avril 30, 2004

inappropriate

Last night on the way home from work, I had the fortune to hear george bush make yet another hash of a press conference.

I don't make any secret of my dislike for bush. though maybe I could garner a smidgeon of respect for him if he could string a simple sentence together, he can't even grant me that.

even more disturbing than the complete lack of coherence with which he spoke was the manner in which he answered the questions put to him. It was, he said, an 'enjoyable conversation'. 'I'm really glad I did it,' he said. well thanks for that, george.

as numerous people have pointed out, more eloquently and coherently than I, if he has nothing to hide, why were there no transcripts of the 'conversations'? why did he spend so much time trying to get out of testifying?

the answer? in 2001, I worked in aviation security in new zealand. every month we'd be sent risk assessments by the civil aviation authority (new zealand's counterpart to the FAA). the information in these risk assessments was furnished by iata and by the faa, informed in part by the cia. in the months leading up to 911, the threat level on those assessments grew with every month that passed.

two names kept cropping up in those assessments that were posted on the notice board for all the officers to see. al qaeda and osama bin laden. american interests were at risk, they said. the level of chatter is rising. aviation was likely to be involved. new zealand had a low threat level, but it was best to stay aware.

we were aware of this in an airport in new zealand. you expect me to believe that george bush didn't have a fairly good idea that something serious was going to happen soon? I did. when it happened, aside from the gut-wrenching shock of the actual tradgedy, my overwhelming reaction was 'so they finally did it'.

and I don't buy the excuse that they didn't know 'when' or 'where'. the very fact that they knew something was going to happen should have informed every decision that they made in regards to federal aviation. it's no good shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. they should have instituted federal screening long before september of 2001. in that respect, bill clinton should be held accountable too.

(check out this article to get an idea of just how bad it was.)

all this makes it even more appalling that bush can stand there with that smarmy smile on his face and make noises about an enjoyable conversation with the commissioners like he's talking about a thursday afternoon round of golf. and like he has no idea what all the fuss is about.

Posted by rachie at 02:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

avril 29, 2004

fortuitous?

I love it when I can help someone in my job. Give them a definative answer. Make their life a little easier. I know I'm good at what I do but I often exude an air of confidence I don't feel in my abilities to get the job done. Invariably though, I do get the job done, and well.

I enjoy my job. I have a great boss who is very laid back and easy going. He makes life very easy for me. Too easy probably.

But I don't get paid enough. Both for what I do and also for how I live. I know a person with my abilities should be earning more.

Today I came across a job on a university website that is right up my alley. It includes web development and administration in total quality. I have experience in both. and it pays. almost a third more than I am getting now. Best of all it's much closer to home. And at the university I'd really like to study at. part time, I could study for free if I worked there.

applications close at the end of next week.

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avril 28, 2004

duran fan all over again...

Duran Duran. So, *so* awesome.

I don't even know where to start.

As we lined up to get in, Jackie couldn't get over the crowd. As I'd predicted, it was a Gen X congregation. She didn't think she'd seen so many people of her own age in one place. Ever. It was fabulous. Ten thousand, or so, thirty and fourty-somethings all rocking the nostalgia beat.

I did the merchandising thing and purchased and exhorbitantly expensive but beautifully put-together programme and a vest before we headed into the Arena. Our tickets were 'rear standing' which turned out to basically be standing *anywhere*. So we ended up maybe 300 metres from the stage (we stuck to the edge to combat Jackie's claustrophobia). We had a really great view from there.

Scissor Sisters were supporting and they were great. I really enjoyed them. They were only on for about 30 minutes and then we had to wait another 25 minutes or so for the set-up for DD.

I have to say that up until last night, the whole deal felt totally surreal. My best friend Juliet got me all fannish over DD back when we were thirteen. Which would be nigh on nineteen years ago. And of course, living in New Zealand where barely *anyone* tours, I never imagined I would see them in concert, much less the complete original line-up. So to discover they were touring and actually getting tickets – it felt a little like a dream.

But as they set up the instruments and 'We Are Family' swept over the Arena loudspeakers, my excitement ballooned. This was a moment nineteen years in the making. And I was determined to enjoy every last minute of it.

All of a sudden, the lights dropped and everybody started clapping and wailing. I swear I got the biggest chills of my life. It was exactly what I was expecting and it felt incredible. We could see the guys walking to the front of the stage in the dark, flashes of lights illuminating them as they stood looking out over the crowd. And the crowd was pretty much going wild. I mean, DUDE. Duran Duran!

And then the lights came on and they launched into… a song I didn't know! Damn them! But it was a good song, new and pretty catchy. And they looked… well, older. But as Jackie said later, they've all aged pretty well. They looked good for old dudes. ;>

And they played. Simon had the flu and they still managed a two hour set. Poor bastard sounded like he had what I had, but what a trouper! And what a voice! They were phenomenal.

They haven't lost it. Simon can still move those hips and Andy can still jump around the stage like a total spaz. Nick can still pout with the best of them and John can still look unutterably cool standing there playing his bass. I had to laugh when Andy stood there on the edge of the stage with his fag hanging out of his mouth. Some things never change.

They played all the biggies. Hungry Like the Wolf, Please, Please Tell Me Now, I Don't Want Your Love, Notorious, Planet Earth, Careless Memories, Tiger Tiger, Union of the Snake, The Reflex, The Chauffeur (complete with excerpts from the dykadelic video on the big screens behind them), Save a Prayer, A View to a Kill, Ordinary World, Come Undone, Wild Boys, Girls on Film and Rio. There were some newer ones which I didn't recognize but then I don't have their last couple of albums. Might have to rectify that. They didn't play New Religion, but then I didn't expect they would. I wish they would have though as that's one of my favourites.

Save a Prayer was replete with the waving of lighters and, on Simon's urging, cellphones to "make the stars come out". It was awesome. They finished on Rio and they were still leaping around, and so was the crowd.

The sound was incredible. Having only experienced concerts in New Zealand with mostly crappy touring gear, I was unprepared for just *how* good the sound would be. The banks of speakers were well-positioned and it was loud but there was no distortion and my ears had stopped ringing by this morning. The sound was beautifully mixed, everything was even and you could dear every instrument clearly. The backing singer Sarah was also fabulous and she was mixed in perfectly.

They finished their encore just before eleven to a standing ovation and then we made our trek back to the car (where we lucked in by being parked right next to the exit) and battled with traffic out of Sheffield.

All in all… they totally lived up to my expectations. Jackie also really enjoyed it, despite not being a fan, she knew much of the music but was never into them. It was two hours of pure nostalgiac goodness.

The boys rocked the house.

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avril 27, 2004

happy

I have new hair! it's pretty. and blonde.

I'm about to take off home so we can get ready to go see dd. I feel totally giddy. and not just from the remnants of my cold.

also, the floor has been sanded and varnished. it looks fab. and the central heating and water heater are being installed thursday through saturday/tuesday. And it's another bank holiday weekend coming up.

and spring! so pretty. and scenty!

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avril 26, 2004

extravagance

I just bought the most adorable dress for my neice. she's two on saturday and I simply couldn't resist it.

Posted by rachie at 02:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

iller than a really ill thing

last week I was sicker than I've been for a long, long time. while I'm hesitant to say it was the flu, colds usually aren't accompanied by a fever and vomiting are they?

on Tuesday I was too sick to realize I was too sick to struggle into work. fuck knows how I actually managed to get there as I must have almost fallen alseep at the wheel a dozen times. also on the way home, after I was sent home by my horrified boss.

home and straight to bed, when I woke up several hours later the bug had migrated to my chest and I started to worry about chest infections. I've kinda been prone to them for half my life but I think it's about four years now since I had one. I desperately want to extend that record because there's nothing that's less fun than a chest infection. I think dying would be more fun, personally.

but in a rare twist of (well-managed) luck, I shrugged off any kind of infection. it took four days off work, a weekend, a bottle of cough syrup, umpteen asprin and two boxes of tissues to get over it. my nose is still running and I'm still coughing, but at least I don't want to die now. that's a definate improvement.

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avril 19, 2004

some things from my tired brain...

I have a cold and I feel lousy.

I have no carpet, but the living room is painted.

I am so sore from spending the weekend sandpapering the bedroom window frame.

I really want to sleep.

Duran Duran is a week tomorrow.

Ouch.

I think I will start re-reading my favourite book that just arrived from amazon.com.

I want a mini-ipod.

I have no ability to think right now beyond breathing in and out.

If I owe you email, I promise to get to it soon.

I hope to be more together tomorrow.

Don't I say that an awful lot?

Posted by rachie at 03:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

avril 16, 2004

my own space

TGIF!

I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head at the moment. But no time to put them down on paper. Or on the computer screen. I am so looking forward to having things sorted out at the flat. Looking forward to creating my own little haven where I can be comfortable and easy. It's been a long time since I had my own space. I mean, really my own space. I don't think I realized how much I needed it until it came time to move again.

I love people, I love being *with* people, but I so need my own retreat. My soft and comfortable place to be me. To write, to dream. To be. I think this place will be that space. I can feel it when I visualize how it might be.

It'll be another adjustment. Being myself in my very own space is so exciting though. Having the freedom just to be in any way I want. I'm not very good at compromising these days. And I have no problem with that. I spent most of my life compromising what *I* wanted, compromising my needs and my integrity to keep other people happy. I don't do that any longer. And I don't feel the need to apologize for it, either.

Maybe sometime next week I'll have a chance to sit down and explore some of what's going on inside my head. until then....

Posted by rachie at 02:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

avril 15, 2004

and I say again.... *guh*!

so, the girl watches the start of the first episode of tru calling with me the other night.

and she doesn't get it. the dushku love, I mean.

how can you *not* get it? how can you *not* see that that woman is sex on two gorgeous legs?

*I* don't get that.

because ... *guh*....

ps: thanks goes to fox for totally fucking with my head by calling a character, played by a girl I lust after, the same name as my ex. how spiffy of you!

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avril 14, 2004

lucky girl

I'm fucked. Well, not literally, and not in that kind of way. I'm shattered, so to speak. I took the day off work (one of the perks of having five weeks a year of annual leave means that you get to take off days here and there and it doesn't really matter...). The cable company were coming today to connect me up with cable and broadband. so I stayed down here and spent the morning washing down the bedroom window frames. they were nasty. I mean, really nasty. They look much, *much* better now. I plan to give them a good sanding soon and Jackie and I will paint them.

the netl cable guy came in the afternoon and that was remarkably easy. I also had some new furniture and my new tv delivered. jax continued to paint and I built one of my peices of furniture. It's a seagrass chest and looks great. We considered the room, the window and the front yard and came to the conclusion that when we're finished it's going to be an absolutely gorgeous little flat. Especially come summer with the sun pouring in the windows. It's going to be absolutely fab!

we got lots accomplished. it was a great day. and we're heading out to meet up with some friends soon.

but my favourite part of the day? when jackie turned to me and asked me, "don't you wish you could bottle this, this feeling, this happiness, and give it to the people you love? don't you wish everyone could feel some of this?"

oh, yes, yes I do baby. ;>

one of the advantages of going through all the pain and heartbreak that i have, is that I recognize the good when it comes. I *know* how lucky I am now and I cherish every minute of it.

Posted by rachie at 04:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

avril 13, 2004

easter is over

I love long weekends. I don't love going back to work when they're over though.

Unfortunately, this long weekend wasn't a whole bundle of laughs. It was okay, but as long weekends go, I've had better.

I moved.

Well, I moved my stuff. The new place isn't really ready yet, so we just dumped all the boxes in the bedroom. And noticed the smell of cat pee. Mmmm-hmmm.

So… we decided that we would rip up the carpet in both rooms and get the landlord to sand the floor. He was amenable but was away, so as yet we've only gotten as far as ripping up the carpet in the bedroom. Well, the girl and her ex did it, but that's another story.

I do have a new kitchen and she's just about finished painting the living room for me. The living room is looking really pretty and I'm going to love it all when it's finished… it's just a way from finished, is all. And the windows need washing and I need new curtains and the kitchen needs plastering and painting and something doing with the floor…. But it will be lovely when it's done. It gets all day sun in the living room and has a *huge* picture window through which the sun pours. Which is going to be lovely for summer, plus it looks over the little front yard which I plan to plant up and put bird feeders in.


So, basically, everything is still in boxes and I'm staying upstairs with my girl until we get it sorted.

Of course the weekend started early since I took Thursday off. We decided to go and have a look around Ikea, but the day started with a phone-call from her ex who was flying in from Dubai for a couple of days.

He doesn't know about me, which made introductions kinda interesting. For me, anyway. It was a little intimidating meeting the guy she was with for thirteen years. How do you deal with that on an emotional level? Especially when he has no idea how important you are to her.

At one point he asked me where I was sleeping. I was so tempted to say, with your ex, mate. But I didn't. Of course I didn't. I know she's not ready to deal with that yet. But it was hard for me. Especially when he brought her gifts, and took her shopping. But, she and I talked about it later. I tried to deal with it, but at the end of the day, my past lends itself to generating insecurity. I guess a little part of me is still waiting for that other shoe to drop. I think in the back of my mind, I have this sneaking suspicion that the moment I totally let my guard down, at the moment I least expect it, something will blow my life apart again and I'll be frantically scrabbling around, trying to clutch at whatever pieces are left.

I'm not sure how to dissipate those feelings, or even if I should. Forewarned is forearmed. Or something to that effect. I don't *ever* want to be blindsided again like I was eighteen months ago.

But I do realize that at the end of the day, she came home to me, and *that* is what is important. *And* we talked about it, I was open about how I felt and she understood it. That's one of the things I love about our relationship. That she listens to me and validates my feelings rather than making excuses or talking around the point.

Also, she makes me laugh. All. The. Time. And that is a rare and beautiful thing.

Now I've derailed right off the point, let me get back to the weekend. She spent Friday and some of Saturday with the ex (roping him in to rip up the bedroom carpet!) while I moved the rest of my stuff with help from her brother-in-law and niece.

Saturday morning I pottered around while she was out and then we spent the afternoon in the pub having a few drinks and a late lunch with one of the boys we haven't seen for a while.

Easter Sunday came and I missed church again. I usually try and make church on Christmas and Easter at the least, but this year I've missed both. I feel mildly guilty about that, but I guess since my relationship with the big guy is not particularly religion/church-based anyway it's not something that's a biggie. I think I have a more intimate relationship with God when I look at the new leaves on the trees and the blossoms and blooms of these beautiful spring days than I have while sitting in a church anyway.

Jax spent much of Sunday painting while I did my own thing and then picked up another one of our boys and brought him back to ours. Then I cooked us a lovely leg of lamb for Sunday dinner. We finished it off with a slice of cheesecake and then got ready to go out. We spent the evening at a local bar where I discovered they make fabulous margueritas. You can't find Marguerita mix in this country for love nor money so it's hard to make them yourself (unless you want to squeeze umpteen limes). So we sat outside in the mild spring evening air and I must have downed six or seven of the little buggers. It was fab. I wasn't even that hungover yesterday morning. Jax was though. Doesn't matter how many times we swear we'll never mix our drinks again, we never learn our lessons.

So yesterday involved dragging ourselves out of bed and back to the same bar for brunch. Which was divine except it made her feel even iller than she already felt. Me? I was a mean bitch and telling her I felt like I'd barely seen her all weekend (I really did feel like that), I dragged her into York with me to drop off the keys and pick up my bond from the ex-landlords.

Then feeling layer upon layer of guilt as she looked worse and worse, I whipped her home and she went to bed for a nap while I played Tombraider on the PS2. I'm going to finish that damn game soon if it kills me!

