Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Hitting (T-Minus 1 Hour)

I am all packed. I leave for the airport in about an hour and a bit. Basically just sitting here on a lovely Colorado afternoon (no early snow, THANK YOU JEEBUS) killing time and freaking out. Yeah, I think it might finally be REALLY actually sinking in, not just the thought of it, and yeah. Wow. Jeeminy... I don't know if I'll be able to find a wi-fi connection at the airport, and since I lost my phone somehow this summer, this will be my last post on this side of the pond. (Sometime in the not-so-distant future, I will be on a plane over said pond, and I wish I'd remembered to select my seat in an empty row so I'd have a chance to lie down. Bah).

In any case, checking out from my last six hours on American soil for the next year. Yeah, so that's why I'm weirding out.

See you in Oxford.

T-Minus 1 Day

What I did today: Slept a little late, spent too much time reading about the friggin' bailout deal and worrying about the Presidential election (In case there was any confusion, I am a passionate Democrat, and McInsane and Failin' Palin can kiss my ass, especially with all their little gimmicky stunts trying to make me vote for them since a vagina is now present on the ticket. GO OBAMA! I was originally registered to vote in New York, where I go to school, but changed my registration back to Colorado, where I live, to help turn the Square State blue. That would be a source of great pride, and New York is going to go blue by double digits anyway). I also packaged up my printer, speakers, and sundry clothing, and took it to the post office, spent much too much money to send it on its merry way across the pond ($109.10. Ouch) went to Radio Shack for the third time in three days to re-exchange an adapter I had already exchanged, put the rest of my American money in the bank, then got home and started packing. And packing. At last count, I have somehow managed to fit everything I need for a year into two sizeable suitcases and a backpack, with my laptop case still to come. I am rather surprised that I managed to accomplish this, and judged from the informal first test I gave them, my suitcases are not even overweight. I shall have to weigh them formally to make sure.

Now what's left? Mainly a lot of sitting-on-hands time and (still) attempting to imagine what it's going to be like. Not much time left until I find out, and my next post will either be right before I pack up the computer to take off for the airport, or whenever I actually get all the way to my Oxford flat, which is going to be an undertaking. But I am up for it. And ready to go. In case you couldn't tell. There will also be one last football game tonight (Ravens vs. Steelers, Monday Night Football, I would prefer not to talk about what those silly Broncos did) before I officially become a rugby aficionado.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

T-Minus 4 Days

What I did today: Woke up in the middle of the night having a freakout moment that the next weekday is the day before I leave, I am GOING TO ENGLAND FOR A YEAR HOLY SHIT, picked up my starting supply of £250 from the bank, despaired again at how the exchange rate conspires to screw me out of my money, deposited my second-to-last paycheck, went shopping for toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, batteries, etc. etc. yes I know how fascinating), said goodbye to my friends, bought a converter plug that will actually fit my power strip, thereby ensuring I will be able to use electricity in England (always a good thing) called my bank to let them know I will be using my credit card overseas for a year so they do not think I am stealing my own identity (and shockingly, got a native English speaker on tech support instead of some poor fuck in India) ordered printer toner and lucked out on the speed-shipping rate so hopefully it will arrive before Tuesday, and realized I somehow still have 96 hours to go and there is nothing I can do that will make it go faster, except perhaps sleep a lot.


I am now fine.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Anvil-To-The-Head Moment

Scene: It's 11:45 pm at night. I am up in the living room, talking to a few friends on Instant Messenger, listening to one of the new albums off iTunes I am somehow unable to stop buying (I blame that little button, it's much too easy to click it. You should have a whole sequence of "Are you sure?" windows, like a spam bomb). I am bitching about how I don't want to go back to work (two more days, both 5:30 am shifts. They sure do want to send me out with style, those coffee fascists. Long story). And then it hits me, as if it hasn't already, that I am leaving the country for a year in just 11 days. 11 stinking days. All I need to do is get some dollars exchanged for pounds, figure out for sure what to do about my printer and get some more toner, and also figure out how to get everything that will be required for a year in England into two large suitcases, one middling-sized backpack, and one heinously heavy laptop case. Well, to be honest, the heinously heavy part comes when I have to load all my electronics into it and then port it all the way around the damn airport, find places for it beneath airline seats, and then port it all the way out of the other damn airport. That gives you a wicked pissah shoulder cramp, let me tell you.

Anyway. This is what I prefer to call my anvil-to-the-head moment, in which it strikes the previously happily oblivious college student (myself) that this is, ya know, KINDA A BIG DEAL. I am in that uncomfortable space where the trip is imminent and I am thinking about it all the time (as if I wasn't already) but I still have a week and a half to go at home. So I am distracting myself by buying music, watching football (Broncos currently in process of raping league, helped out by Ed Hochuli, am hoping it will continue, am under no delusions that it will if D-line and special teams continue to perform splendid impersonations of cattle excrement) and complaining about work. In short, it's kind of hitting me now, and unfortunately has too much time to continue to sink in. I AM LEAVING THE COUNTRY, PEOPLE! FOR A YEAR! AND AM EXPECTED TO LIVE THERE! AND NOT RUN OUT OF MONEY!

Hoof. Hoof.

Okay, better now.