09 May, 2009

So many things...

Let's face it, I'm a terribly disloyal blog writer. Part of the reason, I suspect, is that a previous middle school experience (called Xanga) put me off broadcasting my opinions over the internet. I'm back in my flat in Edinburgh, sitting here listening to Oasis and sipping hot chocolate with a little Kahlua. Where to begin?

My stay in the United States was frustrating. I had too little to do, and I don't think I reckoned on how long a month actually is. And while I did my best to visit AU, such adventures generally consisted of my sitting in the garden near Hughes for hours because everyone was either too busy or incommunicado. The other part of it, I think, that was painful for me was the sense of being outside. I've been gone for three months, and have therefore lost at least some of the rhythm of life at American University. Not even the rhythm--it was like this understanding on my part that so many of my friends were leading these separate lives in which I had no part, and while that feeling manifested itself as homesickness while I was in Edinburgh, while I was home it was just heartbreaking. There was nothing I could do about it.

I spent a lot of time playing video games. The Force Unleashed is at once fascinating and utterly baffling--it's a button-pushers game with some really cool effects (I especially like using Force Grip to drop people over precipices) but then the whole thing is cutscenes and hack and slash. Never thought I'd miss the stupid messenger missions from, oh, every other game I've ever played, but there you go. Sometimes I even play GTA just to drive around (well, and run people over, but that's more often accidental).

My return to Edinburgh was preceded by a colossal fight with my mother, a visit to Borders (for the first time in over a year, and people REMEMBERED me), and my utter terror at taking an overseas flight by myself. My dad dropped me off at the airport (and when I say dropped me off, I mean he stopped the car, got out, gave me a hug and my backpack, and said good-bye). I was, I confess, a little flustered; when I went to San Diego he at least walked me to the security checkpoint. I then found out that there had been some kind of breach, and the security wasn't even open--there was just this massive, stagnant line of tired travelers. I was rather pleased with myself that I could pick out a few words of Arabic from the guy in front of me, but my back ached and I was already so nervous. When I finally got through security, I had to walk to my gate, which involved going up and down a bunch of escalators and those moving walkways that always make me feel vaguely like a Jetson.

The entire plane ride was turbulence. Just stomach-clenching turbulence. I slept maybe one hour in the whole plane ride, and I'm not sure if you know this, but Heathrow is a nightmare. It's a lot of escalators and ramps and signs. I tried calling my parents but I was a) exhausted and b) confused by a payphone. I took the Heathrow Express to Paddington and got lost on the way to my hotel, where it turned out I wasn't allowed to check in until 2. So basically, I had to kill five hours of time when I hadn't slept in nearly 24 hours. What does one do in this situation? Answer: The British Museum. I remember lots of shiny pottery, which I believe was the Chinese ceramics section, and a whole Korean house. I'm sure I saw other things but I had to sit down every five minutes and by the end my vision was literally wavering from exhaustion.

The following day I went to the Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery, and a play. The Portrait Gallery is spectacular; it houses a lot of very, VERY famous portraits, including Branwell Bronte's painting of the Bronte sisters, and portraits of Tudor monarchs. Trafalgar Square is a beautiful, beautiful place and I think that's the problem with London--it's just too huge. There are parts of it that are simply gorgeous, like the region around Russell Square, all soft and lush, and then there are parts that are noisy and dirty and confusing (like Piccadilly Circus!).

That night I saw Three Days of Rain. Not only was it probably one of the more interesting and funny plays I've seen, but it was phenomenally well-acted. Of only three actors, one of them happened to be James McAvoy. JAMES MCAVOY! It was brilliant, I was too absorbed in how good his acting was to even be remotely starstruck.

I'm back in Edinburgh now and as it's a day that ended in "y" it was of course raining today. I should be studying but my first exam's not for another week and I therefore don't want to deal with it.

Oh, I should probably mention that I applied to direct a show for next year. King Lear. I didn't get it accepted (for reasons I refuse to go into in a semi-public forum) but it gave me an idea: I really think that what AU is missing, club-wise, is a medium through which people can express themselves. Okay, that's not exactly what I meant--there's a lot of self-expression at AU, but I mean a drama club where it's EXCLUSIVELY student works. It can be expanded to include poetry readings, hosting open mics, doing ten-minute plays, but the whole point will be displaying people's creative literary and dramatic art to the campus and the world at large. This is of course going to be a lot of work for me, and I'd have to have some kind of advisor, but I do think it's a worthwhile idea as I want to be a playwright and my capstone is probably heading in that direction anyway.

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