I'd rather be burlesquing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Just one of the signs that you may be missing a cog

So, the reason that I am, as one of Jason's co-workers kindly put it, "thick", has nothing to do with the fact that I somehow managed to get my headphones caught in my hair barrett while waiting for security to open the office door today.

It also has NOTHING to do with the fact that I thought that Mary Shelly was one Jack the Ripper's victims.

Nope, the reason that I'm considered a tad dim has everything to do with my current banking practices.

I can get a bit paranoid about my bank account from time-to-time. I have known of several people here who have suffered the nuisance of identity theft, and it seems to happen quite frequently here. As a result, I quite possibly watch my on-line bank account a tad too closely.

Just imagine my shock and horror when I noticed a £50 charge to Marks and Spencer yesterday. I nearly choked on my instant coffee. £50! I can barely afford their bread, let alone £50 worth of delicious M&S goodies.

In my defense, I am a bit exciteable, so when my co-worker instructed me in a very concerned voice that I should contact the bank immediately, my panic reached fever pitch.

As I dialed my bank, visions of faceless people buying small appliances and George Forman Grills with my money flashed through my mind. They were renovating their kitchens with my money.

The bank staff turned out to be extremely helpful, and after asking me SEVERAL TIMES if I had recently shopped at M&S (I had, infact, but not to the tune of £50), they agreed to block my account. Satisfied, I cut up my card.

At this point, I inquired as to how to get my stolen money back. The woman asked again, "have you shopped at Mark's?" I knew the drill - I had indeed. And then came the crucial, 50-point question:


The images of me getting £40 cash back, and having to show my passport so that they would agree to it, all cam flooding back. Like a bad dream.

As a result, I now have no bank card until Thursday, and let's just hope that it actually arrives, or it's going to be no Canadian Maple Syrup for Shanny.

I think it's officially time to hire a little man who can watch over me all day to ensure that I don't do STUPID THINGS.

But first, I'll have to wait for my bank card.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Until my return...

The leaves are beginning to turn many shades of golden here in London, heralding the end of the summer...and the beginning of the season where Shanny gets to wear scarves. Oh, how I adore autumn.

It's been busy over here at Shannyville, and oh, the secrets to tell. Whispers of lush green sheep-y fields, concert t-shirts, a town built with books...so much to say.

I will be returning to Canadia for two weeks on Friday, and the tales will have to wait until my return. But don't worry - I shall return; there's still an entire year left in this adventure.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The other day, my pal Rena discovered the perfect definition for me - or rather - for what I do.

1. Inference or judgment based on inconclusive or incomplete evidence; guesswork.
2. A statement, opinion, or conclusion based on guesswork: The commentators made various conjectures about the outcome of the next election.

You see, I have this nagging habit of skimming things. Only reading (or vaguely over-hearing) the bits that I find interesting, and then sewing them back together however I see fit.

In my world, Mary Shelly was one of the victims of Jack the Ripper. Cucumber peels are poisonous. The London Bridge fell because they had built too many houses on it.

Personally, I think my version of the world is more interesting.

My dear, sweet, friends have come to accept this as a part of me, and tolerate it. They may question everything I say now, but they still sit and listen intently as I tell grand stories of deceit and debauchery, tying together the main headlines from the Evening Standard, the Weekly World News and the Guardian into one neat bundle.

However, despite their patience, sometimes I require an interpreter.

Enter Jason. He has developed the nack for retelling

Just imagine my surprise when Jason exclaimed in shock this morning that one of the victims of the recent plane crash was found buried alive in a sand trap.

I paused for a moment, and informed him proudly that he had just conjectured.

Friday, August 12, 2005

una cerveza por favor

I should be in Madrid right now.

Well, technically, I may have been eating peanut-like snacks on a plane somewhere over the North Atlantic, or at the very least drinking overpriced coffee in the departure lounge. In any case, at some point today, I was supposed to be in Madrid.

Unfortunately, shit happens. While I am upset that instead of sipping a margarita in 35 degree heat, I am sipping instant coffee and basking in monitor radiation; it would really suck to get sacked for standing up for your rights. I also admire the bravery of the hundreds of BA employees who walked off the job in a show of solidarity. It takes guts to stand up to 70,000 sun-deprived Britons.

So, in light of recent events, and because as I always tell people, "when you get lemons, make some goddamn lemonade", I'm determined to turn my office into a Cabana for the duration of this lovely Friday.

I have decided to only answer questions in Spanish, which should prove quite interesting, seeing as the only thing I bothered to learn was "querio una cerveza".

The day should go something like this:

Co-worker: "Shanny, can you email Bob?"
Shanny: "I would like a beer"

Co-worker: "Shanny, I can't log in to my computer."
Shanny: "I would like a beer"

Co-worker: "Shanny, my printer won't print."
Shanny: "I would like a beer"

This should prove to be even more entertaining if anyone actually brings me una cerveza.

Welcome to Cabana Shanny. Enjoy your stay.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I have 30 cookies to give away to good homes

I attempted the cookies again last night.

It happens from time to time; I get an irresitible urge to bake something. I get so consumed with the prospect of sifting flour and cracking eggs that I actually forget that I can't bake. I get easily romanced by the idea of mindlessly drawing, accompanied by Sufjan Stevens and the soft smell of melting cookies wafting from the oven. A warm cookie feels like the perfect punctuation to the end of a lazy day. A warm home-baked cookie seems even better.

High on the prospect of cookies that would change my life, I set out. This time I was going to get it right. None of my past experiments with "close enough" ingredients, or approximate measurements. Dressed appropriately in my apple green 50's wrap skirt and vintage baby blue sweater, I was determined. I looked like June Cleaver, and dammit, I was going to bake like her too.

I returned, handbag brimming with flour and baking soda and butter. And started to bake.

Sadly, I wish I could go on, telling tales of cookies that would put Mrs. Cleaver to shame. Cookies that would encourage world peace and heal the ozone, but it was just not to be. I guesstimated the butter horribly, and once again, was too easily seduced by Galaxy chocolate and sticky cookie dough. By the time my cookies arrived from the oven, the sight of them made me want to retch.

Although not a total loss, the butter-to-cookie ratio is way off, and they just aren't doing it for me.

It's time to succumb to the simple fact that while I have my own talents, baking is not one of them. I will pass the torch to my friends who were born with a spatula in hand, and I will stick to doodling on post-it notes and making leg warmers out of old socks.

Thankfully, all hope is not lost. I will be returning to the homeland in mere weeks, and if I beg really hard, my mom just might bake me some cookies.