24 October 2007

The most important thing you'll learn today

I'm about to tell you something that will change your life. Be prepared--this is earth-shaking. And sad... Get the kleenex. Ready? Deep breath. Here it is:

People born on February 29th will never have a golden birthday.

Okay, now that your life is altered, on to business: more trip reports! After visiting Keighley and Haworth I returned to London, where I was supposed to see a screening of the Peter Serafinowicz Show. Sadly, it was canceled. Instead, I saw Lord of the Rings, The Musical. It was pretty good... they had to cut many essential elements to make it fit within a 3-hour window. No Rohan whatsoever, no Faramir, no Helm's Deep, etc., etc. They did make a reference to Tom Bombadil. The hobbits were amusing.

Today you will learn why I typically travel alone. I suspect it has to do with some of the sites I like to see. The second day in London I visited a museum that... well... let's just say it had to do with my unique literary tastes. I happen to like dictionaries. I visited the former home of Samuel Johnson -- his primary residence while compiling the first modern English dictionary. I even bought an abridged version of the dictionary (c'mon, I already admitted that I like dictionaries. So stop laughing).

Example definitions from this 1755 dictionary:

heart-breaker: A cant name for a woman's curls, supposed to break the heart of all her lovers.

paraphernalia: Goods in the wife's disposal.

And if you have never been able to understand how the Interweb works, here is the definition of network: Any thing reticulated or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections.

All clear now, right?

23 October 2007

doppler effect... or not

Reading my blog? Wow, you must be bored. Or boring. That's great, we have something in common!

And I can bore you further. More about my trip to the UK and Ireland!! Lucky you!

After I left Alnmouth I went to a town called Keighley (pronounced "keith-lee"), where I caught an authentic steam train -- the Keighley-Worth Valley Railway. Here's a video I took of the train:

I left the train at a small town called Haworth, which is where the Bronte sisters lived. After wandering all over the place with my luggage I finally found their family home:

If you turn your head (or monitor), you can read about the Bronte Parsonage Museum:

These are what we call "flowers":

The church next to the museum:

Next time I need a doctor, I will definitely go for one at the "Kilmeny Surgery." Many? How many?

20 October 2007

Prior Incantato

I suppose it's time to post some pictures from my trip! I flew into Heathrow, then immediately went to London, to King's Cross Station. And where does one travel from King's Cross Station? To Hogwarts, of course -- and that's exactly where I went! Well, I didn't find Platform 9 ¾, but the train from Platform 2 started me on the way to my destination of the day -- Alnwick Castle, a film site for the Harry Potter movies. After my visit to the castle (which is definitely worth a visit!) I went to Alnmouth for the night.

And for those of you who want to study at Hogwarts, check out the St. Cloud State University site...


A statue of Harry Hotspur:
A view of Alnwick Castle:

Another view of Alnwick Castle:

Nearby the castle:

A rainy morning in Alnmouth:

Boats generally require water:

Some of the many, many, many birds of Alnmouth:

Blocks on the beach:

Spiderwebs in the rain:

18 October 2007

L33t Street

At some point I'll have time to go on and on about my recent vacation to the UK and Ireland. For now, here is an amuse-bouche for my travel writeup. And it is all about l33tness.

A camera + a bus near Newcastle Upon Tyne + some fabulous timing resulted in this priceless picture:

That's right, kids. The moral of today's story: B1337.

08 October 2007

Study at Hogwarts!

Greetings from jolly ol' London! I'm currently on vacation. I'll post more when I return, but I just wanted to inform all of you about one interesting fact I learned. This will be especially useful for those of you trying to decide where to attend college. On Saturday I visited Alnwick Castle, where they filmed Harry Potter. You can actually attend school there--Minnesota's St. Cloud University offers a study abroad program there!


04 October 2007

pulling tulips

Hooray for fall television! Shows I like are back in season, and I've found a few new shows to love. So far...

Old shows:

- Heroes is off to a strong start. New twists and turns... though there are still some slightly annoying plotlines. At least we haven't had to deal with the Las Vegas psycho woman plot yet.

- Top Chef is almost over. Only a few weeks 'til Project Runway!!

- Doctor Who is almost over as well. This latest season has been EXCELLENT! What a creative show. And a hot Doctor.

- Beauty and the Geek. The geek kicked off this week was cute... he didn't even need a makeover to help him out! It's a shame he's gone.

- House? Hmmm... it doesn't seem to be improving. I'm not terribly optimistic.

- The IT Crowd, Season 2. Over already.... Alas. It was entertaining, but not as funny as Season 1. Regardless, my newly ordered DVDs are on their way. Oh, in case you haven't heard the bad news, there's a chance this show might not be recreated for the US market. Sad, isn't it?

New shows:

- PUSHING DAISIES! What a bizarre, random, hilarious show! Ever since I saw the first commercial I've been looking forward to seeing it. It lived up to my expectations. It may even have exceeded my expectations... FAAAN-tastick!

- Kid Nation - Kid logic is great. That show is highly entertaining. It's all about kids living off the land exactly as people lived in the Old West. It's true -- they have to rely on outhouses, water pumps, and microwaves. It's seriously bare bones.

- Bionic Woman - You never know with remakes, but this one looks promising.

- Life, Moonlight, and Journeyman - BOOOORING. Sorry, writers and producers, but they're complete snoozers.

03 October 2007

off with their heads!

On Saturday, Emily and I made our annual pilgrimage to Crownsville, Maryland for the Renaissance Festival. As usual, it was a great people watching opportunity. Apparently the Food Network was filming there all day. I saw some girl getting some guy's autograph, but who he was, forsooth, I knoweth not.

Here is my summary of the day in pictures... pictures of Emily, mostly. Behold:

Ye olde sword swallower:

Fair Maid Emily getteth her haire done:

Thine faire maide in a flattering pose:

Alas, poor Yorrick. I can't see thee:

Ye olde construction workers:

Emily falleth into love with ye olde blond guy while gettething henna applied to her foot:

Ye olde fancy henna application that turned out better than the henna we got in Marrakesh:

Ye olde vikings in an ancient mode of communication. And elephants, which we didn't ride (because of ye olde long line):

Ye olde sideways picture:

Henna update:

Ye olde hypnotist, leading ye olde crowde in their dramatic death scenes:

Ye olde high schooler a little bit too into this activity. Where'd his shirt go??

Ye olde Food Network person signing an autograph:

The joust:

It was very, very dusty, which looked kinda nice in the light of the setting sun:

One last henna picture:

A nearby haunted looking building. Initially we thought it was called the "Hung Young Building" (appropriate for a haunted hospital). Nay, it was just "Hugh Young." Actually, it's "Hvgh Yovng":

After the Renaissance Festival we went to Baltimore for an AMAZING Andrew Bird concert. But that's a story for another blog entry...