December 28, 2006

That In Between Feeling

It still feels like it's the holidays, but I kind of feel like they're over as well. Does that make any sense?

The past couple days have seemed quieter than normal. Except, that is, for the crowd at last nights last night's amateur (or professional-in-training) strip contest at the Swan. Very crowded and quite a good time. It's always so rewarding to teach new people the finer points of drinking tequila.

Aside from that, things seem really quiet, like the city's been put into slow motion. Maybe I'm still on a Cornwall calm. I took a longer-than-planned run yesterday (5.17 miles according to my new iPod/Nike+ gizmo, yay me), and it seemed like there was a distinct lack of energy around town. I wonder if that's a reality or if it's just me winding down from the holiday buzz.

So it's time to make some end-of-the-year lists, set a few new goals (always goals, never resolutions), play a bit more on-line Euchre, and get the New Year's mojo going. 2006 has been amazing, and I'm certain that 2007 will have even more surprises and new adventures in store. One of those will be me launching a Life Club here in Marylebone, and I'll have more news on that up within the week.

My frist trip of the new year has been planned ... got tickets sorted for my trip back to Ohio (Grandma's 90th in 4 weeks) and am tacking 3 nights in NYC on to the back end of that. Moritz and Melchoir, here I come.

December 27, 2006

Last Night I Dreamt ...

... I went to Manderley again.


What a perfectly charming weekend. Thanks to the folks (James, Martin, Joanne and Charlotte) at The Old Quay House for going out of their way to take care of us. I can't recommend the place enough.

Pictures are on Flikr

Would love to write more, but The White Swan beckons.

December 26, 2006

Tuesday 200 - #25

Resolutions from Ye Olde Tralier Parque

Shag more married men, especially if they have kids, but no daughters who wear my size.

Write first draft of "Better Living through Stalking: How Alex Forester Changed My Life"

Get Kate Moss thin. Blow the coke dealer and go back on the smokes.

Save money on hair care: give up the colorist and start using the 3-for-2 dye-at-home boxes (but always do it at the gym ... makes too much of a mess at home)

Use saved cash to play more bingo and buy more scratch cards.

Pick up a few extra quid in Ipswitch. Lightening never strikes twice.

See if that queer South American guy at the florists was serious about marrying me for money.

Go off my narcolepsy and bipolar meds and audition for Big Brother.

Send more boudoir shots to the guys at

Read all them Katie Price books I got for Christmas.

Cut down on the Pick N Mix – only have it during Trisha and East Enders.

Tell that dipwit Mr. Hardcastle that either he gives me my raise by end of January or I show his wife the pictures. And I mean it this time.

:: :: ::

Last week's Tuesday 200.

December 25, 2006

So This is Christmas ...

They say it's not a proper holiday until somebody's mom cries.

We're fininshing our Christmas lunch at the inn (my first goose, gamey but lovely, thanks for asking), and begin chatting up a couple and their Fowey mum. Larry asks her the odd personal question about family/husband/etc and thus come the tears about a recent nasty divorce.

Bad Larry.

My sister calls and I chat up everyone. Mom is second on the phone deck and sheds more than a few holiday tears. Bless. She will be fine.

And then I come up from all the drama and find out I've missed half of Dr. Who.

Maybe Catherine Tate was good in the first half?

Ringing in the Holiday

Church bells chiming on a Christmas morn ....

At 7 am. For ten minutes. Can't someone hit the snooze button? They finally stop, and then three loud gongs. I keep waiting for the next four, to indicate the hour, but nothing happens. I close my eyes and drift back to sleep, hoping to tune back into the dream channel where Mick Jagger is coaching me on weight loss.

The bells begin again. Perhaps not everyone in Fowey is up and checked in for the morning service. It's the exact same song, if one call call the less than a-pealing melody a song. I'm thinking that one of the local pranksters has broken into the bell tower and pressed the big red "DO NOT TOUCH" button. I close the window above my head, which muffles the clanging, but only by a little. Mick is nowhere to be found, but now I'm in a boat cruising through some tranquil islands. Some are inhabited, some are not. One is a giant cube of granite with what seems to be a bar cut into its midst. I see Larry partying in the bar with people I don't know, wearing the same gold and black women's necklace he had on the day we first hooked up. I don't know who he's with, and the boat won't stop for me to find out. I'm furious. He told me he was working, and there he is at some new Cliff Bar. How dare he.

How dare those bells start up again for a third time. This is not the peaceful Cornwall Christmas that I've signed on for. I become convinced that until everyone is up and accounted for at the church, the bells will keep on ringing. There must be some annual Fowey tradition on Christmas morning, one not published in the guide books. All residents MUST report to the graveyard underneath the church's bell tower. I've sensed an underlying darkness here the past couple days, something sinister beneath the idyllic charm. Surely this doesn't apply to guests. It's time for the yearly Christmas stoning. The call to arms continues, ringing through the town, drowning out the twittering sea birds and my snoring bed companion.

They'll have to come for me, these Cornish ritual assassins with stones in their pockets. This attic bed is far too comfortable. I close my eyes and wait for the bells to stop and the screams of this year's seasonal sacrifice to begin.

December 24, 2006

Checking in from Cornwall

mary christmas-tree-decorated.jpg eve_annexmas.jpg

We went for a walk yesterday afternoon after our fairly easy (except for *her*, who I may rant about later) train journey.

Little boats bobbing about in the buoyed water. It's the smells that made it all the more lovely: salty sea air, the occasional waft of fresh fish, and best of all ... wood-burning fireplaces giving the narrow streets the perfect amount of wintery smokiness.

We did a little window shopping and then could think of nothing better than to find a local pub and watch the 20-something local girls fawn over the boys who'd returned to the country to visit their mums for Christmas.

The penthouse suite we're in (or refurbed attic, depending how you look at it) is gorgeous, and the boys who work in the Inn are adorable. The sofas in the lounge overlooking the estuary are perfect for napping. The town (or is it a village?) is charming. It's like a shrinky-dinked Provincetown, just without the homos.

Got on the New Year's running kick a few days early and went exploring this afternoon. Found a dog infested walking trail, a little cove of a beach, and an old gray brick farmhouse that I'm certain could be housing relatives of Mrs. Danvers. Crusty, bearded, pipe smoking men walk their chocolate labs and offer gruff 'hallos'.

Off to find a pub, do some journalling, chat up a local and maybe read some more Jamaica Inn, where our young heroinne is trying to decide if smuggling is actually evil. Just what goes on in that secret barred room at the end of the dark hall?

I think her 7-foot tall, mysterious yet strangely compelling, coal-haired Uncle Joss has set up a little leather dungeon for the local ne'er-do-wells, and that's what Aunt Patience can't bear.

Life is good.

December 23, 2006

Knocking off for Christmas

Off to Cornwall in the morning (Saturday morning that is, which is actually today) for a Christmas-by-the-sea getaway. It should be amazing. I've got a Daphne DuMaurier novel to read, a journal to write in, and a new Cape Cod like village to explore.

Not sure if we'll have mobile service or Interwebs, so updates might be sporadic. Everybody enjoy whichever wintery pagan ritual you might celebrate.

We had most of our Christmas tonight, so we don't have to schlepp a bunch of stuff out and back, and I'm please to report that Santa was kind to all. I got lots of toys to motivate the new year of running.

Not so kind is the web-based scavenger hunt I'm sending my niece and nephews on Monday morning. I got all pseudo-creative today and, with the help of some charming elves, whipped up a video website (iMovie and iWeb are very cool) for the kiddies. I have a feeling my sister will enjoy it more than her children. Here's one of the sillier snippets ...

I'm expecting a job offer from Blue's Clues or Blue Peter any day now.

Y'all go have a great weekend. And have an extra highball for my late Great Aunt Clare. She made her exit last night, which makes for a bittersweet-at-best holiday for family back in Cincinnati.

Ho ho ho.

December 21, 2006

Hardy Har Haar

What do Heathrow and my brain have in common?

Much of the traffic is shut down due to fog.

December 20, 2006

My Cheating Art

I had a proper story mapped out for yesterday's 200, which I was going to edit and post before midnight.

Who knew I'd be out till 2 in the morning? As has been said before, the best nights are the ones you don't plan. And so, the miracle of pre-dating got it in on time ... sort of. As Eduardo reminds us "It's Tuesday somewhere."

My editing skills were not on top form by the time I got home, so I cobbled together overheard conversations from last night. I'm not sure that's really in line with the brief. Then again, I might have embellished a quote or two, so I suppose we can count it as fiction.

Besides, it's Christmas and who'd want to read a twisted tale of an "other woman's" neurotic obsessions and plans to exact holiday revenge on her lover's wife? It can always go back into the "ideas" file.

So thanks to Samuel Smith (ah, the poisonous Pure Brewed) and the cast of characters who made last night more fun (and more late) than expected. Congratulations to the new daddy-to-be. Hats (and pants) off to the slimmed down Aussie actor who had everyone's hearts (and other parts) aflutter. Knowing nods of agreement to The X Factor critics. Bless the ohterwise soft-spoken Panamanian investment banker with nationality issues.P rops to the traveller who had forgotten how cute English boys could be, and then pulled a Russian.

Okay then. Must wrap some gifts and get the place ready for a mini MD celebration tonight. See y'all at the Swan around midnight.

December 19, 2006

Tuesday 200 - #24

Snippets overheard at Barbie’s Dream Gay Bar, where there are more Kens than Skippers (or GI Joes) …

“I’d make out with you, but you like Girls Aloud more than Sugar Babes.”


“You’re beautiful, are you Brazilian?”

“No, I’m from Nicaragua.”

“Pretty much the same, innit? Wanna snog?”


“Who’d fuck Eddie Munster?”


“Leona’s like Mariah, but with the eyes of a dead fish. No soul.”

“Do you mean sole like the fish or soul like Aretha?”

“Shut up before I hit you with the sole of my shoe. Get me a G&T.”


Guy 1: “I’m not Brazilian. I have a legal job, not from the back of QX. I’m from Panama. There’s a difference.”

Guy 2: “What do you mean?”

Guy 1: “You’re English, right? If I said you were American, you’d be pissed, right?”

Guy2: “Not really.”

Guy 1: “Well you should be. I mean if you’re Canadian, like him,” pointing to third guy, “you’d hate being called American.”

Guy 3: “Um, I’m American.”

Guy 1: “Sorry, you seem nice, like a Canadian.”


“You’re into him, aren’t you?”

“He’s okay.”

“Oh come on. I’m straight, married, and have two kids. I’d totally shag him.”

:: :: ::

Last week's Tuesday 200.

My Junk is You

CB has arrived. Alert the media ... and he brought Spring Awakening and a long-lost pair of sunglasses with him. Yay.

My new favorite lyric: "We've all got our junk, and my junk is you."

The Things You Hear

I can't even begin to describe the Quebec karaoke fest. Mon dieu, you go in for a quick slash and then it's a bad acid trip. More on that later.

Instead, I'd like to begin our new feature: "Overheard on Berwick Street" ...

One very cute (and possibly underaged) bloke to his even cuter male mate ... "It's like sex, but with friendship."

Eduardo and I then discussed the relative merits of being their friends.

Oy. Did I mention, by the way, that Quebec has karaoke on Monday nights?

It. Is. Awful. I can't recommend it enough. Sort of like the Wednesday night strip competition at The White Swan (which, for all intents and purposes, we will be attending this week).

December 18, 2006

Lights! Candles! Assam!

Monday, as you may recall, is Shadia day. You remember, the nice lady who tidies up the place and tells me I'm fat.

I needed to run some errands this morning, and get a smart new Crimbo coif. Upon returning, she said she was making me tea if I wanted tea.

"No thanks, I'm fine," I said. I'd grabbed a latte in between the barber and the cat food run.

"What? You won't let me make you some tea?" she asked.

Well, um, okay. One sugar, no milk.

"Is this all the decorating you're going to do?" she asked, sniffing at my dwarf of a tree.

"You don't like my tree?"

"Yes darling it's okay, but it needs more decoration. And put out some candles. And more lights. You want to feel like Christmas."

So now there are colored fairy lights draped over the mantle and the silver bar-table in the kitchen.

She's convinced it looks more festive. I think it looks like an Indian restaurant on Manhattan's 6th Street.

But the tea is delicious.

