Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dora the Explora

Today I was babysitting Faisal, and after his nap I told him he could watch part of a movie/DVD, and he chose to watch some Dora the Explorer. I had heard of it, but I had never watched it before today. I haven't seen a show that brainwashing since Barney. It was made to make kids repeat after the characters on the screen, so everything is said very slowly, in simple terms and at least 4 times over.

I had Faisal turn it off after about 10 minutes and we proceeded to play with "tracks" (trains). The entire time, he wouldn't talk to me, he was repeating the dialogue of the show. Particularly "We're a team, there's nothing we can't do!" but when he said it, it was like "We're a teeeeam." He sounded like a brainwashed zombie. Just saying "We're a team. We're a team. We're a teeeeeeam." Actually, scratch the zombie, it was more like he was a ghost haunting someone with that phrase. Plus, I don't think zombies can say anything besides "Braaaaaains..."

Yeah, I think I'm gonna avoid Dora from now on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I must miss the States a lot. For the last 2 out of 3 nights, I've had dreams about going grocery shopping back in the US of A. The first dream was in Giant, the second was in Whole Foods. I absolutely cannot wait to go. Is that sad?

Mmmm, America.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things and Stuff

So it's been about a week, and what has happened?

Brice went on to this farm near Liverpool to learn about joinery and live in a teepee/wigwam. (I told him he had to go to that farm because he got to live in one. If I could, I would, just to say I had.) Miguel and I then had to get used to having the apartment to ourselves again, ourselves and the cats, that is.

We're all doing fine, though Miguel did get hit by a car today! Ok, it was more like, the car was backing up very slowly into him, but he is totally fine, not even a bruise. We banged on the car though to let the woman know we were pissed.

Oh, I've been trying to come up with something to put on the walls (they are kinda boring as of now) and it occured to me I could paint them with a design or a mural or something. Since we are living in a very art nouveau neighborhood I want to do something, well, art nouveau-y. I've been doing some sketches to test things out...

Feel free to leave thoughts or ideas!

So now, just to remind you all that I have cute cats, I present you with...

1) Plotting kitty
And 2) Sleeping kittyAnd, for good measure, both cats together on my awesome new (used) chair!
In other news, both Miguel and I got our hair cut today (at different places), he's not so happy with his, but I love mine! (this picture also featuring my semi-new glasses!)And since this is already a picture heavy post, I may as well include another couple from good old photobooth! (Sophie the just plain cute and Cleo the camera hog)

Oh, Miguel and I went to see "He's Just Not That Into You" tonight (the premier here in Belgium, cue "ooh"s and "ahh"s). It was pretty good, cute. Not anything AMAZING. Also, Jennifer Anniston has seen better days... (Does saying that make me mean?)

Anyway, Brussels is fine otherwise. Really nice weather, outdoor cafes, trees with leaves, indoor picnics, friends, it's pretty good! I do miss home though, and am really looking forward to my visit!

So, I guess that's it for me for now! I hope everyone is doing well and had a great Eastover!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dear Mom and Dad

And really, whoever else reads this and might have $44 lying around... This is awesome.

Can I have it? Please?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today I did something fun...

I met up with my best friend from kindergarten here in Brussels!

I had searched for her on facebook a month or so ago, and added has as a friend (stalker that I am) and she added me back! And it turns out, that her mom lives in Brussels! Since she lives a country over, we decided to meet up the next time she was in town. So that was today!

I was a bit nervous as I waited for her (for all of 5 minutes) at the De Bruckere metro station, seeing as we hadn't seen each other for roughly 19 years. We walked over to an Exki (a sort of healthy fast food shop) and sat and talked for hours! The time passed so quickly, that she missed the train she had intended to take. So, with another half hour to kill, we went over to O'Reillys for another while and sat on the balcony overlooking the Bourse (this building).

So we are going to keep in touch, and hopefully hang out a lot more! And that is my news. The end!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Eastover!

