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Showing posts from 2005

Observations of a childless blogger

I am really enjoying my time here at home. As evidenced in my previous entry, I've been seeing every friend I have in the Twin Cities, and tomorrow I head to the northern suburbs to spend the holidays with my family. Exited to see them, I must confess. I'm in a different coffee shop today. One of my favourite things about the US is that it is filthy with neighbourhood coffee shops and cafes that have free wireless internet. This particular one is in an area full of starter homes (1920's bungalows) that people in my relative generation have snatched up in an affordable housing frenzy. It's kind of near the Mississippi River, and it's full of cute little shops and restaurants that appeal to the average thirty-something with moderate disposable income and upwardly mobile tastes. This particular coffee shop seems to be the official meeting place for several Mommy/Daddy/Me groups, where the toddlers race cars and run around and build things with blocks and the parents t

Not dead yet

Hi all. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. I apologize for my long absence. I've had a big month, and now I'm home in MSP for the holidays. I'm currently in a Dunn Bros enjoying a delicious cappucino and listening to two handsome gentlemen discussing baptism. (What it means, is it necessary, what does Jesus say, etc.) Straight ahead of me on the coffee shop computer is a really bad transvestite with piercings in his/her nose and lower lip. Ah, diversity, thy name is America. (Happy Sigh) We're going with the numbering system to get caught up, then I'll start fresh tomorrow. 1) Flew to NYC. Tom picked me up at JFK. We had a joyous reunion in a parking lot, and then headed back to Brooklyn. Stopped for a late-night dinner at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island. 2) Had dimsum in Chinatown on Thanksgiving AM. We sat at a table of eight with six Chinese youth. They laughed at Tom's Chinese, but we got what we wanted so it couldn't have been that bad. 3) George

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm off to New York this afternoon and I'm very excited. I will have four days with my friends Tom and George, I can eat pickles, and I can relax. I think I may even meet my friend Blane, who goes way back to teenage years, for a cocktail. This is going to be a great trip. Things have been stressful at work, so this is a good time for a break. I've been really homesick lately. Mind you, even at the best of times I feel disconnected, which anyone who has a blog that tells them the approximate location of their visitors will know....their log will show them being stalked from GB, as I go to all friends blogs once a day (sometimes more if I think the time difference might miss an update,) just for news of the familiar. Note to some of my blogging friends...update more often, please. And if you don't have a blog, HELLO, I have email, too! So this little trip is going to give me a chance to connect. I really think it's going to help my mood, and make it easier to deal

Beware the wrath of the Fairies

No, this is not some sort of gay joke. There is a construction project here in England that is being stalled by fairies who live under a rock. Read the story here .

Pauly Shore's new career

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So Pop Idol is the UK show that crossed the pond as American Idol. Here in the UK, it has morphed into The X Factor , which is a bit more complex than the Idol format. There are still three judges...in this case, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, and a little Irish leprechaun named Louis Walsh who seems to specialize in boy bands. (My theory is that he specializes in boy bands on, ahem, many levels, but I have no proof.) There are three categories of performers: 16 - 24's, 25 and overs, and groups. After a standard audition/selection process, the judges take the finalists from one group each and they further narrow the group and then mentor them thru the competition. Sharon Osbourne has the over 25s, and they are by far the most talented of the contestants this year. Except for one. His name is Chico. He's a singing (slightly flat) dancing (read Chippendales) guy with abs of steel. The ladies go crazy for him, and he always enters the stage with screams of, "It's CH

Geezer

Oy. My sciatica. Actually, Oy! my floating rib! My rib is, in fact, floating. More precisely, it is poking me when I move. I did some sort of slept wrong/coughed too much thing and put my right lower rib out about a week ago. It has gotten progressively worse, and by Monday I couldn't do ANYTHING without pulling a face. I went to an osteopath on Wednesday. He was like 10. Okay, I'm sure he's probably 30, and he was very friendly and helpful and put things back in line, but I felt like his grandmother. Thank GOD I could get myself onto the table, because if I'd needed assistance I'd have died. Those who've been to an osteopath before know that they massage and move things around and you often end up feeling worse before you feel better. At least that's the case with me. Today my rib isn't poking me, but I feel like I've been run over with a truck. I joined a gym recently, and have been really good about going every day. I had to take Monday and Tue

Cauliflower Cheese and Baked Apples

I have been really busy at work this week, and although I have many things in my freezer that are delicious and healthy. Unfortunately, when you get home at 830 and really need to eat, you are stuck with either a) ordering a pizza, which is not tasty and not healthy, or b) eating what you can cobble together. Last night I was seduced by option A, which was a rash and very bad decision. Therefore I opted for B tonight. Here is what I had for dinner: Half a whole-wheat pita and some hummus two olives stuffed with a almonds three carrot nubbins (not really baby carrots, so I had to reclassify them) cucumber slices cauliflower, steamed and tossed in a quickly made bechamel/cheese sauce a small piece of ham intended as my protein for breakfast, but oh well This was most definitely NOT a satisfying meal. But luckily, I had a bag of sub-standard eating apples sitting in the fridge...they were tart and all, but kind of mealy and I prefer an extremely crisp apple. I bunged them into a baking

No Midlife Crisis

I'm watching an episode of What Not to Wear , and Trinny and Susannah are making over two middle aged guys with pot bellies who are starting to do that crazy thing men do in their forties...freaking out about getting old, buying sportscars, getting younger girlfriends/boyfriends. Trinny has a good idea to solve this problem: admit there's a problem and get a makeover. Stop dressing like it's 1985, buy some pants that fit, shave that balding head, grow a goatee or a beard or some face-slimming hair. Read a book or learn a language or something. You're only old because you're not moving forward in your life...you're looking backwards. You're never going to be 25 again, you're never going to look 25 again, and no car or younger lover or clothes you BOUGHT when you were 25 will change this. So embrace who you are, make yourself current, and enjoy the life you've been able to build in the last 15 - 20 years. This is good advice for women, too. I'm

Call for schedule requests

To those of you who live in MSP and Chicago, I'll be home for the holidays and with a few days over a month until I arrive I'm starting to work on my schedule. Email me your schedule request. And Lulu, I need your email asap.

Curb me and my enthusiasm

I worry that I am turning into Larry David. Don't get me wrong. Curb Your Enthusiasm is a phenomenally funny show. I belly laugh every time I watch it. I own the first four seasons so I can watch it while I wait for the new season to start showing here. But I don't want to BE Larry David. Larry David is rude, annoying, and inappropriate. He makes rash decisions and obsesses on insignificant things. He gets irritated and causes commotion where it's not necessary. Being Larry David is like being George Kostanza (in fact, Jason Alexander says he learned to play the character by imitating LD.) I don't mind being a Rhoda, I can even handle being a Charlotte (even though I wish I were a Carrie,) but I DO NOT want to be Larry/George. Therefore I'm vowing a kinder, gentler Mindy. I am going to stop saying everything that comes into my head without considering the consequences. It's time to start reading Miss Manners more regularly. I'm going to ignore my tenden

Winter is Here

Last Friday, winter arrived. It was 60 or so when I went to work...kind of sunny, really pleasant. By the time I went to London on Friday night it was about 40, windy, and wet. I wasn't prepared for the cold snap, what with my strappy top and corduroy jacket, and so I was pretty cold by the time I got home at 2 AM. And it hasn't warmed up since. I've been here a year now. In fact, November 2nd marked my official landing in the UK. I guess it was cold here when I arrived...I remember wearing a coat when I'd walk to work...but I guess it just seemed warm because it didn't snow or get blizzardy. I was still thinking in Midwestern weather terms, and so it seemed quite mild. But this year I lived through summer, and I know that just two weeks ago it was 75 and I was wearing shorts. Now I'm really crabby. I needed to mow my lawn. I let it go, though, because Susan and Katie were here and it was more fun to hang out with them, and now I fear that it will be another 6

New Blog

My mom hates conversations revolving around politics and religion. It drives her crazy when my dad and I get into political discussions, what since I'm a big liberal and he's a big conservative and we both love to bait the other. And she really hates it when I bring up politics on this site. But politics are on my mind a lot these days. I'm angry and disenchanted...you might even say furious...at the way things are going in my homeland. I need to vent. So my solution...a new blog. Here's the plan. I will continue to update this blog regularly, in fact I'm vowing to update it several times a week instead of every week or so as it's been lately. But I now have another blog called I'm a Liberal and You Should Be, Too where I'm going to express my political opinions. I won't have to worry that I'm upsetting my mother. I already do that by living 4000 miles away. Now my political entries will be housed separately, and she can read them only when

Travels in the South

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On Thursday, we headed to the countryside. We started off at Stonehenge. It was a glorious day, with spectacular sun and warm temps. Next stop - Wells and their cool cathedral. Wells is a really cute little village, and there's this great ruin of a medieval castle right next to the cathedral. Not to mention some really fabulous shoe stores. Then on to the Cheddar Gorge and Bath. Our hotel was in a great location...centrally located within walking distance of everything. We went to a cool little bar for cocktails, where Patricia helped strike up a conversation with the bartender and a local guy who was bellyed up. We enjoyed a couple rounds with them, then headed down the street to a little French place for a scrumptious dinner. Friday we spent the day in Bath seeing the sites. In the AM we did the Roman Baths, and then in the afternoon we split up. Patricia and Susan went off for more costume stuff (Bath has one of the best collections in Europe.) Katie and I stopped for a b

Midweek

Monday and Tuesday, Susan and Katie spent the days in London...and then I'd pick them up at the train station. On Monday I was too tired to cook, so we went to a cool old pub in town and had delicious pub grub like Beef and Speckled Hen pie (SH is an ale.) But we were smart and went to the grocer on the way home so on Tuesday we made a Burmese Chili Pork Salad. Burmese Chili Pork Salad 2 Tablespoons of groundnut oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped Three or four shallots, chopped One package of mushrooms, chopped 2 large dried chilis, coarsely chopped (or just use dried chili flakes...maybe 1 1/2 Tablespoons) Minced pork...like maybe a pound? Tender young broccoli stems, cut in bitesize pieces Carrot slivers 2 Tablespoons fish sauce 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar Lettuce, tomato, and cucumber Heat the wok. Heat the oil. Toss in the garlic and cook for a minute or two, ditto for the shallots, and then the mushrooms. Add the chili and stir for about 20 seconds. Then add t

I'm back

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I've had a wonderful week. My friends Susan and Katie were here. It was great. They arrived via National Express from Gatwick, which took a little longer than expected but got them here just the same. I took them to the Indian restaurant in the church in Stony. It's got a big wow factor, and as long as you avoid the saag dishes (which are just so-so) the food is really good. We had a scrumptious banquet of spicy things, then came home and watched Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and talked forever. Couldn't believe they made it until midnight before going to bed. Saturday we went to Hampton Court to pick up Patricia and took the train to London. Our first stop: the Ice Bar! It's a totally lame marketing ploy, but it was still fun. The bar is kept at about 5 degrees, and they serve vodka drinks in ice glasses. You are allowed a 45 minute slot, and you're given thermal capes and gloves to keep warm. I had an appletini. Patricia wanted to go to the Arts and Crafts

Going Quietly?

If you're a Republican and you receive some sort of correspondence criticizing your beliefs this week, it's possible that this is the source . I must say, that definitely shows commitment to a cause.

Best song EVAH

One of the best songs ever is called "Debra" and it's by Beck. It's on Midnight Vultures . Do you know it? If not, check it out on itunes or wherever you get music.

School Girl Crush

"In 1997, Miers sent Bush a belated birthday card featuring a sad-looking dog and the note: "Dear Governor GWB, You are the best Governor ever -- deserving of great respect!" I wonder if she uses a little heart to dot her i's when she signs her name?

I love Charlotte Church

This is a new thing for me. I was never a fan of her creepy, other-worldly, faux opera thing when she was a child. I thought she was wholly unsettling, actually. But Charlotte has grown up , and now she is one of my favourite celebrities in England. She's curvy, bordering on chubby. She wears too much makeup. She says outlandish things and takes the mick out of herself, and she occasionally swears in public. She's managed to grow into a down to earth person, which is an achievement considering her childhood fame. She occasionally binge drinks and she dates dishy rugby players. She is basically a big mess , and doesn't really care what people say because she's 19 and she's enjoying her life and making mistakes and putting herself before her career. And she's not one of those trampy Britney types, either. She doesn't wear tight, revealing clothes and she doesn't do pole-and-lap-dance gyrations when she performs. She's actually an interesting mix of

New baby name

Many people think it's a good thing I don't have kids. This is not usually linked to their assessment of my potential parenting skills (or at least they claim it's not,) but more to my questionable choice in names for kids. My mom is an identical twin, and that makes me the generation that could carry this on...therefore I used to plan my names in pairs, just in case I ended up with unexpected babies and had to think fast. (Don't take that sentence at face value...you know what I mean.) The boys would be Otto and Oscar (my grandfathers) and the girls would be June and Esther (my grandmother and her sister). And, on the off-chance that my partner had his own ideas about names and might think these are a bit naff, I always kept Astrid and Delia and Bjorn and Thor in my back pocket as alternates, just in case. (There were also Christopher Hans and Dinah, the fictional children Tom and I were planning, but those were specific circumstances and not on the main list.) Even

Burning Question

I wonder which is worse to live with...Narcolepsy or Tourette's?

Helpful Hint

If you've had a long day and decide to order chinese food for delivery: A) order from a good restaurant, not one that serves everything in sweet and spicy, sticky red sauce; and B) when you discover that you've ordered foul chinese food that belongs in the bin, stop eating, you moron. If only someone had told me this three hours ago. Pleh.

The Shipping Forecast

I have discovered a new oddity to love about England. At 0048 each day, the folks on BBC Radio 4 read the shipping forecast . I'd heard tell of this, and absolutely every Brit I've questioned on it raves likes it is some sort of mystical oracle. I've been up at 0048 and still alert quite a bit in the last few weeks so I tuned in. I, too, am mesmerised by its power. It's not unlike the commodities prices they read on the AM radio news in the midwest US. There's the part about the indecipherable language that's fascinating, but the shipping forecast is even better. (And it's hard to get better than futures on corn or beans or the price of cattle at the Ronan Trading Barn.) The shipping forecast sets one's mind to thinking about the possibilities of life...of sailing off into the sunset/sunrise, heading out for adventure in the great unknown. As you sit snuggly in your dark, quiet house in the middle of the night (made snugger now that the heat is on,)

Update

In retrospect, even Michael J. Fox has a little Elvis in him. I've decided to forgive him for Family Ties. I mean, he got to work with Meredith Baxter Birney.

London Calling

It's been awhile since I have had a good long dose of London, and my friends Kat and Anna were feeling the same way. I'd had a difficult week, to say the least (11PM was my average leaving time from work) and I'd been out with the chairman of our company on a presentation Friday that put me home around 9 PM. I was in the mood. So Saturday we took the train to the city. Anna had arranged for free rooms at a hotel, which is code for "We'll put you up for free but you have to tour the place first." We did the tour, and then headed into the city. Met Kat in Leicester Square and had some tapas and a glass of wine in the sunny early fall day. Went to tkts and took a gander at the choices. Richard II is in previews, and Kevin Spacey...dishy pasty-white-stay-inside if ever there was one...is playing the lead. Made a mental note to do that one soon. There were tickets to High Society and I've always loved that (MY she was YAR!) but Epitaph for George Dillon won

Random Thoughts

I am way too tired to think connected thoughts, so I'm going random instead. I want to age like the people in Scorsese's Bob Dylan documentary. Ok, maybe not Allen Ginsburg, but Joan Baez looks great. Speaking of Dylan, what's up with his hair? All that money, you'd think he could buy some conditioner. And he still has a Minneosta accent, doncha know. You'd expect him to sound cooler and not oh, say, like my dad. (I love you, Dad, but you're just not that cool, you know?) I am fearing the end of Six Feet Under . I can't watch Lost because I fly too much...the plane crash thing will freak me out. I was recruited for a different job today. I can't take it, but it got me thinking about possibilities. What's so great about Coldplay? When I go to New York I can have pickles. I have too much to do at work right now. Tom DeLay was indicted. Nice to know the justice system works. I see that they're going to start selling th

Everything is Illuminated

I hear this movie is out now. If you haven't read the book, please do so immediately. It is extraordinary, and will make you weep. It will also connect you to humanity in a raw, profound way that I didn't believe was possible with literature until I read it. Oh. And don't see the movie first, because part of the fun of the book is the fanciful nature of the narrative. And Pam says you'll be retroactively disappointed in the film if you see it before you read it. It's by Jonathan Safran Foer, and it's got weirdly colored cover...easy to find on the shelf. Go get it. You heard me, go.

This ain't right

Did you see the article about the dog that swallowed the 13 inch knife? How can this possibly be true?

Long Live Paul Wellstone

So I'm sitting on the couch listening to the radio and catching up on news, etc. I try to check in with the NYTimes, the Washington Post, The Seattle Time/PI, and the Star Tribune each week so I know what's going on. In today's Strib there's an article about the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone. Personally, I think it's great that people have turned their grief/pain/loss towards political action. What better way to honor the memory of a fiery, principled politician who voted his conscience as opposed to the polls, and who got to the US Senate with effective grass-roots campaigning, than to teach others how to do the same. Yes, Paul Wellstone was a big liberal, but more than that, he was a real, live Mr. Smith going to Washington. The Wellstone Action team and the Camp Wellstone concept is a great way to continue his work in the world. Now, the reason for this entry....partway through the article, David Strom, president of The Taxpayer's League of Minnes

The Parrot, Part Two

My worst fears are being realized. The parrot next door is learning new songs. He now has the following repertoire, and it seems to be growing daily: Col. Bogie's March (AKA the theme from The Bridge Over the River Kwai ) A cellphone ring The laugh of someone, I assume his owner A host of car alarm squeals A sound like police scanner chatter Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits Quacks like the ducks across the road Ice Cream Van songs (part of Fur Elise and part of some chipper German sounding ditty) What will he learn next??? If the music I hear through the wall is any indicator, I'm in for nothing but heartache (or headache, as the case may be.) They seem to be fans of bad easy-listening music. Yesterday I heard "When We Get Behind Closed Doors", and "People." God, help me.

Cooking Shows Reveal All

I had a rather stressful week. Between working a trade show in London, an offsite meeting with my team, and a two-day retreat for a leadership training course, I was not only exhausted when I got home on Friday but a bit overwhelmed by all the talking and interacting I'd been doing. I longed for sleep, relaxation, and peace and quiet. After a 12 hour sleep on Friday night (followed by a two-hour post-coffee nap,) I decided to read the online news and watch a little television. UK Food Network was having a marathon of their most famous television chef, Delia Smith. I love cooking shows so this seemed like a good non-intensive way to multi-task...read a little, watch a little, etc. etc. But what started as a casual time-killer turned into a revealing education into the differences between my homeland and my current home. Take, for instance, beloved US TV chefs such as Sara Moulton, Rachel Ray, or Emeril. They chat, they smile, they make jokes, they make mistakes. They leave the di

Jesus of the Week

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Go here if you want the narrative. Personally, I believe the picture is silly enough.

Pride and Prejudice

So I've discovered a new favorite thing about England. Everyone here loves Pride and Prejudice . They have all read the book, even the men. They love their BBC-1991 version, and more than half of the people I work with sat through five hours of it on Sunday in honor of the new version arriving in theatres. Most people I know have also either been to the opening weekend of the new one, too, and if they haven't they've got plans to go. They discuss the nuances of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy like they are friends, and even men see why women swoon at the mention of Colin Firth. It's nice to be in a nation of romantics. Considering their demeanor, who knew?

Sky News inadvertantly speaks the truth

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(just in case you don't read Wonkette.)

Argos, the catalog store

Tonight I discovered a new shopping experience. It all started because I need a new toilet seat. The one I have has been loose since May. If you're not careful, the thing will slide off like a toboggan on a well-iced run. While this is perhaps a good way to build your core muscles, four months of this is enough. Plus, my toilet is already a challenge for visitors, what with the temperamental British flush, so making them perform some crazy butt surf whilst using the loo is perhaps a bit much to ask. Resigned to the idea that I needed to actually go buy a toilet seat, I decided to ask around the office for help finding the sort of DIY place that would carry something like this. Milton Keynes is a city of roundabouts with green space and trees shielding the main roadways from the buildings on the side of the road, therefore you don't necessarily see what you're passing. Plus, most of the stores aren't on my way to anything, so when I have a specific need I have to ask:

Spiders part 2

There was a giant spider living in my boots under the steps. He is dead now. I never, ever, EVER play that if-I-had-a-boyfriend game because, frankly, I can't really be bothered with the hassle they bring and I know how to hook up my own DVD player/computer/stereo, thank you very much. But I tell you what. A big strong man with a thirst for spider blood could make me swoon and bat my eyes, yessiree, BOB. If he also cleaned up overgrown plants in the wet, spider-filled Garden of Terror, I'd marry him on the spot. Heck, a cave-chested, pencil-necked, pasty-white-stay-inside could turn my head if he had a good strong pair of boots for kicking spider ass. But then who am I kidding? Pasty-white-stay-insides always turn my head.

Quiz Night 2

Tonight, we had our second quiz night. My first one was back the second week I was here (see November posts, if they're still there,) and so this was definitely a testament to how much my life has changed. I knew the answers to some of the TV questions. I knew the name of everyone but two people out of 45. (And those two are new.) I had conversation with people not on my team. I identified and successfully avoided all marmite. I followed proper pint-paying protocol. I didn't drive on the wrong side of the street when I left. All in all, I'd call this progress.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know that thanksgiving is two months away, but I am happy happy HAPPY about it today. I confess, I've been homesick lately. I think the permanence of my move has now sunken in, my friend Patricia and I have been busy with our respective jobs, so our Americans in England lifestyle has been on hold for a couple of weeks, plus I've hit the 10 month doldrums that you get any time you move...all in all, I've been dying for a friendly familiar face. So yesterday my friend Tom and I were emailing. I sent him a link to a castle here that is throwing a thanksgiving party for beaucoup ££s. We decided if we win the lottery we could go, but otherwise it was aimpossibilityty. But Tom invited me to NYC for Thanksgiving instead. He and Georgie are having dinner with friends who also happen to be wine merchants, which means excellent food (from George) and excellent wine (from friends), and then Tom is responsible for the scintillating conversation. I jumped online looking for a fare I

Cricket for Dummies

England has just taken the Ashes, a little urn of cricket bat ashes from 1882 created after the test where Australia first beat England. Every two years the two countries battle for the right to "own" the Ashes. There are 4 - 5 days of play in each series, with four series total. England hasn't won the Ashes in 20 years, so this is a big deal. Pretty much everyone is glued to the tv for the duration. Since test cricket is only played in the daylight, it usually goes from 1030 or 11am through 630 or 7pm. Watching cricket is a time-consuming hobby. The nice thing about it, though, is that because cricket moves slowly it doesn't matter if you multi-task or step away for awhile. You might miss some exciting developments, but they'll be others to come so you needn't stress. Plus, they have scheduled breaks for lunch and tea throughout the day and the telly coverage shows highlights regularly. You'll catch the major plays eventually. Sidebar...can you imagine

Oh Happy Day

On Friday, my belongings arrived from the states. I didn't ship that much, but what came will make me feel like there's a bit of me in the house. I shipped art by my friends Larry and Pam, as well as some items that friends and loved ones have given me that remind me of home. I have pictures of my friends and family already here, but there are more in the boxes. You'll be spread around the house now. I shipped some glassware and such because, while I don't really need my dishes, the glasses here suck and I have cool ones. There are a couple of things broken in that box, but I don't know which because I haven't had time to unpack it. I'm hopeful it's not too bad. I shipped all of my cds, as well as some books I've been meaning to read. I can now fill my house with the sounds I like and can finish Hillary's (auto?)biography before the campaign. There are winter clothes in time for winter. There are summer clothes in time for the last days of

More on the international reaction

Want to know what the Brits are saying about the US and Hurricane Katrina? Read this .

How Katrina looks from here

I've had a lot to do the last few weeks, so I've been working a lot. This weekend, I took stuff home, and have spent a good amount of my weekend working on different projects and keeping an eye on the TV. I hadn't really been tuned in to the news or the internet and I don't get a daily paper, so I didn't really understand how bad Katrina was until Saturday AM when I decided to watch CNN. My God. As you all know, it's impossible to put words to how horrible the scene is. Not even going to try. It looks like New Orleans is one of the closest things to hell on earth that's happened in my lifetime. Watching the suffering and dying on national TV was overwhelming. I think I cried for about two hours. I know I saw old people and children from footage earlier in the week who are now sitting in a makeshift morgue somewhere. How can this happen? I finally couldn't watch it and weep anymore. I had to start intellectualizing it...distance myself from it so I cou

I hate spiders

I hate spiders. I really hate spiders. They should warn you before you move to England that there are lots of spiders here, just in case. There are spiders that live in my car. They build little webs on my mirrors every night. In the daytime I knock them off, hoping that eventually the demoralized spiders will move on to some Vauxhall or Peugeot parked next to me, but they keep rebuilding. I had to take a broom to my house today, knocking down webs and eggsacks on every ground floor window. There is a spider in the front that I've nicknamed Charlotte, as it regularly builds a web between my rose bushes and my hanging basket that is literally six feet in diameter. I periodically knock it down, though, as I am not kind-hearted like Wilbur.

Robert Redford is a stone cold fox

Watched The Way We Were on tv this afternoon while I worked on some projects for work. My friend Lauren has pointed out on her blog that there is absolutely nothing not to like about Robert Redford, and I must agree whole-heartedly. I caught part of The Sting on Monday afternoon, and about a month ago I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . My, he's attractive. And of course, as a Katie-girl myself, TWWW always makes him even more attractive. Guys like that never happen to us, so being "Hubbell" makes him extra dreamy, even if it's not real. Yes, Robert Redford is timeless.

Sky TV

I broke down and got Sky. I have a satellite dish AND DVR technology. I love it. Not only do I get a bunch more weird British TV, but I get my favourite US stuff, too. OH! And I can pause live TV and tape things, basically making my TV do my bidding. Hallmark happens to be starting The Gilmore Girls right where I left off last season, and the final series of Six Feet Under just started on E4! Jon Stewart does a World Edition of The Daily Show and it airs on CNN. It is basically highlights from the week in the US, plus commentary added to help an international audience understand. This week he covered the whole Pat Robertson as hit man thing. Man, have I missed Jon. I must say that this little touch of contact with my homeland has made me quite happy. I feel like I'm a little more connected to the pulse of the US. Oh. And I get to see that dreamy Anderson Cooper on CNN once in awhile, as well. Why do they make him cover all the hurricanes?

This weekend at the car boot sale

I bought a 3 foot tall artificial Christmas tree and a silk pillow cover for £3.

What I did last night

Due to my busy schedule, this is actually more accurately titled "What I did 24 August." Sorry for the delay. My company has a new product. We're affiliated with Ticketmaster, and we sell a high-satisfaction/relatively low cost enhancement to a corporate benefit package, wherein your company pays for a membership to the Ticketmaster Priority Club. You join, you get discounts and they help you find things you might want to attend, etc. It's actually pretty great and, being a loyal employee, of course I joined when they sent the email to us. When I signed on I was cruising through the genres that I usually like...theatre, jazz, opera, alternative music...and I saw that Beulah was playing at Bush Hall in London on the 24th. Well, you know that I love my Beulah, and tickets were only £12.50, so I convinced my friends Katrina and Anna to join me for a night out in London to see one of my favourite bands. Note to self...next time, before you buy tickets, check to be sur

Readers

The Brits are readers. They all read, every last one of them. Okay, maybe there are a couple of 20 year old YOBs that don't crack books, but the rest of them...they like their books. This is great. Bookstores have interesting suggestions and authors who come to speak and are crowded with people. People quote favourite authors and they talk about things they've read in the past few weeks and they often make reading recommendations as part of casual small talk. They like non-fiction, they like mysteries, they like a good novel know and again. It's part of their culture, and they laugh at people who don't read. Mind you, some of them read crap...Barbara Cartland is a Brit, and we've been invaded by Dan Brown mania just like everyone else. But I like living in a nation of readers. Readers rule! (Except, of course, for the US president...he doesn't have to read. Dick Cheney does that for him.)

Cyber Playgroup

I love the internet. It's filled a hole in my life. I have my Playgroup back. When I lived in Seattle, it took me a long time to find my people. Don't get me wrong...I had Soni, and Ben, and Bethany and we spent many a night lounging on the leopard pillows, drinking Henry Weinhard's (or Hank, as we called it,) and walking to QFC dressed as the Gorton's Fisherman at 2 AM to buy fishsticks. But B, B, and S were people I knew before I got there, so they are different. In order to really feel at home somewhere, to really be comfortable living there, you have to make friends unique to that place. I'd been there almost two years before I found the people I'd retain from the PNW. I met them when my housemate, Gavin, moved out and we had to get a new housemate. We advertised on coffee shop walls and in weekly papers, and we found Knox. Knox is funny and smart. He is a poet. He is adventurous and interesting and a collector of people...some really good, some not exac

Picture Gallery

Sorry for the long absence. I've been quite busy in the past few weeks, hence the lack of posting. Tonight I'm getting caught up on things like paperwork and bills and bank statement balancing and email and all the things I can't do if I don't sit still. I've unloaded my camera, as well, and put a few pictures in from my visit with Tim in May and my weekends with friends in the past two weeks. There are captions for now, and I'll be back through the week with all sorts of updates.
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Car boot sale on Sunday - this goes on for rows and rows...there were probably 300 vendors.
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Patricia, Siri, and Anne in front of Fifteen, Jamie Oliver's restaurant
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View from Patricia's front window
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Ties on the wall at a pub in Oxford 
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Marzipan army of frogs and bears
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Woman making marzipan scholar in Oxford. Marzipan is like edible clay. It is unbelievable what people can do with this. We found a store in the Covered Market and watched this woman making figures. Very cool.
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Tim and I are crap with chopsticks. 
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Flowers at Woburn Abbey
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I live a little over an hour from this. 
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A marketing connection we've missed out on in the US. 
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Unnecessary caption - Don't lean on the doors when you're in a glass pod 30 stories above London. Necessary Caption - Don't lean your greasy head on the window.