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All posts for the month February, 2006

ANTICIPATION…..

Published February 21, 2006 by jean cohen

I must begin today’s blog with a "thank you" to my mate, Terry, for sending me the instruction video on ketchup. It was very helpful. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been having many second dates. Note to Terry: You can also just put a knife in the opening to "help things along."

I’ve been watching the Olympics….those ski dude guys are pretty hot in those form-fitting suits. Congrats to my adopted home on it’s ONE MEDAL – a silver- in Skeleton Bobsled. Well done, Shelley Rudman! However, Ha! Ha! The UsofA beat Britain in Curling, 9 – 8. I still don’t understand this sport, but anything that requires using a broom is not for me.

Tonight is the short program in Women’s Figure skating. Cousin Sasha, in a telephono callo from Torino, tells me she’s "up for it." Oddly, the Irish Lad’s away message today is a lyric from a song written by Cousin Leonard in Canada. Hint: Roberta Flack had a big hit with it, but I like Cousin Leonard’s version better. MY away message is a lyric from Terry’s cousin Bob in Dublin. (Isn’t everyone named "Dylan" or "Ulysses" from Dublin?

I’m intrigued that Terry’s message changes every couple days. Is there a competition going on that I’m unaware of? I can play, too. I have zillions of song lyrics cluttering up my brain. Hey, it’s more fun than recipes, unless I start to sing.

Since I’ve been stuck in the winter doldrums, in addition to not being well, I joined a group called Wired Safety, which is a monitoring agency for internet safety. In order to be accepted as a member, you must first provide a letter from your local police department that you are an upstanding citizen, and then take a variety of on-line courses. I’m half-way through my courses. I’m not sure if it’s popular across the pond, but there’s a site here called My Space, which has become a juggernaut for inappropriate behavior by teens. I’ve written a couple of articles for the Rockall Times about My Space, but it’s really not funny. Surfing the site is mind-blowing and frightening. Right now, there is a 14 year old girl locally who is missing. Apparently, she ran off with a 42 year old man she met on My Space. He was pretending to be a teenaged boy. It is my personal goal to get the damned space shut down. Okay. Enough "grown-up" shit.

As I now consider myself a resident of two countries, I feel it is incumbent upon me to be a Good Will Ambassador for both cultures. I made a good start in Weybridge by providing Philadelphia Eagles gear to the masses, and "Let them eat cheesesteaks!" fixings. I’m now focusing on introducing Pimms to my fellow Americans. Step-son Stuart was easy….way too easy. Mary took to it like mother’s milk. In fact, next to Leechy, it’s her favorite thing in England. Toots serves it all the time. I served it at the Pinkie partays, and breaking with a long-standing tradition, I served it on Super Bowl Sunday. My step-daughter was an immediate convert. In fact, she keeps inviting me over, casually mentioning that I should bring three or four bottles of "that stuff" with me.

It’s always Pimms O’clock!

 

 

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EVIL JEANO???

Published February 18, 2006 by jean cohen

Wow! There are sure a lot of people out there with way too much time on their hands.

I was under the impression that a blog was a personal journal. Sort of like a vehicle of self-discovery, and that there is no "right" or "wrong" topic, no subject off-limits, and no censorship, except self-censorship on the part of the blogger. After all, anything you post out there in cyberspace is there forever.

When I was in Weybridge, I did have a few "anonymous" postings, which were childishly spiteful. Apparently, I’ve attracted another "critic." The first comment was on the Live Log City journal, anonymous, of course, on January 15. Today, there’s one on the MSN Space. Jesus Wept!

Well, I don’t get it. I’m intrigued by the thought "Does this person KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME?" I’m reprinting their comment below:

 

It is understandable that your daughter thinks she needs a better maternal figure. It shouldn’t be "evil child" that is said, but rather "Evil JEANO!" I looked at your profile picture and you do not look young…so why don’t you grow up and act like a real parent.

 

I’ll forgive the comment about me looking old; it’s not a good picture. I’m loads better looking in person.

I guess I have to wonder how, after keeping a journal for a year, it became a forum to critique my parenting skills. It’s sad, really, that after trying to be philosophical, honest, introspective, indomitable, somewhat irreverent, and damned funny, someone thinks that the essence of my life boils down to their definition of "mommyhood." Maybe it’s foolish, but I like to think that there are many facets to Jeano, and that I have bravely and honestly unveiled them.

There’s a lyric from a song by Harry Chapin that I took to heart:

"I’ve got something inside me,

It’s not what my life’s about,

Because I’ve been letting my outside

Tide me over ‘till my time runs out"

When my time runs out, I’d like to think that it was well spent and that I shared the "something inside me" with the people who matter.

