Sunday, December 30, 2007

Workin hard but playin Harder

The last couple of days have once again been nothing but work and I haven't minded. It'll be all worth it in the end,when I actually have money! I got my first paycheck from the GAP and it was alot more than I thought and so I was pretty flippin stoaked!

Sports Page has treated me pretty well too still. I had a few nights last week where I got shit on for tips, but its gotten better and I've rolled in some extra dough!

BUT I've decided,and i actually decided this a long time ago. But I think everyone should work in the retail and service industries at some point in their life. I think they'd become alot more appreciative and less stupid about thing then.

For example at GAP, for the most part people are enjoyable and great BUT on ocassion you get the stupid faces who tear through your clothes piles and have no regard for you and the hour you just spent meticulously refolding every shirt and carefully putting on the size sticker so that they all line up,one person looks through that pile and its ruined in 10 seconds! OR I was doing a run through of dressing rooms the other day, just making sure there weren't clothes etc in them and some woman had tried on probably 5 or 6 pairs of pants and literally stepped out of them and put the next pair on. SO, the dressing room floor is covered in crumpled up pants. It just really pissed me off, im like SERIOUSLY you couldn't take an extra 10 seconds and at least make sure its all in one pile? I was livid for awhile on that one.

Then there's waitering. Once again, I've only had the table from hell on ocassion. But people need to remember that its not always your servers fault and sometimes the kitchen messes up. For example, I had these two older ladies one day and I had already been warned they were fun to deal with. SO, I made sure I got everything perfect foem. I put in their order-double check it and know its correct. So, im walking through my section and they flag me down,waving taheir arms in the air and the whole bit. So I walk over and ask how I can help and the lady says "Didn't you understand I wanted this medium well, this is too pink" So I force a smile and apologize and take it back to the kitchen. The thing is, see I had put in the order right it was the kitchen who fucked up. What did they want me to do? Cut into their steak to make sure it was cooked right?

So yea, people can upset me at times.

On other more juicy notes.

Once again, my life had a pretty interesting event occur.

So, I'm out at the club on Friday night,standing there chit chatting with my friends when this guy approaches me and says "ANDREW", and gives me this expectant look like I should know him. At first I have no clue who he is and he could probably tell by the bitchy look I gave him and the awkward HI response I gave. But a few seconds later it dawned on me and the guy was my babysitter from back when I was like 11!! He was a senior when I was in 8th grade, so we're only like 5 years apart,don't worry.

The thing is my friends, I have had a mad crush on this kid since he babysat me. Naturally, not the whole time seeing I haven't seen him for 5ish years. So we chatted and he had to go back to his pool game, but told me I better go talk to him more. So, I did and yea, it was great and now hopefully we're going out to lunch or dinner sometime this week!

But 4 real, who freakin' sees their old babysitter at the gay bar?!?Let alone one you had a crush on and he turns around and flirts with you!?

Turns out GK and J are officially dating. How do I know? I ran into them last night at the bar and was talking to GK and he said "yea, we almost broke up last night" and told me the story on why. So, I guess I'm not too bitter. Turns out I was just an involuntary one-off match maker.

ALSO 1 and I kinda talked last night. He had texted me and told me he was out at another club in DSM and I was like "yea, don't care" and ignored the text. It was getting close to closing time at bar and he gave me a call and i couldnt hear him and my phone kept cutting out. But the next thing I know, my good friend CC who I hadn't seen in forever runs up and gives me a hug and we chat, then 4 mins later, 1 comes running at me and gives me a hug and etc .etc.

SO I vamoose, I didn't want to be around him at the bar. So, I tell my friend LJ im outie and she walked with me cuz she was ready to go too.

So, im driving home and get a call from 1, and he was right behind me and he asks why im being so mean to him, why i ignored his text, bla bla bla. and I tell him that he's been the mean one not me. But we ended up chatting for awhile back in Indianola and it was was nice,but he kept saying I was being mean and grumpy at him and so I was minorly confused. I'm like WTF, you've treated ME like shit the last 6 months, not the other way around my friend!!!

He also made a few random comments and asked a couple of questions and I was just like..are you sure you're over me/us? Cuz why would you care or say that?

BUUT I think thats about it for the Drew life. For the time being at least.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Last Few Days

So while life hasn't been to extraordinary eventful, there have been a couple of significant events.

The first was Christmas Eve.

For starts, I lost my keys while at the mall. HAHA yes, I did.

After work I decided I wanted some coldstone, i hadn't had it in over 4 months! So, I get my ice cream and then sit down in the food court to enjoy it. All this time I'm busy chatting on the phone to my friend about another event that had happened that day (don't worry we'll get to that story), so I was a bit distracted. I walk around the mall a bit trying to find a new pair of shoes and then I finally head out to my car. I get to my car and realize my keys are no longer in my possesion.

I remembered that I had them when I was pay for my ice cream becuase I had set them on the counter. So, I prayed that I had just left them there. I book it to Coldstone and the 12 year old working tells me that "he didn't think" any keys were left. So, I go over and check where I had sat,but people were already there. I decide to head down to Customer Service in the hopes that maybe someone or mall security had turned them in. No Such Luck. I then think that maybe I had left them in Banana Republic when I was looking at the cologne in there, but once again I struck out. I decided to check at Coldstone again and try to speak to someone competant, but they assured me no one left keys.

I call home and tell them the story, they tell me to double check everywhere and then call them and let them know if I still can't find them.

I decided to try Customer Serivce again and leave my name and number juswt in case someone turns them in. By this point I'm not too freaked out, I just feel stupid and figure I'll have to call home.

So I talk to the people at customer service and they give me their number and I leave mine and decide to try the other store I was at. About 4 mins later I get a call from Customer Service and someone turned them in!! So,I got my keys back.YAY! But yea, that was just part of the excitment for the day.

NOW the other story.

This past summer, I was in the most complicated/awkward relationship ever and was madly in love with the kid, we'll call him "1" because thats what he was. My number 1 for awhile, my first love, one person I talked to about everything etc. etc. We'll things ended awkward/bad and the entire time I was overseas we didn't talk and things were super awkward/not good between us when I got back and so I had finally called it quits on the kid and said I'M DONE!

We'll I randomly get a text from him while I'm at work that says "are you busy?" I instantly freak out. Thinking "why is he texting me? " "What does he want?" Does he want to talk and apologize? Does he want to yell at me because he thinks I started some other rumor he thought I was trying to start. Does he just want to talk about next semester's classes and borrow books for them? WTF did he want!!!?

So, I get off work and text him back and say WHATSUP?

He replies "I know things have been awkward between us since you got back and I don't like not talking to you and I want to bfriends again. but we can't be physical"

I reply " I agree" even though things were 10x worse than just awkward! "but I didn't expect anything physical"

and we go on to talk about this rumor about him I brought up a couple weeks ago. I had brought it up and told him what I heard and when he approached the person who was my source the person denied it and so 1 didn't know who was lying and I'm pretty sure 1 thought I was and so I once again explained to him that I have no reason to lie etc. etc. and asked him to compare relationships between me and him and him and our source. And how 1 had tursted me with a shitload of secrets that I have kept, how I haven't ever lied to him and the list continues. I also told him I wasn't going to beg him to believe me, but to just think about it all.

but bla bla bla. He said how he really wanted to be friends again, that he didn't like not being able to talk to me. etc etc.

And while even just a couple weeks ago I would have lOVED to have heard that and I would have been so excitied and ready to be friends again, this time I was like "okay, whatever."

I ovbiously didn't say that, but it was the thought that was in my head. That no, actually I've dealt with your shit enough and i'm tired of worrying if Im going to piss you off or not and that on top of it all, you don't believe me about this stupid rumor and IM DONE!

It felt good too. Usually, I was so freaking wishy washy on the kid.I hated him one minute and was still madly in love with him the next, but this time I had finally managed to stay solid on how I felt.

But yea, there's ovbiously a whole lot more to the background of this story and one day I'll do my best to tell you the whole story on Drew and 1, but that'll do for right now.

Yesterday was another exciting day. Sorta. Like most of the day was boring, but one special event made the day pretty spectacular.

I got hit on at work. haha.

I was doing my thing, folding clothes etc and I hear this guy say " i know alot of kids from simpson go there" and I hadn't ever seen him or the girl the was with to I was like "you guys go to Simpson?"

and he said he used to but he transferred. So I chit chat with them a bit more about Simpson and how the music and theatre departments own your soul and etc.

