Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Even fat feet can't keep me down!

I would like to start this post by telling you I just spent 20 minutes turning my tiny room upside down trying to find my Kleenex which I had used only seconds before I started looking again.
I just found the Kleenex smack dab in the middle of the room. Out in the open. By itself. Couldn't possibly be any more visible. Mother F'er.

Now back to your regularly scheduled post:

Today, I was SMOKING!
No. I was not on fire. You suck.
I looked damn good. I totally looked like I belong in London, meaning I was pants-less. Yeah, I tried the no-pants thing, sue me. Actually, I was wearing a skirt and black tights and the only pair of European shoes that fit me. I also used my new hairdryer so I didn't look like I just finished a year long trip out in the middle of the rainforest. Plus, I had finally unpacked my makeup so I could, ya know, "do my face." Oh yeah. I was turning heads.

Chalk a very need point up for the Self-Esteem!

I would have paraded myself up and down London just to keep that self-esteem meter climbing, until my feet started to bitch. Yeah, they may have fit into this single pair of European shoes, but they were not liking it. Fine, fine. I got what I needed out of the shoes, so I only went about my business rather than parading around town.

My business included another talk at my school. This talk was entitled: "Study Habits for Masters Students." Oh. My. God.

I said it before and I'll say it again: I'm fucked. What the hell did I get myself into?! First off, the UK grading system is different in that they grade you on a 70% scale. If you did very well, they give you a 70. I ask you, does that make sense? Perfectionist freak-out moment just waiting to happen.

Secondly, did I mention that this program is only a year? I only have a year to do my course work, decide on a dissertation topic, research the dissertation topic, and write said dissertation. Oh yeah, and do I need to remind you that a dissertation is not simply a research project? You pretty much have to find a topic no one else has ever done before. Ever. It's frigging 2009. Everything in the world has already been done! And NO I'M NOT BEING MELODRAMATIC!

Finally, a Masters degree is based on research (I can handle that) and writing. Wait, what? Oh yeah, writing. As evidenced by this blog, I cannot write! I suck at it. I can't even write well in an informal setting like a blog, let alone in an academic sense.

This blows. This will certainly be an interesting year.

Oh, and one more bitch before I leave you tonight:

MEN: Your junk cannot possibly be that big. When you ride on public transportation you can close your legs just a LITTLE bit more and stop taking up a third of the train or bus and I promise you're not going to destroy any chance you may have at creating a tiny army of mini-you's. So, yeah, that's it, go ahead and make the space between your legs closer in size to, say, a miniature horse rather than a fricking football field.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seriously, England? Really?

Maybe it's the fact that I'm better enough that I've gone beyond the wanting-to-die phase and moved into the still-sick-enough-to-sound-like-a-man-and-is-just-as-cranky phase of sickness, but today blew. Mostly. Today, I had to head back to my school to hear a talk that I missed on Saturday because I was sick. This talk caused the first realization that I'm actually a masters student in graduate school. Oh-em-gee, dude! The fact that I just felt compelled to type "Oh-em-gee dude" leads me to believe that this could be a pretty hard year for me. Hmm.

After the talk, I decided to head up to the shopping mall area not far away and look at shoes seeing as London is full of really cute shoes and I am currently down to three pairs. I found a store that has really cute cheap shoes...and my feet are too fat for every single one of them.

WHAT THE FUCK, UK?! Really? Are ALL of your women's feet that skinny? Oh, sure, you have a "wide" section, but that doesn't help if your feet are STILL too fat.

Ok. I exaggerated. I honestly found ONE pair of shoes my fat feet fit into. And I bought them. Shut up. What's a girl to do?

Next on the agenda for today, was to head to the store for some basic household goods. Like a duvet cover, clothes hangers, full-length mirror, indoor airer for wet clothes, hair dryer, etc. You know, stuff that would have been silly to pack but is still perfectly necessary. So I went to Sainsbury, where I got my last minute bed linens the first night I moved in. Well, Sainsburys did not have duvet covers. Oh sure, they had duvet cover sets, which included things I did not need, but no duvet covers.Alright, fine. Next item: clothes hangers. None. Sainsburys had no hangers. OK. 0 for 2. Off to a good start. Let's try something else. A mirror? No. Indoor airer for wet clothes. Nada.

GOD DAMNIT! It was obvious Sainsburys would get me no where. I asked around to see if there was another home goods store nearby (remember I have no car). No one knew of anything. Great. So I went online and looked for the UK version of Wal-Mart. Literally, I went onto the Wal-Mart website clicked on "International Customers" and found that the UK version is called ASDA. You know, I bitch about Wal-Mart and how much I hated it, but honestly I would have kissed its floor if I came across one and it had hangers.

The closest ASDA was a bus and tube ride away, but no matter, I needed the stuff and climbed aboard. Let me tell you. ASDA is no Wal-mart. It's like a cross between Mardens and Big Lots and without the low prices! The place was small, not alot of merchandise, nothing seemed to have any kind of order, and it almost had a garage sale feel to it. Whatever. At least I had found a home goods store.

Hairdryer. Check. Flat sheet for bed. Check. Duvet Cover. Check, though I did have to buy a duvet cover set which included a pillow case, but who can't use an extra pillow case (especially with all the drooling I've been doing lately thanks to my cold. Yeah, I know you didn't need to know that and that's exactly why I told you.) Mirror. Sorta check. I found a mirror, but it's like half-length. Apparently the English only like to view half of themselves in the mirror before leaving the house. That would explain the current clothing trend. Everyone just doesn't realize they're not wearing pants because their mirror doesn't go down that far.



(Seriously, nobody in London wears pants. It's all these leggings. It's weird and yet I feel the urge to jump this bandwagon. I mean, who wouldn't want an excuse to not wear pants? Not this guy. It's no pants from here on out. Of course, that may be an issue seeing as I don't yet own leggings. I will not let that stop me.)

So what about clothes hangers? Well. That's the thing. Apparently no one in England believes in hanging up clothes. I couldn't find anything. No. I lied. I found kids hangers. That's it. So I bought them. However, most of my clothes that need to be hung up are pants and skirts, meaning I needed hangers made for skirts and pants. So, being the genius I am, I made my own hangers out of kids hangers and clothes pins.

Kick ass! Plus, now my "closest" (or really corner of my room with a hanging rack thingy) is really colorful!
Overall, my day sucked, but its was still a win. A cranky win, but I won none-the-less.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Welcome Home

I have a home! I moved into my tiny little room on the outskirts of London (near the Manor House Tube Station) officially yesterday evening, but today I finished bringing all my luggage over from the hostel. No, I do not have that much stuff, but being deadly sick, I did not feel like carting my bags all at once across the city. As a side note: you (and by you I mean my mother) may be interested to know that now that I've unpacked, I dutifully took my OSHA seeing as my cold has apparently taken up residence in my lungs. If you've ever taken OSHA before, then you understand why I need to pat myself on the back for taking it completely without nagging by anyone. It's nasty stuff, but it works!

I am not exaggerating, I pretty much feel like dying. I'm a little better today than yesterday, I mainly think that's because I have a place today to lie down and call my own. Granted my bed only has a fitted sheet and a duvet (sans duvet cover). Why? Because I thought that was cool.

No, it was because I didn't bring linens with me and I hadn't thought about buying any until last night. Might be a good idea, non? So, I caught the bus up towards the local Sainsbury, the only thing still open. I went to the linens section and found sheets, but apparently the only sheets they sell are fitted sheets. I couldn't find regular sheets to save my live. Keep in mind, I had a sinus headache that was pretty much making me see stars, so I may (just MAY) have missed them, but I swear I looked everywhere. So I settled on just buying a fitted sheet, a pillow, a pillow case and a duvet (the cover is something I can worry about later...when I feel better).

At any rate, here's my flat. :)


My living room and flatmate

The view from my window.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Sick, so sick

I feel like crap. Sore throat and congestion, I'd joke and say I have swine flu, but that's probably not a good thing to joke about in hostel. I'll get stoned to death and probably feel worse than I already do...because I'd be dead. Yeah, just roll with it, alright?
I'm just praying I haven't gotten strep throat again. I've already done my time with that several months again. Plus, dealing with being sick is no fun by yourself in another country. I'm too much of a baby. I did visit a Chinese Apothecary, got some herbal remedies and have been overdosing on fruit, water and orange juice. Orientation for school starts tomorrow, so here's hoping I feel better tomorrow!

And Oh! I found a flat. I move tomorrow evening. Yay! It's located between the Manor House and Seven Sisters tube stations and is about a 30 minute commute from my school. Not bad, but it's cheap enough to make it worth it. I'll post pictures as soon as I move in tomorrow. :)


Thursday, September 24, 2009

What is this building? Oh. Buckingham Palace? Imagine that.

Today's plan was to visit Bucingham Palace and see the changing of the guards with Deepak, Javi, Pablo and Mars. Feeling brave we all decided to walk rather than take the tube or a bus and we all know how good my sense of direction is. Or rather, if you don't know how good my sense of direction is, just take my word for it. I can get lost just about anywhere.I kept losing my sense of where we were, but we eventually came across what had to be Green Park that surrounds Buckingham Palace. I was sure that Buckingham Palace would be on our right and before heading that direction we came across a building with lots of people standing outside. I wanted to know what was so interesting so I asked a close by policeman what building it was. He replied, "That's Buckingham Palace... What did you think it was?" Great. I just completely made a fool of myself in front of a (rather good-looking) policeman. Damnit.

Well, there you go. We made it to Buckingham Palace, which was not as cool as I apparently thought it should be. We had arrived at about 10:15 and the changing of the guard happens around 11:30. Even this early, it was hard to find a spot near the gate with a view, but we staked out a spot and waited. The area quickly filled with people.


Once the changing of the guard started, I couldn't see a thing. Which is fine. In fact, this was my view of the entire ceremony:

I did find myself standing behind an older American woman who only fit into every other stereotype I've encountered this trip. She was so sweet to me, trying to make sure I could see what was going on (probably because I sounded American), but continued to complain about the Spanish woman who was getting in the way.

So. There. I saw, or rather "saw" the changing of the guard. I did it and will never do it again.

I will mention that Pablo and Javi, the Spaniards are currently sitting with me while I write this and have advised me that I would be funnier if I drank first. Pablo does not seem to accept the fact that I do not want to "party" tonight. I am still recovering from two nights ago. However, the Spaniards are all ready to go clubbing all night again! Crazy Spaniards.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hey Sexy, where are you going? You look like cauliflower.

First, I have to start this post by telling you that on my way to lunch today I, get this, gave someone directions. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Win. Of course, the directions consisted of simply saying "it's just a little further up the road" but who cares? I'm starting to figure out where stuff is!

So yesterday, the homesickness started to slowly creep up on me. Until yesterday, I've had so much fun exploring that I haven't had time to sit down and think about how homesick I was. Yesterday, I had decided to take a chill day to try to catch up on some sleep and rest. Therefore, I had time to sit down and allow the homesickness time to cultivate. I began to think about how I had only met one person since arriving, Deepak my hostel roommate. I thought maybe the best remedy for this would be a trip out to Trafalgar Square and Picadilly Circus.


For lunch I came across Pep-C, an American food restaurant. I thought, "hey, maybe I could cure some homesickness by eating a burger." Wrong. I pretty much paid 10 pounds for a terrible burger. So, in an even worse mood, I vowed that I would meet at least three people that night in an attempt to feel less alienated.

That worked alittle too well. Deepak had asked me to show him how to make pasta, one of his favorite non-Indian foods, so we were hanging out in the hostel kitchen cooking. To explain the title of this blog post, Deepak told me that in the Punjabi language they have a saying this is used like a pickup line and it literally means "Hey Sexy, where are you going? You look like cauliflower (or You're dressed up like cauliflower)." How awesome is that?
At any rate, we were chilling in the kitchen when we met Spencer and Nick from California who were having a fun run in with a drunk Irishman. No. I'm not trying to stereotype, but there was a heavily tanked Irishman attempting to cook for the Californians and himself whilst shouting, yelling profanities, stumbling, and pretty much causing all of us to look on with amusement.

It did not take long before the Irishman was completely tanked and disappeared. Nick and Spencer then sat with me and Deepak while we ate dinner and began to chat. It wasn't too much longer before we had attracted a small crowd of people, Mars from China, Yara and Kim from Germany, Jared from South Carolina, Anthony from Australia, and Pablo and Gavi from Spain. We spent the evening in the hostel lounge and had quite a blast. Everyone was really cool and we caused a bit of a scene. It wasn't too long before we ran out of alcohol and decided to go out to a bar. All ten of us (Mars didn't come out, which was a shame as he was quite a funny little guy...I'm sorry...man) geared up and head towards Soho. We found the first bar and after a drink head out in search of bar number two. We made it to Leicester Square where there were clubs, people, music, and club salesmen (and yes I'm trying to be generous with my labeling here).

I didn't even know that clubs came with sales men, but our group was approached by at least five different men from about three different clubs trying to offer us the best deal. We tried getting the salesmen in a fight over us, but the best deal we could get was 5 pounds for guys and free for the ladies at the club Zoo. Alright!

We were at the club until 3:00 when the club closed and all of us were trying to gather up and head back to the hostel when Jared, Anthony and I split off and head to the Den an "after-party" club. While Zoo was fun, it felt like a tourist club compared to the Den which felt like real underground London. Walking into the Den was like walking back into the 80s. You see the awful London fashion on TV and you assume it can't really be that bad, right? Well, wrong. The Brits really dress that bad. I mean the hair! If I could only have taken pictures. Alas, you will just have to believe that the club looked like something out of a really bad London punk 80s movie. I can't even find pictures bad enough to give you a sense of it. Plus, I'm pretty sure at least 85% of the people in the club were tripping on some really heavy drugs that just made the stereotype even worse.

Jared and I finally ended up leaving Anthony behind and making it back to the hostel around 5:30. I had lots of fun and it was totally worth the experience, but this old lady's not sure she could do that again.
Or at least, too many more times. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lay off, I'm busy being a tourist in my new home town

Writing when you're busy exploring a brand new (huge) city is pretty difficult. However, I do not mind the excuse the relax in the hostel. I've been pretty much on the go since I arrived and I tell you what, my feet are killing me! (Side note: my feet are really stinky now that I've finally taken off my shoes. No wonder no one is sitting next to me.)

Yesterday I took a walk towards the center of town and it did not take me long on my walk before I had decided that I am completely in love with this city already. I am surrounded by history! Being a huge nerd, that's actually a good thing for me. Shortly I found myself at St. Paul's Cathedral. Appropriately, it was Sunday and the bells were loudly calling everyone to service. It was one of the most beautiful sounds I've heard. The bells seemed to call joyfully down the street and with the sun shining (yeah. I know! Sun...England...) it felt like the final scene of a movie. I was sure that if I looked hard enough, I would find a good-looking couple standing in front of the church embrace while a banner flies above them reading "They lived Happily Ever After."

I also made it down to the Thames, not far from the Tower of London, but decided to save exploring the London Tower for the next day. Later yesterday evening, I went out to visit a flat. The flat was nice, but would have ended up being about a 40 minute commute. I had one other viewing scheduled for the next day and didn't want to make any decisions until I had seen both places.

This morning, after a long day yesterday, I head out for my anticipated tour of the Tower of London. I have always wanted to visit the Tower of London. I spent at least four hours exploring the Tower alone, deciding to not to tag along with a tour. It was fantastic. It was so exhilarating just to touch the walls and bath in the feeling of the place. While the mystical aura that accompanies a place that not only has lots of history, but lots of intense and bloody history is slightly diminished by the sheer volume of tourists, it still has the ability to transport you back in time.


I was, however, slightly disappointed that there was less of a creep factor than I would assume a place with so much bloody history would have. It wasn't until I visited the crypt of the All Hallow by the Tower Church that I felt creeped out. I was only one of about three people in the church and when I ventured down to the crypt, I was the only one and it made me just alittle uneasy.

I finally made it back to the hostel after another long day in time for a quick dinner before heading out to view the second flat. The second flat was closer, cheaper, and smaller. I've decided I would rather go with the closer, cheaper, smaller flat. I should know by tomorrow whether I have the flat or not. :)

Now, I'm tired. It's off to bed!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ya know, fish, chips, cup o' tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary Poppins...London!

I'm in London! Finally! I haven't slept in over 29 hours and I'm exhausted. I'm sorry to say that I had planned on putting together a photo journal of the journey and due to the high emotions and exhaustion that lasted until I left the house.

Here I am trying to pack the bags that became the bane of my existance.

My dog tried to help me.

My cat couldn't give a shit.

I flew out, and my flights were fine. No issues. Then once I arrived in Heathrow, I thought I would be adventurous and take the Tube rather than pay for a taxi. After getting stuck in the entrance to the Tube, I made my way onto the train and caused quite a scene trying to take up as little space as possible, which was equivalent to about 5 people and happened to block a door. Halfway through the Tube ride, I gave up and left in search of a taxi. And due to the "gap" between the tube and platform, I couldn't roll my bags out. No that would be too easy. I had to literally toss one bag out of the train at a time, hoping I could get all of them as well as myself out of the train before the doors closed. I got out of the station and attempted to make my way to the taxis and fell over myself several times due to my excessive baggage. A taxi driver took pity on me and helped me out, but while loading my bags, broke off one wheel from my big-ass rolly luggage. DAMNIT!
I didn't cry though. I almost did, but I just stopped caring.
I finally got to the hostel and have been exploring and trying to keep myself awake. I will post more tomorrow about London once I've had a chance to sleep.

For now. Goodnight. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On this day, many years ago ;) a great man was born.

Ugh, I'm not even in London yet and I'm already overwhelmed. I've started contacting people about looking at flats and I already have two viewings booked. Which is good...but one of them happens to be the day I arrive. So here's what I'm looking at for my schedule:

Friday evening: Depart for London from Boston
Saturday morning/afternoon: Arrive in London, and somehow maneuver my far-too-heavy bags to my hostel
Saturday afternoon/evening: Go visit at least one flat
Saturday evening: *Crossing my fingers* that I get to bed at a half decent time... say, 7:00pm. :)
Sunday all day: Dance workshops... for six hours. Yeah, I'm crazy
Sunday evening: Possibly have to schedule some flat viewings

Someone please shoot me now. No. Not now. I get to go another Red Sox game tonight. How about you shoot me after the game?

At any rate, you probably won't hear from me again until after I've gotten to London. :) So, please be patient. See you on the other side!!

One more thing before I go:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Matt Damon and a lady bug may or may not have something in common

Yesterday was a fun Monday and by fun I mean interesting and by interesting I mean odd and by odd I mean fun...yeah... I think.

Anywho. I had my last Monday at work. Woot! What does "woot" mean anyway? Ok. So I just looked it up: "w00t" was originally an truncated expression common among players of Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game for "Wow, loot!"
That just totally made my day! What a nerdy thing to say. I'm a nerd so it's totally cool for me to use it, but I bet there are thousands of cool people out there who had no idea and have inadvertently become nerds. Hahaha. Woot.

On my way home from work, I stopped at the gas station to fill up and put some air in my tires. Next to the air machine thing that unfairly charges you $0.75 to use air, there was a bench and a man chilling out on said bench. The man appeared to be waiting for someone and, due to the fact that he had several bags around him, looked like he must be road tripping. I finished filling my tires and was trying to neatly roll up the air hose when this man called me over to him. He asked "Do you find you have trouble with your tires?"
"Um, not sure what you mean."
"Do your tires lose air quickly"
"I guess so, but I also am due for new tires so that may be my issue."
"Well, you see, I'm the guy who wrote Good Will Hunting the book. And I sent the script to Hollywood and that's why Matt Damon played in the movie. But you know, your tires might have some kind of defect." I'm not going to lie, I almost believed the guy. He didn't look crazy, but the longer I talked to him the more crazy he got. Finally, as I got back into my car to leave I said "have a good day" and he replied with "there's a ladybug on my hand!" Good for you.

Next, I had a guy coming to look at my car after responding to an ad I posted with the hopes of selling it before I leave. I listed my car for $10,500 and I owe $10,200 on it. The guys offered me $3,000, maybe $3,500. I stared at him for a moment, debating whether I should just punch the guy right then and there before responding, "Um. No. Get out before I sick the dogs on you."

The night ended on a good note though. Cait and I went once more for ice cream and spent the evening on the docks of Portland debating how the mailman saga will end, seeing as tomorrow is my last day at work. The mailman has been warned that my last day is coming up and we tried to predict if the mailman will make any move. By the way, the mailman has already come today and did nothing, so he only has tomorrow to do any of the following:

Cait's suggestions:
*He shows up with a boom box in Say Anything fashion.
*He hires the big screen during a Red Sox game to profess his love for me
*He ambushes me in the hallway and pulls me into the supply closet. I really hope this does not happen as I was forced to promise Cait that if it does, I'd go ahead and roll with it just so I can say I had sex with the mailman in a supply closet. I mainly don't want this to happen because I already packed my razor a few days ago and therefore would have a very unpleasant, hairy surprise for the mailman. (Yes, I'm a classy woman)
*He shows up with a bag of Cracker Jacks with a "surprise" inside. That surprise being either a condom or his penis. (Yes, Cait is a classier woman)

My Suggestions:
*He shows up in full uniform and does the Drew Carey Show version of the Full Monty with spinning package and all.

As you can see, Cait was having far more fun with this than I was.

What are your predictions?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why do the work yourself when others do it for you?

Well, I'm down to the homestretch. Five more days and I'm off. Yikes. I think it goes without saying that because of this, my brain is fried (and if you need proof, I just attempted to spell brain "brian"). Therefore, I have neither the gumption or will power to write anything too exciting. PLUS, Blogger tells me I have new followers but I can't see who the hell they are. So...welcome new followers and know that it's not because I don't love you, but that Blogger does not love you.

If I don't have the willpower to write anything interesting, then why, you ask, am I still writing? Because I want to showcase all the hysterical/interesting people out there that will do my job for me for today. Here are some blogs I follow and I highly recommend you check them out.

The Bloggess: Be forewarned, I do not claim responsibility if you pee your pants from laughing too hard while reading this blog. My favorite blog to follow. In fact, check this post about mushroom boobies. I mean, who doesn't like mushroom boobies?

Bye Bye Pie: This woman cracks me up and I can't help but love all the photos of her cats and dog. :)

Mommy Wants Vodka: A mommy blog, but don't fool yourself into thinking that means lame. You have to have a sense of humor to be a parent.

Wendi Aarons: Another mommy blog. What? Moms are funny!

Chelsea Talks Smack: A newer blog I've run across and this chick is funny!

Life, Love and Wine: I was friends with this writer while in college, but now we've discovered we're blogging buddies which is just way cooler than college buddies. She is funny and she has great receipes, which I would totally use if I knew how to cook.

There are lots of other blogs I follow, but I didn't feel like overwhelming you. Oooh! Here's an idea. How about I start monthly featuring a blog? Everyone can submit their favorite blogs for suggestions and if I deem it worthy, I'll introduce all my followers (yeah, the ones I can't see) to a new blog every month! Send me your suggestions!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Goodbye's are never easy, especially when there are so many wonderful people in your life. At the risk of sounding sappy, I consider myself blessed when it comes to friends and family and that makes this process all the harder.

Last week was my last night out with my tribal dance ladies and I'm already suffering withdraw. Last night was my last night out in Portland and I was forced to say "so long" to too many people. Friends from college and others I've picked up along the way since all showed up to see me out in style. And by style, I mean by drinking copious amount of liqueur and beer. To all my Portland friends: I will miss you more than I can express. Thank you for being who you are and making my time here in Maine something I'll never forget.

This weekend is the last bit of time I am able to spend with my mother before I leave and this may prove to be the hardest goodbye. She is, always has been and always will be a wonderful support, a great role model, and a beautiful person. I'm lucky to have such a goofy, creative, brilliant, beautiful, and inspiring mother.


And on that note, I'm going to get off the computer and spend some valuable time with my mom and family. (Hoping that the valuable time does not involve getting in trouble for posting that picture!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

THE PRESSURE!

In an attempt to publicize my blog, which so far has worked as well as shaving a cat in a rainstorm, I joined 20 Something Bloggers, a pretty cool website for people who, like me, have no lives. This morning, I realized that means people might actually read my blog. Now, slow down there, Bucky. Yes I realize my mom people read my blog, and yes I greatly value your patronage, but dude, real people might begin reading my posts. So, I better come up with something good! It goes without saying that this pressure causes my tiny little brain to go blank.

So why do people read blogs anyway? For cheap laughs, right? Or maybe for recipes or homemaking tips if you're into that kind of thing, and let me tell you I am not. Others use it as a marketing and networking tool. I however, have nothing to market other than my own awesomeness. And no, that does not mean that I am going to begin marketing and selling my awesomeness, so you can stop heading down that path right now.
So where does all this leave me and my blog? Self-glorification. Enjoy!

Another blog-related thought I've recently been struggling with: Does anyone else find blogs an invasion of privacy? No, not my own privacy, because let's face it, I have no shame. But the privacy of everyone in your life who somehow always ends up on your blog. I mean, my poor mailman has become the subject of my blog more than once and I'm not sure he'd be ok with that if he knew. Speaking of which, my mailman failed to come to my office today and instead I got my mail thrown at me by Floyd the old guy. This does not please me. What if that means that my mailman happened to stumble across my blog and was so upset, he quit his job! NOOOO! Will blogs ever stop ruining people's lives?!

Probably not. Do I embrace that? Absolutely.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Resist Adultification!

With my impending move quickly approaching, I was recently reminded of an old note I wrote. I keep being surprised by how fast my life is becoming "adultified." (That's a pretty fun word, non?) Please forgive me if you have read this note before. Then again, who couldn't use a reminder that you can grow old, but you should never grow up.
*********************

Well, here we are folks. Most of my friends have grown up and moved away. They're working as teachers, baristas or various other entry level jobs. Classes, Frisbee on the lawn, partying all night, and movie nights with friends are things of the past. Myself, I got temporarily stuck here in Portland working my own entry level job. Despite various attempts to delay the on-set of adultification, I feel that I'm losing an epic battle. However, I have found a new regiment of activities that has greatly reduced the effects of adultification and I believe there are many of you out there who could use a little help with your own battle.


1. Talk with your mouth wide open: Just in case you were to ever lose your lips or lower jaw in a freak accident, it's good to exercise the ability to speak without them. For an added bonus, hold your lips wide so that not only do you get to practice your talking, but everyone around you gets a glimpse at what your skull looks like.


2. Get EXCITED!!!!: Get excited about the big things, the little things, the in-between things! Shout with glee when you coffee pot is done brewing. Jump excitedly when you get your promotion. Smile as big as possible when your guy/girl hugs you. I've found the best exclamation for excitement (works for any case of excitement) is: WHEEEEE!!! *Works best when shouted by multiple people at the same time.


3. Sing a song about whatever it is you are doing at any particular moment: Resist the adult habit of attempting to make a rhyming song, or even a song with a coherent melody if that requires too much thinking. Just start signing. "First you need the mayo, then you need to mustard. TURKEY! Put on some TURKEY! Cheedar chesse. Cheedar cheese. Now you've got a SANDWICH!"


4. Make faces at yourself in the mirror: Rather than criticize the fact that your nose is too big and your eyebrows look like flattened monkeys, make a funny face. Stick out your tongue, cross your eyes, and make that funny looking person in the mirror laugh.

5. Pretend to be someone else: "There is no Dana, only Zhoul." Start talking in a funny voice (bonus points for most creative voice) and avoid at all cost the word "I." Freak out friends, bother loved ones, and annoy co-workers.


6. Repeat game: You all remember this game. Just repeat everything another person says. However, always be aware of when said person begins to say things like "I'm stupid." At which point adjust accordingly. For they are stupid to think you'll fall for that.

7. Talk to yourself: This activity proves to be most effective at work. Just say aloud everything you think....well...almost everything. Be warned that I take no responsibility for trouble you may get yourself into when performing this exercise.


8. Lobster hands: Cross your fingers, then cross your pinky and ring fingers. Voila! Lobster hands. Now, perform your normal daily tasks. Makes the day ten times more exciting.


9. Be a GOD among animals: This is a tricky one, because you must first find your talent. For example, my father is the God of squirrels. He simply makes a sound like a squirrel in the middle of Boston Commons, and amazingly every squirrel in the park begins running toward him. Chickens work too if you find you can make a convincing chicken noise, like my mother. And yes, it was pointed out that I do have a very convincing pig noise, but we won't go into details. (My family has many talents) However, for those of you who do not have an innate animal noise talent, gnats are attracted by the sound of low humming. The next time you're outside and you notice gnats swarming, make a low humming sounds and they will flock to you. So, take your pick: a bunch of squirrels, chickens, pigs, or gnats.

10. Test the limits of your peripheral vision: Stare straight ahead and see how far your peripheral vision goes using your fingers. Better yet, talk to people using your peripheral vision.

11. Namecalling: Just begin by insulting friends and family by thinking of the dumbest name ever. Poopface, BeetleButt, Huntington VonSnufflegas, Bumwaller, Son of a hampster, etc etc.

12. Cross your eyes: My favorite, and easiest anti-adultification trick. Cross your eyes! Talk to people with your eyes crossed or play with crossing and un-crossing them and watching the chair in front of you divide into two chairs and magically fuse back into one. Also, when talking to someone, stare at only the right or left twin, and you appear to be crossing only one eye to them. Magnificent.


Hopefully, as I test new activities, I will add to this list. However, this should be plenty to get you started on your path to recovery.

Best of Luck Giggles McFartington

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cop Out Wednesday

Yeah, it's one of those days.








Tuesday, September 8, 2009

T-minus 10 days!!

As you may or may not have noticed, my name is now Boots McGee. Why? To honor my dad's original request when I was born to name me Boots, which was thwarted by my mother (shame), and because Boots McGee is ten times better than Boots alone.

Doesn't the name Boots McGee conjure images of a nice old hobo whose spent his days hopping the rail, spending evenings around a barrel fire, and stabbing people who look at him funny? Yea, I know! His sidekick and hobo'ing buddy is BeBop Jones. BeBop tends to keep Boots McGee in line, as BeBop is a delightful old man from New Orleans who just wants to play his jazz and is really not into stabbing people. They make a great duo, perfect for a sitcom series in which BeBop is always getting Boots out of trouble and every show ends with BeBop laughing off Boot's anticts and launching into a jazz solo on the trumpet. It will be a hit and I'll be rich baby, RICH! I'd say I won't forget the little people who helped get me where I am, but that'd be a lie. I probably will forget you until I've wasted all my riches on women and drugs and then I'll miraculously remember all the little people and come crawling back asking for some help, man. Just help a brother get back on his feet...or a sister on her feet...whatever. You get the point.

So. Yeah. What was I talking about? London! 10 days! EEEP!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

FREEDOM!!

I just found out that "Alexandra" means defender/protector of mankind.

You're welcome in advance.

A discussion of this find with my parents led them to inform me that I was almost called Boots instead. My dad fought hard but for some reason couldn't convince my mom that Boots was an acceptable girl's name.

I am so disappointed. I totally look like a Boots too! Boots the Awesome. Yeah. New nickname!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I really didn't want to go there...but I did anyway

I really didn't want to get political in this blog AND I really didn't want to post two in one day...but I can't help but comment on what I just came across.

A recent Yahoo! News article spoke of conservative parents and their outrage that president Obama wants to address the students of the country directly. The parents are complaining and "calling the speech an excuse to brainwash American children."

So, reading this article, I'm intrigued. What is president Obama going to talk about? Health Care? Sex Ed? The economy?

"I'm going to be making a big speech to young people all across the country about the importance of education; about the importance of staying in school; how we want to improve our education system and why it’s so important for the country. So I hope everybody tunes in."

What?! CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THAT IS BRAINWASHING?! Don't even conservative parents want their kids to be educated?! How can there be a subliminal liberal message in "stay in school?"

Then again, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to believe the crap that the extreme conservatives feed the uneducated masses, like "public option health care will kill the elderly."

Fish ARE funny in fact

You know that "T9" feature on your phone that guesses what words you're trying to text, which (generally) helps you text faster if you don't have a keyboard phone?

Yeah, I love it and I love it even more after I discovered a flaw, which in fact makes it that much more awesome.

When I find something funny, online or on a text, I REFUSE to say LOL. Some of the time, I'm not actually laughing out loud, but I refuse to use it mostly on principle. Therefore, I have developed a highly complicated system of "ha"s to inform those I'm texting/chatting with how funny I may find something. You may already be familiar with this system.

ha = I really don't find that funny at all, but figure I should say something to shut you up
haha = mildly amusing, but barely enough to crack a smile
hahaha =I'm definitely smiling
hahahahah =you made me giggle
hahahahahahahaha = Ok, ok, you cracked me up!
hahahahahahahahahaha (pause and then either on a second line of chat, or a second text) hahahahahahaha =I think I just peed alittle.

So, what does this have to do with the texting function on my phone? If someone texted me something I at least found funny enough to type "haha," the combination of buttons I pushed caused my phone to assume I was saying the word ichthyologist.

You heard (or rather saw) correctly. Ichthyologist.

First off. The fact that my phone thinks that's the most likely word I'd be typing with the combination of "424" is hysterical. SECOND: that my phone even knows what the hell that word is!

I mean really! Who has ever found themselves texting the word ichthyologist? Maybe if while taking a romantic walk down the beach you came across a dead fish and needed to know what type of fish it was, just in case it was edible. But even still, would you type to your buddy "OMG! found dead fish. know ne good ichthyologists? LOL" or would you be texting your local ichthyologist, in which case you wouldn't need to actually type the word?! And yes, I'm assuming everyone has an ichthyologist friend. I mean, why not?

It goes without saying that I've now texted it, but that's only because it popped up and I thought that was WAY funnier than "hahaha."

So...all this to say that if you ever receive a text from me with just the word ichthyologist, then it means I've most likely found your last text to be amusing, but not as amusing as an ichthyologist.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Music is Experience

**Nerdy Blog Post Warning**

I came across this story (as told by Bobby McFerrin) about a trip to Botswana made by Yo-Yo Ma and I thought I would share. This is what music means to me and why my life will forever be devoted to it.

"...[Yo-Yo Ma] went to Africa and he went to Botswana, he went to not a town but sort of out in a village somewhere. Lots and lots and lots of music-making and what have you. But in the beginning, there’s two stories that defined and shaped my musical life ever since I had heard them. “Well,” I thought “I have to make music like that.”

The first story is where when he arrived in this village, there was an interpreter who was trying to explain to the villagers that Yo-Yo Ma was going to play a concert at 7:30 at this place somewhere. And they had a hard time comprehending this for two reasons. One, they didn’t understand why they had to wait to hear music. Why did we have to wait to hear him play? And why do we have to leave where we are to go somewhere else to hear it. Because music was so integrated in their life. They had no concept of performance because music was so much a part of their lives, that there was no such thing as it. People were simply getting together and playing and they were celebrating everything. They were celebrating life, birth, harvest, hunting, you know, everything. So this I thought, “Okay I want to be the kind of musician where music is with me whether I’m on stage or not.” And when I’m on stage there’s nothing different except maybe the space. But what I’ve taken on stage with me is the same, it’s not different, it’s just being myself, the same self that I am just when I’m just getting out of bed in the morning, It’s the same musical self that I take with me on stage.

The second story is this: when Yo-Yo wanted to leave, when it was time to go—he’d been there for a couple of weeks, I think—he wanted to take some music with him to remind him about the experience. And the village shaman shared one of the village songs, and Yo Yo took out his manuscript so he could write it down. And the shaman is saying (singing notes) and Yo-Yo said, “Stop, I need to write this down.” So he writes it down. And he says, “Play it again, I want to make sure I got this right.” And the shaman sings (sings notes). And Yo Yo is saying But that’s not the piece you sang before. The shaman laughed and said “The first time I sang it there was a herd of antelope in the distance and a cloud was passing over the sun.” So this is the part that we lost. Every time a piece of music is played, one time there is a herd of antelope, and one time there’s not. And we turn in these cookie-cutter performances. Everything is so laid down and regimented and locked-in and so rehearsed, that they squeeze the life out of it. It no longer has any life in it because no one is open to surprise, no one is open to any spontaneous event that can happen. Everything is just dictated, and this is the way it’s gonna be. I think that’s the part that we’ve lost."

See the video of this interview.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Visa Update: I GOT IT!!

After writing my bitchy post this morning, I emailed the consulate saying "WTF! You're taking too long!"

I just got an email back and my Visa is in the mail.

Win. SUCK IT UK!

I'm quickly loosing my patience with the British Consulate

Please excuse me for a moment while I do something I don't normally do...complain. (Shut up.)

I mailed my friggin UK Student visa application August 11th. According to the Post Office's website it arrived on Aug 13th. I got an email on August 19th (6 days after it arrived) saying that it arrived and would be processed in 5-10 working days.

It's now working day 11. Still no visa.

I have been really cool so far. Assuming that it will come in due time.
Well, fuck that. I leave in 2 weeks and I still don't know if I have a visa!! I'm afraid I've lost my grip on the Chill-Alex, and am quickly becoming Anxiety-filled-about-to-hurt-someone-Alex. Watch out.

So, please allow me to vent. VENT VENT RABBLE RABBLE VENT RABBLE ANGER

Thank you, I feel much better now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And Cait Almost Ruined the Game

"Are you the mailman?!"
"Um...yeah."
"It's so nice to meet you! I've heard all about you!"
"I hope it was good things"
"Oh yeah."

Yeah....that was Cait, who happened to visit me in my office while the mailman came by. That is correct, that mailman.

She almost ruined it! He could of said something like "Um...yeah. My name is ____." Although, she made it obvious that either A: I have a crush on him or B: he is the butt of a huge joke. Whichever he believes to be true, neither option is very conducive to seeing him every day for the next two and a half weeks.

Update: Of course the mailman has now had 3 random packages to drop off at various times throughout the day, causing me to talk to him more than normal.
Thank you Cait, thank you....assbag.