"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nocturnal 'Nanigans

For some reason I just felt very strongly that this post needed an alliterative title, but I could not think of a good "N" word that could express the idea of "very unexpected happenings that were quite entertaining and not exactly in accordance with the Miss Manner's expectations placed upon a young lady" or something like that. So I figured "Shenanigans" was the closest I would get so I could just use the lovely "put an ' before it trick."

And when I said "For some reason" I REALLY meant: "For the very specific reason that I love a poem by Anne Finch called 'Nocturnal Reverie' and I do realize that the title is not alliterative, but I still wanted MY title to be." So there.

Now for the shenanigans part.

It all started Monday night. I went to FHE (for the first time in maybe longer than I should admit- don't tell!) and we were having a little White Elephant Exchange. I just realized that I don't know how to say "elephant" in italian and that is a serious travesty. Anyway, using my "feminine wiles" which roughly translated means, "Using my skills of treachery, deceit, and extortion" I managed to secure myself a snuggie. Oh baby. It was actually kind of ironic because the day before I was reading and my arms were really cold and I thought about how nice it would be to have a snuggie and BOOM. Snuggie for Tara. Actually, am I even typing with my snuggie right now? I wish I could answer that in the affirmative, but I just got out of the shower and I am pretty toasty, so a snuggie is not needed at present. But I will keep you updated. It is sitting by me though, hand reach away, just in case.

After FHE, like the dutiful students we sometimes pretend to be, Kathryn and I trudged (Yes, we TRUDGED. A slow, weary, yet determined walk... Name that movie!) to the library and after suffering through a few hours of the writing process, we decided it was break time.

Now an explanation is required here, a little background info, so you can be "in the know." Kat and I encountered an individual this year (who will remain nameless, genderless, indiscriminate etc so as to prevent this individual from being shunned or from feeling sheepish), and this genderless guy is just really hard to talk to. Like really. I like to think that I am not too boring, but this unidentified, and still genderless for the purposes of the story, dude always seemed like he was undergoing some form of the Chinese water torture every single time I tried to talk to him. Kathryn, and a few other select females, felt exactly the same. So we devised a little competition. Ice cream was owed to whichever individual could get this fellow (ok yeah, I am going to quit with the pretense of keeping the gender a secret) to talk with them for more than eight minutes. Harder than you might think. But I found an opportunity and found out a lot more about this person's background than I ever wanted and thus, I earned the ice cream. Clocked in at twelve minutes, just in case you were wondering. Above and beyond the call of duty.

So Kat and I decided that this break should be an ice cream break, but the only ice cream in the vicinity was at the Creamery and it was due to close at eleven and it was, at the time, just a little before eleven. We started shoving our school junk into our backpacks and made like freshmen back to the Heritage area and the mothership (Creamery) and we got our ice cream.

As if we could even HANDLE anymore excitement for the night, we took a "shortcut" home and ended up in a fenced-in construction site with one option before us. Ok, we could have come back the way we came, but it was so far, so we had one viable option. That involved hopping a fence. With backpacks and stuff. Kat was also maybe in a skirt, but that might not be the truth. We owned that sucker. With backpacks on.

Which brings us to TUESDAY night. I was once again, spending a late night at the library. It was 11:19 when I left the library and it was dark and cold and the weight of my backpack was even more burdensome because I couldn't quite finish off my paper. I was one crosswalk away from my apartment and there were no cars in the vicinity so I started to cross when all of a sudden this car appears suddenly. They were still a little bit away, but they were going wayyyy faster than the speed limit and they were not slowing down even though I was very clearly still going to be in their way when they got to my crosswalk. Though my initial instinct might have been to just let the car take me (just kidding- geez!) I scurried (and yes, I literally had to scurry) out of the way and offered the boy scout salute. The three fingers that could also be read as "Read between the lines." But in the dark and in a quick motion it might have just looked more like one, big, loud, finger. Tehehehe. For this action, I got honked at. It was worth it.

Are you even ready for Wednesday night?! Most exciting night yet. In Siena, Italy there is this glorious and grand horse race called the Palio. Look it up. There are some awesome youtube videos on the subject. But it is basically Italy's version of the running of the bulls. But obviously cooler. I am part of the Istrice contrada. We ARE the porcupines! Instead of real horses, we have classmates masquerade as horses with other classmates on their backs. It is great fun. There are many fun traditions also associated with the Palio, like the parade of contrade beforehand and such, and there are awesome italian dishes etc. Naturally, we had matching "Istrice" shirts and such and all of our practicing paid off (and yes, we really did devote some time during class to practice) and we are the victors for this semester's Palio. Did I mention we also won last semester?? Yep. I believe MC Hammer actually wrote a song about us entitled "Too legit to Quit" or something like that.

I also finished my third to last paper of the semester. No laughing matter. And yes, I am currently procrastinating the writing of the other two (even though one of them I really am almost done with, just can't quite finish it off). Thanks for asking.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A London Day

As I was thinking about my day and all of the awesomeness that it was, I had the realization that it was a "London Day." Why is that, you ask? Well, let me explain.

When I was in London, every single day was filled with adventure after adventure and I got to hang out with really awesome people all the time and I had fun and learned. That is a London day. Awesome people. Awesome activities. No time to think about how tired you are. No desire to think about the things that you "really should be doing." No desire to actually DO the things that you "really should be doing." So, basically, just a fun-filled day.

(Also, I would just like to say that it is pretty late and I didn't write a paper that I should have and because of that I am suffering when it comes to proper usage of the English language, so I apologize if there are any sentences that contain egregious errors).

The surprising thing about THE day, the infamous day (and in this instance we are going with the definition provided by Ned Nederlander that infamous means "more than famous"), is that it started out as an ordinary day, one might even use the term boring to describe the projected outcome for the day. I only had one set activity for the day and then a very lengthy list of things that I ought to do.

I started off decently on the things I should be doing list. I went to the temple and it was nice, a little crowded even for a Saturday. Then I went to the gym. That is when I should have maybe started picking up on the hint that the day was going to be good because the movie "Life As We Know It" was on. And that movie is funny. I like funny.

A little after the whole sweating and panting thing, I went home and showered like some people sometimes do after gym time. Then I received a phone call from a dear friend inviting Kathryn (my roommate) and I to a Vocal Point concert. We happily, cluelesslly for me, accepted the invitation and prepared ourselves.

I will confess I have never heard Vocal Point and if I am being perfectly honest, I just figured they were overhyped, overrated, whatever singers. I sat next to a guy in my New Testament class who was in the group and I never thought too much about it.

Um.... I was wrong. They were brilliant. Beyond brilliant really. I was amazed. And wildly entertained. Desperately swooning. I know the short, clipped phrases are probably starting to get old, but honestly, I was so blown away that I feel they adequately express (and perhaps mirror) my heart as it continuously stopped because it was so amazing. I want to marry Vocal Point. (Note: You might have noticed that I did not narrow out a specific singer from the group and that is because I would marry any of them. I would say all, but we LDS people already have a hard time disassociating ourselves with the whole polygamy thing...).

