Friday, 28 March 2008


The other day I went into work despite the fact that I am on holiday. I have a lovely big classroom, which also has a small back office. That office, however, has become more of a dumping ground for stuff I don't know where to put. My parents were preparing to move from Jersey to Asheville this summer, so I had to ship the remaining boxes of miscellaneous stuff to the UK. Unfortunately for my bank balance, the US postal service doesn't do overland shipping unless it is in a large container. Everything now is airmail, which is outrageously expensive. Thus, I shipped 3 boxes of photo albums, journals, and various other pieces of memorabilia (including loads postcards I've received from various places and about 100 empty CD cases-I already have the CD 's here) to my work address, as I wasn't going to be back in the UK until several weeks after they arrived. So there they sat getting in the way of everything else. The only time I had to really get back there and make things right is during time off from school.

Matt, being the stellar guy that he is, gave me a ride home with my 3 boxes. I did offer to make him a dinner that I knew he loved, but I adore cooking so it wasn't that big of a deal. My three boxes were safely transported to my flat, but it wasn't until today that I really began to go through them.

Memorabilia is by far the most difficult to put into a place. I have all this stuff that doesn't mean anything to anyone but me. Today I began to make my way through the boxes. I became sidetracked by the journals and pictures a bit, so I'm not nearly finished. The rough draft of a letter I wrote for McP when he moved to San Fran fell into my lap and after I read it I thought how much things have changed since that time. Then I looked at my 3 boxes full of stuff and realised....

I've been living in London for four years and I'm still not completely unpacked.

Monday, 24 March 2008


At a dinner party last night, I found out that a friend of mine was assaulted and robbed just outside of her home this weekend. She lives in a nice neighbourhood in London where you wouldn't expect something like that to happen. Her attackers more than likely were from somewhere else and had come to the area intent on doing what they did. Physically she's fine. Fortunately, a car slowed to go over a speed bump scaring off her attackers after they had robbed her, but before they could go further. Emotionally, however, I would imagine that it will take quite some time for her life to return to a semblance normality and that she may never really feel safe in her neighbourhood again.

This event sparked a discussion of the things we do for safety when walking alone at night. A few of us, including me, have 'tough walks'. (We modelled them and ended up looking like a bit like the Ministry of Silly Walks) We made jokes about how acting like you're insane would keep attackers at bay, but then acknowledged the fact that mentally ill and/or homeless people are victims of assault more often than not. Coming across groups of adolescents or a gathering of drunken men outside a pub were situations we all found most threatening. All of us agreed that being aware of our surroundings was very important. However, when you are close to home you feel safe and if there is a group of attackers hiding in the bushes awaiting the chance to strike, there isn't much you can do.

I woke up this morning thinking of my friend and of the horrid violation she must be feeling. As I mentioned before, this occurred right around the corner of her own house. She was simply coming home in the evening in an area where this type of thing is a highly rare occurrence. She really should have been safe. It wasn't like she was doing the stupid things I've done. When I think about the amount of times I have wandered through the East End late at night on my way to an ex's place, slightly provocatively dressed and slightly inebriated, it gives me pause. As much as I love the East End, it's not exactly known as London's safe haven. I've also made some pretty stupid decisions once while I was being followed on the tube late at night. I'm lucky I got out of that unscathed. I've also come home to my own flat late at night in a less than sober state feeling very secure because, like my friend, I also live in an area where these things rarely happen.

Even in your own neighbourhood you're never really free from harm. I guess we must always remember that.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Back in the Saddle Baby

Maybe I'm speaking too soon. I've not talked to the guy yet. He's only left a message, so perhaps this is premature. But, I am possibly going to be an American female voice on a computer program that teaches foreign languages. We'll see...

It's been ages since I've done any voiceovers or narration, so it's good to get me back on track again. I need it. Yee Haw!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me please!!

Every Time

It's a conspiracy, I tell you!!!! Every time you move on with your life...every freaking time. Perhaps you have even met someone new, perhaps not. But, things in your life seem better now although it was bloody difficult previously when you had to let someone go. You're just happier than you were and life is decent. Right at that point it happens. No matter who you are or where you live, once you begin to really get on with your life and you're not thinking about that person much all...

that person will contact you. And, then you realise that maybe you hadn't moved on as much as it seemed you had.

Every time.

Damn it!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

En Memorium

My new refrigerator comes tomorrow. This means that I will be saying good by to the deep Arctic freeze that has been my freezer.

So here is a trip down memory lane complete with pics from May last year.

Frosty Freeze
Today I woke up at noon with a hellish hangover from my birthday celebrations the evening before. And then I lounged around on line and on the sofa in my jammies until 3 when I took a long bath. Then I ordered pizza, cheesesticks, and soda which got me a free pint of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food Ice Cream. So, I went to put the pint in the freezer, which I rarely use as the seal is crap and it freezes over frequently. I almost died laughing when I opened the door. I put my pint of ice cream in it, and this is how it looked.

I think I have some defrosting to do.

And here is how the defrosting went...

Demonic Defrost
Continuing on with the saga...

Yesterday after posting that last blog, I unplugged my fridge, opened the freezer door and placed 3 large old towels on the floor. Then, I went to bed and awoke early this morning to see what had happened. I donned gloves, grabbed a large and sharp metal spatula and large soup pan and went to work. Diligently I chopped and scrapped at ice for about forty minutes. Here is the result.

If you look closely you can see that there is a carton of ice cream buried within the ice. I've not been able to free it as of yet, and I’ve no idea how old it is. I feel like an archaeologist, and ironically Anthropology was one of my majors in uni.

The door is still open, more towels have been placed on the floor, and I'm off to enjoy my day. Hopefully all the ice in my sink will melt by the time I get home and allow me to clear out more ice.

In a way I'm going to miss the adventure that was my freezer.

My New Sig File

I ended having a few drinks with my friend, Beca, tonight. And, she said something, which made me laugh and which will now become my new signature file.

'If you can't be happy for someone else, you really need to get out more.'

So true.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Why I Love British Adverts

This is a current PSA about being aware when you are driving.

As I cyclist I really appreciate this advert. It's clever, humourous and has a very clear point. I'm back on my bike tomorrow now that the weather is better. I hope all the drivers going through the Scilly Isles Roundabout have seen this and are extra alert.

For those of you who can't get the embedded YouTube object to work, you can also view it here.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

PA with latent OCD or Bath Catharsis

When I lived in Seattle my friend, Steve, and I would have what we called Rice and Beans Catharsis. Both of being vegetarians at the time (I am no longer), we would go to a Mexican Restaurant and eat variations of rice and beans, drink copious amounts of margaritas and have serious discussions about our lives. Many times these discussions were quite therapeutic or cathartic, thus we gave the outings the acronym RBC. We had one rule only. What was said at RBC, stays at RBC.

The other night I had a bit of a cathartic epiphany but it occurred while I was on my own in the bath. I was not fueled by rice and beans or margaritas, but I did have a glass of white wine and had a smoke* so I was quite relaxed and my mind was wandering freely. I began thinking of the ways in my recent past and my present that I communicate with men I'm interested in, and it hit me.

I'm Passive Aggressive.

My communication with men I fancy seems to be mainly on messenger and via text. I'm very comfortable with that. It freaked me out a bit when Matt and I began dating and he would call me. Actually use the phone to call- what a concept! Matt would rarely text or respond to texts and our emailing was at work and would usually end with one of us dropping by to see the other. So he's an exception to my mode of communication with men of interest (I shall refer to them as MOI-also standing for Male of Interest-from this point on. I like acronyms).

Of course there are loads problems when you choose to communicate in this manner. I know that, but I still end up in these texting messaging situations. I just ended one and now I find myself possibly starting another and not even thinking twice about it. Sheesh. However, this mode of communication makes it easier to avoid situations or not face them directly. Plus, I can say things via text or messenger that are difficult to say to the person's face. Thus, it's passive aggressive.

Now since I have recently been self-diagnosed as a Lazy OCD, I can redefine my mental disorder.

I'm Passive Aggressive with latent Obsessive Compulsive tendencies.

Maybe that should be my headline on a dating profile or perhaps my new status on Facebook. I think that headline and this picture
would bring men running to my door. LOL!!!

So, after I realised that I'm Passive Aggressive with latent Obsessive Compulsive tendencies I laughed, got out of the tub, and responded to a text sent to me by my current MOI.

* For those of you who knew me back when smoking was a daily habit, I want to assure you that it is no longer. It is an occasional special treat.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Let Your Child Be A Child, DAMMIT!!!!!

It's spring parent/teacher interview time and my next one is going to be a doozy.

The mother of this girl has a VERY strong personality and apparently there are many successful people in her family. Her daughter, however, is just average.

In the last story she wrote for me there was a mother figure 'yelling' at the protagonist, a little duck that couldn't smile, and telling it to smile. And in her journal writing she has written in abstract terms about the pressure she feels from her mother. Not surprisingly this girl has anxiety issues.

And, in a few minutes I am going to speak with her mother about how she's doing in my class. She's doing fine and like every other child she makes mistakes. My big fear is that this girl will be so anxious about not being perfect that instead of learning from her mistakes, her self-esteem will be torn apart by them.

So, in a professional non-threatening way I need to tell this parent to lay off.

Sometimes I really hate my job.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Things I Say

My students have decided to tell me of the things I say frequently during class:

'Ooohhhhhkay,' or 'Anyhoooo,' are often said as I'm getting back to a topic and turning towards the whiteboard.

'I'm experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.' said if my elctronic whiteboard goes wonky or I can't find something I need. I also say, 'Houston, we have a problem,' in these situations. If things are generally not going well or I've made an error I will say, 'Oh rats,' or 'Oh poo,' or 'What am I doing?'

'Why? Because I'm evil. Muah hahahahaaaaa' My response to why do we have homework or why do you make us do (fill in name of difficult assignment here). Apparently my evil laugh is really scary, but they love it (or tell me they do)

'Meanwhile back at the ranch.' I say this to myself as I am turning towards my computer to do something while they are working.

'Life is really hard for you, isn't it?' My response to whining about little things.

'I don't know. Can you?' which is my response to, 'Can I go to the toilet?' The first time I respond to their question like this I will go on to explain, 'Can is asking me if you are able and I would hope that at this age you are able to go to the toilet by yourself.'

And last but not least, 'Mrs. Martin is my mother.' I even have this written on a post-it next to a picture of me with my mother.

That is their list thus far. It's funny what kids notice.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Songs and Emotions

A short while ago I made the very difficult decision to end a friendship, which was very unhealthy for me. Frankly, I think ending friendships is even more difficult than ending romantic relationships and this one was doubly so. This began as a romantic relationship more than 2 years ago and then transitioned into a friendship. The friendship had gone in and out of its messy points since then and, no matter what my resolve, always ended up blurring the lines between being just buddies and lovers. I finally got to a place where I realised I would never be happy with the grey area we continuously fell into. The nature of this relationship seemed to always bring out a dark and rather nasty side of me. In short, I became someone I didn’t like.

I’d been doing ok since this all ended. It was, after all, my decision and I know it was the best for me in terms of overall long-term happiness. I’ll admit there are times late at night when I miss the text messages I would receive as I drifted off to sleep, among other things. But, I’ve been very happy overall since cutting ties.

Isn’t it weird how songs can elicit emotions? I had hardly given this much thought really and then BAM! A Mazzy Star song comes on my iTunes during my prep time and I’m reduced to ball of pain and depression. I probably would have begun crying if a colleague hadn’t come in with a query about our whiteboard program. Funny thing is I had never related this song, ‘Flowers in December’, to said friendship, so I’ve no idea why it triggered the response it did.

As usual writing this has made me feel better. Nothing to do but keep moving on and so I’m back to work.

Sunday, 2 March 2008


I made two silly mistakes this weekend.

1. The Lamb, a local pub, is going to have a party, celebrating a year under the new ownership. The theme of the party is paper. I realised this during the day on Saturday. Thus, I made a quick makeshift costume. It wasn't as good as I would have wanted, but it would do. I also found a paper bag that Linds could wear on her head if she desired. We were set. Then, a minute or so before we were meant to leave, I received a text from Ces informing me that the Lamb party was actually next weekend. Thank God, I got the text when I did. Can you imagine Linds and I walking in to the Lamb, me wearing my paper costume and she with a paper bag on her head, only to discover there was no party? Phew!

2. Linds and I decided to go to Gordon Bennett's to have a celebratory glass of champagne for Linds (she sold her flat). I was putting my foot down and refusing to let her pay for it. As I protested vehemently, I reached in my handbag and gave the barman my card. The barman looked at me and said, 'I'm sorry, miss, but we don't take Nectar Cards.' Doh! The people around me all laughed. One guy even said, 'Nice try.' I was bright red as I got my bank card out of my bag.

I'm off to a chilli cook off tonight. I've made cream cheese brownies and have been starving myself all day.