Thursday, October 27, 2005

Drunken Birthday post

Happy Birthday Danielle!!!! The 28th of October is my darling Danielle's birthday, and I have had a screwdriver too many in her honor. This is the girl that has gone through hell and back with me. We were randomly put together as college roommates and instantly clicked. Between bouts of Wicca, various therapists, townie republican boyfriends (I can never say sorry enough for draging you through the "relationship that never should have been"), fabulous wine and cheese parties, student films, trips to my family in France, cocktails on top of the Hancock, sucking on pickles, trapping giant rats, and sleepovers overlooking the statue of liberty...Danielle, I celebrate you.

Everyone stop by her blog and give her wet messy bloggy bithyday hugs. Because this chica deserves it. She's not just "cleavage to die for", she is intelligent, beautifull, caring, open, inquisitive, driven, creative, loyal, and above all my friend.

Click here to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to DANIELLE!
Why is it that whenever I reach for the milk in the fridge for my morning cereal I first reach for the chilled bottle of Absolut before realizing my mistake.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I've never felt homesick until now: The Chicago White SOX are in the World Series and I am far away. In a land where not only is Baseball a joke, but the idea of one nation claiming their final matches of their "favorite pastime" as the WORLD series is more than laughable.

True, I am a cubs fan, but I am happy to see any team of Chicago rise to greatness.

All I have here is this

Neon lights on a carnival ride in the East Midlands of England....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How to score brownie points with me

Tell me my unstable nature and firey spirit reminds you of the young deciple Jen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Lone American

On my bus home from work the English were the minority. The small cramped bus filled with different accents and languages. I heard Japanese, Indian, Spanish, an African language, and rising above the din of this multicultural scene were four very loud, very brass American accents.

To paraphrase David Sedaris, an American abroad will find no harsher critic than another American. Oh how true. Now that all the students are back, different languages and accents are heard all over Nottingham, which is great. Except for the Americans. Every time I hear a close cousin to my own voice coming out of some bland blond American mouth I cringe, my stomach turns.

It’s like they embody every ugly stereotype of someone from the U.S. of A. No, not just embody, embrace. It’s almost as if they are over here simply to perpetuate the rest of the worlds view of us as loud mouthed, gun chomping, idiots.

In France I never minded other Americans as much as I do here. In France I got to be superior. The Americans I met were all on vacation or studying abroad, where as I lived in Paris. They could never contain the respect and awe in their eyes when after asking me how long I was staying in Paris for, they heard my response: Indefinitely.

Sometimes the Americans I met could also fill in for a good cultural Americana refuelling. We’d drink screwdrivers together and talk about ALF and The Snorks, 7-11 slurpies and Cheetos. Those were good times. But in England I don’t need cultural refuelling. I have the Friends and Simpsons over here. I can eat Cheetos whenever I want.

But really the reason I recoil as the site and sound of my fellow countrymen is because I want to have a monopoly on the whole “obnoxious American in Nottingham” bit. This town ain’t big enough for the both of us, and the way I see it, I got here first.

It will be my harsh accent they fall in love with, my loud laugh that can be heard above the din of the pub that they will seek out, it will be me and only me they come to to find out what America is really like.

Fellow Americans in Nottingham, you are doing it wrong. There should be charm in your brassiness, there should be wit in your blunt remarks, and there should be endearment to you gullible, honest nature. Step aside and let a professional take over. Because you are SO cramping my style.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You know what sign you don't want to see outside of your home?

Road closed due to Sewar work.

Mmmmm, tasty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

one last photo

There's two more photos that I forgot that are hanging in the gallery of la Lauren.

This photo doesn't do them justice. These photos are taken near Marseille. The lighting there is insanely perfect, like the sun is slowly caressing everything in its view with long languid brush strokes.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

mi casa es su casa

Welcome to my humble home.

Here we have my wardrobe.

The "lounge".

And now my photo gallery - all taken by yours truly.

Here is our cat, Lechat. Who is currently living with the parent's-in-law in the south of France. Sometimes I'm jealous of my cat.

Grapes on a vine in a vineyard in California

My aunt, father and cousin (and aunt again) in France

Lechat again, along with a photo of what I think to be the windows of the Rodin museum in Paris.

Lemon's in my uncle's garden in L.A.

A chess board, moments before battle begins.

If you can't get your photos to an art gallery, bring the art gallery to your photos.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This is what happens when you mix cider and a digital camera

A night out at the pub after a day at the fair (Oh yeah, and there was a football game in there somewhere too...England vs Austria):

Here is Rohan and Stephane wearing Rohan's hat

This is me and the horse I won at Goose fair. I think we eventually settled on Diamond Blue Runner for his name.

Here we have John and Caine

And here is Ed and me.

Nothing terribly interesting, put I promised to post some photos until I found time to write.

Ugly Food

Not every meal that I deem photo worthy and blog mentionable actually ends up on my blog. Unfortunately the tastiness of a meal is not in direct proportion to its photographic qualities. But then I thought, who cares? Just because the food is "ugly" doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a shiny spot on my website. So without further ado, I give you the Ugly Food:

This is by far the best omelette I have ever tasted and I am astounded that it was actually made by yours truly. Simple cheddar and tomatoes. Unfortunately this photo looks more like a lesson in primary colors than a culinary delight.

This dish was inspired by a friend I met in Paris who is now also living in Nottingham. Chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and brie wrapped in bacon. It was delicious, but looks more like something you'd find in the garbage after a human autopsy.

Close your eyes and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bare with me

I've just started a new job, so please bare with me while I find my rhythm with working and blogging.

I am LOVING the ideas for the poem, please continue!!!

I promise to write more soon, but it is late as I have just come back from the pub quiz (which we WON! for only the second time! I'm elated! Is that sad?)

Here is a photo to bide the time:

This is me at the Goose Fair of Nottingham, an over 700 year old fair that I will be writing more about and will be showing many more pictures. I've got a bit of a "fish head" going on there, but it was because Stephane had just called my name, I turned around, and he took the picture. This is my "Yes? You asked for moi?" face.

I'll do my best to post at least a photo a day while I find time to properly write.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

uncompleted poetry

Doing a a little house cleaning, and I have come across various little scraps of paper, often writen on the back of grocery receipts of ideas for stories, poetry, etc. that I've hastily jotted down and then strewn around my cluttered appartment only to be found months later.

Well I came across one that I wrote during a lagging moment at one of my old jobs. Who knows where it was inspired from, but I would love to have you (yes, you dear readers) help me finish it.

I think my idea was to have a poem that had each line starting with a letter of the alphabet (in order) that also used aliteration pertaining to an animal or being of some sort.

I didn't get very far:

Aching angels
Bruised baboons
Cracked coyotes clawing at the moon
Disabled deamons

Hmmm, I don't think it was a very "happy" time at work for me then. But if anyone cares to add on, I quite like the original premise I came up (yes I did just compliment myself - someone has to).

So please, join me in a little weekend creativity. And whoever finds a line for the letter X gets a gold star!

P.S Happy Birthday OT!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Absence makes you miss stuff

I miss Paris, I miss Chicago, I miss Marseille and Vence, I miss my childhood in San Louis Obispo. I miss my loft in the East Village I'll have in 4 years, I miss the house with a pool and my three kids in Montpellier I'll have in 10. I miss my retirement home in Barcelona I'll have in 45 years. I miss my Mom's retirement home in Greece she'll have in 25. I miss my little sister's future mountain side home in Nepal. I miss you.

Inspired by Danielle

Friday, October 07, 2005

French Living

I went to France for two hours last night and didn't even leave Nottingham. We went to dinner with six of our friends to a lovely restaurant called French Living. As soon as we walked down the blue painted metal staircase I was flooded with the smell of France. As Proust can attest, there is nothing like the sense of smell to bring back vivid memories, and for the next two hours of lingering over an honestly prepared three course meal, speaking French with the staff (everyone who works there is French), having a never empty glass of wine, and cheeky conversation with our English friends, I felt like I was back on rue Mouffetard in Paris, having dinner at one of our favorite musty French restaurants that is always filled with more anglophone tourists than real Frogs. I turned to Stephane mid-meal and we both joined in a collective sigh of "ahh, Home".

You can check out the restaurant Here

For those of you interested, I had the Crottin Chaud for a starter (warm goat's cheese salad). The salad was delicious and almost as good as the best Crottin Chaud in the world, but that title is still held by my friend J.C (that's Jean-Claude, not Jesus Christ). My main course was Chevreuil aux Myrtilles (venison with a blueberry sauce). This was accompanied by a gratin dauphinois and some of the best cooked vegetables I have ever tasted. The venison was succulent and perfectly cooked, just the right amount of pink. Small cheese platter and salad along with an espresso finished me off.

I haven't eaten so decadently in a while and I was thankfull for having gone to the gym a few hours before to make room for all that food.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Life of a F-A in the UK proudly presents...

I'd like to give a little shout out to my dear friend Donny B (also known as Don, Donny, Dotti BiTotti and the name my mom uses to order Lou Malnatti's Pizza). I've known Donny since freshman year of highschool and we've remained great friends ever since. He is witty, charming, has an amazingly great sceptical eye for all things pop culture and has now decided to grace us with his literary talents with his new blog, Everything in Moderation, Including Moderation The title alone is fabulous. And I swear I'm not pimping out his blog because he made my life sound eloquently cooler than it really is on his most recent post, i'm pimping out his blog because it is damn fine writing, funny as hell, and I once made out with him in the back of a station wagon right before he had to hold onto my overall straps while I puked out the window going backwards along Lake Michigan. (Sorry Donny - but I couldn't find any embarrassing photos of the two of us, so this anecdote will just have to do).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

You want pepperoni with that doll face?

I took a bunch of photos on my walk yesterday, but they're in black and white, and so will take a week to develop. Plus I need to finish the roll, and I think they'll turn out rather dissapointing since bright fall colors don't go very far in shades of grey.

But I do have more pictures of food! Despite the growth of my waste band I made pizza.

This is a garlic pesto pizza with chicken and vine tomato. I also used the trick I learned working at one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants and glazed the crust with honey to make it crisp. Despite the pizza getting a little burnt, it was delicious.

And for no reason whatsoever, here are two pictures of me.

This is me after my work out.

This is me showing off my cute new hair style.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pride is a double edged sword

You know what I'm proud of? Spending an hour and a half at the gym doing a kick ass workout and then coming home to a healthy snack of crab sticks and low-fat/low-carb mayo dip.

I'm not proud of scarfing down the entire pack of crab sticks like I might not ever get the chance to eat again.