Friday, October 24, 2008

Drunkenness, Fire, and Freshers

Life's been rather eventful since my last post.

On Monday I went out on the second LitSoc pub crawl. Around 9pm I met up with Chad, Max, Siobhan, Hannah, Sam, and the other LitSocers at the UEA Blue Bar, right before they were about to head into town. By the time I got there, Chad had had two pints of beer (this tally will become relevant). I started talking to Chad, and then Sam and Max came over. Chad, once again, told the story of his gay pubbing experience in Bournemouth. We all laughed, discussed gay clubbing, and decided to head out.

We all sat at the top of the bus and chatted, waiting to get downtown. For some reason, when the bus reached our stop, and we all got up to head downstairs, the bus didn't stop. Max was the only one who made it downstairs, but we figured he would just wait down there for us. Wrong. The next stop wasn't entirely convienent, so we decided to wait until we got to the end of the line, but as we passed the next stop Sam looks out the window and exclaims, "Guys, Max just got off the bus..." We spent the rest of the trip plotting revolution.

Finally we got to Riverside, found Max, and headed off toward Norwegian Blue...which was closed. So was Squares next to it. Baffled, we decided just to go to the Queen of Iceni, where we had gone after Brideshead Revisited, and where we had met our lovely drunk townie friends. Luckily there were no such encounters. Instead, to amuse ourselves, we each got a pint, sat at a table upstairs, and played a drinking game called Ring of Fire. It's a bit hard to explain, but basically you put an empty pint glass in the middle of the table and surround it with a ring of playing cards. Each person, in turn, picks a card. If they break the circle, they have to drink. Each card has some action associated with it. For example, a black ace through 5 means you have to drink that many finger-widths of your drink. If it's red, however, you can distribute those finger-widths amongst people at the table (including yourself). A 10 means you "clink and drink" (exactly what it sounds like). An 8 is a "get out of jail" sort of card that allows you to leave the game in order to use the toilet. It also allows you to make up a rule. There are some others, but, most importantly, there's the king. Each person who draws a king gets to empty part of his/her drink into the empty glass in the middle of the table. Since everyone is likely to be drinking something different, this makes a "dirty pint." The person who draws the final king has to drink the dirty pint, and the game is over. Somehow I managed to get through the game with only one pint. I guess I take small sips. Everyone else had at least three. I think Chad might have had four. Add this to the two he had at Blue Bar. By this point Chad was already pretty drunk. Then he drew the final king and had to drink the dirty pint. Poor Chad was wasted...and very amusing. He continued with his drunk George Bush impressions, explained to Max his frightening similarity to Chris Eiswerth, and generally provided entertainment for us all.

The pub closed and we decided to head out to a club called Po Na Na for their student night, each of us helping Chad along the way. When we got there, the first thing everyone had to do was use the loo, so Sam, this girl Laura, and I grabbed hands and pushed our way through the crowd of drunk, sweaty people to get downstairs. Sam, and Max who followed, made sure to boast about how they could get in and out of the men's toilet before Laura and I had even made it to the door of the ladies'. Stupid queues. As we were waiting, Laura and I were talking, and this guy comes up to us and says, "Hey, I heard you talking. Are you American?"
"No, I'm Canadian," answered Laura. I said I was American.
The guy leaned over really creepily and said, "Ah, well...I love American accents..." Luckily the queue let up and we were able to escape into the bathroom.

Finally, after we had finally escaped the bathroom, Laura and I went back up to the entrance where everyone else was waiting...everyone but Chad (and Max, who had already made his way onto the dance floor). We stood waiting for Chad, whom our fellow LitSocer Brendan had seen going down to the toilets. At one point I got a text from him saying, "Don't abandon me!" I texted back to tell him that we would wait for him by the door. We waited for about ten minutes, but he never showed up. Brendan went to look for him, came back, shook his head, and we waited again. I kept texting him, but got no response. Eventually we decided to go onto the dance floor, hoping we would find him in the crowd. We didn't. We all danced in a corner and every few minutes someone would say, "I'll go have a look for Chad," but they always came back empty-handed. Throughout the night people trickled home, until it was just me, Sam, Max, Siobhan, and Hannah. At one point I thought I saw Chad head out toward the door, so Max and I ran after him...except it wasn't actually Chad. So Max had a cigarette while I paced agitatedly outside, trying desperately to get a hold of Chad on his phone. No luck. We went back inside and continued dancing. People managed to convince me that Chad had probably found his way home, and not to worry too much. I did actually have a really good time, despite the fact that I was terrified that I would get news the next morning that Chad had been found lying in a ditch somewhere in Norwich. I really like the LitSoc people; they're all friendly and a lot of fun. It was a good time.
Around 2am Siobhan, Hannah, and I decided it was time to leave, so we bid our farewells to the lads and headed out. Siobhan lived close enough to walk, but Hannah and I had to wait for a bus. When we did get on the bus, we were joined by what seemed like a hundred drunk freshers coming from student night downtown. Hannah and I huddled in the back, slightly frightened, while they all sang several horribly off-key rounds of "UEA is Wonderful." Hannah got off near her house and I continued on to campus, walked home to the Village, and fell asleep around 3.
When I woke up in the morning, I saw Chad online and was happy to learn that he had made it home alive. His story, as far as he remembers, is that he went to the toilet, came back, got seriously disoriented, texted me, then fell and broke his phone, so he wasn't able to get any of my or Max's texts or messages for the rest of night. He went out some side door and began wandering down St. Stephen's Street until someone stopped him and got him a cab back to the Village. Oh Chad...

After Monday, nothing is quite as interesting. On Tuesday night I went with Chris, Katie, Juli, Leah, both Laurens, Meghan, and Alex Geiger to the Farmhouse pub on Erlham Rd. before heading over to Unthank to Rudy's house for pizza and class about English identity and behaviour. After class I went to Erlham Park (the park on the way from campus to the Village that I pass every time I go to class) where Circus Soc was having its first official Burn. There really weren't a lot of people there. I played around with fire poi for a while. At one point I managed to wrap the poi around my arm, but it didn't singe or anything. Lucky me. Pawel, Matt, Alex, and some other guys had the brilliant idea of soaking a special hacky-sac ball in paraffin, lighting it on fire, and trying to juggle. Then they wondered later why their hands hurt so much. Good job, boys.
Eventually Samantha, Alex, Pawel, Matt, and I went up to the Graduate Students' bar (which is quieter than the others) to play Jungle Speed...which really is too violent to be played in public. The bar closed and we thought we'd find an empty room in Congregation Hall to continue playing. Samantha left, but the rest of us headed down to the Hall, where we were promptly thrown out by the secruity guard. Then it was off to Alex's flat for biscuits and feta. Not exactly the most appetizing combination, but apparenlty Pawel is obsessed with feta. Anyway at Alex's flat we burst into fits of hysterical laughter for no reason and consequently played a very odd game of Jungle Speed. Oh, and the boys have decided that, much like a Gremlin, I only curse after midnight. It's a really strange feeling, being "one of the guys," but I like it. I love my Circus boys.

