Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bath week

My first day of work went as follows: From AHA I picked up the number 91 bus to Charing Cross and ran through the rain and Trafalgar square to orange street minutes before my two o’clock appointment with Melanie from personnel. They printed my name badge and a woman showed me up to the office. I was asked about my criminal background (which is extensive, so this took like 20 minutes to list off ☺) and we went over emergency procedures. Basically they told me to not download viruses into their email network, not be drunk at work (exhibit openings are ok though), refer to your line manger for questions and oh you are really, really lucky to be here so DON’T take it for granted. She then asked to see my CV. I blankly stared at her and said, “my what?” CV is curriculum vitae or resume. Duly noted.

And ta da my first day of work started… Jude had put my first project, my email set up info, a laptop, the newest London design magazine, a pad of paper and a chocolate bar on my desk. Ian and Natalia were put in charge of me as Jude had to run off to a meeting soon after I got there. Well so let me back up. The design department at NPG (national portrait gallery) is just one large room with 4.5 desks in the NPG office building on orange street parallel to the gallery. Jude is the head of design and my go to person/ supervisor/ intern wrangler. Second in line is Ian as a designer and then Natalia is the assistant designer and then Maht who is half time designer. And then me the intern! So like I said 4 desks and me with my little half desk. The office is crazy, borderline out of control. It is obvious artists totally live there! I love it! I mentioned I was a little messy and Ian said well as you can see everything has its right place here and proceeded to shove everything off his desk onto the floor to demonstrate. My first impression of the office and its inhabitants were all very positive. Natalia made me tea when I got there (in the Barbie mug per Deanna’s request) and Jude made me more later. They told me stories about Deanna and made me tell stories about her! Oh for those of you who don’t know, Deanna is from PLU and did the same internship last spring, she’s pretty awesome. Melanie called me back because I forgot the check the box that I had no criminal record. They are just trying to get me to confess to something I think! Anyway, it will be interesting to see how my first impressions change as we go through. Jude signed me up for several design related classes the first of which is this Wednesday. There are also little workshops offered by the gallery from different departments ie) learn how to do gilding on frames from the Frame Conservation department. So those will be fun! I finished my tea and “pushed off” for the evening around 5. Sometimes I don’t understand what they are staying to me or to each other. But they are really good about explaining British phrases when I ask. But I have to be careful not to blog about anything top secret. So I guess I can’t tell you any more! But on the way home it was raining so hard and I had movie moment at the roundabout near my house. I was standing in the median waiting for a car to go by and it splashed through a huge puddle and sprayed me with a huge wave of water. I forgot my key so I stood in the rain soaking wet and when Ros opened the door I could see she almost didn’t want to let me in! Pizza, coleslaw and rock cake for dinner.

Consider the following:
-A biscuit by definition gets soft when it is stale.
- A cake by definition gets hard when it is stale.

Tuesday – I had a rough tube ride, mostly because it was really, really packed and I had to stand packed like cattle with more people than any fire code would ever allow. I think I got motion sickness and had to dismount at Camden Town to get sick in the tube station. I felt much better and decided since I was closer to town than to home so I pulled myself together and got back on the tube. British Masters class at 10 at the National Gallery. La ti da. Not a deal but I take art history in the National Gallery. Haha! We examined and talked about Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode series in depth and tacked on some Gainsborough and Turner pieces near the end. It’s like an art history power point but BETTER because you just walk ten feet and the piece is actually in front of you. Ah! I headed off to work next door after picking up lunch at Pret (what I thought was peanut butter and jelly turned out to be butter and jelly… it was odd.) Work was good. Ian bought me a box of Earl Gray Tea with a funny little man on the front whose head popped off when you opened next to which he wrote something like “very British indeed”. We are going to try a new tea every week until we try all the teas of the world. Jude set me up with my new email and I filled in my diary (which is what they call like a daily schedule). I sent my first email to follow up with an unclear project I was given. Then Jude taught me how to use character styles and refreshed me on master pages in indesign. I used a template she set up for me to whip through about 50 signs with various messages such as “Use lift to second floor” (lift means elevator) and “No food past this point”. I was done by the time she came back from her meeting. Ian asked me to laminate “refill this postcard” cards for the shop (it’s not gift shop here, it’s just shop. I keep imagining some sort of wood working place every time they say shop). So I got to use the laminater ooo! Then I did a project for Natalia where I took paper captions roughly cut them, put them in the sticky backer machine, peeled, sticked them to foam board and cut them out. Except I was scared to screw up the cutting out part, my exacto skills leave something to be desired. I thought of Jp getting out the pica ruler for each one of these captions. Luckily it was time for me to go before I had to cut. Oh one thing I didn’t mention: the 8 missed calls from Martin, the headmaster, on my phone. Apparently Martin wanted to meet with me about my registration on Wednesday. Right on, really though 8 calls? I went to KFC (I know, I know but I had 15 minutes to grab a quick dinner!) and got on the tube at Leister Square. I went to the Hampstead Theater to see Private Lives (I had a really funny conversation with Maht and Natalia when they asked what I was seeing and where and I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the show or the theater and Maht said, “it’s ok you can tell us we won’t follow you” I am still laughing about it). Patricia (the Virginia Wolf teacher) had my ticket and she was super late getting to the theater so I waited outside planning my way home when she ran up. We made it in right before the doors closed. The show was so freaking funny, your classic romantic comedy. I have decided to never get married or really ever be in love. From a close look into these people’s private lives love just looks painful and confusing. The basic synopsis: A divorced couple unexpectedly honeymoon at the same place with their new spouses. At the end of the first act the divorced couple has run off and their new spouses just find out and share the most awkward, “what the heck I am having a cocktail and cigarette with my new spouse’s exspouse’s new spouse on my honeymoon!” It was awkward even for me in the audience. Definitely pantwettingly funny!

Wednesday was great. Work at 9:30. I rode in with Anne and Sara who got off at Tottenham Court Road and I continued on to Leister Square. I asked Jude and Maht questions about my British History reading. Jude gave me a quick British History lesson using the portrait gallery book to show pictures. It made so much more sense with the pictures! Then Jude took me to my training in the gallery. We got to go through the secret tunnel from Orange street to the main gallery. I was so cool to me! We passed through framing and education and the front of house staff locker rooms and popped up in the gallery! Ah! I met two British women in my class and we chatted until we realized that no one was coming to train us. So we left. I went back to design and finished my cutting. Jude and Ian then left for the day and I got to work at Jude’s desk on her huge mac! Mmm. I worked on a sign for these new Family Activity Cards the gallery is doing. I had to match pantone colors off of the actual cards for my sign. It was pretty simple. I made two versions and sent in my proof. I called the woman I emailed before and she came by to meet with me. She was very chatty and kept mentioning people I didn’t know. She came up with a slogan that she wants me to make a logo for. It was a play on the common British bumper sticker: “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”.,-not-just-for-Christmas

I left at 1:20 for my meeting with Martin at 1:30. I tried to find the number 91 bus stop. I ended up walking so far that I realized I was actually really close to school. So I just kept walking and made it to AHA by 1:48. Martin basically told me I needed to drop Shakespeare. 4 classes and work is too much. I told him I would consider it. For class at 2 we all (all 34 of us that is) got on a bus to see two churches. I couldn’t tell you the names. The first was kind of ugly. It was medieval, but redone with Victorian and everything in between. I sat and tried to sketch but was so uninspired by the ordinariness of it that I ended up just zoning for half an hour. Church two was exponentially cooler. It was one of the only Catholic churches that remained under Elizabeth or Mary’s reign or something. It was beautiful. I learned about the stations of the cross as well as how all of the stain glass had been redone. The bishops back in medieval times were crazy powerful and owned their own little kingdoms with the church as the center. We walked more and went past the oldest pub in London. We walked down jewelry road. We walked back to school just before it started to rain. We sat in class for another 2 hours and the room got so warm that I started to fall asleep. At 5 we were dismissed and pretty much all 34 of us walked in the rain to catch the 38 bus to the theater for Othello at 7:30! Once there we divided and found food. We pubbed it up. The show didn’t start until like 8. There was a sign outside the door that warned us about nudity and gunshots. They had a deaf people reader board with the lines which was so helpful because Othello had such a thick African accent I could barely make out his lines. The play was soooo long. Unfortunately neither the seats nor the gunshots were not conducive to sleeping. It ended past 11. It was a good play. I enjoyed Midsummer’s Night Dream much more. I really hate killing and deceiving so it makes sense that I would enjoy the comedy over the tragedy. We had to take the overground to the underground to get home. We didn’t get home until 12:30. Let me tell you there are some characters on the tube late in the night. The commute is so freaking long! And the walk home in the dark is just painful.

Thursday: No work. I dropped Shakespeare so no Shakespeare either. I was exhausted though so I slept until 11. Walking through the park I met another Ellie dog and it made me so happy! I went in to AHA for class at 2. I wrote some emails at AHA and then went for a walk. It began to rain so I hopped on a bus. I ended up at Kings Cross. Which is confusingly huge, I got mixed up and ended up in the train part and not the underground part. It was dark by the time I made it to the northern line. I read the paper on my way home. My horoscope was right on so I ripped it out and taped it in my sketchbook. Dinner was twice baked potatoes and broccoli and cake. Mmm.

Friday: BATH! We had to get up at like 6:30 in the morning uuh. I was making toast 5 minutes to my desired time of departure when Anne came down wondering what a 38.4 on the thermometer meant. So I called and woke up Maggie and we determined that 37 is normal meaning Anne was very sick. Sara and I left her to sleep and had to literally run to the tube. We made it to the train station at Paddington with enough time to get Krispy Kreme. The train ride to bath was about 2 hours. We stuck it to the train men and sneakily changed the reserved seats to be sitting next to other empty reserved seats. Alice, Kim, Karen and I talked and laughed the whole way. Once in Bath we did our little 34 person long Madeline walk into Bath Abby with Martin as our nun. It was beautiful! I gave Alice my camera to help me get some touristy pictures. I sat in a choir pew and sketched a dragon carving (because I’m really into dragons … well not really, a dear friend of mine is though). I ran around the crypt at light speed before I found my friends and we went to lunch. I met some American girls from Minnesota at a funky sandwich restaurant. Guess what Gleadle family I tried to order sausage rolls! But they didn’t have any. It was the first time I’ve seen them here! After lunch we went into the Roman Bath Museum. We got audio guides. I could not for the life of me stop typing in the numbers for the children’s audio program. So for half I was getting legit and interesting facts and the other half I was listening to Hercules speak slowly about bubbles. It was fun though. No the baths are no used today. But the water was way warm and steaming in the cold air. At the top they had water from the baths that you could drink. I decided against. However my sickness is still kind of holding on so maybe I would have cured me! I did some sketching while I was waiting for everyone to gift shop it up. Martin then took us on a Georgian Bath walk. He showed us a square and a circle and an oval courtyard. I asked when the triangle one was and he looked really confused and offered that he once was in an octagon room. We saw the crescent on the hill. The sun had just come out as we came over the hill. The crescent is 100 columns and I think apartments, but it just a huge building built on half an oval with a huge park of a front yard and amazing view! We walked more and went to the tea room at the fashion museum. We ballroom danced in the ballroom too. On the way back to the Abby Patricia and I were talking crew and we were almost hit by a car. The driver stopped to yell at us. I almost expected her to yell back. Oops. Martin then took us into some sort of old government building. Martin then took the train home and many of us stayed in Bath. We shopped for a while and I found the coolest pantone mug. I wanted it so bad. I should have bought it, but I found it online so I can always buy it for myself when I have more dollars. We went to O’Neils for drinks and stayed for dinner. We caught the train back to London at 7:43. Sara and I found out we were on the same train and were so glad to have someone to walk home with. We got home around 11. I was exhausted from so much walking, I fell into my bed. Long week.

1 comment:

  1. WOW nickers. What a week!! Have you been eating anymore hot dogs since you're been there? KFC made me think of that. =]
    I will skype you this afternoon to hear all about it! i can't wait =]