People are clearing up fallen leaves from their yards and gardens. Apparently there are some rules about this -- that we have to do it. I hope they are still there when my mother comes -- she loves a bit of gardening.
Dec. 10, 2012: Christmas lights in the USA
So there are lights, lights everywhere. Christmassy ones. And blow-up Santas, and blow-up snowmen, and I even saw a blow-up pineapple, though what that has to do with Christmas I cannot fathom.
Anyhow, putting up your lights in the U.S. has completely different connotations from Christmas lights on houses in the U.K.
Face it, citizens of the U.K., we sneer and tut at people who decorate their houses with what we would consider too many sparkly and colourful lights. We jeer at them, and because there is a class system that exists in the U.K., we generally suspect that those with overt Christmas paraphernalia must be of the “lower class” and therefore have no taste whatsoever.
Shame on us!
In the USA, it really is completely different. Anyone and everyone puts up their Christmas lights, and they do it with great pride. There is ultimate respect for this, and they are there to be enjoyed by the public, neighbours and nosy Brits like me. The array of Christmas lights here in Maryland holds no clue to class, since none exists. Putting up your lights is, pure and simple, a joyful thing to do to celebrate Christmas.
And some of them are pretty amazing, and look pretty pretty and, thus, I am slowly beginning to understand what it is that people love about Christmas decorations.
Feb. 4, 2013: My First Super Bowl
I was lucky enough to get two invitations to Super Bowl parties when the Ravens played in New Orleans, which proved to be an eye-opening experience for this little Brit.
I was determined to get in the mood and rushed out to buy something purple, only to be disappointed that the only Ravens T-shirt left is a men’s XXXXL. Not to worry, I can still be part of the party, thought I!
Over the next few hours I learned an awful lot of stuff about the Super Bowl.
Fumbles and interceptions – this most excellent phrase is all about the mistakes and challenges made during the game and warrant a great deal of pre- and post-match analysis. A lovely phrase that I am surprised was not used in “Fifty Shades of Grey” more overtly.
Food – I really don’t think I have ever eaten so much in one day. With burgers, chicken wings, pulled pork, buffalo chicken, cupcakes, pizza and monkey bread also on the menu, I was totally spoilt for cholesterol-raising choice! Monkey bread is now one of my new favourite things!
Male cheerleaders in Ravens – I learned that the Ravens is the only team to have male cheerleaders. How progressive! Bless their Lycra hot pants!
Half-time entertainment -- This is all about the show, the spectacle, the drama, so they rolled out Beyonce and suddenly the men at the party I was attending decided they needed to sit down and check out the screen for a little bit, because they’d been doing a lot of standing and shouting.
Anyway, all in all, the Super Bowl was a new, amazing, weird, commercial and cultural experience for me. Food, football and friends, that pretty much sums it up. Awesomeness, America -- well done.
Feb. 9, 2013: Bunco!
Well, yet another virgin experience taken in much excitement last night -- my first Bunco game. According to the Washington Post, Bunco is sometimes referred to as the housewife’s drinking game. Ooh, la la!
Upon posting my excitement at playing said game on Facebook, a British friend replied that the ladies had played this on a recent episode of “Real Housewives of Orange County,” that most excellent documentary-journal about women with big fake boobs, massive hair and a load of time and money.
Triple that excitement! I’m in for Bunco!