Posts Tagged 'awesome'

38°N, -121°W

This is what I want right now:

[photo credit Erynn Embree]

That is all.

Ps. The above numerical blaaaah would be the geographic coordinates of Folsom, California. Which is the only place on the planet where you can currently secure the above photogrpahed deliciousness. Helllllloooo first stop of the summer! Speaking of summer…oh, the thought of lying out under the sun…basically, it will be amazing. Okay. Done post-scripting.

All that and a packet of crisps.

I know, I know, I know….I know. I’m a failure. I’m an absolute liar and clearly resolutions of the successful sort are not my thing. I haven’t written in more than a month – I don’t even want to check and see if I can use the plural there. So much has happened that it’d be literally impossible to pop it all on here, and even if I did, I’d say you’d get bored…because I highly doubt that if I wrote up what’s been going on since January, it would read about 1000 times slower than it actually happened. Seriously. My life since January has been about five seconds long.

Somehow we’ve reached mid-March and my month-long spring break. No more coursework until April, and even then it’s not all that much. If I’d been bothering to write on here you’d already know tons about the class I’m stoked to write for, that being my Creative Writing Drama class which is basically the most amazing class I’ve taken at UEA. You’d also know more than you’d care to about my HORRENDOUS contemporary fiction class, which with the exception of a select few is full of ludicrously pretentious assholes who think that if a novel is enjoyed by the general public, it is instantly without any literary value. Yeah. Two hours of that a week, at ten on a Tuesday morning. Indescribable fail. Counterbalanced with two hours of scriptwriting though, it’s doable.

I’ve been busy and a half giving tours and the like for the international office. Once, end of February, I even accidentally volunteered to give a speech on the social life at UEA to a lecture theater full of international students. Being an ambassador is definitely still awesome. The other day I got an email from a student who basically read just like me two years ago this time, when I had just applied and was scrambling to mail all of the paperwork and praying to god that I’d get in, despite the fact that I knew next to nothing about UEA, or living in England in the first place. It blows my mind that that was TWO YEARS ago. How much have a I changed? Oh, I don’t know. A TON. But in the best way!

Lacking a laptop since Thanksgiving has definitely not helped with the staying-on-top-of-the-blog thing…I know, there’s a library IT center full of computers on campus. I’m not gonna lie…I’ve mostly just been lazy. To be fair, I stay plenty busy with class and work at the pasty cafe, and my social life hasn’t exactly been on pause, so I don’t have the most spare time in the world. I’ve actually reached that balance of pleasantly busy, where I stay out of the house enough to truly appreciate the small amount of time that I spend in it. I’m thinking that’s a good thing, though it might get totally destroyed by spring break.

Spring break! Tons and tons and tons of time to relax, and hopefully in time to soak up some delicious weather. I’m considering getting another piercing, and it occurs to me now that I haven’t written on here since I spontaneously got my nose pierced. At least I don’t think I have? Well, if I already did, there it is again. Anyway! I’m thinking about getting another piercing, though which piercing that is I’ll keep quiet for the nonce, and we’ll see if I can resist my way through March and April.

Another thing I might need to resist…well, I’ve still been wearing my hair pixie short, but I haven’t gotten it re-dyed since December and Callum, the legend who does my hair, took a hair sample to see how light I’d be able to go. That’s write, light! As in…bleach blonde. Bum bum buuuuuum! Sounds crazy, I know, but that’s what everyone said when I suggested the pixie in the first place, and look how awesome that turned out! So who knows…I’ll have to stop by the salon this week and check out the sample, and then we’ll go from there.

I realize at this point that I’ve done little to sound transatlantic so far, but I figure since it’s been so long, I’m allowed to spend a post simply updating you on my life. You know what, beyond the title – the English version of “all that and a bag of chips” (which I will note nobody actually uses and I’ve just proudly translated myself) – I really haven’t said anything about England at all. Alas, such is life. I promise next time I come on here (and it won’t be two months from now!) I will fill you to the brim with Englishosity. Until then, though, I must give Sam back his laptop and get ready to bid him farewell. That’s right, spring break means Zach and Sam will be departing for the month. Sadface Mcgee =[

Stay tuned though! I promise to try and stay interesting. I mean, it’s sorta the least I can do after nearly two months of neglect.

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.

Pirate keys and pounds – yes, I still live in England.

When Lindsay and I were in high school, not only were we dorkily awesome, but we epitomized our dorky awesomeness in a book creatively titled The Book. Somewhere around junior year The Book and its relevancy petered out and retired to Lindsay’s house, but from its birth sophomore until that untimely end it was incredibly entertaining. Now, unlike some capital B books in high school dramas, our Book had nothing to do with our peers, and everything to do with ignoring our existence in high school in El Do and looking forward to how amazing the rest of our lives would be. The night before I left to come back to England, Lindsay unearthed The Book from some corner of her ridiculously organized room and brought it to my house for some much-needed reminiscing. It certainly served its purpose, because looking back through it, we found a page titled “A Day in the Life”.

The gist of this particular exercise was to imagine what, in an ideal future, a day in our lives years from then would be like. I like to think that I was a fairly normal teenager, and that as such I had the fairly normal desire to skip high school and go straight to college. That said, my “Day in the Life” had me stationed knee-deep in university, having the time of my life, not in America, but – where do you know it – in England.

Now I’m not going to pretend I’m psychic or prophetic, but I’m also not going to pretend that I didn’t find the whole thing incredible. It sounds cheesy, and corny, and any other ill-chosen food word used to describe general triteness, but my dream pretty much came true to a transatlantic T (minus the degree in Archaeology I apparently had planned [???]). This thought occurred to me not only as Linds and I paged through The Book, but also today as I walked through the little gate to my rowhouse and unlocked the front door with my pirate keys. My life is pretty awesome, and I am incredibly lucky to have it so.

And yes, I totally just said pirate keys.

How awesome is that? I’d post pictures of my house as well, but Reggie and my gimpy camera are somewhat fail at the moment and make doing so really past any level of motivation I currently possess. I will, however, give you the following one-sentence summary: four bedroom, one bathroom, three boys, and a galley kitchen. Those seem to be the most life-affecting highlights I’ve discovered so far. Oh yes, and no drier…which seems to be a general English thing, rather than a students-are-complete-cheap-asses-and-can’t-afford-one thing.

On that note, I ventured out into our small backyard the other day to, for the first time, put out my laundry to dry on a laundry line. Sharaz had already done so a few days ago, and partly because he doesn’t need the clothes but mostly because he’s a lazy ass, he’d left a few bits of his laundry out. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem…but when a few extra days outside means SPIDERS BUILD WEBS AROUND YOUR CLOTHING, it means I, as a fellow lazy person, suddenly have no desire whatsoever to dry my clothes outside. So I substituted a laundry line for my kitchen counter.

Besides indoor chores like laundry and feminizing the otherwise plain and boring kitchen, I have work at the pasty cafe to keep me busy until school starts on the twenty-first. Oh! And I have one other, newly acquired activity! You are now reading the blog of UEA’s Student Ambassador for America. I don’t know how long the job goes for, but I do know that I love UEA, I love England, and that I could probably sell the idea to anyone and their mother that’s interested. The job entails, as far as I know at the moment, an hour’s worth the work at uni each week, and emailing/contacting prospective American students that are interested in the general transatlantic business, specifically in the East Anglian direction. I’m really excited, because not only does it sound like resume material – it sounds like something I’ll be sincerely interested in. And will get paid for!

Now that I live in a house, I feel ridiculously adult. I paid my first rent yesterday with my own money, and due to the gloriousness that is the student loan system (no, we don’t talk about future crippling debt on this blog), I will be entirely financially independent this year. It’s a very strange feeling, but I feel like it’s a huge achievement, and, debt-that-I’m-invariably-ignoring aside, I’m really excited and proud of myself. Yes, this has turned into a bit of a narcissistic post, but hey – since you’ve made it this far, I promise to stop talking about how awesome I am.

Instead, and as an exciting bit to leave you with, I’ll talk about how FANTASTIC!!! it is that this year, both in the fall and spring, I’ll be seeing fellow Californians doing the abroad thing! Jaime and her roommate from SDSU will be in Granada for the spring semester, and Wes is au pairing in Munich. Bharath is even in London, so hopefully I’ll get to see him to. That said, anybody heading in this general direction – let me know! You have a free place to stay, and I’d love to have you. You’ll just have to ignore the pigsty that is my room and the size of the couch you’ll be using as a bed. Other than that, good times, I promise you.

So at the mo, such is life. Back to the queen’s currency – which I am unashamedly a fan of – and to swashbuckling keys. That’s what happens when you call Narrich home.

Bitch best blog more!

For starters, I just thought I’d say how much I love hearing that people read my blog. A bit self-important, I know, but it’s nice to know that people either care enough or are bored enough to read a bit about my life. I don’t think I thank people enough for stopping by, so as my favorite McBride would say, there that is.

To trade in for my three sentences of self-importance, I’ll share how I’ve suffered twice (in recent memory) for my lack of Englishness.

I work at a pasty cafe. Most of you know that. Now, working at a pasty cafe, you get asked a certain variety of questions and as such are readily prepared to answer most any of them. For example, “What flavors of pasty do you guys have?” Or, “What comes with the light lunch?” Even once, despite seeing our display full of fresh pasties, “Do you guys have any pasties?” I won’t lie, I have my moments where I mess things up, but generally speaking I am entirely capable of running the counter on my own.

That is, of course, until a man approaches the counter, and to the best of my hearing, he inquires if we have any “oise”.

“Any what, sir?” Mayyyybe I just heard him wrong.


Maybe not. “Pardon me?”

Impatient look. “Do you have any oise?”

Shitshitshit, still have NO idea what he wants. “I’m sorry sir, just one more time for me…”

Cue the GOD, how stupid IS this girl? look. “OISE. Do you have any OISE??”

“Excuse me, let me get Abbie.”

Abbie walks up, all smiles. “Hello there, what can I get for you, sir?”

“I just wanted to see if you have any oise.”

“Oh, no sir, I’m sorry, we only have the cold drinks. We don’t have any ICE.”

ICE?! Ice?? I am sorry, but there is no way on the PLANET that that man asked me for ice four times. Nope. Oise, yes, he asked me for oise plenty of times. But ice? I don’t care how strong your English accent is…oise? And for the life of me I don’t know how Abbie understood him. And on the first time.

The next day I was in the kitchen talking with Sharaz when he starts telling me about this really funny thing that happened to him the other day. Sharaz, for the record, works at the bar at the Holiday Inn in town. So he deals with a variety of customers (hello gypsies!), including many very English ones (Norfolk Turkey Association, anyone?). Aaaanyway, he starts telling me how this guy came up to the counter and kept asking for something and Sharaz, for the life of him, had no idea what the man was talking about. Turns out, all the guy wanted was some OISE. So I take that as proof that I’m really not all that retarded at living in England. Yes, you could point out that English is my first language and it’s not Sharaz’s and therefore I have no excuse. But you’re not going to, because we’re all awesome here, and we’ll just write off the whole “oise” scenario under the same category as the soup story.

We sell a variety of soups at my work, depending on the day. This particular day, we were serving Tomato & Basil soup. I regularly get ridiculed by my managers as to how I pronounce this certain kind of soup (toe-may-toe and bay-zil), because according to the English, I say it ten kinds of wrong. You’re supposed to say,  “toe-mah-toe and ba-zil”.  Which I never say. And has never been a problem.

Cue ridiculous English lady.

“Excuse me, what kind of soup are you serving today?”

“Toe-may-toe and bay-zil, ma’am.”

“What was that?”

“Toe-may-toe and bay-zil.”

“Pardon, what are you saying?”

“Toe-may-toe and bay-zil…” Still getting a blank look. You have GOT to be kidding me. FINE, I’ll say it:

“Toe-mah-toe and ba-zil…?

“Ahh, yes, thank you!”

At this point, all of my co-workers were listening and watching from the back, busting out laughing. Because what’s funnier than watching me be forced to speak English-English as if American-English were incomprehensible? Apparently, not much.

So there you have it, two accounts of me still being blatantly American, in all of their over-written glory. Totally could’ve reeled off those stories in two sentences…but hey, as a certain Lindsay Ransom and I believe, what is a good story if you tell it too quickly?

Speaking of Lindsay, I have her to thank for my recent return to the land of jukebox classics like Stay by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. God, I love that song. And, for letting me play it and all the other classics I don’t have on itunes to death. I’d say I’m just waiting for someone to come complain about my Happy Days overplaying, but halls are basically empty due to our current month-long spring break.

Yes, UEA for some reason has a whole month off for spring break. And can I just say quickly how much I hate using the term spring break now thanks to Sam Wilson? Every time I use that term in his presence, he drops his voice an octave and shouts “SPRING BREAK” in his best MTV spring-breaker impersonation voice. Because apparently spring break is less of a widely-used term here, and more of an Americanized concept of what kids go do during Easter holidays.

EASTER! I can’t believe that it’s this Sunday already! This is where I’m supposed to tell you that I’ve been an amazing Lent-er, and kept up with all of my dietary promises of a few entries ago. Sad to say, I survived a good…hmm, let’s be honest here…a good six days before I lost it. Accidentally, mind you – but I just as easily could have gone back to the Lenten diet after I realized I’d broken it. Instead, I continued HORFing down my deep-fried tortilla slathered in guacamole and sour cream and decided to be a bad person. So much fail, I know. I’ll blame my over-extended Ash Wednesday ambition for that one.

My Easter plans, if all works out for the best, include visiting the awesome-sauce Zach Coventry at his home in Kent. Kent! Does it get more English sounding than that? Well, I guess it could, if you lived there, and your last name was Coventry, and your middle name was Westwood. All of the above of which apply to Zach. So that makes Zach one of THE most English-sounding people on the planet. Brings to mind a certain picnic filled with Mr. Wheatsworth and some large-leaf lettuce leaves…oh, amazing times.

[Just hit 1111 words! Make a wish!]

If you’re wondering where the name of this post came from, you can thank Alex Davis and his literary, word-phrasing genius. And if you’re wondering if I intended on making this the most name-drop-tastic post I’ve ever written, the answer would be no. But that hasn’t stopped it from certainly becoming such.

In other news, life is a bizarre breed of amazing right now. I’m looking forward to summer, not really believing that we’re already a week into April. How the hell I’ve been living in another country for nearly eight months is beyond me. I watched the film Amélie the other day, and it solidified my need to go see Becks in France. Granted, the film is a bit on the quirky side, but I love it, and it does a fantastic job of capturing the whimsically happy feeling of everything being alright.

I admit I got a little screencap happy there for a second, but seriously. I love looking at anything from that movie…it is one of the most visually engaging films I’ve seen in a long time!

And in hopefully my last segue of this beastly post – speaking of films. I watched Elizabeth the other day as well, and might just have re-fallen in love with Vincent Cassel. Most of you likely won’t recognize the name, so I’m going to be awesome and jog your memory, starting with this gem:

Voice of Monsieur Hood? Yeah. Vincent fuckin’ awesome Cassel. He plays himself a badass Russian mafia guy in Eastern Promises, (okay, so Nikolai could probably kick Kirill’s ass, but come on, Nikolai is theoretically Aragorn, so whose ass couldn’t he kick?) and is part of the super classy, unfairly attractive cast of both Ocean’s 12 and Ocean’s 13. Here’s a sample or two, if you have a few minutes to spare:

So much win! Okay, I’m done with the clips and the pictures and the segues, I promise. Just go watch Amélie, or something with Vincent Cassel in it. That’s all I ask!

Besides that – that being the ridiculous 1456 word post I just threw at you – life is strepless, class-less, and definitely still amazing. Even better? Home in two months. Home, and summer.

And as we all know, there’s nothing better than a lazy summer with the crazy kids of El Do.  ♥


So here we go.

I spend far too much of my time looking up absolutely ridiculous things on the internet. With the help of websites like Cracked, Wikipedia, Digg, and the like, it’s pretty impossible to run out of invariably interesting, funny, and stupid things to read.  Now that I’ve given you a sentence with six commas, I’m going to set you up with some of the stuff that recently has made me crack a smile or two. God knows sometimes that’s what you need in life.

I found these first three on a Top 10 Impersonations list on Unreality. If you’ve got time, you should check out the other ones they have listed. These three are just my favorites.

Don LaFontaine, with a bit of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Must watch.

Nicholas Cage – Oh my gosh, I love this one.

15 Seconds of Christopher Walken

Another awesome thing I found, and I think this one I found through digg, is the epicness that is Wordle. Basically, you put in a paragraph or a whole document or a website, and Wordle takes it and turns it into a hot piece of graphic win. Here is a Transatlantic Kathy wordle:

Pretty win, no? I thought so.

Personally, I think that every once and a while there’s nothing better than a bit of internet time-wastage. At least this way I got you off of Facebook for five minutes.

I know, I’m awesome. I do what I can.


Reggie, Manfred Mann, and other reasons not to complain.

I have been here for nearly six months and today, for the first time, I attended church at Norwich Cathedral. It was long overdue, I know…but as they say, better late than never.

The service was amazing. It took a little longer to walk there than I thought, so I was about ten minutes late. Thus, when I entered from the small door in the back the choir was in the middle of singing a hymn. I can sit here and try to tell you how amazing it is hearing a monstrously huge pipe organ and the incredibly talented Norwich Choir harmonize in a 900 year old cathedral, or you can just trust me when I say that it gave me goosebumps. I still can’t get over the fact that people regularly attend church in such an awe-inspiring, spectacular place.

Among other religious firsts, I’ll note that this was the first sermon I ever heard where it was preached that part of the listeners’ Christian duty, in terms of achieving world peace, is to help put a stop to climate change. I’ve grown up in a pretty conservative church environment, so needless to say, pro-environmentalism (if you decide to call a simple decision to live sustainably an environmentalist attitude, rather than a simply logical one) was never really a sermon theme. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my church growing up, and it was hardly preached to drive a Hummer and never recycle. In the same vein, though, I highly doubt many members of the LCMS church find themselves voting on the left side of the ballot. It was, simply put, interesting to see church from a visibly more traditional view (900 year old building, traditional liturgy, etc.) while hearing a slightly less traditional sermon.

When I got up for Communion, I was advised by the woman sitting nearest me that I should bring my bag with me to the front of the church, as sadly before people have come in during service and “nicked” the bags of Communion-goers. Seriously. How much of a conscience do you lack if you steal purses from women while they Commune? Things like that in the world make me pray that my faith in karma is not misplaced. Anyway, the reason I mention it is because after service the same lady spoke to me and chatted with me for five or ten minutes, asking me if I was visiting, or if I attend church at home, etc. It was just really nice that in such a huge, intimidating church setting the members are still incredibly personable and, well, nice. I really, really enjoyed myself, and now that I have myself a bus pass, I’ll try and go every Sunday.

Last weekend was spent in utter relaxation, sleeping 10+ hours both Friday and Saturday night, wearing pajamas for most of both Saturday and Sunday, and curling up in bed eating take-out fish and chips and finishing Devil’s Brood (Sharon Kay Penman = HISTORICAL FICTION LOVE).

This weekend has been 48 hours of compensatory productiveness. I woke up and left for town at the unheard of hour of 9:00 AM with a certain Laura Wells and then proceeded to pick up my paycheck, do some much-needed exploration of hole-in-the-wall Norwich shops off of Haymarket, and pick up a week or two’s worth the groceries at Iceland. It was pretty awesome when I arrived back at the flat at 12 and only found one or two people awake. Since it was a particularly gorgeous (albeit FREEZING) day, I brought a blanket out next to the lake and laid down in the sun. Within half an hour enough clouds had showed up to block out the sun, so that was the end of that. Still though…it was absolutely fantastic. Even more so because I made myself a bacon sandwich when I got inside.

One of my amazing finds yesterday, among other things, was a perfect little record shop near Haymarket. It’s just one small room overstuffed with vinyl, with brown-and-honey-colored speakers that remind me of my grandparent’s house hooked up amidst framed album covers and blasting Manfred Mann. I picked myself up a vinyl Cat Stevens album, partly because it was Cat Stevens and vinyl, and partly because it came with an original poster of shirtless, lei-bearing Cat Stevens playing acoustic at some unnamed blue-walled venue. It’s on my wall being epic as I type…I am in love.

Sadly, I have no academic misadventures to report or to amuse you with. That’s doubly disappointing since I seem to fail at constancy these days…you’d think I would have embarrassed myself tenfold since I last wrote.

I can, though, report that I nearly have my housing situation worked out for next year. That, combined with my realization that in terms of rent and bills I will be financially independent next year, AND with the fact that on the twenty-third I turn 20, makes me feel very, very strange. And adult. You’d think that the whole living in a foreign country bit would go a little farther in acquainting me with feeling strange…but alas, the feeling is just as bizarre now as it was a year ago.

Wish me luck though, guys. No matter how the current numerous roommates situation works out, I’ll be living with three boys. Having no brotherly experience, I’m sure this will be quite an adventure…though, if nothing else, the material I’ll get over the next two years will be boundless, and unavoidably amusing.

Speaking of the other gender, I have a new man in my life, and his name is Reggie. He’s not actually a man in any way, shape, or form. He’s my anthropomorphized phone, and he fucking OWNS. I can now skype anyone at any time via Reggie, and in what is bound to cause my death, I have unlimited access to Facebook as well. Because skype is awesome, I was finally able to get one of my epic friends from my old church on the phone the other night to play six months of conversational catch-up. Communication can at times be a bitch, but skype goes quite far in terms of making it simple. I’ll be doubly making use of that now, as Prue, one of my best friends here that hails from Australia, has left England and after six months of being abroad, returned to her half of the globe. FAIL.

None of you can see (that is, none of you that are reading this and are not one of the ten people I live with), but MY ROOM IS CLEAN. This is absolutely unheard of, as I usually live in a state of general explosion, where the only clean surface is my sink…and that’s only on Wednesdays, when I have to move everything off of it so that Paula, the cleaner, can wash it off.

That, plus the fact that my new tongue-piercing has officially healed and I have the new, much shorter bar in, makes life quite nice at the moment. I can say, temporarily, that I have no complaints!

Let’s try and keep this going, shall we?


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie