I think I will have to use some of my birthday money to buy a new pair of jeans, the washing machine/tumble dryer combination has shrunk some jeans that were already tight enough. I feel like I've been vacuum-packed into my jeans.
After enduring many boring Saturday nights (the night life here is not good for students) we impulsively decided to go find some Henna and the various other ingredients so we could make our own Henna tattoos. I was very unoriginal and had a pink Floyd tattoo (the prism from dark side of the moon) but it looked cool for the 2 weeks I had it.
College Inn hosted another Ping pong and crud tournament for the residents. Naturally I donned the appropriate attire and went to defend my title. After a nervous start against number 4 seed Brian I pulled myself together and went on the attack, winning all of my other games convincingly. I won a $15 voucher to the local supermarket but most important of all, I re-stated my superiority.
A quick note to say the body should have evolved a mechanism that stops you from being able to sneeze and have a nose bleed at the same time. Damn this altitude!
It seems the Americans are more enthusiastic about St Patricks day than anyone I've seen living in England. While it's good to celebrate other's cultures and histories I think it's a bit odd that Americans celebrate this holiday while most of them know nothing about Ireland's culture or the history behind St Patricks day. They just use it as an excuse to get drunk. My cynical, sadistic wishes were fulfilled when rain (a very rare sight in Colorado) ruined the nights of many shrieking girls that had been walking around looking for parties. If you're going to celebrate an Irish holiday then you can have some Irish weather to go with it.
At dinner tonight the serving hatch was littered with many plates where pepperoni pizza had once been, the funny sight was that the broccoli pizza had not had a single slice taken out of it. I mean I can't blame the Americans for this, what moron decided to put broccoli on a pizza? But it was quite a funny sight that summed up the American state of obesity. I only wish I'd taken a picture.
The tennis courts are finally clear of snow and so I'm managing to get my weekly fix of tennis. I played a doubles match today and played pretty well considering it was the first time in a while. My doubles partner managed to hit me with his serve while we were playing and I vowed I'd get him back. I got my chance in the next match when I was playing against him and he put a return high up into the air, I volleyed at him and he just got a racket to it, sending the ball skyward. The next shot I pummelled at his shoulder and he fell over and yelped like a little girl (I may have used a bit of poetic licence to make myself sound slightly more epic). The problem with this was that the people on the other courts had stopped to watch all the commotion and basically I made a right tit of myself in front of everyone. If I was telepathic I would be able to hear them think "wow that british guy has serious anger issues".
I've signed up to the campus alert system (primarily so I receive texts if there's a snow day) and got an alarming text on Friday. Apparently in the early hours of Friday morning there was a mugging on the hill that escalated when the two people managed to de-mask the attacker. After a struggle the mugger shot one of the students dead. This happened outside a lot of the student houses and a lot of people on campus are shaken up about it. In my opinion it just underlines the need for gun possession to be made illegal. Of course America is too stubborn to ever consider this but it makes me glad that in Europe we have the right idea.
It is finally spring break! Time for a relaxing week away from lectures (although I still have a fair amount of work to do). I went snowboarding today in Vail resort, I've now been to 3 of the 5 local resorts and I hope to visit the other two before I leave. Unfortunately it's been so warm that the snow was relatively bad, not a bad day out though. I got to drive home from the mountains on the 'wrong' side of the road. I'm pretty competent but my road positioning is a little off (I only saw Kevin praying for his life a few times).
I went hiking with a friend after a leisurely breakfast (at 1pm!) I really enjoyed the hike but have only just realised how horribly unfit I am, even with the altitude and steepness of the hike I should not have been panting the way I was.
After the hike I went to the supermarket to buy supplies for the coming week. As its spring break the dining halls are not open and I have to eat relatively cheaply but without the ability to cook any food myself (because my dorm has no kitchen). Getting 3 meals a day without being to go to the dining halls is a nightmare, I feel like a hunter gatherer.
I went to dinner with some friends at a sports bar. It was a basketball game day and so everyone was worrying about their predictions for the march madness knock-out tournament. Some friends in the dorm decided it would be fun to make predictions and the winner would get $25. All very well for the Americans who know the teams and the sport inside out, me on the other hand couldn't give a s*** about basketball so I chose my predictions pretty much randomly. Unsurprisingly after only 2 rounds of games my chosen winners have been knocked out and I am rock bottom of the table, It would take a miracle for me to come anywhere other than last place.
The recommended pages tool on facebook isn't helpful, if anything it's quite depressing. "Justin Bieber - 5 friends like this", it makes you wonder why you're friends with some people.
I woke up relatively early (10am - god forbid) and met up with Nate so we could teach Madeline how to drive her new car (it's a manual and most Americans learn to drive on automatics). It was quite funny to be the instructor and made me realise how long ago it was that I was having driving lessons (I passed my test 30 months ago, that makes me feel so old). I also got to drive the car for a bit, it's very confusing having the gear stick and mirror on the opposite side, I was ok but not entirely confident.
After dinner I went to Denver to a Fair to midland gig. There were 3 supporting acts, 2 of which were crap and it felt like ages until Fair to midland eventually came on. The performance was a bit disappointing to be honest. The sound quality was poor for the first half of the gig (admittedly not the band's fault - it was the sound engineer's), they didn't play many of my favourite songs and the singer was either incredibly ill or on an insane amount of drugs. Just as the gig finished I was approached by a drunk bloke who felt inclined to buy me a drink because he'd slammed into me in the mosh pit. I declined the offer and humoured him for a while as he tried to formulate a conversation. This was how the conversation went:
Me: So, how did you like the support bands?
Drunk guy: I wasn't really listening I was drinking with my friends
Drunk guy: "Where are you from, you sound funny"
Drunk guy: YOU F*** SHEEP!
At this point I am stunned into silence, not only at what he's said, but at his delivery. This ignorant moron could for all I know think this is true, after a few seconds he still hadn't said anything and was staring and grinning at me. I felt so awkward I just wished him a good night and scurried off.
After finally taking out the recycling I've realised I can perform a carbon dating type analysis on the emptied ben n jerrys cartons to work out how many weeks I've been here.
The weather here is so unpredictable, after a really nice warm day it's now so cold and 50mph gusts are rushing through the grate on my balcony door and keeping me awake.
A boring day, at least I got some revision done. I walked to the nearest pizza place for dinner and ordered a 14" pizza. When it was ready the cashier handed it over to me and asked if I needed any knapkins or plates. I said I just needed 1 plate, the cashier looked at me inquisitively and said "just one?" What must have been going through his head? Well it was either "I'm surprised that handsome young fellow has no one to share this pizza with" or the more likely one he just couldn't conceive one person would be so greedy as to have the whole pizza to himself. Either way it's pretty depressing.
A very long day snowboarding, I also realised my season pass has been monitored all season and I looked up how much snowboarding I've done. I've managed just over 200,000 vertical feet so far (about 38 miles). As I say that's vertical feet so that's an underestimation, clearly I'm keeping up with the locals!
I went to a party with the Lancaster alumni and enjoyed having a relaxing drink and socialising with some different people, we played a game called boom, it's similar to beer pong but more fast paced. It turns out I'm an absolute natural and ended up taking drinks for other people because I never missed.
I'm back to lectures tomorrow and am really dreading it. I've been quite homesick this week but there's only 5 weeks of lectures left till exams. Then after 4 horrendous days of exams I'll be done and ready to go on my road trip. Not long till I'm back now.
Thanks for reading.