Archive for January, 2010

birthday weekend

Stirling, Scotland

our Stirling castle tour guide (aka our adopted Scottish grandpa)

Saturday was birthday number 23. I decided to spend my day at a castle. Why not.
A whole day in Stirling, and then a whole night out celebrating with Claire’s classmates… celebrating Valencian Alejandro’s birthday, but also coincidentally, mine. 3 large pizzas, 3 cupcakes, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s later, the birthday weekend concluded with a gorgeous day in Glasgow, a confusing John Cusack film and a spontaneous series of short naps. POY-fect.

Claire and me

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

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cove park.

4 days. 10 students. 1 neil mulholland.

we ate veggie curries, drank box wine, and discussed curating exhibitions in a building overlooking loch long.

slept in pods with grass-covered roofs.

walked along loch shores.

and consumed fish and chips and pints of beer in an old hotel until midnight.

(more pictures on my flickr page)

wait- can’t forget the theme song of the week:

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Citylink bus 900

I rode home from Glasgow tonight, iPod earbuds in place, knees up and pushed against the seat in front of me, slouched down and gazing out the window at the blurry silhouettes of trees against the white snow in front of a red-tinted night sky, and I felt both contemplatively sad and comfortably safe at the same time. It’s the same feeling as being on a road trip, but not being the one driving, so I’m free to let my mind wander and let my thoughts mold to whatever music I’m listening to. Oddly enough, even though I’m thousands of miles away from any country Texas highway I’ve taken roadtrips on in the past, it feels the same. I feel safe, knowing (or rather, trusting) the bus driver will get me back to Edinburgh safely, and it’s familiar now where I’m coming from (spending time with Claire, a decade-long friendship that feels like home) and where I’m going (a city with streets that are second nature to me now and a cozy room with plenty of heat coming out of my radiator ). I always look forward to this bus ride, and yet I always seem to choose the most haunting music to listen to for the journey, which makes me feel at peace, but also have this melancholy loneliness that comes with staring out into an uninhabited darkness of trees and snowy hills.


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for auld lang syne


Katie and Elizabeth came to visit me for Hogmanay– the following is a list of highlights from the week:


-traipsing through the snow in The Meadows
-proof of Scotland’s unnecessary obsession with fire

Torchlight Procession down Princes Street

firework finale on Calton Hill


-plugging in Eliza’s American hairdryer and killing the electricity in our entire flat for an hour


-seeing more evidence of Scotland’s paganistic fire fetish…

fire installation on the Royal Mile

… and how wind and hail mixed with fire installations can quickly feel like the apocolypse is happening 



-clever Scottish vandals 

today's special: freshly prepared men

-a snow-covered day in the Royal Botanic Gardens 


 -singing/dancing to “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” with thousands of drunk Scots at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party 



-waiting for hours in the freezing cold to see that damn robot man hatch out of a giant egg and blink very creepily at us 




-double-decker bus ride to the Modern Art galleries 


-chai tea in the most comfortable Indian restaurant on Earth 


-snowball fights in fresh snow 


-being pelted with snowballs by teenage boys walking past us yelling ‘Happy New Year!’ (a phrase that makes anything you do alright in the end.)

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