Friday, February 25, 2005

The Celtic Tiger

Well! Bill and I have tentatively decided where we will be moving to in Ireland in March! Galway, the fastest growing city in Europe, where there are over 650 pubs for 70,000 residents. I can't wait. There is little basis for this decision as neither of us have ever been to Ireland. We just think it might be fun to forgo the metropolis for small town pleasures. Certainly, your input is welcome. I, for one, am easily persuaded.
Tomorrow Bill and I are going to Glasgow for the weekend, to celebrate Bill's Scottish heritage. This will no doubt involve Bill drinking whiskey and me trying to buy him insanely dorky t-shirts with the Loch Ness monster in tartan plaids or something. Expect postcards with a similar theme (if I have your address).

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What's next, detachable shower heads?

Can anyone with a background in law explain the constitutionality of this please?
I realize this is my second post in as many hours, but come on!

Working with Americans

I am drinking my Earl Grey out of the Working with Americans mug. Even though it's rare for someone to look at me or take notice of what I am doing here, this is very amusing for me.
In the downstairs library (i.e. bookshelf with medical journals and the yellow pages), there is a copy of a book with the same title. Which I think I will start reading today. After all, I am virtually assured of working with Americans when I return to the U.S.
Nothing particularly bad has happened in the past two days. So my unlucky streak appears to be over; thus, there is little to draw about. However, it has snowed in London the past few days which is really funny as these nutty Brits get real worked up about snow that doesn't really stick to the ground. To be fair, there were patches of snow on the sidewalk this morning when I walked to the tube station, but there is nary a flake on the ground here in Piccadilly Circus. Nevertheless, this has of course affected the underground train service.
I found this picture on the Guardian particularly amusing, as I hope my friends who are familiar with the midwestern or northeastern winters will as well. Mind you, the picture is not from London but from the northern-most part of England, North Yorkshire.
I did a little picture of what London looks like when it's snowing...
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About the same as usual but people are more confused and in the way, also more grey.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

And so it continues...

To continue with my streak of really bad luck I burned my flatmate Stephane yesterday on his birthday.
Because I am a fundamentally nice person despite frequent lapses in judgment and a hatred of excess zippers, I baked Stephane a cookie cake on his birthday, spelling out "HAPPY B-DAY STEPH" in chocolate chips. I then proceeded to drop the hot-from-the-oven-chocolate-still-bubbling cookie onto Stephane's hand, making Stephane's 26th memorable, if for nothing else, the lasting scars that he will have on his hand.
Stephane, ever the gentleman, proclaimed the cookie excellent, after running his hand under the tap for a long time, while his hand was wrapped in a towel.
Today begins a new week, at least on some people's calendars, so hope for the best.
In other news, Bill and I saw The Aviator on Friday. Blech. I found the movie completely unspecial, though Leonardo Di Caprio really out-did himself in unwatcheability this time, and Scorsese upped the ante with excessive strobes and other major annoyances. I cannot figure out for the life of me why anyone would like this movie, unless they really like planes or perhaps unbearable Katherine Hepburn impressions. Anyone who is impressed by Cate Blanchette's impression of old Kate has obviously forgotten that Kate Hepburn was appealing.

Speaking of Scorsese and misogyny... I am currently reading Easy Riders Raging Bulls, which is about all those cool young directors of the 1970s. Rather surprisingly, it's almost the exact same as the chaos book I read last week. I.E. eccentric white men with immigrant parents (ideally, Italian or Eastern European Jew) changed, no, fuck changed! Revolutionized! the world while taking no prisoners. Obviously, genius and common decency are mutually exclusive. Just as female and genius are.
I mean, the 70s were a great decade for movies. And chaos is really cool, and yeah, so many great ideas. And really, it's not like these guys were that much nicer to their male associates than their female ones, although I think the motivations are different...
I guess the question I am left with is is it necessary to fuck all to perform at such a level? Can you put someone above your art or your discovery to really succeed? And is this the reason that women less frequently top the genius lists? (Obviously there are other reasons independent of their ability or ambition, but...)
Ultimately, though, these directors toppled down from the pedestals they placed themselves on, with the exception of maybe Scorsese.
I am uncomfortable living in this world, desperate to curl up and ignore it, and dying to change it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

And I was punished.

