Monday, 31 December 2007

Lessons Learnt in 2007

(This was written while on my way to and through the US. I just thought I would wait to post it until today for obvious reasons)

It seems I do a great deal of writing on planes or in airports. There is something about waiting for flights or being thousands of feet in the air that brings out a particularly introspective side to me. When this is compounded with the coming of the holidays, my urge to spew my inner thoughts peaks. After all there is something psychologically purging about blogging.

It’s been an interesting ride this year (putting it mildly), and I’ve learned some things along the way.

* If you rush into a relationship quickly and intensely, chances are pretty good that it will burn out just as quickly. If you are jumping in blindly and hear a little voice telling you that this time is different than the other time when you made a similar mistake, stop and take a step back. More than likely the voice in your head is not the voice of reason but the insane ramblings of lust.

* British Cling Film sucks. American Saran Wrap is better.

* There is no explaining a suicide, particularly a murder-suicide. And, you cannot beat yourself up thinking “If I had only...” thoughts. There is nothing that could have been done. You are not responsible.

* People usually don’t change all that much. You can give them as many chances as you like, but at the end of the day they will still be shit if they were shit before. They just might be shit differently or perhaps slightly less. This doesn’t mean you can’t accept them and love them for who they are, however. Just don’t be surprised or moan about it when they’re crap.

* Pay attention to red flags. They are easily misinterpreted especially if you are wearing rose coloured glasses.

* To ‘blow someone off’ means something completely different in the UK than it does in the US. If you aren’t going to meet up with someone in the UK, you ‘blow them out’ not off.

* To forgive someone for what they have done is divine. To forget about what they did which caused you to have to forgive them in the first place is stupid. Remember, people usually don’t change that much.

* Clinging to your ex's because you are comfortable with them is just plain lazy and perhaps a bit of a cowardly thing to do.

Some of these were lessons I had learnt in the past, but I obviously needed a review this year. It wasn’t the best of years, but it wasn’t the worst either. I gladly welcome in 2008.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Nothing and something

The other night I went to the Tractor Tavern in Seattle with some friends to see a band I was once a fan of many years ago. The stalls of the bathroom were covered with graffiti, mostly about men and their character or the size of their privates. However, there was one note that caught my attention and made think that perhaps it was time to change the signature on my email.

"Nothing is better than just something."

So true.

On a slightly unrelated note I've been watching American Football a bit since I've been back. I'm not really an American Football fan, but I have my teams. I bleed green and white for Michigan State University. It's difficult being a Spartan. They always build you up, give you hope and then smash you to the ground while breaking your heart, much like last Friday's bowl game. My friend, Scott, described it perfectly. He said something to the effect of, "It's like that girl that always screws you over, but you really like her and want her to call. Then, you're really happy when she does call, and you hope things will work out differently this time. But, she always screws you over again."

I laughed and wondered if being true to my alma mater has some correlation to my love life.

My thoughts for the day.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

My Luck With Cars Pt. 1

I don’t own a car, and that’s a good thing. If I were the princess in some fairytale where an evil witch were to put a spell upon me, my curse would not be to fall in an endless sleep or to be locked in a tower guarded by some dragon. No, instead my curse would be an eternity of bad luck surrounding automobiles.

The curse took hold when I was 11 and in the Sixth Grade. It was my first year of East Grand Rapids Middle School, and I had to walk a mile to school (uphill both ways in the snow). The year previous I had been a safety captain at my elementary school. This meant that I did the schedule for and checked on all the other Fifth Grade safeties (crossing guards). It was quite the prestigious position for a 10 year-old. I had to be nominated by my teacher and demonstrate that I had a complete comprehension of traffic safety rules, a comprehension that evaporated the second I started Middle School.

I would go meet my friend Christina, who lived across busy Breton Road, and we would walk to school together. Christina would wait by her front window for me and once she saw me about to cross Breton, she would go get a banana for us to split on our way to school. Then, I would dash out into the street knowing that I had timed sprint perfectly across so that the approaching car would just miss me. Now, keep in mind that I liked to live dangerously at the age of 11, which may explain my stupidity when it came to crossing Breton Road. I did things like climb trees to the very top where the branches were the thinnest and get pulled by a bicycle on my skateboard or on my roller skates letting go just in time to careen down the steep hill of Pinecrest at about 20 miles an hour. My knees still bear the scars from injuries of these childhood exploits and my foot still bears the scar of my first run-in with a car.

I knew my timing was perfect as bolted into the street that cold November morning; however, what I didn’t count on was the car turning right onto Breton Road. Suddenly I was knocked to the ground. The wheel of the vehicle stopped just at my foot, and my sneaker came off and to this day I can see it flipping down the street in slow motion. I remember thinking that I was lucky the car hadn’t run over my foot. Frankly, I was lucky that aside from a cut on my foot I wasn’t hurt at all. Instantly the driver and the passengers of the car surrounded my while I started to cry and blubber apologies. The people helped me into their car, and one of them ran to a house to call an ambulance. It was at this point that Christina left her house to meet me. Having not seen me get hit by the car, she was convinced that I was getting kidnapped and began screaming for her mother.

Eventually all misunderstandings were sorted and the ambulance arrived. I was thoroughly checked for signs of concussion or internal bleeding, and then I was granted the wish of almost every child under the age of 12. I got to ride to school in an ambulance, going top speed, lights going and sirens blaring. Despite the speed, I knew I was still going to miss the first bell, but I had a helluva good excuse. When we arrived at school, I looked up and saw the faces of my entire homeroom plastered to the window staring down at me. I smiled and waved.

The curse went into remission for six years and didn’t show its ugly head again until I had my driver’s license. More about the continuation of this curse later.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Mommy's Going To War

I’m sitting in the Tucson Airport and have just witnessed a family say good-bye to their Iraq bound mother. The family consists of a boy about 10, a little girl about 6 and their father, all of them stocky and all of them blonde. Before the mother left, they all gathered in a huddle and said a prayer. Then, she boarded the plane and the kids and the husband are now standing by the window staring at her plane. The father keeps assuring them that she will be ok. The little girl keeps asking questions about the plane, when will it leave, what’s that guy doing, why can’t she see her mother on it, etc. The boy stands silently with an intensely painful look on his face as he fixates his stare on the aircraft, which holds his mother. Every now and again a tear will roll down his ruddy cheek. Meanwhile, CNN is on the television screen behind them broadcasting the idiot who is responsible for this God forsaken war. No one in the airport can hear what he is saying because the television is muted, but we can all see his monkey-like face that always appears to wear a smug smirk. God, I despise that man, and at this moment that feeling of hatred has magnified so much that I’m seeing red.

And now the plane has taken off, and the family is turning to leave. The little girl walks up to a stranger, shows her a brightly coloured stuffed caterpillar and proudly announces, “My mommy bought this for me, but she had to go away.”

