Thursday, December 6, 2012

Which are YOU like after a Break-Up?

Doesn't it seem like the English language isn't kind to those who are single? i.e. Singles table at a wedding party, single ticket at a theater show, a single song before the party ends, cat lady, and spinster. But maybe it is merely our perception of the word and not the word itself. Like a single red rose, a single winning lottery ticket, a single brownie left on the table, and bachelor all have a completely different feeling. 
From time to time until we all meet our prince charming or princess, we will be single. Each single person reacts to singledom in a singular way (haha). This post is for all of us; because we've either been there done that or are currently there. 

Single Party Train
This single takes their new found freedom to the ultimate level. Being single means that the liver is making up for lost time and heels are being worn down. It beats sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself but too much can be just as bad as too little. The excess men/women, alcohol, and partying are meant to drown out the feelings from the past relationship but they only numb it. Overtime a single party train comes to the end of its tracks and derails. A good group of friends and avoiding bad decisions are essential during this crazy time. The train will initially give the single a false feeling of euphoria but as it wears off the reality of baggage from the departure will set in. 

Signs you are a party train: you find more friends to keep up with your new partying schedule, you string along more than two guys/girls at a time, you wake up in a stranger's bed more than a few times in a month, you aren't tempted to call/text your ex until you are completely smashed, you tweet/facebook pictures of yourself out constantly, and the coffee isn't strong enough anymore

How to improve your singledom: Have friends that have your back and keep you from making decisions you will regret. Set limits on your partying ways. Remember that less is sometimes more. The more you hook up with lots of people the less special it feels, and then the more you will miss your ex. Instead give yourself time to heal and pursue people that are special. 

Couple Hunter
Being single is like being at the loser table again. DEFEAT is not an option. The hunt is resumed and a new gf or bf will be found within the month. Current friends, enemies, neighbors, co-workers, everyone is essentially on the list. You aren't very picky just anyone who seems to want you is good enough. But if a few are vying for you that is even better. The longer you stay in the loser table the more stressful it becomes. If the ex wants you back you are more than willing, but you'd rather find someone new. You stay clear of singles who have been single for a long time because you don't want to catch their horrible disease. Friends who are in relationships are your go-to people because you want to be part of the winners! And its not hard to start liking someone because everything becomes new and fresh again. That nerdy guy you always sat next to looks like Brad Pitt now. Or that girl who works at the front desk might as well be a model. 

Signs you are a couple hunter: permanent single people disgust you, you're not that picky, you don't have a type, you've dated friends a lot, new relationships carry only positive feelings, exes can be replaced with a new shiny relationship, you ask all your friends to set you up

How to improve your singledom: Don't be in such a rush to be a couple again. Get to know yourself instead. Figure out what you really want in a partner. And being single is not a disease but a necessary part of life. 

Negative Catch
You come out of a relationship and you see things a little too clearly. Guys/girls hitting on you are obviously flattering themselves and just want to hook up. You notice every flaw and blemish on potential suitors. Because you are newly single doesn't mean you are going to be fooled. Your expectations are up too high and the opposite sex just seems to disappoint again and again. You don't get that special feeling like you did with the last relationship. If they don't match up right away then you turn them down. You want to make a connection with someone but you know that it takes time and so dating again feels daunting. 

Signs you are a negative negotiator: You've said No to guys/girls for small reasons, you over-analyze every situation, you mentally make a list of what you like or don't like about a suitor, attractive guys/girls aren't very attractive to you

How to improve your singledom: Get to know the people before writing them off so quick, allow yourself time to become positive about dating again, surround yourself with single friends, and force yourself to go out and have fun

Solo Act
Being single again means that your whole life needs a revamp. New hairdo, lose weight, get a new job, move to a new city, and hang out with new friends. Change is embraced because it means that the old memories of the past will be flung off. You could have been a huge partier with your last boyfriend/girlfriend and now you are a dedicated worker or student. Or maybe you decide to take up a hobby that takes up all your time and money like biking or sailing. With the death of the relationship comes the rebirth of a whole new world for you. You want to explore and keep moving so that you don't have to look back. The more you feel like you achieve the more you think you have won. Climbing Mt. Everest or backpacking in Peru don't sound outlandish at all instead it seems like the perfect medicine to fill the void of a broken heart. 

