Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Well, my inquisitive young tadpole,"

said the head cheese (smart gel) to the neurocognitist in Starfish by Peter Watts (which was the January selection for my book group~so you can see how caught up i am on my over-towering-about-to-topple book pile.) You have to be crazy to be a Rifter (someone who lives in the Channer Vent of Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the deep blue sea~and if you weren't already crazy that constant pinging noise as well as the darkness would surely put you there soon.) I'm really not trying to be clever here (though i have been known to do that from time to time)~those chosen to undergo the necessary surgeries and bio~adaptations to live under the sea are victims of various physical and psychological abuses as well as a few general sociopaths thrown in for good measure because those are the temperaments considered pre-adapted for the type of work required of those stationed on Beebe (named for William Beebe, who in the 1930s claimed to have spotted a seven-foot seadragon)~those stationed there are often sentenced to the work as opposed to less savory options and they end up preferring it there.

"the night is my companion and solitude my guide, would i spend forever here and not be satisfied, and i would be the one to hold you down...

into this night i wander, it's morning that i dread, another day of knowing of the path i fear to tread, oh into the sea of waking dreams..."

~Sarah McLachlan Possession*

As you might imagine Starfish is peopled with some very interesting characters, some of them actually likable. It is hard sci-fi, and as such i struggled with some of the material (like things seemed to be left unsaid which i really wanted to be said~and i don't like to consider myself dumb, but sometimes i have to give into it :() Even though it goes to the root of why i used to not be a (HUGE) fan of sci-fi, i still found the book an enjoyable, thought-provoking (quite) read, and would very much recommend it. If you found that contradictory i guess you'll just have to live with it;).

*this is the song that Watts recommends as Starfish's theme song, and that you play it in a dark room fully cranked to prepare yourself for reading the book~perhaps that is what i was missing~that or sleeping for a bit at the bottom of the sea...(that actually does sound a bit soothing)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Actually, there are a few stupid questions...

sometimes, i suppose, it depends on the questioner; sometimes it depends on the phrasing; and sometimes, yes, it's just the question. And those stupid questions just keep coming no matter where you are (not that i ever expected them to stop~and what kind of stories would i have to tell without them?)
So, right after i got to work yesterday, a woman came up to the desk to ask for help with her computer. She had a floppy disk in her hand and said her son had part of his school report on it and she was having trouble accessing it. My fellow librarian asked me to help her because i am somehow always the default computer expert seemingly no matter where i am, so i walked to the computer area with slight trepidation because the library's computers tend to be fussy with floppies. When we got to the computer her son was on she asked him if he had pulled the report up yet, which i found a little odd since she still had the disk in her hand. At that point i gently took the disk from her and said, "Okay. First, we need to put the disk into the computer, like this."
I inserted the disk.
The little light bulb went off above her head, "Ohhhhh."
"Then we pull up the file."
Problem solved. (And i was left to wonder how her son's report got on there in the first place.)
Sometimes i think the problem is me and my rather addled brain (She is too fond of books, and it has addled her brain ~Louisa May Alcott) perhaps my brain cells are occupied fighting this infection (or have already died in the effort?) but when a girl came up to the desk and asked for gorillas i had to repeat her query, and when i did she just confirmed that, indeed she was asking for the primates (which we don't house in my small, quiet library~they just wouldn't fit in.) Now it did dawn on me (rather slowly in my compromised state) that she wasn't asking for the animals but she was offering no media form, i had to inquire "Did you want Books on gorillas?"
"Yes" (why, yes of course, you dim-witted librarian)
Why does everyone seem to speak exclusively in nouns nowadays?
And why do they often seem compelled to ask "Oh, really???" when i tell them something perfectly reasonable like, "You may return your books over there in that slot that reads 'RETURN MATERIALS HERE'," as if i have the time and inclination to think up such a witty joke?
And is it just me, or is it incredibly forward to ask me for one of the two Hershey's kisses that is sitting by My computer at My desk when you are a perfect stranger who i am just happening to help with a reference question?
And why do people so often ask if i KNOW if we have any bathrooms as if i've never considered the question before?
And now comes the girl who put the music cd into one of our PCs (whose sound card has been disabled and Does not download songs) and claims that it listed all the songs on it then when she looked again all the songs were gone. When she brilliantly reinserted it the cd magically disappeared (not became stuck, mind you, because i checked and the drive was empty) but she was sure she put the cd in there. So this PC eats songs and cds but otherwise functions completely normally, cool huh?
By the by, in case anyone was wondering, i am love, love, loving my new job (well technically it's not so much a new job~just a different library~but it feels like a whole new job) It's a lovely, small, quiet library where i often work independently (which somehow feels differently than being abandoned at the reference desk, although it still adds up to being alone). Fortunately for me (however unfortunate for my tales) there also seems to be a slight absence of the raging hormonal teens so prevalent in my last library. When i voice opinions or library philosophies i am listened to and respected as if i have intelligence and experience (maybe that was missing before? maybe my first impressions are better than getting to know me~there's a scary thought) Anyway i'm happy, energized, and working very hard.
However it may be time to cut the hair, or tie it back into a stereotypical bun because after our collection management meeting the other day one of the library managers asked me how i was liking my new library and how it had surprised her to see my name on the list of those librarians to be transferred because i looked like i was fresh out of library school to which she added i looked as if i was twelve years old (was that supposed to be complimentary???). Then when our associate director stopped by the library she said she liked my pigtails, that it made me look "like a youngster" to which my manager added "she is a youngster" (which was supposed to be complimentary). But i like my braids, it makes my unruly hair so manageable!
I was removed from the pagan writers' webring because my content wasn't appropriate (funny how, now that i received that notice, their widget started appearing on my site~ironic in a non-Alanis way) it begs the question~how was the content inappropriate? They said you can be any kind of writer. Was it my failure to mention how i observed Imbolic (Candlemas, Groundhog Day) on February 2 (and i did observe it)? Is it my agnostic leanings? Obviously i'm not all-pagan, all the time~that's just not my life, but i do feel rejected and discriminated against~boo hoo. Oh well, i'm just curious as to what happened there (or maybe it's a stupid question?)
And in other news, the cats have been extra affectionate of late, most especially Miss Demetra. Do you think cats read blogs?

