Burns Supper and Ceilidh (2005-01-24 - 2:01 p.m.)

Holy hannah, I may have found myself a job.

If it doesn't work out, at least it's the closest I've come! The manager said he's 99% sure I can have the job (as long as I think I'll stick it out for the full year). To be honest I have no idea how long I will stay, but I imagine it will be a while. Anyway, I'm positively giddy at the thought of having nearly twice as much money while only having to work 5 days a week.

They're going to call me back this week. Fingers strongly crossed... (Though of course as soon as he said he might hire me, I started thinking "do I really want this job?" But oh well, I definitely need the full-time hours!)

So much for today being a terrible day.

In other news, I had a really great weekend, due to the fact that I didn't work Saturday. It's the first two-day weekend I've had since... probably November. Instead, I went shopping! Saturday night was the BUNAC Burns Supper and I didn't have anything I really wanted to wear. I hit the charity shops first, but didn't see much there (though I did get a nice evening bag for 1.50). So Shannon and I hit the sales next, and I got a skirt and top for cheap... but the best part was finding the LAST copy of the top I agonized over getting on my birthday (but decided to leave because I didn't think it was worth 20) on the sale rack for 6! My size and everything. Good things do apparently come to those who wait.

We also got some makeup, a concept which still makes me nervous. However, it's all research for when I write my best-selling self-help book, "Makeup Tips for Geeks and Nerds".

The Supper itself was wonderfully fun. I'm so glad I swallowed hard and shelled out for the ticket - it was worth every penny, as far as I'm concerned. It started with free glasses of really nice wine, and moved on to soup (I suspect it was Cock-a-leekie); haggis, neeps and tatties; cranachan, and then a wee cheese and fruit platter. The cranachan was particularly interesting. It's a traditional Scottish dessert made of cream, whisky, raspberries, honey and oatmeal! Trust the Scots to find yet another recipe that pairs whisky and oatmeal. Anyway, Shannon didn't care for it, but I rather liked it.

The haggis also got piped in, as is apparently traditional. It amused me no end to watch the chef in his white cap reverently cradling the haggis in his arms, while being followed about the room by a Scotsman in full kilt, playing the bagpipes. Then Lynn, one of the people from BUNAC's Edinburgh office, sliced open the hapless haggis with a knife as she recited Burns' "Address to a Haggis":

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

It goes on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

The speeches during and after the dinner were excellent. The Immortal Memory speech was given by a former BUNAC employee who now works as tour guide. It's meant to be about Burns, but his take on it ranged from a discussion of the movie Braveheart, to how Americans react to a Scottish accent, and then back to Burns. But even if he had been a terrible speaker, he was cute and in a kilt, so I would have paid attention anyway.

There was also a "Toast to the Lassies", traditionally to thank the women for doing the cooking! That has changed slightly over the years, needless to say. Then Sarah did the reply to the toast and someone sang a beautiful version of "My Love is like a Red Red Rose". There was a quiz as well, in which our table came in LAST. I'm not surprised, though - five Canadians, two Americans, two Germans and an Aussie should not be expected to ace a quiz on Scottish history!

Then we got on to the ceilidh. I was right when I figured I would love ceilidh dancing. I suppose it's a bit like square dancing, which I've also always wanted to try. The "band" was one guy with an accordian, but he certainly gave it his all! He also went through the steps beforehand, which was helpful as most of us had never tried the dances. It was great fun and one heck of an aerobic workout (especially considering I only sat out two of the dances). Much hopping about and twirling, so I was glad I had a swirly skirt on.

By the time we sang Auld Lang Syne at the very end, I was completely dripping with sweat. It was so fun though! As good as ballroom dancing but more inclusive. I am trying to convince everyone to hit another ceilidh with me next weekend. The Aussie guy (called Brad) from our table said he would come as well - I do hope he's planning to wear his kilt.

The evening ended at midnight, so we went off to Dropkick Murphy's, unsurprisingly. I was not too astonished to see that Craig, Pia and Angela had wound up there as well! Half the BUNAC crowd had come along, so the bar was packed and a good time was had by all. Especially Shannon, who looked to be having possibly too much of a good time with an Irish bloke in the corner!

On that note, it's a little odd being friends with so many people who obsessively detail everything in their blogs. I will do something one day with a group of people, and the next day I can read about the experience from three or four different points of view! Very strange but kind of an interesting phenomenon. I suppose it's because a lot of my friends have the same overwhelming urge to document everything that I do. Really, it's not all the different than watching a soap opera and seeing the reaction of each character to an event - except the events are occuring in real life, and the blogs are probably much better-written.

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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