London Celebrities & Bad Oysters


I am finally, FINALLY back from almost two weeks in London, where I had my interview for the Royal College of Art, stood about three feet away from HRH the Duke of Cambridge, and got food poisoning from some bad oysters in Soho (tip: you should probably never ever order raw oysters unless you are willing to BET YOUR LIFE that they are super fresh). I'm still a little weak but mostly over being sick, and I did lose some extra weight although I would rather have kept it and not been ill. It was the kind of sick where you pray for death, but death never comes.

Anyway, my trip was incredibly busy but great. London is beautiful even in cold, nasty winter and it felt wonderful being around so many people running around doing London stuff. I saw more museums, palaces, and churches than I thought possible. I pretty much ignored every piece of advice or logic I talked about in my previous post about packing, and ended up bringing an obscene amount of extra junk I didn't need. We all have such lofty dreams about the makeup we'll wear and the clubs we'll grace with our presence, but it's just not meant to be. Not when you've been at the British Museum all day or waiting an hour in a common room and sweating buckets before the interview of your life (which went really well by the way, and I hope they appreciate all the money I spent on a last-minute dress, coat, and bag to look presentable). The tube is great to get around the city but once you've transferred to three different lines a day for five days you really want to shell out whatever a cabbie would ask you to ride in a car, in the open air, above ground. Walking up and down all those steps and riding 500 escalators makes you a little crabby at the end of 11 days. But it was worth it in the end to be able to wander around some of the best museums in the world (especially the free ones--yay!) and just drool over their collections. Except maybe standing a few feet back.

Now that I am back home in my own cozy bed with recognizable food brands and outlet-shapes, I signed up for a pro account with NoomWeight, which puts you in user groups to motivate you to log meals and lose weight. Although cutting back on calories is easy when you are sickly and have no appetite, I really like how minimalist the interface is. It's cheerful and easy to input food, and I actually like having little messages from my group encouraging me to log meals or exercise. I cannot wait to start running again; I feel like my muscles are just wasting away even though they couldn't be (no one's could after climbing that spiral staircase of death and barely-safe uneven ledge you had to scoot around at the base of the dome). It will be nice to get back into my gym routine and cook my own food with some vegetables in it no less. Sweet, delicious, gorgeous, not-bread food that will be very happy in my stomach. Coconut butter and greek yogurt and spaghetti squash and granola bars and roasted cauliflower *lip smacking noises* I AM EXCITED.

While I'm recuperating I will have to consider my potential home for the next two years. If I don't get an acceptance letter in mid-April, it will leave me a whole year to save money, get more museum experience, and do more research for my next application. If they accept me, I'll be really worried about money and being homesick, but I don't think this is an opportunity that I can pass up. This is the best program, in the best city, with the best resources and staff that I could possible ask for in my wildest dreams. Two years isn't that long if I decide not to continue living in the UK, and while I'm there I could make an unreasonable number of amazing contacts for jobs elsewhere. Being in another country so far away will be hard, but I moved across the country when I was 18. Why couldn't I move across an ocean at 24?

Assuming they accept me. Erp.

Existential Packing Crisis

Tomorrow  I will be jetting off to England, land of incredibly articulate and easily embarrassed actors, Alexander McQueen, and meat-heavy cuisine (although to be honest there will probably be more Asian than British food sliding down my gullet). I am SO excited for about a thousand reasons but most especially because the BAFTAs are happening Sunday the 16th! And if you think I won't be waiting outside in the cold and rain for hours to catch a glimpse of my favorite thespians, you are DEAD WRONG. Guys. I could see Christian Bale. Or Tom Hiddleston. I don't think the gravity of this situation has registered yet because I'm pretty sure when the actors start showing up I'm going to have a breakdown. SO BE IT.

Possible celebrity interactions aside, my favorite part of any trip is probably packing. For me it's an incredibly exact art; you can't bring all your nice things, because something might get left behind or lost, but you don't want to buy too many travel-only things that will just sit in your closet most of the time and be lonely. It's like a really intense, high-stakes competition to see if you can pack the perfect amount of stuff, and it's the hardest look at your life you'll ever take. And you sort of have this really existential conversation with yourself, like, "How many blushes should I bring? Do I really need three? Do I need any? Why do I wear makeup anyway? Why do I care about my appearance? WHY AM I EVEN HERE?!" The trick for me is to be realistic about what I actually use. And I'm becoming more and more minimalist these days (more minimalist...heh) and I find that I'm happier with less things in my bag. But sometimes you gotta whip out your never-worn dangly gold scroll earrings because when else will you wear them? (the answer is never)

The other challenge is playing Tetris with your clothes and shoes in your suitcase or duffel bag of choice. I can usually roll up all kinds of things and stuff them into a pair of boots, although once it backfired when I couldn't find my retainer for a month (it was in a high top sneaker). I have a really nice Coach computer bag that I got at an outlet about 6 years ago; it's still looks great and is made well, but a semi-rigid rectangular prism shape is tricky to stuff things in. You pretty much have to layer and stack things exactly right like a tangram and god forbid you need to take anything out during the flight. It is kind of fun to see what tiny things you can slide in the empty spaces, but it does turn into a bear trap when you try to dig anything out from the bottom. Maybe this will be the first plane trip in years that I will cheat on my Coach bag with a shapeless mini duffel instead, so I can stuff snacks and coats and maybe even a pillow inside.

Also, I'm SO excited because I'll be visiting the Royal College of Art, whose MA History of Design program is pretty much the dream of my entire life. The program has a partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum (aaah!), and you have access to their collections as part of your study (AAAH!) and you basically get to study the one thing I have always wanted to study but I thought it didn't exist but it does in London and it's perfect (I'M DYING). I have never wanted something so badly in my entire life. But if I don't get in, I won't worry; it will give me a chance to work for another year, save my money, and get more experience, so when I apply again I can tear up that interview. It's happening.

I still can't believe that this is my life and I'm going back to my favorite, favorite city and there is a really good chance that I might stand across a barricade from Michael Fassbender. THIS IS REAL LIFE.

I think I run now

I christen this post, a running post.

I'm weirdly embarrassed when people give me encouragement for my current half marathon training, because they might be confused if I tell them I was inspired by Sandra Bullock's thighs in Gravity. If you've seen the movie, you'll remember the scene where she gets into the little cruiser thing and rips off her space suit and just kind of floats there, and you really can't focus on anything except how huge her legs are and the fact that she could probably beat down anyone who looked at her wrong. I could write a whole other blog post about her badass character (and I probably will) but really I was surprised because I always thought of Bullock as thin and wispy. But something about that role in particular just screamed, if you got off your booty you could be scary too. And that is ultimately my goal in life; to be so envied that I am literally terrifying. But in a good way.

So, after that I decided to finally join a gym and start working out. Years of run/walking in the miserable Louisiana heat in middle and high school P.E. had put me off running, so I avoided the treadmills like the plague. But then I thought it might be a good idea in case I moved somewhere that a gym would be either too expensive or too much trouble, and I could just run outside without having to pay for it. I downloaded Runkeeper (which is amazing) and did one of their Beginner to 5K training plans, and in several weeks I could run for 15 minutes instead of 30 seconds. I had been going to Anytime Fitness, and the manager mentioned that she and some other girls were starting a running group to train for a half marathon. I wasn't sure about the race itself, but I thought I might enjoy running with other people so I started the Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan. Right now I'm at the end of Week 5, and for the past two weeks I've actually been able to run five miles without stopping. It may be super slow running, but I did it! I still can't believe this is my life.

Until recently I've been the kind of person that puts any kind of decision off for later, and makes lots of excuses when I'm scared to do something. But now that I've been eating healthy and exercising I feel like I can do anything. I'm going to use this blog to track myself (and make sure I don't fall into too deep of a workout slump). In the past year or so I have completely changed the way I eat and cook, and I want to share what I've learned with others that might want to do the same. It can be really scary to try and eat "healthy" when there are 500 million food theories and opinions flying around; no two diets agree with each other about what you should or shouldn't eat and real food is so expensive it's unreal. But trust me, once you find what works for you, you'll feel better, think better, and most likely look better. 

Look forward to more training updates, food shopping hauls, travel doings, movie rambles, and things. Awesome things.

Eve <3

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