January 9, 2013

Unexpected therapy

Today was my first scriptwriting class. The instructor is quite cool, and as it turns out is also a producer at the BBC.


One of the first things she had us do was pair up with a stranger and stare into each other's eyes for 90 seconds. You're probably thinking the same thing I did: UGH. It was exactly as awkward as you would imagine it. Yet for some reason I found myself doing it with very little trouble. When my (younger, obviously) partner would begin giggling to relieve her discomfort, I would just give her a little smile to let her know that was ok, even though I wasn't laughing. I find eye contact terribly uncomfortable, so it was surprising to me that I managed as well as I did. I can't lie, I'm still a bit proud of myself.

After that we had to interview one another, the process of which would give us the chance to determine what type of rock star, politician, and movie character the other would be. After the first few groups went up and got this wonderful/terrifying analysis of themselves done in front of the class (by not only their partner but by the instructor and the rest of the class), I was dying to go up and find out what they had to say about me. Because I am forever assuming how people see me and I just couldn't pass up the chance to see how people actually see me, even if somewhat superficially.

It was possibly the most interesting and insightful thing I've ever been a part of. I won't go into details just because it would take a novel to really dig into it, but I what it made me realize is that I'm actually an interesting person with my own story that's worth telling. I know it sounds kind of like I'm fishing for whatever when I say that, but the truth of it is that most of the time I don't feel that's the case. That I'm just one of the masses. As many people probably do, or why would "Jersey Shore" exist?

Random observation of the day: As a movie character, I was the strong, independent woman. As a politician I was Hillary Clinton. As a rock star I was Janis Joplin or Stevie Nicks. I will definitely take that last one.

January 7, 2013

A new semester

Back to school!

My first class of the new semester was Professor Awesome's Japanese Film class. Our first movie of the term was Spirited Away, which is one of the most well-known Animé films out there. Naturally I haven't seen it since I thought Akira and Ghost in the Shell were the only Animé films required for geek cred, but apparently I'm wrong. At least according to Professor Awesome. Also, he totally Comic-Book-Guy'd us about not pronouncing Ringu "rin-goo" because the "u" at the end is a lilt, not a letter you pronounce. I love you, Professor Awesome, but calm down ok? At any rate, I thought Spirited Away was really beautiful and funny and sweet. It was also incredibly bizarre. Not that it's a bad thing to be bizarre, it just reminded me of the perception shift required when watching Eastern movies. After the first lecture and screening, I'm quite excited to see where this class goes.

I did some running around to register and deregister for various classes and I'm now enrolled in Contemporary British Cinema, a class on adaptation between literature and film, and a screenwriting class in addition to Japanese Film. This semester is the most film-centric I've ever had and I love it. The only down side is that I only just missed out on arranging a two-weekends-per-week schedule. I mean, class on Monday followed by two days off, then class on Thursday and Friday followed by the weekend... how amazing would that have been? I know, I know, the problems of a university student. Even more tragic than first world problems.

One of the most interesting things about this day was how amazing it felt not to be the new girl anymore. I knew where to go, saw familiar faces in my class, even helped out a new, lost study abroad student. There seems to be a lot of them, almost entirely single semester, which makes me the seasoned expert among them. When Professor Awesome started chatting with me as a group of us were waiting outside the classroom before the lecture, I thought I saw a bit of awe on a few of their ickle faces.

Until they asked if I was another one of the teachers. I laughed and said no, but in my mind I was beating them about the head with my cane. Whippersnapper Raaaaaaaage.

Random observation of the day: Apparently when the subject of Japanese adult movies comes up, I am far from the only one whose brain goes straight to tentacle porn. Either that, or Professor Awesome can read my mind. This observation could just as easily be called "things I learned in Japanese Film class today." I have a feeling this won't be the last one.

January 3, 2013

New Year's resolutions

...are a thing I never do. Or at least I haven't done in the past ten years or so. I get the whole clean-slate idea of the new year, but the problem I have with it is that January is always ridiculously stressful and it's basically impossible to stop smoking or eat healthier or exercise more or give up the television habit. To me the first day of Spring makes a lot more sense for making resolutions. Spring is a time of renewal anyway, plus we're finally shaking off Winter (or at least seeing the sunlight at the end of the tunnel) and all the stress of the holidays has finally worn off. I'll think about some resolutions in March.

So, how's your 2013 going? Lovely, back to me. Mine started with chocolate cookies for breakfast and a good friend from Köln, Germany waking up on my couch. Her time here consisted almost entirely of watching telly, which was the best way I can imagine spending a long holiday weekend. She managed to get me addicted to two series: "White Collar" which stars the luminous Matt Bomer, and "Arrow," which is one of those shows that's so cheesy you can't help but love it... plus it has John Barrowman and (at some point) Colton Haynes, two of my favorite people to stare at.

We also went to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which was exactly as amazing as I had hoped. The Lord of the Rings trilogy are collectively my favorite movie not only because they are so incredible themselves but because of the mind-blowing amount of love and joy put into them by everyone involved. As the prelude of The Hobbit began and I watched Ian Holmes!Bilbo and Frodo in Bag End, it was all I could do not to shriek with insane happiness in the middle of the theater. Basically any time Gandalf was on screen I wanted to hug him. And when the travelers made it to Rivendell, my heart soared. I know Peter Jackson has gotten some flack about stretching The Hobbit into three films, but I also know that what he made isn't strictly The Hobbit. It's the gaps filled in by the entire Middle Earth collection and I thought it was gorgeously and sensibly done. Besides, each moment in Middle Earth is a gift as far as I'm concerned, so if Peter Jackson wants to make it, I'm 100% on board.

The new semester starts on Monday. That's also the day my last paper from the first semester is due, so the next four days will be devoted to getting that done. Here's hoping I don't run into the same roadblocks I had a few weeks ago...

Random observation of the day: Movie theaters in the UK (aka Cinemas) are reserved seating rather than general admission. Much like my disproportionate reaction to the folder situation here, this rather meaningless difference between the UK and the US absolutely blew my mind. We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.