Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

The sort of secret blog of Beans, a.k.a. Jules, a.k.a. "Legs for Miles" a.k.a. "Rackie the Boob Queen." Fine, ok, not the last two. Starting July 2006, sometimes "Mike," aka "fagadoccio," is a co-poster on the blog. The co-poster child, really.

Monday, July 31, 2006

More Gutten Fever


Thank you for returning to the subject of Steve Guttenberg's bio, which it was irresponsible of me to gloss over in such a manner.

There are two important facts that you forgot to share, however, in returning to this brain-boggling quarry of hilarity.

1) "Fiercely dedicated to improving opportunities for the homeless and for young people, Guttenberg has created Guttenhouse, an apartment complex he has funded to accommodate young people after their graduation from foster child status..."


2) " [Steve Guttenberg] Spent a week volunteering at the Houston Astrodome after Hurricane Katrina hit."



PS I am currently writing a stage adaptation about Steve Guttenberg, aka Sargent Carey Mahoney of Police Academies 1-4 administering Parmalat in the 9th Ward.

Gutten Night and Gutten Luck

Jules is so far away, and yet our minds are still melded together like Johnny Tremain's deformed hand. Case in point: her post on Police Academy 4 led me to Steve Guttenberg's IMDB page, which is rich enough to deserve its own feature.

Lost in the ensuing decades of well-deserved mockery of Mr. Guttenberg is the fact that in his "Police Academy" and "Cocoon" heyday, he was quite the looker. Behold!

DAAAMMMMNN!!!! Not an ounce of body fat. It's entirely possible that he has a bracket installed just below his belly button to keep his bermuda shorts hung so precariously high, but let's not get picky. The guy was a stud. But any self-respecting celebro-holic with a lifetime subscription to Soap Opera Digest and a Tivo hard drive chock full of back "Access Hollywood" episodes can tell you the awful truth: for every ripped, vaguely-Jewish looking everyman actor who makes it, there are 175 of the same type waiting to spike his on-set iced tea pitcher with strictnine. And so, with the passage of time and the cooling of Mr. Guttenberg's red hot career, his flanks softened, his jowls lengthened, and his curly black mop went all Billy Crystal on us:

Now he looks like part of a Madame Tussaud's diorama of a Bar Mitzvah. Nevertheless, between his hot-ass youth and his normal-ass middle age, Steve Guttenburg has continued to work, dammit! For instance, he was:

Barry in "Mojave Phone Booth"
Nick in "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" and its sequel, "Meet the Santas"
Jimmy Zoole in "P.S. Your Cat is Dead"

and, my personal favorite, culled just as it's written on IMDB:

Winter Break (2003) (unconfirmed) .... Ted Harper
... aka Snow Job (USA)

Well, it's technically not magical

I was checking the ol' Site Meter for this blog today, and I noticed that someone had found it by Googling "Beans, the Magical Fruit."

Did someone hear a gigglepuss little kid chanting the bean chants?


Snot Nosed Kid: Beans, beans, good for the heart!

Snot Nosed Kid's Best Friend: The more you eat...


Concerned Dying Grown Up: Excuse me!

Snot Nosed Kids (eating Push Pops/Lick'em Stix): What, mister?

Concerned Dying Grown Up: I have acute aortal angina failure.


Snot Nosed Kid's Best Friend: VAGINA FAILURE!

Snot Nosed Kid: Your BAGINA failed!

Concerned Dying Grownup: No, children, I'm dying. My heart is crumpling like a paper bag.

Snot Nosed Kid burps, Best Friend drools blue sugar.

Concerned Grownup: I heard you just now incanting about a magical fruit, a special bean that is good for the heart? I should like to know more about its ameliorative properties, in the case that it may help me to extend the frail twine of my lifeline another day.



Snot Nosed Kid: POOP AIR LOL!!

Concerned Grown Up: I'm all too happy to suffer the side effects. The occasional toot is of no concern! HA! (Clutches chest.) Ouch! So where can I get these magical beans that are good for the heart?

Snot Nosed Kid kicks Dying Grownup in shin, Best Friend rifles his leveled body for change, Kids run off, the end.

Concerned Grown Up (struggling) : Thank You! Have a Good Day!

Kids (offstage): Bite my weenus, deadie!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's like a film festival curated by hateful apes

Last night, we watched Air Force One, because it was the only movie on Finnish television. It was...

