Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Funny how that worked out

Everybody 'member when I was all "Woe is me, I'm so homesick... Whither the Nutshell. I shall simply perish if I don't get me a glass of sweet tea..."?

Hmph. Well, I'm going home. In like, two days. But not for reasons that I'm excited about. My grandpa is very sick and I'm going to see him.

But what I am excited about (in the spirit of finding the silver lining in an otherwise sad situation) are the following:
Spending the whole weekend with our adorable nieces
Seeing my friends who always make me laugh and who I miss so much
Going to Target and damn near buying them out
Gettin' my hair did by the one and only Tommy (hopefully)
Getting a mani/pedi for less than the cost of a small car

So that's that. What it is, bro.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Have a Nice Day

Lest anyone think I'm sitting around in the dark listening to Everybody Hurts by REM on repeat and contemplating what would happen if I accidentally-on-purpose took too many Tylenol and washed them down with a fifth of bourbon, I wanted to let you all know that I also have a "Good Day" playlist.

And right now? I need it. So, I took Friday to wallow in pity and am now moving on to the "snap out of it by playing good music because the weather around here sure as hell isn't going to help" portion of the program.

So, if you're having a good day or you need some motivation to have a good day, I suggest listening to a few of these gems:

And before anyone asks, yes I do have a playlist for just about every possible scenario.

It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork
Freedom - George Michael
My Hero - Foo Fighters
Dreams - Cranberries (Yes I know it's sooo 90's but suck it.)
Feeling Good - Michael Buble (or Nina Simone)
Pick a Part That's New - Stereophonics
Forca - Nelly Furtado
Song For a Friend - Jason Mraz
Beautiful Day - U2
(Ain't Got No) I Got Life - Nina Simone
Lovely Day - Bill Withers
Light and Day - The Polyphonic Spree
I Want to Break Free - Queen
Good - Better Than Ezra
The Beauty in Ugly - Jason Mraz
Have a Nice Day - Stereophonics
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Best of You - Foo Fighters

P.S. Yes, I'm aware the Best of You is also on my Bad Day playlist but take a listen to the words and you'll see that it can be used as a "Poor me" sob fest or a "Get Up, Get Out, and Get on With It" anthem.

P.P.S . This playlist is also excellent for dancing around the house while trying to look like you're doing housework. I wouldn't know anything about that personally but I've heard....

P.P.P.S. I don't care what people on the top deck of the 211 bus in Fulham told you. They're liars. And anyway, I live in respectable Richmond now and people don't do that sort of thing.

P.P.P.P.S. Besides, we live in a much taller building now AND no buses go down our street so there are NO witnesses.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

Although it's been relatively nice this week (meaning I've had to wear sunglasses and tank tops or springy dresses), today is positively rotten. Soggy and dark. And considering I got some bad (although not entirely unexpected) news yesterday afternoon that's got me rather down, it's actually a perfect day for staying in, drinking tea, and reading my depressing (but very very good) book while my official "Bad Day" playlist flows from the Bose dock. And, as with my bout of homesickness and its accompanying soundtrack, here's my Bad Day playlist just in case you, too, are keen to wallow in it today.

Breathless - Better Than Ezra
Stop This Train - John Mayer
Bad Day - Fuel
Run To Me - Cowboy Mouth
Fix You - Coldplay
Push - Matchbox Twenty
Ruby Tuesday - Rolling Stones
Crystal Ball - Keane
Call and Answer - Bareaked Ladies
Bad Day - Daniel Powter
Why Does It Always Rain on Me - Travis
Best of You - Foo Fighters
Unfold - Jason Mraz
Nobody Girl - Ryan Adams
Everyday Down - Joan Jones
She Has No Time - Keane
Ain't No Love - David Gray

Enjoy! (...she said sarcastically...)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Luxury toilets and other girly things

On Monday, I left the flat at 9:00 am and returned at approximately 11:45 pm. I had an event with my volunteer group from 10:00 till noon at the National Portrait Gallery and I had to meet the girls at 6:00 at Covent Garden for pre-theatre dinner. As much as I love living in Richmond, it does kind of suck just a little bit that it's far enough out that there was no point in going all the way back home from Central London, only to turn around and go back to Central a couple of hours later.

