Sunday, February 28, 2010


Yesterday I went to Leicester to go visit my good friend Jake. My friend Ariel came too and we all had a great time. While we were there we went to go see The Princess and the Frog, which was actually quite good. It took place in New Orleans and really showed off the culture of the city (there were even two nods to Tennessee Williams that I picked up on).

Jake explained to me that this actually means "f*cking delicious".

Speak easy,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Old Pictures.

Here's some pictures of me when I was little that I uploaded onto my computer before I left.

To this day I still blink 50% of the time I am photographed.

This is when I thought it was cool to wear black and wear t-shirts over sweatshirts.

Lookin' good at Dell and Liz's wedding. First time I wore a tie on my own accord.

Me and Grandpa.

Been kind of busy so I haven't updated in a while. Started reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway. My short story was 400 words too long and I've been able to part with about 200 words so far. After that I need to rework the opening and try to establish some sort of conclusion. I'll submit it to the competition but as far as I'm concerned I have already got a great deal out of the writing process and don't really care one way or the other if I enter my work at this point. Having a deadline forced me to take an idea I've been sitting on for a while and compose that onto a word document.

Inbetween homework assignments I've been watching the British sitcom Benidorm (decent comedy about a cheap vacation hotspot) and reading the novel It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (the title is accurate since the story itself isn't 'funny' as much as it is 'kind of funny'). Since last book I finished was Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar I can't help but compare the two (both characters get hospitalized for suicidal tendencies so I feel like they are at least moderatly comparable). I wouldn't specifically recommend Funny Story. The characters are thin, it isn't specifically deep, and the narrator is kind of a whiny baby. The author was hospitalized for depression so I suppose it is a fairly accurate portrayal of the situation. The only reason I'm still reading it is because the font is so big. It feels like I'm reading a lot, which is a nice change of pace because all the stuff I have to read for class has small font and takes a while.

Have to get up early tomorrow to visit my friend Jake in Leicester. Haven't seen him since camp. I'll try to take more pictures.

Speak easy,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Optical Express

Finished the first draft of my short story Tsuf and the Two Rabbits earlier today. It's about 400 words too long so I'll have to cut some content somewhere. I'd like to enter it into a contest by the end of the month. Nothing to lost, I guess. In order to even keep it close to the requirement I had to cut the story down significantly. Meanwhile I've got a 1,500 word essay due for TV cultures on Tuesday.

I saw this advertisement on my Facebook page.

They're on to me.

Not sure why this one showed up on my page. Don't know if I would trust free eye surgery.

Speak easy,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Portrait of a Lady

Started reading Portrait of a Lady for my Selected American Novels class this morning at a delightful little coffee shop in town. This is Ariel who lives with my in Broadgate Park. She is from California.

The hot chocolate was very pretty.

I went to see the movie Valentine's Day this afternoon. Some of it was really cheesy, some of it was poorly acted (not all of it), some if it felt sloppily written, but all in all I think it's a really cute film with something for everyone. There are some great plot twists that really bring the movie together too. Checked out Rotten Tomatoes and it looks like the movie is critically panned virtually across the board. One critic said that "You're going to like half of the fluff, but it's ultimately very forgettable." I agree with that but in a good way (if that's possible).

There is a short story contest that I plan on entering at the end of the month and this weekend I got a good portion of the project finished. Don't want to post it here but if you are interested in helping edit the first draft you can leave a comment and I will send it your way.

A second floor view of Beeston.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Clementines are the way that you wish life would be. Sweet, contained, and easy to manage. Instead life usually ends up more like oranges. Often bitter, hard to peel, and riddled with unwanted seeds.

Speaking of fruit, I've been buying a lot of kiwis lately. They are one of those fruits that you really have to sit on for a few days or else they will not taste like you dreamt they would. It's always funny to bite into an un-ripened fruit because more often than not I'll eat the entire thing because throwing it away will seem like such a waste. I can't count how many bad pears I've finished. Anyway, the enzyme known as proteinase, which is supposed to be good for breaking down proteins (found commonly in kiwi and pineapple) is making the inside of my mouth very tender. Loving the kiwis but starting to think it might not be in my own self interest to be eating as much as I've been (hurts when I eat the skin of the kiwis). If only the fruit was more expensive. Then I wouldn't have this problem.

See how there are shadows in this picture? That is the sun. If the sun is out, that means it is a nice day in England. There aren't a whole lot of nice days but we make due. Actually two hours after I took this it started to hail. By the way, this field is very close to were I live and if you look to the right you will see a bunch of students practicing rugby.

The mannequins here creep me out. Most of them are usually in realistic poses and you don't realize that they aren't real people until you get up close or try to make eye contact with them. The torso depicted below creeped me out for a different reason (unrealistic expectations! Not sure if the picture does it justice but this model had a laughably thin waist line).

Europeans are at the cutting edge of fashion.

Not sure what this Ferris Wheel was in the middle of town but it did add a little to the ambiance.

Speak easy,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

feel the bubbles

Paid a £5 deposit to play paint ball this morning but slept in instead. At 8:30 am the last thing I want to do is get shot at by strangers. Most of my house mates decided against going too (it was originally supposed to be a group thing). This evening, after being cooped up in the house for the majority of the day, I went with my friends to go to a church sermon. Turns out we read the time wrong and the church was closed. £3 to take the bus there and back. Almost half way through The Great Gatsby. Ordering pizza.

I'm starting to get used to the £1 coins instead of using dollar bills. If America got rid of all the one dollar bills and replaced those completely with one dollar coins the economy might slightly improve. People don't care about spending change. If you have a pocket full of quarters, you'll probably want to spend it as quickly as possible just to unload the burden.

Mom, I think you should show this video to your classes!

Speak easy,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

...and it snows

Went back to Nottingham centre today and bought some clothes at Primark (an English store that is cheap like Walmart but actually has stylish/hip clothing options).

Quickly stopped in a vintage clothing shop. It costs roughly $70. Cheeseburger takes the shape of a t-shirt to avoid being eaten. No one is the wiser.

This is a girls hedgehog shirt that I saw in Topman. Didn't want to take a picture of it because I thought it might be awkward of me to do so at the time. This is my spirit animal.

Blink 182 has a song devoted to Star Wars called A New Hope. I would have known that sooner if I actually listened to all the songs in my iTunes.

Speak easy,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nottingham Centre

Here are some pictures that I took when my friends and I went into Nottingham centre.

Started going to classes today. I have a Television Cultures class and we are studying The Honeymooners and Dragnet right now. Here is the blog I wrote on the second day I got here. This was right before I had to pay £25 to get my hard drive into working order (erasing all of my programs and a few files in the process).

I am off the internet for the second night in a row (they say the first three days are the hardest!). £82 later and I am almost done buying my bare necessities for the time being. Never have I had to buy my own salt. That is how you know you are on your own, when you have to buy your own salt.

It’s the first time in two years or so that I actually have my very own room and I couldn’t be happier. This morning I went to the study abroad orientation presentation and got started getting my modules (classes) verified. The campus is large and at one point I got lost. So far I have seen two Subway restaurants.

Some of the things I have noticed since I got here…

- - Red Bull is almost half the price.

- -The English love to recycle.

- - DVDs are really cheap unless they are really new (£3 for Alvin and the Chipmunks)

- - Most phones are ‘pay as you go’ and not on a plan.


- - Lots of coins. There are £1 coins and £2 coins. £5 is the smallest note you are going to get in change.

- - Double decker buses.

My suite mates are really nice. Haven’t really met any English people yet.

Watching American Movie right now. It is a really great movie. It’s one of those pieces of art that motivates you into making your own stuff and at the same time leaves you with a deep sense of realism.

Legs are tired. Need to do less walking tomorrow.

Speak easy,