Archive for October, 2004

Oops, I did it again!

October 29, 2004

Bill went into the office yesterday and for some insane reason his work had decided to provide every employee with a tiny goldfish and a little glass bowl in which to keep him.

Bill’s fishy isn’t a vivid gold, more of a bronze colour and he has been named Sparky.

Originally Bill was all set to bring Sparky home and ask our neighbour if we could liberate him into her pond, thus at least saving one of the poor fish from a short uneventful life.

However over the last 24 hours he has become more and more attached to the little fella and we just found ourselves down at PetSmart buying him a nice spanking 10 gallon home complete with fluorescent light and gushing waterfall filter system.

It’s now all set up in the corner of the room and Sparky is in his bowl right next to it so he can see where he’ll be living from tomorrow. The water in the tank needs a little conditioning before he can be transferred you see. Bill and I are desperately hoping that Sparky survives another night so he can be re-homed and have lots of fishy fun and not have to swim in circles quite so much. We are willing him to make it.

If all goes well we’ll be returning to the office with an undercover mission to kidnap and relocate more of Sparky’s fifty brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, we are too late for at least one of them. RIP Annie’s fishy.

I hope I have better luck with these fish than I did in Manchester! Eeeps.

More spooky pumpkins

October 28, 2004

Unfortunately when we went to the StarBar on Tuesday night armed with our medley of knives, assorted pumpkin torture devices and four rather nervous pumpkins there was no Jim to be found. He’d had to call the great pumpkin carving off due to having a headache. That guy works far too hard and was probably keeling over.

I was very disappointed as I’d been looking forward to hanging out with him and watching the master work and without Jim the evening suddenly seemed rather lacklustre.

However, last night our energies returned and Bill and I camped out on the porch and by the disappearing light of an eclipsing moon we carved us some more scary creations.

I reincarnated my attempt at an owl pumpkin from the first time I visited Atlanta. Without the jet lag I think it came out a million times better.

Bill’s pumpkin menaces and terrorises beneath a lunar eclipse

NO Skinny Puppy

October 26, 2004

Bah Humbug!

Skinny Puppy was last night but of course I didn’t go as I had no one to go with. Pah. The guy who was so keen to go earlier in the month never got back to me and yesterday I overheard him on the phone arranging other plans for his evening.

I had a lovely evening at the StarBar with Bill, but it’s so frustrating not having anyone of the same mindset to dress up, hang out and be silly with. *sigh*

The Great Escape Foiled?

October 26, 2004

Restraining Genghis is proving tricky, however I hope we have finally got this electric fence thing sussed. It was a bit of a problem when Bill was toiling to construct this fence to keep Gingernuts in and we realised it was actually too late and he was already gone! Oops.

Once recaptured and the fence in place we let him out, safe in the knowledge that he couldn’t possibly get away now. Minutes later he’d somehow barged straight through the old fence, evading the electric wire entirely and was happily gamboling down the road again. GAH!!!

Fence patched, electric wire lowered a tad and third time lucky? I was watching out of the office window and saw Genghis sneaking off to the bottom of the yard. He took a running leap at the fence and, intent on escape, used himself as a battering ram. However, instead of forcing his way through and wriggling to freedom as he so desired, he hit the wire, squealed, jumped really high into the air and did a sort of back flip before racing back into the house looking for me. He didn’t leave my side for several hours after that!

All this morning I’ve had the doggy door open and Genghis has spent his hours happily messing around outside. I think I’ve heard a yelp every so often but he seems to have got the message and is behaving himself at the moment. I guess we just have to wait and see if this lasts now.

Beardy blokes!!

October 26, 2004

Eeek! My Daddy’s gone hairy! Not at all the Daddy I expected to see when I turned on his webcam. Incidentally, I seem to remember that, despite having whiskers of his own, John Peel also tried to put beards into Room 101.

I’ve not been feeling so great lately and have been floundering in bed poorly quite a bit but thankfully I managed to pull myself together to go down to Little Five Points and watch the Halloween Parade on Saturday afternoon.

We’d popped by the StarBar the night before and seen Jim hard at work preparing his costume for the festival. He was deep in concentration attaching a couple of fox pelts (that he’d shot himself) to some second hand American Football shoulder pads and fashioning himself a mohawk. When Rodney’s little boy turned up he whisked him off to Junkman’s to get him a Wild Boy mullet wig. The theme for the StarBar crew was going to be Mad Max: The Road Warrior and I was keen to see the results parade through the streets of Little Five Points.

Bill had been cursing in the garden most of the day trying to erect an electric fence to keep Gingernuts in, while I’d been feeling grotty and hiding under a duvet and before we knew it the parade was upon us and it was a race to get to Little Five in time. Of course, when we arrived the entire rest of Atlanta had got there before us and there was zero parking. We ended up having to park way outside the neighbourhood and take a brisk walk to the festival. Worryingly as we turned the last corner we could see a float and costume clad people lurching along at the bottom of the hill and I really thought we’d blown it and missed Jim and the StarBar going past. We raced down the road, struggled to find a decent viewing position amongst the crowd, but were relieved to spot some post-apocalyptic low life scream out of Euclid Ave. Click on the image for photos.

(Jim had to shave a strip of his hair so that the spirit gum would stick his home-made mohawk to his head!)

Last night we went down to the StarBar for Karaoke. Jim was on bartending duty as a highly convincing glowing zombie, complete with burst boils and lacerations. Lovely. Wish I’d had my camera there and got a photo of that. We’re off to see him this evening too, Bill’s arranged to go down with some pumpkins and do some more carving. Yay!

John Peel

October 26, 2004

Sadly I’ve just woken up with a shock to the gutting news that John Peel suddenly died of a heart attack whilst on holiday in Peru today.

Only recently I was having a conversation with Bill about what a great bloke John Peel is (was) and how he has acquired god status for his influence on alternative music, Radio 4’s Home Truths (which every so often I still managed to catch over here using the Internet) and (best of all) for wanting to put Essex into Room 101.

He’ll be deeply missed. Radio is never going to be the same.

Driving in Georgia, or not

October 22, 2004

I just phoned up to arrange an appointment for my road test. The earliest they could give me was 10:20 am on 25th January, yes JANUARY!!! *sigh*

I also phoned the Immigration “Help”line today to request a status report be done on my application for an Employment Authorisation Card as I filed last December and have yet to hear anything. However, after navigating the automatic system and then waiting patiently to god awful holding music for forever I got through only to be told they can’t do anything unless I give them my A number (A is for “alien”), which of course I don’t have on me. I had every other stupid ref number I’ve been given related to the case, but not that one. Gah!

When I do manage to get this status report request in that will apparently take 3-4 weeks to get back to me and I’m not even exactly sure what it’ll achieve.

Over ten months to process something which other people going through the same centre are reporting getting in weeks or even days is just ridiculous. I know I went to the Atlanta office and got my interim EAD after 90 days, but this is going to expire in January and I’m apparently not able to extend that.

So. If Missouri don’t pull their finger out and process my EAD soon I’m not going to be able to work again, AND because I can’t get a driving test date until after my interim has expired I won’t be able to take the test because I’ll have no proof of being here legally again. Oh joy!

Punkin Carving 2004 – Keeping it in the family

October 22, 2004

Last night was the annual Pumpkin Gouging at the Chadwick’s. If you remember, I was the reigning King of all the Pumpkins, having crushed last year’s opposition into submission with my trusty cheese grater and wall saw.

a last photo of the Pumpkin King 2003 (with Kay customised pumpkin adornments)

This year things didn’t go so well. I was robbed I was.

I made it through to the last four but then my flame got doused by a cheating stencil pumpkin (no stencil’s allowed!), a piddly Santa’s Little Helper (with fangs) and Bill’s monstrous creation.

Damn it.

With Tina and Martin presiding, the judging worked it’s way left to right across the surviving pumpkin line, Bill’s passed muster but then the rabid fury of the crowd eliminated mine before they even got to the last two, which then progressed by default. *sigh*

My Halloween creation

A tremendous rousing cheer for the winning pumpkin brought Bill victory. Hoorah!! I am consoled in the fact that the pumpkin robes, sceptre and crown were passed back to hubby and thus the Allen’s continue to dominate and the royal artifacts can go back onto the shelf, where they belong.

Flushed with victory, Bill rushed to make his very own LJ entry (& more pics) and even upgraded his account when he found he was only allowed three icons and he wanted to add this year’s winner to his stash. Bless.

kitty from Nicky

October 10, 2004

Oops. Should have posted this a long time ago, but here, for Nicky, is a picture of the gorgeous Hello Kitty corset she made for me:

Whenever I’ve worn it I’ve had lots of fabulous compliments. Thank you Miss Sprout.

An apartment in New York

October 10, 2004

By wandering around the apartment with Ed I have discovered that if I stand on tiptoes in the corner by the window and lift my laptop over my head I can get a faint trace of an open wireless connection. My internet habit thus continues to be sated.

We took a yellow cab from La Guardia right up through Manhattan to Kara and Klaus’ apartment by Columbia University. The ride was a lot smoother than I expected with only a couple of hairy moments, and I spent most of the time staring out of the window in awe.

On arrival Klaus was still busy helping his daughter with her school homework so Kara whisked us off up the road to have drink in Le Monde while we waited for Klaus and Octavia to finish.

My first impression of Klaus was him apologetically brandishing a German/English dictionary and straightening up his own language whilst helping Octavia with hers.

My second impression of Klaus was him amongst the bustle of New York, striding up the street towards where we were seated on the pavement, with a very proud Octavia on his shoulders.

Kara and Bill had passed the time playing memory lane and they both had a lot to catch up on. She was very nice and seemed incredibly comfortable.

I think Bill’s mainly covered the first night in his LJ, but he did fail to mention our amazement when Octavia who was still pursuing one homework assignment which involved making a tally of people’s favourite ice cream flavours eagerly took up her parent’s idle suggestion of asking the other people in the restaurant and, using the menu as a clipboard, happily disappeared to conduct an extensive survey. She had no fear.