So, then I'm folding clothes more and doing my thing once again and he comes up and was like "i don't live in town, but im here for a couple of days. You should give me a call" and gave me his number. I was minorly excitied. He was a cute kid plus I had actually gotten hit on! It was great!

BUT that's a roundup of the last couple of days.

PS-back to 1. I'm starting to wonder if the kid is actually 100% over us. All this time I thought he had been and I was hurt and had finally moved on and now even though he says he wants to be friends and there can't be anything between us, he texted me last night asking if I was in Indianola and then at like 2am saying "whatsup" of course this could totally be him just being conversational, OR it could be more. Who knows!


Have a good one

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Greetings Friends,

Life has managed to continue,even back here in Iowa.

So far the transition hasn't been too hard. I'm not digging the cold weather, but I really have never liked winter and I miss being able to always have something to do or somewhere to go, no matter what time it is and now I'm beyond broke, so I'm living the life of a college student thats even poorer than poor.

However, its been great getting to catch up with all my pals and see familiar faces and I'm finally getting into the routine of things again. Its been so nice having NO responsibilties, no classes to go to, no papers to write and no tests to cram for. Which is something everyone else on campus can't say at the moment. I find it ironic that this week is known as "dead week" because there's not supposed to really be huge tests or papers due for students, so we can prepare for finals. Yet, it usually ends up being the most stressful and busy week of all, at least it was for me last year.

Anyway, I'm getting into the swing of things again. I had a CAB meeting today with Rich, Lindsey and Amanda and am getting excited to start cab things again, and I also got re-elected to Student Government, so when the new term starts I'll be on that again. So ,its getting pretty close to being just like old times :) I start working at Sports Page on Saturday which is exciting news because that = TIPS which =instant cash! Then hopefully I'll start GAP on Sunday.

I went up to Jordan Creek and applied and was lucky and interviewed like 10 minutes after I turned in my app. It was a pretty laid back interview and it turns out that the store manager(the girl who interviewed me) is a Simpson Graduate and distant cousins of some sort with one of my references!! But she was super friendly and said that she "technically had to do reference checks" but should expect a call on Thursday and she looked forward to seeing me at orientation on Sunday, so it sounds like its hopefully a job.

Its been so great just getting to bum around and visit everyone. I went to the basketball game tonight and got to see alot of friends I hadn't seen yet.

So, I've been told that Reverse Culture Shock is worse than original culture shock and I admit that I was a bit weary coming back. But really, I haven't had any problems. I remembered how to drive my car and use my cell phone and I knew to drive on the right side of the road. If anything the most noticable awkard change has been the money! American bills and coins are so much thinner and lighter than the money over there and thats actually been one of the main things I've noticed.

SOO, thats about it for now.

Hope all is well!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Greetings Friends,

So I've finally arrived back on campus and its been great catching up with all my friends!

We also had elections for SAE today and it took 5 hours,but it was so good seeing everyone again.

Its been not weird, which has made things weird though, when catching up with some friends. I went and visited my good friend Kathryn and we caught up on things and even though we were filling eachother in on the last 13 weeks of our lives, it felt like I had never been gone. So much for reverse culture shock,but I guess I haven't really been back in the real world yet. Just home and seeing friends, I'll wait and see what its like tomorrow.

I've only had the I HATE IOWA and WANT TO GO BACK TO LONDON moments a few times since arriving- once when I got off the plane and there was stupid snow and slush on the ground ( I HATE Winter!!) and then when I was sitting and realizing all the things I now need to get done for theatre!!

But I'm mostly glad to be back! It was nice actually getting ready in a real bathroom today and being able to fix some real food and yea. I enjoyed it.

This next week looks like it should be busy again and back to my Simpson normal.

I have a few different meetings: 1 with my SSS coordinator to talk about this last semester, 1 with $$ aide to talk about next semester,1 with the CAB advisers and my friend Amanda, who I'm going to be CAB co-presidents with to map out a few things, 1 with my old job to figure out when I can start again, and then several important lunch/dinner/catch up dates with friends!

So, thats roughly sorta the new things going on.

It's still hard to believe I'm back in Iowa though. When we left for the airport at 6:30am London time, it was sad and felt like there should have been fireworks or something going on. It just seemed a little too whateve, we're leaving.

But yea, For the time being I'm fine with being back in Iowa, we'll see how I feel when it starts to snow.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Excuse Me While I Get Nostalgic

Greetings Friends,

Before I get nostalgic, I'd like to share with you a couple of things from the past few days.

WELL, on Tuesday, Meghan,Chelsea and I went ice skating at the Natural History Museum, it was fun! I hadn't been skating forever and am pleased to report that NONE of us fell or got hurt! Even though we did enjoy watching some youngin' who fell like every two minutes, no seriously, I timed him.

We also visited the CLINK museum and learned all about one of the first prisons in the city of London and how they punished people and that: fUn fAcT: the old time "stewhouses" or brothels were actually ran by bishops of the church!

Other than that, its been alot of sitting around, doing last minute gift shopping and watching movies,along with whining about not being ready to leave.

Well the time has finally and unfortunatly come, in approximately 17 hours I will be on plane headed back home to the U-S-of-A., and now that it's here, I'm not ready.

It's raining outside, and it seems perfectly appropriate, ovbiously London is just as sad as I am about my unavoidable departure.

Last night was fitting, a group of us went to RENT(yes I went again) and we realized that our very first show in London was at "The Dukes of York" theatre, when we saw Orlando Bloom. But, it also made me realize on our way back that it was possibly my last time walking through Leiscter Square at night, and it would probably be our last night tube ride.

Today, as Meghan and I did some final shopping it happened again. I realized that I was walking around Picadilly Square and SoHo,two of my favorite places in London, for the last time.

It's hard to believe that 13 weeks-3 whole months have passed already! It seems like so much longer, but at the same time, it feels like just yesterday I was just arriving at 270 Earls Court Road.

I thought my freshman year of college changed me, but it almost seems like nothing compared to how different I feel after spending 3 months over here, however, that's a whole other blog.

But enough about my crying about leaving.

Turns out getting home might not be so easy! According to weather reports, tomorrow is supposed to all freezing this and freezing that and temps in the 30's and well, we could possibly get stuck in Cincinatti for awhile. Which would totally be uncool and they should just let us stay here for a couple more days until the weather passes back home. I mean, obviously Iowa doesn't want us back!

Oh yea, did I mention that I leave in around 17 hours and have not packed a single thing! I blame it on my denial, packing would make leaving seem more real and that its actually happening. So, if I don't pack it means I'm not leaving,as well as the fact I'm the king of procrastination.

I'd like to thank all of you who faithfully read my often times rAnDom, but every once in awhile insightful and witty banter for the past 3 months. I've enjoyed sharing with you the stories and adventures that have occured in this Oh-So-Amazing city, as well as the adventures that occured during Fall Break and Paris. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you come back every once it awhile, to check in on what kind of adventures I've managed to have in Iowa,because trust me-it'll happen.

Officially signing off on my LAST London Blog



Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm ready

Greetings Friends,
WELL, its finally hit me. Only it didn't really HIT ME. It wasn't one of those smack in the face-I suddenly see and realize type of moments. More of a gradual, realization and understanding. Something that was slowly developing and then you realize it,but its not really a shock because you knew it was coming, you just didn't know when it'd finally happen. Well, that moment happened to me today.

I realized, I'm ready for home. *collective gasp here* Yes, folks, I am finally ready to head home. NO, I"m not like GET ME THE HECK OUT OF LONDON ready. But more, I think I've finally done everything that I could possibly do during my time here - quit while you're ahead and still have some money to your name - accept fate and wave the white flag-ready.

I'm ready to head home and see the family and play with the family dog, well until she gets annoying and I have to tell her to sit down and leave me alone, which actually probably take only 5 minutes. Yes, I love Patches(our dog) but she can get a bit needy for attention,especially when you're gone for long periods of time.

I'm ready to drive my car and see pastures and fields and sky.

I'm ready to walk across the campus of Simpson College and know 90% of the people I walk by, and that when I walk, I won't be busy dodging,ducking,dipping,diving and dodging, my way around people with canes,small crazy children, suitcases,shopping bags,tourists,beggars or street vendors, but actually have space, my one 1ft diameter on everyside of me. Something that I have forgotten what its like to have.

I'm ready to have some of Sally's cooking down at the SAE house and I'm most definitally ready to see all my brothers again and stay up till 2 talking and watching bad MTV shows.

I'm ready to get normal tv, stations I like and not having to play with an antenna to get the picture to at least stay solid,even if its in black and white.

I'm ready for CAB meetings, SAE chapter meetings, 2 dollar movies on the weekends;along with midnight breakfast, chicken nuggets in the grill and muscians, basketball games, sledding behind LXA and next to Pote, and the 10million other things that makes Simpson home.

I came to my realization today, when for the 20th time, I thought to myself. " You know, I'm ready to go back home so I can __{insert any of the previous statements here}___.
And how I often I thought of friends today and my insides got all giddy and I knew that it would be super soon and I would be seeing them again.

So, London, my love, my pet, buddy ol pal, friend of mine. We've had a good run. We had our good times and our bad times and I know that these next 4 days will still be full of plenty more goodtimes. BUT, I'm ready to go back to the states, to Iowa, to Melcher, to home.

Don't worry though, I already miss you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Less than a week!

Greetings Friends,

HOLY COW, Only 6 days left in London, its starting to get scary!

We finished classes on Thursday,it was awkward to think about. While everyone back home was enjoying their time off from school, I was taking an English exam and finishing with classes until January!

We had our own London-Simpson version of Thanksgiving (they don't celebrate it over here if you didn't know). We had pizza and crackers and chips and dip and sat around and talked about London and our time here and what we've hated, our favorite places etc. It was minorly awkard though,because I realized that this was the longest time I've spent in the same room as half of the people in the room. It was also saddening to realize though, how little time we had left.

Anywhom, Chelsea's brother is visiting from Cali and we've been taking him around to see some of the sights etc. It's been a nice excuse to see some of the sights again.

Other than that nothing exciting has gone on. Just hanging around,re-visiting sights etc.

Hope all is well!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Just to Recap

Greetings Friends,

So, as much as I hate to think about it and admit it, there are only 11 days left in this beautiful relationship full of love,and understanding, of give and take, a relationship that has led to amazing nights and wonderful day after wonderful day.

I am of course, talking about the blissful relationship that exists between myself and the city of London.

So, as our time draws to a close I thought today about all the AMAZING things I've done since I've been in this city and thought I'd share.

London and I didn't waste anytime getting to know eachother, our first week together we
-took a bus tour of the city
-roamed the corridors and exhibits of the British Museum
-admired the paintings in the National Gallery
-Saw a show together "In Celebration"
-and had our first star sighting-Orlando Bloom
-Walked where great men have walked in the colleges of Cambridge
-explored the Burrough Market

At this point I could already tell the city and I were hitting it off just great, we continued going steady. We went and viewed the artwork at the Cortauld Gallery and discovered (okay,so we really just looked at the displays,someone else discovered them) ancient scrolls in the British Library. We walked amongst the gorgeous gardens and hedge maze of Hampton Court,took in a glorious view of the city from the top of St. Paul's and had an edu-taining(thats educational and entertaining) experience at the London Dungeon.

We ventured out and realized that the Camden Market is a bit scary while the Portabello Road Market is busy and crazy. We had a few rough patches here and there at times though and wasted it at the Museum of London,but had our eyes opened a little wider when we went to the Imperial War Museum. London taught me about her past when I visted National Parliment and nearly bored me to tears when I walked through Westminster Abby. London took me to see her prized possesions at the Tower of London and introduced me to some of her great musical theatre by showing me Chicago and Wicked; as well as showing me the former home of the bard himself, the Globe Theatre. Together we found out about the amazing food and drinks at "The Rocket" and the glorious heart beating adventures that Thorpe Park had to offer. London introduced me to one of her favorite gameshows, Golden Balls,when I sat in the studio audience and I also discovered one of my now favorite museums, the Tate Modern.

All of these were great experiences, that only strengthed the bond that had developed between London and I, and the best part, it was all in the first month!

Now,even though things were going great and we had done all these marvelous adventures, and also discovered the amazingness of Picadilly Circus, the club life and so much more, London and I decided we didn't want to rush things and took a break, while I toured Europe.

During my time away from London I celebreated Oktoberfest in Munich,walked the canals of Venice, roamed the streets of Rome,where I saw the colesseum and ruins of ancient Rome, I pit stopped in Milan, flounced around in Florence and tasted delicious chocolates in Brussels. However, my time away,however glorious, made me realize how much I appreciated dear ol London.

Upon my arrival I visited the London Film Festival and became besties with Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Christian Bale, Adrian Broday and Jason Schwarzman. Saw the premiere of a glorious movie called "I'm Not There" and began my work at Theatre 503,where I saw "The Last Shot".

Still creating more memories, London and I continued to discover more together and I visited Greenwich Village, continued to walk and discover the city and soaked up every minute of my life with London.

Before you knew it, November was upon us, like a black cloud. But we haven't let that stop us and we've seen Oxford, RENT, and Hairspray. We've continued to hit the clubs,enjoy the food and have our fun on the tube, and most recently I took a little time to myself and went to Paris and tonight I saw CaBaReT.

And,thats where we are now.


All of these wonderful memories are only the ones I've written down and even then its just the icing on the layers of cake and sweetness that has been my time with London. Telling you that I've seen over 20 different landmark sites in the city of London, watched 9 theatre performances, and toured 8 cities doesn't give you the details and stories I've created while here. There is no way I can ever fully describe for you the depth of my relationship with this city and the love that we share, and can only tell you that it is quite magnificent.

It doesn't tell you how I've grown as a person, the bad habits I've dropped, the quirks I've changed or the outlooks I've developed, but I bet you'll be able to tell when you see me.

BUT, my times not over,the fat lady hasn't sung and the last ship is still in port, so I'm going to take these next 11 days and make them glorious,wonderful,exciting and grand and 11 of the greatest days of my life!

But before I do, I just to let London know, that I love him, and she'll always have a place in my

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Parisian Adventure

Greetings Friends,

Have you ever had one of those does where nothing seems to go right? Or you're just really bored? Or you just really want a good laugh? Well, then I have the perfect blog for you!

If you read the blog before my last you'll recall that this weekend was my trip to Paris all by my lone-some, and I would like to point out that this was my decision and that I didn't go by myself because no one else likes me. Either way, my time in Paris was actually quite eventful and I thought I'd begin by sharing the adventure I had in just trying to get to my hostel.

So, my beginning trekk to Paris went just fine. I decided to travel via EurOlines, which meant I took a bus to Dover, got onto a ferry which took me across the channel and then hopped back on the bus to Paris.Nothing really exciting happened until I arrived at the bus station.

Now, Drew doesn't like to use maps, and its not one of those "machismo-I know where I'm going and don't need to ask where I'm going" type of things. Because we most definitally know I have NO clue where I'm going usually. But more of a maps actually tend to confuse me even more. I'm much more of a hands on type learner, figuring things out as I go, not planning.

Anyway, so I get to the metro station and spend forever looking at the map before finally figuring out what tube will get me to where I need to go. After I figured that out it took me another 10 minutes trying to find a cash machine so I could get money to buy a metro ticket, before remembering that I had a 5euro note left in my wallet from Fall Break. So, I buy my ticket and figure out that I needed to take the 3 tube to St. Lazere where I'd then switch to the 12 line which would take me to my hostel.

Well, I get to the platform and hop on the tube,and wait like 15 minutes before it finally leaves. It's already uncomfortably crowded,but not anything I wasn't used to on the tubes in London. Well, at the next stop another bunch of people decide they can get on too and it was literally a mad shove to make it onto to the tube. By this time I'm slam-jam pressed right up against people.

Suddenly, some woman starts talking to me at French and motioning and I kind of assuemd she was asking me to scoot in more and I just smiled and shook my head, seeing as I really didn't think I and anymore room to move. However, a few minutes later a guy starts talking to me in French and motioning and finally I say "Sorry I don't speak French" and this other lady next to me yells and slams against me,scooting me over,so I'm pretty much giving the lady on my left a lap dance, all while yelling at me in French.

So, here I am absolutly crammed into a metro car in a country I've only been in for 30ish minutes and its like 7am. Well, the train slows down and stops in between stations.Well, I figured it was just a little mini stop, and that we were waiting for the train in front of us to leave or something, but NO, we end up sitting in this tube for 20 minutes and see metro workers walking by in the tube. Finally, the tube slowly lurches foward and we make it to the next stop.

When we arrive, an announcement comes over the intercom,but of course its in French, so I have no clue whats being said, but everyone around me groaned and emptied the train. SO, I took it to mean that the tain was broke.

So, I stand on the platform with a sea of other people waiting for the next train. This takes about another 5 minutes and we all cram on again and I'm pretty sure we were close enough that someone owes me dinner, and it only continues to get worse and more and more people attempt to fight their way onto the train.

Finally, we get to St. Lazere and it was literally a shoving match between the people on the train trying to get off and the mass of people trying to get in. But, I made it and found my way to the other platform for the 12 tube.

So, I sit around and see that the next train doesn't come for another 25 minutes;by this point I am starting to get scared as to how my weekend in Paris is going to turn out.

I get onto the train,luckily by this time the crowds have thinned and I was actually able to sit down and I make to to my stop fine and find my hostel, oh and its 11am.

So, needless to say it was quite an exciting first 4 hours in the city! And I later find out that no, the tube systems in Paris don't suck,but rather they're on strike and so everything is crazy!

The rest of the day was the same with travel. I did my best to walk everywhere and don't worry I did plenty, but when I did take the tube it was usually at least a 10 minute wait,often times more. Including a couple more jam packed rides where we were packed in so tight that you could have taken off the top,turned us upside down and nothing would have fallen out.

Luckily, Saturday was better and my weekend turned out amazing!

I visited all the usual places, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur-this beautiful church on a hill, Louvre museum and Museum d'orsay. Lucky for me, the Louvre was free to students on Friday nights after 6,so I took advantage of that and saw the Mona Lisa!

I made friends with the other backpackers who were staying in my room, Jordan a junior from UCLA who was studying in the Netherlands and Ian a recent uni grad from Canada who had been backpacking through Europe since September, and we walked up to the Sacre Coeur to see the city at night. The next day, Jordan and I toured Paris together and visited all the sights,it was nice having someone to talk to instead of being by myself the whole time. The Musee d'orsay was really neat to see alot of the work done by artists we had talked about in art class and I actually knew what they were doing and what was going on.

At one point in the day we decided to try and go walk through the catacombs,which is these underground tunnels made from bones of dead bodies, WELL it takes us forever to finally find it and when we do, we realize that we're like 5 MINUTES LATE to the last admission :( After visiting Notre Dame together we parted ways and I went to the Eiffel Tower.

It was a super long climb but most definitally worth it! I was lucky and climbed it at just the right time,so I saw the city as the sun was setting and also with all the bright city lights and traffic going on, and it was gorgeous!

My trip back to the bus station on Saturday night was just as exciting. I got lost trying to find the metro station,so instead I waited at a bus stop for a bus to take me to a bus station. Well, the bus takes forever but finally shows up, at this point its around 8:00 and I needed to be there at 9 to check in for my 10 o'clock bus.
Well, the bus gets me to the stop I was wanting and I get the metro and find out that the platform I needed was currently under renovations but I could take the 8line to Republique and switch to the 3 line which would take me to my bus stop.

So, I wait and it takes about another 25 minutes for the 8 to show up, and it takes me to Republique and I get to the 3 platform. WELL, at this point its 8:50 and I'm getting nervous, I knew that I didn't need to be there right at 9. I mean, last time it took 30 mins just to wait in line so I knew if I made it by 9:30-I would be fine. But I decided that if by 9:15 a train hadn't shown up I would take a taxi. So, I wait...and wait...and wait and finally at 9:14 the tube shows up and I get to the bus station and everything was fine.

So, you'd think its done. That my exciting adventures were over and I made it just grand to London. WELL, yes...........and no! I get back home to London-its 5am and Im riding the N11 bus to Trafalger Square so I can catch the trust N97 to home. WELL, halfway to Trafalger Square the BUS BREAKS DOWN and I had to switch buses. But, yes, I eventually made it home and collapsed into bed.

So, that was my weekend in Paris. All the exciting transportation adventures and beautiful sight seeing.

Don't worry pictures are already up! Here's the link-

I would also like to thank all of you who read the blog last week and helped me win the contest, thanks to you I had 162 hits in just 7 days!!

Hope all is well!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Destination Unkown

Greetings Friends,

It's another time where I sit here and take a break from the busy life of mine in London and attempt to give you a insightful blog full of witty banter,colorful words, and a read that will leave you feeling,.........something. Whether it be fulfillment OR (and lets hope not),wondering why you just wasted 10 minutes reading it.

The other day, an age old question "What am I going to do with my life?" crossed my mind. I know we've all had the thought. However, it wasn't that I was totally lost for thought as to what I'm supposed to do when I "grow up", but more the thought that I had the feeling, again, that I'm "destined for something greater." But, I'm also pretty sure we've had had that thought as well. We've all dreamed of fighting AIDS in Africa, or backpacking through Europe or discovering the cure for cancer or whatever. It's kind of like a quote, Tiff showed me, and I think it can pretty much capture what we've all felt at some point.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent peopleand the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest criticsand endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
To know that even one life has breathed easier because I have lived
This is to have succeeded."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now before you get all "Psh, Drew, please, get over yourself" hear me out. This thought often comes when I'm doing something or watching something I really enjoy or want to do. Theatre for example. EVERY TIME I see a show,as soon as the curtain comes up, my skin tingles, my heart skips and I get excitied, and I see myself, in 5 years doing exactly that, and its not just one of those "Oh, I'd really like to act when I grow up" sorta, see myself type feelings. But a "I feel it in my gut-all the way to my toes-there's no doubt in my mind- it just seems natural" sort of feelings. Like, DUH what else do you think I'd do.

But then another thought often comes to mind, when? If my feelings correct and someday-somewhere I'm going to be gracing the stages of Broadway or cinema screens across the nation, when is it going to happen and how?

Am I going to have the fairy tale story where I'm walking in the mall one day and a model scout sees me and gives me her card and 2 years later I'm modeling and branching into acting? OR Will I have the rough and tumble story. Where, I graduate college, pack up and move to LA where I live in a cardboard box for years,scraping my pennies together while waiting tables and going to every audition possible, before finally getting my big break?

Of course it also falls into the: "everything happens for a reason" catagory and who really knows what will happen and maybe something will come up and I'll totally switch what I want to do with my life and end up being an accountant for Wells Fargo or something.

OR maybe I need to instead follow the "Life is about creating yourself,not finding yourself" mantra and grab the bull by the horns and make something of myself, myself and throw myself at agents and casting calls and go to them instead of them coming to me.

*SIGH* who knows, pretty much though, I've realized I don't want to grow up and would rather just stay in college or London for the rest of my life. Can I do that instead?

So, this wasn't so much a witty banter about something fun, but more of a Drew hyperventilating over what he's supposed to do with his life, SORRY. Oh-well, hopefully you found it amusing.


Paris Here I Come

Greetings Friends,

I hope this blog finds you well! And of course, things are just grand for me!!

It's been another fun-filled busy week, here on Earl's Court Road.

Monday we took a day trip to Oxford with the whole Simpson London group, it was an okay time. A little bit too cold for my liking. We had some delicious latin food at a place called "Las Iguanas" and then spent most of our time in a coffee shop doing homework, or in my case,taking a nap. Then that night Chelsea,Dana and I went and saw HAIRSPRAY (the theatre version,not movie version) and it was AMAZING! I ♥'d it !

Tuesday was class again and we started our intellectual conversation on Mrs. Dalloway,the final book we're reading for class. It's a pretty interesting book, I enjoy it.

Wednesday we had art class and learned more about Pop Art and then entered the diffiicult to understand realm of "minimalism", and looked at some artwork that included: giant mirrored boxes,a big painting in 3 shades of black, and a pile of bricks. However, I accidentially zoned out for some of the lecture, because I got distracted by another painting or something, I can't remember.

TODAY is class again, then I need to pack for my weekend trip to Paris!!! I'm just a little bit excited,since this is the city I've been wanting to see since FOREVER. I'm taking a bus and a ferry there and it was only lik 40pounds! So, I'll let you know how that goes!

The weather is still chilly here,but luckily it hasn't reached unbearable potential yet!

I also really need to do laundry again, and I've been saying that for too long,but its just such hard work and the stupid dryers suck and UGH.

Anywhom, I think that covers the London news.

Stay tuned for more exciting blogging adventures.


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Greetings Friends,

FINALLY, here are the photos you have been eargerly waiting for!

Photos from the weekends,the Film Festival, and etc.

London is still GREAT and FAnTaSTIC.

We went to the movie, Good Luck Chuck tonight and it is AbSOLUTLY HALARIOUS!!!

Hope all is well!


Friday, November 9, 2007

SO, Barb told me I had to blog some more!

Greetings Friends,

So its already been a few days since I've blogged, and I deeply apologize.

Once again though, not too much has gone on.

Tuesday was class and we got our exams back and I did pretty well, I'm content with how I did.

Wednesday was art class and the service learning mid-term, its funny to think that I'm actually taking mid-terms just 3 weeks before I leave, and about a month after everyone back home. It was a little scary but I think I held my own against it....hopefully :S

Thursday was class and all that fun stuff again, so yea, not a too exciting week for me.

Wednesday, Chelsea,Anne and I went to RENT 'remixed' at Dukes of York and it was AMAZING! We got 2nd row seats for only 20pounds! And if you're wondering how RENT remixed differs from RENT, its exactly the same except they worked with Kylie Minouge's musical director and uptempo-ed the songs and it was neat. One of my favorite songs "Today for You" that Angel sings was escpecially neat. My theatre nerd came out again though and the 3 of us also critiqued the set and lighting designs and they were pretty amazing, with rotating gobo's, smoke and flashy lights! I give mad props to the lighting designer and stage manager, except I did notice a few lightings things they should have fixed, in my expert theatre Simpson light crew opinion anyway.

Today has been another lazy day and i've sat around and watched movies, the current favorite is "John Tucker Must Die"!

Its also been getting chillier the last couple of days :( Which is getting to be a pain, but luckily it hasn't been too bad!:)

So, the harsh reality hit me again today, we only have 3 weeks left here!! It's so crazy to think that a whole semester has already gone by!!

Hope all is well for you!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Remember,Remember the 5th of November

Greetings Friends,
Today marks the anniversary of Guy Fawks, and for any of you who haven't seen the movie "V for Vendetta", its a celebration remembering the blowing up of Parliament and the beginning of of a revolution of sorts...I think.

But this weekend has been full of fireworks exploding and bonfires everywhere, unfortunately, I wasn't in the know as to where 90% of this was taking place, so I didn't get involved.BUT I did hear lots of fireworks going off tonight,when I was sitting in my room!

Friday, Meghan and I had a day date. We slept in until noon, then we sat around and was lazy for awhile before we finally got dressed all nice and fancy like and went out on Oxford Street to visit all the stores that are nice to look at but we could never afford! We also made a visit to the most AmAZING Toy Store in the world, Hamleys. It was almost like a trip back to my childhood, with 5 floors of stuffed animals,toy cars, Barbies, and everything else. Workers were playing with the toys and giving demonstrations, children were running around screaming and I was really wishing I was 5 again. Meghan and I decided to get ourselves something and bought Teddy bears! YES, I am willing and comfortable in admitting that I am a 19 year old boy who sleeps with a teddy bear still. We also ate out at one of my new favorite diners "Ed's Diner" which is a 50's American diner.

Saturday, Me,Chelsea, Dana, Meghan and Dana's mom(Barb) and sister(Julie) went shopping. We made another trip to Primark and Drew finally bought his blazer and new dress socks,because the ones I had were getting a little gross. We also went to Harrods and took a look at the Princess Diana memorial and all the other glorious things Harrods had.Saturday night, Chelsea, Meghan and I got dressed up(I wore my new blazer) and we had a fancy night on the town!

Sunday was spent being lazy. I slept in and lounged around and watched Catch and Release, a movie which actually makes you never want to fall in love (at least, that's what it did for me) and then we went to the "Pop Art Photo" exhibit at the National Gallery and it was really neat and had alot of works from Andy Warhol and other pop art artists and it was pretty interesting. After that we went and rented more movies, and found a great Chinese place that lets you get as much as you get fit into a little Tupperware container for 4pounds.

Today was supposed to be a productive day for me, but it failed. I slept in. Then I took a trip to Covent Gardens and I finally had my waffle w/ chocolate ice cream that a few people told me to get. I have NO CLUE if it was the right place,but I do know it was delicious! After that I took a nap and then have sat around and tried to book my trip to Paris.

Rewinding back to Catch and Release though. I willingly admit that besides sleeping with a teddy bear, I enjoy "chic flicks" and believe crying is healthy and that all real men cry. But, this isn't the point I'm trying to make. My new topic is, why do we like "chick flicks" ? Why do most women and the rare,but amazing man, enjoy watching a movie that: makes you cry,makes you sad,makes you question if you'll ever find love,why you want to find love, wonder what loves like or make you miss that one love you once had and have since lost? Movies like "The Last Kiss" where every relationship gets torn apart or "Catch and Release" where Jennifer Garner's fiancee dies the day before the wedding and if that's not bad enough, she finds out he was cheating on her, and the list could continue.

But really, why are we drawn to these movies? What makes us want to watch a movie that we know is going to make us cry and sad and eat too much ice cream and think about the shoulda' ,coulda', woulda's of previous relationships...but I think I have the answer.

ONE because a good cry is needed every once in awhile.

and TWO because it reminds us of a time when things were better and we were in love or maybe just madly in like. It reminds how happy we were when we had those special moments. LIKE: When you see the movie starlet look into her prince charming's eyes and he whispers something sweet and they share that picture perfect movie moment kiss, and everything in the backgroud fades and melts away. You remember the butterflies in your stomach ,you remember how fast your heart was beating the tingle in your fingers and the thoughts that rushed through your mind.


If you lucky enough to have already found that love and held on to it, it just reminds you and makes you appreciate it that much more and makes you remember the beginning and what it was like and how happy you are that you've somewhat in someway lived those moments. (or at least I'm assuming. I ovbiously don't know for sure.)

BUT it also gives you a beacon of hope, reminding you that someday you'll have that moment and though he (or she) probably won't sit on your porch for days on end to let you know how much he cares, or stand outside your window holding a boombox or make you a mixtape, someday something like that WILL happen.

I do now feel slightly embarrassed for just going off on that tangent,but remember that time I talked about a stream of consiencenous, yea, that's an example.

Anywhom, its back to the grind tomorrow with classes,503 and living up my remaining 25 days in London.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Cram Session

Greetings Friends,

Tuesday we took our first mid-term of the semester in English and it actually didn't go that bad, at least that's I'm hoping. I feel like I knew what I was talking about, but I could most definitally be wrong.

After class, I went and got a haircut, FINALLY! I was getting a lil too long and poofy and it wasn't fun. I found an advert in "The Metro" for a FREE HAIRCUT if you go to Toni&Guy Academy,which is one of those beauty schools. WELL, turns out its a big to do, when they do this. I walked in and checked in and then they lined me up with all these other people who were getting their haircut as well and they went down the line and asked "what we wanted done with our hair" before parading upstairs to get little smock things put on us. After that, we were given to one of the students who sat us in a chair and looked at our hair and played with it before decided what they were going to do. THEN they would grab their teacher and check with them to make sure its okay. Then I was moved to get my hair washed and then sat back down in front of a mirror. All in all, it took 2 and half hours to get my hair cut! BECAUSE the girl would cut some, then have to get her teacher to check and make sure its right and then he would show her what to do next and it just went like that. BUT I got my haircut and I'm happy with it!

After the haircut I went over to "503" and helped out a bit, got trained on front of house and got to see new show they're doing (which was AMAZING). I also got to meet the writer of the show and a few more of the people who work at the theatre.

Wednesday was art class and we learned more about the Bloomsbury Group and then we had a meeting with Housing Justice for service learning. After that, we went back to the flat and got ready for our Halloween BASH that we had in the backyard! It was fun!!

Thursday, was class and more theatre 503, Chelsea and I were sent out to distribute little flyers advertising the show. Lizzie(the general mang) of the theatre,wanted us to put them in the mail slots of all the buildings,but Chelsea and I felt awkward doing that when we saw the signs that said "NO JUNK MAIL" and also since we felt like we were in the ghetto and people probably couldn't afford to go to the show anyway. So, we walked a bit and then found some places to distribute the flyers.

Then we went to the Closing Night GALA for the Film Festival and this time we got our picture taken w/ Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman,PLUS the sweet BFI posters!

Today, Meghan and I are getting dressed up all nice like and heading to Oxford Street to look at all the things we can't afford! It should be fun!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Random thoughts of Consciencenous

Greetings Friends,

London continues to be amazing, just in case you were wondering.

After I left you and went to the premiere we saw Christian Bale and got his autograph and he even personalized every autograph and asked who it was for! When it was finished Chelsea and I snagged the movie posters they hung up on the fence things,so now I have another souviner from the movie. Which-PS we went to today and it was FABULOUS! It follows the life of Bob Dylan, only it does it bouncing back from past to future to the "6 different" stages of his life, which is played by 6 different actors; including: Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and the amazing Cate Blanchett. The cineamatography and music was amazing!

But rewind to Sunday. Meghan,Emily and I went to the Spittalfield market. It was a nice change and had alot of booths that were ran by fashion type designers who made bags and jewlery and cute shirts and etc. along with interesting clocks,home furniture etc.

After the market,we met up with Chelsea at the tubestop and went to Greenwich for the afternoon. Where we walked around another market,that was actually alot like the Spittalfield one. We then went and had lunch at a mexican restaurant, one of maybe two I have seen over here and then we went to the Prime Meridian and had to trekk up quite possibly the worlds largest hill ever. Meghan thought it would be a good idea to take a picture with our heads on the line and so we had to lie down,which would have been fine any other time. EXCEPT for the fact that it had rained and so the ground was nice and wet and a bit muddy.

Today I finally got the chance to sleep in and then we went to the premiere.

After the premiere we've just sat around,trying to study for our English mid-term tomorrow :S

OKAY, so we're caught up on London things. Now we're switching gears for a bit.

As, I am a theatre major, who has been self diagnosed with ADD and has the inability to focus on one certain issue for more than 2 minutes and during those 2 minutes is usually thinking about something else entirely already. OR can easily switch topics because one sentence or word will remind of him something and so then he starts thinking about that and then that switches to something else and then he can't even remember the original line of thought and then...oh, wait...see what I mean. Anyway, along with that. I also have alot of thinking time when I'm on the tube or walking to class, my brain tends to wander and think about things and I thought I'd finally thought those things escape the confines of my mind and let them breath, along with making room in my head for the new thoughts will be sure to pop up, probably by the time this blog is finished.

One recent thought I've pondered is why are the most cliche things and sayings we hear all the time so true? You always hear someone say "Well, its really cliche BUT __________" and the like, but the thing is ,they're so cliche and people use them so often because they are in fact either true, or the easiest way to describe something.
For example: "everything happens for a reason", you hear it so often and sometimes it gets annoying because you never know when you're going to realize why something happened until maybe 4 or 5 months later and the whole time your spent waiting to realize why it happened and then you finally do.

Along those lines and this is a bit of a more philisophical type question.

When you go through a hard time in your life and do your best to hold out for the best and have a gut feeling that everything WILL in fact be okay. Do you think that your gut feeling is actually correct? OR is it possible that you just tell yourself that everything will be okay because your one those "oh so romantic-theatre major-everything should be the like movies-i see the glass as half full" type thinkers and it actually won't be? Granted, this is actually alot of more complicated than how I just wrote it,but it captures the essence of the thought. But really, which stream of consciencenous is correct?

Okay, so thats really all I have for thoughts right now. Turns out, my ADD kicked in and as soon as I started talking about these other issues, the ones I had also thought about got lost in the mix and now they're gone. Don't worry though, I'm sure they'll pop up soon.

Anyway,hope all is well!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

boring days in a yellow submarine

Greetings Friends,

My sincere apologies for the lack of blogging, but never fear, the lack of blogging means the lack of exciting news, so you haven't missed much.

In my last update, I talked about our encounter with Tom Cruise and how classes had picked back up.

On Wednesday we had art class at the Tate and we looked at some pretty interesting works and we also got our mid-term project. :S We have to find a piece of surrealist art and talk about how it relates to the surrealist movement. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do mine over a selection of home artistic videos made by an artist in Colorado.

On Thursday we had class and continued to discuss the book "A Room Of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf. After class, I went back to the flat and took a little nap, before heading to Theatre 503.

Our first assignment was to make a run to "Clapham Junction" to find a flash drive. So, we had a chance to visit a new part of London and walk around. After we got back to the theatre we folded programs for the show. Sarah also introduced us to alot of people that work in the theatre.

We got to see the show finally and it was really good. It was about a filmaker who makes a movie about his friend whos dying of Lou Gehrigs disease. It was pretty dramatic most of the time but fabulous and if you've seen the original superman movie's; the woman who plays his mom, Susanna York, was in it.

Friday, we marketed it up at Portabello Road,but it was actually quite dead :( SO we went to Abbey Road home to The Beatle's, and we got our picture on the crosswalk!

We then went back to Leicster in hopes of catching sight of Ben Affleck who was supposed to have a movie showing, but turns out the movie was axed so instead,we had to settle with getting John Cusack's autograph and a photo with him BUT apparently his publicisit/handler lady thought she had better things to do than take pictures of John and Drew got cut out of the photo :(

This morning, Emily and I went to Camden market and I finally began my present shopping.

Now, we're off to Leicster sqaure to hopefully see: Richard Gere,Cate Blanchett, and a few others for the premiere of "I'm Not Here" which is a biography of Bob Dylan.

I was also hit with a really sad fact yesterday, we only have 35 days left in this AMAZING city! It's so crazy, to think I've already been here 7 weeks! And that I have so little time to do things!!

Hope this blog finds you well!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A little lesson on a BIG issue

Greetings Friends,

Today was quite the learning experience for dear ol' Drew.

We had a workshop in Kennington at St. Paul's church with LEAT, which stands for the London Ecuminical Aids Trust, and they educated us all about HIV and AIDS.

At first I was a bit skeptical and feared that this might be another-well natured and honest try-attempt at working something out for service learning; only ending up like the previous meetings and being a waste of time. Luckily, I was mistaken and I learned quite a bit.

Our workshop was led by a friendly man, named David who was originally from Zimbabwea ,but now works with LEAT and Steve ,who is the director of LEAT. We learned about the basics of AIDS; how its transferred,myths about how it can be transferred,the stages it comes in and what we can do to prevent it. At one point, I was about ready to bust out the mediator whistle because a couple of the participants were getting a bit debatey about wether or not HIV and AIDS is the same thing, the jury is still out on that decision and it really depends who you ask and how you look at it. In this kids opinion,they're different. Seeing as HIV is just the virus (thus the V in the name) but AIDS is the actual syndrome (thus the S) and what people have when they eventually die, not from AIDS,but from such things as the common cold,which would have been killed by the bodies immune system, which is no longer there due to AIDS.

Either way, it was rather interesting, just talking and listening to a persons first hand experience living with HIV. As a global citizen and someone who doesn't live under a rock. I've always known HIV/AIDS was out there,but it was something I didn't ever have to deal with and encounter. So it was rather eye opening seeing how big it really is and what exactly it does to the human body.

I was rather intrigued by the fact that in the UK they have NO rule,forboading gays or "men who have had sex with another man since 1977" from donating blood. Seeing as in the states, we do and I had my own personal encounter with that rule (See Blood donations needed, but not from all - Perspectives for the full story). I think its also important to note, seeing as society currently portrays HIV/AIDS as a "gay disease" that in the UK at least, there are more heterosexuals with the virus/syndrome than homosexuals.

We finally took a break from our educational endeavour to fill our tummies with a delicious, home cooked African meal for lunch, which included: rice,beans,fish,meat,potatoes,bread and fruit.

After lunch we watched a presentation of sorts which was made of dancing,singing,acting and a power point , given to us by a group called WAIT, which is a teen group that goes around educating people about HIV and AIDS,through their Abstinance Only message. While I can't say it was altogether educational or that I learned things I didn't already know. It was entertaining to watch and listen I give the kids props for going out and having the guts to perform in front of strangers by supporting a worthy cause!

After the busy and mentally stimulating day(we started at 10 and finished at 4)! We headed back to the flat.

Chelsea and I grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading to "Theatre 503" to meet with Gene and Sarah and see the current show they are doing " The Last Shot". However, when we arrive Sarah informs us that the show is actually sold out and they already have a reserve list 10 names long, but they'd try to squeeze us in if they could. We weren't too worried and went and met with Steve, who is the Lit. director of the company and visited with him. Since Theatre 503, focuses on new works, they are constantly recieving new plays from all over and part of the process in screening them is having people read them. SO, Steve gave us a couple scripts to read through and make notes about and see how it is, making that our first official assignment for "Theatre 503".

We ended up NOT getting to see the show, but we visited more with Sarah, just about the theatre and where they need help and when we can start. We also got put on the list for Thursday's show, so we will DEFINITALLY be seeing it then and we actually start our volunteering on Thursday as well. So, it looks like a whole day at the theatre, just like back at Simpson. :D

After that, we came back to the flat and its been a night of tv watching, chit chatting and internet surfing.

Hope all is well for you!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Star light Star bright, Tom Cruise is the star I saw tonight!

Greetings Friends,

SO, remeber that time I told you there was always something to do in London? Well today was another prime example.

I hop on the tube this afternoon, headed for class and open up my copy of "The Metro" (one of the free newspapers they give out here) and Chelsea and I see an ad at the bottom of the page that says "WORLD PREMIERE TONIGHT" and it was for the new movie "Lions for Lambs" starring: Tom Cruise, Robert Redford and Meryl Streel (my personal favorite), and so we're like "okay, TOTALLY GOING".

The paper said that they would start arriving at 4:30, and class ended at 3:00, so we just headed to Leicester Square right after class, hoping to land ourselves a great spot. Well, turns out that Tom Cruise wouldn't be showing up until 6, but we stood around anyway,because really we had nothing better to do and we had indeed gotten prime spots. Finally, 6 rolls around and Tom arrives and people go nuts!! Turns out Mr. Cruise ♥ 's his fans and went around and signed every single piece of paper that was shoved in his face and posed for who knows how many photos, including one with US!!

Of course this waiting didn't come without some annoying pushy super fans, who obnoxiously screamed "TOM" every 10 seconds when he was 20 meters away. Apparently thinking that would make him come straight to them. Or the crazy girl who butted in on our conversation every 5 seconds and the decided to put her 15 pound backpack right in the middle of everyone standing.

We also got right behind two girls who had lovingly made a sign that said "Tom you can make us roar anytime" and so every other news reporter was coming up to them and interviewing them. Naturally(blame it on the theatre major in me), I stood directly behind them and flashed my winning smile for the cameras in hopes that an agent is watching and is now frantically searching for me,because he could tell that I'm Hollywood's next "IT boy".

After Tom finished, alot of the crowd seemed to disappear and we were able to breath again and have some personal space. We waited around for another hour or so in hopes of seeing Meryl Streep or dear Robert,but apparently movie premiers are beneath them.

Right now though is the London Film Festival, so this week and next week is loaded with stars coming and going and world premiers of indy films and we plan on catching some more. Wednesday Hallie Berry is supposed to be making an appearance and on Saturday Richard Gere is slated to walk the red carpert. SO we'll see.

It's just crazy to think though, that this movie premiere thing was a last minute,hey why not event and looked what happened! I got the autograph of Tom Cruise and at any moment my home tele is going to be ringing off the hook with hollywood agents wanting to book me. (hey, a boy can dream, can't he?)

But that was the adventure for today!

I would like to give a shout out to another faithful blog reader, BARB who celebrates her birthday today!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back in London

Greeting Friends,

So, the last 3 days have been glorious and lazy! We got back from grocery shopping on Thursday at probably around 2pm and I didn't leave the flat until this afternoon, when I went to get more Nutella. So, that means I spent about 72hours sitting around the flat and 90% of the time I was in my pajamas and I am perfectly fine with that. It has felt great!

But, alas, all good things must come to an end and tomorrow we have class again, but not until 1 o' clock! Which means I am probably sleeping in. Then after class I have a meeting with Sarah from "Theatre 503" to talk about what I get to do for them and then I think we're supposed to be going to Harrod's.

Since I have done nothing but sit around the flat, I've watched alot of TV and movies and realized that over here, they barely have any commercials. It's fabulous! ITs because though, they don't have basic TV over here and you pay for anything you get :(. Right now though,we're getting ready to watch Dirty Dancing on tv!! I haven't seen that movie in the longest time.

But, that pretty much covers the news since our arrival.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

The List

Greetings Friends,

I've been in London almost two full months now and have now traveled the continent. During my travels, I've come across some great finds,not so great finds and everything in between. This got me to thinking the other day about things like; why I like London better than home, why I miss home,my favorite place to eat in Europe etc. etc. So I've compiled a few lists to share with you.

5 things I learned when backpacking

  1. ALWAYS book your hostel in advance;this will lead to not having a stressful night where you out until 12:30 in the middle of Rome going to door-to-door of hotels trying to see if they have 1) a room and 2) aren't 200euros for the night.

  2. English is everywhere! While this may not come as a surprise to you and it wasn't a 100% surprise to me. When you think about though, isn't it odd how probably any European country you can go to will have a majority of its people bilingual in their native language and also know English,while you can come to America and probably 3 in 10 people know another language?

  3. Some people really do we think we're stupid Americans; now, this goes back to my blog from Belgium, and how our taxi driver considered dropping us off in the middle of nowhere, because he knew we'd have no clue what was going on because we're "young americans". Or, I can tell you about a few different times when sitting on a bus or shopping in a market you see and hear the workers talking and pointing. Now usually, when I see this I don't get all paranoid and think "they're talking about me" "I just know they're talking about me" BUT,when they're ovbiously pointing at you and you hear words like "americana" you tend to wonder.

  4. I miss the old days of family vacations; So maybe this is more a realization then something I learned and yes, a bit sentimental *bust out the kleenex now*,but I realized how much I enjoyed the old days when I was young and cute, and went on family vacation every summer. My family wasn't the flying kind either. EVERYWERE we went we drove; Florida, California, Niagra Falls, Massachusets, South Dakota, Virginia and the list could continue. And while at the time,a 20 hour van ride with mom,dad,and the 2 little sisters was less than ideal, now looking back, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Sitting up front co-piloting with dad at 2am, rolling into a seedy hotel in a small town at midnightso we could get up at 9 and keep going, or making the random stop to see the "worlds largest man made well"(it's in Kansas, just in case you were wondering) . I couldn't tell you how many times I thought back to those days while backpacking.

  5. Italians definitally aren't known for their customer service; now I will admit that there were a couple of times we had GREAT customer service while in Italy. For the most part it was horrible. One great story is when I was ordering at McDonalds and began to order my food and the guy working just walked away, and so I stopped talking,thinking he'd come back. But, he just turned and motioned with his hands and told me to keep ordering,while he walked around and did other things. Or how everyplace I got change it was pretty much thrown at me. Or, while I can't expect everyone to know English, you would hope that they would at least try and work with you on communicating, BUT NO. At the post office,when I was trying to send a letter, the lady would just respond in Italian and not even try. Of course, I may be a little of a stickler on the good 'ol customer service after working in retail, as a waiter and on summer conferences.

5 reasons I miss home

  1. The countryside; I surprisingly miss seeing open fields,open roads,green grass, and the sky. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I got out of the city and saw fields and grass and clean sky again.

  2. Sigma Alpha Epsilon; even though I have enjoyed every minute of my time here in London and sharing it with the friends I have on this trip. There's still nothing that compares to sharing a memory or a great time with a fraternity brother. Also, I miss Sally's cooking.

  3. Having my car; while public transportation is great. It can get crowded and annoying. Especially when trains/buses run late or quit running. You don't realize how nice it is to have your own car and being able to jump in it whenever you want, until you don't have it.

  4. Coldstone Creamery;while Gelato is quite delicious,you can only really find it in Italy, and I've yet to find a delicious ice cream place in London,besides the BK and McD's down the block. It doesn't compare to the rich creamy ice cream and amazing mix-ins you can find at Coldstone Creamery. Whether its my personal favorite; Berry Berry Good or just chocolate w/ brownies. I miss my good 'ol Coldstone and miss the random trips that often turned into mini-adventures to the wonderful ice cream shop I often made with Steve and Chelcee this summer.

  5. The American dollar; I liked knowing that when something said it cost 1 it meant 1 dollar, 4 quarters, 100 pennies etc. Not, here where when it says 1# and I'm like, "Oh thats cheap" its actually 2 dollars. It's one thing thats hard to do when shopping. Is trying to not do the conversion and think "oh, this t-shirt says 10 pounds...WAIT thats 20 dollars!"

5 reasons I ♥ London

  1. Public Transportation; Even though at times its crowded and doesn't work. I LOVE being able to hop on the tube and be just a 20-30 minute ride to anywhere in the city at most! I love that I can hop on the bus and get around when the tube is broke,its great not having to worry about gas or parking or directions. Just hop on the tube and go. PLUS you get to people watch!
  2. Crunchies and Nutella; Crunchies are the most amazing candy bar ever that tastes better than anything you could imagine, almost better than ice cream! Nutella is an amazing invention, combining chocolate and hazlenut and considered a breakfast item that you can put on toast or graham crackers or if you're like me, you just eat it by the spoonful.
  3. It's easy to travel; Any European country is so accessable here! Belgium is a 45 minute flight, Germany is a 2 hour flight. Plus backpacking is the thing to do here and you can find hostels for 10euros a night!
  4. Global and Self awareness; so maybe that isn't the correct title for what I like about London, but it is to an extent. I've become so much more globally aware since being over here. You realize how much everyone else knows about the US, but how little the US knows about everyone else. My fall break made me want to minor in a foreign language, now that I see how useful it'd be and as far as the self awareness. I've leared alot about myself. About how stupid I was about things in the past, how much I miss my family and so much more, and I know it wouldn't have happened if I wasn't over here, away from my cozy little world I'd created.
  5. Ethnic food; its so easy to try new foods here. On Earls Court Road alone we have: chinese,italian,indian,thia,halal,American(McD's and BK), and a noodle company.

My London Favorites

  • Favorite ice cream- hands down it was the gelateria in Florence, VERY GOOD (okay,so itts not in London, but)
  • Favorite coffee place- its still Starbucks
  • Favorite Tube Line-Picadilly
  • Favorite Grocery Store-Tesco, its big and cheap and has EVERYTHING!

Those are just a few. There's a few least favorites, like my least favorite Tube line is the District line, its rough and usually late or broken.

Naturally, there's more to add or things might change as the time continues in London,but I just thought I'd blog about something fun and not my boring adventures backpacking through Europe.

I also learned something VERY sad today, we only have 42 days left in London! It just seems crazy because is July I was excitied and counting down from there and now its not so exciting.

Anyway, hope all is well in your life!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Greetings Friends,
WOW, its hard to believe it was just two weeks ago that I left my little flat here in London all giddy and ready to go on a big european adventure. Now, Im back home(ps thats also weird, to think of London as being "back home") exhausted and broke. But a different person as well.

First, I'll catch you up to speed.

Luckily our ride from Florence went off w/o a hitch,unless you count the twenty minute delay. But we did make it to the right station and did fine finding it.

When we arrived in Milan we checked our bags in at some lockers and spent the afternoon walking around the city, beacause our flight for Brussels didn't leave until 9.

So, we explored the dirty,busy and smog infested streets of Milan, realizing that we were in one of the fashion capitals of the world,looking like a vagrant in my dirty jeans,sweatshirt and scruffy face.

We need to search for an i-cafe so we could try and book a hostel for one of our nights in Brussel's. GO US and being on top of things again and had the worst luck ever. I think a big reason was because it was so last minute but all the internet sites kept saying that they didnt have anything or that there was a high demand,which I totally knew was bullox since it was the middle of October and a wednesday. But we finally found a cute little hotel in one of the nearby cities.

We found a pet store during our exploration of the icty and played in ther for awhile. Making "friends" with some of the animals there. We met (and these are our names for them): Spycat-a pretty gray cat who Dana figures fights crime,steals jewels and is going to take over the world. Grey cat-an ugly little persian cat who liked to play with our fingers. Princess-another ugly persian with gross fur who played with our fingers. Special-a cat who was a persian and once again ugly but seemed to have a little issue playing with our fingers or even sitting up. There were also some cute little puppies in the window.

We then headed back to the train station to catch our hour bus ride to the airport.

We went through security fine and then once again, Ryanair is late and our flight was like 1/2 hour late. Its funny,because they claim to be "the on time" airline,but i've yet to actually fly with them on time.

We get into Belgium and catch a taxi to our lovely little hotel. Turns out the town is farther than I thought from the airport and I started to get worried,because we were going down all these side roads and dark and windy roads and I was just wainting to get lost or get dropped off in the middle of nowhere. WHICH PS, turns out the guy wanted to do. NO LIE. He was joking w/another taxi driver on their little walkie talkies in french about dropping us off in the middle of nowhere and we would have no clue since we are 4 young americans and Chelsea understood him because she understands french.

BUT he doesnt and we get to our hotel safe and sound and checked in. The next day we catch a taxi to Brussels and wander around the city.

We first visited the chocolate musuem and learned all about the history of museum,how its made and where it comes from. We got to see how chocolate is made by hand and had some quite tasty samples.

We went and had some delicious belgian waffles, i had mine covered in bananas,chocolate sauce,and whipped cream.

After lunch we went and visited another museum and then looked at a bunch of chocolate shops.

We spent a majority of evening at a tavern eating and talking,trying to waste time before we caught a train to the airport,where we were spending the night before our flight back home.

Our slumber party in the airport was fun. When we went to check in and told the lady we were just staying the night she gave us a really awkward look and asked why we would want to do that, before pointing us in the right direction. The girls who checked us in where very non friendly, probably just tired and ready for home.

But, we got checked in and camped out in the airport. I made a nice little nest under a row of chairs and it was actually quite comfortable and I slept better than I had in some of our hostels!

The flight back was uneventful and it was so great when we landed in London.

It was back to seeing everything in english and knowing what was going on and most importantly,where I was going and what I was doing. It was kind of weird realizing that I was really comfortable in London and knew what I was doing and felt at home.

But that brings us up to speed and since this blog turned out to be a mini novel thats where I will end today.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I love Gelato

Greetings Friends,

So, when we last left off, our group of weary travelers were in Rome and had finally found a hostel to call home for the next 3 days....or so we thought.

So,we head to Hostel Ivanhoe to check in and arrive to find out that actually have no rooms for us and that he had e-mailed Chelsea (shes the one that made the reservation) and told her, but we knew that was a BIG FAT LIE because we had just come from an I'cafe(group slang for internet cafe).BUT, he was sending us to another hostel that wasnt too far away and just a block from the train station and we were getting the same price etc. and he promised we had rooms there.

Turns out we got the better deal. The hostel was neat and we were in a room with 10 beds, so we were sharing with 4 other people, but we also had free breakfast and free itnernet. The breakfast was tasty, crossiants with chocolate in the middle,cereal, and bread to make toast with jelly and more chocolate spread. Apparantly chocolate is a breakfast item over here.

We found a great place for meal, no clue what it is called but our waiter was from Puetro Rico and we made besties with him and he asked me if I was from Puerto Rico and when I told him my dad was, he pretty much fell in love with us. BUT he kept trying to talk to us in Spanish and I made the most of my four years of Spanish (which consists of knowing the basic sentences and a few choice naughty words) and pretended to know what was going on. BUT, for just 10euros you could get two courses, a pasta then a meat and a side dish. The girls took advantage of this offer. I stuck with my trusty pizza and had a delicious calzone one of the days.

We visited all the city sights during our 2 days there. We walked around the ruins but passed on paying 11euro to go inside the Colesseum(remember we are poor college students!) We went to the Trevi Fountain and threw in a coin and made a wish, and if the legend is true, at somepoint in my life I will return to that fountain.

Saturday morning we caught our 11 o clock train to Florence. It was a nice break from having to hassle with airport security and go through ticket lines and making sure I had no liquids and etc.

We arrived in Florence and had finally caught on to booking ahead, SO we already had a hostel waiting for us. This time we were staying at a place called "Camping Michelangelo" Which has a great view of the city and is in an olive tree grove. We're living in glorified tents, a step above the tent in Germany, but a step below the bungalow we had in Venice. They're nice and enlcosed and have locking doors (however, the covering of the tent velcros off the frame,so really the lock is pointless) and a hard floor and NO electricity. But the beds are comfy and its a place to stay. The only downside is the 168 stair (yes I counted) climb we have to make twice a day.

We met up with Emily, another student from Simpson who happened to be in Venice at the same time and walked around the city and had dinner and saw the sights, and it was a pretty calm day.

The next day we walked around the city and paroused the markets and haggled with the illegal street vendors. They're fun to watch. The purse and belt vendors have all their goods displayed on blankets and the sunglass dealers have their goods on cardboard and whenever the police come they just fold everything up and walk away, its a sight to see when it happens.

Today has been the same, just walking around the city seeing the sights and enjoying the markets and of course the gelato.

Our first night we discovered a great place called "Very Good" which has amazing flavors;twix,snickers,nutella and others. Its probably the yummiest I have had so far!!

I think thats about it for our Italian adventures, tomorrow we catch an EARLY train to Milan where we spend the afternoon before heading to Brussels, which is the last leg of our journey.

As much as I have loved seeing everything and living out of a backpack wearing the same two pairs of jeans and 4 t'shirts for the last week and few odd days, I'm ready to go back to London and have a choice of outfits,kitchen to cook in and good solid bed.

I would like to give a couple shout outs in this blog.


HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY to my baby sister Maddy, who turned 13 yesterday!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my loyal blog readers Sally!!

Hope all is well in your lives!