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Archive for September, 2008

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Eric and I recently watched a 55 minute documentary on youtube by a professor at Kansas State University, Prof Michael Wesch, who teaches Digital Ethnography.  It is a video presentation he did at the Library of Congress this year.  Definitely well worth the hour!  We both found it really interesting.  I don’t care so much for the hype around youtube being almost a magical or spiritual experience but the whole idea of Cultural Inversion: individualism and community (etc) was really fascinating…that tension is so undeniable.  In our society we seem to hold tightly to our individualism, are fearful of commitment, accountability, responsibility, reliance upon someone or something…anyone or anything that will require something of us.  No wonder so many people are suffering from loneliness and isolation.  We sure do look for community or something “real” in strange places…and on our own terms.  I have to wonder with many others, however, is it true community when you’re able to log out whenever you like?

How terribly convenient.

So next time you have an hour set aside, I think this is worth your while.  It’s super fun and funny (!), interesting, well done, and relevant.

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Trip to London

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Last I posted, I mentioned the possibility of traveling down to see my friend Kristina who was passing through on her way to Portugal.  Well, I did!  Actually we did!  Eric and I took the bus down for a nice little visit.  We were able to stay at Pat’s flat in the city that night and upon his suggestion, went to Borough Market the next day.  This market was a schmorgasboard of local produce, international cheeses, organic and fair trade treats, smoothies, wine, beer, fresh breads and soo much more.  The location alone was quite incredible being that it was sortof nestled under a bridge and although it felt pretty “open”, there were alley type things that would lead to other sections of goodness.  I mean, this place was packed to the brim with people!  Very fun.  The other main thing we did was walk around the Tower of London area and toured Tower Bridge.

So, I wanted to post the pictures from this little adventure!  Gallery // Slideshow

Here are a few pictures just in case you’re in a hurry :)

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Connection

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Wow! Sorry to those who have been asking for updates and pictures! I’ve decided to write this at home and copy and paste it when I get to a coffee shop… (clever, eh?)

Weird-o connectivity stuff. First, it was difficult to stay connected because Eric and I only had the laptop between us (the desktop computer had not yet arrived) and then, luck would have it that the morning Eric left for Rome, I have not been able to connect from the desktop computer (we actually don’t have the Internet set up yet for ourselves…just been *nicking* it from the neighbour –  ha – and the signal is now too weak for whatever reason). Next on our agenda will be to make sure we get a bank account and then sign up for broadband, which is no simple task. Funny thing is that to get TV here, you pretty much just purchase a TV, a license to use it (yah, different, eh?), plug it in to the wall and wha-lah! You have ‘cable’ TV with lots-o-stations! Broadband/Internet? …expect multiple procedures, hassles and waiting… 2 weeks to a month.

SO, my intentions of updating frequently – maybe especially in the early days of our transition – are shot. Not entirely, I suppose, but it seems so difficult to catch everyone up to speed as each day is filled with new experiences! I will make an attempt nonetheless.

Last week was probably the most difficult for me so far. As I continued to settle in to our new home while Eric was busy with conference preparations, there was less and less for me to do. As I became increasingly restless, Eric was becoming busier and stressed as the conference approached. Needless to say, there were some moments of frustration as we stood at opposite poles :) The good news is that our house is really cute, I surprisingly found moments where I good amount done on my resume, the materials Eric designed turned out great (despite some printing hang-ups), AND he got his paper finished with plenty of time to spend with our first guests, the Moores, arriving during the wee hours of Saturday morning!

“Guests already?!”, you say?

Uhm, yes.

(You know you wanna come too.) haha!

Our “guests”: John and Vicki Moore pastored my home church, the Concord Church of the Nazarene for many years where I met their daughter Alyssa. She and I became very good friends over the years and were roommates in college. Last I saw John and Vicki would have been at me and Eric’s wedding in May of 2006… So when I received an email from Vicki early last week asking if we were serious about having visitors and whether or not they could come as early as next weekend, I was so excited. They have been living in Budapest, Hungary for 3 years or so overseeing a large Nazarene Missions district covering many countries. They travel A LOT and would be in Manchester for a week and wanted to come a bit early… “we want to see you in your new surroundings!”, they said. And that they did. We all slept in until noon on Saturday morning, had a nice breakfast, hung out in pajamas all day catching up on life and listening to their stories and retelling of history as they’ve traveled around the world. We walked through the Arboretum only a block away from our home, wandered around the City Centre, had dinner at a really good Indian restaurant (oh my, the amount and quality of the Indian restaurants here do not disappoint). It was a really good time. Kinda weird/cool to be with people who know you and your family so well but be in such a new context…

Eric left for Rome super early Sunday morning so the Moores and I again slept in, explored the Arboretum, walked down to the Nottingham castle and back through the City Centre while picking up some Afro-Caribbean food for lunch along the way. All the while, it was raining, of course :)

So that week was over…and a long and full one it was! This week has felt much different – it has flown by. My friend Meghan and I had decided that since we are the newbie’s in town and our husbands would be gone for 5 days, we needed to stay busy. And we have! We’ve gone out to lunch, hung out at tea houses and coffee shops checking email, ventured out to find the post office in the pouring rain with wimpy umbrellas, invited Hayley and Hannah over for dessert and drinks one night at Meghan‘s, had tee at my house with Melissa and her baby Basil yesterday…all while our husbands (all of them) are in Rome. Meghan and I laughed and commented, “wow, we’ve had way more interesting lives since our husbands have been gone!” Its been fun getting to know these women – all very cool/fun/interesting in their own unique ways – all (but one) in helping professions, which is interesting… I will admit though, the more I hang out with my new acquaintances/friends, the more I miss my old friends back in California.

Today, I am going to take care of some business; I’m going to sign up for health care! Yep, people sign up for health care. I hear it takes about 15 minutes. I‘m really grateful for it and hope it all goes well.

I’m also thinking about taking the bus down to London (depending on the price). I just got an email from Kristina (she was in our wedding…one of my roommates from college) and she is helping her brother pack up and move back to the States but will be leaving again on Saturday morning! Very short trip but I would really love to see her – she wasn‘t able to make it up for our “shindig” in Santa Rosa over the summer… Makes me a little nervous finding my way in London by myself. We shall see.

I will be sure to add a few photos to this as soon as I can.

I hope you all are well…

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