Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I should be reading.

As per usual. 

Since I'm currently cameraless (however can she survive?), I've had to resort to the webcam on my computer. 

Card from my parents. I need a haircut. 

She said I could open the card. I won't tell you what was in it, but I will say that it's contents mean I can buy the impractical purse I've been coveting. Thanks parents! 

I have not been on here in a while, and for that I'm sorry, but other writing had to be done, so the blog was neglected. However, stay tuned for adventures. I booked flights/trains/buses to Istanbul, Paris and Vienna in the past few weeks, insuring the next few months will be filled with blog worthy happenings. 

Like I said, I should be reading, so I better get back to it. 


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Catfish Productions on Twitter, we've caved to the man.

Alright everyone, Catfish Productions, the entertainment media company founded by Nicole and I in 2009, has entered the modern world. We're on Twitter. Gasp, I know, scary. I'm not going to say I was wrong, because I hate being wrong, but Twitter, so far, is sort of fun. At least it's fun when you follow people who actually have interesting news to post or things to say, and when you share the account with your friend 3000 miles away. That's super fun. AND every time I post on there (I can't bring myself to say Tweet yet, just so stupid), Nicole's new iphone buzzes and explodes. Something about that makes me smile. Bwhahahah.

So, I stand by what I said about Twitter taking over the world and melting our brains HERE, but I've been wary of a Terminator like future for a long time now (I think I used that reference already once before, oh well), so I think I'll be OK.

Promotional message time: Check out Catfish Productions on Twitter! Follow us or we'll start a rumor about you. Don't think we won't. Also, if you haven't already, like us on Facebook while your at it. Spread the social networking love everywhere there is love to spread. I'm not promising it will be worth your wile, but come on, take a chance on Catfish. If you love Catfish, Catfish will love you back, and you can never have enough love.

Alright, that's enough links for one day. Off to sort postcards.

               Look at those faces, who can say no to Catfish?


Friday, March 11, 2011


So my awesomely creative housemate Rose has to write this 2000 word easy or story or something for her an art project (she’s a fine art major), and she decided to ‘write’ it by using other people’s cut out, handwritten words, pasting them together into her own original story. This means she needs a LOT of handwritten words, so I’ve been rewriting my random notes, compiling them in notebooks and then ripping up the original pages and giving them to Rose. This is something I wrote a few weeks ago on my way to London for the Save the Children conference, so I just thought I’d share. Why not right?

Traveling anywhere is a whole new experience without an ipod. I have experienced this before, but that was back when there was hope of getting a new one. This time is different, I’m broke. I’ve done the Oxford to London bus before without music, on those trips I had someone to talk to the whole way. It’s only an hour ride, hour and a half if there’s traffic, but still. Can’t read on a bus, what else am I supposed to do?

I can’t help but listen in on these two American girls talking a few seats behind me. Shoot me if I ever sound like that. “Like this and like that and oh my god like like like.” They are saying extremely generic things about traveling. It’s basically the same conversation Nicole and I had when we went to Wales, about who would pay for what, hostels, busses and planes. I wonder if Nicole and I sounded as annoying as these girls. I like to think that we don’t talk in clich├ęs (“It will be such a good experience, like once in a lifetime!”), but then again, you never know what you sound like to other people. I’m just being mean (as per usual), I’m sure they are perfectly lovely girls, I’m just jealous that they are about to go somewhere new and I’m going somewhere I’ve been a million times. But then again, it’s London. I can’t get enough of London.

I’ve never lived in a big city, therefore there are no big cities I feel like I can really claim. As close to DC as I’ve lived my whole life, I know shamefully little about it. I’ve been there a ton, but never on my own, always following someone, depending on them to tell me what to do and where to go. However, I think I’m close to claiming London.

Every time I go I never have enough time. This is in a big way due to the fact that my Dear Friend Jen (yes that is capital worthy) lives there and I never want to leave her. But this is also because I love London. It’s gigantic, there is always something gone on, it’s beautiful, it’s old, it’s exciting. Transportation is incredibly easy, except on weekends. Even then it’s not bad. Last night I looked up which tube stops would be shut down, saw there were issues at Victoria where I usually get off and that the stop I was going to was closed, and found another way to get there. It came down to changing at one stop rather than going straight there, which was no problem at all. Streets and tubes are clearly marked, the streets are clean and there are statues abound (I don’t think that’s how you use that word, but I’m going to anyway); the perfect city for me.

