Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Lasts (and firsts)

I have nothing of interest to write about this week because I'M JUST TOO EXCITED ABOUT GOING TO ITALY ON FRIDAY. So here are some questions.

Last Alcoholic Drink: I went for a sly G&T today, simply to mark my freedom from essays, while leaving my housemates in their rooms slaving away over revision.

Last Car Ride: I got a lift with my housemate to uni today.

Last Hug: Sunday, from Rich, 'the boyf.' At the moment he lives an hour and a half's drive away and works full time so we only get to see each other odd weekends and I always ham it up like a drama queen when he leaves.

Last Time You Cried: Can't remember. Think I've been pretty tear free these past few weeks. Score!

Last Library Book: I currently have nine books checked out of the library - The Writing Experiment by Hazel Smith, two books on avant-garde theory, three books on the contemporary British novel, one on women's interwar fiction, and then two history books that are actually checked out for a friend. The library is gonna be my bezzer this year, after completely neglecting it for all of first year and the majority of second year.

Last book bought: Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner. For £9.99 from Waterstones, grrrrr. As much as I love books, after being an Amazon freak for many years now, I fully resent paying full price for them.

Last Book Read: Well. I'm currently reading Lolly Willowes and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time for seminar reading. Before that I have been reading Paradise Lost, The Rover by Aphra Behn, Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood, My Place by Sally Morgan and Disgrace by J.M Coetzee, again, all for seminar reading. Before that I read Miranda July's book of short of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. Other than that, the last book I read from start to finish, for the first time, for my own pleasure, was Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. It was AMAZE.

Last Movie Seen in Theatres: 127 Hours. I thought it was entertaining but it almost didn't live up to the hype. Also, in a sick way, I was expecting a lot more gore from the arm-cutting-off scene. Either I'm completely desensitized or it was pretty tame.

Last Movie Rented: Inception. After a while trying to join in everyone's debates about the ending and nearly formulating my own spin on it, I have decided I do not want to discuss the matter any further. I do not find it fun to be confused, it's just frustrating. So my opinion on Inception is this - good film, attractive men, would watch again. As long as people don't start waxing lyrical about the ending.

Last Cuss Word Uttered: I think it might have been fuck, but in the slightly less offensive guise of an 'f' on the end of a 'wtf' typed on MSN. (Yes, I still use MSN. Old school. I'm trying to move on to Skype but I'm finding it difficult to let go.)

Last Beverage Drank: Ribena.

Last Food Consumed: I had a tortilla wrap with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge inside. It was a midnight snack and it was oddly satisfying.

Last Crush: Rich. Lame answer.

Last Phone Call: My grandma left me a truly bizarre voicemail asking me what a word meant, and I assumed she had pronounced this word wrong because it sounded like an alien language. So I rang her back and she said the word again and it still sounded peculiar. So I made her spell it out and it turned out to be 'prethoist.' I was like, oh, I'm such a bad English student, I've never heard of this word before, I'll Google it for you. Google yielded NO results. I think my Grandma made up a word. 

Last E-mail you wrote: It was to a student jobs company asking for more info on a telesales job. I've sort of sacked them off since they emailed me back though because I get a dodgy feeling from the fact that in the listing on the student union website, they said to email for more details, and yet when I email for more details, they say I should ring them. What are they hiding here? Why can't they just put a job description on the website? Add this to the fact that I don't really want a job.

Last TV Show Watched: I watched The Simpsons, Hollyoaks, Snog Marry Avoid, Hotter Than My Daughter, and got halfway through Big Fat Gypsy Weddings before I said NO, and abandoned the tv. Where I promptly loaded an episode of How I Met Your Mother to watch while I tidied my room. I'm one of those awful people who needs constant mental stimulation. I feel terribly anxious when I'm just sat quietly, and for some reason tv programmes are the best way to combat this. I haven't got square eyes yet ;)

Last Band You Saw: I can't even think. I don't see much live music.

Last Time Showered: Tuesday afternoon.

Last Shoes Worn: These beauties that were inexplicably only £25 in the shop. Also I bought them with a giftcard. So essentially, FREE SHOES. Thankyou, whichever relative got me the DP giftcard. (I have a poor memory.)

Last Item Bought: Diet Coke, two cupcakes, milk, squash and Sunbites.

Last Annoyance: Hearing lackadaisical first years in the library acting like being in that very building is such a hardship, while they mess around on Facebook. Now don't get me wrong: I was a lazy and unmotivated first year once. It was great. I just kept out of the library's way and was perfectly happy. I did not go there and then hog a computer on the ground floor, complaining for all to hear. Also, Facebook in the library is not necessarily a bad thing. If I'm in there hammering out essays, I might have a peek every now and again to remind myself what it's like to have a will to live. But if you're there JUST to go on Facebook, go home.

Last Soda Drank: Diet Coke. I'm OBSESSED with fizzy drinks at the moment. I go through stages where they make me feel sick and stages where I can't get enough. Right now, I've been drinking at least a can of something fizzy every day. Bad Emily.

Last Words Spoken: Actual words I said out loud were something about having to escape from the TV to my housemate, probably a jumbled mess of words along the lines of 'Too much trash TV... brain turned to mush... MUST ESCAPE... read book... escape!'

Last Ice Cream Eaten: Ben and Jerrys Phish Food. My delightful boyfriend purchased it for me (without me asking, btw, he's not my bitch) because he knows I love it, and he also knows I refuse to spend that much money on ice cream, and he also knows that if I were to attempt buying it myself I would dither about how fattening it is and if I should eat it and that I would eventually put it back in favour of being healthy.

Perhaps this makes him a feeder of some description?
Last Webpage Visited: BBC Iplayer. I'm going to catch up with Episodes. I'm still not sure if I actually like it, but I hope it grows on me, because I really like Tamsin Greig, and really like looking at Matt LeBlanc at the moment. 

So, I'm going to Italy on Friday. As the journey will all in all include a bus, a taxi, three trains, a plane (first time I've ever flown), and another taxi (just on the way there) I am so very nervous that something will go wrong because I have the ability to be astoundingly clumsy, unlucky, and dim-witted. I'm going with my friend Tom, to visit my friend Emma, who is studying abroad for a year, for her 21st. Fingers crossed we get there safe and sound, help her celebrate her birthday in style, and make it back home in one piece. 


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Of polar bears, jewellery and Margaret Atwood

I am now back in Hull and have been for a week. I have handed in two of my three essays. The gym is closed for refurbishment until Monday, and so I am happily taking advantage of this excuse for guilt-free laziness. I keep telling myself 'if the gym were open, I would definitely be there today - no doubt about it.' This may not be true but that is neither here nor there. The gym is not open. Therefore I do not have to go.

Rich came to visit over the weekend and I had a lovely time with him. We went for a poke about the shops on Newland Avenue during the day on Saturday, then went to the cinema and for a meal on the night. (Film: 127 Hours, which I thought was very good and nowhere near as gory as I was expecting. Meal: Frankie and Bennys, where we ate more food than 2 humans should perhaps ever consume. And it was amazing.) While I was slyly trying to take a picture of my pink cocktail, the waitress asked if we wanted a picture taken of the both of us. Which I did. Which Rich did not. Which was a shame for him, because the picture got taken.

Not the happiest of bunnies, is he?

There is my pink cocktail in the left. I think it was essentially rum and strawberry ice cream. Not that this is a cause for complaining. My outfit looks a bit boring here, like I'm off to work in an office, so I just feel like putting it out there that under the table, I am wearing a black miniskirt, burgundy tights, and stompy boots. Also, my earrings that you cannot really see are shaped like PEGASUS. Yep, the horse with wings Pegasus. Be jealous.

 This is another cocktail I drank on a different night. My plans of coming back to Hull and having no fun, spending all day in the library and the gym, and getting stuff done - well, what happened to them? Delicious £3 cocktails happened to them.

Today has been especially unproductive. I handed in a 3500 word essay, breathed a big sigh of relief, and proclaimed 'I AM FREE!' Although deep down, I knew I was not free. Not only did I have a 2500 word essay to write for Monday, I also had a room that had once again descended into chaos, books to read, travel insurance to sort out, and basically a dishevelled life to get in order. Despite all this gnawing at the back of my mind, I did the following things today: wasted time on Facebook; wasted time on Twitter; wasted time on the internet in general; ate a massive bowl of fruit; ate a massive veg stir fry; spent a long time reading Hyperbole and a Half and crying small tears from laughing so much; watching 16 and Pregnant; tidying my room. OK, so I finally got round to tidying my room, and I'm fettling together an essay plan right this very moment. Today, however, could have been a good essay day, one in which I made some headway, and it could have meant the difference between polishing it off on Sunday morning, cool as a cucumber, and pulling my hair out on Sunday night/Monday morning, wanting to cry as I copy and paste irrelevant quote after irrelevant quote. 

C'est la vie.

Uselessness aside, this is what I have looked like today. Today has been more productive than others in that I put on clothes this morning, and kept them on until I got changed for bed. Usually I change into pyjamas at about 5pm and then the wheels fall off and I spend the rest of the day lounging, watching trash TV, whining loudly to my housemates about how much work I have to do, and ultimately being a waste of space. Today the clothes stayed on, and while I did nothing worthwhile, this made me feel more like a useful member of society.

My room in Hull is HUGE. In my last house, I got the biggest room because it was at the front of the house on the ground floor, and nobody else wanted to be disturbed by the ruckus of the outside world, or be a prime target for any roaming burglars who may find their way into the house. I cared not for ruckus or burglars, and took the room. I found the ruckus more amusing than disturbing. Highlights included:
1. A pair of drunken men arguing over the paternity of a child. Think along the lines of 'He's mine!' 'No, he's mine!' only slurred and dotted with expletives.
2. A girl from next door being brought home drunk in a police car in the small hours of the morning, being carried by two policemen to the door, where her two male housemates then struggled to carry her into the house as she flailed wildly.
3. No roaming burglars came into the house, thank god.

In this house I got the biggest and nicest room, the attic room, through sheer luck when pulling numbers out of a hat. One day I will have to fit my entire life into a tiny cupboard sized room again, and I will be utterly lost. I will drown in a sea of clutter. 

Katie Price bedsheets, if you're interested. Fairy lights were a present from a friend. They're possibly my favourite thing in the universe and they are currently broken. Gutted does not even begin to cover it. I would like these to replace them. Possible Valentine's day present, if I drop enough hints. (Was sending him the link and saying 'buy me these' enough of a hint, do you reckon?)

One would wonder how I manage to be so damn useless when I am in possession of all these lists. These are more for colourful decoration than reference. 

I really like polar bears. I was never very much of an animal person until a year or so ago, and eventually my initial feelings of 'aww cute!' toward polar bears grew into a borderline obsession. For my 20th birthday, my younger sister adopted some polar bears in my name. She is a good sister.

This is my genius way of storing necklaces - hung on drawing pins on the wall! Classy. I enjoy jewellery, the bigger and brighter the better. The owl necklace, on the third hook from the right, was a Christmas present from my older sister. She is also a good sister.

More jewellery! 

This is where the fun ends.

This essay is fun, actually. Or as fun as essays can be. I'm a big fan of Margaret Atwood, and have been ever since I read Alias Grace as a young teenager. Cat's Eye is one of her novels that I truly enjoyed, and I have enjoyed it just as much while reading it with an analytical student mind, and will hopefully enjoy just as much when I write 2500 words about the effect of childhood experience on adult life within the novel. 

The polar bear I got with my adoption pack, and a brown bear that came free with John West tuna. My mother tells me that me and my sisters were never the biggest fans of cuddly toys when we were younger, so I'm not sure why, at 20 years old, I am suddenly embarassingly attached to two children's toys.

I'm going to watch the new episode of Episodes, mainly just to perv on Matt Leblanc (silver fox much?!) and sleep. Tomorrow I'm undecided as to whether to shop for holiday clothes, go to the library, or stay at home and have a leisurely day while working on my essay.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Visual interlude.

Writing an essay about the importance of fantasy and escapism in Muriel's Wedding is quite fun, as essay writing goes. Unfortunately, I still lack motivation and find myself getting distracted by almost anything. Eating hummus from the tub with a spoon, for example. Just now it was taking a little series of photos documenting the essay writing process, my room, and perhaps my life.

This is the work I'm attempting to power through. The pretty patterns and bright colours are meant to motivate me. This doesn't seem to be working. Also my pasty leg snuck into the shot. Hi leg.
This is the big daddy of books. It cost me a drink-spluttering amount of money (for a book, anyway) and I have had to use it, oh, four or five times in the three years I've been at university. It's always nice to know I have many great and classic works of literature all in here at my disposal, if I can ever be bothered to read them. (Right now, I can imagine this slump stretching out for the rest of my life.) In this book is Paradise Lost. Hefty in itself. Tomorrow I will go through it with a fine tooth comb and pick out useful quotes about hierarchy. Then I will write 3500 words. Tomorrow. Yes.
I make it sound as though I don't enjoy reading - and I do. A lot. It is, of course, the reason I chose a degree in English, and is part of the reason I enjoy writing. Some of my disdain and despair with the 8500 words of collective essay I am slogging through is because I just want them out of my way so I can - what? See my boyfriend for the first time since last year? He's OK, I guess, but... What? So I can go on holiday? Well that'll be nice and all, but... It's so I can start reading this bloody book! I have love love loved David Mitchell's other four novels, and I might even go as far to say that he is my fave, but I still haven't managed to read past the second chapter of this. I'm very excited about it but it seems a bit heavy, and so might require complete concentration, which I just can't give it right now. After my final deadline, though, I'll be all over this baby like a rash.

My boredom drove me to taking a wander round my room, and oh, what is this stripy thing poking from a box?
 It's my tiger cape, of course! Two scraps of unwanted material from a haberdashery, stapled together, become A TIGER CAPE. Best money I ever spent. Along with a tiger mask that appeared in my possession after a very drunken night, and some leggings with a cut up t-shirt superglued onto them (I'm not very crafty, all being said) I was transformed into a tiger for a weekend of camping for a friend's 21st.

 This is a guessing game.What is this thing, covered in other things? What are the things? What in god's name is this?! Jokes. This is actually to show off my own brand of organisation - coats, scarves, cardigans and bags are all draped over my door. It means I don't have to find other places to keep them. And I kind of like all the colours and prints together.
 My drawers just started VOMITING CLOTHES!? What the hell is going on? Has this ever happened to anyone else?!

OK, so. I won't lie and say that clutter doesn't just appear everywhere I am. It does. These pictures are of my room at home (my parent's house) where the clutter unfortunately seems to be terminal, due to just too much stuff and just not enough space. My room at uni (where I live with friends) tends to be fairly tidy during the week and then at the mere hint of the weekend, it all blows up. I mean, I'm out of the room and I come back to find everything in a state of disarray! (That's also a lie.)
Two essential tools for surviving a bitter English winter: furry slipper socks, and a space heater. Pasty legs come with the whole 'bitter English winter' thing. That and I'm just quite pale naturally. Ignore the marks on my legs, I have a little collection of scars on my legs and feet from various misdemeanours. I have one on each foot from other people's heels - one from a girl in dirty great stilettos while watching a band, another from a friend presumably stumbling over my foot in heels on the way home. I'm like a work of art, me. Or a patchwork quilt.
Now this picture is to illustrate the lengths I have been driven to by essay mania. (Like cabin fever, except I could leave the house if I wanted to, it's just that it's cold out there... and I have essays to write.) I have created a pile of magazines on the floor for when I can no longer sit cross legged on my bed typing away (working at a desk is strangely difficult for me) and have to escape to a little solace on the floor, and flick through these magazines.

Maybe I do have cabin fever.

Last and perhaps least, here is a (quite terrifying) picture of me. I'm not fit for human eyes right now so I decided to pose with my most amazing Christmas present, a masquerade mask! However now I look at this photo it's kind of creepy. Who knew there was such torment in my eyes? I certainly did not.

Now I'm going to watch Tool Academy, possibly be physically sick from the cringiness of it, cry because it will make me hate men, and sleep. 



Wednesday, 5 January 2011

2011 is 5 days underway...

... and I am still eating leftover Christmas chocolate. Having just been handed another big bag of Quality Street and biscuits, I can see I have my work cut out.

My essay writing is still at a standstill. I've been doing plenty of reading, researching, highlighting, pondering and planning, but haven't written very many words that will count towards the word count. My creative writing work has just fallen off a cliff. But, as I said, 2011 is going to be the year I regain my creativity, so it will get somewhere soon. 

Packing to go back to Hull will commence shortly. Then I'll be in the library for a solid week or two - possibly with a duvet in tow having been told by people who actually spend time there that is freezing - and in the gym as often as I can hack it. Then essays in, then - oh, I'm just going to pop over to Perugia for a few days, darling ;) - visiting my friend in Italy for a few days for her 21st. Then the rest of the academic year, and then who knows what! Well that's for me to know and this blog to find out :)