Saturday 27 March 2010

The dangers of Vegas, and other things on a train...

Las Vegas is, apparently, a very dangerous place. I learned this on the train today, on the way home from town. It's not dangerous b/c of crime, or gambling, or anything like that, but because of the weather. Apparently, it is so hot that you can't go outside for more than a few seconds without passing out. I learned this from a conversation in (on?) which I was evesdropping. Two teenagers - both very middle class, one girl and one very gay guy. She had been there with her parents, 'back in the day' (back, apparently, when they had CDs). It was so hot that kids couldn't go outside unless their parents drove them. In fact, it was so hot that she had to abandon her CD player outdoors because it was too dangerous for her to venture into the sun to go get it. I'm thinking that perhaps all this sunshine fried her brain as well... Anyway, fun on trains.

So, I was on the train b/c I was doing all sorts of clothing shopping today and didn't feel like schlepping it all home on my bike. I was also on the train b/c I stripped out the screw on one of my pedal cleats, so was tryint to find new shoes. No luck on that - though I did find some cool 'go out' shoes at TKMaxx (I love TKMaxx). I tried also to remove the screw by drilling it out, but no luck, though it did make some terrible noises and smells. Oh well - off for a bike ride tomorrow with one slightly crapped out cleat, which hopefully won't be a problem.

Anyway, it's another exciting night in this gay household. Robin is actually wearing clothing tonight (it happens once in a while), David is on the phone with his mom, there is some crap 007 movie on TV that seems to have shown all the major sites of Lonodn within about 2 blocks of each other, the washing machine sounds like it's going to launch itself into outer space (it's in the kitchen, as are all washing machines here, coming to the end of its 3 hour cycle). And I'm starting to dribble, so I think I will stop now. :-)

Friday 26 March 2010

Flying tits

So, the neighbours have tits under their eves. It’s true! Last year, we had tits in our ventilation shaft, and came home one day to find a young tit fluttering about the bedroom, pooping on everything.

What did you think I was talking about?


We’ve definitely gone into spring-mode. The daffodils are daffodildoing (what?), the cherry trees have started to bud (ooh, I’m having a good time with this) and my eyes are watering.

It is entirely possible I need to get out more.

The big drama today at work is that we have no water. Apparently a main burst somewhere around here (they do that a lot), and we have enacted ‘business continuity planning’, whatever the hell that is. I mean really – this is the country that supposedly survived the blitz, and a little water main blows up and all hell breaks loose. Not very impressive.

Ooh, speaking of not very impressive, I just noticed the other day that work (which is trying to save umpteen bazillion pounds in the next few years) has decided to replace their chauffeured Lexus (used for driving around the Speaker) with a chauffeured Mercedes E250, which retails for about £33,000. I’m sure that is money well spent.

Ooh, people are having great fun here trying to figure out why Americans are having a cow about the whole health care thing. From what I’ve read, it seems like pretty small potatoes (and will probably just make the health insurance companies richer). I will never ever be convinced that socialized medicine isn’t a good thing – God knows I’ve made fair use of the NHS!

Anyway, I should probably look busy again… The weekend is coming up (planning a long bike ride tomorrow)… What shall I do? Maybe something really exciting like buy a bag of chicken shit to put in the planters upstairs to get them to grow… It’s just one wild and crazy thing after another…

Thursday 18 March 2010

Spring has sproing...

Four score and some odd number of seconds ago, I had a look at my blog and noticed how small and feeble and neglected it was. Well, mostly I'm not at work at the moment (where I have actually been having to work a lot and haven't been able to screw around on the internet as much!). Days go by and I have these fun, witty and amazing observations (I think, anyway), and I don't get off my butt and write them down, then pfft! Gone! It's the end of the week again - another week gone and not much to show... I used to dream of Friday, as the long... week... dragged... on, but now Fridays seem to come with alarming regularity. Not sure if that's getting older, having things to do, or some combination of the two. My big accomplishment the other day, after work, was heading to the dept store to buy a new wok and frying pan. Living la vida local, it would seem...

So, David and I are going to finally get around to filling in the HUGE application for citizenship, where we get to answer questions like are we terrorists (don't think so), have we committed genocide (hmm) and have we ever done anything immoral (of course not!). I mean really - who thinks up these things? We'll have to start travelling around Europe now with large groups of "lager-louts" - maybe go to a stag do or something, get absolutely shitfaced drunk, pee in the fountain, and get arrested while dressed as nuns (with no knickers). I'm pretty sure that's what one is supposed to do as a Brit abroad...

Oh, one minorly crapalacious thing happened... Two weeks ago I took the day off sick from work. However, there was a meeting I really felt I should go to at City Hall, so I biked my poor little self into town to go to this meeting. Turns out I had confused it with another meeting the next day (I was ill, don't forget!) and the person at the front desk had no idea what I was talking about. So, big old dumbalina had to call his boss and ask about the meeting, which turned out to be the next day. Smooth move.

So, I thought, well, I'm in town anyway, so I thought I'd run some errands, have a cup of tea and a muffin while reading the paper, that sort of thing - very civilized. Civilised even. I come out to get my bike after that and discover, to my absolute astonishment and horror, that someone has removed the brakes. Or, rather, the brakes, the cables and the levers. They left the rotors, as the wheels have locking skewers. Now, David had just gone that very day off to a nice B&B weekend up north, which I bought him as a Christmas present, so poor Robin had to deal with me having a complete meltdown on the phone. I had to push my bike the 2 miles to the bike store I go to, in the middle of evening rush hour, getting funny looks the whole time b/c it was obvious there were large parts missing from the bike. £250 later, my bike has new, very good brakes. To these new, very good brakes, I have added a good dollop of black enamel paint - over all shiny parts and all brand names. I have also filled in the eight mounting screws (allen) with superglue, as well as painted around the edges of them. They won't be coming off without a fairly hefty helping of fingernail polish remover. But I mean, my God - to keep my bike (relatively) safe, I now do the following:

1. I have an enormous magnesium coated chain that weighs about a billion pounds that I bought 12 years ago in New York. It's on its third lock (they keep improving them as the theives get better), and I wear it as a belt when I ride. I've cycled tens of thousands of miles with this stupid chain around my waist (it's actually fine there, though I'm not so sure I'd want to fall over on it).

2. I have a cable lock to lock on my seat and seat post when I leave the bike (having lost 1 seat, 2 seat posts and 1 seat post clamp - not all at the same time).

3. I have locking wheel skewers that require a 5-sided wrench to get them off.

4. I remove all lights, bike computer, water bottle.

5. I never ever ever ever leave it out overnight.

But then, my brakes were taken off on a busy street in broad daylight. Un-flipping-believeable. People will steal absolutely everything - they probably sold it onwards on e-Bay. It's probably not nice to wish death and dismemberment on such people... OK, I'd settle for kneecaps and castration. I'm willing to show mercy.


Anyway, I need to go cut my hair, as it's gotten rather fluffy, and is getting to the length that emphasizes just how white it is. Yucky.

Oh yeah, and the spring bit. Finally, after what was billed as the worst winter since possibly the Pleistocene (it was moderately chilly with a few inches of snow -ooh scary), the crocuses have just finshed and the daffodils are starting up. So are my itchy eyes. Oh spring, my favourite season. Now where did I put the antihistamine...