Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

a lovely respite before...stats

Something that gives me nausea is when nerdy textbook writers try to insert jokes into their texts. My stats' book author has inserted a "joke" into the introduction: " what does the sociologist who passed stats say to the sociologist who failed stats? answer: i'd like a burger, fries, and a coke." um, yeah. friends, not only is that joke classist and heinous, it's also not funny--the lame punchline shoudl be "i'd like fries with that", nor does it establish the true importance of studying statistics b/c the result is unrealistic. it fails on all measures, really. this is what happens when you stay in academia for too long. scary, really. I can only hope that they don't try to unleash their wit on me again.

so you can tell i'm excited about being at home and starting my stats class, right? well, i *am* excited about being home. I am *not* excited about stats. home is good fun. but we had a blast in England as well. very relaxing and full of meeting melissa's fabulously fun friends, family, and small group members. good shopping, good chinese food, good staying indoors the whole day that the wind killed 12 people in the UK, gorgeous royal ballet performance of la sylphide, fun walking around ealing broadway and covent gardens shopping and anti-aging, a lovely stopover at the british museum, evensong at st pauls, fun grossing out amy and mel by mashing up and drawing in my leftover mascarpone cheese at dessert at the inappropriately named Pizza Express--it was a very trendy and gourmet place that amy and i thought might have been like Pizza Hut, delicious english breakfasts, divine clotted cream on scones, fun time in a pub discussing the tragic difference in how americans and britons pronounce "water", fun with mel's family, many turns in mel's dad's massage chair, and my first foray into the strange world of online dating.

so the royal ballet is extraordinary. we actually saw two different ballets, the last act of a ballet called napoli divertissement, and la sylphide. i think we have maybe 3 ballerinas/os in the california ballet who could be the towel girls for their corps de ballet. the woman who played la sylphide was pretty incredible. anyway, despite their talent i realized that most ballet plots sound like something timothy leery came up with when he was dropping acid--the nutcracker: a nutcracker changes into a man and falls in love with an underage girl and defeats mutant rats with an imaginary army and a ballet shoe and then they are sent to a winterland where a snow queen gives them a nutshell boat and they go to a kingdom of dancing candies. yeah, that's lucid. this is what i wrote after our first intermission: we've just finished the first act of the bill at the Royal Ballet. A curious affair called Napoli Divertissement. It was a cross between a folkdance and a whorefest. Everyone had assigned colors, as it were, and while they came out in matching female/male pairs initially, they ended up pairing off with different colored partners through teasing dances. There was much clapping and dancing and tambourine playing and flirting and jealous lovers reclaiming their partners. I felt that it was their basic reenactment of a Britney/Justin dance off. or possibly what turns out to be a tragic warning about the eventual perils of AIDS. I felt it could have been better served if each dancer wiped some of their color on other dancers when they cheated with them and then everyone ended up as some icky brown color, all of them dying at the end. alas, they were just your basic trashy italian kids hanging out by the water and getting it on with everyone in sight. melissa and i also picked up a brochure for a book about ballet mime. "the first book of it's kind!" it boasted. hmmm. yes.

so, just in case you were thinking that you would like to go to russia, but it just isn't quite expensive enough for you: try England. i liked what one of my coworkers said, who took a trip there during the summer, "i now understand what mexicans feel like when they come here and their money is worthless." indeed. the 2-to-1 exchange rate is brutal. i'm sure i looked pretty classless when i exclaimed that i had no idea how people could afford to live there. poor little american.

then again, my coworker and i also commiserated on how some things about Britons are just kind of funny and silly. They would almost be sort of backward if it werent that they chose for their society to remain traditional in certain ways. like how we were in the worst traffic in human history the day i left because a milk truck with glass milk bottles had tipped over and there were shattered milk bottles all over the freeway...who the hell drinks milk out of glass milk bottles in 2007 london? so a bunch of broken milk bottles made me excruciatingly late to the airport. i didnt even have time to put on expensive antiaging creams in duty free :( anyway, notes from a small island is a great take on funny british quirks, if you want a good travel book. a very fun read.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Lisa said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE!!!

It is now 12:50am, January 25th and officially the day the world was blessed with your presence. I was not personally blessed with your presence until 13 years later- how I survived, I do not know.
Glad you are back safe and sound.

Many hugs and kisses,
Lisa

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

LOVE your version of the London adventure! :) Much laughter, a pleasant break indeed from my Research, Stats and Evaluation textbook (which contains very few jokes. But I admit, I like their corny attempts at humor better than complete boredom).

11:26 AM  

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