Wednesday, December 24, 2003

in germany for christmas. and because if i start sending personal emails to people i know i'll forget someone, so instead..


because here, christmas is on the eve. which means that in 34 minutes it's christmastime, except that i doubt i'll get online tomorrow, so i do it now.

i even have presents for everyone here. i feel so proud....

my last day in prague was lovely. sunshine and chilly, a few snowflakes here and there.. and then when i got to the plane it ended up being delayed after everyone was on board. so we sat there for nearly an hour. and when the plane started to move and i woke up and looked out the window, it was the middle of a snowstorm. i said from the beginning that i wouldn't leave prague until it started to snow....

so now i'm here. in glees, smalltown germany, for a few days, before a couple days in buchen near hamburg. and on the one hand, it's nice to be here, but on the other hand it can't go quickly enough. partially because i'm still very aware of how little german i understand (although it's a lot more now than it used to be) but also because i have no one around here to tell the stupid things that pop into my head. at least, no one who'll appreciate it. which is why being in sandefjord will be wonderful, because i'll be spending it with people who are a lot more fun and interesting (by my standards).

just have to hope that it actually snows for new years....

but at any rate. merry christmas, everybody. hope everyone had a good time this year. (still 27 minutes early. ah well.)

Congratulations! You're Legolas!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

that's not me, i don't think..

(okay, maybe a little, but not really.)

it does mean that i'm an elf, though, and therefore i'm happy with the result. {g}

i want to see the movie soon.... one more week. hopefully.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

MAGGIE CLEAN OUT YOUR EMAIL!!! how can we send you christmas greetings if your mailbox is full??

Monday, December 22, 2003

i leave prague tomorrow afternoon. and i'm terribly sad about it. sort of. kind of. but not really. because i know i'll be back. and i'm looking forward to seeing people in germany. and to seeing people and places in vancouver again. gonna be sleeping in germany tomorrow night, then. then one week there, then one week in norway, then back in canada the night of january 7th. rah?

the magazine website launch party was on friday. interesting things happened after i left, although everyone's in one piece at this point, so that's good. the last few months have had so many stories of extreme physical damage though, don't know why. especially this month. hopefully it's done with by now, though. throughout the night i was "The Sticker Girl". because one of the stickers that's being used for advertising, to be plastered about town, is a picture of me. s'actually quite nifty, i like it a lot. i'll link to the site eventually. when i'm sure that i want either page to be found (more this one by people noticing where it's linked from than vice versa). when i'm finished all the work that i need to do to be completely caught up. which involves finishing up another couple articles and laying them out, but i'll get to it. i'll have a few hours to kill at the airport.

it's been snowing this week. it's been lovely. although really warm again today. weather's so strange...

bartered with bulgarians in czech yesterday. spent a good lazy afternoon/evening in the cuban irish bar O'Che's the other day. played with a puppy that only understands greek all weekend. drank kofola. had a long late-night discussion about X-Files with one of the last people i'd expect to be a fan of the show. got paid for my work in december, something i didn't expect to receive before i left. met an italian who was at the boban markovic concert and gushed about music with him for awhile last night. discussed shishas with a moravian today. got business cards the other day. got christmas shopping finished. had the best chocolate ice cream in the world yesterday. found more graffitti by my favourite graffitti artist here in prague (no clue who it is, but their style's immediately recognisable). got to speak to diiimmi a few times over.

s'been a good week.

Friday, December 19, 2003

geez louise...
i had a really long story written about my lovely morning. magically it disappeared between pressing post and it actually being saved.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Sunday, December 14, 2003

apparently in Greece, according to Crazy George the greek, the more ticklish you are, the more jealous a person you are.

dunno how true that is. but intriguing.

tonight Crazy locked me in handcuffs for a good hour if not more after i kept making fun of him. i nearly got out earlier but i couldn't resist one jab at him as he leaned forward to unlock them.

"well. then you can sit there in handcuffs and not be able to do anything. except send text messages. and drink cola."

the sinister way that he said it really perfected the comment.

i'd have gotten annoyed except for the fact that it took him a good 20 minutes to get those things locked on me in the first place, and in the end it was only because i was laughing at him so much that i just couldn't be bothered to fight him off anymore.

they're good, proper police handcuffs though. no crappy play toy.

i want some of my own.
this morning i had a dream that, at one point, involved being chased by a giant grey goose. it was all fun and games and i started laughing in my dream, getting to the point of extreme laughter when you start to gasp for breath a little.

and then i gradually woke up, but realised that the way my body felt, i'd actually been breathing oddly in real life as well. don't know if i was laughing in my sleep or just being smothered to death by a visiting ghost.

but still. strange.

and does anyone know what geese mean? one site says "They might bring an extensive journey surrounded by good fortune." ooh. cool. he was a gigantic one, too, full of life.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

the thing with blogs is that PARENTS SHOULD NOT BE READING THEM.

unfortunately i doubt that message will be on top the next time you stop by. so i might have to post it again...
nectar of the gods, slovak style.

looks like cola but tastes nothing like it. not even very sweet. one of the few sodas i've ever come across that tastes just as good, if not better, when it's flat.

and it just has such a pleasant ring to the name. "kofola."

apparently in slovakia, don't know if they still do it now, but they would have kofola on tap in the pubs. so when boys went out with their dads for drinks, the dad would have a nice foaming beer, and the son would have a wonderfully foamy frothy kofola. and then be wired for the rest of the day.

lovely kofola....

Friday, December 12, 2003

on second thought, i just looked at my bank accounts and credit cards. my god, i'm a frivolous moron.

perhaps the lomo will have to wait for another time. lens does have to be fixed, though. there's no choice in that matter.

so after the lovely day on wednesday, thursday ended up... not terrible, but it made up for my good day.

i did work, i made meself feel better visiting friends at the bar they work at, i saw traband with my french friend and we were the only two non-czechs in the entire place, though i'll have to write about the concert itself later, because it does need a mention, i stopped by other friends' for what should have been a minute and ended up being a whole night of chatting, despite my need of sleep and need to be up early today to deal with cameras and websites, but still woke up by 7:30 anyways (so yes, i am tired)...

the bad part came only because i managed to let my camera roll off the bed, jamming the lens and making it completely useless. and to fix it's going to cost about half of what it cost me new, but still much cheaper than buying a new lens. and it was/is a really good lens, so i suppose it's better to spend the money here because i'm sure i'd pay a fortune more if i fix it in vancouver.

still. what a waste. just got my money from teaching yesterday, and instead of using it to pay back people i owe, i'll be using it to repair a split-second mistake.

stupid stupid stupid.

so, because repairing the lens won't cost me quite as much as i earned last month, i think i'll buy me a lomo. because i've meant to for awhile but just never got around to it. and if i'm spending that much money already, what's another $50? (besides - prague's the place to buy them, i won't find them too much cheaper elsewhere. other camera equipment can cost a fortune, but the eastern european models are quite decently priced. mostly.) and that'll be my prague souvenir. an old russian commie camera.

and a lens that hopefully will be repaired before i leave and actually work again. even better if it's in time to take portraits that i agreed to do for someone.

once again, sarah proves herself to be an absolute moron.

at least i'll be able to reclaim taxes (22%??) when i leave the country. and have a new toy....

Thursday, December 11, 2003

it's been a week of strange dreams. not sure if the full moon this week had anything to do with it, but it's the best reason i can figure out at the moment.

first there was one where i went back to the job in england and discovered that my boss had been fired, and then died because he was so mortified. the new owner was extremely nice, though, agreed that the old boss was a bastard, and then we went swimming in the pond/moat that he'd installed around the place.

and then there was the one where isabela and shants and i were at a party which was also an extremely empty fishing dock. and we all had fun. and then shants told me he was secretly in love with me and i had to try to explain to him that gee, that's swell, but i can't go out with you because i've been secretly going out with this other person that you know. and he was quite sad about it all but i'd never want to pit a friend against a friend...

yeah. there's been more but they're not vivid enough for description anymore. bizarre silly dreams. i'm curious why they both involved water or something relating to water. although shants did laugh at the one involving him when i told him. and then we did a silly i'm-bored-and-cold-but-mostly-just-bored dance at the tramstop until his tram came, trying to figure out the name of the pattern that was on the ceiling of my mom's ford fiesta from when i was a child. wasn't paisley, i'm thinking maybe it's called houndstooth? the one that looks like little creatures dancing (or so i think). (that was last night. not a dream.)

but i'll take those anytime over last night's sleep: waking up every half hour thinking that the alarm had just gone and lying there thinking with horror that i'd just dozed off and overslept and missed going to work on time. from just after 1am and onwards until 6am. when i probably fell asleep around 12:30am anyways.


i really did enjoy that dream about my ex-boss being fired, though....
in honour of a good day, two completely unrelated and non-complimenting photos. one taken by me, one by a child.

why didn't anyone ever mention that the "whither, canada" at the top has been a broken link for eons?

and more importantly, why did it take me so long to notice the bad image link?
other than waking up and feeling very headcold-ish sick and having to get out of bed to work early in the morning, today has probably been one of the best days i've had at least this week, if not longer.*

which makes me feel a vague bit of guilt, considering that i know some people who weren't having such great days today. but at the same time, hey! it's my turn now!

