For the past two weeks, I’ve been one of two places: the library and my room. After two terms of slacking off, I can’t really complain. But is 7 months of freedom worth 1 month of seclusion? Yes, yes it is. But I still think that I prefer the good ol’ balance of work and play at Georgetown.
So far I’ve taken one exam and have three left to go. June 3rd will be an excruciating six hours of test-taking and after that, I will feel more or less liberated despite having one to go. I have a nasty feeling of being trapped in school while everyone else’s summer has started, just as I had that idle feeling about starting school so late in October. My inbox is less full, friends are online less often. God, my reliance on the internet for happiness is alarming. Ha. (I deactivated facebook for the next 2 weeks, fyi).
One major cling to my sanity is Kate over in Lyon, France, but she leaves Europe on Monday and I know that I will have to combat the feeling of rising anxiety about being stuck alone on this continent without her. Ahh. What happened to Jared and the other Gtown crew? They’re still there… exuding masculinity and testosterone in full force. And let’s just say… I’ve reached my limits. I love them, but I am a girl god dammit. Sometimes, I want to watch The Notebook with a tissue box, or in my budget-constrained state, with a roll of toilet paper.
I’m ready for the estrogen-fest that will be my house in Burleith. Perhaps I will be singing a different tune in a few weeks. But until then… 6 girl-friends. Living in a house. I can’t wait! I somehow predict that I will take one step in the house and burst into tears of joy. But this is possibly my imagination running wild with dramatic homecoming scenes.
In good news, I’ve seen more climbing people thanks to actually studying around LSE. That’s one benefit of this exam period. Alright. Back to studying. Back to reading. June 3rd will be a good day once its over. Send me emails if you are inclined. Hope everyone is well!
You know… if I had known about the King’s College Maughan library earlier, I would’ve been a hell of a lot more studious this year. My little bedchamber is crippling to motivation and conducive to laziness, so it’s pretty essential I finally found a better study venue.
Finals exams makes me think of sweat pants, hoodies, glasses, coffee. Yet I show up the library fairly well-rested, at least wearing jeans and wondering if I even need a cup of coffee. Other people are wearing dresses and skirts and heels and are looking normal. Where are all the chain smokers that look like they haven’t slept in days? Where are the people who haven’t showered or brushed their hair since their last final?
I’ve been wearing my Pres(entation High School) sweats to at least one final since my freshman year of high school. I guess this’ll be the year where I break from the trend.
I’m knackered, as the Brits say. Knackered from work and knackered from nothing. It’s strange how within a week, I’ve gone from feeling like my time in London is too short to feeling like I desperately want to be back in Georgetown. My change of mood happens to coincide with the nearing of my first exam, which obviously has influenced my feelings. Also, the weather has returned to normal: overcast and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is fine, except when I know there’s something better (SUMMER) awaiting me an ocean away.
This was my second to last weekend working at EB. Work is a good distraction and it’s a nice time to chat with people, but it definitely tired me out. A 7:45AM wakeup is not how I prefer to start my Saturday mornings… so I rewarded myself with Starbucks. Vanilla latte… mmm. I can’t remember the last time I had one.
After standing for 8 hours at work on Saturday, I went to stand for another 2 hours at a Kaki King concert at the University of London Union. You can read my little review here at the Touch My Clickwheel blog. I felt a little sentimental about the United States while watching Kaki perform, because I remembered seeing her live for the first time a year and half ago at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA. It’s not so far in the past, yet I know I’ve changed a lot since then. Not for better, not for worse; I’m just different. I had some of those “surreal” concert moments that I like to have at concerts where I feel a song is really applicable to life or where I feel a little moved. What can I say? I’m a sap underneath it all. Kaki King was probably my favorite show of London and funny enough, the last song she played was “Jessica.”
So… this entry was a little more of the sap of earlier this year. Bear with me. I’ll probably be on a roller coaster of emotions in this last stretch to the last exam.
Here’s one of my favorite Kaki King songs. Check it out if you’re curious what she’s like.
London weather continues to be beautiful and almost too hot. And to think, a few weeks ago, I was thinking that it was a waste that I brought my flip flops here. Unfortunately, with better weather comes final exams and by final, I mean the only exams I will have had all year. My countdown to exams in my planner informs me that I only have 10 days to my first final. Bollocks, as they say. Studying has not been coming along so well, but with a new venue, the King’s College Library, I think I should be making some hefty progress in the next week.
Enough of that “school” business. Let’s get to the real interesting part which is ice climbing. As I’ve mentioned before, I work at a store which has an 8-meter indoor ice wall. Today, I finally got around to climbing it. As a rock climber (or someone that attempts to rock climb), I wondered if I’d have any advantage over a pure climbing novice. The answer is… probably not. Climbing ice like rock is not the best way as I learned in my first ascent of the wall. I chopped away at the ice, used crap footholds, and dangled from the rope while Francy told me to stop climbing it like rock.
The second climb, I redeemed myself somewhat. I made it up while only losing hold of the wall once or twice, and it probably took me half the time as well. My hands were so tired though that I almost dropped one of my axes; luckily, I caught it as it was falling and didn’t kill Francy, my trusty belayer.
