runawayskellum: Toph, Sokka and Aang on a crime spree (Default)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 11:53am on 01/01/2015 under
2015! Hello!

2014 wasn't the terrible ordeal for me that it seems to have been for a lot of people. I took a year-long class I adored at a Proper Fancy Drama School, made a small amount of actual money doing actual theatre things, and then spent three months being driven across the United States, sleeping in tents and having encounters with wild animals. We saw herds of wild bison at Yellowstone, a family of wild moose in Glacier National Park, baby bears in Sequoia (and a few other places!) and, traumatically, tarantulas.  During TARANTULA MATING SEASON. When our tent zip was malfunctioning and wouldn't zip properly. 

Of course now it's 2015, I'm unemployed and back in Scotland and about to move flats.  We'll be living in the Mean Streets of Glasgow, something I am very excited about since we will no longer have stupidly long commutes into work and/or to see shows, or both, since L continues to get free tickets to the students' performances from her work. 
runawayskellum: Toph, Sokka and Aang on a crime spree (Default)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 11:12am on 23/12/2013 under

Hello Dreamwidth! It's been a while since I posted, and I thought I would update.

I started a blog over at wordpress.  I've been writing about my decision to go to drama school - or, at least, my decision to try to get into drama school - but sometimes I get distracted and write about how Theresa May is ruining my life.  I've been going to a weekly class at the Conservatoire and auditioning for things and going to see shows and ~networking~, it all feels grown up and a little unreal.

I also got a new job, also at the Conservatoire, so I'll have fun being there six days a week for the next year.  I had to sit  a written test to display my minute taking skills and I negotiated with HR over my salary.  Then I got a part in a play (profit sharing! That's almost like getting paid!) and turned 26.

I went to a reunion for the drama group I went to as a teenager.  It was pretty surreal.  I don't know whether I'm more weirded out by the people with successful acting and production jobs or by the people with babies and medical degrees and commercial pilot licenses.  We sat around singing three-part harmonies (me with my eyes screwed up because harmonising is the hardest thing in the world to me, urgh) and slowly working our way through songs from the shows we'd done together until there were just a few of us left, the oldies, singing mangled Gaelic hymns.

runawayskellum: Frodo Baggins looking wide-eyed and creepy (FRODOFACE)
So, in my attempts to become someone who actually acts like a human being sometimes (instead of sitting up until 5am reading whatshouldwecallme and Sex Diaries, I did my bank-related chores and turned up to Amadeus rehearsals half an hour early to prepare.

I sat in the cafe of the Arts Centre we were rehearsing in, ordered an apple juice (because I am a grown-up) and made notes. When nobody had turned up five minutes before we were set to begin, I started to wonder what was going on.

ME: Hi, have the Amadeus cast gone through to the studio already?
RECEPTION LADY: Amadeus cast? Not that I know - we actually don't have anyone booked in the studio at all today...
ME: *heart stops*

The problem is, this happens to me. Frequently. Like the time I brought L to see a friend's production of The Hired Man a week before it went up. Or the time *cough*last Sunday*cough* I mistook 'rehearsals run until half four' with 'rehearsals start at half four. I started having palpitations about the possibility of having to run to the closest useful bus stop (15 minutes away) to our other rehearsal venue, all the while babbling to the director --

-- when she stepped through the front door. THANK GOODNESS.
runawayskellum: Benjamin Sisko happy with a baseball (no YOU the man!)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 11:32pm on 01/01/2013 under ,
2012 has been a really mixed bag. The first half was great; the second was pretty awful, picking up a little at the end. (OH YES A JOB THAT'S RIGHT.)

I did quite a few things I'd never done before. I got a bucket of water poured over my head, swam in the North Sea at night, swam in the North Sea at dawn, did a sponsored swim, hit a softball, drove a sitting lawn mower, rode in the back of a pick-up truck, went to a Blues night, used a chainsaw, went fishing, played golf, saw a bald eagle, snuck into 1st class train compartment, re-furnished my house.

I turned 25. My girlfriend moved in with me - I mean, we met by being housemates, we've lived together as long as we've known one another. But this is my honest-to-goodness house that I own and we're the only two people who live in it. We have a study and a guest room. I love it. I thought I loved living with housemates, but I think I might like this even better.

I visited Spain, Poland, and the USA. I also went to Cambridge, which I'd never done before! I mad a real effort at university - if I'd worked a bit harder in third year I might have been able to swing a First, but I'm pretty happy with my 2:1, and the effort I put in in fourth year.

The visa stuff is still terrifying. I hate having my future so totally out of my own hands.

I miss St Andrews in a big way. It's just so pretty, and I miss being able to just walk down the road to the sea, or to some ruins or a museum. I miss having essay crises, and I miss being in five shows at once. I miss being the only people poor enough not to leave during the holidays, and L and I having the whole town to ourselves. And of course, living in such a tiny place forces you to make such strong bonds with people from all over the world - and now they're back all over the world. It's nice having people to stay on the odd weekend but not really the same.

This is the first year since L and I met that neither of us suffered a family bereavement. That was nice.

I basically loved every single single place we visited with the pooooooossible exception of Warsaw, but that could be because we only spent two days there. Madrid - awesome. Chicago - incredible. Krakow - stunning. Caseres, Cordoba, Lodz, L's Hometown - I want to visit all of them again. We won't be able to leave the UK for six months once the visa app is in, but hopefully we'll visit more of the UK - I've never actually been to Wales or Ireland at all, and I don't know the Highlands or Islands well at all. And there's always England.

