Friday, May 28, 2010

Would you like a new man?

In my workplace we have a whole host of security guards, some of them ex-policemen, ex-military etc. You would imagine that their conversations would revolve around last nights ballgame, chopping logs, or the latest Tarantino film. As I came in this morning I overheard one of them talking to his colleague. And surprisingly it went something like this.... "sprinkled it with a few herbs, basil, oregano and then bake it in the oven for 40 minutes on low....fresh asparagus, steamed of course.....". Obviously one of those 'new men'.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting hot & sweaty in the Gym

I fall for it every time and this year was no exception. Every year the school has some sort of "parents evening". Every year I dutifully attend thinking that I may miss some essential information if I dont, and every year I wonder why I bothered.

This year was no exception. The visit was to the middle school, which is where Emma will be next year. She had the chance to walk around so she could get her bearings a bit, then there was a meeting for parents and kids in the gym. Wandering around the school was OK, despite the 96 degree heat outside and no air conditioning in the school. I was wondering whether to go listen to the presentation in the gym. My gut told me that it would be nothing particularly interesting, but as usual I thought I'd better go just in case there was some essential information that I had to hear. So I sat in the gym on a hard plastic, mini-sized chair with a few hundred other red-faced, sweating, slightly irritated parents as we listened to the principal chirp happily on about her schools values (respect, responsibility and something else), the names of the principal, deputy principal, assistant to the deputy principal, school nurse, special ed teacher, janitor, school cat.....and how wonderful the children were and how happy everyone was.....yada, yada...
Eventually, with beads of sweat dripping down by back, I decided that I would have to take a chance on getting told off by the teachers, and leave before the end. I sneaked out with Emma feeling slightly guilty but glad to be out of the hothouse. Why did I bother? The leaflets they handed out gave all the essential information, that was all I needed. I'll know better next time....(yeah, right!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Goodbye Mr Chips

Its chipmunk catching season again. Every summer we get tonnes of the little b$#&%*ds in our garden, digging holes under all the flower beds and killing the plants. Very cute and all that, but what a pain. Our cats can only catch so many, besides, its easier to eat a can of "whiskers" than it is to have to catch your dinner. So we have resorted to using "humane" traps, i.e. a cage that entices them in with tasty morsels, then the doors slam shut once they are in. The good thing is that they never get wise to it. We can catch one or two per day, only restricted by the number of times we can be bothered to drive to the park and release them. Its unlikely we will get rid of them all, but as Tesco's likes to tell us "every little helps"

Happy Birthday!

Many Happy Returns to my oldest (no offense!) and dearest friend Sarah. Now you are as young as me!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Have youse got a pen, Jimmeh?

To prevent my mother from telling me that my last few posts have been "a bit complainy", I will make this one a happy post. My favorite comedian is Mike McIntyre, always makes me laugh. Here are a couple of clips from his appearances on "Live at the Apollo"...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An indication of intention

This post is for most of the people who drive from Marlborough, MA along the I-290 at about 5pm each weekday. Have you ever noticed that little stick thing that is attached near your steering wheel? Did you know that if you move it to one side or the other, it not only makes a little clicking noise, but it also makes those little side lights on the front and back of your car flash on and off. Amazing! And do you know what those little lights are? They are known as indicator lights, turn signal lights, or sometimes we affectionately call them blinkers. We use them to indicate the direction in which we intend to move our car. If the right one flashes it means we are going to move to the right, and if the left one flashes it means...well... you get the idea. You see, it helps other drivers on the road (like me) see what your intentions are so I don't get surprised and more than just a teeny bit angry when you suddenly swerve out in front of me with no warning. And it stops me from having to say bad words and making those strange hand un-ladylike. If for nothing else than to save my reputation, USE THE DAMN TURN SIGNALS, IDIOT!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who would've thunk it!

I was putting gas in the car at the weekend when my cellphone rang. My daughter was in the car at the time and passed the phone to me. As I was talking on the phone, a loud voice came over the speaker in the gas station - "LADY AT PUMP NUMBER 2...PUT DOWN THE CELLPHONE". What the? ... I didn't know whether to duck or make a run for it. Turns out that it is illegal to talk on a cellphone when pumping gas. Apparently the phones can cause a spark that could ignite the gas fumes..and the warning is written on the pumps. Who the hell reads the information on a gas pump for goodness sake?!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chloe's Bistro, Hudson

Had a very nice meal at Chloe's Bistro in Hudson last night. We've been there a few times before, and our main complaint on those occasions was the slow service. But last night was faultless. The food (and company) were great, and the service was just right. The menu is a bit more interesting than your average fayre, and all four of us enjoyed what we ordered. As Arnie would say "I'll be back".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Answer this, Bertie Bassett!

Does anybody actually like the brown Liquorice Allsorts? Or the ones with bits all over them? And is it my imagination, or are there more of those kind than of all the others together? I'm sure there's only 3 orange square ones per bag. Anyone want a bag of brown liquorice allsorts?

