Monthly Archives: August 2008

Mind the Gap!

Well internet, I am here, in London, and it is fantastic. I am living in Kensington, a rather rich neighborhood, in a very small dorm room. But I must say it is rather cozy. We sleep with the windows open so we don’t suffocate in our sleep, and the noise outside is rather calming. Sometimes around 1am we hear a drunken couple shouting, or cars whizzing by, but for the most part it is quite. Though this morning we woke up to very loud construction work. Very loud and very annoying.

I suppose I should explain who “we” is. I am rooming with a girl named Whitney, who is really cool. She is from Chicago but goes to school in Arizona. She is really funny, and I am glad I am rooming with her… never a dull moment.

So far I have been down Kensinton High Street more times than I can count, been to Royal Albert Hall, Harrods, Harvey Nichols (Harvey Nicks to the “regulars”), Sloan Street, and West End. Plus a bunch of other shops that I can not remember the names to. One department store I was looking for lotion, and found some I liked, and so I started talking to the sales lady and this conversation happened:

sales lady: “hello, can I help you?”

me: “hi, I was just wondering how much this lotion was”

sales lady: “that one there is 22 pounds. And this one is 19.50 pounds”

me: “hmm. ok thank you!”

sales lady: “is it for a friend; a gift? Or for you?”

me: “its for me”

sales lady: “oh you should treat yourself, don’t worry about money then”

me: “well I am trying to sick to a budget… everything back home is double for me”

sales lady: “oh thats right! Your accent should have given it away. I understand then, everything is a bit more for you”

me: “yea”

sales lady: “well I should have known you were from the states, but it seems like you have been in here before; I think that is why I thought you were from here. Have you been to this store before? You look so familiar!”

me: “no”

sales lady: “You just look so familiar. Have you been to the UK before?”

me: “no, this is my first time here!”

sales lady: “oh, you look so familiar. Have I seen you on tv before?”

me: “ha, I wish”

then we laughed and I ended up not buying the lotion. Oh well. $44 for a thing of lotion is a bit much. The weirdest thing about that entire conversation is it is not the first time someone has mistaken me for someone they know. The conversation always ends with “have I seen you on tv before?” So maby that whole everyone-has-a-twin-somewhere- theory is true. That night a group made entirely of girls got together and went to see a West End play… Wicked! I was overly excited and the play was brilliant.  Of all the times I have seen it, this Elphaba was by far the best singer. Her voice was so strong they had to turn her microphone down a few times. She really didn’t need one. Her acting on the other hand… not my favorite. Glinda was fantastic; loved her voice and her portrayl of the character. Of the three I’ve seen I can not decide who is my favorite. Though you can’t really compare all this with the previous times I have seen it, because everything is different with British accents. Speaking of which, there are far more various types of Europeans in Kensington than there are Brits. So I have heard a lot more French accents and stuff. Which is sad. Because half of the appeal of the UK is the British accent. But the farther we get into central London the more we hear which is fine with me.

And may I just say, quickly, that I have been here for five days and it has not rained once. I think the whole weather thing is a myth to keep people away.

Today is just a relaxing day, as I am terribly tired. I have library orientation at 2:45, fun times, then I think I am going to the London Eye tonight! I’m so excited! And now I am going to put up some pictures. There aren’t that many, but I will be taking more tonight. So for the time being, enjoy these.

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Gardens

Princess Di and Dodi memorial at Herrods. She was killed 11 years ago this week.

I live just round the corner from here!!

My first West End show!!

Jess and I going to see Wicked… I had gray tights and ridiculously cute heels on but alas, they did not make it into the picture. So sad.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

afafakhgiuhgwg

Oh interent. I am leaving in the morning for LONDON!!!!!

I can not even begin to describe what I am feeling.

First off I am dreadfully tired. I mentioned before that I found a new series of books to read… the Twilight series. Well I finished the first book early last night and started the second, thinking I would read a few chapters then go to bed. I finally had to put the book down at 6am this morning, eyes burning and head spinning as I tried to figure out the rest of the story. I also don’t cry when I read books. Sad things happen and I get gloomy, knowing what is happening with the characters should make me feel more, but I have never really had a true connection with a book. Last night I cried and cried and cried, many many different times throughout the story. I felt the depression Bella was going through. I literally had to put the book down several times and regain my composure before I continued. I suppose that is when an author knows she/he is doing a good job. I, sadly, have joined the millions of screaming girls around the world in falling in love with a fictional vampire. Damn fictional characters giving me more false hopes about love.

Next I suppose you could say I feel extremely anxious. And nervous. I am just ready to get to the airport and board the plane.

And then there is the plane ride. Jet lag is quite the bitch.

