Saturday, 29 November 2008

i rode on a canal. i ate goat. i dressed up. good day.

Let me begin with the fact that my camera is broken. Hence I decided to illustrate my story through other people's pictures! enjoy!

the day begins with Schama.

how could a day get better than discussing british history with this cute little old man?

Next. Hop on the tube. Bakerloo Line to Warwick Avenue to do the Little Venice Walk.

Realize that I have the song "Warwick Avenue" by Duffy, which talks about meeting by the 'entrance of the tube.' Therefore, I promptly listen to it as I walk out of the tube.

While doing the walk, I fall in love with all of the little canal boats, and the entire area in general. I meander around, and arrive at the place to ride the canal boats (highly recommended by good ol' Arthur Basset) RIGHT when the boats are leaving. I jump onto the boat, and get to ride for 45 minutes to Camden Town! (note: the boat lady described the boat as "wonky." Tony isn't alone! heyy tony! (our bus driver))
Camden Town is this insane market filled with crazy artsy things and punk rocker stores and ethnic food. Speaking of ethnic food, I had some African curry. Speaking of curry, it was goat curry. mmm De-Licious! I wandered around for quite some time looking at all of the crazy stuff, comparing prices, seeing what I might like..

Then I decided to go to Portobello road because *gasp* I hadn't been there yet, and I live the closest to that place! I know, I'm a horrible person. It was a long tube ride back there, and it was pretty crowded..

While there, I found a lot of cute things that I think I might get for myself.. and possibly others. It was cute! Tons of antiques and cheap clothes. I think it might be my favorite clothes market!

By then, it was really dark, and it was cold, and rainy, so I took my first taxi by myself back to the center! It was sooo worth it, cause it was far, and I had to be there soon so that I could leave to go to the ward talent show!

At the talent show, we dressed up in Nigerian dresses and head dresses that were designed by a lady in our ward. It was WAY fun. The show was long, but we had a great old time doing it. Being oh so white. I just keep singing to myself "One of these things is not like the other one, one of these things just doesn't belong"... haha

Then, to celebrate, we went to SNOG again! delicious! How can you end your night better than a little 'naughty' snog? I don't know.. I don't know, really. :)
So yeah, you could say that I had a pretty good day. :)
I love London.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

we drank tea. we gave thanks.

Thanksgiving in London is just a little bit different than say, thanksgiving in America. I'll give you a unlimited guesses as to why..

oh wait. It's because they aren't thankful for that first meal with the pilgrims and the native AMERICANS. hm. odd isn't it?

Today we went to a synagogue in the morning (it was very ornate and beautiful) to learn more about Judaism. The whole time, I was thinking, I LOVE JEWS! i love MARLEY! :D ! hehe.
After that, we went to high tea at Kensington Palace. It was delicious! I had rose hip tea, and we had cucumber sandwiches, and raisin scones, and lemon cake!

Tonight we, as the dutiful Kitchen Crew, were in charge of setting up, helping with, and cleaning up after dinner. We also got to decorate the whole place! We had orange tissue paper and sparkly fall leaves and we made some fantastic runners. Basically, because of us, Thanksgiving was absolutely fabulous. :D

Hope it was grand for all of you in America too!

austen. not to be confused with austin.

Yesterday we went to Jane Austen's home! It was probably the most quaint town of all time. I love, love, loved the little town, and her house, and her tiny writing desk that looked out over the street, and the herb gardens, and the little piano that I played, and the creaky floors, and her little room and even smaller closet.

Basically, I loved it all!

My favorite part has to be when I meandered around her little town, found a little bush covered foot path covered in a thick layer of crunchy fall leaves that lead to the edge of a horse pasture. After walking around there for a while, I walked the 2 minute walk into the main town and walked back listening to "Dawn" from the new Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. It was magical. I think that is probably the closest that I will ever get to really being in an Austen story, and I loved every minute of it.

Then we went to Winchester (the old capital of England). It had the cutest little streets, and a great atmosphere. I loved wandering down random alleyways just to see where I would find myself. The cathedral there was huge! One of the longest in the world. It was fun to see everything there, and Jane Austen's grave... (Just don't ask about her finger. You don't want to know.. )

It was sad though. That was our last trip outside of London.

I can't believe I have less than 3 weeks left...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

mahler is my main man.

musically wise that is.

it was awesome. lots of crazy and interesting musical sounds and techniques.

way to be creative. it worked.

if there was vh1 of the 1890s, he would win.

oh gustav. you can compose something for me any old day.<3
and just look at those specs.
i think i'm in love.

it's cold here. really cold.

