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Andrew’s whirlwind weekend

Episode description

Andrew talks about his super busy weekend that included not only celebrating his birthday but also celebrating his first wedding anniversary. He also teaches you how to use the expression to pull out all the stops and gives a preview of the next Culips episode.

Note: The words and expressions that appear in bold text within the transcript are discussed in more detail in the Detailed Explanations section that follows the transcript. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Andrew:  Hello, everyone, it’s Andrew here and I’m by myself today, this is going to be a solo episode today. We’re going to try something new here at Culips. And that’s short, weekly episodes that I’m planning to do just by myself. So of course, we’ll still be releasing longer, deeper, more detailed English lessons with my other cohosts every week. But in addition to that, I’ll be making these short episodes too. You know, just a bit of bonus English learning content for you to study with. We’ll also make the transcript available for these shorter episodes free for everyone to learn with. So, make sure to visit our website Culips.com and get the free transcript for this episode.

If this is your first time listening to Culips, well welcome to the podcast. We’re glad to have you here. At Culips we make conversation-based English lessons that are designed to help you increase your speaking and listening fluency, to learn natural English expressions, and of course, to understand the culture of English-speaking people as well. So, guys, I hope you had an awesome weekend. Me? Well, I had a whirlwind weekend, it was really wild, and pretty tiring, to be honest. Thursday was my birthday and I turned 38 years old. Can you believe it? I can’t. 38, Wow! It’s a bit scary, just saying it. I think I’m really starting to get up there now. And this was the first birthday that I’ve celebrated with my wife since we got married. So, she really pulled out all of the stops. To pull out all of the stops means to put a lot of effort into something. So, she really pulled out all of the stops and made my birthday really, really special. She decorated our house and made a bunch of delicious food, a kind of “East meets West” concept. There was some Korean food, and there was some Western food. And she even got a little custom cake made that had an image of me made and designed from icing on the cake. So, it was really cool and a delicious cake to boot. I’ll include a couple of pictures in the transcript for this episode so you guys can take a look at the cake, and all of the amazing decorations and food that she made. So, when I came home from work on Thursday, we had a little birthday party, and it was really, really special.

And then on Sunday, my wife and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. And again, this blows my mind, I can’t believe that we’ve already been married for a year. The year just flew by, it went by so quickly. And I’ve always heard that the first year of being married is really tough, and that you should expect a lot of fights and disagreements. But that wasn’t the case for my wife and I at all. Everything was smooth sailing for us. It was just easy, and a great first year of marriage. And considering that for a large chunk of the year almost the whole year, we both worked at home, and we spent almost all of our time together all day, every day in the same apartment. I think we did a really great job. No big fights or arguments or disagreements. We got along really, really well. So yeah, we celebrated our first anniversary on Sunday. And to celebrate what we did was we went out for a fancy-shmancy dinner. Fancy shmancy. Fancy shmancy is just a funny expression that we use when we talk in a kind of comedic way about things that are a little bit expensive or excessive. So my wife and I, we wanted to celebrate our first anniversary in style. So, we went to a nice restaurant for a dinner that was a step above, shall I say, a big step above the kind of restaurant that we usually go to. And it was really nice, we ate some delicious food. We originally wanted to go away for a weekend trip to the seaside. But now that we have our pet dog, Pinky, making a trip like that is pretty difficult for us. We don’t own a car. So, taking Pinky on the bus or train is really the only way that we could get there and that’s not really too comfortable for him. We’re hoping that maybe in the next year or two, if everything goes all right, maybe we could buy a car. But for now, we were just happy to celebrate our first anniversary here in Seoul where we live. So, guys, usually the weekend is a time to recharge your batteries and get ready for the upcoming week, but to be honest, I didn’t really get a chance to do that this much last weekend, so I’m planning to have a low-key week this week. Low key, low key, very important low key. When we describe something as low key, it just means quiet and relaxed. So, for this upcoming week, I’m planning to have a low-key, quiet, and relaxed week, which I think is really needed after the whirlwind week that I just had. Here at Culips, the next episode that we’re going to be releasing is from our Catch Word series, which is our vocabulary series. So, this will be a vocabulary lesson, where Kassy and I are going to teach you all a couple of idiomatic expressions about people who are really hip and are up to date about the newest trends that are happening. So, we’ll be releasing that episode a little later this week, so please keep your eyes and ears open for it.

It’s time for our vocabulary focus for this mini lesson guys, we are going to take a look at an expression that I used in the first half of this episode when I was telling you about my weekend. So, one of the things that I said was that my wife pulled out all of the stops when she threw me a birthday party. In fact, let’s listen to that part of my story one more time. This was the first birthday that I’ve celebrated with my wife since we got married. So, she really pulled out all of the stops. So, she really pulled out all of the stops. Okay, so I want to focus on this expression to pull out all the stops, because it’s a really common and natural English expression. And knowing what it means and knowing how to use it in your own English speaking will really improve your English and make it sound natural. So, to pull out all the stops simply means to put a lot of effort into doing something, okay, you put all of your effort, all of your time, all of your blood, sweat and tears, maybe all of your money into doing a fantastic job. So, when my wife threw me a birthday party and she pulled out all of the stops, it just means that she really put a ton of effort into making sure that the birthday party was a success and that I enjoyed it. So, I have some example sentences here that I prepared using this expression to pull out all the stops. I’m going to read them here for you so that you can hear how we use this expression in a natural way when we’re making some sentences. So here we go. Sentence number one: The hotel staff pulled out all the stops to make sure the guests’ visit was as comfortable as possible. The hotel staff pulled out all the stops to make sure the guests’ visit was as comfortable as possible. So yeah, in this sentence, the hotel staff pulled out all the stops to make sure the guests’ visit was comfortable. That means they put a lot of effort into ensuring that the guests had a comfortable stay.

Sentence number two: I pulled out all the stops to make sure I got an A+ on my project. I pulled out all the stops to make sure I got an A+ on my project. So, let’s break it down. I pulled out all the stops to make sure I got an A+ on my project. This means that I put in a ton of effort, I worked really hard to ensure to make sure that I got an A+ on my project. Okay, I worked really hard, studied hard, and got an A+.

Final sentence, sentence three, go go! Rachel pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline. Rachel pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline. So, I think you all understand what this means, now. You’re experts about this expression, right? So, Rachel pulled out all the stops to meet the deadline simply means that Rachel did everything possible, everything that she needed to do. She worked hard, stayed up late, all of these things, to make sure that she met her work deadline and could finish her work before the deadline. Okay, everyone, that brings us to the end of this first weekly mini episode. I hope you enjoyed it. I would love to hear your comments or feedback. If there’s anything you’d like me to do or talk about in this kind of short, casual episode, just drop me a line and let me know, you could send me a message through our Instagram page. A direct message is a great way to reach me, you could leave a comment on our discussion forum or the comment section of our website, which is Culips.com. Or you could send me an email directly. My email address is andrew@culips.com.

Everyone, I hope you have a great week. Happy English learning this week. Let’s get it. Let’s go. Let’s have a great week of English study. And of course, we’ll be back soon here with that Catch Word episode which I mentioned earlier. So please look forward to that. Take care everyone and we’ll talk to you soon. Goodbye.

Hosts: Andrew Bates
Music and sound effects: Pixabay.com
Episode preparation/research: Andrew Bates
Business manager: Tsuyoshi Kaneshima

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4 months ago

The cake that your wife made for you looks really cool! I could tell how many stops she pulled out of! (Can I say in this way?) Happy belated birthday, Andrew.

Andrew from Culips
Andrew from Culips
Reply to  atsuko
4 months ago

Thanks, Atsuko! A clearer way to say it is: I could tell that your wife pulled out all the stops 🙂

4 months ago

Happy birthday Andrew! I wish you the best! Thank you for the fantastic episode! You have pulled out all the stops to write this transcript for us.

Last edited 4 months ago by priscilla
Andrew from Culips
Andrew from Culips
Reply to  priscilla
4 months ago

Thanks very much, Priscilla 🙂

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