first, a class that went as well as ever but it was one-on-one with the student i like more because the other one was ill (who is also a sweet guy, but this one's just so adorable. there's just something about people who can't quite speak english yet...).
and then a lovely sunny day - apparently the last one for awhile.
and then sitting and actually doing some writing, not wasting time playing games due to writers' block.
and then finding some incredibly intellectual-sounding articles during research that just made me all the more excited to write.
and then getting an unfortunate sms from one person having a bad day, but managing to cheer them up with only a few words.
and then getting an invite to lunch from someone who i felt a little guilty for not having written much for lately.
and then getting there and realising that it didn't matter.
and having her compliment me on other things i'd done recently and tell me that she'd like me to more.
and finding out that we had our wires crossed anyways so though i haven't done some work for her, it's alright because i didn't know about that, but it takes stress about the work that i did know about and haven't finished yet.
and being told to just do one thing my way even if it wasn't with official permission, but if it's a problem she'll cover for me. (which just means she'll pretend she won't know me, of course. but i'd do the same for her. {g})
and finding out that our magazine has at least two financial supporters (advertisers) so far, which isn't much yet, but it's a start, and if they've started then it'll just multiply, don't you think?
and then, after the others left, realising that too often i assume people that i may not know so well (and often bosses or in work situations) are upset or angry or disappointed in or think less of me for some reason, when really, they're not, that people still like me, that any self-deprecating thoughts tend to be of my own doing (at least in those cases), and really, i've gotta get over being that self-centred to think that people bother caring about me enough to even get annoyed at me.
and then going to lend someone a program disk and being presented with another art-filled magazine to borrow just because i'd been interested in the ones she had the other day when i met her.
and then teaching classes that involved nothing more than conversation (yaaaay substitution!) and getting into lengthy conversations about bodies and dissections and WWII soldiers in formaldehyde.
and then getting another substitution job next week.
and then getting my pay for last month.
and then getting a phonecall from norway on the way home and hearing about people i haven't seen since summer.
and then checking email and finding out that i will definitely have a ride from north to south germany when i need it, for free! and even better, on the days i was hoping for!
and then finding out that i might be able to hook someone up with an au pair job i mentioned to them and that it could work out perfectly time-wise for both parties involved. the extra part of this story is that it'll mean i'll have gotten a czech friend out of the deal as well. yay!
and then finding out that kenten rocks my world.
and then getting an invite from someone who played a disturbing role in my dreams the other night to watch football with the gang. but disturbing role aside, i'm more than happy to get invited out with the guys.
and then got good news about knee surgery from my mom (i hope, at least, but sounds good).
and then realised that at that very moment, in my head, i was being much nicer and appreciative to my mom than i am sometimes, and have been told off for many a time. but that was purely me. i'm not an evil person!**
and then...

actually, that leads us to here. when i should be writing before i said i'd go meet the guys. whatever, i'll do the quick fix-ups now, go out, write the rest tomorrow morning, everything's cool.

good times....

and then
going to watch football and watching "our" team win, although the game was a little dull. but at least the place had four different games going on different screens, so when "our" game was boring you could watch the french. and hear cheers randomly even if no one scored on "your" screen.
and then got an sms from diiiiimi wishing he could catch a train to moooskvaaaaaaa.
and then had a ten minute but well worth it chat with shants at the tram stop, just being stupid and silly but both of us making up for not having anyone to chat with when we got back to our respective flats. the more i talk to shants, the more he intrigues me. and he makes a magnificent Jack Sparrow. lookswise, at least. and between the two of us we threw out more joking-but-still-meant compliments to give us egos for the rest of the week.
and now... i sleep.

* alright, maybe not so long, because days with someone to share your good-day-news with are always better, and at least i had that last week, but that said, that's all that it would have taken to make today perfect. so i'm not complaining, cuz you'll never get perfection, will you!
** no, i'm not UNappreciative of her. it's hard to explain and completely irrational. just smile and nod.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

meet the little mole. i've never seen the cartoon, but you can find stills from the show for sale all over the place in Prague. the drawings are just incredibly sweet and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. don't you think?

which is why my advent calendar this year rocks. because it's a merry christmas picture of the little mole and all his friends playing in the snow.

rock on, old european animation!
alright. this is silly and pointless and somewhat self-aggrandizing of me, however. i am poor, and i owe a lot of money in the grand scheme of things (evil evil student loan!), even if i don't really realise it at the moment.

i also have a camera which i use all the time, but the built-in flash has decided to break. the amount that it'll cost to fix it is roughly the amount it could cost me to buy a new camera or a new flash. silly, but true. although i've been meaning to buy a proper flash anyways, now i actually have to buy one. at the moment, the cheaper of the ones i'm looking at is still over 6000Kc, which is roughly $300Cdn, so...$200US? you figure it out.

now, because everyone and their dog has done it, and i am obviously a lemming (but a lemming with a cool necklace, at least today!), i'm giving in and putting up a paypal button here, on the left side. and it's true i doubt i'll get anything, partially because anyone who reads this is likely as poor as i am, partially because, well, why give me money?

but! but! here's the kicker.

see, i figure, because this money's supposed to go towards camera equipment, which i sorely need at the moment, if you donate money towards it, it's only fair to offer you something in return, right? so, i offer anyone who shares money with me a print of one of my photos*, mailed to you, just for you. is that fair? i think it is.. within reason of course (ie: i'll mail you a print if it's not gonna cost me more than i have).

hey, it's the christmas season, cheap gifts are the way to go, right?

enough grovelling and rationalising. i know, i feel sorta ill at meself as well now...

* the link's just some of them, was made a couple months ago in a moment's notice because i needed a semi-gallery asap. actually meaning to fix that page up, whenever i get around to it, add more, etc...

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

i'd disconnected and was ready to go to bed, but read this and it reminded me:

a week and a half ago or so, stefan and i were making our way across the charles bridge at night, maybe 9 or 10pm or so, not that late. and as we were walking across, seeing as we'd just watched the beginning of Mission: Impossible the night before to see the snippets it shows of prague (because i hadn't seen the movie since i'd gotten to know prague), we were busy looking for places used during the filming. and remember that part at the beginning when tom cruise and that woman pretend to be lovers, then he goes off because he thinks someone's died, and when he comes back his "lover" had gone to the gate and been stabbed? we were trying to figure out if the gate they used was the same one as the one you can somewhat see when you walk across the bridge towards the castle.

(like we care, you say, enough description already, sarah! alright...)


as we were looking, the pathway near the river was rather empty. except for a couple on the bench. and at first we didn't notice a thing, but when i was having another look at the fence, i noticed...movement...and her straddling him and...they were most definitely, definitely having sex, thinking they were inconspicuous, sitting on the only bench under a lamppost when no one and nothing else was nearby and in perfect view of the actual bridge, making some of the least subtle movements imaginable. and i just laughed and pointed it out to stefan. who was just as shocked and amused. and i think they heard. i'm certain they looked at us before they stopped.

i'm dreadful sorry if we interrupted anything....

SO INCREDIBLY COLD OUTSIDE!!! three days ago it wasn't bad to be outside in only a sweater, suddenly i'm shivering underneath five layers of clothes the second i step outside. shocking.

if anyone reading this knows prague (maggie? ultrabrent?) and has any suggestions of places in the city that would make a good background for a girl who looks a little like liza minelli, let me know asap! phone number's on the left side there. need to come up with ideas quickly, but not certain where to go, nor is she.

kinda nifty being known as "the photographer friend" though.
meals with med students always seem to result in some potentially-off-putting conversation being held while everyone's halfway through their food. today it was upcoming human autopsies doused in formaldehyde, toxins and lymphs and stomach anatomy and apendices and general evilness in the body. and anaphaleptic {sp} shock.

you really do start to become immune to it though.

i think i need more sane, normal friends, though. lord knows how i'm gonna turn out after being with these guys for so long....

Sunday, December 07, 2003

it's so frustrating that i can't make msn messenger work through trillian. i really don't like that program, unfortunately it's the only way to get ahold of some people. but if anyone can tell me why msn through trillian hasn't worked for the past month, please let me know, i'll be forever grateful and may even reward you somehow. because i hate having the msn client open - defeats the purpose of trillian, doesn't it?
today i met people from khazakstan {sp}. hopefully i'll keep in touch with at least one of them.

but khazakstan! there's some places from which you really don't ever expect to meet people.

but my god, how i've changed since i first came out here. went to the medics party and actually felt bad and sad that i was leaving by 2am because i have to get up early tomorrow. and the number of people who stopped to say hi. and the amount of mingling i did. and the sort of advice i was giving vlasta. and the fact that i was dancing (for someone who's leaving tomorrow, elsewise i wouldn't have, but she wanted me to, so how could i say no?). and the sorts of songs i recognised and actually even liked a little (or, at least, not entirely hated). and how little the smokiness of the place bothered me. and the fact that by the end of the evening, i actually had makeup on (granted, i put some of it on meself before leaving, but it's the first time ever, people just offered me add-ons throughout the night).

it's nifty.

khazakstanis. whoo. {g}
guess what!!!

it's snowing!!!

a very little amount, but it's still there!

in other news, i have been very lazy, and am still continuing to be so. and rather than finish the work i should be doing, i think i'm skipping out soon.


