Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Random bus observation

Tonight I had to work late at the police station with an investigation, so I missed Becky's ride to Dudley and had to get two busses home. In my fatigue, I was baffled to see a guy get on the bus wearing a flourescent work vest and carrying a guitar with a few missing strings- in no case. It was raining outside. Just another random bus moment. . .

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dudley Beer Fest

I met up with Louise and her boyfriend Chris for Beer Fest this year. There were a few others that were supposed to join and a few guys from the Police that I work with were supposed to meet me but everyone else seemed to drop out. I did meet up with Mike and his friends briefly. Oh well, more beer for me and Chris! Louise was on the cider- slowly but surely. I sampled many fine ales yet again this year and a good time was had by all.

Friday, November 24, 2006


This year we tried to do Thanksgiving a bit more simply. We made the traditional dishes without going overboard and had a fair amount of people but managed to squeeze everyone into the lounge to eat together, as Thanksgiving should be. It was a very nice night and I made sure I enjoyed the food, the white wine and the company, so I did not take many pics.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Top Four Bands to Listen to While Enduring Public Transport

Obviously with Rusty deceased and departed I am left with the joys of the West Midlands Public Transport system; and bumming rides every chance I get. My friends at work that live near me have been incredibly generous going out of their way to pick me up in the morning or get me at least to Dudley after work so I only have to get one bus home instead of two. Namely Becky and Jackie, so I thank you both!

I am quite fond of the train system in England, to be honest, and would happily be a train commuter all the time but in my need to get from Sedgley to Dudley each day it’s bus or nothing. There is an interesting culture on the bus. If I manage to catch the same bus each morning, there are the same people each day. Some arrive on the bus with smiles that know each other and have their morning chat. Then there are the kids on their way to school, playing their music too loud forcing me to put my head phones on to drone out the crap dance music. Although I'm my usual friendly self who smiles at random old people and children and more than happy to strike a conversation if one presents itself, I’m more often on the bus one of those that find a corner seat, that’s hopefully not too dirty or smelly (although that can be hard to avoid) and hide out with my book and/or music. That is the one strength of public transportation (Of course, besides the whole helping the environment stuff)- being able to read loads and listen to the music I want to listen to, and not being stuck with what’s on the radio like I was with Rusty.

So this leads me to my top four bands (this week) to listen to on the bus:

1. Aereogramme

2. Peeping Tom

3. Broken Social Scene

4. Devotchka

Although, I would like to relay a caveat about Devotchka. This morning they almost made me cry in public on the bus with ‘How it Ends.’ But as I came home tonight, they provided some retribution with the drum beats of ‘The Oblivion’ in synchronization with the beats of my heart, followed by the energy of Eastern European rhythms in ‘Death By Blonde,’ parading into the romantic swooning of Queen of the Surface Street, leaving me to think some boy might feel like that about me one of these days and leading me right into Sedgley High Street. Thank you Bus Driver for getting me home safe! Now where’s that Friday bottle of Pinot? The week is gone; it’s time to crack it open!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good news as I prepare to come home!

Those that speak to me often know I've struggled the last three months or so about what the heck I am doing with myself and whether I want to stay in the UK or return home. I am so happy here and in some ways happier than I have been anywhere else, but the bouts of homesickness always make me realize that as strong as my need to branch out is, my need to be close to the most significant people in my life is stronger. It only is resounded by times when I want to speak to my mamasita but can't because it's 3am there.

It's definitely official, there's no changing my mind now and I am coming home. I'm ready to get back and find somewhere I can build some roots for myself, wherever that may be. As excited as I am to come back and see everyone, I am left struggling with the emotions of leaving England and the people I have come to love so much here (and sometimes even the job, believe it or not). It's made me a bit moody of late but now I am to the stage of being intent on ensuring nothing but pure enjoyment for the next six weeks until I go.

And now, I have enjoyed the good news today of changes in our government that may mean positive changes overall for the state of the country. Nancy Pelosi becoming the first woman ever to serve as the speaker of the House of Representatives; Bernie Sanders becoming the first socialist in the US Senate for Vermont; Deval Patrick becoming the second black governor (of Massachusetts) in US History; and Keith Ellison becoming the first Muslim elected to the House of Representatives (for Minnesota). The icing on the cake is of course the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld (although I don't know much about this new fella). Now, just two more years of Bush and hopefully U.S. citizens will choose wisely and get someone with a hell of a lot more integrity and honest values in place of the idiot they've allowed to run our country for way too long.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bonfire Night

Another Bonfire Night at Himley. I just took a couple pictures and they are not quite as good as last November's. The fire was actually lit by a couple of unruly teens earlier in the week and they had to rebuild it at the last minute. It was still huge though and the fireworks were much better this year. Some of us also managed to get in a couple rides at the fair and make ourselves dizzy.

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Oh Rusty boy, the pipes the pipes are calling . . .

As some of you know, Rusty failed his annual MOT. For those that don't know what an MOT is, if a car is older than three years in the UK, you have to get it evaluated every year to ensure it is road worthy. They're all about their "health and safety" in England! Well, Rusty was due on my birthday but I didn't get it done until toward the end of the month. He failed- miserably. There was four or five things that I had to get fixed in order to pass and it would have been about 150GBP to do it. Plus, my road tax (kind of like a registration fee) had also expired and that was another 60 quid. Given I've only got a month and 14 days left in England (not to be too precise or anything) I decided it was time for Rusty to go to the scrap graveyard and meet with his other old neglected car friends. Steve, Bri's boyfriend (or should I say fiance!) helped me find a place and we all took it this morning. After driving among a few land fills and random engineering facillities we eventually found it. I had to drive Rusty on a large scale to be weighed and was offered 51GBP (his MOT cost 40). I accepted and we had to drive it round near a large crane-thingy. I had to take the tires with; they only wanted him for his metal. Typical males, they only ever want one thing! Steve loosened all the tires for me and then the crane man (clearly, I don't know what the hell these things are called so I'll refer to them in simplistic terms) lifted Rusty off the ground, shattering all his windows in the process. I was agasp in shock. Brianna stayed in the car, she was a bit intimidated by all the metal, broken glass and large threatening crane. I can't say I wasn't either, there was a lot of flinching going on. Rusty was smashed up a bit more and added to the pile to eventually be crushed further and become something new. Perhaps he'll be reincarnated as something useful; that would be nice.