I don't understand.

We left to go to Paris, and it was, you know, the normal November Seattle-ish 50-60 winter.

We came back, and it snows? Really?

Today I sat in class all day. No socks, 2 scarves, my one little zip up jacket...yeah.

I don't have winter clothes...

this is going to be fun. i can tell.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Yeah. I went there. It was awesome.
Got a free apricot croissant. ;)
Walked up the Arc de Triumphe and Notre Dame.
Became a Hunchback.
Un became one right after.
Ate a ton of crepes.
Ate a ton of pastries.
Ate a ton in general.
Almost didn't mind the gap on the metro.
Saw the Mona Lisa.
Saw Venus de Milo.
Saw and fell in love with Rodin.
Lost Rick Steves' Lourve speed walk competition. I think he cheats.
Walked everywhere.
Watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour and be blue.
Went on a boat cruise of the Seine at night.
Went to the Moulin Rouge and sang a lot.
Went to the Opera House and sang a lot. (Phantom that time).
Found some fun art.
Found the Camino in Chartres.
Sat at a cafe on the street and had a 'bowl' of hot chocolate.
Broke a police barricade. aka. Lived Les Miserables.
Became royal for 3 hours while at Versailles.
Talked to some donkeys.
Skipped a lot.

Yeah. I'd say this trip was a success. :)!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

staging my life.

I went to a few shows this past week.. with time running out, and the weeknights being the cheapest time to get great tickets for nothing, we took advantage! On thursday night after being at the Imperial War Museum, I ran all down The Strand to find tickets for Lion King before dinner. This was slightly a time crunch. I ran up and down literally, a couple hundred stairs, sped walked down The Strand, only to find that I couldn't get my ticket and someone else's at the student price without them being there, and then I got back on the tube and ran home, got there 20 mins late, shoved food down my face, and ran out again to go and get the tickets with my friend. However, it was all ok, because we got 4th row center tickets for Lion King for 30 DOLLARS! i LOVE LOVE LOVE the exchange rate right now!
The show. was. AMAZING! I've always heard that the costumes and the sets were amazing, and I was not disappointed! All of the animals were AWESOME! and the birds they would make fly over the audience, and rafiki was AWESOME. she click talked and had a great voice. Yeah. it was AWESOME.

Then on Friday we went to STOMP! It was very inspiring. They made beats with everything. Brooms, barrels, match boxes, lighters, newspapers and coughing, they hung from the ceiling and bangs on fences.. yeah it was great! plus, it was only 15$! student night! yes!

Basically, I LOVE LONDON. and I LOVE theater! :)!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

in memory of those loved and lost.

On Thursday, we had the opportunity to go to the Imperial War Museum. I absolutely loved it. It was probably one of the most thought provoking interesting museums that I have ever been in. Walking into it, you are greeted by a hall of machinery and tanks and planes that have been used over the years in war. It is here that the glorious nature of the war is personified. War=Technology=Advancement=Victory right? As you move more into the museum, you see the effects of the war. The actual experiences that people had to go through to bring peace to their countries and to fight for what they believe in. The World War I and II exhibits were really fascinating. They had so many artifacts and personal stories that were shared in really interactive ways because it was not that long ago. They had special exhibits/experiences where you could go into a trench that they had created and also a bomb shelter in london and the surrounding town and what it would have looked like with all the rubble and broken places and the sounds. Imagining having to actually be in the trench was humbling. It was small, dark, dirty, and it did not feel protected at all. At any time it would have been easy for the enemy to infiltrate the trench, and the sickness and the living conditions would have made it unbearable. It was also scary to sit in the little bomb shelter and to imagine how terrifying it must have been to sit there night after night for months at a time, just hoping that a bomb didn't fall on you and that shrapnel wouldn't somehow injure you or someone you loved. It was also really sweet to watch little old men and their wives looking at all of the things from the wars that they most likely had been a part of. Their lives, their friends, their experiences personified in a museum. It must be a special and an honorable moment to be able to walk into a place that honors your work, your biggest trial, your largest conquered fear.
Even more profound was the Holocaust section that they had in the museum. That period in time has always fascinated me. How people could be that cruel to others is something that I have never been and will never be able to understand. Putting myself in their situation, I don't know if I could have done the things that these poor people had to go through. The complete dehumanization of society. I felt sick as I wandered through and heard the recounting of events, saw the pictures of the camps and the gaunt and haunted faces of mothers, fathers, grandmothers, brothers stripped of their individuality and their lives just because of what family and religion they were born into. They had to face possible death and the death of those they loved dearly just because of who they were. What could they do? They could stand up for what they believed in and become even more of a target, they could give up all hope, or they could just try to make it to the next day.. live life and do what they had to in order to survive. They were forced to live against each other just to survive. One of the things that stuck out to me this time were the voices telling their stories and saying how when they arrived at the camps and saw the people living there, with shaved heads and striped clothing, they thought that they had arrived at an insane asylum, but within two hours, they all would meet the same fate as those then had seen behind the barbed wire from a distance. And Fear. The utter fear and the horrible process of being viciously stripped of not only your material things, but also your pride. I don't think that I could have made it.

This event in history still effects people today. Not just those who lived through it, but those who learn from it and realize that life should be respected. Love for your fellow man should come first. I am so grateful that I live in a place where we are accepted for our differences. I'm grateful that my family migrated to be with the church and that I have grown up with more opportunities in my life that I could have ever dreamed of. I only hope that one day I can share my experiences and help to show other people that ignorance of others is unacceptable and that it is only through the respect of oneself and others that this world has a hope to progress.

To all those who have sacrificed or died for what they believed in, I thank you.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

hampton court in jersey?

Yesterday we went to Hampton Court. It was GORGEOUS! Probably the best place that I saw there were the huge old kitchens and the different state rooms. There weren't that many people there, so we got to take FULL advantage, including dancing through the rooms in perfect "King and I" style. We also took some great jumping pictures.. including one with a lot of people.. we had to jump.. literally over 40 times. I was a little sore the next day.. haha

That night we went to Jersey Boys! It was GREAT! OH WHAT A NIGHT! can't take my eyes off of you!! It was like going to a concert for the four seasons, not like just sitting in your normal musical... to say the least :)! I'm just amazed that these performers can do shows like this perfectly, SO MANY TIMES in a week. My hat is off to them! (too bad i never wear hats.. hmm)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

walking through the parks to museums and back.

Today was yet another day of the insanity that is B schedule. It is the one day that I have all three of the classes. I know, you're probably thinking.. all three? that's not that many!!

Well surprise.. it is.

Especially when they are 1.5 hours long each, with no breaks in the middle.

After classes were done, I walked down through Kensington Gardens to Exhibition Road, and to the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Along the way, I decided to take some pictures, because it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Note: the best season is fall and the best time of day is afternoon when there are great shadows and a bright yellow sun! :)

Monday, 10 November 2008

demon computer.

tonight was a very interesting night. . . to say the least.

I'm finishing up my religion paper. and it deletes itself.
you might be thinking, "Sam. Why didn't you save it?"
well, I'm here to tell you that my computer has NEVER before lost ANYTHING! PLUS, word NEVER RANDOMLY QUITS FOR NO REASON!
Well, I got over that quickly, and began rewriting it.
I got done. AGAIN, and it deleted the last fourth.
I re-wrote it. AGAIN. and it deleted my last paragraph!
(I was saving along the way.. and I stopped saving EACH sentence because it was getting a little monotonous..)
I did finally finish it, and it was done on time... but the concept was that is WAS done. the FIRST time. not the 5 times later.

I was a smidge frustrated. It was so silly that I was just cracking up because I couldn't believe the amazing luck.

Not to be out done, I went to go send in a field study for religion, and not only did my internet shut down (which it does every 45 mins or so here, so no big deal), but my internet icon DISAPPEARED!

I didn't even know that that could happen...

I laughed a lot then too.. ha. ha. ha. yeah. reeaaalll funny.

To show my disapproval of the entire situation, I decided to take some 'feelings' pictures of my lap top. I hope you can understand my feelings of loathing (expressed by the green), anger, the pure silliness of the whole thing.

oh life. you amuse me. bring. it. on.

it rains here too.

I love London in the fall. Actually, I'm pretty sure that I would love London in any season.
Today, it is rainy and cold. Despite that fact, I am still quite happy with it. I get to snuggle up in my comforter on my top bunk in the corner of our room, and write a paper, and countless write ups for places I've been.. Hmm..

I think hot chocolate might be in order...

Sunday, 9 November 2008

modernizing my life.

