Sunday, 28 February 2010

'We're Just Dominating The World At The Moment - That'll Be £3,000 of Tuition Fees!"

As I'm sure previous blogs have made quite clear, I do not have the greatest luck in the world, nor do I make the best decisions, often leaving me in despairing, uncomfortable and/or expensive situations. This week's Bad Decision has proven to be a situation of the despairing kind. For some reason (mainly, I am a tit), my friend Fiona and I have decided to do our English presentation on Lord Byron, despite the fact that neither of us have actually read any of his poems. Nor do we hold any knowledge in relation to his life, which is proving to be a little tricky as the presentation is conveniently titled: Auto-Biographical Elements of Lord Byron's Writings. In our defence, we did spend a few hours in the library on Wednesday trying to gather together some scraps of information but all we learnt was that apparently he was a raving paedophile and, according to Wikipedia, was 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'. Sounds quite attractive, really. Well, you know, minus the paedophile thing. We also found a collection of letters to his mother and half-sister, most of which sounded worryingly like 19th century booty-calls. In the end though, we spent most of the time taking the piss out of each other's accents and listing reasons why Northern people are better than Southern people. (She did attempt a counter argument, but it was shit so I didn't listen.) She has obviously taken the time to put extra effort into the presentation as she turned up to the library today bearing this as a gift:

To be fair, I was extremely pleased as it quite accurately represents Jade Cole, an unforgettable face of America's Next Top Model (not America's Next Top Best Friend, as she so helpfully points out) with whom me and Jayne have recently formed a fondness of, so much so that we have resorted to going back to old episodes on BT Vision to watch her amazing performance of Leftover Lady. (For the record, I hate ANTM and watch if for comedic reasons only... )

I'm going to have to watch what I wear for the actual presentation tomorrow morning as this particular tutor seems unable to grasp the concepts of social etiquette; she once spent ten minutes of seminar time laying into a girl in our class and declaring how much said girl's boots offended her. I'm not entirely sure why, or even how, a pair of shoes can offend a person - I was just glad it directed the attention away from my 'Jesus Told Me The Qur'an Is Bullshit' t-shirt, which probably wouldn't have gone down a treat. The tutor in question is pretty hilarious though, I'd say, despite being picky on footwear, she is probably my favourite. The girl in question didn't seem particularly pleased and I hope for her sake that she is wearing what would be considered 'non-offensive' footwear tomorrow. (I was joking about the t-shirt by the way. He actually told me it was a pretty good read.)

I am currently writing this entry to put off checking my online bank balance, something which I have been avoiding for quite some time now. I often wonder where all my money is going at university, especially so when I go into a seminar to be greeted by my tutor looking slightly manic and informing me that we're 'just dominating the world at the moment'. I then spent the next twenty minutes watching, baffled, as he, along with a bit of input from the computer nerds of the class, built his own civilisation on a computer game magnified on the projector. He was all excited and happy until the leader board came up and showed his country was only ranking number five, resulting in a stream of swear words and leading him to adopt a relatively demonic disposition for the rest of the seminar. Still, it didn't completely lack productivity - whilst pretending to be interested, I taught myself how to use chopsticks with my pen, a goal I've been trying to achieve for at least three years now. I'll admit, it's not as good as a degree, but it's something to write home about nonetheless.

This week marks a very special week in regards to my degree. Yes, that's right - it's conference week! A thrilling experience, I think you'll all agree. This time last year I was forced to sit through three hours of listening to the most mundane lecturer known to man talk about cycling and the environment... In all honesty, this year it seems to actually be quite interesting, and today's speeches even involved a picture of Pete Doherty, which was enough incentive for me to stay there and listen as opposed to sneaking out at the first opportunity. Although, I did spend a fair amount of time trying to see into my bag of FruitPastilles from where I was sat in a vain attempt to avoid the grape flavoured ones... Tomorrow's speech is on Active Audience: Conceptualising The Video Gamer, which I'm sure will be just as gripping. Watch this space...

Monday, 22 February 2010

Who's Good At Telekinesis? Raise My Hand.

After sat staring at my essay for ten minutes straight and concentrating all my energy on trying to use telekinesis in order to summon a cup of tea up the stairs, I have decided it is time for a blog.

Things that are worrying me:
  • My feet appear to be getting smaller at a scarily rapid rate, leading me to question whether or not I will still be in proportion by the end of the year
  • One of my contacts on Facebook just spelt 'which' as 'witch', as well as writing 'tew' instead of 'too', leading me to reconsider why I have them on there
  • I have convinced myself that if I concentrate hard enough, I can succeed in telekinesis, leaving me little time to write essays
  • I have just spent the last five minutes looking up Anna Friel's first lesbian kiss on Brookside so my sister can win the pub quiz
  • When "aimlessly doodling" whilst on the phone, I appear to have accidentally drawn a swastika...
Despite the above concerns, today has not been bad, as far as days go. I went home for the weekend back to Bradford, most of which has either been knocked down or is in the process of being so, and managed to actually enjoy it, even though it is continually raining/snowing/being subject to some form of chav-orientated harassment. I even got a few free meals, and my mum bought me a new pair of Vans when we went shopping in Leeds seeing as my old ones were starting to resemble old dishcloths. I stopped at Lauren and Kelly's on Saturday night which was hilarious, if not slightly disturbing given the subject choice me and Kel chose - how do gay guys decide who goes where? In the end (ha), we decided they must flip a coin for it and made a mental note to ask Paul when he is next too drunk to remember.

Me and my housemates took a brave step out of the house on Thursday and made a little trip to Blackpool, which was both good and bad at the same time. Good because we went out and had an ace night, got to see the sea, and got to meet Katie's cuter than cute dog. Bad because the club we went to had a revolving dancefloor (what was going through the designer's head when he invented that I would love to know), Megan won the game when she saw the sea first, and when we went for fish and chips the menu said barmcake. That is correct. Barm. Cake. Possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, including Bart Simpson's Guide To Life. I felt a little bit more settled when I went to a café in Leeds market with my mum and the menu said 'teacake', but still. Ridiculous.

Other highlights of reading week include being absolutely thrashed at pool by my friend Tom, who I used to be able to beat with my eyes closed, leading me to think that I may have lost all ability to play and must start going to the pub more often and practice. Today's journey back to Chester was relatively stress-free, and particularly exciting as I got to go on the train thanks to my father's generous donation as opposed to the unnaturally cramped National Express bus. The journey got of to an irritating start when the really annoying woman on the tannoy system at Bradford Interchange kept announcing that the Leeds train was late and was due at ten, but due to be later. If it's due to be later, then it clearly is not due at ten... Apparently, it was 'approximately' 28 minutes late. How an exact number is an approximation I do not know, but oh well. I managed to get to Leeds in time for the Manchester train anyway where I had to sit opposite a woman who kept peering over the top of her copy of 'Dreams: Their Healing Power and Purpose in Your Spiritual Life' to stare at me suspiciously. She didn't look particularly spiritual, she was wearing a luminous orange body warmer and blowing her nose on the end of her sleeve when she thought people weren't looking. I am thankfully back in Chester now and attempting to write 2,000 words on the wonder that is Keats. How someone can write three whole pages on a bird baffles me, never mind how I am meant to write 2,000 words about it. I got really proud and excited when I saw I had made notes in my anthology, but on closer inspection they turned out to be uninspiring doodles and personal notes to listen to The Smiths...

Monday, 15 February 2010

My Girl - 'Who Thought To Write This Sick Film?!'

I'm not entirely sure if I should be writing this in my current state given that I have spent the past 2 hours watching My Girl with Jayne and Megan, resulting in at least 30 minutes of spontaneous outbursts of either tears or uncontrollable giggling fits. I think it's safe to say, we are all emotionally drained. Surely the film company made some sort of huge mistake when they certified that film a PG; if I had watched that was I was ten, I'm not entirely sure I would have turned out to be the calm, collected, emotionally stable person I am today - getting over the death of Thomas J was the hardest thing I ever had to do, and here I am, putting myself through the turmoil all over again for the sake of entertainment! In the words of Jayne, 'who thought to write this sick film?!'

On a more positive note, today is Valentine's Day and I have actually received some mail! The fact that it was from my mother and consisted of some new socks, a self-help card, and a picture of an overweight squirrel accompanying some crude joke involving a tennis ball and faeces in no way makes it less exciting. I also got a free Midsummer Night's Dream poster from the English department, which was pretty exciting also. Well, by free, I mean it was on the wall by the lecture halls, and now it is on the wall in my bedroom. I decided that I deserved a treat though after my stressful morning - I'd spent about ten minutes using trial and error to determine which eye my one lasting contact lens belonged in, and whether or not it was inside out, consequently scratching my eyeball in the process. In another effort to de-stress myself, I have made a small life plan and decided that, should I ever have children, I would like them to be exact replicas of the cute Chinese baby that lives in the chip shop on Garden Lane. He gives thumbs up and high fives - how ace is that for someone under the age of three? I refuse to settle for anything less.

I met with the guy who is taking me for my Work Based Learning Placement yesterday afternoon - he rang and asked if I would be able to meet him in fifteen minutes, causing a little bit of a panic as I was still lounging around my room in last night's tights and smelling strongly of Strongbow. Fortunately, I managed to throw on a pair of jeans, brush my teeth and even have a wash before legging it into town where I circled the building at least three times before figuring out how to get inside. I then spent the next two hours being taken around every church in Chester and listening to him explain the entire history of England, occasionally chirping in with, 'yeah... wow!... I see.... yeah'. I have trouble remembering what happened last month, never mind the religious reasons behind a battle four hundred years ago. All I'm doing is taking photographs, I wasn't counting on being completely confused and unsure of what to say for a good portion of my day. Still, he finally let me go after he had cornered a poor couple trying to look around and started reciting the origins of each and every wall painting in the church.

Thankfully, today was much less daunting - me and Megan managed to make an entire roast dinner all by ourselves, just in time for Jayne arriving home from work. We even successfully managed to make cornflake buns for pudding, which, to be honest, probably shouldn't have been such a victory for three nineteen-year-olds, but what can you do?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Blah Blah "Capitalism" Blah Blah "Communism" Blah Blah "Nietsche" Blah Blah ... sleeptalk?

Despite attending all my lectures in the past few weeks, my new motivation appears to have been counter productive judging by today's Sociology lecture when I started sleep talking. I wasn't even aware my eyes were closed until I heard my own voice say, 'I watched this last night...' and then felt my head jerk forwards, giving me a minute case of whiplash and enlightening me to the row of people in front (and the lecturer) staring at me with puzzled looks on their faces. I let out a small, pathetic wince and spent the rest of the lecture feigning interest in my worksheet, which to be honest wasn't all that interesting, so I don't feel I have missed out on much, especially seeing as when I did choose to listen, my lecturer seemed to be having an in-depth rant about turtles and/or tortoises...

In other news, I have gained my ultimate score on Tetris - 643 lines, no less. It was a beautiful moment and I felt inclined to add it to my list of useless talents, one of which is being able to recite the entire of Eminem's 'Slim Shady', albeit in a dodgy Yorkshire accent. And yes, before you ask, I am available for Christenings and BarMitzvahs. Other than playing Tetris (which our entire house is currently addicted to) I have been holed up in my room reading horrible Jane Austen novels and watching Thelma and Louise. I'd forgotten that I'd made a pact with myself not to watch it until I had a less-impressionable personality, given that everytime I see it, I have my heart set on becoming a felon and road tripping to Mexico, robbing convenience stores and locking up policemen on my way. It's just like everytime I see Cool Runnings or The Mighty Ducks - no lifestyle seems better than being a Winter Olympian or a member of an ice hockey team coached by Emilio Estevez...

I finally got my dreaded presentation out of the way and, without jinxing it, I think it went pretty well, especially seeing as one of my slides consisted simply of thumbnails showing offensive and anti-religious t-shirts. I got both my essays back, complete with helpful feedback such as, 'I'm not convinced you understand what you are talking about here', which, although a pretty solid observation, seems slightly unnecessary. Still, I passed them both with fairly good marks, so who's complaining?

What is even more exciting than that is the fact that I am finally being sent some new contact lenses after being refused them since September because I have failed to attend a check up test. However, I attended said check-up on Tuesday (even though we couldn't even do it properly because I didn't have any lenses to wear) and the woman in the shop was ever so rude! She starting having small fits every two minutes because she couldn't find any of my data seeing as my regular opticians in Bradford has, apparently, closed down. What she expected me to do when she looked at me and questioned, 'well?' I do not know, but I am definitely not looking forward to going again next week, especially if my lenses haven't even arrived...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Constantly Checking The University Website For Cancelled Lectures Is No Way For A Girl To Live

Today has been a major breakthrough in regards to my education as I have managed to fully attend both my lectures, despite staying up until about 3am repeatedly checking the university website for cancellations. I even struggled through my fatigue after losing an hour of my life when I accidentally stood on my alarm clock and apparently changed the time to an hour before. However, other than that slight mishap, my body clock is well on its way to reflecting that of a normal person's. Well, apart from the slight slip-up I had the other night when I got sucked in by SuperNanny... Honestly though, the people on that show never cease to amaze me; if you christen your child 'Tiny' then I think we all know it'll grow up to despise you and act like the anti-Christ in revenge for its hideous name.

I went back home for a night on Wednesday, which was pretty fun, with the exception of my new found knowledge that I can no longer stand up unaided on public transport. I discovered this as I went flying headfirst down the 616, landing in a crumpled heap against the windscreen and trying to hold onto what little dignity I had left. I decided later that night that it wasn't much as I drank red wine out of a 99p mug from TescoExpress and watched a lesbian love story film in the basement of a Bradford café with Kieron. It was an ace night though, and I even got to see Paul the next day before I went back to Chester so all in all the trip was a success. I was particularly impressed with the free chicken burritos I managed to get when my mother took me out for tea before my bus left. I clearly did not anticipate how spicy they actually were and spent a good portion of the journey back to Chester with watering eyes and a burning tongue. I was also pretty distraught that the batteries on my cassette walkman had run out and I was forced to spend a fair few hours listening to Savage Garden at reduced speed, which unfortunately did not turn out too great and came out of the headphones sounding more like a Darth Vader megamix than Truly, Madly, Deeply. Still, at least I wasn't listening to Morrisey - then we'd all be in trouble.