Thursday, October 31, 2002

for those of you in the states that would like to speak to me in person, check this out. i'm not sure how legit it is, but it might be worth a shot. i'm poor, so don't expect me to call out from here often. [Link courtesy of Elan.]
i enjoy reading martha's comments about life, school, and writing. for anyone that has seen American Beauty, i think you'd be interested in reading some of her comments.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

and interesting european view of american politics.
i found out the names of the two cafes that some of the harry potter books were written. in fact, i was in a cafe next door to one last week, and walk past the other when i go to the grocery store. but thats really just a drop in the bucket of the literary history i walk past in any given day.
i still recall the taste of your tears,
echoing your voice, just like, the ringing in my ears,
my favorite dreams of you still wash ashore,
scraping through my head, 'til i don't want to sleep anymore
still my single most favorite verse

Monday, October 28, 2002

i'm not sure if part of scotland got stuck in the 80s, or if it has become some sort of retro-trendiness again (like the 70s did in the late 90s), but there are more jean jackets, skateboards, and mohawks here than i've seen in the states in the last 10 years. i'll get a picture with all three in it if possible. stay tuned...

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Mass was celebrated by archbishop keith patrick of edinburgh tonight. i got to meet him after during the wine and cheese reception.
daylight savings: nothing like an extra hour of sleep.

Friday, October 25, 2002

tonight i went to see "taming of the shrew" at the lyceum theatre with elizabeth, colleen, anna, marcel, and joanne. the performance was free for students, which was perfect for my budget. afterwards, we went out for a bite to eat and then to a club for a drink, although elizabeth and i were feeling a little old next to the 18 yr olds. the funniest part was when they played "ice ice baby" at the club.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

my friend anne is finishing up her missions work in guatemala. a concert of hers recently got some pretty big press. can someone translate for me?
tonight i went to the big word poetry reading. there were some really good poets there. jenny lindsay is intense. her poems have such energy and keep you involved in that world throughout the entire recitation. never once does my attention drift while she's on stage. for me, this performance poetry is the poetry of the people, this is where passion for the word flourishes.
NME (National Magazine Exchange) is a sleazy telemarketing company that mails out cards telling you to contact them about your sweepstakes winnings. if you call, they just try to sell you magazine subscriptions. AARP and the Better Business Bureau have gone after these guys, apparently to no avail. My parents tell me that I received a card in the mail back home.
ok, first yahoo is broken for 3 days, then the university's connection to all the residences goes down for two days. but alas, i'm plugged back in.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

today i read three poems for the full workshop class (not just the poetry workshop). generally i think it went well. i could tell who liked which poems, and who didn't. it's good to hear what are the most striking images and what is confusing. the only way to really get that type of feedback is in this sort of setting. now i have to decide what i should do with this new information.

Monday, October 21, 2002

i haven't been able to send mail using yahoo's web client for 3 days now due to a scripting error on their mail composing page. i wrote them two emails, to which i received two identical auto-responses (that had broken links). i actually paid money to yahoo. i am very disappointed with the lack of service and general sloppiness of their communications.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

at the pub tonight, following question arose: where did the term "420" come from? our friends here in the UK and one from new zealand had not heard of it. steve said it was coined by a group of teenagers in california. according to snopes, he's right.
apparently someone underestimated the hardware, or someone doesn't know how to code scalable applications.
ryan's blog makes me want to wander off into the highlands for a few weeks. on Oct 10th he writes:
When I set out it was with the desire to "make each day count." At some point during the trip that sentiment changed to "allow each day to count." The difference is subtle, yet it in some ways defines what this trip has done for me.

this is a profound and important distinction for any traveller.

Friday, October 18, 2002

i got AIM to work. i can't seem to get trillian to work, but 1 out of three chat clients is a start.
i wanted to give you a taste of what i meant by the last entry, so:

the one from my room looks kind of dark, but i can't seem to catch the light at the right time for the picture. in real life, it's much brighter and colourful.
edinburgh is even more beautiful with some sunlight and blue sky. i could just stare out my window all day.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

i got a haircut today at Elliot's: The Gentleman's Barber. it had the feel of a traditional barber shop, like the one i used to go to on fourth street in bethlehem, and at the same time, there was a newness, a freshness as well. this mix was probably due to the fact that the head proprietor was an elderly gentleman (in the truest sense), that you might expect to find in such a barber shop, and his two assistants were much younger lasses; vicky cut my hair. it's the little things that i love about being in another culture as well. she took my coat when i came in--a very nice and welcoming gesture.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

if i start to sound too much like some over-educated, aristocratic academic with regards to poetry, feel free to kick me in the teeth, tell me shakespeare's sonnets are shite, that cummings was a whack job, and i'll thank you in the morning.
i went to a poetry reading at the scottish poetry library tonight. nick drake and brian mccabe both read. i preffered mccabe's work. he used a number of voices between pieces that were distinct. one of my favourites was a working class scotsman. he also had a wide range of topics, one of which was mathematics. despite my skepticism, it was very good.

i met a lady there that was at least 45 years my elder. she was extremely friendly and talkative (the wine may have enhanced this); she was very interested in what i thought of poetry and my studies here at uni. we agreed that rhyming couplets are kitschy and that internal, unmetered rhyme is far more interesting. at least someone agrees with me.
how to wear a kilt

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

"If you think that you are easily forgotten. You are mistaken." -- the unpronounceable

Monday, October 14, 2002

my reading is read Ulysses is done although im not sure that im prepared faith clock ticks 11 and 26 perhaps that is exactly what joyce intended

Saturday, October 12, 2002

it's a grey and drizzly day here in edinburgh. a perfect day for tea in a cafe with a friend. and that's exactly what i just did. i love hearing about the path others are taking in life, especially when it's as colourful as alexandra's. should i think it a coincidence that i keep meeting people making such non-monetary inspired decisions?

Thursday, October 10, 2002

i love edinburgh in the morning. all the shops are opening, and people are going to work. these are the real people of the city; they are out before all the tourists come and students awake. it's even better if there are broken clouds that play games with the virgin morning light above the spires and steeples.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

i had my first "lecture" today, as well as the first creative writing workshop. the literary module (i think) i will be taking is "explorations in postmodernism." i have to read ulysses by next week. i'm a little worried about this class since i don't really have any literature background, and am not very well read. it's quite an aggressive reading list, so i just hope to be able to keep up and put together a decent paper by end of term.

the creative writing workshop was much more of what i expected. first the administrative stuff, but then we did a writing exercise. and as it turns out, i'm one of only three that is focusing on poetry (vs fiction this term). that should mean i can get some pretty close attention and feedback from the staff. Jamieson is pretty cool, in fact, i meet with him tomorrow at 9:30 for my first one on one session.

now, back to mr joyce...

Monday, October 07, 2002

i hadn't visited in a while. i recommend her imagelog on visiting shanksville, pa.
woohoo, pictures are up!
i know, nothing really tells you when you get to the end of a city, if nothing new shows up, move on to the next city.
if money is the reason keeping you from what you want to do, you need to change your view of money.
if you are the only thing stopping yourself from what you want, you need to change.

more and more, i love hearing things like this.
it seems natural when walking on a sidewalk to use the same side as you drive on. i was a bit confused when i first arrived, b/c i figured i should walk to the left when approaching ppl on a sidewalk, or, as some would say, footpath. but most ppl seemed to be going to the right. today, i was in true parts of edinburgh, where the the natives live, looking for my wireless connection. i found there that people DID walk on the left. then i realized that a lot of the people near where i live are tourists visiting the castle and royal mile shops, or students that very well may live in countries that drive on the right side of the road.

i walk on the left side of the sidewalk, but for a more practical reason. i want to face oncoming traffic; the buses (yes, the double-decker buses like in London) here come extremely close to the curb, so if i need to step around someone, i want to make sure there isn't a bus barreling down on me.
i spent an hour and a half walking around trying to find the wireless connections posted on i found one, that was too weak to be of any use, and i couldnt seem to get any DNS service. this is disappointing.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

tomorrow i should finally meet my director of studies. the english lit induction is tomorrow. i think we're the last ones to have our inductions, considering the first official day of classes is tuesday. so it goes.

Friday, October 04, 2002

i just had the most fun i've had in a long time. i went to a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), a Scottish folk dance. i knew a few ppl going, but it didnt matter; you pick random partners when you dance, and there is no 'game' to it, you just find a person nearby. many of the dances involve changing partners anyway. its a bit like sqaure dancing, but they explain the steps before the music starts, and then everyone has a go. even tho it was my first time, by the end of each dance, i had picked it up pretty well.

the floor is packed for every dance, in fact, that is my only complaint: they needed a bigger venue. everyone just has good fun, and there is little pretense, and so much energy. many guys were dressed in traditional kilts (some in the full get up, some just in a kilt). i want to get one, i just have to see how expensive they are, and find the appropriate clan pattern.

i cant remember the last time i saw a well over a hundred ppl, many who were strangers, having such a good time. CHEERS!!!
let's see if this works...
for those of you that are planning to stay at my place when you visit, i have some not so great news...guests are only allowed to stay 3 consecutive nights. they seem pretty strict about this, especially during the festival season. if you think you'll be here longer, let me know, there are plenty of work arounds.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

in case youre wondering exactly what i'll be doing, this is about as much as i know until i meet my advisor and start class.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

i just played some football (i.e. soccer) with some of the blokes (i.e. guys) here in my building. it was good fun. and yes, it started raining. afterwards, we went for a pint. but now i have to eat something. i'll let you know when it stops june.
the university's network is extremely restricted. i can't download email via POP, or FTP my pictures to this blog. i'm probably going to have to find a free wireless connection. please standby.
last night i went on the ghost tour here in old town. it was good fun to hear the old ghost stories that are the legends of this neighborhood. at one point, the guide let out this eye popping scream without much warning. as a result, i almost had a 100 lb asian girl run over me backwards. luckily enough, i just caught her before she hurt me or anyone else.

for tomorrow night, i signed up for the literary tour. i figured it would be a good intro to the history of writing from here in edinburgh.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

they play bagpipes outside the church just down the street every day around 6pm. dont know if its common or a result of some sort of events. in any case, it reminds me that i'm in scotland, just in case i forget.
i finished up a lot of the administrative stuff today--finished paying my fees, registered with the doctor/health service, attended the new masters student orientation. i don't meet with my advisor and department until monday, so i have several days to check out town. i'm very much looking forward to taking advantage of this time.

i also went to the catholic student union. they had a free lunch today. seems like a fun bunch, including the priest that was there. they have a building right in george square, which is only about a 10 mins walk from here (and also near where a lot of my classes will mostly likely be). the lunch was ok, some sort of soup and bread. the quality of food in general here seems rather low, so relatively speaking, i guess it wasn't bad.
i spoke to my sister last night on the phone. she topped all my travel stories by telling me that i'm going to be an uncle. yep, my sister is expecting in late may; soon another name to be added to the Williams/Murray/Walker clans.