again it is 4:30 AM in LA. He wouldn't be inspired to make me a cup of tea at this hour.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

dropped stu off

Dropped Stuart off at the airport. I'm sad but not that bad since we will see each other in a few weeks and in a few months I will be back over the pond. Have felt like Grade A crap since Monday afternoon. Been hacking up my lungs and have a 100.9 fever. Going to hide in my house and watch lots of television. First day back to the US office is tomorrow. I don't think they would look kindly on my calling in sick- even if I am. . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Back to life soon.

I’ve had that terrible, “It is Sunday night and you have to go back to work or school or prison soon” feeling for a few days. Is silly. Yes, Stuart is going home but I will be seeing him soon. Been reading a lot of the news about the bombing. Someone asked me if I was still going to move there and I said of course. You can’t live your life afraid of what might happen. No where is safe. I could be hit by a car crossing the street tomorrow. Given that Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in the country. . . that wouldn't be unusual. When we drove back to LA Friday from Vegas we stopped in the ghost town Calico. I’ve wanted to go there for years and now I’ve done it and I don’t have to go back ever again. Saturday I took Stuart to what I think is the best pizza joint in LA, Village Pizza on Larchmont then we drove down Hollywood, cut over to Sunset all the way to the coast, blasting Led Zeppelin as we drove along the PCH. It was a good day. I'm fighting a cold right now so we are staying in. Been feeling exhausted all week. Not sure if it is a mixture of Jet Lag or what. Old age? I turn 35 next Saturday. Need to figure out if I want to plan a "yeah me" soirée. Maybe I'll see how many people we squeeze into the Tiki Ti.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


London Tube attack
London Tube attack,
originally uploaded by nicdthomas.
My German friend Richard has a photo blog (see the link to the right). This was the picture and text that he posted today.

50,000 disoriented people, fearful. Sirens, men try to make eye contact with me - what happened. Bits of news - we must get away from Victoria station, there's a park over there. Started to rain - stupid British calmness. Damned, 5 minutes later and(). Terror.

London Transportation Attack

I had intended my first post in America to be a funny, frothy description of being dragged to Area 51 and the Little A'Le'Inn where my ten year old nephew exclaimed. "I drove two hours to look at a sign?!" I was going to talk about how my first day back to driving I got rear ended in Primm, Nevada and my car barely has a scratch and the person that hit me knocked out both headlights and buckled their hood. I was going to talk about how Stuart has been pleasantly surprised by the part of Las Vegas that is not casinos and even the casinos have their charms (99 cent breakfasts and free drinks while you gamble away your life savings). I woke up this morning to discover that the city that will be my adoptive home was attacked. Last week Janelle and I were on the Central Tube Line, and we both saw a big black duffle bag on the ground without an apparent owner in sight. We looked at each other. Tilted our heads. Janelle said, "Let's move." We moved to the front of the car away from the bag, feeling silly but after 9/11 your brain starts to think that way. We may have even said how easy it seemed it would be for someone to do something. I don't have anything insightful or interesting to say. Our friends that are there are okay. My thoughts are with everyone there.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Need to pack

Stuart left at 5:30 AM for the airport. This is the first time I have been up this early here and the light is rather nice and I can hear the birds outside. You don't notice birds so much in the late morning. Back home this would be a normalish wake up time for me in order to get to work at 7AM. After being here and consistently getting 8 hours of sleep every night even though I am going out, I really think I have been majorly sleep deprived the last few years. Does a bad thing to your personality I think. A sure sign that Stuart thinks I am pretty groovy is his flight itinerary today. He had initially bought his ticket when he thought he would be in Vancouver and was going to meet me at the airport when I arrived. Now with his being over here, he had to settle for a rather nasty schedule. His flight leaves at 8 and he lands in Toronto then he gets to enjoy a leisurely 3-hour layover before his flight to LAX arriving at 4PM. My flight leaves at 4PM and I arrive at 7PM. . . (I love the time difference coming home.) Joe, bless him, is picking Stuart up at the airport, dropping him off at my place and then coming back to fetch me. I feel a bit funny about Stuart seeing my apartment without me. My apartment is a definite reflection of my personality-- a bit cluttered around the edges. I tried to warn him about how many books I had. He asked if I had fifty books. I snorted and said I might have fifty cookbooks. . . A few weeks ago I read reviews for a new novel that just came out-- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Everything I have read in the pre-reviews is that it is the next big thing and that it is actually deserved. It's a vampire story. . . Vlad the Impaler stuff which I loved to read about when I was a kid. (Okay, yes I know. How many nine year olds do you know sit and read about Cortez, Vlad the Impaler and Mummies. I was (am) a weirdo. I was a library junkie. I don't know how I managed to not get beat up every day after school.) Last Saturday Stu texted me. Next to your bed hun ;) I came home and there was the book, all 642 pages of it, so I have something to engage me on the way home. I am going to try and not sleep and just crash when I get home so that it is something near a regular sleep pattern. Saturday I pick up my car and then we drive to Vegas for a few days. So glad that he is coming with me. I would be a mess. I will be a wreak when he needs to leave. So I must pack now. Will catch a cab at noon for Heathrow. The time next we meet, dear reader I will be in America.

