Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things the British Hate

-- Electricity. There are no convenient sockets. This goes for the Dutch too, apparently.
-- Hot water. I mean, clearly they love it for tea, but it takes a while for the water from the tap to get warm. Although, once it does, it is HOT. So maybe scratch that one.
-- Comfortable showers. Most are hardly big enough to turn around in, let alone shave your legs.
-- Normal toilets that flush all the paper down in one go and display your poos properly. Actually...just normal bathrooms in general. What is so hard about putting the toilet and the sink in the same room??
-- Chaos when they can politely queue instead. If nothing else, the Brits sure as hell know how to queue.
-- The letter Z. Not only do they call it by a different name, but they don't use it in half the words we do (realise, organise, etc.).
-- Top sheets. Self explanatory.
-- Screens in the windows and doors. They claim there aren't enough flies here to justify the screens.
-- Scotland.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Not Sure I Like This New Blogger Look

Cheers from sunny (it's actually pretty overcast and rainy here most of the time) London. That's right, London, UK. I've been here for eight days and just over 20 hours. I'm staying in a beautiful little flat that's not really that small -- not when it's just little old me living here -- facing the river Thames, and Greenwich (yes, THAT Greenwich, that of the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time) right across the river. Greenwich is a lovely place, and if I look out my southeastern most window I can just see the square where the foot tunnel comes out and the touristy downtown starts. It's gorgeous when the sun sets and reflects orange from the sky and the water onto what I think is the Old Royal Naval College but actually have no idea as of yet. Pictures to follow someday, I hope.

There are fun things here, like wee little cars and a store called ASDA that's owed by WalMart (and you can tell just as soon as you step through the doors) and people who -- amusingly, at least to me -- only dress in black or grey or brown or tan paired with muted pastels, the only color in their wardrobes showing in the form of a handful of red jackets. I must stick out with my yellow and orange and green skirts and bright blue rain jacket that I wear every day because you never know when (not if) the skies will open up for a little sprinkle. There are red double decker buses and red phone boxes and red over- and under-ground trains and lush, spilling gardens wherever people can find the space; I've seen residents of some places with two or three square feet of green space on their property squeeze in half a dozen different flowers and plants, just because they can.

There are hard things here as well: living alone is the biggest one so far. I work at least 10 hour days and sometimes have dinner or drinks after work, I spend the large majority of my day surrounded by at least a handful of people; at times I've been around 20 at once. I have exactly five contacts in my little not-phone I use for the time being, and I can contact and talk to any of those five people whenever I want. I can also call back to the States whenever I want -- free on my end, probably not so much Stateside. None of that, however, changes the fact that when I do finally come back to my flat at the end of the day, I come back alone, and change my clothes and brush my teeth alone, and -- ultimately -- crawl into bed alone. I can surround myself with other people for 16 or even 20 hours out of my day, but when I come back home to sleep, as I must eventually, I come back by myself. And that, so far, is the worst and hardest part.

Of course there are the daily reminders of what I left behind: the bicyclists, the cars, the machinery at different construction sites, people walking their dogs, men in work boots and yellow vests, any man over 6ft tall, and of course -- of course -- my daily challenge: Her lookalike. Could be Her twin, I suppose, were they not born 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers, may it do ya) apart. And what did I do, what did I really do that I haven't paid for already, to have to sit across from her every day for 10 hours?

So those are the hard things. And the fun things. All a part of making this life feel alive. Because what is life without its ups and downs?

Here is a fun fact that I didn't know before moving here: The Thames, at least parts of it, has a tide. I happen to live on one of those sections. Took me two full days to notice, but notice I eventually did, and there you go, the more you know. It doesn't look wide enough to have a tide, not really, but maybe that doesn't matter. What do I know about tides, after all?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Borrowed Time

Now I've forgotten all the Funny Stories I wanted to tell in the first place. Today was that we took the pups to the ski hill again. Yesterday was something about the new Jeep. But now that it comes down to telling someone other than you, they've all flown out of my mind.

I wanted to tell her today that she ruined my lunch, but I was afraid she would come back with, "You ruined my life." It seems like something she would say, and I guess if I were in her situation I would have thought of something similar.

It's not like I try to drive by your house and stalk you; it just happens to be on the way to a lot of places I go. But every time I drive past it (especially when her car is sitting there, as it so often is), I'm reminded of all the negative qualities about your personality. You'll never know how much I hate that: to be reminded everyday of the bad things about you. To have to exert effort, no matter how little, to remind myself of the good things, the things about you that I love.

Love. Loved? Right now I want to get over you so badly. Is that...wrong?

Now, a couple days later, I have more Funny Stories. Some I've told to you, some I've forgotten. But last night I was so excited to talk to you (when am I not?), to tell you what I learned about felt and how they make Stetson hats and all the cool things I saw on Frozen Planet. I wanted to talk about the lawn chairs in the driveway of the house on the corner, how there are still two there even though the husband died and I could have sworn I saw one of those chairs out with the garbage last week.

Why can't I just be your friend for a month? What about me (or you) is making that so impossible? I've never had a problem with this before; I've always been ok with pretending when I had to. Maybe because up until now I've been so unflinchingly honest with you; it was a hallmark of our relationship: we were always honest with each other. At least...I was always honest with you, and you were more honest with me than anyone else. I'm starting to wonder if you ever tell the complete truth to anyone.

Do something awful so that I can move on, please.

Monday, February 6, 2012


What to write about? I'm clearly in a dead spot; but a lot of that has to do with the fact that I can't talk about the biggest thing that's happening in my life right now. I think I'll try something new; telling funny stories that happen to me throughout the day. Although I'm not sure how funny they'll be to the outside observer...

For example. Today I took my two pups to a ski hill near my house that's no longer in use (even if they still used it, we don't have any snow this year...so I still would probably take my dogs there) so they could run around, stretch their legs, and expend all that energy that causes them to eat miscellaneous items in my house (Tupperware containers, mail, stuffed animals, etc.). They ran around in circles trying to decide what to do, so I went to run up the hill to get them to follow me. Just as I took off, Brown Dog decided he wanted to run in a path that took him directly through my legs, and I tripped over him and face-planted. See, it was funny at the time, but I'm not so sure how it translates in the retelling. Maybe I should just post videos of my pups, since they're always adorable and ridiculous.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Since I Have No One Else To Tell...

...I'll tell my non-existent readers.

I think I have discovered why I have trouble being alone. Not alone as in single, but alone as in not around other people for extended periods of time. It's not that I can't ever have alone time or spend some moments by myself, but generally speaking, I'd much rather be spending my time with other people....or, one other person, specifically.

It is my belief that life is meant to be shared with others. I could delve into why I feel this way, but it would be long and drawn-out, convoluted and most likely uninteresting to the general population. It's not something I've really even completely figured out for myself. But I feel it deep down, and I have to trust that I believe it to be true. Life is meant to be shared with others. Moments that you spend alone feel wasted to me, unless you're being extremely productive or creative. There are exceptions to every rule.

Why do I have this philosophy? I have no idea. Furthermore, if I really feel this way, why don't I spend more time with friends? I don't have many, but there are a few out there. Maybe I'm just making up this world-view to justify my need to spend every waking moment with...you know. That boy. That boy I like a lot.

That's not the only reason though. I'm not a completely dependent person, but I do have much more fun when I'm with other people. Other people like myself; let's be clear. My latest job consisted of me pouring alcohol down the throats of already far too intoxicated individuals while they danced around and stuffed their faces with cheese stix and pizza. Now there was a job where I spent a lot of time around other people. But waitressing at a bar isn't really my thing, and partying with crazy drunks isn't quite up my alley either. But spending time with people I have a lot in common with seems to make living life that much better. Experiences are better shared. Maybe it's the memories you look back on later. Maybe it's that deep-down satisfaction of connecting with another individual that validates your beliefs and points of view. Maybe it's just nice to have a friend.

Either way, this is why I'm NOT a miserable and depressing company-whore; I'm just an awesome chick who likes to share, live, and love life.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Good thing I'm not doing this for a living or anything.