Sunday, 25 May 2008

London Town

Down in London for the Bank Holiday. (Actually, am down in London for Broken Social Scene, but it happened to coincide with the bank holiday, so...) As usual, forgot to book the train ticket early enough and the only cheap one got in at 6.21pm. Gig technically started at 7pm. However, Jason managed to find out that they weren't playing until 8.45, so managed to make it to his house in Kilburn to drop off bags prior to the gig. This was preceded by a series of text messages: "I'm at home and will meet you at Kilburn Tube Station." "Never mind, at the boozer. Text me when you're on your way and I'll come find you." "Pip's just gone up to the bar again. Not gonna come find you. Just walk down the hill and you'll see us..." Might I point out, by the way, that in no way is there a HILL of any sort running past Kilburn tube stn. At any rate, I remembered where the pub was (good memory for useful things like that) so we did manage to meet up. He got the Look of Death for that one, though.

Broken Social Scene was good. To be honest I've only properly listened to one of their records, so I recognised a grand total of one song. They're a jammy band anyway, though, and I was in the mood to chill, so it was fun anyway. The place was packed full of Canadians - the accent was everywhere. There were also 13 musicians on stage, which, for a 16-pound ticket, gives a pretty awesome musician-per-pound ratio. I had managed to get a ticket for a different section than Jason and Pip, and the doorpeople were being very stern about making us sit in our designated areas. However, it wasn't assigned seating and I did NOT want to be by myself two balconies above Pip & Jason. So I ducked in the bar door when no one was looking, and found that the second balcony was more than half-empty anyway. Bah!

Was kind of fun being up so high, actually. Could see the idiots crowd-surfing in exquisite detail. And also the bit where the security guards grabbed one of them by the seat of the trousers and carried him out of the hall. Two seconds later he ran back in, and I watched him stumble through the crowd and duck down until the security guards gave up.

After the show we went to the dodgiest chippy in all of London (though I had chicken nuggets that were somewhat edible. The chips, however, looked disgusting). Pip and Jason had big plans to go out, but both were asleep in their pints about ten minutes after arrival at the pub. So we trundled off home and had an early night.

Yesterday I went to meet Michael at Twickenham to watch the Rugby Sevens. This is (seven-player (as opposed to something else - 15-player, perhaps). Canada got creamed by Aussie (no surprise there) and lost respectably to Portugal. NZ kicked some butt, so Michael and his friend were happy. It was surprisingly fun to watch and I'm glad I went along. Walked from Twickenham Station with a bunch of pirates, too. There was a guy standing by the side of the road going, "ARRRRR!" every few minutes just to see all the pirates go "ARRRRRRRRRR!!!" back at him. Saw some Smurfs, as well, plus assorted people in England colours, devil horns, afro wigs etc.

Our side of the stadium was in the sun, so was absolutely dead by about two hours in. We switched to the shade, but I was still pretty tired. Dragged ourselves home after watching New Zealand play, only to find Michael's flatmates holding a barbeque. (He has a rooftop terrace sort of thing, which is accessed by climbing out the kitchen window!) Managed to stay awake and be halfway friendly, and watch most of Eurovision... which was exactly as bizarre an experience as I expected.

Friday, 23 May 2008

blah blah blah

Off to London today! Broken Social Scene is playing and Jason informed me I should come down. Unfortunately it's a Bank Holiday (otherwise known as a long weekend) so rather than coming back Monday I'll be back on Tuesday. Trains were expensive and delayed otherwise. Not really a good time to be out of Bangor, but hey... not worth paying four times as much on the train for.

Had my first final exam (in six years) on Wednesday. It was Advanced Statistics and it was horrible. Very annoying, because I did revise (which I have begun to say instead of "studying" because it is the word on everyone's lips at the moment). I went over the practice exam, and it turned out to be a million times easier than ours. Ah well. It is done!

Other than that, have collected a wodge of thesis data but am still waiting for my supervisor to get back to tell me what to do with it. (She was in Florida at a conference and then at Anne Triesman's party!) I am expecting to be told to modify something and go do it again - which will be no easy feat with most of the students gone. Fingers crossed.

One more exam to go, and it will be a horrible one. It is one of my favorite topics (Cognition and Brain) but was so boringly and badly taught that the lectures became an aversive stimulus. In a class of eight or so, someone was nearly asleep at any given moment. I should have switched after the first lecture. However, I did not, and it only got worse. As a final touch, the module organizers forgot (forgot!) to tell anyone in the office there would be an exam, so it was not scheduled and was left off the exam list. We queried this, and so the people in the office had to schedule it in the only slot left: last day of exams, Friday afternoon at 2pm. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS. However, it does give me a week to revise, justifying a quick trip to London!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Oh well, at least you can comment here

As per dad's grumbling on Family Ramblings, I've moved over to Blogger so that you can once again comment. I quite like Diaryland, actually, but as a starving student just can't justify paying for the comments and all that. It's been a good run, though. I originally started this blog in January 2004 as I was getting ready to move to Britain. Since then I've lived in:
London, England
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Edinburgh, Scotland
Edmonton, Alberta
Bangor, N. Wales

and have worked as a

shipper of gap-year students to Heathrow
kitchen peon
hostel night-gatekeeper
lunch-rush prep person
reservations manager
Forest Holidays reservationist
Value Village "Operations Team Member" (ie. picking clothes off the floor and hanging them back up)
Alberta gov't "Operations Administrator" and data analyst
MSc student
marker of essays
research assistant

So I can safely say it hasn't been boring. Haven't been updating much lately because it turns out doing a Masters takes a lot of time, but at least now you can comment! So that might keep things more interesting.

Have lots of time to post today, because I'm running subjects all day. The experiment takes about an hour and they're scheduled at half-hour intervals, but that still leaves dead time while they're doing the (computer-based) experiment or I'm waiting for the next one to arrive.

Mind you, today was a bit flustered as my alarm didn't go off, and I managed to wake up at 9.28 for a 9.30 participant. I raced over to the lab (luckily it's close) and found him waiting outside, very apologetic because he couldn't get into the building! YES! I'm running ten of them today on no food (but lots of sleep!) and feel like I'm at least accomplishing something. Sucks to be a participant today as I haven't showered, but what can ya do?