28 March 2006

all hail the orb (to a point)

i heard about the concert last week sometime. i really, really, really wanted to go.. but it was on a monday night, whereas i get up at 5:30 am the next day. bleh. but goddamnit, it was the Orb.

so yesterday i said fuck you all, i'm getting a ticket. i swung by the metro and managed to snag one from their store (screw you, ticketmaster!). went home, took a much-needed nap.. then set out to thoroughly enjoy myself. i figured hey, if worse comes to worse and this thing goes until 3 am, i can always take off work. ..except i realized on the way over there, circumstances beyond my control mandated that i had to be at work that day. fuck. oh well. one day won't kill me, right?

i staked out a pretty nice space near the front of the stage, after waffling uselessly near a security guard. not many people were truly dancing - almost all of them were guys - but since my booty had intentions of its own, i got up and started shaking it. two prerequisite guys were there: the guy who will dance to anything, and the guy who's so stinking drunk he'll dance to anything. the show started at 9, i got there a little after, and this guy was already three sheets to the wind. impressive, on some white trash jackass level.

the music... sigh. from the first song the whole spectacle was worth the price of admission. one cannot put a price on my bliss. i only recognized one song - 'little fluffy clouds', of course - but i didn't care, for the most part. if they *had* played a song i know and/or love, rest assured i would have broken several bones. the stage was a pretty lowkey affair: two members spinning behind a table with a projector and screen. and by god, they were having fun up there! that was the best part. at one point this cartoony intro music started up and they started dancing around the stage with each other.. great stuff.

..right up until one of the guys left. he was there from the beginning of the show, thereafter joined by his cohort. then he put on his cap and jacket and left the stage, turning it over to the 'new guy', who i found out later was the real, long-term mastermind behind the Orb. that makes his choice of mixing all the more tragic, in my opinion. i thought i recognized a bit of what he started playing on his lonesome.. in a bad way. turned out to be a fucked-up cover of 'freebird.' okay, fine, we can deal with this kitsch.. he played a good groovy song after that, and then the doobie brothers. the doobie brothers. someone forgot to tell this electronic englishman that in america, we hear this junk all the time at ball games and in commercials and from our freakin' parents. some of the guys were going nuts, though. on my end, that was my cue to exit.

overall, a very good time, with a bit of letdown at the end. ironically that afforded me to go home and get more sleep than i thought i'd get. now if i can just get through the day without my leg muscles seizing up and my brain sloughing down my spine, i'll be set.

le petit orb

i managed to get up the gumption to see the orb tonight at metro. i can't discuss it right now because 1. i have to get up in 5 hours and 2. i have a massive, nauseous migraine.

details tomorrow.

23 March 2006

briefing and de-briefing

what's going on in the world of geekgrrl? well, i'm glad i asked..

- my vagabond friend returns from paris/amsterdam/europe today. or tomorrow, i can't remember. either way, he's a jerk.
- i need more pics of my cat. she's so cute, and practically rabies-free!
- picked up 'hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy' on dvd a few months back at the doomed rock records/crow's nest store downtown. watched it a few nights ago while reformatting my computer (again). am now obsessed with it, especially with dent arthur dent.
- they really need more extras on that dvd. the commentary is hilarious.. 4 english blokes shooting the shit. heaven!
- is spring here yet?

15 March 2006

planet starbucks

so today starbucks had free coffee from 10 till noon, nationwide. for some intangible reason, images pop up in my mind of the lines such a giveaway will form.. and from the top they form huge swastikas all throughout the land. maybe i'll see it on google earth in a few years.

holy shit.. i just realized my poor, dear sister started her shift at 10 at the aforementioned perky house of evil. i hope and pray her mind isn't utterly shattered come nightfall. i dunno if her shop is taking part in the promotion, though. how'd it go, kim? :D

all right, i'm off to dig out my ovaries with a rusty oyster fork. ta.

11 March 2006

so, kim.. what's the point of this? whatever it is, i'm game...

Here are the rules:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they are any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

in no particular order:

1. mathew jonson - marionette
2. bola - amnion
3. the orb - occidental
4. pulp - live bed show
5. freeform - magic tap
6. covenant - bullet (ellen allien flow mix)
7. two lone swordsmen - ivy and lead

i think i know even less people with blogs than kim.. eh fuckit. i'd just list who she listed. so there.

09 March 2006

wednesday, 8 mar 06

ever have one of those nights where you keep waking up, afraid you're not going to wake up on time? yeah. even though i put in a wakeup call, i didn't quite trust the desk enough to follow through. that set the mood for the whole day.

all (and i mean all) of my luggage was rummaged through at heathrow by middle-aged indian women. by the time they were done, my group had already boarded the plane, so i didn't have to wait for that. no, my wait came in the form of an eight-hour flight back to chicago. god, i was bored silly. i could only sleep so much, and the inflight movies/tv/radio sucked. they repeated it every two hours. and this makes sense how? plus i was worked up about a british web developer on the same flight, sitting right behind me.. he'd winked at me whilst we were being respectively rummaged through. i kept wanting to talk to him, but he always seemed to be doing something or sleeping or.. yeah. i suck.

i got to o'hare eventually. a cta guy at the terminal guided me to the train, bless his heart. even if it only took 5 minutes off my journey, no time was too little. i took the blue line downtown, switched to the red line, then took that all the way to my place. i reached my apartment exhausted, broken, near tears.. and no internet. none.


i'd had problems with it the night before i left. they'd been upgrading and i'd been left out in the cold. but i figured hey, they'd get it working after a week, right? nope. what's more, they weren't answering the phone, either. i started to panic. my friend mark was leaving for europe the next day for two weeks, and i wasn't going to be able to say goodbye. i tried all the settings i could think of, i tried to get my 56k external to work, i even tried making a collect call using my credit card, which was a double blow: 1. they didn't take visa (wtf?) and 2. his cell phone didn't accept collect calls. hot damn. finally someone answered the fucking phone at my isp, and i was hooked up within two minutes. jesus CHRIST.

so that's it, in a nutshell. in retrospect, i definitely would have gone with someone else. sure, i could make my own schedule and itinerary, but there was no one to make comments with or give me feedback when i went shopping or engage in conversation with a cute british guy. something to keep in mind for next time.. and oh yes. there will be a next time. :D

tuesday, 7 mar 06

tuesday was my last gasp at museums, so i made the most of it. first up was the natural history museum, kind of the equivalent to the field museum. they had an impressive dinosaur exhibit going on. visitors could go on elevated walkways and see just how tall these mofos were. i didn't feel quite so comfortable knowing how much space was between me and the floor. somehow, i survived. i got caught in a mobieus strip of mammal exhibits, none of which interested me very much. actually the coolest things there were the fossils. and at the very top, they had a ginormous cross section of a petrified sequoia that had started growing around 500 AD; it was 1335 years old when it was felled. fantastic.

next was the science museum. i'd spend so much time at the natural history museum that the science museum kind of felt like an afterthought. unfortunately, it was infinitely cooler, like a museum of science and industry for grownups. my camera started malfunctioning in the wellcome wing on the ground floor.. my zoom stopped working. then my batteries died again! joy! (un)luckily the museum was closing anyway. i really wanted to see the exhibits about the history of computing and the one about iceland. :(

i decided to live a little and check out the multivitamins thing back near the old street tube. old street's a bitch to get to from where i was, so it took a while.. but the machines were singing my tune once i got in. the dj was some resident french dude who kinda looked like moby. i did not begrudge him this. i had a couple pints, watched some guys play pool, and grooved. i also talked to this girl from canada who seemed pretty cool. she was with a group.. i asked them if they were all canadians and she said no, her other friends were american, but she'd canadianized them to the point where they weren't assholes. nice. i went home thoroughly tipsy, trying not to think about the massive cockup of a day ahead of me: going home.


monday, 6 mar 06

went to westminster abbey. at first i couldn't figure out which freakin' building it was.. it wasn't clearly marked and it was smack dab in the middle of several old buildings, parliament being one of them. there were a bunch of protestors in parliament square. weirdo stuff.

the abbey.. i couldn't take photos. they didn't allow it. having said that, i snapped a couple anyway :) the sheer age alone was overwhelming. i almost couldn't cope. parts of it are almost a thousand years old. kings are buried there from 700 years ago. completely mindboggling. and the architecture.. it really felt like after experiencing it, i was closer to heaven. it was that tremendous.

one thing i wanted to check out was poets' corner, of course. t.s. eliot (again), shakespeare, dickens, tennyson, keats, lord byron.. very cool. i did feel kind of strange walking all over them, since most are buried under the floor. :/

when i got through revering ancient dead people, i walked up to trafalgar square to see what all the fuss was about, visiting-wise. holy traffic mess, batman. i guess i got there right around rush hour. it's a big theatre part of town, so that adds into it. i went to a pub nearby and had some smashing spinach macaroni and cheese along with a pint of local wheat beer. i went to three pubs during my stay, and did they have boddington's? nooooo. hell, only one had guinness. what kind of a place is this?!


sunday, 5 mar 06

on sunday i wanted to check out st. pancras churchyard, where mary wollstonecraft, mother of mary shelley of frankenstein fame, is supposed to be buried. (on a side note: i was in AP euro history in high school. one time we had to dress up like historical figures for a little party. my friend laura got to be mary wollstonecraft.. she spouted feminist rhetoric and carried a little baby around that was supposed to be mary shelley. so that ramped up the geekness a notch. :) however, when i got off the tube and checked out the church, i couldn't seem to find a graveyard.. but a young man emerged from within the church and asked me if i wanted to see an art exhibit in the basement. unbeknownst to me, the 'basement' was where the crypts were. and i said, hey, does howdy doody have wooden balls?

ok, i didn't. but i should have.

the exhibit was modern: paintings, sculptures, some installations, and a slideshow. there were supposed to be two, but one of the projectors' bulbs had burnt out. the guy himself had a few installations, one being bunches of balloons suspended from the ceiling (very contrary in such a creepy space), and another was a setup of tiny figurines he'd collected and interchanged. most were of the simpsons; some were ones i didn't recognize. but they were all messed up. marge would have bart's head, homer would have marge's hair, and so on. they were so small i couldn't imagine the patience it took to do all of them. in the back was a robot (so he said, hehe) made out of tube maps. that was cool. i took pictures, natch.
now, the thing is, i've sinced looked up mary wollstonecraft's gravesite.. and it wasn't at that church. that would explain why i couldn't find a graveyard. apparently old st. pancras church, where i was supposed to go, is up the street a ways. oh well, at least it wasn't a total wash.

what else did i do sunday.. well, i walked from the st. pancras station (marvellous architecture, btw, but under heavy construction) to the old street station, which was much longer than i thought it would be. i didn't get a good sense of scale on the maps that i had, and my legs paid for it. the street i was on also changed names at least three times. not a fan of the british street system, am i.

anyway, i went to old street to seek out bunhill fields, an old burying ground with some slightly famous people. no one i'm incredibly interested in, but intriguing nonetheless. as i approached, a passerby pointed to it and said, 'dead centre of london.' everyone's a comedian. the thing about bunhill fields is, you can't walk on it. i supposed that's for the best, given its age. it's just not the same taking photos through fences. i couldn't get close enough to read some of the stories, either.. and you need to set some time aside in order to read a british gravestone, lemme tell ya.

after that, i sussed out a little shop i'd read about, but got a little lost in the process. while wandering around, i saw a sign on a shop/bar/pub/club/ok, i couldn't tell what it was - for a free(!) electronic show on tuesday called multivitamins. i jotted it down and managed to make my way to the tube and, subsequently, my hotel.
i lazed around for a bit, figuring hey, it's only sunday. people still go out on sunday nights, right? except i couldn't find anything that sounded palatable. luckily they were showing the 'top 100 pop videos' on.. channel 4, i think. i was happily sucked into that for the duration of the night. these were videos voted for by the viewers. it was cool to see them pick video's i'd maybe seen once or not at all. 'thriller' won, btw.


saturday, 4 mar 06

bleh. saturday was, as the locals put it, utter bollocks. i woke up @ 1:30 pm, too late to truly take in any of the sights (in my estimation). one of the books i brought had a guided walk throughout kensington, where i was staying. i got the bright idea to try it out, straight from the book. here i was, this huge tourist-y mess, walking around with my gloves, my ipod, my books and my camera, trying not to get frustrated beyond all belief. just as i reached an interesting churchyard and moldy old gravestones, my batteries conked out again. i said fuck it and went back to my hotel for the rest of the night, trying to convince myself that staying in on a saturday night in london was not the end of the world. i think i was successful...


friday, 3 mar 06

i decided to take on the victoria & albert museum. from what i'd read, i didn't think it was anything much.
..boy howdy, am i an ijit. try six floors, along with another newer wing i didn't even touch. it was like the art institute on steroids. oh, and my camera died after two galleries. not floors, galleries. i was less than pleased. as i went along, they had a large collection of old keys and locks, which i absolutely adore. and the plaster cast section...! unbelieveable. they'd taken life-size casts of medieval architecture and plunked them down into this enormous space. it was astounding. trust me :( one thing i did have a problem with was the HUGE amount of christ-y stuff they had. i know it was the middle ages, but jeezy creezy...

i also took down a poem i was quite taken with.. it surrounded the four faces of a woman's marble sarcophagus:
when the knell rang for the dying
soundeth for me
and my corse coldy is lying
neath the green tree
when the turf strangers are heaping
covers my breast
come not to gaze on me weeping
i am at rest
all my life coldly and sadly
the days have gone by
i who dreamed wildly and madly
am happy to die
long since my heart has been breaking
its pain is past
a time has been set to its aching
peace comes at last
E.G.W. & N.

according to the inscription, she was an earl's wife, aged 39, actually buried in lincolnshire. it was the third verse that hooked me.

and that was just the morning. in the afternoon i threw caution to the wind and tubed it over to piccadilly circus, not really knowing what all was there. i ended up with a bunch of souvenirs, a boatload of CDs (london has a much healthier attitude towards my kind of music) and a new face. apparently virgin (of virgin records fame) has a makeup line. i'd left my bag in chicago, so i permitted my looks to be played with until i looked all clubbed up. (she ran out of purple and brown.. ok, that was bad) then to top things off, i went to fabric like that.

now i'm kind of sheltered club-wise; i'm used to walking into neo with no big deal. this was an EVENT. i was almost afraid i was out of my element, but once i got in and got into the music, there was no turning back. everything was going quite well until i felt some joker put his hands on my hips from behind. homey don't play dat. i didn't look behind me, i just danced away.. he found me again. i eventually left that room. ffs.. i hope his only excuse was that he was on some powerful mind-altering substance. but i wasn't, so fuck dat shit.

i had to catch a cab back, since the tube had stopped running. the £18 price kinda sucked, but i was neither raped nor murdered, plus i got a nice nighttime view of the thames. could have been a looooot worse.


thursday, 2 mar 06

having not eaten the dinner from last night, i woke up incredibly hungry. i downed a croissant, some raisins and o.j. mm. no problems with customs when i got off.. and even though my customs agent was no doubt one of the uglier specimens of london, once he opened his mouth there was no telling what kinds of things i would have done to him. it was wonderful.

my hotel's check-in wasn't until noon, so they didn't have my room ready. glorious. so i wandered around a bit until they had that all figured out. i ended up going down cromwell road, where the museums were located: the natural history museum, victoria & albert museum, and the science museum. all free! yeehaa! i saved actually going to them for later.. i just wanted a freakin' shower by that point. i felt like a filthy animal.
now that i think of it, i really should have taken a picture of said shower. even by american hotel standards, it was a joke. stand-up only, with queer malfunctioning doors and one lone soap tray that was corroded through. once i managed to unscrew the entire showerhead from its placement.

before i could experience the wonder of english hotel showers, though, i took lots of pics of the museums, brompton oratory, brompton church and the churchyard behind that. it was quite peaceful, though i wondered constantly whether or not i was trespassing. you know, dumb american tourist and all that.

after i got sorted at the hotel, i discovered i was incredibly bored, so i took a small walk. i found an internet café type thing (in a video store, does that still count as a café?) wherein i could communicate with my family and such. an hour's worth of time goes a long way when you're just checking your mail. shit, i spent about an hour twenty minutes online throughout the week. hooray for me!


wednesday, 1 mar 06

i went to work as normal (as normal as work can be). i received much well-wishing from coworkers, along with admonishments to be safe. they don't know me very well, do they? :D

o'hare was a cluster, as always. the flight was the worst part. leaving at 8:10 pm, we were due to arrive at heathrow at 9:45 am the next morning. lucky me, i couldn't get to sleep. i even splurged on some amstel light to help. the only light i saw in the cabin was shining directly into my eyes, so i had to resort to wrapping my scarf around my head. that must have done the trick...
(no pics)

i'm baaaaaack

i hurt. i feel battered and beaten. my legs are a disaster area. i've slept in positions that are a violation of human decency. but.. these are all war wounds testifying that i came, i saw, i conquered london.

i'll knock it out day by day, how's that? keep going up...

01 March 2006

antisocialism in the uk

in a few scant hours, i'm off to london. i can't believe it either. i have no real plan, except to see the museums in the area, check out the original old wall, and suss out some of the moldier cemeteries and churches. i thought about clubbing, but considering my thighs rotted from the inside out for four days the last time i went, i figured that wouldn't be a good idea for sight-seeing. my real problem will be trying to pick myself up off the floor after hearing those accents... *squee!*

don't be surprised if i never come back.