Monday, January 17, 2005

three day weekend? nope, just the end of winter break

well, it's been a fun four weeks off. tomorrow I head back to school to try and learn some more. my last weekend of freedom went something like this:
friday: hung out with katie and adam. went to the mall and picked up my christmas present: a bose iPod sound dock. it is sooo beautiful and sound completely amazing. ahh, happiness. we also got some chipotle and then went searching for a tv and dvd player for katie to buy so she could live in the 21st century like everyone else.

saturday: slept in a tiny bit, then went to target with katie and bought stuff. later that night, we went to anderson's in scottsdale to do a bit of dancing, 80's style. we dressed up a bit, as you can see in the picture below (note my side ponytail. hehe). it was tons of fun and I'm sure we're going to go again soon, but next time we are going to bring along the whole gang whether they like it or not. :)

me and katie vogue-ing before going out 80s dancing

sunday: slept in a bit more and then went to IKEA with katie and finally bought the poang chair that I have wanted for like two years. yay exciting. then we did a bit of grocery shopping and watched the end of the golden globes and some bartending competition that was really cool. I am really glad that "sideways" won for best picture comedy even though I absolutely adore charlie kaufman and "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" and wish that it could have won as well. oh well. that's life.

monday: slept in a little bit. cleaned up the apartment some more. listened to music. went out to dinner with adam (to rula bula - this cool irish pub on mill avenue). and now I'm going to bed so I can wake up and pay attention in class tomorrow morning. ugh. when is spring break? ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

a marathon, a movie, and a "new" bike

ahh, this week has been so nice. no classes, no homework, no guilty conscience about work I should be doing. it will all start again on tuesday, but for now I am happy. and I've been getting a lot done, which is quite surprising. the weekend was pretty busy because my mom and step-dad were here and I had to do stuff with them. they both ran the marathon on sunday morning (and my aunt and uncle ran the half-marathon) and I cheered them on for the last two miles (on my bike, but still). on saturday I sort of wished that I was running again, but after seeing them struggling along those last couple miles, I forgot all about that. hehe. I will stick with my 90 minute soccer game, thank you very much. I still don't see why anyone would want to run for 3 to 6 hours just to say they did that. but anyway, that's just me. we all had a pretty nice weekend I think, and it was definitely nice having them take me out to dinner.

monday I woke up at 9am again (I was still a bit jet lagged over the weekend) and started cleaning up my apartment. tuesday I did a whole lot of nothing (except some more cleaning). wednesday I went to school and met with the professor I'll be teaching for this semester. that was fun. wednesday night, adam and I went to see "a very long engagement", the new movie by director jean-pierre jeunet (the guy who directed "amelie" one of my top five movies of all time). the movie was pretty good, not as good as amelie, but still quite moving. it really shows the horrible parts of war (in this case, the great war, world war I (or as kurt vonnegut says 'the world's first unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide')). I didn't really think that they developed the main characters enough; so while you really really wanted audrey tautou's character to find her fiance, you didn't really understand why. but it was still a beautiful film.

today I got a lot of stuff done. I picked up my bike from the bike shop where it was getting a tune-up. and let me just say, it's like a whole new bike. i'm so happy and wondering why I didn't do this sooner. I was having problems with the chain and it's all completely fixed. so yay! and I also spent the afternoon attaching a rack on the back so now I can carry more groceries and books. yay for that as well. I also now have a light so I won't get a ticket when I ride home in the dark. today ended with soccer practice (we have two new guys on our team that are really good, so I'm excited about that). maybe tomorrow I'll make it over to the mall to get my ipod speakers. maybe.

Friday, January 07, 2005

back in the states

so I made it back to the u.s. yesterday afternoon (or night, depending on what time zone my head was really in). I lucked out again on my flight and had the seat next to me empty. yay for that. I also watched a bunch of movies (alfie - good, before sunset - really good, napoleon dynamite - pretty funny).

so, the last two days in london went something like this:
Tuesday: started off at Tower of London which was really very cool and interesting. I saw the crown jewels (they had a 350 carat diamond!) and some old buildings (some where people were murdered even) and stuff like that. after that I headed over to the Natural Science Museum and the Science Museum which were both interesting in their own way. the Natural Sci Museum had this collection of 22 million different species all contained in little glass jars. it was both gross and cool at the same time (my favorite was the jelly fish). the Science Museum was a bit disappointing, but it's also very hard to please someone with a huge background in science anyway. they did have the actual Apollo 10 capsule, though, which was neat to look at. after that I went to Harrod's which completely blew my mind. it was the most amazing store I have ever been in. they had literally anything you could ever want. and it was all organized so nicely and everything. besides the usual clothes, accessories and such, they also had a full pet store, a sporting section that had a room dedicated to each sport (well, the important ones anyway, like soccer (football), rugby and cricket (which I still don't understand, nor care to), and others), a huge designer jewelry section, and most amazingly of all, they had these food halls that had literally any kind of food you could ever want or need. there was a full butcher section, and then next door, a sushi bar, and then a cheese bar, and then a krispy kreme, and then a chocolate room, and then a tea/coffee room. it was incredible. anyway, I bought some english tea and made my way out of the maze back outside. after Harrod's I headed to the British Library where they had a really cool display of old books and manuscripts and such. they had two of the three oldest greek translations of the bible, the original magna carta, the first folio of shakespeare's works, some of leonardo da vinci's notebook pages, an original copy of newton's principia, beethoven's 9th symphony in beethoven's handwriting, handel's messiah also written out, some of the beatle's handwritten lyrics (with certain words change and things like that. it was fascinating), plus lots of other things I can't remember right now. it was very cool. at that point I was exhausted and headed home.
Wednesday was my zone 2 adventure (zone 1 is central London in terms of the tube). I started out by going north a bit to Abbey Road to follow in the immortal footsteps of the legendary Beatles. I met some nice people from wisconsin there who helped take pictures. the bad thing about Abbey Road is that it's a pretty busy street, so you kind of have to play pickle with the traffic in order to get a good picture. we probably walked across the street upwards of 10 times. hehe. oh well. after that I headed southwest to Greenwich to see the old palace and the Royal Observatory. the observatory was really cool, because besides having some old telescopes and longitude measuring devices, it also had the prime meridian (the line that divides the east and west hemispheres). so, I have a picture of me standing in both hemispheres at the same time. it was cool. after that, I headed back to London and went up to Camden Town and the markets there. it was pretty neat, and also good that I didn't have any spending money (since my suitcase would have been too full). then I went over to Portobello Road markets in Notting Hill and walked around there for a while. later that night, we went to a play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), where 3 people perform (sort-of) all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in just 97 minutes. it was hilarious.
Thursday morning I headed back over to Heathrow and got on my plane (which left on time, thank goodness). and now I'm back here. I'm going back to arizona tomorrow and then school starts back up on the 18th.
some of the 315 pictures I took during my trip will be posted sometime next week on either this site or my other one. I'll let you know.

and since I didn't put these up before, my new years resolutions:
1. eat healthier and exercise more (well, duh, isn't that on everyone's list?)
2. watch less tv and read more books (well, I haven't watched any tv yet and I bought 3 books yesterday, so I think I'm off to a good start)
3. study more
4. finish my websites (hopefully this will happen next week when I have nothing to do)
5. cook more often (and also, eat less fast food, if possible none)

Monday, January 03, 2005


happy 2005 everyone! I spent the new year's celebration in London, at a club near piccadilly circus. the fireworks near the houses of parliament (big ben) and the london eye were really amazing; maybe some of you saw them on tv later on.
well, I have been a good little tourist, doing lots of fun touristy things. after getting back from scotland on thursday night, friday we went to the houses of parliament and saw the famous clock tower holding big ben. we also went through westminster abbey. I saw sir isaac newton's tomb(?) and memorial and lots of other peoples as well. there was a poet's corner with lots of famous wordsmiths there as well. after that, we headed over to trafalgar square and went to the national gallery. I saw some nice pieces of art there.
saturday took me to the tower of london (although it was closed) and the tower bridge (which was very blue and also very pretty). then I wandered over to the tate modern museum (a modern art museum) which was really really great. I also walked by shakespeare's old globe theatre and then across the milenium bridge. after that I took the tube over to piccadilly circus and walked over to leicester square (where it started pouring down rain - but only for a little while - the stupid tourists all bought umbrellas, but I knew it would stop soon). then I walked back to piccadilly circus and walked down regent street to oxford circus. they have this really nice light display on that street which was great to look at.
sunday we got up early and went to buckingham palace to watch the changing of the guard. it was sooo crowded! and cold! the ceremony was pretty interesting, but I wasn't at the best vantage point. but oh well. after that, we walked over to hyde park which was very nice and also saw kensington palace before heading to notting hill to get some lunch (fish and chips...yum). then we took the tube over to the somerset house and watched people ice skating and falling on their asses (we were going to do it too, but it was all booked up for the day).
today (monday) I went to st. paul's cathedral to have a look around. I climbed up all 530 steps to the top of the dome (the third largest in the world) to get a magnificent view of the city. it was very tiring, but definitely worth it. after that, we took a ride on the London Eye which was also really cool. the weather turned out perfect so I got some really amazing pictures (speaking of which, I have already taken almost 300. hahaha).
the plan for the next two days: tower of london, abbey road, british library, harrod's, a play and greenwich. if I can fit in camden town markets I will do that as well, but I don't know if it will happen. because of the holidays, lots of things have been closed when I wanted to see them, so it made everything a bit more difficult to plan. anyway, I am a master of the underground tube now, so I'm sure I'll be able to manage it.
my favorite thing about london: most of the museums are free.