Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little bit fabulous

When I don’t have a good book to read I start watching TV. I think a lot of people think that’s a waste of time, but I don’t care. I can get caught up in a good show like I can a good book.
These are the best TV shows out there. You all need to start watching them and fall in love like I did.
Leverage: Modern day Robin Hood. Love it!

Community: Best characters ever written. End of story. I'm so sad that we only get 22 minutes a week.


Chuck! Casey and Morgan are freaking hilarious.

Marilyn Monroe once said, “If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.” That’s kinds of scarily true for me. Dramas are ok, but good comedy…. I’m such a sucker for it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The to-do list...

OK, back to things about London.
Things I have discovered so far that I love:
FlapJack minibites = little piece of heaven. They’re like this really sweet, really little oatmeal bar crossed with maple syrup and brown sugar. DELICIOUS.
Primrose Hill – You can see a lot of downtown London from up there, and it’s stunning.
Regent’s Park – Just another park… I don’t really know how to describe how much or why I love them. This one has lovely roses, and a great fountain.
Kowloon in Chinatown – 80p for lunch! Kyle, Keri and Kelly… we are SO going here. Maybe more than once. Also, Nandos!

Things I still need to do (well, some of them…)
Go to the south bank. See the Globe theatre. See a play in the Globe.
Send postcards (i.e. get addresses)
Go to the Savoy
See Crown Jewels, and go back to St. Paul’s.
Harrods, just for kicks and also to be posh.
Find and marry Prince Harry.

Well, I better get crackin.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I just won the best game. It’s ultra-predicting powers make it true.

I marry....

even though I don’t typically go for fair guys, but you know, whatevs.
We drive around on sweet motorcycles.

We have 3 kids (they’re in our little motorcycle side-cars, don’t worry)

My job is a Mommy. Yay!

We honeymooned at the Grand Canyon.

And we live in a secret Bond Mansion.

Yeah, I just won at fake-celebrity life. It's ok to be jealous, I would be too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jam and Bread!

I think I could live off of bread as long as I had a few things to go with it. Cheese, butter, jam (strawberry!). And a toaster, for weekend brunch.
Seriously, it’s the best. Also: milk.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

thoughts on a saturday night

today i walked through a different kind of fairy tale place. it was beautiful!

1. Indian curry in London is about a bajillion times better than Indian curry in Provo. Or Portland.
2. Especially Thai Green Curry. And Chinese food.
3. I saw stained glass windows by Chagall. Wonderful. See it here!
4. London is wonderful. To be honest, I didn't love it instantly... I was worried about that. I loved the Königsthul the second I got there, but London had to grow on me. Now, I love it as much as I loved Germany, but there was an adjustment period. I definitely am a country girl, and it took time to morph into a city girl. But now I jay-walk and take short cuts and know where to find good deals like the rest of them.
5. April is looming and it worries me.
6. I went to a traditional English pub and had traditional food. There was a real fire and real candles and real flowers! Loved that.
7. My job is amazing and you should all be waaaaaaay jealous. I catch bad guys!
8. Cornish pasties are also amazing.
9. I'm talking about food way too much in this post.
10. But what the heck, lets add English chocolate which is even better than German, Swiss and Belgian chocolate. BOOM roasted.
11. Yesterday as I was walking to work (and taking a shortcut) a scary old guy reached out and grabbed me as I was walking past him. A little nerve wracking... Probably won't take that shortcut again.
12. I got to ride in an armored embassy car. Be jealous.
13. And see the Rosetta Stone, the original Van Gogh Sunflowers, and also some really great Monet pieces. Also, the Dutch masters are really that - Masters.
14. I miss seeing stars. It's either cloudy or too polluted here.
15. I've thought about one person way too much this week.
16. I get lots of compliments on my necklaces and earrings. YAY!
17. Community is back!
18. Brother, sister, and sister-in-law are coming to visit. BEST THING EVER.
19. Cute boy in church. Get to see him tomorrow!
20. I'm just so happy.

Life is good people! Life is GOOOOOOOOD. "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." - St. Augustine. That saint knew his stuff.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A typical day

This past week set a pattern which I hope doesn't change that much. It was an amazing first week.
4:15AM: Wake up WIDE AWAKE (i hope this changes...) and try to force myself back to sleep.
5:30AM: roll out of bed after lying there for an hour, unsuccessful at falling back asleep. Get ready for work.
6:05AM leave home for the train stop.
6:24AM get to the station just in time to catch the train to London.
7:14AM: get off the train at Waterloo East Station, and weave in and out of the crowd to catch the Jubilee westbound underground line.
7:34AM: get off the Jubilee line at the Bond Street stop, avoid all the peddlers, exit onto Oxford Street, walk to the embassy.
7:50AM: arrive at the embassy, pass the men with the big and scary guns, go through security, arrive at my desk.
8AM: check emails, respond, catch up on the world news. Try to feel well informed.
9AM: visa and passport checks start coming in, and throughout the day I am logging the info, looking up people, checking the authenticity of the documents, sitting in on interviews, going to meetings, briefings, and lectures, writing memos, networking, and trying to make a good impression.
3:30pm. This past week proved to be hilarious for my co-workers around this time... this is usually when I started to have to fight to stay awake. Friday was a success though! I made it through the whole day!
5PM: head home. Same thing... winding through crowds, dashing to make the trains in time, trying so hard to remember to keep to the LEFT side... pass on the RIGHT. Trying not to look like an idiot on the underground, trying to keep my head when I miss a connection, and trying to not kill slow walkers.
6:35PM: arrive at home in dear 'ol Tunbridge Wells. Have a lovely dinner. Visit and watch TV with the Bascoms. Do some reading, play piano etc. Write blog posts. Walk the dog. etc.
9PM: crash into bed. dead tired.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
11 more weeks!!! Life is very fun and exciting, you know. On weekends I expect it will be different. For instance, today we played around Tunbridge Wells (where I bought stamps) and took a trip to Costco (which is the same as in the states... in case you wondered), and walked Alfie, the dog... who is adorable and I love him. Tomorrow I'll go to London for church and to walk around the parks and perhaps go to a museum. We'll see. All in all... a very thrilling and busy (though I hate to use that word) week.

And in case you wondered if this post could get more boring, I've decided to end it. I promise more exciting things in the future. When I'm not tired, swearsies.

A little off the beaten path

We're going on a litte adventure with this post. We'll affectionately subtitle it, "in which Cynthia explores her connection with odd music."

There's this poem by W. Shakespeare that I love. It's in Much Ado, and while I usually just think it is funny and it makes me happy, there are unfortunate times that the poem just resonates with me. The title of my blog is from this poem - "Sigh no more, Ladies. Sigh no more..."
A little over a year ago I found a band that I have to come to love intensely. Mumford and Sons. They put parts of this poem into a song, and it was the first song I ever heard by them, in the middle of one of those unfortunate times. I listened to all their music, and every single song has at least one line that always resonate with me, no matter when I listen to it.

One of the things I love most about this song is that they take other lines from Much Ado and put them in the song. "Serve God, Love me, and mend." "Man is a giddy thing."

Other songs worth listening to...
1. Winter Winds..."My head told my heart, let love grow. But my heart told me head, this time no."
2. Liar... "you say you have spoken, and like the coward I am, I hang my head."
3. Awake my Soul... "Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see, but your soul you must keep totally free."
4. Hold on to What You Believe.... "I ran away... it was a promise I could not make."

and last but certainly not least, is Little Lion Man. It's my second favorite song ever written. But be warned... it has some swear words in it. But in all of the English language, I don't think there are other words that can so clearly convey all the anger, self-loathing, and despair that the guy sings about having. A very moving song. Well, at least to me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

3.5 days of AWESOME!

This is what I wrote yesterday....

Today I assisted in an arrest. Yesterday I read informant letters. And on Monday I just tried really hard to stay awake all day.
It's been a busy 3.5 days since I arrived!
Note to self: allow more than one day to adjust to time change when engaging in international activities.

London is lovely. I'm so happy to be back, and I am really excited to be working in the Embassy. It's HUGE and fantastic.

I intended to write this fantastic post about what I've done and learned and all that jazz. But I find that I am so exhausted that I cannot really form coherent, much less interesting, sentences. Jet lag is my worst enemy right now. And terrorists.

I'll write about the arrest though, since that just happened, and it was the most interesting thing.
Some guy came into the embassy, and he's been living in the UK for a very long time - way past his visa allowance. He came to the US embassy to see if he could get a visa to 'visit' the US. When they ran his passport number, a little flag went up, and we (the Fraud Dept.) were informed. (His passport was also a fraudulent.)
Anyway, the visa dept cannot make arrests - actually, arrests can't really happen in or on the embassy. So we got to call the police, give them a picture and let them know who to arrest. The fun part was when I got to follow him out of the embassy with someone else from my deptartment and point him out to the police so that they could make the arrest. He was very calm (which I learned was common... no one really fights the police), and then they patted him down, cuffed him, and took him away.

I just reread that and realized it's very boring. There are other details that make the story interesting, but I'm not supposed to tell. Suffice it to say that working at the embassy is very, very interesting. I highly recommend it.