Wednesday, December 21, 2005 


I'm one of those types of people that is super-keen about Christmas. I love every bit of it, wrapping presents, shopping, music, decorating trees, hanging lights. Here's the nearest big public city tree to me, Covent Garden:


Was hoping for a Christmas Miracle a la Tiny Tim, and that I would get my stipend payment before the holidays. Then it occurred to me that Christmas Miracles shouldn't be about money, and I felt bad. But then I remembered that actually, Tiny Tim's family got money, and it saved them, so it can be about money. But it might really be about Scrooge not caring about having money, and then I got incredibly confused. So rich people should want to get rid of money and poor people should be getting money, and then I didn't know which I was, as am a starving grad student, but not properly starving and then I had to lie down after all that thinking.

Doesn't matter, as the paperwork didn't move through and my first payment is due January 15th.

And then today, another Christmas Miracle presented itself and then immediately vanished. My supervisor popped round to my office today....

Supervisor: So who are you flying when you go back home?
Me: British Air.
S: Ah, should have told me earlier! My best mate is a pilot, I could have had you bumped up to first class!
M: (nearly fainting) Give him a ring!!!!
S: No, he's in Switzerland until Friday.

Sonofa.... I emailed my flight back details, perhaps I'll be getting a post-Christmas Miracle.

Until then, Merry Christmas!! This will be my last post until I'm back stateside, so I hope you all have very happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 


I am feeling so incredibly anxious about Friday. True, I'm not really keen on flying (should have thought of that earlier before moving overseas, but alas.) I guess I'm just a bit freaked about going back to America for the first time in a year. I can't believe that it's been a whole year. So I'm worried about a bit of reverse culture shock. No M&S lunches, no currys, no walking up to Covent Garden for fresh baked cookies, no double decker buses, no walking along the Thames, no nothing! It really is quite weird. Worst of all.... I doubt I can get through the whole two weeks living in the suburbs without driving. Ugh, I hate driving, or as we call it in Washington DC, "sitting in traffic."

Monday, December 12, 2005 


I couldn't believe what showed up in my inbox this morning, from a pharma news alert that I receive daily. The second headline was a news story about my PhD and grant!

Sunday, December 11, 2005 


Who needs terrorists? While other bloggers may show sexier pictures since they are so much closer to the explosion I believe I can offer a unique central London perspective. The smoke was coming from at least 40 miles away but as you can see it had a definite effect on downtown. I thought it was kind of cool, thinking in my mind that until we build a time machine this is as close to a proper pea souper as I'm ever to get.

Thursday, December 08, 2005 


#44: Happy Christmas!

I've never once heard this in my life! Perhaps it's some archaic law but in the states we only say, "Merry Christmas." "Merry" is the only way to have your Christmas there. Where I hear people say "happy" I think the next words coming are "birthday" or "new year!"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 


#43: The kind of schools where only the very rich attend due to the astronomical tuition and boarding fees are called "public schools."

Public schools in the states are free for students (except the parents usually have to purchase an absurd amount of canned fundraiser-quality popcorn at certain times of the year), funded by taxes, and any student with in the local area can attend. Hence the "public" part of the description; by the public, for the public. I can't get my head around why schools funded by the students is considered "public."

Thursday, December 01, 2005 


I believe that I know three things about Lord Archer:

1. According to the first Bridget Jones movie, he's written some books.

2. That's probably not just a catchy nickname, he's actually a Lord. I imagine there's a mansion or two and a Lady to boot.

3. He must have done something God awful to get kicked out of his own party.

The Tories, from what I understand, are akin to America's GOP (making less and less sense now with Blair advocating the Iraq war and nuclear power) but to be honest I haven't figured out British politics at all. We've had some pretty awful Republicans over the years: Ollie North, Richard Nixon, Shannon Doherty, etc. But none of them have ever gotten kicked out. Is Lord Archer trying to run for office or he just wants to be a Tory again? I don't get what the big deal is.

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