Showing posts from August, 2006

Eight-legged freaks

My house and garden are riddled, RIDDLED, I tell you, with creepy crawlies. I had to mow the lawn again the other day. It's been raining like the next great flood is approaching for the last month so everything was still damp. There were some boxes on the sidewalk by the garage that I'd been meaning to move to the rubbish. Underneath them were translucent orange slugs, (seriously, translucent orange slugs the size of thumbs,) about 15 snails and a few beetle things. Pleh. As I paced the lawn with my mower I imagined my feet crushing hundreds of little escargot and their translucent orange friends. Oh, the carnage! Much worse than all my slimy little friends outside, however, are all of the spiders that have been making their way through every little crack in my house. Small ones are the size of my pinky nail. Big ones are the size of a silver dollar, assuming their legs are curled up under them. They're all vaguely hairy. And they're everywhere. Killed one by th
Stephen Fretwell - New York I'm currently obsessed with this song. Not sure why. I think maybe it speaks to my natural flight reflex during bouts of melancholia, one of which is currently plagueing me. I'm not sure why, so I can't fix it yet. But in the meantime, I'll listen to this song and it will resonate deeply, making me daydream of the fresh start. If only things were that simple.


Somehow, I don't find this reassuring.

He was only 5'3" but dogs could not resist his stare

I have a conflicted relationship with Picasso. One can credibly argue that he is the most influential artist in the modern world. Although his renown comes from his departure from realism as he explored the fundamental elements of imagery, he was also a technically skilled realist when he chose. Whether experimenting with color, composition, structure or focus of objects, his work always captured the essence of the thing he was depicting, and he managed to infuse his passion/point of view in everything he did. He's one of a few artists whose work actually wells me up when I look at it. Truly profound stuff. But while I find it easy to love and respect his work, it's not so cut and dried when it comes to the person. Pablo Picasso was, in fact, an asshole. Not to put too fine a point on it, he was a mean-spirited jerk with serious short man complex. He was a philanderer, a ego-maniacal tyrant, and a distant (and arguably abusive) father. He used his charisma to manipulate and

Things get smaller as time goes by

Next to the big hair, the giant glasses, the high-waisted trousers, and the huge cars, my favourite thing about movies from the 80s and 90s are the gigantic mobile phones. They're the size of a human head and have twelve-foot antennas. In other news, I have a verruca on my left foot. And here I thought it was just a plantar wart . And today someone told me I look like Bettie Page with my new haircut.

The Communards make you see God

You know you're in England when the morning chat show hosts start talking about the Communards like they're the Beatles. But it's just not fair to do a feature story about how Richard Coles of the world-famous Communards has given up rock and roll to follow Jesus, and is now a curate at a church in Boston . Let me have my coffee first, people.

Reasons to like my job

Having another crap week, but there was a bright spot in my afternoon. The Berkeley Hotel came in and brought us afternoon tea. There were canapes, funky little cakes, champagne, and manicures from one of their spa therapists. We just socialised and drank cocktails and ate sushi. Left with a new attitude and lovely pink fingernails that were nicely filed with neat and tidy cuticles. If you have to stay at work until 9 or so, it's better to do it with a bit of a buzz on.

Talk about disturbing

Okay, so I just promoted this site a few weeks ago, but you MUST go watch this video from the entry on Sunday, 20 August . You can imagine my reaction.

CPMan and Melinda June in action!

CPMan Shuffles off to Buffalo I am so lucky that I found CPMan. We are not normal, so the fact that the two of us found each other at an early age is remarkable. There just aren't that many people like us. We have many hobbies and interactions that others find kooky. But that doesn't matter to us. We do them anyway. It's like we're twins or something. We speak a language that other people don't understand. Ask Poor George how annoying it is to get used to. One of the things we do is tapdance. CPMan can. I can't. But he tries to teach me regularly. If we are standing on pier, a national monument with lots of marble, or some other echoey/thumpy place it is an imperative that we have a session. And thanks to the glory of, you can witness our session this past Thanksgiving. I apologise for the poor quality of the video...took it with my tiny digital c amera and it wasn't meant for this sort of publicity.

Jesus of the Week

"I would cry, too, if Jesus gave me the finger." (Stolen from Jesus of the Week, but it made me laugh so I had to share.)

Soho cures everything

After my sad/crap day yesterday, I decided that today I needed to do something to make me happy again. I have this proposal hanging over my head and, though I knew I needed to go to the office to work on it, I also knew that I was at my joy minimum and it was imperative that I take action immediately. Fall below the joy minimum and there's serious hell to pay, boy-o. Spiraling depression, lethargy, general crankiness...and there's no guaranteed joy infusion in my near future to fix it so it's best to avoid the situation entirely. I started with a nice lie in. No alarm screeching me awake, just a leisurely wake/doze for a couple of hours that culminated in a cup of coffee and some web surfing in bed. Watched a little of the Saturday morning cooking shows. Made a delicious omelet and had crispy toast with a glaze of real butter and apricot jam. Went to the office only when I was good and ready. Had a productive four hours there and, though I will have to go in again t

Friday night in

I've had a crap week. I was busy at work, and many of my suppliers (read ALL) were late getting me info for a proposal I have to have written by Monday, so I'll be spending the day tomorrow catching up. My stomach is still a bit churny, so I didn't quite feel like myself. I've been worried about my dad, as his cancer is growing again and we were waiting for test results to tell us where. (Still no answer, as it hasn't grown enough.) There was that whole physical pain thing with the arms. And it's been pissing down rain for three days. So tonight I stayed in. I had tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner. I surfed youtube for videos (see below) that made me happy. I watched Love Island. I read a book. I caught up on internet stuff. I downloaded a few things I've been forgetting to address. I watched that OK Go treadmill video about 15 times because it mesmerises me. Now I'm listening to the shipping forcast. I feel better.

Five That I Don't

Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On
The Magic Numbers - Love Me Like You
Teddy Thompson - I Should Get Up
Rilo Kiley - The Frug
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Me and Mia

Five Songs I Feel Guilty About

Scissor sisters - Comfortably numb
Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down
Charlotte Church - Crazy Chick
Kelly Clarkson - Since You've Been Gone Kelly Clarkson - Since You've Been Gone
Fun Lovin' Criminals - Scooby Snacks

Quinoa + Halloumi = Yum

Eat your wholegrains! they say. Eat more vegetables! they say. Alright already. I had this for dinner last night AND for lunch today and found it to be DEElishus. Retsina on the side is best, though a sharp chardonnay or a dry rose (read that ro-zay like the wine, not the flower) will do, too. My Greek Salad Cook up some quinoa. If you're a newbie in the quinoa world don't fret. Just put one part dried quinoa to two parts water in a pan, bring it to a boil then drop it to a simmer and let it go for about 15 minutes. (Cooked quinoa look like giant big-headed sperm. Get over it.) Drain it in a mesh sieve and set aside once it's done. Okay. While that's going, put one part fresh lemon juice and two or three parts olive oil in a mixing bowl big enough to really toss the final salad. (I hesitate to use the word "toss" now that I've brought up "sperm," but there you have it.) Bung (yes, bung) in a bunch of freshly chopped oregan


I am watching Melinda and Melinda , my namesake Woody Allen movie. And I think I'm onto a new "ism." Hairism. The weird, emotionally unhinged Melinda has curly hair. The odd-but-loveable Melinda's hair is relatively straight. Curly Melinda is a big mess...her hair is emblematic of her life. Straight-haired Melinda is going through a rough time, but really she's a loveable girl with a heart of gold. Curly Melinda tries to throw herself off a balcony. Straight-haired Melinda ends up happy with the loveable oaf played by Will Farrell.'re casting a movie for a wacky female character. What's her hair look like? Gilda Radner? Carol Kane? Now you're casting for a serious role. Meryl Streep? This is not just a movie. This is life. When my hair is straight, people take me seriously. When I let my hair spiral in its unrestrained state people chuckle at everything I say. Straight-haired Mindy is solution-focused. Curly Mindy is wacky a

Marks and Spencers Sushi

There are really only two places to get sushi in MK. Pret a Manger and Marks and Spencer. There's also a chinese restaurant here that supposedly has okay food and sushi's on the menu, but since a) sushi is not chinese, and b) I don't usually agree with MK restaurant reviews, I am reluctant to try it. I love sushi. Tom got me started with it when we were living our fabulous west coast life. We'd met in Hawaii for a long weekend and my mom's cousin Gary and his wife took us out for dinner. (They live there.) We ordered sashimi and sushi appetizers and, though I protested that it just wasn't my thing, Tom shamed me into trying it by pointing out that picky eaters aren't attractive. And I admitted that I was wrong. In fact, not only did I not not like sushi, I found it to be delicious! You can get good sushi everywhere on the west coast, so we kept expanding my horizons...soon I was eating maki and nigiri and sashimi any time I could. And not just limiting

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

This is the best reality show ever . Even better than My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. Who was on the episode of Grey's Anatomy that I saw this weekend when I was recovering from the pukefest. This kicks ass. It would have know how much I hate Andrew Lloyd Webber. (He should have done a Salinger after Jesus Christ Superstar and saved us all from that whole Cats fiasco.)

Things I like about men in England: No. 36

They don't bury their hands in their front pockets and skulk around with bad posture in an attempt to look cool. Many of them actually let their arms swing as God intended. (I'm a bit focused on arms today. You always want what you don't have.)

Things you can't do without lifting your arms

I had an appointment with my personal trainer on Sunday, and since I've been a bit of a slacker over the last month (what with holiday and all,) Hannah gave me a workout that would push me and get me back in line. On Sunday, the chest/arm/shoulder exercises were challenging but I could do them. On Monday, I had an embarrassing "drop-the-weight" incident about rep 13 in my third set. Today, I can't lift my arms without grimacing. This kind of pain makes one appreciate the many things we can do in this life. The power and coordination and complexity of our bodies. Here are just a few of the lessons I've learned today. Oh, for the good old days of waving. You can't use your legs and torso to slither out from under the duvet. Unfortunately, one's head, neck and face are an integral part of daily hygiene. Actually, unless you're only planning to groom a small part of your upper thigh, you're going to need arms that move. Arms both lift AND bend when

New on my daily blogroll

My site meter lead me to a new site that had become a regular favourite. Tom Waits fans, eye for goofy news stories, silly Jesus pics, and a youtube shout out to Andy Kaufman. Them's my kind of folks. It's likely that one or more of you know of this already (hence the site meter link,) but the world should know more about "Sprawling Ramshackle Compound."

Beware - the next post requires comment reading

You'll see below that I published an email from a Palestinian colleague in the next entry. I didn't edit it because I found it really powerful as is, mostly because I've met the letter writer and I wouldn't expect the kind of anger and the racism reflected to come from him. If you don't want to think about the Middle East, don't read it. If you do read it, then read the comments. My friends Pam and Brad make some very good counterpoints, all of which are helping me as I chew on the news and try to make sense of this whole global quagmire we have found ourselves in.

Stopping the Insanity

When the bombing first started in Lebanon, one of my cohorts at uni sent an email to his fellow students asking for support in ending this horrible situation. I was on vacation in the US and, though I sought his permission to reprint his letter here, by the time I had proper internet access to post I was stupidly preoccupied with other things and forgot to do it, and then time went by and cease fire talks started and I wasn't sure how timely it was. But now, in light of the whole bomb-the-planes-over-the-Atlantic thing, I decided that I really did need to put this up here. I'm angry at those terrorist bastards. They're really messing with my life, and I haven't done a dang thing to them. Sure, I'm pissed that I can't travel with my ipod or a bottle of water or a book to entertain me. And my job is dependent upon people wanting to travel, which is not helped by terrorism threats. But more importantly, trips home for holidays and for visitors who want to com

I hate puking

I went out for lunch yesterday, and I had delicious salmon skewers. Two hours later I was cold, clammy, and void of any color in my face. Came home, crawled in bed, and made it a whole hour before jumping back out in a dash for the loo. I've learned I can make it from bed to porcelain in three steps, assuming my aim is true. I'm lucky English houses are so small. My head aches, my stomach seems to be speaking Russian, and I want to die. Puking sucks.

Celebrity Love Island Sucks

Technically, they have to call it Love Island , as there are no real celebrities on it. But Kat's addicted now, so we've got it on while we're catching up on our respective holidays. Pierce Brosnan's son, Chris, is positively creepy. For starters, he's a moron. He's also a misogynist. He tries to talk jive or ebonics or whatever the kids are calling bad grammar with a rapper accent these days. He thinks he's really cool so he talks too much, even when he has nothing to say. And he's always talking about balls. And by balls, I'm talking family jewels, nutsack, scrotum. If he were good-looking, at least you'd kind of understand why he is still on. But he's a minger (a ginger minger, to be precise,) and so he's not even eye-candy. Pierce must be so proud.

Jesus looks like Scott Patterson

Check it out. This week's Jesus looks like Gilmore Gir ls ' hottie and sexiest man on television, Scott Patterson!
Look what I found!

Evidence that I am a total SADDO

1. After dinner, I decided to watch The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement . 2. While watching that movie, I thought to myself, "Isn't that Paul Williams, squiggy little midgetman, ubiquitous talk show guest and talented song-writer from the 70's?" 3. So I googled him, and linked to his IMDB entry . 4. To celebrate my savant-like memory for pop culture and odd-looking celebrities, I am now having a jam-fest with The Singles 1969 - 1973 . 5. Did you know that the first concert I ever went to was The Carpenters? Steve Martin did his wild and crazy guy routine as the opener. I was eight. Way before they started trying to contact aliens .

Important reading

Read this . It's talking about this . Twenty-six (yes, 26) federal statutes broken by the Bush Administration and not one major media outlet has covered it. And it's August, for goodness sake. August defines slow news month. And W is on vacation so he's not treating Tony Blair like his lapdog or swearing with his mouth full . And on a G8 tangent, I'd like to give a big shout out to Koizumisan for that freaky, freaky hair. We'll miss you when you're gone, pal. Unless, of course, your replacement has a giant 'fro. That would totally rock.

Where is Dr. Scholl when you need him?

On my way home from the office, I had both my windows open and was enjoying the fresh air. Until I realised that that fresh air smelled like sweaty feet that have fermented to a cheese-like, vaguely poo-scented funk. I actually thought for a second that my own feet were polluting my was kind of hot and I had some poorly ventilated slip-on type shoes on, so you never know...but after closer consideration I decided it really WAS Milton Keynes stinking up the joint, not me. FYI, you don't want to live in a city that smells like sweaty feet.

Substandard Eating

I really hate it when I waste time and calories on sub-standard meals. And when I am tired and have absolutely no food in the house and am doing impulse buying at the grocery store, I want my over-priced ready meal to be delicious and fulfill the craving that I have. So why is it that it's always crap that's bland and horrible? Why would my dimsum taste of cumin? There's no need for cumin in my dumplings. Dumplings should not taste like empanadas. And who puts star anise in pad thai????? Waitrose, that's who. Note to self. Next time just spend the extra £10 on a real takeaway.

Attention, MPR listeners

If you happen to hear a Brit named Sean Rickard on Marketplace talking about the breakdown in the World Trade Organisation talks, pay close attention. He's one of my economics lecturers.

My advice for Eurotravellers

Take the AM flight, because you land at 8PM. Pick a flight that is only half-full. The space is AMAZING. Don't sleep. Read a book or experiment with those exercises they tell you to do in your seat. Keeps you much more alert than Two and a Half Men, plus it's good for your thigh muscles to figure out how to lift your knees and do leg circles without kicking the seat in front of you. If you watch Akeelah and the Bee you'll ball like a damn baby in front of people. Be prepared. Sing along softly with your iPod. It freaks people out, but no one will have the nerve to ask you to stop. Drink lots of water. You'll be hydrated AND you'll be up and down to the bathroom which is good for your circulation. Who needs flight socks?! If the loo closest to you smells like pee 20 minutes into the flight, pick another toilet for future runs. It's only going to get worse, but it's likely that not EVERYONE is peeing on the floor so your odds are good that there's at

Last day of Va-cay

It is the last day of my two and a half weeks in the US. For the first time in months, I'm totally relaxed. My shoulders are not scrunched up in unreleased tension. I have a nice new haircut and some vital wardrobe additions and some critical items that I can't get in the UK. I have had a lovely time with my family and friends. I have gotten proper sleep. I have done homework and gone for walks and watched television. I am happy. My short stay in Minneapolis before I flew to New York yesterday was perfect. I had a lovely dinner at The Craftsman with Tim and Kelli, and we dissected American politics and culture and caught up on general life and acquaintances. I had a delicious breakfast at The Original Pancake House and then went shopping with the Girls, where we found many great sales on fabulous things. Then the Girls hosted a little party for 25 of my closest friends and we ate and drank heartily on a Thursday. Anne C. picked me up for a quick breakfast and dropped m

What we get up to on a Tuesday

This morning we got up around 9. We ate breakfast and read the paper. Mom insisted that I make the coffee, as she's tired of the ridicule about the brown water she makes each morning. I watched a little The Price is Right , and then Dad and I came back to Magpie for a cup of coffee (iced americano for me, actually.) He's reading a book. I was working online for some school stuff, and now I've decided to post here to keep you abreast of my exciting holiday schedule. We're meeting Mom in 15 minutes at the Hart's Teas and Tarts for lunch. Teahouses are all the rage in the small towns of Iowa, and usually have nice Victorian decor and light sandwiches, quiches, and salads to supplement the teas and pastries. My mom's antique store is two doors down, and she and the teahouse owner are good business buddies so we get great treatment there. After lunch, I expect more scrabble. It's unbearably hot here so we stay in the air-conditioning during the heat of the