Sunday, 31 January 2010



And a good evening to you from across the Pond after a simply FANTASTIC weekend away from the Smoke. To all my faithful (especially to Tom Price who threatened to cancel his subscription), I will say a profound apology for being off the grid the last 7 days. I have no lie to tell - the last month has been the busiest work month I've had in 3 years, and I was bloody EXHAUSTED every night. Between interface issues, integration sessions, and innovative (yet empirical) strategic planning (basically, anything that starts with an "i" wears me out), I was ABSOLUTELY drained by the time I boarded the train on Friday night. In fact, I think this photo of Jenny (taken on Wednesday night) pretty much sums up what we wanted to do all weekend (but luckily didn't!). Honestly, could she BE any cuter?

But I get ahead of myself. When I last left you, I was feeling like a chubby Chinaman after a second round with crispy duck. For the record - whilst at the table, I got the question: Greatest UT athlete of all time? I told him I needed to meditate on this, and I'm still in limbo on that one - thoughts from the peanut gallery (CP - your responses, since I know they will all be derogatory, will be deleted without being read - therefore, save yourself the time)?

Tuesday night was a long one - we worked until after 10, at which point I went to Covent Garden, where I met the Hitman, the Cyborg, the Eagle Scout, an anonymous Tech Exec, and the Baron for some of THE BEST Indian I've ever had. How good was it? So good that the Baron felt the need to order a SECOND HELPING of lamp chops for desert. The look on the man's face when we told him "no" to ice cream but fire up the burners again was, well, simply priceless. However, it wasn't as funny as watching a member of our crew (all names are stricken from the record due to a request from those present - see, I'm not a TOTAL ogre) accidentally rub his eye with his chili-covered finger, only to watch him dip his napkin in his water to try and wash it out (the staff was NOT amused, especially when they brought over towels to clean up the veritable ocean of water now on the floor by our table). That being said, Moti Mahal was QUITE tasty.

On Wednesday night, we rolled over to MLFC, where a large group of us grabbed some drinks (and I grabbed a pint glass - BOMBARDIER, BABY!!!) at the Paternoster, a nice little pub just beside the London Stock Exchange. It was a GREAT night catching up and chatting, having a few brewskis and trying to NOT look at the dude just outside our window who was PICKING HIS TEETH WITH HIS OYSTER CARD. I mean, honestly, I'd rather you feed me an "Ebola Steak" than ask me to put my oyster card in my mouth. We tried to "stealthily" catch this guy in action, but all we resulted in doing was photgraph him picking his nose - I'm really just hoping he's not one of the Goldman guys that just got a billion pound bonus. Dinner that night was at Ming Court - yep, our second run of Chinese in 3 days. This too was very tasty, and I left there feeling VERY fat and happy.

Thursday was another long (but VERY productive) day in the office, but husband bear became "bad husband bear" in the evening. Luckily, he has a very forgiving wife who doesn't send him to the couch when she takes the train to meet him and he never calls to tell her where he actually is...yeah, I'm a pretty classy guy. BUT I LOVE YOU PERFECT PUMPKIN TRUFFLE BEAR!!!!!

The part that did go according to plan was taking the team out for dinner at Srinam, which was a blast. The other success? Sammy will NEVER forget to take his BlackBerry out and sit it on the table EVER again.

Friday was a great day as well, but mentally my brain was FRIED. That being said, it was a great time to assess everything that had transpired during the Integration sessions, and I'm hoping tomorrow will be a nice continuation of that.

We did take a break for lunch, popping over to Wahaca, where I ate WAY more "Mexican street food" than I should have. I still have a chuckle at that description, as none of these posh pumas would be caught DEAD eating REAL Mexican street food.

The evening was a pint with Steve (the Tennessean) and Owain before catching the tube up to Euston for a GREAT weekend in the North. Those stories, however, will have to wait until tomorrow, as this guy has simply GOT to get to bed.

Again - apologies for the delay. The plan is 2 blogs tomorrow (one for the weekend and one for Monday).

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Monday, 25 January 2010

The invasion of the Americans, Meat sticks vs. Velveeta, and round 2 with the crispy duck...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after another GREAT DAY in the Mother Country. Let me tell you - the last 36 hours have been BOOOOOOOOOMB Diggity.

After leaving you on Sunday, I had a GREAT chat with Mom, and we planned out her time in the UK and Europe. Mom - I'm SO GLAD you got tickets for those prices! We'll get you all set up for the rest of the trip - it will be AMAZING!

After that, I finished "The Children of Men" by P.D. James. Dean, AC, and anyone else who values my literary opinion - AVOID P.D. JAMES. I've given her two chances, and she's let me down twice. I am NOT reading another novel from her EVER. "The Children of Men" was particularly disappointing given all the promise, and some sins are unforgivable. Oh well - next up: "The Alienist" by Caleb Carr.

The evening was FANTASTIC. We rolled over to Fizzy's, where she had QUITE the spread of booze. An hour later, we were eating a Demario's pizza (Di's favorite) and hanging out at Liz's, where we caught both the AFC (PEYTON!!!!) and NFC championship games. Granted, it made for a long night, but it was a BLAST. We had lots of great laughs, Grimshaw rolled over with the Droewars (See Lynda, I can spell it, damn it!), which I was eventually dipping in Velveeta cheese (Liz - that dip was OFF THE CHAIN).

I ended up passing out during Overtime (but I did see the final kick to win), and I ended up sleeping on the couch until just after 4 AM. 4 hours later, I was up, cup of coffee in hand (thanks Liz), ironing my clothes (insert cheap and hurtful jokes here - DUCKHEAD RULES, BABY!!!) and getting ready to kick off the January Integration Session. That's right - members of the GHR Transition Fellowship - UNITE!
It was another busy day, but the reward at the end was MONEY. JT and I led the gang into Chinatown, where we revisited the spot JT and I hit on Saturday night. The results were even more spectacular, including TWO crispy ducks. Shogun - without you there, the ordering was left to me, but I felt I delivered. Throw in some Tiger beer, 9 mains, plenty of rice, and Liz rockin' out to Boom-Boom-Pow, and you've got a recipe for success.

The most classic moment was when the bill came for the Hitman. Here's a synopsis of the conversation:

Hitman: "This receipt isn't very detailed."
Chinese server with spiked hair (CSWSH): "Yes, that's because it's written in Chinese."

Hitman: "Yep - got that part. For example - what does this little symbol here mean?"

CSWSH: "That is beer."
Hitman: "And this little symbol?"

SCWSH: "That is chicken."

Hitman: "All the chicken or a certain kind of chicken?"

Hitman: "Which little symbol is gratuity?"

SCWSH: "It's not in there?"

Hitman: "Really? None of these little symbols are gratuity?"

SCWSH: SILENCE AGAIN (insert Table cackling here)

However, the host was good enough to re-write the ENTIRE BILL in English, which was nice.

The only other surprise was walking out to some married Scottish couple looking to pick up some members of our crew to make a scene from "Eyes Wide Shut." All in all, talking to those cats (the PYSCHO WIFE IS IN THE PHOTO), was an odd experience, and I was glad to run away from them. To quote VA: "SKETCH."

Now it's off to bed - back into the gym tomorrow! I hope...

That's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A visual feast and a blurry evening...


And a GREAT morning to you on this (dare I say almost sunny?) FABULOUS Sunday in the mother country. What a great Saturday we had! When we last left off, we were about to bounce out of the house bound for Piccadilly Circus. The goal of the day was "Jersey Boys," and JT and I were ALL pumped to go. However, we showed up to find that the DISCOUNTED tickets were 79 pounds each. The next cheapest shows were still in the 50+ range (full price and not great seats), and so, dejected, JT and I walked away from "the window that NEVER fails me," wondering how we were going to spend our afternoon.

We didn't have to wait long, however, as we realized that we were in Leicester Square, home to the UK's largest movie theater: The Odeon Cinema complex. Consequently, 10 minutes later the Taylor's had procured tickets to enter the world of...wait for it...wait for it...AVATAR (You should NOT be here - Mom and Steve - that was for you, and I couldn't help but chuckle when that line came up in the movie).

However, given that it was 12:45 and the show wasn't until 3:15, we had to grab some grub. So we took a walk over to Strand and hit up Zizzi's (Jon and Michele - it's the same one you guys hit with Jenny before Phantom). We spent the next almost 2 hours kicked back enjoying some GREAT pizza and just relaxing.
But on a totally random side note, we passed a French wine bar on the walk back to the theater. This place (called "Terroirs"), had a sign out front that has me absolutely bamboozled. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my random East Tennessee phrases ("madder than a wet hornet" being the phrase of choice lately), but seriously - can ANYONE make sense of the phrase in the picture to the left?

The movie itself is truly mind-blowing. Whilst I agree that it's not the strongest plot I've ever watched, the visual effects are like NOTHING I have ever seen, and I think Avatar has truly ushered in a new era of cinema. It was THOROUGHLY entertaining from start to finish, with great music, SEAMLESS special effects, great performances, and pretty relentless action. Mr. Cameron - full marks, yet again.

After that, we rolled over to Shaftsbury, where we hit a Belgian Beer joint that I'd been wanting to try. And Benny, if you're reading this one, you'll notice that fleece I'm wearing is the one you gave me 13 YEARS ago during my freshman year at Carolina - that's right - still going strong and STILL my favorite fleece.
As fate would have it, this place (called "De Hems") is the same one that Jason Wade and I hit back in 2005 (and it was SO GOOD). We had a table outside under the heaters, and we sampled some GREAT stuff. Shogun, as I expect you'll ONLY be satisfied if I give you the list, here's what we tried:

1. Duvel Green
2. Mardesous 8

3. Delirium Tremens

4. Westmalle (Tripel)

5. Tripel Karmeleit

All, as expected, were DELICIOUS. You drink Belgian Beer in 1/2 pints because it's so strong, and we tried to not buck that trend. Delirium Tremens is Jenny's favorite, but I think that the Duvel Green was the best of the night (and so I had to go back and get a whole pint of it, which might have been the reason for the headache this morning).

After that, we walked into Chinatown and hit up the Moon Tong (the spot beside the usual one) and had THE BEST Chinese food we've ever had as a couple. We tore through a half duck (there was nothing left but bones and a vapor trail), as well as Lamb chili (HOT AS BALLS) and some Kung Po Chicken (move over PF Chang's). Throw in a cheap bottle of GOOD Italian wine, and that's an indulgent night for the books.

We had another 12 hours sleep, and I can still feel a little pain in the back of my head. Oh well, time to rally, because today is one of FURTHER indulgence, as the Americans are in town, and it's time for a right pub crawl prior to the Conference Championships! A late, but EXTRA AWESOME day is in the works!

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Saturday, 23 January 2010

It's amazing what a little Honeydew and a "Rolls Royce of Hamburgers" will do...


And a good morning to you from across the Pond on a FANTASTIC Saturday. That's right, spirits are back up and high, and it's the WEEKEND to boot!

Last night was great. After work, we hung out with Brother Morgan (my favorite Welshman) and met a friend of his named Steve, who has a GREAT story. This guy was born in Houston (Go 'Stros), has parents from England, and lived the first 15 years of his life on an oil compound in Saudi Arabia. At the age of 15, he had his choice of boarding schools, and he ended up in...wait for it...wait for it...NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (Miller - do NOT waste your time on a Tazewell joke here)! Given that, we were fast friends. I took down 4 Honeydew's (don't worry Jason - it's the only Fuller's product I'm supporting!) with them at the Cat & Canary (let's face it - we might as well call that our local) before bidding them farewell.

Jenny and I were hungry at that point, and given the evening that Muffin Puffin had on Thursday (let's just say it was LATER THAN EXPECTED), we needed some food to properly soak up booze. Consequently, 10 minutes later we were at GBK - home of the "Rolls Royce" of burgers.

We both took down bleu cheese burgers, but I had the audacity to add chorizo to mine as well (yep - HEALTHY - and low carb). Add on two massive tubs of fries and garlic mayo/smoked chili mayo dipping sauce, and you've got a recipe for a GOOD night's sleep.

We hit the sack around 10 PM last night, and we had a good 12 hours of sack time - QUALITY.

