Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some transatlantic thoughts from Rowan

Thought you might enjoy some last thoughts about the UK. I thought that you might like a chance to to share some of her thoughts. Even though she is Scottishly self-deprecating. She has a much nicer view of Americans than we deserve. However, she has a writer's license to describe the characters as she sees fit. I have some of her pictures (some are really lovely) to put up after this entry. Enjoy!


Rowan writes:

Funny – I have been thinking about the differences between Americans and Brits – the preconceptions built up through bumbling up against arbitrary TV shows and celebrity articles, world events, literature and a few first-hand meetings. I first met American peeps working for the Elderhostel company, when I was making coffee for the retired professionals coming over to Scotland to study a short course in history at the university. I liked them a lot. They were so different from British pensioners, as we call retired people. British professional retired types would not likely acknowledge the waitress – wouldn’t ask her what she was studying, as they would assume that she’d reached her ultimate goal in life. There is nothing wrong with making coffee to earn a living, but the elderly Americans assumed I was studying, using it as a stepping stone to getting somewhere else.

The American peeps were tanned, and launched into the air like redwood saplings – tall rangy old men in sandals – old British guys don’t wear sandals. They wore shorts, the Americans, men and women, wrinkly and proud. They were tanned and healthy and happy in themselves. The old ladies had pompoms sticking out of the backs of their tennis shoes. They wore tennis shoes! Lovely ones I would have coveted myself. I did covet them. British women over a certain age don’t wear tennies, but wear special elderly versions of them which are robbed of the edgy bounce the Converse versions have, and which come in tan and navy wide fitting, designed to go with sleeveless crimplene frocks.

Those old Americans still had zap. They had bounce. Their hair was well-cut, they wore bright lippy, they had pom-pom socks. They wore shorts! They talked loudly of home, over the top of the guide pointing out the lovely scenery as they passed. There were elections at home. They talked, admired, and talked some more, and I learned a lot. I learned about the sun they brought with them in their crinkly smiles; their interest in foreign climes; their lively curiosity about other people – a gentle humorous curiosity which revelled in listening to unusual accents, teasing out differing expectations on life. The interest was touching, because it was based on a premise of kindness, a companionable appreciation of the good in human diversity, but a homely gathering in of like-ness, a sharing of something warm and common and good. They had heart and they had soul, these elderly doctors and lawyers and architects and teachers. They were cool.

The retired peeps – they flew in the face of the trashy tv image of Americans as brash and materialistic. The image of all the women as Krystle Carrington or Alexis Colby – all shoulder pads and lippy and hair stiff with hairspray – image being all. Okay – Krystle had the hair and shoulder-pads, but she was a nice woman. She had worked in a shop before she met Blake Carrington. She knew where it was at. I guess my impressions were sort of overlaid over the years – the Hollywooded image – big jewellery, big hair, big heels. Big demands. Americans are thought here to make big demands, when they are merely being justifiably assertive. Americans are not fobbed off with crap, like we are. We look up meltingly into the eyes of the waiter and tell him that yes, the meal was lovely, when it was inedible. When the lasagne al forno has a frozen core of which the planet Pluto would be proud. There are hairs in the salad and a cigarette butt in the ciabatta; fingernail in the butter and a band-aid in the cream. Yeh, and I’d ordered something totally different, cos I’m a vegetarian but that’s okay. Yes, meat is great, really, and the meal was lovely. Have a £5 tip.

I knew my friend Bob would have no veneer of falseness – she wouldn’t be clicking along in four-inch patent red pumps complaining about the weather. She looked after herself, and took a pride in herself, her clothes, but in the sense of knowing who she was, what she felt comfortable in, what she liked. I knew she was no hairspray slave, cos she said she had wild curly hair; but you know, it is hard to shake off visions sometimes. I knew she was a successful professional in her field. Perhaps she would appear just for the hell of it in a sharp suit, and then I would have to go buy something similar, just to keep up, as I am a mite competitive. Thankfully, she did not!

I learned a lot from Bob. I learned that asking politely gets you want you want, without internal monologues which cause ulcers, and ultimately waste time. Good sightseeing time! Bob was a great time manager. Perhaps that is an American trait. We Brits are the kings and queens of, “where’s the day gone?” We blink in inactivity, thinking our way around how to get things done, how to approach peeps that might be able to help. Americans are more dynamic – energetic, focussed. I would have to say that this is de troowf, based on true empiricist principles and a sample study group of one. Americans talk quickly and get things done quickly and treat their time on this earth with respect. The one I’ve met, anyway – and the retired students in their colourful woollens – men in pink, bigoodness – and cardigans… American men wear cardigans and look good in them. I want pom-pom socks and the nerve to wear shorts when I’m 43, let alone 73, like those dapper and cute old gals. They were fun.

I don’t think Americans second-guess themselves so much. Perhaps the sun warms their backs and shines upon their hearts. Again, I sense it now as a Christian warmth in my buddy, an assuredness in being watched-over. Meeting her has been a blessing. The peace in Bob and the sense of fun and joy in life, was patently visible in her. Bob is smart and funny, and has an amused signature eyebrow-raise which lets you know she’s aware that one is blethering, or in the throes of a characteristic defensive-twitchy British bluster-fest, defending some quirky element of our national psyche. We are quick to take a mild offence about the littlest things, but we don’t parade it. Well, so we are a napkin-needy nation? So be it. (Internal flounce.) However, we are quick to chortle over it, and Bob and I had many good belly-laughs about this aspect of British-ness, and other aspects our national identities. I was struck, on the American website we met on, Graycharles.com, how tolerant of each other’s foibles everyone was; what a happy and diverse vibe that created. Sometimes someone would make a bald statement which would offend the sensibilities of peeps here left right and centre, regarding the music/musician in question, but the other posters would kindly nudge them into a more realistic point of view. Perhaps it is a tolerance born of weight of numbers, perhaps it is more that that. Americans spring and Brits shuffle. Yanks are natty mules and we are slippers. The Big Slipper. I am coming to visit the US, will buy my glorious tennies and help avoid the big slippery slope.

It was innnteresting to read on the Thursday Dundee thread that Brits eat differently. Hadn't realised that! Do Americans turn the fork to the concave side and shovel the food on to it in a more practical and realistic fashion? I have always wondered why forks have to be turned over in the UK so that you have to balance food on the convex side. When we are by ourselves and not in company, I'd bet a multipack of Cadbury's Crunchies (9 bars per pack) that 99% of Brits would use the fork scoopy side up. It is a sort of public etiquette thing, mashing it on to the curved side and sticking it in ones mooth before it all slides off onto one's shirt, or if in a restaurant, the tablecloth. I think polite British fork-culture is responsible for a great many duodenal ulcers - stress related, for the most part. Dropping food is a no no, so it has to be precariously balanced then popped in at the speed of light to avoid droppage and consequent mortification.

Can't decide whether the distance-driving thing makes Americans more patient than us Brits, or more impatient. You want to get somewhere, so you get up and go. But you are prepared for the journey to take half a lifetime. We take a more defeatist outlook from the outset, and try to diminish the appeal of the destination, to avoid making the journey in the first-place, a sort of misplaced anti-travel stoicism. Actually emerging onto a motorway and going on a long journey (long being an issue in itself) is thus viewed by the driver as a small act of heroism. I think we are just a leetle unadventurous, cos when we do actually get up and go, we generally appreciate new horizons and are galvanised with a shot of Transatlantic oomph. However, it has been known to go the other way, with some of our visitors. As Caesar said, reflecting on a visit to Northern Britain, "I came, I struggled up off my behind, I just about saw, but it was raining, so I put off conquering till another day." Actually, we Picts were too skeery for dem Romans. They built walls to keep us from stravaigin aboot England on their braw new Roman roads.

Dynamism, peepel: dynamism. Is it true that there is actually more caffeine in tea? Hae ma doots. We are ploddy, as a nation, but we get there, sort of, and enjoy a good grumble along the way.

As Bob said, it is great to travel with a friend and learn about their world, whilst seeing places and people new to both. I would likely never have seen London had Bob not come to visit – that is a thought that is making me sit up, but it is potentially highly likely. My prejudices about London being full of sleazy gentlemen in Victorian dress leering from carriages after sunset, and thoroughfares and stations full of footpads (love that word) and loud ladies in shabby silk décolleté gowns selling roses, were all quickly shattered. The other prejudices, about sullen hordes of commuters thumping visitors with their briefcases and not apologizing, cos they were stressed out and hadn’t seen a tree for a year, were also quashed. London was bright and busy, but quirky and polite. And, like the little boy in the rhyme, I stood in my shoes and I wondered.

I am looking forward to visiting the US and people-watching. I have a real appreciation of the way the Americans interacted on GC and Monkbot. Perhaps fellow Monkbot and Stravaiger Eire Claire and I could be seen as displaced Americans. J Perhaps our forebears were thrown off the Mayflower at the last minute for being drunk or having too much luggage. Methinks, however, that my Puritan ancestor had bladder issues, and had resisted the onboard porthole porta-potty in favour of nipping ashore to use the harbour restroom. She emerged lighter of ballast just in time to see the ship rounding the headland without her.

So, I have seen the UK capitals from all sorts of angles: under arches in antique bookshops; gazing up at the battlements of the Tower of London; listening to echoing footfalls in amazing museums; travelling on tube trains; exploring old bookshops and tacky souvenir shops; singing along to Mamma Mia at the Prince of Wales Theatre. It was a blast. Edinburgh was a blast, too: hefty fortresses; stunning stained-glass; breathtaking art; fragrant festive markets, outdoor skating and Ferris wheels. It is on my doorstep, this jewel of a city, but there was no fun going back unless, as Bob says, you can go with a friend and see it through their eyes as well as your own, and appreciate it all anew.

132 comments:

leejolem said...

Rowan, you had me rolling on the floor as usual!

The reasons I lerve Rowan:
1."they wore bright lippy"
2."a companionable appreciation of the good in human diversity"
3."based on the empiricist principles and a sample study group of one"
4."I sense it now as a Christian warmth in my buddy, an assuredness in being watched over"
5."Yanks are natty mules and we are slippers"

The quotes above made me laugh, think, tear up, etc... You have such a way with words. Let me add a few observations--I am most def not a natty mule. I wish I were, but I'm more like a comfortable slip-on clog or Skecher tennis shoe. One of the things I do like about my fellow countrymen is there curiosity about other people and their lives. We love to get to know other people. Number 4 touched me the most--I'm totally convinced that God brought me to the monkbot site all those months ago. I remember the 1st post that I mentioned my faith, and it was like everyone came out of the woodwork. I really did feel love and joy from so many of my fellow monkbots, and I think you put it beautifully about dr bob. God must have a sense of humor to use a silly monkey/robot to bring us all together. (not to mention a silver-haired, silver-tongued pot--smoking crooner from Alabama).

rowan said...

Aw thanks, Lee! You're very kind. I agree totally that the Almighty has a great sense of humour. I will never forget that I blogged about Mr Hicks's silver strides, which is funny, but stops me ever getting above myself! It is so unlike me to be anywhere near a fansite. God brought me to GC and Monkbot too. I could just about send an email at that time, and would phone the addressee to see if they had received it! I was most surely led to the site which ultimately led to my world opening up, as time went on, in new insights, friendship, and Faith.

TH was quirky and sparked our curiosity and through him, we were all brought together to share our thoughts, ideas, worries, friendship, and belief. It is very touching: we are all gazillions of miles apart and have different back-stories and challenges in our lives, but we are likeminded in so many ways, and subscribe to the adage that laughter is the best medicine. We all share the same zany quirk-tastic outlook on life.

(raises cyber teacup to toast fellow haverers, before retiring. Good night, y'all!)

Dr Bob - ye snuck that post up, lassie! Hee hee! Was busy waxing lyrical (blethering) on the older thread.:D

Dr. Bob said...

Sleep well, Rowan-across-the-sea ...

Thanks for the tea.

rowan said...

Dr Bob - yer welcome! Teatime coffee on the go at the moment.'Fraid it is instant, tho! Have a lovely restful Sunday, y'all.

leejolem said...

Hope everyone had a great weekend. After work I'm going home and HC4S and I are making glittery posters to hold up at the concert tomorrow night. No gifts for Taylor this time, but we had a flashlight engraved for his buddy Bill who is has to hold the flashlight in the dark whilst th signs autographs. Bill is a sweetheart, and I don't think he gets 1/1000th of the gifts or attention that TH does, so we thought we'd send him some love and appreciation. Hope we get to give it to him. Wish we had the little travelling monkbot to take on the adventure with us. I wonder where he is.....

Love to all, and I'll update you on the concert next week.

rowan said...

Lee - good luck with your sign making! Throw on a few extra sprinkles of glitter just for me. Hope you get the chance to hand over the flashlight. That was a nice thought. (Waves to HC4S. Come by and say hey!)

Speaking of signs, I had a glittery "Scottish Chicks Love Hicks" sign made for me, which featured on an AI Taylor performance pic on GC! Felt very important and happenin. Wish I could link to the pic. The sign was admired and was appropriated for a future AI audience by tptb. Raises Diet Dr Pepper to the intrepid sign-carrying Dr Bob and her sign designing hubby! Akshully. Dr Bob...wasn't that sign waved by a certain cyber celeb?

Gaak...that can of Dr Pepper is the NON DIET variety, and I have downed two! There goes 300 cals. Man, either the cans look way too simlilar, or I need new specs...or even my old specs!

Sign designing vibes to Lee and HC4S. Have great fun!

leejolem said...

I remember the story about the Scottish Chicks poster. I didn't know that dr bob and dh (and possibly gray?) were the ones who held it up. That is so cool! I hope they release AI season 5 on dvd at some point--then you will go down in history. Which show did they go see? I wish I had a Rowan head on a stick to hold up at the show tomorrow night. I don't think MBOS is making an appearance with us. We already got Taylor's autograph on it, and he's kind of a pain to carry around.

Dontcha just hate how many calories regular pop has in it? I'm a diet dr pepper fan all the way.

rowan said...

Lee, yep, think Gray held it up, but will need to clarify with Dr Bob. The sign was kindly created by her hubby, but he didn't go to the performance and wave it. I'm not sure which show it was...will need to check what shirt Taylor had on, and the pic is on the pc upstairs. Dr Bob will know. Rena RF went too. She did the play by play before Shelley. Would like to have gone myself, but the Mole Patrol reports were very evocative of the atmosphere. It all seems a long time ago now, but it was great fun.

I might well go see Taylor if I got the chance, but I am just pleased he brought a bunch of friends together! My head on a stick has retired from public apperances! She waves to y'all.

Anyways...have a good time! I will be around a bit later. Going out for a small person's birthday lunch to the local garden centre today. Am going to have to fulfill a promise and buy her a goldfish...9__9

Sigh...wish I was a driver, like my American fellow haverers. Life would be soooo much easier. I rely on good public transport, but still spend a fortune on taxis. (Grumble over.) I am glad we're getting a lift to the garden centre from my stepdad, as it is a leetle out of town. Wishing y'all a happy Monday. Gotta go.. another Aidan bathroom flood. He is aware I am blogging and distracted!

Dr. Bob said...

Actually the famous picture of Rowan's sign was held by an anonymous audience member. I had gone to a rehearsal and had been instructed to bring a sign -- something I would probably never, ever do, but the organizer had made the request and it seemed only polite to comply. I had my husband make it, because he is good at that sort of thing and I suck at it.

After the rehearsal (which was fab) we left our signs for the incoming audience members. Imagine my delight when I realized that OUR SIGN could be read on national TV. It was very, very cool.

Have fun and wave a sign for the rest of us, ladies. Have an absolute blast -- and the flashlight is very nice, too.

Rowan, have fun at lunch (I remember the garden center lunch with fondness). Give a certain someone a birthday hug and kiss from us from ower ra watter.

bama said...

Ooh...please give a certain someone b-day wishes from your other cyber-buddy too!

Rowan- I LOVED the post! You have a way of wandering through your writing...train-of-thought style...that makes me giggle. That's how my brain works...and often how my conversations go. The beginning and end of any story doesn't necessarily have to relate to the middle of it!

The part that made me LOL was when describing your prejudices against London. I SOOOO think of it that way too. I've seen, maybe 3, movies set in modern London...but hundreds of movies set in London "of yore". So, I always have images of cobblestone streets with haggard looking woman tossing "stuff" onto them from four-stories above. I know it's not REALLY like that...right?

In my imaginings, I see Scotland as very green and foggy...with very little (or no) cosmopolitan cities. Lots of stone walls and fortresses. Vast farmlands and hearty looking lads and lassies with bright eyes and ruddy complexions.

Am I right?

And then there is Rowan...sitting in a garden center...lunching on creme eggs with a darling child...wearing black silk elbow gloves and large black sunglasses ala "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

bama said...

Rowan would be wearing the gloves, etc. Not the darling child.

She would be wearing pink sunglasses, of course.

rowan said...

I will pass on the birthday greetings to Lena. Thanks y'all!

Bama...um...I am sort of the antithesis of Audrey Hepburn...badly in need of a hairdo, voluminous baggy shirt and jeans instead of slinky tea dress...six year-old rubber sport sandals from the boys dept of a local store in lieu of slinky stilletos. If we met in the lift at the garden centre Aud of the Shades and I would spit vitriol at eachother, by means of crushing looks. She would despise me for being a slob, and I would view her similarly for being so airbrushed and iconic, years before people even thought of airbrushing. As I leave the lift, I mutter through my teeth that chignons and high heels are a badge of opression. (Am trying to ignore the green-eyed monster winking and waving cheerily and at me from Garden Ornaments.)

bama said...

Hee-hee...so, I was just a leeeetle off on the Rowan imaginings...that's okay. That's what your spirit looks like to me. Only prettier.

:)

Lee- HAVE FUN TONIGHT! Tell HC4S hello from Bama!

Dr. Bob- Hope work looks up for you my dear!

rowan said...

Bama - that is nice. Glad you liked the post, and that you had the same Dr Jekyll/Eliza Doolittle view of London. Think Dr Jekyll was actually Edinburgh... but hey, this is a visual sort of allusion, and it is the imagery that counts here, over geographical accuracy. Bill Sykes fits the bill too, and he was definitely a Londoner. So, we had a Bill Sykes/Eliza Doolittle-before-she- meets-Professor-Higgins view of London. :)

Not a down on her luck violet seller to be seen. Slopes off to do washing up, singing...

"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence tuppence, tuppence a bag...The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain...Who will buy my sweet red rahwzes, three blooms for a penny...ripe strawberries ripe...

bamaborntxbred said...

Yeah, I'm thinking fer sure of Eliza Doolittle...although, those scruffy folks are happier than in my version. Mine is darker...more like Jack the Ripperish. Skeery, huh?

The rest of England doesn't suffer the same fate in my imagination. The rest of England brings to mind images from "Emma" and "Sense and Sensibility"...with beautiful green landscapes and gardens and gorgeous 60,000 sq foot "country homes".

My idea of Scotland more closely fits the imagery from the more modern "Pride and Predjudice". Especially in the morning scene where Darcy strides out of the mist towards a trembling, dewy-eyed Elizabeth. Ahhhh...so nice.

rowan said...

Hmm...Colin Firth in a kilt...the idea has potential. Perhaps they would be looking for a chunky tatties and neeps munching Lizzie, to add some authentic local colour to the remake. :)

Dr. Bob said...

Bama, lovely to see you! You and Rowan are funny about London. I loved, loved the city -- but it is not a patch on Edinburgh (she says with staunch loyalty).

Work is well -- I appreciate the thoughts. Just a little more to do than I have time to do, sometimes.

Have fun Lee and HC4S. We expect a good description over here.

bama said...

If I were there, Dr. Bob, I'd give you a hand! I have lots of free time at work...until next week...then I'll be a busy little bee!

P.S. Rowan- funny on the fork hold musings. I've always thought you Brits looked so elegant while eating. Although, wondered how you would manage if you used your spoons the same way you did your forks. There might not be a lot of soup eating, I imagine.

rowan said...

Hee hee on the twee fork holding! I was teaching my daughter how to do it a few days ago in a cafe. She managed the fork, but finds cutting difficult. I suspect we only eat with forks convex side up when we are in company. When on my own, I would just scoop it up. (Have even been known to eat baked beans cold from the can with a spoon...but don't tell anyone.:D) So...how do you Americans eat? I didn't notice Dr Bob eating differently from me. However, I was prolly concentrating on not dropping stuff down my front from the upturned fork, or was too lost in munching up and savouring lovely food way beyond my staple fare. Thai spicy noodly chickeny veggie things kind of knock baked beany things outa the park.

leejolem said...

I see ya'll have been having fun without me--my image of London is rainy, foggy, lots of stone buildings, with very polite people. No skeery people from beggin or dumping trash out of windows from the 1800's. Scotland to me is also green, green, green with castles and not a lot of suburbia. I was glad to see Rowan's and dr bobs pics of some regular suburbs.

Wooooooo! What a time we had Monday. We got Bill's flashlight to him, and after the concert got to ask him if he liked it. He shook my hand and told me it was cool. I got an autograph from TH and I was so nervous as he was handing it back to me I dropped it--he caught it and put it firmly in my hand. I told him I would have shown up to play putt-putt with him(in his book he bought roses for a girl in 5th grade and she stood him up for putt-putt golf). He smiled at that--I was of course thrilled that I got him to smile, cuz he is a solemn, tortured artist you know. Loren Gold (keyboard guy) is a big ol' flirt and was smiling and making googly eyes at HC4S the whole concert. Unfortunately, she is in love with Brian Gallagher (saxophone) now. We talked to him after the concert for about 20 minutes. He is the sweetest guy evah! We told him we hadn't brought the monkbot along this time, and he said "that's good cuz that think kind of freaks me out". I laughed by butt off at that one. When I held up my sign that said we'd driven 200 miles to see him, Taylor pointed to me and smiled during the concert. All and all a successfull day. Taylor is soooo skinny!!!! He needs to eat some fried chicken and mashed potatoes! He sounded sooooo much better than he did at the Columbus,OH concert. He sang JTFTW so beatifully. The Right Place was to die for. I've never heard him sing better. He sang for a solid hour and 20 mins or so.

Sorry I'm rambling, I'm still excited. If you can believe it we met some women who had seen him 14 times in concert--I know I'm sort of a fanatic, but I think that's crazy. Once during each tour will be plenty for me. These were older ladies--I didn't even asked if they had jobs or were independently wealthy or what.
They were in the 8th row and were so jellis of our front row tix--hee hee!

leejolem said...

ok, where are all the haverers?

Bama, I forgot to mention how much Brian G. reminds us of John Krazinski. They are both to die for. Brian G. in a sweat-soaked shirt in person is a beautiful thing.

Dr. Bob said...

Hi Lee!
This haverer was working and not near the internet. It sounds like you two had fun! I am very happy for you. Nice recap. I am glad that you got to say hey to a Certain Person, even though there was no MBOS.

Did HC4S have a great time? Glad you both made it back in one piece.

rowan said...

Lee! What a great time you had! Thanks so much for sharing. That was very quickwitted and happenin of you, quipping your putt putt comment at such a potentially tongue-tying moment. Whoo hoo!

Hee hee at some peeps seeing Tay 14 times.

Was not near the pc much yestreen - have been having to do urgent shopping and trying to un-block a bath, using various sadly unsuccesssful methods! The bath is full of mud, which bubbled up as I washed some muddy boots in the sink! Think it is a plumber-tastic job, and I am outta my league. Am spending no more precious havering time tinkering with pipes and plugholes.

Sleep well, fellow haverers! See y'all Thursday. It is already Thursday here. It is stoooonin doon wi rehn...again. O_o

HicksChick4Soul said...

*waves back to Rowan* Hey y'all...I finally figured out where y'all were...anyway...I had a WONDERFUL FREAKING time, and my relationship with Bill I'm afraid is on the rocks...Taylor was so beautiful (even though he's STILL with Caroline-*says that in the most loving way possible*),but Taylor is kind of unattached to us (it feels like at least).....but Brian Gallagher...I don't believe that I can even talk about him because I'm afraid that I'll make him sound like Jesus...BUT he is amazing and nice and plays the sax like he's some kind of freak or something and is amazing and is the nicest person in the world AND called me and leejolem sweet....but I GOTTA stop talking about him and I'm gonna start ranting about Mr. Loren...O.k. as leejolem said he wouldn't stop smiling and looking at us during the concert...but then when I was singing with the words he kept pointing at me and singing them to me back...I couldn't even escape his eye contact...I almost felt chlostrophopic (or however you spell it)...if that makes sense...when I was trying to look at Taylor or my lover Brian guess who was looking at me....LOREN...it was scary, yet intriging...lol...omg...I'm gonna stop now because I really don't have any idea where I'm going with this, but the concert was amazing even though my bff Bill didn't really interact with me *sigh*

By the way, nice seeing y'all again

rowan said...

Yay! HC4S has landed! Great to see you, lassie. Enjoyed your lively recap a very lot. Most funny! Loren sounds a bit 'would be Svengali'-like. Am glad you only had eyes for Brian and Tay. Hee hee. Soooooo chuffed you had such a blast! The flashlight for Brian was a really nice idea. He really is amazing. Maybe I'll get to see him play live one day too.

I liked him chubby tho...you knowest of whom I speak. Hope he's not too emaciated. Tayluh...eat some ribs, man.

HicksChick4Soul said...

OMG Taylor's thin...him and Brian need to take a nap and eat a couple pieces of fried chicken, a quarter pounder from Mcdonald's, and other food items fried in butter (not olive oil)...

leejolem said...

Rowan, HC4S's crush on Brian is new, so we havne't gotten him a gift yet. The flashlight was for Bill, Taylo'rs right hand man. HC4S is annoyed with him because he was preoccupied with Taylor this go-around. I think we should get Brian a t-shirt that says "I'm saxy" --but he would prolly be too embarrassed to wear it.

Maybe we should take Taylor a big ol' batch of scotch eggs and fried mars bars next concert!

Hope your bathroom emergency is somewhat taken care of . What a mess. Maybe you'll get some brawny, kilt-wearing lad to come in and fix it and he'll be smitten with your misguided yet resourceful trys at de-clogging yourself. Plungers and kilts go well together!

Happy belated birthday to little Lena--hope she had a great time. Wish I could send her something pink and princessy over the internet.

rowan said...

HC4S..yep, that sounds a fun and yummeee remedy for curing thinness. I wish I was qualified to take it up, but alas, I am not! Am also not capable of achieving thinness through singing and dancing night after night. Could always get my cds out and boogie and sing along, I guess! (Aw, don't like to think of him skinny!)

Lee - yeh, the plumber came: two actually. Plumb and Plumber. No kilts. one in jeans and a shirt, and the other in a boilersuit. They were efficient and pleasant. (Plumb and Plumber is more than a little unfair, as it insinuates they were bungling... but it was funny, so it stays in. )

Hey...perhaps I ought to try the red snapper and turnip green diet...

Lee - as you make me chuckle, you are indeed giving Lena a present, by helping her render her old mum less grouchy!

We watched a video of "Matilda" tonight, which we bought in a charity shop. First time I've seen it. Lena loved it, amd told me it was great. The sociopathic school Principal didn't seem to give her any twitches about starting school!

Dr. Bob said...

Hi! Welcome HC4S!!

Prolonged eye contact can be a bit stifling -- I agree. I am sooo glad that you two had a good time.

And I am glad that Taylor is thinner -- he can get chubby as he ages. A better margin for error.

ConfusedHicksChick4Soul said...

Hi Dr. Bob!

Rowan--I love Matilda!!!

And just to tell everyone the devestating news that I have just read from Brian Gallagher's myspace--here it is!

1. Brian Gallagher is in a relationship

2. Brian Gallagher has kids

3. (This is most shocking) BRIAN GALLAGHER IS 43 (yes I said 43) YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!

O.k. this may be news that everybody else has known, but I sure didn't...AHHH!!!!! I mean 43....COME ON!!!! Alright *takes a deep breath* I am once again done ranting...even though I still feel sick...

rowan said...

HC4S - Whoo hoo! Glad you love Matilda! It was a good discovery. Have got the book somewheres, and will ferret it out and read.

Hee hee...I am sorry that Brian has geriatric element to him, but in a way, he is a sort of inspiration to peeps who are about to reach the aforementioned age next month. I am kinda chuffed he is 43, cos it means you can still be out there and happenin. :D

Performing live music must keep people young. I went to see Stefane Grapelli perform live in one of his final concerts. Think he was 80, or sumpin, but his jazz violin playing was still electric. As he was in Scotland, he had given us all a fab and quirky shout-out by wearing lots of tartan - all different tartans, all over him...socks, shirt, trousers!:D He was a wonderfully cool old geezer.

HicksChick4Soul said...

Hmmm...he does look pretty wonderfully cool for an old geezer I suppose, and his violin playing is pretty neat...but anyway...I'm glad that Brian being 43 is inspirational for you and probably should be for me, but of course I'm too selfish...I guess I'm fine with John Krasinski for now...(even though he doesn't play the sax or know Taylor).

leejolem said...

Hee Hee, Brian G. is older than me! That makes me chuckle. Maybe I can marry him and he'll be HC4S's step-dad. I crack myself up.

Bulletin---BREAKING NEWS--
John Krazinski is 58 yrs old.

(j/k--just wanted to get HC4S's heart beating this am)

Rowan, "plumb and plumber"--that was a good one. The movie, Matilda, creeped me out. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. Have you seen My Dog Skip? It is the best movie evah, but it is a tear jerker.

Where is Bama? I wonder if she knows the shocking news about Brian G's geriatric age?

rowan said...

Lee...yeah, the school principal in the Matilda film was a little uber skeery!

I am going to have to fess-up to thinking that Brian Gallagher was Brian Less. Didn't know there were two Brians. Please still speek to me. I am close-on 43 and aphasic.

I thought the guitarist with the beard was cute. What's his name again? Where do I live? Have I eaten? (Yeah to the last one, fer sure.:D)

HicksChick4Soul said...

AHHH!!! Rowan!!!! Brian plays the sax!!! Brian Less is the other guy who's not as important...j/k. Anyway, more about Matilda--I loved that movie, and I just remembered that I've read that book too. I love Roald Dahl--he is a genius.

HicksChick4Soul said...

By the way...what does aphasic mean???? Is it some Scottish word that I don't know, or is it just some word that only smart people use to exclude the stupid people like me. lol. jk.

HicksChick4Soul said...

Oh and one more thing....the thought of Brian Gallagher being my STEP DAD is wrong Lee...you shouldn't even joke about things like that....*shaking head ferociously*

leejolem said...

HC4S, aphasia is a condition where a person has trouble interpreting written or spoken words or expressing themselves in speech or writing--usually as a result of head injury or stroke (remembe when dad fell?) Thole and haverer are Scottish--aphasic is just plain English.

HicksChick4Soul said...

Wow Lee...thank you...I think. Or did you just make me more condfused?

rowan said...

Hee hee. You gals just plain rawk!

rowan said...

Look! look! a timezone glitch! It is sayiny i poster before you, HC4s, instead of hours later.Very cool. (Now I am remembering my numerical dyspraxia and am thinking I may have said sonething very silly. If so, i know I am amongst friends here, and feel safe.)

rowan said...

Grrr...that should read, "It is saying I posted before you." I add myopia to my list of issues. Specs! I need to get more specs. My old ones, which I love, make me look like some wierd chimera of Harry Potter and John Denver.

HicksChick4Soul said...

LOL!!! I'm sure they arn't as bad as the ones my mom (lee) used to wear in the 80's...she looked a bit like an owl...with really big glasses. Make sense? Probably not because once again...I am babling...OMG...Rowan you're right...it does say you posted before me...AHHH!!! This angers me beyond belief...what an outrage. I think I'm gonna have to call the manager!!! (don't ask...lol)

HicksChick4Soul said...

Alright everyone, you all must go and click on this link because y'all have to look at this picture!!!

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=76682845&albumID=0&imageID=10520800

Don't get too jealous now because me and John K. are BFF...

P.S. I promise I did NOT paste my picture over Jenna Fishers head...I SWEAR...I WOULD NEVER do ANYTHING of the sort...what???

HicksChick4Soul said...

Wait...that's the wrong link...here it is...

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=76682845&albumID=0&imageID=10520800

HicksChick4SOul\\ said...

AHHH!!!! It's not letting me send you all the link...SOOO you all will have to go to my myspace page...which is

myspace.com/sexylexy777

and go to my pics and go to page two...the last one...ok...and if this doesn't work I'll find another way I promise...

Anonymous said...

HC4S... am looking at your myspace page in another window (and feelin mighty techy:)) but can't see a place to click on to see any pics. Sawree! Maybe it is cos it says the profile is set to private, and I need to be added as a friend. Maybe I am just a myopic auld biddy and am not looking in the right place!

Lee...you have been outed as a fellow owly spec wearer. At least you left yours behind in th 80s! Sigh...those wee rectangular fashonable ones are just designed to peer over, and that is kinda defeating the purpose. Big sunglasses seem to be making a comeback, so maybe big specs will follow! Akshully...now that I recall, my big roond frames were sunglasses ones to begin with, and the optician tried to talk me out of them, even in the 80s!

Anonymous said...

Got an email from Bama to say she misses her fellow haverers and she'll be aboot soonly...her work internet has been down. (Waves to Bama.)

rowan said...

Lol...that wiz me!

HicksChick4Soul said...

I was wondering who anonymous was! Rowan trying to keep us all in the dark...being all mysterious and cryptic maybe???? Anyway, my mother's glasses are much better now. As for the whole 80's thing--one thing that I have learned (if only I could have a time machine to go back and warn all the unfortunate people) is that everything from that era is a little bit of a fashion train wreck, and I know it was fashionable then....but AHHH come on...geling and spraying your hair untill it touches the ceiling is kind of unpractical. Once again I apologize for that rant, I was not alive in the 80's so you all might of actually enjoyed living during that time...(early 90's wasn't much better). Back to the point...I apologize for your glasses from the misguided era Rowan...Oh, and I've been using era...I believe that is a period of time consisting of more than ten years...I hereby change my word choice to decade....I think...

rowan said...

Hee hee! Yeah well...era or decade - I am glad those days of big hair are long gone! I never achieved big hair, though I had a couple of very unfortunate curly perms which went kinda frizzy and wrong, and broke off in one-inch pieces at the ends. It was at that time that corkscrew perms for long hair came in, but by then I was kinda wary of the whole business.

I have hair which is straight but with an irritating wave. Either straight or curly would have been the boogie. Got my hair cut with Princess Di side-flicks when I was 16, but unlike hers, mine flopped at one side and stuck out horizontally on the other. Didn't ever do the gel or hairspray thing. Can't stand sticky hair. Never got the hang of blusher, wich was big too, in the Eighties. It was brown or neon pink, and had to go in a big swathe down an imaginary cheekbone line. The Eighties were also about eye make-up, something I've never been able to wear, cos it makes my eyes smart and water. Guess I was a bit of an Eighties failure, which looking back, is really quite a good thing.

Here is Kevin Keegan, the person with the most famously bad Eighties perm evah. I'm afraid mine kinda resembled it. Poodle power!

abby963727 said...

soooo.......this is the famous rowan.....hummm.....i have heard so much about all the crazy taylor bloggers or munkbot whatever ;)....
im not gonna lie, i never got into the whole taylor hicks thing...actually i normally made fun of my mom and sis quite often...o btw im leejolems daughter and hickschicks4souls sister...figured id throw that out there....my mom was checkin out the site and i figured id finally comment and meet all of yall...ok well ill talk to u later....
~abby

HicksChick4Soul said...

I love Kevin Keegan's patch of neck hair...lol

As for Abby...nice to see ya....BUT...you're spelling dear...*corrections for Abby*

1. Munkbot WRONG, it's monkbot

2. hickschicks4soul WRONG, it's HicksChick4Soul

3. Abby WRONG, it's Abbie (yes I know it's her own name but that isn't how it's supposed to be).

Well, from this post I seem like I'm a horrible sister...Love ya Abs...

rowan said...

Hi Abby! Nice to see ya. :)

HC4S...Kevin Keegan was captain of the English football team in the late Seventies into the Eighties. He was a nice bloke, as far as I know, but a leetle funny. He was one of the first sportsmen over here that appealed to women. Most footballers up until this time were kinda grubby and macho, and if women liked them like that, well, great...but they didn't give a monkey's about grooming or presenting an image. Kevin Keegan went out and got his hair done, and made an effort. He was interviewed a lot, and tried his best, saying much, but never really hitting his points home, as he did his many goals. One famous and heartwarming comment he made on tv was in an interview where he as asked his opinion on a footballing issue of the day.