Ice climbing in London? Who woulda thunk? My elbow/forearm is a little busted from climbing last week and ice climbing didn’t help it, but carpe diem right? Taking Jared and Stefan climbing with me was really fun, the most fun I’ve had at The Castle in a long time. But the competitive spirit in me, awoken by Jared, pushes me to climb harder and in some cases, past my limits. After not climbing for over 3 weeks, my muscles were a bit weak and so here I am, with a touchy joint but with more 5a’s under my belt. To be old and rickety, ha. Anyways. Social obligations call.
Check out more ice climbing photos here or click on the picture above.
The weather is amaaazzzing here in London. There’s a little breeze and it’s sunny, so I’m busting out the Rainbow sandals and Ray Bans (does that make me a brand whore?). London has really come alive with the great weather. I took the bus home from The Castle today and people were out in swarms walking home or to the tube from work. The after-work pub crowd was spilling out onto the sidewalks pints in hand on every street. Soooo nice. One thing, among many, that I will miss about London is this casual attitude toward alcohol. People enjoy the beer. They have a conversation over a pint or two, whether it be at noon or nine. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see everyone so relaxed and happy on a Wednesday afternoon.
Then… I opened the London Paper. Newly elected Mayor Boris Johnson has announced an alcohol ban on the Tube, bus, tram, and train in an effort to reduce “small crime,” which he says will reduce “large crime.” God damn. This is infringement on the culture that I have come to love about London! Unless they can stop drunk people from using the tube or bus, they can’t prevent the type of crime that they’re targeting. In my experience, the passengers drinking on the tube are having their Stella like a cup of coffee: casually sipping while reading the London Lite. They are not behaving aggressively or violently.
I suppose that in time, we’ll see if the booze ban leads to any positive results. But until June 1st, find me sipping a Kronenbourg on the Northern Line with the other sexy people, haha.
Ahem, I travel on/live on the Northern Line. So this article is absolutely factual and appropriate for posting. Eat your hearts out, Central Line snobs!
Here’s the article from the Londonist or read it here.
Between Morden and High Barnet travel the sexiest passengers on the network according to the results of Qype’s Love on the Tube survey.
About 300 people completed the cheeky survey and the prevailing wisdom is the Northern Line’s where it’s at for ‘spiky-haired indie kids’ and ‘hot City types’. Unsurprisingly, no mention of the swollen handed alcoholics or the billion tourists who get on between Waterloo and Leicester Square.
Dowdiest is the Hammersmith and City line, which seems a little unfair considering it also has its share of ‘hot City types’ and runs through to uber-cool and good looking Ladbroke Grove.
Still, half of the respondents claim to have tried to jump someone underground, which is something to be proud of, although 90% admit to a totally loss of balls in such a situation and lament ‘missed moments’.
Saddest of all though, are some of the truly terrible chat up lines that people have heard on the tube, including “Stand back honey, I would hate to see you get hurt” and “Would you like to ‘get off’ here with me?”
Living on a tight schedule of school and work is a tough adjustment following 6 weeks of flying by the seat of my pants. It’s not so much that I have a lot of classes or lectures… I don’t. It’s just that the sense of urgency and anxiety about revision is creeping up and days are just going by. Combined with the impending doom of exams, I really want to savor this last month and a half in London by hanging out with people who I potentially will never see again for the rest of my life. That’s dramatic, yes, but also a real possibility. I haven’t seen some high school friends for a few years because we’re on different coasts. Different continents could prove an even greater obstacle.
That’s all gloom and doom, I know, but I’ve been almost all smiles since coming back to London. I returned to work today for the first time in 2 months and was unfortunately greeted by a notification that I need to have over 100 pounds deducted from my salary for running a credit note incorrectly through the system almost 3 months ago. Yes, I am pissed. And no, I have no real idea how to accept a credit note at the till. And that’s why, as a part-timer (and an irregular part-timer at that), I always ask someone else to do it for me. And now… here I am in the red and owing the damn company money. So for the next three days I work, I am paying off debt. Bollocks, as they say. Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks.
Still, the day turned out to be good. Selling spring merch is far from the hassle of eager ski-loving shoppers. I could relax a little bit more and have fun with co-workers. Anyways, work again tomorrow. Afterwards, I’m heading to Waterloo with an LSE climber/co-worker (yes, my two worlds merge) to check out the Cans Festival. It’s a street artist exhibition featuring Banksy and other artists. Oooh, I walked by one of Banksy’s newest pieces (shown above) the other day while walking to a friend’s flat on Essex Road… cool stuff.
Another thing. I’ve learned that in situations where you can grin and bear it OR complain, you should always complain. When my showers were perpetually lukewarm, I just accepted it and took cold showers. Then I complained and I had warm water. But still, my water pressure, even water volume, was sub-par. Only now with a month and a half left did I complain. And now I have amazing water volume. You can actually hear water running now when I take a shower. Soooo glorious. Lesson learned: complain. Always complain. Haha.