kate and pansy
think about taking over the world
but instead decide to take another drink
Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Well, I am back from a quick trip to London. Went for a training course and it was extremely good. But I am exhausted. Exhausted from having to concentrate for long periods of time yesterday. Exhausted from wandering about London on Monday night. Exhausted from all the traveling (walk to tube, take tube, take train, take plane, take taxi, take another train, walk home because the H wanted to see Diarmuid's last garden programme and wouldn't pick me up at the train station). Exhausted from carrying my bag on all those travel experiences.

It was an exceptionally good trip though. Went with a work colleague and she didn't want to face the commute in during rush hour so made us get an earlier flight over on Monday afternoon. This meant we had the time, energy and inclination to go out and about a bit. I needed to find birthday gifts for Mel and the H so we headed out of the hotel (where I could see this out my window!) and towards Covent Garden. At our first stop we played with the talking George Bush dolls (both father and son) and looked with some disbelief at some of the other action figures available. Wandering further down the streets, we came across Coco de Mer and I thought what a perfect place to find a Mel gift. Which I did. I think my work colleague is still shocked by the whole experience but I told her what it was before we went in. The saleswoman also tried to sell me a wooden paddle with a lovely leather heart attached but I decided no.

Then it was off to neal's yard, particularly the dairy to look at all the cheeses and then the remedies. By then shops were starting to throw us out and lock up. Not before my traveling companion had picked up a che mug in the Tea House. She had more excitement ahead of her. I made her go eat japanese noodles and introduced her to sake before we headed back to the hotel stopping for another glass of wine and another souvenir shop where I found the most amazing gift for Mel. Useful in so many ways. Kind of wish I had got one for myself now.

Next day was training and I was forced to go for a lunchtime walk. Before you know it, I am spotting Wren spires and St. Paul's. Then the big journey back. Could happily go to bed now but I have a briefing paper to write. And try to make sense of all that training. But it was fun.

posted at 2:45 AM
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Monday, May 24, 2004

Which, when you live in County Antrim is a big deal. The exam weather is set to continue until Friday. It might also explain why we went wild in Tesco's and the weekend and barbequed up a storm. The grass is settled in enough so that small children can run up and down, move the tent about, get out all the ponies and generally have a good time. I celebrated the good weather with a lounge chair, the weekend papers and a trip to the library. If you are curious, I am still working my way through The Illiad and have been since before Troy came out. I had never read a verse translation before. I am enjoying it. But my, lots of noble Greeks and Trojans are getting gutted left and right.

Having too much food, we invited people over. Do we seem pathetic? People brought plants. The H's mother has been over twice, with more plants. The child's friend's mother brought me mint and something else. The H says he doesn't need any more plants but that is because he wants big expanses of grass.

Drank lots of white wine, mostly sauvingon and some dry riesling. However, white wine is not the way to start a week. I am in the mood for tequila. Not mixed into a cocktail. And I do some nice things with tequila. Some nice martini style drinks that the H likes because they aren't too sweet and girly. But just a nice shot of cuervo gold with the lime and salt. I know its a real gringo way of drinking, that you can get nice aged tequilas that you sip. I don't care. I like the burn. I like the balance with the salt and the sour of the lime juice. I like the theatricalness of shots. Done the body shot thing with Mel (always a crowd pleaser); had enough tequila that my brain has ceased sending signals to my body; drank enough tequila to want to avoid shopping malls with Mexican restaurants in them. The sun is shining, its perfect weather for hangovers. The grass can be laid on in misery. Maybe I should just go home now.

posted at 1:28 AM
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Friday, May 21, 2004

We have gone back and visited both parks. Somehow, one of the child's slippers end up in the moat. She had a great time as an almost four year old but her favorite bit may have been this, with the free tortillas, of course.

posted at 2:49 AM
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Okay, I am now going to confess my most horrible parent story. The only good thing in this story is that it occurred before the child turned 2 and so has no actual memory of the event. Otherwise I would be paying for it for the rest of my life. I still have a lot of guilt.

I missed my friends. I still do miss my friends. I can't say I miss the freeways or the television or the smog but I definitely miss the friends. So, I packed up the child and myself and got on a flight and hours upon hours later, arrived in LA (this was the first buddy pass courtesy of my little brother and the people in Dublin didn't know what they were doing and they sat us in upper class and I read There's a Wocket in my Pocket 8 times straight to the child). My parents picked us up at the airport. Everything was great.

