Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Le weekend

(I know this picture is old. But Michaela has the pictures from the weekend, and they aren't posted yet, so I'm improvising because Easter was a week and a half ago, and I haven't updated yet. Weekend pictures - and they are a doozy - up soon.)

So, my weekend a lá Michaela.

I met Mic in the bus station around 6.15 on Saturday. We began the evening with pizza and beer at Republic, which may or may not be the bar's real name. This is my favourite pub in Glasgow - you go down the stairs into this dungeon-like hole (I like dungeons, as some of you may know - not in a dirty way) and it's almost coal-mine-esque in its black-and-dungeony-ness. They serve beer from all over the world and tasty pizza. Only thing missing? Let's be honest, cigarette smoke. Anyway, I had a delicious sausage, onion and red chili pizza with a Krusovice Royal Black from the Czech Republic. Michaela had a chorizo and something pizza with some sissy blonde beer. (I kid, I kid. It tasted fine, as far as pale ales go.)

Following our meal and interesting discussion of the gnostic tendencies of the modern church, we walked to Merchant City for some cocktails at the Metropolitan bar, which has been called one of the best cocktail bars in Scotland (or Britain, can't remember which). I flexed my cocktail-making class knowledge and requested a gin cosmopolitan and a Tom Collins "any kind, surprise me!". The gin cosmo was made with beautiful perfection, particularly the flaming orange. The bartender made me a fresh crushed raspberry and something Collins, and it was beautiful too. Mic and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but we decided to go martini-style for the second round. Doubtful, I asked if they did dirty martinis. The bartender acted surprised, and said yes, they could. A barmaid asked what I had requested, and her eyes too lit up in surprise. Dirty martinis are not popular in Britain. The bartender actually had to go upstairs to the restaurant to get olives, but I think he was quite happy to do so. The best was when he said, "I'm clearly speaking to an expert here, would you like gin or vodka?" Of course I chose gin, though I got a bit confusing when I subsequently asked if they served Grey Goose (vodka). He then asked shaken or stirred? and I foolishly went with shaken, forgetting that shaking 'bruises' the vermouth. A woman at the bar noticed the open can of olives and asked what they were for. When the bartender explained that he was making a gin martini with olive brine, she made the most hideous face and turned away in pure disgust. Noobs. Anyway, the martinis were excellent, but oh-so-powerful. I'm a bit of a lightweight so after that, we decided it was necessary to go for a walk to work some of the gin off.

We subsequently left one of the nicest cocktail bars in Scotland for Nice N Sleazy. There the real fun of the night began - Twenty Questions. No, you aren't going to hear anything about our game of Twenty Questions, other than it's a great way of getting to know people better, where you ask a question but then have to answer it yourself. We played over "Gary Coleman"s and "Pearl Necklace"s (I'm probably so breaking a copyright by using those names but whatever, go to Nice N Sleazy's and try them. There, free publicity.) The night was still young after two rounds so we texted Jamie to find out where the nearest Scream pub was, because Scream pubs sell yager, and thus we ended up only a few doors down the way. But let us not get ahead of ourselves too quickly...

By this point, a toilet was totally necessary. But for Mic, so was a cigarette. (Sorry, Mic, if you are hiding your vices from anyone.) So we stood outside under an overhang, avoiding the rain and smoking cigarettes. (Yes, I'll confess, I had one at this point. It kept me busy while I waited desperately for the toilets.) So you know how it goes, you're standing on slippery pavement, doing the gotta-pee-gotta-pee dance when suddenly, if you are me, you find yourself smack-down sprawled on the pavement. Well, 'sprawled' isn't exactly the best word - "glamourously perching" is more appropriate. (Really, it was glamourous.) I pulled it off so well, guys. Once I found myself no longer standing, I merely put the cigarette back to my mouth and casually inhaled. Class.

So as soon as she was done smoking, we made a mad dash to the loo where we met two Glaswegian girls who "totally love[ed]" our accents. We made best-bathroom-friends with these girls, whom we later at the very end of the night saw totally wipeout on the sidewalk and get picked back up by a crowd of similarly drunk men. We thus commenced the yager. Mic decided Jamie should meet us, and being the incredibly persuasive girl she is, she actually convinced him to join us, regardless of his having been awake since 3.30am and having travelled to England and back in that one day. Speaking of persuasive...

