Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blogging Along

“. . . blogging along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea!”

Let’s make some assumptions, shall we?
  1. I read blogs a lot
  2. I read a lot of blogs
  3. Sometimes within reading 1-2 posts of a new blog I automatically add it to my reader knowing that I want it to be part of my day-to-day internet life
  4. There are definitely some blogs that I love so much, that I have delusions that I’m actually friends with the blog-owners
  5. I can get so enamored with the blogs I love that even Ryan knows which is which because I talk about them so much. Yes, from over 5,000 miles away. . .
  6. That’s right I’ve used our Skype time to talk about my faux-friends whose blogs I read. Obvs, I’m a pretty romantic girlfriend.
  7. On more than one occasion, I’ve decided that I liked a blog so much that I’ve read through all the archives so I felt like there was nothing I was missing out on.
  8. I swear I’m not a creepy stalker and I do actually spend time away from my computer interacting with real life people. Really I do!
Okay now that we have an understanding of my blog habits, I thought it was appropriate to dedicate a list to some of the favorite blogs I’ve recently become smitten with. In particular, my new found blog-favs are thanks to this lady:

Don’t worry I’ve actually met Taylor in real life, and even asked her permission to blog about her blog and favorite blogs so that I wasn’t totally creepy / Scary Spice:*

In no particular order, these are stamped with the definitely-check-them-out seal of approval!

1:  Team Boo
2:  Nicole, Etc.
3:  Rockstar Diaries
 4:  Arizona Lewis

Click away and enjoy!

*That’s right, now it’s 3 down and only 2 more to go!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Raise your hand if you live alone.

Oh hey there fellow party-of-one! Welcome to the house of Letters & Lists . . . feel free to put your cardigan on and stay a while. What do you mean you’re not wearing a cardi? Pssfffft. Don’t be silly I have plenty of extra, what’s your color preference? Okay good, now that we’ve got warm arms let’s discuss residing solo shall we?

1. I find that I don’t talk very often. I mean sure I work full time and talk to the fun people there, but as it turns out . . . they don’t come home with me. This means no one to discuss random things on TV with, or no one to ask what they feel like for dinner (secretly hoping they come up with a great suggestion so I don’t resort to a cereal and crumpet night). I also find that the lack of talking means that when I do say something out loud when I’m by myself, the sound of my own voice (and its inherent decibel level) sometimes gives me a fright. Not like eyes-watery-hiding-under-the-covers fright, more like oh-snap-I’m-loud-and-forgot sort of caught off-guardness. Yup, “off-guardness” totally a word, bringing me to my next point. . .

2. One of the pluses of living alone or doing stuff alone is that no one is there to laugh and point when you do something dumb. Which as you may have guessed, happens to me often. The other day I tripped over my own feet whilst walking down the street, and I didn’t even attempt to play it off! I just kept walking like yup-I-almost-biffed-it-and-I-don’t-care. I mean sure people around me saw, but I didn’t know them and will likely never see them again so it was a non-issue. I have to say that’s a pretty liberating feeling. If next time you see me if I’m acting a fool you’ll know it’s because I’ve gone far too long without someone making fun of me.

3. Do you think it’s a good idea to shove all my dirty laundry into this very tiny washing machine? Should I get sucked into this Hills marathon even though I’ve seen them all? Do you think these shoes go with this ensemble? Twix comprise a sensible dinner, right? I HAVE NO ONE HERE TO TELL ME NO! Sometimes just the simple fact that no one else is around means that I don’t even give a second thought to some of the decisions I make. This has its benefits of course since I get to do what I want without objection, but as evident from some of the examples above, sometimes you need another person just to question you or tell you no. I like having someone around that I know and trust just for a second opinion or to bounce things off of. It’s not necessary, but it’s definitely a luxury that I’m missing . . . even if ultimately I’ll stick with the same decision that I would have regardless. I’m an adult, if I want to eat a candy bar for dinner, then I will!

4. I’m no wiz in the kitchen – I have things I’m good at making and I enjoy cooking, but I don’t stray far from what I know. Cooking for one also takes a bit of getting used to without being stuck with too many left overs. I need to spend some quality time with google’s “recipes for one” search results, but until then I’ve also ventured out to eat on my own. I don’t mind the alone time, but it’s the reactions I get from others that are annoying. The servers seem confused at how often they should stop by my table since I’m not in the middle of a conversation with anyone else. Sometimes if I’m just staring off they mistake this for trying to get their attention and tend to be overly attentive. I appreciate the effort, but it makes for awkward interactions since I can only say the meal tastes good so many times. I’ve also been surprised at the looks of pity I get . . . specifically from middle aged-men. I don’t know what they’re so concerned about but I get lots of “aww, poor thing is all alone” stares from them. Obvs, the only proper reaction to this is responding with my “aww, not aging so gracefully” stare right back at them!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I {heart} NYC

Dear NewYorkCity,
I love you.   It's no secret that many others share the same sentiment, especially the Brits!


A must watch, and make sure your sound is on.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Desert Meets Dickens

A lovely co-worker who I miss terribly wrote a blip for our company’s internal newsletter and now guess who’s featured in September’s issue? Yours truly! Without even having to request it, the article is in the form of an even numbered list of questions . . . PERFECT! Here’s your own personal copy to peruse:

Phoenix Marketing Coordinator Stephanie [last name] has traded scorching temperatures for scones, as she has moved to our London office to cover [name]’s maternity leave. Stephanie, who reports a warm welcome from Londoners, is enjoying her off-hours getting to know her beautiful new city. She is already planning jaunts to neighboring countries during her year abroad, starting with a September birthday weekend in Paris! We posed a few questions to Stephanie regarding her temporary relocation:

1. What was the key motivation behind your move to London?
I’d never been to Europe prior to stepping off the plane a few weeks ago. When the opportunity presented itself, I was fortunate enough to be in a place in my life that it was fairly easy to pack up a move for a year. I saw it as a great chance to work in a new office, in an amazing city much different from what I was used to. The timing and support I received coincided in one of those rare moments in life that I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by.

2. Biggest difference between the London and Phoenix office?
One of the biggest differences is definitely the size of the office – London has over 150 people while Phoenix has closer to 25. It is also a big change working as part of a marketing team all located in the same office versus being the only marketer in Phoenix with the rest of the Southwest team in other offices.

3. What do you miss most about the US?
Without a doubt, I miss the people from home the most. On the flipside, hopefully this will give family and friends a great excuse to take holiday in London. One thing I don’t miss yet is the Arizona heat – it wasn’t hard jumping on a plane flying away from Phoenix in the middle of July. I’m guessing I’ll take that sentiment back come December!

4. What will be the hardest thing to give up when you return to the US?
Since I’ve only been here a short while, it’s hard to answer this question just yet. If I had to guess, I imagine the hardest thing to give up after heading back home will be all of the travel I hope to do. It’s exciting to be able to take advantage of all of the other amazing places in such proximity to London, even if just for a weekend.

5. Biggest surprise about living in London?
I’ve tried to come into this next year with no expectations so that I can truly make the most of the experience. So almost everything has been a surprise – from how easy the tube is to use to how long it took me to figure out the washing machine. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition has been from working in marketing in the US compared to Europe.

6. A London discovery that you hope everyone can experience?
To be fair to the city I think I need more time here before having a great answer, although I’d love to hear how others would respond to this question!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Differences v1

The top differences between living in London vs. Phoenix to date:

1. In Phoenix the sun sets around 7:30PM . . . In London, Mr. Sun likes to hang out until about 9:00PM. Evidently Father Time’s summer curfew is more lenient in the UK.

2. On my keyboard in the London office the quotations symbol is where the @ key is located and the at symbol is where the “ key is located. I don’t think I realized how much I used both keys until they got switched up on me.

3. Luckily, it didn’t take me very long to realize that when people said something was “in my diary” (Note, if I was typing at work it would look like this: @in my diary@) they didn’t actually mean it was written in a book under lock and key. They actually meant it was in their Outlook calendar / appointment schedule. I’m glad I figured that one out before asking why everyone’s diary content was talked about all willy-nilly.

4. The last difference on this list might be viewed as more of an opinion than cold hard fact, but people in London are WAY more fashionable than Phoenix. Of course that’s talking about everyone on a whole, because I know some very trendy folks in AZ, but London definitely takes the cake on style. Maybe it’s because it’s a bigger city, or maybe it’s because their department stores are SEVEN floors high. I also bet she has something to do with it*:

*Either that or I have a goal of getting all the Spice Girls individually worked into blog posts . . . 2 down, 3 to go.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cool to Creepy in 4 Easy Steps

1. Ohh a medieval city wall is outside my widow! I love that London has so much history.

2. Let’s go down for a better look during the day . . .

3. Hey this wall is so enjoyable that they bring tour groups here:

4. Son of a B, this is NOT the tour I had in mind!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The last 2 hours: A Summary

1. Left work to go view a couple studio flats available for rent

2. Took the tube and managed to switch lines without getting lost

3. Arrived at designated meeting place 10 minutes late due to tube delays

4. Called the rental company upon arrival and got yelled at for being “30 minutes” late

5. Questioned this rental company’s ability to tell time

6. Waited for Gareth from said rental company to arrive

7. Kept waiting for Gareth from said rental company to arrive

8. Became convinced Gareth was going to purposely show up “30 minutes” after our appointment time to prove some sort of point

9. Received affirmation of #8 when Gareth showed up exactly “30 minutes” late

10. Met Gareth, who looked like he was a surfer dude who frequents Ed Hardy stores

11. In case it’s not clear, this doesn’t make for a high level of confidence in a landlord type figure

12. Went with Gareth to a building up the road while he checked his records to see what was available to show

13. By records I mean a hand written calendar book that was literally falling apart

14. Watched a page out of the record book (which clearly had tenant information written on it) fall onto the street and Gareth proclaim “oh well” while continuing towards the door of the building

15. The first studio we saw was occupied - despite this fact Gareth used his key to open the door and walk right in sans knocking.

16. Luckily the current tenant wasn’t home

17. Unluckily NO ONE should call this place “home”

18. It’s hard to find the right words to describe both studios I was shown, so I took a picture (and then had it animated):

19. YUP, that’s right it’s POO!

20. The places were stinky, tiny, dirty, and nowhere anyone should EVER live

21. The showers were the smaller than a refrigerator

22. The refrigerators were smaller than sinks

23. And the sinks were covered in some sort of black substance

24. Neither place had a TV or any electrical outlets to be seen

25. It wasn’t long before telling Gareth I had A LOT more places to see and bidding him farewell

26. I fully understand the cost of living in London is VERY high

27. I heartily acknowledge that I will be living in a shoebox sized space compared to previous homes I’ve had

28. I am at terms with possibly having a flat mate in order to afford a nicer place

29. I know I will have to look at many places before finding a winner