Inside the Actors Studio – I Answer James Lipton

This will be a telling exercise. Raise your hand if you’ve caught an episode of “Inside the Actors Studio” with the irresistible James Lipton. James probes celebrities for their answers to the same 10 questions. Some responses are quite comical while others are quite revealing.

So, Mr Lipton, here are my burning answers to the 10-questions:

1. What is your favorite word?

2. What is your least favorite word?

3. What turns you on?

4. What turns you off?
People that are not genuine. Fakers and liars.

5. What sound do you love?
Sleigh bells.

6. What sound do you hate?
Ticking of a clock.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Television or morning radio talk show host.

9. What profession would you not like to do?
President of the U.S.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
We’ve been waiting, and now I have some people I’d like you to meet.


London: Minding the Gap

I heard once that London is the city that all other cities are based off of. Regardless of the truth in that statement, I genuinely went to London this weekend with no expectations. Andrew lived here for a summer in high school with his dad (bummed I got Michigan…) and I have a dear friend that moved to the city a few years ago. With tour guides in place, I was ready to spend the three-day Bank Holiday weekend doing a bit of everything.

1. London is international. The architecture and the national landmarks like Big Ben remind you of your surroundings, otherwise you may not be aware you are in fact in London. Accents and languages vary by each person you pass.

2. The underground is your bestie. The tube system is brilliant and easy to navigate. No offense New York. London is massive and the tube was the best way to quickly pop across town. I did manage to sneak on my first big red double-decker bus as well.

3. Hang out with the locals. Having friends show you “their neighborhood” is the way to see any city. We spent time in Soho and Regent’s Park, places we may not have initially been drawn to if we were sightseeing on our own.

4. Always bring an umbrella with you. London makes our place in Wales seem downright dry.

5. Of all the beautiful landmarks and historic buildings in London, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge were it for me. This is where I fell in love with the city right on the spot. The financial district is oddly more my speed. The views were epic.

In short, three days in London was not enough time to get a true taste of the city. The holiday and Notting Hill Carnival made it difficult to get close to Parliament or Buckingham Palace, but it was still easy to see why London sets the standard for city living.

It appeared bigger in National Lampoons.

We got our EYE on these kiddies.

Subway makes for a brilliant promo shot.

Hosts with the Most

Duffy ruined the name of this stop...every...time

The rest of this bridge is back in Arizona if you want a glimpse. True story.

Screaming Has No Accent

Music, the international language. I am enjoying the poppy, rappy, indy music we’re discovering in the UK. Back in the states we were all aware of the UK invasion and hearing some of the raw talent that is produced here, it’s easy to see why these musicians are topping the charts.

Big bro sent me some “Good Ol’ American Music,” which actually included a few singers I am loving from the area. Mikey likey!

Now it’s my turns to send y’all some of the BBC Radio A Listers:
Ellie Goulding
Your Song — first time since Elton that I’ve enjoyed a remake, no offense Mr Ewen McGregor. The video was most likely shot right here in my back yard. And Ellie is gorge!

Noah & The Whale
Life is life — pure motivation.

Will Young
Jealousy — think Annie Lennox as a dude, or even more like a dude. PS- video is a creepy version of Fame.

Wretch 32 ft Josh Kumra
Don’t Go — Josh Kumra steals this song, mmmmhmm!

Aloe Blacc
Green Lights — UK’s answer to John Legend.

WARNING if you don’t want to get a catchy tune stuck in your head all day DO NOT click here. In other words you should click and see what I’m talking about. Do it already.

Sheepless in Seattle

Busy week, sorry kids I’m actually escaping/being productive. I could amuse you with pictures of things around town, as I always do.
They may have the Pope mobile in Rome, but here in Wales the jazzy’s are all-weather vehicles.

Oh, in case you were curious. I passed that fine older gentleman while walking the 1/2 mile to the health clinic, with our pee samples. Too much? That’s how they roll in socialized healthcare. I’ll save the healthcare stories for another post. I should have spiked Andrew’s p.p. while I had the chance.

While the U.S. is hit with hurricanes and earthquakes, I would love to share with you what kept us up last night. The sheep were in a mood, a baaad mood. Maybe the sensed the disturbance in the climate. This video doesn’t give the full range of the bah’s these sheep were yelling (yes, yelling) from the hills behind our house. I don’t know what you’re up to sheep, but we’re on to y’all!

*I wouldn’t be surprised if Spielberg himself calls me up after seeing this gem of a directorial debut.

Closeness Has Nothing to Do with Distance

No case of the Mondays here. Another weekend of trails, travels and football. We took it easy this weekend because next Monday is a Bank Holiday, meaning a long weekend in LONDON! Counting down the days this week. And fingers crossed I can finally share the good news on the house hunting front soon.

After walking in a few pubs here, you realize that Cheers does exist.

Yep, we bought our first football last week. I lurve it, but am horrendous.

Three wheels of thunder!

An Open Letter

You kids have seen the beauty and pure awesomeness of our surroundings in the UK. It has truly been a whirlwind and here we are four weeks from the day we arrived. I rarely divulge in anything ultra-personal but it is probably time now to share a bit more of the scoop on what else has really been going on since we arrived.

Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.
– Cesare Pavese

– I miss my stuff. From kitchen cookware, pillows, alarm clocks and shoes, I am coming towards the end of this vacation packing. If we don’t get our belongings soon I will be the only moron around here wearing flip flops in October. *Our container has arrived and it is hanging out in Liverpool (help! I need somebody) and once we have a permanent address our “home” can be delivered.

– Bringing me to my second point, finding a place to live. If you know us, you know Indy Dr Indiana Jones is never far behind. We are counting the days until we can bring him over, but it seems that the UK is not so friendly with pets in apartments/town houses. I now describe Indy as a large house-cat with special needs to prospective letting agents. Hey, desperate times. We have honestly struggled to find an ideal place to live and it has gotten downright intense. There was a place that we thought we had, application and all, but it was yanked out from under us which put us on the hunt again. *I am happy to report that there is a silver lining to the situation but I refuse to count that chicken just yet.

– Phone home. Or I guess phone anyone for that matter. I have only accidentally tried calling my mom once. I was writing an email and it was taking forever so I went to try and call her. Old habits die hard. It’s tough trying to keep tabs on everyone and the time change is making it more difficult than I once thought to talk with friend back home. Sometimes you want to talk to your friends about the good, or the bad, and not having them in shouting distance kind of sucks.

I am fully confident that everything will continue to settle down. What’s life without a few hiccups every now and then? I am also blessed to have the most patient husband. He’s putting up with a lot, including me on top of everything else. Everyone pray for him, bahaha.

If you take away anything from this rant, please know that everything does in fact happen for a reason. We are doing great but I wanted to let everyone in on more than our pretty pictures. OK, back to the sheep.


Gonna Change

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I need to seize more moments and go exploring. Since I can’t drive (on my own) I’m limited to the train. Yesterday I decided to head towards the coast, Aberystwyth; a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within Ceredigion, Wales.

I wanted the beach, ocean air and put my toes in the sand. I was not disappointed. Andrew was so jealous excited about hearing how much I was enjoying my day, he decided to join me in the evening. Spectacular.

Aber’s coastline reminded me of San Francisco. Towards the north part of the promenade sits Constitution Hill, providing breathtaking views of the coast and surrounding mountain peaks. The weather was cool in the morning but with the afternoon sun it was perfect. And yes, people were swimming in the water. Think Chicago’s Lake Michigan, chilly but some people do brave the temp.

We ended the day on the shore at a beautiful hotel bar, watching the sunset.

Time for the picture show!

Oh, guess who drove home! This lady. Andrew had the brass ones to let me drive the hour journey home. Only one curb and a few leans to the left kept the drive home from being perfect. Have to learn sometime.

If you want a soundtrack for the pics, check out one my faves – Noah & The Whale “Life is Life.”


My bad! Oh! Should I Write Them A Note?

Warning! All UK drivers should be advised:

I am now allowed to drive with the radio on AND to our local supermarket. Working my way up to dropping Andrew off at work. I find myself saying “left” in my head all the time. I have missed driving SO much. Thankfully I have a patient driving instructor and a rental to learn on. I have to mind the left side of the car, the roundabouts… and other drivers, mwhahaha.

Proof I was actually in motion.

The Honeywagon.

Beep, beep!

Are You There God? It’s Me, the American.

I made a proper mess of myself this weekend. Friday Mr ADD Andrew wasted no time after work and we zipped straight to the coast. We ended up at an absolutely breathtaking park, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Centre, about 10 minutes from the shore. Tired of me saying how beautiful things are?! I know, but this place took the pageant cake. Andrew borrowed a pals mountain bike and before I could say, “Um, and which way do I run?” he was off on his trail ride. Me? I am not so good with direction [insert any woman-navigation insult here] but I trotted along and did not spot a soul during my 6 mile loop. I take that back; I encountered two sheep that were just afraid of me as I was of them. Much more cute in a pasture behind a fence. I think they filmed one of the scenes from the 4th “Harry Potter” at the park, bahaha. At only one point did I ask myself the question of, “Are there bears in the UK?” In short, we had a glorious time and Andrew came back caked in mud. Nothing a lil’ water bottle rinse couldn’t fix.

OK, guess which pic has been “enhanced”:

it's mud, I assure you.

Saturday came the moment we have all been waiting for: The Shrewsbury Flower Festival Show. We were told by all the locals that you have to go see the show at least once. After scoring a free ticket, sneaking in a few teens for a quid each, we were game. Don’t take this the wrong way, but think Renaissance Festival, with more flowers and old people. There were flowers on display and booths set-up to browse homemade foods and goodies from the local shops. However, we kept hearing about the fireworks. Everyone goes for the fireworks at the end of the night. We escaped from the show midday and headed to a local pub on the river with a pal we met earlier this year (prime location for the fireworks). We ended up meeting a bunch of peeps our age. Friend me. The fireworks were something out of “Lord of the Rings.” (At what point have I become a total nerd…blame Ga Tech.) And the only thing you need to know after that is that we had a nice time with friends.
Norak eye-muffs… We may have ended up staying with friends and waking up in the home of the most quintessential English family. The room where we crashed in had a tea cup on the shelf of Princess Di and Prince Charles from their engagement. I know!

On the seventh day we recovered rested. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there, and if you end up clubbing with a bunch of strangers at least you can properly sing along to “Raspberry Beret.” Prince is ours!

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Have we been in the UK three weeks? Woowhee that flew by. I’ve rambled, ad nauseam to some I’m sure, about the moving perks and pains. Things are going to move quickly in the next few weeks. Again, I’m a nerd about divulging too much before it happens.

But for now, I would like to reflect on a nugget of moving info sent by a dear, young, fabulous pal. Perhaps a touch tardy, but we’ll go with it …
What You Should Know: Setting Up Home in a New Country
Moving so far from home can be thrilling and terrifying. What do we bring? What should we not bring? What if they don’t have our favorite (clothing, medicines, toothpaste, etc)? … Here are some tips and ideas gathered from expat friends as well as personal experience.

Let’s take a look at the list:

Find a friend: Consider this in progress. Andrew and I have met some lovely mates he works with and this weekend we’re heading to Shrewsbury to meet up with another pal, whom we first met while visiting months ago. Shrewsbury should be a prime place to socialize with peeps our age.

Shipping and sending: Ooh glorious movers. Having professionals pack your belongings is critical to maintaining sanity. It was a bummer not being able to take the fun stuff like TVs, but we’ll sort that out later.

Stock up: Um, I should have packed Mac N Cheese along with hair stuff. Yes, I am sure there are substitutes for my favorite things but occasionally there isn’t a fair replacement. Andrew has Tabasco so he’s just fine.

Make connections: We are not the types to join clubs but there are groups for mountain biking and running that we have checked out. Helps give you the scoop about the area from the locals.

Finding furnishings: One word, Ikea.

Electricity: Tell our FlatTVs and KitchenAid Stand Mixer back home that we miss them dearly.

Creature comforts: You mean dog, right? Indiana Jones. I’d give anything to rub that belly and love all over him.

Turns out you can learn a lot in 21 days.