Today's Metro

This article was on the front page of The Metro- a free paper you can get on the tube. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TONY BLAIR HAS conceded defeat in his battle to get America to help the world tackle climate change. The Prime Minister admitted he had 'no chance' of getting George Bush to sign up to the Kyoto treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He said it would be absurd to negotiate on the environment at next week's G8 conference. But Mr Blair's refusal to stand up to the world's biggest polluter led green groups to call for the US president to be banned from the conference so he could not wreck others' efforts to tackle the crisis. The Prime Minister wants to use the G8 gathering to get world leaders to agree on the science of climate change - that man-made pollution causes global warming. Mr Blair said: 'There is a disagreement over Kyoto and I can't negotiate a new climate change treaty at the G8. 'The important thing is that we at least agree that we move over time toward a low-carbon economy, that curbing greenhouse gas emissions is an important part of that.' In an interview last night, Mr Bush admitted greenhouse gases were creating a 'long term problem', and insisted he is committed to finding new energy sources to replace fossil fuels. The world needed to move beyond Kyoto, he added. But he praised Mr Blair for inviting India and China to the G8 meeting - raising hopes a limited deal on emissions may yet emerge. Greenpeace said: 'Blair admits Bush won't take the step the world demands but still he won't condemn the president. He should not allow Bush to come to Gleneagles and wreck the efforts the other seven nations are determined to make.'

Last Day

I am never complaining about the traffic in Los Angeles again. Stu and I rented a van to schlep his stuff and some of my stuff (winter jackets, books, vintage Guinness ads) to his folk’s house. Left work at 2PM and we walked in the door to the flat at midnight. There is a kabab spot just near the Bond Street tube so we got something and happily ate chicken and lamb donner walking down Oxford Street. I think it is rather apropos that my last meal in London (airport food doesn't count) was a kabab. Bill did the leaving do speech thing and gave me some gifts. I was a weird mixture of mortified and pleased. There are some really fantastic people over here. For example: Where my desk is (was) is right on the corner and every single person walking into the Department would need to walk by me. At least 85% of them drum their fingers on the desk when they walk by. I made the mistake of telling Babs about it and from then on he went out of his way to strum his fingers loudly every time, or tap me on the head, or poke my arm. Was so funny. So many things I didn't get to do yet. Knowing that I would be coming back, I didn't push myself to get it all in. I started this blog as a fun way to keep my family and friends in the loop into what I was up to over the last few months. It will now start to morph into a description of the perils of an International move, a Vegas wedding and expat life. (We have decided to do the drive thru wedding. It is funny, tacky and it makes me happy.) My mom told me that my paternal grandmother (Nana) was telling one of her friend's about my wedding plans and she mentioned the Krispy Kreme wedding cake. Her friend thought this was the funniest thing in the world, told her granddaughter about it and the granddaughter is now doing it for her wedding! My grandmother's friend is completely mortified and told Nana that she isn't allowed to tell her anymore of my plans. A butterfly in Mexico flaps its wings. . . I have to admit that there was a part of me that came here hoping that there would be a job opportunity that would open up and that I would move here. After meeting Stu and knowing that he was planning on moving to Vancouver, I put that aside. (Also, I wasn't keen to work for my company over here. Some of the ways that things are over here feels backward to me.) So when it was decided that we would be here in London-- it was a bit of the "be careful what you ask for's." I miss LA. Wasn't expecting that. But if I was honest with myself, I have missed every place that I have lived when I left. Yes, even Cedar, City UT. I know I am going to miss London. I know I will be happy to come back. I know that someday it will be home.