So, that was it. Our weekend. Like I said, not great. I've had better ones. But then I've had ones that were far, *far* worse. So I suppose I should be grateful I made it through unblemished. I have a new flat. It's going to be lovely when it's finished. I have my girl and thankfully she's feeling more like herself this morning. And I'm feeling better too. Because while there's plenty of worse things that simply being in a funky mood on a long weekend, it's still not that great.

Of course, like all bank holiday weekends, now that it's over? The sun is shining and it's a beautiful spring day.

Typical.

Posted by rachie at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

avril 06, 2004

strange/r

it's almost seventeen months to the day since I left the USA. and it feels so strange not to feel anything any more. not even sadness.

I used to think we could be friends at some point. now.... I don't know. I'm a million miles away from knowing who she is. she looks like a stranger to me, someone I don't recognize. and it feels strange that that no longer hurts. that it's no longer important to me to wonder what our relationship may be, in time. to no longer wonder who she is or what she is doing. I realized today I don't even know her name. how strange is that?

for so long there was such an intensity of feelings. and now, there's a space where they were. a calmness that is a blessing. but also odd.

a good odd though.

Posted by rachie at 04:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

avril 05, 2004

lucky star

I'm so tired. went out both friday and saturday nights and as a result was hungover and shattered yesterday. so I napped throughout the day.

which meant, while I was still way tired last night, I couldn't sleep. I mean, I must have tossed and turned until 3am and from there until 7:30am, I dozed on and off. I feel like I didn't sleep a wink. I know I did, but right now I am so tired I can barely think straight. and I need to go home and start packing.

aside from the banging headache and napping on sunday, the weekend was great. I got to see my new home on sunday - they've already ripped out the kitchen and were in the middle of getting ready to put new units and new workbenches in. plus jane has provided a double bed and curtains for the bedroom so I don't need to worry about getting those. just other furniture, like drawers and wardrobes and suchlike.

to help with that, I had a stroke of extraordinary luck on saturday. the grand national (england's (the worlds?) biggest steeplechase race) was on, so I decided to take a quiet flutter. and wouldn't you know it? I won! It was amazing, I don't think I've ever won a bet I made on the melbourne cup, but I put a fiver each way on the winner and came away with £110! colour me excited! So that should purchase a nice set of curtains for the living room...

plus, and I didn't get a chance to post this on friday, but I finally managed to get some madonna tickets. they released four extra concerts at wembley throughout the day and just after lunch I came away with two tickets for the 23rd August. someone up there loves me ;>

But right now? I just want to go home and go to bed.

Posted by rachie at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

avril 02, 2004

damnit

My morning so far.

8:15 - Get to work

8:30 - Get called into Friday morning meeting. Beg Boss to let me leave at 9am to get Madonna tickets at Wembley.

9:00 - Come back to office and get online and find busy signals at both ticketmaster.com and wembley.com

9:04 - Find Wembley ticket hotline in email and call. Find out BT lines are overloaded

9:05 - 9:55 - Try web pages and phone constantly every few seconds. Almost get through to ticketmaster once but then it freezes up.

10:02 - Finally get through to ticketmaster to find they have totally sold out of tickets.

10:03 - Cry

Posted by rachie at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

avril 01, 2004

it's england, you know

a friend of mine, on hearing the story about B and the flat shennanigans.

Him: "wow, it's like Three's Company, only with lesbians and transgendered people"

Me: "and without Suzanne Somers"

Posted by rachie at 02:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

more memories of summer

new pictures are up!

these cover late summer of last year and our trips up north to northumberland and edinburgh and then down south to the new forest and west sussex...

I can't wait for summer again!

Posted by rachie at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

tea for three

Some days I sit here at my desk and drink endless cups of tea. I work (or often I surf) and when I finish one cup, I throw a teabag in my cup and head back to the kitchen. Sometimes though, I get distracted before I actually get up from my desk.

I just looked in my cup. There are three teabags in there....

Posted by rachie at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack