Thursday, May 26, 2005


Something has come to my attention lately, and it’s a bit disturbing. Actually, it’s more than disturbing. It’s gross. And it is literally happening all around all of us all the time.

Imagine this scenario, if you will. You’re at a party, or a gathering of some type. You pick up a tasty snack from the food table. It may be a chicken skewer or a tortilla chip or a carrot stick. You dip your skewer or chip or stick into the dip that has been kindly been placed beside the delicious snack. You take a bite. And then what do you do?

Do you finish the skewer or chip or stick? Or do you reach for the dip again?

If you just said “reach for the dip”, then you are tragically lacking in social niceties and I don’t think I can be your friend.

Cause see, here’s the thing. It’s gross. Would you stick your entire hand into the bowl and then pass it on to someone else? Would you lick the bowl? Would you drop a used Kleenex into the dip? Would you spit into the dip?

Well, if you double dip, then you may as well do all of those things. And, I’m sorry, but you are gross.

Double dipping is just plain wrong. It squicks me out just even thinking about it.

I just do not want to share germs with total strangers. I want to dip my skewer or chip or stick without worrying that I’m going to catch your cold, or your rabies, or your glandular fever/mononucleosis, or your yellow fever, or your malaria, or your bronchitis, or your herpes simplex, or your legionnaires disease, or whatever it is you may be passing to innocent people trying to make their skewer or chip or stick more delicious.

And, I know what you’re going to say. Of course there are exceptions. It’s obviously fine to double dip on your own, and it’s fine to double dip amongst friends. If it’s someone who you would share spit with on a regular basis, then the regular dip rules don’t apply. If you're with them then feel free to double or even triple dip that skewer or chip or stick.

But public dip rules are different. You do not double dip. If you simply must have more dip on that skewer or chip or stick then turn it over and use the non germ side.

Because, seriously. Ew.

People, you’re grossing me out. I don’t want to have to go into this again.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Peppermint Tea

I was in Sainsbury’s this evening, purchasing myself some dinner-type items, and I saw something alarming.

No, it wasn't the man who walks around by the cash registers chanting loudly – I’m used to him. And this particular Sainsbury’s is in Camden, so the punks and goths and other "peoples of interesting attire" are pretty standard.

What could be considered somewhat less than standard were the purchases of the man behind me in the queue. As I stood waiting for disorganised woman infront of me struggling to pay and put her shopping in bags at the same time, I couldn’t help but check out the items about to be purchased by the man behind me as he put them on the converyor belt thingy.

There were three bags of dog food, which isn’t strange. Maybe he has three dogs and they don’t like to share. And as he put his box of peppermint tea bags on the belt thingy, I thought to myself “mmm, peppermint tea. I should get some of that, now that I’m no longer afraid of herbal teas”. And then he put a second box on, and I thought to myself “I bet there’s a special. How annoying that I didn’t pick up some for myself”.

And then he added a third box. And a fourth. And a fifth. And that is when I began to think “man, that’s a freaking lot of peppermint tea”. And then he added a sixth box. And then seventh and eighth.

That, my friend, is a lot of tea. Now, I do understand the need to stock up on something when it's a good deal. I'd do it myself if I had any storage space whatsoever.

Now, each box has 40 tea bags. That means that this man was going to make 320 cups of peppermint tea.

Why so much tea? Is he an addict? Does he have a weird fetish? Is he under the impression that they are going to stop making peppermint tea? Because I’m pretty sure they’re not. Is he going to a tea party? A massively huge tea party with hundreds and hundreds of guests? What is the deal with this? Is he sending the tea to a person living in a country that has outlawed peppermint tea? Is he a herbal tea smuggler?

My lingering thought was that he was going to attempt an overdose, and I was more concerned than anything else. I really didn’t want to have this man’s peppermint tea suicide attempt on my conscience, so I did a bit of research when I got home.

A very handy website about health and wellness and what have you had the answer:

Although there are no cases of Peppermint overdose on record, pure menthol can be fatal in doses of as little as 2 grams, although individuals have survived dosages as high as 8 to 9 grams (about 2 teaspoonfuls). If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

Well, that’s a relief. But still, what’s the deal with all the tea?

Truly, this is one of the great mysteries of our time.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fashion Avenger

Dear Woman Sarah & I Saw In The Pub Last Weekend,

Look, we’ve all been there. The unexpected arrival of gorgeous spring weather takes you by surprise, and you’re forced to trawl through last year’s spring and summer wardrobe for something that is both weather appropriate and cute.

But, the thing is, when most people do this, it’s the wardrobe from last year that they’re looking at. Not their wardrobe from 1734. Because that’s where you seem to have pulled this ... interesting ... number from.

Over a frosty cool Sunday beverage, Sarah and I had a bit of a discussion on the look you were aiming for. Sarah’s first thought was Ophelia, while I was leaning more towards Anne of Green Gables’ version of “The Lady of Shalott”. Normally you wouldn't have elicited such discussion, but a floor length, white, high-necked, long-sleeved, lacy cotton dress is not the kind of thing you expect to see in a pub on a Sunday afternoon.

Sarah finally hit on the best description for your look, though, when she came up with Miss Havisham. Or, to be slightly more accurate, Miss Havisham’s slightly more deranged bridesmaid.

You were probably just thinking that the dress was nice and breezy. Hell, maybe you were even thinking that it looks nice.

But do you really want strangers in a pub having lengthy discussions about which fictional character you are? Especially when those fictional characters are insane? Probably not.

The whole pseudo-Victorian thing is so not a good look for you, honey. Trust me.

Better luck next time,


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lame? Me? Surely you jest!

I know. I haven't updated since April 27th. That's three weeks.

And that? Is lame.

But there is a good reason for that. There really is. If by "good" you mean "slightly lazy".

You see, for the past four and a half months I haven't had internet accesss at home. It's a very long and drawn out story and it's quite painful to remember. To avoid the tears and recrimination, let's just say that Telewest owes me a full day of my life back and I hate them. And don't even get me started on NTL. But until today (joy!) I've been access-less at home.

What does this mean? It means that I do most of my blogging at work. Which is all well and good, as long as they don't realize I'm doing most of my blogging at work. The plan had been working well. Or it was working well, until about three weeks ago.

What happened three weeks ago? We moved offices. Now, I'm sure you're picturing me in my own private corner office on the 30th floor of a skyscraper with my personal assistant Juan getting me fresh coffee and pastries whenever I want them.

I love that picture, but sadly it is somewhat less than accurate.

This was the setup of my old office:

Ideal for the worktime blogging. As you can see, my monitor is not exposed to the the general public. Should someone enter through the office door, there's plenty of time to alt-tab into a spreadsheet and look all business-like.

But we're not there anymore. We're in our not-so-glam, but still fab offices. And they're great. They're much larger, which is super. (The size of the above office really isn't exaggerated at all.)

But now, the office looks like this:

It's great - bigger, more people, much laughter and fun. But, less ability to write blog entries when pretending to work. Because a budget in a spreadsheet looks a bit different to the blogger webpage. Weird, no? And it turns out, they kind of expect me to do "work" when I'm actually at work. I know. It's so odd.

So, that's my lame reason. No internet access at home + work office being less blog friendly = no blog entries. (But fact: excuses are always better if you have diagrams.)

I'm sorry. I'll try to not let it happen again.

And thanks to Aaron and Kobrinsky for yelling at me. Dudes, I know. Lame!

Oh, Broadband!

To the tune of "Mandy"
Lyrics by Alice, Original lyrics & music by Barry Manilow

Oh Broadband,
Well, you came and you are so amazing,
And I think that you’re great.
Oh, Broadband
Well, now I can read my emails,
And update my blog.
Oh, Broadband!

Oh Broadband
Well, you came and you stopped my from moaning,
And you’re here to stay.
Oh, Broadband
Well, you’re here and you are so amazing,
And you’ll never leave.
oh, Broadband!