Friday, January 18, 2013

Life as usual

It's hard to follow the previous post. We did a bunch of cool stuff while we were visiting the States - we've not done nearly enough cool stuff since being back.

In fact, this week has been a series of work-filled days that bleed much deeper into the night than we're used to. Both of us have found ourselves at the computer and books until 10 or 11pm. Breakfast has been the only time we've had to hang and laugh at each other.

If it's cold outside, it's cold inside
She has spent the entire week finalizing her installment for next week's art show. Late last year, she got voted (unwillingly) to be one of the steering committee members for this show (that's what happens when you're a bit older and a lot more responsible than your classmates). As a result, she's been commuting back and forth between Camberwell and the Shoreditch Town Hall where the show will take place. She and the other committee members are 'curating' the show this year. Essentially, instead of having one room for all the painters, one for all the illustrators, another for sculptors, etc. they're integrating all the disciplines into a cohesive gallery. I think there's about 120 exhibits to organize.

Translated: she's been doing a lot of heavy lifting this week, transporting exhibit materials across town and then moving them around this building. I don't envy her.

The show is next week, so I hope to have several pictures in the near future. In the meantime, this is what Kenz sent me yesterday:

I can't begin to explain it because I don't have the requisite understanding. I know it's her installment, that it has taken a lot of hard work, that she built the entire thing, but that's about it. Feel free to email her questions. Maybe she'll get on the blog to write about it.

(Mildly) Interestingly enough, I was at the Shoreditch Town Hall last week as well. My friend co-directs a theatre company in town, and they were having a preview of upcoming projects. The night was filled with music, performance art, half finished scripts, coffee, tea, and snacks.

Usually, I'm not one to publicize my attendance at these things for fear of being a cliche. Call it a lasting vestige of my southern roots. The truth of it is that London hasn't changed me into someone who would go to an event like this - it's just that these events happen more often in this city than, say, Knoxville...

I didn't take too many pictures, and these don't really do it justice.

This guy came out for a performance art piece in drag, holding a bag of dirt and a guitar. I didn't know what to think. Usually with performance art pieces, I get the sense I'm watching someone simply trying to provoke the crowd. I was about to confirm that assumption as this guy started, but he quickly got into the act, and it was, in fact, quite good. Stage presence really makes a difference in this genre.

I also got to see a rehearsed table read of a short one act that my friend, Katharine, wrote. It was impressive and inspiring at the same time.

I did get to reconnect with a few London friends and walk around town.

The Waterloo IMAX is hype for Les Mis

People are bringing their pets to coffee shops

And coffee shops are taking the 'local' thing to the next level

 I was surprised to find remnants of Ai Wei Wei's Sunflower Seeds exhibit for sale in the coffee shop.


Central London: where to go for the latest in neon technology

Comic book store! 

I stopped this stranger on the street, asking him if I could photograph his shirt. 
 I found two new Invader pieces while walking around this week as well.

The Drysdale Street piece was found while Kenz and I were on our way to the Viet Grill on Kingsland Road. Known as 'Pho Mile', this stretch of road has countless Vietnamese restaurants, all yummy, and all different from the next. The only other time I've had really good Vietnamese food was at Vietnam Palace in Philadelphia (my roommate was Vietnamese and introduced me to the delights of Pho at the palace). After leaving Philly, though, I'd forgotten entirely about this type of food. It wasn't until Kenz and I moved here did I remember that it's delicious.

Afterward, we tried to go see a movie. We walked to four different theatres. Every single one had sold out. Four theatres. Sold out. Cold and wet from the rain, we went home, disgruntled, wondering why there were so many people out on a Saturday night.

Delightful construction update:

This week, the cement paths were being put together. In order for that to happen, each square had to be cut with a gasoline-powered buzzsaw. Beginning at 7:30am each morning the saws would begin, at maximum decibel level, and maintain throughout the day. The intense sound was mitigated by the oh-so-wonderful gasoline aroma drifting through the windows for eight hours at a time.

It's a pleasure to work from home.

Yesterday I noticed something strange. It was silence. They must be finished, I thought. Then, while standing at my desk, a cloud of steam caught my eye. I peered outside the window to see a mammoth pile of asphalt being dumped. As I realized they were just prepping for the next round of sidewalks, the smell crept inside our flat.

I couldn't decide which was worse: the smell of gasoline or that of asphalt.

Today it's snowing. However, the work continues.

When we were viewing this flat, I asked the realtor when the construction was projected to finish.

"Oh, probably three or four more months," he lied.

February will be a year that we've lived here. I've begun to wonder if they'll finish these apartment blocks before we move out. Part of me yearns for the first Saturday they're finished. The thought of sleeping past 7:30am on a weekend morning is something I've long since surrendered, but would welcome with open arms if it were to come.

With our luck, though, the people who move into these apartments will be louder than the construction.

I say our luck, but it's really Kenz's luck. Now that we're married, she reminds me that everything is us and ours. The good comes with the bad, so now I've got bad luck, too.

At least it won't smell like gasoline anymore. I hope.

For those of you in Tennessee, drive safe! Kenz's uncle, Bobby, just sent us a picture from yesterday:

"My 5 minute drive home last night (which took 45 minutes)."

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!