Saturday, December 06, 2003

currently winamp is playing tears for fears - mad world and gary jules - mad world on repeat. i think i like the latter one more, but there's something undeniably kitschy about 80s crap. but really, it's a good thing that some people can just hear that there's a good song underneath the hollow pipe sounds.

it's just a shame that the other gary jules music i can find isn't so good. today's just a soft piano whispy voice sort of day. it gives you the right shivers in the right way.

the wind whistling outside the window just adds to the atmosphere.

and somehow i'm not entirely in the mood for a Bollywood/Hollywood party tonight at a loud noisy club. want to see people but... hmm....
pointless day, spent watching chick flicks with jonny but holding conversations over every single one. i'm sure we missed out on a lot.

and then, i hate to admit to it, but we went to see SWAT in the theatre with a few others, but spent the entire film talking overtop it, making jokes, noting every homoerotic moment in the film (and therefore laughing at the most inopportune moments, but hey, we were having fun!), pointing out every single ill-thought-through "tactical" move made.

good times..

tomorrow i do everything that should have been done today. sometimes you just need a nothing day.
never noticed it much while stefan was here, but now that he's gone home for the holidays, this flat is terribly quiet and lonely.

maybe i'll move up to jonny's for a couple weeks. living with a burmese brit, a british punjabi closet intellectual and a crazy greek might be better. at least there'd be a tv room to hang out in.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


hamster in czech is "krecek", where the c has an accent on it that makes it a "ch" sound, and the r has an accent that makes a soft-g-plus-rolling-r sound. it's not quite "krycek" but it's enough to amuse me. and, should i ever see Krycek on the x-files again, i will laugh all the more.
today's musical love. i even actually bought cds of theirs today.


the one downfall of smaller non-big-country bands, really, it's near impossible to find them on filesharing programs. but that's probably for the better, isn't it.

other frivolous purchases today:
- a blue tie with firey orange/yellow stegosauruses (stegosauri?) on it
- smazeny syr (i did it for matt..)
- cappuccino (it was a business meeting! not really. but sorta..)
- neato boots on hold for purchase tomorrow (though they're being bought by someone who owes me money anyways, so does that really count?)

the few other things that made today worthwhile:
- silly conversations about munich in the english class this morning
- chatting with people i haven't seen in awhile and being told by one that i'm a scunt, a slut, and that i'm hated (it's meant in a loving sort of way...)
- finding out that people i was afraid might be annoyed with me for leaving so soon (ie: work-type-sorta-boss-type acquaintences) actually still like me

other than that today was rather uninteresting. except that i think that it might maybe possibly snow soon. hope hope hope. it's getting suddenly colder, you never know....

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Sunday, November 30, 2003

dear people across the street with a wheelbarrow,

i'm not really sure what you're doing, all i can see is that you're going into the apartment building with an empty wheelbarrow and coming out with it full of dirt and rocks and garbage. i'm not sure if you're a group of mischievious dirt criminals or if there's treasure hidden beneath all that rubble every time, but i do hope you're happy with what you're doing. what on earth posessed you to do this on the weekend though?? since bright and early 8AM saturday morning you've been banging and crashing, and now again today. if you'd only waited a couple more days, people would have been getting up early anyways, going to work or doing whatever it is they do... why the weekend??


sincerely, sarah, who only got 4 hours of sleep last night. thanks.

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Hark! Who is that, striding amidst the tarmac! It is Sarah C, hands clutching buzzsaw hand extensions! And with a mighty howl, her voice cometh:

"I'm going to contort you beyond capacity, and then some!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

thanks, tavie. {g}

Saturday, November 29, 2003

i hate bad days...

...but seeing an awesome concert in the evening (after a prolonged argument about tickets and lost tickets and money spent on tickets and other such stupidities) can help make up for it.

especially when they sing about Raus the Swedish Mouse.

or at least that's how i understood the lyrics... {g}
i hate bad days.

and it's raining outside too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

i got mail today!

i got a leg!

thank you ed!!

i got new music!

thank you ed and daniel!!

i got rockets!

thank you mom!!

i got a press pass to cover the alternativa festival in prague this weekend, and an invite to the Laibach press conference on friday!

thank you me for not being too lazy to arrange it!

other things accomplished recently:
- started sitting in on philosophy lectures about Spinoza and am having my mind properly destroyed by them. i should have taken more philosophy courses
- saw an exhibit of contemporary chinese photography, and was properly impressed. also, in noticing the reactions i had to certain topics presented or certain senses of humour used or certain images, i realised first of all that i have a stereotype of china, but also what it is. it's not a bad one, it's just strange that i never noticed it before. and now i know it's there, can learn to get rid of it.
- sat in on a french lecture on comic books and their influence on literature. realised that on top of all the english comics i still have to read, there's a huge collection of french ones to look for. so many things to do before i die... but was highly surprised and excited at the number of genre-bending/breaking/testing comics that were discussed as well.

that's all i can think of offhand. must start posting more regularly so that this isn't a constant update rather than an actual proper blog..

Thursday, November 20, 2003

hurrah, the airport in sweden is a 24 hour one! hurrah for information desks that cater to silly questions over email!

but more importantly:

hurrah, i got to see the degenerate art ensemble perform last night!! and beforehand i only knew the name was superfamiliar but couldn't figure out why, and now i realise that i should be kicking meself for having thought of going to see them before in seattle but not bothering. because the show was amazing and the music was bizarre and awesome. when haruko nishimura came out and started singing my jaw just dropped. and stayed like that for much of the rest of the show.

and they were only the opening band. the headliner, uz jsme doma, a czech band that's been around for ages, was good as well, but i have to admit that DAE was an incredibly tough act to follow. UJD were still good, still good music and good visuals. there were fish hanging all over the theatre, which was just plain cool, and free fish-shaped cookies were brought around before everything started, and they christened their newest cd with cod liver oil and passed round the oil for everyone in the audience to taste, so can't complain one bit about their efforts. but it just got so late (cd release party = music long long long into the night) and we were tired and had to be up early, so we never got to stay to see how the painting ended up. but the artwork that goes along with that band is incredible. their pet artist, martin velisek, was painting something along with the music being performed. very cool.

it was a good good night. and for the first time in eons i actually bought a t-shirt at a concert. if only because stefan bought a cd, so i could rationalise spending some money, and not on music. besides, i've been saying the past two weeks that i need another longsleeve shirt.

though fittingly, today was extremely warm outside and a jacket was even unnecessary. feels like spring.

but i want snow!!

ah well.

Monday, November 17, 2003

tickets have just been booked from prague to germany, where i will spend christmas and visit zee germans in the south and then in the north, and then more tickets from lubeck to stockholm to torp, where i get to spend new years with crazy norwegians.


the only worrisome parts are:
a) hoping that i do get a ride from glees to buchen without too much trouble, for free if possible, although if my godmother spends christmas in the south, then i definitely will. hope hope hope.

b) hoping that it isn't a problem sleeping over in the stockholm skavsta airport. because i arrive there late at night and don't go to norway until noon the next day. i've slept over in london stansted often enough, but i'm a little concerned that a smaller place might close overnight. although at worst, i'll find a train station to sleep in, if need be. someone passed on a good tip for sleeping over in places you shouldn't for free: sleep in the handicapped bathroom. you have space, you have a lock on the door, and very few people actually use it anyways, so chances are you won't be noticed.

although if anyone has any knowledge about stavska whatsoever, i'd love to hear about it.

yay! new years with snow! new years in norway! new years with friends i'm not going to see for a very long time! and yay, seeing pretty much everyone i need to see in germany before i leave!

i'm just sad that i'm definitely leaving prague so soon. again. although at this rate, i'm sure i'll be back soon, too.

i hope...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

last year there was a "Canadian Arts Season" organised here in prague. and then came the floods, and the main theatre for performances (and the theatre organising it all) was one of the places overrun by water, so most performances were cancelled. one of those was da da kamera presenting In On It, which is a play i'd already seen in vancouver and was so disappointed that i wasn't going to get to drag anyone i knew out here to see one of my favourite canadian playwrites in action.

and then as we were leaving boban markovic wednesday night, i found a flyer for the second Canadian Arts Season attempt, showing...In On It! thursday and friday night. and of course i got excited again and insisted that i was going to drag one friend to see the show because it's really the only source of canadian culture that i could show off - won't find many canadian movies out here. decided we were going to the friday show, and friday afternoon i called the theatre on a whim to see if daniel macivor would be available for an interview sometime that day, before or after the show, for a magazine that's starting up, that i'm already doing some work for. theatre said they'd call back, although when i went to pick up tickets i ran into the theatre director who answered a ton of questions for me and tried to convince me to come see other shows they were putting on later this week. ("how much would they cost?" "mm..180Kc, probably." "is there any way, if i was covering them for the press, could i get in for free on a press pass...?" "but of course!" yay! {g})

finally, a little bit before the show, got a call back saying that if saturday afternoon would work, that would be great, meet at his hotel, how will he know who you are? well, i'll recognise him but...i'll have a green hat on. date was set.

so, went and saw the show, and it was good, and it got the thumbs up from my friend for canadian theatre (if only if only i could get ahold of KitH or some canadian films.. ah well.), had great fun discussing it afterwards because it's been awhile since i've gotten to do that (i miss my jodi!), had some food, went out for the night, because this is prague and that's what you do.

