Tag: Holiday

Friday Links (Expats and Independence Day, Edition)

“I want to grill something!”
– Jeff

Happy Independence Day for Yank minions. I’m currently celebrating our freedom from Britain by eating the most British thing possible for summer, strawberries and cream, and admiring my view of the London skyline while I work. Hashtag traitor, or something.

In any event, it’s a gorgeous Friday with blue skies and bright sun. We’re hoping it stays fine since Jeff’s brother and sister-in-law are coming into town and we have great hopes of showing off our tiny flat and the big city. In the meantime, I’ve got about 10,000 projects to try and bang out before they get here. My freelance team has taken on new clients so we’re all terribly busy and important. Enjoy your links, add anything worth reading in the comments and let me know how you are spending the weekend. Stateside kittens eat barbeque for me, please.

But please, in your celebrations, remember dignity.
But please, in your celebrations, remember dignity.

These would not typically be my art style at all, but I’m finding these pieces summery. I’m also wishing it were physically possible to hang paintings and photos in our concrete walls.

Also crushing on the gallery wall from this apartment tour. We’re acquiring a staggering collection of prints and papery goodness living in London that are going to need to be prominently displayed someday.

I’ve had marriage on the brain this week, so I really enjoyed this unexpected piece on an arranged one.

In the list of attributes I thought I would never really admire in a wedding getup, shorts rank pretty high. Olivia Palermo shatters my preconceived notions.

everyone has a skill

Holy cow, this should stock my links list for at least the rest of the summer!

Sherlock returns! …in 2016. I swear, that show feels more like the Olympics than anything else.

In other public broadcasting news, This American Life is taking a couple of gambles on their production. Their first one is the biggest, but I’m also excited about their show Serial. I’m a huge fan of the radio show, let’s bring it back!

This photographer is just 15. And what have you done with your life, lately?

Disney will be thrilled, children who actually read the original tales will be traumatazied. 500 new German fairy tales have been discovered!

Tomato Nation is doing the work of the righteous and ranking Wimbledon players by hotness on your behalf. You are welcome.

Lastly, some pretty for your weekend: films inspired by art.

2013 In Review

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

The lesson of this year has been: just go for it. You’ll be amazed at what happens. (via)

I’ve been taking the holidays off of writing and even some time off work, but I’m looking forward to diving straight back into work next year – AKA tomorrow. I’ve got some great adventure tales coming your way! In the meantime I’m goofing off with Jeff during his vacation days, reveling in the unseasonably bright and clear weather, and eating the massive amounts of leftovers from our Christmas cooking.

2013 was a big year. First and foremost, we made it to London after years of work and planning finally paid off, Jeff started his job in the City, and I’m working for myself as a writer – the dream literally since I was a child. Frankly I have no idea what 2014 will hold, I’m not sure how the past couple of years can possibly be topped…but if I know the sneaky universe, they will. In spectacular style. So, here’s 2013 in review.

Early this year, we were thrown a massive wrench when we were told Jeff’s start date was not going to be in April…but in September. We rallied, but it did shake up the first quarter!

Even though I was really looking forward to moving onto the next thing, the last few months of my unintentional first career in law enforcement support afforded me a few opportunities to speak bluntly about some issues that need better and less sensationalized coverage than they often get.

Our annual Oscar Gown Review brought out the usual minion debate – which I adore! Not sure how it’s going to work this year, but it’s going to happen.

I got a chance to participate in a storytelling event!

I dove into freelancing, and got a chance to look back as I looked forward.

We packed up and moved out of the flat we lived in since we got married on the first leg of our long awaited move to London.

I went to Virginia to mind the house while my mother did a course in ancient Greek, and spent summer with my family in the East Coast Countryside. I got to introduce the minions to my clan a bit more, and did we frolic!

I contributed to a story for the New York Times, and got my first major byline in the Grey Lady herself!

Finally – FINALLY – we moved to London. After a year of waiting and so many hiccups, we were finally here. We wasted no time in enjoying the city together before Jeff started his job.

We celebrated our 4th anniversary.

We kept exploring the city and I loved introducing some of the best finds to you guys.

And finally, settled down a bit, both working and finally in London, we enjoyed our first proper holiday season on our own.

It’s been a whirlwind, crazy up and down, roller coaster of a year. Thanks, kittens, for sticking around through it. 2014 beckons, tell me what you’ve accomplished this past year, and what 2014 will hold for you!

Luck ‘o the [Insert Nationality]

“The list of Irish saints is past counting; but in it all no other figure is so human, friendly, and loveable than St. Patrick – who was an Irishman only by adoption.”
– Stephen Gwynn

This might be the only holiday where people have to actually genetically alter themselves to feel like they qualify for the desired binge.

For some reason, come St. Patrick’s Day every single person in the US seems to acquire Irish geneology, even where previously there was none before.  And everyone gets wildly protective of their geneology and suspicious of others.  I overheard a loud girl on her cell phone while walking from car to office today, “Yeah, I don’t know where she gets off saying she’s Irish!  She just dyes her hair red.  I mean, my family, we’re Irish…”  

This is particularly funny to me these days because the state I live in is notoriously English and Scandinavian in terms of population.  Blonde hair and blues eyes abound and names ending -son/sen are very much the majority.  (Note: mobile phone girl was a Viking’s daughter if ever I saw one!) 

Now, we do know we have some Irish ancestry because we have family records detailing which of them got gruesomely killed in the battle of Boyne, but I digress.  The point is that my father is…wait for it…half Slovak.  So my Dad has darker skin and tans wonderfully, as do all my siblings, and don’t get me started on my fantastically beautiful black-haired, blue-eyed, dark-skinned cousins! 

And me?  I’m short, brunette, green-eyed, incredibly pale (un-tan-able) and bad-tempered.  That’s right: a leprechaun.

Young. Love.

“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day.  When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”
– Unknown

We spent St. Valentine’s Day at church, scrubbing meat juices out of the fridge after a pot roast thawed and dripped everywhere, throwing away leftovers from (seemingly) nearly twenty years ago, leaving nothing but milk in fridge, celebrating Sadie’s birthday, eating red velvet cake at my godfamily’s house, playing games, and watching Masterpiece and the NBA all-star game.  I gave J. a gift certificate for a massage, he gave me this pretty thing I’ve been coveting.  Tomorrow we’re going to the Cheesecake Factory for the official wining-and-dining. 

I was never long on this holiday, nothing against it particularly, but thought it wasn’t the big deal some people make it out to be.  I’m coming around.

I think I'll keep him.