27 October, 2009

The Vacation's Over...

...Let the "living" begin!

I'm officially over the honeymoon stage of my trip to Scotland. It's less about being in Scotland and doing touristy things (and not just because I've been sick--though I'm getting better now, finally), and more about buckling down to homework (I have a whole whopping single 2,000-word essay due. Oh, noes!) and hanging out with friends. I finally feel like I live here. That's kind of nice.

The weather's been tolerable here, with only a few intolerably wet (but not quite cold--yet) days. It's not a bad life: afternoons in class, evenings (when I'm avoiding homework, like now) watching movies with good friends, with bible studies and roleplaying games thrown in the mix, and sleeping in in the mornings way more than I ever would have back home. I could do worse.

I've been elected to sit on the committee for the roleplaying society (AURA, technically Aberdeen University Roleplaying Association) in the "token freshman" role: apparently foreign exchange students count as freshers over here. This is kind of exciting. This is the equivalent of an officer of a club back home! They needed some female rep on the committee, anyway. ;) (Not really, but don't think I don't know the real reason I was elected LOL!)

Big plans for the Halloween weekend. The Ewok costume is coming towards fruition! (The bear suit is already rented, though I have yet to build a hood, and I plan on purchasing a small tribal-looking spear or sling, and bundling my hair into bear-ear-like-buns.) Lynne is going along as Anakin Skywalker, and Jennifer and Tom will be Leia Organa and Han Solo. I will so be posting pictures. Please join me in fervent prayer that it will not be raining on Halloween night, as pub-hopping will get my fuzzy feet wet and make me owe the costume shop money! We will hopefully snag more people from AURA to join us. Need more Star Wars characters!

And this is exciting to me, although I doubt anyone will share in my geekery: I am actually writing on King Arthur for all of my class essays! Get this: For the Celtic/Roman class I am writing on the case for the historical Arthur (Gildas, Nennius, etc.); for my War and Society class I'm going to write on concepts of chivalry and the conflict between literary ideals and the reality of war; and for my Gaelic/Welsh Arthur class I'm going to write on, you guessed it, Arthur (I think I'll try to do something with Gawain). Fun! Except I'm truly freaking out because I'm staring down the barrel of under 10,000 words of essay total for the semester, when I'm used to looking at 20 or 30,000. I don't know if my gregariousness can handle it!

See, I told you. Rather boring, mundane, un-Scottish stuff. It's like I just live here. Weird.

I do have some fun things lined up: my friend Lindsey is taking me up to visit her folks in Inverness in a few weekends! Inverness! The capital of everything Highland! Loch Ness! Culloden! Tourist-Megan will be back in action! I will of course have pictures for that, as well.

Well, it appears I've avoided my essay long enough, and I have Bible study in two hours. I miss and love you all, and I hope this post finds you all in states of happiness and general satisfaction with life!

Wicket wants YOU to join her Star Wars pub-hopping Halloween clan!

16 October, 2009

Wait, I Can Explain....

So I've gone through my life thinking I'm just really cool. I don't get sick. My sickly childhood aside, once I hit puberty I fancied myself rather invincible in the face of the common cold, flu season, etc.

Turns out it was only because I lived in a favorable clime. The main reason for my going AWOL from the internet for so long is that I succumbed to "Fresher's Flu" or something else. Weakened as I was by the cool, moist air, and bogged down by far too much oxygen in my lungs, I got some sort of bug in my chest that wouldn't go away. (Still hasn't, really, but free health care makes me nervous. You get what you pay for?) I was so ill I was off chocolate! Chocolate! Me!!

So that's my excuse for at least a week.

One of the really exciting things was going to a Sunday night mass marking the 500th anniversary of the consecration of King's College Chapel! I have classes in that building! (not the chapel, but the adjacent buildings) The service was lovely, and the Archfreakingcoolbishop of Edinburgh was there, among others in a star-studded cast! It was just really neat and beautiful. Since I haven't photographed it yet (and felt too trashy to take pictures during the service), here's the article on it: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/details-4649.php

I've also made some fantastic friends. Lynne and Katie are my American buddies with whom I watch crappy/awesome TV shows with, and Lindsey and Floriane are my Scottish and French buddies (respectively) with whom I do CU events (and Lindsey is taking us up to her home in Inverness some weekend soon!!), and Jenny is in my Serenity game and her boyfriend Tom and I are in a history class together. Ended up having a history-discussion-lunch with Tom and his friend Adam, which was a blast. Also got Jenny, Tom, and Lynne involved in Whisky Society, and now Tom and Lynne are in a Wednesday night game with Jenny and I. Fun, fun, fun!

I almost went to London this weekend with Lynne and Katie, but on account of the last-minuteness, my lack of money, and the fact that I will get for sure at least two more chances to see London, I decided to pass. Still not sure it was a good move, but at least now I have time to post here!!

Also swung by Edinburgh for two nights of pubbing with Lindsay (for her birthday) and Sam and their friend Suzanne. The train ride is epically gorgeous. It takes you by the sea almost the whole way, and I swear it's practically the best part of the trip. Wow. Just beautiful. Wasn't able to photograph it, unfortunately, because the train was moving. A photograph wouldn't have done it, anyway.

Speaking of photographs, find here a meager selection of Scottish images, considering I haven't posted in a while.
In Edinburgh. Just a nice pic of the castle.

For my Terry Pratchett crazy bro and sis back home... here's what awaits you!
The William Wallace statue at the center of Aberdeen. Notice the blue sky in the background.
Also notice I'm totally looking up his kilt!

Another beautiful day in sunny sunny Scotland. And by sunny I mean windy. Bad windy. Scary windy. And of course I was out in it, like a moron. But the rainbow helped.

You can see how windy it was here:
It really isn't for girls. It's like 400 calories per bar. But I'm converted. This was the awesome stuff I was off when I was sick. Argh!
A view out my flat window. Not much of a view, but a sunny, blue sky is nothing to sneeze at!!

03 October, 2009

Two pence saved is a penny earned

[[DISCLAIMER: Sorry for being AWOL for so long: been sick and busy! Will try to remedy with posts from...what, two weeks ago?...yikes!]]

Some unfortunate adventures with finances occurred last week which were somewhat less than welcome...it turns out UNM Financial Aid made a *mistake* on my money in giving me a scholarship I didn't actually have. Which they only told me about just now. They did manage to remedy half of the blunder, but half of the money only came back to me in loan form. What UNM giveth, UNM also taketh away.

About the only thing that made me feel better was the discovery as to how I can get my booze cheap. Don't worry. Ask anyone: I'm incredibly conservative and boring with my booze, mainly on account of I'm cheap. That's why four drams of REALLY good whisky every other Wednesday through Aberdeen University's Whisky Society for 2 pounds is freaking awesome. I like to think I am learning a classy skill: like wine tasting. I'm becoming a whisky connoisseur. Yes! Go me! The most exciting so far is a 20 year old Bowmore. The sip I had of it (my friend got the last dram of it, curse him!) probably cost a fistfull of dollars by itself.

Anyway, I'm only in Scotland once. Gotta see what it tastes like.