Our house, in the middle of our street…

Psyche, it’s been almost a year since I’ve moved to B-town (sounds wrong), and I still haven’t fulfilled peeps’ requests to see our digs!

First of all, let’s set the scene. We live in East Belfast, also known as Heart of Orangeness™. Here’s our street, with a beautiful  Irish double rainbow!
As I mentioned in a previous post, we also got new doors recently our old ones were Jankfest 2015, with wood so cracked and swole diesel you had to throw your whole body weight against them in order to get them closed. Check out the front view now! Balllllllinnnn

Front door on fleek.

When you walk through the entryway, to your left is our cozy living room. Matt is so proud of the little console he built under the TV. If you ever come to stay, make sure you fawn over it.
After walking through the living room, you get to our kitchen and bathroom. Fun fact: Matt and I chose every aspect of our bathroom, from the tiles to the shower, toilet and sink, in less than 10 minutes.
Where the magic happens. I was skeptical at first about the ultra-modern stovetop, but now I loff.
Worst bathroom photograph evar, but it’s such a small room that I can’t get a good vantage point. You probs didn’t want to see the toilet anyway. JOKES we just go in a shallow trench in the backyard.
This backyard pic was taken just before our 4th of July extravaganza last year. I’m sure you’re wondering if we fly our fancy, plastic flags all year round, but I’m sorry to say that they only grace East Belfast on special occasions. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Anywho, that’s the entirety of the downstairs. Shall we TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL?!?!!!!!1!!1!
Upstairs is da master bedroom, resplendent with our favorite Japanese characters. PS, literally everything in our house is from IKEA. Matt is basically Edward Norton in Fight Club.

Across the hall from our bedroom is the office/Sweet Jams Room/Matt’s Hidey Hole.
Lastly, we have the guest bedroom/Lilly’s Womyn Room. I needed somewhere to put all of my feminine trappings when I moved in, and Matt lovingly installed those shelves to hold my lotions, potions, bedazzlements and trinkets. What a guy!

Honored guests, that’s our house for you! Not pictured: the haunted attic, moldy closet, indoor pool and world’s smallest petting zoo. You’ll have to come visit us to see!

Hostess with the Most Ish,


“It’s a mug’s game!”

I have resigned myself to defeat. Football (soccer) is part of my life now. I should just embrace it like this diva:
Most weekends, Matt quarantines himself upstairs with a bowl of Doritos, a glass of chocolate milk and hours of football. It’s fine by me, since I can putter around the house doing whateva I want! As soon as he puts it on the TV, this is me:
Every once in a while, though, I’ll hear a strangled, disembodied scream from above. If it’s a “YEOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” I know he’s happy and I can go up for a chat. If it’s an “AAAAHHHHH!!!” I know he’s going to be sad forever and I’d better just leave him to wallow.

The other night, I was reading while Matt watched a game on the iPad. He plugged in his headphones so the noise wouldn’t disturb me, but he seemed unaware of his own hilarious running commentary. I secretly recorded some of the choice moments and tried futilely not to laugh. Without having the ambient noise of the match, it just sounds like he’s doing Lamaze breathing and talking to himself like an insane person. Enjoy!!

Wee bit of trickery,

P.S. – Published with Matt’s permission 😉

My first Paddy’s Day Parade

Apologies, I know it’s been over a week since my last post but once you hear all the revelry I’ve been up to this week, maybe you’ll forgive me?

St. Patrick’s Day was on Tuesday, and since this year marked my first ever Paddy’s Day on the Emerald Isle, I wanted to make it count! It’s a big deal over here — national holiday! With the day off work, Matt and I were free to partake in all of Belfast’s festivities.

First though, we had to have a bitter fight about the day itself. EVERYONE EXCEPT PROD MATT KNOWS ST. PATRICK WAS A BIG FAT CATHOLIC. Not only is he the patron saint of uber-Popey Ireland, but Protestantism hadn’t even been invented by filthy heathen yet! There was only one church, dawg. THE church.
Eventually, we agreed to disagree. I won, though, because Belfast totally proved my point: Matt had never been to the city’s Paddy’s Day events because they’re completely monopolized by Catholics/Republicans, LOL. Seems like ye olde Protestants can’t claim Paddy after all!

Anywho, we ambled into town to watch the parade at midday. It was a fun, family-friendly atmosphere kiddos were resplendent with fake red beards, shamrock antennae and the Republic of Ireland’s flag (aka the Tricolor). We blagged some free flags ourselves:

Trying to pass.
His ‘get out of jail free’ card.

The parade started from City Hall, and featured all kinds of hoopla: a giant St. Patrick, dancers, bagpipes, and more! It only lasted for about 15 minutes, but was fun nonetheless. I liked the bagpipes best! I took a video, but doesn’t work on this blob. Just imagine their beautiful bleating.

This represents something.
My main man
One of the banished snakes!
The brunette in the middle is Belfast’s Lord Mayor!

I was pleasantly surprised by the feel-good wholesomeness of it all. Unlike American SPD parades, there weren’t any bands of ruffians starting knife fights or projectile vomiting. I had half-expected a scene similar to this brilliant Simpsons clip (watch from beginning to around 3:15. Matt and I died laughing): http://facedl.com/video/awqkiqqkuaunx.swf

I was super sad that Belfast didn’t have an ‘Irish Boy Most Resembling a Potato.’

But, buoyed by the good will around us, we decided to get our day drinkin’ on and hit a pub with some traditional music. We downed a respectable pint apiece, then bumbled back into broad daylight to find another watering hole.

Well, wouldn’t you know, suddenly trouble was starting to kick off. Throngs of drunken children (YUUUUUP) were squaring up to police outside McDonald’s. OF COURSE at McDonald’s.

Their chants were getting louder and the crowd kept growing, so Matt and  I decided to head back toward City Hall — oops, we forgot that the Unionist flag protestors were camped out there (Wiki Belfast City Hall Flag Protests).

Another line of police officers had barricaded themselves between the increasingly agitated teens and the flag protestors. Nothing was happening yet, and to their credit, the police officers were calmly talking some of the kids down. But tension was building across both sides. This was us:
LOL, we safely bused it back home. Tuned in for the evening news and learned that the kiddos had eventually set fire to a Union flag, natch. But hey no one died, so all in all, St. Patrick’s Day was a rousing success!!

Fiddle dee dee,

Crisp sando: the journey of a lifetime

There are some local delicacies that don’t translate across the pond. For instance, a few years ago Matt told me about bacon butties. Essentially, a bacon butty is a mound of bacon slices between bread laden with butter and ketchup. I balked at the idea, but when I tasted it the heavens opened up and I glimpsed paradise.

My hopes weren’t as high for the beloved crisp sandwich. Reminder: “crisps” here are chips, like Ruffles or Lay’s. The recipe for said “sandwich” is the work of a madman: bread, butter, and a bag of potato chips. When any Americans hear of this tenuous combination, the reaction is pretty much:
In fact, just now I was texting my LA friend Jessica about crisp sandos, and she immediately dismissed them as “not real.” Some truths are too hard to accept.

Anyway, though I initially met the idea of the sando with disdain, I was also ever-so-slightly intrigued. There must be something about it! I wanted to find out the dark secret of the shameful snack.

Last night, I decided to put myself to the test. I acquired the needful:
Local ingredients only: Genesis Crafty Belfast Baps, Tayto Salt & Vinegar Crisps, and Dromona Butter. At first, Matt demanded that he butter my bread, because I “wasn’t going to do it right.” There’s the way Irish people butter bread, then there’s the way everyone else butters bread. I’m sure you already know the difference the Irish use it as an experiment to test how much butter a human could possibly ingest before going into cardiac arrest and dying young.

Anyway, I buttered it myself. Mattsy approved, begrudgingly.
Looking at all that butter turned my stomach a bit, but I pushed myself to continue. Time to empty the bag of crisps onto my bread.
I was now feeling a bit faint. Why had I agreed to this? Is this really what my life has become? Will I ever be a real person?

Sick with fear, I took the first bite. Too filled with trepidation to really taste it. I had another, then another.
It was legit. It tasted like a slightly more flavorful, crunchy bread roll. NI, you passed the test but barely. You should still be ashamed of yourself. I know I am.

Still not a real person,


Most people here don’t know about my ultra-feminist leanings apart from Matt, who routinely trolls me by defending sexism and calling me his “helpmate,” LOL. Actually, our band name is Sekuhara, which means “sexual harassment” in Japanese. Our #2 band name is PLANET ROASTY. My third backup band is Muppet Pleasure Thighland, which only does sexy slow jam cover songs from 1996 box office hit Muppet Treasure Island.

Anyway, I digress. The point is that last week, I had a wonderful meeting with a woman who runs a women’s business mentoring/events organization. I just meant to network with her and learn more about what she does, as it’s relevant to my Communist/man-hating interests, but she was kind enough to offer me some potential part-time work! My response:
THEN, this week I had the chance to write a piece for one of my current bosses about women in politics. Loved doing it! Summary:
What does the future hold? How else can I spread my toxic message throughout the province? I can only hope that when I let all hell break loose, it looks like this:
Your favorite fake(according to Matt) feminist,

You say potato, I say YOU’RE WRONG

As you probably gathered from some of my previous posts, peeps be talkin’ a bit differently over here in NI. There are the usual Brit/American divides (bin vs trash, fanny pack vs bum bag, etc), but there’s also very localized speech that you won’t hear anywhere else in the world. I’ve come to love most of these colloquialisms! Here are some of my flavorites can you translate?

“Yer man was a total head the ball.”
That guy was mental!

“Catch yerself on and wind yer neck in.”
Get a grip and STFU.

“She was gurnin’ her lamps out over nothin’, complete melter.”
She was crying over nothing, she’s a crazy person.

However. There are some phrases here that absolutely do my head in. I’ll let Obama (OBAMAAAAAAA!!!!!) portray my reactions to the following terms.

This is one of the best examples of euphemism I’ve ever come across. I wonder if the Troubles were named because people here have always used that word, or if they use it now because of the Troubles?

Well anyway, when people outside NI think of the word “trouble,” they think “misbehaving kid who got sent to the principal’s office” or “bad boy who rides a motorcycle.” People here use it a bit differently.

“He got into some trouble.”
Translation: HE KILLED A GUY

“There was a bit of trouble down the road.”
“Oh, what happened? Loud teenagers?”
“There was a huge riot and a few bombs went off.”
That’s not trouble, dude. That’s a disaster.

You’re thinking, “oh, how lovely! I’m sure she’ll talk more about the delicious NI bread selections!” NO, THOSE DAYS ARE OVER. Back home, “bun” means a bread roll. Hamburger bun. Honey bun. Hot crossed bunzz.

Here, it means literally everything. Cupcakes = buns. Brownies = buns. Lemon bars = buns. If someone offers you a bun, how are you supposed to know what it actually is? USE PROPER DESCRIPTORS, NI.

Beloved NI friend: “Lilly, thanks for the buns!!”

Another euphemism, this time for “being critically injured after being hit by a car.” It probably bugs me so much because every time I hear it, I just think

which is probably not an appropriate reaction. Someone who’s been hit by a car is not gonna be getting back up again anytime soon. Catch yourself on, NI!

Folks, that just about does it for today. Apologies to anyone offended by my cheek. You know who to blame 😉
Let’s call the whole thing off,