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This Past Week!

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Buckle up! Because you are about to enter the rip roaring adventure that is my mind as I see the world! Yeah, I thought I should have a more exciting intro than the pathetic “whattup” I do every blog post. However, I can assure you, this week was not as exciting as I did not do much at all. I booked a trip to Amsterdam for the 17th through to the 19th of next month! Can’t wait! I’d have the chance to maybe do a little, as the euphemism goes, “window shopping” there. Kidding Mom! I think they have the true Absinthe there so I will have to try that. Anyway, since this week was another down week, I will be composing this blog post differently from the day-by-day narrative. I will go into the two activities I did this week and then what I’m doing/did in my classes! As William Shatner would say it, “Here…we…boldly…go…KHAAAAAANNN!”

The Tower of London:

On tuesday I went to  the Tower of London with five other people from the program. The weather was either being an infuriating troll or was legitimately bipolar. Take your pick but, the random rain bursts were ridiculous. However, I can’t really castigate London for its uneven weather patterns as sometimes my beloved Wisconsin decides sometimes as it wants Summer in Fall, and Spring in Winter. Crazy weather, crazy weather everywhere! Anyway, we got there, purchased tickets at the student-reduced rate and entered. We hung around and took the Yeoman tour. The particular Yeoman we had assigned to us was hilarious! He made fun of everyone, everything, and every country and their heroes. He was especially harsh on William Wallace and the manly qualities of Scottish women. I like these type of tours as the guides have personalities and are not politically correct. It makes it entertaining. BUT (and this is a big but..and I can not lie) this particular Yeoman Warder definitely took his jokes about women too far sometimes to the point where it inspired more cringes upon my face than laughter. Anyway, it was great to have a knowledge base about Reformations era and Middle ages history as it definitely made this trip very worth while. I could make real world connections from what I learned last semester. Anyway, this visit inspired a few creative fires within me. One is to write Death Metal songs dealing with the executions and torture of prisoners throughout the middle ages and Reformations era. That material is just too perfect for that style of music. The other particular project is to make a dark/gallows humor comedy called The Real Housewives of King Henry VIII! Anyway, saw the monarchy’s jewels which were cool.

The Knowledge:

This past Saturday I went to a play called “The Knowledge” at a theatre called The Bush Theatre. This wasn’t your typical theatre. It was located on the second floor above a pub called O’ Neil’s and the theatre itself was just an average room with two rows of stadium seating going all the way around the little one foot stage. The people in the first row often had to move their feet to keep from tripping the actors. Also, the actors did not have dressing rooms so they just changed right out in front of the audience. There were no stage hands so the actors did all of the prop moving. The actors pulled this off with a militaristic sense of perfection that was remarkable. Since the play was school themed, the surrounding wall was all chalkboard with math problems and proofs already written to add to the realism. It was all very intimate. Anyway, the bar scene before the show. Next door to this bar there is this concert hall which was hosting the Glam Metal band Europe who is famous for its song “The Final Countdown”. There were a lot of drunken Metal-heads in the bar, you know, my crowd. I had fun until I fell out of favor with the Glam Metal fans. Of course there weren’t any outward displays of Glam Metal fandom among this crowd as they were all wearing Cradle of Filth shirts, Europe shirts, Iron Maiden shirts, etcetera. Bon Jovi’s song “Its My Life” came on and I complained loudly, “Dammit! Bon Jovi is such a Glam Metal pussy!” Normally this sentiment would be met with cheers and high fives however, it became known to me during that moment of time that I was in Glam Metal fan territory. I quickly had to back step and be politically correct. lulz! Anyway, the play itself was very good! I would recommend seeing it. Take caution though as it is extremely mature both in themes and in language. Without giving away too much of the plot, there was simulated boy-on-girl oral sex.

