The Longest Week
By Dwip May 18, 2004, 12:08 pm Comments (13) RSS Feed for this post

5/14/04

Or so it’s seemed, anyway. No sleep, you see. Terrible thing, no sleep. Makes Dwip a rather poor conversational companion, and such. Yeah.

So the first of our Sleepless in London days was Wednesday, which just so happened to be Dustin’s 21st birthday. Astute readers will know what happened next. Yes, we did in fact take over not only a wine bar near the British Museum, but when that closed, we took over the Museum Tavern pub. Dustin indeed got very drunk, most of which I was there for, and apparently after I left in a vain attempt to, you know, get sleep before class at 10 the next morning, there was some good old fashioned drunken text messaging of random people’s cell phones. And many tequila shots were consumed by all, except oddly me, because I for some reason didn’t drink the whole night.

But wait, you ask. Isn’t Thursday karaoke night at the Manor? Oh, but it is. But it is. And in true me fashion, I got there early at 8:40, and spent 40 minutes wondering where everyone was, foolishly forgetting that almost everyone was watching Finding Nemo with Dr. Garfinkle’s kids. Why the popularity of kids’ movies with college age people is sort of a mystery to me, but whatever. In any case, Tara and Allison showed up at like 9:30, then Jeremiah at 9:45 or so. Then Ray, this random guy in the Navy we met, and his friends all came over, so we had a good time of it until 10:15 or so, when everyone else showed up, and the party really got started. Love Shack was performed, again. I atoned for the previous night by having three Smirinoff Black Ices and a shot of something appropriately strong inside of an hour and a half or so, which considering my alcohol tolerance or lack thereof had me feeling a little bit happy. Thus it was a good night, and there was much entertainment. Not a lot of sleep, but these things happen.

No sleep, you see, because astute readers will also recognize that Fridays are excursion days, which meant getting up at 6:30 to go to Fishbourne Roman Palace (read: villa) and Chichester. This, fortunately, involved a bus ride, which meant much dozing while blaring Offspring and Nine Inch Nails into my ears, which works a lot better than you might think.

At any rate, Fishbourne was mildly disappointing, since we had expected some impressive ruins and got a bunch of fairly well preserved mosaics and things. Which is in and of itself a nice thing, but a little bit different than what we were all hoping for. However, since I’ll eventually be hitting Pompeii, it should all work out in the end.

Then we went to Chichester, which is a nice, if kind of hick, cathedral city near Fishbourne. Since I just visted like five very similar but cooler places a week ago, this was rather less than exciting, but the cathedral there is truly impressive, so it all rather worked out in the end, I suppose. Too, Dr. Garfinkle, Mike, Mike, Alden, Jeremiah, and I wandered into this pub for lunch, everyone complaining all the while about starvation. The pub, much to its dismay, had a 2 entire meal for 6.99 deal. At the end of the day, this meant that 11 different plates of food showed up to our table, since I wasn’t quite THAT hungry. And the food was good, though not, as the table conversation went, enough to pull a Once Upon a Time in Mexico and shoot the cook. But ah well.

Too, we had the most random encounter with this old British guy, to the tune of he walked up to our table and was like “Americans, eh? Unionists, or Confederates?” And as we’re all answering “Unionists,” I’m thinking you know, this guy is old, but it isn’t like the Civil War was fifty years back, here. Turns out the guy had gone to the South once upon a time, and had a good old time there. Go figure. It also turns out that he was a big fan of Bush, and since we weren’t, there was a rather interesting little conversation about how in the 40s he was in the Navy during the war, and they fought to stop Hitler, and how he thinks Bush is doing the same sort of thing. We also learned that they used to build destroyers in 31 days in Boston, one of which this guy apparently served on. Interesting, if strange, stuff.

And, just in defiance of the whole get out and see things idea, we then proceeded to this coffee shop, where we crashed for an hour or so until it was time to go. Whereupon there was the whole sleep + blaring music thing again, and life was good.


5/17/04 Addendum:

So I made you wait three more days for this post why, exactly? Well, I could protest that I really wanted to talk about various aspects of culture that I experienced over the weekend, but the real truth is that putting this text file on my flash drive, plugging it into the computer upstairs, booting it up, getting all the way on the Internet, opening up the file, and posting it in MT was just way too much effort for my taste. To my credit, I got so far as the Internet bit, but then the molasses slow speeds of dialup forced me to go read some RBCiv instead. So you’re sort of loved, when it’s convenient. And now that I think about it, you’ll all be getting this Tuesday, very likely, because I have theater tonight. Oh well.

Speaking of Civ, incidentally, I think I mentioned the whole Epic 40 thing to Toast, but really it’s up at RBCiv, and you can probably figure out how to get there. Too, I’m waiting for Epic 41, so I have some good excuse to play Civ, other than “I am REALLY sucking at Emp-level games right now, and need to break that trend.” Not that that’s not a good reason to play Civ, but you know. If I’m going to bust out my mad trading skillz, and use my tiny island paradise to single-handedly outresearch the rest of the planet except the monstrous Mayan Third Riech using things like, yknow, libraries and universities that my cities actually BUILT, meeting the rest of the world being halfway through the ancient age when they’re building, yknow, Copernicus, and then catch up and pass them with self-research, winning by overwhelming UN victory despite being involved in rampant world wars, I want to write a huge report about it. And use lots of commas and run-on sentences. Because we’re all about commas around here. ,,,,,

Anyway. So Saturday Laura and I went off to go see the Reduced Shakespeare Company do the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). And it is some funny, funny shit. Water splashing, battery powered Godzilla toys, rap Othello… It’s the funniest hour and a half I’ve had since Wednesday in Intercultural class when she made us watch Billy Connelly videos. That dude’s funny, too. So, since the RDC does two other shows, the Complete History of America (abridged) and the Bible (abridged), we’re definitely going to try to make those, especially since AHA hooks us up with an unlimited supply of cupons that give you the best seats they’ll give you for 12.50. Since those seats normally cost 30+, and since we were in the second row, that’s a hella good deal. If these people ever come to your large city, and I’m pretty sure they did New York for a while, go there.

And that’s the theater portion of our presentation. Or will be later today when I actually give my theater presentation, but the less about that the better. Let’s talk books instead. So I hear that Robert Harris’ Pompeii is really good, since multiple people have given up entire days to read it now. Hopefully I can borrow it and read it. Since it’s by the guy who wrote Fatherland, I’m going to just go with the majority and think it’s really good by association. On another note, I actually DID read William Gibson’s Neuromancer on assorted train and bus and silt strider rides places, and it was…good. Good with the caveat that it was really weird, but when the setting is a cross between Blade Runner and the Matrix, what do you want, really? Speaking of which, you can totally tell where they got some of the ideas for the Matrix movies. Not rip-off, exactly, but yeah. So, while I have recently read better books than it, pretty good. Except now I’m out of books again, and that’s bad, because I’ve bought like six or nine or something books here, plus I brought like six more. When you can read a novel a day, this is understandably an issue.

Most of us would at that point abandon the books for the computer games, the readership of this blog being who and what it is. Fortunately for me, I brought, count them, three games with me. Half-Life I beat once. Opposing Force I beat twice, since I figured out the way the barnacle gun works so I went back in an unpissy mood and played without needing the jump cheat. Civ is, well, Civ. Still can’t play BF:V, and I don’t have my M:TW or Diablo 2 CDs to play those. Oh, and Blue Shift crashes my comp when I try to run it, and no CD there either. So oh well.

So there’s music. Bought some CDs on the trip, and don’t think I mentioned them. Greatest Hits of the Beach Boys is, well, self-explanatory except for the shit I’ll take for having bought such a thing, to which I can only say that finding an affordable CD with Good Vibrations on it is a hard thing to do. And then I bought the Who’s Tommy, which is a monster of a concept album, which although it has good tracks, like, yknow, Pinball Wizard, is really one of those albums you have to sit down and listen to the whole way through to get the full effect. Since it pretty much eats the whole CD, you’re there for a while, but it’s worth it. Also, Billy Corgan’s really high-pitched voice in the MCIS Demos boot is pretty funny, as I’m sure Whir can attest to. Just thought you might like to know that.

But it’s really hard to just sit down and listen to music. Idle hands and all that. So you’ve got to find something else to do. Like work obsessively on Tharavel, maybe. Which is why I’ve got about a page and a half of timeline left and I’m done with history. And after history it’s just a bit of editorial cleanup and the whole bloody thing ought to be ready to go. For those of you what’ve been waiting like three and four years for the thing, you ought to be pleased. You’ll be less pleased if you try to read the whole history in one sitting, likely, but since I’m a completeness freak you’ll just want to be living with that. Also, I put together this nifty map of the city of Thurii. Yay. CC2 rocks, even if I did totally forget to upgrade to Pro before I came over here.

There. The appeasing bloggage is longer than the bit I was going to give you before, and I’m not drunk in this one. You should all be happy now. Or else I’ll go into Assyrian mode and run you down in my chariot and shoot you with arrows a lot. And erect big brightly painted wall reliefs in my palace showing me shooting you with arrows. With random cuneiform. Because when you’re an Assyrian you do things like that. And you kill lions. Many lions. Lion King 536 1/2 sort of kill lions.

Anyway.


5/17/04 Addendum:

So since I’m going to be late about posting this anyway, might as well find some more stuff to talk about, eh? Like how I’ve got my tickets more or less for the continent trip now. And a lot of fun that was. London to Brussels on the 13th, which is on the Eurostar rail service, which supposedly is very good unless you’re like me and leaving at 8:30 am, or like my roommate and thus get stopped twice for assorted hours while French soldiers climb all over the thing looking for bombs. Sort of a status symbol, really. I’m high enough now to be on Osama’s list of bomb targets. Yay. Or something. At any rate, Brussels to Stockholm isn’t bad either, despite my getting in at 5 pm. Stockholm to Venice, though, that’s the fun one. It involves me flying out of Stockholm at 9 or whatever, getting into London Stanstead at 11, and then leaving again at 1 to get to Venice at 3. This is actually the good way, because I thought it was going to be more like 6am to 1pm waiting, which I’m sure we can all agree is rather less than optimal. It’s not quite sleeping in airports suboptimal like some people are doing, but still.

Italian rail to get to Rome we’ll just want to think about for a while, since I have no idea how to book it, not to mention I might just fly anyway, because lugging that many suitcases on the train is something less than entertaining.

Travel aside, more culture. Saw a brand new play last night, as in I think we were in the second ever performance or so. The History Boys is the name of it, and apparently the guy what wrote it, Allan Bennett, or so I think the name is spelled, is rather famous and all. Whatever the case, it’s quite good. Set in an English grammer school (the equivilent of a US public school) in 1985, it’s all about these kids trying to fake out the exam boards to get into places like Oxford and Cambridge. Along the way they run into some screwed up teachers, and rampant use of some really really screwy humor. I mean, I thought my sense of humor was pretty strange, but I’m not even in the league. Very funny, though. And has a nifty point, too. Good times. Good times.

But the Northern Line sucks. Never take it.


Europe, Trips Comments (13) RSS Feed for this post
Comments on The Longest Week
avatar Comment by Regina #1
May 18, 2004 at 12:55 pm

I’ve got the Who’s Greatest Hits (actually that $9 20th Century Masters Thing), and Pinball Wizard rocks all, and Tommy is the next album to buy on my list. ;)

avatar Comment by Whir #2
May 18, 2004 at 6:38 pm

Y’all ought watch Tommy. It’s… Bizarre.

avatar Comment by jarrhead #3
May 19, 2004 at 9:49 pm

I am glad you’re having fun. When are you gonna be in Brussels exactly? Is Steph going to introduce you to the other half of my parent’s offspring?

avatar Comment by Dwip #4
May 20, 2004 at 5:38 am

I’m guessing, judging by the pictures I’ve seen, that watching Tommy is pretty bizzare.

Brussels – 13th-18th of June, or thereabouts. As to what we’re doing there, I’ve left it entirely up to her, so we’ll see when. I’m informed that Paris is on the itenerary, so we’ll see how much of, yknow, Brussels I actually see.

avatar Comment by Chteff #5
May 20, 2004 at 12:01 pm

“I’ve left it entirely up to her.”

Big mistake…I thought you’d be more careful after the 20 or so miles we walked together back in London. You should learn from your mistakes, Marcus. ;-)

And don’t worry. It shouldn’t take us much more than ehm 5-6 hours to see everything worthwhile in Paris (not to mention that I develop a pretty strong allergy to Parisians if I remain in their vicinity longer than that :-p) so a lot of Brussels thou shallt see, boy. :-)

avatar Comment by Chteff #6
May 20, 2004 at 12:26 pm

> Erik: Same Beach Boys Greatest Hits as I bought in Tower Records?

> Jarrhead: Of course he is having fun. Erik is in London, remember? London!!!!!!

avatar Comment by Whir #7
May 20, 2004 at 5:24 pm

Dwip’s got a girlfriend!

avatar Comment by Dwip #8
May 21, 2004 at 6:04 am

Whir: *pet*

London. London good. London weather freaking insane, but London good.

Beach Boys: No. A different, cheaper, suckier version with like 8 songs. But it had the one I wanted, so it’s all good at the end of the day, really.

And, well, I have errors in judgement all the time, yknow. Especially with traveling. Hadrian’s Wall, frex. Actually setting foot on a bus. Things like that. So, yknow, what’s one more horrible mental scar when you have so many already?

avatar Comment by jarrhead #9
May 21, 2004 at 12:39 pm

Chteff make sure you take him to “La Creperie Bretonne” or at least that bar whose name is escaping me by “LE konijnkelijke circus” (j’espere que tu geaprecie mon vlaams parler) in brussels where they have zillion of beer a la carte.

avatar Comment by Chteff #10
May 23, 2004 at 1:56 am

Moi gevonden que ton vlaams zeer zeer goed resteert voor quelqu’un qui niet heeft gesproken vlaams depuis longtemps, mijn vriend. Ik denk que Erik zal vier soirs

avatar Comment by Clyos #11
May 23, 2004 at 10:06 pm

English, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

avatar Comment by Dwip #12
May 24, 2004 at 3:42 am

Not when they want to talk about me in public without me knowing about it.

avatar Comment by Chteff #13
May 24, 2004 at 9:47 am

That was a bit of a mixture of two out of three Belgian national languages with tons of grammatical mistakes in them so good job only jarrhead understood. As a language student, I could actually get crucified for this! :-)