However, I decided to make the best of it and have my favorite lunch in all of London - the club sandwich (hold the meat, add cheese) at Laduree at Harrod's. I also may or may not have hit up every upscale department store in the city - Harvey Nics, Harrod's, and Selfridges. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

I also took the opportunity to visit WC1 so I could freshen up after walking god only knows how many hundreds of miles in four inch wedges through Piccadilly, Oxford Street, the West End and Knightsbridge. For five quid, you get your own little changing room (pictured below). Mine was stocked with a feather boa, a wand, and several tiaras just in case I got a hankering to play dress up.

After I had pranced around the room draped in feathers and plastic princess gear, waving my wand at my imaginary royal subjects re-applied my make up and run a brush through my hair, I set off to meet Monique, Monique's sister-in-law, and Andrea for dinner and then Dirty Dancing. The show, not the actual act of dirty dancing. Just to clarify.

With the exception of the guy who played Johnny, it was pretty good. The main thing we all agreed that we hated was that they added a whole campfire scene that revolved around the civil rights movement and some annoying girl singing "We Shall Overcome". Ummm, weird. It just seemed so awkward and out of place. Monique has a much more in-depth review at her blog if you're interested...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"We dogged 'em y'all"

Since Rino was totally doggin' on my Southen accent Saturday night, I figured I'd really give him something to talk about and use the title he predicted I'd use. What the title refers to is the fact that, indeed, the girls did kick the boys' butts at the Catch Phrase Best of Seven Series. Or as Beth put it "Girls Rule and Boys Drool". And here's photographic proof:

So intense. You'd think we were discussing how to end world warfare.

He's looking awfully happy considering his team's token is soooooo far behind ours.

The winning team, somewhat worse for the wear. Please keep in mind it was after 1:00 am. Katy, Beth, and Me.

I'd also like to make a point of letting everyone know that the boys went out on the word "innocent" and the clues being given by one of them were as follows: "Little girls! Little girls, they don't know! You know, they just don't know! The little girls!" Maybe next time, try "If I'm guilty, I'm not blank" or "Blank until proven guilty". Just sayin'...

However, between the actual clue itself and the desperation with which it was yelled, that goes down as the all time funniest Catch Phrase clue EVER given. Mad props.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All action and no blog

Oh. Mah. Gawd.

I'm bloody knackered. And apparently, very British all the sudden. For those not in the know, knackered = tired. And bloody is a word I can use in the presence of Americans when I don't want them to know I'm swearing. Americans usually think it's a cute little British word that one uses to signify they're "very" something. It's really a nasty word here. The secret's out.

Anyhoo, the point is that I'm tired. And I have lots to blog but no will to blog it. From game night (I use the word "night" loosely since it was technically "morning" when we left) at the Nori's, to my day spent pounding the pavement of multiple London boroughs in 4-inch wedges yesterday, to visiting London's only "girls only luxury toilet and powder room", to seeing Dirty Dancing live and on stage in the West End, to Jason making my entire day at roughly midnight last night by telling me there was a jar of Skippy peanut butter on the kitchen counter when I announced I was hungry just as we switched off the bedroom lamp.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Overheard at the breakfast table

Jason: Can you make sure you add "xyz item" to your To Do list for this week?
Heather: Well, see all these little items? All those together are part of xyz item. So it's there. It's just silent. Like the X in xylophone.
Jason: The X in xylophone isn't silent. It's just pronounced like a Z.
Heather: Oh right. Well, just trust me. It's there.
Jason: Well, I just think that if it's not on the list explicitly, you won't remember.
Heather: Look. You and I are different creatures. You think big picture. You want this one major thing on the list. I think details. So I like to write down all the tiny things that have to get done in order for the big thing to get done. Example. I need to build a house. I don't write "build house" on my list. I write "buy nails", "buy wood", "buy hammer", etc... Get it? So leave me and my list be and just trust me that it'll get done.
Jason: Ok. Pause. So, are you going to put it on the list or not?
Heather: I give up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Carolina waits for me. And waits. And keeps waiting.

