Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse

So there's a couple things I wanna get squared away on here before I leave for AMSTERDAM today so that when I get back that is all that I'll have to talk about

First off, GOOD MORNING. I've already been up for 3.5 hours and it's only 9:30. Yes, I actually went to the 7am cycling class at the gym. I really cant believe I did it, seeing as I was up until past 2am "packing" for the trip and therefore was running on about 4 hours of sleep. That picture is what a packing failure looks like.
Last night a couple of us went to the Godfather since it was playing on the big screen at the Queens Film Theater. I had never seen it. Well I attempted to watch it when I was about 10 years old, and lets just say I didn't make it past the horse scene. If you've seen it, you know. But ya, what an awesome movie. I'm not usually really into gangster movies, but I guess there's a reason why that is known as one of the most epic ones of all time. Anyways, I didn't sleep a whole lot last night.
Alarm went off at 6am and off I went to the gym! It doesn't really get light out here until about 8am, so it was still dark as night gets. The gym is about a mile away so I ended up running there because I was a liiiiiiittle scared. Belfast at night probably isn't the safest place in the world (even though 6am hardly is night). Anyways, Party in the USA came up on my iPod, and I was at the gym before Miley could finish doin her thang.
good morning physical education centre:7am gym classes when I don't have anywhere to be until noon. I've offically lost it. And as for the class. Holy Mother. Spinning is probably the most intense cardio I've ever done. The instructor was a screaming asshole boot camp style guy, who I thought about doing terrible things to several times throughout the workout. But at the end I felt awesome, and realized that I atually loved him. :) No hard feelings. See ya nextTuesday. (yep didn't mean for the sentence to come out that way.)

Oh, speaking of hidden messages, Arnold is quite the funny governor hahaha

So yes, now I'm home and showered and eating as delish breakfast.

>Packet oatmeal cooked w/ skim milk
>Cut up little apple
>half banana
>generous spoonful Almond butter
>1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
>flax seed
>Rooibos tea :)
>Also had a hardboiled egg, which isn't here. word.

And now I'm thinking of curling back up in bed for an hour before I have to meet Patrick and Linsday for the airport.

There are also a couple of also awesome things that happened this week that totally slipped my mind when I was updating before.

#1) Wine and Cheese Society Event
So one of the many reasons that Queens University in Belfast is cooler than Northeastern: it has a wine and cheese club. ooo lala. The first event of the year was at this African Art Gallery down the street it was a BYOwine thing, so Anna Anna and I picked out some bottle of French Pinot Noir on the way. Then at the gallery, they had a variety of French cheeses set out for a tasting. There were descriptions for each of them, but I think people mostly just indulged on whatever they thought was yummiest. Ardrahan was my personal fave. Here's the snooty description they gave us.
Ardrahan: Type: Pasteurized Cows Milk, Washed Rind, Veg. Taste: Nutty, Salty, Creamy, Pungent- need we say more! This is a cheese lover's fave.

These are my hawt friends. left to right> Antonia (Wales), Anna (France), and Anna (Sweden). Get in line fellas.

Yep, good times. From a different perspective however, it was also really weird. We were all white, financially comfortable students at an African Art Gallery, looking at pictures of children living in poverty, while sipping on expensive wine and indulging in piles of cheese.
Something is twisted with that.

Okay this is about the time in the post where I start to get bored with updating. But I'll stay strong.

#2) Belfast Arts Fest
So every year, the city of Belfast has a huge arts festival that lasts throughout the month of October. Dozens of events are held around the city: art exhibits, plays, concerts, speeche
s, etc. All of the events require tickets, but there is also the opportunity to sign up as a volunteer and go to the events for free. The Seamus Heaney/Ulster Orchestra thing was one of the events that I actually paid for. I also signed up to volunteer at a bunch of others and got assigned to work at a Bollywood Club Night and at the Toy Army Improv Jazz concert. Both things were realllly cool.
I don't really have any good pics from either events, but to the right is the jazz band. Both events were fun, but it would probably be worth it to just buy a ticket so that you can actually go and enjoy it with your friends. Sometimes really awesome things are hard to appreciate when you have no one to share them with.

Mmmmmmmmm Okay. there are probably more things to do and say, but my bed is calling my name. One last pic: my awesome dinner last night before the movies. All I had was really random vegetables in my locker, and I wanted to use them before going away for the weekend. Anna also had some spinach tortellini that she wanted to use up, so I stole a few pieces of that as well :)
Sweet potato and chick peas, zucchini eggplant mushroom asparagus red pepper onion in tomato sauce

And I close with a lyrics from the good old Dandy Warhols

Well I'm going to see you soon in Amsterdam
I can't believe I can get there but I can, man
I hope when I see you that you're still likin' who I am
, I am
but if you don't baby well I'll still tell you that
I understand
I'll tell you

I I I understand

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And We'll All Float On

Oh hey. Just a typical humpday here in cloudy Northern Ireland. This week has been going pretty good and super busy. I was in the lab foreverr yesterday, but I got a lot of stuff done before my trip this weekend :) I now have all my assignments for the semester here too. Since I'm going home before they have finals, I get to do a paper for each of my classes instead. Pretty good deal to me.

My running here is also improving at a crazy rate. Today I did 10k! I've done it before but with a walking interval in the middle. Oprah was on at the gym and she was interviewing Jennifer Anniston AND Beyonce (my gurlz) before I knew it, the hour was up, and I was 6.2 miles farther than I started (on the treadmill). It felt great, and I really wanted to keep going, but my knee is just not going for it. When I did my 10 minute walk cool down, I saw in the mirror that I was involuntarily limping. bad bad bad. So I'm going to take a few days off. I signed up for a 7am cycling class on Friday (yea..we'll see if that happens), but at least it'll give my joints a rest. And maybe there will be some remedy for joint pain in Amsterdam...

So I had a package waiting for me when I got hoooome:
icing the knee+new presents (GRE books, ugh)+food= the current story of my life

weeee GREs! I'll probably take them in the late spring sometime, but I figured now is probably the best time to start looking at it. Although Ireland is an adventure, there is still a pretty good amount of free time with little things to do that don't cost a ton of money. So study it is. Nerd.

And that's my yummy lunch. Zucchini, eggplant, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, ren onion, asparagus, and tofu in a tomato sauce. mmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm feeling a lot better from Sunday too. Having my family cancel their trip makes me miss them a billion times more than before, but this semester is already zooming by as it is. I look forward to being home with them again, but I'm trying not to take any of this time for granted at all. And I got the best email from my dad today.

Hi Case, I'm so glad that we have normal kids who just like to see the world and be amazed and amazing too. We got an office-wide email today (we get soooo many) asking for financial contributions (some are pretty cool - like the "tequila" tulip bulbs (yeah really) that I purchased at a bargain from a grade school) this time to send a legal assistant's daughter to Rwanda this Spring. OK. Cool. But attached was a letter from her 17 yr old asking for mucho $$$ & explaining that she was going there "to spread the good word of God." Literally. I'm not kidding, nor giving her a dime. Why can't she at least say she's going to build huts or fight genocide or protect the fire ants. Is "genocide" in Rwanda one of those "bad" words of God? Uhhm. Well, I wonder how folks would react if I asked for $$$ for my pagan kids to travel the world for good ol knowledge, insight & spreading some good words to new friends & places. How much would they give me? Even scarier, how much are they giving her? Oh well, I rant. And hope all is well with you & your very, very worthwhile stay in No. Ireland. Even if the "good words" you're spreading are your own. Love, Dad
PS-What was the name of that cheapo concert ticket internet site where you got that last minute Dandy ticket last year? I'm lookin for some "cheap" Dylan tix at the Wang. If any...
Love, Dad

Right on pops :) And oh ya if you're reading this: the ticket site was Craigslist. haha

In other news:
I know I'm going to be in Amsterdam, and it is definitely not going to be as big of a deal as the US...but I still love thinking of a cool idea. I was just going to go with a hippie, since thats easy and Ill be in a pretty groovy place, but now I'm thinking I want something cooler.
I helped Bill think of the best thing ever last night. I won't give it away here, but I just want some credit. haa
Olga and I thought of our costume for next year, which will be epic. But that will remain under wraps for another year. muahaha.
Someday I will get to finally be this:

But that someday will not be this year due to the lack of pants. and I'm usually very anti skanky Halloween costume, but sometime you just gotta say what the fuck, what your move.

Marco Island for New Years!

AAAAAAND last but not least, I'm working at this tonight. I'm really excited. I didn't listen to jazz for a really long time and am really starting to get back into it lately. I'll let you all know

:) bye

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good dog

Walking to class this morning I saw a man walking his cow-sized Newfoundland. The man was mean to the big dopey pup. The man kept kicking and yelling at him whenever the cow-dog stopped to sniff something. The man slipped on a leaf and dropped his mail on the ground. The dog ate all his mail.
I laughed out loud. Good dog.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday

clocks changed! and that means im exhausted...and its 8pm. It's okay though, I only have a few papers to read then I can hit the hay for a good nights sleep.

Today was very cool. I'm still pretty down about all the news at home, but I'm still here and have to make the most of it. I wish I could be home with my family now, but I know my family is great at keeping their head above water and making the most of the good life. I couldn't help but think about all the things that I wish they could see while I'm actually living here during my walk downtown this morning, but it'll just have to be postponed.
This is what it's all about no matter where we are in the world :)
So anyways, today Anna (Sweden), Dominika (Germany), and I took a bus out to (London)derry. I actually have no idea what I should call it. This is the town where the troubles really went down (aside from Belfast). Today the effects of the troubles are still very obvious, as the town is decorated with passionate murals and split up by many stone walls and gates. The name of the town even depends on who you ask. Sunday Bloody Sunday was written about a shooting that occurred in this town in '72.
It's really quite eerie walking through these areas. I always feel extremely uncomfortable taking pictures of the murals since they're so emotional. However I feel they are a really good thing to capture, seeing as their purpose is to document what happened for future generations to see.
Here are a few examples:
First we went to the Derry (primarily Irish/Catholic) segment

Not only were there murals about the Northern Ireland conflict, but there were many dedicated to other struggles for peace all around the world. Even the United States was represented:

My favorite mural in the Derry area was the peace dove..mostly because of how much I like the symbol (hence my one and only tattoo). I was actually really excited to see this one because this was the design I wish I had gotten on my ankle, but thought of it too late. I do still love mine, but this one is just a really cool version
We then went onward to the other part of town. As we walked over the wind started to really pick up, and a freezing misty wet mess brought a damper to the afternoon. However, it did feel kind of appropriate to see these eerie places with such gloomy weather.

Not all of L'Derry was gloominess. It was actually a very cute Irish town decorated with brightly painted doors, cozy pubs, and small local shops. Seeing as it was Sunday, the entire town was pretty much shut down, but we did do a pretty significant walking tour. Lovely day for a Guinness (even though I actually just had tea because it was freezing.) :)

In other news,
Last night I did laundry at around 11 at night. Not just a little bit of laundry but like everything. Sheets, underwear, clothes, towels, the works. Just to find out the dryers were all broken. So last night my room was somewhat of a fortress, kind of like a tent that little kids would make out of cushions and sheets during a slumber party. I took pictures and I was going to put them up...but i realized there is no picture that doesn't have my underwear hanging off some doorknob or door frame or bed post, so none of that. This is a PG blog god damn it.

Anyways, go patriots. WHY on earth did I not try harder to make it to London tonight for the game. I've never even been to a Pats game in America, so this was my chance. not only was it New England vs Tampa (hometown pride), but it was probably cheaper for me to fly to London then it would be for me to drive and park at Gillette, AND my favorite ref of all time was there. ugh. next time this happens, ill be there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

change of plans

so really upsetting news tonight
long story short: they're not coming
but obviously the reasons leading up to the bottom line are the kickers
i love it here but being 3000 miles away is the last place that i feel like i should be :(

nutella and bananas and a few good friends

So I know I haven't updated on this thing in a little while, and some of you may think I'm a failure...but honestly I would have updated if there was anything to update about. Aside from classes, rain, running, and making a few delicious meals...this week has been pretty blah (or I guess as blah as life in a foreign country can get). Classes are really starting to pick up, and I'm now spending about 15-20 hours a week in the lab as well.

---Tribute to this weeks food.--------
So basically this week i ate a LOT of greek quinoa salad. It was a recipe that I've been curious about for weeks cause I really had no idea what quinoa was until I bought it. Who knew it was pronounced "keen-wah"... heh. It's soooo good, super high in protein and delicious. This pic looks pretty gross cause I took it of the last of the leftovers (4 days later? ha...i'm a struggling college student, if its there ill eat it.)
Anyways. Other meal highlights: it's butternut squash season. yum-o (i really hate myself for saying that. so that was also a lot of dinners. Especially butternut squash, cottage cheese, and raisins. Some haters may not appreciate this dream meal (cough RENOIR) but I think I could eat it every day and be happy. mmm

That's about it for the meals that I ate on my own. Anna Anna and I have gotten pretty good at making excellent feasts together. After a long day of classes/working/reading it's fun to chill with friends over good food and wine (of course). French Anna always goes wayyyy above and beyond and this weeks prime example:
Chicken, Asparagus, Rice, and Cab Sav

followed byyyyy CINNAMON ROLLS :)
It's good to have friends who like to cook.


To finish up the week of awesome food, we were going to go back to the market today for crepes again. However, the weather was looking gloomy and we wanted to save a few bucks we decided to bring the crepes to us baybay.

We got all the fixings you could want: bananas, nutella, honey, ham, cheese, cream cheese, tomatoes, and lots more I can't really remember

Of course, nutella and bananas is the no fail winner, and we each had..a couple. ha.
Doesn't get any better than that suckers.
Enough food.

So I spend a pretty significant amount of time in the lab every week without pay or credit. However, it's an awesome opportunity to work on some of my lab skills and to be a part of some real pharmaceutical genetic research.
So this is what I'm working on:
So there is this liver parasite called Fasciola hepatica that can infect both livestock and humans (although it is a pretty big problem in the UK with cows and sheep). Anyways, this liver parasite enters the body and then causes a disease cause Fasciolus, which can ultimately kill the host. Tthere is a drug (triclabenzadole) which can treat this disease in many cases. The lab I'm working in has found that there are 5 different genetic variations of the beta-tubulin protein, which triclabenzadole is expected to react with. Our goal is to find out WHICH of these variants the drug binds to. So that is what I do.
Yesterday I was in the lab for 10 hours, trying to purify the beta-tubulin protein from some cells that I had grown last week. I literally watched this thing drip for 6 hours. (on top of the 4 other hours I was doing other stuff. Man I better somehow get some kind of credit from NU for this..)
It was not glamorous, sexy work. It was actually boring as all hell. But it is what it is.

I did end up getting a lot done while watching the stuff drip away. I contacted about 80 bazillion potential sublets in Boston. I managed to find a few cheap/promising ones on the hill. Marie Awesome Defer is even going to tour one of them today for me. Hopefully I will not be homeless in January in Boston. Yay!

Speaking of Marie, I GOT A POSTCARD TODAY. Now I have a lovely reminder of the glorious Red Line zooming over the Longfellow bridge to look at everday. :)

Also- my family comes in less than a month now! I am excited beyond words...there is just too much fun that the O'Neill family can have in Europe..only good things can come from it.

Special good luck to Bill on his FE Exam today.
and special CONGRATS to ehud who finished the army this week!

Alright, well I should head to the gym. This mornings crepes were out of this world, but now I am feeling pretty ugh. My running has gotten much better, but my knee has gotten much worse. :(

Oh yes, I think I'm going on a day trip to Derry tomorrow, so maybe there will be a more exciting 'travel-esque' post by tomorrow night.

6 days until Amsterdam.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sunday mornin rain is fallin

what a great weekend its been. the weather held out for another perfect day yesterday, but all good things must come to an end:It was good seeing ya sunshine. Come back again soon.
Anyways, woke up semi early this morning (930ish), and went for a run! I've had a pretty bad cough all week so I haven't been able to do much cardio without hacking up a lung since the hike last weekend. I ran the long way to the gym, about 2 miles, then did a little while longer on the treadmill and did some other stuff to finish up. Now I'm back at home in my PJs for a little bit before hitting up the library. There seems to be a lot of fuss about the brilliance of oatmeal and all the glorious things that can be done with it, so for brunch I cooked up THIS:

Packet of quaker oats, skim milk, chopped up apple, half a banana, spoonful of almond butter, and 2 tablespoons of flakseed. This could be one of the greatest breakfasts I've ever enjoyed, especially after a workout on a cold rainy Sunday morning like this. I am excited to wake up tomorrow morning just to eat it again. mm.

So yesterday was another great one. After about 11 hours of solid sleep on Friday night, the Annas and I strolled downtown to check out St. George's Market. This place is probably my favorite things about the city of Belfast. On Fridays it's a vegetable farmers market/flea market, and on Saturdays it's more of a local artisans/bakers/wineries/cheese/salads/craftsmen/farmers market. There are tons and tons of tables set up filled with both local and exotic dishes and treats. You can also find just about any cheese you could imagine.

I had heard GREAT things about what some of the guys there could do with crepes, so Anna, Anna, and I headed over to one of those stands. There was so many different kinds, that it took us a while to decide
Finally, Anna (France) ended up with an egg ham & cheese, Anna (Sweden) went for the infamous Nutella (MmmmmmmMMm) and banana, and I had the shaved chicken breast with pesto and cheese. there are no words to describe how incredibly delicious that thing was. See you next Saturday handsome crepe man.

We stuck around a little while longer, while I found the ingredients for a salad I'm gonna make later. Then the three of us went home and took long naps for the rest of the afternoong.

Last night, me Laura (Belgium) and Rachel (Australia) went to the Waterfront Hall to see the poets Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley do poetry readings while being accompanied by the Ulster Orchestra. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it was, as I went in not knowing what to expect. The Ulster Orchestra would play a movement from a classical piece, and the Seamus and Michael would each read a poem that they had written having to do with different themes: love, nature, war, death. It was very very cool.

Being the person that I am, I lost my phone for a portion of the night. UGH I didn't even have Oktoberfest as an excuse this time. Anyways, after calling it excessively with Laura's phone, FINALLY the cab driver from earlier in the night picked up!! He ended up coming to pick us up at the end of the performance and returned my missing phone to me :) He didn't even charge us for the ride home because he thought I was a straight up idiot. Sometimes it pays to be an idiot.

Ended up the night with a party of International students. When I got home, I skyped Marie and friends at the Belgian Beerfest in Boston!!! It was so good to hear people's voices. Marie then went on to be a technological genius andtexted a bunch of pics from the beerfest to my email. It was great feeling that close to home for a bit. I miss home friends a lot despite how much fun I'm having here. Hope you all had a fun evening. :)

AH im running late, I was supposed to meet Anna and Anna 5 minutes ago for a fun filled day at the library. Peace all

Friday, October 16, 2009

hello day!

Today is just one of those absolutely great days. It's almost SIXTY degrees and SUNNY here in Belfast, which is completely unheard of. It's been cold, foggy, drizzling for days now so I had pretty much given up on seeing the sun again until my return to the good ol US of A. But au contraire:

jessymcl (3:15:11 PM): today is fucking freezing. never come back to new england
jessymcl (3:15:21 PM): howling winds and fuhreezing temps


I didn't wake up this morning with expectations of it being a great day. Last night was a late one. Some of us Americans introduced some European kids to the great American sport of "beer pong". Let's just say it was a hit. I've never seen people get so riled up over the game...making up ridiculous rules, and bad mouthing each other like I've never heard. (see pic of angry irish.)
It was hilarious. However it put a lot of pressure on us American kids to hold our own since we had been talking up all of our experience in the matter for weeks. Team Casey and Adar managed to hold it down. .

So post partay, some of us peaced out and headed over to the Globe for some dancing and good craic. Sean and I had some good convos about beer, and I met a couple of new Irish kids as well. Anyways, that ended late and bedtime didn't come until post 3am. oof.

7am. I'm up again and off to work in the lab! I'll do a whole post on what I'm doing there in a few days...when I have more of a good idea of what im actually doing there. Long story short: genetics research, and it's awesome. While some of my cells were spinning down (don't ask), I took a walk downtown to check out the St. George's market. So much fresh produce/meat/cheese/spices/etc! I love that place. I grabbed some grapes then headed back down to campus for my core workout class. Holy crap, that thing is a doozey, but totally worth it. Who knew I'd be cutting down on the beer belly in Ireland instead of building it up.

Back to the lab I went to do a few more things. I'm currently on a 2 hour break, waiting for more reactions to happen in the incubator. On the walk home, I was walking and came across my greatest discovery in Belfast thus far. Okay. That's an extreme overstatement because it's nothing that out of the ordinary for the US. But I found a small mom and pop health food store, with all the goodies of whole foods and trader joes, plus some other locally grown Irish things as well. I'm in love. This cute little old man helped me pick out some homemade almond butter :) and quinoa (to make this, I'll report back when it's accomplished). He even gave me a complimentary slice of amazing spinach pie, which I'm currently devouring. I gotta head back to the lab in about 20 to transfer my samples to the big freezer, and then im done for the weekend!!!!!

I can't believe I'm still running on less than 4 hours of sleep, but this day has just turned out to be so beautiful and productive that I'm just running on good vibes. I wish I had my camera today :(
Tonight Anna, Anna, Teddy, Sean, and I are going to see Terry Gilliam's Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassius. This is the movie that Heath Ledger died in the middle of making so Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrell took over the part. I'll let ya know how it is.

And tomorrow I'm going to see SEANUS HEANEY. It's really an amazing opportunity to see a living literary great.

I'm pretty sad that I'm missing out on yet another great beerfest in Boston (although Oktoberfest did fulfill my beerfest quota for a while...). I hope all you crazy kids have fun and take good pics

That's all for now, I'm headed back to the lab to be a voluntary genetics nerd for a little bit. Bye :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

still haven't done anything productive but...

Sorry, I dont go on dates to Church

I've come to a conclusion about why this blog will be successful: So as long as I have things I should be doing INSTEAD of writing in this, I will probably continue to write in this.
I made a to do list tonight consisting of reading about 100 pages worth of genetics papers, finishing my China presentation (yea..never really got to that last night), and be in bed early early early. So far none of those things have happened. BUT I do have pictures.

Today I woke up, and it was a typical Belfast weather day. Foggy and Freezing. This is the view from my glorious penthouse bedroom:That's basically what my building looks like too, if you want an idea. Since today was pretty uneventful besides classes (arguing about the existence of God in philosophy, jeesh.) and the gym (I ran!), I am going to give you a tour of my living quarters.
Welcome to bedroom. Look how bright and colorful it is. Doesn't my bed look cozy and inviting?
Next stop on our tour is another view of my bedroom. Welcome to my closet. This is where I keep my 90 pairs of shoes. Oh yeah, that IS my private bathroom/shower which is a pretty sweet feature that I will not be sarcastic about.
And then on our right, we have my DESK! I decided not to clean it for this picture because that would not be realistic. And this little tour is all about getting up close and personal.
Now we're going to totally leave my cozy living quarters to check out where I prepare all my delicious and nutritious meals. We each keep our food in those lockers. Some people are scared that other people are going to steal their cereal and chocolate and whatnot (who does that..) and have padlocks on their food. I have a little more faith in people.

Well that ends our tour. NOW for the main event of this post. My Dinner. Tonight I was feeling like something awesome so I cooked up a spinach, brie, and walnut stuffed portobello with half a sweet potato on the side. Please excuse all other extraneous items on my desk that make this picture more personal than it should be. If you don't know what I'm referring to then don't worry about it.

In other news, Angela and I are looking into getting an apartment together in Boston in the spring. Woo!
That's all for now. Shout out to Chris Chue who CGIU. Much love from Ireland my brotha.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby, Baby, Baby

So I'm feeling 100000% better today! I still have a pretty gross cough, but it's not the tight dry painful cough that I had yesterday and Saturday. I also have my energy back, and may even go for a run tomorrow? We'll see, I won't push it. I slept about 31 of the 36 hours between Saturday night and Monday morning. I also drank a whole carton of this miracle --->

Today was great in other ways as well (for a Monday)... Classes were alright. I don't know how well I'm going to do in philosophy. I think having a fundamentally scientific education puts me at a disadvantage because it's hard to think in the way they want me to. Of course I wonder about the big unknowns: God, perception, knowledge, ethics...but then a lot of people go on in my class to call science man's pigheaded way of wanting to have comforting answers to everything... especially with my speciality in genetics. Whatever, I'll make up answers that they want to hear to get by, but it's not going to be as easy as I thought.

Then I had Manipulative Genetics and Immunology. In between classes I was walking through campus and saw Hillary Clinton (!) being escorted by secret service and media! She was giving a talk on America's support of the peace process in Northern Ireland on campus I guess (and rocking a black and yellow pantsuit of course). It was so weird to see an American politician with celebrity status in a foreign country. No pictures :( sorry. Patrick and I then made plans to book Amsterdam tickets later this evening..

And yep! Book those tickets we did! I'm officially going to Amsterdam October 30-November 2 (missing philosophy class..oh boo...). We're staying at the Bulldog Hotel, which I've heard great things about. That's Halloween weekend, which I'm sure isn't even celebrated there, but we'll all celebrate on our own terms ;) .

After that Anna, Anna, and I made dinner. Gnocchi, Zucchini, and Tomato Soup. mmmmmmm :)

Okay! now i need to finish my damn presentation for the China trip I went on over the summer. American girl doing a project on China in Northern Ireland. oof. But it really makes me miss it. Great times. I wonder what that little girl is doing right now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hmm Let's Give This a Try

Well, I've been considering starting one of these puppies up for a while. With all the places I've been, people I've met, things I've seen, food I've enjoyed...a blog seemed like the most convenient and appropriate way to record everything. Not sure how diligent I'll be about updating or how long it'll last, but it's worth a shot. So here goes!

I wish there were awesome stories about my day today to update with since most of my days over here have been incredible...but today I'm sick. Like miserably sick :( I've slept 20 of the past 24 hours...fever, chills, cough, sore throat, nausea, achiness, the works. Well, I've had about half a gallon of orange juice today, so hopefully with all the rest and good ol vit C I'll be back to my old self in no time.

I can't say I had nothing to do with the onset of this though. I woke up yesterday feeling pretty terrible, but still went for an amazing hike in the Mourne Mountains! I took a bus with a bunch of people from Queens to Newcastle, then proceeded to attempt to conquer Slieve Donard. The hike was incredibly beautiful, and the view from the top of the first peak was unparalleled. Mountains. Ocean. Rolling Irish fields. After this peak, I started to feel pretty terrible. The cough got worse and I was feeling feverish so Taylor and I headed down on our own while the others proceeded to conquer the tallest peak. I hate that I didn't get the chance to finish, but hopefully there will be another opportunity to try it again before I leave.

We explored Newcastle a little before catching a Bus back to Belfast. We found a small oceanside cafe called the Seasalt Bistro. Taylor got a mushroom, cheese, and tomato relish panini, and I got a celery and chorizo soup, both with tea to drink. It was a perfect chilly day post hike meal :)

After that we found an awesome beer store downtown. The selection of beers was ridiculous, most of them were weird ones that I had never heard of in my life. The Skull Splitter was my personal favorite, and I picked up a bottle to bring home.

I'm not getting homesick in the least yet, however I am missing certain people and the fact that I'm missing New England autumn. I would also pay big bucks to get Bode shipped over here for this flu business. I've officially been here a month on Wednesday. So much has happened, who knows what the next two have in store.

Well, thats all for now! I'll probably go to sleep again in a few and hopefully not wake up until tomorrow when I have to go to class.

I'd call update #1 a success. Peace :)