Monday, March 29, 2010
I'm not giving context.
Today has been a bit manic, I'm operating on like two hours sleep thanks to a dose of stressing-about-inevitable-things insomnia and it was agony having to wake up. Work was luckily busy so I didn't feel like I was going to slowly wither and die. The stress hadn't quite left me yet so I spent the morning cleaning the surgery when I had some down time - this is a curious habit I've noticed recently - I clean when I'm stressed.
I had a meeting about exchange opportunities at 2 so I had to leave straight after work. It was fairly disheartening as I can't see how any post-graduate can reasonably afford it. As a post-grad student you aren't entitled to many of the scholarships, and they recommend that you have at least $10,000 to cover you for the semester. I can't save that much in a year! What am I, the mint? I've been accepted into this leadership program at UTS which suggests courses and internships as well, but again, post-grads aren't entitled to the scholarships and loans. Which is a shame because I wouldn't have minded doing a short course of history or literature at Cambridge. But c'est la guerre. I'm just going to everything and keeping my options open.
I had good intentions of working in the library afterwards as I was supposed to meet Em for dinner later, but the place was absolutely packed. I could not find an open table. The nerds! So I dragged myself back the way I had come to see if I could find a little nook in the Tower. While I was there, I checked up on my application to be exempt from Non-Fiction since I hadn't heard anything and was getting a bit nervous (it is a core subject and I need it to do my writing core). All was well and I had been granted an automatic credit. I was hoping to have all distinctions and higher this semester, but one credit won't hurt the average, as long as the others stay up, so I'm not going to fuss over it. They then informed me that I've actually been eligible for a travel concession this entire time but no longer, as I only have two subjects, and that I should come back next semester to have it validated. Ah universities, one person says A, another says B, and they never speak to each other. The joy.
Aaaaanyway, I did find a little nook and was highly amused when another student plonked down beside me, arranged his laptop, shuffled his papers, looked very purposeful and then promptly fell asleep, head on the keyboard. That's the kind of dedication I love to see at uni. I myself didn't get much work done to be honest. I wrote a really vague piece on what I wish to pursue in one of my critical pieces and then did some work on this vampire fic I've been writing. I continued with this in Gloria Jeans later and felt like such a cliche, sitting in Newtown and writing about vampires *shakes head*
In my mad dash out of the house this morning, I had stupidly forgotten Em's belated birthday/christmas present *headdesk* But at least I got to see her, it feels like it's been forever. We had a lovely dinner and, in typical us fashion, were home by 8. Yes, we are nanas. I'll hopefully get to catch up with R soon, I haven't seen her in even longer. Trying to match schedules is just obscene. Stupid so-called real world *mutters*
Now hopefully I manage to get some sleep tonight, otherwise I have very little chance of staying awake for critical writing. My only saving grace in that class is copious amounts of caffeine.
Music: Real World - The All American Rejects
These are getting so redundant. Hmm. Well since I’m on a bit of a Gaslight Anthem binge at the moment, here is my current top 10 favourite TGA songs. Not only do I find their bluesy garage punk completely infectious, they also have some brilliantly evocative imagery – I just need one amazing line to be suckered in. I'll provide my vague reasons for the first five, lyrics for all.
This is number one mostly because I read far too much into it. There is a melancholy in it, a deep truth about grief and healing, that just breaks my heart.
But Mary, I found the sound,
and if this heart keeps pouring it out,
The glory hasn't come,
and it's probably gonna fade,
like a tattoo that hides this shame.
But reasons always fade.
The pain gives out some day.
So I’m saying my goodbyes to your deep blue eyes,
cause I don’t know how say, to stay still in the pain.
"Stay still in the pain."
2. Say I won’t (recognize)
This is one of my favourite driving songs, I just like singing along to it with the windows open and the night settling around me.
Call up your girlfriends to come out tonight,
I'll call up my best friends to come out tonight
We'll put on our best shirts, our finest cologne
And we'll turn the Casanova on.
Come on out Maria and lose the tragic.
Come on out Maria and we'll show you some magic.
Meet on the warm sand and waltz out the twilight,
and watch the carnival lights explode.
3. Great Expectations
I'm obsessed with the imagery in this song. It's also got a great sing-a-long chorus. This, and the previous one, feature on almost all of my driving playlists.
And they burned up the diner
Where I always used to find her
Licking young boys blood from her claws.
And I learned about the Blues from this kitten that I knew,
Her hair was raven, and her heart was like a tomb
My heart’s like a wound.
4. I’da called you Woody, Joe
This one was written about Joe Strummer and The Clash. I relate to it on a complete visceral level.
And then I heard it like a shot through my skull to my brain,
I felt my fingertips tingle and it started to rain,
When the walls of my bedroom were tremblin' around me,
This ramshackle voice over attack of a bluesbeat,
Tellin' me he's only looking for fun.
This was the sound of the very last gang in town
I think initially I misunderstood this song, but it's stuck with me. Again it's a sentiment that I feel I can relate to - wanting to be where you are, but always wanting to be somewhere else.
You see this town pulls my heart strings,
I fell in love with the Shrewsbury stars
But you see there’s far too many diamonds,
In the back seats of borrowed cars
And I could never stop this burning, honey
I can’t tell no lies,
I could never stand no weather.
Darling, this heart is on fire
6. Film Noir
I'm all washed out by the side of the road.
Broken bones Matilda left a note and a rose.
Saying "Baby honey child, I loved you so long but you deserve much better than me"
So I'm just burning all around.
All the miles in the road.
And I'm never going back.
And I'm never going home.
I've been gone too long.
I've been less right than wrong.
I've lost so much blood in the falling out.
And I lit a fire that wouldn't go out.
Until it consumed the walls and roof of this house.
Until all I remember was burning away.
And all I remember, you're burnin' away.
7. The 59 Sound
Did you hear the '59 Sound coming through on grandmother's radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?
8. The Naveskin Banks
I walked down by the shipyards
Near the place where I was born
Saying "Ah maria, if you woulda known me when..."
But she only smiles, by the light on the Navesink banks
Saying "Listen baby, I know you now"
And she steps into the river
And I just stand by the moon
Thinkin' 'bout a ghost I hear at night
And she says your first sin was a lie you told yourself
9. We’re getting a divorce, you keep the diner
On a Sunday morning the whole crowd assembled,
I've done some things that I'm not too proud of.
I've never left you, a deaf ear for longing.
Some hearts are gallows, I'm not here for hangin' around.
10. Red at Night
Was a blood red sky on the morning tide
Was a cold wind blowing when I left that night
And the morning bells rang, alright, alright
Shoulda stayed home with you that night
Ain't nobody played the fool like I
Ain't nobody played the fool like I
Music: Great Expectations - The Gaslight Anthem
Sunday, March 28, 2010
It's been a trying weekend at home, we had one of our large-scale falling outs on Friday so for most of the time no one was talking to anyone else. The atmosphere has been toxic and I haven't been very productive. It's too exhausting.
I've been reading for most part - I finished The Road on Friday morning, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I do think it tries a little too hard but I thought it was quite easy to get through, especially since I tried to do it in one sitting (I find once I put something down that I don't actually want to read, picking it up again is a nightmare - case in point Great Expectations which I still haven't finished.) The most annoying thing about it for me personally is not knowing what caused this apocalypse. It seems general consensus (within my class anyway) is nuclear attack but this makes no sense to me - if it is indeed the whole world that is affected, where did the attack originate? Or was it one of those situations where both powers pushed the button at the same time? And besides that, why isn't everyone dead then? I mean sure, some people could survive and if they remained within that area, that would be alright, but we are talking about people roaming for thousands of miles, through desolate cities, drinking the water from rivers, streams and lakes - I'm sorry, but they should all be dying from radiation poisoning. So, I suppose natural disaster is the next option - but something to destroy the entire world? Krakatoa? Eh.
Which brings me to the book I am currently reading, Solar. I cannot take this book seriously. I think it is meant to be a satire, but I mean to me it's just a giant farcical mess. For one thing, the protagonist Michael Beard reminds me so much of my first boss, it's absurd. He was also named Michael, English and had an obsession with crisps. Not to mention pompous, narcissistic and that, for some reason, he thought he was god's gift to women despite the fact that he was balding and overweight. The only difference is that Beard is a Nobel Laureate wheras Michael just suffered from displaced delusions of grandeur. Secondly, Beard has such a contemptuous attitude towards the Social Sciences and, as he is a theoretical physicist, all I can hear in my head the entire time is Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory going "The social sciences are largely hokum." However, the thing that really pushed me over the edge came on page 148 with the line -
'The planet,' he said, surprising himself, 'is sick.'
Harold Saxon promptly popped up in a thought bubble above my head to chime in with, "What this country needs, is a Doctor." I just cracked up laughing, I couldn't help myself. There is absolutely no possible way for me to take this text seriously now. None. The Master is trying to sell us solar energy, what am I to do with this?
Other than that, I've been languishing about procrastinating when I haven't been gigging. You know what annoys me at gigs? People who talk during sets. Brand New is a quiet band (by quiet I mean introspective and melancholy, they are more than capable of putting up a wall of noise a lot of the time) compared to many others, but I think they create an amazing intensity that is just so easy to get lost in. I find it so grating when people stand around chatting as if they're in Starbucks. Why bother coming to the gig? Surely they know this is the kind of music the band plays, so they can't possibly be bored, therefore I can only conclude that they are idiots. Sigh. I've got Gogol Bordello on Wednesday (or Tuesday, but I think it's Wednesday) so suffice it to say my credit card hates me right now. My sanity on the other hand remains in tact. I think the latter outweighs the former.
April is looming, the month of fandom extravagance. I saw the clips released from the new Who season, and I think the term I'm looking for is 'eager anticipation.' Eep!
Anyway, I best not ramble, I have eleven more things on my to-do list that has to be done now as tomorrow is already frantic - it includes a meeting at uni straight after work and dinner with Em.
Remember kids, sleep is for the weak.
Music: Daniel - Bat For Lashes
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This is a bit all-encompassing isn't it? Ok let's say io9 because I've been spending a lot of time out there and they do have some interesting things between the geekiness.
Music: Archers - Brand New
Mood: Been better
My idea of cooking involves following the instructions on the back of sauce bottles or making some tooth-achingly sweet desserts of various description. So here's a recipe for Banoffee pie which I quite enjoy making (and devouring) -
½ cup coconut
400g can of caramel
2 large bananas (460g)
300ml thickened cream
1. Crush biscuits in food processor and transfer to large bowl - crush any large pieces that rise to the top.
2. Mix in half of the coconut.
3. Melt butter and mix with the biscuits until all crumbs are coated
4. Press the mixture into the base and sides of a loose-bottomed cake tin. You can refrigerate it if you like to help it set, but I am far too impatient and usually just pop it in when it's all done.
5. Whip cream thickly
6. When the base has set, pour caramel over the base, spreading evenly
7. Thinly slice the bananas and spread over the caramel
8. Pipe the whipped cream over the bananas
9. Garnish by sprinkling the remaining coconut over the cream, and dusting with chocolate shavings/powder.
10. Refrigerate for about an hour, hour and a half
Serving suggestion: drizzle with strawberry ice-cream topping and serve with scoop of ice-cream.
So, so easy to make.
Music: Archers - Brand New
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Oh wow, I go through so many phases with these. My mild OCD means I throw myself into things with a holy fervour and then promptly abandon them some months after. Bizarre. I've painted, tried my hand at drawing (though I consider this more self-flagellation than anything else), I've tried collecting various things, I love astronomy, chess, photography...and I also count my current obsession with sci-fi as a hobby. It is, after all, "an activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, often in one's spare time." Onwards.
Music: Play crack the sky - Brand New
Mood: Still have this damned headache
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This is going to sound very emo, but I don't mean it in a self-pitying way, I just don't think I actually have a talent. Unless being able to quote things from film and television, or memorise song lyrics, count as a talent *shrugs*
Music: Hate everyone - Say Anything
It took every ounce of self-control I possessed to drag myself to class last night and I did it mainly because he said we'd be talking about the assignments. Once there, we talked about the epic failure of the books we selected and Martin was particularly amused by Cormac McCarthy's The Road. This did not go down well with one girl who clearly loved it, and so they spent about 80% of the class discussing it. I can't help but feel that this girl is missing the point a lot of the time. For example she flounced into class and scoffed disdainfully "Can someone tell me why we're reading about World War 2?" See, it's not about the actual content of our weekly readings, but rather the style in which the writers approach their subject - we're supposed to be doing meta-criticism, not focusing on the content of the article. So her making fun of the pointlessness of our subscribed reading only highlighted a failure to understand the fundamental basics of the class to me.
I know I sound bitchy, but seriously, someone is entitled to make fun of 'The Road' and you are entitled to like it. We don't have to get uber defensive about it and eat up half of class time.
My usual seat had been taken so I sat on the opposite side of the room and the vibe was so much nicer with the people there, we were all laughing and they'd let me discuss District 9 and Zombieland in the break. I'm sneakily trying to get one of those to be our film text, but Martin isn't going for it. A shame really, I think sci-fi often does a much better job addressing the problems and current concerns of a society than other genres, even if it is set in a world that isn't entirely real. It may not be factual reality, but it's truthful reality. Also, I think it's a bit unfair that there seems to be an idea that you cannot critique a television show the way you would a film or novel. Surely, a show that has completed its arc is open to interpretation and critique the same way the other mediums are. I'll prove it by writing a comparative critical essay of The Road and the television show Jericho. Even if this means I have to actually read 'The Road' - I don't want to, the film was depressing enough. After all, if I could write a comparative essay of Anna Karenina and Wuthering Heights, I can do this.
So that's one part of the assignment out of the way.
I submit my first assignment for narrative writing today, so I feel everything is going rather well now that the writer's block seems to have dissipated. I just have to clear the last few cobwebs from my mind, but overall I'm quite happy with the pieces. They're both quite creepy and sort of gothic which I've never submitted before for fear of being boxed as a genre writer, but it is what worked at the moment so *shrugs* And I must just give huge thanks to Abs for helping me get there in the end. Still, I feel quite confident in my pursuit of the elusive HD average.
Oh yeah, to my endless amusement, J has found an academic symposium on Torchwood that he suggested I write a paper for. And why not. Well, I have to submit the abstract first, but still. Hilarious. And a bit annoying. There was a total niche there for a doctorate.
Anyway, better go get my lunch/dinner sorted and head off. I'll leave you with these images to remind you we're hurtling through space - or it's hurtling around us - whatever:
From the 'Star trails' photo pool on Flickr
Music: Hate everyone - Say Anything
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Common Sense: What are you doing?
Me: I'm playing Bejeweled.
CS: You're supposed to be re-writing your short pieces.
CS: It's almost midnight.
Me: Just one more game.
CS: That's what you said an hour ago.
Me: Give me a break, I just survived a three hour class of which 80% consisted of one particularly contrary girl trying to convince the lecturer that 'The Road' was a serious piece of literature and not something he should be making fun of the way he was.
CS: So 80% required no participation from you.
Me: She was one of those who takes everything personally. My rolling eyes were participating.
CS: You should have used that time to re-write these creative pieces.
CS: Have you finished the game yet?
CS: You're a lying liar that lies.
Me: Sticks and stones...
CS: You haven't even done your readings yet!
Me: Will you relax? I have the whole morning.
CS: How can you act like this? It sickens me.
Me: I am meditating and am immune to your pettiness.
CS: You're not meditating! You're matching little virtual gems!
Me: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?
CS: I - wha - you - why do I bother?
Me: Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety nine bottles of beeeeer -
CS: Fine, ignore me, but don't come crying to me in the morning.
Me: You take one down and pass it around, ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall.
CS: Whatever. Have some more coffee. I'll see you in a couple of hours when you're lamenting how late it is and how little you have yet again gotten done.
Me: Ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall, ninety eight bottles of beeeeer - oh hey, new record! Bet I can beat it though.
Music: Couches in alleyways - Styrofoam feat Ben Gibbard
Monday, March 22, 2010
I have done most of what I was supposed to do today - about 75% I'd say. I just didn't get round to the film watching. Right now, I'm getting ready to tackle my readings for tomorrow. I just need to get some of that empowering Iced Red Tea first. Hmmm.
I'm so desperately trying to instate a routine of some kind in my life, but I fear I am constantly thwarted. My dad's erratic shifts means I can't really plan my in-house activities, while the habit of the other receptionist at work to randomly message me to swap shifts doesn't help either. She did that this morning so now I'm working Friday PM instead of my usual morning shift. I really don't like the afternoon shift, it drags out far too long and I don't like having to do things *before* work. It just feels wrong.
It is gig week this week -Brand New on Thursday, Lostprophets on Saturday, and Gogol Bordello next Tuesday. I'm hoping to get to them all, somewhere between work and uni.
Oh, also congrats to Em who officially graduated tonight! *throws streamers*
Random note of the day: I've really had to grow into indie music. I used to find bands like Death Cab, Wilco, The Decemberists etc completely boring but I listen to it quite often now. I guess some things just happen organically.
It was one hundred degrees
As we sat beneath a willow tree
Whose tears didn't care
They just hung in the air
And refused to fall, to fall
And I knew I'd made a horrible call
And now the state line felt
Like the Berlin wall
And there was no doubt
About which side I was on
Music: Crooked teeth - Death Cab For Cutie
- picked up things for dinner
- applied for an interesting position
- uni readings
- finished writing one short piece, and edited the other
- taken Oreo for a walk
- watched 'Moon' and 'District 9'
These are most of the things past!self was meant to do on the weekend, and which were then accomplished in one afternoon to avoid an ass-kicking from future!self. Me. Or something. If all had gone according to plan, present!self will right now be sitting somewhere watching something....something uni related. That bears clarifying. So let's hope that's where present!self is and not playing bloody Bejeweled on Facebook.
Composed in the past future for the future past.
Music: Drums. That's what crazy people hear isn't it?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I think I broke my writer's block, do da, do da, dey.
Well I hope so. It won't be official till it's all been finished and read by someone.
And hey, since I'm up...
> Day 17: An art piece
It is late, and I am conventional in some ways, so here is Van Gogh's 'Starry night over the Rhone'
This picture of it does absolutely nothing to represent how remarkable this painting actually is.
I highly recommend seeing it up close and personal, it is stunning.
Music: De-Lovely Soundtrack
The Richard Dean Anderson/Macgyver episode of the Simpsons was on the other day - the one where Patty and Selma kidnap him from a Stargate convention. I realised that I could no longer laugh in a 'I can't believe people go to these things' way, only in a self-depreciating way since I now actually go to things like that *taps lip* I'm still unsure how this happened. I blame Lord of the Rings, that's where it started...
We are all booked for Melbourne geek!fest, which is not too far away actually. We're staying at the Hilton, schawing. Now I must just remember to do any uni work before we go and actually book a flight. They're looking good though so I should have no problem getting a seat. Also I misunderstood the pricing before so it's half what I initially thought it was going to be. Double schawing. I'm going to miss staff travel. Maybe I should become a flight attendant. Travel the world, write on the days off. Hmmm doesn't sound too bad actually. I deal with annoying and sick people as it is already, how much worse could it be? *strokes beard*
Anyway, on the topic of swish things, I visited Tiffany's this week to finally get Em's woefully late birthday/christmas present. I am sad to report that they still don't serve breakfast. I believe that, as I am the purveyor of little blue boxes, this makes me the best boyfriend ever, no? Ah the lulz.
I had to go into the city to pick up a book for Critical Writing (Point Omega by Don DeLillo). I was supposed to get the new Ian McEwan, Solar, as well but it only came out two days ago and is thus a ludicrous price for a book I don't actually want. I am sorry if I'm hampering the Australian Publishing Industry by doing this, but I'd rather get it from The Book Depository and save $10. Sure I have to wait a week for it to arrive, but in the long run this works out much cheaper for me which means I can buy more books. Grumps. I am hoping he doesn't want us to read 'The Road' as well, the movie was depressing enough. I have however finished the DeLilllo, and that is essentially the extent of my productivity this weekend.
In news of the real, had a rather disaffected week. My critical writing class aren't too fond of me because I have an eclectic knowledge of current films and tell them when they're wrong about something (like 'Moon' coming out last week. Uh yeah, whatever. It's on DVD already.) Also because Martin likes saying things like "you know this already" and "of course you've already come across this" to me during class. It doesn't endear me to the masses. In Advanced Narrative Writing, I had to workshop one of the pieces I'm submitting next week (which is fortunate since I've only written one thanks to the stupid block) and I got such a positive response, which is always nice. Oddly enough they all thought I was writing about vampires, so now due to popular demand I am actually writing a piece about vampires. Provided I manage to write something fit to be read by other human beings, of course.
The worst news of the week was by far PC quitting. He is the supplier of all my television shows at mum's work. What I am going to do without him, I do not know. I cannot go back to watching normal television...that means waiting for stuff! Asdfghjkl; I don't even know.
Other than that, work is work is work. And that's it really.
Now. Ahem. Torchwood Rant Alert. Abbi sent me this link last night. I haven't been able to track down the original Entertainment Weekly article, if that is indeed where the rumour started, but a lot of sites have reblogged the news of the supposed "de-gaying" of Jack. The link was certainly the first I ever heard of it and as I was actually out with mum and friends when I heard it, I had to internalise my outrage. And outraged I am.
I mean come on, way to try and change a character. Think about it, from the very first time he appeared on screen, what has Jack been if not a casanova, indiscriminately free and easy with his emotions, hmm? It's the first thing you learn about him. Essentially making Jack exclusively straight makes him conventional, and I will be so disappointed if Torchwood gives in to that like every other lame-ass television show. How many times do we have to go over this - nobody watches Torchwood for convention.
Torchwood have taken a lot of things from me these past few years (Ianto, my dignity etc) if they take Jack too, I will be devastated. And very very angry. I cannot believe that John would ever agree to it, but if he does I will lose all respect for him. And all things considered I do respect him because I think he's always been unapologetically himself. Even when that is an attention mongering nutter. If they are so pathetically eager to cash in on a new market and abandon everyone and everything that got them there, well...I won't suffer any traitorous merch in my house and that is a promise. Maybe I'll box it all up and send it back to them. Hmm.
It's so disappointing to think that they're even considering it, I mean the fact that they are...what does that say? I do not attend marches for equality to have my favourite tv show back down so spectacularly on everything it originally stood for. I can't even....just gah. I am just going to keep the faith and believe that it is all a hideous misunderstanding.
And on that note, we digress. To the vampire story! *cape swoosh*
Ooooh. Um. I'd have to say 'Wake me up when September ends' makes me a bit emotional. I always remember Billie's voice catching when he first talked about it and it breaks my heart a little. I developed a bit of a trigger to 'Set fire to the third bar' as well, but that comes and goes.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Ah how I fondly recall days in the past when I would have scoffed at the very notion of recommending a fanfic. That girl was idealistic but weak, so let me present a short fic entitled 'Driven like the snow' by misswinterhill. . It is of course a Torchwood fanfic since that is the only kind I’ve ever really read with any conviction. The thing I’ve always loved about this fic is its ambiguity and the slow build-up it creates. I love the perspective used because it’s something different and it's interesting to get that point of view. Plus it has this really quiet imagery that I think works for it.
If we’re talking fanfic series – there’s this piece called ‘Bright Darkness’ by used-songs that I thought was nothing short of brilliant because it it is a Chaucer ‘Canterbury Tales’ crossover fic. With middle english and everything. unfinished though (short one chapter) because unfortunately she was writing it just before Children of Earth and never had the heart to finish it afterwards. It’s a proper team fic, completely random, slightly insane, at times intensely poetic, and while it sometimes veers a bit out of character, it is overall very clever.
Music: Mara and me - Say Anything
Mood: Still generally procrastinating
Friday, March 19, 2010
I go through phases with these, but the one I always think of first is '31 Songs' by Nick Hornby (or Songbook as it is known in the US.) It does exactly what it says on the tin as Hornby talks about 31 songs and their particular place and influence in his life. It covers the entire spectrum of popular music, and is filled with wonderful quotes and pop culture nuggets - and with Nick Hornby, who'd expect anything less? He is, after all responsible, for High Fidelity. I think anyone who loves music, who has had it entrenched in their lives since before they can remember so that they don't know where some song begin and their memories end, would easily relate to this insight into a personal relationship with music.
I've mentioned this book in various posts over the years, and I think it has one of the best quotes to sum up the creator/responder relationship perfectly -
But sometimes songs and books and films and pictures express who you are, perfectly. And they don’t do this in words or images, necessarily; the connection is a lot less direct and more complicated than that…It’s a process something like falling in love. You don’t necessarily chose the best person, or the wisest, or the most beautiful; there’s something else going on…I’m talking about understanding – or at least feeling like I understand – every artistic decision, every impulse, the soul of both the work and its creator. ‘This is me…this is what I feel like, inside. This is what I would sound like, if ever I were to find a voice.’
If you don't really know if you want anything, may I suggest Say Anything's self titled album? It is pure Bemis perfection.
Life is not a spark in space,
An episode of Will & Grace
Controversial yet mundane
Deborah's messing with your brain
Even Scientologists know there's more to all of this
Search the ruins for trapped doors, wonder what you're put here for
Simple as a hint of gas climbing nostrils as you pass
Making Harvard's graduates feel childish when they laugh at it
Climb the rungs to kingdom come, sour patch to acid tongue,
Are you opposed to having fun? You clench the world between your buns.
You could do better, you could do better,
You could be the greatest man in the world.
Music: Do better - Say Anything
Thursday, March 18, 2010
What exactly is a fictional book? Is it a book that is merely fiction? Or is it literally a fictional book, as in one made up? I have consulted google, the keeper of all knowledge, and apparently a fictional book is "a non-existent book (or one created specifically for a work of fiction) that sometimes provides the basis of the plot of a story, a common thread in a series of books, or the works of a particular writer or canon of work. A fictional book may also be used as a conceit to illustrate a story within a story." Quoth said Wikipedia.
Now, the first thing that popped into my head was Hogwarts: A History. It appears throughout the Harry Potter series and I think it definitely forms part of the plot in that throwaway sort of sense. As for the story within a story thing, well there's always The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
> Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy
On that note, movie quote of choice -
Watson: Get that out of my face.
Holmes: It's not in your face, it's in my hand.
Watson: Then get what's in your hand out of my face.
And this is my current song quote of choice -
You see this town pulls my heart strings,
I fell in love with the Shrewsbury stars
But you see there’s far too many diamonds,
In the back seats of borrowed cars
And I could never stop this burning, honey
I can’t tell no lies, I could never stand no weather.
Darling, this heart is on fire
> Day 11: A photo of you taken recently
Oreo wanted in on the action too -
> Day 10: A photo of you taken over 10 years ago
The oldest photo of me saved on this laptop is from three years ago. In fact, the only remotely old photo I have is one of my mum when she was about my age, I'm guessing. She's wearing her state judo uniform, I think she had just finished a competition.
Music: Wooderson - The Gaslight Anthem
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
This is one of my favourite (non-holiday) holidays. It's the only day that you can find people in the city drunk at 8am and it is completely ok, usually with an exuberance that is infectious as well. It's so much fun, there's so much enthusiasm and camaraderie - every time someone wearing green walks past you, you grin at each other. I just love it, I love the Irish, I'm proud of my 1/8th Irish heritage. So yes, I hope everyone made the most of it. Éirinn go Brách.
On a related note, I've said it before but I'll say it again, green eyeliner is far too difficult to get off.
And I still have the dreaded writers block.
Music: Whatever the leprechauns deem fit
Monday, March 15, 2010
So sorry, there will be no photos or memes or rambling, because after three failed attempts at a piece for uni, I am frankly too despondent to care.
May the force be with you all instead.
Music: Endlessly - Muse
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Off to the cinema with Em this afternoon. Still have a whole heap of uni work to trudge through. Instead I'm watching the six nations matches on ESPN. The picture of responsibility, me.
Music: Six Nations
But yes. Hi blog, how have you been? Haven't really been using you in my normal rambly fashion. I've been spending significantly less time online since being back at uni. You'd think this meant I was doing uni work, but not really. Tomorrow morning though, definitely.
Classes have been going well though. Critical writing is a bit of a challenge as Martin treats me as if I should know everything already and it always takes me a while to absorb theory, so quick-fire discussions have never been a particularly strong point. But I feel confident enough to chip in when it suits me, so that's what counts. Advanced Narrative Writing is the opposite because I feel as if I actually do know everything already and so am highly amused observing the others. Which upon reflection sounds mean, but I do it in good spirit. I get along fairly well with everyone in that class, which is good as we are assigned a partner to read all your work before your class workshop - sort of like a double workshop. My partner is an ex-English teacher who is absolutely lovely and even gave me a book last week because she had a spare. She's waiting on my short pieces which I, in typical me fashion, am still to write. I did have a bout of annoyance on Wednesday though because the first person to workshop was uber-defensive and spent 90% of the time explaining her choices in order to sidestep the criticism. This always annoys me because it completely negates the point of workshopping. Just because someone suggests something isn't working doesn't necessarily mean you have to listen to them, but explaining the whos, whys and whats is completely counterproductive. Just think of it this way - when someone reads your work one day, you won't be sitting next to them explaining everything. Your writing should do that for itself *shrugs* It always annoys me because it drags the entire workshopping process out longer than it needs to be and makes it painful for all involved. I'll be workshopping first next week because it'll be St. Patrick's Day and I'm hoping to get out of class early.
That's uni. Life is frightfully dull the rest of the time - work, work, work. It was dad's birthday today, so it was the usual scramble for cards and vouchers. I went to see The Used last night, which was much needed. I have a bit of a cold but wasn't going to let that deter me - these tickets have been nothing but drama, the gig was originally supposed to happen last November and for reasons I no longer recall was rescheduled. Anywho, it was a good night. Even arriving an hour and a half after doors, I still had to wait about twenty minutes for them to take the stage - why does it always take so long? I spent most of this time lamenting regrettable tights-wearing by a group of girls (Singlets and tights do not mix. Ever.) and noting how emo has really well-and-truly left the building. I was expecting the usual sea of black, and it wasn't to be found. Sure the black tshirts were still out in force, but so were colours and denim shorts. Overall though, it was a strong crowd who were completely into it once the band took the stage. The entire floor was virtually a mosh. I often wonder what it is about bands like MCR and The Used particularly that inspire this level of engagement and fanaticism (they're the only ones I've ever witnessed it at on this level). On that note, it was sort of funny, and I suppose nostalgic, to remember a time when I liked The Used more than My Chem, and indeed only really got to know the latter because of their involvement with the former. Seems so long ago.
As for the actual gig, I thought they played a nicely balanced set with old and new, if only to reinforce my belief that their old stuff is way better than the new songs. Bert was in fine hobosexual form, encouraging any drug use in the crowd, and he was on the verge of declaring that he wants to live here when a shoe scraped past his head - that's right, a shoe. His response? "Well I'm not fucking moving here now!" I am a bit disappointed I've never seen him at full vocal strength as he still leaves most of the rougher parts to Quinn, Jeph or the crowd. Side note, I've never realised how tiny Jeph is! They had some sound issues but luckily it seemed to clear up during the night. I think we got about an hour and a half set out of them, and they did all the songs I wanted to hear so I'm not complaining. I'd forgotten how much I adored 'Blue & Yellow' so that was a definite highlight. Considering what I said earlier about the old and new songs, it must be said that 'Pretty Handsome Awkward' is one hell of a song. Utterly epic.
All in all, I'm definitely glad I went though in some roundabout fashion it is the most expensive gig I've attended so far. Along with AFI, I can now tick them off the list of bands I've somehow shamefully not seen live. Taking Back Sunday are still the most elusive of the lot, I miss them every single time they're out here, but one day it'll happen.
The great thing about it all is that gigs just seem to reset my equilibrium - somehow they make the world balanced and level again. I always feel so much better walking out of a venue than I normally do going in. They don't even have to be particularly good gigs (oh and don't the really amazing ones just occupy an entirely different sphere, total high), just the act of seeing a band I enjoy somehow makes everything right again. Even if I have the sniffles.
Music: Top Gear
> Day 8: A photo that makes you angry/sad
Uh. This was rather hard. I don't generally save photos that make me angry/sad. I only have one that vaguely relates and um, yeah, fandom. I apologise.
Music: Top Gear
Thursday, March 11, 2010
At the moment, I really don't care about this but I figure if I don't keep up with it, it will fall by the wayside like so many other projects. So just for the sake of sheer randomness, here is my favourite planet represented in my favourite drink.
Fact of the day - I have it on good authority that Charles Dickens is generally credited for inventing the word boredom, which I think is rather apt as that is how I find myself feeling when reading his books.
I know, I'm a philistine, what can I say.
Music: Moon River - Danny Williams
Mood: Really don't want to do any work
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sometimes I'm not sure I have a favourite book, I seem to have collection that appeals to me in different ways and in each of their genres, they are perhaps my favourite. I don't know. Though not strictly speaking a book, I have read Romeo and Juliet more times than I can remember. I also read Lord of the Rings a lot, and of course the Harry Potter books - The Prisoner of Azkaban being the most read there. There are others of course, books I adore and cannot possibly imagine being without, and I have a hard time narrowing it down to only one. I suppose Life of Pi is the most obvious contender though. It's a book that for reasons that remain somewhat inexplicable to myself works on some base level that I find myself thinking about it at the most obscure times.
> Day 5: Favourite Quote
Oooh I love quotes! I'm not sure if this is meant to be "real people" quotes or quotes from film/television, but I shall go with the former cause with the latter I'll be here all day. I've always really liked "Those who were seen dancing were thought insane by those who could not hear the music" by Nietzsche, mostly because it sums up a great part of my life. Also, "We are all of us failures, at least, the best of us are" by JM Barrie. When you say quote though my mind first goes to two particular phrases - "But the mourners be outcast men and outcasts always mourn" [The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde] and "I had a dream last night / Well so did I / What was yours? / That dreamers often lie" [Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare]
Mood: Bored doing uni readings, two of which I've read before
Monday, March 8, 2010
I've just realised Kathryn Bigelow directed K 9: The Widowmaker which was written by the husband of my Honours supervisor and who I have had a long lunch with, full of jokes and debate. That is...a weird thing to realise.
Now let's forget all about the Oscars and supposed quality film making, and instead focus all our attention on the new trailer for Iron Man 2. Aaaaaaaah! It's not going to be as good as the first one, obviously. They never are, but as long as it continues to make fun of itself, it'll be epic win. I have really come round to RDJ, ever since 'Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang' really. Despite Sam's best efforts however, Johnny Depp remains number one in my affections - how can he not be, when he is such a delicious deranged lunatic?
That is my not so subtle cue to talk about Alice in Wonderland, which I really enjoyed. I think a lot of people continue to misinterpret what Tim Burton is all about, which to me is kind of silly considering how long he's been around. This was exactly what I would expect from him, and it is gorgeous. I adore the costumes, and the visual style is arresting as it always is. Personally, I don't tire of it, regardless of what many critics say. I think he always bring a touch of the macabre, and there is always texture and depth - no mere black and white situations - and I think that is brilliant. Of course, I love Depp's turn as the Mad Hatter. He brings such a quirky individuality to his characters that really make them more than what they are - to borrow from the text, much more muchness. I also thought Mia Wasikowska was a convincing Alice, and to those who say she looks like she's on heroin...that's kind of the point, isn't it? It must be said that Lizzie and I yet again got distracted by our fandoms intersecting into one big ball of awesome, everyone say hi to Snape the Caterpillar and Saruman the Jaberwocky. Plus there's Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Crispin Glover, Helena Bonhem Carter, and Anne Hathaway - there is nothing here not to like.
My weekend was rather lovely all round. I had the friend's kid's 11th birthday which was rather amusing, especially the part were I read everyone's creative writing, went on one of my 'Cedric is not Edward or in fact remotely talented' tirades, and got them all worked up about clowns coming to get them in the night. Well, that was more the next door neighbour than me, but us 22 year olds stick together. We were about four twenty-somethings hanging around and I had a wonderful time mocking the three guys as we watched various sports and consumed too much red wine. I also ended up spilling half the content of the chocolate fountain on the carpet. As you do. It was a surprisingly amusing evening, even with everyone initially kind of baffled by what to make of me, which is of course the way I like it.
Last night I was seized by this overwhelming melancholy and fear of a life of failure and defeat. It happens every now and then when I realise I have no real career ahead of me, and definitely no job security thanks to this unfortunate desire of mine to write. Being a writer is hard, I have no illusions about that. I think creative types are actually rather brave, telling the world to fuck off and doing what they want, regardless of the chance of success. It's simultaneously liberating and utterly terrifying. I keep telling myself that there is no point dwelling on it though, and just to keep doing what I love, and with a little luck and preservation, I'll survive.
Now, the question for today...
> Day 3: Favourite Television Program
Torchwood. Easy. Though I have to say it shares the top spot in my affections with Doctor Who, as they appeal to me in different ways. The thing I loved about TW was that it never took itself too seriously, and yet it was incredibly dark in its humanity. I've had many people say to me that it is hard to like anyone on that show, and it is precisely that element that appealed to me. It's rough around the edges, and yet somehow still silly and cheesy and light-hearted. It was 'real' in that way many shows often claim to be, and yet had all sorts of crazy stuff happening with aliens and pet pterodactyls. It is the only show I have ever gotten involved with in terms of an online fandom, and gave me an OTP. As for DW...well what can I say? It's Doctor Who, it's science and magic and myth; and wonder and awe and excitement. It's being captivated, being simultaneously young and old, and being swept up in imagination so that the world out there holds a promise that it didn't have before. So yes, I have loved many television shows in the past, and no doubt I will love many more, but looking around my study right now, it is absolutely clear which ones have captured me the most - posters, figurines, books, dvds, and cds all stand as proof that my heart belongs to the Whoniverse.
Parting note: Listening to the first Cobra Starship album, I'd forgotten how much fun it was.
Music: The church of hot addiction - Cobra Starship
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I'll do a proper blog tomorrow, I'm suddenly very tired. I did have a lovely day with Lizzie today though, and I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland. The detail in it is just amazing. On that note...
> Day 2: Your favourite film
I don't know what my favourite film is, it seems to vary between a set selection. Going on the sheer number of times I've watched a film, then it has to be Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. You know what, I'm fine with that.
Me, I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you want to look out for because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly...stupid.
That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs, but what a ship is, what the Black Pearl really is...is freedom.Music: Your heart is an empty room - Death Cab For Cutie
Saturday, March 6, 2010
> Day 1: Your Favourite song
Fairytale of New York - The Pogues feat Kristy McColl
I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I kept them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you
I don't know what it is about this song, but I adore it. To me it's an amazingly romantic song. I always wanted a guy to sing it to me (and hey, it happened, haha win.) I have a warped sense of romance, what can I say? After all, I think The Crow is one of the most romantic films ever...
For the sake of randomness, here is a conversation I just had -
My mother (mid conversation):...and you know what I realised, I know more about John Barrowman than any person needs to know.
Me: Hey don't blame me, I know more than I ever wanted to know too (receives incredulous look) What? I never go looking for info, I just stumble upon it and it sticks.
Mum: And then you share.
Me: Well, yeah, when it's appropriate.
Mum: Which is always.
Me: When we're discussing musical theatre, it is!
Friday, March 5, 2010
I'm not even going to mention the bar scene again cause it makes me shouty and annoyed. Shouty and annoyed.
On a completely different note, really? No one wants to go to the theatre with me? Is it because you're all lazy bastards? What about if I paid for you, will you come along then? C'mon, it finishes on Sunday!
Moonlight Cinema has been cancelled due to the rain - this is the second time this has happened to me, I'm clearly not destined to go. Alas I have no choice but to do some uni work...
Edit 22:01 - I've decided to clear out my hard drive(s) and as I go, I will be posting the random things I've hoarded over the years on the Tumblr I created especially for this procrastinating purpose - for any interested parties it be here. I've started at the top, so it's mostly of the emo band variety at the moment.
Music: La televisión
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This week of course marked my return to uni, though now as an illustrious post grad student. Before I start the inevitable complaining, I just need to stress something. Over my uni career I have often lamented how little affinity I felt with the tertiary education system. All my life I wanted to go to university (well, from the first time I set foot in one at the age of 6), I've always been obsessed with knowledge and I loved the idea of this institution where people got together out of their own free will to pursue their interest. I went through school thinking that it didn't matter if I didn't feel like it fit, once I got to uni, everything would work out. Then I got to uni and it was nothing like that. I hated my first semester, and though I settled into a pattern that I was content with, I always regretted the fact that reality wasn't even close to the idea in my head.
Now, however, I realise that all of that was just a necessary evil to get to post graduate work where, though it is early days yet, I finally feel like I belong. I have never been so at ease with myself and others, so comfortable and confident. It's such a liberating feeling. It is just nice to be in an egalitarian environment where people are from such diverse backgrounds and interests, all genuinely collected there because they want to learn and grow, and all secure enough in themselves not be those grandstanding students who declare their opinion loudly on everything (aka people Admit it!!! was written for). I feel like finally, finally I have gotten what I've always wanted from an education system.
Also, it must be said I am so stupidly glad I did Honours. It is one of the best things I have done. I know I complained endlessly but even as I was doing the complaining, I knew in the back of my mind there would come a time when I recognised how useful it was...and certainly that time is already here. I may not be particularly well read in very recent theory or literary developments, and I'm certainly not as widely read as some of my classmates, but because of the seminars and research I completed for Honours, I am familiar with a wide selection of theorists and concepts, so much so that I no longer feel completely lost when people start bandying about French literary theory. To be honest, that feels fantastic (and I guess that's what should happen as your education progresses, I am actually just happy I'm finally retaining something.)
University however is still steeped in eccentricity and bureaucracy and so of course I reserve the right to complain. I've already had two visits to the student centre because it turns out my non-fiction class is exactly like the creative non-fiction class I took in my second year, right down to the readings, and it was suggested I apply for 'recognition of prior learning' so I am not bored to death. Now if I should get this, it means I only have two subjects this semester - critical writing, and advance narrative writing.
So, to conclude the round up of my first week, I've never been as happy at university as I am now, I love all my subjects, I'm calm and confident, I get compliments and I make people laugh. At the start of the year I thought I'd finally made peace with who I am, and maybe I have and that's translating into this, I don't know. All I know is that I'm happy, and I want it to last. I feel positive about this semester, it looks breezy and I am confident I can do well.
Night classes are going to take some getting used to, I'm sure new dinner schedules and waiting for trains will be refined as the weeks go on. There will also probably come a point where people fall into the pub after class. It also complicates my social life but c'est la vie.
Speaking of social life, I'm going to moonlight cinema on Friday to catch Breakfast at Tiffany's and I'm trying to rustle up some company to see the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Spring Awakening though I only have one day I could possibly see this. I have a friend's daughter's birthday to attend on Saturday and then Alice in Wonderland on Sunday. Rock and roll.
Now, random links.
- David Tennant is to play "half-dead military man" in new virus movie. Uh right.
- Here is a quite lovely random piece written by Redditor alukima about finding happiness
- Philip Palmer did a blog post on 'Avatar' which I found quite interesting. I think the notion of black-white morality might have been one of the reasons I found it hard to engage with the film.
- I don't know what's happening with this Google Books thing, but I love this Google Monster art.
- Finally, I trust everyone has seen the new OKGo video for 'This too shall pass'
Now I can either watch an episode of Buffy, or do some of my reading....hmm I'm sure you can imagine which is more likely.