Sunday, 23 December 2007

Bad Nativities

I just came across this site and the sequel today. Horrifying, hilarious, and mesmerising all at once.

Basically, it's made of awesome.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

My Town

I live in a pretty small town, in a pretty small county, in a pretty small country.

Because I'm American, I often get people asking me in surprise, "Why would you want to live here, of all places??!" They are surprised by my answers.

I like it here. I like the river running through the town, I like the pedestrianised town centre with the different markets on different days of the week, I like the low-floored buses so I can wheel my buggy right on board without folding it down.

But mostly, I like how multicultural this town is. We have Sikh temples, a huge Italian population, and a burgeoning community of Eastern Europeans. My children go to school with other children from vastly different cultures, and the teachers celebrate everyone's religious holidays. The kids learn other languages and how to cook native foods. My Eldest Child is friends with a little girl who only knows a few words of English, and this girl loves my daughter. I've seen them interact, and it is absolutely amazing to watch.

I am an immigrant, and I live in a town of immigrants. I may not be surrounded by other Americans, but I see these people on the street and in the corner shops, and we have a connection. I feel like I belong here, in all my loneliness.

I say loneliness, but it's not a heartbreaking or even upsetting feeling. I just feel alien sometimes, like when a group of people share a joke from their childhood that I can't take part in -- I didn't grow up here. I've lived in this country for nearly a decade, and I still come across slang or turns of phrase that I haven't heard before. Someone may ask me where I'm from, or how long am I visiting for, and I have to stop and remember that I'm not a native. I will never fit in completely.

Perhaps I like this town so much because it feels like we are living on the Island of Misfit Toys. Maybe the Poles and the Italians and the Indians and the Americans all mismatch, but we all mismatch together, and the end result is a thing of beauty.

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Monday, 10 December 2007

Recipe for fun!

Do you want to enjoy the holiday season even more than you already are? Well, I can tell you how!

First, take a long walk on a cold afternoon to the post office. Make sure you have a baby in the buggy and two walking children "holding" onto the sides of the buggy.

When you get to the post office, ensure that you get into the slowest and longest line in the history of mankind. That will definitely start the festivities off right!

Oh, and if you aren't stuck standing next to the candies, crisps and chocolates, make sure you get the employees to change the layout of the store for you! Nothing is more fun than standing around while your children attempt to grab and open all of the tempting treats surrounding them!

Don't forget to ply at least one of your children with lots of drinks before you stand in line for 20 minutes so she can perform a little wee-wee dance to entertain everyone in the queue!

When you finally get to the front of the line, and you find out that the main reason you were at the post office in the first place -- to send a package overseas -- is now out of the question because said package will cost you over five times the worth of the contents, don't forget to laugh at life's little ironies!

And don't forget to get into the other queue to pay for the crisps that you bribed your children with, because the lady behind the counter can't ring up the crisps. That's the post office desk only, of course.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

What should have gone into my Christmas cards this year.

Happy Holidays from the Cookie Clan!

2007 has been an eventful year, in that we added a new family member at the end of 2006 and are still adjusting to the "glorious" chaos that all three of them bring....

Baby Child is coming up to a year old and is already showing a strong personality. She is a proficient walker and climber, so don't turn your back! She'll be standing on the back of the couch in two seconds flat! She's got a knack for stealing her siblings' toys and pulling bits of tissue out of the toilet, too. Her crowning achievement of the year, however, was when she managed to dive head-first into a full bath. We've already enrolled her in the local gymnastics club!

Middle Child, as always, is a happy kid, with a strong personality. We've only been trying to potty train him for 11 months! He just doesn't mind sitting in his own excrement, and who can blame him? Almost anything is more interesting than sitting on the pot. He's also developed a milk sensitivity, so we now have to buy three different kinds of milk to feed the family. Funnily enough, his recent diagnosis of "glue ear" is connected with dairy sensitivities, so all those times I've plied him into obedience with a pot of yogurt has increased his hearing problems! He has been referred for surgery to fix his ears, but with the NHS waiting lists, we may not be announcing his surgery until next year's letter!

Eldest Child started school this year, and along with her homework, has also brought home the attitude of a 14-year-old. She is currently perfecting her eye-roll, hair flip, and foot stomp. The door slam, well, that skill is already perfect enough, thanks. She's starting to read independently, so we look forward to taking her to local parks where she can sound out the graffiti on the slides!

Mr Cookies is still working in London, and working long hours to boot. It's a decent enough job, but the unpaid overtime is the best part, we think.

Mrs Cookies is picking up odd-jobs here and there, trying to work around the kids' schedules, but is finding it difficult to sound professional over the phone with screaming children in the background!

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy 2008.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Raisin "Chorus Girl" Cookies

So, I didn't get an actual speaking part in the musical, but I'm in the chorus and that should be good fun. I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed. I thought my audition went well (I made everyone laugh, you know, in a good way), but I think my American accent is a hindrance in these sorts of situations. Ah well. It's been so long since I've been in a show, it's just nice to get back into it again!

The real bummer is that I have to learn many, many more songs as a chorus girl than I would have if I had gotten the part of Peep-Bo. Ho hum! My singing voice will certainly improve, and maybe next time I'll be able to audition for a show that requires American accents! You never know....