Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fallen by the Wayside

I bet my few readers thought I'd forgotten this blog entirely. Well, I haven't! I've just been avoiding it, because up until spring break there wasn't a lot of new stuff going on. Schoolwork, hanging out, working out, feeding myself, sleeping, etc. Nothing very good.

And then spring break came, and March 10th through 21st was full of stuffstuffstuffstuffstuff to do! And then my mom was here for the weekend, and then I had a paper to write (which was a horribly painful process), and then my friend Steve who's been in London this semester with BU came to visit this weekend, and I just couldn't be bothered to update.

And even now that I am updating, I can't bring myself to try an in-depth summary of what's been going on. It's just too much, and I've finally come to the realization that I have no patience for long-term blogging. BUT for those who're interested, I guess I'll give a few details.

Monday of break I took a flight to Madrid to stay with my friend Hugo, also from BU, for two nights. I discovered that I speak far less Spanish than I'd hoped (which is to say pretty much none at all), and that sangria is really, really dangerously easy to drink. Also, Madrid is gorgeous. Hugo's not too fond of the Spanish people, though. He says they're very intolerant, to the point of asking if voting for Obama bothers you because he's black. Also, there is a lot, and I mean A LOT of pork products around...which Hugo says is to keep away the Jews and Muslims. Oh dear. But they have the best hot chocolate going, so there's that going for them at least. Also, there was a Modigliani exhibit going on which was very good.

I spent most of that Wednesday in transit to get to Turin and then Alba, Italy, to stay with Noah for 3 nights. That was an incredibly, delightfully laid-back stay. I wandered around the entire town in about an hour. The food was excellent and plentiful, the wine was amazing, and the beer was absolutely terrible. But overall it was a great stay and made me realize that I shouldn't be so focused on visiting large urban centers everywhere I go. Just because there's a lot of people there and they're easy to get to doesn't mean that more rural areas aren't worth a visit in their own right. I'll have to work on that, but it's a difficult mindset to get out of.

Saturday I flew back to Dublin for St. Patrick's Day weekend, because the chance to spend it in Ireland was one I didn't want to pass up. Turns out, however, that St. Patrick's Day is much more of an Irish-American holiday than it is an Irish one. But I did go to the parade with my friend Dan (an Irishman), where we tried to get a decent view at about four different places along the route before giving up and watching the rest of it on TV at the Porterhouse with some excellent pints of their own brews. (The quality of the Porterhouse is an unfortunately belated experience, and I hope to get there at least a few more times before I leave.) The rest of the day was spent at various house parties on campus, and was fun, if not altogether that different from any other drinking occasion in Ireland.

Monday I hit the airport again to visit Steve in London, and man oh man oh man oh man do I LOVE London! I'd never been to England before, despite a life-long desire to go, and man, do I want to go back! I walked for about eight hours straight on Tuesday, much to the dismay of my joints, but I saw loads of awesome things. I didn't go inside many places though, because while London isn't much more expensive to live in the Dublin (even with the extraordinarily strong British Pound Sterling), their sightseeing costs are out of control. £14 to tour the Tower of London! Also, the Tube is pretty pricey, but I bought a day pass and definitely got my money's worth from it. Steve took me to see this play called "Into the Hoods", loosely based around the Sondheim musical, and it was AMAZING. Honestly, one of the best artistic experiences I've had in a long time. The dancing was unbelievable and I laughed so much it hurt. If anyone reading this ever has a chance to see it, TAKE IT. Aside from that, Steve and I met up with a couple other BU kids in London, Danny and Liane, to have dinner on Brick Lane. The gimmick of Brick Lane is that it's a couple blocks of Indian restaurants where you're accosted by various people, offering discounts and free drinks to get you to come to their place. Steve is ideal in this situation as he is a balls-out fearless bargainer, so we got 20% off the bill and a round of free drinks with our meal, which was deeeeelicious. Danny and I split a bunch of vegetarian stuff; he says I inspired him to pick up vegetarianism again, which is so cool! And I also went to a bunch of museums: the Natural History, Victoria & Albert, and Science Museums, and the National Gallery. The dinosaurs at the Natural History museum were a lot of fun, and the National Gallery is full of just amazing works, many of which I'd read about and was very excited to see in person.

UM let's see, and then my mom was here and that was excellent. We went to the National Gallery, which would probably have impressed me more had I not just been to the one in London days before, and the History & Archaeology museum which was very good and had a lot of excellent bog bodies, several of which I've studied in class. We had some good pints, and stayed for most of the time in the Trinity Capital Hotel, who we decided must had hired some fabulous gay designer to do the place (we loved it). We went to Oliver St. John Gogarty's (a supremely stereotypical Paddy-Irish pub in the middle of tourist-central Temple Bar) for dinner on Monday and had really tasty mussels and some fun chats with a couple from Edinburgh and another from Yorkshire.

(This is the part where I run out of stamina.)

Uh yeah so this week I wrote a paper and played a lot of online solitaire, went to a house party for a bit, and then Steve came and we went to the Guinness Storehouse, which was very interesting and educational and, at the end, tasty, and then later to the Dragon, which was this cool gay pub with lovely cocktails. We also watched But I'm A Cheerleader, a film I recommend to anyone with a sense of humor, and which Steve had never seen before. Daylight savings time kicked in last night, so we got home so late it was early and slept until 2.

The weather is improving and spring is here, thank goodness, but it's also become if anything more schizophrenic. It was gorgeous 20 minutes ago and now it's pouring rain. Good thing I don't need to go outside. Instead, I will sit here and work on my next paper, due Wednesday. April probably won't see much blogging, either, as I have loads and loads of work due, in addition to an interstudy trip to Killarney in a couple weeks. At the end of the month, after classes have finished, Danny is coming to visit and we're going to Galway and the Aran Islands. Maybe you'll hear from me sometime after that. Or maybe sooner. Or maybe not. Who knows?!

Oh, also, for anyone reading this who doesn't know and might be interested, I got into BU's field school in Menorca, so I'll be there from mid-May to early July. Six summer weeks in the Mediterranean? Yes, please! Especially after all this Irish weather nonsense.

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