A Special Rainbow

I’ve posted about alcohol to some extent before.

Hey, I’m an arts student in Scotland, it’s only to be expected that the Drink is part of my, if not day-to-day then maybe week-to-week life. I’m in a specialism that can often be both physically and mentally exhausting – when you’ve spent a whole day scraping at a piece of sheet metal with another bit of metal that is optimistically known as a ‘tool’*, so that you can then fold it into a box, a large amount of cheap perry (the bit of sheet metal you’ve been hacking at just cost you £12, and you’re not even sure why you’re trying to fashion it into a box in the first place) seems like the way to go.

I posted the List already – and it shall be updated at some point in the near(ish) future, but what I’ve not yet thought about is the entirely useful skill of, and here’s the moral of the story, Knowing Your Limits.

It’s a very delicate balancing act, wherein you must tread the tight rope line that lies between Boring and I Wish I Remembered That. I’ve tried being sober and I’ve accidentally been absolutely wasted (Spanish bars, £4 pitchers of sangria, oh my!) and neither of them are any good.

There’s a beautiful rainbow of drunkenness that I’ve experienced, and I’m not talking about vomit.

The Rainbow of Drunk

Violet: the first glimmer of warmth and optimism

Indigo: perhaps two drinks in; pool game starts to go off and bus stops are very funny

Blue: just about brave enough to venture from pub or flat and towards clubs. 

Green: sudden burst of energy and hysteria. Strange photos will be taken, things will be thrown out of windows. Dancing is now possible.

Yellow: pitchers seem like a very good idea. Dancing is not only possible but possibly dangerous. Any food consumed will be AMAZING. It is a really good idea to climb on a pool table and steal all the balls.

Orange: Conversation with others is now impossible, as is walking in a straight line. Fear may set in, or numbness. Occasionally anger. Activities: running away from scary club goblins, sleeping, downing pints of water.

Red:  This stage is difficult to define as it mostly passes as a blur. Not complete blackout, but a confused fuzz of drinks running down your sleeve and a horrible and beautiful noise that is in fact music that no one would ever listen to. Activities: Smashing glasses, making tea and throwing it at your own face, crying.

Black: The void of nothingness. Leaves a wake of destruction in its path.

I’ve recently noticed that my personal right amount is roughly a glass and a half of wine. It goes up to somewhere comfortably between Green and Blue, and leaves me sensible enough not to neck anything too potent afterwards. It’s a wonderful revelation for a young girl to realise that going out doesn’t have to mean moving anything in your room that you don’t want to get barfed on or broken before you leave, in preparation for your inevitable wasted return.

Take my flatmate’s birthdays, for example. One was the start of October, and we ended up in two aforementioned Spanish bars drinking copious amounts of sangria. It ended messily, that’s all I’ll say. The important thing is that at the time I didn’t realise three things:

1. It wasn’t actually necessary to continue drinking in order to still be drunk

2. My flatmate was wasted and wouldn’t have noticed/cared if I’d stopped drinking

3. Sangria makes me angry

Compare this to my other flatmate’s birthday, about a month later. I started myself of with the magical glass and a half, and then over the next six hours (from 9 PM to 3AM) only consumed two Jack Daniels and coke and two vodka + lemonade + blackcurrant (which I actually hate because I don’t like lemonade, and the sweetness makes me thirsty and queasy, and when I was hospitalised as a child I threw up enough blackcurrant juice to make anyone want to die). All of this was interspersed with about two pints of water, to the barmen’s disgust.

It meant that I kept an acceptable level of tipsy, enough to enjoy clubs (sober = hate them hate them hate them) but not so much that I forgot everything that happened, which was just as well because it was a really good night.

I made another discovery, too. My friends are really really funny when they’re paralytic. I’d never noticed before. One of them spent ages drawing cocks in the dirt on cars, which may not sound amusing now but at the time it was hilarious. I also had to listen to a lengthy description as to why one of them wasn’t wearing underwear (it cut me in HALF I swear. In HALF).

In conclusion, I reckon I’ve finally learned a useful skill that a lot of my contemporaries don’t always grasp. It’s called being a drink-ninja, and it involves a lot of cunning alchemy and trips to the toilet to swiftly pour drinks you couldn’t refuse to be bought in the sink.


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* I even made the scoring tool myself. It’s like being Amish or something. Also, it should be noted that orange hot steel isn’t something to touch with your bare hands unless you want a new, very simple fingerprint design.

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Because

It has been pointed out to me that it’s been a long time since I blogged, so I’m making a post-shaped promise to do so more often.

The main reason for the lack of blog is that I’m only guaranteed internet access  when I come home for the weekends, (student) and during the week I’m really busy with work (student) and adventuring (student) and sleeping (student).

So I reckon whenever I come home I’ll post something. If I’m diligent I’ll get about a post a week, or every two weeks as I normally avoid Home and stay in Town for weekends until I can’t resist the pressure of guilt and the lure of free food.

I’ve not actually been up to much since last I posted, owing to that fact that over the summer I became a hermit and spent vast amounts of time doing largely nothing, in between complaints about the weather and a bit of futile jobhunting. Since I started at uni again I’ve been busier, but unless you also enjoy setting things on fire, melting things and – wait, everyone likes fire and melting things. What ho, I’ve actually been doing some fairly interesting things. So, for your reading pleasure, I’ll provide a nice list of topics I might be stretching to the point of desperate thinness to make more posts.

Here we go:

Freshers/Festival
The Joys of Student Flatsharing
Silversmithing
Hallowe’en escapades
The List of Shame and Fear Updated

and anything else I can think of.

To conclude, this is a somewhat scattered and hasty post to make me stop thinking ‘I really should do that’ every time I’m on the internet. Haddock.

Weird Things That Happened To Me This Year At Art School

So, I got my results back yesterday – AAAAAABCC – which means that I’m now properly officially finished one year of art school. Thusly, a list of weird shit that happened to me this year.

Fresher’s Week

Basically, fuck all happened. Some people end up doing crazy things on freshers week for reasons such as they just moved to a new place and don’t remember how to get home, trying to impress people or just general drunkenness.

Anyway, the most I got up to was awkward hanging out with randoms on my first day (none of which I’ve ever seen/spoken to again but all of which I’ve got in my phone).

I also went to the uni-societies fair and ended up in a deserted room and joining the sci-fi society because they looked so pleased to see someone at their table. The only upside of this was the freshers-intro meeting thing (also known as Freshercon!) where we watched Galaxy Quest, and I’d forgotten how awesome it was.(1)

The Zoo

Yeah, we went to the zoo to draw. This was weird for me because I always go on my birthday in the summer with my family, and I spent the uni-trip day on my own in the rain. It could have been symbolic of something or some shit. Either way, this year I went to see Evita on stage instead. I think it was a good trade, musicals being way more fabulous than damp meerkats.

This is my painting, I used my own blood. MENSTRUAL BLOOD.

I don’t really want to explain this further. (2)

Stuff That Could Have Been Art But Maybe Wasn’t

There was a shoe stuck to the ceiling. Then it was gone. Why was it there? Where did it go? There was also one stuck to my friend’s wall at one point but that’s a bit easier to explain.

For a long time there was a scarf around one of the trees and the soap was all carved and there’s always stuff hanging in the trees in the quad.

Fire Alarm

It was caused my molten wax. NYUUUUUUUUUUUU. Anyway, no one thought it was a real alarm for like fifteen minutes, then they were like, FUCK YOU FIRE I’M FINISHING MY SOUP, and then we all went outside and stood around till it stopped. Everyone was pissed ’cause it was at lunchtime, and that’s like, our time.

Fake Mustaches

Yeah, I’ve been to a lot of parties/museums wearing a fake mustache or two. I dunno why, it just happens. I have a pack of them in my locker. It’s like the drunk traffic cone(3): you get tipsy and acquire one but don’t know how or why.

After normal parties you have to tidy up bottles and cans, after ours you have to pick up mustaches(4) and un-stick the shoe from the wall. That’s how we roll.

Parties

Well, to be honest I was mostly and probably still am a basic social retard(5), so drinking and clubbing and flat-parties were more new to me than to most students. In general I concluded that clubs are good for a bout an hour until I get bored with dancing and want to leave before the goblins get me, big flat parties suck (no were to sit, often not enough glasses/drinks/standing room and um, shitloads of pretentious art students. Heh.), whereas small ones – like six or eight people – are better because one can have an actual conversation. Or, play stupid drinking games and not have to wait forever for your turn.

We usually start off in bars anyway and then because further alcohol is cheaper if you buy a bottle and drink it indoors, decamp to someone’s flat. And as I said before there’s the mustache thing. The last one we ended up roughly 60% naked and 75% watching porn.(6) Someone fell asleep and ended up with a stripe shaved down his chest and leg. I always seem to be covered in glitter.

