Monday, January 31, 2011

Feeling All Grown Up

Is there anything out there that makes you feel more grown up than dealing with the bank? Well, perhaps the birth of your child, but I'm not that grown up just yet. Yes sir, the two things in my life that actually make me feel grown up right now is looking for a house to rent next year and dealing with the bank. As you know, I've been looking for almost a month for a place to rent next year that will allow pets so I can raise for GDB UK. Today though, I actually had to go into the bank and sit down and have a meeting. The only problem is, banks make me terribly uncomfortable.

Honestly, I'm not sure why they do, but I hate going in there. I hate talking to the tellers even when they're very nice, I hate dealing with my money (I think we should go back to the barter system), and I hate sitting there listening to them tell me things when all I really want is a simple account. You can keep your fancy schmancey stuff, I just need a place to hold my money. I swear, if there is such a thing as past lives then I must have been someone who lost all their money in the Stock Market crash and ended up going from a mansion to a card board box. I just don't like the feel of banks. But I did it! Yay for Erin! I successfully opened a savings account (yeah, I feel so grown up), and got them to resend my online password which has evidently been lost in the post. Now that that is all dealt with, I feel...well like I need to scrub myself. Again, banks...don't like them all that much.

In other news!!!!

Guess how much Erin spent on school books today. :P Is the answer far more than any student should ever have to? You bet kiddo!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Term

I finished my exams this Thursday. Art History wasn't as easy as I expected it to be, but it wasn't super hard either. I know I passed, but there was one question that I could nothing but BS my way through it. I had never seen the building before and I hate seeing the sketches of buildings on the overhead screen projector. I really can't tell what the building is. But, oh well. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes right?

My new term starts this Monday and I still don't have a timetable. It's getting quite frustrating. I'm trying to take a Psychology course or two this semestre. It should be fun if I ever get my timetable up. They want me to start signing up for tutorials but I can't do that until I get my timetable so I know when NOT to sign up for the tutorials. It's all very annoying, but I suppose it should definitely be up by Sunday right? At least, I hope it's up by Sunday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On a Sombre Note...

My stepmother's mother passed away last night. When my dad married Marion she became a mother and her son and daughter became siblings. As all this is true, it is true that her parents were a part of my family even though I don't know them all that well. I wish I could be with Marion, Marlyn, and Elliot right now and do more for them. As I cannot be there right now, I would like to say that she was a very lovely person and I am truly sorry for their loss (mine too in a way).

All my love is with them.

You will be missed Betty.

The Birthday Continues!

I went to Sweden on the 21st to visit my brother. His girlfriend had been planning a surprise birthday party for him and she knew that I wanted to visit him for his birthday. So, I flew down to visit and was a part in the surprise party and had a lot of fun and all that. The only problem was that I flew home on the the 23rd which, as you all might have noticed, is my birthday. It wasn't a long flight, but it wasn't exactly a birthday either. My brother did buy me a Semla before I left though.

Anyway, my friend Jamie told me that he wanted to give me my present on Tuesday and that we were also going to have a movie night. So, I met up with Jamie Tuesday evening and walked over to his place. He said that I had to follow some simple rules if I was to get my present. He said that he didn't have enough wrapping paper to wrap it so he was going to cover my eyes as it was in plain view on the table in their front room. He led me through to the front room (almost killing me I might add) and then took his hands away. What was the present you ask?


I honestly had no idea, though looking back on it I probably should have. Anyway, I have a great group of friends and I had tons of fun (and ate far too much pizza and cookies). Lisa gave me my very own "Wildly Hairy Haggas"! I've named her Georgia. She's also special because she's one of the only grey Wildly Hairy Haggases out there. :) And my friend Ryan gave me a very pretty locket.

All in all, a very good birthday. :)
Thank you Jamie for arranging it!!!!

Pictures for you.

Contrary to belief, Sandy in not stripping. We told him to, but he started to button his shirt.
My Haggas, Georgia.

This party also goes to show how much fun balloons still are.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday dear Me
Happy Birthday to Me.

Birthday Cake my brother's girlfriend made for me and Greg while I was in Sweden visiting.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First University Exam

Today is my first exam. I'll be honest, I haven't studied for this one as much as for the others. Just about everything is easier to study for than Linguistics. I sat down yesterday with the good intention of studying a little, just to refresh my mind, and I thought, "What the heck am I suppose to study?" So I ended up looking at the last class Power Point just to get my brain in the mood of communication. Since I missed the last class, and my professor never emailed me the practice exam like he said he would, I really don't know what to expect. I'm not all that worried though. My friend sat me down yesterday to help me with writing essays in the style expected in the UK and the first thing he wrote underneath the heading of "Exam Help" was "It is impossible for you to fail first year." When I gave him that quizzical look he said that it wasn't impossible is was just highly unlikely. Actually we did find out that it was impossible for me to fail my English course unless I didn't sit the exam...which I'm not planning on doing. After that I decided to see what I needed in all of my other courses and it is ACTUALLY impossible for me to fail my History of Art and my Gaelic courses as well as long as I write something down on the paper. I couldn't figure it out for Linguistics though because I have no idea what I got on my essay. Sure, I could have gone to the school office to pick up my essay (it was handed back after I was already back in the States), but I really just couldn't be bothered. I didn't want a good essay mark to inflate my head into thinking that I didn't have to study or a bad mark getting me all depressed before the exam. That would have caused me to stress and then to poorly in the exam because of the stress. So, I'm going to go into it with only enough of me caring to write something intelligent on the paper.