Now it's off to walk the gloomy streets (seriously - we haven't even been able to discern a cloud in the last 6 days - it's just been a SHEET of gray) and take it easy. Gotta rest up for the NFL Conference Championships tomorrow! That being said, JT and I have an itinerary that should keep us all smiles and plenty busy (but you'll have to tune in tonight to hear all about it, of course).

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat later today!


Sam and Jenny

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Phrases I never want my children to say...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after a...well, a LONG day in the Mother Country. Transition gods - I'm sorry I taunted you last night - it will NEVER happen again...

Not a whole lot to report tonight since I got home 15 minutes ago and probably won't eat, but hey- it's at least an AFD (insert Pat Bannon singing "Look on the Bright Side of Life" here).

While I was in the midst of a "challenging" day at work, I realized there are some things I hope I never hear again. As I tried to make humor out of the predicament, I started wondering how ghosts of Transitions past might one day come to haunt me and my family. And so below are some things that passed through my head. I realize in advance that, if you are not in Change Management, most of this will NOT be funny (and honestly probably won't be even if you ARE in Change Management). That being said, here we go:

1. Daddy, I can't do my homework. I think we have a Service Recovery.

2. I can't eat those peas until I review all the interdependencies of not finishing my mashed potatoes first.

3. Why should I mow the lawn today? It's only now trending amber on our cutover task list.

4. Yeah, pop, you probably think you can take away my allowance. However, my CLA says that it's an acquired right. Better yet, if you give my sister more, the shared CLA will gift it to me as well. And a need a lunch voucher (Ray - tried to work in a "Row 74" line here as well - just didn't get there).

5. Can I take the car for a drive even though we haven't regression tested it against the new asphalt?

6. Um, no - I don't think I got the memo that I need to clean my room. You see, the interface runs on a lag, and only indicative data is flowing through - transactional data goes straight to the basement.

7. You're not gonna make me fill in a Change Control to buy this song on i-Pod, are you?

8. I'm trying to find an outfit I like dad, but none of the clothes you bought me at Christmas can be remediated with the clothes from my birthday.

9. Let's talk about a phased approach to getting me off this couch and doing the dishes - multi-generational plans are always best.

10. There was some ambiguity in the requirement "Be home at 10."

Also, in other news, the City of Knoxville has decided to name their new sewer facility the "Lane Kiffin Waste Water Management Center." The quote the Hitman passed along was particularly priceless, coming from a lawyer in Knox County: "We want to memorialize him in an appropriate way." CLASSIC! Rice - by stock in that company!

Also, as I type this, it should be noted that my perfect pumpkin is dancing the night away at some "Open Bar/Buffet/Trivia Night/Game Night/Disco party." it's currently 11:41, and the funny part is the last thing she said to me before leaving this morning: "No way I'm staying late. I want to get home and get to bed early." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Too cute, muffin!

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. I'm certainly not one to wish a single day of my life away, but I'm ready for the weekend! Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Comfort the form of TONS of green chilies...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after a BALLS OUT day (in the midst of a BALLS OUT week) in the Mother Country. First off - this is a warning to all of you show-stopping defects and Production issues. THE GHR TRANSITION TEAM WILL NOT BE DEFEATED. Do yourself a favor - just let the interfaces run and the elements show on payslips as expected. We will beat you - just accept our superiority in numbers, our knowledge of indicative data, our communication strategy, and move on (I realize that, if you don't work for Bank of America, right about now you're probably wondering WHAT THE HELL I'm talking about. Sorry - it's been a tough week, and I need to show our Oracle system that I'm a no nonsense type of guy).

So today was a GREAT (if busy) day in the Mother Country. Yes, work was a blur of activity. Yes, I was back in the gym lifting weights, listening to some dude who looks like a linebacker for the Ravens (except he wasn't holding a weapon and committing a crime, so he couldn't actually play for their defense - Big Cat - that was for you) BLASTING his i-Pod through the fitness room speakers (I guess actually listening to your music THROUGH YOUR HEADPHONES would just be too much to ask). I'm not complaining, however, as it showed me how TRULY bad UK rap music is. Seriously - you have to wonder about some dude who is DIESEL but openly blasts a song with the following lyrics (these are accurate - I know, because, well, THEY WERE BLASTED AT 140 DECIBELS):

I'm a thief, I pick your pocket then I jump on the train...

I hop the train in Wembley then I walk down the lane...

Go back down the lane and then up on the train...

Put the money back in yo' pocket cause I'm a klepto insane...

PLEASE tell me that song didn't win a grammy. Then again, it's still a hell of a lot better than "The Climb."

Dinner tonight was GREAT. Not only did I end my my streak of AFD's (made it all the way to 3!) with some Cobra, but I also had some GREAT Indian from our local take-out spot - the Ranjoot. Actually, I must confess that I've been lying to you guys. It's actually called "The Rajdoot," and apparently it's the oldest "rajdoot" restaurant in the UK. For the record, I have NO IDEA what the hell rajdoot means (Puma - help a brother out here), but I can tell you that it is THE BEST Indian in London after "Spices" at the Angel Tube stop. The funny note here is that, if you google "Ranjoot," our blog comes up. Why does that come up first? Because the restaurant that I bragged on in those blogs DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST (details...). Best of all - they gave me 2 glasses for free! Steve - look what you've started, brother!

As I'm now on my 4th brewski (Innis & Gunn rum cask ale - 7.1%), it's probably time for me to sign off. No complaints, however - it's been a GREAT (if short) night.

However, before I sign off, I must give a HEARTY WELCOME to Jon and Michele Brisson (and Redley) - welcome to the blog, guys!

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Monday, 18 January 2010

Welcome to the Gun show...


And a good evening to you after another GREAT day in the Mother Country. Happy MLK Day! I hope that everyone spent it throwing back Fat Tire, eating Hawthorne's pizza (or local equivalent), and taking it easy. The Taylors spent it at work (Granville Six - please try to keep the jokes to a minimum), but it was a great and VERY productive day.

I made it to the gym today, where I treated everyone present (all 5 of them) to the GUN SHOW. Let me tell you, I feel sorry for the other guys working out in there, as I'm sure it's hard for them to feel manly when a guy like me rolls up in his pit stained, burnt yellow Arizona State shirt, some running shorts showing all but about two inches of his leg, an i-Pod cord tied in knots so that it awkwardly lays against his shoulder, two days of scruff on his face, hair standing straight up, and the always intimidating boot, banging against the floor with every step I take. One of the trainors was waiting for me at the desk, and when I walked up, he said "Oh, it's you. I thought the Terminator was coming for a workout."

