Friday, October 27, 2006

Little Liar

Okay so I fibbed a little earlier...I didn't exactly go straight into study mode after I made my last entry...I was doing laundry (which has gone up to £2 a wash and 50p per 30 mins to dry....bah humbug!) and I wasn't really in the mood for some heavy going study.

I did however go to the gym for an hour and a half session (I expect a round of applause) and, get this, walked up the stairs once I got back to Mercury point...That'ss 13 floors people!!!

Here's to a night vegged in front of the TV while every muscle in my body seizes into something resembling a stick of toffee left in the fridge/freezer! ( and I may accost young Josh for the volumes of Stargate: Atlantis I know he has in his room)

P.S. The Price is Right is on ITV 1...When the heck did they bring that back....I must say Joe Pasquale is a genius choice for presenter.

Stress Levels!!!

It's been a tough old week this one. This whole year 3 thing is bloody hard work don't you know. If I hadn't actually been applying myself over the last two years I would have gone completely loopy by now that's for sure.

Anyhoo I've had a couple of big deadlines this week, I have another Monday morning but it's all under control and as I'm waiting for laundry I thought I'd update on here before I get into study mode yet again. So the first deadline was a seminar I had to take with Alison and Henriette on the Danish series Kingdom and it's American counterpart Kingdom Hospital. We'd been preparing for this over the last two weeks which involved watching both of the series several times (that's at least 20 hours of television) and doing tons of research so that we knew are subject matter inside out. We've done presentations before but never been in charge of an entire seminar, which is a nerve wrecking feeling as it is without knowing that your lecturer is sitting in marking your performance...And I might add without a select group of people, who are supposed to be adults, acting like your average five years olds. Long story short a mis communication/ act of bitching lead to a group of individuals who are usually very chatty in seminars sitting in completely silence even when asked a direct question by myself. Grrrrrrrrr. I succeeded in not rising to the bait and carried on with the seminar regardless, but I'm sure that my lecturer figured out something was amiss and I hope it didn't effect our grades. I feel sorry for Hen and Ali, later Ali told me that she was seconds from fleeing from the class in tears because of what these people were doing.....I was stunned by the childish behavior from the group of 21 year olds and have since taken a more 27 year old approach to clearing up matters...Mainly discussing what happened with each individual over a few drinks. They still seem to think that what they did is perfectly acceptable and I will certainly be very careful with what I say in future .

So, that was my rant....Also did I mention that the day of this incident I was as sick as a dog all morning and most of the afternoon and hadn't eaten a bean all day...Thinking about that the kiddies got off lightly because, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I can get a little bit testy when my blood sugar level drops...And by testy I mean glowing red eyes, set of horns and an a sudden impulse to jabbing people with a long, pointy fork.

The other pressure type thing this week was the hand in date of a lit review, which is kind of a list of the books I've been reading for my dissertation. You'd think it was really easy just to make a list of books....Surprisingly it isn't, you have to apply them to your research and do lots of other boring and involved stuff which I can't be bothered to go into. Still I got it down, but not before I changed my opinion of what I'd written at midnight the day before it was due and spent the next 8 hours re-writing the whole thing. Needless to say I was a little tired yesterday (I even turned down watching the next volume of Stargate: Atlantis with Josh!!) , still I managed to find the energy, during the day, to meet Ali for a discussion about the next seminar we have to take which is this coming Monday....argh!!

At least I have great flatmates....Ally, bless her, heard about my unfortunate day last Tues and bought me a new pair of slippers to cheer me up and I got the big, yellow duck for the night (it's kind of a snuggly cheer up device reserved for those who are ill or had a very bad day....It also needs a wash ASAP)

Not much more to report really, the stress levels are slowly returning to normal as after Monday there's no very important due dates imminent so I'll have a chance to crack on with dissertation and script stuff....As we say in the flat 'It's all good'.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lost Again

After catching up on recent events in the bizarre world of JJ Abrams and Lost, I am more convinced than ever before that the writers and the rest of TPTB are actually just making it up as they go along. It is the third season, for those who haven't given up or lost track, and episode three has just aired in the US. For those in the UK who have just about kept up with the last two seasons and were hoping that the finale hailed some kind of conclusion in at least one of the multiple storylines at the beginning of this season, I'm sorry to say no such luck.

It unfortunately appears that not only do the writers not seem to have a clue about where their own storylines are going and how the series is to end (please let it be sooner rather than later), but they have decided that perhaps bombarding the viewer with even more cryptic nonsense, pointlessly drawn out backstories and blatantly obvious and quite frankly diabolical wigs (which appeared to have been purchased as a job lot in your local 50p shop) will disguise the fact that this series is absolute rubbish.

