Late, late, I know. But I’m here now and isn’t that all that matters?
Also, title from the best podcast I listened to this week which was Pop Culture Happy Hour’s “Cultural Anniversaries and Great Things for Kids” — which talked extensively about the movie Antz.
The week had its highs and lows. On Monday night I had the privilege of seeing Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House, which was wonderful. What I realized while watching it was that I do not really know the plot of Swan Lake. We had to ask the lady sitting next to us what was going on in the first act. I admit that one of my favorite things about being in a city with a very active performing arts culture is dressing up and seeing things, even if I’m in the cheap seats. Also this statue is my new girlfriend.
Wednesday involved the most public transportation I’ve had to deal with in my time here. I had a shoot in Croydon (on which I was the art director!), a suburb south of London, so I had to take the commuter train out from Victoria station pretty early in the morning. I have not taken a commuter train in the UK since the 8th grade, and I was with my father who understood how they worked. I did not realize that to get off the train at your stop there is a button you must press to get off at your stop. So, the doors did not open, and I was trapped on the train. This provoked some panic because I was already cutting it close and I didn’t know how far away the next stop was from my final destination. It turned out it wasn’t very far, so I called a cab and they drove me to the shooting location. I also got some interesting trivia about the area from the driver and he drove me to an ATM so I wouldn’t fall victim to foreign fees on my card. People who aren’t from the city are oddly courteous and I’m not used to it.
I got to the shoot and 15 minutes later, while I was eating a croissant, one of my supervisors told me I had to go back into the city, to our office, to get a tripod and bring it back. So that was another ordeal all together…but I did make a dent in my podcast listening. It was a weird day to say the least. That night I passed out at 8 PM and woke up the next day at 7:45. Recommended adult behavior.
On Thursday the regular work grind was vastly improved by Melanie and Liza (my friends from high school) and Dale (my choir director and mentor from high school) meeting me for lunch near my office! It was so good to see them and have a taste of home (and of course gossip about certain topics). I had breakfast at 1 PM which was ideal. That night I went to the Philharmonia Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Center by myself, which I treated as a date. I got myself a gin and tonic and made a lady take the below picture of me on the balcony. I was especially excited to see the Philharmonia because they were being conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, a pianist and conductor that my dad had us listen to a lot as kids. He conducted several Sibelius pieces, which were all wonderful. My favorite was “The Swan of Tuonela” from the Lemminkäinen Suite.
Also, I think my favorite view in London is that from the right-hand side Golden Jubilee Bridge near the Embankment tube station. Hands down.
On Friday I lived vicariously through my friends in Emerson House at Wheaton for room selection, and I have a lovely single with TWO WINDOWS and a view of the Dimple. Ideal room situation. I am incredibly excited for next year (and also terrified).
On Saturday I lazed about and then went to the Natural History Museum (finally!) for about 45 minutes before the amount of children and tourists gave me a headache and I went home and took a nap while watching The X-Files. Jillian, Becca, and I went to a club called Cargo in Shoreditch that night which was…good fun. Will not expound further.
And Sunday was cleaning, cooking, laundering, etc. I finally have groceries now which I did not for some time because I didn’t have time to go to the store.
Things I Read and Liked This Week
This series from kuš! of Latvian artists invited to draw comics of works of art in the Latvian National Museum of Art
This great interview on Here’s the Thing (Alec Baldwin’s podcast) with Roz Chast (my favorite New Yorker cartoonist)
This piece of Wheaton history about a FLYING CLUBAnd that’s the week that was!
P.S. word of the week: “ta!”