I always catch the quarter to twelve train back to Greenock when I'm out in Glasgow. This a) helps me to not end up drinking too much and b) is the only reasonable way to get home. My dear friend Michaela actually convinced me to miss the train and get a cab home later. A cab to Greenock. From Glasgow. On a Saturday night. Word of caution - Michaela is wack. So I called Scott, asked if he minded (it took a bit of persuading on my part, and that isn't my strong point, unlike some people), and he agreed. We then went back in and toasted Scott with the yager.

So there we were, waiting for Jamie outside the pub. We became engaged in an interesting conversation with the doorman, Jim, who is like our total best friend now (despite his gangster connections, which will surface in later paragraph). Jamie arrived, and the three of us toasted each other and left the closing pub.

Someone had the horrible idea that we should head to a club.

Fair enough, nothing else is open at that time of night in Glasgow, but here's the thing. Clubs in general are only good for maybe three things:
1. Getting laid.
2. Getting drunk.
3. Getting your groove on (which usually entails the prior two points).

Since none of us were terribly interested in these options, the club was a terrible experience. And since smoking has been banned, Mic and Jamie weren't exactly feeling the club thing AT ALL. We spent most of the rest of the evening in our own private cloud of smoke outside, playing Twenty Questions. (Because you know, you can't hear in clubs so talking is out of the question indoors.)

Finally, we all realised we seriously needed to go home. I called the cab.

Enter Jim's gangster connections. Or something. I don't actually know what was gangster about his connections, but I've adopted the don't-ask-don't-tell approach.

But apparently, the cab company was wack.

We waited for an hour and a half for our cab. Queues a mile long were backed up everywhere and none of the private cabs that arrived were ours. Thank God for Jamie at that point, who a) knew what the heck a private cab looked like b) knew what the heck to do when he saw a private cab and c) has a Glasgow accent. Oh, and d) bothered to actually stay with us until we were on a cab, even though it meant even less sleep for him. He finally asked what number I called and I showed him. That's when we discovered that the company I called was... actually I don't know what it was. Again, I'm guessing it was dodgy?

So finally a Pakistani driver said he'd take us to Greenock, and we were dubious because he wasn't our assigned driver, but it was, like, coming close to 4, and we needed to freaking get home. So Jamie (in his blessed local accent) said to the driver he'd been told it would be £25 to get to Greenock (ha!!!! try double that - or so!) but the kind man accepted. £25 it was. He dropped Jamie off first and then headed on from there to Greenock. As I do, I mentioned that I've been to Pakistan, and that surprisingly opened up an amazing dialogue (or would it be a trialogue?) about God. He wanted to know things about us as Christians (why we believe Jesus is the Son of God, etc) and he told us why he believes Mohommad is the great prophet. It was really good, honest, open conversation. It was great! In fact, we were so into the conversation that when we got to my house, we all continued sitting in the car for another three minutes or so finishing up. We paid the guy (and left him a £10 tip, since we'd kinda gipped him a bit on the fare) and then said goodbye. It was nearly 5am.

Ya'll, I don't even know what. My girl Michaela? She's seriously wack, making me act like a student all over again. And ya'll, I love her to death. Jamie, too. And mostly Scott for being so darn cool about it and forgiving me for being totally wreckless and irresponsible (we took a freaking cab from Glasgow to Greenock for crying out loud) for once and cuddling me to sleep when I got in.

Next weekend? Edinburgh! and beyond!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Christ is Risen!

First things first.

As Ruth pointed out, Christ is risen! (can I hear a "He is risen indeed!"?)

You see,
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" [teacher].

-John 20:1-16


But the picture of my family has nothing to do with Easter. Other than the fact that Jesus' resurrection has given them eternal life!

So with that pitiful excuse for a segue, and not to lesson the importance of that Most Important Moment in History, it was great spending time with my parents and aunties. Below are a couple of pictures.

Mom and Aunt Phyllis in EdinburghAunt Betty in Edinburgh

Me and my dads in EdinburghDad and Mom at Glasgow Cathedral


Then last weekend we went to Edinburgh to visit Jonathan and Sarah and to meet Stella. We were pleasantly surprised to see that Michaela was off work, too, so we got to hang out with the whole crew til late late in the night.

The HaysesLori and Michaela

And by the way, is Stella not ADORABLE?!

Dreaming Baby Smile Copyright 2006

I love that family.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

...Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!" But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him." The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar." When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.

"Here is your king," Pilate said to the Jews.

But they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!"

"Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked.

"We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered.

Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

John 19:1-16

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

All is Quiet

I took everyone to the airport this morning. I feel reallly quite lonely now. For nine days it was solid, nonstop family - and now I'm alone in my pjs with my cats. I miss them so much already. Usually I'm not too sentimental about goodbyes. I know I'll see that person soon, and if not, well then chances are we aren't that close to begin with. But today, even though I know I'll see them all in just a few short months (going back in July for my older brother's wedding), I feel really sad.

