Tag Archives: Starbucks

In which I go to probably unjustifiable lengths for my anime fix

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All this grumbling I’ve been doing about the new house? Lay to rest with a touching eulogy folks for we have found the true evil! My new internet provider and its terrible habit to block websites -in the distance sirens and screams-. All those lovingly bookmarked streaming websites that I can no longer use! Mind you, I’m all for buying the product and supporting the franchise and/or artist in question, but when the product happens to be an anime from the early ’90s… Well, good luck finding a decent sub that’s not gonna cost an arm, a leg, and possibly your liver to buy.

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And no, the gif was not chosen arbitrarily. I haven’t watched Sailor Moon since I was seven and got my first taste of anime through a godawful Greek dub of the godawful American dub. (And I swear, I tried so, so hard to like it but some of the voices were just…wrong!) Anyway, I only watched for that one summer and even then only if I happened to turn on the TV when it was on. By now any recollection of it has been covered in the golden mists of nostalgia (and the fact that I remember how cringe-worthy some of the voices were despite that goes to show). Yet recently, for no apparent reason, I was suddenly in the mood to see what was it about that show that made it so good at the time. It may have had to do with the fact that Sailor Moon Crystal started showing up randomly on my YouTube recommendations and, vague memories or not, stylised drawing or not, I just KNEW that the girls were not supposed to look this thin. I mean look at them!

These are the original designs. Thin, yes, but not frighteningly so.

These are the original designs. Thin, yes, but not frighteningly so.

And here's the new version....

And here’s the new version….

Considering one of the running jokes of the show is how much Usagi (that’s the blonde in the middle for the uninitiated) is capable of eating, why the heck does she look like her arms and legs are made out of spaghetti in Crystal. (That being said, I WILL watch Crystal once I’m done with the original show… If only because I hear it’s closer to the manga and I’m curious to see the differences…)

But I digress. It took some digging until I manage to find a streaming site that a. was not blocked, b.had the original show, c. had it subbed. Unfortunately it did not include the movies and while technically they are filler-stuff and not 100% canon, I’d like to watch them only for the extra interactions. That I can’t get enough of the opening sequence song. Unfortunately for me the only site that was not blocked and had the movies was YouTube, and unfortunately they were the dubbed versions.

not-impressed

My solution? Find a different network to stream the movie of course! And since I don’t have Charlie Bradbury’s epic computer skills (kudos to those who get the reference! 😉 ) I decided to relocate at Starbucks. I study better when I’m surrounded by white noise anyway, so while I have the movie loading (in an agonisingly slow pace at that) in one tab, I’ve been working on my TEFL coursework on another (yeah, I’m doing the TEFL course too on top of everything else. Have I mentioned this here before? Can’t remember.) Of course all this will have been for naught if I go home, wake up the laptop from its hibernation (gods I love that they actually call it that on the menu!) and get instantly blocked, BUT! No jinxing it! As far as I can understand the webpage gets blocked as it tries to load. But if it’s already loaded then there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Right?

I’ll see if I remember to add a note here to let you folks know the result of my herculean labour to load a 1993 Japanese cartoon…

 

P.S. Lucifer season 2 is starting next week. I. AM. SO. EXCITED!!!!!!

In which I’ve had a weird day

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How weird? Well, it was a perfect balance between good and bad…and it’s still not over so who knows what the final verdict will be. I mean, I slept really bad. Like really bad; nightmares, jumping awake for no reason, trouble falling back to sleep, the whole nine yards. Which is nothing new for me. Whenever I’m out of a particularly stressful situation it takes my mind a week or three to re-adjust. It’s not helped by the fact that I’m now moving on from the stress that is the dissertation to the stress that is putting a roof over my head for the next year. House hunting itself, I do not mind so much. The phone calls that come with it though? Helloooooo mild anxiety attack! I’m not joking. Three months’ worth of intensive research and writing did not leave as mentally exhausted as an afternoon of phone calls. It could be that I rely on body language to quite a large extent in conversations with strangers, it could be the whole not-my-mother-tongue deal, could be that I always end up somehow having to deal with people with heavy accents (and the phone reception in my building leaves much to be desired). Let’s just say I did four phone calls yesterday, one after the other, and then spent a couple of hours trying to convince myself that gorging in chocolate would only change my dress size and not much else.

On the other hand, the weather today was lovely for the most part, which meant I could go for a long walk and actually enjoy it. There was a big sale in one of the stores and I got me a pair of shoes for 10 quid. Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! (Yes, that deserves a separate mention, this drink is freaking awesome!) And…. huh! I just realised I didn’t do as much today as I thought! Or perhaps it’s harder to talk about stuff you enjoy -or at least it is for me-. Ok, something else… Hm…I’ve only had to swallow down my anxiety twice today and was mostly successful? I don’t know, I still have a phone call to make so we’ll see about that. Oh! And I  need to prep my bag and outfit for the house viewings tomorrow! It might sound like I’m going on a field trip, but honestly, I  kind of am. It’s a nearly five hour coach ride (which will hopefully be shorter since we leave at what-the-hell o’clock in the morning so there shouldn’t be any traffic) and then a shorter train ride to the actual town. No, I won’t give specifics until I have concrete results. Call me superstitious but I fear I’d jinx it if I did.