THE BLOGGING OLYMPICS

Published February 16, 2006 by jean cohen

I’m pleased to report that the judges in Freestyle Blogging at the Winter Olympics in Turin have awarded me the Platinum Medal. The French judge tried to throw a spanner in the works (Mon Dieu, their feelings get hurt sooo easily; so what if I made a few less than flattering comments about Frogs in a few earlier blogs), but I crushed the competition, especially the Irish bloke, who persists in recounting, in excruciating detail, every boring soccer match he attends at the expense of any REAL news. Check out his blog at http://spaces.msn.com/tezzad/ , and feel free to send him lots of comments.

Speaking of the Olympics, HOW ABOUT THOSE HATS? I always watch the opening ceremonies, and I love seeing the team outfits. This year was far and away the best ever for headgear. I started a list of my favorite hats, but I kept adding to it. I’m trying to score one of each team’s on Ebay (except that one that looked like it had bushy black hair growing out of the top). And speaking of bushy black hair, was it just me, or did those Bubbleheads at the ceremony look more like Sperm Gone Amok than "snow"? In my humble opinion, the symbolic shit approximated an LSD trip gone horribly, horribly wrong.

The U.S. of A. is doing pretty well in the medal count. In a natter with Pinkie last night, she mentioned that England’s hope for glory rests with Curling, a sport I know nothing about. Is Michael the Captain of the Curling Team? His hair always looks nicely curled, so he should be. Anyway, Go Curlers!

Now for some exciting communication news. I was at Staples buying some office supplies, and when my invoice printed out, I was randomly chosen to participate in a survey. You know the kind of thing. Complete the survey on line and win a $5000 shopping spree or "other great stuff." Well, Jesus Wept, I did the survey and damned if I didn’t win. Well, not the $5000 shopping spree, but a $75.00 gift certificate at Staples. I pondered about what to buy and then it hit me….A WEB CAM. Yeah, I’m now high-tech and as soon as I figure out how to work it, you will be all able to see me live when we chat (I think).

I have booked my ticket for my next visit to Weybridge….I arrive on March 30 and leave on April 10. Please begin arranging all Arrival Dos forthwith. And don’t forget to tell Robbie Lee I’m coming.

 

A GUEST BLOG FROM JAMES

Published February 10, 2006 by jean cohen
I LOVE guest blogs!  It’s sooo Tom Sawyerish.  BRILLIANT BLOG, James!!!!
 

Damn Those Seahawks

The memories were fresh, though a little jaded, of the previous night. Spotty, Buzz & I had watched the game in our customary place – The Black Bear, Hoboken. I had sent far too many texts to Jarvo back in Blighty, and during these exchanges, I accidentally accepted a small wager from Jeano. She kind of slipped that one under the radar, whilst I was wrapped up in all the excitement. I mean – to knowingly accept a bet from someone who has more knowledge of US football than I know about mobile phones, would be stupid! (Speaking of mobile phones – I’ll be sending my invoice for consultancy on phone settings in to Jeano soon. I mean, $10 to get the thing off T9 predictive text for her was a bargain!)

Philly Time

We checked out of the excellent Metro hotel in Manhattan, and made the short walk to Penn Station. Originally, the bus was going to be used to get us over to Philly, but the extra hours sleep the train option gave was a no-brainer, so off we went. A couple of trains, and three hours later, we were in 30th St. Station in Philly. That’s one pretty amazing station, with high ceilings, and art deco design. Waiting outside the station, we wondered where Jeano was. It transpired that the station can be exited from two sides, and Sod’s Law dictates that when one is presented with a 50/50 option – the actual chances of picking the correct one are, in fact, 0/100. Once we had crossed the station again, we met up with Jeano. We walked out to the car, and I was pleasantly surprised. Despite extensive forensic checks, I was unable to locate a single dent anywhere on the entire vehicle! This left something of a quandary. Was the car BRAND NEW? Had Jeano car-jacked it moments before meeting us? Did someone else usually drive it? After reading about Camilla, I couldn’t believe that this was Jeano’s regular transport. Nevertheless, as she had the keys, and seemed familiar with it, we all went to jump in. Foolishly, I hadn’t reckoned on the car being equipped with an ‘Attention Dog’. (These are like Guard Dog’s, except that their Raison d’Être is to solicit – no, DEMAND – the maximum amount of fuss at all times.) And so, at this point, we met Hamish. Although initially reloaded into the back of the car, he took approximately 14 milliseconds to travel round to the front, and settle onto Scott’s lap for a fuss-fest lasting the entire journey. Speaking of the journey, this began with a diversion through some of the less savoury areas of town. In fact, at one point Jeano suggested that if the car broke down, we should all have a suicide pact. We all agreed. After a short drive, the King of Prussia Mall hove into view. I have considered various adjectives to use when trying to describe this structure. Gigantic, enormous, massive, Herculean, elephantine, prodigious, voluminous etc. I’m settling for BIG. F@$"&%g BIG! Jeez, it took about 10 minutes to drive past one side of it. The famous line from the Blues Brothers sprang to mind; ‘This mall has everything…..’ Moments later, we arrived at Chez Jeano. I was immediately struck with the fact that every one of Jeano’s neighbours has some kind of Stars ‘n’ Stripes hanging outside. Not Jeano’s though. Oh no. Jeanon ’s front door sported a pair of Union Flags! That’s one short of the flag of St. George, and highly commendable!

