Things I Loved/Hated This Week #21

LOVE:

Ames British Foods:

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I have lived so long without knowing this place existed. I don’t know why. I do, actually, I’m not a fan of Ames. I’ve never liked going there and am never enthusiastic about my ventures to that city. I’d much rather go to Des Moines, thank you very much. But, after discovering this delightful little shop, I imagine I will be returning more often than I have. Ma had a Groupon for a place called The Chip Shop, a grubby little place on the outskirts of town inside of a gas station that was an authentic fish and chip shop. I was intrigued because they had pasties on their menu and I am obsessed with them. I don’t know why I don’t make them more often–when you have the ingredients ready, it’s so easy. I made a cheese and onion one a few months ago and it was divine. Anyway, they don’t use puff pastry for the shells at The Chip Shop, they use a boring old savory pie crust and that’s really lackluster. I was going to have fresh scones and tea, but they were out. Whatever, so I got the pasty with chips. It was okay, nothing exceptional, and I don’t think homemade–this was later proved to be true. On the other hand, the chips were fantastic and I put vinegar on them for the first time and I now understand why people do such a thing. Delicious! Sounds vile, but it’s good. After we had our lunch, we went over to Ames British Foods and I was charmed from the start. When I had a question about a certain tea, the owner brewed me a cup. They even had my favorite tea cakes! I haven’t had these lemon slices since I was in London for the Royal Wedding! It was so good to eat the again. I’ve already eaten 2/3 of the box, so I need to go buy more. I don’t know what their import schedule is, but I hope it’s often. And the Lady Earl Grey tea I bought is all kinds of amazing. Nice place.

iPad Binder Case:

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When I first started working at the Middle School, I had a first generation iPad and the hideous felt case that Apple produced for that wonderful product. For all my paperwork, I carried about a yellow folder that was filled with my doodles and tedious charts for me to fill out. It didn’t take long for the folder to become horribly beat up and held together with duct tape. The children also liked hiding my iPad. The next year, I bought a third generation iPad, which is much better than the first one and a glittery binder to carry all my things about. I searched and searched for a nice case, but I didn’t like any of them–the kids could still carry it off. They think they’re so funny, but it’s so annoying. I finally found the perfect solution. Griffin makes a case that clips into a binder–it’s so freaking genius! I adore it. Now I have my iPad and my work all organized in a lovely binder with Martha Stewart page dividers. Too chic! The iPad, dumb as this may sound, does get heavy, so I think I might buy the iPad Mini before the next school year starts. I hope that there is a binder case for the mini one, because I do not want to have anything else! Maybe I’ll get a  One Direction binder, too!

Google Glass:

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Ever since I first read about this technology, I’ve been intrigued. It’s like the future that we all thought would be the future but never ended up being the future has arrived. What ever happened to flying cars and walls that were televisions? That all sounded marvelous. I’d adore a flying car–I’d shoot off to California right now and lay on the beach. I long for warmth. No work today due to a surprise blizzard. The people on the news don’t have a clue. It’s laughable. Anyway, last night I was reading an article about Google’s Glass project and I can’t wait to get a pair. I’m not sure about them, yet, but I see such potential in this idea. They are basically a pair of glasses that act as an additional eye or monitor. I’m not sure which, really. You can take pictures, watch video, record video, do searches, see news as it happens–all in your normal vision. It’s going to be so strange to see three dimensional things that aren’t there suddenly be there. I became overexcited when I thought about how it could show you restaurant reviews by just looking at a restaurant or translating languages I haven’t learned instantly before my eyes or how you could see a giant Crazy Taxi-esque arrow directing you towards your destination. Wouldn’t that be incredible? I think so. I love going for long walks when I’m on vacation, but I hate having to make a detailed map, so I am delighted at the thought of this. I’m not crazy with the way they look, though, it’s very futuristic, but not at all natural. I am completely blind without my glasses or contacts, so I wonder if there will be a prescription version. I do hope so. In the article I was reading, it said that Google was in talks with Warby Parker, a magnificent company that sells really nice glasses for a reasonable price. I’m wearing a pair now. I think that they could be on to something with that. Google Glass is not fashionable as it is, but applied to some lovely acetate frames, this could work. I can’t wait.

Tea Trays:

R220 Serving Tray Detail

I’ve really taken to afternoon tea. I think it’s a delightful tradition and one that we should reintroduce to America. Little meals are the best meals. Every day when I get home from work, if I don’t proceed immediately to my napping chamber, I take my tea tray that has a map of the Paris Métro on it and fill it with delicious nibbles. Somedays it’s sweets and other day savory dishes, but it’s always delicious. I really love that tea tray. I love tea trays in general, I don’t know why, they remind me of fancy hotels and butlers and the aristocracy. I still feel confident that I’m an aristocrat by birth. No evidence, of course, but it’s only a matter of time before my real parents (Prince Rainier) come to claim me. (Obviously a descendant, as my beloved Daddy died in 2005.) I have a black tea tray, too, but I use that one more for serving dishes outside in the spring and summer. Oh, I can’t wait for the warmth to return! I’m sick to death of winter and it’s hateful attitude towards color and joy. I also have a brass tea tray that reminds me of the mosque in Paris. Waiters will whisk about the room with a big brass tray laden with hot glasses of delicious mint tea. I love it there. If you order a meal, they’ll prepare it on a big tray and put it on a spindle before you. The tray becomes the table and that’s chic. The brass tray I have is dirty and covered with paint–I found it for a quarter at a garage sale. I need to work on fixing that up so I can have middle eastern themed teas! Can’t wait. Falafel and mint tea, thank you very much.

Laptop On Television:

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I need a new computer, I’ve been grumbling for a while, but I think it’s going to get to the point where it’s no longer just grumbling and a very real need. I’ll probably get an iMac when I do, because I really don’t use a laptop as a mobile computer–that’s what my iPad is for. I got to thinking, though, that I could get a Mac Mini and attach it to my big screen television. Cheaper and bigger screen! I decided to try this out and found a cable on Amazon that would connect my laptop to the television. After some fiddling, I got it to work and I’m quite impressed. It doesn’t take advantage of the high definition screen because the cable only shows the pixels that are on the screen. I like it, but it cuts off the menu bar on the top. I don’t know if the Mac Mini would be smarter, but I can’t help being curious. It would use the screen better. I think I may go for it. I hooked up my Bluetooth keyboard and used my iPod touch as a mouse and it all worked really well. I bought the Magic Trackpad off of eBay for half price yesterday, so I’m going to try the combination again and see what I think. I have the feeling that this could be awesome! I never have a reason to leave my couch again!

HATE:

Pants That Think Tall People Are Fat:

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I have a great fondness for pants from Target. They’re stylish and reasonably priced and I approve. I like spending lots of money, I shan’t lie, but I also like a bargain when I can get it and I pride myself on looking amazing for low, low prices. An annoying thing about the pants at Target is that I can never find my pants in the right size. I am a 30 x 32 and this size does not seem to exist there. I don’t know if the people my size get there before me or if they don’t exist, but I always have to buy a 30 x 30, which is okay, but I hate having my ankles exposed whenever I sit down. Maybe I should look online and see if they have my proper size there? I have like six pairs of pants though with short legs. Maybe I’ll start emulating the Parisian men and roll the cuffs up and call it fashion.

Theatrical People:

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I don’t mind actors, I admire them in a way–always getting to be somebody new. I plan on winning an Academy Award before too long. I don’t care if it’s for acting or singing or sound editing or screenwriting–none of which I have any experience with. I assume I can just charm my way to the top. I really need to work on those abs… I’m going to carry my Oscar around with me everywhere, I’ll be like Bette Davis in The Star.

God, I love that movie, I should watch it again. Now that my movie resolution is over, I can rematch all the movies that I love like that and Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte and Light in the Piazza. I adore Light in the Piazza! Anyway, yesterday, an acting troupe came to do a session on bullying. They were great actors, I was jealous of their ability to project and speak so clearly, but I was driven to madness when they spoke to us. They would not stop acting. They kept using that irritating overly modulated voice that actors use on the stage and would not quit. It was simply the most annoying thing in get world. Talk like a person! Act like an actor! Don’t blend the two when you’re having a simple conversation!

Martini:

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I love Karen Walker off of Will & Grace. If she were a real woman, we would have been best friends for more reasons than I care to elaborate on here. She was always drinking a martini and I’ve never had a martini, so I ordered one the other night. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Who knew there were so many options? I didn’t like it. Maybe it would have been better with olive juice? I don’t really like olives at all, so I’m not sure, but it would have done something for it. It just tasted like rubbing alcohol, so I dumped it into my lemonade and muddled it with some lemon peel. It tasted great that way. Maybe I’ll have somebody who knows what they’re doing order me one the next time I’m out.

Meteorologists: 

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I don’t think meteorologists have a clue as to what they’re doing. They’re always wrong! Last week, we were due for a massive storm–it never came. Super Storm Squishy (my name for what they called Q!) was a huge letdown. I was okay with this. You know how I feel about snow. They predicted an occasional snow shower on Tuesday and we had a freaking blizzard. It wouldn’t stop snowing. School got out early, we didn’t go on Wednesday, and we could barely get here today. Dumb. I don’t know why we take them seriously. They seem to be nothing more than bad psychics. I believe in psychics, but I rarely believe in the weather people. On that note, how does one become a news personality? I would love introducing sad news stories and then slapping on a smile to show a video of the salsa dog.

I’d love mumbling about storm systems and shit and being recognized in restaurants. New career!

Fire Alarm In Winter:

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Yesterday at work, the fire alarms were set off due to a burnt bag of popcorn and the entire faculty and student body of both schools had to abandon the building and go out in the cold. I was only wearing a button up and it was not pleasant, so I went back in for my coat. The poor kids in gym class were only in shorts and tshirts and were freezing to death. I was freezing to death, too. I gave one of them my scarf, I don’t think it helped. We finally got to go back in. It was awful.

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