Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Today, I dyed my hair purple and red, and booked a trip to Paris this weekend.

I'm trying this new thing called "being spontaneous." I don't know, I always thought it was overrated, but Steve seems to really like it so I've been giving it a shot. It's very difficult for me to just... do something. I like to sit down, plan my course of action, weigh out the pros and cons, ask my mom for her opinion, and have a healthy debate about every decision I make. I don't even try new things in restaurants. Maybe this spontaneity thing has something going for it though, because my hair looks AWESOME.

For those of you who haven't known me all my life, I had a slightly more than mild obsession with Paris when I was younger. Now, when I say "slightly more than mild," I mean quite the extreme obsession. There isn't a single museum, landmark, monument, cafe, restaurant, traditional food dish, park, hotel, place of interest, ANYTHING, that I didn't know about Paris. I planned itineraries for trips there, learned all I could about it, and even began to pack a suitcase on several occasions.

I'm going to Paris with Steve for a day when he visits, and going overnight with my parents, and may possibly do a fashion studies trip there with my friend Jordan... but, those are all very short trips. This is a short trip too, because I am going to Toulon on the 23rd so I'm only going to Paris from the 20th-22nd (I know, my life is so hard), but I still want to spend as much time in Paris as possible. Looking at the list of places I want to go, I'd be disappointed if I gave up an opportunity to spend more time in Paris so I could go somewhere I don't have any real personal attachment to. I mean, Prague is beautiful, and I'd love to go there, but I'd rather fulfill my middle school dreams and spend more time in Paris.

I'm going with Izabela, Ellen, Mike, and Kentucky. They're probably my best friends here, so I know it'd be such a fun trip together. I also made them all promise me that they wouldn't let me spend any extra money, and I'm going to try really hard to budget myself. When I go to Toulon with Ali and Jess, I'm also going to resist spending obscene amounts of money (Ali is watching out for me there). I have a hard time not spending money, because I always find a way to justify my purchases. However, I spent way too much extra money in Morocco, and I really regret it now. If I want to do all the things I want to do, I need to be smarter about the choices I make otherwise.

The point is, I'll now be in Paris from the 20th-22nd, Toulon from the 23rd-28th, and I have purple and red hair now.

Time to conquer France! ...right after I conquer this marketing paper.


Marrakech, Morocco. This is where I journeyed to last weekend.


Rosie and I woke up at 4 A.M. on Thursday morning to begin our voyage. We caught the tube to London Bridge, ran to catch the train to London Gatwick, and ran through the airport to catch our plane. Once in the airport, I realized I left my camera memory card at home. Bollocks. I bought a new one in the airport, only to find out on the plane that my camera is broken. The lens won't open. So, I didn't have my camera on the trip, and I bought this memory card for nothing.

Not the best way to start out, but no worries. Once we got off the plane, I felt like I was on the set of Aladdin (it's always been a personal dream of mine to be Princess Jasmine). We took a bus to our riad (a riad is like a Moroccan bed and breakfast), which was absolutely GORGEOUS. It was like an Arabian palace inside. This is when I REALLY felt like Princess Jasmine. I shared a room with two girls, Bethany and Courtney, who are both studying in London. Rosie, Bethany, Courtney, one of the leaders Khalid and I went out to lunch, and I tried Moroccan beef tagine. It was delicious. I was so excited about the Moroccan food, but just nervous about the meats because I know they eat weird meats like mutton and pigeon, but luckily I got to choose what to eat each time so I just stuck with simple meats.

After lunch, we walked around the square a bit, and walked through a little garden. I got involved in a fight between a Moroccan man and an old British couple when the Moroccan man was following us trying to talk to us, and the British man said something to me about how they always want your money, meaning they want tips for everything. Which is true. People will literally come up to you, start dancing around you and then want a tip for it, even if you didn't ask for that. The Moroccan man misinterpreted him though and thought he was saying that they try to steal from you, so he was following us screaming, "Why did you come here if you just think we're going to steal your money?!" So, in a matter of an hour, I potentially started a war between the UK and Morocco. Great.

