29 August 2009

A quiet Saturday night, in which I turn into a prune

I was going to go to a movie tonight, but then I passed HMV and thought, 'Or I could BUY a movie for ten pounds and keep it forever!' So I did. Highlander was of course the obvious choice, given that one, I'd never seen it, two, I'll watch anything with Sean Connery in it, and three, I was once exclaimed at incredulously, 'You haven't seen Highlander?? Aren't you AMERICAN??', which I thought was an interesting thing to say about a movie dealing with a Scottish guy from the Highlands. Also, I've always fancied myself a bit of a undiscovered mystical warrior, just waiting for that moment in life when someone will approach me while I'm hustling at a pool hall in the middle of the Arizona desert and say, 'This is not for you. You are the Chosen One,' and then next thing you know, I'm wearing a tunic and being taught how to Fight With Integrity by a guy with a long ponytail in the heart of a Japenese forest.

Looking at the back of the box, I see that Sean's (yes, we're on a first name basis) character's name is 'Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez.' I mean, I don't want to be too hasty here in assuming that's a Latin name, but...Sean? Really?

Also according to the box, Villa-Lobos Ramirez (okay, for current peace of mind, I'm just going to have to assume that's just an old, lesser-known Scottish clan) is the one who teaches Highlander 'the ways of the sword.' I LOVE the expression 'the ways of.' It just REALLY pleases me for some reason. The ways of the sword. The ways of the sushi. The ways of the pedicure. Everything becomes an art form when you say it like that.

I'm going to watch the movie from a bubble bath, I think. I've long since discovered all movies are better from the perspective of a bathtub. Especially chick flicks (does Highlander count as a chick flick? How hot is this 'Christopher Lambert' guy? Even more notably, how hot was he in 1986 when I was five and this movie came out?). As for how it's possible to watch a movie from the bathtub without a flat screen installed in the opposite wall (complete with waterproof remote control), which I've JUST NOW REALIZED is my life's dream, right behind being discovered as the Chosen One, it's easy--just put your laptop on the toilet lid or the bathroom counter (make sure it's dry!) and watch it from there! Sure, putting expensive electronic equipment in the bathroom is a possible 'hazard', but as long as you aren't, say, dripping bubbles all over the keyboard when you want to turn up the volume, you're FINE. Trust me. I'm very experienced in the ways of the bath.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with Mr. Lambert and SeƱor Connery, who are anxious to get this show on the road...

Saturday, let's do it.

It's getting cooler here, even with the sun out. It feels like fall, though the trees haven't turned yet, and the sun's light is whiter and crisper than it was a shimmery yellow month ago.

I'm off to Angel by way of Camden passage, the best London antiques market ever. I should really photograph it; it's been on my list. I also need to drop some books at the library and run to The Waitrose and The Borders. And I may get my first London pedi EVER at this sweet new place on Cross Street. (Yes, it's taken me a year.) My favorite San Francisco pedi place had me too spoiled, I think, and gave me the ridiculous standard to which I hold all other salons. Then last, but not least, sushi for dinner from that yummy Japanese place on Essex Road whose name I can't remember because I always call it That Yummy Japanese Place on Essex Road. I hope the old man makes my rolls; he's generous with the innards. The girl always does a 3:1 rice:filling ratio, which just chaps my hide. If I WANTED a huge lump of sticky rice wrapped around a piece of fish the size of a pinhead, I'd make it myself. Alas, seeing her behind the bar won't really deter me: when I want unagi, I want unagi.

Time to hit the dusty (cobblestone) trail now...hay mucho para hacer.

28 August 2009

Out with the new, in with the...new

I just heard 'My Sharona' on the radio. Please don't tell me it's experiencing a revival. Apparently there's also a commercial on t.v. that uses it, judging by the number of times I hear 'I heard your song on the t.v. last night! My son/daughter/husband/girlfriend wanted me to call you and tell you, but I thought you'd probably get tired of that!' No way, are you kidding me?

Now there's some manic pop song playing. I've got to turn this off.

That's better. Okay, so where was I? Nowhere? Good. Because I'm about to take you somewhere, and I didn't want to have to worry about proper transitions.

It turns out the student visa won't pan out before the course begins, so I won't be attending University here after all. I KNOW. Brutal. Because I was SO EXCITED about designing lamps and vases and being the next Jasper Morrison or Philip Starck. But now I have to wait an entire TEN MONTHS before I can show the world my genius. Do you what ten months is in my world? A LIFETIME. You can make a BABY in ten months. (Not me. You.)

In the meantime, I will have to return to Los Estados Unidos, mainly because if I don't, I would officially be living here illegally, which would DEFINITELY screw my next visa application. So I'm going to head back, keep my passport clean, and eventually try again in a few months.

On the bright side, the next great adventure is already in the works! More details coming soon...

27 August 2009

i can't write anything today, but i wanted to say hi.


26 August 2009

What is a penguin doing on my lawn?

I just posted, but it was too melancholy and I had to take it down. I'm not a blogger in order to burden you with my woes, I'm a blogger in order to burden you with mindless ramblings and the occasional barrage of photos.

Interesting. That is pretty much my blog in a nutshell. I had no idea.

I'm just wrapping up my sixth cup of coffee (don't worry, I switch to decaf when I start twitching, which was about three mugs ago), and now I'm thinking I should switch to something slightly healthier, like Diet Coke. Which I actually HAVE, randomly enough, because I had a migraine on Sunday and thought it would help. Then I never actually opened it. So now it's sitting there in the fridge mocking me, saying, 'You know you dislike waste even more than you dislike pop, so you may as well just open me up and DO IT. DO IT DO IT! DRINK ME! IT'S DRIVING YOU CRAZY THAT I'M TAKING UP PRECIOUS TINY ENGLISH FRIDGE SPACE AND YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T THROW ME AWAY!' The cacophony this coke makes every time I open the refrigerator door is deafening. I'm thisclose to buckling and downing it all in one burning, fizzy go, before retiring to a dark space to drown in bloated self-loathing. 'Waste not want not' is such a satisfying motto to live by.

But before I go rip open that door to confront this carbonated enemy, let me leave you with this: my new favorite website, where they use poorly chosen real estate photos to make great fun. It's un-buh-LEEVABLE. Please go there. Please. Just for ONE SECOND. You will seriously LOVE it.

25 August 2009

I've got a nest on my hand and I can't stop admiring it.

Okay, I'm currently having weird flashbacks to when I posted a photo of my toes on here. And I'm also thinking that my fingers and toes look a little bit too much alike for comfort. But pushing that alarming idea aside for a moment, I wanted to show you my new ring! The wonderful, fabulous LeaLea got it for me as a belated birthday gift and it came in the mail today! She knew I loved a similar one she has, and asked the ring maker to make one for me! You heard me right: this is a handmade, one-of-a-kind treasure. * you are allowed to envy me here * This is perfect on so many levels, what with having a thing for big rings and a thing for birds. I'm slightly worried that wearing a symbolic egg on my hand might excite the fertility gods, but since I've already told my mother I'm pregnant, I'm not too worried.

Vampires DO exist. And I'm going to need some repellant.

I'm currently determined to do a post a day. Except for Sundays. You know, the Sabbath and all.

I've killed three mosquitos today. I don't get this. I never encountered mosquitos when I was living in San Francisco, and so had reached the conclusion that mosquitos don't live in cities. I also made the assumption that mosquitos don't like cool climates. And yet here I am, in a city not known for its warmth, and here they are. Are they breeding in all of those lush English gardens?

I'm not complaining, though. I am about to head off to Oklahoma soon, to visit the fam and apply for that there student visa, and then I will encounter mosquitos to be reckoned with. In Oklahoma, mosquitos outnumber humans three hundred to one, and come in two different sizes: one is so tiny that it's invisible and you find yourself swatting at your legs and arms in a state of high paranoia while seeing nothing there. The second type of mosquito is as big as your head, and drones like a warplane as it zooms in for the kill. This one, when successfully nailed, will leave its smeared, blood-filled carcass all over your arm, leaving you with both a sense of triumph and nausea. In the brief sprints between house and car and store--the only times you will be outside in the summer heat--you are likely to be bitten at least twenty times. If you dare to sit outside in the warm twilight of a quiet evening, surrounded by citronella candles (an activity you would think would be peaceful and calming), you will be spending the entire time swatting maniacally at the air in a state of increasing anxiety, while the humidity gives you a sticky sheen of sweat to act as mosquito bait. And no matter how wildly you bat your hands, and how many you manage to clap and kill, they WILL break through your defenses and you WILL end up looking like a leper. So today's mosquito situation could--and will--be worse, very, very soon. My three bites will be morphing into three thousand, and I will reek of the greasy repellant I'll be coating myself with eighteen times a day.

Even with the blood I will be losing when I get there, I'm starting to get excited. I can't wait to hit Sonic, Arby's, Braum's, IHOP, and the Cracker Barrel. I can't wait for Gramma's biscuits and gravy, Auntie Sharon's scrambled eggs, and my mom's enchiladas. I'm going to eat Pillsbury cinnamon rolls until I implode. I'm going to drink red kool-aid until the corners of my mouth turn pink, then switch to sweet sun tea. I'm going to get wired up on sugar, then sweat it out, then wonder why the mosquitos are seeking me like missiles. I'm going to get dressed in my Sunday Best for church, and suck in my stomach when I greet people I haven't seen in years, and then head back to Gramma and Grampa's for a giant sunday roast and a doze in front of the t.v., where a Nascar race will be competing with Matlock for my Grampa's attention.

It's going to be GREAT.

24 August 2009


Okay, so before I retire to the couch with my book for the ultimate luxury of a real-life, bon-a-fide, nothing-niggling-in-the-background afternoon off, I want to tell you the good news: I got offered a spot to study furniture and product design at an art school here in London! Hence all that portfolio talk as of late and all the stress and anxiety that's dangled me over the brink of madness so many times recently--but now it's over! I got in!

A bit about my interview this morning: I knew in advance that I was getting interviewed by the Head of the Upholstery department (let's call him 'Pop-Pop'), so right away I wanted to dress in a way that would make him think 'upholstery.' I decided to wear brown corduroy culottes, a navy blue tank top made of recycled vintage prints, and a pair of slightly-heeled walnut-colored sandals. If there was ever a look that said 'really cool chair,' it was this one. So I'm feeling good, I'm feeling upholstered, and I even get there early and find the right building on my first try. I am TOGETHER.

Then the lobby starts filling up with other applicants. We're all crammed onto benches and leaning against walls, secretly checking each other out. After all, we're all applying for any spots that are left open, and I know my program only takes 30 a year. The girls are gorgeous and glammed up, wearing long necklace chains and bright red lipstick and carrying collages, and the guys are spiked high, wielding giant black portfolios and looking smug. And here I am, with a small black binder tucked into a tote bag, looking like a seat cushion.

Then I get called into the interview room, and find myself face-to-face with the interviewers. Pop-Pop was just as I had anticipated. But then there was the second interviewer, the wild card, the one I didn't expect. Unlike Pop-Pop, this tutor did NOT smack of upholstery. He smacked of art and hipness and designer-confidence. In fact, I think I saw him ride into the building on a motorcycle in full leather gear earlier that morning. He appeared to be the polar opposite of the kindly, blue-eyed Pop-Pop, twinkling away at the table next to him. Let's call this other tutor 'Craig.'

Craig opens up by describing the design program. He wants to make sure that what they offer is what I'm looking for: 'If you want to design, say...a watch [here he flicks his glittering Omega], then this is not the course for you. We don't teach mechanics, we don't teach load-bearing. See this chair I'm sitting on? Chairs have to be built to hold 16 stone. If you weigh more than that, then...well, you've got bigger problems. [chuckles to himself] But that's not my point. My point is that you don't get taught that here. There's no engineering, no applied science. You are here to learn DESIGN.' 'So, like, vases?' Pop-Pop looks pleased, hammers the table: 'YES!' 'And lamps?' 'YES! EXACTLY!' Craig looks happy that I have understood the concept so far. He goes on: 'And the study is very self-directed, based on what your personal focus is. Say you decide you want to re-design light switches. We would LOVE that. It's DIFFERENT.' I decide to try a furniture-design joke: 'So I shouldn't say I want to design chairs?' Pop-Pop roars with laughter. He knows full well we are in Chair Central here. Craig requests my portfolio. I explain that I wasn't sure what exactly a furniture design portfolio should look like (Pop-Pop chuckles sympathetically), so I created one that covered a few different disciplines (drawing, building, shooting, and writing). Craig opens it up, expresses approval at the layout. He gets to the sketches first. This was by far the most nerve-wracking section, as I haven't drawn in some time. I'm pretty sure a couple of these sketches even pre-date my period.

But then...three deep, the sketch that solidified my position not only in the furniture design course, but in their hearts forever...Please note that I was very worried about including this picture at all, because one, reproducing a cartoon is no doubt death to a portfolio, two, drawing cartoons is something every teenager on the planet can do and is very much an art phase to be grown out of, and three, come ON, it's a REPRODUCED CARTOON. Not even an ORIGINAL. Alas, I couldn't stop myself, because it's a picture that makes ME happy, and everybody needs a pick-me-up in the middle of an interview, and if this doesn't make you overjoyed, then you have no soul:

Craig stops here: 'Do you like Calvin & Hobbes?'
'Do I like them? I LOVE them!'
'I have the entire box set!'
'Do you?? I want it, but my whole collection is piecemeal!'
'Mine was, too, but I wanted to treat myself! Can you believe how selfish he was to stop drawing after only ten years??'
'I know! And now he's just painting for fun in Arizona or something?? Crazy! He's too brilliant for that!'

Craig looks at me for a moment, and then I know: we have just become bff's. A similar dialogue occurred at the emergence of the Wind-Up Birds in the 'build' section ('Did you name them from Murakami's work?' 'I did! I love Murakami!' 'Me, too!'). This was no longer an interview for an art program--this was a book club between nerdy-comic lovers, a kindred spiritship.

They then dismissed me for a few moments so they could discuss my application, but I hadn't even sat down on the chair in the hall before I was called back in. AND OFFERED A SPOT. I think I may have shrieked like a beauty pageant contestant, but I could be wrong. It got a bit blurry for a moment there.

But lest I get too excited, the next hurdle awaits: will my student visa get approved?? Back to the States in a few short days to find out...and if it doesn't, then we're back to San Francisco and looking for the next best thing!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go curl up with Bill Watterson collection to celebrate...and maybe write him that long overdue love letter...

22 August 2009

my morning at the market

Okay, so before I get down to the business of frying, let me first share with you photos of this morning's trip to Borough Market. Borough Market, despite being south of the Thames, is actually not that far from Islington. It's just a short bus journey, through a relatively scenic part of town. However, Saturdays are Breakfast Burrito Days, which usually means a food coma that pretty much steals my mornings and hands them eagerly over to my book and a lounge chair.

But this morning I made it out! * applause here * I only took a couple of photos, though, for several reasons:

1. I have tried photographing Borough Market before, and the results are always disappointing. I don't know if it's because it's always so crowded that you're guaranteed to get an unattractive person walking in front of your camera, or because I've already covered the Sloane Square Market, and all other market photos will merely look like reproductions, but regardless, I rarely get a satisfactory photo here.

2. My hands were full of mmmmmmmmmm jamon.

3. After eating your weight in breakfast, you just get a bit lazy.

But the aforementioned aside, I did take a couple of photos as a visual aid:

I know you can't tell by this, and now I'm wishing I had taken a close up, but the plates you see on the right all have FISH painted on them. It's absolutely riotous. It's seriously like some bass fisherman from Oklahoma painted a load of trout, made his wife embroider some tea towels, and BAM! Ended up at one of London's biggest markets selling platters, mugs, and chopping blocks. It is bizarre. And wonderful. I want to call it high art, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. And I think ironic fish is that line.

This dog was on his way to a meat stall. Some call him a 'pet.' I call him 'lunch.'

I do. Oh, I do.

Okay, so I will admit that I DO struggle with a certain level of base paranoia, but SERIOUSLY. I think my chorizo sandwich is sticking his tongue out at me. MOCKERY. Mockery by chorizo. A whole new low.

I personally say 'Yes, London Bridge.'

Please take a moment to look at this billboard with me. I see this (for some reason) on a regular basis. And every time, I am startled by it. One, I don't know WHAT it's advertising. And two, are they TRYING to cause an accident?


Frying will occur here today.

Okay, so the other day I woke up with a mad craving for doughnuts. And not, like, Krispy Kreme or Daylight Donuts, but homeMADE doughnuts. So of course I started looking online for recipes and found this great looking Paula Deen recipe for sweet potato doughnuts with maple icing. (Am I alone when I say I LOVE her?) So I checked my cupboard and it's all systems go, except for one minor ingredient: the maple extract. I hoofed it to the shops to find it, and hit a wall at every turn. They've got vanilla, almond, rum, strawberry, rose water, orange blossom, linoleum, cardboard, etc., but NO MAPLE. Of course.

This happens every time I try to use an American recipe: I always come up one ingredient short. The other day I was craving fudge (the way they make it back home, not the toffees they sell here under the name), but you can't get semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dark, milk, and white, sure, but semi-sweet? Uh huh. Barkin' up the wrong crazy tree, lady. So there went that. Then there was the afternoon I was craving panir-stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon. I was willing to substitute cream cheese for panir, no problem. As for the bacon, well...there is no other place that can outdo this country for its bacon selection. But then...no jalapenos. ANYWHERE.* So again I was forced to abandon ship. But this time? This time is different. This need, this command by a higher power, for me to make sweet potato doughnuts will not be so casually tossed aside.

So I'm going to make them anyway! After all, it's only the ICING that will suffer, right? How integral can it be to the entire recipe?** In fact, I think not having any icing will make my doughnuts HEALTHY. Because there's nothing better for you than deep-fried sweet potato.

And if this whole thing doesn't work? I've got a PERFECT backup plan.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got weight to gain.

*I've since found some on the bottom shelf of a dusty Tesco aisle packed three into a bag, right next to the golden syrup. Awkward and suspicious, but I'll TAKE it.
**Famous last words.

21 August 2009

Not that I'm narcissistic, but...I look GOOD.

Okay, so you know how sometimes when you're bored, you start to imagine what life would be like if your face was on, say, a billboard, or in an art gallery, or on the cover of a fashion magazine*? Well, WONDER NO LONGER, because the WORLD'S GREATEST WEBSITE does it for you! All you do is pick a format (out of the KAZILLION irresistible options), upload your photo (or, say, the photo of someone you want to mess with), and VOILA! Within seconds, you get this!

If I were an artist debuting my first show, it would probably look alarmingly like the above.

Let's just say that after our amazing day together, I am NOT surprised Dave did this. I've been telling him that there's just no future for us now that I'm with Richard Curtis, but he refuses to listen.

And so a dream can be laid to rest...

Until tomorrow, when I put myself on a wall mural and a bus stop and the dollar bill and a postage stamp.

*I might be alone here.

Struggling with a portfolio playlist

I'm currently struggling with my biggest hurdle of the day so far: creating an itunes playlist that will get me in the mood to work. This is HUGE.

In college, my roommate Leslie had a playlist for EVERYTHING: a 'brushing our teeth' playlist, a 'cleaning our room' playlist, a 'putting on mascara' playlist. It varied wildly every time, a total grab-bag of soundtracking. There was rarely an event that did NOT involve a musical backdrop, and my day often looked like this:

(Me, making my bed.) Leslie: OOH! WAIT! WE NEED MAKING OUR BED MUSIC! (And yes, she'd make me physically wait while she bounded across the room to pick out an album appropriate to bed-making.)
(Me, standing in front of the closet.) Leslie: OOOH! WAIT! WE NEED GETTING DRESSED MUSIC!
(Me, getting my book.) Leslie: OOOH! WAIT! WE NEED GOING TO THE BATHROOM MUSIC!

It was brilliant.

Without this, my musical tastes would probably not be as varied as they are today, because while Leslie could (and did) enjoy twenty different albums a day, my musical m.o. in those days could best be described as 'single-song-fixation.' I'd have one current favorite, and play that song on repeat, over and over and over again, until the day came that I hated it and never wanted to hear it again. (There's probably a metaphor for my life somewhere in here, if I had the inclination to find it.) This led to another common scene in our room:

(Me, enjoying 'Tainted Love'.)
Leslie: Sharona?
Me: hmmmm?
Leslie: Is this the third time I've heard this song in the past fifteen minutes?
Me: Maybe.
Leslie: Uh huh. That's what I thought. WE NEED SOME GETTING RID OF TAINTED LOVE MUSIC!

And now here I am, about to get started on the day's portfolio'ing, and all I can think is, 'I NEED SOME DOING MY PORTFOLIO MUSIC!' How am I supposed to do ANYTHING without the appropriate soundscape??

So my itunes is up, and now I've got total music-A.D.D. Initially I thought, 'Of COURSE Damian Marley is portfolio music!' But then after I was welcomed to Jamrock, my head started to spin, and my pulse started to race (although that could've been the coffee), and I had to change it. I rapidly flipped over to David Gray. Then I got depressed and didn't want to do anything but take a walk in the rain. Moving on to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, my desire to work on my portfolio changed into the desire to climb into a pickup and hit the road, maybe teach myself the guitar and get a bloodhound.

I think I'll try Jack next (Johnson, not White), and see if that works...although maybe listening to a little 'Steady as she goes' for the next straight hour wouldn't hurt...

20 August 2009

musings and ramblings

I think I'm going through hot flashes. Either that, or I really need to put down this third cup of coffee. Generally speaking, I drink coffee until I get nauseated, then I eat something to build up my stamina, and then I hit it again. I'll show YOU who's boss, little man!

Speaking of, I need to stop going through ex's facebook profiles. Why do I DO that? To my credit, I'm not the one doing the befriending, just the accepting. But STILL...have we REALLY moved on that much?

Today I was looking at art on Etsy (my mom's a killer-awesome painter, so I was thinking she should OBVIOUSLY be selling there), but when you click on the abstract art category, there are over 26,000 pieces. I wish I could put that number in all-caps. TWENTY. SIX. THOUSAND. It's CRAZY. It also explains why I stick with categories like 'vinyl wall art' and 'wooden hedgehogs.'

The clouds have finally rolled in, heavy rains predicted. I'm slightly relieved, because this means it's OKAY to stay in and use the computer all day. When it's sunny (notably in a place rarely sunny), you just feel so GUILTY, so PRESSURED to get out there and enjoy it. But today, as wind buffets the trees, the horizon darkens, and the newly-descaled kettle boils, I get the pleasure of knowing the kitchen table is the best place to be.

Back to work!

19 August 2009

This will be the best three minutes you spend today.

Who's the best cat in the United States? It's you, Champer-Damper! It's you!

I do NOT procrastinate.

So far this morning (it is currently 9:17) I have done the following:

-folded all the laundry that was hanging on drying racks throughout the flat and put it away,
-descaled the kettle (by the way, Oust is a MIRACLE worker!),
-pulled out all the drawers in the refrigerator, emptied them, sprayed them down, wiped them out, and then realized that just wasn't going to be enough, so then banished them to the dishwasher,
-pulled out the racks in the oven, sprayed them, wiped them down, and put them in the dishwasher with the refrigerator drawers just to teach them a lesson,
-ran the dishwasher on its 'mega-nuke' setting (which means the cycle should be done sometime next week, and everything inside should have been burned to a sanitary crisp), and
-made that quiche that I had planned to make last night.

So now I'm sitting down with my second cup of coffee and my book, debating about what I should have for breakfast (part of that quiche? greek yogurt and honey? scrambled eggs and toast? all of the above?), and thinking about sitting out in the early morning sun for a little while. LATER I'll start on my portfolio...

18 August 2009

More photos of the Fringe!

Now that I have blown my entire morning watching Google is My Roommate, videos of my friend's freaking adorable babies, and looking up curried egg salad recipes (I still haven't found one I'm wholly pleased with, so please let me know if you've got a good one!), I figured, 'I should do a blog post!' Because seriously, I can spend my life Meandering About the Information Superhighway and wind up hours later with nothing to show for it but a back-ache and a sense of disorientation.

Tonight I am determined to make a quiche, if for no other reason than the fact that one, I impulse-bought a quiche dish last week and am determined to use it, and two, I have loads of random food bits (one zucchini, a handful of mushrooms, a spare tomato) that need to be eaten, and what better way to do it than a quiche? One could also argue for an Everything Pizza, but since I did that last week...

But before I leave you to start whipping some eggs, I will subject you to more photos of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where I spent the entire time missing my brilliant college roommate Leslie, now a successful stand-up comedienne in New York City, and wishing she were there, even though she's currently busy rocking the New York Fringe.

Wait, wait...Forgive me while I take a minute to upload the photos...I'm going to see if there's a way to upload them through picasaweb versus my desktop picasa, which only lets me do four at a go--infinitely frustrating when you're one, impatient, and two, ready to force forty pictures down a reader's throat.

hmmmm...methinks there is no shortcut. Blast. Here we go, then...slowly but surely! (This reminds me...once, when I was a (too tall for my age) teenager, I poked fun of my mother Shirley's tiny stature but remarking 'Slowly but Shirley!' whenever we walked anywhere. I don't think she appreciated it. I was some pretty funny stuff in those days. I also found great humor in telling her I was pregnant on a regular basis, just to see how she'd respond...which is actually a joke I still enjoy to this day, though she's getting wise to it and no longer takes my complaints of nausea and bloating seriously. Someday, when I AM in my first trimester, she's gonna regret that.)

I digress.

This is a photo I like to call 'Still Life with Fruit.' (The above, not the below.)

The Fringe was full of spontaneous (or perhaps scheduled, I'm pretty ignorant here) street performances. This guy and his brother had a humorous, highly-dramatized circus act going, which drew a large crowd...

I love it that these shops are next door to each other.


Some people took advantage of Edinburgh's influx of people to host mini flea markets...all the pottery you can carry for five pounds! (I'm exaggerating here, otherwise I would've come home with an insane number of ceramic jugs. I can't resist a useless bargain.)

Edinburgh is FULL of these little charming side streets.

One of the comedy venues...

And another one...

There was also the fantabulous Edinburgh International Book Festival going on at Charlotte Square! I know what you're thinking: did my head explode with all of the irresistible choices?? Yes. Yes, it did.

And there were BOOK signings! I don't know who this particular author is, but apparently he appeals to chicks and the occasional gay man (who you can see when you enlarge this photo).

I don't know who this guy is, either, but judging by his look, I would say he's definitely an author of some sort. And since I couldn't find Bill Bryson, he had to do. If you recognize him from any of your book jackets, do let me know so I have a sense of satisfaction having caught him in the wild.

A lovely couple, no doubt on their way to a reading or an art gallery.

And one of the many gorgeous Edinburgh skylines.

And me! Please note my super rad super new silver puffy O'Neill's vest. It IS reversable for a more 'normal' look, though I figured at a comedy festival, that'd be a waste. You will note it bulging open in an attractive fashion. Please tell my mother it's because I am obviously with child.

17 August 2009

Signspotting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Last weekend's trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was AMAZING. For many reasons--there were back-to-back comedy shows, live circus acts on every street corner, a nearby book festival (in which I heard someone SWEAR they saw Bill Bryson, a fact that I could not confirm despite investigating every nook and cranny of Charlotte Square, although I still like to hold on to the belief that I was * thisclose * to tackling him and getting a photo with him and overall making him feel very uncomfortable)..and then there was the fact that I was in Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful places on earth, where pretty much EVERYTHING takes on a magical air.

The below exhibit at the Princes Mall was put on by the Signspotting Project, in which fantastic signs from around the world were displayed here to be enjoyed by all...

The above sign's caption: