Sunday 13 November 2011

And the solution to a hangover is...

So, last night we had a combined 40th bday party for Robin, a belated bday party for David (as his bday is on 911, so, being that everyone (in America at least, here they, mercifully, don't give a crap) has to put on frownie faces that day, he now has his real bday and his "official bday" - like the Queen. Only problem is we can never figure out when his official bday is, so it's whenever it's most convenient, which is damn convenient). Anyway - we had a party last night with about 12 guys over. There was a lot of alcohol. This being a bunch of homosexuals, we're not talking Bud Lite (though we did have one beer drinker, and there was a fair amount of pear cider downed) - we're talking numerous bottles of champagne, 2 bottles of vodka and a bottle of rum. Not to mention whisky and God only knows what else- lighter fluid maybe. So, our recycling sounds like there are a bunch of alkies living here. We had one person stay the night on the sofa and two in the extra bedroom, and I think I managed to go to bed about 4. Noon came very early, and there may have been some delicateness, though, surprisingly, not that much, all things considered. Fortunately, we'd made a valiant effort on the kitchen last night, and nearly all mess was contained to that room, so there wasn't too much cleanup. Nothing broken either, which isn't bad, considering that someone knocked a full glass of cider into the sink, where there were dirty champagne glasses, and someone else managed to drop a ramacan out of the cupboard onto the tile floor, thinking it was the top of a funny looking glass (rather than two stacked on top of each other). You'd never think that glass could bounce on tile. It's possible there were some arms flapped at that moment in time and several butchness points may have been lost. Anyway, no harm done, save possibly to my friend's ego.

So, today I ran errands in town and went for a little bike ride (my solution to hangover). Robin went to the gym and hung out with a mutual friend (his). And David kept the sofa and the TV occupied (and finally, his). Honestly, I can't do that unless I feel pretty shit-iferous. I have to go outside and do something - even if it's something completly pointless.

Oh yeah - I ripped out quite a lot of the back garden yesterday (as the flowers had mostly died) and put in pansies and verbenas, which are about the only things that will bloom over the winter (unless it gets really cold, in which case they will turn a lovely shade of black). So far though, nothing approaching cold - it's been bizarrely warm, to the point, apparently, where a lot of the plants and animals think it's spring again. I'm sure there is no climate change though... Hmm.

Our "hippo bag" full of crap, being taken away by a crane. Very exciting.

Now kids, this is what happens when you don't wash down there - your ankles glow! (Health and safety alert - Robin is actually wearing underwear).

Party food. The funny thing about a bunch of super health conscious queens is that they start out absolutely avoiding anything vaguely fatty. However, once enough alcohol has been consumed, they seem to go on a fat seeking mission - vacuuming down vast quantities of lard, including the Krispy Kreme donuts that someone brought (which remain untouched until someone opened it, after which the swarming hordes descended).

Random party scene. Unfortunately, the flash on my phone seems to now flash after I actually take the picture, which is a slight problem. Must get new phone and get camera!

Robin and the gayest cake on the planet.

More people and party...

Leonel discovers that I made the drink strong enough to take the enamel off his teeth...

Martin's head seems to have exploded...

Sunday 6 November 2011

Remember, remember, the 5th of November

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day, which celebrates and unsuccessful attempt to blow up Parliament in 1605, by, ironically, blowing things up. It's a bit like the 4th on steroids, only, instead of just official fireworks shows (of which there are many), every single person seems to have bought out the arsenal of a small country and decides to blow it up. Every store sells fireworks, stands are set up along the road, and we're not talking just the "safe and sane" fireworks - we're talking cool things that shoot hundreds of feet in the air and blow up. They are everywhere - so much so that the air usually smells like sulfur and gunpowder, and a person walking outside could be forgiven for thinking that there was a war on. We actually have quite a number of fireworks hanging around in the house, but we've never gotten around to actually setting them off - maybe New Year's Eve? It was just David and me last night, and, to be honest, we couldn't be bothered (and last time we set off fireworks from the house - from the roof in our previous place, they ended up in the trees and exploded the flower pot being used as the base). Yay! We we had a very safe and sane night watching The Green Lantern. I think my takeaway line from that was, "Make yourself at home; there's water in the tap", and my takeaway message was that sexy, sporty people are good, and excessively smart or nerdy people are bad. Gosh, it sounds like high school, only with green tights, more muscles, and cool superpowers. And here I was wondering how a Green Lantern goes to the bathroom, what with that skintight green, well, skin, I guess. They really should address these important issues - it's very difficult to suspend disbelief otherwise... Then David stayed up watching the Golden Girls (well, technically, he fell asleep on the sofa watching the Golden Girls, which we have now downloaded most of), and I, being the always sensible one (snort) went to bed.

Today, which was grey and yicky, I went for a nice 57 mile poodle around north London on my bike, and David tried to fix the toilet, only to discover that it uses non-standard parts. I may have had the better day. Generally speaking, I do the outdoor stuff - garden and whatnot, and I leave David to the indoor stuff. I'm very good at taking things apart - not so good at putting them back together, and, as far as I'm concerned, electricity is voodoo magic, best left to professionals (esp British, 240v drives on the left electricity - very scary indeed).

Anyway, back to work tomorrow. Yippy skippy.

Some pics for today:

A field, north of London...

Road- north of London.

Um, yes please? ;-)

Saturday 5 November 2011

Yeah, that's pretty secure...

So, I decided I was going to switch credit cards, for a variety of reasons. I applied for, and received, my new credit card, and was told I had to call the bank to set up telephone and internet banking. Fine. On the phone, I was told that I would receive the instructions and passwords for the two services in the mail about a week later. In fact, I did. I receieved four identical envelopes on the same day. In two of them were my user names. In the other two were my passwords. Hmm - let's see - person gets four identical envelopes from the bank on the same day. I am sure there can't possibly be any relation between them, so I, as the bad fraudster, wouldn't even think to have a look through those four, identical, surely meaningless envelopes.


Wednesday 2 November 2011

The Leisurely Progress of Autumn

So, yeah, it's been hot, cold, balmy, dry, pretty much all over the map the past month. Apparently, we had one of the warmest Octobers ever, and the trees have gotten overly excited about the whole thing. It actually almost resembles a normal autumn in a normal place with normal trees that turn colours, rather than the usual muted shade of blah they tend to go here (though there is still plenty of that). Granted, many of the trees that are turning would probably turn in Florida (liquidambar), but we'll take what we can get!

I worked from home today, as I had to wait for a furniture delivery (how very exciting and very domestic!). I didn't used to like working from home, because I like to keep a very strong separation between work and home (probably from too many years of being a student), but I've come to realise that I actually get a whole lot more done when I'm at home. I suppose part of it is that I feel slightly guilty about not having to schlep into work, so feel like I need to make up for it, but also because I can just sit here with music playing, without the phone ringing and without any distractions. It's like studying - I could never study anywhere with lots of distractions (though somehow I did manage the art of studying in coffeshops, which is probably part of why I now have crap vision). Oh well. Anyway, a productive day was had at home, and I didn't even have to fend of any Jehovah's Witnesses (though I did have to fend off one guy trying to sell fish). Jehovah's Witnesses - we tend to get those on the weekend - not so surprising, given that we live near a Kingdom Hall. I always tell them I'm Jewish and that all my housemates are Jewish too. That usually throws them - I suppose they figure that it's a real religion, and sort of a precursor to their religion (even though it's clearly the WRONG religion), so by the time they recover I've said my goodbye and shut the door. Of course, they always still manage to shove the Watchtower through the mail slot. I try... They always seem to have a small child in the front, handing out the Watchtower. Now if said child was selling Girl Scout cookies, that would be a different story, but, sadly, they don't do that here, and the Watchtower doesn't taste very good. Hmm - apparently, someone walked off and left me running.


Didn't do much exciting over the weekend - David and I looked at rugs at John Lewis (ooh, hold me back), and we walked around and looked at brown/red leaves in Hyde Park (like I said, we take what we can get). Maybe this weekend I will actually manage a bike ride, if the weather isn't crapalicious. It's getting to that time of the year when it's just as likely to be horrible as anything else. That and it's getting darker noticeably earlier every day. The light has done its shift to winter light (very low, evening-like). It just seems to shift one day, as if there is an angle of incidence (I think that's what it was called - can't remember) - anyway, as if there was a certain angle that suddenly, things look all wintery. California really doesn't get it, b/c it's not far north enough, except right around the winter solstice. I do very much like the winter light here though, the deep shadows, that sort of thing. David has said that the low light makes him nauseous. But then, David is a bit of a fruitcake (unlike me).

David at First Out Cafe, which just closed because of CrossRail, which they are building across London. The cafe was here for 25 years and I think I first visited it 16 or 18 years ago. Really good for hearty veggie food (it was a lesbian cafe, so not much meat on the premises). I'll miss it.

Did this man perhaps forget the rest of his car?

First Out Cafe.

Yeah, that was built into the wall of a toilet cubicle, which, incidentally, had frosted glass in the door. Certainly inspires confidence!

David smiles for his proud pumpkin. Unfortunately, we missed most of the Trick or Treaters, as we weren't home early enough, but we did get quite a lot of candy, before David took the rest of it to his work. How dull.

Yeah, I will never be a brain surgeon.

Ruskin Park (next door to us), looking east towards our neighbourhood.

Looking into the centre of Ruskin Park.

Ruskin Park, looking towards central London.

Our street, from Ruskin Park.