Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Stand-Up Prep and Visitors from Home

It's been about well over a week since I last posted, and I can't say I've been overly busy. My dissertation is proving to be a bit more of a challenge than I had initially anticipated, but not enough that it makes me want to give up. Mind you, with the amount of House I've been watching lately, I am contemplating revising my topic to just provide a synopsis of the first 7 1/2 seasons... not sure it would qualify, but I feel I could drop a critical component to it!

Last week, though, I was lucky enough to have a couple of visitors from home - my childhood best friend, Laura (Sqwiggy) and her husband, Matt! And, after a bit of confusion with meeting spots and message delays, we were reunited and on the hunt for food!

The 'Ol Sqwigg-a-loo! <--I've never, ever called her that before...
(Photo credit: Matthew Braceturtle Bracegirdle)
After catching up, I was instructed to give them "the tour"...which I started out by making up, and which they immediately caught on to. To be fair, the statue with the half naked lady holding two small children was an accurate description...

I showed them around "old Manchester" which basically consisted of all the spots I discussed in my post from January on Engels' description of 1844 Manchester. This is partly because of my interest in the area, but mostly because it's the only spot I can actually talk about with confidence! BUT, within this area, as some of you might recall, is the National Football Museum, which was built on the grounds of the former rail-housing from Engles' time. Our visit to this museum came from a recommendation from my brother, when he was visiting me. Matt being a football fan, was super keen to take Michael up on his suggestion. And it turned out to be worth our while!

Entrance into the museum is free (which as a non-football fan, is about the right price of admission!), but there is an option to purchase a "Football Plus" pass, which gives you credits to participate in a number of activities throughout the place (shoot-outs, skills competitions, etc). Honestly, I was not so excited to visit this museum, but it turns out it's actually a lot of fun! It's interesting, in general, just to learn about some of the history, but the hands-on aspects make it even more exciting, particularly for visitors like me...and especially those who actually understand anything about football other than it's not the same as "American Football." There was a neat 7 minute film about football life in England, and my personal favourite - a football themed fish tank! We ended up spending a couple of hours in there - it was awesome!

From there we made our way to campus, where I gave them a very quick tour., before continuing on to the infamous Curry Mile for dinner. Yes folks - since some of you did ask me - Curry Mile IS a mile of curry shops in Manchester. And it. Is. Amazing!

It was really great to see a few friendly (from home) faces,* even if it was just a short visit. It's fun to have people not from Manchester around, because as I've learned from this visit and the one from the Bruj a few weeks ago, it has allowed me to see different parts of the city! I mean, it has almost been a year, after all!

Now for the scary-ish bit. I can't remember if I made the announcement already (no, I'm not pregnant...nor am I getting married!) and frankly, I'm too lazy to read my past posts to see, but in just under two weeks I'll be on a small, dark stage about to do my very first - and likely only - stand-up comedy routine! ...I guess the title of this post kind of gave that away, didn't it? Anyway, it's an amateur night, where I'll have 5 minutes to (hopefully) impress the audience. Otherwise, I get booed off the stage as Beck's "Loser" plays loudly! The comedic factor of having that happen, alone, kind of makes me hope I DO** in fact get booed off.

I've just done my first trial run of the entire routine, and with a few minor mistakes, think I'll have more than enough material for a max 5 minutes. My biggest issue now is trying to sort out which jokes I definitely want to fit in, and which ones can be pushed to the end... Either way, my nerves are starting to build. I'm kind of in denial that this is happening. But one thing's for sure... It. Is. Dark. I'm told it might be streamed live, but I have yet to confirm, this. At the very least, I'm also hoping I will be allowed to have a friend record my slot...even if it translates into nothing more than a continuation of self-depricating humour down the road.

Here's to friends, and things that scare me!

-the Orange Canadian

*Note: There are plenty of friendly faces in Manchester.  
**Once again - not getting married!

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