Saturday, June 19, 2010

Impending Doom Syndrome

Greetings from across the pond! I've finally got around to blogging for the first time since I've been in London. Okay, I just made it sound like I'm way busier than I am. I was just too lazy. But here it is, folks! Blog abroad entry numero uno.

Let me open by saying I thought I saw a dead body on the way to the tube station this morning. While walking with my friend Callum, I suddenly noticed a pair of feet... and then some legs.. and I freaked out when I realized it was a man lying face down in the dirt under a bush! He was fully dressed in a suit and had a bag or briefcase next to him, so I figured he couldn't be homeless. Callum guessed he just hit the booze too hard last night and decided to pass out on the ground. Nearly gave me a heart attack!

Now onto the basics. I'm living in a terraced house in Kennington with four other girls. I really like them all so far :) My internship is at Alphabet Advertising on Old Street and I'm enjoying it very much! I've been working on a print ad geared toward tourists for a campaign for the London Transport Museum. The people in charge seem to like my ideas so with any luck they will use one of them! Last Tuesday I got to go on an assignment (how cool) and actually visited the museum because the people at Alphabet wanted to know what I thought of it in my humble American opinion. Let me tell you, I loved it! It was so interesting to see how London really did evolve alongside its transportation.

Speaking of transportation, I take the Tube everyday to and from work and/or to go out at night. I love the Tube. I see so many different types of people and have a good time trying to blend in. I'll admit I'm somewhat embarrassed to be thought of as a tourist. After all, I've been here six or seven times now and after this summer I'll have lived here for a cumulative period of a year. But not looking American is particularly tough for someone like me, an American. And I'm about as American as American Cheese with my blonde hair, blue eyes and J. Crew shorts. I don't have that cool culturally-ambiguous look that might get people wondering just where I'm from. No, they're probably wondering what I did with my cowboy hat and boots. To dress like a Londoner/British person, you must realize that the weather sucks here. It's not summer - it's cold. And I can't seem to grasp the concept of "layering" because every time I try I end up ... well, not layering. I understand this is really a simple thing.. it's actually the most basic, I-don't-even-know-why-I'm-blogging-about-it idea, but I seriously can't seem to do it! I say to myself, "okay, Paige, it's getting chilly out there, you'd better layer." And then I end up walking out the door in a tank top and a cardigan and some sandals. I'll get it sooner or later. Oh, another nice image aside from me having intense difficulty getting dressed is me falling down the stairs last week. Twice. But I wouldn't be who I am without bruises all over me, so I guess I'm just subconsciously making sure I don't change too much while I'm abroad.

On a more serious note, I'd like to mention that during my exploration of Google Earth the other day (which I am seriously going to make a habit because I didn't really realize Africa was where it is...) I went to look if there was any satellite imagery of the oil spill in the Gulf. This tragedy is one to which we should all be paying close attention; it's going to forever change our world. For us who don't work in the oil business it is so hard to fathom why they can't plug up this hole. Day after day, barrels and barrels of oil are pouring into the ocean. It really seems like a nightmare; like the end of the world. And the experts don't even know how long we will be dealing with this disaster. The effects of the BP catastrophe may extend far beyond our lifetimes. As President Obama said in the newspaper I was reading over a fellow Tube passenger's shoulders yesterday, the time to find alternative energies is now. There is an exhibit at the London Transport Museum that shows four possible routes for the future of our world in relation to energy. You can see it at

Using "tree hugger" as an insult is no longer viable. If you're not concerned about our planet and the energy crisis, you are living in a dream world. Sometimes I have the tendency to express symptoms of my "IDS," or "Impending Doom Syndrome." I got it from my grandmother, Dolly Sherwood. It is known by all the Sherwoods that Dolly would be the one to worry that if someone puts a hot iron too close to the edge of a table and someone bumps that table, the iron could fall onto the pile of laundry below, ignite it, and burn the whole house down. And the smoke from the fire could get in the flight path of a helicopter flying over the house at that very instant and cause the pilot to choke and go blind, sending his passengers and himself into a downward spiral, crashing into the orphanage that could be below. But when it comes to the future of our sacred Planet Earth, let's all try and think a little bit harder about what could happen as a result of our actions. Let's all have a little bit of IDS, shall we?

I realize this blog entry is far too long. My apologies to all and especially those who stayed with me throughout.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Be My Guest

I don't understand it when a person has bad manners when he is a guest in someone's house. I know whenever I am at a friend's house and we have a case of the drunchies I always clean up after myself. Put the dishes in the dishwasher, put the food away, etc. And I don't eat all their food. Usually. Most times when I have people over, which I do quite frequently, I have to clean up after everyone leaves. That's fine; it comes with the territory. I usually get help collecting beer cans and bottles, which is a very nice guest-ure. However, today when my dad got home he made a strange discovery and asked me if anyone I had over last night was crazy. I think he meant certifiably as opposed to the kind of crazy I am because someone decided to go into my pantry and smell or taste all the jars of peanut butter, jam, sauce and things of the like. Unopened or opened - didn't matter to this guy. And all the tops were off! It was like freakin' Mardi Gras for non-perishables in there. Who does that?!

It is important to be a good guest. It is also important not to be a freaking weirdo and remove the lids from multiple jars of food for no good reason. There is no good reason for doing that. It's weird. Especially if it's not even your house.