Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two guys, a doll, and an Italian place


My life is now complete. Last night, I sat about 50 feet from Ewan McGregor all night while he sang and danced his way into my heart all over again. Guys and Dolls was one of my favorite shows I've ever seen I think. All the actors were just great! Jane Krakowski (some Ally McBeal fans may remember her from that show) was sooooo good as Adelaide. And something about Ewan doing that harsh 1940's New York accent really flipped my switch! And I thought I might pass out cold when he sang "Luck be a Lady". Not to mention that we started the evening off with possibly the best lasagne I've ever had in my entire life. All in all, not a bad night. Great food and my number one and number two men in the same room with me. And before someone asks... OF COURSE Jason is the number one!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Who says there's no Thanksgiving in Great Britian?

I beg to differ. Last night we had some friends over for quite a feast and next Saturday, we're going over to another friend's place for yet another Thanksgiving dinner! I've decided that this year, I'm most thankful for the following:

-the amazing opportunity we've been given to live abroad for a few years
-a wonderful, amazing, incredibly good-looking husband with whom to share it
-the new girlfriends I've made so quickly here (shout out to Pandora, Kate, Monique, and Charlotte)
-the old girlfriends from home that I miss so dearly (shout out to Catherine, Melanie, and Jenny)
-Starbucks' seasonal latte offerings which they so cleverly serve in adorable red cups
-iTunes/iPod
-the really hot guy in the new Lacoste cologne ad
-Ewan McGregor live on stage in Guys and Dolls

and probably a lot more stuff but now all I can think about is Lacoste guy and Ewan McGregor...

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Workout Mistress is In

So, I've put together quite a workout mix for my iPod and it really keeps me motivated at the gym. I have to actually force myself to leave after an hour and a half. So I thought I'd share my knowledge for others who are searching for similar motivation.

I'll split the songs into three categories - The Kick It Up, The Break It Down, and The Transition Between The Two (I thought my fellow Better Than Ezra fans would appreciate that little reference). The Kick It Up means kick it into high gear and run your arse off on the treadmill or elliptical. The Break It Down songs are good for either weights, strength machines, or jacking up the incline on the treadmill and going at a slow pace to work your bum and thighs - I call it the "slow climb". That's a little tip I picked up from my friend Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Otherwise known as the best butt in the biz, so I figure if anybody's worth taking workout tips from, it's her. Word? Word. The Transition is basically songs that are good for your powerwalk pace - everything that happens in between running and slow climb. Samples of all these songs should be available on either iTunes or amazon.com. So without further delay.......

THE KICK IT UP
The Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim
Song for the Dumped - Ben Folds Five
Toxic - Britney Spears
Switch - Will Smith
She Wants To Move - N.E.R.D.
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Ray of Light - Madonna
Bodyrock - Moby
Without Me - Eminem
Objection Tango - Shakira
Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
Bubble Pop Electric - Gwen Stefani
Because We Can (from Moulin Rouge soundtrack) - Fatboy Slim
An American Girl - Tom Petty
I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
La La La - Jay-Z
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Just a Girl - No Doubt
End of the World - REM
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz
Do Somethin' - Britney Spears
Take It Off - The Donnas
One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solem Faces - Ben Folds Five
Beautiful Day - U2
Paint It Black - Rolling Stones
The Obvious Child - Paul Simon
Last Chance - Jet
Lose Control - Missy Elliott
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
Can't Get You Out of My Head - Kylie Minogue
Crazy In Love - Beyonce
Devil Inside - INXS
Hey Mama - Black Eyed Peas
Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child
Judy is a Punk - The Ramones
Pon De Replay - Rihanna
What You Waiting For - Gwen Stefani
Dammitt - Blink 182
Add It Up - Violent Femmes

THE BREAK IT DOWN
Soldier - Destiny's Child
Izzo - Jay-Z
Juicy - Better Than Ezra
Candy Shop - 50 Cent
Jesus Walks - Kanye West
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Lady - Lenny Kravitz
In Da Club - 50 Cent
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
99 Problems - Jay-Z
P.I.M.P - 50 Cent
Magic Stick - 50 Cent
Gold Digger - Kanye West
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
Naughty Girl - Beyonce
I'm Real (Murder Remix) - I'm Real
Disco Inferno - 50 Cent
Beverly Hills - Weezer

THE TRANSITION
Baby Boy - Beyonce
My Perogative - Britney Spears
The Boogie That Be - Black Eyed Peas
Change Clothes - Jay-Z
One, Two Step - Ciara
Work It - Missy Elliott
Outrageous - Britney Spears
Diamonds - Kanye West
Float On - Modest Mouse
Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani
Pop - Nsync
Rockin ' the Suburbs - Ben Folds
Don't Lie - Black Eyed Peas
Whenever, Wherever - Shakira
My Humps - Black Eyed Peas
Don't Phunk With My Heart - Black Eyed Peas
Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay-Z
Cold Hard Bitch - Jet
Hella Good - No Doubt
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Right For Me - Justin Timberlake
Booylicious - Destiny's Child
Crash - Gwen Stefani
Goodies - Ciara
My Style - Black Eyed Peas
Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake
Gossip Folks - Missy Elliott
Let's Get It Started - Black Eyed Peas
Superman - REM
Hott - Missy Elliott
Senorita - Justin Timberlake
Make Over - Christina Aguilera
I'm a Slave 4 U - Britney Spears
Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani
Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake
Dirrty - Christina Aguilera
Rollover DJ - Jet

So there you have it. If anyone else has any really good workout songs, lemme know. I'm always up for adding to my repertoire! You can all send me lovely bunches of tulips to thank me when you have Fergie's butt and abs...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

My British television debut on MTV!!!!

So, another American girl I met here called me today and said she had tickets to TRL on MTV for today's episode! How cool is that?? So I got all dolled up and went with her... It was so much fun! I recorded it on our SkyTV box and I'm watching it now. I'm watching us on MTV! Who would've thought that I'd make my MTV debut at 28 years old? And I thought I was past my prime... Unfortunately, there wasn't anybody of much significance to me on the show today (a recently booted contestant from an American Idol-like show) but it was still awesome! Thanks Monique!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I suppose they call it "trivia" for a reason

Well, I've been known in some circles for my knowledge of random tv sitcom trivia. While I agree it's a rather nice talent to posses, I think it may have gone too far. I was watching Season 4 of Sex and the City and thought a guest character (an artist selling works at Charlotte's gallery who then began a relationship with Samantha) looked really familiar. After some thought, I had it. I thought way back to the Cosby Show and remembered an episode where Theo had a problem with a teacher who was really tough. Mrs. Westlake. Or as Theo called her - The Dragon Lady. It was the same actress - I just knew it!!! So to confirm my conclusion, I went to www.imdb.com (Internet Movie Database) and searched it. BINGO!!! Her name is Sonia Braga and sure enough... noteable TV appearances include Sex and the City and ta-daaaaaaaaaaa! the Cosby Show!!!!! I mean, this was in 1986 that this particular episode of the Cosby Show aired! I must be some sort of TV idiot-savant. God I love it when I'm right! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Naked naked everywhere!

Ummmmmm, maybe it's because I'm American and we're trained from birth to be very hush hush about sex and nudity but I cannot help being shocked by my locker room at the gym. Women just walk around completely buck NAKED! Not even bothering to try to cover up their "biscuits". The first time, I thought maybe it was just a one-off occurence - one of the many mainland europeans living in the UK. But ohhhhhh no. Everytime I go, there's somebody waltzing around with all their bits and pieces jiggling about. And they'll stand there and have completely normal conversations with each other. "How was your weekend?" "Oh fine, I walked around naked for most of it and then went to the cinema. How about you?" Meanwhile, I'm scurrying to the closed stalls to change clothes just trying to keep my eyes on the floor. I'm not ready for this... I freak out just getting a bikini wax!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The best comedian of all time

Dane Cook. Enough said. Check out a few clips here. My faves are Growing Up Catholic, I Gotta Dance, and Knowing You're Drunk. Absolute comic genius.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A few of my favorite things

Here are some of the things that are currently making me happy:

The Daniel Powter CD

The new David Gray CD, Life In Slow Motion

Downloading current episodes of Desperate Housewives and Lost on iTunes

My new dustbuster (sad, I know but when you have a little flat, you can get away with dustbusting instead of hauling out the full-blown vacuum)

Kit-Kats (an oldie but a goodie!)

The redcups are here!!! A grande skinny gingerbread latte makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

These two hysterical commercials (weird, but hysterical):
Nutri-Grain Bars
Knorr Beef Tonight (Sorry, video's gone now...)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Working out is super fun!

I joined a gym on Friday and today was my first session with "James". Personal trainer James. Personal trainer James looks like Freddie Prinze Jr. except with lighter hair. And he says "bum" quite a lot. As in "Now lift your bum up just a bit there" or "You should really feel this in your bum". Why didn't I join the gym sooner?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Everyone said it would happen

And it did. The major wave of homesickness. Major. I'm talking crying and frantically looking for cheap flights home major. I'm talking "What have I done, I can't possibly live here for 3 years?!?" major. So Jason, being the sweet, caring husband that he is asked me if I wanted to go to Outback. If I were a cartoon, I would have been doing the classic double take. "What did you say? There's an Outback here? As in Outback Steakhouse? As in 'No Rules Just Right' Outback Steakhouse?" Nothing he could have said would have made me happier at that moment. So there we were. We walked in and for all anyone could tell, we were in the Outback on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh. It was exactly the same! Free drink refills and everything, which is unheard of here. It was truly just what the doctor ordered. There, over a Bloomin' Onion and Jackaroo Chops and Queensland Chicken & Shrimp, Jason talked me off my ledge. So for him, I reserve my highest praise: "Snaps for Jason!"

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh God!

I've just had a realization. I'm an ellipsis abuser. You know, the three little periods people use when they want to trail off cleverly or want to trick people into thinking they're still mulling philosophically over the sentence they just wrote when really they were just too lazy to really complete the thought? Take a gander at my previous posts and you'll see what I mean. From this moment forward, I vow to only use an ellipsis when I give it thought and determine that it really is an appropriate use of punctuation. Or when I really really really want to.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm an aunt...again!

Our second neice was born on Friday - Anna Claire. I'm really sad we couldn't be there with everyone. But we'll see her at Christmas which isn't too far away!

A word to the wise...

My tip of the day: don't come home at 1:00am and start downloading music off iTunes after consuming copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. I won't get into details but let's suffice it to say I have a lot of new material for my iPod.

Friday, November 04, 2005

"Reading is fun. Can we start the story now?"


Before I left the states, my sister-in-law, Jenny, passed one of her books on to me to read. It's called Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress. I've just started it recently and I must say, it is one of the most hysterical things I've ever read! It's not they typical type of book I read - fiction chick lit like Jane Green and Sophie Kinsella, and some more Oprah Book Club-ish stuff like Maeve Binchy and Anita Shreve - mostly in that it isn't fiction, but I have caught myself laughing out loud several times already. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I'm back...

So, after a brief internet hiatus, I return. We FINALLY have a broadband connection in our flat. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get stuff set up when you have no credit record in a country. Anyhoo, we're officially rolling now and tonight, we're ordering our satellite tv package. So after that, I'll officially have no reason whatsoever to leave the flat. Ever. Just kidding. Kind of.

So Jason and I came to a realization last night over dinner that what I really need is a gay sidekick. I mean, it makes perfect sense doesn't it?!? Carrie had Stanford, Charlotte had Anthony, Grace has Will, Karen has Jack, Becky Bloomwood had Danny, Catherine Warner had Si ... you get my point. This leads to the obvious question - how does one go about getting a gay sidekick? A personal ad? "Fun, fashion-conscious, designer jeans addict seeks young homosexual male companion for shoe shopping, watching Sex and the City reruns, makeovers at the Harrod's Stila counter, and general girly good times"? Hmmm... That doesn't sound half bad actually.

After my little wave of homesickness, I began thinking about the really cool things about living here. Here are a few that I've come up with so far:

1. I get to watch the original "What Not to Wear" on BBC starring Trinny and Susanna. Not that there's anything wrong with the American spin off with Clinton and Stacy (yet another chick with her gay sidekick - they're everywhere I tell you!) but there's something cool about getting back to its roots. I say this without a hint of irony.

2. Riding in the top of a double decker bus is way fun!

3. We have this awesome sushi place - Yo! Sushi - which Jason insists on calling "Yo Yo Sushi" like he's some gangsta rapper or something. Hilarious, I know. I'm blessed. Back to the point - you walk in, grab a seat around the bar that circles the whole of the restaurant and plates of sushi drift by on this little conveyor belt and you just grab what you want! How fun is that? No waiting for the chefs to prepare your order. You can literally walk in and start chowing immediately!

4. It's pretty fun walking around and running errands with your iPod. It puts that extra little spring in your step. I mean, how can you not prance just a tiny bit when you've got "Lose My Breath" by Destiny's Child blaring in your ears? The world is my catwalk.

5. I read the "Shopaholic" books a while back but brought them with me to read here because they're about a girl in London and I thought it would be kind of cool to experience it firsthand. (Kind of like watching Dawson's Creek and being like "Oh, I've been there!" "Ooh! I've seen that restaurant!!" etc...) Until I cracked the first one again, I had totally forgotten that the main character lived in Fulham - my real-life neighborhood!! And the book described it as the "trendiest neighborhood of London, full of it-girls" and so on... And it talked about her shopping on Kensington High Street, standing on the sidewalk with the shops to her left and the tube station to her right and I knew exactly where it was talking about. I was shopping exactly there just last Friday! Anyway, probably dull to anyone reading this but pretty flippin' cool to me.

Toodles for now!