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Showing posts from August, 2007

Jukebox Hero

I am the intellectual auntie. The literary one. Sure, I'm a bit more of a free spirit that my nephews' other aunts, but I've always been a stickler for giving challenging, educational or otherwise odd presents for birthdays and Christmas. From an early age, they've known that mine was not the package of Harry Potter Legos or Transformers...it was more likely to be some weird monster building kit or the actual Harry Potter books. So you can imagine their surprise when I arrived with a belated birthday present for their Xbox 360. I'd sworn I'd never contribute to this mind-numbing time waster. That I would never participate in a stupid video game when I could be doing something real instead. Well. Guitar Hero II was on sale at Target this week. And, though it seemed to go against every sensibility I have, I'd heard rave reviews of a fabled guitar game from people I trust...even been encouraged to try it myself because I'd love it...and so I called

Tally: vol 2

One McDonald's breakfast burrito, part of an Egg McMuffin and a cup of McDonald's coffee while we read the paper One viewing of Sweet Land , which is romantic and lovely and beautiful, and looks just like you want love to look One trip to the post office Eyebrow wax while Mom had a wash and blow dry at Eclips Photo taken for the paper to commemorate an earmarked hospice donation in my Dad's name One more stop at McDonald's for a soft-serve cone (they're 49 cents each, for pete's sake) One trip to Culver's for an iced tea with Mom and Carol One very rushed trip home so the van didn't get hailed on Dinner at the Oaks, the steakhouse in the old Cliff House hotel. Say, that Dan has sure done a nice job, hasn't he? I went to high school with him. Don't I remember? One game of scrabble, Mom 316, Me 313 One viewing of Hairspray (the Divine version), wherein I explain to Mom why CP and I adore it and she laughs at the cartoon-like nature of the original

Tally: vol. 1

One Culver's chocolate custard with butterfinger chips Half of a Culver's tuna salad wrap Some of my mom's Culver's Club Salad Two trips to Super Walmart , one for a box fan and another for a wet/vac. We had a mega thunderstorm in the night and my mom's house is built on soil high in clay content with lots of limestone springs running deep in the ground. This means that the neighbourhood can be prone to a bit of basement flooding in heavy rain. Lucky us...the sump pump broke and we woke to much water in the basement. My day has been spent with plumbers, moving furniture of saturated carpet and sopping wet boxes from parts of the cement side of the basement, getting said carpet lifted and then wet- vaccing the carpet pad. (about 8 gallons out thus far.) One game of scrabble to relax - Mindy 374, Mom 277, with a bingo for Mindy with "begonia"

The Spanish Inquisition

Women, do you find Monty Python: a) extremely funny b) funny, I guess c) stupid d) all of the above My brother and my nephews were having an argument about whether or not women find Monty Python amusing. I was cited as an example of one who does (which is correct), thus proving my brother wrong. But this raises the question...do others?

For an extra buck you can get it without the connective tissue

The eating and cocktailing continues. The walk and detox were indeed canned in favour of a Bloody Mary and a classic American breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. I really did have the best intentions, but when I walked upstairs after finishing my post, KB suggested we step out for a bite to eat and, always the gracious guest, I complied. We went to the kind of bar that has a few hipsters, a few guys who've told they're wives they're going for a walk and headed straight for the biscuits and gravy, a few locals like us who just wanted a bit of grease to lubricate the arteries for the day, and quite a few diehards drinking whiskey and water for breakfast. It's a good thing there's a smoking ban, or this place would be unbearable. The Bloody Marys were $1.98, with an option to upgrade (yes, I said UPGRADE) to Smirnoff for a bit more. (Seriously. That's like upgrading to MD 20/20 from Boone's Farm.) They were, however, quite spicy and delicious,

Damn US keyboards

All the punctuation marks are in weird places. It's Saturday morning, and I've managed to move my body clock from the 430 AM wake ups I've been having to a respectable 715 AM. Still pretty early, but at least not awkwardly so. The international leg of my flight was much better than usual. No missionaries leading bible study during takeoff. No crying babies or obnoxiously immature blokes sticking their buttocks in my face. I was bit worried, as they'd switched out my seat without my permission and moved me from the bulkhead aisle I had to the last row of the plane, still an aisle but directly in front of the main toilets, the big kitchen and with no recline. However, I complained politely, and after a bit of a wait I got a plum aisle seat in the front section of coach, meaning more leg room and swifter exit in Chicago. Big win. My seatmates were a French family. The mom was sitting next to me, and though she was one of those people who believes she space in the ro

Winging my way home

Tonight is packing night. Tomorrow I work, come home for a quick last minute check of the house and to grab my bags, and then I drive to my friend Patricia's. I have to be at Heathrow by 545AM Wednesday, and then I'm off for a relaxing time in the Midwest. Hallelujah! The to do list for tonight is do-able so it shouldn't even be horribly late. Friends are watching my house while I'm out, and there are workmen coming to replace windows and paint the interior, and gardeners coming to fix my horrible garden. When I return, I will be renewed and so will my abode. All good. I won't be online for another few days, but will check back in once I'm properly on holiday. I'm giddy with excitement.

And the final blow

If all of the other evidence has not shamed him into admitting his error, then this, from the book of Hairspray in the Tom and Mindy bible, should sort this out. Baltimore. 1962....

And another thing...

Check out the date on THIS little gem....

Nothing he could ever do would make me hate him, BUT...

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Coaster Punchman is one of the loves of my life. And for twenty years, every time one of us does something that might annoy the other, we remind each other that nothing we could ever do would make us hate each other. But this time, CP has gone to far. Baby's coming out of the corner swinging, my friend. Mr. Punchman had the audacity to criticise the fashions and hairstyle of Dirty Dancing. He claims they are not authentic. That the movie does not look like it is taking place in 1963. This criticism is a thinly veiled insinuation that this movie is not perfect, and THAT is simply not so. Easily one of the greatest movies of all time, or at least one of the top 10 dance movies of the last 20 years . And where exactly do you come by this erroneous conclusion, sir? I submit the following to you: - The summer of 1963 looked much more like 1959 than 1969. - Crew cuts and various versions of bouffants were the hairstyles of the day for the fashionable. - A young liberal Jewish teen li

It takes a village to make a cocktail

Just back from a lovely night out with friends. We started at the Bull, a pub in Olney , where we had a typical English Friday night talking smack and sucking down drinks. It was a great way to relax, and very necessary considering how stressful the last week has been. Many bawdy jokes were made. There was some swearing and some mick-taking. We then moved on to Cafe Brio, where they make delicious pizzas. Delicious by English standards, of course, as the pizzas here have no spice to them...they use canned tomatoes, not pizza sauce, so by American taste buds they're a bit bland. (I cannot WAIT for my night at Red's Savoy Inn later in the month.) Much more conversation and laughter, and a shot of espresso that has me pretty wired. So I just got home, and since I'd stuck to soda and lime for the evening, what since I was driving and all, I decided to make a cocktail. I perused my liquor shelf and decided that a manhattan was just the thing. And as I picked the bottles of

The scent of the king

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A nice dairy worker believes she has discovered the image of Elvis in a wheel of stilton . I guess I see it, kind of like I can see the guy in the camel on a pack of cigarettes. But personally, I think she just wanted her picture in the paper. I wonder if Elvis smelled like cheese? I've always assumed he smelled like Old Spice. Or maybe Paco Rabanne.

Hoof, mouth and nose disease

You've heard the news stories. They're true. First I stubbed my toe and turned it purple. Yesterday there was a tiny little zit on the edge of my lip. And now there's a red spot very near the end of my nose. It's an epidemic.

Just saying

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If someone called me " Turd Blossom ", I would not think it was endearing. But consider this. Not only did The Decider use this dookie-focused term as a nickname for his long time friend, one of my Republican friends used to announce loudly that I had the "Hershey Squirts" for no apparent reason back when we were in college. By announce I mean shout it across campus, down dorm hallways, across crowded cafeterias...you get the idea. Maybe poop is the GOP's way to tell you they love you. Which I guess could explain their policies. Note to Some Guy: In response to the "turd blossom" image search, google gave a partial nude on page 2, a nasty-pimple-rash ass on page 12, and a photo-shopped nude Cheney/Bush embrace on page 30. Your theory holds.

Great moments in my history

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Outlanders. There. No wonder they call it the Badlands.

