Monthly Archives: April 2010

Lots of stuff & Ava

Ava Image courtesy of Doctor Macro

Lots of stuff i’ve meant to write about over the course of the last couple of weeks; lots of stuff i’ve meant to write about but i’ve been too tired to get round to doing so. Motivation is not-so-good. Perhaps the three day weekend will help?

So i’m uber tired and am settling down for the evening with Patrick, a biography of Ava Gardner and a bit of Animal Crossing. I’ve got lots of food in the fridge and plenty to read… I hope to have to do very little indeed.

I don’t feel very lonely or terribly sad, but I have been spending time thinking about MW#1- he’s not gone completely from my head. Ho-hum sigh etcetera.

Back to tales of Ava and her second marriage…

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Vandalised Conservative Billboards

Facebook – Vandalised Conservative Billboards
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Shelter Housing League Table

Shelter Housing League Table

“How good is your council at getting affordable homes built?”

My council: “You would have to earn £43,148 per year to afford to buy an average-priced house in your area.”

I don’t want to own a house at the moment (or for a long period to come), just rent somewhere that’s other than a glorified bedsit…
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This morning my class was missing one child who was stranded in Colorado post-skiing holiday, one in Portugal and one in New York. At least six staff are stuck scattered around the world and if there is a lot of illness the school is going to run into trouble, especially as so many will not seemingly be able to get back for at least another week or so. One of my Year 11 pupils is stuck in Spain and has been told that the earliest available flights to the UK were at the end of May. The END of MAY! Bananas.

On the subject of fruit (and vegetables), that blasted Icelandic menace appears to have started to affect the produce available to me; when I went for my weekly shop today I had to substitute or leave out a few things due to the empty produce bins that confronted me. On a better note I made Pad Thai – thanks Gordon – and it was great; a bit on the gooey-side due to too much egg and not enough noodles but darned tasty nonetheless. Though through making it I discovered that Nam Pla smells like I imagine death smells. Mmmm…
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Bret Hart 1999 Bret Hart Toy Biz Ring Fighters
by Rob Blatt [cc]

Remember how i’d written that after our meeting last week MW#1 said he wanted to meet up for coffee? Well, we didn’t meet for coffee and he’s not replying to any of my very sporadically sent texts. Yes, it appears that I don’t exist to him any more.

This development makes me feel rather sad. It shouldn’t do, given all thats happened but his decision to ignore me makes me feel even more acutely that the four years I spent loving and caring for him have been four wasted years.

They weren’t entirely pointless- I got glimpses of happiness and security and I discovered what real, woman-centred pleasure actually means. But really it was four years-worth of one night stands- no commitment or emotional depth and thus no future. I very much wish it had been more than this but at this point at least I don’t think MW#1 is ready for the demands of a mature relationship.

Over the last four years I have been loyal, giving, caring, reliable, loving and monogamous. I’ve made mistakes and i’m far from perfect, but I think i’m a fairly decent human being and if some people do not recognise this then it is quite literally their loss.
“The Best There Is,
The Best There Was and
The Best There Ever Will Be.”
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Kids In Cars

Recently awarded a Pulitzer prize:

Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?

A very sad but well-written read about how an everyday lapse in memory can result in the death of a child. I like the idea of putting a teddy in the car seat when it’s not occupied and moving said bear to the front seat to remind you. The stories of the parents struggling to cope with what they unintentionally did are very, very sad.
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Post-Flambé party; slightly alcoholified on the walk home – house keys tightly gripped in my pocket, heels in a bag and flats on my feet. Walk walk walk, no problems. Guy in kevved-up Golf pulls along side me and matches my pace as I walk – Would I like a lift? Where have I come from? Where am I going? I must want a lift, because I must be cold, what with my legs being the only part of my flesh exposed. Could I give him my number, just to be friends??


Further on down the same road, Drunk Man: “Hellooo…” I cut him off with a curt “I’m going home” Drunk Man about turns and follows me, giving up when I tell him “I’m going home alone”. What the fuck.

These interactions are even worse than the “lights are on, time to get your coat love- you’re pulled”-type. You don’t give a fuck when i’m makeup-free and in trousers but somehow as you’re fucked, i’m in a dress and wearing eye-makeup and you’re weaving home i’m just what you’re after?

Fuck off.

Three points for Wigan. Three points.

