Sunday, January 29, 2012


Here are some things:
-I have vivid memories of my AP European History teacher telling us to never, ever use the word "things." Oops.
-Speaking of AP Euro, in class one day, we had a sub (who was really hot, but that's beside the point) and he told us it was a work day, and there should be no talking. After a while, one of the more obnoxious guys in class started chatting with one of his obnoxious friends. This really pissed off my friend, who wanted to actually do work, so she started telling him off... in Mandarin Chinese. Both she and the guy in question speak it fluently, and they just went back and forth for a while, with the rest of us amused and perplexed. This led the sub to say, "Well, definitely no talking in languages I don't understand."
-Initially growing up in a Congregational Church, I learned one version of the Lord's Prayer, and then continued to say that version alone, to myself when we moved and went to a Lutheran Church. When I was confirmed in that church, I finally switched over to that version of the prayer. However, I attended a wedding the other day in a congregational church, and then had to once again say a different version silently to myself. I just cannot win apparently.
Oh man. Christianity problems.
-The band One Direction is a fairly big deal on Tumblr, so I finally decided to check them out. I should have realized the flaw in this from the start, because, as I am fully aware of, I have a notriously embarrassing taste in music. So as soon as the prepubescent little fellows started singing on my screen, I start internally rocking out. That crap is catchy as fricken anything. But I can't admit that to anyone.
Also, their videos are gold. In one, they ride on the roof of a double-decker bus (because they're British, even though you can't tell, which I feel is a problem. If you're English, let those accents out there. Geez.) through London, so of course that was fabulous. In another, they're out in the woods, and there's a definite Camp Rock thing going on there.
They're also adorable. Not in the way I usually mean, but in a "Aww I'm going to pinch your cheek, pat your head, give you a cookie and send you on your way, you little scamp."
-In one of my class notebooks, I started writing song lyrics in the margin (a common practice of mine when lecture is boring, which admitedly is most of the time) without realizing I'd already drawn a dalek farther down the page last week. So I just worked around it. But now there are lyrics to a sappy love song around the dalek, making it look like the homicidal alien is singing the words to the song about love and loss.
-I have no idea what band is playing on my itunes right now. Oh, wait, it's Metro Station. Whatever, they all sound the same.
-I follow Nick Jonas on Twitter and I have no idea why. I have absolutely no memory of ever thinking it would be a good idea to follow him.
These were some things.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How I Met "Those Guys"

Exactly a year ago today my friend Emily and I met those British guys I've written about quite a bit before, and because I'm a sack of sentimentality I thought I'd mark the occasion by telling the story of that day. Over the past year, I've had to field the question, "Oh, how'd you meet them?" from many, many people when they find out I met authentic, genuine British people. And frankly, while it is one of my favorite stories, it is also fairly lengthy (at least the way I tell it), so I want to just get it out once and for all. So now, if anyone asks me that question, I can snort in derision, say "You so obviously do NOT read my blog," and walk away in a huff.

The day my school group left for London, we were all sitting in JFK waiting to board the plane, Emily saw me reading Mockingjay and we began a conversation. She brought up that she knew a YouTube gathering was going on in the city the following Saturday, and I invited myself along. From pretty much that point, the two of us were kind of attached at the hip, so much so that people in our program thought we were friends prior to the trip, but that's neither here nor there.
So the following Saturday, our first real free day there, Emily and I met up to head over to the gathering location, near the London Eye. Of course, we were still new to the city, so we took two different bus routes to get there, and that method meant it took us about an hour to get there. A little later, we would figure out the convenience of the Tube, and were able to get to the same location in about ten to fifteen minutes, so that's a tad embarrassing. We arrived at the location, which is called a "park" but is really just an expanse of grass by the Eye, at the right time, but the thing about these gatherings is you don't really know what the people you're meeting look like. Or we didn't, at least. So we spent the next hour wandering around the area, looking for internet-y looking people. There is a stretch of sidewalk by this park that is a common place for street performers and those weird people who pretend to be statues (which I have SO MANY problems with). Because it was Saturday, it was really busy, and while Emily and I were caught up in the homeless magicians, Statues of Liberty, and tourists, I ended up giving ten pounds to an old lady "for the children" aka "for the crack addiction."

After an hour of aimless and unsuccessful wandering, we eventually spotted a group of 15-25 year olds that looked promising. Now, true to form, I was too intimidated to go up to them, because we still didn't know for sure they were the right people, and you can't just go up to strangers and ask, "Hey, are you from the internet?" But that's pretty much exactly what Emily did, adding on a, "Hi! We're American!" for good measure. The next hour was spent avoiding akward silences and bonding with the guys and the occassional other person who would amble over from the other group that had collected there. One of these was a young girl from Ireland who, very loudly, shared with everyone a mark from where a guy had bitten her. About this she said, "Don't worry, though. I bit him too. I kind of have a thing for that."
I was extremely uncomfortable.

After that the whole group decided to move en mass to the the nearby Waterloo train station to grab something to eat. On the way over, Emily and I tried to work out which guy was which (I think for the first few hours I was convinced Greg was Josh) and asked them the in-retrospect possibly stupid question of if this Waterloo was THE Waterloo. After some discussion and a group decision that it wasn't, the five of us left the big group to go to the station's Starbucks because Emily was cold and wanted a hot drink. After realizing the cafe was in an open-air part of the station and hence almost as chilly as outside, we sat and bonded some more anyway. As I went to check that I still had the American money with me just in case, Greg insisted I show it to Josh, who had never been out of the country. As he stared at my country's currency he said, "Wow, it really is green."
Yes, Josh. Yes it is.

We then met back up with the others long enough for everyone to decide to just disperse for the day, and the guys then took us across the street to a pub, mine and Emily's first in England.
zwwzwwwwppwwwzzzzz- that's me fast-forwarding through some embarassing moments you don't need to know about.
We bonded, it was a good time, people broke out smart phones and friended other people on Facebook. After taking another retrospectively-embarassing long time figuring out how to get back to our flats, we finally left.
We then saw them about once a week for the next four months, until we flew back to America. And that makes the comment Ben made on Facebook that first night, that "we should hang out one more time again before you guys leave" slightly hilarious.
Now, we all know I hate emotion, so I'll just say they're cool people and it's possible I miss them and I suppose I don't not love them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let It Not Snow, Ever

It's now well into January, and this winter season has only seen one decent snowstorm, and that was back in October. I'm conflicted on how I feel about this, because at my best I tolerate snow. While I appreciate the beauty of a white Christmas, I've had enough white Easters back in Minnesota that I can do with a few holidays remaining snowless. Still, in the spirit of seasonal cheer, I thought I'd share some snow-themed anecdotes, because isn't that just adorable.

-One weekend afternoon during my senior year of high school, my best friend and I were out about town, adventuring, as was usually the case that year. On this particular day, she needed to prepare for and complete a photo shoot she needed to do for her Photography class, using me as a model. Don't be too impressed, I was in jeans and a sweatshirt.

Weirdly enough, I'm actually wearing that same sweatshirt right now. I didn't even plan that.

The spot where she wanted to shoot was at a local park. Now, it had snowed quite a bit the night before, as it does in the Midwest seven months out of the year. While the streets had of course already been cleared by the well-practiced Minnesotan plows, the park's parking lot had not been. I don't know what I was thinking, or if I was just outrageously over-confident, but I thought my little car could manage to drive over the drift by the entrance and just park on the snow, no problem. This was sadly not actually the case.

My car ended up being completely and totally stuck in the snow. To add to the ridiculousness of this situation, my friend and I quickly discovered someone else was in the area taking pictures. He, however, was taking pictures of us. So that was a bit unnerving. After laughing at my stupidity for longer than I'm proud of, I decided to call my friend, who lived close by, to come meet us with a shovel. After no doubt rolling his eyes in a "Why am I not even surprised Sara did this" kind of way, he came and, with the aid of some helpful passers-by dug me out of the snow. Following this, I easily parked in the completely clear parking lot of the church next to the park.

-A few years before that incident, when I was 15, I was just learning to drive. One afternoon, my dad let me drive home from somewhere, presumably somewhere close to our house. My sense of direction didn't really develop until I was driving myself places and so it absolutely needed to if I was going to survive. While this car was not brand new at this point, it was definitely closer to new than not. And on this particular afternoon it was snowing quite fiercely, and the plows had not gotten to all the streets yet. I, quite understandably I think, took the easiest route home (there were about twelve), which involved one quite long, windy, hilly road. Between driving my dad's car and the snow falling heavily, I was close to a heart attack already. Then I reached a rather steep upward length of road, and needed to really step on the gas to make it up. When the road leveled out, I started spinning out. For those of you who don't drive, or only drive in sub-Saharan places where snow doesn't fall, you will never know the intense panic that accompanies driving a sliding car on snow. To my young heart, this was truly the end. While I did my best to not actually die, and recovered quite well, the car did end up partially in a snowbank, a few feet from a tree, to top it all off.
And what was my dad doing while all of this was happening and I was fearing for my life?
The jerk was just sitting in the passenger seat, laughing his head off.

-Around that same time, my sister was looking for possible colleges that would most help her succeed in the theater business. (HA that was joke. "Succeed in theater." LAWL. As if.) One of the schools she was looking into was in the city of Chicago, and one weekend in the winter my sister, mom, and I took a trip down there so she could see the school and interview for acceptance. While my sister was presenting her portfolio to what I can only assume was a group of people wearing various colors of berets, my mom and I went searching for a Dunkin Donuts we knew was nearby. This was another instance where it had just snowed the night before, and I was not prepared for this. I thought I would be fine trudging through blocks and blocks of snowy Chicago wearing thin socks and thinner canvas shoes. After three streets, I was uncomfortable. After ten streets, I was cold. After fifteen, I was angry with everything. After twenty, I lost the ability to feel, both physically and emotionally. By the time we arrived at the Dunkin Donuts, my feet were soaked as if I had just dunked them in a pool of ice water, and then kept them in there for ten minutes, for some reason. I immediately sat down at a table, and in full view of the other customers, proceeded to take off my shoes and socks and massage my bare feet in public.
Another strong moment for me.

Snow's ok, I guess. But it can also be kind of a dick.