Saturday, February 27, 2010

Apperciation

The rain finally let up today, and Nathan, Jessie, and I were able to walk around downtown for a while. We ran some errands and went shopping and what not. I was happy I finally spent under 5 GBP at Morrison's today!! Yay!

I went to the library and officially got my library card. There library is incredibly big, and they have books in a TON of different languages! They have entirely different libraries for adults and children... and then they have a HUGE media center. It was really cool. I finally got the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I have been wanting to read these books for a really long time so I'm excited that I finally have a chance to!! I'm sad that my bus pass is going to be running out soon :( It was such a good investment! I used it all of the time.

After we went shopping tonight Jessie and I decided to make dinner together. We both have limited cooking skills and we seem to like different things to eat... so we were a little nervous at first about cooking dinner together, BUT our creations together were SO good!!! We bought two steaks for 1.49 and then I made potatoes, and carrots in the oven, and then warmed up some corn. The carrots were AMAZING after we let them sit for a while. We ate some on our plate first and then went back for seconds and they were SO good. We couldn't believe how good they were. And I bought some spices today for like 19 pence a piece... so our potatoes and meat were really good!! We were super excited about it. It was probably the best meal either one of us has had since we've gotten here. We kept talking about how happy were about it all throughout the meal, and Jessie took several pictures of us making the food! I wish I would have now too. Maybe when she puts them up on facebook I'll put them on here so you can see our awesome meal!! :)

I saw that Morrison sells a bag of yams for 2 GBP and I was thinking about getting them and making candy yams. My only problem is that they don't have marshmellows here :( and I'd have to buy a bowl to cook it in along with some sugar. But I'm thinking about just going ahead and doing it. Jessie and I are planning out next meal night haha. It was really exciting. It took me forever to peel all of the carrots and chop up all the potatoes! Phew! It takes a lot of hard work to make a decent meal. But then again I only have a butter knife to work with... so that's kind of limiting. I'm thinking about just buying a better knife, but I feel like I'm not going to be here ALL that much longer, and I think I can make do with the one that I have haha. But chopping potatoes and carrots would be sooo much easier with a legitimate knife. I'm so happy that I've slowly started to accumulate things at home. I never realized how much stuff you in a kitchen. I thankfully have a baking pan, pot, a frying pan, and one small bowl to store stuff in here at my disposal, but it is really difficult not having essential items like a decent knife... or spices, a peeler, a measuring cup, or a toaster... the list just goes on and on! Everytime I go to the store I see this cheap stew kit, and I always think what an awesome idea it would be make a stew, but then I remember that I don't have anything to cook it in! I definitely think that I have a much greater appreciation for a fully stocked kitchen! I was spoiled in Orlando! I'm soo glad that I have accumulated a pot and pan set, storage containers, and other things like that at home! Here I have two plates, one set of silverware, and two cups! It's crazy! I know what I'm asking for Christmas this year!! Haha. I'm already starting to realize how soon I'm going to be living on my own. It seems like it's not going to be very long at all!

I think that is probably one of the greatest challenges of adjusting here. It's just obscure things that I never knew that I needed/depend on until I got here and realized I didn't have it anymore. And it's not only with cooking... It's not having a cell phone that I can use to call home, or having an reliable internet that always like to connects, or having heat in my room at night, and other things like that. I think people take a lot of things for granted at home, or at least I know I did.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lazy Day!

Today has been like the name of this blogs suggests... a lazy day. It was raining out and cold today so I didn't really feel like heading out and doing much of anything. So I hung around my flat for a while, and then I started to feel really bad that I was in Scotland and just sitting in my flat all day. So I started to talk to Jessie and apparently she's done the same thing today. Later on Nathan called us, and was like "So I've sat in my room all day on my computer and I feel like I need some human contact can we hang out?" Haha so I guess the feeling was all around today!!

Jessie and I mapped out all of our trips for the time that we are here today though! So we are starting to get stuff booked, and it's really awesome! I'm glad to have a plan, and to be ready to get stuff booked. It's pretty exciting!! :) Tomorrow I'm running into town and getting my library card and buying some groceries! I am going to have to cook from scratch tomorrow because I'm out of left overs! Hopefully I'll do better this time haha.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Song of the Week

This weeks SOTW was a tough choice. There wasn't really any song that particularly stood out to me with this week until today. This week I finished my paper on Big Brother Societies, and today in class we were discussing it. Britain is the highest monitored area in the world, and to my shock survelliance camera's recognized people and give them tickets for not picking up after their dog. I think this is just crazy!! So after some consideration I decided that the SOTW is Proud to Be an American by Lee Greenwood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65KZIqay4E

Don't get me wrong. I really like it over and I think it's fasninating and very fun... but I am an American. There should be no worries about me falling in love with this area and wanting to stay forever. I like visiting and seeing it, but the good old USA is where I belong. Have a great day bloggers!

Weather Update: Today I put a gadget on my computer that compares the weather here and back home. So in my blogs I'll include what the weather is like here for you to see from now on!! Today it is currently 36 degrees and raining. :( Stupid freezing rain is no fun haha.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Introducing...

So today was an interesting day. I had a couple of classes which were pretty boring, but then I went to the school's library. To my immense displeasure I learned that they only have academic books!!! They don't have books there to read for fun :( So tomorrow I'm going to have to hoof it into town and hope that I find the public library... and then I hope that they give me a library card! We'll see how it goes!

So I want to introduce you to my flatmates, Julia's older sister, and my friend Nathan :) These are people that you probably haven't seen pictures of yet.
Here are the girls and I off at a Japanese restraunt tonight :) It was VERY nice not having to cook after my fiasco yesterday. I'm really glad that I didn't have to eat those left over porkchops tonight haha.
Here are two of my five roommates. The one in the middle is Jeanne she is from France, and the other girl is Kris she is from Switzerland. These are the girls that I hang out with and play cards with every night! They also witness all of my cooking adventures!
Here is Julia, me, and Kris tonight at the watering hole. You can't tell in this picture but we were in a group of about 20-30 people!! It was crazy packed tonight! The funny part was that I recognized everyone!
This is Jeanne and I at the Japanese place. It was a really exciting place. It was a really different set up then any other restraunt I've ever been to! Really cool! You pick your food off of a conveyer belt.
This is Julia and her older sister that is visiting for the week. :)
This is Nathan my guy friend that you've probably heard me mention in my blogs before. Now you can have a face to the name! And yes. He is dressed up like Superman in this picture haha.
I had to throw this one in here! This is Julia taking a picture of me taking a picture of her taking a picture. Yes. Re-read that. You'll understand it haha. :) But yes today was a really fun night, and it was a good girls night out!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday!

That was the post that I meant to make yesterday, but do to my internet not working for most of the day I was unable to post it with the pictures. And I didn't think that the post would be half as good if you couldn't see the ice for yourself... so I decided to hold off and wait until the internet started working again to post.

That means you are getting two posts today to make up for the lack of a post yesterday! Woohoo! Last night Jessie, Nathan, and I went to see The Lovely Bones. It was a super sad movie, and it kind of creeped us out. After the movie we were walking to catch the last bus of the night, and the bus came 5 minutes early and it was JUST pulling off when we walked onto the street so there was no catching it. We were all like ohhh great... walking home in the dark that's exactly what I want to do after watching that movie. Jessie and I were really glad that Nathan was with us haha. Even though he said he wouldn't protect us if a creepy guy came up haha but we figured him just being there would keep creepy guys away.

As we were walking this old guy actually did come up to us, and he was like would you girls like an all day bus pass, and Jessie and I were like... ahhh. Jessie actually needed a bus pass (this was on our way to the bus stop) but she was like yeah I don't feel like talking to creepy old men that are trying to lure me over to them right now. Nathan and I were both like yeah... I think I'd just pay for the bus tonight too haha.

We ended up catching a different bus that brought us to the bottom of the hill that our flats are at, so we just had to walk up the hill to make it home so it wasn't too bad. Except that it was so icy that we had to walk on the street.

Speaking of which... my flatmate just informed me that she doesn't want to go to class today because she's been hearing that everyone is falling down today because of the ice. She said that her boyfriend fell down three times in a row and couldn't even get up to walk because of all the ice. So yeah! I wasn't kidding about it being icy here! Apparently enough people complained about falling down the hill at Seaton Park that they actually did throw some salt down it today... why it took people complaining about it for it to happen... I have no clue. I guess they decided it was time to get rid of their entertainment haha.

So since I only have class two days a week, and I have a ton of spare time I'm considering entering in a survey group where they pay you to do surveys online. My only hesitation is that I have to pay $39.99 to join it. If anyone has done anything like this and it has actually paid off please let me know!

Have a great Monday! It's time for me play some cards! :)

Ice Ice Baby

It doesn't snow too often here, but when it does the effects of the snow are felt for a long time, because everything ices over and there is slush everywhere for days! The University gets rid of the ice on most of its main sidewalks on the main campus, but getting onto campus is extremely hard!!!

Okay this is the pathway in Seaton Park. Notice how it's completely clear of ice because it's been salted.
Now here we are getting closer to the giant hill at the top. You have to climb up this hill in order to get to class.

This is the foot of the hill. I swear I see someone wipe out here everyday!!

Yep I only had to stand here for a second! There she went! I'd love to say that on my way down this hill later on in the day that I was super careful and didn't fall down... but NOPE I went down in just about the same area she did! I had almost made it down the hill and I guess I let me guard down. I feel down so hard and I was so taken aback by it. Curse that stupid hill. It got me.


Before you start laughing at me for falling down this is a close up of the ice! If you can see the muddy area on the side that is where I was.


This is a widen up hill view! Can you believe it?? I was so shocked by all of this ice on the hill that I had to take pictures of it! And the part that cracks me up is the flat part leading up to the hill is almost completely dry!

Julia and I have a theory that the reason why the hill isn't salted is because there is a secret camera somewhere catching everyone falling down it. We are looking for the Youtube video "Best of Seaton Park". The day before I took these pictures I watched a guy slide all the way down the hill. He was yelling as he was trying to keep his balance and he almost fell down. He made it to the buttom and kept his balance, and he turned back to his friend and was like "See ya pansy come on down... I made it." And then he promptly fell on his butt. It was really funny, if you'd have been there you know you would have laughed too. But I feel like karma got me the next day when I fell.

This is near the top. I don't know if you can tell but most peope try to walk on the side of the hill off of the path where it's more so just snow, but it's getting super muddy and gross now! But yeah that strategy doesn't always work though, because thats where I was when I fell and I got really muddy because of it :(
This picture was just to give you perspective on how big this hill is... climbing up it will definetely wind you!
Now don't let these seemingly dry treacherous stairs trick you! On our first week here there had been snow, and it was our first time coming through Seaton Park. These stupid stairs totally threw us for a loop, because no one expected stairs to not be salted! So we were just walking casually down them, but within seconds we were all grabbing onto the railing for our lives! Jessie and I both went down along with many other people around us! They were SUPER slippery! I guess they don't worry about lawyers here in Scotland... I know that the sidewalks and pathways in BG would never have ice on them the way there is ice here!
This is the road leading out of Seaton Park that I have to walk down to get ot main campus! Can you tell how it's a PURE sheet of ice?? I give that car props for driving in it so well! It is so hard to walk on ice! My knees have started to hurt everyday from the way that I have to walk arkwardly on the ice. :(

This is the path leading up to my flat. I'm not sure if you can see the brown stuff that they use here or not. It's what they use in replace of salt near my flat. It looks just like dirt to me, and maybe that is what it actually is?? I don't know... but it sucks to have to walk through it! As you can see the ice only melts where the dirt is, but I don't like walking through the dirt! So I end up having to walk on ice anyway! In main campus they actually do use real salt instead of the dirt stuff. I guess this stuff must be cheaper. But I do have to point out that there isn't any ice on main campus, but TONS of ice here!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Great Saturday?

Today I spent most of the day working on my paper. Actually, that's a lie... I spent about 2 hours or so on my paper and procrastinated the rest of the time haha. I went to the library today, and figured out how to find books in the library. It was oddly very complicated. All of the shelves do not go in order. The shelves went 320, 330, 340, 350, 360, 370... and then they stopped. My book was in the 384 section. So I just kind of stood there going errr?? Okay... so I started looking all over the floor searching for the right section. I had to go down to the help desk eventually and they gave me a map of the library. Apparently section 384 is in the midst of the 600 section... go figure.

So yeah, after finding all my sources I came home. I made these chicken meat pies, and by made I mean I turned the oven on and threw them in haha. While I was trying to eat them I not only managed to burn my tongue REALLY badly, but the gravy also managed to burn my fingers too!! Ohh it sucked so bad!

I realized that this country does not like microwavable food. My roommate is amazed that a baked potato can be cooked in the microwave... I've rarely ever seen a baked potato made any other way haha. I'm trying to figure out why I'm having such a hard time cooking here vs when I was in Orlando or even living in Sandusky... and my conclusion is that it has to be not being able to make stuff in the microwave. Chicken nuggets don't even have microwave instructions! I don't get it. Also, in Orlando I had a fully equiped kitchen... I don't even have a spatula here haha.

But yeah today was a kind of boring day... I really didn't do anything too interesting except work on my paper, but it's ALMOST done. I'm going to finish my last point tomorrow. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Song of the Week!

Yes it is that time of the week again! I can't believe how quickly these weeks are flying past. I'm hoping that I will be able to go to some cool places in the upcoming weeks!!! So the song of the week this week is Poker Face by Lady Gaga.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpjERr772RQ

This is the song of the week for a couple of reasons! First of all, when I heard this song in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen! So since then I've been listening to this song quite a bit this week. Also, I have been playing and having tons of fun with cards for the past couple of days. The girls in my flat, Jessie, Julia, and I have been having tons of fun. I'm still waiting for the right moment to teach everyone Back Alley. I feel like it is coming soon! I think this song is really awesome. I really think it's about this girl that has a crush on this guy, but she's trying to play it cool and not let him know it. :) So yes! The song of the week! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In class

Yes today was another class day. I was in my sociology class talking about the media. My teacher was talking about how in American movies British people are always the villians, and I was kinda sitting in class going... eh?? Really? I never noticed that... So we had this debate on it in class, and then determined that prior 9/11 the US villianized British people but now they have shifted their interests into not liking Arab people. I couldn't really debate this too hardly, because I can't really say that I remember much about villians in TV shows before that time. Can anyone else shine some light on this for me? I always thought that British people were seen as romantic interests in most movies and not the villians.

Also in my class we started talking about Disney. Now everyone knows my love of Disney whether it be their parks, their movies, or any other interests that Disney might have... So when my teacher started digging into Disney I was a little bit dismayed. She was talking about how the media defines womens roles, particularly Disney movies, because a lot of them are aimed at young girls. My teacher talked about how Disney doesn't have strong female characters. Like Snow White all she did was happily clean the house and take care of men... and then she needed saving by the prince. Then we talked about the Little Mermaid, and how she can't use her voice to convince the prince she is worthy of him she can only use her face and her body to convince him. And yadda yadda it went on and on. My class was trying desperately to try to come up with a strong classical female character. So yes, my spirits were a little bit down after that class haha. It's very interesting seeing sociology in a British point of view. Today in my lecture for the class (yes I had the class two times today) we talked about how Britian was the highest surveyed country in the world, and that there are cameras everywhere watching people.

We talked about how the government and businesses collects massive amounts of data on people basically to learn what they like, where they go, what they do, how much money they have, what their health is like, and so on... The lecture was talking about how the government collects this data to be able to better control people. It's really interesting, and I'm doing a poor job of explaining how this data helps the government control people, but I'm writing a major essay on it in the next couple of days for class... so if anyones interested in reading more about it let me know and I'll let you read my paper! I think it's going to be really interesting, and of any topic that I could have gotten I'm excited that mine is over this. :)

On a happier note there is another Caliedh tonight and I think I might be going to it. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Differences...

Today was a very nice day in Aberdeen! First I went to the library as I had planned to do, but they didn't have the text book that I wanted for my class. So I had to actually buy a book for one of my classes! I know, it's horrible! The book was only 12.50 though :) which was pretty good I thought. I think it's the only book I'll have to buy for classes. Yippee!! After that I decided to head into the town. The finally stopped today, and it was really pretty out so I thought a trip to the beach was in order! I sat there for an hour or so watching the waves and reading from my newly purchased textbook.

After that I had to figure out how to get back into town, so I started walking towards land marks that I recognized. I was a little bit turned around, because I usually come into Aberdeen from the opposite direction then where I was coming from today, but in the end I found my way back. I ran into Morrison's or the grocery store here and I bought some essential items.

In Scotland and England people always say "cheerio" meaning have a good day/bye/thanks. It gave me a whole new meaning to the cereal Cheerios! With is one of the only types of US cereals they have here! And I was like ohhh wow, I'll never seen Cheerios the same again. Also, the marketing here and the marketing in the United States kind of amazes me. Take Uncle Ben's rice for example. In the US whenever you pick up a package of Uncle Ben's it says right on the label that you can make it in the microwave in 90 seconds, and that's a big marketing point. Well I was shopping today and I saw Uncle Ben's rice on sale, but it didn't say that it could be cooked in 90 seconds. I was a bit perplexed so I picked up the box and sure enough you can make it in the same amount of time they just don't advertise it here. I guess speed is a selling point to American's but not Scottish people?? I don't know... it threw me for a loop today.

I'm excited I'm heading to the photography club tonight with my flatmate Kris! Apparently they teach people how to do photoshop and they have trips just for the purpose of being able to take nice pictures! Woohoo!! You all should know I love taking pictures! Maybe I'll learn something in photoshop this semester and be able to create something cool on here! :) We shall see!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Books, cards, and pizza :)

Well today was a school day! Yes I actually had class, and I came to a horrible realization that I have a BIG paper due on March 1st about whether or not we live in a Big Brother soceity, and I'm pretty excited writing it... or at least as excited as anyone can get about having to write a paper haha. At least it's an interesting topic. It's my major paper in this class, and we are having discussion on it in class today and on Thursday. Tomorrow I'm going to the library to do some excessive reading on the topic.

But today on the other hand I've been doing extensive amounts reading on a book that Julia gave me :) It's called the rule of four and it's pretty excellent! I've been very anti social all day reading this book in all of my breaks. Ironically it's about a couple of guys that devote their life to deciphering a book, and it basically destorys their lives because they spend so much time on it. They become anti-social and lose all of their friends. Tonight my roommates want to have a pizza and card night, and all I want to do is finish the book. The irony isn't lost on me, so I'm putting the book down and hanging out with the girls tonight!! We're making pizza right now, and listening to Rascal Flatts! Yay!

So on that note, I am writing this blog at the dinner table and our pizza is almost done! So there is your quick update for the day!! Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to write more!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rain rain go away!

It looks like I jinxed myself yesterday, because it is absolutely pouring today! The weather has been bad all day long! When I first walked out my flat today I didn't think it was raining too hard (I don't have an umbrella yet) so I was like ohh I'll just walk into Campus, 15-20 mins later I finally got to my destination. I arrived there at the same time as the bus. I was going to the hub today to get tickets to go to Loch Ness next week, but the line was really long so I decided to run a couple of errands first. I delivered my postcards today!!! So all of those that gave me their address should be expecting mail in about a weeks time!

After delivering my postcards I went to the bank hoping that my account would be open today. I turned in my paperwork on Thursday, but at the time I wasn't sure what my phone number was (silly, I know) so the girl was like ohh well... why don't you just come in on Tuesday then it'll be done by then for sure. So I thought that maybe it would be done today. When I asked the woman she looked through some files and she came back to me with a huge frown on her face and was like "You were told me to come tomorrow, so come back then." I was like ohhh snap! I felt like she left out the "You pushy American" part, because she looked mad that I came early. So I kind of ran out of the bank and went to the hub to stand in line for tickets for Loch Ness.

It was about a half an hour later and there were 4 more people in front of me (I recognized the guy that had been in front of me) and when we got up to the desk they told us that they had ran out of tickets and would put us on a waiting list :( Boo. So I wouldn't have gotten a ticket even if I had sat there and waited for a while. So I started talking to the guy that was in front of me and we caught the bus and chatted for a bit.

Now I'm in my room back in my dry pajamas and I'm just going to do some homework and relax for the day. I'm making food right now! And I'm really proud of myself :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Ok so to start off Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! My Valentine's day hasn't been too horrible so far. The girls and I went out to see the movie... Valentine's Day... haha creative title right?? But it was a really cool movie to see on Valentine's Day, but it kinda depressed us all because we were all like awww well that movie kind of sucks because it made us all wish something special would happen to us tonight, but of course nothing has... Jessie did buy me a candy bar today :) Sadly, I'm pretty sure she's the only person besides my mother that has ever gotten me anything on Valentine's Day. So yes, thank you Jessie for making my life complete now. :)

But in all seriousness the movie was really funny, it was better than we expected it to be. The bloppers at the end were probably my favorite part. Taylor Swift's character was really bad, I didn't enjoy her character much... but she did debut a new song in the movie that I liked a lot!! And we can't forget about Taylor Lautner... who is always adorablely cute... I have to say though, I liked him more in New Moon. Both Taylor's had a pretty small role in this movie... besides making out with each in every scene they were in haha. But yes Jacob = Better. But that's a given... so I don't know why I even mentioned it haha.

On the way to the movie it started to rain! And I was amazed! I finally caught the rain! Everytime I walk outside the sidewalks are ALWAYS wet... however I NEVER see it raining! So today was a grand moment for me... I think I might have even literally evilly laughed and said muahahahaha rain I've caught you, because it never fails to amaze me when I walk outside and the sidewalks are constantly wet yet I very rarely ever see it rain.... I've literally never been here a day when the sidewalks were dry! I guess the rain decides to go off in spurts when I'm not around or something...

After the movie we had a GRAND dinner... McDonalds style. I know, be amazed. I actually ate there and only complained a little bit. However, it was probably the most arkward McDonald's experience ever for me, because the girl took my order and then I just kind of stood there... and stood there... and stood there... I counted 15 people get their orders and go off to sit down, and there I was just arkwardly standing there waiting... not quite sure what to do. I know the girl that took my order felt arkward too because we were just kinda standing there smiling arkwardly at each other occasionally giving each other the nod. She even tried talking to me, but she had such thick Scottish accent I couldn't understand her... so I had to lean waaay in, and be like eh? What was that?? She'd repeat herself and I was like errr?? And I'd move in even closer and go one more time. We proceeded on like this until she looked back in the kitchen and was like... So how's that order coming?!?! Haha. I guess the guys in the kitchen forgot that I ordered, because when she said that they put my order in and I got it in about two minutes later... but boy was it the most uncomfortable experience I've had ordering food here haha. And what did I order that was so complicated you ask?? Double hamburger and fries. I know... the no cheese part always throws them off hahaha.

But yes... I'm off to teach the world Back Alley. It is going to be a growing sensation world wide! Have a good Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lightning Thief

So today I went to the movies in town. It cost 5.30 GBP for students to go to the movies here. I went to see the Lightning Thief!!!! I was sooo excited when I saw trailers for this movie, I think I might have even squealed a little bit when I realized what the trailer was for. You see I've read all 5 books in the series so I was really geeked out about going to see it. I was hoping that I would be able to talk some of my friends into going with me, but no one really seemed interested... so I headed into town by myself. I ended up getting there 20-30 mins early, so I took some pictures for your enjoyment!

Here is the poster of Lightning Thief. This movie was really good, and I thought that it followed the book pretty well... but then again I read the book like 5 years ago?? Or maybe even longer. I got the book for free at a library party (Yes. I went to library parties every week in high school haha) I got the book before it even came out to the masses. My cover isn't even the cover that is on all of the regular books. So yeah, I read the book a looong time ago! But I just finished the 5th book right before I came here. :) So I remembered everything... vaguely. So I guess I'm not the BEST expert on how well it follows the books, but it pleased me.
I'm not sure how well you can tell, but this is a picture of Medusa and Percy Jackson. This series is really fun. It's a good combination of new and old, it mixes greek mythology with the modern world which makes an intriuging story that is very easy to follow. I thought there were several really funny parts to the movie. I love how they are hunting for ancient objects, but the song "Poker face" is playing as the background music... that was probably my favorite part of the movie, because it really made me laugh. I can't wait... maybe for the second movie they'll play "I'm on a boat" Hahahaha!! (Get it? He's the son of Posidon... on a boat... ok... ok... bad joke) But anyways... overall I just thought it was really well done. I'm just curious as to how well the movie is going to do. I'm hoping that it's a hit so that they make the rest of the movies. I think that will take a lot though... Percy Jackson isn't quite as catchy of a name as Harry Potter... but they DO have something in common... they both have the same director. Chirstopher Columbus directed the first and second Harry Potter movies... so I'm hoping his new series takes off too, because I think the 5th book would be an AWESOME movie.
I had to take a picture of this ticket, because I thought it really threw me off. When I first walked into the movies I really didn't know where to go to get my ticket. They didn't have a box office. There was no listing of what movies was playing, and no apparent place to buy the tickets. So I kind of wandering around for a while... trying to look cool and nonchanlantly watching where other people went to get their tickets. After some smooth observations I finally realized that you bought your tickets at the concession stand.... which I thought was brillant marketing point of view. That way you get your ticket and then they can easily try to sell you some popcorn and drinks. However, from a logistics point of view I'm pretty shocked by their setup... I'm going to have to remember never to get to the movies late on a Friday night, because I'd suspect it could take FOREVER to get your ticket! Another thing that really shocked me was the woman selling me the ticket had to ask me so many questions!! First of all, the seating is not "first come, first serve" Ohh no they give you the option of paying for a better seat. When I picked the standard ticket (I was a little bit worried where I was going to sit) she then asked me if I'd like to sit in the front, middle, or top. I was like... I'll take the middle. So she gives me my ticket with my row number and seat on it. I looked at the ticket a little bit surprised... I've never had an assigned seat at the movie theatres before. I don't even know how they could enforce it, because there definetely wasn't anyone checking in the theatre (although my movie wasn't very crowded at all).
Notice how crowded the theatre was?? Haha. Granted this was 20-30 mins before the show started, it did end up getting a little more crowded. But I ended up getting a pretty good seat right in the middle :) Yay! The theatre was really nice, and the seats were soooo comfortable! It was probably the most comfortable movie seat I've ever had the pleasure sitting in. The seats don't fold up, and the armrests are really nice!
As you can see a zoomed in picture of armrests. I was very pleased by them that I couldn't resist taking a picture! Right before the movie started my friend Julia showed up... which shocked me completely! I didn't think that she was going to come. I guess she woke up at 1 today, and was like hrmm I guess I'll go catch that 1:50 movie with Mel after all, so she caught the 1:15 bus and made it there right in time for the previews. I was quite shocked to see her, but very pleased none the less, because then I had someone to chat about the movie with afterwards and catch the bus home with. Yay!
But if you haven't seen the Lightning Thief already (which since it just came out today I'm assuming you haven't)... I would recommend going to see it!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Song of the Week

Wow! Is it Thursday already??? It seems like this week has flown by! I can't believe that it's almost been a week since I posted my last "song of the week". This week's song is One and the Same by Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFxnpJkFhAY

I really like this song! Of course it's from a Disney movie! Disney has some really good songs... they have really great lyrics if you listen to them. This song reminds me of a couple of people that I have recently learned that I have a lot in common with, and I think it has an awesome beat! When I was trying to figure out what song I wanted to put up on here for this week I knew that I just had to pick this one! I've listened to it waaay too many times not to... it's definetely the song of the week! No other songs have even come close. So there you have it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beach Day!

Today Julia and I didn't have class so we decided to head down to the beach!! The beach really isn't all that far away from us, and it was a nice day. We hung around the beach for a while, and then we went to Pizza Hut for lunch. I know... very creative, right?? Here we are in Scotland and we decide to go to Pizza Hut, but honestly it was nice for a change. You can only go to new random places that you don't know for so long, until you cave for the cheap brand name food that you're familar with. The Pizza Hut here was nearly as good as the one back home. The pizza tasted about the same, but they didn't have any marinarra sauce to dip the pizza in. :( And they are more of a sit down restraunt here. They also have a large list of desserts! It was pretty shocking. But anyways here are some pictures of our day at the beach!

Here is a view of the city behind us.
I'm not sure if you can see all of the hills from here, but I couldn't help but think of what a great four wheeling area this would be. There are all kinds of little hills, and I'm sure it would be lots of fun.


Here is a view of the beach. As you look down the coast you see tons of these structures in the water. Julia and I weren't 100% sure on what they were or what their purpose is exactly... but we think it has something to do with preventing erosion...??

It was very sunny out today, and the sky was really blue! Very pretty.

Another shot of the beach. If you look you can kind of see the light house in the distance by where all of the clouds are.

There I am!

There is Julia! It was a little bit chiller today, especially near the beach... but the weather really isn't that bad. The sun is already setting later and later each day. When we first got here it was setting around 4:40, and I'm pretty sure that it set more around 5 today. So yay for having more daylight soon!

Ok ok ok... I know! A lot of pictures of the beach! I can't help it. I really like watching waves, and just the ocean in general. It's another one of my "subjects" that are very photogentic!


Here is the last one. You can kind of see down the coast a little bit. You can really see all of the wave breakers in this picture. Julia and I have vowed that we are going to be at the beach sometime this week/weekend during the sunset. So I'm sure I'll have a lot more pictures then! After the beach we ran to Morrison's which is the grocery store in town, and I found apple juice!! Woohoo! A little bit of variety in my life! It sure is going to be nice to get to drink something besides water for a change!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A lack of...

Well after my crazy long post all about London yesterday I'm feeling like my day today has been significantly less interesting. I just went to class and ate dinner basically today. So I think I'll talk about some of the things that Aberdeen lacks...

The first thing that Aberdeen lacks is SNOW! Haha sorry I just had to mention that one! I've gotten reports for a couple of reliable sources that it's snowing really hard back home. I hate to rub it in, but I didn't even wear a jacket today... and our grass is extradonarily green. It really shocks me whenever I walk outside at how green everything here is... I'm not used to anything being green during this time of the year. It's an interesting change. It actually feels a little surreal and weird to me. I'm not really sure why it feels so strange... I guess I've lived through too many Ohio winters to expect anything different.

The second thing Aberdeen lacks is variety. They sell 6 types of drinks. Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Orange Fanta, sparkling water (lemonade), and water. I went inside of a McDonalds the other day and they only had 4 choices of drinks! I was like... WHAT! I can not find any juice here. My roommate from Finland didn't even know what I meant by juice. And the sad part is it's not even REAL coke or sprite or fanta. They don't taste the same at all and are kind of gross! Especially the fanta... it's like carbonated orange juice. Bleh! Ohh what I would give for a nice Gatorade or V8 Fusion right about now!!!

Also they don't have any cookies, cakes, pies, and hardly any candy bars. It's really strange. They have biscuits here. And I don't care what anyone says... a biscuit is not a cookie! Haha! Although I did find a twix buscuit finger candy which is alright hahaha!

They also have about 5 or 6 different types of cereal and chips/crisps here. Luckily for me I really like Cheerios and they happen to have that, but they don't have any type of cereal that would have any sugar in it. And as far as chips go... it's slim pickens! I did get pringles rice infusions sweet BBQ Spare Rib Flavour. It tasted very... interesting. The other chips come in really odd flavors too.

The scary part is my roommate from Finland says that they have more junk food in the UK than they do in her country! And I was like.... whaaat?? Haha! No wonder why Americans are over weight! Jeez! Burger King even has healthy options. They have something called chicken bites, and they are legitmately pretty good. It's just hard to adjust to! You can't believe what kind of cravings you get for things when they are no longer available to you.

I think the only thing this place doesn't lack at all is alcohol! Phew! It's no surprise to me that people in Europe drink a lot! There aren't that many other options, and it's not that much of a difference in price to buy alcohol than a regular pop.

But besides that it's pretty nice here. I have a strange feeling that with all the walking I've been doing and the forced lack of anything with sugar in it I'll probably lose a lot of weight here! Overall it's pretty cool. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

London!

Welcome to London!!! I know that this post is long overdue! It's going to be super long so be prepared to read! Like I said the other day Julia and I realized on Thursday that we were going to have a long weekend this week so within 2 hours we planned our trip to London! We booked our train and hostel first, and then when were in London we figured out how we were going to get back to Aberdeen! We also made a list of places and things we'd like to do in London and we were extremely lucky to get to do everything on our list! Also it was supposed to rain for 10 days straight in London starting on Thursday, but it didn't rain at all!!!! So it was really awesome!





Unknown to many people the city of London is actually only a square mile. The rest is Westminster.

Whenever you enter or leave London you will see a statue of a dragon. Dragons are the symbol of London and they are meant to protect the city from any evil that might enter it.


If you thought I was kidding the other day when I said that it was dangerous for foreigners to cross the road in the UK here is your proof!!! London is a tourist area and therefore they tell you which way to look when you cross the street!



Here it is in the opposite direction! Haha! Thank you London!




Here is one of many pictures I took of Big Ben! I'm not sure why, but it's a very photogentic building! So don't be surprised if you see a couple more of it!




Yep, here I am! In front of Big Ben!


Wintson Churchill. This is known as the cleanest statue in London. This is because Churchill requested that his statue have electricity on his head! That way when pigeons landed on it they would get shocked and fly off. Therefore, not pooping all over it! I knew he was a genius... Also another tidbit about Churchill is that he is the only person to ever be invited to stand on the royal balcony at Buckingham Palace besides someone that was in the royal family.
Westminster Abbey! I actually did not know what this was when we were first walking towards it. For those that are like me and don't know what it is... it's the royal church. It's where a lot of kings and queens have been married and buried. It is full of crypts. It is extremely beautiful! You're not allowed to take any pictures of the inside of it :( which I really wish I could have. In one part of it the ceiling is considered a wonder of the world. It was gorgeous! But here are some zoomed in pictures of the outside so that you can get a feel for all the detail that went into this building!
This is the inside of the arch from the picture above. The stained glass in this church was sooo pretty!! It was very very nice, and I'd recommend seeing it if you ever go to London! It's right next to Big Ben and Parliment.

Here is a little bit more of a zoomed in shot. I progressively zoomed in so that you could see the details of each part of it.
This is the Tower of London. Where a lot of people were kept prisoner, and it is the current location of the Crown Jewels.

This is the part of the Tower of London that holds the crown jewels. When you first walk in there is a chamber full of tall wooden of seats, and each one is craved with the names and ruling dates of all of the past kings and queens of England. The next room is a video of the current queen's cornation. Then as you continue along they have the coronation sword and gown that the queen wore. Then you go down a slow moving conveyer belt, and you can see the past crowns worn by different monarchs. After the crowns you go into another room that holds golden buffet plates and goblets that are used for the after coronation party. They were extremely beautiful! They also have the gold bapatizing "pool" that all royal children are bapatized in.
Another view of the Tower of London.
One with me in it!
There is the Tower Bridge. Which is NOT the London Bridge like most people think. Although it is extradonarily beautiful!
The pictures really don't do it justice. It's super cool to see.

Me on our tour bus! We went with the Big Bus company tours, and I really enjoyed them! They had people stationed at almost all of their stops so that you never got lost or didn't know where a pick up location was, and their Changing of the Guards tour was really really good! But I'll get to that later. Their bus drivers were really interesting as you saw in my post the other day! And they were really fun and informative.
Here is a picture of Big Ben and Parliment from the bus.

This is one of four giant lions that guard a statue! I really liked the lions, and I took a few pictures of them as well!
Here is in my opinion the most beautiful building in London. St. Paul's Cathedral. This church was built by a man named Wren, and this man also designed 52 other churches in London. Just about everywhere you turned you saw a church made by Wren! St. Pauls is definetely known as his masterpiece though. I really wish that I could show you pictures from the inside, because it's really unbelievable. Once you walk into St. Pauls and you look up at the ceiling you just kind of stand there and look up for a really really long time in awe, because all of the pictures on the ceiling are breathtakingly beautiful. They aren't only colorful, but gold surrounds it. It's also a large church! You can walk up to the top of it 1000 stairs, and you get an amazing view of London! Which if you scroll down you will see!
This is just another view from the outside.
And one more just for good measure!
This is me RIGHT after I made the 1000 stair climb to the stop! PHEW! Not the most flattering picture of me ever... but oh well!
Julia and I on top of St. Pauls
The view! My favorite! We were up there right around sunset. The stairs leading up to this view are not for the weak! Because once you start climbing you really have no where to go but up! At times it gets really narrow, and really short. I had to bend down a couple of times because my head was hitting the top of it! Also there are lovely staircases that are see through. By the time I made it down I was pretty dizzy, because the last 300-400 stairs are in a spiral! I know that sounds rough, but there are different levels that you can stop at, and look at the church from different views, and they have benches that you can sit down and look around on. I would definetely recommend it!
This is St. Pauls from the ground looking up. If you look at that little gold piece above you can juuust about see the entrance I climbed out of to stand at.
Here is a zoomed in verison. I was above the dome part. If you look you can see the exit! PHEW! My legs are still feeling the burn from that one!

Big Ben and the London Eye (in the red) all lit up at night!
I love this picture!!!
Actually I really like all of the following pictures! Julia and I almost went home early on Saturday night, because we had had a long day and we were super tired (this is after we climbed St. Pauls, and walked around in a museum) but I was like... hrmm want to get some night pictures? And she was like... ok :) So we went around London getting awesome pictures!
Here is another great picture of the London Eye!
Now this is where our journey really paid off. When we were in Westminster taking the photographs of Big Ben it was quite a hike to Buckingham Palace, and we were very very very close to not going at all. But I really wanted to see it at night. We debated for a long time, and then we finally decided to go. We ended up walking all the way around it, and at first we didn't think it was lit up at all (Westminster Abbey wasn't) so we were pretty sad, and almost turned around... but I saw a bright light in the distance, so I was like... well let's just go up a little ways more, and YAY! We found it! Completely lit up with virtually NO one else around! So we got sweet pictures with no one else in them! And had we not gone that night we wouldn't have gotten any pictures of Buckingham Palace, because when we went to the next day it was at the time of the Changing of the Guards, and people were EVERYWHERE! So if you ever go to London and you want good pictures of Buckingham Palace I would suggest either going really early in the morning or around 8 o clock at night or later.
Another picture of just the palace.

One of the statue in front of the palace.
This is me in front of the gate. I wish that you could see how pretty the door is in this picture. It's iron doors with gold on the top, and the crest is very pretty. Also on top it has the England Lion and the Scotland Unicorn. Oh small tidbit here, Queen Victoria was supposively given a unicorn horn during her reign as Queen, and it is still considered a royal treasure (according to the Harry Potter tour I went on).

One more picture! I have a few more... I just didn't add them in here yet. Facebook is being difficult with me, and it won't let me mass add pictures into an album, so hopefully I'll be able to get them all onto FB eventually.
In front of the National Museum in the morning before my tour of the changing of the guards.
Yes another one by the lion!
This is a picture of the current queen's mother and father. This was during my tour of the changing of the guard. If you ever have a chance to do this I would ABSOLUTELY recommend doing the tour! You learn so much, and you see sooo much more than you would by just standing at Buckingham Palace, but I'll talk about that more in a moment.

This is the horse guard going by on the road on their way to the changing of the guards.

Now this building is where Prince Charles used to live when the Queen Mother was still alive. If any foriegn king, queen, prime minister, or president came to visit London this is where they would stay. It looks small by this picture, but it's actually huge. This is also where the old guard come out of to march to Buckingham Palace.

There are a few policeman on horse in the area. This nice man was going up and down the road telling everyone to watch their belongings because pickpockets love to come to the changing of the guard and still stuff from tourists while they are engrossed in watching and taking pictures. And if you saw how many people were by the gates of Buckingham Palace you'd understand how easy it would be to do!
Here are the guards coming out. My guide really got us lined up in great spots to get pictures! I would have NEVER known where to go had I not been with him.
Here are the officers inspecting the soldiers uniforms. These uniforms can cost up to 12 thousand pounds each, and soldiers are in charge of keeping their uniforms in good shape. Some spend up to 8 hours a day cleaning their uniform! All of the guards are actually under 25 years old, and are usually the sons or grandsons of past members of the guards. My guide said that usually you had to have some kind of connection to get into the guards. There are also different types of guards. You'll see that some have different uniforms then the ones in front of us.
More inspections.
This is the band coming out.
Now we ran down the street so that we could see them parading towards us. This was the policeman shooing people out of the road.

Here comes the band first.
Turning the corner towards Buckingham Palace.

There they go down the road.
The guards are following them.
They are turning the corner too.
Notice how they are all in step?


The police followed them down the street keeping people out of it. Now as they walked down the street my group ran alongside of them, and we cut through a park and made it in time to get pictures of the new guards lining up to come out.

Here is their band. Notice how it's a different color.
There goes the band in the opposite direction of the other band. They are both heading to Buckingham Palace.
This is the current guard taking over.
There they go.
A close up
This is Buckingham Palace. I was trying to take a picture so that you could tell how many people were around, but ironically there were so many people I couldn't get a good picture of it!
In this picture you can see some people, but it doesn't even do justice to how many people were there.
You can kind of see the people on the gate in this one. People were literally pressed up against the gate, and were pushing each other around for pictures. You could see people jumping up with their cameras to try to get a decent picture. Like I said the tour guide was definetely worth it! The best part was that we didn't even have to pay for it because it was including in our bus pass! So for 25 pounds we got to ride the hop on and off bus for 2 days, 3 walking tours which included changing of the guards, the beatles walk, and a haunted london tour, and a river cruise. So it was totally worth it! We actually didn't go on the Beatles walk or their haunted walk because we wanted to go on a Harry Potter walking tour, and it conflicted with both the tours. But on that note...
Welcome to Gringotts! This is the building that was used in the movie for the bank! Our Harry Potter tour was really interesting. It talked about a lot more than Harry Potter. It talked about the Knights of Legend, and how the King of France thought they were too powerful. On October Friday the 13th he had them rounded up, and tortured or killed most of them. This is why Friday the 13th is still considered unlucky. Also he told us a legend of Nicholas Flamel who mentioned in the first Harry Potter book. It was quite interesting, and a lot of fun... but as a big fan of Harry Potter I had kind of hoped that we would see more of the areas that were in the movies then we did. But we paid 5 pounds for this tour, and it was really fun for what it was. Of course it was aimed more towards children, and I was really trying to bite my tongue to keep from answering the questions he asked. But I did have to correct him a couple of times... Espeically when he talked about Emily Watson... and I was like... errr you mean Emma Watson? Hahaha.
This was just a cool shot. Next weekend is the Chinese New Year, and the Chinese people in London are already starting to decorate! So I took a quick picture! Julia was lucky, a chinese woman walked in front of her right when she was taking the picture. We both thought it was funny. Talk about great timing!
Another one of our pilgrimages throughout the city. Boy was it hard to find this stupid Hard Rock Cafe. But I have pictures of ones from Sydney, Mrytle Beach, Orlando, Nashville, New York City, etc... so I HAD to get a picture from the one in London!!! Turns out it was probably the crappiest little Hard Rock I've ever seen. It was just a regular restraunt. And we went to a LOT of trouble to get to it too. We got lost and were stumbling around trying to find it. We walked in the completely wrong direction, until we decided to walk back to the rail station. We were on our way to leave when we walked into an english couple that I felt comfortable asking directions. Apparently we weren't far at all, so we went to walk and the darn sidewalk ran out. So we kind of played frogger to try to get to the other side of the road, and when I saw it I was like aww rats. But oh well! I have a picture of it now as well to add to my conquests!
Yes. Yes I did make Julia stop in the middle of the subway to take a picture. Haha!
This is during my ghost walk! We went with London Walks again, and this tour was fabulous! This is London Bridge the 5th. Or it's the 5th London Bridge to stand in this spot, because alas all the other have fallen down!
This is my tour guide! He was an old dramatic Britishman and he was just perfect on the ghost tour! He made it so exciting, and he got really into it! He told us all kinds of cool stories, and it was probably one of my favorite tours. I'll share two stories with you that I thought were really awesome!
The first one isn't a ghost story at all, but we walked past a coffee shop. This was right next to where the main business area of London is, and I guess businessmen went to this shop a lot. Apparently in the morning they didn't want to have to get out of their seats to deliver papers to other businessmen so they would give the papers to the waiters to deliver, and they would give them a little bit of money To Insure Prompt Service, or tips! So this is where the concept of tipping waiters came from!
Okay the second one! Now this one really kind of creeps me out! If you remember early I talked about Wren and the 52 churches that he designed throughout London... well after he died his pupil was hired to build 5 more churches throughout London. However, he only ever got to complete 4. Anyone in each of the four churches he did get to build he made a sacrifice of innocent blood in the church (he killed a young boy or girl) and buried them in the base of the church. If you get a map out, and make a point on where each other his churches stood, and the point where he had planned for the fifth one to stand and drew the lines in you would realize that it was a pentagram! So what the guy had in mind or what would have happened had the pentagram been completed... I guess we'll never know! But super creepy!
Again the tour was only 5 pounds! Totally worth it!

Ironically we came across this building during the ghost tour and not the Harry Potter tour... but welcome to Diagon Alley! This is where Diagon Alley was filmed in the Harry Potter movies. I know it's pretty hard to tell, but it's still awesome!
This building is interesting because of who haunts it! Apparently right before she died Princess Diana was sponsoring a foundraiser in this building, and it was very close to starting right before she died. However, with her death the charity was ended. On the night when it was supposed to begin guards heard music and laughter down in the basement (where all the work had been done) and they went down to invesitgate. One guard went down and one guard watched on a video tape. The guard that went down to investigate smelled perfume, and heard the laughter and when he openned the door it was completely dark and no one was in the room. When the guard went upstairs the other guard asked him what happened to the woman that walked past him. The guard had seen a woman with a sparkingly dress and blonde hair walk out of the room, but it wasn't on the video tape when they rewinded it. A couple days later the man saw a picture of Princess Diana and she was wearing the same dress that he had seen the woman in the room wearing.
They say after that that she's been seen a couple other times too!
And that was my trip to London!