Saturday, February 15, 2014

EEEEE! my friends are coming!

yay! tomorrow my friends jenn and irene are coming to london! i'm pretty excited. hopefully i will go and meet them at their hotel and get lunch and then just general hanging out until i take one of the last trains back. i had originally planned on staying in ldn with them but due to science taking over my life, it's not proving possible. sigh.

luckily, tomorrow's weather is looking up. for the past few weeks it has practically been a monsoon over here. the whole south of england is epically flooded - like legit homes underwater and some towns having to be abandoned. my school, as well as most of the town, sits up on a couple of hills but down in the valley aka town centre with all of the shopping and pubs etc. the river has flooded well over its banks, up over a foot/bike path and up the seat part of some benches. the sun is out now but it the weather was bipolar for all of the morning switching from darks skies and violent downpours to beautiful blue minimally cloudy skies. ridiculous.

typical england.

i love going into london and i can't wait to see my friends! i think they may even come out to see my school! must clean my disaster of a room...


Sunday, February 2, 2014

first cheer comp!

on the top of my usual agenda is cheerleading.  on saturday my team had our first competition of the year and it went so well!  first place :) very proud.  i must have watched the video 100 times already! we have a few things to work on for our next comp, which will be much bigger and against a lot more teams, but we can definitely nail it.  i think our coach may add a few more difficulty items to get our points higher, too, but overall our scoresheet was impressive!  can't wait for the next one!

Sarah, Bianca, Anna, and me!

24 out of 30 of our team members + our first place trophy!

Coach Dan, me, and le trophy

time to go win some more!


Friday, January 31, 2014


decisions, decisions.

i'm trying to decide where to go this spring break.  i'm already booked on a cheerleading trip the first week to salou, spain (yay!) but have two weeks afterwards to galavant around europe, much like i did last year (if you recall, luxembourg, belgium, and the netherlands).  here are my options:

option 1: i have always wanted to go to germany so it is on the top of my list.  also, a friend of a friend is doing study abroad outside munich so i could potentially have a guide one day or at least some helpful tips.  i could do similar things to my benelux trip last year where i just get a eurail pass and go to various german cities.  negatives about this trip include only seeing one country and not speaking the language.  positives include cost, ability to do what i want when i want to do it, and making myself get back in to learning german.

option 2a: a friend i met in amsterdam last year recommended contiki tours - they do tours for 18-35's. he said it was great as there are lots of solo travelers but even those who are coupled up or small groups are still really friendly and open and that they all have loads of fun.  he had been on a few, too, so had lots of advice and what i felt were valid opinions and suggestions. i found a tour called "berlin to budapest" that looks really awesome - 11 days, 10 nights traveling from berlin through prague, vienna, bratislava, and ending in budapest.  i would love to see hungary as my grandmother's family - the one who just passed away - came from hungary.  negatives about this trip are cost (almost $2k) and timing; it starts in berlin on april 12th and i get back to london on the 11th from spain so i would have to do laundry, get minimal rest, and book it to the airport early the next morning.  positives are the amount of cities and countries i would get to see and that i would have a guided tour in places where i didn't understand the language.

option 2b: another contiki tour option - greek islands and turkey.  while i do want to see greece and turkey, i kind of had my heart set on germany.  this trip, though, had lots of positives that i can't ignore.  negatives are not getting to see germany (yet) and some of the reviews made it sound like you didn't get to spend too much time in each place and that a lot of the time is spent on a cruise ship that also has non-contiki guests, i.e. families and elderly folk.  positives are price (much less, i think only about $700), timing/duration, and again the benefit of a guided tour in places where i don't understand the language.

of course there are a million other options, but these are kind of the ones i've settled on at the moment.  i'm not sure what my reader base is like, but can anyone who stumbles upon this post happen to offer any thoughts on my choices?


Thursday, January 30, 2014

harry, my little monster

harry is my little special christmas savior.  coming home to an empty house was devastating (well, there are my cats and of course parents but it wasn't the same without my baby jordan).  still more was my grandmother's house, but we will save that for another post and i will try to keep this one upbeat.

while still in england, i began browsing, which i think i mentioned in a previous post (but it's been so long since i last wrote, who knows!) and found this adorable dog leah.  well, lo and behold leah got adopted (yay!) but i was still hooked out this shelter.  it was very near to my parents' house and it appeared they train and treat the dogs well as it was also a training centre so i kept browsing their pets.

i want to take a side bar here and say that apparently, this shelter had some issues a few years ago - the old owner wasn't properly feeding or giving attention to the dogs.  this has completely changed and the new owner is wonderful, as are the staff/volunteers.  the dogs are so happy, have plenty of toys and treats, a lot of which are donated by people who got their dogs from this kennel.  it was such a nice place!

i came across two black lab puppies but really thought a puppy was too much work and would be too hyper; these things proved true but i don't want to jump ahead.  they were both male "older" puppies, around 6 months.  they also had a cute 5 y/o female black lab who i decided was the one... until my mom called the shelter and was told she wasn't available, but they did have a 2 y/o female yellow lab (yet the 5 y/o is still listed on their site and harry has been taken off so i'm confused as to why she is still listed... anyways...).

my dad was not pleased with my mother and i as he did not want to get another dog this soon (yet he is an animal person so whatever) but through my deep depression, we decided to get one.  we went on sunday december 22nd and met the 2 y/o female.  she.  was.  in.  sane.  super jumpy (she kept over the play area fence!) and once we ran out of treats, wanted nothing to do with us but look out windows.  my mom had also spotted another dog sitting quietly in his room when we walked by, not acting like a nut like the rest of them.  we decided to meet him, too.

i had seen him online - "hercules" - one of the male black puppies (he was 8 months by this point).  online he didn't seem very cute, a little awkward-shaped but in person he was the cutest thing.  we met him, too, and played with him and he interacted with us and i liked us more than the female did.

he was it.

we couldn't take him home that day because my dad had to meet him.  which meant we had to convince him to come to the shelter.  i think i made him feel bad because he met us the next day after work and we took home my new baby!  we renamed him harry - i chose it because of the similar sounds, not because of harry styles, prince harry, or even harry potter (though if it were any, it would be the last).

harry came, originally, from a shelter in arkansas called "last chance arkansas."  i think they saved dogs from kill shelters and "distribute" them to other shelters like the one we got harry from; i think they actually had several dogs from arkansas there.  i really hope the yellow lab gets a home soon - it was hard to "choose" a dog and it did break my heart to have to leave her there, but it just wasn't meant to be; we bonded better and "fit" better with little harry.

some personality bits we have learned so far: harry does not like the cats.  they won't play with him and are jerks, but to be fair, harry is also a jerk getting all up in their shit (sometimes literally).  they will be friends one day, i'm sure.  charlie (fat beastly cat) used to like to go outside with jordan but after jordan passed away, was too afraid to be alone out there.  come spring time i'm sure charlie will appreciate harry more when they play outside.

be prepared for more posts like this one and some remembering jordan.  i love them both.  dogs are the best things ever - jordan was always there for me during rough times and harry has already supported me with the loss of both jordan and my grandmother even if he doesn't know it yet.  i'm so happy we were able to rescue him!

"so i'm sitting.  where the hell is my treat?"

christmas 2013



i'm back!

ok, so this may have taken the cake as longest absence from this blog but i really need to be fair on myself and hope to be given some sort of break by my avid readers.  the last few months have been very difficult since coming back to england for my final year.  first, i was in and out of the hospital (love the health system here, by the way!).  then i lost my jordan.  then i lost my grandma.  and i couldn't get home for the funeral.  to say life has been trying would be an understatement.  it was all this grief and stress and on top of it i was trying to run a cheerleading squad and do adequate lab work.

i've just had my last exam yesterday.  it went super awesomely (i think?) but i also had an exam last week which did not go so super awesomely.  i told myself i wouldn't write a blog post until the revision was done so here i am.  i still have to make a research poster (literally need to be done with draft one tonight) but i'm giving myself a little slack.

we have our first cheerleading competition this weekend!  so excited and nervous.  i threw out my back last wednesday and subsequently couldn't practice the rest of wednesday or friday at all. even yesterday i only half-assed stuff due to le injury.  one of our flyers busted her knee and can't lock it out (FML) so we may have some awkward routine missing a person.  sigh.

unrelated to my general dramas of life, but in my distracted mind this past week i was thinking about blogging and how i hadn't been on here in eons.  i was thinking, maybe i should just start a new one, start fresh?  maybe make more of a general one to get some click traffic?  my thoughts today are similar but less destructive of this blog than last week.  i think i will keep this one as my personal blog buy maybe will start a more general one.  i've already thought up some great topics i can word vomit about that both interest me and are more general about life:
- stuff i like (make-up products, foods, etc)
- books and reviews (i read so many books, how the hell am i not reviewing any?)
- cheerleading!
- science (obv)
- travel
have any other suggestions?  i want to keep it in the scope of shit that interests me and i can have a valid opinion on.  for example, i would not write about this year's winter olympics luge teams because i have no idea about it, who they are, or even how to luge but i would write about cheerleading because i run this show.  heh.

well it's breakfast time.  i was all set to watch my US shows online only to discover that none of them aired new episodes last night!  (i'm talking to you, CSI and criminal minds!  jerks.)  so sad.  netflix just isn't doing it for me over here - the selection is incredibly slimmer not to mention they cut half of the (children's) programmes i liked watching (hey! arnold, por ejemplo).  i will hopefully see you clowns soon... especially because i need to talk about my christmas/birthday present, harry!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

i miss my baby

i know, i still have a lot of updating to do, but the last three weeks have been hard.  in addition to losing my best friend, i've also been quite ill and had to deal with school and cheerleading.  (on a bright note, LOVE the health care in this country!)

i allowed myself to browse today.  it was painful.  i couldn't stop crying from a combination of things: first of all, it made me miss jordan all the more.  i love him and will never stop loving him.  second, i felt like i was cheating on him - only three weeks gone and i'm already looking for another dog!  what kind of heartless bitch must i be?  but third, and the main reason i was looking, is because of all these dogs and other pets that don't have homes.

i don't want to - and could never - replace jordan.  i got him as a tiny little munchkin, had him his whole life, and he was always there for me when i was happy or sad through some tough years.  he was just like me in every way - stubborn, did what he wanted when he wanted, and had this was to make you feel guilty when he didn't get his way.  i think he would want us to get another dog - another dog to keep my dad occupied, to bring smiles, to greet you when you come home (because let's be real, cats: the difference between dogs and cats), and to carry on his legacy.

i found a black lab straight away that i fell in love with and i can't explain.  i tried hard to not get attached - and am still trying - because maybe she is already adopted or maybe we would not be a good fit for her or maybe my parents won't let me get her.  my mother is printing off her picture to guilt my father.  perfect heather/jordan method to get what we want.  we shall see.

i described her as an early christmas present.

jordan, doing what he wanted and not caring that my parents did not want him in the bushes.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

to the best dog in the world

forget writing about my spain trip, i need to talk about something else and writing about this will help me, i think... i hope.

i lost my best friend yesterday; my parents told me this evening.  my baby, who i raised, who felt like my actual human son.  he was there for me when i was sad, when i was happy, and when i was cooking spongebob mac and cheese as my afternoon snack.  he dealt with my rubbing the tips of his ears between two fingers to feel how soft he was, he dealt with the mauling kisses and hugs i gave him, and he dealt with the pictures i obsessively took of him and posted to instagram and facebook.

the hard part about being in england is that i wasn't with him at the end, but my parents were - thank god.  it actually may have been worse were i still in the US - i probably would have left my job, driven home, and had to be sedated once we lost him.  being across the ocean has protected me from being a crazy person and, while i am still upset and sobbing my eyes out, i can only think that the ocean has protected me from harm.

i don't honestly care what most of you think; to me, jordan was everything - and using "was" is one of the most painful parts of that sentence and future conversations.  he was my doggie; he was my bff; he was my shoulder to cry on; he was my entertainment; he was my snugglebutt, my lovemonkey, my bamboozle.  i called him a slew of nicknames and he never cared; he still loved me back.  he let me snuggle the shit out of him, rub his belly, his his head.

i wish i could do all these things again.  i already dread that i can't.

i love this dog more than anything.  he was - and will always be - a member of my family.  please enjoy these pictures of jordan, my soulmate.

jordan hates his santa outfit. (it also reverses to be an elf outfit!)


jordan and his little bro charlie who followed jordan around the yard and always needed him as a babysitter

our last picture together, me and my little lovemuffin

jordan and his ball, his favorite toy <3

i bought him two things in boston: a lobster tough toy and a shitton of pig ear treats from this specialty store on newbury street.  when i brought these home, he seemed disinterested in the lobster and did not want to eat the ears which had previously been his favorite thing ever.  i did get him to eat half an ear, but it's like he knew...

my dad buried our family member with all his toys - especially his favorite, that damned pink ball.  he loved nothing more than that walmart speciall that, despite our best efforts, we were never able to find another.  he is near his brothers, ziggy and little bob (cats) and gally (guinea pig) and his sisters pierre (cat) and nelly (guinea pig).  i hope they are playing with him in heaven, showing him around, getting him the best doggie toys.  he brothered them all and was there when we lost them; he was there for me when we lost them.

he lost his neighbor dog friend, lucky, a few years ago to a car accident.  she was a black lab, too.  i hope she is playing with him, too.  no, not hope - i know she is.  she loved breaking off her leash and coming over to our house to entertain jordan, who siblings were guinea pigs and cats.  lots of cats.

as for that lobster toy: he never touched it.  my dad said he didn't actually bury that with my baby, partly because it was brand new but mainly because it was never really jordan's toy.  they were going to put it on his gravestone with his boston university collar but i told my mom not to; i said, that is jordan's gift to the next dog i get, whether it be in the next year or the next 10.  that was his gift.

when jordan was a baby, my mom slept with him on the kitchen floor because he would not stop crying; she did this again the past few days outside on the lawn when he suddenly couldn't walk.  i am so glad that he was a part of our family and that he was so loved.  i see things on facebook all the time about animals abused or abandoned and i weep.  no innocent creature deserves that.  i am grateful that we got to give jordan an amazing life.

we were trying to house train jordan, keeping him baby-gated in the kitchen to avoid pee on the new carpets, but he was not pleased.  he refused to go outside and instead would use the newspaper in the kitchen.  he also was growing and could knock down that baby gate in one lean.  well, one day, my mom got SO fed up she went on one of her crazy tyraids.  she said something to the order of "fine, you want out of the kitchen?  well, you're going go to go to the bathroom outside!"  and ripped the baby gate down and tossed it outside.

he never went in the house again.  it was like he just wanted that gate down and to be a part of the family.  he ate so much wallpaper and cabinet wood but really just wanted to lie in front of the tv with my feet rubbing him; he always wanted to be touched.

i know it's a little soon, but i really needed to write this; i needed to share his amazing life with you all.  i'm sorry for the typos and sentences that might not quite make sense; i wrote this with extreme emotions, but that's what jordan gave me all the time - extreme emotions.  i love him with al my heart and soul.  i don't know how i'll go back home without him there, but i know my parents and kitties charlie and kelse will help.

i love you jordan, i love you so much! <3