Classes:

I took an essay exam in Shakespeare this past Wednesday. I pretty much wrecked shop on it. I had to write two essays; one one Hamlet and one for the play Twelfth night. I wrote about the role of the Clown, Feste and his relationship with Lady Olivia in Shakespeare’s humor. The essay on Hamlet I pretty much wrote that Hamlet was a misogynist. I also wrote that Hamlet had a deep conflict between emotions and his intellectual/rational side within him. I think I’m going to write my semester paper on how women were treated in Shakespeare’s plays. He seems to me after reading what I’ve read to be a product of his time. His portrayal of women does not seem to be the most flattering. For my History paper I will be writing on how the abolition of the Corn Laws enabled Britain to industrialize. Goody goody! Economic history where I can explore comparative advantage and talk about David Ricardo!

This week promises to be jam packed! I will be going to Shakespeare’s home at Stratford-upon-Avon on Friday where I will also be taking in a performance of King Lear with the whole group. On Thursday I, along with a group of people, will be taking a tour of a Brewery. Also, on Saturday I will be taking a guided tour with some people of Bath, Stonehenge, and Salisbury! So, very busy week coming up!

P.S. Atlas Shrugged…THE MOVIE! ‘Nuff said. I’ve been reading the book with greater intensity in preparation.

Here with an awesome anti-love song…GWAR!!

In the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge when he was a badass and took no prisoners, have your infernal Happy Valentine’s Day! Humbug!

P.S. Here is an interesting re-evaluation of Scrooge’s character against all common wisdom. It is pretty awesome! http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2010/3091992.htm

 

This Past Week (6th-13th)

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

What is up all? Here checking in. Not a lot happened this week however, there were some flashes of brilliance in the cesspool of gluttony because watching random stuff on the internet while eating vociferous amounts of Digestive cookies is way too much of a good time. Maybe I should stop as I’ve had to soak a chocolate stain off my sheets…no, on second thought, not going to happen. Since I discovered that Nutella is so cheap, I’ve graduated to eating bread/Nutella sandwiches in bed. I’m going to come back from this trip being a quarter Asian version of Ruben Studdard circa American Idol. But hey, the hedonist lifestyle is not for everyone! It takes sacrifice! haha! Anyway…

SUPERBOWL FRAKKEN (thanks Battlestar Galactica for placing that in my vocabulary) SUNDAY! Also, Monday….

The day started out just like any other Sunday. I was on the interwebz procrastinating writing up my one 750 word homework assignment for the week (I wrote about my St. Paul’s experience) and having the extremely healthy diet of the Brit version of a breakfast Powerade (the name escapes me atm) and digestive cookies. Anyway, after being responsible I joined the rest of the merry band of die-hard Packer fans from the group and headed to the game at an American themed bar and grill called “The Roadhouse”. In the United States we have specifically themed British pubs but with stereotypical British decorations but, it was very interesting and cool to see it flipped around in another country. They did a pretty good job of it. They had the 50s style neon lights, a motorcycle, a mannequin football and her mannequin cheerleader counterpart, booths straight out of Hudson’s (home of the best burger in the area in case you all forgot), and large televisions on every wall. It all was finished off with a certain “Euro sexiness” as I like to call it. However, they had a neon sign that had “DRUGS” lit up in huge lettering. Don’t think many US bar and grills are advertising drugs like that. Some wise guy “DERP!! Alcohol is a drug! Bars advertise Alcohol” I know, but its legal and bars make money. Its stupid that we differentiate the substance…[insert a long Libertarian rant against the Drug War here]…and now you sons of bitches, you know how I feel (fading bugles). Anyway, on to the matter at hand, THE FRAKKEN SUPERBOWL! We got there a couple of hours early and had burgers and beer. I opted to have only two and drank water or soft drinks the rest of the night, some of the other people I was with got a little tipsy by night’s end. There were a lot of people there and they were all very knowledgeable and pretty intense. Before the SUPERBOWL I got a huge “Fuck the Steelers” chant going and the opposing fans got a “Fuck the Packers” chant in retort to our previous transgression. It was all very fun. Anyway, during the game I got to know some cool people. I met another exchange student from the Florida State University program and talked to him a little bit. I also met two pretty awesome ladies. I had a conversation about the musical ideas behind Marilyn Manson’s remix of Rasputina’s “Transylvanian Concubine” and about Marquis De Sade with one of them. Yup, only me. I got her number. She’s showing me some Rock/Metal bars. Thug life. Nothing is going to happen since she’s in a relationship with another women but hey, I went out and met some girls who did not mind macabre subjects! After they left I rejoined my group and we basically told everyone where we were from by how frakking mental we got! We put a ship of sailors to shame with the curse words we were spitting. The night was awesome! Packers won! Did not get home until five am. I was so full of adrenaline that I didn’t get to bed until seven am and then got up for school around 9:40 am! Classes sucked that day! I was chugging so many Mountain Dews and one Monster trying desperately to stay awake. I already knew what falling asleep in Malcolm Dick’s International Studies class was like. Not fun.

Tuesday the 7th

Laundry and went to a production of “A Flea in her Ear”. Riotously funny play. Did not have the intellectual lair that I like but it is a farce, its not supposed to. I’m going to go to more farces back home for sure. Great play genre.

Wednesday the 8th

Not much happened however, I did get to see the Auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham in UCL’s main building. I am a fan of his. However, I must admit I like the man who was inspired by him, John Stuart Mill, more. I was looking forward to that for so long as I have taken aspects of Utilitarianism to help form my own personal philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Bentham). Anyway, that was cool and I geeked out majorly. I really like UCL’s campus. I am considering going to UCL for a PhD after maybe eight or nine years of teaching. That idea is still very juvenile but its a very seductive one. I’m going to explore the idea further. Anyway…

Thursday the 9th

I went to a themed, King Henry the 8th dinner hosted by ISH with the King played by the dean of students. It was very cool. It was all candle-lit and there was a jester, and minstrels. Periodically the King’s people (forgot the official designations for such individuals but, oh well) would put people in the stocks where people would come up and throw anachronistic wet sponges at them. It is much better that way than being historically accurate. People don’t think it was bad back then but people threw metal objects back in the day along with the usual food and animal bones. It was serious even back then, people got permanently injured or killed! Anyway, my roommate and I smuggled in Ketchup. We were getting away with it until we got cavalier and just had it on the table with us. This got our faculty leader person, Dr. Rueb in the stocks. Everyone took a shot and he was drenched! That night at Karaoke I did “In the End” by Linkin Park and a duet with another person in the program of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. Next week we are doing “Tik Tok”!

Yup, not hesitant to say I like that song either! Anyway…

Friday the 10th

Off day. Got caught up with Jersey Shore…totally not proud of that but, it’s way too entertaining! Gosh!

Saturday the 11th

Got out of bed at the ungodly early time of 10:40am. Headed to Camden and bought gifts for some members of the family. I also bought a sweet biker/metal black vest! I’m totally gonna be “Metal-ed” out by the end of this trip. Its going to be wicked! UP THE HORNS! Anyway, after that I took a walk through Regent’s Park (extremely beautiful by the way) with some friends and watched another friend’s Rugby game. Brutal sport! Still don’t know what the hell is going on though! That night the group went pub hopping and I continued the proud Munck family tradition of getting hammered and puking in England! I had to do it!

Sunday the 12th

Hangover and writing papers day.

Today

Classes. the International Studies class took a walking tour of the East End of London and we all attended a lecture about one of London’s “Ragged” Schools given by the head lady of the museum. It was cool because the Ragged School we were in also worked as a living history museum and we sat in desks made during the time in a recreation, period classroom. Way bomb dude!

Gotta sleep now…Tower of London and studying for a test in Shakespeare class tomorrow!

Stuff I Did this Past Week Part 2

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

I know, I promised another post  yesterday or the day before but, here is the rest of the week until Saturday night. I’ll post what I’ve been up to this week sometime this weekend. Alas, I can not deliver on my promise for Prince Charles in a bath for he has told families to forgo bathtubs because apparently they are to the environment what Godzilla is to Tokyo (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304327/Prince-Charles-urges-British-families-snub-bathtub.html?ito=feeds-newsxml)! Sorry readers! Anyway…

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd:

My body decided to give me a big “F.U.” and broke down on me. I woke up with a sore throat, runny nose and low-grade fever. Getting through History class was like getting through a speech where Obama comments on economics. It was hell!  But, my History professor gave a very interesting lecture on marriage practices in 17th/18th century Britain and Mary Wollstonecraft and her early feminism. Apparently, back in the day, if one were a married who had a Tiger Woods-like sexual appetite but had the natural aversion to STDs, a common method would be to find an extremely young girl for “company”. Also, women were often guilty of being unfaithful. Goes to show how stupid arranged marriages are. Anyway, I almost went home after class and skipped Shakespeare but the effort exerted in writing three “excuse” emails is just Herculean. In Shakespeare class I battled my illness and made a good Ghost of Old Hamlet!

Thursday, Feb 3rd:

Sickness or not, I was going to Liverpool (the birthplace of the Holy Four) and going to Liverpool involved getting up at the butt crack of dawn (4 am) for the 5:28 train! The trains were pretty cool. Richard Branson has a mean train business in Virgin Rail. There were little digital readers above the rows telling you which seats were booked and which were not. Anyway, got to Liverpool and had breakfast. Amongst the array of foods in my meal, there was “Black Pudding” which was boiled pig blood. No one was brave enough to order it with their meal but, I had the Jackass inspired adventurism coupled with testosterone imbalances so I tried it. It was not bad. After breakfast we all went to and walked along the harbor. It was beautiful! The boats and the views were awesome! So anyway, I spent the next few hours in the Beatles museum there. I would go into the awesome-ness I encountered there but, I would have to change my pants *wink,wink*! lol! Kim, a friend said Yoko looked like a rabid siamese cat. Yeah, she’s not a fan of Yoko. After that we took a decidedly different direction with the mood of places to go as we went to the International Slavery Museum. Liverpool got very wealthy from the slave trade which I thought was interesting. The overall exhibit was very interesting, mostly a review, but interesting. Here is where I get a tad controversial. When proposing and creating a museum or exhibit about a controversial subject, there is bound to be conflict. There were some famous battles over exhibits concerning the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Anyway, when these conflicts happen, the content of the exhibit or whatever gets very politically correct. This apparently happened to this exhibit to the detriment of good history. Hear me out, almost all of the exhibit was very good unfortunately they never mentioned the fact that Africans themselves often sold other Africans into the trade (source is Hofstadter’s “America at 1750: A Social Portrait). Anyway, enough of that. On to happy stuff now! We saw some more Beatles sites including a large memorial for the original entrance to the Cavern. An establishment where The Beatles often played and I believe they were “discovered” there. The day ended by seeing the world’s second largest Anglican cathedral in which I covertly read some Nietzsche (hehe)! End of that day…on to the next!

The Liverpool crew dining at some random Chinese Place

Where it all started!

Friday the 4th:

Group outing to a recreation of the Globe Theatre. It was in the original where Shakespeare had part ownership and where he put on some of his most famous plays. Needless to say, Shakespeare retired a very rich dude! Very interesting how much of Shakespeare’s lines worked with the stage and just how much audience “interaction” took place within his scripts. Man, I’m learning and reading a shit ton about Shakespeare this semester! Anyway, later that day I attended an Evensong service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. That was a great opportunity as they opened up the quire section normally closed to tourists for us to participate in the service. I have to say that my religious studies courses have given me a new appreciation for church services. I may absolutely disagree with Christian philosophy but, the practices and the history behind them are fascinating. I spent the whole time meditating on what Jesus would be like if he were to come back today (I think he would be a peyote taking, socialist hippy. Maybe I should write a gospel or something expanding on this view.) and, since I’m a man, meditating on how hot the two lovely ladies were who were sitting next to me! Anyway, end of that day.

Saturday the 6th:

Still sick so, since I could, I totally laid out in bed all day watching Professional Wrestling videos. The Undertaker cured me of my illness! There was this show “Wrestling Exposed” back in the late 90s when Wrestling was huge. It gave a pretty interesting breakdown on how the profession works. The section on what the referee does during the matches was interesting and the section about  calling spots was equally fascinating. I basically knew everything that was said and, I must add, most Wrestling fans now-a-days know these things. The program was interesting but, it was very insulting. The narrator made it seem like the pro-wrestling fan base are all idiots. Also, the program repeatedly called it fake. I would prefer to call it ad-libbed choreography as fake presupposes that nobody gets hurt and I think that it cheapens what wrestlers go through to make a living and to entertain us. Plus, the whole “this information is stuff that federations don’t want you to know” is really ridiculous. Even at the time that info was pretty available to the public. Lastly, apparently they don’t know what “suspension of disbelief” is. Anyway, here is the program and here is an example of wrestlers caught on camera calling spots:

P.S. Didn’t really read over  what I wrote. Might be some grammatical errors. Haters gonna hate!

P.P.S. Cena legitimately severely damaged his knee messing up the landing there.

Whattup all! I know its been a week but, I’ve either been too busy or too lazy to write anything. Mostly too lazy busy with school work. Anyway, the format is mostly going to be events, not day-to-day happenings because some days I did a whole lot of nothing and some days it was just classes. I’ve been reading Nietzsche a lot lately instead of Irvine Welsh so this blog post might be a little drier than a desert (un-creative I know) and a little colder than Ann Coulter’s heart wait, everyone knows that and that joke was so last decade so let me try again. I can’t think of anyone at the moment that’s better. Oh well, might as well get on with it before I inject more failure into this post.

Camden Market. 29th of Jan.

Camden Market is an extremely famous market in London both for its shopping and its unique culture. Camden is famous for having a thriving Goth/Punk/Metal/Freak culture and I felt oddly at home. It was good to have the cultures that I associate with being out and proud and doing well. It is a welcome change in pace from the Hollister wearing, Kanye and Bieber listening, Twilight reading culture that irritates me sometimes. Honestly, I’m pretty sure if actual music talent and artistic sophistication were the sole factors in album sales I’m pretty sure one Cradle of Filth record could out-sell any Mika album (alright, lets get some controversy going among the cousins! lol) any day! Anyway, I’ll leave that can of worms half opened for now and get on with the adventure. I had three objects to complete before the day was done. Objective one: successfully haggle a price down from its original price. Two: Buy a Venom shirt like the one found in the link (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015N1KVE?&tag=shopwiki-us-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325). Three: since I have my own money, buy anything else that will generally annoy or appall Mom! Love you Mom! haha! All three successful. My last transaction I haggled the price of a belt and Misfits buckle down 15 pounds from its original 35 quid price. I succeeded with the first and third objective by getting a talon-like finger guard ring from 4 pound less than its given price of 16 pounds. I’ve always wanted one ever since I saw it in the 6th grade in an Ozzy Osbourne video for the single “Gets Me Through” which can be found below:

(Note: it’s worn on his left hand, middle finger and also note, mine is pewter and more plain and  a helluva lot less expensive).

The second objective was completed and I also bought an Alien Sex Fiend t-shirt (So, third objective completed as well). I am going back to Camden to buy some gifts and a really cool gothic kilt that I saw for 35 quid! Anyway, I also bought a Nietzsche reader and a book called “The Acid House” by Irvine Welsh. Irvin Welsh is a witty, demented and profane writer. So naturally I like him! I feel as though I can go on a contact acid trip just by reading that book!

History Boys at the Rose Theatre. Feb 1st.

Excellent play turned movie by Alan Bennett! It melded blue comedy with intellectual discourse about teaching philosophy and the philosophy of history beautifully. Of course, those two weren’t the only themes running but, those were the ones I most paid attention to. Best play I’ve seen thus far in my life! 5 out of 5 stars! I mean seriously, one of the characters used sex as a metaphor for history. That material is taylor made for me!

Walking tour of Georgian and Elizabethan London. Jan. 31st.

I know its out of order. You can save your pontifical reply! Anyway, the title sums up what we did for the International Studies class. It was through the richest parts on London. Saw more Rolls Royce and Bentleys and Ferraris than I have seen my entire life. Anyway, I’ll talk about it later by mouth because typing it doesn’t do the epic-ness of the tour justice. Long story short: professor gets into a huge argument with a security guard, tells construction workers to stop working because they were too loud, and made some pour old bloke have a bit of embarrassment. Basically I changed my mind about my IS  professor. Basically dude’s a G!

Alright, I’m tired. I’ll write the rest tomorrow. Coming up: Being sick, Liverpool, and Prince Charles taking a bath!

Some Pictures!

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here is an eight picture sampling of what I’ve been up to!