So lots of achievements and lots of growing up. Here's to everyone having a great 2013!
runawayskellum: Toph, Sokka and Aang on a crime spree (Default)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 02:26am on 28/12/2012 under ,
I'm writing up a new copy of the book for Amadeus (so that there's actually a separate one, rather than all the blocking, the lighting and the sound cues all jumbled into the same script) and I've consistently been writing 'exists' instead of 'exits'. So, lots of 'Salieri exists upright,' etc. It eventually starts to sound a little defensive. Mozart exists, dammit! Stop trying to get him to leave the stage!

Sleep patterns are utterly destroyed. I also think I have shamed my grandad with my inability to drink hard liquor from before noon onwards, even on Christmas.
runawayskellum: zombie!Roger from Dawn of the Dead (swine flu)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 07:40pm on 20/12/2012 under
Wow. What a crashingly horrible six months. The quickest summary I can come up with would be as follows: I have NOT moved to London, I have NOT found a proper grown-up job (or any job at all), and we are NOT going to manage to secure L a visa. I wasn't expecting things to be easy in this economy, but Jesus.

The end result has been me sort of flailing about moronically, and somehow managing to get next to nothing achieved since graduating.

It also makes it really, really difficult to make any kind of concrete plans. To be honest, my intention on moving back to Hometown was this: get a shitty part-time job and do a bunch of volunteering, interning and classes in the meantime. But that was when the financial requirement for the partner of someone applying to stay in the country was £13,500. Now it's significantly more.

As a result I feel guilty if I'm doing anything other than filling out job applications, and I haven't liked to commit myself to too much unpaid work, because oh my god my partner is going to be forced out of her job and kicked out of the country because of me.

It's hard, and it makes it genuinely difficult to do anything. I've finally decided to apply for a couple of volunteering jobs, and also an internship, because if I'm not qualified for a job at The Money Shop then I'm not going to get more qualified for it sitting here having a panic attack.
runawayskellum: Frodo Baggins looking wide-eyed and creepy (FRODOFACE)
So I'm making a film* for the 60 Hour Film Blitz.

Ten minutes ago, I just got footage of our Association President applauding the university's commitment to equality, as shown by their decision to allow dinosaurs to matriculate.

*When I say 'film', well, the rules say it can't be any longer than three minutes. And we're supplied with dinky little cameras just a tiny bit bigger than cameraphones. And I've never done anything like this before omg. Mostly I'm enjoying the opportunity to interview people about dinosaurs at university. Diplodocus in social anthropology! T-Rex in IR! Triceratops in english lit!
runawayskellum: Toph, Sokka and Aang on a crime spree (LOL CRIME)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 03:50pm on 16/02/2012 under ,
So I spent Valentine's Day on the Love Equally march in Edinburgh, which was lovely and positive and made me feel very good about my tiny little country and its priorities. We got civil partnership before the rest of the UK, and now the Scottish Executive is basically just looking for approval to let everyone choose between marriage and civil partnership regardless of gender (and that's without even mentioning letting transgendered people transition without affecting their marital status).

Also, a brilliant side-effect of having a massive leftie as this years' University President is all the free transport to marches and demonstrations. I feel like a very productive citizen. :D
runawayskellum: Frodo Baggins looking wide-eyed and creepy (FRODOFACE)
posted by [personal profile] runawayskellum at 10:22am on 09/02/2012 under ,
So I plucked up my courage and went to my exam review session and it was TOTALLY worth it. Since I don't know whether I'll have the opportunity to attend review sessions for my very last exams in May I'm also going to count this as my first success in my 101 Things list. \o/

My only taught class last semester was Gender and Terrorism, and the one-on-one review sessions were yesterday. After umming and ahhing about it for a while, I plucked up my courage and went in, to be greeted with this conversation:

PROF: So someone, at the end of their exam script, wrote me a little note saying 'sorry this is so bad, but I really enjoyed the class'...
PROF: ... which is strange because that person got the highest exam result in the whole class.


Now obviously this isn't the greatest news in the world; my essay marks were good-but-not-great and dragged the overall mark down a bit. BUT STILL. There were some scarily clever and well-read people in that class; every tutorial was like in Mona Lisa Smile or something, with people putting up their hands and saying 'ah well yes but in V. Spike Peterson's 1993 response to Pape's rational-suicide-tactics thesis with particular emphasis to the blah blah blah'.

She also asked if I was going into academia and told me that I should. And then she recommended me some books and told me I was welcome to sit into her critical approaches to counter-terrorism class.

runawayskellum: Animated icon of Toph punching Aang (he does have a heart)
In my current near-panic about leaving university and becoming a real person and being frightened of either not accomplishing or somehow actually forgetting some of the tasks I need to do in order to be at least a qualified success in this, I stumbled across the Day Zero Project. It's basically a big to-do list: set 101 goals to be done in 1001 days.

At first I considered cutting it down somehow and making it graduating-specific, but then I decided just to go for it. It turns out that only 33 of my goals are actually for before finishing university, and a lot of them are nice ones designed to make me appreciate all my wonderful friends and my beautiful girlfriend and all the really cool stuff you get to do when you're at uni. It surprised me how many of them were for the immediate aftermath of, with luck, obtaining a place to stay and a way to make money. Apparently I'm quite concerned with starting Adult Life with the right foot forward. (Another concern is to stop being such a total lurker.)

So I'm going to post my list here, dated for when it's meant to run out. (This idea I stole from [personal profile] kerrypolka, who I hope doesn't mind!)

It's funny, isn't it, how writing thoughtful/extensive to-do lists feels so much like actually achieving things?


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