A round or a row?

We went to see a chorus concert at the local school tonight, Emma was singing. She did really well, seemed to be enjoying herself and knew all the words, and for the most part, I enjoyed the singing. However I have a question. Why is it, in these concerts, they insist on singing at least one, and usually more, songs that are sung as a "round". Wikipedia defines a round as follows: "A round is a musical composition in which two or more voices sing exactly the same melody (and may continue repeating it indefinitely), but with each voice beginning at different times so that different parts of the melody coincide in the different voices, but nevertheless fit harmoniously together". Not sure I got the "harmoniously together" bit tonight. The round I heard was (as us British would say) a bloody racket.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oi! Mr Considerate! Consider this!

I was behind one of those "considerate" drivers today. You know the kind. They stop suddenly in the middle of the main road to let someone out from a side road, and I end up having to slam on my brakes to stop myself from running into the back of them. Give me a road hog any day - at least they are predictable.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Mam/Mom!

Happy Birthday to my mother! Hope you have a great holiday in Barcelona!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Neil...take a back seat!

A couple of weeks ago when we were in San Antonio, we spent a day at Seaworld. I was really pleased to see that the free/included concert in the evening was Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Pat's husband, songwriter and lead guitar player over her 25+ year career). I have seen them in concert twice before and, although I could never claim to have been a fan of hers in her heyday in the eighties, I really enjoyed the concerts and some of her songs got added to my list of all-time favorites, songs such as "Invincible" and "We live for love". However I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with this concert. The sound was all wrong for a start, they started out with "All fired up", but the microphone focused on Giraldo's electric guitar was so high that it very nearly drowned out Pat. And every song had the same pattern; Pat sings a couple of verses, then we break to a drawn-out guitar solo from Neil, then back to Pat to finish up. Now I know he is a good guitar player but, quite frankly, I don't believe that people go to Pat Benatar concerts to listen to Giraldo play guitar. Sure, once or maybe even twice, allow him some time to play a solo and show how good a player he is, but not for every song. We left before the end and quite frankly, I was glad to leave. Shame really.

Here's a video clip where he is playing an acoustic guitar. Much better in my opinion.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Move over Picasso !

My son has quite a talent for art, and his watercolor was selected to be displayed in the school's art show last month. His artwork is the one at the bottom showing somewhat unique houses! Nice one Rob - very Picasso!

Its like the dark ages

Does the UK still counts electoral votes by hand? I saw people gathering together and sorting through thousands of pieces of paper. Haven't they invented a machine to do this yet? Hard to believe...

Too much technology

At a conference last week I won an iPod nano - orange with a build in videocamera. Its pretty nice but I found it difficult to get too excited about it. The problem is that in my household, electronic gadgets are everywhere. We have 4 desktop computers (3 windows, one iMac), 3 laptops (2 Dells, 1 macbook), 1 iPad, at least 7 iPods of varying generations, a couple of iPod Shuffles. That's what comes of being married to a techie I suppose. The thing that amazes me though, is with all the printers we have (and there are many, everything we buy has a free printer thrown in), not one of them ever has any ink! Whats up with that?

9/80 Friday

Today it is what's known as my "9/80 Friday off". I work a system called 9/80, which basically means instead of working a standard 40hr week, I would 44hrs on week 1 (Mon-Fri), then 36hrs on week 2 (Mon-Thurs) with the Friday off. It is great having every second Friday off. . Once the kids have gone to school and Tony to work, I have the whole day to myself. What shall I do? The only problem is I sometimes get overwhelmed with the possibilities...I could go for a walk or a bike ride, do some gardening, a little bit of housework, potter round the mall for a couple of hours....or maybe I will just snooze on the sofa in between blogging and browsing on my computer. Sigh....

Hats off to Mr Dimbleby!

I've been following the UK general election coverage on the BBC website. It amazes me that they can broadcast one show for so many hours. Hosted by David Dimbleby, it had been on for many hours when I retired to bed at midnight EST, which would be 5am GMT. And when I woke up this morning at 7am, it was still on! The question in my mind is, did David get any sleep during that time? He looked a bit tired but surely he couldn't have been up all night? He must've sneaked off to catch 40 winks sometime during the night surely???

As you probably know, the result was a hung parliament. I was browsing through some of the Twitter comments. My favorites were "People of Britain! Nobody's in charge! Let's play games until teacher gets back." and "Can't we just cut to the chase and make David Dimbleby prime minister?!" Here! Here!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Emma!

Happy Birthday to my daughter Emma, 10 years old today.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Its not fur!

The weather has been all over the place during April. A couple of weeks ago we had a heatwave, with temperatures in the eighties. My cats were losing their fur faster than Goldman Sachs were losing face. Then we had a really cold spell, and the fire and heating kicked in at night. I bet the cats were wishing they hadn't been so hasty....