My dear readers, we are down to just a few more days of self-isolation. One of the things that has kept me busy; besides doing class work, watching the news, reading, and meals; has been getting my little room livable and homey. First, I must give a shout out to the shipping service of Kline, Kline & Cooper (my parents and the family puppy) for getting three important boxes to me.

These were partially packed when I left Illinois, and they did yeoman’s work to get them here. In normal times, they would have just dropped them off and that would have been that, but these are not normal times, and shipping like everything else, has been impacted. The biggest challenge was on my end because I could not just call the FedEx office because A) I don’t have a UK SIM card and B) since the packages were moved by a third party, mom and dad had to work through the red tape on their end and then pass on the information to me, so I could figure things out. Long story short, they were delivered to the Lodge, that is what we call the main St. Cross College building, and then the porters delivered them here to the Stonemasons House. So second, I have to give a tip of the hat to the porters who are the connection between the Lodge and the satellite flats. Without their important work, I would still be sitting in an empty room.

In addition to the boxes from home; which included jackets, clothes, decorations and pictures, surprise snacks, books, and personal items; I’ve ordered new sheets, a white noise machine, a desk chair pad, and a collapsible shelf for my bathroom.

If the last few weeks has taught me anything it is this: celebrate the little things, keep pushing yourself, life is short and often times hard, hold those that you care about close to you, laugh, and if you need to make a change — do it.

Once the boxes arrived, I immediately tore them apart and spent the next few hours nesting. So, I’m pleased to report that the room is in good shape and I’m ready to break out on Tuesday to get my student ID, formal robes, school supplies, and a handful of other things that will get me ready for the Michaelmas Term. For your next game of Trivial Pursuit, Oxford and several other universities here have three semesters. Oxford’s terms, which are named after saint days and religious holidays, are called Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity.

More Food Fun

I’ve been doing quite a bit of ordering these last two weeks, and I think my blue cheese and bacon, medium rare hamburger and fries with garlic aioli is in the clear lead for best dish and best protective packaging.

The food was great, the strategic vent holes on the packaging kept the fries crispy, and the protective sleeve that held the hamburger together and warm was thoroughly brilliant. When I opened the package, I was completely baffled, and then overjoyed by the UK’s advanced burger delivery technology.

I purchased these the other day on an experimental whim:

The biscuits were good, but I know I’m not doing them justice without a proper cup of tea, so that will have to wait until I learn more, but the prawn cocktail crisps? First, “grab bag” means something different in the US, here I assume it means “something quick on the side”. I was expecting an Old Bay flavor, but I was totally wrong. Simply put, they tasted like potato chips with a hint of catsup. And then there was this oddly interesting breakfast bagel:

After the last bagel fiasco, I should have taken a pass, but I could not resist trying a salt beef, onion bagel with sauerkraut, mustard, mayo, and gherkins. Over all, it was pretty good, but maybe not for an early breakfast. The bagel situation is beyond depressing here, but I was pleased with this little number that might be better suited for brunch or tailgating.

The People, or Person, is Speaking

It has come to my attention that I have been written in as a candidate for President of the United States. The name of this esteemed voter shall remain nameless and I won’t post a picture of the ballot because, as the previous Communications Lead for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s Election Task Force, I understand the importance of protecting the integrity of the voting process, and doing that is illegal.

I am honored and have no platform, but I can assure my constituency of one that I will not be tweeting, will show up for work every day, listen to science and the experts, and work hard for the American people. I have sent an email to the Presidential Debate Committee to see if I can use that open debate time to introduce myself to the American people, and at this point, I may ask the debate fly to be my Vice Presidential running mate.

Rearrange the Kitchen? Nope.

For those of you who know my proclivities, namely the need to have things at right angles and in the most efficient layout possible, you will understand my frustration when my plan to rearrange the kitchen, move the table, and condense the cleaning tools was thwarted. This morning, when I came into the kitchen I found that the sign gnomes had come back.

I’m not entire clear why signs need to be put everywhere, especially when labeling inanimate objects, but my best guess is that there was some confusion in the past about the names of certain domestic items, or the sign gnomes had to meet their weekly quota. My need for uniformity has completely spiked, because the signs are not the same (i.e. the arrows are in different places, the logos are different sizes, the formatting is off, etc.), but I will endure the chaos. If the microwave gets a sign, I may have to submit a protest email to the Accommodations Office. And, now that everything is labeled, I guess I can’t apply my special type-a organization skills. Can I move the signs? I don’t know. If only there was a sign to tell me what I can and cannot do about the signs.