Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Fabulous Five.

I'm doing a thing! I figured seeing as we're well into the new year now (roughly a quarter?) I'll do a quarterly review of the entertainment sector. And by that, I mean "things you should be watching, listening to, or otherwise getting excited about because I said so so there."


After a long absence from listening to music, I'm finally back attempting to discover music all the time. I finally got Spotify a few weeks ago and it feels GOOD. Because it's legal. And free. And excellent. Even if the adverts make me want to puke.
(In other news, Facebook-ers, please God click the "make your session private" button. I am sick of seeing you re-listen to your Katy Perry album for the fifteenth time on repeat.)

So summing up all my musical listens since the New Year...try this!

If you get a chance to listen to the album, I prefer Ghosts as a track but there are no decent versions on Youtube, sadly :(


One piece of exciting book related news: I signed up to be a giver for World Book Night 2012 which essentially involves me giving out books to people for FREE. It's a brilliant initiative which ends up in the giving out of a ridiculous one million free books, all in the name of encouraging reading and the wonderful wonderful worlds that you find in books. I'm giving out 24 copies of Let The Right One In which should be fun.

Howevah, if I'm going to recommend a book to you all from this quarter of the year...it's got to be Midnight's Children. I read it for my Global Lit module, but it's indescribably good...weird, yes, surreal and obscenely long but if you've got the time and the willpower, it's a sort of post-modernist, magical realist, inaccurate history of India told through the lens of Saleem Sinai and his family (he doesn't even get born until about a third of the way through of the book.) If you like dung-lotuses, telepathy, large noses, even larger families, pickle factories and magicians...then you'll probably like Midnight's Children.

I say probably. It is one of the most unique books I've ever read, but it's brilliant.

This is my least favourite cover...but Google, once again, has left me with no alternative.

I don't watch that many films any more, due to time constraints and money constraints and the general laziness of my flatmates and I. The city centre is a long walk away. However, we did go and see one film this term and it was bloody good.

Initially, we were planning on seeing The Muppets Movie. Americans, I know it came out months ago for you, but we only got it about a month ago. Typically, we were running late...actually, we were running very late. And then we hit an unexpectedly long queue. Which turned out to be the auxiliary queue for the main queue. We were so late, in fact, that the staff wouldn't let us buy Muppets tickets. We ended up settling for the Woman in Black, a 12A rated horror film starring Daniel Radcliffe, of-late star of the fluffy-family-not-very-scary Potter saga.

Reactions on leaving the cinema?
"Well that was nothing like the Muppets."
"I'm never sleeping again."

Turns out? It's actually a very creepy film. For me, personally...I have a thing about creepy children. But all of us were much more creeped out than a bunch of 18/19 year olds should have been by a 12A film. So er...go watch it! You'll enjoy it! The ending will annoy you. But other than that.

Oh, in other film news, I finally watched Anastasia all the way though: not as good as I hoped. I also watched Tangled. Better than I expected.


There is only one way I can really go with this. Despite drastic cast changes, Being Human series 4 has rocked my world with its sheer excellence...it has amazing character development, astonishing continuity (The Real Hustle, anyone?) plot, background, emotion...you know when a television show really just makes you want to swallow it whole and keep it forever? Yeah. And um...I mean the UK version. Although I'm sure the Syfy version is wonderful too.

For the uninitiated: Being Human is a sort of horror-drama-sitcom about three flatmates who happen to be a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost. Oh, and there's a baby. And some bad!vamps. And some hilarious situations along the way. You will laugh and cry. Sometimes at the same time.

So yeah...get on that, eh?


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

I haven't felt like this in a long time and that in itself is scary enough.
The feelings kind of build on top of each other.
It starts with a vague nervousness, a waiting outside doors to check the situation, a not leaving the room until you hear the people walk past the door.

And then suddenly the thought of seeing people makes you kind of breathless and teary and sick.
And you could forseeably see yourself never leaving your room again, except for food and bathroom breaks.
And you know its irrational.
And you know (you remember that time you had an epiphany) you like people.
And it's hit you at 4:30pm, the most innocuous of times.
But suddenly you feel sick and nervous and you can't tell if you're being overdramatic and whether writing it all down is a good thing or a bad thing and then you're angry at yourself for being so pathetic and it's irrational, irrational and there is no reason why but I do not want to face the world today and possibly ever.

I am literally shaking, why is this, what the fuck, we have moved past this point, I am throwing off my duvet, leaving my room and talking to someone.

And now I'm going to post this even though I'm scared because look! All you have to do is pull yourself out of it.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

I'm in a mess.

Not a complete mess, at all. Not a situation-based mess, either. I just...lots of things are sliding the wrong way down the scale at the moment and it doesn't feel good at all. It's a big ol' spirally circle down, and at the bottom is Bad Emma. Useless Emma. Lazy Emma. Waste of Breathing Space Emma. She's there waiting. And admittedly, sometimes, I wouldn't mind being that Emma. But being Bad Emma makes me feel bad about my ability to be Good Emma, and then I feel shite about myself. So it's only really by being Good Emma that I can ever be happy.

Which is shit because it involves effort, and that's no fun.

To break it down:

1) Degree
I do sweet FA for my degree, except as and when completely necessary. It's telling that I lost my handout pack at the beginning of the term, which has all the reading I need to do for my Victorian seminars...and I haven't missed it at all. I rush essays, don't do most of the reading, wouldn't go to lectures if it wasn't for my flatmates...generally my academic motivation is at ZERO.
Which would be fine, except I need a good degree to get a good job. And I used to be freaking CAPABLE of getting a good degree, too. I used to be a genius. Ish. I've never really given a tidy one about my grades but I got them. And now suddenly I have to work for them, and what? I slowly let it slide away. Talk about pathetic.

2) Money
I have no money. Well no, I have quite a lot of money but I've had to budget £10 per night out (at 2 nights out a week) and that's assuming I get a job, because otherwise I WILL be literally existing on nothing next year.
This is stressing me out, but I am applying for jobs and generally being quite active on this front so less of the Good Emma/Bad Emma issues. Still, I feel lazy if I'm not balancing job and academics all the time. And I also really need the money, but I can't get a job ANYWHERE, and truly I am trying.

3) Getting a job
This one is different to the last, I promise. I'm doing a degree in English Lit with the idea, mostly, of getting into the (ridiculously competitive and underpaid) publishing industry. This requires a LOT of work experience, badgering people, doing stuff, having a solid CV...the list goes on. At the moment, I'm doing nothing like that. No extra-curriculars, no work experience, no particular side-interests. I need to get some of those, stat, or I really will be living in a cardboard box post-uni.

4) Getting fit and healthy
Admittedly I wasn't exactly an exercise bunny last year, but since going to uni I've even stopped dancing. Over the summer I went to the gym for a few months, did classes, did dance, and now I do nothing. My problem (is a bit pathetic) is that I don't like the idea of being on some pathetic fitness crusade: that's admitting that I've lost, that I'm doing it wrong. I also hate exercising where people can see (that kind of includes classes and stuff, although I mostly don't do those for financial reasons.) I did yoga in my room. Once. There's no SPACE in here. However, I've rearranged my room so there's more space and hopefully...I dunno, I just miss exercising. Didn't realise it, but I do. I'm hoping over Easter I can scab off my sister's gym membership for a bit, get back in the groove, and then when I get back here in May? We'll see.

5) The friend game
I am having issues with the whole friendship thing. I don't do affection (except when I'm drunk) and I'm not a particularly good conversationalist...essentially the only way to make friends with me is to force me into a conversation and keep raining me with commitment until I cave. Which is stupid and ridiculous but there it is. Not only does that raise issues with my own mental mindset, it also er...makes it rather difficult to make friends when I come to a new place :P this term everyone's been very busy, and whilst I do have a lot of flatmates I don't know what I'd do if uni was suddenly dissolved and we all went home. I think most of my friends are feeling the same, just through small hints (and it has been a very boring week) but gah, I don't know. Of course I enjoy spending time with them. And of course I'll tell them secrets, laugh with them, cry with them...just, it doesn't quite feel right yet.
It's been 4 months. I don't know what I'm expecting.

6) My love life.

7) Self-confidence.
Remember that big bad spiral I mentioned earlier? All of these things can (however irrationally) be put down to faults in myself, in the way I behave, look, am. This blog post is mostly a case of me deconstructing all the things that have been nagging at my brain, because if you look at this blog post, say, a year ago, or two, I'd totally cracked it. I wasn't ashamed of myself, or mildly disgusted by myself. I didn't have to sit down and persuade myself that things aren't as bad as they feel. BLAH.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Being a grown-up and stuff.

Look at it. LOOK AT IT. I am LIVING here next year. I stuck my hand in my pocket and rented a freaking HOUSE.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Seriously what kind of a person hates birthdays.

Fill in the Blank...Thursday?

I appreciate this is two FITBs almost in a row.
I appreciate it's not Friday.
I'm bloody good at that. Without further ado, I therefore present the blanks!

Wait, no, not them!

1.   My favourite place I've ever traveled to is...

Favourite place, or favourite holiday? If we're talking location alone, going to Rome in February 2010 (?) was one of the most beautiful, insanely vibey, interesting and just plain awesome countries I've ever seen. For a casual history nerd like me, walking down a plain ol' pavement and being told "oh, that's Roman, by the way,"  was just insane. I had such a moment in the Collosseum, as well. Standing on the same ground upon which people fought to death, and crowds surged watching and stuff...gah, it's awesome. Plus it was with my school friends which was pretty darn awesome too

2. __________ is somewhere I'd love to go someday.

I'm going to cheat, here! Whilst I have a list of places I've never been to and would love to see, my real holiday dream is to do it alone: go somewhere new and just soak it all in by myself, see the sights, do some thinking...ah, it'd be fabulous :)

3.  I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by: 

Awkwardly enough, I can't read on most transport or I start to feel ill, so normally I'll either listen to music on my iPod, or play stupid car games with my sister if she's there. Sometimes I'll just drift off and have a think, time goes quicker then. If I'm on the train home or back to uni I usually try and get some reading done though, as I don't tend to feel sick on trains and it's the ideal slot to get some work out of the way!

4.  My three must-haves when I travel are my iPod, a blanket, and foods!

I literally cannot do long journeys without *some* music at *some* point. It seriously has to be done. Blankets because long journeys are soooo much easier when you're warm and comfortable. It's like being in bed, except you're moving! And food because I get peckish and bored when travelling :P my mom always makes a point of doing enormous travel picnics for long journeys. It's excellent.

5.  My favorite travel companion is I do have a thing for travelling alone, as I said. Mostly my sister, just because we do it all the bloody time, but I love love LOVE going on holiday with my besties as well, shake things up a bit! I'm basically very easy on who I'm with :P

6.  The craziest thing that ever happened to me while travelling is: 

Craziest? I'm sure I've related this story before, but the time I forgot my passport on our first no-parents-present holiday was one of the most terrifying and stressful holiday experiences I've had. Picture a seventeen year old girl literally weeping at the markedly unsympathetic security man at 4am in the morning as he drily tells her "there's no flights until...Tuesday, I think."

TUESDAY. Luckily (as he finally told me) I got a flight from another airport a few hours later after dragging my poor Dad out of bed and down the 2.5 hour drive to London, but nevertheless it was very stressful.

My craziest holiday per se was probably Zante, though. Well, it was always going to be.

7.  The most exotic food I've ever tried while travelling is:

Not sure I can answer this! The closest thing I've had to exotic food is unskinned prawns, and that doesn't really count seeing as I nearly threw up looking at their hideous beady eyes :/

8.  If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in:

At this time in my life, I can think of nothing better than living in the heart of it all in London. But as I get older I want to be able to move somewhere quieter. I think I'd always want the UK to be my home, but I'd *love* to have a job that involves travelling.

9.  I have been to five states in the U.S.

Happy not-Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Dear Auntie Emma,

At the end of the school year in secondary school, our form used to do a sort of awards ceremony, completely just between us, and I once got awarded Best Agony Aunt...in fact, I think I got it more than once.

Times have passed, a little, but BY GOD do I attract the emotional baggage, particularly from drunk people but just in general.

To clarify: of course I don't mind listening to people's issues. I'm genuinely quite flattered that people trust me enough to talk to me about things that are on their minds. But jesus wept, why on earth do they all choose me!

I've listened to romantic issues, housemate problems, general feelings of depression, secret crushes, parent problems, blah blah blah, and like I say, I like it. I'm flattered. But last night really took the biscuit.

I met a guy in a club, right. I was dressed as a hobbit, but that's by the by, I just want you to be impressed that I managed to pull IN HOBBIT ATTIRE. So yeah, we hit it off, and after I explained that I wasn't about to sleep with him or anything, we got a taxi home together and I went back to his room, ostensibly to "watch a film."

The next thing I know, it's THREE HOURS LATER, and we've spent the time from half four to half seven with him unloading his emotional baggage about his ex-girlfriend, his home life, stuff that, in his own words, "I've literally never told anyone in the whole world about."



I mean, yeah, it's great that he got the chance to vent out what were obviously a lot of unsolved conflicts. I'm happy I could help. But we'd literally just met.

My point being, therefore, this: why, why, why, why, why, why, why, do people vent at me so often? I swear I don't give out 'vent at me' signals. Not intentionally anyway.

I don't mind, but I'm thoroughly confused x