Saturday, March 01, 2003
Friday, February 28, 2003
Not Work Safe?Now, Niek, do you really think I'm not "work safe" with that sly cat grin of mine ... well, I guess you're right in some ways. What's really dangerous about your picture of me is that I'm thinking ... and I'm always dangerous when I'm thinking. Now, what was I thinking about ... shhhhhhhh ... that's the secret. I just can't tell you.
Lady In RedWithout a doubt, the most romantic song ever written. All Alpha Males know this one. If you don't have it, better get it. It's also part of this movie soundtrack and this album's got other good songs. Girls, go buy that red dress. Have a good weekend.
Lady In Red
by Chris DeBurgh
I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
Mmm, mmm, mmm
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance
I have never seen that dress you're wearing
Or the highlights in your hair that catch the light,
I have been blind.
Lady in red is dancing with me,
cheek to cheek
There's nobody here,
it's just you and me,
It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know
this beauty by my side
I'll never forget, the way you look tonight
I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright,
You were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled,
It took my breath away
I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight
Lady in red is dancing with me,
cheek to cheek
There's nobody here,
it's just you and me,
It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know
this beauty by my side
I'll never forget, the way you look tonight.
I never will forget ...
The lady in red
The lady in red
The lady in red
My lady in red (I love you.)
Chez Halley Much Hotter Than Halley's Research StationI'm really getting sick of this cold weather in Boston, but I see it could be worse if I were this Halley. Don't miss the link called "Aurora Over Halley."
Monday, February 24, 2003
I Deserve It
I like this song a lot, especially since Madonna's new guy she writes about is named Guy. It's from her album, Music.
I Deserve It
written by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzai
This guy was meant for me
And I was meant for him
This guy was dreamt for me
And I was dreamt for him
This guy has danced for me
And I have danced for him
This guy has cried for me
And I have cried for him
Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today
This guy has prayed for me
And I have prayed for him
This guy was made for me
And I was made for him
I have no regrets
There's nothing to forget
All the pain was worth it
Not running from the past
I tried to do what's best
I know that I deserve it
Fashions of the TimesYesterday's Sunday New York Times had a cool fashion section. The cover has Eve the rapper decked out in the most frilly feminine Hollywood babe outfit -- she looks great. Also the second or third page in has the fashion item any girl with any sense wants this season -- I'm drooling for one -- THE BEIGE AND BLACK CHANEL SURFBOARD. Of course, it's fun to see the girls in the ad strolling the beach completely dressed, down to classic Chanel pumps carrying their surfboards. The whole issue is colorful and fun and girlish. The downbeat news of war, terrorism and all the rest is definately in contrast to the colorful bonanza and sheer fun of these new spring fashions.
Sunday, February 23, 2003
Last Day In LondonOn my last day in London I had a great time meeting Jack from The Guardian for lunch at Joy King Lau. He was smart as shit and full of interesting high-tech info. Best of all, he pointed me back toward the theatre district so I got a chance to really see a little Picadilly, some Leichester Square, some Trafalgar Square, a bit of the Pall Mall, a quick stop in a tea shop, and then back to my hotel. Jack, you're the best.
ABC Bikini Briefs -- Gotta Love ItSo now you can practice your spelling skills with your Victoria's Secret ABC bikini briefs. Underline that word brief. Well, maybe they intended them for some use other than playing Travel Scrabble.
I guess you might spell out the name of your boyfriend or something. The trick is not to spell out some guy's name, forget you did it and end up in bed with another guy. Looks like you're best spelling out "H-o-n-e-y" with these handy briefs.
Saturday, February 22, 2003
One Writer's SecretOne secret -- don't tell anybody -- is that I've never written on the screen until I started blogging. That is, I always wrote on yellow legal pads with a fountain pen, (Pelican or Waterman) and sometimes a rolling writer (Uniball Fine Point) and then transcribed stuff to the computer and the transistion between yellow legal pad to computer was really a big editing clean up. For YEARS other writers who knew me well enough to know I wrote in this antiquated way would chide me about not writing directly to the computer screen but it has always given me the heeby-jeebies. It seemed to be this strange animal that made a funny purring sound, ready to strike, poised on it's haunches ready to gobble up my words. It made me nervous. It seemed to want something from me. I didn't like the noise of it and also I've never felt like the computer was even remotely trustworthy as a repository for words. Here today, gone tomorrow.
And I've always felt like writing was blood coming out of your hands if it was any good at all. And the closest thing to blood coming out of my fingers was ink coming out of a fountain pen onto a yellow pad of paper. Funny about those yellow pads, when you go back to look at the words, they are usually there and they rarely say, FILE DELETED or some other frightening thing. And I think writing is about handwriting. I know that's a perfectly ancient way to think, but if I had to pick between a hammer and chisel to engrave my words and the computer, I'd pick up the chisel just as fast as can be. I'm especially nutty about writing out poems in long hand. Listen to the words, "long hand" and there's something absolutely real for me about that -- while the computer feels extremely untrustworthy to me.
And then came Blogger, which we all must admit in the beginning was extremely untrustworthy and I would some days write paragraphs and paragraphs and press post and it would have better been labeled DISAPPEAR. But there was something about Blogger ... what was it ... it was light, airy, sans gravity, it was just there, anywhere, in an office, at Kinko's, in a friend's back room on a Saturday early evening when everyone else was drinking beer, but you politely explained to your already tipsy hostess that you'd pass on the beer, but was there anywhere you might slip into a private room and ... Christ it was dirty and hot and almost as fun as stealing her husband for a few hours to fuck while no one was watching ... could you please BLOG a little in private? And shit, she gave you quite a look, but the beer had already hit her pretty hard, so you knew she'd take you to the family computer and plop you down in front of the screen and you only had to escape the 12-year-old's Sim City and the 5-year-old's Reader Rabbit, get on the Net some way or another and you were COOKING WITH GAS. You were driving fast with 100 bucks in your pocket, a full tank of gas, no map and all the windows rolled down.
And everything I ever learned about writing didn't matter anymore. Everything I ever thought about writing went out the window as the breeze blew through my hair and the words poured out of me. I didn't have to take writing seriously. I didn't have to take words seriously. I didn't have to sound like anyone else. I didn't have to sound like The New Yorker -- which weirdly, I sometimes sound like a little by NOT TRYING TO SOUND LIKE IT. So it showed me that I had a lot of hang-ups about writing and it showed me how to get over them fast. It showed me how to sound like myself. It gave me back my voice, which surprised people and surprised no one as much as it surprised me. Blogging was a place I could go and be me, completely, totally, unapologetically me. And if people didn't like it, screw 'em. And I could write the hell out of the screen and if it blew up and disappeared, it didn't matter anyway, because I could always come back and try something else again later. So despite all my inclinations towards bottles of ink and pads of paper, I started to blog and blog and blog and blog and there was no stopping me.
And there was the intra-blogging to consider, something I hadn't counted on and was definately not available in any other form of writing I've ever done. My words weren't stuck on a pad of paper with no friends. If Doc was writing something funny, I could write back. If AKMA was praying for us, I could throw a prayer or poem up on my site. If I was writing about Alpha Males and I needed a picture of James Bond's Wet Nelly, I could link. I was connected to every other word every written for God sakes -- try that for a RUSH when it comes to a drug a writer can really get high on. I was connected to all my other little wordwarriors and loving what they were writing. I was connected to all their thoughts, to their minds and my hostess was happy I wasn't fucking with her husband's brain or any other part of him for that matter, but I was messing with the minds of a million or so strangers. And isn't that what writers are supposed to do???????????????????????????????
Friday, February 21, 2003
How Stupid Do They Think We Are?I eat Dannon Coffee Yogurt for breakfast -- the 8 ounce container. At least, it USED TO BE 8 ounces until this morning when I ate a cup of the newly packaged Dannon Coffee Yogurt which I picked up and instantly by feel could tell was wrong some how. Dannon Coffee Yogurt has apparently gone on a diet and lost 2 ounces and funny, I don't think the price changed. And all I could think is -- How Stupid Do They Think We Are? Do they really think we won't notice they shaved 2 whole ounces off the 8 ounce container? Let me work the math here a minute. 2 ounces out of 8 ounces -- seems like this product just lost 25% of its usual content. That would be quite a diet to go on if I lost a quarter of my weight in one week.
About DinnerDid you ever start explaining something to a group of people at work and then you look up suddenly, thinking you're making perfect sense and realize by the expressions on the faces around you that everyone thinks you're quite MAD and that the more you explain the more totally INSANE they think you are? It happens quite a lot to me.
We were having a party at work and I ate some really excellent camembert cheese and said "that's dinner." And it was about 3:30 in the afternoon, so someone asked me what I meant. So I started explaining how I almost never eat dinner.
I was explaining how stupid I think dinner is. I was explaining that I never eat dinner because I get up at about 4:00am to work out and eat gobs and gobs of breakfast, so by the time dinner rolls around, what's the point? I usually eat my last food around 4:00pm. And then I was starting into a jag about the fact that another good reason not to eat dinner is that there are so many other more interesting things to do round about dinner time. Like ... and then I looked up because I was going to launch into a thing about talking dirty on the phone to your boyfriend or just plain good old common garden variety mastrubating or writing about Alpha Males or sending away for personalized address labels with the Taz as your character of choice or doing laundry -- all things I find more fun than eating dinner -- but then I realized I'd already lost most of them way before by saying I get up at 4:00am and if not then, I certainly would loose a few of them when I explained I preferred phone sex to pork chops and apple sauce.
So I stopped. I've finally learned to stop before I just dig myself in too deep, besides I was beginning to let my mind wander and I was sort of grinning and thinking of something really delicious to do tonight for dinner -- very low calorie, and lots of fun.
In My LifeGood day for sweet old songs on the record player. My son asks me what a record player is when I say that. And what's a typewriter, mom? And what's ... How'd we get so old anyway?
There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Donna Missed My Snow AnalysisDonna Wentworth just reminded me that on the biggest snow event of the year, I didn't write a WORD about the snow. Well, that's because I was serious UNDER the weather. I'll think about it. Maybe it was just too much snow to even contemplate. I spent most of the storm under a blanket of wool sleeping off this flu that I am only finally shaking.
Go Alpha Males -- Lessons 1 through 11I keep getting requests for the links to the earlier blog posts of my "How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Easy Lessons" series, so here are all the links so far:
Lesson One: Getting It -- January 3, 2003
Lesson Two: Giving It -- January 4, 2003
Lesson Three: Why Alpha Males Get Pussy Galore -- January 5, 2003
Lesson Four: Stag Films -- January 7, 2003
Lesson Five: Confidence Game -- January 12, 2003
Lesson Six: Alpha Males Have Things--January 15, 2003
Lesson Seven: Pretty, Pretty, Girl --January 15, 2003
Lesson Eight: How To Get An Alpha Male -- January 17, 2003
Lesson Nine: Do The Right Thing -- January 23, 2003
Lesson Ten: I Second That Emotion -- February 1, 2003
Lesson Eleven: Take Me -- February 17, 2003
Job Angels Fluttering Wings Close ByThanks guys. I appreciate all the help today. You know who you are. Keep on flapping those wings guys.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Little WomenOkay, I give up, I'm still getting over the flu. There's no place I need to go -- or CAN go for that matter. I'm going to make tea and watch Little Women which was shot right near here in Concord and has some lovely pictures of Concord and Lexington houses in the snow. And thank God we're wearing Polartec and Goretex and fabrics that keep us really warm and really dry instead of those big old dresses.
The Big DigIf you're a Bostonian those words mean the big construction mess downtown -- BUT NOT TODAY. Today it means the most horrific dig out of cars you've ever seen. The snow on the front of my car was OVER the hood by about 2 feet thanks to the drifts. And the last guy out is the big loser because there's just nowhere to put the snow you're shovelling, so you conveniently pile it up on the next guy's car! Luckily someone came by with one of those little frontloaders called a Bobcat and helped me get my car out. It would have taken 4 hours otherwise. I was just standing there laughing when I first took a look at it. Think we've had enough WINTER yet!?!?!?!?!
Monday, February 17, 2003
Take Some Mick And Call Me In The MorningOnly reasonable medicine for a storm like this is eat chips, watch Mick Jagger on HBO, pray the lights don't go out. We're going on 12 inches here in Boston and they keep saying we might get another 12 to go with it.
Thanks Gnome GirlJust wanted to say thanks for the traffic you've been throwing my way by adding you to my blogroll. Then I go to your site to find YOU'RE STRANDED IN OUR FAIR CITY! Shit! So sorry to make you a prisoner of this blustery, freezing, cold East coast waste land. Just hope to hell you're dressed in MORE than that cute baseball shirt and bikini bottom featured on your site. Wishing you a safe escape from Boston, and bring that baseball bat back with you next time -- I'll get us tickets for a Red Sox game and we can both go dressed like that -- along with 10 or 20 of our favorite Boston bloggers!
How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Lessons: Lesson 11: Take MeThere was a boy I knew in France, we were both sixteen and he didn't have a car. All he had was a bike, but he had a lot of imagination and a terrific smile. He was an apprentice to a butcher and you should have seen his hands, a new nick or a cut or a big ominous bandage every single day when he came by after work to take me out. There were other guys with motorbikes and some even old enough to come by in cars, but I didn't let them take me off like I let this boy take me. He wore that butcher's apprentice heavy white cotton side-buttoning jacket, a bit like a cook's bleached white linen jacket and his pants were cotton as well, a tiny black and white gingham, again, a traditional French uniform, they fit snug at the hips loose at the ankles, a bit like sailor's bellbottoms. He'd removed his apron by evening and most of the blood on it, though now and then you'd see a flick of red here or there. He'd rush to see me and didn't care to change first. His chest was strong, made you think the jacket buttons might just bust. He had a jolly face, young and handsome and had two great dimples. It was easy to take his hands in a motherly way and examine them for new cuts -- but he'd have none of it -- he's shoo-shoo my attention away, throw his arm around me and explain in French that he wanted to take me somewhere. He only had a bike, but he loved to put me up on the bar and ride me around town. And he knew he could take me anywhere this boy. This was the kind of boy who didn't have to say much to get you to go anywhere with him. I suppose he showed me carnivals and churches and the river and men fishing and cafes, but I honestly don't remember. Mostly he showed me his enthusiasm and his imagination and his great love of life and of course, he was only taking me places to kiss me and I remember that.
And there was another guy in LA who would call me up and say, "Hey, let's ditch out of work early and I'll drive us up the coast, we'll find a place to eat fish and lie on the beach, whattya think?" and he had a nice car, not a sports car, not a convertible, not the best car in the world, but he was funny as hell and he knew how to take me places. He'd drive us out of the city, from Beverly all the way out Venice Boulevard, swore it was the best way to get used to the ocean smell, up Pacific Coast Highway through a low fog, the sun would burn a path for us, past old summer shacks, barely hanging on the sides of hills in Malibu, past beaches with nannies and kids and surfers and we were talking and laughing about horrible stupid excuses we'd made up to tell our bosses why we wouldn't be there that afternoon. We'd make it nearly to Santa Barbara before we'd turn back to see if the coast was clear -- and it was -- and we'd use whatever impromptu late spring beach blanket we could scrounge from the back of the car -- usually some mover's blanket made of brown quilted cotton with a red edge -- and if we didn't have bathing suits he'd dare me to wear my undies and pretend they were a bikini and I would and he'd wear his white Jockey briefs and look even more like some guy in his underwear and we'd laugh about it when people walked by looking at us. He roll us up in the blanket for privacy and we'd kiss. When it got dark, he'd take me to the Reel Inn for grilled salmon and beer and on the way home I'd fall asleep on his shoulder as he drove.
Alpha Males take you places, they just know how. Sometimes it's a risk. They know they might get turned down, but they try it anyway. They don't need the best wheels. They don't need the best road. They don't even really need to know where to take you, they just need to take you. All they need's a little imagination and a little desire. Some have taken me by train to Winter Park to ski. Some have taken me to Seattle by plane just to eat crabs. Some have taken me by limo up to Greenwich for the day to leave the hot city behind. Some have taken around the corner for pasta. The best even let me take them by the hand, lead them down the hall to the bedroom and when I ask if they'd like to take a nap, they say, "Sure." You see, some of these guys I'm quite taken by. And whether I take them, or they take me, they all know one thing, a fine day takes a little imagination, a little fun, a little risk and they always take the chance.
Boston SnowI'm finally digging out from under the blanket drifts on my bed -- I've been sleeping non-stop since yesterday because my flu came back, the nasty thing -- and now that I dug my way out of the covers, it seems the snow is really beginning to hit us hard here -- so I'll dive back under. I've been reading and managed to make myself some lunch -- macaroni and cheese -- first thing I've eaten in days it seems like.
It's one of these sideways storms, the snow doesn't just fall down, but blows in sideways with such force it looks like they're sandblasting the the side of the building. What a winter this has been. Get those spring dresses with the flirty skirts ready and slingback shoes -- give me some warm April weather and a summery spring evening in a cafe, barelegs, pretty sandals, painted toes, enough of these wool socks and boots.
You Can Always Get There By BikeFiets -- Vanuit de hele regio is het een aangename fietstocht naar Keukenhof. U passeert de beroemde bollenvelden. Aangekomen op Keukenhof kunt u uw fiets parkeren in de fietsenstalling naast het parkeerterrein.
So Much For Back In The SaddleMy flu returned and I've spent two more days flat on my back. Not that there's anything to do or anywhere to go when it's 6 below zero and soon we'll be in a foot of snow. Someone remind me there is something called 'Spring." I've heard of it but it seems the most remote possibility these days.
Saturday, February 15, 2003
First Things First -- Work OutI was sick while I was travelling so I didn't work out for a week. This, for me, is like not breathing for a week, it's gotten to be so basic for me. Wish me luck this morning as I make an attempt to get back into the groove. I feel lazy, I feel fat, out of shape and all around weak and useless. I know I shouldn't beat myself up about it, but I also know it will probably take a month or so to get back to where I was physically before I went away.
And my son wonders why I scream at him like a banshee when he doesn't wear his hat and mittens and all when he goes out in this BELOW ZERO weather. He gets sick, I get sick, he misses school and I miss work to take care of him, then I miss work because I'm sick, it's like a house of cards ... boom boom boom everything falls apart.
Back In The Saddle AgainMy life's a lovely jumble of yellow roses, pink tulips, white baby's breathe, dark and light chocolates, camo green military tanks at Heathrow, a half empty plastic bottle of bright red cold medicine in a half open suitcase, lots of laundry now washed, almost folded and the damnedest cold weather you ever saw -- even got a flat tire yesterday on Valentine's Day -- and a sweetheart who patched it up for me!!
But now I'm back and can get my head around what needs to be done here and even what needs to be written around this place -- like another chapter of Alpha Male. Soon soon soon. Those European men gave me a whole new perspective. This jetlag is almost under control. Well, sort of, I mean, ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Whoops, back to bed.
Friday, February 14, 2003
Home Sweet HomeBack in Boston and now off to work sweet work. Thanks Jeneane for the proxypost!
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Security Level Dropped From Orange to Mauve
And why not?
Halley's back in the States--she just called to say she landed at JFK and is en route to Boston. I'm assuming she's bringing plenty of packages with her. Halley, what'd ya get me? She promised more stories when she gets home. Stay tuned.
Proxyblogged by Jeneane.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
It's Only LoveHeard this in a pub and these Beatles lyrics keep rattling around in my head in London tonight --
I get high when I see you go by, my oh my
When you sigh, my, my inside just flies, butterflies
Why am I so shy when I'm beside you?
It's only love and that is all, why should I feel the way I do?
It's only love and that is all but it's so hard loving you
Was it Rubber Soul or Revolver? I can never remember. Hell, I was only 9 years old when it was new. Wait, isn't that supposed to be "easy loving you" in that last line?
Went To The Bank With LanceActually not to the bank, but to a restaurant called Bank this morning with Lance of Davos Newbies. As he explained, it's an old retail bank branch (one of many in central London) that's been converted into a restaurant.
Excellent company, conversation and blogging gossip. Thanks again!
In London TonightGetting ready on a rainy night to head home tomorrow. Really didn't need Tony Blair to send military tanks to Heathrow for me ... but I do appreciate the thought. Glad I'm not a worrier. Wish all safe passage whereever they are tonight and I expect to enjoy the same tomorrow.
The Personal Courage of Alpha MalesI've been thinking long and hard about the personal courage of Alpha Males. Some of you know just what I mean. I'll be writing about it soon. It crosses into areas of leadership and love and loyalty and longing, so I've got to sort it out, but will be back soon on this.
Lindsay HouseGood lord, JP, it may take me about 50 years to recover from that incredible dinner last night at Lindsay House!!! I barely know where to begin when it comes to describing it. I'll just post some key points so I can come back and flesh it out later, okay? But can I say a giant thank you for an evening I will never forget!
1. The London Times arrived at my hotel room door BEFORE I did -- try a dinner that begins at 7PM and ends at 2:AM.
2. There's a scene in Dr. Zhivago where a elegant diplomat wines and dines Julie Christie in a insanely POSH place with a very private dining room with red wall paper -- well, Lindsay House makes that place look like McDonalds.
3. What meal that ends with a 45 minute cell phone call with Rageboy in Boulder could be anything but great?
5. JP -- your analysis on the current economy w/your metaphorical connection to the Vietnam War -- I want this in an essay, it was amazing.
6. Brian Millar, another darling who shared our fantasy evening. WERE WE REALLY THERE? Loved meeting you!
7 On a cold London night to be served a delicious warm lime souffle in a pretty white ramekin with a tiny dish of icy lime sorbet for my own personal dessert -- were they just trying to reduce me to tears! Ohmygod!
8. JP, do you know everyone in the whole wide world, the world wide web or BOTH?
9. Why didn't you guys tell me that all I had to do to find out the real secrets of Alpha Males was come to Europe? ,p>10. Thanks again, brilliant evening.
Blog-lag, Jet-lag, Doc-lagA number of people asked me why I didn't bring my Sony Vaio with me to London here, but after finally catching up on some blogs here the Meriden Waldorf's business center and finding out DOC'S COMPUTER WAS STOLEN, I can tell you maybe my thinking was pretty right on about leaving my sweet Vaio at home. My two killer apps, blogging and email run off of Blogger and Yahoo respectively, so I don't have to drag my hardware along for someone to swipe.
Sorry to hear that bad news, Doc.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
QWERTY Where Are Ye Now?Think posting is easy when the damned quotation mark is switched with the @ key on these English keyboards? Ever use the quote marks in blogging?! It's driving me crazy!!!!
We've Decided War Is Not InevitableWe decided this on Saturday. More on this later. But try it, walk around for a day with the idea in your head. You might at a minimum find, at least as an American, that we have been sold this idea. Just as we are sold Vanilla Diet Coke, which by the way, is a much better idea than nuclear war. You might even notice a certain NUMBNESS in your body where you had to place that weird notion that war was inevitable. You might choose to rethink that numbness. You might start rejecting the idea and feel slightly lively all of a sudden.
I think Bush is making us believe that war is inevitable instead of a private father-son conflict that's best kept in the Bush family and facilitated NOT by diplomats, but rather a few good psychiatrists familiar with the Oedipus complex.
He's also trying to make us think nuclear war is a big economic stimulus package. There's something to that. So your friend down the street who lost his job will get a new job on Monday after the war begins but by Friday we'll all have been blown to smithereens. Hmmm ... well, he won't have to spend much on drycleaning those new suits he bought.
Where Am I?And well you might ask, I'm in Richmond, about 40 minutes out of London and in a lovely internet cafe. In many ways the UK is so way ahead of us in implementing really great technology into their lives. It's been an insane treat to spend time with real people who really live here and see what their "embedded technologies" are -- that is the technology they expect to be seamlessly integrated into their lives.
My blogger friend Gary Turner picks me up in a Mercedes which he instantly starts apologizing for because the bloody thing doesn't have "SatNav" or some mysterious word he uses. I ask him what the hell he's talking about when he says this word, "satnav". His BMW apparently has a satellite navigation system where a sexy woman gives him simple and convenient directions to wherever. As we drive from his home in Northampton to visit with our co-blogger, Euan Semple in ... I forgot the town, sorry ... Gary makes it clear in the nicest way possible I'm a lousy replacement for Miss SatNav.
This is just the beginning. We call information and ask for a number an old lady with the sweetest grandmotherly British accent says, "I've just sent that to your cellular as a text message, sir." I know some people have these technologies in the US, but you can tell they are much more entrenched here.
So come back here with me to this internet cafe. You buy a cup of tea or any 50 variations of coffee drinks, buy a little chit that gives you an hour access to an internet terminal and sit in a place that's clean and pretty and convenient and let's you do your email or blogging as long as you bloody well please. Not bad, eh? These Europeans are leaving us in the dust guys.
Jetlag? Try Sleeplag, Meallag, PooplagI am and have always been drastically thrown off by jetlag, but was thinking about it this morning. Jetlag actually has three component parts that conspire to make your life hell. It's not just the sleeplessness, but one big part of it for me is I'm NEVER hungry at the right times and always hungry at the wrong times when I jump time zones -- call this "meal lag". I seem to have a primal reaction to this problem. I get absolutely cranky like a toddler when I'm hungry and there's no meal in sight. And when they sit you down to eat a lovely big meal and you are not the least bit hungry, I want to yell, "get this crap out of here." Speaking of crap, ... well, let's just say the other part of jetlag might be discretely called crap management -- or the more scientific term, "pooplag". Until you get that going on a regular basis your trip is a bit ... how to say ... of a pain in the ass.
So I'm happy to report after being here 4 days, these lags are under control, just in time for me to be slammed broadside with my son's perfectly dreadful flu/cold/plague, whatever the hell it is. I'd been trying so damned hard to dodge it, but it caught up with me, once I slowed down a bit. I called a client this morning and discovered as I tried to talk ... nothing was coming out. Finally something very sexy (a la Lauren Bacall) did manage to hit the airwaves. Glad I packed the Robittusin Nighttime which I've been swigging like a red martini both day and night for the past two days.
I Miss Dutch GuildersNot even sure if that's the right spelling. The new Euros (only new to me since I haven't been here since they did the change to the new currency) are great and I have a pocket full of them to bring home to my son as a "show and tell" subject, but there's something culturally jarring, even for me, not to see guilders and francs and marks and lira listed on the Change Bureau black felt board. Even the crazy pile of lira you had to assemble to pay for the smallest things in Italy is gone as a kind of cultural joke.
What is a country without it's original currency? Well, I guess it's just what they wanted ... an United Europe. It makes the Brit's decision not to convert, all the more prominent. At first I thought they were being pig-headed about it, but I have to say, I'm kindof glad they stuck by their pence and pounds. I understand from my friends here in the UK (yes I'm back in London) and in Holland that it may only be a matter of time when they go Euro
Holland Is Ready To BloomI'm a bit nutty for the Netherlands, so it was great to get over there. It's about a month from tulip season. I have to figure out a way to get my sister and brother-in-law and son over with me on the next trip. They are florists and gave me the lovely pink silk tulips that decorate my desk at work.
If you want a great early spring trip, get a cheap flight to Amsterdam -- and they are still very cheap since this is off season -- and go to Keukenhof where you'll have rows and rows of tulips as far as the eye can see. The small villages around here give you a real feeling for the Dutch -- again, I think they are great. And THEY ALL SPEAK EXCELLENT ENGLISH as far as I can tell. They put us to shame in terms of being REALLY GLOBAL.
I also got to meet a new friend and fellow blogger, Niek Hockx, the Dutch photographer. Check out his pictures, they're great. Check out his site -- his pictures are great. He's a terrific guy, a fantastic photographer and made the photo shoot easy, which believe me, is a big deal since I can't sit still for more than 12 seconds. But I must say, (wink), he has quite an imagination. He took some great photographs of me and seems to think they were very sexy. You decide -- check them out here. Being a Bostonian Puritan you might notice I'm not exactly dressed like his other models.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
Amster, Amster, Dam, Dam, Dam!Heading to Amsterdam tomorrow. These countries are so delightfully compact, you can slip a few in your pocket and go on to the next. Can't wait to do Holland.
Wonderful day with Euan, Penny, Gary and Fiona. And BIG THANKS Gary for the picture which demonstrates you can conveniently drive a small truck or LORRY through my mouth. Yikes. Penny -- let's kill them, they didn't post the cute pix of us sticking our bosoms and butts out. Christ, you just can't get these guys to do anything you want. Just a hot bed of Scottish Alpha Males over here. h
Still No Yahoo EmailWeridly, I can get on the Net but I can't get into my Yahoo email. Let's hear it for Harvard though -- my work email is working -- it's hsuitt AT hbsp.harvard.edu if anyone needs to reach me. I'm not writing it out properly with the @ sign because then every spammer in the world will crawl it and be crawling all over me I figure. Cheers.
Friday, February 07, 2003
Tea -- For Me!?I just love the tea tray you find in hotel rooms here, with little cute biscuits and great half-and-half they simply call HALF FAT milk ... make no bones about it! It's the real thing -- complete with a china tea pot, two tea cups, your own hot water pot, cream, sugar, real strong brown tea that leaves those brown stains in the cup -- they don't mess around here. This is an island where the tea drinkers have won the war! They dominate! And being a tea drinker, this is NIRVANA!
It was such a welcome treat when I dragged my sorry tired-ass carcass into this Marriot in Northampton, I nearly cried! Lovely tea, lovely bubble bath thanks to The Body Shoppe and drop dead crash nap for 5 hours, waking to wonder where the day had gone.
Gary Turner -- Call Me Call Me Call MeCAN get on Blogger, but can NOT get on email for some reason. I've got your phone number and info on email, of course and NOT in my Palm Pilot -- whoops.
Anyone who reads this, please send Gary an email and tell him to call me. After a 5 hour nap (and no sleep last night on the night flight from NYC) I'm awake and ready to party with you, Fiona and Cameron. I have a massive amount of pink fuzzy baby clothes to unload. I feel like some drug dealer to even traffic in PINK baby gap clothes -- what an illicit thrill -- instead of the usual BLUE clothes I've gotten used to.
GARY CALL ME AND LET'S GO GET SOME OF THAT BEEF THAT DRIVES YOU MAD -- CAN'T WAIT!
I Love LondonWrote a perfectly LOVELY post this morning when I got into town at a BT public Net terminal, a grey wet rainy 50 degree London morning -- they do grey so well. -- but the post promptly crashed.
Epidemic of red double-decker buses here, but I'm sure it can be brought under control. Everything looks do damned British around here.
Grabbed a morning train out to Northampton which is very countrified and nice. A bit like visiting New York and then going out to Connecticut to visit friends.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Great Lunch and of courseYou can't NOT have the oyster stew -- it was so good I wanted to take all my clothes off and take a bath in it. Lovely cream, paprika, and those juicy oysters.
And after lunch, you can't NOT go ice slkating at Rockefeller Center. Did you see me there? I love to skate, but I have to say I hate rental skates -- my left blade was not sharp -- and I missed my usual skates. And you can't NOT skate to Frank Sinatra singing "New York New York" -- anything more completely GOTHAM than that? I loved the windy rattle-ti-tat-tat of the flags against the flag poles -- a rainbow of flags from all around the world and nearly everyone watching the skating rink hailed from one of those countries.
And if you go to Teuscher chocolates, you can't NOT have the champagne truffles for your birthday!!
New York is cold (22 degrees) but clear as a bell today. Marching back up Fifth Avenue, I couldn't NOT go into Saint Patrick's Cathedral and light a candle. I love the way the candles shimmer yellow flames in their red glass jars, flickering quietly in a silent glow in the big quiet cathedral against noisy NYC traffic outside.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
And It's A Big If
If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand
'cause I've been in love before
And I found that love was more
Than just holding hands
If I give my heart to you
I must be sure
From the very start
That you would love me more than her
If I trust in you oh please
Don't run and hide
If I love you too oh please
Don't hurt my pride like her
'cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain
So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two
If I fell in love with you
-- The Beatles
Plaid Burberry RainSo it looks like -- BIG SURPRISE -- rainy rainy weather in London for my trip. Here's the thing -- I really want to get a Burberry trench coat and some wellies. What's cheaper -- buy them here or buy them there?
I like the artwork on their site -- especially the way they use Flash (is it?) to assemble their plaid brand when you first pull up the site. What do you think of the cool fashion photos with the splotches of bright paint colors on them? I like them. The site, however, is deadly slow.
Of course, they'll need to do some brand extensions once everyone stops wearing clothes -- what with trend towards nudity being your best dressed look these days in Europe. They'll need to do more hats, maybe set up some Burberry tatooing salons for some real branding, and of course, some suntan lotion, tiny plaid thongs and more boots.
Feel So Good TodayJust so excited about going to Europe! Can't wait to see Baby Turner. I think I better get that tiny supermodel something mega-cute like this or this or this!
Also big thanks to Rageboy for the MANY introductions to the coolest people in London. Rageboy's world rocks and doors open (or are quickly locked, I'm not sure which) when he goes knocking.
Monday, February 03, 2003
Everything Is Different Now
She said "I don't care what you do for a living."
She said "I don't care what kind of car you drive."
"All I want to know right now is what you believe in
And what it means for you to be alive.
Will you stand here in this fire with me?
Are you ready for another life?"
So I bit that bullet, and took that vow
And everything is different now
Everything is different now
-- Don Henley
Sunday, February 02, 2003
Wifely Duty UndoneSpeaking of Valentine's Day, check out this sobering article about modern marriage in The Atlantic. Sounds like a big drag for all parties. Tell me marriage isn't evolving ... Alpha Males know better. After a Hard Day's Night, who needs this?! Okay, just call me the Surrendered Blogger. Thanks for the link from Bacchus at Erosblog and Alina.
Give Me A Ticket On An Aero-PlaneAin't got time to take a fast train My new friend, Carl, writes about the OBVIOUS fact that any terrorist worth his salt should just go ahead and buy a round-trip ticket if he's planning to die anyway. What are these guys, tightwads?
As for best practices in travel, Carl should know -- he's the founder of the last standing, very successful, high-growth dot com that sells travel to students. Check it out www.studentuniverse.com
Church is Just FunI don't know why it is, but church is always fun. The friends I've made there are great. The way we come together and work on different projects is like no other place in my life -- work has too many stresses and too much competition to be so relaxed. And I also like being somewhere with a wide range of ages -- from 2 to 72. It reminds you of the Wheel of Fortune. You slowly turn from child to teenager to a young person to a middle-aged person to an old person and it all makes sense.
More than anything else, there is no place in my week where I can grapple with things like good and bad, right and wrong, being strong and being weak. The minister today spoke to how weak we are, how we are always messing up and it's just that way. She talked about granting others "undeserved forgiveness" which sounds like an oxymoron in some way, but nothing could be more worth granting, forgiveness that someone seems not to deserve, but you make the magnanimous gesture to stop judging whether they qualify for your forgiveness and rather, you just give it. That's a holy place to be.
Bed Bath & Beyond My TeapotBack from church and I have my new black teapot on my desk next to me, drinking Irish Breakfast on this Sunday afternoon. It's black ceramic. Has a no-nonsense feeling to it. Let's me think straight. Let's me sort through what matters, what doesn't. So much doesn't matter I think. A few things do.