1. While I'm waiting for the movers to arrive in MK, I have been killing time at Gloria Jean's coffee in the Hub:mk. I wouldn't be one to go to a Gloria Jean's in the US. I associate them with those naff flavored coffees like hazelnut and amaretto creme. (I hate flavored coffees. A lot.) But here they have a nice atmosphere, free wifi, they play decent music and the coffee is excellent. They do a proper leaf pattern on the top, always the hallmark of a barista that knows what they're doing. They also make iced tea, which you can't find ANYWHERE in the UK, and which is one of my favorite things to drink on a hot day. I give a big thumbs up to Gloria Jean's in MK.
2. My friends Justin and Alexa have the best dog. Her name is Camilla, or Millie for short, and she is a Yorkshire Terrier. Now, I am not a fan of the tiny yippy dog. But this dog is sweet and funny and very smart. She has the most expressive face and she has a big personality and when she climbs all over you you hardly even notice it because she weighs practically nothing. She has this green stuffed animal that is bigger than she is. She carries/rolls it around the room and loves it when you try to grab it away from her. She'll grab on and growl and let you toss her around, and then lets go and insists that you throw it so she can fetch. It's great fun. She also has a tendency to hump the thing now and again, which is puzzling but there you have it.
3. She also moves very fast, and will crawl up you and start licking your face so fast that you get a tongue in your nose or mouth before your reflexes can reach up and pull her off.
4. Here in the Hub there is a fountain in the middle, surrounded by six or so restaurants with outdoor seating. It's a great place to be when the sun is out, and excellent people watching. Above the restaurants there are about eight floors of apartments. I think they should have taken a bit more time vetting the people who moved in to these, as they seem to have allowed some pretty raunchy folks in. There is one guy that I refer to as pathetic-drunken-stroke-guy, as he always has that out-of-it look that only alcoholics who never sober up have, and he walks with a cane as though he's recovering from a stroke. When he walks into the Brazilian restaurant they don't even ask - they just pour him a huge glass of red wine. You often see him step outside for a cigarette, but then he's back drinking another. He has this vaguely creepy/vapid perma-grin, and no matter what time of the day or night you are here you'll see him with a glass of wine. He depresses me.
5. Since I've been homeless, I've spent quite a bit of time here at the Hub. Cafe Rouge, a chain French restaurant, has great outside seating and makes a mean breakfast so I come here to read the paper and fortify. I am particularly fond of their Crouque Madame, which is basically a ham and Gruyere sandwich with a bit of bechamel and an egg. Mmm. Perfect with a glass of tomato juice.
6. I'm having a lot of trouble getting rid of my UK spellings. I've been trying, but those extra u's and replacement s's have become commonplace. Now when I write "favor" or "color" or "alphabetize" it looks wrong. I never did really cotton to the whole "re" versus "er" thing, though, so that one is not a problem. I also realise (I mean realize) that I'm going to have to stop saying things like, "I quite like..." and using proper as substitution for real/good/actual/authentic.
7. I wonder why there aren't any Taco Bells in the UK.
8. I'm trying to read a Terry Pratchett book. Everyone raves about Terry Pratchett. Oh, he's so funny. Oh, he's so clever. Oh, he's just great. Oh, he's my guilty pleasure. Thus far, I don't really see the appeal. I mean, it's not horrible. It's just not wowing me. (Imagine a squinty shrug and a "meh")
9. I could really use some new summer clothes.
10. It's a lot easier to eat healthily and get exercise when you don't work. And don't mean kind of easier. I mean a LOT easier. You can make it the focus of your existence instead of something you fit in between meetings.