Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Potential Cat Names

Right, people. I am getting the adorable kitties in a mere 6 days! I am very excited.

So, now it's time to think about names. These are the current forerunners.

Cagney & Lacey

Lucy & Ethel

Laverne & Shirley

Betty & Veronica

Mary & Rhoda

Mary Jo & Carlene

Wilma & Betty

It's time to vote! Alternate TV and/or comic themed female duo names welcome in the comments.

What should the kitties be named?
Cagney & Lacey
Lucy & Ethel
Laverne & Shirley
Betty & Veronica
Mary & Rhoda
Mary Jo & Carlene
Betty & Wilma
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Television Designed To Make Me Cry

So, I'm sitting here on a Tuesday night, waiting for my chest of drawers I sold on eBay to be picked up, watching a bit of TV.

I'm watching an episode of King of Queens when an ad pops up on the screen that makes my heart go all a-flutter and my eyes begin to well up in anticipation.

Paramount Comedy, a channel that shows American and British sitcoms, does this thing on weekends, where they have a theme, and the weekend is dedicated to it. Recently there was an "Americana" weekend, with episodes of Cheers, Roseanne and the Wonder Years all weekend. Quality. You see the idea.

And what are they planning for the coming weekend? Oh, they're airing is airing a Finale Weekend. I won't tell you who it was that was once caught crying over the last episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but you have to be made of stone to not get a little weepy when Will tells Uncle Phil that he wants to call him and Aunt Viv on Sundays, when his kids call, and Uncle Phil hugs Will and says "you are one of my kids." Seriously, you're dry-eyed? Are you actually made of stone?

Anyway, the point is that I am so the target audience for the Finale Weekend. It looks like in the ad that there are finales for Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld, Roseanne, M*A*S*H, Ally McBeal, Veronica's Closet, and Becker. I do not care about the last two, but I am prepared to weep like a baby at all the others.

I love a good finale. Tears at the ready!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


For quite some time now, I've been wanting to get a cat. I couldn't have one in any of the rented places I was in, and now that I'm in my own place, I thought this is the time.

But my first attempts did not go well. I called one cat rescue place, and I couldn't manage to coordinate with the woman who needed to do a home visit because she was very weird. Then I went to the Battersea Dog's Home and went through the whole interview process, but they needed to visit my house to make sure I had a cat flap to the garden, and anyway they mostly have old cats and I wanted kittens or young cats.

I mentioned this to Jess in the office the other day, and she got all clever on the internet and found an ad on a London forum from a lady who had two kittens she was looking for a home for. After some emailing and calling, I went to see them yesterday, and they are the cutest things ever.

The two black ones are the females, and they're the ones I'm going to take. The ginger kitty is their brother, and he's staying with his mum.

The one on the top of the kitty pile is pure black with some white patches on her tummy, and she's the shyest of the kittens. The middle one in the kitty pile looks like she'll be black and brown tortoiseshell patterned with some white patches on her tummy, and she's the most outgoing of the kittens.

They could not be cuter if they took a PhD in cuteness. They'll be ready to leave their mum in two weeks, so I'll get to have them then. Yay! I'm very excited about all the kitten adorableness.

And I would completely recommend as the antidote to a bad day at work the cuddling of kittens. I was in a horrible mood when I left the office, and in a great mood when I got home.

Now, to think of names. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sleeping Stories

Those of you who know me in the real world will know that I'm a pretty sound sleeper. And by "pretty sound", I mean that when I told my mother I was the fire warden in my residence in the first year of university, her response was "But if there's a fire in the middle of the night, you won't wake up! What if your whole floor dies?" Thankfully her prediction did not come true and it was a fire free year. I did get a very ugly hat out of it, but that's not really the point.

I know what you're thinking. "Sure, sure. You're a sound sleeper. I know lots of sound sleepers. You surely must be exaggerating for comic effect." I appreciate that you are a discerning and questioning audience, so I will support my claim with the facts.

Example 1

I am thirteen years old and living in Goderich. Our house was on the very edge of town, and just past us was a field with a barn in it. One night, the barn caught fire and burned down. Now, you can imagine that this was a pretty spectacular sight. Pitch black sky. Burning barn. Clearly, a sight to be seen. So, my parents woke up my brother, brought him to the window, and tried to wake up me. Now, I have no memory of this, but apparently, after much shaking and talking, I got out of bed, walked to the window and proceeded to babble about random non-fire related things. At this point, my parents realized that I was still asleep and I wasn't waking up any time soon. They walked me back to bed, and proceeded to have all the fun of watching a building burn down without me.

