Friday, May 27, 2005

Sweet Home. . . London

I realize that it may read as if we're not having a good time. That's not the case. We're having a great time. The architecture in Paris was incredible. The cruise on the river Seine was romantic. It's pretty much all the standard stuff you could read in the guide books. So that's why you're getting posts about over-priced food and booger eaters.

I suppose I shouldn't mention how we got ripped-off at Gare du Nord or the old French woman who puked all over herself at the restaruant on Wednesday.

We'll just say, "Happy Birthday, Pam!"

We have free Internet access at the Rhodes Hotel, back here in London, so we'll post more later.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


We have two minutes to blog and we didnt know French keyboards would be so different: Screz it: I give up: WeĆ¹ll blog ,ore fro, London:

We had 70 dollar chicken:

Monday, May 23, 2005

Tower of London

That XTC song has been going through my head all day long. Probably because we spent a large chunk of the day at the Tower of London.

Deb has been responsible for planning this trip and so far she has done a wonderful job. The Tower of London was interesting, entertaining and even a bit romantic. Deb and I held hands as we gazed upon the rack in the torture chamber.

The toilets in the White Tower were interesting. A board with a hole in it that spills out of the wall and on to the grounds that surround the castle. As constipated as I've been I couldn't help but imagine little marbles dropping out of the chute and rolling around on the ground.

We're dog tired. We went to St. Paul's and refused to pay £8 to get in. So we just stood in the doorway. Debbie wanted to play Charles & Diana but I was too uptight to get into the moment.

Next was Big Ben, parliament, Westminster Abbey (five minutes too late to get inside), Buckingham Palace, St. James Park then to Harrod's. We paid $70 to eat at a counter at Harrod's. I'm not sure if it was worth it, but we got hot towels at the end of our meal. We've had the hot towel experience before, but after spending much of our time underground riding the train we were glad to wipe some of the film off our hands and face.

Now we're happy to be sitting for a moment. I've got 16 minutes left on this thing so I'll let Debbie drive.

We miss the girls, but we definitely are glad they aren't with us. We've climbed an innumerable number of stairs, ridden escalators until we're literally dizzy (though Allie loves escalators), and jumped on and off a lot of subway trains. This is not a town for young kids. The escalators are very steep and very long--vertigo-inducing.

We hope all our family is well and happy. We hope Marcia is surviving our two, though things should be better now that Dave is home. Write comments here if you like, or send Greg an e-mail. We're going to try to blog each night, though tomorrow is Paris, so we'll have to find a new place.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Deb is sitting next to me at an Internet cafe in Oxford, England. I'm paying a pound to use this terminal so this better be one hell of a post.

We got here via a tour bus we picked up in London. Yesterday we rode the Tube and hit a museum. We noticed we both had plenty of dirt in our mucous after riding the trains all day. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that many men here seem to dig in their noses without any help from a tissue. Deb and I watched one man eat his boogers.

Pointy shoes are necessary if you're a woman. Very pointy shoes.

The weather has been overcast and rainy at times. It's strange to feel sticky from the humidity when it's so cold. We both took showers to wash off the city when we got back to our hotel room last night.

Speaking of our hotel room, it's nice. When we checked in our room was right off the vent from the kitchen so it smelled of that morning's breakfast. I was ready to puke already (leftover from the flu we've been battling all week). I went to the front desk and they gave us another room. Good move. Our room is clean with high ceilings. Nothing fancy at all, but satisfactory and it doesn't smell like greasy eggs.

No bed bugs.

Here's Deb -

We found our way from the airport to Paddington Station without any trouble, then walked to our hotel, where we crashed for a couple of hours. Flights from Chicago to London suck, suck, suck.

Then we saw the Museum of London and Piccadilly Circus and got a really expensive dinner at an Italian restaurant. Everything is very expensive, but we sent some of you postcards anyway!

