Dear Wales,

My goodness, Wales, you certainly are pretty.

I think, just between you and me, you are even prettier than Ireland. You have flowers, after all!

But don't tell them; they'll only be insulted.

I also like your beaches rather a lot better:

But your ocean water is sort of obscenely cold. Well, sorry. But it is. You froze my feet!

However, I forgave you, when I saw one of your excellent castles.

I am so pleased I took a tour of your southern bits! (Not in the dirty way.)

I have enjoyed my time here so much, Wales. Your language is kind of impossible to pronounce, but it's also kind of crazy-cool to see written out, and part of me wants to learn it so I can swear in it and have people look at me funny.

Alas, I did not see your stars and I did not get any autographs, but that is how it sometimes goes, and I did have a pretty excellent time at your best pub last night. You do know how to party, which pleases me.

I wish you well, Wales, and I am sorry to be leaving. You're good people, you are. You should keep on being Welsh; you have my approval. I promise to see you again someday!


My Sister's Gonna Hate Me

I wandered around Cardiff all day - well, hang on. I wandered around Cardiff for half a day and then got tired and found the library, and then it closed so I found a bookstore, and then it closed so I found a restaurant and had dinner. But there was wandering. In the morning, there was.

In the morning, I went HERE:

And then I found THIS:

I KNOW! So of course I had to do THAT. And I saw this:


And almost got exterminated by THEM:

It was VERY exciting. For me. Who is a dork.



Spring break is not for everyone. It's not designed for sorority girls, or fraternity boys. It's not so that what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico. It's not for undergrads at state schools at all, in fact. I know it's been heavily commercialized, but so has Christmas, and every year we get somebody telling us the "true meaning" of the holiday.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you the "true meaning" of spring break.

Spring break is a just and merciful God's gift to graduate/postgraduate students everywhere, who have had a very difficult term and need some actual relaxation time, rather than short periods of catching one's breath.

That we may not forget ourselves, we have been given much work to do over this breathing period, but that we may not despair, the sun has shined upon us in this, the first week of it.


Oh, and by the way....

Dear Dick Cheney,

Please shut up.

The Rest of the World

It Feels Like Years Since It's Been Here...

Here comes the sun...

I know, I missed a week again. But this time, my excuse is that I was on a train up to Stratford to do a research project. I couldn't update from a train. No, honestly, I couldn't. It was sad.

Stratford, though, was not sad. We caught a showing of The Tempest while we were there, and it was just gorgeously, gorgeously done. Antony Sher as Prospero was fairly magnificent, and John Kani as Caliban was very affecting, although I have mixed feelings about the face he presents in interviews. (I haven't read any interviews with Sir Antony, but he was perfectly charming when I met him.) And Ariel and Ferdinand were very attractive and took their shirts off a lot, so that was nice too.

The interpretation was post-colonial and almost purely African, and it was bright and beautiful and interesting. Everyone we talked with beforehand said things like "It's certainly a very interesting production," so I was prepared for rather the worst, but actually, I thought the whole thing worked beautifully. In practical terms, it was very creative: there was a monstrous puppet Sycorax, and the disappearing banquet was the best I'd ever seen it; plus the way Prospero summoned Ariel was clearly authentic. And on an interpretive level, both Prospero and Caliban became so much more interesting. Prospero, especially, I think, since we got to see his much darker side, and so many character flaws that most productions just ignore.

So that was moo-velous, and my research went just fine, and it has been so spring-like since I got back! I swear, when the sun shines on England, any part of England, you just feel in your heart that God is smiling on you. It is even supposed to get up to 60°F this week, which is crazy-excellent. I only need like, a t-shirt and one jacket when I go out. I know, know for a fact, that in a matter of days the sky will dump ice on my head, because that is the way spring is in this part of the world. But dammit, I will enjoy this while I can.

A final bit of news - last night I watched the movie Penelope, with Christina Ricci and James McAvoy, and I have decided that it is the cutest movie in the world, and life-affirming to boot. Sometime soon I am going to buy it for myself, and meantime I must encourage all of you to watch it. So sweet, so nice, like a combination of Shrek 2 and Pushing Daisies. Next time you're in a bad mood, scamper off and rent it; you won't regret it.


And So the Whirligig of Time...

I know, I know, I missed last Sunday. *Hangs head* I'm sorry. I'd just returned from London, I'd just had an interview for a job I didn't get, I was living in squalor, and no update happened. I was a little burnt out and tempted not to update today, but then, you know, it becomes a habit, and before you know it, I'm all back to never update at all.

So I finally am NOT living in squalor anymore, and I'm kind of shocked at the state I allowed my room to come to. For serious, you guys, it was icky. I only cleaned it today, and I was like, I can't even believe this is where I live. I'm not significantly happier that I live here now - it's still pretty depressing - but I am no longer embarrassed that I live here, and sometimes that's the best you can get.

At some future date I will be sharing all the gory details of our annual Shake In A Day, but I'm saving the details of the idea up, so I can tell them to my ducks when I get home and help them organize their own. Suffice to say, that was some messed up, but hilarious, crap.

In other news ... well, I don't have a ton of other news, since most of last week was me lounging around in my squalor, recovering from the craziness that was London and relishing being the only person in my room. Sharing with nice people is still sharing, and not getting enough sleep still makes you tired, even when you're doing exciting stuff during the day.

What I can tell you is that Merlin continues its cute-but-stupid hijinks (much like Robin Hood, which I eventually gave up on, because I had to watch it online, and pretty people are less pretty in lo-def) and I really love watching it, as long as I focus on looking at the pretty people and completely ignore whatever they're saying. But they are very, very pretty. Life on Mars, in contrast, has very few pretty people (or if they are pretty, you can't tell through the bad seventies hair) but very interesting storylines and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. And I'm back on the moderately dopey Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, but I am tired and they clip along nicely (though I do wish she'd quit dating vampires and start dating werewolves, who are nearly always sexier).

And yeah, that's been my week. Not so exciting, but there it is.