Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pretty times, Southampton

(Andy has made it to New Orleans safely and he will update later.)

So, if you ever get it in your head that moving to England sounds like a brilliant idea, do it in the late summer. Similar to New Orleans in the spring, the weather right now is so beautiful you can fool your self into believing that it won’t ever be terrible. Also, if you make up your mind to move here, don’t think that just because the British have technically been doing anything longer than America that they are better at it. Cause all of that’s a load of crap and will leave to fuming in all sorts of lines for hours.

I arrived on time in London Heathrow after a rather uneventful flight. It was early afternoon and everything was just peachy…until I saw the lines. Several hundred people lined up like at Disneyland but with out all the joy, candy-smell, and fresh air. I queued up in the “first year” student line only to find out I don’t have a piece of information about myself that they want my to have in hand. One is my medical record lost by my GP in a medical computer glitch. Needless to say, I had a minor panic attack. No worries though, the border patrol are the most racist people on the planet, and I happen to be the only white person in my line. A glance at my passport, a stamp on my visa, and a perfunctory “have a nice stay” later, and I am racing to get my bazillion bags and meet up with Raj, my AWESOME hired cab man.

After two trips to Southampton where I got absolutely nothing accomplished I decided to suck it up and accept that the universe thought my life needed a bit more dorm in it. I will be residing in a single bedroom with a sink. Woo!

With accommodations, and therefore public transport, out of the way, I am left with nothing to do there until I can move it. I have been hanging out in London getting my fill of home life.

I will hopefully have more to tell everyone once I move in and classes actually start. Wish me luck….

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Air and Land

Hello Everyone! I have some updates on Quinn and I.

Quinn promises that a post is forthcoming, but to undercut her, I am happy to say that she is safely in England, well on her way to being a real resident with apartment/dorm, bank, and university orientation. She's been running all over Southampton, and seems really satisfied (except about the price of PG Tips on the train).

I am driving to New Orleans, and I'm already in El Paso! I got a chance to stop in Tucson for a long lunch playing hookie with Katie, and playing walk/throw frog with Emma. Here are some pictures from today, and I hope to make it into New Orleans tomorrow night. And I've already got a place, with the McCay's and their Beagles! Enjoy the pictures,

Geronimo surrendered.

Happy Tucson time! Yay for family!

Tombstone, AZ

Not a bad place for sunset- the continental divide!
Missing are pictures of the stars in nowhere, New Mexico. What do we trade for city lights?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Updates Theater

There have been some positive developments in our lives.

Number one - Jude (the cat) has started loving me. He always takes a few weeks to warm to me, and now we're best cuddle-buddies.

I have agreed to buy Denis' 4 door Ford Focus 2002. I will drive it to New Orleans (across Texas, although I am tempted to drive around). I am learning to drive manual transmission, and I feel like a real boy!

Quinn's visa has arrived! She has it in her hand, so that bit of stress is gone. Now we are again preparing for a trans-Atlantic move.

I still have no firm jobs in New Orleans, but I am hopeful. I am also holding hope for English church jobs that would allow me to apply for a visa. In some ways I am happy to go to New Orleans - comfort zone, friends, connections. But the future of separation is depressing, as predicted, even though we know we can do it, and we know how.

I hope to hear from you,

Friday, September 11, 2009

One crazy week...

So it's been a crazy week here. I flew to London, was rejected entry based on the suspicion that I was not a tourist but a person seeking residence and employment and public funds (can't fault the acumen of the border people), detained and flown back to LA (on UK funds). Everyone was lovely about it, "Oh hello Mr. Morgan, good to see you again, I'm afraid to say that we are sending you back, can I get you some tea and a sandwich?" So I am back here. I got to watch a lot of movies, though - Coraline (sweet, beautiful), Sunshine Cleaners (cutesy Amy Adams), Angels and Demons (dumb), the Soloist (brilliant, provocative), Dragonball (dumb, bad acting), and even some new Flight of the Conchords!

Quinn has received here visa! It is in her hand right now. She is changing her flight - again, if its not too expensive - so that she can get to Southampton quickly, setup an apartment, and make it to the 'welcome week' at University. Her ticket for the 21st would have left her in the middle of orientation week with no apartment, so we are happy for that change. I hope her arrival is less eventful than mine! She will be staying at Anna and Adrian's house in London, commuting to Southampton to find an apartment and attend school events.

I will leave LA after she does and head to New Orleans. I think that means the 21st. I will keep trying to get my own visa (without which I am barred from the UK), but mostly I am looking for work (thank you Buddy and Kathleen) so I can start paying down student loans. There is some hope for a visa, especially if I can convince my diocese contacts in England to sponsor me.

We are staring down another year apart. Sadness. This is no good at all, but what to do? Depending on work I may or may not travel to Belgium in October as planned. Maybe Christmas? Questions questions questions. Another wrench thrown into our plans, another year suddenly and profoundly changed. Does the universe conspire to separate us? Do we sabotage ourselves? What is the meaning of these challenges in our lives? Are they signs, grace-filled acts, or are they the result of accumulated randomness? We will see.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The loop, the film, the attic and the airplane.

It has been quiet here this last week as we play the anxiety-filled waiting game for Quinn's visa. All of her documents are sent out, and we think she is a super-strong candidate, but it has not come quickly enough or with the expected 'confirmation emails', so she changed her ticket. Now I will be flying to London on Tuesday solo, followed by Quinn on the 21st. We hope that will be enough time for the consulate down the street (within walking distance) to give us some encouragement.

Can you imagine a game about waiting? Why has no-one filmed a romantic comedy with that title, about people getting married maybe? The anxiety from waiting is a unique breed and makes me want to clean things so as to insist upon my ability to control my world. My desires to clean and organize coordinate with Denis' hopes for the attic and the garage, so at least it's productive and not straightening rugs and re-folding t-shirts.

Although, since we are leaving separately, I have replaced that anxiety with packing fever, and have begun making lists of things that go into suitcases and backpacks. I have begun making appointments in Soton and London. I wake up with visions of the apartment hunt and first visit to the grocery and meeting the neighbors. I am trying to figure out what to do while I am there, what services I will volunteer to get myself into the community of churches in the diocese.
I have also been editing a lot for an online service. I just finished helping someone with his dissertation on Croatia and diaspora which has filled me full of rather useless information (until I go back to Dubrovnik!)

Mostly, though, we have been catching up on movies and getting Quinn's room 'packed up' in a serious, permanent way. Rather emotional, sometimes. Yesterday she made some insanely good pork and grilled corn-in-husk, and we had something like a part with Andrew (who's staying here now), Emily and her brother John and their mother. Fun times, good beer, great food and dessert and philosophical conversations. It was like an indie short film.

I hope everyone is dandy. Besides the passive stress of waiting, we are very dandy ourselves.