Monthly Archives: September 2008

Getting Invovled. Too Involved.

So, I hear that there’s this really awesome-active and super-involved parents’ group in our area.

I’m on the mailing list.

I have the membership card.

I get the newsletters.

I have yet to attend an event….

The most I HAVE done is trade e-mails and phone calls with one of the organizers, who is just so friendly and nice, by the way.

As soon as she learned that I just moved here (and didn’t know anyone in the neighborhood), she  immediately invited me to coffee.

I was so excited! This could possibly be my first BRITISH friend. Maybe she could explain my oven to me… hmmm.

We met up last week while her daughter was in nursery school. Since I also haven’t bothered to find one for Avery, I had him in tow.

“No worries”, she chirped over e-mail. “I’m looking forward to meeting your son, too.”

I told you. So nice.

We talked for over two hours while Avery amused himself with his cars and trucks–ramming them into his sugary pastry bribe (If you sit still, you can have this ENTIRE massive, gooey, raisin-y sweetness all to yourself)… and occasionally tossing them across the table.

He was mostly well-behaved, except for drinking his milk and spitting it out INTO my coffee…

I know, Eww!

She seemed to take everything in stride. Having a toddler of her own, she was totally cool with it… I think, and we just continued with our conversation.

I learned that her husband also works in the film industry… just like Mike. In fact, he even works in computer graphics… just like Mike.

“Wait, what company did you say he works for… Whoa! No way!”… yep, just like Mike.

As soon as I got home, I called Mike and asked if he knew her husband. He did… Quite well, in fact.


I flipped out. I just had coffee with Mike’s boss’ wife and had no freakin’ clue!

I probably should have pieced it together based to some of the things she’d mentioned, but I wasn’t thinking about that. I was just so eager for her to like me, which I actually couldn’t get a read on.

I’ve since replayed the entire event in my head over and over and over again, each time sinking deeper and deeper into my personal shame cycle.

Avery was licking the cafe window*… in front of Mike’s boss’ wife!

Avery totally had a poopy diaper and I didn’t even notice… but what if Mike’s boss’s wife did?

At one point, I think I may have accidentally spit while I was talking to… Oh my  dear goodness! Mike’s boss’ wife!

What’s worse is I had suggested that me meet for dinner this weekend and I haven’t heard back from her. Now, chances are she’s busy. Understandable. It did take a few weeks for us to find a time to meet for coffee…

Or she could HATE ME.

I have always liked Mike’s co-workers (and their spouses) and I’m very supportive of  Mike’s career. I mean. OBVIOUSLY.  I will move halfway around the globe for him to pursue his passion and work with great people, but I maintain a very strict boundary between Mike’s professional life and me (i.e. his personal life) because…

1) I think it’s important that Mike have a realm unto himself and…

2) to avoid situations like this: “So, I hear that Pokey Von PokeyBee** is a total jerk… Wait, what did you say your name was again? Oh, he must mean the other Pokey Von PokeyBee. he he he.”

I don’t crash their Friday “pub night”, I don’t get into the details of the office politics, and I certainly don’t hang out with “the wives/partners”.

I think possibly spitting on Mike’s boss’ wife, regardless of how unintentional, crosses that line.

*Umm, I have no idea what Avery’s deal is with licking windows… in public, no less. It’s  his new “thing” and it’s GROSS.  I stop him every time, but to no avail. I just hope he gets over it soon.

** Made-up name and there are no jerks at Mike’s current company. I know, it’s amazing. An entire company of non-jerks. No wonder Mike likes working there so much and hopes to CONTINUE working there long after the movie wraps up this winter 😀 (hint, hint)



Filed under Family, Friendships, Misconceptions and Mishaps, Undiplomatic Behavior

A Seurat Comes To Life In London

Saturday afternoon at Greenwich Park, London

As much as I enjoy ranting about our life in London (and you all know that I do…. A LOT), how can I not love it here on a perfect day such as this?

Pick-up cricket matches, children laughing, a book being read on a picnic blanket, and green stretched out for miles… these are just a few of my favorite London sights.


Filed under Daily Life, Parks and Wildlife, Photo Ops, Sightseeing

Who’s Yo Daddy?

Coming home early Saturday evening, the Tube was quite crowded and Mike got separated from Avery and me in the car. Concerned, Avery kept craning his neck to find Mike past all of the other passengers.

When he finally spotted Mike in the distance, he pointed one tiny finger right into a crowd of young (presumably single) hipster dudes and in the loudest toddler shriek imaginable yells,


I cracked up, but the guys were… you know, totally cool with it and whatever…

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Filed under Family, Misconceptions and Mishaps, The Tube

Journey to the Beginning of Time

When people discover  that we moved to London, their first question is usually about the time difference.

In case you were wondering too, we’re 6 hours ahead of Central Standard and that’s more like the second question. The first actually being, “WHAT????

So anyway about the time difference, but where to begin?

(Wha. Wha. Wha…)

Sorry, couldn’t resist. Anyway, where to begin… Why? Where else but Greenwich, London, the home of Greenwich Mean Time!!!


Greenwich Mean (or Meridian) Time? GMT? The starting point in which the world’s time zones are set?


Longitude 0° 0′ 0″, as in the Prime Meridian. Com’on my sister just taught this to her fourth grade class!

(Yeah, BO-RING)

Well, it’s situated in Greenwich, London and we just happened to make a day trip out of seeing it this weekend.

(Geeks! Losers! Witches! Burn them!)

Oh, don’t be like that. We had a  REALLY crummy week (more on that later) and the weather was just so perfect that we so needed to  get out and do something fun.

We started our journey by taking a river boat along the Thames, which is by far the BEST way to see the sights of London…

… especially when you pack sandwiches and have a picnic as you float past stuff like… oh, you know… the Tower of London, the Tate Modern, the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral… and such.

When we arrived in Greenwich, our first stop was to see the Cutty Sark, the world’s last tea clipper. This is what I was expecting to see…

…but this is what I saw instead.

Cheer up, Grace-Grace, pouty face. If you had done your proper research, you would have known that the Cutty Sark is being overhauled and renovated at the moment, but no use beating yourself up about it. There’s so much MORE to see.

While in Greenwich, we stopped at Greenwich Market (fabulous handmade goods and crafts, by the way), the National Maritime Museum, lovely Greenwich Park, and the University of Greenwich….

We even saw the “oldest object that you will ever touch”, which is a 4.5 BILLION year old meteorite, at the Peter Harrison Planetarium

… but, who are we kidding? You all know what the big show was going to be.

Yup, I’ll say it again, it’s the PRIME MERIDIAN!

So here I am, with one foot (the left) firmly planted in the Eastern Hemisphere and  the other in the Western Hemisphere. How cool is that?

I wish I had worn much cuter shoes of the occasion, but if you had to climb the near vertical ascent to the  top of the Royal Observatory (where the Prime Meridian is “housed”) while pushing a stroller with a sleeping toddler, you’d be in comfy shoes too…

See our sleeping toddler and his stroller on the Prime Meridian. So tired of his nerdy parents.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a photo of “awake Avery” at the Prime Meridian.

By the time we made it back to the Royal Observatory, it was already 5:00 pm GMT and like most of the UK, the Prime Meridian was CLOSED for business and gawkers alike.

The guard really didn’t go for my explanation about it still being 11:00 in the morning where I’m from…


Filed under Museumland, Sightseeing

Friday Photo Op: Natural History Museum

Natural Science Museum, London

Central Hall, Natural Science Museum, London

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Filed under Art & Architecture, Museumland, Photo Ops, Sightseeing

Actual Size

I’ve never been great about judging exact weights and measures.

For instance, I couldn’t really tell you if my “glass” wine is the recommended 3.5 oz or more like the whole bottle…

Similarly, if I were to do my weekly grocery hoarding online and purchase something like… say, a 100g bag of tortilla chips, I wouldn’t know how that would translate in terms of guacamole consumption.

However, it stands to reason that if one were to purchase such a bag of tortilla chips, one would expect it to get a normal-size (read: LARGE) bag of chips.

The same goes for… umm, I don’t know… maybe, SOAP.

my iPod Nano, my "Avery-sized" chips, and my "trial size" soap

Au contraire, mon frère! We do not live in the land of plenty any longer.


Filed under Daily Life, Foodie

Talk To Me, Baby

I hate Ikea.

Okay, that’s not true. I actually love Ikea. I just hating going to Ikea.

It’s always crowded and I can never find that one specific item that prompted the whole  trip in the first place. Not that there’s ever anyone to ask…

Even if I do find someone that works there, they either…

a) spend 20 minutes on some roundabout explanation that can basically be summed up in seven words: “I don’t know and I don’t care” or…

b) yelled at me in some angry, incoherent “seems-like-English-but-those-aren’t-real-words” variation of what I assume is a British accent.

At least, this was the case when Avery and I went to there last week…

Just when I was thoroughly hating life (and Ikea), Avery started to lose his patience. (Not that I blame him.)

I promised to let him press the buttons on the lift if he would just bear with me while I looked for just… one… last… thing…

Unconvinced, he headed straight for the doors. (Smart kid)

He reached for the “1” button when I explained to him that the first floor is called the ground floor here and the second floor is actually the first, and blah, blah-blah, blah blah until the doors opened once again.

As we got stepped off the lift, a man riding with us approached me and clumsily asked,“Are you… Um, did I hear… Uh, is that an American accent I detect?

“Yeah, we just moved here from the States,” I replied as a feeble half-apology for talking too much/blocking his way/suggesting that the ground floor could be anything but…

“Oh, thought so,” he replied, “I just love the American accent. It’s so… SEXY” (!!!)

Ummm, I think I like Ikea a little bit more now.

Well, except for those stupid arrows… always telling you where to go, but never taking you where you want to be. Stupid arrows!


Filed under Checky Monkeys, Rantings