049.November 13

Nottingham, UK

I saw a bicycle advertised in the newspaper classifieds. I called the person up, and was told I could pick it up at the person's house, it was her husband's bike. I took the bus there, which was out in the far reaches of the bus route. I did not really want to get back on the bus, or try to track it down and wait for it, but I would have done anything not to walk home. I bought the bike without getting a really good look at it. It was fifteen pounds. Admittedly it is very dangerous and in bad condition, but it will be OK for getting me around the monstrous campus, which takes almost twenty minutes to cross completely on foot. I will also have a way home when the buses shut down late at night. I rode to the computer lab tonight in the heavy rain, and I am soaked. I am lucky to have a thick (but not waterproof) jacket, so it won't truly soak to my underclothes until I go home. The seat of my pants is very wet though. I have a cold now, and I am sure this won't do me any good, but I wanted to get it on campus (and out of the flat).

(To Sam): I am sorry that you don't see the Luther campus booming with role models. I know that I would have a hard time last year if Steve, Mike Dietz, and Faust would not have accepted me. As it turns out, I think they gave me a very good attitude about school. I have to say that working at the theatre helped me, but I still felt out of place. It is strange that I feel so comfortable here right away. Choir at Luther was also a good experience e, probably because I didn't take it very seriously. My first role-model at Luther was Mike Dietz, not because I truly idolized him, but because he let me talk to him about myself, instead of making jokes about everything. Putting poetry into The Voice built up some of my confidence at Luther because it gave me a credit rating with the guys on my floor who then knew that I was a writer and an English major, and began to ask me to help them with papers and with writing. Living with and knowing the seniors on campus as my friends was what made me comfortable with myself. That sounds stupid, but I did not feel like I was on a lower level than them, and therefore I was a true member of the Luther community. I found, when I went back to visit Luther right before I flew to England, that many of the same people were going to be there together, without me, and I still felt that I was a part, but just a distant part. Like an atom, I'm an electron circling around the nucleus of the Luther community. I feel a strong attraction towards Luther, but I'm spinning so fast that I am always physically forced away. I'll enjoy slowing down next year and finally merging again into the nucleus.

I can't decide if I should stay here at the lab until 21:00, and then go meet some friends from Spain in the Buttery or if I should catch the bus home and dry off, do some laundry and read some books. Oh, first I should go to the library and get a collection of poetry by e. e. cummings so I can write a paper on his use of Rhetorical forms. It will be a very probing paper, because he doesn't use very obvious rhetoric, as far as I know.


Glasgow, Scotland

This is the 10:30 Virgin Train to Glasgow Central. It is a no-smoking train, the whole train! Very strange to see in England. Big changes happening.

The train ride was beautiful to Glasgow. I arrived a bit late at Glasgow Central Station, despite the insane speed the train adopted upon crossing the border into Scotland. It seemed to double, nothing better than a lawless land.

Brigid met me faultlessly at the train station. Things like that are often a lot easier than my brother John makes them out to be.

Immediately, after walking from the train to the tube, we Rushed by the Inner Circle to West Glasgow, where the University is located. She lives at the top of a hill, but after ascending we simply passed it, and headed through Kelvin park to the YHA hostel where I booked a room for two nights, dropped off my luggage. We headed back to her flat, a very narrow room with 12 foot ceilings which she shares with Catherine from Duke College in the USA. Or is it Drake? Then out for a drink and dinner.

We stopped first at Tennents, where I sampled an Orkney's porter or almost a stout. It was lovely, dark, slightly sweet, not rich, but flavorful. We ate dinner at Curlers, a very hip bar with a nightclub upstairs. They served burgers and beer, mostly or entirely to students. I ate a beef burger with cheese and a beer: they came together as a deal. We bumped into some of her friends and planned a night out later, at the same bar. The strange part was that all of her friends were Americans. She says she dreams of making Scottish friends, but it is proving very difficult.

Brigid and I walked downtown, back to the train station I'd arrived at earlier, getting a good tour of the university to the city center. We stopped for a drink at Molly Malones, and Irish Pub in town. It was very lovely, and I drank a Caffrey's after it sat for 5 minutes to settle. Brigid had another cider, which is her drink of choice, as it is with most women on this island, although it is quite strong. By the way, she just turned 20 years old on the weekend. Only 10 years younger than me, but it still seems strange to be here with her.

The back to her place, she changed, or rather took off things under her sweater. I should have lost a few garments as well, considering we were on our way to a club after. We waited for some friends of hers to get dressed, and we walked with one of her friends to Curlers Bar. She was very nice, though this is not very descriptive.

Brigid and I kept to ourselves for the most part, talking about theatre and careers, gossip from Wisconsin and such, while her friends, dressed very smartly or at least sexy, flaunted their bodies on another table. It was nearly 11pm, that bar closed, and we went to the upstairs club, and nearly danced. Very few people seemed to actually be dancing. We stayed for perhaps an hour, then I walked her home and she gave me directions to my hostel. I had to walk another route, skirting the pitch black Kelvin Park so as not to be raped. I followed a road in its entirety, winding around the peak of the hill, but on the second time around I tried another offshoot and found the hostel. Someone, after I used the internet and the phone, happened to be sleeping in my bed.

I talked to the night manager, who gave me another room and keycard and I slept quite soundly with the one other roommate on the 3rd floor. He didn't seem to anger at the light I switched on, but then I found my headlamp and craftily got ready for bed.


Caledonia, MN

Rachel and I met Lee for breakfast at the Redwood, then headed off to his new home to install our dryer into his house. Then we went to his old house for the washer, where Rachel injured her back, and spent the rest of the day working on lighter jobs, while Jake and I loaded all the furniture into my 57 Chevy and then into the new duplex. Jake and I went to Decorah to pick up my new red washer and dryer, and a tv for Lee, and then back to our place where we met Rachel and installed it. The washer was ready, but I needed more parts for the dryer.


Jill came for breakfast, as I had made steak and eggs. We discussed options for the kitchen and the pantry. She offered to loan me her island to try one out. I spent the rest of the day at the school, building a rolling 3 foot high platform with stairs that would match up with the 10 foot by 16 foot rolling wall I'd constructed yesterday. I made it just in time to Steve's house for "Walking Dead", and then to bed.