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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A week's worth of musings

Now, if I had my iPhone, this would make more sense. Each of these thoughts would come through with its own title, date, and context. But as I have got no iPhone, this is going to sound like a bunch of rambling. So, hold on to yer hats...

...the latest thing has to do with how I'm going to sound when I get back to Denver. Between having the accent rub off on me, the pregnancy hormones, and jet lag, I'm going to sound like a crazy woman who's taken on some pretentious way of talking. Case in point: today, I was invited to join a session taking mic measurements. This was after a large lunch, and one of the researchers joked, "you can come watch us take a nap". Then I said, "I shall". WTF? "I /shall/"? Who talks like that? Well, spend a few months in the UK and you'll notice that you (as an American) do not have a British vocabulary, so you fall back on what you THINK sounds British. And you are wrong, very wrong. Neither Americans or Brits will know what your problem is.

Other observations: "Ta" means "thanks". But again, as an American, don't try to say it. /You/ are saying "ta" as in "ta ta, see you later". And it sounds like "tahhhh" to the native ear, not the expertly elocuted "ta" of the Northerner.
"Cheers" means thanks. Again, leave this one to the locals.
"Thanks" means thanks. This is your best bet.
"Thank you" means "I'm an American". But still a safe bet.

They do not know what grape jelly is here, nor grape jam. So I have to get some from home! Furthermore once they hear of such a thing, they wonder aloud why they don't already have it.

My new GP (general practitioner) is pretty heavy handed when feeling my tummy for the baby. Poor baby, getting all mushed around. :( Female doctor, too.

The chips (french fries) here are amazing anywhere you go. I eat them a lot.

I need new shoes. The walk from my house to the nursery is like going from UCD's campus to somewhere on the 16th street mall. A little less than bearable.

I want a clothes dryer! Not liking the drying rack.

I saw my second hot air balloon in a week. What's up with that?

"Mixer taps" are better than the separate taps (faucets) in the bathroom. Want warm water? Fill the sink. *groan*. But the kitchen sink has a mixer tap. Seriously, what's up with that?

Well, I'm sure I'll have more to say. Don't forget to check out my latest pics at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First days in York

First day at York

I was very tired because Zachary had a rough night. But I was determined not to miss my first day!

It was a nice walk, but then when I dropped off Zachary I noticed a cycle shop. So rented ("hired") a bike! Much better for my footsies, but not a great idea for pregnant moms. Eventually I will have to figure out how to take the bus here.

I toured the studios and got my key today. No Pro Tools! So I will have to convert all of my files. No problem, I've got time, right? Tomorrow I will bring my hard drives and disc burner.

It's nice not being on a "paved" campus. And I have a window office! :P

To see pictures, click here:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fulbright Day 2

This was an intense day of walking! Seeing houses of parliament was great, and we had a lively discussion inside one of its meeting rooms. The view of the Thames from parliament was pretty indescribable! Another memorable moment was seeing a sculpture of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Westminster Abbey among other 20th century martyrs. That was a very moving sight. We had a lovely tour with lots of history, none of which I can remember :) but if you'd like to see some pictures, they're here:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fulbright begins!

I'm in London at orientation. Andy and Zachary and mom and Martin (Andy's dad) are back in York at our house (a "rowhouse" type thing, or "terrace house"). I can't stand being away from them! But orientation is going well. There are many fascinating people here doing very interesting work. Although most people are very jet lagged, I think the personal introductions held everyone's interest. There are only a couple of "over 40s" teaching around England, like myself. The majority are students working on PhDs or postdocs. Everyone in the entire group was asked to present a "fun fact". Mine was that I play bass in a band. There are also two euphonium players, two people who can ride unicycles, a former figure skater, and one man who told a story about being airlifted from a volcano. There are microbiologists and neurologists, musicians and anthropologists, historians and philosophers. We'll be scattered all over the UK doing our "thang".

We did a hell of a lot of walking to various venues, and my legs are sore. I can't wait to rest up for tomorrow's activities.

For pictures of orientation, follow this link!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fulbright orientation this week!

For those of you kind enough (and interested enough) to subscribe to my blog - thank you! It's been difficult getting things up and running, and I notice that several posts don't appear until 1 day later (or more). I'm hoping to iron out those wrinkles, as well as post more photos. I just got a new phone since my old Blackberry is not up to the task of today's "social networking" demands. The new phone, however, has a different set of problems. Grr.

Zachary will visit the Montessori tomorrow. I'm a little worried about the neighborhood, since it's surrounded by auto mechanics, metal works and the like. But I'm hoping the inside is more visually appealing!

On Tuesday, the Fulbright orientation begins. As I make the 2 hour journey to London by train, I hope to figure out how to make the blogging go more smoothly. The itinerary looks very promising, complete with photo ops and visits to very prestigious institutions, including Parliament. Of course, there's more to follow!

september 7: to London

We had a great time enjoying my sister's hospitality before our trip to London. Zachary is asleep right now on my lap as we await departure on the plane. Hopefully we will all get some rest - another big travel day tomorrow!@

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A stopover in DC

Greetings from the nation's capital! We're visiting my sister for a few days before the trip to London. I haven't taken any pictures, but we've had a great time. I saw my cousins, Sharon and Calvin; Andy and I went to Adams Morgan for some delicious Indian food; and we managed to record Pocoyo for Zachary to watch. Zachary is having a great time in Kellie's place, which has lots and lots of floor space and stairs. He took to the stairs in no time - then again, he's had lots of practice with his "toy" steps at home and the work at the Mac nido!

Tomorrow is the big day: we leave at 6:40 pm EST. We're hoping Zachary sleeps on the plane. Send us "happy baby travel" thoughts!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

T minus two days and counting!

"Are you ready", you ask? Um, no. No, we're not: I still have to clean up my office and buy sugar-free syrup to take on the trip. (Not gonna find sugar-free syrup in the UK, no way no how!) Gotta do laundry! Gotta clean out the fridge! Gotta set out my passport!

But believe it or not, I'm packed. And Zachary is packed. Andy is catching up with us, doing laundry as I type this.

Yesterday was Zachary's last day at school. I hate saying "last day", because he'll be returning next year. But it was his last day in the "nido" ("nest", or nursery), because he'll be a toddler when he comes back! I took a picture of him with his great teachers and friends.

A special "thank you" to Dana for being a great source of support and encouragement. I think she knows us mommies need her, too!

So, yeah, what am I doing on the computer? Gotta go folks - more adventures to come.