Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wedding Day

The night before the wedding, Rob sequestered himself to his own room to finish writing his speech and I found myself sitting around sipping fine Scotch with three Brits discussing mountaineering and walking the foot hills in Britain. I felt proper British that night. By the end of the conversation I felt I should've been saying phrases like Poppycock and Govnor.

The wedding went really well. It took place at an old Victorian Schoolhouse that's been converted into a hotel.

The rooms were like palaces. The Windows were 25 feet high and had giant red curtains covering them. The rooms had two floors to them, with the bathroom containing a giant bathtub, shower, and toilet upstairs on the balcony.

I was able to get around fairly well for wearing dress shows the entire time. Sallie and I weren't given the clearest of directions and almost walked past the wedding.

The register that did the ceremony had a fantastic script to read from. I don't know if it was his proper British accent, but it felt really intimate, was beautiful, and the right amount of sentimental.

This took place on the roof of the building. The moment that Lacy started saying her vows, the wind kicked up and the Christmas tree outside the doors came crashing down and all the doors busted wide open. Seemed to be the most perfect way for Lacy to form this union.

Lacy, Rob, Rob's father David, and Rob's brother/best man Richard all gave some fantastic speeches. Some of the best I've heard in a wedding. This also opened up the floor for me to re-tell Cory's epic speech from my wedding to the Brits which is always a great ice breaker.

Today my voice is just about gone. The Brits were in love with my sexy American accent and I often found myself surrounded by them, wanting to discuss politics and World War II. For a solid 5 hour period I was engaged in heavy conversation where most of us agreed, Bush and Tony Blair were sort of diabolical idiots, Churchhill and FDR were probably the greatest politicians in the past century, and depending on who's telling the story, both the Brits and Americans got their asses saved by the other country in various wars.

The night ended for most by 2 am, although there were rumblings of people partying later and someone over heard "butt naked" and "hot tub" this morning.

We're sitting the flat right now. Most people trying to recover. There are no less than 4 sleeping, snoring giants as I look around the room. The only survivors are me, Helen, Chris (Helen's BF), and I think Rob and Lacy might be in a back room counting their loot from last night.

I've had a fantastic time and want to come back and see more of England and possibly hit up Ireland, Scotland, and France. I'm ready to be back in the states and am mentally preparing for waking up at 1 am US time, fly for 9 hours, have a 4 hour lay over in Chicago, fly for another hour, and then take the Metrolink and car ride for the last 40 minutes. Our strategy is to chug Red Bull, try to keep busy by cleaning and preparing for Christmas decorations, and try to stay awake until at least 9 pm tomorrow night.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Out

I wasn't sure how much time we were going to have to get out in Manchester since we are helping plan a wedding all week, but yesterday we were able to get out.

Around 1 pm, Rob, Pershing, Rob's father, and I went to the Imprerial War Museum where we basically got to see every killing machine man has come up with in the past 100 years. It was sobering, disturbing, and interesting. I went with intentions of taking pictures, but after the first two, the museum just sort of had that feeling of sober respect where you don't make a lot of noise and you just sort of stare and wonder how man is capable of such violent engineering marvels.

We then went out for Indian food because Sallie has always sworn that its very good but everytime we've tried to go out for good Indian food in America, it turns out to be a buffet and just alright at best.

Britain has a large Indian population, so I've been told the food here is fairly authentic and delicious and that seems to be a fair assesment. I couldn't stop eating.

It was then time for us to go to a real British pub to have some British beers. This was the part of the trip I was most excited for.

We show up to a place that merely says "Pub" on the window. It's brick and besides some renovations to the actual bar area, the building looks at least 100 years old. A train would roll over us every now and than and drown out our voices. I swear it felt like a scene in a movie.

We of course had the movie scene, pre-wedding, "Are you nervous?" talk as we sipped down a few pints and finished our time in the pub with a very smooth Scotch.

It was then a race for time. We had to get to a grocery store that was still selling beer so that our night could continue. We passed various drunken Brits running the gammit of every stereotype I've seen. There was the Sex Pistol's looking punk, the white trash Brit with the thick cockney accent, and the overly drunk Brit screaming things like, "Oi, I'm right pissed."

It was a good night.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What the hell day is it?

We've made it. We're in Britain.

The plane was much smaller than we all expected, so I couldnt stretch out as much as I had hoped. The airplane food wasn't the worst, we did have kids all around us, but they were only weepy for the first and last hour, and I didn't sleep for more than 2 hours, but it was fairly smooth.

There are things that are obvious much different and messing me up. For instance, if you noticed above, I didn't have an apostrophe in "couldn't." That's because I couldn't find the damn apostrophe on this keyboard. Enter, pound, dollar, quotes, all of these symbols are in completely different places and its messing me up, but I digress.

The time change really messed me up, specially when I wake up. There's a brief moment of panic when your body thinks it 3 am, the clock is telling you 9 am, and you're on the floor in a strange apartment. I was trying to find out how the Blues did on Saturday night, but I couldn't figure out if I should ask them to check the score from yesterday or tomorrow.

Riding as a passenger on the left side of the car, winding through narrow roads, and making crazy right turns made the trip from the airport feel like a videogame. It felt like we were going much faster. Doesn't help that I couldn't do the quick math from KM to Miles. So I actually didn't know how fast we were going. I saw 50 KM, and even though I know its not a straight conversion, my brain thinks we're doing 50mph on these suburban roads.

We did a little walking yesterday, if for no other reason than for me and Sallie to stay awake. We wanted to stay awake until at least 8pm local time to sort of get over jet lag immediately. There were definitely some castle looking buildings and English row houses like you see on television, but it seems this modern architecture is dominating new buildings where you sort of stack floors like uneven blocks, so it appears that there's nothing supporting the floor above because it looks like its hanging off.

We haven't done anything touristy yet, but I do have a pocket full on Monopoly money and we'll be going to the War Museum shortly.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One of those days where life gets away from you...

It's really been most the week. Things that are completely out our control that keep screwing us.

There was the whole debacle with the sewer district, who wanted us to pay phantom bills we haven't been receiving for 16 months.

Then, physical therapy this week was all messed up because my normal therapist was gone and they had some company meeting on Thursday. So I missed my appointment this morning cause I didn't think I had it until later this week.

Then, we were missing some bills that we never saw. These were for new accounts, so it was one of those things where we thought, maybe they just haven't gotten here yet. Turns out, they never got to us in the first place.

So it was one of those days where I just wanted to take my life back.

I had a few missions:

1. Hard drive errors on my home PC, fix that.
2. The wire mess under my computer desk.
3. Checks that we ordered and never opened 2 months ago disappeared.
4. Our downstairs closet is a complete mess and I haven't been able to step into it in 3 months.

So I tore it apart today.

I took my computer apart, cleaned everything with compressed air and a microfiber cloth. Reconnected all the wires inside all snug like. While I was doing that, I cleaned up the wires under the desk. Booted up, so far, no hard drive errors, and its clean.

On my lunch break, I thought maybe the checks could be hidden in our messy closet. So I went down there, put everything in a nice place, hung all my jackets, and set all of the shoes in nice piles. Didn't find the checks though.

So I was sitting in the office, just thinking about where these stupid checks could be. That was the only mission that was going to make me feel good about today. I turn in the chair and notice a giant tote bag with a ton of envelopes and papers in it. I never noticed this before, so I grab the bag, and low and behold stuffed into the side of it was the checks.

And that is how you take you life back...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

10 Week Update

Went to the doctor this morning. Says I look pretty well healed. Was impressed with how much I could bend my leg.

Million dollar question: Can I walk yet?

Sort of. I have to keep my brace on and locked straight when I'm doing it.

So not only is it super awkward to try and walk after 10 weeks of not walking, but I'm doing it like a freaking 16th century pirate with a peg leg.

So my goal is to practice walking as much as possible over the next two weeks before I go to England because I would really love not to bring crutches with me over seas.

In 4 weeks, I can unlock the brace and start walking with bending my leg. Then when I see the doctor again on December 15th, hopefully he will tell me to ditch the brace and embrace being human again.