Then we were taken to a local spice market, where we got to smell and taste all different spices and other cool items. I bought two bags of the traditional mint tea (which is beyond delicious), a perfume bar which looks like a bar of soap but it's solid perfume, and this awesome crystal stuff that's essentially crystal menthol. You put one tiny speck of crystal in a mug of tea and it completely clears out your throat and sinuses, and smells just like Vicks vapor rub. Amazing. I have a lifetime supply of it.  They gave me a free gift, which looks like a piece of terracotta stone but if you lick your finger and rub it, it's a poppy lipstain that you can put on your lips and it'll stay all day.

We were then separated into small groups of eight for the weekend activities, so Rosie and I were in a group with these six girls studying in Florence (Lauren, Brianna, Christen, Sam, Rachel, and Christina). Our first activity? The Hammam spa.

The Hammam spa could be an entire blog entry on it's own. It was potentially the most traumatizing experience of my life. We were briefed beforehand that it was not going to be a typical spa. They don't give you facials and massages and paint your nails. The Hammam spas are where locals go to take showers if they don't have showers in their homes. Our "massage" is when you go there and a lady puts this black salt stuff on you, and scrubs it off, removing all of your dead skin. Sounds refreshing, right? We were warned of the naked women, but told we would be able to wear our bathing suits the whole time.

They lied.

We get there, and immediately have trouble with the front desk because they wanted to charge us to leave our clothes there, but it was all paid for already and our leader had already left. These two girls from Switzerland who knew both English and Arabic (conveniently) translated for us and we were finally able to get in. We decided we would all take our tops off, but leave our bottoms on. We're walking around this huge steamed tiled set of rooms, clutching our chests to hide from each other, and all these Moroccan women are laughing at us. This fat woman grabs us and leads us to a room where we all sit against one wall together, fearing for our lives, and all these Moroccan naked women come over and just start laughing at us and talking about us in Arabic. In retrospect, this should have been the time to leave.

The poor first victim, Christina, is pulled up first. The lady throws her arms down so she isn't covering herself anymore, starts laughing, and unties her bathing suit bottom and throws it aside. This poor girl was stripped down by a naked Moroccan lady in front of us all, staring dumbfounded. She proceeded to push her flat on the floor and starts giving her a rubdown all over with the black salt. We all sequentially received the same treatment. After that, she went around again, moving us on the floor, rubbing our skin off with the scrub. The lady is scrubbing our arms and keeps running our hands into her breast, and we just fight to hold back our tears. We started off covering our chest from each other, and ended up not even caring about that because everything else was exposed and violated.

Then this other old Moroccan lady pulls up a little chair and grabs us to wash our hair with the black salt. She's rubbing this stuff into our hair, moving her hands back and forth between our hair and our breasts, laughing the whole time. We were traumatized. Oh, and that stuff didn't come out of my hair for about 5 washes, AND the scrub down gave me a rash. So, terrible experience. We all looked at each other after and said, "I know we just met, but we're going to be friends forever because we went through this together." We are now called the Hammama Mammas.

The worst part? We went back and told the other groups in detail what happened to us, to prepare them for when it happens to them over the next couple days. When they came back from their turns with it, NONE OF THAT HAPPENED TO THEM. They got to keep their bathing suits on, they were taken into separate rooms, and they didn't get their hair washed at all. What. the hell. happened to us? I'm pretty sure this constitutes as rape in America.

That night, we all went out for dinner in the market, where they gave us a ton of little plates and dishes to eat from. All of the food was so good. Afterward, we were exhausted, so we passed out around 9:00 to wake up around 7:00.


On Friday, we first went to a Moroccan museum where we saw some pottery, tapestries, and traditional clothing. On my way there, a man grabbed my ass. They're quite bold in Morocco. Afterward, we went to the Yves Saint Laurent memorial garden, which I loved since I'm studying fashion. It was absolutely gorgeous. We had to walk about a half hour to get there, and they hadn't told us it was the Yves Saint Laurent garden, they just said it was a garden, and I was starting to get pissed that I had to walk all that way just to see another garden. When I realized just what garden is was, I was thrilled.

We ate lunch at a rooftop restaurant, where I got an avocado and tomato sandwich and a fruit smoothie. It was, of course, delicious. Then we had time to shop around the markets, which you know I went buck wild on. Over the course of the trip, I bought four necklaces, three bracelets, a tapestry, a plate, the mint tea, the perfume bar, the crystal stuff, two eyeliners, a lipstick, natural eczema cream, two scarves, a belt, a peanut and honey bar, and several glasses of orange juice.

