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Monday, December 29, 2003
QOTD
 
"Take the round squarey things off" -Philippa

"I wanna be a slut, but I'm afraid it will be too cold" -Anna

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Thursday, December 25, 2003
Happy Christmas
 
Cause thats what they say here- none of that Merry business. Spending a wonderful day with Philippa's family with a quick break to check email and post on here. Lots going on now with life and I don't have the time now to write about it on here, but everything will get done and things will get better. Happy Hanukkah as well to all my fellow Jews, even if noone around here is celebrating it. Really weird is the lack of lights on houses here- there are only a couple that I've seen in my entire time who decorated anything on the outside- just a cultural difference i guess. Time to go eat duck and goose and yorkshire puddings and stuffing and all those British Christmas things.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2003
I dont get lesbians
 
Title is Phil's, content is mine- Im at Philippa's parents house now, on a slow little 56K- but its enough for a few words on here. Been here for a week now, done lots of clubbing locally and in London, and I'll get to the sightseeing bits after Christmas- don't worry, I'll see it all and be sure to bring back a little brass sculpture of Big Ben. And yea, so more details on all that will come later as my time is limited now, but anyone who hasn't heard yet should know that Im most likely going to be going to the University of New South Wales starting in March for a grad program in Biomedical Engineering- I found out that I got in last night. So Australia here I come. More info about that and Christmas in England is sure to follow.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003
Academic Use Only
 
That's all this computer is apparently authorized for, so at some point in this little discourse I'll have to make it sound all academicy. Got into Philippa's yestarday morning after leaving Anna's early in the morning due to her housemates not liking the idea of anyone staying with them. One long bus ride and two trains later I was here in hemel hempstead. A bit of shopping in the surrounding town- a few gifts here and there and the creation of an elf costume for me, followed by a few hours in the pub where Phil works, the Three Blackbirds. Got home and watched 'Better than Chocolate' and got to bed at a ridiculously late hour considering we had to get up at 8 am so she could get to college. Sat in on the first half of her leisure lecture, grabbed a bite to eat at the break point and decided not to return and rather to spend a little time on here catching up on the news, blogs and email. The plan now is to go paintballing this afternoon, although with the frigid weather and icy conditions its probably not the wisest idea.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003
A bit of a dream, back in a flash
 
Ok, so just went to check on whether a book that I saw here is available in the US, and had one of those woo-woo moments where you know a dream occured about something similar. In this case it wasn't exactly the same, but anyway, here it goes- in the dream when you go onto your little gold box on amazon, if you had spent more than 250 dollars in the past 3 months at amazon you got 50 things to chose from instead of the normal 10. Thats it- no relevance to anything else I can think of, and thats all that flashed back, but it did so powerfully. Am I the only one smiling at this point?

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The Library
 
For the amount of time I was in Northwestern Library, I shouldn't ever be able to go into another Universities lest I start to nearly rival that number. Now whether this will ever get post or not Im not sure cause these computers are not the most reliable and the screen looks stranger than I've ever seen it before (the fact that their is only a single line for the main body of the entry is a pretty good clue that something is wrong. Regardless, I am here in Roehampton's Surrey University borrowing Anna's account to make some much needed contact with the world. Of course, the fact that I can't get onto a messenging service isn't making things much easier (and did I really call it a messenging service, dork) but emails and BB-type messages and a post on here will have to do for now. So yestarday was my first time in proper London, riding a multitude of buses and tube lines to get in there. Did some normalish touristy stuff, like walking down Oxford St., and seeing the lights, and felt like a right tourist when I did looking at stores and such and not people, but since I am a tourist I guess thats not too bad. Ended up doing a bunch of normal things as well though, just walking around artsy type sections of town with Anna, and ending up going to see Blood Brothers, a musical, after finding out that The Lion King doesn't have a show on Mondays (good thing too cause Blood Brothers was great). Then we had milkshakes at Ed's, a local diner type place where we had to get them take-away, cause they were kinda busy, but they did have the most wonderful flavor of 'Canadian Mountie' which was basically peanut butter in a black and white milkshake which was quite yummy. Then we got home, I read some of 'House of Leaves', an interesting thriller type novel that I'm sure I will get through quickly (cause I have to if I want to read it all and not take it away from Anna). And now I'm looking at a quite beautiful sunset through the window, which is quite sad at 3:55, but such is the middle of December. Only a few more days till the days are getting longer again, and SAD will begin its slow retreat from the faces of way too many people across the Northern Hemisphere. Sappy much?

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Friday, December 12, 2003
Shotglasses
 
A travel tip for those of you traveling to Bournemouth: don't expect to find a shotglass with the city's name on it. I found this out the hard way as Justin and I traipsed through town with that single goal in mind. We walked from his flat all the way to the end of the commercial district which is a good 30-40 minute walk, without any luck. The few stores that might have carried them all said they had never seen one with Bournemouth on it, and each suggested others, all to no avail. So then we went down towards the pier, which entailed walking through a park where they have the Bournemouth eye, basically a big hot air balloon type thing which you can pay to go up in and get a pretty view of everywhere around. The park was all decorated for Christmas already so it was nice to see all the lights everywhere as well. Then we got to the pier, looked in the one shop still open that contained touristy stuff but still didnt have one, and then decided to walk home along the beach. The beach starts out level to the road that runs alongside it, but by the time we had gone a mile down the beach, the road was now a few hundred feet up, so we had to climb up a series of switchbacks to make our way to the top. They were paved of course, and a normal path, but it was still a pretty steep climb. Then we made it back home just in time to get ready to go out to the Old Firestation for our 3rd time this week. We got there at quarter to 7, which was way early and it was kind of dead for an hour or so, but getting there early meant no cover which was nice. So a few drinks later the party got started and after a while of bad music they broke out the cheesy pop and we all started dancing. We stayed till about 11ish, came home and watched the first two American Pie films while getting our fill of grease laden foods from the freezer. And now its time to sleep for my last time in Bournemouth.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Googlewhack
 
After reading a book that Justin got for free about Googlewhacking I decided to give it a try. For those that don't know a googlewhack is when the search result of 2 single words in google returns exactly one result. There are several rules however: both words must me real words, and found in dictionary.com's reference library, and the resulting page can not be a word list of any sort. Sounds easy enough so I gave it a try. After a few frustrating 2 page hits I eventually stumbled on one (and then another 3 in the following short while). Having found 4 googlewhacks, I decided to write to them and see what they thought of their newfound status. Only 3 of the 4 were contactable due to the 4th being a website for male fertility with no obvious contact. As of right now I have gotten a response from one of my whacks, a Dave Walsh, who also mentioned me here. Still waiting to hear from the other 2. For the record, the four I found were prophylactic/exsanguine, superimposition/blatherskite (which lead to Dave and was inspired by the Duck Tales password for the Gizmo Duck suit to be worn), plangent/tryptophan (which lead to the male fertility site) and antelopes/sousaphone. I know this may ruin them as whacks, but since they are 'mine' I think its alright. Its fun and easy and a good way to kill some time or just plain old procrastinate, so go try it!
Update: Add aclinic/smooch to my list of whacks, although the resultant page is in Korean, so I have no idea who to email to tell them. phantasmagorical/carnet as well. and archaeopteryx/septuplets and slubberdegullion/whiner

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Sunday, December 07, 2003
Goodbye Brighton, Hello Bournemouth
 
Left Brighton this afternoon after a wonderful 5 days with Tash and her family. Anna and Phillipa left in the morning at 8 o' clock so Phil could get back to London to teach little kids to scuba dive, and Anna had to get ready for another performance, so her stay in Birghton was short lived but it was a wonderful 8 hours. When the rest of us got up at a more proper hour we made a breakfast of sausages (beef), chicken goujons, hash browns, and spagetti and beans (yeah, weird I know but it was quite good). Then we headed up to Devils Dyke where we had a bit of a walk to the top of a hill somewhat close to where we parked the car, although it did involve us breaking into a cow pasture via a stile and skirting around what was obviously their watering hole till we could make out ascent. The 1000 foot or so climb was well worth the effort though as we were afforded a breathtaking view of brighton and hove on one side, a small village nestled in the valleys right in front of us and a wide expanse of greenery on our other side. We headed back to the car after taking a couple photos that definitely didn't capture the everpresent chill in the air and headed over to the train station where we found that the train Justin and I had been planning on taking to Bournemouth had been cancelled, so we waited an extra half hour to get one that would get us here eventually. The trains were quite nice with tables between ever 2 sets of seats making conversation much easier and giving plenty of room for leftover birthday cake to be consumed and crossword puzzles to be done. We switched trains at Southhampton Central station, made it to Bournemouth and walked to Justin's house. Had a quick dinner of KFC picked up by one of his mates, and watched Pay it Forward, afterwhich I got to see Sir Patrick Moore's program on comets. He has the distinction of hosting "The Sky at Nights", the longest running BBC TV show out there. Then we got ready for bed, engaged in an interesting discussion of differences between the British and American education systems, crime policies, and ages of consent. And now it's time to catch up on my sleep.

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Saturday, December 06, 2003
An evening on Brighton
 
Played quasar this afternoon with the five of us- me, Tasha, John, Justin and Philippa. Our game time was scheduled for 6 but we got there a little early so we ended up hanging out in a sports and pool facility that had seen better days for half an hour first. Once we went inside Megazone as this one was called we were briefed and then picked up our packs- we were the green team. Of course I managed to get the pack with the faulty gun that needed to be changed twice during the game which was quite frustrating (and also meant that I got off a measly 122 shots the whole 20 minutes). The second game we changed colors and as the mighty yellow team we were completely thrashed by a group of 10 year olds. Of course it was 12 of them against the 5 of us and we didn't come off too bad, but when all of them yelled CHARGE! and bum rushed us there wasn't much we could do at that time. I ended up coming in second place overall- hitting as many of thekids as the total number of shots I'd taken in the first game, a vast improvement. Then we headed back to Tasha's and got showered and read to go out to Creation- a local club in Brighton. We stopped at Wetherspoons, a bar known across England for the low prices of its drinks after a few pitchers of some Reef mixture (a British fruity cocktail of sorts) we went over, got a membership to the club so we could have a 2 pound discount, paid our 6 entrance fee and went in. From there it was downstairs to the cheesey pop rock room where we danced to the greatest hits on both sides of the Atlantic from the 60's 70's and 80's. At around midnight Anna finally arrived on her train from Roehampton after her nightly performance in The Wild Party. (Justin's note: The girl dressed in the nurse costume was amazin') Anyway, we then danced until half one and then went outside to catch a cab. After waiting in the queue for 30 minutes and booing everytime a single person got into one, we eventually caught 2 cabs back to Hove and got ready for a short night sleep with way too many of us cramped into way too few beds.

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Friday, December 05, 2003
England
 
That's where I am. I left Newark on Tuesday evening at 9 something om and arrived early the next morning in Heathrow. After collecting my bags, changing money and making a phone call I headed over to the main bus terminal and waited and waited and waited for a bus to Gatwick. more later...

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