Thursday 27 November 2008

You're it...

Alcyone tagged me so here it goes. I've never been tagged before I feel so honored :)

These are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random, arbitrary things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

6 Random Things(that I don't mind being posted on the internet):

1. I can't sit with my feet down. I always sit Indian-style or at least with one leg tucked under me. NBH is very understanding about this on transatlantic flights and lets my knees encroach his space.

2. When I was 6, I was in the Cincinnati Ballet Company performance of "The Nutcracker." I got to dress up, wear makeup, dance with real ballerinas and go into school late the morning after shows---awesome.

3. My right ear has a point on it not unlike an elf.

4. Jerry Springer sang "Puff the Magic Dragon" to me as a child.

5. I aced the Jeopardy contestant test, but then moved out of the country and was removed from the contestant pool.

6. I opted to not have lunch so I could take 4 languages my junior year of HS.

I tag:


2)The Atkinsons in Amsterdam




Wednesday 26 November 2008

The Big Knit

Every November, Innocent Smoothies get a fashion makeover and start sporting little knitted hats. These limited edition bottles benefit Age Concern, with 50p from each special hat purchase helping to support older people in the winter months.

Last year 24‚650 people died as a result of cold related issues in the UK. This seems crazy to me that this is happening here in the western world and it makes me think what must happen in much colder and poorer parts of the world.

Sainsbury's has a 2 for £3 special on just now, so I picked up some smoothies today. I was super excited to find one with this super cute strawberry/hearts motif. Each hat is knitted by hand by volunteers; thousands of people make little hats and send them in for the campaign.

I have no idea what I will do with my little hat when I'm done. I have 3 in total now, so if you have any ideas let me know!


My hat is currently keeping my cellphone warm in cozy in its inflatable German armchair.

Monday 24 November 2008

I <3 Arr-rar-rar-mar-rar dog

God Bless you Joel McHale for bringing Arr-rar-rar-mar-rar dog into my life.

I could watch this all day long....

Link: Passive Agressive Notes

I was introduce ed to Passive Aggressive Notes a website that basically is what it says on the tin. It has photos of passive aggressive notes. Some are pretty funny. My favorite has to be this one, only because it would only happen in Glasgow.

I can imagine wee neds arguing with the staff:

"Nae Buckie? Whad'ya mean I cannae have buckie? Gie us some ya minger!"

Sunday 23 November 2008

Poll: Our Front Door

So we got a new front door to our building a week or so ago and while it's nice I'm not to sure about the stained glass design. I have a theory on what it looks like, but what do y'all think?

Saturday 22 November 2008

Happy Birthday Allyson!

So I was travelling a lot this week for work and didn't manage to get my shit together and send my friend Allyson a birthday card. She is an amazing friend, great mother and one of the strongest, funniest and craziest women I know. So hopefully this will help will help make up for the belated of card! I love you!!!

(Click the picture or here to enlarge)

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Zack and Miri

Last night we went to see the new Kevin Smith movie "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." NBH and I are both big Kevin Smith fans and come to think of it have probably also seen every movie Seth Rogen has been in. It was pretty funny, but like most of Smith's recent movies, it starts out hilarious and then sort of falls apart at the end. I'd still recommend seeing it if you are a fan of Smith's films or Rogen's for that matter. Plus Jason Mewes is still hilarious as someone that is not Jay.
Now NBH and I both have an issue with the last few Kevin Smith flicks and it's name is Jennifer Schwallbach-- his wife. I guess she's an actress, but as far as I can tell she's only ever been in his movies. He always casts her as a hottie and well not only can she not act, she's not attractive. My latest bone of contention is they have her playing a 28 year old in this movie. Sure it's only briefly, but come on she's 37 and an old 37 at that. At least her hair isn't blonde anymore.

Anyway, its a good movie and it makes me slightly upset I'm missing my 10 year HS reunion that takes place Thanksgiving weekend. Although I doubt I'd meet a "Brandon" at mine and that would be my real motivation. Having a graduating class of 70-some doesn't have the same possibilities for interesting partners/guests as one of 800.

So I hate movie trailers because they spoil some of the best parts of films. In my opinion, I'd rather laugh for the first time in the theatre. So here is a VERY NSFW clip of "I'm f***ing Seth Rogen" which basically rips off Sarah Silverman:

Sunday 16 November 2008

You're a bad banana, with a greasy black peel

I've always asserted my belief that nothing Christmasy should commence until after Thanksgiving. I've been balking at the Christmas paraphernalia that has appeared on UK store shelves since before Halloween. I also get annoyed when people ask about my "Christmas" plans without even once thinking that maybe I don't celebrate Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the Grinch. I love Christmas, but I also celebrate Chanukah so it annoys me that people assume everyone celebrates Christmas. Also the fact that the over commercialization creeps earlier and earlier every year drives me mad.

Yet today, almost two weeks before Thanksgiving, I am feeling decidedly Christmasy. I'm taking part in an ornament exchange-- it's basically Secret Santa, but with the direction to include a cultural relevant ornament from the country in which you live. I went shopping for my gifts and after coming home, lighting a Christmasy smelling candle and wrapping the gifts I'm wanting to decorate.

Literally days ago I was complaining how early it was for the Glasgow Christmas lights to get turned on today, yet here I am loving my Mandarin, Clove and Cinnamon candle and my gift wrapping skills. I mean come on I used cute little chocolate santas, snowmen and penguins to accent the ribbon--that's innovative.

How early is too early for Christmas? When do you allow yourself to indulge in decorating and other holiday traditions?

Wednesday 12 November 2008

I <3 My Husband

I came home today to a totally tidy living room!

He even hung up our marriage license...

and my Cincinnati poster!Check Spelling

I'm not including before photos, but trust me:


Rolling Dog Ranch

Two years ago instead of sending out holiday cards we made a donation to the Rolling Dog Ranch in Montana instead. I came across a story about them and a wee paralyzed Yorkie named Spirit. After reading her story and reading about the work they do out at the ranch for disabled animals, I thought my money was better spent on helping them than a bunch of paper and glitter.

Here is Spirit's story, but you can read about the other dogs, cats and horses at the Rolling Dog on their website or make a quick and easy donation by clicking here.

Spirit the paralyzed dog

The start of Spirit's story is hard to read at first, but please stick with it...because there's a very happy ending.

A lady in Butte, Montana, Denise S., was walking down a street when she caught a glimpse through the traffic of a Yorkshire terrier lying on the pavement. She waited for the cars to pass and then rushed into the street to get the dog. That's when she noticed a man standing next to the little Yorkie, kicking it.

Denise ran over and scooped up the dog in her arms. The man was drunk and shouted at her, “That's my dog!” Then he turned and walked away, leaving her holding the Yorkie.

The dog was paralyzed in her front legs, her eyes were crusted over, and her hair was matted. Denise took the Yorkie to a vet clinic for some initial treatment, and then called us. Two days later Denise's family brought the dog to the ranch.

Despite her paralysis and the abuse she suffered, the Yorkie was full of life and love. She propelled herself with her back legs, hopping and then sliding on her chin. She wanted mobility, no matter what the effort. Whenever we picked her up, she'd lick us on the face. To have endured such a life of trauma, and still be like this...well, that's why we named her Spirit.
The wonderful folks at Doggon' Wheels in Bozeman, Montana, came out to personally measure Spirit for a wheelchair – and then they donated the entire cost! When we first put Spirit in her new wheels, she didn't know what to do. She looked up at us as if to say, “Now what?” Yet the expression on her face told us she was thrilled to be upright like a “normal” dog.

To get moving, though, she needed some motivation, so we took Spirit to the cat house and set her on the floor. Her eyes got really big, her back legs started to move, and off she went to check out the cats! Spirit completely forgot she was in a wheelchair. Now it's natural.
When she's not in her wheels, Spirit likes to lie on a dog cot in our living room, which she thinks is a Yorkie lounge.

The best part of Spirit's story? A family from Tampa, Florida, just contacted us after reading about Spirit on our blog. They had recently lost a paralyzed Yorkie, also rescued from abuse, and wanted to know if they could fly out and adopt Spirit!
So Spirit will be arriving at her home in Florida in time for the holidays, and her new family is excited about enjoying a little Christmas Spirit together!

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Pub Pup

We sometimes take Emma to McPhabb's the pub across the road from his Dad's house. She likes it because they give her ashtrays full of water (clean ones) and raw carrots. Maybe that's why I like this story so much; that or the picture is ADORABLE!

