Monday, November 17, 2008

Da boys pull one out

Dallas 14; Washington 10. Yes.... It was the 1:00 AM game GMT time so I set TIVo to record it. Sadly, I caught the end of the game as I was getting up at 3:30 am to catch my morning flight to Paris.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

we have to celebrate when we just doesn' happen that often!

Yes, victory for the Bears on Saturday over the Aggies, 41-21. Gotta love it cause it happens so infrequently.

How sweet it is....

could it be true?

On the front page of today's Daily Express, an article stated that Queen Elizabeth is planning on stepping down from the British throne in 5 years to give Chuck a shot at the job. That would make her 87 at the time of abdication and Chuck 65.


Not sure it's true ...hmmmm.

Apparently, a few quotes from Chuck appeared on the front page of another London paper today where it discusses how Prince Charles aims to break convention on becoming king and continuing being 'outspoken' on various issues. After all the man is 60...but he has waited a lifetime for the job.


Time will tell....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

wild and crazy Friday nights at our house :-)

What can I say? We live so "on the edge"...NOT! Usually our Friday evenings consist of recovery from the grueling week we have just had at work or from a hectic travel schedule, an order for delivery to either May's Chinese Restaurant for our "usual" order of Sweet-n-Sour Chicken and Spicy Kung Pao Prawn (#2 on the speed dial) or Pizza Hut for a large pepperoni feast pizza {#3 on the speed dial), and back-to-back episodes of the US show Dancing with the Stars.

Last night was no different. As we waited for our pizza to arrive (our choice last evening) and DWTS to commence, the Budman was chatting with me about his week. He'd been in Reychavik the last three days working on a project for the Icelandic government (remember: when the Budman starts coming to your country, you know there are rampant financial problems afoot) and we were catching up on our 3 days apart.

Silly me, I was more interested in things like, "What was the weather like? Was it cold? Had it been snowing?" or "What is the landscape like in Iceland? How many people live in Iceland?" and so forth. So when I asked the rather open-ended question, "How was the trip to Iceland?" this is the type of information I was prepared to hear.

Actually, after 25 years of marriage, I still continue to be amazed sometimes. No, the Budman's response was more along the lines that "this new project continues to confirm his concern about the need to de-couple the US economy from the global economy" and "that his trip to Iceland also confirmed the need for the US to develop a 'fossil-fuel-free' energy strategy in the next decade; otherwise, the US economy could be shut down in a matter of days if oil rich countries chose to do so" (Iceland will have this strategy fully implemented in the next few years as most of their energy is geo-thermal).

Now here is the shocking part...not that the Budman actually raised this in conversation, or that it was not the response I was actually expecting, but rather that we had a robust conversation on these topics for a full 15 minutes before we realized...we gotta get a life on Friday nights. We were so riveted by this discussion that Len, Bruno, and Carry Ann had already scored the first contestant.

Yep, like I said...wild and crazy Friday nights at the Budman and Hachie Gal's house.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

90 years ago today.....

was Armistice Day...end of the "war to end all wars", "the Great War", WWI...
Sadly, some things never change.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Sunday is the day traditionally put aside to remember those British and Commonwealth citizens who have given their lives for the peace and freedom, fighting on behalf of the British Empire. On this day, people across the nation pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by these brave service men and women.

Remembrance Day was originally conceived as a commemoration of the war dead of the First World War but after the Second World War, the scope of the ceremony was extended to focus on the nation's dead of both World Wars. In 1980, the commemoration was widened once again to extend the remembrance to all who have suffered and died in conflict in the service of the UK and all those who mourn them.

The service at the Cenotaph at Whitehall is designed to ensure that no one is forgotten. A wreath of red poppies is laid on the monument by The Queen and the other tributes placed on the Cenotaph are dedicated to all who have suffered or died in war.

quue on remembrance day

Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers and certain other Ministers and the Mayor of London are also invited to attend the ceremony, along with representatives of the Armed Forces, Merchant Air and Navy and Fishing Fleets, and members of faith communities. High Commissioners from Commonwealth countries also attend the ceremony and lay wreaths at the Cenotaph.

At today’s service, the Queen stood solemnly at 11 o'clock as the nation marked a two-minute silence in memory of those who have perished defending the country. After a cannon marked the end of the silence, the monarch approached the Cenotaph, laying a wreath and pausing for a moment's reflection before joining family members.

For a couple of weeks leading up to Remembrance Day, UK citizens wear red poppy lapel pins as a sympbol of remembrance (see the Queen's photo above).


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

sorta like Christmas morning

Try as I may, I could not keep my eyes open last evening as I waited for "real" election news to roll in. You know what I mean...the official news like whether McCain or Obama would win which state and its electoral votes. Yet the incessant "filler" stories from CNN on their unoffocial projections and their new election night technology proved simply too much of a yawn factor. Off to bed I trounced.

I awoke this morning to remember that US election results should have been announced as I slumbered in my bed in London. At least I hoped and prayed that there would be no lingering announcements in store for the US people states that had hanging or pregnant chad people that we learned had been turned away incorrectly at polling stations. Another labored fight over the presidency would have been too much.

First stop: email. I knew the race was all but over when I saw the sheer volume of CNN Breaking News text messages in my inbox. So, rather than "tear the wrapping paper gingerly off the Christmas package", I raced to the last CNN email, dated only a couple of hours before to see the official news.

Barack's the new US Prez. Time will tell if we like this Christmas surprise or not, but I wish him well because whomever won is gonna have their hands full.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Brits are so enthused

If I have been asked once, I have been asked at least a dozen times today, "As a US citizen, aren't you excited about the election? We sure are in the UK!"

And yes, I am excited about the election, having voted over 2 weeks ago by absentee ballot from overseas. I guess what surprised me was the daily following of the US presidential campaign, the twists and turns leading up to election day, and of course, election day itself (or as it is called in the UK, polling day).

They just can't seem to get enough of the coverage. Not sure whether to laugh or shake my head as I know all our family and friends are ready to "say enough is enough" of the endless media coverage. Come live in the US during an election year and you will know what I mean.

That has been one of the unexpected pleasures of living abroad.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

she wins again

She is pretty amazing...
Paula Radcliffe wins her third NYC marathon. Although 7 minutes slower than her world record pace, a win is still a win. Gets my blood pumping for my training for London next April....speaking of which, the training officially begins tomorrow!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

miscellaneous musing #3

We are becoming paranoid...

After a mad dash throughout the house this evening to find Budman's lost house keys (of which Hachie Gal had been using after a few quick errands on the high street), they are nowhere to be found.

We look in Hachie Gal's coat pockets.
We look in Hachie Gal's purse.
We look on the floor, behind the front door, in the front garden, on the stairwell, and in the dining room.
We even look under the front door welcome mat.

At this point, I am starting to think someone is "gas-lighting" me (OK...who knows this movie reference?) because I am looking everywhere for the keys when the Budman exclaims, "You must have left the keys in the front door and someone has stolen them. It is probably our next door neighbors" (who are now the first expected culprits of any pranks, foul play, or shenagihans).

Indignantly I say, "I did not leave the keys in the front door", although inwardly there is no explanation for where they have disappeared. Granted my hands were full with a 10 pound box of cat litter, it was cold and rainy and I was bundled up tightly with coat, scarf, and gloves, and was clutching a dripping umbrella...all while trying to unlock the front door.

One last desperate search through the umbrella stand when I thought to remove the umbrella and open it one last time ...indoors. Yes, I know it is supposed to be bad luck to open umbrellas indoors but I was panicked.

Bear in mind that the Budman is now 4 steps away from the phone as he makes the emergency weekend call to a local locksmith, when I hear the jingle jangle of keys falling from inside of the umbrella.

Look at it this way...I will take the "bad luck" hex over the locksmith bill ...any day.

miscellaneous musing #2

Yes, we are as crazy as the rest of the UK and the US. Our Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays come to a grinding halt when Dancing with the Stars (US version) and Strictly Come Dancing (UK version) come on. Three nights of back to back episodes, although both of the US shows air one after another on Friday nights. So, I really can't look at AOL US during the week or the surprise will be spoiled.

Len and Bruno, who are the only judges to appear on both shows, are indeed my personal favorites. I have even bought Len's biography....and proud of it.

Now, for the most important revelation of the evening. I was NEVER a big fan of Cloris Leachman's...she has finally been voted off the dancefloor...good riddance.

miscellaneous musing #1

Rental lease on the new house is signed by all parties. Effective 12/5, we are moving into the new pad...and will be free of the rowdy neighbors next door.