Monday, August 29, 2005

Made in America

(the above image was taken of Southend from the end of its 1 and 1/3 mile long pier, the longest non-commercial pier in the world)

Well, it's been awhile, but I'm at least temporarily up and running in England. I'll do my best to bring you all up to speed with everything that's been going on here and how everything is going.

As some of you know, I was picked up from Mike Dariano's wedding and my mum and I were wisked off to the Detroit Metro airport for a 9.40pm departure. The flight left about 70 minutes late but made up about 55 minutes of it in the air so we were more or less on time arriving. We met the driver fine and were taken to Southend-on-Sea, where I'll be living for the next few months.

The town itself is actually fairly decent more or less, and pretty much what you'd expect from a coastal town. There are some shady areas (which is where mom and I stayed until I moved here) like every decent-sized town (this one is almost 200,000 residents), but most of it is pretty nice with a lovely main street area that is closed to cars so people can walk down the street and shop in the many stores or TWO Mickey D's.

On Monday, mom and I commuted into downtown London for orientation, an experience I won't soon forget. We had a fine train in, but then were being heavily eyed by what I think was a potential pickpocket on the Tube. Orientation itself went fine, but we almost missed our appointment to have my bank accounts set up and then had a mix up with the wire transfer that almost prevented me from getting money! To the rescue came my future father-in-law, whom I had to call from the bank to arrange the wire (Mr R., if you're reading this, I owe you more than big-time!). Then it poured buckets of rain, and of course I was wearing only a T-shirt and shorts with no umbrella.

This is already getting long, so I'll try and sum up with my conditions. I have seen two Southend United matches so far, including a local rivalry (they call it a derby) match today, and they have been amazing. The people I have met from the team have been incredibly helpful, as has every English person I've had to ask questions from. I have moved into a little B&B called the Waverley Guest House, where I'll be living for the rest of my time here, which brings me to my final point.

I have decided to cut short the amount of time that I'm going to be here because everything is more expensive than what I planned. Prices for things like food are almost double what they are in the US, and I'm paying a fortune for this guest house because I pay by the night. I also thought that it would be a big help to have Michelle here to help me move out so I decided to leave when she was planning to go, which is January 3. So all of you lucky people state-side get to see me sooner than expected!

Keep in touch everyone, it's lonely over here!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I have now moved out of Apt. 175, so there will be no future blog postings for at least the next two weeks. I will be posting UK updates as soon as I am up and running over there, and will also be sending out a UK update email every so often so for anyone who is interested in receiving that, please leave a comment with your email address and I'll add you on.

Both and will be checked from the UK for the forseeable future. Thanks for a great blogging year, looking forward to the next one...


The Management

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Man the Cubicles!!

I finally finished watching "The Office Special" tonight, which were the final two episodes of the enormously successful BBC television series. The special caught up with the members of Wernham-Hogg 'three years' after the final regular season episode. I won't describe what happens in the very rare chance that you pick it up.

But as the credits rolled for the final time and the theme song, "Handbags and Gladrags", sounded its final notes, I couldn't help but feel a little bit bummed that, in a strange way, it was the end of an era. Granted there were only two seasons consisting of 6 30-minute episodes each plus the special 90-minute, uh, well, special, but I definitely felt like I got to know David, Tim, Garreth and Dawn. It was nice to the special to see how things turned out for everyone, but it was bittersweet.

I have heard about this mentioned before in reference to such epic shows as "Cheers," "M*A*S*H", and even, more recently, "Seinfeld," as, when the show has made its final run, that loyal viewers are sad that the characters they have come to know are no longer in their living rooms once a week.

Being too young to have that sort of attachment to any of the above shows, or any other show for that matter, I am sad to see "The Office" come to an end. There certainly isn't any hope of any future episodes, and even the actors were negative about ever meeting up for reunion shows or anything on the DVD, so it looks like this is one show that will remain buried, but it was fun while it lasted...