Tuesday, July 26, 2005
So in England, school kids still go on big trips at least once in their schooling. Our friend's Barbara and Gareths's oldest, David, has his now. They are going to Morocco for a week (?).
Sounds cool doesn't it. Like hiking in Morocco. Fun fun fun.
But then, look at David ready to go. Now it looks a little like work (also a little like the Brits have no idea how to dress for the desert, but who can blame them for that).
Honey is my mom's mom. Honey is a piece of work - and I have told most of you stories about her. She is a fount of good stories (Ed's favorite is the one about her husband's service)
Okay - side story time real quick. So my Grandfather (Honey's husband) dies. Eddie and I go to the service, with the family. After the service we go to a brunch thing. Honey arrives, and most of us are seated around the table. The waitress comes over and askes what she wants to drink. Honey looks around the table in the morning and says, "Hummm.... What is everyone else having... let's see, Orange Juice.. Coke... Beer... Wine... " She stops and thinks a minute, then says, "Burbon, rocks."
Ed fell in love with her right then (FYI - Eddie had the Beer at the table).
Okay - Honey and I haven't been close in a while. Okay - about 40 years. I was off and on close with her husband. Well, with me it was on, I loved my grandfather. With him it was off and on - he was manic depressive and his opinion of me swung wildly. But we hadn't talked in about 5 years before he died. Honey and I exchange Christmas cards.
Well today, first time ever, I get a non-Christmas card from Honey.
She wrote to Ed and I about the pastor at her church. And enclosed a trip report from his trip to Germany this year. And a newspaper article. In the article, the pastor talks about the churchs in Germany. And people. In particular a gay couple that attends Catholic church. He asked them why, given the Catholics stance towards gays. The couple responded that the Catholic Church has a whole list of things they don't approve of.... divorce, contraception, etc. They still believe in god and the church. And the pastor talks about how this reinforces his faith.
The newspaper article was about how equality in the state has to extend to homos. And that should include marriage. And what people do in the bedroom is no one's business (as long as there is no pointing and laughing - really). This from the San Diego paper!
I am touched. Well, touched is a pretty empty word, but I hope you know what I mean. Here is - argueably - a mean woman, who has never wanted a close relationship with me (or her other grandkids to be honest). Either she is reaching out - or she is just letting me know that this part of my life (the Ed part) is no big deal.
In any case, it is really nice. It is about the nicest thing she has ever done. And unprompted (unless Timo spoke to her, but she doesn't respond well to lectures). Okay - this isn't nincompoopery - but I wanted to share.
Now back to your regularly schedule bitter boy.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Well, it has been almost a month now. Eddie comes home next week.
Actually, I will see him on Thursday. We are meeting in Iceland for a week-end. Well, technically, a week. The problem is that Iceland is no easy trick to get to. In order for the cost to be reasonable, I have to fly and return on Wednesdays (from JFK). I could go via San Francisco, but I would only be there for 2 nights or 9 nigths - or pay over $3,000 (for coach!).
Whatever, I want to see Iceland (the picture is of Seljalandsfoss falls) and I really want to see my honey. I am looking forward to the week-end.
This week-end I saw Mr and Mrs Smith with Lynn. Let me just say this, watch the first 15 - 20 minutes of this movie, and tell me you don't find Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt smoking hot together. I mean, smoking hot.
My only problem is that it is a really great 1 hr 45 minute movie. Then there is an extra 45 minutes tacked on the end. Car chase, car case, car chase, shoot em up, shoot em up, shoot em up. I got it.
My favorite line, Angelina to Brad, ""Why do I get the girlie gun?". They are both really pretty - and really fun in this movie. Angelina isn't her Laura Croft Tomb-Raider characterthere is a little more behind it. And Brad is funny and fun. But you feel Angelina could kick his ass if she had to. Brad's funny.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
It was a quick and good trip. But I miss my pups and want to go home. I miss the honey too, but best not to dwell on that. I will see him in a week, so that is good. 3/4s of the way through the work thang.
It is much easier sitting at home and missing him, rather than sitting in a hotel room half way around the world.
Eddie called twice. Both times were a cool surprise. It was nice - even in the sleep stupor - to hear from him. Okay - time to go.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Okay okay. Not just meetings. When I arrived on Tuesday I slept and then got a massage. Okay a massage and a facial - but it has been a busy set of weeks with work. Sue me!
Hong Kong is, by the by, right now hovering over the 7th circle of hell. If you check the weather, it says Hong Kong is 35C. 35C sounds pleasent. It is not. 35c is about 100 degrees. And about 120 % humidity. I mean the desert is hot - oven hot. But this place is sauna hot. And there is no way out of it. Except in the buildings. And, like Atlanta, they want to prove they have air-conditoning. So it is set to like 50 degrees. You wear long sleaves and t-shirts because the rooms ar ecold, but you sweat like a who-er in church as you make your way to the meetings.
Speaking of who-ers in church, I am remind of Lauren and my honey last night. For about 3 hours, in the middle of the night we had terrific rain storms here with thunder and lightening (we missed the typhoon, but apparently got a little of the edge here). Eddie and Lauren loved thunder and lightening (I think it is some mid-west thing I missed out on).
I leave today ( it is about 4:45 AM Thursday here). I have a few meetings at 9:30 - 12:00, then I race back to the hotel, pack up and go to the airport. I land two hours before I leave (lord love the dateline). So I should be backin LA this afternoon - per the clock, and about 26 hours from now per my body. So anyways - I'll see you all later.
About a quarter of the world drives on the left, and the countries that do are mostly old British colonies. This strange quirk perplexes the rest of the world; but there is a perfectly good reason.
In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him. Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people.
Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be very difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (which would be worn on the left). It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.
In the late 1700s, however, teamsters in France and the United States began hauling farm products in big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. These wagons had no driver's seat; instead the driver sat on the left rear horse, so he could keep his right arm free to lash the team. Since he was sitting on the left, he naturally wanted everybody to pass on the left so he could look down and make sure he kept clear of the oncoming wagon’s wheels. Therefore he kept to the right side of the road.
In addition, the French Revolution of 1789 gave a huge impetus to right-hand travel in Europe. The fact is, before the Revolution, the aristocracy travelled on the left of the road, forcing the peasantry over to the right, but after the storming of the Bastille and the subsequent events, aristocrats preferred to keep a low profile and joined the peasants on the right. An official keep-right rule was introduced in Paris in 1794, more or less parallel to Denmark, where driving on the right had been made compulsory in 1793.
Later, Napoleon's conquests spread the new rightism to the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Russia and many parts of Spain and Italy. The states that had resisted Napoleon kept left – Britain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Portugal. This European division, between the left- and right-hand nations would remain fixed for more than 100 years, until after the First World War.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
It is hot in LA and I thought, well at least at the desert I have a pool and 2 big air conditioners.
First, when I arrived at 11:25 (I had played cards with Bradly and Lynn), the power was off. As I was driving up, I thought, wow - I guess everyone goes to bed early. It wasn't until I actually pulled into my driveway and went in that I realized the power was out.
Bad. Inside was 96 at 11:25 (outside was only in the 90s). I unloaded the car and prepared to leave. Of course, first I had to pee. All our bathrooms out there are inside rooms - no windows. So I am sitting in the pitch black and I hear the click click of dog feet. I realize, too late, that I have left the front and bad doors open. The breeze was nice (90 feels great after 96). Well, I am sitting and yelling for my dogs. (Sitting because, despite being a sloppy boy - even I realize you can't stand and aim in the pitch black). Ashford wanders down the hall to me, but Hastings - no where.
After frantically searching for a while, I find him the back - digging up cat poop. I throw him inside, finish unloading and think about driving back - when the power comes on. Thank goodness.
So today (Saturday), I sat in the pool, under the umbrella. The pool was 89 without me heating it. It was so hot be 12:30 that I couldn't even enjoy it. The few parts of my body outside the water were frying even in the shade. So I came home.
I leave tomorrow for Hong Kong - so blogging will be sporatic. It is easy to check Ed's time zone then. I will be exactely 12 hours off. Wierd huh?
Friday, July 15, 2005
I was in a 7-11 this morning (about 6:55 a.m.) and the guy in the line in front of me was buying a very tall Budweiser beer. He had that driven hard look but was dressed very nicely in black dress pants and white dress shirt. I must admit I was curious about what kind of job he was off to having at least 1 beer under his belt. As I'm getting into my car I see him getting into his vehicle...a cab. There's some things you suspect but you just don't want to know first hand...that there are drunk cab drivers driving around L.A. is one of them.
Now, I'm a fan the pea, don't get me wrong. (btw-If you weren't, you were sc'rewed) I actually like the fact that they seem to serve peas with everything here. I think it is sort of cute/charming, and it is fine with fish and chips. However, for £30. I don't want peas. Let's talk about a margin fellow auditors!
Bottom line, I woke up starving and went to the cafeteria at work this morning. I had two slices of bacon (canadian), a sausage, and some baked beans (clearly from a can - with that yummy tomato-ish sauce), and a diet coke. Total subsidized price. £1.99. As god intended.
Now, on to the children...ahhem, auditors. This is a group that has been told over and over that they are the chosen ones. Well, I guess they are when you think about it, but who cares. I didn't choose them. Anyway, the hierarchy played out as anticipated. The bosses watch ever so carefully as to how everyone was performing. Like two adults supervising a school play, they told they guy that set it up (grunt boy - Associate level I) that he should have people go sit down. Apparently last time he let people drink before dinner for too long, and was scolded for it. He was reminded of this scolding again, because clearly he didn't learn from the last time.
He was mocked by them for having made the reservation for too many when it looked like people wouldn't show. Then there was some mention of his "practical thinking skills" when all 20 did finally show up and the tables were too tight. Mind you these jokers were 28 and 26 years old. I would have seriously told them to F*** Off.
The whole thing felt a bit like I was watching "abusive parents ensuring that the kids can never do anything right"...as a training tool/fraternity initiation. Pretty wierd. I thought about me and my friends and thought there is no way we would have ever survived in a job like that! But then I realized that they were right out of college and pretty resilient. I worked for John Desjardin at Whitehall for years, and I can't think of anyone more abusive in the world.
Sccchhheeeccchhhh. Talk about a science fair project!!
I took my leave at 11:10 after they cleared my half eaten pile of peas/pasta. (I didn't stick around to see if people were going to order desert). I ended up sprinting for make the 11:27 train, so it is good I hadn't eaten much....I am seriously out of shape.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Eddie doing well in England. Tonight he is in London for a Mandatory Fun-Night (like team building).
Mandatory Fun-Night. Doesn't that just sound ... wrong. I mean if it was for fun, it wouldn't be mandatory, now would it. Well, maybe it was just me - but I thought it was funny.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I have 7 AM calls all week (except today - but today our painter called at 6:45 - "Did I wake you?"), calls in the afternoon and night calls with Asia. I am plumb tuckered out (like a plumb-bob... anyone? Hello, is this thing on?).
And now, to add distance to insult to injury - I have meetings in Hong Kong next week. Yes, I am flying out Sunday night to have 2 days of meetings in Hong Kong. I get to go because why? Good news? No. The boss doesn't go for good news. The boss gets to go and tell them to shut up and install. What you have is what you get.
And why am I posting at 10PM? Because I am busy all day. And I finally finished my meetings and my outstanding action items. And I am on the world wide call tomorrow AM. Arg.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Actually, maybe 3 things.
1) We have a new Mascot of the month. Eddie went to see cricket (that will be number 2 or maybe 1.b - I haven't made up my mind yet). In honor of his time in the Ye Olde UK - Geraint is the Mascot of the month. He is the Wicker Keeper for England (although Ye Olde Australia beat them when Ed went). And Geraint was the Ye Olde Cutest. Geraint, by the by, is a Welsh name. As is Gareth - but I digress. Geraint was born of Welsh parents, living in Papua New Guinea - which at the time was part of Australia - but is now it's own country called Papua. There are canabils in Papua - perhaps it is lucky Geraint left. No word if his family made it out - but again, I digress.
B) Eddie went to Cricket at Lords. Lords Cricket ground is the big enchalada of Cricket Grounds. Jane took him to see the test against Australia (a test is like a series - but they call it a test .. don't ask me they call the trunk the boot for goodness sake). It was a shortened game - called 50 overs. Which mean instead of taking days (really) it only took about 10 hours.
Eddie said the 10 or so hours is punctuated by bouts of drinking, shopping, tell off colour stories (in England it's colour - with a U) and deciding which is the cutest boy to be mascot of the month.
III) Karl Rove outted a CIA agent. Leaked the name to the press. Then lied about it. George Bush said if he found anyone in his administration had done this - he would fire them. Today the White House is mum. No comment. Can't comment on an on-going investigation. The could comment earlier, when the Press Secretary said he talked to Rove, and Karl Rove did not leak the name. The President could comment on it when it was clear no one in this white house could have any part in this. Now, can't comment.
Now, just for shits and giggles, let's imagine the same scenario with Bill Clinton. What would happen. He was impeached for getting hummer in the White House. Imagine if he leaked a CIA operative's cover just to discredit a man who was trash talking him.
Ah... no comment.
Let's start with the worst - and a lesson for us all. You know that wierd ass neighbor. The stoned one that knows everything and talks a lot. The one you love. Well, we have one of those. And she has had a bad month. Her dog died about 3 weeks ago. Then, Friday night her husband died. (I said it was a bad month).
I just got back from Elizabeth's house. And she is that wierd ass nieghbor. And I would do almost anything for her. As would the block. There have been friends and nieghbors there all week-end. And, the good thing, we weren't all stuck for words. I mean - we knew Elizabeth and Bill. That isn't what he would want.
And, dead boyfriend and all, I get to talk from a place of "getting it". I think I helped. My guess is that the next few weeks are the worst. I'll be there as much as I can.
Eddie called from England to talk to her - and that meant a lot. Not "that he called", but that we care. I don't know how to explain it. I love Elizabeth - she is a cross between your mom and that stoner friend you had in college.
Okay - other stuff is going on, but it doesn't seem right to follow that up with something fun or funny - so I will wait until tomorrow to post.
But I am glad I could be there for her a little. I am glad that Ed could be there for her a little.
It doesn't hurt to be that crazy lady on the block. It doesn't hurt to be the person that cares - of even being nice to the person that cares.
LA is a big city where you don't know your nieghbors. I am really glad that isn't my LA. It isn't my block. And isn't me or Eddie. I guess I am really glad I am as lucky as I am. And I am glad I (or Ed) have you guys (you know who you are).
Okay - goodnight. (And Eddie, I miss you too).
Friday, July 08, 2005
So, I am driving to work and I hear about Vons (now owned by Safeway) who got in trouble. Apparently they were selling grapes that were grown in Mexico as "Californian Grown". California has a tendency to be touchy about this. We grow a lot of things here, and we are proud of it.
So I hear the fine. $3,000. And I think. Well, that isn't a fine. Hell, that is nuttin!
Then they explain it is $3,000 per bag of grapes they sold. And I think. Well, that IS a fine. I bet they don't do that again.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
What the fuck do you think you're doing?
This is London. We've dealt with your sort before. You don't try and pull this on us.
Do you have any idea how many times our city has been attacked? Whatever you're trying to do, it's not going to work.
All you've done is end some of our lives, and ruin some more. How is that going to help you? You don't get rewarded for this kind of crap.
And if, as your MO indicates, you're an al-Qaeda group, then you're out of your tiny minds.
Because if this is a message to Tony Blair, we've got news for you. We don't much like our government ourselves, or what they do in our name. But, listen very clearly. We'll deal with that ourselves. We're London, and we've got our own way of doing things, and it doesn't involve tossing bombs around where innocent people are going about their lives.
And that's because we're better than you. Everyone is better than you. Our city works. We rather like it. And we're going to go about our lives. We're going to take care of the lives you ruined. And then we're going to work. And we're going down the pub.
So you can pack up your bombs, put them in your arseholes, and get the fuck out of our city.
I guess there is no point is saying that I don't understand how people can do this. But I don't get the idea that blowing up 40-some people is going to advance your cause. Espically Brits or Americans. We will just fuck with you back.
From Laura: Hi Scott,
Just to let you know we are ok. If Dan had been fifteen minutes earlier he would have been caught in one of the blasts at Aldgate. As it is he was stuck underground for an hour an a half. I was one of the last people let out of London Bridge Tube. Everything is a bit scarry as we have been advised to keep our blinds pulled down and not to leave the building if we can avoid it. From what we have been told the bombs are on timers all over the city and so there could be more. But hay ho this is the fun of living in London.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Well, my Eddie is probably lucky to be in UK now. Those Brits do often know how to cut loose when they win.
They will be having a lot of fun, but spending some big bucks. Good luck to them. I, personally, am thrilled they won - because I am totally going even if I have to sleep on someone's floor. And I wasn't dying to go to Paris for them (Oh la la, who strikes today?). They send Becks at the last minute. He would change many a mind.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Hopefully Eddie will learn how to reheat a pizza in England without setting off the Fire Alarms, but one step at a time.
The fourth has come and gone. I took a little break, went to Target early - sat in my jaquzzi and then went to bed early. The dogs and I listened to the popping of the fireworks across the city. It was really foggy up here, so the viewing was lousy.
I don't really have too much else. Nerves are frayed at work (I am not sure why, we just got off a 3 day week-end) and everyone is on edge. I cancelled my Tuesday yelling meeting in hopes of working things better one on one - but that didn't seem to help much. Oh well.
The week-end was nice. I went to the desert with Bradley and we hung out with Muffin on Friday and Saturday. No hanging out with Muffin is complete without a trip to Costco - so we all went. We also went to the new bar / resaurant in the desert - Wang's.
Maybe it is me, but isn't Wang's kind of an obvious name for a gay bar / restaurant that serves Chinese food. And it is every bit as classy as the name implies. In fact, you have to cross over a little bridge to get to the restroom. The bridge crosses a little stream through the middle of the dining room. Charming. But we had a good time, and the Muffin got flirted with by some biscut from Stockholm who works there - so it was a success!