Archive for November, 2003

the brown recluse

November 26, 2003

Last night I got home from a very tiring session of Tang Soo Do and was lounged on the sofa idly sewing my new Global Karate patch onto my dobok and watching the local news. They kept advertising for a feature article on the danger of the brown recluse spider and drumming up interest by showing these horrific pictures of the carnage one small spider bite had done to a Georgia man’s back. The bite had poisoned a huge area of his skin around his shoulder blades and it had taken surgeons 4 attempts at surgery to cure the wound and six months in recovery. Pretty horrible. Anyhow, this trailer screamed out words of terror and warning, and seemed to promise a lowdown on how to watch out for and avoid the evil arachnid.

Finally, the actual article hit our screen. I had to laugh.

It started with the reporters all looking awfully concerned and hyping up the wrath of the brown recluse. As winter is drawing in and it’s getting cold these timid creatures are making YOUR house their home and can EAT you!! Da da daaaaaa. EEEEK!!

Cut to another reporter who gives a warning that the rest of the feature contains horrific graphic images which might disturb some people. Yikes?! What could be worse than those shots they showed in the build up to the feature? *gasp* ….Oh nothing at all….the dreadful pictures are the exact same ones they have showed already. Jeez!!

The rest of the article consisted of more general scaremongering and just as it looked like we were about to be given some actual useful factual information, oh nope, it cuts and we’re back to the reporters telling us how scary the spider is again. Good grief! What is up with these journalists? The news here seems to have been written by a self-satisfied clique of drunk teenagers who are simply enamoured to be on TV. I’m surprised they don’t stop and wave to their mums during broadcasts. Gah!

*quakes in boots and scans room for horrid poisonous spiders*

wedding stuff

November 25, 2003

Blimey, so it’s now less than a month to the wedding and just over three weeks until my parents get here and I get to give them a big hug again. Very much looking forward to seeing Nicky and Lynsey too. Been missing contact with them like crazy, especially Nicky who seems to have gone AWOL as far as contact with me is concerned *wail*

Lately I’ve been getting the wibblys in my tummy but Bill says he has too so I don’t feel so bad now. Keep swinging from excited to anxious to stressed…wheeee!

Wedding plans are still a work in progress, but accomodation is now booked for my little English posse and Mary is doing a grand job organising things from her end.

Even at this late stage I still have a couple more invites to dish out, but am somewhat thwarted by a lack of addresses which makes me sad. Also it’s depressing because I know friends won’t be able to come anyway because of the distance, time and expense but I would dearly love to at least invite them. Don’t want folks to think they are forgotten just because we are now on a different continent. Don’t know if Ruairi and Rebecca read these wibblings anymore, but if you do…*waves* send us your addy?!!

Back in the office again today, am looking through the catering menu trying to make some decisions. This is proving tricky as we’ve only had a handful of responses from the invites already out so numbers are sketchy, and everything sounds so darned tasty. A big heap of profiteroles have definitely made it to the *YES* list though.

At lunch today I finally got to meet a friend of Bill’s from out of town who we were supposed to meet up with for pizza on Friday. We had a slight mix up then though because having arranged to meet at Grant Central Pizza we unfortunately ended up waiting for each other in different branches. Ooops! We fared a lot better today though as Bill picked Mark up at his hotel and we were able to converge on the pizza joint together and had a lovely lunch. Mark was very nice, relaxed and interesting to talk to. Hopefully we’ll be able to hook up with him again on Friday as he’ll be down in Milledgeville with his wife for Thanksgiving too. He seemed genuinely happy for Bill and I and it was great to meet him.

Also had a lovely surprise from Mum and Dad on IM today. They are giving us a very generous amount of cash as a wedding present so we’ll be able to buy something really nice with that I hope. That’s very exciting, particularly with the exchange rate to dollars being rather good at the moment. Initial thoughts revolve around a dishwasher or a new oven, a PROPER bathtub would be very appreciated or we were hankering after a swinging seat for the front porch during the summer months. We are both very excited about the possibilities. I think I’d like to get something that will last and we can look back on and know that was a wedding pressie from some special people. Thanks parents!

November 24, 2003

Bill is currently out roaming Atlanta on a mission to get some more bandages and gauze to dress Quince’s bad leg with as we came home from work one night last week and discovered that Quincy had somehow sliced his leg rather badly while we were out. It’s not healing very well and we are blasting through the first aid supplies. Poor dog, trying to look after him.

I had Tang Soo Do again this evening. Had a great time and much kicking was done. There was another instructor helping out tonight as well so we benefited from two sets of eyes and experience. Did lots of work practicing kicking the dummies, that was great, didn’t have those in Manchester. Am really enjoying getting back into martial arts again and this class seems perfect so far, my only quibble is really the lack of sparring we seem to do. I haven’t once seen anyone practice in any other way than on the dummies. I’m really missing that aspect of Tae kwan do. I’m hoping that maybe this will turn out to be something they just haven’t got around to yet, or that they are concentrating on other skills at the moment.

***6 days later***

Ooops, well I was writing that last Tuesday and almost a full week has since passed. Now I’m sat here waiting for a guy who, Bill thinks, is supposed to be coming around this morning to do a job for him. No sign of him as yet though and the morning has passed. I need to jump into the shower but I can’t because I’ve convinced myself that as soon as I get naked and soapy he’ll show up, and we can’t have that.

Yesterday marked the “one month til the wedding” point and we spent Saturday afternoon in Atlanta finding Bill a suit to wear. Or rather, he went on the hunt for attire while I skulked about the shop in the upstairs ladies department because he wouldn’t let me see what he was buying. Said it was only fair as I won’t show him my dress. Bah humbug.

Despite the winter drawing in and it getting chilly Bill and I decided to go to the Drive-In on Friday night. We saw Kill Bill (wonderful, and over all too soon) and Gothika (pile of poo with some interesting less stinky bits) snuggled up in the truck. That was cool. Giggled lots at the four girls in the car next to us who were obviously having a great night and didn’t even care that they didn’t have a corkscrew, had managed to cork their wine and struggled happily to get at the liquid through most of Gothika.

Oh and before any of this, last week, a week ago Thursday to be precise, it was Paul’s birthday and a surprise trip to the bowling alley was arranged for him by his partner. I don’t think Bill would normally go bowling but seeing as it was his friend’s birthday he went along and even played some games. I think I’ve only been once before, many years ago with Mum and Dad and I certainly didn’t really know what I was doing and felt very silly next to everyone else, however was much more bouncy when I got a little chain of spares going and then finally a couple of strikes. Whoo hoo!! We had real problems with our lane though and kept having to reset it maually throughout the games, and then at the end the computer kicked us off before we’d all finished our bowls. I’d just got my strike and was clawing my way back too, dammit. I changed back into my trainers and was ready to go when the alley realised the mistake and set us back up again. I switched back into the luscious green sparkly bowling shoes that made my feet feel like they belonged to a clown and bowled my final balls. Now, if I’d done this properly I could have had a chance to catch up and accumulate mondo points after my strike, but oh no, I’m British and my ball turned into a lame duck. How very Tim Henman. Bill won, double dammit.

What else have I been up to? Hmmm, well we’ve been busy working on the house and fixing up a few things. I now also have a chest of drawers to put my clothes in thanks to hours of hard labour scrubbing, sanding and waxing a manky looking item of discarded furniture back to (almost) beauty and full health again. Hoorah!

Am now really missing giant bars of Dairy Milk chocolate that you can really sink your teeth into, Bountys, Boosts and basically every proper chocolate I can eat that can only be found back in Blighty. I’d also consider killing for a decent curry, a Fallowfield Chicken Kebab (preferably Saajan, or I’d certainly consider a trip around the corner to Withington for a La Zeeza) or a round of Chinese takeaway with Nicky. I also have mad cravings for that delicious Sainsburys’ Morrocan Fajita kit I used to buy in Didsbury and the scarily red and very staining but absolutely delicious Tandoori Tikka curry sauce mixed with paneer and naan bread. Mmmmm.

Bill made me pancakes last night 😀

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November 18, 2003

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Dog joy

November 13, 2003

And just before I leap into bed…

…here’s Alex, Lucy, Tate and Quince starring in Canine Cousin Mayhem, showing Halloween weekend 2003:

time for bed, but patriotism at 1am

November 13, 2003

Got back home late after seeing Luther Wright and the Wrongs at the StarBar and Bill decides to fix the Union Jack plate that we bought at the Mall today to the truck:

Bill’s a happy boy now, he came home from the gig with a new cd: Luther Wright and the Wrongs – Rebuild the Wall a complete and highly entertaining Blue Grass rendition of the Pink Floyd classic (whatever the hell that means 😉 )

Rule Britannia!

November 12, 2003

I’ve now managed to get to Tang Soo Do twice and thus far it’s great. A little strange and I keep fluffing up but hopefully I should be able to get the hang of it and simply correct the nuances of TKD to the more decisive Tang Soo Do without having to start from the bottom all over again. Last night my instrutor told me that the next grading is in January and he thinks I should be able to grade at whatever the next equivalent colour belt for Tang Soo Do is. Means I really need to pay attention and catch up quickly though. The instructor keeps giving me funny looks when I don’t understand the Korean terms he uses, as if he’s wondering what sort of a TKD class I used to go to where they don’t use Korean. The truth of course is that he might well be using the same words, but without that Mancunian accent he might as well be speaking Greek at the moment. 😀

Monday night Bill and I were to be found down the StarBar again. Was a great night, karoake is the best, and we stayed out far later than we probably should have. Nattered with Jim at the bar and heard all about the endangered mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida.

On the wedding front we now have a great guy to act as officiator and Bill has asked his friend Sonny to come along and provide musical accompaniment on his guitar. Things are coming together. Mum pointed out that it’s now only 5 weeks until they arrive, along with Nicky and Lynsey! Wow!

Back in the office with Bill today. Hoorah!

Home DIB (Do It Bill)

November 10, 2003

The rest of the weekend was spent in home improvement land. Bill was on a mission.

Earlier in the week the toilet had broken so that had to be dealt with, but also there was a whole heap of other things that needed seeing to around the house. For example, the extractor fan (fart fan as Bill likes to call it) which has been residing in a bucket in the kitchen for months on end was crying out for Bill to get around to installing the damn thing. The ugly gold chandelier in the dining area simply had to go and be replaced by a funky light fitting incorporating chilli pepper and pumpkin fairy lights. Also, the disgusting gold and tacky electrical cover plates needed replacing with fresh white ones that don’t make us want to hurl.

So Bill was a very busy bunny indeed, made lots of holes in walls, swore and shouted, lost his tools on numerous occasions, but got the jobs done. Very manly. Phwoar!

For my part I managed to buy some dog food. This is actually a lot trickier than it sounds as it involved me going out alone in the truck for the first time.

Bill also started to clear off the front porch and got around to getting rid of the little dressing table that had been stowed out there gathering spiders. He somehow managed to arrange a swap with his sister for a large chest of drawers (also stowed away, equally insect infested and splattered in primer) that is a much more useful size and in which hopefully I’ll be able to stow my stuff once we have it cleaned up and painted. Hoorah?

So that involved a quick trip to Alpharetta to do the switch. I drove (the interstate terrifies me!) and Quincy came along too so he got to see his cousins, stick his nose out of a moving truck and catch the wind, and generally be a perky dog for a while.

Hmm, okay, I think that brings me up to date. Now I must go make a frog bounce across a screen.

bit of a wibble

November 10, 2003

So last week was a tad rough. Got rather fed up, upset and frustrated about:

a)Not being able to earn any money and the prospect of not being able to until possibly March
b)Being on my own in the house all day
c)Not really knowing anyone other than Bill
d)Not being able to do anything or go anywhere or make decisions of my own
e)The fact that my brother and his wife aren’t coming to the wedding
f)Not knowing what I want for the wedding, how to organise anything over here and not being able to contribute anything to it anyway so feeling guilty about wanting anything.
g)Blah blah blah.

Went to see one of Bill’s workmates play at The Earl one evening but just felt like I was going to burst into tears the entire time.

Ended up accompanying Bill into his work again and alternately getting in the way and helping him out with some stuff. Had a lunch meeting with a guy who wants GradeACertified to rebuild his site for him.

I signed up for Tang Soo Do at the YMCA and my first class was supposed to be on Monday. I had bought a pair of shoes all ready and everything, turned up in my dobok, all nervous, only to find the class had been cancelled. Dammit. It was rescheduled for Tuesday, but at 5.30pm so as I am reliant on Bill at the moment and he was at work, that didn’t happen. Even more nervous I did make it to the next session on Friday though.

Felt a lot better after Tang Soo Do. There were only a few people there but they were very welcoming and the instructor seemed nice. He was very enthusiastic about his martial art and reminded me of Mr Iqbal, my Mancunian TKD instructor, in that he was very careful to ensure that not only were you doing everything correctly, but that you knew why you were doing it. Immediately trusted him more than the instructor I had in Devon.

While I was there Tang Soo Do felt very alien and different to TKD, however when I got home and my nerves subsided I decided it’s actually very similar indeed. I’ll need to learn different patterns because they aren’t the same but the actual moves which seemed so strange in class are practically the same. I think it’s just that in TKD the transitions were more subtle, while in TSD they are more exaggerated and in some ways more precise. I also wasn’t used to returning to a guard position inbetween techniques, but that makes sense now I’ve mulled things over. Am looking forward to my next class on Tuesday.

After TSD we met up with some of Bill’s work collegues at Virginia’s and had a few beverages:

Was much more cheerful and had a really good night.

Hilarious and queer TV

November 10, 2003

While we had the luxury of satellite TV we got sucked into the most entertaining makeover lifestyle show yet. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy followed the metamorphosis of a straight, oiled and rippled, Greek (God) gym instructor with an unfortunate desire to be the image of 80’s Jon Bon Jovi and whose home decor was non existant, or stolen from his devoted mum, into a California surfer styled guy who could actually pull a girl and whose pad wouldn’t make said girl run screaming.

And the geniuses behind this transformation? A bunch of gay, often camp, guys whose mission is to tart up their fellow man and make life peachy.

This episode was just fabulous and had us totally hooked. Must…get…cable!

Actually, while I’m on the topic of being sucked into TV shows…in the land of reality TV there’s a 2 hour episode of Joe Millionaire 2 tonight. Compulsive viewing. Last week Bill and I placed bets on which of the girls Joe would be left after he’s eliminated all others. Bill’s contender looked very strong with Joe lusting after her all programme, and she drooling back in return but, oh!…what a shame… she couldn’t deal with the other girl’s jealousy and bitchiness so requested to leave the show. Poor Joe had to eliminate her from the competition and so my girl lives to woe another day while Bill’s pick goes home all tearful and besotted. Muahahahaha.

And that cursed “British” butler is still a bloody Aussie!