Not a stitch on the most excellent, heart pumping, 'I can't believe they just did that', 'what the heck is going to happen next', drama which is Prison Break ( I couldn't believe what happened in the first episode of series two, which kind of means that anything can happen to pretty much anyone and after reaching episode 7 it really does!). Personally the baby blues of Wentworth Miller are the first and foremost reason for tuning into the show, so the immensely entertaining and engrossing storyline is a nice surprise really.

Seriously though, watch Prison Break, and if you haven't seen all or any of the first season (you know who you are) get off your butt and watch it already (UKTV Gold, Five and probably Five US will have repeats and if not that Blockbuster it or summit). Alternatively lend me £39.99 to buy the box set (Amazon) and then I'll lend it to you out of the goodness of my heart (at a smallprint surcharge of £50 an hour).

More exciting TV news, from the man who rescued Doctor Who from the dark depths of the beeb's basement comes the most awesome looking Torchwood (even if it is airing on BBC Three for the time being, while BBC One airs yet another period drama in the same timeslot....yawn). It starts with a double bill Sunday night and I admit I'm quite excited due to the talk of Buffy/Angel influences and a more adult themes. The clips and trailers flying around in recent weeks certainly look interesting (and by interesting I mean down right cool). Then again pretty much anything in the vain of sci-fi/monster/mystery/comedy/drama gets me all goosepimply. Not sure if the flatmates, friends and family are quite so appreciative of my immense excitability of all things in the above mentioned genre, but they will listen and learn, else their lives would be empty and meaningless and I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

Oh, in slightly different and yet similar vain of news, I'm sure you've heard that the most excellent BBC once series Life on Mars is to conclude by killing off the main character at the end of the second series (and if you hadn't heard sorry for the spoiler, but seriously where have you been). Anyhoo certain sources have mentioned the possibility of a spin off series set in the 80's with as many of the original characters as the Beeb can afford to muster...Including John Simm (Sam). Not sure what the conflicting reports mean exactly and the latter could be just hearsay, but I'm all for the whole rumour/plot bunnies type thing, so on with the hype.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Biggest Blog in the World

Okay, so, the BBC website reported that the historymatters website is asking for everyone to write a blog of what you did on the 17th Oct 2006. The idea is to create the biggest blog ever which will then be stored in an archive, somewhere, in Britain....go to the website for the's late and I'm very tired and I can't remember where it's to be stored exactly (I have visions of some geeky nerd with wall to wall computers and special cooling units who will use these blog entries for his own attempt at world domination......Hi Josh). I have written my entry and thought I would paste in straight into my own blog coz to be honest I'm just too tired to write anything witty or profound.

So without further ado:

My day started at 8.15am as I got up, ate a bowl of Shreddies and got ready for a full day of lectures at Southampton Solent University, where I study Film and Television.

It was a dark and misty day which made it a hard task to crawl out of bed and get enthused for the day ahead. The lecture started at 9am prompt and I held my focus for an hour while the lecturer talked about the director Pedro Almodovar and his influences from Classical Hollywood pictures.

After a ten minute break I settled down to watch the scheduled screening of the Spanish film 'All About My Mother' (A reference to the classic 'All About Eve') and I admit by about halfway through I had a little doze. This is little reflection on the quality of and interest in the film, but a general drowsiness from the cold I currently have.

Lunch was a working one. I ate my egg mayonnaise sandwich and Twix whilst discussing a plan for a seminar, I have to hold, with classmates on the television series 'Kingdom Hospital' in a weeks time.

After this brief recess I attended the seminar on the film we had watched earlier in the day. A discussion forum was held by a group of five visiting Spanish students and went on for nearly two hours.

I finished Uni at around 3pm after scheduling a meeting with a tutor and swinging by the library to discard the weight of books I have recently trawled through from my bag. (I see a deformed spine and crooked shoulder in my not too distant future)

Home, during term time, is a flat in the Ocean Village area of Southampton, shared with fellow students and a mere ten minutes walk from the Uni. I had little time to relax, however, as I had to photocopy two chapters from a book on 'British Television and American Culture', watch as much of the TV series 'Kingdom Hospital' as possible and write a list of books and their uses for a literary review and meeting with my tutor tomorrow morning, with regards to my dissertation.

At 5.30pm I left the flat to attend the Film Club, held at the Uni, and to watch the recently released film 'Brick'. After the screening we drank free wine and eloped to the local pub, The Fat Cat, for a free buffet dinner (consisting of the regular buffet fare of sausage rolls, chicken sarnies, chicken nuggets and the not so regular packets of haribo sweets) to discuss the film we had just watched. This turned into a rather more informal chat about life, the universe and everything.