The child's godmother wanted to take her to Disneyland. She wanted a great trip and had booked us into the Grand California. It was fantastic. I mean that. We checked in and then headed over to the other Disney Park thinking we would spend a bit of a day at one and then the full day with Cinderella and her castle. We had the typical problems. I went on a ride to come back and find my child clutching some large plush toy and the godmother smiling coyly. We had some dinner at the Wolgang Puck establishment (which isn't there anymore) and then decided we might like to go on the ferris wheel. Who knows why. I don't like ferris wheels. They scare me. And well, this park seems to be going for the scarier type of ride. Give me Space Mountain any day of the week and even I would not take a toddler on Space Mountain. Needless to say, we didn't enjoy the ride.

We got out. I carried the child in front of me. She was getting tired. The sun was setting. I am not only a horrible parent, I may be the clumsiest person the planet. No, really. I tripped over a grating around a tree. I dropped the child. I brushed off the concerned Disney employee out of embarassment. I put child in pushchair. We went back to the hotel. She had a bath, she cried a bit, she went to bed. She woke up and I spent hours wheeling her around the Grand California trying to get her to settle. We got up the next morning. We went to Goofy's Kitchen. She had fun. She ate. She cried every time I put her down. I was getting annoyed. We decided she was too tired to do the Disneyland thing and we were exhausted from the previous 12 hours, we drove back the valley. The child took a nap. It was the afternoon. The godmother pointed out that the child was crawling and not walking. We started to panic. We called doctors we knew. We were told go to the emergency room. We did. An x-ray later and well, my child had a broken leg. I had dropped her. I had broken her leg. I had not had it treated for almost 24 hours. In the end, she got a bright pink cast and had a great time, even in the pool with it. I, however, am still wracked with guilt.

posted at 2:00 AM
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In memory of my high school english Teacher who always maintained she didn't want to go to heaven because all the interesting people were in hell. I'm in the company of Cleopatra and Helen of Troy.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Low
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

posted at 1:45 AM
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Top Ten Cemeteries - Michael Nejman's To Die For And I have visited a surprisingly large number of these (dragging my travel companions with me). Though the Rome one was not my idea.

posted at 8:00 AM
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I suppose it is now time to do a bit of reminiscing, it being Wednesday and all. But I seem to blog about Las Vegas all the time. However, I do have to point out yet another reason why it is good to drive to Las Vegas and it isn't the patty melt at Bun Boy (home of the world's largest thermometer). Just on the drive back from Pansycon I, we have a long involved conversation about the pros and cons of ginger ale. Now, I know Mel has no shame. I can still remember that trip to Disneyland with her and Dawn in which they spent hours and hours discussing the various psyche meds they had been on. I am just glad they didn’t have in-depth conversations about vibrators (I don’t know how they missed out on that—though the subject did come out). I stood in the line for Alice in Wonderland and wondered what the families who were more than likely from Kansas or Colorado or Oregon were thinking about these two made Californians and their list of psychiatric problems. I don’t think I would have been happy with the whole Pansy I conversation if I were on a Southwest Aeroplane. Much better to take place in a black SUV stuck in traffic (and we could use a cell phone!).

Great night of TV. CSI, Las Vegas, a little bit of Diarmuid spending far too much money on enamel balls (who would hire that man to design a garden?!?). Even saw a couple of my current favourite music videos and I drank some white wine. The Child wanted me to watch Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron with her but I, selfish parent, don’t do that kind of thing if only because of the Bryan Adams soundtrack.

posted at 3:06 AM
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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The white wine stock at home is getting quite low. Which is a bit surprising because we don't keep a bottle in the fridge and white wine does need to be served chilled (just like that Tarrango that Ms. Whitcroft kept feeding me on Sunday). Is the child getting up in the middle of the night and drinking it? I don't think I need to worry about that for at least another 10 years and knowing her contrary nature she will probably only want to drink Coors beer to annoy me. But what is happening to the wine, particularly all the wine I bought in the Direct Wine Shipments Sale?

I'll admit it, I can worry about anything. Today's worry, the child's school. We (the H and I) went up to visit the school yesterday afternoon because she starts in September. So I now need to think abotu school uniforms and bags, and pencil cases and remember to pack a snack and will she do school lunches or a packed lunch and I have to put her name on her gym shoes. But, horrible person I am, I had other worries as we looked around the classroom at all the stuff. The child is bright. I do blame the H for the teaching her how to write equations. But we are working on the learning to read and her writing isn't bad. She will also be one of the older ones in the class. So I have concerns about whether she will be challenged enough but what also nags at the back of the head is all the boys. Lots and lots of little boys. The class is two-thirds male. The child isn't that fond of boys. She prefers princess, pink things, horses and kitty cats. But I also know that this is just the latest chapter in my worries as a parent.

