Very much a post of bits and pieces.

Much as it pains me, Mom was right.

That is, I should really have got a haircut before I left Tosa for the spring, because getting one here in Selly Oak is proving to be a massive undertaking. Namely, there are no bleeding walk-in places that’ll take a woman anywhere nearby. Putting out a call on Twitter, I heard from editorialgirl that she didn’t think there were really any besides the city centre Supercuts in the whole of Birmingham. She signal-boosted, but an hour later, still nothing.

So unless there’s somewhere local who can get me an appointment later today or tomorrow, I’m SOL and using even more hair product until next week, when I will spend my lunchtime frantically ringing round to try and get a Friday or Saturday appointment (unless I don’t have Friday off, it’s not set in stone).

I’m not sure if this is a UK thing or a Brum thing, but it is frustrating. I mean, seriously, what happens to people who have fluctuating work schedules? It’s not like you see part of the city looking like they’re gonna open for Twisted Sister.

Anyway. Besides whinging, things are actually going all right. I think I may make some cookies today or tomorrow, and I’m out tonight to meet up with the HFTV course people, so that’s good as well. Now if the weather would only make up its mind about what it’s doing, we’d be in business.

At least the snow and slush and crap got off the streets, cutting a good five minutes off my commute and meaning I’m not scared to go down the hill on the Selfridges side of the Bullring. Well, that is, if it’s not raining.

Cultural Disconnect (the first in a series)

Firstly, before I get self-indulgent, it really looks like things in Haiti are getting worse by the hour. If you can, please donate (I’m currently assessing whether dollars or pounds would be more effective) to one of the relief efforts, or, if you can’t afford to give money, pass on the information.
Oxfam (UK)
The Humanitarian Coalition (Cda)
MSF/Doctors Without Borders (int’l)

Amongst the other, considerably more worrisome news of the world lately, you may have spotted that the weather here in Britain has been massive, massive suck.

That is, more like rather nice winter weather for any US person north of the Mason-Dixon, and early spring for Canadians. Personally, I cope rather well with it. It’s nice not having to worry about wind chill, frostbite and whether or not your engine will turn over, leaving you stranded somewhere in arctic temperatures with no heater and a scratchy army blanket.

I digress. Honestly, I would be fine with the whinging and complaining that is done here in Birmingham with an extended period of temperatures hovering around 0 degrees C (32 deg F) and snow every other day. I could maybe even handle that the entire country shuts down when there’s more than an inch of the white stuff. Flights are cancelled, trains are delayed, people drive stupid, which is a problem in the US too, sometimes…

But no one in this entire nation seems to own a bleeding shovel. Or a sidewalk ice scraper. Some businesses may potentially have sand (kudos to the Selly Oak Aldi), but other than that, nothing. Also, there is a good deal more walking going on than driving. So let’s take a look at this equation:
(temps right above/below freezing + [heavy sidewalk foot traffic – adequate snow removal]) ^ damp weather

What does that equal? If you said MASSIVE DEATH TRAPS OF DEATH, you would be correct.

A good portion of anything that is not a main road here in Brum turns to a big sheet of slushy half-ice, and it has been this way for a good week, off and on. Some days are better, others are worse. And it is supposed to get up to 6.5 or so degrees C (44 degrees F) on Saturday, so that might clear things a bit, perhaps. Or the rain supposedly coming tomorrow. But I’ll believe that when I see it. My Swiss flatmate D and I are thinking of a shovel import business, as winters like this in the UK are becoming a bit of a trend thanks to climate change, but no one here really wants one, as my classmate Aaron put it today. My theory, which he agreed with, is that people here believe that ignoring it will make it go away. All I can say is that I plan on living here and I would rather not fall on my arse, thanks, as I’m thinking I may end up commuting like Hans Brinker on the canals in Broek.

There are many things I love about the UK. This, sadly, is not one of them. Though the walking penguin style is probably doing some good for my thighs.

‘Feel a fool/Running your stateside games…’

Well, I’m back in the UK, having started at least one post for this blog while on holiday at home in Wisconsin. However, I ended up tweeting random things and failing miserably at finishing it as it is a far, far bigger project than I anticipated. In looking for the best movies of the decade…that I’ve seen…I’ve found that I can’t just cut myself down to a Top Ten, because that’d be too simple. And I might have seen less than half of the Best Picture Oscar noms between 2000 and 2009, losing my street cred. Oops.

If you want some film reviews in the meantime, my friend Anita is trying to watch a film a day in 2010. You can find her effort here–she’s not afraid to tell it how it is, which gets major props from me, even when I may or may not agree.

Meanwhile, instead of blogging, I’ll be over here braving the British weather, wherein no one knows what to do with a shovel and a snowy sidewalk. Translation: much slipperiness.

h/t to James Taylor for the subject line, by the way.