Monday, February 19, 2007

looking for love in all the wrong places

so, i had a minor epiphany today:
i think.
it might have been the continuing misery of this sinus-infection/digestinal-flu/cold/black plague thing that i have been forced to endure
it might have been the lack of sleep related to the above
it might have been the chemical imbalance of the rampaging cold-related remedies i have been ingesting, combined with the fact that my regular pharmaceutical regime has fallen a bit off-track of late
an indication of my commitmentphobic tendencies
it could just be my own lack of sanity
As i was, in my state of misery, seeking comfort of the furry, purry variety, following my youngest cat, Demetra (i Have mentioned my three cats before, right~just checking) around, begging for just a little affection, when a question suddenly occurred to me (no, Not how many commas can i insert into this sentence, but:)
What, exactly does it mean, that i am desperately trailing the one currently, emotionally unavailable feline around pleading, "Love me, Love me, Please, Baby, Love Me," when there are two, even fluffier, emotionally Available felines just waiting for me to pick them up???
Well it could mean so many things.
but it is very interesting nonetheless

like i really need another reason...

...to sit on my ass and stare mindlessly at the evil black box, but why has no one told me about the marvelousness that is Beauty and the Geek before now?
Of course, i've heard of the show, but seeing as how it is produced by none other than Ashton Kutcher who has given us such a "gem" in Punk'd, i hadn't paid it much mind (not a big fan here.) I thought that Average Joe was also Ashton's brainchild (though i can find no confirmation of that fact.) I had somehow conceived of Beauty and the Geek as some kind of Average Joe permutation. In actuality, BatG bears little resemblance to that rather failed morality tale (which, i must shamefully admit, was one of the only reality dating shows i have ever fallen prey to, tho apparently there was a fabled fourth season in which the Fair Maiden actually picked the Average Joe over the Beefcake that i must have missed~i'm not sure i believe it even exists) though it does fall quite squarely and fairly into the whole muddled melee that is "reality television".
So MTV was thoughtful enough to provide me with a nine-episode marathon introduction to this "ultimate social experiment" which i then DVRed (see how these cable companies just suck you in) and then spent hours upon hours hopped up on cold meds enthralled by this idea of transformation (which seems to be the key/theme word of ["Can beautiful women find confidence in more than just their looks? Can geeks gain the courage to come out from behind their books? Who Will Become More than just the Beauty and the Geek?"]~a show i am currently calling Attack of the Evil Blondes ~on a quick side note here~it's quite interesting how quickly it devolved among the "beauties" to blondes versus brunettes and also interesting that there were no redheads in the mix~perhaps we just always manage to be blessed with Beauty AND Brains? I mean you can sleep with a blonde, and you can sleep with a brunette, but you'll never get any sleep with a Redhead~take that however you want it)
So Mr. Ashton Kutcher, you and your production team had an interesting idea. And, as everyone knows reality t.v. is all about the editing, the editing here (or is it possible that maybe some actual transformation took place?) actually moved this sarcastic, cynical, rampaging librarian to, dare i say it, near tears colour me sentimental, if only for a moment. Yeah sure, there's trash, there's flash, there is pure theatricality, but i think it is actually kind of cool. I might even give up the idea of lecherous actor man for a geek of my own (or maybe i'm my own geek?)
And yes, Tori, spending "every minute of my freaking life learning and reading and stuff" really doesn't sound like a life all that ill spent.
but then again, there is t.v to be watched...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Well now, fine Mr. Fiennes, looks like you and i will have to have a serious little sit-down...

Here's something i might not have mentioned here before: one day i plan to marry Ralph Fiennes~now there are a few minor obstacles in that particular road~perhaps the largest of which is that i have never met the man, but what would life be without its challenges?

Now i realize that proclaiming a public figure you have yet to meet your future intended might sound just a touch insane or some may more kindly call it obsessive but i can assure you i do have my more obsessive and less sane tenancies firmly in check~in fact i rarely mention His Name~except to maybe now and again mention my intention to one day marry the man~hey if you want to call that an obsession or slightly crazy i guess i can’t stop you.

But now we are brought to another obstacle, perhaps major, perhaps minor, depending upon your perspective or your judgement of my relative sanity. A dear friend (who is much more up on Hollywood gossip than i was kind enough to forward me the tale of a poor little stewardess who told of a rather lustful and lecherous Mr. Fiennes who had the audacity to follow her into the plane lavatory and try to force himself upon her. To which her most logical and believable response was:

"Oh, why no sir, this is most inappropriate, i really must ask you to stop."

(this is, of course, how i would respond to such a situation~anyone who knows me~especially anyone who Knew me back in those hazy, crazy club kid days of my twenties~please remain silent)

After repeated protestations, the stewardess left the lavatory, followed by a disheveled Mr. Fiennes, observed by her colleagues.

This, of course, resulted in her dismissal.

Apparently, believe it or not, that wasn't quite what REALLY happened, after she had her initial taste of the media the stewardess came out with a bit of a different (and much, much longer) tale and here's that blow by blow (by blow by blow)~was she taking notes for what she was sure would be future publication???) i added a little extra linkage just to Fiennesse it up a bit.

Air stewardess: secrets of my five-mile high sex romp with Ralph Fiennes

By JO KNOWSLEY in Sydney

Last updated at 21:12pm on 17th February 2007

Qantas stewardess tells how she fell for Hollywood star in Seat 2K...and how after a mad, passionate fling he abandoned her to face the sack...

The attraction had been immediate and overwhelming from the moment they first made eye contact.

But as Qantas stewardess Lisa Robertson leaned over towards Hollywood star Ralph Fiennes to offer him a drink, she could not have imagined how the evening would unfold - or that she would end up in a passionate tryst with him in the aircraft lavatory.

When rumours first emerged that Ralph Fiennes joined the Five Mile High Club in the business-class lavatory on flight QF123 from Darwin to Bombay, Qantas issued a statement from Lisa vigorously denying the allegation.

But The Mail on Sunday can now reveal the truth about what happened that night - how the English actor had unsafe sex with the 38-year-old Australian stewardess on the flight and went on to seduce her in an evening of almost non-stop love-making at his lavish hotel in India.

Speaking for the first time, exclusively to The Mail on Sunday, Lisa, a former high-flying police officer, said: 'It's true. We did make love on the plane that night. At first I denied it because I was so desperate to keep my job and I didn't want to hurt Ralph.

'I know some people will think it's disgusting. And I'm not proud of what I did - it was inappropriate behaviour. But I don't regret it. Ralph is gorgeous and the chemistry between us was amazing. What woman wouldn't want to make love with him? This sort of attraction happens to people all the time. It's just not usually with a Hollywood star at 35,000 feet.

Although Lisa makes no bones about having been an enthusiastic participant in the unedifying episode and is clearly still thrilled to have attracted the attention of an international film star, it is hard not to see her also as his victim.

Despite her tall, trim figure, there is sadness in her eyes, highlighted by the medication she takes for depression since she left a tough front-line job as a detective with an elite New South Wales police drugs squad.

One can't help asking whether Ralph Fiennes didn't spot a vulnerable woman, use her, and then abandon her to face the sack from her job with Qantas.

Lisa recognised the 44-year-old star of films including The English Patient from the minute she went to his window seat 2K to offer him a selection of champagne, orange juice and water.

And she admits she was star-struck. He was dressed casually in beige chinos and a long-sleeved shirt, and as he quietly asked for a glass of water she gushed: 'Oh my God, it's you. I am such a fan of your films. I love your work. I've seen The English Patient 20 times.' She recaptured her composure and added: 'I'm so sorry. This is so unprofessional of me.'

Fiennes, however, looked relaxed and amused.

'He leaned forward, gazed deep into my eyes and stroked my arm as if to reassure me,' said Lisa. 'He whispered, 'It's OK. Anyway, I think you're gorgeous.'

She admits: 'I felt overwhelmed. I felt like you do when you're a teenager. My heart was pumping with excitement. We kept looking at each other and giggling. He was just so gorgeous. I noticed he had lovely soft skin, beautiful hands and wonderful eyes.
'I expected him to be aloof. But he was just so nice. He had a strange kind of vulnerability about him. For the rest of the evening, although I was working on the other side of the cabin, we kept looking at each other. He was watching me serve drinks, staring intensely. He didn't have a meal and drank only a couple of glasses of Shiraz.

'But every time I looked up I saw that he was watching me. We were seriously flirting across the cabin, which is not like me. I've served a lot of famous people, including Shane Warne and Ian Thorpe, and I'm not usually like that at work.'

Lisa, who is divorced, continued with her duties, serving the evening meal before the cabin lights dimmed. There were only 12 passengers in business class that night.

Then, as she was preparing to go on her break, Fiennes made an unexpected suggestion. Lisa said: 'We had chatted a bit about India - where I've been five times - and his movies.