I may seem strange but my friends and coursemates are worse. They carry wood carving tools, smoke pipes, wake up in drug dens, headbutt people, dye their eyebrows pink, adopt strangers off the street, acquire a crazy amount of stalkers, tape cider bottles to their knees…It’s awesome…

I Kissed a Boy and I Liked It(7)

And it’s weird and awesome and weird and lovely all at the same time.

Oh, Yeah, the Course…

As my results might show I actually managed to do okay despite the fact I was mostly living out of a bag and my locker and spending at least two nights a week downing gin and coke. If you’ve never laughed so hard that rum came out of your nose(8) you’ve never lived.

I ended up doing painting for my final despite the fact that my course is jewellery and silversmithing. I made teeny canvases and set them into copper. It  was a dramatic but ridiculously difficult to wear piece that I couldn’t actually put on by myself. It was prone to tangling so I strapped it to a board and there it shall stay for ever more.

The result was that I seem to be being groomed to bring back enamel painting in contemporary jewellery…I didn’t realise it had gone anywhere. I think the tutors are just overly hopeful.

I still have doubts as to whether or not I should have just gone into actual painting, and I still kinda want to be an author too (though that’s not showing any signs of ever actually happening at this juncture) but I’m really looking forward to next year. It’s weird to want the summer holidays to be over.

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1. Incidentally, it was also the first movie I watched with my BOYFRIEND and we fell asleep half way through (drunk) and later that morning I finished it while he threw up and slept.

2. I mentioned it already, but I didn’t want to go into it then either.

3. Got one of them too, by the way.

4. And bottles.

5. And according to mensa tests taken under the influence, a mental one too. MMMM, WINDOWS.

6. There was four of us present.

7. Also a lot of girls. Ummmmm.

8. Even if you weren’t drinking rum.

A Pirate Adventure on the High Seas

If you replace ‘seas’ with ‘cocktail bars’ and ‘adventure’ with ‘brief trip to steal glasses’.

The fact that this is the most interesting thing that’s been going on is a good explaination as to why I’m thinking of either taking a break from drinking until it becomes novel again, or thinking of something new to do.

Why is it that slightly intoxicated people decide they really need a martini glass that you can only fit three mouthfuls of expensive but not actually very interesting cocktail into? Is it some kind of revenge?

Anyway, as a group my friends and I seem to end up doing it fairly often.

We discovered a recipe for pirate style rum – it wasn’t very difficult to stumble on as it was on Wikipedia – amusingly christened Bumbo. It’s got dark rum in it, obviously, and water, sugar (yeah, adding MORE sugar to rum is a good idea…), and cinnamon and nutmeg in it.

Then we drank it all and climbed on the furniture. Then it was time for piracy on the high streets – or the grubby back streets of Cowgate. We were released into the open waters and marauded our way to a nearby victim – a cocktail bar we’d been to before and accidentally on purpose blatantly stolen a huge glass goblet.

We obviously had our pirate flags flying as when we ordered a cocktail they specifically asked for it to be brought back when we were done.

And return’d it was, but three other smaller glasses from neighbouring tables were duly pillaged instead.

Success! Useful skill of using honesty to disguise theft mastered.

 

My Alcohol History: A List of Shame Mixed With Pride and Fear

Cider – Variable

Cider is a learning drink(1). It’s not particularly strong (normally 4 or 4.5% though some are more like 7.5%, it depends), and though a lot of the cheap ones taste like alternatively ass or wood, there are some tasty ones where you can’t taste the alcohol, e.g. Kopparburg or Brothers. NOM. I don’t like apple cider. Ginger or strawberry or pear is nice.

Rum – (white) Bad, (dark) Variable

When I was about fourteen or fifteen I drank half a bottle of Bacardi (over a period of several days) and replaced it with water. About a year later my brother drank the water with Coke and didn’t notice the difference.

Later, I used to drink a Bacardi and Coke (sometimes a gin and Coke) in pubs up until one fateful day where we bought a 70cl bottle of it. I then made what I thought was a rum and Coke but what was in fact about three rum and Cokes, only with one portion of Coke.

I ended up drinking three doubles or nine singles in about half an hour and barfed into a bin. (2)

I now can’t drink white rum anymore, or even eat rum-flavoured fondants. Wah.

An interesting tangent is Spiced Rum(tasty): Boyfriend drank a whole bottle of Captain Morgan’s in one night and I had to lead him home (he ended up walking into a wall while I was otherwise occupied(3) ).

The next morning he threw up 12 times.

Wine – Variable

Cheap wine, or really cheap wine…I recal drinking it in the studio at uni once and playing ping-pong. Also I signed a petition but I don’t know what it was for.

Also: free wine. Art = exhibition openings = free wine. YAY.

There’s a weird thing about cheap shit like cherry Lambrini – it’s only 4.5% but it makes me drunk fast. I think it’s all the sugar and chemicals.

Ginger Wine is odd. It could have been because it was cheap, but it tasted like sweet and sour sauce, which is nice but not mixed with wine and lemonade.

Jaegermeister – Good, Got Boring

We really liked it for a while…about two months…

Uuuuuuuuuuh, the big bottle wasn't me. Also there's now four other bottles there...

Absinthe – POWER

Well…All I can say is we drank half of a big bottle and it was weird, not drunk weird or wormwood weird, just weird. Also we drank it in the shower.

At first we tried doing it the traditional way, with sugar and water and fire, but it actually tasted better straight. As shots. Lots of shots.

Ouzo – Acceptable

Ouzo is like cheaper, Greeker absinthe. It doesn’t taste as nice but I didn’t barf or cry, so it was Good.

Gin – Caution Required

I’ve mentioned before that gin makes me cry, but only in large amounts. There was one time we stole a massive goblet from a cocktail bar (now known as THE GOBLET OF DOOM), and we filled it with gin, ginger ale and lime. It’s hard to tell how much you’ve had when you’re sharing a glass you could fit on your head.

Anyway, I avoid drinking too much of it now.

Peach Schnapps – Good

I like sweet things, like peaches, and I like alcohol that doesn’t taste too much like alcohol. We mixed it with lemonade and I don’t remember much of what it made me do. Um.

Malibu – Awesome

I suppose this should be under Rum, because it’s coconut rum…but I like it more than normal rum.

Boyfriend and I drank it outside with guava juice. I stalked him through bushes like a tiger, ran around a supermarket and climbed into a public flowerbed full of bamboo. It made me talk really fast and giggle like a little bitch.

Malibu is Good.

Vodka – MEH

I like flavoured shots. Bakewell Tart FTW. I don’t tend to drink it much though.

Cocktails & Pitchers

There was one we made with blended fruit and vodka and lemonade, and christened it Tigerblood. This was the same day three of us went and bought a Charlie Sheen T-Shirt each. For a while he was adopted as our mascot.

They tend to be expensive in bars though.

Misc

Wiskey is only good if it’s single malt.

I don’t like beer, it tastes like yeast.

I like Jack Daniels, but it’s expensive so I don’t have it a lot.

I once bought a bottle of raspberry flavoured fortified gin purely because it was blue, and I’d had a cocktail that was blue, yellow and purple and the blue bit was awesome and the purple bit made me feel sick.

Cherry liqueur is awesome, especially with maple syrup.

Port is Not Awesome.

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1. Not a Children’s Drink, for that is gin.

2. I thought it was one bin but it was actually two bins that got swapped over while I was busy rolling around on the floor asking people to kill me. When my Manbitch tried to lift me into bed, I went DON’T TOUCH ME in the voice of the devil, so he sat and watched me roll about a bit more.

3. Okay, I was kissing one of my friends against a fence. Maybe walking into a wall can be more accurately attributed to girl-make-out than drunkenness…


How to Escape From Seminars, or A Trip to the Museum

It is a universal fact widely acknowledged that a student who has just sat through a lecture(1) will not be in wont of sitting through a seminar too.

Also, we hadn’t done the prep work.

Though, I’ve never actually done the prep work and it hasn’t made much difference, so we probably would have been okay. But that’s not the point.

Thusly, fake mustaches(2) and sunglasses were donned – even over real mustaches – and sauntered off to the museum, because that’s Learning Fun and makes up for not going to the seminar.

Seminars are neither Learning nor Fun – apart from the last one, where we watched Fight Club and then discussed it. Or, more accurately, me, the tutor and two other people out of about fifteen discussed it. There were a lot of fashion students who seem to be really shy…or somthing…

On the way we passed the tutor for my seminar, but I’m not sure if she recognised my behind my strongman mustache and sunglasses.

Of course, instead of being sensible and mature in the museum we went to the kids bits and tried on hats. Pirate hats.

We got bored with this quite quickly, and our mustaches were dropping off, so we went and got a big pot of chai tea. Then it was time for Drink. I don’t remember what it was (only it wasn’t gin ’cause I don’t remember crying at any point(3)).

I think it was ouzo. Anyway, we proceeded to drink it, have a short but brutal banana fight, impersonate dinosaurs and wickedly tickle someone. There was also something about putting shoes in the freezer and then the shower, and I wrote Python quotes all over the fridge…I remember this because it is recorded on film – film that will make us all cringe wistfully in a few years.

We always end up going out, and all I remember of that is jagermeister shots, dancing, being held still so someone could take a group photo, and then standing outside singing A Whole New World from Aladdin with two random guys on the street.

It was raining by this point, so naturally I jumped in every puddle on the way home. I also lay down on the Grassmarket and informed everyone that they used to hang people here, you know.

By the time we got back I was soaked and my shoes were ruined – despite being microwaved multiple times the next morning to dry them out.Yeah, it was a bad move and resulted in a weird puddle-mud and hot rubber smell. The only difference it made was that they were warm and wet and not cold and wet. The lesson is don’t microwave your shoes.

The upside was it meant I could justify buying awesome new two-toned shoes. (4)

It turned out that next to no one else went to the seminar, and it seemed that no one cared.

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1. It was on design and social identity or modernism or something. I have a feeling I was reading a book at the time so I’m not sure.

2. Yes, we just happened to have some on us. Who doesn’t?

3.  Gin makes me cry, if I drink enough. The first three times I drank it I ended up crying, now I don’t drink more than a few measures with lemonade. I’ve moved on to other things.

4.

My tamagotchi

Okay, so. On Wednesday I received a free tamagotchi* on entry to a certain club which was having a ’90s themed night.

It was like I gave birth to a small bleeping monster that I don’t have the heart to kill.

The instructions lost something in translation, so I’m not entirely sure how to look after it; all I know is love hearts means good and ‘Bye’ means that it has died. It’s amazing how guilty a small piece of green plastic with a sadface on it can make you feel when you wake up at two in the afternoon like an alcoholic mother who goes out all night with no regard for her frog-shaped** offspring.

Luckily it has a reset button so that when it dies after you left it for an hour to re organise your underwear drawer*** you can reset it, pick a new creature (like a pony! :D) and start over.

I’m not sure, but I remember when I was little and tamagotchi were actually cool they died and that was it? Am I wrong? I just remember people being devastated when they died and this seems a bit overkill if one can just poke a paperclip in the back and it’ll magically re-spawn.

It did, however, kind of break. Maybe because I sat on it, and my siblings sat on it when it was in my pocket, or maybe just because they’re not well made, I don’t know.

The screen just went blank and my little tadpole vanished, without even an accusatory ‘BYE blink blink’.

So,  being a naturally gentle and considering person with delicacy and finesse, I rammed various objects into the reset hole and then brutally bashed it on a table until it started working again.

It came back to digitally simulated life and I immediately started prodding and feeding it in a vague attempt to stop it from dying.

Overall I think it’s died six or seven times since ten o’clock Wednesday night. I fail at tamagotchi parenting. Useless skill un-mastered.

To make matters worse, I think it’s still partly broken. Before the violent table-CPR, it used to bleep tunefully whenever it needed something, normally either food or for a little pyramid of poop to be scooped, and a ‘calling’ symbol would appear and then vanish when the tamagotchi was appeased.

Now, it bleeps in a sort of off-key way every hour or so and no matter what button I press or how much cake and apples and mystery foodstuffs I feed it, the calling symbol doesn’t go away. The weird little sperm-tadpole keeps smiling though, and it’s not dead yet (in the last two hours) so I think it’s okay.

The beeping sound kept waking me up last night, though. And – this is the worst part – I can’t bring myself to ignore it. I want it to grow into a fully grown frog and LOVE ME. D:

So I get up and find it, swear quietly at it, do whatever it wants and go back to sleep feeling slightly stupid.

There’s little games on it that I can’t work out how to do, and so I lose every time and it makes an angry-disappointed face at me. Little bitch.

At the moment it’s sleeping, and then it’ll wake up, crap, be fed and then die during the night. I don’t really remember why I wanted one of these when I was eight.

Maybe later I’ll try replacing the batteries.

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*I have a feeling it’s not a genuine Tamagotchi brand tamagotchi, if such a thing exists, ’cause I remember them being sturdier and egg-shaped. But it does the same things.

**I LOVE FROGS.

***So much fun. I mean it, who doesn’t love categorising a load of pretty things and throwing out a load of old faded things? The categories being:

Emergency – Not TOO old that it would make me sad to wear, but not tragic if they were to get, you know, stained by unexpected monthly happenings.

Normal – Not quite old enough/ugly enough to be expendable.

New/ish – self-explanatory

and Boxers. C: