Tag Archives: london

blogs suck, especially mine

blogs suck, especially mine. but that’s okay. no more empty promises about more updates or better designs. i promise. ha. anyways, life’s been swell here. I went to see part two of Tom Stoppard’s trilogy (The Coast of Utopia) I got there half an hour beforehand and got a great seat for ?8. I was rather proud of myself. I have all three of the plays, and will be reading them again later on. I hope. I swear more than two people used to read my webpage, but then it used to be slightly interesting. or something. i mean, i used to post things. and, like… have a webpage. hmmm. this whole personal web-presence thing is kind of funny.

i’m starting to look forward to returning to the states. sort of. basically i just miss my friends and family. i know i’m going to miss being here. i’m not going to miss the thirty people that i spend all of my time with. i want to kill them all – or at least spend a good amount of time away from them.

tony came for a visit this weekend, which was cool. it was kind of different from when brendan came. brendan was very quiet, didn’t bother anyone, but still partied. i hung out with brendan and aaron and we went to the tower of london. it was pretty cool. on the other hand, when tony came, him matt and aaron all partied until after 5 in the morning and repeatedly woke me up. last night, i was awakened when bree turned on the tv to watch the world series (played at 2 or 3 in the morning here). i was also awakened by people tripping things, turning on lights and talking to each other. at four-something a.m. tony’s alarm went off and he didn’t wake up. it went off so loudly and for so long i almost thought i was hallucinating. it was pretty annoying. finally it turned off, but then tony had to pack his shit up. in the dark. that took forever.

i guess it says something about the difference in brendan and tony’s personalities.

it seems like no matter what i do, aaron builds up a grudge against me. it explodes every once in a while, and then things are fine for a day or two after we’ve worked things out. but then he starts giving me funny looks and saying things to me, no matter what i do. i went into the other room and saw a bag of cookies and asked “whose are those?” and he screamed out “I KNEW IT! I KNEW YOU’D SAY THAT!” then the next day he had some M&M’s and others had asked for some, so i asked if i could have one, and he yelled out “I KNEW IT!” again and slapped his knee. i said “if you don’t want to give them to me, don’t” but he glared at me and handed me the three m&ms he had poured out. if i don’t ask to use his food, he gets pissed off at me, but when i asked if i could have some of his chocolate spread, he gave me a funny look like i was a moron. we had to go get photos so we could pick up our plane tickets to italy, but i’ve hurt my knee. i didn’t want to walk on it anymore – it was just painful enough. so, i told him i was going to rest instead of getting the photos. he got frustrated with me, as though i was trying to sabotage his travel plans – except that he didn’t need me to go along at all. and the list goes on and on. basically i can’t wait until i’m not living with aaron. i think we’ll be much better friends when we’re not roommates. i want to like him but he keeps doing things like the above. and sure enough we’ll have another fight soon, probably within a week or two. hopefully not while we’re in italy.

the trip began on thursday

the trip began on thursday at noon. after a pretty long busride we ended up in liverpool. we didn’t get there in time to go to the beatles museum that day, so we sat around for a little while then went out for dinner at an italian restaurant. i discovered how some italian words are actually pronounced, but i couldn’t replicate the sounds myself. the waiter was trying to be quite instructive, though. after dinner we went to a pub next door called The Blob. yes, really. we went there because they were advertising pints for just over €1, which is nice compared to the €3-4 average in london. turns out, though, that this was a pub for 60-year old alcoholics on their last legs. we were the youngest people there by far, and it was pretty uncomfortable (for me at least). at one point we saw two gray-haired ladies get in a shouting match before one was kicked out. later, a police officer came in and starting berating an odd-looking man wearing thick glasses. after growling at him quietly for a few seconds, the cop picked the guy up and dragged him outside without much fanfare. the guy was handcuffed and tossed in the paddywagon. we took this as our cue to move onto greener pastures. we had noticed that all of the young attractive people were heading in one direction, so we followed them. the first club we went to was called the walkabout. this was absolutely filled with women wearing dresses whose main feature was the lack of fabric. i swear to god that half of the supermodel population of the world was in this bar. the ratio of girls to guys was way off, so most of these women were just standing around looking super-hott or were dancing with each other. naturally, i didn’t talk to any of them, especially since i hadn’t shaved and was wearing a crappy sweater (i was expecting to go to a club). we stood around ogling the beautiful babies for a while and then left when they started playing really annoying songs. the next bar we went to promised €1 for everything (this was a lie. some things were more.) this would have been exciting for me, except the cover was €2 and i only had €3. so that was sort of that. i sat around feeling stupid and eventually left once enough people decided they wanted to walk back.

on friday, we went to the beatles museum. it was sort of interesting, but i could probably have gotten more out of a book. once the history got more full of events, there would just be big plaques on the wall full of dates. it was way more reading that it should have been. so that was that. we also had to go to the “transatlantic slavery museum”, which is my idea of fun, let me tell you. we then had an incredibly boring tour of the city that showed us which parts of the city had to do with slavery. my head was freezing the whole time. around 5, we left liverpool and went to holyhead, where we would meet our ferry. there were children on the streets who looked at us like aliens and who had possibly never seen a bus before. it was fun. the ferry was really cool – restaurants and bars and shops and a movie etc. etc. etc. very nice. when we got to dublin it was pretty late so i just went to sleep.

on saturday we probably toured something in the morning (i can’t remember. it probably sucked). for lunch, we ate at the Bad Ass Cafe, where Sinead O’Connor worked when she was young. it was pretty good. in the afternoon, we went and had a tour of the guiness factory, which was the best eight euros i spent all weekend. when you got to the top you got a complimentary pint of guinness and an incredible view of dublin (eight stories up). i also bought a shirt and a poster. that night we went on a musical pub crawl, which was really cool although there weren’t discounts on pints. our tourguides were hilarious and very talented.

sunday was the worst day of our trip. we woke up early in the morning, drove two hours and had the pleasure of touring “the famine museum”. this really pissed me off, simply because it was obvious that our professors chose this destination probably because they were interested and because we “should be”. it was also annoying because it seemed tailored to a class that I’m not even in. so i was dragged along when i really did not want to go. the afternoon was slightly better, but not much. we drove a whole bunch more and ended up at an old monastery, which was very pretty but not necessarily worth all the time on the fucking bus, especially since these two things basically blew our whole day.

we left for london on monday, and spent something like nine hours traveling. it was nice to be back, although i have to go to dublin again sometime.

and that was that.

on tuesday night we went to see a production of Ivanov by Anton Chekov. it was really well done. the stage was interesting because the audience was on both sides of it – i.e. i could stare straight at the audience members across the way. it was really funny and well-acted.

unfortunately, the tube-workers are on strike again, so we had to ride the bus home. the tube is down all day today, which kind of sucks, but i do need to do some homework. gah.

anyway, i think that’s it for now. i think i’m going to redesign the website very soon now as well as post some video and pictures. look forward to that, but until then, sign random things in my guestbook.

well, when I say comments

well, when I say comments are temporarily gone, what i really mean is that they are not coming back. probably. as sexy as php is, they were sort of a silly feature. oh well. the freakin’ order for the pen drive still hasn’t been confirmed, so i’m thinking about cancelling it and ordering from amazon.co.uk, which will be more expensive. maybe i just need to be patient. or maybe i just need to email their sales department. wot-ever.

i was wandering around on thursday and i found this music store called “fopp,” i kid you not. they claim to be the biggest independent music store in the uk, so i checked them out. they had racks and racks of really good cds for only ?5… and not as a buy 3 for ?15 deal or something. so i got another gomez cd – their b-sides collection. as far as i can tell, it’s terrible, but i haven’t listened all the way through. i also bought “intergalactic sonic 7’s” by ash (not for ?5 though), which is the singles collection for a scottish band who are really big here. they had a song on the angus soundtrack way back in the day. i’d recommend getting it, but it doesn’t seem to be in print in the us yet. i reeeeaaaaaaallly like ash.

on friday we went to “shakespeare’s globe theatre” and saw a midsummer night’s dream. this theatre was actually finished in 1997, but it’s built very close to the site of the original globe and is built to the specifications of the original theatre, with a few compromises to safety and fire codes. it’s the only building in london with a thatched roof, although it has been thoroughly fireproofed.

this performance of AMND was absolutely the best performance of a shakespeare play i have ever seen. I loved it. it was the way shakespeare should be done. it was a contemporary production, but was very restrained. they didn’t try to set it in any weird place or time; instead, all of the characters wore pyjamas the whole show and all of the props were made out of toiletries. yes, toiletries. you just had to see it. compared to this, antony and cleopatra was bollocks. (and to those of you who remember the dulles high school production of AMND… welll… i don’t have to say anything about that).

watched a bit of news

watched a bit of news tonight about the possibility of the us taking on iraq one-to-one in a war. i get the impression sometimes that the us government just has this desire to “fuck shit up” in retaliation for 9/11 and all, and we’re searching for a target, like a bully daring everyone to knock the chip off his shoulder. sigh.

as i write this, i’m sitting in an internet cafe paying by the hour. i really should be doing my homework but instead i’m checking email. oh well. costs more for me, i suppose.

today was my first day at my internship. i think i’m going to be busy. really busy. working in a london office was interesting. you could just sense the moments when everyone had almost simlutaneously decided they wanted to take a break, and then they would have a chat for a few minutes. today’s chat was about dentistry, because one gentleman had some unfortunate drilling and diagnosing done this morning. when break was over, it was almost as spontaneous. they just turned around, almost as if to say “we should really get back to work now, chaps. really…”

i went in actually thinking i was just going for an interview and ended up staying from 11a to 5p because the boss wanted me to read up on things about the organization.

actually listening to whiskeytown at the moment, despite what the thing may say below.

well, i’m in london

um well i’m in london.

apologies to all the folks out there who must have been waiting to read about my exploits or something. it’s actually much more complicated to get on the internet here. i either have to go down to the computer lab during office hours or go to an internet cafe, where i would have to pay. oh, an the notebook i brought with me? basically worthless. the battery dies in 20 minutes, the cd rom drive got damaged in transit so it won’t stay closed, and i didn’t bring any disk drives with me. there is no way to get anything out of my computer unless i go to a place and pay £5 an hour to hook it up to their network, which is something like seven or 8 dollars.

so, that sucks. i’ll have to figure out something eventually. god knows what.

as far as everything else goes, all of us here have gone a little crazy. basically we got off the plane and began the debauchery. on friday, i drank enough liquor and beer before 3:00 PM to get me tipsy. then i went to sleep until 10 PM. (by the way, the time difference is 6 hours, so it’s six hours later here. as i’m typing this at 10:30 in the morning, it’s actually 4:30 in the morning in the US.) everyone else went out that night and came back drunk. i felt kind of crappy for having missed out, but i had been awake for 24 hours running on an hour and a half of sleep (no sleep in the plane).

on saturday, i woke up at 6:00 in the morning (i did manage to get to sleep that night at around 2 AM) and then proceeded to lock myself out of the building. that was fun.

the eating has been pretty cool here so far. on our first day we went to a pizza place the lunch special was a pizza and a beer for £4.95, and the pizza was as big as a huge dinner plate. on saturday, we went to a fish and chips place and discovered how bland and greasy british food really is. that night, we went to chinatown and picked a restaurant (i wouldn’t be able to tell you whether one of those restaurants looked any better than the other. they all looked the same to me.) anyways, i had duck with pineapple, which was really good but the meal was pretty fucking expensive – duck, friend rice, and a beer (asian tiger, which someone said they thought tasted like rice krispies) all came to around £10.

later that night, we went out to a “disco” pub called O’Neils which was packed full of drunk dancing people. i’m not sure if i liked it, really. i spent most of my time watching people, which was entertaining, but i felt kind of isolated in a crowd. this place was pretty expensive, too – £6 for cover, then every pint was £3 and above, and i bought four pints in the hour and forty-five minutes i was there. all in all that day i spent around ?40.

to put that into perspective, when i went to a money changer, i gave them $100 and received £62.

i mean, it was fun, but it was also kind of frightening to see how much money you can spend in so little time here.

sunday we had a scavenger hunt. we were split up into groups and given things to find around the city. basically the other two people in my group figured everything out and i just ran behind them. it was pretty hard to keep up, too, because they were keeping a pretty cruel pace. when it really came down to it, i didn’t really care about the prizes that much. i would rather have walked at a normal pace and actually seen the things we went to instead of running to and from them. after the scavenger hunt was over i got to talking to this girl, Erin, who i had noticed before at school. this girl is 6’2″ – taller than me – and has bright red hair. she’s also a really interesting person, although i wouldn’t really know because for some reason i spent the entire time i hung out with her talking about myself instead of really having a conversation with her. i mean, i sort of did, but i know that i just let myself go loose and i kept talking and talking and talking. ugh. i’m sure i will get the chance to talk to her again and hopefully i’ll be able to control myself this time.

on monday, a bunch of us went to a Salvador Dali exhibit, which has like 500 pieces of art, mostly lithographs as well as a few sculptures. it was AMAZING. i wanted to look at every single piece of art in the place, and probably could have spent the whole day there. it was total sensory overload. i may have to go back just to spend more time looking things over. later that afternoon, we went to this huge carnival that they have every year here called the Notting Hill Carnival. there were soooooo many people there, and the atmosphere was absolutely insane. again, i spent more time watching people than doing anything else – i didn’t really want to drink because i wanted to have my bearings – pickpockets were rife. it was kind of fun and kind of not at the same time. oh well.

shopping here is kind of interesting. things are more expensive sometimes, and they don’t have some things i’m used to. for example, cream cheese in the form i think of it isn’t the same as the spreadable cheese i bought. Dr. Pepper does not taste at all like it is supposed to. also, the way the grocery store works, they don’t seem to restock things but once a day. the baked goods are only baked very early in the morning, and if you miss out, you’re shit out of luck. that goes for a lot of things actually, which is strange because the grocery store is open 24 hours a day except sundays.

also, a lot of stores are closed on the weekends, or they close very early, especially on sundays.

i’m sure there’s more stuff i’ve forgotten, but there will be much more to write about soon enough. anyways, there you go, daniel. that’s an update.