Thursday 30 January 2003

send in the st. bernard

I just sent an email to my aunt and my Mom yesterday saying how luckily, we never really get snow here. So really, this is probably all my fault.

Wednesday 29 January 2003

thank you

hey lisa--

it's gordon.

you know--and i'm sure you know--how synchronicity happens? i was just feeling mildly bad about both the seemingly-impending war in iraq. and also how i tend to keep in touch with friends really poorly.

and so what happens to cure this? i visit your blog--always a warm, friendly, intelligent place--and you announce you are marching for breast cancer research. i need to make more money than retail so i can give it to people like you who walk the walk as well as talk the talk. literally. i am being 150% sincere here, despite my recent "incommunicado" status. sorry.

you can post this on your site if you want. i am honoured to know you from this one gutsy and committed act.

just say walk!



gordon (estranged tech writer friend who used to make gay-assed mpegs with you on fridays)
i can appreciate this

On our way to work from Northampton, we pass through a very pretty little village called Kimbolton. Unfortunately, we tend to encounter traffic jams in this village as there is a large school there. Very unfortunately, most kids are being dropped off by SUV-driving Mums. Please. This must stop.

Monday 27 January 2003

you were warned

I told you people that being near me would make you pregnant. But did you listen and protect yourselves? Nooooo. A lovely reader called Dina wrote to tell me that she and her husband are expecting their first little bambino in August. Now, can we assume that she's become pregnant as a result of reading this site? Of course we can. It can all be scientifically explained, but I have neither the time nor resources to explain it all fully here. In the meantime, I suggest that you cover your monitors with a large latex sheath whilst reading this page - if you haven't done so already for other reasons.

Before I launch into this next bit, I must put a disclaimer here first. I am not pregnant. I am not planning on being pregnant in the immediate future. Okay? Okay.

When I was 20, I thought I would have a kid by 25. Then I turned 25 and thought it would be a good idea to wait until I turned 30. I turned 30, and suddenly 35 looked a lot more sensible. I'm now 33 (for the next two months) and 35 is awfully close. I couldn't say for sure that I wanted to have kids, but I knew that I couldn't say that I didn't want kids - if that makes any sense. The thought of me being responsible for another human life was both pretty funny and incredibly scary, and I honestly couldn't imagine life with a mini me running around the house. I couldn't have a kid, I reasoned, because I would become boring, I'd never be able to leave the house and travel, and I couldn't fathom the responsibility. I felt this way until one day a couple of months ago, when for some bizarre reason out of the blue (I think I was in the shower at Paul's Mum and Dad's at the time), my brain said to me, "Of course you can have kids. And everything will be okay. No, really. Trust me." I have no idea how I came to this realisation. Hormones? Aging? Being with a man I love to bits? Being around kids for a weekend that I adored? Ah, yeah...okay, maybe that. The point is, something changed in me and I simply knew that this is something I could do and that it wouldn't be a bad thing. This is something that I want to do, but not just now. So don't panic.

In the meantime, we are looking at buying/building a house. This is another scene in the episode of my life entitled "Lisa Becomes a Grown Up". (Scene one was buying a car.) I have started a special savings account (called "L & P's House Fund", because I am completely unimaginative about stuff like this), and we will be able to put even more money away when Paul moves in here in a couple of months. We've started a scrapbook of ideas and information, and I will bore you all to tears with house-related stories on this page in the coming months. If we end up doing a self build, you can be bored with pictures as well. If you work with me or live in Cambridge, I'll be able to bore you in person.

Friday 24 January 2003

a bit late

Pictures from our Christmas adventures in Canada are now available for your viewing pleasure here. Yeah, I know - they're a bit late. It'll put you back in the Christmas spirit and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
yes, you read that right

...I really will be power walking through London in my bra at midnight. Well, my bra and other clothing of course. Otherwise, that would just be mad. I'll be leaving that blurb at the top of my page until I do the walk in May, so you have plenty of time to sponsor me. *hint hint*

For you Cambridge lovelies, I'll leave my sponsorship forms around the office in the next few weeks and will bug the rest of you via email. Please sponsor Heather, too! She'll be marching her cute little socks off with me.

Feel free to come out and watch us too - I'm sure it won't be too painful having to watch a bunch of women in bras for a few hours. ;)

Thursday 23 January 2003

getting rid of that annoying blockage

Yes, that's right kids - this site is no longer blocked from my office. You can waste seconds, even minutes, reading all about my scintillating life from the comfort of your Citrix desk. Mmmmm.

In honour of this momentous occasion, I will write about work related items in today's entry. First of all, let me just say that there isn't enough Pete on this page this month. He really needs to do something Petelike so I can write about it and share it with the world. Secondly, today's webinar could have used a little more volume and a rousing rendition of "We Will Rock You". Thirdly, I have decided to convert the big empty room next to us into an aerobics/kickboxing/power yoga studio. I'm going to lay down some mats and blast invigorating dance tunes out of a portable stereo every day for approximately 90 minutes. You are more than welcome to use this room for a small fee.

Now get back to work, all of you.

Wednesday 22 January 2003

turn that down, sonny

I know I'm getting old because I have just discovered that I can actually get annoyed by a song. I don't just dislike certain songs or think "Hey, it's not my taste but I can appreciate it for its artistic merit"; I am seriously annoyed by certain songs. There is one song that goes as follows: "I've got so much love to give". Repeat. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. Then just for further fun and amusement, when they recorded that one line, someone sat at the sound system and turned the volume up and down repeatedly so the song sounds like this: "I've GOT so MUCH love to GIVE". Over and over and over and over and over and over again. BBC Radio One, I can't take it anymore. I'm all for funky repetitive music (the 9 minute version of Underworld's "2 Months Off" is fantastic, and I still get jiggy to FatBoy Slim's "In Heaven"), but this song makes me wince. It's the kind of song they blast out of loudspeakers when they want to entice cult leaders to abandon their compounds.

It won't be long before I'm sitting on our front porch going, "You kids get offa mah land!"

Monday 20 January 2003

i don't like mondays

Specifically, I don't like grey, dark, wet, damp, miserable, misty, dank, soggy Monday mornings. Actually, I just don't like mornings but that's not as catchy and was never a Boomtown Rats song.

Paul tried to kill me with his television this weekend. Well, okay I am being rather dramatic for effect. He's having his living room repaired/redecorated after a bathroom pipe leak caused a nice chunk of ceiling to break away. Insurance is a good thing. Anyway, we moved everything out of the living room in preparation and the only place to move stuff was upstairs. Paul has a big television. A big, heavy, wide screen TV. I am short. I have short arms. Short arms and a big television means all I can really do is hold the TV by the tips of my fingers, which is a bad thing when you're trying to get it up a flight of stairs. Needless to say, I fell backwards, leaving the TV entirely in Paul's hands, and decided that it would be better to sit there with it in my lap going "OW OW OW!" for a few minutes. I do believe the television will just have to stay there until Paul moves. I think it looks fetching in his spare room facing the radiator, and should remain in this position until some big burly men come and move it into my house.

Some quick bits before I go soak in a lurverly bubble bath:

  • Does anyone have any land in Cambridgeshire that they want to sell us for, oh, let's say a fiver? Okay, a tenner? We'll invite you over for dinner when we get our house built. Dinner and drinks, even.

  • Lemon Jelly tickets arrived in the post today! Yippppppiiiieeeeee!

  • Three of my friends announced in the past month that they are expecting their first child. I am obviously some sort of fertility goddess. Keep away from me if you don't want to reproduce with your loved one. Or come closer to me if you do.

Thursday 16 January 2003

happy music

When you're under deadline, your back is about to pack it in, and someone decides to rebrand the product you're working on and expects you to change the docs accordingly in the next week or so, there is nothing better than bouncing in your chair to Lemon Jelly (go to the "Listening" links on the left to download The Staunton Lick and my ducky song). You really can't be pissed off while listening to Lemon Jelly. Well you can, but you're pissed off in a jolly kind of way.

Wednesday 15 January 2003

meeting strategies

Here's a list of things you can do in meetings, just in case you get bored (thanks to Andy for collaborating on this list with me):

  • Burst into laughter at inappropriate moments.

  • Wear a headset and sing along, make up your own words as you go, and don't actually have the headset plugged into anything.

  • Develop a wet, hacking cough like Bob Fleming.

  • Wear the pointy gold bra you got as a Secret Santa present last month. Alternatively, wear the "whatever" sign that's currently on your office door.

This should be an interesting all hands meeting today.

Monday 13 January 2003


Cal-i-for-nia here we come, right back where we started from! (Well okay, not really.) Paul has just booked our flight for two glorious weeks in sunny California. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday 11 January 2003

at least they didn't show her clingfilm samples

I met a friend of Chris' recently who unusual character. She only eats raw food. Not as in raw meat or sashimi, I mean raw fruits and veg. And that's it. There's a series on channel 4 about dieting, and she was in the first episode, which I sadly forgot to watch. I am not going to slag off this woman's choice of dietary living - I am an ex-vegetarian who still doesn't eat red meat for reasons I've long forgotten. What does interest me is the concept of people who use their diet as a means of attracting attention. Apparently, one "expert" on this series made this observation, and I can see their point. I know a few people who can raise quite a fuss about their dietary needs; the sort who can't simply just pick something off a menu that they can eat without broadcasting it to their dinner companions and the entire restaurant staff. "I'll have the salad, but only if it's gluten-free, hasn't been tested on animals, and doesn't contain any ozone-depleting chemicals. I'm getting this because it's the only thing I can eat in this entire restaurant, and I've felt the need to share this fact with you for no good reason other than to draw attention to myself. I'm now going to drone on about my dietary needs at length to my disinterested dinnermates. Thank you." As I always say, if I could find something to eat at a place called the "Steak and Burger" (this was in Toronto when I was still a veggie), anyone can find something to eat anywhere. Criminey.

Speaking of dining, we're off for an evening of Mexican food with my mates at the lovely White Horse pub in Oakington. It's hardly authentic by any stretch of the imagination, but it's perfectly decent and the staff are always so friendly.

Speaking of authentic Mexican food, we're planning our holiday in California in May. We plan to fly to LA, drive to La Jolla to see Paul's grandma (and his parents who will be there at the same time), then we're off to Vegas (wooooo Sigfried and Roy!), San Francisco (woooooo been wanting to go here for years!), Napa (wooooo wine tours!), San Simeon, and back to LA. Oh how I cannot wait to see the sun again. Truly.

Thursday 9 January 2003

don't rub your eyes after you've been slicing jalapenos

...are my words of wisdom for the day. Yowch. And yes, I knew that already but I'm very tired tonight and plum forgot.

Back to the daily routine again after playing hookey during the holidays. Although it's generally the same old grind, things also feel decidedly new. I guess starting a new year will do that to you, eh? We talk a lot and we plan a lot; Paul scribbles on paper in the middle of the night and I mumble ideas to him as I'm falling asleep. I'm very much looking foward to the months ahead, even if the days do still include the same old, same old. That's a really nice feeling.

Even though my eyes are still somewhat on fire. Ow. Ow. Ow.

Monday 6 January 2003

wot's that penguin doing on the television?

Run for your lives! It's the deep freeze!

Honestly, you people. -10C is nothing to get panicky about, for goodness sake. This reminds me of a couple of years ago when Scotland got 6 inches of snow and people were advised to stay in their homes. This Canadian points and laughs. Hah, I say.
home sick

What better way to greet the new year than to greet it full of phlegm, with a sore throat and a backache to rule all backaches! *whoop whoop whoop*

The evil cold that's been plaguing Paul since we were in Toronto has now decided to move in with me. This is not good news as I've watched Paul suffer through this (and continue to suffer even today) and this is one bad ass mofo cold. This isn't the little sniffles with a bit of a cough variety, this is the kind of cold that makes you beg your partner to chop off your head to relieve the agony. I'm not at the head chopping stage yet, and I'm doing my damndest to make sure it never gets there - I'm plying myself with cold tablets and green tea, and thinking happy thoughts. On today's lunch menu: chicken soup with garlic, ginger, and chili. I may go wild and have a piece of toast later. Somebody stop me!

I really hate being sick. I can't sleep when I can't breathe through my nose, my lips get all dry, and I get so whingy that I even annoy myself. What's worse is that all the fattening food is now out of my house (okay, only because I ate it all...shuddup), and I can't even console myself with chocolate. All I can say is thank god for bubble baths, digital television, my Gamecube, and the fact that I have an extremely patient boyfriend who takes good care of me.

