Tuesday, August 31, 2004 

Big Smiles Today

Am so so happy. It's all coming together today except for when I inexplicably woke at 6am today and posted a blog that blogger subsequently lost. Bastards!

I wrote my last rent check today! Yipee!

Dr. B, one of my advisors, wrote me to talk about my research project. Finally! He doesn't just care about the money, he cares about me. I knew it! Great!

I QUIT MY JOB TODAY! It felt strange at first but now it feels damn good, especially when I tell people what I am doing next. Abraham hugged me and we jumped up and down. Yay!

I went to the bank to get a ₤150 cheque (?) for my housing deposit and they said they couldn't do it for me in time but then a woman there told me about the Foreign Exchange Office in Bethesda (where my gym is and where I was headed that afternoon anyway) and they could do it for me. Hurrah!

Then I went to Barnes & Noble and got a phat journal to write in since my current one is on it's last page. Neat-o!

Back at work, my dad rang to tell me that he's going to fix the van so that I can use it to drive the fish tank to NC! I can also pick it up Thursday, so that will save me so much time and money for not having to get a rental SUV or something. Awesome!

I was sneezing a lot in the lab because of the damned SLS again, and Ricky was blessing me and then he said, "Man, you have a lot of devils today!" That cracked me up. Funny!

The HR director just stopped by to tell my I'm getting $450 in gift cards for the new patent application award scheme they've just set up!!! Hell yeah!!

This is the best day I've had in a long ass time. I am so blessed and feel so lucky today, maybe things are starting to turn around for me after being kind of down lately (can't wait to be Enlightened sort of Buddha instead of just regular old Buddha.)

Monday, August 30, 2004 

Late Night Again

Late night again. And unfortunately Akash is victim of my new sleeping schedule because he is crashing here tonight, visiting me one more last time before I depart (or maybe forever *gasp*!!) Here is said schedule:
Awake - 630am to midnight
Sleep - midnight to 4am
Awake - 4am to 5 or 6am
Sleep - 6am to 630am
Maybe this explains why I am sick all the time now. I don't know why my body does this, or better, why it decides that last half hour is all that crucial since it knocks me out and makes it impossible for me to get back up on time so that I end up hitting "snooze" on the alarm for an hour and then am late for work.

But I'm not going to work tomorrow, I am hanging with A and then taking him to lunch and the airport. Then I have a million and one things to do after that, including more drinking with a friend, as if I haven't had enough of that this weekend!

Mailed my Visa application on Thursday. Passport now in the hands of the United States Postal Office, which is never a good organization to trust to fate. But hopefully it will return to me with just enough documentation stamped inside so that I will get tripped up at customs and have to show more transcripts.

Received dorm info on Thursday and turns out they've changed their minds again and put me in a different dorm. I'm happy because I think it will be a nicer dorm but it's also even further away, now about a mile and a half I think, which might be too far to walk everyday. I don't know. We'll see.

Will quit my job Tuesday. Will go to North Carolina for the last time this weekend. Will start selling my furniture this week. I don't know, it's all so hectic and I have a million things to do, no wonder I can't sleep with them all swimming around in my head, waiting to be thought of and then executed. Found a great booklet on the KCL website for international students, which looks to be most helpful, so that has eased my mind some. Why they didn't send it to me or alert me of its presence is beyond me. But who doesn't like a challenge!!

Lots of fun this weekend. Akash appears to be the uniting force that brings us all together, because have seen a lot of people this weekend that I haven't seen in quite a while. But I blame my own anti-social tendencies for most of that. Saturday was fun, everyone ended up at my apartment playing Mario Kart 64, arguably one of the best video games of all time. And then a lot of people went out Saturday night in Adams Morgan, the most colorful and scuzziest part of town I think, but a lot of fun. We just sat in a bar and drank pitchers. I was wearing a mini-skirt that I didn't think was too short but all the guys said it was so who knows? And at one point I was sitting on a bar stool at a table (being careful that my skirt did not become too revealing) and my friend Matt tells me there is this guy sitting at the bar trying to look up my skirt! We laugh because you can't see anything. A few minutes later I stand up to move and my eyes graze by the bar and I see this guy just staring at my skirt for myself. I laugh again because this type of thing doesn't really bother me, and then the guy looks up at my face and I yell, "Busted!"
Guy: What? I didn't do anything.
Matt: *points at Guy and hollers* You were trying to look up her skirt!!!
Guy: *startled* What? No, I- I didn't do anything.
Me: Oh whatever, you were so totally looking up my skirt! At least have the balls to 'fess up to it!
Guy: No, I.. whatever, you guys are lame. I'm leaving!
And then he left the bar! Oh, I was dying! The guy must have thought Matt was going to kill him, they way he pointed at him and yelled. Hysterical.

