Tuesday, November 29

The weeks are made of years.

Oh good lord, let's get to Friday already.

This is going to be a long post. But it's brilliant, so stick with me.
Here's the heads up display:

  • I thought this was hilarious and this was depressing but functional (Pantea, the ones I told you about...)
  • In the battle of good and evil, who will reign victorious? Pimpin' shirts that need to be ironed, that's who...oh well. It used to be white. There's a picture of me wearing it haunting this post...
  • I've finished two of my major projects for school, and have two and a half left to go for the next two weeks. I haven't slept in two days, and I'm sleeping three hours tonight before I finish my assignments for Wednesday. Luxury is mine!
  • I got into Foundations of Educational Linguistics, my last class! Hooray. Now I may just be considering trying to get credit for observation hours.
  • I've got an interview with the head of marketing at the Royal Opera House, thanks to a connection made by my professor in Critical Writing: Reporting the arts. It's on Monday...so I've got to do some major preparation. What a rush that's going to be! My project is going to be on the advertising campaigns that the opera house has--I'll have to tell you more about it later. Until then, there's always checking out their website.
  • Plays I've been to recently: Tamburlaine, Richard II (starring a real life Kevin Spacey! I was star struck.), Madame Butterfly (Opera), Un Ballo In Maschera (Opera).
  • Plays I'm going to: The Emperor Jones, this Wednesday. Maybe the Edward Scissorhands dance number, and an opera next week.
  • Going to Spain this weekend, to visit my legendarily hip e-friend Pantea! More on this later.
  • Creepy tree.
  • I went to Scotland last weekend! It was amazing.
  • I don't know if you guys were told, but apparently Rhode Island is a small midwestern town that is so boring that it has to associate itself with the exotic Bengal tiger in order to feel good about itself...American Eagle Outfitters, you are a shining BASTion of truth.
  • I bought GREAT new glasses! Check 'em out. I look a little physically exhausted in this picture, yes.

Today's menu:

1. Pictures and summary of Milan!

2. Pictures and summary of Scotland, part 1!

3. My answering of Pantea's interview questions.

1. ITALY TRIP, PART 4: Milano (The brief version...this was a while ago, I don't remember everything by now...)

Day 1: Enter the Milano.

  • Warning. Do not fall through rifts in reality.
  • Vroom, vroom! It was a boring store! They had about 5 products! 3 of them were a differently striped jacket!
  • We were able to approach this building, the Milan Duomo. Unfortunately we had to shrink away in awe until the next day...

Day 2: Duomo til you drop.

  • Although I remained a child of light and chastity, Joseph had McDonalds. I thought it was important that everyone know that he can no longer claim to never have had American food abroad here, whereas I can. I feel so...clean.
  • We went to the park to read! I climbed a tree and looked at some leaves.
  • The entrance to the most posh mall of all time. Oh yeah, sorry, it's a pretty arch too :).
  • Finally, we worked up the courage to go back to the Duomo--which was by far my favorite building in Italy. Check this stuff out! We got to go to the top and walk around as well. Picturesque, eh?
  • The inside of the Duomo...eh. The door = a wonder of the world.

Day 3: End of trip!

  • Joseph left that morning, and I went to go check on my hat shop to see if I could purchase my regent hat. Unfortunately, the shop was closed. I went back to London, have been here for a month, and life goes on! But on to the Scotland, where the action was.


Day 1: Supper to Scotland to Supper.

It was thanksgiving! I rushed out of a potluck Thanksgiving dinner, in the traditional expatriate style, although if you will please observe the majesty. I think this was the biggest thanksgiving dinner I had ever had! Felt like it after the 4th plate of that macaroni, anyway. My dude-buddy Monica was there because it was her suite. I made corn bread (I didn't have buttermilk or corn meal, so I crushed up corn flakes and melted butter in whole milk--it actually tasted...well...like cooked cereal in milk) and got on a night bus...lordy, that sleep felt good. After the 9 hour bus, I got in just 20 minutes before the tour started that morning and ran through the valley in the center of Edinburgh to catch the tour. That was a good idea, because I only barely made it. Rock.

Our tour guide was named Ewan...he was really into swords. He kept waving a plastic one around and using it to point to the map...he had a pretty awesome plastic axe as well. Nobody messed.

We stopped for lunch in a small town by a river (whose name I don't remember) with a cathedral that was quite beautiful--my first Scottish meal! Oh sweet surrender, that shortbread was good.

Unfortunately, at this point it began to rain. Like the dickens. So when we got to the William Wallace memorial it was a bit hard to look up or enjoy the scenery. Luckily I had my good old orange jacket!

Then it snowed, and my jacket helped less. We stopped and saw a traditional hairy coo named Hamen. I wanted to pose with him, but really couldn't see how it would be survivable.

And then I somehow ended up at another big potato and meat dinner again with a bunch of friends, this time from the trip. From the left to the right, that's JD, Charlie, Lisa, two people I don't know, and then Paula in the red. All extremely high quality folk. At the end of the day we were dropped in Iverness at that hostel (which had an extensive dining area, as you can see), and told about the places to go--my friends and I decided to go to a grocery store nearby and buy haggis supplies in order to prepare for a meal of haggis, potatoes, and turnips. YUM! Honestly, ye dudes, before the freaking out goes on, I will tell you this: haggis is GOOD, and you've eaten worse if you've eaten a hot dog. Think about it! Ew. No wait, don't. So you know, it tastes a lot like corn beef, and is very herby.

Day 2: Pretty.

We woke up and visited Loch Ness (one, two)! It's extremely deep. I know what kind of moaning noises of disappointment you're going to make once I say this, but I think I've been convinced that Nessie exists. No, seriously. The lake has a population of a large fish called the pharox, and huge numbers of them disappear every year, apparently. If what the guide told us was true, then I believe in it. Of course, that's a major if :). Of course, I spent some money in the gift shop there. Luckily I didn't buy anything scary.

Fortunately, unlike the previous day, the weather was delightful! We saw the largest ruined castle in the country, which was at Loch Ness.

The rest of the day was very scenic--we saw some of the Monroe Mountains in the highlands, there are something like 273 of them--and it's a thing in Scotland to hike them all. Of course, I purchased some small bottles of whiskey to bring back--you guys best be ready for that stuff...It's vicious.

The bus was yellow, by the way.

We spent the night in Skye! It was a great little hostel that they dropped us at. There was a great buffet and a bar, where everyone except myself and the people I discussed spirituality with got loaded, I'm pretty sure. Yes, this place had something for everybody. No pictures of that place...Although it was called...The Monroe Lodge.

Overall, just so you know, the trip was delightful! Wait until you see the other pictures (Me wearing a traditional kilt and holding a broadsword = yes). Although it was a bus tour I was able to feel like I was part of the group, and the tour guide was a very interesting guy--we learned a lot about the history and culture of the country. It was also good because I never felt like I was on the bus for too long--although we basically did the entire tour backwards because of the rain, I never really felt like we were watching places go by that would have been cool to go to if we "weren't trapped on this here bus tour" or something. Anyway, More soon!

3. It started on Pantea's blog, and now the viral madness has begun. Try it out! I ask awesome interview questions. For my readers:

1 -- Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.

2 -- I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.

3 -- You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.

4 -- You'll include this explanation.

5 -- You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Here are my questions from her, answered:

1. Where do you see yourself in 3 years and what do you think you will be doing? I know you said that you can see yourself just getting an apartment after graduation and working an uninteresting job and taking time to learn on your own.. but I guess I'm still curious about that? Basically answer this however you want...

1: My plan for year three is there, but everything's a bit soupy. I am heck bent on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, as I love hiking and having done that is important that I will be proud of. Lately that's been compromised with wanting to get my teaching degree, which may take time in a way that would delay that. But I have to decide what's most important to me, and what will work. I would like not to have to get my teaching certification before I go hiking...I think there would be a discontinuity there. But basically I want to have a teaching job (or be on the way to one) by year three.

2. What is your all time favorite song to "rock out to" and why?

2: Right now, definitely "Cigarettes and gravy," on Beck's Midnight Vultures album. It's got this kind of techno-Egyptian thing going on in the background at the end, it just makes me want to dance around people making weird hand movements and head dancing. With this song it started this summer...I was sitting in the office and like, mentally turning into cottage cheese when the song came on...I've never been the same since. That day flew by. Annie, the Nepalese woman who worked next to me, looked at me kind of strangely and laughed.

3. What is your idea of the best third date?

3: Ah, gosh...if I had a rule, it was meant to be broken? In general, I think hanging out with the person exclusively in a "date" atmosphere is key, something like one person making dinner and another person making dessert, before going out to something together. That's probably because I like to do ambiguous hangin-out dates with someone before I drop the traditional d-bomb.

4. Where is the best place to spend an afternoon nursing a book, both in London and in New York.

4: Top London book spot so far: in Greenwich, near the Royal Observatory, having bought cookies. But not now, it's too cold. Right now the best place is in the school building courtyard. It's really cold out there, but there's an air vent, and you can move the chairs so you can sit in it--you can smell the winter air and stuff, but it's still warm and nobody goes out there.Top New York City spot: top floor of the Kimmel Center, there's a big carpeted room with lots of chairs that they leave open, but I've never seen used. There are 10 foot high windows with lots of light, and it's always quiet. The view isn't distracting, but it's still pretty. The chairs are right...not very comfortable. Or you can sit on the floor next to the window (my choice!).

5. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Although I know it's not right and I hate it because it's cheesy, I frequently enjoy fantasies of getting into a physical fight to save someone. And secretly, I think I'm a fighting genius. I think that plays into my larger guilty pleasure, which is that I'm inwardly INCREDIBLY egotistical. There have been times when I thought I had super powers or were telekinetic.

I've never actually been in a fight except Sean Hackett in 5th grade, and that was just me getting a disproportionally large amount of revenge while the gym coach wasn't looking.

Also, listening to and really enjoying Smash Mouth albums. I have bought four! Agh! Delicious.


Alex said...

SIMON! Sweet post bro. I love all the pictures. That building in Milan looks so amazing. Sono molto geloso!

Alex said...

SIMON! Sweet post bro. I love all the pictures! That building in Milan looks so amazing. Sono molto geloso!