Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes

Okay, it's been approximately 2 weeks? 3 weeks? (I am too lazy to open up another window and check the actual date of my last blog) Anyway, I've been home in Colorado for a while, and thus away from London for a while as well.

THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT NOW THAT I AM HOME

1. I filled approximately 3/4 of Joanna (my Subaru)'s tank for $10. Such a difference from the $3.90 I paid per gallon of gas this summer!

2. My hair is now dark brown, a contrast from the honey-ish blonde that it previously was. A picture, for proof.

3. My family apparently DID read my blog at least once and took notice of my list of toys I never had when I was a child growing up in the nineties: they got me a K'nex rollercoaster! Ok, so it's not K'nex brand, but you can roll marbles down it, and it hooks up to your iPod and plays music! So awesome!


More changes to be documented later.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where My Money Has Gone

The things on which I have spent the most money in London this semester are 1. Christmas presents, 2. Primark, and 3. FOOD. Not exaggerating... at least I hope I'm kind of exaggerating. But look at what I have tempting me everyday, and try to tell me that you would have been able to abstain.


Ok, so Primark usually isn't too tempting. (And yes Rebbie I stole this picture off of your blog, but it was brilliant so thank you for being such a natural at advertising and designing.) But look at these:
Borough Market

This is the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Glorious English cheese, plus onions, plus sourdough bread equals £4 worth of taste bud-tingling goodness.

Among the other thousands of foods offered at Borough Market, there is this particular cart that sells every kind of dried fruit, chocolate covered-______ (fill in the blank with anything divine), and nuts seasoned with ...seasonings (after writing 13 essays this week, I have lost the will to think of synonyms) imaginable. My personal favorites include the white chocolate-covered raspberries, the Jamaican jerk cashews, and the cinnamon dried apples.

Magnum Ice Cream Bars
I think I've eaten, on average, 3.5 Magnums a week. They come in all different, not-entirely-equally delicious flavors, the best being Mayan Mystica, Ecuadorian dark, and mint. I do not recommend wholeheartedly white chocolate or double caramel.

Eat.
Oddly enough, as I have gotten older (20), the pictures I take make me look younger and younger. So sad. I mean, look how hard I'm trying in this picture. Pitiful.

Anywayz, Eat has yet to disappoint me. Alex and I have stayed ever-faithful to the popular London restaurant chain, popping over to its Bayswater location to check on the soup of the day and always hoping to see French Onion (me) or Pumpkin (Alex) written on the dry erase board behind the counter.

I'm going to miss this.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

13 Things I Kind of Sort of Don't Always Enjoy or Love About My New Favorite City in the World

The time has devastatingly come when I can count the days I have left in London on seven fingers. I will be wrenched away from this beautiful city next Tuesday, a fact that I am reluctant to accept. In a pathetic and doomed attempt to wean myself off of London, here is a list of things I WON'T miss.

1. Surprises we have affectionately called "floaters" in the toilets that just won't flush

2. Sleeping with one pillow when I am used to using a minimum of three (except for that glorious night when I borrowed Alex's extra pillow)

3. Those nights we run downstairs to the servery craving study toast, only to find that we are tragically out of Nutella

4. Four papers, four finals, endless volumes of reading assignments, and Shakespeare lines to memorize--all in one week

5. The inability to use cell phones to tell our friends when we have changed the day's plans

6. Poot once a week for dinner

7. I miss Mexican food

8. Having to type up everything, including this blog post, down in the classroom away from humanity

9. Those days when the Circle line takes approximately three hours to get from Notting Hill Gate to South Kensington, especially on those days when Anna and I are late to church because I just had to get that one piece of hair straight

10. Remember when the exchange rate was 1.85? That sucked.

11. Awkward showering rituals

12. Two options for water temperature: boiling lava hot or Antarctic ice cube cold

13. That Saturday I foolishly stepped into Primark, where I am sure I left my soul to be ravaged by the wolves that tore apart every single shelf. Also I thought I would never see Lauren Hunt, one of the few humans left in this world who understands "Arthur" the way I do, again.

There. These thirteen things can TOTALLY hold their own against the 1,000,000,000,000,000 things that I will miss forever about London. I just pity the person I sit next to on my flight next week, for I will be weeping while involuntarily clawing at the window the entire nine hours of the flight.


Look at these chicas--aren't they hot?

Oh yeah, I also won't miss the Natural History Museum's scale model of a blue whale. Okay, so I will miss it a little bit.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Remember, Remember, the 2nd of December

Well, it actually came: today is my twentieth birthday! Yesterday I was having some internal quarter-life crisis freak outs, but I've decided, with help from my friends, that it's totally cool and not scary to be turning twenty. This is the start of a whole new decade, one in which I can look back on all my awkward and embarrassing times from the last decade with touching nostalgia, saying, "How sweet it is that I was so naive," rather than "I can't believe I did that yesterday."

I don't look or feel different, by the way. I'm not even acting different. I fell asleep to the Disney movie Meet the Robinsons playing on my iPod last night, and I just finished watching the birthday episode of the classic PBS cartoon, "Arthur", on Youtube, courtesy of my good friend Lauren Hunt, who gave me the link.

But enough about me. I am now going to honor people who share this glorious birthday--folk who understand how amazing it feels to have their birth as a perfect segway between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

1. Britney Spears
Say what you will about Britney, but she will always hold a special, warm, reach-over-and-ruffle-your-hair kind of soft spot in my heart, and not just because we were both born on December 2nd. Remember the old, "...Baby One More Time" Britney? That girl was my inspiration for so many aspects of my life. "(You Drive Me) Crazy" not only taught me all about love, but it also showed me that excessive parentheses are both hip and totally useful. This picture is from the "From the Bottom of my Broken Heart" (to which I totally related in fifth grade, I'm sure--notice my parenthetical anecdote that could have easily been done with commas!), which was the EXACT LOOK I was going for in sixth grade: bucket hat, face-framing bangs, and short curly bob. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a face like Ms. Spears (she looks good even with transition face--more parentheses!), so my sorry attempts at being the totally hot approachable-yet-unattainable girl-next-door were futile.

2. Lucy Liu
I honestly don't know very much about her, besides the fact that she was in Charlie's Angels and Kung Fu Panda. Plus check it out here she is with Robert Downey Jr! Lucy Liu and I have the same birthday, RDJ and I are currently in the same city...I think Google Image Search is trying to tell me that I am going to find RDJ before I go home. It's destiny.

3. Georges Seurat
You know this painting from the classic John Hughes film, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, but my superiorly-minded Humanities 202 friends and I know that this painting, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, was painted by Georges Seurat, the Impressionist artist. He and I share the same day of birth, but I come out on top when one examines our Chinese Zodiac animals: Seurat's the year of the sheep, while mine is year of the dragon (1988). BAM

And now a photo of Rebbie and me during a pigeon attack for all of you to enjoy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Spontaneously Intentional Bursts of Gratitude

THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR AT THIS EXACT MOMENT

1. My family
I am not particularly fond of this picture of myself, except for the fact that it proves that I am physically capable of adding pigment to my skin, but I don't even care because it is a picture of the best family out there. (from left to right: Tricia, Erin, Dad, Mom, me, and Austin)

I love you guys so much, and I get more excited every day to see you at Christmas! I just hope you all haven't gotten too much cooler, like intimidatingly so, since I've been gone. I'm talking to you, Tricia.

2. My puppies, aka my poor little poopsies
Pudge and me, with Austin and Tricia behind us watching TV on a warm summer's day
Ok so I had to get this picture off of Google Images, but Fergie looks like the one on the left.

I miss my dogs so much and am filled with gratitude for them this Thanksgiving day. Pudge was attacked and nearly MURDERED last week by a coyote, and let me tell you that I would have sunk into a bottomless pit of depression had he been killed. Sorry this is so graphic, but my love for him is deep. I love Fergie too--how could you not, with that face?? Except that's not really her face.

3. My life this semester
I live in Europe! With people for whom I cannot think of a good enough adjective!

4. Disney
I am eternally grateful for Disney--not only because their films molded me into the whou-mahn I am today but also because Disney makes glorious things like The Lion King, which tonight brought me one step forward in my coming to terms with turning twenty in four days (only to have Alex bring me lovingly two steps back by observing that I am the furthest along in the circle of life).

6. CHRISTMASTIME

It's now officially the most wonderful time of the year. Are you ready?

Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Je voudrais un croissant

Well, our week in Paris has come to an end, and in the grand tradition of good vacations, I returned home to London exhausted, sore, frizzy, and stinky. This just got a little too personal.

Anyways, France was AMAZING. The professors basically gave us a list of suggested points of interests and released us into the Parisian wilderness to fend for ourselves.

Roommate Rebbie and I made ourselves at home right away in our posh hotel room. I was lucky enough to call the nacho cheesier-Dorito themed bed my own for the week.

Stop one was the Eiffel Tower, of course...and yes the above picture is courtesy of Coolpix. I should publish a coffee table book of all of Coolpix's best images, and I expect that it would sit on some of the world's classiest coffee tables.
The gang in front of the Tower at night. You know these girls are all totally awesome because, to my knowledge, no one was ever tempted to kill anyone else even after spending five consecutive days with each other.

Me at the Louvre! I loved the Louvre, so much so that I felt compelled to make several jokes involving pronouncing "love" like "Louvre"--the majority of these were in my head, and I received well-deserved eye rolls from Alexandra Ann Thomas when I said the rest of them out loud. I did, in fact, see the Mona Lisa, and yes it was rather small and anticlimactic, but I am so excited to now be one of those people who can crush the dreams of people who think it's a big, cool painting.

Here we are in front of the gardens at Versailles, which was BEAUTIFUL and definitely not anticlimactic. It was incredibly cold, but that didn't stop us from walking all the way down to this bomb fountain of which Coolpix managed to get--what else--a cool pic.


I'm probably going to decorate my basement dungeon exactly like Marie Antoinette's bedroom when I go home in December.


The Arc d'Triomphe--is it pretentious for me to spell it like that, especially when I cannot speak French at all, besides counting to ten?--was so cool and unbelievably massive.

It is no exaggeration to say that all but approximately one-fourth of my euros were spent on food. Here at a creperie on the Rue Mouffetard, Sara, Alex, and I prepare to devour the most amazing crepes humanity has ever seen: full of cheese, onions, potatoes, ham, lettuce, tomatoes, and love. I wrote more in my journal about that crepe than I did about the Eiffel Tower, and if that isn't love, I don't know what is.




Me posing for the obligatory solo shot for my potential scrapbook in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. Luckily for all involved parties, I was too excited to do anything idiotic with my arms (please see solo picture of me in front of the Louvre, above). Notre Dame was tots one of my top ten favorite cathedrals so far, which is a list I have not yet composed but now fully intend to make.

That concludes this look into another unbelievably incredible week of my previously uneventful and unadventurous life. I have no idea how I will keep myself entertained when it's all over, but that is far too morbid a thought so never mind.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

She's so lucky, she's a star...

Why am I quoting a timeless Britney Spears song in this title? Perhaps it's because I found a killer present for my sister this weekend, and Erin, if you're reading this, please note that pressure's on for MY Christmas present. Maybe it's because, despite the sign saying the laundry room is closed on Sundays, I magically have a full load's worth of clean underwear. Or maybe it's because these people in the picture below are some of the most tubular* people I've ever met, and somehow we're all in London at the same time.
Or maybe it's because we get to go to PARIS tomorrow and experience the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and, most importantly, the best food in this universe. C'est la vie!

*it's on its way back

Friday, November 14, 2008

I've decided I only care about puppies


How am I expected to write my Humanities paper when there are pictures like this on the Internet?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ode to Coolpix

Over the years, many have balked at my beloved camera--at its great mass, its inability to fit into any pocket of any form of pants, the lack of options of cases for cameras who are, how do I put this, plus-size...but Coolpix gets the job done.

See Alex attempting to get a good picture out of her Oylmpus camera? What she needs is a Nikon--just look at those colors.
Tintern Abbey of Wales is already majestic and breathtaking...but look at Coolpix's interpretation.
Even with the flash off, Coolpix operates like a pro and shoots an electric picture of the London Eye.

The Stourhead gardens in Wiltshire, England have never looked so beauteous as they do through this lens.
Coolpix works its magic on Malvern Hill
Coolpix, amidst all the chaos present at the Body of Lies UK premiere, managed to remain calm and collected and captured a miraculously clear shot of Leonardo DiCaprio.

O Coolpix, you verb my noun.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Analyze This

What does it say about me if I think in lists? My mind literally operates in list form. I have an entire journal designated for the lists I randomly think of; a night's sleep is always better after a good half hour of list-making. In an effort to make my new blog a little more personal, I am now going to let you into my psyche and show you some of my lists. Nothing has been altered; these are all verbatim from my journal I currently hold in my hands.

Embarrassing Things I Really, Truly Love
1. tie dye
2. The Sims
3. the Princess Diaries book series
4. High School Musical soundtracks
5. Avril Lavigne
6. playing Andrew Lloyd Webber showtunes on the piano, and if no one else is home, singing along as both Christine and the Phantom
7. playing the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game

Toys I was Denied as a Child
1. Barbie Jeep
2. Mysize Barbie
3. Dreamphone (this love has since been requited...I shelled out forty bones for it this year on eBay)
4. Sega Genesis
5. TalkGirl
6. K'nex rollercoaster
7. Gameboy
8. moonshoes
9. Kerplunk
10. LiteBrite
11. Skip It
12. Silly Putty
13. Mall Madness board game
14. Easy Bake Oven
15. Creepy Crawlies
16. bean bag chair
17. Don't Wake Daddy
18. Sand Art

My Shortcomings
1. curly brackets are hard for me to draw (these ones: { } )
2. I can't roll my tongue
3. I can't shuffle cards
4. worst dancer in world
5. making beds
6. drawing animals
7. Skip Its (but it's ok because remember, I never had one)
8. focusing
9. test taking

Things I Hate
1. barfing
2. Home Depot
3. Comic Sans font
4. Betty Boop
5. Rush Hour movie franchise
6. orienteering
7. kitchen crew at the London Centre
8. studying
9. my senior pictures

Things I Love (not as embarrassing as those other ones)
1. Disneyworld
2. London
3. Harry Potter
4. movies
5. making lists (yes I really put this on this list..)
6. "Arrested Development"
7. rollercoasters
8. the Y in my name
9. my family
10. Christmas and literally everything involved

Songs that Make Me Want to Die Hard
1. "The Reason" by Hoobastank
2. "Photograph" by Nickelback
3. "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall
4. "Low" by Flo Rida (I kind of like this again though.)
5. "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt
6. "Don't Wait" by Dashboard Confessional
7. "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's

Well this has been excessively negative. What does THAT say about me?

Monday, November 10, 2008

The last two months of my life in thirty seconds

Although I am doing something truly exciting for the first time in my life by living in London, England for four months--and I should have been painstakingly documenting every waking moment of this experience online two months ago, I know--I have procrastinated the formation of a blog until the trip is more than half over...but here it is! The past two months have been chock full of unbelievable adventures and some of the best times I've ever had...but the fun and insanity would be lost in any long-winded paragraphs I could post here, so I've decided to just put up a crapload of pictures and if you really want to know their accompanying stories, just ask me. I honestly am dying to tell you.

Obligatory disclaimer: I am, as I said, new at this, so these pictures are not in any sort of order. At all. I think the ones from the beginning of the trip are actually at the bottom.


Halloween: a holiday not embraced by the Brits. We stuck it to the man and dressed up as Peter Pan and crew anyways. Please draw your attention to me as Captain Hook.

I have never felt more feminine or poised

Captain Hook standing in two hemispheres at once

Gang in front of the London Eye

Gang in front of Big Ben


Ok we seriously looked so good.

The Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland...we look this good because of the misery that is Scottish weather.

Don't let the rainbow fool you--this is a land of hellish climate

Despite the biting cold, 50 mph wind, and torrential rain, Scotland really was awesome

Yes I vandalized the top of St. Paul's Cathedral with my initials in Sharpie, and no, I really could not be more hardcore, thank you for asking.

Piccadilly Circus is cool even when you're embarking on a doomed search for Robert Downey Jr.--another story for another blog.

The home of Shakespeare's cougar of a baby mama, Anne Hathaway in Stratford

A terrifying, Myspace-esque picture I took of myself in Regent's Park under the pretense that I wanted to document the beauty of the park...this was a lie. I just thought my hair looked good that day and needed proof for later.

Unfortunately this is a recurring, instinctual pose when I pose for solo pictures. I am so sorry.

Porthcurno Beach, possibly near Penzance? All they told us was that we were traveling west.

Tower Bridge along the Thames...this was before we even really knew each other! Weird

London Eye and my favorite Big Ben

me alone at Stonehenge...really there were other people there.

My beautiful home on Palace Court!