Saturday, February 28, 2009

You Want Fries with That? or How you Know your Not in Kansas Anymore Dorothy

So we got off the London Underground at the Queensway Station and were greeted by my Dad. Hugs and kisses all around, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. The streets of London were busy and bustling as I expected them to be. My Mom wandered over from the souvenir stand that she had been perusing. More hugs and kisses were exchanged. Then my Dad looks at my Mom and says "Tell her about Burger King," and I was a little confused. Burger King? What did the food taste funny?

Mom giggled. I got this weird feeling they weren't going to be telling me about the food.

"Well, we got off the Underground and went to the hotel to drop off our bags, since we couldn't check in yet. Then we walked around the corner to find something to eat because well, you should have seen the sorry excuse for breakfast that the airline served. We saw a Burger King and thought "well that should be safe enough" and went in. We ordered and sat down. Well this guy came in. He looked a little strange and we didn't really think anything of it. While we were eating I heard this tapping sound coming from his table. So I kinda looked over. He was cutting up COCAINE on the table with a credit card. That is what the tapping noise was. He was doing lines of cocaine right there in Burger King in broad daylight!"

Then my Dad cut in to help with the story. "He was on his phone too. He had this heavy Eastern European accent and he was saying 'I got prostitutes. I got big big prostitutes,' and making these gestures with his hands to show how many prostitutes he had even though he was on the phone."

My eyes must of been as big as saucers. Then my mom chirped "He must have wanted some coke with his fries" That my friends is when I lost it and about peed myself laughing. Then she added "We're definitely NOT in Kansas anymore!"

And this is how I began my weekend visit to London.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Flat John

My buddy Mary Anne or better known as The Stiletto Mom is one hot mama (with a kick ass shoe collection). Not only that, but she is an awesome blogger to boot. If you are still living in the Dark Ages and haven't checked out her blog The Stiletto Mom, you won't be disappointed. She is full of wit, charm and most of all a good sense of humor. Oh did I mention that I lust after her shoe collection?

I have to start this by saying, I envy Kat...I really do. Living in England sounds like absolute heaven to me.

My husband has been there more times than he can count. Being in the Air Force and stationed in Germany for four years (while running a women's dorm...) had it's fair share of perks for a young, single, guy. I've heard so many stories about his travels through London (and his travels through the women's dorm but this is probably not the forum for that) and more than anything I had always wanted to go and see all the sights he had told me about.

Finally, two years ago, I had the chance.

We were invited to the wedding of a friend of ours. Being the Royal whore I am (and not whore in a royal way, more of a rabid fan of all things royalty...just to be clear) we stayed in a super nice hotel across the street from Buckingham Palace. Big brass doors, shiny hardwoods, well dressed doormen...it was HEAVEN. Also? It was off season so half price. SWEET!

I headed over to London several days before my husband with my best friend Korey. I felt like I needed a full week to see the sights and for three days I traipsed around London checking out Trafalgar Square, The Tate Museum, St Paul's Cathedral...you name it and I was going to see it.

John finally joined my friend and me on Thursday just in time for the wedding festivities to kick into high gear. He flew overnight to get there and while it would have made sense to let him rest, I greeted him like an excited puppy demanding he take me immediately to The Tower of London. If you've never been there, trust me, this is no small tour. Tons of buildings to go through, grounds to walk, history to soak in.

Oh and BTW? King Henry VIII? VERY proud of his package. Look...



After hours of touring the Tower, making faces at the guards, hugging a few Beefeaters and causing general mayhem among the torture devices we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the night.

That evening we were joining the bride and a bunch of her friends for dinner at a swanky little brasserie then heading off for a night of dancing at the legendary Annabelle's. We ate, we drank, we talked, we drank, we danced and then we drank some more. Finally, somewhere after 2:00 am we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel.

This is the part of the story that makes me a really bad wife...

So remember how I told you I should have let him sleep? And how I dragged him all over London Tower and then dragged him to dinner? And then forced him to do the white mans overbite dance with me until the wee hours?

Yeah, that will take a toll on a man.

My friend and I breezed through the door as the bellman opened it for us and waited in the lobby as John paid the cab. After paying, he made his way into the hotel through the same door, held open by the same bellman, and I'm not sure what happened next but he fell. And by fell, I mean he never bent, never crumpled, NEVER REMOVED HIS HANDS FROM HIS JACKET, and all without a single sound...he went d
own as flat as a board, on his face. Almost as if in slow motion, in one swift silent move, my husband became FLAT JOHN...a virtual wool coat of a puddle on the floor, like this:



Photo re-enacted for dramatic purposes. No wool coats were harmed in the downfall of this man.


The thing is, after he fell...he didn't move for a minute or so and the entire lobby was sitting silently with their mouths hanging open, having a hard time believing they had just seen the prat fall of the century. All of the nice English people working there started to scurry around him trying to help him up all while having a nervous breakdown because my husband was lying ON HIS FACE on the floor and they honestly thought he might be dead he was so still. Being the wonderful wife I am, after a few seconds of stunned silence, what was I doing?

Laughing my ass off...that's what.


After the nice men boosted him upright and gave the very polite English side eye for being such a horrible wife, well, I continued to laugh until I cried...and snorted a few times sorta loudly. I was doubled over and at one point it became so bad that my friend and I were leaning on each other for support.

Amazingly enough, he got up unscathed, brushed himself off and walked it off. Give the guy some points, he knows how to take a fall.

Those "Mind The Gap" t-shirts they sell in England? Make a whole lot more sense to me now than they used to.


Kat will be back at the Bungalow tomorrow. Come by and read a bit about the Bungalow clans adventures in London.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Fantastic Jess Has the Keys to the Bungalow

Jess is my home girl from Savannah, GA. That is a whole 2 hours from my hometown of Charleston and is considered our "sister city". Does that technically make us sisters, Jess? If yes, rock on. Jess is a connoisseur of the finer things in life such as beer, American Idol, and karaoke. One of these days I am gonna road trip it down there while I am visiting my mom and go sing some karaoke and get embarrassingly drunk. I am sure Jess will post the pictures on her blog This Life is Mine. While Jess is here at the Bungalow make sure she doesn't build a beer-a-mid with the cans and puts them in the recycling bin.

First of all, I want to give a shout out and a holla to Kat, who was [brave] kind enough to ask me to guest post! Love ya, mean it!

So, I do a lot of blog reading. I read you, and you, and most certainly you, you – not so much, but I still like you. I noticed that many of you have pets, some of you have kids and if you don’t have kids, you party like it is 1999. Then some of you have pets, kids AND party like it is 1999. All the same, a commonality can be reached by most.


Mrs. Kat here has some little ones AND a dog with little ones! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some kids, but my repeated inquiries about when some of my favorite bars will be getting child care services has gone unanswered for quite some time, therefore, no human children quite yet only children of the four legged, furry variety.


Stick with me here…I get off track every now and then…oh, look, a squirrel!!


So in recent years I have found some things out about my parents that have struck me as very interesting.

For instance, my parents have kept a folder on each of us kids from the time we were born. They are filled with humorous things that we have done over our lifetime.

After being out of my parent’s home for almost 10 years, my Mom finally brought out my folder (about two years ago) and showed me some of the things she had kept. I had NO IDEA! By the way, each of the items are laminated for safekeeping. My mother is very efficient.

One of the items was a church bulletin in which I had written a note to my parents that I didn’t want to sit by the window because “there are spitters over here”. Spitters = spiders. Mom said she and Dad almost lost it right there in church.

There were some very interesting letters to Santa as well.

Other items are notes from my kindergarten teacher expressing her concern over my constant chit chat and never being able to sit down. Mom found this to be hilarious due to the fact (1) I was in kindergarten and what child isn’t full of chit chat and energy and (2) that she birthed me and found it humorous that someone else FINALLY had to go through what she had been going through for years.

The best items were from my high school days.

When ever I got in trouble it was common practice that Mom would make me write a two page paper on what it was that I had done and what I felt should be my proper punishment.

In this particular instance I wanted to go with my friends to Six Flags Over Georgia for the day, but earlier in the week had an “attitude” towards my Mother, in which she was not inclined to forget and therefore told me to write a paper on why I should get to go with my friends out of town.

It has come to light that this type of punishment was of great entertainment for my folks. They have even admitted to administering said punishment, winking at each other from across the room and anxiously waiting to see what we would write. They also admitted that on MORE than one occasion they retreated to their closet, which was located at the very back corner of the house, to stifle their laughter.

All these years…and all this time…I had no idea. My parents are absolute geniuses!! Poker faces like you wouldn’t believe.

I will have you know that I was able to go to Six Flags with my friends…and all this time I thought my paper writing skills got me there. No, not in the least; Mom said it was one of the hardest they had laughed and that is what won me my ticket.

Here is the letter typed out, grammatical errors/spelling errors and all…


[Mom dated it at the top – 5 Nov 96, which means I was 15 years old]


The reason you should let me go:


Well, first off everyone is entitled to a bad attitude sometimes. Things will just build up and the littlest things will set you off. I think it is a teen thing, because we all seem to have that problem at school. In all I think I handled my anger in pretty well, because even though you saw an attitude you didn’t’ see it all. (I know, that sounds bad)


Things are better now, and I have no idea what I was “attituden” about. Just stuff I guess. You have to admit that I am a perfect child most of the time, so I am entitled to an attitude day ever once in a while. I think the short temper and impatience in hereditary.


Gee, I’m not sure from which side though…


Going tomorrow is important to me, but not so important that I would absolutely die if I didn’t get to. But I still think you should let me go!


Buy anyway…there is really no reason any normal mother should let her daughter go. But you are not a normal mother. You’re a very loving, abnormal, wonderful, graceful, (sometimes cantankerous), exotic, excellent mother, who loves her only daughter and understands o-so much about her attitude. But her daughter will make no promise that her temper, or over all attitude will not show through sometime cause like I said you have to show your butt sometimes.