And Google appears to tell me that what I thought was a common expression is not-so-much. “Three points for Wigan” – Blasting a penalty in football way, way over the bar and into the upper stands.
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J Smith


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Flambé’s birthday party this evening and I am looking forward to wearing finest Primani- a floral print prom dress that I bought months back but have not had anything to wear it to. Hurrah.

Today is the last week day of freedom before I have to back to school on Monday; already I have been lying awake worrying about my students (how they’re going to get on grade-wise) and what my position my job will be in come September. My boss is retiring and my colleague is going for her position of Head of Department; everyone in the department hopes that she gets the job as she’d be continuity and good at it and if she succeeds my position for full-time work will be safe. If not I might be doing supply again. Sigh.

If she got the position I would have to take over the running of the A Level Photography course, which would be a bit scary but cool. I’d appreciate th challenge, if not the brain-lite students. I’d also move up to being second in department which would mean more money woohoo. It’s all rather worrying from the perspective of not knowing what’s going to happen and the positives and negatives that might result whatever the outcome.

Last night I also lay awake thinking about MW#1. Yes, I still feel sad and in addition I have started to get pangs of the “I miss you”s. LAME. In news that is not exactly unexpected, the whole “meet for coffee” event has not happened, and i’m thinking that perhaps it was just his was of sidling out of the non-relationship. Who knows. Anyway, an actual party this evening. I just hope I don’t get emotional as the booze wears me down…
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Politics by auspices

politics by auspices (cropped) [cc]

What the fuck are you on about?? Indeed.

The single mother’s manifesto by JK Rowling
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Pretty Lady Lucie

Lady Lucie Oooh… Pretty…

Lady Lucie [via]

Wildly unobtainable corsetry and latexwear in very interesting styles and colourways- behold latex appliqué.

I rather like the Starburst bodysuit, Puff Sleeve Mini Dress and 50’s Circle Skirt Dress.

Pictured: Stripe High Waisted Skirt – Katkin by Glow Photography

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Nice Guys TM

“Women want men who are not one dimensional stereotypes. I want a man that can cuddle with me; a man that can, at the very least verbally, defend me; a man that feels passionately about some of the same things I am passionate about; a man that sees the beauty in nature; a man that can be my rock when I need one but that is also able to lean on me when he needs to.”
Comment from the article The Fate Of The Nice Guy & The Allure Of Bad Boys
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Reproductive Priorities

In a previous post I outlined my hopes that I could maybe find someone who could, one day be an appropriate person to knock me up and continue our species. Thinking back on what I wrote i’d like to expand a bit on my thoughts.

I don’t need to have children nor do I necessarily want to have children; I would just like to have the option of trying for one before biology takes that option away from me, or at least makes it very difficult. I think adoption is an admirable thing but there is something I find beguiling about the genetic roll-of-the-dice that is sexual reproduction.

Thinking about all of this – and I know that all of my friends ponder similarly – I realise that it’s all a serious undertaking and so requires a serious partner in crime, someone who will be responsible, available in an emotional and time-sense and be there for the long haul, or at least an extended period of time.

In a lot of areas in my life I feel that people don’t take me seriously. This could be my perception only but I doubt this; perhaps it’s because of how young I look, or my appearance or my femaleness or my loud laugh and excitement over the small things in this world. I don’t know. Relationship-wise, no-one has ever taken me seriously- I’ve always been the bit-on-the-side, the plaything. I have let this happen, but I wonder why it is I seem to be seen as an unsafe bet?

I’d like to share my admittedly rather uninteresting life with someone who recognises my positives and appreciates me and who can deal with my flaws. In both non-relationships i’ve suffered through I have always been the one to bend over and put up with the serious problems of the objects of my affection; it seems like the smallest problems I might have had have been too much for them to “cope” with and so they emotionally or physically bail out.

This is why I would like someone in my life who would take me seriously. Someone who is mature about life yet enjoys stupid stuff. A man who’ll acknowledge what I mean to him and at least try at communicating how he feels. Who’ll be there for me when the shit is hitting the fan and things seem to be on the verge of falling apart. Who won’t go back on what they say and who will be reliable.

These qualities (amongst others) are not qualities that should be rare in people. They are not extraordinary things, they are reasonable, and go towards what I would class as reasonable behaviour. I find it particularly galling to have given so much and have received so very little in return.

