October 31, 2007

Under His Skin

About a year ago I noticed a flat, white mark on Larry’s back — a little bigger than a quarter, a little smaller than a 50p (see how I generous I am, scaling things for both sides of the pond). It looked a little like a bite, a little like a blister, a little like a scar. Weird.

“Does it hurt?”


“You should get that looked at.”

Being manly, he did not.

A few months ago, I noticed it was getting bigger. And there was a brownish red corona expanding around it.

“You really should should get that looked at.”

Being well-adjusted, he decided to wear t-shirts to bed so I couldn’t see it anymore and wouldn’t let me look when I asked. He finally went in for an MOT a while back and got referred to a dermatologist, who took a biopsy and told him not to worry.

The biopsy results came in and the doctor ordered more blood tests. Maybe he should worry after all. Possibility of Lyme disease, which would be ironic since the closest Larry gets to the country is Hyde Park and the closest he’s been to deer (known carriers of ticks) is the reindeer we ate in Norway.

Now then, for every ounce of manliness that exudes in the cocktail of our staid Canadian friend, there is an equal part of underlying, albeit carefully masked, neurosis. And so, ever so secretively, he began his Internet research of Lyme disease.

Yup … that’s the diagnosis. Fatigue. Nausea. Tingling in the joints. Headaches. Inability to concentrate. He had it and he had it bad.

He was destined to 2-4 weeks of intensive intravenous antibiotic therapy (which may or may not work), quietly hoping that it could be administered while laying on a beach in Mauritius. All we had to do was wait for the confirmation. There’s only one lab in the world that can properly diagnose this disorder, and his blood had to be shipped out to Seattle or somewhere equally exotic.

We waited for four weeks for the results to come in (and the specialist to return from holiday). Yesterday he got the news.


So what’s the spot on his back, he asked the doctor. “Sometimes you just get an infection and it leaves a scar and you never know.” And that’s why, ladies and gentlemen, they call it ‘practicing’ medicine.

And as for all his other Internet-confirmed symptoms? Well, I guess we’re just chalking it up to old age.

Which, as of today, we can add one more year to. So Happy Birthday to Larry. And well done on not having Lyme disease. Can we still go to Mauritius?

We’re going out for Mexican tonight and will, no doubt, have at least a few margaritas.

The diagnosis for tomorrow’s symptoms will most likely be Lime disease.

October 30, 2007

Tuesday 200 - #64

They boarded the tube at Bond Street, engaged in conversation. Two middle-aged muffin-topped matrons, bearing High Street shopping bags. Pushing into the carriage, the listener plopped down next to me. The chat-euse swept up a Metro and tossed it behind the primly dressed old woman across from me, squeezing herself in without missing a syllable, not noting her parcels now rested upon her seatmate’s shoes.

Fuh fah, ne pas fuh fah.

As the train picked up speed its rumble grew louder. Undaunted, the woman raised her voice to match the roar of the Underground, nearly shouting to her friend across the carriage.

FUH FAH, FUH FUH FAH, she bellowed on.

Bounding up but balanced on her walking stick, the dowager exploded, "Taisez-vous! On s’en fout de vos problèmes! No wonder your husband slept with your babysitter. Have you seen yourself? Margaret Thatcher would be more appealing.”

As the train began to slow, passengers around me stifled smiles. A disembodied voice murmured Holborn approached.

“And consider a douche,” said the septuagenarian.

“Begging your pardon, madame, I shower each morning.”

“Begging *your* pardon, madame,” she said, waving her gloved hand in front of her face. “I’m speaking in English.”

:: :: ::

What's a Tuesday 200?

Last week's Tuesday 200


October 29, 2007

Box Office Chit Chat

I popped by The Shaftesbury's box office this afternoon (tee hee, I used 'pop' and 'shaft' and 'box' in the same sentence) to get tickets for Hairspray. We have out-of-towners in next week who've never seen it, and I'm itching to see if the West End holds up to the original.

I was a little surprised that best available was in the balcony (erm, Royal Cirlcle), row J. If I remember from Bat Boy, it's not a huge house, so those seats should be fine.

I asked the girl in the booth (who could easily be playing one of the Dynamites) how sales had been. It's not been reviewed yet (press night is tomorrow ), but I've heard good buzz.

"The phones have been ringing off the hook," she said.

"That's great. Especially since you're in the doomed theatre."

(The Shaftesbury, like Broadway's Helen Hayes isn't known for having the most successful shows ... hang in there Xanadu!)

She immediately shhh-ed me, like I'd said the name of the Scottish play or something, lowered her head conspiratorially and whispered, "we think the curse has moved on."

I asked how she was sure.

"Have you been to the Novello lately? Desperately Seeking Susan is, well, desperate."

"Yeah, so I heard, but I have no desire to see it." says me. "And The Drowsy Chaperone didn't do well there either."

She agreed and said that was a shame, because she really liked Chaperone.

"Ahhh, you should have seen it in New York."

"The trouble is," she confided, "that audiences won't go see something in this city unless they know some name from a soap opera or some ridiculous reality program. They don't care what the story is or how good the show is."

Which prompted me to ask her how she thought Rent: Remixed would do. She just shook her head and said, "Oh no."

"I heard that the director got fired the week before it opened, but his name's still on it 'cause of his association with Kylie."

"Oooh. I've got friends in it, I'll call and find out," she said, finishing my transaction. "I have no idea what they're thinking. Re'MIX'ing (that's how she said it) a perfectly good show."

I hope she's there next week when I see the show. Or maybe I'll just go chat her up on my way to or from work ... before she gets her own show.

October 28, 2007

The Kids are (aren't?) Alright

The BBC reports this morning that kids are both unprotected and too protected.

The beauty of it is, they've showed these two stories back-to-back.

Gap in child labour discovery

Childhood undermined by risk aversion

Best we can tell, they're saying we worry about our children too much, but shouldn't let them make a few bob exploring their sartorial skills.

So go leave your kids alone in the park (but not while you're eating tapas in Portugal), but don't let them near a needle and thread.

October 27, 2007

Queens, Queens Everywhere

In preparation for the upcoming UK release of The Golden Age, I ordered Elizabeth from LoveFilm (that'd the UK verison of NetFlix ... but without as convenient a user interface).

I just popped it into the DVD player, and it turns out I've got Elizabeth I, the TV miniseries with Helen Mirren. Close, but not what I was in the mood for.

So I flicked through tonight's TV listings in search of something to stare at, and Miss Blanchett's original portrayal of yonder Virgin Queen is on Channel 4 tonight.

This is the Lord's doing. And it is marvelous in our eyes.

, ,

That Which Does Not Kill Us

Alright then. I have made my London debut.

I'm not so thrilled with my execution, but I'm very delighted to have been a part of the evening. Thanks again to Rebekah and Paul for putting it together.

Let's focus on the good ...

  • My story, "Baggage Claim", was one of six in a very estimable collection. All of the stories were great, especially if you fancy tales of dysfunctional parenting.

  • Some of my friends were unexpected audience members, and I'm very grateful for their support. Thanks you guys.

  • I got a few laughs (more than I expected) and at least two people who I didn't know made a point of coming up to me after to say they liked the piece.

  • I took my time, didn't rush and read fairly clearly (I think).

  • The audience was very attentive and receptive and gave me a very lovely round of applause.

  • I met several very charming new people, and I have a new event to go to on the last Friday of every month.

  • The show took place in Foyle's Gallery. There was a painting of a drag queen named Buttercup just over my shoulder and she looked quite a bit like my ex, who's now known in New Orleans as Blanche DeBris. Blanche was also performing last night, at Harrah's Casino, and my sister happens to be in New Orleans and went to his (her?) show. So I felt like there was a big family connection going on.

  • Readers got free red wine, which was quite tasty ... especially after I read.

