Tag Archives: Lists

T13: There’s No Pleasing Everyone


1. Scotland: I miss sausage rolls, cheese & onion pasties and bridies.
America: I’d miss banana cream pies from Marie Callendar’s.
sausage-rolls
2. Scotland: Sometimes, all I want is a decent curry and naan.
America: I’d miss some decent Mexican food.

3.  Scotland: I miss Tesco/Morrison’s, Boots and M&S.
America: I’d miss Target, Pottery Barn and Whole Foods.

4.  Scotland:  I don’t miss the 17.5% VAT (vat=value added tax.  VALUE?!)
America:  I’m tired of paying to see the doctor and pay for prescriptions.

5.  Scotland:  I miss not getting hit by a car because we don’t have right-turn-on-red.
America:  I’d miss being able to get off at an exit (junction) and looping back on, going the opposite way.

6.  Scotland:  I miss referring to paper in A1-A6 sizes.
America:  I like the wider paper here.

7.  Scotland:  I miss reading temps in Celsius.
America:  I’m glad I don’t have to measure in kg and g, since I left right after the conversion from lb/oz.

8.  Scotland:  I miss the salt air, even the rain.
America:  I’d miss the perpetual sunshine.

9.  Scotland:  I miss Tizer, Lilt, strong ginger beer and Red Cola  (it’s red, but not a cola).
America:   I thought I had given up soda?

10.  Scotland:  I’m missing out on DVRs recording onto blank discs.
America:  I’d miss standing on a plug and not breaking my neck or foot.  (That was all I could think of).

11.  Scotland:  I miss perpetual green grass.
America:  I’d miss the variations in typography and environment.

12.  Scotland:  I miss castles, historic sites and buildings over 400 years old.
America:  I don’t have a comeback for that.

13.   Scotland:  I miss public transport.
America:  I wish houses in Scotland/The UK were bigger.

Remember when I wrote the post on creating my own country?  I realised the answer is staring me in the face!  I’m moving to Canada . . . you know, cos the first stint with immigration was so good, I’d like to do it again.

A Thursday Thirteen in My Absence

Today, at precisely 10 o’clock (if no-one in front of me is late, banjaxing the whole thing up), I will be sitting in a waiting room, ready to see an Internal Medicine doctor.

Almost 2 weeks ago, I sat on the phone in my bedroom, staring into a blackened monitor and hoping for a positive answer.

“…I just wanted to check and see if you’ve received my partial medical records from the Utah by fax.”

She told me they had and the doctor was reviewing them, but since it had been a few days since they had received them, she probably needed more information before we can progress and set up an appointment.

I tried to stifle my emotions surging up my throat.  A month of undiagnosis has left me feeling anxious and determined for an outcome — some sort of closure.  Anything to help me move on and finally get better.  I have plans, plans for my future, and I don’t want hair loss and unexplained anxiety to wave their large shadow over them.

“Is it the same for all new patients–?”

That was it, I couldn’t finish my sentence.  Before I had a chance to, she was answering and I got a response to a question I never really meant to ask.  I broke down and cried, and as I tried to regain some sort of composure by slow breathing and concentrating on the remainder of my question, she sat in silence patiently waiting for me.

I really was much more diplomatic, but I wanted to know, did I have to wait till the end of the line, while other “not new” patients got first dibs on scheduling?

She apologised and empathised with me, and told me honestly that the schedule was jam-packed and there was absolutely no wiggle room at all.  In the end, she knew I wanted immediate help and recommended a very good doctor for me, told me to let them worry about “that stuff, and let us deal with the endocrinology.”  So that is where I am with my list of symptoms and wrought memorisation of different aspects of how I am feeling.

For this list, I would like to thank ExpatMum and JoBeaufoix.  A lot of my complaints are the same as JoBeaufoix’s.  To show to myself that I have nothing else to hide, here is my list:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Fuzzy head feeling
  • Hair loss
  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insatiable appetite
  • Late menstrual cycles (D34-46, instead of D29)
  • Loss of libido
  • Hyperventilation
  • Mood swings
  • Unexplained anxiety
  • Surges of anger
  • Broken sleep patterns
  • Crying easily
  • Tension
  • Irritability

When I sit and think about it, I am grateful for this cluster of the Blogosphere that I have grown to love, and who so obviously loves me back for who I am.  I really couldn’t thank you all enough.  These past few weeks have been hard for me.  I feel like I have been absent from every aspect of my life.  I do what I can to get through the day and leave the rest till tomorrow.  I hope by taking steps forward, that I can get back to doing what I love best: Enjoying life.  Thank you all for being patient with me, I haven’t written or read much, and I really miss all of you.

