Wednesday, August 31, 2005

B-rad at the Port

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is now official - Bradley Hathaway, who has been playing in cool places like Amsterdam and Sweden, is gracing our humble church in Port Glasgow, Scotland with his hip hop presence on the 11th September.

If you are a UK resident, why not come down to the Port (you can stay at the illustrious Second-to-Last House in Greenock) for a night of slam poet action?

I'm excited, I like Bradley, even if he does have too much energy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Special Announcements

Everyone head on over to the First Floor Flat for the biggest news of the century! Très hurray! I love you guys.

And three cheers for the High School where I just bought an Apple computer for £40! A bit outdated, but still running properly and exuding lots of potential.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Embarking on the Feral Seas of Prose

With one hand on the pink paper and the other absorbedly weaving the dull-pointed, teeth-shredded yellow pencil in and out of his two-and-a-half month grown-out mop of prematurely ashen hair, Frederick Price contemplated the existence of time in relation to space: time being the end of his summer vacation and space being the fully furnished two-bedroom apartment containing the scratched and splitting beech wood computer desk at which he currently sat, contemplating. Frederick’s was a mind full of intelligent inner monologue and useless sliced-off corners of four years’ worth of university core subject matter. His four loves were mathematics, his white Persian cat Zeno of Elea, Marian MacInnis and escargots, in that very order. The thought of any of these things at any time of day or night could almost always produce a chilling, powerful shiver deep in the colon of Frederick Price. At this moment in time, while time and space were occupying the electric sparks and sputters of his brain, the earth was inevitably and helplessly spinning on its axis, facing the sun with one side of its swollen belly, yet at an angle which could only scarcely warm the fifty-three year old building stubbornly rooted in the town of Diamond Ridge, the very one which sheltered Frederick Price.

Frederick intimately knew two things: mathematics and Zeno of Elea. Intimately knowing these things, he was not at all surprised when Zeno of Elea interrupted his complex inward philosophical debate as it was coming to a constructive mental flux because he knew in the pit of his soul, or his colon, that Zeno had been eyeing him from the slightly cracked doorway for approximately six minutes and twenty-five seconds. Zeno of Elea sauntered in, tail swaying, and gracefully leaped onto the desk, curious and jealous of Frederick’s mind being somewhere he wasn’t and determined to put a halt to the distasteful state of affairs. Frederick absently, though affectionately, stroked the old cat, now concentrating on his purpose at this desk, namely the pink paper. It was an updated timetable for the upcoming school year and a request for teaching staff planning periods. The sheet had, he recognised, been sitting on his desk since the middle of April, but Frederick had hardly noticed the bane, unimportant dyed slice of forest wood amongst the pile of unopened mail and math journals. Certainly the deadline for returning the pink sheet was long past, and the mere thought of bothering with it now bored him to the brink of depression. Anxious to find an opportunity to forget the duty lying impatiently in front of him, he called to Marian in the kitchen for an update on the status of dinner. She shouted back to him in her low and rough voice that he would have to just wait because she sure as hell can’t get supper ready as fast as he always wants it when she’s the only one who bothers to do a damn thing around the house, including the cooking and if he’s so hungry why can’t he get off his old, rusting ass and make himself a sandwich. Frederick lifted Zeno of Elea, still stroking her fur and scratching her chin, and rose from his seat with a mind to get his papers in order for Monday. All staff was required back at the school at half past nine on Monday to prepare their classrooms and their new morning sleeping schedules for the pupils’ return on Thursday. Frederick Price had four hates: the theatre, fat people, Marian MacInnis and teaching, in no particular order. The thought of any of these things at any time of day or night could almost always produce a chilling, powerful shiver deep in the colon of Frederick Price.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Scott and I have been sick.

All week I felt terrible. But I really hate calling in sick so I went. On Wednesday, I was sent home. They told me they don't like sick people. So I called Scott to tell him I was going home, and it just so happened that he was actually about to go home, too, having the same symptoms. So Wednesday and yesterday we lay (lain? lied? I'm getting dumb, not being in school) around the house feeling sorry for ourselves. Scott's horrible at being sick, too. He won't just stay in bed. He won't get enough sleep. He gets bored. Sigh. So anyway, I'm back at work today; Scott, poor boy, is still not well. His poor pukey tummy.

On a different note:
I've decided our society's moralistic virtues and ideals have changed more drastically than we think. One used to be called a "bookworm" when they always had a nose in a book. Now people prefer the term "book whore". Huh?

I'd like to say for the record, I am a bookworm.

I've been book-tastic lately. It's the one joy I get from being out of college - the right to choose my own literature. Granted, university forced me to read great literature that I otherwise frankly would not have ever read. For this, I am grateful. But now- oh now!- the choice is mine. Since I returned from America three weeks ago, I have read:
Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
Phantasmagoria- most recent issue, a book of collected short stories and poetry
A Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess
Dying Light and Other Stories- Donald Hays
Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
and I am half-way through Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy.
Gosh, I love books. And honest, I'm not being pretentious.

And while I'm thinking of it, have any of you read Anna Karenina? I am just approaching the half-way mark, and I have some very strong opinions about all the characters. I know distinctly whom I like and dislike. I'd love to discuss this book with anyone who has read it...

All right, back to work for me. There's a barbeque this afternoon, and all the teachers get to leave when it's over, and I do hope our boss lets the office staff do the same.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Goodbye, With Love

It's only fitting that I do this. The death of something great deserves it.

JR's Lightbulb Club and Pizzeria was, frankly, the only cool place in town to go. It was the only cool place to go for a casual beer and smoke*. It was also the only cool place in town to go for an indie show, after Clunk Music Hall closed. Sure, you could always go to the Gypsy or George's and take in some jock rock and cheap beer, or you could go to Powerhouse and pay a bundle to see a Dave Matthews cover band, but truth be told, your evening would then be crap. No, for a good night out, a good band, and good friends, JR's was the place to be.

Many dear friendships were made behind those shaded glass doors. There were the bartenders, with whom I developed a kind of brother/sisterhood the year I worked as door girl. It was there I met the Cheap Thrills guy, at the bar, over lonely drinks, both of us talking about lost loves. An ordinary summer night two years ago, after a Bright Eyes performance on TV I met Chris, formerly known as Volsequoyah, and formed a bond over jager shots that lasts to this day (the bond, not the shots.) I spent many a school night or work night drinking Tequila Sunrises with the one and only Lincoln, who I otherwise would've still to this day thought a big jerkman -- and who incidently would still think of me as the lame girl with the dyke haircut. JR's also gave me the avenue to meet Eleni Mandell, the best girl singer on the planet, and El Gato, the closest band to Tripping Daisy as I could feasibly meet. The list goes on and on.

There is a legend that the men's bathroom held a most untidy troth of flowing water in exchange for the run-of-the-mill urinals. I never verified that story.

I've moved away now, but knowing that JR's lived on - in all seriousness - helped me feel connected in some way. Checking the website to see who was playing, knowing folks were still sitting upstairs at night drinking Old Style and shooting jager, anticipating my next visit home to relive the old days. Indeed, when I did visit Fayetteville last month, I did meet up with friends at JR's, just as it should be. Other than the horrible pool table which had been set up where booths once were and the jukebox (the best jukebox in Arkansas) being broken, it was the same old JR's as always.

Now for the sad part. It seemed that in a matter of moments, the place just shut down. One minute, it was the cool, cozy, friendly bar we all knew as JR's, the next - nothing. Or something - across the ocean I heard a rumour it was becoming a gay bar. But that is the same as nothing to me. It's gone. And I never got to say goodbye. And I'll never get to go again. Where, I wonder, will I go next time I'm in Fayetteville where I know I'll see countless old pals? If only I could've played "The Conductor" by The Faint for Lincoln one last time or sang into my bottle with Cyndi Lauper, playing air guitar. If only I could scream "drunk girl" style once more at Aqueduct or run the merch table for Eleni. But alas. The days are over.

I don't suppose any of you will understand. Not unless you, too, once had a special spot, a place free from the stresses of the world, a place where you belonged (and got stuff for free) that no longer exists. Sigh. Come to think of it, Wade still owes me like 187 free shift beers. That, too, will be blotted from existence, a gray ash shuffled in the winds of time and memory.

Rest in peace, old dear friend.

For photos from the last night, care of Chris, click here.

*Lest my mother die of heart attack, let me confirm I do not smoke. Never have.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Screaming Body Alarm Clock

My uterus is raging. It's set for every 28 days then it goes off, screeching BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and nothing can turn it off. I've tried every darned trick in the book. Medications, herbal remedies, hot tea, caffeine, hot baths, heating pads, self-mutiliation, suicide. Nothing works.

I've set myself a limit. If in one hour from the moment I took 500mg of mefenamic acid (so strong it's illegal in the United States), my uteral alarm clock is still screeching BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP then I am going home. I am marching - ok, dragging - myself down the corridor, straight into my bosses' office and telling them - something. That's the awkward part. That's why I never go home when my uterus is throwing a birthday party. What am I to tell my friendly-but-weird man boss at this point?

I have 40 minutes to wait. Typically, this medicine kicks in about 15 minutes after ingestion, though of late it's been taking more like 30. (Could it be that my body is adapting to the powerful painkillers the way it adapts to cocaine or heroin?) Last time it never kicked in, but it was late in the afternoon and I saw no reason to embarrass myself as in the above scenario when I could just wait it out for another hour.

But it is 9:20 in the morning, and I'm sweating profusely and I'm bunched over in my chair, typing at a 90? angle, with my skin raised in millions of tiny chill bumps and my uterus still screeching BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP YOU AREN'T PREGNANT BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I Am Going Crazy

My new computer should have been here at LEAST 5 hours ago, and I'm going stir crazy. Can't go out 'til it arrives, don't know if it WILL arrive, want to kill the world, especially MESH computers who cut me off twice while trying to transfer me, told me:

"It'll be there AM, definitely." - Friday.

"In the next hour or so." - 11AM.

"Should be before 2." - 12PM.

"Usually 3 to 4 on a Saturday." - 2PM.

"Hold on, it was sent out on Wednesday." - 2.01PM.

"Oh, no it wasn't, I'm just tired and didn't read that properly." - 2.02PM.

"There's no supervisor here." - 3PM.

"We can't track the delivery, they don't work on Saturdays at their office." - 4PM.

"At the very latest, it'll be before 6." - 4.30PM.

Well, I'm demanding my delivery fee back. I'm demanding compensation for wasting my whole day. I'm being very angry and shouty at whatever supervisor I get to talk to.

But, apparently, I'm not getting my computer. They now have 55 minutes before they finish delivering for the day. I have no confidence that is going to get here at all.

The ironic thing is, I've been praising MESH for their customer service. It's been great! They just choose a firm of chumps for the delivery.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sorry To Steal The Blog-Light

Sorry to take over from your post, Lori.

I thought that I should share with everyone that from the 20th of September, I shall once more be a student. I'm cutting my hours at work down to 25 and taking a computing degree at Paisley University.

The cool thing is, it's not your bog standard computing degree. It is:


I've wanted to do this since I was nine or something, and my mum taught me how to programme noughts and crosses on the Spectrum. I almost went to do it when I was 16, but couldn't afford to move to Dundee (the only course in Scotland was there at that point).

Now there is a convenient Uni a few miles away. I'm talking with my manager about my hours tomorrow (let's hope it goes well), calling the Uni at lunch time and asking them to send me out an offer (they've already agreed in principle over my school grades) and generally feeling weird. I'll be working full time for another month, then my hours will drop.

Here goes nothing.

I have a theory: the guys will be jealous, the girls will think it's silly ;).

Toilet Talk

One of the most frustrating things about this place in the summer is having to walk down the long corridor of the building every time I need to go to the bathroom, when I know there is a bathroom directly outside the reception desk which is closed off by a big metal gate.

It's not just the walk, either, that exasperates me. The bathroom on the other end of the building is a public bathroom with five stalls. The one by my desk is a large, single disabled bathroom. It's been an issue of mine my whole life to need to do my business in privacy. I just don't like other people being around. Bathroom business is highly personal and undignified. I don't want perfect strangers, or worse, people I see every day, to experience the experience with me. Not unless we have a whole lot of friendship, and even then it's doubtful that I'd trust you in the bathroom with me. Needless to say, I've never been one of these bathroom-buddy girls who invite all their friends and make-up to the toilet with them.

So call me lazy, call me immature, call me what you will, but I just really can't stand the inconvenience of it all. And it's not just a once or twice a day thing. I drink tea like it's oxygen, and we all know tea doesn't rhyme with pee by mere coicidence.

It's a ridiculous paranoia, I know, but I still can't get out of my head the words of the former Miss Arkansas, Whitney Kirk, from eleventh grade saying that so-and-so was so unclass for going #2 in a public bathroom. I've never been able to shake the belief that all the refined people in the world agree that this is shameful. Combine that with my already ridiculous timidity to dispel any kind of bodily waste in a public place, and you'll understand why I need that metal gate open.

There's just something so not right about people hearing you on the toilet. You'll find if I visit your home, and your bathroom is relatively close to the room in which your guests are convening, you will hear the faucet come on and, after a minute, the toilet flush. This is my mask, this is what I hide my business behind. I believe the faucet must drown out the sound of pee, and if it doesn't, please don't tell me, I don't want to know. But if you were wondering why I was washing my hands for so long, well, just don't.

I think that's enough talk about waste products for today. Funny. I won't go in front of you, but I'll sure tell you all about it on my blog.

Hehe, blog. Kinda sounds like a potty word, itself. Blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Novels in the Hands of Hollywood

It just drives me mad when people think a movie based on a book is amazing and perfect and genius, without having ever read the book, or worse, when the movie deters starkly away from the book. I hate it when directors get all the acclaim for a movie-based-on-a-book, and no one gives any credit to the guy who wrote the book in the first place.

Ok, so I'm being completely over the top here because there are many movies out there that I didn't/don't know were books first. No one can help that, no one can know everything.

But it still drives me nuts to know how good a book is, and then have everyone give radical acclaim to the movie - does no one read anymore?

What has started this rampage for me is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, later cinematised by Stanley Kubrick. I'm currently reading A Clockwork Orange and it's an incredible experience. It's full of uncommon and often nonsensical language that must be decoded. It's got very serious direction and motivation and message, as well as a Lolita-like reader manipulation. Though it apparently was never Burgess's favourite novel (one he, in fact, wishes were not his most popular), it is an incredibly well thought-out, clear and absolutely appalling novel. It kinda gets you in the guttiwuts, real horrorshow.

Now, I have no problem with novels being turned into films, per se. Though I think it most often ruins the book (which is annoying, but more depressingly, it usually sends the book into Book Oblivion for the mass public), it can often be done well, and it makes an interesting supplement after the book is read. And I'm not gonna lie, the movies were often enormous lifesavers in high school when I'd never gotten around to reading the book before test day.

And as far as A Clockwork Orange is concerned, the movie was interesting and disgusting and equally manipulative (which is evident from all the moronic IMDB comments saying, "totally awesome gang rapes and neat fights!" "This film is my all-time favorite because it's so awesome and Alex is so sweet and crazy!".) Now, it's been years since I've seen the movie, thankfully, for I am able to read the book without seeing Malcolm McDowell's face on fifteen year old Alex (what was up with that anyway, sending in a man to do a boy's job?). But the truth is, Kubrick took his movie far from the direction of the book, even changing the ending, which by far is the worst cinematic crime one can commit against a book, though to be fair, he was using the US release of the book for his screenplay which also changed the ending, much to Burgess's chagrin, because Burgess's ending was ironically too "optimistic", and Kubrick didn't even realise there was another version out there with the original ending, which in my opinion is far more pessimistic than the new ending - but I won't give anything else away - and I believe this is unfair to the man who wrote the book in the first place.

But this happens all the time. What drives me the most nuts isn't so much this in and of itself, because it is almost always the way it goes when novels-go-movie. What annoys me is when people go absolutely bananas over the movie, calling it "genius", "perfect", "the most brilliant film of all time", when it's not an accurate adaptation of the original novel or even the filmmaker's to begin with! Kubrick wasn't genius because he directed A Clockwork Orange - the best parts of the movie are the parts directly quoted from the book. Kubrick was a genius because of many other things, almost completely cinemagraphic, but not because of the story of A Clockwork Orange. He didn't do that, people. Another less poplular guy did that. Can we give the poor penniless writer some credit, please?

Ok, so I think I'm over my little tyrade now. I just had to get that off my chest. I love books; defending them is like defending my mother or little brother.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Autumn Leaves and Dandelions

I'm afraid I might bore you or let you down if I explain my oh-so-poetic title. :) Quickly, it's my choices for the magazine cover- either an autumn leaf motif or a dandelion motif. And I'm irritated that this printer isn't working because I want to show the two possible covers around for everyone to give an opinion on.

Other than that, all that boring work stuff....

I'm having a wee barby in a couple of weeks at our place. Technically, we are having a wee barby, but it's mostly me who's planning it. Scott doesn't really like to plan, and I do, so I've happily put the whole thing together. Unfortunately, two friends of ours who have a tiny little baby (he's actually not tiny any more) can't make it, but hopefully the rest of the invitees will. It's fun having friends. I suppose the longer it takes to find them just means that the ones you've found are ones that were worth finding. It takes a bit of searching, but it's worth it in the end.

I have to say I feel really blessed these days. Lots of things fall short but God has been good and faithful to me and us even so. Living in Scotland is very hard sometimes, and sometimes I think I'd be happier going back to Arkansas, but it's also been very rewarding and character-building. It's also been great for mine and Scott's relationship. I feel that we have a bond that strenghtens every day that nothing will ever be able to break. He's really the other half of me. I hardly feel like a separate being from him at all.

But as I was saying, I do feel blessed. I feel tried and broken, too. But many things have been given me that I don't deserve, and I am so grateful for it all. I have a good job which is stable, entertaining, challenging and well-paid. I am making friendships that I'm beginning to think could last a lifetime. I have a house that is becoming a home. And of course, the greatest earthly gift of all is the wonderful husband that God clearly made just for me. But the thing that exceeds all good things in my life is the Lord Jesus who died to save me from myself. Sometimes I let this become an idea that is more intellectual than personal, but the truth is, this is the most amazing thing of all - that the one and only God, perfect, full of justice and holy, wanted me.

Which, by the way, is one of the most touching things about marriage - how marriage is a dim, dusty picture of what God's love is like. In the way that I am absolutely bedazzled that Scott would ever want me, I am all the more, countlessly more, astounded that God would ever want me. He knows me even more than Scott, and He's even greater than Scott, and he wants me.

So anyway, I'm happy.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Better Homes and Gardens

If you're wondering why we aren't paying enough attention to our blog, it's because we've been paying a lot of attention to our house.

We've decided to stay in this place another year which meant for us that some things just had to be done in order to stand it. We realised it won't be costing us a lot to do some small fixer-uppers so we've begun a tiny redecorating project.

We painted the bathroom yesterday. It was painted a horrible 70s shade of peach, which after 30-odd years has developed some disgusting stains and water damage. We painted it "soothing white" which is actually almost blue, but it instantly looked like a new room. It looked clean for the first time since we moved in. After that, we decided the old mirror, trash bin, towel rack and toilet roll dispenser (also in that shade of peach, plastic) had to go, so we replaced them with shiny chrome features, except for the mirror which we just bought an inexpensive wooden medicine cabinet instead, since the chrome ones were more expensive than we intended to spend on a rented house. I cleaned off the counter space by putting loads of crap in the medicine cabinet, and the place looks like new. Except for the 70s style pink and burgundy rose tiles in the shower, which Scott actually likes because of all the weird shapes. So to work with the pink, I added a pink vase for decoration, and voila! I'm not ashamed of the bathroom anymore.

The other big redecoration project we are attempting is to replace the disgusting carpet in the house with hard wood flooring. I know, I know, it sounds like a big, expensive thing to do to a home you are only renting. We think so a bit, too. But considering the vast difference it will make to our respiratory systems and the germ count (not to mention, our happiness) we are going to go for it. Scott's dad will lay it all for us so it's just a matter of picking a flooring out (one that isn't too dear) and moving the furniture out of his way. He'll do it while we're at work to save the well-being of Scott's lungs.

Other than that, we've just been rearranging furniture, adding "bold accents" (thank you, Ideal Home for all your ideas) and so on. I feel probably 200x happier here now. I feel like I have a home, a place where people can come visit without dying of strange 70s era diseases, a haven.

I'm a happy lady.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Orange Duo

We've been really bad bloggers lately, we know. We apologise. We've been quite busyfied.

Today's post won't be much.

Tonight we are going to Edinburgh, as mentioned already to see the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. It ought to be good.

Scott had to grab a change of clothes before he left the house today. He almost forgot. I yelled to him not to bring his orange shirt because I'm wearing an orange shirt and I didn't want to be The Orange McFarlane Duo. He didn't grab the orange shirt luckily because he'd worn in the day before.

My body is so confused over all this traveling. My skin in particular. Hard water, soft water, hard water, soft water... It's throwing a fit. My hair ain't happy, either. Of course, it goes without saying that I don't know when is nighttime and when is day. My body can't go to sleep, and it can't wake up.

I'm dead busy at work - so is Scott. And I have a million things I want to do and a million people I want to see. I need to take a pen home with me so I can write out lists on the train. Writing lists makes me feel more organised and more in order, but I always lose the lists soon thereafter. They really do me no good. I need to make a People-To-Have-Over-For-Dinner-And-A-Board-Game List, People-To-Phone List, Bills-To-Pay List and of course, the never-ending Things-To-Do List. At work I'm currently finishing up the magazine - a feat I didn't think I could possibly accomplish, but I am nearing the end now with great pride - and I'm updating the Intranet to be back in full swing by the time teachers come back for their in-service days. I'd post the site for you to peruse, but obviously, it's an intranet not an internet so I can't. When the actual school website goes up (which will also feature my textual prowess) I will post it for your viewing pleasure.

Our living room is looking darned good. One more CD tower to build and we're laughin'. We'll invite you all over soon. You're all on my PTHOFDAABG List. (Ok, not all of you, but I wish I could invite you all. Except the crazies who have landed here because they've searched for something like "Big Granny Diapers" and have somehow landed here.)

Anyway, I'm leaving work in half an hour so I need to get some more stuff done. As busy as I am, I just felt the need to give you your daily dose of Scott and Lori. Which reminds me of a church sign I saw yesterday which will make a delightful ending to this spoon-of-medicine post:

"The best vitamin for a Christian is B1"

Saturday, August 06, 2005


We've made a couple of trips to the glorious IKEA in the past week, and our house is looking darned good. Scott is building our new TV bench which matches our new bookcases and CD towers and our old coffee table and nesting tables. It's gonna look good in here.

Tonight we are going over to Graeme and Emily's for dinner. I like having a friend.

Monday we are going to Edinburgh to see Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players with Jonathan and Sarah. We haven't seen them in ages. I look forward to it. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival starts next week, too, so I'm gonna get Scott to take me down there for a weekend o' fun.

Sorry for the lack of posting. We're still jet-lagged.

Sorry for the lack of continuity in this post. We're still jet-lagged.

Scott and I both got new computers. (You'd think we were rich, talking the way I am. We are what Scott's mum called "DINKY"s - double income no kids yet.) I got a laptop, and he got a desktop. Of course, we share, but they are ours individually. :) My laptop has already come in handy; I've written a couple of poems in my bed like I used to. It's good news. And Scott's desktop is full of the latest gagdets and gizmos.

I'm gonna go clean the kitchen before I leave. Emily, being all new to the housewife thing, is upstaging me in cleanliness, and I feel competitive.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

We're Ba-ack

Well, we arrived safely back to Greenock on Sunday afternoon. Scott was back to work on Monday, and I went back to work today. I'm beat. I still feel a bit disoriented being back in the UK. I'm driving like an American maniac, I'm smiling at the wrong people, and I'm taking the wrong things to work. And I'm punctuating in American grammar (see comma before the "and" in the previous sentence.)

It's good to be back, but I really loved being home. Driving back from the airport, I gazed at the scenery around me - the river, the mountains across the river, the skyline - and I knew I was home. But I miss the heat and the vastness and the starry night skies of Arkansas. And I miss the family and friends. I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with people as I hoped. However, it felt good to be back here with my other family, and I look forward to seeing my friends here, like Debbie and Niall and Graeme and Emily (who is finally here!)

Things I will always miss about Arkansas while in Scotland:
* the sound of crickets and cicadas all night and day
* good ol' Southern family barbeques - okra, houseflies and all
* hot summers, cold winters, perfect springs and falls
* JR's Lightbulb Club
* the landscape along I-540

Things I will always miss about Scotland while in Arkansas:
* crisp, jumper-perfect air
* the mountains across the river
* the comforting, cozy atmosphere
* the sound of the Scottish brogue all around me
* mince pie and beans

Friends, keep in touch. (This means you, Chris and Lincoln.)