rynne: (dance!)
Last day of class of the semester. The next two days are finals, on Saturday I leave for Cardiff, and then on Monday I leave the UK. A lot of the people in my program I've talked to or I've seen on facebook seem to be counting down the days and looking forward to going home, and I'm...rather not. I mean, it'll be nice to be home because there are people there that I miss and living expenses are somewhat cheaper, but I love London. I don't want to leave! XD

I had my last history class in a pub. We were just reviewing so my teacher said we might as well have a drink while doing it. This is one reason I don't want to leave London.

I also wrote some of my Remix longhand in the pub and then in my last class. I'll probably finish it tonight. I'm pretty excited about it. :D

Gordon Brown resigned! And the Tories and LibDems are forming a coalition! This is really interesting to watch, and I'm glad to have been here while something so historical has been happening.

I'm listening right now to the soundtrack from Billy Elliot, which I've seen three times this semester. Just because I loved it that much. Tomorrow I'm going to see Avenue Q, and then Friday I'm gonna see Legally Blonde. That's another thing I'll miss--all the theatre.

Last weekend I was in Oslo, which was awesome, though very expensive. But because of Oslo, I didn't get a chance to watch last week's Bones until this morning. And this one I have an actual reaction for.

Last week's Bones )

Also, in the past couple weeks I've been playing Final Fantasy: Crisis Core. Some thoughts on that as well.

Crisis Core )

Now I'm going to go play a bit more, then finish Remix.
rynne: (four chillin')
Spent yesterday in Southampton with [livejournal.com profile] shinyopals. There really wasn't all that much to do besides have milkshakes, look at bits of old wall, and sprawl on grass. I still had a good time, though.

Getting home was an adventure. I wanted sticky toffee pudding so I missed the last through train from Southampton to London, but this wasn't Crewe, so I could still get to London even when leaving at 9pm. I just had to take a ten-minute train to Eastleigh, take a rail-replacement bus for over an hour from Eastleigh to Basingstoke because there was work on the lines, then take a train from Basingstoke to London. I'd been worried that I'd get in so late that I'd miss the last tube and would have to take the Night Bus and then a cab home. But I caught the second-to-last tube, and still made the rail-replacement bus (because the tube line that goes closest to my house was down for engineering work) to my closest tube stop, and then just walked home from there. I was very pleased about not having to take a cab and spend more money!

I did get in past 1am, though, and this after waking up before 6 that morning, so I was pretty zonked. By the time I managed to go to bed, I'd been awake for nearly twenty hours, which is a lot for me. But I got home fine, so I'm happy.

Last week one of my teachers went to Oregon for a conference on the program, and thanks to the ash cloud, he's not back yet, so his class is canceled today. This is good, because it gives me more time to do research on this paper I've got due on Wednesday and haven't had time to write or research yet. I do hope that flights to and from Britain open up very soon, though, because I really want to go to Norway in a couple weeks.
rynne: (ten/rose smile)
This weekend is my weekend for meeting internet people. Yesterday I met [livejournal.com profile] magic_at_mungos and we went for an early dinner at a place in Brixton, which is the furthest south of the river I have been thus far. :p We sat in the restaurant chatting about random things from fandom to politics to various other things for a couple hours, and then when other people needed our table, we went to a pub and talked some more. Very lovely evening.

Then today [livejournal.com profile] shinyopals came to London. (Don't worry, [livejournal.com profile] goldy_dollar, she talked about you constantly. I felt rather like Martha.) We met at Earl's Court so that I could get some pictures with the TARDIS there, and then we went to the Doctor Who shop, where I bought some TARDIS socks, a Companionpalooza poster, and an issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

We went for lunch at a pub by the Globe, where [livejournal.com profile] shinyopals, who had got an assemble-it-yourself Tiny!Master, applied Vaseline to the Master's ass to make it easier to get something in, but alas! it was still too big to fit properly. She ended up having to use a pen to widen the hole first.

(Is that enough innuendo for you, Opal? XD)

We stopped by Trafalgar Square where there was some sort of Dutch celebration going on, but nothing particularly interesting so we didn't stay. We ended up dozing for about two hours in St. James's Park, and also chatting about bears, how Opal needs to WRITE MOAR FIC, and how all the pigeons in the park should stay away or Opal was going to kill them.

Tomorrow, thanks to screwy tube engineering work and also being on the other side of the city, I need to get up before 7 to make my train to Southampton, which Opal assures me is very boring. We'll see.
rynne: (the tenth doctor)
I have finally, for the first and possibly the only time, seen Doctor Who as it aired. No having to download it, no watching it the day after on BBC America, no watching it on SciFi, but as it aired. So awesome. I mean, I'm not particularly enthused with having added to the viewing numbers, but I'm still glad I could have done that at least once.

Anyway, reaction )

In other news, I was in Oxford yesterday, and that was awesome. But it was for a school excursion and therefore I didn't get to do much of what I wanted to do. I'm going to try and go back and spend some time there properly.

I did, though, eat lunch at the Eagle and Child, the pub where The Inklings would meet. How awesome is that? I got to eat in the same room as Tolkien and Lewis. Awesome. We also did a tour of Christ Church College, which is where parts of Harry Potter were filmed. I'm not as big a fan of the movies as I am of the books, but that was still pretty exciting.

And now I really want to reread Gaudy Night, so I can read all the place references in Oxford and pick out ones I recognize. :p Too bad my copy is at home in America. *sigh*

I've also pretty much decided that I'm going to Norway for a weekend in May. One of my classmates found the cheapest flights ever--I can get a return ticket for sixteen pounds. Sixteen pounds! To visit another country! I can't pass that up, so, Norway in May!

Tomorrow I'm going to see Alice in Wonderland in IMAX. Whoo!
rynne: (sea at sunset)
So many things have been happening. I'd been intending to post a lot more when I was in Ireland, but I ended up too busy to spend much time on the internet, and I'm...not really going to complain about that. Because Ireland was awesome and gorgeous and a week was not enough time, except that it was also expensive so it's just as well that I only spent a week there.

And the weather was good! When I'd looked up the weather it seemed like it was supposed to rain the entire time, which depressed me. But then I got there and it didn't rain very much! Lots of sun! When it rained, it was usually when I was on the bus. So I was very pleased with that.

[livejournal.com profile] thunderemerald, I went to Dingle. I also might have got food poisoning in Dingle, because we had lunch there and I started feeling sick after that, then spent the night throwing up and sleeping for roughly thirteen hours, and then felt pretty much fine the rest of the week.

Saturday night really sucked. I really should have just flown home. I was on my way back to London via ferry and trains when I got on what ended up being the wrong train. It was the right train line, and the right platform -- it was just too early, but trains can just sit and wait awhile, so I thought that's what that one would be doing. I should have just looked at the departure board because then I would have seen that this particular train was going to Manchester, not London.

I got off at the first stop and found out that there were no more trains going to London that night, which meant I had to find some place to spend the night. I almsot cried when the guard told me. I went back to Crewe, where I'd gotten on the wrong train, had to buy a new ticket for the next morning, and then had to find a hotel. My host mum told me when I got home that she would have spent the night in the train station rather than pay for a hotel, and maybe I should have (I do wince at paying the money), but between stress, nerves (spending the night, trying to sleep, alone, in a train station in a foreign country?), and the discomfort of trying to sleep on benches, I didn't think I'd be able to sleep at all, and I do not function well when I don't get enough sleep. I probably would have bungled getting home even worse than I already had.

And I wanted to get home as quickly as I could because I had Star Wars in Concert at three in the O2 Arena, and the Jubilee tube line, which would have taken me straight there, was down for engineering work that weekend. That would have been fine if I'd gotten home on Saturday night and therefore had enough time to get myself to the O2 on Sunday, but instead I was on a train back. I ended up being fifteen minutes late to the show, but it was a great show, and I'm just glad I made it at all.

I've been reading reaction posts for The Eleventh Hour, and talked to the big DW fan in my program. I've been trying to see it for myself, but it's not been happening. Last night I tried watching with BBC iplayer, which did work (hooray for being in Britain!), except there are those issues with the internet on my laptop, and iplayer won't work where there is no internet connection, so I only saw the first fifteen minutes. I got to school today thinking I'd just download it, but I've been having issues doing that, and I don't want to use iplayer on a school computer because there are other people in the computer lab and I don't want to disturb them.

The universe is conspiring to stop me from watching Moffat's Who. I wonder if this is a sign.
rynne: (exuberance is beauty)
Spring break starts tomorrow! This semester has gone by so quickly. How am I halfway done?

I've got...pretty much all my preparations done. All of my essays are finished and turned in. I printed out maps and directions from train stations to my hostels and to my tour and have the phone numbers of all these places.

Tomorrow I'll be in Ireland! For a week! I've always wanted to go to Ireland. This is going to be so awesome, even if apparently it's supposed to rain the entire time. *sigh*

I just have one test today, and then I'm done until next Tuesday, because Britain is awesome and gets Easter Monday off.

I should have internet in Ireland--it's at my hostels and I think possibly on my trains as well, but my computer might like it as well as it likes the wireless at my homestay and school (which is to say, it doesn't). I hope I will have internet, but I suppose we'll see. I have to go take my test soon, so I think I'll try to answer my long-unanswered comments tonight. XD

Ireland! Whoo!
rynne: (the wild waves sing)
My first class today was supposed to be an hour and a half, and instead it ended up being two and a half hours. We're not having this particular class one day next week, and he said he'd add some time on the next few classes to make up for it, but that ended up being half an hour yesterday and an hour today rather than half an hour over three classes, which is what I thought would happen. Two and a half hours is a very long class.

A couple days ago I mentioned to my host mum's daughter that I was going to Ireland for spring break, and she advised me to book a tour. I thought about it and decided that was a good idea, so today I started looking at tours. I found a 5-day one that fits over my spring break that takes me most of the places I want to go and takes care of my accomodation and so on, for a really great price (getting there and traveling around for five days and all that for £212!), but when I tried to book and pay for it, it seems there's something wrong with my debit card. I don't even know what it was, since I was entering everything correctly. I didn't bring my credit card today, so I'm going to hope that that tour doesn't fill up by tonight or tomorrow when I can try my credit card.

And it is only five days, when I have a good nine or ten for my spring break, but this tour is only Republic of Ireland. That's fine with me, since I can take a few days after that to go to Northern Ireland, because I want to see Belfast and the Giant's Causeway and then come back on my own. There are some things I still some things I have to plan myself, but a tour will make things much easier.

Gah! Stupid debit card! Hopefully I can still get this tour.
rynne: (star wars trio)
I found tickets for Star Wars in Concert for £33. Sunday 4 April in the O2 arena. STAR WARS IN CONCERT.

I'm definitely going. There's someone else in my program I told about it and who is thinking about it, so I'm going to hold off on buying my ticket until she knows for sure, but I am so going.

I need to get off my ass and get my student rail card. I'm going to Ireland for spring break and I was gonna take a train to Holyhead and then the ferry to Dublin, so I need to make my reservations soon, but I should get the student card before I get train tickets. I need to get a passport photo for it, though, but that's not difficult. I just need to make the time.

This semester is passing so quickly! I've been here for a month already, so I only have just over two months left. A third done. How did that happen? [livejournal.com profile] shinyopals, we definitely need to meet before I leave.
rynne: (bookstack)
I have to read the first half of Great Expectations...sometime before Monday. Gah. I "read" (for a given value of read, meaning a few chapters here and there) it my senior year of high school and didn't like what I read, so I've been putting it off and putting it off. But I'm going to actually try and read it this time.

In my theatre class we've been reading Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, which has been interesting. My only previous exposure to the Faust myth was actually the Wishbone episode about Faust, so I've been getting all nostalgic about Wishbone. Ah, Wishbone. Half my exposure to great literature like Faust or Cyrano de Bergerac or Red Badge of Courage has been through Wishbone. That was such a great show.

This Friday the entire group is going to Birmingham, mostly for the Cadbury's factory. God, I hope the entire place doesn't smell like chocolate. We're supposed to spend several hours there, and I might well be sick if I have to spend hours in a place that smells like chocolate. Ugh. Everyone else is talking about eating themselves sick, but if I do get sick, it will be because I find the smell of chocolate nauseating.
rynne: (the wild waves sing)
Back from Scotland. It was very much cold and wet (it rained pretty much the entire time we were there, except when it was snowing), but I still really enjoyed it. I managed to forget my camera, but people said they'd email me pictures.

I went to Edinburgh Castle, the National Gallery, the High Kirk of St. Giles, the Museum of Scotland, Linlithgow Palace, Carlton Hill, and the Parliament. I think my favorite was Linlithgow. It was just a lot of fun, exploring castle ruins.

It's now been three weeks since I got here, which means this is the longest I've ever been out of the US in one trip. It doesn't feel like it's been three weeks, though--the time's gone by really quickly. Then I think about it and realize that I've only got two and a half months left here, and it feels like such a short time. There's so much I want to do.
rynne: (david tennant is teh sex)
Unsurprisingly, I've been pretty busy. Classes are going well so far, though I haven't really had to do anything besides show up and do a bit of reading, and for the literature class discussing--most of my other classes have been mostly lecture where I just sit there. It's different, since I rarely take mostly lecture classes, but it's not that bad.

On Saturday I was out with some other people from my school, one of whom is here on a different program, and she says that her program has harder coursework and less cultural immersion than mine, so I'm glad I chose my program instead. Easier work and more culture and excusions? There is no bad there.

On Friday I went to St. James's Park, and I fed the ducks. I very much wished I'd brought my copy of Good Omens, but oh well. I still fed the ducks.

Tonight I'm going to see Twelfth Night, because even though I'm not in the Shakespeare class, there were some extra tickets, and I got one. Score! It does mean, however, that tonight will be a late night. Which is only bad because tomorrow is a particularly early morning. I have to be at King's Cross at 7:45, which means I need to leave the house at 6:45, which means I need to be up no later than 6:15. Gah! I hate early mornings!

But I will suffer it for Scotland. Three days in Edinburgh! Where pretty much everything, from train tickets to meals, is paid for by my program! My personal shopping and activities I'll have to pay for, of course, but I'm very pleased to get to Scotland for so little money.

I won't have internet until Friday, but until then, Twelfth Night! And SCOTLAND!

*uses DT icon, mostly because he's Scottish but partly for the pretty*
rynne: (four chillin')
The tube today was a headache. The Central line got closed, so we had to find another station to get home, but the next closest one was so overcrowded that it took us forever to push our way through the crowd of people. It was...very impressive.

Not much has been happening, mostly because I got a cold this weekend and didn't want to do much, and then have had class. This weekend I might see how expensive tickets to York are, because apparently there's a Viking festival going on there this weekend.

Next week we're going to Scotland. We'll be in Edinburgh for three days, Wednesday through Friday. Am very much looking forward to it, though I'm sure it will be very cold. *sigh*
rynne: (dancing!Linus and Sally)
OMG. Am in London.

*flails*

Am in London! For the next three months! Where people drive on the wrong side of the road and the intersections are funny and it's eight hours later than it should be and and and!

The flight sucked. Really, really sucked. It was turbulent all across the Atlantic and I couldn't sleep more than at most two hours out of an eleven hour flight and when we got to Heathrow we had to stay in a holding pattern for fifteen minutes when all I wanted was to GET OFF THE PLANE and then we had to wait another fifteen minutes for our gate when I just wanted OFF THE DAMN PLANE. Flying never agrees with me, but through most of the flight I felt like I had a hangover without having had the fun of drinking first.

My host mom is in Australia until Wednesday, but her son is here and he's pretty cool. I like my housemate from the program (especially since we have our own rooms. The easiest way to start to dislike an acquaintance is to share a room with them, I've found), and I am very relieved the house has wireless.

Now I need to unpack. And figure out where to buy plug adaptors because I forgot about those and I need them since I don't want my computer to die on me.

Then a nap. *firm nod*

OMG IN LONDON!
rynne: (scully the sleeping beauty)
Okay. Packing is mostly complete, except for stuff I can't do until tomorrow. Well, and the phone I bought off a friend who did this program last year. I have no idea where I put it, and I'm tired of looking for it. I'll try again before I go to bed, but it was a pay-as-you-go phone so if I have to I can just find another when I get there.

I'm very tired right now. I should probably go to bed, but I'm not sure when I'll next have internet access.

Mmmm. Oh well. Good night.
rynne: (Default)
I am now all caught up with Criminal Minds. I am not sure if I should be proud of this considering that was 104 episodes in a week and a half, which is...a lot. I did very much enjoy it, but what is interesting to me is that I don't care about ships, which is pretty unusual even for casual interests (and CM is somewhat more than casual but less than full--like X-Files and West Wing, it seems more like something I'll read fic for and maybe write a couple, but I'm not interested as I was in Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who).

Heh. Mostly what I want from the show and the fandom is to watch Reid be smart and awesome and often adorable, and I've been getting a lot of that so I'm happy. I just...have no real preference for ships. It's very odd, but also somehow refreshing.

Anyway. It's just as well I finished CM today because tomorrow will be spent packing. It's my last day in Reno. I'm going to Santa Cruz first to spend a couple days with my little sister and take her out for her twenty-first birthday, and then Saturday I leave.

I've never spent more than two and a half weeks abroad, and that was roughly ten years ago. I'm going to create a blog for friends and family to follow, but I need to think of a good name for it. XD Anyone have any suggestions for usernames appropriate to studying about in London/England/Britain/UK?
rynne: (exuberance is beauty)
Spring semester starts tomorrow.

Or at least, it does at UPS. Hah! I am feeling somewhat smug because I've got another three weeks before I have to go back to school. And when I do, it'll be in London. Hah!

Of course, a shorter semester means less time actually in London, but then I'm taking another three and a half weeks to wander around Europe. Germany is a definite, since I'm visiting [livejournal.com profile] heart_of_man, but after that I'm planning on Austria (Vienna! Salzburg!), Italy, and France. Italy and France I've been to before, but I haven't been to Venice and I definitely want to go there, and I only spent like two days in Paris. Also I really want to see Versailles. I think my parents are willing to buy me a Eurail pass, which will hopefully make things easier.

God, I'm getting so excited. I still have another three weeks to wait, but after that...four months in Europe! *bounces*

The last time I went to Europe was ten years ago, I'm pretty sure. I think it was 2000, and I was twelve. I didn't appreciate it very much. Well, there were parts I definitely did appreciate (Rome was awesome, and what I saw of Paris, and the traveling around England like to Stonehenge and Warwick Castle), but I was a stupid kid and I carried a book with me everywhere and a lot of the time I'd get bored and find a bench and read. I remember doing that at the Tower of London. I glanced at the Crown Jewels, got bored as my family ooohed and ahhhed over them, and went to read a book by the ravens.

I am going to do so much better this time. Not only have I (thankfully) grown up since my last trip there, but this is my trip, the one that I've planned and worked out and have made a bunch of calls and done so many tiny errands for. I am so going to make it an awesome one.
rynne: (huh?)
As might be somewhat apparent from my last few entries, I've been getting back into Final Fantasy VII lately (that fandom has some of my favorite time travel redos. :p), and today I thought I might try playing Dirge of Cerberus. I got it back when it came out, before I realized it was a third-person shooter, but that genre really isn't my thing so I never actually played it. It's just now that I've been reading more FFVII fic that I see it rather heavily used, and I want to know what happens in more detail than Wikipedia tells me.

*sigh* I couldn't even make it through the tutorial before I got annoyed and pissed at the controls. Especially the camera. People were shooting at me and I couldn't even figure out how to get the camera to look at them so I could shoot back. I've only ever played one third-person shooter in my life (Jet Force Gemini--old N64 game), and I liked that one well enough to replay it several times, but on the whole it's never been a genre I found particularly attractive.

Maybe I'll try it again over the next few days--see if I can at least make it through the tutorial before wanting to throw my controller against the wall. As frustrating as the camera was, it's equally frustrating to think I'll be defeated by being unable to figure out a damn camera. And I really do want to see the story. It's just--it's a Final Fantasy! Why'd they have to make it a damn third-person shooter? *trying not to gnash teeth*

In other, much less frustrating news, today I spoke to my roommate in London. Her plane gets in about half an hour after mine does, so we're going to share a mini-cab to our homestay. It'll be nice not to do the entire trip alone, even if it's only for the very last leg that I'll have someone with me.
rynne: (dork!)
I did end up buying the PSP. And Crisis Core. Both were $88 after all my gift cards, so in the past two days I've bought $220 worth of video games and only paid $88 for them, so I think that's a damn good deal.

Especially since I finally figured out the insurance thing. I called an agent today and figured out a policy that will completely cover my baggage (which is mostly what I want covered since I've got some expensive gadgets), but only will do the bare minimum of medical and trip cancellation and so on, and all for $90-$100. Score! My mom said she'd be happy with a $100-$150 policy, so I think maybe me finding a cheaper insurance policy that still gives me everything I want will make up for splurging on the PSP.

...Dear god, you know you've grown up when you're talking about buying insurance. How boring is that? Is it mitigated by talking about buying video games as well?
rynne: (roxas!)
So I finally gave in and bought Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Off Amazon, since I got $100 of gift card for Christmas and apparently I'd already had like $30 of credit to my account. (I don't remember how it got there, but I'm not complaining.)

Now the question is, should I get a PSP as well? I've still got about $100 of credit, so that'd shave the price of a PSP to maybe $50, but with the two other games I want to buy (FFVII: Crisis Core and Dissidia: Final Fantasy), I'd be spending about $100 on video games. And this is normally an awesome price for three games plus a new system, but...I am about to go to England.

On one hand, handheld video games would be useful things when traveling--they do not take up much space but still provide hours and hours of entertainment. They could get lost or stolen, though, and I still need to get some personal insurance (that does not come automatically packaged with health insurance, which my program gives me). Note to self--get on the insurance thing. Less than a month now!

On the other hand, what I spend on video games I cannot spend on necessary things like food (only about half my meals are provided by my program) or awesome things like travel.

It's only ~$100, but that's...still $100. And I just had to pay off an effing expensive speeding ticket, too, sigh. I am still waiting on my last paycheck from school, which should be here in the next few days, but I'm not sure how much it is apart from less than $100.

Christmas has just passed, and my birthday's not for another nine months. By the time my birthday comes around I'll be wanting FFXIII and a console to play that on anyway (still haven't decided between XBox 360 and PS3--neither has other games I absolutely need so it might just come down to which is cheaper by September), and that'll be bad enough.

Gah! I'm not sure what to do! I want these games, but I also want an awesome travel experience. My parents are willing to fund my trip, and I do have several thousand dollars in my savings account so not everything is on my parents, but...can I really justify these games? *sigh*
rynne: (Default)
Today I got new glasses. Hopefully they hold up better than my last pair did--the screws on those kept coming loose enough for the lenses to fall out, and I didn't have a screwdriver small enough to fix it so I kept having to use my fingernails. (Though, when I told the optical technician that, she was very impressed that I could. XD)

I also got my pre-departure packet for London finally, including information on my host family and who I'm rooming with. And this morning my host mum called me! That was both nice and unexpected. So now I've talked to my host mum, and will soon email my roommate, and hopefully before I leave I'll be able to look at the Tube map without getting confused.

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