Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011

Well it looks like a new year has started.  I know it is cliche to say 2011 passed incredibly fast but there is no other way to describe it.  Despite a rough patch at the end, it's was a fantastic year, really.  I spent a lot of time with some great friends.  Saw a lot of new country in the UK.  And laughed my ass off with the A-team.

I am always amazed at how much happens in one year.  What with all end of year lists (News of the Year, Celebrity Gossip of the Year, Best Films of the Year, Biggest Fashion Mistakes of the Year) posted everywhere last week, it was impossible not to look back on my own highlights.  I tried to sit down and make a list of events but only the biggest ones really came to mind: road trip, summer with the gang, thesis, etc.  In going through my photos and posts from the beginning of the year, I was reminded of many events and adventures I had forgotten.  I suppose that's why we document these things, huh?!  Here are some of the highlights from 2011.

Happy New Year, all!!!!!!

Rae
Having left my lovely road-bike back home, I had to purchase a new bike in London.  I was terrified for a long time to get on the roads but I finally bought Rae in January and I've loved cycling again.  Beside the commute time, I've also explored London quite a lot.  One big day out this summer was to Richmond Park. Gorgeous :)

Gardens
I bought a membership to the Chelsea Physic Garden this fall.  I actually went the first time last November  but I went again this summer and just couldn't get enough.  It's so small compared to the parks and things but it is packed with gorgeous flowers.  As for all the other gardens on my list this year, the only one I haven't made it to is Kew.  That will definitely get checked off when I get back from the trip!!

Friends
I was probably the luckiest person in the universe this summer because three of the most incredible people I know came to London and spent several weeks doing nothing but making me laugh, smile, cartwheel, skip, drink, and feel nothing but love, affection, and happiness.  In looking through my posts I can see that the distraction of their presence limited my posts to a grand total of ONE and I should probably put up some pics or things about what we did.  Pretty much the most amazing summer I could have asked for.

Hot Dates in 2011
Jan 1st: Lindsey left London
Feb 7th: First day at Human Rights Watch AND the overthrow of Mubarak.  Fairly epic!!!
March 3rd: Surprised Alex in the frosting aisle and Dad at La Puente ;)
May 2nd: Yafit back in London!!
May 5th: Set out for our Cornwall adventure!
June 27nd: Erin in London!!
July 13th: Alex in London!!
July 13th: Surprised by Sara in London!!!
July 23rd: Edinburgh.  Erin's Birthday. Egregious drinking.  Empty stomach.
Sept 19th: Gram's birthday celebration
Sept 22nd: Mom, Pam and Grandma in London
Dec 8th: Thesis done!!!!!!!
Dec 23rd: Ma and Pa Poulson in London for the holidays :)

30/30
I did cross somethings off my list this year and have a plan of attack for several more coming up here soon. The books present the biggest challenge, probably, just because there are so damn many of them. If I can genuinely focus on the list and stop taking new books people give me it's totally doable. So for those of you who know I love reading and want to buy me books, buy from this list please!!!! ;)

UK Life
The best/worst thing I have learned this year is that I do love living in the UK.  For the first year, I had fun wandering around, taking in the sites, learning all I could about the country, the people, the pop culture, and the silly traditions, sayings, and history.  Still, I let myself enjoy it as a visitor trying not to force a future here if it didn't happen organically.  I still worked my ass off, mind you.  I put in everything I had to make sure I was available for any opportunity that came my way.  But I wasn't ready yet to commit to trying to stay forever and always.  I've missed my friends, my family, my house and my mountains, and I wasn't ready to say that they would not be my home any more.  It's hard to know that I might not ever live my life with them in the way I wish I could.  I love them so so so very much and they have stuck with me despite the distance so I know now they will always be there.  It's really really hard to have two places feel like home :(

So that's my 2011.  I just put my dad on the train to Paris this morning and am back to work today so my 2012 really begins now.  I don't like resolutions but I do have some things I hope to accomplish this year.  Another post to come on that :)

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mulled Wine, Mince Pies, Crackers, and Bank Holidays

Hello dear world,

Long time, no contribute!  Thanks for holding out while I finished my thesis, had a minor meltdown, and spent Christmas with mi familia.  The beginning of December proved more difficult than anticipated but luckily the much-needed break consisting of family time, friend time, drinking, dancing, and various UK holiday traditions has helped me forget the pain of the paper.  Even more lucky, I have a break until Jan 5th! That's pretty hunky dory!!!

Let the blogging resume!

Love,

N
 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thoughts While Studying

Bras.  Bras are why men are more "successful" in all things that require long-term sitting: computer programming, executive meetings, courtroom squabbling.  They don't have to wear bras!  Today is a no bra day and let me just say,  I'm much more focused.  Other than writing on this here blag during short breaks, I have been plugging away since 8:00 am with far less distraction than normal.  I am 100% sure this is due to the fact that I have no article of clothing that insists on constantly reminding me of its presence.  Yes, I am wearing clothes.

I have a desperate desire to play my flute.  Embarrassingly I would probably start with Christmas music.  How horrible is that?  I am not a fan of 80% of the Christmas music on the market.  I've been jaded by years of it being sung to me year round.  But I've sat in cafes for two days with nothing but horrible X-mas pop pumped into my ears.  It's making me crave the good, classic melodies.  Also I haven't played for a few months now which always creates a panic because I don't want to forget how to do it.  This should be rectified next year with my 30/30 challenge though as it includes "play in a band again."  

I was just publicly defeated by the complexity of my sweater. 

I am looking forward to spending entire days in cafes reading words someone else wrote. 

When I see old people who are bound by the limitations of a dilapidated body, I feel the need to run out the door and not stop until I'm young again. 

The fact that plates and slaves are the same in text-speak doesn't seem like a big deal, but it has led to some near misses lately. 
- I know it sucks!!!  Maybe we could buy some cheap plates and smash them to bits tonight!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to Make Promises


Is there a list which better highlights the uselessness of management-speak?

"The commitment focuses on:

• Ownership
• Alignment of aid
• Harmonisation
• Mutual accountability
• Management for development results"

ONE WEEK!!!!!!

My thesis is due one week from today.  One week, four hours from fifteen minutes ago, to be precise. Which I suppose would be one week, three hours and forty-five minutes from right now!  I'm at the BL eating a large bowl of overpriced yogurt with museli and fruit and getting set up to write for the rest of this time.  I am only working one day between now and then and, because of the wonder that is the UK mentality re: reasonable work/life balances, I am getting paid for one of those off days.  SWEEEEEET!!!!!    

See you again very soon!!!

OH!  And only 21 days until Ma and Pa Poulson land in the UK!  :D

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sooooo Close!

Here is a list of things I want to do/places I want to (re)visit the second I am done with this paper.  Yes, all at the same time.

List in progress...

Museum of London
London Transport Museum - MAPS!
Map Reading Room at the BL
Brixton Market
Broadway Market
Columbia Road Flower Market
Brick Lane
Chelsea Physic Garden
Science Museum
V&A
Wellcome Collection
National Gallery
See some theatre
Get a massage
walk walk walk walk walk walk walk through London
read read read read read read read books!!!
Kew Gardens
Ice skate
Take in the Christmas lights and maybe some caroling


Any look appealing to you?  Come join me!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Apologies for the unplanned radio silence!  I may be a bit hit and miss for a few more weeks too due to this little thesis situation.  Study + work + Stephen Fry time + podcast + website + new friends + silent disco + movie nights = little time for writing (on here at least!).

Hope you are all well.  In the meantime, I encourage you to get your writing hats on.  NaNoWriMo is only days away people!  I have yet to participate in this annual self-flagellation but I really want to one day.  Here is a link I found yesterday that has useful - well, not really that useful probably, some just made me laugh - ideas to get you started with plots. :D 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Sunday, Two Breakfasts*

Apparently the best way out of a rut is bacon.  Lots of bacon.  

This week started perfectly and has maintained its momentum for three days running (I do believe that's a hat trick, Kristen :).**  Sunday consisted of two breakfasts (separated by a viewing of Coraline) with a lovely friend whom I've not seen in ages.  I laughed more in those few hours than I have in the last few weeks.  That dude gets up to some serious trouble and I love that I can laugh at him and mock his plight without ever actually having to live through it myself (mind you, his plight involves far too many stunningly beautiful women throwing themselves at him on a regular basis so, yes, he really suffers).  As we ate my Cointreau french toast with homemade marmelade and streaky bacon I could see the weight of his burdens dissolve, however.  Always here to help those in need.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Some Funnies

Can't link this video but check out Between Two Ferns with Steve Carell








Showers

I love a good hot shower.  Recently I have been changing it up and having a bracing cold shower for the last bit and boy does that wake a body up.  I'm normally a morning showerer, needing the refresher to be ready for the day.  But I do enjoy a nice long evening shower sometimes.  I put on my showeroke playlist, sing and (carefully) dance to my heart's content.

Three things I think about almost every time I shower:

Eddie Izzard - one nanomillimeter between fantastically hot and fucking freezing



The Bernoulli Effect - my high school physics professor didn't say much that stayed with me.  But one thing stuck like shower curtain to a wet leg.  

The Newlywed Game - ok not this clip but it made me laugh pretty hard.  One show asked the guys how they would describe their wife's shower habits.  Top to bottom/bottom to top, left to right/right to left, or front to back/back to front.  I think about it almost every morning wondering how a partner might describe mine.




Street Party on North Mews

So I set up this London Street party to have a fun theme for Saturday. Come resembling your favorite London street.  Hardly anyone is accepting because hardly anyone at school is fun or silly or into anything remotely witty or clever. They just want to go out to fancy, expensive clubs where women are wearing nothing and grind up on strangers. It is so fucking old. I purposefully gave an example of Baker street as someone wearing an apron with flour smudges on their face to describe the simple possibilities. Not exactly indicative of a requirement to purchase an entirely new wardrobe, right? Just to take two seconds to think of something fun or punny. I was considering Friend street (as suggested by E) and wearing a mirror so when people look in it I would say I'm Friend Street. But I will smash that mirror and take the seven years of bad luck because certainly it will be better than seven years of having the reflections be of people I can't actually be myself around. What kind of friend is that, really?  Those reading this are my real friends who would come dressed as Bond street (and not the 007 type).  And we all know what street E would be.  Perhaps I will throw in the towel and lame out like the rest.  Noel street: you know, like Christmas.

Less angsty addendum:  those who are coming, while small in numbers, are big in cool.  It will still be a good night.  And more booze for us to share, yeah?!?!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good Job(s), Steve

As always, I receive warm and fuzzy support from those who know me best at the times I need it most.  Some of the most important people in my life are currently feeling like failures, overlooked by life, past their prime, willing to settle for things that stifle their incredible creativity and limit their ability to enjoy what matters most in their lives.  Watch this video and see how "missed opportunities" only hinder our future if we insist on constantly gazing backward, pining for what could have been (or possibly for the fjords).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ask Jeeves

I am currently reading Right Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse and it is absolutely killing me.  Hopefully no horrible litigious outcome arises from sharing an admittedly slightly long passage that made me chortle on the train home from work.

*she clears her throat -ahem- and begins to read*

'But don't forget this, because it is a point I wish, above all, to make: even if Gussie had got to that ball; even if those scarlet tights, taken in conjunction with his horn-rimmed spectacles, hadn't given the girl a fit of some kind; even if she had rallied from the shock and he had been able to dance and generally hobnob with her; even then our efforts would have been fruitles, because Mephistopheles costume or no Mephistopheles costume, Augustus Fink-Nottle would never have been able to summon up the courage to ask her to be his.  All that would have resulted would have been that she would have got that lecture on newts a few days earlier.  And why, Jeeves?  Shall I tell you why?'
"Yes, sir."
'Because he would have been attempting the hopeless task of trying to do the thing on orange juice.'

Fellowship

When writing a cover letter for a potentially life-altering fellowship, would it be ok to skip all the bits and bobs and just say:

Dear You,

I am who you have been looking for.  Really.

Sincerely,

Me

A Lovely Nerd

I adore Ben Goldacre


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stolen



Stolen from a friend who stole it from a book :)

When we were sixteen, the books stopped coming. Who can say why? I have thought of every scenario. What is certain is that by that time, the damage was done. We were addicts, hooked on books, on their reading and on their acquisition. And so we became who we are: gentle and bookish and ever so slightly confused. It is not a bad way to be, when all is said and done. Which, for the moment, it is.

-Bill Richardson, Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast

Monday, October 3, 2011

Off the Top of my Head

Things I learned the past week:

I miss good conversationalists.  I know some amazing ones.  They are far away either geographically, chronologically, or emotionally.  I need to find some here.  People you can just talk to about anything and everything and it's all just in good fun and both of you are curious and interested in everything.  That.

Alcohol sometimes helps.

I wish my dad could have stopped by.  He would have consumed said alcohol with me and then we would have had a phenomenal conversation for hours.  Yeah.  That sucked.

