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Best Week Ever

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

You know that stupid show that’s on some channel called ‘Best Week Ever’? Well it’s all lies, because it’s on like every week, which makes it useless.

However, I have had the best week ever. Really.

Cities I have stayed in this week:
Wed: Manchester
Thus & Fri: Allenheads
Sat: Hartlepool
Sun: Hexham
Mon: Edinburgh
Tues: London
Wed: Ft Worth

Travelling FTW!!!

Great things that have happened this week:
1. Got unconditional offer to Liverpool
2. Visited Manchester
3. Got to see Hartlepool play
4. Got autographed picture by no 1 Hartlepool player
5. Got to see Kenneth & twins lots and lots
6. Finished HL2: Episode 2 with Kenneth – SO SAD! YET SO AWESOME!
7. Got to visit Edinburgh, which steals my heart every time
8. Got to meet and impress program director of Genetics & Genomics MSc programme at Edinburgh
9. *****Got an unconditional offer to Edinburgh University!!!******
10. **** Got HOME FEES (1/3 less than international fees!) for Uni Edinburgh!!!!***
11. Delayed flight from Newcastle meant missed the London connection to Dallas on the 28th… which was actually a bad thing.. until…
12. Dad got me a hotel room in London and I got to spend the day hopping the Underground all around LDN!
13. **** Managed to secure extremely coveted and very rare ticket to the SMASH HIT OLIVER! with Rowan Atkinson as Fagin!!!! *****

Yea. Pretty awesome. And I STILL get to go home to the best boyfriend ever today!

Man I am just bowled over by this week. LIFE IS AWESOME!

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A More Serious Note

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Hello friends and family. I just wanted to let you all know what was going on in my life at the moment. I’ll tell the long version of the story. If you want the short version, scroll down to the part labelled as important.

Those of you whom I tagged in this post are just those I thought would want to hear the story most – I wanted to make sure you at least read the important part, so please do.

Yesterday Sean (that’s the new BF for those of you not in the know (or not paying attention to Facebook)) and I took his best friend, Nick (who is down from Idaho), to the Scarborough Faire. We entered the faire and unfortunately only made it along a few of the booths before we stopped at the glass blowing demonstration. My stomach was mildly hurting, but I didn’t think much of it. However, near the end of the exhibit I started to feel very tired and light-headed. Luckily the people in front of us got up and left, so I sat down and warned Sean that I was feeling very light-headed and that I might faint. Luckily he took that hint very seriously and stood behind me and held me up, as I soon blacked out.

According to Sean and Nick (who is a CNA (works in the medical field)), I had some small convulsions and then went limp when I was out, which lasted about 6 seconds. When I came to, I had had a dream, and was disoriented for a short time. Nick was sitting in front of me, but I didn’t know who he was or where I was. My whole body ached and I was confused and afraid. Things didn’t get better, however, as I was feeling nauseous and like I was going to black out again. Slowly my vision faded – it was like someone had turned a dimmer down on the world. All I could see was vague outlines and shapes – like I was in a dark room and my eyes had adjusted. My hearing was bad – it sounded like everything was far away.

I was extremely scared. I remember looking at Sean and barely being able to see his face. I remember him asking me how he could dial my mom, and looking at my phone and not being able to see the buttons. I honestly felt like it was a dream. I know people say that all the time, but it was the only way my brain could comprehend it. I looked at Sean and asked him to make it stop. I was seriously afraid of three things: 1) That I would die 2) That I would never see again 3) That I had a brain tumour.

Nick went and called the paramedics, and I put my head down on my lap as my vision and hearing slowly started to return. It was only for about 5 minutes that I was like that, but it felt like eternity. The paramedics came and thankfully by then I could see and hear, though I was still very confused and dizzy. They half carried me to the golf cart, where I sat down and they drove me to the paramedic tent thing. I was terrified, and wanted Sean to come, but they made him walk behind (it wasn’t that far). Sean said I gave him a look of absolute terror as we started to pull away, and I don’t doubt it.

When we got to the paramedic’s tent, they took my blood pressure (80/50 – incredibly low) and heart rate (56 – also incredibly low) and blood sugar (normal). They asked me a million questions and wouldn’t let Sean come in for forever. They had the air conditioning on full blast and I was freezing cold. Finally they told me that they didn’t know what had caused me, so they needed me to go to the ER. Sean gave Nick the keys and he pulled my car around, and I lay in the back with Sean while Nick drove me to the nearest hospital.

