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...