Monday, September 26, 2011

Lazy Monday

Being a dweeb in my dorm room, as usual, but this time taking photos. As you can see I don't have anything on the walls yet, mostly because I keep forgetting to buy thumbtacks and/or sticky tack (do these exist in the UK?), and also because I haven't anything to hang on the walls yet. I'm thinking I need a "keep calm and [insert nerdy thing here]" poster, as well as something Doctor Who or Sherlock related, but not sure yet where to acquire those. I also need to pick up some cheap frames for the rest of the photos I printed out of Greg! I miss that boy more than anything right now.

Other than lack of real decorations, I do like my room a lot. Having an en-suite bathroom is pretty awesome, because sharing bathrooms is so seven years ago (can you believe it's seven years ago I was a freshman in college? JEEEZ). The bed came equipped with sheets, a pillow, and a down comforter, but why is the duvet such a gross color? Sigh, we takes what we gets I guess! At least Leppy, the green pillow (which my mom left behind, not sure if she meant to), my red throw, and my Union Jack make things cozier.

I did a bit of shopping today in Uxbridge; just some essentials. I wandered in the Chimes shopping center and checked out New Look and River Island, but steered away from Topshop as I know I shouldn't spend that much money. Going shopping again with Shaun on Thursday though, so maybe I'll cave and buy one or two things. I am in need of a winter coat, a slightly bigger purse (my current one hasn't quite been cutting it), a coin purse, and maybe some winter boots but I'll probs hold off on those for a while. I did end up getting a saucepan and a frying pan from TK Maxx, which is basically TJ Maxx but British. Also got a tiny strainer for pasta and a wooden spoon for stirring purposes. I think I'm all set to make beans or pasta, and to fry up those frozen sausages I bought! Excite. Oh and I also got some Pepsi Max, toilet paper, and cereal from Poundland. Need to find a tiny thing of milk, and some tea, and I think I'll be pretty much set.

Now that you are aware of my shopping lists, oh boy, I think I'll go get some reading done before I get sucked into tumblr or fanfic or something. Must be responsible now! I'm a grad student after all.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Evening in London

Went into the city again yesterday and met up with Shaun to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy at the Odeon in Leicester Square. First thing you need to know: Leicester is not pronounced "Ly-chester", but rather as "Lester". Luckily they have an automated voice telling you this on the tube, otherwise I'd have made an idiot of myself I'm sure. Although I assume Shaun doesn't mind my occasional bumbling mispronunciations!

Second thing you need to know is: Movies in central London cost a fuck-tonne. (Notice how I spelled "ton" in the British way, lawl, I'm hilarious.) That's right. A giant massive fuck-tonne of monies. In a fit of masochism I googled "how many dollars in 16 pounds" and came up with about $24.64. For one movie! I can tell you now that I won't be doing that very often. Luckily it was totally worth it, one because the movie was awesome (even though we weren't sure exactly what happened in it) and the theater itself was an experience, and two because BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. I think 90% of Shaun's and my conversation revolves around this poor man. He's our patron saint of fangirldom. So really, it was a $24.64 well spent because we got to see Bennie wearing nice suits with powder blue ties for two hours.

After the movie it was pretty much evening so we wandered through Soho to Covent Garden and finally found a place to eat. We both got spaghetti bolognaise, Shaun's with a Pimm's and mine with a pint of London Pride. Warning, London Pride is a mediocre beer that tastes vaguely skunky. It was drinkable but only just. Do not buy.

Here are a few photos I took yesterday evening, one of China Town (which is incredible at night, it turns out), and then the Eye and Big Ben and Westminster Abbey all lit up. I didn't bring my Canon into the city so these are just on my crappy point-and-shoot, sorry, but I'll do this again later and get some nice long-exposure photos of Big Ben.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sherlock Holmes Adventure

Oh. My god. First let me just say: today was the best day. EVER. Look at that picture up there. Just look at it. Do you recognize it? Do you? Hmm I wonder why it could be such an interesting place... OH WAIT IT'S BECAUSE THEY FILMED SHERLOCK THERE. That's right, it's the outside of 221b Baker Street in BBC's Sherlock, only my favorite thing in the world ever (aside from Doctor Who and Greg and Dr Pepper)!

So let me just explain. My friend Shaun, who I know from way back in Montana, was the one who initially inspired me to move to London for grad school because she was coming here to study Library Science. She arrived in London a day before me, so we finally met up today to have a day of Sherlocky fangirl adventure! The first stop on our list was, of course, Speedy's Cafe on North Gower Street. We had lunch of fish & chips there, and discussed many dorky things and giggled a lot and were giddy. It pretty much ruled. If you like Sherlock and are able, you should go there; the man working there (the owner?) will tell you all about the filming and stuff. Amazeballs!

Our tour didn't stop there, though. After the fake Baker Street we headed over to the actual 221b Baker Street and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Turned out that tickets were 6 pounds (jeez Louise), so we just went into the gift shop and took photos of that and each bought a little Baker Street plaque for 4 pounds before leaving. It was super dorky and tons of fun.

After Baker Street we took the tube to Piccadilly Circus (which is not, contrary to what I used to believe, an actual circus with elephants and a tent). While waiting for the train we discovered that, excitingly enough, the Baker Street tube station is chock full of Sherlock Holmes's visage! Behold.

Oh man. The awesome things never end in London, you guys. Even the tube stations are full of photo ops. Anyway, Piccadilly Circus was incredible, and kind of felt like the Times Square of London but with a lot fewer flashy lights and more double-decker buses. There were human statues lining the street, people piled onto every conceivable sitting place, and a constant moving throng of humanity on all sides. I loved it. Can you spot me freaking the eff out below?

London is a lot more fun with a friend who's been there before. Shaun lived in London for four months while studying abroad in college, so she knew her way around for the most part and took us from Piccadilly Circus down to Trafalgar Square. The walk there was beautiful in itself; I can't get enough of the architecture here. You just don't get that kind of old stately beauty in the States, you really don't.

Trafalgar Square was exciting as well, but the sun was so bright I didn't get many decent photos there so you'll have to wait to see the lions and Nelson's Penis Tower or whatever until later. We did go into the National Portrait Gallery because we'd heard a photo of Benedict Cumberbatch might be in there, but sadly it must have been removed months before and was no longer on display. It was just before this discovery that we'd both wolfed down Mars bars at an inhuman speed, so needless to say we were disappointed and nauseous.

Not to be daunted, however, we decided to "walk it off" by ambling up into Soho. At first we thought it was some weird strip club neighborhood, but soon we came out of a little alley into a cool hipster-y street with weird hipster cafes and many fabric shops.

If that weren't exciting enough, eventually we ended up on Oxford Street, which... let me tell you. It is full, chock-full, of shopping. There are two H&Ms within like a block of each other. Two! Should that be allowed? That should not be allowed. And yet it is. We mere mortals shall not complain. There was also Aldo, New Look, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, and a bunch of other shops to tempt us. Luckily Shaun had a play to get to at 7:30, so we did some quick shopping in H&M (I limited myself! I swear!) and then took the Bakerloo line together before parting ways at the Piccadilly line. I nearly fell asleep on the way back to Uxbridge; that's how exciting my day was! Super exciting, guys. Super exciting.

Sorry I didn't take any photos in Soho, it wasn't stereotypically British enough for me. I only take photos of the Union Jack, double-decker buses, and Big Ben. Tough luck. ♥

Thursday, September 22, 2011

London Calling

Home again home again jiggity jig! Oh wait I'm not home, I'm thousands of miles away from my home country. I always thought of England as my soul's home, but the past few days have been so hectic and exhausting that I'm rethinking that assumption.

That's not to say it's awful here; it's not! It's incredible! But I'm suffering from jet lag (still), culture shock, homesickness, crippling fear and introversion, and an extreme case of missing Greg. I'm so glad to be here, but it may be a while before I feel comfortable and happy here. Real life is overwhelming; I kinda just want to do touristy things forever.

Luckily my mom and I were able to take the tube into the city yesterday, so here are some photos from that. It was a lot of fun, and of course the first thing I wanted to see was the TARDIS at Earl's Court! (Not to mention Earl's Court and all the Underground stations totally makes me think of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.)

Anyway I'd write more but at the moment my computer is going so slow it's like 1995. I think I may just burst a blood vessel in my brain if I try to navigate this nonsense any longer. Hopefully I'll do a proper update about my life soon. There are so many things to write about!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Coastal Date

For our last Friday together before I leave for ye olde England, Greg and I drove to the coast for a day of tourist shenanigans. We started out in Seaside, where we had lunch and a ton of coffee (on my part), walked along the boardwalk, bought way too much bulk candy at the candy shop, looked at a weird carousel, and generally wandered about.

Then we drove south to Cannon Beach, one of my favorite places. I took a ridiculous amount of photos of Haystack Rock (seen above and below), and we took off our shoes and walked along the beach for a while. It was super nice. After a root beer that was so sweet it was gross, we decided we should go to Tillamook (we were heading south anyway) to see the cheese factory. It was a gorgeous drive, and we pulled over at one of the scenic overlooks and it was honestly one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. I'm gonna miss you, Oregon!

The cheese factory was all right; I didn't take any photos, but we did get some cheese samples and Greg got a two-foot-long meat stick or something. Not sure what exactly it was but it tasted good, like a meat stick should. Mmmm two-foot-long meat stick.

Right now I'm listening to The Crane Wife by The Decemberists and waiting to watch the new Karate Kid with Greg. Tomorrow we're going to breakfast with my two best friends and their respective gentlemen, and it'll be bittersweet because I'll have to say goodbye. I'm not looking forward to that part. Crying sucks. I will miss you, my Rose and Ashleigh! ♥

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Raggedy Doctor

Thought I'd take some photos of my little Raggedy Doctor for the blog. My friends got him for me in Seattle as a going away gift and a thank you for taking care of their dog while they were gone, and I love him! Raggedy Doctor. ♥

I was going to write up a review of "Night Terrors" for the blog, but I really have nothing to say except: Gatiss, you are amazing; Doctor, you are adorable. Dolls are fucking scary. The end.

I'm currently overwhelmed with things I need to do, things I want to do, shows I want to watch, and people I want to spend time with before I leave in less than two weeks. None of it seems real, of course, and I'll wake up in a moment and life will be back to normal. For the time being, though, I suppose I'd better go along with the dream and make a to-do list or two... I guess.

For tonight, though, I'll just keep watching The Last Enemy for the sole purpose of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Garden of the Gods

While in Colorado for the family reunion, my dad, his fiancee, and I went to the Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs in an attempt to entertain ourselves away from the fam for a few hours. I really liked Manitou Springs; it's a tiny tourist town with weird shops and old-timey buildings, which always excites me! If you've ever been to Bigfork, Montana, it perfectly exemplifies my favorite kind of little touristy town. I'm also a fan of Victoria, BC for similar reasons, but it's not very tiny.

I don't have a ton to say today, as I haven't had my coffee yet and I'm constantly scatter-brained (and will be until I get to London, I imagine). Just wanted to show you these photos, mostly.

It was nice to get to finally meet my dad's fiancee, Pam. I was predisposed not to like her, but she meets with my reluctant approval. Is it one of those things that no matter what, you'll never be 100% okay with who your parents date/marry after they get divorced? Or am I just a petulant brat? Thank goodness my parents have good taste, or I'd be in a constant state of sulkiness in regards to their love lives. "You want to date him? Uuugh." That sort of thing. Have any of you, as adults, experienced a recent parental divorce? I'm still getting over my parents' divorce, and I'm curious to hear how others dealt with a similar situation. Three or four years later and I'm still sad about it. Maybe I need to just suck it up.

Okay sorry, no more downer talk! Pam is a great woman and I'm glad my dad has somebody to look after him. Now I'm going to scour the internet for Doctor Who.