Friday, January 30, 2009

At walk-in clinic at Whitechapel.

Here because of a very uncomfortable ongoing choking feeling in my
lower throat I've had a few times over the years, but has been
constant for 5 days now including waking me up at 3'AM last night.

Care here is free, save for a £7.50 prescription fee, even though I'm
not yet registered with NHS (the national healthcare system for
England.) While the center is seedy, the price is right.  

After 2 hours in the waiting room, I spoke with the Doctor for almost 40 min about her family and India, and then for about 10 minutes about my sickness.  Although I was really feeling for the girl in the waiting room with the obvious bladder infection, the chat was really quite enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Annie and coworkers come to London.

I have had an excellent time over the last two nights.  Annie's crew came to town to promote the show. (-names intentionally omitted-) The first night I didn't bring my camera and the iPhone has again let me down with its poor performance in low light.  That night we had a great evening at a pub/club complete with a spirited impromptu game of go-fish and the newly invented dancing dominos.  The loser(s) were punished with their choice of either a shot of j├Ągermeister or a cartwheel that one must conduct stealthily in order to not get kicked out of the joint.  The paparazzi proved an interesting experience.  They were even taking pictures as a certain guy in our party came out of the bathroom stall.  No shame.

The second night we hopped around to some different clubs where we danced and and eventually ended up back at their hotel until 6AM or so enjoying the 'honesty bar' where I honestly signed others' names and ate some most excellent room service.

You know you've really had a fun night when it is complete with sparklers, a 70 yr old bagpiper, the airplane position, street-sign climbing, handstands, dancing, and naked pictures (of a drunk scotsman during an unfortunate kilt incident). 

In the composed group picture taken at Covent Garden Apple Market, those pictured are:
Me, Kev, an actor from the show, Annie, the director, his wife, and three producers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A little color..

Today I colored my hair on a whim for the first time in 10 years.
I love this little salon. Aki (my hairdresser) and I had a great time
for the 3 hours I was there. He is Japanese and has been here for 5
years. Didn't know a word of English when he arrived and now he is
very fluent. Started dreaming in English after 2 years. He gave me
the most excellent neck massage even though he alluded to it being
forbidden. He said that when he was working at a different salon as
an assistant (only did shampooing) the customers always lined up for
his hair washing station. I like the blonde, but Aki and I were both
hoping for a little more blonde so I am returning on Tuesday for a
little fix.
This picture of SJP was the one I brought in for reference.

Update: I had it fixed today. Major improvement. He basically did the same exact thing as before, but left the toner in longer so as to make it more golden rather than platinum.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Sunny Sunday

Every Sunday, Kevin and I go to the local Up Market to enjoy the most excellent Ethiopian food.

Fun with my new Lumix

The building to the left of the church is a pub called Ten Bells. It has changed names many times over the years, but has now returned to the name it held when Jack the Ripper went there to pick up his victims. It has been open since 1666.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Liverpool Street Station sighting on 1/15/09

Kevin spotted this today while walking by on his lunch break, promptly texted me and I ran over there to capture this mock 'Flash-Mob' on my new camera. Unfortunately I had to break it down into 2 low quality movies instead of the 1/2 gig HD movie I originally shot. It was really awesome to witness.

(Need to copy and paste.)

It was actually just a T-Mobile commercial, but real people were also just walking through randomly as it wasn't obvious because the cameras were on the 2nd level where I was standing. The only thing that could be seen as suspicious was the sheer amount of attractive people in any one given area in London.

I seriously want to become involved in this Flash-Mob business.

Disappointing Immigration

I was ready to dance through UK customs for the first time visa-in-hand, but was saddened at the total absence of officials at entry because I entered via Dublin.

A side note: lately I've had some great vegetarian fare on the airplanes with my special meal request. While my Aer Lingus meal (above) was quite good, I think the best I've had so far was United.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My new prosumer camera.

After seeing the Annie Leibowitz exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in December, I've really been inspired to capture beautiful Europe with finer equipment.

I went in search for a new breed- a prosumer (not professional, not consumer) camera. It is the perfect combination of being lightweight and small like a point-and-shoot, while having the awesome ability of attaching lenses like an SLR.

I bought this excellent silver Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 for less than $400. It shoots HD video and has awesome micro-photo capability as well as a very wide 24mm lens. I've shot 1 gig worth of pictures and video over the last 2 days. I'm glad I recently upgraded to a terabyte drive.

All dryers not created equal.

I had no idea the technology of hairdryers had changed so much over the last 10 years since I last bought one. I had my first revolutionizing ionic hair drying experience recently while in Fort Lauderdale. Thank you, Caroline. The 'ions' made my hair not only smooth and straight, but also shiny for seemingly the first time ever. I don't understand it; it just works.

So recently, I went on a search for the perfect affordable ionizing hairdryer. Mat and I spent a few days reading and standing in overwhelming aisles before we finally we decided that one particular Revlon from Target was as good as any.
After taking it home and being severely disappointed, I promptly returned it the next morning.

I eventually bought the awesome Bed Head "Light Me Up" Active Ionic Dryer (The same that Caroline has.) for $30 from Marshalls and I've brought it back to the UK.
Now I only need to find the perfect converter so it doesn't blow up upon plugging into these surging UK outlets.