I did run a 5k race at the beginning of October. I have no idea how or why, but I came 314th! Out of the women! My flatemate did well, coming first in his age category. He says he's never run long distance before, but he's been doing 5ks nearly every week since and improving his PB every time.
I passed my Tennessee driving test. Which has made me more worried about driving, now I know the sort of level drivers have to be at before they're allowed a licence. They have to be able to reverse out of a parking space, turn left, turn right, turn right, turn right and park. And know the laws of what happens to them if they drink drive. I told my examiner (we were chatting away during the test, especially after I handed him my UK licence instead of a permit, and he realised I'd driven half an hour by myself to get to my test) about English tests and the hazards test and the manouevres, and he was shocked!
I went camping! It felt like Deliverance county, remote woods surrounded by remote cornfields, but it was gorgeous and just the right weather and really fun.
I dressed up as an octopus for Hallowe'en. I was Pearl from Finding Nemo
I think I made it too big...
I went to Vegas last weekend! Which was absolutely amazing. Tim already booked it with his friends before I even thought about coming out here, but then one of them dropped out so it was just the two of them and they said I should come for the weekend - they were here for six nights - and I was assured that I wasn't crashing a lad's weekend with my being 20ness and my femaleness so I booked my flights and went! We did all the touristy stuff that doesn't require being 21 - the second I landed at 10pm on Friday I was told that we had to go straight to bed. Not because I hadn't seen my boyfriend in 2 months, but because we had to get up 5:30 to fly to the Grand Canyon! So that was surprising. The Grand Canyon was amazing and gorgeous and really really big.
That may be surprising but it's huge! Also there are no safety rails or anything, at least not at the bit that we went to, so it's up to you not to go too close to the edge and the 4000 ft vertical drop. I'm impressed my parents thought it was sensible to take a 7 year old. Also, it was snowing at the Grand Canyon, which was kind of unexpected. The pilot said it only happens a few times a year. It did make everything look very pretty though.
After the Grand Canyon we went back to our hotel and napped. At least, that's what we told Tim's friend, who we were sharing a room with, that we were going to do. He politely went and had lunch. For two hours. ^_^
In the evening we went to see the Blue Man Group, who I think are kind of famous in the US - at least, everyone at work who I've mentioned them to has seen them on the TV or YouTube or something. They're basically three men with blue faces and hands and staring eyes who are very bizarre and have a show based around drumming and discovering things and really cool effects. And doing really random things, like eating a Twinkie. It was hilarious. Go see it if you can. Also, if you are ever in Vegas and have the funds (Tim got a special deal though his work), you have to stay at the Venetian. It was amazing. It has a replica of St Mark's Square, with a really confusing roof (as I imagine the roof of the Great Hall at Hogwart's must be) because it's painted to look like the sky, and it's incredibly realistic. It was so confusing. Also, the pools were so so nice. It was like 14 degrees on Sunday, but they were heated and it was sunny and they were designed to look like Italian fountains.
On Sunday night we went and looked down the Strip at night, and watched the fountains outside the Bellagio (the one in Ocean's Eleven) both from the front and from above, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We also watched Treasure Island, which is kind of weird and packed full of innuendo*, slightly unexpected for what I'd thought was a family show. Also, I got to gamble! A tiny bit. Timmy was scared we'd get thrown out, but I figured that they didn't care about the people sitting down putting money in
the machines, it's when you try to get money out of the casinos that they ID you. Which I think turned out to be true. I didn't win any money so we didn't need to test my theory. I put $2 in a slot machine and won $6, then lost it all. Pulling that lever is pretty addictive. Tim was $500 up by the end of the weekend, so yay for him :D
I'm learning lots of things at work, too. I spent last week dissecting livers and spleens, which ended up with me dreaming about them one night. Not fun. This week was better because I spent it doing behavioural things, so it was just moving mice around into machines. We have one were we measure their general movements, so I just put them in a cage with sensors to measure their movements. The other one is to measure their balances and reflexes, I think, and we put them on a rotating rod that spins faster and faster until they fall off (or until some poo falls off and stops the experiment, so we have to start again ¬_¬). These experiments are pretty relaxing for me, because you can't talk or leave the pressurised room as it might upset the data. But while I was sittin gin there I made a list of things I miss from my home and the UK while I'm here in Memphis (these are specific to me, I'm sure some can be found elsewhere in the UK - I didn't even realise I missed one till I went to Vegas):
Duvets (I just have a silly coverlet thing)
Being in the same time zone as my friends and family
Walking to uni on a nice day
Always having something to do at the weekends and evenings
The BBC (no adverts!!!)
My Lumie lamp actually working properly with proper voltage
Tax already included
Not having to tip every damn thing and so much
The High Street
Knowing where to go to buy things
Knowing what clothes, shoe and bra size I am
Recognising cultural references
Books (going to track down the library tomorrow, so this may be solved)**
The phrase ''Hey, how you doin'?'' - I don't know how you're supposed to answer this!
People who know who Stephen Fry is
Not getting a blank stare when I ask for lettuce and tomato in my sandwich
Crusty French bread (dipped in olive oil and balsamic, mmm...)
Chocolate and Newspaper Tuesday at my uni
I don't know whether this seems negative, so here are a few things I came up with that I do like:
Having a car
Having a 10 minute commute (door to door, from my apartment complex to the edge of the hospital campus, it's about 45 seconds)
No evening work
American TV in real time (Glee, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, Community)
Also. Uk flist! I'm trying to plan my Christmas holidays - I'm home for two weeks between my birthday and New Year's, basically. Would anybody like to meet up? Fishskating?
And US flist! Would any of you like to try and arrange to meet over here? Probably next year!
**Although, I did get round to reading Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and Girl who Played with Fire, left by previous Bath Students. They're so so so good! I need the next one!
I don't really know what I've been doing, just a lot of things, and I was kind of ill the last few weeks, sleeping about 14 hours a night.