December 17, 2006

Shifting Perspective

We decided to forego the requisite time and resulting mess of a big tree this year. We're not going to be around Xmas day anyhow, so we went with less is more. But I still wanted some lights and baubles.

It looks cute, my dwarf of a tree. And dwarfed it is, next to the window. And if anyone's wondering, the Stella is chilling for Santa. He'll still come even if we're not here, right? (click 'em to see the big ones)

minitree.JPG minitree2.JPG

:: :: ::

Last night we went to Big Dave's new place. It's in the restored orphanage in Watford.

The window in Dave's living room is spectacular. Several of the portholes open, and I can only imagine what a full moon looks like shining through. I've included a shot with hunched drunkard (auditioning for a new musical of Richard II) for purposes of scale. (same click 'em rules apply)

daveswindow.JPG daveswindow2.JPG

:: :: ::

And I know we all love our pets, "anytime and anywhere" ... but this is just wrong, and available at a leather store Selfridges near you.


The Black Holes That Surround You ...

... Are Heavier By Far

My recent indocrination to Spring Awakening has left me wanting to hear the rest of the show. Only two more sleeps, and it will arrive with CB on Tuesday. I'm missing NY just a little, mostly because I want to see it and Dreamgirls. January will be here soon enough.

Listening to and/or watching this video over the past few days made me a little hungry for Duncan Sheik's first single. I was a big fan. Tossed it on the iPod this afternoon and was drawn back to bopping around Manhattan, air-guitaring its catchy chords and singing along with the angsty lyrics I learned a decade ago.

‘Cause I am barely breathing
And I can’t find the air
I don’t know who I’m kidding
Imagining you care

And I could stand here waiting
A fool for another day
But I don’t suppose it’s worth the price, worth the price
The price that I would pay
But I’m thinking it over anyway...

I was coming up with a list of bad New Year's resolutions with Eduardo this afternoon, while we were out shopping having a restorative from last night's Watford holiday gala.

Perhaps I've just come up with another ... Why ignore the angst when you can embrace the angst it!

Stiffly Peaked Drama

In which we remember he's the banker and I'm the theater person ...

Larry's reading a Sunday paper and has told me that Jessica Lange is coming to the West End in The Glass Meringue.

Ah yes, that deliciously frothy Tennessee Williams classic. I think it's playing in rep with Cat on a Tin Roof Sundae.

December 16, 2006


Up far too early with the newly minted MD this morning, and so I immediately assumed my most favorite reclining, magic-quilt covered pose on the sofa. He had the news on, of course (no Lifetime movies at this hour).

And then I began to lament. What happened to good old-fashioned Saturday morning television? What I would have given for a flight to Tranquility Forrest with my Bugaloos buddies? Or a visit to Lidsville. Even HR Puffenstuff (who you call when things get tough) would have sufficed. Maybe a half an hour with The Tick and Arthur. I'd even had settled for some plain ol' Looney Tunes ... Bugs giving Gossamer a manicure.

"Monsters lead such interesting lives."

So I went back to sleep.

And now I've got 2 pumpkin pies in the oven and they smell amazing.

December 15, 2006

Is There an MD in the House?

What a perfectly gray day. I nursed a holiday hangover and watched Imitation of Life. I would very much like a 1959 John Gavin for Christmas. He's dreamy. And those blue sunglasses that Lana Turner wore at Sandra Dee's graduation ... fabulous.

In more significant news, it was announced today that Larry got the Managing Director title he's been working so hard for. All those long nights refilling the ATMs has finally paid off. It's actually a pretty big deal ... less then 10% of the 300,000 people in the Empire are brought into the MD fold. So good on him. Our little Toronto postman has done pretty darn well for himself, eh? It's a proud day. And how did he celebrate? By working late on a Friday night. Old habits die hard.

I think I'll make his favorite meal for supper — Kraft Dinner for everyone!

December 14, 2006

If It's Good Enough for George Clooney

Hmm, do I want a dead pig Nespresso for Christmas?

December 13, 2006

Putting on the RIPs


Peter Boyle


I hope Madeline Kahn was there to meet her "little zipper neck."

