i was in italy for the weekend. i have started on a new website, hopefully finished and uploaded within a day or two. really. see you soon. once i’ve uploaded there will be an update.
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.
ack i’m so braindead. i slept until two something in the afternoon, and my head feels stuffed with cotton. ack ack ack. i’ve spent so much money – i bought a plane ticket to italy and now my bank account is starting to get frighteningly low (compared to when I started). i have to learn how to budget for this last month, or else i’ll come home with around three dollars left in my account. i keep meaning to do things (like make a new website) and then i don’t. i’m assuming someone stills reads this, occasionally, so i post occasionally. but now i must go buy caffiene and dinner, and prepare myself for some more strenuous computing later tonight. blech.
for some reason i thought my last entry was much less coherent than it actually was. i read it today and it kind of makes sense (more than i expected). after i got back from the ‘dam, i’ve just spent the rest of the weekend basically sitting around. i went to the tate modern art museum saturday night, which was awesome. i also read “arcadia” by tom stoppard, which was awesome. i finished White Teeth on friday and it was pretty damn good, definitely worth a read. i just started on Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, which has already proved to include a whole lot of details either different from or not included in the movie. so it’s as much of a revelation as i was hoping it to be. last night i watched the Dead Zone on tv (the movie with Christopher Walken) and it was pretty good, but i read the book over the summer and they left out a lot. it was sort of like the reader’s digest version of the book, which i thought was kind of lame. they didn’t develop walken’s former girlfriend at all, or really any of the other characters as much as they should have. but every time walken had a vision, it was great. his flinches were intense, especially since the director (david cronenberg) was firing a pistol offscreen every time.
i’ve got around $1100 left, which is pretty good if i don’t tell you that i started the semester with $2200. oops. of course, i actually only have about a month and a half left here. i think i’ll probably travel to another country at least once or twice more, but i’ll try and be as frugal as possible (if possible). i can go to germany and stay with a friend, so i think I might do that. cause I mean, come on… it’s Germany! yeah.
it really does sort of feel like home here. i’m probably going to have reverse culture shock when i go back to the states, which will be not so much fun. i’m probably going to try to go to grocery stores to find the things i’m used to now, and i’ll fail miserably. oh well.
i feel like as a “writer” i should be writing more or something. but i’m lazy. endlessly lazy. i mean, i don’t have that crazy drive to write at all hours of the day. does that mean i shouldn’t be a writer? i don’t think so… i mean, i’m always coming up with these images and stories. or whatever. i just need to find a niche. or something.
you know what’s kind of annoying about being here? the fact that i want to see movies like: punch drunk love, rules of attracting, the ring, etc. etc. etc. that won’t come out here while i’m here. also, michael chabon (author of wonder boys and other great books) is coming to my campus… while i’m here. DAMMIT! oh well. i’m in europe. you make some trade-offs. ha.
well i lived through amsterdam. it was a regular den of iniquity, if you’d really like to know. porn stores, prostitutes and the smell of weed popped up regularly throughout the streets, especially since our hotel was next to the red light district.
the previous post was an interesting part of an article i was reading that day. (and it kind of applied to my vacation) i actually don’t agree with everything the guy says (i think he’s pretty biased, and sort of rants) but he does make some interesting points. for example, prostitutes exist whether or not they are legal, but in the states we often hear of serial killers who kill huge numbers of prostitutes. now, one might say “they’re prostitutes, so what?” but what kind of attitude is that? just because a women gets money for sex does not mean she is no longer a woman.
i think the reason that most people wouldn’t want prostitutes legalized is because they wouldn’t want to have to look them in the face on a regular basis. if things are illegal, they are kept underground and “go away” in the eyes of most people.
of course, if you watched traffic, you know that this can also be applied to the drug trade. just because drugs are illegal does not mean they go away. rather, the people who want drugs have to go to dangerous lengths to get them, and people get killed. drug dealers kill each other left and right, etc.
of course, just because they are legal does not mean there are no addicts. basically these things are very thorny issues. no one in the world has actually figured out how to get rid of things like drugs and prostitutes, simply because they are things that people want to do, whether or not they think they are right. so what is the answer? have them legalized in full view of the whole world (like amsterdam) but still have some problems or make them illegal and pretend no problem exists (like most american middle class families would prefer)?
as far as the bit about infidelity… well i’m not sure how savage plans for that to work, and i definitely don’t really agree with him. i don’t think that adultery is a natural part of a relationship. it is possible to be faithful.
anyways, gotta go back to work. meh.
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 its been a while since my last post, and i don’t really have much of an excuse except that i’ve been in liverpool and dublin since thursday. before that, though, i was just being lazy. it was quite a cool-ass trip, but i’m feeling pretty worn out just about now. i think i will post my full escapades tomorrow, when i get the chance. yeah.
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).
well comments are temporarily gone, but worry not. i actually do have a guestbook that i haven’t been using. if you want to sign it, the link is at the bottom of each post.
soon enough (hopefully) I will receive in the mail a usb pen drive, which is a little 64 meg hard drive that plugs into your usb port. it doesn’t need a power supply and fits on a keychain. with that in hand, i will (probably) be able to redesign/finish this site and start posting videos and pictures, which will be nice. and i will be able to continue using the doohickey in the states, as opposed to my printer which has an english plug.
last night we went and saw a show called closing time. it was about a pub in northern ireland full of alcoholics on the last legs of their ruined lives. it was the best thing i’ve seen so far, although the story was a little cliche. the best (and most disturbing moment) is when one character is kicked out of the bar. he’s just revealed that his wife and kids have left him, and he is absolutely plastered – so much so that he is shaking. to top that off, he has been messing around with the bartender’s wife. as he is leaving, he goes to finish his pint and starts crying into the glass. while he is bawling he forces himself to drink it. it was a really striking moment.
on sunday i went and saw a movie called “christie malry’s own double entry,” which is not in fact a porn. the main character, christie, is played by one of the guys from lock stock. double entry refers to a type of accounting system where debits are put on one side and credits on the other. christie decides to apply this principle to his life. when something bad happens to him something good has to happen in response. it’s actually pretty disturbing, because the stakes keep getting higher and higher and he starts doing some pretty horrible things in the name of revenge.
other than that, i haven’t done much except get a small crush on this girl from american university. oh well.
sorry for the long break between posts. i’ve finally gone and gotten myself a membership at an internet cafe which will allow me to get connected to the net much more frequently, which should be nice. right now i’m looking into getting a little usb pen drive so i can download things and transfer them to my computer (since I don’t have a disk drive). tonight we’re going to see a show set in an irish pub, which should be interesting. other than that i don’t really have much to write about except that i will be writing more often (and i write a lot already).
oh,and I shaved all my hair off, which is interesting. maybe i’ll try and post a picture. anyways, later.
last night we went to see a show called hyperlynx. it was a 90-minute one-woman monologue that focused on globalization and the (late) author’s opinion thereof. everyone in the class HATED it, some more vehemently than others. i think i’ve decided that i thought it was an interesting failure. i think that i shared this opinion with one other person (out of about 50 or so). I thought it was interesting because of some of the topics that were… well… lectured about. (that was the main complaint of the other theatre majors – that it was less a theatrical play and more like a lecture thinly disguised.) the thing is, i agreed with pretty much everything everyone else said about the play – it was badly written (as a play), haphazardly acted, and very much a lecture. it was pretty cliche… and the main character wasn’t exactly sympathetic. however, the author brought up topics and issues i am interested in. these things held my interest for the first half. of course, the play was incredibly anti-american and very one-sided in it’s presentation.
according to the playwright, america is a country founded on “genocide and hypocrisy” because American settlers killed native americans and stole their land. okay. so… the first point is that these settlers were not at first “american.” they were europeans who became americans. my second point is that civilisation was founded on genocide. i mean, come on… everyone killed everyone “else”. in huge numbers. americans were not the first, nor have they been the last.
the second half of the play was written in reaction to september 11th. unfortunately, the author was suffering from leukemia while the play was written and died a few months later. i got the feeling that if he had been well and had continued living… he would have rewritten this play. a lot. what we got to see was probably a first or maybe even second draft, probably written off the top of his head and in a moment of passion. as such, it was very muddled and pretty heavy-handed. some people were pretty offended. i personally was not offended, per se… but i thought it was notbale how incredibly tactless some of the writing was. especially considering this guy was a hero of the british theatre.
while i was watching the play, i really was fascinated. i was also half asleep… before the play. i mean, i woke up some when i watched it, but i wasn’t exactly processing all of the information. i suppose i was in a susceptible state, but i was interested. by intermission, everyone else had pretty well decided they hated it. one of our professors was apparently furious.
of course, i think that’s one of the wonderful things about theatre… its ability to piss people off. in this case it was sort of unfocused and shabbily written, but it still caused some pretty extreme reactions in my classmates.
aaron and i had another run-in last night. during the intermission, we were talking about the play. he was telling me that he thought it was too much like a lecture and that he didn’t like it, when he suddenly cut off what he was saying and said “but you’re making that face again where you know you’re right and you think you’re better than me…” or something like that. i can’t remember exactly what he said, but it that was the gist. apparently i was smirking or smiling or making a face something like that. this made him think i thought he was a moron or something.
thing is, i was just making a face. i disagreed with him, but i didn’t think he was a moron… or that i was better than him. i just disagreed with him. he freaked out, though, and in reaction i snapped back at him… “i’m glad you know what i’m thinking aaron. thank you for telling me.”
the whole thing was just a mess because he does this all the time. i do something to me that seems insignificant, or that i’m not even thinking about doing, and it pisses him off. and he remembers things, things that didn’t even cross my mind. and he brings them up. after i saw him in grease, i wrote him on aim and said “his hair looked funny”. he brought this up a week and a half later because he said it was an underhanded compliment… that because i hadn’t said anything about his performance it was actually a put down. this, of course, mystified me to no end, because it was a joke. taken completely out of context because we didn’t actually have a conversation.
it’s actually pretty frustrating dealing with him sometimes. we’ve actually gotten to know each other a lot better so far this semester, but we grate on each other’s nerves in ways i haven’t experienced in a long time.
i would write more, but the lab is getting crowded and i must go. leave comments. they make me happy.
ways to get on the internet really suck here. about 100 more people showed up from another school yesterday, so that means this computer lab (with 12 computers, several of which are acting up) will be shared between around 200 people. from the hours of 9am to 8 pm. ack ack ack ack. also equally frustrating, CAPA will not let us put a phone line in the room, despite the fact that THEY TOLD US WE COULD IN OUR ORIENTATION PACKETS!! GAH!!!
so…. i need to find other ways to get on the net. i’m going to have to pay, but i’d like to find some reasonable set-up. like a net cafe with a membership or something. other than that, not much is going on. anyone who hasn’t read the previous entry should, because it’s filled with nudity (well, descriptions of nudity)
i haven’t been updating this thing as much as i would like to simply because i’m using the net on borrowed time. this computer lab is packed, and cold, and closes in half an hour. hopefully soon i might be able to get a dial-up connection in my room, but who knows how the ins and outs of british telecom will play out. it may be nigh on impossible to get a phone line and net connection set up in my room, so it may be a moot point. right now i hope to at least update a minimum of four days a week.
the most notable thing that happened to me this weekend was seeing the people across the way dance naked in front of their window. yes, that’s right. me and two of my friends watched a young (drunk… hopefully) british couple dance themselves silly in their fully lit, completely visible apartment. it seemed innocent enough at first – the guy was walking around without his shirt off. the girl looked like she was topless at first, but it turned out that she was just wearing a flesh-colored top. this became clear when she removed it. they proceeded to dance topless in front of their open window for a good ten, fifteen minutes and then they disappeared. we thought this was the end of the show, but they were just taking off their pants, apparently. after a few minutes they both returned, the man wearing boxers and the woman panties. the man insisted on dancing endlessly in front of the window. we (of course) were shamelessly watching the whole thing, which of course leads to an obvious conclusion. they saw us. yes, that’s right. they saw us staring at them through the window. they pointed, laughed… and kept dancing. now they were apparently doing it for our benefit. or something. maybe their judgement wasn’t quite right. probably it wasn’t. pretty soon they seemed to have become oblivious to the fact that they were being watched (or they enjoyed it) and they started playing a game of “steal each other’s underwear.” actually it was mostly the guy stealing the girl’s underwear and putting it on his head or waving it around in the air. they also kept spanking each other repeatedly. for a short while they disappeared out of sight, probably to their bed, but they stood up again soon enough. the woman began to walk around completely naked, which was readily obvious from our viewpoint. they guy continued wearing his boxers for some strange reason – we were all convinced that he was being a dork, since the girl was completely naked and he was still partially clothed. he began pulling his boxers up very high, much like Urkel from family ties. i’m not sure if he thought his partner would find this sexy… or what. anyways, this seemed to prove our theory. finally she must have convinced him to take them off. unfortunately, he decided this was a good time to dance suggestively in front of the window. he pointed at us to make sure we knew that he was dancing for our benefit. every once in a while the girl would leap up on him and wrap her legs around his waist. after a few minutes she would get off of him and they would talk about… something. or stand there looking at his penis, which may have been suffering from (as matt put it) “whiskey dick.” who knows. after a little more of this back-and-forth they finally retired to the bed and disappeared for a good long while. we assumed this was the end of the show and closed our windows accordingly, although i did see the final sight of two very tired looking people standing up to retrieve their clothes. all in all it was pretty strange. at least they were attractive and young. i don’t know if i could have handled an Ugly Naked Couple. i wonder if i’ll ever even see them on their balcony again. who knows what could happen the next time they get drunk.
well i’m already busy enough with things i have to do that it’s cutting into the things i want to do. but it’s not like i’m achieving anything. at my internship i’m just organizing their archive right now. i just sit there for a few hours and shuffle paper around. all my classes are nice, but very little brain activity is being promoted so far. i had forgotten how much i really do enjoy a challenge. this is true even when i’m so stressed out as a result that i start to convince myself i should be having a nervous breakdown or at least be going crazy bit by bit. right now, though, i just have time commitments. it’s better than the summer, when the most challenging thing was dealing with the two or three customers who were unhappy with their pizza deliveries. the rest of the time it was all simple point a to point b.
oh well. why am i complaining? it’s only the start of the semester. i do really need to start going out and doing things no matter what. i think once i am able to write on my own time on my laptop things will be improved.
the fire alarm went off last night right after i fell asleep. we all stumbled down the stairs and out to the car park in front of Sainsbury’s grocery store, which is our designated meeting place. i sat there for a few minutes and swiftly realized that i felt worse than i had felt in a very long time. my own personal barometer is that it was the worst i have ever felt without having just thrown up or been about to throw up. which is, of course, a gross exaggeration, but i was in a bad mood. once we got the “all clear” i went upstairs as quickly as i could and tried to fall back asleep as quickly as possible. but i couldn’t, of course. everyone else in the group was all hyper and awake and they all decided to stay up a little while more and hang out, which i don’t begrudge them, but i couldn’t get to sleep until they were all quiet. so that sucked.
using the internet here is a pain in the ass because i’m so spoiled about being able to use it whenever i want to. the other annoying thing is the fact that stuff closes so early and i have crap to do all day when most things are open. it’s annoying that i’m here and i want to see things but i have all this bullshit that takes up my available daytime. and, of course, when i have freetime i find some way to screw it up, by – for -example – the not picking up the pass thing. ack. i would like to be able to use my notebook. my parents are going to possibly ship me some stuff… if it’s not too expensive. we’ll see how that goes. oh well. i’m going to try and go to some book stores before they close, which will be hard because they may close verrrrrrrrrrrry soon. anyways.
i had a dream last night. in my dream, i and several of the people here for the semester decided we were going to go back to america for a little visit. the first thing we found out when we got back on campus was that the theatre department was doing the cherry orchard – which we did last year – only the cast was filled with new theatre majors i didn’t know. when we were trying to get into the theatre, the guy who was taking tickets stopped us and wouldn’t let us in. i just remember thinking that he should know who we were, but he didn’t.
another part of the dream was greg shotwell complaining because he hadn’t “seen any titties yet.”
i also had one more dream before this one in which i thought i had become a part of the movie castaway, except the plot was completely different, and had something to do with a family of five. i think the connection was that the father was played benevolently by tom hanks. most of that dream has disappeared except for one image where something is wrong with one of the children and tom is putting his hand on her head for comfort.
actually, these stories about my dream are slightly falsified, because i’ve made up logical stories to explain the illogical images that stuck in my memory. i’m not sure what my dreams were exactly, but they were something like the above.
today we went to westminster abbey, which was basicallly this huge, gorgeous church that also happened to be a tomb for a very large number of people, including darwin and isaac newton as well as a huge number of kings and queens. all of the tombs were decorated with extremely flattering sculptures, some of which were very bad. a few of the sculptures had subjects placed in extremely uncomfortable looking positions, or (even better) ones that equated the dead with either ceaser or god, according to which way you looked at them.
i wandered around in there for around an hour and a half while talking to this girl, erin (6’2″, red hair). somewhere along the line we decided to leave there around 10:30, and we ended up wandering around a little before eating some lunch, and then we went and saw a movie.
the movie was called “heaven” and it’s actually the new movie from the guy that made “run lola run”. it was kind of interesting because it starred an american and an australian and was mostly in italian (and english). and was directed by a german.
ribisi spoke italian pretty convincingly, which leads me to believe he maybe grew up speaking it in his family, or just had a very good tutor.
i can’t really describe the plot of the movie, except that its verrry different from run lola run. very slow, methodical and symbolic. (not that lola wasn’t symbolic).
it doesn’t come out in america until october something, and probably won’t leave new york. so… watch it on video.
i’m happy because “frailty” is coming out here soon. i wanted to see it but never got the chance to while it was out in the states. i’m secretly hoping that “salton sea” will come out while i’m here, but that might be unlikely.
the movie i’m especially looking forward to seeing is “lost in la mancha,” the documentary about the terry gilliam movie that was never made.
well, it’s getting close to five and i think i might get kicked out of here soon, so i’m signing off. keep signing the comments, please. it fills my heart full of gravy.
P.S. it’s 4:45 while i’m writing this, which means it’s 10:45 where you are.
I’M NOT MAD I’M JUST DISAPPOINTED!!! (OHMYACHINGHEAD)
everybody seems to be a little down in the mouth and off-kilter. and all you folks back home are thinking “what the fuck is wrong with these rich assholes that get to go to another country for school? wot a bunch of wankers!” well maybe not the last part, but anyways, you’re asking me why we’re all depressed. uhhh… welll…. we don’t know, exactly. i mean, why is anyone depressed? can the person ever really tell you? i think that “i have a crush on a girl” is the only concrete answer to such a question. (don’t worry i don’t have a crush on a girl. yet.) of course, that’s only a surface problem. i think that in my case the surface problem is the taste of dr. pepper, or the fact that i keep waking up way too early, or that i can’t sit on my computer from midnight until four in the morning.
my plan is to buy myself some coke (a-cola) and see if that matches my taste memory. i think it might, cause i already had a can of it, and it seemed to pass muster. i also think i’m going to go shopping at some used book stores and maybe go to the record store.
i’m kind of worried about my internship fitting into my schedule, and i’m actually kind of wishing i hadn’t signed up for it. i mean, if i had taken the demography class or something i’d have a lot of alternative hard work to do, but at least i’d be traveling to places. or something. i’m not sure. ack ack ack.
and when they gather around like a covenofwitches….
tell the SONSOFBITCHES tell the SONSOFBITCHES tell the SONSOFBITCHES…
that this is the life.
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: (Jeff James) Is Terrified by the Dismemberment Plan.
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.
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.