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wednesday, 30 august

quoted: "it's your dad's fault for marrying such a hot piece of ass." -miss stackpole

i went to look at a flat in london yesterday. decided against it. it was well put together, but i've decided i'm not really a big pimlico fan, and it was on the ground floor and the bathroom was the smallest thing i've ever seen. but it was cute, so kinda difficult to let go. sigh.

went to the PT for the first time on monday night. ended up in an awkward situation of someone else's creation, but on the whole the evening was a success.

beckers got her first two medical school interviews in the past couple days. gtown and UW. well done, sister bear! hope they keep rolling in.

not verbose or entertaining right now. sorry.

monday, 28 august

quoted: "it still works fine, but it's a little numb in parts." -cowley road

this is my week to find a flat in london. as i was telling a friend yesterday, though, all my good intentions seem to manifest themselves in naps. which really are fairly counter-productive. today being a bank holiday, though, i can't imagine a nap will hurt. i would head to the botanic garden to take said nap, bu the weather remains depressingly tenuous.

cream tea with roisin yesterday and a lively conversation about literature, relationships and all the rest. a nice long walk around magdalen and the meadow. how better could a sunday afternoon be spent?

now that i'm done with this thesis i wish people were back in oxford. it's fairly empty and i have a lot of time to pass. i'm heading to london early on the morrow to find a place to live. wish me luck. i'm going to need it. so no update until wednesday...or maybe even thursday.

saturday, 26 august

quoted: "i can't put any of you in my mouth." -roisin

i have been really bad about updating since i got back to england. i don't have a good excuse. i've been having a generally good time, i must say. wednesday i went down to london, because work put me up in a sweet hotel for the night before my quasi-induction, which was overwhelming but good, and full of good food (the canteen there really is great, and there's plenty of fresh fruit constantly available), including dinner at kensington place...where you might remember i ate dinner with fr ribeiro and a few other georgetown graduates on friday, 15 october 2004. you don't remember? really!

anyhow, that explains the lack of wednesday and thursday updates. i got back late thursday night, absolutely tuckered out. i had a bit of a lie in yesterday morning, then went to the gym and subsequently engaged in a battle royale with the printer at rhodes house in my attempt to print up the final version of my thesis. MS word outwitted me, inserting a 2nd copy of the twenty-five-page bibliography in the middle of the thesis, screwing up countless tables of contents, cross referrences, etc. gosh.

as you might have guessed, however, i triumphed over the printer in the end (take that, hewlett-packard!) and took my thesis to be bound. after i picked up the bound copies, mr brennan very kindly provided celebration, in the form of champagne and a couple episodes of 24. thank you! as so often happens, however, mid-afternoon champagne resulted in an unintentional nap, which only ended just in time to make it up to jericho for roisin's 23rd birthday celebration at branca. they RUSHED us through dinner, which was delicious, and then we went to oriel for drinks and talking, but i made it home just before midnight.

now, i'm generally disinclined to sing the standard american refrain of "look how old everything in england is!", but i was on the tube from notting hill gate to marble arch on thursday evening to catch the coach back to oxford when something struck me. the first underground line opened in 1863. that's during the american civil war. it was before the first stable transatlantic telegraph cable had been laid down. new york's population at the time was about 1.2 million. london's was closer to 2.8 million. making it the largest city the world had ever seen. anyway, yeah. i thought it was interesting, anyway.

college made me change rooms today. sigh. my new room is not as pretty as my old one; its view is worse, and whoever lived in here last smoked a lot. icky. but i suppose it's just for a couple weeks.

i went to watch my friend yannis arch today at the jesus college sports ground. there was cricket being played, of course. but what i noticed most was how large the sky seemed. there were clouds blowing around all afternoon. very pretty, but it reminded me of that sartre essay about urban space. sigh.

tuesday, 22 august

quoted: "i've actually gotten more and more girly here, i've noticed" -girl in jericho

so i think i'm done with my doctorate. i mean, i still need to put the finishing touches on the abstracts, but i finished putting the maps in yesterday. the question at this point, of course, is whether i ought to read through it one more time. i'm pretty sure i shouldn't, but part of me wants to. that's the masochistic part of me, i'd say.

it looks like we're finally going to have a beautiful day here in oxford. so i'm thinking that spending the afternoon reading in the botanic would be a good thing. feel free to join me.

yesterday afternoon i thought i was coming down with a head cold. i think it's actually just that i exhausted myself last week then got a bit too drunk saturday and stayed up WAY too late (like, until it was light out). so now my body is mad at me. go figure. sleep and oranges should fix me right up, though.

