socially active (2005-01-17 - 3:00 p.m.)

You know that gym I had a five-day free membership for? Yeah. Well, I showed up on Thursday and had a nice wee workout with all the plump old ladies.

I showed up on Friday and all the lights were out, doors were barred, and a hastily-scribbled note on the door said they were closed "due to a problem with the lease" (!) and won't be reopening.

Guess it's a good thing I didn't give them any money!

So the search is on for a cheap gym/another free trial membership. Rats.

I have had a very busy couple of days, socially. This pleases me greatly, since I feel like I've been hibernating since early December. Thursday night I went out with Pia and some mates (and Craig - why does he come out if he's just going to stand there and look morose, until he manages to drink enough to become obnoxious??) to the Walkabout, aka the Aussie Pub. Turns out they have live karaoke on Thursday, which is a very cool idea. I've never seen this done, but it involved a live guitarist and bassist (who also sang backup vocals) instead of or in addition to the usual backing track. Sort of brings the whole thing a step up from the usual drunken pub karaoke, such that most of the singers looked like they were probably music/voice students. They moved around the stage, did little dances, the whole bit - made the whole thing a lot more "Pop Idol"!

I wormed my way to the front so I could actually see the stage, and promptly got hit with the Worst Pickup Line Ever (which I have to record for posterity).

South African Guy: "So are you going to sing?"

Me: "No way, I'm not getting up there."

S.A.G.: "Oh come on, if you sing as good as you look, you'll win first prize!"

I just burst out laughing and walked away, which may or may not have been the desired effect.

I might actually go back on a Thursday night, though. I really like the live karaoke thing, and the Walkabout is usually pretty friendly.

I went out Friday again, because Pia's friend Angela had a friend in town. We went to Frankenstein's, which I liked because of the cool decor. Lots of test tubes and things bubbling, as you can imagine. It wasn't a great night, though, because Angela's friend kept blowing smoke in my face the whole night (not on purpose, the air conditioning was behind her) and when they left to go to the Three Sisters I took off early. The Three Sisters is a meat market and plays loud and usually crappy music. I may go back to Frankenstein's though, just because of the cool layout.

Saturday, however, was an awesome night. It was Shannon and Jen's first weekend back, so I went over for dinner (crepes) and pre-bar primping. It was really nice to get done up with the girls (Jen did my hair, which I got compliments on all night, and Shannon did my makeup with all her complicated little brushes and pots) and I find they're much more my speed. Pia likes to go out, but we always have to be out the door at 9 PM ON THE DOT, whereas the Canadian style is more to linger for three hours chatting and brushing your hair. Which is what we did.

When we finally made it out the door, we had a really great night. Also in the party was Vanessa from Winnipeg (there seems to be an inexhaustible supply of Canadians in Edinburgh) who is extremely outgoing and therefore amusing on the dance floor. We ended up at Dropkick Murphy's, which is fast becoming my favorite bar in Edinburgh. It's open relatively late, and has a really good live band that starts at 1 am. They play excellent music (even though it's always the same) and they always include "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" in there somewhere, which is great fun to dance to.

I also saw a guy who claimed to be Peter Stringfellow. Actually, what happened was I almost collided with an old guy when I was coming out of the womens' bathroom and he was apparently trying to get in. (?!) The guy he was with grabbed his arm and said, "The stairs are this way, Peter!" Then he turned to me and added, "That's Peter Stringfellow!" Was he? I'm not sure. Face is similar but the guy at Dropkick's had curly hair. A perm? A tissue of lies? I will probably never know...

Also some guy told Shannon he used to be Gwen Stefani's personal trainer. Who knows? All I can say is, in an Irish bar you can expect a bit of blarney!

In other news, Speed Dating is tomorrow. We had a council of war yesterday over coffee, but no real decisions were made beyond meeting up beforehand - NOBODY wants to go in there alone. Ailbhe is convinced that all the guys there will be basement-dwelling computer nerds. (Which actually would make me quite pleased!) Shannon is worried about being judged harshly. (This does not bother me at all: I will have a scorecard as well and will not be afraid to use it!) I think it will be ridiculous but possibly fun. Full report on Wed or Thurs...

I have a lot going on this weekend too, as there's a Burns Dinner Saturday night, and a trip to see some castles with the Heriot-Watt chaplaincy Saturday afternoon. I'm hoping to do both, but the timing may not work out. Can't complain about having TOO MUCH interesting stuff going on, though!

One last thing: I have found the most useful dictionary ever! Apparently there are other people out there who are as interested as I am in the differences between British and North American English. A helpful and amusing resource.

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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