Monday, February 23, 2009

No more booze

Since Thursday's ridiculous amount of alcohol consumption, I am yet again sick. I have made a decision not to drink another drop of alcohol at least until my birthday, and see if I'm less sick in the coming month than I have been in the past month. I'll still go out if invited, but I'll have to do my crazy dancing sober. If my stomach isn't normal again by the end of this coming week, I'm going to see a doctor. It's been screwed up on and off for a full month now, and was really bad on Friday. I'm really worried that I've damaged an organ or two. We'll see.

I went shopping in Covent Garden with Alex and Tanya yesterday. The weather was gorgeous! I didn't even have to wear a coat! In the evening, I went to Rania's and we watched "Charlie Wilson's War." I liked the movie, but it reminded me that I kind of hate the world. Well, I hate the messy state it's in and the fact that no one is willing to commit to fixing the problems we have created. I want to help, but I can't even get anyone to sponsor me for a summer project! Poo. But I will never give up, never surrender!

The new term of classes start tomorrow. I'm taking Medical Anthropology in Public Health, which I'm really excited about, and Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Diseases. I think my schedule was too easy last term and allowed me to be a bit lazy, so I'm happy about the fact that Med Anthro has a relaxed schedule, while ECCD has a pretty rigid schedule. I didn't want to be in class all the time, so this schedule suits me because I'll still have a bit of free time, but not enough to totally slack off.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Busiest week ever

I think I just had the busiest week ever. It's reading week, and I have dutifully avoided doing any reading. I'll try to recap as briefly as possible so you're not here all day.

Friday--Conflict and Health exam: we were given two hours to finish, but it only took me one hour. I was the first person to turn it in, and Carina told me later that the second person didn't turn theirs in for another 15 minutes. Tanya said she took the full two hours and the instructor had to kick her and some other people out because they were writing until the last possible moment. This worries me greatly. Did I forget to make important points? The instructions said to be brief, and I feel like I hit all the major key words, so we'll see what the grade is.

Fancy-dress party: Apparently, you're not actually supposed to put much effort into your costume. Most people at the party weren't dressed up at all, and those who were hadn't gone to as many lengths as I had. And all my effort didn't really pay off anyway, because everyone thought I was a ladybug. Poo.

Saturday--Anti-Valentine's Day karaoke party: Lots of fun, not much else to say. I love singing along to Britney Spears.

Sunday--Ireland: Woke up at 4:30am and headed to Dublin with Alex and Tanya. When we got there, we realized that it would be really easy to get to the beach, so we took a train down to Bray. It was wonderful! So beautiful and relaxing. We sat on the beach and Alex gave me a "cold stone massage" on my face, which involved her placing stones on my forehead.

Monday--Dublin: Took a bus tour around the city. Dublin is quite small, really. To be honest, I didn't really like it. For some reason, I expected it to be nicer, but there were an inordinate number of tracksuits being worn. We went to Christchurch Cathedral, where Handel's Messiah was first performed; St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was dean; and to the most ridiculous statue I've ever seen, of Oscar Wilde. We did a bit of shopping, then went out pub-crawling in search of Irish men. We did not find many Irish men, but we did spend the evening chatting with a Frenchie, a Mexican, and a Japanese guy.

Tuesday--Malahide and Portmarnock: We took a city bus out to Malahide Castle, then further on to the beach at Portmarnock. Both were gorgeous and better matched my perception of what Ireland should be. The castle innards were fairly boring, but the building was beautiful and the grounds were massive and well-manicured. The surrounding countryside was also really pretty. At Portmarnock, there were rocks to climb on and tidal pools to root around in, though the tidal pools were a bit dull compared to Washington State tidal pools.

In the evening, as it was our last night in Dublin, we decided to go out on the town. We went to a nice pub for dinner, where the prices were reasonable but the food was amazing. As we were finishing dinner, two very drunk and very gross guys sat down in the table next to us and harassed us (mostly Alex). Alex told them we were studying infectious diseases, to which the guy sitting next to her responded, "Oh, good, I can ask you my questions. I think I might have chlamydia. It burns when I pee." I kid you not, this actually happened!!! Then he showed her a massive boil on his finger, and asked about that. They kept asking us if we smoked hash, and one of them pulled out a large wad of cash while saying, "Cuz we can pay for it." The guy with the boil and chlamydia put his arm around Alex and touched her neck, and then the other guy leaned across the table and asked if we had ever heard of an orgasm. We hightailed it out of there. We went back to the youth hostel to get ready for going out, and we invited one of the girls staying in our room to come out with us. The four of us headed to The Temple Bar in Temple Bar, which was a really nice pub with live Irish music. The only men there were all about 20 years old or younger, which is not acceptable, so we sat around for a while just talking to each other. At one point, Alex got up to go to the bathroom, and she came back with four 20-year-old Dutch boys who had basically been waiting at the top of the stairs for her. They had been eyeing us since we had entered the pub an hour before. We talked to them for a while, then we all headed to a club. I have never been shoved and jostled so much in my life, and at least three different people spilled beer on me. One straight down the back of my shirt, and another all over my left shoulder, so it got in my hair, on my arm, all down my shirt, and onto my jeans. A beer bath, basically. But Tanya met a really nice Irish boy, so it's all worth it.

Wednesday--Dublin: We got back to the youth hostel at 4am and had to check out by 10, so I got four hours of sleep and was not a happy girl. Alex was coming down with a cold, so we decided to take it really easy and skip the Guinness factory. We were walking along the river trying to figure out whether we wanted to walk the two miles to the historical jail (gaol), when we realized we were really close to the Clarence Hotel, owned by U2. We went in and asked about the bar they own, but the concierge said it wouldn't be open until 5pm, when we had to catch our plane home. So we sat in the lobby and had tea service instead. It was really nice sitting and talking. Their hotel is gorgeous, but a bit dull and, what's the word? Expressionless? Emotionless? I'm sad we didn't get to see the bar.

Anyway, that was Dublin. On Thursday, instead of recovering from a busy week, I went out dancing with Carina, got horribly drunk (I've only been that drunk once before in my life, the night of the bra strap incident), danced like a madwoman, then started crying in the nightclub, then a random Frenchman came and asked me, "Pourquoi tu pleures?", so I stopped crying and spoke French to him, then got his phone number, went to a different bar, started crying again, had to be comforted in the bathroom, went for breakfast at a 24-hour diner, then vomited on the sidewalk. All in all, a fantastic night. My stomach hates me now, but at least I don't have a headache!

And tonight, Aparna is having a Bollywood night at her house, so that should be AWESOME. I'm looking forward to some good food and Indian dancing!

Many more photos here: Anti-V-Day and Dublin.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Based on the number of entries I've written lately, I think it might be safe to say that I've grown tired of blogging. I'll keep trying, though, as I know that my entries are the only bright lights in your otherwise dreary, dark, and depressing days.

I just got a package from Mama and realized that I've been neglecting to publicly thank people for their wonderful Christmas presents. The package from Mama included Girl Scout Cookies, home-made seafoam, a bracelet from Aunt Cindy and the cousins, and three BEAUTIFUL scarves! (bracelet shown on my recently waxed arm! Funny story there...)

Last week, Amy sent me a really cool butterfly pin, a novel that looks really interesting, and the most amazing and ridiculous earrings I have ever owned. They make me very happy, though I haven't yet worked up the nerve to wear them.

Jody sent me a really pretty pink necklace and bracelet set. Jody, I hope you don't mind, but I liked the stone flowers a lot and not so much the straps, so I dismantled them. :-D I plan to attach the stones to pins and put them on my hats, scarves, or coat lapels so they'll be so so pretty! (shown here on a Cath Kidston background. I heart Cath Kidston.)

Becky and John sent me an awesome home-made snowglobe. It's so cute!

And Pops and Michele sent me home-made pancake mix, apple butter, apple syrup, and soap. I love all the home-made goodies!

Also thanks to Grandma Doris for some moolah. It will likely be spent on silly, frivolous things.

THANKS, GUYS! You all rock my world!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Somebody save me from myself

I'm depressed and I don't know how to fix it, mainly because I don't know what's causing it. It's probably the fact that I've been staying up late for about 3 weeks now, though I mostly still get 8 hours of sleep a night. Is that it, or am I going to bed late because I'm depressed?

I have no reason to be depressed, other than the looming and uncertain future. Things are going as well for me as ever. I've been really social in the past month, more so than probably ever before in my life. I'm spending a lot of time hanging out with people that I love. So what's the deal?

Perhaps it's my upcoming birthday, and the fact that my age is getting further and further away from how old I actually feel. Perhaps it's that stupid idea that I've foolishly bought into, that by the age of 27, I really should have done something useful with my life.

Perhaps it's the realization that I'm taking out a huge amount of money in loans in order to get a degree that will ensure me access to lots of work for which I will never be paid a dime. Or perhaps it has to do with the more immediate future and the fact that no one wants to sponsor me for a summer project in tuberculosis. Perhaps it's caused by my guilt over not spending as much time studying as other people do, or the realization that I really don't have any marketable skills.

It's probably just the sleep thing, though. That's what it always is. I'll feel much more optimistic about everything else once I'm not depressed anymore, right? On the bright side, I'm not sick anymore!

Well, I should go figure out how I'm going to make a vampire squid costume for a party I'm feeling too depressed to care about.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Don't Panic

I feel a bit of a mini panic attack coming on. Holly invited me out to Sussex for the night, because neither of us have classes on Mondays. I have a lot going on, but I figured it would be fine to leave town for one night. As I was going to bed in the guest room last night, I realized I should have stayed in London. It snowed a bunch overnight and now I'm stranded in Sussex indefinitely.

Reasons I should have stayed home:
1. I have a bit of a chest cold, and forgot my inhaler at home.
2. I decided against bringing my wellies, so now I just have sneakers to battle the snow.
3. If I had stayed home, I could have spent the day playing in the snow with everyone (though here, I can play in the snow with Holly, which is good.)
4. I'm now two days behind in my TB coursework, because I decided against bringing it.
5. I'm supposed to be going to a group work meeting at 12:30 at school.
6. I was possibly going to have dinner tonight with Izzi, though she may not even be available for it now.
7. I still haven't talked to Pops and Michele, which I feel really bad about (I forgot about our appointment on Saturday.)

That's about it, I guess. My sleep study that was supposed to be tonight got canceled due to snow, so I don't have to worry about missing that (or being too sick for it).

Adorable Alex from Georgia has never really seen snow before (except during a layover at the Detroit airport), and she called me this morning from London to see if school was cancelled. "How much snow is there in London," I asked.

"I don't know how to measure snow," she replied.

"Well, how many inches thick is it?"

"Um, well, my foot sinks into it."

Told you she was adorable.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I feel tired, so I don't think this post is going to be very well written. Bleh.

So, I thought I was all better and the sickness was in my head, and then last night I started having cold symptoms in my throat, so I thought I was getting a different sickness, but today I'm back to nausea. I guess I can pretty much say: I'm sick.

Last night, I went to a Scottish ceilidh (basically, a barn dance, but not in a barn) in honor of Burn's Night. Robert Burns was a Scottish poet, and he's basically a national hero. You'll never believe it: I ate haggis. And I liked it! Still, it mystifies me how the Scottish evolved to be able to eat haggis, drink copious amounts of booze, and then whirl and hop around very quickly for hours without puking it all up. I was not able to do it. I only lasted a couple dances before I realized I was in danger of losing my dinner. The dancing also loosened up my lungs, so that I kept coughing up phlegm I hadn't even realized was down there. I now know that ceilidhs and illness do not mix. It was still fun, though, even just watching from the sidelines. There were many lovely men in kilts, but they were all there with dates, so our group ended up dancing with each other. Our Scottish classmate, Cheryl, read a Robert Burn's poem to the whole group (about 500 people). She's so energetic and a great performer. She'd make a fantastic teacher. I'll post pictures when I'm feeling less lazy.

Um, that's all for now. I'm off to an exhibit about War and Medicine.