cardinals and coins



Hello everyone,
It's been a long time since I posted anything here, but since I'm travelling again, I thought I'd start updating this blog again. Well, I have officially received my BA in English. In anticipation of this event, I went to the senior class ball. Of course, I only drank coffee, the cup you see in my hand, and deny any preference for martinis...

Christina (my BFF) and I took this picture in order to contrast it with the "Winter Wonderland" photo taken of us during our first year at Barnard...

After four years and increasingly better taste in clothes, hair and accessories, we graduated!

(That's me and Columbia's Butler Library and about 1.5 million graduates.)

(That's me and Alyce in our caps but not gowns because our dresses were too fabulous to hide.)

Here, we cue the Broadway Musical Avenue Q: "What can you do with a BA in English?" asks the puppet, a recent grad of NYU...

Well, first, BA in hand, I decided to go on vacation in three places. Here's me on vacation in Maryland visiting my friend Lars:

(Lars isn't in that photo, but I picked it to highlight the Maryland-themed crab hat on our friend Alex there. We were having a very serious conversation. I swear.)

Up next, vacation photos of me in Arizona with my mom and stepdad...


Bedlam Ball

Last night I went to a real ball! I felt like Cinderella, especially when the heel on my shoe broke. That's like losing a glass slipper, right? I'll try and tell the story proplerly...

Every year the Edinburgh University Theatre Society (aka Bedlam, which is the name of our theatre) throws a ball to celebrate how fabulous we are. This year, the ball was at the Dynamic Earth, a science museum of sorts. I am terrible at taking pictures but will try to add more when I get them from friends. After getting ready:

This is a dress I bought for no reason over the summer at the Ann Taylor on the ground floor of the building where I worked. It is dangerous to walk past a clothing store 4 times a day. But it turned out to be a great purchase even though I had to wait a long time to wear it.

This is me with Matt and the Iceberg. You see, the evening began with a champagne reception in two connected sections of Dynamic Earth. First, there was a rainforest, which I didn't think to photograph. Then, this ice berg, which is real. Matt tried to get me to lick it. I knew better.

The Iceberg. If I had better timing you'd be able to see the northern lights projected onto the wall behind it. Cool! hehe.

After the champagne, we went to have dinner. It was a lovely meal. This is Helena. She's from Belfast. What a star.

After dinner, there was dancing. This is Emily, someone I don't know, Cat and Heather. They are lovely. I know Emily and Cat from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. I know Heather from parties like this one.

Unfortunately, that is the end of my pictures. After dancing we went to Bedlam and danced some more on the stage. It was one of the most fun nights I've ever had.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Paris. Next Friday, New York. The Friday after that, Prague. Can't wait!


Burns Night

Hello agian. So, this is a post about something that happened in January. Oops! Anyway, Burns Night happens every year on January 25th, and this year, Bedlam Theatre held its second Burns Supper. I will tell you what I remember of that Burns Supper, but if you want to know more, visit:

So I went to the Bedlam Burns Supper with Allan and Alyce. When we arrived, there was a cocktail reception. Photos:

Then we went in to the theatre, and had supper on the stage, under the Scottish flags. Apparently, Burns Night requires haggis, and the haggis must be brought in to the sound of bagpipes. It was! That was fun. It was also tasty. James made it:

and I was impressed.

Alyce, doubtful about haggis:

Haggis! Neeps! Tatties!

Neeps = Turnips, Tatties = Potatoes

After, there was revelry:

I don't know why that picture is so odd or what the two men in the front are doing, but that's what you get at a theatre party, I suppose.

Anyway, go to the BBC link to learn more about Rabbie Burns! Here is Address to a Haggis:

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!


For us to live and die properly, things have to be named properly. Let us reclaim our words. --John Berger

Coming soon... Burns Night (very late) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead!


Christina comes to Scotland (via two Irish cities)

Christina came to visit me last week! Yaaaayyyy! In her craziness, my crazy best friend found a flight from Boston to Shannon to Dublin to Edinburgh. So that was fun. She showed up tired but happy to see me, of course. I immediately took her out on the town for yummy food and fancy cocktails.

James and Xtina:

Xtina and Graeme purusing the amazing menu of cocktails at Bar Khol, famous for it's amazing vodka selection. I won't go into detail, lest I disturb relatives with my excitement over all that vodka. But seriously, people, GINGER vodka? Woah.

My girl in Bobby's, the pub nearest the theatre, after sitting through an entire rehearsal of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. She earned that pint of cider. (There's not much to do in Scotland, okay? We don't drink THAT much).

We didn't just drink, we also went shopping and I got my haircut. Opinions?

Sleepy Christina at Elephant House (of JK Rowling/Harry Potter fame) for breakfast at noon:

Us, before she left me to move to Prague. I can't put on a scarf and it doesn't match my jacket, but it's cold here, okay? Okay.


I got to be a tourist in London this time, and it was fabulous. I walked a lot. I went to St Paul's and the Globe and the Tate Britain. I had Christmas in Kent with the lovely Bell parents. I went to Bath, where Jane Austen lived for a time (rather unhappily) and where much of Persuasion, my favorite novel, is set. I took a scenic train route home through Bronte country in Northern England. I was glad to be home by the end of it, but it was a beautiful trip.

Harrods at Christmastime! I went shopping and had a Krispy Kreme. Yummmm.

Queen Anne outside St Paul's:

view from the Millenium Bridge over the the Thames:

The Globe:

The stage at the Globe:

Tate Britain, my favorite museum in the world (and I took a Thames boat to get there!! Geek OUT):

Westminster Abbey, at night (haunted?):

Big Ben, all artistic and stuff. These iron fences are everywhere in London, so I included it in the picture. They're lovely:

Bath's Jane Austen Centre:

The Royal Crescent (too wide for my camera, this is about 1/3 of the thing. Most prestigious address in Bath):

Cool/creepy cathedral with people climbing the outsides:

This city is so pretty:

Her house, people. I saw her house! I'm sure the people who live there now are used to nuts with cameras, but I did feel strange. Not that it stopped me!


I only spent a few hours here, but it deserves its own post. What a strange place. It doesn't feel that far out of the cold war in Bratislava and the city is very pretty but run down. The people seem pretty crabby, except at the Christmas markets where they seem pretty drunk and relatively less crabby. Christine came with me and we walked around for awhile, before she put a flustered and tired Anne-Marie on a bus to the airport. If she hadn't been there, I would definitely have gotten very lost (thanks Christine!).

The presidential palace, or something like that (I don't speak/read Slovak) from the back. A plaque said this garden is the first place Slovakia tried out electricity.

from the front:

Bratislava has very pretty streets:

The Danube, which I never managed to see in daylight:


snow and schnitzel

Alright, it's been AGES, but I'll finish my Europe posts!

Salzburg and Vienna (Day 2):
I woke up early. Unfortunately, my clock was still set to UK time, so not as early as I thought. It had snowed in Salzburg overnight, and I was feeling a bit better. My voice was starting to come back. And the sun was shining! So I took pictures of Salzburg in the snow:

Look at more pictures at that website down below. Anyway, I was an hour behind, which I realized when I saw a clock. But I managed to book it to the train station and got on the train with 60 seconds to spare! Suddenly, I was on my way to Vienna.

I can't describe the scenery I saw from that train. With all the snow, I thought for a moment that it looked like Minnesota only with big mountains and hills. Maybe I was homesick, but it seemed to me I could understand why my ancestors picked MN. The little villages, the snow, the mountains, the pine trees... it was magical. I tried not to go to sleep, which was impressive since I was still sick and hadn't slept well in the hostel, just so I could stay away and watch Austria go by. I tried... and pretty much failed to photograph it. But look:

When I arrived in Vienna, after some small confusion, I found my lovely friend Christine. She does not like having her picture taken, unfortunately, so you'll have to trust me that she's adorable. We went home, chilled out, had a snack and then went to some Christmas markets. Like this one, at the Rathaus (town hallish place):

You can tell by the angle of the photo that I had a fever... oh well.

Sunday, I woke up with a migraine and stayed in bed. We finally went out at night, when I felt a little better, and the next few days I felt much better and we were adventurous. We went to the Staatsoper and saw Falstaff, which made us laugh a lot. The building was incredible! I went to the museum while Tina was in class, and I loved that too. We went to Schonbrun, a palace with extensive gardens, a hedge maze and a very steep hill with a beautiful building (the Gloriette) that is now a cafe at the top. We also went to the Schmeterling Haus, which is a butterfly conservatory. We went out to eat Austrian food and yummy yummy desserts, drank beer and punsch (stick sweet stuff at Christmas markets). We walked a lot and got very very cold. I had a GREAT time and would like to go back sometime, less sick and with more opera tickets. There's still a lot of Vienna that I haven't seen! Here is some of the stuff I did see:

Schonbrun, too wide for my camera:

again, from the Gloriette, and Vienna:

a butterfly!

art museum:

creepy Roman heads (same museum):

the opera house:

And I'm too lazy to add more. Go to my picture website. Go to Wien (Vienna).