Friday, December 29, 2006

Cry till you look like Rocky

Despite the lack of posts during my holiday trip back to Raleigh, I have actually been doing lots of blog-worthy stuff. For example, while our husbands were out defiling themselves with hockey and beer, the Sanger girls had a "Cry Till You Look Like Rocky" movie night and watched Beaches and Terms of Endearment.

Here we are at the beginning of the night in our jammies, all ready to go.


And a staged shot of what we thought we would look like at the end...


And some shots of what we ACTUALLY looked like at the end...





And our pile of tissues. Pretty.




More to come later!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

True story

Some of you may think I cannot possibly be this dim but I assure you, this is a verbatim script of a conversation had this morning.

We were watching the Today show and they were talking about gift books and showed one called "The Intellectual Devotional". It's a really cool book that has 365 little one page "lessons" on random things from one of the following categories: history, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, religion, fine arts, and music. According to Amazon.com, the book's goal is to "refresh knowledge we've forgotten, make new discoveries, and exercise modes of thinking that are ordinarily neglected once our school days are behind us".

Me: That's so cool! I want to be smarter than you. I'm totally ordering that!
Jason: rolls eyes and sips coffee
Me: gets out the laptop and navigates to Amazon.com
Jason: sips more coffee
Me: How do you spell "intellectual"?
Jason: nearly keels over with laughter
Me: realizes what a dumb question I just asked considering the nature of the book I was ordering
Me: nearly keels over with laughter

Friday, December 15, 2006

Home again, home again

Well, here we are back in Raleigh and we have apparently forgotten what it's like to live in the South. How very British we've become. You see, we have been operating under the understanding that December means winter and winter means cold. Hmmmm. Yesterday when we landed at RDU, the pilot said that the temperature outside was a balmy 64 degrees. But rest assured that next week, it's sure to drop to the upper 40's. That's the thing about NC. Spring one weeek, winter the next.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What's it like to be me?

And I don't mean in a vague, existentialist way...

Basically, I live my life constantly monitoring the state of household affairs based on two cat beds.

Both accounted for and sleeping = All Quiet on the Western Front


George missing = Slightly Heightened Threat Level


Elwin missing = Elevated Terror Alert


Both missing = CODE RED. CODE RED.



And P.S. - To my blogger friends, it's not allowing me to post comments for some reason so know I'm reading and I have lots to say to you. I just can't say it!

Brrrrrrrrrrr!

We did the "coolest" thing last night. Pun intended.

In the cab - headed towards certain frostbite.


We went to Icebar which is made completely of ice. Tables? Ice. Walls? Ice. Bar? Ice. Glasses? Ice. Seats? Ice.




They give you these nifty thermal capes to wear. They serve two purposes. To keep you warm and to keep the ice from melting when you're leaning against it or whatever.


I think Jason looks especially fetching in his.


A new rubbish reality show: I'm an Ice Princess Get Me Out of Here!


This looks really dumb but that's because the camera flash cancelled out the funny thing about this picture. There was a flat screen in the wall of ice that was playing a "roaring fire" image. So Jason was warming his hands by the fire. But this picture makes it look like he's just saying "No. No thanks. Get away from me you crazy blank screen in the ice wall."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If necessity truly is the mother of invention...

...then why can't the Western world come up with something like this???

Sorry this post is a bit after the fact but Jason brought it home from Japan and I thought I had lost it till I changed bags the other day and found it lurking in the cell phone pocket of my Louis...

Any guesses as to what this is? And no scrolling down you cheaters!


Here are the bevy of answers I gave when I was asked the very same:

Me: A drink swizzle stick?
Jason: No
Me: A tiny sword for tiny sword fights?? HYAAH! HYAAH! I stab you with my tiny sword and you will bleed tiny blood!
Jason: No but that's pretty funny. I wish I'd gotten two of them now. I would challenge you to a tiny duel.
Me: One of those thingies they stick in food to hold it together? A "sushi stick holdy-togethery type thingie" would be the technical term they use in Japan I think...
Jason: No
Me: Well, I'm spent. I give up. What the hell is that thing?

At this point, he makes a grab for my Red Cup (At which point I nearly maul his face off because everyone knows you don't go putting your paws all over my Red Cup before 8:00 AM unless you have a death wish because MOTHER OF GOD I NEED MY GRANDE SKINNY CHRISTMAS BLEND IF I'M GOING TO GO AROUND SPREADING CHRISTMAS CHEER TO ONE AND ALL. But I digress.) and pops the contraption right into the sippy hole and behold. I give you possibly the best invention since the Miss Oops sponge:


Now I don't want to be one to go around perperuating sterotypes but come on. They invent little things to stick in your coffee cup so your coffee doesn't splash out on public transport or in the car. They have vats of hand sanitizer attached to poles on the streets so people can go around dousing themselves in Purell instead of spreading germs. One has to think that maybe the Japanese are a little more blessed in the book-learnings department, doesn't one?

Then again, they did invent Pokemon and Dance Dance Revolution so maybe that cancels out the other stuff...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

No. Way.

Great googly-moogly. Y'all. Today, I broke 20,000 hits. From July 2005, when I started this blog, to July 2006 - almost a year to the day - I got 10,000 hits. So basically, from July to now, I've doubled that. Woah. I don't know who you all are. But there are apparently a lot of you who read this thing. And to you I say, gracias. Merci. Danke schon. Arigato. Grazie. Dank u. Obrigado. Thanks.

A weekend pictoral

Friday night was a real barn burner! I know, we really need to slow it down. All this partying is going to kill us. Couch + book + cozy sweater = ...


SLEEP! Sound asleep. Finger still on my place in the book. Jason said he had been talking to me from the other sofa for like 5 minutes. He thought I was reading. Which, to be fair, I was at one point.


Actually though, Friday night was quite nice because we got to go to dinner at our favorite Italian place with Monique and Murray and go see a movie.

Saturday we braved Selfridges on Oxford Street to meet Gordon Ramsay and get our book signed by him. I have sworn up and down that I would NEVER EVER go even remotely NEAR Oxford Street anytime after December 1st even if they were giving away free Manolos. Mmmm, words are tasty. Apparently, I'll go for considerably less than free Manolos. I'll go just to meet a celebrity chef.

Here's me waiting in the queue. We got there an hour before the signing and it was well worth it because the line eventually wrapped around the whole of the downstairs floor. We were like 4th in queue so he was also still "fresh" when we got to meet him and not sick of making small talk with everyone yet...


He arrives! I can't explain it, but he's strangely attractive in person. Maybe it's because you know he's a bad-ass with a heart of gold. Maybe it's because he can cook. Who knows?


And he was really nice! I mean really. The sales girl told us he was known to be "not the most pleasant person" so we were prepared for the worst but he made conversation and asked us about where we were from and told us that he loved North Carolina, especially the weather. And as he was signing our book, he asked which of us was the chef. We were really pleasantly surprised...



When we finally left Selfridges, it was of course already dark. You know, because it gets dark at like lunchtime in the winter here... But the whole of Oxford Street was lit up and it really does make you feel like a little kid again to look at all the lights.


And we all sing about "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" but who ever really DOES it during the holidays?? I had never in my life actually tasted a roasted chestnut until Saturday night. But, my are they festive.



Today we left our borough and upon our return to Fulham, we discovered our second home, The Farm, had been over-run by stupid Chelsea fans because of the match today. This might be the worst thing about living in Fulham. And one of the foremost reasons for our move to Richmond. Anyway, I couldn't hide my disappointment and pouted like a petulant child because I WANT MY TEA AND I HATE STUPID CHELSEA FANS AND HOW THEY TAKE OVER OUR NICE PUBS! And Jason, sweet, kind, patient, ever-tolerant Jason, took me to the grocery store to get some tea biscuits and provided me with this little set-up back at home.


Sigh. I'm calm now.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Desperation will make a man do strange things

Night before last, poor Jason had a very hard time sleeping as he was stressed out about several things. Finding a place to live, work, preparing for our trip home, Christmas shopping, etc... At some ungodly hour in the middle of the night, he got so desperate for shut-eye that he dug out my "Stress Relief Linen Spray" and sprayed it all over himself.

Marinate on that for a minute or two. Conjure up a mental picture if it helps...

I have nothing else to say that would make this funnier than it already is so I'll leave you with that.

What do you care about?

Here I am again, increasingly using my blog as a platform to talk about things that I should probably talk about elsewhere. But, then I began to think... I'm getting somewhere between 100 and 150 visitors pretty much every day on here. Maybe it's okay for me to occasionally appeal for thoughts, prayers, support, etc...

This one is all about me encouraging all of you to think hard about a cause that's near and dear to your heart and give what you can this holiday season. My charity of choice this year is the UNICEF "Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS" campaign. The money goes towards getting anti-viral medications to children and parents afflicted by HIV in poor countries like Malawi as well as AIDS education to help reduce the instances of contracting the disease and protection and care for children who've been orphaned by AIDS.

I first became interested in this particular cause when I read Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman. On their motorbike trip around the world, they stopped at various UNICEF-related shelters for children. Then, on World AIDS Day last week, there was a special on TV about Ewan and Charlie traveling to Malawi to see first-hand the conditions in which many children who've been orphaned by AIDS live. It was heartbreaking. I was in tears by the end. Click here to watch Ewan narrate a short video about one such child who must care for his siblings by himself.

So, whatever it is that you care about, whatever brings you to tears, do what you can to help.

I shall now step down from my soapbox and return to the regularly scheduled programming of snark.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flippin' sweet.

I totally stole this from Aisby.


Make yours here.

Pret-a-Portea

Even though I was beaten to the punch yesterday by Andrea and you all may have already read her post on this very thing... I forge ahead anyway. In case some of you haven't already read Andrea's post, here's what we did. The Berkely hotel has a high tea called Pret-a-Portea and they serve little biscuits and cakes that are inspired by the most recent runway shows. And they serve it on Paul Smith china so there's nothing that's not designer. They call it "the fashionista's tea". Of course, I was in love the moment I first read about it.

Andrea and I hadn't been able to get together for ages so we decided we absolutely had to make time to hang out before we both go back to the States for the holidays and she returns a married woman. This was the perfect girly afternoon. It was a whirlwind of Harrod's, black cabs, tea, and champagne.

The pictures are really dark because we didn't want to look like tourists and were trying to be incognito with the cameras. Plus, what's worse than having a really nice dinner and you keep getting blinded by some idiot's flashing camera? Not much.

When we walked in and got to our table, I nearly had a heart attack triggered by the cuteness of it all. There was a little card on the table that said "Mrs. Sanger" and the menus were a stroke of cute genius.



That's me trying not to have a cuteness-related heart attack. Champagne helps, right?

And the lovely Andrea...



They must have a pastry chef with the steady hands of a surgeon back there. Some pictures of the insane food:

The Valentino leopard-print chestnut creme handbag


inspired by this little beauty:


Giles Deacon pink polka dot nougat mousse with yellow trim


inspired by this avant garde piece:


Alexander McQueen tartan chocolate cake


an homage to McQueen's tartan-heavy Fall 06 collection:


Yves Saint Laurent frilly passion fruit meringue


in honor of this fabulous frock:


Acquascutum's yellow overcoat ginger biscuit


a spot-on reproduction of this amazing coat:


Jimmy Choo gold boot chocolate biscuit


another dead-on recreation of this glamorous footwear:



There were also sweets taken from the collections of Chloe, Lanvin, and Julien Macdonald.

And if all that wasn't enough, after our precious waiter brought us the bill, he returned with these little take-away boxes. I don't think I could've stopped the cuteness heart attack if I tried at this point.


Oh lord, my head hurts from all the cuteness. I've decided to savor the feeling and told Jason that I would like to use my Mrs. Sanger placecard for all meals at home from now on. His response was a roll of the eyes but I think he's caving.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday Funday

Jason took yesterday off work so we could enjoy a day of "Christmas in London" together without having to fight the weekend crowds. We went to the Christmas Grotto at Harrod's and bought ornaments for our tree, had hot cocoa and sugar cookies at the ice rink cafe, and then skated at the Natural History Museum's rink. I was very nervous as this was only my second time ice skating but by the end I was doing really well! I was going pretty fast and didn't fall once. Even I have my limits though. Jason slingshot-ed me once and I almost beat him up.

At first, hanging on for dear life...


By the end, an old pro...


And they give you little gold reindeer Lindt choc when you leave!



As for the rest of the weekend, we did absolutely nothing and it was glorious. We spent nearly our entire Sunday at our favorite pub, The Farm enjoying their Sunday brunch festivities. They have live piano music and a roaring fireplace, and anything you could think of to drink. Check out this menu:


Champagne cocktails! Breakfast cocktails! Beer! Tea! Cocoa!

I started out with a bellini, then tried the "hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows", then finished up with the "posh tea".

Jason started out with a Leffe, then tried the Leffe, then moved on to Sam Smith, then finished up with the Leffe.

His tolerance is astounding. He would have likely had to carry me out of there.

And just for fun... George D. Kat enjoyed an early and unexpected Christmas gift on Saturday morning.


A delivery from Amazon.co.uk left him with a cozy little place for a nap. Nevermind the fact that he has a very posh faux-fur bed. He's got a thing for cardboard. And, hello? How cute is he? He brought his favorite stuffed toy "Baby Bear" into the box with him. He's had Baby Bear since he was a kitten and he carries him around in his mouth to wherever he naps.