When we got to the hospital, I was admitted quickly. They had me give a urine sample, took blood for labs, gave me an IV for fluids (I was slightly dehydrated), gave me an EKG, CT scan, and chest x-rays. We were in the hospital until 8 (arrived at 3) waiting for preliminary results and discharge. I slowly was feeling better and better, and by the end, I was feeling fine. All the prelim results came back clear, and they said I could go, though they’d call us as soon as possible with the full results of the x-ray and CT scan readings.

They let me go, and my mom bought Sean, Nick, and I dinner (she’d driven down, of course) as thanks to Sean and Nick for taking care of me. I was told to drink lots of fluids and to take it easy. I couldn’t drive or be unsupervised for the next 24 hours. Luckily with Sean around that was no issue : ). (I have to say a huge thanks here to Sean and Nick, who handled the whole incident calmly and professionally and took absolutely incredible care of me through the whole thing, and even to now.)

Anyway, last night and today, apart from feeling a little tired and having a little bit of a sore stomach, I have been feeling fine.

The ER PA who took care of me yesterday called me today at around 2:30pm. He told me he needed to talk to me, and told me that the final reading of my CT scan had come back.

They have found a 1.3cm cystic lesion in the medial left temporal lobe of my brain. They do not think it is solid, they don’t think it’s cancerous, and they don’t think it’s anything to be worried about. However, I’ve got to go get an MRI so they can get a better look and see a neurosurgeon. There’s a chance that it’s absolutely nothing and has nothing to do with my passing out – just one of those things they find while they were looking for something else. If it is causing trouble, it’s likely just because it’s pressing on something else, not anything more sinister. I do not know what kind of procedures or treatment might be required.

Obviously this news is very shocking to me, Nick, Sean, and my family, and I am not afraid to say that I am nervous about what is to come. I will keep you all updated as I find out what’s going on in my crazy brain.

That’s all. Let’s all hope, or pray, or meditate, or whatever you do, that it all turns out to be nothing and it’s a very boring story from this point out.

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One Hell of a Day

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Well, 1pm might seem like a weird time to make a post about a ‘day’ since it’s obviously nowhere near over. However today has been so remarkably crazy already that I thought you all might enjoy hearing the story thus far.

Today I have:
1) Woken up at 5am to review for microbiology test
2) Bombed said micro test because I apparently completely misunderstood what we were supposed to know (and from the feeling in the room, I don’t think I’m alone on that)
3) Had a cell phone thrown and land about 2 feet from me and completely shatter. (And that is not the full story at all, but I’m not posting that here.)
4) Been diagnosed with salmonella (yes, no joke!)
5) Been given my last Gardasil injection, which is definitely not one of the low-pain vaccinations

And for those of you curious, I most likely got the salmonella from the Reata stand on Thursday during the Main St festival. I had the chicken tacos. So if you know anyone who ate the same thing on the same day and is having stomach troubles, tell them to go to the doctor or somehow get ahold of ciprofloxacin. (Ah, cipro! My guardian angel while in Ecuador! You have returned!)

Anyway, though I was pretty messed up earlier today, I’m doing absolutely fine now. Especially about the salmonella, since at least it’s easily treated. I was beginning to fear all my tests would come back negative and figuring out what was wrong with me would stretch far into the summer and mean going to a GI doctor and having who knows what kind of horrible tests done.

Also glad about Gardasil, since now I can go around sleeping with, like, everything that moves and be completely ok. Because that’s what the shot’s supposed to do, right? Reassure you that’s ok to be promiscuous? Oh wait, sorry, someone bumped on my ‘Conservative Christian’ button for a moment. Let’s try again: since now I can rest assured that whatever happens in life (including rape and a committed partner cheating), I am well-protected against cervical cancer.

I have more to write about Gardasil some other time – it’s a topic I’ve been stewing over for a few days now. But for now, I’m off to go pick up my micro lab test.

I hope the rest of you have significantly less eventful days than me – unless you too are hoping for a salmonella diagnosis, of course!

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Leos and Svaras and Books, Oh My!

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Well, I thought I should post and assure everyone I made it back from UK-land alive. I also wanted to apologise for not being very available this week to the people who’ve tried to get in touch or who have commented I’m not as in touch as usual.

First, let me say I will be making a couple posts about my time in the UK, specifically, my adventures getting there and a new years post, mostly to go along with the fabulous pictures and videos I’ve uploaded to Facebook (if you’ve not seen them, please go visit!).

The reason I’ve not be around so much is simply: school. Yea, we’re only a week in, but for some reason even I don’t fully understand, I’m really feeling driven this semester. This first became evident when I returned from the UK and spent an ungodly amount of time completely cleaning out my room and bathroom – this included finally unpacking from Ecuador (*ashamed face*). Now my room is not only spic-and-span, but also a haven of order and prettiness (I manged to finally hang some pictures and put up some lamps that glow wonderfully in the evenings).

So, five days in, and I’m ahead in all my classes. Well, except programming, because the teacher is kind of nuts and I’m not even sure what we’re doing right now. And he hasn’t given any clue on what we’ll be reading or what we should be doing. But, programming is my ‘just for funsies’ class anyway, and really is the least of my worries, since its a ‘nothing’ class, and doesn’t count towards my degree.

I guess for many out there being ahead in classes is probably no biggie, but for one thing, this mostly means I’ve read ahead, and for me, reading textbooks is my biggest procrastination – I hate it! Last semester I didn’t read any of my genetics book – too long-winded, too boring. Probably suffered for that though : (. So this week, I’ve read 2 chapters of microbiology, 4 chapters of prenatal/infant/child nutrition, and read five chapters of neuroscience – which, trust me here, is no easy task. Neuroscience is going to be my hard class this semester. Also, I’ve gone ahead and started some physics HW, though we’re actually behind schedule and haven’t finished the chapter yet.

So most of my spare time, even in the mornings before class, is being spent reading – either in the new bookstore, in that hidden little corner with the stuffed chairs that catches the morning and afternoon sun, in Einstein’s at lunch, or at home on the couch. When I’m not reading and highlighting, I’m usually trying to keep peace between Svara and the cat I found (whom I’ve temporarily christened Leo). They hate each other, so I keep Leo in the office for most of the day, but he’s lonely and isolated, and hates it, so then I have to put Svara in my room, and let him roam (and make sure he doesn’t destroy anything – he’s the clumsiest cat I’ve ever seen (he’s a teenager)), and then do the daily ‘acclimation’ where I let them interact, much to Svara’s deep dissatisfaction. Any time when Leo isn’t in the office, I pretty much have to be following him around, to break up fights and pick up objects, and if I do sit down, he promptly climbs all over me, making it impossible to do much.

So – that’s why I’m not around much! I’m also already sleep-deprived, which bodes really well for the rest of the semester…

But, overall, I’m doing good. I feel good about school, and I’m hoping to find a home for the cat (IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO COULD TAKE IN AN ADORABLE ORANGE CAT LET ME KNOW!!!!).

Well, I feel this post is quite an adequate length, and though I’d love to write more, I’ll stop here, for the sake of your aching scroll bars and short attention spans : )

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I Miss my Cat and my Bed

Friday, December 28th, 2007

(Because one loves and snuggles me all the time, and the other doesn’t hurt my back.)

I forget exactly why I was thinking I should post last night. I realised that usually I blog more than this while in the UK, esp over Christmas, but I think I’ve learned that blogging from the UK is a bit like yelling into the wind – not worth much.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and that the end of 2007 looks to be a good one for you. 2008 is dawning slowly, an eventful year for many, I know, as it’s the graduation year for most of us ’04-ers.

Well, I’m in the UK, and I’ll be back on the 8th, as my dad… well, I’m too pissed off to go into it right now.

For those of you who haven’t heard, my journey here was quite an adventure. Took WAY longer than it should have, and took WAY more effort than it should have. Let’s just say that in one day, I rode in: 1 plane, 1 taxi, 1 car, 2 busses, and 4 trains. All to get from A to B. I’ll tell the whole story later.

For Christmas, my presents are thus fairly unremarkable:
Alice – Maltesers (British candy, like Whoppers, but better)
Heather – Cat necklace
Kenneth – New Harry Potter DVD
Libby – Maltesers and House Season 1 (already have, so I’m going to exchange)
Liz – Two good books, two really nice Mackintosh-style cups, Planet Earth poster
Dad – 1 CD, 1 comic book, 1 box Maltesers, 2 packets of instant soup

Yea, I’m about as befuzzled by my dad’s present as you probably are. I mean, he often gives some weird food present as a joke, I don’t know why, he finds it hilarious. Last year I got chicken-spread. But, usually I get something at least a little noteworthy, like a DVD TV series set or something. Oh well, win some, lose some, I guess.

Well, that’s about all the yabber I can muster right now, as I’m in a rather bleb mood. Maybe it’s the darkness getting to me. We only get about 8 hours daylight this time of year – 8 to 4. Gets you a bit mixed up, as you look up, it’s pitch black, and it’s 4:30.

Anyway, look for me by 8th, watch for me by 8th, I’ll come to the by 8th, though hell should bar the way. God damnit.

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Everywhere I Go

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

So it’s like negative 3million o’clock in the morning and I’m still awake, doing nothing. Well, ok, so I am doing something. I’m spending about positive 3million dollars at iTunes because I’ve finally got my new iPod nano up and running and I can’t resist : (. But I felt like communicating with someone, and no one is awake, apparently, at this insane hour.

Ah, ‘White & Nerdy’. Who doesn’t love that song? I might have to add that one to my catalogue of memorized rap songs. If you’re curious, that so far consists of ‘Baby Got Back’ and ‘What’s Your Fantasy’ by Ludacris. I think I have a gene that makes me find incredible amounts of pleasure in singing dirty rap songs out of a white girl mouth, even if no one else is around to listen with eyebrows raised and incredulous laughter. And come on, that Ludacris song is just plain fun. “How ’bout up in the library, on top of books, but you can’t be too loud.”

Wow, I just noticed that I think Regina Spektor is wearing my ‘birthday shoes’ in her video Fidelity. I feel honored, yey.

Well, am I being rambley enough? Right now I feel a really strong urge to meet people, which is really rare for me. Too bad it’s 4am, because it would probably be a good idea to take advantage of that urge while I have it.

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving, eh? Well, what do you think about that. Personally, I am happy about the food. The sad thing is, for the second year, my sister is not around. We like to go to the Black Friday sales, not really to buy anything, but just to mill around with the people. This probably sounds really, really weird. Especially since we have to get up at like 3:30am to get to civilization by 5am from my Grandmother’s house in the country. But, that’s why we go together – we both get why it’s incredibly fun. (And understand that it really doesn’t have anything to do with purchasing anything.) Maybe that’s just what happens when you raise two girls in airports for far too much of their lives.

In case you can’t tell, I’m in a state of general happiness at the moment. I’m in my brand-new un-worn PJs (they were way too warm to wear before now, which reminds me – HEY!! The temperature finally dropped!!! And I heard it might even snow tomorrow night!!! Can you believe it!? I should close this parenthesis now before I forget it’s open.), have a new iPod full of music with a *beautiful* screen, and have a new Thanksgiving shirt to wear tomorrow, and the weather is cold, and I have 3 good science-y books to read (Birth, Medical Ethics, The Mating Mind). I have good music, and I have a little stuffed animal friend that even has a jingle bell attached, and I’m hungry. Well, that last one isn’t really something happy, but it’s something. Unfortunately I’d probably wake someone up to get food, so I should probably sleep instead.

I feel happily hopeful and very Emma-ish at the moment, which is just the way I like it. For those of you who know me well, if you were here, I’d be smiling and giggling, and maybe even singing and dancing and hugging. And for no particular reason. But you know what, I like it when I like being me, because honestly, I’m pretty awesome, and I’m lucky I didn’t end up being a chicken or something. So bring out the Emma!

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To Bagel Guy: Thanks

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

I have a back-log of post topics building up, and that hasn’t happened in a while.
Here is my list of topics:
- California/Fall Break (half written, saved as draft)
- Communication differences in males/females, from info I learned in my sociology class
- Cell phones in school
- Einstein Bagel Bros
- Slightly randomized post on kindergarten and social convention
(That’s as much for my benefit as yours.)

I’m going to have to get busy posting, really. Especially since some of them are time-sensitive, like the bagel one, the Cali one (obviously), and the sociology one (so I can most accurately recall.)

But today, The Bagel One.

As some of you may know, I eat lunch and/or a snack at Einstein Bagel Bros on University at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4. Sometimes I go twice in one day. I’ve been going to Einstein’s for lunch since the beginning of last year, and have gone, since then, multiple times a week.

Since beginning of spring semester last year, I have ordered the same thing for lunch – Can I have a Veg Out on Sesame Bagel with no onions, please, side? just a piece of fruit, Emma, for here, just water. If I’m doing a snack, that’s always the same too – Can I have a toasted sesame bagel with plain cream cheese please, Emma, for here, just water.

So obviously, I like this place. I’m a ‘regular,’ as they say. I know the building, recognize some of the other regulars, and have the ordering routine down. I know the manager and a couple of the workers, though most don’t seem to stick around more than a couple months. I know when someone is on shift when they usually aren’t. I know when someone’s the new. I know when they didn’t make my order as per the apparent guidelines. I know how they make a lot of their stuff as least as well as, and sometimes probably better than, the workers.

So over the last year and 2.3 months, I’ve gotten to recognise the few consistent workers and the manager. And it seems like one of the consistant workers at least recognizes me as someone she sees a lot, though doesn’t show it in any way. From time to time a worker who’s there for a month or so has gotten to know my name. But, over all this time, only one worker has actually taken the time and energy to really pay attention to the fact that I was in the fucking place giving them tonnes of profit three-four times a week.

I never knew his name. I kept meaning to look at his name tag, but I always forget, and now I’ll probably never know. He was in his mid-thirties, maybe, and at first I was a little uncertain of him because he was so friendly. But, as time passed and he took more and more of my Veg Out orders, he took the time to learn my name and learn my order.

Then he took the energy to recognise I was a regular and go a little further than that. When I came in through the door he’d always yell ‘Hey!’ and when I left, he’d always yell ‘Thanks, Emma!’ – causing me to be very embarrassed, but smile. When there was a group of people blocking the ordering queue trying to decide what they wanted, he’d step to the side and take my order, because he knew I already knew what I wanted – might as well get someone busy making it while these idiots make up their minds. If there wasn’t any fruit or fruit cups left, I’d obligingly go without and take my tray to my table, and often he’d appear a little later and casually slip a fruit cup he’d gotten from somewhere (sometimes the $3.50 ‘meal sized’ one that I wasn’t ‘allowed’ as a side without paying extra) onto my table, saying ‘Look what I found.’ When my food was ready, he’d call out my name, and then bring it over to my table before I could go to the counter to pick it up. He was always friendly and always smiling. Even if he’d never given me free fruit salads, I appreciated him just acknowledging that I was spending a fairly good amount of money and time at his workplace and being friendly because of it.

I wish that some of the other employees had picked up on his example. Obviously, he was really, really nice, which you can’t expect. I don’t need ‘Hey’s and ‘Thanks’s when I enter or leave Einsteins, but remembering my name or making a general comment like ‘nice to see you again’ is, in my mind, something any good business should try to do for regular customers. And if nothing else, they can do some little things.
For example, today I ordered a bagel with cream cheese, and when I got it, discovered that it had but a mere smudge of cream cheese on it. (This was because they had a new employee preparing the bagels.) I didn’t want to complain, or make a fuss; I know she’s new. So I just went up to the counter and asked for a little container of plain cream cheese from the new employee, as I have done in the past. It’s never caused a problem. But, this time the manager overheard me, and walked over with the new employee to the cream cheese, glancing back at me. Then he walks over to me and asks me “Is this something extra, you wanted on the side?” Translation: We’re going to charge you for this 1 square inch tub of cream cheese. “Well, it’s just that there wasn’t much on my bagel,” I replied. I’ve been here a zillion times, I know how much they’re supposed to put on. I know my allotted amount. He looked doubtful. So I held up my bagel, displaying it’s meager cheese-ness. He conceded, and the girl brought me the cream cheese, while he mumbled to her, “Be sure and use the scoop or you don’t get the right amount.”

Now, I have seen this guy hundreds of times. I can tell that he recognises me from the way he looks at me – you know, that recognition you can see in people’s eyes. He’s never once acknowledged the fact that I regularly choose to spend my money at his franchise. The above situation would have been a great way to acknowledge that they recognise me as a valued regular customer. The amount of money I’ve spent with them has far exceeded what they will lose by not charging me for a tiny container of cream cheese – he’s not going to lose monetarily. And obviously I did get my cream cheese in the end. But in my mind, he should have let it slide, not interrogated me. If he doesn’t want to appear negligent, he could make a point of it being a favor, a thanks for my business.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned; maybe you all think I expect too much? Maybe society’s moved forward too much and nobody gives a damn. I guess Einstein’s doesn’t have a lot to lose from not being a little nicer to a regular customer – being near TCU gives them a thriving customer base. But the manager himself could gain. I recognise extra effort, and, in turn, I’ll thank someone for it, usually by way of a generous tip. (I don’t tip regularly at Einstein’s – I don’t really feel like I need to, they make a killing off me – just $5 every few weeks or so. And it’s not like they’re bringing the food to my table or refilling my drinks.) I guess I learned this from my dad – it’s possibly one of his best qualities. He may be an asshole, but if you go out of your way or are even just extra nice to him, he will notice it, and chances are, you will get something from him in thanks – wine, presents, money. (He keeps half-size bottles of wine in the trunk of his car as impromptu thank-yous for people he meets who go out of their way to help him.)

Anyway, the awesome dude from Einsteins told me two Friday’s ago, as he brought me my sesame bagel, that it was his last day, and that he was going elsewhere. I’m generally shy, and don’t think I’d said more than my order and ‘thanks’ to him before then, but I told him I was sad to see him go. After I finished eating, I went up to him at the counter and pressed $10 in his hand (if I’d had $20, he would have gotten that), and thanked him again for always being so nice to me. He was a great guy, and I always enjoyed seeing him at lunch, even if I was too shy to do more than smile at his kind remarks. I must say that if he was there now, I’d probably be bothering to get lunch instead of in here writing this. But becau
se of this morning, I’m in no hurry to go back since I’m not starving.

So, Einstein Brother’s guy who worked on University and befriended a long-haired girl called Emma, if, by some strange chance you ever do end up reading this, which I know is very unlikely, thanks again. Continue being as kind as you are wherever you’re working now, and I hope you are duly rewarded in life.

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September and October are Busy Time

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Well I thought I’d make a little post, since my life is quite lively at the moment. So I’ll tell you all the things going on! Hm, where to start. Well, I’ll start out with the not-so-great and rather stressful stuff, then move on to happier things!

- My mom left today for a month-long trip to England, Yemen, UAE, and India. I’m a little sad that she’ll be gone so long. Today, however, was a strange little role-reversal. She called me from the airport to say her last byes. Usually I’m the one calling her from past security, and she always tells me, ‘Send me a text as soon as you land let me know you arrived safely.’ Today it was me demanding the same of her. And I’m sure she’s usually glancing at the clock and imagining where I am over the Atlantic – today that’s been my job. Anyway, it should be a really fun trip for her.

- My dad finally cut off my sister. Apparently she came home with a lip-ring, and he told her that was it. No more money for anything, college, room & board, etc.

- Tomorrow, I start horseback riding lessons. Crazy, I know! It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. Within about half an hour of finding a website I was hanging up the phone after booking myself a riding lesson. I’m both excited and apprehensive. Oh well! Should be a laugh.

- Tomorrow is homecoming parade for TCU. Usually that’s not my thing, but last year I ended up going by myself when I stumbled across it after chem lab, and I had a good time. They have a marching bad (which I am always fond of), fireworks, bbq, games, booths, a parade of floats, free candy, and prize giveaways. Overall, not a bad way to spend an evening.

- First weekend in October, for fall break, I’m going to Stanford to visit Tri! Turns out TCU is playing Stanford the weekend after that for Stanford’s homecoming. Tri mentioned it to me, and I mentioned it to my mom, who had some free tickets on Southwest that expire soon. So, off I go! I’ve never really been to California in any way that counts, so I’ll see what it’s like.

- The weekend after that, I’m going with Katie and KChris to see ‘Star Wars and Beyond: A John Williams Tribute’ at the Bass! You have to buy a season ticket to go to this concert, so we’re all buying Pops Series season tickets (on student discount) from the Ft Worth Symphonic Orchestra. So we’ll be concert-going for the season : ).

- Finally, that same weekend, Katie and I are taking a two day women’s self-defence class at TCU. We’ll be kicking ass in no time.

Well, I think that’s everything. Certainly busy! And, Purple Bike Program business is booming.

Anyway, I’m going to go sleep, cuz my eyes are going to fall out soon.

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An Update on Emma

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Hello everyone.
I just thought I’d do a quick update before class about some recent news in my life:

- Elizabeth is moving into her student residences today, and starting university on the 3rd September, doing a 2 year course in a culinary degree. She gets a chef’s uniform, has to work in the Uni restaurants and everything. After 2 years she can continue working towards a 4-year degree or go out into the big wide world.

- The twins are starting middle school this year – back to the bottom of the pile!

- The twins also both passed their second royal ballet exam (which is not easy by any means). If it was scored in the same way as AP scoring, with 3 being ‘pass’, Heather got a 5, Alice a 4.

- Kenneth got all A’s this last year at the Royal Grammar School – no small feat in the private British education system. He scored top in his class on many of his exams, and top 10 in his class on pretty much all the rest.

- My dad, showing he is completely insane, bought himself a title – he is now Lord H*dcr*ft – no joke. No land or power comes with the name – just the title. The family line it belonged to died out, and that apparently means you can auction the title off. (No, I don’t know if it now stays in our family after he dies, nor whether it would go to the eldest child (me) or the eldest male (Kenneth).) The title, if I remember correctly, is approx 700 years old. (I may be wrong.)

- In a further display of insanity, my dad bought four baby geese this week, for reasons I don’t know. They live in a little run in the back garden. Go figure.

- I got a Garmin satellite navigation system for my birthday! Yey. I am excited about it.

Oop. Class time. More later.

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To the Potato Land

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Hola friends. I’m half asleep at the moment, so excuse me. Fell asleep watching an episode of my new ‘Planet Earth’ series : ). Well, off to Ireland tomorrow. Hopefully we won’t get bombed. Chances seem much slimmer nowadays. Tomorrow to Stranraer to the ferry to Ireland, then to our hotel, the next day to wherever the Giant’s Causeway is, then the day after, to Carick on Shannon to get our boat. A week on the boat, then the drive back. I’ll be back in Texas on the 15th of August, for those curious.

There’s a Hartlepool game tonight, but I’m very tired (see above) so I think I’ll stay in with Kenneth and the twins, and watch tv or something. Anyway, I thought I’d send a note of my intentions to you all via my blog, so you know I’m not lost away somewhere in Ireland, kidnapped by the IRA. However, if you do see that I get kidnapped, please send money, or whatever they want. I’ll pay you back after I get back to the US.

Well, I think that’s all from this half-asleep brain at the moment. I’m off to see what trouble Kenneth & the twins are getting up to. Libby went to register at Newcastle College for her culinary class today, but messed up by mentioning she had an American passport, and now they’re all in a ho-hah about her not being down as an international student and trying to get free education illegally. (For reasons unknown to me, she did not tell them that she does, indeed, have a British passport.) I wonder if maybe that naivity is somewhat my own fault – I was the one who through the years took care of all our customs and immigration snags and problems, and sometimes made mistakes and learned quite quickly what to say to appease those angered by my duality (of citizenship). Though, she has had plenty of time in the past few years to go it alone through the airport maze, and she certainly could have learned plenty by paying attention. And as the eldest, until she turned 18, I had to be the one taking charge, as it says on the forms. Oh well. I will ponder on that further.

I look forward to my return to the US, though it shall be super-busy. I know my mom has plans for me already, and I have to get ready for school, ensure I’m in all the right classes at the right time, tidy my house, have a party, and then go to school. Wish I had more of a break before school started.

Well, I said I was finishing this long ago, so may the rest of your summers be fun and happy, and I shall see many of you soon, or at least, I better. Bibliotheque!

PS – Ireland has potatoes. You have no idea how excited I am about this. I don’t think they get purple ones, though. I only ever saw them that one time in Ecuador.

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