Great. Harrison Ford makes a great president. The special effects, hand drawn in crayon on toilet paper by a one-eyed Rhesus monkey, were dazzling. The dialogue gave me cerebral palsy.

Tonight, amazingly, Finnish television, in all of its 4-channeled glory, has managed to drum up yet another shimmering capolavoro from the exhausting seabed of English-language cinema.

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) (I assure you the IMDB link is worth your while.)

The presence of Steve Gutenberg, whose existence is now a punchline, in Police Academy 4 (FOUR), actually makes my heart heavy with sadness, like a bindle full of dog poop.

Oh wait! Glancing at the TV Guide (or rather, TV-Maailman Arviot), I see that there's a movie on at 21:00. THE PRINCE OF TIDES. A movie in which the most disgusting thing is not the family that gets raped. The most disgusting thing is Barbara Streisand in frosted lipstick adjusting her 1991 shelf bangs while referring to "our lovemaking."

I'm going to go swimming with a piece of ham roped to my head, in the hopes that it will lure a hungry sea lion.

I'm almost curious, when I've been eaten by a sea lion, and they've pall-born a dummy to my cenotaph, what will you continue to broadcast, Finnish Television? Batman Forever? Too obvious. Home Fries? The Burbs? Drop Dead Fred? Perhaps Judge Dredd. It's actually sort of retardedly admirable.

Almost exactly like a chimp cowboy with his pants off.



The Lord created the world in 6 days, if I remember correctly, and then on the 7th, which was a Sunday, he rested.

However, celebrities are not the Lord, and they almost never rest. They do not, come Sunday, say to themselves, "It's time to take a break from driving drunk, divorcing my peg-legged spouse, showing up to a premiere with my vagina below my dress hem, naming my baby something retarded, and resting Andre the Giant's sunglasses on the bony carapace where my face should be." And if celebrities do not rest on Sunday,, neither should you.

Update Star Tracks, I'm begging here.


Ugh, disgusting. I need more.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not on My Watch, Not This Time!

So I think we all remember the TRAVESTY that occurred earlier this week, when I let the biggest fish of all time slip through my fingers, or rather, off my rocky shoal.

Anyway, Anne caught a pike yesterday (3 in one evening in fact, and the last two pretty substantial) and as I went to pin it down and get the lure out of its mouth, it slipped from my hands and went back into the water.

At this point, a normal person would have kicked themselves, sure, maybe lathered up into some real anger. But a person who only a few days hence suffered a physchological meltdown from the loss of a fish is not a normal person. So without so much as a twitch of hesitation, I threw myself fully clothed into the water and the tidal rocks, slapping after the pike like a bar of soap in the bath.

Long story humiliating, after I gave up on the fish and found myself on hands and bloodied knees, covered in mold and moss and dripping wet, I did the mature thing and banged my head against the rock, wailing about how I can't hold on to a fish, I'm cursed, etc. Then my sister pointed to a tidal pool at my thigh, in which the fish was quietly sitting like a loyal hound. I picked it up, whacked it on the head, and decided I don't have what it takes to be a fisherman.

Unlike these sociopaths.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Not to be a University of Southern Florida freshman or anything

But I am kind of proud of our trash right now, considering it's just me and some old people in a log hut in Finland.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Explanation of my Heartbreak

I know. I know it seems silly.

But last night, my heart cracked in half, audibly.

It began as a pleasant enough night-- I thought I'd grab my casting rod and head out to Karinokka, the rock far out at the end of the property. I've been fishing every night, mostly catching pike. Over the past week or so, I've been catching small ones-- probably legal to keep, but nothing to be proud of, so I'd been putting them back in the sea.

The sun was shining straight down on me at 6 pm. I cast from 6 or 7 different spots but I've been pretty loyal to this one rock almost all summer. I just have a good feeling about it, and most nights I end up there, saying to myself "just one more cast, one more cast," until I give up and go home.

So I cast out to the left, and the second the lure hits the water, it's a bite. A mighty bite. "Whoa," -- out loud, reeling in, I'm saying "Sweet Mary, Holy Shit," frantically. I see the fish take the end of my line 10 yards right, ten yards left. This thing is not fucking around. I reel harder and harder-- with a normal size fish, at this point, it would be thrashing at the surface and I'd be dragging it onto the rock, but this is no normal size fish. It pulls itself deep under. Finally I get it to the rock.

Like an idiot (I've NEVER EXERIENCED a big catch before!!! HOW WAS I TO KNOW???)I back up, the logic being that I will keep the angle of the line consistent to how it was dragged in, thereby not allowing the hook to get loose. Logic-- there was no logic at that moment, only pure joy. I was looking the single hugest pike I'd ever seen dead in the eyes-- pike are ancient fish, they look like crocodile, with their muddy green scales and their flat-billed razor-filled jaws. Its body was probably between three and four feet long, one huge muscle, its head like a bowling ball. What a beauty. What an ancient, lucky athlete, to have gotten so big, to be so ferocious.

And he was mine. The champagne we would pop! The photos we would snap! It would be a legendary catch.

And just as I pulled him onto the rock, his body halfway on land, the line snapped. Just like that. The beast flopped his head up, stalled a second, and dipped back down into the dark Baltic sea, with my lure in its gullet, to go bleed its way to some nearby shore and have the gulls and the muskrats pick at its ribs.

I threw my body on the rock and banged with my fists, like the babiest baby, and cried. Then I ran home, crying. Of course, the satellite guy was there working on the cables, and half the family was present to cut down all the trees behind our house so that my mom can watch tennis on BBC.

The workmen all stopped in their tracks, as I, purple faced, wailed obscenities and spouted tears. I don't think they'd ever seen a 25 year old woman act like that. I've never seen myself act like that. Not over a man, not over a movie, not over a botched assignment or a social gaffe. Never in my life have I been so totally and completely saddened, in my blood, in my whole being.

"She lost a fish," seemed to be the explanation. But words don't capture it. It wasn't a fish. It was a beast, a once-in-a-lifetime catch, the kind of animal that nets and hawks and other fish mostly keep from even happening.

Everyone's at tea. I have to look them in the eye. I haven't cried myself to sleep since I was eleven probably. I can't remember the last time the insides of my ears felt cold and tickly from catching tears for hours as I lay on my back in bed, stifling my snotty gasps out of embarrassment.

I'm a grown woman, dammit.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The night my heart broke

I am too emotional even to discuss it. I have spent hours crying. The worst of worst heartbreaks.


Friday, July 21, 2006

The Government Hearts Squirrels

Well, someone looked into having the squirrels rubbed out (it wasn't me--I love 'em), and it turns out, they're a PROTECTED SPECIES.

Fancy little assholes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Rite of Passage for any Maiden

Today I made my first loaf of traditional Finnish bread: Pulla. It was hard work. I had to pop cardamum seeds and grind them, knead the dough twice, and take my kneading board down to the sea to wash it between risings. That was noon today-- I can't BELIEVE I haven't had any suitors yet!! Don't they know? Haven't they HEARD? Why haven't they flooded onto the stoop from the forest, scooped me up, and parked me hearthside to bake my days away? I MADE MY FIRST PULLA!

Oh I know why. Silly me. I forgot my lucky fertility shinguards.

There we go. It'll be any minute now...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

You know your pike is female when...'re cleaning it and you rip out the ovaries! HAHA! Am I wrong? Am I wrong, guys? C'mon, ladies, you hear me, right?

That's right, pike #2. This time we're going to Papa's garden for some fresh horseradish to make a horseradish cream sauce. She's a beaut.

When did I become a Bass Channel-watching, sweatpant wearing, bloodthirsty woodsman?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Why can't I unzip this damn fatty suit???! Oh, because it's my body.

I'm doing a lot of research on both countryside food culture and the restaurant world. But MAN is it taking its toll! I feel like someone rolled me in glue, and then in a mattress. Made of fat.

Hey, at least I'm not researching testosterone replacement therapy.

Now I have to go watch "Fletch," because it's the only movie on Finnish TV.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Score one for Jules

7:00 pm-- I decide to stretch my legs
7:02 pm-- I've assembled my fishing gear; I head to the dock
7:11 pm-- BAM!

I NEVER fish without my Beethoven wig.
7:20 pm-- Dinner

"This white wine sauce is delicious! Oh--Oh I see. I'm dead and you're eating me. Well played, guys! See you never."

And then there were two


Finally the squirrel that I found sitting on his haunches in the dining room this morning...

...sort of skidaddled out.

Then, he came back and BANGED AT THE DOOR, like an orphan at a baker's window, with a literal fist. I couldn't get a good picture of that, but it was hilarious, the TINIEST, most PASSIONATE gesture!

Then I was out on the FRONT patio, just yammering on the phone, when I notice a squirrel approaching me. Mind you, I had been chasing this little nugget around the house all morning, and he would run at 300 mph AWAY from me when I tried to shoo him out. Now he's all, "...hi there."

So he literally follows me around the for 20 minutes outside, in his little hoppy steps, like I'm his mother (which get my clock ticking, next thing you know I'm lactating all over, IT WAS A MESS!)

Well, now that it's become this dork, sitting outside pining for our company, even Little Miss Rat Poison kind of thinks it's sweet. "It likes my feet" she says.

The only thing now is...

There are two.

I swear, no more squirrel stories. I'm done. This is it. I just want you to know, we've accepted defeat and are living happily with our wild pets. White flag.

Open letter to the baby squirrel I've been chasing around my house for 35 minutes

Baby, [NB please read in Barry White voice with background of synthetic strings]

I don't wanna do this no more. I don't want to play this game. Every time I try to talk to you, you run into the bathroom or hide under the fishing poles, some deep dark place you know I can't reach you.

But Baby you and I, we're not the same species, we're not meant to be together, and you gotta stop runnin' an' hidin' from that, you gotta get out my house for good, into a worrrl where you belong, storin' nuts, jumpin' offa trees.

Girl I ain't sayin' it ain't been fun. First time I saw you, bitch I wanted you to live on my shoulder! I thought you were so cute! But now I'm tired of these games. I want to go swimming, but I'm afraid to leave the house cause I know you'll come out of hiding and poop all over it, or chew up something I need, like cheese or underwear.

Girl, just go. I left the door open. I ain't gonna chase you no more. Go home to yo' mama, I know that crazy fucker misses you. She probably secreting panic oil out her ass all over the forest 'cause she can't find her baby!

Baby we had some good times and I ain't never gonna forget your furry ears or your huge ratty bear paws, that's fo' sho'. And please, girl, don't try to sneak on back when you drunk on cloudberries and needin' some comfort, 'cause my mama will literally step on yo' head. She's HAD it.

Please leave.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

I'm not counting days anymore, it's annoying: Squirrels in the kitchen

But seriously. I know it's like "enough already with the squirrels" but I came home from tea today (tea everyday at Mummu's at 1 pm, obvie) and the mother squirrel was in our kitchen, looking for the baby (who, if you've been following, we spotted today alive and well). It's like the velocoraptors in Jurassic park: THEY OPEN DOORS!! When they start barfing fatal acid in my face, then I will worry. For now, screaming out of shock seems to drive them back into the wilderness.

Tomorrow I'm going into Turku to check out a handful of restaurants, including a brewery that used to be a boat-sail manufacturer, where my great grandmother worked as a seamstress. Next up: we visit the Virginia site of my American relatives' penal colony!

It's like great grandpa always said, "The glass is only half empty when you're welded into a ball-and-chain with two idiots, hammering a road to nowhere."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Day 4: Where's National Geographic when you Need them?

So last night, as Mom was clearing dinner and I was farting around on Gchat with Lang, she said,"OK, Julia, you wanna see the cutest li'l baby squirrel you evah gonna see?"

Answer: No thanks! I've got puppies to batter!

JK! I obviously jumped out of my seat and ran to the window, where I saw this:

This is where I wish some nature photographer had been on hand to make my contribution dream come drue.

All huge eyes, huge tail, little furry ears, and enormo bear paws. This thing was bred to see in the dark, jump trees, and play piano.

We knew, from the squirrel footsteps above our heads at night, that they had nested in the roof, but this li'l baby FELL OUT of the nest!

This is when he had backed himself into a corner and started shivering, because he was lost and couldn't find his mommy.

So naturally, I decide I'm going to feed it. But meanwhile, Mommy has called the neighborhood over to look at it, so I get bashful about putting out milk. What if it's considered retarded to feed squirrels, as if I had left meat out for a bear? I didn't want my grandparents coming over to see that I'd made Belgian waffles for a rat! Plus I knew my mom was against feeding it. (Me: "I want to feed it!" Mom: "No you're not! I'm gonna drown it in a bucket of water!")

