Friday, August 29

Mini American comes to London for 4.5 days

I say "Mini America" because for some reason or other I have always called military bases in foreign countries that and since my mates Melissa & Neala arrived safely into Heathrow's terminal 2 on Wednesday night (YEAH!) and they're from Ramstein (in Germany), so okay it's not really Mini America so much as Americans coming to visit, but they do bring me lots of American stuff I can't get in the UK, like yummy mac & cheese, oreos, so I think that counts!

Yesterday I had to work all day so they explored London on their own & damn did they get around! They started off by going to Piccadilly Circus, then to see St Stephen's Tower which houses Big Ben (the bell which weights in at 13.8 tonnes) Parliament buildings, if you want more info click here, Westminster Abbey, the Millennium Wheel (aka London Eye), Leicester Square, Green Park, and Hard Rock Cafe all between the hours of 9.30am and 5.30pm.

At half 5 I met up with them outside the Hard Rock Cafe and we walked over to Wellington Arch, down to Buckingham Palace (where we vegged for a bit watching the world go round & taking lots of photos), then down The Mall to Trafalgar Square for a few more photos & then go on a double decker bus and rode up to Camden to the pub where we hung out for a drink & chat with Rob and Hugo.

Today I'm at work again so they're off exploring some more, I know they were headed straight to the Tower of London, but past that I haven't a clue, I just know that they're coming to meet me at work at 4pm, so we can wonder over to the US Embassy & try to get a quick hello with Jim. Now that he's started back to work after his wedding he's been stationed outside one of the doors there so we're gonna try & pop round for a quick visit.

We tried to get tickets for Lion King but even with all the deals the tickets are £40pp, which is out of our budgets :-(

Fingers crossed tomorrow's weather is suppose to be nicer, today it's about 70 but COMPLETELY cloudy . . . I know I know I should be happy it's not chucking it down with rain, which I am, but I wouldn't mind them getting a chance to see the sun for a few hours whilst they're here in London.

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Wednesday, August 27

Are they for real?

I just was speaking with the same person I spoke about two posts back about their paper, which I've been trying to help them with since everyone else is gone, but since they doesn't seem to follow directions very well it's rather difficult, for example, I've asked to see all the sections they has done thus far. Finally yesterday I got bits & bobs on random pieces of paper (not in any sort of order), which I read over last night. When meeting with them today and discussing it - I was met with constant arguement for why they'd done it the way they did or why they hadn't done something I'd asked for. Today I said, "alright if you don't want to put an abstract, table of contents or acknowledgements that's up to you" they replied back with, "so I don't have to put those in? cause if it's up to me I wouldn't do any of this" I said, "well it is ultimately up to you how you present it for the examiners, but if I were you I'd check what the book which the course organiser gave you says"

how can you be a week away from turning a paper in & still not know what's required?


food for thought thanks to PCS

A friend & former boss of mine, PCS, wrote a wonderful post, check it out here and then if you don't mind come back here & and leave a comment cause I'd love to know your thoughts on the topic!

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Tuesday, August 26

Only one me (SO)!

There are 349,183 people in the U.S. with the first name Sara.

There are 671 people in the U.S. with my last name, but when you combine them together:
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

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Monday, August 25

Czech it out . . .

Patty, Dad & I sent this August Bank Holiday Weekend in Prague, Czech Republic. It's a great city, I have to admit that I don't think it's as pretty as St Petersburg, but I also have to admit it was slightly dampened by my knee pain so maybe that's to blame. Here are a few sample photos:

my favourite statue of St John of Nemopuk on the Charles Bridge
me on Charles bridge with the city in the background
dad, patty & me on our lunch time river boat cruise
inside the municipal building - concert hall

astronomical clock
dad & patty drinking czech beer

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Thursday, August 21

I'm not even sure where to begin . . . .

Someone asked me for help with writing a paper & handed me a 4 paragraph long "results" section without the 5 graphs, which admittedly was wrote at 1am last night . . . I tried to explain nicely that they have the next 5 days to get this all "in order" and to bring me back a paper copy on Tuesday at 9.15am since they only has 2 weeks left & hasn't even begun her discussion . . . I'm putting my foot down & going to let someone else handle that part next week when they're back from holiday!

Really if you're trying to get a masters wouldn't you put even 2 pence worth of effort into writing?!?!?!?

Wednesday, August 20


who noticed that today's date is 20082008???

probably not many of you Americans cause you think it's 08202008, but since the rest of the world seems to view the date as day/month/year that makes today 20/08/2008 or 20082008, isn't that funny?

Okay so maybe I have too much time on my hands, but that's cause I set aside today to read someone materials & methods along with her results section & you probably guessed it . . . she's NOT here! With a painful knee I was thinking this would be something good to do today, but if she's not here soon I'm going to go home. I've just got to collect my supernatants from my 48 hours experiment & then I'm outta here with or without her sections to read!

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The NHS must just love urine samples!

I'm back from doctor's office and he said he's going to refer me to a physiotherapist who then if needs be will refer me to orthopaedic doc . . . but first before they can do anything they need me to pee in a cup (since I'm changing my registration from N10 to NW5 and until I've done that they can't do anything for me) so tomorrow at 11.30am I'll do that to get this SLOW process going . . . I'm back on the bandwagon of disliking national health care systems!!! When I got back to the office my coworker told me how when she went to the neurologist they only took her blood pressure & made her pee in a pot . . . how does that diagnosis "everything?" The poor lab techs who work in the NHS system must just be up to their eyeballs in pots of wee!

Also apparently I need a brain transplant cause I realised last night at 7pm that Patty & I were not going to make it to the theatre we'd booked since I thought it was tonight instead of last night, what a Muppet I can be sometimes . . . luckily the tickets only cost me £12.50 each!

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Sunday, August 17

Brody & Rebekah's Wedding

Had a great weekend up in Long Eaton, England, for my good mate Brody's wedding. I'll only post a few photos & if you want to see more, please check my facebook page as I put ALL the photos up there!!
my last photo of SINGLE Jim with our mate Andy
Rebekah & Jim with bridesmaids
Paul (Jim's bro), Becks, Jim & Rob
cutting the cake (I LOVE this photo - how I got both of their rings)
Patty, Jim & me
Becks & me

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Friday, August 15

sisterly love

my sis arrived yesterday & my mate jim picked her up at the airport. he of course then realised he'd forgotten the keys to my flat so he took her back to his place, made her lunch & they watched the olympics together before coming back to mine at 6pm.

then kaylie, patty & i went over to nim & andy's for a drink to celebrate kaylie's 23rd birthday and then we went for thai food.

patty should be here at work around 12.30 to go for lunch.

btw it's sunny today, not suppose to stay nice, but at least there is sun today! we're off to long eaton for jim's wedding tomorrow morning at 9am (the train, wedding's at 3pm)

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Wednesday, August 13

foot loose & fancy free

how does that relate to me you ask . . . well my recent set of jabs has actually not been nearly as bad as I had thought, course they did warn that days 4-7 might be worse, but for now I'm happy with minimal pain & itching!

Now back to the title, where ever did that expression come from? I googled it & found this answer:
Footloose is, "Another case of human conduct being likened to the animations of a sail. In most sailing vessels the lower edge of the mainsail, known as the foot, was lashed to a boom to keep it stretched and properly shaped. However, there were some exceptions, notably the London River barges. These did not have a boom and the sail was allowed to hang loose along the foot. Loose-footed sails, as they came to be called, had a mind of their own and were more difficult to control. It is from this that the meaning footloose and fancy free is believed to have come." From "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983).
A second source has the same origin, ".a sail on which the restraining ropes at the base (foot) have been slackened off" and says the phrase "footloose and fancy free" means "Unattached romantically; 'young, free and single'." "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

So maybe you already knew that but I didn't & I thought it was interesting . . . course I'm not sure anyone aside from my mum & dad (btw did you notice where the first book was from?) are reading my blog these days & they probably both already knew that!!

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Tuesday, August 12

jabby, jab, jab (okay only 2 jabs & 24 pills)

But the jabs bloody hurt!!! Funny story about how I ended up getting jabs . . . I went looking for a new dress for Jim & Beck's wedding this coming Saturday since I heard that some stores had good end of summer sales on (like Coast and FCUK) and as they are just round the corner from work I figured I'd give it a go, but sale prices mean they went from £145 down to £95, so in my mind it's not such a good deal, PLUS I do have a dress which I can wear :-)

On my way back to work I remembered I promised my mate Nim that I'd get her a black pashmina so I grabbed that from the street vendor outside of Russell Sqaure Station & then also remembered I needed to get my Yellow Fever jab, Hep A booster, & anit-malaria's before I go to Rwanda in October. Now that might seem like a bit of a random thought when shopping for dresses, but on the way to the Brunswick Centre, there is a travel clinic attached to an STA Travel store . . . so I popped my head in to make an appt and lucky me they had an opening immediately :-( Filled out the forms, signed my life away, got 2 jabs in my left arm, two twelve pack boxes of Malarone, my yellow fever certificate and I was set to go. When I went to pay for all of these fun filled things, they announced I get 10% off everything in the store . . . did I need anything? NO, did I want anything? maybe . . . found the Lonely Planet Guide to Prague and picked that up since I'll be going there weekend after this one with Dad & Patty, not that 10% off a £10 book is that much, but every little bit counts!! Too bad that discount doesn't make your arm feel any better. I did read that the potential "worst" days will be from day 4 to 7, which after I'd had the jab I calculated to be Saturday through Tuesday, maybe that was poor planning on my part, but whatever, it's now done & over with & I don't have to worry about it anymore :-)

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Sunday, August 10

jam packed weekend

Saturday, Jaiden (in pink), Kaylie (in black) & I met at London Bridge station around 11am and toured through Borough Market. After a bit of lunch & a few purchases, we headed to North Greenwich to check out the O2 arena and saw the movie Mamma Mia, which I don't recommend!!!! After that we went to watch the Arsenal match at the pub with Ray, Logan, Cyrus, Julie, and Rey. Around 10pm Kaylie & I left to come home and make some pasta with fresh pesto sauce (from the market). During dinner we chatted about what we should do on Sunday . . .

Today we met at Leicester Sq at 11am, walked down to the National Portrait Gallery & toured around the top floor till 12.15. We left to go to the discounted ticket office in Leicester Sq where we got half price tickets to see Stomp. After we had tickets in hand we went back to the Portrait Gallery to see the other floors before wandering our way through Trafalgar Sq to catch a glimpse of the MEGA large screen showing the Olympics and our lunch of Chinese food - yum!

Now I'm home about to watch The Last King of Scotland (which I've never seen before!)

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Friday, August 8

unexpected night out!

a bit of a complicated story but think you all can follow it:
My mate Ray (who took over managing the Tup - where we all hang out) after J &J left to travel through SE Asia for 7 months, called tonight to ask if I had his air mattress - low & behold I did! So we made plans to meet at 10pm at the tube station, when I got there I rang him & he realised he was at CF (if you're not familiar with the Northern line tubes, after Camden town the line splits & half goes to Edgeware & half goes to High Barnet . . . he was on the wrong line) So I asked if he had his oyster card, he said no (I'd only grabbed the mattress, my phone & keys) so I offered to meet him at the pub & walk another 20 minutes down to Camden. When I got there he was so appreciative and he bought me a drink. We chatted & had a good laugh. Then the pub was closing & I was all set to walk home, but Ray, Hugo & Logan all insisted I stay a bit longer "upstairs" where we hang out after hours. So I thought, okay I'll stay. After a few games of pool & an entire Arsenal match (replay from last night, which I'd missed) on the telly I finally decided I needed to get home. Again "the boys" insisted I not walk home, but instead get a cab. So they called me a cab & stood outside while I waited. Ray gave me £20 as I had no cash & told me just to bring him the change. 5 minutes and £7 in the taxi I was home safe & sound. I sent him a txt to say I was home & he replied back "thanks a million check my facebook status" so I did & it said, "thanks SO for walking all the way to give me what I needed" - I nearly wet myself reading this cause as you can guess it can be taken in so many different ways . . . so I made my facebook status, "Sara is always willing to bring RV what he needs :-)" cause I thought it would just make people wonder & it made me giggle!!! but now that it's 1.30am & I had my french lesson for 1.5 hours today I need to sleep!!!

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Thursday, August 7

what will they think of next?

Click here to read more about Peppy Pops. Side note, this article was written by a girl I went to HS with :)

Wednesday, August 6

Who has 79 billion dollars??

NO, not me, but apparently Iraq does . . . check out Pete's post here. Is it just me or does that sound fishy to you??

And on a totally different note, those of you who love broccoli, will enjoy reading this article from BBC Health.

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Tuesday, August 5

Before the Rains (the movie)

tonight I went to see the movie, Before the Rains, it was a good movie and I think my mum would really like it!

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Monday, August 4

hysterical signs!

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Sunday, August 3

Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging

As some of you might have noticed under my Twitter Updates (on the right hand side bar) I had written a message yesterday & here is the email reply I got back from my mother:

Saw you and the message about "I'm going to c Angus, Thongs and snogging now". You'll love this: my mind went: Who is Angus, a new friend? and are they doing something about thongs and snogging==and what the hell is that? Then with Google I found out about the movie. ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(by the way, ROFLMAO stands for Rolling On Floor Laughing My A** Off) So I did go & see the movie "Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging" and for those of you who don't know. Angus is the name of the cat in the movie. Thongs are a type of underwear and snogging is a term for kissing or making out. It's not the greatest movie in the world, but as I have the "unlimited" card it was fun to see (in my mind it's kinda like going for free, course that's only if I go to more than 3 movies a month, but I doubt that will be a problem!)

Okay just finished a LONG day in the lab & am heading home, was hoping to wait out the rain, but I've got this feeling it's here to stay, so I'm a bit upset with myself for wearing flip flops & not bringing a brolly, but hey, it was sunny & warm when I left my flat this morning at 8am!!

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Friday, August 1

monkey business

The newly discovered R. kipunji monkey, which sports a distinctive Mohawk stripe of hair, is in desparate need of better conservation support, say scientists. A new survey finds there are just 1,117 individuals living in Tanzania, Africa.

The above photo is from BBC's site and I just thought it was too cool not to post. The Rungwecebus kipunji monkey is an "old world" monkey which has arboreal habits. (Arboreal means that the monkey live in or spends a lot of their time in trees) Another interesting fact about these monkeys is that according to researchers the Rungwecebus genus is the first new monkey genus to be discovered since Allen's Swamp Monkey in 1923.
okay enough useless info for the day, I'll go get back to work now.

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