Saturday, December 06, 2003
ATQ #3 - Londonmark
1. What’s an embarrassing story that your family or friends could tell about you?
When I was at school, the mother of a friend of mine had a holiday cottage in the south of France, and she allowed him to take about five or so friends down there for a fortnight each summer. One summer, I was included in the tour party and so we went there for fun, sun and, oh, more fun. The house was small but pretty, the weather was exceptionally good and, if you walked for about ten minutes, there was a stretch of the nearby river which was beatifully secluded and perfect for paddling and sunbathing. And we were in wine country.
One particular evening, we decide to go down to the river with some Evian bottles of wine (no glass bottles here, thank you, they're far too classy - we took empty water bottles down to the vigneron and got him to fill them up with some of the good stuff for half the price), take a guitar and get drunk and sing. We go down there and meet up with some other groups of people who have had precisely the same idea. Good. We drink lots, we play guitar badly, we sing loudly. We continue to drink. Some people stop, but I continue to drink. Someone suggests jumping into the river fully-clothed. This idea is dismissed. Someone suggests jumping into the river without clothes. This idea is endorsed to highest firmaments of heaven. Drunken skinny-dipping ahoy.
I wake up in my bed at my friend's house a day later with a headache that is literally blinding me. No-one is in. When, eventually, someone comes to check on me, they tell me what went on: unclothed bathing had proceeded by the numbers and upon clambering up onto the banks, I had continued drinking to the point of passing out. I came round again, to find that retrieving clothing was proving difficult for me in my condition, and so when we all walked home (correction: when I was semi-carried home), I was slightly deshabillé. Back home, I proceeded to throw up vast amounts of red wine and, apparently, I refused to speak English, conversing only in French including the classic line "je suis mal" punctuating the emptying of my stomach. Then, one of them put me to bed. I had a two-day hangover, and the rest of the tour party laughed at me for the remainder of the holiday (and years afterwards).
2. Tell me about a time where you cried so hard you thought you were coming apart at the seams.
The death of my godfather. I can't think of him without either starting to cry or wanting to cry.
3. What or where is the most inappropriate situation or place you’ve ever been turned on? Extra points if it involves famous people or religious institutions!
Five minutes before I was due to go onstage and sing a song called 'Agony' when I hadn't learned all the words.
4. Tell me about your relationship with your parents or parent figures.
Our family has always been four individuals, rather than mother, father, son, daughter, and so the supposedly difficult transition into 'adulthood' hasn't been at all traumatic for any of us. I rarely see my father and mother in the same place at the same time, and so they are now more like friends with whom you have to synchronise schedules, rather than authority/mentor figures.
I like them both as people, I love them both because they are my parents, and I respect them because they have achieved so much in their lives; nothing famous or noted or incredible, just the achievement to get from where they were to where they are now. I suppose the best thing I can say about them is that, were they not my parents, I would choose them as good, close friends.
5. Recall a moment in your past that you remember as being absolutely perfect harmony in your life.
The smell that someone's hair has left on the pillow that morning, the half-asleep kiss goodbye, and the knowledge that it's only a few hours before you see them again.
mark has an evil contingency of squirrels and is always fresh out of wit.
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Thursday, December 04, 2003
everyday she wears the same thing, i think she smokes pot, she's everything i want, she's everything i'm not...
our delicious and delightful kate arrives tonight. shiv and i will be waiting at my cozy little flat to run out into the street when her taxi pulls up, screamingly delirious to be hugging her again. the next five days will be filled with gossip and laughter and ice skating and window shopping and singing and drinking and loving. lounging and laughing with the biscuit. pounding pavement with jason. the new york public library. dessert at serendipity. hot chocolate at grey dog. bagels at naidre's. subways. glittering sidewalks. cute boys at bars. leather pants. holiday parties thrown by us, the mistletoe mafia. blueberry pancakes and sleepovers. snow on a sunday. kicking the last few leaves down the sidewalk and exchanging christmas gifts. and on monday, when she leaves, shiv and i will send a little piece of our heart back on a westbound flight.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2003
santa baby, just hurry me to london tonight
see those three women i just told you about? they're going to be in london together, carousing the streets of foggy london town in just a few weeks. not to mention the dashingly self-deprecating londonmark and sweet stuart and karen and her many shoes. this will all be happening without me.
i would do any of the following in order to spend the weekend of the 19th-21st there:
1. sever/rearrange limbs in order to fit into fed ex box, overnight self on company tab.
2. find $500 on street corner.
3. catch/trick politician in compromising situation, bribe.
4. conjure up long-lost airline miles out of thin air.
5. marry someone who works in the airline industry.
6. beg the internet for extra tickets to london lying around.
in terms of do-it-yourself-ness, #1 is looking mighty feasible. in terms of least-painful-to-self/future, i'm dreaming of #6.
cmon, santa, don't let me down now.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2003
the von trapp family has their whiskers and brown paper packages. the golden girls have their cheesecake. petula clark had her downtown. people the world over have their countless addictions - drugs, sex, chocolate. everyone has something that they turn to, something they think of, something they rely on, when the woes of the world weigh heavy on their shoulders. i've got my girls.
friendship is antidote to the pandora's poison of disappointment, rejection, pain, humilation, anger, loss, and fear. and nowhere have i found better solace than my girl friends. thinking about the world's iconic women, i found the archetype to the women in my life.
stephanie is truly a queen amongst women. pricelessly stylish and effortlessly graceful, just like jackie. sweet, cultured, accomodating and kind, i think perhaps people underestimate stephanie's true grit. she's gentle and respectful but underneath she's tough as nails, with strong opinions, a cautious and thorough intellect, and she's fiercely loyal to those she loves. i remember meeting stephanie four years ago and thinking her perhaps a bit of a pushover. boy, was i wrong. she'll be the first person to say "nope, sorry, stop apologizing for yourself or others, you know what the right thing to do is." like jackie o, under those sexily chic clothes and winsome friendly smile beats the heart of a true regal princess.
kate, though she may not realize it, absolutely stuns people when they meet her. i recall a certain love-crazed emcee at an open mic we attend for shiv who simply couldn't get his eyes off her and couldn't stop talking to her the entire night. annoying though the incident was at the time, it made me realize that kate has a certain light that shines when she walks in a room. it's not flashing and sparkly - it's a kind of quiet gamine beauty, much like audrey's, that entrances without being the least bit snobbish or coquette. kate is a rare find of a human being - infinitely caring of everyone around her while remaining proudly her own woman. she may come across as a little quiet or even reticent but her strength and radiance is apparent the minute she turns those flashing brown eyes in your direction. like the iconic audrey, she's a force of beauty and confidence and intelligence that only the most dimwitted of people wouldn't gravitate towards. and she's still the girl next door.
when vivien leigh first read mitchell's 'gone with the wind', she drew herself up to her full five foot nothing height and said to no one in particular that she was going to be scarlett. shiv is considerably taller but not an inch less determined, proud, or beautiful. while the shiny red hair might make you compare her to lucille ball, shiv and leigh are luxurious burgundy velvet compared to ball's gutsy gingham. the songstress, the gutsy dame, the angled chin, the quick wit, the laughter like bells pealing - shiv is a dramatic, magnetic presence in every room she enters. heads turn when she smiles. with a heart of gold and a will of steel, shiv effortlessly morphs from a little girl cuddling on the couch and giggling about boys to a warm-hearted woman listening to a friend's woes, from a tough-as-nails urban warrior who doesn't take an ounce of shit to a voluptuous siren with a smoky-blue gaze that'll knock your socks clean into next week. and like vivien leigh, the only rulebook she reads is the one she wrote herself.
and little old me, who often feels compltely unworthy of the caliber of phenomenal women in her life? all her life, katherine hepburn marched to her own slightly wacky drums. i relate to her drastic polarity - while she was incredibly ballsy and brash, she was also cultured and well-raised and fiercely intelligent. while she was independent to a fault, she gave herself heart and soul to spencer tracy, giving her love so selflessly that it was almost self-destructive. i identify with her impetuousness, her earnestness, the little inner child she constantly indulged, and the strong proud woman she was through and through. i can only hope i measure up to those qualities the way i measure my girls by their brilliance, wit, strength, and beauty.
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Monday, December 01, 2003
monday morning, see manic
head: time to put on skirt/sweater ensemble. legs, let's get these pantyhose on, shall we?
legs: dude, we just put one foot in the hose and we're still wearing these pajama pants. how do you expect us to put pantyhose on while wearing these silly paisley pants?
head: right then. sorry 'bout that. wee glitch. remove the pajama pants, would you?
legs: grumble grumble.
head: well done! we're successfully wearing pantyhose! now on to the --
butt: I'M NOT WEARING ANYTHING YET.
head: what's what, butt?
butt: hello, i need to be wearing underpants [the lacy ones, please, hand] and you've forgotten to put me on.
head: ouch, you're quite right, butt, you need underpants. ah, leg, would you mind removing yourself from one half of these pantyhose?
leg: but it took me two trembling minutes to get them on!
head: leg, honestly -
leg: grumble grumble.
butt: these aren't the lacy ones!
head: shut up you gibbering idiot. leg, put the pantyhose back on now.
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