Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ready for Home

You know that point when you're about to leave for a big trip and the few days beforehand it seems so far away... It's now 3 days before Luke and I head back to the States and I am bored out of my mind. Its nearly time to start packing, but theres nothing else whatsoever that I need tyo be doing. Just waiting. And, even though Im only going home, I am really nervous, as I sometimes get before travel. Who knows why. I once made myself physically ill before a flight home from Sydney even though I had done it 3 or 4 times before and am not afraid of flying in the least.

Maybe its just that apprehension you get before you're about to start a new phase of life- a combination of excitement and fear and various other emotions that always seem to vanish the second I step onto the plane. I dont really know what CT will have in store for me this time around; and I was just starting to get used to it here. But I wontsay I dont like the excitment- because I do. Sometimes I just think maybe I try to do too much at once. We'll see; I think this may have been my last adventure for a while, but then again Ive said that before too. On to the next!

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...Fun with Christmas decorations Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 20, 2006

Intimidation and Provocation

I have been trying to figure out a constructive way to post this for a few days now but I have come to the conclusion that I just have to say it and get it off my chest. For some reason when I have told people it didnt sound like quite as big of a deal as in my head, but for some reason I just cant seem to get over it.

It was St Patrick's day. We went down to Luke's dad's local pub which was not very busy but the owner is Irish so it was pretty festive. Luke started to play poker with some guys at a table, and I sat nearby chatting to his mom. Luke invited me to come over and sit next to him and I managed a pretty convincing show of interest in the game and was introduced to the other guys at the table. The conversation moved to how Luke and I were going to be moving to America in a few weeks. They were mostly interested and asking me questions, but one guy at the table immidiately made it clear that he hated Americans and all of America. I turned away and pretended I wasnt interested in what they were talking about, with this one guy talking shit saying Americans were this that and the other and the rest of the guys sort of arguing with him but more discussing my country.

This I am used to. Its something you have to take with a grain of salt as an American who travels; people ask you weird questions and expect you to give weird answers, like "Don't you all live in apartments over there?" "Yeah, there's not a square foot of land thats undeveloped, every day is just like an episode of 'Friends'..." (didnt make that example up btw) But what happened next was a first for me.

American-hating guy at table: (to me) Let me ask you something.
Me: What?
guy: Do you believe in God?
Me: Sorry?

He was clearly expecting me to say something to prove his point about Americans. I thought I knew where this was going and I wasnt going to give him the satisfaction.

Guy: Do you believe in God?
Me: I dont even know you, I dont think Im going to be spilling my philosophies about God to a complete stranger.
Guy: It was a simple question, it has nothing to do with you.
Me: Excuse me, but you asking me point blank if I believe in God MAKES it about me.

Someone else at the table then caught on and said something about George Bush being a God-fearing - born again Christian or something like that.

Me: (and i dont mean to offend anyones political views here, but it had to be said) George Bush is an IDIOT! Youre comparing me to HIM??

At this point I was nearing tears, completely backed into a corner and on my own. He just kept provoking me with stupid questions and not even bothering to hear my answers. At this poing Luke's mom stepped in and said enough is enough, lets go home. As I was leaving some of the other guys at the table apologized for his behavior and shook my hand and called him an asshole. He was like 55 years old. Where does a guy like that get off talking like that to a 23 year old guest in his country, who never did any harm to anyone, who was just trying to be friendly and social? Wherever I go I make a point of being friendly and respectful of the local customs (no matter how weird) I have had many foreign friends tell me that I changed their opinion of Americans in general. (They ovbiously hadnt met many - In fact, upon introduction most foreign people assume Im Canadian)But never in my entire life or anywhere I have traveled to have I been treated so offensively and inhospitably.

I am willing to put up with some of the flack that comes from simply existing overseas as an American citizen, and still maintain some pride and patriotism (but not flaunt it.) Ill be damned if my love of travel is going to be ruined by one ignorant asshole of a Brit, but never have I ever wanted to knee a man in the groin so much.

That's my story and Im sticking to it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Excellent Day

I have never really been big in to celebrating my birthday. As a kid we were really only allowed birthday parties every 5 years; age 5, 10, and 15, etc. I think I had one at 5, at 10 I couldnt really be bothered to arrange one so had it at 13, and completely gave up at 15. Sounds sad, doesnt it?

Ive just never been the type of person who runs around yelling "WHEE!! ITS MY BIRTHDAY! LOOK AT ME! WOOOO!" Being the center of attention makes me uncomfortable, and I usually prefer to blend in. Its how I was raised.

This birthday, however, was probably the nicest one I have had in a long while, and I was put under the spotlight most of the day. I unexpectedly got gifts and cards from every single member of Luke's family, including great Aunt Lucia. :) That they took me out for Indian food was nice enough, got me mildly drunk was even nicer, but then somehow bought a cake, gave it to the staff without me seeing, and had the whole restaurant singing at me, was far beyond anything I expected and I turned many shades of red. I believe my words when I saw the cake and candles were, "Oh No." Maybe not your typical reaction, but I actually enjoyed it immensely.

And just as I thought I was out of the woods for this year, Lauren posted some mega embarassing pictures of me on her blog including one of us as kids... WOAH. I laughed for about 5 minutes and again went bright red. But I am so honored that Lauren did a post just about me (cuz her blog rocks), and as embarassed I was it made me so happy, because she is still such a fantastic friend after all these years.

So I guess being in the limelight is ok (once in a while) because I really did have a wonderful birthday. Now, Im off to Europe's biggest shopping mall to spend some of my b day dosh (British slang for cash). BRING IT! See y'all later. :D

Monday, March 13, 2006

Spookie Lukie

This is a picture of Luke that he hates, but I think its cute. And since its my opinion that counts (hehe) Im putting him up here for all to see.


Actually, I need the photo for something else and my computer wont let me use the edited version unless I post it here and resave it. Weird.

Its been a quiet couple of days... I have started working on an oil painting series Ive been meaning to do for a while involving an evil black pig with wings. I dont do drugs, I swear. I am officially out of money and looking forward to going back home in 3 weeks, and it is exactly 3 hours and 30 minutes (GMT) until MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Tomorrow night Luke's family is taking me out to dinner which will be nice, and probably to the pub for drinks after. I dont get sad about being away from home on my birthday, because in actuality I cant remember the last one I have spent at home. Age 15 I was at Disney World.. 16 I was away on a skiing holiday in Utah, 17 I cant remember, 18 I was in Italy, 19 in Boston, and 20-22 was in Australia, and now, my 23rd, in England. Funny how I always manage to be away in March. Maybe I dont like birthday parties, maybe I cant stand being in the US when its cold (very true)... or maybe I just cant sit still. I wonder if I will ever grow out of that. I wonder if I want to. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Luke-ism of my own

Tonight we were out getting flowers to make the house pretty for when Luke's parents come home tomorrow. I wanted to tell him to go grab a bouquet of carnations... but i couldnt remember the name of the flower, and all I could think of was 'go grab a bouquet of crustaceans.'

I think Im definitely going senile at the tender age of almost-23.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rescue Operation: successful

After 4 days and 3 nights with our cat in a neighbor's tree, we called the RSPCA again this morning. They said that it's time to start being concerned, because they assumed that she'd have found her own way down by now. We called a tree surgeon who came by within an hour and had all the proper safely equipment for climbing trees. He pulled off the ivy growing on the trunk to clear a path to her and then managed to grab the cat and abseil down the tree trunk. She was howling like nothing I've ever heard and hid in a corner of the fence just crying. It was awful. I scruffed her and wrapped her in my jacket and rushed her home, where whe hid behind the couch for a while before coming out and starting to eat and groom herself.

All in all she's ok; soaking wet and missing 2 claws, but shes going to the vet today to be checked out anyway. The other cat whacks her every time she walks by her, as if to say "You stupid idiot. Where the heck have you been?"

In other news, Luke is taking me to the theater tonight to see Billy Elliot, which is one of my favorite movies. Hopefully the play will be as good. Its sort of my birthday present, so Im really looking forward to it. And a night out in London is never a bad thing!

Kitties are home safe and sound. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Cat in the Tree

Sounds like the beginning of a kids' story, doesnt it?

Actually, its a tale of the last 3 days, involving me, Luke, and two really dumb cats.

They were rescued from the RSPCA about 2 months ago and we have been letting them out for a couple of hours each day so they can get used to it. They have never been outdoor cats before, and they are also inseparable. So, we were pretty worried 3 days ago when only one came back. We had plans to go out for the evening so we left with the porch door ajar so she could get back in. At 1am when we came home, we fully expected her to be waiting at the door... no such luck. Now I was getting really freaked out because she has the instincts of a legless hamster and had never been out side alone at night.

After a night of worried sleep, we went out to look for her the next morning. The other cat was being such a pain, wanting to get out and find the other one, so we let her out and decided to follow her. A lot of the yards in Luke's neighborhood are fenced in, and the cat went straight through the fence into the next yard. So, we used a ladder to climb over the shed which was partly separating the two yards and lo and behold, we heard cries coming from the tree under which the first cat was sitting, crying up to her. While we tried standing the ladder up to the tree, the other cat thought it would be a good idea to climb the next tree over to try and get to her, which only resulted in having 2 cats stuck in trees.

I coaxed down cat 2 while standing on the roof of the shed, and Luke climbed the ladder and tried to grab cat 1 which only drove her further up the tree. So, 2 nights and 3 days later, we have one cat in the house and one cat still up a tree. Every time we try to help we just make it worse so we have decided to just let her find her own way down. Its just so hard to hear her crying and not be able to help!

At least shes not dead though, which was my original fear. Luke's mom is still on holiday and it wouldnt look so good for me as the cat sitter of one was dead, ya know what I mean? Ill keep you posted on this story, and hopefully it will have a happy ending.


I took this in the Stonehenge parking lot. Figures I visit a world heritage site and photograph road lines. Posted by Picasa

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