'When I told him I was going for a break, he said, "I might come and visit you for a chat, if that's OK." I was a bit surprised, but also thrilled. I said, "Sure."'

Lisa admits she was smitten by the star, but says she did not make the first move and had no thought of what might happen next.

It was 11pm and most of the other passengers were asleep. Lisa retired behind the curtained crew area, next to the cockpit, took off her shoes and put her feet up. But moments later she was interrupted by Fiennes.

'I'm sorry, were you sleeping?, he said. 'No,' she replied. 'Come in and take a seat.'

Lisa is not proud of what happened next, but she found Fiennes 'irresistible'. 'At first we just chatted,' she said. 'He sat really close to me. He told me he was learning lines for a new movie with Colin Farrell, playing the part of a gangster. He said he was practising his cockney accent.

'I asked him to give me an example. He did and it was really good. I told him again that The English Patient was just the best movie, but he said, 'That was over ten years ago. Why don't people value my later work?'

'I apologised and said I didn't mean to offend him. I guess we talked for about an hour about lots of different things. He thought it was funny that I lived alone with my dog, a Lhasa Apso-poodle cross called Finn.'

Fiennes told Lisa he was touring Indian villages for Unicef to talk about AIDS awareness. He asked what she would be doing in Bombay, where she was staying, and said, 'Do you want to meet up?'

Stunned and deeply flattered, Lisa said: 'Yeah. That would be cool.'

By this point they were sitting so close their faces were just inches apart. Lisa said: 'He held my hands. Then he started kissing me. The kissing was very passionate and his hands were all over me. I just melted.

'He was caressing my neck, holding my head and he started undoing the buttons on my dress. The way he was going, he would have made love to me right there.

'I was very turned on and so was he. I had butterflies in my stomach. I was touching his face and his hair. He had beautiful skin. I was undoing his shirt as well. It was a bit surreal, like a scene from one of his movies.

'But I was afraid my supervisor might pull back the curtain and catch us. Eventually, I couldn't bear it any longer. I just grabbed his hand and said, "Come in here a minute."

'By this time, we had half our clothes off and I didn't care about anything. I led him into the cabin lavatory next to where we had been sitting and locked the door.

'Ralph was a great lover. And I thought if I was going to get the sack, it would be worth it. I knew it was against the rules and wrong but I didn't care.

'I was a bit shocked that he didn't wear a condom. Looking back, I think of it as dangerous behaviour and
hypocritical given that he was going to India to talk about AIDS.

'He asked me, "Have you ever done this before?". I said, "No, never." I asked him the same question and he said, "No."

'The only strange thing was that he kept his eyes open the whole time, staring at me intensely, although we were kissing madly.
'I realised that people would miss me and wonder where I was as my break was almost over. I told him we had to get out of there quickly.

'I helped him get dressed and he told me that when he got out of the toilet he would press his call button to distract the other flight attendants so that I could leave.

'But a male member of staff saw Ralph come out of the toilet and he saw me lock the door after Ralph. When I came out, the member of staff was still there. I prepared to get back to work but the cabin manager wanted a word with me. She asked, "Did you go into the toilet with a male passenger?"

'I said, "No." But she said three people saw me do it. She told me I had crossed the line and that she was going to report me when we got back to Sydney.

'Ralph called me over and asked, "Is everything all right?" I told him, "No,"and sat down next to him. He was very concerned, but I downplayed it and said I would sort it out.

'I knew I was in big trouble. I was ordered to spend the rest of the flight working in economy and I was the talk of the other cabin crew. I was able to talk to Ralph again to reassure him that everything was fine. I wanted to see him again in Bombay. I didn't want him to freak out and not call me.'

Even now, almost a month after the incident on January 24, Lisa still seems to find the events surreal. She claims her behaviour was out of character but says: 'I just had no control over myself. I wanted him so much. I couldn't resist him.'

She has had only one other liaison with a man she met while working on a flight - an American with whom she had dinner and later spent a weekend in New York.

'But that was very much out of office hours,' she said. 'Men travelling business class are always coming on to me. They invite me to go for weekends away to lavish locations and nice hotels and give me their cards. But I usually just throw them away.'

Lisa had a sheltered upbringing with her two brothers in the town of Wagga Wagga near Sydney. Her father Graham, a butcher, and her mother Sandra were so protective that she did not have her first sexual relationship until the age of 20 when she went to the New South Wales police academy.

Lisa recalled: 'My mother had cancer when I was 11. She survived but it was traumatic. I never really had time for boys. I was the only girl in the middle of two brothers and I had a lot of responsibility.'

She also had low self-esteem. 'My brothers teased me about being flat-chested, so I've had breast implants. They said I was skinny and gawky. And I hated being 5ft 9in tall. I never felt attractive.'

She married a fellow police officer, John Duncan, and had a high-flying career in undercover drug work and hostage negotiation.

After 14 years her police service ended due to her suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. And her marriage did not survive.

Indeed, she seems wary of men, saying she has been repeatedly exploited by them. 'So many treat you badly,' she said. 'They're just after sex. They're losers.' Ironically, she thought Fiennes was 'so sensitive, so different'.

Only now has Lisa begun to wonder. She has seen last week's reports claiming that he has been dumped by his girlfriend of five months, interior designer Sirin Lewenden, because of his wandering eye, mood swings and constant demands for sex. Their romance began after he split from his long-term partner, actress Francesca Annis.

On flight QF123, however, Fiennes seemed to Lisa an impossibly exotic lover, very different from the men she usually encounters. And while she says she never expected a romance, she didn't hesitate in saying yes when he asked her if he could meet her at his Bombay hotel.

Brimming with anticipation, Lisa stood next to Fiennes before he left the plane so they could talk. 'He was wearing a funny old white hat and a Kathmandu backpack, which made him look very eccentric,' she said.

'I gave him my mobile number and he repeatedly said he would call me. I was sad to see him go. I just wanted to go with him.'

Lisa had been at her hotel - the Grand Hyatt - for only about half an hour when Fiennes called her. He was on his way to his hotel, the Intercontinental, and wanted her to come over.

Lisa said: 'I had a shower, put on a little floral sun dress and my flip-flops. I put on minimum make-up and had a glass of Sauvignon blanc because I was a bit nervous.'

At the Intercontinental she found Fiennes was checked in, under his own name, to room 663, a lavish corner suite on the sixth floor. After calling the room, she was escorted up by security guards.

She said: 'Ralph opened the door with just a white towel around his waist. He said, 'Hi, how are you darling? Come in, I'm just having a bath. Make yourself a drink.'

'He dropped the towel and was wandering around naked. I was laughing, I thought it was hilarious. But I wander around naked a lot at home, so it didn't bother me. He had quite a nice body. It's obvious he's not a gym work-out kind of guy. For a man he's got quite a slender body, but I was attracted to him. It was a luxurious room - better than where I was staying. There was a bottle of red wine with a note on it saying, Welcome Mr Fiennes. I was like a kid in a sweet shop.

'He changed into a casual blue shirt and chinos and asked if I would like to have dinner with him. He'd heard there was a lovely restaurant on the roof. I said that would be great. I'd thought he would just keep me in the room, make love to me and throw me out.

'But it surprised me that he was a gentleman and he was treating this meeting like a real date.

'I wasn't particularly hungry and he doesn't eat much, so we just had snacks and ordered drinks. He had a Martini. There was a pool and the people around it recognised Ralph. He held my hand and had his arm around me, as if I was his girlfriend.

'He had been in Sydney performing a Beckett play and started to recite bits to me. He asked if I'd seen it. I told him it wasn't my kind of thing. I found that part of the date a bit boring.

'He didn't mention he had a girlfriend. I said I knew he went out with a famous actress, Francesca Annis, and that they'd broken up. He said, 'Yeah, it's been a bad year.'

'From his look of sadness and vulnerability, I guessed he was still in love with her. It was obvious that he was single and struggling with it.

'We had a couple more drinks. I spoke to him about The English Patient and asked him to say that line, 'It's a really plum plum' when the nurse is feeding his character the fruit. He did and I was thrilled. We went back to his room and I suggested we crack open the bottle of red. I poured us a glass each. He put on a DVD - Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels - which he said he was watching for research.

'I sat on the end of the bed. He came over, put his wine by the bed, threw off the top sheet and took off his clothes. I undressed at the same time. There was no conversation and in no time we were kissing and right into it.'

According to Lisa, they made love twice more through the evening - once in the middle of the night. But he told her, before they went back to sleep: 'I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to kick you out in the morning. I've got a lot of calls to make and things to do.'
Lisa said: -I felt fine about that. I understood but I was disappointed.

'I wasn't under any illusions that this would be the start of a romance. He is an upper-class Englishman and I knew it would be just about sex. But I thought we could keep a friendship and that we might make love when he visited Sydney.'

Lisa was woken at 7am by the sound of a mobile phone ringing, followed by Ralph talking. She said: 'He was sitting at the end of the bed. When the call ended he turned around and started kissing and cuddling me. We made love for about 20 minutes. It was excellent, really nice.

'But then he said, 'I'm going to have to kick you out now.' Just before I got out of bed, he said in a sincere, gentle voice, 'Lisa, I really like you.'

'I didn't even have a shower. I just went into the bathroom, tied my hair back and put on my flip-flops. He said, 'See you on the next Qantas flight,' to which I said, 'You will never fly Qantas again.' And he said, 'Oh yes I will.'

'He walked me to the door and kissed me and said, 'Goodbye, darling.' The casual way he said it was like he would see me next week.

'I had mixed feelings as the door closed behind me. I hoped he would call me again. I understood he had Unicef commitments but I was going to be in Bombay for two days, so I hoped he would find time to squeeze me in for another quick love-making session - or even a phone call. When he didn't call I realised I had to get over it. He was never going to.'

Lisa met her flight crew for drinks and confided in one friend, a pilot, what had happened. But she was horrified to learn that everyone seemed to have heard her making love with Fiennes in the lavatory. She says some of the girls were envious and giggled, saying: 'I wish it had been me.'
But Lisa knew her supervisor had reported her. 'I knew I was in big trouble,' she said. On January 26 she flew back to Sydney, where she was told by her management company, airline services contractor Morris Alexander Management, that she had been suspended without pay pending a disciplinary hearing.

On the advice of a lawyer she tried to make contact with Fiennes, leaving an urgent message at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, which had been behind his Beckett performances in Sydney. Within a few hours he called.

Lisa said: 'I told him I was in a lot of trouble and that I had been suspended from work. There was silence at the other end. I told him people had seen us leaving the toilet, but all he said was, 'Nothing happened.' He kept saying, 'We weren't in the toilet.' I told him I couldn't deny it. I said I had to answer the allegation.

Fiennes' reply, when it came, shocked Lisa to the core. She said: 'It was clear he was turning his back on me. He said, 'We don't know each other very well. I'm very sorry, I can't get involved. I can't help you.'

'I was desperate and suggested we said I was doing something like helping him with a contact lens. But he wouldn't agree.

'Then he told me, I've been scarred by an incident about a year ago when my life was dragged through the tabloids. My whole relationship was destroyed. It's ruined my life. You're just a hostess and you don't even like your job. You're not happy in your job. You can get another job.'

'I felt humiliated. It was like talking to a different person. He made me feel like a low-life, like I was asking him for money or something. Then he said, 'Let's have no further phone contact. I'll call you in a month's time, just to show you I'm a human being.' I was stunned.

'I told him, 'You're right. In the big scheme of things, it's not that important. It's just a job. If I do lose my job, it was worth it.'

'I ended the conversation on good terms, but I was angry and disappointed at his attitude and uncaring lack of support and sympathy.

I expected him to take some responsibility for our problem which suddenly became my problem.

'I thought about resigning to protect him. I felt sorry for him because of the speech he made about what he'd been through with the British papers. But I was frightened, I was depressed, I felt completely alone and I had no support.'

The betrayal evoked bitter memories of Lisa's troubled past. On leaving the police, she sued the force for lack of care over her mental health problems, but lost the case and was driven into bankruptcy.

She briefly studied law at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. Then she met a stewardess and thought the job sounded fun. But the hard work and long hours did nothing to ease her depression, for which she still takes medication.

Now, after her fling with Fiennes, she is alone and faces losing her job. Her family have been critical of her and over the past week, since the story first emerged, their communication has been punctuated by fierce rows.

Now Lisa is even more wary of men. 'I've never been lucky in love,' she said. 'I just choose the wrong people. My last relationship, with an Italian flight steward, ended in June.'

Yet bizarrely she insists that, given the chance, she would make love to Fiennes in the lavatory again. 'It must sound crazy,' she said, 'but I wouldn't miss that experience for anything.'

She has convinced herself that Fiennes did care for her, however briefly, and that 'the experience was a lot more than just about sex'.

Does she feel used? 'No,' she insisted. 'We were both fantastically attracted to each other. I am sure he cared about me.

But she pauses, twisting a ring on her finger, as if for the first time considering the more brutal alternatives. 'Then again, she said, he is a very good actor.'

And she concedes that she was stung by his failure to support her story about the contact lens. It was a lie that might have helped her keep her job. 'I am upset by his betrayal,' she said. 'He is a millionaire movie star and I'm a struggling air hostess on £12,000 a year. I have financial problems and nothing to fall back on.

'He could have written a letter giving a version of events which the airline would have been forced to accept.

'What will I do now? Who knows? But I will bounce back. I always do. Maybe I'll finally take some time out to find out what I want and who I am. I should have done that years ago.'

Oh poor, poor Lisa the sky hostess, seduced and abandoned. And she thought she knew him so well...

Now is there anything to be said about that? Did anyone besides me manage to get through the entire text (did anyone besides me care to)? She certainly got a great deal of mileage out of that one. And is it just a british thing to call [something that is clearly not making love] "making love"? How do you get to be 38 years old and still not get it when you're getting it? And did she really expect him to call her let alone come to her rescue like a knight in shining armour? Sex is just Sex baby. Sometimes being unlucky in love (over and over again) equals being stupid in things that are not love. Okay, maybe enough snarkyness from me for the moment.

And how might i behave differently given the circumstances? (well given i am not a stewardess~i would probably not be fired for such an offense) but otherwise i might just keep my mouth shut as it does not shed the best of light on either party. Secondly, i am not quite as star-struck as dear Lisa (and i doubt its the whole two years of age i have on her) i've met a fair number of stars and i certainly wouldn't GUSH over and over again about the film i saw twenty times.

(Personally i fell in love with the ACTING talent of Mr. Fiennes displayed first for a mass audience in his phenominal potrayal of Amon Goth (a true man of evil~and Ralph should have won that best supporting Oscar he was nominated for, damnit!) in Schindler's List and not the rather over-hyped and over-mentioned The English Patient, though of course i own every film he has made, i would NEVER request that he repeat the lines for me, however i would appreciatively listen to something he wanted to recite to me or whatever he was interested in at the moment~tho I never found Becket boring... okay verging on absessive and insane~back to reality...)

In all fairness to my man i must include his side of the story through the official statement of his publicist:

'Ralph Fiennes 'seduced by stewardess'

SYDNEY: British actor RALPH FIENNES was seduced by an Australian flight attendant who acted as a "sexual aggressor" during a long-haul flight to India.

The statement contradicted the version of events put forward by Qantas stewardess LISA ROBERTSON, who said that Fiennes had become amorous with the 38-year-old blonde after pursuing her into a business-class toilet cubicle.

"She initiated the encounter," the actor's publicist SARA KEENE said. "This woman seduced him on a plane. She was the sexual aggressor.

"Yet she said in her official statement (to Qantas) that he had initiated it... and virtually accused him of forcing himself upon her."

"Of course he could have said no. The point I am making is that she initiated it. He didn't force himself upon her." Robertson was suspended from duty after colleagues complained about her behaviour during the January 30 flight from Darwin to Mumbai.

In her defence, Robertson told her employer that the 44-year-old movie star had become "amorous" after the pair chatted together and that he had followed her into the toilet."I explained to him that this was inappropriate and asked him to leave. Mr Fiennes became amorous towards me and, after a short period of time, I convinced him to leave the toilet, which he did," she said.

Keene refused to comment further on what had taken place between Fiennes, the star of The English Patient and Schindler's List, and the air stewardess."I never comment on his personal life. I wouldn't comment on his actions," she said.Fiennes is currently in Belgium to shoot a movie with COLIN FARRELL and has refused to speak to the media about the mile-high scandal.

So there you go.

I got onto the internet today intending to research sinus infections because i think there's a possibility i may have one. Yes, i'm sick again, this one came on sudden and ugly and i was hoping it would leave suddenly too~so far no luck. I have discovered tho that dropping a tablet of Airborne® into the excessively (my ex-boyfriend says it tastes like hot lemonade i say hot salted BITTER~and not in a good way~lemonade) nasty-tasting TheraFlu® does mitagate the taste somewhat.

okay, so i drifted off on a tangent there but, instead of discovering the answer to this question of sinus infection i got ensnared in this sex scandal, so when my mom called to inquire about my health i had to relate the story to her, and after reminding her who Mr. Fiennes was (she not being a big film fan) and debating the whole he said/she said thing i asked if she didn't agree with me that it was rather unseemly behavior for my future husband (well, actually, my VERY conservative, very, christian mother thought a great deal less of it than that). And, as i was wondering why i find myself getting into these type of conversations with my mother to begin with, there was also this little insane, obsessive voice in the back of my head begging the question "What about when i do bring Ralph home and my mother says, 'Now What was the deal with that stewardess..."

Now i know we all have needs to be met (trust me~i'm definitely not one to be throwing any stones) and there isn't any ring on your finger (YET) but you know, Ralphie boy, you and i really must do some chatting about your public image if nothing else and how a little bit of discretion can go a long way (tho i really wouldn't want to scare you away too soon.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"You can't listen too much to anything anyone says in bed."

In Margarettown Gabrielle Zevin writes with a vaguely Nabokovian flavour that i can't quite place (i'm thinking maybe an earlier King, Queen, Knave Nabokov not an accomplished Lolita voice, but Nobovovian, nonetheless) but i know i absolutely love. Margaret M. Towne (Maggie for short) comes from a town in upstate New York called Margerttown (oddly enough, an ex-boyfriend of mine came from a town in upstate New York called Margaretteville...anyway...) where she lives in a house called Margaron with her family: Old Margaret, Marge, Mia, and May. Needless to say, nothing in this world is quite like any place else.
But before you go getting any ideas, Margarettown is a love story, and an exquisitely told love story at that. It's a true fairy tale. A fairy tale about the nature of love, about the many women inside every woman. And the women that we leave behind when we grow out of them. About how our lovers can never seem to love all of those women (usually they can only love just one of them). And how that is almost always the downfall of love. Or ourselves. And about how history tends to almost always repeat itself.
Do i really need to tell you that i loved this novel? That i loved all the plays on words? All the plays on names? Plus it's an extremely quick read.
Go forth. Read.
I'll just leave you with this closing thought: "...love is usually finite, but still worthwhile for as long as it lasts."
the rest, as they say, is just stuff and nonsense.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

who could ask for anything more?

You are Rupert Giles, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

take this quiz

*brought to you by Quizilla

well i guess i could ask for a little more (like i don't consider myself all that old-fashioned ~does boho hippie count?~, but, oh well, i'm not terribly easy to please now, either, am i?)

(one can always ask for more...)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I am alive in this world

and that alone is a force to be reckoned with

a force unknown






and i will be here for a very, very long time

to fight

to laugh

to create

to have



can you imagine







Did you ever see it coming????

Embrace me

i am here

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

would you erase your memory to escape the pain?

I was watching Boston Legal the other night, and they had a case involving a sixteen-year-old girl whose father wanted her to take a new experimental drug being used to erase the memory of traumatic events shortly after they occur~because she had been sexually assaulted by the very rabbi who was counseling her for her seeming sexual dysfunction~(actually, the drug itself (propranolol) isn't new~in fact, it's one i used to take as a migraine preventative{i think, if memory serves...actually i do remember that i took this particular beta blocker but i don't remember having any memory problems with it}~just this particular use of it is). I suppose the point is that if you take propranolol within a short enough after the occurrence of a traumatic event it will block the adrenaline and other stress hormones that tend to burn that traumatic memory into the brain and cause nasty things like Post-Traumatic-Stress -Disorder (which of course is something that you want to avoid~but how do you know that you are going to develop it~not everyone does~i haven't).
The idea of erasing nasty memories is nothing new~it's been addressed in countless stories and films (not the least of which is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind~great flick by the by) with varying degrees of endorsement and success~the major difference of course is that this is Real Life.
I tend to cling to my memories as i do my possessions~perhaps it is unwise. But i love all experience and they all make me who i am. Everything i have done, everyone i have met, everything i have gone through, has made me who i am. I am a sum of it all. And i fear losing it. Sometimes, as i feel the twists and turns my own mind makes of my memories, as i feel the fictions it creates of its own accord, i feel the pain of memory loss as if it were a physical amputation.
But that's just me.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

*Whateverism or "How can you understand something you don't believe in?"

"In the beginning was the Ocean. And the Ocean was Alone."
. . . "The Ocean created Land, so that it did not always have to be with itself."
. . . "And the Ocean became concerned.
Jason is a fifteen-year old agnostic-leaning-toward-atheist (and, as i like to continually stress, there IS a difference AND agnostics do not go around Wondering/Wandering in the dark about the existence of god they believe that one cannot know!) In Godless by Pete Hautman rather haphazardly and inadvertently (but brilliantly) creates his own religion, when he is punched-out and, in a daze, lying flat on his back, stares up at the silver belly of the town's life giving water tower.
Jason makes his friend Shin the official scribe of their new religion, and eventually they gather a few more unlikely followers to the "Church of the Ten Legged God" or Chutengodianism as the faith comes to be known (once it begins to take on a life of its own). Once it does take on its own life, some of the followers begin to take the church TOO seriously and protestant offshoots even develop. Jason, of course, has no control, although the silly adults, who understand very little of the world or religious ideas themselves (being just following-sheep in their own right), think he is the instigating leader of it all, and want him to halt the whole out-of-control thing.
Much food for thought in this excellent book~If you don't listen to the voices in your head, just Who DO you listen to?
and *whateverism should be MY religion since that is one of my favorite resort-to words.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Pack em Up and Move em Out"

is a catchy little tune from an old Strawberry Shortcake movie that my little sister absolutely loved and used to watch over and over and over again (among other Strawberry Shortcake cartoons~she was a Shortcake fanatic that one) until i (accidentally, mind you) recorded over her tape with some Days of Our Lives episodes (yes, that addiction is twenty-five years old~thank you very much). My sister still remembers this~nor will she ever let me forget it (tho she does not remember the cartoons i erased~perhaps my penance is the fact that whenever i am moving, putting things into boxes, or in any way starting a new kind of venture i can't get that damn song out of my head~tho i must admit, i do kind of like it...)
Which brings me to the subject of today's post: i've been assigned to another library. Imagine that.
I was late on my very first day of work because Demetra, dear that she is, decided to somehow get herself stuck in the basement wall (something my mother claims is impossible because it is a solid concrete wall and i claim is possible just by the very fact that she did it). I fed the cats this morning, the sound of which usually brings all three running, but didn't (should have clued me into something, but didn't) Then, just before i'm to leave for work, i hear i big crashing noise from the basement; i do a quick head count and start calling for the littlest brat. When she makes no appearance, i venture into the deepest dark, see ceiling tiles on the floor and hear feline cries from above and beyond.
So i crawl atop the perilously stacked piles of stuff and call her name, locate her inside "the solid concrete wall" (just her tiny head and paws are visible) and try to coax her out. She just cries piteously. So i try to help her. This provokes hisses. Eventually she moves further back which leads me to the conclusion that she is not horribly broken and is just trying to ruin my "first day impression". So i decide to go to work and check back on her on my lunch hour (which of course leaves me with periodic guilt pangs throughout the day).
I go home on my lunch hour and there is no black and white cat to greet me, just more crying from the basement. Once i find a stool to try and extricate her she decides to remove herself, after who-knows-how-many hours and for what. I must of course cut my hour short because i was late at the beginning of the day. She is very hungry because she's been hanging out in the wall all day (somehow she seems to act like this is my fault). She appears entirely uninjured. And so it goes... just a little feline interlude for the first day at the new job.
So, here, i am, in my new, smaller, closer to home, (further from any junior-high-school) oddly quiet library, alone at the reference desk (hmmm... somehow that feels a bit familiar...) wondering what to do with myself (well, not really...)
it all feels...
just a bit...eerie... really