Last night I went with LitSoc to see our friend Alan's play "Freshers," which is, as the title suggests, all about Freshers week, meeting new flatmates, awkwardness at the LCR, adjusting to university life, etc. It was all right. Funny at points, slightly disturbing at others. All in all, the incessent sexual plot elements and the scene that consisted mostly of girls in bikinis told me more about Alan's repressed sexual desires and (as he admits) lonely summer in Norwich than about Freshers week. After the play Chad, Max, Siobhan, Hannah, and I went to Blue Bar for a drink. I had a pack of tiny playing cards in my purse (which have brightly-colored smiley faces on them, so Max calls them my ecstasy cards), so we played a game of Egyptian Rat Screw (or "Snap" as they call it here) and chatted. Alan and the Freshers cast showed up later, so we invited Alan over to congratulate him. Max, Alan, Chad, and I decided to get another drink (I needed some water and Chad got a Coke. No more alcohol for him for a while, I think...) but Hannah and Siobhan headed home. Alan returned to his cast, and Chad and I went outside to keep Max company while he had a cigarette. When we returned, the drama kids decided to have an impromptu dance party in the middle of the bar, so Chad, Max, and I stood awkwardly to the side as we watched their strange rituals and chants. I've found that drama kids are the same no matter which country you go to. Anyway, after a while of this awkward standing around, Chad and I went home.

This coming week will probably be even more eventful. After I finish this post, I'll *hopefully* finish my Medieval Writing paper (it's only 1500 words...). This evening I'll be picking up both Nicole and Erica up at the train station, and then...the fun begins! I'm so excited to see them. I think I'll take them downtown to the market and to walk around the city. Definitely to a pub lunch at some point, and maybe to the LCR if they're up for it. Sunday is Circus Soc. Tuesday there's another LitSoc discussion group, and, of course, more Circus Soc, if I choose to go. Wednesday is the LitSoc Halloween pub crawl, which, as long as we don't lose Chad, should be even better than the last one. I'm excited.

Oh, and I have class in there somewhere too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fire and Blasphemy

Last Tuesday I walked into Circus Soc and it was virtually empty and slightly boring. Then this girl Jenny came in to annouce that everyone in Norwich who could do anything with fire was meeting at Castle Meadow (over by the castle, obviously) and that we should all go. Aside from the fact that there was an accident on Erlham Rd. and we had to get off the bus to walk, it was a good night. Every manner of juggling and spinning and "object manipulation" was represented. So was, I expect, every manner of chemical alteration. Most people were drunk, and I'm sure more than enough of them were high on something or other. When combined with fire, this is both dangerous and amusing. At one point two guys had out six fire juggling pins and were trying to juggle between the two of them. They were far too drunk for it and kept dropping the pins and hitting each other with them. At the end of the night, one guy decided to spin three sets of fire poi at once. It looked impressive, but the guy nearly set himself on fire. Luckily there were no casualties.
But the most important part of the story is that I got to spin fire for the first time. I took it easy, didn't experiment too much. I really should perfect my technique before I try anything too fancy, but the opportunity arose and I couldn't help myself. It was exhilarating. It's really not too difficult once you get used to the weight change between fire poi and practice poi. Even Matthieu gave it a try. Stephan got to show off his fire staff skills with actual fire, for once, and was quite good, even if the back of his white t-shirt was covered in singe marks.
Eventually it was getting late and we all decided to go home. Stephan was going to give us all a ride back to campus. Pawel, who admitted to being drunk, had at least one hit of something that wasn't tobacco, and smokes like a chimney, got up to leave, but, instead of walking toward to car, stumbled over to a tree near the toilets, about five yards away. He stood behind the tree for a few minutes, then stumbled to the toilets and disappeared. I've seen him drink before, but I don't think I've ever seen him drunk. Stephan tried to assure us that he would be fine and that we should leave without him, but Matt and I were worried about him and insisted that we wait. What if he had passed out in the bathroom or something? So Matt went to check on Pawel and was roughly asked to go away. Stephan then tried, came back, and told us that Pawel wanted us to leave without him. He would catch up. So, reluctantly, Matt and I went with Stephan and Alex to the car park where Stephan had his car, but the gate was locked, so Stephan and Alex had to walk around the block to the other gate while Matt and I waited for Pawel. It was really cold and we spent the time together shivering on a bench and complaining about how stupid it is to get drunk. Ha, I've found a kindred spirit.
Pawel never showed up, but since he lives a stone's throw from where we were waiting, it's not as if he needed a ride. Stephan was kind enough to text me later telling me that Pawel had made it home safely. So Stephan drove me back to the Village and I went to bed.
I woke up the next morning feeling sick, since I had spend the night in the cold and rain, but it was worth it. I can't wait to spin fire again. I'll just have to remember a sweatshirt.

The rest of the week went by without much to document. I have been struck, though, with how little Biblical knowledge Brits have. I know that it's a very secular country, but twice in the past week I've had to explain Bible stories that are referenced. And I'm not very religious. I barely remember anything I was taught in Sunday school. One night we had this bizarre theological discussion in my flat. At some point, someone mentioned the Burning Bush, and Corie asked, "Wait, is that from 'She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain'?" It turns out she was thinking of the movie The Three Amigos, but still. I had to explain how Moses was wandering in the desert and came upon this burning bush that told him he was to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Now I'm some theological expert because I can remember Bible stories and explain the basic beliefs of the world's major religions. Then, in my Medieval Writing (a class that, you think, would require people to have a basic understanding of Catholic doctrine), it was only me and the other American girl in the class who knew the story of Rebecca and Jacob tricking Isaac into giving his blessing to Jacob and not Esau. And the other American girl didn't quite know how to tell it, so I had about ten people staring at me, dumbfounded, as I tried to recall a story I haven't heard since elementary school. Even if you're not religious, don't these stories come up enough in popular culture in some form or another to warrant their basic understanding? Especially for literature students. I constantly bemoan the fact that I haven't read the entire Bible, and I intend to, since SO much of literature is based on it, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

With that thought in mind...

Last night I went with Chad, Leah, and Lauren Deitz to meet LitSoc to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company do The Bible, the Complete Word of God (Abridged). I was a bit late meeting them for the bus because Alex Geiger has come to visit, and I was in Chris's room catching up with her. I'm surprised we weren't horribly late for the show, after leaving campus a bit late, we got terribly lost getting from the bus stop to the Norwich Playhouse (even though it's a straight shot...we just took the wrong road). The show was really good, although it wasn't quite what I expected. There was a lot more improvisation than I had anticipated, which made it part show, part stand-up comedy. It also had a bit of randomness to the jokes that reminded me of Family Guy. I did appreciate, though, all the local humor and research they used in the show. Several times they made fun of Suffolk (we're in Norfolk, and there's a pronounced rivalry and prejudice, particularly between Norwich and Ipswich). They also brought out the 10 Rejected Commandments, which included "Thou shalt not elect a president of inferior intelligence...twice..." and, my personal favorite, "In London, thou shalt not take the village idiot and elect him mayor." Oh, Boris Johnson. There was even a Sarah Palin joke in there somewhere. You could tell who the Americans in the audience were.
After the show, we went into the adjoining bar. The drinks were expensive and I didn't like their selection, so I restrained myself, but other people got a pint and we stood outside and talked for a while. We stood in our characteristic LitSoc circle for a while, but then the Dickinson people formed their own little circle. I stayed with Siobhan, Hannah, Sam, and Max talking about...what else? Food. Unfortunately they confirmed my flatmates' assertion that eating Jell-O (which they call jelly) and ice cream together is perfectly natural..."It's more natural than birth," my flatmate Kristy assures me. But I've been promised that if I try jelly and ice cream, and eat baked beans on toast, they'll try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Anyway, around 10 the Dickinson kids wanted to leave, so we bid adieu to our fellow LitSocers and headed for the bus. I got back to my room, realized that I had barely eaten anything all day, made some instant rice, watched the first part of the most recent presidential debate, and fell asleep.

I have no plans for today. So far I've eaten breakfast and written this blog. Terribly eventful, I know. I think I'll do some reading, maybe outline my Medieval Writing paper, and hopefully spend some time with Alex Geiger tonight. Tomorrow I have Circus Soc in the evening, which, as always, will be amusing. Monday night there's another LitSoc Pub Crawl that I'm looking forward to.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nothing Important

I realized that I haven't posted anything for over a week, and that this should probably be remedied. The problem is that when I think of what to write, I get stuck. For me, life is just going on as normal. Nothing seems fantastic or noteworthy anymore. Then I remember the rest of you who are not living the good life over in England, and my duties are remembered.

So, let's see.

I've been ill the last week or so. At one point I got on WebMD and diagnosed myself with bronchitis. This was probably an exaggeration, but I swear, I thought I was dying. I'm feeling better now, although I still am hacking up some lovely green stuff from time to time.

Medieval Writing is getting better. We've moved on from the truly inane to subjects with slightly more substance. My seminar instructor still talks to us like we're third graders, and most of the people in that class might as well be. At one point we were looking over the end of The Pardoner's Tale, where the Pardoner and the Host get into a fight, and the noble Knight comes in to tell them, literally, to kiss and make up. This one American girl (who, at least for now, seems to be one of the most giggly, air-headed people I've ever seen) and her friends went on for fifteen minutes about how this was totally gay and they can't believe Chaucer would write something like that in his day and age.

My flatmates continue to leave every weekend in some sort of bizarre rotating fashion. Last weekend it was just me, James, and Adam in the flat. This past weekend those two and Corie went home to visit significant others, and Kristy's boyfriend Rob came to visit, so I didn't see her much on Friday. I don't mind it so much, but it does make it difficult for us to hang out as a flat on the weekends, like we did that first weekend. I'm hoping that as the semester progresses and they all get used to the distance, they'll feel better about going two weeks without seeing their boyfriends/girlfriends. Or maybe they'll actually let their significant others hang out when they come to visit, instead of letting them stay sequestered in their rooms.

Circus and LitSoc are both going well. I can now juggle three balls, though not very well. I constantly argue with my Polish friends Pawel and Stephan about the correct way to spin a fire staff (my color guard skills vs. their Japanese fighting staff skills...technically neither of us learned on a fire staff).

I went out with Chad and Abby last Wednesday to the LitSoc trip to see Brideshead Revisited. The movie wasn't bad, although I wish I had read the book before seeing it. I'd like to read it now. Afterward, Chad, some of the other LitSocers, and I went to the Queen of Iceni pub for a drink. We discussed books and movies...all good LitSoc things. After the pub kicked us out around 11, we stood outside a while and were accosted by two very drunk townies. I never thought I'd see a British cowboy, but I was wrong. This woman came over to Chad, licked a 5p coin, attempted several times to stick it to Chad's forehead. She started to talk to him, realized that he was American, and promptly asked, "Wha', are you American? Well wha' the fuck are ya doin' 'ere?!" She then proceeded to go on a rather nonsensical but well-intentioned rant about how her daughter is in the British army, stationed in Germany, and how this war is just pointless and how "this thing about Sunnis versus whatever and you know..."

Allow me to digress momentarily, on a curious phenomenon. Somehow, the universe has created two frighteningly similar people. One is our pissy, sarcastic, and self-proclaimed Writing Center Satan-figure, Chris. The other is the president of LitSoc, a third-year literature student named Max who likes postmodernism, has a wicked sense of humor, and an eeriely familiar shit-eating grin.

So, as this woman was presenting her inebriated theological discussion about "this thing about Sunnis versus whatever and you know..." Max comments with exclimation "Shite!" which he pronounced as "Shi'ite." The woman didn't even hear him, or if she did, she didn't catch the joke. I had to gag myself to stop from laughing.
The woman's husband/boyfriend/escort, the man wearing the straw cowboy hat and standing with a decidedly John Wayne posture, then told us all how he had served twenty years as a sniper, occasionally raising his hands, squinting his eye, and shooting with his imaginary gun. He then took off his cowboy hat, revealing a large bump and prominent scar above his left temple where, he told us, an enemy bullet had gone straight through his head. "Tha's why I wear this hat, yeah? Cuz it ain't so pretty to look at." I do appreciate the gesture...but he could have picked a better hat.

Anyway, we said goodbye to our new friends. The woman grabbed Chad by the shoulders, kissed his cheek, expressed a desire to go home, and then preceeded to ask where she actually was. We left them in front of the pub and walked over to the bus stop. But our adventures were not over yet! No sooner had we gotten to the bus stop then a large man dressed in all sweats, carrying a can of Strongbow, and obviously drunk, came over to us. He called out to us and began to harass us about our choice of clothing, how we all got our fashion sense from "what? Rock stars or something? Why do you dress like that? Why don't you be an individual?!" He then walked away, and we all sort of looked at each other. Then he came back, discovered that we were students at UEA, and went off on this diatribe against us, basic arguments that we were "just kissing up to the Man," and other such nonsense. Most of his comments were addressed toward Max, and Max answered him frankly, but with a subtle sarcasm that the drunk guy certainly didn't get. Finally, our bus arrived and we got on as quickly as we could. The guy in the sweats gave us the finger, and Max grinned and blew him a kiss. (Chris, don't tell me that's not something you would do.)

After that encounter, nothing seems quite as entertaining. I went to Circus last night, played around with poi some more, worked on my juggling, and reaffirmed my delight in spinning five foot aluminum poles. Afterward Pawel, Stephan, Matt, Alex, this girl Jenny, and I went to the pub and played foosball until closing time.

There are plenty of things I have to muse on outside of this simple description of my comings and goings in the last week, but I think I'll save those for another post.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Promised Rant and other stories

After a few days, I have actually calmed down since my horrific Medieval Writing seminar, so perhaps this will not be as angry as promised. However, I have the same seminar again tomorrow, so there are no guarantees for how I will feel after 5pm tomorrow.

But, to recap: j

On Thursday I had my first Medieval Writing seminar, in which the 80-some people of my lecture are broken down into groups of about 15 and distrubuted to different instructors. My instructor is a young woman, probably a post-grad student, who basically addressed us as if we were all elementary school children.
We started with an incredibly basic history of the English language. The subject matter is interesting. The manner in which it is presented basically assumes that we all have no knowledge of the English language. In a class full of native speakers of English and, for the most part, native speakers of British English, this is particularly frustrating.
I have, however, learned the decorum for this type of class. Don't crack jokes. They have no sense of humor. At one point the instructor asked what type of language English is, where did it come from. Being the annoyingly enthusiastic student that I am, I of course raised my hand and quoted Prof. Moffat's brilliant explanation that "English is a great whore" because it adopts words and structures from many different surrounding languages. I made sure to cite my source for this jewel of a quote so that my fellow classmates wouldn't immediately think that I am naturally that crude. It didn't seem to matter. The instructor sort of stared at me and said, completely stone-faced, "Well, I don't think we should say it like that..."
Another memorable moment from my seminar was when the instructor was explaining the significance of Chaucer's role as the Father of English Literature..."because he was really the first major author to write in the vernacular. It means the common language of the people, as opposed to Latin. Now that's a word you should get to know, vernacular, because it will probably come up in a lot of your lectures." I'm pretty sure I learned the word "vernacular" in elementary school, and I have certainly come across it more times than I can count throughout high school and college. I was astounded that second-year university English literature students would not know the term "vernacular."
Even more frustrating was, when we were analyzing (or "analyzing" with air quotes) Chaucer's "The Complaint of Chaucer to his purse," and I said something was a hyperbole, the instructor had to explain what it was. Not the hyperbole itself. The word "hyperbole." I died a little inside.
The analysis was so surface level that I felt like I was back in 5th grade reading Romeo and Juliet for the first time and trying to get through the language without really looking at it in any sort of depth. I felt like I was back in elementary school.

I suppose I have no excuse, though. I had been warned that academics at UEA were nothing like they are at Dickinson. Oh well. I guess you can't have everything. At least Shakespeare's Moment seems to be up to par.

On to more exciting news.

Sunday: Despite the less-than-favorable reputation it might have amongst some people (*cough* Chris), I love the Circus Society. I met up with Juli on my first night, and, after waiting in the rain for security to come and open the Congregation Hall, I learned several new poi tricks, started my attempts at juggling, and showed off my color guard skills with a fire staff (unfortuately, it was not on fire). I met a few people, notably Matthieu, a French exchange student who can juggle quite well. I mentioned that I speak French, and we chatted back and forth in English and French for a while, but was really keen on practicing his English, which is actually quite good. At one point we were instructed to pair up to play a balance game. During the game I knocked him off balance and he swore under his breath "putain!" which literally means "whore," but is used more in the context of "Oh fuck!" I burst out laughing and he looked up at me, astounded, and asked, "Did you understand that?" I said that I did, and he said, "You're not supposed to know that word." It was hillarious. Trust me.

Monday: I went on the LitSoc (Literary Society) Literary-Themed Fancy Dress Pub Crawl. After fretting about who to dress as, I eventually pulled together a Dorothy outfit (the book version; I had sliver shoes!) and headed out to meet Lauren Deitz, Chad, Jen, and Leah. We went to meet the LitSoc at the UEA Blue Bar. We got there about 15 minutes before they all got on a bus downtown to The Bell Hotel Pub, and from there to Henry's. Hence, a pub crawl. Let's just say, not many people recognize Dorothy over her in England, although there were a few Alice's and I was often confused for one. There were also two Mad Hatters, a Willy Wonka, Daisy from The Great Gatsby, a Phantom (from Phantom of the Opera), and, my personal favorite, Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I had a drink, took some pictures, met some new people. In the transition from The Bell Hotel to Henry's, Leah, Lauren, and Chad went home. Jen and I continued to Henry's and talked to this guy Alan, who recognized me from our Shakespeare class. The rest of the LitSoc went on to some club, but Alan, Jen, and I were tired, so he walked us to the bus stop and we went home.

Tuesday: Had Rosh Hashanna dinner at Juli's flat with Lauren, Lily from the Science program, and Dwight, who decided to tag along. Then I ran off to my second Circus meeting. They run from 7 to roughly midnight, and you're invited to show up whenever, but I really enjoy it and I wanted to get as much time in as possible. I played around on poi again, and then Matthieu decided to teach me the Diablo. It took me a few minutes, but now I can get it spinning steadily, and I can even do a simple toss. It looks fun and I want to learn more.
We stayed until the higher-ups decided to pack up, which is great for socializing, but they tend to put you to work. So Matt, this guy Alex who I had met at the previous meeting, some other Circus minions, and I hauled the equiptment over to the Hive. Along the way I met Pawel and Stephan, two Polish guys who spend most of their time in the corner with their fire staffs. We got to talking, and they invited us all down to the pub for a drink. It was really loud because it was the LCR pyjama party and many people had come to hang out. So Matt, Alex, Pawel, Stephan, and I ended up sitting on the stairs in the Square, talking about random stuff, teaching each other bits and pieces of our respective languages. Eventually it got too cold to sit any longer, so we retreated back into the pub and played Egyptian Rat Screw with a set of tiny cards I had in my purse. Around 11:15 we got kicked out of the pub, so we exchanged phone numbers, and then Matt and I walked back off toward the Village. It was a really fun night, and I can't wait until Saturday when Circus is having their first fire practice of the year.

Tonight I'm going with some Dickinson kids to meet Matthieu for the first International Student Society movie night of the year. It's L'Auberge Espangole, which I've never seen, but I've heard good things about it.

There's your update. Sorry if the rant wasn't what you expected. I'll try again tomorrow, after my seminar.