elirrina: (hair)
I've been working on drafts of my dissertation chapters all summer at my parents', since I didn't have anywhere to come back to after London, and now I'm moving back into town with a new flatmate and getting ready for TAing two classes in the fall and teaching one in the spring. I had a three-day drive back from Kansas, and now I'm very nearly finished unpacking!

I'm on a medieval list-serv, so I get lots of conference calls for papers, and I just got a pretty fascinating one for next year's International Congress in Kalamazoo: the Societas Daemonetica is having a "Hell Studies" session, and the theme this year is "Jailbreaking Hell," and it's going to be about hell's boundaries, hellmouths, and "figures who pass through (and around) its gates." Nothing to do with my topic, but hellmouths are pretty interesting in medieval art, so it would be fascinating session to attend if I have a good reason to attend Kalamazoo next year.

Florida being Florida, it just started pouring outside, while simultaneously being brightly sunny. I think I had gotten myself to forget what the humidity here is really like. I am enjoying seeing everyone again, though.
elirrina: (tea)
My mother reminded me that I should actually write down and keep track of interesting things I notice around London, in addition to telling them to her. SO here we go:

It rained all day and felt very British. That's not a real observation, but this is- the flats at the study centre have central heating, but, as was the case in Ukraine and Russia, you don't get the benefit of that until the building turns the heat on. We don't get heat until October, and it's in the 50s. I live in a flat that's in what used to be the Mews, and I'm on a corner, so I don't have windows, just skylights. So there's never much sun, and what does make it into the flat doesn't help with the heating. As a result, everyone is freezing.

I went to Covent Garden yesterday to wander around the market stalls. There's an arts and crafts fair every weekend, and I'm thinking I may end up buying a pendant with dried flowers in it next time I go. There are also a bunch of street performers, and I saw one in front of St. Paul's Covent Garden who started off on the ground, managed to get a lace-less tennis racket up around his waist, and then got onto a 7-ft unicycle to pull it the rest of the way up and over his head, purposefully partially dislocating one of his shoulders in the process. Ick.

Speaking of entertainment, I don't understand British commercials at all. However, I do like the adverts with a bizarre Russian meerkat. I think it's for some sort of insurance company, and if you use their service, you collect meerkat dolls? It's strangely endearing. I do like this advert, though - the program assistants do as well.

I've been to church here twice so far, and both times, they've prayed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, specifically regarding the invasion of their privacy. What interests me is that they haven't prayed for the Queen, the rest of the royal family, or the rest of the government. However it is rather nice that everyone seems to think the invasion of privacy is unacceptable - my mother thinks American audiences would expect something like that, rather than censure it.

The PAs and I have been watching London movies the last few days- Sherlock Holmes, because we knew we'd been to a few places where it was filmed - we didn't have any luck picking them out though. We decided we need to have a Sherlock Holmes tour now. Then The Mummy for fun, but also to get to The Mummy Returns, which we watched today, because they have to fight mummies in the British Museum and on a double-decker bus, which is all in our neighbourhood.

Speaking of the British Museum, I went there (again) on Friday afternoon and looked at the Egyptian and Chinese wings, and then looked around the Enlightenment room, which is set up like a kunstkammer. I found a fake mermaid from Japan on display: half dried monkey and half dried fish put together. Now S has decided she needs to go look at it. I also ran into the Lindow Man corner in the Roman Britain rooms. I went to find the Anglo-Saxon wing, and they'd moved it since the last time I was there - apparently it's being expanded, so only the highlights like the best of the Sutton Hoo hoard are on display.
elirrina: (kaylee)
More news in cooking adventures: success! Xanthan gum did indeed keep this batch of chocolate chip cookies that I made with gluten-free flour mix from melting all over the place like the last batch. So, yay!

Nadia: Sarah had an exciting time baking a few days ago.
me: My cookies melted.
Shaun: ... How?
me: I'm not really sure, but I think I know how to fix it. Anyway, this batch is pretty deformed.
Shaun: Yeah... Those... look like, um, mutant cookies.
me: Yep, like I said, deformed. They still taste good though. I already fed a bunch of them to my friends at the movie night.
Shaun: Need help eating these ones?

I finally got around to starting my independent study on bibles moralisées. At least, I've read one major article and have compiled a decent bibliography that will be added to and annotated over the summer. Now I need to get cracking on that and studying German.

So far I've seen two summer movies!

1. Robin Hood. Obviously I had to go see this, and I enjoyed immensely, although not as a Robin Hood film - I thought it was enjoyable as a costume-very-vaguely-historical-story-with-fun-costumes. I must say I was very amused by the incorporation of the Magna Carta concept. One of the medievalists that I know from conferences had a funny take on the opening weekend numbers on her facebook- "Hello, film company! The reason your numbers were low on opening weekend was because most of your target audience was at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI!"

2. I finally got around to seeing Iron Man 2 today, and I enjoyed that one immensely as well.

I also want to see The Last Airbender, How to Train Your Dragon, and possibly Inception - the trailers for that one look pretty interesting. I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them at the moment. Happily for my grad-student budget, movies are cheaper during the week, and some of them might end up at the dollar theatre.

In the meantime, it's really hot and humid. Go figure, it's Florida. While I cannot wait to move away (if I ever finish my PhD), I do appreciate the closeness of beaches! My friends and I have lined up a trip to the state park on the island for Memorial Day Monday!
elirrina: (Default)
The important thing to know about today is that I had to chase a lizard around my room. I managed to catch it after much travail, and returned it to the wilds of outdoors. And then I had to put my room back together, because I pulled books off of my bookshelf, bins out from under my bed, moved houseplants, and displaced papers while in pursuit. The lizard wasn't anything to worry about - it was one of the tiny ones, only about two inches long, but I didn't want it taking up permanent residence in my room.

My flatmate thought it was hilarious, but helped by fetching containers with which to try and trap the lizard, and keeping an eye on where it was as I stumbled over my piles of books.

It's spring break for us this week! Which means lots of research that is uninterrupted by classes, but interrupted by things like socializing and movies. I'm a bit miffed with the weather right now, because I wanted to go to the beach for a day, and the weather can't decide if it wants to be sunny, or possibly rain. Oh well, I'll go this summer when it's hot. It would just be nice weather for walking up and down the beach at this point, which I would enjoy.

Also, my flatmate managed to explode another of my spoons. We still have no idea how. So I bought some more (inexpensive ones) and she has decided to restrict herself to the black-handled ones which have so far proved impervious to whatever it is that she does to make them explode.

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elirrina

September 2015

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