last night my computer crashed and ate 2 hours of my work on maps. sigh. so i dug right back in and did the work again. that was aggravating. but then andrew came over and we watched two episodes of 24, which (dare i admit it) i found quite engaging.

monday, 21 august

quoted: "i pooped a hammer" -bus to rafting trip

i apologise for the lack of updates. i've been in a funk, but hopefully it's passing, and i'll be better about updating once it has. promise.

a belated happy 56th birthday to my father.

i feel i must correct my theory on ducks. ducks, as some of you may know, are my favourite animals. they're non-threatening; they waddle in that adorable manner; they taste delicious. most importantly, though, they're very easy to anthropomophise. i had this theory that ducks (particularly mallards) always came in sets of 3: two boys and a girl. this tendency has entertained me for hours on any number of days over the past several springs. love triangles among people are always sad face-making, but with ducks it's mostly just intriguing.

well, no more. i've noticed that in the summer ducks seem to come in pairs of no predictable gender makeup. they're still nice to watch, but i don't think they're nearly as entertaining.

finding a flat in london is a nightmare. i hate this game.

endless thanks to roisin for entertaining me and my hangover yesterday. i hope i didn't overstay my welcome.

still working on maps. hopefully done with it by tomorrow or wednesday. then the awkward process of printing, binding and submitting it. then a party?

friday, 18 august

quoted: "what hole does that go in?" -little brother

corrections and ammendations: i had totally forgotten what we ate for breakfast last saturday, but julie very kindly emailed me to remindn me that it was smancakes, the mac house specialty of s'more pancakes. this year's batch of smancakes were extra-special because shannon and her mom made the marshmallows from scratch. who knew one could do such a thing? they were, in any case, delicious.

does anyone in oxford know where i can find a scanner that someone will let me use? it doesn't have to be a super-good one. a super-good one wouldn't hurt, though.

i may have found an apartment. we'll see. cross your fingers for me. i was in london yesterday, and left with a sad face. i won't bore you with the details.

finally, one more small world experience. my friend yannis has a friend from yale who is in town oxford for the summer. last night i met them all for a drink at bar baba, and yale friend's girlfriend was there. her name is corey, and she knows my cousin austine because they used to give campus tours together when they were at dartmouth.

wednesday, 16 august

quoted: "he tried to blow me" -beer pong tournament last friday

oh mac house, how i love thee. but jet lag isn't my friend. i arrived from boston yesterday morning at 5.30 (with a book but without a laptop), made my way to oxford, took a shower and a nap and then headed to london for (what else?) dim sum lunch with jack. i caught the bus at queen's lane; when the bus stopped to pick someone up at st clement's, i noticed that someone was wearing a gonzaga shirt and, moreover, that the someone in question was julie w, who was two years ahead of me at gonzaga prep, was in the other portland jesuit volunteer house during my year of JVC, and who is currently doing a PhD in african social history. talking to her definitely made the coach journey pass more quickly.

monday morning, during breakfast in harvard square at a place called zoe's (or joey's?), shannon, julie l, bern and i were talking about my hometown when the couple at the next table over turned and said they were from spokane. it's impossible to escape us. we're everywhere.

the mac house reunione 2006 was a stunning success. it was great that michelle was finally able to make it, and maybe it was just the weather, but boston is my favourite of our reunion host cities thus far. i really enjoyed it. next year: north carolina. 2008: london.

but let's talk about what really mattered most about the weekend: the food. food really centred on davis square, since it's not easy to move 6 people around in a two-door honda. i arrived wednesday morning and julie and i went to a little diner (ruth's?) where i had a mexican omelette. delicious, as was the home-made zucchini muffin. we picked up bern and then got lunch at anna's, where i was thrilled with my burrito but a bit disappointed with the guac. dinner that evening was al fresco whilst we watched the taming of the shrew on boston common: fresh goat's cheese from the farmer's market, avocado, chicken sausage, fancy tomatoes and a baguette. mmm.

day 2 started with a bunch of vegetables in my scrambled eggs. bern went for 1st lunch with a friend and then joined me and jules for 2nd lunch at some thai restaurant on tremont. waiting for greg's flight to arrive, we went to get rootbeer floats. dinner that evening (sadly without shan) was finishing off random pasta and spicing up a vodka sauce with carmelised onions and more chicken sausage.

