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wednesday, 30 november

quoted: "you're the sexiest d phil student at oxford" -girl, to me, endangered species and hoes party.

holy crap. it's the end of november. i have a book review due tomorrow. i KNOW. my seminar actually asked me to read a "book", whatever that is. it's actually been interesting to see how a scholar takes an idea and develops it over a series of chapters, reaching a conclusion. i'll have to remember that when i'm putting together my doctorate.

london was...hung over. but i ate a hamburger and drank a snapple, and all was right with the world. then when i was trying to fall asleep last night, i had a panic attack about never finding a job. totally unpleasant. grr.

ok. back to work. maybe the gym later? i get paid tonight. thank goodness, really: the overdraft was beginningn to wear thin. so now christmas shopping can begin in earnest. see you in december.


tuesday, 29 november

quoted: "i think he's hitting on me" -me. "he's really desperate" -matt.

ok, so yesterday's interview didn't go very well. which is to say i enjoyed it, but i didn't get invited to return for the next round. i was very aggravated at first, i must say. but then matt and i got drunk. healthy? perhaps, but i was honestly planning to go out last night anyway. becks is kinda gross. not my sister, the icky beer. anyway, being drunk gave me clarity on what i did wrong in the interview, so i'm sure i can wow the next person to interview me. i hope.

the evening was fun, as i said, except for the smoke. yuck yuck yuck. hurrah for a smoke free spokane in 9 days. my walk home, lacking the smoke factor, was also wonderful. it seemed almost warm, and it was snowing lightly. i ran into a first year rhodie who seemed to be laden with bags of christmas shopping at 1.30 in the morning. altogether surreal and good.

i'm off to london now. not for any special reason, just to do some work. and maybe some of my own gift shopping. hurrah!

oh, and i am mildly hung over, for the record. but not bad. i feel great this morning.


monday, 28 november

quoted: "christine, open your aperture more" -ozzie at thanksgiving dinner

a fetish, triple-c, not a crush.

i had a lovely weekend. between the endangered species and hoes party, saturday's black tie dinner, and last night's advent carol service, i got my fill of low-impact socializing (it's better for my knees than high-impact socializing). i'm also feeling about 8 million times better than i was even saturday. so that's good.

i'm not gonna say much now, on account of another interview this afternoon that i should be preparing for. or ironing for. or something. i get paid thursday: YAY!


saturday, 26 november

quoted: "he always has a group of really attractive...people...around him." -endangered species & hoes party

there were lots of good quotes from the party last night. they'll be used as quotes of the day in the coming week, don't you worry. the party itself was good, if kinda far away (about 35 minutes' walk) and kinda (by which i mean really) straight. so straight was this party, in fact, that i got hit on by a girl! i can't remember the last time that happened to me.

here's a non-story that's about 3 weeks late from today's new york times. i'm not complaining. i'm just saying.

ok. i must get a shower and show my face in the bodleian. and there's ironing to do, but thanks to the hosts of last night's party, and congrats to jack on exchanging!


friday, 25 november

quoted: "i have a confession. i lost the key to your back door" -former GCR pres to current GCR pres

and now it's just one month to christmas. what a great week this is. it also went way too quickly. my seminar last night did indeed help me figure out what i need to do for next week (which is, roughly, to write a 2,000 word review of julia merritt's new book, the social world of early modern westminster). i know, i know: the idea of my doing 'work' is totally foreign. but so it must be.

dinner in the deanery was wonderful. we started with a rather odd tuna salad/prawn dish, but things got more thanksgiving-y from there. i was pleased to see that they've wallpapered the large hall on the first floor, making it infinitely more appealing. well done, dean!

i think i've decided that the reason i like thansgiving so much is it's lack of commercialism. yes, i understand that the macy's parade is a celebration of a mediocre department store, and that today is the biggest shopping day of the year in the US, but thanksgiving itself is really just about being with people you love and eating way too much. and that's pretty great, in my book anyway.

it's already quite late today, but i'm going to head to the gym and tesco, and THEN do some work. i know i know. but i've signed out of dinner, so all afternoon/evening will be mine to work/write/eat at my own leisure. since i worked on thanksgiving itself, i'm taking today as a relaxation day.

is scott mcclellan dead in a gutter somewhere? he hasn't done a press briefing in weeks.

