Sunday, July 30, 2006

Princess bride


Dash it, people, you know I am not so much a fancy romantic wedding person, but today we wandered into the Chicago Cultural Center, formerly the Chicago public library, which is at present home to some positively fantastic modern art, and is also now my absolute and utterly favourite wedding venue in the whole world. It's a library! It's a cultural centre! And it's the nicest building I've seen in the US. I want it.

I'll add, though, that:
a) it's in Chicago, which convenient for exactly none of our friends and family
b) we really can't afford it (though the price is not unreasonable enough to make it out of the question. *sigh*)
c) we already told everyone in what city we'd marry

Hm. Bother. I really do love this place. No fair.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Chicago

Where I am, about to go exploring.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Later, later

So here I am again wrestling Access, and I have long post to write about Baltimore, but it'll have to wait a little longer. Access is not a friendly programme, but I am winning it over slowly. Volunteering is going well I feel - I feel genuinely useful, and even if I am currently spending a lot of time cataloguing books, I get to learn about Access, and psychology too. Moreover the people are really quite nice; friendly, informal, interesting and genuine. The whole thing just really helps to give a bit of structure and purpose to my otherwise chaotic days & ways. It makes me feel that no, I am not dependent on the Husband (which is good, since he is out of town quite a bit) and that yes, I can get around without a car. After the initial shock of taking U.S. buses, which are so vastly different from Belgian buses, I feel quite comfortable. Moreover I am generally finding my bearings here, finding out what is where.

Well, huzzah for Baltimore.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Btw

I just noticed that I have quite a few more readers than I thought I had. This is odd, as I for the life of me can't see what the interest is, but not as odd as the fact that no one ever comments. *pout*. Anyway, back to the joys of Access.

First proper day

Very quick post from my first full(ish) day volunteering. Today I have been mostly...filing files, and tried to understand Access so I can help them start a library. Huzzah.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Radio star


So here we are, just moved into a new flat. As one might expect, the cable has not yet been hooked up, which means that I can't watch tv while unpacking the flat. Generally, this is a good thing - too much tv depresses me, especially American tv. It just feels bland and non-descript to me, because I don't know the programming and therefore end up watching endless re-runs of The Simpsons and Star Trek TNG. Not that I object to either, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Moreover, I miss the programme announcers that you have in European tv.

Anyway.

I am not watching tv. Instead, I have discovered NPR. NPR, ie National Public Radio, is in many ways the US's BBC equivalent, and so it is perhaps unsurprising that I should have taken a liking to it. Astute political reporting, pertinent debates, local cultural events, yes, the truth is that even BBC radio never got my attention for this long. The irony of NPR's position in the, er, BBC paradigm is that this type of public radio ill fits American media culture as it stands.

I just meander around listening with one ear, picking up all sorts of information. Apart from the cultural and political educational value I just enjoy the conversation in the background. Conversation that doesn't require visual support or my constant attention, that doesn't have a storyline, that isn't aggressive or dramatic. It feels less like indoctrination and more like sitting in a quiet cafe, less like noise and more like company.

The conclusion: lots of tv makes me unhappy, indecisive and lonely. Lots of NPR makes me calm, productive and well-informed. Thank you, LBJ, for this thing of beauty.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Other things

Domesticity is all very well, but after a while one does like to get back to using one's brain as well. Friday should be my very first time volunteering, and I am quite excited about it. It'll be a good chance to meet some new people and do something a little different from all the recent practical stuff. Mind you, not that I can complain about the social contacts, so far I/we have managed to see quite a few people that are not us. Not bad for our newlywed selves really. Time to go yet again. More later.

More

Well, our movers never did show up and we ended up moving with the Husband's friends and a U-Haul truck, but here we are, all moved and at least half unpacked. The new flat hasn't majorly let us down yet, and sometime soon we will forget why we ever got so stressed out about this move at all.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Huzzah, and also boo-hoo

We have the keys to our new flat! which is very exciting.

However, the packing is still not done, and it is now 10.30 on the day before. *sigh* In spite of having donated/thrown out/stored for garage sale boxes of stuff, there is still a massive number of boxes. And did I mention that the new flat is smaller, and that we have already moved some of our things?

Meh. Dana, thanks for the encouragement. I'm sad to say it, but things are not going to get any better till you're in the new house; but good luck with the move, I wish I were there to help.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

International banking

What more can I say?

Box

Cardboard, mostly, about 30. A few plastic bags too. A fair amount of stress. Some very hippie beads. Yes, we are moving on Friday and Saturday, and frankly I can't wait to get it over with, and to start unpacking. We'll have movers to help on Saturday, and I am quite grateful for that, since the Husband has a lot of stuff, and I am still not quite on form for carrying things. Things are looking good though, the end of this particular set of stressors in sight. Also, it's good to have the Husband in town for a bit.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pre-packaged

Hm, my blogging is suffering a little isn't it? Well I am still packing and we move soon, and the Husband is leaving on Business tomorrow, so we have been making the most of our time.

I have been enjoying American culture, meanwhile, in the form of drive-in theatres, hamburgers, and grocery stories. The other day I was vaguely in pursuit of jumbo shrimp, and yes, they had them, peeled and seasoned and all ready to go. They also had them, frozen, and in gigantic bags, which is very practical if you have a big family. Only you see I haven't, and I like peeling my own shrimp.

However.

All this housewife stuff is weird, although in truth I haven't had much time for such things, since we have spent most of our time on packing and admin. These next few days will be the first days of my being alone in Baltimore. It'll be odd.

No worries, I won't just sit around packing and cleaning. There are Fun Things to be done, although I am not sure how and when exactly. Oh, and I am watching Casablanca, which makes everything better.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Learning new things

So I have been away for a bit - not literally but blogwise. Things (admin, immigration, moving)are very busy, but progressing fairly well. Meanwhile, I have been, in between things, updating our site, at least the English version. It's fun, and useful too; anyway, so there are updates and photos and all that. Yay. Plus I am learning how to work on websites. New skills are good.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Nature

I am excited. My skin - well some of it - is growing back. This is great. Moreover I have stopped my evil painkillers and my nauseating nausea is better now. Small victories, insurance and the miracle of nature. Not too bad.