Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This is making me grunt in dismay

For the ninety-fourth time in three weeks, my room smells like an old cat lady's without any apparent cause. The shower did not flood this time. I haven't been hoarding strays.

I have gone to Queen Mary's housing office five times now with the same complaint. I'm going to die from mildew poisoning. They respond the same way every time: by making a tally mark on their "American kids we have killed with mildew poisoning" sheet.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Q: Why did the boy throw the clock across the room?

A: He wanted to see time fly.

OK so it's not as good as the snailor joke, but it is more applicable in this context. Because I only have three weekends left: Barcelona, Rich visiting, and then my plane home. THREE WEEKS! That is insanity. This is what I have done in the last two weeks to make things go so quickly.


This was a vacation I took with one of my best friends to visit two of my other best friends in their study abroad town of Seville, Spain. Seville doesn't have a lot of sightseeing attractions but that worked out well because it gave us plenty of time to be weird in public places, as usual. This is a short photographic summary of that weekend.

My friends are fun and delightful and smart and classy and always great to be with. I really had a good time seeing them and miss them like Brian Austin Green misses cultural relevance.

The most immediate Apatoffs came to visit me, and so did Sara! We had a weekend of great food, fun sights, tons of rain and a lot of generally amusing ourselves. The defining characteristic of my family is that we think we are very, very funny. Again, the illustrated weekend in brief:

My family is also very fun, some of the most consistently hilarious people I know. We are loud and unbelievably embarassing in public. I miss them but I'm a little mad that they didn't bring my dog. Yay, Apatoffs!

That's all for now. I have so much damn work to do and I'm so, so tired of travelling but I'm also excited for the last week here which is going to involve ice skating, Florence Part Deux, and a whole lot of packing.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"If I wring little necks, surely I would get an acquittal..."

I am not a parent. (Mom and Dad, I can hear you breathing an sigh of relief. I know you were worried.)

Nor do I intend to be one in the foreseeable future. I understand that this makes me uniquely unqualified to comment on the parenting habits of others (exception: my own parents) or to offer my thoughts on their disciplinary choices, no matter how poor they might seem. When a little urchin is being monstrous in public while their parent coos "Oh little muffinface, I do so wish you'd behave," I commend myself on phasing out babysitting from my job list.

So you can understand the physical pain I was in trying to restrain myself today while seated on the plane behind the most heinous genetic mistake ever produced. This child did not discern between happy screams and sad screams, and produced both at full volume for the entire journey while his mother smiled adoringly. The kid ran up and down the aisles, pausing only to grope my leg and knock over my drink, hollering "GO AWAY GO AWAY GO AWAY." He greeted me with a shrill "Hello!!!" at the moment I had just drifted to sleep. And he hurled Matchbox cars across the cabin without a single comment from his mother that this behavior might not be socially acceptable for a five-year old who needs his diaper changed in public.

At one point I was so close to saying "I'm really trying to sleep, could you please put a muzzle on your gremlin?" that I could taste it. But I didn't. And I am hoping that, for this great act of mercy and kindness, Zeus will smile on me when I have my little accident, and bless it with the communications power of a bunny rabbit.

Seville update soon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Basically famous

The tall gentleman approached us in that way that men do when they are trying to sign you up for very expensive beauty salon packages in New York City. That particular method of approach makes me want to drop-kick people to the curb, but he held out his camera.

"You girls have been scouted to possibly be extras in a movie or a TV show!" he said, gleefully.

"Are you some kind of liar?" I wanted to know. It's always good to know if someone is a liar.

"No, I'm not lying! And I have a business card to prove it." He did. It was shiny. Much nicer than something that a potential serial killer would print up if he were trying to lure girls into his den.

He took our pictures and said we might hear back next week. Hopefully not in the form of axe murdering. Their website looks pretty legit and one of the companies is looking for a foot model, which I think I could be really good at. So that was my day in Covent Garden.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ciao Bella!

Basically, it is impossible to put an entire week of travelling in Italy into a blog post that won't make you homicidal when you read it. So I am going to do a very brief day-by-day: some photos, some words, and a whole lot of a pasta.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was amazing. Some brief preliminary sightseeing, assorted fun. Met up with the boys and Melissa Barr for a great dinner with a Veird Vaiter named Vilson. Here he is singing "That's Amore," as all waiters in Italy do:
More sightseeing, guided by my fantastic Aunt Lise. Saw all the major things and some cool behind-the-scenes stuff as well. Amazing art and sculptures, amazing history. And lots of vendors selling crap of which I (of course) partook. Despite me paying money for their goods, they still yelled at me for being American. My fault, I know, how horrible. Beautiful sunset, though. And, of course, I had to see the most famous Beatles cover band in all of Italy:
Spent the first half of the day at the Palazzo Pitti (cool museum) and the Ponte Vecchio (the river is above). I was meant to go to Rome today but stayed an extra night so that Melissa and I could go up and visit my Aunt Lise and cousin Lorenzo at home. We had such a wonderful time, full of BBC news, unbelievable fresh food, and naturally, anyone related to me is always a treat.

Finally arrived in Rome, where we met up with the boys again and did some more sightseeing. They were wiped and we weren't much better but we made it to the Trevi fountain, and then up some stairs at some elaborate, ornate building to catch some of the prettiest views yet. Ben made friends with a Gladiator and we made friends with a South African fellow who was literally off his nut. Travelling is nothing if not an experience.

Rachel left and Sarah Kate and I did some more exploring. Went to the Vatican, basically we're now best friends with the Pope and lots of singing Irish children. Saw the Coliseum, startled quite a few tourists (at this point we were losing our minds). To cap off our trip, we were seated at dinner next to two 50+ men who were having the most inappropriate conversation imaginable concerning sex with hookers. We knew it was time to pack up and go home at this point. Note: the following statue is NOT the Pantheon.

So in conclusion, Viva Italia! We had a really wonderful time, despite being a bit museumed-and-old-buildinged out by the end. It was a great place to see and the first place where I really encountered a major language barrier, so I liked the interest and challenge of that. In the next few weeks I have Seville and Barcelona, and then it will be almost time to go home! Crazy. As crazy as our South African roommate.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


LOVE QUEUEING UP FOR THINGS. It's insane. They wait in lines more patiently than anyone I've ever seen.

I liked London today. It was cold and crisp and sunny and I tried on clothes and had a "beigel" and walked through a glorified garage sale. Every day should be like this. Except with a camera in hand, because I forgot mine today, and of course saw ninetyfour bajillion photographable events and objects.

Also, if you're wondering what I do in my flat with my flatmates, here is a very good example: Tonight, Pontus cooked a spicy bolognese pasta. He then served it to us with wine, candles, and a DVD of a crackling fire, and turned off the lights to set the mood. I often wonder what my experience would be like if I lived somewhere else; I'm glad I don't.