Friday, October 24
Shiny Shiny Old
I've finally got round to replacing the images on the site, although there are still a couple of little things missing. Hopefully it looks a whole lot better now than it has been recently.
I was at this bash laid on for all of the German Law students last night, and I have to say that it was a wicked event. I got farely pissed, as per usual, and I was chatting away / having a laugh with a load of random people, mostly speaking in German. It definitely bodes well for next year that I can speak German to a reasonable standard even when quite drunk. Because let's be honest, that's going to be the important factor for living abroad...
I got home around 9ish, and for some reason all of the alcohol hit me at once. I couldn't be arsed watching any TV that my housemates were watching, so I went into my room and put a DVD on. Not just any DVD though, a German DVD. Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) to be exact. I was thoroughly in a German mood, and I just about understood the dialogue throughout. Except when they spoke really quickly, that is. I got lost then.
It's well hard trying to watch a DVD when you're quite drunk, because I had severe double vision kicking in, which meant that I had to watch it with one eye closed the whole time. Not good.
I was feeling like shit when I got up this morning as well. Stupidly early for a 9 o'clock lecture. Why do they schedule lectures for 9am?! Actually, I woke up randomly at 5am, hangover kicking in already, to go to the loo, and one of my housemates was still up in the living room watching TV. At 5am! What is there on TV that is worth watching at 5am?! Random.
And that's about it. I'm just about to go to a Tort seminar, the final class of the week, and then I have a week completely free from lectures and seminars. Reading Week, how I love thee. Long lie-ins and plenty of drinking, here I come.
Thursday, October 23
Turning Good Again
Money problems? What money problems? (See below)
My Student Loan has finally arrived!!! Which means that I can afford to eat again. Thank fuck for that. In celebration of having some money, I propose to go out and get smashed at some point this weekend. And waste all of my money. Forward planning? What's that about?
And my essay is finally coming along very nicely, I've got about 3/4 done now. Stupid tort law, why can't you be nice and easy like the other subjects?
And to cap all of that off, I'm off to a drinks reception shortly for all of the German Law / European Law students at King's. Free beer and free food, what could be better?!
PS You may have noticed that I've started blogging with a vengeance again. Hurrah for me. It will probably get even more full of short little posts when I (eventually) get round to having the Internet installed back at my apartment / flat thingy. Hurrah for Internet.
Can't Think Of A Good Title
Fuck going to watch David Blaine in a perspex box (although I have to admit that I did stop to have a gander on Saturday night as I walked past after a solid night's drinking. Shame on me), the real entertainment is the two "Caped Crusaders" who have spent the last 48 hours on top of the Royal Courts Of Justice on the Strand in London.
I walk past this building a few times each day, on my way between my university and its library, and its been quite amusing to see just how many policemen there have been about. Yesterday there were also a number of supporters of the two protesters, who were promoting the Fathers For Justice campaign. There's a big motherfucker of a banner hanging off of the front of the courts as well, nicely decadent in purple, standing out against the near-white veneer of the courts building itself.
The main thing that has me thinking about this is why the police cannot force them to come down. I'm not sure whether the Courts are private or public property (I suspect public), which means that I don't know if they can be arrested for trespassing or similar. There also doesn't seem to be any public disorder resulting from their presence, just a few supporters congregating on the traffic island in the middle of the road.
How long can they stay up there? As far as I know, they are not imitating Blaine, in that they are getting food / drink / etc, so in theory indefinitely. How long until they've made their point? Who knows.
The single public toilet at the corner of Strand and Arundel Street has a maximum occupancy time-limit of 20 minutes. It says so on the outside...
I Like Webcams
Especially ones which are situated at places that I know. Such as this great one at Trafalgar Square. It's cool because it changes position. Altogether now: "Oooooh, AAhhhhhh."
Also, forgot to mention that I've got the images sorted out for here again. Well, sort of anyway. I saved them onto a disk this morning before I went to uni, then promptly left the disk in the computer when I went to uni. Stupid boy Pike. I'll have them sorted by tomorrow, honestly!
In Other News
Still haven't started that essay yet...
Is it wrong to feel pleased when another person is ill? Because that's the way I feel at the moment, in a weird way. My Advanced Criminal Law seminar has just been cancelled because the tutor is ill, and I feel pretty good about that. It's not that I don't enjoy that particular subject (it is probably my favourite, in fact), but I'm glad that it's been cancelled.
This is because it gives me a whole lot more time to spend on an essay for Tort that has to be in tomorrow. An essay which I've known about for a few weeks, but haven't started yet. Ho hum, so I'm disorganised... An essay which needs doing, and I'm sat here, surfing the web and doing pointless stuff for no apparent reason. And yes, I'm also really bad at prioritising.
In Other News
One of my housemates has decided to give up smoking, which means that it is now 3 non-smokers versus 4 smokers in our house. Hopefully this will mean that we can finally ban smoking from the living room. It absolutely stinks of cigarettes in there all of the time, and I have to put whatever I'm wearing in the wash at night when I've been sat in there for a while. I fucking hate the smell of cigarettes, and I can't stand putting clothes on in the morning which still stink of cigarettes from the day before. Absolutey fucking horrific.
Also, there's a massive house party at our house on the 1st of November, which I'm well looking forward to. There's going to be a shitload of people there, and hopefully some of my mates from back home can make it up. One has already said that he would, and I'm going to ring the others this weekend. Drunken hilarity anyone?
Wednesday, October 22
I've just finished having lunch with a couple of mates from back home in Melksham who are in London for the day. It was cool to see them again, since I haven't seen anyone else from back home in nearly 6 weeks. We went to a random Walkabout for lunch, again very cool, since it is very cheap and great big portions. Chatting away, shooting the shit for a while, drinking some beer. All good stuff.
Although I do have a tutorial in 40 minutes, all in German, and I've had a couple of pints. Might not be on best form for that one. Oh well, such is life.
And yes, I know that I still haven't got round to sorting out the images on the site just yet. I was going to do it this morning, before I went to uni, but I overslept massively and didn't have time to put the images onto a disk before I left the house. I need to move my alarm clock to a place in my bedroom which isn't within arm's reach of my bed, because I just lean over, turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. As I did this morning, giving myself a grand total of 5 minutes to shower, get dressed and leave the house. I usually take around 40... And this meant that I forgot a few things that I needed, most notably my glasses. I don't need my glasses to see all the time, because I only have one bad eye, but I prefer wearing them, especially when I'm using a computer. Meh, my own stupid fault I guess.
I've now got a little comments link at the bottom of each post, so leave me random messages if the box on the right is too much to figure out. Any and all comments are welcomed. Well, mostly all comments are welcomed...
Meh, a lack of posting recently. To make up for this, I sat down last night and typed out a load of random things on various subjects. Yes, I was bored. Anyway, here they are, in no particular order.
Wick. Everything’s Wick.
“Wick.” A word which only seems to have one meaning, that being the centre of a candle, the part that burns.
Not in our house.
I think it all started with our love of the name Steve, and the imaginary person we gave the name to last year. He lived outside of the kitchen at our halls, and we used to shout random things at him all the time. Usually with the aid of Mr Alcohol. It was a very funny running joke.
This year, with 7 of us guys having moved into our own house, someone (Phil, I believe) named him Steve Wick. I have absolutely no idea why or how he came up with the idea, but he did. Phil then went on holiday, and Pete started using the name Steve Wick an incredible amount. It basically meant anything good or brilliant. It eventually shortened to just plain “wick.”
This is used in every connotation. “That programme’s wick” means “That programme is good.” “Wick” by itself can be used by itself as an expression of agreement or happiness. For instance, when someone tells you good news, you can exclaim “Wick!”
Being Single. And Hating It.
I’m still single, still in the same position that I have been in for the last three years. Fuck’s sake, THREE fucking years without a girlfriend. And possibly more importantly, at least 3 months since I even got off with a girl. Fuck’s sake. Not a good state of affairs all round.
What annoys me is that I keep seeing happy couples everywhere. It seems that they search me out and then flaunt their contented togetherness deliberately just in front of me. I always end up sitting near a couple on a night bus, them constantly kissing all the way home. Right when I’m a little depressed from having gone out and not pulled again.
I used to be of the mindset that I’d always go out with the intention of pulling, and then feel like I’d had a crap night when I didn’t pull, even if the rest of the night was cool. I changed that, and started going out with the intention of having a good time, even without pulling. If I pulled, that was a bonus. That was a wicked way to be, because every Sunday I’d wake up knowing that I’d had a good night out on the Saturday. I’m still like that now, but it’s starting to grate on me a little bit that I still don’t pull as often as I’d like to.
Or even fall in love at all.
There has been a few pleasant plusses recently though. I went to Phase the other Friday night with one of my housemates and a few of his mates that I know. Phase is the Friday night at our Student Union club, and is a real good laugh. Pure cheesy music, always with Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer thrown in at the end of the night. The drinks are cheap, and you always get battered.
When I’ve had a few drinks, I get up on the dance floor and shake-shake my Thing. It’s just something I do, and I’m not that bad a dancer. Well, supposedly I’m not anyway. I can’t dance when I’m sober though, it just feels completely wrong. Higher inhibitions with sobriety, I guess.
Anyway, this particular Friday night I ended up dancing with my mate’s girlfriend (not in a bad way) and all of her friends for a while. I never even thought of pulling them, it just didn’t occur to me. The next lunchtime, I got up, very hungover, and went downstairs for a shower. My mate’s room is next to the bathroom, so I knocked on his door to blame him for my hangover. He being the person who convinced me to go to Phase in the first place. His girlfriend was in there too, and she started telling me about the dancing with the girls. Apparently, quite a few were very interested, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink. Hurrah, I inspired interest from the opposite sex!
Now, if only I could figure that out at the time, instead of being told about it the morning after.
That, and learning how to act on that interest.
I am currently in fairly poor financial waters at the moment, mainly due to my forgetting until last week to apply for a student loan. That and my prodigious spending on non-essentials. £70 on CDs and DVDs in the past fortnight was probably not a good idea. I do have some quality new CDs and DVDs to show for it though.
The problem lies in the fact that I have around £600-£700 to last me until Christmas. I can take £100 off of that immediately for travel costs, and around £60 for bills (I don’t pay rent on my house, thanks to my great and wonderful parents…). That leaves me with £500 (for argument’s sake). £500 to eat, drink, socialise and whatever else comes up in the next 8 weeks.
Damn it, that’s only £60ish per week. Not a good thing.
I do, however, have a couple of debts to call in. Firstly, the landlord for our house owes us for a load of decorating that we have done, of which I am due £50. Secondly, my parents said that they would pay for any decorating work that I did to my bedroom, along with any fitments / “essential items.” I reckon on having spent around £100 on that so far, which will be very handy.
The problem is that I don’t particularly enjoy ringing my parents up to ask for money. I’ve rang them up a few times already this term, wanting something (not money, I might add), and I’m starting to feel a bit bad about it. They did offer, though. Damn my conscience. I fucking hate having a conscience.
Porn Amongst Men
The other night a programme was on Channel 5 called “Who wants to be a Centrefold?” God bless you Channel 5. This was the second episode of a two-part series, the first of which we (me and my housemates) stumbled across last Monday night whilst flicking through the channels. We checked the TV listings, and sure enough this Monday was the second episode.
To whet the viewers’ appetites, at the very end of the first episode there was mention of the nude shoots taking place in the second episode. Nude, hurrah! We had been building up to this programme for most of the evening, thinking it was going to be ‘Wick’ (more on that word in another post, maybe at another time). What a letdown it was that there wasn’t even a nipple in sight. I feel violated. They even blurred the chests out whenever there was a vaguely non-opaque top on one of the girls. A complete and utter sham.
Anyway, that isn’t my main point here. What amused me is the subconscious element amongst all of us, in that we live in a house of 7 guys, but we must prove to each other that we’re not gay by watching this programme (together!?) and at various points commenting on the ladies on screen. It just struck me as funny that this happened.
“We’re men. We live together. We see each other half-naked a lot. But we’re not gay. Look, we watch (ultra) soft-porn. How can we be gay? I’m not gay. Are you?”
Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that any of my housemates are gay. That could lead to very sticky situations (geddit?!?!?!)… However, I do quite enjoy the way that straight guys feel the need to demonstrate their heterosexuality when around other straight guys. Be it in the sphere of sport, consumption of alcohol or a how large your porn collection is, we all feel the need to promote our absolute non-gayness. Rejoice in the testosterone (heterosexual testosterone, that is)!
What a strange state of affairs we live in today.
The Handmaid’s Tale
I’ve just finished re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I studied this novel for my English Literature A-Level (cough, A grade, cough) a few years ago, and it’s been sat on my shelf ever since. I finally got round to picking it up again, and I’ve been reading it all this week, on the Tube to and from uni each day.
Firstly, I just want to say that it is still an amazing book to read. I must have read it at least 5 times over whilst I was studying it, and bits of it still enthral me with the language and subtle themes running throughout. Flowers are a constant theme, but you don’t realise this until near the end when the narrator makes a point specifically about flowers. There’s a whole host of other themes, but I don’t want to list them here for fear of spoiling the novel for any virgin readers.
Saying that, there is a major aspect that I’d like to pass comment on and explore, during which I will probably reveal a whole bundle of stuff about the plot and characters, so if you haven’t read the novel, don’t read on. Honestly, don’t spoil it for yourself!
I remember reading at some point in the past 6 months another blog (Mewing.net, I believe), run by a young woman, where the author had recently read The Handmaid’s Tale for the first time. She commented that the book was one of the most feminist and anti-male novels that she had ever read.
I beg wholeheartedly to differ.
I just can’t see how this novel can be read as a feminist novel, empowering women and all of that crap. There doesn’t seem to be any basis for this hypothesis. The women are treated terribly, whether it be as servants to the men, or as empty shells in which offspring are created and born from. Women are not allowed to work, to have money, to own property, to choose their husbands, to be educated, to be sexually liberated, or even to have friends. They are the lower of the two genders, by far.
Women are no longer whole. Their purposes are divided up within the households. Each man has one or 2 cooks / servant-types, a woman who’s sole purpose is to reproduce, and his “wife” who is in charge of the household, and is the overall image promoted for it. How can this be a strongly feminist viewpoint?
All of this was in response to the Women’s Lib movement of the 60s and 70s. Women were campaigning to be treated equally, and when this happened, the balance went too far in their favour, forcing the men to rebel and create this new society, in which the power is restored to themselves. As the Commander notes late on in the novel, the men felt as if they were worthless; they had no purpose any more, and even sex had lost its appeal, since it was everywhere: Pornomarts on every corner, “liberated” women making themselves readily available for sex at every opportunity, and the lack of excitement in the “hunt” for women. Therefore, they rebelled, taking back the power, and reducing women to a lower status than they had before the entire saga.
Even the narrator’s hero, Moira, is eventually reduced to serving the men in the regime which she hated so much. She is also forced to have sex with them, and to dress / act as they want her to. For even this feminist icon, with all the power and liberation she represents, to be reduced to this is something that even the most ardent feminist would be hard-pushed to claim was actually empowering to women.
Basically, what I am trying to put across is that whilst The Handmaid’s Tale is many things, it is not a feminist book. The Historical Notes section at the end highlights the way in which most of the aspects of Gileadean society exist in today’s society, from the degradation of women in Moslem countries to the monotheocracy in Iran to the use of a secret organisation to force the public to obey the ruling power. All it needs is for these to come together in one culture for there to be a potential Gilead. A scary thought.