Pretty Woman looks creepy from this side of 40

Richard Gere was my age today when he made Pretty Woman . Which makes him 58 today, which is odd. But I digress. I have the kind of insomnia that makes you jumpy tonight, and I had to get out of bed before I hurt myself. So I came downstairs and turned on the telly and Pretty Woman was just starting, so I grabbed some clementines from the fridge and sat down to watch it. For starters, may I just say that in 1990 the dress and hip boots Julia Roberts was wearing when he picked her up were skanky ho clothes. From the perspective of 2007, they look like something a 20 year old would wear clubbing on a Friday. That icks me out. As does the fact that old-man Richard Gere falls in love with this childlike prostitute. Forget the whole ingenue as prostitute thing, which feminists much smarter than I have lambasted ad nauseum . She's not just a small town girl...there are times that she seems positively stunted. Less mature than my 12 year old nephew. And by the end of the movi

Traffic and weather

I am completely enamored of the recent Fountains of Wayne album, and I don't care who knows it. Yes, I know they're formulaic. Yes, they tell too many stories and sing pop tunes in the key of happy with the same harmonies and versions of the same clever lyrics. Yes, many of the stories are sappy. Simplistic. Of love that is resolved in three verses with a bridge. Yes, this is a retread of everything they've ever done before, and Leave the Biker has never been bested (though in my humble opinion Red Dragon Tattoo, Hey Julie, and Valley of Malls are its equal.) I don't care. I don't even care that they wrote the songs to that Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore movie, Music and Lyrics , which, by the way, I loved for its sappiness, too. And for Hugh Grant's silly dancing. But mostly for the sappiness. There truly are few things that make me happier than a well-turned pop song. And even fewer happy things are available at the spin of the iPod wheel. Fountains of W

Thin line between love and hate

10AM - As I sit down to drink my two-shot cappuccino with delicious, creamy-lite foam I am in love. Oh, the perfection of a cool Saturday AM with the windows open for a fresh breeze, James Martin and few of his sexy cooking friends showing me how to make delicious meals and the scent of a fresh-brewed espresso wafting into my waking senses. 1PM - Feel the tension of reading and trying to take notes at the same time dissipate as I sip my second cappuccino of the day. A blissful moment of peace in my intellectually gruelling day. 8PM - Oh, to finish my delicious dinner with a slightly sweet americano ...a jolt of loveliness. 1AM - What the hell was I thinking. A pattern is developing here. My new espresso machine is the portal to both heaven and hell. Pavlov may have dogs figured out, but he obviously has not met me. Perhaps it will help if I go stick my hand in the pretty candle flame....

Using what's in the fridge, vol 6.

It's warm. I wanted to grill. I wanted something delicious. I didn't want to go shopping for extras. So I made: Chicken Tikka Kebabs Cut up some chicken breasts/thighs. Mix a cup of plain yogurt, squeeze in some lemon (one squeeze is fine) and stir in some curry powder. Toss the chicken in it, put it in the fridge, and then let it sit there. I started this at 4 and cooked it at 7, but if I'd been planning ahead I'm sure I could have let it sit longer and it would have been even tastier. Take a few bamboo skewers and put them to soak in some warm water. Heat the broiler or grill. Skewer the chicken. As you do it, it helps to take some of the yogurt off with your hands because too much will get all weird under the grill. Weird like burny . Put it under the broiler or on the grill. Cook until done and nicely browned, turning frequently to make it even. I use the broiler in the oven, so I was able to do the salad while that cooked...I cut a cucumber, a couple of t

How to have my friday night

If your Friday plans cancel and you find yourself at loose ends, here's an idea....do what I did when the same fate befell me. 1) Go to the grocer on your way home from work and pick up a few things to get you by until you fly home in 12 days. 2) Your sciatica is a little out of kilter, so go home instead of the gym. 3) Put the groceries away and change into shorts and a comfortable shirt. Plaid shirts are best. 4) Get out your 70's era Underdog glass from the Pepsi Collection series. Put the following in it: Mindy's Mojito - 3 sprigs of mint, preferably spear-type - muddle/crush - 1 teaspoon of sugar, powdered or granule, or even splenda if you wish, and the juice of one lime - Stir this and muddle a bit more - Add ice to the top of the glass - Add two shots of white rum (I have some delicious Cuban stuff, but you can use whatever) - Add a splash, JUST a splash of brown rum (again, I have Cuban. Nanananana .) - Top off with soda water. - Add a splash of peach bitters

Jav-aahhh

I am a coffee lover. Readers of this blog will know that I have had my troubles finding the right mocha solution here in the UK. I've had a drip pot explode on me, I've grown frustrated with the inconsistency of my cafetiere skills, and even took a step into the dark side of instant during one of my weaker moments. But one of the advantages of working for a company that sells reward and recognition products and services is that you're guaranteed to earn points for something by just doing a good job, and those points add up and turn themselves into all sorts of things. In the states, they became radios, TVs , a DVD player, a camping equipment Christmas for my nephews, several kitchen appliances and many lunches at Chili's and Red Lobster. Here in the UK, they just became a DeLonghi espresso maker! It was waiting for me when I arrived at work today. I rushed home at lunch to make a cappuccino and savour the deliciousness that is a freshly brewed homemade cup of e

It worked

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This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words: * hurt (11x) * retard (10x) * crap (1x) Where did crap come from? And why didn't it pick up badass? I wonder how it would react if I started talking about beavers and pussy cats?

Like Disney, except no talking animals

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This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words: retard (2x) hurt (1x) I knew that my blog would be rated PG because I refrain from using any profanity, as my Mom reads it and I do not use profanity around her. But I find this rating funny because a) it gets so uptight about the word retard, and b) one use of the word "hurt" has been flagged. RETARD RETARD RETARD RETARD RETARD HURT HURT HURT HURT HURT HURT RETARD HURT. Take that, blog-rater. Please note...the above was intended to trick the meter into giving me cool points by making me a badass, not to suggest that anyone go out and hurt retards. If they DID, that would make them, well, a retard. Or is mouth-breather more politically correct? This tool is obviously a m&%~*$f£&?@#! joke.

Great moments in my history

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Either I was trying to recreate the moment below, or I really need to learn to shut my yap when they're taking a picture. Note the angelic halo of poppies above my head.

Two weeks and counting

In two short weeks, I will be flying back to the US for 18 days. I am very excited. It's a very necessary trip, both because I've been horribly homesick since I got back and really want to spend some time with my family, and because it is my last chance to relax before I have to hit the books heavily to finish my degree. I have a lot of work to do between now and then...there is research on my merger and acquisition project so I am prepared for the response document I have to write before the end of September. I have an individual report to finish for Globalization, and then I have research for the group report that's due at the end of September. I have to get my head around my Leadership project and have some conversations with my Innovation team and blah, blah blah.....All in two weeks. Pleh . So far, I've set myself a task each night and have stuck to it. The house is now one night away from being completely organised...I have the piles down to two medium size one

Safety first

I have a stack of things on my desk at work, and so I went into the office today at 10. I have a key, and alarm key fob , and a code for the alarm. But I got them in the wrong order, causing a right ruckus with freakish amounts of noise echoing throughout the neighbourhood while I waited for my friend Nick to help me sort things out on the phone with the security company. Great way to start the day. Got settled at my desk, and then the front door bell rang. Went down to meet the security guard, who interrogated me to verify I was legit. Passed the test, went back upstairs. Spent the day working on laying out some strategic initiatives that I need to review with my managers later this week. It was a politically sensitive document, as they have an agenda and any recommendations I make that are not in line with that agenda will be summarily attacked and dismissed as heresy. This is how it goes with ideas in our department. If they align with the ideas of our manager they are laude

Great moments in my history

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My mouth may be small, but I can open it really, really wide. I believe this sticking-out-my-tongue-business was a malicious prank taught to me by my brother, in a last ditch attempt get me sent packing. Look at his smug expression.

For Dale

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THIS is the object of our heart's desire.

Not-unpleasant Tesco trip

I had no food in the house. Okay, that's not true. I had no food in the house that wasn't in a dried state that required an overnight soaking before cooking, additional ingredients to make it palatable or a time machine to make it edible. It's been a busy week. I've been catching up at work on some projects that I've put off, I've been trying to get a dent into a Cuba research paper that I have been half- heartedly working on since I got back from the states, and I have been working on my resume. Last night when I left work I meant to go to the grocery store, but I would have had to put gas in the car and there was a big line at the BP and I had to pee and it all conspired into coming home and walking to the local centre to get some Chinese food for dinner. So. I woke up this morning, hungry and in need of caffeine, but the milk in the fridge had gone past sour to cheese. I could have walked to the One Stop for some sub-standard provisions, but I decided

Landmines

I just received a link to this . I laughed myself silly. What a brilliant idea. How did I not know about this ?

Things you learn surfing while you wait for the Daily Show

I still have a huge crush on Hyde from That 70's Show . You'd think I'd outgrow it. But I haven't. I think it's the anti-establishment intellectualism masquerading as an Everyman. Or maybe the mischievous twinkle in his eye. Or maybe that mega white-man's 'fro and those cool glasses. Hubba Hubba . The folks on Friends really aged during the course of that show. The women lost a lot of weight, and the men seemed to have gained it all. Their haircuts from the first few seasons are hard to look at. And Joey is the funniest character. I have not seen enough Simpsons episodes. It's supposed to rain on Sunday, the day the person is coming to do my garden. The King of Queens is not necessary. There is a lot of complete and total crap on television.