A year, in layman’s terms.

What is a year? 365 days? 52 weeks? God help me, I’m struggling not to quote Rent here. I’ve never seen the play or the movie and so any notable amount of derision would be unfair of me…but still. I love me some Mamma Mia, but I’d be lying if I said Broadway was my thing and as such, quoting Broadway would be even more out of character.

Regardless of my non-affinity for America’s West End and my ability to digress on the subject, I was talking about years. A year, to be exact. Three-hundred sixty-five days and the incomprehensible fact that while each and every year is exactly the same amount of time, it does not always feel that way. For example, and I know you saw this one coming a mile away, the past year. Just about this time last year, I was meeting for the first time about ten or so people that would in the space of about 48 hours become some of my closest friends. Since I was without internet at the time, I didn’t even chronicle meeting them, and because the experience is something I want to remember, I’m going to recall a bit for you now. A forewarning: those allergic to high doses of nostalgia might want to skip the next few paragraphs.

The last night my mom was in Norwich with me, she and the family friends we’d been staying with dropped me off at Norfolk Terrace to spend my first night there. My mom’s flight was at six am the next morning so spending the night in the same house was slightly pointless…and I think we both wanted to prove that I could be dropped off and left alone while she was still in the country, just to make it seem less like I was about to live 5,000 miles from home. Our friends hadn’t seen much of my living space, so when they went with us they came inside and I showed them around the flat. My purple-doored room, the yellow-doored toilet, and lastly the green-cabinet kitchen. While admiring the view from said kitchen, a guy burst in and practically had the fridge open before he noticed us at the window. He, in a well composed drunken state, introduced himself as Dan, and after I’d said my name was Kathy and that I’d just moved in, he promptly invited me to the flat two floors up where a bunch of drama students and internationals – the only ones currently occupying the building – were hanging out. It was a casual invitation, and I’m sure Dan was just being nice, but it was amazing. Not ten minutes in the building and I already had plans for the evening. Not only that, but my mom knew I had plans, and felt about a million times better about leaving me in my incredibly foreign surroundings. Ten minutes later I was saying goodbye, knowing that for the first time in my life I was leaving my mother for more than a month – and in a foreign country, no less. Five minutes later I nervously tidied my room (ha! how quickly that habit would die) and then set off up the stairs, following Dan’s super simple instructions as to how to find his room.

I forget who first let me onto the floor -each flat has a key-locked entrance- but they must have led me to the room. Even if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t have been hard to find. Simply follow the sound of uncontrollable laughter to the shoved open door down the hall, with the crazy red-head Australian girl spilling into the hallway.

Somehow I got up the nerve to walk into the room. Well, into what space there was. There were four girls sitting on the bed, Dan ensconced among them. He smiled when I came in and introduced me to everyone, and immediately following a blur of names I instantly forgot and a wave from an apparent fellow American seated on the bed, a dark-haired boy with a heavy accent shoved a shot glass and foreign-labeled bottle of vodka my way and said, smiling, “Drink!!” From there, nearly everyone in the room (who had clearly made use of the first three-fourths of the bottle) took up the chant, and from the direction of a sympathetic Australian – let’s call her Prue =] – I received a glass of cider to chase with.

“That Lithuanian stuff is feral,” she said. “You’ll need this.”

I tried to share the group’s enthusiasm, but my novice self kept insisting I didn’t drink. When this was met with friendly mockery, I conceded to one shot, and the whole drunk room cheered. One nasty shot of Lithuanian vodka and a glass of cider later, I plopped down at the door next to the red-head, who’d introduced herself as Kelly. Sitting there, warm now from the bit of drinking, I felt one of my favorite vibes: acceptance. Yes, I admit, it was the acceptance of happy drunk people, but it was acceptance on my first night alone at school in England, and so I was happy to take it. Not only that, but two minutes later, my fellow expatriot who’d been seated on the bed extricated herself from the pile and joined me on the floor.

“Mad props for being American,” she said, smiling. “And I have to come sit with the only other non-drinker in the room.” And from there she re-told me her name, Maggie, and proceeded to be my guide for most of the evening.

From there, photos were taken, I actually absorbed the names of those around me – Becs, Sharaz, Martynas, Suzy, Kelly, Maggie, and Prue – and I accompanied the group on a vague adventure up the few flights of stairs left to the top of the terrace. I remember getting slightly scared of Sharaz simply because he offered me a cigarette out of politeness, and thinking Kelly was crazy as she jumped around and talked about the wild European trip she’d just finished up called Contiki. I saw the incredibly extroverted side of Becs, who was full of hugs and smiles and insistence on being friends right from the start. Maggie was the cut-a-bitch girl form New Jersey that I soon could not live without, and Suzy – though she doesn’t remember – was chatty, lovely, and generally hilarious. Prue and Kelly I thought were best friends, right up until they told me they’d only met on the bus from the airport to UEA. Basically, they were all amazing and, unlike what I assumed, they all were just as nice to me the next morning as they were during their late-night celebrating. Right off the bat they were fantastic, and I spent most every moment of my days with them.

The rest of the D5 clan, who arrived a few days later, got to play my new-comer role upon spending their first night with us. Again, we were all a bit pissed, and got along famously. I have never known a group of people to get along so quickly and so amazingly in such a short frame of time, and though I give the booze some of the credit, it was still pretty fucking lucky. To not be tired of any of them a year later, and most of us still living together (and by choice this time!), is awesome.

So yeah. There you have it, this time last year, my introduction into my life as I know it. Maybe it wasn’t very exciting on paper, but I hope that at least it was easily skipped for those who were uninterested, and memorable to those that were there.


Thanks to the wonderful event that was Zach moving into the house for reals, I have not only had more going on in my life than work at pastyland, but also, I have had the LUDICROUSLY amazing advent of the TV show Chuck entering my life.

Zach and I powered through the first season in oh, a day and a half, and now we’re forcing ourselves to work through the second season in smaller, spread-out portions. I am in LOVE with Zachary Levi, like, Jon Derek status love. And I am in LOVE with John Casey. And I am in LOVE!! with Awesome. Basically, I’m in love with everything about that show. It is hilarious, amazing, and has renewed my love for Cake. So, unless you think you can get through life without a good dose of this:

…then go watch yourself some Chuck. Mmmmm.

On other television related notes – and there are lots of television related notes, as with school not yet starting, television and pasties are my life – Zach and I are also trying out Deadwood, Weeds, and Mad Men (which I cannot, for the LIFE of me, stop calling Mad Money on accident. SO MUCH FAIL). We’d be getting through a lot more of Mad Men if there wasn’t the prerequisite that I’m-either-working-eating-or-sleeping Sharaz be present, but seeing as Weeds is actually really entertaining I guess that’s alright. Deadwood, I fell asleep during, so we’ll see about that one. And yes, for the record, I am aware of how boring my life sounds right now.

Positive thinking, though: SAM arrives tomorrow! After dallying about in France for a few days, Sam is moving into the house for reals and then finally our house will be full (just like that one show, only without John Stamos and his science-defying mullet-y sexiness). So yay for that. Also positive thinking – I get paid on Saturday and can finally buy groceries. AND! On Saturday, Emily gets here, and on Sunday, Kate and Laura get here! So despite how boring it may sound, life is, at the mo, slightly more than win.

I apologize for the lack of embarrassing foreign adventures or generally interestingness that I like to think my posts usually contain. Hopefully this will hold y’all over until next week when classes start, and I suffer the return of Joad Raymond (and all of the ridiculous Englishness therein). Being in his class again, I’m bound to have some sort of “oh dear god, she is still ludricously American” anecdotes to share. For now, though, I’ll just settle for finishing a post with my (boring) dignity in tact.


2 Responses to “A year, in layman’s terms.”

  1. 1 Maggie!!!! September 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I STILL REMEMBER THIS STUFF LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY!!!! blaaah you make me miss it so much. I wanna come back for law school soon!

    as far as tv goes- TRUE BLOOD OR FAIL.

    surriously, it is so fucking awesome and most of it is on teh int4rwebs.

  2. 2 Kelly September 17, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    You could always try working out to mix it up a little! ^_^ I should have given you that DVD… I don’t use it.

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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie

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