Saturday, May 27, 2006

Does this mean I have penis envy?

The results from my Freud test - because dead crazy cokeheads have all the answers

Freudian Inventory Results
Oral (53%) you appear to have a good balance of independence and interdependence knowing when to accept help and when to do things on your own.
Anal (23%) you appear to be overly lacking in self control and organization, and possibly have a compulsive need to defy authority. If you are too scatterbrained, you will not develop much as a person as you will habitually switch paths before you ever learn anything.
Phallic (83%) you appear to have issues with controlling your sexual desires and possibly fidelity.
Latency (66%) you appear to be afraid or averse to present or future real world responsibilities, this will only make your inevitable transition more difficult, so learn to deal with the real world.
Genital (66%) you appear to have a progressive and openminded outlook on life unbeholden to regressive forces like traditional authority and convention.
Take Free Freudian Inventory Test
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Hmmm - not such good news for the boyfriend. Although I'm surprised there's not as much Oral given my thumb sucking issues.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it

Sereena hosts this week's roundtable with another excellent question: The world is going to end in seven days - what are you going to do?

Stop on over and give us the details of your last week on earth. And next time you see me, remind me to tell you my "end of the world" joke - best told in person.

My own private zoo

Last night having a cigarette in my garden, doing my best not to crush snails, I could have sworn there was a small black animal crouching at the back. I kept staring at it as it seemed to change shapes in the shadows. I then realised it was just a tuft of grass and that my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Just as I decide that an animal spotting will not occur tonight, a sly skinny little guy comes darting across the lawn and stops to stare at me. Our first fox. We shared a moment as he stared me down - the wild one and the domestic. He then darted on into the woods.

Is it too much to call him Robin?

We already have Hilbert the hedgehog, and our pigeon couple, Billy and The Kid. If we continue like this I'll have to start naming all the maggots that live in my garbage can. Baby fly #1, Baby fly #2...

Monday, May 22, 2006

We'll always have Paris

I'm going through the same torn feelings as my dahling friend Miss O upon leaving Paris all over again. Part of me knows that Nottingham is a really good place for me right now, but it is hard to listen to that voice when it's being drowned out by the drunken singing of my friends, the sound of stylish French heels on cobble stone streets or the simple clink of your spoon against a porcelain espresso cup.

This city has become a part of me in more ways than one. It has seen me grow from an ignorant American girl into a self-confident woman. It saw me when I first became financially independent from my Mother. It has seen me through the rocky, exciting beginnings of the biggest love of my life.

We spent the days walking around the left bank and islands. Purchased some jewellery on Ile St. Louis, got kicked out of the jardin behind Notre Dame due to a gusty wind that would put Chicago to shame. The nights of course were used up by vodka and old friends. So much gossip to catch up on in 6 months - people leaving, people changing jobs, getting married, having babies, cheating on their wives.

Everyone asked me when Stephane and I are going to move back. We'll eventually return to Paris. Be it in 2 years or 20. I'm not worried about Paris changing - I'm worried that we will be different. But perhaps that's a good thing.

Shopping on Ile-St-Louis

Me and the girls in The Fifth Bar. Behaving ourselves...for the photo at least.

The Newlyweds

Our Frenchmen

Stephane and the new Shebeen team.

Rock on.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hardy har har

Make 'em laugh says Atul at this week's roundtable. But not by swearing nor by drawing attention to whatever minority group you belong to. It's a been there done that kind of a thing.

Stop on by and discuss your favorite comics. I'll be in my corner drooling over the idea of Eddie Izzard in jeans and high heels.

I'll also be off to Paris tomorrow (waking up at the disturbing hour of 4am, an hour I plan to be using as my bedtime while over in the City of Lights).

I'll be sure to come back with plenty of stories and pics.

gros bisous!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Here fishy fishy fishy fishy

One of those nights when you go into the pub for 1 or 2 pints and find yourself 6 pints to the wind, talking to some guy from Victoria, South Africa and swapping odd family history stories;

A meal I made awhile a go. Cod I believe.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What the crap is that on your feet?

The Roundtable's honorary Big Daddy discusses a nasty californ-I-A trend in foot wear that is just NOT ON. I totally agree with RW, the tassled loafers are lame. If you wear them - stop on by and try to defend yourself, but trust me, you'll be alone.

In other news our pub had it's last pub quiz before changing managment. While we didn't win the quiz, I did manage to win £75 in Deal or No Deal. Which we spent on one round of drinks and the rest we gave to a charity for the Blind. We also managed to win 45 lollipops, ate a few and gave the rest to the children's ward at the hospital. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy at the end of the night, and I don't think the Whiskey was entirely to blame this time.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I don't run after buses even if I'm late.

I want to give a BIG congratulations and a holy fuck how'd you do that to my little sister who not only finished the Washington D.C. marathon in 5 hours and 12 minutes, but also beat out everyone in her age group AND managed to SPRINT the last half mile while the others practically crawled over the finish line.

What did I do today? Grocery shopping, laid in bed reading Cosmo when I should have been cleaning the house, watched Lost, made a Roast chicken and had two, count 'em two "low-fat" chocolate mouse snacks. Sometimes it amazes me that my sister and I come from the same gene pool. She's amazing.

My biggest accomplishment these past few months? Getting my hair cut. Enjoy:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I suck.

I just finished the movie Thumbsucker. I had read the book years ago. My mother had given it to me. Not because it had rave reviews, or a friend had recommended it to her, she bought it based on the title alone. I am 25 years old, soon to be 26 in less than a month and I suck my thumb. I have since birth I suppose. And not just in my sleep. I suck it while watching TV, while taking a shower, while pausing to think of what next to write in my blog.

It was strange to see this movie. I related too much to it and those similarities ended up feeling like almost an invasion.

An interesting difference however between myself and the protagonist of Thumbsucker, Justin, is that I was never ashamed of my childish habit. I am not proud, and I don’t advertise it (yeah, good job writing about on your website Lauren, way to keep it on the DL) but I can count the instances someone made me feel ashamed of being a thumbsucker on one hand. And I think that’s mainly down to the fact that I didn’t let them.

While Justin hides in his high school bathroom to suck his thumb between classes, I used to suck my thumb in the middle of class. I’m sure that people used to know me as that weird girl who sucked her thumb during US History. Actually I KNOW that that is how people in high school knew me as. I just don’t remember caring.

I don’t suck my thumb at work. Well at least not when anyone’s looking. So obviously at some point what is socially acceptable has taken precedence over my comforting addiction.

I went to the dentist when I was back in the states and I asked him to give me a mouth guard to help with the sucking at night. I enjoy sucking my thumb and I don’t necessarily want to stop, I also don’t want to have teeth sticking horizontally out of my mouth in 10 years time and have completely wasted all the money my mother put into braces, expanders and retainers. My dentist later commented to my mother that she had an amazing daughter to be able to admit such an embarrassing trait so openly.

Is it that embarrassing? Something I should hide? Constantly in fear that I’ll fall asleep in public and wake up with my thumb in my mouth in front of a stranger?

We all have addictions, habits, quirks. Perhaps I’m too open with mine. You’d think I would have learned by now not to talk with my mouth full.

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Roundtable

I'll do my best to hide my celeb crazy drive while drunk and give you all a heads up on today's roundtable with SK Waller. But it does appear that we have a mild celebrity in our group. Shhh, but don't make too big of a deal about it, ok?

Monday, May 01, 2006

All roads lead to Utrecht*

(A rather appropriate piece of graffiti under a bridge in Weesp)

I do believe it is possible to fall in love with a place. To be ready within hours of your arrival to be willing to give up a stable relationship; give up the ability to communicate, give up any semblance of a career because you have suddenly found a place which feeds some hidden part of you that had been ignored for so long you forgot it existed.

Holland is beautiful, as I’m sure you’ve heard. Water seems to be the life force of this country, with canals coursing through it at each turn. We were staying in the town of Weesp, a small historical city of around 18,000 inhabitants – bridges, fortresses, windmills and WWII bunkers all lend to the charming atmosphere of this town a mere 10 minute train ride from the center of Amsterdam.

After a few hours of walking around in Weesp – I asked Stephane if he could possibly get a job in Amsterdam after his contract is up in Nottingham. After only a day there we were both looking at housing prices. I couldn’t imagine a better place to raise your children – water babies that are born on bikes.

We spent one day in Amsterdam, touristy boat ride through the canals – where I found out the interesting facts that one car on average per week falls into the canals despite the expensive addition of low metal railings installed in the 1960’s in hopes to cure this very problem and that all houses in Amsterdam have the exterior hooks at the top to raise furniture in and out of the windows as the staircases are too narrow.
We walked and walked and walked. I never tired of the site of dozens of bikes lined up against walls or the gentle curve of a house-lined canal. In order to feel that we were at least getting some culture in the city that has the most museums in the world, we made a quick stop into the Sex Museum – which had surprisingly clean bathrooms and fabulously tacky mannequin displays.

Amsterdam’s red light district reminds me of 7-11. Those seedy places where all morals are left at the door and people come to act like the lowest common denominator of themselves. A place where the store clerks give you a devilish grin because he knows exactly why you all of the sudden decided you needed a sweaty foot long hot dog, a big gulp and while we’re at one of those magazines in the back covered in a brown paper bag thankyouverymuch. Except in Amsterdam the hot dogs are replaced by sweaty dildos, the magazine is replaced with videos of women raping dogs - the big gulp stays the same – but it’ll cost you extra here.

In the defence of the Dutch, you’d be hard pressed to actually find one in this area. It’s a sordid tourist trap with dark men doing drug deals on street corners. As it was Sunday – not all of the prostitutes were working, so many of the windows were empty. Most of the girls I did see were tall and thin and plastic pretty, some were large black women with luxurious rolls of flesh spilling out of their lingerie, some were men dressed as women, all wore too much make-up and all of them had cold dead eyes.

Outside of this area Amsterdam is lovely and I am anxious to return and give this city more of time.
My work host took me on scenic drives between Tilburg and Weesp, where we rode on a narrow and winding dike that had a wide and clear river to one side and expansive farms with gorgeous homes and gardens which were dotted with cows, sheep and their young. Some of the farms had small ponds with ducks and lily pads. My host explained that this is because at one point the dyke broke causing the other side to flood and the pond to appear over night.

I did my best to pick up as much Dutch as possible. Not that it was necessary as most everyone can speak a little English, but I can now understand the majority of a menu, and can say Thank you, Good morning, Goodbye, Cheese, Chicken and Grandpa.

Equipped with large chunks of Gouda, a bag of Weespermoppen, a sweet cake that is a specialty of Weesp I made my way back to England. I had clear skies as I flew over the coast of Holland, which is all sand beaches. I think I have become so enamoured with Holland because it has been way too long since I have visited a new country and the joy of discovering a new language, culture and countryside over took me. Perhaps the grass is always greener. But then I started flying over the East Midlands and realised that the grass at home is pretty damn green too.

* It was explained to me that if anyone is ever lost in Holland, you simply tell them to find Utrecht. Because in Holland - all roads lead to Utrecht.