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tuesday, 30 november

overheard: '...exploring yourself and your body' -henry

first things first: tomorrow is december. this i am not ready for. though i am ready for another stipend check. sure am. really. give it to me now. second things second: this is a great photograph. made me laugh out loud. nuns. ice skating. hilarious. today, despite a continued pain in the neck (don't worry, mom: i can still touch my chin to my chest), i plan to go to the library. what i'll do once i get there is anyone's guess. take a nap? text people? we'll see. i wrote two solid pages of my new chapter yesterday. that's about 10%. so i'm pleased.

read this article in the NYT. looks like places like harvard and georgetown law may be able to keep military recruiters off their campuses after all. hur-RAH.

monday, 29 november

overheard: 'is that your real nipple?' -dave

ok. let's play a little game called why washington state is better than arkansas. this game was spawned by news that microsoft is set to make a $32 billion dividend payment to its shareholders. for the british among you reading this, $32 billion is equal to about 18.37, given the plummeting value of the dollar. but anyway, bill gates will get a little more than $3b, and he plans to pass all of it along to his foundation. this got me to thinking about the walton family. you know, the people whose dad invented walmart. yes. that walmart. i've never been in one. i hope never to be in one. i hope that chasms open in the earth someday so that the stores can be reunited with their founder in hell. only when their non-unioniz employees (that's all their employees, pa) are away.

anyway, on to the point. the walton family, according to money magazine, has a cumulative net worth double that of bill gates. now, the first part of this game is a comparison between the websites of the walton family foundation and the bill and melinda gates foundation. that's arkansas for you. the second part of the game involves numbers. bill gates's new donation to his foundation will bring his lifetime giving to about $31 billion dollars, almost 65% of his current net worth. the waltons, on the other hand, have altogether given about $1 billion, around 1% of their current net worth. add to that their company's long-standing homophobia and censorship and their refusal to let employees unionize or secure healthcare for a reasonable price, and you have a right unpleasant (though admittedly very rich) family.

oh, and i just noticed that the walton family foundation doesn't make grants to "Medical and health care related programs". go figure.

last night's carol service was lovely. kathleen joined me and jack and his family there and for dinner in hall afterwards. jack's dad got trapped talking to a cardboard cutout. but we sat with mike and saskia and the whole thing was a stunning success. a very pleasant evening, i thought. and now back to the grindstone of 8th week.

sunday, 28 november

overheard: 'imagine him pooping on your face. isn' that weird?' -unkown, thank god

ok. the day may be young, and filled with adventures as yet unkown, but an early leader in the "best thing about today" race is the email i just got from my friend meg, with whom i have, sadly, had very little contact for a couple of years. she, you may remember, befriended me while our freshman year roommates were cuddling in the next bed. she, meanwhile, was drunk as a skunk (this was in my teetotalling days, you know) standing on my bed telling me about dar williams. then we made a pact not to pull anyone for a month.

oh, memories. i wonder where bob is right now.

well, it's now sunday of 8th week, which means i have officially done no work this term. so a chapter will have to be written during my time at home. i'm sure my parents are thrilled at the prospect of seeing history in action.

advent carol service in the cathedral tonight. followed by dinner in hall. kathleen is coming. so is jack's family. i LOVE LOVE LOVE christmas time. but it's too bad there's no chch christmas dinner this year. useless food rep.

saturday, 27 november

overheard: 'i'm metrosexual' -stu

of course you are, stu. of course you are. yesterday, you may have guessed, was a hangover day, in true spokane thanksgiving style. not on account of drinking too much, but on account of the horrendous wine they serve at JCR guest dinners. it was a good time, though. many funny things were said. the beef wellington was much better than i would have hoped. only bad thing about thanksgiving: why didn't my family call me? boo!

on account of having beef wellington for dinner on thanksgiving proper, jack made me a HUGE thanksgiving feast last night. which was very nice of him. i guess, technically, marks & spencer made me a thanksgiving feast. but jack bought and cooked it. and all was good in the world. of course, being jack's version of thanksgiving, there was fried rice involved. he did make that from scratch himself. it was amazing. then we watched the cider house rules, which i'd wanted to see for quite a long time. it was good. i'm glad they left out the logjam scene that's in the book, because i never made it past that point. too graphic for me. john irving does that sometimes. and with that, i'm off to the library for a little pre-brunch studying.

