Saturday, December 12, 2009

The End of the End

Two posts in one day? It must be finals (procrastination) time. Two final exams until I am officially done with school... forever. Well, for a few years. I'll be a real person in the real world now.

Big news: just bought a new MacBook Pro and the new Office 2008 for Mac. Super excited.

I'm watching "It's a Wonderful Life." What could be better?! Jimmy Stuart, chocolate chip cookies and red wine.

I can't wait to head home for Christmas... every time I pass the trees being sold on the street (or a drunken Santa wandering around) I can't wait to spend time with the family and catch up with friends at home. We're starting a new tradition this year... Christmas in Manhattan. How modern. As long as there's ham and the smell of pine trees, I'm all set.

Can't wait for my long-awaited trip to London. Catching up with friends, eating meat pies, and meeting friendly and interesting people as is always the case at the pub. And I am infinitely excited to bum around Dublin with Kay. A city with old-world charm, a beautiful, natural landscape, AND casual, flannel-shirt appropriate social scene? Yes, please.

But more than anything I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my life. Beginning in February, I'll be working full time, which is more than just having a more regular daily schedule. No more breaks from normal life without having to take vacation time. No more Wednesday afternoons off to hit the gym. And no more casual attire.

But, more importantly, I think I'll have more control over the direction my life takes. I'm not progressing toward one goal (getting a degree) with thousands of other people all heading toward the same thing. It's up to me now to carve out my future. To take on particular projects, to enter a new social circle, to recognize the impact that small decisions along the way will have on where my life goes. It's exciting. Scary, too, but more exciting.

On that note, time to get dressed and head to the bar. Professor Tom's tonight.

I would be such a good housewife.

Not really.. I don't cook. BUT, I do have a new addiction to the Container Store. It is SO awesome!

So here's my shopping list for my new full-time employment life.

Compartmentalized lunch boxes (for my sandwiches, almonds, grapes at work)
Shoe rack for my closet (so I'll be able to see the floor again)
on-the-go soup containers (for my New England clam chowder)
twist assist jar opener (for those pesky applesauce jars)
dripless wine pourer and stopper
Keyboard vacuum

and also, one of those space saver food vacuum things. Not from container store, but still awesome.

Stop laughing.

No, really. Stop.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Midnight blues.

What should one do when one's eyes feel like they are on fire and about to fall out of one's head in the middle of the night? Well, first, calc homework. Then accounting homework. Then a few lines of a Virginia Woolf term paper. And then blog apparently.

And I can't even go to CVS for some meds at this crazy hour because of the homeless crazies (not to be mean, but the homeless people near Stuy Town are particularly crazy) that hang around 14th Street and 1st Ave at this hour. A few weeks ago about a dozen of them were duking it out in the middle of the road in broad daylight. I'm not going to chance it at 3 a.m.

Tomorrow's a full day - class from 9:30 to 9, so I'll be nice and tired. Great. Thanks, doctor, for telling me to stop taking allergy meds.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things to do while waiting for the maintenance guy.

  1. accounting homework
  2. eat oatmeal
  3. watch Wizard of Oz
  4. remember how awful Wizard of Oz is
  5. drink black tea
  6. blog.
I'm up to #6. This week has been uneventful, yet oddly fun. I had a half-day on Tuesday because I was inadvertently terminated at work. Basically, my name was kicked out of the system and I could not log on or do anything, so I got a paid day off. I'll take it!

A colleague from London was in the office... it's been great to reminisce. It was great catching up with her and now I'm even more excited for my pending holiday to London. My manager asked me if I'm seeing anyone lately, to which I replied, "Nope. Real men live in London."

I'm now attending graduate lectures for my accounting class instead of undergrad. My prof, who is absolutely fantastic, teaches both and suggested I informally shift to the MBA class... great in theory, but I will probably be almost an hour late for each lecture since I'll be coming straight from work and my Thursday nights are shot. Oh well. It's such a different dynamic in the grad class... it's easier to learn when everyone around me is concentrating and genuinely trying to learn the material, rather than just waiting for class to end. Maybe I'll be taking this same grad class with the same prof in a few years!

This weekend is Kay's birthday so we are all going out tomorrow night. Then lunch with Aunt and Uncle J on Sunday. Should be a good time! But I positively cannot wait until Thanksgiving. Since last year's cranberry chutney did not work out ("it would be cruel to force someone to eat that" says Mom right before she emphatically dumps it in the trash), I'm going to try something a bit simpler... cookies. If I screw them up, I give up. Chinese take-out for life.

That's all for now. And also, I graduate in less than a month. Weird.

Tonight my pulse beats to the electric snake cleaning my shower drain (and also the adorable old man who won't stop talking to me about his 40-year career as Stuy Town handy-man).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A lark! A plunge!

For this first time in a long time (possibly forever), it has been cold for over 2 weeks and I am not sick of it yet. The crisp weather is still energizing me and giving me the sense that anything is possible. Unrealistic and whimsical, I know. But this autumn is magical. Up is down and black is white.

This past Halloween weekend was a bit atypical - drunk Katie Couric, seeing some drunk colleagues and thinking they were other drunk colleagues (oh, did I say Lisa? I meant Beth. So good to see you!) flapper and biker all in one weekend and pub crawl all the way from 74th to 12th. All in all, a great time. Possibly the most dream-like quality of my weekend was the cab ride from my apartment to 51st and park... all the way up 1st ave and over to park and not one single red light! $5 cab to midtown. I'm tellin ya, it's the weather.

To top it all off, yesterday I fixed a flat screen TV at work that no one else could fix (first and last time that will ever happen) and my boss put me in charge of a $400,000 model... which I actually did not break. Up is down and black is white.

Maybe that means I will do well on my accounting exam this morning.... or not. At least the Yankees will clinch the series tonight!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The week ends, the week begins.

Sitting here listening to Miles with my feet up on the coffee table (as usual), watching Cosby Show (always a treat) and trying desperately to finish my Calc homework (too many numbers for me)... so I'd rather blog instead. The only new feature to this scene is a slightly altered coffee table... Katie put her stiletto straight through the glass of the old one to see her outfit. Guess that's what you get for not having full length mirrors in the apartment.

I's cold outside but nice and warm in my apartment. The jazz is great. We have terrible lighting so I've turned the white Christmas lights on... they give off a dull yellow glow. Kaila and my roommates are here and we are all quiet and lost in thought. It's so nice to have company, even when words aren't being exchanged. I am content.

It's Sunday night and I have no idea how the entire weekend passed and I was so unproductive. Had a hectic week as usual, between work and school and trying to get back into distance running (14 miles and counting). I've basically decided to forego homework in favor of bars with friends. There just isn't time for it all! But it is my last semester. So who cares?

I was talking to a friend yesterday and was apparently running my mouth at a mile a minute. My friend jokingly said, "Are you on crack?!" And I had a sudden twinge of sadness just for a second as I thought, "No, my life is on crack."

I think I need to sit and do nothing like I am now. It's my way of grounding myself... of just taking a break from the craziness that is my life and the city. There is never a minute to rest, so when I can find that minute, I relish in it. It is so quiet and peaceful in here, but I know just twenty feet away, outside in the cold, the city is still running.

That's all for tonight. My pulse beats to Miles Davis - "Blue in Green"

On a side note, I'm going to be a biker for Halloween... black lace-up high heel boots, leather jacket, lots of big black and silver jewelery, probably some crazy hair. I think it's appropriate for the pub crawl.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My state of mind is completely dependent upon the season.

Autumn is so wonderful. It makes me want to abandon my reading, go for a two-hour run and sit on the couch with my feet on the coffee table and eat a turkey sandwich whilst watching the Cosby Show and reminiscing about how lovely my day outside in the crisp autumn weather has been (even if my ankle may or may not have developed its own incessant pulse).

And what a lovely weekend it was. Apartment "gathering" as Kaila calls it, Alice's tea cup (best pumpkin scones in the world), Soho shopping, buttnernut squash ravioli, Gatsby's Bar and Firefly, and, of course, a two-hour run down and up East / West side highways. Now that is my kind of weekend. Especially in great company, of course.

I really do need to get some of my reading done. But the coffee table with my book on it is so far away...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Becoming quite the subway blogger.

That's what happens when the 2,3 decides to run locally. Heading up to Central Park
For a run with a colleague. First Central Park jog of the season.

Yesterday I stocked my closet with coats, scarves and gloves. I am officially ready for the cold weather... Even looking forward to it (a little). Cold weather means lots of layers, funky scarves and hot chocolate. I was actually thinking earlier this morning about how cozy my apartment would be if it only had a fireplace. Probably not the best idea with 8 floors above us.

Tomorrow morning I'll be
up bright and early for some quality time with Mom. "kris, while dad bikes for MS I figured you and I could take a brisk walk. I'll pick you up at 6 am. Oh, and it will be pouring so bring an umbrella."

Perfect. And that is my life this weekend. Also, don't rent The Women. Terribly slow. Even Andy says so.

Blogged from my iPhone - so excuse the typos! - KLR

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Whilst in transit

Waiting for the 2,3 uptown from Fulton Street and hoping to be on time for a meeting in Chelsea in 25 minutes. Might as well blog since my NYTimes app is a failure without Internet service. Will be in 4 offices in total today and running around like a chicken with no head - what else is new?! But then starts a relaxing weekend of dinner and drink plans, bonding with Mom (whilst Dad bikes for MS) and running with colleagues in Central Park. Finally, a regular weekend. What could be better?!

September is already gone and apparently it took warm weather with it. Today we've jumped straight into November weather. No fair! The leaves haven't even turned yet.

Hope train comes soon...

Blogged from my iPhone - so excuse the typos! - KLR

Saturday, September 26, 2009

College for real.

I'm at Cornell right now finishing up a caramel apple... just got back from the Ithaca apple festival. Had breakfast at College Town Bagels this morning with about a million Cornell kids. Catching an afternoon movie, heading to dinner and hitting up the college bars tonight. I think this is what real College feels like... especially because of the gorgeous (gorges) fall weather.

Cornell is beautiful - quaint, picturesque, clean and green. All of the apartments / restaurants / bars are around the block from one another and within walking distance to campus. And there is a Wegman's... so it's pretty much a perfect town. Cornell has got me thinking... would I have been better off at a real college? As my lovely friend at Wagner astutely pointed out, NYU is basically a commuter school. Even if you live on campus, there is not actually a campus or a community and few people (myself included) partake in any on campus events or clubs. It's sort of like going to work or commuting to university... you only head down to campus to spend an hour and a half in a classroom and then go home, like you would in an office building where you work. I always thought I liked that. But now I'm not so sure. I'll admit it definitely leaves room for NYU students to have extensive lives outside of college... i.e. few people that go to school elsewhere could have the type of job I have now while they study. But is that reason enough to forego having a college town?

I've noticed up here that students really have the opportunity to grow and advance in a slightly less intimidating setting before facing the harsh realities of the real world. In the hotel school at Cornell, for instance, the students speak with CEOs of companies and wealthy alumni to plan a massive gala at the hotel... a full weekend of parties and events planned and executed by a massive team of "hotellies" (hotel school students). Definitely a huge undertaking, but it's sort of inbetween the real world and college... mistakes are acceptable because it is on a college campus and it's a great learning experience. Why don't we have anything like that at NYU?

Or maybe we do but I just don't know about it. NYU is the type of school where you get out of it what you've put in. But there are so many distractions in NYC that I haven't bothered to put much into it. I've put effort into the firm and into the city in general - just trying to take advantage of all it has to offer (like the upcoming Great Gatsby party at the Met to celebrate the opening of the New American wing!). Maybe it's my own fault for not trying to get more out of my school, but I think part of the appeal of NYU and part of the intent is that students have the opportunity to branch out and pursue their own interests while at school. I'm just not sure whether I see that as a drawback or an asset.

I was joking with my sis and roommates about how we never seem to make any friends in class. I was half kidding, but it's sort of true. Everyone at NYU is very independent. And whether pretentious, shy, or just trying to make it seem like they have more important things to worry about as a defense mechanism, no one really socializes in class. Everyone has their ipods in or is addicted to their laptops, so there isn't too much room to make friends. People tend to hang with whoever they live with at the time. Totally not so here in upstate NY. In both Binghamton and Cornell there are so many different ways to branch out and meet new people. The sororities, fraternities, bar scene... all are conducive to socializing. And if you're in a small school within Cornell (unlike College of Arts and Science at NYU), it's the opportunity to become close with students in class since you'll be with them for all four years. Same rings true of Wagner's P.A. program and any small program anywhere. I think NYU (and I) would benefit from having a niche within the massive CAS. It's so easy to fall through the cracks.

Anyway, off to the movie. Big thumbs up for Cornell (and Binghamton!).

And driving to the supermarket makes me feel so suburban.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Food is not a sufficient substitute for sleep.

That's just true... not humor. My brain is too tired to be funny. I plan on going to sleep at 9:00 to make up for the sleep I did not get last night. But anyway, I have had the time to blog a few times this month, which is my standard for evaluating how busy I am. I guess my life has calmed down a bit, even though it doesn't seem like it.

Not having weekends to catch up on homework and life is making me nervous, so I'm trying to get everything done before visiting Binghamton and Cornell. And I just realized my brain no longer processes numbers... seriously. Math is now a language that I do NOT speak. That's probably why it took me 6 hours to do my calculus homework (badly)... and it was only chapter 1. And of course the web site deleted it before I could submit it and I now have to redo the whole assignment. Great!

But other than that, I am caught up and ready for a mini road trip to the boondocks. I looked up Binghamton online to see what fun activities are in the area ... nothing came up. But we could do a River Crawl... I guess it's sort of like a pub crawl but boring. I bought a new skirt at a new boutique for the trip so I'm all set! Apparently there is a rugby/dance team mixer while we're up there. I can guarantee in the history of NYU there has never been a rugby/dance team mixer. Or a rugby team. Or a dance team. Or for that matter... a mixer.

Then comes Cornell. Apple picking! Such a Cornell-ish thing to do, don't you think? I'll have to find my flannel shirt. In my mind, it snows every day in Cornell. You know how you remember places you're not very familiar with exactly as they were when you were there? When I visited Cornell in high school it was snowing. So when I picture Cornell in my head, there is always a blizzard. I think deep down I'm expecting to see snow falling on campus (but nowhere else) while I'm approaching. And the temp will immediately drop 30 degrees when I step off the bus.

Also, there is apparently a swine flu outbreak at Cornell. But I don't think that will matter because everyone will have their scarves wrapped around their necks/mouths because of the blizzard and will be wearing ski gloves (and possibly skis to get to class). So I'm not too worried. Everyone is probably just sick because of the year-round blizzards.

So, these two pending trips have forced me to be productive on weekdays. But it's impossible! Too much to do already!

This week a good friend from London is in and I got to spend time with him finally! We had some sangria at Bellcourt, but we missed happy hour! Oh well. Went to the Standard too... still just all right to me.

I missed my "senior soiree." Does that matter? Probably not. I'm not into that sort of thing. I deleted the e-mail and forgot about it until a friend asked if I was going (in 20 minutes). I think about 7% of me regrets missing it.

I think that's all I got. Back to reading Pater (for my Virginia Woolf class?).

Just thought of something. WOAH. DEL POTRO. Seriously. Wow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Back to School Blues.

I've only had 1 day of school, and already I am sitting here watching Obama's address to Congress and procrastinating. I will NOT do my homework. The classes I'm taking are boring and I just had a glass of wine and I just will not do anything right now. And you know it's extreme procrastinating when I'm actually multi-task-procrastinating... watching the speech AND blogging to avoid doing homework.

Back to school, back to work... what else is new? What will distinguish this semester from the rest of my life? Jess made me realize something when she mentioned how different her life at Binghamton will be from her summer in the city - does my life regularly change? Is it bad if it doesn't? Year round I live in my apartment, take classes and work in NY. That makes me a bit sad. Not the "normal" college experience I guess. But then I realize that I actively ensure that I don't fall into a rut... I've studied in Madrid and London and regularly travel. But I finally realized that this lack of change is what has caused me to pick up new hobbies along the way. Last fall, my hobby was marathon training. Then I went to London. This summer was spent at work and didn't leave too much time for outside hobbies. What is my hobby this fall?

I know the suspense is killing you, so I won't leave you hanging... my new hobby is balance. A bit more abstract and unsual than most hobbies... but it is a goal, if not a hobby. I want to attend class, do well at work, excercise, eat healthy, study sufficiently, do fun things out in NYC (like fashion week and US Open!) and visit some friends at school. And the only way I can do it is through balance! Otherwise, at least a few of those goals will suffer. So my hobby will be ensuring I can do all of these things and still have time to sleep.

Oh, and also, my main goal is to finish watching season 2 of TrueBlood. Obviously.

Monday, August 31, 2009

As Summer Ends and Autumn Begins

This has been a whirlwind summer for me. So busy I haven't had time to post! Even now that I have a few days to relax and catch up with all of the little things that need to get done before school, I made sure to get up at 7 a.m. this morning and hit the ground running. I am frantically trying to finish this blog post while watching the news (maximizing productivity by multi-tasking), even though I have nowhere to be! I guess old habits die hard.

The internship this summer was super intense, but that's the way I like it. It was my 5th internship at the firm, and definitely the most time consuming and challenging... but also the most rewarding. Looking back, I made some really great friends and learned a ton of new things. Most importantly, as I move on to internship # 6 I'm more confident in my abilities and feel more empowered to make decisions and really contribute. Ever since my experience interning in London, I feel more comfortable and knowledgeable in my role, which is great!

After being so busy at work, I definitely over-indulged. There was no time for exercise (hence stopping my 10-mile run at mile 5 yesterday). Any day that I didn't work late meant going out with work friends or school friends or friends from home in the city for the summer.... which also meant lots of food, drinks and not enough sleep. So this fall, my aim is to get back into shape and pursue overall good health. And if I can't do it, then shame on me. I was able to successfully train for a marathon last fall, so I can at least drag my ass to the gym a few times a week for the next few months and not eat gyros in the middle of the night.

Moving on to the exciting stuff... GREECE! Best trip EVER. No exaggeration. When you think of absolute paradise - beauty, beaches, amazing views, restaurants, wonderful people.. everything you can imagine, you are really thinking of Greece. Nothing at all was lacking. The one caveat I will add is that we went to very touristy islands, so I'm sure the local villages hundreds of miles outside of Athens do not resemble any of the places we went to. Let me break it down quickly...

Athens is wonderful, but you only need a few days there. We walked the whole city the afternoon we arrived (only takes about an hour), then visited the Acropolis the next morning. The Acropolis was obviously amazing. Absolutely massive and one of those very humbling and breathtaking moments. One of those times when you're thinking, "Wow, I'm at the Parthenon, that building I've seen in every history and architecture textbook since I was 7." Other than that, we spent most of our time on the "K" Street. We still can't pronounce the name, but basically this one street has all of the restaurants and bars (sort of like Hoboken!). Amazing food, beautiful cafes, and much-needed relaxation before the other islands.

Next we flew to Santorini. It definitely suits its nickname - the honeymoon island. The main town where most people stay, Fira, is aboslutely beautiful and built into the side of a massive cliff hanging over the edge of the island and looking out on a beautiful volcano. No matter where you are in Fira, you have an amazing view of the water, the volcano, and other Cycladic islands. You can walk through the whole town for hours - it's filled with shops, wine stores, restuarants, cafes, bars and clubs. We spent most of our time walking down the paths on the side of the cliffs to restaurants and cafes, drinking a glass of wine and just taking in the beautiful views. It's a great thing I was with my best friend - it was not awkward at all to sit in silence for long stretches and just look out at the water, completely lost in our own worlds.

We also hiked up the side of a mountain to see the ruins of Ancient Thira. Being the idiot that I am, I wore two right sneakers, thinking that I had forgotten the left-foot sneaker... I found it later that day in my bag. But anyway, it was great to see the ruins of a city from the 6th Century BC... and now I know why the Greek empire fell. Everyone was so tired after hiking up the mountain to their homes that they couldn't do any work.

We decided to go to the other main town on Santorini, called Oia (EE-ah), so of course we stopped at some small wineries on the way and had some amazing wine. Vinsanto is very popular in Greece - it's a dessert wine like Port. Delicious.

Though we only spent one night in Oia, it may have been my favorite night of the trip. We watched the sunset, went to a great restaurant on the opposite side of the island overlooking the water, and then went to the most quaint and fun bar of the whole trip. We stumbled upon a cute bar overflowing with people because of some fantastic live music. We decided to stop in for one drink and ended up staying the entire night. Fabulous mojitos, but an even more fabulous Venezuelan jazz band. We danced the whole night and became friends with the band members (of course). I loved the beautiful Greek saxophonist and Jess befriended the salsa-dancing Venezuelan singer. We have their e-mail addresses and will hopefully keep in touch. The funniest part of the night just epitomizes Greek culture to me... anything goes. At about midnight (the party was just getting started!) a gigantic stray dog, maybe a German shepherd, sidled his way through the crowds in the bar and lied down right in the middle of the very small dance floor. He covered pretty much the whole floor and decided to go to sleep, despite the loud music right behind his head. So everyone just shifted aside and danced in the corners of the room since the center was blocked. No one kicked the dog out or tried to get him to move. And as soon as the band finished, the dog stood up and left! Only in Greece!

I could go on for hours about Santorini, but I'll move on to Mykonos. It was beautiful as well, but there is less culture in Mykonos. It's mostly just beaches and partying. And partying at beaches. We went to one day-time beach party, but even for us, drinking hard liquor at 3 in the afternoon is a bit much. We did stay and dance for a bit. Lucky for us, we did not head to any of the trashy clubs at night. Instead, we met some really great people who showed us where the nicer places to hang out are. And one of them knows my manager - what are the odds! But once again, we had an amazing time and met amazing people...

These are the types of things that make me want to move abroad. Traveling has such an effect on me, as I'm sure it does on everyone else. I judge people less, certainly don't judge people before I get to know them, avoid protocol and standards when it comes to other people, etc. I think when you're taken out of the culture and society that you know (which I realize now is even smaller than I thought) there is no choice but to abandon all pre-determined notions and ideas of how conversations should flow and what boundaries between new acquaintances should exist. It's so tough to describe, but I think basically I've learned to only consider the substance of what someone says in forming any opinions... I might someone, speak to them, not worry if they say something that doesn't match the standards of what I have been taught can or cannot be said in an initial conversation, not worry if they are different or "weird" and just appreciate the value of what they've said and where they are coming from. The world is simultaneously much larger and smaller that way. And I love it.

So that was my trip. Wonderful, memorable and definitely something I'd like to repeat. I'd like to go to Thailand or Sydney next. Anyone available to show me around?!

Now it's back to getting ready for school / work, which both begin next week. It will be a money spending week. I need:

new ipod
new Mac
new camera
sign up for Pilates classes
new clothes (well, I guess I don't need these...)

I just got my new iphone, which I am super psyched about. My friend Ade told me an iphone is "not just a phone.. it's a way of life." Totally true! I can't wait to download the wine application so I can look up all of the wines and definitions I don't understand (oaky?) at restaurants. Mom will be proud.

I'm doing something new this semester... instead of partying in NYC every weekend, I'm traveling to other colleges in my last semester! My trips include...

visiting Kristen at Cornell (and hosting her in NYC)
visiting Jess at Binghamton (hopefully for Halloween!)
visiting Case at Umass
taking a weekend trip to D.C. with my parents and grandparents

so fun! I'll be very busy during the week with school and work, and I'm hoping to spend whatever weekends I have in NY catching up on work, running, etc., to be able to slack off when I take those weekend trips. Theme of my autumn... moderation and health. Getting myself back on track after this summer of indulgence!

Phew. Done with a long overdue post. Will post again soon (really).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pending . . .

I have been SO neglectful. But don't lose faith in me yet! A lengthy and thrilling post is coming your way shortly.

Yammas (cheers).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Where does the time go?

Today my pulse beats to The Rolling Stones's "Brown Sugar." Apropos on Mick Jagger's 65 birthday. 

I cannot believe how quickly summer is flying by. July is already gone, which means my internship ends and I head to Greece in just over three weeks. I am so not prepared! I've bought two new dresses, but I still need to shop! And hotel booking... my stomach churns when I think how we have not booked any hotels for our stay on Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. I guess we will have to be spontaneous! I plan on eating lots of fish, existing in scenes of blue and white and sun, and drinking lots of ouzo.

I love typical summer weekends... no fuss, no high heels (not like i can really wear them yet anyway), no fancy outings. Just good, old-fashioned barbecues with lots of burgers, hot dogs, sangria, beer, cake, ice cream, family, friends, and laughter. What could beat it?! Did some bbq hopping this weekend. All around good time. Probably gained about ten pounds, but it was worth it! Always, always great to see grandma and grandpa and catch up with Case too. 

2.5 weeks of work left (not that I'm counting). But instead of being excited... I'm scared! So much to get done and SO little time. Don't know how it will all get done. Could mean some late nights! But I wouldn't trade it. Got to see some of the London crew last week - can't beat 'em! Wish they came to visit every week. 

Apartment is coming along too... snagged a coffee table, giant mirror, and random tree this weekend. All in a day's work. Next steps are painting one wall of the living room (with are thinking something like burnt sienna), and getting a cute slipcover for the couch. Then we will be all set (for now). 

Just finishing up The Sun Also Rises. Love it. One of the best books I've ever read. Makes me want to name my daughter Brett Ashley. What will be next? Skinny Bitch? Again, don't judge me. Want to see what the hype is about. But I also need to read Let the Great World Spin. Met the author Colum McCann at his book reading. I love him, so I bet I'll love the book. Also might start going to some of his friend's gigs. This guy, Joe Hurley, played a few songs at the book reading and I really liked him. Would totally head over to a bar he's playing at. 

Anyway, that's all for now. Back to watching The Departed. Great movie! 

Monday, July 13, 2009


I know, I know, I haven't written in a while. But I've been busy! Just follow me on twitter for now :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer reading and more

Okay. This could end up being a huge mistake, but I am going to actually request that people comment on this post... but that would require people to read this post. So I guess if no one reads this, then no will know that no one else has posted anyway.

I'm looking for books to read this summer... AND for cool places to go (where I will presumably pretend to read my book but really just people watch). I know there are some cool jazz concerts in Central Park I'd like to check out, but I need some other suggestions (for when this class I'm sitting in is finally over). I've also heard the most fabulous take-out Puerto Rican food is on 15th and 8th (La Taza Deoro) so that is a must. 

Here's my book list so far... don't judge me.

1) Rory and Kim - Skinny Bitch
2) That book Jess keeps on the desk called City Chic
3) Hemingway - The Sun Also Rises


Saturday, June 20, 2009

This can't be summer.

I'm writing this while sitting in a tiny, stuffy classroom in the Woolworth building on a Saturday morning discussing how to handle a crisis and listening to the sirens outside... where I should be. Is this not enough of a crisis? AND it's not even raining yet... so it's probably my only chance to be in NYC's fresh (maybe not so fresh) air. 

Real summer needs to start soon. That entails... the end of weekend classes, which are basically ruining my life. And sun, warmth, days by the fountain next to my apartment building, bbqs on the island, etc. And running... which I have not done in 6 weeks. I am almost completely de-crippified, but only when I walk. I still need to strengthen my calf and take it from there. 

Once all of these things fall into place, my life will be back on track! Until then, I get to sit in stuffy classrooms daydreaming about running on the West side highway and preparing for a rainy commute back home to the EV.  But I did have a solid evening of sangria and wings (caribbean jerk and spicy honey this time) last night. We did mean to go out afterwards... got dressed, did our makeup and hair, sat down on the couch to chat... and passed out. I guess the 10-hr work days are starting to take their toll! 

Maybe we'll do better tonight? If I ever get out of this classssssssssss

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Vow to Be Monogamous.

I've only been back home in NYC for about a week, but I guarantee I will not cheat on New York ever again... or at least anytime soon. London? Bloody good time. Madrid? Always a fiesta. Ghana? Well... uhh, right. But New York is the only city in the world where there ratio of complete weirdos to regular people on mass transit is 10 to 1. And where every Asian take-out you order is the best take-out you've ever had. And where people come running over screaming in Arabic to help you as you fall out of a cab because you have a broken leg and are not coordinated enough to use crutches (hypothetically speaking, of course...).

So this summer will be a celebration of NY (which has almost nothing to do with a big apple). Recession Thursdays in the financial district with all those in need of a morale boost. Jogs (slow walks) in Central Park from Strawberry Fields to the carousel. People-watching the beautiful families out for a stroll on the West Side Highway. Convincing those guys that always barbecue on the East Side highway near the baseball fields to give you a hot dog. Doing everything in your power to stand next to a D-list celebrity, only to make eye contact and pretend you're too cool to know who they are. Buying second-hand Pier 1 furniture on Craig's List and carrying it back on the subway from Brooklyn. Feeling superior to everyone around you in Times Square even though you should have known better than to go to Times Square. Going to the Opera. Going to the Opera and leaving halfway through to get burritos. And, my personal favorite... finding the best happy hours on the island.

So here is to your New York, which is not my New York... but that's why it's the best city in the world.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just my luck.

After a stressful and whirlwind of a semester, I was very much looking forward to coming home to relax, run, and party with friends for a few weeks before work starts in June. I wanted nothing more than to hit the gym every morning, watch tv, read, and then head to local bars or to the city each night to meet up with friends. 

Well, at least I can do two of those things while elevating my leg on the couch. Yep. I broke my ankle. How? Well... I was being attacked by two mad dogs, so I hopped a fence... after I landed on the dumpster and jumped down a taxi came out of nowhere and ran me over... 

That's the real story. It is totally NOT true that I was walking to the train station in the rain and slipped on a west stone in the pavement. And it is NOT true that a guy who looks just like the obnoxious, skinny, blonde guy on How I Met Your Mother helped me up and I "walked it off" out of embarrassment. 

So anyway... no more running, no dancing, no walking, no wearing jeans or any decent-looking pants, no driving, no shopping, no high heels, no drinking - can't be drunk while operating my vehicle (crutches / swivel chair / hopping around on my good leg). Going to be a fun time! 

And that is all the complaining I will do. That's IT! Done. Now it is time to be positive and focus on recovery and figuring out how to live a normal life with one leg. I have to move into a new apartment. Get oral surgery. Start work. Commute to work. Walk around at work. Get myself to meetings at work. Figure out how to hold something while walking - i.e. lunch at work. Not completely destroy my other leg while hopping around on it. And, lastly, stop worrying myself to the point of sickness that I will never be able to run at full strength again. Oh, and cancel my entry into the NY marathon. 

Positivity starts now. (I'll post when I find the bright side). 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nae Drinks Ootside Efter Neene

... Written on the inside of a door to a fabulously dingy, cheap, Scottish pub that was pretty much everything I wanted Scotland to be. Translation: No drinks outside after 9. And the seemingly dodgy bar had some of the best live music I've ever heard. Any decent cover of a Jim Morrison tune by a teenager in a Dr. Seuss hat has my vote. 

Edinburgh is exciting, quaint, and charming. The people are genial, warm, and like to have fun. What more could anyone ask for? From start to finish, our holiday was perfect. Quiet, clean, smooth 4-hr train ride, and a surprise from Andy, who was waiting at the station! 

The hotel was on Princes Street right in the center of the city. 5 minutes to the botanical gardens, 10 minutes to the Edinburgh Castle & the Royal Mile, and smack inbetween the 2 main spots for night life. We did the whole touristy sight-seeing thing during the day, and walked along the Royal Mile a bit before heading out in the Grassmarket. 

The Royal Mile is a mile-long street with tons of restaurants, pubs, and shopping. We were noticing that every single place we passed was somewhere we wanted to go. For every meal, we passed about 10 places that we said, "that looks great... stop or keep going? let's just look at the next place..." I'll admit it... I didn't try haggis (traditional Scottish meal... sheep bladder, liver, and other body parts). I wanted to! But not enough to actually do it...

The Grassmarket was filled with clubs, lounges, and pubs. I absolutely love the crazy names that pubs have, especially in Edinburgh. In London, too, every pub is a noun beginning with "The." The noun is always something having to do with Britain or royalty. My favorite was one on the Royal Mile called "The Malt Shovel." After a few drinks, I thought it was called "The Manure Pusher." The place we went to was called The Three Sisters. It was a massive lounge/club with a DJ who was using a fake headset to look cool. Just as Andy predicted, about an hour after we arrived, all of the guys that had been standing at the bar drinking were suddenly forming awkward packs on the dance floor and spinning around in circles with their arms in the air... really innovative dance moves. 

Word of caution - don't go to the Scottish House of Parliament. The only things in it are a gift shop and carpeting swatches from the Parliament House. It's not even worth getting out of the rain... which is the only reason we went in the first place. 

So who knew that the best place to find Mexican is in Edinburgh? We went to Miro Mexicana on Rose St. (right before the pub with live music) and had the best fajitas I have ever had. Good mragaritas too. But, if my Mom were to have tried them, she would have taken one sip, smirked, shook her head, and muttered "weak." After the pub, we went to a really nice whiskey bar, since apparently Scotland is known for their whiskey. So naturally, I had a strawberry beer. The length of time it took Andy to finish his whiskey (about an hour) is proof positive that my beer was a good choice. 

So, other than some rainy weather, a fabulous trip! If I could spend every other weekend in Edinburgh, I'd be a happy lady. I guess Edinburgh is a bit of a hike from NY for just a weekend... 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Going for the Gold

Just wanted to mention... Andy and I ran the Newham Classic 10K on Sunday. And now I can officially say I have run around the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London (even though it is only half built!) 

How cool is that?! Also got to see Andy's school (very nice!). I ran it in somewhere around 50 minutes. Andy ran it in 47. He is a running machine! 

I will be home in 22 days. But I'm not counting or anything.

Plan of action upon return:
1) eat pancakes at Grandma and Grandpa's
2) tell my life story to friends (and Kay) over an excessive amount of wine
3) get wisdom teeth out 
4) try not to die
5) get an apartment
6) shop til I drop 

Speaking of shopping, I'm off to the DSUK designer sale on Brick Lane. Cheers!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

a much needed update.

It has been forever. I haven't had a moment to post! Every time I think about posting, I remember how far behind I am in my reading and how many essays I was supposed to write and haven't written yet.

BUT since I have so much work to do tomorrow I am going to be super productive and... run a race. I'm running the Newham Classic 10K run (for charity I think?). Let's hope I can keep up with Andy! I've done a bit too much drinking and a bit too little running this semester to be in any condition to race. Nutritionists don't generally recommend diets of meat pies and late night sausages while training. It will be more of a leisurely jog for me. 

I meant to do lots of essay writing today, but it was 60 degrees and sunny! I read Oscar Wilde in Gordon Square instead. Definitely a much better use of my time. 

So... quick update. I went to Sicily. and my parents took their very first trip to London. Sicily first: Italy = paradise. I don't think that Sicily is my favorite spot in Italy, but it is still beautiful. It seems that in Italy everything and everyone is just beautiful without any effort. Even something that is not supposed to look beautiful... like a desserted alley with old laundry hanging on it... looks like a work of art. While we were there we ate pasta, pizza, gelato and panninis, drank wine with every meal, walked around the piazzas, went to the beach, and shopped. So basically, the ideal holiday. And we were lucky enough to get there a few weeks before the summer season really begins, so not too many tourists and really reasonable prices. What more can you ask for?!

Only downside to Sicily, as with the rest of Italy... completely inefficient. Train is supposed to come at 9:00, you're lucky if it's there at 9:15. We waited an hour for a train that we were running late for in the first place. And, of course, the trains stop running at 9:30 p.m., so to get home from the city, a pricy cab ride is the only option. But all in all, a wonderfully relaxing break from the fog.

Holiday number two: being a tourist with Mom and Dad in London. We did so many things that I haven't done before (even after 3 months), like Shakespeare's Globe, Tower of London (pointless), and St. Paul's. St. Paul's was absolutely breathtaking... I'm surprised I didn't know  that sooner since I work across the street. We saw Les Miserables, which was absolutely unforgettable... something I will remember forever. And supposedly the London theatre is ranked higher than NY's broadway, so it's very possible I just saw the best show in the world. But my favorite has to be Shakespeare's Globe, only because I am a Shakespeare dork. It was great to see where all the magic happens. And very typically English. Our tour guide told us everyone would come in drunk, watch a vulgar show, be sloshing around in the rain, probably get into a few fights, and then do who knows what after the show. Yep, that's the English for ya. I'm actually going to go back and buy this beautiful decorative masque (like the kind you might wear to a masquerade) from the globe and hang it in my apartment when I get home... just so I can say "oh that's from Shakespeare's globe" very nonchalantly when people ask about it. 

Only downside of the trip... not the best weather London has ever seen (not that London ever sees great weather). But, my poor Mom who so looks forward to holidays of sun and cocktails on the beach was stuck dragging her suitcase through puddles while trying to hold onto her umbrella with the other hand. At least we did have two days of sun. So Dad fell in love with the pubs (obviously) and made it perfectly clear that he wanted ale and a meat pie for every meal. Mom found the cute streets with the restaurants that I had been searching for (of course) and even found probably the only mafia hangout in London. Leave it to Mom to travel to a city she's never been to... where I live... and teach me things. For example, now I know that if I'm feeling sick I can legally stock up on Advil with Codeine since it is OTC in the UK. 

AND the best surprise of the trip was Andrew! Based on a five minute chat late Friday night, he hopped on a plane and met us at Camden markets Saturday morning. I know my parents were so glad to catch up with him, and I was ecstatic! Definitely made the night life more exciting for the week. And, of course, Andrew showed me the best view of Big Ben at night from Trafalgar Square that I had never seen before... If everyone keeps teaching me things when they come to visit, I guess that means I'm super oblivious? 

Only thing missing from the trip was Kay, but I plan to photoshop her floating head into some photos... which is really all that matters on vacation anyway ;)

And on that note, I'm off to watch Ocean's 12. Cheers. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Madness

Finally! Kay and Case get here tomorrow and I cannot wait! So here is how it goes.

strawberry beer
Buckingham Palace
St. Patty's Day
High Tea
Football match
English mates
Camden markets
Full English breakfast
London eye
Oxford Street
Roller disco... and 80s dance clothes obviously
Leicester Square

AND I finished my 9-page paper so I don't have to do it while they're here. beat that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Please Sir, I want some more.

We would be hard-pressed to find an author more beloved, famous or renowned than Charles Dickens, the wonderful Boz who entertains and delights the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the Londoners and the foreigners alike. It is Dickens's London that captivates even the disinterested reader with characters so over the top and yet so like everyone around us that they can't help but jump off of the page as we read. But the intrigue of Dickens novels... the addiction, the seduction... is London. London in all her glory... corruption, poverty, vice, mystery, and danger. 

We read of the sufferings of heroes, the triumphs of villains, and the injustice of humanity with every page... but we put the book down with an even greater sense of humanity and compassion than we knew of before. For Dickens, this magic can only function within the city of London. He relishes in the personality of the London fog. London is a character like any other... both the protagonist and the villain. We walk down the streets of London and see what Boz sees. Dickens lifts the veils from over our eyes and smacks us in the face with everything we don't want to think about. But we are far from angry with him for it. Instead, we become bound by a commonality, we are united against human suffering and injustice. 

It is this intangible bond that permeates the magical city of London. We are all personally acquainted with Pip and Oliver and love to hate Scrooge, a now integral character in a religious celebration. In London, even the mundane and unspeakably low can sparkle. Charm is everywhere and around every corner. For Dickens, London is a character. It influences the story and has capabilities of its own. The dark streets with yellow lamps, the puddles, the fog that makes London somehow unreadable, the chill... it is as much a part of the story as Miss Havisham and Darnay. 

For Dickens, time is diachronic... it simultaneously progresses and stands still. As the days pass by, we see a frozen image of the action of London's streets. The normal, the absurd, and the monotonous is somehow so captivating that we must freeze it to observe it, understand it, and bask in it. London is a real-life photo.

Samuel Johnson writes, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. For there is in London, all that life can afford." A different version of London exists for everyone. But, as Dickens does not let us forget, London has  a presence we cannot escape. And we would not want to. Please, Sir. I want some more.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Studying" Abroad?

I use that term very loosely. So it's been a while since I've posted anything... there's just no time to spare! Between school, work, and living in London, I hardly even have time to catch up on 30 Rock. I cannot believe I've been here for over a month! Let me recap some things I've done... 

I went to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which was wonderful. I'm not gonna lie, I wouldn't voluntarily go to the orchestra without a reason in NY, but NYU was subsidizing the tickets, so a bunch of us went and I'm glad I did. The Orchestra performed all Beethoven, so it was very energetic. Definitely a worthwhile time... especially the bridge we crossed near Embankment to get to the theater. 

The Thames is just so beautiful to walk across (there are a bunch of bridges to do that)... it really breaks up the city in a good way. In my Writing London class we learn a lot about the geography of London, as it relates to the various stories we're reading. In the beginning of the 19th century, before bridges over the Thames, central London was much smaller and the Thames served as the boundary between the country and the city. It's really interesting to learn about that kind of thing as we read... so much of English lit takes place in very specific areas or even streets of London that are referenced so regularly. I hadn't realized that before I came here, but now it is great to be able to picture the road that Dickens's characters walk along or understand why Evelina doesn't like staying with her cousins in Snow Hill. I'd love to take a course about Writing New York... I hope they have that back home!

I also went to an absolutely fabulous tapas place in Islington. That is pretty much the hot spot for restaurants (according to me). Sangria, DELICIOUS food, and the added bonus of watching a salsa dancing class. A seriously wonderful time with good company... And also our waiter had the longest sideburns I've ever seen. I'm already thinking about when I can go back next... Sunday to Wednesday it's unlimited tapas for a tenner (10 pounds)!

This weekend it finally hit me that I am actually going to school here. I wrote my first paper, but for the first time in a while I actually didn't mind writing it... the paper was about van Dyck's English court portraiture, of which I had seen a lot first hand on field trips with my art history class. It really makes a difference when you're completely immersed in the subject and can see how it's applicable, rather than just considering it some history that has no real world implications. I've begun to walk around the city noticing the classical features of all of the buildings that were based on Inigo Jones's style. It's funny how you can learn about something that seems so inconsequential, but it can change the way you see things every single day.

This weekend was a very Spanish weekend... after doing tapas at La Tasca, I did Mexican at Desperados on Saturday, and went to Camino for drinks. Camino was also fabulous... we've concluded that Camino is what would happen if Spain became hipster. Funky, jazzy, and hip. Plus sangria. Basically... everything I look for in a bar. 

Watched a rugby match at a bar... but next weekend I get to go to a match! If you're wondering how rugby really works... don't worry. No one really knows the rules. We talked to some English people also watching the match, and they said it's too complicated to bother trying to figure out. But basically, it's a combination of soccer and American football. It looks like football b/c they don't wear padding and run around with the ball and tackle each other. But it's like soccer because play doesn't actually stop. The only inhibiting rule is that you can't throw the ball ahead of you. You can progress up the field by punting it or running with it, but can only throw it backward. And then people tackle you and steal the ball and run the other way. You have to run into the endzone and slam the ball on the ground to score a "try," then you kick a fieldgoal like in football. It's pretty dangerous / cool.

I'm also taking a day trip to Portsmouth and Wincester on Friday... it's required for my English class, but I'm not sure why. Apparently Jane Austen is buried there, but I'm not sure it will enlighten me to see her grave. I'm just mad that I have to be there at 7:45 a.m. Ew!

That's all for now. Work / class tomorrow. And now... Great Expectations. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week 2ish

I can't believe I've only been here about 2 1/2 weeks. It feels like so much longer! I guess that's because I actually moved here and settled into a routine, rather than doing the usual vacation and touristy sort of stuff. Though I still make it pretty obvious that I'm a foreigner... especially when I examine each coin in my wallet to figure out how much it's worth while paying for things. Embarrassingly, more than a few cashiers have noticed and said "that's ten... that's twenty... that's five..." and I just sort of awkwardly reply "oh, right.. uh.. thanks..." 

On Friday I went to Cambridge. It is absolutely beautiful. I'll post some photos. I sort of had mixed feelings about the whole atmosphere of the place, though. Even though it was breathtakingly beautiful, it is literally the only thing in the town of Cambridge. People that go to that school must live and breathe university... because there isn't anything else there! That's partly what I love about NYU... it is so easy to have a life outside of the university. I do not think I would want to give that up, no matter how pretty a campus may be. 

I've been spending some time at this bar nearby called the Euston Flyer. It has a traditional English breakfast all day long (two fried eggs, two pieces of toast, two pieces of bacon, two pieces of sausage, baked beans, coffee or tea). But if that isn't reason enough to go there, they have really unique ales (not that I can tell the difference, but so I've been told) and a really laid back environment. I've decided that will be my new bar to head to for meeting up with everyone before we all go out.

My friends and I decided we would have a wild night out last night since we hadn't done anything too crazy on Friday night... it was a great time... we went to three different places which were all great... until last call at only 11! Needless to say, our wild night did not end up being very wild. But definitely some fun places to go, as long as we find a different place nearby that closes later on. 

Today was Chinese New Year, which is apparently a really big deal here. We went down to Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square to see the festivities... In Trafalgar Square was a big stage with dancers and tons of people crowding around it. Leicester square was also crowded, with dragons and firecrackers. I have definitely had my fix of Chinese food for a while. 

Tonight some friends are going to a pub for the superbowl... but it doesn't begin until 11:30, so I may be a dork and stay home instead... I have to get up at 6 for work, and it is definitely hard enough to stay awake there when I am not super "lackard." My job here is not the most exciting... but at least I have one. 

OH. My most exciting news for the week. I've booked my spring break trip to... SICILY. I'll be going there for 6 nights with some friends, then heading back and my parents arrive the following day. I'm saving up a lot of the touristy London stuff for when they are here. I may or may not join the rest of my friends in Dublin when they leave. We will fly into Palermo, Sicily and hopefully stay in a hotel there. Can't wait =)

Andddd I can't wait for the middle of March when my sister and friend from home come to visit. I have to think of lots of fun things for us to do! 

I guess that's all for now. I'm going to the London Philharmonic this Wednesday... they are performing some Beethoven. Should be very culturally enlightening and all that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week 1 of the London Fog

I have a few minutes before heading out, so I may as well start this whole travel log thing. I've been in London for about a week now, but it actually seems like much longer. I'm already becoming attached to the city and beginning to feel less like I live here and am not just a tourist.

What strikes me most about London is the overwhelming history that seems to permeate every aspect of the city. New York has tons of history, of course, but the history must be sought out. In London, every corner has some significance, every park has been written about by some famous English author, every pub was home to Virginia Woolf, Dickens, or the like. The local Londoners, as well as the tourists, are fascinated by the history of this great city. Even to those who have lived here all their lives, London is magical and never quite conquered... but not in the same way as New York. New York is so big that no one can quite conquer it, but every facet of London, even the seemingly mundane, is in some way awe-inspiring and humbling.

One would think that 4 months is more than enough time to see and do everything in a city. But do everything worth doing in London... I would have to do everything. I'm taking a trip to Greenwich in a few days, then heading to the National Portrait Gallery for the evening, and (of course) finding a pub in Trafalgar Square afterwards. I've found that the best way to find things is to simply get lost. When I was searching for my new office, I stumbled upon St. Paul's Cathedral. On Saturday I went for a run, got lost, and found the Thames, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park (I was very lost). 

So I guess I'll tell you about the very obvious and surface level aspects of the London culture that I've picked up on. Everyone is always on time. Strangers are friendlier. There is a very wide range of accents... but don't mention anyone's accent because it reflects education level. Pubs and bars serve food, but you order it all yourself at the bar. No tipping. Quids = bucks. No salads, just sandwiches. Anything not vegetarian is just called "meat." Beer is served by the pint. Don't try to keep up with the English when you're drinking... it's not possible.  Busses are actually very efficient. The tube is expensive and closes at 12:30 am. Last call at pubs is 11 pm. A full English breakfast consists of tea, "pudding" (pound cake), two fried eggs, sausage, and bacon. They love their fish and chips. Museums are free. Parks ("squares") are everywhere. Streets do not have numbers, are very windy, and no one seems to know the names of them. Everyone loves America and everyone loves Obama. 

That's all for now, but I'll update later. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Change is good, right?

I keep trying to convince myself of this. New country. New school. New job. New apartment. New life. Change better be a good thing...

So, don't get sad or anything, but I need to warn you that this blog is about to become a travel log while I'm in Europe. I know what you're thinking... but what about the witticisms? What about the deep insights? I know. I'm sorry. But let's be real... you have probably never read all the way through one of my posts. So stop complaining. 

Countdown to departure: 1.5 days. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To Do List

Okay, so I'm going to begin a list of things I must do while abroad. Suggestions appreciated =)

1) Drink too much beer at a pub
2) Ask someone where I can find the lieu
3) Go to Fleet Street (and look for Sweeney Todd)
4) Befriend the Queen
5) Go to High Tea
6) Eat a meat pie and fish and chips
7) Learn to navigate the "underground" (Tube)
8) Find platform 9  3/4 at King's Cross (my station!)
9) Get rowdy at a football match
10) Crikey... Learn the bloody lingo