Friday, September 30, 2011

old photo friday-- my brother, the lion tamer

you are probably beginning to realize that my little brother kicked all kinds of butt.


you would not be wrong in this assessment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

krokan ice cream

i know, i know, last stunt blog i hinted that i'd be making something from the fantastic mr. fox*. that's not the case.  you see, if you weren't aware (ha!), i went to wales. specifically, cardiff. even more specifically, llandaff cathedral which happens to be right next door to the llandaff cathedral school which roald dahl attended. (i know this because i read boy* right before i went on vacation.)

here's something that you might not know! roald dahl had norwegian relatives! in fact, he used to summer in norway. which, jealous, but the cookbook* had a recipe that helped me get over that. krokan ice cream! does that not just scream norway? well, it would if it had a mouth.

if you really want to get all fancy and shit, i suppose that you could make your own vanilla ice cream. since i am not about complicating things that don't need to be complicated at this stage in my life, i bought some really good ice cream.  (q:  who's laughing now? a:  me)


as usual, i had to make substitutions and changes. the recipe calls for white sugar, i had dark brown.


i also didn't bother crushing up the toasted almonds with a rolling pin because, oh my god, i was so jet lagged when i made this.


pro tip:  don't ever try to refill a container when you're dealing with said jet lag plus a welsh cold that you (probably) caught at llandaff cathedral (thanks again, shed. (¬_¬)). things will not go as planned.


you will also not be patient enough to wait for the ice cream to refreeze properly.


but you WILL remember to offer some to norway before you eat it all while watching "trollhunter". TROOOLLL!!


next week on roald dahl stunt blogging:  foxy foods might be posted! OR i might get all bfgeezy. (funny thing, bfg does not stand for "big fucking giant". heh.

*links will take you to amazon. i am an amazon affiliate. should you purchase fantastic mr. fox, boy or roald dahl's revolting recipes through these links, i will receive monetary compensation.

Monday, September 26, 2011

return to form (bah)

since i've been sick and recovering from jet lag this past week, it should come as no surprise that i didn't really do much of anything (other than write recaps).

i did have a lot of work that autoposted while i was in the uk, however, so there is that to read/look at. excheckered,


threadjacker,

pax and ak

and slideshow freak are all there for the clicking.

i will say this:  returning to the states right at the turn of the season has made readjustment particularly difficult. i mean, coming back from the uk always depresses me but seeing dead leaves and the clouds, that smothering, grey wet blanket that threatens to suffocate you ten months out of the year here...yeah, it's been pretty rough.

still! not all bad! plans are being put into motion and i have very happy cats.


i wish that i could enjoy sleeping as much as clouseau does.

new roald dahl post coming up on wed!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

uk trip 2011, day six-- we go back to the states

and so we finally arrive at the day that i had been dreading. the return to the states. not even seeing british style chimneys out my hotel window could cheer me up. (what? i like british chimneys.)


still. time to pull on my tube socks,


sling on the backpack and head out the door.

sigh...

we took a cab to paddington station as we were using the heathrow express this time instead of a private car. (we are so spoiled. private car. (no, we didn't hire it. we just tagged along. (thanks again, kev!))

i know that some of you are going to think that another cab was extravagant but, honey, even though leff and i pack light, i am NOT taking luggage on the tube if i can help it.

anyway, the heathrow express! take this to the airport! highly recommend! it's quick, clean, quiet! just, you know, if you order in advance, make sure to get the right ticket. we didn't. oops.


funny story though, we only had to pay half fare for the correct express tickets. (leff to me: "did that ticket guy just wink at you?!" me: "yes. *rapidly changing subject*")

video

security was quick at heathrow. (even though i was majorly out of it and unnecessarily walked through empty queue barriers 'cause i couldn't walk and take off my belt at the same time at this point. (it's a good skill to have. don't judge, emulate. it will make security screening faster for all of us.)

it's a good thing that security didn't take long as i was really in need of cough syrup. (and a sandwich for the plane.)

lemme tell you about this cough syrup from boots.  it's very effective, oh my yes. it works well and it's inexpensive but it will try to kill you.  i had to take a swig of it from the bottle at the cash register so it could be properly bagged (as i was heading through another possible security screening in iceland) and, god, i almost puked it back up.


the first hit was like ammonia which lingered in the background making the second vaguely herbal flavor taste rubbing alcoholish. this was then followed by an iodine kick right as the ammonia came back into itself. and, shiiiiit, did that taste linger.

i only managed to take it once more in icleand before admitting defeat and chucking it in a bin. blargh.

so heathrow. i hate concourse 1, i really do. it's not heathrow's fault, there's plenty to do there. it's just at this point i always start feeling like someone's ripped my heart out of my chest, stomped on it, rubbed it with rough grit sandpaper and then jammed it back in. ow.


cafe nerd coffee doesn't help either. (although, thanks for trying, leff!)


ok, look. i had planned on telling you about the flights back. about how we met a nice british university student who is going to be studying for a year in portland (poor thing!). how i only tell friendly ladies about the secret women's loo at keflavik. how leff drew a seated stick figure with pain marks around its butt on the barf bag and i added the phrase"butt hurt". how, at one point on the shuttle home, i horror whispered "why can't she piss at the airport like a fucking civilized person?!?! *COUGHcoughcough*" but no. it's making me too sad.

instead, i will talk about incidentals and trinkets and such and not how much i miss my brits.(GOD, i miss my brits!!)

look at me, i'm an icelandic pony, i'm so emo and mopey and unimpressed by volcanoes.

anyway, this. this is bare bones what it takes to survive in london.


thank you 800 MILLION TIMES OVER AND OVER to shed for the mobile. i think i'm the only person in the states with an orange blackberry. (so much fruit with that phone!!)

speaking of shed, not only did he shuttle us around wales, organize dinner and just, you know, manage to be incredibly awesome (no surprises there) he also got us OTLEY PINT GLASSES!!!!


legit! i didn't nick these! THANK YOU, SHED!

also, thanks for remembering that i LOOOOOOVE the xxx mints!


i will remain a tea geek for life in non hetero normative colors. heh.


let's see, what else? oh, i'll just bullet point some things for you.

  • near caerphilly castle there's a store that i kept reading as "s'updogz". i'd look over the walls after doing a hadrian's wall pose and see "s'updogz". i have no idea what they sold.
  • tower hill tube stop on the circle line has an elevator to the platform, right? riding in this elevator reminded me of that scene early in "raw meat/death line" and i felt like i was going to get cannibaled.
  • i miss the british pronunciation of "twitter". "twit*ter" not "twidder". sigh...
  • i am not talking enough about how much i love pret a manger. PRET!!! sandwiches! apple cider vinegar crisps! SO MANY SANDWICHES!! SO DELICIOUS!! 
  • my norman jacket is exceptionally haunted at this point and it still smells like airport.
i guess i'll end this here as i know you don't want me to get super icleandic pony on you. (leff's had enough of it in real life, i'm sure. (although it is kinda' funny when i flop my hair in front of my face and put one hand up like a hoof, in a mocking tribute to my depression, i suppose.))

i am making plans to get back to the uk as soon as possible this time through cardiff international instead of heathrow. because, who are we kidding? cymru am byth!!

programming note:  regularly scheduled posts will resume on monday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

uk trip 2011, day five-- hyde park is full of horse guards, harrod's is not for the faint of heart, the v&a kicks my ass

first, a programming note: roald dahl stunt blogging will continue next week in its regular wednesday slot. today i'm continuing with the uk trip coverage. uhm, obviously.

speaking of the uk trip, here's something funny. on day five, i lost my voice. ha. haha. yeah. (i never used to have throat issues until i moved to the pnw. now, every bad cold that i get, i lose my voice. (sometimes, i feel like my immune system is being symbolic.))

since i had no way to communicate save pantomime (kudos to leff for being able to understand my personal sign language so well) or pen/paper (which, no. my handwriting just makes things worse for everyone.) i had no choice but to cancel the london meetup that i'd scheduled.

it was extremely, brutally upsetting. i'm just so glad that everyone understood. (seriously, thanks guys. i'll have to make a special trip to london in the very near future to just hang out.)

anyway, to get me out of my funk, leff suggested that we spend our last day in knightsbridge.


he's so smart. 'cause do you know what i saw the minute i got out of the tube station? harvey nics, sweetie dahling.


and just a short walk from there was hyde. freaking. park.



the SERPENTINE, bitches!


oh, was it fantastic. *so much* wildlife. such a HUGE park in the middle of EVERYTHING. so. relaxing. with swans!  in fact, here is a swan video where you can hear how terrible i sounded while misquoting "billy madison".

video


it's such an active park and, yet, unlike in the states, you can still maintain a bit of private space. (i love the brits for this. just, yeah. the ability to have a picnic and not be harassed is absolutely brilliant.)

we saw two kinds of parading. first a bunch of bikes

video

and then, THE HORSE GUARD SHOWED UP!!

video

none of my other pictures or video came out so well  so please make sure to check out leff's footage at some point. (see also: leff's tumblr recaps)


here's a stupid question for you.  why did we leave hyde park? no, two stupid questions. why did we go to harrod's?!  i fucking hate shopping at the best of times (don't ask me about the blurst of them) and crowds. oy vey. 

guess what. harrod's has all of this. 


and more.  uuuuugh! 

god, i took this picture of the dodi/diana memorial for a friend of mine.(i don't give two figs about royalty.) 


you're welcome, katty kat.

the worst part of the whole thing was that we couldn't find the food court. the reason to go to harrod's, the HUGE food court and it took us, what, an hour to find it?! misery. 

thankfully, they had gauche 1.5 liter bottles of water that i bought and drank out of on the street. yes, that idiot with the huge water bottle heading toward the v&a, that was me. (and i don't care because i was too desperately and insanely thirsty to even attempt to be cool about it.)

ok, hold on. the staff at harrod's is nice. i didn't have to glare and then claw the air in front of the perfume spritzing lady to not have her assault me olfactorily. a simple head shake worked. also, cute cashier guy was very charming when i explained, hoarsely, that i could never remember which was the 20p coin.

anyway, let's trudge on to the v&a, shall we? on the way there we passed patisserie valerie which jme has assured me is a life changing experience. 


sadly, i didn't venture inside. (i was like, "oh! patisserie valerie!" *camera click* *drinkwaterdrinkwaterdrinkwater*)

we did, however, brave traffic to get to this tea hut.


do you know about these?  they're mainly for cabbies but anyone can order tea or a takeaway from them. historic, of course. there are only 13 left in london?


anyway, leff ordered 'cause i had no voice. holy crap, this tea is good. (and inexpensive!)

we stood in the middle of the (blocked off) road for a while just being tea geeks (heh) and breathing in exhaust. well, until i horror whispered "why are we standing here?! *coughcough*" and we moved to the front of the v&a.


speaking of the front of the v&a, the main entrance was closed while we were there as workers were installing  this for the london design festival (WHICH WE MISSED! argh!!)


but, hey, hey, the v&a! it's got everything.






including spectacular views.






video


and many examples of two of my favorite artistic subjects, george and the dragon


and the virigin mary.



also this. which is not an exhibit but SHOULD BE AN EXHIBIT.


my main reason for wanting to go to the victoria and albert was for the cast rooms. oh look, here's another george at the entrance.


henry cole was the mastermind behind these copies which were made so that british artists could have access to great art works and not have to leave the country.

so, hey. did you know, THEY HAVE A COPY OF TRAJAN'S COLUMN?!

here's a detail.


in what other place could you possibly just have a copy of trajan's coloumn just, you know, banging around? it's so great that i would marry the uk if it asked me.



half of the cast rooms were being restored while we were there. slightly disappointing at first since i'd wanted to see the fig leaves that are kept in a separate area (fig leaves used to cover sculptural genitalia should victoria want to visit. which, wow, still makes me laugh.) but then i realized that, no, wait, this is actually genius.


two bound slave copies seriously bound.


a crucifixion that has been swaddled to prevent further mortification of the "flesh".


i was laughing and coughing so much that i half expected to be asked to leave.


we spent so much time at the v&a but we didn't even make a dent in the collection. next time.

at this point in the trip, leff and i could barely form sentences. so we caught the tube


back to bloomsbury

where we ate copious amounts of food from pret a manger (oh, i will TELL you about the awesomeness of pret a manger tomorrow!), watched bbc4 like it was going out of style (leff: "did we watch a documentary about postcards?!" me: "yes, we did. and it was ace!") and had fever dreams.

tomorrow we head back to the states. (i always have this urge at heathrow to try and claim asylum but i know it would never work.) the heathrow express! i almost cry on the plane! (which, god! SO OUT OF CHARACTER!) can you handle the despair?! (promise i'll make it funny.)