Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Post Not Intended As a Guilt Trip to World Travellers

Making friends in Scotland is entirely risky, I've come to discover. The Americans who live here never intend to stay, and the Scots want to take flight as soon as an opportunity comes available. At least in my experience. It very much makes me want to only cling to Scott and not make any friends, because I don't want to invest time and love into people who are temporary. It's like a temporary job: why would you want to go in, get trained, get to know the staff, get good at it, just to turn around and leave again? I could never be a in a military family that moved all the time because I could never feel settled.

I hate when friends say things like, "We're gonna live in Scotland for X amount of years, and then we plan on moving to Y." That kinda talk stops me in my friend-making tracks (and everyone says it, right down to the last Scotsman).

Not that I can blame people for going where they want to go, not that I have any anger or annoyance at people for doing so, it just makes this transition hard. And yes, I'm still in transition, six and a half months later.

For one, my family is 100% dispersed. I left the Arnold clan back in America with a positive outlook, because I knew I would be joining the McFarlane clan when I got here. One month later, my brother-in-law just up and shipped out to America with no intention of returning. Three months after that, my sister-in-law bolted to go live in England with no intention of returning. Scott had a small family to begin with, which was already going to be hard for me to get used to, but we suddenly became the Only Child of the McFarlane family.

But I had friends to look forward to making. But everyone has plans to move, except us. (Though to be fair, Debbie and Niall don't look like they plan to go anywhere--but Kilmacolm--for quite some while.) I know we're supposed to live and love like there's No Day But Today or something, but hell, I don't know how to do that. If I had known in college that I'd be moving to Scotland upon graduation, I guarantee I'd have had exactly one friend (Amanda), and I would've spent the entire four and a half years convincing her to come with me. Oh, how I long for the consistency of my dear friend Amanda! But I left her, like everyone here is leaving me. Sigh. I'm just lonely, what can I say? Having Devon here last week reminded me of how comforting it is to have old and lasting friendships. There's nothing funnier than old inside jokes, is there?

Sigh. I understand that I am being rather selfish in my feelings of loneliness. And ungrateful, too, I suppose, because I have Scott and his parents, and they are incredibly wonderful. And I do not intend at all to make Scott sound like he's not enough, because the truth is, I could be anywhere in the world, and as long as I had Scott by my side, I'd always feel like I belonged. So I guess I'm just sort of giving myself a pity birthday (tomorrow!) party. But if I don't sort it out somehow--like blogging--I'll just end up feeling depressed all day, and that's nae good.

I hope everyone, wherever they go, enjoy God's blessings on them to the fullest and find great pleasure in their goings-on. But I hope it's not wrong to hope the same for myself? *Heavy sigh.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Marvelous Marv

Due to my lack of interesting posts, I am hereby quoting a story told by my friend Brandon, without his express permission, under the unverifiable assumption that he will refrain from bringing my illegal behaviour unto justice by the Law.

Formerly known as Marv Higgenbottom, Marvelous was and is an office employee in JBHunt's driver hiring department. Marv did and does answer the phone, saying "JBHunt, where safety comes first, this is Marvelous Marv - how can I help you today?". Despite his positive attitude, and the positive results that it produced, as Marv's driver hiring record was and is among the best in the department, Marv was told that the way he answered the phone was unprofessional, and that he needed to simply give his real name when answering calls, and cut the extraneous adjectives. Rather than letting the man get him down, Marv had his name legally changed to Marvelous.
Back to work after a long holiday. Friday and Monday were public holidays, and praise the Lord, we got off for them! Next week and the week after are the students' Easter holidays (I know, Easter is over), but I don't get either week off, since I haven't worked a full year to get full holidays. So this place will be very quiet, and I'll be very bored. Sigh. But at any rate, I got Friday and Monday, and I am so thankful for it!

I finished Great Expectations and thank you, Charles Dickens, for a good ending. The past, like, five books I've read have ended badly badly badly, and it's really depressing to put so much heart and energy into reading a book just to have it end sadly (and even worse, realistically). Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for ending this, though realistically, hopefully.

I've now started Pilgrim's Progress, a book I haven't read since I was wee and could hardly understand it. It now, along with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, is on my List of Books All Christians Should Read.

I'm at work, and I'm keeping myself busy by building a template in PageMaker for the School newsletter, and learning how to place graphics. Gah.

I apologise for all the boring posts lately. Nothing really terribly interesting going on to think or talk about. I love my husband, though, and that is interesting (to me).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Internet Quote of the Day

"My blood type is the story of my life...I can give to everyone but I can't RECEIVE..."
A few of you have requested that I explain my job description. Very quickly, as of yet, I am in charge of the termly newsletter: compiling material, the layout, and "liason" with the printer. I will also be assisting with the annual School magazine and the School website. I sit in the reception area so from time to time I'll be helping take calls and assisting people who visit the School. As time goes on, I expect to be given more projects in the way of Desktop Publishing, as my official title is Desktop Publishing Assistant. (Hopefully, in the future I'll be taking on the magazine, or at least the publishing aspect if not the gathering of materials.) So far, so good.

I wake up at 5-5:15am, catch the 6:31 train to Glasgow Central, quickly run downstairs to the Lower Level to catch the 7:25 train to Partick, and from Partick change over to the 7:38 train to Dalmuir, alighting at Jordanhill. I then walk ten minutes to the school, arriving around ten to 8. By 8:00 I've been awake 3 hours (if you don't count all the head nodding on the trains). Then I work until 4:30 and repeat the whole process in reverse, arriving home around 6:15 if I'm lucky enough to catch all the appropriate trains. This is what I call my 13 hour work day. Bedtime comes about three hours later.

The other receptionist and I are discussing the joys of food between America and Scotland--the stuff we love here that you can't get there and vice versa. Her son loves Apple Jacks so I'm gonna try to remember to bring some back with me after my visit this summer.

My birthday is a week tomorrow. Hip hip hurray! I've always loved birthdays. Some say that one age feels the same as the next, but I've never felt that. Oh how old I suddenly felt when I turned from 7 to 8. And from 9 to 10, I remember swinging on our old swingset and thinking how in just a few short (long really) days I'd be two digits! 12 to 13, finally being a real teenager; I remember walking down from the little shop up the road with my friend Amber and at 10:30 on the dot, I felt incredibly teen. 14 felt so much older than 13, and 16 after 15 meant more than just a driver's license. Turning 18 meant I was no longer 17 (and thus much more datable) and 19 meant I wasn't just barely legal. 20 marked the end of my teens and 21 marked full legality. Yet 22 meant I wasn't just barely legal once again and now 23 shows that I made it through 22, the cursed year where most look at their lives and think they've been nowhere. 23 sounds old enough to be, it sounds perfectly satisfactory, but around January next year I'll be thinking how boring and young 23 is and I'll be pleased to see 24. I wonder at what age this will end for me; however, I hope I'll always be pleased to see birthdays no matter how old the marker.

So happy birthday to me,
happy birthday to me,
happy birthday dear Lori,
happy birthday to me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Workin 9-5, 8-4:30, in my case.

I like my job. It is gonna be good. Everyone's really nice.

Devon and Robert are here. We had pizza last night and we all retired early. (Retired in the sense of went to sleep, as opposed to Retired in Munch's Oddysee where it means dead.)

Speaking of Munch's Oddysee, it is the best video game ever. As we all know, I'm not a vid-game fanatic, but Scott got this particular one as his half-iversary present from me, and it was awesome! You play these two little aliens who have specific different superpowers, and you're aim is to rescue all the little Fuzzles and Mudokens from bondage by the Vykkers. It's so cute, you get this little army of aliens who follow you around and do whatever you say. And they say things like "Ah man!" and "Whatever." Scott and I spent the entire weekend fighting for the control back and forth. They need to make this game two player. I got really good at picking up Spooce, but not very good at jumping.

Sadly, that's all I have to say.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Drinking Like The Vikings

Evenin', All.

This fine night, I am sitting sipping mead in the spare room, listening to the fine sounds of Aqueduct. I won't have this luxury for the next week or so, since we will actually have guests in our guest bedroom. For a change. Devon & Robert are coming to stay.

I don't know Robert, but I'm sure if Devon has taken a shine to the lad, he's bound to be a fine chap.

The saga of the boiler from hell continues. It's newest ailment is an odd one. It will now let the pilot light catch, but it won't actually set the rest aflame. Bloody annoying, let me tell you. Words are going to be had, it's been going on for far too long.

Mmm. I'm savouring this mead. It was the last of the bottle, and tastes a little stronger for it. Delightful.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. From tomorrow, Lori and I are onto EARLY mornings. I'm working overtime in the mornings this week, as things are a little tight for us right now, so I start at 7. Lori catches her train at 6.15. It's going to be a tired house this week.

I hope I'm not too much of a grumpy sod to my visitors. Apologies in advance.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

3's (And you?)

Last 3 CDs I've listened to:
1. Gorillaz
2. The Postal Service- Give Up
3. The Commitments soundtrack

Last 3 books I've read:
1. Great Expectations -Charles Dickens (Currently)
2. Knowing God -J.I. Packer (Currently)
3. The Secret Garden -Frances Hodgson Burnett

Last 3 films I've watched:
1. Hitch -starring Will Smith
2. Nothing Sacred -starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March
3. Father's Little Dividend -starring Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy

Next 3 films I want to buy:
1. The Incredibles
2. The Commitments
3. A Series of Unfortunate Events

...And you?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Monday, March 14, 2005

Letters to the Past Part 1

Dear former members of Tripping Daisy,
I still think of you often and keep up with the new things you are up to. Ben, I saw you in Glasgow opening for Interpol a few months ago. Mark, Tim, Bryan, The Polyphonic Spree rocks. Saw you in Glasgow, too. I will always be your biggest fan.

Dear Daniel Althen,
I am so sorry I made fun of you in elementary school. I was the geeky kid, and I thought the only way to be less geeky was to find someone else to pick on. I hope you are well today and making loads more money than me.

Dear Lincoln,
You need to email me. I miss you.

Dear Jon March,
Remember me from TMI Pakistan? I wonder how you are doing these days. We had a weird relationship. Still in the military? Still robbing the craddle? You boosted the self-esteem of an insecure, depressed thirteen year old who thought lots about death, and for this, I think it was worth you being slightly strange.
Yours sincerely,

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Stuff Parents Like to Read About When Their Children Live Across the Sea

Adopting the Benj format:

I haven't been in the mood to post lately. I've been dead tired. But I assume some of you will be wondering how the ole job interviews have gone so I'll give you a brief update to whet your ravenous appetite for news.

1. The interview at Glasgow High went very well! I was pleased with it and feel confident that if I don't get the job, it is because God had that job picked out for someone else and another job picked out for me, and it is not because I didn't give a good interview. However, having said that, I want the job more than ever after visiting the school and meeting some of the staff and learning more about it through the interview. So we'll see.

I also met with a recruiting agency on Wednesday, and they have arranged an interview for me at a law firm for tomorrow. I'm nervous about this one simply because I have less of an idea of how to ace the interview. I was able to learn loads about the school, but I only have a website regarding the law firm, and you can only learn so much from a website like that. So, we'll see how that goes tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

2. Rick Warren spoke at church today. Via video. He was mostly ok, aside from his "God does not break your will..." mumbo. Heh. God's broken my will on more than a few occasions. I should write Rick a letter about it to correct his theology. (After all, personal experience is the best form of theology, right?)

3. Scott and I rented Saved! this weekend. Saved! caused quite a raucous among the Christian scene when it came out last year so Scott and I were eager to see what all the fuss was about. It was sort of funny, I suppose, though totally over the top. (Christians even in the South aren't really that ballistic.) But I think the movie just made me sad. Not because some Hollywood film maker was poking fun at Christians, becaues that I can handle--and if it's funny, I can laugh. But it saddened me because what happened in the film all too often happens in churches and Christian circles. People lose their faith because of hypocrisy all the time. It made me despise hypocrisy more than I already do, and it made me despise hypocrisy in myself more. I am going to be even more conscious about how I portray Christ in my life and make more effort to not be a hypocrite.

And the whole pastor having an affair with the mom and it being portrayed as acceptable really pissed me off, let's be honest here. I hate adultery. Ooh, and I hate universalism and relativism as well.

4. I'm adding a new book to the Books to Burn list. The Message Bible[sic]. *Shudder.

EDIT: What the hell is J.I. Packer doing endorsing this crap?!

5. My husband is in a band. I hope this one is better than the previous one he loves it and has loads of fun.

He and I are gonna start a band, too. I'm gonna play synth. I'm already an expert at "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and I learned how to play "Joy to the World", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", and "Silent Night" all by myself in one night. And I can play all four songs with really weird effects. I must be a musical prodigy. At least that's what my mommy tells me.

Monday, March 07, 2005

In Mourning

Dear kind readers,

The end of an era has come to pass.

For three glorious years I have worn this nosering proudly. Neither rain nor snow nor hail nor sleet could make me take it out. But like all good times, these things must come to an end.

It is time to remove the precious ornament from my nose and begin a life of real grownupcy. I cannot be a professional in this bigoted world with it. Though the decision was a tough one, I have descended upon the path of responsibility. My family needs my financial support. I must rise to that duty at any cost for all our sakes.

The ceremonial Removal of the Ring shall occur tomorrow at 5.15. Please keep a moment of silence in honour of this bitter moment.

My nose shall look forever naked and too big for my face.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I got an interview for Glasgow High. Goodbye, fingernails. I gotta learn PhotoShop PRONTO. Please pray. This is the job I want.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ain't No Aunt Jemima

I wanted to make pancakes, but all Tesco could offer me in the way of maple syrup was this...

Charming country, eh?

If anyone knows how to post pictures to where I can type around them or to the side of them instead of just above or below, please email me.