Friday, August 25, 2006


You know what the absolute last thing you want to find when you come home from a spontaneous and kick-ass night of drinking, dancing and karaoke singing is?

That your home has been broken into and your things have been stolen.

I got home at about 11:30 on Wednesday night after a night of much merriment, to find that my key wasn't working. It wouldn't turn in the lock for some reason. Now, I was a bit tipsy and perhaps not thinking so clearly, so I just thought "hmm, lock isn't working. Weird. I'd better call Buffy."

So, I call her, she confirms that the back door is unlocked (STUPID!), so I climb over the fence into the back garden and go in the back door.

I walk through the living room, and head straight for the door to find out what's wrong with it, and I realized that the little switch that stops the door from being able to open has been flipped. The switch that can only be flipped from the inside.

And it occurs to me - someone has been inside my house.

I walk back to the living room to see my laptop gone, the couch and chest of drawers pushed out of the way, the doors to the sideboard open, my old handbag emptied on the couch and an empty fishbowl which used to hold foreign money.

I didn't even see this when I walked through before. It just didn't register, you know?

I immediately think of the cats, and find them both in my bedroom, hiding. It's then that I notice my room - my desk has been pulled out from the wall, the TV is tipped over, the DVD player is gone, the bowl of change is empty, the fan is on the floor, the desk drawers are open.

It is amazing how fast you can flip from a little bit drunk to stone cold sober when you need to. I called 999 and got the police, and told them what had happened. They said they'd send a car over.

My first instinct is to call Jess, who I'd just been out with. She was appalled for me, and offered me a place to stay that night if I didn't want to stay alone. I then called Heather, who I'd been drunkenly talking to and sharing the joys of karaoke only moments earlier. And then I called Buffy to let her know we'd been burgled. In those three phone calls, I probably used the word fuck more than I have in my entire life.

And then I called my mom. Because when something horrible happens, I want to call my mom. It's probably the first time I've ever been glad they're an 8 hour time difference away, because it was only 4pm their time, so I didn't terrify them by waking them up in the middle of the night.

I was pretty much over the shock and crying part of the night when the police arrived, about an hour later. I took them through the place and showed them what had happened, they made their notes and told me a crime scene investigator would be by the next day to look for fingerprints, so I should try not to touch anything.

It was probably 1 by the time they left, and I was both really tired and unwilling to sleep. So, I made some pasta and watched a TV movie about John Ritter as an abusive husband who learns that it is bad to hit women. Very inspiring, really. It was about 3 when it was over, so I turned all the lights in the flat on, and tried to sleep in my room. I didn't get much sleep.

The next morning, I called a locksmith first thing, then called my insurance company. I went through everything with the insurance people, then they called back to say that they'd get someone to call me today to go over it again.

The locksmith came and started changing the locks. I have updated and very awesome locks now.

Then the crime scene guy arrived and started dusting for fingerprints and the whatnot. It was very little like CSI, disappointingly. He said there was very little of use, fingerprint wise, which was disappointing but not really unexpected. Have you ever heard of a break-in where they actually caught the bad guy? Other than on TV?

I spent the rest of yesterday being all depressed and lazy until I finally mustered the energy to put the living room and my bedroom back to rights. Then I locked all the windows, dead bolted the doors (even the front door, which I normally never do when I am home.) and went to bed.

I spoke to the insurance people again this morning, went through everything twice and gave them the list of things that were taken.

I am now missing:
  • My laptop. With every photo I've taken in the past three years, other than the ones that made it to flickr, and every song I've downloaded in the past three years. And everything I've written.
  • My digital camera with it's 1gb memory card.
  • My new mobile phone
  • the DVD player from my bedroom
  • about £200 in foreign money
  • My wireless broadband modem
  • The Sims 2, which was in the laptop.

They then had to refer me to another company, who have to call me to arrange to come out to get all the info. And the earliest time they can come to see me? Next Thursday. And then it'll take however long for the company they put me in contact with to replace the stuff.

I spent all day yesterday thinking things like "aw, the kittens are so cute, let me just grab my camera ... shit." and "how much did the DVD player cost? I bet I can find it online if I just ... shit."

Oh, and the cash? Not covered by my insurance because it wasn't a violent entry. Stupid burglars couldn't even do that right.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This Just In: I Am A Doofus

Right, so I wrote this post, right? And then at the end? Where the thing that was the thing for the Bloggiversary was supposed to go?

There was nothing.

What I meant to say was: There's a quiz! Enjoy!

If you do SHOCKINGLY well, there just might be a prize in it for you!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Bloggiversary to me!

It's that time of year again.

It's the blog's birthday! Well, it was yesterday and I forgot to write anything.

But the blog is two years old, and I'm very proud of it. And, by extension, me for writing it.

In honour of the fabulous bloggiversary, I have created a

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lunchtime antics

Every day after I buy my sandwich for lunch, I go to the corner shop to buy a Diet Coke and a bag of crisps.

And every day, after I place my wrapped sandwich on the counter to find the 90p to pay for my Diet Coke and Doritos, I ask for a bag.

And every single day, I place the Diet Coke and Tangy Cheese Doritos in the bag, pick up the sandwich, walk out of the shop, and then, and only then, place the sandwich in the bag.

It occurred to me today that this is very odd behaviour. It should be obvious to the guys behind the counter that my three items (sandwich, Diet Coke and crisps) are too many things to carry in my two hands. So, naturally I require a bag. And, of course, it seems silly to put two of the three things I am carrying in the bag and carry the third thing in my other hand. Why not keep them together?

And then I realized why I do this. I worry that if they see me putting things not purchased at their shop in the bag, they will take it away from me.

That's right. I live in fear that the two very nice men who work in the shop will walk from behind the counter, confiscate the bag, walk back behind the counter and shame me. "No!", they will say. "Only food from our shop goes in the bags! You're banned! Banned, I say! Now get out, you shameful bag-misusing hussy!"

Sometimes, my mind is a frightening place to be.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Kitten Update

As requested, I've got an update for y'all on the kittens.

They are too cute for words.

What? You want more than that?

Okay. They're getting pretty big now. They're more catty than kitteny these days. And luckily for me they're both super affectionate and cuddly and purr-y. They really are adorable.

They're also climbers. Currently, this is Beez's favourite napping place.

That's right. Inside the suitcase on the top shelf of my closet. And Lucy is not one to walk away from the climbing challenge.

Less impressive, perhaps, but the route to the top of the closet is highly entertaining. It's a very jump and scramble and occasionally fall type thing. Comedy gold, I tell you.

And I demand that you look at this adorable little Lucy kitten face, napping in my leopard print hat, and defy you not to fall in love.

This little kitten face might seem slightly evil, but Beez is equally loveable when she's not taken by surprise.

Aw! So that's the current kitten update. They're cute. And getting big! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some kitten cuddling to do.

What is my life like?

An episode of Ghost Whisperer just made me cry. Is this a sign I should seek help?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Alice, Springfield resident.

If I were a character on the Simpsons, I just might look like this.

Of course, I'd be way cuter. But this isn't too bad.

There are some limitations, but this is fun.

For the record: I would never wear those colours together.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Six Days Later: Jetlag Defeated

I think I finally may be over my jetlag. And it only took six days.

We flew back on Sunday on an overnight flight from LA that got us into Heathrow at 3:30 in the afternoon. I had to go into the office, so by the time I got home it was about 6. I stayed up as late as I could, but went to sleep at about 10. I slept until 3:30 the following day. I got up, did some grocery shopping, did some laundry, watched some TV and then went back to bed at about 10. Got up at 7 on Wednesday and went into work.

If you do the math on that one, you'll see that I slept for just over 26 hours in two days. Sweet.

The rally itself was hellish, as I knew it would be. I had some truly awful news from a friend just after I got there, and spent the rest of the time wishing I could be more help to him. I only cried about three times, and only wished I could just quit my job about five. So, all in all, slightly better than I exepcted it would be.

The rest of this week has been a catch up from the jetlag. In retrospect, those drinks on Thursday night were a baaaaad idea, as I felt like the undead on Friday at work.

The kittens seem happy to have me back, although they were a bit "oh, were you away, we barely even noticed, oh, I don't feel like being pet now, maybe try again later, who are you again?" when I first got back. We're all good now though.

Today is day of cleaning and buying phone chargers because I'm using my old phone again and I can't find the charger (suitcase fell on new phone. It's a long story) and maybe seeing The Break-Up, which I can't help feeling I will love.

I'm so rock-n'-roll right now, I can't even tell you.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Dodge Grand Caravan

Farewell, Dodge Grand Caravan. We've had some good times, haven't we?

I'll miss you.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles
Originally uploaded by alice's dark place.
Finally. Sunny Los Angeles.

Las Vegas - San Diego

Las Vegas - San Diego
Originally uploaded by alice's dark place.
Seriously people. How freaking beautiful??

Vail - Las Vegas

Vail - Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by alice's dark place.
Can you even believe this car was going faster than a Dodge Grand Caravan??