Well, as far as big cities go anyway. I don’t think I’m a big city girl myself, more of a small city with easy access to countryside kinda chick. I’ve only ever lived in Lovettsville (the tiniest place on earth), Morgantown, (college town central, town being the key word) and now Oxford (the spires are taller than the city is wide). I have loved all of these places for different reasons, but one unifying factor is that they are all the perfect size, big enough that you don’t get bored, (well, aside from Lovettsville, but at least we had each other), but small enough that I never get overwhelmed. Big cities usually do this to me, the hustle and bustle scaring any fleeting sense of direction right out of my already scatter-brained mind, usually resulting in me getting respectably lost. But London and I, we have an understanding. I don’t littler in its streets (not that I’d do that anywhere) and it leaves me alone. That’s really all I can ask for in a city, mutual respect and understanding. This goes for people as well. If only people could be more like London, the world would be a…well not better place, but whatever. You know what I’m trying to say.

Now I’m not saying that London is heaven on earth or anything. It’s bloody expensive to live there or even visit (aw, look at her trying to sound British, how quaint), traffic’s mad crazy and you can never find a trash can when you need one (my pockets are full of wrappers right now), but you get that anywhere.

Other cities I’ve loved include Wellington, New Zealand, Boston, MA, Rome, and I really do love DC. I loved Paris as well, but I need to go back. I remember the big things we saw, but hardly anything about the atmosphere. Cities I need to see still, Berlin, Istanbul, Lisbon, Cairo, Chicago, LA (more of it anyway, and the list goes ever on and on.

And then I had to go to the conference, and it was great. If you missed it, you can read about it HERE.

Alright, it’s sunny so I should probably go outside. Don’t get used to this blogging every day thing, I swear it’s not going to last.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 14, finally.

There are a few things I should be good at by now. But I'm not. This list includes:

- Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit.

- Converting kilograms to pounds (forget the stone, that's not happening).

- Military time.

- Where things are.

These are the main things, there are many more that are not as important. These are just the ones I encounter just about every day and still can't do. Once the time gets past noon I have to count, I look up the temperature every time on a conversion site when I check the weather and, well the weight one is not really every day, but still enough that I should know it by now. It's not that I'm lazy, or that I don't want to learn it, it's just that they never stick in my brain, like spelling and all other languages. And I know there are easy was to math your way around them, but come on, everyone knows Maria can't do math. So, anyway, these are some things I need to work on.

As for where things are, I don't mean in Oxford. I own Oxford. Even when I don't know where something is, usually is someone starts to describe what it's around, I'm there. I mean the rest of the UK. I have no concept of where cities and towns are in England, even though I should because people are constantly talking about where they are going, where they are from, where they want to go. I just need to stare at a map for a while and remember. It's getting annoying.

It's class day, so I should be writing in the evening when I have something to actually talk about, but I'm not. I won't feel like it when I get home, and I should be working on my final project. It's really coming along, I'm pretty happy with it so far. But the further I go the further I am into uncharted territory. I have no idea how it's going to end. What beats the all-powerful? Besides love, J.K. owned that one. I have till September, so it's all good.

Alright, I've got things to do. I'm not sure if I've learned anything from this two weeks of blogging like I should of. Well, I did learn that I prefer writing in the morning to the evening. I think I write better stuff when I've just woken up over when I'm about to fall asleep. So that's something. Give it time, it will come to me.


OH PS. how do I make some sort of banner thing for my blog? Auntie P and mom, I'm looking at you. I like the simplicity of mine, don't want to clog it up, but it could be fun to make a header sort of thing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 13, in which i'm almost done.

I will admit, I'm sort of stoked to be almost finished with my two weeks of blogging. Jackson Pearce did a whole month of vlogs once, no idea how she did that. And my blog is not read in nearly the same capacity as her videos are watched, so the pressure for her to be entertaining is even greater. I don't care if you all are entertained or not, this is mostly for me (that's a lie, I do care. Tell me I'm funny tell me I'm funny!). Anywho, I'm almost done, and then who knows when you'll hear from me. MAYBE NEVER AGAIN. Nah, probably next week.