A dog barred from a pub for chewing beer mats has been allowed back in - but only if she wears a high-visibility vest.
Nigel McLelland, the landlord of the Jolly Sailor in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, said Hatty, a Lakeland Terrier, must be seen at all times.

He relented on his ban after he found out his regulars were going to start a petition to let her back in.
"I'm going to lose trade so I let her in," he said.
Hatty's owner Jeff Hughes said his pet started chasing and chewing beer mats after the pub's assistant manager threw one to her.

"One night we went in there and it was packed, there had been football on or whatever. She just went berserk," said roofer Mr Hughes, 35, who got Hatty from a rescue centre and takes her to work every day with him.

"Everybody was throwing them (the mats), they were just all over the place. He (Mr McLelland) got a bit annoyed about this and basically put her on the pub watch scheme."
Hatty was banned last year but Mr McLelland said she can now come back in the pub if she wears a high-visibility vest, which she usually has on when accompanying Mr Hughes to work on building sites.

"I think it's just so he can see where she is because she disappears and climbs on the tables and gets them (the mats) herself," added Mr Hughes.

He said his dog loved going to the pub after work with him and would "sulk" if he left her in the van or took her home while he went there during her ban.

"A soon as we pull up (at the pub) she's out of the van," he said.

"If the window's open, as soon as we stop she's straight out the window to the door.

"She loves it there because everyone plays with her."
Mr McLelland said Hatty had often been encouraged by his regulars, who would throw her the mats.

"I came down one night and all the regulars were throwing beer mats for her so really speaking, we shouldn't be blaming Hatty, we should be blaming the regulars," he said.

"I'm saving a hell of a lot on beer mats but the regulars need her (the dog) to come in and I'm going to lose trade so I let her in."

He added: "I think the regulars were going to get a petition so rather than lose trade I'm going to let her back in."

Of the vest he said: "I can see her better now if she's hiding away."

Mr Hughes's young daughter Annie said: "She (Hatty) likes everyone playing with her with the beer mats and shaking them about and throwing them.

"Nigel let her in because she's nice and because she had a glow vest.

"She should be allowed to stay because she's a nice and kind dog."

Veterans/Remembrance Day

Today is Veterans Day. I think in the States we tend to put more importance on Memorial Day in May, but here in the UK it is the main day to honor veterans. We call it Remembrance Day and it marks the Armistice from WWI. In the weeks before plastic poppies are sold to raise money and to show your support for those who served.

While my Grandpa never left the US, he was member of the Armed Services and also worked all his career as a civilian at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. I went to the VA website and they have posters from the last 30 years. I've picked out a few based on important years in my life. You can see them all on the VA website.

Monday 10 November 2008

Make-up Snob

I am a self-proclaimed make-up snob. I like the good stuff, we're talking YSL, Dior, MAC, etc. I don't do Maybelline or Cover Girl, sorry Tyra. I had been a convert to Fiberwig mascara or as it calls itself "paint on false lashes." It was amazing, but we don't have Sephora here, Emma chomped on my mascara so it dried/ran out quicker and I'm impatient.

So I went back to my old standby Dior Show.

Now since Dior and I were last friends, there has been several new DiorShow mascaras produced. I went to the John Lewis counter by my work and the lovely woman suggested DiorShow Blackout. Not only does it give you voluminous dark lashes, but it has kohl to rim the roots of lashes to create a lined effect. SOLD. I love me some black eyeliner, so this 2-in-1 was for me. She also advised me that waterproof mascara has fibers in it that can irate contact wearers. Normally I'd go for the waterproof, but I've decided to follow her advice. Oh and the non-waterproof came in a really cute gift bag with a free smoky eyes kit and pouch. SCORE!

PS: In other random news, the front page of the John Lewis website is advertising the "Fur Real Smores Pony" which can be yours for the bargain price of £225. I'm sorry but if you are going to spend that much money on a small child, you could book them riding lessons on a real pony. Rant over....

Saturday 8 November 2008

I <3 Baby Hippos

So I was super bitchy the past few days with the whole Phase 1 thing. I've decided to bypass it and go straight into Phase 2, so after a Smores Poptart (not Phase 2, but whatev) I'm much more pleasant.

And in other news, who knew baby Hippos were so cute? I mean I know my friend Heather's baby dressed up for Halloween as Hippo was cute, but real ones, I had no clue! GWU's unofficial mascot was a Hippo, but that's what happens when your University President erects a statue to the Water Horse and your official mascot is the unscary Colonial.

Monifa is a baby pygmy hippopotamus and was recently born at the Taronga Zoo in Australia.

Friday 7 November 2008

Prop 8 summed up

Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the gay-marriage ban in California—and she won't be paying the state a dime.

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Okay, cool I don't mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We're gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that's not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won't have to pay their taxes either.

Oh and too bad California, I know you were looking forward to the revenue from all of those extra marriages. I guess you will have to find some other way to get out of the budget trouble you are in.


When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?

I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many "thems" back then. The blacks, the poor ... you know, "them". Then there was the immigrants. "Them.” Now the them is me.

I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one, one of the thems made it to the top. Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no "them". We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself. That "judge not, lest ye yourself be judged" are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.

Today the gay citizenry of this state will pick themselves up and dust themselves off and do what we have been doing for years. We will get back into it. We love this state, we love this country and we are not going to leave it. Even though we could be married in Mass. or Conn, Canada, Holland, Spain and a handful of other countries, this is our home. This is where we work and play and raise our families. We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, that is not the American way.
Come to think of it, I should get a federal tax break too...

Melissa Etheridge is an Academy Award-winning and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night

Fireworks scare the living daylights out of my sweet Emma. Sure it's only one night, except it's not. This goes on for at least a week. I don't like a shaking, panting puppy who is scared to leave my side let alone the house.

The Postal Service

Not the band, I am neutral on them. I mean USPS, Royal Mail, etc. My absentee ballot was posted on October 17th, it arrived November 5th. NBH and I sent postcards on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, August 18th and they arrived to people this week. Maybe I'm being unrealistic here, but mail shouldn't take 3 months.

South Beach Phase 1

I know I have sung the phases of SB before and I lost 3 1/2 stone (~50lbs) on it, but this time around on Phase 1 is a total pain in the ass. I'm really struggling and have absolutely no motivation to stick with it for 2 weeks. You'd think shifting 10lbs post wedding weight would be motivation enough, but apparently not.

Sour Grapes GOP

McCain was ridiculously gracious, so why can't you be? I'm really tired of FB status messages that say "I refuse to raise my children in a blue state" and "Here comes the apocalypse." And as far as "I'm moving to Europe," if you think Obama is 'socialist' well Europe is not for you. Also it's not easy being an expat, ok?

Sunsets before 4pm

I get it, I live on the same line of latitude as Moscow, we're pretty far north. That doesn't mean I like leaving work in the pitch black or night.

....I'm a bit bitchy, can you tell?

Monday 3 November 2008

My vote cost £4

So my absentee ballot never arrived. Campaign fliers arrived, so I know the BOE had my address correct and I contacted the office who assured me it was mailed on Oct 18, yet it never materialized. Watch it will probably show up tomorrow.

So I voted Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. I only voted for President, my Congressional office, and those Dems running opposed that sent me campaign materials. I couldn't be bothered looking up information on local issues like school levys, because I won't be paying for any of them.

I read that people in Columbus, OH waited 6 hours yesterday to vote, well my wait wasn't that long, but it was about 20 minutes to wait in line at my local post office. Emma should have gotten upset waiting outside (with NBH) for me, but she got given a chew treat from a passing old lady.

So I've done my bit and sent it registered so while Clermont County BOE might choose to lose it once it arrives, I will know I did everything in my power to get it there. The post officer worker asked me if anything of value was in the envelope; I replied "Yes, my vote, but nothing of monetary value." And yes I look like crap doing my civic duty, I was sick today, but I wanted proof :)

Sunday 2 November 2008

Je peux voir la Russie...

How she didn't get it I don't know...

A transcript of a prank phone call between Quebec comedy duo “The Masked Avengers” and Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, released Saturday.

Sarah Palin: This is Sarah.
Masked Avengers: Ah, yeah, Gov. Palin.
Palin: Hello.
Avengers: Just hold on for President Sarkozy, one moment.
P: Oh, it's not him yet, they're saying. I always do that.
A: Yes, hello, Gov. Palin.
P: Hello, this is Sarah, how are you?
A: Fine, and you? This is Nicolas Sarkozy speaking, how are you?
P: Oh, it's so good to hear you. Thank you for calling us.
A: Oh, it's a pleasure.
P: Thank you sir, we have such great respect for you, John McCain and I. We love you and thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me.
A: I follow your campaigns closely with my special American adviser Johnny Hallyday, you know?
P: Yes, good.
A: Excellent. Are you confident?
P: Very confident and we're thankful that polls are showing that the race is tightening and...
A: Well I know very well that the campaign can be exhausting. How do you feel right now, my dear?
P: I feel so good. I feel like we're in a marathon and at the very end of the marathon you get your second wind and you plow to the finish.
A: You see, I got elected in France because I'm real and you seem to be someone who's real, as well.
P: Yes, yeah. Nico, we so appreciate this opportunity.
A: You know I see you as a president one day, too.
P: Maybe in eight years.
A: Well, I hope for you. You know, we have a lot in common because personally one of my favourite activities is to hunt, too.
P: Oh, very good. We should go hunting together.
A: Exactly, we could try go hunting by helicopter like you did. I never did that. Like we say in French, on pourrait tuer des bebe phoque s, aussi.
P: Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together while we're getting work done. We can kill two birds with one stone that way.
A: I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun. I'd really love to go, so long as we don't bring along Vice-President Cheney.
P: No, I'll be a careful shot, yes.
A: Yes, you know we have a lot in common also, because except from my house I can see Belgium. That's kind of less interesting than you.
P: Well, see, we're right next door to different countries that we all need to be working with, yes.
A: Some people said in the last days and I thought that was mean that you weren't experienced enough in foreign relations and you know that's completely false. That's the thing that I said to my great friend, the prime minister of Canada Stef Carse.
P: Well, he's doing fine, too, and yeah, when you come into a position underestimated it gives you an opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong. You work that much harder.
A: I was wondering because you are so next to him, one of my good friends, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois, have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?
P: I haven't seen him at one of the rallies but it's been great working with the Canadian officials. I know as governor we have a great co-operative effort there as we work on all of our resource-development projects. You know, I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife. Oh my goodness, you've added a lot of energy to your country with that beautiful family of yours.
A: Thank you very much. You know my wife Carla would love to meet you, even though you know she was a bit jealous that I was supposed to speak to you today.
P: Well, give her a big hug for me.
A: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she's so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you.
P: Oh my goodness, I didn't know that.
A: Yes, in French it's called de rouge a levre sur un cochon, or if you prefer in English, Joe the's his life, Joe the Plumber.
P: Maybe she understands some of the unfair criticism but I bet you she is such a hard worker, too, and she realizes you just plow through that criticism.
A: I just want to be sure. That phenomenon Joe the Plumber. That's not your husband, right?
P: That's not my husband but he's a normal American who just works hard and doesn't want government to take his money.
A: Yes, yes, I understand we have the equivalent of Joe the Plumber in France. It's called Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit.
P: Right, that's what it's all about, the middle class and government needing to work for them. You're a very good example for us here.
A: I see a bit about NBC, even Fox News wasn't an ally as much as usual.
P: Yeah, that's what we're up against.
A: Gov. Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life. You know Hustler's Nailin' Paylin?
P: Ohh, good, thank you, yes.
A: That was really edgy.
P: Well, good.
A: I really loved you and I must say something also, governor, you've been pranked by the Masked Avengers. We are two comedians from Montreal.
P: Ohhh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this?
A: CKOI in Montreal.
P: In Montreal? Tell me the radio station call letters.
A: CK...hello?

Saturday 1 November 2008


We finally went to the grocery tonight and besides stocking up on Phase 1 foods, we got a pumpkin. Yes, Halloween was yesterday but better a day late than never. Also I freaking love homemade pumpkin seeds; my Mom always made these at Halloween and store bought just aren't the same.

I washed, gutted and scrubbed the pumpkin and NBH carved it. We decided not to do the bog standard jack o'lantern and almost did the Obama change logo, but instead went for a skull. I think it turned out pretty well!

skull pumpkin