Saturday, April 30, 2011


This was the moment. The moment all of us study abroad students, all citizens of London, of England, of the United Kingdom, and of the world have been waiting for.

The Royal Wedding.

The day that Prince William and Kate Middleton take their vows, while every girl simultaneously weeps over the loss of William's availability and observes Harry's, and while every guy simultaneously weeps over the loss of Kate's availability and observes Pippa's. Over a million people turned out in London for the wedding, while over two billion watched on the television. The streets by Buckingham Palace, in front of Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and Hyde Park were packed with wedding enthusiasts. People camped out for days, only to have the royal family briefly drive past them for five seconds of glory. Worth it? I'm sure it was. I wanted to camp out too, until I saw that everyone in the world was camping out already.

Jim, my friends, and I headed out to Hyde Park around 7:00 in the morning to pick our station. They had three jumbo-trons set up, and we were fairly close to the middle one. There were about a dozen food stands and even a Ferris wheel set up for the occasion. This was definitely the better choice than packing the streets in front of the procession because we actually got to see everything... and it was absolutely stunning.

Seriously, what a beautiful ceremony. Kate looked positively gorgeous (and seriously, did anybody not love her fabulous Alexander McQueen dress?!), and William looked so happy. They really just look like they truly love each other. We all had a fantastic time watching the wedding together, dancing in the park for hours afterward, and feeling truly British.

But none of this is important. What is important is that I am now famous.

That's right. I'm famous.

You may think this is a joke. It's not. I made a sign that read, "Hey, William, you picked the wrong Kate Elizabeth," and everyone just loved it. I think it's because not many people made signs like I thought they would... a lot of people dressed up, but not many signs. I am not exaggerating when I say over a hundred people took my picture at the wedding, and that's just all the ones I saw and posed for. Well, it turns out that one of those hundred people works for the Daily Mail, one of the absolute biggest newspapers in the UK... and I have a solo picture of me in the newspaper for the wedding coverage.

If you haven't seen the million Facebook posts about it, check it out.
Scroll all the way to the bottom. Fantastic, right?

The only problem is that Jim and I apparently aren't the only people who thought newspapers would make a great souvenir of the wedding. We walked all around central yesterday trying to find a newspaper, ANY newspaper, to no avail. I asked a man where he got all of his, since he was carrying a few, and he was nice enough to give me one... but this was the royal wedding special of the Evening Standard. That's awesome, because I love the Standard, but I want the one with me in it too! I emailed the editor, told him I was the girl in the paper, and asked if he could send me a few copies. I even took a picture of me in my flat with the sign, so he knew I was really me. He hasn't replied yet, but I'll be really upset if I can't get at least one copy of this paper. What's the point of having your 15 minutes of fame if you don't have physical evidence of it?

So, while I was hoping Prince William would see that sign and leave the wedding to come running to me, I guess the least he could do instead is hook me up with Harry instead, right? 

I know the royal wedding isn't a place, but with my new found fame due to the wedding, I think it's appropriate to say... Royal Wedding: Conquered. 

 With some William and Kate lookalikes.

 The picture of me that was published in the Daily Mail.

The crowd shot at Hyde Park. You can see my white sign on the right, and Jim is the black jacket a little bit to the left of that.


A few things in my life have shifted around recently.

If you follow my blog properly, you would know that I wanted to do the Tom's Shoes internship but decided to keep up with the fashion club next year instead of graduating a semester early to do the internship in the Spring. However, I recently just lost the fashion club election. Now, bear in mind that this is my blog and I will report on anything I feel or think with little to no consideration for the reactions of others. The fact that I lost this election is complete and utter bullshit, for lack of a better term. The amount of work I did for the club last semester and every year prior since the clubs beginning is insurmountable. I was away this semester, and I blame my loss on the old, "Out of sight, out of mind" phrase. I lost to an opponent that I personally deem far less deserving of the presidency.

But that isn't the point. I don't like to dwell on things, much less complain about them, so I tend to get over things fairly quickly. I was upset that night, went to sleep very angry, and was even still a little upset the next day... but that was it. There is no point in getting emotional over something that I cannot change.

