Showing posts from May, 2007

Using what's in the fridge, vol 3

Take out a pint of Tetley's . Pour it in a pint glass, and dump in a shot of Bulleit . Savour the flavour. Who needs dinner? Every beer's a sandwich. (note...I just typed "savor the flavor" and it looked wrong to me. I've officially crossed over.)

Plate o' shrimp, vol 4

I was typing an email to my friend Tim, who has recently established the identity of "Big Hands" so he can comment here. As I clicked send, my iPod shuffled to Blister in the Sun by the Violent Femmes. Damn cosmic unconsciousness. And frankly, I think the cosmic unconsciousness is a little full of itself. I mean, we're already on volume four, not including when Doug wet himself, and it's only been two weeks.

Great moments in my history

And they're not even made out of curtains. I had shorts to match.


I believe I completed the New York Times Sunday Crossword today. We'll know tomorrow, but I can't find any mistakes and I have a letter in every spot. I'm breaking out the champagne.

Plate o' shrimp, vol 3

I looked up from my desk and greeted Anouk, my Dutch colleague. I looked back at my computer, and instantly an email popped up from advertising some of their hotels. Damn cosmic unconsciousness.

Using what's in the fridge, vol 2

Cut up half an onion and some garlic. Put it in a pan with some hot olive oil and some Penzey's chicken taco seasoning. Added a little cayenne. Sauteed. Put about three cups of stock in there, added a frozen chicken breast and let it poach. Shredded up the chicken, added a jar of salsa. It makes a passable soup. Who knew?

Great moments in my history

Are those or are those not the coolest culottes ever? (That's rhetorical, FYI.)

Hckhee is a famous kooking men frlrlrom Barthelona....

It's a good thing I'm not the sort to snicker in juvenile amusement at people with accents, because today I had a supplier visit that was like sitting in the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. Belgian, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese and English hotel reps told us all about their lovely properties in some of the most comically stereotypical accents I've ever heard. It's a shame we didn't have a Swedish hurdy-gurdy and a little Irish leprechaun to complete the bill.

Taste Sensations

White stilton with blueberries tastes like cheesecake, except not as sweet. If you put it on a pepper oatcake it is sweet-savoury-delicious. Creamy. Yummy. Migh. T. Fine.

Plate o' shrimp, vol 2

I'm doing a NY times crossword puzzle on line. The common thread is all stuff from The Sound of Music. And I'm watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart , and they just went to commercial. It's a Skoda ad and there are bakers creating a lifesize Skoda car out of cake and other pastries. And they're playing Julie Andrews singing Favorite Things in the ad. Damn cosmic unconsciousness.

Using what's in the fridge, vol 1

I have had a freakishly long week (it's Tuesday,) and I was able to come home by 7pm tonight. Unheard of for the days I've had lately. I don't really have much in the fridge, and I did not want to order takeaway or go to the grocer. Here is what I cobbled together. Pasta Carbonara I put some pasta to boil. It was either spelt or whole wheat, but I'd emptied it into a jar and I don't remember which I bought most recently. Cup up part of an onion and two cloves of garlic, heated up a pan, added olive oil and the O/G and sauteed. Added two pieces of turkey bacon and one slice of parma ham. Seasoned with Aleppo pepper from Penzey's and some black pepper. Beat one egg, added a teaspoon of milk and some salt and pepper, then some grated parmigianno reggiano. When the pasta was done, I dumped it in the pan with the onions and bacon and tossed it around, added a little of the pasta water, and after about thirty seconds tossed it with the egg mixture until it a

Great moments in my history

Wherein our heroine whimpers in fear at the scary dune buggy. I am not prone to fits of tears. It happens, but not often. Therefore my family loves to tell the story of how I wailed like a banshee during the entire dune buggy ride in Michigan. I have compensated by learning to drive very fast and crying to get out of speeding tickets.

Another cultural difference

My whole life, I've been making decisions. I see a situation, and I decide what I'm going to do. In the UK, people take decisions. This seems a bit passive to me. It sounds like someone puts thing in front of them and then they pick one up and run with it. It sounds like, ultimately, the responsibility isn't all is also the responsibility of the person who gave you your choices. I believe I will continue to make mine. It feels more independent.

Gawker Slowdown

I do not understand the belligerent binge drinking that the English do. I'm watching a tivoed programme called Bashing Booze Birds about women who binge drink and then get into fights. It's nuts. Here are all these women in high heels and "fashion" rolling in the gutter and tripping on nothing and getting hauled off by paramedics. And they're swearing and clawing and pulling hair and biting off ears. Because someone was looking at them funny. Or dancing with a man they thought they'd like to be dancing with. Or for weaving into them when they're trying to stumble down the street. And they're not just young. They just filmed a woman around my age getting fined £80 for bodily assault outside a nightclub. I know it's not all of the English. I suspect it is primarily an economic/class sort of thing, based upon what they're wearing and the number of piercings and tattoos on the women they're interviewing. But I don't know this. It&

Banned Phrase

"Death by Powerpoint " - maybe the first time someone said it it was slightly clever. And I'm not saying I like listening to people drone on while illustrating their points with acres and acres of words on a slide. But let's face it. If you do presentations, powerpoint is a necessary evil. And unless you're the first person in the history of the world to use powerpoint effectively every single time, you are casting stones at the mirror. So shut up and either a) brush up on your PPT skills and teach us all how to do it right, or b) spend your time thinking of a new way to suggest someone is giving a dull presentation with a wordy backdrop. You've been warned.

Plate o' Shrimp

So I'm on the New York Times website reading an article/interview about/with Paul Reubens aka PeeWee Herman. And I'm watching a Tivoed version of Campus Ladies (which might be the funniest show I've seen in ages, FYI, but I will wax poetic about that another day.) And in this episode, it turns out Paul Reubens aka PeeWee Herman is playing their drama teacher. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness, I tell you.

Great moments in my history

I think the snow is talking to us. And whatever it's saying must be fascinating. I hate snow. It must have been something it said. And just last night I was watching the Sex and the City episode where Carrie is a real-person model and has to wear jeweled underpants on the runway. At the time, I thought, "Who would wear that?" Apparently, I would.


I just watched the most amazing programme about Scientology. There's a BBC show called Panorama that does a lot of targeted investigative reporting. This week, they checked into the Church of Scientology. You can read about it, and possibly even watch it here . (Not sure if it allows you to view it from the US, but it's worth a try.) I'm not about to call it a cult, or suggest it is built on the rantings of a schizophrenic or anything. Nope. Scientology is a true religion. It is the one true way. Seriously. You doubt my sincerity? Watch the video and you'll agree. Oh. And I'm even more distrustful of the swans now. There are nine of them now that the babies are here. But they are not a cult. And clowns? Just good natured comedians. Please leave me alone. I'm harmless. I like you. Really. I do.

Great moments in my history

Shadows of my MBA, wherein I stand in the middle of a group of men and tell them what to do I believe the one not listening to me may be dead now. Just saying.

Sunday Highlights

Here is a quick little summary of what I did today. I mean, I'm a blogger. We're supposed to share this kind of mundane crap. Got out of bed at 935. Woke up around 10. Had a cup of coffee. Made Eggs Benedict to celebrate Mother's Day (even though my mom is in Iowa.) Called my friend Patricia. Still not fully functioning, managed to spill an entire cup of very strong coffee with milk on my cream sofa. Put cushion covers in the washer in hopes of getting most of the coffee stain out. Cruised US newspapers, which put me in the Visa Waiver strop below. Blogged. Ate the remaining gambas pilpil from dinner last night. Did some laundry. Cursed at the swan, who was in my neighbor's lawn pecking through their trash and strewing it about. Bastard. Read my Managing Mergers and Acquisitions prepwork. Became obsessed with my hair hanging in my eyes and went to the kitchen, got out the scissors and cut my bangs. They are much shorter, but eventually they were straight. Took some ti

Great moments in my history

Say, those are some funky Brady trousers.

It's a Great Day!

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon is now available in the US! It won't be published here in the UK for another month or so, but the knowledge that somewhere out in the world there is another Michael Chabon novel waiting to be read is comforting. And the reviews are good thus far, so I'm hopeful that it will be the satisfying, moving, clever story that wowed me in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay . I've preordered it on Amazon here. And should have just enough time to finish it before my pre-ordered Harry Potter arrives. Have you read it yet? Please tell me it's wonderful.

Waiving Visas

For those who don't know much about it, the Visa Waiver programme is a policy established between the US and 27 other countries to eliminate boundaries between allies. The ever brilliant Michael Chertoff is out there on a publicity tour touting the dangers of the Visa Waiver programme. He wants to get rid of it, or at least hack it within an inch of it's life. Allies are a rarity for us in this world these days, and taking away the VWP is going to be a fast way to lose the few we have. That guy is an incompetent hack and needs to shut up. Why exactly is this being brought up? Well, because there are lots of people of Pakistani descent who live in the UK and other countries involved in the programme. These people have tight bonds with family in Pakistan, they travel there frequently and the US is afraid of Pakistan because there are Muslims there. Osama bin Laden might be there. We believe there are terrorist training camps there. And we're afraid of Pakistanis living

Finding the next Abba

It's EUROVISION weekend. WHOOHOO !!!! Eurovision is the best thing ever. It's a song competition wherein every nation that is part of the European Broadcasting Union can submit an entry. Since France, Germany, Spain and the UK pay most of the cost of the thing, they get a guaranteed place in the final each year. The next ten spots are given to the top ten from the year before. The remaining countries compete for the final ten spots in the final. There is much scandal this year, as the winners of the competitive set are all Eastern European and the Westerners are miffed. (I mean, they were here first.) Countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East compete, too, though some Arab countries get a bit pissy because they have to recognize Israel if they want to play the game. Watching Eurovision is one of the favourite annual pastimes of music lovers across Europe. Much drinking is involved. BBC host Terry Wogan is giving a comic play-by-play between songs. The rules

Great moments in my history

Because nothing says, "I own the world!" like a patchwork mumuu smock. God help me, I'm wearing a tablecloth. Obviously, though, I had no idea that it made me look ridiculous. Perhaps I was too distracted by the Pebbles ponytail. Or perhaps I couldn't see through my chubby cheeks. N.B. This is now what I see in the mirror on low self esteem days.

Great moments in my history

Headbands....fashionable, AND able to keep your hair out of the chocolate. I told you I was the Rhoda. What bold blending of patterns! What bohemian style! Definitely cutting edge. With a bit of chocolate glistening on my mouth. I hope I wasn't eating off that spoon. Yuck. Please mother claims that I refused to wear anything she asked me to after about age 2, so I can't even blame her for this.

This week's trials and tribulations

The boiler is temporarily makes lots of clicking noise and the pilot is currently lit, but the nice repairman told me that it needs two parts to keep that pilot on, and if it goes out in, say a heavy draft from an open door, I won't be able to light it. The parts are due in tomorrow for installation either Friday or Saturday. In the meantime, I wash every dish as I use it and shower in both the morning and the evening, just in case I suddenly find that the water is lukewarm again. The plus side of the whole situation is that I've now a) gotten a key to open my meter box so I can give my new power company my power reading, and b) I know how to turn the temperature of the tank down a notch to prevent the scalding that most people get when they use the shower for the first time here at my humble abode. In other news, I am working with our office Satan on a project, and today I got told off for asking her to sit down to discuss the proposal document content and forma

Great moments in my history

The huntress has captured her prey Obviously, I was at least six before I discovered grooming.

Supervising Women

My friend Pam over at the Nerd's Eye linked over to this little gem ...I think I'm going to introduce it into my MBA programme. Then maybe the boys will break things down into small tasks so a girl like me can understand. Funny!

The Landlord

Knowing I was a bit downhearted about being broke, my friend Bethany sent me a link to this to help me get some perspective. (Somehow I feel like I'm watching Mama Gin ) The Landlord

Great moments in my history

Hunting for eggs, Easter 1971 I wasn't raised by wolves, but you wouldn't know it looking at me.