finally: rhodes scholars seem awfully eager to be offended. i'm offended by only two things. firstly, i'm offended by long stretches on the rhodes listserv without email flame wars (it's shameful that i've had to wait until 7th week this term for a proper one). but i'm also deeply offended by the notion that there are sacrosanct concepts/ideas/people...that there are things so holy or so pure that they are beyond mocking, criticism, or even insult. that just seems like a dangerous road to hoe.


thursday, 24 november
happy thanksgiving!

quoted: "this is great. it's defrosting my a**hole" -pete

hurrah hurrah for thanksgiving. unfortunately, i have to spend the day working, then go to my seminar (so that i know what work i have to do before presenting a book review to said seminar next thursday evening), and then FINALLY i'll get to engage in a little festivity at the deanery with a dozen other american chch graduate students. hurrah.

last night's burlesque at rhodes house was amusing, though it went on for a LONG time. which is fine, i suppose, though i was completely knackered by the time i got home. i'm always amused at the ways in which fancy dress makes people act differently. maybe that's why i don't do it very often. anyway, lots of straight boys in drag in skits hitting on other boys. interesting. as mark said, "c'est tres tres tres homosexuale". as katie translated, "that was very good." nothing like watching a bunch of rhodes scholars take the mick out of themselves. a lovely evening.

as for the interviews, i've never been good at judging how interviews go. most of the time, i leave the room with a mild desire to cry. that was the case yesterday as much as it was back when i had my rhodes interviews three years ago. so there you have it. i won't even attempt to predict whether i'll make it through to the next round. i will say, however, that each successive interview went better. the first woman was belgian, and i had trouble reading her tone of voice to tell whether i was doing well or crashing and burning. that was bothersome. at the end of my final part of the day, my (rather adorable) swedish interviewer gave me his card, in case i had questions r wanted more feedback, which suggests that he at least might recommend that i move on to the next round.

after the interview, jack and i went to a lovely little japanese-ish noodle bar at the corner of old compton street and wardour street in soho. not too expensive, and very good. the sushi was even good. the katsu kare, though not as scrumptious as edamame's, was much much much better than wagamama. but i hate wagamama, so there it is.

things i'm thankful for this thanskgiving: my family; old and new friends; the food on the table; misty mornings; the g.prep food drive; east coast thanksgivings, 1999-2002; slippers; afternoon naps; mothers; fathers; grandmothers; evensong; scarves; christopher wren; window shopping; tea; literacy; the magnificat; mac house; telephones; breakfast.

speaking of breakfast, i'm going to eat some now. happy thanksgiving to all!


tuesday, 22 november

quoted: "does your mother know you've come out?" -early dinner

oh, those chch freshers. the things they say. speaking of dinners: i'm going to this burlesque evening tomorrow at rhodes house. the dress is outrageous/exotic. what does that mean? i'm so confused. and speaking of tomorrow: there will be no update, because i have an interview in london. cross your fingers for me. eek.

i'm feeling much better today. slept for 10 hours last night. jack kindly brought my keys back up, so i can leave my flat now. hurrah. i forgot to mention in yesterday's update how beautiful oxford was sunday night, when it was foggy. i mean, oxford is beautiful all the time, but on foggy evenings it becomes almost magical. the camera, for example, that looms over radcliffe square on clear days positively hulks in the fog. i may have been feverish and drowsy, but i could still apprecate its beauty.

safe travels to everyone on the move in these days before thanksgiving.


monday, 21 november

quoted: "i lost everything from my crotch, by the way" -pete

these are not supposed to be bi-daily updates. they're really not. but i'm deathly ill. ok. not deathly. just this strange viral infection that makes me sleep lots. katie and mark have both had it too, apparently. so we'll sludge through. my recouperation has been enforced (since last night, anyway) by the keys to my flat having been carried off to london by my loving boyfriend. such is life.

jack was kind enough to take me to the new harry potter movie. he noted that it's the first movie in the series where one needs to have seen the previous movies for it to make sense. it seemed to me like one would also be hard-pressed to understand what's happening without having read the book. the film shows a lot of great things, but it explains almost nothing.

on a mildly related note, the woman who wrote eats shoots and leaves has published a new book on manners. but from the sounds of it, it's nothing but a prolonged rant. that's too bad, of course, but i did notice some jaw-dropping rudeness at the cinema yesterday: two people in my row answered their mobile phones! two!

ok. i should probably go do some work and eat some breakfast. and see what butterstick is up to.


