Sunday, February 28, 2010

I promise it's not a novella.

I know, I know. It’s been forever and I fail at life. I got behind again, too bad.

Let me recap, though.

The long-anticipated VIKING FESTIVAL in York has come and gone. Last Saturday, Casey and I got ourselves up obnoxiously early. (I may or may not have just decided not to sleep after my homework was finished around 4:30a in order to watch three episodes of The Vampire Diaries. May or may not, you decide.) We had Megabus tickets from London to York - they have Megabus here, but only kind of. Arriving at St. Pancras Station with ample time, neither Casey nor myself can stand being late, we were free to enjoy an apricot tart from the mean people that work at Paul making the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.

We sit with a view of the doorway that our bus is excepted to arrive at - we both checked things out online, map and all. About 15 minutes before our bus is supposed to leave, we decide we had better ask someone because we haven’t seen it yet. We search for a ticket counter (and a trash can), we finally find the Megabus ticket counter upstairs in front of train platforms, with a sign that says “MegaBus passengers you’re train departs from these platforms”? MegaBUS . . . TRAIN PLATFORMS . . . uhhhhhhh . . . we now have 10 minutes (still haven’t found a trash can, by the way). After speaking to the polite lady behind the desk we learn the truth: in order to take Megabus from St. Pancras, at least in order to take it to York, you have to take a train from St. Pancras to the East-Mid Highlands and get on the bus there. 5 minutes before we’re supposed to leave, thanks for telling us So, needless to say, we get on the train.

After much laughter, and a few strange look since it took us 10 minutes to figure out we had jumped onto the quiet coach, our train is speeding through greater England headed towards York, and apparently going through the tundra because - 30 minutes outside of London - it was snowing. East-Mid Higlands (or whatever the place is called) finally arrives, we exit the bus under two smoke stacks that look like nuclear reactors and see 4 buses lined up beside a field.

Our 4 minute layover, or transfer rather, permits us to use the rest room and jump on the bus. We’re stuck in the front seat. Oh well, we’re pretty sure we’re on the right bus to York. More time passes, I sleep mostly, and eventually we’re dropped off in the parking lot of a 24-hour Tesco in York. (Please note that the aspect of this moment that generated the largest response was not that we were in a parking lot in a distant town, but that is was a 24-hour Tesco. Priorities.) Navigating the local bus proves easier than expected, and before we know it, we are in our hotel room. Travel, a success.

Our first Viking activity of the weekend was titled “Boat Burial & Vale Hoard.” We naturally assumed, even after skimming event descriptions, that we had bought tickets to watch a boat be sunk, or something . . . hopefully with flames and then see lots of cool, old treasure. WRONG. Our tickets were to two of the nerdiest lectures I’ve ever attended. “Boat Burial,” concerning an anthropological dig in the Orkney Islands. They discovered a boat with remains of a man, an elderly woman, and a child. The geeky lady was interesting. “Vale Hoard” spotlighted a British Museum employee reading his notes about the cups and saucers they’ve gathered WORD-FOR-WORD (Please, if any one reading this ever speaks in public, even to a room of viking dorks, don’t do it. Just don’t.) I would go into more detail, but I feel asleep.

In the midst of my sleeping, however, I did not miss the best moment of the two or so hours we sat listening. Upon the first slide of the boat popping up, a man in the front with lots of facial piercings exclaiming “AHHHHHHH” in the most sensual voice possible. I had to repeatativly conjure images of Richard Nixon to control my laughter. Sharing with Casey that this was my go-to image when wanted to regain composure, however, generated more laughter. I have to find a new image. I also managed to get a glimpse of a man who was the twin of the dwarf from Lord of the Rings.

I don’t know his name. (Casey does. She also knows the titles and basic melodies to tracks on the soundtrack, which appropriately or not was also the soundtrack chosen by those that run to Jorvick center to provide background music for the weekend’s events.)