day 3 began with monkey bread, collecting shannon from her 26 hour cross-country adventure, meeting up with michelle and getting wraps at someplace in davis square before heading out to walden pond for a swimming adventure. definitely the highlight of the weekend, if you ask me, but then there's nothing i like better than swimming. dinner friday night was a rather rushed vegetable pizza at a place called mike's before heading to a very college-esque party in brighton. it was fun, but julie and i both left sober. bern left rather more tipsy.

day 4 (saturday) began with a breakfast i can't remember (which is too bad because i bet it was good). we went to the mapparium (amazing!) and then got lunch in the north end at a place called mother anna's. we scurried off from there to the harpoon brewery "tour". in heavy quotes. it really involved being given two or three pints of free, delicious beer. that evening we went to a delicious place called greek corner before beginning our annual power hour, which ended up being much tamer than last year's. i need to type up the toasts.

day 5 (sunday) included brunch at s&s before saying goodbye to michelle. we took greg to the airport and then had a barbecue atop an MIT dorm, which my friend marty from oxford was good enough to join us for. day 6 (monday) we breakfasted in harvard square and then took bern to the airport and shannon to the train station. julie and i found me some pants at the gap, visited the public library (of course) and then had lunch at a tea place on newbury street. it was no teaism, i must say. then she took me to the airport, where the fun ended.

and today? lots of errands and then dinner with dr archer at branca. mmmm. celebrate!

tuesday, 8 august

quoted: "bo, did you tell dad about that thing you found in your mouth?" -becky

went to a new restaurant last night called steelhead bar and grill. downtown on howard between spokane falls boulevard and main. the food was good (reasonably priced bar fare, mostly), but the service was pretty bad. i've never understood why waitstaff with poor memories refuse to write down one's order.

so, yeah, ryan michael. went and bought him adorable (and adorably butch) baby clothes yesterday. who knew i had it in me? but having a child to spoil + having a job that starts next month = plenty of interest in buying baby clothes. score.

today will be rather crazy; leaving for boston at 7.30 tonight. must remember to find my mechanical pencil. yes, i'm a nerd. see y'all in a week.

monday, 7 august

quoted: "i'm not very good at tossing salads, as it turns out." -amanda

ok. internet = back on track. since saturday night, actually, but saturday was spent mostly in the car, picking up bo at camp, getting haircuts, and buying a new wireless router. let me take the time to recommend linksys over netgear, for both ease of installation and availability of tecnical support.

yesterday we went on a one day rafting trip on the clark fork river in montana. getting up at 5 was a bit rough, but i slept so very deeply last night, that i'm willing to overlook it.

sporadic update warning: i'm leaving for boston tomorrow and i won't be in england until the 15th. while i'm hanging out with my JVC housemates there will be no updates. sorry.

congrats to AB and all my friends who submitted their masters' dissertations today. hurrah!

going to extremes on friday was full of pancakes. so many pancakes that i'm not sure i'll ever be able to eat them again. and i wasn't even eating friday. i had thought i made about 160 pancakes for amanda, becky and rach to eat. it turns out it was closer to 180. ew. as we say in my family: it's not an adventure unless someone gets a scar. emotional scars count, though, and those can take years to develop.

late update: two more things...congrats to jack on getting a sweet job at bloomberg and (wait for it) i have a godson! ryan michael was born at 5.47 this morning, weighing in at 7 lbs, 5 oz. congrats to kevin and kira on their 4th beautiful child. he's adorable even when he's coughing up mucus, as i just learned. hurrah!

friday, 4 august

quoted: "at least he's never hit on you" -christine

well, that party sucked. our internets are broken, which is why i haven't updated in ages. the lack of internets has left my family unable to answer such simple questions as "how many of the seahawks players are local?" (we don't watch professional football under any circumstances) or "what is the dollar/rupee exchange rate?" (more useless knowledge that would have been informative last night). sigh. so that's a big problem. if i manage to get the on the web, it means i've taken advantage of spokane's nifty free wireless internet downtown. hurrah.

the lack of internets also made yesterday's effective completion of my doctorate rather anti-climactic. no one was home, of course, but i couldn't even email people. or update my facebook status. or put up a pithy AIM away message. gosh.

it did leave me free to attend to the wonders of wednesday's episode of the hills. that girl is DUMB. that's alls i have to say about that.

lack of internet also gave me the chance to contemplate on how mundane watershed moments can be, even compared to such prosaic but satisfying activities as taking my grandmother to lunch, which i did yestereday.

ok. enough blogging about my ongoing lack of internet. time for the gym.

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