a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





jolly good time
July 11, 2004, 2:33 pm

I can't recall every single moment, nor can I put into words what the trip was or what it meant, but I will share a secret with you:

The first night we landed in the flat of the magnificent KatSlater and her tolerant and adorable husband Ramses, I made myself a solemn vow as I tried to calm down enough to drift off to sleep:

1. This trip was not so much about seeing England or experiencing the local flavor as much as it was to rebuild, reconnect, and redevelop my friendship with Kat.

2. Under no circumstances was Fiestada to have a bad time, EVER.

3. Try not to get addicted to cigarettes.

I'm happy to report that two out of the three were accomplished in the span of my trip.

The highlights of my England trip are best expressed in a monologue from the bowels of my digital camera, wherein I will try to describe for you in a few words or less how I took in the land across the pond.

How Biensoul spent the better part of her vacation: drinking. The bartender didn't understand me when I told him to "Have a good one."

Flowers I bought for KatSlater in Tesco, the English Supermarket. Another vibrant example of how they have our asses kicked in the pretty flowers department.

Canterbury Cathedral, the Poor Traveler's view (it was a rip-off to go in, and we'd already done the Canterbury Tales tour, so whatever.)


This god-awful picture brought to you by Grolsh lager and the 2004 EuroCup, England vs. Portugal. My goodness, I am hammered beyond any worldly idea. I also will gain reknown in this bar by screaming, "You've gotta be FREAKIN' kiddin' me!" at the screen, where most people thought a hearty "FUCK YOU, WANKER!" would suffice. Kat, Ramses, and Fiestada were all delighted that the pub was instantly silent after my outburst.

The view from behind Kat and Ramses' flat; on a clear day, you can see France from across the Channel, and the White Cliffs of Dover are around the bend. Pretty, isn't it?

This is Fiestada after Kat said, "Hey! You know what? We should develop a way to play this game where we do shots of vodka." Thus, Rock Star Slumber Party 2004: England truly kicked into high gear.

"For relaxing times, make it Suntory time." (This picture was taken after I fell over the couch and before I cleaned up the broken glass from the bathroom floor.)

Fiestada said, "Dude, Marn would be freaking out right now," in reference to all the beautiful flowers, sampled here in the form of a bush behind Ramses' mom's house.

"That bloke looks like Justin Timberlake," said Ramses.

From the "Dangers of Touring London on Your Own" Department: trying to avoid the pidgeons that might shit on me in Trafalgar Square. We went on to the Saatchi Museum and to walk under Waterloo Station nine times.

"Look kids, there's Big Ben," said Fiestada.

Fiestada has a monkey on her back. I got an outline of a bird, but it's not as cute.

The trip in a nutshell? Beautiful and everything I had wished for it to be. We flew home. I wasn't drunk when that happened, which was good because I watched The Office Christmas Party episodes 1 and 2 three times. I did, however, manage to smoke five packs of cigarettes in six days. Bah.

I love England, and I am forever indebted to Kat for the opportunity, to Ramses for his patience, and to Fiestada for doing it with me.

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