webcowgirl: (Teabag)
Last week I really loaded up for shows, in part, I guess, because I'd been out of town for several weekends in March. I thought I'd get all the reviews done this weekend, but it didn't happen; I stayed up late last night and just got to Wednesday (Umbrellas of Cherbourg, very good but sadly closing in May). The most exciting evening was probably the One to One Festival at the Battersea Arts Center, which once again featured nudity in close quarter, head fuckery, and bonus phobia triggering. Kinda like some parties I've been to.

Anyway, after all that business and not enough sleep, I had a tea party to hostess on Saturday, which I think was a raging success; saw [livejournal.com profile] elbie and bonus new child Z; had probably 15 people here in total and yet we did not run out of cake. In fact, I still have some cake sitting around and I may still be feeling a bit like I had too much to eat on Saturday. I am guessing various body parts are being replaced with butter, like fossilization but on a quicker time scale. I ended the evening playing cards with [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy, [livejournal.com profile] solacey_aderyn, A, and [livejournal.com profile] laurenclose. Great Dalmuti, Zombie Fluxx, and Chrononauts - a pretty good evening, really, with bonus late night drinking with L and then with my new roommate.

Sunday I went to Lewes with [livejournal.com profile] wildbadger. It's a cool town, with a castle and a torn down priory, but it also has the most amazing garden at Southover Grange which was completely full of tulips and decorated with bits of architectural salvage from the priory, totally where I would want to get married if, you know, I was doing that kind of thing these days. It was a cool day trip despite the replacement rail service (boo), which I managed to get naps on both ways (yay) but was then aggravating on the return because it missed the train I was hoping to catch by 5 minutes. Still, I got home in time to do a (gasp!) podcast - the As Yet Unnamed London Theater Podcast (it'll be up here in a day or two). I felt so 21st century, like Judy Jetson, kind of an interesting transition after spending my day in the leftovers of the 11th and 15th.Me and tulips, Southover Grange, Lewes. Really a lovely day w... on Twitpic

By the way, in addition to being temporary home to Thomas Paine, the retirement place of Anne of Cleves, and having a 15th Century bookshop, Lewes is also where a battle took place that basically gave England the right to have a house of commons in addition to a king. That, I think, is an awesome bit of history, and the guy who fought for that is right up there with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington in my book. And, you know, Thomas Paine.
webcowgirl: (Christmas tree)
So in some ways I think this is going to be a massively sucktastic Christmas, as, well, my life is in what I would call major transition right now. I haven't spent a Christmas without a loved one by my side in, oh, seems like decades. I should feel lucky, I'm sure, but, well, instead I feel lucky that some people I really like are willing to open their house to me for some Christmas cheer. Thank you so much [livejournal.com profile] noirem!

I also am finding myself doing almost no Christmas shopping because, well, I don't think I'm really GETTING any gifts, and don't much have people to exchange with. But I kind of have an imaginary Christmas list, of things that I want but don't feel like I deserve to get for myself. I'll probably get some of these things for myself eventually, but ... I don't know, I don't feel like I deserve so much of a treat a lot of the time. But this is my ideal list of presents, and the good news is: some people have given them to me! That makes me happy. I'm also happy because my Pilates teacher gave me a present, and that makes me feel kind of honored. Sick, isn't it, but I always kind of wind up idealizing my coaches, and she's always so kind and funny and it just makes me happy that she'd see me in the kind of light of someone that deserves a present.

So:

1. Tate membership. Concept: ideal present from my dad as it can be bought from afar; I can enjoy it all year long. SCORE! He has bought me this!
2. Box of home made Christmas cookies. Concept: deelish treat I never have time to make for myself, can't get in the UK as people don't really go in for cookie baking and too expensive to ship, reminds me of being at Grandmas. SCORE! This nice person on Twitter is going to mail me some anyway, I am now totally in her debt. Also <3 !
3. Someone who will go on vacation with me somewhere warm in January or February. I hate feeling stuck here because I can't find people who want to travel with me and travelling alone is frankly like an .
4. Books. There are titles by Connie Willis and Kage Baker I still don't have yet and this needs to be fixed! (Amazon wish list has most of them.)
5. Tea. Real tea! Good tea! Not flavored tea! Not herbal tea! Not that stuff that smells like pipe tobacco! Actually I got a catalogue from Mariages Freres today and it was TOTAL PORN for me, even though a lot of what they have is flavored tea. They have this whole series of new tea tins with the word for tea written on it in different languages (including Tibetan and Arabic) and I craved it in a very bad way. Best bets: black tea, unless you're [livejournal.com profile] ms_vermilion, in which case I know you will just pick something brilliant.
6. You. Real you! Good you! Not flavored you! Preferably you hanging out with me! This has got a lot better over the last few months but I'd still like to spend more time with people. Bonus if we can go see a movie, a play, or a classical music event, but I'll also do visits for meals and a natter. Have me, will travel. (Wait, I didn't mean it like that.)
7. A Persian kitten. I miss Boo, that's all there is to it. I want a new kitty, and I'd like the pleasure of watching on grow up. You only get to do this about every 10 or 15 years and I'd like to take advantage of being catless to get the full-on kitten joy experience. And I really liked my little lint production factory. But this is the gift I'm pretty sure I won't get. So, why not ask for ...
8. A pony! I've been really good and I promise I will love it forever. I'm sure it will fit in the yard, and mom already said okay, so can I have one now please please please?
9. Oh yeah, and I want a tea set by the guy who did this set of cups. His name is, I think, Judia Uviche, and he's one of the oldest and best ceramic artists in Caltagirone. However, I think that would run about 300 quid, so there's no way I'm getting one from anyone except from me, but, gosh, I really want to get one made for me before he dies.
webcowgirl: (Default)
At page 614 of Vanity Fair. I was too busy to read much today, though. First thing I did was spend some time writing up last night's trip to see Shunkin at the Barbican. Mental abuse, puppet sex, codependence, self-disfigurement-it was essentially perfect and I wound up not feeling so resentful about the extravagantly priced tickets.

Review done, I headed out the door at noon and met up with [livejournal.com profile] wechsler at the Market Coffee Shop in Spitalfields for lunch; then we wandered around a bit killing time before our scheduled tea time at the Teasmith shop. We were given about six kinds of tea paired with various sweets - it's all a bit of a blur though I remember Pi Lo Chun and whisked Matcha among the options.

After this we found ourselves with an hour on our hands and I was able to convince W to go in search of a few of the locations of Surround Me, a multi-sited art installation consisting of recordings of 17th century songs projected in 20th century locations, done in such a way to create the strange feeling of standing put while time moves backwards around you. I'd found one a few weeks back on my ill-fated trip to meet [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy for a movie at the Barbican: as it turns out, they are only "on" during the weekend. So it was a Saturday and we were in the city, so off W and I went off to Tokenhouse Yard, Change Alley, and then the northern underside of London Bridge to soak up some intense atmosphere. It was really very great, even though it was a bit disconcerting that most of the music was on a 10 minute loop, with a great deal of that being silence; but to be honest it made for a better effect having to wait and having all of that lack of noise surrounding it. I have two left to have heard the set; no real reason not to go tomorrow, I think, since they are only on during the weekends. I did a video recording at two of the spots:



Done, we headed to Gipsy Hill and [livejournal.com profile] lolliepopp's house, where we spent the next four hours eating, drinking, and playing Rock Band. It was a good night, really, and the day had a lot of good bits in it, including a very happy moment while I was watching the sun set over the river and hearing the echoes of John Dowland floating up to the bridge.
webcowgirl: (Crowned T)
I am having a work from home day because I am meeting the landlord so that he can look at the dead tree in the middle of the backyard (and hopefully decide it's time to cut it out instead of just letting it fall down over my head). It's raining impressively outside; I looked out and discovered that all of the mail I settled down to read in the backyard when I came home Sunday was left outside and is no soaking wet. Bad me! When I picked it up, I found another Guernsey pound note. Man, why did that wallet have to have useless money in it? I want a 20 pound note to show up in my back yard - that would be great!

So the one thing this day needs to be a perfect stay at home day is MORE SPRING WATER because without it I am doomed to not have good tea to drink. However, there was enough for one cup, and after the landlord has gone I can go to the corner shop and buy another giant bottle of it.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I dreamed last night I worked for the Obamas. I was going out to the Smithstonian Institution with them and Sasha and Melia. We ran into my brother and sister in law on the way, and when my SIL was introduced to them, she fainted. I wanted to ask Mr. Obama to find a job for my brother, but I figured I'd wait for a while rather than be pushy.

I spent this morning in training in the City, then spent my lunch hour walking around Holborn looking at "very old buildings." Tonight J and I are celebrating our 16th anniversary (two days early) by going to see Giselle. It will be the first time I have ever sat in the stalls at the Opera House, and I'm kind of excited about it.

As for right now - I'm just kind of sleepy. It's a deliciously quiet Wednesday afternoon, of the sort that would be enhanced with a cup of tea. Too bad I can't make a really good one.
webcowgirl: (Travel)
I love how friendly people are here and the wonderful sounds of their accents.



I liked my yummy cream tea at Rumbletums.

I liked the red and black striped sweater I got at Oxfam. It looks like I've already owned it for years!

I didn't so much care for the minister telling me that most people support executing tortured people after they're done with them. That was creepy.

Better update later, off to dinner now.
webcowgirl: (4CupsOfTea)
I went back to the pop-up tea shop today to console myself for not getting a promotion,and because my heart just wasn't in being at work.

J came along and took a picture of me. I look pretty nice so here it is for all of you to see. Note that my eyes look blue and overall I look like my sister.



Unfortunately as it's settling out I'm feeling rather gutted about the whole lack of promotion thing and it's taking the wind out of my sails bigtime this afternoon.
webcowgirl: (4CupsOfTea)
Today's the last day to catch the Pop-Up Vintage Tea Shop on Lambs Conduit Street. Free tea and cake - what more could you want?

Anyway, with that public service announcement, I'm off to another meeting.
webcowgirl: (Morning cuppa)
Gah, what a morning. In addition to just sleeping restlessly (somehow I'm sure I won't be walking on the ocean floor at low tide when I go to Palermo), the cat decided it was long past her feeding time and let us know about 30 minutes before wakeup time. Bleah. I managed to make nice bacon and egg muffins in good time but somehow got out the house late. I'm at work, bleary, and the cup of Princeton Darjeeling doesn't seem like nearly enough to wake me up.

This is all extra sad because I had a really nice night at Wahaca celebrating C's birthday and actually got into bed at 11 PM! And I only had two margaritas. It's all about sleep dep. Stupid cat.

Other news: I'm trying to make my phone last on about 60 p until tomorrow, so that I can get "free texts all weekend" on Tmobile, I'm spending Friday night in Cambridge, and I'm seeing another silent movie tonight.

Also, I finished Deanna Raybourn's Silent in the Grave this morning on my way into work, and I was right about "whodunnit!" How fun. I like these mysteries set in Victorian times - hits a lot of my "enjoy a book" bones. I guess I should try to write Victorian detective novels with Vampire protagonists - bet they'd go over a storm! (If only I could write fiction ...)
webcowgirl: (Morning cuppa)
Hmm. I see this picture and wonder - where did my black coffee cup go? Did it break? I'd like to get it back, or buy a new one.

I've spent the last hour waiting for a build. I got a ham and cheese croissant, I made a cup of tea, I had some cake someone brought in, I checked on education stuff, I basically exhausted all of the normal time killing things and I still don't have the "work" I am supposed to be doing, which is supposed to be the focus of my day and indeed the endcap for the entire month's work.

I have found out that the next 11 months I will be working on getting a content management system going. This makes me want to scream and run away as I spent a lifetime doing this at Acadio (back in late 2000-early 2001) and it was pure misery every step of the way.

Last night was a tea destroying extravaganza that I might have been ashamed of if I hadn't felt so confident that I would never touch the things I was throwing out. Bagged teas of a decade's age, loose teas of sorts I won't drink (freaky blends, poor quality Darjeeling) that were also five or six years old and guaranteed to taste like dust. I took some things into work (Fortnum and Mason "Royal Blend," probably stale but not bad for the office, and some Drury Lane bagged Darjeeling that I might toss out after all but wanted to give a last chance) and kept all of the flavored teas (good for iced tea when summer rolls around, and stale won't matter), but overall there was a 30% overhead in tea volume in my house last night. I just don't have room and there's no space for storing memories in my kitchen - better to move in new stock. I mean, there's no reason to have bad tea when I can get nice new tea to drink instead.

I really must have some Assam again. It's been ages!
webcowgirl: (Default)
At www.dosa-chutny.co.uk for lunch. Masala tea on a cold day!
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webcowgirl: (Default)
I think I am going to give myself a little treat today and have a Dr. Pepper.

The way life and work and moving have been going, I have been feeling like I am needing to reward myself rather a lot to keep my morale up. A Dr. Pepper would be just perfect.

This will of course be in addition to occasionally dipping into the huge piles of chocolate near my desk. I'm mostly handing them out to other people; there is a lot of feeling overwhelmed going on around here and I am willing to do what I can to help.
webcowgirl: (Travel)
Today we pretty much took it easy, aside from the fact that we didn't actually nap. We met up with [livejournal.com profile] thedivas on the edge of Prospect Park, then walked in with Shadow and played fetch for a while. It was nice to see him, but I didn't feel all heartbroken about how he "wasn't mine" anymore - it really was a case of knowing what was good for him and also realizing that he'd mostly have forgotten about me after even six months went by. And, well, it was the first time I'd seen him in two and a half years, and it was clear to me that he didn't really miss me. Missing is a people thing. He's a dog, and dogs live in the here and now. Shadow is happy and that's what matters. I knew he would be with her. It's good.

Afterwards we did two things: go to Target and go to [livejournal.com profile] thedivas. Target was rather horrifying; the quality seems to have really dropped to a Primark-like quality, but no doubt I was feeling this in part because of the way the store looked like it had been hit by a bomb - though in fact it was - hordes of pre-Christmas shoppers. I came out of it with some chocolate bars and a $10 copy of Hairspray; J got some new jeans. The whole experience was exhausting and I just couldn't really stand being around so many people. Calgon, take me away!

Once Chez [livejournal.com profile] thedivas we ordered pizzas and entertained ourselves with American eggnog with whiskey in it (yum!) while we waited for dinner to show up. The pizza was godlike - I must write down the name of that pizza place! (LATER: Brooklyn Pizza Factory, best we've had so far) - which was good as it's also what we had for lunch (we grabbed slices on the way back from the park). Then we watched Zohan, which is one of those classically bad American comedies you find yourself laughing your head off at while simultaneously being embarrassed that you're finding it so funny.

We indulged in a taxi back to the apartment ($8, why not, it was a hell of a lot warmer than walking). Right now we're thinking about what to do tomorrow. I'd like to visit the Grace Rare Teas shop, but also the Tenement Museum. In the evening we're going to see [livejournal.com profile] ellen_kushner's Klezmer Nutcracker, which I think will be just lovely. And who knows, maybe at some point I'll write up the shows I've seen this week - I'm feeling a bit worn out and not much up for writing at present.

Wow, I just checked my brother's flight online, and it's delayed by four hours. That is really going to hurt ...
webcowgirl: (Default)
Holy shit - everything at the restaurant we're at (see picture) just went nuts. They switched from live music to a DJ and suddenly there's belly dancers everywhere, including one with candles on her head. We were just looking for a chill meal post-hammam, but this is great!
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webcowgirl: (Twit/ter)
This is odd (or sad), but it seems like my Twittering is about 25% about tea - and I've finished off both my Ambootia and Nullotar estate 2nd flush Darjeelings inthe last 24 hours. I'll definitely need to restock soon.
webcowgirl: (Chinese tea)
While we were in Barcelona, we made an effort to stop by Tetere tea shop, which wasn't too far from where our friends live. There's a lot more going on in the tea world in Barcelona than I expected - a huge chain of stores called The Tea Shop, and a few boutiques like Tetere and its neighbor "Tea Genius" or something of that sort (immediately forgettable due to the serious lack of varietal teas).

Tetere set us up very nicely with three teas: "Pi Luo Chun" (something about green snails, 2008, so much nicer smelling than last year's picking!), Dian Hong Golden (2008, "superior," I think), and Jun Shan Yinzhen (something mountain silver needle), described as a yellow tea. The proprietress gave us extensive brewing recommendations for each tea, including that the Jun Shan should be made in a glass cup in order to better appreciate the opening of the leaves. It's what we're having right now and it's just delicious. Really, where are [livejournal.com profile] m_vermilion and [livejournal.com profile] splendid_geryon when you need them?
webcowgirl: (Attack!)
After a day that was actually a little more than stumbling from one meeting to the next (hey! I went to volunteer training for a program where I'm going to help elementary school kids to speak French! and I did an employee review! and I made Emergency Stuff happen! and I did Coordination because we're understaffed and have more work than we have people!), I went to Soho to meet up with my friend Josela for dinner at Assa, a dumpy little Korean restaurant in that strip behind Centerpoint. Now, Josela is a GREAT person to have dinner with, because he likes the hot stuff, including Korean, which about nobody else I know likes. And we went balls to the wall with the hot stuff; rice dumplings with chile sauce; sauteed pork belly with tofu and more chile paste than you can shake a stick at; beef bulgogi with rice; more beef with mixed vegetables; pickled seaweed; bean sprouts with sesame oil; kimchee; and we ate it all. And the grand total was just under 30 quid. We will be back, and we WILL have hot pot.

Afterwards we went over to Josela's apartment and chatted and finally packed up the Mexican food goodies he'd had shipped over her for me ... AND the huge box of tea I'd ordered from the Perennial Tea room that he'd brought in his luggage back from Seattle. What a champ! We were just running out of almost every kind of tea I have so this is a huge relief.

On my way back home I was feeling so excited about a world in which people randomly invite me to go out for dinner after work. God, I like living here. And now I'm sitting in my living room eating some fantastic cheese [livejournal.com profile] wechsler brought back from France for me (Coulommiers, for those of you that speak Cheese), and life seems good. Yep, I bet I'm nearly over with this cold. Tomorrow: why Proust is like Star Wars, and a day of training in Sutton. It hardly gets better than this.

Now: back to the cheese!
webcowgirl: (4CupsOfTea)
Let there be tea!

I have just bought big pound bags (making the 10% discount kick in) from the Perennial Tea Room (in Seattle) of:

Red Peach Keemun (my favorite tea ever)
Makaibari Estate Muscatel 2nd Flush Darjeeling 2007
Standard Keemun Congou

and quarter pound bags of:
Millima Estate Tea
Natela's Gold Standard (it's from Georgia, republic of, I am intrigued)
"Ruby 18" (a "rare Taiwan black tea, whatever that means)

They'll be coming back to the UK with my friend Josh, who is visiting his folks in Puyallup for the next two weeks.

I have been running out of tea and I'm stoked! This should get me through the winter with ease.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Tea and "luxury raspberry and buttercream Swiss roll." Too nice out to say much else; home tonight.
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webcowgirl: (Default)
I don't even know how old this building is (the neighborhood is "pre-Norman conquest") ... but it's nice and dry and at £3.50 their cream tea is a deal. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my shoes, though - they're just soaked.
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