Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Welling Christmas

TO: The World
FROM: The Welling sisters

Ashley                                                                                                 Stephanie

Well the holidays are drawing to a close dear friends and I (Ashley) would like to take a step back and reflect on my time back in the ol’ U.S. of A. To start, I think it would surprise even the most exaggerating of exaggerators how many times I’ve been asked to do a Scottish accent. And I might not mind quite as much if I could actually do one but I absolutely cannot.  What comes out of my mouth is some amalgamation of German, Cockney, and West Indian. Don’t ask how I amalgamated all of those, only our Lord and Savior knows the answer to that one. And even he might not know.

The second favorite question is “Why would you want to live in Scotland?” to which I reply, “Because I was deported.” People generally don’t ask any questions after that.

And seeing my cats all my friends has been really great. Everyone’s been saying I’ve lost weight, which I’ve responded to by eating three times my body weight over the last two weeks. First world problems. Oh and I’ve given everyone their Christmas presents which largely consisted of whiskey and whiskey flavored condoms — I think the customs officers at JFK assumed I was both a massive slut and alcoholic with an affinity for miniature whiskey bottles. But truthfully they probably deduced something worse about my character just from the way I looked after travelling for 20 hours, having every flight delayed, sleeping on the airplane, sleeping on the airplane and having half my body drooping out into the aisle giving every passenger free reign to rub their bodies against my hair, being woken up every five minutes by my row-mate who apparently had the world’s most efficient digestive system, sprinting through the New York airport with only twenty minutes to get to my connecting flight, actually making my connecting flight to Sacramento, and so on. 

But it was all worth it. Seeing Stephanie’s crap lousy face, watching endless hours of Family Guy, The Office, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and … *gasp* … writing fiction, has been amazing.

And seeing as I probably will not return for another six months, I’m trying to soak it all in — and “soaking it all in” in Placerville takes like six hours. So I’m over it. Just kidding. But seriously, I am getting excited to go back to Scotland on the 5th and my little family away from family over there.

So followers, have fun ringing in 2012/the end-of-the-world year … God knows I will, and in Berkeley no less. Also, in celebration of the holiday season, we went through twenty-four years worth of photos and picked out the best of the often awkward Welling family pictures.  There are some new ones in there too. And then, read on for Stephanie’s little holiday message and know that I accept NO responsibility for how terrible her writing is as she is on copious amounts of post-op pain medication at present. Enjoy!

Until next time, 


Now let the awkwardness cuteness BEGIN:

Me and Mama. Making Christmas cookies like a boss since 1987.

Brick red carpet and my Christmas swag

I'm not entirely sure if I was about to throw up or help her blow out her candles. 
See Stephanie in the upper right. 

Halloween '92. 

Christmas '92. Also, Stephanie stabbing her doll's eyeball out. (see also: early signs of insanity)

Halloween again. Also, Ashley high at the age of five.

The humans from whence we came. 

Christmas '11



The End ... of Ashley's post 


Stephanie's Christmas break in bullet point form because Stephanie is not completely mentally present at the moment -
  • After many hours, two cups of ginger ale, a brief but wondrous interaction with a man in the Phoenix airport that involved him offering to tape my Macbook charger into the outlet because it kept falling out (see also: true love), an Auntie Anne's Cinnamon-butter pretzel, and the familiar feeling of embarrassment as I descended the escalator in my home airport towards my sister who was yelling out a How The Grinch Stole Christmas reference ("Betty! Hiiii!")
  • Getting up three hours later the next morning for my mother's graduation from grad school.
  • Socializing with extended family.  
  • Correction: not answering a single question about the fact that I just moved across the country for college.  I'm still bitter about that.
  • Driving around to record stores with some old friends.
  • Returning to my old habit of not doing anything with my life.  And also copious hours of Mario Kart. And maybe a couple Arnold Palmer's.
  • Okay like 30 Arnold Palmers.  They're rare in Pittsburgh, okay?
  • Realizing how much I missed driving around aimlessly by driving around aimlessly.
  • Chipotle.
  • And, finally, surgery.  It was this morning and it hurt a little but when they gave me the anesthesia I apparently said "woooooo" and immediately exited consciousness. 
Also being wheeled around everywhere.  I felt like a god.  Bow down to the fact that if I stood up I'd probably pass out, ye minions.

Ashley with our beautiful circa-1998 hand-made ornaments.  Mine is on the left, obviously.


Ashley and Bub.  I guess Bub fears colorful lights on trees.

"It looks cool"

No explanation necessary.

My gifts to Ashley.

 Proof of my Mario Kart addiction. Also Bub.

Bub with Scottish whiskey.

Cue brief Instagram spam of this morning.

 I don't really remember taking this picture.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Missing Link ... bitch

Followers, friends, and bottom bitches, Stephanie and I are taking a break from our regularly scheduled blogging to bring you A BOOK REVIEW TO END ALL BOOK REVIEWS. Which is actually kind of unfortunate because I like reading book reviews … but I digress.

The book: The Missing Link. The authors: Bryan and Brandon. The book: Awesome.

A modern day Lewis Carroll-ish tale of Brent, an IT man disillusioned with his life and job, and his adventures with Mickey, his office’s security guard, as they try to rescue the world and Brent’s girlfriend Molly from the complete collapse of the Internet. With an imagination that would make Dr. Seuss quiver and comedic metaphors that ring more true then … um … something that rings the truth, Bryan and Brandon have really outdone themselves with this one. You’re right there with Molly as she fights off porn sites and scammers, and ingests penis enlargement and weight loss pills. You’re right there with the Downriver Boys (the only group seemingly unaffected by the online apocalypse) as they bear witness to the meltdown of the technologically dependent world above.

BUT I WILL TELL YOU NO MORE … because read you must. How doth one partake in the reading of said masterwork? HERE <-- Click on that OR SO HELP US GAWD

And you know what followers, after reading said book, it got us thinking here at A Tale of Two Continents about just how our world/Placerville would be affected by the complete and utter disintegration of the world wide web. Our consensus? It wouldn't affect us one god damn bit. Now, for any of you privy to the location of our little hometown away from home, you are aware that about 75% of its residents are not all together learned on the existence of the internet. Indeed, the new-fangled "satellite internet" did not make its debut until about last year, thus leaving us little Placerville-ites with dial-up and an approximately 45 minute wait time between the initial click and the final loading of any particular web page. But we still appreciate where you're going with the book guys, we really do. 

Now to explain the video below. You see dear followers, Bryan and Brandon issued a challenge to the world. They proclaimed, “PROMOTE OUR BOOK SLAVE AND WE’LL FEATURE YOUR BLOG ON OUR BLOG” — except they didn’t say it like that at all. And our response was, to quote the late, great Winston Churchill, “BRING IT BITCH.”

So we dedicate this blog post to them, our friends, and wish them the best of luck with their self-publishing endeavors. And in celebration of their new literary feat, we made them this little video which you can find the link to below because Youtube was being a poopy face tomato nose and wouldn't let us use Selena Gomez songs without her permission and, as we all know, permission is for squares. So we used Vimeo instead ... ENJOY: The Missing Link Video link <-- AWWW YEAH 

Also, I ask that you forgive Stephanie her blasphemies Bryan and Brandon, all the good chromosomes went to me … she can’t help it.

Just a little taste ^ ... and in case you're wondering, my shirt says, "Jesus is my bro, bro," but due to Stephanie's cinematographic genius, she cut it off. 

Love love,

Ashley and Stephanie 

P.S. I think we found the gremlin that ate your ethernet cords ... and in NO WAY is that an iPod charger. And in NO WAY is that our 20 lb cat BUB. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Until January, Pittsburgh.

Like Ashley, I am returning home to California  And, like Ashley, I will be positively delirious with exhaustion and jet lag and I'm probably going to think goats with top hats are trying to explain string theory to me halfway through my flight home.  I did have a final at the wonderful hour of 8:45 am, but did my alarm clock care?  No.  I woke up at 10:30 screaming bloody murder and trying to convince myself I was still dreaming because there is no way you can be 2 hours late for a final and still take it.  I sprinted to my classroom and flung open the door dramatically and my panicked eyes found my teacher, expecting him to tell me I was too late (events may be dramatized for effect).  Instead, he handed me the final and told me to finish it in the library.

So I took the final and I think I did pretty well.  That's that story.

And then our mother's graduation from grad school is tomorrow morning at the crisp hour that is 8 am. And then I have surgery on Monday.  It's not a big deal.  Really.

I am going home.  I am sitting at my gate, a perfectly timed hour before we board.  I have a Subway foot-long on my right and my charging phone on my right (as to deter the sit-right-next-to-you-even-though-there-are-like-five-thousand-empty-seats person) and I could not be more excited to be back in California. 

Ashley is currently home, for those who were wondering.  She lost her luggage and one of her layovers was in Reykjavik, Iceland.  Since I'm pretty sure none of our readers know this: I am absolutely in love with Iceland and I don't think it's fair that Ashley got to be the first person in our family to be in that wonderful country and not me.  It's not like I discovered Iceland, but it's like I did.

I have a layover in Phoenix.  I've never been to Phoenix so I am quite excited to see what their airport has to offer.  Everyone is like LOL IT'LL BE SO HOT BRING SHORTS because apparently the Phoenix airport has no roof and/or stable indoor temperatures and the elements will be blowing amok and I will be sweating profusely and wishing I had brought shorts to change into.  I don't understand why people think this way.

In any case, I believe Ashley wants to make a video as her next blog post and she requires my master technical skills and by master technical skills I mean she needs to use my camera because her camera doesn't take video and mine does.  So, expect that to happen within the next week or so.  I will probably be in it so you all get to see how utterly dull I am when a camera lens is pointed at my face.  It'll be fun.

And now I must devour my sub.  It's been waiting patiently for me and I cannot deny it any longer.  Farewell, Pittsburgh.  I'll see you in January.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Goodbye to Scotland ... for three weeks

So I’m making the 8000-mile journey back to Californ-eye-ay in three days and as per usual, I’m avoiding packing as if it were … um … any other adult obligation. In case it isn’t already obvious, I have a phobia of adult responsibilities similar to the fear that some experience when they are in the presence of a bear, a shark, or a bearshark. Take your pick.

Sure I’ve looked at my suitcase a few times. I’ve even gone so far as to look at my suitcase and my closet in rapid succession — but as far as moving anything from said closet to said suitcase is concerned … nah, none of that. And plus, I think it’s going to feel a little strange going home. I believe this will be due in part to a few things: 1) jet lag times a thousand 2) trying to maintain calm while I once again switching sides of the road 3) getting used to Stephanie’s stupid face again 4) Getting used to Stephanie’s Grand-Theft-Auto-esque driving style again 5) having the ability to watch 15 hours of Family Guy and The Office at my leisure 6) Being able to cuddle with BUB at my leisure 7) trying to overcome jet lag by sleeping in a twin bed I’ve had since I was 2 because the queen size bed I’ve had since I was 13 flew off my dad’s truck when I was 22 and trying to move back home, thus lodging itself under a semi-truck on Interstate 5 … never to be heard from again. Also, I think it’s just going to be strange being back at my house, for a few reasons. Sometimes the problems you left at home are still there … waiting for you to walk through the door so they can punch you in the crap lousy face. Also, not being around the people I’ve been in the presence of for a solid three months will be weird. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

And of course there will be inquires in regards to my time here — some of them will most likely be how Scotland is different than the states, what I’ve learned since I’ve been here, how hot the men are, etc. So let me try to sum it all up:

Dail chuach am bainne ghobhar, suath ri d’ aghaidh, ’s chan eil mac rìgh air an domhan nach bi nad dhèidh.

In Scottish Gaelic that means: With violets and goats’ milk anoint your face, and every king’s son in the world will be after you. That’s it. That’s all I’ve learned about Scotland and that is what I’ll tell everyone. Dump a crap ton of goat’s milk and petals on your head and every guy will want to tap. Makes sense.

So my friends and foes, wish me a safe 18 hour journey and know that the next time you shall hear from me I will be back in my cozy little twin bed with the broken springs, all curled up in my mountain of blankets while my sole source of heat (a small and shitty space heater) tries its damndest to heat up my half-underground, -723456732 degree (Fahrenheit) room. I can’t promise you anything about the quality of the blog as I believe hysteria is the third stage of hypothermia … but don’t quote me.

And here are some photos I took within the last week:

Let's be honest ... they usually are 

On the way to Stirling ... *cue Enya

A cafe in Stirling 

Mean streets

I think we all know of whom I'm referring to in this one ...

I mean, that's just funny

The castle was like, directly to the right ... I think we got it

My friend Kasie from California came to visit moi

I almost did it ... almost


Yes please

Yes please, part 2

Thanks Stirling 

Fun fact, William Wallace stayed here when he backpacked through Europe

George's Square in City Centre. They get supes into Christmas. And for the last god damn time, 

Fun Fact pt 2: They sold Disneyland balloons at George's Square. Don't ask questions. Because I honestly don't know.

Maturity is the name of da game

On the ferris wheel with the bitches. I look like I'm about to sneeze. 

Fun Fact pt. 3: Kasie got asked by a elderly, drunken Scottish woman if anyone had ever milked her due to the bovine nature of her hat. Which, ironically, someone has. 

George's Square contd. 

Fun Fact pt 4: I did not fall once while ice skating ... weird. 

Leaving the Christmas festivities

The Queen Street rail station.