Monday, 30 July 2007

Reminder - Competition closes tomorrow

Let me beat you over the head with a lead pipe one more time...tomorrow is the last day to submit meme questions. There have been some brilliant ones so I'm only posting this reminder for those of you who have only just hit upon my blog and would like to join in. Leave your submissions in the comment section of this post by midnight (GMT)/3pm (PST)/10am (the following morning for Oz) on Tuesday to enter. Good luck and thanks for playing along! Oh, and did I mention that there is a prize?

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Six Words...

Pomp has issued a challenge for her readers to try and describe themselves in six words. I've decided to try and rise to the challenge.

Fickle, Skeptic, Open, Determined, Loyal, Gentle

Thanks for the challenge, Pomp. It's a task that's a bit more difficult than I first imagined because equally I am:

Student, Lover, Friend, Dreamer, Fighter, Worker

and I:

Rant, Prune, Argue, Laugh, Drink, Read

That's eighteen, huh? Ah well, eighteen is lucky in Judaism (no, I'm not) so maybe I'll stop here...


Saturday, 28 July 2007

Friday Night at Mimi's

What do you do when a friend asks for 'all hands on deck' to assist in making props for the filming of a short for an environmental NGO? Well, you open up a few bottles of Peroni beer, grab a handful of Quality Street chocolates and chip in for three hours making paper-pinwheel-wind-turbines, tetra-pak buildings and milk carton skyscrapers (glue-guns and Grip-fill are bloody brilliant!). These props will go towards a piece that one of our mates, Rehana Khan, is directing and our good mate, Mimi, has designed. Rehana has also directed a few short films, one of which is called 'Wooden Soul'. It seems to be doing the rounds at UK and US film festivals receiving some positive attention and acclaim.

It was really nice to be involved with this project and it reminded me of the prop-making that I used to do a while back, before I got into other lines of work (Mental Health Admin, Nannying). There's a real camaraderie behind the scenes, amongst the crew, and when you create or find really successful props and see them being used in a stage production or film it's a great feeling.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Adolescent Fun

How do you get your computer to swear for you? Go to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website and type in ANY word you like. The link will automatically take you to my favorite swear word, so if you think you might be offended then just skip this entry. While I don't usually walk around swearing much (tender ears nearby, and such), it really does relieve a lot of stress when used in the right context. Click on the klaxon icon and 'presto', you can hear your computer spit out your favourite curse word, too! It's fun, it's easy, try it!

By the way, as children, my cousin and I used to type in dodgy words like this and this on his Speak-n-Spell - it was great fun and obviously I've never grown out of it. Freud would have had a field day with me...and you too, perhaps?

Unlikely Food Combinations

Today's lunch consisted of remainders from the refrigerator accompanied by condiments with 'use-by' dates, all the way back from the Clinton administration to 2009 (extra vinegar and salt-packed goodness). The ratings for this menu are included. Please feel free to use any recipe you like for upcoming parties or picnics, I'm sure your guests will thank you profusely!


1 cold felafel ball with Patak's mango chutney - *** (odd combination, I know, but strangely pleasing)


Grated cheddar cheese (mold grated in for extra taste) mixed with plain low-fat yogurt (curdlesque'd) and chopped wilted and yellow-y spinach on brown bread - *1/2


soft red seedless grapes with the mushy bits chopped off and speckledy-brown bananas - **

I think I was pretty safe with my appetizer and dessert choice, however, I may have risked a bit too much on the main course - stay tuned, my next entry might be titled "A night on the tiles". I think that tendy's afternoon activity may be joining me for a shopping trip to Kennington Tesco.

By the way, don't forget to submit your meme questions...I've had some brilliant ones so far and I'm looking forward to answering them next Friday. Ask your friends to join in (thanks pomp) and tell them that a fabulous prize is on offer.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Gotta getta Meme C*mpetition

Okay...every blog I've been to in the past three days has had a meme posted. That's fine, it seems that, like monkeys washing fruit, people take inspiration from others/are tagged by others into completing a meme.

Therefore, I'm holding the FIRST EVER (and maybe last) "Youyoutotomeme" c*mpetition. I would like for everyone who reads this blog to submit 3 questions to me. I will randomly pick (dice throw or something like that) one of your 3 questions to answer...honestly. I will answer 10 questions and since I think that my readership only extends to three or four of you, I may end up answering ALL of your questions. However, and this is the good part, I love prizes. I think that c*mpetitions without prizes are rubbish, however, British quiz shows (almost all of them are played sans prizes) are brilliant so I'm willing to amend that thought...but, I digress. This competition will have a prize. It will be a '5-star prize' because rubbish prizes are, well...rubbish. The best question of the c*mpetition will be selected by an independent and non-biased jury, comprised of: my boss and her best mate. How's that for objective?

Wanna play? Go on then and submit your questions in the comments area of this post. I'll run this for a week and next Tuesday will be Q&A session for yours truly. Also, could someone recommend a good way for me to give out the prize without stepping on anyone's privacy (mine included)?

I'm sure that I'm probably breaking all sorts of rules by running some sort of c*mpetition without a license, so shhhhhh! Don't tell.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Weekend O' Fun and Love

Here's a joke I heard the other week...its humour may not survive the oral-to-written exchange, but hopefully it will put a smile on your face.

A man had recently fallen on hard times and was feeling quite bad about his situation. One day he walked into town and saw a sign in the window of a pet shop that read, 'Talking Centipede -- £5000'. He thought that it might be quite a laugh to have a talking centipede who could keep him company and maybe earn him a bit of money on the side. He bought the centipede and took it home waiting for it to say something to him, but the centipede was quiet on the way home. At home he thought it might be nice to take the centipede out for a drink to celebrate and so he said to the centipede, "Fancy going down to the pub for a pint?" The centipede said nothing. The man, who thought that maybe the centipede didn't hear him said in a louder voice, "Fancy Going Down To The Pub For A Pint?" The centipede still said nothing and the man was starting to think he had been had for a fool by buying this centipede and was planning to take it back to the pet shop. Finally, he leaned his head over the side of the box that the centipede had come in and shouted, "I SAID, DO YOU FANCY GOING DOWN TO THE PUB FOR A PINT?!?" The centipede merely looked up at the man and said, "I heard you the first time, I was just putting on my shoes." --Thanks to Mimi for that joke.

Post Script

I found a quote in the Guardian Family section this morning, which reads: "If this most elemental thing is a lie, then why should I believe anything?"

It is one thing to tell children mythological moral tales, but it is another thing altogether to pass these myths off as truth. We'd no more do this for ancient Greek myths, even though they contain many of the same character endorsing or condemning morals as B*blical stories. I hope to finish the tale of leaving M*rmonism some day, however, the final act of sending in my resignation will only be a postscript to the tale. The stuff that happened in-between is much, much more interesting. TBC

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Why Quitters Sometimes Win, Part 1

I've been lurking on several blogs for the past year - most of them are linked sites where the author has been involved in M*rmonism, but is either questioning or disbelieving in most or all of the doctrine. I can identify with most people but I, like everyone else in M*rmonism, has their individual story (if not an individual testimony...that NEVER, ever seems to come) of entry, indoctrination, disillusionment and exit.

It's been eighteen years since I made any concerted and sustained effort to go to a M*rmon church, and I've now officially been inactive/disbelieving for as long as I had been active/believing. It's a strange thing that I should still be so caught up trying to resolve an issue that plays no part in my daily life, especially since my family's history in M*rmonism began with my mother's and my baptism, when I was eight. We had been attending church for four years before our baptisms in the late 1970s- world record for investigators, I'd say! However, there was little pressure placed on us to do the deal until I turned eight, when I was called into the branch president's office and asked whether I'd like to be baptized. I, loving any opportunity to be in the limelight, heartily agreed and began making plans for an acceptance speech. In the weeks up to the event, I prayed in seven and three-quarters year-old earnest and felt certain that I would be blessed with a column of light at the end of my bed and a visitation from an angel, praising me for choosing the right.

For the preceding three and a half years, my mother was branch pianist (how controversial to have a calling without actually having been baptized, though my mother used to play mostly songs she learned in church while growing up as a Methodist, so our congregation sang a lot of 'How Great Thou Art', etc.). I attended Star through CTR classes, all the while having a fairly ad hoc religious education as my family spent our summers visiting my maternal aunts and uncles in a neighbouring state, attending Vacation Bible School (VBS) the Southern Baptist or the Methodist way, with our cousins. I returned to New Mexico after school holidays, tanned and steeped in hellfire, brimstone, and with a great-big-John-Wesley-Amen-at-the-end. I don't think the M*rmons in our branch minded though, it was the freewheeling Seventies - and everyone was church-hopping. I was one of a number of Primary kids whose families attended different churches, at times. I call it 'Interfaithfulness' and it was a good way to find out about other ways of worshipping, and it was also a good way to taste wine well before legal drinking age, and before the dreaded Word of Wisdom was branded into my psyche.

The New Mexican M*rmons were glad to see you step through the door on Sunday and grateful that they had bodies (other than the usual suspects) in the COLD, COLD, metal folding chairs. Most of the families in the branch were related to one line of an old polygamist clan, who had originally settled in Ramah, New Mexico. Their fate was sealed from the breast and it was a slippery slope from bottles of milk to popcorn popping. Of course, having been born in the faith I'm sure the clan never knew the pleasure of sleeping in on a Sunday, or singing a rollicking, happy-clapping version of 'Saved by the Blood of the Lamb', which is a SCARY, SCARY Pentecostal song, for a six year-old, by the way. Our branch was a good one, people were mostly kind to each other, and we had our share of scandalous events - a very human congregation. I liked being with other M*rmon kids and, for the most part, the church was a positive force in my childhood. I have heard horror stories in the community of former M*rmons and I believe their accounts because M*rmonism is a religion that was created to be 'different' by coming complete with its own mythology. This mythology is necessary to establish its difference from other churches, but the problem with mythology is that it is usually created to explain the inexplicable or impose the rather harsh will of another. Once one card in the house falls, the others quickly come down around it. I'm not a PR person, but had I been a man in a position of leadership in the church in the late 80's, I would have dealt with separating the mythology of the church (Book of Abr*ham, Sal*mander Letter, etc.) from the universal religious truths as other Christian-type denominations see them, and tried to move the core values of the church toward a more pragmatic and democratic approach, based on community and acceptance. I would have pushed to set up a church that trained and hired clergy, promoted a fairer system of tithing, promoted smaller families and engaged in community outreach/charity work - not just service projects for ward members or those who might welcome lessons from the missionaries.

Anyway, as time went on I grew in faith in some ways and questioned in others. Some things within the church doctrine, like withholding the priestho*d from black folks did not make any sense while the belief that anyone could receive revelation from g*d made a lot of sense to me. However, I never was content to accept things I could not understand and made a point of questioning them until I was a nuisance. For instance, I remember a time in Primary when I raised my hand to make a point that if you had a King James Bible and G*d inspired that translation to take place for that time (we had just been taught that it was a book inspired by G*d there were errors and so JS received the correct translation for the Bible), then perhaps there would be errors discovered in the JS translation later on, as times changed? I was, of course, met with silence and a little look from Sister 1 and Sister 2. It was the beginning of the end for me, and over the next ten years I gave M*rmonism lip service but I was increasingly convinced my feelings which ran contrary to accepting the complete 'truthfulness' of this version of Christianity, later to religion in general, and finally to the existence of g*d itself...but that's another post. I just thought that because there's now more than one reader on this blog, I might as well tell you why I visit the ex-mo sites.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Dreaming of Pooo, Part Doo

Well, it's quite sad that I've been so unmotivated to blog about anything other than faeces. Maybe it's how I feel...(fill in the blank), maybe it's what I've been doing - jack* (fill in the blank), or maybe I'm just going to finish off this line of thought and concentrate on another topic.

I've promised to write about the other poo dream to loyal readers of this fledgling blog and in the same way that 'Dangerous Liaisons' was the sh*tty Hollywood version of a much better movie, set in French, filmed somewhere in Europe and starring a much better cast of actors. This, too, is a better dream about poo than the last, which is probably why I remember it so vividly. This one starts in a rural village in New Mexico (no, I'm not kidding...), and before you get a bit ruffled, I must tell you that I grew up there which is probably why it figures into so many of my dreams.

Story opens in aforementioned village where I have been asked to make ceremonial poo balls (I don't know why, there's just a random ceremony happening). I mix the poo, which is a bit like horse dung and some rice and chili together. I have to taste it to make sure it's okay and to my recollection it tastes remarkably grassy and spicy. Quelle surprise! It's not a recipe I'm thinking of recreating at home, mind you and a 20 minute search on Google turned over no stones suggesting that anyone deliberately eats horse manure.

However, here is a highly specialised site that purports to be the the "Number 1 Source for your Number 2 business" with their very helpful column on what this dream might mean.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Lasse, Come Home!

It's nice to see the machinations of another's mind...figuring it out, figuring it all out.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Dreaming of Pooooo Part Un

I had a very unsettling dream the other night about faeces. I have to preface this entry by saying that it was not the first vivid dream I've had about sh*t. I've had another one that clings to my psyche. It was just as unsettling as this one, even though I had it more than six years ago. I'm not sure whether my latest unconscious drama was due, in part, to reading the musings of another blogger, whose young son had a bit of an accident with his poo whilst in training to put down the diapers, or whether I should believe the dreams website and its interpretation of what defecating in dreams really means.

Maybe I should get down and dirty and tell you about my dream. If you're even the slightest bit squeamish, you might want to skip this post and get straight to the Latin for the Day. Okay...I was in a bathroom that seemed somewhat familiar, but I couldn't automatically place it. It did, however, have one of those fluffy magenta-coloured bathrug and toilet lid cover ensembles - a harbinger of bad taste, if ever there was one, but worse than that, it was rug on yellow pile carpeting. Double the germs and double the places where poo can land and hide.

I had come into the bathroom to have a shower but I had the sensation that I needed to use the potty for number 2. I tried but failed to crap and so climbed into an incredibly comfortable shower - perfect temp, LOTS of water pressure and slightly darkened from the heavy fabric shower curtain blocking out the light. As I was soaping up I could sense myself having a poo in the shower. I was immediately embarrassed and afraid of being found out. I caught as much of the crap as I could and threw it into the toilet beside the bathtub, but a lot of it got onto the tiles and on my forearms. It was the consistency of slippery fingerpaint and holding it and flipping it into the toilet felt similar to holding one of those sausagey-balloons filled with water that slip out of your hands and onto the floor. I couldn't enjoy the rest of my shower because I was trying desperately to clean the tiles, curtain and tub. Finally, the dream came to an end as others were trying to get into the bathroom to take their showers - I think that we were all headed out for dinner and I was holding up the works by pooping in the shower. What does it mean? Does it portend any events that I might want to tread through carefully? Can I think of any other silly double entendres or puns pertaining to sh*t? No. Okay. Part Deux to follow

Friday, 6 July 2007

51st State

I found this commentary piece in the online Guardian and I thought it was quite funny

See what you think - Boris for prez, anyone? He certainly is a BRILLIANT guest host on 'Have I Got News for You' (episode from 2005 playing on the channel). Neither am I a Republican nor a Tory - in fact, I lean far left of even Democrat or Labour, but there's something a bit charming about Boris...makes you want to take him out for lunch.


I've been getting the urge to wander lately. It happens when I'm particularly stressed out or in need of some new scenery. Fortunately, London allows my wanderlust to be satisfied, to a degree. I was speaking about my urge with a friend who told me that she wished that the UK still had a bohemian set (ala Bloomsbury) - wandering philosophers who weren't tied to a job - that fed society with ideas, practical, wacky and unimaginable. Internet communication does that to some extent, but there's nothing like getting together with great minds to discuss things that scratch below the surface. The physical wandering will have to wait, for me, for now. I've got things to attend to, however, another great thing about the Internet is the chance to see the, yet, unexplored. I've come across an updated version of a BBC idea that runs a camera the length of the London to Brighton train line and then speeds it up. This newer, time-lapse version of the journey is one that I've taken many times. The nice thing about this is that you can be there in two minutes, rather than 50-odd. Happy viewing.