Sunday, May 28, 2006


I own a car again! A car! A car with air conditioning! And power stearing! And even power windows and power locks and power mirrors! A car that doesn't have rust all over it! A car with a CD player that works! And seats that are whole and don't have chunks of foam coming off! A car that doesn't embarass me when I drive through nice neighborhoods! A CAR!!! Woo hoo!

So, the basic story is that after the Horrific Insurance Ordeal (which has still scarred me too much to discuss in great detail), we discovered that we could not afford to get Tim his beloved Saab. So we decided to just get me a little sedan instead. The Saab will come in a couple years once Tim is no longer a "new" driver and we can afford to insure his hiney as it sits in a swanky European car.

So what did I get? Nothing fancy. Just a white Corolla. I tried the Yaris, but the ride wa a bit rough. At any rate, it's mine! And it drives sooooo smoothly. So I can get out of the house whenever I please now. Hooray! I missed my independence sooooo much!

In other car news, today was the Grand Prix race in Monte Carlo. If you don't care about Formula One or don't want to know about the results, stop reading NOW.

"... Lalalalalala - I'm not listening! - lalalalalalala ..."

So. Do I think Michael screwed up Qualifying on purpose? Hmmm. There's a tiny itsy bitsy part of me that wants to think that he's a better sportsman than that. But whether it was on purpose or not, his actions screwed up the final fast lap for a lot of the drivers. If it had just affected Alonso, I could see why they might push Mike back just a few spots. But since it affected the qualifying results for multiple drivers, then he deserved something more severe. Deserved it, beyotch! And I think he started the race from pit lane because his pride wouldn't allow him to start in last. Whatevs!

By the by, YAY Alonso! I love that Spaniard and his wooly eyebrows! But why on earth is he going to McLaren next year?!? Is there a part of him that is regretting that decision? Tim and I have argued back and forth about this for a while. Tim thinks that it's a good move because (a) it'll provide a new challenge for Alonso & his competitive spirit will feed off of that and (b) it worked for Michael Schumacher when he left a winning season at Benneton for Ferrari. I still wonder why Alonso has to mess up a good thing. I think that next year the one who is going to profit from this is Kimmi. But, in many ways, that's a good thing.

Ah Kimmi. Kimmi Kimmi Kimmi. Does that kid have rotten luck or what? Poor soul. I blame the diamonds on the steering wheel. I know he had diamonds on his helmet last year and he did great and blahblahblah. But maybe even-numbered years and diamonds don't mix. We all remember the '04 Monaco race when they placed the diamonds on the nose of the Jaguars, right? And the driver crashed and half a million dollars worth of sparklies were gone forever? Same thing. Diamond curse. That and the safety car & its affect on those damn McLaren engines. Sigh.

I'm also heartbroken about Nico just because he's a cute kid & I want him to succeed. But it sure was great to see Mr. Thunderbird up in that podium, huh? David Coulthard + Superman cape + the silliest grin ever = fine entertainment.

And if you haven't already, I urge you to read the transcript of the post-race press conference. Juan Pablo's reply to the final question is priceless. Eat that, Schumie!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Flashmob: The Opera

Let's keep the musical theme going this week, shall we? Because I saw the COOLEST thing on TV this morning.

Flashmob: The Opera

The first flashmob opera (the one I saw on TV today) took place on October 6, 2004 ... so I'm jumping on the train rather late here, but lordy it looked SOOOOO frickin' awesome! Basically, the BBC 3 staged a short contemporary opera in Paddington Station in London. Actually in the station. There was no stage. The actors walked around the station amongst all the commuters, wearing subtle headsets to pick up their voices. There was a live orchestra for the music and the occassional camera operator running around, capturing the action and ... well, it's just so difficult to describe, but it kicked major ass! Some of the audience members who were standing around were there because they were members of the flash mob, so they'd had an inkling of what to expect. But, of course, most of the people there were taken totally by surprise. Towards the end, everyone was urged to join in as the tenor sang "Nessun Dorma". See, people, this is the kind of stuff that makes the UK so great. This and Bakewell tarts.

The original flashmob opera was so successful that they did another one ... in Sheffield! My dear hubby's ol' stomping grounds! It was performed at the Meadowhall shopping center ... more commonly known as MeadowHell by the locals. How appropriate, then, that they performed a modern take on Faustus? Brilliant!

You can watch out-takes of the Sheffield opera by going here and clicking on "Launch the console". Sorry the quality isn't so great, but it's still worth a look-see.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eurovision continues

M'kay. So. About all those extra countries. After I made that last post, I remembered that I'd seen Isreal compete at Eurovision. Israel isn't in Europe. So I did some research. Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

"Running since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is an annual televised song contest with participants from numerous countries whose national television broadcasters are members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)".

As you can guess, your country doesn't have to be in Europe in order to have an EBU station. So why don't they braodcast the EBU in the states, yo? Whuddup wit dat? I'lll tell you why. Because then the US o' A could compete at Eurovision and everybody knows that we'd win every year.

Do you doubt it? Do you? Then watch the Austrian entrant from 2003.

The man's name is Alf Poier. He and his cardboard band got 6th place.

The girls at Go Fug Yourself have a lovely commentary on this year's Eurovision. They even mention that great group from Belgium in 2003 who SOOOOOO should have won! Belgium was ROBBED, man!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

It's a small world afterall

Tim chose to give up a lot of things to be with me. He sold his house. Left the country that had always been his home. Moved thousands of miles away from his friends and family. All to be with me. For this I am grateful. But sometimes I feel guilty. Sometimes I think about the things that he could enjoy in England that we just don't have here. Mushy peas. Decent Formula One coverage. And, of course, the Eurovision song contest.

But thanks to You Tube and the internet, all is not lost.

For those who don't know, the Eurovision Song Contest is the finest wedge o' cheese on television. Once a year, one musical act is selected from each European country. And at Eurovision, these musical acts compete. I read that 35 countries participated this year, so that's a hell of a lot of live music goin' on! People from all over Europe are invited to call in their votes and the winner is announced at the end of the program. Traditionally the musical genre of choice is pop. Imagine happy people bouncing around in white spandex & sparkles. There's also the occasional ballad. I think Celine Dion won Eurovision once. That's the sort of thing you see on there. It's horrificly painful ... in a good way if you're lucky

But this year was different. This year Finland took the prize. For the first time ever in the 51 year history of Eurovision. Should they be proud? You tell me.

[Warning: This song has an odd way of worming its way into your brain. Watch the first 20 or 30 seconds, but anything that happens to you beyond that is not my fault]

The band Lordi is composed of "Amen the unstoppable mummy, Enary the manipulative Valkyrie, Kalma the biker-zombie from hell, and Kita the alien manbeast with the combined strengths of all the beasts known to man". And lest we forget the main man himself, Lordi "the hulk of hell".

I think I found Derek's favorite new band.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

One month down

I arrived in North Carolina exactly one month ago today. Somehow I don't feel like singing the Happy Month-iversary song.

One month. Feels like a hell of a lot longer than that. George agrees. She says it feels more like 4 months. That sounds about right. I've certainly had about 4 months worth of tummy nastiness in the last month. Ugh. I keep wondering if I feel sick because I'm stressed or if I feel sick because I'm bored and can't distract myself with work. Maybe it's both. Probably both.

But good things continue to happen. Next week Tim starts working on the video game that is connected to a certain movie that's coming out next autumn (I won't mention it here in order to maintain some additional annonymnymnymnity). I wonder if he'll be able to e-mail any screen shots to me. Probably not, seeing as Dreamworks is connected to this project. Don't wanna piss off Stevie Spielberg or anything.

Somebody please remind me to sign up for trash service. And someone please remind me to send out a new postie list to my postcard group. And someone please remind me to bathe occasionally & perhaps speak to the occasional stranger.

take the WHAT BAD BOOK ARE YOU test.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day and other bits o' happiness

Happy Mother's Day to my beloved mommy! Thanks for being warm and caring and trying to be up-beat even when I'm swearing about the unfairness of life and blahblahblah. Thanks also for saving people's lives for a living .. and somehow maintaining most of your sanity through all of that.

And happy day-after-George-&-Derek's-pseudo-anniversary day! Those crazy kids have been together for 14 years now. Yowza. If their love was an actual human being, it would be sneaking out at night and experimenting with drugs. Aaaawww!

And happy Spanish Grand Prix day to you F1 fans! Sadly, it will be aired on CBS today. The only good part of that is that Tim and I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to see it, but it's still CBS coverage. We miss the guys on ITV. Those kids on the Speed channel have their charm, but still. I wonder if I can find the English televsion coverage on the internet somewhere ... hmmmmm ... Anywho, go Alonso!!!

And happy me because I did not have to go to the car dealership on Friday. Or Saturday. Although I'm NOT so happy because of some bad news about insurance, but I'll talk about that later. This post is about happiness.

So yesterday evening Tim and I were hanging out in the living room here at the house. I had the front door open so that the light could come in through the glass storm door. Tim glanced out it and noticed a cute little kitty cat on our front porch! So he stepped outside to say hello. Unfortunately, the kitty scampered away before I could see it. But it was such a lovely evening - the light was filtering through the pines and the air smelled of honeysuckle - that we took it upon ourselves to sit on the porch steps. We noticed a little bunny rabbit hiding in the grass in the front yard. We talked about the gorgeous posies that are growing by the front step. And we wondered about the new bird calls that were coming from the trees.
Then we noticed a new sound.
We didn't say anything at first. Just listened.
Woooooooooosh! Woosh wooooooooooosh!
Me: "Do you hear that?"
Tim: "Yeah. It sounds just like-"
In unison: "- a hot air balloon."
And as if on cue, we saw a rainbow-striped hot air balloon begin to rise behind one of the houses across the street. It was probably about 100 yards away. The balloon drifted to the north ... very low so that we could barely see it through the trees & behind the houses. It startled some Canadian geese, sending their flight path right over my head. Before long it was gone (concealed by all of the 50-foot pines we have around here). I wish we could have seen more, but I'm still very glad that we went out on the front porch last night.

Speaking of giant bags of hot air, want to hear something weird? Richard Branson - oh, pardon me. Sir Richard Branson - owner of Virgin Airlines, Virgin Megastores, Virgin cola, Virgin cellular, Virgin perfume, Virgin wedding dresses (no, I'm not making any of this up), Virgin Everything - also owns Virgin Balloon Flights. He is also the author of an autobiography titled "Losing My Virginity" which you can check out at the above link. Tee hee!

And speaking of England, I found out that the film of Neil Gaiman's Stardust is being filmed in a little town called Castle Combe. This town reminds me so soooo much of the adorable village where Tim's dad lives. It makes me feel homesick. But in a good way.

Speaking of good things, if you find yourself in New Orleans, please visit my friend Amy, her friends, and her cats at the Farrington Smith Gallery . Or you can just go outside, dig up a clod of dirt, and mail it to them for their Dirt Drive. Seriously! They need your dirt!

Last, but certainly not least, allow me to share this little gem with you. If you've got 30 minutes on your hands, I strongly urge you to watch the pilot episode of Heat Vision and Jack . It's got Jack Black. A talking motorcycle. And a splash of Ben Stiller. The theme song alone is worth it. Enjoy the happiness.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tomorrow's gonna suh-uck


It's Thursday. Haven't posted anything since Sunday and felt bad about that, so I guess I should write something, right? Maybe? But I don't know what to say. Blah.

I've been sick a bit this week. Tummy stuff. It's better now, which is good. Which is why I was able to unpack the rest of our stuff today! I put all of the empty boxes in the garage just so I wouldn't have to look at them. I dusted & vacuumed everything & put candles on the dining table. The place looks uber swanky and everything. I was looking forward to a lovely evening.

But when my beloved husband came home, he wanted to talk about cars.
And now I am in a terrible mood.

May I just say that I hate car shopping? No, not just "hate" in lower case letters. HATE. HATEHATEHATE. This is a very strong thing for me to say because I'm not a "HATE" kind of gal. I can usually find some kernal of good in everything. For instance, it is very common for me to hear people talking smack about somebody & for my response to be, "Well, he's always been nice to me." Or I make up some sort of explanation for why this other person may not have given the best impression ("I'm sure there was just a bit of confusion"). I have even said this about Ken Spence, people. Ken Spence! It seems like everyone once had a bad run-in with that man. Everyone but me, of course, because Ken was always nice to me.

So what I'm saying is it's a big deal for me to say that I HATE something. And I HATE car shopping. And this means that I'm going to HATE tomorrow. The beloved husband has been doing marvelously well at work and was given Friday off. And he wants to spend this lovely, beautiful, paid-with-leave day at a frickin' car dealership. Color me unhappy. In fact, color me either red with rage or pale green with nausea, depending upon the moment. Too bad it's almost physically impossible for me to vomit.

So why do I hate car shopping? Well, I don't like spending money. I like saving money. The more I have reserved away in case of emergencies, the happier I am. And I am very careful about buying things. It is not unheard of for me to see a pair of shoes/pants/whatever at a store and wait many days or even weeks before purchasing it. I'll just mull it over in my mind. Because if I don't still want those shoes after a few days or a week or whatever, then they weren't worth the cost. And I just saved myself a good bunch of cash. Hooray!

But car dealers do not seem to understand this. They want you to purchase something immediately. And they like to put a lot of pressure on you to decide. And they tend to be FLAMING ASSHOLES. They are red, raw, ulcered, puss-leaking, wart-covered, flaming assholes. And I hating working with them. I mean, if I'm going to spend a few days considering whether I should spend 30 bucks on a pair of frickin' shoes, then I certainly deserve to take my time when it comes to spending 30 thousand bucks on a damn car! Ugh.

But we need a car. So shop we must. I'll let you know how it goes ... supposing my head doesn't explode first.

In other news, Veronica's having a hard time. But we've had some good conversations on the phone. Last night she apologized for unleashing a lot of emotions on me. So I told her about the time I apologized to my therapist for "vomiting my emotions" all over her. A short time later, V came to the realization that she is an emotional bulemic .... gorging herself on drama, & then purging all of her emotions out on her loved ones. Absolutely hilarious! At least it was at the time. George needs to put that in her stand-up act ... if she ever decides to do her stand-up act again, of course.

Other than that? Ummm ... my parents are on vacation in San Antonio, which is nice. And Janine and Jason will be leaving for their honeymoon this weekend. And last night george and I were discussing the idea of going to Vegas together. Or maybe on a cruise. With lots of friends in tow. Oh, how I would love to go on a fun vacation! We shall see ...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The New Digs

As of today, we're officially in the house. And what a warm welcome we recieved from the townsfolk! So sweet of those kids to come out in the rain today. I know how hard damp weather can be on woodwind instruments, so it really means a lot.

Seriously, though, it's been a week. And what a week it's been. We got the keys to the house Monday, the POD arrived with all of our stuff on Tuesday, the cable guy came & connected things - albeit incorrectly - on Thursday. And after far too much hassle, the water was turned on Friday afternoon.

So. The Water Nightmare. Here's what happened. I called various places to get hooked up with the basic services. Power? No problem. Did that over the phone. Cable & internet? We settled it all over the phone & made an appointment. Water?
Hmmm. Water.
Well, the water is handled by the city 'round these parts. So I called the city. And they told me that I needed to come to their office in-person and provide them with the following items.
#1 Driver's license
#2 Social Security number
#3 $100 Deposit
These three don't sound bad. Having to do it in person is annoying, but these requirements sound fairly reasonable. That's what brings us to the last item on the list.
#4 The signed rental agreement
Remember that the person from whom we've rented the property does not live in this state. Last week we had yet to receive a copy of the agreement that also had her signature on it. She had mailed it, but the post office was taking its time. Meanwhile, my bladder was under severe stress during the afternoons that I spent unpacking boxes at the house. Luckily, the whole mess got fixed on Friday. Come to find out that the city was suspicious because the name I gave to them as the owner of the house is not the name they had on file. And that's because she got married and changed her name, but never corrected it on her water bill. So! A silly mix-up.


I feel like my world has turned into a series of silly mix-ups. The cable guy hooked up our TV to the cable, but he didn't give us a cable box or remote. And the internet could plug into my lap top, but it can't connect to Tim's computer for reasons I will never understand. So he doesn't have an internet connection. And our wifi connector that worked great in Tulsa? We can't get it to function properly, either (and again, I'm clueless as to the reason why). And the car situation .... uuuuuuuuggggggghhhhh. Tim and I spent so many hours talking about that mess that I hate rehashing it here. Just makes me angry again. The short version: Walter the HoboCat-Feeding Salesman? He no longer works for that car dealership. They still have a framed newspaper article on the wall about him and the cats and the fact that he's been with the company for a decade and blahblahblah. But he no longer works there. And after experiencing the other salesperson they had on hand, we've decided to try a whole new dealership. It was that bad.

But there's good stuff! For instance, I went to the Handmade Market ( ) and bought a few little things. And I can now flush the toilet whenever I want to. And my mother and my brother got A's in all of their college classes! And I drove around quite a bit this week and did NOT get lost. And I'm in a lovely relationship with a good guy. I mean, if we can have a miserable experience at the car dealership and follow that up with moving large pieces of furniture into the house and STILL be able to stand the sight of one another, then things cannot be all that bad.

Mom says that, despite the hassle and extra steps, things are getting better. And she's right. She also says that whenever I'm having a bad day, I just need to go flush my toilet & remember that it could be much worse. I think I might just do that.