Brussels is pretty dead today. Everything is closed and people are at home, at church or traveling. There's not much to do but relax and plan dinner (lamb, potatoes, green beans and lots of chocolate). So... here is my picture of the day!

I hope everyone has a nice holiday, and I'll probably be posting again soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Something new...

I'm going to try introducing a new "segment" to this blog called "Picture a day." Some will be of Brussels, some will be of elsewhere. Some will be old, some new. I think you get the point.

So, without further ado... the Picture of the Day!

So in Belgium, and really, in Europe, there's not a lot of AC. AC is walk over to the window, open the window, and step back. The only problem is (for entomophobes like me) bugs fly in. I also do not yet own a flyswatter. Problem?

Not any longer!

I have 2 cats, under a year old... they are the best bug-catchers out there! They may knock over a vase or two in the process... but psh, I would do that with a fly swatter!

So there you have it.

Also, there is a piano bar downstairs that has great music, and it wafts up into the apartment.

So this is what it would be like...

For those of you that are not francophones (and can't figure out the picture) this film is called Make Love with a Belgian. Yup.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's been a while...

I apologize for the lack of posts, I've been slacking off. I'd like to say I've been busy, but I haven't really. Here's a brief account...

-I went to a park with Miguel, which was fun

From Living the Expat Life...

-I got sick with some crazy sinus/cough thing and didn't leave the apartment for about 2 weeks. I was full of green snot, had no voice, and was up all night a couple nights coughing. It was lovely. Miguel took good care of me until I finally went to the doctor and she fixed me up with everything BUT antibiotics.

-Somewhere along the line, I think before I was sick, Miguel and I went to the equivalent of China Town here and took pictures of products with funny names.

-Just after I got back on my feet, a good old friend came to visit! Brice! He's still here and hanging with us. He's a lot of fun to have around and bum around town with. He also does the dishes. :-)He also takes a lot of pictures and is fun to go to bars with. We went to one called Delirium on Sunday and tried a bunch of kinds of beer. My first was one on tap called "Pink Killer" (a grapefruit-y beer which, happily, didn't kill me), then Barbar (a tasty, strong honey beer) and then I had a St. Idesbald Blonde (all, as far as I know, Belgian).

All the while we were looking around the bar (there was a lot of beer-kitsch), talking to random people (mostly tourists, but interesting tourists), Brazilians, Americans, Aussies, Brits, etc. We noticed that there was a lot of money (esp. US dollar bills) on the wall. We decided to write on one and donate it to the cause. The bartender put it up for us! (He also took this pic of it for us...)Greenwich St. represent! Brice then went to bum a cigarette off of these guys who turned out to be British soldiers that served in Northern Ireland (he sure can pick em!). They were friendly and bought us a few rounds of something, no idea what. They were already quite inebriated...

So then was the long walk home followed by a bit of a same-day hangover. It was a lot of fun though, and totally worth it.

So that was one of our adventures. Our other was last night. After getting my tax refund (and stimulus check! btw, I think "stimulus check" should be a euphemism for something!), we decided we needed a celebration! We decided to FINALLY go to the restaurant we live above, Au Vieux Bruxelles! We got a bottle of pinot gris from Alsace, a starter of a selection of sausages, Brice and Miguel each got mussels (Mig with garlic sauce, Brice with blue cheese), I got a vol au vent de poularde (kinda like a chicken pot pie), all of it came with frites, and then we got a couple of desserts (mini creme brulee and a mini dame blanche-- vanilla ice cream served with melted Belgian chocolate. Everything was totally delicious and we will be going back there. I did try the mussels, and while I'm not a fan yet, they were certainly palatable and I will try them again. Dad, you would love this place!

So that's the latest of my adventures. I would like to share with you a funny thing about Brussels. Most of you have heard of the Manneken Pis, aka. the peeing boybut fewer people have heard of the Jeanneke Pis, aka. the peeing girl! Yep. There is such a thing, and now, finally, I have a picture!So there you have it folks. I hope you have enjoyed this post, and I will try to post more soon!