Friday, September 30, 2005

The Uni

Sorry not to have posted in a few days... I have a story of what I hope the rest of the year will be like.

I arrived at 12 University Gardens, Rm 1 for my History of Enlish Language class, as indicated on my schedule, only to find that I had the wrong room. Luckily, my adviser, Jeremy Smith, was on his way out to teach the lecture and he informed me that it was to be held in a mysterious auditorium known only as "The Gloag." This is the sort of information I like to hear, as, of course, there has never been any sort of information session informing us how to find rooms on campus solely on the basis of arcane naming schemes; neither do any of these names appear on any map of the University (of which there are precious few, may I add!).

I followed Jeremy across the campus, and into one of the buildings that he informed me used to be the private residence of one of the University's original 12 professors. Three right turns, a hallway, and a staircase later, we were faced by a door with a timeworn plaque reading "The Gloag." I only hope I can find it on my own next time...

Here are a couple of pictures I've taken of the University's main building and tower. It was built in the mid-19th century to look old, so don't be deceived.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Slugger O'Toole

This is an interesting blog on politics and life in Northern Ireland. The style is to post something controversial or interesting and let the comments fly. Lots of perspective!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Necropolitan is not an ice cream.

On my first non-sick free day in a week, I celebrated by going with my German friend Torsten to the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. There really was a broad variety of religions represented, and it was interesting to see things mixed by theme in places (I wonder whether St. John and Shiva duke it out at night?). It was also odd to see Christianity
represented so clinically and often incompletely. The exhibits tended to focus on the various paraphernalia used by Catholic and Episcopal churches, and what little doctrine it explained seemed wide of the mark. The museum is, of necessity, a secular institution, but I thought it took much greater pains than necessary to dismiss the validity of faith. Still an
St. Mungo's Cathedral
interesting visit... The museum is one of those buildings in Glasgow that has been built to look old (15th-century style). What a city Glasgow is! They knock down all their old stuff to build new stuff that looks like the old stuff, but trendier...

Torsten left from the museum and I went on to visit St. Mungo's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in Glasgow, that was saved by the labor guilds when the Reformers wanted to tear it down. I continued from there to the Glasgow Necropolis. The Necropolis was set aside in the mid-19th century by the wealthy merchants of Glasgow as an elaborate burial ground, and also an attempt to control the spread of disease that plagued the city during that time. It's built up on a high hill near the center of the old city and there's quite a view from the top. I'm all about old graveyards!!! It's pretty sobering to see a huge hill of gravestones rising out of the middle of a living city.
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

If I wrote a title here, it would be optimistic

But I can't stand optimistic titles, so I won't.

Today marks the first day I've felt at all comfortable here. Things just started out right-- I saw my first 60's Jaguar XKE today! I met several people in my department, and all were friendly, outgoing, and nice to talk to!

I also met my course supervisor, Dr. Jeremy Smith, who, in addition to speaking slightly like Wallace (Of Wallace and Gromit), has a warm personality and an infectious grin.

After the enrolment meetings, I went to the exclusive postgraduate club, which had a terrific small-community coffee-shop gestalt, and good music on the house speakers.

After quickly finding everything I needed at the local supermarket (Heather knows how rare this is, even in the US!) I walked home just in time to catch Heather on AIM before she left for work.

On top of all this, my cold seems to be letting up, my room is finally clean, my bed has fresh sheets on it...




By which I mean that I used ingredients that were not previously cooked and compiled a complete dinner! I fried the sausages, baked the potato, sliced the carrots and the cheese— I even made a pot of tea!

I know it's out of character for me to speak in terms such as these... Extreme situations call for extreme language.

Please bear with me.

Also, English mustard is just the thing for one's sinuses.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Army Fashion

I went into a military surplus store near my flat today. At first it seemed much like most U.S. military stores, until I noticed the total absence of anything dangerous. No Sheffield service knives, no machetes, hatchets... I think they might have sold kitchen matches.

They had those cool British army sweaters-- the kind with reinforced shoulders and elbows. I think I'll buy one, but I have to decide whether I want army or navy (drab or blue). Suggestions?

The British call sweaters "jumpers," but the idea of an Army jumper strikes me as a terrible juxtaposition. The sight of tough British troops advancing
resolutely in pinafores is certainly an intimidating prospect, but I think the reason is other than they intend. Luckily for me, when I buy one, I think I'm allowed to substitute the word "jersey" if I'm too embarrassed.

May I also take this opportunity to recommend Victory Lozenges! Forged for strength! I don't know if they're helping my cold, but they sure taste nice.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Abstruse Bloviations

Nate finally fixed his blog... One of these days I'll put the link back on my sidebar.

There may not be a lot of updating for a few days because I seem to have caught a cold, and I am confining myself to my flat, where the previously-lauded tea flows like ... liquid...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Stirling Castle

Here are some pictures from my trip to Stirling Castle today! I'm not going to try as hard on formatting this time.

An arrow-shooting thing.

Stirling Castle wall and Stirling

The William Wallace Monument

Regarding Fish & Chips

When you go for fish & chips and ask for a single, they give you a single entire fish...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Tested a theory today... The cheapest Scottish tea is better than any American tea I've had.

£1.20 or so for 80 bags!

Plus it came with a free spoon!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Some preliminary incidentals

Glasgow is in Lanarkshire (at least the part of Glasgow I'm in...), and, as far as I can tell, they drink mainly Stella Artois, which is one of my favorites!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with destiny, in the form of Gary's Licenced Grocers.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My musical weekend

This seems to be rapidly (rabidly?)
changing into a PHOTO BLOG.

Check back for comments and photos
from Scotland, where they do things funny.
I'm leaving Saturday...