29 September 2005
And what am I doing today?
Going to work.
I have this thing due today, and once the work is finished I intend to go home and get back into bed and start taking serious care of myself and maybe not come in tomorrow.
I'm still upset about my weekend Mr.Aloof plans, but possibly more upset about still being so sick and just wanting to seriously feel the fuck better. I hate this.
Enough sick talk, I have a much better story.
So yesterday, at six, when I had stayed at work too late, and had stretched my tolerances past what I should, I hopped the lovely 38 bus right outside my office to take me to basically right outside my front door. The 38 is an old routemaster bus, the kind that are being decommissioned and will be gone from the streets of London by the end of the year. They're a strange lot, not particularly safe, a bit grotty, but a true London experience. I'll miss them when they go.
Anyway, the bus gets to around Hackney Central when the conductor gets off with a small boy of about eleven or so. She walks him to a corner of a building and a fence, pointing him towards it and then goes to motion something to the driver. Everyone sitting in the bus (myself included) is staring, trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
What was going on, was this young boy had to pee.
He must have said something to the conductor who decided to help his situation, but by 'help' I think I actually mean 'scar for life'. Because as soon as she was done motioning to the driver, she walked over the boy and towered over him, looking down. I honestly couldn't tell if she was trying to shield him further from what is, in effect, an extremely busy intersection, or she was some sort of conductor pervert getting a peep at some eleven year old penis.
When the yellow stream had run across the pavement and hit the curb and the boy was obviously done, she dragged him back to the bus and said, "Here, sit here". Now, while everyone had a clear view looking out the window, I assure you, no one turned around to look behind.
Seriously, it was a weird.
28 September 2005
Yes, I dragged my sorry ass into work today because I managed to sleep reasonably well and I felt too guilty to take another day off.
This doesn't mean however, that I'm well. In fact, far from it. I am increasingly dizzy and have swung from being too hot to now being too cold. And the truth is, although the amount of work I have to do is threatening to bury me in a slimy avalanche, and I am sitting at my desk, I am in fact, getting very little accomplished (except for this blog).
I need to prepare a report by the end of tomorrow. I should have started it yesterday. Fuck, I should have started it Monday. I feel lost and uninformed and useless. And dizzy. Did I mention dizzy?
I think maybe I'm hungry, considering the sum total of food eaten by me since Monday night consists of a small bowl of pasta last night and a small glass of smoothie this morning. When I think, "Am I hungry?", there does seem to be a small response of gurgling in the stomach area.
I can't believe I have so much fucking work to do. How is it ever going to get done? Holy fucking fuckety fuck.
27 September 2005
I feel a bit guilty for not being at work seeing as how I have lots to do, but on the other hand, since I slept most of the morning, it's also clear that I really probably just need to be at home resting. It's just that I hate being sick.
I'm supposed to meet up with Mr.Aloof this weekend and at the moment I can barely think about it. You know you are really sick when you can't stand the thought of someone touching you or any sort of intimacy whatsoever. Clearly this must pass immediately. I don't get to see Mr.Aloof enough to waste a chance to hang out with him because I decided to succumb to some illness. Simply not acceptable!
This was also supposed to be the week I stated going back to the gym. Somehow over the summer, my gym attendance just disappeared. I was good about it while the weather was cold and it was dark. But as soon as it got light and warm I just couldn't find the motivation. However, I've been increasingly upset with the flabby state of affairs that is my body and the thing is, I actually enjoy the gym when I manage to get myself there, so the dissatisfaction coupled with the cooler weather has given me a renewed interest in getting back to it. But clearly not this week, now.
There isn't much else going on or of interest. This weekend I want to go check out the Mile of Art thing that's going on not far from me (check out those cows, huh?). S's boyfriend C is going to have a booth. It will be the first time he's shown any of his work publicly I think, and I'm curious to see how it goes. And then I'm just curious to see all the art. Though to be fair, I've blown my art budget this year by helping to support CJC's family. But that's okay, it was a worthwhile cause and I got a few excellent photos out of it.
Anyway, I think I hear my bed calling. Later kids.
26 September 2005
There is something wrong with me. I suppose I should go to my GP or something, but I have lots of work to do, and the reality is, I can't quite say what exactly is wrong with me, I just know something is terribly wrong.
I've been having the most horrendous lower back pain coupled with a headache and odd shooting pains in other unrelated places on my body.
I woke up at 4 and couldn't sleep, decided to stumble to the toilet. Where the effort of getting there and sitting was so excruciating that the pain literally made me vomit. Never had that happen before, and honestly, don't recommend it. (Yes I know this falls into the too much information category but I'm miserable and thought I would share)
I am really not a happy bunny.
25 September 2005
I enjoy when S is not depressed about her job, or her boyfriend, or how everything in the world is stacked against her. When she finds a moment of normality, then I remember with vivid clarity why she is one of my best friends.
We dished about the highs and lows and current conditions of each others life. Eventually I got onto the topic of my life apathy. I pointed out to S that I have actually achieved many of the goals that I had set before me, and that I am generally feeling a lack of direction or focus, and that perhaps this worries me.