We piled in, and after opening a few beers (twist caps, Jeano, twist caps), we had a tour of the manor. I must say at this point that Jeano has a lovely house, and if it were possible to jack it up, and plonk it down somewhere in Surrey, I would move in tomorrow. As KofP residents have already done this with their pub, I don’t see this being a problem.

King of Prussia Mall

Now, let’s clarify one point here about the trip to the Mall. It was always going to happen. I had a near empty case with me, and a shopping list, OK? Spotty and Buzz also had a small list of items to pick up, and so when the offer of a trip to the shops was made, it was graciously accepted. My recollection of events is somewhat dissimilar to Jeano’s. Military precision and decisive actions were taken in order to fulfil all shopping requirements in the minimum amount of time (with one smoke-break). The trainers I purchased were the first pair I tried on, and I refuse to believe that action may be likened to that of a female shopper! I will concede that my other actions (impulse purchases, and far too many carrier bags full of stuff) were, indeed, decidedly girly. But hey, at least I’m in touch with my feminine side :o)

We drove back to the Manor, unloaded our haul, and settled down in front of the 900" TV in the den. Time for relaxation. Time for relaxation? No, it was ‘Hamish-Time’. Hamish has a small selection of chew toys, and a constitution which would put the Energizer Bunny to shame. In fact, I think he’s the result of a brief liaison between the Energizer Bunny, and the Terminator, as ‘he absolutely, positively WILL NOT STOP’. After working out that Buzz is not a huge fan of cats or dogs, he was Hamish’s first port of call. Aversion therapy is what I think it’s called. And Hamish has a PhD in that. Still, he’s not a bad little guy, although he is more than slightly obsessed with squirrels, and adopts a strict patrol regime to ensure they are excluded from the garden.

Cheese Steaks

This part is just for Jarvo.

We had Cheese Steaks! Ner-Nerny Ner Ner!

Said in the voice of a certain Little Britain character:

‘Ooh, they were GORGEOUS! They were LUSH!

Hooters

The evening’s entertainment then followed, and a trip to Hooters was offered, and graciously accepted. It was hard work pouring all that beer down, whilst being served by waitresses who appeared to have started work just before they finished dressing. It’s fair to say I am going to visit Hooters again on my next trip. It’s also fair to write to them, asking them to open up in Weybridge – I think the locals will like it (although you’ll never see Leechy in the Grotto ever again). After what seemed like 10 minutes, we headed back to the Manor for a nightcap.

Valley Forge

The next morning began when Buzz (who had been hiding out in the downstairs loo for several hours), finally managed to jump out and surprise the hell out of Marina. You have to admire his dedication to the comedic moment. I performed the not inconsiderable feat of condensing 6 bags of shopping into my small suitcase. We all had toast and marmalade, and polished off most of the leftover devilled eggs. After several coffees, Buzz declared that he had got his shakes down to an acceptable level (just as I thought – Laser Envy), and we headed off for a whistle-stop tour of Valley Forge. This is a national park, and quite charming. It was a pleasant change to visit a well run, modern and tidy facility, and not even to have to stump up an admission charge. We also met an archaeologist who brought new levels of enthusiasm to his role. This guy was Mr. Valley Forge – he lived and breathed the place, as he poured over belt buckles, shot pellets, bottles and buttons, all of which had been dug up RIGHT HERE! I could have stayed a while longer, but as Jeano was glazing over and inspecting the ceiling tiles with large yawns, we had to prize ourselves from him, and beat a hasty retreat. We all wandered into the souvenir shop, and it was here that the spookiest moment of the trip happened. Buzz turned to me and commented that he was visiting Valley Forge ‘to find out where the Brits went wrong’. Just as he made this flippant comment, a book on a nearby shelf launched itself to the floor. There was no reason for this to have happened, except the fact that Buzz’s remark had angered one of the spirits who reside in Valley Forge. I for one am glad that he made the comment, and not me! After a quick tour of the grounds, it was time to head off to meet ‘Dave’s Limousines’ who would be transporting us back to JFK airport.

All too quickly, our visit to Philly was over. Hugs and kisses exchanged, and a realisation that we were heading home.

Jeano – Thank you indeed for your gracious hospitality. Thank you for the beer. Thank you for the insider knowledge of the KofP mall. Thank you for your humour. And thankyouthankyouthankyou for Hooters!

Quoting again from the Terminator: ‘I’ll be back!’

THE VISIT – PART II

Published February 9, 2006 by jean cohen

The guys were finally convinced to leave Hooters when the Mexican cooks left and they started to turn off the lights. A small disagreement ensued over whether they could bring Miss Hooterette home with them, but we sorted that out. They had figured out that the little chippie had difficulty understanding their accents, so, of course, they all mumbled so that she had to lean in REAL CLOSE to get what they were saying.

Scotty, James and Pete are all extremely brave….or totally clueless, as they let ME drive everywhere. Since none of them live in Weybridge, they have not had the pleasure of hearing Monkey Joe natter about Camilla and me.

At the New Year’s visit:

Monkey: I said to her "Jeano, do you want me to fill the petrol tank?"

Monkey (being me) "No, thanks, Monkey. I won’t have the car long enough to use up a tank of petrol."

We all had a lie-in on Tuesday morning, except Pete, who scared the shit out of E.C. by coming out of the powder room while she was in the kitchen. According to Pete, she screams pretty loud. One of my guests (who shall remain nameless because he holds the key to future upgrades on British Air) had a "Sister Pinkie" kind of morning when he had to pack all the goodies he bought.

I whipped up breakfast (okay, it was the leftovers from my Super Bowl party, but it WAS food) and we discussed how to spend the morning, before I drove them to get their shuttle to JFK. Running the mall again was NOT an option, so we decided to visit Valley Forge National Park, the Continental Army’s winter camp during THAT war (you know which one I mean).

We took a short detour so I could show them the King of Prussia Inn, which was built in 1720-something, and was actually picked up and moved a couple years ago so they could widen the highway. It’s quite an eerie coincidence that Washington’s local has the same name as my township. Historians have pondered why the Inn was not called the King Leopold III; maybe the sign painter thought "Prussia" was easier to spell.

We trooped over to Valley Forge (note the military metaphor), and I did restrain myself from making lots of "loser" jokes. We saw the documentary film and did a quick driving tour as we were short on time. James got some great pictures. I will post some.

I drove the guys to the hotel where they were getting the shuttle, and there were hugs and kisses, and some tears. A splendid visit, all around. The guys are meant to be doing a "Guest Blog" on their trip to King of Prussia, but we will have to wait and see if one materializes. I’m a tough act to follow; just ask the Irish lad.

However, when I got home, I had to deal with a serious issue. Hamish, who was under the impression I’d bought him three large walking, talking toys, was quite miffed. The guys had spent hours playing tug-o-war and catch with him and he was in doggie-nirvana. A quick check upstairs confirmed that they were missing, and I was presented with a pungent pile in the den in retaliation. That was before Hamish went out back and stood on the diving board threatening suicide unless his "toys" were returned pronto. (This is a slight exaggeration.) He’s still not speaking to me.

 

 

BUZZ LIGHTBEER DOES KofP

Published February 8, 2006 by jean cohen

I must start off with a little admonition to that other blogger, the one in Weybridge. Dude, you need to actually put stuff in there more than once a month. Our readers’ distress is acutely poignant when they find the same old shite day after day. My email is clogged with comments like "Wow, Jeano! Fabuloso blog today!" or "Jeano, You Rock!", rather than "Jesus Wept! That bloke is a monkey’s chuff. (Signed: Xoxo Pinkie).

The triumvirate of Scotty, James and Pete arrived on Monday, after their raucous Super Bowl weekend in Sinatra-town. New Jersey. The text messages had flown back and forth on Sunday, and James, most ill-advisedly, had wagered $10 on the game with ME! I did say "Hullo" before I demanded payment. Note to British mates: Jeano knows American football.

Driving to my house, I detoured to at least show the guys the KofP Mall. And I thought Pinkie got excited. We got to my house, and I gave the guys several options for activities for our afternoon. Oh so casually, they requested a visit to the Mall "to pick-up souvenirs." We parked in my favourite handicapped spot and they were off and running. I felt like a Den Mother on a Boy Scout trip. Pete was especially badly behaved, as we kept losing him whenever something in a shop window caught his fancy. After a "fag break" (James’ excuse to take all his carrier bags out to the car), we carried on. THIS NEXT BIT IS ALL TRUE.

The guys were in the Athlete’s Foot trying on, like, 50 different pairs of trainers, (I should have worn trainers; my feet were killing me), and I waited outside to sit down. A famous American football player lives in my neighborhood and I know him slightly. There he was, the day after the Super Bowl, coming towards me in the mall. He stopped to chat, and I dragged him into the shop to meet the guys. His name is Tommy McDonald. He was a wide receiver for my beloved Eagles, and in 1998 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The guys and I were gobsmacked when Tommy pulled out two little pouches and produced his Super Bowl ring and his Hall of Fame ring. He let the guys put them on and take pictures! I think they were pretty excited.

We continued shopping; at least the guys did. "Here, Jeano. Hold these seventeen carrier bags while I run into Penney’s and buy some underpants." A half-hour later: "Here, Jeano. Take these bags. I’m going back and buy that divine coat I saw." Okay. He didn’t say "divine", but you get the idea. I eventually rounded them up, including Pete who was missing again, and herded them to the car.

If I can get philosophical here, guys are really just like girls. We got back to my house and the three manly men sat around oohing and aahing over their purchases and modeling for each other. EWWW! The only difference was that they were drinking beer instead of Zinfandel. We ordered in cheesesteaks for dinner (consider yourself as having had the piss taken out of you, Jarvo) and the guys went to shower and primp for an American bar crawl at Hooters and…well, actually I couldn’t pry them out of Hooters. It was our first, last and only pub. I guess it was the great music and NBA Hoops on the big screens.

More to follow later.

 

 

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Sod You! Molly Bloom)

Published February 5, 2006 by jean cohen

Terry is SOOO something. Of course I’ve read Ulysses. He was my favorite general in the War Between the States. I don’t think I’ve ever met Terry’s friends, James and Joyce. Unless they were that couple who had a fight in the Grotto, resulting in a pitcher of beer being thrown on Edwina. Wait a minute…I think that was Spanish Joe.

Anyway, it’s an eerie coincidence that the Irish Lad brought up the Civil War, as Scotty and his mates arrive tomorrow. Scotty is a huge Civil War buff, and we spent hours talking about "Ulysses", "Robert E.", and all those other general blokes. Why, I live only a couple hours away from Gettysburg, the site of some battle and home of a huge outlet mall. On one of my visits, I shall definitely check out the battle stuff and report back. Note to British readers: The North won.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m preparing for my partay. I could natter on and on about Hasselbeck and Roethlisberger (his name goes all the way around his jersey), the spread, and the defensive keys to the game to fill up space like some bloggers (Terry) do, but I’m not banal and shallow. As Gen. Ulysses said, "Ireland sober is Ireland stiff." The highlight of the evening is, of course, the Pool. For those of you not privileged to be at the event, here are a few samples:

1st player to touch his willy on national TV will be a: ( ) Steeler ( ) Seahawk

1st team to get a penalty ( ) Steelers ( ) Seahawks

1st slutty cheerleader pouting at the camera ( ) blond ( ) brunette

1st player to score (with a slutty cheerleader) ( ) Terrel Owens ( ) the entire Giants defense

Start pondering.

Speaking of are you pondering, I must add a personal note: SISTER PINK, YOU STINK! Can you believe I called Pinkie and sang to her on her voice mail? She never replied. And I think she got her mobile number changed. What’s that about? As if work and school and family are more important than me. Oops! I was having an Evil Child moment.

I would be remiss if I didn’t wish Vickums a "Happy Birthday". Even though she didn’t invite me to her party. Note to Vickums: Send pictures. This sounds suspiciously like "The Party AFTER Jeano Left." Why didn’t she celebrate her birthday while I was still there? I’d better not hear that Robbie Lee performed.

Is she registered anywhere for expensive, designer gifts?

The philosopher George Carlin said "gift registries used to just be for weddings. Now its for babies, anniversaries and graduation from rehab. Picking out stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn’t gift giving, it’s the white people version of looting".

Please make a note that I am registered at Divine Harrods for the stuff I’ll be needing to furnish my flat when I return. See www:welcomebackjeano.co.uk.