Wish me Luck!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blues Dancing

Last night a friend of mine, Reka, who has not yet been mentioned on the blog, said "Erin, come blues dancing." I think what was running through my mind was, "Sure, why not? What can go wrong if I Blues Dance?" So I said I would come and started to make my way to the place where the class is held. I was a little late because I only had a vague idea of where the place was and it was dark so I was walking a little slower than normal so as to not miss a turn.

Anyway, I really had a lot of fun. I danced as a younger person (ballet and tap) and then did a Salsa boot camp over the summer with my mother. I also used to do Swing dancing for a few of the '50s themed plays I was in. I've learned how to do a lot of cool little moves here and there, but it's been a while since I actually danced. I had forgotten that even though you stumble over yourself in the first few minutes it's actually a whole lot of fun. I was told that I was pretty good but I had to stop moving my hips so much. Apparently something stuck through the Salsa class because you use your hips an awful lot in Salsa.

After the class was over there were about 2 hours or so of just social dancing. I was asked a few times to dance, but mostly I just liked watching the more experienced dancers dance. It gave me time to reflect on the nature of dancing.

Now, I will be the first to criticize the "dancing" my generation does. Honestly, I don't think there's much skill involved in bumping and grinding. But as sexual as today's social dancing is, Blues and Swing dancing and Salsa and Ballroom is even more so. When I was watching some of the partners dance last night, it wasn't like watching the "sex-standing-up" style you see at clubs these days, but an intricate series of motions where the two people become one. At one point the two teachers (who also happen to be a couple) started dancing together during the sort of slow paced fast song. I can't really describe the song, but their dancing was amazing. It was hard not to watch only them instead of moving from group to group like normal. You could tell, just by the way they danced with each other and the way the looked at each other while dancing that it was more than dancing to them. It looked like an expression of "I really care about you, so I'm going to literally sweep you off your feet and twirl you around so that everyone knows that you're mine." After that I watched them dance with other partners and there was never that same expression of feeling until they started dancing together again. It was just gorgeous when they danced together.

This all made me think about whether the dance of choice reflects the way the generation comes to think of the body. If this is true, then the dancing my generation prefers reflects an attitude toward love and the body that I personally want no part of. It seems to me that that "dancing" shows a disrespect for the body. While during Swing dancing shows a fun nature, Blues a sensual, Salsa a fun and sensual one, and Ballroom a deep respect for it.

I know it sounds weird, because in Blues Dancing (well, real Blues Dancing. Not the stuff I was doing last night. I'm just too new to it) there is a lot of touching as well. One might say that it looks like a "sex-standing-up" style if it's done right and done between two people who honestly care about each other. But at least it's not the "hit it and quit it" sex you see in modern clubs.

I wish I could get my point across more clear, but this is the best I can do.

Needless to say that it had an effect on me and I had fun, so I'm probably going to continue to go to the beginners class and I'm going to continue to watch people spin around the first floor of the Irish Pub smiling and laughing and all in all having a good time. Reka wants to drag me to Swing dancing now. I don't know if I'll let her, but then again...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Looking for a New Place

I'm starting to look at places to rent next year. I'm hoping by the end of February I'll have a place reading to move into next semester and the roommates to go with it. I'm looking more at houses than flats. Why? Well, obviously it's because I need a place that allows animals if I'm going to raiser for GDB UK next year...which I really want to do. So, that's the main criteria for my place next year. I've already seen a few houses that have backyards and private gardens! I think that's what I've been missing really. If I want to go outside to read I have to find a park, but there isn't one close to where I live now so I've been using the cemetery. Reading in a cemetery does have it's charms but still, it would be nice to have a garden next year where I could walk outside and feel grass beneath my feet. That's going to be my main adventure these next few months.

The whole "studying" thing is going pretty good. I think after I do laundry today I'll head over to the library or maybe the Hub to get some work done. I have this problem of not doing work in my room because there are a lot of other, more fun, things to do. Like blog...

Oh! I don't know if I told you about this, but sometime...oh, I want to say early December, I found this really large, sort of old fashioned rain coat in a thrift store. It was only 4 pounds so of course I bought it. The only problem was that it had built in shoulder pads. The fact that it was a size 22 (I'm a size 8 at the largest) plus the shoulder pads made me look like I had ginormous shoulders! So, what have I finally been able to do with the help of Lisa and her small scissors? I have removed the shoulder pads and am much happier with the coat. Now, it just looks far to large on me (which it is) instead of making me look like I'm hiding a "Hulk" body underneath it. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Study, Study, Study, Study...

I really hate the system of having finals after winter holiday. Everyone goes into the break with the best intentions of studying at least a little every day. This, of course, never happens. I know my plan was to reread most of the English books and do an exercise from the Gaelic workbook everyday just to keep my mind going. That lasted about a day. So, now my days are filled with trying to remember the main point of "Confessions and Memoirs of a Justified Sinner" and the narrative style of "A Study in Scarlet". Not to mention the fact that I'm trying to read the few pages of each book I skipped (yeah, I know, I shouldn't have done that, but some of the chapters didn't seem too important to the book as a whole...especially in "At Swim-Two-Birds"). I'm also translating at least 10 sentences a day while working on vocabulary and the paradigms in Gaelic. Today I have a study session in Art History which will *hopefully* help me remember some of the technical terms used. Darn University...

By the way, yesterday was my brother's birthday and I meant to post about it, but I was more or less busy all day. I did my Wordless Wednesday on my other blog, but forgot to come over here and post. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the bestest Big Brother ever!

This is actually the only recent picture I have of my brother that shows his face. He doesn't like taking pictures so much. Anyway, this is us at my dad and step-mom's big wedding this past summer. Greg is the only male in the group.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Home Sweet Home is a Tiny Bedroom

Who ever thought that I would come to think of my itty, bitty, teensie, weensie flat room as my home? I certainly never thought I would. But, truth be told, when I was landing at the first of winter holiday my thoughts were, "Yay! I'm back in California!" but what I thought when I landed Sunday evening was, "*sigh* I'm home..." It's strange to think about really, but it hit me that California really isn't my home right now. It's where both sets of my parents live and it's where I know I'll always be welcomed back to with open arms but, alas! I do not live there anymore. Maybe one day I will be able to call California my home once again someday, but that won't be within the next few years. For now, it's my hometown that I visit every chance I get.

Enough of that "soul searching" type stuff. I spent yesterday getting re situated. It occurred to me that my room was a little messy so I've decided to clean it today in between studying (that is if these horrible cramps will allow me to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time. Sorry guys, but I am a girl and these things happen to us). The reason I didn't clean it yesterday was because I really couldn't be bothered. I had to get my Internet back up and running at my room which required me to have my password sent to my email and then, seeing as I couldn't get my Internet working here, had to go down to school in the morning and use one of the computers there to get my info. Then there was the fact that I had no food, so I had to shop and by the time I got home at 11am I didn't want to go out anymore. So, I chatted with friends, watched a movie while unpacking and tidying here and there, and studied. My day ended with me ready then, as I couldn't take the cramps any longer, I laid down on my bed in a small ball and amazingly fell asleep. Ah, the first day back...not the most fun, but still.

I've only got one thing I really have to do that requires me to get out of my room today and it probably won't happen till afternoon...if I can stand by then. :)'s good to be home.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I leave home tomorrow morning to head back to Aberdeen. I dropped Rocco off today with his raiser (I've come to terms that I am no longer his raiser but will always be his "Momma") and picked up a few things that I needed. All I have to do now is pack, which is a lot easier than it sounds. I was suppose to be really cleaning my room this break so that the parents could move everything out and make something of my bedroom besides a bedroom. Needless to say that didn't go as planned, but I have been working little by little on it. Hopefully I'll have most of the mess cleared out, but who knows what'll happen? :) I'm actually very ready to get to get back to Aberdeen even if it is freezing out there.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I go back to school on the 8th. This means that I have 6 days to spend here in Fresno left! Well...really 5 and a half seeing as it's already 9am here and I haven't done anything. I would like to say that I haven't wasted my morning, but it's been raining cats and dogs here so I haven't really wanted to go outside yet. But I will. I'm going to go to the store and buy some canned food to donate to the food drive going on in my community. I was going to walk there...and walk to the house where the food is being collected, but the rain has ended that plan.

Anyway, I've decided that I need a list of things to do while I'm still here so that I can make sure to fit everything in before heading back to Scotland.

To Do List:

1. I have to eat at Macaroni Grill before leaving
2. Gotta walk around Woodward Park (as long as it stops raining)
3. I need two new pairs of jeans to replace a few that have holes in them
4. Must eat at Edo Ya for really, really good sushi
5. Pick up some American measuring cups so I can actually bake back in Scotland
6. Clean the rest of my room
7. Drop Rocco back off at his new raisers (even though I would very much love to take him with me to Scotland I figure that GDB wouldn't like that so much...neither would the place where I live)
8. Buy some books here for my English course (I refuse to pay the money they're asking me to pay for a little book. It's ridiculous really.)
9. Make sure I have all the movies I want to watch
10. Make a list of toiletries I can't find in Scotland (or, like saline solution, is almost $30 cheaper here...)