sangre_fria: (Red Rose)

This journal is now Friends Only. Drop me a line if you'd like to be added! ♥
sangre_fria: (xxxHolic- Yuuko poppies)
So, I've officially finished my undergraduate degree, and I've been spending the past few days enjoying the freedoms entailed within such an event.

After six hours of exams on Saturday (followed by an abundance of jubilant hugs, Hawaiian leis, glitter deposited in unspeakable places, and champagne), my friends and I indulged in some Eurovision. Anyone who's seen Eurovision knows what that means. Epic lulz to the max.

So now, I've managed to survive my undergraduate education at Oxford University, and all that I need to do now is wait for the final results of my exams. Of course, the waiting process has so far consisted of booze, punting, OULES, and just general goofing off. Pretty much the winning combination, on all accounts.

I'm also looking forward to assaulting helping my other finalist friends finish their exams in the next week or so. Be afraid; be very afraid. XD

Text me if you have nothing to do and feel like doing nothing in my company. I literally have no idea what to do with myself until my PhD course begins. ♥

(P.S.- I've accepted the City of Hope's offer of a pathology PhD with waived tuition and an annual stipend of at least $28,000 a year. If anyone wants to come visit me in California within the next five or so years to see Hollywood/Long Beach, then let me know. I should have my own apartment, and would love to play host to some guests.)
sangre_fria: (Default)
I start my final exams today, the results of which comprising 50% of my entire degree.

For the love of all that is holy, wish me luck.

Looking on the bright side, there is always this:

I guess if you always strive to do your very best, you'll get there in the end.

To everyone who's undertaking Oxford's age-old Trial by Fire with me today, good luck!
sangre_fria: (Default)
If you haven't run across TV Tropes, then you definitely need to check it out.

I love the Better Than It Sounds page. To give you an idea, here are examples for some of the most recognized/popular anime. In fact, see if you can guess the show.

Student finds little black book. Mass murder ensues. )

Seriously. Go there, and look for your favorite movie/TV show/book/anime/webcomic.

I love the Crowning Moment of Awesome page, not to mention the definition pages for all of the character archetypes. Some of my favorites:

1. Magnificent Bastard (Not to be confused with the Smug Snake, Heroic Sociopath, or Loveable Rogue.)
2. Chivalrous Pervert (Not to be confused with the I Have You Now My Pretty or Accidental Pervert.)
3. Lovable Sex Maniac (Not to be confused with the Casanova or Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places.)
4. Deadpan Snarker (See also The Daria, The Mean Brit, and First Person Smartass
5. Too Dumb To Live (Not to be confused with the Cloudcuckoolander, Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, or The Kimberly.)

sangre_fria: (KHR- Gokudera omgyay)
Sweet zombie Jesus!

Kishimoto-sensei, I love you so very much. You are a genius, and I bow before your might. You sneaky thing, you've been planning all of this from the very beginning, and none of us even had a clue. We're just now starting to see the intricate design of the web you've been weaving, and how thoroughly you thought all of this through years ago. Once again, I love you from the depths of my heart.

That is all.

P.S.- I also love how this vindicates what I was planning with my current fic, but that's just a corollary.


Apr. 28th, 2008 10:06 pm
sangre_fria: (Default)
Icons, for your viewing pleasure.


Please feel free to help yourselves to them... )

If there are any icons here that you like, but would rather have different text (or no text at all), just let me know. I'm happy to take requests. :D
sangre_fria: (xxxHolic- Yuuko 'I require payment')
My little sister is going on a school field trip to New York city tomorrow, and guess who's a chaperone?

I had to get my fingerprints taken and a background check done, but now I can officially chaperone these sorts of events. (Definitive proof that I'm not a psycho killer, in case anyone had doubts.) So for the next four days, I'll have a group of high schoolers following me around like ducklings. (We'll be in the audience of the CBS Early Show on Tuesday, so look for us.) It's going to be fun, of course, but I still can't escape the feeling that I'm getting old. Since Margo attends my former high school, it's especially nostalgic.

I was looking at the list of kids going, and most of their last names were familiar. These are all the younger brothers and sisters of the people I knew in high school, but they're so much younger that I never even knew they existed. I guess that shows just how long it's been since I graduated.

Time is really flying, isn't it?

Oh, also, I just got my acceptance letter from the City of Hope. (It's a research institute and hospital in the US that I applied to for my PhD, if I haven't mentioned it before.) So now I have to choose between Cambridge University (which hasn't sent me their decision about funding yet) and City of Hope, which has offered me a stipend of $28,000 a year during my degree if I choose to go there.

My time at Oxford has been incredible, but it's left me with a lot of debt. Cambridge is my first choice, but CoH's offer is giving me pause. It has a very respectable reputation for biomedical research, and their curriculum sounds great. The Californian weather there would also be nice, and I'd be living in my home country without having to worry about a horribly expensive exchange rate. Of course, that means leaving behind a lot of people that I know and love in Britain; one person in particular. (It's our six month anniversary at the end of the month, and I'm as happy now as I was when we starting dating.)

It's a tough decision, that's for sure.

On a lighter note, if you're a Naruto fan who's been keeping up with the manga, you need to read this. Spoilers for Sasuke's latest battle, and major LULZ!warning. Don't try to drink anything while you read this, srsly.
sangre_fria: (xxxHolic- Yuuko poppies)
A bouquet of flowers was just delivered to me...from England. ♥

Excuse me while I go float on Cloud Nine, and plot how I'll surprise him on his birthday...
sangre_fria: (Bleach- Urahara okay heart)
I'm older than I've ever been, and now I'm even older...

Thanks and hugs to everyone who was with me at midnight tonight.

sangre_fria: (xxxHolic- Yuuko poppies)
Christmas this year was a bit unusual.

My mom figured that we all just spend money getting things that no one really needs, or just giving each other gift cards anyway. We might as well just write each other checks each Christmas, in her opinion. Which is pretty much true, these days.

So instead of exchanging gifts, everyone got twenty-five dollars to use on whatever they wanted. We put everyone's name into a bag and took turns randomly choosing someone else's name. Then each of us wrote a poem, riddle, or a couple lines about that person, taking care not to write anything that might give away our identity. Then on Christmas, we all sat around and read them aloud, trying to guess who had written each one. The person with the most correct guesses got to have one "Christmas freebie" from each person, to be used within the year. My little sister won, so she'll probably be using them for things like "Walk the dog for me" or "I want to go out with my friends on a school night".

But Christmas was especially exciting because of this. :D

And to top it all off, I just found out today that Cambridge University has made me a conditional offer of admission to their Pathology PhD program. As long as I can manage to earn a 2-1, then I'm officially accepted. I'm...stunned. That would be absolutely fantastic. I'm still waiting to hear back from Oxford and the other schools I've applied to, but this is just a huge, lovely surprise for me.

I'm so happy! ♥
sangre_fria: (Bleach- Urahara okay heart)
Maybe it's just because I'm part of the demographic that it caters to, but I find XKCD to be frighteningly relevant to my own life; at least, most of the time.

Yes, indeed.

Tonight, it hit the nail on the head with uncanny accuracy. (For the record, I couldn't resist checking my clock; which read 3:18am when I started laughing. Go figure.)

Also, season's greetings to you all! Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we...will probably have to finish another essay. Well, some of us will have to, anyway. ; P
sangre_fria: (Default)
"So you're, like, still alive, right?"

It's stunning to think that I haven't written here since September. Then again, when I look back at the last few months, it's no wonder.

My life has been turned upside-down, inside-out, and altogether topsy-turvy. In absolutely all the best ways. ♥

And in the midst of all of this wonderful insanity, I just haven't had time to sit down and spell out everything I've been up to, and everything that I've experienced. I haven't even had the time to comment on friends' entries, or interact with everyone over Facebook or AIM. It's not that I don't care about my friends, or have become disinterested with their lives; I'm just too busy to keep in direct touch. Then again, that's more or less how my high school life was, back in the day. So it's really not that much of a surprise, right?

Looking at my life the way that it is, and the way that it's heading, I'll probably never get enough time to post all of my experiences here. But I see that as a good thing; better to be too busy to write things down than not doing anything worth writing about, I suppose.

Even during my "holidays", I'll be spending most of my time applying to graduate schools for my PhD. Graduation is this summer, and I certainly haven't forgotten it. Who knows what the future will bring? All I can do is prepare myself for anything, and then see what happens.

But at the same time, I'm going to try to balance my work with relaxation. You have to have a little downtime, or you're bound to burn out. I've been trying to watch at least one film a day; past examples include both Kill Bill volumes, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Stardust. There are a lot of films that have been out for ages in the US, but are just beginning to be shown in the UK. Of these films, I think the two I'm most interested in seeing are The Golden Compass and Beowulf.

Definitely The Golden Compass, since I loved the book. But what about Beowulf? For those of you who have seen it: Was it any good, and would you recommend it?
sangre_fria: (Default)
Or more accurately, Philip Pullman loves Oxford. And I'd really like to be there right now.

There was a call for extras during the filming of an adaption of Philip Pullman's The Butterfly Tattoo. They're filming a ballroom scene tonight, and there's an open call for anyone in Oxford who'd like their names in the credits. It would have been awesome to be in the movie, but no worries. A bunch of my friends were planning to go, so I hope it went well for them. I'm sure they had a fantastic time. :D

But I've been having a great time here in Florida while I still can, and tonight is going to be brilliant. I always love Halloween Horror Nights, and I'm sure that tonight will be no exception...
sangre_fria: (Bleach- Urahara okay heart)
And isn't that scary? Well, maybe not "scary", but it's definitely a little weird. As soon as I got home from England, it was all about applying for graduate school.

Basically, if I can manage to make a high enough score on my final exams this year, I won't have to get a Master's Degree. Which would mean jumping straight to PhD/DPhil stuff. So I've had to spend an exorbitant amount of time recently just figuring out which schools I'd like to apply to, and which departments would suit my interests best. All the applications have to be sent out this autumn, so it's certainly not something I can put off.

Of course, applying for graduate school also means taking standardized tests like the GRE, so I spent several hours last Thursday doing just that. It's a bit like the SAT, but you have to write two essays as well, and the entire test was computer-based. It's a bit of a disadvantage, since you can't skip ahead to other questions and then come back to the ones you found difficult; it's just one question at a time, which must be answered before you can move on. But I suppose I didn't mind too much, especially since I could see my score for the verbal and quantitative parts right away; and I should be receiving my essay scores soon as well.

And then there's funding. I've had to take out a loan for this year's tuition already (Welcome to the wonderful world of student debt!), so I definitely need to scrounge up some financial support for next year. Thankfully, there are some very tempting deals out there in terms of grants and scholarships, so I've been looking into those as well. Just last night, I sent in my entry to an essay contest; I somehow managed to win one of their cash prizes last year, so we'll see how I do this time. Every little bit helps, right?

So I leave again for England in exactly two weeks from today, and my main responsibility right now is to study. But on top of that, I'm also hoping to upload all of my pictures from my summer trips. I might be able to do a little of that today, even; we'll see. Oh, and I'm going to take a Friday night off before I leave and sneak off to Halloween Horror Nights; there's no way I'm missing that.

I know that I've been a bit out of the loop lately, but I really hope everyone's been doing well and enjoying the last bit of their summer and/or the start of the new semester. ♥
sangre_fria: (xxxHolic- Yuuko poppies)
Have you ever started laughing so hard in a dream that you've actually woken yourself up? If not, then I highly recommend it.

The last few weeks have been a blur. A general pattern emerged: work hard during the week, relax during the weekend, and spend most evenings curled up in bed with a good book. Believe it or not, I've devoured nine books already, several of which were more than a thousand pages long. I bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows around one o'clock in the afternoon, and finished it just after midnight. Which isn't even counting the time I took off from reading to eat, or the two hours I spent talking to my mom on the phone that evening. It feels like being back in high school again...

But that's not to say that I haven't been working around here. I've been pulling some long, long hours in the lab, especially in the last week or so. I've even had to come in and work on the weekends, and on Saturday I wasn't able to drag myself away from the lab until nine-thirty at night.

Though it is kind of cool to come in on the weekends. The labs are completely deserted, and I'm literally the only one around. There's a dining area on the top floor, and the windows overlook the entire city. During my longest days, I would take breaks every three or four hours and spend them up there. The silence and the view make for a really stunning combination.

So...I'll be home on Monday. It's a bit strange to think that the summer has passed by so quickly. Though it'll be a relief to be back to using my own computer, and not having to come to the college library whenever I want to check my email or type something up. Which is generally why I haven't been posting here much.

Which reminds me that I've missed a ton of birthdays since the last time I posted. So happy super-belated birthday to Becky, Megan, Phil, and Richard! Here's to the ripe old age of "Twenty-Something". May we all be "Twenty-Something" forever.

I need a sound off from those of you in Florida; who's still going to be around when I get back? I'll assume that if you see this bit and actually comment, then you're not opposed to the idea of seeing me at some point. I might even travel a bit; there are people to see all over Florida, after all. I'm definitely going to be visiting USF; I still have a year-long pass to Busch Gardens waiting to be utilized.

Oh, Busch Gardens...I can feel your sweet siren's song plucking my heartstrings from here...
sangre_fria: (Default)
Potterdammerung: the end is nigh!

In honor of this, the interwebs are already reaching critical capacity; my f-list is filled with personal theories, silly ficcage, not-so-silly ficcage, preemptive squeeing, anxious hyperventilation, and threats to possible spoilers. Also, [ profile] shoebox_project brings teh lulz ftw.

Sadly, I will not be able to enjoy all of this until Tuesday, after I return from my weekend trip to Prague. I'm leaving this afternoon, and won't be back until late Monday evening. For those crucial 72 hours post-Potterdammerung, I will be striving against all of humanity in order to avoid being spoiler'd.

I'm going to have to somehow avoid the gossip on the street, the plane, and the bookstore until I have my own precious copy. Then, once this epic task is accomplished, I'll lock myself away with the book until I either emerge victorious, or die trying.

You'd think I'd be all bummed out that I couldn't be in the midst of all the excitement for this last book, but I'm actually okay with it. I'm really going to enjoy Prague anyway; and besides, this last book is special, and this situation will definitely make it memorable to me.

In the meantime, I hope you all will be rooting for me during this epic, three-day battle against spoilers.
sangre_fria: (Default)
...which makes sense, since it's his birthmonth.

I have to go pack, so I'll make this quick.

The HP movie = yayz. Like all of the movies so far, there have been good points and bad points; they can't squeeze everything from the book into the movie, so there's bound to be disappointment here and there. I take the movies for what they are, and overall I truly enjoyed it.

I went and pre-ordered my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. It's already bought and paid for, so all I have to do is go pick it up. It was very convenient, since the bookstore had a great deal going on: pre-ordered copies are half-price. If you're in Oxford, you might want to take advantage of that.

I'm going camping in Hampshire this weekend for VOLES, which should be awesome. I'm driving there with Clare, and we're going to share a tent. With all the OULES and CULES running around, I suspect it'll be a lot like Woodstock. Though possibly with more clothes on, since we're in Britain. It may be summer here, but it's not that warm. (Which reminds me of one of Sirius' letters in The Shoebox Project: "...and steal you away to our tropical paradise, if by 'tropical' you mean 'Devonshire' (and I do.)")

I spent some time with my research supervisor yesterday, finalizing all the details of my procedure. I'm very happy with it, and I'll start working at ten o'clock Monday morning. It'll feel good to be productive again. Not that I haven't been enjoying my free time, but there's only so much time you can spend sitting around each day. (Especially when the Internet isn't involved.)
sangre_fria: (Default)
So, I haven't had the best luck with gadgets lately.

Cut for technical problems and whingeing... )

But I still have no computer. I'm typing all of this from the college library. Which is really cold, by the way.

So basically, the whole point of this entry is to let everyone know that I may not be able to update as much as I'd like, but I'll do my best while I wait the how-many-ever weeks it's going to take for my computer to be fixed and sent back.
sangre_fria: (Bugger)
Well, my first exam is tomorrow.

If you've been wondering in the past week or two whether I've died, there's your answer. More or less.

It's not a decent excuse for the way I've completely neglected replying to comments and such, but there you have it. Oxford has a habit of making you believe that shouting "I have exams!" is the catch-all excuse for anything.

I'll catch up with everything and post a proper update at some point, but the next few weeks are going to be insane.

Wish me luck; I need all the help I can get...
sangre_fria: (Default)
This week has been filled with good things of all kinds.

Financial joy... )

On top of the letter from the Accounts Office, I also received an awesome "get well soon" card; thank you, Chris! You utterly spoil me with all of your letters and packages. Speaking of Chris' packages, he sent me something wonderful, and I want to share it with anyone else who's interested.

Doctor Who 2006 Cardiff Concert- A Celebration (77.71MB)

It was hosted by David Tennant, and contains music from the latest three seasons of Doctor Who; nearly all of it is purely instrumental and choral, and it's incredibly beautiful. You definitely don't have to be a fan of the show to appreciate this music.

Here are a few tracks, for those of you who'd like a small taste before you go through all the trouble of downloading the whole thing:

Prologue (1.24MB)
Rose Sequence (Melancholy) (3.48MB)
Lady Cassandra Theme (1.65MB)
Clockwork Men Theme (2.44MB)
Doomsday (4.82MB)

On Thursday evening, I went to see a production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband with Clare and Farhana, and it was wonderful. I love Wilde's plays; they're so witty, it should be a crime. The play was held out on the lawn of Trinity college, so it did get a bit chilly; but they served hot drinks and provided us all with blankets, so it wasn't too bad. All in all it was a lovely evening, and I'm so glad I went.

The farewell picnic in the Botanic Gardens yesterday was great, too, and I really needed a break from exam revision. It's so sad that everyone's heading home until our exams, but I understand. If I had the chance, I think I'd spend the next few weeks back home. But in a way, I'm glad I'm staying. The weather is finally starting to feel more like summer, and all the irises and such as in bloom. I think I'll head back to the Gardens again sometime; it's the perfect setting for a relaxed lunch.

And now on to family matters. They're all coming to visit me here in England for two weeks. Well, only some of the time will be spent in England. I have my exams on Wednesday and Thursday of 9th week, and then they leave for England on Friday. There rest of the two weeks will be a blur, no doubt.

They're going to spend a few nights in Oxford, but then we're off to tour London, then Paris, then back to London. We're planning to rent a car from Oxford and drive over to the west coast of Wales, passing through Cardiff; then we'll take a ferry over to Ireland, see Blarney castle (and the Blarney stone, of course) and continue driving up through Ireland until we reach Dublin, then further north into Belfast.

We'll take a ferry from the northeast coast of Ireland over to Scotland, and see the sights over there (Loch Ness, etc.), including a night's stay in our ancestral castle (this one, in case you were wondering). The rest of the trip will be spent driving down through England, seeing things here and there as we go (such as Alnwick Castle, which was used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies). Then they're back in London just in time to catch their flight home.

It's going to be amazing. ♥


sangre_fria: (Default)

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