31 December 2008

New Year - It's About Change

I would never be so stupid as to say that the next year can't possibly be as bad as the last. I mean, that would just be tempting fate in a way that is silly. And anyway, I fully understand that things can always get worse. In fact, I think this mantra is something that helps me get through many a sticky situation. The full knowledge that things can always be worse.

So I don't feel the need to tempt mistress karma, but I do fervently hope that 2009 is a shade better for me than 2008. No heart wrenching break-ups, no ovary scares, no loss of jobs. I'd like to say no unemployment, but since I'm starting off the year that way, lets just hope for a short lived unemployment.

In fact, for as many things that I cite as bad about 2008, my hope is that it has been something of a purging. What I see that 2009 must bring for me, is change. Change tends to be unpleasant when one is going through it, but change, when executed correctly, can also be the best way to bring about positive things in ones life. Too often we get stuck in cycles and repetition- in comfort. Or at least I do. I'm happy with the status quo. Even when I know that things should change, I am often reluctant to make that change. So when things happen that are either beyond my control, or leave me no choice but to act, and I am forced to change, it can be a stressful time. The thing is, I often come out of these situations okay, and sometimes even well.

When people write New Years resolutions, I think it's about a time when we focus on our desire to change. And the running joke of course, is that we know how difficult it is, and how unlikely we are to actually do so. But for me, for this year, the change isn't optional.

I will get a new job, either doing what I do, or doing something else. Regardless, it will be a big change for me.

I will continue to work on the relationship thing. Yes, I despair of ever having a relationship, and the likelihood of my 2009 being a year without one entirely as opposed to getting one is pretty strong given past experience and past years. But there is no more Mr.Aloof for me. And this means at least that the potential is greater than if there was. And I hope that the therapy is helping, even in a small way, and that I am more ready for a relationship- one that I really want. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get one.

I will be there for my friends through all of the changes in their lives. By default, when my friend's situations change, my own situation subtly changes because my friends are like my family. And I wish them all the best in their new years as well.

And then there are the small things. A desire to get my driving license. A desire to travel. A desire to cook more. A desire to be more fit. A desire to learn things. A desire to make things. I hope that my 2009 has more laughter than tears. More smiles than frowns. More content than longing. I hope that the change that must come sees me land on my feet, and sees me improve in my life and as a person.

(And if it's all a touch better than 2008, that wouldn't be a bad thing at all.)

Happy New Year (to my tiny group of readers) may 2009 bring you the changes you desire and deserve.

29 December 2008


At the moment I am battling a mild headache. I think I have had undercurrents of a headache for a few days now actually. I'm not really sure why. I don't often get headaches and when I do is normally for some specific reason or another. I wonder this time if it's not from sitting on the sofa too much- unsupporting my back and neck or some such.

I also note that my skin has been itchy as well which is frequently a sign of stress- or weather change. It's not really bad yet, but it's on that borderline edge of not being quite right. It could break out, or it could just stay like this and eventually clear up. Dunno.

I managed to arrange to have a washing machine repair person come around tomorrow. I really hope they can fix it. I'm desperate to do some laundry now. I really want the house to be generally clean and put together by the time my flatmate comes home on the 12th. Oh, and I actually suppose it should be clean and put together on the 9th because I've volunteered to partake in a kinky photoshoot. I think I'll have to say more about that later.

Although that's not stressing me out- I'm actually kind of looking forward to that, though I need to remember to make an appointment for a bikini wax a few days ahead of time. I figure it's worth it.

So what else? The stupid maid made a post on IC today that revealed one of the small mysteries in the miserable time at the beginning of the year which had to do with what Mr.Aloof and toy had given her as a birthday gift. This particularly rankled me at the time as they'd only been together about 3 months and in the 3 years that I was involved with him and subsequently them, he never gave me anything at all. Not a single thing. Not even a card.

Anyway, I learned that what they gave her was a photo album full of photos of their time together that they had made for her. I found this annoying, though what else would I find it? I know, I know... stop looking this stuff up! But it's a sick fascination. I can't stop. As each small piece eventually falls into place I feel more.... grounded in many ways. I hate 'not knowing'- especially when it concerns me. Even well after the fact, anything that gives me clarity, in some ways gives me peace.

I don't know. This partners itself with the recent thought I had earlier today that I care less and less about Mr.Aloof and that's a good thing. I'm less interested in checking up on him specifically (though in fairness, there is very little, or really nothing, to check up on). I"m less concerned with him contacting me (he missed his most recent 5 week window, but I don't think I care). It's starting to feel like something I actually want to be behind me. But this has taken time. Lots of time. Almost an entire year of time. And I'm still scarred from this experience. I guess I always will be. I can move on in many ways, but I'll carry it with me probably forever. Sort of sucks.

Anyway, today I am leaving the house for the first time in four days I think. Going to dinner at X's house. Going to play on her Wii. Might even get stoned. In fact, I'm hoping to get stoned. Drink wine. Play Wii. Eat food. Should be good. I guess I should go take something for this headache then.

27 December 2008

World Affairs

I don't often write about things of any real importance here. Things that will make some sort of vital difference to the world, or anything that comments on things vital to the world. It's not that I don't think about them, but I can't say that world affairs are of a particularly high priority to me. I don't keep up with technical terms or international alliances, the exchange rate, oil production, medicine, technology, or conflicts. Well, most of the time I don't keep up with conflicts. I would be the first to tell you that history and politics tend to bore the crap out of me. I can't be bothered with all the details of treaties and truces over time.

I tend to look at things from a practical point of view. What would I do in this situation? What do I think is right or wrong? Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion of right and wrong, though I appreciate more when people can back up their position with a rationale.

So today on the news, both on television and on some website I frequent, reporting of the latest Israeli bombing of Hamas. Cue big sigh.

Before I moved here, one of the most frequent things I heard from those who would care was that I should be careful that I was moving to such an anti-semitic place. And while I have noticed that I have met a lot more people here who have never really met a Jew, or known many Jews, I can't say overtly that I have felt waves of anti-semitism towards me or in my presence. Except for the small area of reporting on Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. And by default, if this ever comes up in conversation, as influenced by the media, I would say that many British people hold an opinion I do not agree with, but then they also tend to be highly uninformed and simply repeat the message of the media.

The first thing that drives me nuts about any discussion of the current conflict is the disregard for the fact that people have been warring in this part of the country over this tiny speck of land for the past 2000 years or more. Just because we have better media coverage and far better weapons, it really isn't anything new. For those who hold out hope that this can somehow be 'fixed' or 'solved' in their lifetimes, I say, take a look at history. It seems unlikely at best.

It's just the media reporting is so directive and sensationalist. For example, this most recent implosion- on all the news channels, eliciting outrage all over. Well, where was the reporting and outrage for the past week while Hamas sent over 200 (some say 300) mortar rounds into Israel? Where was the international outcry at the end of the cease fire at Hamas's first response? Where was the coverage then? When you look at the Israeli response during the past week, they basically said, "Stop. Look, you need to stop. Guys, if you don't stop you are going to force us to strike back and you know we're stronger than you. Hello, are you going to stop anytime soon? We're giving you a warning, cut it out, you know what's going to happen." Of course they didn't stop, Israel retaliates and suddenly it's international news.

Does anyone else see a problem just with this? Leave out who is right and who is wrong. Just look at the coverage. Why is it only news when Israel uses their fire power? Because they have more? Should that matter? Everyone knows they have more, including Hamas. In fact, they expect and desire Israel to attack them because it's the only way they get international attention (and money). And what do they do with their money? Smuggle weapons through underground passages and train vigilantes. Why not invest in education and on infrastructure?

The best thing the Palestinian government could do for itself would be to take the billions of dollars that other governments give it and turn it's back on Israel to create a stable and thriving country of its own on the (waterfront) land that it already occupies and has now long been handed over to it. Don't hide militants in new schools and hospitals- just stop that. And once you became independent and prosperous, then it shouldn't matter should it?

But here I will become political and annoyed. Because it isn't about becoming a prosperous people for the Palestinian government. It's about 'getting back at Israel' and that's just stupid. It's wasteful of resources, both material and human and it promotes hatred and conflict ensuring that this is something that will not be over in my lifetime. I doubt that most Israelis or Palestinians approve of the warfare and bloodshed, but they have both invested in governments that don't represent them in this. As long as militant vigilante terrorists run Palestinian land, they will continue to put their resources into warfare, neglecting their people and provoking what is obviously a superior opponent who is then pushed by their own people to retaliate when nothing else seems to work.

