05 September 2011

This, Here, That & There

THIS: So it’s turned into fall around these parts. Except I’m not allowed to say ‘fall’ around these parts, it’s ‘autumn’…like your grandparents used to say. It’s actually strange in a way since the temperature is pretty much the same as it’s been all summer, which is to say a few degrees over 60. It’s the wind though, the wind is colder now, making me grab for my jacket since September 1st when I was quite happy to go along in short sleeves before. Since I haven’t experienced a proper fall (grr..AUTUMN) in over 8 years this weather change is quite nice. I’m enjoying the crispness in the air. I’m enjoying seeing the leaves start to change colors. I’m enjoying pulling out my scarves thinking about which one I’m going to wear first. I’ve already sorted out where we’re going to go next month to pick our Halloween pumpkin. To be sure, once the first snow starts falling you will hear me grumbling. Snow is the bane of my existence, a bit like skinny jeans and the horrible smell of the fish counter at the grocery store.

Now that I’ve spent a whole summer in England, I understand what everyone meant about enjoying the two weeks of summer England gets every year. The only time it was over 70 degrees for any length of time was back in April. There have been many the sunny days since, but never that warm. I only wore my shorts 3 times. I really don’t mind that much since I hate sweating. I just don’t understand why anyone would bother building a water park in this country. It can’t be a huge money maker – unless of course they are charging 10,000 pounds per person. Having an irrational fear of swimsuits (seriously, lacra is just unnatural) I can’t verify the price for you. Perhaps the water park is only a pound to get in but all it consists of is a glorified Slip-n-Slide with Nigel the ex-carnie out there with a garden hose.

England's famous water park.

HERE: Two weekends ago was the Summer Bank Holiday weekend. It’s essentially Labor Day, but a week earlier as not to be associated with those nasty Yanks. Liverpool was holding it’s yearly Mathew Street Festival and Andy and I decided to go down to see it on our weekly “day off”. (In the future, if I say ‘day off’ I mean that we left Henry with Andy’s mum. As anyone with a kid knows, there is no such thing as a ‘day off’ when you are with a child you are responsible for.)

Mathew Street Festival was incredibly awesome in the fact that instead of holding the festival in a part of town, they held the festival in the ENTIRE city center. All roads in the center were blocked off. Having a mother who never thought playing in oncoming traffic was an okay thing to do, I find it incredibly freeing anytime I can walk down the middle of the street and not have to worry about getting run over. It feels almost squirrel like.

Being a squirrel

List of all the bands and the stages

At different parts of the city stages were constructed and you can see bands all day for free. The only difference from a regular festival was that there were no food booths or carnival rides or anything like that. If you wanted to eat, you went into a pub or restaurant and ate. If you had to pee, you snuck into a pub or restaurant. Most people (including ourselves) went to Tesco to purchase a 4 pack of beer to walk around with and drink. We also stayed around one stage instead of wearing down the rubber in our shoes seeing other bands. We saw a few bands at that stage but the only one I remember the name of is Amsterdam and I only remember them because I had actually heard of them before. They’re from Liverpool lest the name confuses you.


Andy and his sis are amused that I'm sitting.

I don't know why I'm so amused by taking pictures of coppers.  I just am.

After 4 hours, we got tired of fighting crowds and standing. We’re old and out of shape and not much like squirrels at all. We headed to Barcelona Bar (also in Liverpool) and had a lovely evening shouting a conversation over the bar band.

I hope the real Barcelona is this cool.

THAT: Andy has an unusual quirk. Sometimes when he’s asleep, his eyes stay partial open. Not too much. More like slits like he’s giving you the evil eye. You can still see his cornea quite clearly which is why it’s so off putting. He did not make me aware of this quirk prior to us dating. One night after whatever movie we were watching was finished, I looked over and Andy is lying on his back and his eyes are open like I described above. I thought he was awake so I asked him how he liked the movie. He didn’t respond but since his eyes were open I thought he was giving that look like he hated it and how could I even ask that question. Fair enough. But then he started snoring. OK, the movie was boring, but he didn’t have to be a dick about it. But then he REALLY started snoring. I honestly thought he was taking the piss and started to get kind of mad about it. The snoring didn’t stop though. When the light bulb finally went off in my head that fuck, this guy was sleeping with his eyes open; I did what any logical person would do. I took a picture of it.


