London 2012. Blerg.

Ugh. Am I allowed to be super non-excited that the Olympics are being held in London? Does that make me a hypocrite? On the face of it, I’m sure it does, because what kind of Anglophile wouldn’t be excited about non-stop media coverage of her home away from home?

Well, this moi. And yes, I’m gonna whine about it.

Reason 1: They’re taking over my city. LocustsTourists. [Even more] commercial entities.

I’m a touch torn, I will say, because on the one hand I desperately hope the nation will be able to recoup the cash they’ve put into the event and then some, but have a feeling a lot of dollars will be spent on McDonald’s and Starbucks and not at the local chippy or coffee shop. (At least, I think it’s safe to say the margin will swing dramatically the one direction, amIright?)

I think a lot of the major historical attractions will see an influx of traffic – the Tower, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, as well they should – but what about the REST OF ENGLAND? Or, lesser known parts of London, even? Charles Dickens’ house? The Old Vic? Camden Lock? Oooh, Brick Lane. Yeah, don’t take the kids to Brick Lane. (Unless you think they’d fetch a price…) Mixed feelings here as well, because I suspect many of those living outside of London want little to do with the Olympics, but then as it is summer and a peak travel season, there are plenty of tourist establishments in the region that would be well pleased for an increase in revenue, except London’s hoarding it all.

Part of my frustration also comes from the sheer number of first time London tourists that have descended upon the area. I must keep reminding myself that I’m glad I’m not visiting this summer. (Probably one of the only times I will ever say that.) Tourists in large cities are cumbersome in the first place, but that many first timers? Yeesh. Taxi drivers. Underground stewards. All those in the transportation industry. My prayers are with you. And I wish you many large tips!

Reason 2: The media.

These next two weeks are going to be a bit rough. With so much attention focused on London (England, even Great Britain as a whole, let’s be real, because the media won’t be able to keep focus) it will be all the more difficult to distract myself from how much I bloody miss it! What’s worse, I think, is that this attention is so, how can I describe it, commercial? Cheap? I’m not sure if I have the right term, but the feeling I have toward this whole thing is the same feeling I get toward fair-weather fans. Now I understand the Olympics are designed to occur only every so often and now it’s London’s turn in the spotlight. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that London is already such a popular place that I don’t think it needs any more spotlight??? Maybe. I’ve also ALWAYS struggled with those who love London/England/other places, etc. for the obvious and/or popular reasons. I suppose the Olympics are just another thing that make London popular and is now overshadowing so many (more worthy) qualities that make London remarkable.

I have more on the media, but I think I’ll at least let the games begin before I go into the issue of reporting on the athletics of the event versus the location and spectacle…

Reason 3: Then there’s Team GB.

It’s inexcusable that David Beckham has been left out of the Men’s Football squad. Stuart Pearce is such a disgrace that I think the IOC (yes, the international governing body, not just the British governing body) should step in to either fire the guy or order him to include Becks. I don’t care if Becks is only able to play five minutes of every game as a substitute, he brought Games to London (Yeah, so mixed feelings there. You’re on BOTH my lists, David.) and has been its number one champion. He is a living legend and a symbol of Britain and of football. He IS Team GB, but Pearce couldn’t be bothered to include him. He went with Micah Richards instead? Pitiful. Ryan Giggs, I understand; he’s Welsh and a quality player. I will never support a Manchester City player’s presence over David Beckham’s. Probably not even if said Man City player is Joe Hart, and Becks isn’t even a goalkeeper.

Of course the other, most basic piece to this issue is that Becks is still a top performing player!

So, we’re not off to a real good start.

Reason 4: As of today I still can’t access the online shop from my American IP address. I’m re-routed to Team USA’s shop. I’m not sure whose fault that is, but it’s an appalling breach of internet something… I feel like I’m being pressured to support a certain team, and that doesn’t sit right with me. I’m pro-Team USA, sure, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a stylized Union Jack sheet set or nifty Adidas wristband. (And no, the Adidas online shop doesn’t carry them.) If anyone figures out what the eff is going on with this, please let me know. I don’t like it. I suspect Stuart Pearce is in on it somehow.

Reason 5: I’m still bitter England lost out on hosting either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. THAT they deserved. THAT they wouldn’t have had to spend an exorbitant amount of money on to host! And. The last time football came home on the world stage, England won the damn thing. So.

Reason 6: I prefer the winter Olympics.

I’ll try to keep score with a pros and cons list and report back. Maybe I’ll prove myself wrong. I’m open to that.

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Unrelated reposted

Hi ya! As promised about a gazillion years ago, I’ve reposted Unrelated, my original short fiction piece about Maggie, her charming and tolerant husband Patrick, and her imposing mother, Judith.

Part I

Part II

Do give it a read!

 

I really needed this…

I haven’t posted in a while. I haven’t commented in a while. Hell, I haven’t done much of anything even remotely creative that wasn’t for my class, and even that feels forced. So, I wandered back to one my favorite, first blog loves, Kid in the Front Row.

Today, this week, next week, and always, I needed this. THIS. And also THIS.

Now I feel better. No, that’s a lie. I don’t feel better, actually I feel kind of shitty. But I do feel different. I got the proverbial kick in the pants that I needed for the time being and now I must get to work.

Yes, I have homework. Yes, I have two stories to workshop for class, two readings, reading responses, and my own 45-page novel excerpt to finish…um, between last Monday and next weekend. But you know what? Screw it. I’m going to see a Broadway musical tonight, then I’m going to write my ass off this weekend.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Hopefully my renewed inspiration will result in a few posts on this baby, tout suite! See what I did there?

Until next time, mes amies!

At least we can laugh about it now…

Today, during a long work meeting, I began a mini-conversation with my long, lost bestie over email. Whilst traveling the Underground today, she thought it necessary to make contact.
Now hold up, I’m making it sound like I haven’t heard from her in ages. Really, we talked on the phone yesterday. And a couple days before that. So.

Anywhozit, our conversation went a little like (exactly like) this:

Kate sent this. I should know, but I can’t tell which station this was taken in.

K: I’m in the underground so you won’t get these for a while, but strangely enough this is where I am reminded of you most… Weird. Also can you email me from your work email so you will get my emails right away? We can talk pretend work stuff if we have to. Plus it will keep you busy at work. 🙂

M: Is it because that’s where you yell at me the most? 🙂

K: I was actually thinking the same thing! Email me from work. Then emails work like texts! They r more immediate.

M: I’m at a large work summit ….no access to work email til Monday. Have to deliver presentation.

K: Oh snap, ok, well we can use both and you can tell me which one to use by responding in the email that works best for you. Have fun! Good luck. Keep calm and carry on. Love ya bud!

~

Aaaaaand, then I had to actually go and do work. Unreasonable! Srsly, tho. She for reals is constantly bitching at me on trains.

When I answer/acknowledge a question directed at me by a stranger (because they have mistaken me for an actual British person, a.k.a. paid me the best compliment ever): “Why’d you talk to that person!?”

Maneuvering through a crowd: “Where are you?”/”Just GO!!!”

Arguing over which line goes where: “Ugh! If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times! The Jubilee line doesn’t stop at Bond Street! (She’s never told me this, and it does.) What is wrong with you!?”

And, my favorite: “…” (just walks away)

Ahahahahaha… good times.

 

Well that was distracting…

So, Happy New Year and all of that… I was hoping to finish my posts on my October trip to Old Blighty, but I’ll get to that later…

About a month ago my mom called wanting to know the Royal Family’s last name. A bit of panic washed over me as I could not for the life of me come up with an answer. I was at first inclined simply to say “Why, it’s Windsor, of course!” However, I’m pretty sure this is wrong.

Our phone conversation on the matter lasted all of 90 seconds, but the black hole of research I fell into immediately following the call lasted well over an hour. And I was at work, mind you.

What I’d like to share with you now is the email I sent my mother after I managed to claw my way out of the murky, muddy pit…

~    ~    ~

To: My mum’s email address

Subject: Well that was distracting…

I’m embarrassed that I couldn’t answer your questions outright… so I did some research… =)

I don’t think Windsor has anything to do with anyone’s LAST NAME. It’s just the HOUSE the bloodline comes from.

The House of Windsor began in 1917 by George V by royal proclamation. He changed it from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha because of the anti-German sentiment in the UK during WWI. Also, probably because that was a dumb name.

Now, how to explain this without jumping around…you’re not just talking about the royal line of succession, you’re talking about what it looked like before any of these people got married or were crowned! Oy.

Before Queen Elizabeth II was coronated, she was Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh (yes, both a princess AND a duchess). She gained the duchess part when she married.

  • Elizabeth and Philip were granted Duke/Duchess of Edinburgh upon their marriage, by Elizabeth’s father, George VI. (Oh, and Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip are second cousins, once removed.)
  • Phillip’s full name before marriage was Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, but he renounced his Greek and Danish titles and adopted the British surname.

Prince William recently gained the duke part, as did his wife gain the duchess. The King/Queen grants them their duke/duchess “locale.” I think William specifically requested Cambridge because he didn’t want Canterbury…it was bad luck or something. Anyway, I believe that Prince William, while still a prince, of course, will never again be referred to as a Prince of Wales. (If his father abdicates, or dies, Wills will become King William [roman numeral] of England…and the realm.)

Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay m. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall…NOW, Camilla isn’t “known” as the Duchess of Rothesay because DIANA was more commonly referred to as the Duchess of Rothesay (even though she was also Duchess of Cornwall).

  • The other thing is, Camilla isn’t a princess even though her husband is a prince… neither is Kate Middleton…she’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and will be until her husband is crowned king, then she will become the Queen Consort.
  • Prince Philip is a prince to his wife’s queen only because he was ALREADY a prince before he married. Kate was a commoner…I don’t think she’ll ever TECHNICALLY become princess OR queen.

Coronation and marriage seem to do strange things to the naming scheme… hard to figure out and I think they’re still making it up as they go along.

Prince William, the newly named Duke of Cambridge was Prince William of Wales until he married. Harry will remain Prince Harry of Wales until he’s married and is given Duke of London or Bristol or Manchester United, or whatever. Both are still princes, no matter what, but what they’re formally referred to is different now.

NOW, if the current queen should die AND Prince Charles doesn’t abdicate, Prince William’s title may change again because he will officially become NEXT IN LINE for the throne. But I really don’t know because the “of Wales” part in Charles’ title doesn’t seem as random when you look at the line of succession… his grandfather was HRH Prince George of Wales before he was crowned King, and his great-grandfather, Edward VII was HRH Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales before HE was crowned king upon his mother, Queen Victoria’s death.

  • But, AHA! QueenVictoria was HRH Princess Alexandrina Victoria of KENT before she was crowned queen. WTF!? Now I know why there are so many royal historians!

So, Charles will become [King] Charles (insert roman numeral here), and Wills MIGHT become Prince of [BRITISH PLACE], Duke of Cambridge. Or he might go back to HRH Prince William of Wales. Get it? No? Well, me either.

I think on Prince William’s birth certificate, it would have only said: HRH (His Royal Highness) William Arthur Phillip Louis.

Now, one of the only things that makes sense based on all of the above, Prince Harry is unmarried, so he’s not the Duke of anything yet… is HRH Prince Harry of Wales, taken from his father still. When he marries, he’ll be given a Duke of SOME PLACE WITHIN THE REALM name.

So…what did we learn? Nothing, really. It seems one of the perks of being a royal is that you can do whatever you damn well please. =) 

I love you!

~    ~    ~

Ceremonial Testimonial

So I realize I should be posting a play-by-play recap of my recent trip to Olde Blighty, but at the moment, there are more pressing matters at hand. NEW FLORENCE!

D’you wanna know what perfection sounds like? It looks, well the visual, or the look of the sound, or, if your ears were eyes, they would see this, which then they could hear… oh, just… here:

Now I failed, like, every math class since the 5th grade, but I think this is the formula:
2 x 10² parts Evanescence x 2 parts U2 + 1⅞ part Ann Wilson + 1 part Adele + 1 part Gregorian Chant + 6 glitter flecks of Lady Gaga + 1/2 shameless Spice Girl = √15
Oh, now I think I’ve let that run away from me…

The essentials:

Shake It Out

All This and Heaven Too
Spectrum
No Light, No Light
Breaking Down

The skip-if-you-want-to-save-money-on-iTunes:
Uh, the What the Water Gave Me demo that’s included on the deluxe edition. I guess.

 

Mother England…

And awaaaaaaay I go! Tomorrow Idina Menzel, then who knows what magical adventures await me! I’ll be meeting up with Kate in two days time and all I gots to say is it’s been too damn long.

I will try to post whilst I’m in the UK, but I really don’t know the internet sitch. I know the internet existed the last time I was over there, but I really don’t recall ever using it… so we shall see.

Ta,

JK