31 July 2007
Today's status update: "ReckenRoll is sad"
So I know I am supposed to be blogging about the things I love and loathe in London but for today thinking about London that much is just too much. As of tomorrow, I will only have about a week left full time living in London. I thought I was ready. I really thought I was...but I find if I really think about leaving and not ever coming back I get this panicky feeling that I don't really know what to do with. I can't possibly start wrapping my brain around what I love and loathe right now.
ReckenRoll is employing denial.
I've been planning leaving dos and planning for my arrival in Seattle and packing up my flat full time for what feels like forever. Thinking about London is all I do lately and putting words to the page on that topic just now is just too overwhelming. As all my stuff comes off the walls and books get sorted and my dvd collection dwindles from selling off the UK format dvds, it feels less and less like I live here and more and more like a place I am going to leave and that sucks.
ReckenRoll is sighing.
The movers come tomorrow at 9.30 am and tonight I am going home to force myself to keep sorting so that when they show up they can do their job. I am not the type to hand over control to someone else but right now it sounds like a great idea. As I told brother Reckenroll yesterday, I keep having moments of thinking, "I just want my mom to come do it all for me." How lame is that?
ReckenRoll is wallowing in it kids.
30 July 2007
- The Scissor Sisters put on an AMAZING show. We SO felt like dancing...and we did, knee injury and all.
- Suz has a much higher threshold for pain than previously understood.
- The A&E (Accident & Emergency or ER to the Yanks) is seriously a LAST resort. Do not go if you don't have to.
- Apparently in the UK, it's completely acceptable to ask a patient to wait for 4 hours just to SEE the doctor...even when there is only a few other people waiting.
- Meaning of Loaf will always return your calls, even if you didn't mean to make them (whoops!)
- It always takes longer to sort and clean for packing than you think it will and I own way more crap than I thought I did. Seriously, where does it all come from?
- There is more dust in London than anywhere else in the world and most of it is/was residing in my flat.
- Secretary is a weird twisted dark and brilliant movie. James Spader...wow. What a interesting career.
- Garden State is probably in my Top 5 movies of all time.
27 July 2007
Following my very enjoyable (and dry!) Gershwin evening in Regent's Park last night, #2 on the list of London Loves should shock no one: The West End theatre scene or "Theatreland" as the tourists like to call it. I LOVE the shows. I love the drama, the comedy, the music, the dancing. I love seeing famous actors doing what they do best and having young unknowns surprise me. I love the magic of it. I love a night out being pushed to think about the world in a way I haven't before.
Within the few square miles around where I work in Covent Garden there are over 40 commercial theatres and several more non-commercial theatres including the Old Vic, Trafalgar Studios and the National Theatre. Any night of the week (except Sunday) you can see Mary Poppins, Les Miserables, Wicked, or Billy Elliott. You can see Orlando Bloom in "In Celebration" (not recommended), Patrick Swayze in "Guys & Dolls" (recommended), or the Royal Ballet performing Swan Lake. I know all the discount websites. I'm on the mailing lists. Suz and I divide and conquer. Sitting next to her at work helps:"What are you doing Thursday night?"
"Dunno. Nothing I think."
"Ok, then I am booking tickets."
"Sounds good...wait, to what?"
"Do you really care?"
With a little bit of planning and a bit of spontaneity, you can take in several shows a month...or in Suz and my case, several shows a week. We don't pay each other back for tickets. We just take turns booking them. As a result, in the three years I've been here, I've seen over 50 theatre productions and more music than I can count. On average, I'm out at a performance every other week (but actually probably more when you consider how much I am out of town).
This will be, by far, the most directly felt impact on my social life in Seattle. The Seattle theatre scene, well, I don't even think that's an actual phrase..."Seattle theatre scene"
So, as a fond look back at my time warming the seats in the West End. My Top Five (of the last 3 years) London Shows:
- Wicked with Idina Menzel at the Victoria Apollo Theatre
- Sweeney Todd at the Trafalgar Studios
- Guys & Dolls with Ewan McGregor at Piccadilly Theatre
- The Man of Mode at the National Theatre
- The Producers with Nathan Lane at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
26 July 2007
The weather page on BBC today actually says only one small phrase, "More Rain" and the Met Office confirmed today that our early summer has been the wettest since records began more than 240 years ago. TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY YEARS PEOPLE!!! Lucky me. No actually, lucky people of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire who have experienced some of the worst flooding the areas have seen.
Bring on the Pacific Northwest with it's mountains, perfectly temperate sunny days and cold winter snow. I don't even care that snow shuts Seattle down. I prefer to work from home, wrapped in a blanket, drinking my coffee and snow means skiing and skiing means happy and that is preferable to walking to the Tube in the rain day after day after day.
25 July 2007
You start out by taking the tube to London Bridge station and pop out right at the end of London Bridge. Wander up on to the Bridge, which is nothing much to look at, but the view of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Monument is worth taking in. Wander back down and then under the bridge to find the hustle and bustle of the wonderous Borough Market.
Borough Market is London’s oldest food market. It was established on the south bank of the Thames when the Romans built the first London Bridge. It has occupied its present site for 250 years...today you can think of it as a farmer's market with a European and gourmet spin. If you're with me, I'll drag you to all my favourite vendors to fill out my shopping list: artisan bread from local bakers, mushroom pate (gotta get this first - before the sell out), English cheese (taste a few to find your favourite), almond stuffed green olives and iberico ham (serrano). Taste along the way. I especially recommend the brownies.
Your trip MUST INCLUDE drip coffee from Monmouth Coffee (heaven) and plan on eating lunch from one of the many vendors. I prefer the free range chicken wrap stuffed with greens and herb mayonnaise. It's the juiciest most mouth-watering chicken I've ever tasted. I know several folks who prefer the venison burgers, or the roasted potatoes with raclette cheese, or the lamb gyros. There's also fresh shucked oysters for those who swing that way and in the winter there is always mulled wine. Selections made, make your way over to the courtyard of the Southwark cathedral and sit with the many other happy market eaters to enjoy your choices.
God. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
When you've had your fill and you arms are laden with packages for later, begin wandering up Southbank towards Waterloo. Along the way you'll pass a model of the Golden Hind, the Globe Theater, the Millennium bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the Tate Modern, Oxo Tower and eventually make your way to the National Theater and the BFI Southbank. You'll pass the used book sales stands, street performers, kids in the skate park, (legal) graffiti artists working, and on a sunny day, people sitting out along the Thames having a beer (join them!). I once caught a string quartet in one of the oversized foot traffic tunnels. The acoustics were amazing. If you can deal with the crowds around the London Eye, you can get a magnificent view of Big Ben and Parliament across the river.
Cut in to Waterloo station, hop on the Tube and make your way home. When Erin was living with me we would head to Borough in the late morning, have our coffee and lunch and load up with supplies. Dinner that night would be a carpet picnic from Borough, wine, and cheesy movies. That was pretty much the best thing ever.
I'm a cheap date.
So now, that I am loved up and glowing thinking about the things I love most I don't know that I can bring myself to whinge on about the things I don't like in London. I can't leave this on a sour note. I'll complain tomorrow instead...
24 July 2007
22 July 2007
20 July 2007
So inspired by my not of Hip Hop I give you Friday's Top Five Playlist.
- The Next Movement - The Roots
- Can I Kick It? - Tribe Called Quest
- Rebirth of Slick - Digable Planets
- Break You Off - The Roots
- They Want Efx - Das Efx
Download and enjoy. Can I get a hellya?
18 July 2007
Today, we saw the sun for the first time in about a year. Below, a true representation (in the form of a Boots ad) of what it's like in London today. We are all RUNNING to the pub to celebrate with a quick one before it starts clouding over again. I GOTTA GET GOING!!
17 July 2007
16 July 2007
- Foxton's estate agents SUUUUUCCCKKKK. Ok, I didn't learn that this weekend but I had it reconfirmed. Actually, all estate agents suck in general
- I am very handy around the house.
- Cherryride has my same addictions
- You can buy a new copy of Fight Club at HMV for just £3.
- You should not watch SATC (esp the Aidan year) or the first season of Grey's Anatomy (or any season really) when you are feeling single and PMSing. It doesn't help.
- Chocolate ice cream helps. It helps a lot.
13 July 2007
- Michael Meyers
- Black Cats
I'll be double locking my doors.
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
12 July 2007
Harold Pinter plays, as some of you may or may not know, are more about the experience and the feeling the audience gets and not necessarily about walking you through a storyline from A to B. Pinter doesn't resolve, he raises questions that go unanswered and he often leaves you to think about concepts without any specific guidance on the argument he is making (if he is making an argument at all).
Art for art's sake and all that.
Having seen the Dumb Waiter earlier this year, Suz and I were prepared. We knew that we weren't going to get answers and thought we could handle it but by intermission we just couldn't be bothered anymore.
"This is going to leave us frustrated. I can tell."
So we went to the bookshop, read the last 10 pages of the play and then went to Oxo Tower for the fantastic view and a glass of rose.
Turns out as much as we'd like to think we are the sophisticated theatre types, we actually like our plays with a beginning, and end, and clear storyline. We like to try to figure it out and be right when we get to the end. We want character development, we want to be shocked and awed, we want a damn argument to be made so that we can vehemently agree or disagree and discuss it afterward. I don't want to leave with a "feeling" and unanswered questions. That's just annoying.
So as Suz so eloquently put it, "F*ck symbolism." Direct and to the point.
I like it.
11 July 2007
I read an article in the Metro this morning on my commute and it convinced me to give Facebook a shot. I immediately found it gratifying and addictive and I feel like a dirty dirty little joiner for liking it so much. But it's way more interactive than MySpace and I don't feel nearly as much like an old fart crashing the kiddie dance party. Yes, I am totally unoriginal but whatever.
I feel hours of wasted time coming my way.
Twitter on the other hand is kinda fun but I still don't really get what I am supposed to do with it...or gain from it. From what I can figure, I just throw my random thoughts on the wall and anyone who is interested gets to read it? It seems to be a bit of combination of voyeurism (ooh, what's Dave doing right now?) and Internet masturbation* (everybody read about me and my thoughts right now!) which while initially entertaining becomes a bit boring pretty quickly without someone else to play with...if you'll excuse the extended metaphor.
As Jeff pointed out today, user generated content is cool but it needs to be directed and Twitter seems a bit early right now. I could see how it could eventually be of value in the future - maybe as a tool for a small group of people that need to communicate briefly to use ("Leaving the office, back at 2" or "Grabbing lunch, anyone need anything?") but right now it's just a bunch of people throwing up random crap. Like do I really care that someone named Steve is awake and making breakfast? Or that Julie is sick and going to bed early? Not so much. But if it was my cousin or my best friend or something...well, then maybe.
I'll keep playing along with Twitter for a while but without a dialogue or storyline I think it's gonna get old. Don't expect greatness from twitter.com/reckenroll.
Yet, all that said about Twitter, I am finding Lori Mocha's rants and ravings pretty funny.
*am I allowed to say masturbation?!?! This week's statistics on searches that bring people to ReckenRoll should be fun!
10 July 2007
Apparently being 30 has some unknown privileges such as being trusted with family heirlooms...
The ring has an inscription that reads, "Din D.D." Apparently D.D. is David Davidson, my great great grandfather and today I learned after checking in with some nordic colleagues that "din" means "Yours" as in "Always Yours." How sweet and lovely is that?
But right off, the ring presented a few problems.
- It's gold and I wear silver.
- It's a BIG ring. It was my great great Norwegian grandmother's wedding ring and while it may have fit her ring finger it fits my middle one and could actually be worn on my pointer finger.
- It LOOKS like a wedding band and as a single swinging gal in London town, even if worn on my middle finger, could prove to be a bit confusing.
I love that even though I have no idea what my great great grandmother looked like, I know what size her ring finger was; I love that I know that she wore this important gold ring for most of her life on her right hand; and I love that I know that she was loved by David Davidson. It doesn't tell me everything but it tells me more than I knew before. It's a time capsule for my family worn right on my hand and I intend to keep it there until it's replaced by a "din" of my own.
Doesn't that sound sweet and romantic?
Let's be honest, with my track record means it's just me and G.G.Grandma's din forever. But then again I am leaving London and it's crappy dating scene forever in just a few short weeks so things could be looking up. Seriously click on the dating link. It's so worth it.
08 July 2007
I walked into Live Earth* jazzed to see the Chilli Peppers and Madonna. I left THRILLED that I had seen the Foo Fighters and Metallica. The Peppers & Madge were good - don't get me wrong - but it was f*cking METALLICA.
I was ready to start a riot.
I'd hereby like to make a motion that from this day forward only ROCK bands play stadiums of Wembley's size. Pop stars not allowed in anything bigger than an arena.
Who's with me?
Other stuff I learned this weekend:
- Live Earth crowds are very well behaved. No one wants to riot.
- Spinal Tap jokes are funnier if you've actually seen Spinal Tap.
- James Blunt sucks as much live as he does on the radio.
- The Chilli Peppers drummer looks just like Will Ferrell. It's kinda scary.
- Wembley can not handle a crowd of 65,000 people for 8+ hours. We stood in line for the bathroom, the food, the beer, the money machine...
- They only serve hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken & chips, and fish & chips at Wembley. This is a very limited selection for an 8+ hour concert.
- Wembly CAN control a crowd of 65k people entering Wembley tube station after the event. London police use cops on horses. They all stand in a line across the road to the station. They then make an announcement telling everyone to wait and then turn all the horses the long way to form a sort of horse wall across the crowd. Everyone waits until it's time to go again and the horses turn back to let everyone past. It's bloody brilliant.
- Musicians get the most amazing smile on their face when the crowd at Wembley sings their lyrics back to them. I could actually see Dave Grohl thinking, "This is awesome."
*Many thanks to my friend Brendan for the tickets, the beers, the hot dogs and standing in various lines for no less than 2 hours throughout different points in the day to supply me with all of the above.Many thanks also to Brendan for not being embarassed by me or my love of the RAWK when I discovered my love of Metallica. You are a true friend.
06 July 2007
- Teenage girls who dress up super slutty in case Justin sees them in the 400 level = Funny.
- Women WAY OLD enough to know better who dress up super slutty in case Justin sees them on the 100 level = Kinda sad but still funny.
- It's been decided that Fergis sucks A LOT. We were late, arriving at 7.55 pm. She was supposed to be on stage starting at 7.30 and she was already done. LAME. However, it did mean time for a beer before Justin.
- It has also been decided that Timbaland should stick to the studio and avoid the live stage. I do not argue that the man makes some hot music. However, he did a random 20 minute set in the middle of the show last night (without Justin) that consisted of a random DJ mixing crap like The Fray and Kelly Clarkson while he yelled, "WHAT? WHAT? YELL HELL YA! CAN YOU HEAR ME LONDON? WHAT? WHAT? YELL HELL YA!" over and over and over and over and over and over and over. When he wasn't doing that he was just yelling over a random background track. Same content as above. For TWENTY minutes. LAME. However, it did mean time for another beer and bathroom break before more Justin.
- Justin is worth every penny every time. Good show. I am sore today from popping and locking like nobody's business while trying not to slide to my death down the nosebleed incline we were on. Next time I get better seats - if for no other reason that to bring the Robot like London has never seen before.
Have a good weekend all. If you want to watch any of the Live Earth shows they will be streaming them on MSN. Look for me at the UK show - I'll be the speck in the back!
05 July 2007
(Oddly enough, I am wearing that shirt today. In case you were wondering what I looked like today, it's that.)
Rosie managed to score us some sweet tickets to Justin tonight at the O2. This will be my third time seeing JT live (yes, I was a big Nsync fan - no, I am so NOT ashamed) and if it's anything like the previous occasions we should be in for a helluva good time. We'll be popping and locking to make Cherry proud. Hey, I may even throw in the Robot...just for kicks.
Fergie is opening. I have mixed feelings about Fergie. Mostly the feeling is, "Does she suck a little or suck a lot?" But then any girl who wears a tiara and bares midriff while confusing millions of Americans about what bridge they are looking at deserves to be hated.
Just a lil bit.
But I digress. Justin alone would be enough to make my week alone. BUT...
My friend Brendan is visiting from the States this week and he managed to hook a sister up with tickets to Live Earth London. The line up is AMAZING: Madonna, Beastie Boys, Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, Black Eyed Peas, Metallica, Snow Patrol, Keane...it goes on and on. They announced the set list today. You can read it here and drool over my Saturday afternoon.
04 July 2007
03 July 2007
You broke me boys.
INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:
- A Blog of a Good Time
- Meaning of Loaf
- Cherry Ride
Select five people to tag: (Will any of them do it? I have my doubts but here goes...)
- American in London
June 1997. I was back in Alaska for the summer between junior and senior year of college. Working for Grayline as a lead CSR at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Anchorage. I had just spent a semester studying in Morelia, Mexico.
What were you doing 1 year ago?
Let me check my old blog. Apparently I was watching the World Cup, preparing my summer beach reading list, praying the US government got my passport back to me before I went to South Africa and hanging out with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.
Five snacks you enjoy:
It might be easier to list 5 songs I don't know all the lyrics too. I am kinda like Rain Man. It's a sad little gift. I REALLY want to go on that new game show they are advertising in the States. The one where you need to know the lyrics to win. I would ROCK that game show. I would be that show's all time champion.
- Rump Shaker - Wrexs n Effex
- We Are the World - By everyone famous in 1985
- I Want Your Sex - George Michael
- California Love - 2Pac
- Bye Bye Bye - Nsync
What's sad is that a million bucks doesn't really go that far these days.
- Buy a PHAT pad in Seattle (but not in NYC or London, you need way more than that in NYC & London) and get a dog. Maybe two (dogs, not places).
- Buy a place in Whistler and Hawaii. Travel frequently between the two.
- Take an extended leave of absence from my jobby job and travel in style around China, Japan, Thailand and India for a few months. Bring friends with me.
- Buy some Jimmys and Manolos and handbags to match, oh my!
- Treat friends to day of pampering at the spa...in Singapore.
- Learning all the words to pop songs
- Chewing my nails when they snag
- Telling off other drivers regardless of whether they can hear me
- Playing with my necklace/hair
- Blogging at work
Any time? Any place?
- Drinking cold white wine on a sunny day
- Trying new restaurants and bars
- Going to the theatre
- Laying on the beach. Any beach.
Can this include 5 things I never wore in the first place?
- Skinny jeans
- Big feathered bangs
- Spandex leggings as part of a regular outfit
- Capri pants
This is tough. Do they mean grown up toys or toys toys? I am mixing and matching.
- Silly Putty
- The Airzooka
- Digital Camera
Needless to say, I have been slightly out of touch with things happening back here on the homefront. Failed bombings, 17 days of straight rain, and London going SMOKE FREE.
I nearly jumped out of my chair on landing at Heathrow and being reminded that all of the airport was now a smoke-free facility. I had completely forgotten that as of 1 July there is no smoking in any public building INCLUDING PUBS, BARS and RESTAURANTS.
It's a whole new London.
01 July 2007
Although, after hearing these lyrics at the karaoke bar tonight, I might reconsider my membership.
"Oh, Justice will be served and the battle will rage.
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage
You'll be sorry that you messed with the US of A
'Cuz we'll put a boot in your ass
It's the American way."
Seriously? "We'll put a boot in your ass. It's the American way?" I thought life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was the American Way. Did they change it? Did I miss a memo?
I thought it was a joke until I looked around me and saw everyone belting it out, and some even getting teary eyed in the process. There was not a single drop of irony in the room. The fact that the cowboy singing it was completely off the beat and tone deaf didn't help, but I was totally in shock. This pandering, over simplistic crap was tugging at everyone's heart strings and apparently I was the ass who couldn't muster a tear.
It's freaking FREEDOM FRIES. It's freaking email forwards with Powerpoint slides of bald eagles with tears in their eyes and I was in a room full of people spamming me.
It's the ignorance behind overly patriotic and righteous crap like this that have put me in the middle of more than one stupid conversation where I have had to explain that these archaic, chauvanistic, patriarchal, patronizing, ignorant redneck ideas are not necessarily representative of every American (although they are rather characteristic of our current President, but again, I digress). It completely over-simplifies and serves no purpose except to limit thinking...Black and White. America=Good and Others=Bad. Eye for an eye.
There are so many shades of gray to global politics and cultures and ideas. From what I've seen, ultimately, everyone just wants to live their lives in the best way they can - without conflict, strife, or anyone shoving a boot up anyone's asses.
A pacificist I am not, but what's so funny about peace, love and understanding?
Toby Keith, I am not a fan.