Archive for December, 2008

December 30, 2008

The Underground: Late, as Usual

In addition to making many Londoners late to wherever they need to be, The Underground has also made a service announcement declaring itself (and the Green Park tube stop) officially late to the 21st century.

December 26, 2008

Le Bistro

I acquired the beloved Le Bistro from the SkyMall/ Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue last year, and it represents one of the best uses of $70 in my home.

I bought this bowl to eliminate the need for people to come by and feed my cat, Oscar, at certain times while I was travelling. Rather, it meant that whomever was kindly checking in on him could just stop in when it was convenient with no worries of being mauled by a starving housecat upon their inevitable entry to my apartment.

Le Bistro accomplished all that and *more*. It stopped my mammoth cat from eating his food too quickly and then depositing it somewhere I’d not enourage, such as my bed, gymbag, or bedroom slippers. Most importantly, it has taught Oscar that food comes from the magic bowl and not from humans.

Each morning, the cat wakes up at around 5am. Just as he starts to wonder where food is (5:01a), Le Bistro springs into action, raining down down the morning’s first meal like mana from the heavens. Kitty eats and then goes back to sleep, allowing peace to remain in our time.

The magic also happens at 13:oo and 22:15. During the time leading up to the big event, (which pre Le Bistro would have meant being followed by a determined, mewing cat), he just sits and stares at the bowl, trying to will a culinary deluge. The staring for dinner, as documented to the right, traditionally begins around 20:15. I sometimes wonder if he thinks he can stare the food out of it.

Occasionally, Oscar will try to gnaw on Le Bistro’s sturdy silo. He has never achieved entry.

December 25, 2008

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding is the traditional English dessert on Christmas day.

Christmas Pudding may be made months in advance; thus, it’s heavy and so boozy that it tastes a bit flammable.

To futher assert one’s pudding prowess, one may douse the pudding in brandy and serve it flambe. This year, we opted for a brandy cream sauce.

December 24, 2008

Engrish & My New Computer Battery

I received a new battery for my laptop in the mail today. It’s a generic IBM/ Lenovo battery, which I purchased it from a vendor called Dragon Mart in Hong Kong (Thanks, Froogle!).

The battery seems fine, and it’s working well after a the first initial charge seemingly recommended by the directions:

“Connect laptop with adapter and charge it to
100%, it should be charged or discharge
completely to make that be powerful
when you use it for the fore three-times.”

Engrish directions?! Excellent!

To be fair, I’d have a bit of a challenge writing directions in a language other than English; however, that doesn’t make the following (detailed .jpg here) any less funny:

“The Security of the Battery
Do not make the battery be short cycle, It will be affected seriously

Do not Hit, Throw and Abuse, it will cause the corrosive appears on the battery
Do not store the battery in a Hot, wet, and Rainy room”

Just in case I am invited into a fellowship asking me to take my battery to Mordor and throw it into Mount Doom, I now know to politely decline.

“Do not throw the battery to the fire .keep it far away from the fire .
It will be exploded by this.”

Last, but certainly not least, my personal favorite:

“Do not decompose, repair or Juggle the battery. it would burn, and The alkalescency liquor will cause Fire or hurt to Human. Even Death.”

Potential for a juggling death by alkalescency liquor might just be too much for even me.

December 23, 2008

24 Days of Joy: My Advent Calendar

As I have done for the last 23 mornings, I turned off the alarm clock and staggered into the living room to my Advent calendar. Bleary-eyed, disoriented, and often tripping over the cat, I have eventually found the applicable drawer, and welcomed the day’s start with a festive sugar rush.

Sometimes, I cheat and eat ahead. When I do, I make sure to leave a treat behind, as often there are two in each drawer. Waking up to an empty drawer might leave me inconsolable, and I can’t go to work lke that.

Tomorrow is the 24th, which means I get to wake up to the contents of the big (opened) drawer at the bottom and then retire the Advent calendar for another year.

This strikes me as wholly disappointing. Surely there’s something I’m always counting down to. Why not count down to everything with treats in little drawers?

December 22, 2008

Ye Olde Oak American Hot Dogs

In England, some may believe that we Americans consume our hot dogs from jars.

Hot dogs in jars?

In three decades of life in the United States, not once have I ever seen hot dogs sold in a jar or with a shelf life appropriate for room temperature storage.

Alas, they can be yours for £1.49 at Sainsbury’s.

December 21, 2008

My Percy Pig Eggcup

I was given this Percy Pig eggcup as a gift because of my love of Marks & Spencer Percy Pigs. It includes a matching spoon, an egg warmer, and a flower-shaped salt shaker (not in the picture),

Using it has resulted a new love of soft boiled eggs and toast, which is popularly know as “Eggs & Soldiers” to English children. The use of the term, “soldiers” to refer to strips of toast is so prevalent that it has been included in the OED in 1966.

December 21, 2008

Beware the Children

I just came across this photo, taken earlier this year. As I prepare to observe the end of my first year living in London, it seemed a good place to start.

I had kept a move-related blog, which was a casualty of changed addresses and banks (oops) back in August. I’ve been meaning to pick it back up again, and it has taken me until now to finally do it.

While my focus won’t be on the relocation element anymore, my drivel will inevitably include observations on life here. Much has London has become my home, there are still frequent times where I find myself doing a double take and laughing.

This sign is just one of the many.