Send Me On My Way -Rusted Roots

Feb 27, 2013

Hurricane Rusty


I really want music to play on my blog. How do I do that?

I have had a really slow week, so I thought I'd make a mish-mash blog of random "5 things" lists. These are what I came up with. Please comment ideas of what I should write about next.

How I feel when it rains. Which is every other day.
5 Things I miss from home (besides people):
  1. The prices- It may seem like it is cheaper here, but a five pound notebook here, with the exchange rate, is actually 8 bucks. (UGH) 
  2. Meat- First of all, it's hard to find any meat dishes like at home. The burgers are NOT the same. And secondly, I'm terribly afraid of my own cooking. I'll most likely give myself salmonella. -__- 
  3. My parents' house- Washing and drying is more expensive when I can't just take it home to do it. Also, raiding their cabinets. Groceries are expensive. Also a working heater is a blessing we too often take for granted. 
  4. My cell phone- Yes I have it with me. No it doesn't work abroad. Yes I have a UK phone. No it's not an iPhone. Yes I can call whoever I want. No it isn't free. Yes I can use the WiFi. No my apps don't work due to the firewalls. Yes I like saying yes and... No I don't think it's annoying. 
  5. The weather- Sure you all have snowpocalypse and deadly hot summers, BUT AT LEAST THERE IS VARIATION. Birmingham forecast FOR THE YEAR- cloudy skies, moderate chance of rain, cold, cold, cold. And also... cold. 
This is freedom. Just look at that face. Sheer insanity joy.
5 Things I will miss when I return home (besides people):
  1. The freedom- I have to admit, living on my own in a new country and having to make new friends seemed daunting, but it really wasn't that hard at all. It's like summer camp only with less rules and adult supervision. My time at uni is kind of a stepping stone for when I leave here. This Summer, I will be truly on my own and going wherever I feel whenever I feel it. How empowering is it to say Hmm. I suppose I'll go to Athens today. Or I feel like adventure. I wonder if any of those boats are headed to that island? I'll go ask. So incredibly awesome. It's indescribable. I do have to say that I would be much less excited about it all if I didn't have Skype. I love talking to my Mom, Blake, Ethan, Panch and Jit, and everyone else back home and I probably wouldn't enjoy it here as much if I couldn't check in with them often. 
  2. My accent being cool- Oh my GOSH. I LOVE your accent. "Who me? Oh shucks. Of course I will repeat that sentence for you in my super cool American accent." I've never had people actually want me to talk as much as I do. What can I say? Except everything because I say it all so awesomely. 
  3. The baguettes- Holy bejeezus. Goodbye grocery budget. Goodbye abs... (Haha. I totally didn't have abs) 
  4. Hogwarts- You just think I was at Newman University in Birmingham. Think about it. They were just too lazy to come up with a good cover story, so they just used the same name. FYI, I received great scores on my N.E.W.T.s and O.W.L.s and I am simultaneously marrying Ron, Harry, Hermione, and Neville. But the older, hot Neville. Not the chubby one with fake ears.
  5. Improv is a medium in which my face is molded into horrible expressions.
    The cool part is that it is acceptable and even encouraged.
  6. Improv workshops- I have really grown attached to teaching improv here. My pupils are very enthusiastic and show a lot of promise. I'll be very sad to let it go in May. Also it is fun to hear them say "Larry, Curly, Moe" with a confused look on their faces because they don't know who they are. 
    JitBro. How I miss youuu. 
    (Imagine that sung)

    5 Things I've learned: 

    1. How to cook (kind of)- I'm slowly learning how to cook. It's a necessity here unlike in the states. At home, we have a cafeteria and are REQUIRED to have a meal plan until we are a junior or unless we live off campus. Here, there are no meal plans. You either cook, spend all your money eating out, convince your friends to feed you, or just eat cereal and basically starve. So far I have cooked chicken, bacon, pasta and meatballs, and rice with mild success. I will work my way up to baking and other more complicated dishes. For now, this is fine. 
    2. Languages (also kind of)- I am learning snippets or other languages such as German, French, British slang, Italian, Flemish, Spanish, and I am actually enrolled in a Dutch class. Hallo. Het is mooi weer. HA. Not really. See post above. Google translate THAT. 
    3. The Dutch love mayonnaise- Seriously. They smother their fries in it. And anything else. Pizza, toast, bananas. Okay not really bananas. At least I haven't asked. One of my Dutch friends even got two tubes of mayo in the mail. 
    4. Chinese food here is another species of food altogether- I don't know. I thought it was a mushroom... but it had tentacles. Also, Daisy (from Hong Kong) cooks alien soup at least once every fortnight. Not sure what planet the ingredients are from. 
    5. Yes. Hogwarts.
    6. How to use public transport- Bus timetables are uber confusing when all you've ever done is drive yourself or be driven by others in their personal vehicles. School buses are SO not the same. Trains are completely different altogether and don't get me started on the metro. JK. Metro is easy. It's the buses that I really had trouble with.

    Also, we had sun today. It was nice. 

    And another thing. Hurricane Rusty was not my fault... Sorry Australia!

    Is that a fat joke?! Dude... not cool.

    Over and Out

    Russell x

    PS: X is not a part of my name. x= kisses. Just thought I'd clarify. Like contact solution. Or Claritin Clear.

    Feb 22, 2013

    I Am Now Mrs. Big Ben

    Disclaimer: I am not Mrs. Big Ben. I just felt like misleading you.

    Hoi! (Dutch for Hi)
         I hope everyone at home is surviving the snowpocalypse. If I was stuck inside for days, I'd be super bored. Hopefully reading this will soak up some boredom. Guess what guys! I went to London again this past weekend. And I didn't get lost too badly OR miss my buses  Excitement all around! This time was completely different from last time. Let me walk you through it.
    Me and the Completely Harmless Paul
         The past couple of times I went to London, I have always had some sort of itinerary and was constantly rushing about like a madwoman. This time, I didn't make any plans and it was marvelous. I left Birmingham around 1:30 pm and arrived at 4:30 pm. A little chaos ensued, but I'd rather not recount all of that because it didn't have too much to do with me and I'd rather not beat a dead horse. Basically, I was an hour late meeting Paul, my host, but it ended up alright in the end. I met Paul on It's a website where people offer to let travelers stay with them for free and usually offer to show them around their hometown; in this case, London. PLEASE refrain from lecturing me about safety and how dangerous this is. It will only make me angry and resent you for it. Couchsurfing works with references and Paul had over a hundred and thirty; all positive. No. Stop. I know you still want to talk to me about it. Quit it. I won't listen. Anyway, I met him at Baron's Court station and when we got to his place, he made me a delicious dinner of something I don't know the name of. Paul is a really interesting guy. He is a flight attendant and travels all over the world meeting new people (many couchsurfers) and biking on his Brompton foldable bicycle everywhere he goes. I should've known this would be interesting!
    My route.
         After dinner, he led me on a marvelous tour/bike ride along the Thames river. The river. At night. In London... It was beautiful. It was at this point that I really felt like I was living in a dream. We passed the Chelsea bridge, the Millennium bridge which was in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film at the beginning (the death eaters caused it to collapse), and the London bridge. Good news! It didn't fall down. On our way we passed Big Ben and I saw a fox. Yes. A fox. In the middle of London. I was about three feet away from it and it didn't even move away. The next morning, Paul took me on another five mile bike ride through Chinatown and the West End. We had lunch in Chinatown and it was pretty tasty. I think he said it was called Dim Sum or something like that. All I know is one of the dishes looked like mushrooms, but it had tentacles. Yum.
    St. Peter's Cathedral
         Paul had to go to Toronto, so I left his place and met up with Kris, Ellen, Naomi, Luka, and Guillermo in Camden. I took full advantage of the WiFi and Skyped Mark Mannette and Blake. A few hours later, I dropped the other Erasmus off at the underground station and bid them adieu as they went back to Birmingham. I however, met up with another couch surfer named Victor. He was from Puerto Rico and had studied in New York, but was currently living in London. We went to dinner (Chinese again. I don't know what the fascination with Chinese food is about) and he was kind enough to pay for me. By then it was getting dark, so I went back to Paul's place and met up with his girlfriend Claudine who hosted me for the night since Paul was out of town. She was super nice as well and told me all about her family in Ireland she had just visited.
         This is a good point to mention my butt is STILL sore from the 15 miles on the bike.
    Buckingham Palace

    In the morning, I packed up all my things and headed out on my own. Claudine recommended the Victoria and Albert Museum, so I killed time there for a couple hours and Skyped Mom using their WiFi. It was pretty neat and there were a lot of sparkly things. Yeah. I just realized how ditsy that sounds... I was completely fascinated with the sparkly things. I even took videos. When I left the museum, I decided to walk to the palace and on the way I saw St. Peter's cathedral. On a whim and because I could, I went in and walked around. Very pretty of course. All the churches I have seen in Europe so far are gorgeous. The best part was that I could do whatever I wanted. All alone in London and not a care in the world. Best feeling ever. I walked by the palace and watched the guards for a bit and then decided I was hungry. I walked to the bus station and like the fat ass I am, I went into Sainsbury's and bought several pastries and then bought a latte from Costa Coffee and ate it all. I may be a pig, but I'm a happy one.
    Westminster Abbey and My Giant Face
         By this point, I had two and a half hours to kill and no idea what to do, so like the good tourist I am, I went to information and asked what I could do in a couple hours. "What do you want to do?" he asked. "I don't really care. I just want to kill time," I said back. "Okay, go east and there's the Red Light District. Maybe you can make a few bucks while you wait," He says deadpan. "Oh. That's a good one. But... maybe not." I'm thinking Douche. After chuckling a little, "Well, it's a twenty minute walk to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey," said the dude at the desk. And off I go. Been there done that already, but I have nothing better to do and I gotta admit, it's still cool.
    Big Benjamin and I
         So twenty minutes later, I'm walking by Westminster Abbey taking pictures of random people with their random cameras posing in front of the church. Bored. so I walk across the street to Big Ben. I got there right at 5 so I listened to the bell. Nice. Checked my iPhone. WHAT!? BIG BEN HAS WIFI?! Who'da thunk? Awesome. I took full advantage of this opportunity and Facetimed my aunt Sami. Nonchalantly placing Big Ben in the frame behind me. What's that? Oh nothing really. Just Big Ben. No big deal. Heh. Good times. I talked to her for a while and then I Facetimed CL and Justin. I was happy that they actually answered me this time! I showed them Big Ben as well and talked for a bit before they had to go to Chorale. Immediately after, Grandma CiCi called me and I attempted to explain how to make a Skype account. Hopeless. This took up most of my remaining time, so I started walking back to the bus station. On my way, I spotted another church (Westminster chapel) and went in thereby accidentally joining a church service. Oops. I stayed as long as I could and then left to go back to the bus station. That concludes my London trip.
         I also made a new friend I fondly named Sleeping Roll Guy because he was asleep on the underground and did a forward roll out of his seat when the train stopped. Cool guy.
    Sleeping Roll Guy
         Wednesday was American night! I went obviously, but I didn't stay long because all that was going on was a beer pong tournament (many had never played before and it is viewed as a completely American thing) and people sitting around. Pretty boring if you ask me. I did get an American flag poster to put on my door, so it wasn't a total loss. Although... the stars on the flag are hilariously wrong. It was also Ellen's birthday! Woohoo!
         Thursday, I started Dutch lessons! Luka is my tutor and I am doing my best to not make a fool of myself. He taught us about culture as well as vocabulary. Note: If you are ever in the Netherlands, your fries (or chips as they say) will come completely smothered in a lake of mayonnaise. Just beware. Also, Ik hou van ja. ;) I can say that one because there is no phlegmy throat sound in it. I am having issues with that, but I am determined to learn at least a few sentences I can use when I go back to Amsterdam. Here is me speaking in Dutch and Chinese: . I think I'm really progressing. Haha.
         Today is Friday... Wait for it... It's Friday. Friday. Gotta get down on Fridayyy! >:)
         Not much going on today. We had a guest speaker in our Production Project lecture (English word for class). She was very helpful and I'm really starting to get excited about this play. It's called Ghost's of Bedlam by Arthur Aldrich and I am playing Rachel.
         I have nothing else to add except I burnt my bread today.
         Until next time!

    Tot Ziens!
    Russell x

    Feb 14, 2013

    How I Am An Idiot (And Other Stories)

    Hi friends! It's 2 AM! That means it is time to write another post! Here goes.
    Snowing Again... Dwight Is Not Pleased.

         Saturday, I took a day trip to London. Either that or I was having a nightmare. 4:30 AM came bright... er... dark and early for me as I walked through the snow to the bus stop. Luckily, I got to go right back to sleep because I missed my bus to the city centre by two minutes. That meant that I also missed my bus to London. No problem. Only four pounds down the drain. My sleepy brain was able to buy a ticket for 11 AM before I promptly fell back asleep. After my long nap, I went back to the bus stop at 9:45 and in the 300 meter walk, I managed to be yelled and gawked at from two separate, male-filled vehicles. The ride into Birmingham was uneventful, but I do have to mention that Blockbuster lives on in England. I soon realized I had no idea which stop to get off on, but after asking the driver for help, I finally made it to my bus to London. Unfortunately, my character shoes were not okay on wet, freezing pavement and the heel decided to part from the shoe. At this point, I have a bad feeling about the day but I am trying to look on the bright side. You're okay. When you walk you hobble just enough to repel unwanted male attention. Yes. This was my bright side.
    Dwight's Favorite Musical
         I finally made it to London after a really cold, three hour bus trip. Hallelujah. I had only half an hour until Les Miserables began, so I decided to take a taxi alone for the first time. Expensive, but effective. On the way, I had a mini heart attack because Nathaneal texted me saying he didn't think he would be able to collect our tickets on time. I'm about to turn into Bad Mood Sally, but right when I pulled up to The Queen's Theatre, Nate ran up with the tickets. Whew. 40+ pounds, not wasted. The show was phenomenal. I cried at least three times. I don't think Nate noticed. Shh... (He'll undoubtedly know now) The lighting of the show was very artfully done. Ben Juhnke would have loved it! Marius was perfect, Enjolras was as well, Jean Val Jean was great in his lower register, but when he changed to higher notes, his voice changed completely. It was weird. Javert was also fantastic. I disliked Eponine, but only because I want that part so badly. Ha!
         After the show, I only had an hour until my bus to Birmingham departed. When I missed my first bus, I really diminished my time in London. Nate and I took the Underground to Victoria and spent the remaining hour looking for my bus. -__- I'm hopeless without Google Maps on my iPhone and my iPhone is just a glorified iPod out of the US. It only runs on wifi.
         I bought a sandwich. I was hungry. It was tasty.
    Red Packet From Kelly
         That deserved its own paragraph. When I returned to Birmingham city centre, I was cold, damp, and alone waiting for the bus stop. I got on the bus and rode it all the way to the end of the route until I realized I missed my stop. (This day sucked enough already. Why not add more?) Fortunately, the bus driver was nice and had to turn around anyway after a six minute break and do the route backwards. This time, he pointed out my stop and told me where to go. Since I took the 22 instead of the 23, I had a bit of a midnight walk ahead of me. I'll tell you this: I will never take driving for granted again. When I saw Newman ahead of me, it had never felt more like home than at that moment. I made it safely back. Honestly, I don't know why I do things sometimes, but I was determined to go to London alone; so I did. And by the grace of God, I survived it.
         More stuff happened since then. I skyped Brittany, Genesis, Blake, Uncus, Alaina, Mom, Dad, Loni, and Pancho. Shout out to Genesis because she asked me to.
         Sunday was Chinese New Year! And guess what?! We got to celebrate in real Chinese fashion, with real Chinese people! Daisy and Kelly from Hong Kong were kind enough to include 24 other people in their celebrations. We all went to Shanghai Blues and had a feast! Each of us ordered our own meals and shared them with the table. Simply scrumptious. Om nom nom. I want more. It was my first time celebrating that holiday and I have to admit, I had been missing out. Kelly gave my a red packet with a note and a Chinese coin in it. Apparently, this is a tradition for her culture. After, we went to a pub and just hung out for an hour or so. There was an interesting girl who decided to try and make friends with me. Those that were there know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.
    Naomi Pancake On Pancake Day!
         Guess what else?! England has a Pancake Day and that was Tuesday. Everyone seemed to take it really seriously, so I joined in and made American Pancakes while Naomi and Kris made Dutch pancakes. Theirs were really thin, like crepes and they rolled it up with either cheese or Nutella in it. Mine were just plain thick pancakes, but they had never had that kind before so it was really fun to have them try it.
         Moving on to Wednesday. Ash Wednesday to be precise. I didn't make it to mass because I was in class, but I did make it to the 6:30 Ash service. Only three people attended, but that was alright. It made me feel good to go to church again. The preacher? priest? whatever she was asked what we each were giving up for Lent. I haven't really done much in the past, but I decided to give up alcohol. Although I don't drink much in the US, it is a big part of daily life here. Not drinking to get drunk per say, but just drinking with dinner or at a pub. I thought it was an appropriate sacrifice because it is a tough, but realistic goal and I want to challenge myself.
         On another note, I just finished season three of Downton Abbey. UGH. WHY DOES EVERYONE DIE?! That is all.

    Happy Valentines Day to my valentine, Ethan Menke.

    Russell x

    Feb 9, 2013

    Come On Over and Let's Do Some Improv!

    Hello amigos.

         I really question why I wait so long to write my blogs because by the time I get around to it, I have way too much to write and it's always in the wee hours of the morning.

    Come On Over, Come On Over Baby!
         Wednesday I had my first Early Modern English lecture and I thought it was funny that only after fifteen minutes did I realize she had an American accent. Interesting. I may be becoming desensitized. I enjoyed the class. We are doing Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus and then Edward II so I'm looking forward to the readings. That night, Daisy tried to make some soup from ingredients her mother sent her from Hong Kong. Never in my life have I seen anything like it. I seriously thought it was an alien, but she just put it in water and boiled it for three hours and the result was strange, but actually fantastic. While waiting on the soup to do something... anything really... we watched Vampire Diaries for a couple hours. I would like to take a moment and say I love these people here. I have been told at least five times I look like Lea Michele and twice I look like Nina Dobrev. If that doesn't boost a girl's confidence, I don't know what does!

         That night there was karaoke in the bar and if you know me, I simply could not refuse. After a long while in the bar waiting for people to start singing, I finally got up and sang Come On Over by Christina Aguilera. I love that song. I honestly only wanted to sing once, but the girls were badgering me to sing Beyonce and I would have, but they didn't have any of her songs. Oh well! Back in my room, I delightedly Skyped with my boyfriend, Pancho, but unfortunately, he could hear me but I couldn't hear him. That made for an interesting video call where we mostly just stared at each other. But it was still fun. We have done it again twice since that night.

         In the meantime, I have been watching Downton Abbey in every spare moment. I have decided that the Dowager Countess is my favorite character. Maggie Smith is a genius. Here are some of my favorite quotes from her character:

    • (About a family scandal) I hate Greek drama where everything happens offstage.
    • (About a telephone [press one for blah blah; please hold]) Is this an instrument of communication or torture?
    • (Crying when William and Daisy marry) I have a cold.
    Jamie, Me, Ariana, Celina
         Thursday, I had Modern Drama. I enjoy the class and the readings, but I really dislike how disrespectful and loud some students are during the lecture. Frankly, I'm also disappointed that more students don't do the readings either. Maybe I'm just being snobbish, but I really love reading plays. Another thing that wasn't so great was that last time I sat between BO and fart smells. I shall not make that mistake again.

         At the language cafe after class, I got to host an improv workshop! We started really small with Kitty Wants a Corner and LOW. They all seemed to love it and it was great fun. Imagine those games with five different accents. It was fantastic. I'd have to say the best part was when the little girl (about 10?) was acting out the location, a hospital, and Kelly wasn't understanding so the girl did it again and when Kelly still didn't understand, the girl said, "Okay, I have one last clue." at which point she drew a square in the air and said, "That's it." We all busted up laughing. It was hilarious! We will be having another workshop next Thursday and I am very much looking forward to it. I might teach Zip, Zap, Zop or Red Ball then LOW again.

         When I returned to my room, I cooked!!!!! I made linguine with meatballs and marinara sauce. I also added garlic butter sauteed mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. I'm glad it was good because I had enough for breakfast the next day and lunch as well. After I had finished, I Skyped Matt Riedl! I had to catch him before he went to work, so we didn't talk long but that was alright. He filled me in on the Spring Show casting back home. Looks alright to me. Congrats to those who were cast! I will watch your dress rehearsal, so be prepared! >:)

    My new tattoo. And Alaina's. And the lady behind us.
         I have three more random things before I say adieu.

    1. Loni Skyped me. My family FINALLY has WIFI. Although, they were supposed to Skype me 2.5 hours ago all together. -__- Maybe they will talk to me eventually.
    2. I asked one of my classmates what his view of America was and he described High School Musical. Literally he said short sleeve t-shirts, basketball, and breaking into song randomly. Also -__-.
    3. I got a new tattoo. It's on my face and very classy as you can see. Also, Alaina came and visited. If you saw her recently, you actually didn't. She was here with me... Yep. This is fact.
    4. Blake said I must tell this story: He bought a lottery ticket when the winnings were up to half a billion and made a bargain with God that if he won, they would split it 50/50. He didn't win but he decided to keep the deal going. He bought more scratch-offs and when he won, he would split it with the church. Later in the week, his mother told him he received some mail, so he opened it and inside was $10 of complementary scratch-off tickets. HA! Still no word on whether he won or not, but I thought the story was neat. Wait. He just logged into Skype. I'll ask... He didn't answer. I'll let you all know.

    This is good  night then! Or good morning. Whenever you are, may it be good. I shall write about my trip to London later. I'm too tired at the moment.

    Love always,
    Russell x

    Feb 4, 2013

    Russell Visits the Land of Her People + Super Bowl in England

    Hello comrades.

         I would like to start off this post by apologizing for complaining about my broken heater. Turns out it's not broken; I'm just an idiot. When I complained the first time, the maintenance worker told me to buy a space heater which I thought was ridiculous since I am already paying so much to live here (without meals in a cafeteria), so I complained again on Thursday. This time, the guy they sent up replaced a couple of faulty dials on my heating unit and then politely showed me how to operate the vent which had been open since my arrival. Oops. Vents in a window. Who woulda thunk?

         On Friday, I had my first session of my Production Project class. Well... Second technically, but I missed the first one. Refer to previous blog post. This class seems promising. I enjoy the emphasis on Stanislavsky and we will be putting on a play (TBA) on March 27th and 28th. Later on, Daisy, Naomi, and I had our weekly Pretty Little Liars watch party. TOBY IS HEARTLESS. While we were all in the same room, we decided to order groceries together online. They deliver! Isn't that neat? It took quite a long time to order, but we finished in time for Anna Perinchery and I to Skype for a while. That night I also Skyped Kacy and Brittany. Finally. And then I tried to enter receipts into my Budget spreadsheet. Word to the wise. MAKE SURE TO SAVE. Ugh. I had to redo it all without my first ten receipts. That was fun. Not.
    My Creation
         Guess what?! I cooked a meal! I made myself tortellini with spinach and cheese. Super easy. Perfect for an awful cook like myself, but at least I am learning, right? Baby steps. An hour later, I was being called back into the kitchen for some legit Chinese food courtesy of Kelly and Daisy. So... I ate again. No regrets. Tasty stuff! I would like to pause a moment to express my hatred of British sinks. Picture two faucets. One on each side. One is hot and one is cold. Not awful, right? Now picture trying to wash your dishes in either scalding hot water or really cold water. I'm over here thrusting the pot into the hot and burning myself, then moving over to the cold only to move back into the lava water after my hands are painfully frozen. Not the best idea, England! Good try though. I will give you a participation ribbon. -__- Another unique thing about England is that they try to lull you into a false sense of okayness. "Oh," I think to myself, "I live on the fifth floor. I suppose that okay..." After a flight of stairs, I see a sign on the wall 'First floor' "Wait a second... I thought I was just on the first floor..." NOPE. That would be their 'Ground floor.' So in America terms, I live on the sixth floor and in case you aren't aware, that's alot of stairs. What's that? An elevator? Yes they have one, but it is a metal caged contraption like the ones you see on Titanic and it only goes to the third floor. That's all England. I love you, but being me, I must complain. No offense.
    Stairs in Harry Potter

    Great Hall Inspiration Room in Christ Church
         On Saturday, I went to Oxford! The city was beautiful, but most importantly, they filmed some Harry Potter scenes there! I seriously almost cried of happiness and now I'm almost crying because of how nerdy I sound typing this. Oh well. We first visited Christ Church where the first scene on the inside stairs with McGonagall was shot. The long room was not the Great Hall, but it inspired the studio version. And then later on we visited the Cloisters where some of the courtyard scenes were shot. If you are a fan, you will recognize them. Funny story about the Cloisters. We visited about an hour after they closed, but the super nice security man let us have five minutes inside. I was so grateful. The cloisters were fantastic. And it is also just really fun to say cloisters. Try it. Cloisters. Nice isn't it?
    Say it. Out loud................ Cloisters.
         Anyway, Oxford was grand so some of the other students and I decided to visit a few more places. We will be going to London in a couple weeks and then Edinburgh in a few months. I have plans. London has the Harry Potter studio tour and Edinburgh has The Elephant House (the coffeeshop JK Rowling wrote HP in). I shall visit both. And several (like 8) shows on the West End. But back to today. Today, some of the residents in the halls prepared a fabulous roast and for 3 pounds, I was able to have an actual meal! Yay! More tastiness. So with my full belly, I waddled down to the bar to watch the Super Bowl! Yeah Ravens! In case you were wondering, no, the American commercials didn't play here. UGH! I will have to Youtube them. Without them, I actually watched the game. I NEVER watch sports, but I did this time. In between listening to Alicia Keys' horrific rendition of the National Anthem and trying to ignore the English student's comments about Rugby vs Football I did manage to enjoy myself. The halftime show was really good this year. Luka thought so too and asked why there was football during Beyonce's concert. Good question. By the time the game was in the fourth quarter, most people had gone to bed or had fallen asleep on the couch. To be fair, we were watching it live and that means it ended around 3 AM here.
    People should seriously play Quidditch here.

         I did realize something interesting though. Being abroad has made me a more patriotic person. In America, you identify with which state you are from. Abroad, you are simply from the USA and your state has little meaning unless by some miracle they know where Oklahoma or Kansas is. Well that's all for now folks. I'll try to post more often so that the writing is minimized per post. Sorry bout the essay.


    Russell x