The highlight of the day was lunch at...wait for it...wait for it...NANDO'S, BABY!!! I went light, going with (ONLY) the 5 wings, creamy mash, and spicy rice. Fret not - next time I'll elevate my game again...

Jenny swam again tonight, breaking in the silicon cap just purchased yesterday. Fret not - I fully intend to get a photo of her ROCKIN' the cap in the not too distant future.

Tonight is our second AFD in a row - I'm actually sipping some "relaxing" tea at the moment - how very British. Next up - some salad (with chicken tikka) and more mature cheddar (because otherwise my body wouldn't know how to function).

Fizzy and Lord - sorry I didn't make it out for a pint. I suck, I know - I PROMISE I'll more than make up for it this weekend.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Sunday, 17 January 2010

New boots (not with the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur) and a great weekend in the books...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after a WONDERFUL Sunday in the Mother Country. Since I last left you, Team Taylor has been quite productive!

After I signed off around 11, Yazz and muffin puffin popped up for coffee. We hung out for a couple of hours, kicking back, looking at photos, and admiring the GORGEOUS sunshine before Yazz said farewell around 1. Yazz - we had SO MUCH FUN!!! Can't wait to see you again in a few weeks!

So today the Taylor's had one big to-do to cross off: getting JT a new pair of boots. This is the part where I cuss Dann and Karin de la Rosa, as they sparked a love affair between Jenny and Clark's shoes that's costing this family money! SERENITY NOW!!!!!!!!!! Okay, it's actually NOT that dramatic, and she looks really hot in he new gear.

Long story short, we spent the afternoon exchanging a faulty pair (soles falling apart after 4 wears) for newer, cuter, and CHEAPER boots. We walked all over Oxford Street (after all, we are VERY cosmopolitan), and the last store we visited yielded the results we needed - Can't wait to show you perfect pumpkin when she gets all gussied up!

Lunch today was GREAT - we hit Busaba Eathai, a great Asian fusion joint with some DELISH Thai food and GREAT tea. Check me out, in all my sophistication, pouring ginger and honey tea (I spilt it the first time I tried to pour, as I was trying to be pimp like Tom Cruise in Cocktail).

The walk to lunch, however, was NOT spectacular, as Sam "The Human Bobsled" Taylor found the ONE WET PATCH OF PAVEMENT on Wardour Street with his boot, resulting in a blindingly graceful tumble that allowed folks to witess a) my catlike reflexes and speed (Tommy Boy) and b) how easy it is to go from vertical to an inch away from a concussion in the cest pool waters of London's sidewalks. Luckily I caught myself, but that could have been BAD...

The rest of the evening has been quiet, with me reading more P.D. James (halfway through!), talking to the Tacy's, and Jenny polishing and water-proofing her new boots (as well as her Uggs).

Back to the gym tomorrow - much needed considering that we just polished off some MORE mature cheddar tonight! But hey, at least it was an AFD (should that be mandatory the day after you touch moonshine?).

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

A Saturday night slumber party...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond on a blisteringly sunny Sunday morning. Yesterday was NOTHING but rain, but today looks to be simply GLORIOUS, meaning I'm gonna be rocking the sexy boot as I walk around Oxford Street.

So yesterday was GREAT. For starters, JT and I did something that we haven't done properly in over a month: SLEEP. We managed a solid 12 hours of sack time, which was FABULOUS. After that, it was coffee and cereal while we knocked out some to-dos (read paying bills, Facebook,etc. - NOTHING earth-shattering) and read a bit. I will say that, whilst I'm really, really enjoying "A People's History of the United States" (and in fact believe that at least sections should ABSOLUTELY be required reading in high school and college history classes - they certainly will be when I'm teaching), it is definitely a textbook and must be broken up with other, lighter reading material. Given that, I've now started "The Children of Men" and am about 20% through it (and enjoying it quite a bit as well). I will say, however, that this is my last PD James novel. Lucky for her I'm a fan of apocalyptic literature - otherwise I don't think I could overcome her overly-methodical writing style. Stay tuned for the final review.

The evening was great. We rolled over to Waitrose to pick up some snacks and "adult beverages" (check the photo of the UK's GREATEST adult beverage - who doesn't love a little Timmy T?), and then YAZZ came over! We had a BLAST catching up about her trip to...wait for it...wait for it...VEGAS, BABY, as well as catching up on everything else, all the while going through a block of parmesan cheese (KJ - you have made me a fan for LIFE - that stuff is AMAZING), a block of Wensleydale cheese (with cranberries), two bags of chips, 2 bottles of wine, some brew, some pasta, hummous, and even a shot of Moonshine (imported by the Taylor Brewing Company, Whitesburg, TN). Talk about a good (and late) night in.

We passed out around 2, and it's 10:30 as I'm typing this now (and I think I hear the girls stirring). I'm thinking today could be a good day for an English breakfast. I mean hey, the weekends are for indulgence, right? The gym will always be there on Monday...

Lastly - in foot news. Both Taylors are reporting less foot pain. I actually walked to the store and back (call it half a mile each way) without the boot yesterday (mom - I rocked the Baffin's - I LOVE those things) and felt no pain. It feels slightly tender today, but pressing on it no longer causes pain, so I think I might finally be on the mend. For my beer gut's sake - I certainly hope so.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat later today!


Sam and Jenny

Friday, 15 January 2010

IT'S THE WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And a good evening to you from the "Green Stick Fracture" Family across the Pond. It's the weekend!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, am I glad. So glad, in fact, that we decided it would be pure silliness to have an AFD. Hence, the glass of French red (our second) in front of us as I type this and Jenny folds clothes (Woman - SUBMIT! Price, that was for we can both be in the dog house).

Today was another crazy one at work, but very productive. The Transition pressure continues to ratchet up - livin' the dream!

It's funny, but I've found myself paying less attention to my i-Pod and more attention to the achitecture on my walk to and from the Tube. I think it's because I know that time is starting to grow short, and thus I want to remember as much as possible of this magical experience. Consequently, each building is starting to take on new life and a place in my memory - some of them even have names (the "Prague" building is one that comes to mind; the Chinese Embassy, also known as "The place where Jack Bauer kicks major ass" is another). I imagine that, once I get out of the boot, I will enjoy the walk even more. That being said, I'm glad that the boot has slowed me down a bit, as it's helped me to appreciate all the architecture around me.

In other news, Muffin Puffin RIPPED UP the pool tonight - I'm so happy we found her some water! Natalie Coughlin - LOOK OUT. Also, we had a delicious (and dare I say even healthy!) meal tonight, capped by some peppermint bark Ghirardelli Squares (Steve - you never had to worry about those going to waste).

Tomorrow is a day of errands AND a sleepover. Tune in tomorrow to discover the identity of the mystery guest!

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Meet the Broken Footed Taylors...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after another GREAT (and wet) day in the Mother Country. All in all - life is good. Work was crazy today, and I LOVED it. I can feel that Transition pressure starting to ratchet up - bring it, baby!!!!

Tonight the news is all about muffin puffin. First off, check out the newest member of L.A. Fitness! That's right, she's headin' back to the pool, baby! Gooooooooooodbyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Energie Croydon!
In other news, lightning has OFFICIALLY struck twice. Those of you who knew me in my "pre-blog" days know that I went to originally check on this stress fracture back in May of 2009. At the end of a slightly less than thorough (read utter donkey trash to fleece me of cash back when all I had was a co-pay - Ray and Hitman - that was for you) examination, the conversation went like this.

Doctor: "Okay, so it's not a stress fracture. It's a GREEN STICK fracture."

Annoyed Sammy: "What the hell is a GREEN STICK fracture."

Doctor: "It's a break so small you can't even see it in an X-ray."

Shocked Sammy: "Okay, so what does that mean?"

Shocked Sammy: (subliminal) "You really expect me to PAY for this? I should stab you with a soldering iron."

Doctor: (illustrating point by breaking a tonsil swiper in my face) "You see, this stick is broken, but you can't really see it. That's like your foot."

Amazed Sammy: "So what should I do?"

Pissed Sammy: (subliminal - not spoken) "Are you @#$#ing kidding me? I am going to burn your house down for this joke of a diagnosis."

Doctor: "Stay off it."

Sammy: "But it's my foot. I can't really stay off it."

Doctor: "Well, you have to try."

Sammy: "I'm moving to Europe. They WALK there. How long?"

Doctor: "Until it stops hurting."

Sammy: "Thanks."

Sammy: (subliminal) "For nothing you (insert expletive here)."

Receptionist: "That will be $25."

Anyhoo - as you can imagine, the "Green Stick Fracture-gate" became all the joke around the office and at home, and I dismissed that doctor as an absoute crackpot. But oh no, clearly he's a GENIUS. Why you ask? I'll tell you...

So JT's been having some foot pain as well for the last month, and we finally decided that she needed to see someone as well. As fate would have it, we live in he medical district, and Harley Street (just 2 blocks over) is home to the city's finest foot and ankle doctors. And for the BARGAIN PRICE of 120 GBP, you can talk to one of these "beautiful minds."

Well, muffin puffin went in tonight, where she had her consultation with a guy older than Moses. After 5 minutes of examination (compared to the 45 minutes of waiting at 6 PM), his diagnosis:

"Mrs. Taylor, it would appear that you have what is known as a Green Stick Fracture."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Seriously, are you serious...

That's right, faithful followership, BOTH THE TAYLORS HAVE BROKEN FEET. Gotta love life on medieval cobble stones. Hitman - good thing we didn't book that ski trip!

But hey, no complaints. I've got my boot, and JT has felt on the mend for a day or two already, so hopefully this is just a blip in the road. And to commiserate, we're currently drinking beers to celebrate the arrival of Friday and the prospect of a quiet weekend in.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


(A hobbling) Sam and Jenny

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Introducing....Jason Beeraje!!!!!


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after another GREAT day in the mother country. For starters, we woke up to a BEAUTIFUL SNOW TODAY!!!! I stepped out of the house around 7 this morning to find a gorgeous snowfall in progress. In fact, I was one of the first folks to walk the streets, as the sidewalks were pristine before me.

The snow continued almost all day at work, resulting in near white-out conditions at one point. Two of my colleagues actually wrecked due to the roads, and it took another 4.5 hours to get into the office! That being said, it was another GREAT, uber-productive day, and everyone is still safe to boot!

Also, after a month off, Sammy (aka "Little Arnold" - CP, that one's for you) returned to the gym today. Rocking his stylish boot, a pit stained t-shirt, and some skimpy ass shorts, I rolled into the Canary Wharf gym to resume my Mr. Universe training. Oddly enough, even though the weights have the same numbers on them as December, they feel infinitely heavier. As you can tell, it was a ROUGH return to the saddle.

The evening was GREAT. Jenny and I went to Liverpool Street, where we met an old friend, Jason Beeraje, for drinks at a place called Dirty Dick's (Dad - you remember this place? We ate here), where I tried Young's Winter Warmer, a new beer for me (JT stuck with Leffe).

This was the first time we'd seen Jason in over 18 months, and it was SO GREAT catching up. We met whilst traveling in Egypt, and I'm happy to report that, in 8 weeks time, he's going to...wait for it...wait for it...VEGAS, BABY!!!!!! Dude, I am SO excited for you. You BETTER make the Sportsman casino in 2 weeks!

We had a pint before rolling to Brick Lane (little India), where we hit up Bengal Village (Carter Clan - I know that you're proud). There I had my first Cobra in a MONTH (no AFD today, but we did have AFD's on Tues and Wed), as well as a GREAT lamb vindaloo. JB - it was GREAT catching up, buddy! I look forward to doing it again in 2 weeks (at the craps table).

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

FINALLY - a quiet (and much needed) night in...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond on this chilly Tuesday in the Mother Country. Mom - you'll be happy to know that I broke out the Land's End coat today! And while there is no question that the "bomber jacket" is stil my favorite coat, I must confess that this one is quite warm.

So last night was the sleep of legends. JT and I were in bed at 7:38 PM, at which point I slept until 7:030 AM the following morning (muffin got up at 7:15). I slept like the dead, and I woke up feeling like a new man (even if I was still in flannel pajamas and fat as a damn bear).

Today was another great day at work - Canada's still stable! Better still, we started moving the dial on some other items for the next big event, which is in April. It's time to start the next countdown!

Dinner this evening was another (much needed) salad. KJ, you'll be happy to know that your bacon bits and Newman's own Honey Mustard are getting some SERIOUS airtime in the flat. We'll start on the croutons tomorrow. :-) Giddyup!

Next up for me is going back through and attaching pictures to the blogs over the holidays. I'm assuming that this will be a 2-3 day process, so give me until Thursday, and then you should be able to see the highlights from "A Taylor Family Christmas," which, unfortunately, doesn't feature Moonshine this year.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Monday, 11 January 2010

An absolutely PERFECT weekend in Ottawa...


And a good evening to you from...The Mother Country!!! That's right - JT and I landed at 6:30 AM local time this morning, and I am about 4 secondsd away from PASSING OUT as soon as I hit publish on this email. However, before I snore loud enough to peel paint from the walls, I simply had to get this blog out and tell you guys about the AMAZING time muffin puffin and I had in our Northern Neighbor's capitol. Apologies for no pics tonight, but I simply don't have the energy. That being said, tomorrow we'll start going back through ALL the blogs sans photos, adding in some "color" commentary.

Dinner Friday night was a "cross-off" on my life's to do list - The Keg. So back story on this place - I have been talking about eating here since 2007 when I first went to Ottawa for work (also in January - this was the trip with the -37 degree walk home/near death experience). Everyone had raved about this place, so I simply had to try.

Let me tell you - it DID NOT disappoint. The atmosphere was great, the wine was excellent, the twice baked potato was life-changing (good call, Nat!), and the steak...WOW. JT and I both went with rare, and it was cooked to perfection. And when you consider that I'm talking about a 6 oz. filet mignon wrapped in bacon and cooked in a bleu cheese crust, you see what I'm talking about - WICKED.

We crashed hard that night and popped up the next morning to a BLISTERING FREEZING day. I mean, I know it's cold in Canada, but HOLY @#$@#$!!!!! So JT and I got all bundled up in our leggings, stockings, and layers, and we were ready to tackle the Yukon in all its majesty. However, I forgot about one thing - the boot has an open toe, and their ain't any combination of socks on EARTH that can keep that wind chill out.

TWO MINUTES after leaving the hotel to have a walkabout, I was pretty sure amputation was in my future. My face was red enough to illuminate Carlsbad Caverns, and the pain in my toe was something akin to jamming bamboo shoots up my toe nails whilst having a pedicure in hydrocloric acid. Suffice it to say, we needed to get inside in a HURRY.

So we scrambled up to Parliament Hill, where Jenny and I checked out this very cool eternal flame, as well as a few statues around the main Parliament building (which was BEAUTIFUL) before heading into the building (that's right - you just walk right INTO THE BUILDING - try THAT in the U.S. Capitol) to go to the top of the Peace Tower.

The Peace Tower provides a GREAT 360 view of the Ottawa area (covering Ontario and Quebec), and we were treated to some SPECTACULAR views of the Ottawa River and the Rideau canal (which is almost completely frozen SOLID - they actually hold a festival in February called "Winterlude," where the entire festival is held on TOP OF THE FROZEN ICE).

Within the Parliament, we also saw the Memorial Chanber and the Book of Rememberance, which the Government records the name of every single Canadian who has died in a war. It's a beautiful little chapel (and quite sobering).

After that, we scambled to the War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which I'd always wanted to take a closer look at. In the snow (which is the only way I've ever seen it in my 3 trips to Ottawa), it was a truly haunting image.

We then caught a great lunch (Tise - they had Tankhouse!), where Muffin FINALLY got her French Onion soup! After lunch, we hopped a cab and headed for the feature activity of the day - Casino Lac Leamy. Let me tell you - this was a GREAT night out, and I simply must give Scott "the Pugilist" McElroy credit.

Again, the set up for all this - before checking out of this hotel on Friday, Scott tells the gal at the desk: "So listen, my boss, a guy named Sam Taylor (I'm not his boss, for the record) is checking in here tomorrow night because I raved about the place. He's a Starwood guy, and I've told him he needs to switch to Hilton." I'm not sure if he also blackmailed their families, but these cats treated us like ROYALTY.

We show up to find out that we've been upgraded from our standard double bed to a king bed overlooking the lake (where people were ICE FISHING) on one of the executive floors. Even better, the bathroom was ALL marble, and you could have played baseball in our shower.

Next stop - THE CASINO, BABY! I started with craps before we moved to some slots, both coming up losers for us. However, we then rolled up to a Lac Leamy Original - the Sega Horse Racing challenge. Bottom line - there are 6 little plastic horses that go around this little plastic track, and you bet on winners and exactas - it is HILARIOUS! You get odds and handicapper's comments, and it's a riot. Best of all - I turned $5 into $22.50 - FINALLY A WINNER!

We returned to the room to find a collection of sweets and a letter addressed to "Mr. Taylor." I promptly called down to the front desk and told them I only answered to "His Pimpness"...just kidding.

We broke up the gaming with a 2 hour stint down at the indoor-outdoor pools. That's right, you read that correctly - they have part of their pool OUTSIDE.

Here's the deal - picture Sam Taylor in a beanie in heated water up to his neck with snow and -20 Celsius weather all around him (that's around -3 Fahrenheit in case you're scoring at home - also known as COLD AS BALLS). Jenny didn't wear a beanie, and so consequently the water in her hair FROZE even while we were in the hot tub. INSANE.

We then went back to the fray, where Jenny battled it out in Pai Gow for about 90 minutes, and then I had THE BEST RUN OF CRAPS IN MY LIFE. I turned $250 into $650 (Deets - all I have to say is "Can I get a neuf, neuf"), including hitting BACK TO BACK BOXCARS. OUT OF CONTROL. Check out my first ever $500 chip. There was a better photo of it, but security didn't really approve of flash photography in the casino. Details...

So JT and I celebrated with some wine and Fin Du Monde (I also had a Molsen Dry - not bad!). The next day we slept in, but we still had time for 90 minutes in the casino! We stuck to craps, and whilst I got my teeth kicked in, it was a BLAST.

Wire to wire, this was a GREAT vacation. GREAT food, good beer, and the FRIENDLIEST people I have EVER met. Honestly, it was amazing how polite everyone was. Also, it was very cool to play craps in French and throw out my random (and pitiful) phrases (Sophie, I can only imagine the look on your face) as I asked for 6's and 8's and come bets.

The flight home was easy, even if I didn't sleep a wink. I watched "District 9" (very entertaining), "Inglorious Bastards" (not that good, but Brad Pitt's character is from Maynardville, TN), and "Surrogates" (mom - you were right - DONKEY TRASH). All in all, a good flight (even if it did take 2 lattes to get me through the day).

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

Friday, 8 January 2010

A successful Go Live, a night at the tables, and a new National Champion...


And a good evening to you from the Great White North, where it's snowing YET AGAIN while the temperature plummets like a STONE. The exciting part? The HIGH tomorrow is supposed to be 13 Fahrenheit, with a low of -4. That's right - who will probably need a shot of adrenaline to walk outside for more than 5 minutes? THIS GUY...

So apologies for no blog the last couple of nights, but Go Live is a crazy time (Granville Six - insert all the "what the hell do you really do for a living anyway?" jokes here). However, through it all, we did manage to have some fun.

Wednesday was a GREAT day. For starters, thanks to the AMAZING people I work with, the project launch was a GREAT success. After more than a year of work, I must confess that it was really gratifying to see it all come together and pay off. Full marks, guys - you are the BEST.

To celebrate, we rolled into Byward Market, a fun little area of Ottawa, where the Shogun found us a GREAT seafood place/Belgian Beer restaurant. This place was the JAM.

So we roll downstairs to the bar, where the waiter tells us that they have over 300 wines and 150 beers in bottles. Without waiting for him to finish his sentence, Riegel and I accost him and ask for the beer menu. We begin flipping through it (they even had Tusker!), only to notice that, once we get to the end, there isn't a SINGLE BELGIAN BEER IN THE LIST. Dismayed, we flip back through, thinking we'll select a German beer. Only then did we see the line (in about 400 font - IDIOTS) on the front page:


5 minutes later, I am sitting with a Czechvar in one hand and a Westmalle Tripel in the was good.

This place was awesome. I had fresh Nova Scotia lobster (don't worry - half price!) - meaning that poor Sebastian died to feed me. Man, was it tasty. Throw in some GREAT Belgian brew, a lot of laughs, and a good stress release, and you've got a recipe for a good time. But wait, theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's more!

After leaving dinner, we left the province and our English speaking brethren behind to make a short jaunt across the Ottawa river (nearly frozen on top) into Quebec. Why, you ask? FOR THE LAC LEAMY CASINO - OH YEAH, BABY!!!!!

Talk about AWESOME. Craps, slots, pai gow, you name it. Ogas - this place is the JAM, man! Brother Dan and I rolled to the craps table (only a half shoe - odd), where I proceeded to play for the next 2 hours. I will admit (slightly embarassed, but hey - you all know I'm cheap as hell) that it was the first time I've ever sat at a $10 table, but it was AWESOME! At one point I was up $100, but I ended the day down $19 after 2 hours and about 5 turns as the shooter (the last two were CRAP - no pun intended).

The next night was a good one, if quieter. After work, we had a drink (I went with the Sergean Major, a local Ottawa brew) at the hotel bar with Johnson, Kunal, and Barkin, where Kunal whipped out coupons for free apps. And we're not talking the salted, moldy cheese and oily tuna you get in Mad City - this stuff was GOOD. Kunal, between the apps and your knowledge of OTL - you are a good man to know. :-)

We then rolled over to McLaren's, where Scott and company had already set up shop in front of a GINORMOUS TV. We then spent the next 4 hours watching the national championship. And while I am pleased to say ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLL TIDE, I really hated to see McCoy go down and end his career that way. I must say full marks for your poise and character at the end, young man - very well said, and gracious even in defeat.

This weekend should be a lot of fun. JT and I are sticking around in Ottawa (for the tropical weather, obviously!) to do some more gambling and consume great food and beer (shocking, I know). Given that, you won't get another blog until Monday evening, when we're back in the UK. Price - I know, I know...sorry dude.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat on Monday - wish us luck getting through the airport!


Sam and Jenny

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

On the eve of Canada Go Live...MEET TEAM MAPLE LEAF!!!!


And a good evening to you from the frozen tundra of Ottawa, where the current temperature is a balmy -11 Celsius. To quote Dave Schumacher - "Hearty people...and there's NO CRIME!"

So last night was an absolute blast. After a great (and very busy) day at work, we rolled over to a great joint called Moxie's, where I was treated to a FABULOUS in-house micro-brew (called, simply enough, Amber). I actually threw back 3 of those along with a Malbec because, as the Posh Puma would say, there's no such thing as a bad Malbec. Also, I had a GREAT dish - chicken oscar with jumbo shrimps - who can argue with that (other than my skeletal frame for having to carry the excess baggage)? If nothing else, going was worth watching Megs take down another Mega-Caesar (the Canadian equivalent of our Bloody Mary).

Also, Jenny was treated to another Canada first for her - Tim Horton's coffee! Team Maple Leaf - don't get upset, but she definitely preferred Starbucks to Timmy's. I know, I know...but in her defense - she's a Florida girl braving the cold - that's got to count for something!

We spent the evening in the hotel bar, where I tried a new beer (local to Ottawa) - the Sergeant Major (VEEEEEERY nice). I also tried some Ontario wine, which I was quite impressed with! What I was NOT impressed with was TCU. Talk about WEAK. But mad props to the MVP from Boise State for the following quote:

Reporter: "You guys are only the 2nd team in history to finish 14-0. Do you guys think you are the best team in the country?"

Dude who won the award: "Um, no - probably not. But hey - it's still a great season." Full marks, brother.

Today was a BARNBURNER at work, but the good news is that it's ALL IN! Tomorrow is GO LIVE - YEAH, BABY!!!!!! And speaking of, presenting..............TEAM MAPLE LEAF!!!

That's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (still warm in her puffy coat) Jenny

Sunday, 3 January 2010

487,000 miles of travel later...GO SENS, GO!!!


And a good evening to you from the frozen tundra in the Great White North that is Ottawa, Canada. That's right, folks - some cats go to the Caribbean in January. Bear Grylls goes to Siberia. But the Taylors, tough as nails and clearly with only half a functioning brain between them, tackle Canada's capitol on the first week of the year. And in case anyone's scoring, it's currently -14 Celsius (and has been snowing ALL DAY). But I get ahead of myself. Let's recap the New Year's celebrations and the journey that brough Muffin Puffin and I to the GWN.

New Year's Eve was a blast. JT and I met up with Dad and Alice at their place, at which point we rolled over to Chuck Carter's, an old friend of the family. We had a blast watching the Vols (even if they did get OBLITERATED), drinking some Magic Hat (and KJ - I finished off the last of the Terrapin!), and catching up with some folks that I hadn't seen in a long time. There was enough food to kill a small horse, and since we'd eaten just a scant 3 hours earlier, I vowed to not eat ANYTHING. But honestly, who can say no to Domino's pizza? Consequently, 2 slices of 500 calorie-a-slice Meat Lover's went down my gullet (HEALTHY....).

Also, we watched the ball fall (skipped the anti-climatic Travis Pastrana thing) and shot off some SERIOUS fireworks (becuase, well, it's legal in TN and that's what Tennesseans do), which I celebrated by eating 5 sugar cookies. Honestly, it's a minor miracle I can still fit in my jeans(but only because I haven't washed them in a month). JT didn't feel great, so we rolled out around 12:30 and passed out at the Mountain Fortress.

New Year's Day was the epitome of sloth, and it was PERFECT. We watched 5 bowl games, and Jenny was pretty sure she got bed sores from sitting on the couch all day. And whilst I did nothing but gain weight that day, it was EXTRA AWESOME.

2 Jan was QUITE the experience. We woke up at 7:45 AM to finish packing, drink a last cup of coffee with Mom and Steve (Elf Nog was the mix of choice), and bit them a tearful farewell. Guys, Jenny and I had SO MUCH FUN. Thank you for making this one of the best Christmases ever. We miss you and can't wait to see you again soon!

We were on the road at 9:15, cookin' with gas in the Victory Van (Bob and Jan's 2000 Honda Odessey, complete with a leaky transmission). Bob - I know that you were worried I'd go Baja Rally in that puppy, but Jenny can attest that I was gentle as a lamb (right, muffin?). Cruising along (and encountering an hour of snow around Asheville), we made GREAT time and got to Charlotte Douglas at 1:45, where we met Jenny's folks, said bye to them (and Setta), and then checked our bags. Leg 1 of the journey was complete...and so we celebrated with bottomless chips and salsa from Chili's (I feel God in this Chili's tonight - it is the NEW boardroom according to "Small Businessman Magazine").

Then things took a turn for the worse. So, a little backstory here - there are NO direct flights into Ottawa from ANYWHERE close to us, meaning that you have to fly into Hell (at least once) to get there. For us, the journey was this:

1. Charlotte to Norfolk

2. Norfolk to Chicago

3. Chicago to Ottawa

4. Ottawa to REI to buy a lifetime's worth of parkas

We knew we were in trouble when the flight was 30 minutes late boarding. We knew that we were in bigger trouble when they held the flight for 6 standby passengers. We knew we were SOL when we sat on the taxiway for another 45 minutes. Needless to say, we landed in Norfolk (or Nor-FORK as the flight attendant said about 37 times) 4 minutes before the flight to Chicago took off. However, given that the wind above Nor-FORK was akin to Hurricane Andrew, we figured "No problem! Everyone has to be delayed!" Oh no, not the amazing flight crew of 2404 to O'Hare...

As fate would have it, the ONE FLIGHT Jenny and I have been part of in the last SIX years that left on time was the ONE FLIGHT that we needed to be delayed. Couple that with a stress fracture, sub-zero temperatures, and the shocking revelation that, in order to get to the other flight, you have to LEAVE SECURITY, GET NEW BOARDING PASSES, GO BACK THROUGH SECURITY, AND WALK THE OTHER CONCOURSE made both of us less than happy. However, to the credit of the nice folks in Norfolk, they booked us a free hotel room at the Holiday Inn Select (too bad it wasn't the Express or I'd feel really smart today). Consequently, Sam and Jenny, world travelers and international people of mystery, spent last night drinking Amberbock at a 4 seat hotel bar in Hampton Roads, VA, talking to a cat from Louisiana that looked as if he was quite the voodoo practitioner.

Frustrated, fat, and sleepy, we sacked out at 9:45, popping up at 3:45 this morning and heading back to the airport. Our 6 AM flight to Chicago (check out my breath on the tarmac in O'hare) was 40 minutes late(again, they waited on 12 passengers...what did last night's flight crew think Jenny and I were - lepers?), but we did get there in time and landed in Ottawa on time as well. However, the baggage ramp was frozen due to the cold (it was about negative 6 BILLION degrees this morning), so it took awhile to unload bags. We were out by 12:15, and by 12:35 we were at the Sheraton.

The day then turned bright, as we hopped a cab and rode the 40 minutes to Scotia Bank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators, baby! We had the box for the game against the Flyers, and it was EXTRA AWESOME! We had SUCH a blast, and Jenny was treated to her first poutine (that's the Canadian "delicacy" of fries, cheese curds, and gravy in case anyone's scoring)!

Also, I will get yelled at if I don't mention that Carrie Underwood was there. Personally, I wasn't too excited. However, Megs and Jenny went papparazzi meets stalker and took about 700 photos. Too cute, pumpkin...

After the game, we checked out a sports bar called McClaren's. The 10 minute walk to and from was NO JOKE, and I think my toes are still thawing out. All the same, no complaints!

Time for this cat to call it a night. It's GO LIVE week in Canada - Game Face on! YEAH, BABY!!!!!

Also, in case folks wanted to see it but didn't, my "2009 Year in Review" blog is actually dated for 19 December, so it ended up posting out of order. In case anyone's curious, you'll need to scroll through previous posts to find it.

Also - Mirza - West Ham ROCKS - Arsenal is nothing but a conundrum of posers and wannabe Hammers.

That's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (a passed out) Jenny