Sunday, August 31, 2003

Kinda why I don't go to Cons

Poor Accordion Guy got dissed at a Sci-Fi Con. Maybe he should have scattered laptops about the place with choice blog entries in a geek version of cocking his leg. Don't feel bad, I stink of the mundane too.
But really, a fan dissing an accordion player? That's hot pot-on-kettle action, dont you think?

Hey Edrie

Your blog is fixed. I went with a basic table structure as it's more cross-browser compatable. If you want, I can make another design

Yeah, I worry

The Doc gave me a hell of a scare yesterday. I had gotten no email from him and when I called his house, his sister said she hadn't seen him all day. Normally I wouldn't have been bothered, but after the drama of Thursday night/Friday morning (and actually continuing into Friday night too), I was afraid something had happened to him.

We had talked before about what each would do if the other other lost contact. I thought I would just call and everything would be okay, but now I know that that is not always the case. Being 3000 miles away definately has it's disadvantages. What I did do after not reaching him on the phone was email the one friend of his whose name I knew (after finding his email adress online but not his phone number). My next step was going to be to blog a plea to anyone who might know him who reads this blog. After that I was going to hit H2G2 and then start calling hospitals in the morning. Fortunately, he called me as I was blogging.

He's fine. He was at a friend's, the one I emailed actually. I cried with relief whne he called.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

RobotZen's Secret CD Release

I went out to a concert last night at Jacques Underground. Jacques is a drag bar, but they have bands play in the basement. I was going to see RobotZen, since I missed their last two shows (the first due to work and the second was when I was in England). They were the second of three bands and I don't think you could have gotten three more disparate groups together.

First up was Malice in Leatherland, a group of three young folk who fancied themselves a goth band (although someone should really let the guitar player in on that as he seemed under the assumption that they were metal), all make-up and skirt-wearing male lead singer. They were loud. There were, well, not very good. The drummer has potential if she could spend a little time on playing and a bit less on attitude.

The thought struck me today that her stylized arm movements were a lot like taiko. Maybe this is the first time she's used a drum kit.

For their last song, they brought up a woman to sing who fortunately use the guitarist's mic as that was not turned up very much. Ugh. Over-all, I wish I had been drunk for their set.

RobotZen was up next. The performers were Steve on guitar, Sue on vocals and D.J. Funkypants on OS X. Okay, I made that last name up, but she did have funky pants and was doing the live mixing on a Mac (and yes, it was OS X). The guitar wasn't amplified enough for the first song, but they did turn it up twice after that (although Naz found that she couldn't hear Sue as well after it got turned up the second time). I really enjoyed their set. Sue has such a haunting voice (like what Nico would sound like if she could carry a tune), and let's face it, is just cute as a button. This was also the first time I've seen Steve perform and it was interesting to see his stage presence, which is a lot like his normal presence after he's gotten to know you for a really long time and you're not in a large group situation. Rather strange that.

To show that I'm not just a gushing friend, I will say that there was a clunker of a note on the harmonizing of one song, but it was just the one note, the one time. And after they did a cover of 'White Rabbit' Naz turned and said the exact words I was thinking: "That’s a really hard song." I think they probably could do that one if they played it a lot, but it's just a damned difficult piece. Over all I really enjoyed the music, and Steve's blues cover was really fun too.

The Gasolines were the last act, consisting of bass, guitar/lead vocal and drums. They were good, standard rock fare. They played well and well together, but they could use another singer as the guitarist/vocalist just didn’t have a voice that went well with their sound.

A fun night and I didn't even stay out too late.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Gone from sad to angry

After stewing all day about The Doc's current situation, I've gotten really angry. He is, for all intents and purposes, parenting his 13 year old sister. Firstly, this is not fair to him as there is no reason why their mother should not be doing the basics of up keep (food, bills, showing up once in a while). Secondly, there has been no history of discipline. Now, I don't mean smacking the kids when they "get out of line," I mean instilling a sense of what is acceptable behavior if you want to get along in the household or in society at large (you know, the things that parents are supposed to teach but insist on foisting off on the schools, television, video games, etc. here in the US).

My parents did not believe in physical punishment. As a consiquence, when I did something they felt warrented punishment (letting a sheep escape when I was seven, for example), they took away "privlages." Yes, parents, television is a privlage. I had enforced bed times until I was in my mid teens and after that, an enforced curfew until I went to college. After years of this, I was kept "in line" by my own sense of guilt (and my mother saying my name in that tone).

Okay, I don't know where I'm really going with this, other than needing to get it off my chest.

It breaks my heart

My love just wrote a gut-wrenching tale in his journal. It just kills me to see the living situation he is trapped in, but aside from giving him moral support, and helping him to look for a new job, I don't know what I can do.

Darling, I love you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Random Crap

I'm having this overwhelming need to fix Edrie's blog template. Her side links keep running off the table.

Living in a Material World

So I whored myself out to market research today. C_ does focus groups a lot, which involves giving your opinion on things in exchange for cash. She got called to do a music one today and they asked her if she knew anyone else who was interested so she handed the phone to me. They were doing programming research for a soft rock/r&b station (not that they said that, but the questions were very leading) and paying $50 for two hours. Okay, so what better things did I have to do (well, spend $10 on a kung fu flick). They played 672 snips of songs that you had to rate from Unfamilliar to Really Dislike to Favorite (with an extra spot for Tired Of which could be used no matter what rating you gave it). It really gave me an insite into why I stopped listening to commercial radio, as well as where my tastes lie. After about 200 songs, I started thinking of each in terms of, "is this better or worse than KC and the Sunshine Band?" Really fucking scary.

It was rather gratifying that I got to rate a whole bunch of Bee Gees songs as Really Dislike. And there was just way too much disco going on over all (Oh, and Mr. Wonder, if your screen reader is reading this off to you, you got top marks)

Reprieve!

All our web project's deadlines got moved again. I'm okay with it because now I don't have to rush to get everything done this week (and one got pushed to the end of September!), but I still think we could have managed it. Things were easier to get done when there weren't as many people involved

Monday, August 25, 2003

Mmmmm..... Food....

Another fucking amazing meal last night at Edrie's. It may take forever and a day to get out to her house, but there are definite advantages to being out there. Like farmer's markets and fresh goat cheese. Droooooool.

L_ gave me her all of her "fat jeans" last night too, but after crackers and three kinds of soft goat cheese (regular, smoked and very smoked), blue corn ships and salsa, and olives, green salad, a dish of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and carrots, tortellini salad with asparagus and pesto sauce, cold soba noodles with red peppers and green beans, caramelized onion quiche, corn on the cob, and olive bread and sourdough bread, and a three berry pie and vanilla ice cream, I had a little trouble zipping them up. Maybe later in the week I can wear them.

Which reminds me, I'm planning to go on Weight Watchers (again, don't ask) so I can finally go see my doctor without the horrible guilt that not only did I not lose weight like she told me to two years ago, but actually gained weight. I'm being realistic and only want to get down to about 130ish, but I know it's going to take a while

Growing opposition to Bush re-election

For the first time, more Americans say they would oppose President George Bush's re-election in 2004 than support a second term, according to a poll published yesterday that showed mounting pessimism over the US military presence in Iraq.

Sixty-nine per cent of those asked were concerned that the US would be bogged down for many years in Iraq with little to show for it in improved security for Americans; 49% said they were very concerned.
When asked why they supported the war beforehand when many political analysts were saying this is exactly what would happen, Americans looked up from the grass, shook their wooly heads and said, "Baaaaaaaaa."

Thursday, August 21, 2003

But enough about you, let's talk about me

I feel the need to elaborate on why I find the Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About page so heartening. The Doc and I got into another fight last night on the phone. And the thing is, I knew it was going to happen before I even called so I got myself into a more relaxed headspace (nice shower, some food, cooled off a bit) before even saying I'd call. But to no avail. It's not like we were fighting over anything really, it was just a random, nit-picking, semantics argument that escalated.

A bit about me when I fight. Well, first, a bit about me under any strong emotion: I cry. I cry when I'm sad, I cry when I'm angry, I cry when I'm overcome with happiness, I cry all the damned time. And I hate it. Now, where the fighting comes in. So I was crying (natch) and then I got vicious. I fight dirty and lacking any sort of physical strength, and being generally prone not non-violence, this comes out in really cruel words. I say things I would never consider if I were in a rational frame of mind. It's like some evil hated monster has taken over my mouth and is just spewing venom. When I calm down and realize what I've said, the guilt sets in and I can't believe I could have sunk so low.

That's the point I was at this morning and I wouldn't have been at all surprised if The Doc never, ever spoke to me again. But he has. Thank you Doc.

This just makes more and more sense every day

This just makes more and more sense every day
I do find it rather heartening that Mil and Margaret have been together for fifteen years, insane arguments and all. I wonder if they ever had one about essential amino acids?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

What the hell happened over these years?

Okay, so the first picture was taken in 1987 when I was preparing to go to West Germany . I was a sweet young thing then. The second one was taken at a mall kiosk in 1996 when I just wanted a photo ID and the ability to leave the country if I wanted. No, the soft focus was not intentional. And I think I look so spaced out because I was trying to center myself in the monitor without being able to really see anything without my glasses.





1987
Ah, the sweet, young high school girl

1996
Yikes!

Packrat

The advantage to being somewhat of a packrat is that whenever I'm out of money I can usually scrape something up by going through the pockets of things I haven't worn in years and any sane person would have thrown out by now. I think of it as Self Spare Changing. So I'm going through some old winter coats in the closet ($2.68 found in one coat alone) and see a coat I haven't worn since it was fashionable, sometime in 1990 or 91. I don't know why I still have this thing around, but I do. So I go through the first pocket and find nothing, but the second pocket yields my old passport. I thought I'd lost that thing and gave up looking for it when it expired since I'd need a new one anyway. It expired in 1992, by the way. Yeah, I know.

Anyhow, got a little money and a look at my youth. I took a much better picture back then.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

New Week, Less Money

Here it is, another week, and I'm skint again. Much of the reason is for a good cause though. I paid off the whole electric bill (couple of months) and my HUGE cell phone bill and still managed the couple of bucks needed to register for the Intermediate Acting class in the Fall. Unfortunately, it's leaving me with next to nothing until payday (this Friday, fortunately) and I'm just going to be able to get enough catfood to last until Saturday when I can buy another case from the vet.

Good things so far this week: registered for class, which now has 12 of the 20 available slots full; installed new CDRW in Naz's computer (okay, did that Friday, but have been taking advantage of it this week); have lots of food left over from co-op so I don't need to worry about groceries; of the leftover food, there is half of the vegan cheesecake which turned out really good; I found a nice hat pattern I can begin knitting for The Doc as soon as I can find/buy the right needles; The Doc sent me some new videos last night.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Nothing to see here. Move along, move along

It's really not been a weekend of note here. I did manage to install a new CDRW drive in Naz's computer and we got all out updates and the thing is actually moving at normal speed now instead of a crawl with errors everywhere. Go me.

I woke up late yesterday and had to run out of the house to get to my Cantonese class so of course forgot to bring my pics of the London trip along for Peter. Grrr. He still really wants to see them though, and it has been very nice to get back into that class. He's teaching Canto at The Big H this year and wants me to join the class in the spring so I can have the full class expereince again. I do much better when I have other people to learn with. Now I just need to find out how to register for a class if you're not an enrolled undergraduate. There must be a way, right?

I've been all pissy again with The Doc. I don't know what my deal is. Maybe I'm just getting irritated with having to talk on the phone (which gives me a crick in my neck and makes my ear all sweaty) instead of being able to be with him. I've never done well with the phone for long periods of time. Plus I run out of things to say, which would be the perfect time to just sit an moon and gaze into eachother's eyes, but we really can't do that. It's okay when we get a rousing conversation going (last weekend, for example), but this week I've just gotten bitch. Of course the cramps might have something to do with that as well ;)

We're hosting co-op tonight. The menu I planned was assuming that it would be scortching hot and muggy, you know, like it's been for the past two months, but it's actually quite nice today. Still, the cucumber soup, various fillings for little sandwiches (cucumber, brie, avacado, tomato), carrot rice salad and green salad should be good. I only hope they don't puke it all back up when they taste the vegan cheesecake. I love having my friends to experiment on.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Why I like the Internet (and despise the Mundanes who rule it)

I really do like the internet. Hell, without this immediate, world wide form of connecting, I wouldn't have met my boyfriend. First off, neither of us is the sort to open ourselves up to strangers in a face-to-face medium as that can be really terrifying.

For me, I'm the sort that was always invisible and when I wasn't I was taunted (no, I'm still not over people throwing spitballs at me in the middle French class). My real-life friends tend to also have been far out of the "in" crowd as well. I don't have a lot of friends, but the are the sort of people I would want to open up to, not casual aquaintences.

Enter Friendster.com, whose entire mission is to build up your circle of casual aquaintences, and woe betide the user with a sense of humor.
When it began, the Internet offered a world of new opportunities for anonymous communication and self-representation. Here was a unique medium that revealed nothing about you -- not the way you looked, the sound of your voice, or even your handwriting. The possibilities for self-invention were nearly limitless -- and, some would say, highly liberating. Online, you have far more control over how people perceive you, free from stereotypes about race, gender, income, and age. But the people behind Friendster want to make their site as unlike the Internet as possible.

"The idea is how you would really meet someone at a beach party," says Friendster COO Lindstrom. "We want people to feel comfortable, for people's behavior to be what's normally socially acceptable."

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The London Trip - LONG POST

The Doc and I had the following email exchange yesterday:
The Doc: I just noticed, I can't find your England Report on your blog, you say you will tell people what happened but I can't find the actual info

Teru: Hmm, I should put that up, shouldn't I

The Doc: Only if you want to go into details about your booty call ;-)

Teru: Hmmm, I'm still uncertain about how much information I want to share on the web. It might get me more readers though :)

The Doc: Don't mind what you tell people, let them know how badly I was at sex, I don't care... tell them how you got ill and had to be cared for. tell them about the time I ran out of money and had to ask for NTL to put my money back into my account. you have my consent.

Anything you want. But most importantly of all you MUST tell people how much I love you, and how much I smiled and how much we kissed in public.

Oh and don't forget the meet and the reading bit.
Since he said I could tell all, so I might as well say right out that yes, we had sex (duh, it's in the email). We had sex the first day, and yes, it was his first time (and oh yes, I did feel like the Evil Temptress doing that). No, he really wasn't bad. As for the rest of the trip, commentary is as follows. Apologies to anyone who read the commentary I wrote for Postmaster. Yes, most of this is exactly the same.

It was decided that there was to be a meet up of frequent contributors to the Postmaster Discussion Forums. A date was set: July 19, 2003. What this also meant for me was my first vacation without my whole family in four years.

Turn out was small for this first meeting, but hopefully this will just be the first of many more to come.


Day One
I arrived on Friday, July 18th. The Doc was going to meet me at Heathrow (were I was being picked up by the wonderful Simon of Bibliotech, the parent company of Postmaster, my email service), but due to a horrible train incident, fortunately involving schedules, not crashes, he was still in Euston Station when I arrived.

It was about 7:50 by the time I got cleared through immigration at Heathrow and Simon was going to drop me off in Euston and then try to get to an 8:45 dentist appointment. Traffic was hell and it got to the point where he decided it would be best to drop me at a tube station so he could still make the appointment. Well, that didn't work either. By 8:30 we were still not even close to a station, so he called and canceled and drove me the rest of the way to Euston.

The Doc was waiting for us there with a huge backpack and a bag of more camping gear (we had planned to go camping - more on that later). He shook Simon's hand and we nervously hugged and kissed each other on the cheek. Simon bought us double espressos to keep us going until hotel check-in time and then headed to work, leaving The Doc and me to finally get acquainted in Meat Time.

We decided to drop some things off in the hotel’s luggage room first before doing anything else. In front of Euston Station, I stopped him and we really kissed for the first time. It brought smiles to both our faces, and set the tone for public make-out sessions which we would do all through London.

The Doc had forgotten the power cord for his Mac, so the first thing we needed to do after dropping off some stuff was find a place to buy one. We headed to Tottenham Court Road, were there are a lot of electronics stores, and eventually found one for the INSANE price of £80.

By this point I was tired and whiny (a reoccurring theme on this trip) and insisted that we get to an internet café so I could e-mail my family and let them know I arrived safely. Oh, and check the Postmaster forums of course. After e-mail and some food, it was finally late enough to check in to the hotel. Even though we had stopped in earlier to drop off a little bit of our crap, but The Doc was still carrying the backpack that weighed more than a 6 year-old child.

We checked in, showered and planned to get some sleep. There was, of course, the knowledge in the air that eventually we were going to see each other naked and probably have sex. Well, that moment came when I got out of the shower.

He was in bed by then, having showered first, and I took off my robe and climbed in next to him. He turned toward me (don’t worry, you can keep reading, this isn’t going to turn into a full-on description), and we kissed and cuddled. I let him set the pace and when he was ready, we did have sex. And then, we napped.

The Doc had been awake even longer than I and was still out cold when I woke up from my nap, so I went out and explored the neighborhood a bit.

Day Two - The Meet
I woke up at 8:00 and managed to get The Doc up by 8:30 so we could go down to breakfast. After we ate, we headed to Soho to look for an open wireless connection. We stopped in Soho Square Park and found a couple of networks, but they were closed. Fortunately, just a couple of blocks away on Frith Street we found Bar Italia, a not too badly priced cafe where we could access a FAST open wireless network. Had some more food here (breakfast at the hotel was only tea and toast) and called M_.

We met up with M_ in Picadilly Circus and the three of us made our way to The Eye to find J_. J_ found us right away and led us back across the river to a pub he claimed was the cheapest in London. I certainly didn’t find any cheaper during the trip, and it was cozy to boot. AND had Samuel Smith bitter on draft for under £2. We had two rounds there and then made our way out to St. James Park.

It was a beautiful day and plenty of people were enjoying the park. We planted ourselves in the shade of a gnarled tree. The Doc set up the laptop for music while M_ twisted up. The music was good and the conversation mellow. Eventually we left and J_ led us to Covent Garden where he took his leave and went off to fulfill the rest of his social calendar for the day.

The Doc, M_ and I wandered around a bit and got an OUTRAGEOUSLY priced drink in some chi chi yup-scale hole. Leaving after one, we went to this big-ass arcade building with video games, bowling, sports bar, etc. We got a more reasonably priced drink in the sports bar where I got to marvel at the beauty of rugby shorts (why are American sports uniforms so modest?). We then wandered around a bit more while I became an irritating bitch because I hate crowds and noise and was in need of some alone time. Oh, and not only was I snippy, but I started crying too (did I mention the PMS during the trip?). So we left the noise and went to Pizza Hut for some food (not nearly as disgusting as the Americans are thinking, in fact it was pretty good), then found an Underground station and headed our separate ways.

When The Doc and I got back to the hotel, I was still pissing and moaning and generally grumpy. He took a bath and I sulked. Then I bathed and we both passed out on top of the covers until Simon called to check in to see if everything went well at the meet.
No sex occured.

Day Three
Sunday was to be the first of my Tourist Days. I made a list of free or dirt cheap things to see (along with page numbers in the guide book so we could find them) and after breakfast we started out.

Stop the First was the National Gallery. Okay, so Stop the First was supposed to be the Theatre Museum, but I got us lost and we ended up at the National Gallery. I was very disappointed to find that you could not take picture in the NG as they had some very nice internal space and ceiling paintings. This sort of stuff really interests me, so much so that on my only trip to the Louvre I actually decided to lie down in the middle of a gallery to get a shot of the ceiling.

After going through enough of the NG to enjoy it but not be sick of it, we went to lunch at the Operah Room at The Chandros. There we decided that the Tate Britain would be next. I would have liked to go to the Tate Modern (and will next time), but The Doc has a thing against anything after the 19th century. Fortunately for me, there was one gallery in the front showing modern, which is where we parted ways for a bit (Doc, how could you NOT go in and see a Mondrian up close?)

We didn't meet up again until after I'd seen ALL of the Turners (my favorites being the Finished or Unfinished? Gallery) There was a Sargent I really liked too, which I found odd as I've always been rather indifferent about Sargent. We saw the Aubrey Beardsley gallery too, which was a lot of fun.

