Thursday, May 14, 2009


So it would appear I had forgotten all about this.
Or maybe not all about it, but enough so as to not have posted anything in 10 days.
Captions are on all the Italy pictures. Still need to do Switzerland and Signs.
Went to London, Stonehenge/Salisbury, and Dover with Jake and his mom the 1st-3rd; writeup coming soon; pictures coming later.
Had an essay due last Friday, that's why I didn't write last week, was working on that.

Now for a breif tangent that has nothing to do with my travels or studying, and all to do with my top 10 favorite movies.
Like many people, I like some movies more than others. Up until Friday, my top 10 consisted mostly of Pirate movies, cult classics, and chick flicks. This isn't to say I don't like action movies, it's just that there isn't too much room in the top 10 for them, once you get past all 3 pirates movies, Amelie, Rocky Horror, Moulin Rouge, Princess Diaries, Pride & Predjudice, Real Genius and The Great Race. But I do love the Terminator series, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, while not the best acting, are pretty awesome movies too. Then you have your obligatory, I-read-and-liked-Harry-Potter-so-I-must-like-all-5-movies, although the director for the third one sucked and I really don't like watching it. And then there's all those other movies that I like watching, but I think I might just stop listing them now so I can actually get to my point. Although I need to add that Johnny Depp movies should also be in the top somewhere, but I'm not sure where they all fit in. I'm begining to suspect that there isn't a "top 10" but more of a "giant conglomeration of movies I like watching repeatedly." Annnyway....
My point is this:
Pirates of the Caribbean, the Curse of the Black Pearl (hereafter to be referred to simply as Pirates) is (was????) my favorite movie of all time, outshining previous favorites. I'd go so far as to say it's my favorite Disney movie as well, but I like to think of Disney movies as the animated ones, and in that case it would be Beauty & the Beast. But--- When Pirates was in theatres, I saw it twice. I had never before seen a movie twice in theatres. I would have seen it more, but if I remember correctly, I was poor and couldn't afford to. Even if I had been able to afford it, I probably only would have seen it a third time and stopped at that, mostly because it's really hard for me to justify spending $9 to see a movie in theatres more than once when the DVD will cost somewhere between $15 and $20. So apart from how awesome Pirates is, the mere fact that I saw it more than once in theatres would probably be enough to classify it as one of my top 10 movies.
At this point, I'd like to describe the reasons I usually go see movies for. I'm sure that a lot of you have the same reasons.
1- The preview made it look cool.
2- It's part of a series of movies.
3- Everyone else is going, the movie doesn't look that bad, it'll be fun.
4- It's an adaptation of a book I like.
5- It has Johnny Depp in it.
6- It's one of those movies that you know everyone is going to see, so I'd have no idea what they were talking about if I didn't go.
Sometimes I see a movie for a combination of reasons. When I decided to see Star Trek, it was because of a combination of numbers 1, 5, and 6, only replace Johnny Depp with Zachary Quintos from Heros. It was also because I had just handed in an essay and felt like I deserved some sort of reward. (I routinely bribe myself in order to get my work done on time.)
I'm not a Trekkie, never have been, never thought I would be. Dad tried to get me to watch when I was little, I'm sure, but the only Star Trek I can remember watching is the episode with the tribbles, and most of the movie with the whales. That's it. So I walked into Star Trek with the expectation that I probably wouldn't know what was going on. But that since I have several friends who are Trekkies, I felt like I ought to go, just to give it a chance. Plus, Zachary Quintos (Sylar) was playing Spock. So the acting wouldn't be terrible even if I didn't get what was going on.
Long story (slightly) short(er): We liked it so much we got tickets to the next showing and saw it a second time.
I liked it so much I went back yesterday and saw it for a third time.
THREE TIMES IN THEATRES. I have a feeling this means it's in my top 10 by default. Also, I'm planning on seeing it more, but not until I get back to the US.
I'm not sure what this says about me. But I'm going to be watching Star Trek in the fall. Like, the real Star Trek.
It's like I had Trekkie-ness sprung on me.... I feel like I had no say in this.

....Yeah, that is totally not neccessary for half of you to know about, but.... if you haven't seen it, go see it, you'll probably like it. It's really funny.

I very nearly missed the train to London, got there with 4 minutes to spare. It's a damn good thing my watch is like 6 minutes fast. Then an uneventful two hour train ride to London. We go drop my stuff off at the hotel room, then went and wandered around and got dinner. We went by Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye.... Went across the river and back, then eventually it got dark and we went back to the hotel and slept.
Woke up Saturday, went to the train station, waited in a really long line to get train tickets, missed one train by like 2 minutes, if that, and waited for the next one. Eventually we got to Salisbury and had some time before the next bus to Old Sarum/Stonehenge left, so we went to the Cathedral for a bit to see it, then went back and caught the bus to Old Sarum. For those of you who don't know, Old Sarum is a castle. Well, it's what's left of a castle, which isn't very much. But it was cool. There were sheep nearby, so we went and looked at them on the way back to the bus stop. Then we got the bus to Stonehenge, and looked at it.... I feel like it has been overhyped my whole life. Yeah, they're big and impressive and all... but... I guess it would have been more impressive if we had been allowed to go out and touch them and stand next to them instead of 20-50 feet back from them. Then we went back to Salisbury and had dinner at the Red Lion, where Jake proceeded to leave his backpack again. Didn't realize it till we were on the train though, and he didn't want to go back and get it since it only had a waterbottle in it. Then back to the hotel and sleep.
Woke up, went to a different train station, got the train to Dover. Then we walked to the castle there, which was huge and still in one piece. I liked it because of how big it was, but I think I'm still partial to the falling down castles. We spent most of the time there, then went down to the beach to try and see the white cliffs, but they were kind of around the corner from the castle, so we didn't get a good view. If you were out in the bay/harbor it would have been a better view. Then we got on the train back to London and I got on the train to Leeds.

Pictures from all that will be up eventually. Probably not for a while- tomorrow we leave for Amsterdam/Paris, get back on the 21st, I have a final on the 22nd, then we're going to do things around Leeds, then 24-27 we're going to London, then studying for a final that I have on the 29th, then we'll be here until June 6th when we go to London, 7th we head home.

So that is what I have been up to lately. I'll try and do captions on all the pictures that need them today. Might get around to putting otheer ones up, but that might have to wait till the 30th or so. Not sure.


Anonymous said...

UM and I felt the same way about Stonehenge - more impressive if there was no fence or "path" for tourists to stay on.

And I think we also ate at the Red Lion when we were in England. And we visited Salisbury- saw the Cathedral also. Did you get to see the Magna Carta while there? How about the room filled with small terra cotta figures?
I don't think we went to Old Sarum, but I know of a book about it...

Can't wait to see the rest of your pics - will go back and read the captions for Italy.

Take care -


Anonymous said...

There is no shortage of Trek in our room.


- John



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