Posts Tagged 'england'

Totally unnecessary, but totally called for.

By popular demand and due to a severe amount of procrastination, here I am, writing on this blog after months of cruel disuse. A few things indicate that I’ve waited way too long to post again – one being that I’m now in my third year, rather than my second, and two being the fact that WordPress has totally reworked their website since April when I last graced the bloggedyweb. Luckily though, I have managed to find my way to the “Add New Post” page, so I guess I might as well give it a shot. I figure if I can’t help the word count on my coursework that’s due in two days, the least I can do is throw a few paragraphs up on here. (And I mean that in the least projectile-vomit-sounding way possible).

How is life in jolly old England these days? Well, to be completely honest, it’s terrifyingly quick. Sadly, this version of speedy passage of time does not have the harmless connotation of first year. No, time passing quickly these days means impending visa applications, house searching, dissertation writing, job searching, and GRADUATING. I don’t really know why I put graduating in caps there when really it’s the most harmless thing on the list (after all, how scary can any event involving something called a mortar-board be?). Every item on that list comes sooner with the passing of each minute and that, my friends, is very, very, scary.

In a way, the future is exciting. It’s where I get to find an amazing job and do what I love and start to be an adult (no, I don’t need to know that adulthood is highly overrated). I like to think that if I had the guarantee of finding a job I’ll enjoy that pays for room and board (and shoes and clothes) I’d be far less stressed about life. I’d also feel a bit closer to that guarantee being a possibility if I had ANY clue whatsoever as to what I want to do with my life. These days I find myself going through a panic phase. Suddenly, “being good at writing” doesn’t mean shit, and I feel hardly qualified to do anything more than make you a cappuccino, plate up a pasty, and ask you if you’d like ketchup or brown sauce with that. The past three months have seen three different (unpaid) blog contribution gigs come and go, and in each instance, I found myself completely struggling. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I always thought I’d be an amazing blogger. Hence, you know, the blog. But look at me! I am completely and utterly sucking at it, both here and on other peoples’ websites. How good of a writer am I when really, when it comes down to it, I don’t have all that much to say?

Now this all probably sounds a bit doomsday-ish, in terms of how I see both myself and the near future, but fear not, readers (all 2.5 of you). I am, when not spending too much time at the cafe, in excellent spirits. For one, I’m going to see the MOTHERFUCKING GOO GOO DOLLS on Monday. Yes, you read it right. In 48 HOURS, I will be front row (open floor, and I’ll be damned if I waste my one opportunity to lock eyes with Johnny Rzeznik) swooning to the Goos. Spare me your judgement as I OMG for ages. THE GOO GOO DOLLS. SO EXCITED!

I’m excited about non gig-related things as well. For example, here are three AWESOME reasons to be excited about right now, in order of arrival: 1. MAGGIE MCBRIDE. 2. LAURA WELLS. 3. KELLY HOPKINS. Now show me a person who is not excited by those three people and I will show you a blob of failure. You toss in Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and the fact that once those pass, the days will slowly stop becoming mind-numbingly short, and I pretty much cannot complain. Life is about the awesome people in it, not the random shit you have to work through, so following that logic, I’ve got the best life on the planet.

Please excuse my total lack on continuity in this post…really, it’s just a distraction from my looming essay. It seriously blows my mind how an hour ago I was immeasurably inspired and confident about those 1500 words and then, when I sit down to actually give it a go, I instantly am immersed in hopeless lethargy. And, even when I conquer the lethargy, it’s only to go on Facebook to chat with the person sitting next to me (Sam Wilson) or to hit up WordPress for a long over-due post. I’m really, really hoping that when it comes to my dissertation, my brain is a bit more cooperative.

What is my dissertation about, you ask? Why, what a good question! Sadly, my 1500 word doom is calling, and I don’t have the time to tell you about it. But tune in next time kids, because as possibly THE worst hook in blog-posting history, that’s what you’ll find out next time on the ludicrously unreliable blog of Transatlantic Kathy.

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One helluva week.

I’m doing my best to make do on my once-a-week promise, and it would seem I’m a little late. Frankly, though, a little late is more than I was expecting, so I’m going to keep thinking I’m awesome and run with it.

It’s finally stopped being sub-zero wear-my-gloves-all-the-time freezing in Norwich (though I hear the freeze is returning to us soon), and I have definitely flown about a million different directions this week in terms of school, friends, and general awesomeness, so I will try and pause the madness to inject some new happy ramblage into my transatlantic.

For starters, if you didn’t throw a calendar in my face, I’d have a hard fucking time believing I’ve only been in the country for a week as of today. The last seven days have been some of the longest and most ridiculous of my life, for reasons both public and private, and sometimes it just does not feel possible for time to move so incredibly slowly. I know that comes off in a slightly depressing way, implying that all of this lengthy-but-not-lengthy time has played out for depressing reasons, but alas, this is not so! I’ll start proving this to you by telling you how amazing my first classes of 2010 are so far.

Tuesdays at 10.00 AM (an semi-ungodly hour, but manageable) find me in the Arts 2 building, taking my first literature class NOT based around one of any numerous classics that the canonical world of English literature apparently finds wordgasmic. That’s right, I am finally taking a contemporary literature course! I find this very exciting, as I am one of the most un-English major English Majors out there and find myself untterly disenchanted by many of the traditional, canonical texts required of my course. I haven’t yet read anything for it (here’s hoping that’s not true about 12 hours from now when I walk into the classroom…the first book is ready and waiting for this post to be finished), but if my general contemporary experience is anything to go by, it should be an amazing class. I still haven’t quite worked out how I feel about the teacher though; I’m a lit major, but I don’t look down my nose at the people that enjoy cheap best-sellers…which clearly he does. Maybe it’s because I plan on writing something that’s more entertaining than intellectually stimulating and life-changing, but that’s how I feel. As long as people are reading, who the fuck am I to judge them?

On that stimulating classic note, though, we have Shakespeare – and I’m not going to lie, I am more than excited for this one. Lectures by the likes of Peter Womack, Joad Raymond, Tom Rutledge, etc etc – who wouldn’t be? It’s like the poster-child lecture list from the Facebook group I was just invited to join – The Thinking Woman’s Crumpet. Now that group is a blog post topic to itself, but I’ll stay on track here, and meander back to Shakespeare (who, I have to say, should he have looked anything like Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love, would fit right at home on that lecture list). It’s my one class with the epic Lewis Clark this term, so granted I always sit next to him in lecture, I will always be paying attention to the subject matter at hand. There’s that, and the fact that I have Joad as a seminar leader again, and I swear, if I make myself look like an idiot one more time in one of his classes, he really will just straight up laugh in my face. So we’ll see how that resolution goes.

Midday Friday is my favorite time of the week, as it’s my creative writing class. This term I’m taking Creative Writing Drama, specifically focused in the Film and Television realm. SO EXCITED. I’ve only had one class so far, and in one session, it’s been the most motivating, promising class I’ve taken since I got here. It really made me feel like I have a plausible future in writing, and it made me realize how amazing it would be to achieve that. By the end of the course I’ll have written my first screenplay, which won’t be impressive to a twenty-million-scripts-under-his-belt Stefan Smith should he ever read this, but I’m incredibly excited. Basically it’s the best two hours of my week!

So anyone who’s been anywhere (and wow, I mean that in the least contrived, least snobbish way possible) knows the saying “it’s a small world”. Right before Christmas break I yet again learned the truth of this statement, as via one happenstance conversation with someone at my work, I found out that I am not the only Oak Ridge High School alum working at the Chapelfield Mall. In Norwich. In Norfolk. In England.┬áThat’s right guys, even though I’ve probably walked by the guy in Raleys, I had to move to Norwich to meet him! It is seriously a small world. I can’t get over it!

On an almost equally ridiculous note, I just want to throw out a recent encounter with an object that, at least in my experience, is an entirely hot-beverage-loving English creation. It is the Instant Disposable Teacup Maker Thing. Basically, it’s this like little cup-holder that turns any Dixie disposable cup into a teacup. It’s kind of amazing. And probably exists somewhere in America, and I’ve just never seen one. But I love it, and I love thinking of it as basically an English invention that further proves their love of tea.

Another Englishy note that I failed to make last term when I first realized it was my love of having local shops. Over here, most every neighborhood seems to have a local corner store where one can pick up any foody sort of items they might need to stock up on. I have a local shop (a Co-op, to be exact), a local green-grocers for fresh fruit and (gonna be english here) veg, and a local butchers, for fresh, AMAZING-smelling meat. I’ve already heard Simon, who’s off being a jayhawk at the University of Kansas complain about the lack of a local shop. Rather, he’s had to hitch a ride to Wal-Mart (welcome to America!) to pick up snacks…like CHEEZITS, oh my god, I miss Cheezits. Simon, I hate you.

I’m realizing at the moment that while my post is sort of on the lengthy side, it doesn’t quite fit the whole “helluva week” implied in the title. I’m okay with that, though, as it is definitely the most apt description of my week, whether you’re getting the sense of that or not. And I really need to stop so I can go do some actual coursework.

So, there you have it, in it’s not exactly epic glory – my first resolution-keeping post. Now I have to go read some contemporary lit named Morvern Callar, and hope Eleanor’s not exactly positive review is just a bad joke. Otherwise, I’m up for a long night.


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie
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