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Marc Goes Home

December 20, 2009

I don’t actually know if I want to write this post, because I feel like I’m just not going to do any justice to what should be written.

I am going home.

In 13 hours, 20 minutes, and a variety of seconds.

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Marc Liveblogs As… He Packs.

December 20, 2009

2:25 pm. My flight home leaves in 21 hours. No big.

2:31. Packing is probably one of the saddest things a person can do. I don’t think it should be called packing. Packing is miserable. Why can’t it be called something else, like “adventureluggaging” or “funbagging”?

2:37. A real champ stuffs his socks INTO his shoes. I am a packing GENIUS.

2:39. When you haven’t done laundry for 2 weeks, you find yourself lining dirty clothes with other equally-if-not-more dirty clothes. My room smells like the Great Depression.

2:45. Currently on my packing playlist: the violin song that the band plays in “Titanic” when the ship is sinking. iTunes, you know me well.

2:55. This would go by so much faster if I stopped stopping to blog.

3:28. I put on Nip/Tuck in the background since iTunes was not pleasing me. This, it seems, was not a good choice for efficiency purposes.

4:42. These suitcases are absolutely over 50 pounds.

6:41. Turns out baggage is 23 kg, which is 50.6 pounds. I will RUIN those 1.2 extra pounds.

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Marc Celebrates Hanukkah AND Christmas!

December 20, 2009

What a festive week it was here in Fundon!

Sunday, I met my extended family for the first generally second time, the first technically being when I was still trolling around London in a stroller. Not only did I see a different part of London (Jewish suburbs! They DO exist!), but I got to connect with some genuinely amazing family members who I had only previously known about in family tree mythology. I’ve got cousins getting married (not to each other — this is London, not Louisiana), cousins having babies, and just a whole bunch of great family that I had never met. And what’s really awesome is how assimilated I am into British culture. If I had met these people a year ago, I would have been so preoccupied with their accents; now, it’s secondhand, and I don’t consider them my “British extended family” so much as they are simply “extended family that lives in Britain.” I hope that makes sense. British accents are a tricky thing, especially for all the American boffs out there.

Wednesday, though, was our flat’s Christmas dinner, entitled “A Very Basics Christmas.” Now, you know how I feel about Sainsbury’s basics, but this dinner was surprisingly awesome in terms of food quality. As for the quality of the dinner experience as a whole… I pretty much knew it was going to be incredible. Don’t believe me? Watch the video.

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Marc Gets Politically Correct!

December 9, 2009

Had a big conversation with the Brits — Ashley, Jo and Leanne — today. Guess what Steve and I learned? How to be PC in England!

1. You can’t say “brainstorm” — it’s “thoughtshower.”
This is not a joke. Brainstorm is, apparently, offensive to people with epilepsy.

2. You can’t say “fat” — it’s “horizontally-challenged.”
Again, also not a joke. You can say “obese,” but frankly, that’s not fun to say at all.

3. You can’t sing “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” — it’s “Baa, Baa, Rainbow Sheep.”
I didn’t even know people still sang this song anyway.

4. Teachers are not allowed to grade in red pen — it’s too aggressive.
A soothing green is apparently the only option. Also, no X’s are allowed. They’re “unconstructive.”

5. All black people are called African-Americans… even in Britain.
It doesn’t make sense to Steve or me, either.

6. UK students are allowed to identify themselves as Scottish, Welsh, English, or British. But only one.
Weird. That’s like me identifying as “Californian” or “American.” Or, in another favorite example, as “American” or “Earth citizen.”

So, yes, I’m learning to PC. Just in time, right? I’m off to go have a good thoughtshower.

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Marc vs. Backdraft

December 8, 2009

4am fire alarm? What is this, freshman year?

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Marc Has Feelings

December 7, 2009

Amazing places I went this weekend.
And why they make me sad.

I went to Harrod’s.
I, unfortunately, cannot afford anything in Harrod’s.

I went to Bond Street to shop.
I, similarly, cannot afford anything on Bond Street.

I went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
I, unluckily, live in the stupid 21st century and not the 17th.

I went to Buckingham Palace.
I, regrettably, do not own a palace.

I saw Avenue Q.
They, unsurprisingly, could not speak with American accents without sounding like Sling Blade.

I went to Hyde Park.
I, still, do not have a park named after me.

I went to the Tower of London.
I, sadly, did not get to see any devices of torture, as the brochure promised.

I went to Starbucks.
I, pitifully, could not find a place to sit and drink my caramel hot chocolate.

I visited the Millennium Bridge that got destroyed in the sixth Harry Potter movie.
Harry was not there.

I went to the Tate Britain.
I, unfortunately, went to the Tate Britain.

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Marc Avoids Umbrellas

December 2, 2009

“I hate London when it’s not raining.”
– Groucho Marx

My man Groucho speaks the truth. Kind of. The weather today has been warmer than usual — that is, there’s no biting cold that immediately makes you want to pull your scarf tight enough to be considered a cashmere iron lung. But halfway through the day, of course, the rain began while I was getting my haircut (or, getting my hair…cut). To say that London weather has been good to me would be an understatement. We didn’t actually get rain until probably the 5th week that I was here, and even then, it was sporadic up until the middle of November. By that point, it had started pouring every day, and we had one storm that was apparently the worst of the year. But there is a distinct difference between days with and without bad London weather. And I don’t like it.

On a day that I wake up and the weather is gloomy, I feel fantastic. On the days when it’s bright as hell and the sun is bursting into my room, it actually makes me upset. I’m all for beautiful days — and I’m relieved that we got them while we were in Venice, Rome, Scotland, etc. But when I come to London, I want rain and clouds and coldness thrown at me. I don’t want the damn sun. I can get that any time back in California.

So yes, I agree with Groucho. When there’s no rain in London, it’s no different than any other city with funky architecture and random patches of history. This weekend there’s supposedly going to be a ton of rain coming in, and I’m ready to splash!

Also, I’ve refused to use my umbrella. It’s a great little umbrella, and I got it at Wal-Mart for a great price… but unfortunately, I hate using my umbrella. I’d rather walk into a building with a shaggy head of wet hair and go, “Yeah, I was in the rain” than walk in boring and bone-dry. Rain builds character.