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. So many occurrences in my life have proved that over and over again. I had a really tough time a few weeks ago thinking about my future and having to choose between early graduation with the Tom's internship, or remaining loyal to the fashion club and taking my term as president. I chose the fashion club. Apparently, fate thought I made the wrong choice on my own, so they corrected it for me. The fact that I seemingly had the election in the bag until just a few days before the elections when the other nomination was submitted and then I lost just says to me, "Hey. This wasn't meant for you. You're meant for something far greater." And I'm okay with that.

Everything is okay. I'm studying in London, I have an internship in Milan for the summer, plus I was hired to write for this summer from Milan as another internship (yay!), I now have just one more semester at Montclair, and then I'm off to do better things. My life is lined up pretty well. Hopefully I am going to do the Tom's internship in the spring... but I know that if I don't, that's also for a reason.

I've also been looking at coming home for a little bit before Milan. My time in London has been bittersweet, but mostly bitter. I have tried my best to make the most of it all, and I believe I've done pretty well. However, I cannot try to fight the fact that I don't like London anymore. My mind isn't ready for Milan right now. I really am so excited to do my internship in Milan, but I want to go into it with a fresh mind. I believe this can only be achieved by giving myself a rest-- giving myself time in a place where I am truly happy. I'm done in London: I have my last paper due in a couple days, and that's it. The only thing keeping me here is doing more things in London, but I've done most of everything I want to do before I leave. With enough dedication to get out of here, I can easily finish my list off in the next ten days, go to the Canary Islands from the 10th-15th, and head back to New Jersey from the 16th-29th before going to Milan. I always held the belief that going home would be like quitting... and in a way, it is. I don't quit... but I'd rather quit a miserable experience to have a really positive new experience after than go into a new experience with the old experience's sour attitude. I'm looking into flights, and I will update when something is decided.

There are so many opportunities for new chapters in peoples lives. You just have to recognize when they start and be ready to finish the old one.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Jim had a very brief tour of London before we were off the next day for Cork, Ireland!

We left on Easter Sunday and came back this morning. The morning started out hilarious: at the bus stop, we met these three guys who offered us cheese fries and asked if we had any cocaine to sell them. It wasn't until we got to the airport that Jim asked me, " who were those guys?" and realized that I did not know them either. Our luck of meeting people continued upon arrival in Cork. We spent the first few hours at the Bru Bar, in our hostel, talking to these two Irish men named Frosty and Nigel. They told me the adorable story of how they met their wives, tried to arrange a marriage between their friend Frank who came by and I, and kept buying us beer. The only sour moment in this meeting was when they turned the music on for us to all dance and Frosty got a little ahead of himself: he picked me up, realized he was a little drunk, and fell backwards into the bar. I have a couple sweet bruises from it.

This hostel was the absolute best for meeting people. We made so many friends, like Auntie Mike (a Kiwi who is applying to be the pub drunk), Katrina (the adorable Kiwi bartender who always danced with me), Franziska and Sven (the German brother and sister who made Auntie Mike so emotional when they left), Mike (the New Jersey hating Oxford man), Craig Judge (the quick-witted Kiwi always on the uptake with dirty jokes), Leanne and Simon (the married couple who used to live, but still work, at the hostel), and Ash (another Kiwi bartender who challenged me to flip over 21 coasters in a stack and catch them at once, not expecting me to win). Besides for one jerk the first night getting mad at me for pulling Katrina away from his creepy dancing, everyone we encountered in Ireland was awesome.

What was really cool is that I got to spend my 21st birthday in Ireland... but what was even cooler was that I got to celebrate Anzac Day! I have always seen Anzac Day on calendars on my birthday but I never really knew what it was. Since it is an Australian and New Zealand holiday, and our hostel was all full of Kiwis (what the New Zealanders call themselves), I finally got to celebrate the holiday with a barbecue and beer. Simon was the grill-master of the barbecue, grilling up delicious sausages... and this is where the challenges began.

My birthday challenges.

It started out with the bunny ears. Auntie Mike said he had a present for me, and came down with a pair of fuzzy pink light up bunny ears and said I had to wear them all night. Well, fine. I'll rock the bunny ears. Then Simon yells, "Hey, Kate! I have a challenge for you!" and points to a 2 foot long sausage on the grill. Everyone starts laughing, like, "There's no way this girl could eat all that."

This girl did eat all that. I ate a two foot sausage... and this was just the beginning.

The bunny ears are nothing, and I dominated that barbecue... so why stop? Katrina, Leanne, Craig, and Auntie Mike then dedicated themselves to coming up with 21 challenges/funny things for me to do before midnight on my birthday. Some of these challenges were embarrassing, like singing "Happy Birthday" to myself in front of a crowd like Marilyn Monroe or getting a girls phone number. Some were just funny and odd, like getting someone to buy me a shot of milk and shadow walking someone down the street. All challenges were completed though, with just a few minutes to spare. It was definitely the best birthday ever.

Jim and I also went up to Blarney for a day and walked all around the Blarney Castle. The property is absolutely beautiful, which was almost spoiled by some jerks who left their garbage all over the ground and I picked it up for them. We climbed all the way to the top of the castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it if you kiss the stone, you will be blessed with the gift of gab. If you have never seen a picture of how you're supposed to kiss the stone, please look it up to understand this. It was absolutely terrifying. I sit down, and this lovely old man holds me as I lean back to kiss it.

"Oh no, my love, you have to lean back much farther! It's the stone all the way at the bottom!"

Now, I hadn't eaten all day and I was already feeling very panicky and dizzy. Lean back even more? Ah, NOW I'm completely aware that I am sitting over a hole in a ridiculously tall, crumbling castle and leaning back through the hole upside-down with just my poor arm strength on the bars and an old man holding me from my death. If he chose that moment to have a heart attack, I'd fall straight to my death. I kissed the Blarney Stone though, so maybe now I'll be an even smoother talker.

They had a sign post with the difference between "Baloney" and "Blarney," which was pretty hysterical: "Baloney is telling a 50 year old woman she looks like she's 18. Blarney is asking a woman how old she is so you know at what age women are most beautiful." Blarney is laying it on thin enough where everyone loves it, baloney is laying it on thick enough where everyone hates it.

Ireland was absolutely beautiful. Cork is a lovely town, and Blarney was the perfect image of rolling green. It was nice to see green for the first time in a while. Natural green. If I had to sum up Ireland in one word though? Beer.

The conclusion is simple. Ireland: Conquered. Family style. 

 Donning my light up bunny ears and drinking a delicious New Zealand summer ale.

Some friends from the hostel! From left to right: Jim, me, Auntie Mike, Katrina, Franziska, Benjamin, and Sven in the front.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Well, these couple weeks in April were relatively useless. I want my money back.

On a good note, Jim will be here in just a few hours! He's going to be exhausted too, because after the long voyage here, we leave tomorrow morning for Ireland for a few days. I guess my 21st birthday won't be too anti-climatic after all... I can spend it with my brother in Ireland!

Friday, April 15, 2011


My dad thinks it's time for a new blog post. Maybe it is... but I have literally nothing to report.

Now that it is University of Westminster's spring break month (yes, month, the whole month of April), I have even LESS obligations than I did before. I have a paper due on the 21st and another on the 28th, but that's it. Period. For the rest of my classes, nothing else. May is exam month, but all of my classes had papers instead of exams, so I'm off all of April and May.

Yes, boo hoo, poor Kate is complaining about two months free when everyone else is stressing out about A, B, or C. I'm just so bored though... and I never get bored. Ever. There is always something for me to do to occupy my time. Being bored sucks. I never knew, because I NEVER GET BORED. London wins again.

I've been sleeping til about 1:00 everyday. I have no reason to be that tired... and I'm actually not that tired. I'm sleeping that late as an activity. It's something to do. I've set my alarm for 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 even... but it goes off, and I think to myself, "...why?" What am I going to do if I get up? It just means I'll have a few more hours to sit around on Facebook and eat Girl Scout cookies.

I have done things... just very minimal. I went to Regent's Park with Kentucky on Sunday, Green Park with Kentucky on Monday (for a grand total of a half hour because it suddenly got cold), Greenwich Park with Ali on Tuesday, hung out with Mike for a few hours Wednesday night, and today Ali and I went to Hatchard's Bookshop (the oldest bookstore in London, from 1797, and I bought two fabulous books on fashion). I've also hung out with my flatmates a couple nights, which has been really fun. So, I have been making an attempt. All of these activities have only amounted to probably 3 hours maximum each. The day is much longer than that. I've been reading "East of Eden" by John Steinback again, because it's one of my favorite books, and reading the newspaper. I've been doing my Italian lessons on Rosetta Stone. I've been working on my résumé, looking at internships, and creating my LinkedIn professional profile. All of these are things that happen within the confines of my room though.

I've also been stressing myself out about the future. I really, really, really want to do an internship at Tom's Shoes out in Santa Monica. REALLY want to. However, my mom advises against getting an internship straight out of graduation... and my dominating logical side agrees with her. I started to consider graduating a semester early and doing the internship in the Spring... but this would prevent me from being able to be the fashion club president at Montclair next year. It almost came down to a choice between the fashion club and the Tom's internship... and choosing between the two is impossible for me.

So I want both. While I know logically it might not be the best idea, I'm almost 90% sure I am going to go for the internship next summer. I know I should get a job right out of school, and I will still apply to jobs too. This is just an experience that I really would feel like I was missing out on if I didn't do it. It's everything I'm about... fashion, marketing, helping the world, and shoes. Plus, it's a paid internship, it's out in Santa Monica, and their interns actually get to do things. Legitimate things. It's not a coffee running position. Would I want to work for Tom's forever? I don't know... but I would love to do this.

It has also occurred to Ali and I that this summer is our last time of freedom ever until we graduate... and I'm doing an internship during it. So, my last break was last summer... and I slaved away at Bowling Green during it. If I had only known during Summer 2009 that it would be my last moment forever, I would have enjoyed it more. Alas, I didn't know. So, I think doing this internship and living out in Los Angeles for the summer before I start the real world might be a really awesome last "hurrah." Sorry, mom.

The point is... I've been tremendously bored, and when I'm bored I have more time to think, and when I have more time to think I drive myself crazy with my thoughts, and then I have a brain aneurysm. T-minus 10... 9... 8...

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I realized I did not give my parents a fair blog post. I was too emotional to want to reflect on the week in a positive light, and that's not right. Here is my blog post about my week here with my parents.

We really did a lot of cool stuff. I've done a lot of it before, like Tower of London, a tour of Parliament, Harrods, walking through Hyde Park, the Sherlock Holmes museum, and the British Museum. We also went to Hampton Court Palace, which I loved. It is so beautiful there. The gardens are absolutely gorgeous, and there are SO MANY of them! It was a beautiful day out, and the flowers were so colorful. We got to walk through the maze too, and we all split up in different directions to see who can get out first. I won, but my dad claims he would have won but I cheated somehow. He's just a sore loser.

We went to Windsor Castle too, which was neat but I wish you got to see more of it. It's huge, but you can only tour a small section. Maybe you're usually allowed to see more, but the Queen was THERE when we were! We asked some people working there and found out what building area she was in, but of course there was no way anybody was getting near there. It's really a shame too, because I know that if someone just told her we were there she'd be right out to see us. Queen Lizzie and I are very close.

I also got to see Westminster Abbey for the first time, which seems odd that I haven't seen it before when I'm going to be marrying Prince William in a couple weeks there (yes, I'm the Kate that's marrying him). It's really cool though because there's so many people buried there, from past kings and queens to people like Charles Dickens and Alfred Lord Tennyson. It's architecturally beautiful also... I love old cathedrals and churches. I may hate everything they stand for, but I like the buildings themselves.

My parents and I also went to Paris for two days like Steve and I did, and we stayed in the same place (A Room in Paris, it's absolutely wonderful and charming... look up if you want to stay in a really nice bed and breakfast run by fantastic people). Our first day we did all the usual sightseeing, going to Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. I finally made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and it only took three trips to Paris to do it. It was so awesome. My dad kept giving us the distance comparison, logically explaining to us that the height of the Eiffel Tower is only the distance of half my street. I refuse to believe it. There is no way that my walk to the bus stop is as tall as the Eiffel Tower. And, dad... if it's so short, why were you so scared to go to the top?! He did go though, as did my mom, and it was really a perfectly warm and clear day for it.

We ate dinner at a really cute restaurant, and besides my steak being undercooked (or perfectly cooked for those who like it medium rare, but I'm a baby and get really scared about undercooked meat) it was delicious. We got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, one of my favorite sights in the world, and stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast.

The next day we went to the Louvre, which is absolutely gigantic. They say it would take you a week to go through the Louvre, but I don't know if I believe that. I feel like we saw pretty much everything. We even went to the Napoleon apartments twice because we liked it that much (Napoleon was definitely a man of "simple" tastes). We left for lunch because it was such a beautiful day out, we didn't want to stay inside all day, and came back after to finish up. It was literally the best weather I've had in my stay in Europe: it was well into the 80s in Paris that day. I loved it.

So, my trip with my parents was really absolutely lovely. I know they had a great time, and I had a fantastic time with them, even doing a lot of things that I have done already.

I also really look forward to my brother coming out here to visit. We have a lot of awesome stuff planned together. I went to Paris with Steve and my parents, but I wanted to go somewhere different with Jim. Since he is into photography, and it will be the end of April, I thought it'd be nice to go somewhere with more of a scenic countryside. So, Jim and I are going to go to Cork for a couple days during his stay (April 24th-27th). This means I am going to be spending my 21st birthday in Ireland! We're also going to run in a 10k through Regent's Park during his stay, along with doing touristy London things like Tower of London, Parliament, castles, etc. We plan on running together, bike riding in the park, and doing other awesome activities (the only kind of activities awesome people like us know how to do).

 At the Sherlock Holmes museum.

 Dad LOVED the pee pod.

 In Parliament.

 Hampton Court Palace!

 Gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

 Our room in Paris!

 In front of the Seine River in Paris with my dad!

 Over the top of the Eiffel Tower.

 At the top of the Eiffel Tower with my mama!

 In front of the Eiffel Tower with my parents.

 Aw, cuties.

 Napoleon's apartments in the Louvre.

 Venus de Milo.

 In front of the Mona Lisa.

 The Louvre.

 Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle.



1. Everyone on the tube reads. I don't even just mean read newspapers, so many people just read books. Legitimate books.
2. The weather here has been absolutely beautiful, especially compared to home. It was gray for most of the winter, which is horribly depressing, but at least we had no snow. The past few weeks it's been nothing but sunshine.
3. The Tube is ridiculously easy to navigate. I get lost very easily, but as long as I can get my way to a tube station, it's so easy to get yourself home.
4. Fashion. I love the fashion here. It's so much more creative than fashion you see anywhere else. Women wear whatever they want, and not only do people not raise an eyebrow to it, but it looks awesome.
5. Men's fashion. Men are so stylish here. I love seeing men pulled together in a nice outfit.
6. Newspapers are free here. Which makes sense to me... why should people have to pay for the news?
7. The food in the grocery stores is so much better. They don't pack food with preservatives like in America, so it tastes fresher and real. Of course, it doesn't last as long, but with city living you don't need it to. You go food shopping every few days, so food only needs to last a few days.
8. London is such a clean city. It's spotless. I dropped food on the ground and ate it, and thought nothing of it.
9. The buildings are all so architecturally beautiful. It's not like New York where you can count the visually interesting buildings on one hand: every building here has personality, even the unimportant ones.
10. Markets. Borough Market, Portobello Road, Camden Market... markets are awesome.


