oh deer

January 31, 2005

i am playing world of warcraft. mattgreen is sitting behind me, messing with his vampire cards.

alicey: huh!
mattgreen: what's up?
alicey: well, i'm doing this quest where i have to put healing salve on these sickly deer, right, and they're all green and pathetic. and when i click on the healing salve, they turn brown and bounce off all sprightly and happy. bit dodgy, don't you think?
mattgreen: i bet some girls love it though.
alicey: what do you mean?
mattgreen: (in high-pitched voice) oh, i feel really at one with my druid now i've been healing sickly deer!
alicey: ugh.
(slight pause)
alicey: (talking to the computer) right, you motherfucker! get here now! get healed or i'll kill you.
alicey: OI! don't run off you little bastard, i'm trying to fucking heal you!
mattgreen: (chuckling) you're the only person i know who can heal sickly deer aggressively.

sometimes i could kill him

January 29, 2005

tonight, to take my mind off giving up smoking, i did an hour's studying and then decided to have a go on my playstation dance mat. i was going to play world of warcraft but mattgreen was playing with it, so i got him a beer and then went downstairs. when i turned the playstation on, i was annoyed to discover it had deleted all my high scores from dance star (the competitive part of the game where the difficulty increases each level).

oh well, i thought, and started again from the beginning. it took me about two hours to get all the way back to where i was before. then mattgreen came downstairs, said, "i think the mat needs flattening out", picked up the dance mat and gave it a shake.

it promptly deleted all my high scores again.
rebooted the playstation.
definitely all gone.

you might remember my new year's resolution was to stop blaming other people for things. goddammit. that resolution is killing me!!

just call me mrs motivated

January 27, 2005

i'm supposed to be doing a couple of hours studying and completing my first tutor marked assignment tonight. i have decided to instead spend the evening drinking wine, eating revels, smoking a cigarette and playing world of warcraft.

so. the diet, the giving up smoking and the working hard on my course resolutions are all going well, huh?

i need a kick up the ass.

mr salt

January 26, 2005

this morning, isabel came and climbed into my bed. she often does that when mattgreen's away - i'm too lazy to get up straightaway so she comes hurtling in.

isabel: mummy, you are my darling.
alicey: and you are my sweetheart.
isabel: i love you very much mummy.
alicey: i love you too.

man, she breaks my heart sometimes, it's just too cute. mattgreen would've been making pretend vomiting sounds if he'd heard us.

the whole "sweetheart, darling" thing comes from the (original) film willy wonka and the chocolate factory. there is a scene where veruca salt is having a tantrum because she hasn't got a golden ticket yet, and her dad (played by greg kinnear) is trying to reason with her. he's got his entire factory staff shelling chocolate bars instead of peanuts. he says, "sweetheart! darling! they're working as fast as they can!"

his tone of voice is absolutely perfect. it basically says, "my child, you are being totally unreasonable, but i am so desperate to prevent you from making a gigantic scene that i'm trying to placate you any way i can". i started saying, "sweetheart, darling!" in situations like that when isabel was a tiny baby - you know: "sweetheart, darling! please don't pull my hair out by the roots!", "sweetheart, darling! please don't pick up your spaghetti with your hands and throw it in the air!", etc.

marmalade queen

January 23, 2005

yesterday, i tried the doomed seville orange marmalade recipe again. except this time, i had secret sugar thermometer christmas present tech.

first, cut up all the rind and add to the juice and water. check.

second, simmer for two hours. check.

third, add the sugar and boil for 15 minutes. only this year, with the aid of the sugar thermometer, i learned that boil doesn't actully mean BOIL, it means "barely simmer".

fourth, pray to the gods on high that your finished product isn't black for the third year in a row:

i honestly feel that this is one of the greatest achievements of my life to date. I HAVE CONQUERED THE MARMALADE! THE MARMALADE IS MY BITCH! I AM THE FUCKING MARMALADE QUEEN, BOW BEFORE ME.

ok, so i'm quite pleased about it. who can blame me? marmalade is tough, i'm telling you.

top gun

January 22, 2005

i've been so busy at work at the moment its really not funny. there's a boardgames club in the next town that i want to try out and a local fencing club that i know i should do something about too. the problem: actually spending weekday nights in my own house.

the company i.... sorry, we work for has got a massive contract to look at a gigantic mill conversion in the north of england. really boring stuff: miles and miles of structural timbers that somehow i got stiffed with preparing the report for. it essentially means that i get to see more wood than paris hilton.

the guy i've been working with is a student on a work placement year and is in his early twenties and full of questions. which is cool for a couple of days, but starts wearing thin after 4 days on a building site with 4" of mud, a liberal approach to health and safety, and demolishion workers who know maybe 20 different words. he currently has an unhealthy fixation with top gun. seriously, if he's not suggesting that the lord damn maverick, sending inspection equipment to miramar or refering to the floor as the hard-deck, he's calling me his wing-man.

i know, i know he's young and the film came out when he was 2years old so he'll get over it. it's wearing though i tell you, wearing.

Next week i'm off to the sunny isle of guernsey to have row about dry rot with a builder. w00t.

child of our time?

January 20, 2005

last night, as i was walking home from nursery with isabel, i decided to try asking her some questions that i'd seen on child of our time this week.

alicey: izzy, what do you think daddy is good at?
izzy: (without hesitation) drilling things.
alicey: (laughing) what else?
izzy: looking after me.
alicey: (pleased, because the point of this experiment is to see whether the child thinks the mummy does all the caring stuff and the daddy just goes to work)
izzy: and carrying me on his shoulders!
(at this point we walk past a large garage with rows and rows of cars on display)
izzy: and driving the car!
alicey: (impatient to hear what isabel thinks of her) izzy, what do you think mummy is good at?
izzy: (looking at the cars) driving the car as well!
alicey: (thinking - no gender stereotypes for our daughter!) and what else?
izzy: (looking at the cars) fixing the car!
alicey: (laughing, i don't think so) what else?
izzy: cleaning the car!
alicey: can you think of anything mummy is good at that isn't car related?
izzy: driving the car?
alicey: (sighs) no, you've said that already. (fishing for compliments) something else?
izzy: no... i don't know.

monday officially sucks

January 19, 2005

here's a link to the "research" showing that next monday is going to be depressing. hmmm.

the funniest part is the comments though. here's some samples:

"Au contraire, Dr Cohen. I've been looking forward to Monday 24 January since 1 January. I booked a holiday in the sun. Two weeks diving in Tobago. Those mathematical formulae didn't reckon on that, did they?"
Jeremy Wright, London

"I dread January because I get really cold waiting for the pub to open."
Danny Harrison, Milton Keynes

"This is the biggest waste of mathematics I have ever had the misfortune to read, and is an embarrassment to anyone who is a member of a British university."
Adam Thorn, Cambridge, England

i don't think i heard you correctly

January 18, 2005

i have a habit of comprehending things exactly as i hear them, without pausing to see if they make sense or not. it drives mattgreen insane.

the other day, we were in the car with isabel, and we drove past somebody walking their dog. isabel pronounced, with absolute certainty, "if you can't sing, you get a dog".

i laughed. "if you can't sing, you get a dog!" i repeated, smiling.
mattgreen looked at me incredulously. "she said, if you can't SEE, you get a dog".

the previous day i had crouched down next to her and the dog moneybox in boots and carefully explained that if you're blind, you can't see, and that blind people have guide dogs, and putting money in the dog moneybox helps to pay for them. despite that conversation, i had still thought she said, "if you can't sing, you get a dog". this amused me greatly.

later, mattgreen told me a story about the work experience guy at work. apparently he is as bad as me at mishearing things. according to matt, he overheard him on the phone talking to somebody about heritage buildings in london. he actually said, "the tower of bong-den?" mishearing "tower of london".

i laughed until i cried. the tower of bong-den. i mean, really, that's just absolutely classic.

home education

January 16, 2005

the other day i took isabel to storytime at the library, and got chatting to some of the other mums. one was saying that she was planning to home-educate her kids. another said that she wouldn't fancy home-educating unless she knew a few other people who were also doing it so that they could meet up and talk about it.

later on, i was telling mattgreen about this conversation.

mattgreen: hmm. yeah, if you could find a lot of people who were home-educating, you could all hire a village hall, and take turns at teaching. you know, because it'd be good for the kids to socialise.
alicey: maybe you could have some regular breaks, to structure the day? perhaps at lunchtime they could all sit down together, at long tables, sort of a bit like a canteen.
mattgreen: you could have a whip-round, see if you could get some equipment for them to play on.
alicey: yeah, if it was really successful, you could even open it up to other parents, perhaps they could pay you to send their children there.
mattgreen: if it took off, renting wouldn't be economical, so maybe you could buy a building, maybe an old school? you could call it the local home-education centre.

amusing things about sharing an office with your husband

January 13, 2005

alicey is alone in the office. a client calls.

alicey: good morning
client: good morning, may i speak to dr green please?
alicey: i'm sorry, i'm afraid dr green is out on site. could i take a message?
client: gosh, yes, that would be terribly helpful.
<20 minutes later>
client: ...and i think that's about everything!
alicey: no problem, i'll let him know and ask him to call you back tomorrow.

alicey thinks, "ahh, what a nice man, he was really friendly".

alicey: hey baby, what do you think of [client]?
mattgreen: he's a cardigan wearing buffoon and i hate him.
alicey: oh.
mattgreen: what did he want?
alicey: how could you not like him? he was a sweetheart! he was really nice to me.
mattgreen: what did he want this time?
alicey: [explains]
mattgreen: sigh. what an idiot. i'll have to bring some work home.
alicey: well, as long as it's for lovely [client], i don't mind.
mattgreen: grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

time shortage

January 12, 2005

well - sorry about the lack of updates. i just have no time at the moment. i started my new job last week and started studying my ou course this week. i'm trying to play world of warcraft and my playstation2 dance mat. mattgreen has been away on site in manchester since 7.30am monday morning. isabel has started having swimming lessons.