"Finking deeply abahrit........yeah."

Kev was someone I couldn't ever bring myself to dislike, even as a Scotland fan. Captain of England, the 'Auld Enemy', as he was, he was undoubtedly earnest and well meaning. (Sawry, my hyphen key is frozen again. Well meaning ought to be hyphenated. Jist keepin myself right, ye ken.)

Dr. Bob said...

Hi Abby! Nice to see you.

HC4S -- good to see you and Rowan pondering the weighty issues of the Eighties.

We miss Bama! *waves to Bama*

HicksChick4Soul said...

Hi Dr. Bob!!! Long time no...erm...talk?

Rowan- very interesting stuff on the Kevinator (if I may call him the Kevinator). Sounds like a fabulous bloke! (I just love using the word bloke).

By the way everyone, Leejolem has gotten this website blocked from her work...yes...Lee got in trouble (hehehe) In the meantime I am trying to rehabilitate her on how to use a laptop...it's a tough job...she doesn't understand how the pointer thing can move without a mouse...THIS CALLS FOR THE FAMOUS LAPTOP SCHOOL FOR THE COMPUTER DIFERENTLY ABLE COMPUTER USERS!!! Wow...it's really not a big deal I guess, but I sure gets a goods kicks outtas its.

By the way, where the bomb diggity is Bama?!?!?!?!?!

HicksChick4Soul said...

Oops, I meant the famous laptop school for the differently computer abled users...wait that still doesn't make sense...oh nevermind...

rowan said...

Hee hee, HC4S! "Differently Abled" is a great politically correct term. Aww at Lee being blocked at work for SA. Miss her! (Waves to Lee.) My pointery mousepad thingy has broken on my laptop, so I attached a conventional mouse, which works really well. Maybe Lee would like it better than the integral mouse. (Idea supplied by "Luddite Low Tech Solutions Inc".)Akshully...it isn't low tech, is it, really...just differently conceptually enabled tech, or whatevah. Hee hee. Hope you get unblocked soon, Lee! All the best with the laptop. 'm sure HC4S is a great tutor. Humour always helps me learn, too!

Bloke is a word which makes also me chuckle.

Hope ye manage to join yer fellow haverers again soon, Lee and Bama!

rowan said...

Lol at the word order in the penultimate paragraph of my last post! Please shift the word "also" in your mind's eye, and place it before "makes". Thank you. (Slinks off primly and a little chastened, searching unobtrusively for very obtrusive specs.) What sort of frame shapes are fashionable just now? Any chance that owly is makng a comeback? Sigh. Guess they will alays be more Elton John than Victoria Beckham. Still... owly specs are comfy and restful on the retina...they very rawk.

HicksChick4Soul said...

I guess I'll have to make lee hook a mouse up to the laptop...ug..

And yes owly glasses are just the bomb diggity fo sho, but other fashionable glasses include...

intellegant looking glasses

my kind of glasses

The official bomb diggity of glasses

HicksChick4Soul said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!! Everybody!!! I figured out how to do the fancy link thing!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bama said...

Hi y'all! So sorry I've been away! I'll try to be better, but we are reeeally busy at work right now. I don't even have time to read all the comments yet! Someone wanna give me a summary of what I've missed???

Hi HC4S!!

Rowan- Dont' forget that Harry Potter rocks the owly specs!

Dr. Bob said...

HC4S --

Extremely nice hotlinking, my dear. Glad to see that your techy skillz are intact.

Bama!! Good to see you! Sorry you are busy, glad you made it by. However, summarizing what has passed is just beyond me, comment-wise...

bama said...

Here's a pic of the glasses that I own...yet rarely wear...

Bebe "Gypsy" Eyeglasses.

Aren't they cute?

bama said...

Hi Bob!!!! I've missed you guys!

Maybe I can just take the commenting from here!!

Dr. Bob said...

Bama -- very cute glasses. I tend tend to be a cat's eye sort of girl, myself. The rhinestones are a nice touch.

rowan said...

HC4S...what great glasses links. Hmmm...rectangular ones are still fashionable, then. I am still going to look like a John denver album cover (tho you'd have to darken the hair and make it longer.)

Bama...I am not getting to see your link. Aw. And it involves rhinestones.

Dr Bob - are cat's eye glasses sort of a narrow oval shape, like a cat's eye? Am thinking they must be. Am feelin a bit "Dohhh" Homer Simpsony, asking this daft question, but that has only served to put me in mind of a doughnut, which I cannot have. My glasses are doughnut shaped, though. Why isn't that a comfort? :D

Wishing all you braw havering lassies a great Friday.

Dr. Bob said...

Are we fell braw or just braw, Rowan?

bamaborntxbred said...

I think yer fell braw DB! Whatever that means...

Ummm....doooughnuts...

I can't wait to go see The Simpson's Movie. I love that rascally bunch! I know it's a leetle immature...but that's jest moi!

rowan said...

Fell braw, withoot a doot. Yer a' wee stoatirs. :)

Stoatir carries the all-round meaning of a highly esteemed and worthy person.

rowan said...

Grrr, have been wrestling with the security letters and broken html for aaaages. However, that does not make me a crabbit besom!

Bama, you snuck in and posted during my techy hiatus. Yaaaay to The Simpsons! They did the most fabbity fab, fell braw episode on the social politics of the Barbie doll. Brilliant teaching material. Sooo wish I had it on video!

Am soooo gonnae see that fillum as weel!

HicksChick4Soul said...

AH! Hello everyone! Ohmagewdness The Simpsons movie was AmAzInG! It was much funnier than expected. There were many shockers that made the film even more enjoyable!

Bama-the rhinestone glasses are simply awesome.

Dr. Bob said...

I do love the Simpsons. Enough to actually watch the movie, perhaps. Thanks for the heads up HC4S. Bama, if you go, let me know what you think.

leejolem said...

hey y'all! How's life? Work has been busy, busy, busy, and I guess they finally got smart and blocked all my fun sites!! Our computer is on the fritz at home, so I'll have to borrow HC4S's laptop.

The Simpon's movie was verry funny. I'm not a huge fan, so for me to say that is something. I do love Marge though. I love how she holds that family together. I also lerve Ned Flanders--he really epitomizes the whole WWJD sentiment--even though he's a nerd. He has a couple really funny lines in the movie when he gets a little testy and shows his human side. It's def worth going to see. My dh and I also saw HP--it was good. I think I'm gonna have to give in and read the books. They are calling to me. I'll type more later. MIssed you all. Glad my 2 daughters could stop by and keep everyone entertained--lol!

rowan said...

Lee! Good to see you, you internet rebel, you! :D

Yep, yer lassies have kept us all amused!

So...is "The Simpsons Movie" suitable for a 5 year old? Suppose the dialogue would be a bit over her head, but hopin we can go see it.

A class once told me I sound like Marge Simpson when I have a cold. That is my claim to fame!

leejolem said...

Rowan, I'm not sure about the Simpsons movie for a 5 yr old. The Simpsons is such an odd mix of silliness and kind of sophisticated humor. I don't know if Lena would enjoy it that much. You guys saw Shrek 3, right? I haven't seen it yet, but I want to. There was a Disney movie preview when we saw HP that looked really good. It starts out as a cartoon. All fairy-tale like, then it goes to like action where the princess character ends up in New York city. It looks really good. It also co-starts Patrick Dempsy, so that is an added bonus!!!!! There's also a live action Alvin and the Chipmunks coming out. It looks funny. WE went to the drive-in last night and saw The Bourne Ultimatum and I now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry. They were both just ok in my book. We rented the Sandra Bullock movie, I think Premonition, this week--it got bad reviews, but I really liked it. Wow, I've seen lots of movies lately. I need to get a life.

HicksChick4Soul said...

Well I'm pretty sure the Simpsons movie is rated PG 13, so tell your 5 year old to watch at her own risk...but yeah we have seen a lot of movies lately...and lee...don't surrender to the Harry Potter curse...we're already under the "tortured artist's" curse, and The Office curse...let's try to keep our obsessions to a minimum.

Dr. Bob said...

Lee! How are you? Glad to see you back and hope that you have been able to master the mysteries of the laptop.

leejolem said...

dr bob, I'm still hopeless at the laptop. I'm at my second job this weekend with the handy, dandy old-fashioned keyboard. It's hard to pry the laptop out of HC4S's fingers anyway. I think she'd rather I dictate to her than watch me struggle with the tiny mouse or the little touchpad thingy.

It is hot and humid here in INdy! I think it's like 96degrees(F). Ugh! I'm not a hot weather girl. 75 is about my speed. Hope everyone's keeping cool around the globe today.

rowan said...

Lee...it is kinda coool over here. I am freezin my extremities off, and have actually put the heating on. It is peltin doon wi rehn. We have lots of words to describe heavy rain, the way Inuits have gazillions of words for snow.

peltin; beltin; stoonin; lashin; stottin..the list goes on, as does the aforementioned precipitation. :D

Footnote: the Inuit reference is seemingly a misno(w)mer, as this site explains! I like it. it is my kind of geeky.

HC4S and Lee: thanks for the head's up on The Simpsons. Sigh...will wait for it to appear on tv.

Dr Bob's Ball & Chain said...

Glad to see the articles are still being posted here. Rowan & Bob are a better, funnier and hipper team than Rowan and Martin...

