Wow

•December 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I cannot believe that this dream is coming to an end..

It seemed so surreal. So much so that it seemed like it would never end. I am leaving the UK in a week and a day.

What did I expect before I came here?
Well, I did not expect to hang out with the friends I already had.
I remember Kelly and I talking about it before we left–“We’ll hang out like once a week, get dinner or something…” Who knew that we would be with each other everyday, sharing dinner almost every night. I remember telling everyone, including myself, that I would be making friends with a bunch of British humans and was hopeful to live with them. Well, first dream died when all my flatties turned out to be American. Second dream partially died when I found out that the majority of my classes only had Americans in them. Well, two out of four. Unfortunately, I did not make as many British friends as I had hoped from the beginning. Even though I say unfortunately, it really is not unfortunate at all. People keep asking me if I’ve made friends from here…nope, not really. I mean, I’ve made friends with British people but nothing too special. Instead I have made two amazing friends that will be in my life forever, and they’re American. Like Andy said at Thanksgiving Dinner–we all came all the way here to form relationships with people from home. I would not change a single thing.
Emily is from all around the US, but she likes to say Seattle. Luckily for me, she’s currently stationed in Philly so I can bug her to come visit because she’s done with school after this semester. I am so happy to have met her. She came up to me in Heathrow after we got off the plane and asked “Are you Daria from facebook?” She pronounced my name wrong, but I just laughed and told her to follow us. Who knew that we would be spending the majority of our days together in London. She is insanely laid back and so easy to get along with, such a pleasure to be around. She fit in with everyone immediately. I’m really happy for her musical taste because she brought her laptop to every party and always played the most  appropriate music. It’s funny because when I usually meet someone and hang out with them alone for the first time, it’s usually really awkward, but I did not feel awkward at all when we hung out alone. We went to Deptford Bunker together and made up fake names to this creepy guy who was hitting on her. I’m really glad she came with me, I know she has always been up for everything. I told her on Thanksgiving that I love that she loves specific things…I’ll never think of so many things without thinking of her as well, Starbucks, Beyonce, Poker Face, Guinness, and other things that are escaping my mind..I am really glad that we have rubbed off on her and she is using abbreevs in her everyday life. We couldn’t go to Barcelona but her reaction (along with Andy’s) made me feel better about the situation, and I am really glad that they were there with me. I am so glad that we got to go to Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris and Liverpool together and I’ll always remember her asking me if I dropped an eight pound note next to my bed in Browns, hehehehe. I cannot wait until we can visit each other, and I am excited for her to move back to Seattle, where she wants to be. Also, it will be a new place for me to visit! 😀
 Andy is from Old Bridge. We grew up literally 10 minutes from each other. If that is not ironic enough, he goes to Montclair as well, and we know a handful of the same people. I am really happy that he got comfortable with all of us because in the beginning he was so quiet and shy. Once he opened up to us, I knew he was going to be another lifetime friend. I remember one of the first nights he bought some cans of Fosters and offered any to everyone. Immediately I could tell what a generous guy he is, and that opinion has never changed. There has never been a time where he has not offered everything he’s ever had. He said that he was scared he would have had to go the places we went by himself because he had no idea he would have made friends to go with, and I am so delighted that we experienced it all together. I remember asking him to tell me a secret at the Hobgoblin when we barely knew each other. He immediately trusted me and it was great. I don’t know what I would have done if he slept–our insomnia brought us closer and he always listened to all my issues and gave me advice. He has been such a good friend to me. On the bus back from Luton (after getting rejected by ryanair) he told me all the times he’s wasted money since being here just to make me feel better. I’m glad he got to go to Liverpool and live out a dream, and I’m glad I got to watch it. I loved creating our one act and our conversation in the Amersham Arms. He is a sentimental guy and I had fun telling each other how much we hate each other in Liverpool. Nothing bothers him. It’s great. 
There’s no explanation as to why I met these two in London. I feel like I have known these people forever, and it’s so strange to think that it has only been 11 weeks. I have experienced more with these two than I have ever experienced with friends whom I’ve known for years. We took an 11 day backpacking excursion around Europe together and they trusted me to get the flights and hostels. These people who had only known me for about four weeks at the time TRUSTED me to do that–that says a lot about humanity, there’s a lot to have faith in. More particularly, them, it says a lot about them. I got to meet and get to know two AMAZING people and whether they like it or not, they will be in my life forever. I do not take friendships lightly, nor do I take forever lightly. I mean what I say, and now they’re stuck :].I could not have done this without them, and that is so crazy to me because I did not know them before this! I could not have done this without all the people I surrounded myself with.
