Monday, February 28, 2011

Handle What Exactly?

It happened again.....this one was in my email inbox today:

(click to enlarge...or not)

It reads as follows:
*******************************
Hello,

My name is Mr Lam Jan a banker and manager of Audit & Accounts department in our bank.I used to be a personal account manager to late Mr. Gary Rios, our bank customer who was involved in the ill fated Kenya Airways crash in Africa. As his account officer, hearing the report of his death,I made many inquiries to trace the extended family relatives to comeforward to claim
their inheritance but my efforts were aborted. It was during one of my research I came across your email address and now decided to appoint you as the next of kin in order to claim the deposit with our bank which is at a ummary of US$16 million.

I am giving you this vital and onfidential information in order to make the deal with you and get the money into your bank as the recipient and beneficiary since you a foriegner giving you an advantage on coming into this matter. If you are ready to cooperate with me to get this fund, you will email me back with the necessary particulars
below;
Your full Name,
Age, Sex & Marital Status,
Address with contact telephone and fax numbers.
to enable me introduce you to the bank as the new beneficiary/ recipient of the funds.If you can handlle this, reach me back through this particular email address.  lamjan2010@cantv.net

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation

Regards,
Mr Lam Jan.
 *********************************
My Reply?... Oh this one was fun!

Dear Mr. Lam Jan-

I wanted to thank you, you see it's been a while since I had a song playing in my head that didn't make me bananas.. but today, thanks to YOU & inspiration from your fantastic name, I am now boppin' around with this one as my theme music today:



As for your bank customer, Mr. Gary Rios, on that ill fated Kenya Airways crash (please remind me which/when that was again?) I don't believe that I am actually related to him... unless you speak of a relation to the woman known as Rio... the one that dances on the sand, just like that river twisting through a dusty land.  Did you know her? Man, when she shined she really showed you all she could. What I wouldn't give to see Ol' Rio dance across the Rio Grande again!

You see back in the 80's her and I were tight. Oh yes, I don't know that a day went by that she and I didn't spend time together. We were BFFs! Alas, not related. So I'm not sure that I would be able to claim the deposit with [your] bank which is at a ummary of US$16 million. (BTW, what's an "ummary"?)

 I do understand that time is of the essence, since a bank holding onto US$16 million must be a harrowing thing. I can't even imagine where you'd keep it all! I sure hope it's not in pennies. If it is in loose change, than I respectfully have to decline receipt of the US$16 million. I have a bum shoulder and am not a fan of paying for those pesky fees that the airlines charge when your bag weighs too much. I'm sure I could afford it with the US$16 million, but it would take entirely too long to count that out in pennies... or even nickles.

The vital and  onfidential[sic] information in order to make the deal with [me] and get the money into [my] bank as the recipient and beneficiary since [I'm] a foriegner[sic] is a true show of kindness on your part and has not gone by unnoticed. I'd even go so far as to suggest that whomever does receive the US$16 million would probably be okay with you grabbing a handful of change and getting yourself a new keyboard. ('cause between you & me Mr. Lam Jan, I think your keyboard is busted. If it's not then maybe you should remember that when you are typing an email and a red line appears under a word... THAT means you've spelled it wrong.)

As for me being ready to cooperate with you to get this fund, & emailing you back with the necessary particulars.... that's easy!

My full Name: MS. Goofy Girl
Age: a lady never tell that Mr Lam Jan! You should know that!
Sex: oh yes! I do enjoy it!
Marital Status: future ex Mrs. Del Toro after he acknowledges that I exist on the planet
Address: you have my email already
Contact telephone and fax numbers: alas I have neither. Well, I have a mobile phone, but I don't like giving out that number because, well, you know, unsolicited phone calls and all.

Oh! One other thing, just out of curiosity how exactly would you have decided to introduce [me] to to the bank as the new beneficiary/ recipient of the funds? Would there have been a big party?!?! That makes me sad, 'cause I have this great dress I've been dying to wear for ages now! I even have the perfect shoes to go with it already.. & really, how often does THAT happen?!

Mr. Lam Jan, I don't think my ability, or inability to handlle[sic] this is an issue. Truth is, Mr. Lam Jan... I seriously doubt you could handle me.