S pointed out that I had finally reached what real adulthood is all about. And in a way, she is right. When I first graduated from college, I didn't know what I was going to do and worked for a year in New Orleans. This year was many things, but what I knew from the start going into it, was that it would be exactly that, one year.
When New Orleans finished, I wasn't sure what I was going to do and ended up in Baltimore. I stayed there for three years, but I knew the entire time that I was there, that I was going to have to return to school to get my professional degree. After working for three years, it was time and I moved to St. Louis.
St. Louis was a place that I would never choose to live without a reason, and graduate school provided that reason. Another three years, and two masters degrees later, I was done with St. Louis and ready to move on.
And so I came to London. It had been a long-time fantasy of mine to live in another country. Upon graduating I had hoped to transition out of architecture into urban design. I also had a fantasy of being adult enough to own my own home. In London all of these things have come to be.
In fact, the only thing that I have left as a real 'goal' aside from the 'list of things I'd like to do before I die' is to finish my licensing exams for which I am (not doing a very good job of) studying for now. It will take three years for me to finish these exams, that if I lived in the States I would be done with by now. But I suppose the point is, although it is a goal for me to finish them, my living situation is not hinged on it either.
I can live anywhere I want, work at anything I want, do anything I want.
And I have no idea what I want.
I'm generally pretty happy where I am right now. I like what I do, I like where I live, I earn enough to be reasonably comfortable. It seems..... decadent.
I've always had goals or things I knew I would have to do up ahead. I have never lived any of my adult life in one place for more than four years, one year, three years, three years. I could stay here forever if I wanted to. Or I could move on. It's all up to me now.
Some people are driven by a desire for a family. I know I've touched on this before. I have always envisioned myself as having a family, but it's still not such a strong desire that I see it as a goal. Either it will happen, or it won't. In either case, it's not an issue now, so it also has no impact on my current decision making.
When you run out of 'needs to' and 'should be' then all you have left is your entire life stretched before you, that you can do with whatever you like.
I don't know. I'm finding it a bit strange.
(Ooooh intellectual poetry reference image alert!)
24 September 2005
Years passed and there were a few more grey hairs sprinkled around my head. I didn't take too much notice of them. A few years back I started coloring my hair. More because it was fun and I liked playing with the color- not that I was 'trying to cover my grey'. I tend to color my hair as often as I get it cut which works out to being twice or three times a year.
About three years back I had a day at a boring temp job where I decided to pick out every grey hair I could find on my head. I got past twenty and then stopped, realizing that they would stick out even more when they were short and growing back. Perhaps this was when I first became wary of my obviously changing head.
So imagine my current surprise as my hair approaches cut and color time to see just how many grey hairs I have. I don't have a handful or a set number, I have a fucking percentage. I think my hair is quite possibly 3% grey. And I'm appalled.
How can this be??
I'm not old. I don't even feel like an adult most of the time. How the hell is my hair turning me into some granny before I've really lived?
Most people who know me will know that I am not vain about most things. I don't wear make-up, I don't always put huge efforts into my clothing. I tend to stick with comfortable over stylish. But this hair thing, it's really freaking me out. It just doesn't go with my image of myself.
Clearly this means I'll have to start coloring my hair more regularly. But one day, I will not color it, and where I used to have dark curls I will only see white. And honestly, where once upon a time I thought it would be cool and mature and adult, and that I wouldn't be that woman who freaks out about her hair, this really, really disturbs me for some reason.
22 September 2005
"Gold digger?" I asked, assuming she meant some tarted up woman looking to snag a husband.
"Yeah, just because you are sitting in your car, you think other people can't see you! If you can see out, others can see in! This guy had his finger in up to the knuckle! It was disgusting!"
It was then I understood what she meant. A gold nugget digger of the nasal variety.
When S and I moved to London, we were immediately struck at how much more comfortable British people seemed with picking their noses. Oh, they don't always go for the full finger in, though that's fairly common as well, but often to the side nose thumb-swipe. Like they're scratching the inside of their nose, but we all know what they're doing, they're scratching for gold is what they're doing. And this habit doesn't seem to know the boundaries of class or race. Sit on a tube from start to finish and guaranteed you'll see one of each kind of person to a nasal swipe at some point during the journey.
Now of course this begs the question, doesn't everyone pick their nose? I mean, honestly, I'm rather of the opinion that everyone does, but there's a correct time and place for such things, and equally the disposal of the product. For example, picking your nose on a crowded 38 bus vigorously is not okay. Going to the bathroom, picking your nose, wiping it in a tissue and disposing of it properly isn't going to hurt anyone.
The only reason this has been on my mind of late is the new Kanye West song "Golddigger" makes me think of the unfortunate other meaning of the lyric every time I hear it or see it in print. Of course, now that I've shared this nugget of information, perhaps you too will be equally afflicted.
21 September 2005
Lunch is my big meal of the day. I usually just have some cereal and milk for breakfast, then a big lunch, and then a smaller dinner (like, a steamed head of broccoli). There are a few main reasons for this.
First, I hate making a packed lunch. Perhaps it's a throwback to being a student. My mom used to make lunches for me for ages and I was the queen of trading it away for better things. Looking back on it now, I'm sure the lunches my mom made were generally wholesome and good, but I really, really wasn't into them. Instead, I frequently traded my complete lunch for this girl M's complete lunch. She was Japanese and her parents owned a Japanese restaurant. And so what did she have for lunch? Cute little bento boxes that her parents lovingly made that she was sick of. That worked out pretty well.
Second, because I am a single person, I find myself stuck with the same food for multiple days. You can't really buy enough to make one portion of things, or if you did, it would be expensive. So if you are to bring your lunch, you are likely going to eat the same thing for more than one meal in close proximity to one another. So what happens to me? I end up throwing good food away. Because I hate eating the same thing over and over, no matter how good. Unless of course it's Japanese food, but then that is fucking expensive to make so onto point three.
Third, and perhaps more importantly, is that the area where I work is full of cheap ethnic eats. I almost never spend over five pounds on lunch, and can easily get it under three if I wanted to. I can even get a fairly substantial lunch for just a single pound, or, well, I used to be able to, before they renovated my favorite Turkish place, but I'm sure I could find something similar at one of the many other Turkish establishments. If I were to buy food to make a lunch that I actually wanted to bring, I am sure I would be spending a similar amount on ingredients. This way I have a lot more diversity, and none of the work.
It's sort of a running joke at my office that I eat out every day for lunch. It's been suggested that I put together a restaurant review of all the places around the office to go eat. And I probably could. Of course, because I work in a slightly dodgy area, it's hard to get people to try new places. They're afraid of monkey brains and pigeon feet. So, for example, yesterday, I finally got someone to go with me to this Nigerian barbecue place that I've wanted to try for over two years and no one would ever go with me. And you know what, it wasn't at all bad, I would completely go there again, and so that was a huge bonus to find a new place to eat. The same person and I have loose plans to try a different Nigerian spot next week.
So yes. Lunch. In my little corner of life, the most important meal of the day.
20 September 2005
Or an alternate title could be, "How do I get my mojo back?". I have been thinking a bit lately, in between not thinking at all, about my general apathy.
A while back I wrote in an email to a friend that perhaps apathy towards life is the cornerstone of being an adult. That when you no longer have the energy or inclination to care, you have surpassed teenage and twenty-something angst and have reached the plateau of acceptance that seems to be characteristic of adulthood.
Of course, saying this, I would be one of the first to point out that I am rarely associated with my correct age. And for the most part, this suits me just fine, except when I need to seem professional and be taken seriously at which point I generally feel my more youthful appearance (and attitude) are a detriment.
The difficult part to this chain of thinking is that the majority of my youthful thinking and passion made me one generally depressed individual. And while I still fend of accusations of being a pessimist (I argue instead that I'm a realist which is completely different), I don't actually think I'm depressed anymore. So I wonder sometimes if this is the outcome of my learned life apathy, and that were I to care more, or feel more, about life, would I then by default become depressed?
It wasn't so long ago that I found myself frequently depressed. When I left the States to come to London I was a not so happy bunny. Part of that came from listening to the endless cycle of idiocy that was and unfortunately still is the current political climate, and other parts came from an extreme self criticism- on all levels.
Somehow, through no obvious means or methods, much of this has left my day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute thinking. But then, what am I left with? This strange void.
Eh. If I wasn't so apathetic, maybe I'd care more.
19 September 2005
18 September 2005
(Note: How do these parasites reproduce? Is there some sort of underwater fishy french kissing thing going on that we don't know about? *shudder*)
17 September 2005
Yesterday we had drinks in the office after work, which is always good. This was a nice pre-evening segway into heading to a club in Notting Hill for another friend N's 30th birthday party. Of course, getting from Dalston to Notting Hill is not the most convenient. Luckily there were about nine of us going from the office, so we could all share the burden.
The club was good, and S managed to show up which was nice. He brought this guy he works with randomly, which was alright. T thought he was cute. I just thought he was young. Well, and not my type really. I do like them older...
Anyway, S and M ended up leaving to go try and find a club in Camden and we (me, T, and L- who all live back Hackney ways) ended up staying past the last train and until about 1 when they started trying to kick everyone out. It took another half hour to get out of the club, and we headed for the first of two night buses. We passed a kebab shop, and I swear, all I wanted was a kebab. But I was kebab-blocked by T and L for some reason, even though on the bus they kept tormenting me by talking about how a kebab would have been nice. While waiting for the bus, L decided she really had to pee. This is difficult to do on a city street at 1:30 in the morning. So she ended up ducking around the corner to a side street and ducking between two cars. It was really funny later, when another coworker of ours, E passed with her ride and the turned the corner to head to the cars that L peed by. Since her friend denied us a ride, I really sort of hope L peed on his car. But probably not.
Anyway, I think we had just gotten on the second bus when S and M called me saying they were basically at my house looking to crash for the night. S always tells me that I don't go out and party enough, but didn't see that as a good excuse (my taking his advice) as to why I wasn't there to let him in from the cold. Of course C and D were asleep up in C's room- but stupid doctor schedule, she's working all day today and tomorrow so I said really it wouldn't be okay to wake them up.
So I got home around 2:30- S and M were waiting. I managed to get them all set up on the fold out sofa, and I went to bed. Of course I couldn't get to sleep. I finally got to sleep and awoke to a very strange noise.
Even though it's been cold, I tend to sleep with my window open. And the way acoustics work on my street, even though I am on the third floor, the softest sounds tend to transmit right up to my room. So I hear what sounds like a woman crying or screaming or being attacked. I wasn't really sure. But as alertness came to me, what I determined is that it was my new neighbors having sex. And the woman sounded demented. Like... seriously demented. I mean, who the hell sounds like that? And I think she just kept saying 'no' in a really horrible screechy wavering voice repeatedly. Or honestly, maybe I was just dreaming.
S came into my room around 9. I was awake, but wasn't feeling up to moving. According to him, everyone else had left and he'd been up since seven. So I got myself moving and have been moving ever since. Went to Broadway Market. Went from there to Bethnal Green so S could register with estate agents as he's looking to buy a place. And we managed to see a church that was open as part of London Open House. From there we took the tube to Belsize Park to go see the Isokon Flats as part of Open House which was fabulous. And from there wandered around South End Green a bit before heading towards Kentish Town. I ditched S at the Gospel Oak station and took the Silverlink back to Hackney Central and now I'm passing time.
I seriously don't think I'm going to stay at this barbecue very long.
16 September 2005
It's always a tricky thing, the outset of finding a flatmate. Do you go with a friend of a friend? The upside of a FOAF is that they come with some degree of recommendation. Or the "well, someone knows this person" factor. The downside of a FOAF is that they may find out things about you by living with you that you may not want friends lower down on the friend food chain to know. And lets face it, I have some things about my personal life that I don't always just want anyone to just know about. Another downside of the FOAF is that if they don't work out, they are slightly harder to get rid of as you risk offending the original friend. My first flatmate Z was a FOAF and she worked out fantastically, but you can't assume they'll all be like her.
So the alternative to the FOAF is the random. Mainly found by advertising in Loot or a similar service. The plus side to a random is you have the chance to meet someone new and interesting that you would never have a chance to meet otherwise. And for me, as landlord as well as flatmate, if the random sucks, I can give them one months notice and get rid of them. Of course the downsides to a random are extensive. Psychotic killer? Manic depressive? Compulsive liar? Thief? Celine Dion listener? Randoms have a tendency to hide these things about themselves until they are living in your house and rifling through your underwear drawer when you aren't at home.
The final alternative is the flat out friend option. Which I don't usually recommend. It's been okay with C, but there have certainly been issues. And because she is my friend, I've felt less able to address them how I would have liked. Living with friends can put a huge stress on the friendship, and so needs to be thought about carefully before undertaking. I suppose what worked well with C is that I barely saw her otherwise. So we weren't inundated with each other all the time.
Along that train of thinking, I am trying to get it through S's head that it would be a good idea for him to move in. Of course, if he moves in, it's just a temporary delay in the inevitable. He's looking to buy a place himself. But since he's living with his boyfriend who he's cheating on, and is waiting to break up with said boyfriend until he moves into his own place, I thought I could offer some assistance in moving that process along. What? I'm only trying to help...... But anyway, S would be okay as he is also someone I don't see so much of. And he'll eat what I cook and do dishes which is a bonus, though his bathroom cleanliness leaves something to be desired. Well, honestly, we've already lived in the same house twice, so I know that it would be okay.
I figure if S doesn't work out, I'll start seriously looking October first, either for mid October when C actually leaves or for November first, giving me a couple weeks of 'me in my own house' time. Whichever works out. I can't imagine I'll have trouble filling the room. The price is pretty cheap and the room is a good size, bright, with a double bed, plenty of room to swing a cat, and a view of the tip of the gherkin. Who could possibly ask for anything more?
15 September 2005
So about a year back, when I discovered the blog of Clayton James Cubitt on Nerve, I was a bit surprised at my reaction to the writings and the photos. I was, in fact, infatuated.
I don't know if it was the words or the images, or how the two combined, but something about what he produces speaks to me. And because I feel some degree of kinship with it, I find I am drawn to it. I almost even posed for him, if our schedules had managed to work out, when I was in New York, in March.
So recently I find myself somewhat overwhelmed with the trials of a man I don't really know. You see, he's from New Orleans, and his family has lost pretty much everything. Not that they had very much to begin with. He and his partner have left their home in NY to go south to find and help his mother and brother. He has been posting his story, and images, to his blog. I find I have no words to share with him. There is a group of regular responders to his blog, like any other blog. And most of the other voices have managed to say something, I just find I have no words at all to express my reaction to his story.
I lived in New Orleans once, yet I find myself distanced from the tragedy. I spent one year there building homes for poor people with Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps. I wonder if our houses still stand. I wonder if the house I lived in still stands. One of my best friends is from New Orleans. He owns a house there, and his parents live there (they evacuated to Baton Rouge no problem). No word yet on the damage to their respective homes. But they aren't poor. Their homes are all uptown (one of the least badly flooded areas) And they will likely be fine. I wonder these things and yet I feel oddly detached. How can one process the magnitude of the disaster? Maybe you can't, unless it's shown to you in a way that makes it personal, in a way that makes you feel.