Weblog of the week? I started reading this one recently. Who knows why. I like the writing.

posted at 2:45 AM
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Monday, May 17, 2004

When I drink these in Belfast, I always get asked what the hell it is. Could be all the mint. They're perfect with our current spate of exam weather.

posted at 2:35 AM
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I need to clear up some spurious allegations that are floating around about me. If you were to believe Mel's story, I was just determined to see Thunder from Downunder. First, Mel always wants to see a show while in Vegas. Second, we had that coupon book. Well, one of the coupons was for the Revue at the Luxor. But it was dark the days we were there. Then it was a whole why don't we go and see the revue at Frontier or the naked ladies at Paris. That's when I said, 'Look if we are going to pay to see topless dancers, why don't we just bite the bullet and see male topless dancers." I was not harbouring some deep-seated desire to see Australian beefcake parade around undressed. Now I will admit to being mightly impressed by pole-dancers but that is another post.

Now I think there were two important lessons from Pansycon III. First, we don't need to plan for Pansycon. In fact, I would go so far to argue that we learned that if I am in California we are compelled to go to Vegas. It doesn't matter what we think, feel or plan. We will find ourselves on the strip.

Second, after Pansycon II, we thought that the only right place for us in Vegas was the Bellagio. Go read Mel. That's what is all about. Well, here is the big shocker from PIII, we didn't even darken the doors at Bellagio. The tram was down between Monte Carlo and home. No drinking of champagne. No shopping in Tiffany's. Strangely enough, no maxing out of credit cards. PIII was a slumming experience. Thanks to the car, we went way down the strip, way down, and Mel got her nose pierced I ate cheap sushi. We went to an outlet mall and thought about buying luggage. We went in and out of hell successfully a number of times (what that says about the state or our souls, I don't know). It was all a lot of fun.

posted at 1:16 AM
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BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Low turnout fears as campaigning beginsNo. Really. She feeds you red wine from about 1 in the afternoon and when your defences are down out comes TWO tubs of Ben and Jerry's and a berry tart and an apple tart and a chocolate and bailey's cheesecake. If that isn't evil, I don't know what is.

posted at 1:14 AM
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Friday, May 14, 2004

Eurovision Song Contest Drinking Game which could make the whole think much more watchable.

posted at 4:00 AM
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My child loves her children (it might be because they let her take the barbies home and they have an exhaustive library of children's video). She does tend to feed you cakes any time you go and visit (and wine if it is after 4 pm). She throws great childrens' birthday parties and she can shop like there is no tomorrow. I suppose what I am really saying is, "Vote Lindsay".

posted at 3:01 AM
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I don't think I like the result.

You Are a Peppermint Cappuccino

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.

However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.

You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.

You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

What Kind Of Coffee Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

posted at 1:36 AM
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Thursday, May 13, 2004

I wasn't going to blog today. I am in the middle of revisions to that YPF consultation paper. But no, we had to have the whole what would our perfect lifestyle conversation. Did we want to be loved, did we want to be rich, did we want to be powerful. You don't need the details. But it all lead to what is the preferred way to get to Las Vegas.

Mel and I disagree on this. She prefers to fly. She maintains she is in such a rush to get to Las Vegas the drive to takes to long and then on the way back, she is too tired to drive all that distance. I agreed with her in theory until we actually did fly. For PansyconII. Mel and I are perfect travel companions. And the flying experience just confirmed it. I know some people like to check in fifteen minutes before their flight leaves. I read those instructions that say three hours before an international flight and I follow them. I spend a lot of time in airports because I become just a tad bit paranoid when I fly. Mel, strangely enough, does the same thing. So we are flying to Las Vegas, out of Burbank and we decide we will be early. We checked in a good 2 1/2 hours before the flight. We were flying Southwest so we go to the check-in gate to get our little tickets so we can have our pick of seats. They haven't even boarded the previous flight. The woman at the gate desk smiles at us nicely and tells us to go away. For a while. We wander through Burbank airport. There aren't even the little gift shops selling snowglobes of Hollywood. We wander back. The previous flight has left and the woman says 'Don't ask. Its too soon. Go away.' She's still smiling. She isn't rude or anything. But one does feel that perhaps one is being a bit of a trial. So we go and drink in the bar. Eventually we get on the plane (I think it might have been a little late). This is after waiting in line with people with higher numbers crowding around, OBVVIOUSLY NOT UNDERSTANDING THE WHOLE POINT OF THE NUMBERS. Its a bumpy flihgt. Something about going over mountains and thermals and wind turbulence. Mel is looking at me saying, 'I am ready to die.' 'Isn't this the way all flights are?' 'Why are you gripping the seats?' I am not ready to die. We get to McClaren. I notice the needle drop-off in the toliets (las vegas, classy city). Then we have to wait for our luggage (all seventeen pieces Mel has brought) and then get the shuttle bus. On the way back, we arrive again early but there are nicer places to get coffee and little buns than at Burbank. And then I am reminded why I hate flying in and out of Burbank. Those noise restrictions. The practically vertical take-off, the cut the engines and plummet out of the sky landing. And with all our showing up at the airport early, we aren't saving any time. Oh, and some of mel's many bags didn't make it.The ones with her meds. They came in the last flight out of Vegas. And she wonders why I don't like the flying.

What then is the perfect way to get to Las Vegas? I actually had this dream where Kiefer Sutherland whisked me off to Vegas in a limo and then was upset that there were two more important people than him at the Bellagio and he only got the third best suite (I was going through a 24 phase). During waking hours, I can order my desires much more effectively. It would still be a limo. Only it would be Johnny Depp in the back, taking me off for a few days of shoping, drinking, receiving gifts, maybe seeing a band, and a bit of pampering. That is the ideal way of getting to Vegas.

posted at 2:47 AM
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I am sorry Chris. And you have no alcohol in the house.

posted at 5:50 AM
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Las Vegas night on tv last night. Between CSI and Las Vegas, it was quite an exploration of geeky sub-cultures. Mimes, computer science students, college students in general, clowns, crack addicts, sci-fi fans. I am really starting to warm to Las Vegas. Not so much the main plots, but the characters around the edges. I am afraid I am entirely too acquaintances with far too many geek sub-cultures. Maybe that is why I hated high school so much. I always thought Louis Theroux had missed out on one of the great weird spots of Americana by never doing a weekend with those re-creationinsts. Not just the ones that live the Star Trek dream (and Mel can tell you all about the 'Klingon' that tried to pick her up in a Karaoke bar the first time her and the H split), but also those civil war buffs and of course, my particular skeleton, the Renn Fair types.

I'll admit I always wanted to go to Faire when I first heard about it during my impressionable teens when all I wanted to do was leave tehachapi and live the life of a la teenager. However, I was never quite organised enough to make it on my own. Story of my life, I can rarely get organised to do the vast majority of stuff on my to do list. But then I met Mel. Who I love. She and her mother were faire junkies and the next thing you know, I'm in San Bernadino home of the mullet and meth labs, spending my hard earned cash to get laced into a bodice. Laced tight enough to hurt. Laced tight enough to have a hard time getting breathe into the body. Strangely enough, I still own said garment and have worn it on more than one occasion.

The Best Faire experience was Mel's birthday. We drank a lot of mead (Mel brought her mom so we could have a designated driver). We sang. Badly. Irish folk songs about drinking. I remember walking around a corner, coming to the end of a verse and the barkeep at one of the taverns shouting out, "You look like you need a drink!" I remember large people with video cameras pointing them at us. I dimly remember talking/badgering/annoying Sound and Fury to sell me one of their posters for a friend (she wasn't drunk enough/shameless enough to spend a hour badgering some poor guy in tights). I feel I should get a share of their subsequent poster selling profits. I had to work the next day too.

You have to combine the Renn Faire with a retreat at a monastery in Santa Barbara (have I mentioned that the H thinks I am godless and is always trying to change that) and you end up with the whole Pansycon saga. Really. And it is a saga. I think we are well over 100,000 words now. But I haven't looked at it in ages. Partly because I can no longer remember my password to get into the file.

There are of course more skeletons in the closet than simply a tightly laced corset. There are even more renn faire skeletons in the closet. And I don't actually like mead that much. Rather have some vodka. I probably am godless.

posted at 1:47 AM
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I tried to link here yesterday. Tried to use the new blog this! button on my google toolbar. It didn't work. I am so far nothing but frustrated with the all new all sing all dancing won't do anything it promises blogger.

But don't mind me. Go read the article. Particularly if you are Bruin Alumni. Then go and look around the Crooked Timber site. I like its academic nature (despite being a failed academci myself) with snippets of gossip from both sides of the Atlantic 9and a few other places). I like its politics. I like its learned discourse. I read it everyday and there is just no way I can justify it as work. No, it is simply pleasure.

posted at 1:01 AM
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Monday, May 10, 2004

I have been thinking about this for the last few days. And as I was deciding on my perfect drink for the day, the idea just came at me all over again. People always ask me what am I doing here. [In particular, there is a clerk at Tesco's that just thinks I am mad]. So I am going to try to do a top ten list of why I am here.

1. Working conditions. Five weeks paid holiday a year(and growing). An office that shuts down between Christmas and New Year's. Sick leave that doesn't need to accrued. 36 hour work week. Flexi-time. If you are an American reading this, you are probably crying by now. Oh and a non-contributory final salary scheme pension.

2. NHS. I can hear the complaints. And I know the H never would have got his back surgery if we hadn't been in California and workman's comp hadn't picked it up. But I have been here five years. See the doctor regularly. Visited A & E for the broken toe. Had a baby which necessitated 7 nights in the hospital and an emergency c-section. How much have I paid in this time? About £20 for an optional test for genetical deformatities.

3.Trains. Yes I am talking about Northern Ireland Railway. And yes, I am not even on the Bangor line with the nicer of the older trains and who will get the new trains first. I still love my express every morning. I love being by the sea. I love being able to ride during my commute. So much nicer than the 110 at 8 am.

4. Boot the Chemist.

5. Indian Food. I have a friend (from the college days) who once asked me in an Indian Restaurant in Santa Monica what she was doing wrong. She could remember going out for an Indian in England (working on Price of Thieves) and ending up with far too much food and not spending a lotof money. In the Santa Monica place, she couldn't get enough food.


7. Sport. I like British sport so much more. Snooker, cricket, rugby, rowing, I even follow the football a little. Last time I went to a baseball game I took a novel (maybe that doesn't count. I always bring a picnic and a paper to cricket matches but that just seems part of the experience).

8. Politics. Not the local stuff. But I like Labour. I like Tony Blair. I love Gordon Brown. I trust that man with money. I do.

9. The small townness of Northern Ireland. I rarely can make it into Belfast City centre and not run into someone I know. I talk to people on the train. I am convinced there is a BRA mafia running the place, but that is just my conspiracy theory.

10. Proximaty to Europe. As a child, I used to go to Nebraska for my summer holidays. France, Crete, Spain and Italy just seem like so much more fun.

Things I miss:

1. My friends. You know who you are. I miss the sitting out at Vivas and drinking margaritas and wondering whether to order real food while talking about horses and boys. I miss hours at Peet's discussing post-modern feminism and books and boys. I miss trips to theme parks to discuss relgion and husband. And none of you visit.

2.Weather. Oh how I miss those days and days of sunshine. And the heat! I like the odd bit of rain. Just sometimes it appears to last for years.

3. Target. Where do people in Northern Ireland go to buy plastic containers?

4. Thai food. Cheap Thai food for lunch from places that deliver.

5. Cocktails. Yeah, Belfast bars are better these days. I can get a Cosmopolitan most places (though I have had a number of conversations trying to explain what is meant by 'straight up') But I still can't wander into any bar and order a vodka collins. Let alone buy collins mix at Tesco's. It would be my drink of the day. If I didn't have to make the mix from scratch. And I still wait the arrival of the green apple martini on these shores.

6. American television. Of course, it is best to video it and then watch without the ads (why I love the bbc) but I consistently watch CSI, Las Vegas, Frasier, avidly followed Buffy and the H has that Star Trek thing going on...

7. Politics. This is in the Northern Ireland context. I miss elected school boards, elected hospital boards, elected county supervisors who had an awful lot of power. I even miss LA county politics compared to Belfast City politics. And I have yet to understand how student politicians could run UCLA (with a several million dollar budget) while being full-time students, only getting their fees paid [in my day that amounted to about $1200 a year] while maintain a high grade point average and student politicians get to take time off from their degree, get paid a wage and do what?

8. The Film Industry. Of course this is also I miss my job at Universal that may not have had nearly as much vacation time but had the alcohol allowance, the bagels, the groceries, the commute with mel, the t-shirts, the gifts from grateful producers...I also miss having films open early. The multi-screen art house around the corner from my apartment. Salted popcorn as standard in the cinemas. 70mm prints. Sneaks of works in progress. Informed audiences.

9. Fascist anti-smoking legislation. Bring on the ban on smoking in the pub.

10. The progressive aspects of Southern California. By that I mean stuff like all the handicap access, the wonderful recycling, the worries about using too much water and the multi-culturalism. I have fond memories of both the food in Little Tokoyo and that odd little Chinese Restuarant that Phillip Marlowe used to eat in with the booths. I like Little Tokoyo. S swears by the taquitos and burritos at the places out by where she stables her horse in East LA. But it isn't just food! I like the buzz and excitement and the play of different cultures. Always some place to buy your spices. Even a place to buy Irish bacon. The Armenian sub-community. I miss it all. But you did get some amazing natural red hair in this part of the world.

posted at 2:40 AM
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Which will surprise some people. People who think I always have an answer and am always ready to share my opinion [people who are perhaps a bit mistaken, hmmm?]. I don't know if I like the changes to blogger. Tried to use a nice new template. Then lost my comments. Tried to enable comments. Tried several different methods. No joy. Don't even want to think about the disappearing links. Blogger, you aren't making it quite easy enough for me. I know, I know. Pay and get a real blog. Make the move to moveable type. Look, I just had to change the satellite package I am so broke. No garden furniture, no minature maple trees, no sky movies, no haircutting, no new glasses, no new car, no paid blog.

This is one of the great things about life in the UK. Sure I have sacraficed the joy that is Baja Fresh, LoveBoat Sushi and Krispy Kreme donuts. They do them in Northern Ireland, though I am informed it isn't a staple of the chippy in say Guilford.

Yet another weekend without a lot of drink. So I didn't try my pineapple juice variation on a bloody mary [could I name it after another European monarch if it worked?] Even resisted the allure of the wine rack. Did have a beer. Too many chillies. My fingers are still on fire from all that slicing.

posted at 2:20 AM
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Sunday, May 09, 2004

I will not have a bad word said about my mother-in-law. Not a single solitary one. She came over yesterday and spent three hours planting things in our garden. This is after she went out and spent her last pennies at the wholesaler buying us plants. Buying me bamboo! Because we cannot afford to buy another single thing for that garden. No furniture until the sales at the end of the summer and quite likely not even then. Fortunately, we have Joanne and Conal's wooden chairs that they brought to a party a good four years ago and never managed to get returned. I am sorry about that.

I love bamboo. In the old house we have a lovely patch of bamboo and sitting right in front of it was my laughing Buddha. I got the Buddha from my good-bye lunch at Universal. I thought it was a nice twist on the garden gnome. Alas, one night rampaging kids left a path of destruction through all of the neighborhood gardens and took my Buddha. So I went back to Benihana's. Got another drink. The second one was picked up the child and then dripped. I am buddahless and I don't know if anyone would like to buy me lunch in LA and get me a replacement Buddha. I and my garden need it.

I think we need a greenhouse. The H disagrees. He thinks that the dining room is a fine substitute. I am a little annoyed by the pots and pots of chamomile everywhere. You turn around and it has split into more pots of the stuff. Now, I know it will get planted outside but the peppers (and there are a fair number of them) aren't. It would be so much easier with a greenhouse. Then it would be easier with a gardener. And I would love a window cleaner. But too broke for that. And too much construction still.

posted at 8:12 AM
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Friday, May 07, 2004

Don't use brandy, use cognac.

I also do a fine margarita, served on the rocks, not blended. And my lemon drops[made with an Italian liqueor) are worth taking two budget air flights for.

posted at 4:12 AM
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Though I believe I used to see my shrink on a Thursday. Still, it is that time of the week when instead of reading draft summaries of the latest cancer evaluations, I take a personality test or too. I can't link to the Dr. Phil Powerpoint test. But if you took it, my score is 40. Which is probably about right.

Now these people are clever. Only when I think about it to I realise that not only have they analysed me, they have also been filling in little marketting form. Of course, I don't need the internet age version of Cliff Notes. And just for those who use them and don't do the actual reading, Monarch notes were a little more academically impressive. And you do have to register to be told things like:

You are an Experimenter!
(Dominant Introverted Abstract Thinker)
You are an EXPERIMENTER (DIAT). Although you're slightly shy (admit it!), you love control. When a problem comes across your way, you stomp on it swiftly and decisively. You are bothered easily by failure in others and failure in yourself. You don't like people that you don't think are intelligent. Rather than arguing with them, however, you would just as soon ignore them altogether.
In relationships, you have a strong heart. And because you're introverted, people take you as someone they can trust. But the fact is that in addition to solving problems, you like to create them.
You're a good person at heart, but then again, who isn't?

posted at 3:01 AM
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Thursday, May 06, 2004

