Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Spooky Greetings from:


The Statue of Liberty!

(thanks mom. great idea)

(i love amERica)


And friends!


AND...




Fred Flintstone!

(we can all thank PC for commenting on this photo on FB so that it would come up on my news feed. we have a lot in common, PC and I, namely our love for Dwayne "the rock" Johnson)




Hope your Halloween is awesome.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Disappointment

I have spent so many hours wondering what I did wrong. Or maybe it was something I didn't do. I just am not sure how to make him notice me or respond to my advances.

Yes, I am talking about Tom Arnold.

I guess its my typical problem. I meet someone, he makes the first move (ha! typical), I play it cool but still respond back in a timely yet witty manner, to ensure he knows I'm interested. And smart and clever.


But then? Nothing.

Tom. Why are you such a tease?

And why do I let myself get played. Time and time again. (the same thing happened with Snoop Dogg. And Justin Bieber. They NEVER notice me on Twitter)

My heart can't take much more of this.

This is how i like to remember him. When it was us:


I'll never give up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I also love this picture

Don't my brothers look just simply delightful? Makes me smile every time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love Wednesdays

You know whats really great?

Wednesdays.

Because I have no class on Wednesdays.

And so I feel like I can study for a couple hours, and then play!

Which is exactly what I do best.

Plus, I had received an email from one of the programme leaders giving us some information today, but at the end she signed it "enjoy the sunshine", so it was really her telling me to go outside. I'm a really good listener.

York.
Why was this statue here? I have no idea. But I appreciate it.


And the river/clouds. I am loving these sunny days guys. I had no idea how happy the sun made me. But still, I am a little sad I'm missing out on the snowfall in Colorado.

Oh, and then you're wondering what I did tonight, eh? Well, every week after institute they do some sort of activity for us at the church. Tonight that activity was carving pumpkins.

We all know how much I love a good pumpkin carving. And if you don't, well, I love it.

There were some people who had never carved a pumpkin before, and a lot of the others hadn't done it very many times. Such a sad state. I was proud of my American heritage in disfiguring a perfect pumpkin.

I mostly gutted the pumpkin. It is weirdly my favorite part. And then Sam was in charge of carving out the excellent design. I don't want to sound too proud, but it was the best one.
(third from the right in the above photo. a mummy sticking out its tongue. i think. a close second is the one just next to us-the howling wolf. so clever.)

Bam.
Wednesday, I'll see you again next week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blergh.

I just got dressed for the day. But you don't really know what time it is here, so its fine. Right?

I also just wrote a paragraph on how I think I have another ear infection (that makes 4 this year) but I deleted it. Because you guys don't want to read about my health issues!

You want to read about my other issues!

I have class in about ten minutes though, so I don't know how in depth we're going to get.

A few examples of my issues:

I'm struggling with the idea of wearing socks that peek up under my boots. You know what I mean? I think its the thing this fall/winter and I'm really trying. Right now I'm wearing socks under my boots and they were making their appearance, showing themselves. But I pushed them back down to the unseen world because I just can't dedicate myself to it.

I really do like all my roommates. I have no problems with any of them. I do have issues sharing a kitchen with 13 other people, though. So I have discovered days and times when nobody is in there, and I own that kitchen. 3:30 pm? I can have lunch then. 10pm? I'll make tomorrows breakfast. There are ways around this. A couple of my housemates have mentioned that they haven't seen me for awhile, and this is sad, but it is necessary for my sanity.

We had a fire-drill. Friday morning. 9 am. I never.ever.ever. had a fire-drill in college. It was really fun. Oh wait. It wasn't.

The bus that takes me to and from church is the smelliest bus I've ever been on.

The rest of the world does not use the phrase 'sugar daddy' (except for my class of teenage boys in Korea that i taught). Tonight in my linguistics class we were talking about word formations and she asked if anybody knew what it meant. Finally, a shining moment for yours truly.

Issues.

Monday, October 24, 2011

its foreal official now

hoodie purchased. officially a student again.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A word on the weekend

Such a good weekend. I'm sitting here completely content with my life, and it feels real good.

There are some choice people here, and I got to enjoy some dinner with them! Ben, Hannah, and Beth-you guys are great. And Mexican food? I'll learn to love the UK version of you.


My favorite part of this meal was when Hannah got her fudge waffle for dessert. In the menu it had been described as being 'drowning in fudge and caramel sauce" but when she got it, it looked more like it was wading in the fudge. So she brought this up to the waiter, and he returned to drown it in chocolate. Making things happen. That's what she does.

I also appreciated the fact that Ben expressed his love for the Backstreet Boys openly. Quit playin' games with my heart, Ben! Don't worry. Beth and I are already planning on making that concert happen. April seems sooo far away.

(I love these shoes. And the bus)

This weekend was also Stake Conference for church-when the congregations in a certain geographical location meet together as one big congregation-and it was real good. I left church feeling completely fulfilled in every way. I don't usually go all church on my blog, but I just want to say that this church is true. It just is. And it continually blesses me in every facet of my life. This conference was all about reaching out to people as Christ reaches out to people and it gave me a renewed desire to always be on the look out for those who need a hand. Love it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a special Saturday

Because I just keep doing stuff like this, and I feel the need to share.

I won't be offended if you don't watch this.


Just another Saturday afternoon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Better than studying

I was counting myself lucky with such a beautiful Wednesday.

So when I woke up on Thursday and it was still as bright and shiny, I told myself I would sacrifice a day in the library for a stroll downtown. It was seriously painful when I was inside reading and the sun was outside shining.

And it was such a successful day!

I found my future husband:
(i don't even mind which one-but my top two are the accordion player and mr. headband)
They were jamming out hard. And I enjoyed it.

I went to the park and there are museums around but I mostly strolled. Here I am in front of the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey. Lots of ruins around these parts. But I guess that's what you get when the ruins date back to 1271. Nothing lasts anymore, you know?

The river that runs through the city.

Back to York Minster...I can't get enough of this place.


And a bit of downtown...


Yeah. I can study at night. Totally worth it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

800 Years Ago

800 years ago there were some monks.

These monks set out to do some serious damage. And by damage I mean awesomeness. Because they built this abbey that was so massive. And so beautiful. And you know what? They didn't even have power tools! Some people don't even believe its that old, just because it is so mind boggling.

It's called Fountains Abbey. Check it. I checked it. So cool. And awe-inspiring.

(also, can you believe this is where Joanne's kids had their high school graduation? not.fair)

But wait. First let me back up.

Once upon a time I was born into a family. That family has relatives who moved to England a few years back. That family is now super close to me. It was so random to find out that my mom's cousin lives just a couple towns away from where I am now, but its also super nice. So on Wednesday Joanne and I got together (it was the first time we'd seen each other in a long time...like, since I was a child) and spent the day going around her town of Knaresborough and then she was nice enough to show me out to Fountains Abbey.

(we may or may not have almost the same hair. just noticed.)

It was so fun. She makes a wonderful bag lady. I would insert a picture of her holding bags right now, but I was a doof and forgot my camera's SD card on the day we got together. Luckily she was much more prepared and thus our time at the abbey is well documented.

The abbey really was astounding. It dates back to 1132 and is one of the biggest and best preserved Cistercian abbeys in all the land! (the land of England)
Those monks knew how to throw it down.


We even saw a monk! She's probably 800 years old, too. Ugh. So old. Also, I feel like Yoda in this picture. And I can't help but wish I had had this little outfit when I dressed up like Thomas Aquinas that one time...in college.

It was a perfect day, with seriously the most perfect weather we could've asked for. It was so sunny and nice out! And it was fun catching up with Joanne and hearing about family members I don't really know much about and the random commonalities among our families. Such a great day.

And one thing we talked about was how GREEN the grass and trees are here. Sometimes the grass is so green I think its blinding me. I love it. It's one of my favorite things.


So thanks Joanne! Next time I'll bring my camera. All of it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm not embarrassed.



(I'm a little embarrassed)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Monday

I woke up in a surprisingly and alarmingly good mood. Especially for a Monday. I was concerned for a moment that something was wrong with me, but then I decided to bask in the goodness I was feeling and so I danced around my room to some of my current favorite jams. (Miguel. Chris Brown. T-Swift.) The 15 year old inside was just busting it out this morning. And I think she should bust it out every morning.

