Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Stupid Glasses

I lost my glasses today. Those of you with 20/20 vision may not really understand, but this is a big deal. I have very bad eyesight. Sure, my glasses are supercute, but I need to wear corrective eyewear. It’s not a fashion choice.

“But, AliceI hear you asking, “How could you possibly lose glasses that you wear all the time?”

That’s a very good question. The answer? I just don’t know.

I spent the day at home today because I was ill, and at about 2:30 in the afternoon I fell asleep while reading. Now, obviously I was wearing my glasses to do the aforementioned reading. As often happens in similar situations, I took my glasses off and, in a dreamlike state, placed them on the bed beside me.

When I woke up from my little nap (in which I dreamed I was going to school at Hillman College and I’d had a falling out with Dwayne over Freddie moving in with boy roommates – he didn’t approve, and I thought he was being old fashioned. And then I think I may have had a dream about pirates, but I don't remember details), I reached for my glasses, and they weren’t where I expected them to be.

Now, this happens all the time, so I wasn’t alarmed. I checked the usual places – my bedside table, the bookcase beside my bed and the floor on either side of the bed. But, no. No glasses.

It’s time to take the search to the next level. I’d previously been at Level One, or the “blindly groping” level, which consists of mainly looking by feel, as my eyesight is so appalling.

Level Two, or the “getting very close to what I’m looking at” level, consists of crawling around on the floor, checking every inch of my bed, lifting my mattress to make sure they haven’t fallen on the floor.

Level Three, or the “crap, where the hell could they freaking be, I should put in my contacts” level, consists of me putting in my contact lenses to better aid the search. I check all the previously searched places again. No dice.

Now, just to let you in on the amusing bit – my flat is approximately the size of an average bedroom. Maybe a little bit bigger. So, there’s not a lot of places that these stupid glasses could be.

Level Four, or “okay, take a break and then look again before you freak out” level, consists of me taking a break before looking again, in order to prevent freaking out. Because where could they have gone? It’s at this level that I begin to construct very elaborate situations to explain what may have happened to them.

Level Five, or the “intensive search undertaken while vision is good” level, consists of my doing a very intensive search of the area surrounding my bed, including inside my pillow cases, cause you never know. This is also the level at which I realize that there are quite a few cobwebs in my flat. Ew. I should do something about that.

And, finally, after about half an hour of serious searching, I found them. In a tiny space between my bookcase and my fabulous chair. How did they get there? Absolutely no idea. Maybe during the dream about pirates, I knocked them off the bed.

It’s a little more plausible than the theory I was developing in which someone had snuck into my flat while I was asleep and, instead of stealing things that are actually valuable, actually stole my glasses.

But no, I’m just a dumbass. Remember, Alice. Always put your glasses on the bedside table. Always.

Monday, September 27, 2004

It feels like fall today...

It feels like fall today. It’s not cold, and the leaves are still in the trees, but as I walked toward the tube in the dark at 7:30pm, it definitely felt like autumn. It is the end of September, so I suppose that’s permissible. I don’t feel like I’m ready for it to be October yet, though. And, as you all know, the seasons operate according to my whims. Or at least they will once I get my weather control machine up and running. But that’s a story for another day.

So, anyway today is the first day of the year that feels like fall. This will be my third fall in England – my Londoniversary is coming up pretty soon. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for three years. I kind of feel like time is flying, and until I perfect my space/time continuum control machine, I’ve got very little control over that.

If you ever find that time is speeding out of control, it’s autumn when you don’t even feel like it should be the end of June yet, you’re still a bit hungover from your “one quick drink” with the girls on Sunday afternoon and you have yet to perfect your autumn/winter 2004 wardrobe, then what are you to do? It’s obvious - the most sensible thing to do in that situation would be to go home, change into your favourite old plaid flannel shirt that (you know, the one you bought about ten years ago at the height of the whole grunge thing and the one that's reached that perfect worn out point of softness) and a pair of pyjama bottoms, curl up in your fabulous chair and eat some soup and watch some television. And am I a sensible person? I am indeed. Well, most of the time I am indeed.

Let’s do a quick run down. Wonderfully worn plaid shirt and pyjama bottoms? Check. Delicious mushroom soup? Check. Downloaded episodes of Everwood, That ‘70s Show and Joey? Check. Fabulous chair? Check and check.

Excellent. I love it when a plan comes together

I've always wanted to know how to do this

Is it wrong that I watched this about seven times, and fully intend to try it when I get home?

Baby, if that's wrong - I don't want to be right.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Anne Rice = Crazy

I'm not a fan of Anne Rice.

I haven't been for years, not since I read The Witching Hour in the summer of 1993. It's 1,043 pages long and it doesn't end. The ending is a lead up to some crappy book that follows it. Leaving aside my firm belief that all books (or movies) in a series should be able to stand up on their own and not suck, I still had major problems with it. This book was one of the first that inspired me to throw it across the room when I finished it. Thankfully it didn't hit anyone. (Unlike the time Heather Church hit me in the face with a For Better or For Worse collection in the summer after 7th grade. I still have a scar, you know. But that's another story.) Anyway, I vowed then to never read another Anne Rice book. And, I haven't.

So, given my dislike of her and her rambling writing style (which, according to people who have actually read her work in the last 11 years, has gotten much worse), you can imagine how delighted I was to stumble across this, and then this, today.

Anne Rice has gone crazy! How delightful! She hates people who hate her books! I love that!

This may be my favourite bit:
For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book.
Arrogant much, Anne?

Ah, the public downfall of disliked celebrities. Could anything be more fun?

Best compliment I've received all day

"You are so intercontinental. Like an air hostess, but with better hair."

It's totally true. My hair is super cute right now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

An Ode to Teresa

O! Teresa!
For some reason I didn’t email you about my blog.
Dude, I’m sorry.
And I hope that you didn’t read all the bad entries about you.

O! Teresa!

Even though you haven’t been to visit me,

In all the times you’ve come to the UK.

I’m still sorry.

O! Teresa!

Sure you’re “here to visit your boyfriend”

But, dude, you can’t spare, like, a day? That’s deeply lame.

But I’m still sorry.

O! Teresa!

We’ve had some good times, haven’t we?
Remember “and a half litre for the lady”?
Good times, Teresa. Good times.

O! Teresa!
But if we’re placing blame,
Don’t you think some of it should go on your roommate?

Steph totally could have told you.

O! Teresa!

I promise to make sure you’re in all my address books,

So that this doesn’t happen again.

And I am sorry.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Yesterday was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. And I just found out. Damn.

I could just talk like a pirate tomorrow, but I won't have the comfort of knowing that dozens, or possibly even hundreds, of other enthusiasts would be talking like pirates right along with me.

So, you've got a little under a year to start preparing for International Talk Like A Pirate Day (or ITLAPD, as I like to call it). Got questions? Well, these people have answers.

I've got 364 days. How long do you think it takes to train a parrot to say "Arrrrr, matey"?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Adventures In Speed Dating

So, the rumours are true. I went speed dating on Friday night.

I know what you’re thinking. And I was thinking the exact same thing. “Seriously, what kind of freak do I expect to meet at speed dating?”

But my friend Jenny (a real friend, not a “friend”) knew the people that were organizing the event, and sent an email begging us to come along. Mary Jane* convinced me to go, as we both suspected it would be hi-freaking-larious. After I mentioned it at work, my friend Lois* decided to come along as well.

Imagine, if you will. Willesden, North London. A rainy Friday night in September. Lois and I arrive at the speed dating venue. It’s a totally empty restaurant. We almost immediately decide to bail. Before we could flee, however, Jenny** spotted us lurking around outside and lured us in with the promise of free champagne. I don’t drink champagne, so I had a free glass of crappy red wine. Oh yes, the evening was off to a promising start.

We’d been there about half an hour when we started to get a teensy bit worried that the whole night would be the four showed-up-on-time girls talking to each other. Apparently speed dating is quite popular though, and people actually did start turning up. Amusingly, the guys were whisked away to the back of the restaurant, so that we wouldn’t be tainted by pre-meeting the other speed date victims. The speed date shenanigans were scheduled to start at 8:15, and by about 8 there were approximately 14 girls to about 6 guys. I’m not sure that I want to know how they managed to get 8 guys to turn up in 15 minutes, but somehow they magically did. So, by the start time, it was a pretty even ratio.

The idea behind the whole thing is pretty straightforward. In theory, you’ve only got three minutes to talk to each person, then you put a yes or no next to their number and the next person turns up at your table. If you’re both interested, they email the girl the contact details. In reality, no one knew where they were going, people weren’t filling out their forms properly, and the whole “three minute” thing was really anything from three to about five minutes depending on how closely the timers were watching the clocks. The organizer in me was severely pained by the disorganization of the whole thing, but what’s a speed dater to do?

