01 December, 2006

Since Thanksgiving....

It's been a lovely week! Thanksgiving was a total success (even though the day started with my turkey being somewhat still frozen!). All was done on time, all tasted amazing, and no one had room for pie (but we still managed a bit). Let me know if you haven't gotten the pictures and I'll send you the invite to view them.

After that I went to Leamington Spa for three days with my friend Colette who is doing her PhD there (well, in nearby Warwick). That was oh so much fun. A couple of days of chill out time with cool people and lots of pub visits! We went to Stratford on Sunday (Shakespeare-land) and it was gooorgeous. That was lovely; had tea by the river, shopped on the High street which was so picturesque. I was walking through a postcard! It was a very chill, nice break away.

Then Monday morning I was off to London for four days of research at the British Library (awesome, I had to be interviewed, have a letter from my supervisor, documents of identity, got an admission card...I felt like I was being accepted into a secret society), shopping, show-seeing, and playing with Masaki!! She, Trip, and baby Noe were in town and I loved hanging out with them. It was just really comfortable and fun, and I saw a whole bunch of new areas of London that I hadn't explored before like Notting Hill and the Camden Markets.

I saw two shows and a movie while there as well. The movie was The Prestige with Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlet Johansen and Michael Caine. It was great. It ends totally differently than you think its going to, and was just really g ood. The first hour was a bit slow, then I was like 'Wha??' And it was great from there on out, but I will not reveal anything. The second night there I went to Wicked the musical starring Idina Menzel (Maureen from Rent, married to Taye Diggs, amazing) and saw Taye Diggs come out of the mens room! He walked right past me! Sweet... that show was lovely. I'd heard a few of the songs before, but the whole show was just dazzling and clever with really dramatic and beautiful music. Its the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and how she and Glinda were college roomates, and she wasn't really wicked. It was wicked good :)

And then I saw Billy Elliot... I don't think I can quite express how much I loved it. If you know me, you know my slight obsession with this film and the baker's dozen amount of how many times I saw it in the theater... and this live show... oh girl. Every obsession is re-realized. Elton John wrote the music to it, the cast was amazing, the children in the show are unbelievably talented.... the women next to me must have thought that I was crazy. I cried, I laughed, I whooped, I cheered, I gasped, and I did not want to leave. It was amazing and I so want to see it again. 12 more times. I bought the soundtrack anyway, so that will keep me satiated for a bit.

Lots of love, and I'll be Stateside on December 13, less than two weeks! EEP! I didn't realize it was that soon! Wow...see you soon :)

23 November, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Well I'm about to cook Thanksgiving dinner for 12 brits (eep!) so I'm sure I'll post about that later, but look what I did yesterday! I cut my hair off! I haven't had it this short since I was in High School, and I'm quite enjoying it. It was a total whim, walked past the place, went in and sat down. So yay for new hair, yay for Thanksgiving Turkey and pies and sweet potatoes :)


20 November, 2006

His Dark Materials

So I've just finished His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. I looove the feeling when you finish a book. It's satisfying, my brain is booming, I'm a little sad to leave my friends behind... it's such a nice stew of emotions :) So His Dark Materials was really interesting. Fantasy, but not in the Harry Potter mode; it was more philosophical than I expected. The first one was tame, introductory, I got to know the character (a female heroine as well)... and then they got darker, more complex, discussed human intuition and imagination, religion, love... soooo much fun :) I highly recommend them, just so I can have someone else to talk about them with if nothing else!

So this week shall be lots of fun. Thursday is Turkey Day (yay!) and I bought a huge turkey to cook for a slew of Brits :) I'm quite excited as it's the first I'll have cooked on my own, but I have every faith I'll succeed in it (so long as I can call Emily throughout the day and confirm cooking instructions). Then Friday I'm going to Warwick with Colette til Monday, then London until Thursday with Masaki! Whee!! It's high time I got out of Bangor and changed my scenery!

Just as I was doing my image search for something from His Dark Materials, I discovered pictures of the STAGEPLAY!! A love finding new extensions for my obsessions :)

09 November, 2006

Sorry for the lack of posting recently. No real excuse, mainly just that things haven't been postworthy I suppose! I'm just kinda settling into a routine here in ol' Bangor and reeeaaally liking it. My jobs are great, I feel like I'm ten times more productive than I've been, I'm working out again, traveling to fun local desitnations on weekends, learning how to use all sorts of different officey type programs and stuff.... its loverly :) Tuesday-Thursday I do my jobs (three conferences to plan, and international office) and go to circuit training in the evening, Monday, Thursday afternoon, and Friday are my academic days, and weekends are whatever I need them to be (play, work, whatever).

I did have a fun alteration in today's schedule though. There was a group of Chinese delegates from an international education company called NCC visiting Wales today and I was their Vanna White tour guid showing off campus. It was fun/ny. Nice group, thought Bangor was gorgeous, and apparently thought I was a tourist attraction as well. I've never had my picture taken more in my life. Doing everything. And nothing. They took about 50 pictures (honestly not exaggerating) while I was running a power point presentation. I mean, I know I'm hot and exciting and all that...but come on... :) And one younger woman gave me her email address and mobile because she 'likes Americans.' Oh silly... but fun.

I went beach walking last weekend with Steve and Lindsey on Llanddoeyn Island, and this pic is from there. Not too shabby, eh? Anyone seen the Demi Moore film 'Half Light'? It was pretty bad, but it was filmed here, this is the lighthouse she went to. Oooo exciting :)

23 October, 2006

A wha??

I'm a bit lost for what to post, because I just finished reading Tripp and Sarah's blog (if you haven't read it yet, treat yourself: trippandsarah.blogspot.com), and I can't even respond to that let alone post my own stuff. THEY BIRTHED LAMBS PEOPLE! Well not they, themselves, but they pulled a lamb out of a sheep. Even Sarah. Up to their wrists in sheep. Eww... but wow. And kayaking in fjords... wow.

So yeah, I'm just in awe of them at the moment. Because how did I spend my morning? Laundry and cleaning my flat. Whoot! I kept stuff at the chaplaincy over the summer for storage, and the basement where my stuff was flooded.... so I spent 3 hours and 8 pounds today washing damp, somewhat moldy clothes. I think I've rescued three pairs of pants, some PJ bottoms, a fleece vest, and a sweater, but I'm afraid we lost two brave sweaters, a shawl, and three pairs of shoes in the mess. One of the sweaters was this gorgeous, teal, jcrew one that Sarah got me last year too. I washed it three times and now I think its too small for me for one thing (it might fit my pleasant company dolls), and it still smells of damp... shed a tear.

I did quit my job yesterday though, and I'm planning a few days in London, and a possible trip to Norway in February to see the northern lights and the arctic circle. Thats some thrilling stuff to look forward to:) And my friend Colette is coming back to Bangor tonight and we're gonna rock the pub quiz this evening. Yay!

So no birthing lambs, but still wicked good. :)

20 October, 2006

I love productive days

(The picture is from last Easter, frolicking on Newborough Beach, but it kind of reflects how I feel today!)

Seriously, today was great. Busy and head is buzzing, but the good things-are-moving-around-in-there buzzing. So I quit the cinema today, and it went surprisingly well. James was on, and he's the manager that just kind of takes situations. He never reacts to them, just takes them. So I told him I was quitting, gave him my letter, and he said 'okay, that sounds fine' and that was it! Fine by me... no guilt trip or harassing as my other managers would do :) So I'm working tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, and then I'm done! It'll be sad to lose free movies, and a job completely brainless and kinda fun... but my new jobs are sounding pretty sweet!

I took the international job and started it today. It's good! Mainly secretarial stuff. I answer the phones, look up application details, answer emails etc. But it's a fun office, laid back, and I already know the answers to a lot of the questions because I lived through it, so that's good!

And next week I'll start the job with Raluca. That's only about 4 or 5 hours a week, and it's all conference planning and webpage management. So both really good experiences I think, pay is decidedly better, location is walking distance from my house, and the hours are totally up to me to plan. I just tell them when I'll be in, and that's it! Sweet!

And I had a meeting with Sam (friend) and Peter (supervisor) today and both were really encouraging and I might go so far as to say a positive experience (rare and somewhat unheard of with Peter!). YAY!! So I had two meetings, worked in the int'l office, went grocery shopping, worked for an hour and a half, met with some friends and saw the Departed at the cinema (SO FRICKIN' GOOD. SERIOUSLY.), and now I'm blogging. Oh, and I almost died at Sarah and Tripp's new post. I LOVE THEM. And I love living through them :)

YAY! So things are lovely. May it continue.

18 October, 2006


This whole money thing just gets in the way, doesn't it? So my solution for now, is that I've decided to quit the cinema and take the job with Raluca and the one in the international office. Raluca's is a max of 5 hours a week, and the international job is as many hours as I want on whatever day I want etc. etc.... very flexible, perfect, even, but it's only guarenteed until November (which is fast approaching!). So I'm working for them, but I've applied for these two library jobs and pretty much told them that if I'm offered a position with them, I would probably take it, and they were totally fine with that.

So I'll turn my notice in this weekend for the cinema! I'm sad to leave it, but it's the right move. The people I work with there are great, I like that it is out of the way and has nothing to do with academia, and of course free movies are great, but it'll save me 3 pounds each time (train fare), and two of our managers left along with about12 staff members, so it's not been a perfect place to work recently! It's a good move. And worst case is I am not kept on the job in the international office and I'll have to find yet another job sometime after Christmas. We shall see! It'll be fiiine :)

As for today though, there are blue skies, and I'm going to Chester (the picture is Chester) with David to go ice skating and walking around the town. Yay!

