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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

omgsotired. i don't even know why, i went to bed early last night. (ok, i do know why: i went to bed early but i still couldn't sleep.) also i'm getting sick. bleh.

also (this isn't why i'm tired, i'm just adding stuff to my list of tragedies) sam won't turn ON anymore argh. so i'm going to need to take him to the apple store on sunday and it's going to be a big ordeaaaaal.

BUT it's a beautiful london day and i ate my sack lunch in russell square park, which is a couple blocks from where i have class, and is beautiful. i love all of london's secret hidden parks.

OMG speaking of hidden things-- jenny and i went to get some shakespeare (OMG i just typed "sharkspeare" so awesome!) books for class, and in the display window they had where's waldo?... only here, it's where's wally? haha! wally! how delightful!!

anyway, i'm much less tired now that i'm out of class. (i felt so bad though, like it was an interesting class and all but i was seriously nodding. i was trying so hard to stay awake! my eyes wouldn't even focus! wtf?)

but i'm still going to go home and take a nap before the big life, which is the musical my theatre class is seeing tonight.


posted by ~renata~ at 2:22 PM
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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

looks like i spoke too soon, sam just had another acid trip. BUT he started working again as soon as i started him up... still, though, i fear this is all leading up to another trip to the apple store. boo-urns.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:09 PM
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listening to: indigo girls, midnight train to georgia

my email inbox is so full of love this morning. i'm so pleased. however i had to view the inbox of love at the school library because sam had a total meltdown last night. i'm really sad. his screen just shows these psychedelic patterns now. maybe he's just on an acid trip or something, i don't know, but it's really inconvenient.

so ANYWAY i used jenny's computer to find directions to the apple store, and i went there right when it opened, before class... adn there was a huge line. so i got on the computer to get on the waiting list for a "genius"... but it won't let you schedule an appointment, it just puts you in the virtual line. my estimated time i'll be done with the virtual line is 2pm. when i'm in class. sigh. maybe right before class i'll just put myself back in the virtual line and head back over after class? ANGRY FACE.

oh but, in oxford circus station this morning the escalator was broken, and i just cracked up because all i could think of was mitch hedberg: "i love escalators, because they never break... they just become stairs. you'd never see a sign that said 'sorry, escalators out of order.' you'd see 'sorry, escalators are temporarily stairs. we apologize... for the convenience.'"


anyway. shakespeare starts in half an hour, then i have lunch, and then art history at like, i don't know, 1:45 i think? and then after that i'm camping out at the apple stores until one of the "apple geniuses" will help me. i'll use belligerence if i have to. or maybe just look really sad. apparently i radiate some sort of "clueless american" vibe that makes people help me, i'll try it on the apple people. (seriously, yesterday i was struggling with the STUPID key in the STUPID door to our building, and this lady walked up and was like, "here, let me do it... and be really careful, you know, don't let anyone into the building since it's carnival..." i mean obviously, i had some sort of key to the building, i just couldn't get it to work. but i was amused. and then this morning i had to dig in my bag to find my security pass to get into the program site, and one of the building employees was out smoking, and he was like ".. you're a student, right? i'll just let you in, just find your pass inside and show it to the man at the desk." and then i was digging some more and the other security guy was like, "uh, i believe you, just go."

so apparently if you want to go rob the florida state university program site, just seem clueless?

posted by ~renata~ at 4:26 AM
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Monday, August 29, 2005

catching up on PA archives, i must say that this made me giggle.

"you can't just FIND cake. cake isn't naturally occurring."

posted by ~renata~ at 11:38 AM
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listening to: paul simon, 50 ways to leave your lover

did you all know that the first time i ever really listened to a solo paul simon song was when kait sent me a mix cd with "call me al" on it q398423 years ago?

i just thought of that.

and, someone STOLE that mix cd out of my car and i bet they won't enjoy it nearly as much as i did. punks.

but anyway.

i'm alone in the flat and QUITE pleased. i value my alone-time, i do. sigh, here are the keys in the door which mean someone's back. oh, they're all back. ah well, it was nice while it lasted. we all went to the notting hill carnival with some other people from our program. today is bank holiday in england, so there's no school (well- school in england hasn't started yet anyway, but school for us is starting a day later than it actually would.) and in notting hill- the neighborhood basically next door to our neighborhood (which is bayswater, for those of you keeping track) i guess every year there's a big jamaican carnival on bank holiday weekend? they had a lot of music stages and a big parade.

the best part of the parade-- oh, how i wish i had my camera-- were these people with big sparkly beaded headdresses. BIG. one person had a big (6 ft long) shark, another had a big red t-rex, someone else had huge skeleton horse with a skeleton rider. oh, and a big peacock too. they were very julie taymor.

but it was also really loud and crowded and my brain was crying for its alone-time, so when a couple other people from the program decided to leave i left with them.

last night was pretty fun; it was mike's (not trendy-mike, other-mike) birthday so most of the people from the program went out to our local pub, the rat and parrot. (like 3/4 of us all live within a block of each other, because we all used the same estate agent.) as most of you know, i'm really not much of a drinker-- i think it's both that i resent the idea that i need chemicals to make me a more fun person, and that this resentment has made it so that psychologically, it really DOESN'T make me much more of a fun person. or maybe i just don't drink enough. but ANYWAY, at this pub i had a mixed drink called the "girl's dream" which was seriously, SO good. it was like amaretto and bailey's and espresso and milk and fucking WHIPPED CREAM. basically it was an alcoholic frappucino.

but it's so expensive to drink and since i don't actually *like* it that much i don't think i probably will be doing it often? but it seems like everyone else WILL be so i'm not sure what i'll end up doing on weekend nights. it's not like i mind being alone; but i don't want to seem all anti-social and hermit-y. oh well, i'm sure things will fall into place as i go along.

anyway. also i just noticed that some of my comments haven't been getting emailed to me the last few days? lame! but, thanks for the comments everyone!

i'm really excited that i got tickets for neil's thing in london BEFORE he talked about it on his blog. it was so random too, because i was with jenny walking by our program site, looking for the bookstore where our class books were, and i saw neil's face on a poster on this OTHER bookstore so of course i read the poster and was like "whaaa?" and wrote down the phone number and reserved a ticket that night. yay me! although, i didn't know it was at the institute of education, i assumed it was at the bookstore. whew, good thing i read neil's blog. (and that the thing isn't for like over 2 months, so probably i would have figured it out by then anyway.)

i just realized the preceeding paragraph only really makes sense if you also read neil's blog. uh basically he's being publicly interviewed by lenny henry, who is reading the audiobook of anansi boys, in london, in november.

oooh and he's doing another signing in london. maybe i should just like, stalk neil.

(what am i talking about... "maybe"?)

speaking of neil: i still have not gotten to a point where it does not excite me to see a tube stop mentioned in neverwhere. it also kind of creeped me out when i passed the angel stop (in islington).

anyhow, classes start tomorrow, so i'm going to go finish up my reading.

posted by ~renata~ at 4:45 AM
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

i just got back from a bus tour of london with the cutest and most eccentric british lady ever. she kept pointing out things from the HP movies which was actually less exciting than i'd have thought, probably because i haven't seen the movies nearly as many times as i've read the books, so when someone goes "look, there's gringotts!" it's like "... they showed gringotts in the movie?"

diagon alley was cool though, it's really called... oh let me think... leadenhall row market? or something? i think that's wrong.

last night was the bbc "proms" concert. i know i explained it in my email but not all of you get those (btdubs if anyone wants my periodic mass email updates, which are sometimes slightly different from the blog-- they are written with the constant knowledge that i will be sending them to my advisors along with everyone else-- leave me a comment with your email). ANYWAY bbc has a huge series of concerts and they take out all the seats in the lower level so people can "promenade" around while they watch. basically it's like a mosh pit for symphony concerts.

the best part was that there was fountain in the middle and they had, i'm not even kidding, an inflatable manatee (or maybe a giant platypus? we were really high up) floating around in it, and ALSO a big t-rex standing to the side of it. in the middle of the ROYAL ALBERT THEATRE which is huge and gorgeous and old.

a T-REX. i kept looking down and just smiling at it. the concert was good too, but i'll be honest, classical music makes me space out like no other. so it's a good thing i had the dinosaur and manatee to look at.

the pirated wireless has been spotty so if i'm not around as much, that's part of the reason why.

whoa, i just noticed blogger is still on central time, i looked down and was really confused as to why i was posting at 6AM...

anyway. i'm going to go grocery shopping and take a nap and do my homework. but, i'm going to do these things in london which multiplies their excitment factor by like 50%. also then i'll probably go to the notting hill carnival. WOOT.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:55 PM
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SO i just went grocery shopping (where i bargain-shopped!), took a nap, and soaked my feet while reading a history book. christ, london has turned me into an old, old lady.

(but at least being an old lady means i have nervous breakdowns to paul simon instead of, say, evanescence.)

the amount of hummus that gets eaten in our flat is mind-boggling.

mike the trendy flatmate is wearing a bandana around his neck like a cowboy, or train conductor. wtf that is NOT cool okay. i'm sure it is trendy however which is why it's just not worth my time to attempt trendiness.

anyway. i'm all excited that the internet is working but i don't have anything much to do on the internet? i could sign on aim but i don't really like aim anymore. also i've become really bad at aim.

i did just notice that somehow all the side pages for boron are still in the old layout, wtf. maybe i'll fix that. OR, just give up.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:29 PM
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Saturday, August 27, 2005

hey allll, i wrote this last night but my flat's pirated wireless wasn't working. in fact it's still not working, i'm at a cyber cafe. boo-urns. anyawy it's time for your first installment of INTERNATIONAL ANGST. don't feel compelled to read it; or if you do keep in mind that the end is where i'm not sad anymore.

keep in mind that kait is probably the person who will relate most to this but maybe not?

Iím sitting here on a Friday night feeling oddly discontent. Iím in London, Iíve only been here for a few days. I donít really know any of my flatmates that wellóI hardly knew 2 of them at all, and the 3rd one and I were friends, but not close. So Iím glad that Iím alone, I think, because I need a break from them. Itís kind of exhausting to spend so much time with people you are not close to. But at the same time it is lonely to be alone and to know that my closest friends are 6 time zones away (or 5, in kaitís case). I want them to like me but at the same time I know enough to know it doesnít matter if they donít. mike is a nice, intelligent guy but he is so relentlessly trendy, it tires me to think about it. Today I watched him go through a couple bandanas, choose one whose color most complemented his sweater, and casually stuck it in his back pocket. It reminded me of my grandpa but apparently it is Trendy, for I am sure he would not wear it if it were not. I donít mean to sound as ifÖ I donít know. I do not envy or resent his Trendiness, but it is there. I think on some level he senses my amusement at his Trendiness, although I donít think it bothers him, just as his awareness of my UnTrendiness does not bother me (much).

And Amelia isóshe is intense, and ďintenseĒ is a secret code I use for many of the personality traits I dislike the most, because when I like someoneís intensity I call it passion.

(If my flatmates ever read this; I am sorry I talked about you on the internet. It was probably awkward for you to read that. But I am not really that sorry because the things I said were true.)

I wish the internet were working in our flat, I would like to feel connected (pun intended?). I am writing this in word and resenting the auto-capitalization.

I think most of allóI just got back from tick, tickÖ BOOM! And I am listening to Graceland and wondering if Iíll ever be able to produce anything that makes anyone feel the way those two things make me feel. If that makes sense.

Watching ttB makes me feelÖ sad and happy and hopeful and like I want to create something. Listening to most of the songs from Graceland make me feel happy and light, like I can fly. I think I decided I wanted to be a writer out of default. Iím good at itóI think I could be good at it? And itís not like thereís anything else I could do. But I feel like IÖ donít feel a passion to write,, I donít feel the need to write, the way writers in novels do. But then why else would I write a 10-page letter to Kait when I couldnít blog for 2 days? Why do I need to write this right now, why is it making me feel better? Does it matter that I donít want to create fiction, that ideal? That I just want to share my thoughts with people? That I will write these thoughts and put them on the internet when there are few people I would tell them to face-to-face?

The four stages of culture shock are euphoria, homesickness, adjustment, biculturalism. I learned this in a pamphlet they gave us before we left.

I have forgotten to mention the thing I hate the most about Londonóit is the door to our flat. It has no handle. It has two keyholes. The bottom lock must be very carefully unlocked before attempting the top keyhole. The key must then be left in the top keyhole before getting it to open. Itís an incredibly frustrating process, it usually takes me 5 tries or so. Ohóand the door canít be unlocked from the inside. You can actually lock people in from the outside.

(That might be a metaphor although it is also true. God, I hate that door.)

Anyway. Iím not sure if Iíll blog this although probably I will. Obviously if you are reading it I must have decided to do it, and obviously if I am typing this sentence it means I am aware of the fact that I will eventually post it.

Iíve been trying to remember a paul simon song all weekóall I can remember is a part that goes ďIíve heard words I never heard in the bibleÖĒ

I wish I could remember it; Iím trying to find it, haphazardly.

Itís weird that Iíve been likeÖ relating to paul simon lately, since last winter I suppose? What happened to tori amos, to ani difranco, to stuart davis, etc.? paul simon is a rich old white mainstream popstar. Wtf, renata? But I guess the thing is somehow I glean a worldview from his songs thatís more in sync with mine than tori, even though I still love her music. Thereís a reason so many of toriís fans are hardcore depressedótori was/is recovering from being hardcore depressed and itís reflected in her songs. And you know, I hate to say stuff like this about depressed people because it is so unfair and etc., but she almost seems to beÖ wallowing in it? Anyway and Iím not depressed not really, just a little angsty from time to time and whoís not? And in Paul Simonís music there seems to be a much more easygoing approach to things you know?

Ö rearranging my thoughts on this friend of mine who had a little bit of a breakdown
and I said ďwell breakdowns come
and breakdowns go
but what are you going to do about it?
Thatís what Iíd like to know.Ē

Who am I to blow against the wind?

There is a girl in new york city
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when Iím falling flying tumbling in turmoil
I say ďwhoa, so this is what she means
She means weíre bouncing into gracelandĒ

Grace land.
1. simple elegance or refinement of movement
2. courteous goodwill
3. (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings
4. a divinely given talent or blessing
5. the condition or fact of being favored by someone

even without god (and maybe there is one) arenít we all in graceland? Donít we all have talents and blessings we arenít responsible for, that we are lucky to have? Isnít that really what we all need to realize? Iím so lucky to be where I am. Iím so graced.

(and I have reason to believe
We all will be received
In graceland)

And this is now a 3 page word document; Iím not sure how long it will look in blogger. Long. But I feel better for having written it and I suppose I will feel better if I can post it on the internet for people to look at (how strange).

(and here's how i know everything's going to be ok-- i stopped at starbuck's just before i came here and what were they playing? "under african skies."

this is the story of how we begin to remember
the is the powerful pulsing of love in the veins...

posted by ~renata~ at 12:35 PM
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Friday, August 26, 2005

hello my friends what are the haps?

i am:
- annoyed that i can no longer steal wireless in our flat :( i don't know what happpened to it.
- excited that i'm seeing ttb in an hour and a half!
- excited that i bought a ticket to see neil gaiman in november!
- excited that i got my class schedule and suchlike! and also free sandwiches.
- excited about all the plays i get to see for my british theatre and shakespeare classes!
- excited that chick pea is coming to visit soon!
- uh... yeah. mostly excited! oh, also excited that tomorrow is saturday so i can sleep in.

anyway, time's a-wastin' now that i have to pay for my internet :( also i don't want to be late for ttb. so, toodles my friends.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:40 PM
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Thursday, August 25, 2005

hey. what did YOU do today, renata? (you might ask.)

and i might say:

well, i got up and went to a BUNAC orientation, where they told me i need to leave the country and get my passport re-stamped. they gave me a pamphlet on going to france.

also, a free deck of playing cards.

then.. mike and i bought some bad sandwiches and cashed our traveler's checks. this is the most depressing exchange rate EVER. it's like taking your money and throwing out half of it.

anyway. then i just walked around. i found my new local library and got a card. i feel home now. (seriously, i think i got my grinnell library card like, the 2nd day i was there? i need one. always.) and then i kept walking until i found a tube station. and then i got on a train and randomly got off at baker street basically thinking "if it was good enough for sherlock holmes, it's good enough for me!" and sure enough, i found the sherlock holmes museum at 221 b baker street, which was cool. my two favorite parts were an explanatory note about cocaine usage in the victorian era, and a sample of letters sent to sherlock holmes. my favorite letter was from a 5-year-old offering sherlock his help in any cases, especially "ones involving dinosaurs or fish, because those are my specialties."

and then, i wandered around some more and ended up in regent's park, which was SO pretty. omg. a stream with ducks and swans and a cute little bridge, and a huuuge rose garden and lots of other-type gardens, and a HEDGE MAZE. but the best part was that the hedge maze was sponsored by MSN so you had to search for the middle, and then when you got there there was an msn search kiosk. but the BEST part was that the kiosk had been vandalized and had an apologetic note taped to it explaining its nonfunctionality. also, there was an open air theatre and i bought a cheap ticket to see hms pinafore there. and i was kinda... i don't like gilbert and sullivan that much, but i thought it would be awesome to see a show in an open air theatre in regent's park. also i kept making west wing jokes in my head.

"no, it's the one about duty!"
"they're all about duty!"

then i got hungry so i ate some fish and chips. for serious! also i got reallly cold so i bought a sweatshirt. luckily i found a hiking supply shop that was having a 50% sale on a bunch of stuff so i got something warm and useful for relatively cheap. go me!

and then i went back and saw pinafore which was SO good and funny, i'm really glad i went. it was apparently slightly re-written by some guy-- i'm not that familiar with the show but as far as i can tell the guy just added some postmodern sarcastic comments throughout the show.

"women are not permitted aboard ships!"
"obviously, you are not familiar with italian opera! for if you were,you would know that a female chorus can appear anywhere, no matter how inappropriate the circumstance!"

and then i got kind of lost after the show and finally found a tube station like, 5 stations past the baker street stop. i got all disoriented because after dark i had to walk AROUND regent's park-- and it's huge-- instead of through it... but, it all worked out. basically once you get to a tube station you can get anywhere.

oh ALSO i bought tickets (er, a ticket) to see tick, tick... BOOM tomorrow!!! <333 ttb!! and, neil patrick harris is in it. i wish i had a copy of harold and kumar go to white castle so he could sign it. hee!

posted by ~renata~ at 5:55 PM
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

oh, one other thing i've been carrying around (literally) for the last few days-- right before i left, i finished reading bluebeard by kurt vonnegut, then returned it to the library. and usually when books have things i REALLY like i put a post-it on that page so i can go back and read them later. but i had to take it back to the library, so i just copied it down. and now i will blog it:

"So when people I like do something terrible," I said, "I just flense them and forgive them."

Flense?" he said. "What's flense?"

"It's what whalers used to do to whale carcasses when they got them on board," I said. "They would strip off the skin and blubber and meat right down to the skeleton. I do that in my head to people-- get rid of all the meat so I can see nothing but their souls. Then I forgive them."

-- Kurt Vonnegut

posted by ~renata~ at 3:45 PM
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important update: i just ate the mango-passionfruit kitkat and it was DELICIOUS.

mm. also today we went grocery shopping and i also saw RASPBERRY kit kats. i bought a mint/dark chocolate dairy milk instead. mostly i bought really healthy groceries (fruit, veggies, wheat bread, yogurt, and hummus) but i'm now determined to eat as much weird british candy as i can.

today we had a welcome tea at the program site-- omg i just remembered, i stole a muffin from the tea and it's still in my purse... gross, i bet it's squished. (btdubs i didn't really STEAL it, they told us we could take the leftover stuff.) whew, anyway. ANYWAY it turns out that irish customs didn't stamp our passports correctly (for me and mike, anyway, since we have internships) so at some point we need to leave the country and get them re-stamped... but, i was planning on leaving the country at some point anyway, so no big.

i'm kind of tired. also i don't have a bed. like. our flat has 2 bedrooms, one with 2 twin beds and one with a big king-size bed. and we said well, there are 4 of us and we need 4 beds. but we have 3 chicks and 1 dude, and this was confusing to our estate agent-- she was sure 2 of us were a couple. ANYWAY but so she said no problem, they'd bring in another twin bed and stick it in the bed room. and we said fine. but it hasn't happened yet. but i do have a mattress on the floor which is still more comfortable than the cots at camp. so it's cool.

i spent most of today in transit.

perhaps tomorrow i will have something more exciting than a mango-passionfruit kit kat to report.

although it was pretty delicious.

posted by ~renata~ at 2:57 PM
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hello! we're all moved into our flat. it's cute! i'll take pictures, but i left my camera cord at home (doh) so i can't put anything online until my lovely mom sends it to me. ALSO we can steal our neighbor's wireless internet, which is a plus.

ugh, i'm so glad to be moved in and not have to deal with the giant suitcase of doom anymore. some very very nice british man helped me carry my stuff up the stairs in the tube station. i love you, british stranger, i do. (at the bottom of the stairs, some guy asked if he could help me carry anything, and i said "no no, it's fine, thank you," thinking that it seemed like a poor idea to give my suitcase to some stranger. but someone else asked again when i was like halfway up the stairs, and by that point i didn't actually care if someone stole my stuff because at least then i wouldn't have to carry it anymore, so i said yes and thanked him about 12309431 times. because OMG stuff is heavy.

last night we went out wandering (after our naps). mostly we were just walking past hotels, but we did stop at a grocery store and i totally bought a MANGO PASSIONFRUIT kit kat. omg. i hope it is as delicious as it sounds but i haven't eaten it yet. i will keep you posted on the deliciousness of the mango passionfruit kit kat. i except you'll see a very angry/disillusioned post if it is non-delicious.

this morning at breakfast in the hostel there were these two australians, and the man asked the woman if she'd heard any "baby jokes" (apparently they leave out the "dead" part). and she said no, and he was trying to explain to her what they were without actually describing them... it was too funny. "oh, they're just horrible, and they're not really funny, just, you know, extreme... well i don't want to tell one now, you're eating... but like... oh, i don't know, you just tell them... and, well, i mean the babies usually die... oh, they're terrible." it was too funny. i'm glad dead baby jokes are international. i really wanted to jump in on that conversation but i refrained.

anyway, that's about it from me. oh, except to say-- yeah, fever pitch! that's what it was called, thanks ^_^

posted by ~renata~ at 5:57 AM
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

hello world! let's see. mike, amelia, jenny and i caught our connecting flight to london with no trouble, and then wandered through the aiport wondering how the hell we missed customs? finally we asked someone and since we did customs in ireland, we didn't have to do them in england, which seems really sketch to me considering customs in ireland went like:

customs guy: can i see your passport?
me: *gives passport*
customs guy: how long are you going to be in ireland?
me: i'm just connecting to london, so maybe an hour...
customs guy: *shrugs* *stamps passport*

and now i get to stay here for four months...

anyway. navigating my GIANT SUITCASE OF DOOM around the underground sucked, i have blisters. but aside from that we did manage to find our hostel and check in fine. it's cheap and dirty, but it's safe and we have beds, so we're cool with that.

so after we dropped off all our stuff, we went over to meet with the estate agent, who showed us a couple flats. the one we ended up choosing is cute. it includes a nice kitchen with lots of appliances we will likely never use (a rice cooker? a toaster? a... grinder something?), other people's kitsch, the Nicest Salt and Pepper Shakers Ever, and a cactus. we get to move in tomorrow morning, so rest assured, those of you who were concerned about me heading to another country with nowhere to live :)

the neighborhood (baywater) is nice, bustling and diverse. outside of our flat is: 2 chinese restaurants, an indian restaurant, a vietnamese restaurant, an italian restaurant, and the king of burgers. (british burger kings sell doughnuts and crazy taco thingies! they are on the ninety-nine pence menu.) after our late lunch, we walked around and explored the area for a bit, and there's some nice stuff-- a supermarket and some smaller stores, some nice laundromats, and about 230458234 stores selling princess diana postcards at prices ranging from 5-30 pence.

after that, we went back to the hostel and came to the responsible conclusion that we should try to go to bed at a normal hour and not fall asleep now, since we want to get over jet lag as soon as possible. then we all basically passed out and woke up two hours later. go us! now we are all sitting around hunched over laptops like sullen hackers, stealing someone's open wireless network in order to communicate with you fine people.

i'm glad the program is designed to give us a lot of free time to get settled in-- we have... something? tomorrow i think, and an orientation on friday, and classes start next tuesday.

right now my impressions of central london are that it is very cute and clean. all the buildings are just very classy looking, even the burger king. additionally, london has beds which are soft and horizontal, which, at the moment, is something that is very important to me.

I'll send another update when I actually have my address, and i've actually done stuff. and have had some sleep.

have a lovely day, everyone!

posted by ~renata~ at 2:42 PM
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hello blog! i am blogging from the dublin airport. i am not dead.


i'm seriously in blogging withdrawal, i've written kait a 10-page letter, no joke. but it's really just my blog in letter form, there's like a page about how i was eating a sandwich. i'd share highlights of it but i'd have to dig it out of my bag... maybe later though.

my flight was uneventful, although i did enjoy the inflight movie-- spring fever, wait, is that what it's called? it's got drew barrymore and it's about baseball... yeah i think that's what it's called... anyway, i enjoyed it more than i expected. it's like 2 pages of my letter.

i'm kind of tired. but i think it's 2 am when the good people of ireland insist that it is 8am, so that might do it.

anyway i'll blog again in london when i get a chance. but i just thought i'd let you all know that my transatlantic flight was successful. WOOT and also HOLLA.

posted by ~renata~ at 2:26 AM
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Sunday, August 21, 2005

listening to: paul simon, kodachrome

wow, i should really utterly NOT be on the internet now, i should definitely just be doing my last-minute packing and, uh, going to sleep.

because tomorrow i am going to london!

first i must say: the 40-year-old virgin was HILARIOUS and has the BEST ENDING EVER. and <33 steve carell.

second i must say: i'll miss you guys! i'll blog when i get a chance.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:06 PM
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so, julia and i definitely didn't stay up until two am playing CARMEN SANDIEGO: TREASURES OF KNOWLEDGE.

well, okay, maybe we did.

our geography skills suffered the last hour or so. "julia, that's not europe." "what? yes it is!" "no, i'm pretty sure that's antarctica." "... oh. yeah. shut up."

we totally beat the game, though. go, us!

i'm leaving soon, though. and then, tomorrow i'm leaving-leaving.


ALSO i'm really excited that priscellie started watching tww, because it is, in fact, the best show ever*

*tied with the daily show and the fairly oddparents.

julia: are you blogging?
me: ... no.
julia: lies! (pause) am i in there?
me: ... yes.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:35 AM
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Saturday, August 20, 2005

listening to: julia chewing ice

hi! i am in GENEVA. the one in illinois, not the one in switzerland. it is the one julia lives in!

anyway, i just wanted to document this because it struck me as being hilarious:

me: *types comment in kait's lj*
julia: wow, you type fast!
me: *types nonsense, quickly* that... wasn't a real word. *mumbles* and neither was that.

okay, it was way funnier when it really happened.

the end.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:17 PM
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Friday, August 19, 2005

i would like to announce to all the people who my counter says are finding my blog searching for nameless novel cheats: stop cheating, you cheater. usually the answers are in the OTHER puzzles.

i will however offer you this hint: lemony snicket apparently really likes gravlax.

the best part about this entry is that by using the phrases "nameless novel" and "cheats" i will only attract even MORE would-be cheaters to my blog, where they will be chastised.

which is IRONIC because the only reason i mentioned those phrases in my blog before is because i was talking about how i had to cheat before. but, that was just one time. for just one question. i figured everything else out myself, you nameless novel cheaters.

(i am JUDGMENTAL. but i also have a complete page of the NAMELESS NOVEL so go me.)

posted by ~renata~ at 4:28 PM
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listening to: jason mraz, on love, in sadness

random amusing quotes: "so i was reading goblet of fire before i fell asleep, and i had the most tripped out dream... i was hanging out with ron and hermione, and ashvin was there too for some reason, and this guy-- i guess it was voldemorte, but he looked like a scooby doo villian, he was wearing a tiki mask-- he kept chasing us around and throwing spears at us. and i would catch the spears and throw them back, but it never hurt him, and then i had to duck under this door all indiana jones style, and then i woke up."
"that IS weird. i dreamed about bears last night."
"yeah, mine was cooler."

"mike, get back to work or else people are going to think you're mexican or something. i probably shouldn't have said that so loud."

"ashvin, you have an arranged bride, right? waiting for you in a reservation in oklahoma?"

"the little mermaid was clean!"
"yeah, but she had crabs."

hello! i am home from iowa city. and from bloomington. the following adventures have been had, by me:

- attending the iowa city farmer's market!
- eating ice cream!
- making pasta with miriam and kariel! ("hmm... you know, this tastes like grass." "yeah! it does. i mean, it's good... but... yeah, it tastes like grass.")
- playing apples to apples! ("world war two jokes are ALWAYS funny!"/ "anne frank is NOT 'awesome'!" "yes she is!")
- going to the "stuff" store! and buying... stuff.
- eating at the red avocado (aka: hippie vegetarian restaurant) where our waitress was named PADME. yes. PADME.
- ... watching family guy for hours in steve's apartment!
- garage sale-ing! purchases made: the worst case scenario survival boardgame (50 cents), sparkly pink fairy wings (free), cup of lemonade (25 cents, paid to cute and industrious small child).


posted by ~renata~ at 3:30 PM
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

watching: the daaaily show yay

omg, best surprise ever! i got sam back from the computer store, and they told me they were going to have to delete the hard drive... but i booted him up, and my twisp and catsby wallpaper was still there... and so are all my files! hooray! and also, os x tiger! roooar. so, i was expecting to have to spend a bunch of time copying all my files off the cds i hastily backed them up to, and instead... i don't. yay!

also, i went shopping with trina and i bought sparkly hello kitty stickers and new luggage tags and a ROBOTS IN ACTION coloring book. i thought about sending the robot coloring book to someone as a gift, but then i couldn't decide who, so i decided i'll just color robots and send them to EVERYONE.

also trina and i realized that we talk like we're starring in a children's teevee show...

"these glasses are green! green is a color."

"i don't really like those shoes. but, if i were a mouse, i could live in them."
"yeah, they do look cozy."

"things would be different if i were a mouse."

"what would our kids show be called?"
"destination: AWESOME!"
"but, it's a kids show."
"oh. um... destination: AWESOME KIDS."

and... i forget what else. but basically, we're awesome. AS ARE ROBOTS.

hey, now i'm watching tww.

"the chairs you are sitting on were fashioned from the timber of pirate ships, captured during the spanish-american war..."
"excuse me for being rude, but are you a moron?"

"... and it turns out that i accidentally slept with a prostitute last night."

"mr. president, if our schoolchildren can buy pornography on any streetcorner for five dollars, isn't that too high a price to pay for free speech?"
"i do, however, think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography, but that's neither here nor there."

oh tww, why are you the best show ever? tied with the daily show. and the fairly oddparents.

anyway. i'm tired. i've been really tired lately. and, i've been sleeping a lot more than usual lately. but yesterday i bought some VITAMINS so maybe those will help.

a schedule of the next few days:
wednesday: leave for iowa city to visit miriam!
thursday: leave iowa city.
friday: garage sale-ing with trina, dinner with family.
saturday: leave for geneva to visit julia!
sunday: leave geneva.
monday: leave country.

so, if you want to hang out with me, you need to schedule it soon, my time's a-goin' quickly. otherwise, i'll see you in january. or later. or when you come to london. or, you know, sometime. but don't worry, i'll send you a robot picture.

posted by ~renata~ at 12:25 AM
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

the crickets are much quieter today. good.

reid, dad and i went out to lunch with grandma today. (grandma-dad's mom, who lives nearby. grandma-who's-dying is mom's mom, and she lives up near chicago.) it was kind of hilarious, in that the pattern of conversation went:
grandma: *tells story with awkward ending*
reid & i: *startled silence*
dad: *pause, then comment*

for example:
grandma: (telling story about how she used to be a teacher) ... and this one student didn't want to watch the filmstrip, so i told him he could go sit out in the hall. but instead of sitting in the hall, he just left and went home! anyway, years later he shot and killed a man.
reid & i: *startled silence*
dad: uh.... yeah, i think i remember hearing about that guy.

or how about:
grandma: (telling story about how she used to listen to the radio a lot): jack benny was such a funny man! i wonder why so many jews are comedians?
reid & i: *startled silence*
dad: *also startled silence*
grandma: well, they've had such hard lives, i guess maybe you have to have a sense of humor about it.
reid & i: *startled silence*
dad: .... heh heh, i guess.

as steve would say: "oh, old people."

anyway! i feel kind of dizzy and i don't know why. BUT connecting point called to say that my computar is fixed, hurrah!

ALSO trina should call me back. or else i'll bomb her house.

a realization: for my internship i'll have to spell words the british way! and then i will want to punch myself in the face all the time!

another realization: wearing khakis, a white shirt, and cuddling with three black cats makes for an interesting fashion statement. actually it just makes me look dirty and unkempt.

devon: yep, i have an umbrella too. but it's a cute little travel umbrella, it folds up to like the size of a can of pop, so it wasn't a big problem to pack.

talia: hola! i leave for london on monday, the 22nd. (so, i will be in london on your birthday!)

posted by ~renata~ at 2:56 PM
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Monday, August 15, 2005

hey: in the last week i have watched FIVE movies which i had never seen before. AND i liked all of them. isn't that crazy?

the five movies were:
- before sunrise
- before sunset
- good will hunting (yes, i realize i watched it for the first time like 8 years after everyone else did. it is also apparently the only movie in all of family video that steve and i could agree upon. )
- bride and prejudice
- resovoir dogs (yes, i realize i watched it for the first time like 13 years after everyone else did)

so anyway, if you were wondering if i would recommend any of those movies, the answer is yes.

also, hey, guess who got everything she needs for a semester in london, including sheets, comforter, pillow, winter jacket, four pairs of shoes (because YES i will need all of them) and enough toiletries to last 4 months (i think) in a big suitcase and a small suitcase!? and they both zip! even after this afternoon my mom decided i NEEDED to take a blazer to london. in case i need to do any blazing. so anyway, basically, i rock.

i'd apologize for the recent lameness of my blog, but, eh, you guys can deal with it.


(OH and YES, blue and i are the same person. that's why it's so weird when i whisper through my blog to her, because it's really just whispering to myself.)

posted by ~renata~ at 11:18 PM
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i forgot to say: devon, yes, i do think she's creepy looking! nothing against her skills as an actress, or anything, just... i don't know, i think it's her eyes. or her forehead. or just like... her face. (& no, i've never watched gilmore girls, although i have friends who like it.)

reid: *wanders downstairs* mumble mumble isu... mumble mumble today
me: reid, are you on the phone, or are you just mumbling to yourself?
reid: mumbing to myself.
me: oh. well, aren't these crickets really loud? like, insanely loud?
reid: yeah, they are. it's cuz they're like right up IN YOUR FACE!

posted by ~renata~ at 11:10 AM
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argh. crickets are fuckin' LOUD. seriously, there must be some in our house, or something, or maybe we just have extra-loud crickets... i don't know, but it's driving me crazy.

also my eyes are itchy.

omg, i love llbean... i must have accidentally checked the box to receive emails from them when i ordered something last night, and i got an email from them that was like "you recently said that you would like to receive emails from us, but previously you've preferred not to... are you sure you want these emails? you have to confirm again to get these emails, because we don't want you being annoyed with us because of your dumbass mistake." good job, llbean. gooood job.

ahhh the crickets and the itchy eyyyyyes you don't even know.

oh, and the flies. i hate the flies too.

anyway. today i aaaam:
- going to isu to get my international student id card
- (optional) throwing a fit if isu refuses to give me an international student id card
- going shoe shopping with my mom (she got a new job and they're making her wear closed-toe shoes. she's distressed. for those of you who don't know my mom-- she's obsessed with birkenstocks, and will only wear them. even in the winter, it's birkenstocks with socks.)
- uh, i forget, there's more but all i can think about are the criiiiickets angry face.

oh, and i finally wrote my bio for the sandman papers:

Renata S. is an English/history major at Grinnell College. (Thatís Grinnell, not Cornell.) Her website about the mythology in Neil Gaimanís American Gods (http://frowl.org/gods/) was recently released as a companion to Hill House Publishersí Lettered Edition of American Gods. In Renataís spare time, she has single-handedly brought international villainess Carmen Sandiego to justice on multiple occasions.

posted by ~renata~ at 10:58 AM
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Sunday, August 14, 2005

i would like to take this moment to voice a shallow pop-culture opinion: you know that chick from gilmore girls/the movie of sisterhood of the travelling pants/ bride and prejudice?

this chick?

man, she's creepy looking.

opinion: voiced!

posted by ~renata~ at 6:56 PM
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i just ordered my dad's birthday present, from me and my mom, and i want to steal it. (it's a mojo nixon cd and a SONiA cd. woot.)

anyway, i've decided to do a personal inveentory, of sorts, before i leave for london. your semester abroad is supposed to be a life-changing experience, and etc., so, i kind of just want to see where i think my life is right now. you can read it if you want, because i have put it on a public website, or you can skip this entry if you want, because you have full control over your reading habits.

- i believe i've been fortunate enough to meet wonderful people wherever i go: high school, grinnell, camp, compulsive bowlers, etc. this leads me to believe either that 1.) i am incredibly lucky or 2.) the world is full of wonderful people.

- of course, there are some jerks too.

- however, i believe that most everyone's most annoying behavior traits can be traced back to their own insecurity; recognizing that makes most annoying behaviors easier to cope with. (if they're not from insecurity, they're probably from self-absorbedness, which is worse.)

- everyone is just as fucked up as i am. just in different ways.

- okay, some people are more fucked up than i am.

- i am a startlingly likeable person.

- on religion: awhile ago i shifted out of the "agnostic" column and into the "atheist" column, but i think i'm back with the "agnostics" now. here is what i do believe: people should be nice to each other. people should make each other happy. it's not fucking all about YOU. if you are doing something that does not make sense to you in the name of religion, i don't think that's cool. but if your religion is giving you guidance/support/hope/whatever, i think that's good. anyway, so, i think the universe makes sense without a god. but it could make sense with one too. but, i don't know. anyway i'll just quote douglas adams, because i'm a quirky english major so i like to quote books instead of formulating my own ideas, and i will say "isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it, too?"

- on politics: i still have hope in the democratic system, but i am dismayed by the race toward the center and the whole... everything of modern american politics. the coverage of the bush/kerry debates made me sick, when the headlines would flat out say "well, bush has a catchy blurb, and kerry is smart but wordy, so we don't think the american public will understand him." that just... i don't know. it seems like poor journalism, and it seems like a lot of people are letting themselves be... i don't know. i don't want to be condescending and judgmental... actually, yes i do: many people are stupid. and i'm not saying all bush voters, mind you. many kerry voters are stupid. many non-voters are stupid. if you don't think american politics has any impact on you, you are stupid. but at the same time, i do understand disillusionment with the system, i do.

okay, now here are some strongly-held opinions i have:

- the dress tori amos is wearing in the welcome to sunny florida dvd is the ugliest thing i've ever seen. (i'm watching it right now and i just feel obligated to comment on it every time.) but, she can wear whatever the hell she wants, because she's tori amos.
- every single one of you should be terrified about roe v. wade being overturned.
- also, you should be terrified about the yellowstone supervolcano erupting >_<
- jon stewart is the new mark twain, and he will be talked about in history books in the future.
- reading history books in the future will be really hilarious.
- more people should read more.
- i personally should probably read less and "do stuff" more.
- don't i know you from the cinematographer's party?
- the above bullet point was placed there solely for kait's benefit
- people will always surprise you.

a list of things which i ain't:
- no hollaback girl
- uh oh, that's a double negative, which would imply that i am, in fact, a hollaback girl.

posted by ~renata~ at 1:26 PM
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so, hi. uh, today i probably saw my grandma for the last time, because she's in the hospital with "cancer of unknown primary origin." it's already in her blood and they say radiation/chemo won't help. they just found it on tuesday but they don't really think she has a lot of time. although you never know for sure. but i'm leaving the country next week.

so, yeah.

it pretty much sucks.

but instead of a real blog entry i'm just going to quote lemony snicket and go to sleep:

Everyone will die, of course, sooner or later. Circus performers will die, and clarinet experts will die, and you and I will die, and there migh be a person who lives on your block, right now, who is not looking both was before he crosses the street and who will die in just a few seconds, all because of a bus. Everybody will die, but very few people want to be reminded of that fact.

-- the austere academy

posted by ~renata~ at 12:28 AM
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Friday, August 12, 2005



hey you know what's great about having a blog, not an lj? this isn't spamming your friends list! it's only spamming my oooown blog.


i love that carl's porn magazine is called "SCURVY."

i love the mooninites.


"i don't NEED no intructions to know how to rock it!"

"hey man, those are my frickin' azalea bushes right there."

posted by ~renata~ at 9:39 PM
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watching: fairly oddparents!

"you can make fun of my math skills until 13 o'clock, but you cannot be a smartypants!"

this is the best show ever!

just so you know.

devon: oh, good. well, i felt i should explain just in case, since this layout would definitely be baffling if one was unfamiliar with the series of unfortunate events. also, i'm glad to know i was missed ^_^ i missed you guys too!

"we think we've got a response to your sassiness!"
"yes! we hired a lawyer!"

i'm sad that i can't listen to any of the alarming audio clips from the nameless novel.

i'm also sad that my blog has suddenly become devoted to young adult pop culture...

(who am i kidding, "suddenly"?)

the most productive thing i have done this evening is bake banana bread. oh, and i did some laundry.

i'll never be packed for london, never; next monday i shall simply shove some clothes into some wal-mart bags and head for the airport...

posted by ~renata~ at 9:21 PM
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watching: still mst3k

mm, my banana bread finished baking remarkably quickly once i turned the oven back on!

also, i definitely just had to cheat at a nameless novel puzzle. but, the number of ones i DON'T have to cheat at makes me feel smart! (hey-- some of them are hard! one was about anna karenina!)

in conclusion, don't even judge me.

posted by ~renata~ at 8:05 PM
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watching: mst3k, the wild world of batwoman

SO i couldn't figure out why my banana bread was taking so freaking long to bake. and then i realized the oven wasn't on.

(it WAS on, it preheated and everything. DAD must have turned it OFF because he DOES THINGS LIKE THAT.)

anyway, sam's visiting connecting point to get upgraded :( i'm stuck using moooom's computer.

i LOVE the "cheating" short, it's my favorite thing ever. "mother teresa called, she hates you!"

"i smell a big commie rat!"

"fortunately, your mob ties will get you off, johnny."

devon, other bewildered parties: the new layout is lemony snicket (a series of unfortunate events) themed. go read the bad beginning. and then the other 10 books. or at least check out the website ;)

this toothpaste for dinner was written about me.

posted by ~renata~ at 7:42 PM
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to my kind reader,

it is my sad duty to inform you that the boron narratives has recieved a new layout. i'm sorry to say that the blog you are now reading is extremely unpleasant, and contains leeches, a disastrous fire, frequent typoes, and melted gummi dinos. there is nothing stopping you from closing this window and reading something more pleasant, such as toothpaste for dinner, if you prefer that sort of thing.

with all due resect,


ps; the world is quiet here.

posted by ~renata~ at 11:34 AM
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Thursday, August 11, 2005

do you know what is funny? dinosaur comics are funny!

ones that make counting crows jokes!

and ones that make jokes about jokes!

and ones about zombies! (we had basically this same conversation all the time in trads2.)

and ones about stuff!

and ones abotu pretention!

(you can probably count on similar toothpaste for dinner and penny-arcade posts, as i catch up on a summer's worth of webcomics.)

i can't tell if i talk like t-rex or if t-rex talks like me, but i find there's a definite relationship. this could perhaps be why i love t-rex so much. HEY, and i also love rex from toy story and trina once told me that if i were a character from a disney movie, i woudl be rex. (a welcome break from everyone else who told me i'd be belle, because she reads books and i read books and hey, there you go.) INTERESTING what is this connection between me and t-rexes? of course you might say that two t-rexes are statistically insignificant. but then i might DEVOUR YOU.

oh, also: i freaking finally updated snow, glass, kiwi in case any of you want to stalk my reading habits. ALSO i'm in the process of loading 21340981238423 photos to my flickr.

HEY i still haven't really cleaned my room. but i did DEVOUR a brie and pear sandwich. so... yeah.

posted by ~renata~ at 7:43 PM
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listening to: james taylor, walking man

oh my god. how is it possible for any one person to accumulate so much STUFF? cleaning = 0_0.


anyway right now i just want to say that i took sam to visit the apple store because os x tiger freaking won't install.

apple store guy: "well, you need more ram."
me: "uh, it says 256, and i have 256."
asg: well, yeah, but it really only WORKS if you have 512. you need more. it'll be... $80. actually, your computer's so old i haev to get a different kind of ram. it'll be $120."
me (thinking, not saying): "... this computer is 2 and a half years old, it is NOT ancient. and, that's a lot of money."
asg: "well, probably the problem is taht we'll have to reformat your hard drive. your computer's so old apple doesn't format hard drives like this anymore."
me (thinking) "again: TWO AND A HALF YEARS OLD."
me (saying) "fine, i'll go back up my files and you can do whatever needs to be done..."
asg: "well, i can't do it, and our technician is out of town until monday."
me: "well, i really need this ready to go by august 22, will that be a problem?"
asg: "we do everything first come first serve, so you could just leave it here now."
me: "is there somewhere else i could take it? like, this business card right here has the address for a peoria apple store?"
asg: "actually that one just closed. no, there isn't anywhere else in the area."

oh well, it will be nice to have some more ram in sam (haha, that rhymes... ram in sam.) but the guy kept acting like i was bringing him like, an apple II, like he could not believe how old and decrepit my computer was. i have a 2.5 year old ibook runnning os x jaguar! and he works fine except when i try to install new ageist software on him okay! so do not talk to me like that mister apple man!

in other news, the last two days have been really poor for me, nutritionally speaking. like i just left camp and decided to eat 12304891324 units of junk food. double plus ungood.

however, FUN speaking, they have been excellent. exept for when i had to clean melted gummi dinos out of the back of my car. uh they're still not all cleaned yet, i let them soak in soap overnight. eeew. seriously guys, if you learn one thing from boron, just one, let it be this: do not let gummi dinos melt in your car.

now let me try to type out some final amusing camp anecdotes whilst i'm still in the blogging mood! but first, insta-blog poll:

when renata uses with word "whilst" instead of "while," i think it is::
a.) annoying
b.) pretentious
c.) annoyingly pretentious
d.) endearing
e.) i just thought it was a typo
f.) other (please explain in structured 5-paragraph essay).

ANYWAY. let me look at my BULLET POINTS.

hey i just got distracted by hunger and got a (non-junk food) snack! it is a PLUOT. my mom was excited about her purchase of pluots. they are plums combined with some other fruit. (ots?) it tastes like a plum. and looks like a funny-looking plum. i'm not sure i understand the appeal of pluots over plums, other than the fact that PLUOT is a good word, expecially in capslock.

anyway, bullet points.

-best decision ever (at ihop)
ooh! after we were all cleaned up and moved out of camp and everything, a bunch of us went out to ihop, and they were having a FUNNEL CAKE FESTIVAL. and i ordered RED WHITE AND BLUEBERRY funnel cakes and they were so, so g ood. i couldn't even handle it.

- what one normally does in a ditch at 1am
so we (camp staff, led by skylark) had this secret plan to thank jeff, our ranger. it involved having our campers draw pictures of him that said "thank you!" and then sneaking out to tape them to his truck. we did this at 1am on our last night at camp. so, we're all walking up the road to jeff's house when all of a sudden we see headlights from like, all the way across camp. we freak out and all hide in the ditch, and sre enough, we see jeff drive by... and then he slows down and stops right in front of us.
"girls? what are you doing?"
(hysterical laughter)
(more hysterical laughter)
(jeff shakes his head and drives away)

- i'm a vegetarian now (uh, that one's not really that cryptic, but i wanted to get it out there)
yes it's true, dead animals are no longer eaten by me. but i'm still a lazy vegetarian who eats marshmallows. and probably the occasional seafood. but MOSTLY no dead animals.

- i have new boots (ditto. they're gray!)
not just new boots, either! also new tennis shoes and new comfortable dress shoes! i like shoes. right now i'm planning on taking 5 pairs with me to london and that seems both like a ridiculously large number and also not enough.

- the tragedy of the gummi dinos
i touched on this earlier-- they fucking melted all over my car! it was sad!

- welcome to the fantastic four
my last gift from my secret buddy (pepsi!) was this plastic arm with a grippy hand, and also you can extend the arm out! and thus grab stuff you could not ordinarily have reached without taking a few steps forward!

- i would increase the creepiness of this camp by 175%
after we all left camp, i had to give pepper a ride back so she could get her car, and we stopped in healthy house to leave creepy messages for blue and chick pea, since they were still there with work to do. my favorite of these was a fake evaluation form i filled out, with creepy answers to everything like "what was your favorite part of staff training? getting to spend time with blue and chick pea!" my personal favorite answer was "what would you do differently if you were the director of camp? i would increase the creepiness of this camp by 175%."

- is it a robot?
basically, when i was helping sunflower, pepsi, and tweety clean up the palace (the arts & crafts building) i kept insisting that the job would be easier if we had robots. and that we could use various craft materials to help build robots. this bullet point isn't actually a very good story. i just like robots.

so... my friend sunny (as you might guess from her name) and i (as you might guess from actually knowing me) are both pretty nice, friendly people. so naturally we somehow decided it was funny to constantly pretend to be angry at each other. also i constantly angrily told her i was quitting. but the best part of our fake mutual anger was at campfires, when we would angrily sing campfire songs at each other. and... these songs are ridiculous enough on their own, right, but singing them ANGRILY just pushes them over the line. especially the princess pat. which happens to be a call & repeat song. it goes like this:

the princess pat!

lived in a tree!

she sailed across!

the seven seas!

she sailed across

the channel too!

and she took with her!

a rickabamboo!

... anyway, it goes on like that. and it's hilarious when sung ANGRILY. if you would like you could call me and i will sing it to you. ANGRILY.

- was it zelda, with archimedes, in roaks?
omg, sunflower and i made a camp tapawingo version of clue, and it's seriously the best game ever.

- all new bonus bullet points!
as excited as i am about london it just kicked in that other people will be going back to grinnell and i won't be there. sad face.

ay yi yi.

- "hey peter frampton, do you like toast too? yes, as do i. it is warm and crispy and a perfect place for jelly to lie. now stay away from me, frampton, i ain't got shit to say to you!"

- fun fact: saying anything in a mitch hedberg-esque voice makes it sound funnier.

posted by ~renata~ at 2:41 PM
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

listening to: spice girls, move over

so i don't know if this song was actually a pepsi commercial or if it just coincidentally uses the phrase "generation next" like a million times. probably the former.

bleh, it's hot out. and my room is ridiculous. it's too depressing to even start cleaning it.

actually i don't really feel like blogging either.


posted by ~renata~ at 4:58 PM
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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

dot dot dot!

one more thing before i go to bed...

Your Musical Tastes Match: Weird Al

See his whole playlist here (iTunes required)
What Celebrity Matches Your Taste in Music?

eh then, eh?

(no but really, go look at his playlist, it seriously is all stuff i'd listen to, what?

posted by ~renata~ at 1:37 AM
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a vignette that is either perfectly descriptive of my friends, or worthless but entertaining:

i needed a birthday card. i poked around for a bit at wal-mart, then spotted one with an awesome blue t-rex that said "grandson, have a grrrrrreat birthday!" i delightedly grabbed it, then took an extra one for later, figuring i could always scratch off "birth" and use it as a generic "have a great day!" card. trina noticed which card i had and said "oh! i bought that exact same one, and i was going to cross out 'birth' and send it to you, but then it really was amanda's birthday so i gave it to her."

and now, rather than a real blog entry, i will do a meme i stole from kait. hooray!

5 songs that never fail to make me cry (but not really, because there aren't really any songs that ALWAYS make me cry. but sometimes, maybe, these do.)

1. SONiA, me too

she sat down in the corner
she could still see the door
she said, "daddy, i gotta tell you something
i've never said before"
he said, "shh... everybody has a war
cuz it's
not about oil
and it's not about guns
and it's not about rainbows
it's about daughters and sons
if you believe in tomorrow
then i have taught you well
cuz if you don't believe in yourself
then life's a living hell
and you'll always shine
in front of me..."

(sorry, i totally just quoted like half the song. but i love it. and i needed the whole chunk. really.)

2. stuart davis, jonah

uh. duh. i don't care how many times i hear this song-- and it's a lot-- it's just so powerful. and... yeah.

cuz hiding pain is work
and your mother is a worker...

3. tori amos, pretty good year


they say you were something
in those formative years
well hold onto nothing
as fast as you can

4. jill sobule, vrbana bridge

what more can i say?

through a crack in the wall
of a sandbagged building
a soldier saw them fall
he said "if love was their only armor
well, it did no good at all"

5. bnl, break your heart

omg seriously. from the very start of this song-- the amazing three-syllable "the"-- it is ridiculously intense without being melodramatic. it's really more the way the song is sung than the actual lyrics, but here, have some anyway:

... And you said
"What'd you think that I was gonna do,
Curl up and die just because of you?
I'm not that weak, you know"

obligatory bonus song: jeff buckley (OR REALLY LEONARD COHEN but does anyone listen to his version anymore? well, not me), hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a god above
But all i've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

(i admit that this is partly because it's forever linked with simon from tww in my head. OH SIMON WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DIE? and then become the dad in freaky friday? WHY? but anyway even without simon i think this song basically just makes everyone cry.)

obligatory bonus tori song, because can i ever have just one?: iieee

and there's no sign of a parachute
in this chapel
little chapel of love
can't we get a little grace
and some elegance
no, we scream in cathedrals
why can't it be beautiful
why does there
gotta be a

posted by ~renata~ at 12:55 AM
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Monday, August 08, 2005


i'm done with CAMOP. or CAMP.

i feel: happy, sad, tired, confused, lonely, relaxed, dirty.

it really was an amazing summer. i'll say more later when i've had more processing time.

(oh, and in re: my last disillusioned entry- don't worry, after i had some sleep i remembered that camp fits in excellently with my own personal life philosophy, which is that making other people happy is a good thing, and if nothing else camp certainly does that.)

HEY i just signed a contract with fantagraphic books. (by "just" i mean, like, 30 seconds ago. this is up-to-the-minute coverage on the life of renata!) it says that they will publish my essay in their book the sandman papers and also give me some money, someday, maybe. also i get 2, or possibly 3, free copies of the book. (it says: "the publisher agrees to give the author 2 free copies of the least expensive edition and one hardcover edition of the said work if any, and to permit said author to purchase further copies for his/her personal use at the prevailing trade discount." yep.)

hee, itunes shuffle, thank you for reminding me that i love mitch hedberg.

anyway. also i need to write a 100-word bio of myself for the book. so far all i have is:

renata is an english/history major at grinnell college. she believes that the 2001 film josie and the pussycats is highly under-appreciated by society.

i have some more words left that i could use but what more is there to say about myself?

i'm trying to install os x tiger onsam and it's not working. and it's increasing my RAGE. my RAGE against the machine. actually i suppose it's really rage against the software. and it's not really rage. it's more like, annoyance. annoyance against the software.

anyway. well, i'm in a rush, so let me again resort to cryptic bullet points which i will hopefully expand upon later:
- best decision ever (at ihop)
- what one normally does in a ditch at 1am
- i'm a vegetarian now (uh, that one's not really that cryptic, but i wanted to get it out there)
- i have new boots (ditto. they're gray!)
- the tragedy of the gummi dinos
- welcome to the fantastic four
- i would increase the creepiness of this camp by 175%
- is it a robot?
- was it zelda, with archimedes, in roaks?
- ... and the rest.

OKAY i'm going to go shower now because i haven't done that in awhile. and then i'm going to hang out with TRINA and we will watch a movie. (or possibly, be too lazy to actually watch a movie and just sit around for a long time. either way.)

posted by ~renata~ at 7:20 PM
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i still have some love to give



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