People are strange.
Of course my hard-drink work colleague likes Ireland because he says there isn't anything here that could kill you. Like snakes or poisonous spiders or alligators or crocodiles or sharks. I think that is a bit of a big girl's blouse attitude to life but then I remember the guy from high school who lost the bet that he could't put his hand down a rattlesnake hole and not get bit.
Six bottles of anti-venom.
I can't believe I am going to try and make it to my high school reunion. Maybe, I am just strange.

posted at 7:20 AM
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Obviously, I have a kindred soul (who has watched far too much Star Trek).

posted at 4:34 AM
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She can't plot her way out of a paper bag; she has no intuitive grasp of the great narrative arc; but damn is she a better writer than me.
The long posts might also explain why I get short little emails these days.
And I am with her on the colour, only more of a peachy pink than full on pink. I think we have our colours for Pansycon IV.

posted at 1:38 AM
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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Deviant Behaviour
Not that it comes at any great surprise but this blog hasn't really gone according to plan. I was going to just blog and blog my heart out about alcohol and Las Vegas, two of the mainstains of my life--though not as much as they used to be. It is absolutely not going to be about Northern Irish politics, health policy, the joys of assimillation and change management, have I blogged about anecdotal circles? no? I wonder why...

But I have not blogged enough about either of my first two loves recently. Or even really blogged about my fantasy life which never features any kind of inter-office brainstorming session with different coloured post-it notes. Are you a seagull? A shark? Management consultants should be the first up against the wall.

And last night was CSI night. I can actually remember my first conversation with Mel about CSI. It was Pansycon II (Never mind the Pillocks) and we were at the Bellagio waiting for a taxi to take us to the Hilton. We were going to the Hilton because Mel has a thing for Star Trek. She even applied for a Star Trek credit card that trip. The H also has a thing for Star Trek. The two of them are also huge Red Dwarf fans. They should just lock themselves in for a weekend and get it all out. I don't need to be there. Really. And yes, I know, this Pansycon will find me again at the Hilton drinking little chocolate martinis, hearing the latest catering gossip and being assimillated in yet another equally sinister experience. I don't really like Star Trek, except Deep Space Nine and that's because it was so political.

Somehow I have managed to digress. I was going to blog about CSI and adult entertainment, part of last night's episode's plot. I'll admit it. I am fascinated by the adult entertainment industry. I am taken with the whole valley connection. I know it is a sad and exploited world but still...

I've got a friend. He's a brief. A criminal brief and if you are ever up on murder charges in California, his father would be a man to employ. I knew this guy before his lawyering, even before his law school days. I've slept in his house. I've tried to cook him food, I've talked wine and whiskey with him. I can't tell you his name or link to his website because well I am probably saying all sorts of things about him and his habits that I shouldn't.

Anyway, his wife gives him an allowance each month on how much he can spend on porn. He maintains the dvd is made for porn. He briefly represented an adult entertainment actress. He did a bit of work for a few other people in that 'industry' and one offered to take him to a shoot. The brief mentioned this while at dinner with me and the H one night. His wife (my good friend) said he couldn't go to a shoot on his own. She'd only trust him if he took someone along like me. I immediately offered to go. Alas, like so many legal offers, this one never materialised into an actual event. But I'd still spend the day on a set in a new york minute. Then again, I wanted to ask my dentist if he had perfect teeth. If he always wanted to be a dentist. If he and his dental friends did work on each other at a reduced rate. I am a curious person. I wonder how you shoot an adult entertainment film. How many cameras? What kind of lighting? Are there scripts?

I still wonder. The brief did take me to a lapdancing club. It was an experience.

posted at 6:19 AM
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Oh, and I hate my hair. It is a bit spikey (at times, though not enough) and it can be rather red striped. But I still think I have a mullet. And I don’t want a mullet. But I don’t know what else to do. I do plan on getting something done to it the day before I fly. I want the ridiculous red that isn’t found in nature to go with my lesbian chic look I will be sporting for all my old classmates.

Tried the Bloody Mary.

I printed out Ma Bear’s recipe. I added an awful lot of worcestshire sauce. I still didn’t like the tomato juice. Might try the same thing with another juice. Thinking about pineapple. Drank a fine bottle of red instead. Hence the teeth bleaching.

posted at 4:23 AM
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It’s cold, it’s grey, and it’s wet. There is no spring. There will be no summer. I know I am not supposed to complain about the rain; it’s good for the turf. But I really would prefer warmer rain. I try to cheer myself up with thoughts of France and California and Nevada. I will be in at least one of these place is about 11 weeks and the weather will be better there.

