Monday, 26 December 2011

rational recovery

My best friend, K., handed me this book this afternoon, called Rational Recovery. The New Cure for Substance Addiction and I read a LOT of it straight through. It sounds very tempting and he has the book, so he is at least thinking about doing something, which is a good thing. As opposed to AA, Rational Recovery (RR) puts the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the addict. Given as we don't believe in any higher powers, Best Friend was never going to respond well to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Does anyone know about this? Is it any good?

My big fear is that, although he's read about it, he doesn't understand or doesn't really want to apply what he's read. I had a little 'discussion' with him after he said he wanted to quit in January. He kept coming up with reasons why he wouldn't quit now and I kept asking "Who is telling me this?"

I don't go out with him anymore, I don't give him any money (his ex already controls his finances and has him on an allowance), but I love him and you can't shut that off. He did kick his painkiller addiction, but as I've always said, that was really only a physical dependency (I say only...), the real problem is alcohol. And I worry for him.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Visit Joe.My.God, it's a great blog!

Funny for an atheist like Joe. Although it's quite suspicious that the post below the one shown on my screen capture is actually one from almightygod himself:

Is Joe REALLY an atheist as he claims?

Monday, 14 November 2011

map geekery

Gerardus Mercator

This afternoon at work I was suddenly overcome with a bout of map geekery inspired by xkcd.

This is part of the cartoon that set me off. Obviously I'm not going to spoil the fun for you here, you'll have to click and find out what it says about you.

click for the full story!

As a result I am now in the possession of a stack of illegally printed A3 maps of the world in Equirectangular, Gall-Peters, Mercator, Goode homolosine, Kavrayskiy VII, Peirce quincunciual, Dymaxion, Van der Grinten and most elegantly of all - I think - Waterman butterfly projection.

All stolen from the Wikipedia list of map projections except for the Waterman, which is a bit of a drawback with Wikipedia. Also, if anyone knows of a high resolution version of a Cahill butterfly map other than the line drawings I've seen so far (or this funny fabric that allows you to sew globes) I'd very much appreciate it.

In a similar vein, here's a selection of map blogs I follow. Rather infrequently I must confess, but there are only so many hours in a day and all of you are just being too interesting on the internet for me to keep up.

Cartophilia: Maps and Map Memorabilia
The Map Scroll
Urban Cartography
Strange Maps

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

memories of sinterklaas

Smell of jute sacking,
Wrapping paper tears;
St. Nicholas' Eve.

(Yes I know it's only November 1st.)

Monday, 31 October 2011

a Doctor Who bonanza

This is a little treasure trove of Doctor Who videos from a little while back, commemorating the departures of David Tennant and Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner from the show. First off, here's The Ballad of Russell and Julie:

Don't worry, Russell, I've been having dirty thoughts about Midshipman Frame too and I've managed to keep on functioning - o wait...

And here's David Tennant as himself, amongst the cast and crew and together with his musical heroes the Proclaimers:

Found here, with thanks to @scandalwomen.

See What A Mo Can Do

Of course the slogan does not refer to what I first imagined, as Joe.My.God and his tipster Bill knew only too well. But did the makers of this campaign? I'm giving the benefit of the doubt.

I would probably sooner grow a 'tache than sport a pink ribbon, but mostly I'm concerned any form of cancer gets more "popular" than others. And neither breast cancer nor prostate cancer are the real killers that the word cancer evokes. Scores of men die with prostate cancer rather than from it.

Mostly I'm glad all communications specifically ask men to grow moustaches. I have, touch wood, been blessed with a pristine upper lip.


Die, Ron Weasley, die!

No, really, I love that character. *cough*not*cough* What could a smart girl like Hermione ever see in him?

This is, apparently, JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe talking in a leaked interview for the extras of the last Harry Potter DVD. Which means I've now seen one more minute from that than I ever imagined. (I have seen a few of the earlier movies, but they've all felt rather flat to me.)

She hasn't evaded dark subjects before, I think she could've killed off Ron.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

book him, Danno!

The final episode of season one of the new series of Hawaii Five-O is on Dutch TV tonight.

I admit, I've already seen it. I started watching the remake series out of curiosity, but I've grown quite fond of it. So when my compatriots see the big finale, I'll be watching an episode from the second series.

As you may have figured out by now, this whole post was just an excuse to use the title.

I have an earworm

And it's Martha Wainwright singing Barbara's Dis, Quand Reviendras-Tu?

I may have blogged about this before, but that song just haunts me some days (or weeks). And sometimes its just a friendly companion.

Here's the original version by Barbara. Not too shabby either! Below are the lyrics to the original, Martha - like her brother Rufus - has a tendency to muddle the words a bit, although her French is much betther than Rufus'!

Voilà combien de jours, voilà combien de nuits,
Voilà combien de temps que tu es reparti,
Tu m'as dit cette fois, c'est le dernier voyage,
Pour nos cœurs déchirés, c'est le dernier naufrage,
Au printemps, tu verras, je serai de retour,
Le printemps, c'est joli pour se parler d'amour,
Nous irons voir ensemble les jardins refleuris,
Et déambulerons dans les rues de Paris,

Dis, quand reviendras-tu,
Dis, au moins le sais-tu,
Que tout le temps qui passe,
Ne se rattrape guère,
Que tout le temps perdu,
Ne se rattrape plus,

Le printemps s'est enfui depuis longtemps déjà,
Craquent les feuilles mortes, brûlent les feux de bois,
A voir Paris si beau dans cette fin d'automne,
Soudain je m'alanguis, je rêve, je frissonne,
Je tangue, je chavire, et comme la rengaine,
Je vais, je viens, je vire, je me tourne, je me traîne,
Ton image me hante, je te parle tout bas,
Et j'ai le mal d'amour, et j'ai le mal de toi,

Dis, quand reviendras-tu,
Dis, au moins le sais-tu,
Que tout le temps qui passe,
Ne se rattrape guère,
Que tout le temps perdu,
Ne se rattrape plus,

J'ai beau t'aimer encore, j'ai beau t'aimer toujours,
J'ai beau n'aimer que toi, j'ai beau t'aimer d'amour,
Si tu ne comprends pas qu'il te faut revenir,
Je ferai de nous deux mes plus beaux souvenirs,
Je reprendrai la route, le monde m'émerveille,
J'irai me réchauffer à un autre soleil,
Je ne suis pas de celles qui meurent de chagrin,
Je n'ai pas la vertu des femmes de marins,

Dis, quand reviendras-tu,
Dis, au moins le sais-tu,
Que tout le temps qui passe,
Ne se rattrape guère,
Que tout le temps perdu,
Ne se rattrape plus...

And what a coincidence, one of my favourite Twitter followees just said:
"Everyone needs some Martha Wainwright in their life - this is a cracker. "You cheated me"

Monday, 24 October 2011

One day...

One day I set out to write a story. It wasn't a very unusual day; by the very virtue of me having started a story it was in fact a rather common sort of day.

I often daydream about writing stories, it would be better if I daydreamt about the stories themselves.

Why should I write a story anyway? Here I am, fat, middle-aged (forty next year is middle-aged, whether people want to accept it or not - I have no real problem with it), in a low leveloffice job (comparable to a lance corporal in a very 'Jones the butcher' kind of way) and have I ever really done anything?

I've always been the one on the river's edge, too shy, too socially inept, too insecure to take the plunge. At best I've waded out into a shallow pool that had formed away from the raging torrent of life, but never further than the knees.

My nights are filled with TV and social media, never enough reading, little to no writing.

I'm a great starter, though. The apartment is littered with notebooks, purpose-bought for that one big story that was burning at the tips of my fingers. Sometimes I'd abondon that one and start another. Sometimes it would turn into a collection of sad, neglected ideas; this very book (started as a diary) contains several of those too.

There's a wonderful idea for a Doctor Who episode a few pages back. I really should pick that up again. In fact, now that I have a computer again, I may do just that.

On this day, which was like so many others, I opened a notebook, took out a black fine liner pen (Stabilo are my favourites, so if I ever make it big, please send me a box), looked at the empty page (A6 size on purpose, so the white expanse doesn't seem too threatening - plus I can tell myself I've filled two-and-a-half pages already) and just started to write...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

this is just too cute

This is such a sweet story about a six-year-old who is in love with Glee's Blaine Anderson:
“Mommy, they are just like me.”
Glee's Blaine Anderson

Thanks to Joe.My.God

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Let's Kill Hitler

Doctor Who? Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor

Oh, I love a good yarn, me. The current Doctor Who series kicks off again on August 27th with the first episode of the second half of the season, entitled "Let's Kill Hitler". Planet Gallifrey notes that the show starts at 7:10 PM UK time. I expect there'll be a date scheduled for BBC America around that time too.

Which might come in handy for K., who is in detox in Amsterdam at the moment. No rehab facility would have him because he was also - and quite legitimately - hooked on painkillers. It was only a very low dose, but apparently it doesn't take much oxycontin to make withdrawal a real bitch.

Anyway, after several false starts at clinics that ended up not wanting to care for him after all - and a couple of months' worth of weekend drunksitting to make sure he didn't accidentally kill himself by falling or forgetting he'd already taken that pill - his ex received a phone call Thursday two weeks ago that K. had a little over an hour to report to this place.

It's brand new and looks a lot like a Scandinavian design hotel. If you ignore the lock on the ward door and the fact that even the tiniest windows don't open. The other eight or nine people there are all return visitors, coming in up to four times a year and seemingly treating it like a vacation.

So when a friendly masseur stopped by, outside of visiting hours and with portable table in tow, questions were asked. And when they found out that K. is scheduled to go on from there to a rehab resort on Curacao, there was a certain amount of grumbling.

The sad thing is that what sets him apart from the rest is his education. Most of the people in there haven't enjoyed half the amount that he has. (He is probably smarter than most of the staff too.)

Not the easiest to get along with at the best of times, K. also isn't great with confined spaces, even quite spacious ones, he's slowly being taken off the drugs that lessen the effects of withdrawal and he's been having some dreams confronting him with less happy times in his past. Which makes him all rather impatient with people.

But on the up side, he should be able to watch BBC America, especially Doctor Who, one of the many interests we share.

Check out the BBC Doctor Who site for more news and trailers.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

hello blogosphere

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking. I do apologise for cheating on you with Twitter and, well, life, but here I am again!

I still adore Twitter, but I've been getting increasingly frustrated with its boundaries - although it's still a kick to fire off that perfect, pithy tweet. There are times agirl just needs more time and space to make her point than Twitter allows.

During my leave of absence I've made some interesting discoveries, rekindled old loves and you will probably see those reflected in changes to the links in the sidebar. But perhaps there's room for both.

I'll see. I hope you'll join me.