Archive for August, 2002


R: When I feel sad, my nipples ache. I think it’s a milk thing.

J: You’re lachrymose.


1. The Second Amendment

Rebecca: I have an old .45 with no recoil.

Paul: You’ve never fired that one have you?

Rebecca: I have not fired that one.

Paul: It would break your arm.

Rebecca: Yes. And I have a .22. And I want to get a shotgun, for personal protection. I’d saw it off and keep it under my pillow, and if I saw anyone coming at me in my bedroom at night, bang. With a shotgun, it won’t go through the walls, and it won’t kill you unlesss you’re very, very close to me. I don’t really want to kill anyone.

Jeremy: The paperwork.

Rebecca: Exactly!

2. A successful shopping trip

Emily: I bought shoes and a vibrator!

Mark: Do they match?

3. Unprecedented

Me: Eeuw, heterosexual germs in your hot tub!

Peter: Darling, that’s what chlorine’s for.


1. 20th near Folsom

Homeless guy: Can you spare me a cigarette?

R: Sorry, don’t smoke.

Hg: Any change?

R: Sorry.

Hg: Ferrari?

R: Sure, you can have my Ferrari.

Hg: What color?

R: Red.

Hg (testily): They’re all red.

2. Folsom & 20th

Another homeless guy: Spare a quarter?

R: Sorry.

Ahg: But I’m hungry!

R: Me too.

Ahg: And I’m broke. And my toenail hurts.

3. At the Moonbase

Kirsty: Timor’s over. The Solomon Islands are over. My mum’s retired from saving the world. She’s going to open a B&B. She’ll get bored in about two minutes.

J: Unless she opens it in Somalia.

K: Don’t even suggest it.

J (being Kirsty’s mum): ‘Do you have any idea how hard it is to get doilies around here?’

post-it notes

pasted around my monitor. Clockwise, starting top left:

“valuation, revenue, cash burn, forecasts” – useful financial metrics for privately held companies.

“when hairballs come to fruition” – a particularly juicy mixed metaphor, courtesy of our London editor, famous for such.

Dial-in number for Monday morning editorial conference call.

To-do list – stories in progress.


The Tibetan Book of Thoroughbred Training, from Jane Smiley’s novel Horse Heaven.

A chart equating the old, familiar IBM product names (S/390, AS400) with their bland replacements (zSeries, iSeries).

Mobile number for Nick in New York.

One post-it note has been banished to my noticeboard: it lists Borges’ animals.

my problematic messiah

In my Amazon Gold Box today: a nail gun.

They know me all too well.

both smooth and sharp

It usually takes twenty minutes to half an hour to deal with my otherwise superb mechanic, so my heart somewhat sank when I realized Wim urgently needed brake work and so I’d probably miss the Monday morning teleconference.

Not so. I breezed in. “Rachel, right?” said Jerry.

“Ancient Volksie, no brakes,” I explained.

“Need a lift?” he asked.

I got to work in time to make a cup of tea and check my email before the call.

I feel both smooth and sharp.


Mark and Big have only been here 48 hours, but already the Vulcan mind meld is in effect.

J: Can you pass me the plum, no, the pear, the apricot…

Big: The peach?

J: I’m having trouble with fruit names.


Mark: It’s Mark.
J (pointing): Mark, right?

oh, and

I had a complementary dream to this one. There were three hessian sacks with children inside. They were all intended to be thrown off the castle walls. (“Good idea,” said Big.)

I only saved one, but in it was a dark-haired baby like Knoa. I was determined above all things to protect her. An angry mob pursued me through the castle, hell-bent on sacrificing the girl in accordance with prophecy, but I managed to evade them, and she was still alive when I woke up.

I’m a little embarrassed: my dreams aren’t usually quite so transparent.

i am repeatedly interrupted, though my point is valid

Kathryn: I read your blog but lately it’s just poetry.

R: Yes. Well. The best thing about studying English is…

Mark: Ooh, this oughta be good.

R: …is that the poems stay with you.

Big: That’s worth four years of your life?

R: Six. Well, okay, the best thing about studying English is spending six years doing no work at all and drinking on two continents, all at your parents’ expense.

Mark: That’s what you do now.

Big: Yes, but she’s paying for it.

R: Good point. The second best thing about studying English is getting a job where you don’t have to do much work and you can fund your own drinking. The third best thing about studying English is, no wait, it’s that I get to mock Colin for saying “gifted us with” instead of “gave us”.

Big: Still don’t see why that’s wrong.

R: It just is. Trust me. Anyway. The fourth best thing about studying English, but it’s still good, okay? Is that you get to keep the poems.

Mark: That’s nice, dear.

mister bennett is in the house, part 2

“The good news is I found out my ex-boyfriend isn’t my biological brother after all.”

mister bennett is in the house

“The first time was terrible, then we both fell asleep. The second time, on the plus side, he had a hardon, but on the minus side, also a strong gag reflex. So it was better AND worse.”


I was angry with my friend.
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe.
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night
Till it bore an apple bright
And my foe beheld it shine
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole.
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.


Since there’s no help, come, let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me.
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart
that thus so cleanly I myself can free.


Christian Science bookstore on Mission Street:
“We’re Christian Scientists! NOT Scientologists!”
Graffiti, Shotwell and 17th:
“If you hit her once, you’ll hit her again. Then you’ll kill her – Teardrop”
Graffiti, Alabama and 19th:
to which someone else has added


Liz the mordant freelancer: Do you ever think the world would be a better place if we just wiped men out altogether?

R: Ayup.

L: Oh, they’re not that bad really.


GRRR – there go, my heart’s abhorrence.
Water your damned flowerpots, do.
If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence
God’s blood, wouldn’t mine kill you!


Claire sailed through her AFP tests and ultrasound, and is hitting developmental goals right on time. At this rate, she’ll surpass her puny parents at age three, and rule the world by 2007.

strange days indeed

Can’t say I wasn’t warned about changed sleeping patterns and weird dreams, but even so, things are getting a little odd. I jumped perkily out of bed at 2am – believe me, this never happens – caught up on the Twiki and wrote some very bad fiction. (Yay for first drafts.) Accidently woke J by making too much crinkle-noise pouring myself cornflakes at 4am. He came out to check that I wasn’t rearranging the kitchen cupboards again.

Eventually got back to sleep around 5, knowing I needed to make a teleconference call at 9am. Woke at 8.45 from possibly the worst dream I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some doozies.

A good friend of mine, a musician, had called us all to his apartment for one last party. He lived in a red brick complex on an escarpment, with a beautiful sea view. There were excellent chocolate brownies, as you’d expect, and masses of whipped cream. After we left, this friend of ours intended to commit suicide with sleeping pills and lye.

I became more and more distressed. The rest of our friends supported his decision, and they frowned on me when I tried to remonstrate with him. Crushed by grief and the weight of social opprobrium – literally crushed, in that I was finding it difficult to breathe – I burst into tears and had to be led away.

In the courtyard his black kitten was rolling on her back in the sunshine. I wondered if he’d arranged for someone to look after her. She had a white whisker.

When I woke up, I was still crying. I only just mopped up in time to make the call.


Bebe, Cat Scientist just slays me. She’s unearthed an ancient tennis ball, bigger than her head. She bats it around the apartment, growling fiercely with joy. Then she hooks her teeth in the green fluff, and carries it.