Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ash Cloud

I was supposed to fly to Scotland today but the ash cloud interfered with airline travel.  All flights to Scotland were cancelled.  :(

I can't imagine having ash rain down from the sky.  Now that I will not experience it, I have to rely on the BBC's coverage of the ASH CLOUD!  Off to watch the BBC and ash cloud coverage!!

J, is this font better?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Things I Just Don't Understand

Overall today was a good day.  I made it home in one piece after getting my heel stuck in the revolving door of my office building as I was leaving for the train.  And yes, my foot came out of the shoe and the door closed on it.  As 5 people stood by and watched me try and pull my shoe out, the man standing next to me (just standing, not helping even though I was blocking the exit) asked me how I managed to get my shoe stuck.  As I looked at him (while using all my strength to pull my shoe out) all I could think to say was, "who the hell knows".  He then asked if it were because of my weight.  WTF?  I am not a size 2 but I am also not grossly overweight.  Now I was pissed at the door and at this man.  My anger must have boosted my strength because I finally managed to free my shoe.  As I noticed that I had ruined the heel of this brand new shoe (today was the first day I had worn this pair) I smarted off to the man that I was extremely offended by his statement.  He then laughed and said he was kidding.

Now I am loving the fact that I live in London.  I still haven't done much more than work but I love that I am working in London.  However, there are some things I just do not understand.  In all fairness, I am sure that we Americans do many things the Brits don't understand.  Eating is one of them.  Most Brits probably feel that the Americans work way to hard eating.  We cut, lay down the utensil, pick up the utensil in the other hand, pick up the food and eat.  I actually applaud the way most Brits eat and hope to adopt that method.

Back to the shoe story.  I do not understand British humor.  Did that man really think he was being funny?  Does he not understand that the majority of women are always concerned about their weight?  What if I had just eaten the theatre sized box of Hot Tamales?  (Yes, I actually did, but for my dinner tonight.)  The point is, if I were feeling fat or struggling with my weight, this man could have pushed me over the edge.  You don't make a joke about someone's weight, just like you don't assume someone is pregnant.  I am, however, glad I could bring humor to his day.

Item number 2 that I do not understand:  Pantyhose.  Ok, in all fairness, they are called tights here.  In America, we call tights the thick stockings and pantyhose are what the 65 year old librarian at my elementary school wore with open toes shoes.  It's May 23rd, do they wear "tights" all year around?  It was only 60 something outside today, but still.  I will admit that I actually wore "tights" today too.  I went out bare-legged the other day and felt like I was walking through the tube station naked.  People were staring!  Granted some people look better in "tights" but does everyone have to wear them?  Maybe it is because everyone is so proper and wearing "tights" is the proper thing to do?  My friend, GG, can hopefully explain Ms. Emily Post's thought on this subject.  GG?

I do love that the Brits are so proper.  It makes me want to clean up my act and stop being so trashy.  I really love how proper they are.  I also admire them for their efforts to be green.  Public transportation, recycling, water conservation, etc.  But being that they are so proper, I do not get their toilets.  I understand the 2 button system in an effort to conserve water, etc. however, I do not get how you make the paper go down.  I flush and flush and yet the paper remains.  I feel bad for whomever is next to use the toilet because they have to see my paper.  It is kind of gross!

I still love London!!!!  And there is help for my milk.  According to The Metro today, a large milk farm had a BBC comic out to do a comedy routine for the herd of cattle.  According to a cow behaviorist, happy cows are more productive.  The cows appeared to enjoy the routine; only a few wandered away.  Oh, did I mention that the whole thing was set up by the makers of Laughing Cow cheese?  :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


A little English mustard goes a long way.

I was feeling very British and decided to have a mature cheddar and mustard sandwich for dinner.  That might sound unappealing to most but to me it sounded easy to make (remember that my cooking skills are poor).  Note to anyone using English mustard:  a little goes a long way!  I looked at the ingredient list positive that wasabi was the main ingredient, but no such luck.  All the tea in the world could not make my nose stop burning!