Signs you are a solo act: You make rash decisions, so many changes happen in a short period of time, you re-connect with old friends, you crave to keep doing something, music/art/books all speak to you in ways they never did before, your friends are shocked with all the new changes

How to improve your singledom: No matter where you go or what you look like the issues you faced in your past relationship will eventually find their way back. Traveling the world is great but don't jeopardize your career/school. Make small changes at first like re-decorating your room or building something. It is good to keep your mind busy but remember that you will have to face things. Changing everything around you won't change what happened and what needs to change within you. 

Rooted You
You are comfortable being in a relationship and being out of one. Things have changed but you roll with the punches. You go out more then you did but you don't over do it. Small changes occur like taking a trip with your friends or getting a new haircut. You analyze what was good and what was bad in the relationship. You give yourself as much time as needed to heal and don't force yourself to go out in the dating world. People are drawn to you because you are a secure person. Finding the next bf or gf won't be hard but you you are willing to wait for a good one to come along. 

Happy Hunting Everyone! And ENJOY being single :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Survive being the Dumper

Breakups are bad, nasty, and most of the time messy. But breakups are part of our natural process of finding the One. The difference between being dumped and being the dumper is like being fired versus quitting. The first one feels worse because you had no choice in the matter even if it was a crappy job. But this small difference is significant for how a Dumpee recovers in comparison to the Dumper. So yes it is harder being the Dumpee but it is also hard on the Dumper. This post is for the Dumper...

The Fundamental Difference Between the Two
1. Rejection - After a break-up this ugly head will rear high with a Dumpee. Even if the Dumpee is really self confident and self assured. Being left is not easily brushed off. 
      How does a dumper deal with it? - This will usually come up during encounters after the break-up or as I like to call them 'closure sessions'. Be sympathetic of questions such as 'why don't you love me?' 'what's wrong with me?' and the such. Even if you give a fair and kind response you must realize that your words won't completely satisfy the person. Rejection can't be fixed by words from the dumper. Only time and space will heal the dumpee. 

2. Surprise - This element will vary from break-up to break-up but for some Dumpees they are completely caught off guard. Dealing with a sudden break-up can cause a person to experience shock like symptoms analogous to if someone just died. Anxiety, extreme emotions, numbness, depression, inability to perform everyday activities, and so on and so on can be felt in some cases. 
      How does a dumper deal with it? - A dumper needs to give a shock victim plenty of space to process the emotions. Call in reinforcements - aka all his/her friends for support. You will need to be there for the person eventually, but not in the initial stages of recovery. Be understanding and respectful. And let the person have plenty of time to come to level state and then have a follow-up talk. 

3. Acceptance - The Dumpee will not always be okay with the decision that was made. And yes a person that is dumped will have to go through the stages (denial, anger, depression, bargaining, resignation, and acceptance). The Dumper usually has gone through the stages before the break-up....hence the break-up!
     How does a dumper deal with it? - Be understanding that a Dumpee will need the time to accept the break-up. Be available when you are needed by the Dumpee and give space when that is needed as well. Don't expect a person to recover in a certain amount of time. 

The Cardinal Rules for a Dumper

There should be rules and so here they are....
1. Let the Dumpee do the 'virtual' break-up aka Facebook. They didn't have control of the real break-up and the ability to call it in one sphere may be good and therapeutic for them
2. If you dated the Dumpee for more than a year, said 'I love you', and or met their parents give them respect 
3. Allow the Dumpee to be the one telling everyone that the relationship is over 
4. Don't trash talk your Dumpee around town
5. If your relationship fulfills number 2 then don't make a new relationship public for at least a few months (even if the person was the reason for the break-up) you can be with the person but don't make it official out of respect for the last one
6. Avoid areas around town where you can run into the Dumpee for the first few months
7. Don't agree to a 'closure session' until at least a week after the break-up
8. Don't hook-up with a Dumpee when you know you don't want to be with them anymore
9. If a potential suitor for the Dumpee, months or years later, comes asking you about your ex...have only nice things to say about the person!!!
10. Most importantly you know what it's like to be dumped so do what you would want your Dumper to do to you...haha

A Dumper's Bill of Rights
Heck yes you are entitled to something! And here you go

1. Your reason for breaking up is legitimate! Even if all your friends don't agree. Because at the end of the day it is you who is in the relationship and NOT them
2. You are allowed to feel any and all emotions because break-ups are bad even if you were the one who called it
3. Don't let anyone make you feel that you are a bad person. A bad person would stay with someone when they know they aren't happy with the relationship/person
4. Forgive yourself. Yes, Dumpers will feel guilt. So, eventually allow yourself to be okay with making the decision
5. Protect yourself. Give yourself time to heal and move on from the last relationship. Learn from the mistakes and remember what was good about the relationship

Break-ups suck but they are better than a divorce. That's what my mom always tells me when I have a break-up. And it is so important to remember. You are one step closer to finding the happiness you always wanted.