Kelly is my best friend and I have never had such a strong bond with someone. We literally do nothing together, but it is perfectly ok. We have our own language and we find the same things hilarious. She is a one-of-a-kind, such a strong woman…she has been through so much and it amazes me how wonderful of a human she is. I most definitely credit her for influencing me; she has never been one to talk bad about anyone and luckily that trait of hers has rubbed off on me and I find myself getting upset when others talk about people, and that would not have bothered me in the past because I used to be guilty of it myself. She babies me when I’m sick or upset and rubs my back when I need it the most. We listen to a lot of music together and I hope that we never stop making ridiculous videos. It is impossible for us to have a normal conversation because we can never stop making jokes. We try to be normal, but it rarely happens. She listens to me and does not make me feel bad about talking to her about things when I need to. We share everything with each other and I am so happy to have someone who I can trust, and who can trust me. I could spend everyday with her and we would still be okay because we’re capable of telling each other when we need a break, haha. Her prescense lightens up the mood for everyone she is around, and I am so honored to call her my best friend.
Kate and I have been friends for almost 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS!! that is insane. We literally have been through everything together. Even though we skipped a couple of years in high school, it does not really change much. She is one of the most selfless people I know, she is rarely thinking about herself when it comes to anything. On Thanksgiving, she had never met Joe’s friend Monica, but she made vegetarian options because she knows she is a vegetarian. She did that for a stranger. Her thoughtfulness is incredible and I know she will always be there for me, even when she cannot stand me :P. Perhaps our personalities do not necessarily clash very well, I will never not be friends with her, she is too much to lose. Our conversations in Browns Hostel bathroom and our first hostel in York have been unforgettable. hehe. Naw, but seriously, I love being with Kate because everytime I am with her, I feel like I learn something new about her. She is a beautiful person inside and out, and even if she considers herself awkward, and even if she is, I will never care, that will never matter to me. From Barney to England, we can conquer it all. I am so glad we did this together. We got to see the world side by side. Even when she was telling me to wake up or hiding Cosmopolitan under my pillow, I never got (TOO) mad at her for being a ‘mom’ because I know she loves me. Even if she can’t say it as much as I can, hehe.
I’m really grateful for Chris coming here because I feel like I have learned so much more about him, and I feel like I understand him a lot more and I am so lucky to know such a wonderful person. He is most definitely a Dad, and was one to all of us. Him and Kate are most definitely soul mates and if she were a guy or if he were straight, they would DEFINITELY be married already. On our big trip, Chris was always the one to wake up the earliest and when I woke up a couple hours later, he was there to greet me, hehe. He may or may not have been annoyed that I was up so much later :P. I am so happy with all of the things that he has shared with us, and I feel so honored that he would trust me so much, he makes me feel special. I am really happy that my coming to London convinced him that he should as well because I would not have been able to taste such great cooking and baking without him here. He kissed my forehead to check if I had a fever and when I was sick kept asking me if I was okay and making sure that I was. I loved dancing with him and Sandwich hehe, he’s tough but so fun and silly. I’m so happy that I get to go back to Montclair and he’ll be there too. We definitely were not as close as we are now, and I am realllly glad that he came. I am also realllly glad that him and Kate found each other because I think they’re perfect.
I am also extremely happy that I convinced Joe to come to England. I love going out with him because he lets me hang all over him. He gets mad at me because I am a smartass but I know that he’s never actually mad at me and never means it when he says “i haaaaaaaaaate you” hehehehe. He loves me. I’ll never forget him holding me while I vommed in the toilet (yes, family) and telling me over and over how often he is in that position. He always rubs my back and I don’t think he knows how much I appreciate it because it is like he knows when I need it the most. I’m proud of him because he’s not late anymore!! He used to be late to EVERYTHING, but now he’s only late to class, it’s remarkable! He was so proud of the food that he made for Thanksgiving and it was adorable because of how happy he was that he made it and that he learned how to cook while over here. His love for his mother is adorable; he could not live without her. I am so glad that we had psych together freshman year and used to have studysessions/just talk before class because I don’t think we would be as close. He makes me laugh and I am so happy he is in my life.