I left the pub at around 10pm, returned to my flat and caught up on my flatmates' day before returning to my literary review which I completed in an hour. Finally, having some time to relax, I switched on the television to watch the repeated version of 'Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes' on the new channel 'Five US'. I intend to snuggle into bed when it finishes at a little after 1am. October 17th was a hectic day compared to regular daily student life.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Student Life 101

It has been an interesting last few days. The workload I have sounds slightly scary but I'm managing readings, appointments and due dates for the time being. I have constant pen notes on the back of my hand with meeting times, dates and places...As a student I naturally never have a pad of paper handy and I refuse to pay £6.99 for a half year diary when the back of my own hand does the job nicely, though I keep forgetting the notes are there and accidentally washing it off less than five minutes after writing it...doh!

So what have I been up to....well there's your standard lectures, screenings and seminars (I won't bore you with the subject detail, just imagine listening to lots of big words from various European theorists, trying to relate it to the film you've just watched and then trying to use said big words in a discussion). Then there's the above meetings, while I try to sort out dissertation stuff, script stuff, 'what the heck i'll do after uni' stuff.

Then there's the more social aspect of student life....I went to Film Club on Tuesday night, dragging along flatmate Ally and friend Elin with promises of free wine, to watch the Director's cut of The Wicker man. Man, that film is trippy and Christopher Lee has the most God awful wig, but I love the music and it's one of those films which, if you haven't seen it before, doesn't quite go where you expect it to. There was indeed free wine, which is always a bonus and in future there will be a free buffet at a local movie and food, what else could you possibly want on a Tuesday evening?

After the film the lasses and I paid a visit to the Uni bar...turns out it was one of the better decisions of the day since there was three live bands and a street type magician performing. Not your typical evening at the student union and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening....the next day however both Elin and I agreed that mixing wine with (in my case) Reef and (in Elin's case) Cider and black was, in retrospect, an error injudgmentt.

Back at the flat and it's never a dull moment, new flatmate Joe is a laugh and iniciated first contact with the workers in the office block opposite yesterday afternoon, getting an actual wave from three (obviously very bored) members of staff...'Geoff', for those in the know, is still in hiding on the eighth floor behind blinds....leading to much speculation on our part; ranging from illicit affairs with his secretary to 'Geoff's' ultimate demise (all hearsay and coming from the warped minds of procrastinating students).

We had a very chilled out evening yesterday; involving chat, pizza, more wine, Stargate: Atlantis and a bit of hairdressing from Ally at two in the morning. I'm now feathered, layered and straightened with a hair cut which was very much over due.

Today was back to you bog standard uni stuff, more appointments and meetings, including a meet with classmates to watch a Danish TV show which we have to hold a seminar about in two weeks. I also did my bit for the form of oodles of photocopying.

Much hilarity was had this afternoon when, while getting a ride to the ALDI supermarket with Elin, Ally and I spotted a group of poor little Chavs walking home from school. One girl in particular was sporting a very unfortunate choice in hair styles (mainly piling as much hair as possible to the top and one side of the girls' head). I pointed out the look and, shy, quiet, reserved, dinky, Welsh, Elin practically clawed down the window of the car to shout 'Oh my God, that's the ultimate of Chavness' at the group....I was glad the red light we were sitting at turned green shortly thereafter else things could have turned ugly (ier).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

All Quiet in Southampton........Is It Bollocks!

It, in case it had escaped your notice, is the 21st Century. The age of global and instantaneous communication in the form of e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, mobile phones and various other easy and highly accessible devices.....So why, oh why, does a group of 8 University students decide that their only possible choice in getting the attention of their friend 'Rick' is to shout at the top of their lungs at ten past midnight outside our block of flats after apparently losing their keys. 'Rick', unlike the rest of the people here myself included, appears to be deaf as a post....And if said students continue to engage their mouths instead of, alcohol soaked, brains, I will testing out a, very non 21st Century, theory of just how long it takes for 2 litres of water to reach to ground from the thirteenth floor.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Uni's Not All Dossing and Procrastination....But it Helps

Less than a full week back at Uni and I'm already finding innovative, and not so much, ways to avoid doing what must be done. The to do list includes: reading one of the many books I have to study for a literary review in four weeks, a script pitch for tomorrow (I'm thinking I can pretty much blag it, since that's what the lecturers seem to do on a regular basis) and other such Uni related study is what I should be doing....washing up, introducing Josh to the fantastic Sci-Fi show which is Stargate: Atlantis (more of a public service that one) and, obviously, writing my blog is what I'm actually doing.

It's not all been procrastination however, I've actually been quite productive this week....I've had three, count them, T-H-R-E-E 9am a row I might add. (Well, strictly speaking one was 11am, but that was the first day back and it might'ave well been 9), I've had a meeting with my supervising lecturer to discuss a course of action with my final year dissertation (how and when meetings will take place, work expected from me, forthcoming deadlines...that kind of thing) year dissertation, how scary does that sound! I've also re-started my gym membership (and plan to go any day now), arranged an appointment to see the careers advisor, have checked out many books from the library (see reference in first paragraph)....oh and I have cut out some, more, dissertation related articles from newspaper and magazines. See, pro-duct-ive.