Monday, October 15, 2012

He Likes Me; He Likes Me Not

I'm more of a hit a pan over my head kind of gal when it comes to knowing when a guy likes me or not. Being in the fog of wondering and not knowing is one of the worst parts about being single. Because sometimes interactions aren't black and white and not all dates are how they appear. 90% of the time 'we' overanalyze and read too much into things, but there is the pesky 10% that will make your head spin. 

Analyzing and re-evaluating potential suitors has bridged from a hobby to a full on sport for many of us. I'm one of the most guilty girls when it comes to this head game. When I've tapped all my friends for advice I'll rely on online horoscopes and wish I had the guts to visit a psychic. But maybe if we looked closer at the signs that are clearly there we wouldn't have to keep wondering and guessing. Easier said then done! 

Situations that will make you pluck the petals off of a flower

If you find yourself in one of these dilemmas realize that even a tea leaf won't always know the answer. Here are the 5 situations that almost every girl/guy will experience. 

1. He/she has been a friend for a long time and now you both are single...Are the extra jokes and hugs signs of something more or are you just reading into things

2. He/she is an Ex and has been trying to reconnect...Is the person trying to mend past grievances or trying to hook up with the past

3. You've been set up with a person...Are they being nice or are they interested

4. There was that one night with that particular person...Was it just a symptom of alcohol and temporary availability or a revelation 

5. He/she invites you to parties but never makes a move...Does the person enjoy you as a friend and nothing more or has the person not made their move yet

Things to Pay Attention to

Body language is the key to solving the mystery! But it's not so easy when you have butterflies in your stomach and you're trying to look cool and collected. But being a tad bit more observant may give you the evidence to solve this case once and for all....
Red for Yes and Green for No

A. Does the person look at you a lot even when you aren't talking to them? 

B. Do they talk about themselves more or ask you more questions?

C. Do they initiate communication more or do you initiate?

D. Do they talk about other people they are interested in?

E. Do they smile a lot around you?

F. Do they lean in when you say something?

G. Do they fidget a little in your presence?

H. Do they try to impress you?

I. Do their friends talk up the person to you?

J. Does the person look you in eye?

K. Does the person seem to put a lot of effort in their appearance?

L. Do they appear next to you when the party is wrapping up and its last call?

M. Are they completely comfortable or a little on edge?

N. Is the person not afraid to embarrass himself/herself in front of you?

O. Does the person take notice when the opposite sex approaches you?

If you are still confused then all you can do is play the waiting game. If a person truly likes you they will eventually make it clear. And if they aren't bold enough to show it then they aren't worth it :) 


Friday, July 27, 2012

An Ex of my Ex is my Friend!

Hunting Sisters (n) - Women who have dated the same man. The female version of 'Eskimo Brothers'.
I know that many people believe women can't be friends if they have dated the same person. but it is possible, and I have a few good friends who I met first as hunting sisters. Many times history, jealously, pride, and or self esteem get in the way of women befriending someone with a common ex. But if the occasion presents itself when both parties are no longer dating the guy, a friendship has a chance to ignite. 

If the women have enough confidence and possess easygoing attitudes they can get past the awkwardness of having dated the same man. It may seem bizarre, but you would be surprised how much you may have in common with hunting sisters. 
Why Women Should Befriend Hunting Sisters
1. Friendship. Dating the same guy can mean that two women share more in common than just mate selection. as guys get older, they tend to date a certain type. Therefore, exes of a guy may not be so different when it comes to personality traits, hobbies, career, and etc. Hunting sisters can quickly turn into new friends if enough similarities are obvious or discovered!

2. Insight. If hunting sisters are comfortable and close, the truth about the common ex will surface. The truth may not always be pretty but it can shed light on aspects about the man and his history. Sometimes the information will allow a woman to be certain that breaking up was a VERY wise decision :)

3. Intimidation. Nothing is scarier to guys then knowing that their exes are friends. They may act confident around individual exes but seeing them together makes them fear they are talking about EVERYTHING :) oh btw they are right!

4. Respect. Not all hunting sisters can be friends. Sometimes there are irreconcilable issues. But being civil will create respect for one another. 

5. Empowering. Women don't gain from creating enemies left and right with each other. We would rule the world if we could make friends with any woman, especially with hunting sisters. Being able to get past insecurities and jealously is a test of a good character. And other people will admire women who can see beyond differences/suspicions. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

30 Things to do before THIRTY

For many twenty year olds, we border between adolescence and adulthood. The twenties are perfect for making mistakes, forging a path, and having fun! Analyzing the statistics from the the last century, it is clear we have stalled 'adulthood' by a few years.
Statistics from the US Census Bureau show that in 2010 the average marrying age for men was 28.2 and women 26.1. Compared to 1910, (men 25 years, women 21 years), and in 1960 (men 22 years, women 20 years). Every progressing decade after the 1970s, (men 23 years, women 21 years), added about one year to both gender's marriage age.
Median age of motherhood has also risen over the decades! In 1970 the average age of a mother was 21.4 years old compared to 25.0 years old in 2006! (Mathews, Hamilton)
So, for most twenty year olds we have a majority of the decade to be young and free! This post is dedicated to all young adults who take advantage of the twenties and delay adulthood!

Check off list for your Twenties!!!
1. Go to College and Graduate School
2. Take vacations with Friends
3. Live in a crappy apartment (thrift store furniture and dishes)
4. Fall in Love a few times
5. Travel abroad (college, with friends, with significant other, alone for more LIFE points!!)
6. Adopt an animal or a 'needy' friend :)
7. Work at a Vacation destination ('lifty', cocktail waitress, surf instructor)
8. Date a few people at the same time
9. Change careers
10. Go on bad dates
11. Backpacking trip with bf/gf
12. Realize your parents weren't so crazy after all
13. Start lying about your age
14. Beerfests, wine tasting in Napa Valley, and Octoberfest!
15. College friend reunions
16. Run a maraton and get a gym membership
17. Buy cooking books and watch the Cooking Channel
18. Break hearts and experience a broken heart
19. Live out of a suitcase for a few months
20. 'Live pay check to pay check', balance checkbooks, incur overdraft fees, and file your own taxes 
21. Buy cheap food and cheaper alcohol
22. Move to a new place at the drop of a hat
23. Almost get arrested, kicked out of bars, and talk your way out of speeding tickets
24. Get homesick for family 
25. Live in an apartment with best friends
26. Throw house warming parties
27. Take up a few new sports (rock climbing, mountain biking, tennis, swimming)
28. Turn weekends into small vacations
29. Take a lot of incriminating photos from nights out with friends
30. Decide to continue some of the above list in your thirties :)

*'Delayed Childbearing' - Mathews and Hamilton (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db21.pdf) and www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/marriage*

Thursday, July 5, 2012

9 things not to do on a Trip

This is a compilation of things that have gone wrong on trips throughout the years. And yes they are all real stories :)
1. At border control don't get overly nervous and elaborate on unnecessary details about your birth place. My actions tipped off the border control officer and I was ushered to a private room for further interrogation.

2. If you are staying at an expensive hotel, (Ritz in New York), don't say you have two kids when there are four. At cheaper hotels it doesn't matter to squeeze in a few extra kids, but swanky hotels have impeccable service and that is a recipe for disaster. When a bell boy knocked on our door to deliver our suitcases, two kids were elected to hide. And if you don't follow part A of number 2 don't under any circumstance pick hiding in the coat closet! We hadn't anticipated on a fancy bell boy hanging coats in the closet. We gave him a large tip, and he never told the Hotel.

3. Don't go to a Restaurant where the menus have no prices and the waiter brings food without you ordering it specifically. At a restaurant in Sicily, we paid over 100 euros for regular spaghetti and strange appetizers.

4. Don't allow yourself to believe that transportation is free in Europe. The people of Rome only click off tickets when a transportation cop goes on the bus. So, we didn't see anyone using tickets all trip until it was too late. A cop came aboard on a bus and everyone wildly clicked their tickets in the machines. We were kicked off the bus and my mom explained our confusion to the cop, but he still slapped us a 50 euro ticket.

5. Be careful if you want to buy fake name brands in big cities. If you find yourself in a basement and with 5 people watching you browse through merchandise, you better buy something. Nothing is scarier than an unhappy seller of illegal wares. And be sure to not venture at this alone!

6. Make sure when you are in Europe you have both pieces of the electrical converter attached to your device The surge caused the breaker to flip, and our power went out. The owner promptly came over to see what the Americans had done. If you fail at part A make sure someone is good with part B and get rid of the evidence. My dad threw the fried blow drier in a dumpster outside before the owner arrived. Our quick thinking saved us when he looked through all the apartment trashes.

7. Some places in Italy serve ice cream to the kids, and it isn't for free! We thought the ice cream came with the meal when the restaurant served our family it. We later discovered their ploy when we were also served it on our bill.
8. Don't attempt a long hike unless you've packed enough water. When we (kids) were a lot younger, my parents didn't think we needed more than one bottle of water for seven people. Our hike, in Hawaii, quickly turned into a mini survivor march with the hot sun beating down on us and my mom portioning out the water ration.

9. Don't drive late at night when you are tired. My dad was driving in Scotland and pulled out of the gas station onto the right side of the road. He was too tired to notice that he was driving on the wrong side of the road. As we were rounding a corner we nearly had a head on collision, but instead clipped each other's side view mirrors. Oh and part B is always get renter's insurance. We escaped unscathed, but later paid the price in the form of an expensive bill. 

If you have a dad who isn't good with directions, a mom who is constantly paranoid about everything, and strange things happen to you on every trip. Then you might be the Griswolds! So, just be prepared that things will happen and all you can do is laugh about it later :)


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My favorite places in England

Next time I go back to England I'll be sure to revisit these wonderful cities/towns. I couldn't have anticipated which places I would fall desperately in love. For many of my favorite places, I wished I could have spent weeks exploring everything it has to offer. 

1. Bath
Amazingly, this entire city is honored with being named a World Heritage Site. Which is remarkable because most Heritage Sites are historical monuments such as the Pyramids and Stonehenge. Upon arriving, I quickly understood why this city has been bestowed with such a prestigious title. The looming Georgian stone architecture draws from ingenious Roman design to create an awe-inspiring atmosphere. The city is nestled in a slopping valley with houses dotted across the hillside. The Roman Baths had once been a place of healing and worship in the Roman times, and then again restored in the Georgian times for the aristocracy. The city is the most eye appealing in England. Streets are clean, people are friendly, and it feels like one steps into a Jane Austen book.
                                                                                          The Royal Crescent
Must see sites:
The Royal Crescent, The Circus, Roman Baths, expansive parks, and shopping.  

2. York
The city has always been an important stronghold since Roman times. It has been the location of many important historical events such as: when Constantine declared himself Emperor in 306 AD, once the prosperous viking city of Jorvick, Battle of Stamford Bridge (the last viking attack on England) in 1066, site of The Peasants' Revolt in 1396,  and in 1644 (Civil War) was besieged by the Parliamentarians. The city is a collection of pieces of time over the last two thousand years. Its history is exceptional because it has been the first defense against 'barbarians' from the North and the Seas. Some of my favorite features were the original cobble stone streets and towering medieval walls which stand upon original Roman foundations (almost completely encircle the city). York Minster is one of the largest Gothic Medieval Cathedrals in all of Europe. The city hosts many famous museums that are world acclaimed such as Jorvick Viking Center. The streets meander and weave you back into the Medieval period. The city is also famous for its many ghost stories. There are as many as eight ghost tours that operate daily from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. We partook in a ghost tour by a man dressed in a Victorian physician outfit, and some of the stories were very chilling.
                                                                                          Medieval Wall
Must see sites:
York Minster, Jorvick Viking Center, Medieval Walls, The Shambles (medieval butcher street), and Ghost tour.

3. Cotswolds
The many villages that make up the Cotswolds are a trip in themselves. The famous stone architecture was constructed by the wool merchants in the 1400s, 1500s, and 1600s. They create a picturesque vision and induce a feeling of stepping into a fairy tale land or specifically into SnowWhite :). The villages are surrounded by even more gorgeous pastures of sheep grazing in hedge lined plots. The villages have been the backdrop to many motion picture films such as War Horse. Cotswolds also offers many great shops and opportunities for antique shopping.
                                                                     Castle Combe
Must see villages:
Bourton on the Water, Bibury, Castle Combe, Burford, Upper and Lower Slaughter, and Stow on the Wold

4. Rye
Rye was once an important port city in the Middle Ages. It became an important city for ship building during the Medieval times and boasts helping build the Armada fleet for Queen Elizabeth. The river silted up and so the town is no longer located at the Sea. It has cobble stone streets, jutting buildings, meandering street, and many antique shops. Johnny Depp used to own a house on the famous Mermaid Street, called 'the house opposite'.
                                                                                           Mermaid Street
Must see sites:
Mermaid Street, Mermaid Inn, St. Mary's Church, Antique shops

5. Cambridge
Established by students from Oxford in 1209. Ever since its beginning it has been a world leading university. The head of Cromwell is buried in the grounds of Queens College and is only known by two people in the world (England) at one time. The University is known for its famous bridges and architecture. Cambridge is one of the only punting cities, besides Venice, in the world. Our family had a punting tour of Cambridge which gave an exclusive look at the magnificent University.

Must see sites:
St. Johns college, Trinity college, Kings College, Queens College, and Punting on the River.

*all pictures taken by my Dad

Think Left

My England trip was not a leisure holiday. It was a mission to see and experience all the historical sites in as much time as humanly possible. Our most trusted guide was the British GPS we named Tammy, the female version of TomTom. We changed the accent of Tammy a few times on the trip. For awhile she was an Irish woman, Australian male, and most of the trip a British woman. Without Tammy our British adventure would have been circling roundabouts. My dad, being a typical guy, was always challenging Tammy. If Tammy didn't bring our car to the exact desired spot, my dad would announce himself the true navigator. However, Tammy would get us to the destination, just on the wrong side of the building or something. A few times when we had trouble getting Tammy to work, an acute panic fell upon our flock. 

Our expensive maps, we bought in America, couldn't help our right minded brains when we experienced meandering roads and strings of roundabouts. I've never been in so many near accidents in my entire life. My dad would not always time merging into the roundabouts correctly and would either cut people off or barely squeeze in. On top of it all he hadn't driven a manual in years. 

Driving in the villages and towns was even worse! Cars parked on both sides of the streets which reduced the street to a single lane, forcing both sides to drive down the middle. And most of the time we were forced to play a dangerous game of leap frog. Cars would dart in and out of gaps where cars weren't parked, and alternately allowing traffic to either go or stop. Driving around corners meant driving through a bottleneck and hoping the oncoming cars weren't going to play Chicken. 

Parking was made easier by finding parking structures. We didn't dare rent a car when we were in London and utilized the subway (Tube) and buses instead. 

On our last day in England, we almost succeeded in truly becoming a Griswold Family. We had spent the day exploring Cambridge and decided to drive to the small town of Saffron Walden to eat dinner. We were still unsure of which street lines meant park or don't park. But we drove up a side street and parked behind a line of British cars all parked on white zig zag lines. So, we were certain we could trust local Brits to park in the appropriate spots. Oh we were so wrong! After we finished the best Italian food we had all trip, we walked back to our awaiting fate. 

                                                              Saffron Walden
My dad was the first to spot a cop next to our parked car. Right away the police officer came off as indifferent and irritated towards us. He announced, by pointing at the white zig zag lines, that we had parked in an illegal zone. My mom was on the verge of tears as she explained that we parked behind other cars in this same street. But to my mom's horror, all the cars had magically disappeared between the time we left for dinner and the time we came back. The officer didn't seem surprised by our explanation and said that Brits are known to park illegally all the time. 

My mom pleaded and we (kids) tried looking as pathetic as possible. He informed us that a tow truck was on its way. My mom did not give up, she presented her case with perseverance. She invoked our 'foreigness', confusion, and desperate situation of leaving tomorrow morning. Whatever she said struck a cord with the officer. He promptly got on his radio and cancelled the tow truck simply stating 'American family showed up'. 

We thanked him profusely and ended our trip free of a horrible disaster! 


*pictures from Yahoo images

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Queen Putting Kate in her Place

Even though the English royals don't have any real power, the rules of etiquette are the last powers they grasp to. In a new surprising move, the Queen has formally changed the Order of Precedence to accommodate the princes marrying 'commoners'. 

Telegraph.co.uk announced the changes made by the Queen. Princesses by marriage must curtsy to other princesses by blood when they aren't accompanied by their husband. Rumors say that it was spurned by Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie being snubbed by Kate. 

It's an interesting move for the Queen to make. With all the popularity that Kate is getting, one may wonder if the Royals are getting a wee bit jealous. The Queen wants the encompassing royal family to know their rightful place. And those who were lucky enough to be joined by marriage must show reverence to those who were born into it. 

The rule of succession has been changed to make the first born, regardless of gender, the heir to the throne. But the Queen draws the line to 'commoners' stepping over their boundaries.  

I'm not British, but if I were, this makes it clear that the Royals still see themselves as superior to 'commoners'. 

What do you think? Do you think it's an attack on Kate?

Monday, July 2, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

It's only two days until 4th of July and in my own unique act of patriotism I made this comparison of different economic systems described by the famous quote 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade'. 

When Life Gives you Lemons.....explained by different economic systems. 

Anarchy.....only a select few get 99% of the Lemonade

Capitalism.....you make a profit on the Lemonade

Socialism.....select few tell everyone how much Lemonade they get

Caste System....only some people have the born right to drink the Lemonade

Imperialism....Lemons were taken from other countries to make Lemonade

Happy Early 4th of July all ye fellow Americans !!!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Wrath of Henry VIII

Henry VIII is one of the most infamous monarchs, but I had no idea that his reign left such a discernible mark.

Below are sites I visited that contained segments of Henry history. 

Henry VIII's reign was a relatively prosperous time for the people of England. The iconic tudor frame building was in response to many merchants and farmers becoming wealthy. Wood was expensive and rare in England, so the tudor style was a show of family wealth and prosperity. 

Little Moreton Hall  
City of Ludlow
Hampton Court Palace was designed and financed by one of Henry VIII's famous advisors, Wolsey. It took many years to build and costed a great fortune. When Wolsey knew he was falling out of favor he offered it as a gift in hopes to please the King. The King took the palace but dismissed Wolsey. He was accused of treason, but died on his journey to London to be tried. Hampton Court was the site of the birth of Henry's only legitimate son, Edward VI. Queen Catherine Howard was confined in the palace before she was later beheaded in the Tower of London. Legend holds that she escaped from her room and ran screaming around the palace begging for Henry to have mercy on her life. Original interior wood work and tapestries still hang in some of the rooms of Hampton Court. When it was decorated by the King, Anne Boleyn was on the throne. Intertwining H's and A's were carved in the elaborate woodwork of the great banquet hall. But when he beheaded her, he ordered for the intimate initials to be removed. Somehow they missed one which still can be seen today. 

Leeds Castle has a legacy of being property of many Queens of England. But when Catherine of Aragon was replaced by Anne Boleyn she was sent to reside there for a period of time. A beautiful castle under more happier circumstances. 
When Henry couldn't secure a legal divorce from the Pope he took his wrath out on the establishments in England. He took away the lands, valuables, and money from many of the Catholic cathedrals and churches. He sacked and destroyed many important church establishments. One of his most infamous acts was destroying the tomb of Saint Thomas Beckett at Canterbury Cathedral. When he was newly married to Catherine of Aragon he did a pilgrimage to the shrine. Interesting that he would later return only to destroy it. The candle in the picture below marks of the spot of the destroyed tomb of Beckett. Today it may not seem like a horrendous thing, but it was one of the most visited shrines in all of Europe at the time. 
St John College of Cambridge was established and built during the time of Henry VIII. He gave the approval of the creation of the college. It is the most magnificent college, in my opinion, in Cambridge. 

Eton College is one of the most famous and successful private boy's high school, (Prince William and Prince Harry attended this school). When Henry was pillaging religious sites, the college did a smart political move and placed the royal coat of arms of Henry VIII on the building. Above the clock is the coat of arms that was erected. My brother is standing in the picture. 
Finally, my brother and my favorite display in the Tower of London was Henry VIII's 'fat' suit of armor. It's hard to tell with just a picture but in person it's easy to see how obese Henry became. 

In spite of all the horrible things Henry did in his lifetime, the museums and exhibitions were only positive in their descriptions about the King. At Hampton Court a video on loop, highlighted the wives of Henry. The commentators kept saying 'Henry had England's best intentions at heart', 'Henry knew what was best for his people', and so on. Facts were not covered up but the narrating was obviously slighted in Henry's favor. But of course the people of England don't hold these same feelings of the tyrant. But still it was shocking to see that the historical sites decisively didn't say anything negative about the old monarch. 

*pictures 2,3,5, 7, and 8 taken by my Dad. The rest of the pictures form Yahoo images