As my previous posts have plainly established, god is clearly not a fan of me. Let me explain. On Wednesday, I took a face first dive in the reception area of my office for everyone's entertainment. It hurt a lot and my head isn't moving with the same readiness it used to. I will not draw a picture of this because if you've ever seen me you've seen me fall so you know what it looks like.
So, last night I decided to take a leisurely bath to make my neck feel better. And what does god decide to do for shits and giggles? That's right. Michael, the tool, walks in on me! And of cource I had my head underwater so he didn't see me until he saw me. Still, I am so chill about it. Yeah, fuck clothes. Nevertheless, I won't be drawing me in the tub, as I don't want anyone who happens upon this site getting the wrong idea.
And then, to further prove that couches are the only safe place to be, I got stuck in the elevator this morning when sent on an urgent errand for my boss. So, I waited there for a about 20 minutes to be rescued, after which I rather undiginifiedly crawled out. I did draw this one.
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So, what other mean tricks are in store for me today? I don't know! It's barely afternoon yet! But rest assured, as long as my fingers have full mobility, I'll let you know.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Now you will know what a bad person I am.

So, as some of you know, I live with 4 boys. My nice boyfriend Bill (US, 23), my two Australian flatmates (Corey, 23, and Michael, 28) and my French flatmate Stephane (26 on Sunday).
And the thing is, I really hate Michael. I know that it is bad to write about hating him, but the only person I can complain about him to that actually knows him is Bill. I have drawn a picture of Michael so you can see how he sucks. This is it.
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There are a number of reasons for this. He is an explainer, and like so many explainers, prefers to force this upon girls. He is constantly explaining really boring stuff to me, which is usually highly inaccurate. He likes Slipknot and the Insane Clown Posse. He doesn't eat spicy food. He is a writer.
These are all minor things, I realize. But there are two hugely major things: he completely lacks any sense of irony. If make a sarcastic comment, he explains to me why I am wrong. He takes himself desperately seriously. This appalls me. You cannot, under any circumstances, wear spiky bracelets in 2005 without irony.
I have, I think, a fairly high tolerance for pretension, being rather pretentious from time to time myself. But, you can't be pretentious about things that suck. For instance, Michael hates School of Rock and Jack Black. There is absolutely no acceptable reason for this, particularly when you think The Ring was a great movie.
And hey, I liked The Ring OK. But Michael doesn't like things that are bad. Oh no, if Michael likes it he will tell you why it is brilliant. For hours. The bottom line is, no one else's opinion has any authority with Michael, no matter what which makes him about the worst person in the world for me to know as I have a lot of opinions.
The thing that really pisses me off about this douchebag (and yes, that is the proper term. "Tool" also works) is that being around him makes me absolutely miserable. Because there is no point in disagreeing, as he is always right. And having to talk to Michael (or rather, listen to Michael) makes me be mean to Bill, which is a crime as Bill is very nice.
And here is the worst part! When we watch CSI or Law and Order, he points out CONSTANTLY what is wrong with the show, or how such and such isn't legal. But the thing is, he's AUSTRALIAN. He's never been to the U.S. even. And besides, it's fucking T.V.
It's like pointing out that the Insane Clown Posse didn't go to clown college or Marilyn Manson isn't actually a chick.
So that's my flatmate that I hate. The other ones I like quite well. I feel better now that I have vented, and now I will be able to mention little annoyances and you will understand.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

You count.

Bwah ha ha. I have installed a counter to (hopefully) make myself feel really special and popular. Or, it will make me feel sad and dejected. I am hoping for the former.
In other news, I saw La Traviata with Leo last night. It was really fantastic though this time I didn't have the fortune of being able to move into ridiculously expensive seats, and instead remained standing. And Alfredo, the male lead, was pretty hunky for an opera singer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day: A Recap

Well, as we all know, yesterday was Valentine's Day. I have drawn some pictures for you to show you what it was like for me. You are, by the way, really spoiled. Lucky my job is so damn boring I have time for this shit.
My day at work was fine and uneventful. However, Valentine's day was still really sad because Bill had to work until almost midnight so that Paul McCartney and his gimp wife could ride the London Eye. And a bunch of other happy couples. We did have a nice lunch together and Bill bought me flowers. So he is good, though the London Eye hates me.
Apparently, the London Eye is not the only thing that hates me, as my train broke down 2 minutes from home. So I sat in a tunnel for an hour and a half next to a rather large lady. It was not as unpleasant as one might imagine, and the British people on my train were really calm about the whole thing. As was I, I might add. Still, not the greatest way to spend your time. That will teach me to burn Ken Livingstone. I have drawn a picture of my suffering. I think my hair looks really good here. Though it didn't look like that at all yesterday. Being an artist is great fun.
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And then, finally, at almost 8 o'clock, I returned home. To be by myself and sad. But alas, my flatmate had bought porn. So, I read that. British porn, mind, so not tremendously exciting. Here is me reading it.
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And then, when it wasn't the commercials, I watched ER and cried because some lousy alkie died. Here is me crying on Valentine's Day.
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Finally, I got ready for bed. And when reaching for my toothbrush, I cut my finger on my Venus razor. All three blades. Image Hosted by So that was too bad.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Drawing was my lowest grade in college.

Due to popular demand, I decided to draw a couple pictures about my morning. I've worked very hard on these...
If anyone is curious about the verisimilitude of my appearance... my coat's buttons are not red, but black. My pants are indeed pinstriped, and my hair isn't really greenish. Also, I don't just have irises, but whole eyes.
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and then I did this:
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And then the fire alarm went off as soon as I got to work and I had to stand outside for a long time. . I had nothing to do with it.
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And all this before nine o'clock.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The doldrums

I am worried about my blog being boring and am doubting my blog-making decisions.
I know that no one cares about the Jam Rings (I've had 3 packs of 3 today), but... there is no excuse.
The problem is, I think, that I am thinking too broadly about my days, etc, and what I need to do is focus on clever and/or otherwise interesting anecdotes from my day.
Any thoughts on this?

Jam rings.

I am massively in love with Jam Rings. They are totally old lady cookies but so good. I cannot stop eating them, which is bad.

Monday, February 07, 2005


Sometimes I really like to read stuff that pisses me off, instead of stuff that I agree with. For instance, I get a little bored reading because it's like, duh, I am so with you. However, I can read until I'm foaming at the mouth. Which only takes about 30 seconds, but what I mean by this is that I've read through his archives and sit, filled with hate and rage, quivering at my desk. I did this last week, and have finished with him. he's a total tool, and if you read his bio you'll see that he actually is a complete moron. He's a criminology professor who brags about his low GPA. I mean, Law and Order is really cool, but criminology is hardly a real subject!
In part, I must say he gets under my skin because he rallies against liberal bias at universities. And deep down, I know it exists and is something about which I have a severe double standard and this troubles me.
But it's not like I love to hate him, I really just hate him. I think he is a complete dick, and his flippant remarks about date rape and feminism really get under my skin. Not to mention the sadistic pictures of him and the animals he's killed.

And then, there is Better, I'd say, because they at least don't pretend to be an intellectual like Dr. Adams. But man, do they seem to hate women! And it's not in that nice Playboy or Maxim way where it's actually funny. No, the men at really are just misogynistic bastards. Seriously. Check out Be a Man. And you'd think, with such a nice title, it might be slightly ironic or funny, but it totally wasn't. Just really awful.
In any case, that's how I spent my afternoon. Let me know if there's anything similarly awful that I should read tomorrow.

Red, White and Ruth

Well, today sees me back at my boring job with a renewed commitment to blog-updating.
Actually, that's not really true at all. I feel compelled to update because that's what good people do, but I am not particularly interested in updating at the moment.
Much of my time here (i.e. abroad) is spent thinking about being an American. I don't know if this is everyone's experience abroad, but the two times in my life I have been abroad for more than a month have been times of intense political turmoil-- Spring 2003 and well, now.
Saturday night my French flatmate had his friends over for a little party. His friends, unlike Stephane, for the most part spoke perfect English and have been living in London for quite some time. And, like Stephane, are far more interested in football than politics. Nevertheless, 3 out of the 4 friends wanted to talk to me and Bill about the election. Which is fine, better to talk about it than have them think that Americans are united.
Most of the conversation at the party was in English, but at one point, one of the French guys (who has a deep and profound love for America stemming from 2 weeks he spent with a host family in Baltimore in high school) asked me "quel age as-tu?" Now, I know what this means but was totally taken aback to be asked my age (which, incidentally, was not related to anything we had been talking about before), so hesitated for a moment, probably with a dumbstruck look on my face. And he says " Ah, she's American, she doesn't speak any other languages." And my little feelings were hurt, as I can speak a bit of French (though, that, in itself is embarrassing as I studied it for nine years and minored in it) and also some Italian. So I said vingt trois, but was nevertheless sad.
Because of course, most Americans really don't speak another language. But the British seem pretty poor on this as well, and really, it's not like France is so great on speaking other languages themselves. They are so damn obsessed with their language they have an Academie ranting against the word supermarket or some similarly innocuous English word. And this is why English is a vastly superior language. Yeah, it's not as mellifluous as Italian, nor as frightening as German, nor as sexy as Chinese (disagree? Then you obviously haven't seen 2046 yet), but man, English is so completely shameless. You can do anything with it, borrow, steal, or lay it bare. It's an eager whore of a language. In any case, it's not like France is Sweden or Switzerland, where you seem to be required to speak at least half a dozen languages before leaving primary school. And of course they are morally superior for it.
And then, today, I get to work where "the Americans are coming," which means, so far as I can tell, that mass amounts of Coca-Cola and particularly Diet Coke are stored away as to satisfy the Americans' insatiable coke drinking. (Oh, as I write this, some frenzied secretary came down to find coke for the Americans--it's hidden away of course). And then I read in the International Herald Tribune about Americans who are actually living the liberal dream-- moving to Canada that is... which I don't understand, honestly. Yeah, I am frustrated, but frustration to me implies an obligation. You can never wash your hands of your nationality. I am more American here than I ever was.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Bill and I have started working on our travel plans for this summer and I am obsessed by it. So obsessed that I am not even bored enough to update my blog at work I am so busy looking at backpacks and flights and railpasses oh my online. And the sad/exciting thing is that my obsession could very well continue until, well, we return to the states in September.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Fancy a trip to London, anyone?

So, this morning found me looking at fares on Student Universe and apparently, were you to leave in the next two weeks, you could totally fly to London r-t out of Chicago for $240! What a bargain! And yeah, it's a student fare but that doesn't matter, all they want you to have is a .edu email address. Which I know many of my friends have. So, come one come all.
In other news, I saw Turandot last night with my French friend, Leo(poldine). It was great fun. We bought the standing only tickets for £11 (or, approximately, 1/11th the price of flying roundtrip to London from Chicago), but for the third act, were able to move into the £160 really fucking awesome seats. It was amazing, and, incidentally, the happiest opera I have ever seen. Only one stage death! And yeah, it was a pretty girl, all the more tragic, but she wasn't one of our romantic leads! They triumphed! Instead, Turandot herself was one of the largest women I have ever seen-- Audrey Stottler, which got me thinking about how strange it must be to be a female opera singer. I mean, she's got this awesome voice, and she's obviously this immense diva (I have never seen anyone shine more during applause, she was nuts!), but then most of the time, she's just this really overweight woman. And god knows how society hates the morbidly obese, particularly women. So it must be really bizarre to be so revered in one aspect of your life, and then, so shunned in another.
In any case, her voice was fantastic, and the production was really stunning. Yay for the opera!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I'm wearing my new pants!

In the American sense of pants. They are red and so nice, I just look at them and smile, because I'm the girl in red pants.
Also, it's the first time in a few months my pants have fit.
Shortly after arriving in London, I was standing on an escalator up from the tube, and noticed that the people walking up the escalator had nicer asses than those that stood. I vowed to walk.
Lately, though, I've been really sad about the comparative sagginess of the ass of my pants and was afraid that all the walking up escalators I do here has not been able to counteract the ass-smooshingness of sitting for 8 hours a day in front of the computer.
Today, in my new pants, I see that it is not my ass but my old pants! These new pants work with my ass, they don't hang off it! So I am thrilled with my red, nicely hemmed, ass pants. Maybe I will have pictures soon.