saturday, 19 november

quoted: "are you sure the bathroom is downstairs" -customer, to employee, at Qi

i think this is a good time to admit my addiction to the new york times wedding section. i do check it every single sunday. oftentimes, though, they post their vows column (in which they profile one couple in depth) on saturday. one sunday last january, the vows column focused on one of the rhodes scholars in the class below my own. that is neither here nor there, though. tomorrow i'm almost certain will mark the first time the vows column profiles a same-sex couple. very exciting. and of course one of them is a rhodes scholar from the class of 1992.

speaking of rhodes scholars, best of luck to all this year's american applicants, who will be whittled down to 32 by tonight. i don't envy you this very stressful day. and i can hardly believe it's been three years since i was elected. scary.

ok. now on to more important topics: butterstick, for example. as the font of wisdom that is wonkette says, "There is truly nothing that can be done that this baby panda cannot make cuter". as evidence thereof, i offer to you the "stick flick" (or, as animal planet insists on calling it, the panda cam). be careful, though, the adorableness of the stick is truly addictive. it's even cute when he humps the bars of his cage or gets kicked in the face by his mother. (much cuter, for example, than when my own mother kicked 3 in the face on her 16th birthday).

england is uncosncionably cold right now. i'm feeling rather under the weather. from certain angles i look a bit like a monkey (no. really.) i hate the oxford tube, and i have two interviews in the next 10 days. eep.


thursday, 17 november

quoted: "what do you say when someone tells you they heard a good impression of your orgasm?" -GCR wine and cheese party, of course

first: happy 25th birthday, shannon! hurrah!

second, i must apologise to everyone who has written me an email in the past several weeks. i don't mean to be a crap correspondent, but i've been horribly scatterbrained lately, especially about replying to emails. sorry sorry sorry. sorry, too, for not updating as much as i'd like. it's not for lack of things to say, i'm sure.

on to bigger and better things...thanks to brandon for sending me the link to
this, which is hilarious.

it is like the coldest day in history today. leaves are literally freezing off the trees. i'm not going outside anymore. that's a lie. i have to spend the day at the bodleian reading a "book", which is altogether bothersome. and then i should probably go to my seminar this evening. but at least dinner in hall is lasagne, which is always delicious and filling.

the following wonkette posts have made me smile recently:
notorious multitasking
poor, evil scott mcclellan (aka "abused puppett")
lions!

becky's surgery went off without a hitch. she can't walk on her food until after christmas. amanda is moving on 5th december. probably to the U District. within walking distance of a pagliacci. mmmm. and if she falls out of bed with anything resembling force, she can land in j.crew.


monday, 14 november

quoted: "you must be the hardest working person at this university" -liddell manager

if i am, it doesn't reflect very well on oxford as one of the leading educational institutions in the world, i'm afraid.

i'm trying to resist temptation. i am. but it was so cold and clear this morning, that it reminded me of winter in spokane. and since i only visit spokane in the winter around christmas time, i'm having trouble keeping myself from turning on christmas music. i've resisted thus far, but i feel like tomorrow i may give in. speaking of tomorrow, i'm in london. so don't go expecting an update or anything.

also speaking of days that aren't today, i went to dinner at the old paronage with a georgetown administrator and other hoyas last night. it was very nice, as always. i started with roasted vegetables with goat's cheese and pine nuts, followed by a fillet (very good, although the sides were rather disappointing) and rice pudding. all in all, a solid dinner.

my mother is trying to convince amanda that she should live in the suburbs when she moves to seattle. i say: no. icky. that is all for now.


saturday, 12 november

quoted: "someday this will surpass the boat race..." -oxford dancesport person

yeah. just keep telling yourself that. i actually like it when the dancers-sport are at the gym. gives me something to watch while i'm stretching. they seem awfully vulnerable to natural selection, though, being wholly incapable of stopping themselves from colliding with one another at full dance-speed. ridiculous, but rather entertaining to watch.

i neglected thursday to mention wednesday night's georgetown young alumni party. it was at a place called the union in (the clearly made-up) sheldon square. it's not a square, but it is the most difficult bar to find in central london. wedged between paddington basin (the canal), the railroad tracks, and the westway, it was downright inconvenient. location, location, location. that's what i say. oh. it was also 4.10 for a beer. yeah. so maybe next time we can go to mash instead. yeah. still, it was pleasant to run into an assortment of old georgetown faces (bob, larry, and jessie among them). it seems like everyone and monica lewinsky is at the LSE these days. go figure.

i went to a cheese tasting in the GCR last night. only one of the cheeses was too stinky for my tastes. but i learned a lot about the roles of cow stomachs and pig's fat in making cheese. i had no idea that cheese was so often non-vegetarian. jack is coming up to oxford for the nigth (hurrah!), so we'll be going to the asian food fest at wadham (double hurrah!). and maybe making him give me a practice interview. i'm starting to get nervous about this business of finding a job.

we'll end with house family news. bad news first: becky needs foot surgery. she screwed up some tendons in her foot last weekend at a basketball tournament in florida, so she can't play for three months and will be subject to various and sundry other unpleasant things. poor becky. but i'm sure that even with a screwed up foot, she's still better at basketball than i am.

good news about my other sister, though (stinky, as we like to call her): she got a new job! she's been offered a consulting post at joe's company, but in seattle. so she'll be closer to home and making more money (in a less expensive city). hurrah. of course i've been browsing seattlerentals.com all morning. and let me tell you: you get a LOT more for your money in seattle than you do in london. a LOT. and everyplace seems to have a view. on the other hand, even the new developments with "high spec" and "designer" kitchens are totally naff. ick. i've said it before and i'll say it again: i love london's design culture.


thursday, 10 november

quoted: (think of U2): "you've got to get yourself together, you've got stuck in a blanket, and now you can't get out of it.......oh puko, you were so silly" -beckers

puko was, of course, guster's predecessor. she died young from a congenital kidney disorder, but she was a very good dog while she was around. she LOVED (or hated, it was tough to tell) when people clipped their fingernails. wherever she was in the house, she'd come running as soon as she heard the clipping sound, then she'd look at the clippers very closely and scratch at your hand. what did it mean?! we'll never know.

she was also the dumbest dog ever. you know the blanket intelligence tests for dogs? (quoting MSN: Take a large towel or blanket and gently place it over your dog's head. If he frees himself from the towel in less than 15 seconds, give him 3 points. If it takes 15-30 seconds, 2 points. Longer than 30 seconds earns 1 point.) if you put a blanket over puko, though, she would just lay down and wait for you to remove it. she didn't get anxious or frantic, like guster does. she would just take a nap and trust that everything would work out. she was my kind of dog.

so this washington state smoking ban takes effect on the 8th of december. which is before i get home for christmas. which is GREAT. so excited.

you will all be relieved to learn that the sheep were all facing different directions when i passed them on my way into london yesterday. but a few cows had infiltrated their meadow. they were all facing different directions as well.

30 shopping days until my 25th birthday. i'm just saying.


wednesday, 9 november

quoted: "i'm never going to the bathroom again" -amanda

my silbings say funny things. i have opinions todoay, but i've gotta say them quick so i can get to london.

firstly, it looks like the smoking ban in washington state is passing easily. hurrah. it will be the strictest in the country. anyone know when it takes effect? can't be soon enough.

b: you da ho

thirdly: this is appalling. seriously appalling. nerd that i am, i watched that white house press briefing live. and yes my jaw dropped in scott mcclellan very clearly said "that's accurate." he really did. go and watch the video here. appalling.


tuesday, 8 november

quoted: "if i lived in the suburbs, i would also riot." -bobbo

did you know that in inclement weather, sheep face away from wind? on sunday, when i was on the coach to london, there was an entire herd of sheep facing the same direction. very practical of them, i must say. i don't like having rain blown in my face, either.

i went to an interesting lecture last night on parliament and the prerogative given by tony wright, labour MP and chairman of the public administration select committe. unsurprisingly, he believes that the prerogative powers (or ministerial executive privileges, as he likes to call them) should be codified in statutory form. i, of course, think that's silly. but he spoke eloquently and answered the questions very well, and i thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

it's election day. it's not an election year, but there are lots of fun ballot issues on in washington state. i finally got my postal ballot yesterday, which completed and sent out within 45 minutes. i hope it arrives in time to be counted...my lovely state counts mailed in ballots postmarked by election day and received up to 21 days later, so it should all work out.

other news: it's warm today. i think i'm getting a cold. and i need to take a shower and go buy a calculator. maybe i'll have an opinion on something tomorrow. no promises. oh. but i'm going to london again tomorrow, so maybe i won't have any opinions.


monday, 7 november

quoted: "we have a lady in the basement" -sam

ok. quick update today. i'm running way behind, and it's so sunny that i'm sure it will be hailing before long. i went to london yesterday for dim sum lunch with jack and pete and then not a movie (9.30?!? for a movie i don't even want to see? no thank you.) but then i got home at about 9 and spent 2 hours on the phone, the first with my parents, and the second with my friend sam from georgetown. so that was a pleasant way to spend a sunday night.

i also exploited emusic.com for 50 free downloads. mark will be pleased to learn that i downloaded two albums by sufjan stevens. i also downloaded the new dar williams. i'm skeptical, but it could well grow on me.

oh. one last thing...are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the fifth republic? when does la terreur begin?

i'm just kidding. don't get all up on.


saturday, 5 november

guy fawkes: the 400th anniversary of the gunpowder plot
quoted: "you keep your willy away from me" -soho, of course

official mottos, you say? they're hilarious. well some of them are pretty tame. the UK generally has dieu et mon droit (god and my right), but scotland has the mildly amusing nemo me impune lacessit (no one provokes me with impunity) and the isle of man has quocunque jeceris stabit (withersoever you throw it, it will stand). so too with US states: new york wins the boring award in this category with excelsior (higher). new mexico is much more fun: crescit eundo (it grows as it goes). my own home state of washington stays away from the latin/french/german/italian phrases that seem ubiquitous in official mottos by going with the chinook term alki, which (of course) means by and by. further evidence that washingtonians are the best sorts of people.

oh, and let's not forget puerto rico: joannes est nomen eius (john is his name). i suppose it's as arbitrary as any of them.

i tried to transcribe 60 full pages of account books at the westminster abbey muniments yesterday. i failed. but not by much. and i learned, um, something. on the bus ride back from london last night i reached a blinding level of clarity on what matters in this current chapter i'm writing. and that counts for a lot. even if i was rather on the tipsy side.

you see, i had a lovely day in london. sack lunch with jack in the little park to the south of parliament (don't forget that today is guy fawkes, so that was sorta fun), and then coffee with jack again before going to a google recruiting event for rhodes and marshall scholars in leicester square. and, surprise of surprises, my friend parker was there, since he works for google. so yeah. i like google. i liked google before they paid for a lot of alcohol for me, gave me a T shirt and a USB memory key. but now i like them and i may even apply for a job with them. maybe.


thursday, 3 november

quoted: "i think it is funny that i can pick up guys dressed as a christmas tree" -katie

the president's senior staff just look corrupt. so white and plump and republican-looking. chilling.

cool cool depressing cool

i'm really not feeling very talkative today, in case you didn't notice. maybe i'll have something thought up by saturday. i'm going in to the westminster abbey muniments tomorrow. and then to a google recruiting event (yay!) in leicester square (naff!).


wednesday, 2 november

all souls day
quoted: "vicki smeared cheese on my nipple." -sean

ok, so housekeeping first: i think i'm going to start writing these bad boys after lunch, instead of first thing in the morning. not only because i'd like to have more productive time in the morning, but also because it may give me a chance to be more coherent when i write. deal? deal.

GLAM dinner last night. the open bar and i are not friends this morning, but i had a lot of fun. we had a delicious bell pepper and sweetcorn soup, followed by grilled chicken with broccoli and potato and a delicious tomato sauce, and then blueberry creme brulee. no, i'm not going to attempt the accents. i'd get them wrong. now i'm hungry.

design item of the day: the wine knot by mint. we're in heart.

jack's coming up for dinner tonight. hurrah!


tuesday, 1 november

all saints day
quoted: "in italy, everyone is italian" -some italian at stef's party

riiiiiiiiiight. except all those germans. and albanians. and the other 3% of the population who are foreign nationals.

the start of november is, i suppose, as good a time as any to begin my refrain of "how is it _th week already?" really, as soon as we get into the weeks that end in -th, the term is nearly over. the first 3 weeks are never too scary. but then fourth week rolls around (as it did two days ago) and i start to freak out about my productivity or lack thereof.

it's a nice (if kinda cold) morning. i went to tesco after the gym. i love the grocery store at 8.30 in the morning. it's always empty. i tried to go to sainsbury's yesterday afternoon (after standing in a 25 minute queue at the post office), but the lines were too long, so i left.

can i just say "thank god neither me nor my parents are famous?" why? because poor luke russert, though admittedly hot as toast, has his facebook profile gawked at. then again, as wonkette, said, he can press our meet anytime.







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