I

I will

I will try

I will try not

I will try not to

I will try not to have

I will try not to have an

I will try not to have an attitude

I will try not to have an attitude!


A page and ½, I think you get the main jest of it. If I wrote anymore I would be really studdering


With all love and due respect of any other teen,

Jess #15


I particularly like how my mother is cantankerous and exotic. Secondly, I like how I took up half of the second page by writing the “I will” sentence and lastly, I signed with my basketball number. I can’t believe I lived to the age I am now!


You better believe I am keeping a folder on my kids!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SETTING COURSE FOR CRAZYTOWN

Have you guys met my buddy Irish Gumbo yet? I am sure you have. He's everywhere, man. I have tossed him the keys to the Bungalow today. Make sure he serves you a heaping serving of gumbo (I hear it is very good) and make sure you use a napkin and proper table manners. Oh and IG, make sure you do the dishes before you leave.


I was delighted and flattered when Kat generously asked me to write a guest post for 3 Bedroom Bungalow to Let in Crazytown. Hooray! My first guest post, ever! Very cool, so I skedaddled myself to the ol’ keyboard, cracked the knuckles, ANNNNDDD….nothing.


Nada. Nyet. Zip. Zilch. The Big Goose Egg. Hmmmpph. Not often that the Gumbo noggin is free and clear of ANYTHING, so I went to my fallback, my ‘go-to’ guys for some help.


I went to have speaks with the geese and ducks down at the lake. And they didn’t let me down. After much consultation and muttering, they posed the question:


Where, pray tell, is Crazytown? And how do I get there? Good questions, mates. I’m going to hazard a guess, so please stick with me.


As many of you already know, Kat is a military wife and mother, her husband being in the Air Force. This by its very nature leads to a rather nomadic lifestyle, one that requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency and the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions “on the ground” no matter where one is told to go and what one is required to do. I am used to staying in one place for extended periods of time, with the decision to pack up and leave pretty much entirely at my discretion. This suits me just fine.


But what do you do when one day you are bundled up against the cold in the Great Plains of the United States, and the next day you have to head off to a remote island somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean? This with the knowledge that soon after that, you might wake up in Italy or Greenland. There is a significant amount of hard work to be done, entailing long hours under dangerous and demanding conditions. You have to be awake and alert, ready for the call of duty no matter the time of day or prevailing conditions. And that’s just Kat’s job! (heehee). So having something familiar to carry with you, remind you of the place you would probably stay forever, would seem to me to be pretty important. Hence, the search for Crazytown.


The issue of familiarity is probably even more important when the orders come in and the whole family has to pack up and move to a foreign country. The distances and time involved will require a significant effort of logistics and preparation. Getting my young daughter from the front stoop to her car seat (a distance comparable with that of pitcher’s mound to home plate) can be exhausting like herding cats, so the notion of packing up a household of stuff, two adults and two kids and transporting them out of country fills me with enough trepidation that I just want to lay down and sleep!


Once in country, then, there are the issues of climate, and cultures and lifestyles. True, one may be living on base and surrounded by a fair number of fellow countrymen, but one can’t remain on base 24/7/365. At least, I couldn’t. I would be too curious about where I am and who lives there and what they eat and what they do for fun. So I am thinking I would be undertaking some scouting missions to get the “lay o’ the land”. Crazytown’s got to be around there somewhere, right? Only one way to find out.


Which brings us to another big issue: interacting with the natives. This would ideally include speaking with the local folks, being able to talk with them, at least be able to say “Hello”*. But that is no easy task, in most of the world. Unless one has trained as a linguist or studied a particular language in depth before relocating, my guess is a lot of the local dialect is picked up on the fly, learning as you go.


Even though the Kat Klan’s most recent move was to England, this is not a guarantee there will be no problems with the local lingo. As the saying goes, England and United States are two cultures “divided by a common language”, and that has a ring of truth to it. Anecdotally, I once heard of a British visitor saying to his hosts “We Brits speak English. You Americans try.” Point to John Bull! The idioms abound:


crisps” = “potato chips”

chips” = “fries”

Oi, referee!” = “Ump, are you blind?!”

spotted dick” = a dessert, not a disturbing medical condition

mind the gap” = look out for the space between the platform and the subway car


And, of course, the infamous:

packet of fags” = “pack of cigarettes”


Yikes. I had a boyhood friend who had lived in England for a while before moving back to our conservative, southeastern Virginia hometown. He took great glee in going into local convenience stores and loudly asking (in a passable Cockney accent) the confused clerks “ ‘ello Guv’nor, give us a packet of fags, would ya?” Very funny to out teenaged minds, but where we grew up, that sort of thing could get you beat up!


All this change, all the adaptation required to maintain an even keel and a grip on a life in motion: lots of time and energy spent on the quest to be home. Maybe Crazytown is home, in some ways, that place where you can always go to stay no matter what, and it is portable. It has to be. When you become part of a life that entails moving constantly with hard work and sacrifice on many fronts, in the cause of something worthy, having something stable and reliable is valuable indeed.


So, where is Crazytown and how do we get there? I kept asking myself. After reading Kat’s blog and chatting with her a bit, I realized its right there, in a plot of land about the size of her heart. Priceless real estate in my opinion. And I am betting we all have our own Crazytowns, with us wherever we may be.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


*Instead of accidently calling someone a harlot, for example. Bad form. Should be avoided. Unless the person is indeed a harlot, in which case I suppose it would be okay. Still, it would be best to avoid that sort of mistake, even if it would be hilarious posted on YouTube. Not that I’ve ever done something like that.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Captain's Random Tuesday

The Captain is one of my oldest bloggy friends and even though he was last minute with his last guest post I decided to call in a favor and see if he would be up to the challenge again. Well he said he was more than happy to do it. However, knowing his track record I also knew to remind him several times in order to get it done. Never one to disappoint he got me this lovely post in plenty of time. Thank you so much Captain Dumbass and tell Liam if he uses the Bungalow's potty to make sure he flushes. M & M's are in the pantry.

Hey 3 Bedroom fans. Nope, Kat's not back yet, today you're stuck with me. Hey! Hey! Hand off the mouse! Come on, it won't be that bad. Honest. Stick around, you'll have fun. Promise. Or you may never come back again and Kat may be asked to leave England, but I'm going to hope for the best.

Ok. Now usually when you ask somebody to do a guest post they actually write a post. I've got a little something different for you. Unless you're already familiar with Keely's Random Tuesdays, in which case, just skip ahead. For the uninitiated, Random Tuesday is a post to get rid of all the garbage your head has collected for the week and make people question your sanity. Or reassure them that they're not as bad off as they'd thought. It's almost a public service, really. Anyway, if you're still a little concerned, click on the button below and you can check out my alibi.

randomtuesday

Ready? Here we go:

Fellas, I'm ready to get up and do my thing
I wanna get into it, man, you know
Like a, like a sex machine, man,
Movin' and doin' it, you know
Can I count it off?

1,2,3,4!


We're in the worst economic crash since like, forever, right? What the hell is with the credit card companies? My wife received her latest bill yesterday and there was an insert which basically said, you know, credit limit-wise, we'll just leave it blank. Buy whatever you like! Love, MasterCard.

You know the taverns of olden days where they'd just throw hay on the floor and then shovel it out the next day like a barn? With two boys under six I'm thinking this may be the way to go.

Boys Don't Cry from The Cure just came up on iTunes. The 80's sure had some terrible album art.

Here's a question for all my American friends. That telephone thing where you hang up without saying goodbye. How do you know that the conversation is over? Yes, I know I'm generalizing and you don't all do it, but for those who do, how does it work? Do you get a lot of call backs? "Dude, dramatic finish but I wasn't done yet!"

You know why you do spring cleaning? It's because the spring sunshine shows you just how disgusting your house has become over the winter. No, it's not spring yet, but today was abnormally sunny. Remember the hay idea?

I was IM'ing with Kat today and she mentioned that my deadline for the guest post was tomorrow. (Work with me here, this conversation was a week ago) Then I freaked because I hadn't even started it and I left my last guest post until the last moment as well. Since I've become unemployed I've had some issues with time management. Kat was really nice about it though. Or at least that's what I thought until there was a knock at the door and two rather large Air Force security looking guys asked if I was me. (If I was me, heh heh) As they barged in I demanded to know what the hell they were doing since they were in Canada. I expected a little help from my wife but all she said was, not the face. Thanks, hon.

You should see my living room right now. Our couch is flipped forward and being held up with kitchen chairs. An old mattress I'd wanted to throw out but the kids decided was the greatest toy ever is folded over and lying in front of it. The cushions are being used to block the sides and to hold down the blanket "doors." The fort looks more like a WWII machine gun nest. I said you "should" see it, but you won't. You don't need proof of our white trashiness. Or, mixed Asian/White trash. Is there an Asian trash equivalent? I'll ask wife. Er, not that she'd know. Not the face. Right.

Alright, wasn't so bad, was it? Right about this part of the program I list the last ten songs that came up on my iPod or iTunes, so here we are:

1. No Doubt - Simple Kind Of Life
2. Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun
3. Warren Zevon - Poor Poor Pitiful Me
4. 54-40 - Baby Ran
5. The Mountain Goats - No Children
6. Mylene Farmer - Desenchantee
7. Coldplay - Warning Sign
8. The Police - Walking In Your Footsteps
9. All-American Rejects - Move Along
10. Feist - Mushaboom

PS. Anybody paying attention might be saying, hey, where's The Cure? You said it just came up on iTunes. True, it did, but was like an hour ago. I took a little break in there to read some other blogs. So bite it.

Have a nice day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Single Parent Dad Makes an Appearance

Have you guys met Ian yet? He is better know by his blog name of Single Parent Dad. He is one of my new Brit friends. He is slowly teaching me all I need to know about football (that is soccer you bloody Americans). He can actually get away with saying "Bloody Hell" and not sounding like a complete idiot. Hey Americans did you know when you say "bloody" it sounds really funny. Anyways, Single Parent Dad has the keys to the Bungalow today. Show him some love and keep your feet off the coffee table.

I have the keys to, what was, a lovely three bedroom bungalow. Anyone want to party?


And by party, I mean the jelly and ice-cream variety, rather than the swigging from a barrel or keg, dependent on what continent you learnt your English, type.


The lovely Kat asked me to write her something while she was off enjoying the best of England, so we have not got much time. I expect the full tour to take about 45 minutes.


I am Single Parent Dad, or should that be, I am A Single Parent Dad. I am not an ambassador for Visit England.


My beautiful wife died in the summer of 2005, when our son was just seven months old. And it has been me and him ever since, thus the unimaginative moniker.


This is actually my maiden guest post, and I am lucky enough that Kat has not had enough time reading my stuff to realise an invite might not have been the best idea.


As a temporary resident in this wonderful country, ignore my previous slight, I think it is nice that they are having visitors and are off gallivanting to discover what it has to offer.


Guests are absolutely fantastic, and I think that their stock gets even greater when there are children in your home.


I blogged recently about how much I, or we, enjoy going out to stay in. The same is true in reverse, I enjoy entertaining, and sometimes, even by just having different personnel in your abode, things that had lost their appeal, quickly regain it.


Games, and toys, consigned to history become more interesting when played with new, or different people.


Cooking for a crowd can also be fun. And less of a chore, plus there are more people to load the dishwasher – that reminds me, I must check if there is one here.


There is also greater motivation to go out and explore, or just take lunch or dinner out together.


I have become so used to going out with my son, I actually found it quite difficult a few weeks ago to go out in the day-time just with my folks, and without my usual three-foot-companion.


It is not like I do not enjoy the places I take my son to, far from it. I love places like the Safari Park, Thomas Land, and, what would be like a busman’s holiday for my hosts, the RAF Museum.


But I had got so used to targeting places that my child would enjoy, my simple thought process was finding it difficult to adapt to a different set of requirements.


Namely, pleasing myself, and I suppose my parents.


We actually popped back to the RAF Museum, as I had thought it would be a great place to visit, when I could actually concentrate on the exhibits, and take my time reading through them, rather having to have at least one eye on my child.


That proved to be true.


In the last couple of years we too have relocated, not as geographically dramatic as Kat and crew, but we have built our own home, both figuratively and actually, in a much more rural part of the country.


It was time to be less ignorant of our surroundings and history.


And with the help of the Internet, and the knowledge of the locals, it was not long before our few days together were full of interesting places to go and visit.


I hope that it is the same for my blog landlady, and that you have not been too disappointed with your substitute blogger, all will return to normal soon.


So you can forget this ever happened.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Gone to London to See the Queen!

No not that Queen. My mom. Oh and my dad is tagging along as well. I am leaving at 9:00 AM to head down there. So that is why you will have no comments from me today, rest assured if I was here I would leave witty and insightful quotes on every single one of your blogs. I also have some awesome guest posters lined up for next week. Please come to the Bungalow every day next week and show them some love. My parents will be here for almost 2 weeks but I am hoping that they will cool their heels enough that I can have time to post some of the pics and stories from the first week that they are here for the second week they are here. Does that make sense?

Right now, at 7:45 PM Thursday night I have just finished mopping my laundry room floor, mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning said laundry room and kitchen, cleaning 3 bathrooms (can we say ewww for scrubbing toilets), and more laundry (there is always laundry I swear). I still have more to finish. KiKi and LaLa's rooms need to be picked up again, the living room needs a once over and the house needs to be vacuumed. While I was talking to Captain Dumbass I had this realization that I have 3 standards of clean at my house. I have regular clean, which is picked up and clean on the surface. Then there is Company Clean. Cleaner than regular clean but not labor intensive. Then there is Mom/Inlaws clean. This is a whole nother level of clean. Intensive work and many hours are put into Mom/Inlaw clean. I think the reason is because I don't want my mom thinking she raised a heathen and then secondly because I don't want my inlaws to think their son lives in a sty. Just how my brain works.

Well I need to get back to work but I wanted to leave you with a funny real quick. After I finished mopping the kitchen I told the kids to stay out of there while the floor dried, then I left to take a bag of garbage out to the bin. When I came back in there LaLa told me "Hey the floor is all slippery in there! We busted our butts!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inspiration

I was running a bit low in the inspiration department until about 2 min ago. I didn't have anything to write about at all. That was until the workmen next door made me laugh my ass off. See my neighbors are getting some work done to their house. From what I can tell they are replacing their windows. There have been two burly workmen at the house for about a week or so from early morning until early afternoon toiling away at their work.

Today is actually a really nice day so I took LaLa outside to ride her bike while The Man and I cleaned out the inside of our cars. We were about done and I was summoning LaLa back to the house. I noticed on of the workmen heading back from the workvan to where they were working with a radio. The next thing I know there is the most horrible techno music coming out of the radio that I have ever heard. Yes, two burly, bald, manly men totally jammin out to techno.

The Man looks at me shakes his head and says "Brits" I proceed to giggle and head inside.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Exercise in Restraint

You all would be so proud of me. OK well maybe not proud, but you might have sympathized with me a bit yesterday. I restrained myself. I didn't use one word of profanity even though I was about to explode into explitives.

You see LaLa, my sweet beloved child is, well lets face it. The child is lazy. I mean slothful. I regularly have to remind her that she has two feet and two legs that are perfectly functional and she is perfectly capable of getting up and getting what she needs herself.

Well yesterday I had reached my limit with her. It had been a completely horrible day as it was and if I heard her ask me to fetch her one more item. Then it happened.

"Mom, can you get me a drink." Mind you this kid is perfectly capable of getting a cup out of the dishwasher and getting her own drink of water or pouring her own kool-aid, or even getting a juice box. She does not need help to get a drink at all. And this is where I was about to snap.

"LaLa, I am not your...maid" Now see what I wanted to say was "LaLa, I am not your bitch," but I didn't. I restrained myself, which we all know is not my strong point. I should have got a danm medal for that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh Lordy Mercy

"You're the only person who could give your kids stripper nicknames" -My Mom

Self fulfilling prophecy? Maybe, judging recent behavior. Every time my kids get dressed they feel the need to shake their naked butts at either me or The Man. While doing this they yell "Naked BUTT!!" The first time, cute. Now, concerning.

"They don't grade fathers, but if your daughter's a stripper...you f-ed up!" - Chris Rock

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kidding Me?

So The Man and I were sitting on the couch last night watching a crappy movie on TV. Then a commercial comes on advertising next weeks crappy movie de jour. "Under Siege". The following is an actual conversation, no words have been changed to protect those who are guilty of no taste.

The Man- "Under Siege, that movie is kick ass"
Me- Dude, no. That movie sucks.
The Man- "Nuh uh, it has Tommy Lee Jones..."
Me- "Yeah and Steven Segal!! That alone disqualifies it"
The Man- "But it also has a hot chick popping out of a cake!"

Maybe I stand corrected?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

It got off to a slow start. I was out of it most of the morning thanks to the sleeping pill I finally took at 1am last night as a last ditch effort to get some sleep. Damn cold keeping me up til all hours of the night. The Man also didn't get home until well after 3am because of work. Such is life. So we all finally got moving around 10:30, mind you the kids were watching Playhouse Disney at 9:30 am. Thankfully, LaLa has figured out where I keep the poptarts and juice boxes. It isn't the best start to a Saturday morning, but it afforded me a little more sleep. When I finally rolled out of bed I cooked a real breakfast for everyone: eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and toast. LaLa wanted some waffles, so I toasted those up for her.

After breakfast we got down to the business of exchanging a couple of small gifts. The Man got me a big heart of Whitman's chocolates and some house slippers (I think because I have been stealing his to take out the trash). I got him the movie "Saw V" and a poster of beers from around England for him to hang out in the Man Room. I figured I couldn't go wrong with blood, guts, and beers on Valentine's Day. The girls each got a small box of Conversation Hearts candy and a card from their dad and I. They each ate their box of candy in about 3.5 seconds. All in all the morning was a smashing sucess. Kids hopped up on candy, my tootsies are warm and The Man gets to watch a horror flick later, is there anything better?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Randomness

Last night it snowed here. Then it rained on top of the snow. You know what that makes? Slush. We had a nice slushy morning on the way to school. LaLa was mad cause she couldn't play in it and KiKi slipped and face planted (yet again). Lovely start to the day.
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I turned on the TV this morning to see that their had been a plane crash in Buffalo, NY. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
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Later this morning I am going to tackle to task of emptying the dressers that we brought here from the states. Oh did I ever mention the crap packing job the movers did when we moved here? Yeah, instead of emptying the dressers they packed them as full as they could. I am talking packed them to the point that I can barely even open the drawers. They actually packed LaLa's dresser so full that it doesn't properly shut anymore. It shuts, I just have to slam the drawer to get it to stay shut. Very annoying.
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Have you guys seen this? Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room has started a blog where each and every American can write a letter to President Obama to be posted on the site. Let your voice be heard.
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I finally watched my first football game on TV since I have been here. That is soccer to the other Americans. Spain beat England 2-0. Eh, at least David Beckham looked dreamy. Oh I was also talking to Single Parent Dad and he has told me that I should start following Liverpool football club because even though they are good, they have had a horrible run of luck and haven't won a championship since the 1980s. Sounds a lot like my loveable losers, The Cubs.


I guess that is it for this Friday. You guys and gals have a wonderful weekend. Oh and my vote for He Blogs, She Blogs has already been cast. I recieved no bribes. Slackers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Only at the Bungalow

Conversation between LaLa and I last night:

LaLa- "Mom next time it snows can we build an igloo for us?"

Me- "Baby it doesn't snow here enough to build an igloo."

LaLa- "Well how bout a little one for baby penguins?"

Me- (giggling) "Well....."

LaLa- "How about for little baby tiny toy penguins"

Man I love this kid. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wee Dictator

Yes KiKi is now fully inhabited by a demon that we call "toddlerhood" and is taking her frustrations out on the whole family. Ok so it is mostly me and LaLa, but still that is like 2/3 of the people that she can take it out on. I get the brunt of it because I am around her all day. The symptom of the demon that is possessing her is easy to recognize. The shrill call of "nooooooo" and the tantrums on the kitchen floor are obvious signs of inhabitation of the demon. Lesser known signs of this beast are the subtle manipulations that will manifest themselves. Bedtime is now be stalled by pleas of hunger, thirst, and "I'm wake up". Thousands of books also need to be read before bedtime in order to lull the demon to sleep.

Frankly the child has become a dictator. A wee dictator. Fortunately for me, I am head dictator in this house and I'll be damned if I am going to be usurped by a 2 year old. Timeout has now been extended from 2 minutes in the penalty box* (just a corner next to the kitchen door) to 3 minutes. Hitting adds another minute. Hitting me, well she has camped in the penalty box for 4 minutes for that little challege to my authority.

I know that this is just a stage. It will pass. I actually am weathering KiKi's toddler tantrums better than I did LaLa's. When LaLa was a two year old I think I called my mom almost every night close to tears because of the antics she pulled. Live and learn. They are just kids. Kids possesed, but kids just the same. One of these days I will get my sweet baby girl back.

*A term coined by my business teacher in high school for in school suspensions...also where penalized players go to cool off in hockey. We also call time out around here "the box". No we don't make them sit in an actual box, cause that would just be weird.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Lowcountry Oyster Roast

Every year about this time I start getting really homesick for my hometown, Charleston, SC. I think it has something to do with the fact that usually by this time I have been subjected to the cold and ice of Missouri and now England for an extended amount of time and I am wishing for the 65-75 degree weather that Charleston is usually experiencing by now. Anyways, I usually pull out one of my many cookbooks that have flavors from home and whip me up some comfort food. This time however I think I will share one of my favorite Lowcountry (a region of SC/GA) traditions with you. It is called an Oyster Roast. It is usually held in the winter time when the Oysters are in season and always held in a good friends backyard. There of course are some supplies you need for a good Oyster Roast:

A couple of cases of domestic beer (there will be plenty of people to drink it and they will also propbably bring some of their own as well)
1-2 bushels of Oysters
1 fire- usually in a good fire pit in the ground.
1 metal grate that the Oysters won't fall through when they are cooking.
1 water hose to wash off the oyters (oh and for fire control, for reason see supply #1)
2 burlap sacks
1 homemade wood table made by taking a sheet of wood cutting a hole in the center and placing a large barrel underneath hole to catch empty oyster shells.
Gardening gloves
Oyster knives
Hot sauce
Shovel
10+ good friends

To have a proper oyster roast, you make your table a couple days before hand. There is no need to have a bunch of drunks trying to assemble a table the day of the roast. Then you dig your pit for the fire (maybe line it with rocks to contain fire). The day of the roast you start your fire kind of early to make sure the wood is burning nice and hot and you have plenty of embers to roast you oysters on. Next you crack open a beer and encourage your friends to do the same. Then you rinse off the oysters. Next you place the metal grate over the fire to cook your oysters. Then you shovel a load of oysters on top of the metal grate. Soak your burlap sacks with water and then lay them over the oysters, this allows the oysters to steam open. Once the oysters are all steamed open you shovel them off the grate onto the wooden table. Using a gardening glove to grasp the oyster, pry open and enjoy with or without hot sauce and with a beer. Repeat, tossing oyster shells into the handy hole in the middle of the table. Enjoy next beer while waiting for more oysters to arrive on the table and socialize.



Even people who don't enjoy oysters have a great time at an oyster roast because their are plenty of other items to be ate (because no southerner arrives at someones house for a party without bringing a dish to share at the party) and plenty of good conversation to be had. It is an all around good time. So if you are ever in the Lowcountry and you get invited to an Oyster Roast, even if shellfish aren't your thing, go. It is a fun thing and a cultural event in my neck of the woods. Oh and bring a designated driver.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Man's Thoughts...Mario Edition

Well guys...time for another Man's Thoughts post. I know that in my first post I said I would post every couple of weeks or so, but....I am super busy plus I couldn't think of anything to talk about. So sue me. Anyways, I arrived home early from work tonight and was chatting it up with LaLa (actually she was talking my ear off and I was listening intently...must get that from her mom...hehe), and she asked if I would play some "Mario" with her tomorrow. Mario means one of the Mario Party games in LaLa world. Of course I said "Yes" because it gives me some fun time with Lala, plus really, who doesn't love Mario. Win-Win for me. And so the light in my head went off...time to post about a little about Mario....the fat little red plumber with the forgotten green brother who I grew up with. By the way that "light in head" seldom goes off anymore...must be the approaching 30th birthday or something.

Ahhhh...Mario. That little bastard has been with me through my younger years till today. From the first game on Nintendo...the classic side scrolling game....to the Wii stuff of today....I love the guy. I have beaten all the old school games (and figured out most of the tricks and hidden stuff). I remember telling my younger brother that if he jumped in "the pit" that he would get an extra life...kinda mean, I know. When I am feeling nostalgic I yearn to play some Super Mario and Mario 3. You can't beat it with a stick...it rocks like I do when I am playing guitar (hey quit laughing at me Kat...I DO ROCK). I need to score a Wii or a Nintendo because I love the old school Mario that much. The guy never gets old. From getting some "flower power" and throwing fireballs to stomping on some Goombas, it never gets old. I could go a decade without playing(not that I would) and still remember the secrets. I even invented a drinking game while playing Mario Party...that takes dedication!! Although not as much dedication as THIS GUY/GAL....he/she can beat Super Mario 3 in 11 minutes...



Well I have beer to drink and air guitar skills to perfect so my time must come to an end. If you have never played a Mario game before move the rock that you have been living under and go get you some Mario. You won't regret it. And always remember to "Rock On!"

The Man

Holy Crapola

The weather around here has been absolutely berserk. We had snow Monday, which which by 7pm had turned into rain. The rain melted off the snow, which completely bummed LaLa out. Rain on Tuesday. Rain on Wednesday. Yesterday morning I woke up to a light dusting of snow, maybe a quarter centimeter of accumulation, if that. It all melted off and it began to rain again. By evening the fog had set in. That was fun to drive in. This morning rain, no wait snow, I mean rain, nope snow, you get the idea. We have had snow then rain, then a mix. Mother nature apparently can't make up her mind. It isn't supposed to get any better for the next couple of days either according to the weather man on the radio last night. From what he says, moisture is coming in off the Atlantic and then cold air has migrated in from Russia and basically England has become the mixing pot for it all. It is making for a lovely cold and slushy morning.

Ok since I am in a semi complaining mood let me tell you about my laundry issues. The washing machines here are HALF the size of American washers (but the dryers are about the same size, what is up with that crap). This means I have to do twice as many loads to stay kept up with laundry. I do about 2-3 loads of laundry a day and I never seem to stay ahead of it. We don't even wear a lot of clothes here, one outfit a day, except for LaLa since she has her school uniform and then her play clothes. KiKi thankfully will generally stay in one outfit unless the bottoms of her jeans get wet going outside, then she must change (according to her). Even though I use half the laundry detergent per load as I would in the states, I seem to go through twice as much. And my dryer, it takes at least 120 min to get a load of clothes dry. That is 2 hours people. At this rate I should be caught up with my laundry by next Christmas.

PS. I think I am coming down with the plauge.

PPS. Spiders come up through drains here. Remember to keep your drain plug in. Icky icky freakishly big brown spiders.

PPPS. I thought spiders were supposed to die in the winter time?

PPPPS. How come everytime a light bulb burns out it flips my breakers for all the lights in the house?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Puppies!!!!!

Elizabeth had her puppies yesterday! Domino called me at about 1pm yesterday to tell me that the first puppy had arrived. A little black boy. I quickly got into the Jeep and drove my booty over to her house, but could only stay for a little while because The Man had to get to work in about an hour and a half. I was lucky enough to be able to see the 2nd puppy be born about 15 min after I arrived. I wanted to stay for the whole thing but every time Elizabeth got distracted her labor would slow down. I thought it would be a better idea not to have KiKi over there trying to see all the action and causing disruptions so I let Dominio handle the rest of the birthing. By 7pm the last puppy was born, but Domino was concerned the Elizabeth might still have some afterbirth still inside her and was about to take her to the emergency vet. I was freaking out cause, well you guys know how I am about my dog. I love that little hussy. She turned out to be fine however and now we have 7 bundles of puppy joy that have been added (temporarily) to our family. 4 black Cocker pups and 3 blonde cocker pups. I am so excited and I can't wait until LaLa gets out of school and I can go over there and see the proud mama and her little pups.

Here are some pictures that Domino sent me last night.

Mama and all her babies!

The first two that were born.

Proud Papa.
Mama resting with her pups.

Now, does anyone know anyone in England who needs a brand spankin new Cocker Spaniel puppy??

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I got Nothin'

Except for a little story about playing in the snow yesterday. LaLa and KiKi were making snowballs and throwing them at the ground. Then LaLa suggested we have a snowball fight. I obliged of course. I mean, who wouldn't want to throw a snowball at their kids? So we tossed a couple back and forth and then it happened. I got LaLa right in the face with a snowball. It was a complete accident I swear. She had this stunned look on her face like "I can't believe you effin did that." I appologized profusely (laughing outloud of course). Then she said "Mom, you aren't supposed to throw it on my face!"

New LaLa Brit-ism:

"Mom, KiKi won't let me have a go!!"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow Day!!!

Last night we got a dusting of snow and by this morning there was about an inch of snow on the ground. School got canceled. Rock on. Playing out in the snow? Rock on. Camera charged. Rock on. Hot Chocolate? Rock on.

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I also took some shots of the plants out in my back garden that turned out pretty good.

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Have a good Monday morning everyone!