Saturday, April 16, 2011

Life's a jolly holiday with Mary

Have you ever mixed up the date your taxes were due with the date of the Oklahoma City bombing and thought you had until the 19th to get them done? Yeah. Me, neither. Except maybe something similar to that just happened, so I didn't do my taxes last week because I thought I could do them this weekend. And then when I realized what happened, I shot out of bed in a blind panic (realizations like this can only happen at six a.m. on a Saturday), my heart racing, the old familiar self-reprimand of 'Sha-roooooo-NA!' going through my head. But when I went online to see if I could file an extension, I found out that due to some obscure Abe Lincoln holiday in Washington D.C. last Friday, I now have until Monday to turn it all in!! That's right. MONDAY! How lucky am I?? My hide has been saved by emancipation. As usual.

Today I'm going to put a pretty picture in my blog before any other picture because facebook only shows the first picture when my blog is posted, and when that picture is a mangy cat or a really tiny picture of San Francisco, it ends up looking a bit rough. So here's one to make my blog look warm and welcoming:

Doesn't this remind you of Bert's painting in Mary Poppins where they go skipping around on carousel horses? That Bert! These trees are all the rage in Engrand-town in the spring. They make me happy.

This weekend is a manic birthday weekend--but not mine, which is lame. Other people's. There's a birthday party tonight at a place that I keep calling The Golden Egg, but that's not really the name, it's just what I call it because I can't remember the real name. But calling it The Golden Egg makes me crave wontons and there probably won't be wontons there. I should just skip the party and go out for Chinese food. 

And then there's another one tomorrow. Again, not mine, and again, not involving Chinese food. Ridiculous, isn't it? People are so selfish.

But let's bring this back to my birthday, which I think we can all agree is what we really care about. My big 3-0 is coming up in June. D-Day, to be specific. I don't know what I'm going to do for it yet. I thought--five years ago, when I was living in SF--that I'd be doing this huge huge thing and it would be Super Magic Wonderful Good Times but now that I'm here in London, I'm at a bit of a loss. I should make this London thing work for me, and I don't know, maybe check on Wimbledon or horse racing dates or something. Then I can dress up and wear a big hat. That would be wonderful.

On a plus side, my friend Cassandra's 30th is in May and as a joint-celebration, she's flying out here! She'll already be gone by my birthday, but we'll have so many mini parties while she's here I'll have a nice stockpile to draw from.

And today, as a pre-birthday present to myself, I'm going to visit one of my favorite local shops and fondle all the silk flowers. You can never start celebrating too soon.

Big hugs and happy Saturday,

Friday, April 15, 2011

On mice warfare, stopping to smell the roses, and tell me what to do in Paris

"I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value." - Hermann Hesse

The mice are still a problem. No solutions (that I have the stomach for) are working--the mice don't enter the catch-and-release traps and they aren't touching the poison, either, no matter what goodies I mix in with it. And even though I've long since mouse-proofed every item of food in the kitchen (for all intents and purposes, you may imagine it locked into safes suspended from the ceiling), they still insist on holding squeaky family reunions behind the fridge and using the countertops as one long, joyous chamberpot. I don't know why they're still here. I suspect it's just for the pleasure of witnessing my descent into madness at their capable paws. My hands permanently smell of bleach these days, as does every surface I think they may have touched. I wield my cleaning products like heavy artillery and have a box of matches the size of a bread bin that I'm fully prepared to use to set the kitchen on fire. They appear oblivious to the wild glint in my eye, the desperate hoovering, and the frantic disinfecting, as they cavalierly chatter on, throw parties, and wreak general havoc. But I refuse to give in, to give them the satisfaction of pushing me over the edge. I'm now pulling out the big guns in this war: professional pest control, my own personal mercenaries. At the very least, I'd be thrilled if these experts can plug up all the openings that are allowing the mice in, although I do hope they have some success in mouse-extraction, as well.

I hope they come with a terrifying cat.

In other news, last weekend in Pretty Little Seaside Hastings was chock full of one of my favorite things: Old People Looking in Windows.

I love the way they just get right IN there. Like a shop front is actually an exhibit that calls for full attention and study and conversation. (And really, isn't it?) I can't remember the last time I stopped at a window front and had a nice, long perusal of the wares on display. And yet there's an entire generation that goes nose-against-the-glass, examining the contents. I love it.

I actually went into this shop and got a tea plate and a handful of rusty forks, just because I could. All for a pound! Oh, man. It was great.

Okay, so this one wasn't * technically * taken in Hastings last weekend, but I can't resist putting  it up because it totally fits. 

Now back to my spring break research...if you have any tips about what Aya and I should do/see in Paris, Luxembourg, or Brussels, please let me know! We're totally winging it here. And anything awesome you recommend I promise to photo to death and then post on here, giving you all the blame. I mean, thanks.

Big hugs and love,