dark_litany: (Cat Run Out of Happy :()
And we're at a week and a half till D-Day, aka essay hand-in time. I really should start all this crap sooner but I can never find the motivation. Even at the moment I only seem to have motivation for my Shakespeare essay. I guess it's cause he's easier to write about - you've got tonnes of secondary criticism to refer to, his writing is chock-a-block with symbolism and he's crazy on the theme front. So crazy I've actually foregone the usual gender question for one on gods and morality, which is a pretty big deal for me - I usually fall back on gender because you're always harping on about the same crap (phallic imagery blah blah blah, masculine anxieties regarding female figures of power blah blah blah) and you can bullshit it into any ol' guise. But, nope, this time I'm going to bring some Machiavelli and some epistemology to the table.

All this means I've delved back into my library habits - packing up my Norton, grabbing dinner and then making my way to the library till it closes. Seeing as it's essay and exam time, the short loan section stays busy even until the bell rings for us all to scram - I guess everyone is feeling the pressure. I just about killed myself on the way home, carrying all these musty books back with me - forgot my cloth-bag, so had to do a Mary Poppins and attempt to get as many books as possible in my satchel and then stagger back with the rest in my arms (which wasn't very successful, as they were some bloody fat books). Lucky for me I practically live across the road from the library!

I love being in the library, though: the sense of quiet learning, the old smell that wafts off the stacks, the funny surreptitious feeling you get when people flit between the aisles. I had to squat in the Shakespeare section (and what a section! It took me twenty minutes to skim through all the titles!) and delve through it, trying to find anything pertaining to religion. Most of the books were written in the 1950s, and some of them were suspiciously brown and gunky. Still, critical essays always help to jolt my brain into gear, get ideas simmering up there, so I have a certain stretch of accomplishment at the end of it all. Next week, and the week after, I'll have to crank things up to the next level and probably get down to the library after breakfast, stay for the whole day and maybe bring my laptop to get some writing done.

Chose my modules, too, today - I went for Hitchcock in the end, over Literature into Film. I'm thinking I can just audit the latter. Besides, Louisa will be in Hitchcock and she says Neil is an amazing lecturer, so I'm expecting good things. Though, I took the plunge and also put down Magical Realism, even though it's taught by the dreaded Becky Munford, urgh.

Also, I had a completely disturbing dream last night (I blame weird dreams on sleeping too much) about a man-eating pigeon. It went around gobbling strips of flesh off my legs while I tried to get away from it. Now, I like birds, I'm even a bit of a twitcher, so it's not like I have an irrational fear of pigeons or anything. I guess it sprung out of a text I got from mama while in the library, talking about how she was watching Woody Woodpigeon and his girlfriend snuggle up. How it went from that to some sort of bird of Satan, I do not know.
dark_litany: (Spock Chokes a Bitch)
Why the hell is someone playing the piano at two in the morning? As in, the grand piano in the breakfast room downstairs. They do realise EVERYONE in the hall can hear when someone plays that bloody thing (which is why I despise people who practice on it after breakfast, when I'm trying to catch a lie-in)? That they are not in fact playing in a soundproof room, so they can sneak in some practice time during the night?

Not that I'm trying to sleep or anything - it's just the tune they're playing is pretty crap and not at all melodious, so if they're going to piss us all off they could at least do it with a decent song.
dark_litany: (Castiel Fuckery)
Is it bad that I feel sorry for all the wrong people in King Lear? I mean, is it some bad reflection on me that I like all the 'evil' characters so much more than the goodies? Albany is very arsewipe-y, after all, and seems to have a bit of the wife abuser about him (he tells Goneril 'you are not worth the dust which the rude wind blows in your face', for god's sake!); Lear is a bit of a lost cause in my opinion and seems to deserve what he gets - he thinks Goneril and Regan have no cause to be annoyed when he goes around saying how wonderful and beauteous Cordelia is all the time. I'd be pretty pissed off by that, too. Besides, Cordelia is a bit of a sop. I never care when her body's dragged onto the stage because she's so boring. Maybe that's why WS kills her off - she's too boring to live. I bet he secretly loved all his evil characters - must be why he kills off the heroes, too, in all the tragedies. You only have to look at Macbeth to see his rather ambiguous take on the hero and morality. He makes you SYMPATHISE with the murderer.

And Edmond just seems like he needs a bit of love from his papa or a good cuddle - I'd be plenty resentful, too, if my father when about telling every Tom, Dick and Harry the manner of my conception like it was some sort of shiny memory of familial bonding. It brings to mind all those times daddy told random convenience store clerks that I didn't eat vegetables. Yeah, that was weird. Also, I've always thought, 'yet Edmond was beloved' was one of the most poignant - and in some ways most defiant - of lines in Shakespeare's plays. Plus, it helps that he has the sexy villain thing on his side, even if Shakespeare seems to suffer with OOC-ness at the end when he makes Edmond have a sudden change of heart for absolutely no reason, besides the fact he's dying. He should have gone out with a real, proper, villain cackle.

But why does WS have to make Goneril and Regan so STUPID by the end? They start out all taking control from the men, wielding swords and seducing people, and then they just end up squabbling over some bloke. It's so frustrating.

But, anyway, onto Macbeth now, which should be fun. Or not. Reading Shakespearean tragedies in a row is kind of starting to make me feel like slitting my wrists. I should start a death tally or something because it is RIDICULOUS how many people WS kills off. I bet he was a bloodthirsty bastard who was all like, 'oh, go on, let's just kill off another one. And maybe one after that? And then another just to complete the set?' You, William Shakespeare, are a sadist.
dark_litany: (Hell BRB)
God, watching the leader debates results in equal amounts of hilarity and frustration. Hilarity because they're all squabbling like a bunch of kids on the playground and frustration because, well, the future leaders of the country are squabbling like a bunch of kids on the playground. It makes watching anything about the General Election quite tiring, emotion-wise. No wonder everyone in the country is so disaffected.

Mama has to forge my signature on the postal vote back home. I could have voted in Cardiff but I'd rather have my vote count round where I actually live. Had to scribble out my signature for her last time she was up in Wales, which apparently she's done a shoddy job replicating. I doubt they actually pay much attention to these things, anyway. I could always say I was slightly drunk when signing. Wouldn't make me look very reputable, dealing with serious political documentation while on the raz, but oh well.

I was looking up my constituency info on the BBC website and Hertfordshire South West is described as 'one of the most bizarrely shaped constituencies in the UK, which made me giggle. Apparently, Rickmansworth itself is one of the 'prime examples of the dormitory towns that dominate this predominantly middle-class part of the constituency'. Makes us sound all terribly posh and commuter-esque but just makes me think of those yobbos that like to hang out round the local shops and shout nonsense at you because you happen to pass by. What is it about chavs and their predilection for local convenience stores? And, also, 'dormitory towns' - I just imagine Rickmansworth looking like a giant Travelodge because of that.
dark_litany: (Bang - Dean Shoots You Down)
I'm taking a break from Shakespeare to blag on here instead. I swear, do textbook publishers have to choose the smallest font in existence when they print these books? The Norton Shakespeare has been giving me migraines for the past few hours. I've only just got to Act II of King Lear because of the evil print and I'm still hoping to reach the goal of starting Macbeth by the time I go to sleep. Damn Shakespeare and his need to cram symbolism into EVERY DAMN WORD. Makes writing notes pretty hardcore, especially when it comes to euphemisms for genitalia. He seems to be obsessed with penises and vaginas, the saucy playwright. And, last night, taking a break from Lear seemed to involve watching Pretty Woman on youtube. I don't even like Pretty Woman (everything seems cringeworthy and awkward between them) and I ended up sitting through most of it - I blame a Star Trek fanfic based on it, it was too well-written, damn it.

Ahaha, I just got a text from the Welsh Blood Service, thanking me for giving blood. It ends with the sentence 'you are extraordinary'. Why thank you.

Hayley and I got cornered by some socialist students after dinner yesterday. We were planning on popping over to Bute Park for an amble but ended up getting into a two hour conversation with these two girls wielding anti-tuition fee rise pamphlets. It was fun, though, delving into politics, and having a really satisfying and intellectual conversation about the General Election. Kate was laughing about how she outwitted Nick Clegg when he came to talk at the Union the other day, which would have been a laugh to witness. We were invited over to this polital gathering in the Aberconway block but I had to get back to Shakespeare and my bloody small-fonted-Norton.

Crazy conversations at dinner, too, with Simmy and some of the girls. We somehow ended up creating our own society on a floating island, should the BNP ever get in. The plan is: flee, set up a New Britain called Simmyopia (as Simmy would be our great overlord[lady?] and would hold the motto 'what I say is law', yet somehow be a cuddly dictator with soft authoritarian policies), and I'll be the entire Shadow Cabinet just so I can get a kick out of opposition (me and Simmy didn't reach a consensus over who would truly be controlling who) and the 'Where is the rum gone' rap will be our national anthem. The conversation got completely out of hand and so was completely hilarious and then somehow evolved into talking about Doctor Who and laughing about the Daleks. They did look weirdly like a girl group/power rangers fusion in the latest episode, though.
dark_litany: (Captain Dork)
Someone seems to have gone mad with post-it notes down my corridor - I went out to brush my teeth and only noticed a bright blue one blutacked to my door when I was opening it. Some of them seem to have little factoids on them, like how much a certain chocolate bar costs and information about some pertinent law, but mine just says, 'You are perfect just the way you are', with a smiley face just for good measure. It seems completely random but kind of cute as a gesture.

And, also, I didn't die from sheer tiredness in my lectures today - talking to Ieva before the Gothic Novel lecture got into full swing seemed to animate me; and then Louisa furtively trying to eat a packet of Steak & Onion crisps at the back of Pre-Raphaelite art made me laugh so much I didn't really think about sleep deprivation. Plus, she dragged me out shopping with her in town, we happily walked back to hers in the sunshine, sporting gigantic Thorntons ice creams (a scoop of Honeycomb Crunch and Tempting Toffee for me, mmmm), and then acted all girly over picking out outfits for her radio speech and squeeing over Padalecki in Gilmore Girls. So, not generally tired for the rest of the day and didn't even get any work done past dinner, as Hayley coaxed me into her room like a was some sort of small animal, with offers of chocolate. I spent the next two hours cuddling her Bernardo's teddy bear and remarking on French tourists.

Productivity = 0
Procrastination = I think we're beyond actual figures here.
dark_litany: (Scully Glasses)
I think work experience has broken me - my body keeps wanting to wake up at ten in the morning. Which doesn't make sense in the world of Sinead, especially when we're talking about holiday time here. I make it a point to sleep till even more ridiculous times when uni has broken for break. Shows how productivity and employment can't be healthy for me.

Still, I have something bright and shiny and, thank fuck, actually useful to put on my CV now. It was practically a God-send, being given the opportunity to work at Little, Brown Book Group - it's owned by Hachette Livre, which just so happens to be the largest publishing group in the UK (can't you just tell I brushed up on all this publishing shit before I started? Not that it can in handy AT ALL), so I was suitably excited about the fact someone dropped out at the last minute and gave me the chance to squeeze onto the programme.

Plus, it was during the week before Easter, so it was a four-day week and an early finish on Thursday, muhaha! Though, three hours were relinquished each day (two to the Tube, one to getting to the damn Tube) to merely getting there for 9:30, which was all sorts of a pain. I have been thoroughly initiated into the commuter life after a week, which might explain why my brain hasn't downshifted yet into "student!mode". Maybe my body still expects to be thrown out of bed at 6am to start the cold (often rainy) trek to the station to be bungled together in a metal tin with a load of equally miserable commuters. I had to spend two hours a day getting too intimate for comfort with a load of strangers (and backpacks - backpacks seem to be the curse of the rush-hour commute), while skipping from line to line (Metropolitan to Finchley Road, Jubilee to Westminster, Circle/District to Temple). Though, getting off at Westminster was interesting, as it's the deep, evil station where lots of pigeons seem to roost and people like to commit suicide (that's why there's a glass wall between the platform and the tracks, though people apparently jump from the very high escalators, too). Must be the MPs.

The Little, Brown offices were in this plush building along the Victoria Embankment, so I had the Tate, London Eye and Big Ben at my shoulder when I was walking down it. You could actually watch the Thames from the publicity department, where I was sorted for the week. Though, main thing I took away about Victoria Embankment? The smokers. I don't know how many times I had to start power-walking out of the way of smokers trekking down it. It didn't help that in the mornings there was a pandemic of early smoking breaks, so you'd get people squatting shadily in backdoors to the corporate buildings, having a fag or two.

Luckily, publishers don't seem to be full of those types so much - in fact, Little, Brown was a pretty young crowd, like the sort of 20-somethings you see walking around OC's Topshop. Lots of women, apart from some mean looking businessmen in the marketing department (which I thankfully wasn't scheduled to work in) but I was in the publicity department nearly all week, with the ladies from the literary imprints.