I was thisclose to going back to Nawth Caralinah for a visit. So close that I told two of my friends that I was actually coming and that I would let them know as soon as I officially booked the ticket. I was so convinced I was going that I had already started making my list of stuff to buy while I was there.

New jeans to replace ones my esthetician spilled wax on and ruined
A copy of the Marie Antoinette DVD
Nip/Tuck Season 3 on DVD
Knickers from GapBody
Lint rollers from Target
etc, etc, etc...

You've likely figured out from the tone of this post that it didn't work out. So instead of packing and working on my shopping list and dreaming about wearing actual summer clothes and sitting in the chair at Tommy's while he works his magic on my hair, I've resigned myself to listening to my "Homesick" playlist on iTunes and moping about in my Oscar the Grouch t-shirt.

I'm not sure why I've been homesick lately. Despite all the great things about living here, I've had some rough city days lately. Rude people, missed trains, wrong buses, blistered feet... Compound those with the facts that A. there's something so very wrong about having to wear long sleeves or a jacket and carry an umbrella every bloody day in JULY and B. that I needed new earbuds for my iPod (more on that another day) but I wasn't allowed (read: Jason didn't feel comfortable with) to go to the Mac store in Central London last week because of the flurry of terrorist activity and maybe that's your answer.

So, in case you're in the mood to feel homesick too, here're the songs I recommend. Obviously, some of these only work if you're from the South, or in some cases, specifically NC. Either way, its good music, homesick or not.

Oh My Sweet Carolina by Ryan Adams
Home by Michael Buble
Carolina in My Mind by James Taylor
Southern Girl by Better Than Ezra
America Town by Five for Fighting
Carolina by Josh Rouse
Bright Lights by Matchbox Twenty
I'll Fly Away by Alison Krauss
These Streets by Paolo Nutini
When Will You Come Back Home by Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
An American Girl by Tom Petty
Carolina (Waits for Me) by Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service)

It must be a great place if so many people are singin' about it, eh?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Weekend of Randomness! Scrabble! Live Earth! Polo! I'm tired!

It has truly been the weekend of randomness. It was like I was three different people.

Friday night, we went out to dinner at the Troubador with Beth and Rino and then back to theirs for wine and Scrabble. I can't say I recommend the combination if you're looking to rule the Scrabble board, but if you're in it for two and three letter words and misspellings that no one catches, then by all means, party on!

The Troubador has the cutest non-smoking signs I've seen anywhere since England went smoke free.

By the looks of this board, you'd think it was the 2nd grade Scrabble championship. Alas, no. Notice what Jason tried to pass off as "sweat"? What makes it even funnier is the fact that he was building on "wheat", which he had put down earlier. Sweat and wheat don't even make the same sound! I don't know what's worse - that he did it or that we didn't catch it. I blame the vino.

Can you blame me? This is what I was working with. Anybody know of any words that are made up entirely of vowels? Anyone??

We made it back home around 1:00 am which is far too late for a 30 and 31 year old. Especially considering we had a NINE HOUR concert to attend on Saturday.

Live Earth highlights included:
Arriving just in time to miss Genesis.
The lead singer of Snow Patrol looking so genuinely chuffed to see a gazillion people singing his song.
David Gray and Damien Rice doing a duet of "Que Sera Sera".
Paolo Nutini speaking clearly enough to be understood.
The lead singer of Keane running all over the place and generally owning that motherf**king stage.
The Beastie Boys absolutely killing it and looking like the coolest 40 year olds on the planet.
Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters surprising absolutely no one except me and giving the best performance of the whole show.
Madonna doing what Madonna does - reminding everyone that 49 is the new 25.

Live Earth lowlights included:
Arriving just in time to watch Razorlight's lead singer prance about in a women's top and far-too-tight britches.
John Legend boring us all to tears with his snooze-fest of a song.
Corrine Bailey Rae looking a bit too affected and "not bothered" for my taste, considering she's something of a one-hit wonder.
Metallica giving me a headache.
The Justin rumor was just that - a rumor. Boo.

Let us not forget what the day was really all about.

Tom Chaplin of Keane

One of the many plastic cup towers that were built throughout the day.



Was I lying about the Beastie Boys??

B-E-A-S-T-I-E. What up, Mike-D? Ah yeah, that's me.

K-I-N-G-A-D whammy. All the fly ladies are on my jammy.

MCA, get on the mike my man.

If you try to knock me you'll get mocked. I'll stir fry you in my wok.

The massive crowd.

I'll be honest - I like the Foo Fighters and all but I didn't really consider myself a "fan" and I certainly didn't have my knickers all in a twist about seeing them live. But they freaking killed it.

Does anybody happen to know whether he wrote "Best of You" for or in memory of Kurt Cobain? Before he sang it, he said "This is for you know who." and after reading the lyrics, I just wonder if that's who he meant...

I can now check "be called a bitch or a motherfucker by Madonna" off my life's to do list. She did not disappoint. Before "Ray of Light" she yelled ""If you want to save the planet I want you to start jumping up and down. Come on motherfuckers!" And, by the way, I may be willing to sign away my soul to have legs like hers at 49.

The famous Wembley arch. Oddly enough, we can see this from our bedroom window when it's lit up.

We got home sometime between 1:30 and 2:00 AM and slept till 11:30 yesterday! I haven't slept that late since college. Clearly, old age is catching up with me.

Then we met up with Monique and Murray for pub lunch and polo. Spectatoring, not playing. Just in case there was any confusion.

Giddy up!

Replacing the divots, I felt just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. You know, except for the whole hooker thing... Except that dress makes me look a little pregnant. But, gah - is it ever comfy.

You'd never know this was posed, huh?

I think Murray is a bad influence on Jason. Next thing I know, Jason'll come home with an $800 lens for our $450 camera.

I need a nap.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Live Earth

Tomorrow's the big day. I'm currently preparing to have my face rocked off by Madonna and the Beastie Boys.

I'm also preparing to have absolutely nothing rocked off by Genesis. Seriously? Genesis?

I'm also preparing rotten things to throw at the lead singer of Razorlight. He's already defiled the cover of my March Vogue. I ask you, have I not suffered enough??

And, errrrrm, United States? Our Live Earth is WAAAAAAAAAY better than your Live Earth.

You guys get:
Kanye West - I ain't sayin' he a hypocrite, but he ain't messin' with no cubic zirconia.
AFI - Ummmm, who?
Kelly Clarkson - Let's just hope she does her old material because her new stuff is... well, let's just say it's NOT her old stuff and leave it at that.
Akon - More like A-KONvict. Lock up your daughters and by all means, don't throw ANYTHING at the stage.
KT Tunstall - Anyone really know what a black horse and a cherry tree have to do with one another?
Alicia Keys - Booooring. I keep on fallin'... asleep when you start singing.
Ludacris - Much better actor than rapper. And stay the f**k up out his biz-nas.
Bon Jovi - This will piss off a lot of people but... Old hat.
Melissa Etheridge - Well, that's pretty freaking cool actually. I'll trade you Corrine Bailey Rae for her?
Dave Matthews Band - Good, but I've seen them about a 100 times in much smaller venues.
Fall Out Boy - Gah, are they still popular since Pete Wentz took photos of his wang and put them on the 'net and then tried to act like someone "leaked" them?
Roger Waters - Old and stoned.
Smashing Pumpkins - Just because it's Billy Coorgan doesn't mean it's the Pumpkins.
Keith Urban - Well, he just got out of rehab so I'll be nice.
John Mayer - Fantastic singer but have you seen him perform live? Consider yourself warned.
The Police - Barf. Sting is such a self-rightous arsehole. Or a cantankerous old fart. Or both.