Example 2

I am eighteen years old and at university. My friend Sean has left his shoes in my room during a night of drinking and merriment. When he wakes up in the morning, he realizes that he is shoe-less. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge problem, but on this particular day, he was going to see the Dini Petty Show being filmed. I do not recall him being a big Dini Petty fan, so I'm not sure why this was.

Anyway, many hours after his departure, I wake up to the following messages on my phone:

Message 1: "Hey Alice, it's Sean. I left my shoes in your room, so I'm going to come and get them. Be there in a sec."

Message 2: "Hey Alice, it's Sean again. I just knocked on your door for like five minutes. Are you there? I'm going to try again. I need my shoes."

Message 3: "Right, that didn't work. I know you're in there. WAKE UP! I'm going to try again."

Message 4: "Do you have a head injury? Should I seek medical help? Why won't you wake up?? I'm trying one more time."

Message 5: "Fine, keep the shoes."

Example 3

I am twenty four years old and living in London. My clubbing flatmates have arrived home at four in the morning with a group of mutual friends. They decide, in their drunkenness and/or highness, to include me in their fun. Allegedly, flatmate Claire knocked on my door, opened it, and said very loudly "Hey Alice, want to come and have a drink with us?" Allegedly, I sat up in bed, growled and/or muttered something unintelligible, lay down again and was all cozy in sleep land once again. I heard the story the next day. It was considered quite the high comedy and it took me moving out of the crazy flat to escape it.

So, you can see. I am a sound sleeper.

But every good rule has an exception. I worked at a summer camp for four years. And, for the last two of those years, I lived with my friend Kristine in the youngest kids' section. And if one of those kids even whispered my name in the middle of the night, I was up like a shot, and in their cabin to find out what was wrong. The someone-in-need is the only thing that can penetrate my sound sleeping.

Last night, I was sound asleep, when I thought I heard flatmate Buffy say my name. Well, I thought I heard her say "Al", which is what I am called from time to time. I was immediately up like shot and crept into the hallway.

Me (whispering): Buffy? Are you okay?

Buffy: [silence]

Me (slightly louder): Buffy? Is everything all right?

Buffy (appearing at her door): What? Of course it is.

Me (confused): Oh. I thought I heard you say my name.

Buffy (also confused): Um, no.

Me (still confused): Okay, goodnight then.

Buffy (no longer confused): I did run into the crate on the floor when I was coming back from the bathroom. I said "ow" real quiet like.

Me (so very tired): Right. Ow and Al are different words. Goodnight.

And what is the lesson we learn from this? If you are in the vicinity of me sleeping, do not speak quietly and say anything even remotely resembling my name, because apparently that will wake me up.

I would prefer to be yelled at by name and shaken. I'll sleep right through that.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Garden Update

And speaking of gardens, this was the garden growing situation on April 30th.

Three weeks later, the same pot. I think I might have flowers soon!

It's all very exciting!

In which Alice is proved wrong

Remember when I had problems with pigeons? No, not that time. The other time.

Anyway, Sean left this comment at the time:

You think the pigeons are bad?

Just wait till the squirrels find your pretty feeders.

On the up-side, you will get to watch the ominous Squirrel/Pigeon war as it unfolds. In future days, you will be able to refer to it as the war of aught-six, and discuss the cunning infantry rushes, or the role of Air-power in controlling strategic feeder positions.

Or, you could just dust off and nuke the site from orbit.It's the only way to be sure.

And what was my response? I laughed. Oh, I laughed.

Don't worry about me, I laughed. Squirrels aren't nearly as common here as they are in Canada. I've only ever seen them in parks. I'm sure it won't be a problem. Ha ha, I laughed. Squirrels. How silly.

So, I'm sitting this morning, drinking a cup of coffee and watching the Golden Girls (it was the episode where Blanche gives the other girls a share in the house to avoid one of them being evicted and Dorothy finds out that Sophia was married before she married Dorothy's father).

Anyway, I hear a bit of rustling in the garden. And what do I see?

Oh, that's right. It's a squirrel. And I can't be sure about this, but I think he's eating a peanut from the feeder. His eyes weren't as glowing red and evil as they appear in the photo. He was actually kind of cute. Or, he was until he started to make a run for it.

He knew I was watching! Look at him! He's out to get me!! I'll be keeping an eye on this little sneaky squirrel, you can count on that.

But I've got to say. I'd take ten thousand of these little bastards over even one pigeon. They're vermin, I tell you. VERMIN!

(And now I've got a terrifying vision of ten thousand evil squirrels out to get me. Enter nightmares ........ now.)

Monday, May 15, 2006

RIP Little Fish

We've suffered a sad loss at Casa Alice today. A member of the family is sadly no longer with us.

Little Fish succumbed today to a long unknown illness. He'd managed two moves, a holiday stay at a friends, and a brief period where he was almost named Tenille. But he'd been unwell since the move from Tufnell Park, and after a brief return to his usual charming self, he passed away today.

I've had Little, as he was affectionately known, for just over two years, and he was an absolute delight that entire time. Although smaller than his buddy Big, he was no less friendly and charismatic. He had a wonderful personality, and I like to think that he knew me. He may have been just a fish, but he was loved.

Little Fish, April 2004 - May 2006.

He is survived by his longtime bowlmate Big, newer friends Grumpy and Pretty, owner Alice and flatmate Buffy. After a brief memorial service, he was laid to rest in the garden.

Goodbye little buddy. You'll be missed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Reasons I Could Not Call In Sick To Work Today

  • My phone was dead, so I couldn't send the subtle yet effective "am ill, staying home, on mobile if you need me" text.
  • My new phone, with hopefully longer battery life, is supposed to arrive at work today, and I can easily devote an hour of work time to playing with it.
  • We do have a big meeting tomorrow that I should prep for.
  • My hangover is really telling me that I want a baked potato with coleslaw and cheese for lunch, and I can't get that at my house.
  • I have plans to go to the pub quiz tonight, and my mother's mantra of "if you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to go out" means that I will feel too guilty to do that.
  • Who will spend hours of work time browsing the internet if I'm not there to do it?
  • I am not actually sick.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

All About Me

Ever wondered how many places/things/people named Alice there are?

(Come on, I know you have.)

Well, Wikipedia is there with the answer.

My favourite is 291 Alice, an asteriod belt. Awesome.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Garden Saga

So, you know how I have a garden right?

Well, up to this point in my life, I've been what's known in the horticultural world as a "Plant Killer". It's not pretty, but it's true. I have never managed to keep a plant alive. Not once in my whole life.

What's even sadder is that genetically, I come from a good people. My mom is an amazing gardener. She's incredible. But could I have inherited the good gardening gene? Noooo, of course not. I got things that are of little to know gardening use. Which is all well and good, but doesn't solve the problem we've got here.

Anyway, I now live somewhere with a garden. And I am determined that it will be beautiful. Even if it kills me.

There are already some plants in the garden, so I've been working around what's there. I started with pots - lots of pots in which I've planted seeds and plants and shrubs.

I ran out of dirt, so I can't plant more of them, but I think it looks pretty as it is. I've got a colour scheme worked out. Pinks and oranges and yellows, with the occasional red and white thrown in for a bit of a kicky surprise. I'm going to get lots more pots, because the bit on the other side of the door must be equally filled with pots, so as to look as equally precious.

There was already a raised flower bed, so I planted some ivy there and a few plants and then lots and lots of seeds. LOTS of seeds. In all liklihood, too many seeds. We'll see when they grow. It also was a bitch to weed this part. There was this crazy plant that had these huge roots running through the whole thing and I cursed them many a time as I was trying to dig them up. But it's essentially weed free now and chock full of seeds.

I also planted bulbs. "Oh wait, Alice!", I hear you saying "you've gone mad! Pots and seeds and bulbs! It's craziness, I tell you!". Well, you may be right. I'm not saying you're not. But there was a bit that looked kind of flower beddy when I took out all the weeds and I went a little crazy with the bulb buying, so I put them all in here. I did the math and there are something like 135 bulbs in this tiny patch of dirt. Too many? Most likely. We'll see how many live.

So, that's the plant bits. The lawn is currently looking a bit nasty, because I killed the weeds, but haven't replanted seed yet, so it's a bit patchy and ugly. It'll look better, I promise.

I bought cheapo furniture at Argos, and I have to say, it will be a delight to sit out here when the plants are all a'blommin' and looking super fantastico. A delight, I say!

And the plants - they're growing! They really are! Maybe I'm not a plant killer after all!

Now I just have to clear up the rest of the crap that's in the garden. It's harshing my pretty garden buzz, I tell you.

These are the flowers I've planted. It's all very exciting.


Crispa Marginata Begonias
Dutch Iris
Dwarf Fowering Gladioli


Clarkia Elegans
French Marigold
Stock Virginian

Too many? Perhaps. Perhaps.