Archive | September, 2010

If you don’t believe in destiny then take what you are given

14 Sep

I received this album, I’m Having Fun Now by Jenny (Lewis) and Johnny (Rice), through the post today.  My use of received is maybe a little misleading there; what I mean is that I ordered this album what feels like forever ago and it finally arrived this morning.   Normally when bloggers use the term ‘received’ it means some greater power sent them it as a gift so they would write about it/make them look amazing by wearing it with their supreme internet fame, but, in case you hadn’t noticed, there is no such fame around these parts.  Cold, hard, invisible cash was electronically parted with over the wonder than is Amazon Marketplace, and, consequentially, I retain my integrity but find myself (even) poorer.  And still unable to unironically refer to myself as a blogger.

… Anyway.  For the benefit of anyone reading this who doesn’t know me at all, I think Jenny Lewis is kind of a big deal. My ‘religious views’ on the gospel that is Facebook are, surprisingly enough, ‘Jenny Lewis’.  First, back in the heady days of 2005 when I had to listen to music in my room as nightclub bouncers laughed in my childish face, I loved Rilo Kiley, then I loved Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, then I loved plain ol’ Jenny Lewis, so the laws of probability, plus my blind adoration, stated that I was going to love this release.  Which I do.  But only after listening on repeat since returning from ‘work’ (read: aforementioned prosperous dinnerlady career).  My initial listening was rather spoiled by getting ready to go to the dentist, so my thoughts were mostly in the ‘pleasant, needs further consideration’ bracket.  Further consideration has now been applied, and I think it is fair to say that this is a good album.  Nothing exceptional, just well written, mid-tempo, country-tinged rock/pop, with three stand out tracks, Big Wave, My Pet Snakes and Scissor Runner.  I just wish the Jenny to Johnny ratio was weighed a little more in the former’s favour, as I am a sucker for a female vocal, especially when it’s Jenny.  All in all, I am pleased.  And if my suspicions/fanatical prayers are answered, and Jenny and Johnny support Belle and Sebastian on their December tour, I will probably work myself up into such a fit of the joyous vapours that I will need to borrow Betty Draper’s fainting couch.

(Screencaps taken from – here – a brilliant blog with amazingly thorough Mad Men style posts)

Of late, my time has mostly been spent getting up to date with Mad Men so I can watch it as it progresses on BBC4 with Mike, reading Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (really good but I had already read what happens in an article when it came out, they don’t call them spoilers for nothing) and having a massive bedroom organisation for the inevitable packing to return permanently to Newcastle.  I took this photo to send to Mike, to illustrate the enormity of the task:

Clearly by this point I had reached such a shame and denial spiral that I was unable to make my own bed.  After a day of intense tidying, all is now in order and my mother is no longer ashamed of me.  Another benefit of having a clear deskspace in my room (please note precariously balanced netbook on the bottom left of my bed, what is wrong with me?) is that I have been able to start a bit of pre-emptive reading for my MA course.  OH HOLY GOD.  Did I say that was a positive thing? It is impossible! I don’t know what my course is even about any more, since the modules deceptively entitled ‘Reading the Past’ in actuality should just be called ‘Ploughing through a book of philosophical extracts about memory until our brains melt’.  I don’t know, at least I won’t be bored? It’s just not really what I was expecting or what I know I am good at, but I suppose it is good to work outside your comfort zone.  And at least the topic of memory allows for some good philosopher puns if you forget the point of what you are saying in a seminar.  I have so far progressed through Plato and Aristotle and think I have at least a fundamental grasp of what I’ve been reading, so maybe everything will be alright.

For now, I am going to reread my note, created during today’s rain-caused indoor playtime, that states ‘Dear Miss Sinclear, You are a good teacher and a good dinnerlady, love from Elle and Amber xxx’ and feel smug.

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Spare me the suspense

7 Sep

I’ve been really bad, I know.  Too much has gone on since I last posted for me to write about everything, and I am pretty sure none of it is that interesting anyway, so instead of lots of laborious typing, I am going to use the medium of pictures to account for elapsed time.  They do paint a thousand words after all.

I spent a week in Crete with my boyfriend Mike and his parents, on a very civilised holiday, staying in a town called Elounda, which felt a world away from the island’s most popular destination, Malia (Kill me now-ia).  I say civilised… all was very serene, except for the day we all lost our shit and decided it was a good idea to get towed on giant rubber rings (pictured) by a speedboat at 60mph, which is possibly the most uncharacteristic thing I have ever done.  Despite the implied danger of such an endeavour, it may be surprising to hear that it was not the #1 instance of ‘I am going to die!!!’ that occurred during the week.  No, that was the hour I spent on the island of Spinalonga (looming large across the water in the top photograph), a former leper colony/Venetian fort, when it was 40 degrees Celsius and not an inch of shade was to be found. Who knew your elbows could sweat?

This photograph stands for the worst series of hot drink related events that has ever taken place.   I don’t think I need to tell the whole (traumatic, horrifying) story, but that is THE THIRD CUP OF COFFEE I MADE IN FIVE MINUTES AND THAT IS THE FAT, STUPID BLUEBOTTLE THAT FLEW STRAIGHT INTO IT. Swearing commenced.

This picture has a two-fold purpose.  Firstly, it represents the hours of my life I have spent watching 30 Rock/thinking about 30 Rock/quoting 30 Rock recently, only fuelled by this source of brilliance (Blerg).  Secondly, it is true, I’M SO TIRED.  This is because, in my day to day summer holiday existence, I do nothing. Nothing. Read books, maybe, and occasionally see a friend or go for a little walk, but categorically, I do nothing. Not so, now the school term has begun, and I have found myself herding four year olds around a primary school like some glorified sheepdog that can shout ‘No, you have to wipe your own bottom.’ Oh, my sorry, sorry life. I plan on writing down all the hilariously awful things that keep happening for future use in a memoir or stand up comedy routine, just so the existential dilemmas of the under-fives (‘Hello, what’s your name?’ ‘I don’t know who I am!!’) don’t go unnoticed.

Anyway, that is a brief summary of how I have been spending the many, many hours since I last WordPressed.  I have also read at least ten completely unacademic books, caught a few trains, discovered a new favourite lipstick and worked out how to wear my hair so people stop thinking I’m in year 11.  Normal, infrequent and futile posting will hopefully resume now I am consistently in the same country with internet access, aren’t you lucky?