Two weekends ago, I met a friend for late afternoon drinks at a bar across the road.  When I arrived, he’d been soaking up the sun and cider for a couple of hours already, and was sitting with a cheerful group of people I was invited to join.  This included:  Chester from Newcastle; Chester’s Swedish girlfriend, called Em; the bar’s owner, Dave, who is Irish; Dave’s Polish wife; my South African mate, Sean; and their friend, Gary, who is from Edinburgh.  I mention the hodgepodge of nationalities only because this is one of those things I love about London – Sean also lives with a Ghanaian, an Italian, and two Czech lodgers who were all presumably drinking pints in another patch of sun.

As I was a little bit late to the party, the conversation was relaxed and winding.  A popular topic, however, was what substances could be used to spike Gary’s drink without him noticing.  A range of fluids were suggested, with Gary’s enthusiastic participation.  This was mildly amusing, but a bit weird for a bunch of thirty-somethings to be talking about – with two PhDs amongst them, no less.  It was more the stuff of the fifth-grade cafeteria table.  Because four of the group were bartenders, the discussion covered what noxious liquids could be visually disguised in what ranges of seemingly innocuous beverages.  I finally had to pipe up and ask:  What exactly was the deal?

It turned out that one drunken night four months ago, Gary bumped his head getting into a taxi, and suffered a mild brain injury that had left him without a sense of taste or smell.  The loss of smell is called anosmia, but Gary’s principal complaint was that everything tasted of, well, nothing.  Although likely the hundredth time poor Gary was forced to tell the story, we all sat and contemplated this for a while.  (more…)


Very, very thankfully, I have had only two stalkerish episodes in my life, outside of the usual bad-breakup scenarios in which one party has a more difficult time moving on; in that scheme of things, I have been guilty of my own share of unwanted phone calls or emails for the subsequent week after The Bad Talk.  Fortunately, I can take take a hint, and believe that the one or two boyfriends I’ve had who have ended things against my wishes still regard me fondly (I base that on friendly, occasional Facebook hellos that indicate we are in good stead and happy with our mutually infrequent communication).  I wish them well, they wish me well, and there is no drama or involvement.

Yeah, so.  While I have pursued a few guys beyond the point where they displayed disinterest, I can say with honesty that I’ve never harassed anyone or caused them fear (to my knowledge; I am sort of paranoid about that now, but given the “Ice Queen” accusations more commonly thrown my way and my general unwillingness to destroy someone’s car or call their mother to tell them what shits they are, I’m pretty sure I haven’t crossed that obvious, glaring line).  Which is a good thing, as I just spent about four hours of my afternoon reading the entire contents of Psychotic Letters From Men, as fixated on this blog as I was watching the final seasons of The Wire.

I was glued to this site to the point that my live-in Boy Person was annoyed that I would not go out into the rare London sunshine for a walk or a drink, so obsessed was I with reading about Terrible Men and The Women Who Despise Them.  Why is this site so good?  A few reasons. (more…)

note to self: googling 'bad hangover' images is a really stupid idea right now.

The other day my friend LipstickLibrarian asked the question, “Tell me about the worst hangover you ever had.”  Which was fitting as I am discovering that I’m a disgrace to my Irish blood since I can no longer handle my drink.  If you’re facebook friends with me you’ve probably seen my Thursday status updates wherein I moan about what a wretched state I’m in and that an evil, evil bitch named Vodka is to blame. Like this:

Thandie Kadinsky-Papier: well, it’s Thursday so kadinsky must be hung the fuck over and wondering when she became such a sadist.  oh, and my stomach keeps trying to lurch it’s way out of my mouth so there’s that.  June 3 at 12:37pm

Thandie Kadinsky-Papier: is hungover……again……goddammit.  and I will bear this excedrin bottles’ children if it will just fucking work faster.  May 20 at 9:53am

Thandie Kadinsky-Papier:  wtf, vodka?  I was good to you all those years, we was tight, I kept you top shelf and chilled and you kept me magnanimous and slutty.  now all you do is buttfuck me with a hangover, you fuck.  you’re fired.  May 7 at 2:09pm

Pathetic, right?  I know.  But because there is fuck all to do in this town I keep going out on Wednesday nights with my co-workers and trying to strike a balance between buzzed-and-happy and dear-god-just-kill-me-and-be-done-with-it.  I have yet to succeed.  Last week I tried drinking water after every cocktail, a full glass of water even.  I had to pee every 6 minutes and still felt like ass the next day.  This week I figured if I just stuck to beer (which, okay, beer is fine and all but jesus christ the BLOAT come on) I would be fine.  Well, the problem is that it takes a lot of beer to get me to the same happy place.  According to my bar receipt it takes 14 beers.  And according to my desire to just DIE right now, 14 beers is too much.

So, all I can do today is sit here pretending to look busy and try not to let my face slide to the floor.  At lunch today I had to go heave because a motherfucking saltine looked at me wrong.  My co-worker was looking for me earlier to ask me something, when I got back to my desk he asked where I was.  I said I was in the handicapped stall taking a nap with my forehead against the cold hand railing.  He laughed at my joke.  I was not joking.  My hangovers have become a whole other state of being; they have transcended ‘hangover’ status to something more akin to being poisoned.  Clearly this is my body’s way of telling me to give it the hell up already.  Until LL asked the question and I saw some of my friends’ responses, I thought everyone went through the same kind of hangover hell that I did, but apparently not.  These are what mine are like, as told to friends and simply cut/pasted because I am lazy and HUNGOVER.

ohgod, the drinking. I wish all I had to deal with was a headache, my stomach crawls up my throat every time. I dry heaved 3 times while getting ready! there was nothing to throw up! but my stomach does not care, that bitch is merciless. she churns and churns until I puke up bile. so unpleasant. so then I think I’m in the clear and get down some water/alka seltzer and finish getting ready. I get to work, I make some tea, I’m at my desk sipping tea, thinking soothing thoughts and trying to work when who comes back to fuck me up? my goddamn vindictive stomach. I had to stop in the middle of that post up there to go ralph up the liquid I thought I was okay with. WHAT THE FUCK. eyes watering, nose running, makeup getting smeared off, jesus christ.

What about you?  How sick does drinking make you and do you continue to do it?

Also?  Weed has never done me wrong, so score one for cannabis.  And now I go to sleep behind the copier, xoxo.

The Body Fortress Goliath to my standard hotsauce David.

Well, it’s finally happened.  My skinny, indie-band-guitarist-looking boyfriend has brought home a vitamin bottle full of powdered protein bigger than my head and announced his intention to Buff Up.  It’s been a while coming.  His best friend is a highlighted gym bunny, two of their good mates are professional football players with tree-trunk thighs, and another is elite Special Forces with a chest like the side of a barn and the alleged ability to maim with his big toe – not that any of this affects their collective smoking and drinking regime.  The rest of their boy gang are regular blokes with varying degrees of fitness, and Boyfriend has coasted comfortably as the Good-Looking and Sensitive One for years.  He’s got strong legs and more than held his own in the weekly five-a-side, but lost his niche a bit when he left everyone behind and relocated to London to move in with me.

I knew it would all change when we started partnering in hand-to-hand combat class and he discovered I could punch harder than him, as well as tote him across a gym in a fireman’s carry.  Actually, no, he likes these things about me, and since we found out I’m three pounds heavier, he will jokingly accuse me of throwing my weight around whenever I’m being bitchy.  Oh, the fun we have!  It just proves I could save him in a war zone or an emergency.  If I felt like it. (more…)

Note: Not me, I just relate to the face.

Yesterday I was really tired from a tedious Sunday flat-cleaning, still nursing a tinge of hangover from a weekend wedding, and my left eye was studiously applying itself to the development of an infection via clogged oil glands.  The main reason this was different from a typical Monday was that I had a hot job interview scheduled this morning (Tuesday) with the COO of a company in which I’m quite interested.

In preparation, I spent time reviewing their website and sector, but was admittedly feeling mentally fuzzy and physically icky.  Saturday champagne and Sunday bathtub-scrubbing make for dreary Mondays, especially combined with client tantrums and not enough rest.  Obviously, I needed to whip myself into interview-ready shape, like a Cosmo article for your most fab, fearless self, but without the ice cube enemas or whatever it is they prescribe.

The one thing for it, I sensibly decided, was a solid night’s sleep, especially given that the interview was at 7:30 am and I needed to get up extra early to anchor-bob my hair and pretend to be someone who is professionally pert at the ass-crack of dawn.  I was home from work Monday by 7:00 pm, ate a high-protein dinner, painted my nails, and ironed made my boyfriend iron my blouse in readiness.  By 9:30 pm, I was tucked into bed with a “demanding” Sudoku puzzle and an Introduction to Venture Capitalism.  Normally, that would be sufficient to dull my senses towards comatose, but I wasn’t taking any chances.  A refreshing sleep was crucial, so I took a quarter of Clonazepam to aid my efforts.  Ahem. (more…)

Electron microscope pictures of grains of pollen, aka the reason your sinuses are kicking the shit out of your face this month.  Click the pic for a gallery.


Wiki:  Gross pathology of lung showing centrilobular emphysema characteristic of smoking. Closeup of fixed, cut surface shows multiple cavities lined by heavy black carbon deposits.

I don’t even smoke anymore and this makes my breathing painful.

It also reminds me of the Brain Bug so now I basically need to go puke up my breakfast, 'scuse plz.

It also reminds me of Brain Bug so basically, I need to go puke up my breakfast now, 'scuse plz.

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