Log in


Recent Entries

Journal Info




May 25th, 2009

Continuing my recap/review of the semi-finals today's lineup was:
DJ Talent (Rapper)
Merlin Cadogan (Escape Artist)
Hot Honeyz (All female dance group)
Jamie Pugh (Singer)
Peter Coghlan (Drag Act)
Gareth Oliver (Ventriloquist)
Shaun Smith (Singer)
Flawless (All male dance group)

So today going into the finals my hopeful speculation for the top three was Flawless, Shaun Smith and Jamie Pugh. I absolutely love Jamie, he's extremely talented and the fact that he gets extremely nervous just endears him to me more.

DJ Talent: Our theory going into tonight was that DJ Talent's real talent was getting through talent shows with no talent. His audition consisted almost entirely of "I say Britain, you say Talent. Britain's Got Talent it's the DJ Talent" repeated until he was buzzed off. Nevertheless, he got four yeses and was actually very entertaining. Upon watching him the first time he doesn't -seem- entertaining. But then you find yourself repeating the song to yourself and bopping along and you grow to love the guy. Which is why I'm very glad that his performance today was fantastic. I loved it. I knew he wasn't finals material but he opened his performance by sliding out on a gold thrown surrounded by pole dancers, and here's a huge shock to all of us, he actually rapped! he's actually moderately talented at it! Piers and Amanda both loved it and Simon, of course, hated it. At least, though, it was an improvement on his auditions which is becoming rarer and rarer as the semi-finals go on.

Merlin Cadogan: This guy made me very very nervous. His audition was crazy. He jugged fire while chained up with his head submerged in a helmet of water, and then escaped from the chains and removed the helmet of water before he drowned. He had told Simon that if he gets through to the next round the most extreme it could go is that he could die from one of his stunts. Today, on live television, he decided to attempt a trick that Houdini said was his most dangerous trick ever, escaping from a straight jacket while suspended upside down by a rope. Except Merlin added two additional catches. First, he set the rope on fire, and second, he had never practiced the trick before. As soon as he said that I became terrified that I was about to see a guy break his neck on live television. The good news is he didn't. He managed to escape from the straight jacket and get himself down from the rope safely. Amanda wasn't really sure about the act, but Simon seemed mostly pleased saying that anyone who is willing to die on this show gets a 10/10 from him. For my part, I don't think it was all that entertaining. I was incredibly nervous and when it was over I didn't feel I had been very entertained by it. He's clearly talented, I just don't think I enjoy watching him enough.

Hot Honeyz: This group performed a dance act in the auditions that was pretty good. They introduced themselves as a dance act "with a twist" the twist was that at the end they took off their dresses for the last bit where they were in like stockings and leotards. Simon said that going into the semi-finals "less is more." They took that advice to heart and today they ended in lingerie instead. Unfortunately, their act was a little on the bland side and Piers and Simon both buzzed them. They are great at keeping in sync with each other but they did not do anything interesting or challenging other than that. Dance acts need more than syncronisity to make it to the finals so they were a bit of a disappointment.

Jamie Pugh: Oh Jamie. I love Jamie. Everytime I see him I just want to give him a hug and tell him he's amazing and shouldn't give up on himself. He is the most nervous person I've ever seen on a talent show. In his audition he sang "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis and gave one of the most emotional performances I've ever seen. The judges, though, told him he needs to have confidence in himself if he wants to win this. Tonight he really tried to conquer his nerves but he couldn't do it completely. He sang "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha. He sang it very well, in my opinion, and although I didn't feel as moved as I did in his audition I thought he gave a solid performance. The judges disagreed and Amanda even buzzed him. It's unfortunate because I think he really needs the confidence. Once his performance was over I knew that unless he won the number 1 slot (which I was pretty sure was going to Flawless) he was not getting through to the finals.

Peter Coghlan: Peter Coghlan aka Mama Trish gave a very funny audition with just one part that grossed me out. He's a overweight guy who came out and belly danced in drag. In the audition he really played up his weight and made it very funny by shaking his belly with his hands and such. In the semi-finals? He was boring. He walked around and lip synced to the song and just did some light body motions when he danced. He was oddly one of my bigger disappointments because I didn't think he could really screw his act up. The judges agreed as well. It was funny too because we had a friend over watching with us and he kept asking "Why is this guy in the semi-finals" and we had to keep telling him that the audition was really funny. I mean, I think Peter is a bit disgusting myself but not on the Nick Hell level and he's the kind of disgusting I can laugh at. It's unfortunate that he, like many other acts, failed to step up or even stay level with their audition act.

Gareth Oliver: Gareth did something with ventriloquism in his audition that I've never seen anybody do. He did his own badly dubbed martial arts movie by throwing his voice. It was funny, and brilliant and he showed that he was extremely talented. The danger with acts like this is that you always want to show that you aren't a one trick pony and do something different from the audition, but the audition was what made you good. This time he brought out a puppet, did a comedy act, and sung. It took a lot of talent but it wasn't as entertaining. Piers and Amanda both loved him still, and Simon turned on him saying that he's seen the same act better performed by lots of other performers. I wasn't so sure about him and I really wasn't so sure about my top three prediction because at this point nobody seemed to be impressing the judges so I didn't know how the viewers were reacting. I just knew that I wanted Jamie to have a chance and so I would have voted for him if I could.

Shaun Smith: Shaun was a different voice in a sea of singers this year. He sung "Ain't No Sunshine" in his audition and to hear this beautiful soulful voice coming out of this 17-year-old rugby player was something surreal and strangely calming. I knew he would manage to get in the top three (and probably the top two) if he picked the right song, and he's the only singer that I honestly thought could give Susan Boyle a run for her money in the finals. Did he pick the right song? Yes, and how. He sung "With or Without You" by U2 but in a completely different way than I've ever heard it before, and he made it work. He owned the audience with that song and just reinforced my belief that he was finals material. The judges adored him, and Simon said he finally felt like he was judging a talent competition again. Shaun was the only act other than DJ Talent thus far who put on a better performance than in his audition and I think he may be even more talented than Susan Boyle. I know I would not want to choose between them.

Flawless: These guys were a great act in the auditions and the first dance act to really blow the judges and the audience away. They are Diversity's big competition and vice versa and they know it. They even mentioned that since Diversity got through last night they had even more pressure to make sure they get through today. And Simon said that "they have to step it up, way up."One of their main skill is putting themselves in very uncomfortable positions and not moving. They continued with that trend tonight and I thought hey put on a fantastic performance. Did they step it up? I actually think they didn't. I think their audition was better and more entertaining, but the judges loved them and, to be fair, they were one of the two best acts of the night. Were they as good as Diversity? I don't think so, but I don't get to decide.

The evening closed with a performance by electric string quartet Escala, who were in the finals last year. Their performance was also incredible, it's too bad people don't get to vote for them again. So who won?

Well first place, as I expected, went to Flawless, but the two acts up for debate after that were Shaun Smith and... Gareth Oliver. This is a tense decision for the judges. I said I thought it was going to be a quick choice because Shaun's performmance was so obviously better than Gareth's. It wasn't -quite- as quick as I thought.

Simon: "Shaun." No seriously that's all he said and it moved on to Piers.
Piers: Piers said that he loved Shaun but it's a variety show and since Simon doesn't seem to get variety he would give Gareth a chance and vote for him.
Amanda: Amanda got put in the tight spot tonight, then, and really seemed to agonize about it saying that Piers was right about this being a variety show and there being a lot of singers, but in the end she voted for Shaun anyway because he was the best act.

So in the end my prediction was only two-thirds correct. I loved Jamie and I hope he never gives up his dream regardless of what the judges said. I have to agree with the top two again though, they were definitely the best performances. I actually think Shaun deserves the number one spot in those votes because his performance was just incredible.

A big problem with the semi-finals has been that the acts aren't as good as their auditions and it's an understandable problem. Performers put on the best performance they can for the audition because they have to impress the judges more than, in the case of this year, 160 other acts. THEN they have to somehow find a way to make their act better? It's almost impossible. But it really helps a semi-final performance if they can do it. 

Next Semi-Final: Tomorrow 2:30 Central, 8:30 London time.

May 24th, 2009

Okay, so over the past month I've been completely hooked on Britain's Got Talent. Today was the first semi-final and I found a way to stream it so ardweden  and I could watch it live. The acts tonight were:

Diversity (large dance group)
Sue Son (solo electric violinist)
Darth Jackson (Darth Vader/ Michael Jackson act)
Julia Naidenko (belly dancer)
Natalie Okri (10-year-old singer)
Nick Hell (freak show act?)
Faces Of Disco (dance duo with celebrity masks)
Susan Boyle (singer, who happens to have over 100 million hits on youtube)

For those of you who don't know the process it works like this: Any number of acts can get through the audition process (this year it was around 200) the judges then have to narrow those down to 40 acts that get through to the semi-finals. There are then five semi-final shows with eight acts each. The judges still have the ability to buzz an act and end it early but in the end it comes down mostly to audience votes. The lines open for ten minutes at the end of the show during which people can call in and vote, the act with the most votes goes to the final on Saturday, and the judges have to decide between the second and third place acts.

So my prediction going into today's show based on the auditions was that the top three would be Susan Boyle, Diversity, and Natalie Okri. This is how the show went.

Diversity: As I said about twelve times during their act tonight, I LOVE THESE GUYS! They are creative, funny, and talented. They are the best dance act I have ever seen hands down. They performed an act that went through the Mission Impossible theme, Surfin' USA, and Smooth Criminal, and I may be forgetting something. It was better than their audition which is something I can't say for many of the acts tonight. As soon as I saw them open the show I knew that I was right by predicting them in the top three.

Sue Son: She has a bit of a sad story. She originally auditioned with her best friend in a keyboard/electric violin duet act called "Addicted" which the judges didn't like, but they loved Sue and asked her to perform again. She agreed and, as a result, lost her best friend. Her solo audition was very good but it was obvious that she only had one day to prepare and could do more with more time. She proved that tonight. Her performance was brilliant, it was energetic, powerful, and while Simon seemed to think she didn't show enough emotion, I really thought she was incredibly intense and I loved her. After her performance I wasn't so sure about my previous prediction anymore.

Darth Jackson: Okay, I've never been a huge fan of this guy. I think he's a decent dancer but not good enough that his gimmick makes up for it. I thought, at the very least, he needs to lose the lightsaber. Thank god he did. His performance was very funny. He did thriller with a crew of Storm Troopers, but it wasn't good enough. He really showed that he's actually not a brilliant dancer, just a decent one with a funny gimmick.

Julia Naidenko: The only act to ever get seven yeses in her audition, 2 from piers, 3 from Simon, and 2 from Amanda. She's a gorgeous, gorgeous lady, and incredibly flexible. She's, perhaps, the best belly dancing act I've seen my problem with her performance tonight to Lady Marmalade was that there wasn't enough belly dancing. It was incredibly sexy and got one buzz from Amanda because she didn't think the queen would appreciate Prince Phillip and the rest of the royal boys being so distracted and because Julia was "too sexy for words." They get very silly with their buzzers in the semi-finals. Nevertheless an entertaining act, but not as good as her audition

Natalie Okri: Perhaps the cutest little kid in the world, and a superb singer with a big voice. Unfortunately, her choice of song which was "Superstar" by Jamelia doesn't showcase that very well. It does not help that the backing sound tonight seemed to be way too loud in general and Natalie seemed very quiet. She was one of my favorite auditions and she's adorable and as Simon said "just smile and you'll get a load of votes," but after her act I was almost positive that my prediction was wrong and that the top three would be two Sues and Diversity.

Nick Hell: AAAARGRHHJJHSGBFDKJHASDGFJH!!! This guy makes me want to puke! I hate him with a burning passion. In the audition he hung garbage cans from the giant holes in his ears and swung them around, put a coat hanger through his nose and swung a suit around, and had his fiancee' drop a bowling ball on his stomach. I resolved myself to honestly TRY and get through watching his act since I could not get through the audition without looking away, but as soon as he said this performance was going to be more extreme and dangerous I knew I was in trouble. I got about 3 seconds in when he took a drill and went for his nose before I turned away in disgust and pain. I kept waiting and praying until I heard three buzzers and knew it was over. This man should not be allowed near other people and the judges seem to agree.

Faces of Disco: These guys are just good fun. I was worried they couldn't make their act funny again because we knew the trick from the first time, which was that they change masks throughout the act to different celebrities as they dance to disco songs. But they surprised me, going through world leaders like Obama, and Prince Charles and the Queen and even doing Ant and Dec. They ended with not one, not two, but twelve Simon Cowells dancing on stage. And for their trouble they got 2 buzzers. One from Simon because he didn't like the begining but he said he quite liked the end and didn't know why they ever used any other masks, and once from Piers because the end made him think he had died and gone to hell. Amanda, on the other hand, I think was about to faint when they took their shirts off. For my part I think these boys are very funny and I loved watching them, but finals material? No, unfortunately.

Susan Boyle: Ah we finally get to see a second performance from the Internet's favorite lady. Was it worth the wait? Yes! She was brilliant, again not as good as her audition but unlike Natalie, she picked a good song for herself "Memories" from Cats. And she sang it fantastically. Again the backing sound seemed to make her sound quiet but I loved the performance anyhow and as soon as she opened her mouth I knew she would be in the finals. I liked Diversity more, mind you, but Susan nailed her performance just like I knew she would.

So my prediction at the END of the performances for the top three was Susan, Diversity, and Sue Son in that order. Was I right? No. As it turns out I was the first time. Susan Boyle got the number one slot in the audience vote (probably by a ration of 100:1 if youtube hits are any indication) and in second and third place (not necessarily in that order, although I rather expect it is) was Diversity and Natalie Okri.

Susan was hilarious, I love her, she walked in the wrong direction after winning AGAIN and then stomped back over the Ant and Dec where she did her little, hip wiggle thing and then did it once more for "Piers baby!" which make me just crack up. So then it was down to Diversity or Natalie. I would not have wanted to be in the judges position; not because I don't know who I'd pick, I do, I'd pick Diversity without a second thought, but because I would not want to be responsible for crushing the cutest little kid in existence. So the votes broke down like this:

Piers: Voted for Diversity whom he said had the best chance at winning.

Amanda: Well being in the middle spot is an interesting position because you can either make a hard decision yourself, or pass the responsibility to the next person. Amanda, lover of all things cute, did the latter. So it was up to Simon to choose.

Simon: Well he agreed with me that Natalie chose the wrong song, and he knew that Diversity were great so he chose Diversity.

So Diversity got into the finals, and Natalie cried, which broke the heart of everyone watching the semi-finals... It was one of the most painful things I've ever had to watch since... well twenty minutes ago when Nick Hell was on the stage. Given a choice between the two I'm not sure which I would want to see again. But there we have it... the first two finalists are Susan Boyle and Diversity, and they would be my choices as well, so I'm happy... except Natalie cried.

Next Semi-Final: Tomorrow at 3 PM Central, 9 PM London time.

March 25th, 2009

Annual Post I Guess

Okay, so it's been about a year since my last post I figure. Or it's getting there. Actually... now that I think about it it might be longer. Maybe I should make this semi-annual. Ah well. I decided I'd post mainly because I had a funny story. See I'm taking this class called Renaissance Women Writers in Context. The professor has this tendency to give us creative options for writing responses which I generally avoid. This unit (which was France) didn't have any responses that weren't creative and weren't INCREDIBLY BORING. So I ended up taking the assignment to write two petrarchan sonnets (one by a female voice and one by a male voice). I was half asleep when I wrote them so I thought they were crap. I turned them in though. She didn't get them back before break but I didn't much care.

Fast forward to a week and a half later and it's yesterday. She says she has our responses and my comment in defense of myself is "All I have to say is Sonnets are hard" and her response is "They are so actually I was wondering if you would be willing to read yours." I was shocked. I said "okay" and I read it. She also had a post-it on them that says she'd like my permission to use them for other classes. So apparently even though I thought I produced silly, nonsense it was just the RIGHT KIND of silly nonsense.

So anyhow here they are my silly French petrarchan renaissance sonnets.

Sonnet for Olivia 

Olivia, your eyes are like the sun
And my life is the night that they make day
Elation surrounds me if you do stay
Despair, my fate if you decide to run

Alas you think of me as only fun
But I for you lament the day away
Love did prick me on that fine day in May
But when he turned to you he said, “I’m done.” 

So friendship shall be my unhappy prize
And I shall only kiss you in my dream
And if one day this song can reach your heart 

I hope that you will come to realize
My love for you is more than it may seem
My feelings are preserved within this art


Olivia’s Response 

Oh how you praise me with your words so fine
They make my heart erupt in freezing flame
For all your pain for which I am to blame
I only wish I could but make you mine

Alas I am promised to the divine
So now it is my heart that must be tame
And not respond to you with love the same
Instead shall I while locked in hiding pine 

I shall compose upon the heavens high
While truly I wish I could write on you
If only you were filled with that great grace 

Then I could speak of you while deep in sigh
And tell you that I truly love you too
Your art almost as truly as your face

June 30th, 2008

Boom De Yada

My contribution to ninjadebugger's meme.

I love gaming night,
I love funny signs.
I love sandwiches,
And convention lines.
I love the whole world,
And all its fun and games.

boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada.

June 18th, 2007

Back again.

Okay sorry for the long delay. Had lots of work to do. Still do but I feel I shouldn't put this off any longer so I'll wrap up ireland.

Saturday was much more eventful! We went to Trinity College and did their tour. It was very cool and amusing! The tour guide (an ex-student) was very funny. We got to see The Book of Kells. Well, sort of.... we got to see half of The Book of Kells.... they ripped it into 4 pieces. We got to see two. Yes... they ripped a 1,000 year old religious relic into four pieces. I'll give you a second to stop crying.... ... ... Done? ... good. So after that we weren't sure what to do but we wanted lunch so we wandered down to a Frommer's recomended chippery by st. patrick's cathedral. We both got a whole order and an order of chips. That was a big mistake. It was huge and we didn't even get close to finishing it. We then went on to see the cathedral. It was very pretty and we got lots of pictures. After that I dragged Arwen to Brazen Head which is the oldest pub in ireland. (But not the oldest pub in Dublin. My current theory with no research done is that it was established before the ground it was built on was part of Dublin.) It was cool but once again had the same beer selection of every other pub.

we walked around a lot more that day and did some shopping and such. Then we went back to the hotel and I made reservations at a place called One Pico. This was also highly recomended even though a bit pricey. We went and it was the most bizarre experience in dining ever.

Okay first of all it was very dimly lit and fancy. It was thst kind of restaurant. Everyone had french accents and such and everything was a production. They had to use two spoons like some weird chopsticks to give you bread and such and you enter and there is this plate on your table right? And two forks on your left and two knives on your right. So then you place your order and if you don't order wine they take away your wine glasses. Then they come and bring a bottle of water and fill your water glasses. Then they bring you your pre-appetizer soup. Which is in this little tiny cup. It was kind of have cold and have warm soup. You eat it with the little tiny spoon they give you and then they take the whole plate away. It happened like a ninja pincer attack! One waiter from the left and the other one from the right and they pick up both people's plates and like spin away. Then your appetizer comes and you eat that. At that point they come and take your appetizer plates and one fork and one knife. (They actually took my dirty fork because I used the wrong one. They looked exactly the same and I couldn't remember if you use them from the outside in or what.) Anyway Then they bring you your passion fruit jelly that you eat before the main course. You eat that and they take that plate away. Then! Your main course comes. Once you finish that they come and take away your plates and the last of your silver ware, and ask you if you want desert and if you say no (like we did) they take away your water glasses. With all this attentiveness (to the point of feeling like I was being stalked) You'd think that they would bring you your check. But nope! Just like every other restaurant we went to you had to go and track someone down to ask for your check. This was bizarre as we were sitting at a completely empty table for 10 minutes while waiters walked all around us.

Sunday was extra awesome because we booked a tour into the country to see County Wicklow. It was a great tour! The country is gorgeous! Our tour guide was VERY funny and sounded like Dylan Moran! I was completely entranced with the whole area. It was so gorgeous. Wait till you see pictures! We stopped at a pub for lunch on the tour and I had my last Guinness in ireland. We also got to see a bunch of irish celebrities' houses. Like Bono and such. At the end the driver gave anyone who wanted one a shot of whiskey and we went back.

Arwen and I decided to eat at a place called Elephant and Castle which was great. It was a "Authentic American Ethnic Restaurant" We knew we had to go just to see what American Ethnic food was like. The cheeseburger I had was pretty good but still very different from what you would get in the states. Just like our mexican/chinese/japanese/italian ethnic food is different from the real thing. Arwen's chicken wings were very good and she seemed to really like them. All-in-all it was a cool experience.

This past weekend we spent in York most of the time and then in Birmingham for a Blackmore's Night concert! I think I'll leave it up to Arwen to talk about York when she gets a chance. Later I'll post about the Blackmore's Night Concert. For now I should read. See ya!

June 11th, 2007

We return from ireland!

So we went to Ireland. It was really fantastic! We had a bit of trouble getting into the country because they forgot to stamp our passports when we got into London. However, when we did get into Dublin it was really awesome. The city is gorgeous (We have pictures so you'll see). They have fantastic beer of course and our hotel was actually quite nice. The first day we spent wandering around town trying to get some shopping done and some sort of a feel for the area. We wanted to get some touristy stuff in but we didn't really get a chance.

The first thing we did was go to the nearest pub (which happened to be Dublin's oldest. But not ireland's oldest! That comes later!) I had a Guinness because I absolutely had to have a Guinness in Dublin. Then I had a Beamish. One of the things I noticed was that while Guinness in Dublin is much much better than it is in the states,  Beamish and other beers produced in Ireland seem to be about the same as in the states. I am not certain why this is. Continuing on though we wandered down to the southside of town in search of Dublin castle and shopping if I recall correctly. We found a cute very touristy shop in Temple Bar and bought some souvenirs there. We then found Dublin Castle but too late to go in (It turns out that stores and such in Europe all close down around 5-6PM which is a major shift from the States where things don't start closing until 9.)

Once we finished with the shopping we needed to get some dinner so we went to a suggested place for pub grub (because I wanted to see another pub while we were there.) We went to a place called The Old Stand. It was a nice pub and the food was quite good. (I got irish stew and it was excellent. Arwen got a cold fish plate of some sort if I recall correctly.) The one thing that began to strike me when I entered this pub though was how all the pubs in Dublin really seem to have the same beer selection. In the States one of the things that can really make a place great is having a large selection of draught beers. In Dublin it seems everyone has at least 2 taps with Guinness. One tap with North Star (more on that later), then Budweiser, Heineken, Kilkiney, Bulmers, Miller, and then they will have a few beers that are interchangeable. No more than two and it is generally either Beamish, Smithwicks, or some lager than I don't recall. Even the most highly recommended bars didn't have more than 11 taps. and really only about 10 different beers since two are always Guinness. Some of my favorite bars in the States have something like 25 different beers and some have more.

Anyway moving on... While I was in that  pub I had the Guinness North Star which is part of their Brewhouse Limited Edition Series. It was fantastic. It was about as close as you can get to Extra Stout on tap except it was better. It had a very strong stout flavor to it initially and a fantastically smooth aftertaste. I now kind of wish I would have had it again while I was there but regular Guinness consistently tasted different in different pubs and it fascinated me. I also had a Bulmer's hard cider there and that was also quite good. It was much drier than say Strongbow is. One of the things I noticed after that meal, though, is that in Europe waiters don't check on you ever. They never come by and ask if you are ready for the bill or anything. You actually have to go and find a waiter and ask for the bill. This became a problem while we were there because it really seemed rude and impatient to go and find someone and ask them for your bill instead of waiting for them to come by and at least look your way to check on you. I guess it is just because we are so used to it working that way in the States. Anyway, when we left that place we walked back to the Hotel and I honestly passed out. Beer hits me really hard , much harder than hard liquor does. So that was pretty much it for me that night. I will post about Saturday later. For now enjoy this. (Oh and we'll post pictures shortly. We're both very busy right now. Just wanted to pop on and let people know we're alive). Cheers!

June 6th, 2007

So yesterday was our first full day here at the manor. We started it with some breakfast. For the record (as Arwen pointed out) black pudding is not good. We had our first class in the morning and it was pretty awesome. It took a little bit to get warmed up but once it got going it was a lot of fun. Today is our first test in about half an hour but it should be fine. It's a short essay exam about Pride and Prejudice.

After our class yesterday we went to Grantham which is the town near by. First of all the transport there is pretty annoying. The mini bus only fits 16 people. So if there is more than that  (which there was) you have to either convince the driver to make another pass or wait for the next bus to come in a couple hours. We, thankfully, managed the former. Once we arrived in town we walked around looking for a pub to have lunch at (We skipped lunch because we knew we were going to have it in town). When we arrived at the pub the first bit of confusion came when we didn't know whether to seat ourselves or wait to be seated. Eventually, I asked whether we should just seat ourselves and the bartender seemed a bit confused and then said "Yeah". We sat there a while and then eventually I got up and got us menus when I realized that they probably werent coming to the table. We ordered some fish and chips and Arwen got a britvic pressed apple juice and I had a Carling (I really wanted a beer which was the other reason we went to a pub.) The apple juice was quite tasty and the Carling was actually excellent. Much better than I expected. I had ordered it because it was what all the locals there were drinking and I wanted something I had never had before. The fish and chips were pretty good. Not the best fish and chips I've ever had. That award still goes to The Parting Glass in Saratoga.

We then went on to do some shopping. We checked out a couple of book shops and a grocery store (That was awesome. We shall be returning to take pictures. Especially of the wine selection. The Grocery store had a better wine selection than any liquor store I've ever seen.) We also visited a candy shop and a general store.

In the end we forgot to buy most of the things we needed. I did buy a nicer copy of Jayne Eyre than the one I have from class. It was only 2 pounds for the reader's digest version so it was a pretty good deal. When we returned to the manor we both passed out and then I woke up with a horrible headache and we only barely made it downstairs in time for dinner. Then we went on a tour of the manor.

Our tour guide was great fun and told us many things about the manor that we would not have known otherwise. It's a long history though and I shall not relay it all here. Some interesting points though, the chandelier in the great hall was apparently originally made for a palace in madrid. The front of the house was used for all the exterior pictures of the mansion in "The Haunting" and there are plenty of secret passages.

Another thing to note. I bought a phone card so I could call people and discovered something awesome. A one pound coin is the best thing in the world for scratching off that scratch off stuff on phone cards. I think I'll keep one around for that purpose. Also I am apparently slowly developing a british accent of sorts. This happens if I'm surrounded by an accent long enough. It doesn't pop up very much right now but the one thing that is a little odd is that when I read things or write things now the voice in my head has a british accent. Anyway gonna go to class now. We'll post pictures tomorrow.

June 5th, 2007

And so we arrived

So me and Arwen arrived in England. (Yes I know I'm posting to my LJ and everyone is shocked. I'll give you a moment to get over that... ... ... better now? Good.) So me and Arwen arrived in England where we are spending a month studying  british literature. We are in a gorgeous manor which we explored at length yesterday and will likely explore more today. We took some pictures. We will take more today and let people know where to find them.

The trip here was terrible. Neither of us can sleep on planes and so we were both obscenely tired yesterday. Which is why I'm posting this morning. Which is fine because most people are on now anyway because it's about 1 AM there. (Hell it's only 11 PM in California. Crazy Californians.) The flight was long.  Eight hours or so. But! on the bright side we got to watch the awesome plane show! They had individual TVs for each seat where you could watch movies and such. None of the movies were any good so instead we watched the flight progress. Which showed where the plane was on the map and then how fast it was going, how long before you arrive, what the time is in Chicago/London/Current location of the plane, what the temperature is outside (Very cold, FYI. We decided we would not step outside the plane) it was much more interesting than anything else they had to watch. So we watched it the whole flight.

When we arrived in England we were both pretty ill. It was cool to be here though. The countryside is gorgeous. It's fun to hear everyone talk with british accents. But the thing that struck us both the most odd was when we got to the manor and went to the bathroom. I went to wash my hands. I turned on the hot and cold water. Put my hand under the faucet and was shocked that one hand was burning hot and the other was cold, retracted them quickly, looked closer, realized that there were two faucets, one for hot, and one for cold. I sat there for a moment. Then I turned on the hot and used that and burned my hand. Then I took my hand back and used the cold. I walked out of the bathroom fully intending to say to Arwen that the biggest culture shock so far is the damn sink but she beat me to it.

The rest of yesterday was spent resting and exploring the manor. (Which we have full access to. Both the manor and the grounds. This is our home for the next month and they made it very clear at orientation that we are welcome to treat it as such.)

Anyway I went to bed fairly early last night. (I can't handle sleep deprivation well. I get very very ill if I'm sleep deprived and can't do anything or think about anything.) So I went to sleep at around 7:30 PM and I woke up at around 5:30 AM. Which isn't bad. That's what time Ard woke up too. Anyway I'll post more later. For now I want to see if breakfast is ready.

