One Feisty Blog

Background pictures courtesy of Laila

Friday, July 21, 2006

Not to be Anglo-Centric: Top 8 Hot Not-Quite English Gents

This is just for Ryan, because I know how much he enjoys celebrity-centric posts.

A bit of a geography lesson before we begin: England is the country that occupies the majority of the island (know to most as Britain) that is also shared by Scotland and Wales. Together, along with Northern Ireland (and maybe some other small islands), these four countries make up the entity known as Great Britain. FYI: plain ol' Ireland does its own thing, but Northern Ireland is at least nominally under British control (it's a complicated Catholic vs. Protestant thing, with lots of tricky politics thrown in for good measure). Therefore, for example, people from Scotland can be called Scottish (which they perfer) or British (which they're not particularly fond of, considering their long and bitter history of conflict with England--think Braveheart). I don't think English people mind being called British, but if you know someone was born and raised in England, might as well be precise and call them English.

Australia and New Zealand were both British colonies once upon a time, but they are now autonomous like the U.S.A. and Canada. Australia does not govern New Zealand, nor vice versa.

Since most of the citizens of the above mentioned places speak English with lovely, if sometimes unintelligible accents, the uninitiated ear will sometimes assume that a Kiwi is from Ireland when he's really from New Zealand. Or some rube might call a Scottish man a leprechaun when they should be asking what he wears under his kilt. It doesn't help that many of these talented actors are adept at assuming other accents, so you never know if you're hearing their normal speaking voice when you watch them on the big screen. In fact, one of my favorites, Christian Bale, never used the same accent twice in any of the movies he made from 1986 till at least 2000. (Maybe that is still the case, but I don't know where to find more recent information.)

I know, I know, ENOUGH with the geography lesson! Time for pictures of charming, talented, gorgeous men! As promised, my favorite hot guys who aren't exactly English (but I'm willing to bet they're called English by dozens of random yokels every day):

1.) Eric Bana (Australia)

2.) Christian Bale (Wales)

3.) Gerard Butler (Scotland)

4.) Hugh Jackman (Australia)

5.) Ewan McGregor (Scotland)

6.) Liam Neeson (Northern Ireland)

7.) Pierce Brosnan (Ireland)

8.) Karl Urban (New Zealand)

Kind of makes me want to travel...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

This One Time, in High School

Another long story, but with funny bits that might make it worth the read...

I was a sophomore the first year I attended Columbia Christian High School. I already knew most of the kids in my class from youth group activities, family connections, camp, or through my best friend who'd attended Columbia since Kindergarten. I knew there weren't many dating prospects there--most of the boys were like annoying brothers or cousins, I'd known them so long. But that was okay--I was nursing two or three long-term crushes in other venues, so my plate was already full.

Then one day, about a month or two into the school year, a really cute new guy walked into Typing class. You might as well have thrown raw meat into a piranha pool. All the girls lost their blessed minds. This kind of marathon flirting and self-throwing you haven't seen since the king held auditions for a new wife in the book of Esther.

But the new guy, let's call him PSG for Preferred Stock Guy (because he looked remarkably like the model in the Preferred Stock ad campaign that was all the rage those days) seemed a little overwhelmed. He'd been living in Asia for a few years while his parents worked as missionaries, and he felt out of place and awkward while trying to get over his culture shock. He didn't respond to any of my classmates' advances, much to their chagrin.

Now, I thought PSG was cute, and I was nice to him, but I had bigger fish to fry. I had one cute guy in Canada writing letters to me every week, one of my classmate's hilarious buddies calling me every night, and a serious case of unrequited love for the previously-blogged about Dud. So it came as quite a surprise when PSG asked me to be his girlfriend one afternoon while I was watching the guys play basketball while I waited for my ride. I was flattered, I admit it. Several prettier, more popular girls had tried to snag him and failed. I hadn't even tried to reel him in, and here he had fallen in my lap. Nice ego boost, but that was about it.

So I stupidly agreed to "go out" with him.

Because being flattered to be asked is always a good reason to start a relationship.

Turns out that PSG doesn't have much of a personality--but he is super jealous and possessive, so he's got that going for him. Why a guy like that asked the most flirtatious girl in the class to be his girlfriend, I'll never know. I think he must have grossly misjudged my level of popularity and thought he could use me as a ticket to the in-crowd. Heh. Not so much.

After four days of being boyfriend and girlfriend, PSG thought it was a good idea to tell me that he was in love with me. After 4 days! Awkward! I think I said "thank you." What else was I supposed to do? Tell some guy I barely knew that he owned my whole heart? Fat chance! He was barely leasing my left pinky.

A few weeks later, he tells me that he's been working on a poem for me. He gives it to me in a note as I'm about to leave for a youth rally in Canada (yes, the cute pen pal was going to be there, along with his cute friends). I should have dumped PSG right then, because teen poetry is almost always grounds for dismissal. But this poem was pretty well-written and mature. I was surprised, actually. There were a couple of lines where the meter was off, but it was pretty good for a teenager. I held a "do I dump him?" forum with the girls on the way to Canada and they were all so impressed by his romantic, poetry-writing ways that they convinced me to keep him. (But you better believe I didn't mention PSG's existence to the cute Canadian boy.)

After I got back from Canada, PSG left for a Thanksgiving-related family vacation. I enjoyed my break from him, and didn't bother to call the day he was supposed to get home--I figured I'd see him at school the next day. He was so miffed that I returned his buddy's call re: a homework assignment but didn't call him (PSG) he threw a spectacular hissy in the lunch line. That was suave. I decided I didn't need that static from a guy I could barely stay awake around, so I broke up with him the next day.

I did my best to breakup with him nicely. I (lied) told him he was great, that I didn't deserve him, that he should be with a girl who could appreciate his finer qualities. His eyes welled up with tears and he told me that he would love me forever. (I found out later that the guys caught him crying in the locker room before basketball practice, and I felt kind of bad. I've never been proud of my Heartbreaker tendancies.) It seemed like a pretty strong reaction from a guy who'd held hands with me once and never even tried to kiss me. Let's just say that I got over it quickly and with limited damage to my psyche.

Okay. I told you all that to tell you this.

Fast forward: A couple of months after I broke his heart, PSG is dating one of my friends. The fact that she's a freshman cheerleader with a gigantic rack probably had nothing to do with his interest in her. We'll call her Giggles, because she had a very distinctive laugh. Well, Giggles and I were hanging out with my best friend and her sister after school one day. I was bored, so I started flipping through my English text book. I was browsing happily through the poetry unit when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but the poem PSG had "written" for me in November. Only in present tense instead of past (which accounts for the aforementioned meter problems). That's right, that chucklehead tried to pass off a poem from our English text book as one of his own. What a genius! (To his credit, I suspect he copied it from one of his mother's poetry books and didn't realize it was in our textbook.) Since PSG and Giggles were fighting that day, I figured it would be funny to show her the note (luckily still buried in the pocket of my backpack) and the poem from the book. The four of us girls laughed until we were afraid we'd rupture something. I don't know if Giggles ever told PSG that I'd discovered the source of his poetic inspiration, but that Spring, our English teacher assigned the poem on the page across from PSG's poem to be read and discussed in class. I wonder if PSG ever figured out why reading a poem about a rose gave my best friend and I "coughing fits" that made tears pour down our faces?

But wait, there's more! The next year, my best friend started dating a new guy. The new guy also became friends with PSG. (PSG was officially cool and part of the in-crowd by this time, and I was still happily middle-of-the-road.) One day, my best friend mentioned the reason that PSG had been giving me the silent treatment all year was that we went out once upon a time and it ended badly. So her boyfriend asked PSG what happened and he told his friend that HE had dumped me, and that I had been INCONSOLABLE and cried in front of everyone. Man, I wish I could have seen my friend's boyfriend's face when she told him what really happened (if he could understand her through the howls of laughter). All I know is, he thought it was pretty stinkin' hilarious when he told me about PSG's version the next day. Everytime PSG was a jerk to him after that (which was often), he would mention something about crying because some chick dumped him. I'll always think of him fondly for that.

Monday, July 17, 2006

You Know How I Invited You to Come Visit us in Maryland?


We won't be there.

That's right. After we spent five weeks in a tizzy--packing, stressing, cleaning, worrying, fixing, whining, planting, and spreading the news of our impending's off.

I guess the Air Force is short on funds, so they revoked the authorization for people of Steve's rank to hold that position. So there are 11 other families in the same situation we're in. Thank goodness we got the news two days (not two months) after we put the house on the market. I shudder to think what would have happened if we'd accepted an offer, THEN got this news.

Stupid Air Force.

It's weird. Most of me is relieved that everything is back to normal. (I never thought I'd be happy to be stuck in Idaho.) But I had been working really hard to have a good attitude, to be supportive, to look at the positive aspects of the move. I was actually looking forward to several things about living in that area. (Primarily being within visiting distance of the charming Conni, the phenomenal seafood, taking a break from work till at least after the holidays, and the proximity to enough nerdy museums and historical sites to make my heart go pitty-pat.)

It's strange to feel vaguely disappointed about missing out on something I didn't even want to do.

Anyway, if anyone's been dying to take a vacation in lovely Boise, Idaho, we'll be here another year or so...