16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

When Andy and I went to London earlier this month, I thought I was prepared.

Turns out, Dr. Who, Top Gear, Graham Norton, Inspector Lewis, and Downton Abbey may leave gaping holes in your education that authors P.D. James, Helen Simonson, and Elizabeth George cannot quite fill.

The internet doesn’t exactly do London justice, either. But for those of you who are either looking to laugh at the clueless Americans or hoping to visit London and NOT look like clueless Americans, I’ve made this handy list: Continue reading 16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

London Calling (#128)

IMG_6884Those readers who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram know that Andy and I recently took a trip to Great Britain.

Those readers who don’t follow me on social media, well, you should. I have live action videos on everything from the Whitehall Horse Guards to Andy’s ongoing battle with the neighborhood squirrels.

Andy and I haven’t had a real vacation since our honeymoon. That was years ago. No, I’m not telling you how many, but remember, this is a memoir blog. It could be 3 years ago, it could be fifty! (It’s not fifty.) Continue reading London Calling (#128)

Battle of the Bloggers (#127)

Get ready to rumble!

In today’s post, blogger Mary of The Ruby Ronin and I go head-to-head on Tang Dynasty Trivia.

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This is Weina. Don’t be fooled by how nice she looks. She’s devious.

Weina Randel will be officiating the match. Randel spent six years researching China’s only female Emperor. She’s got some brutal questions for us about both her books (The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon), as well as Chinese history and culture in general.

Who will win? The woman who actually speaks Mandarin and lived in China, or the woman who took one class on Chinese history over a decade ago in college?

Let’s find out. Here’s the completely slightly edited version of our game show, conducted primarily via Skype. Continue reading Battle of the Bloggers (#127)

One Chance (#126)

Andy wanted a dog. This was because my husband was clueless, of course. While his family had had two dogs, they’d been small ones. The first, his parents told him, had “run away.” [Suspected Translation: hit by a car.] The second had been attacked by a Rottweiler.

Andy wanted a big dog, probably because a big dog might survive a Rottweiler. And a car. Continue reading One Chance (#126)

Sellers from Hell (#125)

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After the sellers accept an offer on their house, the rest of the home-buying process is generally tedious. There are housing inspections, termite inspections, and thousands of reams of documents to sign. But at this point in the process, everyone wants the sale to go through. Everyone has incentive to play nice.

Or so you think. Continue reading Sellers from Hell (#125)

Housing Hostility (#124)

It took months, but I’d finally found a house that my picky Chinese-American spouse liked and I loved. Our realtor wrote up what’s known as a “contingency offer” – an offer contingent upon our current house selling. She submitted it to the sellers.

The sellers rejected our offer. Continue reading Housing Hostility (#124)