When CJC found out that his family was still alive (that was a week of painful blogs), and found out that their home was destroyed, he put some of his images on sale for a limited time, with the proceeds going to help his family rebuild. You can see (and buy) the images (by clicking on the folder in the upper left) and read his synopsis in his own words here.
I recommend checking out his Nerve blog "The Daily Siege", though it's a bit tedious to go through and make a free account, however, I think it's worth it.
14 September 2005
7% doesn't seem like very much. And by the looks of it, I'm also a bit limited in my more 'global' explorations. Must fix that....
create your own visited countries map
I feel a little better with this one, 66%. However, do I feel eastward leaning? You bet your sweet ass I do!
create your own visited states map
13 September 2005
Last week we were having our 'team meeting' where we distribute work amongst the four of us. Or rather, T tries to hold onto all the work and tell me, C, and H what we will be doing for him. So we were having this meeting and T allocated H two new projects, both of which would take place over the next two weeks.
"Hold on," I said at the end of all of the whirlwind, "that's really not fair you know."
See, I was showing some initiative.
I went on to argue that since I had no pressing work it wasn't right to give H two new projects and me none. T hemmed and hawed for a bit and said that if the second project was starting now, then I could have the first, but if it was not to start for a few weeks then H would have the first because he needed something to do. We all agreed that seemed reasonable and T went off to find out more about the timescales.
A couple hours later he came over to my desk, "You'll be doing the BR site."
So here is the thing. I have my own little project. Just a feasibility study that I am doing the UD component for S (the architect on the project) and G (the director in charge of the project). It will be over in a week. But it's mine and I really don't want to fuck it up. Yesterday I was flipping out that I had fucked it up after the initial take on my numbers showed my scheme to be impossible. This was after the development of the first measurements on a design sketch had all seemed feasible. So I was panicking slightly that really I was crap and that I should not have been given responsibility because clearly I couldn't do my job.
Of course by the end of the day I had two workable schemes and S said he was very pleased with what we had and gave me the next phase for today. So that was good. I'm not entirely crap after all. Of course this morning I'm stressing about the new scheme, and making it work as well. Though with yesterdays accomplishments I feel I'm in a better position to do so. I also need to start throwing together the report with all of the information- but that I've done on other projects before so it should be alright.
I know that I'm just not a person who relishes responsibility. I know that I should be moving up, that I'm capable and that it's the way of things. But I live in fear of honestly fucking up something so that it's a real problem. I live in fear of failure. I prefer to play things safe and easy. Because I'm a lazy motherfucker? Or because I just have issues? I vote for issues personally, they're a lot more fun.
Anyway, I'm sure I will complete my project on time and correctly. Of course that only means that I'm going to be given something else to be responsible for. Fuck!
11 September 2005
I am failing miserably at trying to clean up before they arrive today so that some modicum of cleanliness is upheld with all three of us living here. As in, when you see something is neat and tidy when you get there, you should try to leave it in the same neat and tidy fashion when you leave.
On the other hand, I've been living with C for a few months now and she doesn't seem to pick up on that particularly, so I see no reason that my house isn't going to turn into a cesspit over the next two weeks. *sigh*
Today Ms.Tlsd and I are headed to the Brick Lane festival which should be good. I've not been before and am looking forward to it, though I don't think there is too much to do aside from eat curry. But hey, I can do that. By the time I get back, C and D should be here and I have to go to work tomorrow. I did a little bit of work at home yesterday but I think I should do more. Well, like I should do a million things at home really and have done basically none of them.
I managed to get my Italy photos all online, so I'm going to have to post some of the choicer ones here. There wasn't anything quite as entertaining as the Helsinki Minipussi but a few fun shots that are worth sharing.
10 September 2005
It began a couple weeks before Xmas. I was settling into my bed to sleep. And was partaking in my standard evening activity of getting myself off before slumber. Nothing unusual so far. All was according to the typical five minute cycle. Gentle pleasure, then a building of pleasure and intensity. Then, there is that moment, not orgasm itself- but that moment just prior to orgasm when you are pretty much assured that it's going to happen in the next twenty seconds or so. It was at this very precise moment when it all of the sudden felt like someone took a baseball bat and slammed me in the back of the skull. Pain exploded to the back of my head, moving to the temples. The room lurched and I thought I was going to vomit. Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing immediately and tried instead to concentrate on breathing.
I don't remember much of the first incident. Clearly I didn't remember enough the second evening when I went about my usual sleep routine. I suppose one tries to forget things like that, maybe I thought it was just a fluke. But the exact same thing happened again. And intense worry set in. What the hell was happening to me?
The following week involved methodical scientific exploration of the pain. What seemed to make it worse (it really couldn't get much worse). What seemed to make it better (nothing). Did change in position help (no). And could I really not have an orgasm (well, yes, but with significant pain- masochism comes in handy!). I also learned how to back off at the first sign of pain so as to only have a five minute episode of blinding pain with a day long headache as opposed to a half an hour or hours worth of pain with a day long headache, but of course, without achieving the desired goal.