Most 5-year-olds would only remember the scene in the Simpsons where the audience gets to see Bart's naughty cartoon bits. It is done in an amusing fashion, but all would be lost on a 5-year-old except for the penis bit.

OTOH, it is perfect for 13-year-old boys, as I can personally attest.

P.S. if anyone is interested, I happen to be a saxophonist in my mid-40s... shh... don't let Dr Bob see this...

Dr. Bob said...

HEY!!!

Dr. Bob said...

And you forgot cuter ...

Bama said...

DB & DBB&C: Y'all are both cute as anything!

Look at all the family units coming out to play!! Quite frankly, this is my refuge from family and "real life" friends. I can be more "me" here! No preconcieved ideas about who I am...or who I should be!!

I've missed you guys. We are slammed at work and will be for awhile! Don't worry though, I know where my priorities are! On SA! (Don't tell the person signing my checks please!)

I didn't get to see The Simpson's this weekend. I better get busy b/c I have all these movies to see coming up: The (aforementioned) Simpon's, Hairspray, Becoming Jane (yay!), The Bourne Ultimatum (Lee- it's blasphemy to say anything negative about anything Bourne), Superbad, Hot Rod and Invasion.

And 3 of those movies I will prolly have to see alone b/c my friends are dumb.

Hope y'all are having a happy Tuesday!

My word verification is zihpddy. Heehee...zihpddy doo-daa, zihpddy aaaay! My oh my! What a wonderful day!

jenfera said...

Hey, so this is where y'all are hanging out!

Hi all!!

I have been trying to catch up with this blog but I haven't gotten near through yet so I haven't felt like I deserved to comment yet.

But then I saw all you peeps here chatting away and I wanted to join in! I miss you guys!

It is also hot and humid here in Massachusetts, and we are a bit miffed that Springfield, Vermont of all places was chosen for big Simpsons movie premiere. Like anyone believes the Simpsons live in Vermont. Hmmph. Haven't seen the movie yet, but my husband is a big fan so we might get to it one of these days.

Bama said...

Hey Jenfera!!! I recall that you once said that your husband and I have similar tastes in music....apparently we also have similar tastes in yellow animated families!!

Don't feel like you need to read everything before you comment....but I highly suggest reading Doc Bob's (and Row's) posts. The pics are amazing!!

Dr. Bob said...

Hi!!! Jenfera!! Good to see you over here! Comment as you please, read at your leisure.

The pictish piskys are making it hard for Rowan to post a comment so ... a message from her.

Please, if you get a mo, Bob, could ya post a wave from me to fellow haverers: yersel, Bama, yer Ball and Chain (funny) Lee, HC4S. and Abby? Rowan the Blogfly is much disgruntled. Disbloooooomingruntled. O_o

Dr. Bob said...

Done and done, Rowan

HicksChick4Soul said...

AHHH!! Hi Rowan, dr. bob, bama, and jenfera!

Ok...speaking of the weather...I just came home from a camping trip that consisted of climbing rocks, fishing, looking at waterfalls, and communicating with geese. It was hell. It got up to 94 degrees, which of course was the temperature for the majority of the day. ugh...my dad and I ended up sleeping in the car for the night with the air conditioning...pathetic isn't it lol.

I'm done complaining now. I promise. Anyway, I'm very disapointed that my word verification qwhfzfm instead of something cool like zihpddy...I'm sure they give all the good verifications to bama...lol...

Dr. Bob said...

HC4S, glad that you made it back from camping. I am not a huge fan of it myself.

I am glad that Bama gets interesting verifications. It seems appropriate, somehow.

Jenfera, Rowan had not seen you when she asked me to wave at the haverers. A bit "Hey" from her to you.

jenfera said...

Thanks for the welcomes! Hi Rowan! Hi Bob! Hi Bama!

Eeek, camping. Also not a fan. I went once when I was about 9 years old and I knew then that it was enough.

bama said...

Camping is NOT the boogie. Yuck to bugs. Although, I'm all for camping that includes indoor 5-star hotel stays.

Hi Rowan!! Miss hers!

Today I don't have a cool word-verif!

Jen-I'm gonna come visit Valley Victuals this week!! I had a nightmare (about clubbing and steaming baby pigs....don't ask) after reading that post that included steaming lobsters. It was very disturbing to think of them clawing around and trying to get out of the pots. (Although I'm sure they were delicious.)

:(

jenfera said...

Yikes, bama! That's awful! I hope my posts don't cause people nightmares on a regular basis. Although if you are still reeling over pigs, you might not be up for vivid photos of ribs just yet!

bama said...

As long as the ribs don't have baby pig faces attached...I should be all good.

That's all I ask of my food: Please don't look like the animal you came from.

I also don't like advertising that chooses to use cute little mascots of the food. Like the current Chips Ahoy commercials where the little cookies are out for a drive....and get eaten one by one. That's just cruel!!

HicksChick4Soul said...

OMG! The Chips Ahoy commercials not only make me sad, but terrify me a little bit as well...

The horrible commercial


But of course, that commercial doesn't upset me as much as these commercials...I mean...let the rabbit have his freaking trix!

trix are for kids

The new slogan should be "stupid kids, give me those trix before I give you rabies" Do rabbits even carry rabies???

Dr. Bob said...

Bama -- I just watched an Iron Chef that kind of gave me the heebie jeebies. 'Nuf said ... but I sympathize with your nightmare.

I thought I was the only one who found food mascots creepy. I hate the chips ahoy cookie and commercials! Why personalizing something that I eat is ever considered a good idea, I will never know.

And I don't know about rabbits ...

bama said...

Ahh...It is good to know that I'm not the only food mascot fear-er!

jenfera said...

There used to be a restaurant near me called Little George. They had barbecue and ham - pretty much anything pig. They had a picture on their sign of a little cartoon pig happily sniffing a baked ham!! Gross!

rowan said...

Heeey!I can post again! My computery repairman says I am having serious memory issues. Yikes...it is becoming obvious to everyone!

Hey to everyone! Jen, good to see ya here!

Well...as to anthropomorphic food items, I concur with y'all in not liking 'em. This is my all-time most horrible series of adverts of this genre. "The Family Reunion" and "Grater" ads on this site...gak! Am convinced it is aimed at young student blokes, cos they eat a lot of Pepperami-type food-on-the go, and tend to have dodgy senses of humour. Am wonderin if this is what the advertisers are trying to emulate and tap into. I have to admit to chuckling just a leetle, though. Hope that doesn't make me some sort of salami psycho. (I do haaate the stuff, tho.:D)

rowan said...

Jen, that piggy sign sounds icky!

HC4S: Those ad links were intriguing. Yeah, the rabbit gets a raw deal. (Your rabid bunny scenario made me chuckle!) What kid wouldnt feed him handfuls that gruesome looking cereal ...even as a matter of self-defence! The selfishness, though, that the ad projects - it just isn't kid-like. Wonder if sales of the stuff actually went down, owing to ad-annoyance! The 'it must be natural and healthy, cos a rabbit wants some' sub-text doesn't make any impact, compared to the overwhelming grrrr factor.

rowan said...

Wishing all my fellow haverers a happy Friday. this fleet-footed fellow has the longest surviving Eighties "mullet do" evah! Jean Butler has great hair...the sort of 'do' I used to ask for, yet would leave the hairdressers looking like the aforementioned footballer Kev.

bama said...

Rowan, the Pepperami "Grater" commericial: GRRRRRRRROSSSSSS!!!!!

Oh my gosh. I'm gonna have nightmares about that tonight.

Ick.

P.S. So glad yer back my friend!

rowan said...

Aw, thanks Bama! It is good to be back. Sawry fur scarin ye! Gross indeedly.

jenfera said...

Rowan, I lerve Riverdance! Saw it in Connecticut twice, without mullet boy or Jean, unfortunately. It was still fab though!

rowwan said...

Jen, that sounds great! Riverdance is the boogie. (Well, not literally!) Don't know how they do those things with their legs. Have tried to emulate those lassies, and can do the arm bit really well :D ...just have not got enough lower-limbage to do the'round the clock-face' leg movements.

jenfera said...

Happy Monday, everyone! Just checking in to say hi and announce that I have finally finished reading all the posts here about the trip. What fun! Bob & Rowan, you are both fab writers, and that was some fine picture taking too. Hooray for internet friendships crawling out of the wires and tubes and making a go of it internationally!

I am sad that the story is over, but I shall sit patiently and wait for the next phase of the adventure when Rowan make it across the pond.

I am giggling about the fork techniques still. I can't imagine the original thought process involved in the mash the food onto the convex side style. I think I mostly use my fork with a stabbing motion, as opposed to scooping. One fork etitquette question that does get bandied about here in the states concerns the cutting of meat. Most of us put the knife in the dominant hand and the fork in the non-dominant hand for the cutting phase, but then some folks put the utensils down and switch the fork to the dominant hand for eating. Some of us do not switch hands, and just eat the cut meat straight off of the fork in the non-dominant hand. I fall into the latter category. I have heard that this is the European way, but that could be a myth.

Also, I went back and read all of the comments on this thread and I wanted to mention to HC4S and to leejolem that Loren was doing that weird flirting/staring thing at the Hyannis show I went to also. I was in the 6th row, so it wasn't me he was flirting with, but it was incredibly obvious that he picked someone out of the front row to make eyes with all evening. A little odd in its obviousness! I think Loren thinks he is quite the hottie! At this particular show there was a revolving stage, so I can't confirm or deny if he had a second object of his eyeing on the other side.

oh, and p.s. - longest verification word evah!
afbhfqnz

rowan said...

Hiya Jen! Glad you liked the posts.

Hmmm...you've got me pondering over the meat cutting thing. I would cut with my dominant right hand, and just put the cut bit on my fork straight into my cake-hole. Didn't realise that some peeps put their utensils down and swap hands.

Come to think of it, though...may have to revise the above, after a bit of mimed slicing and masticating. I just don't know. Am going to want until I am in a knife and fork situation again, and really take note. At home, I generally chop up tomatoes and stuff before taking them to the table, then just eat them with a fork in my right hand. Knives are for company! Hmm...I think I am ambiforkstrous, but would prolly cut with my dominant hand...yeah, but keep hold of the knife, and not put any cutlery down till I'm done. Have never thought about this before, but it is innnnteresting! We must all have an individual cutlery signature, like a fingerprint. I am wondering if which hand I would use is influenced by how the cutlery is set out. Man..that makes me look very lazy! :D

This reminds me about a story my granny told me a few years back. She was famous at her old people's centre for bringing great pancakes. One day a friend said to her, "Chrissie, we've been wonderin'..how dae ye git yer pancakes sae braw and roond?" Gran hadn't thought about it before, just made the pancakes unconsciously. That night she concentrated on what she was doing, and they turned out completely wonky, all squiggly wiggly. Her friend stared at her when she saw them, as if poor gran was daft!

Jen...would imagine there will be plenty more posts here. Dr Bob stravaigs aboot and takes loadsa pics.

Am looking forward to coming over to the US very muchly, and writing my impressions!

bama said...

Awww...I've missed so much! I'm laughing hysterically at all the musings on cutlery usage. Rowan, I had to do the "mimed slicing and masticating" bit as well. I've figured out that I cut with the dominant hand, then without putting my utensils down, I switch the fork and the knife and eat with the dominant hand. Other times though, I will cut everything in advance of eating. In which case I will only be holding a fork in the dominant hand.

Phew! I'm hungry for steak now!

rowan said...

Bama, hope ye got yer steak!

Hee hee...the cutlery usage thing had my brian in knots. That is a typo...but then, maybe I do have a brian instead of a brain, and Brian is sort of huffy and workshy and goofs off a lot. Neither of us have much in the way of spatial awareness. As a bloke, Brian should have a theoretical gender advantage...but he is displaying none of it, and is petulantly keeping his issues under wraps.

It ought to be easy to know what you do with cutlery...but it is so very not! i am glad you had to mime cutting and masticating too,Bama, as you are a happenin person who can do Sudoku. I bought a book at the church bookstall, but my brian screamed and hid behind the couch. :D

Have a good weekend, everyone!

leejolem said...

Hey y'all! Remember me? I'm the baaaaad pharmacist who can no longer get on any fun sites at work, and is too afraid to pry the laptop away from my daughter's hands at home. I've missed all the chuckles, that's fer sure.

dr bob, your ball and chain sounds cute! I think it's so funny that he posted. I think my hubby is afraid of all of us monkbots/haverers. He does like to make fun of us though.

I'm definitely a fork switcher. I can't eat with my non-dominant hand. I usually cut 3 or 4 pieces, so I don't have to keep switching hands. I also had to participate in masticating/slicing simulation as did Bama and Rowan.

Bama,I have a confession to make--I am now officially addicted to the Harry Potter books. I've read 1-3 and am now working on book 4. I obviously didn't wait for a beach vacation as I had always planned to do.

Rowan, if your brain is named Brian then it's prolly hot and can play the sax, so you should pick one up sometime and try it out. Don't be afraid of Sudoku. It is pretty friendly and doesn't usually bite.

Jenfera, good to see you here. I'm glad (kinda) to hear you experienced the same Loren flirty phenomenon as we did. He is very cheshire cat like in his grinning and winking.

That's all for now. Hope other haverers come out to play this weekend.

Dr. Bob said...

Hey Lee, Bama, Jen, Rowan, HC4S -- happy weekend!

Lee, my husband is indeed a very nice and funny man. He comes by and reads from time to time.

My grandmother always said that the fork-switching was a uniquely American way of eating. As I am lazy to the bone, I cut with my nondominant hand to avoid putting down my cutlery. It would keep you eating less, so I should prolly switch.

leejolem said...

dr bob, anybody who gets around London, Edinburgh, etc... like you did is not lazy! I would have been seeing thru the window of a double decker.

Bama, or any other reality TV goober like me, have you been watching Big Brother. It's the only reality show that my dh gets hooked on with me. We've even watched some of the Big Brother After Dark on Showtime from midnight till 3am (which gives you an indication of our love life after 22 yrs together). Anyway, who do you want to win? I kind of like Eric--America's Player. I think America has screwed him a few times, and he's managed to finagle things to work. I can't stand Evil Dick and his daughter, Danielle. His mean-spiritedness (even if it's only to rile people up) drives me crazy, and his spittin, burping and farting are disgusting.

How about America's Got Talenet? I've watched a few time. The ventriloquist is pretty impressive, and I'd like to see a non-singer win, but you can't help but love Cas Haley. He's got a little bit of the Taylor Hicks off the beaten path type quality to him.

Anyway, miss ya girls! Come out to play.

rowan said...

Hey y'all!

Lee - good to see ye back!

Hee hee at the fork-switching. I can't get my Brian around it at all. I stab the food with my fork, cut with my dominant hand, keep hold of the knife and eat what is on the fork, even though it is held in my left hand. Hmmm. Switching hands seems very polite, and also a bit tortuous. Someone might have grabbed your last enchilada by the time you have things back ready to go again. You Americans are brave and edgy eaters. My food is stabbed and helf firmly to the plate, while my eyes search around shiftily for any interlopers, real or imagined. (Slopes off to eat can of cold baked beans with spoon.:D)

Dr Bob - you and yer Ball and Chain are indeed cool. Is yer other half a self-taught sax player, or did he have lessons?

Lee...sadly, my Brian would never be able to reach the dizzy heights of sax playing. I tried the chanter, the bagpipes without the bag, but could only get a strangled squeak from it about every fourth lesson or so, and the piping tutor sent a most dispiriting note via another pupil, read out before my whole class,stating that "Mr MacPherson did not want Rowan to come back to piping anymore." :( Sigh. May have mentioned this before, but it is a deep-seated trauma. (My classmates all laughed.) I am laughing too, now, tho.

I can sing in tune, and know if a note is higher or lower, but have no muscle memory of where to put my fingers to make the notes, even if I find my way painfully through the minefield of notational possibilities, to discover the route to a tune. The next time, I am back to square one again. My family are all sight players of any instrument. I am kinda okay at the comb and paper, but it gives one a horrible buzzy bottom-lip, and the sensation of fingernails on balloons.

bama said...

Lee- I DO watch Big Brutha. I'm a leetle embarassed to admit that for some reason...also to admit that I like Evil Dick and Danielle too. I don't think I'd be friends w/them in "real" life...but man, if they were outta the house the show would be sooo lame!!

Also- way 2 go on the HP addiction!

Rowan- I think I must have a Brian instead of a brain too. My Brian is very easily distracted AND entertained (as proved by the aformentioned tv show). My Brian usually sleeps in and doesn't show up for the day until after lunchtime. Which is unfortunate, b/c the Brian wants a nap...hmmm...

LOVE you LADIES!!

P.S. Don't forget to check out the new post at Monkbot!!

jenfera said...

Hi everybody!!

Rowan is cracking me up with her utensil figuring. Here's another one to mess with your heads (except Rowan's Brian, who probably doesn't have any muscle memory on this one just yet...) Driving. My younger stepdaughter just got her license. During the road exam, the state trooper told her that when you turn the wheel, you are not supposed to grab the wheel from the inside. As in, when you are normally just cruising along, you have your palms on the outside edge of the wheel. But most people when turning, stick at least one hand inside the wheel, grasping the inner edge with the palm of their hand.

I've caught myself doing it when I turn right, but not when I turn left.

By the way, my friend's husband's name is Brian, and I am always mis-typing it Brain. Brian is kind of a brain though. Techie computer guy. I also frequently mis-type my own name and end up with "Jennfier", which I actually sort of like. Sounds sorta French or sumpthin'.

bama said...

Jen! You misspell your OWN name?? Now that's funny!

I don't turn with my hand inside the steering wheel...hmmm...although sometimes I turn the wheel using the arm/doohicky/things that come out from the middle of the wheel (spokes?)...and I only use a couple of fingers to do that.

Weird.

rowan said...

Jen, you aew so right...no muscle memory for driving. Am starting my lessons again next week, after an eight week break for school holidays. Not looking forward to it!Passed my theory exam with no problems...the hazard perception was easy with the computerised car bowling along, driven by some unseen competent pixel pixie. Sadly, in real life, I am not able to drive in a straight line, even after ten two hour lessons. My instructor told me i was sitting to close to the cental road markings, so I veered in and drove up the pavement. He is bald, but was still attempting to tear out invisible hair at the thought of his back axle and big-end. He did have dual control....so much for dual control, it seems...:(

Anyways...I may get there, but I am a dab hand with buses. We have a really good bus network in Dundee, and it is kind of an easy option for peeps not keen to drive. I live on the outskirts of town, but a bus will take me to the city centre every five minutes. Driving would open up my life, though. I very knows it. Again, Brian should be contributing here, but he is not a boy racer type, of the sort who put blue lights underneath their vehicles and stickers yelling the words, "No FEAR" in a big red jaggedy font. My rear window sticker will read, "Bleedin' terrified. Please overtake."

