Archive for November, 2008

Two chickens, four pies, and 16 people.

Thanks to Prue, Maggie, the amazing I-owe-her-hugely awesome Rachel, and the other 14 people that participated in Thursday’s American revelries, Thanksgiving was AMAZING.

I shall photo-collage a bit for the few of you that haven’t seen the Facebook proof.

Basically, because I haven’t said it enough, it was wonderful and awesome and amazing. There’s lots to be thankful for, that’s for damn sure!

Now it’s time to dive back into that which is the, oh, 4,000 or so words of coursework I have due at various points during the next two weeks. Yeah, wish me luck with that – top five things I’m NOT thankful for.

Then again…HOME IN FIFTEEN DAYS.

=]

Prince John Does It Better

So I don’t know about the rest of you US citizens, but I personally had never really encountered much use of the phrase “aha” as a form of laughter online. Since I’ve been over here though, I’ve seen it multiple times. And it cracks me up. You want to know why it cracks me up? Well, watch the following video (best example at 0:43) and you’ll hear what I hear every time an English person types “aha”.

AMAZINGNESS.

(Moving on.)

I had two British English to American English mistranslations today. Number one would be when I got baffled at work when an amazing little old lady asked me if the guv’nah was in. I blinked at her and said, “Erm…would the…guv-ern-errrrr be the…manager?” And she just laughed at me and said yes. Oh man, I felt really ridiculous. Then hours later I listed off the dishes Maggie and I would be whipping up for our pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner and got a serious WTF from everyone when I said, “Ohhhh, and the biscuits will be AWESOME with gravy on them!” Here, for the record, the word biscuit is nearly synonymous with the word cookie. So to be fair, I’d be pretty WTF if you told me gravy would be AWESOME on my cookies. FAIL.

Anyway, everybody have a happy Thanksgiving, and hit this epic blog up sometime over the weekend – I promise, there will be pictures (and if I know my flatmates, stories to match) a plenty of the transatlantic-reppin’ revelry!

One sublime Saturday, please.

Corny sounding, I know, but bear with me. It was seriously sublime.

For starters, we have waking up in the hallway – and no, I did not do so in a drunken stupor. Nope! I woke up on my mattress in the hallway. Surrounded by other people on their mattresses in the hallway. Do you know why? I’ll tell you. Because we had the GENIUS idea Friday night to move all of our mattresses into the hallway and have a sleepover. Yeah, can you beat that? No, no you can’t.

So already my Saturday was pretty awesome. But then…THEN! Then I looked out the window, and what do you know – it was SNOWING! We all promptly threw on scarves and coats and boots and ran through the snow and admired our wonderful grounds – that is, the grounds that are not the buildings – when covered in a flurry of snow. It was absolutely amazing. There is something unmatched about looking up into a skyful of snow. Best way to start the day.

Then you counteract the chill of being in the snow by running back inside and promptly throwing yourself back into the pile of blankets and mattresses in the hallway and then proceed to spend the rest of the day repeating these two activities…interspersed occasionally with bits of food, reading, and chatting. Goodness, it was an unbeatabley perfect day. The only way it could have been even more perfect would have been with the presence of a certain Prue and Maggie. Alas, they are off in Dublin and Belfast having Irish adventures. Epic sadness!

As it was, though, it was a grand Saturday. A perfect day to not have work. Absolutely sublime. So good, in fact, that I don’t mind having work tomorrow.

Especially because I FOUND MY KEY!!! I may not have mentioned it at all earlier, but I’d lost my key in the incredibly tidy super organized and ridiculously meticulous (read: well-loved and notorious pigsty) that is my room. AHH! You just don’t even know how amazing that is. PERFECT end to the day. Really. Just. WIN.

Besides a bit of Prue and Maggie, there is one single thing that would have made today positively unreal and that, my friends, is a Snooks Black and Tan. If you live in the Folsom – El Dorado Hills area, please go buy and consume one on my behalf. You’ll pretty much end up owing me because it is THAT awesome. Promise promise.

Oh, and just because I love you and don’t feel like forcing you to hit up my facebook, here are some shots of the local landscape when en-snowed:

p.s. I’m rereading A Game of Thrones for the millionth time. Still amazing.

Me these days.

Zach just walked by my room singing “I can ride my bike with no handlebars” and I was totally okay with it. That song is awful, and I hate it, but when you hear it with an English accent…it is so much win.

I had a heart attack when writing a paper the other day because I thought I had a class that I had been somehow unaware of for the past two months and would then have automatically failed. It was horribly stupid of me – I simply skipped over the bit that said Spring 2009 – but really, I can’t even tell you how freaked out I got for those five minutes. It was really, really awful.

To counteract that, we have me making an ass of myself in seminar, which was really funny. My professor was long-windedly lecturing the seven person class on how to write an essay, delaying the class discussion on the assigned reading, which I totally hadn’t done (to my credit, this was only because I was unable to get my hands on a copy of the book because Borders doesn’t stock it). Thus, I was a-okay with the endless essay lecture. As the professor keeps going, he gets to the end of a particularly ponderous sentence and then suddenly says, “Oh, this has turned into a sort of monologue…is this helping? Should I keep going?” And do you know what I say? I’m leaning back in my chair, arms crossed, zoning, and I hear him near a potential stop in his lecture with twenty minutes of class to go, so I say – while literally batting my hand at him once – “Oh, you can keep going”. As if I had to give him permission to speak. I can’t quite translate how horrible this sounded in person via words on paper (which I guess is testament to my need to improve as a writer), but goodness, it was bad. The rest of the class – professor included – just burst out laughing. It was horrible and hilarious and very typical of me these days.

I’ve been here two months now and the accents are finally getting to me. Every time somebody says something, it’s like I hear an echo of it in my head and I get the sudden urge to try and say it back to them in an English accent. This results in lots and lots of me restraining myself, and when that fails, this results in epic failure. Seriously. My flatmates have laughed at me more times than I can count because of this. It’s just kind of ridiculous.

Beyond all of that, which truly isn’t all that much, I am sadly short of things to report. Not that things haven’t been happening…nope, that is most definitely not the problem. Just that time seems to be flying by at this incredible rate and I don’t even have time to record all the things that are going on!

Think of it this way…a month from today, I will be back at home. Crazy things life, crazy things.

Being productive, and why it isn’t exactly fun.

I just hit ctrl+s for the last time on my Literature in History essay. I couldn’t help myself, though. Before opening a tab to email the doc off to myself for printing in the school library, I had to open my three obligatory tabs: Facebook, Myspace, and The Superficial (guilty pleasure). Unfortunately, nothing new had happened on any of the three sites since I’d last visited.

Granted, my last visit was probably, oh, ten minutes ago…but still. A new pointless update on celebrity lifestyle, or maybe a wallpost or two would have topped off my finished essay just enough to make it worth checking. Oh dear…potential sundae-metaphor has me craving a Snooks black and tan, and not for the first time this week. Mid-essay, around three last night, Sam and I commiserated the lack of burgers and fries in the flat. Definitely going to fix that today.

Which brings me to the point of today! Being productive. That’s the point of today, and yesterday, and it’s a little too much for my liking. Maybe I’d be of a different opinion had I gotten more than an hour and a half of sleep Saturday night (thank you random group decision to basically pull an all-nighter the night before I have work at nine) and not left my 1500-word coney-catching Literature in History essay untouched until nearly twelve hours before it was due, but hey, that’s what I did. So the latter bad decision resulted in a second nearly all-nighter, which compounded the former bad decision. Toss in the fact that my MUST do laundry date has just fallen on today, and that I desperately need groceries, and there you have it! Whether I like it or not, Monday, November 10th, will be a very productive day in my life.

And I’m not the only one being productive around here. If you think about it for a second, you’ll realize that Thanksgiving is probably not on the English to-do list (though that doesn’t stop the baked-potato shop [no joke] next to my pasty shop from having a “Thanksgiving!” three-for-two 99p deal on garlic bread [???]). Yeah, it’s kinda weird, but I never really was a fan of turkey. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the pseudo-Thanksgiving that Maggie and I come up with for the flat was primarily comprised of just pies. Anyway! When there’s no Thanksgiving, no Macy’s day parade, no requirement for fall decoration past October 31st – do you know what that means? That means that BAM! First day I came into work in November, there was garland and there were Christmas trees and there was fake snow and ornaments strewn where-have-you throughout the entire mall. For the whole of November! That completely boggles my mind!

And as if that were not bogglatory enough, there is the RIDICULOUS amount of shopping that said decorations immediately triggers within the British shopping population. Seriously. I thought there was some sort of economic crisis? But nope. People can still afford to buy so many bags of stuff that it’s impossible to not jab people with while walking past (and not apologizing for doing so, as they just don’t do it here) and then they waltz on into my work and drop £15 on pasties and paninis and toasties. It’s ridiculous!

But it also means I get more hours, and thus more money (though apparently less sleep), so hey, I’m not complaining. Well, I am, but only for the sake of cultural observance and surprise at the monetary science (or lack thereof) of it all.

Oh, and can I just say how vastly unfair it is that I can just pop off 600 words for this blog in twenty minutes but I struggled bitterly for an hour over the last measly 200 words of my essay? Life, you are unfair. Even for a lit major. Who wishes she could just be a creative writing major. Even though that makes it sound like she has no desire to learn about the amazing writing of those before her and just wants to get on with creating some amazing writing of her own.

Okay, time to print. Really now. Time to go off and be productive!

The Presidency, James Bond, and Pumpkins.

Apparently there’s some sort of election happening tomorrow. Does that throw anyone else for a trip? It also boggles my mind that for three of the four years that this next sirrah will be in office, I will be living in England. Bizzarro. Me, Maggie (my resident fellow American), and the “globally conscious” of my flatmates are considering hitting up the campus pub for the 12AM-6AM live-stream coverage. Because NOBODY here has a TV…not that I blame them. £130 TV license fee? Not so much.

Since you all know how much I absolutely adore talking about politics, I’m going to move on. To James Bond. And how AMAZING it will be when pretty much my whole floor hits up the Odeon in Norwich to see its epicness. OH MY GOSH, STOKAGE. Nothing is better than Daniel Craig* striding across the big screen in thousand-dollar suits and Armani. Or exploding an Aston Martin or two. BEAUTIFUL. Well played, Mr. Flemming. Well played.

Lastly, we have pumpkins, and how amazing Halloween was. Hit up the facebook for photos of my amazing Cleopatra-ness, and the zombie and pinup and pumpkin and mad doctor -osity that was my floor.

Before my creative writing class today, I was feeling a bit blerf about things. However, there’s nothing like remembering what you love in life to make you feel a million times better. Writing and everything therein for the incredibly epic win.

That’s all I got for now. Apparently there is some sort of traditional Lithuanian food cooking in the kitchen, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was curious. Life is amazing, even if the food is a bit questionable.

*It should be noted that every time I say Craig and pronounce it “Cregg”, Simon Partridge nearly goes into cardiac arrest. Thus I am slowly adapting to this strange “Crayyyyg” business.


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie