change of plan

February 27, 2005

(alicey is reading her tutor marked assignment question for her course out loud to mattgreen)

alicey: it says, "did you find you departed from your essay plan significantly? for example, you may have blah blah blah"
mattgreen: so did you?
alicey: no, but i'll pretend that i did.
mattgreen: liar, liar, pants on fire!
alicey: (laughing) no seriously! it says, "for example, you may have blah blah blah". which is a bit like saying, "do you like crisps? for example, crisps are really nice and most normal people like them".
mattgreen: "our research has found that people who don't like crisps are bad and wrong. we were wondering whether you liked crisps or whether you found yourself frequently socially ostracised".


yesterday afternoon, mattgreen took isabel off to visit his dad so that i could study. they're coming back this morning.

i did do some studying. but i cannot tell a lie.

i also went shopping. i chatted to my brother for an hour. i surfed the internet. i played world of warcraft. i stayed up until 1am, and then laid in bed until 10am. TEN AM!!! that's the lie-in of the gods!

i woke up this morning in my beautiful clean white sheets and it was one of those bright sunny crisp winter's days, and i put some music on the stereo (the killers - hot fuss - my favourite album by miles at the moment) and ate my breakfast in our lovely bright white-carpeted lounge.

i just can't get over how great it feels to have the house to myself. it's the first time i've been alone in this house overnight since we moved here, and it feels the way it used to feel when i lived alone at the co-op, before i had isabel. i always loved living by myself.

most people won't admit this, but when you have children, you lose a part of yourself. of course, you gain a lot - i wouldn't swap isabel for the world - but some little things just disappear. i used to love listening to music but i rarely do anymore (isabel will just start demanding to have HER music on, and the subsequent screaming argument is more hassle than just not having mine on). i don't have time to read the paper. i virtually never sleep until i wake up. you can't be spontaneous and say, "oh fuck it, lets just go down the pub," or "let's stay up all night playing magic," or "that's it, i'm coming to see you RIGHT NOW," and just jump in the car and drive somewhere in the middle of the night.

i am - or do i mean was? - a very impulsive person and i've had to kerb that tendency in order to be a responsible parent. i do miss the old alice. having the house to myself is like a little spark of the old me. going to bath is another. i almost feel like i'm stepping back into my old shoes. and my god, it feels good.

i guess one day, when isabel grows up and leaves home, maybe things will go back to that. mattgreen and i alone together, free to just go out for meals and visit friends and go away for the weekend without any hassle. i do think that we will have changed by then though - i probably won't be such an impulsive person anymore. i have already changed so much compared to what i was like in my early twenties.

before i had children i had no idea how precious my freedom was.

carpet nazis

February 25, 2005

to cut a long story short, we were given some carpet to replace our mangy lounge one.

it didn't fucking fit. so. all our lounge furniture is in our kitchen, isabel only has an hour left at preschool, we have already torn out our old carpet and the carpet fitter is just standing there waiting for me to decide what to do next.

i go to the carpet shop and buy a nice beige carpet that will go with anything. carpet fitter goes and collects carpet, brings it back, fits it.

the new carpet seems a lot paler than it did in the shop. i thought it was beige, but it looks more like... cream. or even... white. wow, what a great idea, after all we never have people round to drink red wine, we never spill anything, and isabel has never had sticky fingers in her life.... OH NO, WAIT, THAT'S A TOTAL LIE!!

i refuse to turn into one of those godawful carpet nazis who force people to take their shoes off the second they walk through the door and who suggest everyone stands in the kitchen in case they spill anything. so we are probably going to fuck our new carpet up, as i am incredibly clumsy and always knock drinks over.

nothing much happening here

February 21, 2005

sorry about the big gaps in posting. at the moment i'm spending virtually all my free time working on my science course. it's actually a bit ridiculous.

today: 2.5 hours while isabel was at preschool, 1 hour in the evening
tomorrow: 1 hour at lunchtime, 2 hours in the evening
wednesday: 2 hours evening
thursday: evening tutorial in dudley, 3 hours including travelling
friday: supposed to do 2.5 hours while izzy is at preschool, but carpet fitting man is coming, hence have to sacrifice friday evening off and do 2.5 hours instead.
saturday: mattgreen taking isabel to wycombe, to free me up to spend the whole day... studying!

i just don't have any spare time at all anymore. i'm going to bath for gordy's birthday in a month's time and it's like the light at the end of the tunnel. i have virtually nothing else to look forward to between now and then so the trip has taken on this sort of heaven-like quality before i've even got there. i had a dream last night about what a really great time we're going to have. i think this course is starting to have weird effects on my brain.

in other news, did you know that water can hold much more heat than air, so much so that the top 3 metres of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere above it? that's why we have water in radiators instead of air! fascinating!!!

i'll, er.. i'll just get my coat.

disgusting scientific discoveries

February 17, 2005

ok, so maybe i am showing how stupid i am, but check this out:

from my science course textbook:

"You too are part of the global carbon cycle. Chemically you are a very different person now than you were, say, ten years ago. Most of the carbon atoms that were in your body then are now somewhere else in the global carbon cycle - perhaps the deep ocean, or a rain forest, or a coral reef, or an insect or another person."

i am horrified. that's disgusting. part of ME could be a moth, or a daddy-long-legs, or a filthy swamp or even a LIVE ACTION ROLEPLAYER!!!! i feel sick now.

also from my textbook:

"The unit of angle is the degree of arc, usually just called the degree, symbol °. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the degree Celcius, which, as you know, is a measure of temperature."

so basically, when you say, "oh my god it was boiling on holiday, it reached 40° in the shade," and when you say, "that's a 90° angle," that those two degrees aren't the same thing! i swear to god i never realised that ever before. that is quite bizarre. why would you use the same name and the same symbol for two TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS? scientists are fucked in the head sometimes.

and one more filthy thing:

did you know that water is made up of molecules, which are about about the size of a raindrop split in half about 63 times? well, it is. i'm cool with that, but the part i don't like is that each of those molecules is actually MOVING. it's bouncing around in there against all the other molecules, almost like a FILTHY INFESTING ORGANISM ACTUALLY IN YOUR DRINK. and these filthy infesting organisms (called particles) are everywhere, in water and in wine and in shampoo and in the air and all over the floor and everywhere you look and INSIDE you and everything. oh god, i feel sick again.

science. it's not for the weak.

immersive -supplemental

February 14, 2005


graphically demonstrates why live action roleplayers and i do not mix.


February 11, 2005

playing world of warcraft at the moment. really enjoying the warlock i'm playing. I get to summon demons, hit multiple bad guys at once and drain their life into mine. if i've learned anything from magic/vampire/asherons call/city of heroes it's that those are all good things.

we play on a roleplaying server, which means that there are no 15yr olds called maxx0r-haxx0r running around purtaining to hand out '0wn4g3' or, when pushed, theatening you with the truely spine-chilling: 'i'll get my friend (he's level 30)'. the down side is that occasionally you have to put up with the following sort of full immersion 'roleplayers':

ryisa: foresoth, whereupon might a lady find a magician to train me?
hyperion: m'lady i humbly suggest you travel east to the village and investigate the inn
ryisa: i am in your debt noble hyperion, although i am fearful that the inn may be rough
me: do not fear i will escourt you there, there may be squirrels i can suck the souls from on the way before feasting on their delicious marrow
ryisa: i dont care for your tone sir
me: i do not jest m'lady, we'll shall go to the inn, i'll slaughter some wildlife along the way to keep our spirits up then, when we get there, i'll take you to the dark basement where my warlock brethren will teach you more than any mere conjurer could.
hyperion: sir, you have the manners of a boar
me: i'll wager she's both pretty _and_ athletic

ahh. another spirit crushed. beautiful.

back rub tokens

February 10, 2005

oberion is in england at the moment on business. he came to visit us the other day. we all had chinese food and i got into an argument with mattgreen about prawn crackers.

alicey: prawn crackers are OBVIOUSLY made of prawns! they taste like prawn, don't they?
(mattgreen and oberion both look at alicey incredulously)
mattgreen: NO.
alicey: they fucking do.
mattgreen: no they don't! they don't taste anything like prawns!
alicey: i'm telling you they do! why would they be called prawn crackers if they weren't MADE OF PRAWNS?!
mattgreen: (pointing finger) that's it, i'm going to have to call (pointing) bullshit on that.
alicey: right, that's it. to the internet!

(alicey rushes off upstairs. alicey returns gloating, two minutes later, clutching a printout)

alicey: a-ha!
mattgreen: oh no.
alicey: you called bullshit but it wasn't bullshit so i get a special prize!
mattgreen: (looking pained) oh no.
mattgreen: (sighs) what surface do you want rubbing?
alicey: (laughing) i want a backrub TOKEN.
mattgreen: (eyes wide, adamant) no way. you're never getting one of those ever again. no chance.
oberion: (mystefied) what's a backrub token?
alicey: basically mattgreen writes me a little token and when i want my back rubbed i give him the token and he does it. that's all. (alicey stares at mattgreen beseechingly)
mattgreen: that's so not true.
alicey: (laughing) ok, so it didn't quite happen like that last time. last time he gave me backrub tokens, i would say, "mattgreen, rub my back!" and he would. and so the next day at 11.55pm, i'd say, "mattgreen, rub my back," and he's say, "alice, it's midnight, i'm tired," and i'd say, "oh pleeeeease," and he'd say "ok". and the next day it'd be 3.30am and he'd've been at work for the last 20 hours and i'd say, "mattgreen, rub my back," and he's say, "no way" and i'd say, "AHA!!! TOKEN TIME!!!!!"

(this, in case you are wondering, IS an exaggeration. but not that much of one).


February 07, 2005

[on the way into bath on saturday morning]

alicey: what's a vehicle inspectorate checkpoint?
mattgreen: it's a weighbridge
alicey: is that where you drive your lorry on and go, "oh sorry, i weighed it when it was empty and i've just put 900 barrels of oil on it".
mattgreen: and then they go, "yeah, that's fine, rip, SLAP!"
(mattgreen mimes tearing a piece of paper from a notepad and then slaps his hand on the dashboard)
alicey: (looking at the piece of dashboard matt has just slapped) what's slap?
mattgreen: that's them slapping you with a £1000 on-the-spot fine.

science in action

February 04, 2005

this week i had to create a rain gauge as part of my science course. you need two - one which is just an empty cylinder, and another cylinder with a funnel in the top, to see whether evaporation has an effect on the results.

the course text suggests using tin cans and plastic bottles. i am sniffing around the kitchen looking for something suitable.

mattgreen: what are you doing?
alicey: finding things for my rain gauge!
mattgreen: what do you need?
(alicey explains)
alicey: the problem is, this bottle's neck is too long. it won't fit in the can.
mattgreen: (excited) i know what you need!
alicey: what?
mattgreen: (grinning) a pringles can! that would be PERFECT!
alicey: but... we haven't got any...
mattgreen: oh, what a shame, i'll have to rush out and get some. terrible sacrifice, all in the name of science.
alicey: hmm. i bet we could use that tonic water bottle as well, for the funnel! only... it's full of tonic. wait! we've got some gin in the cupboard, we'll just have to drink g&t's until the tonic bottle is empty.
mattgreen: who says science isn't fun?

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