My first (and only) class on Mondays is at 11 am. Not a bad time. Its not too far but since it was the first time we were meeting in this classroom I left a few minutes earlier. It wasn't hard to spot once I got in the building-I just followed the trail of Asians leading me to the right room. I was a little surprised, although I shouldn't have been, to find the room already packed! I was concerned I was late, but I looked at the time-nine minutes before class was to start-but then I realized why. These Chinese classmates are really making me rethink every part of my studying routine. Don't even get me started on trying to get a book from the library-those kids go in and hunt them down ages before the reading is even assigned! I am going to have to step up my game. It is going to be difficult.

Hey Darren-they have bacon flavored chips (or in their words 'crisps') here. Delicious.


I'm planning on spending the rest of my Monday studying what I can out of the books I was able to snag from the library. And trying not to freeze-the wind is especially chilly today. And as nerdy as it sounds, it feels good being back in the classroom. I'm excited to start figuring out a thesis (i'll not be as excited later i'm sure) and trying my hand at this whole 'graduate school' thing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Today was good

It was real good.

One time I lived in Korea. And when I lived in Korea I met a girl named Ruth. Ruth happens to live in England...actually, she conveniently lives just a few towns away from me! I couldn't have planned it better myself. So today we got together and just chatted about life and she showed me around her home turf.

Enter Harrogate:


After Harrogate we went and walked around the town of Knaresborough for a bit. The day was looking like it was going to be cold and rainy for awhile, but it held out and let us wander. And it was sunny by the time I got back to York. Feels so good!

Anyways, Knaresborough was a lovely little town. Kind of the epitome of what you envision a little English town to be like. Quaint, even.




Also, on a completely unrelated note, I am going to a Taiwanese party tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Boy Bands

My friends,

We all know that I have a certain obsession with those pop stars of my youth. Namely, the Backstreet Boys. Maybe just yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time watching some of their old music videos. Maybe.

Also maybe I noticed that Nick Carter had the Biebers hair just a couple years before JB was born. haha ok not really but he was probably a baby (baby baby, oh)! And don't get me wrong, Justin actually looks good in his hair cut. Nick, please never go back here.


Anyways, what I want to really point out here is this:


It is a tragedy. It seems as though Mr. Lance Bass of NSYNC is trying his hand at being Lou Pearlman and making his own boyband. And this is what he's come up with.

Disappointing, Lance. Really.

Let's just hope this is one big joke, because if its real...I just don't know what to think anymore.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FREE.

Being one of three non-Asians in a cohort of 150 really has its perks. Sometimes I feel like they all stare me down whenever I talk/walk in/sit there. No joke. Today in class they were talking about this online quiz on "Academic Integrity" (which apparently is a novel idea for different cultures. Plagiarism is bad, right? PC was saying how in India everyone does it-they just copy/paste like its going out of style!. So random). Anyways, someone had a question about it and I had just finished it this morning so I was saying the answer. EVERYONE turned around and stared as I spoke. And every person I meet asks me "Why do you study this?". I do what i want!


But back to the issue at hand. I feel like there are divisions forming among the class, and I had to pick one.


There were several offers from different Chinese groups.



(I felt like George Sr. in Arrested Development, trying to decide what gang to join in prison. "I feel like the prettiest girl at the ball!")


But the Taiwanese really stepped up their game and so I have officially chosen their side. They knew where to go to get free coffee/hot chocolate for International Students and so we made our way over after our meeting today.





Free hot chocolate and them talking in Chinese half the time while I sit there? Sold.

Monday, October 10, 2011

One of these is not like the others

Story of my life.

Today was my first real day of graduate school.

I'm so grown up.

I had some welcome meetings this morning, an informational library session (it's for sure no harold, but i don't think there's another like him on the planet), and then my first lecture. Two
hours long. Lets just say I got my new Taiwanese friends to exclaim with me "life is so hard!" Because two hours?! On Research Methods in Language Learning? I didn't even remember the name of the course-I had to go look it up. But yeah, its going to be good.