We're in Oxford for only another 1/2 hour, so we're leaving now. We're on our way to Stratford-Upon-Avon (English majors and Shakespeare never die). See you!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bloggus Interruptus

Here are the first lines from four blogs I intended to post but still haven't:

1) The only true skill I have is my ability to be unfailingly obsequious.

2) These days I take for granted that Allie is going to be well-behaved.

3) Yesterday I saw a photo of a huge, 15 lb., hamburger on

4) I had a friend in high school whose dad always had some sort of How I Made my Millions book or a set of motivational cassettes stashed somewhere near his desk.

Blog one would never have been posted. I knew that as I wrote it. I was looking for a catharsis. What I got was just plain whiny and demonstrated how self-absorbed I am (as if that would have been a revelation for anyone who has read these posts). I added a little finger pointing for good measure and that's never a good thing.

Blog two required that I scan the back of a restaurant receipt and I haven't had time or energy to do that. The receipt featured a compliment from a waitress who thought our girls were very polite. Maybe I'll scan it in someday, but I don't think it'll be anytime soon so I'll park the post with these others in the Dead Blog Office.

Blog three went on to describe how I ate a big, greasy burger in my car. I was grossed out by it (my post, not the burger). It almost started to read like a Penthouse Forum letter so I nipped it in the bud. Not to mention the fact that I probably would have wound up mentioning Mad Cow Disease. There are a few of you who would prefer I just leave that topic alone.

Blog four was about me trying to figure out if Malcom Gladwell's latest book is just pandering to MBAs and MBA wannabes looking for an edge. I couldn't figure out if that's why I read it. Oh, wait. Here's a clue: I bought the thing in an airport on a business trip. It doesn't take three paragraphs worth of blog post to figure that one out.

So now I'm here, down in the basement. I'm ready to blog my brains out and I can't think of a single thing to tell you other than I mowed the lawn this evening.

So maybe I'll hold off until I've gathered enough bad posts to warrant another trip to the Dead Blog Office. In the meantime I'm going to go upstairs and take a shower. They just sprayed the lawn and Deb thinks I'm going to get pesticides in our bed.

Read this article and you probably won't think that's a bad idea.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Title sanitized for your protection.

Saturday was my first rummage sale. I called it a Driveway Sale because I didn't feel like dragging tables out of the basement and I didn't want people in my garage. I placed all of our merchandise directly on the concrete.

The sale made me feel odd. I was inviting strangers into my home and more significantly, I was asking them for money. I sat on a lawn chair and lorded over my excess while I waited for the mini-vans to pull-up. Of the 20 (or so) people who stopped, I'd say 75% of them drove mini-vans. Here a few more statistics:

88% made a comment along the lines of, "Someone here certainly likes baskets."
75% brought children.
10% were unaccompanied minors.
60% were unaccompanied seniors.
10% spoke on their cell phones while they shopped.
20% looked as if they were in their bed clothes.
50% came because of the ad.
20% were on their way somewhere and didn't have any cash on them but would return to make a purchase.
5% lied about returning to make a purchase.
10% drove by really slowly as they checked out the driveway.

Allie sat on my lap and waited for people to come. She would offer them a history of an object they were looking at or say something like, "We've got so much stuff we didn't know what to do!" She even came up with a slogan:

"Five dollars or ten, the low prices are here again."

It makes as much sense as much of the other marketing we're constantly bombarded with and the "ten" and "again" thing was pretty catchy. I didn't use it. That didn't stop Allie from whispering it in my ear over-and-over again throughout the day and for the rest of the weekend.

We sold all the big stuff that I didn't want to haul to St. Vinnie's and made a little under $50. That paid for the $14.20 ad I put in the local paper and $8.95 for each hour I sat in the driveway.

Was it a success?

Probably not by most standards. However, I think we came out on top. After all, we did get rid of a lot of crap. We made a little (very little) money. We gave some nice things to a couple of charities. I met some of my neighbors.

I can't finish this because Deb is watching over my shoulder.