Posts Tagged 'reggie'

We call it neglect.

Neglect. Ignoring important things – people that matter, bills, coursework, maintaining a semblance of organization in my room…the month of October in general.

You could call it fail, too, but that’s a bit rough, and would be a bad way to try and catch up on over a month of not writing. Over a month! Fuck it. We call that failure.

The Month of October:

1. The Death of Reggie. This is a recent occurrence…I believe he died a whole three days ago. I was on my way home from glorious Esme’s with a certain Miss Clements in tow when I decided that a particular gorgeous tree, wrapped in fog and splashed with streetside lamplight, would make an awesome photo. Sans camera, out came Reggie, and what do you know…that was the last I saw of him. Did I put him back in my purse? Did I accidentally slip him past my purse and not hear him hit the ground? Did he jump out a few minutes later when Laura and I decided to run for all of fifty feet? God only knows, but the end is the same. Reggie is dead, and now I have Horatio – a modular downgrade, but we’re hoping an inability-to-get-lost upgrade – and life is good again.

2. A Slew of LCR’s That, Though Thematically Similar to Those of Last Year, Were Definitely Not As Good. Now, this event is pretty self-explanatory. I’m not saying I haven’t had any fun this year – far from it – but it’s definitely not going down the way shit flew this time last year. I didn’t really expect a repeat of the awesomeness of Action Man, School Daze, and the like…but I won’t lie: the LCR, when not packed with three essential Australians, one Maggie McBride, and the entirety of D5 in one orgy of awesomeness, is just not the same. Still fun, and chock full of double vodka Redbulls and the folks that have had one too many – but not the same. Rave on!

3. The Gradual Digression of My Room Into a State of Chaos. Towards the end of September, my room still maintained a shred of identifiable dignity. No longer. Total, we’re looking at one square foot of uncovered floorspace, and my drying laundry hanging on shelves, doors, and desktop until it gets worn and tossed groundward. The three guys I live with are quickly learning that communal spaces can’t really exist without some part of my wardrobe inhabiting them.

4. Classes With One Of My Favorite Teachers Ever. (That would be Joad Raymond.) Legend! I don’t really understand what goes on in 17th Century Writing a lot of the time, but Joad is nice enough to smile and nod when I say things that make absolutely no sense. Like, I don’t know, when I relate the Pastoral movement of Fantasia to a stanza in a John Milton poem. Me and Milton, we don’t really jive. At least thus far in my life, seeing as every time I try and talk about him or something he’s written in a seminar, I end up looking like a complete idiot (i.e. using the word “dude” while paraphrasing Paradise Lost).  So yeah, Joad is amazing.

5. The Ludicrously Beautiful Transformation of Summeresque Norwich into Norwich in the Fall. Maybe it’s because I lived on campus last year and didn’t constantly see so much of the city…but I swear, I never noticed how incredibly beautiful this city is in the fall. Every single leaf is in the gorgeous process of death. That sounds morbid, but maybe slightly poetic? It’s true either way. The trees here are on fire and it’s amazing. Most every time I walk home from work I’m inspired to photograph some part of the journey. That is, when I’m not wearing the Boots of Death and falling on my ass while crossing cross-walks in front of loads of cars. But Norwich in the fall – or autumn, as I’m regularly corrected on this side of the Atlantic – makes me wish that life was a constant Renaissance Faire. I know that sounds like the most random feeling ever, but it’s true. The amazing costumes and drunkeness and endless amount of character that is a ren faire PLUS the gorgeous goldenosity of autumn in this city? I can’t really think of much that would be more amazing.

Speaking of not really being able to think, I’m at a loss mentioning anything interesting that’s happened over the past neglected month. How sad is that? I really should learn my lesson and just not not write for absolute ages at a time. Hardly does anything for my readership, I’m sure.

Completely off topic, but hopefully the kind of interesting something that will keep you clicking back for more, the online game Winterbells (http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/g3/bells.htm) is amazing. Seriously. I have spent more time than I like to acknowledge playing that game, studiously ignoring mounds of coursework. I’m even struggling as I type this to not to hit ctrl + t and open it up in a new tab for a few rounds. I am so lame. Give it a whirl though – in the Christmas spirit! (As somebody who lives in a country that doesn’t wait till the day after Thanksgiving to slather the mall in Christmas decorations, I’m allowed to encourage this).

I am officially coming home for Christmas break! Which is only 47 days away. HOLY SHIT, where does the time go. At this rate I will be violently hurled into the real world and all of the bill-y and career-y and debt-y stuff thus included in about, oh, two days. That is most definitely what it feels like…meaning I should probably get going on that manuscript I’ve promised myself I’ll have finished by the time I graduate. Ah, having the will power to work on the same story for more than twenty pages. I bet that feels awesome. I certainly wouldn’t know.

One thing I do know, once again, completely unrelated, is that I never thought I would drink beer by choice. My whole drinking life it has been disgusting and people have insisted that eventually I will acquire the taste and I have insisted right back at them that no, I will never enjoy the taste of carbonated urine. And then you have me now. Me, who, thanks to a weekly soup-and-beer-centered meeting with Esme and Laura, randomly has the urge to have a beer with dinner. WHAT HAPPENED. I blame Esme and Laura. And living with boys.

Boys who, up until about two weeks ago, loved to do nothing more than complain about how much I shed (to be fair, it was a rather beastly amount). Why don’t they complain anymore, you ask? Because I chopped all of my hair off and am, once again, a pixie! This time, I carry it off a whole lot better and look more stylish than boyish, which was the unfortunate result of the last pixie-esque cut back in my junior year of high school. So yay for whims (Eleanor, that’s you!) and Callum the amazing hairdresser and basically life in general, because no matter how much I procrastinate or neglect or whine or do anything, life is awesome.

Yeah. Top five things I need to remember: Life is awesome.

(And yes, I know that’s not five things.)

 

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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.

Life in High-Speed and Technicolor

If the rest of my life goes by at the same rate as the past two months, I’m pretty sure I’ll be eighty by next week.

Today is March 1st. That is RIDICULOUS! How, how, how can it possibly already be March? My mind is officially blown.

In other news, I turned twenty last week. Something about twenty sounds so much cooler than nineteen, so needless to say, I’m pretty happy. The flat got together and did the cake-and-balloons deal (=]) and we had cheeseburgers and malts. Malts! WIN! I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about making malts, beyond that they’re basically milkshakes with malt, so all things considered they turned out pretty well. Basically, I’m in love with Iceland, and I’m pretty sure that every college town in America needs one.

Iceland is magical. It doesn’t exactly collect the cream of the crop in terms of society, but damn…the selection of frozen food is BOMB, and it is dirt cheap. And it’s frozen. Which means it lasts…basically forever. I can forget about the chicken kievs (6 for £2.50!!) I have in the freezer till next Wednesday and they will still be just as tasty, as opposed to, oh, the mince that I picked up for spaghetti but forgot about and now it’s moldy and ten kinds of fail.

One of the downsides of Iceland is, go figure, their lack of fresh produce. They do have a fresh produce section, but I don’t know if I’d call it kosher. As in, I went looking for some tangerines the other day and couldn’t find any. Found myself a £1 bag of ten “Easy Citrus Peelers” though, which look (and sort of…?) taste like tangerines. Case in point.

On a fantastic food note, though, we have the discovery of MALT LOAF, many thanks to my flatmate Matt. I promise you, you have not LIVED until you’ve had malt loaf slathered in butter. It ranks right up there with Lyle’s Golden Syrup in terms of epic English foods that must come back to the states with me. And in terms of American foods to bring back here come August? How about some Bisquick and some Lucky Charms. Holy shit, what I would do for a bowl of Lucky Charms right now.

This is malt loaf. ITS FUCKING AWESOME.

This is malt loaf. IT'S FUCKING AWESOME.

Lyles Golden Syrup is liquid win and is best consumed on its own with a spoon.

Lyle's Golden Syrup is liquid win and is best consumed on its own with a spoon.

And since I can’t seem to stop talking about food, I’ll go ahead and lay out for you all my current Lenten diet. I’ve given up cookies, cakes, candy, chocolate, and fried food. On second thought, I probably should have given up butter or cider…but last time around (and by last time around, I grossly exaggerate and actually refer to about three years ago) the whole cookies, cakes, etc. seemed to work pretty well, so I thought I’d give it another whirl.

This past week was Reading Week, so I haven’t had any class for ages. It’ll be nice having a purpose in life besides pasties come Monday…er, come tomorrow. Turned in some coursework though on Thursday, so I guess I had a slightly academic week.

Must say though…definitely spent more time with my two besties Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus than I did on my paper. Yes, the Rome bug has bitten again – and this time, I blasted through Season 1 and Season 2 in a concise four days. Why, oh why did HBO cut that series? I kid you not, people…Rome is TEN KINDS of epic, and seriously…if you enjoy quality shows, or anything of the ancient world history variety, or especially if you’re awesome like me and love both, you HAVE to watch Rome. HAVE TO.

Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus: quintessential BAMFs.

Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus: quintessential BAMFs.

Finishing up with that and refusing to come back to reality has me itching for another trip through the fifties/sixties epic movies; you know, The Ten Commandments, Spartacus, Ben Hur, yada yada. Nothing entertains quite like Technicolor and the blatant disregard of race when casting movies of the ancient world. JOHN DEREK I LOVE YOU.

John Derek, my 1950s love.

John Derek, my 1950's love.

[Sidenote: I just searched thesaurus.com for a synonym for ignore. On the sidebar of the results page, it had a “Related Searches from Ask.com” list. Number one related search? Why do men ignore women? Just…at this point in time, no words. Irony for the win.]

For once in my life, last Tuesday, I had GOOD phone luck! Reggie is, I swear, the luckiest phone I’ve ever had. I misplaced him a few weeks ago – left him on the desk in the main office of the Arts 2 building – and Tuesday, once again, I nearly saw the last of him. Amidst a bit of drunken revelry in the LCR, I managed to upend my purse and lose nearly the entirety of its contents. This includes, cause I’m awesome, my ID (£20), my phone (£90), my bus pass (£148), my camera (£150), and my keys (£40). Would you like to know the two items that managed to stay in the purse? Two pieces of chocolate liqueur candy. Of ALL of the things to not fall out…the candy. WTF LIFE YOU FAIL.

Anyway, because Laura and her ENV friends are awesome, we somehow managed to locate all five of those essential items. I don’t even know how that’s possible, almost as much as I don’t know how it’s possible for me to LOSE them all…but hey, it’s a good thing, so I won’t question it.

And right now, just cause I can, I’m going to say how much fun it is creating tags for posts. I know they pretty much don’t even matter…but I’m a fan of making endless amounts of them. I swear, every time I write, I end up with like five more tags than my last post…regardless of relevancy. Once again, because I’m awesome.

It never ceases to amaze me how a piece of information can just sit in your brain and then – BAM! – just re-hit you and suddenly seem like a surprise. For instance, when I was making a mocha (pronounced, by the by, “mah-ka” on this side of the Atlantic…which makes me laugh to no end) for a customer yesterday when I realized, out of nowhere, that next year I will be living in a house that I am paying the rent for using money I earn at a job independent (sans tuition) of my parents. And with three guys, no less. When did that happen? When did I turn twenty and gain that kind of responsibility? It really, really, weirds me out. In fact, if it didn’t excite me about twenty millions times more than it weirds me out, I don’t know if I could handle it.

But, well, as things stand I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be just fine.

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