In Which We Plug Bird-Like Chirpy Noises

This is my new favorite toy. Twitter, it's called. It's like a mini-blog, just check in and, in 155 characters or less, say what you're doing. You can do it from IM or your mobile (or your Treo) as well, so it's a lovely way to pass the time. Jolly good fun.

Couldn't sleep for all the Big Gulps in Britneyland last night. Dunno what caused that, but I'm dragging today. Big blonde bouffant, red sparkly mini-skirt, green leggings, and a green cowl neck. It's a look -- sorta like the Jolly Green Giant's tranny hooker little sister. 'Tis the season. Sensible shoes, though. Might do some walking after my lunch date at the Chelsea Arts Club.

And one more thing ... is it so wrong to toss a couple shots of vodka into your Alka-Seltzer Plus?

December 12, 2006

If You're Going to Exploit a Child ...

The Bastard Fairies

(thanks Laura, PNSFW)

The UK's Biggest Crime Fiction ...

... is real.

We don't need dime store novels or cinematic thrillers.

Russian Spy Assasinated with Poison

Serial Killer Targets Prostitues

You just know a Baskervillian hound is on its way.

Tuesday 200 - #23

Buying my nieces’ Christmas presents is never easy. Just how many Barbies can two girls have?

I thought that combining history with playtime might be clever, and suggested Medieval Barbie to my sister. She said it was a no go because Cindy got one last year. Plus, the bubonic rats that came along with it gave little Shelly nightmares.

“Cindy’s really hoping for Terrorist Barbie,” my sister told me. “They’re all the rage with the kids in her school. Frankly, I think they’ll grow bored pretty quickly. The outfits are crap. I mean how many ways can you wrap a boring black handkerchief around a doll?”

Apparently, the kids aren’t daunted by sartorial singularity. The hook is that one in twenty of the dolls comes with its own suicide bomb. From the outside, they all look alike so nobody knows until it’s unwrapped. “Martyr Barbie is this year’s Tickle Me Elmo,” she told me.

“What happens if they blow up?” I asked.

Seems the bombs really aren’t that strong, so the dolls just become a little disfigured. They’re then moved from Barbie’s Dream Sleeper Cell to Barbie’s Dream Medieval Castle. Just plop on some pustules, and voila, more plague victims.

:: :: ::

Last week's Tuesday 200.

Kick My Cushion

Speaking of mojo, Lacoste has put this ad back into circulation for the holiday season.

An enticing stocking stuffer to be sure, and one you probably wouldn't see in the States. (PNSFW)

December 11, 2006

Embracing the Ho Ho Hum

Well if that wasn't the sleepiest weekend in recent history ...

I can't recall any tsetse flies, and I'm reasonably certain there was no skipping thorugh the poppies-will-make-them-sleep meadow.

I guess I'l blame the the Toronto (Hamilton, actually) boys for wearing me out. They have certainly found their way onto the shortlist for most fun houseguests ever. It's not like we did anything.

  • the White Swan's amateur strip on Wednesday night
  • Thursday's most delightful wine-fueled (and Cowboy Cocksucker fortified) holiday soirette at Simon and Nick's
  • Friday dinner at Gaucho and then a pub crawl till 1am (early night because they had a flight on Saturday morning)

How embarrassing. Shattered after only 3 nights in a row? I'm so not a professional anymore.

In between weekend naps and feedings, we managed to book a Christmas getaway. We're making our debut appearance in Cornwall for a few days. It looks like a proper quiet holiday, don't it?

I've decided that lounging about and waiting for my holiday mojo to magically appear and douse me in Christmas cheer might be a lot like waiting for the muse to come before you write. It's probably not going to happen.

So, just as I make it easy for my Muse (Geraldine is her nom du jour) to find me by wrting my daily wordcount, I shall endeavor to make myself open to Monsieur Mojo by setting out on the following this week:

  • get decorations down from Anne Frank room and strew them merrily about the flat
  • whip up a batch of makeshift Nuts & Bolts (I actually bought most of the ingredients on Saturday, but ended up eating all the mixed nuts and garlic bagel chips in between naps — hate when that happens)
  • watch The Ref, preferably while eating Nuts & Bolts
  • write and send Christmas cards (which I haven't done for eons) — if you'd like to recieve a heartfelt card from the bobzyeruncle home office, please make sure I have your address. you can email it to me, or leave it in the comments for all the world to send you a card
  • dig up Christmas Wrapping and a collection of holiday CDs I have, especially Sarah McLachlan's new suicide-inducingly depressive ever-so-soothing CD, Wintersong
  • take my Lexapro with eggnog
  • find a copy of Barrel Fever (where is mine??) and reread The Santaland Diaries

Can't you just feel the mojo rising?

And ... but wait, there's more! ... on top of all that, it's time to dust off the New Balance trainers and get serious about running again. Applications are in and if all goes according to plan, I'll have a charity entry for the 2007 London Flora Marathon. That means, come the new year, I'll be hitting you all up to raise money for Terence Higgins Trust. So make sure to sock away some of that Christmas cash and year-end bonus money. Because, remember, it's all about giving.

That was exhausting, all that typing. I need a nap.

December 10, 2006

Brandi, You're a Fine Mum

Nothing says Christmas like tossing your 12-year old into the clink.

Brandi Evans's troublemaking son went one step too far last week, when he unwrapped and played with a Christmas present that he shouldn't have. So she called the cops on him.

It's hard to play Nintendo wearing handcuffs.

December 8, 2006

Conjuring Christmas


Have you found your Christmas mojo yet?

Mine's still lurking somewhere in the shadows. Maybe it's up in the Anne Frank room waiting to be brought down, dusted off and placed jauntily around the room — a few decorations might summon the seasonal spirits. Perhaps actually buying a gift or two will get things rolling, or going to the effort of putting up a tree.

Or maybe I need to go back to basics ... the ritual of food. Nothing says Christmas like a batch of my Grandma's Nuts and Bolts (her reworking of good old Chex mix, but I don't think I can find the ingredients here).

When we were little, my sister and I each had a long, thin Christmas ribbon that hung in our rooms . An Advent calendar of candy. It was made of red and green felt, and there were 24 pieces of Brach's Christmas nougat tied to it,. There was a poem or something on the top, my mom had probably typed it up, copied from some long-forgotten source. Each night in December, we'd get a piece of candy before bed. Unwrapping the last piece of chewy mintyness meant that Santa was on his way.

What traditions get your mojo rising?

December 6, 2006

Stars and the Moon

I got my chart read last week by the beautiful Annie Lionnet. Isn’t it interesting that someone who makes a good deal of their living from the planets and stars is so completely down-to-earth? Have her do your chart. If you’re lucky, she’ll make you some soup as well.

So what did she tell me? A few things I didn’t know, such as I have Scorpio rising (I thought it was Sagittarius), that I have no fire in my chart (so just where does all the anger come from?) and that I have a Grand Trine in water (which is, I’m told, a gift).

She also told me that just about everything in my world (or at least my chart) is in a state of “dynamic flux.” This didn’t come as much of a surprise to me.

I need to be open to all kinds of change, some of which is only just beginning. She said, “although I’m not psychic, I see pictures sometimes. In your case, it’s like you’re trying to get out of a too-tight suit jacket that just doesn’t fit you anymore.”

How’d she know that stone or so I’ve picked up over the past few months makes my business suits (which I only wear to interviews now) feel more uncomfortable than usual? And how’d she know I’d be thrilled to never have to wear a business suit again?

So it’s all about change and reinvention and coming into my authentic self; shedding roles that I’ve adopted in efforts to conform and please people who are important to me. Just who is this new Bob? We’re not really sure. Maybe writer Bob? Maybe Life Club Bob? Maybe I’ll finally develop a taste for Scotch? All we know is it’s crucial to be open to all new possibilities (sound advice for anyone, I reckon), and that this cycle of change is going to last until July 2009. Go with the flow … which should be easy with all the water in my chart, as long as I don't drown in it.

(And how crazy is it that, as I type this, iTunes shuffle is serenading me with '"Watershed" by the The Indigo Girls.

She also said I was in for a huge change with the full moon on 3 March 2007, which also happens to be an eclipse (an event which did not bode very well with her). She couldn’t have known that’s when I should be getting my visa renewed.

You might remember my HSMP visa worries from the beginning of this year, when I was made redundant and had to switch my work permit status. Seems that the Home Office has changed the rules for HSMP visas, and I no longer qualify for an extension. So it looks like the only (legal) way to stay in the UK is to become a dependant on L’s work permit. I spoke with a lawyer solicitor yesterday and she seems to think there will be no big problems, except for two minor glitches. One is that I lose my tenure on being in the UK and have to start over with the 5-year period necessary to apply for unlimited leave to remain. The other is that I can’t apply for the change of visa status in this country. I have to go back to NY and spend the day at the British Embassy (and bring L along with me). So I guess I’ll tag along on a business trip he’s got scheduled in the beginning of the year. I’ve got until March to make the change … maybe it will happen on the full moon.

Or maybe the stars are lining up to create a change we hadn’t really thought of … deported Bob.

:: :: ::

Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load
You'll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you're learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while

December 5, 2006

Un Ataque de Nervios

Shiite terrorists. Mad women shooting handguns in airports. Love gone awry. A 28-year old Antonio Banderas. And, claro, lots of gazpacho.

I haven't seen Almodovar's Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown in almost 20 years. It's so well done, and so very funny. Homages everywhere. A little Rear Window, a little Strangers on a Train, a chord or two of Johnny Guitar.

And, oh yes, some more gazpacho.

Between this and Volver, Carmen Maura is one of my new heroes.

:: :: ::

Meanwhile, my Toronto boys should have been home hours ago. They were on a 12.5-hour bus tour of Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath that should have returned to Victoria 3 hours ago. I'm almost beginning to get worried. Hopefully they decided to go out drinking to wash away the pain of a day on a tour bus, and aren't stuck in traffic somewhere.

Tuesday 200 - #22

“What do you want to instill into your children?” I asked Paul the other night. It was guys’ night out and we were shooting darts at The Tavern.

“An off switch, for starters,” he said. “Kind of a homo question, ain’t it?”

“I dunno. Saw it last week on some random blog I read.” I pulled my darts out of the board. Excellent grouping, but nothing I needed. “I think that you’d install an off switch, rather than instill one.”

“Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. What’s the difference, Professor?”

“Well, to instill is to introduce gradually through persistent efforts.”

“Like repeated thrashings?” Paul asked. “Damn, I can’t close 16 for shit.”

I mentioned thrashings didn’t seem all that gradual.

“They are if you go from strap of knotted burlap to a leather belt and then move on to a spiked mace. Another Bud?”

“Sure,” I said. “Medieval weapons. Geez, kinda harsh for a 7-year old, huh?”

“Yeah well, Janet got tetchy about the pepper spray. Besides, I wouldn’t need nothing if the brat had an off switch,” Paul said.

“You’d really hit your kid with a mace?”

“Nah, but it’s good to install some fear.”

“That’d be instill, I think.”

:: :: ::

Last week's Tuesday 200.

December 4, 2006

Soup's On

My kitchen smells like a vegetarian cafe right now. I chopped up a couple handfuls of potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onions, tossed 'em into a pot of water, and they're now simmering into a delicious and nutritious pre-winter soup.

Campbell's ain't got nothing on me.

:: :: ::

I spent most of yesterday simmering. It was the end of a 3-day workshop, and for all sorts of reasons, nearly every part of it rubbed me the wrong way. I felt uneasy from the get go ... there were tensions and then tears between other participants. I felt unprotected. Some early remarks put me off and and then I took things way too seriously and much too personally.

The joy of self-awareness.

For the longest time, I felt like I was back in acting class, and "whoever cries first wins." Have you ever been in such a situation? Where you're told "there is no right or wrong," but at the same time "look how much better Sally does it than Steven. And remember kids, we're all in a place of non-judgment.

Bottom line, I think I spent way too much time "in my head" trying to analyze things to get them "right." The first set of exercises didn't click with me, and then all I could see were flaws in the material an dthe way I was approaching it. When I did try to just breathe and go with it, I was told I was controlling and not letting the process work.

Just couldn't seem to win.

So any "thick skin" I went in with boiled off right away, and I stewed myself into a steaming, easily crushed pot of nerves.

But I'm nothing if not resilient. Much better now though. Vegetable soup is much more appetizing than Bob stew.

December 1, 2006

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