Month: October 2010

The Dentist

By the time I was 17, I’d had five years of braces, all four wisdom teeth taken out and two root canals, which were the result of my over-zealous orthodontist and his too-tight braces.  Anyway. Like lifts, if I were afraid of dentists, I’d be screwed.  I’m not afraid of them.  Even with all my previous ‘work’, I hadn’t had a regular old lay-off-the sugar-please cavity, until my new dentist found two last month. I know the difference between good dentists and bad dentists.  I liked my old one.  My new one is a sadist. The only time I read tabloids is when I’m in a waiting room.  I was flipping through one on Monday, not particularly nervous. I wasn’t bothered at all until they called me in.  While I transferred from chair to chair, the dental assistant put her hands on me. On my hips.  Without asking.  Now, I have a, shall we say, Can You Touch This? Questionnaire. It goes like this: Did I ask you to help me? Are you any of the two people who made me? Do I like you? Are we friends? Have we drank/laughed/slept together? Are you my boyfriend? If you can’t answer Yes to any of these questions, don’t touch me.  Even to help.  Because I lose my balance when people grab me.  Which doesn’t help. I told her to let...

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The Chair

And so, I switch off the computer and my eyes fall on my favourite chair.  Currently piled with duvets and a guitar, it is wedged between a loveseat and a laundry rack.  A penguin is perched on the loveseat, propped up by pillows and the last publically visible box in the house.  This is half of the office.  The half I can conveniently turn my back on while typing. But I miss the chair.  It started out as my Grandfather’s favourite place to recline while calling out answers to Fifteen to One, or words on Countdown.   Many nights were spent watching baseball with Dad and Gramps relaxing in the same position, with their hands clasped behind their heads.  One night I noticed this and wanted to take a photo.  I then realised I’d been holding my hands the same way.  And I didn’t want to move. I’d sit next to Gramps and read aloud the letters he received from old friends.  And write his Christmas cards as he dictated news in lines short enough to fit on them.  More often than not, there’d be actual snow falling outside as we went about this annual ritual. I like Fall for many reasons. Fall allows you to be functionally nostalgic and cry into your coffee and possibly bewilder your boyfriend while also providing stuff to look forward to.  Stuff like...

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Switch Off to Switch On

Remember when I said I couldn’t write in clutter?  Well, I’ll add to it.  I now believe the people who tell you not to write on a computer connected to the Internet.  Because writing doesn’t happen.  Facebook happens. I used to say I couldn’t write without music on, either.  Now when music is on, I can’t hear myself.  I get so caught up in the next song, and then the next one, I forget the next word and then they stop altogether. And so, I’ve started to switch the computer off.  The office is set up with my desk, and Sarge’s desk, our laptops and his printer.  And I write in the living room or kitchen.  In a notebook, a real one with pages and lines.  I’m currently writing in three real notebooks.  I write every day, and my writing day starts when I switch the computer off.  There is now a difference between writing time and typing time.  The longer the computer is off the more there is to type when I switch it back on. Try it.  The Internet will still be there when you get...

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Feels Like Home

  Sarge and I went back to Glasgow for my best friend’s birthday dinner last weekend.  After my gift-buying mission was complete and we went here for more vanilla (and hazelnut and gingerbread) coffee syrup, we went to my favourite coffee shop in my old neighbourhood. I lived around the corner from it, and it must have seemed like I held court there.  This is the place where I met friends, laughed, gossiped, waited and wrote.  I looked out onto the street and scribbled what I saw, listened and noted what I heard.  I ordered a vanilla latte and took a photo of it while waiting for it to cool. My time there reminded me of Friends, only with better music and without Joey. It was the setting for my epic first date with Sarge, nearly a year ago.  We’d had lunch and then walked in the rain, finding refuge at my favourite table.  We left five and a half hours later, high on caffeine and life. Sarge dropped me off at my front door; I went up to my flat and defrosted a pizza.  And then threw up.   Maybe in early solidarity with Sarge, who hates cheese.  Maybe I knew I’d had a day-long, epic last first date.  Maybe both. Fast forward to Saturday.   Same coffee shop, same table, different conversation.  And as I sat there and listened...

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My Top Ten Books & Authors

    I’m going to add this as a page, but I also thought it could be a post.   Some links contain spoilers, but they are there if you want to click them! (Some of) My favourite books: The Crow Road by Iain Banks The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Great Expectations by Charles Dickens The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson American Pastoral by Philip Roth Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima Oracle Night byPaul Auster And I also think The Road should be required reading for everyone. I’ll quite happily read everything these people write: Paul Auster, Haruki Murakami, Michael Chabon, Douglas Coupland, Amy Tan, Alice Hoffman, Augusten Burroughs, A.L Kennedy, Isabel Allende and Jonathan Safran Foer. What are your favourites...

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