July 16th, 2003

you think you know...

So this is that British weather i'd heard so much about.

And in typical British fashion, the 10-day forecast has a rainy icon every single day.

Cool weather coming through makes me happy, but i don't want Tempest to be rained out.

I think Stonehenge is out for this weekend, but a day trip to Canterbury Cathedral is still possible. And yesterday we waked by a Quaker place, so i want to find out when services are and go on Sunday.

I have work to do, so it's just as well that i'm not doing a lot of traveling (i understand now why so many people went to London last weekend before we really started getting work, but i was still getting settled in Oxford and wasn't up for planning a trip to London). I have actually been quite good about working on this essay (and tomorrow i get my topic for my Robinson Crusoe oral presentation for Tuesday). The topic of the essay keeps slipping out of my hands, though. I swear i'm doing more serious textual examination than i do at Smith and i can't quite articulate why, though i know it has something to do with the novel being very easy.

Mandy loves Pooh like i do, so we need to go to East Sussex (Ashwood Forest) together.

I went to the Oxford Museum of Natural History on Monday, having forgotten that i'm not a big natural history person. The Pitt Rivers Museum has some interesting stuff, though -- Objects Talk (i mostly liked the literature excerpts affixed to displays, which may or may not actually be part of that) and Return to Sender (an exhibit consisting of objects visitors donated to signify where they come from, complete with brief description and address).

Yesterday i went to Que Pasa (a restuarant which does not in fact specialize in Mexican food) with Mandy and Karen yesterday. Mad bathrooms. Possibly fancier than those in Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Purple carpeting. Full doors to the stalls. Seashells in the toilet seats. Very low lighting, though, and they were out of soap.

Guest Dinner last night disappointed me. Was smaller than last time, no President, no Grace in Latin, no alcohol except at High Table. Tomatoes and cucumbers on a plate with dressing is not usually how i define "salad" but whatever. Dinner was chicken; vegetarians got crunchy asparagus, lots of mushrooms, little buttons of carrots, and some unidentifiable starchy things. The asparagus and mushrooms were in a teepee shape with an airy roll on top. Strange. Dessert was chocolate mousse. Yum. So much better than Smith's faux-mousse. We might have left before we were supposed to, because after an hour we were done and got up and left but we heard someone ding right after, but we were done eating (no desire to stay for coffee if there was any) and since we had merely been dinged to sit down we didn't think we needed to stay for anything special. Oh well. No one's come after us since, so we can't be in trouble.

The Tempest lecture which preceded dinner was not the best, and it was definitely a problem that not everyone was familiar with the play and the speaker just plunged right in assuming everyone was familiar with the characters and all. I didn't think it was miserably hot, though -- i'm getting spoiled here, but i still have some resiliency from growing up in New England.

I was thinking last night about how sometimes i feel like i barely like anything, but then i turn around and people are being so negative and it throws me because i'm not that negative. I also think sometimes that i expect too much from people (in so many ways). There's also been stuff stewing in my head from one of the conversations Mandy and i had that night we stayed up all night. I've been too busy to sit down and write any really thoughtful entries or thoughtful responses to anyone else's entries. Also, Toby has interesting thoughts on (for lack of a better way to sum it up) being oneself to the fullest and earlier on that same topic and others.

I realized coming back from the computer lab after dinner that i so actually like wearing flowy skirts, but the lack of multiple pockets is a problem, and i'm still most comfortable in jeans.

In other news, GroupWise seems to be down. At least, it's been taking forever to respond all morning.

Also, today i saw a "Mind the Gap" and "I'm Going Underground" (with a map of the London Underground) t-shirt, both of which are tempting (the latter mostly because it makes me think of Neverwhere and London Below). I want a Trinity College at Oxford t-shirt; there's lots of Oxford University clothing, but none with specific colleges -- what up? Must ask Dave or someone about that.

Okay, i should head to class. Consider yourselves updated.
you think you know...

Yay people, and travel, and stuff.

Ken and i were discussing work and weekend travel, and i mentioned that i'll probably be doing most travel on my own as i usually do, but that Mandy and i would be going to East Sussex at some point. He mentioned the Seven Sisters which may well be worth seeing since they're so close. (gratuitous linking)

Hearing me complain about how far it is to Stonehenge, Rachel mentioned that you can do things in nearby Bath. Must look into that.

It also occurred to me that i could perhaps go to Canterbury Cathedral this Friday, see a play that night, and then come straight home since the buses run late, sleep in because it's Saturday, and then do work all weekend, maybe taking a break on Saturday to visit the Ashmolean Museum. That plan has potential.

Not that i'm trying to max out my time here or anything ;)

My roommate last night was having a mini-panic attack because she realized she had been spending way more money than she should (and it is really easy to do that, because we read the prices and think they're reasonable, forgetting that they're in pounds and not USD and thus about 1.6 times as expensive as we think) on food and going out to pubs and stuff. See, this is why i haven't been eating/drinking out much (besides the fact that i'm socially awkward and generally cheap and not into alcohol and all that ;) ) ... because i want to be able to travel and go to plays and do things i can't do at home.

P.S. Adam's cross-country (Andover 1995) t-shirt makes me happy. It's light blue and (this is the important part) has the last verse of of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" on the back (with "I" changed to "we," of course). I first saw it from the back and had a total English!dork moment.
you think you know...

Hello, Smith.

Yes, dinner tonight was my near-prototypical Smith dinner. Some sort of soy-veggie patty, curly pasta, and chips (by which i mean, of course, French Fries). I got some salad because even i can only handle so much bland starch in a meal. Chatted with the dean of Commonwealth College and surprised myself with both how little and how much i remembered of my Women Mystics class. Dessert was trifle. Had pretty chocolate shavings on top, but whoa... different from how my family makes trifle. Vanilla pudding, yum. Raspberry (?) Jello-O pudding at the bottom, not so good (esp. b/c i don't eat gelatin). Oh well.
you think you know...

I want to take Ariel home with me.

He was the coolest.

And they did snazzy magic tricks, yo.

Ferdinand is such a player (and possibly a tool as well). Some of that was largely due to the inflection on his lines, though. Also, Miranda was a bit over the top (and it was interesting, but nothing more, casting her as a plain girl). She's 15, never seen a male besides her father and Caliban, and is in a Shakespearean play; need i say more?

Honestly, i feel for Caliban and think Prospero something of a jerk. I should elaborate on this, but i'm not up for it, particularly not without a script handy.

They played "Beautiful Freak" when the spirits (women in black with white masks on both sides of their head) bring a feast out for Trinculo, Stefano, and Caliban. ???

Christina and Adam (who take the Shakespeare class) said they cut a lot of lines.