Saturday, July 08, 2006
Mom came to York on the 28th and then we went to London on the 30th and hung out there for a while and came home on Wednesday. London was a good time and mom had fun, which was good, but it was crazy hot the whole time we were there. It was in the 90s for most of the week, which of course made the front page of all the papers. Lucky us. The flight home was good - pretty uneventful, thankfully. We pulled into O'hare at around 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon and went and got some good American style pizza and equally importantly cold drinks (the English aren't terribly worried about making sure their beer/pop/anything else anyone could drink is cold). So that was a good time. Now I'm just working on getting the next few months of my life figured out and making sure I can take this last freaking class up in Chicago in the fall. Hopefully it'll all work out alright and then things will be happy. That's about all I got right now, and I need to go replace the fuel filter on my car. Man it's good to be back in the States. :/
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Saturday, May 13, 2006
When I haven't been thinking/reading about the history of philosophy, I've been working on getting my computer back up and running so I don't have to keep hiking over to this freaking computer lab every time I want to check an email. It's coming along slowly, and hopefully in the next week or two will be taken care of. Cross your fingers. Also, me and the guys are getting a lot better with the frisbee. I'm told there's an outdoor basketball court nearby, so if we can find a ball I'll work on schooling England in yet another aspect of what makes America great. :) And if I lose, you'll never hear about it, heh heh. It's looking like a couple of us are going to try to get to Ireland around the second weekend of June. I'm excited about that, even if we'll probably only get to see Dublin and nothing else. It'll still be sweet, plus the Guiness brewery is there. Hooray!
Yeah, so that's about all that's going on here. The 'footie' (football) (soccer) is starting up around here, so it looks like that's going to consume most of our Saturday afternoons from now on. I'll see if I can't pick up some idea of what the heck is going on, and maybe I can try to explain the peoples' fascination with sports that involve neither throwing nor catching with the hands. Don't hold your breath, though. Aight, I'd better go so I can meet the guys before the match starts!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Traveling was fun, and hopefully I'll get around to chronicling (?) the whole thing at some point, though I'm not sure if I'll put that up here or not, since I have already got several posts up here from that whole time. We'll see. After Brugge I made it back to England in one day, succeeding in making it to three countries in one day, which was fun. I got to London at a decent time and met up with Andy and Colleen. I hung out there for a couple days, then went to Windsor to see my friend Dan and the castle, which was closed because the queen was there, which totally pissed off all of the locals that I met, all of whom went on a big rant about how I had traveled from the U.S. just to see the freakin' castle and she goes and closes it. I mean how many rooms does she need at one time? The nerve. But the outside was cool. Then I came back to London and stayed there for Easter and then went to Scotland on the following Tuesday, met up with my friend Lindsey and crashed at her parents' place and then proceeded up to Fort William in the Highlands, actually at the base of the tallest peak in Britain. That was cool and beautiful, even if I failed to find the really cool sounding waterfall on this river that runs out of the mountains - possibly because I didn't start walking along the river until almost 6:00 in the evening, though I still walked for a solid hour and forty-five minutes one-way, which I think should be more than far enough to find a freakin' waterfall. Any waterfall worth seeing should put itself within an hour and forty-five minutes of anyone who wants to see it, that's what I say. Anyway, then I was back in York on Friday, did some studying then and on Saturday, too, and finally got to move into my room again on Sunday afternoon. Joy. Since then not much has happened, just studying and hanging out in the flat. It's nice to see all the crazy people again and it's nice to have a home again. I don't know if any of ya'll have ever been homeless for any extended period of time, but the 5 weeks that I was without a real place to call home was enough for me. That's just a stinking awkward feeling right there. So that's the story thus far. Assuming the computer works at some point, I'll have pictures up and that will be cool, including the ones from today chronicling the various stages of me aquiring a face again. They're interesting. Aight, that's all I got right now. Peace ya'll.
Monday, April 10, 2006
So I got here yesterday and there was only one person in the room, this Canadian girl named Sherry. We introduced ourselves and she was nice enough. I went out and saw some stuff, came back and she was in the bar at the hostel so we talked for a few minutes and then I got some dinner, read some, did some emailing and went to bed. Then today I went out again during the day and came back in the afternoon and now there was another girl, this one from Australia, talking to Sherry. We all sat and talked for a while, found out the new girl's name is Megan (pronounced Aussie-style, Meegan) and the all of a sudden the whole room filled up. So after a while we were all hungry and Megan knew about this place that had take-out pasta for like, 2.70! We went there, then got a belgian waffle and came back and now we are up to like, 8 people. It's crazy! And they're all so nice. It turns out that traveling alone has its own perks, like getting to know a ton of Aussies and Canadians (everyone in my room is either an Aussie or a Canadian except one other girl from Alaska - may as well be canadian!). But all in all it's a good time and I'm having a lot of fun with my new friends. Hooray for people traveling alone and in need of making new friends, just like me.
It's looking like the London-with-the-Keltners thing is going to work out alright, which will give me a day or two to plan for the Windsor-with-Dan and the Scottish Highlands trip. Good times. The European leg of traveling was a really good time, and I think Germany was the best part, but Brugges is fun too. It's a small town and has a cool atomosphere, even if it's just because it's made for tourists. It kinda reminds me or York and Munich, both of which have a very laid-back atmosphere and are really good for walking around. Ok, so now I only have a few minutes left so I'm gonna have to cut this short. So much for an in-depth update. But at least I got to put something up about today, and something more substantial than one paragraph. Aight, peace.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Saturday, March 18, 2006
To sum up the trip:
Manchester > Budapest 3/27 10:05 - 13:55 Jet2
Budapest > Munich 3/30 17:55 - 19:15 (Nuembourg) 19:15 - 20:45 Airberlin
Munich > Prague 3/31 11:00 pm - 4/1 8:00 am DeutscheBahn
Prague > Berlin 4/2 17:34 - 22:18 DeutscheBahn
Berlin Schoenefeld > Paris Orly 4/6 8:45 - 10:30 easyjet
Paris > Brugges 4/7 (or 8)
Brugges > Dover 4/8 (or 9)
4/9 - 4/15(ish) > UK travel
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
On a completely different note, it seems like I've brought Illinois over here with me. When we went to Scotland (so, two weeks ago, roughly) it had just snowed a bunch and apparently they got a lot more snow here than where we were, because I'm told of a giant exciting 200-man snowball fight all over campus. Kinda sad I missed out on that, but I got to see Edinburgh, so it's all good. Then, the week after that it was probably in the fifties here, and really nice. Then we got some more rain (which shouldn't be surprising, but I'm told England is in the worst drought since the 60's, so it doesn't rain as much as it should recently), and then the temps started dropping again. A couple of us tried to go rock climbing around here on Sunday, but it was blizzarding (kinda, england style, not illinois style), so we went anyway. We're hardcore. When we got there there was probably a good 2 inches on the ground and it was blowing and snowing pretty hard. Visibility wasn't exactly wonderful. A couple of the guys climbed a little bit and one actually made it quite a way up but didn't want to try the last 10 feet or so because it was really snowy up there and he probably would have slipped or something. I tried to climb (first time!) but that freakin rock was so cold. I got a little way up and realized that I couldn't feel my hands AT ALL so I just sat back on the rope and swung for few minutes. It was really cold. Yeah. Then yesterday it was really cold and windy, kinda like home. Probably the most like illinois it's been since I've been here. And last night it sleeted for a few hours and now we have snow again. Well, maybe it's good for these crazy English folk to get a taste of a real winter from time to time, eh? In any case, it keeps ya guessing, keeps ya on your toes.
Tonight we're going out for the March birthdays that fall during break (there are four of us). That should be a good time, but it'll probably just be really cold on the way to town so I doubt we'll do a whole lot or stay out terribly late. Plus it's the last week of class, so most of us have tests (not me) or papers to write (definitely me). Ok, that's my exciting update for ya'll. Wish me luck in getting all our crap finalized for the trip. We'll probably need it.
Monday, March 06, 2006
1. The center of the city is pretty incredibly historical and aptly called the Old City. There are a bunch of hostels, including the one we were in, that are all right there in the thick of a ton of historical stuff, which makes the city seem pretty stinkin small, since there is so much right there in like, 2 or 3 streets. The other thing that makes it feel small is the fact that it's kinda built on a hill, and from where all that stuff is, if you look to the east, you see New City, which seems pretty small as well. What you don't see, because it's not below you, is the vastness of the city to the west. I'll get to why I know that in a minute. The final reason it seems small is that the little maps you get from the hostel (or rather, we got from the hostel we were staying at, I don't know about other hostels) are not only pretty bad in general (they just leave out some streets for kicks) but only show a tiny portion of the city, which admittedly is more than you could get to in a weekend but still misleading.
2. Within the center of the city which is so small and historic are a couple of really interesting museums including one entirely devoted to three writers. Let me say that again for those of you in America where nothing like that could ever exist (that's pretty much all of you). There was a museum in Scotland entirely devoted to three writers - that means they actually think literature and the humanities are important! Not only that, but one of the writers, Sir Walter Scott, has a giant memorial elsewhere in the city from which you are supposed to be able to get some of the best views of the city if you go to the top. That's a lot of importance placed on writing. Would that America was smart enough to recognize the importance of literature/humanities. (sigh) Another thing in the center of town is a street called High Street. Most cities in the U.K. have a street with the same name, it's essentially the street where a lot of important things are/were, like shops and offices and such. It's kinda like the Magnificent Mile, or more commonly, main street in most towns. In Edinburgh, though, the High Street is also called The Royal Mile. "Why?" you ask. I'll tell you. It's because at one end of the street you have the Edinburgh Castle, which is huge and incredible and actually built on a cliff, literally, on the freaking cliff, like there's no space between the bottom of the castle and the cliff, the walls actually look like they're coming out of the cliff. It's amazing. Ok, so there's a castle, that makes sense, but why call it the royal MILE then? That's because at the other end of the street, there's the Holyrood Palace, which is still used by the royal family. That's right, two ends of a street, two castles! Are you freaking kidding me? It's incredible. The palace is better to see, though, cause it's still used so when you go inside you get to see how a palace looks when people sometimes use it, whereas the castle has been all changed around and in no way resembles a castle, but rather a bunch of museums. I'm bitter.
3. The final thing I'll tell you about how cool Edinburgh is is the reason I know that there is a huge amount of city to the west. There's this peak called Arthur's Seat that's off to the west of Holyrood Palace - it's actually part of the Holyrood Palace estate, it turns out - that you can go up on. It takes about an hour to climb up to the top, and it's quite a way up. It's probably really not much more than a big hill, compared to real mountains, but it really might as well be a mountain in my book, cause it's got cliffs, which I think is pretty cool. So you climb up this little mountain and you can see that Edinburgh is surrounded by snow-capped mountains! It's absolutely gorgeous. I got some good pictures, but I can't get them off my camera to a place where I can actually use them right now, I'm working on it, but just trust me, it's cool. Probably if you google Arthur's Seat you'll see some pics from up there. When you look to your left (facing the city) you see hills and mountains and more city, all very beautiful. When you look to your right, you see the North Sea, also very beautiful. When you look in front of you, you see the incredibly old city of Edinburgh. And when you're climbing up, you are on a little hill to the side of the actual Arthur's Seat and when you look at it you can actually block out all your peripheral vision and see just hills/mountains - so there you are, in the middle of Edinburgh just seeing cliffs and hills and mountains and lakes. It's truly incredible.
So that's Edinburgh. We also went on a whisky tour and learned the different kinds of whisky and how to differentiate, which was interesting. No, they didn't give us more than one taste, but they did give us a real whisky glass, which is kinda cool. And now we're just trying to finalize plans for going abroad over break. It's coming up quick and we've still got quite a bit of work to do, but I think it'll all come together and it's getting pretty exciting. Ok, that's about all I've got right now. If you want to know anything else, just email me or comment and ask. I might answer, or I might just make you live in ignorance. It'll be a case by case basis. :) Peace, ya'll.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
To begin with, I want everyone (both of you out there) to know that I had fully planned to update as soon as I got back from London, however my computer disagreed with that idea. It in fact vehemently disagreed and then went ahead and commited suicide. So right now, I am sans computer. I have to use the pathetic computer labs they have over here and let me tell you, technology hasn't quite crossed the pond just yet. I think I saw a steam boat the other day. Not really, but I think these computers were used along side Apollo 11 and then just shipped over here when we got done with them. It's pretty rough. So that was this week.
The weekend, though, was a pretty good time. I left for London at about 7:00 p.m. here in York. I walked for roughly 45 minutes because I'm just too cheap to take the bus to the train station. No big deal, I'm still ok with having walked for that long, and I'll probably do it again next time I take the train. So I made it to the station and bought myself a tasty-lookin BLT from the little convenience store there. Amazing how decietful they can make these sandwiches these days. It tasted like soggy mush with the occasional crunch of an un-ripe tomato or whatever strips of lettuce hadn't become saturated in the mayo. Not pleasant. But that was my dinner. I got on the train that pulled up and found a seat. Only after it started moving did I realize that I hadn't even taken the time to check and see if it was my train, I just got on. That was a fun little freak-out. Turns out I'm just that lucky, it was my train. So roughly 2 hours later I pulled into London, well I didn't personally pull in, the dude driving the train did, but I was on board...anyway... I got off and called Gina, the Study Abroad Advisor that was in charge of the weekend, but of course she didn't pick up her phone, so I just left a message. I knew where I was going, so that wasn't a huge deal. Although I don't have a cell phone, so the money for that call could have been used elsewhere, but whatever. I got on the Tube and headed toward the nearest stop to the hostel we were staying at. I didn't print off the map because I don't have a printer and I figured I have a decent enough memory, I should be able to find my way well enough. I didn't take into account (as I never do) the fact that English cities are not set up in the Roman style like we're used to, they're way older than that and the roads are still the original ones, so they go pretty much wherever they want to. Seriously, go find an online map of London and when you find yourself assuming that once you're on the ground it can't be as absurd as it looks just believe me when I say it is. In fact, it's worse. So, lucky me, I got to take a little tour of the area around my hostel before I actually got to the hostel. Actually, a big tour. I got to know the area fairly intimately. We go way back now, me and those streets. Well, after about 40 minutes I got to the hostel and got settled. I met my roommate a couple hours later when he came in (most of the people had been there since about 4 or 5 in the evening, so they had dinner together and most of them went out). Fortunately, he was very sober and a generally good guy. That was reassuring.
Day two was fun, and not only because it started about 3 hours earlier than had been originally planned. We found out the night before - or for me just hours before when my roomy came home - that there was a big change in plans and we were getting started at a little before 8 in the morning. Cool. We started out with the free "breakfast" from the hostel (it actually tended to encourage the fasting for a few more hours, so appetizing it was) and then a walking tour. The walking tour was really cool. Well, after I switched groups so that I could get away from the crazy lady with this strange parrot-head clicky thing that made a lot of noise so that people could find her (she was pretty senile, folks, a very strange woman) and got in with the normal tour guide, it was cool. We learned all kinds of interesting stuff about London like the fact that Churchill actually created a tunnel system under much of the city of Westminster (it spanned 2 miles or more) and he and roughly 200 people lived down there for the entirety of WW II using it as the British command post. This was kept secret until just a few years ago when somebody just stumbled upon the tunnels when I think they were expanding the Tube system. You can tour it, now, and it's all exactly like it was when they left, complete with Churchill's cigar stub in an ashtray in the map room - seriously, they just up and left. I didn't actually take the tour, but when I go back next weekend it will most definitely happen.
After the walking tour we went to the National Portrait Gallery. I wish I could tell you that it was really cool, but it really wasn't all that great. They do, however, have the picture of ol' George Washington that's on the $1 bill. So that's cool.
Free time after the gallery, so the four of us from York went back to Westminster Abby and found it closed. But, being brilliant resourceful young minds we went and had a drink and then came back for the Evensong service that started around 5:30. That was cool. Not every day you get to see a service in Westminster Abby. Did you know the kings and queens of England have been crowned there since 1066? Ten freakin sixty six! That's a long time.
Dinner was cool and then we went to a pub in Notting Hill. Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts were both absent, so that's no fun, and the drinks were expensive, which made it a little worse, so we just went back to the hostel.
Day 2 saw another fantastic breakfast and a boat tour on the River Thames. That was very entertaining and if you're in London and have some time to spare, I would certainly recommend it. The commentary guy was very funny and knew way too much about all the old buildings. The boat went to Greenwich, so we saw the division of the east and west hemispheres and ate at a place where the special was stewed eel. Naturally, I went with the minced beef pie. A very tasty choice, and it has the bonus of not containing any eel. Score.
Then we went to a play that night, not much to talk about there, it was a little rough. But not a bad way to spend an evening. The highlight, though, had to be eating at a Japanese restaurant called Wagamama. That was cool. Wagamama. Come on. And it wasn't that bad, either so that's a plus.
On Sunday I met up with Andy for a couple hours, which is always a good time. We ran out of ideas for things to do after our first idea, though, which made it kinda rough. But we had fun anyway. Then I went back to the train station and read until I got tired and then watched football for about an hour and a half until my train left. It was a good time. Two guys got hurt. Cool. A two hour train ride and I was home again. Well, after another 40 minute walk, then I was home again. But all in all it was a pretty exciting weekend.
As if that wasn't enough, on Monday I went into town and came upon a magic show. I think entertainers like that have a knack for picking the American out of the crowd. That's right, I was the one who was asked to come up on stage "ALL THE WAY FROM THE UNITED STATES PEOPLE, COME AND SEE JOE!!!!" to put the straight-jacket on the guy. But fortunately he was really funny and it was mostly painless. Mostly. I suppose the good news is he got out. He was pretty good. And I got to be made a spectacle of. Every American's dream, right? I feel like I've failed the State Department, seeing as how after they issued a warning to all Americans abroad that tensions were high and we should maybe keep a low profile I get called up in front of a big crowd and some guy stands next to me and screams about how I'm "Joe-from-the-United-States" for 15 minutes. Yeah, I should be a spy.
Alright, on that note, I leave you. I hope you've enjoyed the update and thanks to everybody who has sent mail, it's really exciting. Hope things are well at home. Peace.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
So yeah, things have been going pretty well lately. I haven't done much of anything interesting, just hanging out and working on school work and stuff. Although last Sunday we had a little Super Bowl party. That was a pretty good time. The guys on my flat decided that the only way to throw a truly American sports party is to get those hats that you can put beer cans on and then drink them through a straw. So they ordered a few online and they were pretty pumped to use them. I opted not to get one, which turned out to be a pretty good idea, because they don't work all that well. Plus they're just weird. But it was a good time, even though we didn't get to see the great commercials because it was on BBC, and the guys that talked during time-outs and whatnot were Brits who generally didn't know quite what they were talking about. Anyway, it was fun and we all had a good time.
I also found a church to go to on Sunday morning, which was an ordeal all its own. I didn't know exactly where the church was, per se. So I set out from here with a general idea of where I was headed -- I knew the name of the road it was on and that it met in a 'gym' somewhere on the mystery-road. I got to a road on the north-ish end of campus which was pretty much the farthest I had ever been in that direction and I saw a sign for the 'Science Park' -- basically a science complex, kinda like where NCSA and Motorolla, etc are at U of I -- which I remember some of the guys arguing about whether or not they should tell me to take. Some of the said it would work but some others said it was more confusing. I went ahead and walked through the science park. I got to the back of it (north end) and I could see through a fence that there were a bunch of people playing football (soccer) on the other side and it looked like that might be the gym. But I didn't know how to get there, what with this freakin' fence in my way. So I started wandering around and found a sidewalk/path back across a parking lot in the science park (back the way I had come). I followed it to the right (east-ish) side of the complex and found that it went out toward a road that looked like it would go in the direction I needed to go, but I also saw a dirt path through a little forrest-y area that ran between the road and the field where the guys were playing. I took the path (come on, i grew up on a farm, you had to see that choice coming). It was pretty cool, I still have no idea exactly what it is usually used for, because just about 20 feet to the right was a road which surely had a sidewalk on it, but whatever. I followed this path through the 'woods' up and down a couple little hills and next to the football field and it came out onto the road to my right just a little way away from the road that the church/gym was supposed to be on. So I went in that direction and by now it was getting pretty late. I had about 8-10 minutes to find this place. I got to the road and decided I thought the place was to my left and went that way. I walked a little way and there was a little winding driveway that went toward a big complex, but I couldn't tell what it was. I was looking for a sign or something that said "G2 service" or something vaguely similar, but I got nothin. So with about 5 minutes left I decided I'd walk this driveway which looked to be about 75 yards long, give or take, and if the church was there, cool; if not, i'd find it next week. I got to the buildings and I was sure it was a gym, but still there were no signs or anything, except I saw some people walking in that definitely didn't look like they were gonna play squash or lift weights or anything (from the way they were dressed, just to clear that up) so I figured I'd check it out. I walked in and to my left was a little shop (shorts, water bottles, etc), in front of me was an info-lookin desk with a line of people standing at it and to my right a winding staircase. I figured nobody was gonna meet in the shop and I wasn't gonna stand in this line to figure out 15 minutes late where the church met (or didn't as the case may be). I went up the stairs and started looking around. Around a corner to my right there was an open door with a big room that looked like people were in it, so I went that way. Sure enough, that was the church -- still no signs or anything, but it was definitely the church. The service ended up bein pretty cool and I liked it a lot, but finding the place was pretty strange. I think I'll go back.
