Friday, April 29, 2005 

Happy Birthday To Me

"The Postgraduate Research Symposium will now be held on 5 July, not 7 July as previously notified.I hope that this change does not inconvenience anyone."

Actually, it inconveniences me a great deal, seeing as how that's my birthday and all... Someone in the office told me there would be drinks afterward (naturally) so I guess I'll start from there....

Thursday, April 28, 2005 

They Love This Stuff

#32: Brown Sauce.

The name's almost as unappealing as Salad Cream (which we'll get to later) and doesn't really describe the flavor. To my credit, I did try it. Tastes a lot like vinegar. I didn't like it. Vinegar is a very big flavor here. Americans put vinegar on their fries/chips as well, but where I come from it was usually only at the beach, on their Thrasher's Fries. It's not a normal condiment. But here, it flows like wine on Mt. Olympus.

Sunday, April 24, 2005 

Exhausted Again

This whole PhD mess sure is getting in the way of blogging and doing other things. I've really been working night and day. It's been worth it though, the results I'm getting are outstanding. Most wise scientists know this kind of thing is mostly luck, and I appreciate that. All the hard work is to cover my ass when the luck runs out....

And I'm about to inform my advisor of the Portuguese trip, right after I told him about the two weeks for Scotland. I hope he doesn't flip out; hence my presence in the office on a Sunday to make up for all my holidays!

Speaking off, I had a bit of culture shock just the other day (something that is getting rarer and rarer). I quoted Office Space to another postgrad and he just started at me blankly. Aw, the best way to get laughs in any American office is that Friday afternoon "Uhhhh, yeaaaa, I'm going to need you to come in on Saturdaaaaay. We lost some people this week and we need to play catch up. Thanks." Nothing. Funny huh?

Okay, asin the immortal words of Eminem, it's "back to the lab again, yo."

Thursday, April 21, 2005 

Little Girl Lost

Silly me. I spent all Sunday morning laboring (labouring?) under the misapprehension that surely, despite the London Marathon, the whole of London would continue to operate. In general.

I've never been more wrong. And I should have known better.

Once a month I head over to the Tesco in Surrey Quays to stock up on all the good veggie stuff they have (lemon and black pepper Quorn escalopes, yum!). I got on the 47 bus like I always do and straight away it deviated from it's normal course due to the Marathon. After about 15 minutes and miles from where the bus should be, I got off the bus thinking I am a big girl now and could get myself home. I was half right. I found a stop for the 381, which is MY bus, literally stops right in front of the dorm. It also goes to Surrey Quays, so I figure I'm in the clear no matter what. Upon boarding I ask the driver, "Are you going to Surrey Quays?" (like the sign on the front of the bus promises me). And he says "eeeeeeeeeeeeh... yeah."

Not convincing or assuring. My fortunes didn't improve with this bus either as we literally starting driving in circles around Peckham. Peckham! I was so scared. Elephant and Castle has nothing on Peckham. Ghett-to!

After an hour and practically in tears I was so scared and lost, I bailed ship. I saw a the construction site of a high rise that I can see from my dorm and navigated my way home from there. The 381 did not go to either London Bridge or Surrey Quays and the driver was no help. What a mess.

My Sunday ruined, me upset, with nothing to eat, all so that drop-out Paula Radcliffe could poo in the road or whatever she did.

Saturday, April 16, 2005 

This isn't strange so much as just wrong

Strange Thing #31: The popularity of Robbie Williams.

It just makes no damn sense. All of us in America heard about his 80 gazillion dollar record deal a few years ago and the country simultaneously thought, "Who? Why?" And that is pretty much the extent of American Robbie Williams-based knowledge.

A few weeks ago we were listening to Radio One in the lab, and the topic was greatest male rock musician. And throughout the week they throw out names and people call in and vote. This particular day I was listening the top four choices of the afternoon were, (and I swear to God) Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and Robbie Williams. What? Sure, USA pumps out crap all the time, but I don't think anyone in their right mind would put Britney Spears up against Stevie Wonder. But why is Robbie Williams so greatly revered? Those guys have put out some of the best and most definitive music of our time. Robbie Williams does what? Arrange his hair in a mohawk?

I asked a lab mate about this, and his theory seemed to be that no one here really likes him either, but he had that one song, "Angels" or whatever, and they kept playing it during England's impressive World Cup run in 2002. So there is a positive association with well-played English football and Robbie Williams. Well .... Okay.... But he's still no Jimi Hendrix.

Friday, April 15, 2005 

Bump in the Night

They say that New Yorkers are really jaded because they've seen it all. I think that must apply to anyone who lives in a big city, really. A big, dense city that has lots of people in a small space and there is massive exposure to all kinds of things. Here are the top three weirdest occurrences I've seen since January:

3. A Shetland pony being led through Covent Garden.

2. On Stamford St- a man bleeding profusely from the top of his head. The blood was running down his face and had soaked his white v-neck undershirt. A stranger ran up with a roll of paper towels and offered it to the man, but he just shrugged him off and continued to drink out of his tinnie.

1. Under the London Bridge train tracks, in front of that SE1 club- A huge guy, about 6'5" changing clothes (coming out from the club at 2pm?) He was wearing a trench coat and his back was to me. When I passed him I turned and looked back to see him wearing nothing but a hundred day glow necklaces, a silver thong, and a giant tattoo in the middle of his forehead.

Monday, April 11, 2005 


So here's the question du jour: Where should I go for a three day mini-break holiday?




(Stipulations: it will be June and we are both vegetarians.)

Friday, April 08, 2005 


I keep forgetting to mention to all the Londoners who read this, but I recommend the Turner Whistler Monet exhibit at Tate Britain. It was smaller than I thought it would be but had some really great paintings. Most of the three artists work while in and of London, and a lot of history of the three of them, which was neat. They had all my favorite Monets there, not water lilies and the pretty stuff, but the London paintings with Parliament barely distinguishable from the grit and smog and haze and dirt and filth of the city. So beautiful. I got a concession price, but I think it's worth it even at full cost.

Thursday, April 07, 2005 


So I feel a bitch session coming up with Mr. I'm From Iraq. He did a calibration of the Franz Cells I use, and the data for one is missing! I can't wait to lay into him and it's probably going to go like this:

Me: So where's this data, buddy?
Him: Well, look at that.
Me: That's some mighty nice science learning you do there in Iraq. This is validated equipment!
Him: Why don't you just shove off, you American hussy?
Me: Why don't you tell me where that data is, you Iraqi lunatic?!
Him: (getting in my face) It's probably with all those bloody WMDs!!!

And then I punch him.

(Can you tell school has me totally stressed???)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005 

Can't Be Helped I Guess

Oh my God, I just spelled "labor" with a "u". My American idenity is slowly but surely being stripped away from me!

Cool chick

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