Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ooo Baby, Baby, It's a Wild One

My mommy's coming tomorrow! Yay! For a week and a half I won't have to pay for pretty much everything. Boo-yah. Tomorrow, Wednesday, she has a ticket to see our Theatre in London show with us at the National Theatre. It's "Measure For Measure" this time round. And she's excited that she'll get to meet Roy, my screenwriting/theatre in london prof. She always likes meeting my teachers and professors. She met Pat Hoy, too, freshmen year. Oh Pat C. Hoy. Anyway, on Thursday I have class from 2-5, but then she's coming over to my flat to help me pack for Ireland, I always need help packing, and we have tickets for "Mousetrap" at 8pm, the West End's longest running play! It's been since 1952. Continuously. And we think Phantom's been around awhile in New York. On Friday we're going to see Westminster Abbey, and get a real British tea at Fortnum and Mason's on Piccaddilly (recommended by Roy), and probably check out Hamley's toy store, the huge 3 story toy store. Always bring your parents when you want to go to a toy store, I've known that since I was about 3. That night we have dinner at Rules, London's oldest restaurant. She read about it in her British Heritage magazine over winter break and really wanted to eat there, so we made reservations. It's insanely expensive, like 20 pound dinners, but it's going to be so good. At least I hope it is.

Saturday we're going to Portobello Road, holy moly, it feels like I was just there last week, and eat at the Dog and Duck pub in honor of Bazil, and probably go to Milroy's Whiskey. I'm getting so much stuff crossed off my London To-Do List, it's fantastic! On Sunday we leave for Ireland! We have a shuttle to Heathrow, a 1 hour flight to Dublin, a shuttle to our hotel, then meet up with our Globus tour director at 3pm, and that's when the drinking starts! Woot! I'm gonna feel so special, because everyone else from the tour is coming direct from America, and I can say I've been living here since January. More woot.

We get back on Saturday, and Mom leaves on Monday. We don't know what we're going to do on Sunday, since everything's usually closed, but we're going to figure that out. We might go to the London Zoo or something, if it's open. And then on Monday I'm going to skip housekeeping so that I have a continuous break between the end of the Brit Cinema screening and the start of theatre in london, so mom and I can have a quick lunch together before she goes. I wish I didn't have so much to do on Monday, argh. But maybe I'll be sick of my mom by then. But probably not.

It's snowing. Not just flurries, it's actually laying on the rooftops. That's pretty cool. I'm sure it won't be a lot, but it's pretty. It hardly ever snows in London. It's like it's spring break already. I handed in my Brit Cinema mid-term essay, had class, and I only have screenwriting tomorrow and Thursday, which hardly feels like class at all. We go over our monologues tomorrow. Let's hope people like Hyun's Rant here as much as at home. I also have to rework my screenplay pitch a little more. Organize my notes. When we get back from break, all we'll be doing is writing. And writing. A little writing. And then some writing. I need a 100-120 page screenplay done by the end of April. Knowing me it'll probably be 120 pages. Then we get to cast it and direct our actors and have a live table reading for all the Tischies. One of the girls here has a video camera, I think. I'm going to ask her if I can use to tape a complete reading of my script in the flat. If it's actually any good. That would be fun to show family members.

So, I'm probably not going to write in here for the next week and a half, because for the rest of this week, whenever I'm not in class I'll be with my mom. I'm staying at her hotel, too. And next week I'll be in Ireland without my computer. So I'm sorry if this page will seem a little lonely for awhile. I promise I'm alive, I'll just be too cool and busy to type anything for you. And I'll come back with lots of pretty pictures and stories and whatnot. So, til then my friends, cheerio. I'll talk to you in March! Yeah, yeah, I know that's only tomorrow. I mean later in March, like March 12. Yeah, I hope to post you something on March 12. Now cheerio.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I must have the highest alcohol tolerance known to man.

We had a party in our room last night with the BBC girls and the British BBC guys they met in the country the other week. Woot. I partied with real British people. Well, more like chilled. But you know. But I think it's nearly impossible for me to get drunk. It would have been fine last night because the party was in our apartment and we weren't going anywhere, but I didn't. Not that I was specifically trying. It's a blessing and a curse. I posted pictures on facebook, so check them out. My "friends" assaulted me with make-up and made me wear this shirt I bought at home for like $5 on sale. Why, oh why, did I buy that shirt? But it was a fun party. The guys were really nice and easy going and didn't leave too much of a mess for us to clean up.

I was however up until 4am for other reasons that had nothing to do with the party. Sometimes someone just needs a person to talk to you. That usually happens to be me. Hey, I was camp counselor. I was trained for stuff like that. Let's just hope the drama calms down now, because it's no fun when people are all upset. Let's just chill and get along people. We'll be more of a threat to London that way.

Haven't gone out at all today, but that's because I need to save money. I don't want to withdraw any before my mom gets here on Wednesday, so I'm conserving. I need to go to Zone 2 tomorrow for the play I didn't get to see last week that I need to for class. And by play I mean magic show. Sweet. And I'll get reimbursed for at least the price of the show, on Monday, so there's 11.20 pounds back. I might get reimbursed for the tube, too. I'll have to check with Sally.

Now, while I listen to my own personal "Lauren's CD of Greatness," here's a list I made and put in my facebook profile. Not that I'm not loving my time in London, but we all miss stuff from home once in awhile.

-Random walks around NYC with my iPod, on nice, sunny days
-Sitting in Starbuck's for hours with just a book or a notebook
-Only having a 7 minute walk to class (instead of 40 minutes)
-Only living with one other person
-Okay, fine, living with Ashley. There, are you happy?
-$2 subway rides (instead of $8 tube rides)
-my big, fuzzy puppy Bazil
-House on Tuesdays and Lost on Wednesdays
-watching NASCAR on TV, instead of constantly checking foxsports.com, same with hockey
-root beer
-cold honey green tea without tapioca and condensed milk toast from Saint's Alp
-going to the movies every week
-eating lunch out with Lara every week
-Hyun and her wonderful stories that provide me with great inspiration for writing (check my blog)
-Ashley's random bursts of song, yes, more Ashley. I'll admit it.
-2nd Street and it's surrounding homeless shelters
-spending weekends in the city with my sister and whoever she brings with her that week
-not monkeys. ever. they will never be missed

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hyun's Rant Revisited

Okay, so we had to do this writing exercise for screenwriting, where we create one character and basically have them give this long monologue. I decided to go back to that little talent show piece I wrote for Hyun last year and expand upon it. And here is the new version 2.0 below. Now, let me remind you that, especially this new version, is only loosely based off our beloved Hyun J. Chun, and while it may remind you of her a lot, this is a fictional character I created. So not everything in here will relate to our Hyun. She was just a starting point. And no one can use this without my permission except the Hyun herself. Or else I'll sue the pants off you for plagiarism. Because I could use the money.

Sorry if the formatting comes out a little funky. I did what I could. Oh, and there's strong language. Ashley.

Hyun's Rant: Version 2.0

INT. STUDY ROOM - NIGHT

The fluorescent lit basement room, filled with crooked tables, chairs, and ratty couches is completely empty, except for one desk in the corner. HYUN J. CHUN (20) sits at the tiny desk, which is stacked high with piles of science textbooks, notebooks, a printer, a computer, and an assortment of pens.

Hyun keeps banging her head on the open book in front of her, finally stopping and letting out a long SIGH.

HYUN
Will it really, honestly matter in my life, if I can recite the Krebs cycle from memory? I want to be a doctor, not a fucking herbologist. Forty thousand dollars a year and all I’ll be able to remember five years from now is xylem and phloem. Shit, I can’t even remember what they are now. But that’s what you have to do when you’re pre-med. Take every goddamn science course known to man. At least that’s what I thought. Now, after my schedule is set, my advisor keeps telling me med schools are looking for more “well-rounded” applicants. Like, History or English majors, instead of Bio and Chem. Yeah, an English major would make a great doctor. Doctor! This man’s temp is up, his BP down, and he’s bleeding from his spleen. Can you save him? No, but I can recite him Shakespeare!

She leans back and closes the book in front of her.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I’m just getting so sick of it all, and there’s no one I can bitch to. My friends have heard it all before, and if I keep burdening them with my depressing-ness, I’m not gonna have friends. I wonder if I could get a BA in Bitching. Probably in Gallatin. My thesis would be so fucking easy.

She turns to the imaginary panel in front of her.

HYUN (CONT’D)
Hello, my name is Hyun J. Chun and I’m here to bitch. Bitch about my 8 am classes, bitch about my 10 hour labs, and most of all bitch about being pre-med in general.
She gets up out of her chair and starts pacing about the room.

HYUN (CONT’D)
The life of a pre-med. You might think you have it bad, but you know nothing. Nothing, unless you also happen to be a pre-med. Oh, it’s not so bad, they say. I’ll get to be a doctor one day and make three times as much as those tormentors they call professors. Yeah, that’s only if I live that long. Long enough to pass my goddamn fucking mid-terms, to get into some med school that isn’t the equivalent of a New Jersey Area Community College. Which at this point isn’t a likely possibility.

She rushes back to her desk and flips through the stacks of books and papers, until she finds the sheet she’s looking for.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I got an “Early Intervention” letter from CAS. The one they send you if you get a D on your mid-terms. Mid-terms! Grades that shouldn’t even fucking matter.

She crumples up the paper and throws it at the wall.

HYUN (CONT’D)
Like NYU really cares about what grades I have. They only care about you if you don’t send’em their check. My professors told me that since I got a “D” I need to study harder. Take time aside and go down to the study room once in awhile.

Hyun pauses, lets out a long SIGH.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I live in the fucking study room. I don’t even know what floor I’m supposed to live on. I don’t remember my roommate’s name or what she looks like, and I lived with her last year. I don’t even know if I live in this goddamn building. I could live in Water Street for all I know. My neighbor passed me in the hall the other day. She looked surprised and told me she thought I had left school.
(beat)
But I do have a good little set-up here. I have this little desk in the corner. My nice stack of books, paper, computer, printer. And I have gotten used to sleeping without a bed. My Calc III book is so thick, it makes a great pillow for me, and the best part is when I fall asleep, my drool marks the spot where I stopped studying. So when I wake up 4 hours later with no clue where the hell I am, I can look up, shake away my glazed-over-deer-in-headlights look, and go right back to studying. And it’s not like sleeping helps, either. All I can see when I close my eyes are giant mitochondria with the head of Prof. Schiccitano chasing me through the Silver Center Chem labs, screaming, “Take the derivative! Take the derivative!” Then I go to work. The only reason I have a job is that it looks good on my med school applications. It’s not like I have time to spend any money. And where do I work? Some place where I can escape my scientific torment?

