Wednesday, December 29, 2010

DIY Starbucks

Yesterday I parted with the alphas hard earned dollars for the last time in Starbucks. I love coffee. I positively love it; I’d have a bath in it if I wasn’t such a lazy bugger. So yesterday the offspring and I are out in the aftermath of the blizzard trekking to CVS to get formula (we accidentally went a mile out of the way to check out a vintage shop) and as a result the offspring was cold and red of visage. I decided to stop into someplace to get a coffee to warm us both up. I was passing Starbucks and began to dither. I usually hate starbucks but there was nowhere else on the journey home. What to do? Despite the fogged up windows and knowledge that the place really is just a total sh*thole, we wandered in as I was ok for further needless trekking through the snow (the vintage shop visit was a total accident).

I took a notion to treat myself and instead of the usual scorched Americano I chose with a stupid level of anticipation a white chocolate mocha. I’m thinking white chocolate and coffee…..mmmmmm, my ass badly needs these calories. How wrong I was. To start I forgot to ask them not to spray that white confection of chemicals from a can on top of it so I had a massive blob of “whipped cream” which was the first thing I tasted. I don’t actually mind this substance mostly as it tastes quite sweet and I would almost sell my cats for sugar at times. No, no. The thing about the cream was that it lulled me into thinking the contents of the do gooder green “I’m made from the arse of sustainably bred warthogs” coffee cup was not life threateningly hot. I was incorrect. I believe the contents of the cup took a good 4 layers of hard grown skin off my tongue and the entire roof of my mouth was reefed away by the scalding hot coffee. I didn’t even ask for it hot! Yes, you can get it extra hot. If I’d wanted such an experience I needn’t have paid 3.80 of the alphas hard earned dosh for it, I merely had to go home, fire up the gas cooker and attach my tongue to the flame. Simples.

Next, came the insult that was the “flavour”. For an extra 50 cents I could have gone up the road to another establishment and procured myself a mocha with ACTUAL CHOCOLATE in it, but silly and lazy Len must have subconsciously decided that a trapful of chemical tasting chocolate syrup would be far more pleasing to the tastebuds. What remained of them after the earlier scorching that is. The aftertaste of the “chocolate” was that of what I imagine anti freeze to taste like.

As I was walking home a thought struck me. I could do a DIY starbucks. All I needed to do was nip to the nearest zoological gardens, borrow a warthog, take it home and wrap it around my head. Next I fire up the gas cooker, singe the shit out of my tongue and pour the contents of my household cleaning products container down me craw and hey presto, I have a starbucks for free!! I would encourage you to try it but I think it might fall short of the actual starbucks experience and I wouldn’t want to deny anyone that little gem.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Childbirth Class

The alpha and I spent a ‘blissful” Saturday last week in day long attendance of a childbirth class. I went along with few or no expectations just hoping to survive the 9 hours of class without waking up at some point with my face covered in drool. I think this was actually the primary aim of the alpha on the day. More about that later.

The first thing that hit me as we entered the class, apart from the fact that we appeared to be having it in a nuclear fallout shelter, were the vomit inducing positive labour affirmations all over the walls. I’m not sure how reciting to myself “My body is opening like a flower” will help me through what is likely to be pain on an unparalleled scale as I push my son from my very tiny loins. A flower would be the last thing I would liken the emergence of a fully formed human from my innards to. I would be thinking it would be more along the lines of using a pillow as a silencer when assassinating someone. I ignored the affirmations and also what appeared to be medieval torture devices displayed on tables around the room and concentrated on the introductions and what was going to happen in the class. In particular I was looking forward to whatever part happened to involve the pillows we were asked to bring.

We had to introduce and talk about ourselves and do all that sh*te you do at work training courses. The Americans (we were the only non Americans there) spoke at length about their schedules and fitting the midwife visits in, I wondered when they would find time to raise the baby. I didn’t reveal that the main items in my hectic daily schedule were procrastinating at length about packing a hospital bag and trying not to pee myself when I laughed or coughed.

The day pretty much dragged, I was actually glad of the massively swollen and spreading insect bite on my leg to keep me entertained. About half way through the really uneventful proceedings the midwife produced the floor mats and told us to ready the pillows and I admit I got pretty excited. I managed not to pee myself too so all was good. We lay down to do some relaxation exercises. Now I’ll admit I was a bit perturbed about this as I am not able to relax. Especially lying on a floor mat in a nuclear fallout shelter surrounded by medieval torture devices with a little baby battering the life out of the nearest available organ to him. Also, I cannot put on my own socks anymore but that’s for another day. We had to do the old closing the eyes routine and letting all the energy go from our arms and legs. At one point there was talk of golden shafts of light coming out of ones ar*e! Whatever state of relaxation I may have achieved was shattered by this revelation. When I am giving birth there will be golden shafts of light coming out of my ass?! Is it not enough that I will be passing a human through the eyehole of a shoelace but now there is the added pressure of generation of light and not just that but GOLDEN light?! It all got a bit too much to be honest so I turned on my side and had a small nap. Drool free might I add.

When we were all “relaxed” (not me as I was thinking at length about the inherent evilness of celery, viaducts and furballs) it was time to watch the DVD. Mmmmmm. No wonder she got us all relaxed and lazy, the feckin thing was HORRENDOUS! Not so much the birth bit but the people they filmed having their babies. The first baby-haver was the nurse from the Catherine Tate comedy series and the second was Roseanne Barr from the 90’s comedy series. You could avert your gaze from the baby popping out bit but there was NO part of these women that were not on display, it was god awful viewing. Roseanne didn’t appear to even be preggers she was so mahoosive. In her shower scene you could barely see the stool she was perched atop and the nurse from Catherine Tate seemed only to be content when ripping off all her clothes, the static of which seemed to make her already wiry and electrified hair stand further on end. Clearly I am completely shallow but feck it, I don’t care! I plan to have the full nuns habit on when I have the baby and a set of sharpened rosary beads for any bastard that may try to come near me with a speculum or a feckin camera!

The highlight of my day though had to be the late arrival and general presence of Wayne and Waynetta from Waltham. This poor couple in their tracksuits and spots stood out so much, I almost felt sorry for them. While Waynetta asked about drugs and getting the ol’ figure back, the Cambridgeites asked about organic products in the hospital and using only Tylenol as pain relief. W&W had a bit of argy bargy involving tears and making up so I entirely missed the last hour of the class. It was brilliant, I should have thanked them for the distraction! Pity the alpha didn’t notice their antics, it might have saved him from destroying his jumper with drool during his multiple power naps.

So it seems that the way this birth business is going to work is as follows:

Mild pain

Flash flood of Noah and the Ark proportions when waters break

Increased pain

Snapping at husband for impregnating me

Further increase in pain

Hallucinations likely involving my lifting the Australian Open trophy

More pain in case there wasn’t enough

Kicking midwife in face accidentally

Again, pain

Asking for medieval torture devices to be produced to distract from pain

Eh, pain anyone?

Emergence of baby through wormhole

Apologies to husband for the breakage of both of his hands, nose and 2 ribs

Apologies to midwife who is now in the ER having her face repaired

Asking if the alpha will polish my Australian Open Trophy while I recover from the birth.

Bring it on, I can’t wait!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Living in America??

Well I’m back!!! Did ye miss me at all?! Doubtless there was a cavernous void, as a result of my lack of blogging but fear not, I have returned! I was a bit down in the dumps for a while there with an acute and life-threatening case of “Oh f*ck, I live in America”. Lifesaving treatment was administered in the form of 15 Wispas and a box of Cheese and Onion Tayto courtesy of my very good mother and I appear to be on the mend. My advice if anyone finds themselves afflicted with this pernicious condition is to desist immediately from watching diabetes advertisements (do NOT make the mistake of sending off for a testing kit OR a slap n’ chop vegetable cutting device, albeit revolutionary) and get outside with a box of Lucky Charms and perform Riverdance up and down the street until you feel suitably irish again. Also if you are lucky enough to have all of Enya’s albums, put them on repeat and play them through the night, your mental health will thank you. Your husband may not however, but it will prevent him from going over to the dark side, what with him being surrounded by good god fearing, gun toting workaholics everyday.

Right I’m off. It’s the third of December and 21 degrees so I’m off to work on my tan!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Anyone for an enema?

If I have to listen to one more advertisement on the tellybox about medications for diabetes, I will surely go into said tellybox and beat the fools talking about their obesity induced diabetes about the head with the bag of doughnuts that is invariably lying somewhere near them. America is absolutely obsessed with illness and the associated medications and medical care. I estimate that at least 50% of ads on tv are for pharmaceuticals, medical insurance companies or hospitals. If I was unlucky enough to have depression induced constipation that left me with erectile dysfunction, bone density loss, swine flu and a general pox, there are medications I can ask my doctor to give me that will doubtless revolutionize my life. Now ignore the fact that I am a couch residing non-medical cynic and know nothing about medications or their side effects, I am instructed to go to my doctor and demand these drugs. Of course the medical insurance that costs circa 700,000 dollars a month won’t cover it because I sneezed three times in 1985. Oh and if your insurance won’t cough up, Astra Zeneca reassures us at the end of each ad that they will help pay for it. Good of them.

The pharmacies here are fantastic and wonderful places. You can get everything from a hot water bottle to a barium enema. I have been fascinated with the latter since I saw them in the local CVS (Crazily Vast Store) pharmacy 10 years ago on the student visa. Never have they been far from my mind. I thought you could only avail of the cleansing and invasive effects of said enema in a hospita. I also thought that introducing a substance into your system at home that can be picked up by the international space station would potentially be a tad detrimental to your health. Of course if you do enema-ise yourself and you wake up to find you colon has made a bid for freedom in the night and can be found at the local bus station with a one way ticket to Vegas, Astra Zeneca will help pay for your troubles.

I’m off to make contact with the lads on the international space station via the barium enema I’m going to use to correct my doughnut induced erectile diabetic depressive bone debilitating lunacy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

As mo rhothar

My arse is killing me. Cycled to the library yesterday only to find it was closed for an unpublicised public holiday. The pain is tremendous. Life altering even. Maybe next time i get up on the bike i'll be less ambitious. A distance of that magnitude should not be undertaken when one hasn't been on a bike since April. i'll half it next time. That mile was sheer lunacy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Celtics v Diaspora!

The blinds are up! The cats are determined to tear them back down again but they shall not prevail in their opposable thumb-less attempts. Furry divils. They have been informed that if they do not desist from this anti-homely behaviour they are going to be exchanged for the pair of raccoons that live in the oak tree outside the house. Let them put that in their pipe and smoke it. Or maybe put it in their nicorette. Sylvester has been off the fags for three months now and I really wouldn’t want to set him back.

Friday last saw a busy, busy day for the non-taxpayer here. The alpha rang me and relayed the great news of our attendance that evening at a Celtics basketball game in Boston! Excitement and fanfare erupted through the house, the blinds simultaneously opened and closed and the litter box self-cleaned. It was indeed a joyous moment, not least for the latter occurrence. As I leapt around the ground floor of our double family home, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t get a chance to take the fur off any tennis balls that evening so in my frenzied state I decided to treat myself to a run.

I donned my running attire. Let me point out that I don’t really like running and dress accordingly. Somewhat in the manner of a homeless person with a penchant for acquiring his clothes from a TK Maxx skip circa 1991. I don’t wear a beard though; I’d just like to clear that one up. Tennis attire is another matter altogether, but I digress. I hot footed it from the gaff, tied my keys to my runners and set off to run the massive 3 miles around Fresh Pond.

The name is ridiculously misleading. Ridiculously. It’s not a pond it’s the main source of drinking water for the city of Cambridge! It’s a great hulking mass of water that would house the entire population of Luxembourg attempting a world record breaking synchronized swimming program. The killjoys in Cambridge county council however won’t allow humans in the water. Short sighted in my opinion, imagine the revenue they could accumulate from such a record breaking attempt? Still, under the strain of record breaking I suppose not everyone could be counted on to hold onto their bladder.

About 3 minutes into my trot I realized that it was raining. I thought about turning back but I figured I’d be sweating like a person who had just completed a 3 mile run so a little rain wouldn’t do any harm. How wrong I was. Regular rain would have been tolerable but this was the special type of “wet” rain that previously I have only experienced in Galway. For 3.75 years of the 4 years I lived there to be precise. It’s the sort of rain that appears to defy the laws of physics and manages to soak you from the inside out. The disappointment I felt in arriving at the conclusion that irish weather was actually stalking me, another slap in the face for physics, almost led me to turn back. I was pretty soaked by the time all these thoughts has filtered through the remaining functioning sections of my grey matter so I ploughed on.

Ploughed on is another misleading statement. I spluttered, coughed, whined and dragged myself around the pond. I stopped for a cry at one point and the chipmunks came over for a chat. They informed me with great glee that Alvin, Simon and Theodore were in Hollywood finalizing the rights to another movie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see man or chipmunk achieve success but I mean what gobshite thought it was socially responsible to make another chipmunks movie? Feeling somewhat rested if disturbed after the chat, I dragged myself the remaining 129 miles home on my elbows.

I arrived back to the porch and poured my remains through the keyhole. The alpha was home! I greeted him and the backyard raccoons and had a little rest. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Hobbes grappling furiously with an AK-47. I sighed and removed the aforementioned weapon from him, chastised him for his amateur attempts at raccoon assassination and handed him a proper sniper rifle. I was going to give it to him for his birthday but better him to have it now and not pick up bad habits.

There was little time to change and shower, although I was so wet anyway I could have just applied some soap and stood back out on the porch and washed it off. However, Americans are quite modest so I performed my ablutions in our rather nice bathroom. As I was in the shower Sylvester appeared to have been arrested by the thought that behind the shower curtain lay a treasure trove of mice, for he launched himself at the shower curtain with all the unbridled gusto of a psycho style serial killer. I looked out when I recovered my composure to see a monochromatic hanging from the shower curtain by three claws and managing to look somewhat apologetic. He lost one of his lives as a result of the eardrum shattering scream I emitted and I estimate I aged 7 years. Nonetheless I recovered and dressed sure in the knowledge that having gained the 7 years in age I wouldn’t need any iD to procure beer. The alpha suggested I bring it just in case.

We took the bus to Harvard. Well we took the fifth bus we encountered as the alpha had left his i-phone in the house and had to return for it. Good thing he remembered it too as Hobbes was on the internet ordering munitions and foot soldiers. Where did hey get the credit cards? This raccoon thing was getting out of hand. We got the fifth bus and subsequently progressed to the train where it transpires we were to spend a good portion of our evening. There was a “disabled” train ahead of us on the line resulting in delays. Disabled? I saw it pull out of the station before ours and there was no evidence of crutches or a wheelchair. To say the least we were confused. Eventually it lumbered to its destination with much apology and we met up with our irish friend and hit Boston Beer Works to meet the other lads.

The match was starting at 7.30 and we got to the bar, pardon me, the bah, at 7. Needless to say it was absolutely imperative, no crucial to the survival of the irish species, that we consume our own weight in beer in the short half hour we had before the match. This is a skill that almost every irish college graduate posseses. No, almost every irish person is born possessing this skill and college only serves to hone it to perfection. Indeed if you have attended college in Galway you are grand master of imbibing and generally invited to conferences around the world where you are revered in the manner of a good cult leader. The alpha had a Reeses peanut butter cup for his dinner and I had 4 peanuts. We hoped feverently that we hadn’t taken too much soakage on board. We had a stereotype to live up to. The alpha, I, the D man, the other irish guy, the Scot and the Kenyan partook of a half hour of concentrated merriment and then with lightning speed of foot, made haste to the Basketball stadium.

The game was great, a genuinely enjoyable experience. Celtics won but you got the feeling they weren’t trying too hard, I suppose it was a pre-season match. Having made that statement, you should be made aware that the only thing I know about basketball is that you use a roundy ball and have to be 8 feet tall to play it.

After the game we repaired back to the Boston Beer Works and honestly much of the night is a blurry haze of happy drunkenness. I have no recollection of any arrests but was so drunk myself that I spent the whole journey home convinced we were being ferried by a headless taxi driver to the other side to meet our maker. Thankfully I believe we made it home intact. It’s always a bonus.