Friday, January 27, 2012

The Spoon Conundrum

How is it possible for a spoon to be a deadly weapon?! Well it is. In fact it is entirely possible, and if you are me, then it is also entirely likely to endure the wrath of the spoon. I have said this before, and I will say it again, I bruise like a soft peach. Right, so let me explain; about a week and a half ago, I was violently assualted by a spoon (and by that I mean I dropped it on my foot), so obviously the result was a slight reddening of the skin (and by that I mean a massive bruise that still hasn't gone away). I would simply like to know how on earth one can be injured so violently by a spoon of all things.

Unfortunatly I think I am one of those people who does stupid things, I know, it runs in the family - the "twig" and the "you think you know me but you don't" incidents come to mind, so actually anyway you look at it, there is no escaping this tendency to do stupid things. For me anyway. My ever growing list includes blinding myself by melting my eyelashes together (it's got a lot to do with too much mascara and a hot oven), talking to someone about "someone else" only to discover I'm describing this person to themself, and nearly strangling myself with my own scarf in an attempt to take it off too hurriedly, amongst MANY other things.

I have however developed quite the knack for looking like I meant to do something; like "yes, I did mean to run for the bus, dig in my bag for my purse, then stop, curse under my breath, turn on my heel and walk in the opposite direction", (turns out I'd left my purse at home). Or "yes I did mean to violently throw my phone across the floor to be left standing like a startled fish with silent earphones hanging out my ears". Or my most common one "yes I did mean to do a little pirouette leap on the pavement because I didn't see that car coming round the bend as I almost stepped out into the road...". See, I'm a natural.

My most annoying stupid thing, however, is apparently quite commonplace (I've heard it described by at least one comedian). That embarrassing moment when yout speak after a while of having not spoken, and your voice either comes out all weird and squeaky, or all scary and deep and croaky. Luckily, the British people in general are too conservative to point out that you've just made yourself look like a complete fool, so they just do that smiley head nod thing that people do when they're embarrassed for you.

So what I've learnt from all this stupidity is:

not to rush things (as I will either strangle myself, or throw a weeks worth of washing across the floor infront of complete strangers),

to pretend to be really confident when you do something embarrassing "yes I meant to walk in here, (realise I was in the wrong place) look at my phone like I've just remembered something and walk out",

and most of all, not to underestimate the danger of the common, household spoon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Onslaught of Science

Right, so I guess that's week 1 done and dusted. Ok. Yes. Right. To be perfectly honest, I am beginning to fear the next two years, if the first week is anything to go by. I'm just clinging to the hope that it will get easier... Who am I kidding.

English Literature is a piece of cake, well I think it is, I have yet to recieve any feedback on any work I've done, but otherwise I have no complaints in that department. Evidently this is what I'm cut out for. But why live life on the safe side, so here I am, with an extensive knowledge of art and english, studying for a science degree. Yes, that's right, a science degree! Ok I've known from the very beginning that it was a science degree... I just didn't ever stop to consider that it would be this "science-y".

Textbook 1; a slip of a book, with a mere 700 or so pages (almost A3 pages I might add), and textbook 2; another slip of a book (okay less slippy and more booky...) with a hearty 400 odd pages. I am not so concerned by the number of pages, rather it's that I find myself having to "translate" every second sentence from science-y academic language to normal-people language. This is where mom and dad come into good use:

me - "please translate this sentence for me!"

dad - "oh, that just means that these little things are doing these jobs".

Well why didn't they just say that in the first place!

I did however manage the second chapter without much difficulty, which made me start thinking oh what was I even worried about, I'll get used to this! Only to discover that it was the whole SECTION I was supposed to be reading, not just one or two chapters. Insert panicked face... now.

I do think I jumped into the deep end without first checking I could swim (yeah I know, it's a really bad metaphor, but that's what it feels like!). But I am determined to be awesome at this whole university business. Also I am very determined (though less than I was before I knew what I was getting myself into) that I will be one of, if not, the best. Bring it on textbooks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Day 2 of actual Uni, (i.e. involving lectures and work) and I feel like a brilliant an attentive student! I've got myself organised with folders, dividers, sub-dividers, sub-sub-dividers and so on and so forth. Ok, so it's only day 2, and there isn't THAT much work to be done (I've tried actually, but it turns out the reading lists, etc, haven't even been put up yet! One step ahead to me!) I am determined however to be a brilliant and attentive student for the rest of my time here! That is of course unless I freeze to death or have a nervous breakdown due to the Hyena living downstairs.

Oh alright I won't actually freeze to death, but they should really invent heated umbrellas to keep you warm when walking from campus to campus... Especially when you arrive at a lecture only to be told it's been cancelled. Either tell me before I venture out in sub-zero temperatures with nothing more than a few dozen layers to keep me warm, or give me a heated umbrella! Still, I suppose I can survive the cold, it's the Hyena I've got to watch out for...

Earphones are a wonderful invention, not only can one enjoy one's preferred choice of music, but one can also block out annoying and irritating sounds. Top of the list is the Hyena, I would like to point out at this point that no, I am not living at a zoo, but the girl in the room below me must definitely have some Hyena blood in her... I have never heard a laugh quite so extraordinary... or quite so loud. Or both. Put together. To equal teeth grinding madness.

I might be able to retreat to the sanctity of my room, but apparently, APPARENTLY, even that is not meant to be. My radiator sounds like some kind of aquatic creature being murdered by some other vicious aquatic creature. *gurgle gurgle gurgle splutter gurgle.... GURGLE* yeah you get the picture. So thank goodness for earphones. Seriously.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Uni Day 1

The milk is fine, in case anyone was wondering. Oh but actually I don't suppose anyone was wondering, because I'm the only one that knows about the milk in the first place. Just to keep you updated, I apparently can't close mini fridge doors, as when I got back to my room last night, the door was in fact open. But the milk is fine. So all is well in the world.

So yes, I do have a mini fridge in my room! How exciting and grown up! Though I do kind of wish it was a self rrefilling one (like hotel fridges) because then I wouldn't have to worry about buying food... it is on my list of things to do! But they keep feeding me here, and I haven't had time yet! Yesterday after registration, I went on the "compulsory" library tour. Uhm... I was the only Psychology student there... so my tour lasted all of three seconds with the librarian going "Psychology books are down that aisle! Thanks for coming!" so off I went, leaving the numerous law students to their own devices.

Later in the evening was a "meet and greet", a torturous affair where they shove all the new and frightened students into one room and tell them to "mingle". As you can imagine I just stood in a darkened corner and hissed at anyone that approached me. I didn't really. But I felt like doing that... No-one chose to tell me that I would be extremely terrified these first few days, that in fact I would feel like a 6 year old starting primary school for the first time (except with better hair). But I persevered regardless, I DID mingle with some other children (this time I'm not joking, they are practically children, being the ripe age of 18). But it was a fine night in the end. Also, note to self, do not swing on frosted over children's swings, as this results in one's bum being very icy cold.

This morning was supposed to involve a tour around the town, but my bed was just too warm and cozy to get up for 9, so I lazed about for probably the last time in a while. I was informed later, however, that I would probably know the (little) town very well withint about a week, so I'm not too concerned on that note. Next was onto Milton Keynes for a day of shopping (uhm I thought this was a Uni... not a holiday camp!). My highlight of the day was the Xscape; a large indoor arena with various shops and restaurants, the main attraction of Xscape is the indoor ski-slope, think ice-skating with a twist. Yup, real (cold) snow, with ski-lift, snow boards and eveything else in between. I definitely want to try that!

After the ski-slope we went to see the Indoor Sky-diving. This of course looks super awesome and amazing. The indoor skydiving is just a massive veritcal wind tunnel that you float about in (it's a lot harder than it looks however). Also on the list of things I want to try! *Note to mom, both of the above are now on your "wild things" list. I'll be kind and accompany you on these hardships*

Now for a brief respite before it's onto the next item on the list (a night out in Oxford - please remember to dress warmly). Also, of course, time for a hearty meal of cereal for dinner (I WILL get round to shopping I promise!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Madness Hamsters

I'm not exactly sure when we started using the term "Madness Hamsters" to describe our charming pets, but it definitely does suit. Lily and Izzi could not be described as usual or normal pets, in fact I'm not sure they are even a dog and cat (respectively), but rather some weird hybrid of a variety of odd species.

Let's look at Lily first; a cross between a sausage dog and a Jack Russell, our first thought when we chose her was "what a perfect combination of energy and laziness". I think she got the worst traits of both. Lily often has urges to perform mad dashes, whereby she runs around (like a madness hamster) furiously, her tail tucked between her legs, her ears flapping wildly in the wind, her tongue lolling out her mouth like a pink flag and her eyes bulging out her head like some weird doll. It is ridiculously funny to watch, because as soon as you cut off her escape route (best done in the house, because the garden just results in this run going round and round until you - the viewer - are positively dizzy), Lily rolls over onto her back and does the "wiggle".
The "wiggle" is a new addition to her repetoire of madness, she lies on her bag and twists and wiggles like a strange little doggy worm, it is super cute. Lily has obviously realised the power of her wiggle, as she performs this neat little trick everytime she wants some food from the dining room table (no she doesn't get it, but it's fun to see her squirm). Lily, in this wiggle state, is of course irresistible to Izzi, who is quite possibly even more mad that Lily. Izzi sees this as the perfect oppurtunity to mock-attack the dog, and she (as any good cat would) goes straight for the juicy bits; i.e. the throat or the thighs.

I'm not entirely convinced that Izzi is 100% cat however, I strongly suspect that she has a bit of pigeon; she makes the most unusual, albeit toe-curlingly cute "cooing" noise instead of meowing - maybe she is onto a new and innovative method of pigeon baiting - either way it's not the kind of noise you expect to come from a cat. *Izzi, lying infront of the warm laptop, goes "krrr krrr krrr*. I also believe she may have a bit of squirrel-monkey in her, she certainly does a brilliant impression of a lolloping monkey when she runs, and she has the same kind of nervous twitchy tree climbing ability as squirrels.

I think growing up with a dog has influenced Izzi to become the cat/pigeon/squirrel-monkey that she is today. She sometimes adopts Lily's mad running, although her run usually involves wild leaps which startle both the viewer and the cat herself. Izzi's new favourite place in the garden (not counting the entirety of the garden itself where she performs these acrobatic and startling leaps), is the "vegetable garden", or what remains of it. Dad recently dug up the little wooden fence that surrounded the old veggie patch, and now the rectangular pen is just standing abandoned in the garden. Izzi of course loves this, as she now has her own play pen. She can often be found just sitting within the perimeter of the fence, surveying her territory, or watching the unsuspecting Lily, waiting for the oppurtune moment to attack.

These two furry little balls of madness make up for any craziness by just being so lovable and sweet (not all the time, but often enough for it to count), that you can't help but love them. Fuzzy little lap warmers with boundless love for their people, I am definitely going to miss seeing them everyday. I only hope mom and dad will survive the combined force of these two creatures without me to interfere...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For the Love of Mom

It's a commonly held belief that my mom is slightly unusual. Ok actually most of the family consider a bit crazy, but I was trying to be polite. Personally I think mom is rather hysterical, most often I don't even remember why I have been reduced to tears of laughter by mom, all the remains is the memory of sore stomach muscles and an incredibly funny mommy.

Take for instance mom's strange knack for messing up words or sayings, with most people it's faintly amusing, with mom however, it's classic comedy which should actually be written down and shared with the rest of the world. My most recent favourite is mom's new word for pigeon, I realise there's not much one can do to mess this word up, but like I said, mom has a certain knack. Needless to say we have no started referring to pigeons as "pijjsions" (yeah it's not that easy to say either). What's even funnier is that this word came about after mom had a sip of cider, no I'm quite serious, ONE sip of (mulled) cider. She should definitely be kept away from anything with a stronger alcohol volume than a wine gum.

Next is mom's strange and amusing daily acts she performs, no not something that she performs on purpose, but rather things she does accidentally, like, hmmm, I dunno accidentally dipping a chip into her coffee instead of a rusk? Yeah, you couldn't write this kind of stuff. I think mom also attracts this kind of funny behaviour, the phrase "you think you know me, but you don't" (yes she did actually say that to a complete stranger) come to mind. But on a more recent note, when I showed mom a birthday card, she screamed very loudly in a crowded shop, when she opened it (ok it was a singing card), but her reaction was priceless.

Whilst mom is hysterically funny, she is also, of course, a brilliant and lovely mommy (cue brownie points now), and whilst I hope she doesn't consider this little memento to be too "bulge" (see mom for details), I just want to say "love you lots mom".

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Little Mermaid

What sudden burst of inspiration could lead to such impulsive behaviour? Very simply; clothes. Oh I know, I know, so materialistic and fickle and what not, but these clothes were especially beautiful, AND they're were specifically tailored for me! Actually, technically, TECHNICALLY, they weren't tailored for me as a person, but they were definitely tailored for my name! Ok, so not MY actual name, but the name of a well known Disney character, also known as The Little Mermaid. But still, I felt a certain kinship to these beautiful clothes, we do share the same name, this character and I, and it is a very unusual and beautiful name. That's my excuse anyway.

So these clothes perfectly and stylishly emmulate Ariel (The Little Mermaid, not me, I have not taken to talking about myself in the third person...), basically we're talking modern interpretations of a cartoon characters style, specifically a purple cardigan, green pumps and BRIGHT red hair (though the hair wasn't part of the original styling that I saw, I improvised a wee bit). Obviously this could only mean one thing, buy a purple cardigan and green pumps, and dye my hair BRIGHT red! This plan of course is so simple and fool proof. Obviously.

My first step was the purple cardi... erm... ok maybe I could move this step down the line, I wasn't really giving up, but after rather a few hours of searching for this cardi with no luck what-so-ever, I moved green pumps up to the first step. Count down another few hours and dying my hair red had moved to the top of the list. So what followed was an intense google search on how to *home* dye hair BRIGHT red. Onwards and upwards!

Two days later the dye was on my hair (*ahem* only a couple pounds down the line), and all that remained was waiting to wash and style (the hair). Oh, yeah, still no luck on the cardi or the shoes. Uhm, right, so the hair was now washed... well. Needless to say it's not exactly what I was expecting. Bright red was definitely involved in the hair... buuut only on the roots. And the rest was dark brown/red. Ok, so I mildly resembled someone with an all over scalp wound... Not ideal, but fixable. Second step: seek immediate help from a hairdresser (no thoughts at this point were spared on the cardigan or the shoes).

Fast forward 3-4 hours and a few more pounds later, and voila! Tick the box on the bright red hair! It's beautiful and lovely, even if I do say so myself. I won't go into detail but there is a lot of hair flicking and mirror glancing going on now. It is really lovely though! Thanks goodness for hairdressers, and lesson learned on not trying something extreme without the help of a professional.

So right now, I've got the name, I've got the hair, I've got the PURPLE CARDI! I'm well on my way to becoming The Little Mermaid! All I need now is my very own blue and yellow fish. Ok yeah, and the whole being a mermaid thing, but we'll gloss over that at this point.