The only bad part about the concert was that it made me late to my LATIN DANCING LESSON. Yes, just in case you couldn't quite see the bolded type, let me reiterate. LATIN DANCING LESSON. What?! Yeah, baby.

Just a little background to this... recently in my singles ward we had a Service Auction. People donated cans of food and the grams of protein in the cans gave them a certain amount of points. People also donated "services" and other things and with their can points, people could bid on services. So people donated things like, "Do two loads of laundry" or "Make dinner for an apartment" or other such cute things. One of the services donated was "Two latin dancing lessons." Luckily, I was the auctioneer person (Vanna-style of course!) and so when this treasure of a service item appeared I made sure to speed up the whole process of "going-going-gone... SOLD!" to the lady in the sequins. (I was wearing sequins at the time).

So I go over to my latin dance instructor's apartment and we cleared the dance space. (*giggle* *tehehehehe*). He taught me four basic latin dances and then we worked on them. It was so much fun and though I might have been appallingly bad, he was very kind and encouraging. And it was pretty much just like the best thing ever. Heaven.

You are probably thinking by now that I have had so much fun that I should probably save some for other people. Or perhaps crawl into my bed to recover? Or maybe even actually buckle down and do those things on that dratted to-do list. But did I? NO! No I didn't.

I went to Timpview High School and saw "Thoroughly Modern Millie." And it was delightful. Also really fitting with the whole "London day" thing because the best way to end your day in London was to go see a play! Millie was incredible and it was really fun to see all of the people from my home ward in the play. They were all wonderful. I also always love seeing my old choir teacher and drama teacher (Mr. Larson and Mr. Brower, respectively), they are very talented men and I was quite lucky to get to work with them in my past. Kathryn had to put up with my reminsicings about ol' times and popping out of the trapdoor and such. Good times.

Then. If you can even handle it, I will tell you what happened next. We got in the car and Adele's "Someone Like You" was on the radio. Not just once, but twice. One right after the other. Different stations, of course, but the perfect song to pour-our-souls-out-in-song-to. And oh did we ever. Both times.

In the London days, when we went to see a play we always went and got some gelato or ice cream or something to end with (who am i kidding- we did that not just when we saw plays...oopsie). So to keep with the tradition, I went with a friend in the ward to get some ice cream. Or I guess technically it was a "malt" from the Malt Shoppe. Peanut Butter. Yummy.

Did I do write my paper? Maybe not... Did I learn the new Italian tense I intended to? Maybe not so much... Did I have a ridiculously awesome day that reminded me of my London days? YES. Did I do anything that wasn't at a high level of awesome? NOPE. That is what I'm talking about. A little taste of London in Provo. It can happen.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Last year I lived at an apartment complex called Heather Cove and I thought the location was pretty good. Obviously not as close as the dorms, but not bad. But one thing you could not escape was walking up the stairs. Not just normal stairs either. Stairs that are too close together to take normal, human steps but also stairs that were too far apart for short-legged-ones like me to successfully take them two at a time. I use the word "successfully" because it was possible, but then you just ended up looking like you were trying to go all "King Kong" on a local village. I guess this idea of "king-konging" it to class could lead to a debate over what your idea of successful is, but mine would probably not include savaging the natives and swatting helicopters out of the sky, at the very least because I hate being late to class and acts of savagery do take time. I usually save my King Kong reinactments for the weekends and on the way home from class. More time to really get into character, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I even branch out in my acting skills a little and try my hand (or claws) at doing my best "Jurassic Park" impersonation. (Now here you should be thinking Michael Caine, "I haven't seen a walk like that since Jurassic Park!"). But I digress. (The word "digress" always makes me think of Dostoevsky and The House of the Dead, just fyi).

I don't really digress though, because as I walked up these stairs day after day I had a lot of time to think about such things. Thoughts like, "I really shouldn't be doing this in a skirt" or "Remember that one scene with the velociraptor" and more frequently "Oh good, I can hear them panting too."

This year I live at a different complex that advertised with the slogan "Your walk to campus could start here!" Coincidence that we chose it? I think not! Even though the walk time is considerably lessened, well, at least a few minutes... There is still no avoiding the stairs.

It has been a goal of mine to count these stairs and you might be musing at the fact that it took me until halfway through the semester to accomplish this task, but it is only because the above thoughts are so distracting. Or other thoughts... such as:

"1-2-3-4--Oh! Look at that bug!" oops. "23-24-25....33-- please don't stop to talk- please don't stop to talk! Try and look busy, focus on the railing! oh good! He didn't see me" yeah, I can be a jerk when I pant up the stairs. Or occasionally you encounter the super cool BYU student: "104-105-106- Do you think he realizes we can hear him singing? How could he not realize? Do you think he knows that kind of behavior isn't normal? Maybe I should tell him... Dangit he made me lose count!" Or occasionaly envy gets in the way, "75-76-- goodness she is just hauling up those suckers. She would. Oh yeah, sure, just stop and have a nice breathful conversation with the hot guy. I'll just be back here." And then of course "102-103-- RAWR (other incoherent roars and slashing sounds) *Pause to pound fists on chest*"

So as you might imagine, it took me a significant amount of time to successfully count the 147 stairs to campus. Yep. 147. If you think 147 isn't a lot, you go climb them. Don't forget your backpack of bricks, because let me tell you, that will hinder your walking rate. I almost had to count them again because I couldn't remember how many there were. But luckily I remember thinking "sort of like 76 trombones, but not. Oh! 147!" Now you are going to go out and count them yourself because you no longer trust me. Wise of you.

You get the idea. One morning I happened to leave my apartment a few minutes later than I usually do and because of this I ran into people I know. Usually I like people. But there are times when I really don't. I would like to say that this was just a "one morning thing" but it is usually just every morning. I like my peaceful walk in semi-darkness up to the library. I enjoy being able to fake-shoot the happy, chirpy birds in solitude. I like being able to trudge (yes- thing "Knight's Tale"- a slow, weary, yet determined walk) up at whatever pace I want.

So these people, had the misfortune, my misfortune really, of encountering me on my walk. But they all were going to class. So no trudging for them. They had to King-Kong-it up to campus. Does anybody foresee the problem? I did. I really did. Ten steps in, "So, how you doin?" "Ope, you know, just great.... (quick gasp) You?" "Some super clever comment about their life" (me catching a well-timed breath so that I can answer smoothly) "short, clipped comment, open-ended question to keep them talking?"

Did I mention that these people took the stairs two at a time?? Yeah.

I don't leave late anymore.

And now that I have sufficiently rambled about the stairs and eliminated the later option of "blogging as a form of procrastination" I bid you all a happy, stair-free weekend.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Public Humiliation

I was just publicly humiliated. Correction: I just publicly humiliated myself. So did this other boy, but I am not sure he had enough awareness to know that he was. Publicly humiliating himself, that is.

The boy, and I use the term boy here, because he was brushing his teeth (pause for anticipation) in the DRINKING FOUNTAIN. For reals. So beyond gross. I was so stunned that I said, "Well, this is a first for me" and he spittingly (because he had toothpaste in his mouth) responded, "What, you don't often see people brushing their teeth in the drinking fountain?" Quite a lengthy response for someone with toothpaste in their mouth. And I casually responded, "Nope. Can't say that I do." When I really wanted to say, "Nope, most likely because it is mildly, actually monumentally, repulsive." But he apparently thinks that is "normal."

Now on to my own bout of pariahhood. I was in my New Testament class and I got singled out to say the prayer. I tried to reassure myself, "it's just a prayer, you do this all the time, no big deal." But then I remembered that the person saying the prayer is required to introduce themselves. I don't usually have a problem with things like this, but the lack of preparation time just really threw me off. I also don't usually blush, but I'm pretty sure my face was bright red. Way to stay cool, Tara. Not.

So this is where the problem started. I got up, said hastily, "I'm Tara and I'm an English teaching major" then went to the praying position to indicate that this was over. But it wasn't. Far from over, really. The professor insists I give a little more information and then prompts me by asking where I'm from. Then came the inevitable T-bird or Bulldog question. (Cue lame hand motions in shape of t-bird, lamely supplied by me). Then the lovely man opens it up for questions. Seriously? Seriously. Question and answer time with Tara. Meanwhile, I am assuming the prayer position, hoping against hope that people will be discouraged. But alas, twas not so.

First kid (future rocket scientist)- "So, uh, what's your favorite color?" Are we in first grade here junior? Apparently. This seemingly simple question proved my downfall. A little background information is required here. One of my all-time favorite literary characters is Miss Havisham (name that classic Dickens novel?!) and she was quite an inspiring character for me. Come on, you can't beat the whole "I have a heart that beats, but not that loves" training she foisted on her eager pupil. Because of Miss Havisham, I have always insisted that black is my favorite color because it's the "color of my heart." Background information covered, back to class.

The color question really threw me and my instincts kicked in and I responded with the usual response "Black." Luckily, I had the presence of mind to not include the "because it's the color of my heart." Religion professors might not love that. Then some other smart alecky kid pipes in "uh, you do realize, that, uh, black is the absence of color." "Yes, thank you, I only get that every single time I answer this question" but I spared them the Miss Havisham story.

Next question from kid in purple shirt, "So uh, what do you, um, like to do for fun?" Fortunately, the professor at this point decided to step in before I could respond to questioner number two that I don't, in fact, have fun. Then I prayed and retreated back to my seat. And began to think about all of the ways being an English major has ruined me. I have accumulated quite a list so far, so that will probably be appearing sometime. Now I need to go find a hat or something to disguise myself. Excuse me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Knockout Punch

I have lost a few rounds... BUT I WON THIS ONE!!!!

So I know I have been AWOL (or perhaps MIA) from the blog scene for the last little bit... But today I have a blog-worthy post.

I will try to set the stage a little bit for you. My freshman year at BYU I often found myself studying at the Law Library (lovingly called the lawbrary), it had a nice atmosphere, was really close to the dorms etc. Then my sophomore year I found myself at the HBLL (Pronounced "H- bell" -BYU talk for Harold B. Lee Library), with a brief stint on the fourth floor, a little rendez-vous on the first and then I set up permanent residence in the Periodicals. This year, my junior year, I have maintained that residency and have even found myself the perfect table.

This table is far enough away from the front that tons of people don't walk by, but far enough away from the windows that I don't get distracted or daydream about rolling down the hill. I have a perfect view when the shelves move (it really is exciting) and basically it is just the best table.

So I thought I had pretty clearly marked my territory, if you will, but then one day, a day that will live in infamy (ok that might have been a bit dramatic), I was returning to my table after class and there was this guy there. I know. He was even in my exact seat. But it was a fairly crowded day, so I figured I would just let it pass this once and just join him at the table, which I did. He then tried to make some sort of small talk, which I ever-so-politely responded to with inarticulate mumblings and grunts, and I figured the next day all would go back to normal.

Oh was I wrong. Next day I show up first thing in the morning, some variation on "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" and the library was fairly empty (as it usually is in the morning) but MY table was not. Empty, that is. Aforementioned dude was totally at my table. Not cool.

So I had no other choice but to locate myself at the table right next to his (by "his" I really mean MINE), so that I could still glare at him. As you can imagine, this little "table war" has been going on for the last few weeks now. Sometimes I win, sometimes he does. Sometimes most of the tables will be empty except for MY table.

Yesterday was an all-time low when I got to the library even earlier than usual but he beat me to it. So I plopped down in the vicinity and he thought he would rub salt in the wound by "whispering" (I put it in quotes because it was like stage whispering- there was nothing quiet about it) with his little buddy.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to relinquish rights to the table, find a new place to call home and move on. Until this morning. I felt victorious enough to post a blog about it. I think I might have scared him away! (victory dance). Actually, there are only two other people here so I could probably do a silent VICTORY DANCE not in parenthesis, just go for it and they wouldn't even notice. Nobody is even here and best of all- HE ISN'T HERE. I GOT MY TABLE. Roundhouse kick to the face. Knockout punch.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Over and Out

You know, I hoped it wouldn't come to this. But I think it has. I regret to say (even though not really) that for the duration of my stay in England, I will most likely not post another blog. (Pause to anticipate the shocked and appalled gasp from my mother). Sorry Mum, still love you. My hours here are dwindling and I intend to use them well. If it makes you feel any better the list of things I won't be doing for the next few days includes the following:

1. Sleeping
2. Blogging
3. Hair (I will promise to wash it, just not much else)
4. Other things that waste time.... (very specific, I know)

Just a few things I WILL be doing:

1. Gino's
2. Gino's
3. Writing a talk
4. Preparing a lesson
5. Preparing a musical number
6. Putting into action 3, 4, & 5
7. Finishing up my last assignments (not that I haven't done those already, of course I didn't procrastinate...)
8. Gino's? (I mean I do have a punch card to fill up! So much pressure!)
9. Packing (that should be super fun, especially since I haven't purchased much- just kidding I'm just havin a laugh)
10. Last minute acquirements (a few Boost bars for the road, perhaps?)
11. Italy.

So now having said that, you won't be expecting anything from me and if I do put anything on the blog it is like me going above and beyond.

Keep calm and carry on. If I were less of a slacker you would know about my personal relationship with that phrase, but you don't, because I'm not. If I were less of a slacker you would also know that a phrase I love maybe even more than that is "You're havin a laugh." It can also be adapted to different situations, "They're havin a laugh" or "He's havin a laugh" etc etc. In American terms it is similar to the expression "You're kidding, right? There's no way THAT is happening." Love it.

