Tuesday, February 28, 1989

Waiting for the Call ...

I received two letters in the mail today... one from Viv and another one from Greg. Both were a welcome way to start off a Tuesday. (Pictured is the letter Greg sent. Click on it for a larger view.)

I went to all three of my classes today, although J.P., Buffy and I left Literature in Context, which was on feminism, a little early since it was quite boring.

I went in to the library for awhile before returning for dinner. After dinner a few of us watched an old Abbott and Costello movie, "Jack and the Beanstalk," a rather funny low-budget comedy.

I waited for Viv to call from Spain, wanting to hear how her trip went. But she may have had problems getting through, because no one came to get me or left me a note to say that she had called.

So I went back to St. Hilda's, played some cards with Kenny, watched "Moonlighting", then returned to my room to read and wait in case Viv tried to call again. She didn't, and I fell asleep before midnight. I hope she's doing OK.


Monday, February 27, 1989

No 'amsters in the Room, Luv ...

Well, after breakfast things didn't start off too hot for me, as Gloria the maid discovered Shannon the Hamster in my room and informed me that I couldn't keep her. Which, of course means that I need to find a good hiding space for her in the closet, out of Gloria's sight. So after I vacuumed my room, I cleared a space for her in my closet.

I went to the library and began to work, like about 50 other students, on my essay. All went well for me, and although I ended up missing class to put the finishing touches on my essay, I managed to complete an essay that I was happy with, in plenty of time.

I spent most of the rest of the evening around Kenny's room, where we played cards, including the longest game of Blackjack ever (one game lasted 30 minutes!) This is, of course, British Blackjack and not the "21" variety.

We also just relaxed and for about 2 hours read Trivial Pursuit questions to each other. It sounds boring, but it was actually rather fun. We also listened to AC/DC's "Back in Black" three times in a row. Kenny was heading over to hit play for the fourth time when I intercepted him and put in one of the other four CDs he owns, Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells." - an excellent album.

Later I returned to my room, and when I checked on Shannon in her new hiding space... she was absolutely petrified from spending all that time in a dark area. I let her out for awhile and decided that I would keep here in there only when it was absolutely necessary. It calmed her down when I got her out, but I had to change her cage because she had ripped it all up in her panicked state. Went to bed at 12.30 a.m. listening to George Winston.

Pictured: This is an interesting ad that I spotted in a British newspaper, exact date not remembered. However, 1988-89 this was right around the time that Marillion was looking for a new lead vocalist. Could I have possibly missed my opportunity to replace Fish in the legendary prog rock band?


Sunday, February 26, 1989

Fight in the TV Room ...

I woke up today at 10 to 12 (still technically "morning,") just in time for lunch. Waddled into the place where they serve us food, and ate the typical Sunday roast beef. Watched the typical episode of "Lost in Space," then walked with J.P. to the video store to return the movies we watched yesterday and get out "Raising Arizona" and "Return of the Living Dead." I also bought a newspaper.

We returned just in time to catch the fifth round of the Mike Tyson-Frank Bruno fight, where Tyson absolutely hammered Bruno into submission. The fight was recorded earlier, and I already knew that Tyson won, but I kept that info to myself, lest I'd be hammered myself by the crowd watching the fight in the St. Hilda's TV room. I think I was the only one in the room who was rooting for Tyson. USA! USA!

After dinner, I called Viv to bid her farewell (she leaves for Spain tomorrow.) After that I called home, but we decided to take the call later.

So I went downstairs and we watched "Raising Arizona" (my ninth viewing) and "Return of the Living Dead" (second viewing). It was a nother good and inexpensive evening, and after I talked to my parents and updated them on my situation, (and bid them farewell, for they leave on a ski vacation to Colorado tomorrow) and wish my good tidings, I finally began to work on my Geography essay, which was on the effects of tourism on American National Parks.

