On our last day, we really felt the pressure to accomplish some of the things we hadn’t yet. Therefore, we set off to the Borough Market, which was closed the first time we tried, in order to get the infamous grilled cheese sandwich.

And oh, what a sandwich it was. The cook dumped in mounds of cheese into a container, then would take the bread and scoop huge amounts onto it, and press it in a panini type grill. At one point, he would add the combination of red onion and leeks. He eventually wrapped it in tissue paper and handed to us, as our eyes bulged from their sockets. Heart attack on bread.


We had to take pictures, because that’s the kind of dorks we are. Plus, we wanted to make everyone crave our sandwiches. Success.


We browsed the market, which is amazing. It’s crowded, but smells and tastes like heaven.



Luckily, Sandy spotted a Prosecco booth and I was able to take a bubblicious time out.


Afterward, we hopped on the Tube and arrived at Selfridge’s. Because we like the TV Show, and Jeremy Piven. After purchasing some surprises for my husband, we hopped back on the subway for Harrod’s. There we purchased more surprises and fought through crowds that make the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade look tame. These excursions cost me dearly. Not financially, but mentally. I despise crowds AND shopping, so it was the perfect storm for me to totally lose it. Somehow, I managed to not freak out and Sandy realized the imperative was to get me to the hotel for a drink to calm my nerves. Sandy is very smart.

After a small glass of wine, we decided to knock out one more item on the to-do list and hit Trafalgar Square. Guess what? A million people were there.


I became punch drunk and decided you all needed this joke.

Guess what?


Chicken butt.


We ate a scrumptious dinner and retired to our rooms where we began packing for our return trip. Our greatest regret is that we never made it into a museum. Sandy wanted to see the Rosetta Stone. I guess another trip is in the future, with less of the Royal Tour, as Sandy calls it, and more theatre and museums.

We shall return.

Thanks, London. It was incredible!

P.S. We overheard two different women today shout, “S#!t!!” And neither of them was me!!!


See y’all soon!



Counting down the days until Sandy and I depart Terminal D at DFW for Heathrow.

First, an update from the last post. (For those totally disinterested in my estrogen count, please move on to the next paragraph.) The gel that would keep me from having headaches and hot flashes can take a month to kick in, which should be around the time we board a flight BACK to the US. Send your best wishes and a taser to Sandy, who will have to deal with me abroad.

Now, regarding the trip: Over the past weekend I shopped until it hurt. (Which is about 5 minutes into it for me.)  Then I shopped through the pain. I must be going through my second or third childhood because I spent all my time in the Junior’s department trying on jeans and t-shirts. I wasn’t into clothes in high school, so now I want to be either punk or grunge. When I try on “normal” clothes in the Women’s Department I feel as though I am adorning myself in unfulfilled potential and crippling compromise.

So instead of a practical, responsible, mature person’s clothes, I purchased  what appears to be Lisbeth Salander’s slightly more upbeat sister’s wardrobe. I even almost purchased her boots.

bieber boots

I was saved when one of my fashion advisors made an astute yet traumatizing Justin Bieber comparison via text in response to this picture I sent pre-purchase. Even if I had  been able to brainwash myself out of picturing Justin Bieber as I strolled the streets of London, GOD did not want me to get those boots. How do I know that?

Because as we checked sizes, it turned out every single box of shoes had two different sizes in it, despite the fact they had obviously never been handled before. There was not a matching right and left boot in the correct size. Anywhere.

Maybe Tim Gunn is God.

And yet, I am still inexplicably drawn to those boots. Just like I was to Robert Downey Jr. when he was a drug addled mess.

By Sunday afternoon I was almost packed. Everything was laid out on the bed by category. I was so proud of myself I took a nice long break.

Five hours later, when I needed the bed to sleep in, it all wound up in a giant, unrecognizable lump in the guest bedroom. I guess that’s okay, as soon it will be a giant unrecognizable lump in my suitcase. And then in my hotel room.

Maybe I’ve just discovered the up side of jeans and t-shirts.

Clothes for packing


Due to medication and someone having the terrible judgment (sorry, Mom, but it’s true sometimes), I was left to my own devices in the mall. As the story goes, Mom met me at Northpark Center to generously purchase my early Christmas present, birthday present and perhaps Easter gift, all in one.

Once she departed, I drifted over to Brookstone where I bought a FABULOUS new cover and keyboard to go with my FABULOUS new ipad. So far so good except the part that I left out about how my iPhone charger “socket?” is corroded, which is highly unusual and caused my numero uno IT contact at work – to whom I immediately sent an email from the store – to respond to my email with probing technical questions like,

-Are you using some “odd ball” charger?
-Are you working on the beach at the ocean?
-Have you tried not breathing on it?

He has promised to help me Monday if I bring him a flaxen haired fair maiden and two pigs. Not necessarily in that order.

ANYWAY, off I go with my new stuff… oh, I forgot to say I moved the car because this mall is BIG and I HATE malls, so I moved my car closer to where the Brookstone was so I would have to deal with less people NOT GETTING OUT OF MY WAY. (Can you even imagine how stressed I am when not on 10 mg of Valium?)

I do the deal at Brookstone and stroll (or power walk with elbows jutting out to take up as much space as possible so I don’t get knocked over by people) to the nearest exit (right by Macy’s) and drive happily away. Until I am 5 minutes from home in my medicated stupor and realize I did NOT go into Macy’s (the other reason for going to the mall) and pick up my new black riding boots and scrumptious patten leather pumps. You see, I had purchased them days ago but had to wait to pick them up until after the 28th to save 25% – and so they “THE MAN, i.e. Donald Trump” could lure me back into the shoe department.


Instead, I had to return to the mall on Saturday. Saturday. In December. A MALL. I searched – and I am not joking – 40 minutes for a parking space which I found far, far away from my destination and put on my game face. You’ll have to take my word for it. Game face is SUPER SERIOUS and has been known to make people clasp their small children a little closer.

Guess what happens at Northpark Center in December? Holiday Events. LOTS of them.



I passed Santa’s Toy Shoppe Puppet Theatre, Gingertown Dallas, and the Holiday Performance Area. Not sure what was happening there, but it involved a choir, then I saw them shove a bunch of semi-nude dancers on stage. The only explanation I can come up with for the costumes was that the next group – possibly the Cirque Dreams Holidaze – had absconded with every sequin in the tri-state area.

I made my way back out of Macy’s and crossed the mass of humanity watching the latest festive performance. Then and there, a Christmas miracle happened.

I was speeding unencumbered toward the exit, when from behind me in the performance area, I heard the strains of… Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries – and I smiled in victory.


Each morning of my work week I get up, shower, brush my teeth and step into the abyss that is my closet and think, “Who is this person and why does she dress like this?”

How have I reached this age without having a style that I’m happy with? Seriously. Why is this so hard? I need help. And a personal stylist. And a shopper. And possibly medication.

I approach shopping like most people approach the dentist’s office. It has to be done. It’s going to be uncomfortable and probably even painful. It’s going to cost more than I thought. There will be bad news, and there may be blood. There will definitely be an urge to spit.

There’s something about all the options or the way the stores are laid out that elicits an impending sense of doom in me. All those racks and racks of clothes stare at me, mocking, “You will never sort through us and find the hidden items that are flattering and make you feel good.”

“I know,” I whimper in response, starting up the aisle as though I’m taking the steps to the guillotine.

For this reason I tend to shop maybe once a year, or every two years. You can see why this is not a good solution. If I were shopping regularly, like normal people, I might pick up items here and there – accessories, maybe a blouse to toss into the rotation. But that’s not how I work. That would imply I know what I am shopping FOR, which is the whole problem. I have NO IDEA what I need, or what style I wish to adopt. My standards are low. “Is it clothing? Yes. Is it dry clean only? No. Does it fit? Sort of. SOLD.”

Many years ago, my dear friend, Sandy, attempted an intervention. She shoved me into a dressing room, said, “Stay there and try to keep the whimpers to a minimum. You’re scaring people.” She then did whatever it is people do to make selections from all those rack and racks of clothes and began hurling items over the top of the door for me to try. If I protested, she would say, “JUST TRY IT.” I complied. After all, what else could I do in that little room with all the mirrors and the bad lighting? Karaoke?

After about two hours of this, which included probably more cussing on my part than was absolutely necessary (think Linda Blair in The Exorcist), I emerged with 4-5 outfits for work. Crossing my heart and hoping to die, I swore that I would return for casual clothes at a later date, (never) and off we went to reward me with a nice adult beverage.

If only I could have that service on a monthly basis. Isn’t there someone out there who will drag me out of the house on weekends, force me into a mall, lock me in a dressing room and toss clothing at me? Is that too much to ask? Doesn’t that sound like tons of fun? When was the last time someone called you vile names in public?

Imagine bringing a feral cat into your house to give it a bath. The growling, the hissing, the spitting, the scratching. You could have all that with me. Without the rabies.

So, who’s in?


Have I mentioned that I hate shopping for the holidays? Well, I do. Each year I attempt to come up with some idea that will make the whole experience less stressful, but it fails miserably.

I am no good at choosing just the right thing for someone, unless they hit me over the head with hints about what they want. Repeatedly. And preferably purchase and wrap it for me. That’s right. I’m not even good at gift wrapping. I just throw paper on whatever it is, slap some tape on the seams crookedly and it’s done. No bow. Oh, and sometimes I cut a ragged strip of wrapping paper from which I fashion really bad gift tags.

Martha Stewart would have me flogged.

This year I am again determined to do better. Seriously, it can’t get any worse unless I just start tossing the gift in the actual shopping bag under the tree, receipt and all.

In my first step toward improving, I found a website where you can create or purchase some really creative things. And by creative I mean smart ass. Nothing inspires me more than that. A gift I can really get behind. A gift with attitude.

I think I hear Christmas bells!

Check this out. T-shirts. This one is for the friend who keeps encouraging me to go camping.

This is for my brother.

This little gem from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is for hubby.

This beauty is for one of the architects I work with. Could be an annual giveaway.

Enough T-shirts. Now for something different. Like a notebook. Or a threat. Or a notebook threat?

I may have to give this to the HR Director to take to meetings. The bottom right hand corner clarifies in small font: “With Kindness.”

For my lovely team members? This is perfect. They too can go to meetings armed with this deceptively nice-at-first-glance notebook.

And for me, I’m getting this little accessory. It’ll come in handy at holiday parties where I am expected to mingle with irritated children who are up past their bedtime. It’s a festive button!

I’m sure I can find someone’s stocking that needs this addition. Not as good as a Betty Ford Clinic button, but still…

A few items confused me…

In what world does this ornament say, “Merry Christmas?”

Oh, dear.

And lastly, a sentiment we can all get behind.

What’s that? No good?

That’s it. I’m buying liquor for everyone this year. One size fits all.