Friday, June 29, 2007

Tired, little fella?

Must have been all that running and puking action.

Can I just say that even though this is really cute, Jason has GOT to stop taking pictures of me and the cats while we're sleeping. Let's just say that there have been some that were less than flattering...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Funny

Le Bon:
Beth and I went to see "La Vie en Rose" this afternoon and it was très magnifique! She was quite a character, that Edith Piaf. Next time you think your life is bad, trust me - hers was way worse.

Le Mauvais:
Elwin, mon plus petit chat, set a new kitty vomit record. He managed to vomit on five, count 'em, FIVE different stairs. I can only imagine he was able to accomplish this by running and puking at the same time. So, while I had the disgusting task of cleaning it all up, I have to give him props for his agility.

Le Menaçant:
This week on The F Word, I accidentally saw a pig being slaughtered. In the same show, Gordon sent his lambs for the slaughter as well and even though Jason made me close my eyes and plug my ears, it still managed to really upset me. To the point of tears and yelling "HOW CAN YOU EAT LAMB?!?! YOU'RE A MONSTER!!!! A MURDERER!!!" at a very unsuspecting Jason. I've been a bit off meat ever since. The thought of it kind of makes me want to make like Elwin, and run n' puke. Fast forward to this afternoon. I'm in the grocery store picking up something for dinner and when I hit the meat aisle, I kind of don't feel so well. In fact, I kind of think I'm going to sick up my lunch right there. Thankfully, I don't. I made it through the checkout process in a light-headed, semi-sickly haze and went straight to Starbucks for a breather.

Le Drôle:
And just so I don't go out on the mental image of me nearly tossing my cookies in the meat aisle... because yes, I am fully aware that The Good, Bad, and Ugly generally come as a trio and not a foursome with The Funny tagging along trying to fit in... Last night on What Not to Wear, Trinny and Susannah were helping a particularly unfortunate soul fight her way out of fashion hell and the lady tried on one of her own favorite outfits for Trinny and Suz to critique rip apart. It was a solid black skirt sack with a solid yellow shirt tent and she says "I was told black and yellow go perfectly together." And Susannah goes, "By whom, a leopard?" I don't know why but this was uproariously funny to me. I did one of those BLAHHAHAHAHAHA!!! numbers. You know when something funny catches you by surprise and you laugh way too loud and fairly obnoxiously because the sensible section of your brain didn't have time to catch up with your mouth? Mmm-hmm. One of those.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rainon... and on and on and on...

Perhaps Brighton should be called Rainon because that's pretty much what it did the whole weekend. Yep. Pretty much all rain and no bright in Brighton.

I exaggerate. We at least had a sunny day on Saturday.

We, thankfully, had the foresight to know this would probably be the only decent day so we spent it hanging out on the pier

...eating ice cream

...and far too much "candy floss" (or cotton candy as it's called in my home country.)

Little Chancho, my life is good. Really good.

You have to appreciate it when animals figure out how to buck the system. Even if they are disease-infested flying rats.

This man evidently also had the good sense to know that he'd better squeeze in all his sun naps on Saturday before the torrential rans swept in.

This is the Brighton Pavillion which was built by one of the King Georges when he was a prince. He essentially got bored of waiting around for his father to die so he decided to skip town and move to Brighton and build himself a "pleasure palace" where he basically threw the Edwardian equivalent of raging keggers every night.

A good bit smaller than the Pavillion is the Brighton Fishing Museum. That's it. I'm serious. That's the WHOLE thing. And to think it's free admission. What a bargain!

But now, for the real reason for the whole trip to Brighton/Rainon in the first place. Jason Mraz live. Gosh. He's dreamy.

On Monday, before leaving, we hit the aquarium. Or "seafood museum" as Jason refers to it. I love how this little turtle looked like he was smiling. He had his head sticking up out of the water, hence the reason the photo looks split.

So cool how the reflection of the tile floor shows up on his belly!

Nice. "Wettest day in 50 years."

Jason amused himself on the train home with trying to fashion a small sculpture from the wire around the champagne cork.

And I smirked at him.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What a difference a year makes

One year ago today, I went to Royal Ascot for the first time. I... got... how do I put this delicately?... Full-on, rip-roarin' stupid drunk. This time, I was determined to make it a day to remember. I mean that literally. Actually remember it, I'm saying. I have no recollection of last year once that third bottle of Veuve was popped.

However, last year we did Ascot the posh way. There was a lunch set up for us at real tables with proper linens and real glasses and we had assigned seats on the concourse. This year, we booked with a travel event company and had to juggle our plates of cold finger food in one hand while holding a plastic cup of champers in the other and fight for a seat in the "unreserved" area. Shudder. How I do dislike mingling with the commoners. Also? I know it would be a classy affair when I saw this:

And last year? Sunny skies all day. This year? The occassional downpour of rain. Sweet.

Which made the grass a big mushpot of... well... wet grass. This was more like Glastonbury. Should've worn our wellies.

All in all though, fun times had. And look! I'm conscious! Score one for me!

The Queen

Come on Dover!

Ominous clouds looming over the course. We decided today that when something is "looming", it's never good. Nothing ever "looms" and then produces something nice. That word carries such a sense of foreboding.

Andrea and Teresa with their chips. I'm tellin' y'all. It was high class all the way.

Us in all our finery.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'd like to thank the Academy...

How I forgot about this, I'll never know. And what made me think of it? An even bigger mystery.

Last month, Beth awarded me a Thinking Blogger Award. Now, I don't know if Beth actually has the authority to bestow such accolades upon me but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. And God help her if she's actually looking to me for her daily cup of "thought". Because I think we all know that I am not much more than a spewing volcano of nonsense.

And handbags. And occassionally, media reviews - be they tv, movies, theatre, books, whatever... If somebody pours their heart, soul, and a few years of hard work into something meant for enjoyment by the masses, I'm more than happy to take a few seconds to rip it to shreds. I can't help it. It's that inner/outer bitch beating up my inner/outer nice girl again.

I digress.

Anyhoobie, Beth apparently sees some redeeming qualities in my musings and even though I personally think she's delusional, this is as close to an Academy Award as I'll ever get so I'm running with it.

Apparently, I'm supposed to award five more people but to be honest? I don't like to think too much when I'm reading blogs. I prefer to laugh. Maybe I'll come up with my own award. The Laughing Blogger Award. I'm going to give this some thought and come back...

Monday, June 18, 2007

I've got a fever. And the only cure... is more swans.

Swan Lake has come and gone but the blisters rubbed by my stupid shoes live on, I'm afraid. More on that later...

The ballet was beautiful and seeing it at Royal Albert Hall "in the round" made it even better. We were in one of the boxes so it was absolutely stunning to look down on the stage from above and see the whole company moving in unison. My favorite scenes were, of course, the ones on the lake with all the swans together. I simply could not get enough of the swans. Every time more of them would come running/gliding/floating out, I'd get all twitchy with excitement and hope for even more. "More swans!! I want the whole stage full of swans! I don't want to see one square inch of stage! I want it totally covered in white tutus!"

This is one of the things that makes the Royal Albert Hall the Royal Albert Hall. They're for the accoustics and they cover the ceiling. This looks like one of those photos from Highlights magazine that's a serious close-up of some everyday object and you're supposed to guess what it is. "I know that one! It's mold growing on a zucchini!" Then Highlights is all "Wrong. It's a bunch of pencil erasers, you moron."

P.S. They're actually white, not blue.

Like the posh lass that I am, I watched the entirety of Swan Lake with my shoes decidedly OFF. I even took to prancing around our box during the intervals barefoot. I vowed that if I made it home without my feet becoming bloody stumps, I'd throw these things in the bin and never look back.

Practice makes perfect. My ambition (borne out of Billy Elliot) to become a ballet dancer when I grow up is still in tact. Although at this point I may be better suited for a production of "Duck Pond" rather than "Swan Lake".

You thought I was kidding, didn't you?

As usual, props to anyone who can identify the source of the quote in today's post title...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Goodbye Dolly

Hmmm... I'm torn between freeing my inner (and by "inner", I actually mean "outer") cynical bitchy theatre critic and being somewhat nice, trying to follow the golden rule about saying nothing if you don't have anything nice to say. When, in reality, the rule I actually live by is "If you don't have anything nice to say, then come sit next to me."

Lucky for you, the inner/outer bitch beat up the nice girl.

Hello Dolly is one of those old school Rogers & Hammerstein-style musicals that I had always wanted to see but never had. Just my luck, I saw that it was coming to the theatre here in Richmond so I got us two tickets and off we went. It waaaasssss..... how do you saaaay??.... crap. I'm sorry, but it was. I was in high school theatre productions that were more professional than this. It was like some kind of Founder's Day celebration in Mayberry where they asked all the locals to play a part, regardless of age, talent, or looks. And the props looked like they had been fished out of a yard sale. And not one in a nice subdivision either. A yard sale in Podunk, USA. On the side of a highway.

Maybe I'm being harsh. And I feel bad. I do. But the fact of the matter is, we've never left a show at intermission until last night. At least we were incognito about it. We sort of walked out during the interval for some "fresh air" and slowly started making our way towards the street, acting like we were engrossed by the "Coming Soon!" board. When everybody started going back in, we bolted around the corner and marched straight into our Italian place for coffee and a piece of tiramisu.

Sorry Dolly. Thumbs down.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When I grow up

Last night Jason and I went to see Billy Elliot the musical. It was fab. It's funny, it's heartwarming, it's heartbreaking, it's inspiring...

Because it helped me decide what I want to be when I grow up. A ballerina! I couldn't wait to practice my ballet moves when we got home.

Needs a bit of work yet but I'll get there. Plié, plié, plié... Pirouette, pirouette, pirouette... Jeté, jeté, jeté... Rond de jambe, rond de jambe, rond de jambe... Rélevé, rélevé, rélevé... Pas de bourrée, pas de bourrée, pas de bourrée... Shimmie, shimmie, shimmie... Step-ball-change, step-ball-change, step-ball-change...

Wait, I think those last two are Fosse. Oh well, when all else fails... JAZZ HANDS!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kickin' it after-school special stylie

I was cleaning out a cabinet yesterday afternoon and came across this:

Kitty Grass. I especially love the translations "Herbe a chat" and "Gras fur Katzen". Now, I personally pass on grass but as Travis Birkenstock said "Far be it from me to deny anyone else."

If George and Elwin want to partake of some herbal refreshment, I'd just like to pass on a pearl of wisdom courtesy of Cher Horowitz: "It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day." Remember this mes petits chats (or meine kleinen Katzen). Remember this.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I got nothin'.

I spent an unnatural amount of time trying to think of a clever title for this post and I got nowhere. Is it possible my clever-ness has run dry? Or was I never clever to begin with? Regardless, here's where the post was supposed to officially start before I found myself too dumb to come up with a title and went on a tirade explaining the lack of a title:

Back from a weekend away and feeling fresh as a daisy. Even though it was rather cloudy for the majority of the weekend, we very much enjoyed doing absolutely nothing but strolling around and occasionally ducking into a pub for a pint. And we antiqued.

We antiqued very well, in fact. Some of you may already know my dirty little secret but I'm coming out of the closet. I collect one of the most old lady-ish things one can possibly collect. Teacups. There. I've said it. In this one shop, there was a beautiful and unusual one that I was drawn to and when I looked at it more closely, I saw it was a good deal more expensive than all the others so I asked why. The lady told me it was because it was by Aynsley, it was a very much sought-after 1931 art deco pattern, and it was in perfect condition. Long story longer, we got home and looked it up. It's worth quite a sum. More than double what we paid. Not that it matters because I have absolutely no intention of selling it. Ever. We also scored a late 1700's Georgian crystal decanter with its original stopper (apparently, this is somewhat rare) and a Victorian crystal perfume bottle. So, it's official. We are those people. The people who turned the noun "antique" into a verb. We antique. Gah.

Always the sign of a train journey well spent. Junk food and multiple games of hangman scribbled in the back of a book. Some of the best ones were "I'm bringin' sexy back" from the category of Pop Culture Catch Phrases which I did for the sole purpose of making Jason say "I'm bringin' sexy back" and "Irony" from the category of Literary Devices which Jason thought he was so clever in doing because it was so abstract but then I guessed "i" as my third letter after the obligatory "a" and "e" and immediately knew it was "Irony" because, well... really, how many 5-letter literary devices that begin with "i" are there anyway?

Our hotel was done up in art deco style. (I'm a titch obsessed with this era as of late...) After three and a half hours on multiple trains, a glass of bubbles in the lounge was mandatory. As you can see, I took no vanities with my appearance. Perhaps I should consider running a brush through my hair and touching up the make-up a bit next time.

Getting ready at the very unusual dressing table.

A bit of sightseeing...

This is the tops of all the market stalls in the central square. Unfortunately, it's mostly rubbish on offer but we did manage to score two excellent cups of coffee.

This building has a checkered past. HA! Get it? Checkered? Oh man, that was a good one. (Whew. I've still got it.)

Then off to the Colman's mustard shop. Norwich (Pronounced Nor-ich, by the way. Drop the "w".) is the official home of Colman's. Just like Winston-Salem, NC is the home of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Except Krispy Kreme doughnuts are good. Unless you like your mustard laced with heaps of wasabi. In that case, I suppose you might think Colman's mustard is good. Like Jason here...

But unlike me here... I like my mustard American-style thankyouverymuch.

Then a pint break at this oddly named pub.

Hee hee.

The spire of the Norwich Cathedral.

And the top of Elm Hill, the antique street.

This is the kind of stuff you get to see when you're an early bird. Taken from the balcony of our room first thing Sunday morning.

At the cathedral.

Do as the British do and enjoy a pint after church. I love that their sign says they're probably the oldest pub in Norwich. It's like they were too lazy to really research it and find out for sure so they said "Hey. Let'sh just say that we're probably the oldesht one. 'Smuch eashier that way, don'cha sthink?"

And last stop was the Plantation Gardens...

...where we enjoyed a spot of tea before heading back home.

The end.