I felt pretty good with how my paper turned out, and with four cups of coffee pumped into my system, I managed to crank out over 1,000 words (good words, too!) before proclaiming myself tired at around 2 a.m. I'll finish it up tomorrow.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Belfast Child" - Simple Minds
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Lost in Your Eyes" - Debbie Gibson


Saturday, February 25, 1989

Triple Feature ...

I spent most of the morning dizzy, recovering from last night's fiesta. It was a slow day highlighted by me not doing any work whatsoever on my Geography essay, like I should've. Most of us who had to do it sat around today talking a lot about needing to do it. Does that count?

We ended up "hiring" three movies (Lee doesn't like it when us Americans say "renting" a video): The impeccably horrible "The Invisible Kid," the hilariously brilliant "Real Genius" and the gory "Re-Animator." We then slumbered in Kenny and Lee's room for the better part of five hours watching these films straight through.

It was a satisfying and cheap evening, which featured a good deal of pointless conversation as well. I finally came out on top in a game of poker tonight, winning a whopping 25p... just enough to enable me to now buy a copy of the Sunday Times tomorrow.

It's great how some things work out.


Friday, February 24, 1989

Talent? ...

I had a pretty good day today. First, I went to my early Social/Political Structures class, which was rather dry (about multi-national corporations), then relaxed around the halls. Early in the evening I called Viv at home, and she said she was feeling much better, so we were able to talk for awhile.

Afterward, and following further dilly-dallying around St. Hilda's, the lot of us went to the Student Union. It was the first time in a few months that I had actually been there. We were originally going to head to the Architecture Union, but a last minute change of heart convinced us to do otherwise (we didn't think we'd be able to swing cheap drinks.) Had a really good time at the Union. I had a bit to drink (went for the cheaper Newcastle Brown Ale - Newkie Brown - to save some money. Darn good for so-called "cheap beer"!), talked to some of my friends and to some people that I didn't know.

They were hosting a Talent Show at the Student Union that evening (though from what I saw, I don't think they found any), and I watched in amazement as the girls were blithely going into the guys bathroom all evening (due to overcrowding in the ladies' loo, naturally). I wasn't really in the mood to care.

I worked with J.P. to try to slap together an act for the Talent Show, and take the stage to perform Yokel's "I Don't Like Ugly People." Unfortunately, it didn't work out. Perhaps if we would've had a bit more time to prepare...

After awhile I lost J.P., but rediscovered some people I hadn't seen in a long while. I walked back to the Student Union with Cat (from Juniata, see September 29, 1988) and Helen (see October 4, 1988; also pictured above, right, with her friend Vicki), two people I hadn't really associated with in a few months. It made me start to wonder about some of those people I met and hung around with, and then disappeared, back in October. (German Karin?)

Anyway, I came back to my room well past midnight, let Shannon the Hamster run around before crashing shortly thereafter in bed.


Thursday, February 23, 1989

More Snappers! ...

I woke up early for breakfast today, but after eating I returned to my room and fell asleep until about 11 a.m.

My parents package that included my Sam Kinison/Steven Wright tape came today, along with £60 in travelers checks... all going toward my upcoming journey to Spain. I hope I won't have any trouble cashing them in!

After I took a shower I started listening to the tape... when a knock came at the door. It was a lady who brought me a package with more copies of The Snapper! Yaaaay!

Sam stopped by for a visit while I was opening it up, but unfortunately, my attention was focused on my new collection of Millersville University student newspapers. Later, before heading to class, J.P. and I listened to the tape, then went to class, where we discussed D.H. Lawrence's "The Rainbow." When we returned after class we continued to listen to the rest of the tape, with breaks for dinner and the news.

Later that evening I watched "Mona Lisa," a bizarre movie starring Bob Hoskins. It was interesting partly because it was filmed in London and Brighton, and I had been to several of the places featured in the film.

Came back to the room, let Shannon the Hamster roam for a bit, then read for awhile before going to bed.


Wednesday, February 22, 1989

What's the Rushdie? ...

It was an early rise for breakfast again, and after Geography class and a reading period, J.P., Neil, Paul and I went into town, where I bought a hardback copy of Salman Rushdie's mega-controversial "The Satanic Verses" to see what all the fuss is about. I also mailed Scott his tape. Afterward the group of us went to see "The Naked Gun" (my second viewing.) (Pictured is one of the "Naked Gun" brochures handed out at the movie theatre.)

We returned in time for diner, and afterward I traversed between my room and St. Hilda's. Viv called me this evening, and told me that she was quite ill. We spent time discussing our plans to have her come to America to visit with me this summer. Hopefully we can make that work. It has been quite an adjustment not having her around here, but I'm looking forward to seeing her soon in Spain.

After we hung up, I went into the TV room to watch "Carrie." I missed the best bit, however, but for a great reason - Greg Swartz called me. We talked for awhile about home, here, and future plans, and it was ver nice to hear from him again.

Came back to the film and watched the end, with people filling me in on what had happened while I was gone. Today I also wrote an article for The Snapper about Salman Rushdie and that whole affair. (Pictured is the first draft I wrote of that article. Click on it for a larger view.)

Finally went to bed at about 2 a.m.


Tuesday, February 21, 1989

Well, I Played a Little Poker ...

Today my Literature in Context class was canceled, but I did have Geography and Social-Political Structures classes today. I spent a little time in the library as well.

Played some more poker today, and I only lost about 80p.

I took the tape I'm making for my parents over to J.P.'s room and I got a lot of people to get involved with it. That was fun. Then we went over to the TV room to watch "Moonlighting" before I returned to my room and fell asleep around midnight.


Monday, February 20, 1989

Emotionally Draining Day at The Grange ...

Today I helped Viv pack her things, then we waited for her parents to arrive and take her home, where she will stay until flying down to Madrid to continue her studies. We exchanged our goodbyes when they arrived, and by 2 p.m. they were off to Skegness.

I went to my Poetry and Drama class thereafter, but as you might expect, I wasn't really into it today.

After dinner I hung out around St. Hilda's, where I played cards with Kenny, Lee, and Little John. It wasn't long before I found myself out £1.50.

I watched some TV for awhile, and later on Viv called me from home to tell me that everything was OK with her. Came back to the TV room and watched "Kiss of the Spider Woman" starring William Hurt, which was an excellent film.

Afterwards, Sam (pictured) invited me over for a cup of coffee and we talked for awhile... which was great. We always seem to have interesting and topical conversations. I really needed that distraction today.

Eventually, I made my way down the hall to my room for some sleep.


Sunday, February 19, 1989

Her Last Day ...

It's officially 120 days until my 20th birthday. Hey, that means in only a year and 120 days, I can legally purchase alcohol! In America. Here, I can go buy it whenever I damn well please.

Started off as another Sunday Times morning, perfect with the sounds of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's" and "Abbey Road" albums playing as well. Ate breakfast, then lunch, then watched "Lost in Space." Also caught a movie called "Starflight One" starring Lee Majors and Hal Linden, which was more or less pathetic. Why does Lee Majors always get stuck with starring roles in second-rate films with names like "Cody"?

Ate some dinner after the film, then relaxed with Viv until "The Cosby Show" came on. Guess we relaxed while watching that, too. Toward the end of the episode, Dr. Morrison gave me a call to pass along some information to me.

Soon afterward, Viv contacted her parents (they're coming to pick her up tomorrow), while I worked on my tape for my parents. We spent our last evening together here relaxing. It'll be strange around here once she leaves.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" - Marc Almond and Gene Pitney (4th week at #1 for the former Soft Cell frontman.)
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul (3rd week)


Saturday, February 18, 1989

My 150th Day in Britain ...

Wow, did I sleep today! I awoke mid-morning to prepare for lunch, then go into town. I tried to get my Elvis Costello concert tickets, but they wouldn't accept my Access card for payment. I'll have to try again some other time.

Then Viv and I went to a Book Fair in town, which turned out to be more antique books than second-hand paperback books, but we managed to find a few we wanted. I bought D.H. Lawrence's "The Rainbow" while Viv bought "Jane Eyre" and "The Spanish Verses."

After we left the book fair we shopped around town some more, and I bought some batteries for my stereo before we caught the bus back home. After dinner we took a long nap (from 6-9:30 p.m.), and after we awoke we did an old favorite and visited Double Happiness for some sweet n sour chicken.

I worked on a mix tape for Viv to give to her before she leaves for Spain. Her last day in Hull is Monday. Fortunately, I should see her again in about three weeks. I also worked a bit more on the tape I'm making for my parents. Went to bed after midnight.

Oh, on TV today we watched some Saturday morning cartoons, as well as an episode of ALF (where he is mistaken for a burglar.)

In sports news, Hull City played Liverpool in the 1988-89 F.A. Cup Tournament here in Hull. Thought it might be interesting to catch that game, but decided to pass. It's the fifth round of the tournament, and 16 teams remain in the single-elimination tournament. Liverpool was clearly the favorite, but Hull actually jumped out to a 2-0 lead before falling to Liverpool, 3-2. That would've been quite the upset. I listened to some of the game on the radio. Shame... it would've been pretty cool to see the local team go deeper into the tournament.


Friday, February 17, 1989

An All-Around Kick Ass Day ...

Well, it was soitantlee a good Friday at that. I got my Social-Political Structures exam back, and I got a 72%... which in this system is a "A"! I got an "A" from good ol' Roz Billington. Boy, was I happy.

When I got back to The Grange Halls, Viv and I walked to the Cottingham Road site to find out the results of her third and final exam... the one she had to pass in order to continue her studies in Spain. And she passed! So it looks like I will be going to Spain next month!

From there, we went into town after waiting forever at the bus stop, and headed into the downtown market to pick up my Yokel t-shirt. I was pleased with the results.

We ate lunch at McDonald's, and then we walked around until about 2.15, when we went to the theatre to see the Hull premiere of "The Naked Gun." Needless to say, I loved it (as a big fan of "Police Squad" who cannot believe that show only lasted six episodes), and so did Viv.

We returned for dinner, and then afterwards we worked on the tape for my parents some more.

Oh, I forgot to mention about yesterday, I got a package from Shannon Hubbard in the mail, and in it she sent me a great pair of boxer shorts that show an elephant knocking out a donkey, in commemoration of the recent election victory. She's a Democrat, but has a good sense of humor about it. A classic example of "kicking ass."

Anyway, the row over Salman Rushdie's book "The Satanic Verses" continued today, so I think I'm going to have to buy it and find out what all of the fuss is about.

Went to bed around midnight.

Pictured is me in my room, wearing my new Yokel "tour" shirt, and my new "kick ass" boxers sent to me by my friend Shannon (the real one back at Millersville, not my hamster of the same name).


Thursday, February 16, 1989

Spanish Trip Remains Up in the Air ...

Viv and I made our way up to the Cottingham Road site to see her final results and whether or not she passed, which would determine whether or not she was going to continue her studies in Spain. When we got there, the results weren't posted yet. So we ran a few odd errands and then returned home.

Classes today were canceled due to the Stupid Union's (excuse me, the Student Union's) decision that all students should boycott classes in support of their opposition of the government's Student Loan plan. Since I support the loan plan, I was furious that classes were just canceled outright and that I did not have an opportunity to show my lack of support for the boycott. But alas, I was helpless.

Later, I joined Liz and Viv en route once again to check on their grades for the Spanish Business program. Viv found out that she had failed two of the tests and was awaiting a third result. If she failed this test, then she wouldn't be going to Spain (and neither would I).

While awaiting that third result, we checked out information on traveling to Spain. It would cost me £104 to fly, £100 to travel by train. I still don't know, though it seems worth it to pay the extra 4 quid to fly and bypass France.

That night Viv and I went to see "Arthur 2: On the Rocks," which to my surprise was a pretty funny movie. A short while after we returned from the theatre, my friend Greg called me at the halls, so I talked to him for awhile on a range of a whole bunch of topics. Some of the topics appeared to have annoyed Viv, because she left the phone room before the end of my conversation.

After I returned to my room, she expressed her displeasure with my characterization of the British by using the popularity of the band Bros. as an example. She was quite mad at me. I guess I went a bit too far. We eventually made up, though.


Wednesday, February 15, 1989

Mail Call ...

Woke up early to eat some breakfast (as usual) and began my final work on my James Joyce essay. Received 3 letters today... Valentine's cards from Mom & Dad ($25 gift cheque... total of $75 for Valentine's Day! I hardly ever do that well even on my birthday!) and from Trista, and finally a letter from Doug.

It was the first I had heard from Doug since he returned to the States (pictured). Seems like he's doing better now that he's back at Millersville. Still, it would've been cool if he stayed for the rest of the semester.

I worked diligently through the day and finished the paper with about 15 minutes to spare before heading to class. I was quite pleased with the product. J.P. just made it as well, though he was less pleased. Celebrated the evening with a bottle of wine with Viv, and continued to work on the tape for my parents. Watched Thirtysomething as well as MASH.


Tuesday, February 14, 1989

Valentine's Day, Just Barely ...

Hey, I received a Valentine's Day card from my grandma today with a $25 gift cheque... naturally being saved for Spain! So the money situation is getting a little bit better.

Viv and I exchanged Valentine's this morning before I shot off to all of my classes.

It actually wasn't that great of a day, because I had all of my reports to worry about. But I made the best of it and got a lot of work done. Viv and some of her friends went out to L.A.'s that evening to get away from some of her studies while I worked. I also took a few breaks to work on my parents' tape, and one other break when J.P. came to visit me. He is also working on the same essay.

I was still busy working when Viv came back from the nightclub at about 2 a.m., but I gave in to extreme tiredness soon thereafter, concluding that it would be best if I finished the essay tomorrow.

Pictured is a Valentine's postcard I got for free out of The Times newspaper. Never used it, though.


Monday, February 13, 1989

The 'Big Package' Arrives ...

Back to the grind once more as classes resumed this week. I did some further reading and worked in the library on my James Joyce report before going to Modern Poetry and Drama class. Viv came to the library with me and worked on a letter for her grant.

At lunchtime she went back to the room while I slipped off to buy a bottle of wine and a card for Valentine's Day tomorrow.

When I returned to the library, Viv had stopped buy to drop off my mail, and to let me know that a big package arrived for me. Finally! This was the box of things that I wanted to bring along with me, but didn't have enough room in my carry-ons to take back in September... plus a few other things I had asked Mom and Dad to put in there. To save money, it was sent via boat. And it ended up taking a few months to get here.

When I got back to the room I excitedly ripped it open and dug through it. At first I was a little disappointed because it didn't have some of the tapes and pictures that I was hoping would be in there. And the electric converter didn't work on my stereo like I had hoped. So I have to continue using batteries. Fortunately, it had a lot of other things that I could use, so I was certainly glad it arrived.

I worked a little bit more on my James Joyce paper in the evening, and then spent time with Viv.

I didn't have any really good photos or items to feature for today, so I included another map of Hull, circa 1988.


Sunday, February 12, 1989

Damn Fire Alarm ...

Started another lazy Sunday morning with a copy of The Sunday Times, listening to "Abbey Road." Viv and I spent most of Sunday afternoon hanging out in Paul Mackey's room. Paul has a record player, and he let me listen to some of the vinyl I've purchased, and record some to cassette so I could listen to them again in my room. While we did that, Paul sat in my room playing my guitar. Fair trade. It was an interesting concept, and it worked out rather well for both of us.

Viv and I worked some more on the tape I am making for my parents, and I also worked on my James Joyce report a bit. Then, just as we settled down to watch an episode of "The Cosby Show," the fire alarm in The Grange went off, because some blast fool thought it was funny to set it off. We ended up missing the first 10 minutes of the show while we waited outside in the cold for the fire engines to arrive, and the firefighters to clear the scene and shut off the alarm. Someone also broke the glass in the front door to get into the building.

I swear, there are some really thick people that live around here (I'm not talking about the socialists this time)!

We relaxed before I returned to work on my James Joyce paper some more, then went to bed.

Pictured: Brochure for the historic home of William Wilberforce, one of Hull's favourite sons and a renowned abolitionist. I'll bet he never had to deal with morons setting off fire alarms at all hours of the night!

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" - Marc Almond and Gene Pitney (same as last week)
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul (same as last week)


Saturday, February 11, 1989

Saving for Spain ...

I got a letter from my grandparents today for Valentine's Day, and a gift cheque for $25... which is going right in the savings for my plans to travel to Spain and visit Viv in March while she's studying there.

Viv and I walked into downtown Hull, stopping at a used book shop along the way, where I purchased two more Peanuts books to add to my collection. We then headed to the monthly Record Fair, where we walked around a bit before I purchased a few items, including another copy of Prince's "Black Album." It's the third time I've bought it since coming here, but this looks like the best copy of the three, so I will give this one to my friend Scott, who implored me to buy the album in the first place. We then ate lunch at McDonald's.

Viv and I started work today on a tape that I will be sending to my parents, telling them about all of my exciting adventures in England. Later that evening we relaxed and watched a little TV.


Friday, February 10, 1989

Tour Tickets (and a "Tour Shirt") ...

Ah, Friday! Viv and I ventured into town to go to the downtown street market. One of the vendors there is a lady that will take a picture you provide for her and draw it on a T-shirt for you. Liz recently got a great shirt made of her hero, Freddy Mercury. I was impressed with its quality.

I decided it'd be fun to have a "tour shirt" made of my band Yokel. So I created a front and back design using our "Shut Up and Listen to Our Lousy Album" cover on the front, and made up some tour info on the back. Went into the market, found the lady, gave her the picture and placed the order. It should be done and ready next Friday. (Pictured: The drawing I gave to the artist)

After walking around a bit, I found a place that was selling an Elvis Costello Concert Ticket and Bus Transportation to the Newcastle City Hall show for £18. I'll have to see if I can get anyone interested in coming along to see the show.

We returned home for dinner, but then headed back into Hull to see a movie. This night we went to see "Short Circuit 2." It was entertaining enough.

After we got back to the room, I called my parents and talked to them for awhile. Then Viv and I hung out for the rest of the evening.


Thursday, February 9, 1989

On to the North York Moors ...

Today was another field trip day for Geography Class, this time to the North York Moors. It was quite a journey to get there, but it was a very nice and scenic area... with a lot of heather.

We learned quite a bit about British National Parks, which are administered quite differently from American National Parks. The most notable difference is that most of the land at a British park is privately owned (only 2% of the North York Moors is actually owned by the state). So while there is much preservation, there are also more residences in a British National Park than you would find at an American one.

We got to walk around the Moors for a bit, then stopped at a pub for some grub. Afterward I picked up a copy of The Times and then boarded the bus to head back to Hull. I read in the paper that there was another plane crash... this time a 707 with mostly Italian passengers heading for the Caribbean.

In unusual news that did not make the papers, J.P. had his trousers stolen. He believes that they were stolen from some drunken Belgians, who swiped them from the drying cabinet. While he said before that he does not believe in the concept of "revenge," he today more-or-less refuted that notion by declaring war upon the entire nation of Belgium. I think he could take them if he catches them off guard.

Overall, this was a pretty good, interesting day. Viv continued her studies.


Wednesday, February 8, 1989

A Field Trip to Leeds ...

Today we had the first of a two-part field trip for Geography class, this one to the city of Leeds.

Before we left for the trip, I got my mail, and the timing was perfect... I received the latest copy of The Snapper courtesy of my friends back at the newspaper in Millersville. I took the newspaper along for the bus ride to Leeds. I got to read my first commentary article that appeared in the paper, and I learned that Sam Kinison was coming to perform at Millersville. Man, I was outraged (since I couldn't be there!) During my freshman year we listened to Kinison over and over again... and now to know that I'm missing him when he would've been within walking distance of my room! Well, what can you do...maybe he'll schedule a return engagement next year.

Anyway, Leeds was OK. Slightly interesting, but really just a big industrial town. We took a look at some of the areas where urban revitalization is taking place. Kind of neat to see how they can turn old, abandoned areas into new and useful homes and offices. (Picture #1 is J.P. looking at some of the reclamation projects in Leeds, where an abandoned factory was turned into upscale condominiums.)

Next we went to Saltaire, a small town near Bradford that was build in the mid 1800s as a self-sufficient community for the workers as the Salt Plant, a textile mill operated by Sir Titus Salt. Interesting planning concept there. We toured the Plant - it's not used as an industrial plant anymore, and there was actually an art exhibit there featuring works by David Hockney. Overall it was a small, somewhat bizarre, but overall nice town. (Pictures #2 and #3 are from the Saltaire visit.)

After that we boarded the bus and headed back to Hull, and after dinner, J.P. and I wrote letters to the editor of The Snapper, mainly to trash some pathetic political cartoons in the newspaper. We then broke from the trashing to watch M*A*S*H, but still giggled profusely at the brilliant witty words we wrote in our letters.

Viv still studied all day.


Tuesday, February 7, 1989

Spike: the Beloved Entertainer ...

With no classes on the agenda, I decided to sleep in today, but much later than I had planned. I did get up for some breakfast with Viv, but then I went back to my room while she went off to study, and I fell asleep until 12.30.

At 1.30 I walked into town and bought three more Peanuts books for my collection. But the main reason for my travels was to pick up a cassette of Elvis Costello's new album, "Spike: The Beloved Entertainer." Interesting album cover. Overall, I quite liked it. Viv didn't care for it. I'm looking forward to seeing his concert in Newcastle in May. That should be a great show.

I took the bus back from downtown Hull to the residence, ate dinner, and then Viv once again studied. I read a bit myself, then put aside the seriousness and went to visit J.P. I helped him make a tape for his friends, along with Paul. In one skit, Paul and I played Mujahadeen Rebels who mistakingly though that J.P.'s room was Kabul. It was spontaneous and quite funny.

That's about it.


Monday, February 6, 1989

Reading Week ...

This has nothing to do with anything, but it was on this date 7 years ago that my friend Scott and I recorded our first "radio station" - a comedy tape we would do from time-to-time when we hung out at one-another's houses. So in honor of (and inspired by) that little piece of history, I got to work on the tape I'm making for Scott, and finally finished it off today.

No classes this week, because it is something called "Reading Week." I'm not sure of its significance. I guess I'm supposed to spend the time studying for exams or something. It probably has more to do with giving professors a week off.

So I used the time to clean up my room, read a copy of The Times, and yes, do a bit of class reading ("Howard's End.") While I did all of that, Viv continued to study for her Spanish-Business exams. Viv continued to study that night while I read, finished Scott's tape, and visited J.P.

Later, Viv and I went to the local chippie for some chicken kiev, which I must admit was kwite tastee.

(Pictured: It's the start of Reading Week... the perfect time to read some great literature, such as Viz Comics' own "Biffa Bacon.")


Sunday, February 5, 1989

Here Comes the Sun - day Times ...

Woke up late, picked up the Sunday Times and read it in my room while listening to The Beatles' "Abbey Road." That has been one of my traditions here. Since I can't plug in my stereo (bringing an American stereo here probably wasn't the best idea, in hindsight), I only play music sparingly to preserve my batteries. But I always reserve Sunday for playing "Abbey Road."

Anyway, Vivvy Honey, who is right now looking over my shoulder while I write in my journal, studied like a good little girl for her big bad exams, which are fast approaching.

I watched a good bit of TV throughout the day. Some American shows (ALF, Lost in Space) and some British fare (Only Fools and Horses, The New Statesman). Viv joined me during some of her study breaks.

I went around to see J.P. for a bit in St. Hilda's, and hung out there for awhile. And I finished more of the tape that I will be sending to Scott.

And there you have it.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" - Marc Almond and Gene Pitney
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Straight Up" - Paula Abdul


Saturday, February 4, 1989

Bummed around ...

Continued to work on Scott's tape today. Viv was studying today quite extensively, so we didn't get a chance to hang out too much. But she has some pretty major exams coming up to determine whether or not she'll be able to move on to study in Madrid. (Pictured: Cover of a Madrid brochure. Will I be going there in March? That depends on how Viv does on these exams.)

I bought a newspaper, then spent the day bumming around either in my room or the gang over in St. Hilda's. I didn't mention it before, but Kenny has a new roommate who took Doug's place in the double room at the end of the hall in St. Hilda's. He's a rather nice bloke. Seems to get on well with Kenny and the rest of us.

Overall, just an average, uninteresting day today.


Friday, February 3, 1989

'Die Hard' Day ...

Ooh, I just remembered that yesterday was Groundhog Day. I wonder if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow? And if he did, I wonder if it means anything about six-more weeks of winter here in Britain? They don't celebrate Groundhog Day here. (Note: In 1989, Phil did see his shadow.)

I went to my Social/Political Structures seminar today, and put my two cents worth into the discussion (which here is worth about 1.35 p, based on the current exchange rate), which, of course, was generally not to Roz Billington's liking. That's OK with me, because I'd hate to think similar to her.

I ate lunch, then started to work on a tape for Scott. I've been getting into sending tapes to friends back home of late. Fun way to send a message!

Later that evening, Viv and I headed downtown to see "Die Hard." No problem getting into the theatre. This was the third time I've seen it (twice before in the States, including a sneak preview the week before it opened), and after three times, it's still a very gripping film. Viv also loved it.

Came back to my room, watched some telly, then went to bed.

Pictured is a postcard of Viz Comics' own Roger Mellie, the Man on the Telly.


Thursday, February 2, 1989

A Pint at the Haworth ...

Woke up for breakfast with the intent of reading "Mrs. Dalloway." Instead, I finished up recording the tape I was making to send to Chris Mulvihill at Millersville. A lot of it is similar to the first tape that I made for Greg, but I did personalize it a bit.

I went to my Lit class and it was boring, but I'll still read "Mrs. Dalloway." Came back to the Halls with Viv for dinner, and afterwards I returned to the library to work on my homework for the Social/Political Structures seminar tomorrow on Sexual Division of Labor.

When the library closed at 9 p.m., Sam was also there and asked me if I'd be interested in going out for a pint, so we trekked over to the Haworth Arms pub (pictured), where we talked a good deal about everything, though most of it was political in nature. We don't see eye-to-eye on much politically, him being a socialist and me being a conservative... but that makes for more interesting conversation.

Came back to The Grange to see Viv, and then at 10.10 we watched the Tracey Ullman Show to round out the day.


Wednesday, February 1, 1989

Rick's Cafe ...

For the first day of February, and since we had no classes today, J.P. and I made our way into Hull by walking through the shops along Newland Avenue. Our goal was to buy some of the books that we need to read for Literature class, however, we ended up buying everything but.

I found a great poster from "Casablanca," featuring Humphrey Bogart, Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman standing in front of Rick's Cafe Americain. (Editor's Note: This poster, now framed, still hangs in my living room.) I also bought four Peanuts books, the remaining James Bond books I needed (Casino Royale, From Russia with Love, Octopussy), and various other provisions. It was a good sortie, despite failing on our intended targets.

We took the bus back to The Grange Halls, and there were these two knobhead kids sitting in front of us who almost got their necks broken. However, we decided against this action since there were legal implications and we did not wish to create an international incident. Returned home with our contraband, and soon after headed off for dinner.

After dinner, when I probably should've started reading "Mrs. Dalloway," I instead began to work on a new tape for Chris Mulvihill and my friends at Millersville University.

At 10.15 p.m., Viv and I went down to watch "Thirtysomething" on our hall's new huge color TV. Took care of Shannon the Hamster, then went to bed.