It's complicated. It's so very complicated. But I have to say, I do watch the media here, I listen to people and it does get me riled up. Yes, I'm Jewish. And yes, I believe in the free state of Israel. But I also believe in a Palestinian state. I just watch the destruction, the aggression, the provoking and I get angry at the media villainization of Israel when to me it's not that simple, and often is in somewhat disregard to the facts.

If you read the article above which does remark on the Hamas recent bombing of Israel, compare to this BBC piece and note there is no mention of any provoking on the Palestinian side. I'm sorry. I see a huge problem with that. At least Channel 4 makes mention of it, though not the scale or any of the angry or hateful words of Hamas. Only CNN offers an entire article that even attempts to make sense of the recent difficulties. I don't think that it's in favor of one group or the other but at least it seems more fair in the reporting. Is it too much to ask that reporting even attempt to be fair? I'm bothered by the British manipulation of public opinion through suppression of certain information and the boosting of other.

Right. Enough on world affairs. It just makes me angry. This most recent example highlighting something that pops up and bothers me from time to time. I don't know how the UK benefits from this lopsided reporting or why they promote it. I'm sure if I did know, it would just be something else to make me angry.

26 December 2008

Round Numbers

Believe it or not, this is my 700th post. That seems like an awful lot doesn't it? I'm not sure why these things stick in the mind, digits that end in 0 or 00. With it being so close to New Years it seems like that would be nice for the two to coincide, but then that's just silliness that doesn't really matter. Still, 700 posts. Pretty cool.

The search for a blog publisher goes badly. One suggestion made elsewhere was for a site called Lulu but they don't have any sort of blog copying feature, you have to do it all manually. I may be looking at just doing it manually. Doing all of this research into books has given me some ideas about layout and the like, so I could more easily set up a product that I'm happy with. It's still just a massive clusterfuck to hand copy and paste every single post, every hyperlink, and every comment. Well, as long as I'm still unemployed there is still time to consider all of this as I'm not rushing to get it done before I can afford it. So the hunt continues.

It's been cooking a-go-go around here. Kicking off with octopus feast with Heathrow, on Christmas day my friend M came over (walked all the way from South London) and we had cheese and crackers and roasted chestnuts. Then I got more inspired and made mini deep dish pizzas with chopped greens cooked with garlic, chili, mushrooms, wine soaked sultanas, pine nuts, lemon juice, and parmesan. That was put over the pre-baked crusts and some mozzarella and topped with goats cheese and oh my god were they delicious.

And then, just because I could, I made the cinnamon goodness again. I didn't have margarine so I had to substitute butter which wasn't exactly the same. It wasn't bad- but as M said to me, butter has more water in it so it's not as good for pastry and can make things dryer. I think this is a good assessment of what happened, but you'd have to be very pick to be able to tell. No one was complaining.

Oh, and I've decided to try and get a washing machine repair person out before splurging on a whole new machine. The wash cycle is running, the drum is spinning, water comes in. It just won't drain or rinse. When it gets to that point, the program dial just spins endlessly. But to me, this shows that all the key parts are still working, so hopefully it's not something super huge. I read online that if this happens you probably have a clog in the draining. I went through the hell of finding the trap, emptying the water and cleaning out the sludge. This stank horribly and made a huge mess, but I felt good that I cleared out a penny and a small stick and a lot of disgusting gray gunk. But after all of that, it didn't change anything which makes me think the clog is somewhere else. Possibly in the out-hose but after the grossness of the first experience, I'm more willing to pay someone to clean out the other areas. Seriously. I was never cut out to be any sort of plumber. I don't even like cleaning my bathroom for crying out loud. This is enough to make me gag constantly. No fun.

So we'll see what happens there. In the meantime, to get the memory of sludge out of my mind, I'll instead focus on sugary goodness.

22 December 2008

Octopus at Home

So Heathrow came over today for what I imagine we could call our fifth date although counting our time spent together seems much less like dates and much more like hanging out, but what else should it be called? First date was meeting up at the Korean grocery in Shoreditch and a so-so Mexican meal nearby. Date two was my staying over at his in between my scuba lessons in the middle of nowhere which included a trip to Windsor, an Italian meal, parking in a park, and hours of conversation. Date three was our first feast at my house which included the making of omurice and one of my favorite movies and of course more hours of conversation. Date four was last weekend and our lunch in Soho and visit to the Just Rope event at Sweet Torments where we had our first more intimate encounter with him tieing me. And now date five- he came over here for a new cooking adventure, lots of talking, some hair playing, and some rope.

This time the cooking interest was focused on a spicy Korean octopus dish. I've never actually cooked octopus or squid at home although it's been high on my list of things to try out. Especially if I could make salt and pepper chili squid. Now that would be amazing. But this was a good alternative. To go with it I made carrot kinpira and miso eggplant, and of course, rice. Oh, and Heathrow also brought this cream of mushroom soup mix. To end the meal we had some Gu chocolate souffle pots. Always a winner.

So after our feast, which I'm afraid defeated us both, but was of course delicious, we were just hanging out on my sofa chat chat chatting away as usual. A lot about relationships actually, which I think I find a little bit confusing. I figure it's one of two things- either we talk about relationships because we aren't actually going to have one, or we talk about relationships in a more analytical/hypothetical fashion because it's a way of talking about our own potential without actually talking about it.

So there we were chatting and I decided that I needed to be more assertive about things that I want so I said, "To interject with an off topic question, do you mind if I play with your hair while we continue this conversation?". To make this seem slightly less odd than it perhaps initially sounds I should update my reading audience of three with the following information. First, Heathrow has hair down to his ass, and secondly, this is something we touched upon briefly during date three, in the sense that I think his hair was casually mentioned and he casually mentioned that people ask to play with it sometimes and I think I responded along the lines of "Well I can understand that sentiment.".

So it wasn't a completely out of the blue and obscure sort of thing to ask, but I think it's significant to me because it represented me being assertive (even if in a very small way) which is something I am trying to work on for myself because I think it's something important to my future success at relationships. On the upside, this suggestion was met with a positive response and the appearance of a hairbrush so we settled into a slightly different state of repose and continued our chat while I played with his hair.

This went on for a bit and was nice. It gave me a chance to be more physically open towards him and intimate in my own way not to mention that it was fun to play with his hair and brush it and braid it. So I did that for a while and then was finished and settled back into the sofa and he asked me if I felt like being tied up so I asked him if he felt like tying me up and we both agreed that seemed like a very good idea.

We chatted briefly about what I was looking for out of a rope scene. Here's where things get very tricky for me. Usually it would be my inclination to not have an answer to this sort of question or give the ever so unsatisfactory 'Well what do you want?'. Because honestly that is frequently how I feel. I don't think I'm always very in touch at moments like that with what I really want. Probably because I am afraid of rejection- I mean, that is what most relationship fears are based on. And it's far easier to go with what someone else wants and by giving that to them, or being able to provide that for them, making them happy and by default feeling happy about that. But I think this is not the path to a healthy relationship. It's a cop out. The same joy and satisfaction I feel in 'doing for' my partner needs to be able to be reciprocated and the only way that can happen is for me to be more clear and proactive about expressing what I want. Which at this point means trying to be more in touch with it myself.

Oh therapy. Finally it seems you have actually done something for me, even if I can't quite pinpoint exactly how.

So anyway, back to the rope. I do think I faltered in the sense that I asked what sorts of options were available when discussing a rope scene. Which led to a slightly different conversation about what it was I liked about rope and in particular what I had enjoyed about our first and previous interaction. And this I could discuss. I could articulate how I liked the dynamic and interactive aspect to our interaction as compared to the more static interaction I had experienced previously. I could describe how as rope is laid upon my body, for me it takes on the sensation of the person who is doing the tying- as if every strand of rope that hugs me and contains me is an extension of that person and makes me feel held and contained by them. I expressed how I enjoyed the intimacy of the tying- the closeness of his person. And I talked about how I liked the laughing and the playing elements- the tickling and the struggling but of course how this is only being started between us as it has a lot more to do with knowing someone and reading them as well as knowing the extents and limits of their strengths, abilities and tolerances.

And while I talked about all of these things, the rope came out of the bag and was laid upon me. Over my clothes it crossed and bound and slowly I felt myself relax into it. As my options and choices became restricted and limited, my mind cleared so that I could simply focus on the sensation of being held, of being contained. And of course this was partnered with the intimacy- the closeness and the touching. This wasn't fast like the last time, it was more slow and deliberate. My breathing slowed. My eyes closed. I enjoyed the sensation of being held and of being touched. And the touching became intensified. Once the rope was finished off, he used it, he pulled on it, as a way of moving me and as a way of increasing the containment. I breathed him in. I swam in the sensation. And the sensations became more intimate. The touching more intimate. All over clothes, bound together, I alternately squirmed and arched for his hand wedged between my legs.

And then there was the untying. As slow and deliberate as the tying. Revelling in the closeness. The loosening of the layers of rope compensated for by the closeness of him. And when he came within reach of my bound hands I touched him as I could. Eventually all the rope was gone and we embraced. I almost said 'simply embraced' and yet in many ways there wasn't anything simple about it, as soft and gentle as it was. And when we finally pulled apart, we settled back onto the sofa and cuddled up together and stayed like that for another hour or so while continuing our endless conversation.

So what does this all mean? Again I am not yet worried about it. We've talked about me coming up to Cambridge for a weekend where he's currently working to stay there and go do touristy things and hang out, and we've made reference to without specifically planning for, the next feast and cooking day at my house.

It's all like one long slow burn at the moment. Like something that you don't necessarily notice until all of the sudden it's ablaze. This evening's activities were sensual and erotic and of course fun.

An exceptional counterpoint to make up for the stupid washing machine....

Not Amused

I think my washing machine just broke.


It's not even all that old- I bought it off a friend who had bought it new so I think it's no more than six years old at this point.

I'm trying to decide if it's worth the money to get a repair person out or if I should just get a new one. I'd be mighty pissed off if I pay to get it repaired and then I have to end up getting a new one anyway.

Of course, in my current unemployed state, a repairman would be much cheaper- but only if it friggin works. And also if they don't start tacking on a ton of dosh for 'parts'.


I am seriously not amused!!

20 December 2008

Testing Permanence

Last week I went to a lovely gathering hosted by Ms.Woo which included many other bloggers, and those who read them. I am in fact fascinated by the ability Ms.Woo possesses which is in fact, to have actually met many fellow bloggers and readers- or in other words to have 'moved beyond' the electronic medium to create something that is more lasting, and real, and substantial. It is no small feat I tell you. I'm sure she doesn't recognize it as something unique or special at all, but I say it is. So there.

At any rate, in hanging about with people who blog or read blogs, I shared an annoyance with the Hitchcock Blonde that it is ridiculous and annoying that it is very difficult to actually get a copy of ones blog hard copy printed. This is something that pops up in my mind periodically and annoys me. For me, blogging has replaced a lifelong dedication to journaling. I have a special box I made filled with chronological journals/diaries that came before the Internet and started when I was six years old. And I still struggle along with my last paper journal- though the entries are truly sporadic. I wrote one this morning and realized it had been over a year since the last.

But I write here you see. Everything that I would journal for the most part, goes here. But I don't want it to stay here in electronic limbo. It belongs with the other hand written versions, so that my life, as written by me, is whole and complete. Hence my desire to print it out. A book for every year. That seems appropriate.

So with this conversation recently on my mind, I decided to look into this whole fiasco again and see what I could find. And I found two things that are better than nothing, but not that great necessarily. The best looking option I found was from a company called Blurb. I like that they have multiple editing options and formats available. Unfortunately, they seem to have an issue taking data from blogger and it's currently disabled. I could of course cut and paste every single entry but I know this is time consuming and horrible since I've been attempting to set that up as an InDesign template for a couple of years now. An automatic feature that I could then edit after the fact seems the only way to go at this point. Until Blurb can fix their blogger issue, I can't see how I can use them even though their product is the most attractive.

The second company I am eyeballing is Blog2Print which did manage to automatically transform my blog into a book with minimal fuss, but the formatting options and printing options leave something to be desired. It looks like you can only get a soft cover in one size while I'd prefer a hardcover and I'd like to see some sizing options. Why they seem to be able to do this with ease and Blurb can't is beyond me, but so be it. All I know is, here are two options, neither of which is ideal.

So basically I need to ponder this for a bit. There are other considerations that throw this all into a tizzy. It all looks good initially, but once you start to read the user agreements how you can't publish anything 'obscene' and you must have copyright permission for all of your content it gets tricky. Obviously I don't really have all that for every image I've used, or even for some text I've probably lifted. But this is just for me- not for anyone else. I don't see it as any different from making a scrapbook out of clippings and glue. You don't need copyright permission for that! Not to mention that I obviously write about a number of things that would probably be considered 'obscene'. At any rate, we'll see what happens. I've more made this post so I don't have to find those sites again. If anyone has any other links or suggestions on the best site to use to get a printed copy of a blog, let me know in the comments. It's appreciated.

18 December 2008

Silly Blog Toys

Every now and then I give in and take these silly tests.

You are Strength

Courage, strength, fortitude. Power not arrested in the act of judgement, but passing on to further action, sometimes obstinacy.

This is a card of courage and energy. It represents both the Lion's hot, roaring energy, and the Maiden's steadfast will. The innocent Maiden is unafraid, undaunted, and indomitable. In some cards she opens the lion's mouth, in others she shuts it. Either way, she proves that inner strength is more powerful than raw physical strength. That forces can be controlled and used to score a victory is very close to the message of the Chariot, which might be why, in some decks, it is Justice that is card 8 instead of Strength. With strength you can control not only the situation, but yourself. It is a card about anger and impulse management, about creative answers, leadership and maintaining one's personal honor. It can also stand for a steadfast friend.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

15 December 2008

A Ropey Evening

Yesterday I had a date with Heathrow. We haven't met up since he came over to mine for a cooking evening which was over a month ago. We've been emailing in the interim, but there hasn't been any pressure to meet up. There is the ever so slight issue of distance- it's not insurmountable but it's enough to be an obstacle. And while I like that he is quirky and lives in a motor home parked outside his studio flat, there is also an issue surrounding toilets and showers if I go to his.

At any rate, in all of our email exchange we decided to meet up at a 'Just Rope' event that was being held at Sweet Torments in west London this weekend. There was actually an entire workshop weekend going on, but we weren't going to go to that- only to the after party which was yesterday, Sunday night.

In arranging all this, it was implied but not discussed that he and I would indulge in some tying. One of the reasons I initially approached Heathrow, aside from his love of Korean food that was listed on his profile (and gave me the nudge to actually memo him) was that I knew who he was as he has made a small name for himself as a very good rope top. So I was both excited and nervous about being tied by someone who is actually very good at it and has done thousands of ties on probably hundreds of people. What if I was no fun to tie? Not flexible enough? Too fat? And also, this isn't 'just anyone' tying me, this is someone I've had three very pleasant but chaste encounters with previously. And tying is obviously all hands on- how was that going to go and what did it mean about what's going on with us?

We met in the early afternoon in Soho to go to a Japanese restaurant that was on my taste london card. I'd sent through some suggestions earlier in the week and we settled on Japanese- no big surprise there! I hadn't been to this particularly restaurant before and it was interesting as it's not a standard Japanese place but rather a yakitori restaurant. The food was very good, and as it's all set up for sharing, it's also a very nice date type place. We also got a sake sampler which was super yummy. I think I like sake better than I like regular wine. But I digress.

As like all previous meetings with Heathrow, we somehow managed to talk without effort for hours and hours. It's funny how it just flows. I never get a sense of time passing or trying to struggle to make conversation. It seems to be very 'easy' around him for lack of a better way of putting it. Leaving out my internal thought confusion on exactly what we're doing of course, but if I just look at the actual time spent together, it's really nice and... comfortable.

So we sat there nibbling and chatting until it was time to head to the party. We got there just past 5 which was when the workshop was winding up. We stayed in the other room/bar area while it finished and hung out some more. Eventually we moved into the main space- there were a lot of people there initially, though many seemed to be from the workshop and were on their way out as opposed to sticking around for the party. Still, there were clumps of people here and there, and a little bit of rope work getting started. I was mostly chilling out and observing things when after a bit Heathrow asked if I was interested in being tied and I said I was. And a little while longer, when there were a couple of people doing rope we decided to give it a go, and also in the hopes that would encourage some of the more chatty people to stop chatting and start doing!

So Heathrow asked me what I would like out of a rope scene. Which is tricky. I'm trying to work on this- the 'what I want' from things aspects of interactions. I realize that it's lazy, but also unfair to be so quiet or complacent with my needs or desires in interactions as much as I prefer to let things slip that way. The thing about Heathrow though, is he isn't a dominant in the regular sense. He's a rope top- but he's not necessarily a full on dominant. He's actually quite shy as a person, and not 'in your face' so in terms of the non scene/play interaction between him and I, it's very equal. I would even go so far as to say that perhaps we are even somewhat similar, though obviously we both deal with it very differently.

So basically I told him that since we'd never interacted in this way before, I would just be curious to see how it was with him, try out a few different ties so he could show me some of the things he had described, and just see how it went. So we agreed and prepared- I had worn some lycra gym kit under a skirt and sweater so I would be covered, but body snug which I thought was appropriate for rope- not only in a public place, but also with someone I have only hugged previously.

So we started and it was like a dance in a way. I was mostly compliant and observational, but was not so pliable or easy to move that I didn't show him some of my strength or moves as well. It was all very intimate and he was very close to me while he tied. We giggled and commented along the way, and all the time the rope was flowing and binding.

And he is very very good at what he does. I'd almost call it dynamic tying as opposed to more static tying. Obviously there are different sorts of rope scenes that one can have- with different effects. Because there are so many photographs of ropework available, I think people often think of it as a time intensive practice that results in a 'wrapped' person which is then admired and appreciated. But if you compare that line of thinking to more active rope, or performance rope, like that of Osada Steve, it has a different sort of purpose and dynamic where there is flow and movement. It reminds me of something Heathrow said- about how the untying is as much a part of the scene as the tying. How it comes undone, how someone is released, what you do along the way, where the rope ends up- it's all just as much a part of it as the creating process in the beginning. And I could really tell that from our interaction.

It was very different to say, the tying of Mr.Aloof. Obviously some things are similar- but the feeling surrounding it and the interaction was completely different. With Mr.Aloof tying was a means of almost instantly becoming 'object like' and he certainly falls into the category of 'sitting back and observing the creation' once the creation was done. And don't get me wrong at all- I enjoyed that very much. It's just that this was so different. Rope was involved, bondage was involved, touching and tickling and laughing and tussling was involved, but it was much more interactive and 'present' then how my experiences with Mr.Aloof were with rope.

Which obviously has everything to do with the interplay of the people with me as much as their interest in the rope. Obviously.

So I guess what was really interesting in retrospect was exactly how intimate it felt. I mean, here is someone I've never kissed and his hands and body are basically all over me. And it was so nice!! Better than nice even- it was intense- or at least, there were moments of intensity that were quite intoxicating and exhilarating. And it's interesting to me because obviously in many ways we were both holding back throughout the entire exercise and sort of weighing each other up to see how it went. Yet at the same time, it was a level of intimacy that is quite far along in some ways but then not in others. Still, the feel of someone, the smell of someone, the warmth of someone- with of lot of fantastic rope thrown in- a very nice thing indeed!

Afterwards he said to me that he was impressed with my endurance for it (we went through at least four substantial and consecutive ties with different sorts of interactions/play along the way. It's the sort of comment I'm always intrigued by because of course I have no way of judging my abilities to any other bottom or submissive. But of course I was pleased... and he said he really enjoyed tying me, so that was also good, because I definitely enjoyed it!

So we have plans for next Monday- he's going to come over and we're going to cook and do a movie again, but I said maybe he should bring his rope as well.... so that's all good at the moment.

And in the meantime I have a lovely red welt across my neck from some vigorous manipulating... hehehe. Makes me smile. The whole things makes me smile actually. Yay!

10 December 2008

Random Notes

Going to the gym, especially when I just start up again, makes me extra hungry. If the goal of going to the gym is getting fit and losing weight, I need to not give in to the urge. This is difficult. I'm hungry. Even though I ate.

The rest of this week, or perhaps early next week I have a small job to do building a 3D model. This has been in the pipes for a while now, so it's nice that it's come through. A little extra money, stemming the flow. I may decide to go out to the house of the people I'm doing it for. Like a mini vacation but not really.

People are starting to leave for the holidays. I hate that. In general, I hate the holiday season here in London. Everyone leaves and the city goes dead. Not like how it is in the States at all. I don't really like this time of year. Usually what gets me through it is at least I 'get a break' from working, except now I'm not working, it's not a break from anything, it's just a lonely spot where no one is around or in town.

I finished some knitting recently that I'm pleased with. Not that it took overly long, or was overly complex, but I'm pleased nonetheless. I need to start a new octopus project for a pregnant friend in Chicago who is getting ready to pop. I think I'm putting it off because the octopus was complex and fiddly. The elephants were much easier.

I have the flat to myself for the next month. Now that I'm free of a flatmate (temporarily) my house is clean and calm. I do like it like that. It goes to show how much havoc a flatmate brings to the table. Of course, it depends on the flatmate though- the best flatmate in the world, D, never gave me any complications at all.

Going to the ex-office holiday party this evening as T's plus one. Should be fun, as free drinks and snacks are always fun, as well as seeing people I'd like to see. On the other hand, I'm not looking forward to the 'So what are you doing?' comment I'm going to get about 100 times. Because the answer is 'Nothing thanks!' and then I'm going to get some look of pity or something. I could do without that part, but I'll get through it. It's alright.

I need to go pick up the next bag of vegetables. I haven't made much of a dent on the last bag of vegetables. This is going to be a serious cooking week. At least vegetables are healthy.

06 December 2008


I just was on the computer- taking a break from some knitting when I remembered that it was exactly the right time for the most recent art sale from the talented Audrey Kawasaki. Now, of course I have no current income, and I am trying to be extremely frugal, but I thought it was more than coincidental that not only did I just get on the computer during the scant window where this print would be available, but also that I remembered! No small feat.

So I purchased a print. A treat for myself. I'll have to get it framed at some later date. But I see this as a reasonable investment actually. Audrey's work has continued to be in high demand, and resale value of her work is always higher than the original purchase price. If I ever had to sell that is. But I wouldn't of course, unless I had to for some reason. I buy the work because I adore it. But I also know, that in dire circumstances, not being able to pay my mortgage for example, having maxed out my credit cards*, I could put up this work and get back at least what I put in to it, if not more.

So before I become a pauper in the street, scrounging for my next meal, I get to look at it and enjoy it and covet it. Win win I say.

* Not that this is currently in danger of being the case. In fact I just got an extra little job that paid me a hundred and fifty quid, so really, that more than pays for this particular indulgence. I wouldn't have done this at all if I honestly though I couldn't get away with it. I'm far too responsible for that.

03 December 2008

Why Are You Working?

It just dawned on me today, while looking at the chatter on Facebook, that I have been in a complete mental block about the days of the week. I already knew this to some degree, but today a friend was sending me a message and wrote something about 'being at work' and my very first thought was, "I wonder why she keeps working so much on the weekends?".


It's true really- every day feels very much like a weekend in the sense that I generally do fun things and am obviously on no particular schedule. But it's funny to me how it just sunk into my head without me thinking about it. I have forgotten in some ways, that other people are getting up and checking into a job every day, simply because I'm not.

On the other hand, I've just managed to secure the start of a small job that's been floating about since I stopped working- to build a 3D model for someone and we've also now added the inputting of their hand drawings into AutoCAD as well for some extra money. So that's not too bad in the end. I think it will take me about a week to do all of it- and I'll be paid accordingly. Not enough to support myself, but certainly enough to stem the flow out of my savings and let me hang on to my very small cushion for as long as possible.

Of course, this also means I need to get in the mindset of 'I have work to do.'- which in reality I should start this evening. At least that's what I keep telling myself- we'll see if I can actually get it done. See previous comments on procrastination....

01 December 2008

Testing Videos

Jesus H. When I procrastinate, I can seriously procrastinate or what? Lets be clear then.

Things I have accomplished today:
- Brought the rugs down from my room from after Thanksgiving and put them in the lounge.
- Called the man at Hackney to bitch about the ongoing saga of the missing bike shed key.
- Called my US bank to close my matured CD and move it into my savings to cover my student loans for a while in this time of unemployment.
- Finished off the savory leftovers from Thanksgiving, there is however, still pie.
- Moved the big plant from the kitchen back to the lounge (also a post thanksgiving clean up).
- Put the candle box back on top of the wardrobe after dusting it off.
- Emailed a number of people and written blogs and played Scrabble on Facebook.
- Watched the movie 'Beaufort'.

Things I have not accomplished today:
- Getting dressed (though I need to do this within the next hour because I'm going to a friends for dinner- oh, and that includes showering as well).
- Done laundry.
- Written the article which goes with the images I downloaded.
- Sorted any of the crap that ended up in my room when I cleared the lounge for thanksgiving.
- Moved the camel seat bench back downstairs.
- Emailed people I probably owe emails to.
- Done dishes.
- Knitting (I am currently two projects behind which are due before the end of the year).

So in keeping with the procrastination theme, I want to see what's up with this video embedding malarky. I've avoided it fastidiously so far, but I feel left out and I want to join in. So here is one of my favorites for your viewing pleasure (I hope).

4:10 PM

And all is dark. It's something that I'm not sure I'll ever get entirely used to- how far north London actually is, and how dark it gets in the winter. I mean seriously, it is ten minutes past four and it is DARK. Twenty more days of this, until the longest night of the year, and then we can slowly inch our way back out.

It's weird because it just throws everything off. I get tired earlier and hungry earlier. I feel like it's so late, when really it's early.

People don't usually consider just how much more north London is to the United States. It's confusing because London is so much more temperate than continental places because of its island nature and the Gulf Stream. You just forget how far north it actually is. Though not as far north as Copenhagen or Helsinki. Still, so far north that I can literally feel the difference in every fiber of my being. It's weird.

No wonder the pagans celebrated the longest night- the end of this time of darkness and the return to the light. It's really something tangible here. It's strange and to me feels almost unnatural, even though obviously it is natural, it's particularly jarring having come from a place where this doesn't happen. Weird.

30 November 2008

Holding Back

Just this evening I came upon a lovely and fascinating site of photographs (via ErosBlog) and the first thing I wished I could do was share it with Mr.Aloof.

Of course I didn't. But it's pushed me to write a post I've been avoiding- one about how I miss Mr.Aloof and how it's been on my mind quite a bit. In fact even now, I'm dithering while writing this. I'm checking other things on the Internet. I'm watching Six Feet Under on DVD.

I think it's having all of this time on my own.

While Mr.Aloof was fairly horrible at just about everything when it came to me, the main purpose or role that he served in my life was to be there, on the other end of the computer screen, to talk to, to share things with, to bounce things off of, etc. Now, finding myself not only with lots of time on my hands, but also spending a lot of it looking at random things on the Internet, so many things cross my path that I know he'd like or be interested in, that I could share that interest with him.

I miss that.

Of course, when I think to myself that, "I miss him.", I counter that thought process with trying to be very critical about what is there exactly to miss. Yes, I miss that presence on the other end of the computer screen. And I miss the extremely infrequent yet powerfully stimulating intimacies that we shared. But as I say, those were infrequent. And I can't say that I miss the neglect, the abuse, the lying, the not being there. None of that I miss.

But for some reason, I dwell on the thought that I miss him.

I should also add, that he has emailed me on a semi-regular basis of every month or so. He sends me three sentences. One of which is always a question about "am I well?". Which really means that there are only two sentences left for him to make any sort of difference, which of course he doesn't.

Every time he has emailed me, I have sent him back the same thing. A reply saying that idle chatter is not appropriate, and that unless he is prepared to discuss the destruction and loss of our relationship and friendship (and specifically, his role in the destruction and loss of our relationship and friendship), that I have nothing else to talk to him about. At which point he disappears for another month or month and a half, and sends three lines again.

I know in his asking me 'Are you well?' that he hopes that I am so that he can find his absolution. Absolution which I am not prepared to give him as long as he denies me my own. So I also tend to include some line in my response saying that I am not well, without elaborating.

I know that those who know me think I should not be replying at all. But I can't do that. Maybe I will be able to at some point, when I tire of this new routine. At the moment, I don't get what I want. So I reply, but I don't give him what he wants. I hope that he will change, but he won't. But I can't stop that tiny tendril of hope. That people will become the best that they can be. That he will stop being afraid of himself, and the world around him. That he will embrace life, and grow up. I believe that people can change. Of course, they have to want to change, and they have to believe that it is possible to change.

I want him to change. I still want for him to be what I saw he could be. And I am angry and sad that not only may that never happen, but that I bought into it, and then lost something fairly precious in the process.

Sometimes I just want things to be how they were, and then I remind myself that I want no such thing. I feel impotent. Stuck. I know I think about it too much. Think about him too much.

I think that I miss him, and then I think that I only miss an idea of him, that was never him at all. But then I just fall back into thinking that I miss him again. And I vaguely dread that next three line email, when his name appears in my inbox and I'll hope that he'll have changed, and I'll open it with my heart beating just that bit faster, only to be crushed again by disappointment.

25 November 2008

Reflecting on Thanksgiving

Today the preparations start in earnest and already it's gone a bit pear shaped. Yesterday when I went to the store to get the frozen turkey (15 pounder!!), I forgot to get the cranberries with which I was to make relish today. Then this morning, I have called the butcher who said the chickens were a bit late in being delivered so they aren't koshered yet and won't be ready until the end of the day. So my shmaltz making is now delayed.

The only thing that has gone okay so far is that I got the challah I needed yesterday and have cubed it and set it out to start drying for the stuffing. Which is important, don't get me wrong. And getting the turkey was also a big deal and it is currently sitting in my neighbors fridge because there is no room in my little one and that is also very important, so it's not that anything has gone completely and spectacularly wrong yet, but I'm worrying.

Tomorrow then, I need to make both the apple pie and the pumpkin pie(s?) and the cranberry relish. I'm still hoping to do the shmaltz today, and possibly the cranberries but we'll see.

I also need to clean up the downstairs and in fact completely rearrange it and get tables and chairs from my neighbors at some point. This dinner has turned into a seating of eleven- which is the largest sit down meal I have ever prepared, let alone a Thanksgiving one, scary!!

So in all of this however, I cannot help but think of my Aunt frequently. See, my idea of the perfect Thanksgiving is one that she prepared. The way the stuffing tasted, the way we sat around the table. It's all very specific to my family and really, my Aunt. She's been gone now just about ten years and I have to say that Thanksgiving has never, ever been the same for me since. It was always something I looked forward to and loved and when she died, it seemed like my love of the day and the food went with her. Because it just wasn't the same when my other cousins did it, or it was at someone else's house.

And I have come to realize that Thanksgiving is an extremely picky holiday for every individual. One that is shaped completely by whatever you were used to or given. It's funny to me that while most Thanksgivings are similar, in reality, they are so completely different. And you know that it's true, because if you have ever been to 'another' Thanksgiving, you probably thought to yourself, "Yeah, that was okay, but it wasn't like xx." And of course it wasn't.

So now I am starting to think that holidays are horrible things. In a way they are sort of 'for the children' but then what about when the children grow up? What about when the older key members disappear? How can a holiday represent anything but sadness while you think about all the people who are no longer with you? Although saying that, there were other relatives along the way who disappeared from my Thanksgiving before my Aunt. My grandmother for starters, and my Uncle Al and my Aunt Edith. There was Dolores and Michael- although they didn't join us for our Thanksgiving, we always saw them the next day. All of these people were gone before my Aunt, but it is my Aunt who has made the biggest impact on my memories and my sorrow. Probably because I was closest to her.

I have said before, that I believe whole heartedly that had my Aunt not died, I would not be where I am now because I would have made a fundamentally different choice about where I went to graduate school- and so much of my current life has followed on from that one choice. So her presence, or lack of presence has had a hugely influential presence in the flow of my own destiny.

But I would give all of my documented success and failures and knowledge gained up for the unknown if only I could have her back.

Even though that isn't how it works. I do miss her. I wish she could see me, and how my life has turned out. I wish she was still here as an extended part of my family network and support. Thanksgiving isn't the same for me without her, without being with her.

I miss her.

23 November 2008

Another Week Another Blur

Well, true to the last post, another blur of time is upon me. Honestly, it's confusing where it all goes. Although the week was punctuated with some fun and activities, when you aren't working- or building towards something substantial, it just seems wasteful.

I managed to finish knitting a pair of fingerless gloves for S who lost the first pair I made for him. I hope he is not so careless with the second. I was tempted to run a string from one to the other, as you do for small children so as to pass them through the sleeves so they can never be lost, but we'll see how it goes without I think. I have a feeling he won't be so quick to lose this pair.

On Wednesday, me and three friends went to a taping of the Graham Norton show which was really a lot of fun. It was interesting to note how much of the 'show' actually gets cut to make the final product. I'd say there was at least an hour and a half or more of actual taping but this is all edited down to only thirty minutes- and a chunk of that is the song at the end by the guest musical artist. So really, there's loads of entertainment that just ends up on the cutting room floor. Shame really, but then it makes it worthwhile to make it to the taping- since you get to see it all.

On Friday I went to a comedy gig on a boat with S and his parents, and before that we went to dinner which was fun. S's parents are the main reason that I am putting together Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, since they would be here, and I figured I'd be free, so I could actually do it. It should be good. I have nine confirmed people and it may pop up to eleven. I've got all my dishes planned, and a schedule laid out of what I need to do when. I'm looking forward to it, even though it's quite a bit of work. It's the first Thanksgiving I've ever done myself!

Then yesterday S and T and I went bridesmaid dress shopping which was a slight disaster. Time to hit the Internet again. It's not something I've done before, and it's slightly ridiculous- there are all these dresses but so few samples so how can you justify spending that much money on a dress you can't even try on?? Well, I can't. We managed to try on a couple, but not nearly enough. So back to the drawing board in a way.

Today the weather is gray and more gray on that. There was a smidgen of wet snow in the square across from my house but I assume it's gone now as it's been raining intermittently since I got up. I'd like to say I plan on not leaving my house today but later I'm going to S's to have dinner with him and his parents and also to retrieve the canned pumpkin and cream of mushroom soup and fried onions that I need for my Thanksgiving preparations that were specially brought over in a suitcase for the purpose. All things I can't get here.

This week upcoming I have trips to Stamford Hill planned for ingredients, a haircut, a shopping delivery, at least one shopping trip, lots of baking and cooking, a free lunch, a table delivery (or borrowing as it were), and of course some cleaning up when all is done!

18 November 2008

Life Without Structure

None of this 'unemployed time' is going quite how I thought it would. I was worried I would get bored. I was concerned I would have too much time to think, or would become depressed. Instead, I find that I am frequently busy socializing with friends and that the lack of structure to my days, or my week, means that to me, time is simply flying by at a very quick pace.

This reminds me of when I was in school. A single semester, which is only four months used to feel like it would take forever. So many things would be packed into those slight four months. Intrigue, learning, social politics. Those four months seemed like an entire year if for example, I compared it to my 'working life'. Working life seemed to pass quickly. More quickly than school life at least. But this is nothing compared to my new unstructured life. This new state of existence sees entire weeks simply disappearing with me not knowing exactly what I did or where it went.

Not that I'm having a bad time mind you, just commentary really. And an explanation of sorts. Because in this whirlwind of passing time I find that I have become more flaky and more unreliable in terms of getting back to people and making commitments, even though I know have all the flexibility and time in the world to ensure that I can accomplish whatever I want. I'm not entirely sure why this is the case, though I assume it's up there with my original intention to go to the gym every day compared to the fact that I have only been twice.

I'm clearly a gal who needs structure. Well, given my bdsm leanings, it's not really a surprise is it? I function the best under expectation. I am the most productive when given motivation. And for me, motivation rarely comes from within. External sources are for more attractive and therefor affective.

I suppose the point being, I'm going to try and get a handle on my complete slump of laziness and try to establish some sort of structure for myself, even though I expect this exercise to fail miserably.

In other news, and to counteract this period of nothingness, I am preparing my very first Thanksgiving for nine people next Thursday. I'm very excited about this endeavor- though I'm a little bit nervous since Thanksgiving is such a family specific activity. I prefer my Thanksgiving to be a very specific way which is based on how my Aunt did Thanksgiving. I've been to other Thanksgivings and they simply haven't been the same. So while I'm quite looking forward to making Thanksgiving the way I think it should be, I'm acutely aware that the other Americans in attendance will feel a slight twinge of nostalgia for something other than what I will be providing.

Still, I expect it to be a pretty good evening full of very tasty food and pie. How can that be bad exactly? We shall see. If I remember, I'll get a photo of the the final result for posterity.

09 November 2008

Briefly Poignant

I saw this today on PostSecret and because images don't stay there, I thought I would copy it and put it here because I think it is so very true, and this particular illustration is interesting and lovely.

06 November 2008

Disgusting Tools

Well, as I said in the last post, there were two things I probably wanted to blog about. The other one is a bit serious and I'm not entirely sure what I want to say about it yet, so instead I feel the need to talk about the disgusting thing that is the toilet brush.

Now toilet brushes have always confused me a bit- all those bristles. I mean, okay, obviously that's great for scrubbing stuff off, but it also seems perfectly suited for getting stuff stuck in. And how are you supposed to clean the toilet brush??? In general, I have avoided the use of the toilet brush. I have one- I may have even bought it, but I don't use it. I figure maybe the cleaner uses it, or maybe other people use it, but I pretty much never touch it because I can't really work out what the benefit is to it.

Although at some point, I was over at S's house and we were talking about the idiotic design of the British toilet. Something I wrote about a long time ago. So I think I was remarking about how the toilets here are simply designed for skids. In fact, it's practically impossible to poop without 'leaving a mark' as it were (and don't get me started on the floaters). So we're discussing this when S says, "Yeah, that's why you have to have the toilet brush to scrub it away."

Really? I mean, to stick a brush on some fresh skids will probably remove it, but it won't remove it into the water, it's going to remove it straight into those bristles! And then where does the brush go? Back into the holder sitting out in the bathroom. So really, you aren't getting rid of anything, in fact you're just spreading it around and keeping it forever.

Bearing all of this in mind, I have still avoided the use of the toilet brush fastidiously, but unfortunately a couple of weeks ago I was still at work and had to use the toilet and of course, there was a skid. I tried to paper over, I tried the double flush, but it just wasn't working. And sadly, I felt I couldn't leave it like that so I decided to attempt the toilet brush.

I tell you, it's exactly as I said, and I think I was gagging as I tried to sort it out before giving up and putting the semi-soiled brush back in the holder. I did notice, the next day, that the brush seemed to be cleaned somehow, which I guess meant someone else used it, the very thought of which is making me feel vomitous all over again.

Seriously? The British need to just get better goddamn toilets. Or come up with better ways to clean them, for a toilet brush is surely a tool of the devil.

04 November 2008

Blurry Remembrances

Well, last week didn't turn out at all like I planned. I wrote something substantial here last Saturday and have been quite since then. Last Saturday saw me heading back to Croyden for a friend's birthday dinner which was good fun, though I can't say that my opinion of Croyden has changed in the slightest. Having to go twice in one week makes me think that really, if I never go again in the next year, that would be fine. It's soul sappingly bleak.

Monday I was all settled in to start my week of 'things to do' when in the afternoon I got a call from my ex office asking if I could come in for three days as they were desperate to have some work done and oddly enough, there was no one to do the work.

*pause for dramatic effect*

So I did that. I sucked it up and took their money and worked the three days while friends of mine laughed at 'how long it took' for them to realize they'd made a mistake. Still, it was just three days and I don't suspect there will be more in the near future. But money is money so that was fine.

However, it completely threw my plans for the week and everything had to be rescheduled and squeezed in. This included plans on Thursday night to attend 'games night' at Sweet Torments with the other couple. So I brought a bag to work, dashed off by 5pm to make it to their place by 6 where we all changed into some appropriate fetish attire, had some dinner, and got a Streetcar to drive to the club. Which was cool, but I was a bit miffed that most people were not 'dressed' for a fetish night, it was more like a munch with games at a club. And the club was cold. But nevermind, because the games were fun and at least I wasn't alone being dressed, just in the minority. And by the end of the evening there were a couple of cute young things running around mostly naked, so eye candy is always welcome.

We got back to their place at some point past midnight and proceeded to mess about the three of us in the bed, but then she was tired and happy for us to continue in her absence which involved some flogging, spanking, biting, many many orgasms, and sex. Hard to go wrong entirely except that he and I didn't get to bed until past four in the morning and I needed to leave before 9 because Heathrow was coming over for our third date.

Yes, can I book it or what? So Heathrow (the new name given by my friends because of my staying at his place by Heathrow during the scuba) was supposed to come to mine for lunch and we were going to cook a Korean food feast and watch the movie Tampopo which is one of my most favorite movies of all time. Of course given my slow start and work during the week, I hadn't been able to research or go get the food required so I was rushing about in the morning, exhausted and with huge bags under my eyes, though luckily we pushed it back a bit and Heathrow didn't get to mine until 1 and by then all was under control, though I was exhausted.

And we had a lovely, lovely day of cooking and eating and movie watching I have to say. Now what I can't say, is exactly what's going on with us. Are we just friends? Just getting to know each other? Is there potential there? And how frustrating is it to talk to someone about rope scenes and rope bondage and yet not have them make any slightest suggestion of laying a finger on you. And let me just say, this guy is good. Like known around in circles as good, and I for one am intrigued. But in the meantime, we chat and chat and chat and chill out and have a good time, so that's fine. Slow progression suits me probably. And I'm not bothered that things are slow, I'm just confused and that's different.

Saturday my friends M and T came by to help me eat leftovers for lunch and the weather was so awful we all just ended up sitting around my house chatting and watching television until it was dinner time so we went out to the grocery store to get pizzas and had dinner as well. Seemed appropriate for the weather, and Sunday I never even bothered to get dressed.

Yesterday I was pretty busy all day taking care of 'things' and today I'm also pretty busy though I don't feel like I'm taking care of very much and tomorrow I have an interview with a place that doesn't necessarily have a job, but asked me in for an interview so I need to give them the hard sell. Or the chat up really, where I act all eager and pliable and shit. No, it should be good though. Practicing my interview skills is fine, and an opportunity is an opportunity.

Then the rest of the week I need to crank on this private job I've managed to secure building a 3D model and I'm also arranging a second private job building a 3D model, so this is all good because it's money coming in, but I need to actually find time to do the damn work which is not as easy as you'd think given my current unemployed status! Ridiculous.

In any case, that's the catch up around here, which should allow me to start writing the posts that I keep meaning to, like how toilet brushes are Satan's gift to the world and how I've hit a bad spot of really missing Mr.Aloof.

So on that, I'll leave you with an image of our feast.

02 November 2008

Placemark: Twisted Monk Mac and Cheese

Many times I have gone looking for this recipe so I thought I would bookmark it here so that I don't keep having to find it again every single time. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesy goodness. Yum yum yum.

25 October 2008

Without Direction

I think that my blogging may increase soon, seeing as how I suddenly have a lot of free time on my hands.

Friday was my last day at work.

Wednesday however, I managed to secure my indefinite leave to remain which means I was able to legally make Friday my last day of work, and that was all good. So I am legal to live here unemployed at the moment, which is better than being deported or a stick in the eye, I tell you.

This is probably one of very few times in my life where I have been without some good direction in terms of 'what happens next'. I have always generally had something to move towards or aim at. Now, I find that I am perhaps slightly at a loss. I know I want to be here (in the UK) at least for the next 12 months until I can get my citizenship. I know that I can support myself for maybe six months on my savings if I live like a frugal monk and pick up a little bit of this and that here and there. And I know that in all likelihood, I will be able to find a job within six months, and it will all be fine. Part of me is enjoying the idea of being able to do nothing- or knit, catch up on all my DVDs, go to the gym, cook, etc. In truth, I'm enough of a general homebody that it won't bother me too much to 'be at home' but part of me will feel the pressure, to be sure.

It's always been very important to me that I be able to support myself, and I am worried that I may not be able to, even though I know that I can for a little bit and it will probably be okay.

So that's what's going on around here. It's not very exciting or uplifting to be honest. I wish it was. I feel as though I was a very boring person before who was fixated on work and now I'm going to become even more boring because I will be doing my best to not save money and pass time. I mean, how boring is that? Although making stuff is always fun and entertaining, so I'm sure I'll start talking about that as soon as I start doing it. And of course there will be the intermittent job leads and interviews all here and there as well.

It's just really weird. I'm actually very detached from my emotions at the moment which is probably a good thing. A little bit like being in shock. It helps me get through it all without falling to pieces, but it makes it all seem like I'm living someone else's dream and nothing is very tangible or real.

I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon.

20 October 2008

Not Unexpected

But also not pleasant. I didn't get the job.

Now it's a mad rush to find any job at all. I'm trying to stay very focused on the things that I can control, and not let myself get swamped by all of the things I cannot control.

I contacted two new agents today, one of whom was enthusiastic (albeit, all for jobs I have zero actual interest in, but a job is a job at this point). I am still waiting to hear back from the company I emailed last week. I called today to confirm they received my CV, and he said they had, and he'd passed it along so was waiting to hear back before he got back in touch.

I also passed my details to my friend who works with one of the large international beastly corporations to see if she can get any takers there.

So all in all, not dead yet. Just not great.

So I have consoled myself with baked sugary treats. This recipe was not actually that difficult, there's just some time involved with the dough rising. But otherwise, I will so be making this one again. Yum yum.

17 October 2008

Obsessive Clicking

So right this very moment, all the interviews should be over and 'they' should be deciding who they are going to offer jobs to. Now I know they said they would likely not get in touch until Monday or Tuesday, but that does not stop me from feeling that I need to check my email and my phone about every 6.8 seconds. It's becoming a reflexive habit like breathing.




I mean, I know it's a pointless exercise- I probably won't hear until Tuesday and then I'm really not sure it's going to be good news. Still, just know that some people are sitting somewhere at this very moment and deciding your future is really nerve wracking.

Yesterday I had a moment of hope that there was another practice that might be interested in me. But since I haven't heard anything back from them today, that hope is also dwindling fast.






15 October 2008

Not Optimistic

That doesn't mean I'm out of the game, I just get the sense that maybe I wasn't exactly quite right, and lets face it, as I learned today, I came from a pool of over 200 applicants.

It's great that my CV and cover letter got me in the door for an interview.

It's fantastic that I made it through the first round to the second.

But I really don't know if I got the job or not. It's not that the interview went badly (and the presentation part went very well I thought), but it's clear that the position is 'management' and that they have some possible concerns that maybe I haven't done enough and maybe I'm not quite the right person given my mostly design based experience.

Or maybe they think that I bring skills that would be beneficial.

Really hard to get a read, and really hard to say, I just have this slightly off sense that maybe I didn't get it. It's not about me not being a good candidate, it's really just about whether I'm exactly the right candidate for this particular job.

Apparently they're interviewing on Friday as well, so they said I shouldn't expect to hear anything until Monday or Tuesday.

There won't be much to say until then.

13 October 2008


Still keeping things brief and work focused. No time for anything else.

Got the remaining pieces to make a 'suit' which cost about as much as my first interview outfit purchase. Horrifying but necessary. Watching my money circle rapidly down the drain.

Have done the presentation for friends- first time was way over at 17 minutes but second time was spot on at 9 minutes. Will do it again to myself probably tomorrow night and possibly also Wednesday morning to make sure I have it down pat.

The interview itself is Wednesday at 1. It's not that I don't think I have good skills or that I don't present well, it's just that I don't know what they're looking for really, and who else they might be interviewing. If my skills match what they're looking for, that's great, I may get the job. But if my skills aren't quite right, and someone else's are, then the job is not meant for me and I will be fucked with a huge fuck off F as there are currently no other jobs on the market.

Of course I'll have to do something, so I will beg my agent to find anything that I can be employed at which is remotely connected to my field. I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that- if I get this job, I'm going to have to take it because I don't have the option not to take it. But if I don't get the job, I'm going to need something. Anything. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, I'm just trying to be prepared, although I will be hugely disappointed and my stress will blossom like mold on soggy stale bread.

As per usual these laste few posts, there is nothing else to talk about. This is the only thing that's really on my mind.

09 October 2008

Creeping Doubt

What if I don't get this job?
There really aren't any other jobs around.
What if I don't get this job?
What if I don't get any job?
What if I don't get a job?


08 October 2008


All the hard work paid off and I made it through interview 1 with flying colors and was invited back for interview 2. Of course, no let up on the preparation- for this interview I'm asked to make a ten minute presentation on my management of a project. At least I have a week from today to prepare (but yes, I should start immediately).

Lots of stuff mulling about my head, but no time to think about it much. I have a good ability to work well under stress and not let myself get overly sidetracked by thoughts, though the downside to this is that I have no capacity for other thoughts or distractions. I am fairly focused on the tasks I need to accomplish and can't think of much else.

Which I think makes me tremendously boring company at the moment, if had time for company that is.

Some things to note in passing however, perhaps to return to later.

I got an email from Mr.Aloof. After two months of no contact. Pointless really, he wrote to say he was thinking of me, had wanted to be in touch and had been writing me things and then deleting them- and he hoped I was well. On the plus side, I was not thrown by this, I read it, I absorbed it, and I wrote back that it was not me keeping him from saying whatever he wanted to me. And that I could not speak to him while the past was unresolved- and by unresolved I meant that he had not made an effort to explain himself or apologize yet. He wrote something back to that, saying he agreed the past needed to be resolved, but made no other suggestions or comments, so I didn't respond to that and felt fine about it. I'll hear from him again at some point. My shrink suggests he is a person who finds it difficult to let go. Which seemed ironic to me.

Another strain of thought which I am likely to return to is this feeling that for me to move jobs just now requires me to 'grow up' somewhat. Dress smarter, take on more responsibility, evoke respect. I am giving up my comfortable office of which I have grown quite acclimated to and am unlikely to find as comforting a place out there. To me, this is a massive change or shift. It means becoming more of an adult than I have deigned to do until now. But it's not a choice. My level, the positions I am applying for, demand it. I cannot help but feel however, as a bird being kicked out of the nest. I'm sure I'll fly... but standing on the precipice is daunting, especially when you aren't given a chance to get your bearings and prepare on your own time.

And on the subject of 'being judged' as is the setting of any interview or job hunt, my insecurities flair horribly, so buried under all of my current efficiency is some severe self loathing and a growing desire to get back to the gym regularly. I don't really dwell on this, it's more like a side commentary to everything I do. Good thing I don't have a lot of time for it, it just sets my internal tone.

Oh yeah, and I'm really sort of angry at my office too for this whole mess, even though they are treating me as decently as possible throughout. In just a few short weeks, I'll never come to this place, or sit at this desk again. After 5 1/2 years, that's really hard to fathom.

Now I should actually get some work done, seeing as how I have a bunch of that to do at the moment as well.

03 October 2008

The Very Short Version

Life is getting out of hand I tell you. I have no time to do anything except the things I have to do. This means no blogging, no erotic art reviewing, not much cooking, not even much TV watching, and pretty much not much of anything else.

I am working up my new application because I have an appointment on the 22nd and I need everything in order for that. This means collecting and collating lots of financial information about myself. I also need a letter from work which is slightly worrisome, but they said they'll give it to me- I just want it in my hands.

Applied for a job on Wednesday which required me to put all my efforts into just getting my CV and projects pages ready to send out. That was a lot of work, but it seemed to have paid off because I've been asked in for a screening interview on Monday.

This requires me now to focus all of my attention on putting my portfolio together which is an awful lot of work, as well as printing out reports and things from the office so if I don't have as much of the portfolio as I'd like, or even if I do, I need to have finished examples of the sort of work I do, and really, I should have record copies for myself anyway.

My ears are still wonky but I went to the GP who said there isn't much to be done, just keep pinching my nose and blowing gently when I can to help clear the tubes which are inflamed and unhappy.

Also need to sit down with my passports today (the current and the previous) and work out every time I've left the country in the past five years, and where I went.

Sorry for being either boring or unresponsive, I tend to get like this when I'm stressed.

Regular service will resume.... sometime.

29 September 2008

One Bad Ear

There is so much to catch up on that I'm not going to be able to do it all. I have a load of laundry in that needs to be hung up and I need to put various chemicals on my skin so it stops hurting me so much and I have a book to read and a bed to fall into and really that's about how my evening is going to go.

I'll start with the scuba since that has been a continuous topic recently. The short news is, I passed. Hooray me! However, it was not an easy ride. Not at all. And it came with consequences- mainly my buggy ear at the moment. I had real trouble on all the dives with my ears pressurizing. As in, they really wouldn't equalize for a long time. And a few times, I felt significant pain in one or both of my ears. By the end of the second day, my ear was really fucked. It's my left ear- it hurt a lot on the last dive as I reached the bottom, and it hasn't come back to being right since. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had something similar happen to me on an airplane. Days later I heard this high pitched screaming like a dolphin and there was a sickening pop and my hearing came back. I assume that's what's going to happen this time as well. I'm not exactly looking forward to it- remembering that it was uncomfortable and unpleasant last time. But I am looking forward to it, because then I can hear like a normal person and stop hearing my heartbeat and breathing all the time which is slightly disconcerting.

So back to the scuba weekend. I tell you- if you do your open water dives in the UK, you can dive anywhere. It was hardcore. First there was the wetsuit- a 7mil wetsuit that was actually two pieces so that your torso is actually covered by 14mil. If I thought wetsuits were like bondage suits before, I knew nothing. This was ridiculous. I think if I had been pushed over onto the ground, I would have simply bounced back to standing. That's how encased I felt. Plus they had built in hoods and we had boots. An entirely new experience.

Then there was the water. Cold and murky. The first day it was 18 degree water (Celsius) and the second day it was 16 degree water. The wetsuits did come in handy however, because my hands and exposed parts of my face felt the cold (at first) but pretty much nothing else did. So that was good.

My first descent was scary. You really couldn't see much more than two meters in any direction. So people just disappeared into the green if you watched them descend, and equally, people emerged out of nothing. I was slightly panicked going down and when we finally reached the platform that was 6 meters below the surface I had an intense sense of vertigo. You couldn't see the top, and you couldn't see the bottom, there was just this platform that seemed to be lopsided or maybe it was just me. At any rate, it was a challenge to calm down and concentrate on breathing and staying in control. But I did it.

Then there was a scuba interlude- Saturday night I stayed with the guy who I had a date with two weeks ago. We've continued to email and I had mentioned the scuba course (and how early I had to get up to get there) and he said that he lived right by Heathrow and I could stay at his place if I wanted. Which was cool, though perhaps weird seeing as how it was sort of our second date. If you can call it a 'date'.

So really there's a whole other story stuck in here about my late afternoon and evening with M. We really weren't short on conversation which was cool. Talking across many subjects to the generally normal to the kinky. Though it's important for me to note that there was nothing intimate about our interactions although the topics were from time to time intimate. He's a quirky guy, M. And I like quirky. I just wonder if he's too quirky. As much as we have talked there are certain things he's quite guarded about. His family for starters. Every time the conversation trickles that way he seems to get tense about it. I haven't pushed, but of course anything like that will snag my curiosity.

At any rate, in keeping with the quirkiness, we slept (in separate beds) in his camper van which was parked in the parking lot of the complex where he owns a studio flat. And that was fun actually, seeing as how I love camper vans- particularly since Glastonbury. And he drove me to the scuba centre in the morning and perhaps we will revisit M again in the future.

So to hurry up the scuba issues, I should say that on both days I got a nose bleed which I never get so that freaked me out a bit. And on the second day I had real trouble taking my mask off and putting it back on. So much trouble in fact, that I almost didn't pass the class. I had to try on three separate occasions before just managing to do it at the very end. I did everything else no problem, but the shock of the cold water hitting my face and my growing sinus issues just made it truly impossible for me. Almost impossible that is. I just squeaked by, thank goodness.

In other news, there is big stuff happening on the citizenship issue job front. I have been mistaken in thinking that I could apply for citizenship right now- actually I have to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This was not at all clear in the information I have read over and over for the past few months. It was both good news and bad news. The good news was that I can get a fast track appointment where my status is decided the day I go in for the appointment. This means I can look for new work immediately and should be able to secure a new job and not be in job limbo for a while. The downside is that the application is much more based on your finances and your ability to support yourself here and I have only so many days to get the required information together. It's going to be a struggle to do that and apply for jobs at the same time. So life has gone pretty hectic. Or really, when has it stopped being hectic?

So it doesn't really please me to have a clogged ear and bad skin and a maybe cold while all of this is pressing upon me. But... I will get through it, like I get through everything else. And I will be much happier on the other side of it all. It's just getting there that's a bit of a pain.

24 September 2008


I'm going to keep this short because I'm trying to finish off my next article and I'm procrastinating and really, it's getting a bit late, and I should think about finishing it up and going to bed.

Plus I have a book up there to read. How much do I love to read?


On Monday I passed my 'Life in the UK' test. Barely. There were 24 questions and you have to get 18 right in order to pass. Well, the ones I got right, I knew without a doubt were right, but there were seven questions that I really wasn't sure about. I know this, because I counted. I figured that wasn't awful odds though- all I had to do was get one right and I would pass.

Well, I sort of think that's exactly what happened. Because as I left the test center (clutching my pass letter) I looked up some of the ones I wasn't sure about.

And I got them all wrong.

Although I did work out which one I got right. Thank god.

Work is trucking along in a miserable state. Lots of people looking for work and taking interviews who haven't actually been made redundant. It's a depressing sort of place at the moment. And it's not going to be any better as people start to trickle away. But it's going to be what it's going to be.

Meanwhile, I keep hoping that we get a job in so that I end up with some sort of work (and therefor pay) as opposed to no work (and no pay). But we'll see. Can't predict the future. Can only live in the present.

Open water scuba dives are this weekend. Have to leave my house at some ungodly hour both days. I'm talking something around six in the morning here. On a weekend. But hey- maybe I'll take next week off. We'll see.

In the meantime- I've cycled to work a total of three times now. Isn't that exciting?