I have just less than 16 weeks until my high school reunion. Which strangely enough coincides with this year’s Pansycon. I am in two minds about the reunion. I hated high school. I hated the town I grew up in. I can’t believe I am planning on going back and seeing all those people who didn’t understand me then and probably can’t understand me now. I do plan on leaving the H at home with the small child and taking my transatlantic lesbian lover with me. It’s in the name of science. I am wondering how long it will take my mother (who lives in another state and will be preparing to travel to China) to phone and ask about the rumours that I am gay.

Other preparations are being undertaken. I am trying to bleach my teeth. Too much red wine, tea and coffee I am afraid. I was at the dentists this morning. Having a bit of tooth drilled away and spending £75 in two weeks to be told they don’t really know why my teeth hurt and they have tried a couple of things and we will just have to wait and see. I haven’t had any faith in medicine since the broken toe incident. Is it too much to expect actual remedies? Anyway, the dentist was pretty cute. And used gel in his hair, unlike Mel’s boy. Inspired me to get serious again about the diet because of those PVC leather-like trousers in the wardrobe.

posted at 4:20 AM
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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Blog of the week.

I've done the first two obvious ones. Now we get an even closer glimpse of my psyche. I am featuring this one because when I first came across it, it was a bit of a doppleganger moment for me. Another woman, living in Northern Ireland, married with small female child, originally from Southern California. I even once attempted an email to ask where she took the photo she uses for the wallpaper. Reminded me so much of the locales my father likes to frequent. And I even knew her husband at Queen's. I am sure tomorrow there will be a Cinqo de Mayo blog from her and knowing that just gives me a bit of a warm glow. I've never met her. I've never had any contact with her. But I look at her blog every day.

posted at 7:52 AM
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I must admit I dragged the H here on our honeymoon. We didn't seek out Morrison's grave but it was still one of the highlights of the trip.

posted at 1:53 AM
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It's all a matter of perspective.

I have that warm happy glow of smugness. No alcohol at the weekend (partly because of the fear of being fined) but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the tales of excess my work colleagues have rolled in with. One, claims to have drunk about fifty quid worth of alcohol at the weekend. This is the same man who has on a number occasions (two) decided why walk all the way home when there is a perfectly good graveyard to sleep in. My liver just quivers when it hears these stories and I think, no matter how bad I may be, I have never slept in a graveyard! (or broken into a girl's school to sleep, or climbed into bed with my girlfriend's mother).

posted at 1:44 AM
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Monday, May 03, 2004

It's a bank holiday.

So of course it has rained. But never mind. Went on a picnic yesterday. Even though it was overcast and windy. I brought a flash of tea. I felt so English. And I am starting to lose my accent again. I can hear it when I speak, particularly one sentence statements. I think this time it might be permanent. Wanted to take a bottle of wine along for said picnic but I just kept rememebering all the signs up saying £50 fine for public drinking and didn't. As it was, we got told off for playing ball too close to the flower beds and then the H wandering onto the bowling alley to rescue on of the balls that the child had gently sent down the lane. Somehow, she bowled a strike.

It is also time for the World Snooker Championships. I miss David Vine. I think John Virgo talks too much. I also don't get this romance with Alex Higgins. Give me Dennis Taylor any day of the week. Yes, I am a snooker anorak (not merely a mathlete and I was a member of my school's CaML team). Though I don't watch as much snooker as I used to. Sky seems to own the rights to so many tournements these days and boy to their commentators talk too much. Anyway, I was sad to see Matthews Stevens go out in the semis. I love that boy's shirts. I really want one of the shirts with the little red dragons. But my does he have silly hair. Not as silly as Mr. O'Sullivan who just looks like a big girl's blouse with that Alice Band. I suppose it shouldn't surprise anyone that I hope the outsider wins (and I wish I had had a bet on the boy at 200-1).

I always wished I drank these. I don't like tomato juice though. I just like the celery and the adding of tabasco and the worstershire sauce until you get that brick red colour. Great drink. Maybe I should try one and see if my taste buds have matured.

posted at 4:37 AM
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Just like the state of nature, nasty, brutish and short...I was always fond of the nickname 'Craxi'...Sometimes I cook, sometimes I tend bar, sometimes I even knit. Mostly I try not to read the plethora of government publications that cross my desk and write one page summaries.
favorite food: lobster. ben and jerry's ice cream
favorite show: CSI
favorite drink: grey goose vodka (with ice, it doesn't need anything else)
age: far older than I like to admit/contemplate

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