But I've got plenty to keep me busy - nine days of family meant nine days of house neglect. And house neglect for most people means the house looks just like it did when you started, but if you've got cats, it doesn't matter that you haven't spent more than ten minutes in your living room - the place is a DISASTER. So it's cleaning time.


But before I do all that, I just want to throw in a quick list of all the great (or not-so-great) things we did or saw while they were here:

1. Museum of Transport in Glasgow
2. Botanic Gardens in Glasgow
3. Glasgow Cathedral
4. Provands Lordship (the oldest house in Glasgow)
5. The Necropolis in Glasgow
6. Stirling Castle
7. Inverrary Castle (the outside, it was closed)
8. A beautiful church by Loch something-or-other past Inverrary
9. Edinburgh Castle (the not-so-great bit - I hate the castle)
10. Scottish Parliament (also not-so-great)
11. We rode a ferry (my first time)
12. They ate haggis (their first and probably last time)

And much more, though the rest is nothing that would interest the general public - like shopping, eating at nice restaurants, laughing together in front of a coal fire, drinking loads of tea and scones. Ah, it was a really, really good time.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Post in Lieu

To read about my exciting night with Michaela a few nights ago, visit Michaela's blog. She tells the story much better than I could, though she gets a few facts wrong, like the whole me being cooler than her bit. Ya'll, Michaela rocks the cool charts.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


...for the lack of updateage on the blog. My parents and two of my aunts are over right now, and we've been busy busy busy taking them to see everything. Yesterday we went to the Museum of Transport and the Botanic Gardens (which, by the way, is about to be my new favourite place to relax ever), and today we're off to Stirling Castle, weather permitting. Supposedly gonna be showers all day, but then again, it's Scotland, did I expect differently?

We'll be back soon with posts galore.

Monday, April 03, 2006

eBay Won and Lost

Well the good news is I won two kokeshi on eBay.

The bad news is I lost one. I'm horrible with eBay. I always forget about bidding until it's too late. I used to have millions of free time sitting around where I could catch the last minutes of an auction and outbid people at the last minute and all that jazz, but not these days. And yes, I know about sniper tools, but I just think they're unethical. And yes, I know it's likely the same unethical sniper tools that steal my items right from under my nose over and over, but still, it seems so wrong. So anyway I lost a doll that was very cute - a girl holding a baby, made somewhere around '71. But oh well, I'm very pleased with the ones I won!

**For all who are interested, I had a very good birthday. I didn't have a party or anything, but I got a group together at the pub for a smoke-free dinner, and it was marvelous. I'm starting to realise I actually do have friends! Thanks a lot, guys, you made my birthday really great.

**Now, bring on the parents and aunts who arrive in Glasgow tomorrow morning!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I've become obsessed.

Last Christmas (as in 2004) I spotted these cute kokeshi dolls in a wee shop in Gourock and fell in love with them. But they were a bit expensive so I didn't get one at the time. From then on, for about six months, I kept thinking of them and wanting one. So finally, I drove back to Gourock (I know, a whole fifteen minutes) and was overjoyed to see they were still there. I bought Happy Kimono Girl.
Happy Kimono Girl

Scott put a trinket ban on the house sometime after that, and I sighed, fearing she was the last of my kokeshi. But Scott relented last weekend because it was coming up to my birthday (today, by the way!). So he took me back to the shop and bought me Dreaming of Spring, which I finally got to open this morning.
Dreaming of Spring

Thursday morning at work, a package arrived for me. It was from Lynne for my birthday.
Young Sisters

Now, these are all modern Creative Kokeshi. They are all hand-painted, but they are made many at a time. They are beautiful, and I love them for how gorgeous they are. But I'm starting to get kinda serious about these things. I'm currently bidding on three antique kokeshi (well, by antique, one is from the 60s, the other two the era is unknown to the owner, but by the looks of them, they are probably from the 70s or thereabouts). These will most likely also be dolls made several at a time, but they are old and beautiful. If I win them, I will post pictures. But I don't want to share them now, because I don't want any of you to outbid me!

Original kokeshi are the only commodity of its kind. They range up in the big bucks. Currently I'm admiring Elegance, who is $337. In pounds, that's not so bad... if I save up.

So anyway, obsessed. I love these things. Scott offered to take me clothes shopping for my birthday and what did I say? "How about I get a cabinet for my kokeshi, and maybe bid on a few from eBay?" Obsessed.