I bought a book in Hay by one of my professors, James Hawes. It's called 'Speak for England', and it's sitting on my desk right now, spine toward me. Every time I look over at it, I read it wrong and it reads, "JAMES HAWES SPEAKS FOR ENGLAND" and it makes me laugh. James Hawes does speak for England, at least he should. That guy's fantastic.

Yesterday Alisha and I booked tickets to go to Istanbul in April for Spring break. This will be the first time I have had a real Spring Break, at least one where I'm not just going home and hanging out doing nothing. Not that I did not enjoy that, don't get me wrong, I love hanging out, doing nothing. But this will be cool too. I'm gonna get me a real Kebab and it's gonna rule.

Also, we noticed that flights to Berlin are relatively cheap, if we are looking to go in June. So, we might go in June.

I'm supposed to be writing about every day like it matters, but that's hard to do every day. Today I could have skipped. I walked 2 miles in stupid weather to the police station so I could tell them again what happened the night my bag was stolen, so they could actually write it down this time. Really, why did I call in twice if they were not going to record any of the information I gave? Not only did it take me an hour to walk down there, but then the cop who called me in was a half hour late showing up to meet me. That badge doesn't give you a free pass to life, you still need to leave early to make it places on time matey. Traffic is not going to part for you because it says 'police' on your car, no matter how brightly colored it is.

This is all I have to say today. I'm really tired. Also, if you can, watch this video about Planned Parenthood. It's so important America, seriously, DO something about it. It's all about education and aid, how is that funding cut worthy in any way shape or form? I really don't understand, I'd make a horrible politician.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 12 in which I eat my weight in (British) pancakes .

Writing blogs in the morning was a better idea. Writing in the morning was a better idea in general. Wales was great. I think it was the kitchen table. I would get up at 7, go straight downstairs and make some sort of hot drink and then spread out at the kitchen table, the morning light coming in the windows, the house totally quiet for at least a half hour till the next person came to join me. It was great. Here, I can wake up that early, but there is nowhere to go. I could sit in the living room, but it doesn't have a table. I could sit at my desk, but if I'm going to be up that early, I can't be in my room or I'll just get back in bed.

As my brother once said (or wrote or something), morning people are sketchy. I'm no morning person, but when I have a reason to be up, I can do it. If I have somewhere to go it's even better. All I need is another room of this house, some sort of kitchen table, and I'd be set. Whine whine whine, blame it on the architecture, but it's true. I still haven't read it (because
someone left it in Philly after I lent it to her over Christmas, coughAlishacough), but Virginia Woolf wrote all about how we need a room of our own in order to write. She's so right.

Today is a very important day. First of all, it's International Women's Day. I celebrated by wearing as many colors as humanly possible, Alisha by adorning as many sparkly accessories as she could. I looked like a cartoon character and she looked like a princess, and no one noticed because this is Oxford. If there was ever a place to dress eccentrically, it's here. I've never seen so many guys pulling off bright red pants and suit jackets before in my life. Or old women with hair dyed crazy colors (like blue and purple and pink). Or girls in bright green, platform, combat boots with skirts. Basically, anyway you've ever wanted to dress can be pulled off in Oxford, England. It's a wonderful place.

The other thing that makes today great is that it's Pancake Day. "
In the UK, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day (or Pancake Tuesday to some people) because it is the one day of the year when almost everyone eats a pancake." In other words (as if simpler words were needed), Pancake Day is the day before Lent starts, so I guess whoever decided to make this a day was planning on giving up pancakes for a month. Interesting choice. Can you imagine a life where you eat pancakes so often to warrant giving them up for Lent? (I just looked up the word 'warrant' to make sure it meant what I thought it meant. It does, I don't think I've ever used it before.)

So, tonight we made pancakes. My housemates were sure to inform me before hand that we were making British pancakes, not American ones, which really means crepes, which are indeed French. That sentence could have been written much clearer, but it's funnier this way. Paddy and Rose made the pancakes and we put out tons of toppings like Nutella, peanut butter, chocolate chips, fried apples (my idea), warmed up sugary raspberries (also my idea), nuts, syrup and some other things I'm probably forgetting. OH right, duh, ice cream. My favorite. Needless to say, it was an amazing day overall.

I also decided something today, in the spirit of Women's Day, after meeting an Italian girl.

Alisha- (after the girl left) "All Italian women are so beautiful."

Me- "Yeah, I hate them."

Alisha- "Ha!"

Me- "Wait, I don't like that."

Basically, I decided right then to stop saying that. I say that all the time. Whenever I see a child who can sing really well or play the piano, I say that I hate them for it. Or if someone is naturally good at something that I try super hard to do and fail, I hate them. Girls with perfect bodies I tend to hate as well, also conversationalists, successful authors my age and basically all musicians. What's with all the hate? Hate's such a strong word, it
always hurts, so why use it?

Why should I hate the Italian girl for being beautiful? Her being beautiful does not make me any less so. The fact that there are successful authors my age does not mean I will never be one (just that I'll have plenty of competition). Most girls with perfect bodies work hard for it, so why hate them? Hating them is not going to make me any fitter, I have to do that myself. Hating does not do anything but hurt and radiate out into the air, leaving you and everyone around you (if anyone can stand to be around you) angry. Sure, it's easier to hate (and it leads to the dark side), but it's just not healthy. Can't be good for the air either, all that negative energy. I bet that's really what's effing up the ozone layer. So there you have it. I'm giving up hate for Lent, and forever.

Lessons learned today:

1) I'll be needing a kitchen table if I'm ever to be a writer.

2) Women love pancakes.

3) Hate makes you ugly.

I feel like my lessons learned may be a little off kilter, but whatever. That's what happens when you wait till midnight to write a blog. Goodnight.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 11 in which I drop some eaves.

Yesterday I was sitting in a cafe on Broad Street, drinking something hot and writing a list in my notebook. Two girls were sitting at a table next to me, talking so loud I could not help but listen. Here is the story one of them was telling the other.

This girl (let's call her Babs) lives in a shared house, like basically everyone around here. This one women she lives with (let's call her Jewels) does not talk to anyone, keeps to herself and rarely leaves her room. Jewels has been living with Babs for about 6 months, about as long as I've been here. Babs does not know Jewels at all, they never talk, but when they are in the same room, Babs is friendly to Jewels.

All of this set up serves no purpose, it's just a trick to make you think this is a real story. It's not, it has no story arc, so I'll just skip to what happened.

So anyway, Babs found out that Jewels had been pregnant for the entire time she had known her, went into labor in the house, while everyone was home (I think they live with like 3 other people or something). Jewels then proceeded to exit the house, get a ride to the hospital by her boyfriend/baby-daddy, and had the baby. She then brought it back to the house, and Babs did not find out there was a baby in the house for ten whole days after it was born. No one knew she was pregnant, no one knew the baby was in the house, no one even knows Jewels. Now the land lord has found out and Jewels is being kicked out because there is a strict no-baby rule in the house.

On top of all this, Babs came home one night and a Police officer jumped out the door at her when she turned the key. She asked what was going on and he just said, "oh nothing to worry about," and left. Apparently Jewels called the cops on the baby-daddy because he took baby out for the day and did not bring it back till way later. Very interesting.

I sat there for a long time to get this whole story, and there are still big gaps in it. But that's the beauty of eavesdropped stories, they are never complete.

Then today, it happened again.

On the bus on my way home from work, I heard a couple sitting behind me kissing. Then I heard them whispering, trying to keep their bus conversation to themselves, not realizing that they were sitting behind a ipodless girl with a notebook.

Guy- "I'm prepared to die to never lose you."

Girl- "Never do this."

Guy- "Don't be scared please."

They spoke very quietly, and only phrases jumped out at me between bus stops, but this part I heard loud and clear. I gathered after some more listening that the man was from Portugal, and the women was from somewhere else entirely (sounded Italian). Neither of them spoke the other's language, but they both spoke broken English which seemed to have been enough to fall in love.

I wanted to turn around and see what they looked like, so when the bus stopped where I was getting off, I stood up and turned around to see if I could catch a glimpse. The moment I turned my head I caught the guy's eye; it was like he knew I had been listening the whole time. I quickly ran off the bus and did not look back, not even when the bus went past me. I expected him to be watching me still, silently accusing me of recording his most intimate conversation. I never saw the girl.

The funny thing is that this girl will probably never remember that bus conversation. This is probably the way the guy talks all the time, how his life is meaningless without her, so this conversation will probably fade into that place all our forgotten memories go. That space between where you left your wallet and what your homework is for next week; it's a wonderful place full of useful things. She will never find this bus conversation, but I'll never forget it. One person's loss is another person's gain, one person's insignificant moment is another person's accidental, eye-opening encounter.

I guess not having an ipod is not all bad. The world is much louder than I remember.


Day 10 in which I'm back in Oxford.

Left to right: Tom, Alisha, Charlie and me.

Back. I uploaded tons of pictures to flicker if anyone's interested, not only of Wales but also everything I've taken since I've been here that I've not put on Flicker yet. I'm major7ths (yes, with an s) on Flicker if anyone wants to take a look.

The last day in Wales was just like the rest, but with cleaning and lots of driving. We got up and wrote again, but soon our lives back in Oxford started creeping up on us and we had to leave a little sooner than planned. We cleaned the house from top to bottom and then (actually before) sat down to an amazing spread that consisted of all the food that was left in the house. Which was a lot. But we finished it all, and then headed on home.

I'm not going to go on and on about how great Wales was, you already know. I've gushed about it enough, no one wants to hear anymore of that. I'm back to Oxford now and back to my normal week. I have a book I need to read, lots of writing to do as usual and a ton of other little things I was ignoring while in Wales to attend to. I spent the entire day at work today, when not doing what I was supposed to be doing, making a massive to do list. It's pretty long.

This is not going to be the most interesting of posts, I apologize, but I do have boring days too, even if I do live in the magical land of hobbits and tea. I also have a mindless job and a kitchen that always needs cleaning and a room the size of a shoebox that I still can't manage to keep tidy. Life's basically the same wherever you go.

Rose and I hung out for a while tonight, catching up. I fell asleep at around 9 last night, so we did not get to talk about our weeks. We decided that she is going to come to the States and visit me sometime next year, and that we are going to go for either an east coast extravaganza tour, bumming couches from all the people and family I know scattered around, or take my car and hit the road out West. I've always wanted to do that anyway, so I vote that, although east coast would be cheaper. Oh well, we have lots of time to decide.

BECAUSE also, Alisha and I decided the other day that we really want to come back here for graduation, which is not until something crazy like April 2012. Then Meg said we (meaning my writing buds) should go to our graduation, then hit the road in Europe and go on a massive road trip that a way. Where all the money to do these things is going to come from I have no idea, but whatever, I'll figure that out later.

One bit of cool news, I was informed that my article on the YA Fantasy Guide made the top ten most visited pages on the whole site for the month of February (number 8 to be precise) which is pretty amazing because a) I'm an unknown author and b) it was only up for about a week of February. I am pretty happy about this news.

But now I need to go to bed. It's far too late and I have to be up far too early.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 9 in which I'm super happy.

For no real reason in particular. Yesterday was another really good day. Up at 7 again, writing writing writing writing all morning, slowly joined by the rest of the troupe. For lunch Meg made Peanut Butter Stew and then we wrote wrote wrote wrote while it cooked, taking turns stiring. Yesterday was a really good day for food. We laid it all out on the table and had a family meal, chatting about how far we were in our stories, what we were having trouble with and how to fix the problems. I realized half way through the day that my main character was boring. If I'd realized this at home on my own, I would have just gotten depressed and not been able to fix it. However, in this magical little house in Wales, I am not alone, so my problem was presented to the group and promptly fixed. Now he's got an attitude. It's so simple, but I could have never done it alone.

This is the life. If you've ever wanted to write a book, or are writing a book, or have plans to write a book, do what I'm doing. I strongly believe no one can do it alone, and it's far too much fun being with people to ever do it any other way.

After our gigantic lunch (we constantly make too much food, but then manage to finish it all anyway) we got back to work for a few hours and then set out on our daily outside excursion. This time we took a walk to the castle, because any self-respecting town in the UK has their own castle. It was cute, but we got there too late and could not get in the gate. Meg lead the way and we took a walk through the woods along this path that ran along the edge of a steep cliff with a river running through it. We took pictures of light coming through trees (Tina's favorite) and talked and laughed. Lot of laughing has happened this week.

Alisha and I agreed in bed last night that we've known a lot of fantastic people in our lives, but none quite like this group. We are all so vastly different with this one unifying thing in common, but we all get along extremely well.

Once we got back to the house it was dark, we watched the sun set over the fields on our walk back to the village. We split in the house, some cooking some not and set to it. I helped cut veggies (we've all been vegetarians for the week, since Charlie and Alisha both are) and then snuck away to fix up my character. We ended up cutting too much vegg which resulted in two massive lasagnas, and for once we didn't finish. The other is waiting for us to dig into today.

That night we hung out at the house until we ran out of recreational drinks, at which point we skipped down the street to the local pub (where we ate the first night) and hung out till 1.30am with the locals. We talked about books and drinks and eventually, which is always the case, about relationships. We shuffled home when the pub closed, skipping back to the house, and sang in the kitchen. Alisha debuted her slam poem to the world (the world of the kitchen) (it was fantastic, by the by), Charlie read to us, and we eventually made out way to bed.

I don't want to go home today.

I love Oxford, and I love my housemates, but I think we really need at least another day here. However, we're out of food (all that's in the fridge is lasagna), I'm out of clothes (been wearing one pair of jeans all week) and we all have lives to get back to. Curse my job tomorrow, because I want another day.

Dispite going to bed in the 2.30-3am region, I got up around 7 again, woke up Charlie and got straight to work. My character still needs fixing (if you read the name 'Dorian Slate,' would you roll your eyes?) and we have to clean the house so Meg's parents let us come back. I really want to come back.

"I know it ain't easy,
giving up your heart."


PS- remember when I used to end all my blogs with a quote of some sort? Maybe I should bring that back. That one is from Adele's new album, a song called 'One and Only.' The whole album is amazing, go get it now.

PSS- Nicole, I've talked about you so much this week that I don't have to say 'my friend Nicole' anymore.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day...what day is it? Can't remember. Oh right 8.

Very productive yesterday. I was up at 7 like I said, wrote a few thousand words, ate lunch, messed around for another hour or so, then we all went outside to play. I really don't have much to say today, for real.

We went out to this mountain range to take a walk yesterday as our daily get-out-of-the-house-because-it's-sunny excursion. It was an easy walk up, not like my normal 'I climbed a mountain and then died' stories. I got some amazing pictures at the top because the sun was setting, lots of good silhouettes and sunsets. It was a little freezing, but worth it.

Back at the house Tom made risotto and we all just hung out all night talking. We played the Spotify game where everyone takes turns picking the next song to play. Good game, that's the kind of game I like. Eventually Alisha just ended up taking over the music, as usual, but her taste is fantastic so no one minded. At least I didn't anyway.

No deep revelations yesterday, just a really good, perfect day. Today is our last full day, I'm trying not to think about it. But, like everything, I can't. It's like how I'm trying not to think about where I'll live after my lease is up in July (which I should be thinking about now actually), about whether I'll try to stay here another year or not, if I'll have enough money to do that, or where I'll work if I decide to come home. I've been worrying about these things since the moment I got here, and it's a real drag. I want to just be here and stop my mind from being somewhere else, but it does it's own thing.

Alright, going to go try and channel those thoughts toward a story about a boy Pygmalion, his Galatea, and the dude trying to mess it all up. That story's come a long way.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 5-6 and the beginning of 7 in which I’m in Wales having too much fun to blog.

Fixed the internet!

So I’m reading Go Ask Alice right now, by a still unknown author. It’s unknown because it’s a real diary of a 15 year old girl in the 70s who did acid and it has lots of incriminating things in it about her and her family and friends. Apparently anyway, I just got to the day she does acid but had to go to sleep. Alisha and I lay in our double bed, reading and drinking tea, covered in a quilt speckled with little pink flowers, like an old married couple.

The whole point of that intro is that I know I’ve failed the whole diary every day blogathon challenge I presented to myself, but as far as my assignment is goes I don’t think I’ve failed. Alice does not write in her diary every day, no one does really. There are very few people who actually manage to write every single day, at least in a diary. I wrote almost a thousand words of story yesterday, so where’s time to write in a diary? Anyway, life gets in the way always, but I’m not going to feel bad about it (excuses excuses, watch me justify my failure. Very good at that). I’m just going to write when I have time.

Brief aside pertaining to not blogging every day: it’s not the healthiest thing to do anyway. I mean for me right now it’s pure laziness, but we were talking about this the other night. We talked about how there are so many things to occupy your time online that are seemingly social, like facebook, twitter, blogger and those sorts of things, that some people spend more time online living than they do actually living, and then can’t actually interact with real people. This is depressing, and along the same vein as my little twitter rant the other day. It is very interesting how the internet has changed everything in our lives so drastically in the last ten years. Just in my lifetime we’ve included terms like ‘facebooked’ and ‘friended’ into our every day vocabulary. ‘Tweeting,’ ‘sexting’ (yes I meant to type that. Sexting is sexual harassment or just flirting via text), and ‘vlogs’ (video blogs) did not exist when I was born (did texting?). Almost everyone relies on a GPS to get around, we look up words on dictionary.com instead in an actual dictionary and research projects have become drastically easier. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a avid facebook user, and obviously I blog all the time, but I like to think that since I’m aware that the internet might be eating my brain and that we are heading fast toward a Terminator like future, than it won’t happen. Or it still might, but I’ll know it’s happening, and although society won’t listen to my warning, at least I’ll be able to form my tiny little group of friends and family, who will inevitably be the last remaining survivors on earth, and thus reform society. All you guys can join too, since I just warned you, but just remember where you heard about it first.

(PS, would you capitalize words like facebook and tweeting? I did in the last blog, but I just don’t know if they have become main-stream enough to make it necessarily correct. I mean, facebook is a noun, so it probably should, and so is twitter, but tweeting is an verb, so I’m not sure.)

I’ve been out of Oxford for two days, we have three days left, and I already want to stay longer. For one thing, I love these people. Writing friends are the best, because you can talk for hours about writing and you never once encounter that glazed over look in the other person’s eyes that happens when they are trying hard to care but in the end just don’t. And I don’t have to feel bad about that, again, because it’s just not happening. Nerdy fun time is being had by all. “being had,” hah, my professor would have a bone to pick with me for that one.

Short little catch up on what we’ve been up to. Tuesday Meg picked us all up and we drove to this town right on the border of Wales and England called Hay on Wye which is known for the number of used book stores that grace it’s streets. There are so many that it has become a sort of book lovers paradise and tourist destination (for nerds anyway), and as such we were in heaven. I’ve already decided I am going to retire in Hay and start my own bookshop, anyone want to join? There were literally more bookshops than there were other shops, it’s probably a little difficult to actually live there since, although you can feed your mind for eternity with books, you can’t actually feed your body. I managed to restrict myself to only four books, (once of which was Go Ask Alice) which I deem quite an achievement. That night we arrived at Meg’s house, settled in and went to the pub for food because it was too late to go anywhere else.

This house is amazing. Three bedrooms, red carpet on the stairs, a jukebox and a gramophone, stars on all the ceilings of the bedrooms and a huge kitchen with a table and chairs, perfect for writing and hanging out. I could easily stay here forever.

Yesterday we started writing. We wrote all morning, but my time was cut short because I’m an idiot and left my power cord UK adapter at home, so my compute died really quick. Luckily Charlie had not left yet, and neither had James (just left the house for the day I mean), so with their powers combine I now have it and my week is not ruined. After working most of the day we drove to the beach, although it was freezing, and took a walk.

Now it’s today. The guys and I said we were going to get up at 7am to start to work. I was up at 7am, but it’s now almost 8 and the guys are just now joining me. I better get onto it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day whatever

I can't do this anymore, because a) I don't have any internet in Wales (the house hates my computer and won't connect) and b) i'm having too much fun. More on it all later, if your lucky. But I assure you, I am still writing every day, seeing as that's why I'm here.

You are just going to have to trust me.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 4 in which I counted.

I spent 7 hours today counting merchandise. I can't wait to go to Wales.

Then I sent a full hour running around to every stationary/school supply store in the city and Headington looking for a monthly planner. They had no weekly/monthlys, no straight up monthlys, no nothing. Here is how the British like to view their month; one week at a time. Every single planner was a weekly. They like the weekly format so much that even when you find a monthly, it's written with every day in a straight line down the page in columns, not at all like a normal calendar. The only time it seems to be appropriate for a month to be displayed in the classic calendar format is in a classic calender to be hung on a wall of a kitchen, study, bedroom or all-purpose recreational room. Never in the form of a little book that goes in a purse or backpack. That would be outrageous.

I got so fed up with not finding what I wanted, refusing to settle, that I ended up buying a small sketch book with no lines and making my own. It's going to be awesome when it's done, but I'm sick of drawing lines with a ruler, so I'll have to finish later. I have sharpie all over my hands and lots of inking still to do, but it's really shaping up. Was this the most productive use of my time tonight? Not at all. I should have been packing for Wales, cleaning my room, working on my stuff, basically anything but making a planner. But I like to be organized (and clearly procrastinate), so to me, this was time well spent.

Rose made lasagna tonight and it was about five inches deep, full of cheesy goodness. I could have eaten the entire thing, but I was raised to share so I refrained.

This is basically it. That was my day. Counting, planner frustrations and lasagna. OHOHOH and I was awarded a Liebster Blog Award by the ever lovely Lynz. To explain what this is, I'm going to do what Lynz did and pull a copy-paste:
"Some time (in the recent past), somewhere (rumor has it that it might be Germany), someone (I guessing he/she was named Liebster) decided to do something nice for a whole lot of bloggers and started the Liebster Blog Award.

It’s an award you receive, but it is also an award that you give. If you receive a Liebster Blog Award you are asked to choose 3 other bloggers and send them one as well."

Thank you so much Lynz! I'm glad you've enjoyed this old thing, it's been fun. I'd like to thank Nicole Bartow for probably peer pressuring me into starting it up again in college, although it was so long ago that I don't even remember how she managed to convince me. Now go check out Lynz's blog!

As for my nominations, that was a tough one. I judged them based on content, dedication (aka frequent posting) and fantastic and ever changing banners. I also realized, when looking through the blogs I follow, that a great many of my buds hardly ever update anymore. What gives? I mean, I'm not really one to talk, I've had my months of inactivity too. Anyway, no one cares, on to the winners (not in any particular order):

First of all we have my mother at deeroo designs. She talks about me fairly frequently, so what's not to like? Just kidding. She's also an awesome sewer, quilter, blogger and overall sunny person. Her blog oozes positivity, something the world needs more of.

Second is my aunt at foobella- What Good Luck! I don't want to seem like a looser for only picking my family, be assured that I picked based on the strict criteria listed above and blogger's relation to myself had no factor in the decision making process. Foo's blogs are always filled with art, adventures in plumbing and funny anecdotes, the recipe to a good blog.

Last, but not in any way least is my friend Tiffany at Bhavana Yoga and Massage. Tiffany translates her passion for yoga and her superior understanding of the field in her blog, sharing tips for chasing away the winter blues through back bends and the overall power of yoga toward a better quality of life and living. Keep it up Tiff!

Congrats! And ps, one of the Liebster rules states that you are in no way obligated to pass it on if you don't want to, no biggie. It's just a little fun thing to let people know what else is out there.

So, the theme of this week seems to be Maria staying up far too late when she has to get up really early. I'm at it yet again, I just can't say no to watching a movie with my housemates, even if the question comes at half past 11. But it's all good, I'm off to Wales in the morning to hang out with my friends, write my little heart out, and pretend that it's my actual career already and that I'm famous enough to afford to go on these little writing vacations as often as I want.

TTFN, tantalizing tomatoes fight ninjas!