And, since it's neurotic little me, let's focus on what wasn't perfect ...

  • I was way more nervous than I thought I'd be, to the point where it seemed to really surprise one of my friends ... "I've never seen you like that," he said. Granted, he usually sees me at Life Clubs sitting on a comfy chair in my living room, or hanging out on Old Compton Street with a pint in my hand, so I supposed it's all about context.

  • I couldn't stand still to save my life. All that presentation/acting training I've had went right out the window.

  • The podium wasn't all that secure and I was holding on to it like it was the safety bar on the world's scariest roller coaster. I'm pretty sure I almost pushed it over a couple times.

  • I was afraid I'd lose my place, so I don't think I looked up once from the page (which kept getting blurry because the podium's height put the text out of the "reading zone" of my progressive lenses). I'm certain that people will now only recognize me by the top of my head or the resulting triple chin.

  • After the reading, the organizer's mother asked me what inspired the story (which is about a little girl waiting for her father to pick her up at the airport). I told her that I was at Gatwick a year or so ago and saw a little girl in that same situation and thought, "What kind of asshole parent wouldn't be there to pick up their kid from an international flight?"

    The lovely woman said, "Oh, that would have been me. I did that once." Great. So now I've just called the host's mother an asshole. I'm surely never getting asked back to that.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. And congratulations to all of the other readers. You each did a stellar job.

The story will be up at Tales of the Decongested sometime in the next few days.


October 26, 2007

What Time It Is?

Why you axe?

One of my colleagues is working on a new text book, and he's consulted me on US vs UK English usage.

So here's the question:

If the time is 6:45, what do you say?

quarter to?

quarter till?

quarter of?

I normally say "quarter to" or "ten to" (if it's 6:50), but "quarter till / ten till" sounds reasonable as well.

He says he's heard many Americans say "quarter of", which doesn't sound incorrect, it's just not the first thing that rolls off my tongue.

I reckon it's a regional thing in the US, like the soda vs. pop vs. coke discussion that's poppped up in various debates over the years.

Let me know in the comments ... what do you say, and where are you from?

And let's not limit this to a US/UK thing. All you Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders ... heck, everybody ... weigh in as well!


October 25, 2007

Thursdays Are Funny

Well, so says the BBC.

I've just watched The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle and The Peter Serafinowicz Show, which reminds me that writing comedy must be very difficult.

I'm hoping for the sake of everyone that they were just having an off night.

, ,

October 24, 2007

Benched Dreams

I was walking towards Marble Arch this morning, and passed the bench I always pass. You know, the one outside the Nikko hotel, next to a red phone booth filled with postcards of European and Asian delights (that probably don't look anything like what's advertised if anyone were to actually give them a ring ... does anybody really use a pay phone to hire hookers in 2007?).

A guy and a girl were sitting on the bench, both in their early twenties and both hugging themselves inside the puffy parkas they were wearing.

He was stretched out and leaning back, his weary face and eyes looking up into the gray morning sky. She was staring straight ahead with a watery gaze. I wondered how cold it would have to be for her tears to freeze.

There's a story there, I thought. Perhaps a 200.

I pondered it on the tube and realized it wasn't so long ago that a young couple sat on the same bench, prompting me to conjure this.

Of all the benches in London, I think this one, just under the stone-cold stare of Raoul Wallenberg, must be the unhappiest.

Do you suppose these damaged souls purposefully sit in front of him, this great Swedish humantarian, hoping they too will be rescued?

October 23, 2007

Tuesday 200 - #63

Jake was the coolest. He’d take me and Dougie Douchebag (asshole little brother) bowling and miniature golfing. Nothing like those creepy girls who chirped on the phone all night and never let us watch The Brady Bunch.

He grilled the best cheese sandwiches. One night his friend, Cathy, came over. Mom never let girl babysitters have friends over, but she liked Jake.

He’s a good kid.

He’s no kid, Ma. He’s like twenty.

Cathy was wedged into the corner of our sofa and Jake was laying down, his head between her lap and belly. Douchebag was singing along with The Partridge Family.

I didn’t want to stare, but Jake was nibbling on Cathy’s little finger, using his tongue to slowly move it in and around, like hard toffee.

“Gross,” Dougie whispered, “he’s sucking …”

“Shut up, homo,” I hissed, trying to hide the boner nesting inside my Toughskins. I was twelve. Hard-ons came from nowhere, like hummingbirds darting around the sugar-water feeder Mom hung out back.

I wonder what I wanted more — to be holding Jake like Cathy was or to have his grown-up finger lolling in my mouth, getting to know his sweet, fleshy flavor.

:: :: ::

What's a Tuesday 200?

Last week's Tuesday 200.


October 22, 2007

Tale of the Discombobulated

I waltzed into my writing workshop a wee bit early this evening, and Shaun, the instructor, was already there.

"So you're on this Friday night," he said. "Congratulations."

I thanked him and immediately wondered how the hell do you know? I don't think he reads these pages, and I hadn't mentioned it to him (although I've been telling everyone else and their brother.)

Turns out he's read there a couple of times, so maybe he's got an in with one, or both, of the organizers.

Fair enough.

"So it's a good thing?" I asked.

He said that indeed it was. The people that put it on are great to work with. The crowd is always eager to hear new writing and are all very supportive of the short story. They all have a glass of wine or two and it's a great energy.

"And they get a good turnout," he said. "Usually around a hundred or so people."


"Yeah, it's a lot of fun," he assured me. Later, at the beginning of the second half of the class, he pimped the event to the class ... all of whom are inspiring and make me feel like a hack every week.

I'm kinda shitting myself. But in an excited, this will be fun sort of way.

So come watch me poo my pants on Friday night.

Tales of the Decongested
The Gallery Space
2nd Floor
Foyles Bookshop,
113-119 Charing Cross Road

At least at WYSIWYG Chris would pass you a (semi-)mandatory swig of Southern Comfort to take the edge off.

:: :: ::

In other workshop related news, we read Greg Bottoms' "Imaginary Birds" from Sentimental, Heartbroken Rednecks tonight. Do you know it? It's beautiful. Go find it and enjoy his three-page, one-sentence worducopia.

October 17, 2007

Hump Day Hat Trick

It's been a very good day.

First ...

A couple weeks ago I ran across Tales of the Decongested, which is a website and monthly reading forum whose "primary objective is to raise the profile of the short story and to discover exciting new talent in London."

I submitted a story to them and, I'm very pleased to say, I received a charming email this afternoon saying I'd been selected for this month's reading.

So if you can, please come to Foyle's on Charing Cross Road next Friday, October 26th and see me read "Baggage Claim." It will subsequently posted at www.decongested.com. I've read several of the pieces that they've published, and I'm thrilled to be included in their ranks.

Second ...

I passed my exam today to become a TEA test examiner.

There are four of us on the course, and we all thought we were just going to learn to teach the Aviation English curriculum. It turned out we were being trained to assess pilots and air traffic controllers who are non-native English speakers, as well as to teach the course.

Interestingly, if you teach the candidates, you cannot administer the test to them. The rules stipulate that the examiners have no previous contact with the candidates, to rule out any possible bias based on favoritism or preconceived abilities.

The pass/fail criteria for examiners is, at best, a little nebulous due to confidentiality and controls set up by the examining body. We were told we'd get four tries to hit the mark. I was well and truly chuffed (which means "quite pleased" for y'all in the States) to pass on the first round. I thought for sure I'd be there all day listening to oral exams.

Frustrating thing was there's no feedback. I know I didn't get 100%, but they won't tell you where you went right/wrong. Just 'you pass' or 'try again.'

So, while the others in the class retook their exams this afternoon, I got to come home and watch an episode of Pushing Daisies, which is really growing on me.

Third ...

My new one-on-one evening student (with whom I'm having "social English" lessons over the next couple of weeks — meaning dinner and conversation) looks like the love child of Peter Gallagher (circa Summer LoversDead Calm.

And he's charming and intelligent and just a little shy. So not what you'd expect from a French corporate lawyer (how's that for a broad-sweeping cultural stereotype?)

And how was your day?

October 16, 2007

Tuesday 200 - #62

It seems more like a fourth grader’s lunch than a grown man’s dinner.

The simplest of grilled cheese sandwiches. Nothing fancy like those pompous TV chefs espoused as comfort food. Seriously, whose mom ever toasted up thick slices of crusty home-baked sourdough, dripping with freshly melted Emmenthal and tart autumn apples?

Wonder Bread, two slices. Kraft Singles, three of them because they seem smaller now. Memories of the suburbs waft from his galley kitchen, not much bigger than his sister’s old Easy Bake oven. Weekend lunches after little league games, stomach still sloshing from one too many suicides.

Coke, 7-Up, and orange soda … all in the same paper cup.

Another large one please! Not too much ice.

“Don’t know how you drink those,” his mom would grimace. He wondered how she could drink all that whiskey so early on a Saturday morning.

That was then. Tonight, he swirls Jim Beam in a jelly jar tumbler. The charcoal scent blends with the smoky aroma coming from kitchen … shit, the sandwich is burning.

“Well, nothing’s perfect,” Mom used to say, using the back of a knife to scrape black dust into the sink.

“It adds flavor,” she promised.

:: :: ::

What's a Tuesday 200?

Last week's Tuesday 200.


October 15, 2007

Um, I Was Just Kidding ....

This morning's Daily Mail took me by surprise ...

I guess last week's Tuesday 200 perhaps had more bite than I anticipated.

October 14, 2007

It's Big and Hard and I Can't Do a Thing With It

A couple months ago, I purchased a new hard drive.

I was so excited. A very reasonably priced 1tb (that's big, y'all) LaCie network drive. It's going to solve all my storage problems (my MacBook is pert near full, as is my 160gb Maxtor). Too many pictures and songs, I suppose.

And no, none of it is porn, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, it wouldn't power on. I tried everything, but to no avail. LaCie tech support said it's either a bad power supply or a faulty drive. They sent me a new power supply and closed my support ticket.

Still no blue light indicating power. Must be a bad drive, they said, via their web-based customer service ticketing system (the second one I'd opened), and I'd receive instructions on how to return the drive for repair. Rather than ship it to the address, which was just off Moorgate (and I was going to be in that neighborhood anyway), I dropped it off a few weeks ago.

I got it back on Friday. It was shipped from France. I guess they couldn't fix it at the Moorgate office so it was sent across the Channel. It's the same drive, at least according to the serial number.

And guess what? The blue light now works, huzzah, but the drive isn't recognized by any of my Macs. All of the tech support information (both in the manual and online) assures me it should be plug and play. I might need to reformat it, but I can't do that unless the doggone thing mounts, right?

So frustrating. And a third ticket has been opened. I've politely asked this time that they either give me a brand new drive, upgrade me to a similar product, or refund my money.


:: :: ::

Update: A few hours later, I decided to give it another go. I guess my big, hard toy wanted to be inserted into a different orifice. I decided to try hooking it up to the network (which is where it's supposed to be, after all) and it seems to be doing okay now. Still don't understand why it wouldn't read off of a direct connection, but all's well that ends well. So they say.

October 13, 2007


I had a little lie-down on the sofa about 4pm this afternoon, just to rest my eyes for a couple minutes. We'd had an exhausting day up till then, strolling to Soho for an early brunch and then catching a matinée of Ratatouille.

I was thinking about all kinds of things ... Paris, home cooking, peasant food, rascally rodents. I wondered if Gypsy and Cab tried to cook things, like Remy did, when we weren't around. I started thinking about Monday night's writing workshop.

I pulled my laptop off the coffee table and placed in on my lap and wrote the most wonderful stories ... giggling at my wit and occasionally tearing up with nostalgia as I typed.

Well, it seems I dreamt that last paragraph. At 7:30, Larry came into the living room and asked me if I was alright. The laptop was still on the coffee table and my glasses had been removed and were resting on top of the keyboard. I was curled up on my side, covered by a quilt (did the cats put that on me>), and hugging a cushion.

"Do you want to go to Soho and watch the rugby?" he asked.

I murmured something about not being able to leave the flat, since I was convinced that a wintry blizzard had come during my nap and there was at least two feet of snow on the ground, with more to come.

What the hell did they put in my popcorn?

And how do I replay all those wondrous images that were floating around on the edge of my subconscious just a few short hours ago?

October 11, 2007

My New Shorts

I've read a couple of really brilliant short stories this week.

When she was sixteen, my mother saw a freak show for the first time.

That's the first senstence from Kit Whitfield's Plain Useless (available online for your reading pleasure). It's a fascinating story about ... well, just read it and see for yourself. I loved it.

The second one is by Amanda Davis. I've read about this author several times in the past few years, and finally got around to ordering her collection of stories, Circling the Drain, a few weeks ago. We started to get mail again yesterday, and the book was one of three parcels that apparently had gotten held up in the strike.

I read the first short story, Prints, this morning and it is simply beautiful. It's only three pages long. Even if you don't want to buy the book, go to the bookstore and read this story.

Once you do, I bet you'll go ahead and buy the book ... and you'll probably be just a little sad that she died so young.

October 10, 2007

It's an Entirely Different Kind of Flying Altogether

I'm taking a training course next week to teach Aviation English (pay no attention to the scary, but sort of cute, Max Headroom guy on their homepage).

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has decided that all airline and helicopter pilots who fly internationally, and all air traffic controllers who provide services to international flights must have a minimum level of English. This level of English must be demonstrated before March 2008.

This isn't just making sure that flight attendants can wrap their tongues around "coffee, tea, or me."

I'm pretty excited to be chosen for the program. I'm in the first batch of teachers to be trained in this new curriculum, which will be a joint venture between Mayflower College and my school. I guess it either mean means not many people wanted to do it or that I'm doing something right even though I'm still pretty much a new kid on the block.

Or maybe I should say having only recently "gotten my wings."

October 9, 2007

Tuesday 200 - #61

Dear Miss Pithelthwonk,

Again, we wish to thank you for joining our school on such short notice. Mr. Bombledunk’s fourth graders are indeed very privileged to have you. He must certainly be resting more calmly knowing his students are under your wing.

We understand these first weeks will be an adjustment. However, we ask you to bear the following feedback in mind, fully realizing these points may not have been addressed during orientation.

1. Although we appreciate your teaching the “olfactory history of medieval Europe,” you may wish to reconsider having buckets of feces *and* vomit in your classroom.

2. DIY dentistry workshops, whilst instructional and often hygienically sound, should only be held on alternating Thursdays. As a kind reminder, School Board policy requires teachers do not keep any removed fillings.

3. Whilst Sally Field Trips are an inspired idea, questions have been raised regarding the artistic merit of screaming “hold your water” to a busload of children chanting “purple crayons, purple crayons.”

4. Your “Carrie” Christmas party proposal has been approved, provided your pig is slaughtered by a Halal butcher.

5. Please refrain from referring to to the children, or their parents, as retards.

Kind regards,

Horace Brunglestone

:: :: ::

What's a Tuesday 200?

Last week's Tuesday 200.


October 8, 2007

And We Begin Again

I started a new writing workshop tonight. I'm jazzed.

I was a little apprehensive ... it's with a teacher I've worked with before and enjoy very much, but it's marketed as a gay men's writing group. I don't know why that rankles me, but it does ever so slightly. The whole let's be separate but then complain that we're not integrated conundrum.

Anyway, turns out there's a girl in it. So good on her for signing up and good on the Fortune and Friends boys for not turning her away. (I see now that they've changed their slogan to "for gay guys and our friends." Doubly good on them.

I'm pleased to have the additional point of view in the workshop. Don't know if she's gay or not, and frankly don't give a toss. She's lovely. As are the other half-dozen men. All with different perspectives and individual voices, and all seemingly there to create and contribute with open minds and open hearts.

It's so good.

I'm always amazed by Shaun's classes. I come out with pages and pages of words I had no idea I'd be writing when it started.

Go on then ... for seven minutes ... write a history of your tongue.

Homework for next week is a twenty-minute timed writing in a place you don't normally write. Walking home from Covent Garden, I had a think. Where have I never written?

  • On top of Tower Bridge

  • In a darkroom

  • In a bathhouse

  • Sitting on top of Primrose Hill

  • Sitting on the beach in Brighton

  • Standing in the middle of Waterloo Bridge

  • The Whispering Room at St. Pauls

  • Inside one of the London Eye's pods

  • In the Rothko room at the Tate Modern (no wait, I might have done that already)

  • Madame Tussauds (not only have I not written there, I've never been)

This could be fun.

October 7, 2007

So I Says to Her, I Says ...

My pal Kim has decided to take, what she calls, The Britney Challenge. She's gonna get gossip out of her life.

How much does gossip play a part in your life, and would it be hard to remove it from your world?

And where does storytelling cross into gossip?

Go on, spill the dirt ...

October 5, 2007

Big Minds, Big Words

Last night one of my favorite cousins gave me access to the inner-workings of his 15-year-old daughter's mind, by way of an assignment for her English class. One of the things she wrote was ...

I get lost in worlds I only know from pieces of paper bound together.

How good is that?

On the other side of the coin, the novel I'm reading just described a 30ish-year-old man's internal rationalizations about an extra-curricular Gaydar hookup he was about to have at his out-of-town lover's flat (which he's just moved into) ....

First of all, there was the matter of habit: some people were addicted to eBay, and maybe Julius was addicted, similarly, to this -- drawn, just like the bidders who purchased jelly jars from Alaska or Oriental rugs till they were thick on the ground, by the lure of possibility, the sense, each time, that the undiscovered held the Answer, that this mate, this flank, this heaving torso, this rough jaw might prove the long-sought panacea. How could anyone, how could Julius, be expected to relinquish all this, all these, for a single known trajectory, however fond he was of the curls at David's nape or the line of his buttocks however thrilling their intimate life might be? Could one not be Pierre and Natasha at the same time?

Yup, that's a War and Peace reference and I believe this is what the author's husband labelled "hysterical realism."

Am I so wrong to prefer the straightforward musings of a teenage girl?

October 2, 2007

Tuesday 200 - #60

“Come on!” he barked. “Another set’s not going to kill you.”

I wasn’t so sure, but rather than be yelled at, I took a deep breath, adjusted the barbell atop my shoulders, and squatted down to begin another 10-12 reps.

Had I time to ponder, I might have questioned paying $70 an hour to be abused by Ip Ycack, my Czech ex-miliatry police trainer. Locker-room gossip assured me that an extra thirty dollars would have his much hotter brother abusing me in more pleasurable positions, without the confines of gym clothes.

“Six … seven … three more … ,” Ip growled.

He said early on that if I didn’t push till I wanted to puke, I wasn’t working hard enough.

“Nine … COME ON … ten! Good work, mate,” he said, taking the bar off my back. My head was spinning and he slid the bucket towards me as my legs gave out and my stomach rejected the pre-workout protein shake.

You have to pay to have body of a 25-year old. I’m beginning to think it might be easier, and perhaps more cost-effective, to buy the hooker’s than to reshape mine.

At least I wouldn’t be bullied into bulimia.

:: :: ::

What's a Tuesday 200?

Last week's Tuesday 200.