ended up at M1, one of the clubs out here. alright place, but nothing special, but a common hangout for the meds and people i know, so. walked in, saw someone i'd met a week before and hadn't spoken to since, he calls me over to say hi and introduce me to the guys he's with... daniel macivor and richard, the composer from the show! they were out half because it's prague, half to celebrate the fact that the performance that night had been The Last One Ever, the play was being officially retired. before troy had a chance to introduce us i told mr macivor (daniel?) that i was supposed to be meting him tomorrow. "oh so that's the green hat! lovely indeed.." {g}

so i got to spend the night chatting with daniel and richard amongst others, but spent most of the time sitting there with them. it almost made the interview the next day seem a little redundant, but in the end, different topics, sobriety, it was all good.

i love prague. strange things happen here. mostly good. {g}

although the one comment daniel made the next day was that although he'd been to prague before, this was his first time going out and being with the more non-czech crowd. and M1 is very much a medic/brit/american place to hang out. he said that it was interesting, that it seemed like a very small, tight, closed community. which it is, especially with the medics, they're together out here for 6 or 7 years. daniel said that you could really see the drama that comes out of being so small, though. and he was only there one night. and it was a night that, to me at least, seemed to be a little less on the drama than normal. hah.

i suppose if your career's made on little observations of people, you do it all the time. interesting fellow though. fun to interview. afterwards we compared american and canadian mentalities ("look at our flags, though. americans, it's stars and bars, big and bold. us? it's a leaf. just a leaf. nothing grand. a leaf that dies every year, no less! dies and restarts every year..."), good fun. just wish i'd had more time to chat with him! though i got a lot more than planned, so i can't complain.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

this is the post that should have been written up and posted yesterday, but i was too tired and cold to bother.

so i'll write it now.

but pretend that it's yesterday.

sarah officially has a full 1500Kc in her pocket after a hard day's work being a runner for the filming of a music video. hurrah!!

ran into a group of film-ish people scouting the area where i live for a music video on thursday. didn't have anything better to do so i went up and ended up chatting with the producer briefly, asked if they needed helpers, he ended up calling me on saturday asking me to work the next day. so all sunday i spent in the freezing cold, being the main helper for the (loud, brash, from-the-bronx) director. the video's for AFI, who i'd never heard of before then, though apparently they've been around awhile. nice enough fellows, even if the video (all their own ideas) is rather silly and already-been-done-a-thousand-times-over. but a fun day nonetheless! and now, if only this'll lead to more work on film sets... but we'll have to see.

either way. sarah's earning money! and doing fun things while earning it!

and teaching a few english classes. not a lot of money, but some.

and teaching herself quark and other magazine layout things, although that won't earn me money. at least not in the near future. but it'll mean i get to contribute to a new mostly-music-based magazine out here.

which means that when i (finally!) get to see Boban Markovic Orkestar on wednesday night, i've gotta put together a wicked review. and, when enon plays on sunday, chances are i'll be getting in there to interview the band. nifty stuff like that.

when i decided to stay in prague, i knew i wouldn't earn much money, but that i'd end up getting involved in the stuff i actually like. so i'm still going to be dirt poor for the next while. but surely this is worth it, no?


Wednesday, November 05, 2003

continued proof that sarah is an absolute moron:

i knew my phone number properly for the first two weeks, had no problem telling people the right one. and suddenly this week, when it counts, when i'm starting to try to find work, i have a sudden bout of isolated dyslexia, changing one 9 to a 4 in my head, and continue constantly to give out the wrong phone number.

i think i've fixed all the mistakes now, the important people know the correct number.

but the real kicker is the fact that i sent an email for a proofreading job with the wrong number written both in the message and in my attached resume.

oh, the irony.

i don't think i'll be getting that job now...

Thursday, October 30, 2003

there's something silly about how the mere mention of a talented canadian by someone not-from-canada is enough to make me cheer inside, just the tiniest, slightest bit. because i'm not really patriotic, not overtly.

but still. forwarding some old articles i've written and getting back good comments about the don mckellar one in particular is enough to make me smile.

(i think she knows who he is, at least.)

today michael gave me a copy of Kytice, which was one of my favourite movies at the vancouver film festival a few years back. now, after gushing over it to so many people, i get to find out if it's as good as i remember. hopehopehope.

got busted for not having a metro ticket today. been not-paying since i got here actually, so i had it coming. was forced to pay a fine of.....400Kc!!!! which, in canadian dollars, ends up being......$20!!!!! or less actually, because our dollar's actually stronger than it was this time last year (yay!). so i think tomorrow i'll splurge and buy the month transit pass. which'll cost me....$21. i love the prague transit system.

there's more to say, i know there is. but i'm slightly ill and tired, so i can't remember everything at the moment. perhaps when my throat stops itching.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

my flight left from praha at 11am.

it's 40 minutes after 11 and i'm still in the city.

seems that i'm staying in praha!

job- and flat-hunting time has officially begun.

(but enon is playing in a couple of weeks! must earn money before then...)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

np: M.O.P. - Ante Up
this song has been in my head all afternoon. not even sure why. fortunately i actually do like it, but i still don't know why it's there.

diwali dinner was fun. uneventful. but enjoyable. tasty indian food. surprise dessert. actually had a real conversation with christos - didn't ever expect that.

and then we flicked rice and vegetables at each other and tried to land onion rings on each others' fingers from across the table. and all was right with the world once again.
using a norwegian computer lately and realising that i'm doing pretty good at understanding all the notices and warnings and system info, which is, of course, all in norwegian. nifty.

guess what!!!!

gotten my first snow of the season! yesterday, just as i was going on about how much i wanted it to snow, a few flakes started to fall, so right before lunch we had a mini snow shower all around. and the weather says there may be more tomorrow or monday.

yay snow!!!!

so yes, it's been bitterly cold in prague, and absolutely magnificent. it's smelt and felt like christmas all week long, which should be disturbing, but considering that it's just the normal prague and not due to christmas lights and holiday garbage, it's a good thing. gotten to see most of the people i wanted to, most of whom had no idea i was even in town (always fun seeing the look on peoples' faces when they open the door and see someone they thought was on the other side of the world). visited old hangouts, found new ones, met new people.

realised i really, really don't want to go back to england. was all set to stay in prague an extra week or so (had even bought a concert ticket for after my flight date on wednesday) when i got a message from a resume i sent out to london asking me for an interview on wednesday evening. if i felt confident i'd get the job, i might be a little more excited about going there, but considering that i don't even know where i'm sleeping when i get back (or have anywhere to leave my stuff while i have an interview), i'm not entirely looking forward to going back. realistically, staying here's not such a great idea, i know. i won't earn so much, i can't just stay with friends the whole time but finding a place to live might be difficult.

even though i feel so at home here, even though the concerts and films and art and cafes and everything is so alive (and affordable!) here, even though i feel happy and content while i'm here... rationally it might not be a good thing.

it just depends on the time of day and how much i've eaten whether rationality wins or not.

i just wish that there wouldn't be so many things catching my eye to make me think of ignoring rationality completely. it's incessant, i tell ya! and if only i didn't have debt hanging over my head, i would just make it work here, get a silly waitressing job, make use of as many couches as possible...

credit cards are evil though. and i'm a lazy procrastinating fool who could have mailed cheques to start paying them off days ago but just never got around to it.

but tomorrow. it's saturday night now, i can't do anything about it anyways..

happy hindi new years', by the way. must go doll meself up for fancy dancy indian food dinner tonight!

(my god i love being back here...)

Monday, October 20, 2003

yay, made it to prague in one piece! it feels strangely like home here... very weird.

washed dishes on saturday for 10 pounds and a free meal. it was actually pretty fun - nice chatting with people, good music, and really, i don't mind washing dishes at all. and it was like listening to a mix of all the cd's i've left at home - the people working there had good taste. so strange being a hobo of sorts, but y'know, you really can just get by that way. it's not the end of the world.

course now i'm bumming around with friends for the next while in prague, so we'll see what happens from here. and while i'm here i have a czech phone chip again, although different number. but everyone is once again welcome to send annoying messages from this site to this number: +420 607 994 749

hopehopehope it snows while i'm here. but it prolly won't.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

staying in oxford with a friend. realised that i'm not going to break even money-wise, forgot about taxes being deducted and don't know how to get them back yet. this could be a problem. might spend prague job-hunting down there too, because even though i don't really need much money...i don't want to be owing any.

thursday = miserable day (you'd think that everything that after a point, an ex-boss couldn't do anything more to you. you'd be wrong. but if this happened in canada, he'd definitely have opened himself up for a lawsuit at this point), ended up in a hostel in cambridge for the night. despite constant additions to the Miserable-Making list (which don't need to be mentioned, no sense dwelling), met katherine, the coolest 14-yr old in cambridgeshire, friendly people on the train. met a good samaritain who gave me a lift to the bus station from the train, bought me some food, and even gave me some money to get me on my way, and all i know is that her name was vicki and she's studying to be a nursery nurse. and even if it was pricey, the hostel was full of friendly people which was what was needed.

and then on friday, the previous night's roommates were driving down to oxford and offered me a lift if i didn't mind sightseeing with them in cambridge first. fine with me, don't want to carry my bags any more than i have to because i have way too many. so for a day, i got to be a chinese tourist, stopping in front of everything to take photos and photos with everyone in them... it was good good fun, actually. {g} the family was a trio from san francisco, but from hong kong before that (i think?) and the mother played the role of the mother with no tact, asking anything and everything and stating her opinion on everything - good company for the day. no sarcasm. {g}

decided that i like oxford a lot - many friendly people here. met a woman who's from montreal but spent her last 10 years in england philosophising and walking and thinking and writing books who i hopefully will run into some other time. stayed in queen's college last night, sleeping tonight in stansted because i changed my ticket for prague because i've got nothing to do here but spend money, so this time tomorrow i'll be staying with friends and all will be good!

