Friday, February 25, 2005

Girl, you know it's true

So, here's the thing. A very very good friend of mine is leaving London in a few days. Now, I obviously find this completely unacceptable, but she has chosen to disregard my feelings on this matter and decided to “live her own life”. Whatever that means. Outrageous behaviour, if you ask me.

But, I digress. She’s leaving. And although I’m really happy for her and excited for the potential travel opportunities that a friend in San Francisco gives me, I’m really going to miss her. And as I’ve been thinking about all the reasons she’s so awesome, and how many kick ass times we’ve had, it occurred to me that many of you don’t know her. And I think that’s a damn shame, cause she’s awesome.

So, I’d now like to introduce y’all to a little gal I like to call Kobrinsky.

She’s the girl that, when you first meet her, you think is quite quiet – a nice North Dakota girl. But then you find that you’re attempting to do some kind of waltz with a barman at midnight on a Monday night, all because she demanded that there be dancing. And you know that there is no way you’d have ever found yourself in that situation unless she was there to orchestrate it. It’s a killer story and a great memory, and it’s thanks to her.

Once you get to know her, you realize she’s far from quiet. She is, in fact, one of the loudest people you’ve ever met. But that’s good, cause you’re loud too and you like that about each other. You find that when the two of you are together, you regress to giggly teenagers and that’s hilarious. You start pulling out phrases that you haven’t used in years, like “You’re double O C – out of control” and the word “dude” creeps back into your vocabulary. You can discuss the relative merits of the different New Kids, and she knows you’ll understand her Hans and Franz references. It feels like you’ve known each other forever.

She’s the girl who is dancing in a bikini made of straw at her going away party and keeps saying “I’m wearing a bikini!” and finding it amazing every single time. She’s also the girl that looks smokin’ hot in said bikini.

She’s the girl that knows how to dance, and is always pulling you and everyone else in the room into complicated dances and you find yourself spinning and twirling and being generally fabulous, even though you can’t really dance. She’s the girl that dances the Highland Fling with poets on train platforms in Scotland and entices them to come to Edinburgh with you. And you’re amazed to discover that they’re both really good at the Highland Fling, and you love that they will from now on be willing to dance on the street as long as there’s alcohol involved. (You also love that there’s video footage of this.)

She’s the girl that can keep a joke going forever, which is great because you enjoy the long running joke. It turns out that text messages that just say “cocksucker” are still funny, even seven months later. Who knew? When you both yell “Walk off!” in the middle of a party, you’re the only ones that think it’s funny, and there’s really nothing wrong with that.

She’s the girl that will perform folk dances at the drop of a hat, and even though you’re certain that the one involving all the animal impersonations had to be fake, you love that she tried to convince you it was authentic.

She’s the girl that loves her friends, and takes good care of them. She’s the friend that will be there for you if you need her, and would gladly drop everything if you needed to talk.

She’s a poet, and she’s so smart and clever and very good at what she does. You love her poem “Jesus Smokes”, and can never get enough of hearing it. She’s the girl that, even though she claims to not be good at performance, can charm an audience and have them eating out of her hand. She’s on the stage, and she’s barefoot, and she’s fabulous.

She’s the girl that keeps yelling “I love us!!” on a girls night out. And that’s before she’s drunk.

She’ll buy flowers for a cab driver’s wife on Valentine’s Day, because he hasn’t bought her anything. And then she’ll get the security guard at the petrol station to take your photo.

She’s the girl who helps develop the theory that it’s fine to have Bloody Mary’s for breakfast on holiday, because they have vitamins in them.

She’s very brave – moving countries is hard, and she’s done it more than once. She’s taking a chance and going to live in a new city with the man she fell in love with. And that is awesome.

She’s neurotic and gets stressed out, but can laugh at herself. She recognizes the fabulousness in others, and has some pretty kick ass friends. She throws a great party. She lives in a house with a costume cupboard.

She believes in her heart of hearts that Billy Zane is a poet. It’s so dark where she is right now.

She’s the Naked Kobrinsky. Even with her clothes on.

There are ten thousand other reasons why Kobrinsky is amazing. And I feel very sad for those of you that haven’t met her yet. But you’ve got that to look forward to, so I have to envy that a little.

When I think about how much I’m going to miss her, it’s a little bit much so I fall back on the standard sarcasm and humour. She’s become a huge part of my life in the year that I’ve known her. And there’s going to be a Kobrinsky shaped hole when she leaves.

I think that if there’s one message I want to leave with her before she goes, it’s quite a simple one. I’m going to fall back on the words of a couple of guys who really knew how to touch people’s hearts and souls.

It’s the immortal words of Milli Vanilli that say it best:

Girl, you know it’s true
Oooh, oooh, oooh
I love you.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Recently received in an email: “Your blog has been entertaining but light on "Alice's life" details lately. How do expect people to stalk you properly when you don't disclose more aspects of your personal life?”

Good point, anonymous commenter. Good point. (Not that I encourage the stalking. Cause I really don’t think I have time for it. And now that I have proper curtains, I think the whole stalking proposition will be far less appealing to the peeping Toms out there.)

So, what’s going on in Alice’s life? Mice. That’s what.

Little horrible, disease carrying, terrible, scary (and yet disarmingly cute) mice.

Imagine, if you will. I am in my bathroom, brushing my teeth. And what do I see running from the steps in the kitchen to the bathroom door? A mouse.

Now, do I scream? Do I leap onto the toilet seat and start shrieking like a housewife in a 1950’s sitcom? No, I do not.

I think, “Aw crap. Not again.”

I do, however, shriek when I see the second mouse run across the floor as I'm standing in the kitchen. This is, of course, after I am already aware that the mice are there. I am ridiculous.

But I digress.

As many of you* may remember, I have had these issues before. It was autumn 1998. Steph and I were living in the basement apartment on Palmerston. And the mice, they invaded.


The first time, we tried the traps. I became a heartless mouse killing machine. Steph discovered that she’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to dead rodents. And yet, no matter how many we killed, there was always another to fall out of the kitchen cupboard when you open it in the middle of the night. And let me tell you, you haven't heard shrieking until you've been attacked by an airborne mouse in the dark.

Finally, we got rid of them when we cat-sat for my parent’s cat Max. Max may have been hugely overweight and lazy, but she was a mouse killing machine. She scared them away, and they stayed away. Excellent kitty.

Then they came back. Like a horror movie – they just wouldn’t stay dead. (Okay, we didn’t have zombie mice. They were just regular mice. But still – ew!) By that point Steph had fled the apartment. Clever girl. So, I was facing the second mouse invasion alone.

Since traps hadn’t worked the first time, I tried poison. Ahhh, poison. I was told how it works, and even though it’s really really not pretty, I didn’t care. Like I said - heartless. And it seemed to be doing the trick. The damned mice were being defeated. I had beaten the rodent invasion!

Only not really. The mice refused to leave. Even though they were poisoned and dying, they were still so stubborn. And then I got my kitty. (Not to kill the mice. Because she was so pretty. I'm not that heartless.) And my kitty scared away the mice. And I’d really rather not get into the upsetting details of the whole cat-eating-poisoned-mouse-emergency-trip-to-vet-do-you-know-how-hard-it-is-to-give-a-cat-pills period of time. But the mice, they were gone.

And then I moved country and lived in three different flats before moving into this new one. This new flat that I love. Except for the mouse thing. I do not love the mice.

So, the weekend was spent cleaning. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. And buying a rubbish bin for the kitchen. Turns out a garbage bag on the floor is a little too mouse friendly. I really hope they were confined to the kitchen. I did have a dream that I felt one of them walking across my feet as I slept. And I choose to believe it was a dream, thank you very much.

I hope they’re gone. I really do. If they’re not, then it’s time to get a cat.

I wonder what the fishes will think about that?

* Ha! I like to believe that there are “many” of you out there. Delusional? Perhaps.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hate & Love ... I'm a complex woman


Okay, here’s the thing. You know the lady in the ROC ad? The one who’s all “I feel like I’m in my 30’s but I’m about to turn 44”. And we’re all supposed to be so amazed because she's so much older than she looks?

She looks 44.

If I was to stand beside her, no one would think “oh, they could be the same age”. They’d think “is that her very very young mom, or her much older sister?” And that, my friend, is because she looks 44.

Now, don’t get me wrong. She has fabulous skin. Amazing skin. I’m sure people compliment her on it all the time. It’s gorgeous.

It does not, however, mean that she looks ten years younger than she is.

It’s nothing against her, at all. The ad just bugs.


You know the guy in the KFC "99p Mini Fillet" ad? No, not the singing guy - although I find him very amusing. The other guy.

It's the guy with the mini fillet burger who's standing beside the singing lady. Take a look at his face when you watch the ad.

Comedy gold, my friends. Comedy gold.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Fashion Avenger

Dear Joan Jett Look-Alike on the Northern Line,

I have something to tell you. It may be upsetting, but I really think it’s best that you know now that you look silly. I’m really just hoping that you can minimise your embarrassment.

You have a Joan Jett haircut. Circa 1985. Sweetie, you’re around fifteen years old. You probably don’t even know who Joan Jett is. You weren’t even born in 1985. You were born in about 1990. That upsets me, because it makes me feel old, but that’s not really your concern. You concern should be that you have silly hair.

I know what you’re going to say. You’re “rock”. You’re “retro”. You’re “individual”. You’re “just being you”.

I don’t mean to be cruel, but those are stupid reasons. You’re not being individual. You’re being manipulated by a hairdresser with too much time on her hands. This woman is obviously sadistic and somewhat evil, and you really need to keep your distance. I can only hope you didn’t pay too much for your silly, silly hair.

If only I could put a dime in the jukebox, baby, and turn back time to get you a better haircut. But, sadly, I can’t. I’m sure you’re a rock chick. I’m sure you are. I saw your friends, and I see your need to differentiate yourself from their bland girl band same-y trendiness. I get that. I’m pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down.

But, sweetie. Really. There are so, so many far, far, far less painful ways to do that.

I approve of your need to be individual. I think it’s fab. And, so I’m not going to make any suggestions for your new look.

Okay, that’s totally not true. I’m going to make one suggestion. Get a new hairdresser.

Good luck, sweetie. I’m sure you’re going to be a super stylin’ vixen when you grow up. Just consider this a failed attempt. We all make mistakes. Better luck next time.

Good luck,


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Seriously, this is so much fun...

I found the most fun thing ever yesterday, courtesy of Gwen.

This is me, on a casual day in the park.

This is me, on a picnic in an enchanted forest with my cat.

This is me at work. If I worked in a hospital/high school/business-y looking building. Which I do not.

This is me, taking a wander through some possibly evil purple flowered trees. Seriously, don't they seem a bit creepy?

This is me heading out for a night on the town. And my flat totally looks like that.

And this is the outfit that I'm going to wear to Clare's wedding.

Too much?