1. Nobody smiles. I know I've said that so many times, but it's so true. Even when Steve and my parents came to visit they noticed it. Everyone is miserable.
2. The weather in the wintertime was so miserable. It would be gray out all day, and not rain but drizzle just enough to ruin your day.
3. The tube in rush hour is awful. If you can get on a train, prepare to be face-first in the smelly armpit of a man coming back from the gym.
4. Not many people are really friendly. I've been keeping a running list of people who have been really outwardly friendly to me, and I can count them on one hand. People may not be evil, horrible people (though some are), but nobody really makes an effort to be friendly.
5. People will run you over. Sure, you may be jaywalking, but in New York or anywhere else they'll angrily stop for you. They will not stop for you here. That's not an exaggeration. THEY WILL NOT STOP. So many people die from getting hit by a bus or car in London. They don't care.
6. The streets are very confusing. It's easy to get lost. The tube is easy, the rest of it is hard.
7. I have to make an effort to see nature. If I want to see something green, I have to go on the tube to get to a park. I don't like having to go to a designated area to see nature.
8. English food. I don't think I need to say anything more about this.
9. They have very negative opinions of Americans, in general. Come on, we're not all obese, nationalist gun-owning cowboys who hate other cultures but love cheeseburgers. I happen to be the opposite in all those areas.
10. It is ridiculously expensive here. I knew it would be, but I severely underestimated how expensive it truly is. I made about $10,000 this summer and it's almost all gone in just a few months, and I don't drink, I wash my clothes by hand, and I don't eat out often. It's crazy. The number amounts for things are the same as in America, but the pound is worth about twice as much. You get a bottle of shampoo for 4 pounds, but it's really almost $8 USD. And drinks? My goodness, if I drank I'd be broke. A mixed drink is about 7 pounds... you get one drink and you're out $14. This city eats bank accounts.

Friday, April 8, 2011


And now they're gone.

And now I'm alone.

I can't determine if having visitors makes this easier or harder. Don't get me wrong, I've loved the time I've spent here with Steve and my parents. While they were here, I was really happy and got to spend time with them and I know they all had a good time. I got to see a lot of really cool things with my parents; some were things I have seen before, but some were new for me, like Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Louvre in Paris, the top of the Eiffel Tower (FINALLY), and Windsor Castle. We had a lovely trip to Paris, a lot of time together, and everybody successfully resisted the urge to murder each other. I missed my parents so much, and it was nice to have a break from missing them for a short time. But now, as Ben Folds would say, "I'm feeling more alone than I ever have before."

I hate goodbyes. They're really difficult for anyone, so I'm not going to pretend I'm unique and special by saying how they're really hard for me. It was bad enough to say goodbye the first time on January 7th, when I knew that they would be visiting me in a short while. I knew I would be seeing them during my time here, which made it feel like it wasn't so bad because I didn't have to go the whole stay without seeing them. But then they come and visit, become a physical part of my life again for a really short time, and then leave. Just leave.

And now they're gone.

And now I'm alone.

Now, don't tell me some reassuring pick-me-up like how lucky I am to have people like that at all, to have people visit me, or that I'm never really alone. I am lucky, and I know I'm not really alone as long as I have people in my life, yadda yadda. Somehow that's not too reassuring when none of those people are actually here. I can't curl up with my mom and watch television all day every time I'm sad and don't feel like doing anything else. I can't play lazyball with my dad and Zoe and wake up to him putting dog treats under my pillow every Saturday morning for her. I can't make "your mom" jokes and high-five my brother, and I can't cuddle up next to Steve. They may be there for me, but they aren't here for me. And so, I feel alone.

I really loved the time I spent with my parents and Steve here, I want to make that clear. I don't regret them coming out here, because we really did have a good time. This feeling I have now though is far worse than any feelings I had when I was just alone here before they came. We have a great time, they go to the airport, I go back to my flat, and all I can think is, "...and now they're gone. And now I'm alone."

They just came here halfway through my time, and I've been here since January. They stayed a week, had a grand vacation, and I've been living here. And at the end of it all, I see them off to the airport, they get to hop on another plane back home, and I get to hop back on the tube back to Old Street. I have to walk back into my flat, the very one that they had just been living in, and see the clutter in my room of where they just were.

And now they're gone.

And now I'm alone.

They get to leave. They get to come here, stay their short time, and go. I can't leave. I can't go back with them. They can't stay here, and I can't go home. All I have is the terrible quality of Skype calls and the knowledge that they'll be there when I come home. I know they aren't going anywhere... I just wish I could.

And now they're gone.

And now I'm alone.