Friday, April 29, 2011

William and Kate

I was really looking forward to this wedding.

Unfortunately, I had to miss the big event.

Chuck dutifully stood in for me.




Naaaaaaaaaah!

How could I miss Wills and Kate's wedding? I would have to have been rendered unconscious to miss an event like that! :P

I set my alarm for 3am to watch all the coverage. As requested by Kris, I recorded this short video.

Not eloquent. Sort of Blair Witch Project-esque.



It felt like Christmas morning.

I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, so I had some pharmaceutical help in the shape of Tylenol PM's. Had a very refreshing, 7 hour sleep. I knew I had to get through about 5 hours of pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding coverage. Plus all the replays.

Woke up, slapped on some makeup, my tiara and some pajamas, and parked myself on the sofa. I was accompanied by the aforementioned scones, jam, clotted cream, and Earl Grey. I wasn't completely alone, as I was texting my friend Elise throughout.

Westminster Abbey is amazing. I swear I'd go to church every day if I could attend a church like that. Such history. It's been the site of Royal coronations since 1066.

At first when I saw all the trees they had brought inside for the wedding, I wasn't impressed. But they grew on me (pun intended) the more I watched.

I'm glad I got up early, because I really enjoyed watching all of the invitees arrive.



David Beckham looked absolutely DELICIOUS. Forget the scones. I wanna take a bite outta THAT guy.

When I saw Posh's dress, I thought, 'Well, that's horrible! What the hell was she thinking wearing that shapeless frock?'

I'm an idiot. I totally forgot she was pregnant. So I forgive her. She looked super-nervous though. She's had so much botox, I'm surprised she can exhibit that much emotion.

Next were the Camerons (the Prime Minister of England and his wife).




David looked nice in his morning coat. But Mrs. Cameron could have made more of an effort. She looked like she did her own hair. Couldn't she have sprung for a hat at least??


And look, it's the Queen!




Oh wait. It's only Elton John. :P

I must confess that I stole that from my friend Elise. When she texted me that, I laughed my ass off.

I love Sir Elton :)

Around this point, Chuckles woke up and began to get ready for work. He even joined me to watch the walk down the aisle and the vows. I lured him with a 6am glass of champagne. He didn't complain.

He kept saying, "Wow, Kate is hot!"

How could I dispute? I agreed. "Too bad she's marrying Prince William. You could always marry her sister?" I said.

"Nah. I want her Mom."



That's MY Chuckles. Always after the ultimate MILF.

Everybody looked great! Even Charles and Camilla.



Wait. I forgot about Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.




I saw Princess Beatrice sitting behind the Queen, and I thought it was Lady Gaga.

Talk about trying to attract attention!

I loved the Queen in her sunny yellow ensemble.




I loved the fanfare. I loved the hymns. I loved it when they played 'God Save The Queen". I felt at home!

When I first saw Kate, I started tearing up. She looked SO beautiful.

The dress actually looked a lot like I thought it would. Long sleeved, lacy, but simple and elegant. Sort of like Grace Kelly's.






I was betting Kate would wear a tiara! I was correct. She's a princess now, she HAD to get married in a tiara!

I'm really glad I spent my last day off brushing up on Royal history. I was watching the BBC America broadcast, so I was treated to statements like, "And this plate was presented to Westminster Abbey by Charles II..." Nice to know exactly how old that plate was!

Chuck (who, incidentally, is also Charles II. He's a 'Junior') was sitting with me on the sofa with his glass of champagne (after he had finished breakfast of course) whilst Kate was walking down the aisle.

When the camera cut to William and Harry at the end of the long aisle, we could see Harry turn and glance at Kate. He turned back around and said something to William.

Chuck thought that was awesome. "Kyna, what do you think he said? 'Dude, I just saw Kate. she looks hot. Dude, you should see her! I saw her first! Dude!!'"



The best part of the wedding was how William and Kate looked at each other. There are a lot of skeptical people out there, very cynical about how this marriage is going to turn out.

I think it's completely different than past Royal marriages. They're both almost 30. Kate is university educated. They've been together for almost 10 years, and have lived together.

You can tell how much they love each other just by how they look at each other.

William was looking at Kate like she was a goddess. They were beaming and smiling at each other throughout the ceremony, when other Royals married before them were stoic.




It was such a 'young love' thing to do. My own wedding anniversary is next week, and Chuck and I still look at each other like that. We're best friends. I get the feeling that Wills and Kate are best friends. I really want them to make a good go of life together.

Anyway, one prince down, one more to go.

Once Chuck has Kate's mum securely in his grasp, I can set my sights on The Spare.

Yum.

Monday, April 25, 2011

If Harris Teeter Was A Dude, I'd Totally Make Out With Him

I was all prepared to go down to Wilmington after this morning's meeting to load up on Brit-snacks for Friday.

Wilmington is 50 miles (or about 80km) away from where I live. Probably 15 miles closer from the bookstore. I buy most of my really 'fancy' foods from The Fresh Market.

Just before I left the meeting, my friend Kristyn informed me that they had just opened a new Harris Teeter store at about half that distance two weeks ago.

"They sell HP sauce and Marmite. You might want to try there first," she said.

Harris Teeter is a sort of specialty grocery store. Thank goodness she told me, because H. Teets (that's what I'm calling it now) had every single British food item on my list. Saved me time and gas money.

More importantly, gas money.



I picked up all sorts of awesomeness!

Branston Pickle?

Check.



I'd never tried B.P. before, I bought it based on all your recommendations. It's amazing!

Marmite?

Check.



They say you either love Marmite, or you hate it. I don't understand the hate part.

It's effing delicious. I wanna motorboat it.



And it's 100% vegetarian!

(*cough* Like I give a rat's ass about that *cough*)

I couldn't wait till Friday, I had to bust that one open. Butter...Marmite...toast...heaven.

Heinz 57 Beans?

Check.



Heinz 57 Curry Beans?

Oh, pardon me. I meant Beanz.

Check. Mate.




Cream for my (to be freshly baked) scones?

That's a check and a hells yes!




English jam for my scones?

Check.




Ok...it's Scottish jam. They didn't have English jam.

But isn't Scotland just sort of an annex of England?



Hey, hey! I was just kidding. No need to pelt me with haggis, my Scottish friends.

What's that? Haggis Hurling is a sport?

Oh. Well carry on then.

And thank you for the jam.

HP Sauce?



Hm. Don't know if that's quite a 'check'. I prefer the Original, but all they had was Fruity.

What do they do, put extra tamarind in it?

Oh well, I'm good with Fruity.

Hey, you know what? If you say Fruity a bunch of times, it starts to not sound like a word anymore.

Fruity, fruity, fruity....

Getting off track here.

Wensleydale cheese?

Check.



They had two other kinds...one with apricot bits and another with cranberry bits.

But since I got the Fruity HP, I stayed with regular Wensleydale. Otherwise that's just too much fucking fruit.

Aero?




That not only deserves a 'check', but an 'I didn't know Aero was English'. I always thought it was a Canadian thing. Huh.

Jammie Dodgers?

(Notice, they're "Now More Fruity!" Wtf? Does that make everything better in England??)

A 'check' for me...



...and the forks for IG.



If loving biscuits that you think taste like ass is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

Hmm...my fingernails sure are dirty. Can take the gardener out of the dirt, but can't take the dirt out of the gardener.

And last but not least...

Drum roll please!



I didn't think I'd find actual Jaffa Cakes. I thought I'd have to settle for Pims!

Obviously I didn't buy it all to eat for the Royal Wedding, or it'd probably kill me.

"Kyna's dead."

"Oh, that's terrible! How'd she die?"

"I heard they found her on the floor with curried bean sauce smeared all over her face and a Jammie Dodger lodged in her aorta."

"Tsk, tsk. She should have paced herself..."


Harris Teeter, I love you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Silence of the Bees

My back porch is sacred to me.

Nowhere do I enjoy being more, than sitting in my favourite chair on that porch.

Perfect on a sunny afternoon. Western exposure, bordered by a long garden. Sun + cold beverage + feet up = ahhhhhhhhhhhh. 'Nuff said.



Perfect on a rainy day. As long as the wind isn't howling, you can sit on the porch and watch the storms roll in. Enjoy the smell and the coolness of the rain without getting wet. The lavender I have planted smells especially nice and fragrant on rainy days.



When I'm at work on a beautiful day, I daydream about getting home and porch sitting.

I can sit in silence and listen to the cardinals singing. Or I can crank up my iPod through the outdoor speakers that Chuckles installed a couple of years ago, and rock out with my cock out.




Depends on my mood.

There's a long history of porch sitting here in America. There's an art to it. Everyone loves to porch sit. Even Mark Twain.



Our friends Sean and Andie are moving into a different house next month. It's pretty nice.

It's pretty large, has a HUGE yard, a fenced in garden, beautiful trees. Which one of those perks is the most important to them?

None of the above. All Andie kept saying was, "But it has a PORCH SWING."

Porches are important!

The back porch is my sanctuary. Anybody messes with my porch? I mess up their FACE.

A couple of days ago, Chuckles and I were parked on the porch after work. We were watching a giant bee droning around the eaves of the house.

I'm talking about a huge-ass bee.




These bees have been hanging out the last 2 or 3 weeks. They'll lazily dive-bomb you if you try to get anything done in the garden.




"Those are boring bees," said Chuckles.

Boring bees, eh?

Do they ambush you with calculus equations when you're least expecting it?



Do they show you endless slides of family vactions?



Do they prattle on for hours about their stamp collections?



Do they use really bad puns?



A friend of mine said that an image of bees playing golf was brought to mind.



People here call them boring bees, but they're actually carpenter bees.




Little fuckers look innocent, don't they? Especially against that poncy pink background.

Well they're not.

I've heard of honey bees. Mason bees. Killer bees.

Normally, I love bees. But wood-eatin' bees??

You know what I say to that.



Anyway, Chuck and I were sitting on the porch watching that gargantuan, slovenly bee, when Chuck looks down beside his chair and says, "What the hell is this shit? Sawdust?"



Uh-oh. Our relaxing afternoon of porch sitting had been interrupted. Chuckles turned into a bee-seeking missile. Everytime one of the fat bees would come buzzing up to the screen, he would watch it to see if it disappeared.

We knew that the bees couldn't be boring holes inside the porch, because it's all lined in vinyl siding with no cracks in it. Ceiling included. Plus, every time a bee would actually make it through a rip in the screen, it would just stupidly run itself into a corner and repeatedly hit the screen, trapped. They're not the brightest crayons in the box.




However, the porch is framed up with treated wood to support the screen.

Wood-chewin' bees don't normally bore holes into treated wood, but the wood is a few years old now, and spends most of the day in bright sun, so the treatment has worn out a bit.

It seemed we searched every inch of the wood, and still couldn't find a hole. Chuck sat back down but was still restless. Like a cat tracking a canary.



The bee suddenly disappeared.

"A-ha!" Chuck shouted, and bolted from his chair to see where the bee went.

He finally found the hole. Clever little bee bastards. The entrance point was chewed away just where the top of the screen door rested whilst closed. There was just enough of a crack between the door and the wood above for the fat-ass bees to squeeze through.



Whilst Chuckles was busy pissing off the bees by hammering on the frame (such a shit-disturber, my husband), I went to go look up what we could do about it. Like a good wife should.

According to the Gospel of Wikipedia, they like to bore into wood that faces the sun. They bore a single hole upwards into the wood, and then chew tunnels horizontally, where they lay eggs.



It seems to be a very bad idea to try to plug the hole. Since they make holes horizontally through the wood, this wouldn't do much good anyway. But we couldn't just let them go to town on it. My beloved porch would end up looking like swiss cheese!



Chuckles decided he was going to rip down the piece of wood above the screen door and see how far they'd burrowed.



It wasn't as bad as it might have been if we'd waited.

Chuck sawed the wood apart to see what they did to the inside of the 2x4. It was interesting, it was just like the illustration I posted above (click on my pics, they look better that way), minus the bee eggs. Hadn't got that far along yet.

One cut...


Two cuts...


Three cuts. You can get a pretty good picture of the damage they can do. Also of how dry Chuck's hands are.


They were also starting on a second hole on the other end.

Chuck said he's worked on old houses in Jacksonville that were completely infested with these bees. Gack!

He cut a new piece of treated 2x4 and replaced it where the old one had been. Good as new! I'm thinking we're going to have to do that to the whole frame of the porch eventually.

Bee-ware the wood-chewin' bees, they'll get into your house when you least expect it!!