thursday, 25 november

happy thanksgiving!
overheard: 'is this park royal?' -me. 'this is the worst place in the world' -jack

ok. so it's not going to be a very relaxing holiday. i have a library to get to, a coffee meeting at 10.30. a meeting at noon and a rhodes football game to whoop some first-year scholar butt at 1.15. then it's back home for a very hot shower, maybe a little work and getting ready for the jcr black tie dinner.

in case anyone is confused why i love my home country, click here. or watch the macy's parade today. it's one of my favorite events of the year. apparently i get thanksgiving a day late this year. which is fine by me. mmmmmm: stuffing. gravy. i miss all my spokane friends. east coast thanksgivings were something else. amanda's in ohio this weekend. allison is in new york. i don't know where brandon and katie are, but they're not here, sadly.

wednesday, 24 november

overheard: 'i'll show you my vagina if you show me yours' -jack

someone seems to have stolen november. i haven't seen one of my flatmates since halloween. i hope he's still alive. i'm writing this from the british library because i'm bored and waiting for a manuscript to arrive. they have wireless here, which would be super cool if they didn't charge 5 per month for its use. oh well. the thing i love about the british library is that one is bound to run into the most unlikely people here. like that time over spring break when i ran into my georgetown italian professoressa because she was sitting right next to me reading some 17th century frnech text. today, i ran into juliet, my upstairs neighbor from last year. and i'd go for lunch with her, but she's just plugging away at her work. and jack's on his way back from canary wharf. so maybe not.

monday, 22 november

overheard: 'I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.' -E B White, via Drew's away message

ok. i must apologize. reading over the bulk of november's daily updates, i decided the grand majority of them are completely incoherent, which, unsurprisingly, mirrors my my mental state this month. fortunately, i rediscovered my focus yesterday. it was at albi stadium. ask amanda what else was there. so know all that's left to do is put a strong finish on my last 17 days in england before christmas. chances of completing a written chapter before departure, though, are slim.

i'm slowly beginning to read newspapers again. the thought of four more years of neocon government still turns my stomach, but not as much as the thought of hundreds of crazy, bible-wielding lawyers. too much. too much! to offset that unsettling article, have a gander at these lovely photos from my homestate. i do like england, but sometimes i long to see a mountain.

no updates until thursday, on account of my going to the public record office early tomorrow and to the british library on wednesday, with a night in london between the two.

sunday, 21 november

overheard: 'i came in his pigeon hole as part of freshers week' -GCR dinner

well well well, look what the cat dragged in. the black tie dinner last night was even more fun than usual. i'm glad that brian came up for it. jack left early (boo!) to head to queer bop at wadham. i went with the others to the undie, where the worker bees broke the till. having nothing resembling exact change, i tried to head home (and failed). in the end, i had a beer, chatted with jack's flatmates, made fun of my own flatmates, and avoided getting drunk even a little. though the wine i got from the buttery was very good (ps to joe: it was from alsace.)

it is, now, sunday of 7th week. term disappeared without my permission. can't say i'm thrilled. so much work to do, but i've determined to go to the PRO on tuesday and the BL on wednesday. should therefore be a productive week.

the new class of rhodies was named last night. so many development studies people. goodness gracious. particular congratulations to the two washingtonians, the hoya, and the iowan at whitman. and to the other 28, as well, i guess. let's hope there a few more gay ones than this year (which is none).

alright. time to get to brunch.

saturday, 20 november

overheard: 'now you guys have everything... cute voices, mugginess, hot nuts, huge ravens, civil partnership... lucky bastards' -mandahouse

it's coooooold outside today. and i should have lots of interesting things to say, but i'm feeling a bit under the weather. har har. chch black tie dinner tonight. i'm not going to queer bop, though. too cold. stu's birthday last night: definitely some images i wish i'd never seen. brunch was good today. gots to get to work.

friday, 19 november

overheard: 'it's like an STD' -GCR wine tasting

kinda hung over from the wine tasting last night. so i'm gonna get to it. my interview was moved to february: boo. at least it's friday.

OH. and the civil partnership bill passed the house of lords on wednesday and received royal assent last night. so it will take effect next autumn. pretty sweet. champagne party this afternoon in celebration. yay!

thursday, 18 november

overheard: 'he looks like a middle-aged woman' -canary wharf

well, the good news is that i passed my mckinsey exam. the bad news is that i have an interview sometime next week. which means i get something new to stress about this week. not really. it's cloudy today. par for the course for an english november day, i suppose. i must admit i miss home a bit right now. probably just because we're a week away from thanksgiving.

i really should have something interesting to say. ummm. i had 3 different types of tea yesterday. dinner in hall (tandoori chicken) was good. ordered a bottle of wine for saturday's guest dinner. the college has quite a big selection, it would seem. our former GCR president is presenting at my seminar tonight. and i go home 3 weeks from today. hm. i need to convince a professor to let me have the microfilms that he's had checked out from the history faculty library for the last 8 months. oh my.

wednesday, 17 november

happy birthday, shannon!
overheard: 'i can't spell you' -strong mad

ok. short update. gotta get to that test thing. first time i've sat an exam in 753 days. yes. i'm a nerd. i could really use a TCBY right now. white chocolate mousse. mmmm. marshmallows. holla.

tuesday, 16 november

overheard: 'those are my dad's nuts' -jack

yesterday: good, but unexciting. today: lots and lots of work. perhaps to london tomorrow? oh. no. i have a numeracy exam for a job. eek. oh. speaking of eek, tonight the state-level rhodes interviews begin with 50 cocktail parties designed to scare the crap out of otherwise over-confident young people. poor kids.

last night i was feeling like avoiding my real work, so i undertook the task of sorting the spokane county election results (as of 13 november) into geographical regions, the better to understand the political world of my hometown. below is a table summarizing what i learned:
president senator governor
geographical area kerry bush murray nethercutt gregoire rossi
cheney 1606 1641 1616 1522 1549 1604
downtown/central city 6099 3573 6192 3249 5919 3473
north side (south of francis) 16033 15015 17347 13039 16622 13783
north side (north of francis) 12878 19513 14118 17841 13684 18318
north side (total) 28911 34528 31465 30880 30306 32101
lower south hill (north of 29th)
(my hood)
7938 5775 7973 5581 7717 5833
upper south hill (south of 29th) 7814 9745 7927 9440 7810 9557
south hill (total) 15752 15520 15900 15021 15527 15390
latah creek/downriver/west plains 3426 3829 3674 3479 3512 3645
valley, liberty lake, etc. 18740 28774 20894 25906 19649 26986
the rest of the county 12908 28774 14652 21395 13942 22171
city between francis and 29th 25577 22431 26936 20142 25888 21220
county totals 87442 111536 94393 101452 90404 105370

so there you have it. not all of spokane is full of crazy repubicans. on a related note, the governor's race state-wide is still too close to call.

monday, 15 november

overheard: 'if you're going to go posh you should go all the way' -despina

wow. so much to remember from friday, since saturday's update really didn't do justice to it. tea with sue meng (meng sue?) was lovely. it's always great to see her. i need to track her down more often. but she lives off the abingdon road. which really isn't nearby. so more teas at the rose will have to suffice. after tea with sue, i ran off to get suited up for the new college guest dinner (put me in, coach!) with my spo-friend kathleen. always nice to see a spokanite. especially one as charming as kathleen. and at dinner i had the aforementioned 3 glasses of white wine, which were followed by the dangerous 3 glasses of carlsberg. drunkest i've been in a long time. certainly since ptown, but probably since that awful peck party last trinity term. reports from various sources on saturday confirm that i was hilarious around sober people when i returned to liddell friday night. highlights include despina asking me what my hobbies were. my answer? fit boys and butt sex. yeah. glad there weren't any adults in the room. except seb. and he hardly counts.

saturday i must admit i was a bit hung over. except when i woke up drunk. but hangover brunch in hall was brilliant. so was the nap i took before showering for a second time and heading into london. jack and i got lost (both physically and in the heady enthusiasm of the eid revellers who surrounded us at a texaco in shadwell. which is in east london. which is not such a charming place as one might hope) on our way to gina's housewarming party in canary wharf. but the party itself was nice. dave/dan/dave and pete and henry and suzie and seb, tash and others were there. oh. tim came back from vienna for it. good to see him. but i didn't drink. and i was exhausted by the time we got back to jack's house.

yesterday capped off the most social week i've had this term at oxford. brunch with jack's family at a restaurant called richoux in st johns wood. amazing waffles. good cumberland sausage. kinda gross vienna sausage. and WAAAAY too much fruit. a quick (and way too hot) bus ride back to oxford, quickly getting suited up again, and then off to remembrence day mass (or as close as the anglicans get to it) and high table dinner at keble with jack and dr archer. then coffee in the SCR and a drink at dr archer's, and back here to sleep.

definitely a great weekend.

saturday, 13 november

overheard: 'i'm a domestic goddess' -the other andrew.

hung over today. 3 glasses of wine and 3 pints of carlsberg and i'm still drunk when i wake up. what gives? oh. and i'm listening to oseh shalom right now: which, in hangover mode, totally reminds me of trinity term last year. weird associations. ok. library. fatty fatty brunch. london. party. sleep. back to oxon. jack got an interview with a bank for monday, so everyone keep your fingers crossed!

oh and today's get fuzzy is a rerun. i had it taped to my door in portland. oh, the memories.

friday, 12 november

overheard: 'i will show him some of my german efficiency' -some GCR guy at dinner

it was cloudy and warm when i woke up today. now sunny. i don't know about the sun. i don't think we're friends. makes me squinty (i.e. gives me wrinkles) and makes my head hurt if it sticks around for too long. in good news, my body has adjusted to the 4 pm darkness thing. i actually made it to 11.30 last night before i absolutely had to go to bed.

next wednesday, i have a first round assessment thing for a potential "job" next summer. how weird would it be for me to have a "job"? i don't know how my parents would react. i think my mom was slightly comforted by one thing, though: "they gave you homework to do beofre the interview, and i know how much you like homework." and she's right. i do.

thursday, 11 november

armistice day
overheard: 'the gucci man doesn't wear underwear' -tom ford

tom ford, ps, is totally lickable. and if i weren't spoken for, i would have been mighty tempted. but that is moot. dinner last night: not so bad for food-in-a-pot. good to finally see mike again. rumour has it that brian is coming to town today. i miss abby. it's been a long time since i made it throught a night without a very strange and/or scary dream. two nights ago, it was buying a flat that turned out to be haunted. last night brought two: one about someone trying to kidnap me. another about a rollerskate race against my best friend brandon from comstock park to downtown spokane. but we were each paired with a 4 year old. they slowed us down, but brandon beat me still.

if anyone knows where in oxford i can find the microfilm of the repertories of the london court of aldermen, let me know. i'll be eternally grateful.

wednesday, 10 november

trying to mourn less
overheard: i'm sure someone said something funny yesterday

yesterday was good and productive. as i told JP, though, i'm trying to write the blackfriars chapter by sneaking up on it. hopefully it won't realise it's being written until too much time has passed for it to resist my charms. can't talk too much about that, though: a bit like mentioning your intention to sell a car in front of that car. they're stubborn, you know? lunch yesterday was lovely. and dinner was very nice. i got to meet the famous james allison, which was nice. all academics are the same. and by the same, i mean gay. and speaking of gay, i hope you've all seen that the house of commons overwhelmingly passed an "in all but name" gay marriage bill yesterday. now let's hope it doesn't run aground in the lords again. stoopid unelected chamber.

this morning will be dominated by a meeting with my supervisor. must get ready for that now.

oh, and for anyone keeping track of such things: my birthday is a month from today.

tuesday, 9 november

overheard: 'it looks very...authentic' -saskia

i go home a month from today. how odd. the terms fly by, don't they? dinner last night was good. jack came with me. after we watched sex and the city. yes. more. maybe a little too much. i feel like when i used to be addicted to snood. becky will back me up on this. after too much snood, you stand at a party and think, "hmmmm. over there i see two new college students talking to a student from merton. if i could only slam a third new college student into the other two, they'd fall down, and i might just get to the next level." like i said: snood is dangerous. but i'm eternally grateful to megmoooooo for introducing me to it.

i've written almost 2,000 words in the past two days. which is good. i went to coffee and for a drink with rolandas yesterday. london seems like a lonely place. no. i'm not freeking out at all. thanks for asking. today: tea with fiona, watching the CP bill pass its final stage of the house of commons, and maybe indulging in a little celebratory champagne with my beau?

monday, 8 november

overheard: 'what did she think her vagina was for?' -jack

yeah, i'm still a slacker. i had quite a busy weekend, though. the bcg thing in london wasn't as boring as i fearded it might be. they took us to two restaurants: for lunch, we went to avenue in st james. food wasn't bad. not great, though. i started with ravioli that wasn't nearly hot enough, followed by braised beef with red wine sauce and carmalized onions. a bit better. and mint tea and sticky toffee pudding for desert, which was actually very good. after some heavy petting (by which i mean recruiting), they released us to explore the royal academy, where there's a very ecclectic exhibition on loan from the jacobsen collection in copenhagen's carlsberg glyptotek. of particular note was william bendz's a tobacco party. that's not a great scan of it, ps. i also enjoyed the degas room. i even bought one of the greeting cards from the shop. which i rarely do. after another set of recruiting talks (which, while always similar, were slightly less stressful coming from BCG than from certain other consulting firms), we headed to dinner at circus bar, off of golden square in soho. i enjoyed the food there better than avenue, though the service wasn't as good. i started with subtly-flavored pumpkin soup, which was followed by a red thai curry with chicken and jasmine rice (not bad for being a totally un-thai restaurant) and amaretto cheesecake as the sweet course. but it was too rich to finish, and we were kinda in a rush. all in all, dinner ran from 8 pm until 11.30. which is quite an achievement.

yesterday brought brunch in hall and dim sum. that's really about it. i know. i'm lazy. but royal china never fails to deliver. last night jack and i watched 4 episodes from the 6th season of sex and the city. always nice. but i had bad dreams last night. in the first, there was a scary guy going around some city (perhaps portland?) beating people up severely. in a later dream, both of my parents died in a fire at a 2-on-2 volleyball tournament in which bobs and i were playing. i was very glad to wake up from that dream. i suggest that you all go check your smoke detectors now. please? ok. i'm going to go do a day of work. xo

saturday, 6 november

overheard: 'in a democracy, people get the government they deserve' -adlai stevenson

i got an email from my friend jeremy this morning, with an attached photo of mrs heinz-kerry from after the concession speach. very very sad. i'm going to echo jeremy's expression of passing through stages of grief:

denial - 11pm ET Tuesday
anger - 9am Thursday
bargaining - i don't really understand this phase
depression - 9pm Thursday - present
acceptance -

i also got an im from everyone's good friend paul last night. he's an ohioan. but it's not his fault. come back to oxford, paul! i need you to counterbalance the guy i met last night. also an ohio harvard grad at lincoln college. but this guy voted for bush. and then told me the problem with consulting jobs is that they don't pay enough. which leads me to believe that perhaps he and i don't have many overlapping values. in other news my battle with the IRS continues. hopefully they won't dip into my wages. oh. wait. i'm unemployed. damn.

thursday, 4 november

i hereby declare official mourning
overheard: 'like JVC. only prada.' -jack

post-election hangover yesterday. and i didn't even drink on election night. it's all a bit too much to deal with right now. where is our country going? the guardian (you'll remember them as the limey assholes who started a letter campaign to ohioans asking them to vote for kerry: a politically tactless move by any count) described the election as a victory for small-town morals. so let's prepare ourselves for four more years of darkness, four more years of fear and mistrust and violation of our civil liberties. let's prepare ourselves for four more years of bigotry and bull-headed foreign policy.

thank god i'm already an expat. my dad's best friend, who lives in portland with his wife and their adorable twin daughters, wrote me an email yesterday to ask if there was room for them at my flat. of course there is! there's room for all disaffected americans! just don't tell the college authorities, eh? i must say, too, that i am a fan of wonkette's advice: whether the cool kids head to canada or france, there's always a place to escape without leaving your own home: the state of denial. so i'm heading there now. and to the library.

tuesday, 2 november

election day/feast of all souls of the faithful departed
overheard: 'classics?' 'no. he's just greek' -hoyas at the turf

everything i do today is for john kerry. i woke up and did my crunches for him. i'm about to go take a shower for him. then i'll brush my teeth and shave for him. after that, i may do my laundry...for john kerry. later i'll take a nap for john kerry and make some dinner for him. maybe then he'll have the good sense to win the election.

as my mac house companions will agree, we've been following this election for far too long. 20 months, perhaps? so i'll not bore you with anything about the election itself, but when you're reading the paper tomorrow morning, keep in mind that my home town of spokane is the nerve center of the AP's election results tracking operation. pretty nifty, eh?

i'm anthony house, and i approve this blog.

monday, 1 november

overheard: 'it's too bad you don't like foreign food' -tash, finally shedding light on an awful rumour circulating about me

scary things about today: it's monday of 4th week. it's november already. tomorrow is the election. but at least the redskins lost. and i'm gonna go do a lot of work today. so i must leave you without much more said. forgive me. oh, but thank goodness that i'm finally getting to welfarize someone. which sounds dirty, but it's not. it's tough being GCR LGB rep at ChCh, you know?!

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