Let me back up for a second...I get to the first class, which was a meeting for everyone in my course study, and I laughed out loud (LOL'd as some people say) as I turned the corner and saw
a sea of Asians. Probably a hundred of them. There are two other non-Asians in the class. And I just think about how I should've anticipated this, but I really didn't, so it was kind of surprising! I sat next to a girl from Hong Kong in my morning class (and my two roommates. so glad i could
pick them out!) and this afternoon I met and bonded with the Taiwanese. There were a few of them, and once I met one I had to meet them all! My favorite is the girl who's English name is Fanny. Because who has the name Fanny? This girl.

We had about an hour break between the library session and our lecture, so they invited me to have some coffee (or hot chocolate?) with them. It was pretty fun as I demonstrated the Chinese language skills I possess, we chatted about how I have the worst living situation (14 people for the kitchen-they laughed at me), and then we just kind of made fun of Fanny. So glad to have
that friend already picked out..and so glad its not me. They invited me to lots of Taiwanese club meetings (totally going) and then said they had so many Chinese roommates themselves that they refer to their dorms as China Town.

It was a good day. Even though I got my first homework in three years and I haven't quite figured out what studying means again. I'm sure I'll get there.

Also, one of my peeps said that there are enough candy bars here to eat a different one every day. I'm doing my best to see if thats true.

(also, it is a feat that i haven't taken a nap today and its 8pm.
i've been trying really hard to get here.
me=adult)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Things I Learned Today

Saturday.

-Costcutter is a grocery store, not a place you go for a discount hair cut

-Mexican food in the UK is not very good...I don't even know why I tried

-I can still sleep until 2 pm.

-OMGOSHH just had a moment with Indian Guy-his name is Prahkar aka PC so from this moment on I will call him one of those names. Well, I was just sitting here on my laptop, blogging, and someone knocked on my door. I hurried and put pants on and there was PC, standing there, asking for MY help opening a can of tuna. I don't know why he came to me, but I was so honored. We only have a bunk can opener so it took a hot minute to figure out how to open the can, but mission accomplished! Too bad he was born in 1989. Or not too bad...awww yeahhhhh. And he told me we could party in his room any time. BAM.

-Kanye West coming on the radio while shopping at H&M makes life a little bit better

-I was just talking to a visitor Indian guy whose real name actually is Ali and I told him I didn't drink. Then he asked if I drank juice. So I clarified that I don't drink alcohol. And then there was a pause and I started talking to PC again, and I looked at Ali and he had this distant look in his face. So I asked him what was up and he said he was just thinking about how I don't drink. "I've never met anyone like you before". Changing lives.

-I am the oldest person in my house. Awesome. And probably the most mature.

-The rain and I need to work something out. And fast.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another video?! York.

This one has a couple surprises. You'll want to stick around. Or not.


Today was legit. I woke up and went to some random welcome orientation. It was awesome. Only mostly boring. They really have some York pride here, which I can respect. We're really smart. So it makes sense I'm roommates with so many Chinese people. And they're so funny, because they ask me why I came to England for TESOL when I obviously could've just stayed at home and done the same thing. "Why not!?" is my typical response.

Today one of the girls-her English name is Sherry-approached me and asked "so you
don't have any friends in York?". "Nope. I have no friends". "Oh, maybe we can be good friends then!"

I hope so Sherry. And Patty. And Kirk.

My real goal for wandering around downtown was not to buy a sweet Cher record, but to find me a phone and hopefully have time to see the famous York Minster.

(or an old bookstore! i love old bookstores)

The York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, and I admit I was taken aback at its size. It's so big! I feel like I barely got to really see it for what its worth so I know I'll be going back. But luckily for me, I got there just a few minutes before a Choral Evensong was about to start. So I walked right in and enjoyed the service. I was really impressed with the boys choir-I guess I'd never really been to a live service with a live boys choir, but those kids could sing! Their soprano voices were strong and just perfect. I was slightly jealous. One kid had Justin Bieber hair too, so I feel like if they just channel his talent in a slightly different direction they could bank on that.


As I was sitting there I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for being able to come here. Like really? This is my life. Sitting in a cathedral built hundreds of years ago, listening to a boys choir, on a beautiful sunny day. Life is good.

(oh heyy guy fawkes. yorkpride)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ALSO

I'm gone for one day and Steve Jobs dies?! I feel so out of the loop.

I was listening to the radio in the cab today and they had a programme about it, with people calling in and just talking about the influence this man had on the world.

It was then I started talking to my cab driver and he revealed he did not know who Steve Jobs was! I thought it was so crazy. But there were a couple others on the radio who weren't positive who he was either. So wild.

Thought this was cool:

( image via Art Jonak)

RIP Steve!

I Live in York Now.

My friends.

I live in York now. And its weird.

It's not my first time living in a foreign country, but it is most definitely a different vibe here than in Korea. I think in Korea the fact I didn't speak the language and that I was super different was strangely a more comforting feeling. The isolation was obvious but not necessarily chosen. Here I have the beauty of knowing everything that is going on around me, but it leaves me feeling more alone. Its so weird. And don't get me wrong. I am doing well. I'm on day 1. Its my normal adjustment cycle starting.

Anyways, here is a video I made of my living situation! The video isn't my best but I most definitely look really good. (The rain makes my hair sad)



Yes, I live in a house/flat dorm. Its three floors, I'm on the top. There are six rooms on the top two floors and I think three rooms on the bottom floor. I only think this because of the 15 lockers in the kitchen, forcing me to assume there are 15 rooms.

As mentioned in the video, there are a lot of Chinese people here. Naturally it makes me feel a little bit more at home being surrounded by Asians. They seem really nice and a couple are in my programme (*notice i am british now) as well, so I'll be seeing them a lot. One Chinese boy. One Indian boy. Me. Another American (i haven't met her) and the rest are Chinese. Bam!

So I get in yesterday after the longest day of my life traveling and I am smelly. Its true. I need to take a shower real bad, so its on my list of 'to-do asap'. I get all my stuff into my room, wallow in tiredness and hunger, but then decide to venture out to the bathroom for a shower. On each floor there is a separate room for the toilet and shower. Or bath.

Yes, I gather all my stuff (minus a towel because who has room to pack a towel? or buy a towel somewhere close by before showering-because there is no where close to buy a towel I realized so instead of a towel i grab my sweat pants. i'm gross but i lacked options) and I head to what I think to be where the shower is. But there, sitting in the room, is a bath tub. Why the deuce did these people think that I would prefer baths over showers on a daily basis? I don't know. And I didn't really care enough to find out. So I took a bath. And don't worry, they have the hot and cold waters coming out of different spouts and believe me when I say the hot is HOT. Burns the skin.

After my bath I walked 3o minutes to get Pizza Hut. I don't regret it.

(i also later walked the other floors and they have showers. so while i'm bummed they're not on my floor, you better believe i'll be using their stuff)

I walked around the closest part of downtown near me looking for any kind of store that would sell towels or blankets but found nothing. The rain was about to start so I came home, hoping for the best: warmth. The best did not happen.

I fell asleep at like...7:30 pm last night. And I was warm enough under my sheet. But then the night fell harder and I woke up. Freezing. The bed had been right next to the window, and the draft was rough. I put on three pairs of pants. And regretted not bringing a hoodie (i shall purchase one asap). So I grabbed my coat and put it over me. This sufficed until I woke up at a normal time. And then I moved my bed for draft protection. Best idea I've had all day.

Anyways, as much as those stories seem upsetting, they're not! Orientation starts tomorrow so I'll meet some peeps there. Hopefully. And today I had some really nice people help me. Like the lady at ASDA (aka Walmart) who chatted with me about York and things to look out for. And the cab driver who helped me carry in my bags. And the cashier who was so patient for me to get cash out the ATM because their reader wouldn't take my credit card. Also, the fact that they use the word 'love' so much makes me smile.

"Hello love, where can I take you today?"

"Just give me a minute, love"

So.precious.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Game

This is where I am today:


And tomorrow I go here:


I'll see you when you come visit me!

(also i seriously miss you all a lot already. so i really am banking on you visiting me)