Friday, June 30, 2006

Blogging vicariously

Click here to see what I did yesterday.

Hmm, this is easy blogging. Maybe whenever I hang out with a fellow blogger, I'll just wait for them to post about it and then link to it! (Thanks Andrea!)

Not much else to report... Last minute decision to head to Oxford tonight so I've booked us up at a swanky hotel which is always fun. Jason is doing some boy thing there with his mates (I'm so British. People are now my mates, not my friends.) that involves some sort of gun lesson and they shoot clay pigeons (or skeets - whatever you want to call them...). Great. A widow at 29. Just what I wanted. However, while he is busy injuring/killing himself or someone else, I'll loll about Oxford on my own. It's a cute little town so shouldn't have much trouble keeping myself amused.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wheeee! Je suis un artiste!

I don't know why but painting makes me feel very French. Today in art class, I forayed into the wonderful world of watercolors for the first time. And even though my picture (taken from a sketch I did in the Cast Courts at the V&A Museum) is total crap, I was still very excited. It was moreso an exercise in color than anything else. I did this working with only the three primaries so it was mostly just playing around with mixing the colors and water to see what shades I could get. Now, come forth and congratulate me for I am a painter!

And then there's this

If you all thought the whole "look-at-me-I'm-wearing-cat-beds-for-bedroom-slippers" thing was funny, you'll probably appreciate this as well. He did it this past weekend but I forgot about it until I went into my cabinet this morning for some pore minimizer. (Seriously, do those things sometimes open up over night and swallow up small children??)

First, a bit of background. There's this commercial on TV over here for toilet paper that totally skeeves me out (The commercial, not the toilet paper. The toilet paper is divine.) It features this toddler they've dressed up in a 3-piece suit and a combover. He appears to be running the toilet paper company and talks lots of business-y type talk but in this stupid creepy little kid voice with a British accent no less. Trust me when I tell you that it is totally wrong on every level. It's stupid, creepy, and the kid looks/sounds like a total freak. And please don't get me wrong. I love kids! Especially toddlers! But they should not be dressing up in suits and running toilet paper companies. They should be wearing little mini Ralph Lauren Polo shirts and little Baby Gap chino shorts and playing on playgrounds and stuff. Am I right??? AM I???

So, imagine my horror when they started putting this kid's picture on the actual packages of toilet paper. Yet I refuse to switch brands because, people, this toilet paper is the best on the market over here. And I'm not one to skimp on comfort in that area. So I'll tolerate that creepy kid on the package until this ridiculous marketing campaign is over. But THIS, friends, is flat out inexcusable:

I literally yelled when I opened my cabinet Saturday morning. Meanwhile, I hear Jason in the living room laughing like he'd just pulled off the most elaborate prank of all time. The laugh of pure evil I tell you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Marriage is... having my own personal side show act wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.

Let me set the scene for you. We were in the middle of a Desperate Housewives marathon last night and Jason gets up, takes the two cat beds off the other sofa, tosses them on the ground, steps into them, and nonchalantly walks to the refrigerator to get some water. He then walks back over and says "I think I need some new slippers. Mine feel big."

Monday, June 26, 2006

The weekend

This weekend, we decided to try and resurrect our sorely neglected garden. This is about as domestic as it gets in this city. Jason laughed at me and said I was the only person he knows who would don a Kate Spade scarf and Armani sunglasses to do garden work. To be fair, I was also wearing Old Navy britches and an American Eagle t-shirt.

Later, we watched the England v. Ecuador match on the telly. Jason bought me this jersey on one of his business trips to London after we found out we were moving here. I figure, "If you can't beat 'em...might as well join 'em."

And later, dinner al fresco at a yummy french restaurant in Sloane Square. I love this part of town. It seems so very "Old London"...

Today, it's a dreary one out. It's the first rain in a while though and to be honest, I'm glad in a way because that means I don't have to water the garden! Plus, I love listening to the drops of rain through the open window...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ascot pics

Sorry so long to post - I've been a BZBZGRL again for the past few days so I'm just now getting around to it. Without further delay...

Meghan and Andrea

Our lunch table

Meghan with our drink of choice

The bracelet I fell in love with

Our lunchtime entertainment

The Queen! (I think anyway... It went by really fast. That lady was booking!)

Me in all my Ascot-y splendor

One of my favorite get-ups of the day

Giddy up!

Mmmm. Good to the last drop.

Ummm, times three.

Me in all my Ascot-y drunken-ness

The three trouble-makers. Well, one trouble-maker and two aiders & abeters...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tomorrow is my big day!

I've waited my whole life for a reason to wear a big hat. Well, at least my whole life since I was like 7 because that's roughly how old I was last time I wore one - a lovely white confection with a stretchy chin strap worn for Easter 1984. I really should get that picture scanned and posted on here. It's quite a classic. I spent this afternoon at Harrod's with Meghan shopping for a few accessories to polish off my ensemble. Eeek! I can't wait to get all gussied up tomorrow! Gawd, I am such a girl.

When I have a brand new hair-do
And my eyelashes all in curl
I float as the clouds on air do
I enjoy being a girl!

When men say I'm cute and fun-ny
And my teeth aren't teeth, but pearls,
I just lap it up like honey
I enjoy being a girl!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Oh. My. God.

I'm a snotty-nosed, teary-eyed mess at the moment. My Carolina Hurricanes just won the Stanley Cup and all I can do is cry. I would give anything to be there in Raleigh rather than watching the sun rise here in London but the victory is no less sweet. I'm in such a state that I don't even know what else to say right now.

Is this sad or what?

Here I sit, reading, surfing, and waiting for the Carolina Hurricanes game to start and my ears perked up at what I thought for a split second, was the sound of a chorus of crickets. This is one of the most soothing noises known to me for some reason. Though I was never meant to be a country dweller for life and am a city mouse through and through now, I grew up falling asleep to this very sound every summer evening of my childhood. Maybe someone who's never lived in the country can't really imagine how glorious this noise is but to those of you who have, you know what I'm talking about. Back to reality. After sticking my head out the window, I realized it was an alarm going off in the distance somewhere and that the fan in the living room dulled the noise to make it sound like the crickets. Sigh.

On another note... GO CANES! Rip the Oilers a new one and show them that Canadians aren't the only ones who can play some damn hockey! Sorry y'all. This sport brings out the devil in me. It's game 7 and I'm just a little on edge.

Aaaaaand - new furniture!

Also this weekend, we got some new furniture thanks to my friend Meghan who's moving and was playing sleazy used furniture salesman. "This weekend only, we deliver!! Don't delay folks! These prices can't last forever!!" While we were so pleased to finally have matching pieces (renting furnished flats is such a joy), George D. Kitty wasn't so ready to let go of old memories.

Picnics, Hippies, and Musicals! Oh my!

Ok, that was an exceptionally lame and unimaginative title for a post. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. We spent a lovely and relaxing weekend soaking up the London springtime. Saturday - a picnic in Holland Park.

Sun dried tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, yummmmmmm. Also on the menu was pita bread and houmous, watermelon, some sort of little chicken and feta cheese pastry parcels, and chicken caesar salad.

An over-dose of organic houmous may result in strange behavior where one thinks one is being hilarious by scrunching their neck into their collar like a turtle.

Sunday - another picnic in Parsons Green (which also happened to be the site of some sort of environmental fair this particular Sunday, resulting in the best people watching of our lives...).

Sun dried tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, yummmmmmm. It's like deja vu all over again. Also on the menu was pita bread and houmous, parma ham and chorizo, chicken tikka, cheese bread, and an assortment of baklava.

All the sudden, we heard this commotion and looked up to see this man on some sort of tricked out bike, peddling through the park yelling that story time was about to start.

This is my "Holy crap! A strange man on some sort of tricked out bike just peddled through the park yelling that story time was about to start!" face.

Then, these people sat down near us. Thank God we were finished eating. I think she may have actually been going for this look on purpose because at one point, she reached back there and felt around as if to ensure that her underwear and most of her ass was showing.

Then, of course, there was the orangutan. Because, what's a picnic/environmental fair without orangutans?

Much to our delight, we noticed this sign proclaiming that any willing adult could wear the orangutan costume for 15 minutes! Sweet!

These weirdo girls were constantly doing Bikram Yoga on these mats the whole time we were there. From what I could tell, Bikram Yoga is pretty much a spastic, jerky version of normal yoga where there's lots of jumping up sporadically and scaring the crap out of people walking by. Oh yeah, and you're supposed to do it in a hot room so you sweat out "toxins". I know a better way to rid yourself of toxins. QUIT WEARING PATCHOULI OIL. That crap stinks!

I'm not really sure why there were goats at the environmental fair. However I do think it's safe to assume that they weren't advertising "Baby goat - the new veal!"

And Sunday night - Show Boat at the Royal Albert Hall! It was really nice and the staging was spectacular.

That Jason just loooooooves musicals!

We couldn't quite figure out how to best highlight my delicate and flawless bone structure AND show the stage in the background at the same time.

And just for fun, here's like the cutest picture of our cat George ever. His favorite place in the flat is this window sill so I had to move the photos off of it for him yesterday. This is his way of showing appreciation.

Friday, June 16, 2006

How do they KNOW?????????

I received this in the post today from Boots (which, for the 'Mericans reading, is essentially like CVS or Walgreen's). I'm totally skeeved out by it. Especially disturbing is the phrase "...we've enclosed a sample of Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner specially chosen to suit your shade." Ummm, how do they know I'm a brunette first of all? Secondly, how do they know I'm a "Chocolate to Espresso - for darker shades" brunette??? Because I know for a fact that there are Brilliant Brunette products made for lighter brunette shades as well. I should have never signed up for this "Advantage Card" (points for everything I buy at Boots) business. Now they've got Big Brother watching my every move. I've gotta go buy a wig to wear every time I shop at Boots.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I am officially with hat!

Tuesday, I went hat shopping with Andrea. We're going to Royal Ascot with the American Women's Club next week! Truth be told, I'm a touch more excited at the prospect of attending an event that requires a hat than I am about the actual races. I always wanted to go the Kentucky Derby back in the states and this is like the mother of all hat/horse events! As some of you may have already read in Andrea's post, my purchase "entitled" me to a hat box in which to tote around my purchase. I use "entitled" in quotes because it was really more of a burden than anything. I made the comment that if they're going to give you a hat box, they really should also bestow upon you a personal butler for the day to schlep the damn hat box up and down Oxford Street. I was going to post a picture of the hat but I was inspired by Andrea's coquettish-ness and determined that you'll just have to wait for pictures of us at Ascot. Besides, the effect is really lost when you model your very Audrey-Hepburn-Breakfast-at-Tiffany's-inspired hat with your pink pajama pants and green Ramones t-shirt.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finally - Verona pics...

Back up off the edges of your seats kids - they're here. As per usual, I'll put a few highlights on here and the link for the rest of the photos will be at the end...

I arrived Thursday morning and Jason didn't get there until Thursday night and had to work Friday (as was the whole reason for the trip in the first place...) but I amused myself by strolling through the tiny streets, sipping cafe americano in the AM and white wine in the PM, and oh yeah - getting harrassed at Louis Vuitton. (Long story short - the guy that worked there was a miserable French dipshit and was rude to everyone in the store. He told me to "Please step away from zee wall display Madame!" and yelled - yes yelled - across the store at another girl to "Put zat bag down theeees eeenstant Madame! Eeeef you would like to zee zomesing, let me know and I weeel show it to you!" She and I both rolled our eyes at each other and left immediately. I then consoled myself with the purchase of a pair of Armani sunglasses two doors down.)

Apparently this gentleman has no such rules about "coffee in the AM and wine in the PM". It was 10:30 in the morning and I was enjoying my latte and brioche and he was drinking wine! At 10:30 in the morning I tell you! Has he no standards? At least have the decency to go with hard liqour (in the form of a Bloody Mary) or champagne (Bellini or Mimosa). Everyone knows this is the acceptable range of alcoholic bevvies before lunchtime. Which actually reminds me that I was also blown away by the amount of business men drinking beers at 7:00 am in the British Airways Executive Lounge. Just because it's free doesn't mean you should be consuming it.

Friday night - all done with work and time to play!

Saturday - we strolled around the city and decided to cross the Ponte Pietra (the bridge you see behind us) to see the view from the top of the hill on the other side of the river.

And there it is - the whole of Verona. It's a pretty small place. Very quaint...

Back on the other side of the river, we decided to check out the Arena. It's the third largest amphitheatre in the world, behind the Colosseum in Rome and one other I've never heard of in Naples. They actually still have operas, musicals, and rock concerts here!

This is on Ponte Scaligero. It was part of the medieval defense system of Castlevecchio, which is attached to it.

So, something everyone should know about Verona is that they milk the whole "Romeo and Juliet" thing to death for tourism purposes. It's a bit annoying because it's an adoreable and romantic city on its own without all that rubbish. But I digress... So anyway, in fact, there were Capulet and Montague familes in Verona historically speaking. And indeed, there is evidence the familes didn't get along and had a long-standing feud. However, there is no concrete evidence that a Romeo or a Juliet ever actually existed or if they did, that they were "star-crossed lovers". It's legend. Meaning: The story may very well be true or it may be completely fabricated. No one knows. But silly facts like this don't stand in Verona's way. Case in point: This is the supposed "Casa di Giulietta" and this is the supposed balcony which Romeo supposedly climbed to reach her. However, it plainly says in our guidebook (DK Eyewitness Travel Guides) that, in fact, the building is a restored 13th century inn. Fun facts for the day, courtesy of me. These fun facts have been brought to you by the letter V and the number 2.

For dinner, we decided to head back up the hill on the other side of the river for a lovely table on the terrace and a sunset view of the city.

Sunday was church day. There are two main churches that are worth a look-see in Verona. The first stop was the San Fermo Maggiore.

Second, the San Zeno Maggiore. Neither allow photos inside...

Later, a bit of refreshment. These orange wine spritzers were all the rage in Verona. Everyone was drinking them. I mean everyone. Big burly dudes, little old ladies, and everyone in between. Jason had to see what all the hype was about. I personally thought they were nasty. (He's making that face and sticking his pinky out because I made so much fun of him for drinking that fruity drink.)

Last stop was the Giardino Giusti. It was this huge formal garden in the middle of the city. It was rather nice - kind of like an oasis.

A little turtle in the fountain. He reminds me of Norman (the turtle I had all through college and for a few years after...).

I mean, what kind of hedge maze is this anyway? Isn't the point of them that you shouldn't be able to see over the hedge? He seemed so pleased with himself that I didn't have the heart to tell him that a toddler could probably do it even by accident. It's like some kind of Hedge Maze Special Olympics.

Jason told me to pose like a Roman statue. I don't know why I let him boss me around.

One final thought - If you'll all recall, we flew Sleazy Jet on the cheap to Barcelona and ended up arriving back in London at 3:00am after a tight squeeze on a crappy plane that may or may not have been made of Tonka Truck materials. This trip, it was British Airways business class all the way. Ummm, totally worth every last penny.

Click here to see the whole photo album. Allright, I'm dunzo. I gotta go watch some hockey. Sanger, out.