Eventually we left building and sat outside the doors on a bench, where we were approached by a woman who asked The Doc if he would be an extra in a movie. No really. He waffled but gave her the info of where we were staying in case she wanted to call to see if he changed his mind. (as a side note here, no one was asking me to be in a movie, and I'm the one who wants to act!) Then we went across the street and made out on a bench overlooking the Thames (did I mention public make out sessions were a big part of this trip?). Someone driving by yelled at us to cut it out, which we eventually did and went back to the hotel.
Yes, there was sex. And slightly kinky too.

Dinner was a take-away curry brought back to the room and ate while watching a Black Adder DVD.

Day Four
This was supposed to be the second of my Tourist Days, but ended up being the first of my Sick Days. I had started to feel a little tired, with a tickle in my throat on Sunday, but Monday it went to full-blown illness with fever, swollen glands and the lot. As such, we decided to stay close to "home" and go to the British Library.

On the way there, we stopped at a café on a side street for some breakfast. This was THE cheapest meal we got in London (the tea and toast included with our hotel room doesn't count). The Doc got his sausage, bacon, beans and toast and I got eggs on toast. That and tea for two set us back a mere £5. Yes, for the both of us.

We then went to the library where you need a reader's pass to get entry to the stacks, but they have a couple of galleries open to the general public, which had the stuff I was most interested in seeing anyway.

I got to see 'Jane Eyre,' the original handwritten manuscript, three iterations of the Magna Carta, plus the papal bull denouncing it, a 4th century Greek bible, 'Finnegan's Wake' (it all makes sense when you see those insane pencil scrawls randomly across the page) and so many more things. I was in nerd heaven.

Unfortunately, I was also sick as hell and walking around the one small gallery wore me out. We went back to the hotel where I went in and out of sleep, The Doc put ice on my head to cool me down (or maybe he did that the next day, it's kind of a blur), and then he went out and brought me back some throat spray. Later in the evening, after spending about six hours in bed, we went out and picked up another curry. We started to watch a movie, but I conked out not even halfway through.

During the night I kept waking up. I was freezing, even under the blanket, but my skin was burning hot. I knew I would not be able to go camping as we had planned for the next day.
No sex this day either.

Day Five
We were supposed to check out of the hotel this day, but I woke up at 8:00, called down to reception and asked if we could stay another day. I felt like hell and there was no way I was going to move out then. When they called back and said we could stay, I went back to sleep for another two hours.

When we finally got up, we'd missed breakfast at the hotel, which was fine by me since there was no way I was going to be able to swallow toast. As it was, my throat was so swollen that half the liquid I tried to swallow ended up going up my nose.

We needed to do laundry. Or, more to the point, The Doc needed to do laundry, as I had brought enough underwear for two weeks and am the sort who will wear my pants until they stand up and walk out on their own. There was a small launderette nearby on Grey's Inn Road (our hotel was off of this and King's Cross Road) where we took our stuff (I did throw some socks and panties into the mix). We were both hungry, but all I wanted was ice cream which we got along with some kick-ass ginger beer at a little store next to the launderette.

I went across the street to an internet café for 30 minutes while The Doc watched the clothes. When the laundry was done, we both went back and logged on for an hour before going back to the hotel. Later that night, we went back to that block and got a pizza, some more ginger beer and some saffron ice cream, which really didn't taste much like saffron, perhaps because of all the sugar, and was actually quite good.
The whole day, we never went beyond Grey's Inn Road.
Still no sex.

Day Six
We finally checked out of the hotel. We got up for our last free meal of tea and toast (of which I could only eat one piece and only in tiny bites), packed up and got out. We hoofed it to King's Cross Station where we stopped in at Boot's so I could talk to the chemist about some meds. She gave me some awesome throat lozenges with an anti-inflammatory that ended up working wonders.

Stop one was Bar Italia so we could go online, check finances and look for a new place to stay. The Doc found that one of his utilities had double-dipped from his account, so we needed to hit a bank branch later to sort that out. We decided to look outside of London for lodging as the only cheap stuff we could find was around King's Cross and we'd been there, done that already. Gave The Doc the map and he chose Reading.

So after sorting things out at the bank, we hopped a train to Reading. It was a local train, making a zillion stops and took us an hour and a half to get there. But get there we did and took a cab to the hotel where we got a cozy room better decorated than the last, but with fewer facilities.

After a rest and a wash, AND SEX! I changed in to a dress, which The Doc loved and we walked into town to get some food. We stopped in at a pub ("What, you're here to visit our quaint English pubs?" "Yes") and had a really nice little meal and drinks for very little money. So while our room was not as inexpensive as King's Cross, the food was cheaper, so getting out of London worked out well.

Day Seven
We went back into London for the day (on a much faster train that didn't stop everywhere). We were to have lunch with Simon, so we made our way to Fulham where he picked us up and brought us to The Mother Ship.

Lunch was at The Ship (not The Mother Ship, just a pub named The Ship), a pub on the water with an open deck and lots of grilled food. I had a fabulous roasted veg with cous cous that was the only vegetarian item on the menu, but was really good. Nabil and Omar, co-founders of Bibliotech, joined us for drinks and wonderful conversation was had. After lunch, we went back to The Mother Ship, got a chance to poke around (oooo... servers...) and have a cuppa before Simon brought us back to the tube station.

Since it was my last day and I had not done nearly enough tourist stuff, I dragged The Doc around for a bit, stopping at Southwark Cathedral and eventually making our way to The Globe Theatre where I got all vaklempt. I grew up around theatres and just being there felt very special to me. We considered going to the show, but there were only 24 tickets left and they were probably the really crappy seats (no, I didn't check, I should have).

We had planned to meet up with Simon again for dinner, but when the time came, he had sitter issues and needed to go home and be withy the kids. So The Doc and I now had more time to ourselves. Which meant there was more time for me to cry and whine and be bitchy. Which I did. A lot . (SOB! Let's go back to the hotel! three minutes later, smiling Let's stay in London some more!)

We did get to do another attraction and wandered in to The British Museum, managing to catch a tour group at the Elgin Marbles. Really that was all we went in to see as we were tired. So we skipped out after that, wandered through Regent's Park and then made our way back to Leicester Square. We got a drink and then headed back to Reading.

I was tired and hungry and cranky by the time we got off the train, but we got some food in a kabab shop and took a taxi back to the hotel (okay, we tried to walk first but got lost).
Sex was had for the last time.

Day Eight
This was the day I headed back to the States. He woke up way too early and wanted sex, but I was just not in the mood (like most women when they’re still half asleep). We got up later and packed, checked out of the hotel and took a cab to the station where we got a bus to Heatherow.

Once at Heathrow, I got in the line to check in while he waited. This was the last time we would see each other for a while and it was difficult and awkward. He left before I even got through the line.

Going through security it hit me that I wouldn’t see him again for some time. I was angry at myself for not making love one last time and angry for being a god-awful bitch through most of the trip and probably for a host of other things too. And I knew it was going to hurt bad.

I called Simon one last time from Heathrow and logged on to a BT Blue Box to post on the forums and let folks know I was heading back.

On the plane the sadness started to settle in and several times I had to turn toward the window to keep my tears from showing.

When I got home, he had left a message on my answering machine letting me know he was home safe and asking after me. He called, we talked, we cried.

And I still miss him terribly.

Sigh

I sent The Doc a card last week and he got it yesterday. Today, as he retired to get some post-work rest he emailed me
I still got your card and I'm thinking of you as I'm going to bed, I really love you you know that, This card is so lovly I'm going to put it under my pillows.

Thank you
Dreamy sigh

Maybe a Little Important

So much for "little or no importance." My Google PageRank is now 1/10. Not much, but now I at least have a rank.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Fucking computer!

My roommate’s computer is acting up again. It’s not mine (although I use it a ton) so I don’t tend to do much maintenance work on it. If it was mine I’d do more since if I fucked it up I wouldn’t be screwing with someone else’s property, but this is just getting ridiculous. I can’t open new browser windows (sill getting pop-up though) or paste anything in a browser. This bit is the worst because I tend to do my blogging offline (so I can spell-check - I do care about you, dear readers) and then paste it into the blogger interface. No can do now. And responding to my Topica list is out because they’ve never been able to receive anything I’ve just emailed so I go through their web page which, of course opens a new window for you to write a response and that’s not working now.

I also can’t copy text from the web, which is getting to be a pain. I typed out the Salam Pax quote below which would have been much easier if I could have just copied it. Both that entry and this one were composed and saved and uploaded later, after I ran the most current Windows 2000 service pack (something I really should have been monitoring, but again, not my machine and I wasn’t asked for help).

However, now the damned thing is asking for things on some program disk and the CD drive hasn't worked for ages. I'm at the end of my tether here.

Yes, I know, I’m whining about the lack of something I didn’t even have ten years ago. I can’t help it, I’ve become a slave to the modern world.

So I really shouldn't complain about the humidity

Salam Pax has a bi-weekly column in The Guardian. As hot has it’s been here (which is still not even close to as bad as last year), I can’t even imagine the heat in the Middle East right now. And it’s doing no one’s mood any good in a country already being mismanaged by an occupying force.
As usual, getting into these press bashes is an event in itself. You have to be there an hour early, you get searched a thousand times and, of course, as an Iraqi I get treated like shit. I have no idea why the American soldiers at the entrance to the convention center [where the CPA press operation is] are so offensive towards Iraqis while they can be so nice to anyone with a foreign passport. I have to be the Zen master when the soldier at the gate gets condescending.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Wrong Number

My roommate goes by the name Naz because her given name is exceptionally common. On a few occasions we have gotten phone calls from people looking for someone else and choosing her out of the phone book because she lists her full name and not just initials. I came home today to find another one of those calls on the answering machine, and this one was kind of sad. The man said who he was looking for and then said "If you're mother's name is Rhonda, call me collect at XXX-XXX-XXXX. I'm looking for my daughters."

I wonder how long they've been estranged and why. Maybe he'll have better luck with the next listing.

Well what the hell else am I supposed to call him? This Guy in England?

Got totally busted for my choice of words last night. While talking to someone I hadn't seen in a long time, I referred to The Doc as my "boyfriend." Hey, it just seemed easier than trying to explain that we met online and have only been together in person for a week and sustain our relationship through the web and the telephone. So yeah, I've said it, and I'm not taking it back.

It is funny though how we've danced around the words to describe our relationship. It really isn't "traditional" in any modern, Western sense given that we had something going pretty seriously before ever meeting and are remaining emotionally close through an ocean of distance. Maybe that just means that "traditional" needs to play catch-up with a global society and get in tune with technology. I think it's a fitting way for two geeks carry on a relationship.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Matrix Ping Pong

This is just odd. I don't know what show this came from, but anything that features a strange hybrid of ping pong, butoh, human puppetry and comedy is alright by me.

And how was your weekend?

Well I made it out to the 88, getting sunburned in the process. I forgot to look for a phone card while I was there, but did manage to find all the food stuff I was looking for. I had gone out to that one because I know they have a big variety of vegetarian "fish" products, and since Naz is out of town this week and I'm cooking for one, I thought I would indulge in sea-tasting things, which she doesn't like. Oh! And I got yummy fried tofu!

When I got home, I was finally able to get in touch with The Doc online. I'd been trying to reach him so I could know if he was home for me to call. No phone card, but I called anyway (just need to remember to let Naz know so she’s prepared for the UK call on the bill) and we talked for a bit before switching bills where he called me.

It was a good call. He told me a lot about his childhood and then we swapped some more pictures: one of me holding a chicken when I was 11, and a couple risqué ones from when I was 17 for a portrait of him with his sisters, a pic of his youngest sister and two of the rainy day in his neighborhood.

After a bit I decided to make dinner, but had forgotten crucial ingredients for the paella I wanted to make, most importantly the saffron. So we hung up and I went out again, this time to the regular supermarket in Southie. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I don't know what I was thinking. Well, yes I do. I was thinking that since they have such a great selection of vegetarian food, cheeses, fresh pasta and UK items (gotta stock the Soul Food for the Irish Immigrants) that they would of course carry saffron. If they do, they keep it well hidden. Feh! So I went home empty-handed and substituted beer and water for the wine and broth and paprika and salt for saffron. Yes, I know, not appropriate substitutions at all, but it turned out okay, if not actually being paella.

The Doc called again and we talked for two more hours. I told him a bit about my life and a bit about old relationships (mostly the Big break-up bit). We also talked about reactions to our relationship. He's told his mother about us and it's been the best parental reaction so far. She actually thinks it’s a good idea for him to be with an older woman rather than someone his own age. Neat.

For me, anyone who has actually seen me recently know this is a good thing. I went to my Cantonese class for the first time since June and Peter noticed the difference the moment he saw me. He thought I looked great. We went out for dim saam and chatted some more about it after the others left. He's of the opinion that if it makes you both happy, that's all that matters. And given that he just married his longtime girlfriend who is 20 years his junior, against the wishes of her parents, he does know a bit of what he's talking about.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Who knew I could get so lost, or: The Trouble with being a Non-driver

I tried to walk to the Giganto Super 88 in South Bay today. I thought I knew how to get there since the roomie and I have been out that way so many times. However, when we go, we are in her car and I guess I really never paid attention to how we get there and just confused it in my mind with all those other places we go on domestic errandy-type things. Couldn't find the damed place and had to go home and look it up. I was way off the mark!

My options are now, a) try again; b) go instead to the one in Chinatown or the one in Allston; or c) not go at all. I think I'm going to try to mop up more sweat and try again. And put on some damned sunscreen this time. At least if I get there they'll probably have some decent calling cards (tried to get one in my neighborhood so I could call the UK without breaking the bank but the rates on the cards here were higher than our regular rates. Why?)

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Passionada

I had the opportunity to go to a free screening of Passionada on Tuesday. Normally I wouldn’t bother with a chick flick, but it has Jason Isaacs, and was free. We were asked to let people know about the film, which opens in limited release on August 15th, and so I thought I’d do my part by blogging it.

What can I say, it was a chick flick. It wasn’t as chick flicky as I expected though, which was nice. Sofia Milos plays a Portuguese fisherman’s widow in New Bedford, MA. She is a seamstress by day and sings in a restaurant at night. One night her daughter, played by Emmy Rossum, goes to a casino (enter willing suspension of disbelief #1 – this girl does NOT look 18) and meets Jason Isaacs, a card counter. He helps her win a little at blackjack, which prompts her to ask for card counting lessons. He says no, but then sees her mother sing and he ends up reluctantly striking a deal with her to give card counting lessons in exchange for help in wooing her mother who, although widowed is "the most married woman you’ll ever meet."

It’s a cute movie. Not great, but I don’t expect great from this sort of thing. New Bedford looked lovely though.

I was really unimpressed with Milos. It often seemed like she was unaware that she was supposed to be reacting to other characters. Rossum, on the other hand, was really good. I’m looking forward to seeing what she will do with her career. And I think I will find her easier to watch when she grows up a bit. The word that comes to mind now is 'nubile,' and I just found it a little unsettling.

Would I recommend this film? Well, if you like chick flicks, yes. If you like Jason Isaacs and want to spend two hours with his insanely piercing blue eyes, yes, yes, yes (but that might be more for a rental)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Bad Hair Day

I have Shirley Jones hair today. Specifically Shirley Jones in The Partridge Family hair. Oh the shame! I feel like I should be putting on a wide-collared paisley shirt and packing the kids onto the psychedelic bus. And then there’s that whole inverted Oedipal thing where I start thinking about my old Shaun Cassidy posters and how I used to kiss them and play his albums and the worst punishment EVER was not being allowed to watch The Hardy Boys. I’m going to have to wet it down and start over before I go out to the movie tonight.

And as a bit of a side note, while I was looking for Shaun Cassidy pages, I came across this Hardy Boys page. The images are terrifying now, and somehow we found this attractive in the '70s! And the SC concert photos are just wrong.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Smitten

5 : CAPTIVATE, TAKE <smitten with her beauty>
intransitive senses : to deliver or deal a blow with or as if with the hand or something held
-Merriam-Webser Dictionary

At co-op dinner on Sunday, I blushed furiously talking about The Doc. The comment I got was "I don’t think I’ve seen chameleons change color that quickly." I didn't go into my usual gush though, which I think showed quite a lot of restraint. But they got the idea. And if not, I’m sure my inability to keep from mentioning him in almost every conversation will let people know how head over heels I am (and why isn’t that expression "heels over head?" That would make more sense as some sort of deviation from the norm). Even when I'm not talking about him, I'm thinking about him.

We talked on the phone twice this weekend. On the first call, Saturday afternoon/night (depending on your time-zone), I gave him step-by-step cooking instructions for pasta with a roasted pepper and garlic sauce. He sent me a picture of it and it looked quite tasty. He assures me that it was, although it’s hard for me to judge without dipping my finger in the sauce, which is difficult from 3000 miles away. It was a nice call though, all comfy and such.

The second call was at midnight after Naz and I got back from the movies. It was a good-night call that moved into our pre-meet pattern of long-distance intimacy. It's not even half of being with him in the flesh, but it's the most we can do for now.

I am so smitten with him, which, as you can see from the definition above, has connotations of violence. And I do feel like I have been physically struck by these feelings, and am in a constant concussive daze of bliss. I wake up in the morning and my first thought (after, "Ow! Kitty, that's my HEAD!") is of him. It's the total, blinding infatuation moment that marks the beginning of relationships. Sometimes they fizzle out after the excitement is gone, sometimes they settle into a comfortable groove and go on for years. I don't know where this one is going, and at this point I don't much care. I'm just along for the ride.

The Doc and Teru in London

Weekend with The Roomie

I have to be the only person who can fall asleep during a rock concert. Naz and I went to see The Eels on Friday night and I actually dozed off during the show. And not during slow songs, mind you, I conked out during the loud stuff. I’m kind of bummed because I really like The Eels and was psyched to get a chance to see them. I guess I shouldn’t have had that beer before the show.

On Saturday we went to two early martial arts movies at the MFA. It’s nice that the HK flicks are coming back to Boston. Way back in my first summer here, we went to a series at the Brattle, where I got my first taste of the HK movie scene. It was so much fun, hell, that whole summer was fun, and I was hooked. After that I used to go to series at the Coolidge (and Brattle again) and a few at the MFA.

Since then, my movie going has gone way down, the Coolidge no longer does that sort of thing, the Brattle hasn’t had a full-on HK series in ages and the MFA is only just getting back into having HK Augusts. I think this series is a good way to bring them back, and where else could one go to see silent martial arts movies? And we got to see that the cheesy topes of the '70s have been a long-standing tradition in the genre (creepy minion with the bad teeth, anyone?).

I probably won’t get to all of the shows (missed yesterday’s in fact), but really want to catch the King Hu films. We saw 'A Touch of Zen' from the front row at the MFA a few years ago and it was one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Hu was a brilliant filmmaker (cue 'Who’s on First' moment with that sentence!) who’s films convey such a depth of atmosphere and emotion with minimal effects and scenery. Just gorgeous.

ManRay May Close!!!

So here's to getting my news from the student paper. Man, now I'm feeling bad that I haven't been there in a year. That place could be a lot of fun (if you can get past the "go to be seen in the scene" atmosphere of the local pervs who can't seem to figure out that this place is supposed to be a dance club, not a private dungeon), and was one of the few places where I could get decked out in my whole kit and still be considered dressed down.
Sigh.
And the real kicker is that it's being done to put up apartments, which you just know are going to be hideously expensive and another nail in the culture coffin of Central Square. Fucking gentrification!
Article is here, by the way.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Silly Happy
Or: It's Got That New Relationship Smell

I have been gushing to all who will listen about The Doc. Ever since my mom asked "Are you and he romanically involved?" and I answered that yes, we were, all I can think of are those words "romanically involved." It's the closest to a label we've put on things and it came from my mom!

I sent him the email exchange between me and my mom with a lot of nervousness. I wasn't sure how he would take it as we really had left what we were up in the air (although he did ask me flat out if we were "going out" or if it was just a trans-Atlantic bootie call), but he said his heart did a dance when he read those two words. sigh From that moment on we've been even more cutsie and gushy, if that's even possible.

The distance is still an issue though. It's raining in Boston today, even harder than the rain that was coming down a week ago today when I left England. It's been one week since we last saw each other, since we last kissed, since we last held each other. The rain is a reminder of the hugs I'm missing.