So without further ado, here is my Thursday Thirteen:

Forget hate, envy, deceitfulness and jealousy, here are Thirteen of the Worst Feelings in the World:

1.  Chopping jalapenos wearing latex gloves and later, removing contacts only to find you nicked the gloves with your knife
2.  Discovering there’s no TP when it’s too late
3.  Breaking out some sweet dance moves on a newly-buffered stage in front of a large-ish crowd, slipping and landing on your behind, and listening to them all laugh
4.  Having your slip fall down during a wedding reception
5.  Slamming the car door shut just as you realise your keys are inside
6.  Making a sounds-like self-depreciating joke with your boss’s boss in the room, and realising his son has the condition you just mentioned and inadvertently made fun of
7.  Watching your spouse cry over hurt someone else caused him
8.  Writing out a long, well-thought-out, heartfelt, nay — INSPIRED comment only to have it not publish and you’re left having to paraphrase mangled and spewed out random words in a small attempt to salvage anything you once wrote.  You now feel Server malice and resentment that technology has left you feeling stolen of your epiphany.
9.  Waking up an hour earlier than your alarm, looking at it thinking you’re late for high school, rush getting dressed and out the door and down to the bus stop.  Wondering where all the buses are.  Getting on the not-crowed-bus for 15 minutes and walking to school the further 15 minutes and only realising you’re (still, at this point) AN HOUR EARLY for school when an old dear at the corner shop across the street asks you why you’re there “at this time of the morning”.  Then, she takes you to her place in a high flat right across from the school gates, and you sit at the window holding a biscuit and a book of the Queen she randomly handed you, and you don’t have the guts to tell her you’re not really Protestant.  And then you watch all your school mates filter up the stairs outside the gates and you feel guilty for leaving her cos all she wanted was a bit of company
10.  Making a passing comment about how funny the granny on the dance floor wearing all white and dancing emblazoned by the black light is to the yummy boy whose lap you’re sitting on who’s sitting the self-determined requisite arm’s length away, only to have him tell you that’s HIS granny
11.  Running after a bus in the pouring rain at full speed with an art portfolio under your arm and having the bus driver shrug his shoulders at you when you KNOW he could easily stop and the rest of the bus is staring at you
12.  Straddling the bathtub and the toilet seat at age 9 about to step in, when your BROTHER’S 16-year-old FRIEND opens the bathroom door and stops and stares and you stand there in all your glory feeling helpless and stuck in an unforgiving time warp
13.  Having a friend’s sister’s friend ask her who that “boy she’s with is” and it’s you, and you’re fifteen

T13: Scottish Jokes

Telling jokes is a daily pass time in Scotland.  The following are jokes only properly understood in Scotland…

Relax your brain with these and think like a Scot!
1.  A teenage girl phones her dad at midnight and says,  “Can you come and get me? I’ve missed the last bus and it’s pouring with rain.”  “Okay,” says her dad. “Where are you ringing from?”  And the girl says: “From the top of my head right down to my knickers.”

2.  A Glasgow woman goes to the dentist and settles down in the chair. “Comfy?” asks the dentist.  “Govan,” she replies.

3.  What did the Siamese twins from Glasgow call their autobiography?  Oor Wullie.

4.  Did you hear about the lonely prisoner?  He was in his cell.

5.  A guy walks into an antiques shop and says: “How much for the set of antlers?”   “Two hundred quid,” says the bloke behind the counter.  “That’s affa dear,” says the guy.

6.  Did you hear about the fella who liked eating bricks and cement?  He’s awa’ noo.

7.  After announcing he’s getting married, a boy tells his pal he’ll be wearing the kilt.  “And what’s the tartan?” asks his mate.  “Oh, she’ll be wearing a white dress,” he replies.

8.  Two negatives make a positive but only in Scotland do two positives make a negative – “Aye right.”

9.  Three wee jobbies sitting on the pavement. Which one’s a Musketeer?  The dark tan yin.
How many Spanish guys does it take to change a lightbulb?  Just Juan.
Ten cows in a field. Which one is closest to Iraq?  Coo eight.

10.  A Scotsman in London is having trouble phoning his sister from a telephone box so he calls the operator who asks in a plumy voice: “Is there money in the box?”  “Naw, it’s just me,” he replies.

11.  What do you call a pigeon that goes  to Aviemore for its holidays?   A sgian dhu.

12.  A Glasgow man – steaming and skint – is walking down Argyle Street when he spots a guy tinkering with the engine of his car.  “What’s up, Jimmy?” he asks.  “Piston broke,” he replies.  “Aye, same as masel…”

13.  What’s the difference between The Rolling Stones and an Aberdeen
sheep farmer?  The Rolling Stones say: “Hey you, get off of my cloud.”  And an Aberdeen sheep farmer says:  “Hey McLeod, get off of ma ewe.”

T13: Meriland or Scotica?

I’ve been toying with the idea lately of creating my own country, as you do.  It would solve the many issues and concerns British ex-pats come up against and fill the country purgatory void.  That’s my word, btw, I coined it myself.  You’re neither here nor there, literally.  You live here, mourn there, but you don’t fit in there either — you’re stuck — in country purgatory.

It is essentially and amalgamation of both Britain and the United States.  It would also work for American ex-pats living in Britain.  Everyone’s welcome, even the odd Anglophile or two…

I haven’t decided on a name yet, but here is a list of things that are must-haves:

1.  The public transport will be phenomenal, and all the roads will be wide enough for anything that can tow a large boat.  There will be trains, tubes, buses, taxis, lots of big international airports, ferries, bike routes throughout and the speed limit will be 70 mph.  We’re still ironing out the details on which side of the road everyone should be driving on and which road signs will be the standardisation, but right now, that’s a mere technicality.  Time tables will be written in 24-hour clock.  Every street will have a side walk/pavement.  The roads will be striped in reflective paint and there will be Cat’s Eyes on the motorway/highway.  We’re still in session over the correct term there.  Also expect street lights everywhere, traffic lights at the higher elevation and, of course, roundabouts.  The railway system will rarely ever cross over onto the road, minimising the need for crossing lights and lengthy waits.  The underground tunnel linking Britain and the U.S. will finally be revealed after years of cloak and dagger behaviour, and of course, will be connected to Scotica (or is it Meriland?).  And, everything’s within walking distance.

2.  There will be bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, and fish mongers in every town.  Also expect corner shops, but it’s a toss up who gets there first, Walgreens will have competition.  Perhaps we can arrange a settlement where corner shops get one corner and Walgreens the adjacent?

3.  Petrol and Coke will both be measured and sold in litres and be lower than the average U.S. price, rather than the contrary.

4.  There will be authentic Mexican and Indian restaurants by the dozens.  You will also find Marie Callendar’s, DQ, Chip Shops, Turkish and Greek takeaways and Chinese/Cantonese places that serve all of your favourite dishes.  Also expect Outback Steakhouse, Panda Express and Macaroni Grill.  The bakeries we mentioned above will obviously include Greggs and the occasional Auld’s for those craving Fudge Doughnuts.  In fact, we’re in collaboration with Krispy Kreme’s to have both merge.

5.  Television will be crystal clear using the PAL format which boasts a 625-line, 50 field/25 frames a second, 50HZ system.  There will be no television licensing fee for the BBC.  You will have access to every channel and programme you’ve ever watched and it won’t matter that you don’t live in the right country.  Your DVDs will also play.

6.  You won’t be expected to write /100 on a cheque, and banks won’t take commission if you want to exchange currency.

7.  There will be architecture spanning hundreds of years:  Castles, cathedrals, monuments, statues and railways viaducts, etc.  There will also be breath-taking scenery, and ginormous mountain ranges.

8.  You can spell and pronounce things however you like.

9.  There will be no need for sprinklers, the grass will be green.  You can also control the rain.  Want some?  Press a button.  And — no-one will have allergies.

10.  Houses will be bigger, but not obnoxious.  Gardens will be a minimum of a third of an acre and you will have more than enough room for a whirly-gig or two.  There will be ample square footage in each room per home for more than just a bed, chest of drawers and a dresser.  There will be en suite bathrooms as standard, and every home will have a basement, functional attic and walk-in closets.  The attics are equipped for those of you who are closet model railway enthusiasts.  Electricity will be 220 watts, there’s much less power cuts that way (two per lifetime) — but, be sure to unplug everything at night.  Speaking of plugs, those will be standardised too.

11.  As well as all your favourite American stores, expect some British ones too.  Look out for Tesco (for your tiger bread), Woolworths, WHSmith, HMV, Boots, Marks & Spencer (M&S), French Connection, Superdrug, Primark, Next, Lakeland Catalogue stores and little local music shops that smell like old people and cigars.

12.  Chocolate will be much better.  You will have access to every chocolate, crisps and sweeties you want.  There will be real (Danish) bacon and both American and British sausages for whatever takes your fancy.  Cheese will be pasteurised at the lower, still acceptable European temperature and we will therefore be stocking all of your favourites.  Expect to see Red Leicester, Wensleydale, Cathederal and of course, Dairylea.  And what is cheese without Branston Pickle?  There will also be every Heinz product available, including soups, macaroni cheese, spaghetti and beanz.  You should also expect Irn Bru, Tizer, Lilt, Red Cola, Limeade, Ginger Beer, Ribena and Lucozade.

13.  Money, clothing and shoe sizes will be standardised.  We will move to American dress size numbers as British sizes are bigger numbers for the same size.  No-one wants to feel fat.  And shoes will move to British sizes.

So who’s with me here?

As always the list is constricted to thirteen things, if you’d like to see more additions to this new country, please leave a comment below for the town hall.

I’m All Ears

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about music.  I pored my heart into this post and was exhausted after I’d finished.  It was like trying to complete a 1500-word essay (even though it was barely over 300) for your English teacher — I was glad when it was done, but very proud of what I had written.

I like to think of music as being a warm blanket around your soul. It’s an extremely powerful medium and can evoke many different feelings and emotions. It possesses an inherent ability to both entertain and heal, all with the touch of a button; many times pulling us back to a fond memory – or as the case may be, not so fond and down right unwanted.

It can whisk you back like a time machine to a milestone in your life, bringing with it those thoughts and feelings that made your day so memorable. It can also provoke feelings of contempt or sorrow, rewinding the years to a time where the less time spent meandering down memory lane the better.

Music is also a great tool in teaching, and can oftentimes project a message with more eloquence and vigor than the most gifted of tutors.

I have always had a great love for many different genres of music. Some I have admittedly learned to tolerate, albeit badly.

Some of my favourite pieces of music are found more prevalently during this time of year. More recently, I have grown to have a greater appreciation for all types of Christmas music: the quiet reverence, the wool-blanket-and-cocoa, or the jolly holidays types. Some of my favourites include: “Pie Jesu”, “O Holy Night”, Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy” and intriguingly, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

However, as with everything in life, there are equal and opposite reactions. Here are but a few of the musical epitaphs that typically make me want to rip my ears off so that I’ll have something to pound the life out of my speakers with:

“Hey Santa!” – Carnie and Wendy Wilson
“Feliz Navidad” – José Feliciano
“Christmas Shoes” – New Song

Honourable mentions:

Anything by Karen Carpenter.
The line: ‘Christmas comes this time each year … ‘ (no frickin’ kiddin’ Sherlock) from “Merry Christmas, Baby” by The Beach Boys.

Which holiday songs both delight and disgust you?   I’m interested to know …

Fellow music lover Mike, has compiled a very interesting list of his favourite albums for every year of his life.  I’m actually very intrigued by this list (it is a list after all), and would love to see what albums were around in the UK in the years preceding my own obsession.

When I was really young, around three I believe, I would constantly ask my Mum to play Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCarty & The Wings, and I would long to hear Boney M, Abba and Tchichovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite.  Incidentally, the first ever single I bought when I was nine was “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo.  My second was “Karma Cameleon” by Culture Club.  My Gran bought me my first two albums, the first, not surprisingly was a 12′ vinyl record of Christmas songs all sung by the great Crooners.  The second?  The Fraggle Rock album.  At ten, I was mortified at first, but I grew to love that cassette tape.

I never really had a group I followed religiously like my friends: Arlene loved Wham!, Angela loved Bananarama, Jacqueline was into Duran Duran, my older brother was obsessed with Madness, Dire Straits and U2.  As I moved on into high school (at age eleven), Susan loved Erasure, Margaret was obsessed with A-ha, Lorna was in love with George Michael, Gillian loved Deacon Blue, Scott followed Simple Minds, and Alison loved Simply Red.  (I own all of these albums respectively, for purely nostalgic, self-gratifying purposes!)  I loved all of these, but never really committed to any one specifically.  I remember buying Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey’s duet of Easy Lover in 1984 (I was nine!) and Elton John’s Sad Songs in 1986.  I also remember being obsessed with Peter Gabriel’s Sledge Hammer and the band Curiosity Killed the Cat, Rick Astley (shut your dirty mouth or I’ll Rickroll ya) but all with no comittment.

As I peer through Mike’s list, I’m almost star struck by some of the greats on his list.  Personally speaking, I love:

The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
U2 – The Joshua Tree
Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

I never thought I would readily admit this either, but I think Mike’s love and connection has me beat.  No pun intended.  Or maybe it was.

T13: Because None of These Thoughts are Big Enough for a Real Post

1.  I have an amazing husband.  He misses Scotland as much as I do and kindly overloads me with Scottish things he can find online to centre my gravity again.  I adore this man.

2.  You know, sometimes ads on T.V. creep me out no end.  One in particular is for the WowWee pet toys creepazoids.  They make my skin crawl!  You may have overheard the jingle, “so alive to meeee….”  Yeah, that’s the one.  I’d link to them, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

3.  I was hoping to say, “all three of my laundry hampers are empty for the first time in, well, about two years.  I can’t.  I am, however, a lot further forward and almost at the end.  You will remember I wash things in spurts.  I wash nothing for two weeks because I’m sick of it and then clean everything in sight.  Let’s hope I don’t get sick of it again before I finish these last four loads.

4. I chopped my hair yesterday. Not in a self-mutilating kind of way, but in a I-paid-someone-else-to-do-it fashion. There’s a good 2 inches gone from the length — that’s 6 inches in old money. I really like it, but if I happen to drift past a mirror, I get twinges of scissor remorse.

5. I’ve decided having boys is like owning a dog. They are one in the same. They jump on furniture, steal food, mess up my carpet, shred toilet paper, refuse to nap and bring home random insects. Bugs of choice?  Grasshoppers and Ladybirdsbugs.

6.  Next time I buy a 12 oz bag of M&Ms to make cookies, I should probably make cookies with them.  You should note a single serving bag is a mere 1.69 oz.

7.  What chance do I have when my own children can’t understand me?  We decided a few weeks ago to make Ian a job chart — just small things to ease him into the world of work and manipulation — and when he completes his jobs, he gets tokens.  The other day I said, “Ian, what’s your Tuesday job?”  “But I didn’t choose anything!”  he responded sounding miffed and indignant.  Insert heaving sigh here.

8.  Cameron has always been great at going down for the night.  You utter the immortal words, “it’s time for bed sweetheart”, he rubs his eyes, you place him in bed, he rolls over and goes to sleep.  Four nights ago, he decided to mix it up a little.  Now, he’d already perfected getting out of bed, that’s not new…but, he hadn’t implemented the skill at night.  Three nights ago he got out of bed twenty-one times.  A little specific?  Yes, it was.  I COUNTED.

9.  I’ve been experiencing anxiety lately, and it won’t shift.  I feel on-edge all the time, but not too much that I can’t handle it.  I don’t feel myself though.  Deep sighing does eliminate it, but it comes back.  I have no idea what’s causing it, but it makes me fluctuate between being laid-back and carefree to high stressed and flying off the handle.  I feel like a teenage monster even I don’t recognise.

10.  I would love to add another baby to the family, but I worry about depression and losing more hair.  Depression is a scary thing and I know to expect it now.

11.  Ever since having Cameron, my hair has been perpetually falling out.  I have a receding hairline and it bothers me.  I used to have a thick head of hair and it’s slowly diminishing.  I have started eating more avocados, fish and nuts to strengthen it.  I’m thinking it might be a reaction to #9.

12.  Thanks to binge stress eating (read: #6), and not actively exercising, I need to get back on the treadmill.  Before we left for Scotland, I was only 6 pounds away from my ideal weight, I am now 11 pounds away.  Doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re 5’5″ my caloric intake is enough to maintain the figure I despise.

13.  In addition to climbing out of bed, the next day, Cameron suddenly uttered the words “yes” and “no”.  I’ve noticed “no” is utilised a lot more.  For all that is sweet and holy, he is not two for another 2.5 months.  Save me … or send a packet of M&Ms.

T13: Thirteen Things Every New Mother Needs

You know, there are a plethora of baby novelty-things-you-need-for-your-child manufacturers out there, all trying to sell you the next big thing.  Some you need, some you think you need, and some are only useful for the cardboard box they come in.

Apart from a few basics (like clothes, bedding, feeding stuff, etc.), I think the things a new Mum needs are:

  • The Cot/Crib
  • A Diaper Bag
  • A Baby Swing
  • A Travel System Stroller
  • A Foam Changing Pad you can move around
  • An Infant Bathtub
  • A Nasal Aspirator and Baby Fingernail Clippers (cut them after a feed)
  • Toys

Forget those Exersaucers, all they do is encourage thigh strength and leg development, and before you know it, you’ve got a walker on your hands.  Believe me, it’s only cute the first time.  You don’t need half that paraphernalia they try to sell you.  Everything else is just fluff.  Here’s what you do need:

1.  A Bleach Pen to remove projectile vomit stains from your (white) clothes.  It’ll also whiten up vests/onesies stained with the ever popular blowout sessions.

2.  Magic Eraser.  Get rid of photo frame dark chip marks in your wall with this little beauty.  Also great for removing pen from walls.

3.  Baby Wipes.  If you have a boy, you’ll need these to wipe the directed urine off your face when you’re changing his bum.  These also remove lipstick from your shirt and yogurt from your carpet.  You’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

4.  Resolve Triple Action Carpet Stain Remover Spray.  After removing the excess paint with a credit card, this is the only thing that removes deep violet-coloured acrylic stains from your 6-month old carpet.  Don’t ask.

5.  Which brings me to:  A Steam Vacuum.  Self-explanatory.

6.  Era Active Stain Fighting Formula.  Rub this in pre-wash.  Great at removing foundation, lipstick and grass stains from your shirts.  Again, don’t ask.

7.  Gorilla Glue.  Fixes your expensive Thomasville photo frames filled with your wedding photos right up.

8.  Masking Tape.  You’ll need this 8 days after you move into a brand new home that has no window blinds yet and your 2.5-year-old glides a Matchbox plane into his bedroom window at curveball speed.  This works until you get it repaired in the dead of winter for $107.

9.  Mylicon Gas Drops:  A sweet miracle in a bottle.

10.  A Dry Erase Marker.  Rub this over your new PC monitor screen that’s covered with black Sharpie, it’ll come right off.  Don’t believe me?  Go try it.  Yes, do it!

11.  Child Locks for Doors and Cupboards.  Forget safety, these will save you grief and headaches.  Pay particular attention to bathrooms and the pantry.

12.  Beanbags.  You’ll wonder what you ever did without one and your child will grow to love it like another appendage.

13.  You Tube.  Want to distract a crying baby or toddler and going outside to look at the moon isn’t cutting it?  Then search for ‘In the Night Garden episodes’.  Problem solved.  It may appear as though the producers of this children’s show have questionable extra-curricular activities, but your little one will love it.  And, it’s far less obnoxious than Smellytubbies.  It also has a catchy, adorable theme tune that will get stuck in your head for months.  You can thank me later.

The Moi Moi

I’ve been tagged by someone I just recently started reading:  Mom or Mum Wars.  I get to answer these 7 questions then pass it on to someone else.  I swear I’ve done this before.  Let me go check.  Ah yes, here it is here.  I did this one almost 7 months ago; that’s pretty good odds considering how many Memes there are orbiting cyberspace.

1. Where were you ten years ago?
I was living in my hometown in Scotland.  I got a job at RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland) in their mortgage centre.  It was dull and I realised how I didn’t like working in the mortgage side of finances.  Or any side of finances.  (Sorry Kat!)  Totally not what I went to College for, but it was a job and it was there.  It was a 6-month contract with an opportunity to extend.  My boss, Janice (GrrrrRrrrr) told me, “we’ve decided not to renew your contract…because you think too much.”  Wha??  OK, let’s not overlook that I completed an on-the-job training course that was condensed from a year into 6 months, and I completed it in five.  She was a fool to let me go.   I thought it ironic that my previous boss (from another company) was also named Janice.  She was a beast too.

I dated my ex-boyfriend, again.  Sad mistake.

My wee brother had just started high school (age 11).

My other brother became a father.

2. What’s on your To-Do list today?
Here’s my list from yesterday…
Straighten the house it imploded again within the hour
Phone my hair stylist     I keep saying “I’ll do it after lunch”
Phone a friend 
Phone my mum
Read a book
Wait for Bryan to get off work

3. What if you were a Billionaire?
I really don’t think I’d want to be that rich.  But I’d have a 7-bedroom house furnished with Ethan Allen and I’d buy my Mum a nice little place in the Highlands near my brother.

4. Five places you have lived?
Scotland: Paisley; Greenock  USA: Sacramento, CA; Layton, Utah; State College, PA.

5. Three bad habits?
1.  I’m really bad at remembering to take medication, I have to have it where I’ll see it.  If the kids need amoxicilin, I have to write a note on the fridge.
2.  If I have an appointment somewhere and it takes 15 mins to get there, I’ll leave dead on 15 mins.  Needless to say, we always get stuck behind a dottering granny or a bloody tractor.
3.  Occasionally not talking to people because I don’t want the attention it sometimes draws.  This sometimes causes mild phone phobia too.  Ironic cos I used to work in a call centre.

6. Snacks you like?
Since there’s no limit…those fizzy sour worms – what they called?  Peach rings, Chex Mix (minus the pretzels), swedish fish, junior mints, natural white cheddar cheetos.  UK: maltesers.

7. Who will you tag?
Anyone.  Do it because you want to, not because you have to.

T13: My Thoughts From This Week

1. I can’t believe it’s September already, where did the time go?
2. I had no idea dogs/puppies could belch. Fart, yes. Belch? No clue.
3. I thought I would have been happier that Ian started Pre-school again this year, but I found myself moping around on Wednesday while he was gone. He goes Mon, Wed, Fri for 2½ hours – just enough time to get absolutely nothing accomplished.
4. I finally have a pair of contacts in that my eyes like. They’re called aspheric lenses and are great for people (like me) with slight astigmatisms. My eye doc wants $32 a box, so I phoned Costco; they’re a much more pleasant $13.99 a box. Guess where I’ll be going?
5. I’m itching to go back to Scotland. It’s been 5 months since I last saw my family. Let’s not forget it was 5 years previous to that that I was last there, but these few months suddenly feel like a lifetime.
6. I am loving having a 4-year-old but could do without the whining.
7. Why does WordPress remove my two-spaces-after-a-sentence and replace it with one?
8. I’m working towards building my ex-pat empire on bloglines. I love finding new ones, so if you know any out there that you love, send them to me (because you love me).
9. Cameron is getting quite verbose. Listen.
10. I am SO excited BBC America is showing a top prog from Britain – Gavin & Stacey. We saw a few episodes when we were there in March/April and totally loved it. I resigned myself to the fact that I may only get to see it on youtube, but then saw an clip for the first episode a few weeks ago, and scrambled to DVR all episodes before I forgot about it altogether. My little brother said, “it’s everyone’s favourite new show here, just like Father Ted and The Office used to be.” Excellent. I’m already loving it myself, even just after two episodes. It has been nominated for nine awards and won five. It’s on every Tuesday, check it out.
11. There’s nothing quite as cool than to hear the new Pre-school teacher say to you, “I LOVE your son! He’s my favourite [grin], he is so well behaved.” There’s 10 kids in the class and two teachers.
12. The morning frost needs to GO AWAY.
13. Toby (the dog) and I are becoming good friends. He’s totally crate trained, sits when he feels like it, will drop contraband if I approach him. And since today, also obeys the Come! command. Woohoo!

T13: Happiness is…

Okay, so it’s late; but I’ve been gone all day.

1. Finding $10 in your winter coat you forgot you had.

2. Colouring with crayons. Alone.

3. Realising the full potential of a set of headphones and the volume control.

4. A box of Krusteaz Lemon Bars…oh sweet heaven, I love these things. They need to start selling them in Scotland! If you don’t like lemon bars, you don’t love the baby Jesus!

5. Discovering your laundry hamper does have a bottom to it. The others probably do too…

6. Buying super-sweet toys.

7. Walking into an optometrist’s office with +7.5 and +6.5 lenses and walking out with +4.5 and +5.0. It’s a medical miracle ladies and gentlemen! There’s no reason for it, and the only thing I can think of is having Cameron may have caused it. At this rate, if I have two more, I could be 20/20 in say, 6 years. Bonza!

8. Watching a beatbox championship on youtube.

9. Listening to a child’s hearty laugh.

10. Finishing a bloody list.

11. Getting a package in the mail.

12. Saving money because people like your accent. The most I’ve ever saved? Over $300. Don’t hate.

13. Me time. Any kind of me time.