This weekend is the (semi)-legendary London Weekend for U of I students in England. I'm heading out in about 20 minutes to catch my train and then I'll get back here around midnight on Sunday night. I'm not sure really what exactly we're gonna do but I know it includes tea at Kensington Palace, so I mean come on. I assume the Queen will be there, naturally. If she's not I'll probably protest, but we'll see. Anyway I'm gonna finish getting ready for that. Hope things are going well back home. Have a good weekend everybody.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
University of York
York YO10 5NA
I'm told that you should write ENGLAND in all caps (just like that) somewhere at the bottom of the front side of the envelope. Do that, too. I like care-packages, but I suggest you avoid such items as milk, butter, cheese (obviously), and large animals; it's kind of a long trip. Aside from that, I think you should be good. So now I'll go away expecting a massive influx of packages in my mailbox in the next week or so. (Also keep in mind that it's outrageously expensive to send pretty much anything other than an empty envelope over here, but don't let that deter you!) Aight, later.
Then we wandered around for a while waiting to meet up with a few other people and headed over to this bar called the "Roman Baths" or something like that, cause when they went to expand it a few years back (when it had a different name) they found a Roman Bath-house underneath it! (Roman street level is several meters - yards - below current street level, just because of sediment and whatnot) So we went down there after lunch and toured it. Apparently York was the northernmost point of the entirety of the Roman military machine. This is as far as it gets, and I think they said that under the North corner of the walls (which are still standing) is actually exaclty where the old Roman walls went to, and that's technically the northernmost tip. That's kinda cool.
Finally we went to the Minster, which is that giant church in the pictures. The Minster is pretty much the most mammoth building I've ever seen. It's giant. They have little diagrams that show an overhead view of the city around the Minster and it takes up several blocks (or it would, if the towns around here had any sort of 'block' rather than just winding streets that have no pattern). It is also built on top of a building that the Roman soldiers would have used. It would have been pretty much the center for the military and it was also where anything official would have happened. In fact, it is where Constantine (you might know him from the name of the city Constantinople, now Istanbul, as well as for legalizing Christianity in the Roman Empire and then for making it the official religion of the Empire a little later (i think)) was crowned Caesar. He was with his dad visiting the outpost during his rounds when his dad died and he was immediately crowned by the army. Kind of a big deal. The current Minster took over (wait for it) two hundred and fifty years to build. TWO HUNDRED FIFTY! That means that it took longer to build the Minster than the United States has existed! WHAT???!!! I know, crazy. Just crazy. Just sit and think about that for a while, and then continue reading.
On Saturday night, then, four of us were sitting around playing video games, being board when we decided to go up to flat 6 and, since only one of the girls that lives up there was here at the time, newspaper the whole corridor. It was pretty cool and it took about 3 and a half hours for four of us to do. I've got some pictures, but my camera battery died, so we'll have to wait until I charge it up to see them. Then on Sunday when the girls came back, a bunch of us went up and climbed through the paper into Katy's (the girl who was here this weekend) room and then resealed the newpaper to listen to their responses. It was pretty entertaining, just a bunch of laughing and screaming and "this is so crazy, how did they do this??" and stuff like that. Good times. Remember, these folks are freshmen, so I've got to help get them started off right with college life. Know that I'm doing my best.
Ok, well that's about all I've got. Notice, Ang, that I did throw a couple of paragraphs in there, though it's pretty clear that even within the paragraphs it's fairly stream-of-consciousness. In any case, I like stream-of-consciousness. It's fun. :) Well, I hope you all enjoyed the news. I'll try to do something exciting next week (or remember if I did anything exciting before, and then just claim that it happened more recently). Later ya'll.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
You're a Gorilla!
Highly social and group-oriented, you like hanging out with the same
people constantly. You have either black or gray hair and spend a good deal of time
grooming it or getting others to groom it for you. Sleep is a big part of your daily
routine and you like to either make very loud noise or no noise at all. You have
more skills with language than most, however. One of your absolute favorite drinks
is hot cocoa.
Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Have fun. More later.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
While we were out the other night, someone was saying something about America, I'm not sure exactly what anymore, but it seemed like something about how great it was or something along those lines, but what they were excited about seemed to me to be not so great. So I went ahead and told them that in quite a few ways, America sucks. Sure, it's got its positive characteristics, and they may very well overshadow the negative (the jury's still out on that one, I think), but the negatives are certainly there. I think there were about four or five guys in on this conversation and I remember they all just looked at me in shock. Then they all were just like, "no, I love America. It's great. Sure, there are some idiots there, but they're everywhere. And aside from them, I think it's a fine place." So that made me feel a little better about where I come from. Turns out maybe only it's only the French that hate us so much. And I don't like cheese, as so many of you know, so I really have almost no need for France. It was a good evening, all in all.
Last night we stayed in and some of the girls made pancakes, really more like crapes, not the pancakes of America. They were pretty tasty, though. Then we proceeded to play games on the Nintendo gamecube (they have a gamecube and an x-box in the kitchen, we spend a fair amount of time in there). I'm interested if anyone back home has heard about this game they found recently, it's called Wario Ware or something like that. It is hands-down the strangest game I've ever seen. I can't even describe it, it's so bizarre. Most of the time I just sit and think about the outrageous amount of narcotics that absolutely had to go into the making of this game. So let me know if anyone knows about it, cause you should. It's fantastic.
Another thing I think is worthy of comment is the fact that all my thoughts are in a british accent. Ok, to clarify a little, I usually just have this running commentary going on in my head, like I'm talking to myself but without the insanity that accompanies that. Kinda like JD in Scrubs with the narration. I do that. Does anybody else? I hope so. Anyway, since I've been here and everyone around me talks with an accent, my thoughts are all in that accent. It's strange. Same thing when I read. All with the accent. Anyway...
That's all I've got so far, hopefully it's at least mildly entertaining. If it is, feel free to let me know how great I am. If it's not, keep it to yourself, nobody likes a nay-sayer. Later folks.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
On Sunday night, I got to the university around 6:30 or so and got into my room by about 6:45. York is set up in what they call colleges, which are essentially just areas of the campus. I'm in James college, which is one of the few if not the only one without its own pub. Kind of a downer, but I'm sure we'll deal with it. It's also kinda removed from campus a little bit, but not as much as some of the others. In fact, it's only about a five minute walk from where the History Department is, so it could be a lot worse. So within James college, there are several buildings of "dorms" if you will. They're separated inside by flats (floors), each of which has its own kitchen and in James, each room has its own bathroom. Lucky me. I was met at the door by two kids, John and Jenny, who saw me coming and let me in, showed me my room and invited me to the kitchen where everyone was. I dropped my stuff and went in to find about 10 people standing around; immediately someone said, very loudly, "everyone, this is joe." And then they all turned and looked at me...silence... I still don't know who it was that said that, but I should find them and thank them for that awkwardness. But everyone turned out to be very nice, even though I immediately forgot their names. I left then and tried to figure out how to make the internet work in my room. This is an ongoing process, as I mentioned earlier, so that first night was not terribly effective. When I got back I was pretty tired, so I just went to bed. The rest of the flat proceeded to play hide-and-seek outside, which was pretty entertaining for me to watch from my window as I fell asleep.
Then yesterday I met with the other U of I'ers here and we ran some errands and then walked to Aldi to get cheap food. I was surprised to find that the walk to Aldi passes through the pasture behind out barn back home (the "bottom ground", for you Quakers and siblings out there) - be sure to watch out for the manure...no, seriously, and then a perfectly randomly placed army base as well. It's a pretty scenic trip, I assure you. It all takes about 20 minutes or so. After walking all over the world and buying groceries, I got back to M-block (the building in James where I live) and was promptly invited out with the flat for half-off italian somewhere downtown York and then the possibility of a pub on the way back for the aforementioned John and Jenny's birthdays. I accepted and we (all 20 of us) had a pretty fun evening in which I asked them a lot of probably very stupid questions about conversational english here and things like that and then exposed them to my best southern drawl and the farmer walk (ang, you know what I'm talking about here). I think tonight we're going to go to some inter-collegiate quiz night thing in which different colleges are pitted against each other in a quiz game while, of course, downing as many cans of - you guessed it - whipped cream as they can. Yeah, sounds...interesting. Oh, and Clay, turns out "Bob's your uncle!" is a pretty common phrase here that means good job, and the guys told me that I would probably hear it a lot more often if they could only get a little more beer into themselves. We'll see what happens there.
So for now, that's all that's going on. I hope things are well there, and remember, Bob's your uncle.
p.s. thanks for all the happy comments and emails, they're much appreciated.