This week has been a veritable social whirlwind for me. Along with the ridiculously fun and interesting work on the Top Sekrit Project Syzygy, I’ve been venturing outside South London recently. Last Sunday saw a visit to the National Film Theatre for Resfest, to see a session about filmmaking and gaming. In attendance was the Sony London Studio showing off their rather impressive Getaway 2 game with a rather less impressive and in fact pretty boring presentation. Luckily, the Red vs. Blue crew saved the day with a staggeringly funny and totally unscripted chat and Q&A session.
On Tuesday I managed to get an invitation to a party at Harvey Nichols, courtesy of Firebox, who were providing various games and toys there. Distressingly, they’d run out of all alcohol 30 minutes before I arrived. Even so, it was an interesting night out. Wednesday: a party at the Marquee Club in Leicester Square, arranged by Joystick Junkies. Suffice to say that while there were a whole load of (I’m sure) very interesting people there, plus free drinks, various arcade games and girls on rollerskates wearing far too little clothing for what is, after all, October, the deafening volume of remixed 70s music precluded any meaningful conversation beyond the following:
Ho hum; I suspect it was one of those things which is much more fun when you know a lot more people there (not that I didn’t have fun). Tonight, I visited my friend Evan, an undergrad doing a semester at NYU’s London campus in Farringdon, for a dinner party he was holding. There are about 200 other American undergrads, mostly from NYU or Virginia, studying in London at the moment, and a fair few of them were at this dinner.
I’ve long had a desire to go to a stereotypical American undergrad party, mainly for ethological reasons. This party did not disappoint me in the slightest – I felt like I was on a set from a cutting edge teen movie; on the sofas were the requisite impeccably made-up girls wearing expensive designer clothing, thrown together haphazardly. Lurking nearby were several unshaven young men wearing messy shirts and jumpers, and those silly flip flops (in one case, with socks on). The two groups often made comments about the rapid consumption of a bottle of vodka, with the girls protesting their wholly inebriated state and the guys denying any similar accusations leveled at them. Meanwhile, I drifted in and out with my glass of wine (I was the only person to bring any…) and became involved in exchanges like:
“Yeah, I basically live in Oxford and London now.”
“Oh, so you’re a local then?”
“Well, yes, I’m British, if that’s what you mean.”
Lest you think that I’m being terribly cooler-than-thou and will collapse into some gravitational singularity of cynicism in the next few days, I didn’t really think it was that bad. The people there were interesting to talk to, and the food was great – and cheap!
I’m going back home to Liverpool tomorrow for a half-marathon on Sunday. I actually ran the equivalent of a full 13.1 half-marathon last Sunday in Oxford, just to see whether I could do it or not, considering that my previous record had been 9 miles. Not only did I manage it easily, but I actually made it within the 1:45 time I was aiming for this Sunday, which takes an awful lot of pressure off me. More updates on that later.