Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Life Has Become a Series of Countdowns...

55...the number of days until I fly home...
38...the number of days until my dissertation is due...
0...the number of words I have written on my dissertation...
37...the number of texts I have reviewed for my dissertation...
54...the number of texts I still have to review for my dissertation...not counting the ones in the National Library...or the ones I have to translate...
15...days I've been "researching/reviewing"...
7...days I've actually researched/reviewed...
0...level of stress I feel...which is nice!
Goal: have my dissertation written by August 10th (26 days) at the latest. Fingers crossed that this actually happens.

After this, I have to grow up and become an "adult"...we'll see about that. I'm such a slacker!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aye, Avas!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -----Mark Twain

Food for thought. I really think that Mr. Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) had it spot on. Makes me want to do thousands of things, but mainly it makes me want to be a pirate! Now what's so wrong with that? Drink up me matey's, yo ho!

PS...I'm a knitting machine!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

25 and counting...

So it seems as if it has been years since I've posted anything. And it has...well, almost. Things are progressing ever so slowly in the good ole UK. By progression, I mean that the time is going by and, yes, I finally have a supervisor for my dissertation. Yikes...but in a good way. That said, I now wonder if my topic can actually garner a 60 page paper. May have to write five chapters instead of three. Ha! Most people who hear the foundations of my topic seem interested. But that could just be a polite front, to which I kindly say "Bugger off ye wee, mindless morons!" Haha. Other than that, not much going on. I will celebrate the fantastic-ness that is my birth this weekend. The quarter century mark. Whoa. Quarter century and what exactly have I accomplished with my life besides loads and loads of student debt and a bit of world traveling? Ah well...at least it's been fun. Maybe it's just me, but this post seems utterly eloquent and thought-provoking. Of course that could be due to the copious amounts of Guinness (and rum) that are now coursing through my veins...or it could be that I am just that good. I'm going to go with the latter. Makes me feel better..."Here honey, have some whiskey. Makes ya feel better!" How wise the old crone is. Those who understand this reference will get a kick...perhaps even a laugh. Haha. Those who don't, well they deserve a "betch slap." Oi...I need to walk away from the computer before it incriminates me in some fashion. Maybe an outpouring of feelings, as I never divulge those, or something else utterly devastating to my psyche in the morning. Ah the lure of the internet and the loosening of my tongue/mind/morals/conscience when alcohol is involved. Alright...the floodgates have opened...must jet! Cheerio dahlings!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Subtraction

Long fingers wrap around my hand as we enter the tunnel of candy-apple red walls
Your crystal-clear blue eyes smile at me with the innocence of youth
A single red rose, an 'I love you' on the phone and then 4 years pass.
We walked next to each other draped in the same eye-popping red that warm June
Ironic how that worked out
You smiled at me again with those familiar clear blue eyes
I turned right, you turned left and then another five years...maybe more.
Your eyes are haunted now
They're still blue, but they no longer sparkle with the innocent youth they once did.
Can we go back?
Back to those days in red halls and warm, star-filled nights?
Back to youth?
It was all so easy then...


Monday, January 14, 2008

It's a Love-Hate Relationship

The more time that I spend living in Europe, the more I realize how much of an Oregonian I am at heart. As much as I love living abroad (Vienna was amazing and, I find it safe to say, Edinburgh is even better), I will always return to, and feel a special connection to, my 'home' in the Pacific Northwest. Though this is true and will always remain a fact, I have compiled a list of reason why I love and hate (or severely dislike) living in Edinburgh. I could do this with Oregon as well, but for now we'll stick with the current situation.

Reasons why I love Edinburgh:
1. I love Scotland in general. The countryside is absolutely gorgeous and it's a great place to live. The Highlands have, by far, been my favorite physical attribute which the country has to offer. I only hope to see them toward the end of summer in order to witness hills that are completely and fantastically covered in bright purple heather.
2. Scottish people! I have come to the conclusion that Scottish people are the NICEST people one will ever meet. They are quick to smile and start a conversation. Quick to help and offer a kind word whenever. It's a pleasant thing to be standing in line at Tesco and have a random conversation with the old man/woman behind you over the weather...even if you can't understand a word they say.
3. Free Museums! The fact that museums do not charge admissions is fantastic as it allows more people to see exhibits that are being presented and does not exclude poor Uni students who would not be able to afford to see the treasures within otherwise. Bravo to the Brits for this one!
4. Edinburgh's architecture, history and culture that is present in everday life. The city is saturated with all three...and more!
5. The fact that you can walk down the street anytime of the day (business hours moreso) and see at least three people playing the bagpipes dressed in traditional Highland garb. The sound of the bagpipes echoing off the concrete buildings always brings a smile to my face.
6. Enjoying a pint (or several) in a pub next to the fire with a bunch of local older men while a football match plays on the telly on a Sunday afternoon.
7. Black Medicine Coffee Shop and the fact that its identity is torn between that of a tribal Native American decor and a reggae Rastaffarian lounge. The coffee's great and the staff are fantastic as well!
8. The Spicebox! Curry is freakin' phenomenal and it's by far the best in town...plus, they deliver!
9. The charity shops that are on every corner (and in between). Similar to a Goodwill or Salvation Army in the States, but proceeds go to Research foundations for everything under the sun. There is even one for animals across the street from my flat. The best is when you find one that sells books for extremely cheap (i.e. paperbacks for 1 quid and hardbacks for 2 quid).

Reason why I dislike Edinburgh:
1. The disorganization of the Uni in general. From the administration, to the registrar...all the way down to the program management. You'd think that the Uni was new instead of a few hundred years old.
2. How bloody expensive life is in the United Kingdom.
3. The treacherous ice on the sidewalks at 1am when trying to trek uphill from New Town to Old Town. You do this at your own risk and accept whatever consequences are thrown your way with a slight grimace and a self-preserving laugh.
4. The sheer and utter lack of good peanut butter! Can not be found anywhere in the city.
5. Pigeons! Flying, disease-infested rats with wings that wake me up every morning despite the 2 pence pieces that people chuck at them out my window.
6. The fact that it's pitch black by 4:30 in the afternoon. Thankfully this is slowly changing as the days go by.
7. The GHETTO in which I live. For how much I flippin' pay, you'd think that it would be slightly better than it is, but such is Uni housing.
8. My terrible sleeping habits. I don't think that they've ever been so haphazard and insomniac-esque in my entire life...yet I do nothing productive whilst in the throes of my insomnia episodes.
9. The Uni library! It is not condusive to studying in any way. It is constantly overrun with loud undergraduates and there are NEVER enough copies of the books you need or they don't even carry what you're looking for. This makes it extremely difficult to do the reading for class.

Upon completing this list, I've come to the conclusion that the good outweigh the bad by miles! How many opportunities do you get to study at a top Uni in the United Kingdom? Honestly! Although I may say I dislike several aspects about living in Edinburgh and attending the Uni, I wouldn't trade it for anything...but I will still return to Oregon when I'm finished. Oh Oregon...how I yearn for your hay-fever inducing valleys and downpours that rival the rainfall of Scotland (true fact!). I'll see you in due time...in due time.