Did you know:
Cheers can be used in any part of any sentence meaning any number of things. Today a man ran into me in the tube station and said cheers. Cheers is the common phone ending word as in have a good day, but can also be used as hello. Cheers can mean like good job too. Cheers = your welcome: I thanked Ian for a biscuit he gave me and he said cheers. Cheers = thank you: Lucy took a coupon flyer from a vender woman, more cheers! Don’t people know that buddy the elf says, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear”? London has enough cheer, Christmas or otherwise to go around. Singing isnt even necessary.
Highlights of my life:
This weekend was way fun! For Valentine’s Day a whole bunch of us girls went pub-crawling with Maggie’s daughter Lucy down the Northern Line. I left at 12:30 to catch the last tube home, the other girls weren’t so lucky and a 2 hour bus ride and a 40 pound cab later found their way home just as the sun was rising. Sunday Anne and I went to Westminster Abbey for church! Mostly because we didn’t want to pay 12 quid a piece. But also how cool is it that we got to worship where people have been worshipping for over a thousand years. Many of the churches I have been in (and believe me I have been in a lot in the past two months!) don’t really feel like churches anymore. They are places Rick Steves calls “a must see” so tourists flock to them taking pictures a mile a minute. Don’t get me wrong I totally think that tourism is a good thing I mean it is essential for maintenance and up keep of the church. Westminster is beautiful and I think everyone should be able to appreciate it and experience it. But experiencing Westminster Abbey the way it is supposed to be experienced: as a holy place of worship built for the glory of God. The service was like a step back in time though. Anne and I were led to the “choir seats” which were beautifully carved benches with kneeling benches covered in red velvet and little personal lamps which I could just imagine were candles many years ago. The organ was playing as we walked in. Anne and I, who are both tour guides at PLU, compared what we consistently note as one of PLU’s epic highlights: our organ in MBR, to the thirty five times more magnificent organ in Westminster. When the choir started singing in the foyer we couldn’t see them, but they sounded amazing in the huge open space. Then they filed in still singing to take their places in the benches next to ours wearing frilly gowns. The amazing thing was that the high voices were not women, but young boys. They were seriously like 8! Interesting. A comment on traditional patriarchal positions held in the church still today? Hmm. Then the ministers and other important people filed in wearing similar robes with less frills. The process was very choreographed and has probably been done the same way since the Anglican church started! All I could think was, “holy cow this is totally a scene from Harry Potter!” Ok, ok enough about the church.
Work is going awesome, amazing, wonderful, fantastic! Can you believe it: I work for the National Portrait Gallery (small print: as an unpaid intern)! School has been kind of secondary. Monday I had no class but a meeting oh and the most fantastic mango chicken rice salad from Sainsburys. Then I rode the bus to work. I finished a sign that goes in the National Gallery advertising for the NPG Richter show (which opens next weeeeek!) It was so funny because Maht was designing something very, very similar. So it became a competition. Maht, Ian and Natalia showed me where the best Tesco (cheap grocery store, but some are better than others) is in Covent Garden and they bought me “the best” English candies. They asked if I have ever heard of this crunchy chocolate bar called a kit-kat. I laughed, some things are very much the same. We went to Pauls. Pauls is a bread shop, we frequented it in Paris. Then we went for quite a long walk to the best coffee shop in town. We got the prettiest little cappuccinos for a pound. We got back to the office and it was work time. I worked on a voucher, A7 which is titchy (that means very small in British). Did I mention paper sizing being strange here. First of all everything is in mm. You can’t get anything done when people are talking about 750 mm by 450 mm! And paper is in A, B, C sizes. A4 is standard 8.5x11 or is it A5? It confuses me so much! Anyway so this 2 for 1 voucher will be in books sold at Foyles bookstore in London. Yeah I’m pretty much legit! Confession: sometimes I dance on the tube. Not full out dancing, but you know more than head bopping. Dinner was Shepard’s Pie. It would be though. I haven’t encountered many things I don’t like.
Tuesday I had the worst tube ride of my life. I had to get to Pilmco or something down by the river for 10 am class at the Tate. So I thought ok I’ll go Kings Cross to the Victoria line. One transfer easy peasy. BUT the Victoria line was off and on running and so 6 transfers later I finally made it to the correct station. I was only 7 minutes late and over half the class was later. After class I wanted to take the bus to work since the 87 runs parallel to the river. But it never came so I walked. I realized that I could have gotten off at Westminster and just walked to the Tate. Everything is connected but you would never know it riding the tube. I got a tuna, cucumber, carrot, pepper and lemon juice bagel for lunch. It was very British and very good. I made it to work by half 12. I started working on one of Maht’s projects to create 3 banners for the Portrait Gala, a fundraising event for rich people. I am still working on this project. I stayed until 6:30 hoping to miss the tube traffic. It was just worse. Reading the paper with every other Londoners packed like sardines in a tube car is impossible. We had burgers for dinner with toMAWto and fried poTAYtos. Ros said we could only have more if we could say it right. Button ice cream for dessert!
And then there’s today… It just keeps getting better! AM work. I had a meeting at 10:30 with the gift shop lady Denise. Ian and Maht came with me to lead me through the secret tunnel. They gave me all the pass codes to the doors and I wrote them on my hand and Ian advised me to keep an eye on my hand and not get kidnapped. But my meeting went well… I am going to be designing a product line for the shop I am going to refer to it as “the quote project”. But I am super excited about it! It is basically bold contemporary colors with simple typographic art – the quotes. There are 5 famous people with 5 quotes. It is going to be on mugs, notebooks, canvas bags, tea towel (a tea towel is like a dish rag) greeting cards and postcards. How exciting is it that people are going to be buying my art! AH! And I found out I get 30% off at the gift shop! Yay! I came back and did some more work on my vouchers and banners. The office had a discussion about Sherbet. My fellow Americans Sherbet is ice cream right?! Here it is like fun dip but with licorice. I googled it for them to prove that other people understand sherbet as ice cream. They tried to convince me it was actually crack and illegal. Jude and Ian took me to the candy store and bought me a “sherbet fountain” at lunch. It tastes like chalk. We were silly for a while and had biscuit and tea time. But then it was work time. I didn’t want to leave at 1:30. I cut through Covent Garden to get to school. Class was terrible. History and I don’t get along. And a low budget history movie plus a warm, dark room puts me out faster than a whole bottle of Nyquil could. We field tripped it to some place or another and saw Rubens paintings on the ceiling where someone or other was executed. I want so badly to care about this history. But I honestly don’t. All of the kids in the Shakespeare class ran off to the theater after class. I ran to McDonalds. I was walking to Charring Cross tube station and a man stopped me to ask directions to Buckingham Palace. He was from New York and I felt very much like a local. Look at me!
Consider the following: WAGs (as featured in one of my favorite songs, American Boy, “but I still talk that ca-a-ash cuz all the WAGs wanna hear it”) stands for Wives And Girlfriends specifically of football stars. The free daily papers talk about them allll the time. I feel like Posh and I are good friends because everyday I read about where she is and with who. I am fascinated by the news here. Have you guys heard about the 13 year old boy dad scandal? It has been front page here for a week! These papers also have a section called Love Connection and they are text messages like: “Guy in the tweed pants with curly brown hair riding bakerloo at 7 on Tuesday who asked what I was reading. Drink?” –Girl with black hat. And they always have horoscopes. I rip it out and put it in my journal when it is right.