Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stratford Upon Avon

I have realized that when I do things I need to blog about them right away because when I put it off I totally loose the motivation and interest in writing about them.

But anyway on Wednesday, very very bright and early Jenny and I set off on a nice long train ride to Stratford Upon Avon, which is not only Shakespeare's birthplace, but Jenny lived there for a year when she was 7 so that was her main motivation for going back and I figured "why not come along on the journey? It'll be fun!" and it was!!!

Our first day there we not only saw Julius Caesar in the Royal Shakespeare Company theater but we knocked on the door and met the lovely family who leased Jenny's family their house when she lived there. So kind of them to let us in and talk to us and show us around the house, it was adorable! Later that night after we saw the play we met up with Andy, the son of the people who own the house and he took us out for drinks at a nearby pub called the Dirty Duck. It was a blast! I love how friendly people are in England!

The next day we ate a scrumptious b&b breakfast and then spent the day sightseeing more around Stratford and wandering around and having more delicious tea. We even got to go out to the country a little bit and sat in the sun and had a grande old time. Later we wandered Stratford more and sat by the river and had fun watching the hilarious combinations of people row past in their boats. Then we met back up with Andy again before saying goodbye and catching the train back to Brighton late Thursday night. The trip was soooo much fun! I'm definitely not properly expressing how fun it was in this post. The whole weekend we just kept bursting into giggle fits. We still talk about it and burst into giggle fits, haha!

Read about it on Jenny's blog here. And see more of my photos here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Saturday Jenny and I went to Arundel on a day trip. The city was super cute and the castle was veryyyy impressive! It was a great trip but I am lazy and don't feel like writing much so here are some pictures. I really liked the library-esque room, which I am stealing a photo of from flickr to show you:

If you want to see more pictures, they are here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Today Jenny and I went on a fun little day trip to Arundel. But more on that later, there are much more important things to focus on. Such as the two PURE GEMS OF COMEDIC GOLD that we encountered today.

First, feast your eyes on this amazingly tacky thing we found in one of the gardens of Arundel Castle:

Too good, I tell you!

And second, the best for last. When we saw this we stopped dead in our tracks and burst into absolute hysterics:

Um.... southern railway, as much as I love you, who on earth do you think you're kidding? Trying to say that this:

is somehow "the new" this:


Friday, May 15, 2009

My Kind of Town

It's not exactly that I'm homesick, I just really really really love Chicago. A lot.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I do actually do stuff here sometimes

So um I guess for maybe the first time ever I'm going to actually write something about what I'm actually doing here in regards to school work (extension studies doesn't count cause that's different....).

It's getting to the end of the year and the 3rd years (seniors) are putting up their degree shows (senior shows) and each 3rd year is assigned a second year (junior.... me) to help them and basically be their personal assistant/do whatever they want, whenever they want to help them get their show ready. So I've been super busy helping my lovely 3rd year, Pat, get ready for her degree show by binding book upon book by hand. It's been great cause I'm learning so many new techniques and it just feels really good to actually spend time in Brighton working for hours upon hours. Feels a little like Mcad, awwwww. But it makes me REALLY thankful for the perfect binder we have in the service bureau... F'realz.

Apart from that, I'm really having fun because I am working on this new project and I've been inspired by the Kanye - Welcome to Heartbreak video and the Chairlift - Evident Utensil video to learn how to data-mosh. And it's SO FRUSTRATING sometimes but it's really rewarding to teach yourself how to do something. Andddd it's appropriate to the idea I have for this project, so hoooooray!

Here are two ugly dumb experiments I tried. They mean nothing and they look like poop but I MADE THEM and I'm proud of myself. And to all my family out there reading this and watching the videos: Yes, they are supposed to look like that. Your computer isn't really crashing.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pretty Pretty Panorama

Ben showed me how to make panoramas in photoshop, soooooooo now I've become addicted. Here are some pretty ones from my travels! Click to make them bigger.

Lakes and mountains district around Salzburg, Austria.

The blue lagoon on Comino, a super small island off Malta.

Another of the blue lagoon on Comino, a super small island off Malta.

Gozo, one of the other islands of Malta.

At the bottom of a mountain in Ballyvaughan, Ireland.

Brighton Pier yesterday on a windy windy day.

View from the top of this fountain thing at the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona.

View from the top of the Gaudi Casa Milla apartments.

View from the Parc Montjuic of Barcelona's ports at night.

View from the Parc Montjuic of Barcelona at dusk.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chocolate, Waffles, and a Beetle on a Needle: Belgium

Another TL;DR TOO LONG DIDN'T READ for you all. No, this is probably my last real travel excursion here so I'm gonna write about it... so there!

So a few days ago I got back from Belgium, yay! It was nice and fun and it just felt really good and relaxing to have a mini-reunion with Mary Ellen (one of my BEST BUDZ on the planet for those of you who might not know that)!

So Friday afternoon I took the Eurostar on a nice little two-hour train ride from London to Brussels and when I got off the train Meo and my Belgian friend Filip were there waiting for meeeee, HOW NICE! So right away we got to walking and talking and exploring around Brussels a tiny bit before heading back to Leuven where Meo studies. Once we were there we ate at this cuteeeeeeeeeeeee little restaurant that has fun little christmas lights and even has blankets on the back of each person's chair incase they get cold outside. TOTES PRESH. Anyway after that they gave me a little tour of Leuven where we saw the absolutely stunning city hall building, the beetle on a needle sculpture (google search "beetle on a needle leuven", it'll make your life 10,000 times better), some funny statues, and other general charmingness. It was interesting to hear about the city from an actual Belgian, we learned some funny things like how cobblestones are called "children's heads" in Flemish, apparently! Hah!
Then we went to the ode-markt or something like that and after that had gelato because how can you not? Anddd then we said goodbye to Filip for the day and me and meo went back to her student house which is innnnnnnnnnnnnnncredible! Once we got there I met a bunch of her absolutely wonderful friends and housemates and stayed up for quite a long time talking and having fun!

The next morning Me, Mary Ellen, and her friend Zach went to the market and got some dried fruit and yummy stuff and then wandered into the mini flea market. After that me and meo walked to the Begijnhof which is like this weird but pretty little village for single ladiezzzz who want to be single but not nuns I guess?! ok. After that we met Filip again who so kindly took us to Brussels and showed us all around, we saw the Atomium, Mannekin Pis (as well as a pissing girl and a pissing dog... Belgium is weird), and a ton of other things! Brussels is a pretty little place to walk around.

After spending most of the day in Brussels, Filip suggested we go to this little village called Mechelen to see this light art show. So we did! The three of us went there and once we got there we needed to wait a tiny bit for it to get dark for the sculpture things to start. Anddd Mary Ellen and I were pretty desperate to try this fancy hot chocolate so we did that and it was amazing! By then it was dark and we walked throughout the city/village finding the art pieces scattered around. It was SO COOL. One of them was the craziest thing ever ever ever. Basically it's this hugeeeeeee box made of LED lights that change colors. And you go in it. I know it doesn't sound like anything special but it was UNREAL. At one point the three of us were standing in it with these two older people and the lights turned to this crazy green color and literally I can't even begin to explain the effect it had! Meo and I looked at each other and screamed! And we didnt scream because we heard each other screaming or because we felt like being stupid and screaming, but literally that was the only way to react to it! It turned your whole vision green..... the only way i can think to explain it is in dumb graphic design terms but it was like someone duo toned my whole life and everything was only green. Meo's face was all green. IT WAS INTENSE AND KINDA SCARY, OK!? After that one we saw lots of other cool ones, and one really scary one that we literally stood and stared at for a good 10 minutes just going "oh my god what is it doing now?! I'm scared!" hahahhahahhahahahahahha it was so fun! As we were finishing up finding all the art things, we passed this free concert that a brother of Filip's friend was playing in. It was in a giant movable circus tent type thing with mirrors and a disco ball and magical circus looking stuff everywhere, it was absolutely incredible! The band was really fun and kind of gypsy style so being in a tent in the middle of belgium watching them was pretty awesome.

After that Filip drove us back to Leuven, and once we got back even though meo and I were literally falling asleep in the car and couldn't keep our eyes open, we decided to go out with her friends from the house. So we spent the night out in Leuven having a great time! Andddd time really flies when you're having fun because we left the last place and it was light outside.... 6 am! Then we decided to get frites so there were the 5 of us left at the end of the night sitting eating frites in the broad daylight talking to some man who thinks America sucks. Interesting. Then we walked home at 7 am and had some interesting experiences along the way before going back to the house and crashing right into sleepy time.

The next/same day we were pretty exhausted so we basically just took it easy. In the afternoon Me, Meo, and super nice friend Abbey went to this really fun amazing park by their house that had so many crazy things to play on. Did we care that there were Belgian kids and parents in the park playing? Kinda. Did we let it sop us? HELL NO! So we spent some time running on spinny things and climbing up stuff before heading back to the house and later that night we went for kebabs and then sat around and talked and then watched tv (I miss tvvvvvvv) and it was nice to just sit around and be normal.

The next day Meo and I went to Antwerp! It was cold but it was still lovely! We did some shopping and smoothie consuming and wandered around a lot. We walked to the square and saw some crazy cool church and the city hall and the wacky doodle statue of the giant who cuts people's hands off and that was all good fun. Then we walked along the river port and eventually wound up in this really incredible church that had this thing outside that neither of us knew what it was.... it was like this little garden but.... unexplainable. Kinda with sculptures and stuff... but it was SO COOL. Then we went inside the church and that was really lovely too! And then we both had to go to the bathroom so we asked one of the guys who worked there where the bathrooms were and he told us to follow him and he took us through the church into this area that i'm pretty sure we werent really supposed to go in but it was so cool and he was giving us lots of little info about the church and antwerp and stuff so that was cool. Oh but he was kind of a little bit of a crazy religious guy who is scared of people of other religions so that was awkward. But other than that he was a jolly old man! After that we continued our Antwerp adventure and bought candy and waffles and all that good stuff. I guess all the sugar in Antwerp made us a little hyper or something becuase the whole train ride home we were being the way we typically are together but extra like if all our friends were there. We made up tons of new words (tipsywinks and queek being new favorites) and FREAKED OUT over something that is really ridiculously hilarious to us and our friends but to the rest of the world would be weird so I won't talk about it but basically it set us up for a night of weird fun. When we finally made it home at the end of the night we decided to make a thank you card for Filip for showing us around and for some reason we basically spent four hours being really stupid and making really dumb funny jokes about the weird pictures we found in the magazine we were collaging from. Fun times.

The last day we accidentally woke up late and rushed over to the really beautiful botanic gardens in Leuven. After seeing that we headed back to the center and went to this crazy event thrown by the economics department at KU Leuven and got tonsssss of free stuff like ice cream and cheese and fries and anything you could ever wanttttt, it was cooooool! Then Meo had to go to class so I took some time to go shopping, bought two jars of the most heavenly substance on earth, Speculoos (it's like spreadable teddy grahams..... one of my jars is almost completely gone already) and did some shopping. After that I met meo again and we got more free stuff at that thing before meeting Filip to say goodbye and going to the olde-markt place again. Then basically around 7 pm I got on the train and was on my way back to England andddddddddddddd due to some minor complications I finally got back to Brighton around 2:30 am, hhahahaha!

Now I am back in Brighton, taking a break from frantically trying to finish my homework for tomorrow, feeling sick and like i'm going to die, anddd hanging out with friends from mcad, how fun! The last few days here have been pretty eventful too. Oh, Brighton.

Anyway Belgium is cool, yay! More pictures HERE.

HAHAHAHA OH MY GOD. I have to add that if you click and make the first picture big it is SO FUNNY because it looks like I photoshopped this weird cartoon guy into the picture "where's Waldo"-style. But it's really there. And I don't know why but to me it is just about the funniest thing on earth.