Saturday, 29 May 2010

Vanderlyle crybaby geeks

This song is perfect. The National.

Good Morning Mr. President

With Arnold Schwarzenegger as senator of California, it seems that Brad Pitt is jumping on the celebrity political bandwagon; with reports surfacing that he is looking to make a bid for US presidency in 2016.

What has the world come to?
Could he really be America's next president? I hope not.

How can one of the world's biggest superpowers, if the the biggest power, be entrusted to an actor?

They've already this idiot. Do they really need, presumably, another?

Although I suppose, as Team America taught me, actors are the best liars. Their job is essentially lying. And if there's anything a politician should know how to do, it's lie.



Monday, 24 May 2010

Maps; a mountain range; a piggy bank

I haven't seen a cloud in three whole days. This weather is bliss.
Struggling through this Spanish 19th Century literature for tomorrow's exam; not so much.
I bought a big dairy milk bar to get me through this revision about a week ago. It has been in my cupboard in that time and due to the recent sun is rather melted. So as I effortlessly chew through it, chunk by malleable chunk, I'm starting to feel rather sick.
I went to the park yesterday with Darsh, Dan and Iona. We had a right laugh with some Frisbee, a football and splashing about in the river.

Yet another plan for the summer has appeared out of nowhere. I got a call from Lucy today inviting me to Sicily with our Erasmus friends, most of whom are Sicilian so it seems the logical place. I had just been thinking this morning that I want to go back to Italy and, having never been to Sicily, I thought why not? It would be so wonderful to see this island which I have only ever imagined through the lines of books, albeit it mostly Mario Puzo books.

Thankfully I got a bit of a kick up the ass from Lucy and the flights are already booked, the day I've been told about the trip. Spontaneity is the best; especially when it involves culturally rich Mediterranean islands. So now my summer is shaping up to go roughly as follows:

  • 11th June - 11th July - FIFA World Cup
  • Some time between 4th and 20th June - Move into our new house in Plymouth
  • 15th, 16th or 17th June - Italian Renaissance Drawings Exhibition with Sam in London
  • 22nd - 25th June - Sicily
  • All summer - Lots of beaching and barbecuing with friends
  • All summer - get back to the gym
  • July - Lose my Newquay virginity
  • Unknown - Possible trip to Egypt with Lucy
  • Late August - Possible trip to Barcelona

    It looks like it's going to be a good summer, providing this weather stays as it is.

    Just need to get through these last two exams, then ¡Libertad!

    As a passing gift, enjoy this trippy song and let it provide a soundtrack to your soothing summer day.

    Sunday, 23 May 2010

    Some World Cup themed happenings

    I entered a World Cup sweepstake on The Student Room, an online forum I frequent. The prize is pretty lame, with the winner receiving positive 'rep' from all the other players. Nevertheless, I got involved because it would make the World Cup even more exciting. Each player is assigned a randomly generated team out of the 32 teams in the competition and the player whose team wins the World Cup wins the sweepstake and gets the rep, which is like crack to TSR members. In addition to this, a footballer was randomly generated for each player involved. So again, 32 players were generated. The footballers are generated randomly out of all the strikers involved in the World Cup and the highest goal scorer wins more rep.

    It's fair to say my team (Cameroon) won't win but it will at least give me a second team (other than England) to support. However, I struck gold with the football player I got: Spain's one-and-only David Villa. This gives me a fairly good chance of winning.

    While on the subject of the World Cup, I am in love with the song for this year's World Cup. It's such a brilliant and cheerful song and really reflects the coming together of nations. I think it's going to be a summer tune.

    Hello again old friend, alcohol

    So here I am, three out of five exams down. My education exam yesterday was the peak of my worries and now that it's out of the way, I feel like I'm on the home stretch, the final descent to the joys of summer. The current chaos of books, paper and notes that I find myself submerged in will only last another 11 days as of today. As the exam period has been rather dull with regards to providing me with material to blog about, I'll allow this post to give a summary of anything worth mentioning that has happened.

    My plans for this summer seem to have changed a lot. Mine and Lucy's hitch-hiking plan for Spain and Italy has now gone out of the window due to exams causing a lack of time for the meticulous planning it would require. Instead, she has invited me to go on a free week's trip to Egypt which she won on a scratch-card. Providing it's all valid and there's no catch, she said I could go with her. Egypt's not even a place I would have thought of visiting, but you can't really turn down a free holiday. Also, with the money I have saved for the summer, I'm thinking of going to Barcelona for a week.

    It was Nick's birthday yesterday so our flat went to The Bay for a gorgeous Italian meal and some drinks to celebrate.

    It quickly became clear how much of a lightweight I have become as the drink went straight to my head. I hadn't been drunk in quite some time due to exams so by the time we got in the taxi to leave I felt pretty sozzled.

    The taxi was by no means the end of the night, however. Instead of going home, me and Ben got the taxi to drop us to a restaurant to meet Lucy and the Erasmus lot. Gael is back over from Spain this weekend so I had to see him while he was in Cardiff.

    When we arrived at the restaurant they were just paying the bill, after which we headed to Vagelis' house where he generously laced us with vodka orange. By the time we all left Vagelis' to head to Buffalo, me and Ben were well and truly fucked due to foolishly drinking at the same pace as everyone else who had just started drinking, despite the fact that the two of us had been drinking for hours.
    We ended up staggering home at 5:00 under a pure blue sky. It was the most surreal experience because it was so light. It felt like mid day. Ben stubbornly decided to walk a different way from me, Lucy and Giovanna, with his reasoning being that his way was 'quicker'. His plan backfired, however, seeing him getting lost for over two hours and ending up on the total wrong side of Cardiff, meaning he didn't get home until gone 7:00. 'Quicker'? Really, Ben?

    I had to suffer Ben's new Fifa punishment again yesterday afternoon, doing a total of three underwear laps around our building. This time it was in the middle of the day, with loads of students outside sunbathing. A rather sizeable group was sat right outside our building so, as it turned out, I had quite the audience.


    Wednesday, 12 May 2010

    Broken Embraces

    I like the idea of exam period being the last thing before the summer. It's a kind of poetic idea of that last final push where you consolidate all your efforts to reach the reward on the other side.

    My days have been kind of blending into one, like watercolours on a spoiled canvas making a dark mess. The concept of time has gone out of the window recently.

    I've never been the type to stick to revision timetables which would have provided some reference point as to what time it is (i.e. when I'm revising a certain topic I know what time it is due to the timetable). Instead I just tumble out of bed too late and end up with my head in a book an hour or so later. This revision is interspersed with eating, a few brief chats with flatmates and, at the end of the day, perhaps some Xbox with Nick and Ben (my male flatmates for readers who don't know me) or a film, followed by sleep.

    This has been my 'routine', one big continuous week where every day has felt the same. The furthest I have been in the last week is the Tesco superstore across the road.

    Ben came up with a new rule recently to make FIFA more entertaining when we play it. If one of us loses by five goals or more they have to run around the building once in their underwear, doing an extra lap for every goal more than five scored. Needless to say, I lost.

    So it was off with the kegs and round the building I went. Ben went round with me doing his three laps he owed us from back when he lost 8-0 before we made the rule where we add a goal for each lap.

    Tonight I watched Los Abrazos Rotos, or Broken Embraces to you folk. It's Almodóvar's most recent film that I'd been wanting to see for ages. It's pretty good. Penelope Cruz's tits are in it so I was in.


    "Call me Dave" enters Number 10

    Great Britain has a new Prime Minister. David Cameron now heads the first coalition government in over 60 years, between his Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg; who is to become the new deputy Prime Minister.

    Now I make it no secret that the Conservative party are not exactly my favourite. I did, however, vote Liberal Democrats. Before I jump on the Cameron hating bandwagon that has popped up, I think I'll give his and Nick's coalition government a chance to prove themselves before I judge them. I have never lived through a coalition government, but I believe it to be an exciting and interesting conclusion to an election which seems to have re-engaged the public with politics. As a Liberal Democrat voter I look forward to the prospect of some of their policies being implemented and I see this government as a way to (hopefully) allow the best policies both of Conservative and Liberal Democrats to be put into place, decided upon through debate and discussion. This is how it would work theoretically in my head. Let's hope that's how it happens.

    There is already talk of the hard times that this government faces and how we, as a nation, are really going to need to tighten our belts while the economy gets sorted out. Public spending cuts and other measures to try and stabilise the economy are likely to make this government very unpopular meaning by the next general election we are likely to see a very different outcome.

    It's easy to say that Cameron is going to be shit and only look out for the rich but with the Lib-Dems involved as well things could be interesting. I'll keep an open mind until I see some action to base a judgement on, as others should do.

     Let's wait and see what happens.


    Tuesday, 11 May 2010

    Take a photo every day

    I've stumbled upon something online that moved me quite a bit. Basically, on March 31st 1979, a man named Jamie Livingston decided to take a Polaroid picture every day for the rest of his life. The photos aren't all of him and many are of significant objects of that date, such as a newspaper front page telling of Princess Diana's death.

    Throughout the pictures more is learnt about this mysterious man as his story unfolds. The final pictures depict him following a cancer diagnosis and lead right up to his death, showing that he carried on with the project until the very last. These photos go from 1979 to 1997 and are fascinating to look at, allowing you to piece them together to give some kind of narrative about our protagonist.

    I thought it was an interesting idea for a project and it touched me. It got me thinking a little about how every day is important and, for want of a less cheesy phrase, to live every day as if it were your last.

    I read about it here and the original site with all the photos, set up by one of the man's friends, can be found by clicking here.

    I'm thinking of one day doing something similar, although taking all the photos of myself instead, such as in the video below, for a few years to see how I have aged and changed. I'm not sure if I have the commitment though.


    Saturday, 8 May 2010

    I'll form your spring

    Yeah so back along I succumbed to yet another trend. I've already mentioned it once but wasn't getting a satisfactory amount of questions.
    Basically how it works is you ask me things anonymously and I answer them, and surely somebody somewhere gets some kind of gratification, right? It makes me a little less bored for one and, hopefully, you a little more informed as a person.
    So ask me whatever and I'll answer it.


    Thursday, 6 May 2010

    Thoughts on the election

    I returned back to Cardiff yesterday. Today, being the day of the General Election, I have gone and voted. This has been a rather interesting election, seeming to be much more unpredictable than any others I have lived through. A lot of people seem to have been discussing politics in the lead up to this election, which is good due to the public's general feeling of detachment from politics as of late.

    I feel that the TV debates, whether they were good or bad I'm not sure, played a big part in bringing the public back in touch with politics a little more. In a world where reality TV and soap operas keep the people stupid, it seems to have got to the point where the only real way of getting in touch with the masses is through the idiot box.

    I suppose the debates did provide a good vessel for policies to be presented in a concise way for the masses, and it's always nice to see politicians put on the spot to answer difficult questions, even if 99% of the time they merely bullshit themselves out of answering directly, delivering a cryptic piece of rhetoric which 'sounds nice'.

    The flip-side of these debates for me is that they put too much focus on charisma. For example Labour will probably have lost a lot of seats this year due to the blithering idiot, charisma wise, that is Brown.

    I'm anticipating a Tory victory although I voted Liberal Democrats. It's interesting to see front pages of newspapers on election day because it's the day where the papers really wear their political affiliations on their sleeves.

    The Sun's is particularly unsubtle:

    Fuck you Rupert Murdoch. Fuck you.

    The thing is, the masses will lap this shit up.

    If the tories do win, I hope they prove me wrong in thinking they will be just the same as the tories of old, by the rich and for the rich.

    Whoever wins, I want to see exciting new changes. But alas, this is British politics, the realm of empty promises.

    I remain apathetic.