So, I almost went to Paris this week. But the only train back on the same day left at noon, and who goes to Paris for 4 hours? I might go before I head back to the states if someone goes with me, but no way am I going to Paris alone.
I'm trying to make myself put up a new photo album of everything I haven't posted yet, but the willpower to do it doesn't exist. I am just so knackered after this week. Speaking of which, I've also got to edit and put up a new video blog after Lauren and Marc came to visit for a week. It might turn out okay, but there's a lot of good stuff I didn't film with my poor camera battery dying and all. Lauren and Marc, have fun waiting until your 21st birthdays! That's gotta be rough coming here where you're legal to drink and then going back home.
Current group project is coming along smoothly. I'm trying to make a video with atomic bomb footage for our performance, but I don't really know where to look for stock footage to use. I'll figure it out, we don't technically need it until Thursday. Pictures of our installation/performance will be up after it has finished. I'll try to get them up in a timely manner.
Many places left to visit, still looking for suggestions though. If anyone wants a post card I'll need your address. And if anyone wants a souvenir, we'll see how my budget holds up. Skype also still exists if you just wanted to talk to me for some reason. Or you could wait a just under a month until I come home.
Lauren brought my speed skates and I found out I am SO out of practice. I'll be taking the opportunity to use my skates when I can here. They're so nice to have when it's a long walk to the train or tube station. I'll also like to take them to a park on a nice sunny day which we might actually get this month. Wish I knew someone in London who skates. =(
In reference to the title, here's a website: http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/index.htm
Also in reference to the title, I left a lasagna in the oven for an hour and a half when it only needed 30 minutes. I really can't afford to keep ruining food, especially when it was going to be really good. But, while I'm on the topic of food, let me explain that you should definitely go to Dragon Castle if you ever come to London. It is probably the best Chinese restaurant I've ever been to. Lauren, Marc, and Misha will agree. All this typing about food is making me want dinner, and a cup of tea.
So, until next time,
Currently Listening to: "Somewhere over the Rainbow" By Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole
Good morning, room inspection, I didn't see you there. Actually I did, and I probably should have been out of bed before 1300 but I just couldn't be asked. Blue skies today, partly cloudy. This has been happening with increasing frequency. This, and the multitude of flowers coming into bloom outdoors is leading me to believe it's spring. I like this early spring thing. =) Pictures later.
The main issue plaguing me these days is the question of what to do when the term is over. "It's too early to think about that," you might say. But, no, it's not. Do I attempt to stay for next term and wring the money I paid for tuition out of Case, or do I go home and get a sensible internship this summer? I'm clearly still in the midst of comparing my options, but currently I'm wondering if I should just stick to the plan. I can always come back to this city and now I have wonderful friends who can help me when I do so. As anyone who knows me is aware, I don't make decisions lightly. I can't even decide what I want for dinner without at least 15 minutes of contemplation.
Lately I've been wandering a bit. Saturday I took off on a walk to Trafalgar square. My intent was to go to The National Gallery, and then on to Oxford Street just to walk and think, and look and listen. Basically that's how it played out. I walked along the Thames and past Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye, took pictures because I hadn't done so in the daytime yet. Saw a couple of unmemorable street performers, then I got to Trafalgar Square. There was some sort of rally for Egypt, but Trafalgar square is the place for such things. It wasn't an issue for getting into the National Galley, however. So I walked about there for a bit, didn't take photographs, but I did find some interesting paintings. And then I walked to Oxford Street and just enjoyed the atmosphere. The point of this story is that I only got turned around once, and I all I ended up doing was doubling back down a road and turning around to go right back up it. I'm feeling quite comfortable with directions in London. All I need is to look at a map briefly, and I can find my way around. Walking certainly has more sights than riding the tube.
Taking the overground instead of the tube has been great as well. I love being able to see things as I travel. I do have a couple of weeks where I don't have to be in WCA every single day now, so I'm excited about that. We're doing outside research for our project including seeing shows all over. And I have more time to explore museums and everything else. Cool beans.
I'm going to the Tricycle Theatre tonight to see "Water" and I have no idea what it's about. We've been asked to go see it for our Contextual Studies, and discounted student tickets are another good reason to go. Speaking of said discounts, I found out about this program in London called "A Night Less Ordinary" and it gives out free theatre tickets for under 26s for eligible shows at theatres in the area. I'm definitely taking advantage of this.
Last time I wrote about the fire alarms being ineffective at saving us, but I think they may actually be trying to kill us. You see, we hear them so often at all hours of the night, sometimes multiple times a day, and lately it's been more frequent. I don't know who's doing it, but they really need to stop. We've gotten so used to hearing them that apart from not leaving when the alarm goes off, we will go into the building even if it's sounding. For instance, one of my flatmates had just entered the building and proceeded to use the elevator as the alarm was sounding today. Maybe it should just sound a silent alarm to security and they can trigger the sound once they ascertain that it is indeed a real fire.
So, I'm off to the Tricycle Theatre, and a chill night.
Currently Listening to: "Praise You" By Fatboy Slim
I'm not even lying, this beats the crap out of last year when my brother decided to drop a mattress on me while I was sleeping.
I woke up and it was sunny outside. It can't get much better than that, especially when only about 10% of my days here have been sunny. But, it did get better. I got in to uni at about the right time, a bit late, but close enough. Contextual studies discussion was about music, nice topic. But the study abroad students were pulled from the lecture to go attend our Unit brief with the second years. Next unit seems cool. We'll be making costumes based on myths and then using them in a short performance.
Next awesome part of the day, I had breakfast food for lunch. It was probably the best breakfast ever, I'm not even exaggerating. Everything tastes better when you're really hungry though.
So then we did some stuff with understanding movement and space which, as you might be able to tell, could come in very handy for a costume designer. I took the overground train home for the first time because I was sick of seeing the dark dingy walls of the undergound. Good news is that the overground is closer to uni and my housing, a smoother ride, has a much better view, and is cheaper than taking the underground and transferring to a bus. The only drawback is that not as many trains run, so I have to be more specific about when I leave from home or uni.
Even better for today, I'm about to have a little party at my flat not only to celebrate my birthday, but also for two of my other flatmates who had birthdays on the 6th and 7th. One of them is unable to be here tonight, which is quite sad, but there will be other parties.
And finally, the last reason this is the best birthday EVER. I'm turning 21! Enough said.
Since this is the first post I've made since I came here, I'll add in a little summary of what I've been doing. I apologize if this sounds like a journal, but I'm just letting anyone who's interested get a sense of why I love being here so much.
I got here at the beginning of January and it was raining, of course. But it was and has been quite warm compared to what I'm used to. Roughly 40-50 degrees F most days. Not as much rain as I expected either. My luggage was lost at first, but it showed up the next day, so all was well.
The first three days were the worst, I felt so out of place and homesick, but since then I've grown to love it here very much. I might even live here someday. I'm getting on well with my flatmates. I live with 6 other people, 4 of whom are British, one Kazakh, and one American. I've done a couple of things with them, not always all together, but sometimes with extra people included. Some fun activities have been a walk by the Thames, flat parties, having dinner in and out, nightly chats in the kitchen/common area, Chinese New Year in Trafalgar Square, visit to the British Museum, and just having a drink at a pub.
The culture here is different. For example, most British people are very nice up front and when you first meet them, however they don't often share their true feelings about a person or situation directly to the person involved until they know you well. I think it's about being polite, but sometimes it's frustrating when people are saying one thing and thinking another.
The language is a bit different as well(beyond the traditional differences that come to mind). I've probably been using some British phrases and terminology as well in this post such as "uni." But there are some great ones that I've picked up on because I like how they sound or they're easier to say. Instead of saying five-thirty, say half-five, it sounds nicer, and instead of saying "I'm too lazy" say "I can't be bothered" I think it embraces the feeling a little better. Many people don't understand my sarcasm in The States, but everyone here seems to understand it perfectly. I like this.
One more thing I've noticed is the way people walk. You know how in The States people walk on the right side of the sidewalk because we drive on the right side of the road? People here don't walk on any particular side of the sidewalk. It drives me crazy.
More posts to follow once I actually get out there and start doing things. I haven't found Charlie yet, but I'm still hoping.
Off to start a party now.
Currently listening to "Too Much Time On My Hands" By Styx. Fantastic song.
And now for the rant:
What exactly is breakfast? The dictionary definition says that it's the first meal of the day: "breaking the fast" from the last meal you had the day before. In this case, all those people telling you that you should eat breakfast because it's the most important meal of the day aren't really working towards anything. Most people eat some time during the day, unless they're trying to kill themselves (these people should really eat breakfast). So everyone eats breakfast, therefore I don't know what the big deal is.
If you were to put a better definition on breafast, maybe it would make more sense to me. It is appropriate to eat "breakfast" four hours after you wake up? I don't see why it shouldn't be. What if you're not hungry, should you still eat breakfast? In my personal experience, I can't actually eat until it's been around four hours since I woke up. Eating food at that time does not appeal to me. It doesn't even matter what time I woke up or when I ate the day before.
Another point of contention for the breakfast issue is what to eat. Different cultures vary in their breakfast foods, but the truth is that it really doesn't matter what you eat or when you eat it. Okay, I take that back, it does matter what you eat because you really should eat healthy things. But if you want to eat a tuna casserole for your first meal of the day -breakfast- and you want to have a fruit salad and hot cream of wheat cereal late in the day, who should stop you? No one should, but there is a prevailing theme in restaurants against breakfast foods in "off hours." Restaurants, with a few exceptions such as Denny's, will only serve their "breakfast" items until a certain time, usually about 10 or 11am. But what if I want pancakes for lunch?
The dining halls here at case follow this "ritual." They will serve traditional breakfast foods until 10am (I think, I'm never there that early to find out) on weekdays, after that, you're out of luck. On weekends, this time is extended, but only because they realize that most of us will not be getting up until noon.
So why this attitude about breakfast? Who knows. People hate change, especially when it involves thinking. This just opens up dozens of new topics, such as why Americans are so lazy, why Americans are so obese, and why so many people are still stupid despite the schooling they recieve in this country.
And before I sign out, the song that comes up is "The Doom Song" sung by the lovable demented robot that many of us know so well: Gir. Maybe we are doomed. If we can't figure out something simple like breakfast, then why shouldn't the world end in 2012?
So here I am, sitting in the lobby of Michelson House, writing a new weblog entry because the keyboard on my computer in my dorm room is broken. Listening to "Big Yellow Taxi" by the Couting Crows. And I just remembered how much I like to rant and how hard it is to get someone to listen. I haven't written in ages. This post does not even come close to following the track I was on with this account before.
Most of the people in my SAGES class must have eaten a big bowl of stupid for breakfast. The girl who gave the minutes from the last class is of very questionable inteligence. How did she get into case? She stood there, reading the minutes to us, and I made a tally mark every time she said "um." She was speaking for maybe two minutes. I had twenty-three tally marks!!! This is only one example of the stupidity. Oddly enough, the professor, though he speaks slowly and is hard to understand sometimes (english is not is first language), had some pretty funny things to say.
"Underground they have a lot of gas." -Professor Qutubuddin on Russia's Natual gas reserves
"Most of you are not from Kenya, right?" -Professor Qutubuddin on the running abilities of our class
But aside from how hilarious class was, why are people so stupid? They just are. And I believe we should implement a selective breeding program where we only allow people with desirable traits to reproduce. If we have the power to mess things up to badly (energy crisis), we also have the power to make things better for ourselves. It may sound cruel. Why should anyone be denied the right to raise a family you ask? The answer is not purely a moral concern. If you want the human race to survive for more than a few million more years, then you have to make the race smarter. We will destroy ourselves at this rate.
There are some hurdles to overcome if we were to implement such a program. First of all, the entire planet is not "civilized" and therefore some parts of the world can not be expected to be on the same level as the rest of it. Some solution would need to be reached, long and tedious though the journey would be. Second, how to ensure that people follow the rules? Talk about a statistical nightmare. We simply do not currently have the means to implement this. But will we ever? Studies currently imply that the average IQ has gone up over the years. (Is this even true, or is the research flawed? "Evolution" by Korn comes to mind. That video is pretty cynical.) It seems plausible that humans will get smarter over time, but will it happen fast enough? Not in my opinion. In the words of a "higly reputable" youtube video: "we're definitely going to blow ourselves up."
There are more hurdles, but now it gets to the point where too many calculations are involved and I'm too lazy to look up all the info... But just sit and think for a minute and see if you come to the same conclusion as I do. Overpopulation. Not enough resources to support it. Civilization faces disaster. How do we avoid this? The problem is that no one knows. Perhpas because it really is inevitable. But more likely than that, research is stopped by the moral component. Why don't we have "fertility laws?" Because it sounds immoral. Opinion of what is moral differ from person to person, country to country. But if we didn't have some concept of morals, where would we be? And just where do you draw the line?
So many things I could rant about, but I'm finished for now.