Alright! Let’s try that call now. Hopefully they’ll pick up this time… 😛

“I’ll call you later.”

Sure man, whatever! I mean, I only offered to rent from you. Ya know? Offered to provide you with a bit more income?

I’m being mean. For all I know the  guy was in the middle of something serious. It’s just, ugh! I just want this to be over! Never mind historically weird ceremonies! The rites of passage to adulthood that late 20th century-early 21st century youngster have to go through are pretty much the reason we’ll all be suffering from an early onset of heart diseases in a couple of  decades. It won’t be pollution, bad eating habits or aliens. It’ll be too much stress early on.

This is the future folks! Gaze at it and invest in  a good frying pan to knock yourself out with when the time comes.

 

 

 

P.S. Halleluja! They called me back! Three house viewings confirmed tomorrow and I’ll still have some time to explore the town! What do yo think internet? Should I make a travel post about it?

Buzz-buzz-buzzer

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Dearest fly, you who’re buzzing,

Kindly go, for now, away!

You’re too loud, too distracting,

While I’m trying to read and write.

There are other clients here,

Gossips, tourists and what-have-you;

Why you then prefer us working?

Why this questionable attraction?

 

In other news, I’m sitting at Starbucks, catching up with my -ahem- blog stalking, and this HUGE fly won’t go away. Is it even huge-fly-season right now?

E is for Eggnog

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For the purposes of this argument let us assume that Google does not exist (divide by 0 in 3…2…1…). What exactly is eggnog anyway? Does anyone know? What’s it made of? Like my gran once said about sausages, I’m probably better off not knowing, but hey! (Apparently) it’s a holiday must. Which I have STILL not sampled. And it is entirely possible that I will NOT be sampling. It’s a drink and it has the word “egg” on its name. I’m sorry but it doesn’t sound very promising. I’ll take my chances with the sausage if that’s okay with you. That being said, the Eggnog Latte that Starbucks has been rocking lately is pretty cool. Tastes like Ferrero.

 

-one quick Google search later-

“Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs. Spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon are often added. The finished serving is often garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.”

Riiiiight….

Thanks Wikipedia. You pulled through as usual. And no, I’m not trying it. It has raw eggs! Gross! Jeez, isn’t there a seasonal delicacy whose list of ingredients won’t make me swear off eating and drinking? –catches sight of mulled wine- Excuse me for a moment.

 

P.S.

Fruitcake is something else I don’t understand…

Do you hear the people sing?

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Or in my case groan in pain,  but we’ll get to that later. Boy, did I have a busy day today! Where to start? Oh, I know! My schedule, or more like the list of bookshops I was going to check out. In my defense the only set thing I had was my obligatory theatre visit tonight. And the weather was gorgeous! Seriously, after last night I thought I’d be in for the chills. But no sir! I guess all the fireworks warmed up the sky?

I left the hotel bright and early and confident that I could face my immortal enemy with no problem. And what is my immortal enemy you might ask? It’s a different every other week but high on the list is always public transport. I mean seriously! Good luck figuring THIS out:

Hello! My name is Map and I am here to help you get lost faster and more efficiently.

There are two kinds of getting lost in my book (well, three if you kind my wishful thinking towards certain entities). There is the “shit I’m lost and I’ll be late” kind and then there is the “let’s walk through whichever road I fancy” kind. Today I had the dubious pleasure of experiencing both. First because I misread the aforementioned map and nearly boarded the wrong train. (And then nearly good squashed against the doors because rush hour). I have to give kudos to the disemboded announcer guy at Kennington station for directing traffic with the words: “Please move to any empty spaces to the right, it will make life easier for everyone.” And that is verbatim. Keh! Londoners are sassy!

I guess even dear old Will needed a break from all the writing...

I guess even dear old Will needed a break from all the writing…

Eventually I made it to Leicester Square and the closest Starbucks for  a much-needed sugar rush. The seasonal specials were just out today. Oh eggnog latter, how have I missed you! Thus armed I proceeded to get myself lost in this gorgeous part of London. -sigh- Why can’t I afford to stay here when I’m visiting? I generally don’t feel comfortable in large cities. I find them suffocating, all moody people, tall buildings and convoluted public transport (looking at you, Northern Line). Oh sure, I can appreciate the culture and shopping variety but only for a few days. Then it’ll be (happily) back to my small town with its manageable bus routes, its walkable distances and gentle teasing from a certain someone who can’t wrap his head around the idea that a smaller town can be as much (or even more) fun as a larger one, coughCardiffcough.

The neighbourhood is called Seven Dials, don't ask me why.

The neighbourhood is called Seven Dials, don’t ask me why.

See? Seven dials! Then again it IS the theatre district. Poetic licence?

See? Seven dials! Then again it IS the theatre district. Poetic licence?

I had made a list of a few bookshops I wanted to check out but honestly it was a more “let’s see what we’ll see” day. I ended up walking all the way to the British Museum, through the theatre district and Soho. Along the way I stopped at Mysteries and Treadwell’s (yes, these are bookshops), did a little shopping and let me tell you, good thing I’m on a limited budget (and luggage space) or I’d still be there going through books…

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BOOKS!

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On a slightly irrelevant note, both my flatmates and I are international students. We have this running theory that if you are staying or visiting a foreign country you will end up magically gravitating towards other people from your own country. Since I bump into Greeks at the weirdest places, I’m pretty sure there’s a sociologist out there that could probably prove this. It came therefore as little surprise when, after leaving Treadwell’s, the first shop that caught my eye was called The Life Goddess and was -you guessed it!- a Greek deli place. Shoutout to them, their meat pie is to die for! (and I take my pie-tasting very seriously!) I’ll probably go there again tomorrow, their cheese looked really good and it’s been a while since I have had graviera (look it up!).

Oh, why can't you be in Norwich?

Oh, why can’t you be in Norwich?

So anyway, by then my feet were starting to hurt and my sugar rush was long gone. Back to Leicester Square via Trafalgar Square (because I could) and back to the hotel. I’d barely kicked my shoes off when my phone went Ding! Lo and behold the latest (and last) Naruto chapter was up.

WARNING: FANGIRL SPAZZING FOLLOWING

I will keep this spoiler free but OH MY GOSH IT WAS AWESOME! AND I HAD SOOOOOOO CALLED SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED! AND DAMN MY SHIPPING IS CANNON! WORD OF GOD, MARRIAGE AND BABIES CANNON! TAKE THAT YOU NON-BELIEVERS! -mental happy dance complete with twirls and imaginary confetti-

FANGIRL SPAZZING OVER

-ahem- Yeah, usually I try not to be so vocal (keep telling yourself that) but I get so rarely to see a pairing that I like being cannon that it’s an extra treat when it happens. And in this chapter I got four. Four! Practically gift-wrapped! I haven’t felt this much fangirl-glee since the last episode of season 6 of The Mentalist aired.

Past my fangirl fantasies being fulfilled (alliteration!) I also had the stage performance of Les Miserables to look forward to. It was…interesting to say the least. I mean, the musical itself was awesome, the cast amazing and -snif- Javert is firmly placed on my hug-at-first-sight list of fictional characters (I also have a glomp one and a shoot one, but that is a subject for a another post). But getting to the theatre… Oh I was all excited, was even going to wear my new, comfortable-ish stilettos, my hair co-operated on the first try, it appeared that there was nothing rotten in the state of Denmark (or the Olde London Town as a matter of fact). And then somebody Up There (or Down There, or Around Here) decided that I had had too much fun. Cue the artfully hidden by leaves pothole. Cue the sprained ankle and the half mile trek on heels. I’ve a high pain tolerance and I was still ready to cry by the time I made to the theatre. At least the performance made up for it, and the weather held out on the way back, because if I ended up having to limp with a bad ankle, on twelve-inch heels, under heavy rain… Let’s just say this post would have been on a more uncharitable nature. As it is I will leave you for a hot bath and an eight hour sleep before I head out to take London by storm again.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Huh! What do you know? I actually liked it!

Some context: I’ve never been big on trying new foods or drinks (except tea) but since I moved to England I’ve made myself to change this. Except for anything pumpkin flavoured. I don’t even know why! I actually like sweet pumpkin pie, but for some reason I’m always leery about anything with the word pumpkin in its name. However, everyone here seems to be gearing up for Halloween (bit early in my humble opinion), which means that the Headless Horseman’s preferred head-gear is everywhere. And that includes Starbucks. I had seen the words “pumpkin spice latte” before and usually my reaction was along the lines of, “Yeah, right. No!” But today, I don’t know, I guess I felt like trying something different.

So I went ahead and ordered it (in the smallest size available, I wasn’t exactly optimistic…) and it was…better than I thought it’d be. I’m not good at describing flavours so I’ll just say that to meet it tasted more like cinnamon that pumpkin. -shrug- Not unpleasant, but at the same time not something I’d make my regular choice. I suppose I would drink it if I was under the weather.

Yeah, not much of a reviewer, am I? In my defense I’ve never done this before (uni assignments DON’T COUNT!), but if you like cinnamon and espresso shots then have a go. You might like it.