Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday outing

I went to a Conservative party Christmas party Monday night with landlord and landlady. They are on the committee for the constituency North of Regents Park and are always hosting/planning/doing things. This event was held at one of the giant houses in St John's Wood.

Landlady and I took a taxi to go there, and she was talking, so when
she got back out to run into the house and pick up some things, the
taxi driver asked me if she was an MP. I said no. He said, "Labour or
Conservative?" He was glad to hear she was not Labour, and then went
on the usual taxi driver politics rant.

I had been invited weeks ago, did nothing about it, and then when one of the committee members dropped out with a cold, Landlady asked if I wanted to go along for free and help out. I gladly accepted, as it has been years since I took part in any sort of event organising.

(You may skip the trip down Memory Lane if you wish:)

At university I was very active on Program Council which planned campus-wide events and entertainment. I chaired the Coffee Cart, which offered free coffee and chocolate every Wednesday for the night students from about 7-9pm outside the class rooms. I enjoyed that, smiling, chatting, flirting, serving beverages to appreciative chilly people.

I was also the President of our chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honour society. We raffled a digital camera, back when not that many people owned one. We made care packages for parents to order for their kids in the dormitories to boost them up during finals. We made crafts for the children in the MD Anderson Cancer centre, etc. At the end, we held a banquet at the Marriott and installed the new officers. One of my readers here was the Secretary, weren't you Memoria???

Those were GOOD days. I am not really that outgoing anymore as sad things have happened to change me somewhat, but I try to rekindle the spark from time to time, and yesterday was another attempt.

I greeted people at the door with the name list, and as is natural with me, I couldn't stop there as I pitched in with tidying up and putting away. They were so pleased I was there.

The house was not cavernous, just spacious. The ground floor was taken up by a foyer nearly as big as my bedroom (which is large for London standards as it is the width of the house), a cloakroom the size of most English box rooms, and then a similar sized toilet, and on the other side of the hallway there was a large, L-shaped reception room.

I thought that mulled wine and cream carpets was a brave combination, but the wine stayed in the glasses and the carpets stayed cream.

Downstairs was the kitchen (surprisingly not big enough for such a house), dining room/conservatory, living room, a small spare room (looks like it should be a nanny's room) and ensuite bathroom which was actually bigger than the bedroom.

The guest speaker had cancelled due to a throat infection, so the local candidate standing for MP gave a speech. She is tall, graceful, and blonde.

I met quite a few nice people, but the two who stand out are Councillor Daniel Astaire and Rula. Daniel gave me the number of the man in charge of the electoral roll because my registration form was returned to me last year. (What would I tell him? "Take it now, please"?) He told me he represents Sothebys. After a while I realised I had seen him on TV, probably talking about parking or the congestion charge.

And Rula gave me her business card so I can get in touch and meet up sometime. She is Kuwaiti but grew up in California so she got excited when she found out I had lived in Texas.

You wouldn't believe how many people thought I was related to our hostess, Mrs Glick. I am sure I have seen her somewhere before.

Only, I felt so short amidst all those tall people. It was the first time I helped out at an event for adults. Usually it was for my own peers. Actually, perhaps the reason I remember Daniel and Rula is because I spoke to them with comfort as they were not tall. While talking to one lady, I found myself going up and down on tiptoes to emphasise my points.

At the end, when we were clearing up, my landlady said, "Oh you are being a good girl tonight." (As opposed to...?)


Everyone think good thoughts for me on Wednesday afternoon. I have an interview with an agency that wants to meet me about a job on behalf of a large and important art collection.

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tooners said...

I wish you all the luck w/ this interview. I hope it goes well and you get the job!

The event sounded nice. I can imagine you going up and down on your tip toes... that's cute.

I've always wondered when ppl say things like your landlady - "you're being so good" or such... and like you, I always wonder, "ok, am I usually a little she devil!!?"

Katja said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Arty...

Jia Li said...

ooh luck luck luck

I have a photo shoot!

can't wait

Olivia at Work said...

Tooners - this is the agency vetting me for the real interview! I have been in my current job for 5 months now, and fallen out of the interview mode, you should have seen me scrambling about this morning for my passport and printing out my CVs at work!

It was a fellow blogger who pointed out the tiptoes thing at a meetup earlier this year, and ever since I have been conscious of it. He also waxed lyrical about my voice, which is why I decided to take the voiceover course - and why I want this part time arts job so I can have the time to freelance my voice!!!

When landlady said that I felt like extolling the virtues of my mother's discipline, but sometimes it's best to say less, and I replied with, "Oh, I like doing busy things!"

And...nice to see you back Tooners :)


Katja, thanks darling!


Jia Li - thanks Mich. Hey, another project? You will have to write about it.

Leilouta said...

Good luck with the interview.

During the interview for my current job, I acted noraml until the boss asked me what I wanted for a salary. I wasn't sure and instead of responding I just went blank thinking he'll save me by asking me something else or proposing a certain amount of money. He didn't, so we just kept looking at each other (him waiting for my answer, and me thinking that I looked like an idiot instead of actually giving an answer)
It went on for a few minutes.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with ther interview!!!!

I can really relate to the tip toe thing. I'm very short, and it's hard to keep looking up at people while you're speaking to them. Too bad we're not ballet dancers so we can stand on your tip toes more ;)

Jia Li said...

ooh I got parcels from Mom

Jia Li said...

The photoshoot whent very well...I photographed Heidi a fellow student. I am not very photogenic so mine came out crap...I deleted all of them and replaced them with a shot I posed myself

Jia Li said...

btw, get the parcel yet??? Hope soo

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I wonder who that Psi Chi secretary was....hahahaha. I'm famous now that I have been mentioned in your post haha. Good luck on your interview, chica!! I hope you get the position!

I'm glad you had the opportunity to help out with the party. Maybe your landlady said that, because she found out about how you earn money at night! haha j/k!

I hope to see you online soon!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ironically, when I was called in for the interview for my current job (at Ye Olde Academy) I actually tried very hard NOT to get hired, mainly because I didn't trust and was rather angry at the guy who was deputy principal at the time, and he was the one who'd mainly been responsible for recruiting me. I mean, I put an outrageous figure down for my requested salary, I made some ridiculous demands, and my behavior, while not overtly rude, wasn't exactly polite, either. My dialogue bordered on arrogance.

As it turned out, they were pretty stubborn about hiring me. In retrospect, I'm very glad they were...

Olivia said...

Leilouta, that is blush worthy embarrassing!
Notice how both you and Minstrel flubbed up in the interview, and both got the jobs.


ML - yes, darnit I left ballet beofre we got into serious en pointe, and I am glad I did.


JL - I thought your parents sent your Christmas parcels weeks ago. ALL that stuff you got then.

And nope, no parcel yet, but I'm sure it will come before I go away.


Minstrel - see my comment to Leilouta :)

Anonymous said...

I hope so

my parents always send parcels to me
and I misplaces a white shirt my mom sent me, I thought it was in the laundry basket, but it wasn't...hmmmm

I have two exams tomorrow
and a party! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....partyyyyy

its a production party but what the heck, why not go


The Moody Minstrel said...

Olivia, I "flubbed up" on purpose because I wasn't sure I wanted to be hired! (Like I said, I didn't trust the guy that had recruited me and had a bit of a grudge against him left over from a time he had suckered me with a different job offer that turned out to be a disastrous hoax.) I was hoping they'd say, "Well, I guess you're not suitable after all," and I'd continue with the job I already had at that time. The administrators would have none of that. Instead, they just calmly talked me down to a more reasonable salary and working conditions and gave me the job. I'm glad they did, too. The job I'd had at the time suddenly disappeared after that, so Ye Olde Academy headhunted me just in time.

It's good to be wanted...

Olivia said...

JL - when is the party? If you can go, go!


Minstrel - I know you did it on purpose, but I couldnn't think of another word! Can you? Sabotaged?