Thursday, November 30, 2006

What are you thankful for?

I know Thanksgiving was a week ago but my aunt just sent me these pictures today. This is my "little" cousin who's in the Marines and is serving in Iraq right now. His platoon was in a soccer tournament over Thanksgiving and even though they were beat in the finals by the Uganda Marines, I'm thankful that he was playing soccer on Thanksgiving and not behind a machine gun.


That's him right in the middle between the two Uganda guys. We all miss you Adam!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

He won the battle, but the war wages on

What happens when you buy something at Boots and come home and toss it on one of the kitchen chairs and forget about it till the next day? In an ordinary household, likely nothing. But in MY household, you add one very curious kitty to the equation and here's what you get:



Mass destruction. A blood bath. Casualties. All caused by this little creature:


(By the way, he isn't deformed. I caught him mid-lick so his tongue is covering the bottom half of his face.)

Elwin: 1
Inanimate objects: 0

Rest in peace little Boots bag. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's the most wonderful tiiiiime of the year

This time of year was made for me. I love everything about it. Thanksgiving is my most favoritest holiday and, for me, it serves as the official kick-off for Christmas. Growing up, it was tradition for us to go to the Christmas tree farm on Thanksgiving afternoon and pick out our tree and decorate it that night. It was something I looked forward to all year long.

So, when Jason returned from Japan, we celebrated Thanksgiving by going to dinner at an American restaurant and hauling out the holly so to speak.


And the crowning glory - the tacky tinsel star.


And I must have been a very good girl because there was even an early present for me to go under the tree. (Lest anyone think husbands traveling on business is all bad, there is one very pointed advantage...the guilt of leaving you makes them want to buy you lovely little baubles to make up for it.)


Oh Santa! You shouldn't have!

However, despite using all the resouces at my disposal (baking cookies, games, hockey on tv) jetlag got the better of him and he was out like a light by 8:30. Asleep or awake, it was still nice to have him back home. Somehow, Laguna Beach re-runs are much better with a cute boy snoring gently with his head in your lap.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Could it be?

Could we have found our perfect flat??? We've put in an offer on a place so everyone pretty please cross your fingers and toes and whatever else you can cross that everything goes smoothly and we can move in after holiday break.

It's so preshus, our little flat. It's right outside Richmond Station so a perfect location and it's got a little garden and even a conservatory! And the bathroom is big! Like, really big for a London flat! And clean! So clean! Nary a spore growing in sight!

So, if all goes well with the offer today, I'll be back to my old posting habits. You lucky duckies, you.

In the meantime, here's something for you to chew on...

Sunday morning, it was as nasty as it gets outside. Rain lashing against the windows and it even started hailing at one point! So we did what any normal young couple with no kids would do and stayed in our jammies till lunchtime, made coffee and bacon, and bedded down in front of the laptop and played on the internet. Turns out, the internet is a pretty vast reservoir for useless but interesting and often funny bits and pieces of info. You knew this already?

Anyway, somehow we ended up at urbandictionary.com and typed in our names just for fun, not really expecting results. Well, color me surprised! Here's the most popular definition of "Heather":

Heather:

1) An awesome chick who is totally spontanious and extremely loveable. The greatest girl you can meet.
2)A crazy chick who will do anything

Useage: "That girl is very heather."

I kid you people not. Look it up. I swear.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An Apology

Dear Blog Friend-type-people,

Please know that I have been reading your blogs daily. I have not been commenting because I am so busy that my head is spinning. I feel bad for not commenting seeing as how I yelled at people a while back for this very thing. So please have sympathy. For Jason and I are on the verge of homelessness if I don't find us a place to live pronto. My life is nothing but a whirlwind of estate agents and reading with kids and laundry at the moment.

I promise to resume commenting as soon as I procure a "2 bedroom flat, within easy walking distance of Richmond station and all the shops and restaurants of Richmond Village, with wood floors, that preferably doesn't look like it was used as a crack den prior to vacancy of previous tenants, that has at least one bathroom which is free of growing bacteria and spores, and is under one million pounds per month". Wish me luck!

Yours in bloggy-ness,
Heather

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When the cats are away...

...the mice will play. With both our husbands on different continents (Jason in Asia and Murray in Australia), Monique and I decided to have a girls weekend. Starting with seeing Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on Thursday night, dinner and The Devil Wears Prada Saturday night, and lunch and a jewelry exhibit on Sunday. This is what I love about living in a big city... There's almost always something going on somewhere that interests you. Random exhibitions, plays, shows, etc...

At Somerset House in/near the West End, there's an exhibition called Bejewelled by Tiffany which showcases some amazing pieces from the world-renowned jewelry house and also gives some of the history of the company. And since there *are few things a girl loves more than "the little blue box", this was, of course, right up our alley. We oooohhhhhed and aaaaaaahhhhhed over gorgeous gems, and looked in amazement at the detail of some of the enamel pieces, and stood slack-jawed and speechless in front of the Tiffany diamond which once graced the slender neck of one Miss Audrey Hepburn. And we got in trouble for trying to take a photo. Stupid security guards. So, here I am OUTSIDE the exhibit... Is THIS okay Mister Security Guard??? Are we ALLOWED to take photos OUTSIDE? Are we FAR away enough from the exhibit to whip out cameras???


Afterwards, we were both trying our best to put off going home and doing laundry so we decided a nice hot redcup was in order. And I had my very first mince pie! How very British of me.


And after sitting at Starbucks for ages, talking about everything and absolutely nothing, we decided we'd better fulfill our wifely duties and get home to do the laundry.

On the walk back to the tube, we walked through Covent Garden and the massive tree was all lit up! I know, I know... It's not even Thanksgiving yet, you say. I understand, really I do. But I'm a sucker for this time of year and I start getting into the spirit at the first sight of a bulb on any sort of tree. We don't get Thanksgiving here so at least let me have Christmas a little early!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

No title necessary

I don't know why this story has moved me so much. Many of you who read my blog may also read Andrea's. If you don't, do. Because it's really funny and entertaining. And also moving at times. Take a look at the following posts:

A Request
A Boy and a Girl

If you don't at least tear up a little, you may not have a heart. Personally, I feel absolutely wretched about the whole thing. And I don't know if it's really my right to write about it like this. I don't know these people. I only know what I've been told through Andrea. But it's enough to break my heart.

I've cried and prayed and prayed and cried about it. And I must admit - I don't pray a lot. I've prayed for real things like recent events in my family or for Jason's safety when traveling. And I've prayed for some pretty stupid things over the years like "Please let Jason pick out a good engagement ring for me" or "Please don't let it rain on our vacation" or "Please let me find my cashmere socks from last winter"... But those aren't really prayers. They're more like little requests I make to make my life better or easier.

But this, this is worth a real eyes-closed-hands-folded-crying-pleading-request-for-a-miracle. Rarely has something made me so grateful for my health and the health of the people I love. Rarely has something made me so appreciative of my marriage and how good we really have it and how the worries we have are so trivial when compared.

Bottom line? Please please please pray for this family, especially the couple who are to be wed today under the most unimaginable circumstances. And while you're at it, thank God or Goddess or Allah or whoever it is you talk to for everything you have been blessed with.

One Night in Rome Marriott

I feel as if I need to explain myself before I launch into this because I'm a bit torn about whether to even give attention where attention is not due. I have never ever mentioned Paris Marriott? Holiday Inn? Ramada? Whatever for a couple of reasons. I'll list them here for you:

1. In the deliciously concise words of Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka, "I don't care." (In response to Violet Beauregarde's introduction of her little gum-snaping, rotten self.) I am of the inclination that if we all just ignore her, she'll have to go away. So I'm just doing my part. I don't care who she's snogging in clubs. I don't care what clubs she goes to. I don't care what designer she's wearing. And I certainly don't care about her so-called music career when all it is is her screeching into a mic and a team of sound engineers and mega-producers spending the better part of a year trying to make it sound like she can sing. I Just. Don't. Care.

2. Personally, I don't want people who do web searches for Paris Motel 6? Hyatt? Whatever to end up here becuase it's very likely the sort of people I don't want visiting my blog. Only cool people are allowed to read it. (I once mentioned a certain Black Eyed Pea who's London London Bridge wanna go down and I still to this day get people who search for "Insert Pea Here's butt" or whatever and arrive here. Which is fine. I'm down with her awesomely bad music. I love it for working out. I think she's pretty when she doesn't try too hard. And she's got a rocking body for which I can only give props where props is due. I just saw what can happen when you mention a celeb's name...)

So, with all that said... (think of it as a disclaimer) last night I started a new book: The Starter Wife. Inside the front cover it had those little snippets of praise from editors, other authors, magazine editors and the like. And there it was. Staring me in the face. And I quote: "I could not put it down. It was so true to what Hollywood really is." Paris Hilton.

Ok. Let's stop here for a moment and let that sink in.

Done? Ok, I'll just get right down to business:

1. Does anybody out there actually belive that she read a book? I think the answer is a resounding HELL-to-the-NO. She's possibly the most vapid, doltish, vacuous person on the planet. She likely spends her time doing nothing but shopping at Kitson, clubbing at Hyde, and screwing whomever she can get her man-hands on. That doesn't leave much time for reading.

2. Let's, for a moment, suspend our reality and say we all live in Mega-Fantasy-Land. A Land in which she does read a book every now and again. Does anyone out there really think she would actually take time to provide a quote for a publisher? Again, our answer is (Say it with me kids!) HELL-to-the-NO. Her assistant or PR person, or publicist, or minion most certainly came up with it on her behalf.

However, this book is supposed to be really good and got praise from a lot of other reputable sources who actually DO read books so I'm going to try to not be too disturbed that it included a quote from Rome? Prague? London? Whatever Hilton.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A whole ten inches you say?!?

A phone conversation from London to Tokyo:

Jason: Did you hear about the tsunami warning?
Me: Wha? No! What happened??
Jason: It was all over the news. There was a tsunami warning here yesterday. It's was pretty scary. On the tv, it showed a map of the country and all around it was flashing red all "Tsunami! Warning! Seek higher ground!"
Me: Are you sure? I didn't hear about this.
Jason: Yes. The news reports said the waves were measured at 10 inches.
Me: You mean 10 feet?
Jason: No. Ten inches.
Me: That's no tsunami. I've seen waves four or five times that at Wrightsville Beach. That's ridiculous. I'm googling this. [I google.] Ok, listen to this. This article says "A powerful undersea earthquake prompted tsunami warnings today for Japan, Russia and Alaska, but the danger appeared to pass after a series of tiny waves hit the northern Japanese coast." Hear that? "Tiny waves" it says.
Me and Jason: [Riotous laughter.]
Me: Oh my god, wait, it get's better! "Several thousand people fled to higher ground on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. The waves, however, did not swell higher than 16 inches and rapidly diminished in size." Rapidly diminished in size, it says! Diminished from 16 inches!
Me and Jason: [Riotous laughter.]
Jason: When told to flee to higher ground, they probably just stood on their coffee tables!
Me: Yeah yeah! Or like, just sat legs criss-cross on the sofa!
Me and Jason: [Riotous laughter.]
Me: Oooh ooh! It's getting even better! Listen to this! "The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said a 7.8-inch wave hit Shemya Island and a 3-inch wave hit Amchitka Island in the Aleutian chain." Three inches!!! I love that they had the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center out there with little rulers measuring three inch waves. What an excellent use of resources. I bet they were all "F this. I can't believe I'm out here measuring a three inch wave. Let's go get a yak-burger." Or you know, whatever they eat in Alaska. I mean, I've seen bigger waves at Lake Norman.
Jason: Yeah! I've seen bigger waves in my bathtub!
Me and Jason: [Riotous laughter.]
Me: Oh boy, listen to this! "The ITAR-Tass agency reported that Russia's Pacific Fleet ships took refuge at their bases." Russia's Pacific Fleet took refuge from 3 inch waves! What a bunch of pussys! Here's another good one! "The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said people on beaches in the warning area should move to higher ground." Yeah, like pick up their blankets and move back a few feet or else prepare to dip your toes in the water!
Jason: Yeah! Or like get in their beach chairs instead of laying on their towels!
Me and Jason: [Riotous laughter.]
Jason: This is totally blogable.
Me: Yeah prolly so...
Jason: Well, I gotta run so I can get ready for work. Sleep tight.
Me: Ok, have a good day. I love you and I miss you.
Jason: I love you too. Bye.
Me: Bye.

It's totally awesome that we use our phone time to discuss such important matters.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's officialy official.

I have cracked up. When Jason is away, I tend to talk absentmindedly to the cats. (Now, I don't expect them to answer mind you. That would be psych-ward cracked up.) But I say random things to them like "Who wants a treat?" or "George, would you like a belly ruuuuuuuuuub?" or "Elwin, it's bedtime! Come on up!" or maybe even "Who's mommy's little pumpkin pie? You are! You are! Yes you are!" if one is being particularly affectionate.

However, today, I reached a whole new level of cuckoo. I talked to my bag. Maybe it's because most of my bags have names (given by the designers, not by me). But as I was on my way home today, I got caught in a light shower. Shocking, I know... considering I live in London and it's November. I digress. So I walked in and immediately grabbed a dry cloth to blot my bag and let it dry out for a bit. When I walked over to check on it later, it had dried perfectly and without any spots at all. Here it comes. Wait for it. I said, "Nice recovery Edith! Well done!"

Y'all just marinate on that for a while. I'm off to make an appointment with a therapist.


"A little help here please? My handler has clearly lost it. And for Godssakes will someone tell her to not use a flash when photographing me??? It simply doesn't do a thing for my skin!"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gloomy and gloomier

Well, I'm not quite sure what Jason and I have done to screw up our karma, but we've definitely pissed off somthing/someone out there. We've had a string of bad luck lately starting with me getting ripped off on eBay trying to buy a vintage bag, continuing last week with me leaving my mobile on the train, and culminating (hopefully) in Jason getting his less-than-one-month-old Dior wallet (that I got him for our anniversary) stolen. All in all, these ordeals will wind up costing us upwards of 400.00 quid. WTF???

Anyway, prior to our discovery of the missing wallet on Sunday morning, we did manage to have a most excellent time Saturday night at a club in East London called Feeling Gloomy. The DJ plays all "depressing" 90's music like Violent Femmes, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, The
Pixies, No Doubt, Pet Shop Boys, etc. It was a total blast and they even had an air band called "The Miserables". It was hilarious! One of the guitarists even brought out a Fisher Price "amp" with him. We were crying laughing.

I shall now take you on a tour of the evening. Let's start at the beginning. Looking relatively sober... And clever enough to do the frowny face photos.




A shot of the crowd.



Getting there.



Getting closer. Notice the scrunched up "I'm totally rocking out!" face.



Sooooo there! Nice pink bra peeking out there.



Some pics of the air band.





About three miles past "there". The air guitarist asked who was ready to rock out one more time and that's me saying "Me. I'm ready to rock out one more time. As you can see, I am fully prepared to be rocked." Somewhere along the way, I lost my ponytail holder. Possibly as I was cranking it out during Mr. Brightside by The Killers. (I stole this from their website by the way...)



And the coup de grace. 3:30 AM. Passed out on the sofa with my hand in a bag of Doritos. Swell.



After waking up to discover Jason had been pick-pocketed, we drug ourselves to McDonald's for some grease to soak up the alcohol. When even that didn't make us feel better, we decided what this situation called for was a trip to Partridge's. A very posh-y, yuppie little market that sells (amongst other things) American products at exorbitant prices to expats with money to burn. We paid 20.00 GBP (that's nearly $40.00) for this haul that included Goldfish, grape jelly, Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter, 2 boxes of mac n' cheese, 2 Sam Adams lagers, crackers, and a packet of SweeTarts which are not pictured here because I ate them on the bus home.



Jason left today to go to Japan. That means I consumed roughly half of the above pictured items for dinner tonight.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The downside to trying to be a good person

First, let me apologize for the lack of posts this week. Je suis tres tres le busy. (Doesn't every blog have one of these obligatory "Sorry for the lack of updates recently blah blah dee blah bleh who cares." posts?) Regardless, I apologize to those of you who potentially rely on my escapades to keep you entertained at the office and have maybe had to do some actual work lately. I'm all "Diet Blog! Same great Nutshell, fewer posts!"

Anyhoo, back to my original thought... Many of you know I have been volunteering twice a week at a local school working with kids who need a bit of extra help with reading. Doing this is fantastic in many ways. It helps these preshus childrens (hopefully...), it makes me feel like a decent person and that maybe, just maybe, I do actually deserve all this awesome stuff I have/do, and it seems to make the teacher of the class I work with quite happy.

Unfortunately, there is also a downside to all this great-happy-feel-good-puppies-are-cute-ice-cream-is-yummy-rainbows-are-pretty stuff. And that is that kids are kind of gross and germ-ridden. No offense. To all the kids reading. All none of you. Hopefully anyway because my blog content isn't appropriate for adults, much less kids. They have snot coming out of their noses which they rid their faces of by way of their sleeves. They don't wash their hands. On and on.

As a result, I think I may have already contracted my first cold of the season. It's not bad yet but I can feel it coming so I'm going to Boots to load up on Vitamin C tablets and Kit Kats. Kit Kats are proven to fight colds. You didn't know?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My cats are totally awesome.

So, tonight I had the girls over for a little "chick's night in" and (despite the fact that Andrea had an accident - or two - and couldn't come) we had a lovely evening eating our faces off and chatting and of course, imbibing in some drinkies. There was loads of delicious artichoke dip, spinach dip, brown sugar cinnamon muffins, pumpkin roll, wine, and I even made special "fall-tinis". (Clove-infused vodka with cider and a cinnamon stick for a leee-tle kick and garnish.) However, George and Elwin thought what this party needed was a little litter box show and some cat vomit on the side. Totally awesome. So while George played in the "sandbox" and put on a performance in which he tried to get all the litter that should have been INSIDE the box, OUTSIDE the box, Elwin elected to puke a puddle by Monique's right hand. Sweet. My cats are totally awesome.

And just for fun, here is another picture of my cats being totally awesome. The pillows were an attempt on my part to keep the cats from lounging on the sofa and therefore getting it all hairy. As you can see, they found a fairly easy solution to this problem.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

When bad things happen to dumb people: II

If I'm going to ridicule others for being dumb, I might as well take aim at myself when I deserve it too. Today, as we were leaving Richmond to go back to Fulham, we stopped at Starbucks to get some coffee for home. My phone rang while I was in line (it was Jason calling from the queue for the bathroom to tell me to get him a Peppermint Mocha) and I kept it in my hand instead of putting it back in it's cozy little pocket in my bag. When we walked out of the Bucks, I dropped my phone into the carrier bag and thought to myself at the time "Self, you should just go ahead and put that back in your purse instead of dropping into this Starbucks bag." and I said, "Self, you shut up because I don't want to unzip my purse, put the phone inside, and zip it back up. That's seems like a lot of trouble for nothing."

We get on the train and I set the bag in the floor and I thought to myself, "Self, you should probably either set that bag on the seat or ask Jason to put it in the backpack because you might forget it when you get off the train." and I said "Self, you shut up because I'm tired and I don't want to pick that bag up right now. That seems like a lot of trouble for nothing."

Cut to us on another train after changing at Earl's Court, one stop away from Fulham. Cue me smacking myself in the forehead and saying "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit." over and over.

I am stupid, therefore I am without phone.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Overheard in the checkout line at Waitrose

I was witness to, quite possibly, the most British argument ever. I'll transcribe...

Old Lady: Sah (Sir), you are incredibly rude.
Man: I beg yoah (your) pahdon (pardon), you ah (are) the rude one.
OL: Thaht's (That's) preposterous! I'm cehtainly (certainly) not rude!
Man: Oh, indeed you ah, I'm afraid. Terribly rude.
OL: Yoah horrid you ah! 'Tis astounding how rude you ah!
Man: My God, you ah incorigable! You don't even realize just how rude you ah!
OL: You sah, ah ghastly. A truly unbelievably rude pehson (person).

And on and on like this for a good 3 minutes or so. I had one of those "Good God, I really do live in England." moments.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The redcups are here.


Dear Jesus,


Thank you.


Amen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Heather and Jason's All Hallows Rockin' Eve

(See what I did there with the title? Like Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve? Once again, I have rendered you speechless and in awe of my cleverness...)

Jason and I had a totally awesome Halloween. Way awesome-er than anybody else I imagine. Here's proof:

The day started off brilliantly when the doorbuzzer rang unexpectedly and the postman said there was a package for me. For ME? But I'm not expecting any deliveries at all! I run downstairs and I immediately recognize the handwriting on the address label and therefore, immediately know what's inside. PEEPS! My wonderful Aunt Sandy is my official Peep supplier and last year she tried to send me some but they got held up in customs so I didn't get them till Thanksgiving. But that didn't stop her from trying again.


And she also sent this hilarious card.


In case you can't read that, it says "Don't drink and carve. Happy Hic! Halloween!"


Then for dinner, I decided to make chili - YUM. I let it simmer all day long...


And this was the resulting feast that lay before us.


And Jason, being the good husband that he always is, brought me treats - Rolo Biscuits and Cookies & Cream Haagen Dazs! Best. Husband. Ever. I rest my case.


I even had a special Halloween playlist...


And mulling spices!


So after dinner, we decided to carve our little punkin. (One word from anybody about my appearance and I'll cut you. This is me with half-wet, post-shower hair, no makeup, and in my jammies. I was not prepared for a photo op. This pumpkin carving was utterly and totally spontaneous.)


Believe it or not, you are all witnessing a relationship milestone. Despite having been together for nearly 11 years, Jason and I had NEVER EVER carved a pumpkin together. Never. I swear. We were total jack-o-lantern virgins.



Unfortunately, we did not heed my aunt's advice and did, in fact, drink and carve. The result was a jack-o-lantern that looked as though maybe he rode the short bus to school.


Our work here is done.


Boo!