Two weeks on by Xmas weekend, I was pretty sure I should go to my GP. A couple days of non-indulgence had done nothing to stop the pain. And I was starting to feel that this was unreasonable. Of course, when I go to the GP during holiday time, they say it's for emergencies only. Was it an emergency? Almost two weeks of constant pain- but it didn't seem like I was dying. I came back the next day (British friends have since explained that you should always claim it's an emergency)and that morning I saw the GP. Explained the situation. She relieved me slightly by saying that this 'blow to the back of the head' symptom is a common standard symptom. Then she concerned me greatly by wandering off to consult with three different specialists.
"Normally," she says, rather pleased with my forward description of the problem, "we have to drag it out of people- where were you when you felt this pain? What were you doing when you felt this pain? How helpful that you just came in and said it." I was glad to be helpful. But my concern wasn't particularly lessened.
She took my mobile number, sent a fax to the neurologist at the hospital and said that they would give me a call if they thought I needed further tests. Brain scans and the like. So off I went home with a mild headache and thoughts that I had a brain tumor and would probably die within the week.
Around 4pm that day, I got a call. "Could you go to the hospital right now?". My flatmate at the time, Z, offered to come with me, which I thought was really nice- though I hadn't fully explained the nature of the pain in my head aside from 'bad headache and neck pain'. I was happy to have the company, I was after all, slightly freaked out.
The hospital was ready for me. Entering A&E I met with a very nice registrar. She had spoken to my GP. She knew what the issue was. "We need to rule out that you're bleeding into your brain. This will involve a CT scan, and a lumbar puncture". Bleeding into my brain? Can orgasms do that to you? Fucking hell. Well what can one do? Bleeding into the brain is no good really, so test away. Apparently all of my reflexes and responses were fine. So was the pulsating nerve/vein in the back of my eye (it's sort of cool how they can see into your head through your eyes). The registrar seemed a bit cautious. It was somewhat clear she had no clue what the hell was wrong with me.
After my physical exam, the consultant magically appeared. He saved the day by having heard of this symptom that I could have- but they still needed to rule out imminent death first. So off I went to get scanned.
I've not spent any significant time in a hospital. Ever. No history of broken bones, no surgery of any kind. The experience was a bit surreal. This was aided by the strange and somewhat creepy nurse that was leading us around to find the CT scan room (he couldn't find it). The CT scan was alright. I got to look at the scan. The consultant there said no brain bleeding was visible on the scan. This was good news. It's really fun to look at layers of your head. Would have made a great wallpaper for my computer. But I digress.
Back to A&E and time for a spinal tap. I'm pretty sure the guy doing it was an SHO (I can't get all the levels of doctors right here, even though I have friends who are doctors) and was being supervised by the registrar I saw earlier. I've only heard bad things about spinal taps. Horribly painful and miserable being the general tone. Aside from it being awkward to lay on your side and grab your knees, I'm happy to report that aside from mild discomfort, it wasn't painful at all. Of course, this could also be because even though they tried three times to stick a four inch long needle between my vertebrae and into my spine, there was no fluid coming out. I suppose if they were very worried, they would have tried again- but they gave up. Z took some pictures with my phone of the blood drips down my back and the orange swabby circle- that was fun photography.
Of course during the course of the hospital visit I managed to explain exactly what was going on with me. In fact, since it all happened, I told pretty much most of my friends and some random people as well. Apparently with some things I have no sense of personal privacy. *smirk*
So what is the end result of this tale you may wonder, as I'm obviously not dead? The diagnosis was 'Benign Orgasm Headache syndrome'. Apparently more likely in men than in women. And no real information on why you get it and when it may go away. Pills can help- starting with ibuprofen and moving up to migraine medication two hours before orgasm.
Two hours before orgasm? The one thing I'll say about this having happened is that it results in the most interesting conversations of 'how often' people orgasm per week. Now, I never gave this much thought being very happy with my usual once a day (before I go to sleep) and sometimes twice a day (before I get up in the morning) sort of routine. The recommendation was to lay off the sauce for a good two weeks and try again. Which was fucking hard to do. In fact, I didn't make two weeks. I think I made six days and was rewarded with blinding head pain.
Thankfully, eventually, it did go away, just as suddenly as it appeared. Though I was left with a bit of nerves for a couple months, wondering if it would come back.
For the educational bit, further reading on the subject can be found by plunking in 'benign orgasm headache' into google or if you're lazy, this is one of the better articles I've found so far. It sort of creeps me out that this could always return one day for no reason and with no warning.
Now, don't you feel informed?
09 September 2005
08 September 2005
It's terrible. Where do people find motivation to do anything at all?
I know there are all these things I should do. I need to do. When not doing them, say, sitting at work for example, I think about the multitude of things I should do when I get home.
- Hang curtains in my bedroom
- Take out the garbage
- Vacuum up the spiders
- Study for my exams
- Go to the gym
- Do some laundry
- Put away the clean clothes
- Clean generally
- Deal with the piles of crap in my room
- Package up clothes to take clothes to the clothes bank (and take them to the clothes bank which is just around the corner)
- Catch up on my correspondence with friends and family
I'm sure there are other things.
What do I end up doing?
- Watching TV.
- Surfing the web.
- Sleeping on the couch.
- Pondering the above list but making no effort to tackle any of it.
Well, that's not entirely true. Last night for example, I managed to upload half my Italy photos to the web after downloading them off my camera. And this morning I took out the bathroom garbage as well as the extra garbage that was kitchen overflow (of course I left the bag in the can alone, saving that horror for tomorrow. Damn C for leaving her stinky garbage for me to take out... *gr*). I also did a bunch of dishes that were rather odorous in the kitchen (also a gift from C who is in Manchester) so that was good.
But really, it wasn't good. What the fuck did I do with all my time? Nothing. Nothing I should have done anyway. Ridiculous. I even stayed up later than I wanted because I got sucked into watching the new 'Lost' on E4 after the regular one on Channel 4 finished. I think I should kill my television.
07 September 2005
I had a meeting in Brixton last night, which by the way, was the worst fucking meeting ever. Sorry, brief delay before your porn fix. Normally my boss P chairs these meetings and I sit in the back of the room boiling over in righteous anger at the morons that attend and what they have to say. So I was a bit worried when P wasn't going and I was going to have to stand in front of this group and be nice. While I did fine, the people were out of control. I'm talking people standing up, yelling at each other. Threats. It was madness. It left me shaky. Trial by fire I guess. I just don't understand some people. Seriously.
So since I was in Brixton late, I had arranged to see Mr.Aloof afterwards, seeing as how he's a south London man. The meeting ended at nine and I hopped the Northern line to Clapham South. A bit of a text snafu, there was some confusion as to my ETA so I had to wait around for a bit, but it was actually, my own fault. He got there eventually. He had said no jeans and t-shirt and commented immediately that I was wearing a skirt. This worked well with the fact I'd had the meeting before where I'd tried to look a bit more professional, so I had a 'reason' to wear a skirt, seeing as how I don't normally. We chatted on the drive back to his about normal chatty things. Which was cool. Arriving at the warehouse, we went up to the floor he lives on and he directed me to the bathroom.
As usual we had discussed in vague terms the plan for the evening. Or rather, his plan for the evening. It had been suggested that upon emerging from the bathroom, I was to follow instruction and not mess about. It had also been discussed that there would be a room with a desk and a chair and a single piece of paper and a pen and an hour of time. There had been some suggestion of what one would do with the paper and the consequences of not doing something desirable. But as per the first instruction, I wasn't really wanting to challenge him.
I came out of the bathroom and was removing my bracelet when he came back. "Follow me" he said. I'm not sure which floor we went to. Some other floor. When we got to the stair landing he told me to close my eyes. He led me along and then had me stop. I kept my eyes closed the entire time. "Are you going to behave?" he asked me, and I nodded, "We'll see." With that I felt and heard him walk away from me, then I heard a door close, and possibly lock. I waited for a while then I snuck a peek around. I was in a room that had, as suggested, a single desk, a single chair, a single piece of paper on the desk and a pen.
I went to the desk, kicked off my shoes and settled down to writing. There had been some banter in earlier conversations about what was to be on the paper. My suggestions of 'doodles' and 'origami' were not met with particular enthusiasm. It was however suggested that I write about a scenario I had thought of. Now this I found particularly challenging. Mainly because I don't like to plan my sexual encounters. Or talk about myself in a sexual context with a partner. Freakish perhaps, but it's just how it is. I tend to get paralyticly shy. So writing down a story knowing it would be read was challenging. Luckily this had all been discussed before I went to Italy, so while away, I spent free mental time considering a possible story worth sharing and managed to come up with one. So upon being left in the room with the paper, I settled down to write.
It worked out that I managed to write pretty much everything I wanted to when I heard a scraping at the door as it was unlocked I imagine, though I never tried it. Mr.Aloof entered the room and turned off the light, making any further writing impossible. He walked over to me and handed me a glass of soda. He picked up the paper and looked at it by light through the window, covered entirely on one side and half the other with my rather dense handwriting, he wasn't going to be able to read it in dim light, and he returned it to the table. He stood in the empty part of the room and told me to come to him. I did, and we kissed for a while. He turned me so I had my back to him. Bodies pressed together, I could feel he was hard.
As an objective side note, this was progress on my part. Going back to my sometimes (always?) quirky behavior, I tend to not notice things like that. I generally just don't think about it. Which my friends don't really understand, but this time, I was aware. So I'm making special note of it. Anyway, back to the story.
After some more touching and kissing and so on and so forth, he told me to take off my necklace and put it on the chair which he had moved to the front of the desk. I did, and he indicated I should hold my hair up, which I did, and he put on my collar. Stepping back again, behind me, he said, "Undress. Slowly." I did, not looking back. Eventually I stood naked aside from the collar. He came behind me again, pulling one arm back, he put on a wrist cuff, then the other arm. Then the ankles. "Follow me." he said, I did and he started walking off. Down the stairs we went to the ground floor. How strange it is to be nude in a large warehouse wandering about. Following someone clothed. Thinking random thoughts of the people and activities that used to take place there. We reached the ground floor and headed in- the floor is concrete and it made the strangeness of the situation even more pronounced with every barefoot step upon the cold floor.
Wandering to the very back of the building, we turned the corner into the room and I saw set out in the empty space a metal cage surrounded by four candles, the door open. Not quite tall enough for me to stand in, not quite large enough to lie down. Mr.Aloof produced a lock and after handing me a ring with two keys on it, locked my wrists together behind my back. More general touches and kisses and then he produced a gag. My gag actually, purchased recently at Kinkfest. That was also requested to be brought along and I had complied. Once in place he walked me to the cage. Around the cage and to the door. I ducked into it and settled into sitting and he shut the door, locking it with another lock, which I imagine was the second key I still had in my hand.
Thus began a period of waiting and watching. He would come to the cage, reach in, touch me, and then withdraw. Leave the room, then come back. The bars were cold but I didn't mind. When he would leave I would shift around, examining my enclosure as well as I could, hands still bound behind me. When he returned I just watched to see what he would do. At some point he had a glass of something that he drank. At another he brought down the paper I had written and read it. On an eventual return he removed my gag reaching into the cage, and had in his hands another. A ball gag. The same one I did not write about last time, as it was a rather unfortunate moment in what was otherwise a fun evening. Last time we tried it, I couldn't bear it and so we left it. This had generally upset me as I don't really like not being able to do things, which is probably why I excluded it from the description. Mr.Aloof and I had talked about it since, and generally agreed to try again as it was something we were both interested in. A curious thing to do through a cage. I was for a moment concerned if I panicked how he would remove it. However, this time was successful and I adjusted to the sensation without freaking. And Mr.Aloof never left the side of the cage, just in case. He had fastened it loosely, and while carefully watching me for signs of distress, again touched and caressed me. No panic. Eventually, he said he would release the gag, but first wanted to try to go further, and so he tightened it, pulling it further into my mouth. Again, I adjusted without panic. Which was cool. He removed it and then unlocked the cage, drawing me out, he unlocked my wrists.
Producing a blindfold from his back pocket, he cut off my sight and took me by the hand. How strange the way the echo of a footstep can tell you if you are in a large space or small, the way light is somehow still sensed. We went to the elevator and to another floor. Walking onto carpet and through a couple twists and turns my toes eventually hit a soft ledge of pillow or mattress. "Kneel" he said, and I knew where I was. In his room. On the pillow. At the foot of the bed. He placed my hands in my lap and said he was going to prepare for bed and would return. There was music on. I waited.
Eventually I heard him come back, get onto the bed. Reaching over to take my hand and pull me to join him. Still blindfolded we began to mess about. And this time, either from the comfort gained from repetition or the security of the blindfold, I was more forward with my touching. There was no doubt about anyone's arousal or interest this time. The desire and frustration built. Blindfolded as I was, there was no option to reach for a condom on my own and he was in no hurry. "Please..." I mumbled into his neck.
"Please what, K?" He was going to make it hard for me.
"Please..." I said again, shifting against him.
"What is it that you want, K?"
Somehow I said something. I'm not entirely sure what. He removed the blindfold and I blinked even in the dim light, he rolled me off of him to the side and reached off the bed for the condom.
And it was good. Hard and controlling, the way I generally prefer.
And then we slept.
I had strange dreams and woke frequently. Not able to tell sometimes if I was awake or asleep. I know at one point I jumped at a voice, which was a dream, but my flinch was real. "Are you okay?" Mr. Aloof asked, my movement waking and startling him. I mumbled something and drifted back to semi-sleep.
There's more to the story, about the morning, about the detail. But I'll save that for another place.
All of that and I managed to make it into work on time. And somehow I'm not even that sleepy.
05 September 2005
- Siena is what a town would look like if people were like ants. There were no trees and yet it did not feel cold or unnatural, in fact, the opposite.
- The life of X. See all the things one misses when they go away.
- When you travel with a friend and spend every second together all the time, there is no time or place to really get yourself off. Unless you get yourself off in the shower, but the shower was tiny. I wonder if S did that.... Four days is just too long to go without.
- N's mom was a bitch and made me feel bad about not going to the villa after 36 hours straight almost of wedding activity attendance. That wasn't cool.
- S and I looked awesome three days in a row dressing up and walking around town like moviestars. I never do that. My feet hate me though, seriously.
- Going to see Mr.Aloof tomorrow...
- My skin is broken out from flying probably and the heat. Italy was hot. Want it to clear up. Don't like broken out skin.
- Places seem a lot smaller when you visit them when you are older. When I was 16, I thought Florence was this massive city. Strange how it all just looked.... smaller. On the other hand, this never happens when I go back to New York.
- Scenes out of New Orleans are unbelievable. So was the monkey president's response. I hate Bush. I liked that the mayor had his radio diatribe though. Until Bush actually came down to 'survey the damage' and apparently had the mayor over a barrel because afterwards he said nice things about the stupid president. I would have kicked him in the nuts.
- Moscato D'Asti is my new favorite wine.
- Wine without sulfites doesn't give you a hangover. Kick ass.
- Forli is not that close to Bologna, no matter what RyanAir says.
- Something in my house smells bad.
Right. I think that's about all of my random thoughts for the moment. I will of course have a photo selection of 'things I thought were funny' from my Italy trip when I get around to uploading them. If in doubt about my level of humor, refer to my fun photos from Helsinki. Need to do some work now. More later.