Friday, March 6, 2009

An excellent few days

The last few days have been really cool. I've had a lot going on.

So, on Tuesday evening, I went with Susan to choir rehearsal, from which I left early. Despite the concert being next week, we still received new music at that rehearsal. It's fine, though, it's mostly pretty easy stuff. Anyway, after I left choir, I went straight to the comedy hypnotist show, where I was meeting Kristina.

The place was packed. Held in the same room where the orientation for foreign exchange kids was held back in January, there were just as many people in there this time. The show started very shortly after I arrived, and the hypnotist was a dark-haired, quick-fire man, well capable of keeping the attention of the hundreds of students in the room. About thirty students volunteered to be hypnotized - among them, Kristina. He told them to close their eyes and squeeze their hands together, all the while talking to them, telling them to keep squeezing more and more tightly, to clear their minds, etc etc. You could tell some people were taking his suggestions to heart and others weren't - for instance, Kristina's fingers were turning red and white with the pressure she was applying, while a girl in front of me had her hands so loosely intertwined that there was a gap between them. Then the hypnotist walked behind each of them and laid them down on the floor. Some people were eliminated from the line-up at this point because they were neither hypnotized nor becoming that way. Others seemed to actually fall asleep. Then the hypnotist started taking them through the show. At first everything was a group activity - it's really hot, it's really cold, something stinks, you're a class of kindergartners, etc. Then he started having them do individual feats, and it began to be obvious that these people were not just pretending to be under the influence of his suggestions. The most striking thing, to me, about hypnotized people is that, no matter what they do, they never laugh at themselves. Not once.

So there was this sequence where all of the people on stage were convinced that the people in the audience were off-duty soldiers, and they were our superiors. They were supposed to order us around, tell us to do push-ups, and so on. After a few minutes of this, Kristina walked up to me and barked at me to stand at attention. I didn't stand, but instead sat up straight in my chair and saluted her, grinning at her. Of course to me this was a big joke - nobody here was a soldier, and the whole thing was more than a tad ridiculous. But instead of grinning back at me and trying to get me to play along, Kristina's whole demeanor was instead incredibly stern, and I swear she was actually insulted by the fact that I didn't stand right away. Taken aback, I did as she asked, and she told me to drop and give her five. Which I did - or tried to. She shoved me down so hard with her foot on my back that I couldn't do the push-ups properly, and then she actually pushed my head in the ground, apparently angry that I was doing wimpy push-ups. I wasn't hurt, just surprised.

Generally I thought the whole thing was pretty entertaining. One guy danced with a broom to an Elvis Presley song, another was convinced that a mop was Angelina Jolie, and a third thought he was Rocky Balboa. Kristina was kind of angry about the whole thing after it was over, though, and doesn't want to repeat the experience.

On Wednesday, the two of us went to our usual stand-up comedy night at Club Aras in the Student Center. This time, though, when I walked in, I found Kristina sitting at a table with one of the student comedians. His name is Dave, and he is well-suited to his hobby. It's pretty much impossible for him to talk about anything without joking about it, and due to this, we had a great time. Kristina really couldn't hear him say anything without bursting into laughter, so we mainly listened to him, and the chief part of the interactions were between Dave and me - which is unusual... I'm normally the quiet one. Kristina would probably have talked more if she could have got a breath in between laughing. :P

On Thursday, there was another choir rehearsal. Not very many people showed up - maybe a quarter of the choir - but that was fine, since it meant that the altos got to go over the parts that confused them. Certainly helped me out, at any rate - I'd missed half the rehearsals by not joining until later anyway. After we were done rehearsing, Tom (the director) showed us some YouTube videos of different awesome musicians. I showed the choir the video that Katie Baker, my roommate back home, made with the track of her choir singing "Water Night" by Eric Whitacre. It was good times, and I enjoyed myself.

Yesterday was a lot of fun! Due to bad weather, Kristina and I decided not to go to Kinsale this weekend. Instead, we met at school, ate Subway for lunch, and then went to see Watchmen at a cinema in the city center. The movie was both awful and brilliant, terrible and good at the same time. Out of the whole cast, everyone's status as a protagonist or villain was ambiguous, except perhaps for the main two. And it was oh-my-gosh violent. I lost count of the number of times I had to close my eyes.

After the movie, we weren't sure what our plans were, but we decided just to head back to campus, so we went to the Student Center and found my friend Michael from my Human Sexuality class, hanging out with three other guys (Keane [sp?] and Dave [not the same one as the comedian]). Having nowhere to be, we sat and chatted with them for a good two hours before the Student Center closed. Then they took us to Lennox's, which is a "chipper" (a fish-and-chips place). We brought the food back to Michael's place, where the four of us (Keane had to leave) traded stories and got to know each other. It was SO nice to hang out with a couple of guys for once. I didn't realize how much I'd missed male company. After dinner, the guys headed off to see Watchmen themselves, and Kristina and I each went home.

So that's been my week! I'm pleased it's been such a nice one. :)

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