It's hard to say Tax Disc.

It's also hard to say Book Box Books.

Stratford-upon-Avon is everything you want it to be.

So is Oxford.  (BJET, you should have been there!  You could have worn your tweed jacket and pretended to be the professor you will actually become one day)

You Know You're Loved

when your friends think to share hot guys reading books with you!  Let me pass onto you the Male Librarian Calendar!  (see, men of book club!??!?!  You have been beaten to the punch).  Now, just give the calendar a little splash of this and we're all set.  Bring on the NERDS!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poems for a Tuesday

For some reason I've had a lot of poems on my mind today. A few from Shel but a couple of others too.  About a year ago I listened to someone in a park recite a wickedly long poem and it made me wish people still thought about poetry the same way they used to. My dad recites poems at the weirdest times and my Gram did too.  In fact, when I mentioned the story of the guy last year, my dad asked what poem it was and began reciting it almost verbatim.  Bjet is also notorious for this.  I love that.

As a kid, I kept quotes and soliloquies taped to my bathroom mirror and I would practice them while I got ready for the day (and much to my parents' chagrin, watched movies ad nauseum to memorize all the lines). Here are the ones floating around in my head today.  Hope you like them! :)

Listen ~ by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the wonts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

IF by Rudyard Kipling (Michael Caine does a reading of this that I adore)

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now and Then


A new day, a new season, a new present.  Today is an absolutely gorgeous first day of Fall.  I started the day with a delivery from darlingest Lindsey which basically leveled up my week.  Thanks, love!!!  You are a super star!  Hopefully we can frolic in London sometime before February.  In your honor I listened to my mix tape/cd/mp3 and it was awesome.  Definitely a boost in my life!

This morning I woke up early to get ready for my family's arrival.  Now I remember the reality of "a messy bed a messy head."  With all the busy-ness (yeah, you try to spell that without it coming out as business) the last couple of weeks, I've slowly grown a sleeping parter made of books and bras.  Winston and Puppy have felt a little jealous and neglected.  Now they have all the space in the world though and boy does it feel lovely both physically and mentally.

While I was cleaning I realized it has been a year since my mom has been to London.  I started thinking of how things have changed in that time so I thought maybe I would share with you as well.  Here is a mini tour of my house and my plants then and now.  note: I'll add a photo once I put up the previously mentioned present :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sigh

And I thought this September might be different.

For almost every year I can remember, I've gotten really down and felt just a little bit out of control of my life in September for some reason.  I don't get it.  Some years unbelievably dramatic and scary things have happened; other years it has just slowly built over the month and worn me completely down.  I've gotta snap out of it!  I have stuff to do and I need to sort out what I am doing with my life.  A year and a half of not knowing where I'm going or what I am doing has finally gotten to me, I think.  And yet, somehow, the idea of wandering aimlessly with no purpose or destination seems like the best solution for my melancholy.  How fixing something with itself works I do not know.  Maybe it's just the thought of going with the flow rather than trying to purposefully direct my life myself that seems appealing.  Letting go has always led to good (if not wonderful) things before but it is really freaking me out this time.  It seems like there is more on the line for some reason.  But I think that feeling might be bollocks.  There is no more to be gained or lost now than there ever has been before.

I had to make a big decision today that resulted in tears.  Then I got news that resulted in tears.  Now, to avoid sitting at home and guaranteeing tears, I am going to go be around people and try to convince myself they aren't threatening to come.

September is an incredible month!  Why can't we figure out how to get along?  We could do so many fun things together.  We could enjoy the crisp autumn evenings and the beginning of hot chocolate season with some lovely, cuddly movie nights.  We could play in the leaves.  We could make stew and read books.  We like the same things!  Come on, September!  Let's sort this out!  



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mornin'

8:15 am

Thoughts on today so far...

  • Where do people who don't wear bras keep their phone and keys on their morning run? 
  • Early morning park parkour is like being a kid again.  I like being a kid again. 
  • I remember now why I had callouses on my hands as a kid.  
  • Making breakfast with Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell is something I could deal with every day for the rest of my life. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cheers!


In the 27 years I was lucky enough to spend with her, Mary Lina Albano Poulson played a large part in shaping me into the person I am.  I truly believe the world would be a kinder place if everyone could have met her, even just for one evening.  Those of you who were lucky enough to know her will agree she was one-of-a-kind

Today would have been her 95th birthday.  I set out this evening with no idea how to celebrate the occasion.  Darling Kristen, however, gave me the perfect idea for a start.  Books.  I found myself wandering through Foyles, not sure what I would find that she would have liked.  In the end, I managed to find two:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Prose and Cons: A Two-Part Discourse

I get to do some amazing things in my life.  I know some incredible people.  I've had some fantastic opportunities.  But I'm also doing some things things that scare me quite a lot.  I live by the philosophy "life begins at the end of your comfort zone."  I even have it written above the light-switch in my room so I am reminded every single day that the scary things are usually the most important and rewarding.  The feeling of standing on the other side of something you were scared to do but did anyway is unbeatable.  There is no better way to see that you can do incredible things in life than to put your fears in front of you and growl at them until they back down.  warning: that feeling is also a little like crack.  Once you start, you end up on the street with nothing to your name except the desire to feel that way again.  Here are a few things that are kind of freaking me out at this moment.

Writing my thesis

No biggie.  Just the biggest part of my degree.  I need to spend hours and hours at the library researching, writing, and editing.  I should be there two days a week, most evenings, and weekends.  But I have been saying yes to too many other things and my time is once again not my own.  In a few weeks it will be even less my own so I have to knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it so I have some time for other things/people that are quite important to me.

I LOVE THAT!!!!!!

You know the feeling of falling in love.  When you are stupidly excited but also kind of wondering how this can be real and scared it will go away but you don't care because that moment is just so wonderful?  I get that feeling a lot.  I fall in love with life so hard sometimes it hurts.  

It's 11:20 am on a Sunday.  The morning is sunny and happy and today just feels right.  Yafit and I had a good chat and laugh about the happenings at the party last night.  I left to study and ran into my downstairs flatmate on the way.  We chatted and laughed for a moment before I made my merry way.  Just around the corner I met a stranger and walked and chatted about what we are doing today.  Thirty seconds maybe?  But I just relish those moments when I am part of the scene, not just an observer.  I tend toward observation, which is equally as rewarding in its own way, but I love when I feel like I am part of something.  Like when you are driving and the music in your car magically matches exactly what is going on in the world outside.  It brings the outside in (or inside out?) and makes everything whole.  I love that.  When I kept walking, I saw someone I was pretty sure I knew and when I turned back to look, she was doing the same thing.  One of those weird, we both just had the exact same moment moments.  And then when I walked into the cafe to get settled in for the day, what was song was playing??? Yeah, that's right.  Ingrid Michaelson's The Way I Am.  Perfect.  Good things are going to happen today.  There's no need to worry about jinxing it by making such a declaration.  Goodness is just in the air.  And I love that!    

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Comfort Zone

I don't go for long without getting on an Ingrid Michaelson kick.  I love her and I go back to my favorite songs over and over and over.  I definitely don't get any of them free on Spotify anymore.  Not a huge loss though as often her videos are just as sweet and lovely as her songs.

Quite possibly my favorite:


And a new one, just to keep things fresh :) 



Monday, September 12, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

If you have never seen the awesomeness that is parkour, check out the intro to District B-13.

  

I love kung fu.  I love martial arts in general.  I love anything that shows what the human body is capable of doing when well-tuned. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs*

For being a fairly chill weekend, A Bunch C-md to happen:

ABY!!!
Bodean's
Cute baby photos from Maren :)
Double feature movie/spa day at my flat with Anya
Éclair hunt for Yafit
Free banana and fresh squeezed OJ
Grocery shopping
Hippie picnic blanket's first use
I saved more fish from more ponds with more moss.  Seriously.  Why?
Jumping
Kilburn High Street
Laundry
Membership card at the BL
National Portrait Gallery
Oranges
Parkour practice
Q&A of the day: what advice would you give a second-grader? (7-8 year old, for you non US-ers)
Reggae Reggae sauce....mmmmmmm
Sweet story of Texas from a security guard at the BL
Thames time from a bench on a warm September evening
Uncharted territory
Visa discussions
Walk around Soho
X-essive (give me a bit of grace here..) shop at Boots.  Won't have to go back for months!
Yummy Persian food
Zainab - "it's killing children!"

*because he makes me giggle in a schadenfreudey kind of way


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to Business


Due to too much of this leading to this, I was a bit of a waste of space this week.  Stupid nonsils.  Most nights, I was in bed early, trying to find the sleeping position most conducive to breathing.  I felt like shit and I was frustrated by my lack of energy and motivation.  While I did get some study time in, I also had my academic deadline slightly adjusted which added a bit more stress.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Under the Weather

I would like to do all of these things simultaneously.  Surely then I would feel better.
  • wear seventeen layers of clothes (none of them being socks, of course)
  • wrap myself in a blanket
  • drink hot chocolate
  • watch a movie 
  • read a book
  • take a nap
  • have a bath
  • be served cream 'o wheat for breakfast and soup for lunch
  • have a serious head massage, followed by a full body massage, followed by a head massage

Monday, September 5, 2011

M.I.C.K.E.Y.

I dream. Often.  And vividly.  Most nights I can trace origins of my dream back to events from the previous day.  People I meet, stories I hear, and sights I see all weave their way into my subconscious during the day and flow out in my dreams.  This is not unusual, I'm sure.  The unusual ones are where I am rescuing small things (usually fish) or having to swim my way through dark, murky, seaweed-filled water.  Well, I say unusual because they might be for some people but these are regularly recurring themes for me.

So, I wasn't surprised this morning when I had dreams of going to a movie preview for Pixar (though it should have been Disney, my subconscience apparently edits for preference.  I do love an old school Disney though so what gives?!) where I met both Bradley Cooper and Margaret Cho.  She was the bad guy who dressed as a ninja and silently led the good guys, siren-style, silent-ninja-siren-style, to a steep cliff where we had to find our escape or die.  As we ran down the less-steep, grass-covered hillside conveniently located around corner, we heard a crunching noise.  It wasn't until we were a safe distance, however, that we could really stop to listen.

I Would Have a Room Lined in Trampolines

Being a grown up sucks sometimes.  But three cheers for the things we can do simply because we are "adults" with no one to stop us!!!


http://xkcd.com/150/

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Official...

  • ...I go to Pedro's too often.  The girl there knows my order.  
  • ...this dad with his little boy is the cutest thing I've seen all week (and my week included some wicked dimples). 
  • ...I am a crazy person.  This morning when I left my flat, I crawled under the spiderweb spanning the gap of the open gate.  I couldn't bring myself to ruin what took him all night to build.  That's not the crazy part though.  The crazy is that I talked to him as I did it.  I'd like to think we gained an understanding and respect for one another.  (Any neighbor who saw me leave my front yard on my hands and knees, looking over my shoulder, talking to the air may have lost some respect for me, however.  And thus, the universe finds itself in balance once again.)
  • ...I love Radiolab.  Still.  More.  Always
  • If you are unfamiliar with this incredible podcast, start with this recent short!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ah, Memories

Happy one year anniversary of my one month anniversary!

As I never actually posted on the one year mark, this seemed necessary to celebrate.  I will say I am slightly nervous as September and I have a tenuous friendship and as this is my 13th month perhaps that is a bad combo?  Or perhaps it means people will throw in an extra bagel after every twelve purchases I make this month!  Oh god please let it be cinnamon raisin slathered in strawberry shmear.  

Also, this reminds me of the Festival of Britain.  This year is the 60th anniversary of the Festival.  Celebrations have been taking place on the Southbank since April and are ending tomorrow (damn!  I didn't realize that!  And I planned to study tomorrow.  Hmmmm).  The original Festival (May - October 1951) was aimed at promoting British recovery from the war, but also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Great Exhibition which took place 1 May to 15 October 1851.  If the British can celebrate an anniversary of an anniversary, then I can celebrate the same for Britain.  If you haven't been able to follow any of this, don't worry.  Just go to sleep and Leo DiCaprio will explain it all.    

I promise not to post about the one year anniversary of my three month anniversary though. That's just going a bit too far. 

      Dear 3:00am,

      I am sure you have many good qualities but I hate to say I am really not all that interested in getting to know you.  I'm not sure why you keep tricking me into spending time with you.  Can we just admit we travel in different social circles and agree not to see each other again?

      Much love,

      Noodle

      Ruby Blue < Strawberry Moon

      The chances of meeting someone at a club worth talking to or even dancing with are low.  The chances of it happening twice are none.  These odds definitely played out at the club tonight.  I wanted, as last time, to go out with my friends, swing my hips a bit, and let the music speak to me.  At Strawberry Moon I could do all three.  Not one time did I have someone decide it was their right to appear behind me, grab my ass, my hand, my face, kiss me, grind with me, or force me to indicate my need to be rescued with the clever use of a safety gesture.  Ruby Blue was all about it though.  Thrice we had to rescue one of our own from a guy.  The same dude!  And when he still didn't get the hint, he had to be actually pushed away by several of us pulling stern faces and fist to cuffs.  It was as if Port 'o Call and Green Street had a baby.  A baby who came out with a popped collar, smelling of Axe.    

      Sunday, August 28, 2011

      Terty Tree and a Terd

      Miles, that is.  Ok so it was 33.42 according to Google maps but in honor of our dear Edinburgh bartender, I will bend the rules this once.

      Today I went for a ride.  A long ride.  An all day ride.  It was gorgeous.  Here is a little tour for those of you who couldn't be here (you know who you are!).


      Warning: I have recently been playing with the collage feature on Picasa.  Just think of it as more photos for your money. Also, could you start paying said money sometime soon?  That'd be great, thanks!!!

      I do think this means no cycling allowed.  I just think it's cute.  And for the record, I was not cycling when I took this so no ticket needed. 

      Friday, August 26, 2011

      You Might Have Wondered


      I know you are dying to know what a day is like in my head.  I cannot and will not subject you to such an experience but I thought perhaps I would share my thoughts as I tidy my room this evening (Lindsey will be here soon, after all and I am sure she expects things top-notch!): 
      • Rainbows are magical
      • I wish everyone could read Ex Libris
      • I own a mini (and by mini I, of course, mean children's version) shovel, hoe, and trowel.  I live in a the loft of a gardenless flat.  That's how much I miss having dirt to play in. 
      • So many books.  I didn't bring this many with me.  Have I really bought so many? 
      • Dear everyone: I have some great postcards/greeting cards/letters but I am a whore for them.  Keep em coming! 
      • That drawer containing all the papers I will one day have to deal with is getting terrifyingly full. 
      • Tidying a room really doesn't take that long.  why am i such a bitch about getting it done? It feels so good to have it sorted out! 
      • Fitted sheets can go to hell.  Sorry, E.  I know you tried. :( 




      Monday, August 22, 2011

      Monday, Monday

      Three reasons today was fab:

      Leisurely morning- I woke up at 6:30 this morning and decided I was going to stay up.  I threw in a load of laundry, worked out, showered, fixed up my bike, and left for the day feeling all sorts of productive.

      RAE!!!! - FINALLY back on the road!!!  Oh how fabulous it felt to have my commute back.  No trains to depend on.  No sweaty people to avoid squishing up against.  No moments spent avoiding eye contact with people you are watching.  Just a lovely breeze on my face while I re-familiarized myself with London above-ground.  Splendid.

      Ratatouille - (No, Mr. Dog, not the movie).  The actual delicious dish.  While I chatted with my favorite DC-er, I whipped up a batch and boy was it tasty.


      Not bad for a Monday!

      My Flatmate Rocks

      The first email I opened this morning had this, sent by my kick ass flatmate:

      http://gregnorton.tumblr.com/post/9020953229/brilliance

      Sunday, August 21, 2011

      My Weekend

      I've been reading some old posts today and forgot how many cool things have happened in the past year.  I intended to write a One Year Anniversary post but was too busy eating cookie dough and watching movies with the gang to get around to it.  Perhaps that will happen shortly.  Refreshing my memory has made me realize how great it is to document the little things.  Yesterday was fantastic and I don't want to forget it so I'll give you the highlights.

      Saturday, August 20, 2011

      Fleurs!

      It's been a while since I posted some recent flower pics.  How I do love them. :)



      Chelsea Physic Garden


      You'll Be Glad to Know!

      The man, who I somehow summoned into existence from my urgent need for fresh, handmade ice cream last year at the Thames Festival, is still wandering the earth, dishing out his creamy goodness.  In a strictly professional way, of course! 

      When he appeared last year at the exact moment I voiced my need for real ice cream, I smiled at how well London takes care of its own.  




      When he emerged through the trees in Battersea Park right at dessert time after our picnic, I fell in love with this city even more.  


      Thank you, London, for your fantastic surprises and frequent treats! 

      Friday, August 19, 2011

      It's the First Step that Counts

      "He watched it warily, as if it were an enemy that was trying to entice him again into a war that he had renounced.  Even in the dim, familiar quiet of the library, in an empty carrel that he found hidden in the lower depths of the stacks, he had a hard time making himself look at the pages he carried with him.  He opened other books and read paragraphs at random; he sat still, inhaling the musty odor that came from the old books.  Finally he sighed; unable to put it off any longer, he opened the folder and glanced hastily at the first pages."
                                           

      Monday, August 15, 2011

      Dear NB@C

      I miss you!!!   I have so many posts to put up about this summer and all my travels.  Essentially I had the best summer anyone has ever had in the history of ever.  Three of my favorite people were here (and a fourth was here in spirit and most of our conversations) for many weeks.  We traveled to Great Missenden, Brighton, Edinburgh, and all over London but also spent many days at home, in pjs, eating cookie dough, watching movies and laughing from deep in our guts.  Absolutely splendid!

      I needed the revitalization more than I knew.  Having home come to London was so refreshing.  It also reminded me just how fantastic my friends really are.  Erin has the solutions to seemingly unsolvable life dilemmas.  Sara somehow manages to keep everything simple and easy.  And Alex helps us all gain weight but then is also capable of making us laugh the food back out of our mouths, chuckling until our sides ache, so maybe the calories in vs. calories out of being around him balances us out.  

      So three cheers for a splendiferous summer!!!!  Pics and posts to come!


      Friday, July 8, 2011

      Gilgamesh

      http://bit.ly/pAktYQ

      The Epic of Gilgamesh

      
      I started reading Gilgamesh a couple days ago in an effort to kill two goals with one read.  The text is one of the oldest writings known to exist (written - or rather pressed into clay slabs - around 2500 to 2000 BC) and was composed by the Sumerians.  It falls in both the MENA section of my Where the History Comes From project AND my list of books in the 30/30 list.  I have only read the first two tablets so far and am bringing the rest - in a paper format, far lighter than the originals - on the train to Great Missenden this weekend for our Roald Dahl museum trip.  I thought I'd share some historical context I came across in my other readings, as well as things I like about the text so far.  I will update after the weekend too. 

      Thursday, June 23, 2011

      Learning for Learning's Sake

      Today I started reading up on some history.  As mentioned many times lately, my region of focus for July and August is the Middle East and North Africa.  I've, of course, had world history classes that taught me about the Fertile Crescent, the Nile River, Isis and Osiris, and the pyramids.  But even reading about things I supposedly know about, I have had a few ahhhhHA moments.  These may have been things I knew before and forgot or things that I really either never put together or just never came across.  Either way they make my brain make that awesome clicking sound I love so much.  So I wanted to share some things I learned today:

      http://www.kidspast.com/images/fertile-crescent.jpg

      Wednesday, June 22, 2011

      MENA

      Section 1 for Where the History Comes From:  Middle East and North Africa.

      I chose this region to be first because, well, it was first.  At least my limited knowledge of the world and all that seems to suggest that perhaps the first people were found in Ethiopia (maybe not technically North Africa but still...) and that the Fertile Crescent and Egypt are the cradle of civilization.  So that is where I would like to begin.  Conveniently, not only is the history deep and fascinating, but once I reach current events there is a lot to learn about as well.  Should be a fun two months :)

      In addition to the general history books I just received, I am going to ask around (aka ask you!) and do some research myself on books/documentaries/radio shows/museum exhibits/cultural events that I can leverage to get a rich learning experience.  The first one I received is Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade.

      If you know of any good sources or events please comment!!!

      PS Here are the countries I am including in this list:

      Algeria
      Armenia
      Azerbaijan
      Bahrain
      Cyprus
      Djibouti
      Egypt
      Iran
      Iraq
      Israel
      Jordan
      Kuwait
      Lebanon
      Libya
      Malta
      Mauritania
      Morocco
      Oman
      Palestinian Territories
      Qatar
      Saudi Arabia
      Somalia
      Sudan
      Syria
      Tunisia
      Turkey
      United Arab Emirates
      Yemen

      Books!

      My books came today!!!  So I can get started on the Where the History Comes From (part of my 30/30).

      I received:

      A People's History of the World by Howard Zinn

      World History for Dummies by Peter Haugen

      A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich

      and

      A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (this one is actually about the history of science, not political)

      I will have to strategize the process as I want to focus on one region at a time but yet also want to have some kind of chronological thread to tie things together.  Basically I will have to just roll with it and figure out what makes sense.  But they are here so I can get started!!!!

      Sunday, June 19, 2011

      I Knew You Were Bluffing!! I Knew He Was....Bluffing...

      This is a real book?  (From the sound of it you should have strong opinions about it either way).  I have a suggestion: how about you read the book or perhaps ask questions about it from those who have.  You might learn something interesting if you stop pretending to know and actually acquire the knowledge.*

      PS - Isn't this an Onion news piece?  (If something is not onion-y is it UNiony?)

      PPS - Doesn't Ira have something to say about this phenomenon??

      *(should any fans of Laurel & Hardy be reading this, drunken confusion does not count as intellectual bluffing) 

      Bed of Books

      Today is cleaning day. Why, you ask?  Well I shall tell you!  Erin will be here in one week!!!!!  Woooooot!!!!   So I am getting my shit in order to ensure we can maximize the time she's here (also my room is a crazy, freaky mess to the point where I am sure my mom in Atlanta is losing sleep over it).  I'm rocking out to some party tunes and trying to get things done in time to go to the ultimate Sunday party destination.  The Church.  Today is a toga party and that sound like a fucking good time!  Plus it's on my 30/30 list.  Got to get this stuff sorted first though.  But just so you don't think I am all party and no study I will say that I am cleaning all the crap off my bed and amongst the many things piled on it (again, don't tell my mom this, please) are the following books:


      • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (I love this book so much!)
      • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (book club book for the 28th that I haven't started in a real way yet.  Shit.  I have to crank that puppy out!!) 
      • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (read this on our Cornwall extravaganza
      • 1000 Things to do in London by Time Out
      • The Kindness of Strangers by Kate Adie (she's amazing!) 
      • British Maps and Map-Makers by Edward Lynam (I love maps.  I carry my A to Z pretty much everywhere and have maps on my wall marking where I've been - which I just realized I have never posted about but will now...) 
      • 2011 Road Atlas: Britain - again from the Cornwall trip
      • English History made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable by Lacey Baldwin Smith



       

      Where the History Comes From

      My 30/30 list is nearly complete.  I am rounding it out with a section on general knowledge as I constantly feel that the more I know, the less I know.  Game Plan: spend a year (plus a little) studying up on general history, philosophy, religion, politics, art, literature, etc of the world by breaking it into two month segments as follows:
        • July/August - Middle East & North Africa
        • September/October - Asia 
        • November/December - Europe & Central Asia
        • January/February - Africa 
        • March/April - South & Central America
        • May/June - Australia & New Zealand
        • July/August - North America

      Friday, June 10, 2011

      An Apple a Day

      I think I just made a guy throw up in his mouth a little bit and not in a good way.  I was waiting for the toilet (I know it is base and crude and awful but that's what they say here) and eventually the guy in there walked out and took a seat.  I went in and noticed a bag on the floor indicating a freshly-picked Apple product.  Smaller than a breadbox, heavier than a pound of butter the only obvious thing it could be was a brand spanking new iPad.  I took it out to him and when he realized he left it in the toilet (again, not the actual toilet) he lost his breath a little.  I felt in a way that I had hurt him by returning it; so panicked was his reaction.  It's like those times you freak out and get anxious about what could have possibly happened but aren't quite to the point where you can tell yourself, "wait self, my iPad wasn't stolen from the bathroom where I accidentally left it, I do, in fact, have in my hand the £500+ piece of equipment I purchased no less than an hour ago."

      Not Sure If I Should Be Proud or Offended


      "The influence which the bigotry of one female, [6] the petulance of another, [7] and the cabals of a third, [8] had in the contemporary policy, ferments, and pacifications, of a considerable part of Europe, are topics that have been too often descanted upon not to be generally known."


      ~Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

      Monday, May 30, 2011

      30/30 Vision

       ~ 30 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 30 ~
      (In progress...and probably will be until Feb 20th, 2013)

      ~Travels~

      1. Thailand
      2. Australia
      3. Croatia
      4. Backpack in England
      5. Cycle Loire Valley

      Sunday, May 29, 2011

      What Would Ulysses Do?

      From the The Harry Ekman Gallery, date and title unknown
      I am in the process of compiling a list of 30 Things I Will Do Before Turning 30.  The big day is still one year and nine months away but as some of them will take a bit of time to plan, save for, or get in shape for I think it's as good a time as any to start.  The full list will be published shortly (though perhaps with minor edits for public viewability) but one big challenge has just gotten bigger.

      Friday, May 27, 2011

      xkcd.com is my hero

      xkcd.com is easily one of the top one funniest things on the internet.  There is a reason it is first on my google reader.  Awesome!  Check it out!  Now!   

      In no particular order, here are my favorite from the last couple of months.  

      http://xkcd.com/879/

      Sunday, May 22, 2011

      Rub a Dub Pub

      (updated May 22nd, 2011)

      I have a vision of taking pictures of the pubs I go to while I'm here and keeping them all on one blog post so I have a huge list by the end. I know I will miss a few but it'll be fun to see how many I can get. For example, two of these pics I had to lift from their websites (The Camden Head and The Sun in Splendor). I could go back and take my own and may do so since they are in common places but I'll use these for now. I will build a link into the address should you want to see it on a map and, where possible, a link to the pub's page built into the name.

      Come What May

      Somehow it has been a month again.  How does that happen?!  The last few weeks saw me finish up the term (with good grades even), read a few novels, meet some new friends, spend time with some old ones, and successfully navigate a whirlwind tour of southwest Britain.  The following is a brief overview of the latter.  I would think of this as a random sampling rather than a proper narrative.  In no particular order, let me present our British Road Trip!  (click photos for larger versions)

      The old library in Cardiff hosts an exhibition with two parts: an historic overview of the city and a selection of contemporary art by locals.  This graphic summed up the city for me really well.  I didn't expect to like Cardiff as much as I did, but the people were so friendly and the atmosphere so lively that it really grew on me.  Definitely recommend a visit.  

      Sunday, April 24, 2011

      I Don't Have to Say the Song Title for You to Get it Stuck in Your Head

      The world is small tiny.

      Proof?

      I went to see my family today for the Easter celebrations.  We enjoyed an amazing home-cooked meal, the sun, and pleasant conversation for the afternoon.  Absolutely splendid.  After our tea, Doug was talking about his brothers recent visit from Japan.  His band is currently doing a European tour and stopped to stay with Doug et al.  After telling us the stories of watching their gig in Brighton, he pulled out a camera to show us photos of the band.  The second I saw the photo I knew exactly where two of those band members had been at 7:15 the evening before.  On Marylebone High Street asking me for directions to Great Portland Street station.  Crazy? Yes.  Improbable?  Yes.  The story of my life in London?  Most definitely.

      Tuesday, April 19, 2011

      Today

      6:30  wake up and make a delicious breakfast and prepare my dinner (lunch was prepped last night)
      7:15  leave the house and cycle to school/gym
      8:00-9:00  workout so hard my whole body is completely exhausted and yet somehow energized 
      9:00-9:20  shower and get ready for the day
      9:30-10:30 prepare a presentation for class
      10:30-11:30  read Robinson Crusoe on a bench in the sun (at least 70 degrees today) at Regent's Park
      11:30 fall asleep reading in the park 
      12:30 wake up and force myself to go indoors and get mentally ready for class
      1:00 arrive at class for prof to explain that today is far to gorgeous to waste indoors so let's head out for the second half at 3:00
      3:00-5:00 settle into a cozy little outdoor space and discuss human rights law with the sun on our back and a gentle breeze floating pink petals all around us
      5:00 discuss with prof my interest in doing a thesis on human rights and have him tell me he would be happy to be my advisor
      5:15 meet up with friends at KFC and eat the previously mentioned pre-packed dinner instead of ordering a Zinger (even though I LOVE them and they aren't available in the states anymore and I had no idea until today they are here) - success!
      5:45-6:30 walk through Regent's Park with friends and take in the sun, the breeze, the trees and the life
      6:45-9:00 meet with strangers to have an in-depth discussion about Frankenstein
      9:00-9:30 cycle home

      A pretty fantastic day!!!


      Sunday, April 17, 2011

      I Have to Write Things Down

      While struggling with the title for this post, I decided I would jump straight into the meat of it and a title would come.  I cracked open Norwegian Wood and the first underlined passage sums me up completely, "I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them."  I carry a notebook with me at all times because when an idea comes to mind about ANYthing in my life, I have to write it out to capture it.  Not only because many times I won't remember and it annoys me later, but the act of writing itself seems to unleash my creative thought process in a way that nothing else does.

      During the most tumultuous times in my life, writing is the only thing that keeps me centered.  I can have a thought rattle around in my brain for days and days without any resolution, but somehow a pen can draw the thought from my mind and onto paper where I can see it for what it really is.  This is yet another reason why I have been sad not to blog for such a long time.  I have two notebooks worth of things I'd like to write about.  So to kick off the writing season again I want to share some words from writers far better than myself.

      As mentioned in a previous post, I joined two book clubs recently.  The first one met last Tuesday to discuss Coconut Unlimited.  The second will meet this Tuesday to review Frankenstein.  During the month I also read Norwegian Wood and The Book Thief.  I wanted to share the lines that, in the words of SBS, speak to me.        


      Thursday, April 14, 2011

      Crazy Busy Defined

      Ok, I've been awful about writing.  I have a whole notebook of things to tell you about but just never get time.  As a catchup (and attempt at sympathy from my devoted readers who have had to go without for a long long time) I will tell you that in the last four weeks I have:
      • been working 18-20 crazy-busy hours a week at my Human Rights Watch internship which is awesome and amazing and everything I would ever have wanted from the internship experience.  They are so great to work with and the organization is exactly the kind of place I would love to be when I am done with school.
      • Read Norwegian Wood
      • Read The Book Thief
      • Read Coconut Unlimited
      • Read half of Frankenstein (the second half for this weekend). 
      • Joined two book clubs - hence all the reading - to meet some new people in the city.
      • Went on a day long walking tour with Cam to show him the sights of London
      • Cycled at least 260 miles, but probably closer to 275 - that's just in commuting during the week, not including the weekends of wandering and meeting up with friends (I haven't added that up before but holy crap!  That is a lot of miles!!!!) 
      • Completed three days of The Greatest Contest in the History of the World.  The first two days were strong but yesterday was rough.  Today has turned that around though and I am back on track to win this thing!!!!!
      • OHHH and school!!!  I am also a grad student taking two classes and working on papers and thesis ideas and presentations etc. 
        • Eight hours of class a week (I know, I have that part super easy) 
        • An all day workshop for our development class on one of the sunniest saturdays in a long time.  I did enjoy it though.  Very informative and interesting. 
      • The remainder of this week will consist of...
        • writing a 3000 word paper for International Law
        • Finishing Frankenstein - READ THIS BOOK if you haven't already.  It's unbelievable!!!  And the story behind it's creation is as interesting as its story of creation (see what I did there?  I blew your mind!)
        • Kicking ass at The Greatest Contest in the History of the World!!!
      • AND somehow have managed to have somewhat of a social life, including:
        • a kick-ass picnic in the park with Aby
        • breakfast in the park with Tom
        • a meatloaf dinner with both of them
        • a day of reading in the sun at Golder's Hill Park - ok ok, I might have taken breaks here and there to check out the hot guys reading books near me but I didn't get any photos, or find a way to chat with them unfortunately (side note: what if there was a barefoot, hot guy reading a book while wearing a nerd fitness shirt, with his sexy bike parked next to him, and maybe a little scruff going on?!  That would be possibly the hottest thing ever :)
        • basically a lot of park action because it has been GORGEOUS weather!!!
        • dinner at Wahaca and a Doug Stanhope show with Cathy and Doug.  Mmmmmm Wahaca.......soooooooo tasty.  And Doug Stanhope is quite hilarious. 
        • a wander through the Evolving English exhibit on its last day at the British Library
        • official confirmation that TWO of my favorite people in the world will be here for almost the ENTIRE month of JULY!!!!  BIG NEWS FOLKS!!!!
        • deciding to let London Noelle out of the bag officially.  She's gotten kind of bossy about things lately so yeah the results being: hair is down and curly, dresses are out and confidence is be faked until maked lol
      SO that's my life in London!!!  Apologies not to keep you in the loop along the way but as you can see I've been living a lot of life the last few weeks.  Good news though!  Classes are done May 3rd!!!  Hopefully a good friend will be here right after that so we can do a celebratory road trip for my week off and see some country (and perhaps an island).  What this means for NotBornatChristmas is that I will be not only able to write but able to write longer than three sentences here and there AND that I will have new adventures to tell you about and pictures to show you.  Twenty more days!!!!

      Thursday, March 31, 2011

      Lightening

      Sometimes when I study my mind explodes in a frenzy of clicks; linking together what I read with what I've always considered underlying truths.  It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, my views of the world do have some relevance.  I just need to hear other people articulate them, validate them, and it propels me into a new realm where I can see a lifetime of connections and feel that fantastic momentum of unfolding enlightenment.  Beyond a simple lightbulb, my realization is a crack of lightening.  The thoughts branch and arc and link, feeding each other, sizzling with excitement.  And in an instant they fade.  Striving to ensure the permanence of such ephemeral revelations, my notebook becomes a spiderweb of scrawls and scratches as I try to pin down the wisps of interlinking thoughts.  My only hope is to have a pen on hand at that exact moment.  Today I succeeded.

      Sunday, March 27, 2011

      Dear Tequila:

      I need to make one thing VERY clear.  Last night meant nothing to me.  It was a one time thing.  It's not happening again and it certainly doesn't mean that we can be friends.

      Noelle

      Saturday, March 26, 2011

      Translation

      "The most effective form of law enforcement is not the imposition of external sanctions, but the inculcation of internal obedience."

      AKA The fanciest way of saying "...those who did it know their blame and I'm sure that the guilt you feel is far worse than any punishment you might receive.  Now don't you feel terrible?  Don't you feel remorse for what you have done?"

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      I can't believe it has been a month since I have had the time to properly write.  Not ok.  I have sat down so many times to chat about life, the universe, and everything only to get pulled away to work on something for school or my internship or whatever.  I don't want to only write token bits and pieces so I find myself needing some real time to write and it just hasn't been happening.

      Since I last wrote, I....

      Important Question

      At what point does the number of loyalty cards in your wallet prove disloyalty?

      Sunday, March 20, 2011

      Dear Everyone:

      I don't know how to explain just how busy it's been since I landed back in London.  I promise that after Wednesday I will be able to get back to writing.  Oh, how I've missed it!!!  I would say I've missed you too but I saw a lot of you in person last fortnight (is that a phrase?  I'm going to go with it) and that was awesome!  For those of you I haven't seen in a long while (and everyone else too) , please write me an email/postcard/letter/message in a bottle and tell me all your news!

      Sunday, February 27, 2011

      Books

      I have yet to post about my love for books.  The problem lies not in my lack of words on the subject but rather in the overabundance of them.  I can't seem to find the time to write out a comprehensive description of why I love them.  For my papers this term I have been writing a lot about the destruction of books (a topic suggested by a fellow bibliophile).  The history of book burning and the systematic destruction of books is fascinating (so much so that I get carried away by reading as the hours pass by in a flash leaving me with less time to write my paper and more books added to my reading list).  Suffice to say I should be writing for school at this moment and not on here so I will leave you with a quote I just came across and enjoyed:

      "Of all man's instruments, the most astonishing is, without any doubt, the book.  The others are extensions of his body.  The microscope, the telescope, are extensions of his eyes; the telephone an extension of his voice; then we have the plow and the sword, extensions of his arm.  But the book is something else; the book is an extension of memory and imagination"
      ~Jorge Luis Borges

      Thursday, February 24, 2011

      Flower Power

      For my birthday Aby is giving me a plant.  She knows me well!  I love plants and flowers :)

      My current plant collection

      Gardens I like 

      The gardens I walk through frequently

      Today when I walked out of school, this was what I saw across the road...soooo beautiful and so refreshing to see life coming around again!


      Wandering through the gardens and estates in England is so much fun.  Even more so when I go with people who know all about them so I can learn the names and the families and all that fun stuff.  Go plants!!!!

      Wednesday, February 23, 2011

      Spreadsheets!

      I don't know how to expand on this love without a) boring you or b) going one giant leap beyond the current level of nerdery on here.  So let's just say, I really love spreadsheets.  I love learning new formulas, messing with macros, and spending hours on formatting.

      If these don't get your (creative) juices flowing I don't know what possibly could!!!



       

      Tuesday, February 15, 2011

      Catch Up

      I feel bad for getting behind so much on my I Love theme for the month so I feel obligated to tell you what has been going on that has prevented me from keeping more up to date with you.  Normally I try not to make my posts be a more tame, internet-friendly version of a journal entry but it might sound a little like that.  Hopefully I can keep it brief :)

      Monday, February 14, 2011

      I Heart Nerds!


      I really do.  Perhaps it ties to my love of books, literature and words.  Perhaps it is because nerds often don't realize how cool they are which makes them even cooler.  Perhaps it is because I was raised by two big nerds (one a book nerd and one a number nerd).  Whatever the reason, I find myself happiest when I spend time discussing books (from Gaiman to Flaubert), playing video games, debating the issues in the latest copy of the Economist, sharing new and exciting excel formulas, or participating in the world's most epic word game (involving disgusting amount of puns and inside jokes) with nerds.