Five from CP

I gave CP (shown here ogling the breasts of our friend KC at my brother's wedding) permission to ask me five questions, what since he was such a good sport with mine. Here are the things he wants to know. 1. Describe in graphic detail the angriest you’' ve ever been in your life. What caused your outrage and why? Do you feel your anger and reactions, whatever they may have been, were justified? I know you were hoping for some juicy story where I opened some can of whoopass on someone, but that's not really me. I'm pretty good at standing up for myself in the moment so things don't build to full-fledged anger in my relationships. I am extremely easy going, I avoid conflict by not letting things build up, and I don't let myself get worked up over things that don't really matter. Most of the time. But on occasion, I am also prone to bouts of extreme rage, never at someone but at a situation. The rage manifests itself as a physical spasm and I have to

Rainy Bank Holiday

It is a rainy, grey day, and since the boiler man can't come until tomorrow to repair the heating/water heater, I am currently under the duvet on the sofa. I went to the gym this AM but now I intend to spend the day some schoolwork done yesterday, and now today is a completely non-work day for me. I am going to watch the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice , drink tea and nap. There is a sweet potato in the oven, I have chicken left over from last night, and will be making a curried cauliflower soup for dinner. There is nothing so comfortable as a cozy rainy day. I know most people would prefer a sunny day for being outside and barbecuing , but I think that this sort of day is better for me. No pressure to do anything, just a slow-paced sleepy afternoon.

Reason number 378 to hate spiders

This is so disgusting I can't even acknowledge I read it. Eww. I've been shaking my head and cringing for the past five minutes. Spiders. Living in his ear. His EAR. Jee.SUS.

Boiler Trouble

The worst part of living in the UK is figuring out the utilities and equipment. I am having trouble with my hot water. It is either the hot water tank (which is rumbling as it usually does so it is likely just fine) or the boiler. I have to figure out which, decide if I can fix it or need to call a plumber, and then decide if I call on Monday (a bank holiday and twice the price) or risk no hot water for 24 hours. I can shower at the gym, I can boil water, but I am CRABBY about having to deal with this. Grrrrr.

Why I bring an extra suitcase

After posting about Jello, I decided to go check out one of the online stores of American groceries to see what I could find. I made a little shopping cart of items I'd like. I put the following in: 1 pkg sugar-free strawberry kiwi jello 1 pkg sugar-free orange jello 1 pkg sugar-free jello chocolate fudge instant pudding 1 six pack IBC diet root beer 1 13.5oz box of cheese-it reduced fat crackers 1 16 oz box of zesta saltines 1 16 oz Adam's creamy peanut butter 1 12 oz box of reduced fat triscuits 1 46 fl. oz jar of Nalley's Garlic Crunchy Dills 1 24 fl. oz. jar of Vlasic baby kosher dills 1 2.62oz shaker of Old Bay seasoning Total? £63.78....$126 to you. Can you believe that? Sigh. August is a very long way off for replenishment of supplies. You can take the girl out of the midwest, but you can't get rid of that craving for cheese-its. (Velveeta was out of the was another £10.)

Jello - possibly the best product in America

When I was a child I loved Jello. Preferably orange, with canned mandarin oranges in it for a bit of added flavour (or maybe the occasional marshmallow). Jello was delicious...sweet, cool, juicy...and it was served WITH the meal so you got dessert, as well, if you were good. As I got older, I learned that it was not sophisticated to like Jello so I stopped seeking it out. I made fun of Jello salads that had vegetables (carrots and celery were common), laughed uproariously at the recipes that had meat in them, and refused to eat the thing my mom made with cottage cheese, lime Jello and pineapple. But if the right Jello was available at, say, a family reunion or church potluck, I would take some and secretly savour every bite. Then about six years ago, everyone I knew went on Atkins or the Zone and suddenly sugar-free Jello was cool. Diet friendly, sweet and delicious...the perfect treat after a meal of meat and more meat (or a 40/30/30 balanced small-plate special). It was safe

Self Tanning Success

It is one week into my self-tanning experiment, and I will say that it is a relative success. I am using a lotion option, which is a more gradual process and is supposedly a bit less noticeable. I selected the Dove Fair Skin Summer Glow option, and my legs now look vaguely tanned but not orange or unattractive. There are no streaks or buildups, either, though I have taken a damp cotton pad and used it to even out any excess each day so that may be a result of technique, not product. I am also careful to use my body puff on my legs to ensure proper exfoliation, thanks to Kirstin's bit of advice...all of which is conspiring to make it look like I spent my weekend in Spain or someplace. So far, so good.

Where to Dine

I received this tag from Lulu. I don't eat out that much right now because I'm kind of broke, but when I do it is either here in the Milton Keynes area or it's in London, so this list will contain a bit of both. Here are the rules: The rules:1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in. Nicole (Sydney, Australia) velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy) Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia) Olivia (London, England) ML (Utah, USA) Lotus (Toronto, Canada) tanabata (Saitama, Japan) Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States) Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States) Melinda June (Milton Keynes, UK) 2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location. 3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged. The Swan at Salford - An excellent gastropub about three miles from Cranfield and about sev

F**k Off Postscript

Once I finished watching that, I happend upon Fame on TCM2. There are a LOT of gingers in this movie. Like four main or secondary characters and about 10 main extras. That would never happen in England.

Another in the F**k Off series

Tonight's episode is entitled F**k Off I'm Ginger . The host is a handsome 26 year old comedian who has pale skin and bright red hair. Here are some of the highlights: - Women are really freaked out by the thought of ginger pubic hair. - Women would rather have sex with a small- penised non-ginger than with a well-endowed ginger. - They live in fear of having ginger kids. - When they see ginger men, they think of wedgies. Yes, pants up the ass. - Even the host doesn't want to date a ginger because people would think they are freaks. - He actually found a doctor that said that fair skin and ginger hair makes people think pale, frail and vulnerable...and most people consider it a possible sign of inbreeding. - He interviews his parents, who tell him that when he was born the midwife said, "Oh, you have a son... And he's a ginger. Is your husband ginger?" She was very concerned, apparently. His mother then blamed her husband for the bad gene. He threw it back

Kind of Not Guilty

I had to go to court today. This meant I had to miss one of my classes, but I can always go to that lecture with the modulars when they do it in a few weeks. But I figured it was best to show up if Her Majesty's Court in Hertfordshire issues a formal invitation. Some of you may remember the little welcome home I got from the bailiff back in November. I managed to get that round thrown out, but the court tried again to do me for speeding. I was given an opportunity to be found guilty of speeding AND of not providing appropriate information. It was for an incident in August 2005. I don't remember if I was speeding. I don't remember being where they say the incident occurred . But the car was in my keeping, and the car was speeding...while it's possible I'd handed the keys to someone else in the company since it IS a company car and I do relinquish it now and again if someone needs it more than I do, it is likelier that I was driving than someone else, as it is

More Late Night Chat Show

Coaster Punchman has his questions...keep checking for his answers. Any more takers?

Giving In

I have given in. I've been in the UK for two and a half years now, and I have finally succumbed to the pressure. I'm not proud. In fact, I kind of hate myself. But I couldn't take the pressure anymore. I have purchased self tanner. I am extremely pale by nature. I have translucently pale skin, with freckles on any part of my body that gets regular sun. This has never really bothered me. I mean, I can't help my skin tone, can I? So I lack appropriate pigmentation? So my melanin floats a bit? As long as I used sun screen and avoided extended periods in the beating hot sun it all seemed fine. I took my share of ribbing, of course. My freshman year of college, I was wearing a lovely pink floral skirt on one of the first warm days of the spring, and my friend Mark asked me if I was wearing nurses tights. I wasn't. More than one person has claimed to be momentarily blinded by the glare from my legs. In my youth, I'd try to correct this by sunbathing, but I'd

Late Night Chat Show

Some Guy and Kirelime are, as we speak, preparing their answers to my questions. Inquiring minds want to know...what on earth will they say next?