The water-drowning seemed like an idle threat at the time, but later, my mom relayed the story to the relatives.

Mom: "We found a lost baby squirrel on our porch!"
My Aunt: "Oh, did you kill it?"

Later I admitted I had thrown it a vanilla cookie. Mom barely believed it. "Not my good Paussi cookies?" (that's the brand, Paussi-- they're like 'Nilla wafers with oat on top, nothing delicious enough to be wrested from a dying babe.)

We kept checking on the baby that night. He would climb up the wall but fall down before reaching the roof, his beautiful, new, dark brown tail flailing. (Everyone admitted it had a gorgeous coat) He tried so many times, but he couldn't make it and he just got exhausted. His tail was so cute and silky!

Sweet bush!

So Mom and I went to bed knowing the baby was still out there, in a dark world full of foxes and hawks (Mom: "A fox or a hawk probably come take it at night")and that it would probably die. Please note, my clever entreaties to ADOPT the squirrel, including "It could live on my shoulder, like a pirate's macaw!" "Let this death be on YOUR shoulders, then!" and "Would you leave ME out in the cold to be eaten by a fox?" did not work. Although I did learn that given the choice, Mom would indeed leave me in the cold to be eaten by a fox ("it's nature's way!")

Next morning, it was still there, and alive! But then it disappeared. We haven't seen it since. But now we have a new friend.

Mama squirrel thinks we killed her baby, and she's off-the-charts, Angela Basset-style FURIOUS.

And she's on our porch

Friday, July 07, 2006

Day 3: Adventures in Pheasant Sitting

Further wildlife issues.

This is our domestic scene right now:

A poisonous snake patrols the front yard. A muskrat barfs sea chum onto our dock. A horny male pheasant announces his availability outside our house (he makes "an extended chicken shriek" says Mom) and there is a brown squirrel, possibly two doing suicide sprints on our roof, which, incidentally, is made of posterboard. The squirrel goes back and forth. It sounds like Fred Flintsone revving up his stone car by pattering his callused feet on paleolithic malachite. I said we should kill the pheasant. But what, are we going to become some kind of wilderness Branch Davidians, waving our rifles outside our compound and shooting everything that moves? We're surrounded. Frankly, the pheasant is probably terrified of mommy's Wimbledon-watching shrieks ("Ope! Ope! AAAAAAH! Come on, you've GOT to GET those!") and I know that snake doesn't enjoy seeing me in a bikini. We're basically living in a sort of lovingly annoyed Balky-Larry harmony.

With the squirrels in the role of the manky stewardesses, obviously.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Day 2: the Sound of Silence, and Possibly Judgment

First, re the poisonous diamondback snake that lives under the patio: now it's become a whole thing. My mom says we should just go tell Papa when we see it and he'll come with his snake-killing stick (he has a scalp-count in the hundreds.) But I really want to kill it myself. Even though she is pathologically phobic about snakes, my mom remembers her first snake killing as s kid. She and her sister killed a baby diamondback with a stick (babies = as poisonous as the adults, if not more), and put a stone on its head because they wanted everyone to come see it and pay homage. Every day they ran to gleefully check on the progress of its deterioriation. Shall I be deprived of this joyous bat mitzvah, simply because I am a pasty city dweller with bad hand-eye coordination? I will not relegate the killing to my grandpa! In the battle between me and the snake, I have two things going for me: hands. And a shovel. Finally that BODYWEIGHT's gonna come in handy. So now, when I go down to the water, which is about 25 times a day, I take a 30-lb garden shovel, in case I cross you-know-who. I plan to hit the snake on the head with said shovel. I insist I will have it taxidermied. Mom's against this.
"You drive yourself to town with your snake in your pocket!"
"You'll drive me and I'll put it in a ziploc in the trunk!"
I will have my snake, and the villagers will come pay respects.

Quite literally what we are dealing with here.

Meanwhile, the issue of silence.

Finns are not talkers, apparently with the exception of far Eastern Finns, and expatriots in America. I think it is not an accident that talky Finns emigrate--I have no doubt they are cheerfully put out to sea on a raft to die by the entire laconic town into which they were ruefully born.

One reason that I would be a good hospice worker, in addition to the fact that I already have the orthopedic platform nurse shoes, is that I've been trained over the years to maintain conversation with a backboard. It's not my relatives in particular, who are all wonderfully kind people, it's the whole country. It seems blatanly hostile if you've never been around it before. Like they're MAD at you.

So what happens is, no one talks. And then instinctively, you feel that a terrible, unnatural void must be filled. So you throw something out there-- "I can't believe this wind!" Everyone looks PAINED. On their faces. But it's like gambling. You can't give up! You're just about to win! You throw your hat in again: "I feel like I've never seen it this windy, it's like WEIRD, right?" This is when they will finally talk. By making you seem like an idiot.
"This wind is not unusual." Reminding you that you have been forced into foolish ingenuine grandstanding by your sheer obnoxious need to fill the air with your own voice.

In America, being friends with a bunch of wiseasses, I can't say ANYTHING without a split-second response. But sometimes, the cuntiest thing is really just to let people's own words stew in silent air. Nothing sounds more judgmental than silence. Today, some natives took me along for errand-running in town. We drove into a parking garage and I found myself saying, "Ooooooooh, underground parking, eh?"
Nothing. My idiocy seemed to multiply into the space, to amplify and fill the car to the bursting point. "Underground parking, eh?" And then dead air, as if it was suddenly obvious to all present that I should be institutionalized. And it wasn't even a subtle, Canadian "eh?" It was the kind of thing that should have been accompanied by an elbow into a fellow toothless carnie's rib-cage. It started below middle C and ended at a high A sharp. If someone had replied "No, this is an underground clinic. We're finally going to get you de-farted so we can keep you inside!" Or something like that, well that's conversation. Now we're having fun! But dead silence? Man, it hurts.

Good thing that the 8.5% beer I hid last year is just where I left it! Good work, Jules!

Someone around here knows how to treat me right!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Finland Journal, Day 1

I made a promise to myself that I would, in addition to getting this article done (can't wait-- it's going to be phenom) that I would start to update Beans a lot because I think that while it's all good and fun to piss away the day sitting on the dock and scribbling the most glorious prose that ever Athena lactated from her beknowledged tit, you really have to keep in mind the burden of entertaining someone else, some imagined public, or else you get all turdy and sappy.

(I have GOT to clean up my language, dammit!)

As soon as I'm done posting this picture of a farting tabby.

So even though there are about 17 people that read this with any regularity, I'm going to post all the time! YAAAAY!

So I got to Finland yesterday.

Nothing exciting happened today except for the POISONOUS SNAKE that lives under our patio finally reared its head. Now Mommy's afraid to garden. Lord knows what will become of our shrubbery! Seriously, she keeps shuddering these elaborate shudders every time she passes the patio ("Pheeeweeough yeeeee guck!")

But other than that, it's about 80 degrees, sunny, no wind-- when we drove in, I asked if it had been raining (it hadn't for days), because it looked like a tropical rainforest, big shaggy moss hanging off everything, forests I would have no trouble believing could easily furnish a couple gorillas. Alas, no gorillas in the mists, just cousins and grandparents. Really I'm really the gorilla, being congratulated and rewarded for simplistic communication. (Me: "Good Morning." Them: "What did you do today?" Me: "Fine, thank you." Them: "Good girl! Someone give her a bundle of rye.")

Mommy made me wade into the water with huge shears and cut the seagrass. I kicked up all the clay at the shore and it smelled like poop (plus it was low tide), and I got all Troop Beverly Hills about how this was so fucking nasty and it smelled like poop and I didn't want to do it. PS I was dressed like this:

Like full head to toe crazy gardening clothes (Mom: "these underwater gardening pants are so good! I have no idea where I got them!" Me: "Waterworld, starring Kevin Costner?") And I hacked at reeds. Now I have a lima-bean sized blister on my finger, but at least I earned my supper (perch fillets, salad from Mummu's garden) and maybe a doublewide G&T (after all, it's not for nothing that I was made to cross the Atlantic with a suitcase full of limes. I was terrified that airport security would check my bags-- not because I'd be in trouble, but because they would think I was totally retarded. Like I look like a normal traveller but you open my suitcase and it's just hydrangeas or something and I'm like "I'm going to a business meeting in a volcano! See you in 2050!") OK, more tomorrow.