And I guess over all of those emotions you could say there is the obvious layer of excitement. Going back to Europe, studying where some of the greatest authors penned my favorite stories…

I’ve been waiting for a while for this to come and now that it is finally here it feels like a dream… and as corny as it may sound, I don’t ever want to wake up.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

“You are exacly my brand of heroin.”

So I picked up my friend from the airport last night and we came home, ordered food, changed into comfy clothes, and quickly went into some much needed girl talk. When the food finally arrived we decided to watch the movie Center Stage. Now for those of you who have not seen Center Stage, you may not understand our obsession. It is one horrrrrible movie. This is why you never hire ballet dancers to pose as actors. You hire those dancers for the far away shots in the movie. Then you hire real actors to do their job. But most importantly you must start with finding a good script. None of these things were even considered when making Center Stage. (Actually, there are three credible actors in the movie, but given the dialog, they weren’t able to show off their talents.) If you enjoy laughing at terrible movies I submit that this one takes the cake. I’m pretty sure we are going to watch it again before we leave. Its so bad, its good.

After the movie we went back up stairs for more girl talk (obviously) and started discussing this phenomena that is the Twilight series. I had never heard of these books until recently when the forth, and final, installment was released, as well as the announcement of the movie, due out in November. Suddenly every where I looked there were the words Breaking Dawn. Facebook was soon over populated with bumper sticker images of the book, faces of the characters and the name Edward Cullen. I finally decided to do a little research and read a brief overview of the story. It was a love story involving a vampire (named Edward) and a human girl (named Bella). Simple enough. But those kinds of books never really appeal to me.

So Jessica, my friend, decided it was time for me to read them. And how was it you may ask? Well let me put it to you this way. I stayed up until 5am, when I could no longer keep my eyes open, reading every single word. 316 pages in 5 hours. This morning I could not wait to continue reading. The characters are amazing and the story line is far more intriguing than I had previously thought.

I am extremely excited to finish the first book in just a few minuest and continue on through to the fourth. I had originally planned for Truman Capote to entertain me on the flight over to London, but I suppose he will have to take a back seat to Bella and Edward.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The years no doubt have changed me.

I am going tomorrow to PA to get my friend from the airport. She will be flying over to England with me. I am rather excited to have a seat buddy I actually know.

Speaking of England, I leave MONDAY!!!! I am so stinking excited. But nervous. I shouldn’t be though… seeing as I lived in France for a month. But still, I just can not wait to get there and settled in. I really hope a get a good roommate.

And internet, you will be happy to know that the IOC is beginning to investigate the age of at least one Chinese gymnast. I suppose enough complaints may have done the trick, though if you want the real story, read this news article.

Also!!! Tonight my brother, mother and I watched Sweeney Todd, and I must say I forgot how much I loved it. I also forgot how sad the ending is. My brother and I just love the movie and we finally convinced my mother (after about three months of straight begging) to sit down and watch it with us, though technically it was against her will. To be honest I think she just wanted to shut us up. But I think she ended up liking it. I also think it would be perfectly acceptable for a guy to write a song for me like “Johanna” (Anthony’s part of course) and sing it to me for hours and hours and hours upon end.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m very indecisive.

This is a little question thing I found and thought it would be fun to fill out. As the title of this posts indicates, you will notice that there are a few questions I give one direct answer in. Sorry internet. I am just extremely indecisive.

1. The first musical I ever saw on Broadway was: On Broadway- Chicago (2005). The first show I saw on tour? Phantom of the Opera (1990-something).
2. The musical I would most like to see again is: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. That musical was the funniest I have seen yet, though the crude jokes were a bit awkward with my rather conservative grandmother sitting next to me. However, her reactions only added to the humor.
3. The musical I never want to see again is: The Rockettes. I know, I know, it’s not technically a musical. But sitting there I continuously thought to myself “why am I not at the Gershwin seeing Wicked? Why did we spend money on these tickets? Precious money that could be going towards a ticke to a play??? WHY?”
To answer this question correctly…I have never seen a play (so far) where I have walked out thinking “I never want to see this again.” However, I have seen Phantom of the Opera five times, so I think I am a tad tired of that one.
4. The best performance in a Broadway musical by a woman I’ve ever seen is: Sherie Renee Scott in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  She hit the most amazing notes and held them for what seemed like an eternity.
5. The best performance in a Broadway musical by a man I’ve ever seen is: like you even have to ask. Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The man is a comedic genius. He improvised so much of his scenes and always managed to get his co-stars laughing at the most inappropriate times, which made the audience applaud and cheer.
6. The person I wish they never cast was: I don’t remember her name, but she played Meg in The Phantom of the Opera I saw in Pittsburgh. She couldn’t sing to save her life and I’m pretty sure the only way she got that part was by having a very friendly relationship with the director. If you know what I mean.
7. The person they should have cast was: Anyone else with at least a half-way decent singing voice.
8. My favorite Broadway choreography was in the show: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The way the director used the sets and costumes just enhanced the brilliant songs.

9. The lyric/line that always brings a lump to my throat is: There is not a specific lyric, but the two songs that always manage to make me at least tear up are “If I didn’t Believe in You” and  “Nobody Needs to Know” from The Last Five Years. There are others, but these songs are the most played from my playlist… at least 30 times each.

10. The stupidest lyric/line I’ve ever heard is: I can’t think of the stupidest… but the silliest/craziest/wtf would def. have to be “What Could be Better?” from the musical Baby. Any song that tells the journey of a sperm finding the egg has to be the craziest song out there.

11. The first musical I had to go back and see twice was: When I was younger it was a tie between Phantom and Joseph. I was just amazed by the lyrics and costumes and story line. Now that I am older I still enjoy those musicals, but given the choice I would see Wicked for a third time. Or The Lion King. That was really really really good.
12. The first musical I ever walked out of was: Never happened.
13. The most under praised and overly deserving show in my opinion is: Is He Dead?
14. The most overly praised and under deserving show in my opinion is: I’m going to say In The Heights. And the Rockettes.
15. The song show tune I’m most likely to sing while I’m dancing around at home is: “A Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years. Or “Honey Honey” from MAMMA MIA! Or “She’s in Love” from The Little Mermaid. Or anything from Wicked.
16. If I could recast any role in a current Broadway musical with a performer of the past it would be: Bernadette Peters as Madam Morrible in Wicked.
17. If I could recast a current actor in a Broadway musical that was before their time it would be: Sherie Renne Scott in Once Upon a Mattress. Or in The King and I. Or in Cats.
18. The show they should never change a word of because it is already perfect is: The Producers. Or Wicked. Or RENT. Or Spring Awakening.
19. The show I’d most like to get my hands on and rewrite is: I have absolutely no idea.
20. The role I was born to play on Broadway is: Glinda from Wicked. I actually don’t know. There are simply too many parts I want to play. Penny Pingleton from Hairspray. Kira from Xanadu. Mimi from RENT. Cathy from The Last Five Years. Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Wendla from Spring Awakening. Eva Peron from Evita.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Probably why you were told not to speak to strangers.

My brother and I decided to drive to Best Buy one day to purchase a few dvds. After wondering around for a little while we found ourselves looking at these huge tvs, with huge ridiculous price tags. There was a husband and wife near us arguing over tvs and we couldn’t help but hear their conversation because their voices were growing louder and louder.

husband: No. No. NO.

wife: I don’t understand why we have to get this one.

husband: Because it is better.

wife: Why is there such a big price difference? Why do we have to get the one that costs more?

(by this time they are rather loud and have noticed my brother and me standing there)

husband: It’s high definition and we get more options with it.

wife: I just don’t understand.

husband: We just need this one.

wife: Let me look at the difference. I just don’t understand.

(the husband then turned to us)

husband: Hey kids do you want a new mom?

Now the only time men have talked to me in stores, besides salesmen asking me if I need help, is when they are hitting on me. And boy there have been some weirdos. Probably why I avoid Walmart. So I didn’t really know what to say to this man’s question. My brother laughed and was all cool and suave about it and said “no man I don’t think so” (or something to that degree) and I just started thinking of all the cool responses I should have said. Things like:

“well now that my real mom is in rehab, I suppose we could use another one”

or

“my dad just got married for the fifth time, so I think we are good”

or

“my mom’s funeral was last week, so thanks for bringing back all the memories, jerk.”

But I didn’t get to say any of this because my brother and I just sort of walked away. Plus I always think of the right thing to say days later. Sort of like Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail…. Anyway, when we left the store they were still arguing. The weird thing is I still wonder what they finally decided on.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“It’s not called gym-nice-tics”

I said before that I thought the age limit should be eliminated from the gymnastics competition and I am here today to blog: I take that back.

I did a little research and learned just why the officials put an age limit to a spectacular sport.

When a girl goes through puberty her sense of balance changes because of the new developments in her body, such as increase in height and weight, breast development, etc. Many of the Chinese girls are suspected to be as young as 10 or 11, while countries like Germany have 33 year-olds competing in the same events. The balance is going to differ significantly between the ages. By setting the age limit at 16 this ensures that the girls have begun to develop, therefore all have a new sense of balance.

Once I realized this I began to watch closer and not only is it obvious the Chinese girls have not developed, but you can tell the difference in balance. I know it seems impossible to tell, but the younger girls have a much easier time sticking their landings and not falling forwards, to the side, etc. While they do sometimes fall (no one is perfect…well, except maybe Nadia Comaneci) there is definitely an advantage to competing at a younger age.

With all of that in mind, I have decided that the age limit is a good idea. Now, if only we could get the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to do their jobs and make the competitors stick to the rules…

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized