Monday, 30 November 2009

The Homeward Stretch

I worked my last day at Maplin's City Road branch yesterday and now, with the job behind me, I have just turned the last corner and am on the finishing straight of this semester. One remaining piece of assessed work due in this Thursday acts as my final hurdle before the glorious finish line where my friends and family at home await me with open arms.

My impending return home got me feeling all nostalgic and I found myself thinking about all the things I miss about home which I cannot wait to do again. It's surprising how many simple little things you miss when away from home. For me, these include having a back garden to look out onto in a quiet leafy suburb rather than feeling like some kind of worker bee, living in a tiny pod in a giant complex comprised of hundreds of other identical pods, uniform and square, in rows. I miss buildings with personality; something I haven't experienced in this bland empty shell. I miss the relationship you can have with these kinds of buildings, ripened by years of shared experiences, good and bad, with family and friends; where a house becomes a home. And besides, what better time to return home than Christmas when social and family gatherings are in abundance?

Here's a relevant song:

In other news, I'm supposed to be looking at houses this week to decide where I'm living next year and who I'll be living with. These are exciting times my friends.

Friday, 27 November 2009

What UCAS didn't tell you about University

I have stumbled upon a rather amusing facebook group. It lists things you will learn at university that were not in the prospectus. They're all so true. Here are some of my personal favourites and a few others I could think to add. For those of you who are going to university next year, this post is the warning that I didn't get:

- Pound Coins are like gold.
- Your book store bill will almost equal tuition.
- E-mail becomes your second language.
- You never realized so many people were smarter than you.
- No one is too old for video games.
- Campus is only clean for open days.
- You are no longer thankful that fire alarms are here to protect you.
- Cereal makes a meal any time of the day.
- Keys have never been so important, yet you seem to lose them even more.
- Procrastination is an art form.
- Jeans may be worn as many times as the wearer desires.
- A cancelled lecture is almost better than christmas.
- You'll eat anything if its free.
- You will play Fifa for hours on end until the early hours of the morning
- You will play 'Ring of Fire' or other drinking games every night before you go out!
- You will find yourself cooking at 4AM after every night out.
- You will eat the weirdest combinations of food just because 'It goes off tomorrow'.
- Facebook will prevent you from doing your assignments!
- You will miss dish washers.
- You will hate to see any food wasted.
- You will hate Fresher's Week by day two.
- You will cook whatever loses the least dishes.
- You will buy a takeaway just to avoid washing up.
- Nights out will become a currency. E.g. "That book costs one night out! I'll borrow yours."
- You will miss baths, despite the last time you had one being at least a year before coming to uni.
- Despite being an 'academic', practical jokes have never been more fun.
- You will call nights out with a team/society 'socials'.
- Rain will become the bane of your existence.

Feel free to add if you go to university or whatever.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A little musing about birds and dancing

There are often mornings here in Talybont, where I am given the impression that I live in some kind of bird sanctuary rather than a Student Residence. Perhaps it's because the site is situated near a park or perhaps I'm just unlucky but every morning here, without fail, there is a period of at least 10 minutes when the oddest bird cries can be heard all at once, from types of birds I've never seen or heard in my life before. Thankfully on Thursdays, I get up bright and early at 7.30 ready for Italian at 9.00. This meant that thankfully I was awake so when mother nature's alarm clock started making its freakish noises around 8.00 I was actually glad to have gotten up early.

Also, while searching for videos of Lollapalooza, a music festival I went to last year in Chicago, I found this gem. Enjoy. Do no try this at home.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Taking the plunge

I very nearly missed my Spanish translation class today. Like a fool I thought it was at 2 PM when it was in fact at 1. However thankfully I realized the error of my ways when I checked my timetable after coming out of the library and got into the class 20 minutes late.
Thankfully I had been engrossed in the Spanish literature section of the library earlier on today and so had decided to take out a Spanish novel called 'La Sombra del Viento' (The Shadow of the Wind) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Now, my translation teacher is quite a genius, as all the Spanish teachers/professors are, about Spanish literature and so at the end of class I showed him the book and asked if he recommends it at which point he said he was impressed and glad that somebody is using their initiative to further their language skills in their own time and integrate their languages with their hobbies. Get on Sam. All lateness has been forgotten. He then told me it's a very entertaining read and wants to know how I get on.
So now my challenge I've set myself is to read and finish this novel.

Also, is it too early to be thinking about Christmas yet? I'm getting mighty excited!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Today has been a good day

Today has been the climactic conclusion of a culmination of processes to contribute to my own personal well-being. After such a manic week last week of putting in hours and hours so I could get assessments in by deadlines, I had a rethink of everything in my life; what could be tweaked, changed and what could be thrown out; what I wasn't doing enough of and what I was doing too much of.
In the process of doing so, I made the list in my previous post and so this week I have been fulfilling this list. On a side note, has anybody seen 'The Bucket List'? That's a good film. I want to do that when I'm older, make a list of all the thing I would like to have done and just go out and do them.
Here are some of the things I've been doing:This was a party with a load of Spanish, Italian, French and Greek Erasmus exchange students. It was a brilliant night to celebrate my Spanish friend Gael's (the guy with his arm in the air) 23rd birthday at his flat. The only people I knew there were Gael, Alessio (Italian guy, bottom right with glasses on) and Christian (German guy, top right) who live together in the flat. I met a lot of people and it was a very fun party which was different to the usual parties due to all the languages being spoken. I learned some funny drinking chants such as 'Bevilo tutto! Bevilo tutto!' (Italian for 'Drink it all! Drink it all!) and 'Vamonos de fiesta' (Literally means 'Let's go party' in Spanish). The hangover in the morning was a killer but it was worth it!

'Bombón el Perro' is an Argentinian film I watched with a cloudy head the next day. It's a pleasant film with lovable characters with which the audience can empathise. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Yes, I caved. Like every other boy I bought Modern Warfare 2.

Anyway, back to the part I mentioned at the start of this post, the main event, the headline act after this smattering of support acts if you will: Today I quit my job! I have quit my job at Maplin City Road and so next week is my last weekend. I believe celebrations will be in order.
What's more my boss from Maplin in Plymouth is still letting me work temporarily there over the Christmas period.
So after next weekend, all my weekends in Cardiff will be as free as a bird giving me more time for work and more time for play. As for money, I have that sorted :).
Well, I'll leave you with a first, a nice song for whoever chose to delve through this wall of text. Since the only person who will have read this is Nathan, I will choose a song that is pirate as fuck because he likes pirates. So here it is, Biffy Clyro's new single: The Captain.

Biffy Clyro - The Captain

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Things To Do This Coming Week

Wow, it has been a rather hectic week for me.
I currently have deadlines coming out of the wazoo!
I have spent pretty much all of my free time reading and working.
Which is why I am preparing a check list of things to do in my 'me time' next week and after. This is post is more for me so there's something to remind me not to overwork myself. Objects in red still aren't complete:

1) Go on at least 2 nights out.
2) Hoover my room.
3) Play Fifa with Ben and/or Nick
4) Play Call of Duty 5 (am too poor for the new one) with Ben and/or Nick. EDIT: I got the new one in the end.
5) Watch Pineapple Express with Ben and/or Nick.
6) Have a conversation with somebody in Spanish.
7) Watch a Spanish/Italian movie.
8) Get paid.
9) Make an iTunes playlist for November.
10) Enjoy myself.
11) Clean My Room
12) Have a shave
13) Do some laundry

Monday, 9 November 2009

A quick morning ramble - Lolspeak

Just a quick morning one about this strange phenomenon. I have noticed a lot of people who lean towards the nerdier end of the spectrum have taken to talking online, and in some cases in real life, in this strange little inbred cousin of the English language.
I can understand how these 'lolspeak' images (such as the one above) may be quite hilarious to you guys and fill the void left by you never getting laid but, for the love of God, don't bastardise the English tongue by communicating in this fork-tongue dialect by saying things like 'I can haz hugz?' and 'oh noes!'.
If you want to continue speaking in this dialect, go create your own language and fuck that up instead, starting your own colony in Middle Earth or wherever the hell else you indulge yourselves in when you cry yourselves to sleep realizing that you're going to die alone and nobody will ever love you (probably).
Or even better just ditch the whole fucking thing and learn Japanese so you can actually understand all that anime without subtitles.

To everyone else, good morning.

Welcome All

The fact that you are reading this means that you are in a very small, yet lucky, minority for you are bearing witness to a birth; a momentous occasion; a precursor, if you will, of great things to come.
I used to do a lot of blogging back in the days of myspace. I found it a useful way of chronicling life, of preserving my memories like fossils trapped in amber in their original state to be observed by whoever pleases (more importantly myself) without the contaminations and deteriorations brought on by my foggy and forgetful mind.
So, upon making a blogger account to allow me to comment on my good friend Chris Allin's posts and track his progress through Mexico, I saw my blank slate of a blog and decided to kick-start some blogging activity again.
 I can't promise you glory, my faithful audience of, well, currently zero but I can promise you the most literately proficient depictions of a young lad's quest to buy milk, or a painful walk home in the rain that you will ever experience. Another thing I cannot promise is regular updates, for I am a busy lad with studying, a job and a social life to juggle. Well it's best you know a little about your protagonist I guess...
My name is Sam Lott. I am a young 19 year old lad, not unlike any other. Originally from Plymouth, I study Spanish, Education and Italian at Cardiff University. I am currently in my first year and am coming to terms with life in a new city. I have settled in just fine, found myself a lovely bunch of friends and am enjoying independence and (most of the time) all the responsibilities that come with it. I am fascinated by all aspects of Spanish culture, language and history which is odd having never been to the country (although this will have changed by next summer, touch wood).
I'll keep this brief as I don't want to give away everything before I've even got going.
Once again, I'd like to restate that I won't be posting all too regularly - I haven't got much of an exciting life going on here unlike my good friend in Mexico - so I suggest you subscribe to email notifications so you can find out when your favourite blogger has just finished chiselling away at another sculpture of pure gold. I am currently unsure what this blog will entail, possibly just accounts of various aspects of life, maybe a few rants, maybe even some music related posts, with it being a huge passion of mine and all.

And on that bombshell, I depart you.
More on the horizon.