It’s not rocket science. It’s not, I feel, asking too much. It’s just reasonable. But it appears seemingly unobtainable and too much to ask. Not being an immature dick? Too much to ask for *so* many of the men me and my friends have known- Just go to any bar on a Friday night and observe the idiocy.

So i’m not in any way desperate to find someone just to knock me up- FAR from it. I suppose i’m just upset at how there seem to be so few adult males who are just that- Adults. As I stated at the beginning of this ramble, I don’t know if I even want or can have kids. I’d just like to have an engaged, functional relationship that doesn’t revolve around the man and their needs all the goshdarned time. Because you know what? With apologies for the ego, for all my flaws I am pretty great.

Too much to ask…?
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20×200 picks

If I had a spare $140 (plus shipping)… and a place where I didn’t do all my living in one room… Well then I would very much like to have the following from 20×200:

Michael Lundgren Yuha Basin
by Michael Lundgren

Mark Menjivar Bar Tender | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Goes to sleep at 8AM and wakes up at 4PM daily.
by Mark Menjivar

Mark Menjivar Midwife/Middle School Science Teacher | San Antonio, TX | 3-Person Household (including dog) | First week after deciding to eat locally grown vegetables.
by Mark Menjivar

Andrew Zuckerman Blue-and-yellow Macaw_044
by Andrew Zuckerman

(See also Sølve Sundsbø’s PERROQUET on SHOWstudio)

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Muffins Score!

I don’t know if it is the recipe or the new tub of baking powder I used to make them but at last I have managed to make lemon muffins that are actually GOOD- light in texture and gently lemony. Hooray!

I used the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins recipe from the excellent Simply Recipes, but forgetting to add the poppy seeds these ended up being plain old lemon. Please see the recipe on Simply Recipes for the instructions, but here are the converted into metric amounts that make six rather than twelve muffins:

Oven 190C
Middle shelf
25 – 30mins (mine took 25)
Makes SIX

190g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp salt
70g unsalted butter (softened)
100g granulated white sugar
1 egg
150g plain yoghurt – I used Greek-style
(1 tbsp poppy seeds)
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon extract

From Simply Recipes
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DIY Government

Guardian – The Conservatives have a vision of ‘big society’. But who has got time for DIY government?
“The Tories say they want us to help govern. But from choosing a holiday to checking out our own groceries, aren’t we doing enough already?”
Guardian – 50 heads attack Conservative education plans
“Letter to the Guardian accuses Tories of ‘naive educational tourism’ for basing strategy on Swedish and US models”

I will not be voting Conservative this year…
Nor will I be voting Labour…
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A bit of sentiment regarding MW#1 came back at around 11.30 last night. Lame-o.
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Biz Markie – Bennie and the Jets

Biz Markie sings Bennie and the Jets

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Less Good

Today I have spent most of my day feeling glum in a variety of places. I woke up and pondered MW#1 as I lay curled up with Patrick, remembering times in the past when me and MW#1 curled up together. This reminiscing elicited no warm and fuzzy feelings whatsoever. I then wondered whether this lack of sentiment was a temporary or permanent thing and whether it’s because i’ve moved on or because i’m feeling very down about it.

I pondered MW#1 in bed, I pondered as I stood under the shower and I pondered as I waited to pick up a parcel at the Post Office. Once home I tried to motivate myself into tackling some washing up but failed so I boiled the kettle for a cup of coffee which I then had to boil again as I had sat staring into space thinking for about fifteen minutes.

What to do…? Keep busy I suppose- Read, meet with friends, get out and run errands, cook myself tasty food. Contact lens appointment Thursday, Flambé’s birthday party Friday and then perhaps a birthday drink with Dr. Shrunk on Saturday. Then it’s back to the chalkface on Monday for the final stretch to the Summer…
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Today was a good day- Did some washing, went to Tesco and got lots of tasty food in and then in the evening met up with Flambé for pizza and cocktails. Had a little nap post-lunch and generally did fuck all. Oh and watched Gene Hunt. Huzzah.

Thought about MW#1 a bit, trying to feel out how I feel about him so to speak without coming to any concrete conclusions. I thought about what he said yesterday about his best bud who at thirty four has just become a father for the first time, having got married a couple of years back. I’d met this best friend once (I socialised *so* much) whilst standing around outside a restaurant waiting to go in and order with MW#1 and feeling hugely awkward and rather embarrassed at my existence.