June 9th, 2005

Okay so some tunes for jcatquince huh? Hm...let's see...List five songs that you are currently digging ... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words or even if they're any good but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artist and the song in your blog along with your five songs. Then tag five other people to see what they're listening to.

Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies
Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Techno Remix)
Rasmus - Not Like Other Girls
Bowling for Soup - 1985
Lisa Loeb - Stay

Tag! (Let's see who actually reads this thing)

ardweden, So full of hat!
jrenken, Calc, you always have interesting choices. =P
chamelaeon, In the absence of weeks of sanctuary I demand to know what you have been listening to!
transmutating, Ha! You're it! and I shall steal Trish from your list too so you can't have her, nya!
monkey_goddess See? Nya! Now what have you been listening to, Kiddo? ^^

May 25th, 2005

So I'm up because I'm sick and my cough medicine isn't knocking me out like it should. So I decided I'd come on here and post again since I haven't the past few days. Okay so yesterday er...yesterday being monday since I have yet to sleep. I went to my friend Chris's house with my friend Eric and we saw his new Cockatoo. He's been talking about getting a parrot for like forever and he finally did so we had to see it. It's name is Squirt and it's sooooo cute. It cuddles and craves attention and it's just like a real baby actually. I'll probably post pictures of it eventually so people can see it. It doesn't talk much yet but apparently it says "Uh-oh" It makes a lot of noise though and thinks it's a human. Just like Chris!

Anyway so yeah I've been sick for a while now and I went back to the doctor today and he gave me some cough syrup with codeine and some anti-biotics. The anti-biotics I've had before and they work extremely well so hopefully this thing is an infection and will just GO AWAY. My lungs are okay though so I know it's not pneumonia thankfully. Anyway I'll rant about ACen now and finish off my ACen report probably.

So Saturday... Saturday me and chamelaeon headed down to the con room for some breakfast but stopped when we got to the hotel's restaurant thing when we realized lirazel, mads, and schneeble were having breakfast there so we decided to join them. I had been looking forward to saturday all weekend as saturday was the day we would have the pizza party in the impro room. I don't remember much that happened in between breakfast and dinner. I know we spent some time in the dealer room. ardweden got some commissions done, we moved the video games downstairs and we all piled into the improroom for the party. I spent most of the party playing cards as I had spent the whole weekend. The pizza was fantastic! Unlike any pizza I had ever had before. mads did his drawing of the party for ACen 2005 which I'm sure he'll post eventually when he gets around to it (It's really great and it's huge because there were so many people there). The real highlight of the party and what took up the most time was ifritah doing her "Shark Joke" this wasn't exactly a joke in the common usage of the word. It was more a story which got the audience involved as characters. As such it differs every time it's told and the length changes. I'm not sure how long it took this time. Longer than an hour probably an hour and a half or 2 hours I'm not really sure. It involved chamelaeon as a eccentric extremely rich psychopath (A brilliant choice). He married most of the girls in the room by buying various coffee shops. There was jrenken The green cat, sporkchan the butler, rowyn2001 and grysar the er birds of some kind they actually may have been cockatoos one sang christmas carols and one was leopard print. and I may be wrong about who played them. He married kamalloy, lirazel and ardweden (Who had a Orangutan butler who's name I forgot.) I was cast as ardweden's dad, and of course there was laechim and coldfury who were the sharks. Other people were involved as well though I don't remember what parts they played. I won't ruin the ending but I will say it was pretty predictable and we were the only group who has ever applauded. We all had fun though. We all got to be involved and have fun making random comments to each other. It was a blast!

Sunday rolled around sooner than I would have liked. =/ The end always comes too soon. We had breakfast at Pancakes Eggcetera which was incredible and every bit as good as Cham bragged it was. ardweden offered to take me back to Midway which was very kind of her and I'm very appreciative to her and zegon for making my trip much easier. I promise from now on I'll fly into O'hare. We took one last trip around the dealer room and got the group picture for the year if slightly less than a full group at the time. Finally we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. I was feeling more and more sick and tired as the day went on and when I finally said my final goodbyes and got on the plane I slept the whole way back. This is extremely rare as I can never sleep on planes. I even slept in the center of two people the first half of my flight which is extremely difficult. Thus was the end of ACen for this year. I will definitely be returning next year. Especially considering if all goes as planned I will be living in Chicago by next year. Now I think I'm going to try and sleep again.
Powered by LiveJournal.com