And (with only a few mis-fires here and there) we get:
Beastie Boys - AWESOME.
Black Eyed Peas - Maybe Fergie-Ferg will wet her britches again!
Bloc Party - AWESOME.
Corinne Bailey Rae - Eh, whatever.
Damien Rice - AWESOME.
David Gray - AWESOME.
Pussy Cat Dolls - Ugh. More like the "Tranny Cat Dudes".
Duran Duran - AWESOME.
Foo Fighters - AWESOME.
Genesis - We'll just skim over that one.
James Blunt - AWESOME.
John Legend - Whatever. But maybe he'll pitch another tent!
Keane - AWESOME.
Paolo Nutini - AWESOME.
Razorlight - Stupid.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - AWESOME.
Metallica - Geez. Really? Sounds like the perfect time for a potty break.
Snow Patrol - AWESOME.
Spinal Tap - AWESOME.
Madonna - AWESOME.
Not to mention that there's chatter about a surprise appearance by one Mr. Justin Timberlake. Maybe I'll be the one wetting her britches.

However, we didn't get ALL the good ones. Here's a few around the world that I'm jealous of:
Australia gets Jack Johnson
Brazil gets Pharrell
Germany gets Shakira (but they also have to put up with Enrique Iglesias so it evens itself out.)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

File under: Who cares?

Since I've had nothing particulary cohesive to write about this week, I thought I'd put together a list of some of the random things that have consumed me.

1. Is it wrong that I'm so sick of cleaning the litterboxes that I've given serious thought to getting pregnant for the sole purpose of avoiding this task?

2. After my "F Word Fiasco" (see Le Mena├žant), I talked to Jason and it turns out he was also pretty disturbed. I wouldn't have predicted it in a million years but he suggested we try Pescetarianism for a month and see how it goes. This was feeling really good until I dreamed about being a professional taste tester for Bojangles and Chick-Fil-A and woke up in a cold sweat. Not about being disgusted by eating chicken. About the thought of never again tasting that little slice of heaven on a biscuit (A real Southern biscuit, mind you. Not cookies which the British very mistakenly refer to as biscuits.) Is there such a thing as "Pescetarian-except-for-delicious-southern-style-fried-chicken-on-a-fluffy-biscuit-ism"? (Mental note: Google "Pescetarian-except-for-delicious-southern-style-fried-chicken-on-a-fluffy-biscuit-ism". Duly noted.)

3. Although I look the same in photos (I think so anyway. If I'm not seeing it, somebody, for the love of Balenciaga, please tell me.) I know that I've put on a few pounds over the past year and a half. I'm still what most people would call "slim" but I need to drop a few. Not because I think I'm fat. Don't worry. I'm under no illusions of the "eating-disorder" sort. Simply because I've rendered precisely one half of my jeans wardrobe null and void. And I like to practice equal opportunity when it comes to casual wear. I've got about 4 pairs that are sitting sadly at the bottom of the denim pile due to natural selection and I feel just wretched about it everytime I open the closet and see them all sad-looking and still crisply folded.

4. There is a cream Marc Jacobs Stam at Matches here in Richmond on sale for half off and my gut wrenches a little bit everytime I think about some other gal getting her dirty mitts on it. Although I doubt many people with "dirty mitts" actually shop at Matches. In fact, I'm sure everyone's mitts are perfectly clean. Still. Be that as it may...

5. The other night at dinner, Jason was yammering on and on about something or other and I zoned out about 3/4 of the way through. I know. What a pleasant dinner companion I must be, no? But I was honest with him when it came to the point in his story (I use the word "story" quite loosely here. If it had been entertaining, I wouldn't have checked out.) when it became clear that I was supposed to comment on what he had said. I could have just said something non-commital like "Yeah, I know..." but I 'fessed up and told him I had been thinking about getting a flash memory stick so I could back up a document I'm working on in the event our Mac, god forbid, crashed. What do you think his response was? "Oh, well, that's ok then. Sometimes I think about flash memory too. Mainly, I just like that it's called 'Flash'."

And there you have it. That's what's been taking up space in my brain this week. I promise to do something more exciting soon. Even if it means resorting to putting my cats in compromising postions.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Drama queen

The funniest five seconds on the internet. For maximum effect, I recommend watching it at least three times in rapid succession.

(Or here.)

And for no reason at all, my interpretive performance: