Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Three R's

No, not the three R's in the academic sense, but in the sustainability sense. I'll admit, I'm kinda stumped on this one. Recycling is cool... (I feel like I should put in a "herp derp" here).

I guess I've always grown up in a recycling home. We always keep a recycling cabinet and piles and piles of recycling ready to take to the center (which we don't do nearly as often as we should). We also do our best to make sure that as little of our waste goes to the landfill as possible. The one that drives me nuts the most is probably the aluminum cans, especially because there is one specific member of the family who has the majority of the pop and yet the cans only get crushed when *I* get so frustrated I can't stand it anymore!

Unfortunately though, I think my family is in the minority in the states. We Americans are very wasteful, and most people feel like the little bit they could do wouldn't make a difference. The problem then comes when EVERYONE thinks that and is lazy about it then it adds up. I think there is a movement to greener tendencies in the US, and I think it is growing slowly, and I guess that's what we have to focus on.

So yeah. Recycling? It's cool.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Socially Awkward Butterfly

It seems that I am very similar to Phanee when it comes to friends, although maybe not quite so shy. I mean, I am shy, and in the first few months of meeting people I seem to say all the wrong things and my skin is a semi-permanent shade of red. But I'm getting better. 

I am good at meeting people on a one-on-one basis, when I know most of the people in the situation or in a situation where nobody knows anybody, but if I am in the minority of knowing people then I become completely socially awkward. It feels like I'm invading something and that the existing friends have some kind of unbreakable bond which I shouldn't dare to disturb. Maybe it's stupid, but it's just the way things are in my head. 

Once I am your friend though, there is no getting rid of me. I have one friend who I was minor acquaintances with in primary school, especially as she joined in the last year, but now seven years after leaving she is one of my dearest friends, despite only having had school with her for that single year. And once I am friends with somebody then I always seem to slip into a deeply sarcastic phase and we hit a rocky patch, but once we're through that I become incredibly loyal. I can't explain why I am like this, but I've noticed this pattern in recent years.

Also in recent years, I've started befriending more boys. I definitely used to be a 'girls girl', but seriously, boys are so much more interesting and easy to be around. It's always more fun too. 

Anyway, I had better learn to be more confident and less of a sarcastic bitch, because come September I'm going to have to make a lot of new friends when I move to university. 




Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Friendly, but not so friendly

The thing is, I'm not a person who easily makes friends.

The reason for that being that I am incredibly shy.

When I say incredibly, I do mean incredibly. I am not kidding. More often than not, when I am introduced to a new person or to a new group, I am not the first one to start talking. I usually leave that to the others. So, what I am really bad at is making the first move. Which is definitely not helpful.

But if that new person makes the first move (which I should think is relatively easy, as I don't put people off just by them looking at me - or so I hope!), then I just open up! I can talk and talk and talk, to everyone's content and to someone's annoyance! Naaah, I'm just kidding! But it's true that I then find it much easier to get closer to a person; but they must make the first move.

That being said, I consider myself to have few very close friends, but loads and loads of not so close ones. I am quick to call people friends, mainly due to the fact that I don't dislike people easily and always try to find the best in them, thus elevating them to friend status (even if they don't consider me to be their friends). I suppose "friends" sounds better than "friendly aquaintances" (which is what they might technically be).

So, yep! That's me and my friends! Just a handful of really, really close ones and a bunch of "the other kind"!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

If I'm honest, I chose this topic coming off of a long weekend and it was the first thing that came to mind. I am still trying to kick my brain back into gear. Anywho.

The quintessential "they" always told us that there were two types of people out there: those who have lots of friends and those who have only a few really close friends. I am the poster child for the latter. Despite changing groups of friends several times with changes in school and work, I can probably count on one hand (maybe two, but the point is it's a small number) the number of people I would consider to really be friends. The rest are what I'd call friendly acquaintances.

What I was really interested in when I assigned "friends" as the topic, though, is what your friend dynamic is and what you do with your friends when you spend time together. Most of the time I like hanging out with my friends one on one, mostly because I'm not good at interrupting people so I feel like I can't get a word in edgewise. We generally hang out at the local coffee shop or a movie if we're going out. My favorite is when we stay home and have "study parties." They worked best when we were all living on the same floor in the dorms, and we could all just pick up our computers and find whatever space on the floor we could. Usually we'd stick a movie in that we'd all seen at least once, and we would all be working on something different, whatever we needed to do for our classes at the time. Apparently this is an unusual thing - I couldn't convince any of my friends in England to attend one because they "had too much work"... except the point is to get work done!

So yeah, that's me and my friends, or the IRL ones anyways. What are your friends like?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Back Another Day

The title of this post pretty much sums up British weather, particularly in the North where I live. The girls both say that they would want my weather, but to be perfectly honest, you wouldn't if you had to put up with it day in, day out. 

We are used to summers which are just rainy and terrible, but in recent years we have actually had sun, and, wait for it... heat. Grannies will have died from the shock of it. I love our summer months, weather wise at least. If only I had more plans to go out and enjoy the sun. In fact, there is the advert for some shop which aired a few years ago which really reflects the British attitude for summer, and if I can find it, I will link it

Winter is generally pretty crappy. It is cold and the whole country is waiting on tender hooks for snow. And when it comes? Nobody leaves their houses, and if they do something tragic will happen to them. Roads are closed. Airports shut down. Schools have snow days. Seriously, about two or three years ago when the rest of the world was mocking the UK for our inability to deal with snow, all of our youth crowded around radios while they were getting ready for school to see if they actually had to go in. Seriously, there was maybe two inches that first day. No matter how much snow there is, even just the thinnest of layers, you can guarantee that I will fall flat on my bum within two minutes of stepping out of the door. 

Spring is not a fun season for me, it is my second least favorite seasons due to the immense amount of rain. It's not called April showers for nothing. This year though, we had five random days of sun and heat. It was glorious. And then it was gone. Now we have rain and cold. I don't really mind the cold as much as I mind the rain. You see, I have naturally curly hair and that means that no matter how much time I put into straightening it, it will be half way curled by the time I have done my fifteen minute walk to sixth form. And the shoes! The amount of shoes I have to buy because they've started to smell like wet dog is ridiculous. Shops must love spring. 

I feel like all I have done is moan. I don't mean to. I'm usually pleased as long as there is nothing falling from the sky. I can stand heat better than most, and cold too. It helps that my house is always about five degrees worse than whatever is going on outside, so the real world feels nice and refreshing. 

Girls, feel free to come and enjoy our weather. 


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The lack of normal seasons is the rule

(source)

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Ah... How nice it would be if you were not so temperamental and you all lasted the same amount of time during the year....

Up until last year, I stood firmly in the camp of people who refused to believe that there is such a thing as seasons on the island of Crete. It's either winter, or summer. Nothing in between, except maybe for a few days in between, which in no way can someone say correspond to WHOLE seasons!

For as long as I can remember, we've had seriously hot summers and pretty mild winters. The thing is, that we never really had much of an "in-between" period. The weather went from being far too hot to being cold and vice versa. Mild temperatures and the such that accompany spring and autumn seemed to elude Greece.

But last year something happened. Something I really cannot explain. After a pretty hot summer, we actually had an "in-between" situation, where it was cool-ish and rainy and lovely and autumn-y! Then we had a lovely and rather cold (for Cretan standards) winter, which has now given place to a pretty mild spring! Delightful, let me tell you! It certainly makes a difference, when you can actually tell when one season gives way to the next!

The thing is that when we have particularly cold winters, they're usually followed by particularly hot summers.... Uh-oh. (Definitely NOT looking forward to that one...) We might not go below 0 degrees Celcius in the winter, but it's pretty much standard procedure that the temperature will be in the really high 30's and often over 40 for quite a few days. Yaaaaaaaaaay.   :-(

And, just like Anne, I belong in british weather, too... You always want what you can't have, as the saying goes. So let's see what the Brit of the group has to say on Friday!


Monday, 9 April 2012

Mother Nature is either bipolar or schizo

Bold statement, I know, but around here anybody would believe it! Kate assigned us to talk about seasons this week, and I'm pretty sure I have the most diverse seasons of any of us. [As a note for any international readers - I'm too lazy to do temperature conversions so they're all gonna be in Farenheit. There's lots of online temp. converters if you're that nosy =P]

 

The thing with seasons for me is that while I love at least a few days of each season, I'm not that big on the extreme ones in general. I would be perfectly happy with only a week of snow, and a week of the extreme heat, and then just spring/fall in between. I am generally happiest with temperatures between 60 and 75F with an average of 2 days of rain a week - typical spring/fall weather for us.

 

The problem with our weather is that winter is unbelievably cold - we regularly have 2-3 weeks of below 0 temps, sometimes without snow even. Then add the wind, and it feels almost 20 degrees colder. They actually canceled classes at the local university because it was so cold that any exposed skin would have frozen solid within 5 minutes. Those are the days I wish we hibernated in the winter, just so I wouldn't have to move from my bed.

 

Then we have the summer. Generally we stick around 80F and bright sunlight, excepting the occasional pop-up thundershower. To make things worse, the area I live in used to be right in the center of a huge swamp. Even though the water was drained off by settling farmers, the humidity stuck around, so while there's only a handful of days that actually get over 90F, the majority of them feel like it anyway.

 

And of course, then there's the bipolar/schizophrenic days. Most of the year is spent hopping from one season to another. Since mid-March we've been having weeks that are spent half in the 30s and the other half in the 70s. The joke that goes around town regularly is that if you don't like the weather, just stick around. It'll change in 5 minutes.

 

I really do belong in british weather, don't I? lol.