artyartie: (general-londoncalling)
Anyone completely ignorant on Bonfire Night, coming up to the crowds at Blackheath, might have come up with that conclusion, given the unifying feature of the crowd was the number of lightsabers being wielded by overeager children. But K, her mom, M, and [ profile] spacemonkey_27 and I had a great time (the fireworks were awesome, and over half the songs were John Williams film pieces), though the latter, having followed me up a hike alongside the massive grounds of the Royal Park, is probably never going to want to go anywhere with me again!

And next week we get fireworks again for the Lord Mayor's Show - yay! That'll be a welcome diversion after another day at Kew - the guards, if they knew my name, would all know me by name. It's sweet and just a little sad.
artyartie: (o'brian-idlepaintedship)
I don't know how many e-mails I've titled "Long Overdue Update," and when I really think of it, this really isn't that overdue, just "a bit tardy."

My nana is doing well, though I know she wants to be completely better soon. She hates being a burden on other people, even if it's a perceived burden, but like, oh, all of us have told her, we just want to be sure she's safe on her own. Realistically, I know I can probably only stay for two more weeks from Friday, as I do need to get home before I leave. But we have fairly good days up here - we make coffee and read the paper, do a puzzle on the patio, watch TV or rest in the afternoon, and I try to get in a walk after Jeopardy. My Nana and I are Jeopardy freaks. :) A new Asian supermarket just opened up, within ten minutes walking, and it's absolutely wonderful - I can buy cheap produce and seafood, so the quality of our meals should go up. Last night, I made an oven-fried red snapper that came out very tasty, even if I couldn't make it with the side dishes I wanted, namely red potatoes and broccoli.

Today I got a day off with my dad, and we finally, finally got to return to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, which we had visited 22 years ago. It's still just as wonderful, and we honestly had just as much fun as we did when I was five. After lingering for quite a while, playing with all the exhibits (and munching on organic popcorn), we walked around the faux ruins in the Palace of Fine Arts and took lots of pictures. Afterwards, we stopped at Boudin's to pick up some sourdough (because leaving the City without a loaf of sourdough is against some sort of law), and then stopped at Fog City diner for dinner. I ordered pot roast with a cabernet sauce over mashed potatoes, and the first bite was pure foodgasm, though it was so filling we didn't even get to sample dessert.

Tomorrow my mom is here, and doesn't leave until the afternoon, so we may try to get out with her. And as of this Friday, I have four weeks until departure, which is both exhilarating and terrifying. It's making my brain go into hyperactive procrastinating mode, which is the last thing I need, since I want to be as prepared as possible before I arrive. I just need to structure my time a bit, and unhook the DSL when I need to, as wonderful as it is to have it. Last year I managed to become decently productive while watching a Netflixed show in the background - maybe that's worth another try. Lately, BSG is just gobbling up my soul, and I've found a great British comedy, Black Books, that I think many of you would enjoy.

Anyway, that's the most relevant updates - hope everyone's doing well, and happy beginning of term to all of you starting class tomorrow!

artyartie: (buffyangel-buffystudygirl)
Last night, my sister, cousin and I spent the night at my dad's (technically my sister's dad - we have a lot of remarriage in my family so it's a bit complicated), in the town where we lived for a few years with my maternal grandparents, Simi Valley. I usually don't care for suburbs, but with this connection, I've always held a special love for it - and while this hometown has gone to pot (as I told my cousin, at least we haven't had any shootings within a five-block radius since I got here), Simi Valley has stayed rather beautiful.

And it's added some fun places to shop.

We trekked to the new outdoor mall, via the bus, and after testing a Tempur Pedic matress and looking in Anthropology, I wished I was going into a field that had a little more money. But I did buy one very practical purchase - an international adapter for my MacBook charger thingy. It's a small purchase, but it makes me excited, just buying it.

Speaking of the British Isles, on Sunday I could say I was perhaps vaguely within the proximity of Ioan Gruffudd - we might not have seen him while we were at Universal Studios, but hey, I was standing where he might have stood a few hours later! But we had a great time - there were no lines, and we tried a new 'ride' of sorts - it's a haunted movie set walk through where people hide in the dark and jump out at you. At one point, we were screaming just because the people in front of us were screaming. But my sister did nearly beat the crap out of some mummy who leaped out at her. Those people must take a bruising.

Tomorrow we're headed to my nana's - I'm bringing my Scrabble board and my insanely difficult reading with me - it's legal theory, and some of it is rather dense and time-consuming to navigate. My update for this week is going to kind of suck - I'll only have two books and one article read, but I have some strong thoughts on an alternative research question - one with more sources than my primary question, sadly. My advisor is away until the end of the month, so I hope by then to have quite a bit more done. The process of the worth ethic continues.
artyartie: (general-londoncalling)
I am such a dork. I'm watching Scoop (where is Hugh already!) and there's a scene with dead people on a boat and my first reaction was "yay, maritime symbolism of life-to-death transitions!"

Today I took the first step toward finding a small part-time job here. Barnes and Noble is taking applications, as is a small little gift shop. While part of me doesn't relish working retail for two months, it is only two months, it will keep me occupied, and it will be money for London. All valuable causes and worthy motivations.

The Palmdale bus system, however, leaves much to be desired. The time schedules aren't so much schedules as vague guidelines as to when the bus will show up. But that's what the iPod is for - and a paper journal. [ profile] shadow_and_veil, thank you for that tip!

Perhaps it's just summer, but lately I've had cravings for lemonade. Sweet and tart, ice cold, redolent of fresh lemons, not powder. What you would drink on long sea voyages, even without rum, to keep away scurvy. It seems the thing, thinking of the journey ahead, even if the maps are much clearer, and thanks to immigration regulations, no chance of being stranded. But less than four months away from departure, it feels like I should be preparing the cargo, stowing the vittles. And thus the longing for lemonade.

Speaking of voyages, [ profile] esteven, I got your lovely postcard. Thank you so much!


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