I would say “Ooh, an actual grown up, responsible and supportive man!” but his entry into Fatherhood all occurred after the affair he had with a Primary School teacher whilst he was seemingly biding his time before his return back across the pond to his then fiancé and future Mother of his child. For fucks sake.

I’d like to have the option of having kids available to me if I met the right person, however I am not getting any younger. My body clock slowly ticks by and the DNA in my ovaries slowly degrades. I have no idea as to whether I can have children nor do I know if the person I considered appropriate father material would be able to give me some nice, high quality, motile sperm. Fuck knows. But i’d like to have the option of reproducing, so at least I (we) could explore those options.

Exploring my reproductive options is not going to happen with someone who offers no support to me whatsoever, is never there for me, plans the future without including me and goes back on their word all the time.

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Jane Intimacy

Fonda Quote of the Day:
“Perhaps you think that by intimacy I mean sex, so allow me to clarify. Sex can be intimate but isn’t necessarily so; sometimes it’s just the pleasurable stimulation of genitalia. By intimacy I mean an attunement between two people who, despite each other’s evident flaws, open their hearts fully to each other. This openness makes them vulnerable, so trust is key. So is self-love: It’s impossible to be truly intimate with someone if you don’t like yourself.”
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MW#1 Meeting

Today I saw MW#1 for the first time in nearly eight months. He’d asked if he could see me and I agreed thinking the experience might help me; newly-armed with the inspirational contents of Jane Fonda’s autobiography I felt more sure of myself than in a long while.

All this went out the window when a half hour before our meeting I realised that a serious case of the nerves had taken up residence in my stomach and quite a lot of Pilates breathing – in through the nose, out through the mouth – did nothing to shift them. I thought to myself “Oh for fuckssake!” as my body seemed to betray all the careful thinking I had done.

So we met and wandered into town for a cup of coffee; altogether we spent around an hour and a half by the riverside. It was difficult; I spent most of the time feeling all twisted up inside, even though we didn’t discuss anything about the non-relationship. He did most of the talking as I sat and focused on not crying; there were long periods of silence where I just sat there and didn’t say anything, not wanting to help out with the awkwardness.

As I didn’t engage, he talked about himself, his job, his interests. I talked a little, mostly replying in a monotone as I struggled to keep my emotions in check. I want to be able to clearly communicate my thoughts and feelings on things but I didn’t think I could do so without losing it, and that clear communication would not make.

He appeared smaller and softer than I remembered, and talked confidently about himself and other things whilst appearing a little vulnerable. I can’t put my finger on it but he was just… I dunno… sort of a bit more fragile.

I felt absolutely zero warm and fuzzy feelings towards him, nor any good-will. I don’t even know if I feel any love towards him, not at the moment, certainly. I did feel pained and choked up and unable to tell him how i’ve been feeling or what i’ve been thinking. I suppose these things are because i’m trying to keep everything back at the moment so I can function better over coffee.

He wants to meet up for another coffee next week; if this does happen – he’s not exactly got the best record for keeping appointments – perhaps this time I will be able to talk a little more freely. Probably not but maybe the exposure will help move me towards speaking up, or at least spend a bit more time in his company without feeling utterly sad the entire time. Ugh…
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“Like most men I love a sandwich. I like the immediacy and functionality of food shaped to post into the mouth. I love the convenience – I’m happy knocking one up out of the ingredients to hand while I’m working – and I don’t care if it is a complete myth that the Earl of Sandwich invented it while gambling. The sandwich could only ever have been dreamed up by a bloke who was insanely hungry and totally preoccupied so the story’s so perfect it should be true.”
Guardian – The Best Sandwich Ever?
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Two De Brazza’s Monkeys

Baby De Brazza Dave Parsons / Denver Zoo

“A baby De Brazza’s monkey named Kanani was born December 19th at the Denver Zoo. An adventurous and independent-minded little monkey, Kanani likes to wriggle away from mom and explore her surroundings on her own. Kanani’s father was rescued from a black market in Africa as a baby and mother Kisoro was born at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.”


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De Brazza’s Monkey

De Brazza’s Monkeys are coooool. De Brazza

What’chu want? by Sebastian Niedlich [cc]

I’m sure I have marvelled at their geometric patterning and perfectly sculpted crimped fur when i’ve seen them in a zoo but this is the first time i’ve seen De Brazza’s up close…

And yes, I am tired and I am drinking half a glass of wine and yes I have been looking at Zooborns… Hey, it’s been a long day…

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Good lord, it’s only been around three hours since the election has been called and already I cannot sit through The World At One without talking back to the sniping politicians… After half an hour I had to turn it off. Only a month to go.

I registered to vote recently as I wasn’t sure whether I was registered to do so at my current address; in years gone by I have not voted because all of the candidates have deeply unimpressed me or I find that I like one party but then one particular policy will appear so idiotic to me that I simply cannot vote for their candidate. So I end up voting for no-one.

This year I would very much like to be able to vote if only to put a big fuck-off cross through all of the candidates’ boxes and so I can write “None of the above.”
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Oh dear- I took MR T in to finally get serviced today – only six months overdue! – and apparently his “clutch is slipping quite badly” which is like another £250 on top of the servicing costs. UGH. I had hoped that I could start saving money for Corsica next month with the service out of the way but apparently not… If it’s not one thing it’s another. I will have to wait ’til next month to get that done… :(
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The Psychopath as Moral Agent

Whilst browsing war crimes as you do (or at least as I did for the last post), I came across this intriguing paper “The Psychopath as Moral Agent” by Robert J. Smith from Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Dec., 1984), pp. 177-193.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to JSTOR where this interesting article lives so I will have to make do with the first page. It’s an interesting concept- Psychologically and psychiatrically problematic people doing tasks that others really don’t want to have to do:
“The psychological literature dealing with the psychopath is mainly concentrated on psychiatric case histories of antisocial depredations, or with measurement of this diagnostic category via physiological, attitudinal, and familial correlates. Recently, however, philosophers have shown increasing interest in the psychopath as a paradigm case in examining value theory, moral responsibility, and even rationality. The psychopath is a direct challenge to these realms of discourse because, while judged psychologically ill by some clinical authorities, s/he is not recognised by these same authorities as distinguished by irrationality; may therefore possess a perfectly consistent set of values, and even behave responsibly within this framework. By examining these issues of rationality, responsibility, and valuation as they relate to psychopath, philosophical analysis permits us a more objective perspective on this fascinating entity.”
Incidentally, if anyone does have access to this article drop me a line… I’m just a barrel of fun today, ain’t I…
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Collateral Murder

Collateral Murder Collateral Murder

Wikileaks claims to have obtained and decrypted video that shows US occupying forces in an Apache helicopter intentionally firing on a dozen civilians in Baghdad, including journalists working for the Reuters news organization: 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.”

I’ve chosen not to watch the video as the stills and transcript of this event are quite enough for me.

When I used to travel with my family I would always internally chuckle when my Dad was answering the usual airport check-in security questions, specifically the one “Do you have anything in your luggage that could be construed as a weapon?” My Dad would always bring up whatever telephoto lens he was carrying.

This incident proves that shit, yes, a fucking camera lens can indeed in some people’s heads equal a rocket launcher. For fucks sake.

Boing Boing – Iraq: Wikileaks video of US military killing journalists

When I was doing background research for the current A Level Art exam (the kiddies brains don’t appear to be able to research by themselves) I looked at Goya’s Disasters of War series and was struck at the similarities between a couple of the prints and the defining image of the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

Plate 22

Goya – Disasters of War – Plate 22 – All this and more – c.1810

My Lai

Ronald L. Haeberle – My Lai – 1968

I suppose you could say that bodies piled up are just bodies, right? No matter who killed them or at what point in history, whether during The Peninsular War or Jonestown.

For all that people are (rightly) outraged at tales of mass mutilation in Liberia or rape as a weapon in the Congo, these two images – one a print, one a photograph and nearly two hundred years between them – show that when it comes to cruelty, man really is not that imaginative. Have they and we learnt nothing? And by that I don’t mean new and exciting ways to obliterate people- That we seem to have no problem with whatsoever.

I have no idea what point I am trying to make with this post, aside I suppose for expressing disgust, which doesn’t do anything about the problems of the world at all.

I saw it: The invented Realities of Goya’s Disasters of War
Dave Grossman – On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
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Star Wars Sound Effects Quiz

Boing Boing – Star Wars Sound Effects Quiz!

I got 70%… I am a bit disappointed I did not get more…
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