30 September 2004

The Curious Incident of the Dog Poo on Euston Road

I knew yesterday was going to be an odd day when it started out with me sitting in a small, soundproofed room with the man who used to present Wheel of Fortune, with a paranoid conviction that blood was pouring out of my mouth (though that turned out to be just a mouth ulcer in a particularly unhappy mood).

Recently I've been doing quite a bit of media stuff for the Disability Rights Commission in promoting the implementation of new rights under the Disability Discrimination Act. You may have seen me on the 6 O'Clock News on BBC1 on Monday.

On Tuesday I was doing more of the similar, and I was on the breakfast show on Radio Five Live. This of course meant getting up and leaving the house at Offensive O'Clock. Being in a radio studio and being live on air was one of those experiences in life that you're glad to have had. Even if it would've been nicer had it been a few hours later in the day.

After a taxi came and whisked me from Television Centre to work, the day was fairly normal. Even down to the fact that I was supposed to meet a friend at 5pm and she once again demostrated her ability to be the only person in the world with the capacity to run even later than me.

As we wandered along Euston Road trying to decide in which direction to head for a curry (the best cure for a cold/blocked nose in the world) I was describing something simple and inane, in my typically over-animated style. So busy was I with gesticulating and trying to maintain eye-contact with my friend, I failed to noticed the giant turd on the pavement (despite the fact that my friend clearly wasn't as keen on maintaining eye-contact with me as she noticed and scremed "WATCH OUT!" just as my wheels bisected the steaming pile of a size which would denote it had been deposited by nothing other than a wolf).

I was less than happy. Especially as I not only had to clean poo off my rear wheel, but even my poor little flashy castors (which I had fitted last week) got such a coating that no-one would've noticed the lights inside. In some ways that may have been a good thing, as tonight when I went circuit training the instructor was so impressed with them that he felt the need to turn off the lights in the gym while everyone was running round to warm up. "How Lisy can cause a human pile up; method 16."

The only thing was, I couldn't have lived with the smell. And I like the flashy wheels.

Why was the incident curious? I don't know. I just thought it was quite a clever title. I guess "Did Camden council sue the dog's owner?" and "how can one being produce that much poo?" do bring in an element of curiosity.

The other odd thing was after my friend and I had had our curry, had a pint, and I was making my way home, I had someone come up to me and ask me if I need any help as I was pushing along the main road through West Hampstead.

"Why is that odd? We've been reading your blog for ages, we know that people offer you help in situations where you're in no distress at all because when they spot someone in a wheelchair, most people's notions of common sense are lost immediately."

Well, there were two odd things about the experience. Firstly, when she spotted me and felt compelled to cross the street to approach me, she didn't know how to use a Zebra crossing without angering all passing motorists. I suppose at least her opening line wasn't "Do you need any help to cross the road?" Secondly, she actually effectively stalked me for about a minute, following me close behind, not speaking to me and not being distracted from her self appointed task of following me up the road. Naturally I sped up, both hoping to avoid her, and I was trying to make my wheels light up in red, green and blue.

She finally spoke. "Can I help you, please?" It was the intonation of the 'please' that bothered me. It took any possible "Do you need help?" connotations out of the questions, and instead loaded the question with "It's 10pm, I've not yet helped a poor and needy person yet today. Don't make me lose sleep tonight."

And yes, I know I was on my way home from the pub a whole hour before closing time. But I got up at 5am. Deal with it.

24 September 2004

What colour are my pants?

I thought the pants I'm wearing today were purple... until I saw them laying on my bed next to my socks while I was getting dressed this morning. My socks I would describe as blue.

Seeing them next to each other though... they were pretty much the same colour.

So why would I look at one and think "purple" and then look at the other and think "blue" when in fact when you compare them directly, they're the same.

The pants colour question got more interesting just now. Someone said to me "Is your skin really that white?" I touched my back and realised my huge pants had ridden up above the level of my trousers. Being so huge they managed to ride up that far and not even give me a hint of a wedgie. As a frame of reference, they're a bit like my Dad's trouser's now he's reached that age where his elasticated waist band doubles up as a training bra.

"Oh, no, it's my pants."

"Good, because no-one wants skin that colour."

She thought my pants were white. Or she could think I was so ill that my skin had gone beyond white into blue.

I'm tempted to photograph my pants and put them on the internet to let others make up their own mind.

20 September 2004

Of mice corpses and men

Does anyone reading my blog get the impression that I'm not overly fond of my current abode?

While I was enjoying the delights of Edinburgh last month, the guy who lived in the room next door to mine moved out of hell, and was immediately replace by someone whom I'd not had this misfortune of meeting until this evening.

Though I had not met him until today, I had concluded that:

a) he was a he.
b) he was a twat.

I'll begin with point b.

He's a cyclist. I'm imagining one of those god awful ones that constantly run red traffic lights, and then try and sue the driver of the vehicle proceeding rightly through the green light that smashes into them.

Want to know why I'm imagining this? Because of his complete lack of consideration for his neighbours when he's not got his buttocks bisected by a saddle that looks more like a dildo. Most specifically, the fact that he consistently leaves his bike parked right outside my bedroom door, so I end up covered in crap off the chain trying to get past to go to the bog. Or there was the time he blocked the access to the washing machine. And the time he parked it on the steps leading down to the toilet (I'd mentioned that my shithole was also impossibly inaccessible in another post) so I couldn't get to cling on to the wall to get up/down them.

As if this inconsiderate behaviour wasn't enough to lead me to point a (sorry to any nice men reading this, I hate to gender stereotype. But it's true) I then the other day noticed boxer shorts hanging on the washing line in the back garden (OK, I know that also doesn't definitely denote gender, but it's a reasonably good indicator).

You may be wondering "Why is Lisy so hard on him? He's living in a shit bedsit too. It's not his fault if there's nowhere out the front of the house to safely leave a bike, and the corridor isn't suitably wide enough to accommodate it."

If you are, then think back to two paragraphs ago. I mentioned that he had hung his boxer shorts on the washing line in the back garden. Yes ladies and gentlemen, he and me are the only two people in the building with access to the back garden. He could push his bike straight through his room, out into the garden. Voila, it's in no-ones way (it'd also be safer as only 2 of us have access to the garden, whereas 6 people live in the building. And it's not like I could steal it even if I wanted to!)

But no. He's a twat. He's also stealing my toilet paper.

This evening I was returning to my room, from the bathroom, when who should walk through the front door, clutching a wheeled vehicle designed to roam in the great outdoors, and not be confined to a hallway in hell? Mr cycley man.

Was he polite and apologetic about blocking up the hallway with his bike? No. He ran it straight into me. Did he say sorry? No. Did he then just leave it on the steps so I couldn't get up them? Oh, yes.

This morning in a state of hungoverness I was laying awake in bed trying to not disturb the lady laying next to me (don't worry, it was perfectly innocent. I couldn't have you thinking I was interesting now could I? I am quite blatantly the world’s least likely gossip topic). My building being as horrifically unsoundproofed as it is, I could hear the girly whinging of 2 women passing my door to go up the stairs. Apparently they'd just seen a mouse corpse. I do so hope it was the one that stole my crackers. That would be justice.

I now have a feeling of vengeance creeping over me. I plan to find that former rodent and shove it under my neighbour’s door. Wrapped in toilet paper of course, before I remove my roll of blue Tesco's luxury soft from the bathroom and proceed to live a life like someone on an eternal camping holiday and take my paper with me on every journey.

Well, I would. If I didn't find the thought of touching dead mice scarier than knowing they're running around, uninhibited behind my TV.

16 September 2004

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lisy Babe And Did Ask

steveR asked:

1. Sun tan or sun block?

I know this is a naughty confession, but I am a bit partial to the tanning. Not to the extent that I'd use a sunbed, but I do try and make the most of the sun. I'd never want one of those horrible tans where people look all wizened and like they've been baked though. The reason for liking the sun is because, like glasses, I also think freckles are sexy. When I catch the sun I get freckles across my nose/cheeks and on my shoulders. I know I'm the most repulsive looking being on the planet, and I'd like to not be. And, as Tesco's say, "Every Little Helps!"

2. what is your bigegst tip for finding time to blog?

Given the sporadicness of my updating, I doubt I'm qualified to answer that. The reason I blog so rarely is because I'm far too busy watching TV and vacantly staring into space.

3. Spain or Kenya?

I've been to Spain a few times, but never Kenya. And, Kenya... coffee... what with my caffeine addiction and all... mmmm.

4. have you had that tea with the lass from upstairs?

No, I haven't. I still experience a lot of inner turmoil about that though.

Pam asked:

What one thing would you like to invent that doesn't already exist ?

A levitator. I'd love to be able to be able to just lay back and float into work. And think of all the access advantages... there'd be nowhere I couldn't go cos I could just hover. I'm aware that politically that is highly unacceptable to me, as it's returning to the notion that my impairment is my problem, and it'd be letting society off without having to change and rethink. But it would be kinda cool. I'd never get anything done though just cos when I'm laying in bed and night, picturing myself hovering off I imagine it feels incredibly soothing. So I suspect I'd spend even more time "napping" than I do now.

neil h asked:

- why do you blog?

Because I like to talk about myself. A lot.

- what is your favourite pizza?

I don't really have one. I'm not an overly fussy eater, but I do hate mushrooms more than any other food stuff on this planet (they're vile, evil and the food of the devil), and sadly they seem to be the staple component of most vegetarian pizzas. So quite often I just end up with a Margherita. If I go down the create your own route, I'll usually opt for onions, peppers, jalapeƱo's and extra cheese. When I lived in Uxbridge, there was a local pizza place that did a hot veggie pizza with chilli's, red kidney beans, etc on top, and then the sauce spread on the base was chilli sauce rather than the standard tomato sauce used in pizza production. It tasted nice, but the next morning I wished I'd had the foresight to put a toilet roll in the freezer.

- what was the last cd/book/dvd that you heard/read/watched?

Keane's "Hopes and Fears"/"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon and Shaun of the Dead. Clearly I should not be allowed to interact with humans as I have no independent thought seeing as how I only read/hear/watch things which are currently trendy/highly promoted/discussed.

- what advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time?

I'd probably tell a 15 year old me to stop being such a fucking stubborn cow in my refusal to ever go see my GP. That and "stop fooling around with boys. You know you're going to be a lesbian when you grow up." I did have a bizarre dream a couple of weeks ago about going back in time - I saved loads of children by using my time travelling skills to go back and set off the fire alarm just before a school exploded.

- what makes you smile?

Imagining Sharleen Spiteri naked?

Aliya asked:

1) What's the most embarassing thing that has ever happened to you?

I think probably being on the TV show We Are The Champions. Just because I ultimately ended up being quite a successful swimmer, and it's probably the only thing I've ever been any good at. Of course, on the show the camera zoomed in on my swimming, and at the age of 12, my technique for all strokes was so appalling, I'm utterly shamed by it. Sorry, no stories about public nudity - getting my tits out in pubs is somthing I used to do all the time, and never really bothered me.

2) What is your ideal career?

When I grow up, I think I'd like to be a comic (I don't mean I'd wanna be Spiderman - I'd frighten myself). Admin for a living isn't exactly what I had in mind when I applied to do that Film Studies & Drama degree. But, hey-ho. Yes, one day I'd like to sit on a stage and tell people funny stories (a bit like stand-up, but I don't have the knees for that). However, Gabrielle may of once claimed that "dreams can come true," but she is a liar. She is also the anti-role model for anyone with any impairment or disfigurement. But that's enough of my opinionatedness. The idea of writing also appeals to me, and one of my many dreams is to write a newspaper/magazine column.

3) Do you think you'll ever be happy?

Of course! Sharleen and I, making love by an open fire in the winter, wine, candles etc. Living in our lovely house, knowing that the children are tucked up safely in bed...

I think that never being satisfied with your lot is part of the human condition. It makes us strive to achieve better and more. But, satisfied is different to happy, even though the two intermingle so closely, and unless you're at least quite satisfied with your life, you can't be truly happy. I know that if I was living somewhere I felt safe that I could at the very least come off the anti-depressants, and I'm fairly sure that if I was working towards a proper career that I loved that I'd start coming closer towards being happy. I'm also a hopeless romantic and have a strong maternal instinct, and I think a family will be key to me achieving true happiness.

Rute asked:

ever had your bra up your arse?

No. But did I ever mention that time that I met Ellen DeGeneres?

What is the square root of 246546512645432?

Now, while I may never of had a bra in my arse... the next time Rute is in London she will be asking medical staff to surgically extract undergarments. Underwired.

07 September 2004

So, here's a thought for something for me to write about.

I'd like you, dear readers, (yes, both of you) to interview me.

I'd like you to Email me questions about stuff. Anything at all that you want to know about me, or think I might have an interesting answer for (please, no maths problems, you're likely to end up with an inbox full of obscenities in return).

I'm accepting questions by Email... until the time you see the question answering post appear (probably over the weekend, because I have nothing better to do with my Friday and Saturday nights than sit home alone).

I may or may not answer all questions, it depends on how many I get asked. And if no-one asks me anything, well... there'll be an exciting bit of blank space to look forward to.

06 September 2004

An ode to my headache...

"Headache, headache go away.
But please don't come again another day."

That is all.

03 September 2004

There really are some pointless inventions in the world, aren't there?

Like leaf blowers. Who thought that would be a good idea? They're as efficient as a rake. They use a lot of electricity, unlike a rake. I've never picked one up, but from seeing them carried by others, they look like they weigh more than a rake. They cost more to buy than a rake, and at the end of the day, all they do is scatter leaves across a wider area! At least with a rake you can scooch all the leaves into one big pile. Try blowing leaves into a big pile sometime, how do you think that'll work?

The only advantage leaf blowers have over rake's is if you're a vindictive bastard, they make noise. I think that's why they issue them in the autumn to the people who spend their summers mowing the grass right underneath windows of people living in student halls.

Today I was shopping for a (belated) birthday present and I came across some posh scented candles in tins, promising to smell like nice smells. For instance, one was Coffee. To be pedantic it smelled like a mocha, as there was definitely some chocolateyness in the aroma. It smelled alarmingly sexy actually and I'm now worried I might have some previously undiscovered fetish for coffee and coffee scented goods.

One of the candles was supposed to smell of freshly cut grass. I lifted off the lid, and it surely did. The coffee candle to me seemed slightly pointless, after all, if you want you room to smell of coffee - you make some. Why go for the fake when the authentic is so easily obtainable? Things like "Ocean breeze" candles make sense... if you live in London, it's not a smell you can acquire easily. And, to be fair... they don't really smell of a genuine British ocean breeze. I know. My parents live in Clacton on Sea. Real breezes coming off the ocean smell of salt water and faeces. Not an easily marketable scent. But candles smelling of real coffee... why? If you can't be bothered to make it, there's a Starbucks on every street now-a-days.

Why would I want to buy a candle that smelled of freshly cut grass? I spend my springs and summers locked up indoors frantically snorting Beconase trying to avoid death by high pollen count, do I want to bring inside smells that remind me of how ill I'd feel if I went outside?

I suppose there is a marketable potential for them. Gifts for the ones you hate and all that. "Candles to evoke feelings of illness and misery in the ones you don't love." In addition to freshly cut grass, you could have "Hospital Smell - to bring back memories of that week you spent on the paediatric orthopaedic ward with two limbs in plaster after your learning support assistant confiscated your wheelchair," or "Dog shit - to remind you of what you landed in when you tripped over as you were running away from the love of your life when they dumped you and you didn't want them to see you cry."

02 September 2004

It's odd when you take stock of your life and realise "I should feel like shit, the state of my life should make grown men weep... but actually, I'm OK."

I think the anti-depressants that stop me from spending my life curled up in bed saying "no, I can't do that" may actually just confuse me straight into a therapists office instead.

I may of mentioned on one or two occasions that I live in a fairly horrid, inaccessible, overpriced bedsit with no window. I applied to my local council to be rehoused, and they gave me a grand total of 55 points. This basically means I'm sentenced to spending the rest of my life living somewhere so inaccessible that I can't even cook a proper meal, and I break my bones doing simple things like having a shower.

Things got less pleasant a few days before I went on holiday. I was chatting with the guy who lived in the bedsit next door to me (he moved out a couple of days later), and he said;

"I saw a mouse in my room this morning. I chased it and it ran straight out underneath the front door, didn't even need it opened."

Now, I'm the woman from Tom & Jerry. Well, I would be if I could climb up on chairs... or if I even wore skirts, not to mention ones with 50 layers. My immediate response was getting a friend round to block up the gaps under my doors with draught excluder's. I need no rodent friends, thank you.

So, I went on holiday and spent a week in Edinburgh. One of the many (and one of the better) shows I took in whilst up there was The Elephant Woman. But that I shall return to.

Staying in a youth hostel, I took some food up to Scotland with me (who knew they had supermarkets outside London?) Being ill for the first couple of days, I only ate crackers. And then being so busy for the rest of the time... I only ate fast food. So, I brought all the food I'd dragged up there back to London with me.

Being one of the worlds most lethargic people it obviously took me a few days to unpack my bag when I got home (OK, I admit it. It was 8 to be precise). In with all my clean clothes that I hadn't worn, and all the programmes, free papers etc, I'd picked up was this carrier bag of food, with the handles tied. Now, when I say "food", I mean Batchelors "Pasta 'n' Sauce" and two Pot Noodles. And a couple of unopened packs of crackers I picked up whilst up there.

Yesterday I was hoovering the cupboard in which I live, and I found some detritus on the floor by my bookcase. At a glance it looked like the little specs of paint that fall off if you bang a nail in badly and you make the plaster crack a bit. This detritus wasn't close enough to the wall to of been little flaky paint chips, and while it may also be next to my bed (my room is so small that there are no gaps between items of furniture) it was certainly not damaged caused to the wall by any practices I've been engaging in in my bed. I just wrote it off as random detritus and hoovered it up.

And then I finally unpacked my bag. I "folded" (read: scrunched) up my clothes and put them in the wardrobe, stuffed all the copies of fest I'd acquired into my magazine rack, and went to try and find space for the food in my kitchen cupboard.

"What's that? That cracker packet is empty. Where are the crackers? They're nowhere in the bag. Where've they gone? And why does the packet look like it's been nibbled open?"

The detritus by the bed suddenly made sense. As did those scratchy noises I'd been hearing in the night and trying to write them off as coming from outside somewhere.

My immediate reaction was to go back to Homebase and buy a plug in rodent repeller that I'd seen in there. It's all glamour for me.

I'd not heard the scratchy noises at all during the day. My new roommate appears to be more nocturnal than I. Until I plugged in the repeller. Suddenly there were frantic scratchy noises coming from behind the TV. That didn't cease. All night.

So while I sat up all night in fear of a cracker nibbling member of the order of Rodentia, trying to watch TV and ignore the ludicrously loud scratchy noises, I was contemplating my happiness. I had nowhere else I could go at 2am to avoid something that was scaring that shit out of me, and it was one more thing wrong with the hole I'm living in that I can't get out of. I should've been sad, but apart from the fear of the beast in the corner, I actually felt OK. Quite a good thing really seeing as it was a long night of awakeness waiting to be able to do something to eradicate that sodding noise.

This evening things have hopefully been sorted. The same friend that excluded my draughts came round and found the hole the mice have been crawling into my room through. We went to Homebase together again. This time we bought poison and squirty expanding stuff to plug up the hole with. It would appear that this stuff doesn't cease expanding though and I fear that by morning I may of been engulfed by something resembling a giant, ever-increasing meringue. If I never update again, someone might want to report that to the authorities.

I'm frustrated by the fact that the plug in "repeller" seems to piss rodents off to the point of agitation, but not to the point of making them leave me the fuck alone. I'm also worried that it's supposed to be inaudible to humans. Huh. Now, my hearing is far from perfect, and earlier this year I was diagnosed with having Auditory Processing Difficulties (I'm just a wheeling catalogue of conditions, aren't I? I'm just looking forward to the diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, compulsion to cook roast dinners, and cancer than I'm genetically predisposed to). But I can hear the thing.

Now, The Elephant Woman (oddly enough, a spoof of The Elephant Man) was about a woman whose mother was a human, and whose father was an elephant (to me that just sounds painful. I tried doing some research into just how painful by typing "elephant cock size" into google and just found a lot of sites not suitable for innocent eyes like mine). I've often wondered about my parentage. After all, I have two blue-eyed parents and my eyes are green. According to my GCSE science teacher, this should not be possible.

Let's examine the evidence: I'm short, I'm unusually hairy for a human female, and I can hear the repeller, I seem to have the same natural waking hours as my new flatmate. Lets face it, apparently mice and I share the same taste in crackers, and many people find my appearance scary.

Surely if I were half mouse, I should feel some kinship and not be pouring poison down mouse holes? Well, that's the human in me, and our murderous behaviour towards those who aren't identical in beliefs, appearance, personality or ability to ourselves.

It's late, and I think I should trim my whiskers. I also need cheese. Just remember kids, I won't have nightmares.