Sunday, July 15, 2007

We're baaaaack

Well, then.

We went to England! (Hi, Jena! I have some of that stuff you wanted!) First trip to the UK without dh, which was potentially really, really hard, what with reminders and inlaw visiting and all. It was okay. Partly because I clamped down any intimations of "I-think-I'm-gonna-cry", and partly because the UK just isn't that familiar for me, period. All about the functioning.

I know you're all waiting with bated breath for the latest neurobiology rant, but I will make this a little .... tangential. I only had internet access for the very start and very end of our trip, so what with missing two lectures, I spent a lot of time last night (um, this morning?) watching the lectures online. The professor is really, really, really good. The odd thing is that he looks really, really familiar. It could just be a confluence of generic "Irish guy" face types, like one sees now and then (cough, cough) here in the greater Boston area, but I feel like I know him from somewhere and yet I KNOW I don't.

I watched "The Prestige" on the flight home...a couple hours ago, I guess. One must watch Hugh Jackman, mustn't one? Of course. Well, there I am, watching the Hughster, and the other dude, Christian Bale, well, holy shit, he looks a lot like my neurobiology professor. So I spend the rest of the movie going, whoa, Hugh Jackman in a different fake mustache! Whoa, my neuro professor is pissed off at Hugh Jackman! Whoa, why is Scarlett Johanssen coming on to my neuro professor, and isn't she still in Japan someplace? Hey, Hugh Jackman without a shirt! Hugh Jackman remembering that he's supposed to pretend to have a limp! Hugh Jackman is pretty much the bees' knees, but he's shooting my neuro professor, and that is just not cool. Also any minute now, this 19th century magician guy is gonna say "oligodendrocyte."

I think it's the jet lag.

I have been to England enough times to not be able to donate blood, but until this trip, I never drove there. I always navigated--and got anxious, and dh would get all mad about me not knowing where the hell we were--but the driving part? Nuh-uh. So that was pretty terrifying. No sleep on flight over, customs and immigration, pickup rented car, then BAM onto the M25 and let's try and find our way to Cambridge University, shall we? Oh, let's!

On the wrong side of the road. Did I mention no sleep? In a country that doesn't get the whole "caffeine" thing.

The surprise was that it wasn't so bad. If you've done the westbound merge onto Storrow Drive from Berkeley Street at rush hour, and survived, you're pretty much good to go. UK drivers are not insane. They do not actively seek one's death, unlike drivers in Boston. The roads are quite good. There are signs everywhere (well, at crucial moments sometimes not). I learned to love roundabouts--they mean I don't have to turn right! whoo hoo! I love me them roundabouts! Our car got like a bezillion miles to the gallon, so I never put gas in the car for ten days. It got, like, 445 miles on the one tankful. Europeans have got it all over us on the fuel efficiency, people.

Many stories, and some pictures, to follow. Right now, I'm glad to be home, and also needing to study neurotransmitter receptor types and the neurotransmitter agonists and antagonists--I'm good on acetylcholine, and norepinephrine, but after that I'm kinda toast. Um, also ion channel types and what blocks 'em--okay with the big Na (sodium) (TTX and STX), little Na (neither), big K (TEA, and um cobalt and what was the other one?), but, crap, kinda not so much on the other five K (potassium) types and the Ca (calcium) ones.

Huge class tomorrow, exam Wed. I love this.

See you later, all.


Anonymous Carla said...

England! Wow. In the last week I've only managed a trip my local Walmart.

Sounds like you had a good time.. and kudos on the driving thing. I'm not sure I could have kept my composure!

11:16 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

So glad you had a good trip ... I've been thinking of you.

So, what did you think of Cambridge? Did you go punting?

12:17 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Your neurobiology professor looks like Christian Bale? I may need to sign up for that one. Of course, then I'll imagine the neurobiology prof making out with Ewan MacGregor....

12:40 AM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

Welcome home.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous zana said...

My favorite road sign in England was one which was an errata for the previous sign. You'd think they would just replace the incorrect sign, but no...

8:38 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

SO when am I going with you to class?

Christian Bale is actually Welsh, though he never gets to use his accent in anything he's in...

hubba hubba.

Welcome Home!

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Lynne said...

Welcome home, we missed you!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

Welcome home! I do not know these gentlemen of whom you speak. Clearly I need to get out more.

I think I'd rather drive in England than in Mexico.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Lorena said...

Welcome back! Pictures, right? And did you get some yarn? Important questions, you know.

6:31 AM  

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