I was blogging about the things I’ve learnt this year, but all of that seems somewhat trivial now.

The Tucson airport doesn’t have free WiFi. As soon as I am connected to the internet, I will post this.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Mother Knows Best

Ahhhh procrastination. I'm meant to leave my flat bright and early to make my flight to the US. I've not packed, my house is a sty, and I'm about to blog...

This week I made good on my threat to my old childhood friend, Scott, and posted prom pics from my Senior Prom. While I was looking for these pictures, I came across a rather humorous poem my mother had written for me warning against being too mischievous while she, my father and younger brother had gone off on holiday (I don't remember to where) for about 5 days. This was when I was 17. I had a summer job, so I had to stay behind. I've obviously thought it worthy of keeping these last 20 years.

To Heather
We've gone and left you on your own.
The car, the house, and you alone.

The prospect gives us quite a chill.
We hope our worries come to nill.

We know that while we're all away,
The tendency will be to play.

It's surely true, so don't deny it.
But if it's wrong, please don't you try it.

If friends should drink, don't let them drive.
They'll be more fun when they're alive!

We know you're cautious and you're smart,
But if anything happens to you all three
of us will have a broken heart!
(This doesn't fit, but it's true)

Now Kirsten has agreed to stay,
So we'll feel better while away.

She's a real friend, I think you know it.
Go ahead and have fun, but just don't "blow" it!!

-Mom

PS Remember that the furniture is new.
The first spill should be us not you.


So, I had an amazing party. On the back of this poem is a party game my boyfriend (whoever was the flavour of the month-I don't even remember his name) and his friends made up. They gave people nicknames and made a key for O.O.C. (out of control) behaviour. The daughter of one of my teachers, who they nicknamed 'Marker Monster', won hands down when she vomited on my parents' bedroom.

All was cleaned up by the time my parents and brother arrived home. However, my father knew we had a party. Kirsten and I had disposed of the garbage by taking it to a dumpster, but we did it before the garbage pick up day. Thus, my dad knew we were hiding something. I didn't get in trouble though, not that time.

Back to packing and cleaning.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Be Still My Frigid Heart

Damn it's cold. I'm cold outside, and I'm cold on the inside too.

I've got a case of the Holiday Blues for many reasons which I am not really able to divulge completely here. I did talk a bit about it with a few friends this weekend. I know what I need to do for me. But it's not going to be easy and I'm not very happy about it. On top of that I'm sick and broke. I haven't slept well for 5 days running now-well that's not exactly true. I slept almost all day on Friday.

On the brighter side of things, the Nine Yards Christmas Party was a blast this weekend as it is every year thanks to Simon and Marianne. Plus, Rob brought the laser from the Led Zeppelin concert, which made this year's party even more spectacular. I'm going out to celebrate Julia's birthday tonight (despite only sleeping for 3 hours last night) and tomorrow is a Christmas Dinner at the Grove.

So, I'll keep wearing the holiday blue like some kind of scarf to keep me warm and enjoy the company of friends.

And in four days I'll be in sunny Tucson and then Seattle. That will be lovely.

I need to quit being a moping Molly-sheesh. There are people out there with real problems after all.

I love how blogging always makes me feel better.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Sick Thoughts

Ahh, but my title has probably led you astray. I'm not thinking 'sick thoughts' as such, although I do admittedly have quite sick thoughts from time to time, but I am just sat at home very sick and thinking.

Thinking too much is a problem I have.

And so I woke this morning wondering why I always go back to ex's or why do I keep them in my life. I have now come up with an answer...comfort.

I like to be comfortable. Comfort is good. There is admittedly a charge when a new relationship begins...butterflies, silly smiles, and what not, and all of that is truly enjoyable. But, what makes me the happiest is the settling in and being comfortable, simply knowing what to expect, establishing routines, etc.

That being said, I don't like it to be all comfort and laziness all the time. There has to be spontaneity to add spice to the comfort or the comfort becomes dull. However, all in all I like to know what to expect. Even if what is expected is that the person will be a shit.

It's ironic that I would allow comfort to rule over me like this. I've always thought of myself as an adventurous type, and adventurous types generally go beyond their comfort level. I, on the other had, always date the same type of guy (musician or artist type) and then when it ends I cling to the comfort that relationship brought me. Thus, I either end up getting back with my ex in some way only to have it fail again or I become close friends with them.

It's time to step out of my comfort zone.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Weary Water

I'm home now and this song is on. It completely is my mood. In fact I'd say that if my life were a movie or some bad sitcom it would be my theme song.

Now playing: Ani DiFranco - Swing

Ani fits any situation.

Too Tired and A Bit Bored

Week's over and I'm still around. The monthly horoscope appeared after all, so all Tauri are safe.

This week zipped by quite quickly. It started out by me finding out that someone who I thought had acted beyond reproach in a reproachful situation was a bit of a snake himself. It's always disappointing to discover someone you used to think highly of is not as fabulous as you thought. I spent Monday trying to push that from my mind. Tuesday I was meant to go out with some friends but that was canceled and so I stayed at home. Wednesday I went out with some folk I haven't seen in ages and some I see daily. Far too much was eaten, but I didn't care. Tis the season and all that. Last night I rang a friend I was concerned about and did my dishes. In addition I also spent the eve texting things I shouldn't to someone I shouldn't. So much for my resolve.

Today I'm at work-well no it's after work, and I'm taking the 5:30 shuttle, which goes all the way into Surbiton, to avoid the train fare. I've been too damn lazy this week to ride my bike, and the weather has been absolute shite. I have things I could do, sure, but I'm spent and frankly a bit bored.

Once when I was young, maybe about five or six, I was complaining about being bored and my mother said, 'Only boring people get bored.' I did my damndest from then on to never be bored again. But here I am. My life is full with work, interesting friends, activities I like, and things that need doing. In fact my life is so full that I haven't had more than five hours of sleep. For the most part I'm happy, but lately a bit of a cantankerous attitude has taken hold. I have so many friends who are dealing with so much crap, some have brought it upon themselves and have also fucked up things for other people, some are stuck in shitty situations they cannot control, and some are just sad for no real reason than that they just are.

Lately, that last category has been where I'm starting to fit. I have always prided myself on being an upbeat person. I laugh a lot and too loudly at life, but lately all things I used to find amusing I could care less about. In fact things just seem downright dull. Oh no, God forbid, have I become dull? This blog seems to have become boring as well. And, I'm tired. Really really tired.

Everything just seems to be the same. It'd be nice to have something different and good happen. Not to say that the things that are happening in my life aren't good, but I don't want to wish for something different and then have it be bad.

But at the end of the day, the person who lives your life is you. You make your own choices and end up with the consequences of those choices. How you react to what life gives you determines your happiness. No one can make you happy. Only you can make you happy.

I'm bored, so I must have become boring somewhere along the way. But like I said before, I have interesting friends. I'm about to meet a bunch of them now for a drink and I will be well entertained I'm certain.

And maybe the sun will shine again on my attitude soon. Thanks for reading my bit of moaning.

Did anyone notice the triple alliteration in my blog title? That's my mind working to not be bored.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Worrisome

I just checked my horoscope on Yahoo. I have one for today, one for tomorrow, and one for this whole week. However when I try to see the month view (it is a new month after all), there is nothing.

Are the stars trying to tell me I only have a week to live? Hmmmmmmmm....

I'm worthless

I have a fancy new laptop from work so I can work at home and guess what...

I brought 5 hours worth of work home with me this weekend.

I did 30 minutes of it and have spent the rest of the time chatting, emailing, and doing stuff to people on facebook.

I'll stop procrastinating tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Weekend in Review

In the course of this weekend I...

*got my consolation rejection jacket for the London Marathon. :-(

*went to an interesting Burlesque Salon Night called 'Strip Lite' in East London. I'm thinking of writing a review of it for Rock-n-Roll 2.0. I will let the world know as always if it's posted.

*finally ended things with my 'Big'. I'm hoping our communication will smoothly transition to friendship and remain as such.

*cut about 10 inches off my hair. I really like it.

*went to the German Christmas market in Kingston and drank 2 glasses of gl├╝hwein. It made me feel very warm and fuzzy inside.

*went to a party at a friend of Nana's. It was quite fun, and I met some lovely people.

*had a long chat with my brother, who despite his recent stroke of very bad luck is doing quite well.

*caught up with a few Seattle friends on-line and on the phone.

And now today is Sunday. I have a lot of work to do. So, I'm putting it off to catalogue my weekend's activities for your entertainment (or boredom). I should really get going on my dishes and marking.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Suspense

And now the second person of the three of us has received her consolation rejection jacket for the London Marathon. I still haven't. I'm still waiting. My fingers are becoming cramped from having them crossed this long.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Waiting....

People will tell you you that I'm a patient person, but they'd be wrong. Patience may be a virtue and some may think I'm virtuous, but really it's all a facade.

I hate waiting. It drives me nuts. It bothers me that the shuttle from work will drop us off at the train station oftentimes 10 minutes before my four minute train journey. I hate standing in any queue, and I particularly hate waiting for news.

That is what I'm doing right now, waiting for news. A few months back a few of us registered for the London Marathon. There are a couple of ways to get into the marathon. You can either register, pay a fee and hope you are one of the few who get selected, or you can run for a charity but be obligated to raise up to £2,000 for that charity. So, I decided to register, pay the fee and hope for the best. If I were to be selected, I would raise what I could for a charity without the obligation and stress of having to raise an enormous amount of money. Tonight I got a text from one of my friends who also registered for the marathon. She and her boyfriend had just received their rejection letters and consolation jackets (at least you get a jacket if you don't get in).

I have not received my jacket, nor have I received a notice from the post office saying that I have a package waiting. I'm taking this as a good sign, but it could show up tomorrow. I really really want to run in this marathon. My goal is to run a marathon before that big scary birthday creeps up on me. My hopes are high, and my fingers are crossed. I want time to speed by until I have confirmation in my hand that I'm in or I'm out.

If I do get into the London Marathon, it will have been well worth the wait.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Cling Film, Cling? HA!

British Cling Flim, called Saran Wrap in the States, sucks! American Saran Wrap is so much better. Soooooooo much better. British Cling Film doesn't tear off correctly and doesn't do its primary job. It doesn't cling. It falls open, bunches up oddly and in general just frustrates its user. I rarely use it, but when I do I can always count on being disappointed. (Although if I can depend on being let down by it, I suppose it is not really disappointing me.)

When I visit the US for the holidays, I'm stocking up on Saran Wrap. Maybe I'll buy some for my American friends over here as well. Perhaps American Saran Wrap will be the most loved Christmas Present of American Expats in the UK.

And that is my rant for the day.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Inventions That Would Make Ne Rich.

I have 4 inventions, which I believe would make me a very wealthy woman if I could only figure out how to make them.

1.Bottled X-Factor- Now, by this I am NOT referring to the television show or anything about Simon Cowell. I'm talking about that inexplicable umph, that element in relationship you can't explain which keeps the two people together. It's beyond physical attraction and compatibility and even beyond fantastic sex. It's the aspect of relationships no one really understands but everyone knows when it is there. In some instances, however, it's there for one of the parties in a relationship but not the other. There are also relationships where everything is perfect between two people and it really should work out, but the X-Factor is absent. Finally, some relationships had the X-Factor at the beginning but after some time together, it disappeared. To be ethical the Bottled X-Factor would only work if both parties in the relationship agreed to use it. Genuine interest in what could develop must be there for both parties even if the X-Factor isn't.

2. Bottled X-Factor Remover- This is to be used in cases where one person feels that special umph, but the other one just doesn't and has no interest in trying out the Bottled X-Factor. This is to be taken before dating or sleeping together actually begins. It's intended for unrequited love, crushes and the like where the object of one's affection simply doesn't return it or is completely unavailable (i.e. is married to someone else or a a member of the clergy). Simply take the Bottled X-Factor Remover and all urges will simply fade away to regular ol' friendship. You can then go find someone who returns your affections or is willing to give the Bottled X-Factor a shot.

3. Get Over It Pill- I believe this would be the most popular of the three I've mentioned so far. This one little pill would take you beyond all the pain and suffering you experience when a relationship ends. Take this pill at the end of the relationship and you will be over it within only one day, not the painful weeks, months and in some cases years it usually takes.

4.Communication Device Breathalyser Editor (C.D.B.E.) - I believe all of us have suffered through 'intextication' where we have been pissed and sent a text we later regretted. And let's not forget drunken phone calls or stupid emails and IM conversations. This gadget would work on phones as well as on computers for email and instant messenger programs (including websites like Facebook or MySpace). Simply attach the C.D.B.E. to either your computer or phone and switch it on. (This should be done before going to the pub) The C.D.B.E. will stay activated for a minimum of 12 hours. Before using your phone or computer you must blow into the C.D.B.E. If it is determined that your alcohol blood level is above the common sense limit, you will only be able to make emergency phone calls and all text messages, emails, and instant messages would be edited for emotive quality and stupidity before they are sent.

I know that I would become very rich if I could figure out a way to create and patent these inventions. Too bad that's not possible (with the exception of maybe the breathalyser) as I know many people (including myself) who could have benefited from any of these.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Is my Daemon correct?

A colleague of mine sent this to me, and it is actually quite interesting.

Tell me if I saw myself the right way and make a Daemon of your own.



I guess I am kinda advertising for the movie, but hey stuff like this is fun.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Indicate, Asshole!!!

The Scilly Isles Roundabout on the A307 is the most idiotic piece of road engineering ever constructed. It's a double roundabout and is quite tricky. When Matt and I were dating and would go into work together, I was privy to a stream of early morning cussing every time we drove through it. The first time I drove in England, my friend, Kyle who was showing me the ropes, had me go through the Sicily Isles Roundabout. At that time some jerk cut me off on the second portion of this engineering fiasco. I slammed on the break and said, 'Fuck!' This jerk continued on his merry way as my heart jumped to my throat. Kyle assured me that it wasn't my fault and told me that breaking and swearing was exactly what I was meant to do. He added that he would have been worried if I hadn't cursed.

These days I cycle, yes that’s right cycle, through that scary roundabout every morning. It’s that time of year where the sun is rising at about 8AM and setting at about 4PM. It’s dark when I go to work and when I go home. Therefore, I have taken necessary precautions and made myself highly visible. I wear a neon yellow jacket and my bike is equipped with a bright white light on the front and a blinking red light on the back. In addition I am hyper aware of where cars are. There were two points in my distant past where I have been hit by cars and one of them was while I was on a bike. In both those instances, I wasn’t paying attention, and I don’t want to chance getting hit a third time.

So this morning there I was biking in the cold, wet weather. I watched the cars carefully as I approached the ominous traffic junction. The cars that would pass in front of me, which had the right of away, were stopped since there was a car going the opposite direction of me and would pass in front of them. Thus, it had the right of way. Since the car appeared to be going straight and was in the lane to do so, I entered the roundabout. However, at the last moment IT TURNED RIGHT ON THE ROUNDABOUT WITHOUT INDICATING IT WOULD DO THIS! I was too far into the lane to do anything but speed up to avoid being hit. The driver of this car who didn’t know how to use his turn signals did in fact know how to use his horn. After hearing it, I turned my head and shouted, ‘Indicate, asshole!’ Unfortunately, I don’t think he heard me. I do, however, think that Kyle would agree that this was the most appropriate response.

Trust Your Gut

A while back I met someone through a friend, who I didn't entirely trust. It was just that uneasy feeling you get when you feel like something is a bit off. Over time, however, I got to know this person and came around and really admired them and enjoyed their company. That uneasy feeling gradually melted away.

Very recently I found out something, and this morning I realised that it proved my original gut feeling right. This would explain why upon hearing about what this person had done I was shocked, but wasn't all that surprised.

So, my dear reader, when you meet someone who for some inexplicable reason you just don't trust, heed that gut feeling and be cautious.

Lesson learnt.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Dreamin'

Last night I dreamt that I was pregnant. In my dream I was thrilled instead of being upset or confused, which I would have been in real life. I knew that it was a long road ahead of me, as I was about to be a single mother, but I was so happy. As for the father I wasn't certain. I knew that I hadn't had sex in months. Thus (in the logic of my dream) it was either a miracle or one of two ex's. Both of these ex's were there and both were admitting that they were the father, but one was more willing to step up to this fact than the other. My friends were being super supportive and those who had already had children were offering hand-me-down baby clothing, etc.

I've been thinking about this off and on all day and finally I looked online to see what the dream analysis meaning was. This is what it said:

"To dream that you are pregnant, symbolizes an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life that is growing and developing. You may not be ready to talk about it or act on it. This may also represent the birth of a new idea, direction, project or goal."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

The hardest thing for me...

about living abroad is when stuff happens to any of my loved ones back in the US, I'm over here feeling helpless. It's not as if my being back in the US can change anything or that it would even make a difference when bad things happen to those I love or they get sick, etc. But I know I would feel better-more useful or a better friend somehow-if I were there when things go bad. It's a catch 22 really, because if I were to move back, which I have no intention on doing, then any time someone I know and love over here had bad shit happen I would feel just as awful and helpless.

Sigh...

I'm the one who chose to leave and this is just one of the consequences of that choice.

Oh and things are generally fine. I don't mean to sound like someone I love is dying because they aren't.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Rock'n'Roll 2.0

My friend, Richard, has started a new blog called Rock'n'Roll 2.0. He wants it to be a collaborative journal with submissions from different sources about music and culture. So, if you have written or would like to write a piece about music and culture that you would like people to see, please contact him at richard@funkturm.co.uk. Regardless if you want to submit anything or not, you should still check out Rock'n'Roll 2.0.

As a self-promotional aside, I was quite flattered when he asked me to submit a piece I had written in an earlier blog about love and mixtapes. I plan on submitting more about music I've heard, shows and any other interesting events I've attended, but right now I seem to be stuck in the hum-drum of my everyday life, which you can always read here.

Cookie Concoction

I told my homeroom I would make them cookies because I was so proud of the amount of toys they donated for the toy drive and the fact that everyone wore red or a poppy on the day our school acknowledged Remembrance Day. In truth each homeroom gets spirit points for activities like these, and at the end of the year the homeroom with the highest amount of spirit points in each grade level gets a pizza party. I love pizza. We have won the pizza party for the last two years. Being quite competitive, I will do almost anything to motivate my students to win. I pulled out the ingredients I thought I would need. Fortunately I had purchased chocolate chips earlier in the day, but I discovered that I was out of vanilla, and at this point the shops had all shut. I called my friend Patricia for other reasons and in the course of our conversation I asked her what would be a good vanilla substitute. She suggested orange juice. All I had was apple. She said that would probably work, and I pulled down my recipe books in search of a good chocolate chip cookie bar recipe.

Shit! I needed brown sugar as well and had none. I looked up substitutions for brown sugar and discovered that adding molasses to white sugar was acceptable. That would be great if I had molasses. I didn't. I got on-line and began to search for other recipes and found one which did not require brown sugar. Woo Hoo! I started to combine the ingredients and discovered another roadblock. The recipe called for honey, and I had none.

I called my downstairs neighbour, Catherine. She had honey. Hooray! I borrowed her honey and continued with my creation. The cookies called for 1 and 1/4 cup of butter. The only measuring cup I have is large Pyrex one. It is my faithful measuring cup. I've had it for years and would be devastated by its loss. However, when it comes to measuring 1 and 1/4 cups out of a large tub of margarine (yes another substitution), it doesn't do so well. Remembering that 8 ounces equals a cup, I decided to weigh it. It seemed like a bit too much margarine, but I used it anyway. After assembling all the ingredients I realised that my initial thought about the butter was probably correct. I added a bit more flour and pinch more baking powder and the consistency seemed ok. Then, I grabbed the packets of chocolate chips.

I realised then that I had made yet another error. Instead of purchasing 2 packets of plain chocolate chips (2 packets of plain chocolate chips here=1 16 oz bag of semi-sweet packet of chocolate chips in the US), I had 1 packet of plain and 1 packet of milk chocolate chips. Oh well, with the way this was going would it really matter? I added the chips, spread the dough across a pan, and then placed it in the oven. Right then my phone rang. It was my mother.

I told her the story of this concoction and of course she laughed and said something like, 'Most people look at the recipe and then go to the store, Heather. They don't make it up as they go along.' I agreed with her, but I was excited to see the result of this. As we chatted the cookie bars baked away. At one point I glanced at the recipe and realised that I hadn't added salt. I laughed and my mother suggested that I tell my students that they are 'salt-free' cookies for their health. 'Sure,' I said, 'because you know eleven year-old children need to worry about hypertension.'

Finally, the cookie bars were done. I pulled them from the oven and they were a but fluffy, but looked fine. Actually, they tasted pretty good, but they could probably use a little salt.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Where Have I Been?

I got a group text from my friend, Ces, tonight asking, 'What time does the local pyro start the fireworks display?' Tonight is Bonfire Night in honour of the failed attempt by Guy Fawkes and a group of conspirators who tried to blow up parliament in 1605. So, tonight (well actually in most places, this weekend) there are fireworks displays and bonfires galore. However, I'm in the middle of marking and writing report cards, so there would be no fun and frolics for me. I was still at work when I got her 2nd text saying that the display would be begin at 7:30pm at the 'Flower House.' I wasn't sure of where she was referring. I wouldn't be home until 7:30 anyway, so I responded that I couldn't make it and kept on working.

When I finally got home, I goofed off a bit on line and heard a fireworks display begin. It sounded incredibly close. I figured that it was probably down by the river at Ravens Ait, so I ignored it. However, as I was in the kitchen I saw a smoky haze drift past the street lamp in the car park beyond my back garden. It was then that I really realised how loud the display sounded and it suddenly occurred to me what Ces had meant by the 'Flower House'. Just down the road from my flat, 2 doors down to be exact, is a building on the corner with the most amazing flower garden in the front. I grabbed my keys and jacket and shot out the door. Sure enough, just around the corner from where I lived was a crowd gathered to watch a fireworks display. It was not official, no barricades and only a small gathering of locals. However, no police came along to spoil the fun. There was a bonfire burning and the fireworks were going off in rapid successions. Huge as well as little fireworks, fire wheels, and a variety of pyrotechnic delight lit up my neighbourhood. It was absolutely amazing. The man who put it together must have spent thousands of pounds for our benefit. I saw my friends and went to join them, and through speaking with them discovered that this has been going on every Bonfire Night for years.

How the hell did I not know this? Where I have been on Bonfire Night for the last 4 years?

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Tourist in My Own City Pt. 2

On Monday 22nd of October Steve and I ventured into London itself. We got the train into Waterloo and then walked along the Southbank. Steve took pictures of the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. I did not. I already have several pictures of these landmarks, and I'm fortunate to see them regularly. We continued up the Southbank until we got to a pub with a great view of the city skyline on the other side of the Thames and menus, which had a diagram identifying buildings at the bottom. Both of had Fish and Chips with Mush Peas, a very appropriate meal. After lunch we went over the Millennium bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral. I was very excited by this as I had not yet been inside this famous landmark. Steve was a bit creeped out by the sheer opulence of the wealth and power when we went inside. I'm not certain why it didn't strike me in a similar way. Perhaps it is because I've seen extravagance of the Vatican and St. Paul's, although stunningly beautiful, is lacking in comparison.
Despite how tired Steve was and the amount of walking I had already made him do, I forced him to walk up the dome. From there we got to see amazing views of London.
As you can see Steve was privy to some very English weather. From there we got on a bus and went to Trafalgar Square. We were shocked and a bit appalled to discover a huge display advertising the coming Dolphins vs Jets game to be played the following weekend at Wembley Stadium. There was a huge blow-up football player next to a screen. Steve took some great shots of this, but I missed out on the opportunity to capture this cultural invasion.

After this we went to the Tower of London but discovered we wouldn't have enough time to properly see it all. Thus we went to meet up with Lindseay for a drink a bit earlier than we had anticipated.

The next day we took a day trip via train to the beach town of Brighton, where we got married.
On Wednesday and Thursday we did more sightseeing and Steve was able to see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben close up in addition to Westminster Abbey and the Horse Guard. We also finally got to the Tower of London and although we had more time, the two hours we had weren't enough. I can't wait for the next visitor to come back so that I can go back.

And so I returned to the daily grind of my life after Steve's departure, but it was quite cool to take advantage of the touristy stuff this historical place has to offer and that I take for granted.

Tourist in My Own City Pt1

My friend, Steve, was here visiting me about a week ago. I absolutely love it when people come to visit because it gives me a chance to do things that I wouldn't normally do in addition to taking pleasure in sharing activities I do daily.

Steve arrived on Saturday 20th of October and was able to witness a tube closure first hand. We got on the Picadilly line at Heathrow and went one stop from Terminal 4 to Terminals 1, 2, and 3 only to discover that it was closed due to a gas leak. Thus we ended up on the bus, Gus. This was better in the end as it allowed Steve to see more sites than he would have going to mine via a system of tunnels. There would be plenty of time for the tube later.

Later that eve after Steve was settled, we went to the Grove and had dinner. My friend, Lindseay, met us for a drink and then I indoctrinated Steve into British culture by having him watch England play South Africa in the World Cup Rugby final at Mark's place. Afterwards, Linds, Steve, and I came back to mine and drank what was meant to be a celebratory bottle of champagne, but became a conciliatory bottle instead.

The next day I took Steve up the river path to Kingston upon Thames in order to keep him awake. Jet lag is a real bitch when you fly east. He had forgotten his camera, so we took pics on the way using mine. It's interesting how you just kind of take things for granted after living somewhere for a while. Steve noticed things that I pass daily and think nothing of. For example he liked the way the streets looked, and he loved the fact there was a boat named Jeff.

We also saw a sail boat race on the Thames.
On the way down the path we stopped at a vegetarian restaurant and had lunch.

It was a beautiful autumnal day that Sunday. So, I dragged Steve over the Kingston bridge and made him walk down the other side of the river. I tried to get him to go all the way to Hampton Court and then get the train back across the river and up to Surbiton, but he was just far too knackered. Fortunately, Hart's, the pub where we had arranged to meet up with some of my friends had a ferry service across the river so we had a convenient short cut.

Hart's is a boat yard in addition to a pub and restaurant, and it is a great place to sit outside with a pint and watch the sun set.

Gillian, Chad, Mark, Kellie, and Linds met us at Hart's for a drink on the river. However, after the sun set it was quite cold so we had to go inside.

So that was Day 1 and Day 2 of Steve's visit- 2 days of ordinary activities made much more fun by the presence of a dear old friend. I took some more pics throughout the trip, but I'm exhausted after this week and some slight debauchery from last night. I will post Pt. 2 of Steve's visit, with more pictures of course, later.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Social Networking Gone Crazy and Competitive

I am almost addicted to Facebook. Fortunately we can't do Facebook from work or I'd never get anything done. I'm also on MySpace and Friendster. In addition I'm on two other sites that I never use, Okrut and WAYN , but since signing on to Facebook, I've not been on those sites at all.

And now Google is introducing this, which apparently starts tomorrow. It seems pretty cool and I may check it out through Friendster or Okrut.

I'm going to be so busy with my virtual social life I won't have time for my real one.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Dogs Taking Up Arms.

I know, I know, I've not posted anything for over a week. I have several fits and starts that I will get to including what Steve and I did on his trip here, but I'm super busy at present.

However, I do have a few seconds to post this. Apparently the dog was as good of a shot as his owner. What surprises me, however, is that this is not entirely unheard of.

Will people ever learn?

Back to work I go.

Friday, 19 October 2007

What the hell is wrong with me?

So this morning I woke up with "Sexy Think' by Hot Chocolate in my head. Again, I haven't heard this song for ages. However, this time I own the song and have put it on a mix CD for an ex. I wasn't thinking of this ex when I woke up. I just had the song in my head for no reason.

Thus I'm bopping around bubbly and happy and annoying my colleagues with my good cheer.

Somebody slap me.

In other news my friend, Steve, arrives tomorrow, and I am off work for a week. Wheeee!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

It Is Unusual

I have "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones stuck in my head. It's been there since I woke up this morning. Now this is unusual. First, I don't own any Tom Jones. Well I might since I was gifted loads of music this summer, but I have not sought it out or tried to play it. I actually don't really like Tom Jones that much, but I admit I do like this song. Second, I haven't heard it on radio or telly at any point here recently. And third, I don't really have a love interest per say. There are a few people I fancy and some residual feelings from the past that pop up every now and again, but nothing that would inspire me to go around humming this tune. Plus, as far as I am aware there is no one who loves me-well romantically anyway.

Still, I'm bopping around humming this tune as if I'm in love with someone. Weird.

It could be that today we are all dressed up like the 60's as we are celebrating our school's 40th anniversary, and this is a song from that era. Or, maybe it's an omen of things to come? (I'd prefer to think that, frankly).

Anyway, it's just unusual that I have 'It's Not Unusual' stuck in my head that's all. Felt like sharing.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Train Voyeurism

This past Thursday evening I was on train coming home from seeing Richmond Fontaine. Hey, I'm a poet! Anyway, it was late and I was a bit pissed since I had been 'force fed' whisky by the boys. I may not have been in the soberest of states, but I was far more sober than the two people seated in front of me. At first I thought they were a couple, but as the journey went on I learned that this was not the case. The woman, who was probably no more than 22, was on the phone with someone who I'll call Jamie and she was loudly saying things like, "Don't be such a liar, Jamie. I know all about her."

Meanwhile the young man, about her age and sitting next to her, was texting someone. I peered beneath the seats and over his shoulder to see what he was saying. He had written, "Of course I didn't tell her about the Irish bird. That was Paul. I denied everything."

The woman went on saying things like this, "Oh Danny. Oh that's rich. Yeah bring up Danny. You know Danny was a one-off and that was two years ago and I haven't done anything like that since. I've been completely faithful to you since then. What? What? Oh bullocks. Don't lie to me. Your own friends told me about the Irish Bird. So, I want to know are you sleeping with her or not? Who are you sleeping with? No. No! Just answer my question. Are you sleeping with someone else or not?"

She was sobbing at this point and the man next to her was just kind of staring at her. I pretended to be reading my book, but my eyes couldn't focus on the words anyway, so I just listened. Eventually she put the phone down and the man next to her said something like, "I wish you hadn't done that. You put me in a precarious position. He knows who you've been out with tonight, doesn't he? Us. So that makes it pretty obvious who told you, doesn't it? It would've been either me or Paul. It just puts me in an awkward position. I am forced to lie to him now."

The woman whimpered a few things that I couldn't understand. Eventually she started to fall asleep with her head on the window glass and then would shift her weight and put her head on the young man's shoulder. He just stared straight ahead as if she wasn't there.

I then started to think about this whole situation, which really was no business of mine. How loyal or faithful was that man? He told this woman what his friend had done and then couldn't stand up and defend telling her. In fact he denied the whole thing to his friend, who meanwhile was on the phone with her denying what he had done. Then when she hung up with her boyfriend, this other man scolded her for saying anything and implied that it was her fault that he was in the position that he put himself in. They all sounded like an unscrupulous group, but in my opinion he was the worst of the bunch.

Of course who am I to judge scruples? I sat there and spied on these two in my whisky laden state and now here I am blogging about it.

Yup, I'm going to hell and I'll probably see those folk there.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

WOO HOO!!!!

I ran 6 miles tonight!!!!

I'm starting to feel it thought. Hope I can bike to work tomorrow.


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Now playing: Supergrass - Never Done Nothing Like That Before

Saturday, 6 October 2007

FIVE MILES!!! YEAH BABY

My goal is to run a marathon before my next birthday. I have been taking my running more seriously, but haven't been perhaps training as well as I could. There's a running group I used to go to in Kingston, but I haven't gone in over a month. It's easier to run longer distances when you have running mates. I find running solo much more of a challenge. At 3 miles I hit a wall when I'm by myself, but not today. Nope, today I RAN FIVE MILES ON MY OWN!!!! I even ran into 3 friends while running and stood running in place while I spoke with each for a few minutes. Needless to say I'm quite pleased with myself, but I think my success may have quite a bit to do with my choice of music. I lost my iPod a while back and am waiting to visit the US for the holidays to replace that. Until then I use my phone which has almost no memory, so I can only put a few select songs on it. I do believe the playlist I created was responsible for my distance today. As the lyrics in my first selected song stat, 'It's the music that we choose.' (set list below)

Five miles down. 20 more to go.

Gorillaz - 19-2000 (Soulchild remix)

Lamb - Sugar 5

G. Love & Special Sauce - I-76

Nikka Costa - Everybody Got Their Something

De La Soul - A Roller Skating Jam Named S..

Shriekback - Nemesis

Friday, 5 October 2007

Music and Memories

I'm being a bad girl. Currently, I'm at work and we are meant to be using our time to develop curriculum as it is an inservice day. Instead I've decided to blog a bit.

This summer I had to clear out all the stuff at my parents' house since they were moving. I shipped it all over to the UK via school, and thus three large boxes sit in my back 'office' (a storage room really). I cracked them open and took my photo albums to my flat last week. Today it occurred to me that there were CD's I hadn't listened to for a good long time in those boxes. I took a few of them out and put them into my work i-Tunes.

I'm currently listening to Lori Carson, who was introduced to me by an ex boyfriend. This particular ex was an alcoholic and used to be a indie buyer for a record store in Seattle, which I believe no longer exists.

I put up with loads of crap from this guy for far longer than I should have because I was shallow. He used to order 2 copies of sample CD's from record labels and then would give one copy to me. I also was able to see 2 to 3 great shows a week for free. (Even after we broke up he still got me and my friend, Steve, into a Robin Hitchcock show which we might not have been possible without his help. We had to pay for tickets, however.) It was thrilling to always be my ex's 'plus one', and I ended up sacrificing my own well-being for my music addiction. Finally, I realised that my happiness was worth paying the full cost of CD's and shows. It's difficult to watch someone you care for destroy themselves, and despite the lure of the accident on the side of the motorway, I chose to look away. I haven't spoken to him since I left the US.

While listening to this album, memories of this time period came flooding back. Instead of feeling badly about it, it occurred to me just how much I have grown since that relationship and in part because of it. That girl with the low self esteem, who wanted so badly to be the 'cool music chic' is more or less gone. I still really love music and consider myself a bit of a junkie, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my happiness in a relationship in order to see shows for free or be comped a few CD's.

Lori Carson's album 'Stars' is nice and mellow. I'm quite enjoying it as I blog, but I must now get back to work. I have a Fishbone album, which I shall be playing next for a bit of a contrast.


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Now playing: Lori Carson - Rainy Day
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 4 October 2007

My Week Thus Far

On Monday the shuttle to work smelled like it was burning. However, it was a cold morning so I convinced the other passengers that it was just the smell of the heater being turned on for the first time. I was wrong. As it turned into the narrow road leading to our school, it stalled and the inside began to fill with smoke. There was a small fire in the engine. We had to push the coach off the main road and up the smaller one leading to school. Then, we had to walk the rest of the way. There were a few kind people who stopped and picked us up as they drove towards the school. I got a ride the last 1/4 mile from a colleague. During the day I had a few students tell me that they had seen me walking as they went past in their parents' cars. I made certain to thank them for the ride they never offered.

On Tuesday the fire drill went off in the middle of our lessons. Apparently an electrical fault had set it off. We were outside for what seemed like forever in the balmy, October, English weather.

I regularly bike to the station where the shuttle picks up. It's about 3 miles each way from my flat. When I got home on Tuesday, I also went for a 3 mile run. Needless to say I was quite proud of myself. I biked to the station on Wed as well but didn't run.

On Wed parent/teacher conferences began. I actually said, "There is nothing wrong with a B. It is a very respectable grade," to four different parents. Get a grip people. They have the rest of their lives to stress over grades. Let them be a kid while they still can. Just because your childhood is over doesn't mean you should end theirs prematurely. In addition, there were far too many good tasting goodies in the staff room, and samples of each all found their way into my mouth. It's a damn good thing I have been biking to work.

Wed. eve I almost set fire to my kitchen while making appetisers for a girly night I was hosting for my neighbour Catherine's birthday. My kitchen was filled with smoke causing me to open all my windows. It was reminiscent of the shuttle fiasco earlier that week. All was well and good in the end, but I did end up throwing out an entire blackened baguette. Fortunately, Julia was at the store at the time of my mini-crisis and was able to grab me another before she arrived. Poor Catherine ended up stuck in her flat until almost 9 due to the idiot builders putting in her new kitchen. In the end we still enjoyed bubbly, nice snacks and a few episodes of "Sex and The City".

Today I woke up hungover (go figure) and decided to take the train to the shuttle instead of ride my bike. I again spent the entire day talking to parents and eating too much food from the staff room. When I came home the sun was shining, the temperature was warm, and it was a perfect day to run by the river. So, I took a nap on the sofa instead. I was just too damn tired and still a bit hungover.

I'm currently in my PJ's, watching telly and blogging about my oh so exciting life.

And that, my dear reader, is all for now. Stay tuned for another thrilling update soon....Yawn....I'm off to bed now.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

That Lazy OCD rears it's head

Guess I'm not too surprised by this.




Which Friends Character Are You?

You are Monica. You have a go-all-out nature. Your friends better watch out, because you play to win. Also, when it comes to order and cleanliness, you're a bit obsessive compulsive. Your best trait, however, is your thoughtfulness. You go to great lengths to care for your friends.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com


So, where the hell is my Chandler?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Which Sex and The City Character Are You

HA! I knew it!!!!




Which Sex and the City Character Are You?

You are Carrie. You know what you want out of a relationship and you're not afraid to keep moving until you get it. Wit and charm are your biggest turn-ons, and you like guys who appreciate you for your mind as much as your body. You have fun playing the dating game, but secretly you just can't wait to find the guy who sweeps you off your feet and carries you into the sunset.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Getting on with it...

I've been in a bit of a funk for...well a while really. I'd like to pigeon hole it and say that it's due to my friend's self-inflected tragedy at the beginning of this month, but I know that it started well before that. Since I've been back to the UK I've been uncharacteristically anti-social, and in truth I think this darkish mood began before I went to the US this summer. It's gotten so that people have made a few comments to me. Well, damn it I've decided that ends now. I'm getting back to my outgoing ways-going to events and having people over. I'm not going to meet anyone new sitting at home alone being a sorry sack am I? Time to get back to who I used to be.

However, having people over does mean I need to clean my flat. Shit! Better do that now.


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Now playing: Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
via FoxyTunes
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Now playing: PJ Harvey - Water
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 22 September 2007

I'm a Lazy Obsessive Compulsive

Not surprisingly, I've been thinking about this a lot. LOL! I have decided that I'm a lazy Obsessive Compulsive. I over think things, compulsively check things, or check on people (blogs, facebook profiles-hell facebook in general is an obsession at the mo') to a degree that I would consider to be a bit unhealthy. I worry about silly things that I can do nothing about. These worries will actually wake me up in the middle of the night and keep me up. Three of the same number in a row (ie, 222) have some meaning for me. When I see them I feel reassured somehow. I make lists constantly and am an internally organised person. However, I hate cleaning and am very abstract-random when it comes to my external organisation. That being said I obsess about how untidy my flat is and it bothers me-consumes me-to the point that I am mortified when people stop by. Since it bothers me so much, you would think that I would do something about it. I don't. I just blog about how I'm obsessed with the state of my flat, apparently. Oh and I obsess about blog topics as well, and like I said at the beginning of this I have been thinking about this topic a lot.

In fact I have been obsessing about being obsessive compulsive so much that I went on line today and looked up the symptoms for OCD and read a few articles on the topic. Attached to one article was an OCD screening quiz, which I took. I scored 12 and apparently 12 and up means that OCD is likely. Needless to say I'm not too surprised.

sigh....

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Now playing: Shriekback - Faded Flowers
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

A Little Lighter

My mobile rang at 4AM this morning. Normally I turn it off when I go to bed and of course on one of the few nights that I forget, it rings. I hit 'silent' and waited for a bit. If it was an emergency they would either call back or call my land line. Neither of the two happened, so I slipped back into my slumber. When I awoke I had a text from Steve. He got a ticket to London and will be here in October. Yay!

I got up and gathered my stuff. All of last week including this last Monday I had no energy to bike to work (or do much of anything really), but I was determined that was going to change today. I double checked that I had everything: bike lock, extra jacket, and helmet, and out the door I went still feeling like I had forgotten something somehow. Standing in the foyer it occurred to me what I had forgotten and I started to laugh. Then, I turned around, unlocked the door to my flat and went back inside to get my bike.

The rest of my day went on really well and things seemed a little brighter than they have for the past week.


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Now playing: Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Grief Shmief

There are apparently slightly different stages of grief with suicide and this doesn't mean that they will happen in some order or that they will occur in even time increments. However, knowing this and knowing that my illogical reactions and emotional outbursts have a psychological base behind them, doesn't make me feel better. I also read somewhere that if you don't deal with the full process grief at the time a loss happens, you deal with that loss in addition to another loss when the other occurs. Fuck!

What Stephanie said about it being the way someone dies that affects you explains my extreme emotional reaction and darkness I entered into this last weekend. I have now successfully destroyed a friendship with someone who was just checking on me on Saturday. My flat is also state of condemnable disarray, which I suppose reflects how I feel internally.

I know there is nothing anyone can say or do to make this better and that I have to go through my own shit in my own way. I also know that feeling sorry for myself won't make things better (which was what my friend basically said to me while I was hurling abuse at him). Blogging helps in some weird way, but what I really need to do is log off this computer, quit searching for more news about Ray, John, and Ruby's suicide/murder and log on to my own life.

As I said before if this tragedy is affecting me like this, how the hell are those who knew Ray more recently and more closely than I did dealing with it?

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Now playing: Radiohead - Sail To The Moon (Brush The Cobwebs Of The Sky)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 14 September 2007

The Darkness Underneath

A little over 2 weeks ago an old and dear friend of mine, Ray (Luray), found me and made contact through MySpace. She and her first husband David (my old house mate) were pillars of support for me during a very dark time 12 years ago. When the marriage between her and David ended about 10 years ago, I tried to keep in contact with her, but as life does we up drifted apart and lost touch.

I was thrilled that she had found me. In her MySpace messages to me, she sounded happy. She did, however, have some issues with her lungs and throat, and they were keeping her from singing. (She and her husband are in a musical duo called Vertigo Butterfly) In addition, she was going in for a mammogram and was a tinge worried, but nothing NOTHING in her mail indicated she'd pull something like this. She spoke of her daughter, Ruby, with love and adoration, spoke of how much she loved and missed Europe and mentioned wanting to visit me, talked of the house they just bought in Portland and spoke about how much she missed Seattle.

It was my turn to reply to her message, and I intended to reply directly to her email as I don't really get on to MySpace much. However, I got busy. I did think about her during the week before this and wanted to email her a proper email when I had a chance. I regret now that I didn't of course.

On Monday I found out about this:

It was a horrifying shock to say the least. The world just seemed to be thrown off kilter when I read the article. I felt ill and couldn't breathe. I picked up the phone and dialled the first person that came into my mind, Matt, who offered to come over (thank God).

I spent the rest of the week trying to get my head around it and making sense of it. There is no sense to made of a murder-suicide. There is no way I could understand their motivation behind it without knowing the details behind it. I logically know that if I had emailed Ray back when I intended, it would have made no difference. However, I still can't help but wonder if there might have been something I could have said that might have changed the course of events. It's a thought that has been keeping me from sleeping. Another thought keeping me up at night is that if this is upsetting me, a friend from the past who now lives thousands of miles away, as much as it is how on earth are her close friends and family dealing with it?

I've experienced the death of a few close friends. By this point in my life, you would think that I would be an expert in the area of grief, but this tragedy, albeit removed from my daily life, really affected me deeply. My friend, Stephanie, wisely said, "...what you feel when someone dies can vary widely based on how they die." My friend Russ pointed out that I should "...just remember they are happier now, try and keep it in perspective. Don't let their pain become yours. You still have your life ahead of you. Stay focused on that and remember the good times. This way you will really honour their memory."

I'll never understand why she chose the action she did or why she took her daughter with her. There is nothing I can do at this point except acknowledge that it happened and continue down my path. However, I'm not allowing my busy schedule to get in the way of replying to messages from people I care about any more.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Why Did I Move Blogs?

If you are reading this then you more than likely received an email from me and thought you'd check it out. Some people might argue that having a blog is a stupid self-indulgent move. I agree that it is probably a bit narcissistic and self-indulgent to post stuff up here for all to see, and I'm not going to try and convince you that my postings will be somehow different in that regard. Fact is I find blogging purging to a degree, and I enjoy getting feedback. I also enjoy reading other people's blogs. It diminishes the sense of solitude that many people have in this day and age. It's nice to know you are not alone or as crazy as you might think when you discover other people have thoughts akin to your own.

So as many of you who are reading this spew already know, I have 2 blogs, but have decided to make a move (to a degree) to here. I do this for a few reasons:

1. My mother discovered my Spaces Live blog. Thus, I have decided that no one in my family will know of this one. As an aside, my family finding out about my blog was my own damn fault. I stupidly posted that URL in my signature file and then forgot to remove the sig file when writing my mother.

2. I've had a few people add me as friends on Facebook whom I don't really want seeing the more forthcoming blogs I plan on posting here. At first I thought I would post those on Facebook as I have actually met every person on there, but then I realised that perhaps that wasn't the wisest move. Just because I have met them, doesn't mean we are close friends. Plus there are VERY close friends of mine who are not on Facebook who would perhaps like to see this blog.

3. Anyone can comment on this blog. You don't need to be a subscriber like you do with Spaces Live or MySpace

If you have subscribed to either my MySpace or my Spaces Live blog, I'm not removing them.
I will be using them to post more generic announcement things (new podcasts, new projects I'm involved in, etc) I plan on writing a bit more of my daily activities (to be fair it will probably be more weekly, but I will write here often). I know that it perhaps isn't as nice as receiving a personal mail from me, but at least it's something. (I'll try and be better at the mails too) Also, as I've said before I plan on being a bit more forthcoming here now that my mother and others won't be reading what I write.

So that's it really. Please subscribe to this blog or bookmark it. Or, ignore it and never return to it. It's up to you really. But, have a nice day. :-)

H~