too bad i didn't learn more czech while i was there before.. but who knows, maybe i'll be lucky enough to get work anyways. we'll see.
stupid me, i forgot to mention...

october 16 was rebecca's birthday! yay!

at least i remembered to email her, but things should be posted in public, shouldn't they?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

london was exactly what i needed. well, london in the company of another, at least.

spent two hours lying on the floor of lobby looking at the mirrors on the ceiling of the tate modern yesterday with deon. watching ourselves, watching other people making shapes, picking constant new Favourite People To Watch, chatting about anything and nothing. most relaxing thing in a long while, actually. if i lived in london i'd pass days off doing that.

discovered that london with someone else is a ton of fun. london alone.. it's not quite depressing, but it's just lacking something. weather was perfect though, even got 10 minutes in camden, although we missed free music as well as a chance to see the Magnificent Ambersons.

but we spent two hours lying on cement so i'm not complaining. {g}

i'm just sorry i didn't get to know deon better sooner now. fun fella. but that's how things go sometimes. "Way Out" signs are infinitely more amusing now, though. {g}

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

first off, salut stephane, hi marco. hope you guys are doing well. {g}


saw a french film last night. audrey tatou really is one of the most adorable people in the world. almost finished making my poi, thanks to some stolen wire from the oundle physics department (yaaaaay czech friends!). been told about another potential place to work, somewhere that a friend works now. i might be giving up my soul if i worked there (preying on pensioners - hurrah!) but it might be something. either way, it's an option. and with decent pay and free lunches, no less. but we'll see.

aforementioned evil friend and i have gone to london today. he had to come pick up a visa for spending christmas in prague (did you know that even though south africans need visas for pretty much everywhere in the world, they don't have to pay for ones to go to czech? does that seem fair? they still get inconvenienced, having to go to the embassy still, but overall, they actually get an easier ride there. makes up for them not being able to country-hop out here, i suppose. anyways.), mentioned it last night and seeing as i don't have much to do today, figured i'd come. just here looking up plane tickets at the moment, but that's alright.

because i found out that no, i'm not expected to work all week. found out by someone mentioning that they'd seen my name crossed out on the schedule, which i saw later on. with a big black marker, nice and tactful-like. any respect i had for the manager is gone. completely, utterly, and totally. shoulda gone to yorkshire to work afterall, but them's the breaks. this way i get a couple-week holiday, i suppose! might go visit people in leeds or cambridge, we'll see. still have to call about changing the ticket though.

oh! and as a minor aside, but the amusement must be shared: while in bologna, i met a fellow who told met that from the moment he met me, he wanted nothing else than to taste my lips (we were speaking french, so it sounded a little nicer than that). i just found it all extremely amusing and figured he was someone to hang around with for an afternoon, until he got bothersome and started telling me he'd write me and call me and come visit me in england. which was just the slightest bit disturbing, considering i really honestly wasn't doing anything to lead him on in any way - if anything i was telling him to go away to his face. and in the end he left and all was good, for before he left he pointed me in the direction of The Best Gelato Place In Bologna (which it is).

i'd forgotten that i'd given him my cell number so that he could try to make my phone work in italia (coverage was bizarre and spotty). got a voicemail this morning, though, he called to say hi and see how i'm doing.

so i have an italian stalker now! what fun... thankfully he's there and not here, though.

(but really. me. having a stalker. or whatever you'd call him. this is utterly hilarious to me. hee. {g})

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

guess who got fired today.

reasons were given. some had some merit, i suppose, but most were garbage. and ultimately, not allowing a person a chance to fix things and getting rid of them immediately is not cool in the least.

problem is, i already have a week's trip to prague planned and paid for, leaving next tuesday night. so now i don't know what to do, whether to even try to find work at the moment, considering that most jobs offering accomodation (yay more bar work, but it's only for a couple more months) want people immediately - at least, this is what i learned when i tried to set something up in advance before i left norway in august.

not even sure if i'm supposed to work this week or not. wasn't told anything either way, more than the fact that because my accomodation is provided with my job here, i'll need to make arrangements as soon as possible, and was basically told to get lost as soon as possible. which i don't think is legal, going to have to talk to someone about that. but waiting to talk to the assistant manager instead, because it appears that sense and rationality is something lacking with the manager.

already bitched about it to a couple people so i'm managing not to turn this all into a rant. but it's prolly for the better in the end, i suppose. it's no good trying to work somewhere where you're not trusted in the least, although what i did to deserve such a lack of trust, i have no clue. and at least i know that other than the manager, everyone there likes me and is on my side. little condolence, but it's one nonetheless.

so! find a cheap place to stay and try to do temp work for the month and a half when i get back from prague, or try to find work in prague, even, or try to set up another proper job for under two months until christmastime? that's what i have to figure out now.

i hate managers on power trips. and i can never fully disguise that fact, either, which tends to make things worse. fortunately most people are good people though.

Monday, October 13, 2003

yesterday was the conkers world championships in ashton, near oundle. alas, i didn't get to go, although heard about it from a number of people. maybe next year...?

conkers, though! such a silly british thing.. and the worry that was in the media a couple weeks ago because they were afraid that there wouldn't be enough conkers for the championships because the weather was making them fall from the trees too early this year? tragic!


also noticed today that i pass Rockingham Forest on the busride to Peterborough. alas, there was no one around to share the amusement with. and i live near Rutland, for anyone who cares (::cough::rebecca::cough::). and i found a Wombles LP today, but there's absolutely no one who cares about that except for me.

trying to make my own poi today. found almost everything i need, but stuck trying to find wire. hoping that when i actually do get it all put together, that the weights don't end up flying off and killing someone. that would be a bit of a bother...

oh, and a complete aside, today i went to throw some trash in a bin while i was walking down the main square in peterborough. there was an elderly gentleman sitting on the bench who looked at me and told me i was absolutely gorgeous and that he only gave out compliments when they were real ones. and then he told me to have a lovely day. {g} random compliments really are the best ones...
i lovelovelove italia. well, every part of it save milano. bologna was wonderful though - bee-you-tiful city, so warm, good food, nice people... spent at least an hour every day sitting around the piazza maggiore either people-watching or meeting new people. met a german judge who was on a holiday (only 35! and in the german system, there's no jury, so the final decision is his alone! bizarre..), a bolognese who told me that all he wanted to do from the moment he saw me was to taste my lips (hah!), swiss folk who taught me some juggling techniques, was invited to dinner at the house of other italians with 8 dogs running about.... wonderful time though. didn't want to leave. got more of a tan again. got another scarf to add to the ever-growing collection. and beginning to build up a jewelry collection.

oh, and saw fidel castro riding around on the bus wearing an adidas cap. hope he had a good vacation.

after i get norwegian down pat, gonna start working on learning italian, i think.

Monday, October 06, 2003

oh yeah! PSA: NaNoWriMo's coming up! registered again, might actually do it this time!
post must be short, can't type well today - two fingers bound together on the right hand. dunno what happened, just been hurting a bunch lately. was almost gone then pain came back tenfold 2 days ago, along with nifty purple blotch on the spot where it hurts. starting to think that i really did break a bone in there. ah well. strangely, no pain when playing piano. getting people to sign my "cast" - don't i feel cool.

extreme lack of sleep, but birthday day is good so far. even got a wish the second the clock turned midnight, always nice. got a welcome to the Old Folks Home promising me the requisite cane and oatmeal-eating utensils. i'm thrilled. Insurance Number people in peterborough were super nice and wished me a happy birthday the second they walked into the room. and called me "dearie" and "love" and "pet" and even said "cor blimey". ahh, england! getting haircut - first in 2 years! splurging a bit, but happy birthday me! snagged a cheap flight to bologna for this week, 3-day quicktrip, hurrah! gotta work 630am - 10pm tomorrow to get the 3 days off in a row, but it'll be worth it. weather there's even supposed to be good!

befriended czechs and slovaks and (more) south africans living in oundle. broke into physics dept at oundle school to watch Life Of Brian and old russian cartoons last night. good times. it's nice hearing czech/slovak.

oops, gonna be late for hair appt. did i say a short post?

Thursday, October 02, 2003

today i learned that it's remarkably easy to resize a leather belt. watched the guy do it right in front of me. suddenly made belt-buying a ton easier - usually they're all too big for me.

fascinating stuff.

i look splendid today, by the way. it doesn't happen so often, but it has today.

i really don't have much to say. found The Great Gatsby and a douglas coupland book at the library today. bought new music that cost way too much, but i had to get something - been dying for new music. may actually have my first haircut in 21 months on monday. costs a little, but when you average at one haircut every 2 years, you're allowed to splurge a little, right?

also found licorice tea and licorice root to chew on. such excitement.

the fact that i spent money at all's completely forgiven by the fact that today i also applied for the national insurance number to work here, and found out how to reclaim taxes taken off my earnings when i go home. it's nice to be earning money again...

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

when i said i'd be fine working like a dog for a few weeks in order to get a week off to fit in a trip to prague, i really didn't expect to actually do it. but really, it's not bad.

was bargirl extraordinaire on saturday night. me handling everything overall, although had help here and there (THANK GOD) but pretty much managed to pull in over £1100 in the last cashout, which was after the really rushed part of the night, ALL BY MESELF. was told that the manager was singing my praises a couple days afterwards still, impressed with how cool i was despite the craziness, even though i felt like i hadn't been so grand, apparently i did well. hurrah for me!

and strangely, despite being a relative klutz in much of life, i'm doing extremely well not breaking glasses or spilling too much. course, my klutziness is generally more in terms of walking into people or things or haphazard maiming of self, not dropping things. doing well enough maiming meself, still, at least i still have one talent left - finger hurts like the dickens but can't remember doing anything specific to hurt it. can still play piano though, so all is well.

possibly because of paint fumes, possibly because of working so much, but i've bounced between being incredibly upset and depressed to extremely chipper over the weekend. really, it was only one moment of extreme upset, and as soon as i was with other people here it was suddenly much better, because it's damn difficult to stay upset when you work with some of the nicest and friendliest people in the world. and the paint fumes have left as well, so hurrah and huzzah.

made friends with more oundle-ites. one's family has been in the area for 100 year or so. another, 500 years or more. starting to realise that the potential for inbreeding could be quite strong. fortunately the private school brings in enough new blood on a regular basis... i hope...


s'alright. one goes by the name edmund. and i've never known anyone outside of storybooks who uses that name. and i'm in the land where Ashley/Ashleigh is a boy's name. so i can't complain. things are as they should be.

or something similar, at least.
curious. i'm not allowed to follow the link to the info about the anarchist bookfair coming up in london because it's "Found in denied list: Crime".

well isn't that just splendid.

to daniel: if you didn't get the email i sent you today, please re-upload those outlines you had up for me before. it's important. thank you.

i hope emails stop disappearing...

Saturday, September 27, 2003

n/p: cypher audio - polm, interlude 23

of the six tv channels that we get at the hotel, one of them's the classic movie channel, which means all classic movies, all the time. i've seen humphrey bogart on there so many times in the past few weeks, it's insane. however.

last night they showed Dark of the Sun, a film from the late 60s. which is exciting to me only because i've had the soundtrack to that film on a record for years, loved the music (yaaay jacques loussier!), didn't have a clue what the film was about. got a bit of an idea when i finally found the record for sale and bought it, but the images of men in army gear standing on trains shooting guns while african people dance around looking evil and flames rage in the background... they didn't quite fit with the music. music sounds wonderfully smokey and soothing and mysterious... not like riots in the congo. but every time i tried to actually find the movie, couldn't come up with a thing.

and then last night, just before i was about to go to sleep, they said that the next movie would be Dark of the Sun. so of course i had to watch it. and you know what? it's not so bad! predictable, characters were a little unrealistic, but any time an english movie uses other languages to move parts of the plot without either subtitling or having another character translate directly, you have to give it some credit. and really, for a movie about mercenaries (and a nazi), it kept me interested the whole time, even if i was only watching it to hear the music.

so the one film i couldn't ever find when i was searching for it suddenly just pops up on tv when i last expect it. nifty.

almost redeems me for falling prey to watching The Salon most nights. and actually wanting to see the next one. except that it's on right now so i'm gonna miss today's ep. oh, terrible!

Friday, September 26, 2003

daniel is insane.

it's the music that really makes it.
getting much better at not walking into people because i'm on the right side of the sidewalk while they're on the left. although come to think of it, that's one of the reasons i walked into so many people back in vancouver, because i insisted on going to the left instead of the right. so that's not so much talent.

still getting thrown by words, though.

like chips, not fries.
and crisps, not chips.
and biscuits, not cookies.
and mobiles, not cells.
and coaches, not buses.
and jumpers, not sweaters.

and it's still funny whenever i hear someone say "lorry".

note to daniel: can't use online icq these days, the emails i send you don't seem to be answered, are you actually receiving them? email me, mofo!
zed has become my source of music when i'm playing online at the library. i miss music so much.

Boy is getting the spin-through today. especially French Diplomacy. got to meet him when i worked NewMusicWest last year. was a good performer then, liked his stuff, but forgot about him until i stumbled across him here. glad to find more of his music now.

just don't ask me what the songs are about. never have been a lyrics person, prolly never will be. lyrics sink in later, after the music's already made the impression. well, usually, at least. because with music, it's usually the actual music that's the point...isn't it?

well i think so, at least.

but random video link. because it amused even josian who could hardly understand what was being sung.

i loveded the piggy....

and one last link, c/o rebecca, by way of irf: Programmer or Serial Killer?

oh but it's lovely having internet access at my fingertips again... {g}
ooh. sarah found a way to cheat the system to get proper internet access for free at the local library. which means not having to pay £4 to go to peterborough and back for an hour's worth of free net, OR paying to get a crappy AOL setup at the hotel.

nifty. finally starting to catch up on other peoples' pages. daunting task. but i'm a trooper.

been playing bargirl lately and loving it. s'nice chatting with people all the time. met some great people so far. and absolutely adore the local elderly guys that come in every day. made friends with some locals that are closer to my age who happen to be complete musicians so spent last night after work hanging around outside while they played guitar and sang. and i was just amused. partially laughing at them, i'll admit, but it was still fun. falltime's definitely here now so it was quite nippy, but it's
lovely. still have yet to see this "dreary, wet, rainy england" that i've heard so much of - weather's been gorgeous every day since i got here. save two days, but one of those was beautifully windy and stormy, so that was just as good.

finally going to get my proper room at the hotel tomorrow. which means i can finally unpack. this makes me happy. it also means that i'll be next door to the person who has a cat visit him through his window on a regular basis. i'm just hoping that if i have my window open all the time too, maybe maybe maybe the cat'll start wandering into my room as well. it'd be nice to have a cat around. although i'm sure stephane would be disappointed if he lost his sole claim on the cat.

but life's like that sometimes.

there's one house in the centre of town (which means that it's a very fancy place and prolly owned by someone quite rich) which has a lovely grand piano in the front room - always saw it when i walked by it. and i just got permission to drop by whenever i feel like playing it. i'm sure that's the first and last time a random girl will knock on their door begging to use an instrument.

and speaking of oundle. i've had snippets of descriptions of the place, but not anything quite coherent. and i won't get anything fully in ever, i'm sure. but the longer i stay here, the more i like it. it's like england stuck in a time bubble. the buildings are all ancient, the place is tiny and surrounded by countryside (yesterday got shown some of Rob The Local's favourite spots from when he was a kid, places i'd never have come across on my own. beautiful swimming holes and fields and good places to look at canal boats), and.. it's very unlike Real England (as every
british person who stays here says) but it's so stereotypically Old England.. it's grand.

anyways. all posts are random these days because i'm always just trying to cram in as many thoughts as possible when i actually get 'net access. although now that i know the sly way to do it... hopefully i can keep this up til i have to leave. we'll see.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

i like. (link c/o tavie)

in a roundabout way, it's somewhat useful, too. half-assedly started trying to learn norwegian. but perhaps i shouldn't mention that, lest i jinx either my motivation to learn it, or my ability.

also decided that i must start reading some more so-called classic books. searching for The Great Gatsby today. maybe Dorian Gray. which was on The Classic Movie Channel this morning, and which was mildly disturbing for the brief bit of time that i watched it, only because angela lansbury was so young and yet...still looked exactly the same. strange. going to have to get some Lovecraft books onto the list. the rather short list, as you can see. so suggestions are more than welcome!

today i was told that my written french is better than my spoken french. which was nice to hear. and i don't feel so bad, considering that my french was being spoken with a severe lack of sleep and feeling-ill-ness and a complete lack of desire to form anything near a proper accent. and somehow the french people still understand me. must say though, it's fun writing sms's in different languages. must do it more often.
i keep on forgetting to mention:

the place that i'm working at, the talbot hotel, is supposedly haunted by mary queen of scots. the hotel took the staircase and some other parts of the castle where she was killed and installed them here in the building, lord knows why, but that's beside the point. there's imprints in the banister heads of a small crown shape, and the story goes that as she was being led down she pushed herself back against those, leaving her ring-marks there.

at the moment, of everyone working there, no one's seen mary, although she apparently leaves people alone, stands on the staircase and looks out the window towards where the gallows would have been if it were still the castle. there's a few haunted suites as well: weird temperatures, lights act funny sometimes.. apparently. people have had some strange experiences in the halls.. doors being all open and lights going off when a moment later everything's as normal all over again, but i haven't seen anything yet.

although the other night i was watching the invisible man on tv (selection was rather slim that night) and the signal kept bouncing in and out for no reason whatsoever, so maybe that was mary. who knows.

and then there's the haunted well in the lane behind the hotel....

oundle is so very british. oldness, ghosts, polite- and proper-ness everywhere, indian restaurants even in such a small town, brit music on the radio all the time (although i heard an ad for a music fest elsewhere in england last week, and when listing off bands, Hot Hot Heat was right near the top - i had no idea they'd gotten so popular overseas. how big are they back home at this point? and if they're so popular, why is the only canadian music i get to hear nickleback, bryan adams, or avril levigne?), football news on every hour of the day, coronation street or shows about the making of coronation street on every single day... except for the last bit, it's pretty fun. {g}

i do so miss a proper internet connection though. ah well. life goes on.

if anyone's in the mood to send me love or hatemail by post, do feel free to:

c/o Talbot Hotel
New Street

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

in england now!

oundle, if anyone cares to know, is small. but that's no surprise. not too far from peterborough, which isn't terribly exciting, but it's not so bad either. unfortunately there's an H&M store there, though, which i discovered in germany was the one clothing store that i could easily go on a shopping spree in and suppress any guilt associated with so much frivolous spending. terrible thing to realise, but so be it.

the hotel i'm at's pretty good. unfortunately some of the other people working there are leaving soon, and they're coincidentally some of the people i'm already liking the most. but i'm sure any newcomers'll be fun too. i'm getting to practice my french, seeing as there's three people there who're native french-speakers. the rest are south africans and a few local brits.

so. quick Cast Of Characters:

the main chef (graeme, but just called "Chef") is a tall, cantankerous guy who hates everything (but in a friendly sort of way). when i first met him he went on about hating the germans, finding mounties terribly amusing and ineffective, and then wistfully throwing in how he always wanted to be a lumberjack.. sadly i had to head out of the kitchen right then so i couldn't do anything more than laugh, but he's fun.

one of the other cooks, stephane, is a crazy french guy (originally from avignon), always makes faces and strange noises but is still cool. he's lived in england for two years now so he's more than likely to speak english, even if you talk to him in french. completely insane. but what more could you expect.

and then there's james, the extremely british brit who is unfortunately leaving. he embodies everything i'd imagine a brit to be - tall, skinny, dorky-looking, extremely polite and soft-spoken, but always being snarky and insulting in the most polite way possible, if you can catch what he's saying properly. he's just too much fun to make fun of and call him on his thinking-he's-better-than-anyone-else. and of course he catches any brit-comedy reference and follows it through. and i caught him playing the "everything equals 42" game* when he was bored in the bar. extremely british, through and through.

josian is the other cook, from somewhere in africa but i've never caught the name quite yet. travelling with his girlfriend, jenny, and the two of them are the nicest, friendliest, sweetest, cutest people ever. you just want to pick jenny up and squeeze her, she's so adorable. both french-speaking, always cheerful. unfortunately they're leaving too, but not for another month and a half, i think. they suit each other well though. and for people who could hardly speak english when they arrived a year ago, they're pretty fluent in it now.

karin's leaving on saturday, she's the one i'm replacing. from south africa, incredibly nice and friendly. very sorry that she's not staying, but them's the breaks. the more she talks about south africa, though, the more i want to see it for meself someday.

ettienne's from south africa too, he arrived a few days before i did. friendly so far. big cricket fan. england trounced south africa yesterday, though, so he was a little miffed. still. he's one of those people that always seems good-natured. never extremely overjoyed, never unhappy, just...smooth. but good to talk to when we were both there my first night, both feeling a little unsure about the place still.

and then there's this guy called brian that i've hardly ever seen and he just comes by sometimes, apparently nearing his 40s and basically living to play his x-box when he's not working in the bar. and jenny tells me that when you talk to him, it's all beer and sex. i wouldn't know, he's walked past me a few times but never says more that "hello". another south african, though.

and other than that.. oh, the manager's cute. he's originally french but he's lived in england a long time. when he's been talking awhile, though, his french accent comes out quite strongly beneath the northamptonshire accent - strange mix. he looks like hercules poirot. could prolly play him quite well if he tried. easy going. most of the time. though his musical taste can be taxing.

there's a few others, but i don't know them enough yet. and that's at least including the people i'll be living with as well.

so all in all, this seems like a good place! a little out of the ways, perhaps, but not so bad.. already figured out the bus/train schedule to get to the stanstead airport for quick trips to wherever outside the country, already talking to people i know in oxford and leeds and figuring out how to see them at some point, london's not so hard to reach but i've had touristy time in london already. but i'm sure it'd be worth it for a couple-day-trip a few times when i'm off, spend the day in a museum or camden. but generally speaking, i'll save money.

waitressing ain't so bad either, i've found. no surprise, if you know me, i guess, but it's nice chatting to people in the mornings. most people are super friendly, there was one brit couple who'd been living in czech for a few years, and we all bonded talking about prague and czech for awhile (and then they left a very nice tip afterwards), and the locals in the pub already know me and treat me like i've always been there. there's the one older guy who comes in every afternoon, has 4 lagers, tells some strange stories that you really have to wonder if they're real or not, rambles on, and then takes off on his bike til the next day. he's my favourite so far. and people already say hi to me on the street when i'm walking in town. it's full of private schoolkids most of the time, and i just pity the girls for the stupid clothes that they have to wear, but quite up-scale. oundle's apparently one of the top private schools in all of the UK. oooh aaah indeed.

already picking up the brit inflection, too. some people say that it's a sign of low self-esteem, when you mimic the accents around you. i figure it's just more fun that way.

the one downside's a lack of free internet - the local library makes you pay for it. but i'm working on that one.

at least i have a cell phone again. unfortunately can't send free online sms's unless you register on the o2 site, which i doubt most people would do. but if you had a cell and wanted to harrass me, feel more than welcome to. especially if i don't already know you - always more fun that way. {g} so if you're so inclined, number is: +44 07743 382659. text away!

'net time's running out. won't have such regular updates for awhile, but they'll still be often enough. in a nutshell, britain's good. people are friendly. s'nice earning money again. i had to give in and buy a hat at H&M today but that'll be the last thing for awhile. but life's good.

how are you?

* go read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

i think i'm going to oundle. at least, i think it's that one. it seems to switch between being in cambridgeshire and northhamptonshire depending on which website i look at. either way, it's where i have a place to stay and food covered, and work lined up.

so let's all just hope that this works out. and feel free to come visit me. didn't get visitors in prague, now's your chance to make up for it!!

and now today lise and i are going shopping because i need to find black pants or a skirt that'll hide the knee brace well enough, because something tells me that people might be adverse to seeing that if i wear it. dunno if i'll have to, but if i'm standing and walking much of the day, i might wear it occassionally. we'll see though.

last (full) day in norway. it's definitely falltime now, but still nice. still sunny. but really nippy at night now. my favourite time of year. i think lise, frode and i are going out for food on the pier later. or something. must stock up on salty licorice before leaving, though.

already have my first purchases figured out, once i have a paycheck:
1 cheap pair comfier black shoes
1 cell phone and number
1 big fluffy towel that's big enough to cover me

and that's gonna be enough to please me at the moment, i think.

going to england! hurrah?

Monday, September 01, 2003

PA first:
as of yesterday, the cell phone number that i've had all year's no longer mine. it'll still work, but it'll send messages to someone else who may or may not appreciate getting messages from strangers directed towards me. actually, chances are, they wouldn't appreciate them. but i'll be getting a new phone in the UK as soon as i can, i hope. and then harrassing may continue.

daniel's annoyingly right. i can do what i want, or i can do what i want and please other people at the same time. and my problem is that other people have a fair bit of weight when it comes to "what i want", when it's arguable whether they should or not. if i could have just said one thing concretely a month ago, this probably wouldn't have been so difficult now. but as it stands, zee germans want me to come back and are sending messages wondering when i'll be there, missing me, the kids asking about me.. like that makes it any easier. in my defence, i did tell them i might just head straight to the UK. so now i have decisions to make again, whether to try to go and spend a couple weeks there or not and when and how and all that, if i did, rather than just "find work in the UK" as my sole job at the moment.

how do you learn to just decide something and stick with it, despite what other people might want? when your choices will affect other people, at least, i don't care what people completely unaffected think. at least, they don't make me feel guilty when i choose anything. can someone please teach me?

last night i discovered that beyonce is only 21. and her "crazy in love" video was meant to show that "i'm 21 and i want to prove it to everyone." because that's exactly what i've gotten out of it every time i've seen it so far...

Sunday, August 31, 2003

last night i nearly died.

(ooooh, feel the drama!)

after spending much too long sitting around in front of computers and televisions and not doing much at all, stefan ("the prick with a few redeeming qualities") and i finally got around to going out to the boat (after a great search for the missing keys, which turned out to've been left in the boat at the docks 2 weeks ago by his father... lucky thing the boat was still there...) to get in some good fishing time. hadn't gotten to go fishing once since i'd gotten back, and we both leave norway this week, so it had to be done. and as always, he caught a fish and i didn't. but the one we kept was a decent-sized cod that we decided to bring home and boil.

and who woulda thought that boiled cod could be so tasty. head and all. with the supposedly world-famous Sandefjord Sauce, even! (butter, cream, and parsley. and some of the water that the cod was {dave}boiled{/dave} in. tasty as hell. apparently created here. try it sometime.) and it was all good.

until i took one bite that had a little fishbone in it that decided to fight back and lodge itself in my throat. not in a nice sort of way, either, it actually pierced the skin and got stuck in there right near the gag-reflex point. no amount of coughing or swallowing or fishing around with fingers was working. so the great political historian and part-time surgeon, stefan, had to rescue me using tweezers and actually using a bit of force to pull the damned thing back out.

and it came out and was shown off to his mother as well because we were all quite amazed at how long and how sharp the thing actually was.

fascinating story, no?

so that thing that your mother always stressed about, making sure all the fishbones are removed when you take a bite? it wasn't just motherly stressing, fishbones really are bastards.

alright, so i didn't quite die. but it would have been worthy of going to the doctor's or the hospital if i hadn't been with other people, because there was no way i could get the thing out!

but as a reflection on the boiled cod, i still went back and ate more of it after that, even if my throat was a little swollen. because it's that good.

i'm really going to miss fresh fish. maybe if i'm lucky i'll end up near the seaside somewhere.

who knows....

complete aside:
it seems that while my body's great at handling most things (ie: relatively-high pain/weirdness tolerance, high metabolism to handle most anything i eat or drink, etc) it's been pointed out to me that i *really* need to stay away from decent amounts of sugar and caffeine these days. single cups of coffee in the mornings and evenings are fine (i'm staying with a half-slovak family at the moment, it's just how things are done here, the mom doesn't accept no as an answer), random sweets are fine, but the past couple days i've been subject to some weird-ass mood swings. granted, i'm also stressed and a little lacking of sleep and probably a little depressed to be leaving norway and joining some version of real life once more and i'm sure hormones are somewhat to blame as well, but the sugar's definitely making me slightly more insane than usual. and in oslo i was given an espresso to make sure that i wouldn't fall asleep driving home, but that just wired me up like you wouldn't believe.

good, fun, times. {g}

Friday, August 29, 2003

i finally have a set date to leave norway: thursday september 4. and then i fly to london and start winging it from there. still don't have anything set up yet, although now i have a week to do that. and i guess that's alright. the strange thing will be staying in sandefjord after my best friend here leaves. i'll be staying with other friends, who are still awesome people, but they're friends through him, and it's always a little strange suddenly making that jump between being friends through a friend to being friends yourself.

shush, it makes sense in my mind.

not like it's a problem. they're good people. and i've already been living at their place for awhile now, so it's all good.

still. a week at the hytt put me into super-relaxed mode, so coming back to real life's a bit of a shock still.

but the hytt! oh, it was wonderful. norwegian wilderness at it's best. although it was on a lake, rather than the ocean. but swimming every day, sunshine most of the time, beaver-hunting (realised that although the beaver might be the canadian national animal, i'd never seen one in the wild before now. and this guy didn't mind being the centre of attention one bit, waddling around and eating everything he saw.. he must have been old - he even had a beard. we dubbed him Harry. good times..), canoeing, kayaking, chopping wood, nearly chopping my foot off in the process, getting a lovely tan...


but at the moment people want to sleep, so i have to leave. more later.

i love norway, though..

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

oh. and.

i really hate proving to meself that i'm still a ditz. like going through the wrong toll-line and not paying the cheap toll, resulting in a $100 fine. fortunately it was fixable. but we didn't know that until the next day. but it happened because i'm a moron.

but fortunately the person i was driving with has a good sense of humour.

and just chalked up the whole thing as Another Thing To Mock Sarah For. as though anyone needed another.

seriously feeling like franny though, wishing i had the courage to be a nobody. or wondering why i feel like i should feel like that. or wondering if i really want to be a nobody. or something. it depends on the time of day. it's just being surrounded by Smart People. and Content People.

norway is wonderful. being with friends is awesome. especially hanging around with incredibly creative people (particularly ones whose names sound like they're from Lord of the Rings), even if it's almost a little depressing realising how talented they are and how lacking in talent i am. being able to look around at the landscape and actually see crisp, clear, bright, beautiful colours is grand (unlike seeing the constantly hazy, washed-out-by-pollution-in-the-air landscape in germany). ocean breezes are lovely. fresh seafood's even better. pointless, prolonged conversations about fuck-all are the best part.

embassies still suck - weekend trip to oslo just to go to the UK embassy today to get my working visa, all for naught because i needed better proof of finances. and he wouldn't even look any further at the application. incredibly annoying. so i'll just mail it up and hope for the best instead. still, got to see oslo again, got to meet new norwegians and ran into friends of a friend that i didn't expect to ever see again, got to have a mini-road trip there and back to practice driving the car in preparation for tomorrow...

because! because because because! tomorrow (or maybe the next day, depends on how efficient we all are tomorrow) lise, frode, stefan and i head off to lise's hutt (cabin) somewhere out near some lake or ocean or whatnot, to camp, canoe, swim, lounge, and forget that the rest of the world exists.

oh so exciting.

alas, i'll be without internet for awhile. but there's worse things that could happen, right?

in all honesty, i just want to stay here. screw england, i'll just have to find some way to stick around norway. i love it here. {g}

no, that won't happen. i guess i'm going to england. i'll just have to be certain to come back and visit. especially during summers.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

why is it that there's people who you don't really become good friends with until you've almost left them, or even after you've parted ways, through email? because i have a bad habit of doing that. the last semester before i left vancouver i suddenly started to make a bunch of friends only to leave them within months. and even in prague, there's a number of people that i didn't get to know so well until towards the end of things. like marcia, who just sent me an email, who left prague in december. chances are i'll see her again, seeing as she lives in the states and a friend of hers (who was my flatmate for a brief while, actually) lives in seattle, but still. it's too bad we didn't hang out more earlier on.

don't know why that works. maybe because people let their guard down a little more towards the end of things. that's one of the reasons i'm a little sorry to be graduating soon, because it's in the higher classes that you really start to get to know your classmates, just as everyone's about to put in their application for graduation. it's unfortunate.

enough writing. want to swim but gotta pack first!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

looking for suggestions for thank you gifts for:
a) zee germans, for letting me stay here, although i think cleaning up the place wonderfully is a good start already, as well as a kitchen that'll be well-enough stocked for when they get back a few days after i leave here, as well as a half-tank of gas in the car which was empty when i started using it (gas it damn pricey out here, so there's no way i can afford to put in more than a half-tank at a time).
b) the nice norwegians who're letting me stay at their place even though they only just met me last time i was there. if frode drank i'd bring them alcohol (cuz it's cheap here and damn expensive there) but he doesn't. and i'd bring lise donald duck things if i could find them, but i can only find comics in german, so that's also a bust. i have a mini-cactus to bring, that's a start, right?

but any suggestions, SMS me (+420 721 866 849), because i'm going out for the day and it's my last chance to shop, so i'll need them on the road.

driving standard, i might add. it feels so good to be commandeering a car again. especially one that you actually get to drive, not a silly automatic machine...
i just remembered! i have a digeridoo at home waiting to be learned how to be played completely properly!

these are the things you just happen to forget.

actually, i was speaking with a friend from vancouver who's actually been living in japan for a couple years now, and we were both talking about how things are back in vancouver, how our families are and all that. and for both of us, the family situation's changed a fair bit while we've been gone, our respective neighbourhood environments aren't like they were when we left (even little things like a car being sold or a bedroom being painted), but we still have these versions of reality in our minds that keep everything the same. we both know that reality as we imagine it and reality as it actually is are very different, and i'm sure we'll both get a shock whenever we end up back in vancouver, but it's still strange. i know that my room was re-organised when i left. i know that bedrooms will be different colours when i get back. i know that the inkpen house will have different inkpens living in it than i'm used to. i know that my sister's boyfriend might be living in my house when i get back. i know that the garden looks a lot more grown-over than it used to. i know my mom changed her hairstyle. i know that one of my brothers is a completely different person now. i know natasha doesn't live nearby anymore, nor does catherine.

still doesn't mean that i remember that when i think about home. it's a very strange thing. i know i'll be getting some sort of shock when i go home.

although i spoke to one person yesterday who i haven't talked to in months, told me certain things that i needed to hear. told me to spend as much time out here as i can, because when i come home, nothing's going to be the same anyways, the people i was used to having around won't be there (whether it's because they've moved or because they're busy or whathaveyou), so keep on living as long as i can because i'm never going to be able to come back to the place i left anyways. so no need to feel homesick and feel the need to return quickly. however, she added, whenever i do come back, i'd better work my ass off to keep meself busy so that i don't end up getting depressed. a few years ago she travelled in asia for a few months and when she came back, the flight attendent gave her the best advice on the way home, simply to not let herself get depressed. so when she got back she made that summer The Summer O' Fun and had an awesome time to keep herself from getting down. and it worked. and i must say, even for those of us who hadn't been travelling the world, that summer was indeed The Summer O' Fun despite the fact that that was also The Summer Of The Massive Transit Strike That Lasted Three Months (found out port moody and port coquitlam weren't entirely all bad afterall!).

but anyways. all in all, it was a conversation that i had to have. made me stop feeling so guilty for thinking about stay out here. which suddenly makes you feel a lot better about staying.

even better, zee germans just called to say hi and wish me well when i take off tomorrow (as well as to make sure that their house hasn't burnt to the ground or anything), and i got to tell olaf that i'd been thinking about not coming back here first if i did head to england. i'd been feeling guilty about thinking of just heading straight there if zee germans were expecting to see me again, but olaf's awesome, s'no skin off his back. and hopefully things will work out so that i can still come back here anyways, it just depends on flight prices, really. but yay! less guilt once again!

got no more secrets, had some guilt relieved, even got some form of contact through email from someone that i'd really been hoping to hear from this morning (not personal or anything, but the fact that any email was sent at all makes me feel better). and today i get to drive around to do errands for awhile. and it's nice and windy outside. and if i get everything else done in time, i'm going swimming at the lake this afternoon.

yee haw.