Hyun lets out a little bit of crazed LAUGHTER and plops herself down on one of the couches.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I work in a bio lab where I spend all day growing microscopic worms in bacteria petri dishes, feed them to large macroscopic worms, that I have to cut up and grow fungus on in other petri dishes. All for the great Work Study sum of six dollars an hour. Then when I’m not studying or working, I get to volunteer at Bellevue. Another piece of advice from my advisor. I get to give smelly, homeless crack addicts a fake flu shot while trying to keep them from jamming their tongues down my throat because it’s been so long since they’ve seen a “real woman.”

She lays down on the couch.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I think drugs would help. Yeah, maybe get a good deal on Ritalin from some pimped out Sternies. That would work except that I don’t even have time buy any fucking drugs.

She rolls off the couch and sits on the floor.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I do have one part of my life that’s not science related. One little class called Con West. Oh Con West. Everyone loves Con West. Now, it wouldn’t be that bad except I’ve taken so many science and math courses, I don’t remember how to write. Last week I handed in a paper written in binary. For some reason my prof handed it back and gave me an extension. But I think it was because when I gave it to her I wasn’t blinking and had a small chain of drool dribbling down my chin.

She stands up and starts to walk back over to her desk. She hears someone WALK down the hallway, and excitedly freezes. When the footsteps pass, she slumps her head and goes back to the desk.

HYUN (CONT’D)
Every Saturday night I break down and cry. What the fuck am I doing with my life? Can all of this really be fucking worth it? And if it’s not, what else can I do? Fuck, I’m Asian! All I can do is science or play the piano. And I refuse to become a Tischie. There’s no way in hell you will get me to wear leg warmers.

She sits down at the desk and TAPS her fingers on the book.

HYUN (CONT’D)
My parents have no idea what I’m going through. They just want me to be happy I’m in a country where corporal punishment in schools is mostly illegal. In Korea, we used to get hit with this stick for every answer we’d get wrong on a test. Ha. Could you imagine if they did that here? You wouldn’t have to ask anyone how they did on a test. Hey, did you see Paul? Yeah, he looks fine, lucky bastard. Ooo. Elaine didn’t do so hot. Check out that scar. Where’s Hyun? In a coma.

She looks at her cell phone.

HYUN (CONT’D)
Oh, my parents. My father came over first, illegally, in the bottom of a boat or some shit like that. Which would be cool except any rebel anti-establishment attitudes he used to have disappeared as soon as he became an American. My mother, in typical Korean fashion, keeps asking why I don’t have a boyfriend. Dude, I don’t even have time to take a shower, let alone meet any guys. Yeah, so there’s the guys in my classes, but have you seen them? Fuck. I don’t know who’d wanna hit that. Unless you find pimples and pocket protectors insanely hot. I’m not that desperate. Yet. I should just tell mom I’m a lesbian. So what if I’m not. Maybe it would get her to shut up for once. Either that or she’ll scream and cry and ask what she did wrong in raising me. I better not. Besides, we’re Catholic. Or Protestant. Or, I don’t know. Apparently we’re supposed to be religious. Or not. I mean, they cancelled Christmas. My parents. My brother and I came downstairs that bright, glorious morning. No tree, no gifts. Not even a fucking newspaper. They used to always get us a newspaper. Nope. They just sat there and told us they didn’t feel like doing it this year. My poor, adolescent brother. He still believed in Santa Claus. Well, not after that.
(beat)
Christ! What time is it?

She checks her watch.

HYUN (CONT’D)
Oh. Only three a.m. Good. I still have 5 hours til my organic chem test. Well, four if you count the fact that I haven’t eaten in three days so I have no energy to move and it’ll take me an hour to walk there.

She opens her book, then stands up and heads to the door.

HYUN (CONT’D)
I need to go stab myself in the eye with a spork. Then I’ll get back to studying. Since it’s all I have.

She exits the study room, leaving her chaotic desk all alone.

The End.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Travel Plans!!

With the end of the semester fast approaching, yeah it's still only February, but February's almost over and it just started! Where the heck did it go? Ahhh! So, with the end of the semester fast approaching, I decided it was time to get my butt in gear when it comes to traveling around. So, Stacy is coming from Paris March 23-26, my birthday weekend!! Heck yeah! It'll be good to see at least one friend from home. And about half an hour ago, I just booked my Eurostar train ride to Paris. Oo la la! I'll be there March 31 - April 2. Sweetness. Now I just need to figure out how to take the Parisian subway to get to Stacy. We'll see how rusty my French skills are. Oui.