But again, I wish you all the best and hope that you all keep calm and carry on.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tara Crossley-Holland

Ok, I promise, it is not what you think. I did not fall in love with someone with the last name of Crossley-Holland and I have not resorted to testing out my name with his. It is not like that.

To preface, in art I gave a presentation on the Rococo period a few weeks ago. I think I mentioned that briefly, but I may not have mentioned that I gave almost the entire presentation in a fake french (ish) accent. Or that I had an entirely original (at least I would imagine) pronunciation of the term "rococo." That being said, the class seemed to enjoy the presentation to some extent. I also showed a clip from "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and obviously that alone would make it the best presentation ever because who doesn't love Percy?!

Now to the real story. In English, I had a presentation on YA lit author Kevin Crossley-Holland. In preparing for this, I was feeling some pressure to give a delivery like I did for the Rococo presentation. I could not think of a single clever or humorous thing to do. What was I to do in such a predicament? Such a dilemma. But I finally decided to just go with the tried and trusted presentation tactic of "dress up like the person you are presenting as and have them come as a guest." So that is what I did, more or less. Without a Savers or DI close by, I did the best I could. Which involved large amount of baby powder. To whiten my hair, of course.

I whitened my hair, pulled it back in a bun, introduced myself as Kevin Crossley-Holland and gave a brief synopsis of my (his) life, all in accent of course. It took me a minute to work into a natural British accent with a hint of northern England. It got even trickier when I read an excerpt from my (his) book, The Bracelet of Bones, and had to be a British man reading the part of a Viking man. Things were getting complicated. It was a relief to turn the time back over to "Tara" for the remainder of the presentation.

Though, perhaps not quite "rococo" I think that I still managed not to disgrace myself entirely. Well, I guess that depends on your definition of "disgrace." In this instance it means, "to not give an entirely boring presentation on a boring author all while speaking in an accent." My Professor then later referred to me as "Tara Crossley-Holland." So at least he remembered who my author was!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dahncing Through Life

Nothing like having a holiday from your holiday! This weekend (free travel weekend) was awthum. We kicked it off by seeing "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Globe, which I mentioned in my last post. Did I mention I met Benedick? Ok, fine, I know I mentioned that, I'm still just really excited about that.

Thursday was Brighton Beach day. When I was running that morning I was getting pretty sweaty due to the heat, so we definitely picked a great beach day. Brighton is about an hour via train, so not too bad. But we got out of the train station and there is a really long street and you can see straight to the beach. As you might imagine we (Amy, Hannah, Emily, Jessica, Sarah and I) were all giggling like the schoolgirls we are.

The beach is not made up of sand, but of rocks. We were excited about the prospect of not having sand in everything! Obviously we took care of business first and rented our cute, legit, blue-striped beach chairs and then made a dash to test the water. FREEZING. So we decided we would wait to take the plunge. When we finally got to that point it was a pretty comical affair, some squeals were heard.

After spending some time laying out and enjoying the sun and The Graveyard Book, my then-current read for English, we decided to head over to the pier. But on the way over a few of us pitched in 50p to try some "jellied eel." An interesting experience. And by "interesting" I really mean "utterly repulsive." I may or may not have lost my jellied eel all over the beach. Right in front of an eating area. Bahahaha.

The pier was totally like you see in the movies! Apart from a creepy encounter with a henna-dude, it was an awesome experience. I went on this ride that takes you up super high and then swings you down and up again- it was super fun. Most importantly, I got a tan. So for all of you who were telling me I was going to come back super white... just kidding! I'm still going to come home super white.

Then Friday we got up bright and early and headed to the British Library. The tube was packed and let me just ask the question, is there a better way to start off the day? packed tube? Yes, please! Actually, packed tube isn't always a bad thing. At least, Friday it wasn't a bad thing. I had no where to hold on to because I was squished right in the center, so at one point I started to wobble a little, and this dreamy guy took it upon himself to help me keep my balance. Tehehe. The British Library was sweet. They have some treasures there. I got a kick out of the Beatles section, because they had like song lyrics written on the back of birthday cards and directions to a house and stuff.

From the Library we headed to Wimbledon. We got our strawberries and cream and took a quick look around. To see most of it you have to pay and we were content with seeing what we saw without paying. Then we went to the Rajdoot in Wimbledon Village and had the best Indian food ever. On the way home we stopped at the Natural History Musuem and did the Butterfly Exhibit. I was under the impression that the exhibit was cool because you could touch butterflies, so I was a little surprised when we got chastised for encouraging the butterflies to land on us. Still laughing about that one. We paralleled it to a petting zoo and being told that we can only pet the animal if it comes over and starts nuzzling. We retaliated by stamping ourselves with butterflies at the different stations. They felt the sting.

Did I mention that the weather all weekend was pretty dang hot? Seriously though.

After the butterflies, we ate some leftover at the Centre and then headed out the door to go and try to get discounted tickets to Wicked. We had success and we got great seats too! The Theatre was set up very well. I got a kick out of listening to Wicked with accents. "Dahncing Through Life" was a personal favorite. Elpheba was incredible. I seriously couldn't even breathe during "Defying Gravity" because she was just on fire. Fiyero looked like Prince Charming, which was awesome. Even the ensemble was on fire. They were seriously intense. Loved it. I loved it so much that when we got back to the Centre I attempted to reinact by jumping on the table in the servery and try to defy gravity, it didn't really work though.

So, I'm not the most spontaneous person. Actually, my spontaneity is like nonexistent. So being in London has been interesting, because usually plans fail, no matter how hard you try. Things just come up and things don't work out, but then better things happen and in the end everything comes out all right. This is just something I have gotten used to. But let me just say that I spent so long on the tube on Saturday that I finished an entire 200 page book. Who knew that closing the Victoria line and the District/Circle line could be so disastrous?

We intended to be at the British Museum when it opened, but then on the way there Shelisa's debit card got eaten by the machine and they told us to stay close by because they would get it out in the next hour or so. So we went over to Portobello for a bit, but then headed back to the bank. They then told us that they wouldn't be able to get it out until Monday. So at this point we didn't really have enough time to get to the Museum because we were meeting Hannah at Camden Town at noon. So we tried (and failed) to do a few other things in the hour that we had.

Camden was fun and pretty crazy. The tube was insane getting there and back. There was a football match that day too so all the Manchester United fans were out in force. A lot of chanting and Ole-ing was happening. Other people were sweating on me and stuff.

Earlier this week I discovered that there was a Summer Festival at John Keat's House. So I booked for the "Closing Readings and Concert" and I was pumped up about this. It was happening Saturday at five thirty. So we got back to the Centre from Camden and had like fifteen minutes to get ready to head back out. So we get to Hampstead and head to the house (we also received the best directions to date- "it's the sixth left and first right"). I seriously had butterflies as we approached the house, until we got there and realized that the Closing Readings were actually happening on Sunday and there was a "Three voices" reading happening on Saturday. Oopsie. So we kept our fingers crossed and put our (Amy, Shelisa, and I) names on the waiting list. We explored the grounds of Keat's house in the meantime. We read "To Autumn" and "When I have fears" while passing the time. Then, luckily, they managed to squeeze us in!

So don't even worry, we just listened to a poetry reading at John Keat's house!!!! And we got a little break between readings, so we got to explore the house and we weren't sure if we were allowed to take pictures or not- so we were sneaking around getting pictures. Many phrases like "Clear!" or "Cover me" were heard during this time. We did stop short at jumping into John's bed though. We were tempted. We also might have attempted to kiss his death mask had it not been behind glass. It was magical. And though it was not the original plum tree, because plum trees do not generally have very long lives, we saw the fake plum tree, where John would sit and write poetry.

On the way back from Hampstead we did our usual Saturday activity of Gino's and Trafalgar Square. By this time most of our fellow Londoners were returning from their travels elsewhere. It was fun to hear about their experiences.

Sunday was, as per usual, wonderful. I love my Sunday school class. They are awesome. The lesson was about "Preparing for the Second Coming" and I used the talk by Elder Andersen about "Preparing the World for the Second Coming" and we had a good discussion about missionary work and my class is mostly males. One of the boys told me he could see me serving my mission in South Africa, because he went there once and I look like I could be South African. Hahaha. I also had the very big surprise of seeing Reed Peterson! He used to be in my home ward and his wife was my Sunday school teacher at one point. He was there on business and just happened to be at the Peckham Ward! It was a lovely surprise.

After church I took the tube straight to the British Museum. Luckily, museums are Sunday-approved activities. Rick had a good tour of the place (Rick Steve's) and he took care of me. I also learned some interesting things about the mummification and the extraction of internal organs. I had heard about the method of using a metal rod to pull the organs out through the nose, but that wasn't the only way. There is a different way, that apparently was less expensive. I'm just going to leave it at that.

The rest of Sunday was interesting. And once again, I'm just going to leave it at that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The World Must Be Peopled

Ok, so here is the deal. The internet wasn't working for awhile at the Centre, and before that I was travelling. Then I even went to a pub to try and get some good internet, but I couldn't get it to work there. So I typed up a little posty-post about the "North Trip" on a Word document, but then the internet started working, but I couldn't get the whole copy-paste deal to work from the word document to the blog. So just know that the North trip was super cool and I'm now really great at Scottish dancing and have got a nice Scottish brogue going on.

We arrived back in London late Friday night and Saturday was our "Harry Potter Day." Basically we (Amy, Shelisa, and I) went around to all the spots from the films. It was exciting. Saturday night we took a bike ride through some different parks and it was amazingly beautiful. It has been awhile since I have ridden a bike, and this was the perfect time to do it. Best thing ever. We followed the bike ride up with a little trip to Trafalgar Square. A perfect Saturday evening.

Sunday we did the "Sung Eucharist" at Westminster. I got a blessing from the Preacher-man. It was very interesting to watch and stuff. I got a little drowsy during the Sermon, but the dude did mention Shakespeare, so points to him. We also enjoyed the whole thing whilst sitting next to John Dryden (or at least his remains). The rest of my Sunday night is a blur, so I probably was at the local pub or something. Jokes. Just joking...

Also, from Saturday to Monday I visited the Tate Britain, the Tate Modern, and the Saatchi Gallery. The Tate Britain had a whole wing of Romantic paintings by Turner, Constable, and even some Blake stuff. My favorite from that wing was probably "Hero and Leander." They also had THE painting of "The Lady of Shalott" and THE painting of Ophelia. So awthum. I was not as pumped up about the Tate Modern and the Saatchi. Just sayin...

Then Tuesday we went to Windsor Castle. Don't even worry, they just have the bullet that killed Admiral Nelson. WHAA????!!!! For reals. They had the bullet. Just hanging out there. The rest of the stuff was pretty cool too, I guess. Ok, but really. The place was sweet and in the gift shop they were playing the Royal Wedding Dvd and we ended up being in there for like ten minutes just watcing. The ladies working there were making fun of us, but one of them commented on Prince William's jaw during the kiss, "of course, just as a motherly figure." True story.

Then we just went and saw Phantom of the Opera. No big deal. Except it was a big deal. It was awesome. Christine had a rough start, she was an understudy, but by the second half she was rocking it. The Phantom was stellar, as was Raoul. Pretty much it was super awesome. The chandelier drop was a little pathetic though. And by a little pathetic, I mean really pathetic. But hey, still really great.

And today. Today makes the top five chart for me. We had class in the morning and then we went over to the Globe Theatre and got in the queue for the ground seats for Much Ado About Nothing. We were right up next to the stage and front and center. The play changed my life forever. But really. And I met Benedick after the show. I'm in love. Beatrice was in the movie The King's Speech. She was unreal. Another highlight- Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-air was totally Leonato. Just in case you couldn't quite tell, I was pretty much loving everything about this. Even the guy next to me who brayed like a donkey as a form of laughter added to the event. Did I mention that I'm in love? AH! I have never heard such thunderous applause and just pure enjoyment from an audience before. It was really great to be a part of that and I am just going to go hang out at the Globe every day for the rest of my life. So if you need me, look for me there. (one of the funniest lines from the play was "the world must be peopled!").

This weekend is the free travel weekend and there are only a few of us who stayed behind and I'm kind of digging the Centre being quiet. Bowchickawowow.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not Friday... SUNDAY!!!

Today was the first Sunday where I recognized all of the songs we sang in Sacrament meeting. True story. We sing the most obscure hymns. (If you are curious, look up hymns 275, 217, & 229). I was sort of singing with the "pick a note, any note strategy." I think the lady picks obscure hymns on purpose though because she will sing the first verse out loud to us before so we know how it goes. Today it was a different lady that liked to pick what I like to refer to as "normal hymns." Just sayin.

Another highlight- I stopped to look at the pictures people were selling on Bayswater on the way home and an old man asked if I was Spanish and when I said no he said, "Greek?" "No" "Italian?" "Nope. American." Wanted to kiss old man. Made my day.

Had a fireside with Dean and Kathy Hughes tonight and it was really great. They were very encouraging and inspiring and they are such kind people.

Also, I love most things about London, but here are some I find odd. Or absolutely hate.

1.EVERYBODY smokes. Seriously. It is disgusting. Having people blow their smoke in my face, not my favorite and it happens at least once a day.
2. The faucets. Don't hate, but definitely don't understand. Instead of having the normal, one place where water comes out deal, they have two spout things. One for hot water to come out, one for cold water to come out. So if you want "warm" water you can't actually have it. So get over it. So pretty much you just choose hot or cold. Don't understand that. It is continuously perplexing to me. I even asked an American Cambridge student her opinion on it and she said it was the dumbest thing ever. But people are used to it here...

I know I will have more to add to this list, but there is a good starting point.
Going to Scotland for the next few days! Don't even worry, I will find an awesome kilt. ("It's not a dress, it's a kilt- Sicko!" Name that movie!)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hogwarts... or the next best thing

The last few days have been pretty packed, so I will attempt to recollect the highlights.

Wednesday- Cambridge
- took the train from King's Cross Station to Hogwarts... ok, fine, just Cambridge
- snuck into the grounds of Pembroke College and tried to fit in
- went to the Wren library and saw some cool stuff
- punted on the cam, pretty much the coolest thing ever, you get in a little flat-bottomed boat and use a pole thingy to push it, we struggled a bit at the end and got laughed at by the workers. A lot. Punting is a common activity in Cambridge, so we were practically locals.
- Brother and Sister Tanner were there (THE Sister Tanner) and they hung out with us, ok well not me specifically, but they were with our group.
- we visited a really cool chapel deal, but i don't remember the name (as one of my roommates would say, "Another flippin' Cathedral)

Thursday&Friday- Globe Theatre
- went and saw As You Like It at the Globe. Seriously one of THE coolest things of my life. I absolutely loved it.
- returned the next day to do a tour and saw rehearsals for Much Ado About Nothing, which we purchased tickets for! Woot Woot (also, the butler, Jeffrey, from Fresh Prince is in the play!)
- realized that teaching Shakespeare will never be the same for me after seeing it done at the Globe. For real though.
- did two of our walks for class
- visited the bookstores on Charing Cross Road
- Had some Gino's Gelato (the best gelato place EVER) and danced to the music at Trafalgar Square (the best hangout place EVER)
- missed our tube stop by a few stops because we were laughing and got distracted

*I would just like to say that on Friday I spent half of my day on the tube. It was ridiculous but pretty funny, we looked at the tube map at the end of the day and we had ridden almost every line and we rode the entire circle line. Ridiculous.

Saturday- Oxford
- we had a little lecture from Dean Hughes, the author of The Children of the Promise series and many others, he is visiting to research for a new book
- went to Oxford and loved it
- ate at The Eagle and Child Pub where JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis had little meetings about their books they were writing, called themselves "the Inklings" (and naturally we all discussed what we would write about)
- Went to a library that I don't remember how to spell it, but they filmed some Harry Potter stuff there
- climbed to the top of a chapel and saw an awesome view. It was pretty treacherous, but I didn't die.
- sprinted to see the Great Hall and we were a minute late and they wouldn't let us in, but I think the guy realized we were a little distraught so he gave us the encouraging news that it wasn't actually filmed there, just used for inspiration, and he gave us little brochures.
- Fell asleep on the train home and my leg was sort of out in the aisle accidentally and I woke up to a guy with a cart bumping his cart into my foot repeatedly trying to get by. Oopsie.

* You all might be wondering about the Cambridge versus Oxford, which is better debate... I must say I preferred Oxford. Just my opinion!

Now a bunch of us Centre girls are crowded in the classroom watching North and South. Perfect end to the week, but I do still need to plan a Sunday School lesson...

I feel that I should include a randomly funny encounters segment, cuz I had a few this week:
1. Heard man humming "In the Jungle" while walking across the Tower Bridge and so, naturally, sang along- then I was afraid the man would start following us
2. After Les Miserables there was a guy playing some drums and it was pretty catchy, so I started dancing and a bunch of Middle Eastern men all followed me onto the dance floor (don't worry Mother, I was in a group and perfectly safe and smart and stuff)
3. At the Globe there was a rather dashing young man leaning up against the stage and pretty much all of the girls in our section noticed him, so I got elected to go and try to talk to him, I was pretty dang sneaky, pretended I wanted a picture of the stage (one of my better moments) and then when he didn't have an accent, I had the perfect opportunity to ask where he was from. The girls in the group recorded from afar.
4. Some guy at The Eagle and Child was at the table next to us and had me record him giving a little spiel about the pub. Interesting. We later saw him at the train station.
5. I think I might be missing one, but it eludes me at the moment.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Billowing Robes

So apparently I am most apt to blog when I am avoiding some other assignment. Last time it was a sunday school lesson, this time it is a paper. Oopsie. But just to give an update of the last few days, in typical fashion of course:
- Taught Sunday School and it went pretty well, we had fun (or at least I did)
- Saw Les Miserables (!!!!!!!!!!). It was incredible, though I will admit, wasn't too impressed with Fantine
- Went to Hampton Court. Super cool and they hand out robes for people to wear whilst they are wandering the court and they weren't going to let us have them because we were in such a big group, but I snuck one. I chose Tudor Green. At one point, they billowed behind me as I walked in the courtyard. Truly one of the most exciting moments of my life.
- Visited the stuffed animal collection of Darwin- and not the "stuffed" you would want to cuddle with. Like science experiment stuffed. Yummy. But really cool to see Down House, because for our class we just read a book about Charles and Emma.
- Sketched at the Courtauld Gallery, wasn't my favorite musuem, but still cool.
- Sketched at the National Gallery, and no, all of this sketching isn't making my skill any better, I am still just as bad as I ever was, still get a good chuckle out of my sketches though- always good for a laugh (name that movie!)
- Watched the new "Emma" and I am never watching the Gwnyeth version again. This one was seriously so much better, and Mr. Knightley was a winner (girls- Emma party when I get back? Yes? k, cool!)
- Still wishing I had my billowy green robe to wear around

You probably have noticed, but I have just sort of given up on the whole picture thing, so.. yeah... over and out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Skinny dippin in Bath

Just know that as I post this blog, I really should be writing my sunday school lesson for tomorrow. But I will give you the highlight tour of our recent "vacation." If you hate bulleted (or I guess dashed, as the case may be) lists, I apologize, but they just make life so much easier. And no, we didn't really skinnydip in Bath.

Day One:
- We were supposed to leave the Centre at 8:00, so of course, we didnt actually leave until about 8:45
- By 9:03 we were all terribly sick of the bus. Just kidding (kind of).
-After this, time all ran together, so I will have only time approximations, nothing specific
Sometime after 12:00 we visited Stonehenge, and just in case you were wondering- "henge" means hanging, so Stonehenge means "Hanging stones." Aren't you glad you now know that?
- After Stonehenge we went to this truly idyllic little place called Avebury Circle. I had a little run in with some stinging nettle but it was worth it.
- We have a professor that loves locks, so we saw the Caen Hill Locks
- Then after a lot more driving we finally arrived at the Bristol Youth Hostel. We all laughed because at the hostel we actually had showers that offered a little privacy (the showers at the Centre are see-through)
- walked around Bristol a little, LOVE Bristol.
- saw that the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" was playing. Got super pumped up because I have never seen it and love the music, and it just happened to be playing while we were there. What are the chances???
- giggled with Amy, Shelisa, and Kaylee in our bunkbeds at the hostel before bed

Day Two:
- you bored yet? yeah, sorry...
- We left first thing in the morning to Bath, loved the drive, so pretty.
- Checked out the Roman Baths- laughed that they tell us NOT to even touch the water under ANY circumstances, and then give us all a drink at the end. Yummy.
- Had a Cornish pastie- Harry Potter style, fed it mostly to crows who seriously got into a fight over it until a seagull came along and scared them away
- Went and checked out the Royal Crescent and the Circus, clapped three times on and looked like fools (Rick told us to)
- Checked out the Assembly Halls, pretended to have a dance
- Went to Thomas Gainsborough's house
- Went to the Jane Austen Centre and where she lived, took a picture with a dude dressed up in period dress and he wanted to do a "Charlie's Angels" pose with me. Chuckled over that.
- Went to an Abbey and the lady asked me if I was italian. Nicest thing ever.
- Returned to Bristol and went to get tickets for "Jekyll and Hyde"
- went and saw Jekyll and Hyde, was NOT what I was expecting, at all
- Very, very scandalous, the girl sitting next to me probably got bruises from me squeezing her leg.
- Really good music though, I must say.
- I wish I could express how truly funny this experience was, but I would prefer not to go into detail, and you prefer that too, just trust me. Good times.
- Went home, still laughing, laughed some more.
- One of the bunkmates made some remark about "another flippin' cathedral." Bahaha.
-Giggled some more

Day three:
- left late again, struggled with the count-off again (some people just could NOT remember their numbers!)
- Beautiful drive to Wales
- TINTERN ABBEY, that's what I'm talking about!!! Or as they say in Welsh, Abaty Tyndryn.
- Relished reading Wordsworth's poem inspired by the Abbey, got in trouble for climbing on the rocks- oopsie (now i feel really bad, bad llama)
- Got back on the bus, was really sad to do it
- went to Chipping Camden and the Cotswolds
- went on a lovely hike, Blockley to Batsfield, had another run-in with some stinging nettle
- got back on the bus and went back to Bristol, very pumped to be back in Bristol. Love me some Bristol

Day Four:
- got up (not very happily, just sayin), and found some Banksy located around Bristol. Saw two, went back to the hostel to finish up some last-minute packing
- Got on the bus, yay.
- Went to Wells Cathedral (another "flippin' Cathedral"), tap-danced on some dead people (picture documentation to prove it)
- William Penn once gave a little sermon there or something, don't remember the specifics, oopsie
- everybody was late getting back on the bus, once again
- drove to Durdle Door Beach
- hiked up a mountain and down the side, it was worth it.
- Read some "Dover Beach" at Durdle Door Beach, not quite the same beach, but same idea
- made an offering to our new bff Sulis Minerva, who we learned all about at the Roman Baths
- hiked back up
- suffered some serious BGA (big group anxiety) as people were seriously late (!)
-Finally got back to the Centre just before ten, very glad to be back

It was a super cool trip, sorry if you got bored with the details!

Monday, May 9, 2011

There is a song from the broadway version of The Little Mermaid where Ariels sings, "If only you could know, the things I long to say. If only I could tell you what I wish I could convey." That is totally how I am feeling. The Little Mermaid has a great soundtrack too, just fyi. But I sit down all the time (Ok, ok, maybe not "all the time" but sometimes) to write something and I just can never do it.

I can't write how happy it makes me to walk out of 27 Palace Court every morning and look at the wonderful London sky as I head for Kensington Gardens, or as I go to the Queensway Tube station. Because that is like a sentence, not exactly blog-worthy.

I can't write about how much I love seeing all the people reading the Standard on the tube, even teenagers. Or all of the dogs, of all shapes and sizes that are always so amusing. Or how much I LOVE Trafalgar Square. That is totally my favorite hang out spot. I mean come on, I got hit on by a drunk guy at that spot, what can beat that?

Or how much I love just being able to pop over to the V&A, or the National Gallery, or make a little Tesco run. Again, not really blog-worthy.

Or how much I ABSOLUTELY adore all of the plaques all around London that indicate various famous dead people that once lived at that location. I still think the best one I ever saw indicated that the "inventor of time travel lived there in 2136" or something like that. I chortled over that. (PS- British author Lewis Carroll invented that word,true the man was a little strange, but I will always honor him for inventing that word).

Today I happened to see one of the many places around London where Charles Dickens lived, the place I saw today was where he wrote The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. Cool.

Or how much do I love having a favorite gelato place? Or being able to just decide on a whim to go and see a musical, granted I haven't really done a ton of this yet, but just having the option is wonderful.

In case it was hard to tell, I am loving my London life. We leave to Bath for a few days in the morning and we are going to Tintern Abbey!!! Among other things, but I am very excited for that.

The poem I recommend for this week: William Wordsworth's "Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey." If you are initially bored, just give it a second chance, ok? ok.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Good thing...

Good thing I have the best mother EVER! just sayin!
They don't actually have "Mother's Day" in the UK, so I felt like I missed out on the "seniors giving the mother's day talk deal." But I'll cope, cuz I went to church in London. Suckawhaaa??

Since seven is the most magically powerful number, and my mother is obviously magic, here are the top seven reasons why my mother is wonderful.

1. She is one of the funniest people I know, for sure. Hands down.
2. She dccomplishes everything with style and pinache and I have always admired that.
3. She is always ready to do something fun and makes everything exciting.
4. (I would still like her if she weren't) but I think she is absolutely beautiful and I think she gets prettier every year.
5. She is the best mother bear around. My mom could SOOOO take yours (she can take pretty much anyone).
6. She is the best supporter ever.
7. She puts Mary Poppins to shame.

Love you mother!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My New Hero

Lest you think that London spring is all fun and games... Just kidding! It really is all fun. We do still have homework and stuff, but it is really quite enjoyable and very rewarding. When I first found out what classes were being offered for my term in London I was amazed at how perfect they were, an English class and an art class. But now that I am here and actually taking them, I realize how truly perfect they really are. But seriously.

The curriculum for both classes is completely designed for being in London and it has been fantastic. For the art class we go to a different museum about every week and we are supposed to pick one piece of art that we just really like and one that we aren't quite as fond of, and then we sketch them and analyze them. Yeah. For reals. I know that I draw a pretty mean turtle, but that is about as far as my artistic abilities extend. I still get a laugh out of that one. Luckily, we aren't graded on the quality of our sketches... just sayin. But I have definitely realized the merit in having us sketch, because it really forces me to look at all the little details, and generally appreciate the artist much, much more.

So I was at the V&A (Victoria and Albert) yesterday and I had found the perfect paintings to sketch, but then when I went back later to sketch that gallery happened to be closed. So I found some new sculptures to sketch and plopped down in front of one of them (just picture it). Then a museum lady comes and brings me like this little stool thing that people use who are probably actually good at sketching. I felt legit though. I made sure she couldn't actually see what I was doing on my little sketch pad because I was worried that if she actually saw she would take my stool away because I wasn't worthy of it.

For English we have read a book about Lady Jane Grey (Nine Days a Queen), Treasure Island, and a book about Shackleton (Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World). I have loved all of these for different reasons, and I just finished Shipwreck today and the story is truly remarkable. Shackleton was an inspiration. My favorite quote from him was, "It might have been different if we'd had only ourselves to think about... But if you're a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you've got to keep going." Isn't that awesome?! I would totally recommend Shipwreck, and it is a true story (Ah! Dorothy Gish. True story, name that movie!). He is totally my new hero.

Anyway, just a quick highlight tour from the last few days:
- Abbey Road
- Portobello Road
- Soho (saw where William Blake was born, not the actual spot, but you get the idea)
- V&A

Still trying to figure out how to get pictures to download. I tried something new but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So Awesome (and attractive)

Just a few "awesome" things from the last few days...
- my new camera arrived (and just in time for my ipod to stop working). Awesome.
- Seeing Cinderella at the Royal Opera House and getting upgraded from 20 pound seats to 90 pound seats. So awesome.
- Greenwich. Awesomely awesome.
- St. Paul's Supertour. Totally awesome (as you might imagine from something with "supertour" in the title)
- Riding along the Thames in a clipper. Awesome.
- Samuel Johnson's House. Awthum.
- Sketching at the National Gallery. Awesomely funny (when you sketch at a public place, people tend to look, you can imagine their surprise as they saw my attempts at sketching).
- SEEING ADMIRAL HORATIO NELSON'S ACTUAL COAT (with authentic battle damage! name that movie!) at the Maritime National Museum. I guess his whole outfit is usually there, but it wasn't there yesterday, but they even have a sock with real BLOOD on it. Not his blood, it was his secretary's blood, still pretty cool though. It literally did have "authentic battle damage" though and supposedly it also even had grease from his pigtail and he refused to wash it because it had "the exertions which I made and the anxiety which I felt" all over that lovely thing. SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME.
- Making the super intelligent comment of "Well... I have a map with like.. things on it..." You might not actually think that is funny, but it really was. Not just another pretty face. Awesome.
- Seeing the Lion King. Seriously Awesome.
- Having really great Professors and their spouses (Crowes and the Millers). SO AWESOME.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


So I actually did a post... just on the wrong blog. It is a really "awesome" blog post too (you will get that joke at a later date). We had to create a blog for our London Walks class, so my professor will hopefully really enjoy that very unrelated post. But I sort of have to finish Treasure Island by early tomorrow am and finish up a paper, so you will just have to wait until tomorrow for it! I did see Lion King tonight and it was incredible. I absolutely loved it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Can I get an Amen!

We had church today at the Kennington ward and it was awesome. Most of the people were from Ghana or Nigeria and there were a handful originally from England. I am going to be a youth sunday school teacher, sort of. People in the ward love BYU students and we were like celebrity status. We all head to bear our testimonies too which I was grateful for the opportunity.

A few of my favorites:
- two people mentioning the Will and Kate wedding in their testimonies
- taking the tube to church
- a boy named Duke getting very excited about the Illuminati and Free Masons and wanting an "american" perspective
- getting lots of hugs
- a guy quoting a Wordsworth poem (Ode: Intimations of Immortality) in sacrament meeting- I would highly recommend this poem if anyone is looking for a little poetry reading!

I have also discovered that I have London allergies. Super fun. But the sky was beautiful tonight and I was sitting outside 27 Palace Court admiring the view when I thought of the perfect poem for the occasion (because obviously there is a perfect poem for every occasion)! So I ran inside and grabbed it, along with a few other girls, and we read it on the steps. It is called "Nocturnal Reverie" by British poet Anne Finch (and of course her name has an "e" because with an "e" is so much more refined- name that movie?!). Still no pictures, I tried but with no success, my bad...

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Never could I get sick of being here. Never. Today we went on an awesome "hike" that included precisely one hill, Primrose Hill, and it was beautiful. Very itchy though. We explored Regent's Park and Camden Market. I chased some various birds at Regent's and almost got my foot taken off by an angry swan, but I learned a valuable lesson not to harrass the swans.

And old British lady surprised us by making faces and dancing around whilst her daughter took a picture of us. She was trying to get us to smile bigger and it definitely worked.

FLIRTED with hot British guy working at Frog. Got a good laugh out of that, as did my POC (partner in crime) Shelisa.

I already love all of the people that I came with- bunch of kindred spirits. Oh, and no pictures tonight because it is pretty impossible at the Centre so I will have to go elsewhere to do it, so you will have to wait.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday, April 29th: Wedding Day

I'll try to put some pictures up tomorrow of my experience at THE wedding. But just a few favorites of the day:
1. Seeing two guys dressed up as King and Queen (falsetto included)
2. Being at BUCKINGHAM PALACE, or at least right by it, for the wedding procession.
3. Seeing Kate, William's car, Pippa and small children, fancy people with hats, ambassadors (Spain and France for sure), the QUEEN, and many other awesome people heading to Westminster.
4. Listening to the ceremony via loudspeaker at our spot on the mall
5. Meeting friends Susan and Canan who shared their crackers and brie with us
6. Being assaulted by an old British lady (ok, maybe not quite "assaulted")
7. Watching the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge come back in their open carriage
8. Seeing them KISS on the balcony and the entire royal family on same balcony
9. Having champagne sprayed on me
10. Getting up at Four in the morning to allow for this all to happen (JK- not actually a favorite)
11. Getting the Evening Standard and seeing that half the pictures they have of people in the crowd were standing right by us

*if you saw some women deck ed in British things from San Diego we were right behind them.
*if you saw guys in Union Jack speedo's or swim attire, we were right across from them
*if you saw girls in wedding dresses, they were directly to the right of us
*if you saw the Drag Queen, we saw him too (see #1)

I have actual pictures on my ipod of the Queen, Kate, Kate and William, and company. That is how close we were. I felt like I got to be a part of Kate's (or as we now must say "Catherine's") fairytale.
Wedding day= better than disneyland on the magic level.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

So... uh, yeah...

This blogging thing, not exactly my "cup of tea" if you will, already struggling to squeeze it in (sorry Mum but I will not be able to acquiesce your request whilst I am abroad of blogging every day). I got some awesome pictures to replace the picture taken in my bedroom wishing I were in London (see below) but then my camera broke.... so... uh, yeah. If you were wanting more details than that, these teasers might help:
- border lady almost not letting me through because my address wasn't "full" enough
- popping up from the tube to the lovely view of my bud Big Ben
- dancing at tables at local pub
- Just kidding on that last one
- Learned how British people are like their own little "castles" with "moats" (think onions...)

so...uh... yeah!