Thank you for your anticipated hope of cooperation, better luck next time...chump.
-Goofy Girl

Friday, February 25, 2011

That Betch!

I'm not sure how many of you wonderful people know Cake Betch over at her blog The Hot Mess Chronicles... but you should! She's funny, talented, and every single time she posts something I get REALLY upset. Why? Because I'm totally rip shit about the fact that she is not my next door neighbor. Though, my neighborhood should be happy about that since I get the distinct impression that her and I would cause some serious trouble if left to our own devices with each other. (She might just be my evil twin.... which... uh... would make me HER evil twin...) ;p

Cake Betch  illustrates her blog posts herself, and she does such an amazing job that it'll make you want to try it yourself. However once you try, and realize her comedic graphic illustrations are damn near impossible to rival, you'll probably get pissed... and then just wish she was your next door neighbor too. Lucky for you (& today for me!!!) she enjoys illustrating OTHER peoples blog posts from time to time. Yes, today is my lucky day. She offered to illustrate a blog post of mine, so I sent her one I had written that I thought would be a better story with her talents added in... and today it's up on her blog! Yes, my very first guest posting! So... Go and check it out! ... seriously.. go now! (... but don't forget to come back... I'll miss you.)

Read my blog post HERE.

(Feel free to comment here or there, as I'd pretty much want to cry if no one had anything to say. Not that I'd try & guilt you into leaving a comment or anything... but... well... admit it, you love it (comments) too.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My New Favorite Thing: Honey Badger Don't Care!

Someone who is still quite close to my heart is VERY into hunting, fishing, etc... and I know he loves to watch those hunting and animal shows; they were, in truth, interesting at times... but if they were like this.... I would go buy a Tivo (do they still make Tivo's?) and record the hell outta them and take full days off work just to watch them.

Without further ado... allow me to introduce you to my new favorite thing this week:



Seriously, does it get much more awesome than that? :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Porn & Gambling


Are any other bloggers out there getting this email these days? At first glance there's a moment of "hmm, that's interesting... then followed by... "Really? C'mon!"

Anyway.. I was just wondering who else was getting these.

(click to enlarge)


(it reads:)
Dear Ms Goofy Girl,
My name is Sarah from Article Writing Services. We have a client who would like to pay you for the opportunity to post some of their content on your website. All of the content is professionally produced and you can select from pieces relevant to your audience.
The result is you get some free, interesting content for your readers while getting paid.
In return our client is asking for one link that they specify at the bottom of the content (no porn or gambling). Feel free to contact me with any concerns or clarifications you may have.
If you would like to see some examples of our content, please email me at sarah@article-writing-services.org so we can begin.
Sincerely,
Sarah Miller
Outreach Manager - Article Writing Services
sarah@article-writing-services.org


 I have to be honest, I sort of want to write back.... that seems to be a theme of mine when it comes to ridiculous spam. I'd do the same with snail mail too. I'd use all the envelopes with postage paid and stuff them full of other junk mail to return to sender. I'm sure it did nothing but crack me up... but, then that makes it totally worth it! 

Maybe I'll just send a quick reply?....

Dear Sarah- Thank you for your generous offer. You had me right up until your caveat of "no porn or gambling." It's what pretty much killed it for you.  "Free, interesting content" for my readers... but no porn or gambling? I think that might be downright impossible, but feel free to send me some of your writing samples to review and I will let you know if you're worthy of being an addition to my blog, I should warn you though... it'll cost you.  I do need a new car. I suggest, in the meantime, that you have your client brush up on their porn and gambling writing, they are missing out on a huge chunk of the blog market. I don't know about you, but not a day has gone by, since I obtained a laptop & wifi, that my morning routine didn't include a bit of porn and some quick gambling before I left for the day to hide from the bill collectors.
Quite Insincerely- Ms Goofy Girl
PS. Might I also suggest looking into trying to amp up the name of your business? "Article Writing Services", while quite blunt... is really also quite lame, and the acronym for it just leaves one with the sound made upon realizing that no porn or poker will be a part of the deal... just a bunch of "aws."

I also dug through my 'puter and found this screen shot of an old spam email that had me giggling for a bit. I do suggest you try this once in a while, it's more than a little fun...even if just for you :)

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Paleolithic Particulars In unProfessional Prose

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I hear something that sounds too good to be true… it probably is. If there seems to be any grain of truth to it, then I will seek out the answers needed to get to the bottom of things. Most recently I applied this to what I had been hearing about "The Paleo Diet."

Let me give you a brief description of what The Paleo Diet is:
Basically the idea is that because cavemen (& women!) couldn't hop a brontosaurus to the nearest grocery cave... they were scavengers. Their diet existed mainly of seeds, plants, fruits, berries and meats. Those are essentially the basics and basis for a menu to chose from for Paleo. People who support the theory of Paleo believe that once fire was discovered humans were able to cook the shit outta foods that were toxic prior to ...uh.... well, cooking the shit outta them, and that's how grains & starches were brought in and provided dense calories. Suddenly… taa daa! The basis of your average modern crap human diet.

Paleo is basically an elimination of high calorie food, but still managing to eat a lot of calories from fats and proteins. Yes, I just said FATS. … and I just told you to consume a bunch of calories. (Wacky eh?) HOWEVER, you gotta cut out dairy (which, as much as I actually love milk, makes sense since humans beyond infancy really shouldn't ingest it.) You also have to get rid of starches & grains. No more bread, no more pasta. The pasta part is fine by me since I always feel ill after eating it… but bread? Really? 'Cause I don't know about you but I don't find much to be more delicious than fresh baked bread slathered in butter. I thought this was insane, there was NO WAY I would give up bread/grains. I love me some bread and cereal (not the sugary kind, which I always found gross, I'm talkin' "Fiber One" cereal, that stuff is delish!). They were a daily staple for me. But guess what? I don't miss them. I've found alternatives that are not only just as good, but some taste BETTER.

Perfect example: Almond milk. Holy crap that stuff is good!! After trying it I was honestly upset that I had just had it now for the first time. Seriously, it's THAT good. As for bread? Almond flour. It's amazing! You can make just about anything with that stuff! Tonight I was sitting down to watch a movie ("Easy A", which was pretty funny BTW) and made a cup of tea ('cause I live on the edge like that...) and wanted something to nibble on… so I baked some little cookies… and you know what? They were yummy!
Basically I just made it up and whisked together ½ cup coconut flour, ½ cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes, 1 cup of almond flour, 2 heaping tablespoons of almond butter, a teaspoon of raw organic honey and ½ cup almond milk (you can add an egg too if you want, but I had I feeling I'd cave in and try a spoonful of the "dough" (which I did), so raw eggs weren't something I felt like eating)… roll it out into a bunch of balls and squish 'um down, bake at 350˚ for like 20 min… and enjoy. If you want them to be sweeter… push your finger in the center of each "cookie" to make a divot and spoon a bit of that raw organic honey. (*note: if you are a total sugar addict, this will taste kinda bland to you at first, but once you cut sugar from your diet they will be the best treat… and they are not even bad for you! - though you probably shouldn't eat them all at once.)

(I put walnuts & hazelnuts on 'um too)

Back to the basics of Paleo:  There are various approaches to eating this way. Keep in mind this is NOT a diet like "Atkins" (though there are similarities) or "The Zone" or even that silly ass "Master Cleanse" (WTF was THAT all about?! YUCK!). I hate that it's impossible to say "I'm following the Paleo Diet" without someone thinking it's a phase, or that eventually you'll go off it… or that you are doing it just to lose weight. I am approaching this the same way a vegetarian might decide to stop eating meat. It's a life change. I want to be healthier than I already am, and I'd like it to last... for life.
 
Pretty much the most common criticism of Paleo involves comparative life expectancy. Assumptions are made that we live much longer and healthier lives today than Mr & Ms Cave People. Plus the idea that there is no way to know if they would be healthier or not because they didn't live long enough to acquire the chronic degenerative diseases of today. The idea that cave people's lives were "nasty, brutish, and short" is totally an exaggeration that was popularized by Thomas Hobbes' "Leviathan". Plus there have been scientific findings that human life expectancies DECLINED when Stone Age peeps adopted an agrarian lifestyle when the Neolithic era began. Our increases in life expectancy are mainly due to public health advances in sanitation, food safety, quarantine systems, immunizations and childbirth survival rates. 33 years was the estimated AVERAGE life expectancy of a Paleolithic male, not the maximal lifespan of all hunter gatherers. A hunter gatherer who was able to live through childbirth, infectious disease, accidents, battles/fights, and shit like saber tooth tigers attacking while Mr & Ms. Cave People are trying to picnic, could be expected to live as long as we do today. PLUS there's archaeological and anthropological studies of Paleolithic records, and contemporary hunter-gatherer cultures, that show much lower prevalence of heart disease, sudden cardiac death, cancer, stroke, and even chronic acne, than in modern societies.

click to enlarge

One approach to Paleo suggests stages.
  • Stage One: munch on nuts and berries all day when hungry and then eat just about anything you want for dinner. The idea being that it slowly leads to detoxification of old bad eating habits and will probably have you losing some stored fat as well. 
  • Stage Two: (which supposedly lasts for 2 months/8 weeks) is all about gettin' your blood glucose levels down and eliminate carb cravings (or at least knock 'um back to not much). They (who ever "they" are) tell you that daily fasting is important (I think they mean "skip lunch and snacks") and that dinner can be any of the Paleo foods you want. Want bacon for dinner? Have it. Steak & asparagus cooked in bacon fat? (which I totally ate the other day and it was PHENOMENAL!) Eat it! The people that back up this way of eating say that by following these guides people will soon report that they feel their senses are sharper, and we will be closer to our ancestors scavenger  way of burning bad fat and.. well.. living. (Only with soap & showers.)
  • Stage Three: is where you stick to the "diet" for life. Just keep eating the same healthy way you have been.

Now, I am not following the aforementioned approach to Paleo. I jumped right in and cut out all dairy, no more bread, and I am doing things that still make me feel naughty when cooking. Bacon whenever I want it? Then SAVE the fat? … so I can cook with it later?! What?! (AWESOME!)

My average daily meal looks like this: (mind you, I do my VERY best to keep all things ridiculously organic, and grass fed… and the bacon has gotta be nitrate free as far as I'm concerned)

Breakfast: 2 or 3 eggs, a slice or two of bacon, about 2 or 3 tablespoons of spicy salsa, and a healthy dash of red pepper flakes. Sometimes I throw in diced up green &/or red peppers… just make it up as I go really.

Lunch: if hungry (lack of refined sugar/carbs, and the high protein reduces hunger drastically) I'll take any leftover meat from the night before and slice it up over a large bed of dark leafy greens and use a home made vinaigrette (that'd be extra virgin olive oil & vinegar, duh) .. and any veggies (usually shredded carrots and broccoli- which I normally hate, but I dig the texture) If I am not going to be anywhere that I know I can grab lunch I just keep a ziplock bag of mixed nuts (NOT peanuts- basically no legumes)
Dinner: Pretty much the same as lunch if I want it, or maybe some steak and asparagus sauteed in bacon fat ... or "ghee" which is clarified butter- you can find it in your grocery store in the section that usually has "foreign" (read: "East Indian") food, or just make it yourself if you're so inclined.) The options are easy and endless.

I'm honestly stuffed and totally full each day. I sleep better. I wake up earlier, I'm less tired and lethargic upon waking, and I'm much better at remembering to do things. (read: less brain farts)

I could list hundreds of recipes, but the truth is that a quick google search will provide you with everything you could possibly want to know about Paleo, the foods, what to cook, how to cook it, and a plethora of ideas.

Amanda
The big question… what made me want to do this? That's easy! Aside from the never ending search for ideas as to how to eat healthier, and do it without messing up my system, a friend of mine recommended it. Not directly, but I knew she had been doing it for a while, and I was paying close attention to her results and started to ask her about it. Let's be brutally honest here, show of hands, how many of you just want to know if you can/will lose weight on this? Easy answer: yup, you betcha. My friend, Amanda, has been amazed at the way her weight has been dropping. Granted she is working out like a champ these days as well, but she knows that Paleo is creating not only the ability to do that, but that even without the workouts the weight would be coming off. Mind you, as mentioned, I did A LOT of research on Paleo and there were so many stories about people who changed NOTHING about their day to day activities but still dropped a bunch of weight. I'm down with that. (I'd be more than happy to drop a few lbs)

All that said, Amanda is the mother of two small children, and when her oldest (Hazel) was about 6 months old (she's 3 now) Amanda was diagnosed with MS. She was immediately put on a cocktail of medications and told what she could and couldn't do. ……. Not long after her second child was born (Elias) Amanda decided to change her diet to Paleo. Know what happened next?...Her medications were all rendered unnecessary, so she went off them,  and she has not had any flare ups. The other night we spoke on the phone and she couldn't possibly have expressed fully just how much happier, healthier.. and all around better she felt since going Paleo. I was sold.

My younger brother, who I recently told a friend "is so freakin' healthy we're expecting him to turn into a carrot any day now," switched to Paleo about a year ago… but had to go off it for a bit (or, I should say… add more to it)… know why? He was losing too much weight. (Yes I have given him a hearty "fuckyouverymuch" on behalf of the majority of the human population for that one.)

In summary: I have yet to see/read one single hardcore anti-Paleo statement. I have seen nothing but educated and fact based reviews, articles, & personal stories that claim Paleo is pretty much the best way to go. Add in the fact that a member of  my own family, and a very smart & trusted friend have nothing but good things to say about it? I'm totally sold.

I wrote this post because I have seen those "blog" posts in regards to "fad diets," & "life changing" ways of life et al., that seem, for all intents and purposes, to be legit… but after a while you just know they're not. You wonder who paid the person to write such a glowing review… and there is almost always a link or two to a book about the subject…. it's all just kinda suspect, you know? I know that anyone following my blog knows a few things about me, and some of those things are: I don't lie, I rarely hold back, and I would NEVER recommend something I thought was questionable or unsafe.

So there ya go. If you have any questions I will do my very best to answer them (though I do think google will always do a better job than I could), and I will be more than happy to post recipes and stuff if that's what someone wants. I considered posting a blog of just the grocery list from the 3 (yes, THREE) different stores I went to so I could obtain everything I needed to empty my pantry cabinets and change my diet for the better (remember, I live on a small island.) I still have the receipts, can still do it if you want. (Will be researching cheaper alternatives (like grinding almonds myself as opposed to buying almond flour since it's really @#$%^&* expensive!)


Just remember:

1) Eliminate the processed foods from your diet. It is recommended that you don't eat foods that have been created or influenced by technology. Sugars, milk and breads are all off-limits on Paleo

2) Consume a large amount of fruits and vegetables. Cavemen had access to natural fruits and vegetables. This should be a large part of your diet.

3) Get your protein from meat. A Paleo diet consisted of mostly meat/fish/poultry. The amount of meat that you can eat is basically limitless

4) Keep it low-carb. Eliminating carbohydrates from your diet is said to reduce blood sugar levels too.



**** If any of you are following Paleo, or are about to, please keep me updated on things. I am always interested in other points of view and their person experiences. (Plus I do enjoy a yummy recipe or two!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

An American Girlfriend In London, Pt 13: Just Because I Can

Last Friday (February 4th) I left London to head back to the US. The BF & I had a wee heart to heart around 5:30am that day and I expressed just how unfair I thought it would be for either of us to carry on in a committed relationship since we just didn't seem to have our hearts in it any longer. Don't get me wrong, I have much love for him, and I know he has love for me... but we are not IN love with each other, not right now. Throw in the fact that he lives in London, I live in America & we have no clue when we will next see each other.... it just seemed like the right thing to do... so I did it. It sucked, there were tears, and if I think about it for longer than a few minutes there will be tears again. I really do miss him. I miss my friend, I miss the laughter, I miss the silly conversations, the cuddles, & the...well...the sex (what? I'm human you know!) I miss a lot of things really ... *sigh*... BUT I am not going to keep talking about it, in fact I am going to tell you what I missed before I left, and what I have been filling my time with since getting home about 5pm last Friday......

I have missed, looked forward to, and am currently taking advantage of (in no specific order):

  • using my large capacity washing machine that fully cleans massive amounts of dirty laundry
  • my dryer that drys everything without walking 8 city blocks and pumping £1 for every 15 minutes of drying time
  • doing full loads of laundry (wash AND dry) in under 1 1/2 hours
  • Strawberry Twizzlers® in just about every store (!!!!)
  • "Robot Chicken" on late night TV
  • buying big thick organic steaks at the local grocery store... that will be cooked to a perfect medium rare
  • my cell phone and it's wonderful full QWERTY keypad (as opposed to the "pay as you go" crap one I had in London)
  • the awesome water pressure in my shower where I can wash my hair w/out banging my elbows on the shower walls
  • WiFi that doesn't kick me off line every 20 minutes or so
  • cheeseburgers
  • Fresca® (I don't normally drink soda unless I need caffeine or have an upset stomach, but Fresca® is my true guilty pleasure (soda wise), even though it's calorie free)
  • Getting into the car on the left side and finding a steering wheel in front of me
  • my car, POS that it may be, I missed it
  • being able to hop into the aforementioned POS car and randomly show up at my BFF's place for a cup of tea and hours of silly conversation
  • the ability to purchase things without having to do the conversion math (£ to $) in my head to try to figure out how much more expensive something is
  • make enough ice cubes to fill one of the drawers in my freezer... then make some more
  • sleep for two days straight on my soft, clean, comfy, fresh, high thread count sheets & thick down comforter, with multiple pillows to choose from, in my warm girly bed
  • watch the rest of this past seasons "Dexter" 
  • spend an entire week of evenings watching "On Demand" movies while eating strips of red pepper dipped in blue cheese dressing
  • clean out the junk in my house
  • wear shoes other than my chuck taylors, and the ones with more than a 1/2" heel
  • have more than 6 outfits to chose from
  • spend an afternoon curled up by the real fire in the wood burning stove with the dog  
  • lay in bed reading books till I am ready to fall asleep
Yes... that is my short list of things I am doing, plan to do, and will be overjoyed doing  JUST.  BECAUSE.  I.  CAN. Many things to do... and I started with revamping the blog, gave it a wee makeover. (You like?) 

All that said, I do miss the BF an awful lot (I guess I must refer to him as the EXBF now, eh? :( and I hope that he manages to come out here this spring before my job at the bar starts up again ... because no matter what, and most importantly, he is my friend, and for THAT I love him. ... and when we're good we're REALLY good. Like totally on point and nothin' can stop us... but we hadn't been on point for a while and our relationship suffered. Breaking up seemed like the right thing to do, yet (& possibly ironically) I feel like I am suffering without him now too.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make some more ice since I am currently chewing on my third full glass of ice and loving every second of it (it really is bizarrely my favorite snack)... and put the 4th load of laundry in the dryer. I'm about ready to go ransack my housemate's bedroom and do his laundry I am enjoying this so much. I am, however, smart enough not to mention this to him because it would probably soon suck all the fun out of it for me. He's got more dirty laundry than I could accumulate in 2 months time of multiple daily wardrobe changes.... but that's a whole other blog post. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An American Girlfriend In London, Pt 12: Gone Fishin'


Back in December I was checking my email and got a notification from groupon.com... you know what groupon is, right? Go there NOW and check it out! Sign up... seriously... go... NOW... it's okay, I'll wait.........

Ok.. awesome eh? Right, so this past December I noticed a deal in London for something I had kinda secretly always wanted to try.... sticking my feet in a tub filled with gara ruffa fish, aka "doctor fish."

These lil' fishies don't have teeth, but if you put your hands or feet in with them they'll totally nibble/suck on the dry skin on your feet. The deal I found via groupon was basically so cheap that three people could do it for 20 minutes for the regular cost of one person... and I convinced the BF he needed to be person #2... #3 was up for grabs, but we convinced a friend (known as "The Northern Monkey" on the BF's blog... so I guess that's what I should call him here...) to come with us.

I still can't believe they agreed. I was unsure as to what their motivation was, 'cause I know it wasn't that they were thinkin' a pedicure was called for. I think the curiosity got the best of them... but who can blame them? Maybe they thought they were being brave?

Just last week we finally made it to the shopping center, found the place w/out a problem, and presented the girl with our printed vouchers... and the shoes came off. TNM was the first to submerge his feet. Let me tell you... the squeal he let out was absolutely hysterical!


Next up was the BF (in his work clothes no less... lookin' fancy eh?)

and my initial reaction...

I must admit.. it was a sensation like nothing I had ever felt... though, if forced to compare it to something I decided it felt like that weird tickle-y feeling after your foot has fallen asleep and is just waking up and the pins and needles now just tickles.




video

I was skeptical that it'd actually work... but those wee fishies totally got all the dead skin off my feet! For real, I knew we were going that evening so I didn't bother to use any lotion on my ankles or feet... and it paid off. I have a scar from childhood that runs across the ball of my left foot that is always just plain ugly... these fishies did a better job than a pumice stone! Mind you, I had a license to do mani/pedis once (I let it expire once the fun of doing it had gone) and I've used so many products over the years to try to eliminate dead skin etc., but these fish are pretty much the best thing EVER.
Apparently they are being outlawed in many states in America, and some other countries as well, but..uh... GO UK!! I'm sure the issue of hygiene is the thing that comes up... but I was willing to risk it just to say I did it. I know that I questioned the idea of people with nasty foot fungi and how it'd probably kill the fish.. but even stinky feet ... 'cause (sorry BF!) the BF has one pair of shoes that put my gag reflex in full swing... how do they deal with that?

The girl runnin' the show sprayed our feet with something, claiming it was water, which is odd.. that's like washing your hair before you take a shower, you know? I think it was like sugar water or somethin'... and I must have had an extra dose, 'cause those fishies loved the hell outta my feet. Maybe I just taste good?

Screw it, y'all need to try this!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An American Girlfriend In London, Pt 11: Il Était Comme Un Rêve

I still can't believe I went to Paris. Seriously, I am completely unable to accept the fact that I was there. Add in the fact that the area of Paris where my friend Mary lives is so unbelievably beautiful and picturesque that it pretty much felt like I was walking on the set of a movie or some new amazing set up at Universal Studios.

Montmartre is where her apartment is... and to be honest, if I was ever going to live in Paris I really can't imagine living anywhere BUT there.


I went totally bananas for this house... like head over heels in love with it

While I am not a "church person"... the architecture of this one (Sacre- Coeur) blew me away
  

Mary's apartment was fabulous! The building had so much of the original design that I couldn't stop staring and commenting on every little detail. Even the old tile in the massive foyer as you entered the building was beautiful.

....just like the view out her front door...

Not far from that front door I got to see some pretty awesome things.....(& yes, I was totally humming "Lady Marmalade" in my head the whole time)



One evening Mary told me she was taking me to see the Eiffel Tower, and after we got off the metro she suggested we stop for some coffee/tea. (Tea was 8 freakin Euros!!! Just a cup of hot water and a cheap bag of Lipton tea... 8 Euros!! WTF?!) She told me "it wasn't time yet"... that she wanted me to see something and we had to time it right. So we sat there, giggled, and Mary showed off her unparalleled talent with spoons....

Then it was time. We rushed out the door and as we rounded the corner of the block we were on (mind you, I had ZERO clue as to where we were at the moment) I was greeted by this next sight... and let out a very uncharacteristic squeak......

She told me that we were probably too late to make it there in time, because she wanted me to be able to stand directly beneath it, so I just flipped my crappy camera into video mode and filmed it as I walked...

video

We did make it there before the lights went out, but not quick enough to stand directly beneath it. I gotta tell you, that is fine just fine by me, I was impressed enough!
(and I couldn't stop taking pictures!)

or stop smiling......... (even though it was bitterly cold!)

I did manage to get a shot straight up.....all the while cursing my crap camera....
On the way to the center of The Eiffel Tower a man walked out of one of the service entrances and Mary stopped dead in her tracks, she knew him. Turned out he was the cousin of a friend of hers... and was the guy in charge of the lovely twinkling lights! Mary translated for me (her French is impeccable) and told him for me "Thank you, you did an amazing job!"
We had stopped along the way back to the Metro completely captivated by some icicles on a "living wall" and tried to take pictures.. but after viewing the pictures decided it just looked like chilly snot and wasn't really photo worthy...

We did end up in a small pub near her apartment that she told me was quintessentially the most Parisian bar in Paris, "Chez Ammad". While we stood there drinking some yummy red wine I couldn't help but be intriegued by the hand painted border around the bar. I wandered over to get a better look as Mary translated what the owner was telling her that an AMERICAN (from Texas to be exact) artist had painted it all by hand about 10 or so years back. That's when I came across some words that were written (well, painted) and suddenly burst out laughing.....

Mary had to translate for the owner, he never noticed the words (he was much shorter than me) and he didn't speak English anyway... poor guy was a bit taken aback) Still really funny though!

Back in Montmartre I was shown some more beautiful buildings and art....

("Le Passe-Muraille" by Jean Marais)

On my last day we went to the Louvre....... ♥
I could honestly spend 12hours a day (if not more) for a month straight and STILL not see everything... but in a few hours I sure did get an eye full. I'm a total art nerd, so The Louvre was almost like porn to me, I was silently going out of my mind with joy....

the Venus De Milo

Aphrodite

"Winged Victory"

The Mona Lisa (who, BTW, I am totally convinced is actually DaVinci's gay lover...)

Artemis/Diana the huntress

The plaque said this was a man, but Mary & I couldn't understand why it had boobies AND a penis... so we called the statue "hermaphrodite"

Napoleon III's dining room

Napoleon's bedroom

Interior shot of The Louvre (which Mary later informed me was known as "The Cour Marly")

The Crown Jewels
Oh.. and this.. this was like the coolest part!... as we were walking through the never ending maze of The Louvre I saw this on the wall and almost did another Eiffel Towel squeal.... 
I had been wanting to see Messerschmidt's sculptures for a while now, and was lead to believe I had to go to Germany to see them, which was fine, I'd like to see Germany someday... but apparently they were in Paris while I was!!!! So I went into the exhibit and started taking pictures... and managed to get a few before I was told I couldn't take pictures. To which I replied (in my head) "neener neener neener, I got a few anyway!"



(awesome, eh?)

I have no idea what this one was called, or who the sculptor was... but I loved it. It was HUGE, beyond life size. Well, the wee jawas were about as tall as my bicep, but the knight they carried was immense.

On my last night in Paris we braved the frigid wind (seriously, I had to keep counting my fingers to make sure they were still attached!) to go see The Arc de Triomphe ...

I was quite pleased... :)

wandering under The Arc de Triomphe
 and around it....





Straight shot down Avenue des Champs-Élysées from under The Arc de Triomphe


As we were leaving we passed by a "Hugo Boss" store and both commented on how much we liked the window display, except for the ugly clothes... then we realized that all the animals in the window were ACTUALLY ANIMALS. Dead, but real pelts, real feathers... and I was kinda horrified...(seriously? a giraffe pelt? sickos!!)


On my last day, the morning I was leaving.... Mary took me to Notre Dame Catherdral. Wow, just wow!



Shakespeare and Co., the second incarnation of Paris' premier English-language bookstore


Statue of Charles the Great, aka Charlemagne, in the courtyard of Notre Dame. The inscription reads "Charlemagne et ses levdes" ("Charlemagne and his servants.") 



and if that wasn't enough....
video

and outside Notre Dame...
video
Paris really was an amazing experience, and I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was there. I was quite sad that the BF couldn't make it, I would have loved to have seen so much of it with him, as opposed to just show him pictures from my horrible ancient camera.... he would have loved Paris. I'm sure he'll see it someday, with or without me, who knows? Technically it's only like 2 1/2 hours by train from where he lives... but it's a world away from where I live, so it was a real treat to spend even just 4 days there. Had it not been for Mary I doubt that I would/could have... she made the entire time there so special to me, like a dream really.