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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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ursarctous requested posts, so you get to hear about how... [20081031|11:52]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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...I've been homesick lately.

I realize that some of this is due to avoidance of television, radio and internet sources of news because even thinking about the upcoming presidential election causes a cold, hard pit of dread to open up in my stomach. (I hereby respectfully request that you not address this portion of the post in the comments.) Some of it is the descending winter darkness, which always turns me into a(n even) big(ger) mopey goth. And some of it is just that, holy crap, I haven't lived in my home country for over four years now.

Homesickness manifests itself in bizarre ways. One that I only recently recognized is the sudden obsession with hair metal that I've developed since the bloke & I found GnR's "Appetite for Destruction" whilst scrimmaging around in the attic of his familial homestead a few months back. Since then, I've been playing YouTube videos at myself endlessly, because I don't actually own much rock. I never had to. It was on the radio constantly.

It was just something that was always there when I was growing up. Metallica and Alice in Chains puts me in my high school boyfriend's Camaro. When I listen to AC/DC, I'm back in the stands by the football field. My best friend Kim & I shiver in our drill team outfits, blowing on our gloved hands with our pom-poms in our laps, waiting to do the half-time show. Bon Jovi watches me nervously buying my first pair of combat boots from the army surplus store. I can smell the hot smog of Los Angeles and see my group of rivethead friends parading around Magic Mountain in full club gear when Aerosmith comes on.

It's all just so....American.

Here, you can have a hair metal day too.
Aerosmith, "Crazy" (Liv Tyler + Alicia Silverstone == zomg hottness)
AC/DC, "Thunderstruck (I can't listening to this without punching the air with my fists.)
GnR, "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Metallica, "Enter Sandman"
Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box"

And for a little cross-cultural flavour, have a bit of UK hair metal.
Def Leppard, "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ursarctous
2008-10-31 14:40 (UTC)
thank you for making my friends page less sad-looking! and yay for hair metal. and, oh, next time i feel homesick i should remind myself that, if i really had to, i could be back in my parents house in under four hours, which really isn't too bad and certainly isn't anything to complain about within earshot [or internet equivalent] of you. xx
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 21:07 (UTC)
Aw, I don't think my homesickness should preclude anyone else from complaining about theirs. In fact, I think we should see it as an opportunity to commiserate, and eat a lot of chocolate.
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From: secretsquirrel7
2008-10-31 15:33 (UTC)
Happy Halloween!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 21:08 (UTC)
Yay, thank you! Mine was great. Went to a costume party that's the best I've attended in years. I hope you enjoyed yours too.
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[User Picture]From: cryhavoctm
2008-10-31 15:58 (UTC)

Memories

Ahh, Alice in Chains. Love the crunchy guitar. Superb CD, might have to dig it out when I get home.

Oooh, you missed Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots (Sex Type Thing was awesome!)...

I'll leave the others you did mention though...

...except maybe for "Crazy", and then I'll just watch the video with the sound turned down.

;)

J.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 21:12 (UTC)
Yes, I remember the tape being on constantly for months in aforementioned high school boyfriend's car.

I liked Soundgarden, but STP didn't do it as much for me. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Temple of the Dog and L7 made it onto a lot of my mix tapes. As did Coil, Nine Inch Nails and Front Line Assembly...although I didn't actually know what "industrial music" was until I moved to LA.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2008-10-31 16:41 (UTC)
Music in general is a heeeyuuuge mood tweaker for me.

*waves magic wand & removes teh ache & leaves only audio goodness in its wake*

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 21:13 (UTC)
I got to jump around to a lot of silly 80s music on Friday night so the magic wand clearly worked. Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: mysti77
2008-10-31 23:44 (UTC)
I have bouts of homesickness too. One day I started to cry because I saw a corny youtube 'music video' that a tourist made of their trip to Barbados. I cried because the things mentioned were silly things that I never realised I missed - like hearing the 'crickets' at night and the sound of the rain (when it rains it really rains!)

I really wonder, will we ever get over these feelings and will this country ever feel like home? Will we ever leave here one day and feel homesick for England?

*hugs*

p.s. Very American music but I 'grew up' on it to, thanks to MTV!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 21:36 (UTC)
I really wonder, will we ever get over these feelings and will this country ever feel like home? Will we ever leave here one day and feel homesick for England?

While I was pondering your questions, I realized I now find it quite difficult to imagine deciding to leave the UK permanently. I don't know if that means I'd feel "homesick" if I left, because I've only spent a fraction of my total lifespan here. But I have certainly put down enough roots to find the concept of transplant painful.
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From: nicklechicken
2008-11-02 16:05 (UTC)
It's ok. I get homesick quite frequently also. And this time of year always marks the start of a downturn for me anyway. Triple that since I have been in the UK. I miss Americans and their Americaness. I get really irritated when I hear myself slip and say things like, biscuit (when referring to a COOKIE), sweets (it should be candy or candy bar in my book), trousers, knickers..etc. You get the picture. I cling onto my Americanisms because it is who I am and for some reason it makes me feel as though I am making a stand for that. Silly but true! I am going to Colorado on the 20th for ten days. I am excited but dreading it because I know I will come back more homesick.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 22:05 (UTC)
I cling onto my Americanisms because it is who I am and for some reason it makes me feel as though I am making a stand for that.

You know, I've made such an effort to change my vocabulary to assimilate as much as possible that I've actually forgotten the "American" words for things at times. It makes me sad when it happens, as I've always liked being able to adjust to the company I'm in. The last time a group of colleagues were over from JPL (in California), they thought I was English. I had to tell people I was American. My British colleagues think I still sound pretty American, thankfully, but my speech rhythms and vocabulary have completely mutated. I'm confused about how to feel about that. On the one hand, successful assimilation. On the other, loss of identity. It's a high price to pay.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 22:07 (UTC)
Also, I hope you enjoy your trip home! I hope you'll come back refreshed and ready to face the homesickness with greater fortitude.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-11-03 22:21 (UTC)
I think you did mention that. I remember thinking, there's no way it'll get worse. I think I had an idea that it would slowly fade from a sharp pain to a dull ache and then go away, like a physical wound. The problem is that the dull ache is actually worse than the sharp pain. The sharp pain was predictable things that were easy to cope with, like missing sushi and Mexican food. The dull ache is things that sneak up on me and bite me on the ass when I get an unexpected reprieve from, say, having to police my vocabulary constantly, or maintaining a facade of cool irony.

I like the pumpkin collider, particularly the careful alignment of the seeds along the field lines.
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[User Picture]From: thefounder
2008-11-04 22:46 (UTC)
"It was on the radio constantly." to me, that really is quite a bizarre concept, or at least it was until Planet Rock began to exist and i obtained a digital radio on which to listen to it.* i always find it odd to think of how well known some of the bands i like are/were in the US when it seemed like no one here had heard of them.

for example, i began listening to Alice in Chains when i was about 16 [courtesy of the guitarist in the band i was in at the time] and since then i've probably met fewer than ten people in the UK who've heard of them. it felt odd when i realised that they must have been at least a bit popular in the US to have done MTV Unplugged. unfortunately, it's always seemed to me that it's only the crap American music that gets really popular here while all the good stuff remains very niche. hm.
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* Mari took it with her when she moved out, but then not to long afterwards one of my colleagues acquired one for our office. :)
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