18th Century British History

During my year here I've been studying extensively on 18th century British history. And when i mean extensively, i mean i can tell you about their trade, their growth in provincial towns, literature, and even sexuality. Glorious Revolutions, Reformation Acts, East India Company, Lady Montague, Emma Donaghue, ... etc. The people during this time period were powerful thinkers, had new ideas, romanticized over love, and did nothing with their spare time except read if you were apart of the genteel or the elite. Women were considered sexual beings who needed to have sex in order to balance their wet and cold fluids. Men were throwing away inhibitions and sodomizing with each other in St. James Park. Masquerades were huge, hair was even bigger, and shopping became a habit. London was the place to be in all of the world unless you needed some rest and relaxation then Bath and Tunsbridge Wells provided your pampering needs. Times were good, if you had the money.

Unfortunately, i have an exam on all of this useless information tomorrow afternoon and i'm not quite sure if i'm just about ready for all it. I want to say that I will be able to tackle this exam tomorrow but i must keep studying to figure it all out.



Just because I'm in England doesn't mean that tea has been my staple drink of choice. But, i can't deny the joy that i've found in drinking tea with a little bit of milk. What especially made me fall in love with English tea was when I went to Hampton Court Palace with Debbie and had English tea with scones, clotted cream (don't ask me what this is), and jam. WOW. Sounds really stupidly simply but the scones were perfectly baked and the clotted cream and jam made the whole situation creamy and fruity at the same time. I guess the closest thing i can relate it to is when we eat cream cheese with strawberry jam. yum.

So Whittards is a pleasant tea store chain that dominates all of London and other towns. They have the strangest sounding teas as well as all your conventional teas. The best thing though is that their line of green teas is incredible. Having bought a line of peach green tea and mango green tea, regular green tea sounds so boring! But of course i still love my rooted green tea with brown rice. Whittards also has these great powdered teas that Christine has fallen in love with that are sweet but still have the essence of tea behind it all. Mulled wine still one of my favorites. Some legit tea from Whittards is the way to go.



For those of you who know me pretty well know that i have certain tv shows that i cannot live without. Those being Project Runway, Grey's Anatomy, and many shows on Food Network. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), when I came to England I was left without a telly and any real connection with the television industry. But eventually, though i had wept for weeks from the pure absence of the blur of the tv, i was struck with "luck" when the writers went on strike. With that, the American TV industry was full stop, with a few exceptions, and I didn't have weekly tastings to look forward to. Then I stepped into Skins.

People always say that American TV shows have been blowing up the scene, especially with shows like Lost, 24, Prison Break, House, Grey's... etc. But Skins brought me back from the grandeur of adult shows back to teenage shows. MTV has definitely disappeared from me since i've been here so it was definitely bizzare watching a show that didn't involve people who were younger than 25. Skins is your typical teenage show. You've got your jock, the hottie, the druggie, the anorexic, the dork, the gay guy, the wangsta, the stalker, and the talent who all have serious family and internal issues. But even though people don't believe that this show is all that great, i love it. Just because it throws me back to teenage angst shows that we used to watch back when Dawson's Creek, Roswell, One Tree Hill, and Popular. Except, England does it right when they don't displace all the cursing, drugs, and sex. Well season 2 is over, and that may be the end of the journey for the show. Well played.



No, I'm not talking about that great surfer brand that accommodates for all them gorgeously fit blonde haired surfers of California but in fact i'm talking about the chain of pubs that exist in London and probably other parts of England. Unfortunately, I can only claim to have seen them in London alone. Last night I ventured out with Bruna, Ms. Thang, Sara, and Natalie to the Picadilly Circus O'Neils, promising a good time. Let me first clarify that I'm exceedingly wary of places like O'Neils because it attracts the greats of America and more American students to come together and dance to covers of American music. And to my great surprise, there was no surprise.

We were greeted by an obtrusively large bouncer who hackled at us for being Americans via looking at our IDs. We make it to the top floor, aside from the toilets, to the Music Room, blasted by the slightly techno slightly not music, small dance floor and smaller stage. I order myself a lager top (beer topped with some Sprite) and wash down my negativity. What a good time I had! Lo and behold the places gets packed by midnight and the band goes on and plays their own versions of Foo Fighters, A-Ha, Cee-lo, Sum 41, Greenday, Queen and so on. We all have a great time dancing with the other crazy Americans, avoid the creepy Spanish creeper who grabs my hand when i'm throwing up my gang signs, talk with old balding men, and deplete at the sight of scruffy boys. But it gets better, the night ends with curry fries. oh, yes.


A4 Paper

"Why is this paper so long?"

When I first received my letter of acceptance to Royal Holloway it was on this gorgeous piece of A4 cardboard with an official seal and the whole bit. But after the excitement of me being accepted the first question that came in to mind was "Why is this paper so long?" To my pleasant surprise, the US uses tiny pieces of paper compared to the legal pad of the UK. It not like it makes that much of a difference, but there is definitely one when you're comparing the two sheets. The US for once fails to be larger, greater, bigger in products than the English in this sense. What wimpy 8.5/11 sheets. What does it say about England though? It says that they are regal and need exceedingly long pieces of paper with only two holes to put in a binder. There came my second surprise, the size of the paper is long but the holes to hold all your papers in a folder are nothing but these two inadequate holes. You would think that with something that is so big you'd have more than just two holes to hold your incredibly large pieces of paper. Was very wrong. But the great thing about this paper is that it feels like it goes on forever. I was writing notes for my British Democracy class and all i could think was "Omg. This paper is so long." what a feat.



Today, I went down to Egham after some studying at Bedford to watch my Ben get groomed at McBarbers and then grab some groceries at Tesco. I realized after walking around the Tesco (Metro to be exact) how much i've actually grown to enjoy the shopping trips i missed so much doing back at home. In so many ways Tesco is completely inadequate and deficient when providing certain foods but in so many other ways its has whatever you need. Let me elaborate. In aisle 5 you'll find a wide selection of birthday cards to buy for your great aunt who's turning 40 again, diapers, a romantic comedy DVD for your viewing pleasure, annddddd a tv and dvd player to watch them on. Whats great is that Tesco will not only provide you with the entertainment aspect part of your life, it will also connect you to the rest of the world, protect you from danger, spare you some money when you're children need education, and a carton of 6 free range eggs. Seriously, Tesco has its own like to broadband, mobile phone connection, car insurance, and loans. You can't go wrong with this place! Not only that Ben and I were able to grab some wholesome organic spinach and carrots to make sure our stomachs aren't being infested with bizarre chemicals that nobody can pronounce. If Tesco Metro has this much stuff can you even imagine what Tesco HomePlus offers? But of all the things that this wonderful bazaar of delicious jaffa cakes and tabloids provides, it doesn't have tofu. uh, what? In any case, after spending a sumptuous £9.44 on various produce, fruits, hummous, pitta bread (english spellings), cereal, and juice, we ran to the bus stop to catch a bus for our long journey home.



Being a student here for the last however many months since September has made me realize how much i hate and would hate being a student here. Don't get me wrong, i love this school and the people that i've met here but the academic process which they go by is absolutely ridiculous. I know that not everything is the same wherever you're from but who goes about spending their entire easter vacation solely studying for things that you learned back in september and then some? I don't suppose that the UC Irvine system of testing after every quarter helps us with our acne, stress levls, or reproductive organs but its well worth it when your finals are done and your break is literally stress free. I don't really enjoy this idea that i walked around the procession to the Colloseum whilst thinking about whether a liberal democratic constitution will ever be in place for Britain. I've spent all my breaks here with the conception and burden of more terrible things to come. Yes i know that my break was 5 weeks long, but what good is a break when it isn't really relaxing but much more intensive work? Do academic leaders and teachers realize the stress that students have to go through nowadays?


back to more work.



Its the middle of April basically and all i see outside my window right now is a bunch of rain. the sun will peak from here and there but the main stance seems to be that it will rain continuously. . .

Since i have been here i have no idea why but i've become incredible obsessed with checking the weather in various parts of the world. its not like i don't like being here... i just want to be outside and this rain isn't letting me.


listening to sean's podcast.



The funny thing about me is that i love to study at libraries. But thats not the funny part. The funny thing is that i really enjoy studying at libraries but i vehemently hate the noise. Especially the noise coming from a group of 4 Chinese exchange students who can't stop talking. I understand the exceptional chit chat from a passerby-er but if you're going to keep talking... why not just go downstairs where you can talk? i think i'm just venting from the work i'm not getting done here myself.

The thing is that when i was actually not studying the first two weeks while i was away at barcelona and rome, i desperately wanted to get studying and cracking into these amazing mid 18th century books. unfortunately, the moment i landed into heathrow again and saw that i had a mound of work to attack... i didn't want to do it anymore. and now being in the library... i don't want to do it at all.


back to work.