And then on the way home as I was walking by myself to the metro a drunk lesbian tried to hit on my in front of her girlfriend. That was a new one for me!

Okay, my typing is becoming seriously retarded, I'm going to try to sleep again....

20 days and 14 hours............

Thursday, August 26, 2004 

First Bit of British Bollocks

Boy, I hope I am using "bollocks" correctly. I wanted to steer clear of the word "bullshit" in my title there. Reading my enrolment form yesterday I noticed they wanted "proof" of my academic achievements. Which I suspect is another official transcript from each school. Which seems dumb to me, because I had to send them this when I applied. So now that I've applied and been accepted, when I show up to start class I have to prove yet again that I've graduated from the universities I've graduated from. Does that make any sense to you? You'd think they'd have some sort of system or form, electronic or otherwise, which would list my already proven credentials and they could just look at that whenever they have any doubts. I mean, really.

It's just annoying because I just had to request a transcript from NC State last week to send to the British Consulate for my Visa application. That I don't mind so much, but how many terrorists do they have trying to sneak their way into the country via fake academic credentials?

Snooty Brit: *looking over forms* Ah-ha! Got the bugger at last! That forty-seventh transcript is clearly faked!

At US$5 a pop I might start faking them myself. Should I buy up a stash so that I have them when I 1) start my first day in the lab 2) show up at the karate club 3) get curry take-a-way 4) board the tube? I mean, you can't have clearly uneducated people doing all of these things now can you?? What next? Will the hairdresser make me balance an organic molecule equation before she gives me a trim? Can't get the keys to my dormitory room until I've recited the times tables? Not allowed to the futbol match till I've completed a Hamlet soliloquy?

24 days and 20 hours.......

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 

Things to do in London if You're Bored

Frommers.com Has delightfully informed me that both The State Rooms in Buckingham Palace and The Houses of Parliament will be open for visitors right around the time that I arrive. Very cool. Sounds like neat things to see while I'm flopping around those first few weeks getting my bearings, looking for a job, staring at Princess Di's closed memorial......

I also think I should like to see some debate in Parliament at some time. While that might sound boring, and it probably is, is just seems natural to me after having been born and raised in an environment so saturated in government. I do like that in Parliament the Prime Minister has to get up in front of everyone and then they seem to shout at him and heckle him! You might here some murmers and cat calls in Congress but nothing so drastic as in Parliament, and you'll never see a President addressing Congress except for the State of the Union address which is nothing more than a lofty speech and a big congressional love-in. The big protest move there is to not stand up and clap when something disagreeable is said. Wow, way to go. I imagine that if Bush had to stand up and answered pointed, unscripted questions you might very well see his flesh melt away to reveal machinery short-circuiting underneath a la a Simpsons episode. There's just no way he could handle it.


More Lucky Money!

I was cleaning up and I found 11 quid and 34 cents!! I collect money from my travels and some people even give me their left over change when they go abroad. This is probably all left over from my four hours in London three years ago. Let's see when I multiply 11.34 by 1.79 I get $ 20.30! Yea, twenty bucks!

Lately I've been wearing a Spanish peseta five piece around my neck because 1) I got it from my first trip to Europe and subsequently, England 2) They don't make them anymore and 3) It's really odd looking and kind of cool. I'm always asked what it is and if I drilled the hole in it. I always want to say, "Hey, just because USA doesn't have any money with holes in it doesn't mean nobody else does." Jeez.

I'm taking it a little easy tonight and treating myself to a couple of Bass Ales. Big weekend coming up, and besides, have got to get self in routine drinking regimen, lest those little 18 year old at Kings show me up and make fun of my age!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 

Funny Money

Hmmm, the exchange rate is lower today then I've seen in quite a while. What gives?
1 GBP = 1.79110 USD



I don't know what this is all about but it seems pretty comprehensive doesn't it? I wonder how long it will take for me to change my notion of what a "biscuit" is. Here in America, biscuits are big chunks of chewy baked dough covered with butter. In England, they are cookies. (Then what are "cookies" in England??) I don't think they have American biscuits there. Which is a shame because I love those damn things and could eat them every day. So when I think "biscuit" now I get all happy but a British "biscuit" I don't, because they sound sweet, and I don't like sweet stuff. Hmmm. But maybe Nice Cup of Tea will help me find good ones.

Only 26 days and 22 hours till I start finding out for myself!

Monday, August 23, 2004 

Sign me up!

I received my Enrolment form today! (At work, which means they have the addresses all mixed up as I had suspected.) It doesn't seem like much, but it's here. The form also said that I should schedule a time to arrive with my supervisors, so I will do that today or tomorrow. Well, I'll tell them when I'm showing up, they can go from there.

Watched my video of when I was in London four years ago. Gouvis, Boyd and I had a layover on the way to Barcelona. Loved it! Got me quite excited! It also made me realize how young I was back then and how I've managed to turn that silly notion I had in my head at the time, "wow, it would be neat to live here one day" into reality. Never thought it would actually come to fruition. How amazing.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
---- William Shakespeare, "King Richard II", Act 2 scene 1

Sunday, August 22, 2004 

More Stolen Poetry

While usually I try to stick to British-themed poetry here, I just heard this poem and thought it was too delightful to keep to myself. Billy Collins always cracks me up, but this is probably funnier when it's read aloud as it just was to me.

The Country

I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Who could sleep that night?
Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe

behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?
Who could not see him rounding a corner,

the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time-

now a fire-starter, now a torchbearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.
Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?


The Warehouse

I took a photo of the Warehouse in all it's glory at Camden Yards when the sun finally came out yesterday. My second to last Orioles game. If anyone ever hits this thing, it will be a feat of steroids not seen since McGuire broke the season home run record.

B&O Warehouse Posted by Hello

I will miss baseball, it's my favorite sport. I assume they don't have it in the UK. But who knows? Maybe I'll fall in love with cricket. I don't know how often they play cricket, but I think it's a lot. Someone will have to explain it to me though, I can't figure it out as of yet.

28 days and 7 hours.....

Saturday, August 21, 2004 

Images in my Brain

I've been surfing the web for other London-based blogs and found a bunch of great ones, but this one is the most gorgeous thing ever. These pictures are amazing. These images of London are the ones in my imagination. Because you just never know. I'm sure it's a big dirty city, and when you factor in the rain and the cold and latitudinal position making it dark early it could very well be pretty awful. I don't know yet. But this website feeds my fantasies that there really is some truly beautiful moments in London.

Friday, August 20, 2004 

New Definition of Me


v. tr.
To send into exile. See Synonyms at banish.
To remove (oneself) from residence in one's native land.

v. intr.
To give up residence in one's homeland.
To renounce allegiance to one's homeland.

n. (-t, -t)
One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.
One who has renounced one's native land.

I just realized today that I am soon to become an expatriate. How bizarre. Brings very strange images to mind... I thought I would look up the actual definition to see, and I guess I was thinking more along the lines of the first definition, not the second. I was leading more along the lines of one who's like seeking asylum from their country and they've run away to start a new life. I'm nothing like that! I'm in need of a little adventure and a change of perspective, not to renounce allegiance to my homeland.

Thursday, August 19, 2004 

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

Answer: Infinity!

It's like a math riddle. The idea was originated by Richardson and then published by Mandlebrot in '67, and essentially goes like this: to measure the coast say you take a "ruler" that's 100 miles long and touch it end to end all the way round. That's your measurement, right? But if you took a smaller ruler, say 1 mile and remeasured you'd get not only a more accurate number but also a larger one. The smaller ruler would let you fit more closely along turns and corners and edges and actually measure more space. So the number gets bigger. And if you used a one meter ruler, the number would get even bigger! And so on and so forth. Since we can theoretically measure with smaller and smaller distances, the answer gets bigger and bigger which is another way of saying infinity! This is silly I think, but was the birth of fractals, those funky images you see on the internet all the time.

I hope that made sense. I really wish that I am good at explaining science to people who don't have scientific background. I like to make it easy for people to understand, because every one should understand science. It makes the world go round! Literally!

Not much to report today, just trying to get all the hard copies of documents I need for my Visa application, that I graduated from State and Hopkins, that I have money, that I really am enrolled in the school, that I'm not a terrorist, etc. (That was an actual question on the form, swear to God.) Still walking around in a daze from Paul Hamm's performances last night. I am in shock and have never seen anything like that in my gymnastic life. Or maybe any other sporting event. To stay cool like that and keep focus is really what separates winners from losers, no matter how talented each may be......

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 

Cultural Sneezes

We have a masters level intern in the lab this summer named Ricky, and I like him a lot. He's really nice, and he's here from India while he studies at University of Maryland. It was just me and him in the lab this afternoon. He was working on something, and I put on my dust mask and weighed out SLS (it's really fine dusty super soap and the darn stuff just coats your lungs like crazy and gets all in your system.) So even though I'm wearing the mask the dust still gets in my nose and I sneeze and then I sneeze again and I'm like, "Dammit!" And then Ricky asks me if he can ask me a question (he's very formal like that.) And I say sure, and he asks me why is it when Americans sneeze other Americans bless them? Oh! I died! It was so funny! It had never occurred to me that other cultures might not do that! I told him I thought it started in medieval times when they thought that if you sneezed it was the devil escaping so if someone blessed you right away the devil couldn't get back in. Or something like that. He laughed at that! I asked him what they do if one sneezes in India and he said they do nothing, they don't acknowledge it. How funny! So then we were both laughing.

I wonder what they do in England? I don't want to go around blessing people if that's not appropriate.

I heard in Japan they don't sneeze in public. I don't know how that works. It's like my best friend Heather who is a TV reporter and I asked her, "what do you do if you have to sneeze on camera?" and she told me you just don't sneeze. How do people manage not to sneeze?


Visa (not the charge card)

I started my application for my Visa/Entry Clearance today. It's cool you can do the actual application on line, but then you still have to mail them your passport *gulp* and they put a special sticker in there or something and mail it back. I still haven't got it all figured out. It'll also set you back US$68. Not too bad I guess. Hope to have that done by the end of the week, giving me about four weeks to get it back in time.

I also started shopping for lots of cute sneakers (trainers) today since I suspect my days of teetering around on high heels and cute skirts are over. Back into full time college mode, nice warm jeans, comfy shoes, warm coats, hiking all over the city. Odd; it feels a little nice to be so practical...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 

Cosmetic Surgery for the Benefit of Mankind

I just read a paper by Dr. B that used human skin samples to study parasite infections, which is really cool because 1) animal testing sucks and 2) the skin donors were women who had cosmetic surgery! How cool! I've never heard of such a thing! I've always thought that most cosmetic surgery is pretty silly, but what a great way to make it actually useful. Human skin samples are really hard to come by, like most organs. Why people don't donate their organs when they die is beyond me, I think it is the ultimate selfish act. But this, this was great. No one was killed, no mammals died, some useful science was done, and some women got prettier. What a world we live in.


A Different Kind of Culture Shock

When Jay and I went out the other night, he talked a little bit about Culture Shock because he moved to Italy for a bit. He described the waves of emotion that one goes through: at first nothing but total fascination and awe, then severe homesickness and everything in between. That reminds me of when I went to North Carolina State for college which was, granted, not all that different from Maryland. However, there were some good ole boys there. NCSU has great veterinary and animal husbandry and agriculture programs, so southerners from the farm come to the "big city" (Raleigh) to learn the latest in farming, and then head back to the farm where they will live the rest of their lives. So both them and me were going through our own versions of culture shock. Which brings me to my story:

I can't remember when this took place, but it was some time early on in my NCSU career. My friends dragged me to a Farm House party, which, I swear to God, was the name of the fraternity. Not the nickname, no Greek letters involved, it was just FH. Awesome. So I go, and get separated for a minute and this guy comes up to me in, I swear to GOD, overalls, cowboy boots, and a bright orange baseball hat that hunters wear. And he starts talking to me and immediately realizes I'm not "from dez parts." So he asks me where I'm from. Now, when I first got to State I would say I'm from Maryland, which meant I had to explain where Bowie was in relation to Washington D.C. (not far) so I quickly got sick of that and started telling people I was from D.C. just to speed things up. Back to the story:
Guy: So where ya from anyways?
Me: I'm from D.C.
Guy: Davison County?? Well, I'll b'damned!
Me: (silent with mouth agape.)
It was hysterical! I'd never been a single place in the USA where D.C. didn't automatically mean Washington, D.C. as in our nations capital. I met plenty of people there who wished it was Richmond and that the South had won the war. And after the initial shock, I grew to appreciate that part of them. They'd explain NASCAR and prowrestling and the nuances of "ya'ont'to," "ain't" and "fixing ta." Good times, good times.

Monday, August 16, 2004 


Most people who know me know I am in a nasty situation at work. We had a huge wave of management leave, and upper management brought in friends rather than competent people to replace them, so now this place is a show. The worst part is that I have four bosses and none of them let me do my job. They tell me exactly what they want done, and then I have to go down to the lab and do it. My opinions or ideas are not welcome. Good thing I have a masters degree, huh?

I got a new project a few weeks ago, and another manager to go with it. But this guy is cooler, and I've worked with him before. The first thing we tried had some problems, so I suggested two ideas to fix the problems and he basically said, yeah go for it. I did and they worked! My tablets are perfect! Everyone was running around Friday like, Holy ballsack did you see the new release profiles!?!? So now I feel that I can close this chapter of my life, here at S Inc. I've worked here nearly five years, and it turns out that if you leave me be and let me do my job I can do it. So now I can happily move on and go tackle the next stage of my life, i.e. a full time graduate PhD level project.

Today's quote seems appropriate somehow, even though I am in excellent spirits and can not wait to get on the plane and go already:

"Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be."
-- Jane Austen

Sunday, August 15, 2004 

Super Diet Secret Works Fast No Pills

No, it's not spam, it's my life. I haven't been good at updating what's been going on with the move lately (denial? laziness? you decide!!)
1. I received a most unpleasant email from a friend of a friend, an American in a postgrad programme at King's, named H. He essentially told me not to come, saying the country sucked, the city sucked, the school sucked, the money situation sucked, the anti-Americanism sucked and it discouraged me to no end. That got me really depressed.
2. The housing situation of missing the communication attempts and then not getting the dorm that I asked for.
3. Not hearing from the school, and all this seeming to confirm what H told me.
4. Then I worked out all the madness, got my head on straight, remembered that I have the resolve to take on anything that's thrown at me, and I bought my plane ticket! I depart late September 19th!!
This has been going on, what? Two weeks? And within that first week I lost five pounds! I've been trying to lose five pounds for two years now. Since the height of my obesity (dating Akash who liked to eat out every night, popped up to 132lbs. Lost five or so pounds since we split two years ago, and wanted to get to 120lbs, but it eluded me.) And in the second week I've kept it off. So bizarre. I thought I'd lose it when I got to London, walking at least two miles a day and eating on a students budget (i.e. not eating) but no, seems I've a head start.

So ladies! Looking to lose those last few stubborn pounds? Forget Atkins, screw South Beach! Quit your well paying job, leave your loved ones behind, move to a country where they'll hate you for where your from and you'll be forced to live in poverty, and see if that doesn't do the trick!!

Saturday, August 14, 2004 

Olympics kick ass

If you must know anything about, know that I am a total whore for the Olympics. I am glued to the TV for two straight weeks every two years and I can never get enough. I am bummed that I'll miss a lot this year because I don't have cable and basic NBC will only show super huge events and I'll miss the cool small events that you only get to see at the Olympics, like handball or table tennis or whatever.

I went out last night with my friend Jay, so I naturally taped the opening ceremony for what I would miss at the bar, and I just finished watching it now. It was pretty bad ass, although I wasn't too wowed by the torch lighting. It was cool, but will anything ever beat that aflame arrow shot in Atlanta? Or when the USA hockey team did it in Salt Lake? But I guess all the passion and emotion that swelled up in me while watching SLC was probably similar to what Greeks felt yesterday, so it's all relative. All that statue and history recreations on the floats was AMAZING, it looked so cool I was really floored by that. And of course DNA in green lasers was also really neat.

And I don't know what's really going down with Miresmaeili, but if that's true I am extremely pissed. Seriously dude, that is the lamest thing I've ever heard. I'm not saying you should check your country at the Olympic door, just the opposite actually, you are there to represent your country and act in a manner according. But this is absurd. I'd like to think this is the one time that it's okay to put all the stupid politics behind and do what you came to do. How could you work your whole life to come to this point and then drop out because you don't like the country your competitor came from or the religion they practice? I know it's more complicated than that but I think that's a backward ass way of thinking, and if Olympic athletes can't look the other way, then we are all really screwed.

I can't help but assume I'll catch a lot of flack (and possibly worse) for being an American in a foreign country. Another American in London just told me as much. And at first I was scared and nervous, but now that's changed (perhaps my American colors are starting to show!) But honestly, if you are going to be mean and give the cold shoulder to a student from America whose come to your country to explore the world and get a different perspective while she works very hard to help get medicine into the bodies of sick people, well then forget it! Your loss! And this because
1. I am fun and cool, and I love debate and will hash it out with you if you'd like over a pint.
2. You hate me because Bush is the president of my country? I didn't vote for him, it's possible the majority of Americans didn't vote for him, and I'll show you the pictures of me protesting on the Mall in front of the Capital with my "No blood for oil" sign if you'd like to judge me for my leaders.
3. Last time I checked, at least 8,000 British soldiers in Iraq. We may be leading the charge but we aren't there alone.
I mean, I don't know why they'll hate me. I am just assuming there are some haters that are going to be gunning for me. And to some extent on some issues, I totally agree with them! Our foreign policy sucks, our pollution record is atrocious, our hypocrisy is unbelievable. I get it. I just hope that the majority of people I meet judge me for me and not where I come from.

And to Miresmaeili, wouldn't it be way cooler to go out there and crush Vaks and toss his Israeli ass around the mat? I mean, wouldn't it be better to take all your hateful energy and transform it into power and victory? Wouldn't it be more gratifying to beat him in a head to head competition than to run away from him? Or maybe that's it. Maybe you're scared what would happen if you lost. So sad.

P.S. I heard that 130,000 condoms were distributed throughout the Olympic Village. That cracks me up, but when you think about it, people traveling from all over the world, met all these new people, everyone's in perfect physical shape, all the excitement pulsing through the air.... hee hee hee!

Thursday, August 12, 2004 


This is one of my favorite poems of all time, and it is a classic. I first read it freshman year at NCSU, another time in my life where I was confused and lost, thrown in to a new culture, where I didn't know anyone and was starting from scratch, and absorbing everything I could. My English professor, Steve, turned us all on to beat writings, and I spent most of the summer afterwards gobbling up all that I could get my hands on. I suppose it opened my mind to a whole bunch of new ideas, the existence of sub-cultures and drugs as a medium of those cultures mainly. I stumbled across Howl as I was packing away my bookshelf, and read America again, and a couple lines really hit home, as get ready to say good bye to the only country I've ever lived in.

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underprivileged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don't really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
--- Allen Ginsberg

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 


Does anyone who live in England actually like it?? What about London? Is it really so dreadful? Why does it seem like every person on the planet is determined to run me down?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 

Go ahead

It appears to be National Yell at Monica Day, so have at it. Post a comment and yell at me, I can take it.


Fire and Rescue/I'm a bad person

I was sitting on my couch reading a pharmacy textbook with the sliding glass doors open tonight, when I hear a kid's voice yell out "help!" At first I ignore it, because my balcony faces the back of the apartment, and people are always yelling out there: parents (for some unknown reason) let their kids run around the parking lot and there's a pool back there, always full of yelling kids (I didn't think twice about the fact it was 8:30 pm and the pool was closed.) The kid yells "help!" again, and I'm like, what the hell? The kid yells it again, so I get up and go outside to see if it's some dumb kid messing around. There's no one out there. I live on the eighth floor, below me is a strip of parking lot followed by a fence which closes off a tiny forest with a creek or something and then another fence and then what I call The Mexican Junkyard (it's full of junk and it's inhabitants are always playing happy Mexican tunes.) The voice keeps yelling, so I am starting to think something's actually wrong and maybe it's coming from the strip of forest, which unfortunately is completely covered in the middle of August by dense leaves. I don't know what to do. Should I call the cops? I decide not to call the cops and call the front desk instead, and the woman tells me she already called the cops. The kid starts yelling, "helphelphelphelp" over and over and I don't know what to do! Just then people start showing up, gather around the fence and talk to the kid until an ambulance and a huge fire truck show up.

The firemen walk up and down the fence (it's too tall to jump over) and realize there's no way to get in and, much to my delight, get out axes and start hacking at the fence!! (Hey, who doesn't like to see stuff get smashed?) Then two guys coming running out of nowhere, talk to the firemen who stop and put the axes away. The ambulance pulls away and I see it show up a minute later through the trees in The Mexican Junkyard. They get out, and it's all a blur of darkness and flashlights so I can't see them rescues the kid or what his problem was. I hope he's okay. I stayed up on the eighth floor and watched the whole thing.

I feel like a bad person for not calling someone sooner, and not calling the cops myself since it took them like over ten minutes to show up. But I guess that's probably a normal response time. Either way I feel lousy. I also realize that if I were ever attacked and called for help in that parking lot, or anywhere else for that matter, assholes like me who heard it would not call the cops. What a sucky world we live in.

Monday, August 09, 2004 

London Bridge

Some info about London Bridge I've found:
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, between the City and Southwark (where I will live!) It is between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge. As London's original bridge, it has become one of the most famous bridges in the world. A bridge has existed at the present site for nearly 2000 years. The first bridge across the Thames in the London area was built by the Romans around AD 50 and was made of wood. In 1014 it was burned down by King Ethelred in a bid to divide the invading forces of the Dane Svein Haraldsson. This episode inspired the well-known London Bridge is falling down. A stone bridge was begun in 1176. This was soon colonized by houses, shops and even a chapel built at the centre of the bridge. The southern gatehouse became the scene of one of London's most notorious sights: a display of the severed heads of traitors, impaled on pikes and dipped in tar to preserve them against the elements. The heads of William Wallace and Thomas Cromwell were displayed here. The current London Bridge was constructed in 1967, opened in 1973, and has a rather boring design.

I wish some of the old bridge remained so that I could stomp around in the rain with Wallace's ghost when I've too many pints, but oh well.

So Southwark is my new hood (oh dear, I don't suppose Brits will think fondly of my occasional lapse into ebonics!!) and Sundeep told me he's actually been in that dorm before and the rooms that are higher up have the most amazing views! So that sounds nice.

Friday, August 06, 2004 

Big News!

I was in the throws of panic attacks last night. Couldn't sleep, soaked in sweat yet freezing cold, I was bombarded by nightmares of not getting a dorm room, no one in the University being helpful at all, being lost in a giant huge city where I didn't know anyone..... So, not like random fears at all! Finally, at 6am I got up, and checked my email. It was there! My big accommodation invitation (FINAL OFFER.)

The disturbing part is that the room becomes available to me September 18th! That's only six weeks from now. I thought I wasn't supposed to be there until October. It all feels like such a rush now, and all of a sudden I am supposed to get a move on, when actually I don't have all the information, i.e. when school actually starts. I'm so confused. I feel like I should hurry up and buy my ticket though, there are some available for only US$300. I do hate feeling rushed into the biggest decision of my life, even though I have already decided to go.

Scott and Miss said they will throw a good bye party for me!

I am so stressed and need to remember the following things:
1. This is what I really want
2. I don't want this job anyway
3. If things are truly awful, I can always bag it and come home
4. No matter what happens, I'll be a better person for it

I went to the Container Store because they have lots of good trunks and I need to start deciding what I am going to take with me and what I am going to get rid of, and how much space I have to do all that. Everyone there was so wonderful! The guy that I asked first was actually from England, and then everyone else who came over to see what we were up to were so excited for me. I do enjoy seeing my own mixture of insanity and bravery reflected back at me by strangers when I tell them what I'm doing.

I'm going home and off to bed. I've never been more mentally exhausted (well, not without taking a final exam beforehand at least.)

The way was long and weary,
But gallantly they strode,
A country lad and lassie,
Along the heavy road.
The night was dark and stormy,
But blithe of heart were they,
For shining in the distance
The lights of London lay.
O gleaming lights of London,
that gem of the city's crown;
What fortunes be within you,
O Lights of London Town!
- George Robert Sims



Some photos from our trip to Delaware. Such fun! I will miss my family much.

Me and my sis looking at the moon Posted by Hello

Glow sticks! Posted by Hello

Why are mothers allowed cameras? But no one will ever see the Hello Kitty sleep mask, so here it is. Posted by Hello

Look what we found at the beach!! Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 05, 2004 

No surprises here

And I thought all his speechs were 100% scripted and written out for him ahead of time. I guess not? http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5613296/


Still no word

I called the KCL AO this morning and they said they would send the email again, with the title FINAL OFFER all scary like, and it would expire Monday so to let them know if I don't receive it. They said they would send it again today, and I should call tomorrow if I still hadn't received it. I still haven't received it, and now it is 11:40 my time, making it 17:40 there time, so they've probably left for the day. I wonder what the problem is. I confirmed my address with her, and it sounds like they sent it there earlier, so.... I don't know. It all seems absurd. What happened to snail mail? Wouldn't that be easier? *sigh* I'd like to get all this red tape out of the way and get everything settled so I can concentrate fully on studying. I'd also like to get everything settled before Shire fires me for making all these international phone calls for free.

What about bagels? There are bagels in London right??

Wednesday, August 04, 2004 


Well I guess this is nearby for starters.


Deep cleansing breaths

This nightmare of a day is just about over, thank God. I'm kind of glad that Blogger messed up and wouldn't post earlier, for my post was a raving rant of obscenities that, now that I think about, probably triggered some Porn Alarm in the Blogger system, which went on to edit out the curse words, leaving behind all the normal words of which there were none.

Anyway! This was all triggered by a message on my mobile from some woman claiming to be from KCL and claiming that she had sent me an email about a room in Wolfson House and that I had not replied to it. Of course I hadn't replied to it, because she never sent it to me. Horrid. Naturally this got-it-all-together woman didn't leave a name or a number, so spent most of lunch phoning around the college trying to hunt her down, but then I think everyone had gone home and I couldn't talk to anyone. Sent an email to the KCL accommodation office, and will review my info at home tonight (could I have given her another email address? Maybe I'll wake later and find this all a dream?) and hopefully this can all be straightened out tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Wolfson's House is about a mile from my laboratory. What a mess. I'll be near Guy's Campus and pretty close to London Bridge. Does anyone know anything about that area? I'm happy to have a room, but this is not what I wanted, and I am frustrated that I thought I would be in one place but instead am in another.

Or maybe not. Perhaps this Mystery Woman has already given my room to someone else and I'll be forced to live in a closet in manner of Paddington Bear or similar. But I'll be damned if that will stop me! Am going to be a world famous, international traveling doctor! She can't do this to me!


Blogs, Props, and other nonsensical words

My little blog has been blowing up and people are leaving such funny and witty comments left and right. I love it! They do make some points. I assume most of them are British, since that's who I scour the internet for and try to make contact with. In regards to one comment, I do wonder how long it will take me to get acclimated to living in London and stop thinking of it as "them" and "us." Of course, there's no way in knowing, but I have a very profound feeling that I am going to love it there. Even though I have only spent five hours in London, and think I am smart enough to know better it's not all Royalty, tea, and East Enders, I just have a gut feeling that it is the place for me. I doubt I'll be able to stay there forever (unless I marry some Brit bloke, but let's face it, I am eternally single) but maybe I will. I think it is the most magical place and have no qualms about the joys of discovery regarding language, cheeses, and muffins. I am looking forward to discovering what "they" do differently and then taking what I like about that and weaving it into the international tapestry that I will become. Well, that's all well and good until I start dropping my h's. Then I have to put my foot down and stay true to my American roots!


I have a crush on Simon Schama

Well no not really of course. He's just the narrator, author, and producer of this awesome History Channel/BBC documentary of the history of England that I rented from Netflix. It is five discs long, and today I got all the way through Henry II and Thomas Beckett and some of King John. All the way from the Druids in three days time! Not a bad time travel. I spent the day working on my knowledge of Mary Tudor vs. Mary, Queen of Scots and after that worked a little on Horatio Nelson. I guess to say that I am a bit obsessed would be an understatement. But American history is dull. It only goes back a few hundred years. British history goes back nearly forever, from the dawn of humanity. I cannot wait to live in a city that is older than my whole country, and I know I'll be charmed by its ancient-ness.

Love Netflix. I'd be lying if I said I weren't in a rut right now. Been in a rut for a while. And that's okay, since I'm leaving soon. But now things are slow academically, romantically, socially.... Like Netflix and having all the movies I can watch. It gives the appearance of people in the apartment and the illusion of things happening to me. Bides my time.

I finished my loan applications today!!! I shall have them mailed off to the ever wonderful Paul in the Loans and Awards Dept at KCL tomorrow. Hurrah! Feel lighter than air. Only took two weeks but feels like two months. And then I am done done done, and now I'm really going, I am going to London and there is nothing to be done about it. (My only next big-not-turning-back-no-matter is buying the one-way plane ticket!) Now I can concentrate on studying, which is important as I still have no idea what my thesis will be. Yikes!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004 

No more American Cheese?

Have just discovered they have Kraft in England. How delightful. That will seem most familiar when I am there for sure. But I wonder if they have American Cheese? Maybe they do but they call it something else. I mean, we call it "cheese" but it's actually not, it's a cheese-food substance of some sort. But it is the only "cheese" with which one can properly make grilled cheese sandwiches. At least as far as my personal experience goes... all other cheeses fail in this regard.

This reminds me of when I was in the Shire cafeteria one morning and Jeremy was toasting an English muffin and Tim B said, "of course over there they just call them muffins," and we all dissolved in a fit of giggles. But I do wonder what they call them. We call them English muffins to differentiate them from regular muffins (American muffins?) but they must label them as well. I am most curious! Alright enough of this, back to reading KCL drug delivery papers.

Cool chick

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