Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Who lets British people man a barbecue?

Thought it was about time I give you all an update, post-Lonely Hanging Out At Cambridge Early Day. I will talk at length about my classes soon, but that'll be a separate post altogether. I'll just say: Holy CRAP the professors are geniuses here and my classes are SUPER challenging and time-consuming!

First off: I'm making amazing friends. What else can I say? I am in love with several of the girls I've met, particularly two that I clicked with, well... immediately. Literally. Like, destined to meet, they're so amazing. One girl, Carlin, is in 2 of my lectures with me, as well as both the seminars for those lectures. She's basically me, just from Berkeley, and she's a total blast!

Another girl, Maxine, I saw on the first day and was certain I had seen her before. We got to talking, found out that she is actually living in the dorm room right across the hall from me! and that I have in fact seen her before, because she goes to Santa Barbara! Her boyfriend, Graham, is visiting for the week, and he is such a cool guy -- so much fun to hang out with! Their friend, Michelle (pictured below with Maxine, whose on the left-hand side), is also amazing and from SB too! SOOOO many SB people, and none of them I know, so this is very exciting to be meeting non-drama folk.

Tomorrow we are all going punting on the Cam, which should be exciting, and I will definitely take pictures, if not film some of it. Should be an interesting experience, to say the least.

Now all about the Big Day today: 4th of July. Being that all of us were from the States, the TA's felt it was necessary to throw us an enormous Independence Day BBQ. Of course, everyone was looking forward to this all day, but what we failed to realize was that British people should not be allowed ANYWHERE near a barbecue/grill/meat-cooker.

Everyone is standing there, waiting for burgers -- they're cooking black right before our eyes, and I lean in and say, "Um... guys, I'm pretty sure they're done. Like... long past done." Their response was "Ohhh, nooo, I'm not sure, who wants to be the guinea pig and be our first tester??"


I assured them that "Yes, they are indeed done," and that I have cooked burgers a million times, and that not only were they probably well done at this point, most were charred completely through. I ended up with one completely burnt, but at least I didn't get one that was burnt on the outside but still red and semi-frozen on the inside. Carlin got that one.

Happy 4th of July! Thanks Brits! You'd think they would have asked an American what was typical on July 4th celebrations! Potato salad, baked beans, burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, Coca Cola, and a few games of horse shoes and tug-of-war. But they didn't ask me, so I desist.

One very fun event was playing Flip Cup with Pimms -- bringing an Isla Vista party tradition across the states and ocean and giving it a British twist! It made a mess, and Pimms is a little too sweet for Flip Cup, but it did the trick. You can see: We're messy party people, but it was outside under a tent, so: no harm, no foul.

Then came dancing. I. Love. Dancing. Seriously, it is such a release!! And it's more amazing when you're dancing around people (the Brits) who don't know what the hell they're doing. You gotta teach them the Santa Barbara way, the heathenistic way.

They were also playing horrible music, not surprisingly, so I told them I had my iPod and to "trust me!" that if they played "Rockefeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim, followed by "SexyBack" and then followed by "Barbie Girl" they would have all 200 American 20-23 year olds HOOKED. Throw in either "Thriller" or "Beat It" along with Britney Spears' "Toxic" and you are golden. They listened, of course, and people danced, and then they used my iPod for most of the night. I may not have tons of rap songs, but I have songs that every person who was in middle school during the late 90's cannot avoid dancing to when they hear them. You may not have liked "Mmmbop" but if you heard it on the dance floor, your nostalgic middle school days would role back to you and you would be happy happy happy.


TONS of fun tonight, and it's only getting more incredible. I feel bad 'cause I can't even begin to name all the totally cool people I've met, but I'm sure over the next 2 weeks I'll be posting more about everyone. Some really cool guys, everyone is totally chill and very friendly. It's getting easier to tell who is worth the effort and who isn't -- I have some people who I could easily bitch about too... but I won't.

Hope everyone got a good BBQ experience!


PS. Met the author of Watch Me Disappear, the book I just finished -- Jill Dawson. She spoke with us about her writing and getting published and all kinds of great things. She signed a few books for me, super cool. =)


  1. sounds like a bomb fourth of july! :)
    i think i know that girl maxine you were talking least i may know her boyfriend graham- i did light lab with him. he's super cool.
    i like the pictures but i want more moving pictures of you!

  2. I'm so jealous!! What incredible fun! Shane and I had a great 4th of July too (in Vegas!!), but I haven't posted about it yet. :) We were only there for a day and a night, and now back home. But it was a good time!

    I'm ECSTATIC that you've clicked with so many awesome people and that your iPod brought happiness to others. :)

    love you!

  3. Hello identical cheekbones.