We also saw snake charmers and monkey tamers in the market. I got pictures with monkeys on my shoulders, and some guy came up to me and put a snake around my shoulders. Was it scary? Hell yeah. I was terrified. I hate snakes. I guess I just figured, well, I'm here. Might as well. Plus, he didn't hesitate to put it on me, so I really had no choice. Luckily the snakes are so well trained it like barely even moved. 

What I didn't like about the markets? The cat calls. Now, I'm not some prude who has never had a guy say something inappropriate to me in passing. I can usually either successfully ignore it, or stand up for myself and say something to him though. That wasn't the case here. There literally wasn't a single man that I walked past that didn't give me a creepy look or a creepy comment. Some comments were funny, because they don't know many words in English so they just say whatever they know, like, "Nice woman," "Very well," "Good lady," and, my favorite, "Fish and chips!" (because they think we're all British). One of my favorite quotes from the trip is:

Moroccan Man: (to Bethany and Courtney) Fish and chips! Beautiful flower!
Bethany/Courtney: ...So which one of us is beautiful flower and which one is fish and chips?

However, even these harmless comments get to me when they're said in such tremendous bulk. Also, some comments weren't nearly as innocent as these. I also got some extremely inappropriate comments like, "Nice ass," "I like big tits," "How much?", and "Hey pretty lady, do you like Moroccan cock?" Yeah, those ones get to me (although I later learned from Simo, my leader, that "How much?" just refers to how in ancient times men would have to offer animals and other trade products to a girls father to buy her hand in marriage, NOT them implying that I'm a prostitute). Still, I've never been in a country where I was treated like a slut because I was in a sundress, and I've certainly never been somewhere where I've potentially been the only blonde girl they have ever seen. I brushed off the comments at first, but by the second day I was really getting bothered. The creepiest man of all was the shopkeeper who sold me my tapestry, who wanted a picture with Rosie and I, gave us his e-mail so we could send it to him, and told us he's looking for a girlfriend to make his wife and we're both perfect for the position. I told him thanks, but no thanks, as my boyfriend is also looking to make me his wife and that would be a complete conflict of interest.

Later on, we got henna tattoos! Mine was so cool, but I didn't leave it on long enough because the lady put this sticky stuff on it to make it last longer, but I couldn't sleep with the sticky stuff on so I washed it off. She redid another one for me the next night, because my first one came out so light it just looked like a weird skin disease. Afterward, we went out for a late dinner, and I tried chicken pastilla. Chicken pastilla is a flaky pastry with chicken and spices inside, but it's topped with cinnamon and sugar. So, it's like a chicken dinner inside of a crumbcake. It was interesting, but I probably wouldn't order it again.


Saturday was the big deal. Yes, this was camel day. But first, our voyage began at the Argan oil producing place, where women make Argan oil. This oil is produced from a nut only found in Morocco, and it's incredibly good for your skin, hair, and nails. They make it into everything from oils and butters for eating, to cosmetics, to medicines. This is where I bought my eyeliners and lipstick. The eyeliner looks like a lipstick tube, but it's entirely charcoal eyeliner. Eyeliner originated from the Egyptian region where they would use charcoal on their eyes medicinally, because it would clean out your eyes. Since this eyeliner is 100% charcoal, it does the same thing. However, since this eyeliner is 100% charcoal, it also runs all over my face when I try to put it on because I'm not doing it as well as this lady did. The lipstick is awesome too, because it's lime green but when you put it on it turns pink. I also bought an anti-eczema cream, for practical purposes.

Then, it was camel time. There was one white camel there, and I knew I had to have it. I named him Nigel, and he was quite the diva, going off the path as we were walking along. It was so cool though, despite the smell. Only I would try to ride a camel in a sundress. Afterward, I wanted a picture of me kissing Nigel, but he spit on my face instead... so I just took pictures kissing a different camel. I really had to pee after this, so we went to the shop across the street. They had a traditional Moroccan bathroom... meaning I had to pee in a pot. Cultural experiences.

Then we drove up to the mountains, and we got out to start hiking. Morocco is so interesting because it'll be beautiful and warm in Marrakech but you drive just outside the city and there are tall, snow-covered mountains. The mountain we climbed is the highest peak in North Africa, and I made the climb in my sundress like a badass, even in the snow. We were walking to this mans home, where he and his wife prepared lunch for us. They were such a cute family, despite how he was really trying to marry me. He was interested in me because I can cook at least a little bit, and he said he needs me to bear about 20 children. Yeah, that's not happening. Sorry dude.

We climbed down the mountain a different way, and it was so beautiful. I love doing outdoor activities like that, which is something I miss being in London. When we got to the bottom, we piled in the bus and rode back to Marrakech. That night, we ate dinner in the riad, and then went out to a place called Afrik'n Chic, a bar/nightclub which was beautifully decorated but a little slow. The music was good, but it was slow jazz kind of music: not what we wanted to hear to pump us up on our last night in Morocco after a long day of riding camels and hiking. Afterward, we went back to the riad, and went to bed for the last time in Morocco.


Sunday was goodbye. I woke up early, packed my things (which took a while, because despite how lightly I packed, I still bought so much stuff to fit into one carry-on), and left for the airport. Upon arriving in London, it was gloomy and rainy and it was very depressing to think that I was in sunny Morocco just a few hours before. It was a bittersweet ending to come back to London: on one hand, it's cool that even after a vacation, your journey continues because you're still coming back to a foreign country. On the other hand, it's kind of depressing. After a long trip like this, I kind of wished going home was going home. It felt weird to come back to my room in Alexander Fleming, not coming back to my home in Jefferson, kissing Zoe on the head, and curling up on the couch with my mom and dad to watch a movie. I guess I'll have that soon enough.

The trip was an awesome cultural experience overall. There were things I liked more than others, but I definitely learned a lot from it and I'm proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone a little more.

Me in our riad, A.K.A. my Princess Jasmine palace.

Bethany, me, Courtney, and Rosie with random Moroccan men.

Getting attacked by monkeys in the square.

Yeah, that's a snake around my neck. Scary.

The Yves Saint Laurent memorial.

Inside the Yves Saint Laurent memorial garden.

My man, Nigel.

Just riding a camel in my sundress.

Trying to get my kiss from Nigel.

On top of the mountain, the tallest peak in North Africa.

The moral of the story? Morocco: Conquered. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Last night I hosted a fancy dinner party for my ISA friends (and Kentucky). There were 14 of us (Izabela, Ellen, Amanda, Jordan, Kim, Kristen, Cori, Mike, Kentucky, Patrick, Kelly, Natalie, Mary) all crammed into my one kitchen. It was a potluck dinner, so everybody made or brought something to contribute. It was an absolutely lovely evening. We all got dressed up, drank wine and champagne and ate a delicious meal together. I made whole wheat pesto pasta with broccoli, asparagus, and zucchini. It sounds fancy but it's not at all. Still, several people told me they liked my dish best of all, and that makes me feel like I'm actually capable of doing something good in the kitchen.

I was a fabulous little hostess. You'd be proud of me, mom (yes, I know you're reading). I didn't sit because there weren't enough chairs, I made sure everybody else ate first, and I walked around and poured champagne for people. I did all the dishes, even though everyone offered to help but I didn't want them to. I can't wait to have dinner parties when I'm older and have my own place. I guess this is the closest I've been.

So, today I have a meeting with Maria from ISA, who knows what about. Then I'm going to buy some travel toiletries, and then we have a February birthday party at the ISA office. I LEAVE FOR MOROCCO TOMORROW MORNING! This is way too exciting. I'm starting my world travels!


Superbowl Sunday.

Yes, that's right. NO time zone difference was keeping me from watching the Superbowl. My friends Mike, Kristen, Kim, and Cori went to this pub named Roadhouse at 6:30 to make sure we could get a table, because we knew it was going to be packed in the place. Keep in mind, that's 6:30 our time. The game didn't come on until 11 our time. We kept joking that it wasn't Superbowl Sunday, it was really Superbowl Monday. We all split appetizers to start, and then we each got a plate of nachos. Then, we got an ice cream sundae with Bailey's in it. So good. Then I got Cajun onion rings, and then a bowl of mashed potatoes. We got cocktails during happy hour, and then beer later on. Our bill consisted of 45 pounds in beer alone.

The pub hired a few men to walk around and mingle in football uniforms. When they came over to our table, I asked them if they actually play football, because they were English, and the one guy said, "Oh yeah... proper football. Not that gay soccer shit." Best moment of my entire life.

Interestingly enough, it wasn't even all Americans in there. There were a lot of English people, and there was even a table of French guys behind me. They were rooting for the Steelers, just because that's the first team they ever saw play a game. They started cheering for me when I got my bowl of mashed potatoes too, which was a glorious moment in my life. I even saw a guy at the bar wearing an Eli Manning jersey! I approached him and creepily asked to get a picture with him. He was frightened, but knew he couldn't get away, so he took the picture. The best part is that he's from London, but he just loves American football and loves the Giants.

This entire trip I haven't really felt like I left America. London just feels like a big city, it doesn't feel like another country. This was the first time I felt like I wasn't in America. They played the Superbowl on the BBC (which Tiki Barber was on, which I couldn't understand) and they did "Football 101" in between the game where the commercials would normally go. It was slightly painful to listen to them explain what an interception is. I've never been an incredibly patriotic person. I love America, but I just don't have an overwhelming sense of patriotism. I felt so proud to be an American watching the game. We all sang the national anthem (better than Christina Aguilera, at least) and it was the only moment this whole trip that it was appropriate for us to scream, "AMERICA!"

We ran up a 200 pound bill, 50 pounds each. That's about $80. It was totally worth it though. Afterward, at 3:30 A.M. when the game was over, we didn't want to spend more money on a cab, and didn't want to figure out the bus, so we just wandered around til the tube opened at 5:30. We went to Trafalgar Square, and walked down to Buckingham Palace. Here we met five cool guys, all wearing different football jerseys. I asked them why they all had different jerseys, and why nobody had a Giants jersey. They told us that a ton of their friends decided to get into American football, so they all picked a different team randomly, watched every single game, and learned the sport by following their team all throughout the season. The guy in the Packers jersey said he didn't care that the Packers won, he wanted to be the Giants but somebody else took it, and he's returning the Packers jersey in the morning and getting a Giants one instead. That made me really happy.

We hung out with them for the a little while, and parted ways in the tube on our way home. We finally made it back to the dorms around 6:30 A.M., after being out for 12 hours, 9 of which was spent at the same table in the same pub watching a game between two teams I don't care about, spent 50 pounds each, and I slept through my Shakespeare class... and it was definitely one of the best, if not the best, nights I've had here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I haven't posted in a few days, and so much has happened! Therefore, I hope you are reading this because you have time to kill, maybe you're avoiding writing a paper or you're bored at work, because this will be a long entry.


In Art and Society, we went to the National Gallery museum in Trafalgar Square. To be honest, I really didn't care for it. It had a very religious theme to it: a good majority of the paintings were of Christian stories and themes. I like to be able to analyze art, and any form of analysis I would give about these paintings would instantly send a lightening bolt from the heavens to strike me dead in the middle of Trafalgar Square. It wasn't until the very end of class when we got to look around on our own that I enjoyed the museum, because I got to see the most fabulous Monet paintings.

It was an absolutely beyond beautiful day on Thursday. The sky was blue, the birds were singing, the sunshine warmed my skin and lit up my smile, and everyone in Trafalgar Square even broke out into a spontaneous musical number where everyone automatically knew the lyrics and choreography (well, at least that's how I saw it in my head). Natalie, Kristen, Sam, Jordan and I picked up lunch at Pret-a-Manger (best place ever) and ate in the square on the steps. It was such a beautiful moment. Then Jordan and Sam climbed up one of the walls by the lion statues in the square and pulled me up with them. I would have been able to climb up by myself if I didn't opt for heels and a skirt that day. It was a great idea, until I had to get down somehow. Pretty sure all of London saw my underwear that day.

Afterward, I went back to my flat to change, and then walked around Hyde Park for a few hours. FINALLY. I finally made it to Hyde Park... and it was beautiful.  I walked around the park by the river, sat and ate a strawberry crepe with some swans, walked to Kensington Gardens and saw the Peter Pan statue (the number one thing I wanted to see in London), and saw the Princess Diana memorial fountain. I saw dogs playing, old couples walking, and ducks swimming. I really, really miss nature. Hyde Park is by far my favorite place in London, as I knew it would be. For the first time, I actually felt like I loved something about London.


I will never be on time to my fashion class, no matter what I do or how hard I try.

The Metropolitan line was delayed, so I couldn't catch my train for about 10 minutes. Then, because of the delay, while I was on the train they changed it to a fast train instead to make up for the delays. Well, that's great for people who need to get beyond Northwick Park, but for those of us who need to get off there, we can't get to our stop now. Bollocks.

I got to fashion though, and wished I hadn't. It's definitely my least favorite class. I don't even like the professor now. We had to make a mood board representing a trend for this Spring/Summer, and I chose bright intermixing of patterns. She stopped at each person and questioned them about their trend, and when she got to me she just completely ripped me apart. She said it wasn't focused, that I needed to pick a specific type of pattern because I was showing both floral prints and geometric prints and she didn't see what my message was. I told her, "That's the trend though, the fact that you can now mix the two together. You can mix together any patterns you want," but she wasn't having it. Fine. But THEN, some girl in the class presents the same exact trend as me and she completely eats it up! I was so angry. I am so happy Jordan is in that class though, because otherwise I'd go crazy.

I do love making mood boards though, so I came back and made one for myself of just all looks for this season that I love. What I hate about myself when I'm buying clothes is that I never buy things I like. I know that doesn't make sense. Let me explain. From a fashion career perspective, I love when designers present fun ideas. I love bright colors and patterns and shapes and colors. Fashion is supposed to be fun. You would think that reflects in my wardrobe, but I literally wear black everyday. I barely own colors at all. I hate it! I just like getting a lot of versatility out of my clothes, because I do buy higher quality clothing, so I figure if I'm spending the money on it I want it to be something that won't fall apart and I won't hate in a few weeks. This leads to me just buying neutral color clothing that I find so boring. I'm hoping this mood board, which is so filled with color and things I love, will inspire me to buy clothing like that instead.

To make my day completely about clothing, I washed all my clothes in the bathtub. It hurt my knees and back so much, but it didn't cost me 15 pounds at least. They're finally all dried like two days later.


SUCH an awesome day, despite having to wake up at 5:30.

We had an ISA excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle. I absolutely fell in love with Stratford-upon-Avon. It felt so English. London is just a big city, it feels like other big cities. Stratford-upon-Avon had that suburban English town feel. I can definitely see myself living there. It has some busy city-like streets, but it still has so much nature in it. The coolest part of it is fulfilling my English major nerd dreams and seeing Shakespeare's house, where he was baptized, where his family lived, and even where he went to school. Although they completely made Shakespeare's home a cheesy tourist spot, it was cool to be able to say I've been there.

Then we went to Warwick Castle. It was so beautiful. They opened up the door from the entrance area and you just catch the first glimpse of the castle and melt. It's so different to see something like that in person. We climbed to the top of the castle, and walked along the top of the different towers. We saw a torture room, where they have a little hole in the corner that they used to fold people up in and leave them there to die. We saw the gardens where they have a ton of peacocks, and I tried to make friends with one but it ran away from me. My favorite spot there was a "sex and scandal" tour, where you saw mannequins and read all about the different people who would hang out in the castle and all their love affairs and secrets. Winston Churchill's mom was apparently quite the tramp.

 Shakespeare's home, and me in front of it.


I'm doing pretty much nothing all day today. I was going to go to the library and start writing my marketing paper, but apparently all the books I need are at the library on the Harrow campus, and I was not making the journey there today. I'm just going to go in early on Tuesday before my marketing class and maybe stay a little later after to get my sources, and try to write most of it Wednesday. I really want to have it done before I go to Morocco (which is this Thursday!!!)

In a little bit though, some friends and I are going to go to a pub by Trafalgar Square to watch the Superbowl. We're getting there ridiculously early so we can actually get a table to watch instead of having to stand up the whole time. Even though I have no interest in the Superbowl this year at all, because I have absolutely no strong feelings to the Packers or Steelers in either direction, I'd feel like a complete traitor to America if I didn't watch it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Wednesdays are London Adventure Days!

Last week, we had gone to Platform 9 3/4 and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. This week, we went to Abbey Road to take the typical tourist shot, and then went to the London Aquarium. Abbey Road was so funny: my friends Kristen, Izabela, Ellen, and I wanted the shot together, and I wanted to be Paul. In the middle of winter in London, I took off my shoes and socks to pose as Paul in our Beatles-loving photo. First try, Kristen and Ellen didn't seem to understand that we weren't just walking across, we had to stop and pose like we're walking. It didn't work. Second try, Izabela for some reason panicked and just ran away in the middle of the shot. Um, okay. Bear in mind that I am BAREFOOT this whole time. Finally, on the third try, we got our shot and I was able to put my socks and shoes back on.

Then we went to the London Aquarium. I. LOVE. AQUARIUMS. I think they're the coolest places ever. Back when I went to Mexico two summers ago, I saw this fish while scuba diving that I named the "Sassy Fish" because it was lavender and looked like it was wearing florescent blue eyeshadow, with it's eyes half open doing a sexy pout. I decided if I was a fish I would be a Sassy Fish. I never found out the real name of it though, but I saw a Sassy Fish at the aquarium today! Sadly, they didn't have the real name of it posted anywhere either, so it just remains a Sassy Fish.

There were so many sharks, too. We went to this part called the "Shark Walk" where you walk over a glass floor right above the sharks. I loved it. They're so cool when you're looking at them through a glass, but so terrifying if I ever saw one coming toward me. Luckily, Shark Week has prepared me for how to handle a shark attack.  It was such an awesome adventure day, and after eating McDonald's (listen, we were SO hungry and it was right there), we set out to go home.

And then Kentucky fainted.

We were talking about some pretty gross medical stuff over our McDonald's, and Mike, Izabela, and Ellen had walked a little ahead of Kentucky and I. He starts leaning on a counter and goes pale, saying, "I guess I'm a little more squeamish than I thought." I didn't think it was anything serious, but I put his arm around me and was helping him walk up the stairs. He started getting heavier and heavier in my arms, his head was dipping really low, and his feet started to turn inwards when he took a step. We get to the top of the stairs before the exit, and he faints. I was able to catch him well enough, but he is over six feet tall and I couldn't keep him upright. I caught him and sat down with him on my lap, holding his head up. This absolutely useless man standing next to me, smiling stupidly the whole time, says, "Is he okay?"

"Does he look okay?"

::Blank stare, smiling stupidly still::

"...Okay. Go outside and get my friend for me. She's in a yellow coat."

::Blank stare, smiling SO stupidly I can't even take it::


He goes outside and apparently only says to them, "Your friends are inside." They're confused because, um, they know we're inside. It might have been helpful for him to mention that somebody fainted. At this point, Kentucky woke up and said instantly that he's fine and stands up. I stand up with him, and a second before they walk inside, he faints in my arms again. They had no idea what was going on, they stood there in shock until I said, "Um, help me? I can't hold him up anymore!" We had him on my lap again, and Ellen got him a cup of water from the McDonald's. When he came around again, we got him food (because APPARENTLY he hadn't eaten and barely drank in 24 hours, and didn't think to get food here when we did!), and he started to get color back in his skin.

However, we will never let him live this down. For the next 4 months, he will be hearing jokes about how he tries to pick up girls by fainting into them, and how he was really just waiting for me to give him CPR. Everybody kept saying how funny it was that the tallest one of us all faints and the littlest one of us all is the one that has to catch him.

I guess London Adventure Day is too exciting for some people to handle!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Here is a list of the unusual things that have happened to me today... so far:

1. My door handle this morning started jiggling like crazy, like somebody was trying to get into the room, for a good minute. The door was unlocked, so if somebody was trying to get in, they could have. It wouldn't have just jiggled like that as if it was locked. 

2. I accidentally hit two private school boys in the head with my umbrella walking to the tube. Sorry, don't stand in a line across the sidewalk and not expect me to plow through you.

3. On the tube, this young fellow calls everybody to attention so he can give a speech about how he's homeless and needs money. I felt so awful, but they really stress that you're not allowed to help the homeless on the tube. It was very difficult to look down at my book and ignore him. 

4. An odd looking girl, accompanied by her odd looking boyfriend, walking past me looks at me and says, "TEE HEE HEE HEE!" in an obnoxiously high pitched voice.

5. Literally 10 seconds later, a girl walking past me says to her friend, "I can't believe she thinks I killed Seth!"