Monday, August 30, 2010

The "New Year"

I don't know about you - but I certainly feel more excitement for the new year that starts in September, than the one that starts in January. There's always more motion, more of a buzz, and quite frankly - I make twice as many resolutions at the beginning of the school year than I do on New Year's Day. It's easier to fit things  in as I make a new schedule.



Maybe it's because it's my SENIOR YEAR, but I feel a very special buzz on this, the first day of school.

I'm smiling on campus.

This is new. Well, sort of. Typically I keep my eyes turned down, hastily trying to speed-walk to my next destination. Fend for yourselves slash survival of the fittest, you know.

But I'm excited for the people and the places and the classes.

Not to mention my great schedule, the lack of rehearsal and the change in work space.

I'm excited for the resolutions, the gym membership, the ambitions and habits I've already begun. Like the fact that I'm actually taking time to READ BOOKS. Reading. I am reading them all. All of the books.

And I have this big, squishy feeling that it's going to be a great year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Motivation is Draining

While on vacation, I thought of all these ambitious ideas of how I would budget my time, projects I need to complete, things I need to do, books I need to read...

Now that I'm back? Well, I'm just having a hard time getting going.

Maybe it's the heat? Maybe it's the city? 

But it's more likely to be the prospect of impending doom. School starts in a week. Ug. And thought it's my final year of my undergraduate schooling - it's still coming WAY too fast. I guess I'm just living in a vacation-wonderland, but this summer has been too sweet to see it pummeled and corroded immediately by reality. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Neatest

Pencil sculptures!

People are so creative. It's so inspiring/humbling.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 35: Goodnight, London! We're going to leave you now.

Today? We went to the Tower of London, Harrods and saw "Chicago." All very good.

Especially the "pet kingdom" in Harrods. Gourmet doggie treats, special hamster breeds and designer dog apparel. My kind of store.

But tomorrow we leave to fly back home to the "US of A." 

It's bittersweet.

We've laughed. 

We've cried.

We've soiled our pants.

Maybe we feel like it's time to go home.

But maybe not.


The memories will last a lifetime, though!!

And there was so much we DIDN'T do that we have plenty of reason to return :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 34: One Sweet Dream Came True (guitar riff...) Today!! YES IT DID! (Ah! Ah! Ahh ahh..)

Today we slept in. It was MUCH needed after our last two early-bird days.

We got into town around noon (it's a 45 minute commute into the city centre - note my sweet British spelling, thanks) and began by heading to the Euston station to recover Spencer's computer which he left on the train that we took from Liverpool to London. He probably wouldn't want me telling you that this happened, but I am because it is a story of triumph, victory and a twenty-pound penalty fee.

Then we went to Abbey Road! A glorious, metaphorical maraschino cherry on top of the perverbial ice cream sundae of this week. It was neat to see, all though the wall outside the studio is all covered up in writing and graffiti. I suppose people think they're being clever or sentimental by writing their favorite Beatles lyrics or Beatles-associated thoughts on a wall, but really I think it's sad. It looks terrible, but ah well.

Then went to the Portabello Market off of Notting Hill Gate. Something I'd never done before. Lots for sale, and very overwhelming, but fun. It was a very different part of town that I've/we've otherwise seen, so that was neat.

Then we went to Hyde Park which, unfortunately, looks pretty terrible because all the grass is dead. The Kensington gardens were beautiful, and the flowers were in full bloom, but the big, open grass fields of Hyde Park are totally crispy and brown. Guess it's been a dry summer. And hey! Good news! The Peter Pan statue is still there. We checked on that today, and took pictures :)

The evening was spent at the Phoenix theater to see "Blood Brothers." Quite good. Especially the 90's era synthesizer and Kenny-G inspired sax licks. Other than that, though, really, the musical was very, very good. The actors were incredible and the story line was good, too. Neither Spencer or I really knew what to expect, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, today was a wonderful day and tomorrow will bring a lovely close to our European adventure with the tower of London, Tate Modern, Globe theater and 39 Steps matinee and Chicago evening performances.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Days 32 & 33: Please please me? OH YEAH!

Yesterday was epic.
And by "epic," I mean, "life changing."
And by "life changing," I mean, "an absolute dream come true."

A) We successfully woke up around 5:30 and got ourselves on the correct train that left at 6:50 and took us to Liverpool.

B) Did I mention we went to LIVERPOOL!?!?

(Lucky for me you can't tell that, in this picture, I have soiled my pants in excitement. Ha! Kidding! ....Or am I?)

C) We literally "rolled up for the mystery tour" and saw the childhood homes of the fab four, the Cavern, Penny Lane (including the barbershop, the structure in the roundabout, the bank, etc.) and Strawberry fields. I nearly cried. And it was totally justified because they were playing "In My Life" when we pulled up to the McCartney home and, well, it was freakin' poetic. 


Also we're 98% sure we saw Mike McCartney at the McCartney home. Yes, we have proof.

D) When surrounded by scads of Beatles memorabilia, one can easily go INSANE with the souvenir selection. I, however, was prudent enough to control myself into purchasing only one bag, four pins, one deck of cards and a kitchen magnet.

E) We successfully got ourselves on the correct train to London and met our host in East Grinstead. Tah Dah!!

Today was nice.

Unfortunately, we had another craptastically early wake-up-time, but it was okay because we had to get to church, and that makes it all right. We spent the afternoon in the British Museum and the evening at an organ recital in Westminster Abbey and, though I appreciate all the famous dead people who are at the abbey, I will take my free admission concert and consider the abbey "seen" WITHOUT the 15 pound entrance fee, thankyouverymuch, and feel satisfied with the dead-person-appreciation I had this afternoon in the "Ancient Egyptian: Mummies" exhibit at the museum.

We also walked all about to gape at neat London-ey things, at at a "Pret a Manger," a name which still makes no sense to me, and ate soft serve ice cream with chocolate flake bar.

Then dinner. And talking. And now bed which is MUCH needed.