Tuesday, 30 March 2010
We are going on holiday tomorrow (or PTO as they say here, weirdly sounding like a car). Anyway. As the flight is 15 hrs and we have been practising card games. It started with the power outage when we got a card game book and we now can play Crazy 8s, Sevens, Rummy, Gin Rummy, Piquet, 15 card Rummy and Progressive Rummy. As my memory for card games is about 22 seconds I hope JD will remember the rules.
Playing rummy brings back memories of holidays at granny's, she was a keen gambler and she always had decks of cards lying around the summer house. My other granny taught me Patience. That one I do remember which is probably due to many long summers spent playing it as Swedish TV in the 80s wasn't all that great.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
OK so despite my previous whingey post (largely driven from the strange tipping 'rules' that I dont get most of the time and always resent) we are loving living here and keep finding new things to try. One item that flew to the top (along with a lot of other tacky stuff, I agree I have no class) is Cool Whip.
Since moving to the US I have at several times wondered at the similarities to the communist system that can be found here. E.g. DMV where you go and get your drivers license is more bureaucratic than anything I have ever seen. Walking past the Apple store I always see more staff than customers, as it they have a policy of generating jobs at all costs. And today I had a hair cut and again the generating menial jobs to improve job stats struck me.
I was met by the receptionist who handed me over to the wardrobe lady who handed me over to the hair washer who handed me over to the hair dresser who handed me to hair washer 2 and then on to colour expert who handed me back to hair washer 3. Meanwhile I had been served tea from the tea lady and the floor was swept by the floor lady.
The only non communist about the whole set up was the cost and the expectation that I would tip all of them. I paid $180 for cut and colour and another $40 in tip. The man in reception asked me if I wanted it to be $20 each and while I personally think they should have split it across all the staff I didnt fancy standing there giving him an allocation base to implement so just said yeah.
Oh the result was very American as they blow dried my hair super high, like a giant puff ball above my head so I spent ten minutes in Target in front of a mirror patting it down, but JD still laughed when he saw me.
Friday, 26 March 2010
Thursday, 25 March 2010
I am in MBB training with a bunch of others and its great fun! We have all been tasked with teaching a module each and thanks to some excellent material (A - we owe you!) its mainly fun and rarely hard work. Except that my part is tomorrow. I am teaching DoE. To prep I went out for sangria with the group tonight. Should relax me nicely for the session tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
I went to a cooking class this evening with a friend and it was great! We were at this new small place in Norwalk called Sugar & Olives. My favorite bit was making flat bread. Love handling dough. I am tempted to take up the offer of working there a couple of hours a week helping out with the baking of cookies and breads.
Am thinking will go back with JD for another lesson. Or just for lunch. Or late night desserts and cocktails on Saturday night. Mmmm....
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
I ordered a pair of silver strappy sandals for the wedding. They look good. I can walk in them if I concentrate. I am sure with a bit of champagne in me I will be able to dance. I am currently sitting stretching them as even here they are a bit tight so I dont even want to think about how it will be when my feet double in size in the heat in Dubai...
We went down to NYC on Wed for the St Patricks parade. It was very long. But it was a lovely sunny day so we stood patiently watching for most of the day. I got sunburned. And when I finally got my Magners I was a happy bunny indeed.
We were back down in the city yesterday when we headed in to watch the final Six Nations games with a couple of friends. It was great fun and we were back home by 9 and in bed nice and early so today we have been able to really enjoy the sunshine and warmth. Amazingly the daffodils growing by the house have gone from barely out of the ground to flowering in a week! And its hard to believe its a week ago we didnt have any power because of the horrid rain and storm.
Tonight I played my first round of golf for the year as well! I played badly but I played. And as I cant find my golf shoes I have had to get new ones (aaah poor me) and took the opportunity to get a new bag as well, my current one JD gave me when we started dating about 9 1/2 years ago. But it has hippos on the zips so its hard to not love the bag. It weighs a ton even without stuff in it which is why it needs to go.
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
So lots of people are still without power and there are a lot of trees down. On the news they reported the guys are working 16 hrs on 8 hrs off to get the trees away and power back up. And tonight we saw 10 trucks from the power company and tree specialists driving through town!
My friend is back in her house tonight, the power came back earlier and the power company actually called her mobile phone to tell her. That is impressive I think.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Yesterday morning at 11 we lost power. We didnt notice at first as we were busy building JD's Taj Mahal lego and with 6000 pieces its tricky to find the right one, so we were focused. Once we realized we had no power we decided to take a drive up to Clinton outlet mall for some shopping while we waited for them to sort it all out. But it turned out that wouldnt work as our car was stuck in the garage behind the electronic doors that were stuck on down. So we walked into town (fighting against the wind and rain) saw the second half of the Scotland-England game in Tigin's and then had lunch at Lucky's Burger & Malt diner.
Very full and very wet by the time we made it back to the apartment the garage door was up but we didnt have any power. So we headed north to Clinton and did some shopping in the wind and rain. We headed back in the evening driving through the wind and rain (yeah and thinking we probably shouldnt be on the road in that weather). Home at 10 pm. Still no power. Luckily have lots of candels and gas worked, so we had a cup of tea by candle light before heading to bed.
This morning more lego then out for breakfast. Turns out we arent the only ones without power and with the idea of going out for breakfast, so by lunch time we decided bruch was out and lunch was in. We nipped into Barnes & Noble to get a book on card games (we fancied some rummy by candle light) which I think was the guarantee that when we got back the power was back! I am now clean and warm. It is very nice.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Muse was faaantastic! JD left his ID in the hotel as he had forgotten that in the US you have to show ID to get a beer even if you are 100. So I had to sneak him beers. Then we got caught and told off like teenagers.
We stayed in the Back Bay area so had a lovely Friday and Saturday night up there. Then on Sunday drove up the coast to Salem to check out the witch kitch. Then home through Rhode Island (stopped for 5 min in Pawtucket) so we can add another state to our listing. We made a final stop at a beach up by East Lyme to check out the water (very cold JD found out) and swap seats.
Friday, 5 March 2010
JD made stew yesterday. All day. I found him a recipe on recipezaar.com and he got the ingredients earlier in the week. And I gave some advice like - dont be afraid to add stuff! And ideas of what others put in their stews, like dad puts anchovies and a tea spoon of black currant jelly in his. The recipe calls for red wine but JD chickened out when it came to adding wine so yesterday we had it plain and tonight (he made enough for an army) we had it with wine and small splash of light cream. Mmmmm.... Very nice!
Here is the recipe in case you get tempted - it also says cook it for 9 hrs but JD started at 2 and we ate at 7 so 5 hours of cooking works very well as well.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Just back from seeing The Tooth Fairy. Its got the Rock in it. And Stephen Merchant. And Julie Andrews. Overall rating 3 out of 5. Bordering on 2 but you know - the Rock looks good.
Here are the other films we have seen in 2010 - this is several times the total number of films we saw in a cinema in 2008 and 2009 combined.
Avatar - it was ok - 3 of 5
Sherlock Holmes - I liked it! - 4 of 5
Up in the Air - Great film - 5 of 5
Blind Side - Another great film - 5 of 5
Percy and the Lightning Thief - erm not so good - 2 of 5
Oscars on Sunday! I am definitely parking myself in the sofa with some bubbly to toast in the winners.
Monday, 1 March 2010
The other day when leaving the office I was hit by a smell that took me back quite a few years, to Guildford where I visited EL for a weekend. It was my first visit to UK and at that time I had no idea I would end up living there for over 9 years or that EL would end up visiting me lots of times. Not sure what the smell was but I do remember the greek student living next door to EL who had bathed his room in moth balls which made the whole place smell quite terrible.
This morning I got up and made tea. I treated myself to a tea bag from Mariage Freres, the best tea in the world. I was introduced to it by Anna and Anna when I went to see them in Paris with Carola (and we stayed in a hotel with pink padded walls). I of course ran out of the tea I bought back then several years ago but found that they sell it here in a couple of stores. So every time I treat myself to a bag I think of Paris, padded walls, friends and crepes outside a nightclub at 2 in the morning.
What am I now going to watch in the evenings? I cannot believe its another 4 years til the next Olympics. I have loved watching the curling, the cross country skiing, the down hill, the snowboarding events. I quite enjoyed the bob sleigh events and more annoyed than pleased with the hockey. NBC did a grand job even if the reluctance to show things live was a bit amusing at times. Sochi 2014! Cant wait...