Friday, 15 December 2006

Fragments of my non-academic life

I’ve been drinking lots of coffee. Here, the smallest size is about a pint. I’ve got addicted to the mochas from downstairs. Oh, the food at Northwestern is great by the way – you can get fresh sushi at the student cafĂ©. Ha ha ha, Essex students eat your hearts out, deep fried at S Express. The other thing one can do is just steal food. The school of business has all these gatherings for recruitment or, I dunno, “dilemmas of leadership in the salted snack market”. And they leave their delicious buffet food out while they go and discuss these important topics. So starving PhD students come along and snaffle it. You could basically live and eat free at Kellogg. Not so much red wine as Essex though.

I decided to live in Rogers Park which is just over the border in Chicago from Evanston. My flatmate is a standup comedian. The first ten days I moved in the other guys had not yet moved out and were camped out on the sofa. They were nice people but they also invited their mate to come and stay, a chap who did not vastly impress me and who, by his own admission, had spent $10000 filming his girlfriend breaking up with him. It’ll be hitting the box office soon, folks, get queuing. Working title is The Least Heterosexual Man in Chicago and you can imagine the dialogue: “put the videocamera down or I’ll break up with you, gimpwit”. Anyway, eventually they went, taking all the furniture with them, and we ate off polystyrene boxes for the next two weeks until we were given some furniture by a kindly Progressive Catholic (apparently this is not a euphemism for lesbian).

Seems like everyone in Chicago is a playwright or an artist or something equally disgraceful. Decline of the Midwest. As you know, there is nobody as ruthlessly self-interested as an artist – corporate lawyers have nothing on them. Anyway, as I was saying my flatmate is a standup comedian and also a video editor and one of his projects is to do funeral videos for dead people. So his demo is himself. He made a video of himself, with a slow closeup of his smiling face while REM plays in the background, then slow motion pictures of him having fun with his mates. Convincing stuff.

We kitted out the living room with a funky computer-assisted stereo, you can just login remotely and play MP3s through the speakers. Very sweet.

Gosh, I just got my grades. V exciting. I now have an official Grade Point Average. Always wanted one of those.

Right, as you can probably guess we just had the departmental Christmas party so I’m going to review an article. More later.