Monday, April 30, 2012

1 down, 5 to go

Quantum Mechanics final is now completed. I think it went pretty well, I should pass and might do pretty well, if certain answers go my way. Now I have to get back on the horse and study for my Dynamics and Relativity exam tomorrow. Then I'll have a nice week of simple studying for my remaining physics exams. So the ball is officially rolling now. Lets hope it lands in a nice spot.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

...Back to Business

Well after an amazing 5 days with my brother here it is time for me to get back down to business. But before I do, I will give you guys a run down of what we did. Arriving late Thursday Evening, Stu and I took the night easy. We got back to the hotel, had a few drinks at the hotel bar and then he fell asleep. Long day of travel for the little guy. I stayed up a bit longer and watched some TV.

On Friday we did some city exploring including seeing Edinburgh Castle, and some of my favorite spots around the city. We then headed back to the dorm area so he could meet some of my friends and see my shoe box of a room. We went to a pub across the street and had a few drinks before meeting up with my friends as they are young and still sleep in until 11:30 or noon. When they were ready we took a walk up Arthur's Seat and ended up sitting at a nice pond near the top, equipped with two mutant huge swan. We had a very nice time up there drinking and watching the ducks/swans fight over territory. That night we went out for a big sushi dinner at my favorite sushi place here (well the best of the 2 I have been to). We then walked to the Lebowski Pub to see what it was like. Unfortunately other than the large chalk drawing of the Dude outside the bar there is little other reference to the legend himself. Rather disappointing, the pub is more of a hipster scene bar. We then retired to the hotel.

On Saturday we were catching a train to Manchester at 18:15, so we had some time to kill during the day. We did some shopping and some more exploring, saw a movie (21 Jump Street, hilarious by the way) and before we knew it, it was time to catch the train. During the 3 hour ride, we had a nice time catching up with what we had been up to in the months since I had been home. We arrived later than expected so we stopped by a small corner shop and bought some snacks and then hung out in the hotel room until we fell asleep.

After a restless night of excitement it was finally Sunday morning and we were off to Old Trafford to see the greatest football team in the world, Manchester United. We arrived there at around 9:30 and had 3 hours to kill before the game started. Lucky for us Old Trafford is home to the team "Mega Store." Essentially Nike Town but with only Manchester United gear. Needless to say Stuart was in heaven. We spent a good amount of time and money in that shop buying clothes and souvenirs, and then made out way to our seats. Which was increadible. Not only were we lucky enough to be undercover as it had recently started pouring, but our seats despite being in the 3rd row from the very top of the stadium had a magnificent view of the field. With the stadium still pretty empty we took advantage and took some pictures, a majority of which are still on Stuart's phone, so I will post them once he gets back and sends them to me. Soon enough it was time for the match to begin. Now I have been to sold out hockey games, sold out baseball games, and sold out football games, but none of those can hold a candle to the atmosphere of this stadium. With just over 75,000 fans in the stadium this place was electric, roaring, passionate, and utterly absurd. Chants and songs would break out from one end of the stadium and would be immediately picked up by the rest of the 75,000 viewers. It was an amazing game. Although the score was not ideal, a 4-4 draw, we got to see 8 amazing goals, each one putting the MLS league to utter shame (no offence). It was amazing. After the game we made out way back to the train station on foot as the traffic was, as you would expect, immense. After going the long way and making little progress on foot, we found a Hilton hotel with plenty of cabs outside it, so we jumped in one. Arriving at the train station about 2 hours before our 18:15 departure, we went searching for food. And as it seemed every place we found had a policy of "No Football Colours" (they spell colors wrong here). So after being refused by 3 restaurants we found one that was more understanding. We then made our way back to the train and returned to Edinburgh. This ride was less pleasant  than the last however, as there was a problem with the East Coast Main Line and everyone going north of London (which is pretty much everyone as London is near the bottom of the Island) had to take West Main Line with us. So our train was packed with people, standing in the isles, sitting in the "transition area" between cars. Now this wouldn't have been a problem normally since we had reserved seats but we had  been drinking a lot of fluids on the train before it got crowded. And by the time nature was calling us, the train was packed like an obese man's arteries. Needless to say that last hour or so of the train was pretty awful. Thank god that our hotel was across the street from the train station as we both ran inside to use the facilities. The train had come in late with all the over crowing and so we retired for the night shortly after.

Which brings me to Monday. The last full day of my brother's visit. We woke up and went to brunch, then decided to finish up our shopping. Once that was done we went and saw another movie, Cabin In the Woods. An excellent satire on the horror film industry. We then went out for a late dinner and some drinks. Which was very fun. We then went home and retired for the night.

This morning we woke up early got everything packed up and left for the airport. The sad end of one of the best vacations I have ever had. So thank you to my parents for flying him out here and giving us this opportunity to have a sibling vacation in the Old Country.

Which brings me back to the present, were I am currently really resisting getting back to work. But I know I have to, and the good news is once I get back into study mode, the remaining time will start to pass rapidly again and before I know it I will be back in the United States. Which I can say after Stuarts visit I have never been more excited for. Who would have thought I could get so excited for a 9.5 hour flight?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mental Lapse

Sorry for the delay again. I have been so engrossed in my studies that I had actually forgotten what day it was. Fortunately I made a calendar event for my brother's arrival so when I awoke this morning I was greeted by a friendly reminder that I had to pick him up from the airport today. His flight will be landing in the next 2 hours (1 hour delay in Gatwick as it seems). Then the Sibling Scotland Shenanigans can begin! During his visit I will try to keep you all posted on what we are doing, but at worst case I will have a long post on Tuesday when he leaves with pictures and stories.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The List of Lasts

As my time here continues to wain, I'm beginning to take notice of a few things. Tomorrow for example will be the last time I walk to the physics building, yesterday my last tutorial section met its end, and the day before saw the conclusion of my final physics lecture . Although I can't say I'm going to miss having class, I am not discounting the experience of going to a foreign university. As my classes come to a close I realize I am a mere 6 finals (mere being an odd word for SIX finals, but no matter) away from completing my time here. A bitter sweet moment to be sure. A few steps closer to graduation and a life outside of school, but a tragic departure from the place I have come to call home over the past 7 months. So while I am eager to return to the United States, a place I am rather ashamed to say seems foreign to my mind, I will certainly miss this place. A lot was accomplished here, and perhaps more was discovered. In my remaining time, I wish only to prepare well for these exams, and in that final week after my last exam and before my return flight, to soak up so much of this place that my mind becomes a soggy wet sponge of experiences... but, you know, in a good way...