Sunday 5 January 2003

here we go

I decided that I would eat healthier food starting on Monday, so this weekend was our last big splurge (for a while, anyway). Paul made me a gorgeous cooked breakfast this morning (scrambled eggs, toast, beans, mushrooms, chicken sausages, and turkey bacon) and continued spoiling me with a fantastic dinner of roasted turkey breast, roasted veggies, gravy, bread sauce, and Yorkshire puddings. Now that I've used up my yearly starch allotment in one day, I'll savour the moment and look forward to healthy eating (with treats every now and then, of course). Right now, I need to lie down and undo my trousers. Ooof.

Friday 3 January 2003

resolutions and resentment

I never make New Year's resolutions, simply because I hate doing stuff just 'cos everyone else is doing it. This is why I also find Beanie Babies so vile; they are specifically manufactured to convince people that they must purchase these "limited edition" floppy animals, and not only that, you are compelled to collect the whole frickin set. I only bought those two Canadian beanie bears in Montreal because they were Christmas pressies for two adorable little girls. I swear. But I digress.

I never make New Year's resolutions, but this year Paul and I decided to get back into healthy eating/exercise habits after the holidays. Makes sense - eat like a crazed pregnant woman for a few weeks, feel extremely happy but slightly nauseous, start to get grossed out by the sight of chocolate Santas, then start eating things that won't make you feel like poo. I hate to admit it, but I actually do feel a lot better when I'm eating properly and into a regular exercise routine. I don't need as much sleep, I have a lot more energy, and my grocery bills are quite a bit lower. The weekly "treats" are much more enjoyable (these are usually in the form of a night out once a week eating something sloppy like a curry and drinking a large amount of wine) and I don't feel hungover afterwards. So starting Monday, it's back to eating well and moving around on a regular basis.

I was reading an interesting article here on one of my favourite fitness Web sites (do take a look at the rest of her site here - it's one of the best resources for fitness I've come across). I think, if I were to be totally honest, that I am 50% motivated to get fit because it'll make me feel good and 50% motivated to do it because of how I'll appear to others. We are aware that we are being watched (and I don't mean in a stalking kind of way), and there are very few of us who can deny that we are affected by how we are judged by others. Similarly, we do the judging ourselves. There are many times that a scantily clad super buff chick will appear on my TV screen, usually eliciting some sort of "ooo!" type noise from the male watching television with me. My immediate response is to say something like, "She's got fat ankles. Look at them. I bet she gets them injected with collagen. And that hairdo - what did she do, hang her head out the bus window on the way to the shoot for this commercial?" I freely admit that all of these snide remarks are due to the fact that I am incredibly jealous of these super buff chicks and it makes me feel a lot better if I spot something wrong with them (spotting fake boobies is always another favourite of mine - "Look at them! It looks like she's had two giant Smarties sewn in there!"). On the other hand, I will look at friends in an entirely different manner. When I met up with Heather at one point last summer, I was so impressed with her flat tummy and how great she looked in a camisole and jeans. Instead of being jealous, I was inspired to stick to the gym routine and look like that myself one day. Maybe it's because I know how hard she works to look like that and how far she's come. Maybe it's because I know her and she's a really nice person. Either way, it would be a lot healthier if I could regard the super buff chicks on my television in the same respect. Except for the ones with the fake boobies. That's just cheating.

Wednesday 1 January 2003

happy new year!

Good god, it's 2003. When I was a kid, that was like some sort of crazy sci-fi date. The year 2000 (and beyond) was going to mark the time of all sorts of funky high tech stuff, I thought. Surely we'd be transporting things around the world by now and living like the Jetsons. But no, here we are, with a few new gadgets and no flying cars.

And now, here's a list of celebrities who didn't die in 2002: Abe Vigoda, Bea Arthur (actually saw her on a poster for a play in Toronto - I'm scared and intrigued at the same time), Ann-Margret, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Ron Woods, and Richard Chamberlain. Well done, everyone!

2002 was a year of changes: I changed jobs, got together with Paul, and bought my very first car. Paul said to me at midnight, who knows what this year will bring. Good things I hope, I said back to him.

Here's to good things for everyone.