Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Big Ben does exist....

It's true, not just a rumor. I finally got to see the city. Up until last week, I had seemed to miss out on all the "city" excursions that my friends had done (doing silly things like going to Paris and Edinburgh), so when my token London friend (thats what I call him, because he's the only person I know who is from London) heard that I had not really seen most of the city (just the Tate Modern 5 times, and I don't even like modern art) we at once struck out on a walking tour of the city. It was at night, which I think is the best way to see London, because they light up everything they want you to see, and there aren't tons of crazy tourists around taking pictures, just a few crazy tourists. And it just happened to be the mildest night we've had all month, so I wasn't even freezing. We walked to Buckingham Palace (but no fuzzy headed guards to try break their concentration with) and then to Big Ben and Houses of Parliment. Crossed over the river to see the London Eye (which is HUGE!) and then back down the river 'til we found a tube station. As I was standing on the bridge, looking out over all the lit up buildings, I had another "Oh my goodness, I'm in London." I think because I'm in such a random neighborhood, and my program and group of friends are so international, I kinda forget I'm in one of the biggest cities in the world, in the UK. In Seattle and Menlo Park, you don't really get a feel for any kind of history or legacy, but walking around buildings that have been around for hundreds of years really gives you a feeling that you are a guest in a much grander picture. I felt very small, and yet very honoured to be able to walk past places where stories of fiction and history alike find their roots. Very, very cool.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


A collection of random thoughts that enter my head:

There seem to be a significant amount of men sitting in passenger seats while the women drive. Woo Hoo! Girl Power!....... or the British have the steering wheels on the other side. Never mind, cancel that woo.

Heh. (The secret pleasure I get watching the cashiers puzzeled faces as they try to figure out how my credit card can expire in the 31st month of the year [they write dates as day/month/year])

Lynn: You are not capable of walking and drinking the free sample of Eggnog Latte from Starbucks (hiss), especially if you are lost. Your sweater will not appreciate drinking it as much as you.

When waiting for guests to arrive for a party, making tea is not usually the best way to pass the time. Then, not only are you waiting for people, you are waiting for water to boil.

Windbreaker is water resistant, not water proof.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Aye Lassie....

It was Reading Week at Goldsmiths this week, which means we have no classes and we are supposed to catch up on our reading and start working on our assessment essays. I translated it as GET OUT OF LONDON. So I hopped on a train (woo! trains!) and went up to Edinburgh to visit summer coworker and good friend Lindy. She is studying there for a year (right, Lindy? A FULL YEAR!) and she let me sleep in her room and follow her around. It was fabulous being with someone familiar, who can make me laugh nonstop, could quote Kronks New Groove with me, and has a beautifully shaped head. We climbed some crags, I slept in, and we had a little party after checking and saw news of Rumsfeld and the Democrat take-over (oh yeah!). While Lindy was in classes I wandered around Edinburgh. Of the little bit I saw, I have a new city crush. The architecture, the crags, the plaid....It almost reminds me of if London and Seattle had a baby. The Scots believe in customer service (which was a refreshing change from London, and vital considering I couldn't understand a word that came out of their mouths). Enjoy the complete picture experience on Flickr (you can sort of get a feel for my new hair cut, but keep in mind, I had perpetual hat-head to keep my ears from freezing off). And for the record, this was the first post I spelled everything correctly the first time. Grad school is rubbing off on me!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Some Edinburgh Statistics.

Top Three Reasons I LOVE Edinburgh:
1. The Eeyores at the Disney Store have little scottish hats and they are hugging a little Nessie with a scottish hat.
2. They have a store called "ChocolateSoup." Word.
3. Smoking is not allowed in any public building. Breathe easy.

Number of Bagpipers seen: 2
Number of stores that have bagpipe music over the speakers: gajillions
Number of kilts seen worn: 0
Number of kilts seen in store windows: I am still dreaming in plaid.
Number of tartan trousers seen worn: every staff member at the Scottish Museum.
Number of tartan baseball caps seen worn: 1 (tourist, clearly)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The best holiday EVER!

Ok, so I know that the whole "declaring our independence from the oppressive British Empire" is pretty high up there as holidays go, but over the weekend, we celebrated Guy Fawkes day which celebrates the thwarting of an evil plan to blow up Parliment with gunpowder in the 1600s. And what better celebrate something not getting blown up, but with fireworks! Which are legal in the UK (as Lindy says, "God save the Queen")! The holiday itself is actually more commonly known as Fireworks Day, which I think indicates the real purpose of the day now. I was lucky enough to be hanging out with three cool kids as their parents were visiting Brussels for the weekend (family from MPPC that moved here 2 months ago). Their flat is on the seventh floor which has a 180 degree view of the city, translation: fireworks galore! Ever time I heard popping nearby, I'd rush to a window, and work my way through all the rooms until I found a good view. After the second time, the kids lost interest until just a few blocks down, the neighborhood bonfire started their show, and boy howdy, it was amazing! Jack and I crouched around a window as we saw fireworks right infront of us. For the rest of the night, whenever I glanced out a window, I could see fireworks in at least three different locations. Did I mention I LOVE fireworks. If they weren't so rediculously bad for the environment, the states should do them much more often. God bless chemistry.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


At this moment, there are three men in my flat, one in each bathroom, simultaneously staring at the toilets with the tank lids off. Permission to find that weird?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

You know, from the kids books....

lynn: i'm being little miss naughty for halloween
lindy: yes, but what are you dressing up as?

And so continued the joke. Usually I am known as being anything but naughty (in any interpretation of the word (and all of you who would suggest otherwise can keep their mouths shut) so I thought it would be a bit ironic, for what the good little church girl who can only manage a 1/2 pint of cider was for Halloween. But, people don't know me that well yet, so when asked why, I'd answer "Because I'm naughty, I like to untie people's shoelaces and such. In the end, when people asked what I was at the party and I didn't feel like prefacing again, "You know... from the Little Miss Books" I just said I was a grape. What the video doesn't show, is that I was also wearing a purple skirt to complete the ensemble. So this is just a short little clip of a few of my friends from school, in their "fancy dress." Oh and you can hear my voice is barely back.

I've got a roommate now....

well, actually, it's a hippo, from IKEA (does that make him a Swedish-Brit?). His name is Tottenham Crimefighter. Tottenham because that was the name of the Tube station IKEA was at, Crimefighter because that is the middle name Penn Gillette from Penn and Teller gave his daughter, and my friends agreed it's a pretty cool middle name. We call him Tot for short (as in tater tot, because we also agree that tater tots are very cool also, and so much better than potato croquettes). He's actually a pretty good bedfellow, he's cuddly (which is a must) and he doesn't snore. He does hog the sheets once in a while, but b/c his legs are so stubby, I can just yank them back again. And I must say he is living up to his name, my room has been crime free since he arrived. Here is a picture of him:

I know he looks a tad menacing, but that is just because he's got his Crimefighter face on. And he couldn't have come sooner, it is supposed to be 2 degrees Celsius tonight, which in Fahrenheit converts to VERY COLD!