Monday, October 29, 2007

I heart Beantown


and finally...



You may be asking yourself why I keep holding the signs in front of my face. I'll be straight with you. Waking up at 5:00 am to watch baseball is hardly a treat for one's complexion.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Priceless

Two tickets to charity gala ball: ₤190.00
Royal blue crepe de chine ballgown from Coast: ₤145.00
Silver satin slingback shoes from LK Bennett: ₤129.00
Art deco style bead and satin clutch bag: ₤45.00

Finding a convenience store open at 1:30 AM that stocks Doritos: Priceless



My first charity ball has come and gone and I must say that I learned a very important lesson. And that lesson is this: It is very difficult indeed to list yourself for an event as a vegetarian when you hate mushrooms. The options were essentially "beef with beef sauce" or "mushroom medley encased in a mushroom crepe with pureed mushroom sauce topped with diced mushrooms and mushroom shavings". Awesome. At least there was chocolate for dessert.

Rino and his bitches



Doesn't he look precious in a tux?



The belles of the ball


Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I heart Josh Beckett


Although this picture really says it all, I never was one for being seen and not heard...

Jason and I woke up at the crack of dawn to watch the first game of the World Series, all kitted out in our gear. Jason even wore his Curt Schilling bloody sock. (If you don't know, Google it.) Nevermind the fact that Jason's "bloody sock" is actually the result of an unfortunate accident involving the painting of our dining room (Brand: Eddie Bauer; Color: Cabin Red) back in the summer of 2004.

It certainly didn't take us long to become fully alert because Josh Beckett opened the game up with a one-two-three shutdown. If that weren't enough, first at bat for the Sox, Dustin Pedroia knocks a home run off the top of the Green Monstah. So sets the tone for Game 1. They got in Jeff Francis's head so much that he intentionally walked Mike Lowell to load the bases with Jason Varitek coming to the plate. Oops.


GO SOX!


We gotta go practice our riverdance.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm smart at math.

(or "maths" as they say here)

Sunday travel day home from France
+
Waking up at 6:00 AM on Monday to watch the Redsox win the ALCS and move on to the World Series
=
TIRED.

TIRED
+
one very long "to do" list
+
Italian homework
=
no blogging the photos from Bordeaux.

Hmmmm... So, E=MC2 and carry the 1 and times that by 12 then divide by 4 and what do you get?

Nothing.

Until tomorrow afternoon, that is. I hope to get on it after Italian class tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Four years of wedded bliss

J is for JUST how awesome you are.
A is for ALL the nice things you do for me.
S is for SWEET. Because, well, you know, you are.
O is for OUTRAGEOUS. And if you need proof, see the photo below.
N is for NOTHING because that's what I'd change about you.
(Well, except for maybe how you always leave your clothes in a crumpled mess next to the bed. But that's hardly worth mentioning.)


Click here to see last year's Ode to Jason.

So tomorrow, we leave for Bordeaux to celebrate four years of putting up with each other's shit yet still finding a way to love each other more and more every single day. I can't wait. We're staying in a beautiful chateau (see below) and are going to tour wineries and taste wine and drink more wine at dinner and maybe even have wine at breakfast and possibly take a bath in wine.

Where we're staying - the Chateau Lamothe Prince Noir


Au revoir!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

File under: Things you don't normally see in a major tube station

Last night, Jason and I were on our way back from seeing a movie in Fulham and were waiting at Earls Court for our train back to Richmond. Now, Earls Court is a fairly major hub in the the tube network. This is where all the branches of the western end of the District Line meet. So imagine our surprise when this pulled up to westbound Platform 3:


I was more than a little tempted to jump onto one of those dirt piles and ride the rails, going wherever the dirt train took me. I was secretly hoping a drunk person would come along and do it. Especially since the board indicated this was the Ealing Common train.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I highly recommend making friends with a graphic designer

How else are you going to get your mits on something like this?


Beth Nori and I spent the day at Harrod's today and over lunch at Laduree, I mentioned that Jason and I were pretty excited that Ratatouille was finally coming out here this Friday. She proceeded to make fun of me a little bit but totally redeemed herself by emailing me that.

Big ups to Beth.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Honey, I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that I got a new sweater.


The bad news is that you lost a sweater. To a horrific washing machine incident. It's literally half the sweater it used to be. I'm sorry.


Perhaps housewifery isn't my strong suit afterall. Good thing I'm cute and funny, right? Right?? Hellooooo?? Remember walrus tusk straws?? See, cute and funny!


And now, a moment of silence and a highlight reel in fond memory of Beige Sweater...

Beige sweater, you were always there for Jason. Even in the chilliest of weather. Here you are ice skating last December. What fun times you and Red Sweater must've had that fine evening.


And you always did love Christmas, Beige Sweater. You were a sucker for a warm fuzzy holiday. Poor Brown Sweater has locked herself in the closet, devastated at the news of your passing.


But you were so versatile, Beige Sweater! Here you are punting on the River Cam back in March, on an unseasonably mild early spring day. Grey Sweater also has fond memories of that lovely afternoon.


And you always knew just how to accessorize. This is you in Florence, after a full day of sightseeing, sitting down to a lovely dinner with Blue-and-White Striped Oxford the Third. (The names of those Oxford boys are always so pretensious and hyphenated, aren't they?)


And later on that evening, when the sun went down and there was a chill in the air, you were there just when you were needed most.


Rest in peace, Beige Sweater. For you have provided a lifetime of service during your all too short tenure in Jason's closet. Rest in peace.

Monday, October 08, 2007

West Midlands roadtrip... now with 100% more photos!

As I mentioned below, the main purpose of this trip was to take advantage of our English Heritage membership. As I also mentioned below, we made a stop at one non-English Heritage site along the way because it's one of the most famous castles in England and was pretty much in our direct route anyway. What we did not know is that Warwick Castle charges a hefty 17.50 GBP per person! Plus 3.00 for parking! Holy crap. Even Windsor and Buckingham only cost 14.50. Even though it was pretty cool, it was most definitely not worth the thirty-eight quid we forked over. Anyhoo, here are some photos around the castle grounds...

The main tower


The Victorian boathouse


And another expense, a few quid for two packets of Quavers and a bottle of water. At least I was able to enjoy my delicious snack food in the splendor of the rose garden.


By the river...



Next stop, Kenilworth Castle ruins. The original keep dates back to the early 1100's and Queen Elizabeth I visited here several times during her reign in the mid and late 1500's.




The last stop of the day was Ironbridge Gorge. This is the first iron bridge in the world and was built in 1779.


Day two begins with the road of death. Yes, this road is two-way. And yes, we met more than a few cars coming straight at us. Terror reigns supreme.


However, the road of death is actually lovely when it affords you views of the autumn leaves.


Despite traversing the road of death for many miles, we finally made it to Stokesay Castle. It was built in the 13th century and the one of the coolest things was that, in one room, you could still see red paint in a decorative pattern on the walls. It was around the top, kind of like how people use wallpaper borders now.


Next up were the amazing gardens and remains of Witley House. It was built in the Victorian era but was destroyed by a fire that started in the ballroom in 1937. Since it was too costly to restore, the owners stripped it of its surviving fixtures and abandoned it.




Last on the agenda, the remains of Longtown Castle. And surprise! Croeso i Gymru! (meaning: Welcome to Wales) We didn't realize we were going to but we crossed over the Welsh border. I could kick myself for not going back to take a photo of the border sign.


Even though it was a bit hazy and cloudy, the views of the Black Mountains were amazing.


Look honey! I climbed up the wall of this 800-year-old ruined castle I found! All by myself!


Even though I didn't get a photo of the Welsh border sign, I managed to take this blurry one of a road sign on English and Welsh.


Crossing back into England via the bridge in Newport


Jason's ingenious cookie dispensing contraption for the ride home. That's the arm of the driver's seat which opens up and, coincidentally (or not), is the perfect size for holding a sleeve of chocolatey-chippy goodness.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

On the road again

In an email exchange on Thursday of last week, after I told Beth Nori that our planned trip to Dublin wasn't going to work out, she told me to have fun whatever we ended up doing and said "Wherever you go, antics seem to follow!" This is not the first time someone has expressed this sentiment to me in one way or another. I'm beginning to wonder if I've made some sort of cartoon version of myself for the blog. That by only posting about the interesting things I do, people think my life is a series of one crazy event after another. This is a pretty big charade to keep up but in the interest of you, my dear and faithful readers, I'll do my best.

To that end, Jason and I set out on a road trip of the West Midlands this weekend. Why the West Midlands you ask? Well, when we were at Stonehenge, Jason got suckered (by a cute and bubbly girl) into buying us a membership to the English Heritage which gets us into a lot of stuff for free. One area that had a lot of interesting (read: free) attractions was the West Midlands. So. There you go.

Photos will follow tomorrow but, for now, the weekend in numbers:

English Heritage sights visited (for FREE) - 5
Non-English Heritage sights visited (which robbed us blind) - 1
Antique fairs stumbled upon - 2
Borders crossed unwittingly - 1
Photos taken - 106
13th Century castle ruins climbed on - 1
Motorways traversed - 18
Miles driven - 461
Pounds spent on petrol - 63

Amd n0w there;s a cat sjttjng on my hands so i have to sstop typing. Bye.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Food babies

Anybody out there ever eat so much pizza for dinner that when you go to put on your pajamas you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror mid-change and think you look about five months pregnant?

I spent a good three to five minutes last night alternating between staring at my stomach in horror and wondering if this is maybe the time it doesn't go back to normal by morning because I broke it or something and sticking it out a little further and rubbing it while waddling like I'm pregnant and then collapsing in a heap of giggles.

Then there's the whole decision you have to make about whether you should pull your elastic waist (thank god) pj pants up and over the food baby so that maybe you can forget it's there or just suck it up and let the pants sit under the bump as a reminder of your sins of cheese.

No? Just me?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Jason!

I woke Jason up exactly how I prefer to be woken up on my birthday... bearing food and presents.


I think he liked his gift... Curses to you Apple. You've got me again. You and your fancy 3rd generation Nano. Zing.


"Mommy sed I can sit in this anteek Indian bowl on speshul occashuns. Your burfday is speshul occashun, no?"

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Saturday night was Monique and Murray's official leaving party and while it was loads of fun, you can't help but think about the reason for the get-together in the back of your mind the whole night. Monique was my very first girlfriend in London. It was partly because of her friendship that I got over my homesickness sooner than later. She helped me make it through my first Thanksgiving away from home when she called me out of the blue after only meeting me once and said she had a free extra ticket to go to a taping of TRL at the MTV studios in Leicester Square that night. That one gesture meant the world to me at that point and I'm forever grateful. All it took for us to bond was a few different evenings talking over (always) a little too much wine. And over time, the four of us became really good friends. And now we say goodbye.

That's the thing about expat life though. It's transient. You move in. You make friends. But you know that at some point, they'll leave or you'll leave. The great thing here, though, is that Mo and Murray are traveling through the Americas before settling down in Australia and they'll be coming through North Carolina at the end of the trip, right about the time we'll be moving back home. So, for now at least, it's "See you later" instead of "Goodbye".

At least we went out with a bang!

Me and Mo


A Murray sandwich!



Lorraine (Murray's niece), Me and Murray



A little Harlem Shake never hurt nobody.



I have no words for this picture. It speaks for itself.




Note to self: At some point during evenings out, perhaps I should take time out from "dancin' it out" to relieve Jason of his photographer duties so that he may actually APPEAR in some photos instead of documenting the Heather Show all evening. Sheesh.