Monday, September 29, 2008

Edinburrah oh Edinburrah (aka Melinda has demanded an update)


hello lovers,

I had a wonderful weekend here in Scotland. For the most part it was pretty chill, with some adventures mixed in...

So ok, Friday was an easy day for the most part...I was in a bit of a funky mood...and I am thinking it might have been a touch of homesickness that manifested itself in a weird way. I was just in a bad mood for most of Friday and going through a very very very unusual "i'm fat, ugly, I can't believe I'm here, I'm gonna fail, the economy's gonna die, my family is gonna be broke cause we just spent all this money on my education, and other things etc etc" (ok soooo not normal, like my other half was going, "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!??!??!?!??!!" who knows...maybe i need some more sunshine (we've been getting a lot lately...though) Eventually I snapped out of it after having a study meeting with Pamela who is a Dec Arts & Collections PostGrad in my class. We did the presentation over Baroque art today and we were discussing our game plan on Friday...

So i felt a lot better after I got to talk about art for about 45 minutes....

After that I met up with Fredrik (after hitting up the grocery store for food) and we hung out and made dinner (side note: I made dinner for him 3 times last week...what the hell has happened to me? I did a good job though). we had pasta with meatballs (i just cooked the meatballs they were prepackaged and very delicious). We ate all 12 meatballs like we were starving to death, and then he left to go back to his flat to get ready to go out for the night.

So, Heloise came over and I finished getting ready, and we headed down to ashton lane (similar to kirkwood/bardstown road...but better...can't beat cobblestone roads and strictly bars and restaurants...hehe). Well, Fredrik's phone had died earlier that day, and so apparently he went on this grand adventure looking for us at the Queen Margaret Union (where we were going later that night) and then on Aston lane. He ended up in the library looked up my mobile number on facebook, and asked a guy to borrow his phone, called me and found us. Personally, I was very impressed. He used his brain. After Fredrik found Heloise and I, we went to Vodka Wodka (has a lovely...lovely...lovely vodka selection) and we got drinks and hung out.

Then we headed over to the QMU for Cheesy Pop...it was kinda lame...which is disappointing, cause I've always heard good things about it, but there was one amazing moment...for me anyways. The DJ played Sweet Home Alabama, and for all of you Sellersburg/Borden/some Btown readers out there...this song...is like an anthem for Southerners...in my high school, this song would make everyone go nuts...and you just can't help but to love it...so of course, when i heard the first riff i went totally bonkers and was screaming and carrying on [oh god and american...blah! haha] and had a great old time dancing with the song and embarrassing Fredrik. Not too long after that we headed home...we were going to Edinburgh, and so we all wanted to make sure we got enough sleep.

So that brings us to Saturday (huzzah!) and the trip to Edinburgh. Tons of my friends were going, and we were all really excited about it, but I do have some bitching to do in regards to the planning. First off, we arrive in Edinburgh at 11 am. (left at 10 takes 1 hour to get there), and then we are told that we have to be back at the bus by 4:45 pm! That was not enough time at all to do hardly anything in the city...and then after they tell us that they try and herd us all to Edinburgh Castle which is a good 15 minute walk...and a 15 minute walk with about 90 people becomes a huge hassle...especially when you're dealing with inner city traffic. So I was suffering from planning irritation and hanger (hunger induced anger)....I ran into a starbucks (Heloise knows me so well now she's always pointing one out to me in case I need a fix) and I grab my tall skinny vanilla latte and a pain au chocolat (yum-o). This helps satisfy my hunger and curb my anger, but then we had to wait on Fredrik and Mark to finish at subway (why they went to subway i dunno...but whatever). So from there we hike up the royal mile to Edinburgh Castle. It was really nice and sunny, and there was a wedding going on at the cathedral, and some bagpipers playing for some coinage. (and a road cone on a statue of a philosopher's head).

So we meander our way up to Edinburgh castle, and it was crowded (per usual) and there were a bunch of asians feeding a squirrel from their hands. Absolutely disgusting. Can we say RABIES? Blah. Gross. Ok, so I had a decent laugh about that...but it grossed me out. Anyways, Mark and Fredrik decide they want to see the castle. I have already seen it a couple of years ago, and really had no desire to pay the money to see it again, and Heloise wanted to shop (always fine by me). So the boys went off to be boys and Heloise and I slowly started shop hopping throughout the royal mile. Not 20 minutes later I get a text from Mark asking us where we were....apparently it cost 12 pounds to get into see the castle...not worth it...sorry...especially when you don't have time to really go through the castle carefully....

So Heloise and I complain about being hungry. Mark and Fredrik "were not hungry" and of course we gave them crap for getting subway! Anyways, since we're women and we got our way (plus I don't think Mark and Fredrik wanted both me and Heloise to have a severe case of Hanger.) So we find this little italian cafe called Rocco's and they had a pretty good lunch special. I got bruchetta and a pizza for only 6.50 quid. Fredrik who, "wasn't hungry", got the special too. Mark ordered broccoli. (haha)...and then ate half of my pizza. :) Anyways, it was a nice lunch, and from there we decided to go to the National Museum of Scotland.


So, basically that was Saturday. We got back to Glasgow, and Fredrik and I decided to just stay in for the night....Edinburgh was kinda exhausting... so for the 3rd meal I cooked him, was burritos. Which amazingly, with the difficulty of finding decent mexican food around here, turned into a great success. (they have "lightly salted" doritos aka tortilla chips...kinda tripped me out). Then we just hung out at his house the rest of the night, and I showed him and his roommates videos on youtube of Jimmy Buffet (tried to explain that when I think of God...I think of Jimmy Buffet...weird I know..), Reining (to explain what Mom does with the horses), Barrel Racing, Bull Riding, and Mutton Busting (little kids riding a sheep and holding on for dear life..)

Sunday was Heloise and Abby day in the city centre. So we went to lunch at Zizzi's (italian...delicious). We had a lovely starter of bread with goat cheese and carmalized onions, and then a pizza with smoked ham. The main waiter guy ended up giving us free shots of ameretto liquor (at 1 pm in the afternoon...wooohoo) and it was delicious. :) then we went on a hunt to find soft american style cookies (which was successful). We did some shoe shopping (I needed black flats) and then I got a new sim card with a new phone company (I text way too much and keep having to top up with my pay as you go account...so I needed to do something new. and just hung out around the city centre.

Today (monday) i had a long day.. At 9 am i had a meeting with Liz Hancock (incharge of program) to discuss a few things invovling my degree etc etc, and it went really well. From 10-12 I had lecutre/gave my presentation over Baroque art. Again, I think it went over well..but the other 5 girls in my class didn't really participate as much as I think Sally (lecturer) wanted them too..but I think she was happy with what Pamela and I presented...which is good...apparently that was worth 10% of our grade! (totally didn't have any idea)

Then we went to Durmaling (sp) castle which is an hour and a half outside of glasgow... I got to see some amazing scottish country side (oh my lordy was it beautiful) and we got to have a private tour of the castle..which was built in 1680s. What is odd is that it is still a privately owned home by a noble scottish family (with a surname of Scott...I am sure we're related..) and it was lived in until just recently. I believe the woman giving the tour was highly irritated that the current Duke chose to live in another house and not the one we were visiting. I really did feel like I was invading someone's home though..and i was irritated at them for using 17th century furniture like it just came from lazy boy. blah.

Side Note to CW readers: Totally had a portrait of 2 boys 1780s, and next to the portrait had the jackets and the guns that were seen in the portrait...I thought of Neal and Mark....and everyone else..

After the tour we took the bus home, went to the grocery, made some dinner, skyped with Fredrik, Mom, and talked to Heloise who just left.

ok. I think I'm finally done now...sorry this is such a long blog....and Melinda...I hope you're happy. ;)

<3 <3

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You can tell school has started...

hello loves,

I really have nothing to update, as it has been a fairly quiet week. Classes have started, so it feels like everyone but me has been busy going to class and getting an education. This 3 classes a week thing is gonna be interesting...I know that the free time is actually supposed to be designated for independent study...but I really have nothing to study at the moment! So ... I don't really do much of anything it feels like. Anyways, I'm going to go to campus and do some studying here in a few minutes for class on Monday...maybe run some errands on Byres road later..who knows.

Tonight is Boston Legal night and we might also stop in at a pub called the Primary where it is International Student Night...so we get a discount and there are going to be people we know there as well.

Tomorrow is Friday and my course is supposed to have a weekly trip..but I don't know if we are or not...I don't remember them saying anything about it, and I haven't recieved an email about it either...so I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow! :)

Saturday Me, Fredrik, Heloise, Mark, Meri (?), Karin, Sarah, Selma, and many many others are going to Edinburgh with the International Society for only 7 quid. It was a good deal, and it should be fun running around a new city with my friends. Plus, I think most of them have never been to Edinburgh before, so I'll probably play tourguide. Which will be loads of fun. Ya'll know me, I can talk people's ears off. Also, I think there is an Italian Renaissance artwork exhibit at Holyrood House (where the queen lives when she's in Edinburgh) that I would really like to see.

So that's all I got for now...Just wanted to update for you all..

<3 <3

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2 Days of Total 100% Sunshine!

hello hellooo


Well, it has been a great past few days...I've just been busy doing my normal day to day routine and hanging out with friends, etc. It has just been crazy here, and I always feel like I'm in a whirlwind of everything coming together at once. So, I'm going to try and recap the best that I can, but I don't know how well I'll be able to cover everything...especially if i don't want to write a freakin' novel.

Anyways, the first big news is that it has been completely sunny here in Glasgow for the past 2 days. Right now it's a bit chilly, but not a single cloud in the sky...it's wonderful just to be able to wake up to sunshine and know I don't *cross my fingers* have to take an umbrella with me today! Here's a photo of the view from my room in my flat...

Beautiful view isn't it? :) The tall tower in the right hand side in the far background is actually my university...which is really cool to wake up too...I can also see the art museum from here, but the picture is too small to be easy for you all to make out from your computers!

So, ok, a quick recap of this weekend...which was loads of fun. Friday, I was invited with Fredrik to dinner at a girl named Cecilia's flat. It is right off of Byres Rd not 5 minutes from campus. Heloise was invited as well, so Heloise and I met Fredrik at Byres Road where we went and bought a bottle of wine along with cheese and crackers for the dinner party. It was really nice to have a chill night like that. I'm so used to them back home, that I didn't realize how much I had actually missed them (Laura's Pizza and Breadsticks for example....nom.) So it was Cecilia, Fredrik, Markus (all 3 from Sweden), a girl from Denmark (I can't remember her name! eek!--off topic names here are impossible to remember because they're so different and hard to pronouce than in the US...so it's been a bit of a challenge remembering names here..and I feel horrible about it), Heloise, Cecilia's flatmate Tessa, and little ol' me. Well, the big event of the night was when I saw Seasons 1-3 of BOSTON LEGAL sitting on the shelf of their flat..I flipped out. They were Tessa's and now we have a girl's night planned for Boston Legal here this week...I'm so excited..I miss it sooo much! (and I hate that I'm missing the last season.. :( :( )

So that was Friday night, and Saturday night was Dilek (flatmate) and I's *little* get together. Little did we realize how many people would show up. It was a huge success... all international students, and we all just had some drinks (some didn't) and hung out and talked...Heloise and I got reunited with real mixed drinks and not the puny stuff they trick you with at the QMU...I definitely had ... er... enough to drink at the end of the night. The party was loads of fun, and the funniest part now, is that people have started copying our idea...Dilek got an email regarding the "next KG Street House Party" which we thought was hysterical. It wasn't even our intentions to have a real "party" but just some people over to hang out before going out to the Unions/Ashton Ln/Byres Road...but people just had a really good time I guess. We planned the party for 7:30 pm to around 11 or so...but I didn't get to sleep until 2, when I had to kick people out! Anyways, it was good fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. [and as you can see by the photo of Fredik and me...I was really...er...enjoying my drinks.. haha]

Sunday was a lazy day...didn't really do much of anything, actually...I really just needed a day of nothing in order to be ready for this week...so the day was spent being lazy at Fredrik's house, watching silly british tv with his housemates and cleaning my flat up from the night before, and then doing homework (reading).

Yesterday was the first day of classes, and I really liked it so far...Monday's are going to be really busy for me, and that should be alright..just a lot of running around. Yesterday we started with Renaissance Furniture from 10am till 1230-45 and then grabbed a quick lunch at the Heatherington Research Club (for PG's only basically...really nice place) and then hopped a taxi to the Burrell Collection to look at 16th century furniture for a couple of hours. Like I said, I think I will be just fine here at UG..the subject matter is to my liking, and I really think I'll be able to pick up on the concepts that I'm unfamiliar with easily enough. I'll do well. I want to be the best though.

After classes were over, the taxi drove us directly back to our flat (on the department's budget!) and dropped Kelly and I right off infront of my door (yay for living right next to the main street), and I came home to find my final flatmate had moved in! It's another guy from Nigeria! He seems really nice, and I think my other male flatmate is a lot more comfortable now having him around. They were talking about Nigerian food, and just all sorts of things. He's not the only guy in a house full of females now! ;)

After my giddy celebration and skipping around the flat because we're a complete family now, Fredrik showed up so we could spend some time together. Heloise called me too, and I needed to get groceries, so we went on a walking excursion to the Morrison's which is the larger grocery store near us. It is still small compared to what we're used to....around the size of Jay C's at home for all you S-burg readers. For you Btown readers...all of our grocery stores are a lot bigger...so it's a mute point.

I got ingrediants to make Indian food, so we had Josh Rogan with Beef and Rice...with Toffee cookies for dessert! haha

It feels really good to finally feel settled and with my group. Heloise and I had a great talk the other day about how lucky we are to have such a close friend so quickly and easily. She is easily my best and most trusted friend here. I love how we're getting a group too, and we're all so different and from different countries. I love talking to Dilek and Iris about Turkey and China..it's just great being able to meet so many different people. It's impossible not to grow and to learn from this experience...I can't wait to see what will happen as time goes on...it's only been a couple of weeks...but my life already feels so different...I feel a lot more independent already, and really comfortable..
...there are still weird quirks I'm dealing with though..Some asshole comment that was made to me at the beginning of this whole trip has really struck and shaken me, more so than what I've ever felt before...it was a comment about fat Americans, and it was said to my face. I mean, I know that some American's are heavier than Europeans, but it was just mean to say (cause it wasn't like he was the skinniest and most attractive person I've ever seen...ha ha ... no.) [the comment was, "so you can tell who are the american's by their big bellies."] So, it's been odd, wondering if people look at me and go, "damn she must be american..." that kinda thing...I don't know it's just weird...but at the same time..it's not like the UK/English/Scottish girls are skinny minnies...there are plenty of bigger girls here...that are not American..but I just can't shake that comment. People don't realize how easy it is to really hurt someone, and I'm irritated at myself for letting my usually titanium strong confidence get shaken by some random guy from Germany. I guess that just comes with the vulnerability of being in a new country, and being from a country that isn't on everyone's favorite list at the moment. I want to be a great example of what America is, and what we are like. I want people to meet me, and think wonderful things about where I am from, because I made a good impression on them. I'll be the first to say what America has done wrong, and is doing wrong, but I also want people to know how wonderful the country is too... I mean...we have ready made cookie dough, Pizza Express, Victoria Secret, and Sam's club... come on. ;)

Alright, I'm gonna sign off of here for now..I need to get a shower before lecture starts at 2 pm...it's an easy day for me...I might be productive after lecture and work on readings....I got stuck doing the Baroque Presentation for class on Monday..10pts for getting stuck with my least favorite time period. Thanks, Irony.

Love you all.

<3 <3

Friday, September 19, 2008

Orientation Damn Near Killed Me.


Hello faithful (or not so faithful) readers....so this week has just been absolute mayhem..it has been filled with "orientation" for my postgraduate course (program in american)...and I'm suffering from damn near exhaustion. I was a horrible wreck yesterday, and today I feel loads better, but I'm still a little wah-wah. Anyways, let me see so, today is Friday, and it's 2:03 pm here in Glasgow..I'm trying to recap everything over the past couple of days so I don't repeat myself...

Alright, so it's been pretty straight forward, my schedule, so far has been Orienation/Decorative Arts/Semi-Serious Post Grad mumbojumbo in the mornings/afternoons, and then the evenings are spent enjoying fresher's week and my friends.

So the night after ministry of sound Heloise and I just chilled and watched Little Women on my computer. It was really nice to just relax and go to bed early. Fresher's week is good fun, but that on top of everything else is just taking it out of me. I'm getting old ya know..

So Wednesday I registered, and have officially matriculated (as they call it..silly) here at University of Glasgow! I have my official student ID card (i look younger in it than my IU Campus Access Card and I was only 18 in that photo!!) I paid my tuition up front (no problems thanks to the 3 different 1 hour phone calls to Chase Bank back at home before I left), and that was that. I am only taking 3 classes each semester, and this semester there are 2 required classes and 1 option. So I'm taking Issues in Dec Arts (focus on furniture) and Research Training, and then finally Authentic Artwork (learning to tell what's what etc etc).

The rest of the day I hung out with Fredrik, and then Kelly and I went to this postgrad thing, and had a girls dinner at Islay Inn next to our flats. That night it was the Headphone Disco and I went with what will seem to be the fairly typical group anymore. It was really freaking cool..I forgot my camera (doh!). There were other people who took pics, so if they post them on facebook I'll steal some and post on here for people to see.

Yesterday, I was horribly miserably tired/exhausted/sick, and I drug my ass out of bed at 7:15 am to be at city centre by 8:50 (a bit of a hike and a subway ride...blah). We made it on time, but it wasn't easy! Then the group took a train to the Burrell Collection just outside of the city (I'll probably be there alot to be honest...huge clothing collection). And I had to sit in a conference room for 2 hours. Clearly, I wasn't conscious for most of it...the woman just kinda kept talking..and there is just something so soothing about a Scottish accent on women..no kidding. A plus side to the whole suffer through the morning thing was I finally got to see Highland cows! Plus there were little baby calfs! They were sooo cute and furry...you just wanted to take one home! I loved them!

Then we left. that was it. We went through all of that effort to sit in a dark room and talk about people in the glasgow museum community, and what we're interested in. That's it. No real viewing of the collection..I was a little irritated...and so were others..

after that we took the train back to Glasgow and Kelly and I went to Starbucks (I needed a serious coffee kick..I got a Venti Caramel Macchiato...mom you know this is not normal!) and we ended up running into Mark (Canada) and his flatmate who is from Croatia but has studied at UG for like 5 years now.

Funny little culture quirk in American slang. When I asked Mark's flatmate how he knew Mark, he went "oh, I live in the same flat", and I replied, in my typical american slang, "oh ok cool, so you're mark's roommate?" "No, we don't share a room. I live in the same flat. All the room's are single." Then Mark, Kelly, and I explained that in North America we say roommate meaning flatmate..that it doesn't mean you live in the actual room..it was pretty funny. However, this guy had incredible manners. When Kelly and I left, he stood up in his chair as we left. I have never seen that other than movies! I loved it..I wish everyone was like that anymore..

So then we had 2 30minute meetings regarding our classes this semester and then we're done. I dragged myself home from campus and slept from 4-8pm. I woke up, at dinner and talked to my flatmates for awhile (really like them), and then passed out around 11:30pm and slept until 8 today. I woke up feeling 1000000x better, but I had a walking/subway tour of some museums, and I just wasn't feeling it..i wanted to relax..and nap etc. I went to the Glasgow Cathedral which is what I wanted to see anyways. It was cool..very small though...



So, that's the best update for now...it's 2:38 here now, and I'm gonna rest for a couple of hours and get ready. At 6:30pm I'm meeting Fredrik on Byres Road and we're going to a friends flat for dinner and a little pre-party before going to Cheesey Pop on Campus. I think Heloise is coming too...she's not feeling well either so, she might not do too much tonight and save up for tomorrow....tomorrow the pre-party is at my flat, and I have no idea what we will be doing after that! ridiculousness probably. I still have stuff I need to buy, I still am short on clothes hangers, and this bed i just killing my back, so i'm going to buy a mattress pad just to help with the uncomfortableness...it's just really starting to hurt..

I have reading homework too, and i have to do it..i'm a big kid now in a class of 6 people...i can't bs my way out of this. ;) (I know what you all are thinkin...)

Miss ya'll.

<3 <3

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cold Rainy Day. Blah.


So, I'm going to continue from my other earlier blog today and finish everything that happened last night and today so far...

alrighty, where was i...right, ok...i think i might repeat myself here, so just try and keep up i guess...like i said before yesterday was the first day of my orientation process with my postgrad degree. THere are about 30 postgrads in the history of art department (taught tracks, not research), and it seems like a cool group of people...the dec arts are the severe minority..but it's totally cool. I really love my building it's in an old victorian town house, and is really cool. they have art hanging from the walls, and on top of that there is great skylighting so it makes for a really nice atmosphere! Like most postgrads, we get special treatment, so in our OWN history of art library we have a special postgrad room that has a portrait of some old guy in a kilt staring at us over the fireplace...very much like a harrypotter common room. But I hope he doesn't talk...that'll freak me out too much...

I also got to figure out more about the program which is incredibly nice. it's a wonderful program and i'm glad i'm here. they are very interested in catering to your specific needs, so I can do all sorts of work specially geared towards costumes and textiles...which is what i want. My second term is going to be 3 classes of my choosing and they are going to be 16th century palaces and castles, work placement and then either object based researched in the dec arts or student exhibition. The student exhibition is where a group of us PGs put together our own exhibit. Depending on what my work placement will be (we get to pick to an extent) I will probably do one or the other. I've already bascially marked my territory as the costume kid, so I'm hoping I'll be able to do what i want with out having to compete with someone who just decided that's what they're interested in. I know this might come off a little brash, but I know what I want, and I'm not sacrificing it to anyone else.

SO that was the day, and last night was loads of fun. Mark (the Candian Guy all you facebook stalkers are drooling over), Heloise, Fredrik (New friend from Sweden), and I all went to the Queen Margaret Union for a concert by The Subways (has anyone at home heard of them?) I guess they're really popular here. They were good. Definitely rock with a twinge of hardcore punk I would say..catchy songs, but a lot of screaming.? I enjoyed it well enough. We went to the balcony, which was lovely because the floor was crammed and people were moshing...ridiculous. Fun to watch from above (and safe)!

After the Subways the guys from Ministry of Sound set up and it went into hardcore club mode. It was loads of fun. Like I said about the dancing before, it's a lot different over here, but it is way fun when there are loads of people. Plus, the QMU has another more chill bar in the union, so if we wanted to sit and take a break we could... it's really cool have the clubs and such there in the union...it makes for a fun and fairly safe enviroment (aka no creepy old guys). You're just free to have fun and see friends.

Funniest part about last night, which really shouldn't be that funny, but the visual was hysterical...was this poor fresher (frosh) was way way wayyyyyy tooooooooo drunk, and he was holding onto the cast iron gates to the university (there are gates around a lot of the campus...hard to explain unless youve seen it). He was slumped over and just a flat out hot royal mess. It just made me think about what would have happened if someone was holding on to the sample gates at IU like that..I mean, they would have been arrested in a heartbeat. Not this kid...they did call an ambulence for him, but there were zero police around. Just hired security (barf duty). Honestly though, these kids must not have built up a tolerance or have a ton of money, because the drinks they serve are not on the generous side.

And after we left the club (before the drunk fresher experience) they were serving tea, coffee and cakes outside of the union...hahah sooo british!)

It's a good laugh here in Glasgow...the atmosphere is really laid back, and people seem to really be into having a good time.

it's been kinda hard to meet people from the UK though, to be honest....they kinda keep to themselves in a way? THere are loads of them in my postgrad program...so I hope i get to know them much more..I mean...i'm sure I will but you never know how cliquey it'll get.

Today was day 2 of our orientation program...and we really didn't do too much...I'm not freaking out about it anymore though, for sure, and I think I will be able to handle the work load no problem...it's just a time management issue it seems like...but you really don't spend any time in the classroom...majority of the work is independent study....so we'll see.

Alright, so that's where I'm at...right now.. I'm really tired from going out and walking everywhere in this weather...Plus I'm kinda bummed about the farm. There was quiet a bit of damage it sounds like because of the 80mph winds that came through. Just all sorts of crap for Mom and Dad to deal with that I wish they didn't have too.

My roommates and I are talking more. Right now there is Dilek from Turkey (girl), Iris from China, and a guy from Nigeria (can't say his name). There should be another male roommate moving in very soon to keep a balance. Dilek and I talked about having people over to the flat to hang out saturday night, so that should be fun! However someone keeps settting the thermostat to 30C (like 90F) and it's BOILING in here...of course I just go back and turn it down to 20 (70s ish)

I need to work on my kilos meters etc. American system wont cut it. However, I have finally managed 24 hour time! woo hoo!

I'm going to go be more productive now...my room is trashed (surprise? haha..not)

Love you all.

<3 <3

Fresher's Week = More Ridiculous than Little 500 (and Definitely Welcome Week).

Surprise Surprise Surprise, but I have to say that Fresher's Week (Glasgow Uni's Welcome Week on Crack) has in it's first "official" night, just kicked Little 500's butt in ridiculousness.

But first, sorry I haven't written in a couple of days. Things have been really hectic around here. My feet are absolutely killing me, and I'm dog tired (my own fault, so no complaining). Glasgow is getting better and better everyday (but the weather is getting worse..hell it'll change in the afternoon..) I started my program orientation for my Degree, and it's going to be a hell of a year. Lots of fun, a lot of learning and I love love love the group of Art History post grads it's mostly girls but 2 boys, and a healthy mix of Scottish and other countries (aka USA..one girl is originally from Chicago, and went to Miami at Ohio ... small world...but wait gets even smaller...one of the PhD students is studying Costume history and originally went to IU!!!!)

Ok, so let's backtrack so I can cover the past couple of days for me...

So, as mentioned in a previous post, my mom left on Sunday for home. However, as it turns out (everything happens for a reason, so I guess this was for the best..?) her plane leaving heathrow airport had something seriously wrong with it, and after taxining the runway for 4 *yes 4* hours, they unboarded the airplane at the airport, and as it somehow...amazingly...turns out that there was a part broken, and Heathrow did not have the means to fix it. So mom was stuck in London for a night in a janky hotel. I felt horrible, I knew in my gut something was wrong, and I had no way of knowing. She should be home now...it's 4 am at home, and she should be exhausted. I'm glad to know she's home safe, but now let's talk about what I've been doing.

Like I said at the beginning of the post...it's freshers week.. which basically is an excuse here at glasgow to drink 24/7 but on campus property, and is a campus supported event (the drinking and all that comes with it...i mean one of the unions has "hangover" movies everyday...comeon IU get with the program..) It's so ridic that even the volunteer helpers are drunk...which means they're only entertaining and not very helpful...

So Sunday was an all day shopping event with Heloise and we went to city centre..where the "everything's a pound store" became my favorite place. I also picked up flatwear, and silverwear etc at marks and spencers they had great deals. Honestly, if it wasn't for the exchange rate, life would be cheap here. I mean, yesterday I had lunch at the Post-Grad Student union (Victorian building...very cool) and it was only 2 GBP for a big bowl of soup and bread! Even with the exchange rate that's cheap.

So that was Sunday day, and Sunday night was Salsa night at the QMU (Queen Margaret Union) and a Celidh (Key-lee) which is traditional Scottish Dancing (a note for Amy, Brooke, Sarah, and Other CW readers, this is 18th century dancing on crack). I met a lot more new people at the international event, people from Sweden, Finland, Holland, Germany, everywhere..it's a really cool experience, and dispite my initial treatment at the first international event, everyone was extremely kind and interesting to talk to.

Monday was the first day of my Program Orientation. Kelly and I met at 915 am (which i'm getting ready to meet her now, so i might have to continue this later). And we trucked it all the way to campus and were the first to our building. As of now, I only have 3 other people in my Dec Arts program, but some people were missing from our first meeting, so there could be more that haven't shown up yet.

(and yes I will be taking 16th century palaces and castles)


Ok, I'm going to continue this later. It's time to go.

<3 <3

Sunday, September 14, 2008

All By Myselllffffffffff (with a few friends)

So, a wee bit of a sad blog this morning [11:22 am here] (ooh already picking up Scottish slang..wee.) Mom left at 6:30 this morning. We were awoken by our rude neighbors at the hotel next door at 4 am. It was irritating as all hell, and I wanted nothing more but to go next door and give them all hell...but I didn't...i was too tired.

Her taxi showed up, we cried and hugged, and reminded me that it was perfectly alright if I didn't like it here, and wanted to come home. Not going to lie, but if I do hate it (doubtful) it is nice to know I can go home, and I wont get crap from Mom and Dad..they'd be too happy to have me back.

However, I do like it here, and I am having fun.

Today Heloise and I are venturing back to City Centre (Shopping Mecca) and we're going to the "Everything's A Pound" ($2 Dolla store!) and buying stuff we need for our flats! It should be great fun. Tonight is Salsa dancing with the international student association (how many more snide American comments will come my way...we shall see) and then there is a stoplight party at the GUU (Melinda knows what I'm talking about!) It is where you wear Green for Single, Yellow for "It's Complicated" (in facebook land) and Red for "taken" of course, I'll probably be the only person over 20, but whatever.

So that's it for now...I'll write more tonight..when the USA is alive and functioning, and not passed out. :)

<3 <3

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And then, I cried.



Ok, so I need to recap my night and today I guess? I'm losing track of time..

Right. So, yesterday evening composed of moving into my apartment, and then coming back to the hotel and getting ready to go out for the night with Heloise. We went to the Glasgow University Union (GUU), where they had 90p vodka mixers. It was...interesting to say the least. First, just the idea of going out clubbing/to the bars on campus and in a campus owned building is something completely unknown to me, and i do believe all of IU. :) So we went to a bar I think it's called "Deep 6" and had to wait 20 minutes to get a drink (not enough bars). Heloise got very testy and irritated, but I was too busy staring at one of the very..very cute bartenders. (omg). She ripped him out a little bit because she was sick of waiting..but I couldn't help but smile at him! haha silly me. So we got our drinks and made our way to the Hive...which is the actual club part of the union.


So, a note on a few Scottish things. 1. I am not impressed by the dancing. haha. sorry any potential glaswegians out there...i'm not impressed. 2. The girls dressing is a little weird at times. Like I said before, I see a lot of tights and boots..and a lot of ugg boots. I have also started to notice that they wear a lot of cowboy boots too. (Speaking of cowboy... they were having a slide show from a theme night at the GUU last year..and I guess it was "the wild west" or something of that nature...but they had a Confederate Flag in one of the photos...I don't know why but this was quiet shocking to me.) 3. People get away with a lot more stuff here without getting their asses kicked, like they would have in the states. For example, in the Hive, Heloise and I were surrounded by a bunch of boys and I guess they were so overwhelmed with excitment about being at Uni, that one boy reached over to another and PLANTED a big ol' kiss on him. Now, I know you're like (abby, gay duh), but the boy that was kissed, was not gay as all of his friends (and the random bystanders, meaning me and Heloise) were staring shocked. Our jaws were to the floor. The guy came up for air and did the wipe of the mouth with the most disgusted look on his face. It was pretty funny. However, I was thinking how in america, the kisser would have gotten his ass kicked by the kissee. It was interesting to watch.

Today was a nice day. I woke up walked back to the hotel (I stayed at kelvinhaugh street) and showered. Then mom and I walked to the underground, hoped on the subway and went to the city centre. We shopped around (they have an "everything's a pound" store...bloody brillant) and found some more department stores, and malls. Mom and I then ate at Zizzi's, which is the same resturant we first ate at in London. I figure it must be like a UK Olive Garden (but better). It was a realy nice indoor shopping mall/retail upscale place.

Then we decided to be tourists and go to the Kelvingrove Art Museum. It was great. My blog title comes from there. I saw my first Van Gogh in person, and I started to cry. Full on cry. It was a wonderful experience for me. The Kelvingrove Art Museum was really lovely, and had great pieces. There was a nice little exhibit on 18th century fashion, but some of their "information" irritated me. First, they started off with the whole, "corsets (meaning stays) were really uncomfortable, and so were the clothes, but the women wore them anyways." UGH NOT TRUE! Sheesh. talk about a pet peeve! But they had a great pieced petticoat and gown. Also, they had men's wear but in the tartan, which I thought was really cool. Here are a few pictures.

So, now the rest of the evening (last night with mom... :'[ will be spent at the first pub we went too, and a drink, and maybe out about town for a bit, then bed.) Tomorrow the interntional student association is having a salsa night...duh I'm going. :)

Miss you all, but I love Glasgow.

<3 <3

Friday, September 12, 2008

a wee sick..

So last night was a lot of fun. I can't write much again, so I'll go into greater detail later etc...(im posting photos on facebook and will do blogphotos later). I met a lot of people from all over the world. (mostly germans though..hannover specifically...how ironic...they were dumbfounded when I told them I had been there). Heloise and I had a good time at the social event, we did some cledih dancing (a lot like 18th century dance...i actually was pretty good at it..ha)

then we went out to a pub called Curlers with a bunch of other people...sadly there were a lot of american's there and some of the girls were insanely drunk (even at the social thing) it was a little embarrassing...not gonna lie. I can't tell ya'll how many "OH MY GOD not another American!" PISSED ME OFF. Then I would have to explain to them how we're not al the same..etc etc. I even got some "fat american's" remarks. not kidding. i was highly irritated...but it didn't ruin my good time.

I got my housing! I like my room and I have 1 roomie so far (she's from Turkey). She's quiet but seems sweet...so it will be fun to see who else is gonna be my roomie!

Mom and I ate at a pub called The Goat and it was really...we got a burger (i've been without protien for a while and it makes me wonky when i don't have it)

Shopping in Glasgow is brilliant...The city has many different personas and it's cool that way (west end isartsy city centre is more londony)

I got really sick this morning and we spent most o fthe day in the hotel room (i could barely move)...but I'm feeling loads better now, and that's a huge relief.

don't know for sure what's goin on tonight, but we'll see!

<3 <3

Thursday, September 11, 2008

12 hours of sleep and frizzy hair

hey hey hey

Ok, so just a quick little update at the moment, I have to get ready for my "social event" tonight for international students.

Today has been a nice day. It's fun to be in a different city and not be in "tourist" mode. Mom and I got 12 (yes even mom...for those of you who know her..this is all sorts of ridiculousness for her) and we both woke up to the sound of my alarm going off at 8 am. (we fell asleep around 730pm and each woke up for an hour or so during the night..random worrisome stuff..typical). We got breakfast and then came back and took much needed showers (great great shower) and got ready and dressed. The weather here is all sorts of unpredictable. One minute it's Sunny and in the 60's the next it's windy rainy and in the 50s. You must keep an umbrella with you at all times, and layers.

(tights are very popular here)


I'll post more about my day after I'm finished tonight..and I'll try and remember to bring my camera with me the next time i'm on the computer (i keep forgetting, and it's a pet peeve of mine to have friends in cool places be slow to upload...so i don't want to do it to anyone cause i'm annoying myself...)

So.. yeah..everything's great. Update more later...time for mom to have the computer

<3 <3

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Safe.

Hey everyone!

I am sitting in the lounge of my hotel getting my internet going. I am loving Glasgow so far (but it is VERY different from London as far as I can see..just the vibe in general etc). It's beautiful though. Ok... so let me fill everyone in on the past 24 hours.

So I said good bye to Cheyenne (dog) and Mom, Dad and I made our way to the Louisville International Airport. We fixed the seat issue for mom and I, and chilled in the crappy lounge area for about an hour. It hit 12:30-45 pm and Mom and I realized that it was time for us to go through security and get this shindig going. It was really hard to say goodbye to Dad...I started crying. It was really hard to say goodbye to him. It's seems so different, this move....more permanent I guess..because I know I can't come home like I could in Bloomington. I am really on my own in a strange city, in a different country, and surrounded by different cultures.

So we get our flight to Chicago and that was easy squeezy (literally...squeeze...I'll get back to that)...We arrive on time, and had zero problems changing terminals etc. We get to the Chicago Terminal that we needed and just sit and chill. We munch on some McDonalds (gross) and just try and relax (me anyways...i'm a nervous traveller). Slightly, off topic, there was this very good looking guy on my flight to London who looks a little like James McAvoy...which I thought was pretty swell. :)haha

So we get on the Chicago plane, no problems...except for 1. THE SEATS HAD ZERO. I MEAN ZERO LEG ROOM! I felt like such a sardine, it was ridiculous. And of course, mom and I had to have the 2 rudest couples on either side of us. One, the lady threw her chair back in the reclining position IMMEDIATELY (highly irritating because of the lack of legroom in the first place. However, we had private video screens so we could pick the movies we wanted to watch, which was lovely. (Made of Honor --how ironic, Sex and the City --classic, and some of Kung Fu Panda --seemed to dumb to care...didn't finish). The other annoying couple were behind us, and they were the loudest talking elderly couple EVER. They kept mom up, and one time the lady grabbed my arm while fiddling with her chair. Scared the crap out of me.

Another annoying incident was i had my head bent down and this old fat woman walks and bascially shoves my head into the seat...pleasant...no...blah.

We land early to London (good tailwind and early takeoff). We get through customs no problem (lots more security than what we were used too and what you see in the US). Glasgow takes off late, but it didn't matter in the first place, cause we weren't flying anymore after that. So I got to nap some in Heathrow and on the flight to Glasgow. Once we get to Glasgow we get a taxi and head to our hotel to drop off our luggage.

Now, our hotel is located 5 minutes from my residence hall and 10 from campus. Fate? I think not...but damn I'm good at picking out hotels.

And the extra good news...ALL OF OUR LUGGAGE made the flights! We had zero missing pieces (which for most of you know that is a big of a fear of mine..hehe).

So we get a taxi, he tells us all about Glasgow (beautiful city by the way..oh my lordy), and we get to our hotel, and it's perfect location. We put our luggage in storage, i get a little cleaned up and we head off to campus (really pretty walk...i have pictures..it was sunny this morning....now it's typical glasgow)

Campus was crazy busy with all these Seniors in High School (what ever that is in the UK..I have NO idea)...so all these little kids walking around.

Sadly, I have not escaped uggboots nor uggboots and spandex pants together...very upsetting...other than that the fashion isn't horrible...i'll have fun!

we catch the last few minutes of my section for international orientat (useless)...and I finall get with Kelly and run into a few other people from facebook land (pretty odd expereice..but fun)...

then after we do that mom and I go eat at the Queen Margaret Union (surrounded by 18 year olds), and nose around campus and figure out how to get to a carphone warehouse (to get my mobile phone). So we have that taken care of..i have 2 sim cards..one for international calls (only 4-8 US Cents a minute..can't really beat it.) and one for typical UK...

Then we went to boots and bought myself a hairdryer and striaghting iron....went to starbucks nosed around a bit more, got rained on, and came back to the hotel. fought with the internet and then viola here i am writing this insanely long blog.

So. I'm done now. I'll write more later...i need to conserve battery..

Mom and I are safe, and I'm exhausted, but very very happy. Pictures coming soon!

<3 <3

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

7:24 EST...My last few hours..

Ok..so after a few margarita's and a mini movie fest with Zoe last night, I am now running on about 4 hours of sleep, and nerves. Which is fine, I'm hoping my lack of sleep here will result in sleeping on the plane...haha..

Zoe came by last night for a couple of hours. It was nice to be able to see her one last time...she gave me a couple of travel things (wonderwoman stationary, book, and old photos of us from high school). Then we drank Margarita's and watched Stardust (always makes me feel better.)

I can't believe I'm leaving in a couple of hours. I'm getting really antsy. It doesn't help that United put mom in the wrong seat from Chicago to London. We called last night, and they said it would be fixed at the front desk when we get our boarding passes. I'm seriously asking the Universe nicely to make it so Mom and I will sit together. I'm nervous enough as it is...I don't want to have to sit next to a stranger when my mother is a few seats in front of me. I'm going to be a mess of tears this whole time...I doubt that my neighbor will want to sit next to a blubbering 20 something year old girl with snot and the whole works. (hehe use it to my advantage).

So tomorrow...I finally get to "meet" Heloise and Kelly. I'm looking forward to it for sure...I've been talking to them for so long that it will be lovely to finally see them in person and chit chat actually become "real" friends, etc! haha

Ok...that's it for now...I have stuff I need to do.

See you in Scotland...it's here.

<3 <3

tomorrow..

i feel sick to my stomach..but i finally think i'm done packing.

I need a drink...blah.

<3 <3

... :-/

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Going Away Party...


Well...last night was my official "Going Away Party"...it was incredibly chill and relaxed...the people I expected to show up did...even though I was still anticipating a slightly larger turnout (everything works out for the best though..now my parents just have a LOT of chocolate...oopsy!)

It was a nice party..one of the best parts was I got to spend the day with Angela! She rode down early with Melinda so she just spend the day with me, and I got to show her my hometown a little bit, which was lovely. So we went and ran errands at Meijer (had a lovely talk about how the most random stuff is incredibly interesting and entertaining in different countries), and had lunch at tumbleweed (she wanted a cheeseburger, and I didn't feel like driving very far..).

She also was a great help to talk to. She's been in my shoes...but maybe in an even more stressful situation. Last winter she came from Venice, Italy to IU for Grad school. Her English wasn't 100%, she was traveling alone, leaving her family and beloved boyfriend behind. She did wonderfully and made great friends (ahem, if i do say so myself -- haha), and has come back for her second year. She gave me great advice, and reassured me over the feelings I'm going through right now. Angela was incredibly understanding over the emotions I am going through, and my fears. She really helped me feel better about everything, and reminded me that mom is coming with me, so I will be in a lot better situation than her! :)

Anyways, after our lunch we were pretty sleepy (full tummies), so we found Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on ABC Family Channel, and zoned out for a couple of hours. She and I both napped and enjoyed the movie.

Everyone started showing up around 6:30-7, and the fire was going ... food and plenty of drink being consumed!!! :) :) I made my sangria per usual, and per usual it was a big hit..needless to say there isn't any left this morning. However, no one got drunk..only 2 bottles of wine ya know?

So pictures were taken, stories were told, and great conversation..i was just kinda in la-la land most of the time...honestly...it's all getting very surreal. I leave in 1.5 days. The Day after Tomorrow. This time on Tuesday, Mom and I will be getting ready to land in Chicago, completeing the first leg of our journey.

It's a lot to think about....and I'm just getting very anxious.

So...yeah.. now what do I need to do now? A lot. Maybe next time I write it'll be from the airport? :)

<3 <3

Friday, September 5, 2008

Poland!

I forgot to mention that Laura and Jake got teaching jobs in Poland! So what does this mean? I'M GONNA GO TO POLAND FOR SURE! (Duh, free place to stay.)

Krakow and Stalag Luft IV here I come!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

5 days...

Less than a week...I'm getting really mixtures of nerves and excitement... I don't see how I'm going to be able to eat the whole travel time...I couldn't eat anything when I was going to London by myself...I just made the knot in my stomach worse. Hopefully, with mom there, I wont feel as icky. If not...a glass of wine will help calm me down. Because, sometimes, it's just better to have a drink and chill out.

I had a bank scare today. Apparently you're only allowed a maximum of $3,000 purchase/withdrawal from your debit card at any point in time. I didn't realize that you had to ask permission to spend your own money. Silly me. I think everything is worked out now though, and all I have to do is have a nice phone conversation with JP Morgan Chase Bank tomorrow morning.

I also figured out which bank I wanted to give my 2nd child too in Scotland. Lloyds TSB. I'll post account information later for donations. (juuussstttttt kidding...kinda...I'll take donations!) :) :)

This Saturday is my "Bon Firage (Bon Voyage)" party! It should be a pretty good turn out, and I'll be excited to see all of my friends one last time before I cross the ocean indefinitely....and I'll post pictures Sunday or Monday.

Pretty soon this blog is gonna get pretty active... I can't believe it's here.

<3 <3

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Packing to the Beatles

So, I've been on a major major major Beatles/John Lennon/Paul McCartney/George Harrison kick as of late. Which is totally cool with me...I just figure it is my inner hippie coming through (surprise surprise) (thank you Pandora.com)..I know that comes off as very random...but it is just that I've been listening to pandora.com (aka beatles) while I've been packing...and blogging

Anyways, I got my hair cut today as my big whoopee (thrilling..as always)...I'm satisfied.

The big news today was that I finally started packing...my first suitcase is filled...almost to the brim..I have to weigh it to see if I can get more stuff in it..it has almost all of my "hard" winter clothes (sweaters) in it..a lot of my jeans tops, etc...however...my closet does not look any..lighter..sheesh. I got 3 pairs of shoes in this suitcase...goodness I have no idea how I'm going to manage getting everything in all of these suitcases...this is gonna be nuts for sure...and very very tricky.

And honestly...i've been concerned about the shoe issue..but I think I will somehow manage to pack all of my shoes I'm thinking about the ones that I wear the most and I do think I'll somehow manage to get everything packed no problem...it's the big boots that are gonna be tricky. They'll be a beast to pack, but an even bigger beast to wear in the airport (too tricky to get on and off quickly). At least I know that sandals will be useless...I mean..it's glasgow..not exactly sandal weather now is it? noooope.

So this weekend, I went to Ohio to visit my grandparents one more time before I leave. It was a fantastic visit. Mom, Dad, and I went to the Piqua Heritage Festival (Pioneer RenFaire basically..very silly). Anyways, I got some fantastic antique books. One is specifically, Obstetrics: Womanly Beauty for Every Lady (1890s). It's a total trip, and very insightful. I'll post some of my favorite quotes from it on here at a later date...I've read a great deal of it...surprisingly it is a very easy read, and very entertaining (without meaning to be of course).

Another cool thing at the Heritage Festival was that there were a bunch of old people dressed up like cowboys(girls) from the early- mid 20th century western tv shows and films. Soo guess who got her picture taken with Hopalong Cassidy, Lone Ranger, and Annie Oakley?! I totally did. Here's a picture... I can't remember if it was Hoppy or the Lone Ranger that asked me if I was married...but of course I was a bit put off by that. Older generation I guess..? I hope he wasn't being skeezy. I'll assume that black and white western hero wannabe's aren't. It'll make me feel better.


This evening mom and I put on our straw garden hats and long skirts and went and picked pinecones to make fire starters. It was good fun.. then we played in wax and made a big vanilla scented mess of things. (we used vanilla candles for wax).

So that's about it for now..I'll probably post again tomorrow with my packing update or something of that nature...maybe I'll get glasgow stuff in the mail.

OH! On a boring update, I got my AAN number (I don't remember if I posted this already or not) and now have my email address for UG and checked out my course options.

18th Century Furniture and 16th Century Palaces and Castles Here I Come! :) :)

<3 <3

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

1 week....

Well...my title pretty much says it all. I have exactly 1 week until Mom and I board that plane, and I start a new chapter in my life. My feelings about this are a boiling soup of contradictions...I am ecstatic about moving to Scotland, meeting new people, and "re-uniting" (inside joke) with friends. I know that this will be one of the best and toughest year of my life, and I know I'm ready for the challenge. However, I'm sad too. It's hard to leave my life at IU behind...forever. My undergraduate years were and will be some of the best years of my life, and it's hard to let that go. Even with all of the drama and pain that came to me, I cannot even begin to count how many joyous moments I was blessed with.

I spent the day at IU yesterday, and I got to pretend I was a freshman again. It was incredibly bittersweet. I loved seeing my cabin, and spending time with them. However, I hated that I wasn't living in a dorm, staying up till 3 am doing nothing, wasting time, laughing over stupid stuff, flirting, dating, etc with them. I got to hear their stories, and laugh with them..but I was incredibly envious at the same time. They're so lucky, and I pray that they know it and really get everything out of this experience.

Today, I start packing. It is going to be quite the endevor. I'm taking photos of every item that I pack and I will store it on a flash drive so that way, if something does happen to any of the luggage (but nothing-- will this is just a precaution) I have photos for insurance purposes, etc.

I also have a hair appointment today...but not like anyone in la la land cares about that.

On a random topic: McCain's VP (Sarah Palin)'s 17 year old daughter is 5 months pregnant. I've read that Palin believes in abstinence only sex education.

Clearly, it worked for her. It will work for the rest of the United States. I can't wait to see what this election becomes...I hope Obama keeps it classy.

I'm going to do some more soul searching and deep thinking in the shower.

<3 <3