Today after church I had the opportunity to go to the Tate Modern Museum of Art! It was very.. modern. My thoughts about modern art are constantly changing. I like some, but others strike me as the silliest things that I have ever seen. Like Marley's book, Modern Art=I could do that + Yeah, But you Didn't. Then you see things like tons of used soap made into a string, hanging in a corner, and i think: I don't even want to do that as art.. even though i guess it looks kind of cool. I think my favorite was the two layers of bricks, 3 wide by many 15 long, chilling in a room. I mean, really? what is that? It looked like a deck waiting to be built, or a long step for no reason. Then there is a huge tower made out of old and new radios called "the Tower of Babel." That one is actually kind of cool, cause it plays with interesting concepts.

Basically, I went to the museum. I was glad I saw what I did, but I'm also glad it was free.

Walking back from the Tate, we went over the Millennium Bridge, which goes straight to Saint Pauls, and there is a huge projection with random words on the dome! I think my favorite words were: Toast, Butter, Sneezes, and Atheists. On the dome of a cathedral. It was quite entertaining!

Tonight I also went to Royal Albert Hall to hear a modernists War Requiem. It was really interesting, and slightly dissident. It had a large chorus, and a boy's choir, and lots of random instruments not usually found in an orchestra, like a large pipe organ. It was good overall, but modern yet again.

I think that is my new theme. Modernism. Am I supposed to be updating my life? Did I miss a memo? I mean, I do enjoy modernism, especially post modernism, but really?

To modernize, or not to modernize. That is the question.

At least for me right now it is.....

Saturday, 8 November 2008

6 characters in search of an author.

I can't believe that I almost didn't go to see this show. It was SO AMAZING! It completely blew my mind, and was disturbing, and brilliant all at the same time!

Read on only if you really want to hear the explination of the plot. It does get kind of complicated... (which is why i LOVE it!)

The 6 Characters of the show come and interrupt a film crew that is making a documentary about assisted suicide for the mortally ill in Denmark. They want the producer of the film to tell their story for them so that they can be done, and stop reliving the story that they were written into. While they stage the Character's story, they address the issues of what it means to be a character and how actors have the ability to portray them and the liberties that they can take in their 'realistic' portrayal. After their story is finally portrayed, the Characters corner the Producer and question her validity as a person. Is she a person? Is she a character? How do you prove that you are real? All of these questions are addressed as the Producer tries to explain that of course she is a real person, and not a character. However, she then begins to realize that she doesn't have proof, and she is now ignored by the others from her working team. She even goes back stage as a camera follows her on her journey to realization that she is just a character acting on the west end. She even goes into the next theater and walks across the production that they are doing which happens to be LES MISERABLES! I was kind of excited! As she tries to end her life and get out of the character that she realizes that she has become, it becomes evident that the entire show up until that moment was also a film. The show starts over again, but the producer is forced to relive her past role against her will. During the "reliving of the film" the directors are commentating on how they focused on different aspects of the film of the play that we are watching, when those ruddy Characters burst into their world too! Then the stage is over run by producers who want to produce the show 6 Characters in Search of an Author, and the original Producer is still there trying to prove that she isn't just a character, but a real person. Then the Characters show up once more, and kill the producers so that they can stop the unrelenting cyclical life that they lead. Then it goes back in time to when the original Author of the play that I was watching was having a hard time finishing the play. He says how he just can't seem to end it, and as he walks off the stage, one of the 6 Characters walks over and writes down an ending in the book. Only then does the Producer realize that she now can end her story, and therefore end the play that we are watching.

AH! LOVE IT! So complicated, but SO INTERESTING!
Important questions asked:
How does one define him/herself?
How do you prove you exist?
What does it mean to exist?
What defines a character?
What is the relationship between a character and an author and the viewer and who decides what roles the other can or should play?
Is there fate, are we all destined to live a certain life written by a 'higher being'?

Those are just a couple of the fun questions to ponder after seeing this show.

It just makes me want to sit down and write at least a 20 page paper.

Yes. i AM that odd.. :)

GOTTA LOVE IT! Plus, The Emperor from Star Wars is in it!

Friday, 7 November 2008


I really couldn't stop the beat tonight! I went to Hairspray, and I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! They were funny, way talented, and they were GREAT dancers! I mean, it's one thing to see good dancing on screen, but to see it live just makes it THAT much more awesome!

Michael Ball (my hero in theater who was the original Marius in Les Miserables) as a woman
Welcome to the 60s
You're Timeless to Me: the two men couldn't stop laughing. I think they come up with new lines every night just to make the other one feel a little more awkward.
Penny: She was just always awkwardly bobbing around and had a great booming voice
Tracy: Had a beautiful voice. Literally. Something that is not usually associated with her part
All of them trying SO HARD to have an American accent, and most of them failing at it.. especially Link. he was so scottish. and he was trying to have a jersey accent, or at least make it sound like that..
Laughing at the jokes that only people from America think are funny.
The powerful singing, music... that would be such a fun show to be in!

Ok. So basically I loved EVERYTHING!



I'm trying to find a place to live (when I don't really know the area or where to live) for winter, a job to have, what major I should be in, PLUS all of my school papers and tests and going all the places I need to go for my classes in London.

So yeah. You could say that I'm a little stressed. And that, my friends, does not happen often. Almost never actually. bah!

Thursday, 6 November 2008


why it is the longest running show, i will never know.

maybe it's because they tell you not to tell anyone the ending after the show ends, and everyone keeps the secret?

yeah. cause i bet everyone in the world is a saint..

oh wait....

anyways, i also missed going to a premiere tonight "body of lies" with leonardo dicaprio. i saw them setting up in Leicester square, but i wasn't really in the mood to go back. then again, i am honestly not upset about it at all. i dunno, i mean, they are just people like you and me, but they are unlucky enough to have every mistake they have ever made broadcast to the world.

i applaud them for their talent (for those who have it) and for others, yay for you! you're beautiful and you have a good agent!

Views of Leicester Square, and me with Charley Chaplin! ("without the hat, i'm Hitler"-The Office)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

we got the black lung, went around wales, and learned a little about the church.

On Monday and Tuesday we got to go to Wales! Our first stop was at The Big Pit. A coal mine that was shut down in 1980 but still looks as it did back in the day. At first I was a little nervous about going 350 feet down into the earth, especially with all of the horror stories and the problems that I know have happened down in mines (thank you hollywood), but I knew that if I didn't go that I would have been mad with myself. So, after we got our hardhats, and our belts with the heavy batteries and the air tanks in case we were to, you know, die.. we crammed into an elevator and dropped 7 feet per second down into the darkness.

I honestly can say that I loved the tour. Lots of respect for the workers in the towns and the people who went through the physical and mentally frightening work to help our society progress. The ceilings got so short in some places that you had double over so that you wouldn't bang your head. There would have been tons of rats, complete darkness (the whole, literally can't see your hand in front of your face thing most definitely applies here), and dust, and did I mention "The Widow Maker"- or the huge, man pushed, chainsaw that would cut into the walls of coal so that the guys with the pic-axes could come in...not a job that I envy in the least. The one thing new that I did learn was that most of these people had a lot of pride in what they did, and had a great friendships and loyalty with those they worked with.
Next, we were off to the historical national museum/land preservation in wales. It was awesome and had lots of old buildings that were from the old Celtic huts, a castle, houses dating from 1900s-the future, a pottery, shops, a tannery, bakery... basically every type of building that has been present ever in wales! it was a beautiful place with meadows and pastures with sheep and cows. Now that is the life! living as an animal in a wild life preserve. Free food and happiness for everyone!

Then we spent the night in Cardiff, and in the morning we were off on our church history trip! We started by going to Tintern Abbey, a place that inspired a lot of poetry and art (some by wordsworth). It was a great misty morning that settled on the fall trees and the remains of the abbey. Very picturesque.

Then, we picked up Peter Fagg (our church tour guide) in Ledbury, and went to the Benbow farm (where lots of saints were baptized and lots of stuff happened), we walked up a look out spot where lots of prophets have been, and to the first meeting house that the saints had. I think my favorite story is of all of the preachers of different churches that sent men to disrupt meetings, and these men who came listened and were converted, thus converting the preachers they reported to, and entire congregations. Also, the story of the United Brethren who were just waiting for a church to come by that they believed in. Yay Mormons!

Basically, we had a great trip. Learned a lot. Saw a lot. Loved it!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

prime meridian halloween

We went to Greenwich yesterday! It was a great little area about 4 miles from Tower Hill. We took a boat from Westminster/Big Ben and, other than the fact that it was really cold, it was a beaufitul sunny crisp day. I got to be in two places at once... and we saw the maritime museum and an exhibit dedicated to Shackleton! (yeah. 7th grade. I knew ALL about him!).

For Halloween last night most of us dressed up in random things. We had the crayons, peter pan, decades, kiss, bond girls, and Michele and I dressed up as Harry Potter characters. We then went to Snog-a frozen yoghurt place- that was delicious! Plus, we got some free stickers and cards that said things like "I've just had my first snog." It was brilliant... All in all, a pretty good halloween. :)

Luna and Fred/George and the crayons!