Lectures complete. We grabbed pasties (never accidentally call them pastries to a York man, he will glower at you) and strolled through the town - York is adorable, GO! - before our last scheduled event of the evening, a town tour with a viking!

Our viking tour guide was about as far from Eric Northman as you can get. The grungy old man, a self-proclaimed writer shared that when he was giving tours at another festival at another town, he had never been there until he got off the train 2 hours before his premier tour. Sparing unnecessary details, the tour was dull and he was strange. (Though those on it with us were a mixture of even duller and stranger, one boy wearing multiple wounds in true viking festival fashion would appear in random places throughout the rest of the weekend.)

Tour done. We found tables in York’s famous, and supposedly haunted, Golden Fleece pub and ate dinner. Casey made friends with mead.

Dinner done, we were tired and needed snacks. Sainbury’s provided not only Fox’s biscuits, but also a texting buddy for Casey. His name is Tom, he’s very good-looking, and until we learned his last name I seriously suspected it to be Sainbury, for he must obviously be the son of the store’s CEO or CFO, making him Casey’s new, fabulously wealthy England love. (Sad confession, this is false. His last name is Gardner, or something generic like that.)

The second day of the viking festival yielded even more pleasure. We entered the tent to get fake battle wounds, but chickened out and got braids instead.

After the strings were tied, however, we looked at each other, regained our gusto and got battle wounds instead.

More wandering ensued, though we looked a little odd when we got out of the immediate viking areas. Apparently York is a popular shopping destination, and a town full of beautiful men. There were people there not for the festival, imagine that.
(See my Facebook Profile Picture if you desperately need an image of this.)

We watched the vikings prepare to march to the battle field. A lovely site in the nice English sun.

We then went to check out the beard competition and were terribly disappointed. An ice cream come, chips, and Strongbow, however, managed to fill our time as we awaited the final battle of the weekend: a recreation of battle at the York racetrack fields (horses nor cars) completely with boat burning! Our only worry was that we wouldn’t be able to catch it all before we had to jump onto our train.

More Lord of the Rings music and a weakly narrated video, and the first staged battle was done. It was a smaller scirmish really, but it was all right. Fire jugglers performed next. However, time quickly passed - and York quickly became a frozen tundra as we stood still in an open field - and it was time for us to board our train. (Just a train this time, not a MegaBus-train-to-bus.)

The train to London meant sleeping for me, homework/Sookie Stackhouse for Casey. Don’t get us wrong, we have lots of work here and really attempted to be productive while traveling. I can’t help it that most moving vehicles lull me to sleep. Casey can’t help it that tales of Sookie and Bill are inherently more interesting that those of an Irish boy and Buddhist priest roaming through India (No offense Javeed, we still love you.).

We arrived safely back at Nido, spent some time recounting our tales to Erica, and then slept. Traveling for the weekend was not over, because we had the NYU trip to Oxford the next day. Buses were leaving at 8:45am on the dot.

I woke up at 8:40a, though I hadn’t managed to shower the night before, I had luckily managed to wash the fake blood off my face. My reading came with me, but I fell asleep on the bus and woke up in the center of academia - OXFORD.

I had no idea what to think of Oxford before going. I had heard about it, but never seen it. The images in my head were, therefore, rough sketches of buildings with columns, at best. After spending the day there, my only comment was, why do I go to NYU?

The cost of an Oxford education is the same, normally less, than that of NYU. Something is inherently wrong with the world. . . . Good thing I haven’t ruled out getting a PhD yet . . .

With the week resuming, and travels finally over for the weekend. I then proceeded to lock myself up to my books until now - aside from seeing a spectacular production of Measure for Measure and a pretty interesting play called Off the Endz, they were both class performances I had to attend. Now I am on a train, again, headed to Shrewsbury to spend the weekend with strangers through a program called HOST. A freshman, Cindy, and I have been paired with a couple, the Brown’s, to spend the weekend at their home, encouraging culture exchange. I’m excited and nervous. But their town is small, their house is also the town post office, and they have 2 cats, and it’s a real bed and not the tiny Nido dorm, so I think I’ll be okay until Sunday evening.

I apologize for the obnoxious length both of time since my last real post and of this particular novella I’ve spat out on the train. Rest assured my abroad program is not academic BS. I had to papers due this week, one next week, one the next, a week off, and one more before spring break. I have a large stack of books to read too. Though I am caught up on everything right now, rest assured I will be chained again.


And now I’m on another train, headed back to London from Shrewsbury. I am stuffed full on homemade bread, cakes, lamb roast, veg, and enough tea to fill the Great Lakes. Cindy and I stayed with the Brown’s. They run the post office and town shop and have two cats.

Saturday we toured the town of Shrewsbury.

It’s a picturesque mid-evil town, with lots of history. Charles Darwin was born there, attending primary school in what is now the public library. Boys have carved their initials into the wood siding, some of the carvings date back to the 1770s. Funny how little boys don’t seem to change.

Today we went to the town of Craven Arms. Don’t let the cool name fool you, though. It’s basically a main street and a tourist/discovery center. The center has a lot of interesting information, though. There are lots legends concerning the hills that make up Shropshire.

Apparently I giant had a bunch of rocks he wanted to throw at the town in his belt and they fell out, creating neat piles. That’s one story at least. Another is that it really is the devil’s chair, and he sits there at night, once a year calling all the local witches together to choose a leader. He always watches people during cloudy days when he’s out of view. I prefer the first story.

Shropshire country side is lovely. It’s Bronte England, with moors and looming hills and clouds that could bring together the likes of Catherine and Heathcliff.

Back to London, though. A paper due Tuesday and one to draft on Wednesday. Ballet on Tuesday, a play on Wednesday, and Advanced Jazz on Thursday. A weekend devoted to Indian literature, Shakespeare, and paragraph structure. 3 weekends until spring break & only 1 more super productive weekend until two friends from the states arrive. Listing it all like that makes it seem regimented. It’s either dutiful school work, a time allotted activity, or playing host. It’s not. There’s time to ramble the streets and just be in there. There always is, otherwise I’d need more than one mid-semester weekend with 2 cats and a large comfy bed to keep my sanity . . . the new Lady Antebellum album certainly helps.

xoxo & cheers,

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's a quarter after one . . .

School is ridonkulous. Off to Shrewsbury for HOST weekend. Hopefully I'll get some down time on the train.

xoxo, D

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If I had a dollar, or pound rather, for every 1000 words I write . . .

I really have things to say. I have funny anecdotes of awkwardness and acute observations to share, not only in the hopes of making anybody reading this laugh but to preserve my own memories as well.

I turned in my first paper today. Alas, though, I have one to turn in tomorrow as well.

So no words for you tonight.

xoxo, cheers & all my love,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I promise one day I will blog again.

I promise I'm still alive & that one day I will blog again. Sleeping for a bit now, though, and getting up early to word & read, run errands, go to class, work & read, see a play and then get home for the evening.

6 weeks in and it is officially crazy times.

xoxo, cheers & love,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sainsbury's equals love.

York and Oxford are amazing. I have comments, but they have to wait because I'm too behind on schoolwork. (I have a chronic disease where I fall asleep in large moving vehicles, regardless of the amount of coffee, Diet Coke, or sugar I intake. It drastically inhibits my productivity.)

More in the AM, ya'll.

xoxo & Cheers, of course,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

That certainly makes everything else pale is comparison.

I changed my paper today. I was going to write about one thing (even made a draft last night) and completely changed it. Tonight (It's already 10:40p here.) I'm going to try to get a new draft done and a draft of another paper reading and some books read and packed up for tomorrow. At 8:15am tomorrow morning, I will be on a bus (MEGABUS, in fact - They have that here.) to YORK. The anxiously awaiting Viking Festival is here.

They're going to sink/burn a ship in the town river. It's going to be awesome. I will post pictures.

In light of the rest of today, though, both my responsibilities and adventures for the weekend seem petty. I hope every one says "I love you," to the people they love today.

xoxo & cheers,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I never had an orchestra.

Sometimes this city is so pretty it's painful.

Like when I'm walking across Waterloo Bridge on my way to the National Theatre.

Like when I'm starting out over East London (Angel particularly & the Gerkin of course) and have pages to read and write looming in the night.

Anytime the sun shines, like it did today.

cheers & lots of love,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some things don't change.

I still can't jetté backwards. It's nice to know matter how long it's been since you've been in a ballet class, and no matter how many more you take during the semester you're abroad, you probably still won't be able to jetté backwards. I could at least do a single turn this week (from fifth too!).

I have an old feeling tonight. Sitting in the communal kitchen, cooking dinner in a leotard and tights. It's a familiar feeling that I haven't felt in a very long time. I'll eat my dinner at a table, half way still in dance clothes half way still in street clothes, just like I was still in high school. . . . Funny how all you need is a little lycra and spandex to take you back.

This is not intentionally nostalgic, I'm not looking forward; I'm looking ahead. Studying abroad, with a strange academic schedule and 5 month residence that doesn't make one an ideal candidate for work and internships, is giving me a chance I don't think I would have ever gotten in New York. I can just do school & dance, a pairing I loved and knew so well for much of my life. (Obviously with some weekend travel thrown in.)

I'm tired of being the girl who "was gonna be" or "who really wanted to be," even the one "who planned on being" a dancer. Whether it's my major or not, it's something that (over the course of 13 or so years) became an integral part of me. I love theatre and I love writing & words more than anything, but there is something that happens when you don't speak and you just move that can never be captured with language. Even the act of going to a beginner ballet class to be re-taught how to tendu and port de bras releases something in me that is otherwise deprived and repressed. Now that I'm recommitting to this (even for the short 5 month period), I don't think I'll be able to give it up again. Not hurt & sad like I did.

Maybe it's taken me this long to get the right perspective on everything that happened: I finally distanced myself from all the drama for (forgive the horrid image) the scab to fall off, leaving new - though not naïve - skin ready to try again under different circumstances.

Maybe I just like the physical release after a long academic day, a short distraction before it's back to books and papers until the early hours of the morning. Because that doesn't change when you go abroad either. For a short while (a.k.a. the first month of being in London), it was a strange occurrence if I didn't sleep more than 8-10 hours a night (BIZARRE, HUH!?). That's long gone now. Pages wait to be read & syntax waits to be perfected.

As for the immediate present, though, pasta waits to be eaten.

Love & cheers,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Say you will.

Now that I’m on my 5th week of classes here, I have to say that, for the most part, they are amazing. My biggest class consists of 20 people, all are seminar/discussion based literature classes with amazing professors. There is one professor, however, who I have become obsessed with in recent weeks.

Javed Majeed.

Professor Majeed teaches my Post-Colonial Indian Literature class. (Yeah it’s a mouthful, I know.) Now, when people asked me what classes I was planning on taking abroad, I was very excited to say, “Shakespeare: Text and Performance” (because what English major would be able to say no to a Shakespeare class IN LONON). I was thrilled to mention, “Writing London” (a class about about London-based literature while IN LONDON, how cool?!). I was equally delighted to say, “Modern British Drama and Performance” (seeing, reading, and discussing the most provocative British plays & tickets on NYU’s budget, yes please!). Even the required lecture was mentioned without any unbecoming facial expressions, “Issues in Contemporary British Politics & Culture” (seems appropriate for someone who claims to be intellectually active living in the country for five months). My fourth English class, though, - one that actually gets an English department requirement out of the way (world literature/postcolonial req.) was the one I mentioned with the least pizazz “Postcolonial Indian Literature.”

Maybe if the title wasn’t so hypersyllabic, I would have had an easier time spurting it off at every Christmas/New Year’s gathering. Maybe if I hadn’t known it was a *required* English Department class, I wouldn’t have automatically attached such a harsh and regimented stigma. To give myself some credit, I did acknowledge I would rather take such a class in the country of the ruling colonial power (where small undercurrents of colonialism and still culturally significant) than 3000 miles removed in New York City. I saw the reading list and cringed a little, lots of heavily title books. The syllabus on the first day (and after reading the 3 essays due for the premier class) scared me even more: two papers, one 2000-word worth 40% and one 3000-word worth 50% with a 10% participation grade thrown in for good measure.

Oh boy, what did I get myself into? Both fellow class mates and adults (and myself) asked me that. Isn’t study abroad supposed to be an academic break? (Be Tee Dub: totally false. Study Abroad - at least speaking as an NYU English LIT. major is not a break. The classes are just as hard, if not harder than in NYC.)

Anxieties dwindled as the weeks of the class progressed, though. Simple questions led to brilliant discussions and added context by an even more brilliant professor whose every sentence sounds like a perfectly constructed multi-clause thesis statement (sometimes with added humor). Obscure and hard to read texts become accessible and even . . . dare I say it . . . ENJOYABLE during class. Upon the discovery that Amazon sold half of our class a bootlegged version of one of the texts - consisting of only half of the book, we have all found ourself ordered another, full version so we may read it and finish it.

To spare you more ramblings about how I am obsessed with every sentence I have read for that class (No joke. I feel like a loser & halfway wish I was joking, but this could be the best class ever, some of which may be due to how wrong a light I initially cast it in). So long story short - my postcolonial Indian literature conversion experience only reinforces something life continuously teaches me. What you expect is never what you get. What you often dread often proves to be less horribly terrible that you anticipate.

Cheers & Love,

The best day - Part II

(Valentine's Day was cute, I say go see it as long as you don't except a great cinematic feat.)

Valentine's Day was cut in real time, too. I know it's technically over according to UK time (not for those of you still in the US, though), but I'm going to finish discussing it now - distanced a little. (And let's face it guys, ya'll are captive to my narrative direction, so you have to continue along . . . or stop reading.)

I've never really had a *valentine* on valentine's day. I've never really had a problem with that, this year included. This year, however, I did receive flowers twice (one batch from one of my dearest friends), a package all the way from Washington state, Disney princess stickers with pencil & kind words/tidings from two in the tri-ad area of NC.

I cannot complain and say that Valentine's Day sucks because it's all about love, because I know I am loved. (Just not in the huge teddy bear-gifting kind of way. But let's be honest, who wants to lug around and store a huge stuff bear that's just going to leave cheap white fur all over the place.) I have the best friends in the world - I know I say this a lot, but I really do. They and my family are awesome. So one this day of LOVE and all that is red and pink and wonderful and tacky, I want to say I love you all. Very much. :))

And while it may be lovely to have a candle lit dinner at economically friendly Pizza Express with a boy (or even The Angel bahah) on a famed date night like tonight, I'm not going to slow down for any male to get his act together. It may be selfish to say, but I have better things to do than worry about how he feels about his latest exam/any other ego feeding thing necessary to reassure a male that he is, in fact, the smartest and greatest and (as one male once said so eloquently in a 10th grade English class) "God's gift to women." I won't do it. I have bigger things to do, especially this semester, namely balancing my affairs with men named Collins, Kipling, Dickens, Stoppard, and Shakespeare (just to name of a few of those written on the current page of my little back book). Those men never let me down.

Not that all romances lead to dead ends. The core of my hold steadfast to "Love Story" by Taylor Swift. But Juliet can't love Romeo until she has totally and completely had an affair with herself first. Once she's become a version of Juliet (or Jules or Julie . . . even Julia maybe) that she is utterly content with, he can meet her on the outskirts of town. Not before, though.

Silly ramblings need to end. I know nothing & could very well be saying things directly contradicting this next week once my heart becomes viking plunder.

Monday means the stacks. Party on kids.

xoxo, cheers & love,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The best day - Part I

I have a hot date tonight with two other Pi Phis, Valentine's Day, and delicious and cheap food at The Angel. Even better, I caught up with ALL my reading last night. Who says Valentine's Day has to suck when you don't have a significant other? I even have some excellent Skype sessions to arise this evening, too.

I can't express how much I love my friends.

..more to come later. :))

Friday, February 12, 2010

I try ya on; I take ya off.

It's been a while. I know. To be perfectly honest, I was in a slight funk this week. No reason in particular, just masses of flowers and hearts and obnoxious teddy bears and such. Upon further reflection, though, I've realized that any jaded feelings or bitter resentment I feel towards those things is ridiculous. There are things so much bigger than an Em-Ar-Ess Degree or a minor change of Facebook Info. A long, long time ago, that was my mantra. I don't know how it got lost along the way (okay well maybe I do. . . dumb text messages, etc.), but I know it's back & more secure than ever.

Oh well. Things are good & when I say that, I mean that.

Other things happening in absence of blogging:
*I had a lovely date at Pizza Express; I hope to repeat it with another & Percy Jackson this weekend. :))
*I attempted to break up with my one favorite man in the world (Ben & Jerry to name merely two of them), it proved impossible no matter how unhealthy the relationship. What can I say, I'm a monogamist.
*I have a double date looming with both a Rudyard and a Kim simultaneously. It will occupy my entire day tomorrow. Oh boyyy.
*I was forced to sit and watch a play (trying to focus on it & not the awkwardness surrounding me) for 2 hours and 45 mins, and I survived.
*I attended a lovely ballet class taught by an even lovelier Italian man.
*I said to the vending machine, twice.
*I also said no to fried chicken.
*I helped a friend figure out life goals. We decided that street pharmacist, male prostitute, and clown are all off limits.
*I got a rejection letter from the "work experience/editorial dept." of UK Vogue. C'est la vie. One day they'll be begging me to write/edit/do SOMETHING for them. :))
*The IF's and Loose-Ends that loom in hindsight and foresight simultaneously disappeared. New plan minus all nasty strings, because every one knows how gross the ends of shoe laces get after a while.

Weeks like this, the crazy ones, always end with smiles. Take the crazy with the good, sometimes its crazy good. (And one day I'll leave how to make creative word play and brilliant puns like Tom Stoppard.)

xoxo & cheers & go for adorable, not ridiculous (it's going out of fashion quick)
This was a week of failed blogging. I know. Sorry. Deal with it.

I have made up my mind to invest both my time and money in taking ballet and jazz classes. Every time I watch So You Think You Can Dance (BTW: the UK dancers are nothing compared to those on the show in the US) and every time I actually go to a random class in NYC, I remember how much I love it and miss it. I have no excuse not to take class here. So I am. :))

With regards to schooling, it's still fabulously hard.

Alas, it is almost 3am here. I should reconvene at a later time. :))

xoxo, cheers & sleep,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stretched sideways.

I'm really alive still.
Just spending all my time reading. (Apparently one of the books I read was bootlegged - half the class only read half the book. Oh, Amazon UK.)

xoxo & cheers,

Monday, February 8, 2010


I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express how enjoyable it truly is to spend a day in the stacks. Whatever may be going on in your life outside the safety of the library disappears when you enter though the large doors. There’s something about secluding oneself, up above the world and safe in the fortress that is any good library. You’re secure and comforted, for you know your place in the world, it is to sit and work, to be hyperproductive. The amount of work you would slowly get through working at home the entire day is streamlined into 3 or 4 hours of focused work. Things get accomplished, leaving you the entire evening to catch up on BBC shows.

It’s quiet, despite people moving through trying to find their spot. A communal bond forms among those of you gathered, when someone whispers if he or she can borrow a pen, you gracefully oblige. (I do at least, I was that girl on Saturday.) The sound of the wind whistles by the windows, magnified. It might be howling outside, but here it is safe, warm, and dry.

Time passes at a different rate, simultaneously both slower and faster. You can take all day to read a passage closely because you have all day, except the length of time that feels to be “all day” is more often than not 45 minutes to an hour.

You don’t even have to worry about being fashionable in the stacks. A sweater and a bun here are two of the most appropriate pieces of one’s attire, any other chic boots, glasses, scarves, etc. are just more festivity. (I truly believe that you are only as productive/smart as you look and feel that day.)

When the time does come to leave, you reward yourself with a pastry (preferably a pear puff) and pleasure reading because you’ve been so productive. You can relish the taste and enjoy your espresso in bliss, knowing you only have a little bit of online research left when you get home. (Goodness knows, you won’t trust yourself if you get the key to the wireless up here. If you do, the world of Facebook and Twitter will only bombard you, breaking your tranquility with banal cyber-socializing.)

That’s all I know guys. Sorry for the pretension, the last two texts I worked my way through were both 19th century romantics (DeQuincy and Poe look what you do to me!). True statement: I love the stacks (if you couldn’t tell by the ridiculous language above) & I’m off to eat a pear puff (it’s been a whole week).

xoxo & cheers, happy studying too (if applicable)

**NOTE: After this was written, I went to get said pear puff - they had none! Sad day; I had to suffer and eat a jam doughnut instead. Poo. :))

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Sunday

6 Nations . . . snations. Superbowl Sunday & we're cooking fajitas, nachos, and buffalo wings in our tiny communal apartment.

I was kicked out of the library yesterday because it closes at 5:30 on Saturdays. Unacceptable. As far as great stories/revelations are concerned, I don't think I have any for today - too behind on reading. :))

Don't worry, there's bound to be some fail to log when I try cooking that involves skills beyond boiling water.

xoxo & cheers,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's talk about audio guides.

Today NYU took us to Stonehenge and Bath. It was one of their optional day trips they provide. Personally, I think anything I can do here on NYU's budget is awesome, so I went. The sun was even out. It was lovely.

For a bunch of meticulously placed rocks, Stonehenge was pretty legit.

Moving on, though, Bath is fabulous. It confirms my suspicions that I should have lived in Georgian times. Oh well. When I become a rich and famous . . . [enter yet-to-be-discovered job title/career path here], I will live there. But that's not what I want to talk about either, I want to talk about audio guides.

Audio guides are weird, and I sincerely feel that they undermine the original idea that encompassed the roman baths anyway. Think about it, a bunch of people milling around a historical site with oversized cell phones attached to their ear. They're not interacting with one another about what they're seeing; they're just walking about listening to choice commentators ramble on, attempting to recreate scenes with poor accents. They tell you to squat down, stand up, turn left, jump on one foot, and pat your head/rub your belly at the same time. (I admit, the last two are lies, but I was told to squat, stand, and turn.)

The baths were created as a space for relaxation and socialization, not a space for technological alienation. (Okay, technological alienation may be going a bit too far.)

Plus - and I don't mean to be racist here - but it just makes you feel like an asian tourist.

I was too distracted by all of this to appreciate the baths themselves, they're gorgeous. The romans knew how to treat themselves.

If given the choice, though, I think I would bathe rather than drink the warm, mineral rich water. It tastes like drinking a glass that has had a rock, a few pennies, and other assorted items sitting in it for a few hours.

cheers & love

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bahaha. Only appropriate.

...So do you remember a couple weeks ago? The first time I ever encountered DJ Mark? Maybe not. Well, the same evening, at the same establishment, I met a boy. We exchanged numbers, and he suggested we get coffee or dinner some time together. Vague, but okay. I have a date in my future.

Time passes (I have to get a new SIM card and have no phone for a few days). I don’t get a phone call. Not a big deal. There’s a million other fish in the sea, and plenty of boys in London (especially one’s actually from the UK, Europe at least, any where besides Philly really). My random boy faded away into the background. Cool . . . until he walked into the Londonized Chipotle I was eating in tonight.

Tortilla. It’s like Chipotle but not, and my random boy walked in as I was relishing my naked burrito. Figures. The powers of be just like to put me in awkward situations.

Alas, off to Bath I go.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No sleep till Brooklyn.

Not to be repetitive, but I love London. And plays.
However, it's 11:13pm. I just got home & MUST READ.

xoxo & etc.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 wonder Billy Shake's sonnets are quasi-obsessed with time...

Today in my Shakespeare class we watched a film version of As You Like It set in Japan. Okay, cool, way to be creative and not use traditional paradigms of Elizabethan theatre. Honestly folks, don’t necessarily waste your time on the movie (unless you just really really like Shakespeare and can look past the overabundance of crap in the film). My mind merely used it as a starting point for revelations pertaining to things far from the Forest of Arden.

When you have comedic lines that aren’t funny, you have lameness. I often fail when trying to throw in bad jokes. I take that back. They’re not bad, I am just much more easily amused than the average human. (Exhibit #1: my addiction to WifeSwap or Sookie Stackhouse novels. Not to knock either forms of entertainment . . . however, it’s just crappy fluff I can’t seem to look away from.) I could never be the Fool of a play, even a non-funny one. I’m not a wit. It’s okay. I’ll fall back on my guns. They are obviously made of steel, especially with all the pear puffs I eat over here.

The other thing my mind suddenly realized, pay attention please because this is the real enlightening note of the day, is that I don’t remember the pain of getting my ears pierced. I got my first hole when I was about 4, I remember it was at Merle Norman, that we went the day before and to pick out the studs (gold with dark ruby gems), and that my mom told them to have two girls do it simultaneously - counting to 3, but pulling the trigger on 2 so I wouldn’t be anticipating it. Don’t remember it hurting. I got my second hole (after much pleading) at Claire’s in a mall in Mississippi over Thanksgiving break. I was in 8th grade. This time, I picked the much more trendy silver flowers with light blue stones in the middle just minutes to the big shoot. One girl dotted my ears, and then she proceeded to pierce the right and left. I remember a pop, maybe a pinch, but no pain. Not that I’m amazed I survived and can no longer recount the inhuman pain of getting your ears pierced with a lovely modern gun (none of the heated needle, ice, and apple crap), I just though it was interesting - especially during our class film - to note which details of experience get blurred by time and which stay sharp. Ain’t it funny that I can remember the exact outfit I wore that day in 8th grade (bright green pants from H&M that I had gotten in NYC, a studded belt from HotTopic - yeah, I was in that phase, and a white t-shirt. . . my hair was bobbed, kind of like it is now) but not the little bit of pain I felt.

Maybe time really does “heal all wounds,” or maybe my mind just suppresses them so they can bubble to the surface at untimely moments, uprooting my future life and career. Call my a silly optimist, but I’ll put my faith in the first rather than the later.

Cheer & Love,

P.S. Here's a prime photo for the film we watched. You know what to avoid now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunshine continues?

The sun was out again today. I kinda don't know what to do about it.

I met with Jaws - the life ending shark - today, well not really. I did, however, have a java (Nice auditory transition right? Bahah) meeting that could have been much much worse. I doubt that we'll actually be friends, but run-ins should be less awkward? (T, don't fret.)

I also MAILED a cover letter/resume/references to UK Vogue, on the possibly vain hope that they need someone to help out on occasion before May 15th. I'll settle with organizing the closet, even for just one day.
Also in the mail . . . a TAC application. February means that summer planning must commence, obviously.

My list of traveling is increasing; I have a train ticket to/from Paris now too! :))

I sincerely wish I have more meaningful input. I don't think I can express the joys of wandering aimlessly any more fervently. It's equal to the tranquility of walking into a gallery and seeing a large Monet to your left coupled with Jackson Pollack to your right. You get lost in the aesthetics, regardless of whether you "understand" them or not. It's nice to feel little compared to the greatness around you, it reminds you that great forces are still at work.

More reading! Maybe something will happen at some point soon that I can recount with a strong and vibrant narrative voice. Maybe not.

xoxo & all that is Good,