15 October, 2006

And just to add to the confusion... I was just offered a job by the international office. GAH! It's perfect, but it's only a guarenteed job until November. If I don't get the library jobs, then what? Huh... we shall just have to see. I need a tshirt that says that. "We'll see" as it seems to be the slogan of the year.

12 October, 2006

Things to ponder...

So a few interesting things have popped up over the last couple of days. One was that I got an email from one of my supervisors, Raluca, offering me a part-time job that pays more than twice what I make at the cinema. Whoot! It'd only be like 5 hours a week, but it actually has to do with my major, I'd be helping to organize conferences, and doing palaeography work. Exciting. Then she told me about two other job openings in the library, where I'd be a member of staff (which means I get a library card and an email account, something I don't have now and would have to pay 40 pounds a month for... yeah, don't really want to pay for that when I can just use my hotmail address). One is reshelving books, helping people find books, basic library stuff. The other one is in the archives department, and involves handling the rare documents and assisting researchers and stuff. Both pay really well, and as both are University jobs, if I decided to do my PhD at Bangor, my tuition would be halved.

So I still don't know if I want to do a PhD, but things are being set up pretty well that if I do want to do one, it would be very easy to pay for and get accepted. Eep!

So those are the things on my mind... no real news otherwise. I saw Children of Men yesterday and that was a crazy movie. Really good, but crazy. It's about the end of humanity because people can't conceive anymore. Then one girl gets pregnant and Clive Owen has to get her to safety before the government tries to take over her and her baby. Crazy!

Anywho... off to apply for some jobs. I'll keep ya posted

09 October, 2006

Blue skies

Yay! It is sunny after five days of rain. I did fire drills again this morning because we were rained out on Friday, so this was my fifth day in a row for getting up at 5am (fire drills Thursday, Friday and Monday... drunk residents waking me up on Saturday and Sunday). It felt like I was on crew again! I actually kind of miss being productive before 10am. I bought a pedometer right before I came back to Wales and it's been a daily personal challenge to break 10,000 steps a day... yeah, not too hard here as I walk everywhere. Might have to up that number. I broke 10,000 before 10am today! And had 16,000 the other day when I was at work. I should see if there's a suggestion for how many steps to do in a day. I just remembered 'the average new yorker' walked 3,000 a day (from Super Size Me), so I thought x3 was pretty good. It's fairly easy to do though when your only mode of transportation is your feet.

Anywho... things are good in Ol' Bangor. Emily went home last week so I'm still getting used to not texting her three times a day with random stuff I think about. I definitely miss having her around, but hopefully I'll get my butt to Chicago for New Years. The new wardens are a good group though, and I've met some of the sailing club and they're a lot of fun. And of course I have David and Andrew :) So not lacking in company, thankfully. Also went back to work last week and enjoyed seeing that gang. It may be a brainless job, but I enjoy the cinema.

Okay, all for now. Going to do my laundry.

05 October, 2006

Fire Drills in the Rain

Today was uber fun. I got up at 5am because I've started my warden duties, and we did fire drills this morning. I got to wear a bright orange vest, set off fire alarms, and watch still-drunk 18 year olds spill outside. It was actually a good time. I got to know my other wardens which was good as I missed the training period and I'm still 'the new guy.' And then we were going to go out to breakfast, but decided we'd go tomorrow as we have to do it all again tomorrow morning! So I went back to bed until noon instead. Sweet.

And now it's absolutely pouring and I'm just not motivated to go outside. So I shall unpack some more, make some lunch, and possible watch a dvd. I'm THAT exciting :)

29 September, 2006

Back in Bangor

So I'm back in Bangor, once again, and happy to be here. It's weird how I can feel so stinkin' comfortable in both places. I was sitting in JFK airport and really didn't want to go back. Not that I am not enjoying it by any means, but I was happy at home, and wanted to stay. And now I'm back here, and I'm happy all over again. I love being here, I love being there... meh. I know I'll be back there eventually, so I just need to remember to enjoy this as much as humanly possible while I am here!

Oh and I don't have a room yet! I'm a warden this year (just a scary name for an RA) and I was in one hall where I had a tiny room and it was all undergraduates (would have been fine, but I wasn't overly thrilled about it), then a girl quit, and I got her room! I haven't seen it yet, but apparently its a top floor suite, my own kitchenette, bathroom, a bedroom and a little living room. Whoot! Much better. And the hall is international students and postgrads. Whoot!

So yeah, that's all for today! It's David's brithday so we're gonna go out to dinner and do a little pub crawling :)