Too Much Law and Order SVU

An English gentleman I worked with in the US sent me instructions on how to make proper English Tea. Lucky for me, my temp accommodations provides all one needs to make proper tea. This morning is my first attempt. I think I need it after last night...

I love Law and Order. Every Saturday and Sunday morning I would wake up and watch the marathon on TNT. You can imagine my delight last night when I discovered the Universal channel that claims to provide all of America's best crime shows. I hit the jackpot with a SVU marathon! After multiple episodes and two Strongbows, I went to bed. In my dreams, Mariska (aka Olivia Benson) and I were close to finding the bad guy. Only then did I hear a door shut and it woke me up. I stayed still for a few moments and then heard footsteps. Convinced someone had broken in, I turned on the lights, jumped out of bed and checked all three rooms of my flat police style (Olivia would be so proud). When the coast was clear and my heart stopped beating so fast, I heard my neighbor cough and smelled his cigarette smoke. No one was breaking in, my neighbor had decided he needed a 1:00 am smoke in his garden behind my flat.

I need a stun gun for future police work. My tea pot would not have done me much good if I had encountered someone breaking in. Off to drink my tea out of said teapot....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Am Still Alive or Just Living In My Own Hell

A friend sent this to me and has been anxiously counting down the days/hours.  I happen to know that her last day on earth will involve heavy drinking so she just may wake up in hell tomorrow (unless she chooses to fake drink).  :)

US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise

(But he has been wrong before). Guy Adams reports from California
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Harold Camping has been broadcasting his Doomsday predictions around the world
Harold Camping has been broadcasting his Doomsday predictions around the world
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The end of the world is nigh; 21 May, to be precise. That's the date when Harold Camping, a preacher from Oakland, California, is confidently predicting the Second Coming of the Lord. At about 6pm, he reckons 2 per cent of the world's population will be immediately "raptured" to Heaven; the rest of us will get sent straight to the Other Place.
If Mr Camping were speaking from any normal pulpit, it would be easy to dismiss him as just another religious eccentric wrongly calling the apocalypse. But thanks to this elderly man's ubiquity, on America's airwaves and billboards, his unlikely Doomsday message is almost impossible to ignore.
Every day Mr Camping, an 89-year-old former civil engineer, speaks to his followers via the Family Radio Network, a religious broadcasting organisation funded entirely by donations from listeners. Such is their generosity (assets total $120m) that his network now owns 66 stations in the US alone.
Those deep pockets were raided to allow Family Radio to launch a high-profile advertising campaign, proclaiming the approaching Day of Judgement. More than 2,000 billboards across the US are adorned with its slogans, which include "Blow the trumpet, warn the people!". A fleet of logoed camper vans is touring every state in the nation. "It's getting real close. It's really getting pretty awesome, when you think about it," Mr Camping told The Independent on Sunday. "We're not talking about a ball game, or a marriage, or graduating from college. We're talking about the end of the world, a matter of being eternally dead, or being eternally alive, and it's all coming to a head right now."
Mr Camping, who makes programmes in 48 languages, boasts tens of thousands of followers across the globe, with radio stations in South Africa, Russia and Turkey. After 70 years of studying the Bible, he claims to have developed a system that uses mathematics to interpret prophesies hidden in it. He says the world will end on 21 May, because that will be 722,500 days from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of the Crucifixion. The figure of 722,500 is important because you get it by multiplying three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) together twice. "When I found this out, I tell you, it blew my mind," he said.
Recent events, such as earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Haiti, are harbingers of impending doom, he says, as are changing social values. "All the stealing, and the lying, and the wickedness and the sexual perversion that is going on in society is telling us something," he says. "So too is the gay pride movement. It was sent by God as a sign of the end."
Mr Camping, who founded Family Radio in the 1950s, grew up a Baptist. Many of his strongly held views – he does not believe in evolution and thinks all abortion should be banned – are relatively commonplace among America's religious right.
Critics point out that this isn't the first time Mr Camping has predicted the second coming. On 6 September 1994, hundreds of his listeners gathered at an auditorium in Alameda looking forward to Christ's return.
"At that time there was a lot of the Bible I had not really researched very carefully," he said last week. "But now, we've had the chance to do just an enormous amount of additional study and God has given us outstanding proofs that it really is going to happen."
Mr Camping's argument has convinced Adam Larsen, 32, from Kansas. He is among scores of "ambassadors" who have quit their jobs to drive around America in Family Radio vehicles warning of the impending apocalypse. "My favourite pastime is raccoon hunting," Mr Larsen told CNN. "I've had to give that up. But this task is far more important."

My First Thursday in London

Copied from an email I sent my family about last Thursday....
Funny now but I almost sat down in the middle of the road and cried at 8:30 this morning.  I left my flat early so I had plenty of time if I got lost but apparently I didn't leave early enough.  After a malfunction with my oyster card and people getting upset because I was blocking the gate to the tube, I stood in the assistance line only to be told that tube thought I was already inside.  (Don't ask.)  I was so excited because this was going to be my first day of living in the city and using public transportation.  I found my way (walking) to the tube station and made it to the right stop for the hotel where my interviews would take place.  The Tube is brilliant because each morning they leave The Metro (free public smut newspaper) so everyone gets a dose of the scandals that occurred overnight.  The only one I can remember is that Snoop Dogg was in London and asked for a football jersey and the producer of the venue didn't like that team so he gave Snoop a XXX and now they call him Hoop Dogg.)  I can't believe I missed his show.  Anyway, I got off the tube and was going to use my BB to get walking directions but the BB doesn't allow walking direction (I miss my iPhone).  In fact, nothing worked on my BB so I decided to just walk and ask for directions.  No one knew where the hotel was nor had they heard of it.  I finally (after pouting on the street corner) stopped a Black Cab and asked him if he would take me somewhere.  I think he thought I was drunk because he just started laughing. Eventually I explained I was lost and we figured out where I was trying to go.  He told it was right there and pointed and said I could walk.  I told him to drive me there so we went around the block and after paying 5GBP, I was there.  Oh and a trip that should have taken 45 minutes took twice as long.

After a long day I arrived back at my flat and so far tonight have only blown up one thing...American phones do not work in the UK!  I then tried to rigged my flat's phone into Magic Jack but it didn't work and the concierge had to come down and replug it in for me since i couldn't figured it out.  Magic Jack now works at least through the computer.

Just finished a bowl of imported Honey Nut Cheerios (semi skimmed milk is tolerable with cereal).  Just thought I would share my adventures. Tomorrow I am taking the train to the other office for driving school.  oh yea!

Microwave Popcorn

After posting my first blog, I wanted to treat myself to some microwave popcorn and a Strongbow.  Now I haven't had microwave popcorn for about 5 years but for some reason it sounded good.  Maybe because my neighbors are making it and I can smell it?  I popped it in the microwave, set the time, removed that metal shelf thing I had never seen before in a microwave and poured myself a Strongbow.  Several seconds later I heard a weird noise and noticed what appeared to be lightening bolts in the microwave.  What the hell?  Is that metal shelf a necessity or is US microwave popcorn not compatible to the UK?  (For those of you keeping track, I will not add this to my list of things I have blown up since arriving in the UK however I have not tested the microwave to ensure it still works.)

I can hear my husband now saying that this doesn't surprise him, I am not the most gifted individual in the kitchen.  I think his favorite story of me is when i was in-charge of the french fries for dinner one night.  He grilled the burgers and wanted to know when the fries would be ready.  I informed him I was still waiting for the oil in the fry daddy to boil before I put them in.  i think beer came out of his nose as he informed me that the oil only "bubbles" when the fries are in it. 

Things I can't cook...2