Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Champions' League

Arsenal 4-0 Porto.
I don't understand how arsenal can be so bad at the weekend, and so good 3 days later. I hope that this goal is a turning point for Adebayor. Last year he was scoring goals, but that sorta dried up. He hasn't scored much this year (that hat trick barely counts (serious)). But he had not one, but TWO, well deserved goals this match. That should snap him out of it. Everyone looked pretty sharp. I still dont think Denilson should be in the starting XI. whatever.

Today was my first classes. Mystical Traditions, and Research methods of Anthropology. Mystical traditions looks challenging, but cool. I feel like i'll learn a lot in that class. I've always been interested in the occult and mystical teachings that are inherent in every religion. I've always felt that mystical experience is the culmination of religion, the end that the religious are searching for. But somehow it is also the part we deny ourselves the most. We talk about miracles in the details of life, and feeling the spirit, but if i came right out and said "Last night i dreamt a dream and the Lord told me..." or "I had a vision this afternoon as i walked on the path to the library" we (myself included) would scoff. Yet, we do the things we do and believe what we believe in hope of attaining something that is completely mystical in nature. Further, studying the mystical, at least in mormon tradition (and in many others), is typically shot down and called "looking past the mark." I think i've blogged about how much that bothers me in the past. Bottom line, i am really looking forward to this class. I legitimately can't think of a topic i would rather study right now. (It also will help me with a comic idea i've been working on...haha).

Research Methods, seems less cool and ugh. but i'm only auditing it, so i can bear sitting in there for an hour on tuesday afternoons. His lecture today consisted of reading a pre-written speech about his early days as an anthropologist and his ethnographic research in India. It was sufficiently interesting, i just don't know what i was supposed to learn from it. In the course of his talk he spoke about how outgoing he had to be to make in-roads with the locals. I couldn't help but think to myself "oh jeez. there's no way i can do that. I don't talk to anyone."

Later this evening i went to the pub to watch the Arsenal v. Porto match. I bought myself dinner (which was too much money, truly more than i should pay. But i wanted a decent meal. I've been eating a lot of crap). So i ate well, and was fairly satisfied, though perhaps i should feel a bit of buyers remorse. Then i watched the arsenal match content on my barstool. Eventually i somehow ended up conversing with the two guys next to me. From what i gathered they were from birmingham, but were in london for some work (which sounded like construction work, something to do with fireproofing?). We spoke about a bunch of stuff. From football, to the US political and economic situation "that prime minis-errr president of yours is a real prick, and tony blair just lickin up his ass." I also learned that he was the youngest, and had 6 brothers. He told me about his parents funerals, how his family was originally from Scotland, and how moving to birmingham was difficult because he felt like an immigrant (justifiably so). We talked about his friend who went to the US to live, and got busted drink-driving 3 times and did 12 months in the clink which then developed into a commentary on race relations in the US prison system. we talked about a lot of stuff. There was a kid in between us, and i could not understand a single word he said. It was literally like a different language. I couldn't even pick out words that seemed familiar. Except "birds". he did say that a few times.

As i left the pub i thought to myself. ok, perhaps i could do ethnographic research if i needed to. So i feel better about anthropology right now. I'm still a little intimidated, but i'm optimistic.

i think that's all i have for tonight.
goodnight.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I truly believe.

I truly believe that we could have fielded the Carling Cup team that stomped Sheff Utd. on Tuesday against Hull on Saturday and we would have won.

In other news I went to 3 hours of church today. It wasn't so bad. I took copious notes of my observations about the ward (nothing actually religious, more like "there are as many cheesy kids here as there are in wards at home" type stuff).

Classes should start tomorrow. Huzzah.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Curiosity.

Part of me wonders:

Is the reason the United States has not yet had a black president because other races fear the political ramifications of the phrase "Once you go black you never go back"?

Monday, September 22, 2008

a classic conversation- yet very typical.

This is a conversation that i just had and really enjoyed. I have withheld the name of the person with whom i had the conversation for his protection. It has also been edited for content.

Friend: have you started class yet?

ME (J): no. school over here is organized super weird...
aka not at all.
i never know what im supposed to be doing/where i should be
haha

F: you go to hogwarts

J: HAHA
except i don't learn anything so useful as magic

F: yeah right
its 100% magic
you will be a wizard when you're done

J: i hope so.
i'll magic me up some f*#*@*n money

F: if i was a wizard i would never be without money, or without naked babes

J: yeah.
that would be the first/only spell i learned
and maybe an asskickin' spell
so i could #**$& people up
haha

F: and my friends would never be without money or naked babes either

J: unless they made me sad or mad
and then it wouldn't be out of meanness, just because it would make me too lazy
to cast the necessary spell

F: i would wear a cape

J: oh, i would dress like Dr. Strange


F: and cast a spell that made capes awesome

J: i would want everyone to look at me suspiciously
like "what is he up to?

F: also i would cast a "fountain of youth" spell on myself
wizards are so badass

J: and a "fountain of skinny" so i could eat whatever i chose

F: totally

J:i would levitate when i slept.

F:dah! i have to go to school!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday.

After going to bed last night at some stupid hour (i think it was like 5:30 a.m) I woke up around noon. I thought about going to church, but I wasn't feeling well due to something i ate last night (probably that super spicy thing). So i thought, for the sake of my possible future social life, i would give myself a chance NOT to poop my pants at church. So i went back to bed, waking up this time around 3:00 pm.
I was feeling much better when i got up and knew that I had a few things that i still wanted to do. So I went downstairs and registered with a doctor near my school, so i can get health care. Soon I believe I will have a National Health Service number. God bless universal health care! The internet tried to tell me that there were no tickets to Tuesday's Arsenal match left, but i was suspicious, and wanted to see Arsenal stadium regardless. So i hopped on the train and rode up there, a measly 2 stops from me. Went walking and found it. I bought my ticket for Tuesday (not sold out) then went to the All-Arsenal shop and bought myself a scarf. Then i took a walk around, tried to find hangers while i was in a different neighborhood, but failed. I also saw a paper with a headline that said "Ronaldo's Girl is a 2k Hooker!" which i laughed at.
then i came home for a minute. ate some food. and then decided to go out walking again. Thats when i found that park that used to be a cemetery that i found all too charming in my own creepy way. That was actually the second park i stopped into, but it won my heart over the other one. The idea of having dead bodies under the park...just too rad. That and the graves everywhere.
Oh, I found hangers too. They were super expensive (roughly $1 per hanger) but i bought them. I only bought a few and put multiple pieces of clothing on each one. If you haven't noticed yet, i'm cheap. I've even gone back and removed all my little comments about how much things cost (e.g., the train ride, the McDonalds, etc.).
Now i'm back at my place, listening to miles davis, talking to friends and relaxing.
I'm a happy boy.
For people who read this and don't have facebook, here's a link to some fotos.

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2211590&l=a1cb2&id=17830946

wish me luck getting up in the morning, i have no alarm clock, and no control over my sleep lately.
Goodnight!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

here's some stuff.

This is an email i just wrote to my family, but it gives a fairly decent summary of...today, and my england experience so far (coughcough-today).


It's nearly 4 in the morning and my eyes just shot open (by "just" i mean 50 minutes ago). Something I ate upset my stomach (it was so so spicy) and I think I left my pepto out of my bags at the last minute. Oh well. I'll just stay up late writing *blogs*.

I'm legitimately loving it here currently, though my inability to find a place to buy hangers frustrates me to death. The fact that it gets pretty chilly at night has me a touch worried about cold weather and the warm-factor of my clothing, but I'll deal with that issue when it comes along.

Everything here is (at least) 5 pounds. Which lulls you into thinking, "that isn't much money..." then you stop and realize that it's like 10 bucks, and it makes you cry. Then you find toilet paper (the cheapest you can find) for 1.50 and you're like "Yeah! that's cheap!" but once you've bought it you realize that 3 dollars for 6 rolls of TP is not cheap, and on top of that you've gotten what you deserve for buying cheap toilet paper. I have to keep reminding myself that in a city I don't quite know yet, that price hunting is not typically the best option, and to stop being cheap. It especially isn't the best option when you've spent a large portion of your day looking for an item and found it, and if you turn your back on it hoping to find it cheaper, chances are you won't be able to find your way back.

I watched the Arsenal match in the bar across the street from my house this evening. The fact that I watched it in the evening instead of at 10:30 a.m. is thrilling to me. I don't care about watching it at a bar, but I suppose its something I should expect to do while I'm here...off to a good start then. (oh- and Alex Song the dude I've said since BEFORE the season should be starting Defensive Midfielder for Arsenal got a start tonight and did well defensively as well as putting a header off the post and having a doozey of a shot saved. Can I just say "I told you so" to nobody in particular, because nobody reading this cares? ha) I met some random dudes with thick accents watching the match. They were really nice to me and seemed pretty impressed by an Arsenal fan from the US that actually knew something about the club. They were funny and loud and fit every stereotype you would want them too. They even referred to women as 'birds' at one point. That made me laugh.

Speaking of which, I find that the English accent makes me laugh more than it used to. It's almost as if, despite logically knowing that everyone here talks like that, somewhere in my subconscious I had believed that it was something that they played up for movies to please me. As such I laugh a lot. I talked to Tyler recently and he called them "Tiny Tim voices" and now I laugh even more. *Naomi, why don't you talk funnier? You talk entirely too normally in comparison with some of these people. (haha, what a terrible thing to say. sorry.)*

Tomorrow, I have to find my way to church. It doesn't look too hard, but getting lost on the underground system worries me- expensive. Oh well. I also need to figure out if I can go to the Arsenal match on Tuesday without disrupting my school schedule. It's a Carling Cup match and I can go for just 10 pounds (cheaper than the 33 for regular league games). I'm also still on the search for hangers and super glue. People act like they've never heard of hangers around here- drives me crazy.

I keep updating that google map i made with the random places I've walked to as an exercise in learning my way around (obs. i've not been to buckingham palace or any of the other famous landmarks yet, those are just for reference).


View Larger Map

i'm pretty interested in World War II right now. Does anyone know of a good book to read on the subject? Nothing intense, just something interesting that i could read for fun?

alright, let's give this sleeping thing a shot.
goodnight.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

ideas.

i do not like the idea of Barack Obama becoming the next president. Nor do I like the idea of John McCain becoming the next president. What am i to do?
I watched the RNC tonight to scope out Palin and what she's all about. a few observations.
-the speeches delivered tonight really turned me off to the Republican candidates. They were critical, sarcastic, and lacked any sort of grace. I am not naive to the fact that politicians criticize one another in speeches. I watched every day of the DNC and heard plenty of criticism of McCain, Bush, and the republican party. But the criticisms offered at the RNC tonight (by both Giuliani and Palin) were not necessarily helpful to the undecided voter nor did it help McCain's image, campaign or anything else. Truth be told. I've never been as likely to vote for Obama as I was while listening to a room full of pompous republican dicks literally laugh at Obama's record as a community organizer. If you want to point out that it is not executive experience, that's fine- point it out. but do it with some shred of dignity. Do it because it's in America's best interest, or your best interest. But this felt like the condescension of the "cool kids" in school toward an outsider.
-where were the minorities at the RNC? speaking of which- where were the people. There were lots of empty seats, and those that were filled were full of old white people. Don't get me wrong, i noticed the token black person and the occasional latin person holding the VIVA McCAIN sign, but when compared with the DNC it looked like a Klan meeting.
- it is a constant criticism i have of politicians that they speak with no direction. they don't tell you of plans, or the methods they hope to employ to bring about the changes we all hope for. they merely talk around the issues, employing the necessary buzz words to instill the listener with the idea that they have actually discussed issues. Obama did this in his speech, and does it really well whenever he speaks. Giuliani and Palin however, did not even attempt to use this time-tested technique. Instead they spoke of Obama's inability to do ANYTHING and McCain's record as a P.O.W., a senator of the Reagan revolution, a maverick, a nice guy, etc. and to tell you the truth, i can't say that they even did that very well.

I came from the RNC feeling that maybe Obama is deserving of my vote. I felt it more strongly tonight than i did at the end of the DNC.
(if i'm honest with you, i'm not going to vote. but i like thinking about it)

I was wondering today, is John McCain 2008's Bob Dole? Does the Republican party want him because they think he can win, or do they want to reward him for his long period of service to the party?

i'll probably rewrite this tomorrow. i recognize this is poorly written and doesn't express my thoughts well.
i can't think straight right now. must sleep soon.

p.s. why can't BYU and Provo get on the same page to make this city much much cooler for all who live here?