Tuesday, 31 May 2011

I got your back

I am too in love with Bo Burnham. He's a comedy songwriter, he's the same age as me, he has 2 albums and is on a world tour. I'm seeing him for free next week and i couldn't be more excited.

All of his songs are amazing, but this one, of his forthcoming (and as yet unrecorded) rap album is by far and away my favourite.

He's a tall, skinny, white kid from Michigan, but he might have just made the best rap song I've ever heard. He looks so sad and angry when he sings it, you can tell it comes from personal experience.

I've listened to it over 10 times today. Breaks my heart.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Drizzle and a hurricane

Having finished my degree, I'm finally allowed to read books without having to analyze them, and the first new book I've chosen to read is Looking For Alaska, which is aimed at 16 year olds, and which i am enjoying immensely. From what I've read so far, it's like a teem version of The Secret History, which is in my top 10 books of all time, but with more teen angst and awkwardness. After I've finished it i might be really indulgent and re-read Gatsby, Kavalier and Clay, The Virgin Suicides, The Secret History and Lord of the Flies. My brain is to tired for anything new that might be challenging, and i haven't let myself read any of those for at least 6 months. Hooray for being allowed to read my favourite books without feeling guilty!

As for the rest of my life. I have a phone interview for a job during the Edinburgh festival, which i really hope i get. I'm rehearsing for a play that I'm in, which isn't great theatre but is a lot of fun. I should start house hunting so that i have somewhere to live come September. People keep asking me what I'm going to do now that I've finished uni, and i don't know what to tell them. For now, I'm seeing where the days take me.

Come back to the old five and dime

Yes please.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Does this mean I'm a grown up?

I finished my dissertations. I printed them. I handed them in. I am no longer a university student.

Right now I'm not really sure what i feel. I was strangely calm this morning while i was finishing them off, and once i handed them in i was happy, but none of it really feels real. It might be the fact that I've had about 10 hours sleep over the past week, or that i haven't really had anything proper to eat from about 4 days, but right now it doesn't seem like it's really over.

I have had such a wonderful time at university, made amazing friends and done amazing things, and part of me doesn't feel ready to leave. On the other hand, there's a big world out there full of all kinds of opportunities, just waiting to be explored.

I just got home from the dissertation dash, which is the party that the students union throws for third year students on hand in day, and the first thing i did was apply for an apprenticeship at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, working for 3 months studying directing with Trevor Nunn, helping produce a production of The Tempest starring Ralph Feinnes. There is only one place, and I'm sure there are thousands of applicants, but today I'm feeling lucky.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

curiouser and curiouser

I had a day off from writing my dissertations.

I worked an 8 hour shift in the ice-cream shop, then, whilst walking home, was lured into a Victorian train carriage parked in Jubilee Square. Inside they were giving out unlimited free gin and tonic if you told them curious stories. They had also transformed the inside of the train carriage into a mini-museum of curiosities. I was with my friend Nicole, and she pointed out that there were people sitting in a kind of glamorous Victorian tent on the other side of the train, and we found out that there was going to be a flash fiction slam, and if you bought a ticket you got more free gin. We bought tickets. The stories were wonderful. Then we stroked a puppy and drank more gin.

I was in bed by 11, asleep by half past, and wasn't stressed for the first time in weeks. I love Brighton. (and gin.)

Friday, 20 May 2011

How much?

I have 3 days to go and another 4000 words to write.

My brain feels too full. I can't focus because there are too many words in there.

I'm absolutely terrified I'm going to get a 2.2. I just don't want people to think I'm stupid.

(just after i wrote that my friend Luke came and found me and i started crying and couldn't stop. I've come home, I'm in bed. I'm working an 8 hour shift at the ice-cream shop tomorrow, then on Sunday i WILL finish this.)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

To die, to sleep.

I am so tired. I have all but finished my English dissertation and am so bored of it that i can't even be bothered to proof read it. I'm leaving it alone for a day or two while i focus on my film dissertation, then over the weekend i'll polish them both up.

Everyone tells you about how stressful this week is, but they don't tell you how boring it is. I've been in the library for roughly fourteen hours a day almost every day for the past three weeks. I've almost gone past the point of caring now, i just want these things to be done. I just want to be in bed.

Saying that, today i started to worry that both my dissertations aren't academic enough. Neither of them quote Freud or Adorno. I find them interesting, but they are less theoretical than they are perhaps supposed to be. I'm terrified that i'll get a really harsh marker and end up with a 2.2 because i didn't write enough about the feminine lack or some such bollocks. I've resigned myself to the fact that i'm almost definitely getting a 2.1, and while it's slightly disappointing and i would love it if i got a first, i'm ok with it. If i get any lower than a 2.1 i don't know what i'll do. Right now i honestly can't think of anything worse. It's affecting my sleep.

Speaking of sleep, it's almost 1 in the morning (i let myself leave the library an hour earlier than i planned because i was so tired i almost fell asleep in my feminist theory) and i have to be back in the library at 7, so i'm going to sign off for the night.

Send me energy, and strength, and any luck you may have spare.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

He ain't heavy

My beautiful big brother just sent me the loveliest message, and I thought i'd share it here, since it's another 5 minutes of not doing work.

I love you so very very much.
2 years ago i was exactly where you are now, with over half of my dissertation to put to paper and only a week in which to get it done.

keep working like a fucking dog, you will get it all in, you will do fabulously, so much better than i did.
You will collapse afterwards in a pile of friends and drunkenness and spend a fairly long while watching shitty tv curled up in bed to overcome the mother of all hangovers.

Then we will chat about the possibility of you coming out to australia/thailand and having an awesome travel time with your nerdy older brother.
I love you in spite of the odour

He may be horrible, but i do miss him.

One day i'll fly away.

Sorry about the watermark across the top of these. I think they're super cool regardless. Long exposure photos during take off and landing.

Kind of magical, right?

Monday, 16 May 2011

"We have an obligation."

I'm deep in the depths of dissertation week, or Hell week as it is commonly known amongst third years. Something i just found out is that because i am doing a joint honours degree, i have to write twice as many words as people doing single honours. I now judge anyone on a single honours course who is freaking out because they have to hand in 10,000 words next Monday. I think they are week and a laugh at their pain. 

I have now finished one of my English Essays, a 4000 word analysis of humanity and limitation on the works of Kazuo Ishiguro, and am hoping to have finished my 8000 word Dave Eggers dissertation by tonight, so that i can really focus on my 8000 word Sexy Vampire dissertation, which i haven't done nearly enough work on yet.

In re-reading all of Dave Eggers' books in preparation for this dissertation, i fell back in love with him (not that i ever fell out of love with whim, just that it had been a while since i read some of his books.). Probably my favourite passage in the whole of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is this exchange between Dave and a friend of his, where they plan out how the world should be.

“Get everyone together.”
“All these people.”
“No more waiting.”
“Means through mass.”
“It’s criminal to pause.”
“To wallow.”
“To complain.”
“We have to be happy.”
“To not be happy would be difficult.”
“We would have to try to not be happy.”
“We have an obligation.”
“We have advantages.”
“A luxury of place and time.”
“Something Rare and Wonderful.”
“It’s almost historically unprecedented.”
“We must do extraordinary things.”
“We have to.”
“It would be obscene not to.”
“We will take what we’ve been given and unite people.”
“And we’ll try not to sound so irritating."

It makes me want to get out of this damned library and do something with my life, but i can't, because i still have 10,000 words left to write by the end of the week.

Send me all your luck.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sugar Kane

I can't help but be fascinated by her.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Bite me.

I have been on campus since 9 this morning. I just took what was supposed to be a short break, but what quickly turned into a 3 hour chat over drinks, with my friend Sarah. It made me very happy indeed.

I was telling her about how I watched Interview with the Vampire last night and couldn't take it seriously because of the joke in Bowfinger about how Tom Cruise didn't know he was in it. Well, i was trying to tell her, but i couldn't quite get the words out because i was crying with laughter. No joke in the history of cinema has ever made me laugh as much as that one, and every time i think about it, or watch that film, or see Tom Cruise being interviewed, it just gets funnier.

In other news, I finally decided on a title for my film essay. It's called "It's only OK to like sex if you're evil: Transgressive Feminine Sexualities in  Vampire Cinema" and it is so much fun. I love doing a silly degree!

Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall..

 "Lonely? I don't know. They tell me this is cold. I don't know what cold is, because I don't freeze. So I don't know what lonely means either. Bears are made to be solitary." 

 "When you choose one way out of many, all the ways you don't take are snuffed out like candles, as if they'd never existed." 

 "...But it gradually seemed to me that I'd made myself believe something that wasn't true. I'd made myself believe that I was fine and happy and fulfilled on my own without the love of anyone else. Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would. I'd spend all my life without ever going to China, but it wouldn't matter, because there was all the rest of the world to visit... And I thought: am I really going to spend the rest of my life without feeling that again? I thought: I want to go to China. It's full of treasures and strangeness and mysteries and joy." 

The first thing i am going to do when i finish my dissertations is read His Dark Materials again. It has been too long.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Are dissertations meant to be this fun?

It's 2am. I'm in the library. I've been here since 4 this afternoon. I'm having so much fun!

I changed my film essay from a worthy but entirely depressing analysis of the representation of paedophiles in contemporary Hollywood cinema to one about vampires as signifiers of queer sexuality, and now i get to sit here for hours on end reading essays about Buffy, my favourite television show of all time.

I completely realize that it's dissertations like this that give film studies a bad name, but when i can spend 10 hours reading critical essays which make me laugh out loud, cry a little bit and make me excited to write 8000 words in the next 2 weeks, I really don't see how that's a problem.

Oh i do love being a geek.

Monday, 2 May 2011

"I shall call him Squishy."

I've begun to realize that i collect photos on particular themes. One of them is Jellyfish. It's rare that I'll come across a photo of a jellyfish online and not save it. For reasons she will surely understand, they remind me of my mum.