i swear to god, it never stops in this household.

i have four entries lined up:

1. how things are going in my new job
2. social comment about my ps2 dance mat (a gift from GOD, i tell you. well - gordy actually)
3. the realisation that both the time i was most freezing cold ever and the time i was most boiling hot ever were with lee-anne (i wonder if she can guess the two occasions?!)
4. how amused i am that i am two steps ahead of the course team so far (ie. i write some notes about the difference between mass and weight, then two pages later they explain it)

please note: i will probably never get round to writing these entries. hope you're enjoying the daily photos; i'm enjoying digging around my old pics to find them.

favourite song

January 09, 2005

isabel is singing songs at the dinner table.

izzy: daddy, you sing 'jingle bells'!
mattgreen: i'd rather die.
izzy: how about 'yellow submarine'?
mattgreen: better, but i'd still prefer a different song.
izzy: what song?
mattgreen: 'silence' by philip glass. four minutes of blissful silence.
(mattgreen sighs)
alicey: i bet you'd like to hear that one over and over again.
mattgreen: yeah, yeah. let's have it on repeat play.
izzy: do you know the words?
mattgreen: (laughing) yeah.

now things are going to get interesting

January 07, 2005

i've decided to add mattgreen to the list of contributors to shades of green. i thought it would make things more interesting, especially when i'm busy and don't have much to say. besides, mattgreen is very funny. funny ha ha, i mean, not funny peculiar. although now i think of it, he's pretty peculiar as well.

reading: yes, writing: yes, arithmetic.....?

January 06, 2005

i've always been shite at maths. it just isn't one of my talents. i have little patience and if something doesn't add up, i just don't care enough to work out why.

imagine my joy on discovering that as part of my new job, i am going to be doing the book-keeping. i was presented with two hardbound A4 books, each full of tiny rows and columns of pencil squiggles. and - and! - apparently there were some mistakes which had crept in and skewed it all, and i had to go back months and months trying to track them down. greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat.

only the weird thing is - now i've started doing it - there is some freakish part of me that is actually really enjoying it. there is a certain triumphant satisfaction in tracing that mistake, a strange jubilation about getting the eight sets of figures along the bottom to match the eleven sets of figures down the left. i have scrapped the books and decided to use excel instead which is working out much better for me. it's really nice to feel like i've actually achieved something useful at work today. whoever would've thought that alicey might actually enjoy maths?

fairy story

January 05, 2005

isabel is telling us a story.

izzy: i'm going to be the princess!
(alicey and mattgreen nod. nothing new there)
izzy: and daddy, you can be the king!
mattgreen: okay.
izzy: (enthusiastically) mummy! you can be the bad mother!
mattgreen sniggers loudly
alicey: i think you mean the wicked stepmother. thanks a lot.


January 04, 2005

sorry about the lack of updates lately. and sorry that the daily photo has been less than daily. i started my new job today and i'm going back on my diet tomorrow (i can't even bear to tell you how much weight i've put on since my wedding). i'm really tired and i've got a lot of things to cope with at the moment. i'm sure regular updates will resume in due course.

new year's resolutions

January 01, 2005

happy new year!

new years resolutions for 2005 are as follows:

1. complete my ou course. no matter what sacrifices have to be made, this is a one-shot. i can't afford to take another course like this one (the usual fee is £475, which was waived as i was staff at the time i signed up). it is also a huge chance to prove to myself that i can actually do it. i don't actually care about my final grade - all i want to do is follow it through to the bitter end.

2. make more of an effort to stay in touch with friends. now that i'm living in stourbridge full time it's going to be a lot harder to see my milton keynes friends. combined with the fact that i have to study at weekends, it's going to be tough to stay in touch. there's a lot of people i don't see as often as i'd like to already, and i'm just going to have to make more effort with phone calls and emails.

3. stop blaming things on other people. possibly my worst character flaw, i am forever finding reasons why things aren't my fault. if i'm late, if i've forgotten something, if the computer has crashed ... there's always someone or something else to blame for it. it's got so ridiculous that i even annoy myself now. this year i'm going to stop doing it. it's not even about taking responsibility for my actions (because sometimes it's genuinely NOT my fault!) but more about letting things slide and not having to find a scapegoat all the time.

4. stop smoking. this has been a long and stressful year for me and lately i've been creeping back towards smoking again. i don't consider myself a smoker (yet) but if i don't nip it in the bud, i could end up being one. i gave up four years ago in march and it would be so utterly stupid to start again now that i have really got to do something about it.

5. start running again. earlier this year i decided that in 2005 i was going to do an ou course or run a marathon. i decided on the course (see 1) and am now hoping to do the marathon in 2006. in order to run the london marathon, which is in april, i have to start training before the end of this year. at the moment i don't think i could even haul myself round a 5k! the local running club meets on monday nights, which used to be the night i was away, so i've never been able to join. this year i'm going to try and get my running to a standard where i feel i can join the club (essentially being able to run for 45 minutes at a steady pace) and start my marathon training around november.

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