I also talked to Claire from good old Bear Creek Camp! And I'm going to visit her in Manchester at some point. Either March 17-19, April 7-9, or 21-23, whatever she tells me works best for her. Exciting! I can take a train right from London into Manchester. The rail service is awesome. So I'll be going to Manchester! To hang out with real British people! Woot.

And here's the piece de resistance (see the French there, huh? huh?): I'm going to go to SCOTLAND! Wait, wait - by myself! (most likely). So, this might not seem like a big deal, since I'm also going to Paris and Manchester by myself, but the difference there is that Once I get there, I have people I'll be meeting. People I know. When I go to Scotland, it's just gonna be me. Me and me alone. Whoaness. I'm going to go over Easter break. Here's the plan: take a train from London into Edinburgh, check into a hotel. Yeah, my mom told me that if I didn't want to stay in a hostel by myself, since I don't know if it'll be a creepy one or not, that I should just book a hotel. So, Friday I'll be checking into my hotel sometime in the afternoon. Check out Edinburgh Castle, and the stuff around. I'll buy a good map in London before I go. Then on Saturday I'm starting a 2-day mini-bus tour with Rabbies Highland Tours. A very reputable company. The tour takes me up through Loch Ness to Inverness, where we spend the night. Then it brings us back down the other side of Scotland back to Edinburgh. I'll get to see the castle they used for Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Since the tour gets back around 7:30-8pm on Sunday, I'm going to check into a hotel again, probably the same one, and spend another night. Then, take the train back to London sometime on Monday.

I haven't booked Scotland yet, but I will soon. I'm so excited to do it by myself. I even checked with my mom, and she said go for it! After she checked out the mini-bus tour website. I've never traveled like that by myself before, so it's going to be awesome. And it's not some scary third world country I'm backpacking through, it's a train to Scotland where I meet up with a tour.

So those are my travel plans for the rest of the semester. Those are all the places I wanted to go (plus Ireland, which I'm doing with me mum), so when the semester is over I hope I'll have a nice sense of fulfillment that I saw everything I wanted to see.

Now to continue with stuff on the London list...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yeah it was magic. My pasta magically disappeared even though I didn't eat it.

I did absolutely nothing yesterday, and in the words of Ron Livingston, it was everything I'd hope it would be. There wasn't much going on, and I did some of my freelance screenwriting work and worked on my Brit Cinema essay that's not due until Feb. 28. Yes, it seems a bit early to start working on it, but I'm lazy. Lazy you say? If you start your essay 10 days before it's due? Yes, my friend, because that way I only have to do a little work on it each day, and as soon as I get sick of it I can stop working on it, without fearing I'm not going to finish in time. It's a good habit I picked up. Of course, there is some good in forcing yourself to work through rough patches, but I find that's better for screenwriting than essays.

So today I had to go see my show for my independent theatre visit. I couldn't get through on the phone to make reservations, so I thought I'd just show up at the theatre and get a ticket that day. I mean, that's what everyone else did and they had no trouble. So, after American Idol (which I think Ashley should try out for next year. It would at least provide me with much amusement), I headed out under the overcast sky and took the simple tube ride to Baron's Court, which is in Zone 2. Very residential, wide sidewalks, only 1 homeless person tried to stop me. Luckily I had looked up the theatre online, and found out it's in the basement of a restaurant called Curtain's Up, or else I probably would have walked past it. A very nice looking restaurant. I walk around the corner and see the "entrance" to the theatre, and there's a wonderful yellow sign saying that today's show is sold out. Fantastic. Well, I'll just have to explain to Roy, I thought, as I walked back to the tube station in the light rain. Heavily raining when I finally got of the train, but I was a Girl Scout, and had prepared myself with an umbrella. Woot. I found a way to book a ticket for next weekend online, so I did that. Guess I should have found that before, but oh well. And I'll just tell Roy what's up. It's not like I purposely avoided my show. I just wasn't lucky.

Made the last of my turkey burgers for lunch. So good. Gobbled them up. Get it? Gobbled? Turkey? Oh I'm so funny I forget to make myself laugh. Worked on my Brit Cinema essay again. And, I don't remember. Other stuff. That I did. I think I'll do some more screenplay work.

Yeah, so concerning the title of this post. I went to the cupboard and examine what I had available to make for dinner. The bag of pasta my mom sent from home is gone. Vanished. Kaput. It was in the first big cupboard (where I always put my food) on the top shelf with the brownie pans and muffin tins my mom sent. No one uses the top shelf. I usually put my food on the bottom, but the bag was too big. And now it's gone. I bet nobody ate it, either. My food just disappears on its own.

BAFTA's are on tonight. (The British Oscars). So, I'll be watching that tonight. Especially since I can't watch the Daytona 500! Argh. Well that's what you get when you study abroad. In case you come across it, I'm racing Jimmie, Hamlin, Jr., and Petty in my fantasy league. So root for them. If you have no idea what that means, more power to you. Now to triple check the cupboard for my missing pasta.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mabel 2: Mouse in the House

Yes, we had a visit from Mabel's British cousin. For those of you who aren't my Freshmen year roommate, Mabel was the name of the mouse that was in our room at Goddard freshmen year. The other day we had a visit from her British cousin. But he was able to disappear on his own, instead of getting thrown down the trash shoot. Which would be kind of hard, considering we don't have a trash shoot.