Shockingly, the speed dating itself was kind of fun. I’m a relatively chatty person, so it wasn’t hard to talk to people or think of stuff to say. Of course, I can’t see myself meeting up with any of the people I met – not so say that Crazy Polish Guy, Unemployed Australian Guy, Aggressive Drunk Guy, Guy Who Tried To Set My Form On Fire, Guy Who Told People We Were Getting Married and Waiter In A Relationship Who Was Dragged In To Even Out The Numbers didn’t have their appeal.

Most of the guys were quite normal. That’s just my opinion, of course. The girl in the queue for the toilets felt that they were all “losers” and she’d have been better off staying at home. Of course, I noticed that one of the guys (Guy Who Told People We Were Getting Married) had written “bitch” beside her name, so the dislike was pretty much mutual.

I realized that the organization fiasco was complete when it seemed that the whole “anonymous” idea was pretty much shot and they were just encouraging anyone who fancied each other to exchange numbers. Which essentially defeats the whole purpose of the thing.

There was a bit of a drinkin’ and dancin’ session after, which quite a lot of the people stayed for. Mary Jane did some mutual eye catching with a sassy Norwegian bongo*** player and they got a little friendly. Lois got hit on by the organizer of the event, which seems a little unfair. He really shouldn’t have been poaching the hotties from under the speed daters’ noses. She also did a touch of kissin’ with Smooth Operator Australian Guy as we were leaving, which was most amusing. The awkward looks exchanged by the friends of the snoggers always make me laugh. “Hey, we’ve got nothing to talk about but we’d better make small talk since our friends are fused together at the lip”

Was I entertained by the whole experience? Yes. Would I go again? Maybe, but again only with friends. Was it hi-freaking-larious? Oh, hell yeah.

* Names have been changed to protect the innocent and/or very guilty
** Name has not been not changed. She has nothing to hide.
*** Country and instrument have been changed for because bongos are funny. As is Norway.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


In Toronto, I had a the most beautiful kitty cat in the world. I miss having a cat. But my teensy tiny flat is too teensy tiny to have a cat. It wouldn't be friendly.

So, I figured I'd get a little pet. I've never really understood the whole rat/mouse/hamster/gerbil thing, so that was out. Birds have always seemed weird to me. And people who own birds always have the "oh, they've got birds" smell in their house. If I'm going to be a crazy pet lady, it's going to be crazy cat lady. I can't be bothered to be a crazy bird lady.

Since the whole rodent/bird thing was out, that really only leaves fish. I've never had fish before, although my dad has pond goldfish. But they're more of an outdoor pet. So, I decided to get myself some fish.

And here they are!

Posted by Hello

I'm ever so fond of them. I didn't anticipate being fond of fish. But when I get up in the morning, they're at the edge of the bowl looking at me, waiting to be fed. And they totally notice when I move around the flat and are all inquisitive like. One is quite a bit bigger than the other, but he's not a bully or anything like that. They get along really well. At least, I assume they do. They're fish. Give me a break. But, they've got a lovely bowl with a ruined castle thingy and a very nice fake plant. And I like to think they've got it pretty good.

But the thing is - they don't have names.

I tend to just call them "fishes". I tried to give them names, but nothing seemed to stick. I went through quite a few potentials:
  • Big (the little one) and Steve (the big one) - I got them just before the Sex & The City finale. Shut up.
  • Sid and Nancy Fishes - that was Clare's suggestion. She's a clever girl.
  • Blue and Red - I'm a fan of colour names. For animals, not people.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow and Tennille - that one was my favourite, but it was too long
  • There were more, but I can't think of them
None of them took, though. So, they're just "fishes". I'm cool with them being nameless. It used to bother me, but I'm cool with it now.

They're pretty cute, though. I'm sure if they could talk, they'd agree with me. I suspect they'd be vain like that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Girls Night In

You know what says girls night in?

Posted by Hello

Getting drunk and being so moved by the classic Bangles tune Eternal Flame that you all whip out the lighters and have an 80s rock concert moment.


And nice work on Angelique's part, what with the capturing the special moment on film.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Which Peanuts character are you?

Huh. I'm Snoopy. Dude, I'm all complex and stuff. Excellent.

You are Snoopy!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Now I feel guilty...

Evil is a strong word.

I'm sorry, Andy. I don't really think you're evil.

Evil-esque, perhaps. But I consider that to be a plus.

Friday, September 10, 2004


So, you know when you hang out with someone, and you think they're good fun and then later on you find out that they're evil?

Oh, you all know exactly what I'm talking about. Admit it.

I wrote a post a few days ago about how I get songs in my head all the time, and I'm really easily influenced. Reading a song title is usually enough to get a song in my head. So, what do I find in the comments?

Funny that you'd ask.

Evil is what I find. Pure evil.

In the form of a comment from Andy. (My comments on his comments are in italics)

Ten songs you never want in your head. Because they are evil.

1) Zippity Doo Dah Not as bad as some other
Disney songs I can think of. But evil.

2) La Bamba (Los Lobos) Damn. I know all the
words to this. Damn you, Mr. Hermann and your very popular tactic of
singing Top 40 songs in grade 4 music!

3) I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester (the Wurzels) Thankfully, I don't know this one.
4) Love in an Elevator (Aerosmith) Tragically, I do
know this one. Damn you Aerosmith!

5) The Lonely Goatherd (Sound of Music) Heh.
I prefer the duet with the Nazi. You know the one.

6) Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep (Middle of the Road) Phew. Another one I don't know. Unless it's one of
those annoying songs that I wouldn't know the name of and is irritatingly
catchy. But I don't recognize the name, so it can't get

7) Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (Nat King Cole) Really? I'd have to disagree with this one. Not all
that annoying.

8) Anything by Anastacia Actually, if you look in a
thesaurus, you'll find that Anastacia and Annoying are

9) Anything by Meat Loaf Oooh, it's a battle!
Will "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" or "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I
Won't Do That)" be the ultimate victor?

10) It's Raining Men (the Weather Girls) Now, this
tragic. The version I think of is Geri Haliwell's. It's like when I
hear the start of "Under Pressure" and I think it's "Ice Ice Baby".

The songs are evil? Or is it more likely that he's evil for even writing them down, knowing that it's so easy to get songs stuck in my head? I thought so. Eeeeevil, I tell you.

Oh, it's cold and lonely in the deep of night, I can see paradise by the dashboard light.

Well, I guess we have a winner. Thanks, Andy. Thanks.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Has time actually stopped?

You'd tell me, right? I mean, if time actually stopped and I didn't notice, you'd give me a call wouldn't you? A quick text message? I'd like to believe you're the kind of person who would keep a girl updated.

Beacause I'm pretty sure it's been 5:41 for the last two hours or so. I've been writing and proofreading and checking emails and all kinds of things, but it still seems to be 5:41. Now, it's possible that I've developed superhuman speed and am now typing at like 80003 words per minute, but I suspect that's the kind of thing I'd notice.

You haven't noticed anything weird like that, have you? Is it just me? Maybe my office has been trapped in some kind of temporal warp thing and for everyone else, it's like 8:00 and they're home watching Eastenders and eating dinner. If I had a window, I could check that kind of thing.

Seriously - still 5:41. At what point do I begin to be worried? Should I just start counting seconds and hope for the best. How many Mississippi's mean panic?

Sigh. I'm ready to go home now.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Songs In My Head

I've got a constant soundtrack in my head. There's always a song running through my mind. I spent a bit of time worrying about whether or not this is normal, but I've decided it's not something I'm going to be worried about.

The soundtrack changes constantly, and is very easily influenced by outside forces. If someone mentions India, for example, I may get Finland by Monty Python in my head, but I'll have replaced "Finland" with "India", and then it will merge into the real version of the song. I can usually follow the train of thought that takes me to a particular song. It's a nice little look into how my head works.

Generally, I know the words to the song in my head. If I don't know the title or the artist or every single word, it's usually pretty easy to find. The internet is such a helpful place. Even a snippet of a chorus or verse is usually enough to find out the name of a song.

And then there are the songs I don't know. Like the one I've got in my head this morning. The ones that I only have a bit of a chorus, with made up words. It's hard to look for "Can you feeeeeeeeeel" or "Do you feel the [something], can you hear the [something]" when you're not even sure if those are the real words. I'm pretty sure they're not. And even if they are, do you have any idea how many songs contain the words "do you feel"? At least 26413, according to this website. (And no, it's not Ain't That A Bitch by Aerosmith.)

My best tactic for getting rid of a song I don't know (or don't like - that happens more than you'd think) is to get another one in my head. Getting someone else to sing a song, or reading a song title, or hearing one on the radio is usually the ticket to annoying-song-be-gone.

Except it's not working today. And I still don't know what that damn song is.

Do you feel the something, can you hear the something? Can you feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel?


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Labour Day? What Labour Day?

Yesterday was not Labour Day.

Well, obviously it was. But not for me, because I live in the UK. Damn the UK and their lack of autumn holidays!

But, in the spirit of non-bitterness, I have decided to help you all learn a little about the world around you. I considered listing all countries that didn't celebrate any holidays yesterday, but that didn't fit with the non-biterness spirit.

And, so I present Holidays That Occured On Monday 6th September 2004. You'll be pleased to know that as well as countries that celebrate Labor Day without an U (Guam, Palau, the US and the US Virgin Islands) and Labour Day with a U (Canada and Puerto Rico) it was also:

  • Armed Forces Day in Sao Tome & Principe (I know what you're thinking - it's here. See? Learning all the time!)
  • Bonaire Day in Bonaire (Again, never fret - it's here. Isn't it great that today is so educational?)
  • Defense Day in Pakistan (I'm sure you know where Pakistan is, but we've got a theme going now)
  • Dia de la Unidad Nacional (National Union Day) in Chile (I'm fond of Chile. I'm not sure why.)
  • Independence Day in Swaziland (Huh. I did not know this: Swaziland is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies.)
  • Reconciliation Day in Chile (Hey! Why does Chile get two?)
  • Unification Day in Bulgaria (Ah, Bulgaria. Who doesn't love you?)

Now you might think those all sound pretty great. I mean, come on! Bonaire Day? I'm sure that absolutely rocks. But those wacky Americans are the luckiest of all. Not only did they get the day off, they also get to celebrate... National Crazy Horse Day! How fab is that?

I hope you all enjoyed yesterday, and remembered to do something special for Bonaire Day.

Friday, September 03, 2004

It's the most wonderful chair in the world!

I love ebay. I really, really do. Where else in the world would I be able to purchase this delightful, wonderful, beautiful, comfy chair ....

for a mere ......


That's right! Ten. Pounds. That's $23 Canadian. Or $18 US. Or $26 Australian! (Man, the Australian dollar sucks, no?)

I'm borrowing a van from work and picking it up on Sunday! Eeeeeee! It's mammoth and will totally dominate my tiny flat but I'm in love.

And it was only £10! Woo hoo!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

But, wait...

"Oh, Alice?"

Um, look. I'm kind of busy here. I'm trying to finish up at work so that I can meet friends for dinner.

"That's all fine and dandy, but I just need a brief moment of your time."

Okay, what can I do for you?

"A quick question, really. I'm hip to the jive of leaving comments now - by the way, thanks again for that. So helpful."

Really, it was nothing. What's the question?

"Well, you know how I'm posting anonymously?"


"Well, can you tell who I am when I leave my message?"

Uh, do you even know what anonymous means?

"I'm fairly sure I've got the meaning right. But I didn't sign my message, and although I feel deeply certain that my distinctive voice will come through and you'll know exactly who I am, I was just wondering if that might ever cause confusion."

Not meaning to offend you in any way, I probably won't get who you are from your comment unless it's in-joke riddled (two years and out!). While it's not strictly necessary that I know who leaves comments, I'd like to. So, if you do post anonymously, then if you could sign your post, that'd be super cool. Just a little thing.

"Righty-o, then. Just checking in! Have a great night out."

Thanks, you too!

As Requested: Commenting for Dummies

“Gosh, Alice. Your blog is super swell, and I’ve just been dying to comment. But I can’t seem to figure the darn thing out. Any way you could lend me a hand?”

Well, sure I can. It’s really not that complicated. At the end of this post, and at the end of every single other post, on the bottom right hand side there’s a little envelope. No, no. Don’t bother yourself with that for now. It’s a little too complicated for you. Look just to the left of that, and you’ll see a little link that says 0 comments or eighty or three hundred or however many comments there happen to be. Now, click on that.

“Wow, that’s so simple! Thanks!”


“Wait just one cotton picking second! That didn’t work! It just showed me the comments that are already there! How dare you involve me in your web of lies?”

Well, if you’d just listen, I was about to say that I wasn’t finished. At the bottom of those comments (you don’t have to read them all, but it’s considered polite), there’s another link that says post a comment. Now, click on that.

“Hey! That just takes me to a login screen! I don’t have a username and password! Nuts to this. I’m out of here.”

Not so fast, missy. Now, if you have your own blogger account, you could log in here and then your name would come up under your comment. But if you don’t, never fret! There’s another option! Under the login boxes, there’s a link that says or post anonymously. Now, click on that.

“Well, would you look at that! A space to write my comments! How delightful!”

It is, isn’t it? When you’re all done there, all you need to do is press the publish comment button. And voila!

“That’s great! Thanks ever so much for your help. Now, how many b’s are there in ‘super fabulous’?”

One. And, you’re welcome. Always a pleasure.