Monday was interesting purely because I got to turn financial voyeur and take a peek at what type of pay authors can expect for their books. Pretty paltry. I even felt depressed for them. Especially as most fell under a deficit, being recorded as an 'unearned balance' and when they did get anything it was like a fiver or something. Though, Sharon Osbourne is doing healthily, according to her royalties statement. I surprisingly didn't really talk about literature much that first day - I was put under the care of this older guy called Richard (who had some pretty spectacular nose hair) and we spent much of the morning talking about horror films and bemoaning the loss of the gay in vampire culture.

Rest of the week, though, I was hanging around the publicity department, getting to sit at an actual desk and everything rather than being banished to the kitchen with about fifty crates full of royalty statements. It was fairly cosy round there and quite interesting in terms of eavesdropping - the ladies were pretty frantic all day, phoning up journalists and sorting out press releases and generally doing mysterious, publishing things on their computers. They were a really intelligent bunch, as well, the way they discussed literature and authors all the time, so I was pretty much salivating from all the wondrousness of it all. I mean, the office looked basically like a mix between a bookshop and a library - there were all these nooks scattered about to read books, like mini-libraries and these high-backed, cushy sofas. Books were just about EVERYWHERE - I had problems getting my feet comfy under the desk purely because there were so many bound galleys there; and there were book cover designs scattered all over the table tops, alongside shelving units filled with books and these deep filing cabinets also FILLED WITH BOOKS. So, yes, I was in my own personal employment Heaven.

My duties weren't anything particularly thrilling or literary - though I thankfully wasn't expected to do any coffee runs at any point in the week - just your typical menial fare aka organising the newspaper cupboard (I won't miss having those ink-blackened fingers) and sorting out press releases by mailing out books to the critics and scouring the newspapers for press-cuttings. Basically the stuff the workers are too busy to do. Though, I wasn't complaining - I got to have some nice cosy jobs to do while appreciating the office's cappuccino machine - even if it's a shame I didn't get posted to the editorial department, which is the area I'm really interested in.

I did get a load of free books at the end - a dozen of them! The publicity ladies were saying goodbye and then just started scouring their bookshelves, grabbing books and chucking them at me. It made getting the Tube back pretty annoying but I have a stack of new books to enjoy over the summer holidays!

I braved a trip to Stevenage on the weekend, mainly because daddy has become some pathetic in this whole Antoinette/divorce debacle that I think he needed the company. Siobhan was going, as well, so that made the whole thing a little better - daddy got the chance to whinge and I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Vaughnsy. It was actually kind of disturbing how little things change in middle-class suburbia - everything was exactly the same. Not that I expected things to be drastically different or anything but you'd think the passage of two years would show up somehow. Though, my old room does resemble nothing less than a transit camp nowadays. I went in there on the Saturday night to find my bed missing and piles of random shit left over by Antoinette and Dominique. I picked through some of the useless tat, just to see if I'd missed anything, but all I wanted to bring back to Ricky with me was my Holy Communion dress and my old children's books. Felt a little sad over my abandoned teddies squashed into my old wardrobe, though.

We didn't get up to much - not that bank holiday weather would ever allow you to - just lazed about in front of the open fire daddy slaved over and geeked out over Star Trek. I got to meet Dominique's guinea pig, as well, (named Susie, bizarrely, after an ex-girlfriend of daddy's) and basically laid claim to it for the whole weekend, keeping it in my lap for ages and stroking the thing half to death (though I'm sure she enjoyed it, if her purring is anything to go by). Anything that falls under the thrall of Dominique is to be pitied, after all, and given some extra lovin'.

I'm in Londinium for some R&R tomorrow - or, in other words, for some shopping. I got down on the Saturday before my birthday, as I was in town for some birthday cocktails with Vaughnsy, but I didn't really get it all out of the way. We went to Match EC1, which was fairly quiet for a London bar on a Saturday night but we had a nice chat with the bartender - he was one of those sorts that you could just tell what sort of flavours you were into and he'd create a new cocktail on the spot! There's something undeniably sexy about a man who can create fancy booze. Shelled out eighty quid for the night (I picked up the tab) but it was worth it all - especially when I got banana beer and chocolate coffee and funny, popcorn-flavoured candles (strangely addictive in terms of sniffing) out of Vaughnsy as a birthday present. A quiet birthday, then, but I quite like it that way.

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