Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wait, Where Am I (or, Three Quick Posts in One)

I've got a pair of gigantic London picture-posts coming, sometime soon. Big big posts. With lots of pictures, numbering into the triple digits. But those will be sometime soon, meaning not right now; resizing, uploading and webcoding that many images goes about as quickly as you'd imagine. Plus, uh, the part about being a full-time graduate student now and everything.

As a bit of transition (or filler, depending on your outlook), I'll post up a few of the pictures I took during the big ooh-life-changing plane ride over here. Winnipeg to London is only a couple hours or so, but I hadn't been on a plane in a good couple of years -- note to self, renew passport -- so everything seemed new and exciting all over again. Hey, do we get a meal, or--oh, uh, cookies. Thanks, they're kind of like food, I guess.

I left Winnipeg on September 2nd, so as you'd expect from Winnipeg in early September it was twelve degrees and raining. I did make an attempt to get some shots of the city as I left, but you can judge for yourself how well that went.

If you squint a little, you can--ha ha, no, no you can't. Don't bother.

Modern aircraft technology is such, of course, that they have goofy little satellite TVs in the back of each seat. It's a pretty handy feature, if you're the sort of person who prefers to watch sports highlights or whatever instead of looking out a window or reading or napping or thinking to yourself. I'm sure they're a hoot, but I didn't really get to check them out.

This was what my screen did for most of the flight, with brief and intermittent bouts of working properly so I could watch this instead:

Hey, guess what? This is better picture quality than I've ever had on any TV I own, so I'm pretty galled by the idea that these things are what the company is buying with my money. This is the same reason why I don't go into Tim Hortons very often, incidentally. If you've got twin widescreen LCD televisions installed in the menu for the express purpose of showing me what a sandwich looks like, what the hell do you need my two dollars for?

Anyway! I digress. I wasn't up there to watch TV anyway, so no great loss. I'm a pretty big proponent of window seats, after all.

Ah, scenery, good times.

The airport in London is a pretty teeny place, so it didn't take too long to find my ride; the woman whose lease I was taking over came to pick me up and drive me to my new apartment, because I was taking over her lease and she probably wanted to make good and sure that I got there to take it.

So, dropped off after a good long drive, there I was. Plunked down in a basement apartment deep within an unfamiliar city, not a friendly face for miles around, no transportation, no phone, and no idea where I was or where anything was located in town. What was I to do in such a situation? Well, write an Uptown column, of course!

(Killer segue! Yes! I've still got the magic!)

Uptown Magazine! Remain seated until seatbelt light is extinguished!

Here's my column from last Tuesday, and it's a pretty good column if I do say so myself. I'm still in talks with the editorial staff about further contributions, because writing for Uptown is one of my very favourite things ever; in the meantime, I'll keep sending in columns like always (albeit maybe not as solely Winnipeg-themed as before) and then wait to see if they hit print. Here's hoping!

So, yeah, great big London posts will be forthcoming. Before I go back to that, though, let me show you a notice that I got a kick out of when it was posted on campus:

I have no idea what this says, of course. Aside from the few helpful clues like "B.B.Q.", "LONDON JEIL CHURCH" and "When", I'm pretty much useless in the face of this poster.

However! As a unilingual Anglophone, I'm well accustomed to working around language barriers by gleaming information from visual cues. And what have we here, in the bottom right corner of the poster?

Why, Picnic Jesus, of course! And look at how happy he is, the little scamp! He's got his ladle, and his soup, and what looks like a little burger... what a cutie! The robes say "I died for your sins", but the hat says "I could sure go for a pick-a-nick basket!"

"Hey, c'mere," I said to a classmate who happened to be passing by. "Is that Jesus in a chef hat?"

"It... yeah, it looks like," he agreed. "Wow."

"Pretty cool!" I gushed. Then, after a second: "Can you imagine if it were Mohammad instead?"

"Yeah," he said, "I really don't think that would go over too well."

And he's right, it probably wouldn't. Still, though! Picnic Jesus! Don't you just want to scratch his little beard? What a great guy.

Anyway. Tomorrow's another big day, so I'd better get back to the books. You'll all hear from me soon enough.


Kevin K. said...

Dude! You are less than six hours' drive from my current abode. You should come and visit! I have a 360...

James Howard said...


Dude! My academic schedule is madness and calamity, but I'll definitely have to figure out a way of getting down there sometime. (Oh, crap, I'd better find and renew my passport.)

I've spent decades of my life in far-off isolated lands, so it still hasn't really yet sunk in that -- hey, wait a minute -- I'm actually near several major locations right now. Still wrapping my head around this! Toronto's that way, Detroit's that way, Buffalo's that way, et cetera; I'm still entirely used to thinking "Minnesota is nine hours that way, Calgary is three days that way, and oh my god it is freezing out here." You know, the usual.

Sheena said...

Hey, been enjoying Slurpees & Murder for a while now... I am a transplanted 'Pegger - left for MA degree on Labour day weekend, so yes I feel your angsty joy.

If you ever get desperate for some borscht, perogies, or decent Mennonite garlic sausage, Kitchener only an hr drive away.

There's a few of us secret flatlanders stashed up here...

James Howard said...

Oh, wow, cool! Thanks for the invite.