Like I said–I couldn’t have been able to do this without the people I have been around for the past 11 weeks. They have made me into a better person. I have spent special time with each of them and I will never forget our experiences together. They have all seen me at my worst, but I am ok with that. I can be vulnerable. I can be myself around them, and I could not ask for anything better.
So no, I did not make many British friends, but my relationships with friends I already had grew stronger and I made two new lifelong friendships. That’s what this is about, right?

They have made it easier for me to say love :]

Daria

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I’m really bad at this…

•November 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s difficult to get myself to decide to sit down and write in here, but I am so anxious to tell everyone about all the things I’m doing here. Words cannot express more than my enthusiastic face could….

^^moments before traveling up the eiffel tower

I’ve written about my 11 day excursion in a notebook, which I plan on transferring to this blog at some point. It will happen, but for now I’ll just tell you how much I enjoyed it.

Without a doubt, the best consecutive 11 days in my entire life. (I think everyone I was with would say the same for themselves.) People were asking what my favorite city was and I honestly cannot choose. They were all very different and I liked them all for different reasons.

Dublin was really beautiful. It was much smaller than the other cities, and everything was walkable. The pubs were so much fun and EXACTLY how I had imagined the Ireland culture to be like. Everyone was so joyous and just enjoying everybody around them, it was magnificient. I had my first pint of Guinness on Halloween and now I’m hooked, I actually enjoy it now. We ventured to the Guinness Factory where I learned how to pour the perfect pint and then drink it (I drank it for my Dad, of course)

Amsterdam was just a DIFFERENT place. Again, the people there were super nice and chilled out (mmmmhmmmmm). We went to the redlight district..which was insane. I always heard about it, and how women stand in the windows, prostituting themselves. I never thought that it actually worked that way…but it does. It’s exactly that. It was crazy and for my eyes, I did not reallylike the idea of it all, but still appreciated the culture and I understand that so many places and ideas are different everywhere. Surprisingly enough, the place I felt the safest was in Amsterdam. The atmosphere was not dirty or creepy, there are barely any homeless people at all and everyones too..chilled…to care. I’m avoiding saying what the main pasttime in Amsterdam is only because my family reads this, but I’m an honest person, hay! haha, google it : ). Besides the attractions in Amsterdam, the city itself is flawless. It’s gorgeous. Canals all over and bikers riding through everywhere. Can I mention that we all rented bikes for the 3 days we were there to ride around like the locals? We may have rode bikes like the locals but that does not mean we didn’t stick out like tourists ..stopping every 10 blocks or so to look at a map because we were lost, or the 6 of us riding in a straight line with out ‘rent a bike’ logos on the fronts of our bikes. It was quite a sight…

Paris. Yeah…A lot of Paris was exactly what I had expected. Beautiful, not understanding the language, shaking my head with wide eyes when people tried to talk to me in French and looking frantically around for Chris, Kate or Karen because they knew some French. However, Paris was a lot dingier than I expected, especially where our hostel was. It was dirty and made me appreciate the cleanliness of London. Still, with all of that, it had some of the most beautiful sights. Without describing, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Pere Lachaise, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, the Lourve,  Moulin Rouge etc etc etc. Yes we did all of that in a matter of 3 full days.  Including the market, eating a lot of croissants, drinking some wine, reading cosmopolitan, waking people up, and mainly coughing.

Three beautiful, beautiful, beautiful places.
Yet we cheered when we arrived back in New Cross.
It is nice to have your own room, away from the same 5 people you’ve shared everything with for the past week and a half without a minute of privacy. It is nice to have your own bathroom with shampoo AND conditioner AND bodywash! (WOW!)  hahaha. and..towels. It was THE most amazing experience ever. However, I’m still so happy that I chose to come to London (it’s my favorite). I am leaving in four weeks and I’m not looking forward to it, but then again I am. I’m excited to see my family and friends and Range. I just wish I could explain everything I’ve done here by showing them. Even a camera cannot capture all I’ve seen and done. I’m surprisingly not homesick at all, but I think I owe that to my friends here who’ve become more than just friends, they have been my family for the past two months, and I love them all.

Daria

10 minutes before my departure..

•October 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here I go…

Backpacking through Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris.

 

What did I do to deserve this?
I just keep pinching myself.

See you in eleven days, London 🙂

One Month

•October 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have been absolutely horrible with keeping up with this…

I was planning on posting another day2day..

However…too many days have passed, even if I’ve written it all down.
Maybe I’ll post those descripitions another time.

Today I was able to breathe and take this all in ..
I have been here for a month now.
It feels like a night and it feels like 10 years. there’s no better way of explaining the excitement and the homelieness of it all. I still want to take pictures of my lil room but it doesn’t tend to stay clean..not sure why. HA. and I need to take a second and take a picture of the view from my window. The view that I open my eyes to every morning. Every morning (or afternoon, more likely) when I wake up, I brush away those curtains, open my window and breathe in to make sure that this is still real. There’s no possible way that this is my life, it cannot be possible.
When I look out my window and see the city in the distance, the New Cross Gate train station in clear site, the Hobgoblin beer garden right under my window, and the double deckers passing by the street…this IS my life and I am the luckiest person alive.

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I have to wake up in two and a half hours but my eyes don’t want to go to bed.
I am going to York for the weekend with CEA. Four hour bus ride..which is also keeping me from sleeping, bc I want to sleep the whole way on that bus.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than the recaps of everyone’s days at dinner. Even though most of us spent ours together, we let each other know our favorite and least favorite part of our days and that of course leads to hours of conversation at the table (where we spend most of our time..eating..). It’s amazing how much we’ve learned about each other. The ones I’ve known for a matter of 4 weeks … I feel like I’ve known for my entire life. I couldn’t ask for better people to surround myself with.

Thinking about this one month anniversary of being here…
I don’t want to. I don’t want this to be over. It is too good to be true. Too good to be happening to me. Everyone deserves this. It’s far from an escape, but it might as well be.

I miss everyone at home and I’ll be happy to see them all but I cannot imagine going home just yet. I have so much left to do. I’m going to stop thinking about that though, because I still have 2/3 of the way to go. That’s quite some time! I am so excited to see what else happens..

I have fallen in love with London.
It loves me back, I know it.

xDaria

Week One

•September 28, 2009 • 1 Comment

Ok Ok so I was finally able to get out with my camera and explore London.
Hmm since my last post, it has just been the same thing everyday, just at different places:

Walk somewhere for hours upon hours.
Come back home, get ready, go out.
Repeat.

My legs are dying but they love me nonetheless, my calves are rock solid hahaha.
Let me try and remember my days…

Monday was an orientation and then we went and finally got cell phones from “Carphone Warehouse” which has everything so you can compare and choose and la dee daaa. I got pay as you go and I feel a lot better with a cell phone now that I can communicate with people. (and also know the time…)

It was kind of interesting however, to not have a cell phone or internet, or a way of knowing the time. It was nice to be unattached but I have to say that I appreciate knowing what’s going on. Monday is also the day we were finally able to figure out the internet. WOOO!

Later that night I went to the Hobgoblin (the local pub that is conveniently my view when I look out my window) where I saw a couple people I knew, and then saw the majority of my flatmates there so I decided to hang out with them. It was fun.

Tuesday
First we had departmental meetings which lasted about 15 mins each that just made me tired from waking up so early for them.
We went on an adventure to find towels and we ended up finding them at the Lewisham Shopping Centre which is about a 15 min bus ride. It looked like a normal mall that you could find in the states, only different names of stores, a supermarket inside and people spoke in accents. Other than that, I could say I went over to the Brunswick Square Mall. However, I am quite glad to not say that.
Tuesday night…we decided we wanted to go into the city to check out the scene there and go to pubs and whatnot. We traveled over on a (free) train then took the underground to Piccadilly Circus:

piccadilly circus daytime

piccadilly circus daytime

We found a pub in Chinatown to go to. O’Neills, an Irish pub in Chinatown in London. Perfection. It was a lot of fun and there was a live band playing and they were entertaining. We were there for some time and then we decided to go to another place. We arrived to “Onanon” and paid 5 quid to go in, but it was well worth it. After we had drinks, we went upstairs and they were playing all hip hop/pop/r&b/rap/fun musics to dance to. and we danced and danced and danced for a few hours and it was so much fun. We figured out the night bus to take us home and the night ended at around 3.

Wednesday I finally got to sleep in…I had nothing to wake up for, which is wonderful. All that I had was a proper British Tea at 230 in Central. So my CEA friends and I found our way to central and even though we left about an hour and a half early, we still only made it with 15 mins to spare. I had a scone for the first time ever and it was DELICIOUS, with jam and british cream,yumyumyum.
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Wednesday night we went to the Student Union club because every Wednesday is “Club Sandwich” there which just means that they open up the dance floor and it becomes more of a club than just a bar. Everyone came over to my flat beforehand and then we went over to the club. It was ridiculously packed because it was the first night but it was so much fun!!!! We just danced, met people and had a good time.

Thursday I went to Greenwich Park with my flatmate Taryn and Kelly. It was absolutely breathtaking. It’s just a huge park and it was just so beautiful, and at the top of the hill you can see the the city..it’s amazing.

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Looks unreal..

After Greenwich, we got back and then started to get ready to go into central to our fav. pub…O’Neills…an Irish pub (its a chain) but our fav one happens to lie in the midst of Chinatown, which is AWESOME btw. Everythings so much more festive. There was a live band playing and it was ridiculously fun and entertaining. There was a bunch of us who went, most of the kids from CEA and the majority of my flatmates:

group

Friday was the fresher’s fayre which included all the clubs and societies chillin at one spot so we could go through and decide what clubs/societies we wanted to join. I am more than likely going to join the Drama Society so that should be fun and a good way to meet more people : ).
Friday night we went to the Hobgoblin pub that is around the corner from halls and it was fun, we just sat around and met new people and had a good time.
I am in love with New Cross because of the people around here. Everyone is so friendly (for the most part) and it is so quirky that I feel anyone is accepted. I love the people I’ve been surrounding myself with and I am just so excited and anxious to bring more people into my life.

Saturday will go down as one of my best days in my life- I got to tour Buckingham Palace…the Queen’s home. It was surreal and unbelievable. Everything I looked at, walked on, by, touched, …is all history. It has all been  here for so long and it is so crazy to be able to see all of it and experience it all and learn everything. I have never felt more interested in these experiences. I am appreciating the small things so much more just by not wanting to close my eyes. At home I will allow things to fly by me without taking a peek but here..I never want to close my eyes, I want to see everything and imbed it into my brain in hopes that I’ll be back and recognize it. The most beautiful things appear when you take a second to look, and if there’s any lesson i’ve learned here so far, that is it.

After Buckingham palace, we went to go get dinner and I had my first fish and chips!! It was delicious : ). Then afterwards I found my way to the theater to meet Karen for Wicked. Oh my god, it was such a good show and so much fun, I really really enjoyed it. I went home and went to sleep because Sunday was a very early, busy day.

Sunday morning I woke up at 630 because we had a CEA trip to Oxford. It was early, bu not too horrible. We took the bus to Paddington Station to meet with our tourguide. Once we got there, we had to take a 2 hour train ride to Oxford. The ride was not bad and as soon as we got there, my mouth couldn’t stay closed. I was in awe ..every single building in that city is absolutely breathtaking. Again, the history is incredible, and how I would looooooove to attend school there. haha. Or I’ll just wait because they give out honorary degrees to people..who are famous..and do great things..so I’ll just wait for that.

This is where they go to school there….

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Seriously?!?!? Why can’t Montclair look like this?!

All in all, Oxford is GORGEOUS and amazing. We took a walking tour and we went into beautiful churches and the place where Harry Potter was filmed and it was really really cool. I am blown away here. Absolutely. I love it.

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Me in front of Buckingham Palace

 

My computer is being ridiculously slow so I will post more pics later!!

Finally got some internet..

•September 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

So we finally were able to figure out some internet! wooo!!! I already typed up a blog post before I had internet, so keep in mind that it was written Sunday morning. I’m too busy to update anything further than then : P

 

The plane ride was not bad at all, I just wish that I had gotten some sleep. I tried, but I failllled. I watched one movie, watched some tv, played some games and talked to Kelly. The flight was really smooth and we got to London an hour early. However, that was a tease because once we finally got off the plane, we were introduced to the HUGE line for students to get checked in at customs. Once we waited on that for about an hour, they decided to take those who are only studying for 3 months and we went to a different, much shorter line. Then we got our baggage and went to find the CEA rep.
There was even another girl going to Goldsmiths in the same program who was on the plane and all of us stuck together once we were off the plane. Once we found CEA, she told us she had a budget to feed us so we all got food. My first meal in London- chicken & avocado sandwich. and my first London Diet Coke (for mom and aunt reba). We didn’t have to wait very long for everyone to arrive, probably about an hour or so, then FINALLY we stepped outside. Unfortunately it was in a parking garage, just to get into a van. We all got into 2 seperate vans and drove over to Goldsmiths!
Even though I was exhausted, and others were sleeping in the van, I could not take my eyes away from the windows, just looking for anything to recognize. So far, it was just another highway that looked like it could belong in NJ, but we were just driving on the (wrong) side of the road. Then it started looking different than NJ and I spotted the London Eye. I took out my London book and tried to figure out where we were on a map. I figured it out, but then the road we were on ended in the map so I just waited. Things started sounding more and more familiar once we started getting into New Cross. I recognized names of shops and pubs in the area because Karen told me about them before.
We finally got to Loring and I got my keys to my flat and went straight there! It’s awesome, my own bedroom and my own bathroom. Definitely not used to that, so it’s pretty great except for the fact that I have to clean the bathroom (ew). As of then, no one else was in the flat with me at all, and that stayed true for quite some time. We had to take a walk with the woman from CEA who showed us around the neighborhood and where the supermarket is and everything. It is awesome here because there are just SO many kids my age just walking around hanging out and it’s the perfect atmosphere.Did I mention that I love it here yet? I do.
I went back to my flat and found a roomie! Taryn, from New York. She is very nice, and informed me of our other roommate Sarah who is also from NY, and I met her later on in the night-also very sweet. I’m still hoping for some foreign people to live with me (hopefully males)! There are three apartments left! (yes, there’s only 6 of us) Before coming back to my room, Karen met up with us and we went to her house which is awesome and then we went to Sainsbury (supermarket!) and I bought some necessary items.

 I had a perfect first night in London.

Everybody kept going back and forth from deciding to sleep or to go on. I did not give myself a choice–I knew I was going out, it’s my first night in London!! Mostly everyone decided that they were taking that route as well. We went to the International Student buffet which was in a church. Ironically enough, the pastor kept refilling the table with beers! Free beers! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The dinner was alright and everyone was just mingling and it was fun. Then we went over to another partyon campus at the University club. I bought my first legal drink at a bar!! Strongbow Cider. It was delicious! The club was great fun and I met sooooo many people, it’s WONDERFUL!
After I was at the club for some time, I decided to go to the pub around the corner because Karen and Lewis told me they’d be there. Chris and Emily came with me and I met so many more new people and it was SOOO FUN!!! Then a bunch of us headed back to the Club and danced and had tons of fun. Finally, after hours and hours of fun, I came home to pass out after not sleeping for about 40 hours or so.
I woke up this morning and yup!! still in London. This is like a dream into reality. I love it here.
There are not that many problems when it comes to understanding accents and things that they say here. The only thing that keeps confusing me is that when they ask if you need help, they just say “yew arrright?” and I’m like “yeah! I’m fine.” But then I ask them a question, hahahaha. So far, everyone seems to love me attempting the british accent more than they love my American one. At least I can do the British one better than they can do American…its awful! hahaha.

Phew, this was a really long post (they’re not all going to be like this. Even though I know my mom would like them to be.)
Ive got an orientation to go to! and I’m buying a phone today! yay!

Daria

 

P.S. i got my other 3 roommates. unfortunately all from the states. fortunately, all lovely people. we’re 4 girls and 2 guys. i have a lot more to say about this weekend but im lacking the time..ill just say that i went on a walking tour of central London and got to see so many places and it was AWESOME!!! i really really love it here!

Ranger

•September 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So I have decided that this is what I am going to watch when I miss Ranger: