Wednesday, April 28, 2010
In other news...there is no news. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts, and am overwhelmed by the melodrama of others. Not my own for a change! I know, madness. I also feel if people don't want me in their lives, they should just cut me loose.
I am actually still in bed. I am too cold to move and I have a lot of work to do. Yay for laptops. But now I'm hungry, and food won't come to me, no matter how often I yell Accio breakfast! (I don't actually do this, but I doubt my parents would be surprised if I did...not that there is anyone home at the moment, but you know.) Sooooo, I guess this means I must drag myself from the warm confines of my nest of blankets and head downstairs. Sigh.
Side note: My reaction is really disproportionate to how cold it actually is. While most people don't find this weather that bad, I already have a double duvet, electric blanket, flannel sheet and normal blanket on my bed. It's 16 degrees out. I need help.
Music: While you wait for the others - Grizzly Bear
Monday, April 26, 2010
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle, bone, and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly shed
And how it whispered “Oh, adhere to me
For we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb.”
This is the story of your red right ankle.
This is the story of your gypsy uncle
You never knew ‘cause he was dead
And how his face was carved and rife with wrinkles
In the picture in your head.
And remember how you found the key
To his hide-out in the Pyrenees
But you wanted to keep his secret safe
So you threw the key away.
This is the story of your gypsy uncle.
This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet, some were cold and snuffed you
And some just laid around in bed.
Some had crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some had crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle.
Music: Red right ankle - The Decemberists
I have had a rather epic weekend. Friday night with the girls was exactly what I needed, even if I was in extreme scathing sarcasm mode - I'm so lucky to have friends who put up with me. R kindly made dinner and let us devour half her ice-cream store. We were supposed to have a Harper's Island marathon, but ended up watching Iron Man instead as K hadn't seen it. I have such love for that movie, I can't even articulate it. I have been flailing pathetically every time the ad is on for the sequel - my mum looked at me the other day and just said "Oh god, Robert Downey Jr has won you over, hasn't he?" I had to agree. There was also much joking and messing about, particularly when I randomly decided to research Captain Planet (what did people do before google and wikipedia?)
Saturday we went out for Lizzie's bday. We had a lovely dinner in Newtown followed by cocktails at Kuletos. I made my usual fuss about the maraschino cherries and stole any and all that were left unattended. The place was quite busy, so treks to the bar took their time, but it was a really lovely night. We were having such a good time, we didn't even realise it was past 1 and we'd missed the last train home. So started the quest of the night bus. The less is said about that the better, my feet still haven't forgiven me - look I don't have the best co-ordination at the best of time, add heels and a moving vehicle to the equation and things become even more complicated. But we survived, and despite some truly idiotic fellow travellers, we made it to the station and got home just shy of 4am. If you ask me, that's a time any party can be proud of.
We had grand plans of seeing a 10am session of How to Train Your Dragon but we were merely kidding ourselves. Sheer force of will got us to a 11:45 session instead. If you haven't seen this movie yet, you have to go. In fact, stop reading this, and go see it now. It is such a brilliantly enjoyable film - so damn cute. Young Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) dreams of killing a dragon in the hope of finally earning the respect of his village and the chief, his father, Stoik (Gerard Butler). The problem is Hiccup is nothing like his fellow Vikings and the harder he tries, the more things go wrong. When he befriends a mysterious and much-feared Night Fury dragon, he realises everything he's ever been taught about dragons is wrong, pitting him against the ignorance of his village. It is one of those films that is just completely enjoyable, even with the few Disney moments that seemed lifted straight from Aladdin and The Lion King. Hey, if it works, it works. Definite thumbs up.
The second episode of new Doctor Who aired last night, and though I keep forgetting to remind everyone to watch it, I do hope people are watching it because Season 5 is absolutely amazing so far, and Amy Pond is brilliant. I'm really loving Eleven as well. Having new Who to watch is in general just good for the soul *wraps self in blanket of warm fluffy fandom* I ended the night with Howl's Moving Castle which I haven't seen in far too long, and it was just the perfect way to end everything, especially since I was (am) feeling less than well (I blame the night bus!)
That said, I think I may head off now to drool over jackets I can't currently afford and hope that by sheer force of will, they will materialise in my closet. My over-full closet. How can I have so much crap and yet always feel like I have nothing to wear? When I go to clear it out, I realise there's nothing in there I don't wear reasonably regularly and nothing I want to chuck. I have too many fetishes - shoes, jackets, t-shirts, bags. Honestly, what is wrong with me?
Random blog quote -
Would’ve been perfect to go into Manhattan for a while, but our tour manager forbade it... Apparently I’m a “liability”
This is such an ESM thing. Besides, Mat could hardly be surprised by this decision, he'd leave for the eleven hour wait and return two weeks later with no memory of any of it. Come to think of it, his tour manager must have a tracker on him. Nerves of steel.
Music: Catch my disease - Ben Lee
Friday, April 23, 2010
On a completely unrelated topic, I've just this minute sent off my first assessment for critical writing and I am nervous as all hell. See, it is supposed to be "approx 1500-1800 words of a work in progress" and I submitted something like 1,700. The thing is though, I took "work in progress" to mean WIP very literally and what I submitted is actually part of an essay that will probably clock in just under 3,000 words. Now I'm not sure if that was a valid interpretation of the assignment and just...aaaaaaah! FLAIL. Fuck. But work is work, right? Right?? I mean, come on....
I am now going to drag my miserable self off to R's place for the evening. I'm not the cheeriest person to be around which makes me feel guilty since I have no real reason not to be a cheery person, but that is the joy of being depressive - I don't need a reason to be miserable. Fun fun fun.
I'm also worried I may have caused a scene at work. I've been feeling progressively more and more stressed/annoyed as it seems like I'm the only person doing any paperwork. I'm constantly picking up the other receptionist's mistakes and fixing them, and generally cleaning up after her when she does deign to do any of the admin work, and yet if I so much as make a minuscule mistake, she always points it out with giant neon signs. Today, enough was enough, and I had a word with the practice manager. I don't mind the extra work, it keeps me busy, but I'm tired of getting lectured for things and letting her get off scot free. So yeah. But I'm sure the manager was tactful, she usually is. Blah. Drama tires me out.
Anyway - get changed, feed the dog, pop a pill, leave. And go.
Music: Super 14
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I've spent the entire day doing nothing I was meant to and everything I wasn't. I even worked out a budget in what I like to call 'productive procrastination.' Oh and I watched a really excellent episode of Numb3rs ('The Arrow of Time') Now watching a repeat of Lie to Me. I am of course supposed to be working on my essay, due Friday. It's one of the most sensational things I've ever written - and I don't mean in the good sense of the word. I suspect my class will hate it, but I don't really care. I quite like it, sensational and borderline melodramatic language and all. Of course, this was the easy part - I've been putting off doing the actual theory and book references. Sigh. Damn my lack of discipline.
I get so frustrated, at selfishness, and procrastination, and everything.
One of my wisdom teeth is putting in an appearance and it is killing me. It's no wonder teething babies are so grumpy, it hurts. Plus other things are making me achy, which makes me slack on my exercise routine, and which generally makes me feel useless. Along with the things mentioned above.
Oh yes, I am a joy to be around this evening.
Music: Lie to Me
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Anyway, have some random pics from the weekend, keep you out of trouble...
Music: Tiny Vessels - Death Cab For Cutie
Monday, April 19, 2010
* This is a complete lie, but oh well.
I blog to you now from the rapidly fading good-will of a fabulous weekend. I'm going to try something new, what I now dub twitterspersed blogging. Epic Ramble Warning. It will contain far more detail than anyone ever needed or in fact wanted to know, but hey, it's sectioned, and therefore easily navigated! We shall see how it works out.
"At the airport, my home away from home."
I spent Friday in a fairly panicked state until Lizzie arrived, by which point the mini-break became a reality and all worry futile. We had barely been at the airport five minutes when someone had already assumed we'd been drinking. This happens disturbingly often. Waiting passed in a pleasant haze of chatting, coffee, and people watching. The plane was slightly delayed, but we made it up in the flight. I feel the business class staff were greatly perplexed by this for they had no sooner given me a meal than the pilot was announcing our descent. I was not to be deterred and managed to finish both the hideous white wine and scathingly hot cup of coffee they'd given me. Better yet, I had managed to write three hundred words of my abstract. Productive flight is productive! I had a flash of poetic inspiration staring out the window as we banked over Melbourne, but it was fleeting.
"Love the flying, hate the bendy bus into the city."
There truly are few things I enjoy as much as I enjoy flying. I don't know what it is, but something about being on a plane just agrees with me. I was feeling quite chipper when we arrived in Melbourne. This lasted as long as it took to get on the bus into the city, one of those bendy things that jerk, shudder, and other things not conducive to those of us prone to car sickness. We'd managed to get forward facing seats at least which is always a plus. We could not arrive at the depot soon enough, but unfortunately no one had informed us that the hotel transfer shuttle bus only ran until 9.30. Sigh. We briefly entertained catching a train, but as it was dark and deserted, we opted for the easy way out and caught a taxi instead. Onwards!
"The Hilton check-in lady informs us they have boys to do things. Wonder what exactly this encompasses."
After what felt like an age, we finally arrived at the hotel and were promptly shown just how things were going to go as our bags were carried around for us. We tried our very hardest not to gape at the gorgeous lobby complete with ginormous chandelier, and tried not to giggle when the receptionist informed us in a highly suggestive manner that "here we have boys to do things for you." The facial expression of the man on duty with her was just priceless. Definitely frightened. We had a very amusing time taking this saying out of context for the rest of the weekend. I was very enthused by the room and even more enthused by the chance to get some sleep.
"It cannot possibly be seven thirty, it's far too dark...oh wait, it helps when you open the curtains."
When our alarm went off at seven thirty the next morning, we refused to believe it. It was completely dark in the room, it felt more like 4am and I certainly felt like I could do with another three hours sleep. Lizzie, being ever more conscientious than me when it comes to early rising times, was proactive in this getting up business, while the best I could do was stumble to the window with the silent vow in my heart that if it was this damn dark I was going straight back to sleep. I nearly went blind. Turns out, they just have really thick curtains and the sun was shining happily. I stumbled away and grudgingly got dressed.
"Coooffeeeeee! Giver of life."
Our early morning (anything before 9 is early morning for me) stumble around the city just reminded us of Dublin. That is to say, the place is utterly deserted and nothing is open. We found a cafe and had a nice breakfast outside, watching the life seep into the place. After wandering around and brief confusion as to where exactly we were going, we managed to find the tram that would deliver us to Geekdom. We immediately knew we were on the right tram too, because it contained a pokemon, a strawberry, some description of anime characters, and a samurai. It was also stupidly full and only became more so as the trip covered the same distance that lay between the Shire and Mordor.
"Have arrived at Supanova just in time to line up, as per usual."
Three years, and several travel companions later, we arrived at the Royal Showgrounds were all manner of creature was gathered. There was some amusing misdirection on our part as we kept missing the actual ticket area to get our wristbands. Once stickered, we had the joyous privilege of joining an impressively long line into the signing/panel building. Supanova Melbourne is split across two buildings - one that houses the conference room, anime theatre, and signing/photography booths; and the other that hosts the exhibitions. I can't say I like this set-up very much, I feel it detracts somewhat from the vibe you get when everything is shoved into one building and is utterly chaotic. The good type of chaotic, of course. But whatever.
We shuffled onwards, it seemed that practically three-quarters of the long line were also off to see the James Marsters panel. We were seated about halfway and the entire place was packed. All the people with questions were asked to line up on one side and, as the madness begun, Lizzie and I realised we really should have brought that flask we'd been joking about. I think we're actually lucky Lizzie has lived to tell the tale, cause she was virtually dying from mortification on behalf of everyone there. I devised a brilliant drinking game that required you to take a shot every time someone said "I love you" - we'd have been well sozzled long before the panel ended. To his credit, James Marsters is very good at this. He answers every question with an entertaining anecdote, and really makes it worth it. You can tell he's had tons of experience at this. He also clearly takes great joy in flirting with all the girls and causing their minds to evaporate. Allow me to demonstrate: -
JM: Hi there gorgeous
Girl: -breathless giggle - silence - silence - um...
I wish I could explain this in a way that would convey it properly, I nearly died from internalising my laughter. Meanwhile, next to me Lizzie was slinking lower from shared embarrassment. We deal with things in different ways. But yes, James seemed completely unflappable. I actually think there is something kind of tragic in these cons, the fact that here you have a man answering questions about something that happened nearly ten years ago, and he will no doubt be doing so for much of his remaining future. I was strongly reminded of the Xena episode of the Simpsons. It was very amusing though, and the only question I can actually remember was James being asked who he preferred, Sarah or John. For the record, he chose the latter.
"Crazy TW fans are really crazy. I mean I'm crazy, but they're...craaazy."
After learning the value of a deck of uno cards and nearly waiting in the wrong place, we spent a good deal of time waiting in line for the Gareth David-Lloyd panel. We were trapped between a cosplay girl sporting white wings that spanned what must have been 8ft (she had to go through doors sideways, took up an entire back row of chairs, could not turn around, and yes, she made them herself, I asked), a girl awaiting the arrival of her boyfriend (upon whom we inflicted ourselves), and the random Twilight booth next to the signing tables. Yes, a Twilight booth of all things. This of course meant that everyone was treated to my sporadic outbursts at poor Cedric. As you do.
The panel took place in a really nice room and we created another drinking game, this one for the awkward 'Hi' that seemed to precede every questions. We could really have benefited from a flask. Firstly, let's be clear here, when it comes to Torchwood, I am the first to admit that I am quite insane. I am completely aware of this. But in this panel I witnessed a whole other level of crazy. See, for one thing, I really have no investment in Gareth as a person. This sounds mean, but I adored a character he played, and they have absolutely nothing in common other than a gorgeous voice (beautiful welsh vowels, check and check.) For another, I internalise my madness and usually let it spill out in ranty blogs to much eye-rolling, I definitely do not externalise it in a panel. It's really no wonder RTD thought the fandom consisted of nine hysterical women, he probably had those nine accosting him. But as the girl next to me pointed out, it's the crazy ones who get up and talk, and that's the representation that then goes out. It had to be seen to be believed. The highlight was definitely the girl who just refused to accept GDL's answer when it wasn't the one she wanted, and kept saying "BUT IT'S A TIME TRAVEL SHOW!" with an increasingly hysterical inflection. Lizzie and I were nearly crying with laughter.
"Trams are still my least favourite form of public transport. Spent far too much time on them today already."
After milling about the exhibition hall and taking in some costumes - including a small child dressed as a dragon, a drag Leia, blue cat people, and a Link of Zelda fame in a disturbingly short tunic, we decided to head back into the city and hold onto what little sanity we could before returning in the evening. This involved another agonisingly slow tram, and my dislike for them was further cemented. I really do not like the things. It's sort of hilarious actually, I'm sure as often as Lizzie remarked the city was pretty, I'd just as often voiced my disapproval of the trams. I just find them to be an excruciatingly annoying form of transportation, and every time I have cause to think of Melbourne, I glower slightly at the thought of its beloved trams. In the end, we managed to have a late lunch and ambled back to the hotel only to sit in some sort of brain dead stupor watching some weird documentary-esque show on SBS.
"Note to self: The french martini and campari princess cocktails are not to be had again. Repeat - never again!"
The one thing that had become abundantly clear to me along the course of the day was that we were going to need alcohol if we were to get through the James Masters concert that evening. All dolled up, I decreed it cocktail hour so off to the Hilton bar we went...oh my god, you have no idea what horror we encountered there. I suspect the drinks had been strained through a mouldy sock. What's worse is I think the bar staff knew it was horrific as the waiter looked quite apologetic when he asked us how it was. Somehow, and probably due to desperation, we managed to finish it. We had to have another drink just to get the rid of the taste. The concierge had most kindly ordered us a taxi which we unceremoniously fell into and I attempted skewering Lizzie's foot with my heel. We were blessed with a taxi driver who had no idea where he was going - but at least it was more comfortable than a tram. We got there in the end, and just in time to *drum roll* line up! Woo! We made ourselves comfortable on a nearby bench and played uno while accusing each other of cheating and casting spells until the doors opened.
"This is perhaps one of the strangest situations we've found ourselves in."
This was pretty much the tone of our entire evening. We mocked and laughed and tried very hard to be serious, but you must understand that it was incredibly difficult to watch James Marsters sing sexually implicit songs (often about underage girls it would seem) in the vein of Chris Isaak while an army of fangirls turned to goo virtually in front of your eyes. We mock out of love, we swear! The staff and volunteers formed a human barrier between us and the exit as James and co made a hasty retreat, which made me giggle all the more and fear for our lives lest we be murdered for our mocking ways while so trapped. In the end we lived to giggle some more in the cool Melbourne air.
If there is one thing Saturday taught me, it is to never underestimate how useful packing a deck of uno cards can be.
"I don't want to leave this room. Will the hotel be upset if I squat here?"
I had much the same difficulty getting up on Sunday, and made much the same mistake with the curtains. It was with great trepidation that I left the room, and an amazingly awesome bed, behind to stumble down to reception. With our bags stowed safely for the day, we headed of the Queen Victoria Market. I had a beautiful coffee that restored my will to live (and I may also have finished Lizzie's *ahem*) and it was lovely to wander about and be touristy. We came across a gorgeous shop that sold genuine Venetian masks, and I could not resist buying one. I have always wanted one but have never wanted to risk bringing it home. I also got a black lace fan at another little shop. We hopped on a tourist shuttle bus after midday to get a feel for the greater Melbourne area, and stopped off at Docklands' Harbourtown for more shopping. Instead, we were attacked by a velociraptor. Brilliant!
"Thanks to usual travel shenanigans, I was bumped to an earlier flight and am now awaiting Lizzie's arrival in Sydney."
By the time we'd detoured by the botanical gardens, the NGV, and had an absolutely goooooorgeous late lunch at Federation Square, it was late afternoon and time to start the homeward trek. We collected our bags, said our final farewell to the wondrous luxury of the Hilton, and boarded yet another
Finally, I arrived home, disappointed that I had to lug my own bag up the stairs; that I was once again probably the geekiest person in the room; that my bed wouldn't make itself; and that a few pages worth of scribbles certainly didn't equate productivity. But even as I kicked the heels off my long-suffering feet and made myself some hot chocolate, I couldn't help but grin -this had truly been an epic weekend.
Music: Crickets chirping
Thursday, April 15, 2010
First things first, I did my presentation and survived. Always a plus. Even more shocking, no one seemed overly against my choice, which is an entirely new and novel experience for me. I'm used to having a strong dislike expressed for Hemingway, so that was certainly unexpected. It was my only presentation for the semester, so I'm glad to be done with it. I really don't like the things, which worries me a bit, how will I cope when I have to present a paper? Eep.
It was a good class in general last night. We had a guest lecture with James Bradley, who I think I've mentioned on here before. I'm a bit sentimental when it comes to him because he gave my first ever writing class at uni (which, for some reason, feels like a stupidly long time ago). Actually, I don't know if sentimental is the right word, first semester was mostly one giant downswing, and I'm fairly convinced I acted like a complete fool in that class. Though I think I'm an idiot in all my classes, that's the perfectionism kicking in. I don't know why I think of these things, living in my head can sometimes be a real chore.
Anyway, I'm getting off track, we can psycho-analyse later. I find it interesting to think of that class and how much has changed since. I don't really notice time passing until I have cause to think back to something. I don't know how much I've changed as a person (though I'd like to think I'm less nervy and self-conscious than I used to be) but my writing has certainly changed. I think the best thing I've learnt since then is that I can't write to other people's expectations, something I often find myself doing. Whenever I'd have to do a writing assignment for class, I'd sit there and think 'right, what do they expect of me?' instead of just writing how I normally would. I'd worry about the kind of structure they expect, the kind of subject matter, everything. Frankly, it results in some bland, stunted writing because I'm forcing myself to think and feel something that is entirely not me. I felt I was doing that last month when I had the writer's block, but once I just stopped thinking about it, things worked out much better. In a way, I think blogging is immensely useful for that. It centers me.
Today, however, has been hellish. It was alright this morning even though productivity continues to elude me, but work was complete mayhem with the computer not working and back-ups not working...just gah. In the end I had to re-enter the entire day's transactions, and then I realised it was using yesterday's date *headdesk* So now the entire bank sheet is going to be a day behind. But it's there. They were still struggling with it when I left, I just hope things work by morning cause we're booked out.
Em and her significant other stopped by this evening, so I finally got to give her the Tiffany's charm. She also brought along my obscenely early birthday present - a TARDIS USB Hub and a Dalek alarm clock. Fandom win!! We both cheered when we connected the USB hub and it made the TARDIS sound. We're geeky, and proud. All three of us tried, and failed, to get the alarm clock to work. It just would not go off! We want to hear the Dalek berate us and flash! It's really overly complicated, and completely beyond us. We got the clock to work though, so that's a plus!
Hee! The Who merch continues to mass.
On that note, I am off to Melbourne tomorrow (later today?) I almost typed off to Paris, but I am not that lucky. I'll no doubt be bombarding Twitter for the duration. There will be giggling, sarcastic comments, stalking of minor celebrities, and over-all geeking out. There will also be shopping, touristy fun, fluffy Hilton robes, cocktails, and attempted sophistication. Cause that's just how we roll.
So, as the saying goes, if I don't see you through the week, I'll see you through the window.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Moby Mag is a monthly magazine (at the moment) designed specifically for mobiles – pieces that can be read on the go on the ever increasing number of data phones. We have a wordpress platform that allows users to blog their pieces, and then I’ll edit and approve them as we go, until they get published at the end of the month (usually the 28th). We welcome submissions from all over the world, and they can be anything – opinion pieces; rants; political commentaries; reviews; poetry; short stories; thoughts on art, music or fashion; whatever. Cross-posting relevant pieces from your personal blogs are also fine with me. At the moment posts are gouped into four categories - rant, think, write, blog. It’s a great opportunity to gain some experience, build a portfolio, and just have some fun.
I know many of you are great intuitive writers and in-touch with social happenings, so I’d be thrilled to have you on board.
Check out the site here, and if you want more info on how to post, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you an info pack to help you out.
Music: This river is wild - The Killers
Uh yeah, I don't need an academic journal to tell me this, I've read 'Dorian Gray.'
I feel absolutely vile this morning. Headache bordering on migraine territory. I don't have time for this! I have a presentation to do tonight! Ugh.
I haven't been able to repeat the miracle routine from Monday either - today because moving makes it feel like my head may explode, and yesterday because, well, in my naive optimism I forgot that it was autumn, thereby almost winter, and thereby too damn cold for me. There is no way I'm going to forsake my warm bed any earlier than I absolutely, positively have to.
On that note, I was so cold in class/coming home last night, it defies eloquent description. I was expecting it so I was wearing three layers, but still I ended up sitting on the train wracked with shivers. I hate that I get this way! I find it worse this time of year because it's not a consistent cold, there are sporadic warm patches, which makes it too hot for a coat. The minute the sun goes down though, I turn into a popsicle - three layers be damned.
Anyway, whining aside. Class last night wasn't too bad actually - everyone seems to have settled in now, which makes everything a bit nicer. We were supposed to workshop our essays, or talk about them, so I opted for being vague with the latter option. As I never plan my essays, Martin somewhat perplexed me when he suggested I needed a counterpoint to my main argument. I didn't think you needed one of those in a critical piece - after all, aren't you just putting forth your own opinion? I thought that was sort of automatically one-side. But alright, if I must, I'll make something up. I have a very rambly 1,200 of 2,000 words at the moment, and despite some brief panic yesterday when I saw a notice claiming 15 April as the due date, it's actually due next Friday. I'd like to get it done before the weekend, but if it doesn't happen, that's fine too. I'd rather focus on my proposal anyway, since that's due on Monday.
Ah academics, why do I keep sacrificing myself to you? I catch myself thinking about what I'd like to do for my PhD all the time and then I sort of jerk away mentally berating myself, 'No! No, no, what are you doing? I can't keep doing this!' At this rate I am going to end up as an academic, the horror. I'd be the worst academic ever haha.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I've had a wonderfully productive day. I got up early for the first time in...well a very long time, did some yoga, had a proper breakfast, left for work on time, was wonderfully cheerful at work (if I do say so myself *cough*), managed to get a good head start on my editing work, ran through my presentation again, took Oreo for a walk, and got in another thirty minutes of cardio. I topped it all off by watching a sickeningly hilarious Good News Week - a show I surely love more than I should. But I sincerely doubt there was anything more amusing that Tom Gleason chasing Josh Thomas around Melbourne Town Hall to Benny-Hill-esque piano music elsewhere on television.
Despite productivity, I'm yet to do significant work on my crit writing essays (and technically I believe we are meant to workshop them, or at least discuss them tomorrow) but I have vague ideas what I'd like to do, so I'll just be equally vague in my discussion and maybe that'll get me through. I can hopefully pull something more concrete together after work together. I'll try anyway.
I've been reading one chapter of 'Great Expectations' before I sleep each night as I continue to try and get through it. It's a brilliant cure to my insomnia, since I can barely make it through one chapter. I wish I could enjoy Dickens as much as other people do. While I can recognise that he was brilliant at characterisation, I simply find it hard to care about his characters, no matter how fleshed out they are. I find everyone in this novel highly disagreeable, which may actually be the point, but I don't like reading about people I don't, well, like...or find engaging rather. Which is also why I've never gotten past the first few chapters of 'Jane Eyre.' It's a shame, and I keep trying, but I sadly never seem able to draw a different conclusion. The thing I find most fascinating about classical fiction is the dominant role houses seem to play in them. It seems like a good idea for an essay...there probably are essays on this, I'm just too lazy to look them up right now.
Anyway, see if I can yet string a few coherent sentences together tonight. I'm trying to get to sleep a little earlier than normal (ie not past midnight) even though it is my most productive time of day. Ah well, concessions must be made somewhere and it's worked well for me today.
Music: Music of the night - Michael Crawford
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I have another weekend of zero productivity to my name. FML. I need help. I think I'm going to have to kick my own ass and get some sort of routine going...starting tomorrow. Bah. I annoy myself so much.
On the other hand, I saw Kick-Ass with Sam yesterday. What an odd movie - an everyday guy decides he can be a superhero, lack of powers be damned. I think most geeks will enjoy it, but I'm surprised it hasn't caused more controversy. Seems like an 11-year-old heavily swearing assassin would get all sorts of groups up in arms, especially from the conservative sector. If that doesn't put you off, and seeing the bad guy from Sherlock Holmes beat up said 11-year-old doesn't faze you, it's overall amusing.
I also managed to be lured out on Friday with some family friends though I put up quite a noble fight to do my uni work. It was agreed that it would be an early night so I could be productive once we got back. Ha ha. This might have worked if they did not buy a bottle of wine which they then decided they didn't like. Far be it for me to let a bottle of wine go to waste. Of course, I don't have the best head for wine and so in the end my early night resulted in much giggling and watching old school Doctor Who. On this topic, can I just say I have only seen two sets of old school Who, one with Tom Baker and the Friday one with Sylvester McCoy, and from this very limited experience it is my solemn opinion that Seven is way better than Four - I actually knew what was going on, he was funny, he didn't eat leaves! All positives, in my mind.
I'm supposed to go to this cocktail thing at uni tomorrow but I don't think I will have time. I really need to get some sort of argument formulated for my critical writing essays as we are supposed to discuss it on Tuesday, and I still have to write an abstract. The presentation is done, at least, though I am not overly fond of it - as per usual (side note: social anxiety, please go away). So yes. I guess we'll see how much I can do after work, but it doesn't look promising *headdesk*
But no! Remain positive! Create some sort of routine and stick to it!
My common sense has good intentions, it's just a shame the rest of me is so easily distracted - hey look, shiny...
Music: Do better - Say Anything
Mood: Still annoyed with self
Thursday, April 8, 2010
That independent editing position I signed up for at the start of the year has just come through, so I have to organise all that and get it off the ground. I have to finish this presentation for next week, which I fear is terribly pointless at the moment but as per usual I am too floored by the necessity of having to do a presentation to really care (oh how I loathe them, someone pass the xanax), my critical writing essays are still only vague thoughts and I have to hammer together a proposal for this academic paper for Monday (and it has to be good because I want an unexpected trip to the UK!) So the general time frame for all of this is within in the next four days, preferably. I've said it before, and I'll no doubt say it again, sleep is for the weak people!
There's also this whole thing where I constantly feel like I'm disappointing everyone, like I can never give enough of myself. I don't know what to do about this. I don't know when to leave people alone when they ask, and when not to even when they do ask. I don't know how to accomodate everyone. It's so hard juggling everything. Harder than it should be.
But anyway, what's new? I don't really have much to contribute really. I've had one of those weeks where I do nothing, sleep late, and then run around saying how much work I have. I like to call it the "the routine of mock productivity." Had a good class on Wednesday, we seem to always have lively, productive discussions. I also manage to make the early train with some serious power-walking, unlike my Tuesday class which absolutely never finishes at a decent time. It's taking me a lot longer to get used to these evening classes than I expected. I thought that being such a night owl would make it much easier but it's actually quite draining (mostly I blame the train rides in and out for this, if they'd only hurry up with teleportation I wouldn't have these problems!) I'm looking forward to the break though I really must do work for a change....no really, I mean it this time!
Bah. Writing this is actually just another form of procrastination. I'd better get some coffee and finish this cursed presentation or there will be serious repercussions in the morning. Hm. Threatening myself is really not as effective as I'd like it to be.
Oh, before I go, I realise Day 30 of the meme is still outstanding, it is coming - I'm compiling a playlist and have not yet found time to really make a selection, but it'll happen.
Music: Flowers and football tops - Glasvegas
Mood: Bit annoyed at myself really
Check it out, but be warned it's quite violent in that Tarantino way so NSFW.
Music: Viva la Gloria (little girl) - Green Day
I get this hideous feeling that everything is about to implode. I always thought Eugene Terreblanche was a bit of a dick and he probably had this coming, and when I first heard about it, this was exactly what I said. But of course, it is never that simple, and even people I distinctly recall mocking said nutter are now all twitchy about it. The problem, I feel, is that it's one of those catalyst events as it came so soon after the Julius Malema drama and has automatically been placed within that context - so now it's a case of 'They're going to kill us all, this is what happened in Zimbabwe!' as opposed to 'Terreblanche was a bit of a dick and probably had it coming.' (Okay that sounded a bit callous so I feel I should clarify that I simply mean I don't think he was killed simply because he was white, and more because, well, he was a dick. The official reason is that he hadn't paid his workers since December, but I bet he was a tyrannical boss at best and was probably dismissive and/or insulting when they tried to talk to him about it. Not that it justifies murder, but I just mean he wasn't exactly an 'innocent.'Also it absolutely terrifies me that on the back of this incident people will somehow think the man had been right all along and thus join his cause thereby making him some sort of martyr. He really was an idiot, and I have always blamed his entire party for perpetuating a stereotypical image of white South Africans in the same way the KKK did of the South.) Things are so volatile over there, I fear if it keeps up, it could descend into Zimbabwe 2.0 as a direct result of people's inability to stop blaming each other.
Racial tensions surged in South Africa, where blacks and whites faced off at a courthouse as two farmworkers were charged with killing a white supremacist leader.
The workers, aged 15 and 28, confessed to killing Eugene Terreblanche over a wage dispute in the town of Ventersdorp.
As the older of the two suspects walked out of the courthouse hundereds of blacks screamed their support. "We are celebrating the death of the man who has abused us so much," one woman in the crowd shouted.
The murder of Terreblanche, once convicted of eating a black farm worker so badly he was left brain damaged, has focused attention on simmering racial tensions less than 10 weeks before South Africa hosts the World Cup.
Earlier yesterday, police rushed to separate nearly 2000 people split into white and black groups after a middle-aged white woman sprayed an energy drink on blacks singing the Zulu chorus of the country's national anthem. Whites earlier had been singing the parts of the national anthem that are Afrikaans and date to the apartheid era.*
I actually composed a different blog on the country the other day that I never got round to posting and now it just seems mistimed in the wake of the murder, but essentially I feel my argument remains apt. People in South Africa live in denial, and the international world does not see anything beyond the word 'apartheid'. They'll say 'Oh, it's apartheid's fault that things are like that there', and that is, in my opinion, a big part of the problem. People in power hear it and go "You see, it's apartheid's fault, you fix it!" and people from the old regime (for lack of a better term) go "The hell it is! You wouldn't listen to us, you fix it!" and in the end no one fixes anything.
There is no doubt that 'apartheid' left a huge scar on the country, but there's only so far you can push something before accountability has to be taken - accountability for the now. It's easy to blame everything on the past, but it's not necessarily the right thing to do. The whole supposed reconciliation process was atrociously handled and, well, I don't actually want to get into it. I hate politics. I hate it, because I grew up in this climate. It's such a layered field to dive into. Besides I don't really like getting involved because the minute you voice any sort of opinion you, as a white (ex-pat) South African, are automatically labelled as racist. This makes me so angry, you have no idea. I loathe labels and boxes of any kind, so saying that I am judgemental in any way or form is a huge slap in the face. Plus, there seems to be a general idea in society that racism is some sort of one-way street, something only white people are capable of. This bugs me. Surely any minority can be discriminated against, I think it pays to remember that. There might be a case for saying that without an oppressed colonial dialogue, perhaps white people don't take to it as harshly (or perhaps it should be argued that attributing racism to something as broad as simple skin colour drastically oversimplifies something when you have clan disputes, religious genocide, and um, the Irish.) I think it applies to everyone, and if you are the minority in any situation, chances are you will experience it.
I wouldn't care about any of this - I have no investment in the country itself and if it wasn't for the wildlife and my family, I'd happily never set foot there again. As it stands though, I do have family there. Not only that, I have family in rural areas - and they are quite painfully racist even if they don't think they are - but they're still my family, regardless of how much they irk me. So of course situations such as this causes some concern for them. Mostly I worry about the effect this has on my parents. I like to say that it's not our problem anymore (What does it say on my passport, hmm?) but as long as you have blood there, I guess it's always sort of your problem. On our February trip, I could see how much it was hurting my mother, and that killed me. She loves the stupid country, she has all these idyllic memories and always thought it beautiful and unique, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to see it decline so spectacularly with every trip. But there's nothing I can do. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be anything anyone can do because it doesn't look like they want to do anything. There's only resignation, which in itself is quite sad.
Of course, on the back of all the social issues, there is the upcoming World Cup! Call me pessimistic, but I don't have high hopes. Hm.
Anyway, enough! I hate this topic.
As a side note:
* I resent that statement. 'Die Stem' or 'Call of South Africa' was originally a poem written in 1918 and set to music in 1921, it was widely used alongside 'God Save The King', the official anthem until the late 50s. It thus predates apartheid by twenty seven years and just because it was used as the national anthem during that time is no reason to sort of lump it in there as an 'apartheid' song. I think people don't realise that historically, white people in SA feel just as victimised and taken advantage of as many black people. There is a long history of colonial resistance and anti-British sentiment, and they probably viewed apartheid as just another fight that they had to have in order to maintain the land others sought to usurp (The cream on top of this dysfunctional sundae to me has always been that the old government had mandatory military service and sent young men to fight in the border conflict. Those young men are now middle-aged and find themselves in a country run, for all intents and purposes, by the very enemy they were trained to hate. Friends died in that war, it's not unbelievable to find that they harbour extreme resentment now, and feel betrayed and abandoned by their country - they were brainwashed, they lost the war, and they're resisting from within.) It's unfortunate, even more unfortunate that they originally drew on colonial policy making left over from British rule, and no doubt it could and should have been handled better back then, and in the same breath, it should be handled better now. Can't people stop fussing over what was and instead pay attention to what is actually happening around them? Because to me, as an intermittent and reluctant visitor, it seems very much like everything is going to hell.
Music: Seven minutes in heaven - Fall Out Boy
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Study French, write a novel, get something published, go on exchange or get an internship, fencing, be social, have crazy adventures, lose and maintain the weight my body absolutely refuses to be, budget better, maintain a D/HD average at uni, be happy and confident, find the jacket of destiny...I know it's out there somewhere.
There is more, but I can't seem to hold onto it right now. I have lots of plans and ambitions for 2010. We're already a quarter through it, but I am not going to be complacent. I've had too much of that.
Day 30 will take some time, I need to make a selection first. It'll probs go up tomorrow and that'll be the end of it. Finally.
To flesh this post out a bit, here is a Hot Chip music video that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
Music: Read my mind - The Killers
Mood: Procrastinating. Oh, there is no hope.
"The heart of the original programme was Gwen Cooper, our audience POV character, so we're going to build on that in the new series. We're going to introduce Gwen's American cousin Jen, a feisty blonde in her early twenties. She will kick arse and take names and still provide that human touch to a jaded world. In her free time, she works with disadvantaged children and feeds the hungry. People are just going to love her."
It doesn't remotely sound like a real person, but it seems like the logical step up from holier than thou Gwen. Despite the fact that, you know, a lot of people really did not like Gwen. But audiences don't know what's good for them, right? Right. Really, it's just combining Gwen and Rose and then embellishing a little - a little sprinkle of Andromeda from Clash of the Titans and voila!
You can all stop rolling your eyes, I can do this sort of thing and call it research now. That word gets you far in life *snort*
Music: Seed - The Academy Is
Mood: Working, reluctantly
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I skipped class tonight to do some work - do you think I've done it? Noooooo. Don't be ridiculous.
Also, I realise I am two days behind on the dread meme of doom and I shall finish it all up soon. It's the last two, thankfully. Note to self: never do that again! And repeat.
Now I best be off to do some of the work I swore I'd do this weekend but didn't because...well I have no idea really. I don't know what I did this weekend. I think I slept through most of it. And did some reading. Hmmm recreational reading. What fun. There was champagne consumption for mum's birthday and much silliness. Oh, and of course I got to spend the day with Lizzie yesterday which is always an adventure - we saw Clash of the Titans which is hilarious if you take it on face value of its b-movie greatness and use every opportunity to make stupid geek jokes. I also toppled down the stairs and turned my right leg a lovely shade of blue. Not so amusing. Sigh.
...I really don't want to do any work though *pout*
There is an engine in my body
With every beat it lets me breathe
There is a machine within my body
If I could keep up with that machine that's in my body
I could do anything, be anything, see anything
I can feel the beat within my body
If I keep up with it could I catch myself?
Music: Do what you do - Cute is what we aim for
Mood: Grudgingly attempting work
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
This greatly amused me.
I'm writing a presentation on Hemingway. You are supposed to present a page of writing (yes, just one page) and then discuss it. I've gone for a page from 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' because it contains one of my favourite quotes. I expect to get quite a bit of moaning and groaning for picking Hemingway - he is not the most popular writer, especially in feminist circles - but frankly, I don't think his personality or personal life changes the fact that he wrote beautiful sparse, atmospheric stories.
It is however quite depressing to research. Sigh.
After this, the agenda for the day consists reading the mutltitudes of PDFs I have saved for my overly ambitious critical writing essays. And people think this is a holiday weekend...
Music: The Last Song - The All American Rejects
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I am so knackered, the long weekend could not come soon enough. I don't even know why, it's not like I've been doing anything....actually that's a lie, I know why, I've barely slept all week and it's not the best way to go about things. It's made work longer, classes more trying, and everything generally distorted. Bah.
I saw R yesterday for the first time in aaaaages. It was a fairly quick hello/goodbye type thing but it was still lovely. It's impossible for any of us to get together because our schedules are all so radically different and generally clash spectacularly, so I take what I can get. I also managed to get in a bit early to do some birthday shopping for mum - being easter she is getting easter eggs in lieu of birthday chocolate. I also completely forgot to set my alarm and so ran spectacularly late all morning, including for my hair appointment I almost forgot about. Luckily they weren't very busy, so I got in and out fairly quickly which gave me time to finally sit down and watch Moon for Critical Writing. Such a good film, quite a unique set-up and Sam Rockwell is just amazing in it.
Class was fairly uneventful. I was useless and failed at engaging, I was just too tired to give a damn. I did however receive my first assessment back - distinction for the one piece, credit plus for the other. I don't know what it'll actually go down as since we're meant to only get one mark, so I hope it'll be a D. The C+ was for the piece I wrote while trying to crack the writers block and I am not going to lie, I was rather disappointed with myself. So much beating up to be had there. I was therefore content to merely wallow when I got home so I watched Up. I had my doubts to start with but really came round to it in the end. Russell is so adorable! And the chocolate-loving bird! We'd get into a major scuffle if that bird tried to steal my chocolate.
Everything else has been negligible. I wish I could just veg out all weekend but sadly I have many, many projects that demand my attention. At least there will be chocolate to get me through it. And I'm taking this evening off as well. I'm too tired to focus anyway.
Music: Mara and Me - Say Anything
Ok. You asked for it. Tuesday, 30 March. Go.
7.30: Alarm goes off. (It's actually 7.20 as I set my clock early in a vain attempt to actually get up on time.) Hit snooze.
7.40: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
7.55: Alarm goes off again. This morning is not a good one. It's raining and I don't want to move. I curse the day I was born and drag self out of bed.
8.02: Real Time. Though my phone has already gone off daylight saving and it says 7. Sigh. Stumble down stairs. Realise I left phone upstairs and go back, grumbling.
8:05: Manage to get to kitchen for coffee. Hmmm coffee.
8:09: Now technically late. Grab yogurt for later and assortment of keys. Stumble to front door.
8:34: After being stuck in atrocious traffic thanks to the rain, actually make it to work, and only four minutes late. Not too bad.
8:35: First thing I need to do is sort out another death certificate. This is clearly a bad week. I hate doing these.
9.35: Stupidly busy at work, barely have time to breathe. It's the rain, it always brings a crowd - I often think people just don't want to go to work.
9.40: Abbi informs me of the shuffle in the TBS line-up. It's not technically a band, it's a soap opera.
9.50: See the words Ricky Martin on Twitter and know I will spend the entire day singing stupid songs I haven't heard since I was twelve.
10:00: So dizzy. Ugh. Stupid insomnia.
10:35: Another death certificate. Joy.
12:10: Guy arrives to pick up the first certificate. He is such a stereotypical undertaker it's almost comical.
13:00: Arrive home with lofty plans of doing everything I'm supposed to super quickly so I can have a nap. First things first though, time to power up the Wii for the daily exercise nonsense.
14:00: Done and done, get online to do some research for class and end up getting distracted by other things instead (not entirely unexpected). Am surprised by the new TARDIS interior and don't rightly know how I feel. "Window" shop geek t-shirts like this zombie one.
15:00: All hopes of a nap have evaporated. Send off a couple of emails, register for a bunch of uni events and pack my bag.
16:00: Pop dinner in the oven and head upstairs to get ready. Cannot find a single piece of clothing I am happy with. I hate this time of year, hate it. By the time I come back downstairs I realise I am running late. Yet again.
16:55: Having consumed dinner at alarming pace and done a bad job of cleaning up after myself, I manage to get out the door.
17:09: Make the express train, feeling slightly overheated. Dammit. Listening to the self-titled Say Anything greatly improves my mood, however.
17:45: Raining in the city and I am fast losing my temper with people who seem to think a few drops of water will kill them. They all walk uber slowly as they cram under the awnings and as we wait at the lights they brandish their umbrellas, stabbing me in the head more often than not. As soon as opportunity allows, I breeze past in the rain to avoid a newsworthy murder-spree.
17:50: Saunter into class. There are already people here! Don't know why they're all so early, I'm used to being the first person around. Have to dispose of leather jacket as the heating seems to be on and notice a huge bruise forming on left upper arm. It is roughly the size of a coffee mug and fast turning a nasty shade of purple. Have vague recollection of banging into front door in my rush to leave. Not amused.
18:00: Class commences.
18:10: Realise that it is going to be incredibly hard to sit through this class in my tired state. Also as there were no official readings there seems to be a lack of structure.
18:15: Discussing assignments and more painfully obtuse questions are being asked. I feel yet again that I have been at uni too long.
19:00: I am fast losing the will to live. Perhaps the dullest class of the year so far.
19:15: I keep fidgeting and shifting around, incapable of finding a comfortable position.
19:20: Supposed break time. Contemplate fleeing but another girl beats me to it and am engaged in conversation so miss my chance.
19:30: Class recommences, contemplate weeping.
20:00: Must. Stay. Awake. Must. Stay. Awake. Please. Help. Me.
20:10: Have stopped paying attention and am checking twitter every couple of minutes in lieu of entertainment.
21:01: Well I flee quite slowly cause I know I'll never make the early train.
21:23: Finally on a train home, though I think I only have about 40% brain power
22:00: Nearly miss my stop because I am so out of it, but manage to catch myself just in time.
22:15: Drive home is nightmarish, I cannot see anything through my windshield when the lights hit the pouring rain. Bah. It's so dark out it feels like winter.
22:20: Home at last! Coffee! Chocolate! I may yet survive.
23:00: Curl up in bed with a Sherlock Holmes tale and think the rain is actually quite lovely when I am safe from being attacked by people's wayward umbrellas.
Riveting stuff, isn't it?
Music: Dog days are over - Florence + The Machine