Brian must be into nature and using public transport to save the planet. He has his quirks though, cos he still likes a bit of 70s Heavy Metal. Am seeing him in my mind's eye as looking a bit like Sean Michel. Brian is pleased with that thought, as it makes him seem kinda edgy and very cool. Am trying to suggest to him that Sean probably has an HGV license and can drive monster trucks with the tip of his beard. Brian is not to duck out of the next encounter with Instructor Man.

Bama, yer Brian sounds a blast! You and Jen are mega cool driving sistahs, as is Dr Bob, and Lee too, I'll bet. Y'all can write original prose and put up shelves whilst slicing incisively through lanes of traffic with one digit. I am hoping for a personal tram line to be fitted into the road network. :D

rowan said...

Man...sorry about the typos. I wrote, "driving to close" instead of "too". This is the sort of typo I really hate - the one that makes you look illiterate. Crazy spellings like "aew" for are are clearly just cr-ptastic typing.

Hey...there is probably a book in there..."A Gazillion Modes of Typo Nuance", or sumpin. One of my fave quirky theoretical books read as an English student was called, "Seven Types of Ambiguity." Imagined the author sitting in his Cambridge study, contemplating, revising and pondering over tea and hot buttered muffins. Bliss!

I luv Sean Michel, btw. He is the biz and a big hero of mine. His song, "Forgiven Much" is one of my all-time faves.

Nighty night, havering peepel! Y'all are fab and funny.

jenfera said...

Rowan, yer hysterical! "Y'all can write original prose and put up shelves whilst slicing incisively through lanes of traffic with one digit." Hee hee!! What a mental picture.

And bama, I prefer to think of the whole name business as more of a mis-type than a misspell sort of thing. I think my non-dominant left hand just gets all impatient, waiting for the dominant, thinks-she-is-so-darn-special right hand getting most of the first half of the word to type. Lefty just dashes in there a moment too soon with that misplaced "f" before Righty even knows what happened.

bama said...

Ha! Y'all are both too funny!

I just love it when I'm snickering away over yer comments, and my co-workers want to know "What's so funny?"....It never really translates as funny to them. I guess they'd have to know y'all.

Rowan- Sean Michel from AI pre-season fame, right??? I'm gonna look him up now. Have you been following him via underground blog-community or sumpin????

Rowan- you must write a cyber-grammar book similar to this gem! I love that book!

jenfera said...

bama, I LOVE that book too! It was so nice to know that I'm not the only one out there grumbling about misplaced apostrophes.

The panda says no!

bama said...

I have to admit that I'm a comma-abuser. I love them. I overuse them. I'm never one to leave a comma out!!

rowan said...

Jen, yer blog name is tricky for my Brian. I keep wanting to write "Jenifera", and have to sit and rethink, the way I do when trying to tie my daughter's school tie of a morning.

Lefty and Righty...hee hee! A funny image. Am imagining Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Alice and Wonderland, always arguing about how a story should be told. Maybe they were some sort of allegorical representation of creative thinking, and i never noticed. (That boook is too deep for me. Still can't solve the riddle of the raven and the writing desk, much to Lena's chagrin.)

Whooo hoo to all havering punctuation geeks!

I love a good comma-fest too, Bama, and have a penchant for parenthesis which needs keeping in check.

I have gone back to ESAL (which i also love) a couple of times, cos I have a verrrry slight quibble with her conceptualisation of the remit of the semi-colon. This is something only to be admitted amongst a group of tightly-knit and supportive friends. :D

rowan said...

Bama, the SM song which I particularly like, "Forgiven Much", is on his Myspace Page. (www.myspace.com-seammichel) I'd just read the passage of scripture it was describing, and it spoke to me. This version is raw, and very powerful.

Chris Sligh's stuff is great too!

Yikes, I am running late! Hope y'all have a nice Friday.

bama said...

Rowan!! I listened to SM's song on myspace. I loved it!! So beautiful.

I'm gonna go look for Chris's stuff too!!

Dr. Bob said...

Bama,

I love, love, love Half Past Forever ... Chris Sligh and his band. I am listening to it. It is my current fave. If you want some songs sendspaced, I will be happy to do so.

leejolem said...

Hey everybody! I miss you guys, and I hate the fact that my silly employer finally caught on to how to block all the good blogs at work! My dh hasn't faced getting the computer functioning at home (he doesn't want to spend another 4 hours on the phone with accented IT person whom he can't understand). Therefore, I'm really only able to check in every 2 weeks or so--bummer!!!

Rowan & Bama, I also am a comma fanatic, and I lerve the dash--have you noticed? I don't use it when I'm writing, but it comes in so handy when typing. I don't remember learning anything about it in grammar, so I have no idea if it's even proper to use. My daughters laugh at me cuz I must use capitol (?capital)letters and periods while on the computer. They think this is seriously old- fashioned, and it makes them laugh uproariously at me.
Bama, what do you think of Big Brother's romance between Eric and Jessica? I think it's for real, but I'm a hopeless romantic. Eric is a smaaarrrt and cunning player (and playah?). I hope he's for real cuz I don't want to see Jessica get hurt. (this is sad--it sounds like I really know these peeps).

Speaking of typos--I seem to always type my last name Huet when in a hurry (instead of Hurt). I do it constantly when signing in on computers. It drives me crazy! Maybe it's my subconscious not wanting to have a name that evokes images of pain. Then again it's prolly just me being in too big of hurry!

Rowan, here's my proper word usage pet peeve: when people type "would of" instead of "would've" (contraction of would have). Very common in the younger generation (of which I am no longer a member according to my daughters).

Gotta go, love and miss you guys. God bless!

leejolem said...

Happy Labor Day everyone! I'm laboring (as usual). Hope all is well with everyone. I'll try & check in again soon--if not I'll haver again the weekend of 9/15. Praying that all my sistahs are enjoying life and all God has to offer (laughing, gabbing, crying, eating, etc...) :)

Bama said...

Lee! I miss you lady!! I love that Eric and Jess finally kissed. It was so cute! I think he really likes her...I mean, he's kind of a dork...and she's HOT, so for him to "play" a hot chick that actually likes him would be idiotic!!

Dr. Bob- don't laugh, but I'm a sendspace luddite. I don't really know how to use it...or maybe my computer at work just can't open it. I don't understand! I'll go check out Chris' myspace and see if I can hear his band's stuff there!

rowan said...

Hey you guys!

Lee - I am also a dash geek. Lynn Truss is kind of ambivalent about them, in, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves." They are kind of leading to the demise of the semi-colon, and mayber the colon too...but I likes it. It is sort of speedy and edgy, while semi-colons, though giving a nice vibe that you're going to hear a nice aside or explanation, are a little quirkily archaic. That is kinda cool, of course, but I feel they kind of slow me down, whereas the dash jogs alongside and hands you bottles of water.

It is funny. When I use semi-colons now, I feel a bit like Coleridge musing under his lime tree..well, grousing, cos he had a sore ankle and couldn't go stravaiging aboot with Wordsworth. (Maybe it was Wordsworth who had the sore ankle. I am sorta hazy on that now.)

These poetic guys were kinda frail in those days...an excuse for the hearty consumption of laudanum, or perhaps just the result thereof. Byron was a chronic yo yo dieter. Did a lot of research into his diaries. He actually says he longs to look all poetically pale and interesting, but loved his grub. He would get fat, then lock himself away, exercising madly and living on the odd dry biscuit, in order that his diaphanous poet shirt would billow around him appropriately and attract duchesses. No kiddin. Think he kind of envied the consumptive types!

Man, I am a digression geek.

Anyways...Sendspace...Bama, I have used it to send podcasts: you don@t have to register, just click on upload file. if you do register, they send you an email with the link, which you just send to the recipient. Even if you don't get the email, you can get the link. Took me a wee while to work it out, but then it was easy. Can see it might me tricky at work, tho. Well-worth it! Sendspace rawks.

Dr Bob: Yeah, Chris Sligh's stuff is fabeedoo. Hope y'all had a good day. See ya soonly! :)

rowan said...

Spell-checkers are the proverbial boogie. Used to have an old mac in my classroom at work, which would spell check my double-barrelled surname as "Meekly Slim." It also offered the more unpleasant suggestion of "Meekly Slime." Was often tempted to print out documents including the former suggestion, cos it had an element of truth. That was the period in my life where I was actually slim, but I was kind of backwards at coming forwards, as we say here in far-flung Celtic places. The name thus fitted well. Had the suspicion my Performa was deliberately taking a rise oot o' me. (Still miss my Classic 11.)

leejolem said...

Rowan, I love the joke about the panda--I haven't read the book, but it is amazing what a misplaced comma can do! I'm sorry, but a semi-colon just can't take the place of the "--". "--" states "look what's coming ahead; I've had a really interesting thought". The semi-colon is just a boring separation of thoughts.

Hope all is well with you. I'll drop you all emails this week. Love to all, Lee