Anyhow, this afternoon I’m feeding Henry his bottle. It’s pretty typical for him to fall asleep immediately after he’s done. I usually have to sit there and hold him while he sleeps as he won’t sleep in his crib during the day (don’t bother suggestions on fixing this as we’ve tried them all). After about an hour of sitting there, I looked down and noticed that my son, my precious little baby, was fucking sleeping with his eyes open – just like his father. I would have taken a picture of it but that would have meant getting up and waking the child which of course would defeat the purpose. Trust me though, it’s creepy.

THERE: This past Saturday the three of us headed to Manchester. We were going to Manchester for two very uncool reasons. The first being that we were picking up a used activity center for the Henbot we found on GumTree and the second being that we were going to the Manchester Baby Show. Yes, we went to the Manchester Baby Show. Yes, it was my suggestion. I like trade shows, especially Auto Shows, and I figured we had a baby and they would be giving out baby swag, blah blah fuckity blah. I’m not going to go into details about the show because I don’t think you all give a toss but if you do have a baby I will say that it’s worth going to.

Henry seemed to enjoy himself.  He's pretty easy to amuse though.

I knew Andy would be pretty grumpy about the whole thing (and he was grumpy but he held it in remarkably well). To take a man to a baby show must be a particular type of torture not covered in spousal abuse reports. To add insult upon injury, I made him go to MANCHESTER which is a bit soul crushing for any Scouser (aka: from Liverpool). Liverpool and Manchester have had hundreds of years of city rivalry. It’s not all about football either, though it doesn’t help. Not being a Scouser or a Manc, I don’t understand it any farther than I understand the state rivalry between Wisconsin and Illinois (our friendly Illinois buddies). Andy put up with Manchester remarkably well, only really going off the handle when there was parking sign inappropriately placed. I must admit that I really liked Manchester for the little I got to see of it. As both my son and husband are Scousers I think I’d be disowned if I ever decided to live there, but still, not a bad place – inappropriately placed parking signs and all.

I’d like to mention that there was a point where we weren’t going to the baby show because of a ticket mishap. Before we were able to sort the problem out, I emailed Vegemite Wife in a bit of a panic (though I’m sure my email was quite casual) asking for suggestions for things to do in Manchester. I didn’t mention the baby show ticket problem because she would have mocked me and would have told me to go to Glastonbury to try to get some of my cool back. VW ended up sending me a very informative list of suggestions back (none of which that involved me purchasing wellies) including places to park, train stations, types of outerwear that would be acceptable and whether strawberries were still in season. The woman needs to be a tour guide, seriously. I actually felt a bit guilty when the baby show ticket problem was taken care of. Who wouldn’t want to walk down to Castlefield by the canals where the birthplace of industrialization is? I couldn’t leave Manchester without doing at least one of the great things she suggested, so we ended up going to Dimitri’s. You know what? It was good. No, it was awesome. The waiters were even friendly with Henry. Well done VW.

 Dimitri's...good call.

The kid just loves grabbing at beers.  I have no idea why.  It's not like we like beer or anything.


  1. Glad to be of service! And yeah, that's hella freaky that the hubs sleeps with his eyes open. Seriously freaky.

  2. VW: I KNOW, right? Perhaps some it might be jealousy as back in school I would have loved to be able to appear as though I was awake. Would have saved me a few detentions that's for sure.

  3. Henry has good taste, if he likes beer already. Also, Ellen sometimes sleeps with one eye cracked open. I try to shut it by pressing down on her eyebrow, but it springs back open again. These kids, they drive us to drink.

  4. Liz: I actually giggled thinking about you pressing down Ellen's eyebrow. I wonder if I press down on Henry's knee his sock would magically pull itself back on.