icepixie: (Sunflower)
Is this forecast for the right country?

My room gets the afternoon sun, and I was almost at the point of wishing for air conditioning this afternoon. OMG.
icepixie: (miles to go)
Back from Kent. Saw pretty things while I was there. I would write more about them, but I dosed myself up with Benadryl this afternoon (it was either that or scratch my eyes out and sneeze myself into the river at Topsham, and by about noon, the Benadryl Fuzziness (tm) sounded like a better option) and I'm not quite up to typing out a long thing right now. I need to go into town tomorrow and get some of that 24-hour non-drowsy antihistamine. Or figure out some other way to get my body to DEAL WITH PLANTS and not go haywire in the spring.

In other disappointing news, I didn't get much money for the books I took to the bookstore in Topsham today. They aren't big on books with writing in them here. (This was never a problem at the store in Rivergate, but maybe they don't care as much since they only give you store credit, not cash, for books.) I could feel the disapproving look through the phone when they called me back to tell me what they'd bought and what they'd given in disgust to the charity shop down the road. I got enough to cover my train fare and a little extra, though, so I suppose it wasn't a wasted trip. I had a giant cream tea while I was there, anyway, and those are always fun. And it's nice not to have to, y'know, lug five million books back across an ocean.

Ugh. So sleepy...
icepixie: (Nine and fifty swans)
Kate Fox, in her anthropology book Watching the English, describes American toast as "sweaty and indiscreet and emotional."

Forgive me, British types on my friends list, but only a citizen of this fair isle could describe toast as "emotional."

*

I finally remembered to go check out what happened in these last few Alias episodes that's had everybody so excited, and...ow. Spoilers ) My mind, it is blown.

I think I might actually have to watch next season. Huh. Along with SG-1, Atlantis, and BSG, that makes...a lot of TV. Even if the schedules don't exactly mesh, that could still be very painful. Are they airing Alias January-May again this year? It would be so nice if they'd air it mostly September-December, as Skiffy's stuff is on hiatus then... (Uh, right? I think that's right. I haven't really watched any TV since August, so I can't recall.)
icepixie: (Default)
Oxford, Stratford, and all the stops in between have been photographed, and said pictures are up at
the usual spot
. There are five albums for ease of viewing.

Brief observations on the trip )

Bed now.

Spam!

May. 15th, 2005 04:49 pm
icepixie: (humans are superior)
Go here. Scroll to the bottom. Download the mp3 labeled "I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester."

I'm cracking up, but I'm also kind of scared. Um, these people are from the same area of the country Exeter's in. Yes.

(I'm not supposed to be working at all. Nope. Not me.)
icepixie: (Wax Lion)
And now my eyes have gone all bloodshot and itchy, and I've broken out in hives across my nose. I cannot catch a break today.

I was going to get the remaining 2,000 words of my memoir done tonight, but I'm seriously contemplating giving up and going to bed right now.

Still no sign of my drugs. I guess I'll have to go back into town tomorrow morning.

(P.S. The BBC has a short item about the arsonist downtown, if you're interested.)

Holy cow!

Apr. 30th, 2005 02:35 am
icepixie: (Jaye glee)
So Exeter finally sees fit to let me use iJournal to update this thing instead of having to go to the website. Woot! Now, if only they would let us have FTP access... *sigh*

Anyway. I was a good little student and went to my film screening this morning, but I think it caused a relapse. I spent most of the afternoon in bed, and didn't make it to the second screening. Ah, well; we watched Hook, and I watched Sky Captain, tonight, so that was fun. (Did you know Gwyneth Paltrow is in Hook? There was a collective "ahhhhh!" when she showed up briefly as Wendy, despite being WAY too old to play a thirteen-year-old kid. Eeek. I was halfway through SC at the time, so I had a brief moment of "what movie am I watching?")

Speaking of movies...the film this morning was Ball of Fire, a romantic comedy from the 40s that's sort of like that Meg Ryan movie from ten years ago, I.Q.,, only way less cute. (Going to Blockbuster to rent that one tomorrow, BTW. I watch way too many movies when I'm sick and should be working.) Anyway, this was a version that had been recorded off the television circa 1989, complete with commercials. And okay, I thought our commercials from that era were bizarre--these are way worse. There was one where the narrator said, "Look at those smug Belgies sitting on their clean carpet...now we British can have clean carpets too, with [whatever product it was]!" Bizarre, I tell you. There was a very surreal one for Cadbury's that I think was trying to make a reference to the Bermuda Triangle and failing; at any rate, it had horrible, horrible music.

I finally wrote up my Ireland thing tonight, which I'll be posting shortly. Woo-hoo!
icepixie: (academic)
The second semester started in earnest today. I had Satire in the morning and Comedy, Comedians & Romance (a film class) in the afternoon. Were I a real British student, I'd only have classes on Tuesdays. (Well, okay, there are screenings for the film class on Thursdays and Fridays, but you can do those any time in the library, so they don't count.) But us Kenyonites are more special, so I continue to have the Kenyon seminar on Monday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. Which is a good thing, otherwise I'd go out of my mind without enough to do. I still don't understand how the English majors here at Exeter can consider themselves educated after having taken a total of twelve courses before graduation. Yes, some of these classes are ever-so-slightly more intense than ones at home, but we take thirty-two courses over four years at a minimum at Kenyon. Most of us take a few more than that. The mind still boggles.

Anyway. I think this semester will be better, class-wise, than the last one. There will never be a dull moment in Satire, at any rate. The professor is--well, opinionated, obnoxious, antagonistic, incendiary...take your pick of adjectives, really. He does rather fit the stereotype of the obnoxious New Yorker. We were told today that anyone insulting Judy Garland would be taken out back and shot. Indeed. And he insulted Kenyon and Ohio again; apparently we're all insane for wanting to go to school in Gambier. Still, I get the impression that he's all bark and no bite, to use a cliche, and really just puts on the act to keep us on our toes. Plus, y'know. Satire. Fabulous reading list. And it appears (so far) that there will not be any of the group presentations that the professors here seem so enamored with, to my great delight. Glorified busy work and an excuse for the rest of the class not to do the reading, those things are.

Unfortunately, the film class appears to be using presentations, although with any luck they won't be the half-the-class-every-week style from Shakespeare. Other than that, it looks like a fun class; the prof didn't make much of an impression on me, but any class where we're watching When Harry Met Sally, Bringing Up Baby, The Shop Around the Corner, and City Lights can't be all bad. Essay topics are already percolating in my brain, which is always a good thing.

Speaking of essays, if I ever go to graduate school, first knock me upside the head for even thinking of such a thing, and then if I still insist on doing it, remind me to do my thesis/dissertation on Yeats. Writing an essay on him and William Morris at the moment for Matz's class, and wow. So much more excited about this one than I have been about anything the entire past semester.

Speaking of which, I should probably go work on that...
icepixie: ("The Singing Butler" - Jack Vettriano)
Guess what I just got in the mail... *waves ROTK extended edition* Hooray for Amazon! Is that even supposed to be released until tomorrow? Anyway. No watching it until Christmas, though. All the extras should keep me occupied until at least the new year.

Speaking of which, we decorated the tree today, and it finally feels Christmassy. (Which is strange, considering that the UK seems to make a much bigger fuss over it than the US does--lights in the streets of every city/town big and small, Christmas trees everywhere, various decorations all over the place--we have the same stuff, but on a much lesser scale, and more of a "Happy Holidays" feel than a specifically Christmassy one. [livejournal.com profile] spockette, [livejournal.com profile] edithmatilda, you remember this conversation, right? ;))

Anyway...I'm resizing pictures today, hopefully to have them all uploaded and stuff by tonight, and then I'll make a biiiig Bath/Edinburgh/St. Andrews/London post. Woo-hoo!
icepixie: ("The Singing Butler" - Jack Vettriano)
It's so depressing that the sun starts setting here at 2:30, and has since about the beginning of November. Argh.

We've planned out our Christmas travelling, so yay! We're spending ungodly amounts of time on trains, followed by that crazy-making transatlantic flight (not to mention changing planes and flying, y'know, home), but the outcome of it all is about four and a half days in Edinburgh (with a side trip to St. Andrews for me to see [livejournal.com profile] spockette! If the universe implodes the week after next, you'll know what happened) and three days in London. I'm attempting not to think about the fact that [livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels and I are getting up at some really early hour three Mondays from now in order to lug our bodybags of suitcases onto the tube out to Heathrow in time for our flight

And now off to book train tickets (the last piece of our plan) and to the JYA cream tea that the School of English is putting on for us. Yay for food. :)
icepixie: (Default)
Quick British food question: anyone know if something akin to these little red heart- or circle-shaped cinnamon hard candies we have in the US is sold in this country? I have a strange desire to make cinnamon apples, and I neeeeeed them.

Not replying to anyone else's comments in the address-request post, because LJ likes to unscreen them when I do that, and I have to rescreen them, and it's annoying. Safe to say I got everyone's addy, and you'll be getting cards. If anyone else wants one, go to this post and leave a comment with your address.

Meme time!

If I were a character from a cartoon, book, mythical, TV or movie, real or fictional, who would you think I should be? (Yes, I edited the meme to correctly use the subjunctive. I am that sad. I am also totally ignoring all the other grammatical errors in it because they make my head hurt.)

Answers for everyone else I've seen this with, 'cause I'm far too lazy to do individual comments )
icepixie: (Rebecca Fogg)
Well, I have a second draft now, except it's 35 words over the maximum word count. *sigh* Stupid British system with uber-firm word requirements.

Because I find it amusing, here's a picture of my desk from last night It's got everything I need--computer (mostly out of the shot), Shakespeare bible, one of my many reference books, candy, cup of tea, iPod, bottle of water, and, yes, roast turkey and stuffing-flavored potato chips. I have no idea what is up with these British people and their penchant for meat-flavored potato products. But these were very accurate; it was like a Thanksgiving dinner in my mouth. They were...edible. Don't think I'll be buying any more, but I did finish these.
icepixie: (Joe and Polly - Sky Captain)
Um...how do you eat a toffee apple? I got one from Sainsburys 'cause, hey, apples and toffee sound good together. But...how do you eat these things? The toffee is tooth-chippingly hard, and there doesn't seem to be a way to get at the apple inside. Help?
icepixie: (Joe and Polly - Sky Captain)
When you read an article that insists that King Henry V can be somehow compared to the process of digestion, and you're pretty sure you've read that right, you know it's time to take a break.

Not a long one, though, 'cause ugh. Annotated bibliography is kicking my ass but(t) good. I have a great big mess of a thesis that I'd rather refine before I really get into my research, but the bibliograpy is due Thursday, so I can't really do that this time. Bleh. Hopefully at least some of these articles will prove useful when I actually write the paper next week... Schwytzer said these new ones that I'm reading are what I'm looking for, so yay.

Anyway. Got a package from my parents today, containing spiffy corderoy pants (hallelujah! I have more than three pairs of pants again!), a neato scarf, instant mashed potatoes(!!!), and some Halloween candy. My mother is obviously psychic, 'cause I was just thinking that I'd really like a Reeses peanut butter cup or some peanut butter M&Ms (peanut butter is totally not popular at all over here), and look what came in the package. Thanks, Mom. :)

In other food news, I've discovered crack in a jar. It goes by the name of Cadbury's smooth milk chocolate spread. OMG, it's like chocolate frosting, only creamier and chocolatier. I've made a pact with myself that I'll only use it to coat my Granny Smith apples, 'cause otherwise I'd eat the entire jar in one sitting. How do they get away with selling this in the peanut butter/jam/etc. aisle? How is it not a controlled substance?
icepixie: (Default)
Dartmoor Pictures! )

Man, just looking at these again makes me want to go throw myself off a cliff or something. It was neat, but rather unsettling all the same. It's the kind of place where you feel like something's sneaking up behind you all the time...oh, wait, that was [livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels. Never mind. ;) Still, the disturbingness of it remains. I'm gonna have dreams about the Hound of the Baskervilles or something tonight...
icepixie: (October twilight)
Well, Dartmoor didn't go quite as planned. So it's a good thing that I (planner and control freak extraordinaire) was with [livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels and [livejournal.com profile] softstepshoes, who are good at improvising, or the day could have gone very bad very quickly.

Anyway. We'd intended to take the bus to the Miniature Pony Farm and Petting Zoo, then wander around the moors until the bus came to pick us up. It sort of worked. We got on the bus, but it went flying past the pony place before we could blink. Undaunted, we decided to wait for the next stop and walk back...except the next stop was several miles away. So no ponies for us. We'll see them when we go back in the spring, along with the otter and butterfly sanctuary. Because in the spring, we're making someone take us in a car. The buses try hard, and they go to a lot of interesting places from Exeter, but they don't go between these interesting places, which is sort of what we wanted.

Anyway, we eventually got off the bus and walked a little ways to a village called Princetown. We had lunch at a great little cafe--great fish and chips, really nice people, all in all a lovely place. Then we went to the visitors' center to see which of the myriad stone circles on our map we should attempt to hike to in our limited time.

Really, really glad we talked to the people there, because the guy there mentioned that bushwhacking was a bad, bad idea without at least a massive map and a compass, if not a tent and a week's worth of food, not to mention knee-high waders. Okay, we probably would have figured this out on our own before we got lost beyond all hope of finding the road again, but it was good to know not to even try it. Unlike certain professors who I will not name, we weren't that interested in falling in a bog.

Instead, the guy suggested we try the track made by an old, disused railroad, which was infinitely better than wandering around open moorland. Okay, so sometimes it wasn't so much a track as a streambed, but at least it was marked... Although it was hard not to get blown off it by the wind. I had NO IDEA how windy it is on those moors. NONE. Holy crap. It was constant, with big gusts every few minutes. I'm no good at judging windspeed, but a rough guess would be sustained winds of 30-40 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph. I felt like I was in a the outer bands of a hurricane, or possibly a small tornado. The birds were having serious flying issues. During the big gusts, you could lean forward past your center of gravity, and the wind would hold you up for a few seconds. It was crazy. And of course, it was also quite cold, even when we were walking and attempting to work up a sweat.

We walked through a bunch of sheep fields (sheep just sort of roam free all through the park, as far as I can tell) and tussocky things strewn with blocks of granite, and eventually stumbled upon some circular formations of stone. I think they were the foundations of medieval, or possibly earlier, huts. Very cool. We kept walking, and soon came to the remains of a disused quarry (rock from which presumably the railroad was built to carry) that was great fun to wander around in. There were hollowed-out remains of two buildings, the purpose of which we never figured out, as well as the quarry itself, which was probably pretty small as quarries go, but still impressive. Of course, it was filled with water, which the wind whipped up into rather large waves, considering the fact that it was protected on all sides by rock. Oh, and there were more sheep, of course.

Wandering back, Chandra and I first decided to dance on the moor. I've forgotten most of the Irish step dance steps she's taught me, so I was sort of making up my own thing, but she did something recognizable. Recognizable as what, I have no idea, but I'm sure it was. We then ran into one of the famed Dartmoor ponies, or at any rate a pony, who was very interested in any food we might be able to give him/her. Mmmm, ginger snap. Feeling a bit hungry ourselves, and having an hour before the bus would be back by, we had a cream tea at that cafe we stopped at for lunch. I so need to figure out a way to import clotted cream back to the US.

Anyway, bus back to Exeter, walk back to Lafrowda, collapse in exhaustion. I'm finally able to contemplate dinner after that cream tea at 3:30, so I suppose I'll go do that. Pictures in a bit!

*whimper*

Oct. 13th, 2004 11:48 am
icepixie: (Miles to go)
Am typing this with one hand because I succeeded in burning the other one with the gas stove. Knew it was gonna happen eventually. Still, the spatula handle should not have been that hot after two seconds in the pan...
icepixie: (Default)
Yesterday, I'd been here two weeks. It feels like it's been two months, at least. And yet, our first London trip is this weekend, and it feels like that came up awfully quickly.

I made a passable facsimilie of turkey and stuffing tonight. Okay, so it was sliced turkey lunchmeat, and both gravy and stuffing came out of a box, but hey, that's not too far off from what would happen at home. At any rate, it was tasty. Sainsbury's stuffing isn't quite the same as Stovetop (I think it was the sage), but was still good. I polished it off with the last half of the Cadbury's Double Decker bar I bought this afternoon; this thing is sort of like Rocky Road ice cream and a Nestle Crunch bar had a baby. Mmmm. So many interesting new candies for me to try...

Say, [livejournal.com profile] fiara, what's your address? I have a postcard for you. Also, what's your e-mail address? I don't think I ever replaced it the last time my computer went kablooey.

I've really got to get started on Twelfth Night now. Sigh.
icepixie: (Default)
Had my first "Ghosts, Death & Memory in Renaissance Drama" (aka Shakespeare) class today. It involves a group presentation by each group every other week, which should be...interesting. The two girls I'm with seem very nice and were taking notes very diligently during class, so hopefully it won't be as painful as it was in high school. Still not thrilled with the whole public speaking thing, though.

The prof is either an American or a Brit who's spent a lot of time in the US. I couldn't place the accent. Maybe he's from somewhere in the northeast, where half of them practically sound English already? ;) Anyway, lots of interesting historical context for the course this time around. Should be a good class, if the group presentations aren't too annoying.

I discovered Sainsbury's this morning in town. Much better than Tesco, and not a whole lot more expensive. Still no rye bread, cream of celery soup, or celery seed (I feel like I'm a quest for the holy grail here), but I got almost-but-not-quite-as-good substitutes for the first two in some store-baked French bread that's really tasty and some cream of mushroom soup. It was strange to see Campbell's labels here when I haven't seen too many familiar brands; I had to keep myself from buying out the store.

Ballroom tonight, woo-hoo!
icepixie: (John and Aeryn)
It's sunny. In England. How novel. *ducks*

Also, woo-hoo! My absentee ballot came today! Or I guess it came earlier, and the fact that we had class with Matz today meant he got to give it to me. But whatever. I get to vote, whee!

What else...um...yeah. That's about all the excitement of today. Classes haven't really started; it's all just informational sessions this week, pretty much. And the movie screening that's scheduled every Monday morning for Screenwriting didn't happen today because all the English profs were dealing with their advisees. Also, the AV room was closed due to "unbearable heat," so...

*bounces for no reason*

Wow, seeing the sun for the first time in a week really does make me happy.

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