Saturday, October 9, 2010

“My Gosh, It’s Like Teaching A Baby To Walk!" – Milly Wade-West

Sometimes I wish my blog would write itself, or that I could mentally record my thoughts and push a button and bam! It’s all written down for me with perfect spelling and grammar. Unfortunately, that kind of technology has yet to be invented, so I’ll have to do this the old fashion way. Ok guys, get ready. Four days coming at ya starting now!

Wednesday was a very long and upsetting day. The office was alive once again with Ben and Matt and a large portion of the production people back and I was given a very boring task to do. More specifically, I was given research. *sigh* I know that research is necessary when developing shows, I know how important it is, and yet I still completely loathe it. I keep trying to tell myself to do a good job so that Ben and Matt will love me and think I’m worth having around rather than someone the have to keep around, but I’m finding it harder and harder to get enthusiastic about research. These are the moments when I envy you Julie Harrison. How do you do it? I find it impossibly hard to be motivated about something I don’t care for, and I really need to work on that. The other thing that was freaking me out was that I was supposed to be doing research on “what they ate and wore and stuff”. Keep in mind this is for a TV show. Those are the types of things I feel like you should talk to an expert about! These are all period specific things! I dunno how detailed they want this to be. Not only do I not know how detailed they want this, I have no idea how to use a British Keyboard properly. For the most part, it’s very much the same. Except when you want to capitalize something, delete something, or hit return. Those keys are just in slightly different shapes and are located in slightly different areas so that I always always ALWAYS am hitting the wrong key. I’m also convinced that my space bar is somewhat jammed. Everything I type is messed up and has red squiggly lines underneath entire sentences due to things not spaced properly and I have to go back and figure out where the words are. This resulted in me ‘pecking’ the keyboard with my index fingers. I am frustrated. I am tired of research. I am freaking out and having a bad time at my computer.

To make matters worse, Sarah the star intern (whose been doing research on this one project for the past three months) printed off all her information and there was I swear at least 50 pages of information! And of course Ben and Matt loved it. And of course I had nothing worth noting to contribute in our meeting. I left work thoroughly beaten down and wanted to just crawl up in my bed and watch TV. So I watched Dexter and ate the last of my vegchili in bed. I’m having a hard time loving the pre-production world right now.

There was one bright spot in the afternoon. It came from who else, but Josh Buckingham, who sometimes, I cannot be happier that he finds it entertaining to tease me, I need to laugh. About every 2 hours or so, someone will waltz through the office asking if anyone wants, ‘a cuppa tea?’ Usually I say no, I’ve already had one in the morning, and I mean how many times a day can one possibly drink tea? But this time I said ‘yes’ and it just happened to be Josh who was doing the asking:

JOSH: What kind of tea do you want?

ME: Uhhh, the regular kind?

JOSH: You don’t want like lemon and ginger or Earl Grey or something?

ME: Earl Grey?

JOSH: Do you like Earl Grey?

ME: Umm, I can’t say that I’ve truly had a cup of Earl Grey before.

JOSH: WHAT?! You’re having Earl Grey then. It’s proper British tea.

Sarah was helping him in the kitchen and he was about to add milk to my tea, when Sarah stops him explaining how I don’t like milk in my tea. “That’s alright, Earl Grey shouldn’t be diluted. She needs to experience the full thing.” Cheers Josh. He then started ‘preparing’ my tea with this ridiculous American accent. It was both very sad and highly entertaining and made me laugh. He then delivered it to me saying, “Ahh there’s a cup of proper British Earl for you.” I think Josh is turning out to be my favorite person at work.

Thursday was a much needed fabulous day. The weather was beautiful! It was sunny and yet slightly windy and just a hint of a chill outside. It was so nice I decided to walk to class. I’m surprised I had enough time to get there considering I left after the alarm and it’s like a 30 minute walk. Oh did I mention how our crappy little dorm likes to test the fire alarm EVERY THURSDAY morning at 8:40 AM? Yeah, no joke. It’s wonderful! The best part is that they actually start it a good ten to fifteen minutes early. So it will go off for the first time around 8:25 and then again at 8:40ish. I just try and tell myself that I have class at nine so it’s like an ‘if you haven’t left yet you shoulllld!’ reminder. This week my art class went to St. Paul’s! For those of you who don’t know, the steps of St. Paul’s is where the Tuppence Lady in Mary Poppins sits with her pigeons, and it’s also where Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married. Have I mentioned how much I love this class? An hour lecture, then a thirty minute break to get to the location which means Devon can stop and get a pastry on the way, and then an hour and a half of walking and talking about something beautiful and interesting. Love love love!

On the way to St. Paul’s, Me, Nick, and a bunch of his friends stopped at this little bakery to get some tea and breakfast. There’s one British girl in the group, whose name is Milly, and she’s hilarious. Although she’s originally from somewhere in England, she attends University of Denver full time and is ‘studying abroad’ in London this semester. Sort of like a permanent study abroad for college and then ‘studying abroad’ at home type of deal. Her and I had a conversation last week about how amusing it is for her to be ‘back home’ and watch all her American friends stumble around confused. Ha! The tables have turned! But anyways, we all got on the tube to get to St. Paul’s and one of the girls in the group, Michelle, was very concerned about whether or not she could drink her tea since the tea bag was still in it. Does that mean it’s ready? Can I drink it? She starts asking Milly all these questions who just sighed and said, “Yes it’s ready, of course you can drink it! My gosh, it’s like teaching a baby to walk.” Bahahaha.

We finally get to St. Paul’s and it’s simply stunning inside. There was a ‘no’ camera policy which I snuck around by taking pictures from inside my bag, so take in the splendor and thank me for my illegal behavior.

We had these little audio guide things like we did at Windsor, but there was one point when I was standing underneath the dome, looking at the mosaics and paintings when the choir started singing. I have never previously heard a real choir in a grand hall where the acoustics are magical and their voices ring for seconds after they’ve stopped singing. I took off my audio guide and simply stood there. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve heard in my entire life. It was a girls choir of less than 20 girls and they were simply rehearsing for something or another but I was speechless. It was one of those times where you get completely caught up in the moment. Here I am. In London. Looking at the ceiling of St. Paul’s. Listening to a choir. It was simply indescribable and if ever there was a time for me to start crying in church that would have been it. (admittedly, I got slightly teary).

Then came the fun part of the trip. THE STAIRS. There are three galleries in St. Paul’s, the Whispering Gallery, the Stone Gallery, and the Golden Gallery. We climbed 257 steps up to the Whispering Gallery, which is still inside the Cathedral, but at the very highest point before the ceiling for the dome starts. This was frightening! Did I mention how I’m terrified of heights? You climb all this way up to find there’s this 4 ft. railing standing against you and the entirety of St. Paul’s. Above you is this huge curved ceiling full of incredible artwork of the dome and below you is the entire church. It’s like the times we went to the mall and I’d lean over the railing just a little bit and my sister would come up behind me and scare me. Only worse. Because you’re much higher up, and the space is just so much more vast. I was freaking out and making this kind of panicy noise, which isn’t really allowed in the Whispering Gallery because since you’re still in the church, and since you’re so much closer to the ceiling, the way the acoustics work, everything is much louder. There was a great deal of “shhhing!” by the little guard guys (not at me! At the chatty mcchattersons). The whole time, Chloe is trying very hard to not start laughing. As we left to continue our climb to the Stone Gallery she asked me:

CHLOE: What is there to be scared of?

ME: Umm falling. To your death. And you saw the whole thing previously in your mind because you’re looking at how high it is!

CHLOE: Well you won’t really feel it will you? I mean the fall will kill you before you know what’s going on.

ME: Yeah, thanks a bunch Chlo, that really helps. I’ll tell myself that the next time I’m free falling in a dream.

CHLOE: Well look at it this way, you picked a great place to die in! Church!

ME: You’re not helping the situation!

We then climbed another 119 steps, for a total of 376, up to the Stone Gallery, which is outside. It was gorgeous outside! The wind felt so good after climbing up these tiny little passageways (a large majority of American’s simply couldn’t fit through these). The whole city of London is just sprawled out in front of you with the Thames in the forefront on one side, and the city part with the financial district on the other. It was spectacular.

The last 152 stairs to get to the very top (the Golden Gallery) were all these rickety spiral staircases. Gah! I was freaking out again. At least before I was in a somewhat confined place. But now…

What if I slipped and fell climbing? What if these stairs give away and fall to my death? Or get impelled on these staircases? I’m going to dieee. No your not, just keep climbing Devon. Did you just hear something squeak? Are they supposed to shake this much? How much weight can these things hold at one time? When was the last time they were checked by a safety person? How do I know they’re really fastened to the wall? What if they come loose from the wall and we’re left hanging on? Do you think I have enough of a death grip to survive? I bet I could hold on tighter than that guy. He’s gonna die. He has no idea, just look at him, totally unprepared, barely touching the railing. Just keep climbing, don’t look at high up we are.

And so it went till we reached the top. And then there was this peep hole in the middle of the floor to show you how high up we are. I wanted to take a picture so I literally made a laughing Chloe hold my hand as I looked over it to take a picture, the whole time making the panicy noise out of the side of my mouth. The Golden Gallery is 528 steps up, and 85 meters from the Cathedral floor. I’m proud to announce that I did not stop once during the whole climb even though there were many members of the group who did!

The view outside is much like that of the Stone gallery, accept for the fact that you’re higher up so everything is tinier, but you can see more. The climb down was much shorter, but the spaces were smaller. It was like perfect cramped Devon size. It’s hard to imagine anyone larger than me fitting in some of those passages, but there were a couple 6 ft guys in our group who somehow managed to do it. We got to the Stone Gallery again just in time for the clock to strike noon. I was expecting some grand elaborate bell chime. But nope, I just got the very boring single ‘dong’, but don’t worry- Chloe said they’d give me 12 of them!

After St. Paul’s Nick, Michelle, and I went to this sushi place where there’s a conveyor belt that brings you your food. It was quite cool! All the plates prices are color coded so you can keep track of how much your spending. And if you want something hot, you just push your little button and a waitress comes and takes your order. You even have water taps in front of you so you can have an endless amount of water (flat or fizzy). It was glorious! And quite tasty.

After Theatre Class (where nothing particularly noteworthy happened other than we discussed the Globe theatre and Shakespeare in length), I had a date with Jeni to see “Design for Living”, one of the plays we’re required to see for class. Ironically enough, it’s the last play we’re discussing in December, but the first play I’m seeing in it’s entirety. I absolutely loved this play! It kind of reminded me of Vicky Christina Barcelona accept with two men instead of two women it’s and set in the 1930s. My favorite character was undoubtedly Leo, who seemed to be the best actor out of the bunch and who I found simply enchanting. Yes, Thursday was a much need fabulous day!

I didn’t get to sleep in as much as I would have liked since Jeni and I were going to see another play for class the next morning. This time, we were going to see “The Garbage King” at the Unicorn Theatre. Yup, that’s right. You guessed it. Children’s theatre. It was quite an interesting play but 10:30 is way to early to be stuck in a room surrounded by 5 different school groups of children.

And it was quite a long play at well! 2 hours. And it was surprisingly dark for kids I thought, but then again, I wonder if they even think it’s that dark. I mean, I never found The Lion King as dark as I did when I got older, and then it was a “how did I not find this a little scary and disturbing?” The best part though was Jeni’s reaction to the school boy’s uniforms. She said they looked like “zoot suits. They honestly look like little pimps! It’s terrible.” Hahaha, when you put it that way, it is indeed Jeni.

After the play, we wondered around the area, being in a section of the Southbank we’d never ventured to before. The weather was beautiful again so we ate lunch at a bench in front of the river. We then stumbled upon the Borough Market, which is not tiny at all! It was literally tents upon tents of food!

Butcher tents where you literally see your meat getting hacked to pieces, cheese tents, bread tents, sweets tents, and hundreds of tents selling hot food. We definitely picked the wrong place to get lunch! And it’s definitely a place worth coming back to. We stumbled on a little further and found a little park! Ahhh yes! We sat in the shade and talked for about 20 minutes before deciding that we both needed naps. So we parted ways along the tube for home. I stopped and bought some more postcards before coming home and watching Modern Family.

That evening, Tom’s friend Steve was in town, so Steve, Tom, Jeni, J and I all went out for dinner and drinks. Good times. We found this little pub that looked incredibly tiny on the outside, but you walked in and it turned into a huge tree house! There were stairs leading to different levels and little tucked in rooms here and there the whole time there’s a giant tree in the center of this place. It was quite the happening little place too. Although, the music they were playing wasn’t really the most ‘recent’ stuff. Still, the British very much enjoy their Backstreet Boys.

Today was spent somewhat bumming around. I took a skirt I bought back to H&M and found out they were having a gigantic sale, so instead of returning it as originally planned, I ended up exchanging it for more clothes, ha. I bought more postcards (again) so I finally have the right amount for people I need to send them to, but I need to buy stamps. And write them. I also bought some more British cookies or ‘biscuits’, excuse me. These are like light little shortbreads and go great with tea. I think I could probably eat half the pack in one sitting if I let myself, so I really need to try and convince myself to make them last (but when they’re like 42 pence a pack… come on). I went to Boots to get some more chapstick, only to discover they don’t really have chapstick brand so I bought this weird British version of chapstick which I’m currently very much digging. When I came back in I looked over the desk and discovered that I had mail! My mummsies sent me mail! Yay, thank you mom, I love letters! It even came complete with 'Eamon art', haha.(If anybody wants to send me mail, highlight the P.S. section to see my address) I then watched some It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for a laugh (shout out to Jules. I watched the Kitten Mitten one, hahahaha!), tidied my room a bit and made some spaghetti. All in all a pretty filling day, but I’m tired, if that’s even possible after a day of nothing. I wanted to try and go to Abby Road this weekend, but since today would be the 70th birthday of John Lennon, I didn’t really want to fight with the crowds. I need time to fully soak in and appreciate my Beatles’ moment! I mean, it’s freaking Abby Road!



P.S. My address is:

Devon Martinez

Marylebone Residence Hall Room 7I (and that's an 'i' not a 1)

London, NW1 5LS



  1. I'm tired and I can't even begin to peck at you for your wannabe Britisisms right now. All I will say is that although you're steering away from the blatent wordage, your starting to word things differently. Make sense? It does to me.

    Ah, pretending to push you off things... good times.

    Mom mailed off your carepackage today. And we got your postcard to "the Martinez family". Next time I better be individualized... Btw, are postcards cheaper than proper lettas?

    You know sadly, although I know St. James Cathedral is a big ol famous church, I never would have put it in perspective without the Mary Poppins reference... tis true. Oh, and its the bird lady who asks for Tuppence. You know, slangy for two-pence. Toppins. crazy girl. At least there were a lot of spelling mistakes in this one to make me feel at home.

    well I'm going to go get myself a spot of tea because I'm getting over being sick and that will help my throat. I know it won't be as grand as your proper cuppa Earl Grey but one can't have everything, can one?

    I hope you're saving like one of everything you eat/drink/try to bring back and show us.


  2. Glad you got my letter. Look for a package soon. I mailed it today. You better stop taking illegal photos---what if you get put in British prison? You'll really be hurting then.
    How did you like the Earl Grey tea, BTW? We've had it at home before, you know. And it's the "Tuppence" lady (as in 2 pence), not Toppins, in Mary Poppins.
    As for your newly discovered fear of heights, now you have some idea what I felt like when you and your sister were each learning to drive. I guess there's nothing very high in Texas for you to have climbed to discover this sense of terror before. Sorry to hear it. love.
    We got your postcard today. Now Eamon can see "wondon".

  3. Just got the postcard. Thanks so much for thinking of your old work-family!

    It sounds like you are getting off to a great start to your semester. (We're on Fall Break here, which means it's halfway over for us!)

    I've been reading through your old posts. Earl Grey tea is awesome. Speaker's Corner is great fun. (I think I saw that same crazy man there 10 years ago. He was trying to tell me the Pope was a mafia boss.) And St. Paul's is definitely one of my favorite places I've ever been. I'm extremely envious of your exciting adventure (and you've barely even gotten started)!

    Everyone on the staff sends their warm wishes!