Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tea Versus Coffee and the Scone Crisis

I love tea. I love coffee. And yet people like to pretend they can't love both equally. What the even heck?
Since coming to the UK I've seen just how much people love tea. Like really really love it. It's great. You can get a cream tea deal on every street corner, pretty much. (That'd be a tea plus a scone and jam and clotted cream - and don't even get me started on the pronunciation of scone. Uh oh. It's too late. It's started.)

SCONE DIGRESSION: I grew up with the pronunciation of scone as SCOH-N. Like rhyming with 'phone' or 'bone' or 'cone' and whatnot. Now suddenly I'm surrounded by people saying SC-ON. Like rhyming with 'John' if he were made of bread or 'gone' or whatnot. And this is a crisis. These folks are English, so they should know, right? But I can't possibly say it that way. It simply feels wrong. Like when people say 'mum' instead of 'mom' or calling it brown bread instead of whole wheat. Unless that's not what brown bread means. OH NOT MORE CRISES!!
Anyway. Back to tea and coffee. I am used to a Starbucks culture. I don't care for Starbucks coffee, only drinking their sugary liquefied candy drinks like Cinnamon Dolce Lattes and Pumpkin Spice concoctions. But I grew accustomed to seeing everyone struttin' down the boulevard clutching a Starbucks cup in hand. And having discussions with folks who can't function without coffee. Here these things are different.

Yes, there are coffee enthusiasts, but 99 times out of 100 (and I've definitely obviously met at least 100 folks and discussed this) they go for the tea here. People drink tea like it's water or something. Like they need it. Can't live without it. And they eat cake all the time! So much cake. I love it.
Why aren't we eating more cake with our coffee?

Anyway. I end up drinkin' a ton of tea here and for the first time in a long time this morning I made a cup of coffee. And can I just say caffeine is an amazing drug and why isn't it just piped into our water supply? And boy is it hard to spell caffeine without spell check when you've had a ton of it. I think tea drinkers are missing out on this euphoria. On the other hand, tea makes me feel serious and quiet and getting stuff done. While coffee makes me feel serious like I could punch someone's face through a wall.

ANYWAY. Which brings me to life as I know it, which is through TV and movies.  Let's peep at some famous tea and coffee lovers to make this more relevant to my usual topics of discussion.

First up. Duh, Agent Dale Cooper. 
He's who we should all aspire to be. He's kind of like Captain America if you think about it. And who wouldn't want to be a small town Captain America. And I'm so glad the show is coming back because the end of that show was basically one of the most upsetting things to happen to me through television. +1 FOR COFFEE

Sherlock Holmes
This dude solves cases a bit faster than Agent Cooper, but he generally doesn't have to contend with the supernatural and teenage girls throwing themselves at him. And he does it fueled by delicious, delicious tea! +1 FOR TEA

Kenneth Ellen Parcell
He loved coffee a little too much. How he acts when he drinks coffee is how I feel when I drink coffee. +1 FOR COFFEE

The Gilmores
These gals can't survive without their coffee. And remember that time Logan rented Rory a coffee cart? That's true love. And people are always on these chicks about talking so fast. You try not talking like that when you're cracked out on coffee 24/7. +2 FOR COFFEE

Hercule Poirot
Guy's gotta drink something to keep those little grey cells chugging. I'm sensing that tea is fuel for smart people. +1 FOR TEA

Willy Wonka
This idiot. He has his tea and eats it, too. I want to eat a teacup. When will my prince come? +1 FOR TEA

Holly Golightly
Coffee, diamonds, pastries. Done. +1 FOR COFEE


From this small sampling, we can conclude that the fictional world prefers coffee to tea. Those who love tea appear more alert and innovative in terms of logical thought (excluding the eating of the cup, thought that may be seen as logic in terms of leaving no trace or waste behind), while those who drink coffee have a heroic desperation about them and have great aspirations and intentions.

Thus, we conclude the debate shall rage on, as does the battle of my skeleton to escape my body every time I drink coffee. Thank you and good day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Welcome to Miami - I mean, Bath. Welcome to Bath.

I think I'll just start referring to the UK as Miami from now on, because why not. Yes, it will cause some confusion in just about every social situation. However, there will be a day when I can tell Tom to get the plane and then I'll start rapping about Miami.

What really happened is that I am in the UK. In Bath. But Will Smith never rapped about Bath, nor did he ever welcome anyone to it. Bienvenido a Bath, I say! But Bath didn't exactly welcome me. You see, there are some differences between the grand old USA and the grander older UK. Wacky, right?! Who'd have thunk it? But more on that later.

For now, in case you are wondering (and who isn't wondering about what I'm doing?!) what I'm doing here it's going to school. To study. Writing. More writing. For young people. Like kids and crap.

And people seem really confused as to why I would go to Bath for school when I come from California. Like how people in the US are really confused when I say I hate San Francisco. It's somehow unbelievable even though it's just, like, facts and sciences.

So I'm all like, "Hey, nerds! I want to study writing for CHILDREN. This is the PLACE TO BE!" Then people are like, "But, Laura - you hate children, don't you?" And I act all indignant and am like, "Hate'em?! I hardly know'em! Are there specific children I can think of that I intensely dislike? Sure! But who doesn't hate certain children that way? Anyway, I want to write mainly for young adults. Especially adults like myself who love reading young adult books. No, but I kid! See, KID! I love kids." And then the people talking to me look at each other uncomfortably and slowly back away as I start singing.

Besides, for every idiot kid like this:

There's a cooler less idiotic kid like this:

And so will I write a picture book or two? PERHAPS. Do I have a brilliant idea for one involving robots and donuts? MAYBE I DO. Might I write books for young adults? DUH. Will I ever understand how many different British accents there are? NO. I barely understood the dude putting in my internet and spent most of the time laughing and nodding to what I assume was the nonsensical ravings of a lunatic. I think he mentioned rain and finished most sentences by calling me "love." Total psycho. No, no - he was cool. Let's all call everyone "love," shall we? People might like that better than my oft-chosen choice, "turd."

And when I called customer service when he left and never came back did I understand those people when all they were asking for was my last name? NO. Because they kept saying "surname" and a jumble of other crazy things that aren't things in a wacky way. But you know what? We all got along cause we're all just speakin' the same lanuage here. Pretty much. I feel like an alien who's come to Earth and knows the basics of language, but I have to stare really hard at peoples' mouths when they're making words to understand about half of what's been said.

And that's A-OK.

And I know I said this was just gonna be about school, but I say a lot of things. We're already off track here. Apparently some people get super offended when you try to tip them and then get all huffy and are like, "I get paid very well." And I'm like, "That's great, Dude-Who-Works-At-Ikea, but you're not Bill Gates here. You work in Ikea. Your house is probably made of Ikea. No need to get on the high horse you probably built yourself out of Ikea parts." 

Like I know minimum wage in the US is pretty crap, but the people in the UK (or Bath at least) have to pay for nutso things like a TV license. Sorry. Licence. That's 150 pounds. Which is like 200-something bucks. PLUS, we get way better value for a lot of crud. So, yeah, duh our minimum wage is an unlivable unrealistic garbage rate, but it's not the worst thing that ever happened in the world. Why you gotta be so smug, UK employees? It's like they all think they're sassy mini-RDJs or something. 

And they are so not. I sold his assistant a birthday card to give to him once, so I think I know what I'm talking about.

So it's like, "It's not gonna kill you, Dude-Who-Works-At-Ikea, to take my tip for helping me do a bunch of crap you're not even supposed to help me do. It's just gonna make me feel better about everything and even if you're paid so well you live in an Ikea castle on an Ikea mountain by an Ikea river that flows with your very well paid Ikea quid and you crap Ikea gold, it would just be nice for me - the idiot from abroad who thinks tipping is just a nice gesture if someone goes out of there way to help you - if you took my tip. IT'S NO BIG DEAL." 

Clearly. Since I've just ranted about it for a large paragraph. Whatever. I complain because I love. BUCKLE UP, UK - IT'S GONNA BE A BUMPY NIGHT! By the end of this year-long adventure, I'm gonna be the Han to UK's Leia.
Stay tuned for next time, when we talk about how amazing it is that there are cream tea specials on every other corner, they have eight thousand dfiferent sized coins, and how I feel my Californian accent becoming more Valley Girl-esque as every moment passes.