Hmmm, what went on this week? I went to see Mimi's independent theatre play with her. It was a small theatre above the Old Red Lion Pub, called the Old Red Lion Theatre. Said play was "The Poison Maker". If you ever hear of it playing in the States, I thoroughly suggest you avoid it. Entirely. Unless you love the Oedipus complex. And lots of lots people wanting incestuous relationships. Yeah, incest was the word of the day. At least Mimi and I were able to get a pint in the pub before the show. That was probably the best part.

Several people are going on the Bath and Bristol trip this weekend. I didn't get a spot, but I realized that was a good thing because I need to go see my independent theatre production on Sunday afternoon, and that would have been impossible if I'd gone on the trip. It's a magic show! But it's in Baron's Court, so I have to travel to zone 2. Fun, fun. I just hope it's not in a shady area, like Jericha's was. At least I'll be able to go there in daylight. The next trip is to Yorkshire, but it happens to be the same weekend as my birthday, so I won't be going on that.

So I'm working on my new and improved pitch for my afterlife-based screenplay. I hadn't tinkered with it and pitched another idea in class. I was playing around with it at Starbuck's today, plus I did a little work on the short screenplay I'm working on, that I'm also going to adapt into a play. And that's just for fun. I know. I'm crazy.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Are You Ready For Some (English) Football?!

I must have the gift. We get to our seats 5 minutes into the game, sit down, and Fulham scores! They ended up winning 6-1, and West Brom only got their goal with about 5 minutes left. Ha. So, as far as soccer goes, the game was pretty interesting. I kind of remembered why I don't follow soccer. Nothing really happens in the game, and unlike hockey where they do it on ice, with sharp skates, and our allowed to beat each other up without getting a yellow card, nothing happens. But it was fun sitting in the crowd with the fans. They have chants for everything, and never stop chanting. They even get into chant wars with the away fans, kind of like the marching band wars we used to have in high school. They have a completely separate seating area, and entrance, for away fans. And plenty of riot police. Lots of riot police. Many of them on horses who have their own face shields. That was pretty cool. But, there were no riots, probably because Fulham won, so everyone was in a good mood. Well, except the West Brom fans.

I bought an official Fulham Football Club scarf, so I guess that means I have an official team to root for over here. I liked their fans, they played a good game, great defence, so I'll stick with 'em. At half time I bought a cheeseburger. Now, I knew not to expect a cheeseburger like I'd get at home, and I was right. It was more like a flat, round sausage in a weird bun, but it was really good and filling. I'd get another one if I went to another game. But there's so much other stuff I want to do, I probably won't. I posted some pictures on Facebook, so check 'em out if you want. I have more, but they really look a lot alike, so I won't post them all. I also took some video to record the chants and atmosphere. I'm really pleased with them, but there's no place to post them. But I like them. So. Ha.

I went home by myself for the most of the journey, because Mimi and Willa needed to go to Richmond to see "Journey to London" for Theatre in London. I decided to be brave and wear my scarf all the way home. I was in the Holborn station waiting for the Central Line train, and this old man comes up and points to my scarf. I had my iPod in at the time.

"You should be jumping up and down. They won 6-1."
"Yeah, it was a great game."
"Was West Brom really bad?"
"Yeah. They had no defence."
"You're not even British are you? You're American."
"Yeah."
"That's okay. I like Bruce Springsteen. Stick with Bruce."

My profile picture for this blog makes me miss my Harry Potter Triwizard jacket. I don't know why I didn't bring it. Probably because I didn't have enough room. But I still miss it. Now I need to work on my History Boys review. I haven't taken off my FFC scarf yet. I still enjoy it greatly. And it's soft.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"The hardest animal to decapitate is..."

Ha ha! I'm still here. You couldn't get rid of me that easily, my friend. So, what have I done all week? Let's take a trip back in time. Well, for starters, all the BBC kids (which means 4 of my 5 flatmates) had a camera operating training course in the country all week, so they've been staying in some weird teddy bear hotel (apparently), and Liz and I have had the flat to ourselves all week. Not that our living situation is bad when everyone is here, but it was nice and relaxing. And the dishes tended to not pile up in the sink. They finally come back tonight, and silence's reign of terror will end.

So, Monday. What was Monday? Oh yeah, Brit Cinema screening at 10am. The Draughtsman's Contract, some weird avant-garde movie by Peter Greenaway, about, uhm. Still figuring that out. But apparently our MJW (our version of Nigel, Hyun) worked on the film, and had some interesting behind the scenes stories for us. Then it was Theatre in London in the afternoon with Roy, which was just as discussion filled as always. BBC kids left right after that, I'm trying to think what I did after class...Don't remember. I think I came home and reveled in the peace of the flat.

Tuesday was Brit Cinema in the morning, somewhat interesting conversation. But if I have to hear the description of auteur theory one more time. I'm the only person in the class that's a Cinema Studies major, so no one else has studied it, but I had to write a friggin' 10 page paper on it last semester, which reminds me - Ashley can you pick that up from the Cinema Studies department for me? - and I really don't feel like hearing it described every week. Argh. But, what can you do. But I don't want to tell my prof that I wrote a 10 page paper on it, because then she'd ask me what my topic was, and to explain it, and honestly, I haven't thought about it in awhile. It's about how auteur theory can exist in post-modernism, but I'd have to read it again to be able to describe my position well.

And this is all boring to you. So I'll move on. Tuesday night I wallowed in the fact there was a new episode of House airing in the US, and I wouldn't be able to see it. I also checked my mail with Jericha at the academic centre. And...the PACKAGE ARRIVED! The glorious 11-lbs package from my mommy! I was able to carry it back to Kamen, too. My arms were shaking when I set it down, but I did it! So, what did have? Happiness!!! A bag of real pasta, tuna (but it's not the same if Ashley can't complain about the smell), Tasteykakes, a Tasteykake apple pie, rice krispie treats, goldfish, 3 Bowl Apetites, Cheeze-its, brownie mix, brownie pans to make the mix, muffin mix, muffin wrappers to make the muffins, 4 things of Ramen, mashed potato mix, a box of mac and cheese (not Easy Mac, the real stuff), pringles, pop-tarts, hand soaps, disposable razors, 1 TV guide with a cover article of Lost, and 2 Entertainment Weekly's!!!!

Oh what a glorious package. So to answer your question Hyun, no I haven't resorted to moldy shrimp sandwiches yet. And I go to Budgen's every friday for groceries. Meaning, Cadbury Eggs. Also, Tuesday is my Subway meatball marinara day (it's their Sub of the Day) and they still do the sub club coupon thing here. So I'm pretty close to getting a free one! I keep forgetting to ask for one of the cards though. I'll have to remember next Tuesday.

Wednesday. Oh Wednesday. Wednesday was a long day. Fun, at point very awkward, but long. It started out with Screenwriting from 2-5. My character exercise scene went over well. I've been having a bit of writer's block, so I decided to go back to what I do best, and had one character kill the other with a wrench, shove him in a closet, and steal his car. Oh, the good ol' days. Next week we start pitching. I don't think I'll write this one, but I'm going to pitch my zombie movie idea. Muahahahahaha! Okay, so after screenwriting, this is where things get fun. Every Wednesday we go to see a show for Theatre in London. This week, our theatre was in Richmond, which is like in the outskirts of London. Zone 4 on the tube, the last stop on the district line. In order to get to the show in time, Jericha and I left right after class. Oh, because we're both geniuses, we decided we'd wear nice shoes to the theatre. And we have the blisters to prove our efforts. Don't worry, I was still wearing jeans, but I wore a nicer shirt, and thought I'd wear my small brown boots. I am an idiot. Anyway, took the tube out there, no problems. Got some dinner at this cheap, awesome noodle bar. The name began with a "W". Wagamama? Or something like that. It's kind of a chain place. But it was good.

Then we went to the show. It was hilarious. Especially when all the RADA kids almost didn't make it because they had class til 6:30. But the show was really funny too. The ride back with Liz and Jericha was the most fun I've had all year! Well, not really, and not because of them. And this is where the title of this blog entry comes from. So, we were talking about the current bane of my existence, Valentine's Day. One of them was talking about bad V-Day gifts, and I mention a decapitated teddy bear. Apparently, this translates into British, "Hey crazy, creepy, extremely drunk guy, start talking to the Americans!" And he, once we were able to piece the words together, and hear them through the slurring, started saying how the hardest animal to decapitate was the, uh, well, I don't want to freak out Ashley. Needless to say, it's not an animal, and only guys have one. Yeah. So, basically we needed courage to do this, yada yada yada, Liz almost got in a fight with him to shut up, and we moved to the next car. And decided I seem to be the magnet for all the creepy drunk, British guys. This was the 3rd time. Oh the luck I have.

And what did I do to enjoy the rest of my Wednesday? Watch the newest episode of House that I downloaded during the day! Boo-yah! Oh man. It was fantastic!! Wilson is definitely my favorite character. But, poor House. He really loves being miserable. I can't wait til next week. When he does experiments on himself. Haha! Of course I'll have to wait a little longer again. Argh.

So, that finally brings us to yesterday. We had screenwriting at a special time, 12-3, because we were going to see a screening of a new Brit film A Cock and Bull Story together for class at 4:10. I also needed to see that for Brit Cinema, so it worked out doubley well. Yeah. Doubley is now a word. If it wasn't before. I don't feel like checking. So, the movie is hilarious. If you like that kind of humor. It's basically a film about a people trying to make a film of the book "Tristram Shandy," which is apparently unfilmable. It had a lot more people in it that I recognized than I thought. I knew Gillian Anderson would be in it (as herself), Mark Williams (Mr. Weasley), but I was also surprised to see Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle), Selena from 28 Days Later..., Prof. Quirrel from HP and the Sorcerer's Stone, and one of the guys from Shaun of the Dead. I can't remember his name, but it's the guy that has a crush on Shaun's girlfriend, but is dating the other girl. Basically, the other guy in the group who's not Nick Frost. But it was funny.

So that brings us to today, and since I just woke up, there's really not that much to report. Probably Starbuck's, since Friday's are my Starbuck's day. Budgen's for groceries. Get some homework done, because you know what I'm doing tomorrow?

GOING TO A FOOTBALL MATCH! (Aka Soccer) Fulham vs. West Brom. Got the tickets free through NYU in London. I guess they have some purpose. Mimi and Willa got tickets too. I think we're going to keep our eyes out for some attractive, young soccer hooligans. And since you can't drink alcohol in the stadium (imagine if they tried doing that in Philly) said soccer hooligans will want to take us out for a drink after the game. Or at least that's the plan. Fulham's the home team, and we're sitting in that section, so we have to make sure not to wear any offending colors. They actually have a separate stand for neutral and away team fans. Interesting. Even though I don't really like soccer, I mean football, I figured I need to experience the culture. Plus, it should be fun. Despite no alcohol. And the fact that it's soccer.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I hath found a good cinema!



My life here is now complete. It plays the major movies, is only a 15-20 minute walk away, and has a constant student price of 5.90 quid, no matter what time, or what movie. That's about $8-9, so it's the same price as home. As long as I remember my student ID. So, saw "Munich" today. I really loved it. Speilberg does amazing things with camera movement and angles, and I think he represented both sides of the issue fairly. Some may disagree, but that's why there's free speech. Should it win Best Pic? I don't know. I haven't seen Good Night, and Good Luck, or Brokeback Mountain. Capote I think was good because of Philip Seymour Hoffman, but the film itself was okay. What I would prefer to win would be Crash, but maybe that's just because I love the screenplay so much. This isn't my official prediction, so don't hold me to it. You know I pick what I think will win, not necessarily I want to win.

The cinema is actually in a nice shopping centre, with a Border's, Sainsbury's (grocery store), and some other things. It even had a woman dressed in Victorian garb playing a piano. Oh, England.

Family is going to call soon, so I better wrap this up. Classes tomorrow, and I have to figure out how to get a ticket to this show I have to see, that's in Baron's Court. Ugh. Why couldn't I have gotten a closer theatre?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Lauren's Rules of Grocery Shopping



1. Don't buy cheese. You never eat it.
2. All that chocolate might look good at the time, but it won't be useful when you want real food.
3. Yoghurt goes bad.
4. So does lunch meat.
5. Milk and bread are good investments.
6. But only a half loaf of bread. Things get moldy.
7. You'll probably forget to buy eggs, but buy eggs.
8. Always buy toilet paper. Even if you think you don't need it.
9. Cadbury eggs aren't what you mean when you say, "buy eggs."
10. Keep an ongoing price list in your head. Don't stop when you reach 10 quid, yet continue to put stuff in your basket.
11. Frozen meals are useful.
12. Ice cream not so much.
13. Label anything you put in the fridge if you ever want to see it again.
14. Cereal is a good breakfast food.
15. And lunch.
16. And dinner.
17. Dried, sugar coated, pineapple bits don't count as fresh fruit.
18. Don't buy fresh fruit, because you'll never eat it while it's still fresh.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Because there's an Eastern European handy-man fixing our sink, and I can't leave until he's finished



Four Jobs I’ve had:

1. deli worker, cleaner, stocker, do everything @ Helen's Deli
2. summer camp counselor @ Bear Creek Camp
3. office assistant for Corrado & Son's
4. volunteer for 2004 Republican National Convention in NYC


Four Movies I can watch over and over:

1. The Little Mermaid
2. 28 Days Later...
3. The Rock
4. Office Space


Four Places I have Lived:

1. Shrewsbury, NJ
2. West Rockhill, PA
3. New York, NY
4. London, England


Four TV Shows I watch:

1. Lost
2. House
3. Arrested Development
4. CSI:


Four Places I Have Been on Vacation:

1. Walt Disney World
2. Universal Studios, Orlando
3. most of Western Europe
4. NYC (before I lived there)


Four of My Favorite Dishes:

1. anything with chicken
2. anything with seafood
3. any pasta
4. Young's Frozen dinners (only 99p!)


Four Websites I Visit Daily:

1. IMDB
2. mugglenet.com
3. facebook.com
4. home.nyu.edu


Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:

1. Leavesden Studios for the start of Harry Potter filming
2. New York City
3. Scotland
4. Home

And now to see if there's a cute latte boy at Starbuck's. There wasn't last time.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Portraits! Portraits everywhere! They're all staring at me!

Coolest. Homework. Assignment. Ever. Doesn't matter that my end result completely and utterly stunk more than whatever is rotting at the back of our fridge. Roy sent us to the National Portrait Gallery! We were to go either last night, or this morning before class, and since I had the play last night I had to go this morning. We had to find two portraits that we liked, and write a scene for them. They didn't have to be talking portraits, we just had to be inspired by the people in them. So I only had a few hours to do this, and my scene sucked, but it was still really cool to stroll around the museum with an actual purpose. Using the city as my homework.

There were art students sketching things everywhere, and they always regarded me with a funny look because I was writing, but not sketching. How dare I use a pen! Where were my pencil and sketch paper? Why the hell are you writing a screenplay in a portrait gallery? Or maybe that's just what I thought they were thinking. I could just be completely paranoid. We all know this is true.

Big casting news is out for Order of the Phoenix. Harry Potter 5 for all of you who aren't cool enough to know that. Luna Lovegood is some 14 year old blonde girl from Ireland who went to the open casting call the other week in London. WB actually released a picture, too. For Cho Chang they tried to keep her hidden for awhile. Imelda Staunton is officially Dolores Umbridge. Oh, that'll be fun. She'll get to be the most hated HP character ever! I hope she knows what she's in for. Tonks is little known British actress Natalia Tena, and Bellatrix Lestrange is another Brit, Helen McCrory. Of course they're all British. You have to be to be in HP. Legally. The producers refuse to take anyone who isn't. Oh, and the one person I haven't seen a picture for is Kathryn Hunter, who'll play Mrs. Figg. But, just knowing that Mrs. Figg wasn't cut makes me even more optimistic about the film. I know they'll have to cut a lot, but I'm glad they didn't cut her, or my favorite seen, "Snape's Worst Memory."

Tomorrow, tomorrow. Many things I want to do, but I don't know if I can time them right. I want to see if my package has arrived at the academic center. I also need to cash my traveler's cheques at the American Express store so that I have money. I don't want to withdrawal any until I've used all those first. I also want to see Munich, and the rates are cheaper if you go before a certain time. But I'd have to cash my money first. It's all a matter if I can get up early enough.

I'm going to make my Oscar predictions (who'll I think will win, not necessarily who I want to win) but that'll be a later post. I need to think about it first.

For now, there is a pint of Ben and Jerry's in the fridge, calling my name...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cadbury is my friend

I should really buy stock in it while I'm here. I should also probably buy real food, but I'm waiting for my 11-pound package from home to get here. It hath been stuffed with food and other goodies, such as 2 Entertainment Weekly's, but is somewhere in the postal system right now. Oh, the postal system. I have time to check my mail again Friday, so I hope it's there by then. I'm low on cash, because I need to cash my traveler's cheques, and don't want to buy much until I do that. Which I'll get around to sometime. I do have plenty of food, a bunch of frozen meals, so I really don't need to buy much else. Conserve the cash!

Not much as gone on the past few days, like most weekdays. Did exactly what I said I'd do on Sunday, absolutely nothing. It was glorious. And a good rest for my legs. Let's see, Monday was my longest day, with a Brit Cinema screening at 10am (Brief Encounter, really good) then Theatre in London from 1:45-4:15. I'm glad we don't have a test in that class, because I have no idea what it would be on. It seems very unstructured and we talk about whatever comes up concerning the theatre. I enjoy it, but it's still a little weird. We randomly picked our theatres for our independent, fringe theatre visits. Fringe theatre is basically what their off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway, etc. It's all called fringe. And, I get to go see a magic show! Pretty sweet, except for it's off the Baron's Court tube stop which is at least Zone 2 as far as I can tell. The farthest I've been in London. I hope it's not a scary area. Shows are every Sunday at 3, and I should probably call to see if I need to buy a ticket beforehand or if I can just get one at the door. That means I have to find a phone I can make calls on. We can only use our room phone to make outgoing calls if they're toll free. And I don't have, and don't plan on getting, a cell phone while I'm here. I'll figure something out.

What was yesterday, Tuesday? Yeah. Tuesday. I love Tuesdays. Besides Friday's I think they're my favorite day. I have Brit Cinema from 10-1, then I get my 1.99 sub of the day at Subway (it's always meatball marinara on Tuesday, my favorite kind of hoagie), then I come home and do whatever I want because all my flatmates have class til really late on Tuesdays! Imagine being able to get a 6 person flat all to yourself, at least once a week. It's glorious. Next week, I think I'll watch a movie.

Wednesday is today, and what am I doing? Oh that's right. Screenwriting from 2-5. We had a character exercise, where we created two, good, 3D characters and put them in approx. 5 page scene together. So, we'll be reading those aloud in class today. Then I'm coming home for a bit, before I go out for our Wednesday theatre visit. Our last time at the Royal National Theatre (I'll make sure to bring my camera for some awesome night Thames River pictures) and we're seeing a play about Paul, biblical Wow-they-were-all-right-about-that-Jesus-Son-of-God-thing-I'm-going-to-stop-persecuting-Christians-and-change-my-name-from-Saul-to-Paul-as-soon-as-these-scales-fall-off-my-eyes Paul. And it's called "Paul." And it's apparently set in modern times. That'll be interesting. At least hopefully more interesting that Once in a Lifetime. That was just painful. Ow.

And just a quick note that it's finally FEBRUARY. Holy crap, I didn't think January was ever going to end. But it has, and now we can all move on. I have feeling things are going to start to speed up now, but I could be completely wrong. I'm just happy that it's finally a new month. And one day closer til my birthday. Not that it matters that I'll turn 21, since I can already drink, but I haven't been able to afford to drink, so at least on my birthday someone will buy me a drink. I think.

That's all. So now, if you want to stalk me, you now have my schedule. But please don't. That's not very nice. And I know Kung Fu. Or do I? You won't know, will you? So it's best if you just don't try.

Don't I have class or something?