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The Leeds side streets that you slip down

Student

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Culture

Today, due to the fact I have a lot of free time, I have been attempting to list all the tunes that I know that are in some way related to my English literature course. Here is what I've found:

Idlewild, I am what I am not- From Othello, Shakespeare

The Cure, Killing an Arab- Named after the plot of a Camus novel, The Outsider.

Suede, Heroine- 'She walks in beauty like the night'- Byron

The Smiths, Rubber ring- "Everybody's clever nowadays"- Wilde, A woman of no importance.

Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights- Nuff said. Apparently she has also done a version of Molly Bloom's soliloquy to music. Which is nice.

Iron Maiden- The rime of the ancient mariner. The song of the poem, an excruciating thirteen minutes long.

Bruce Dickinson- The Chemical Wedding. A solo album based on William Blake.

Manic Street Preachers- Don't get me started.

If any more turn up mail me, and I'll compile then into a website.
Like fuck I'll turn them into a website.

Speaking of English literature, here is a bit of one of my essays. Tell me, is this crazy mad interpretive lunacy or a detailed and serious examination of a canonical text?

Homosexuality in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

"Finally, Showalter points to the repeated references to anality in the text that, although at first unconvincing, become more persuasive when seen in light of the rest of her argument. These references appear in the descriptive imagery, especially of Jekylls house. For example, Hyde always enters through the houses through "Â blistered back door", whilst the house itself is equipped with "neither bell nor knocker" and bears the marks of "prolonged and sordid negligence" (Stevenson: p204). More tellingly, Utterson remarks that the house resides on "Queer street"(Stevenson: p206), the homosexual connotations of the word being alive in Stevensons time."

I couldn't help laughing when I read this arguement.



posted by Robert  # 12:06 am

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Silly Me

I found out why i couldn't upload my blog- i set my security settings too high on my computer. Once again I have been punished for meddling in things i don't understand. Anyway, speaking of security settings a strange bloke has just tried the door on our house, which woke me from my dozing and now has left me unable to sleep. Cheers you pikey Leeds criminal bastard!
Some guy tried to get into my parents house yesterday too, which has left me quite worried since they are quite exposed and vulnerable to burgulars. God, I don't need this stress. I'd tell my Dad to get his shotgun out but it'd only end up in a Tony Martin type thing if anything did happen. Anyway, I'm jumping to the worst conclusions now and that'll just mean me buying a ticket on the paranoia train to insomniaville. There isn't anything I can do so I'll just hope for the best.

Here's an old blog from last Thursday/Friday that I wrote:

An obituary

It brings me great sorrow to say that today my fish Parsely has passed away, at the age of a year and a month and a bit. He had struggled with a short illness, which seemed to rotate him about his axis, and finally went 360 this morning. He leaves behind him his companion Golddust, who has spent today nudging his dead friend round the tank, and a legacy of amusing swimming (go through the castle door!) . We all remember the full life he lead, from the fairground to the dish, to the bin and finally to his own tank. Who could forget the time when he jumped out his dish and got covered in fluff (Cheers Emma!)? Parsely, you will be missed.
His last word was "Bob".

To commemorate his life i have composed a short poem:

In memory of Parsely

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the air-ports almost deserted,
And snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
O all the instruments agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

On a lighter note I went to see British Sea Power last night. The gig was sold out, but thanks to my brother's employer I got in free, which was fortunate as i was otherwise contemplating buying tickets on e-bay for an inflated price. In my opinion British Sea Power are possibly the best new band around in Britain at the moment. Great singer, great guitarist, not shockingly original but quite interesting in respect to the wartime Churchill cricket and village thing they have going on. Go and but their album now! Actually don't, because then i won't be able to see them in such a small dinky venue again.

I went to a house party tonight, after work. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long because my housemates were all horrendously drunk, whilst I was stone cold sober. It makes you want to quit drinking when you see what they were like. Steve could hardly stand, and insisted in wandering across Hyde Park in the darkness, apparently not really caring that it's the male rape capital of the UK. I had to pull him out the way of a bus later on. I heard a thud a bit ago, so I assume he's made it to the bathroom.

posted by Robert  # 3:04 am

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Back in the day

Just found this pic on seb patrick's website. I had hair back then!


posted by Robert  # 3:30 am

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Comment

I now have a comment form! Woo! Cheers to everyone who came to my cry for help, now please use it!
posted by Robert  # 6:52 pm
Stoof

I went out on thursday night, which was good cos i was in desperate need of a bit of relaxation. I went out with my flatmate naomi and her boyfriend will. We trawled round all the interesting looking bars in town, which was fun cos most places here are filled with sudents trying to get pissed as quickly as possible, and so are a bit samey. I drank some interesting beers- a kronenbourg decco, which comes with a shot of absinthe, and an evil beer called judas, which was 8.5 percent. After that point the night started to go downhill.

Me and will ended up in this decent alternative/indie club, which has one of the best playlists in town, and proceded to sit civilly, drink a few beers and chat. Little did i know i was slowly getting drunker and drunker. However, as i was sitting down i didn't realise that my motor skills had began to fail me. Will went to the bar, and i told him that i was going to the dancefloor cos they were playing this charming man. Thats the last thing i remeber.

Somehow, on my trip to the dancefloor, all of ten steps, i managed to do something to get myself thrown out. I have no idea what. The thing is i've seen people who are paralytic in that place and they haven't been thrown out. My memory is a total blackout, and so i've been left in the horrifying limbo of wondering what i did. The possible combination of this charming man and a lot of lager has led me to have a image of myself drunkenly flailing is a morrisey esque way, spilling drinks left right an center, in the middle of a shocked and fairly sober dancefloor. I hope this wasn't the case.
The rest of my night had to be filled in by my housemates. Apparently i was so drunk that i couldn't manage to fit the my housekey into my door, and so after ten minutes of scrabbling had to be let in. At that point i went upstairs and collapsed in the bathroom.
I went out with my contact lenses in, but didn't come back with them.

However the night wasn't a total loss as i did manage to come back with a poster nicked from one of the club walls. The thing is normally i can tell my limits. I think it was a boiling the frog kinda ting- it happened so slowly i didn't realise how bad it was till it was too late.

The next morning i woke up with the mother of all hangovers and was sick in my bin. That seemed to clear me up though, and so i was okay to go to work at four. I was stewarding the christmas lights celebration in pudsey. Pudsey is quite a nice place, full of stone architecture and gothic churches. The people in it are twats though. The place is full of scally kids and crazy drunk men. It also appears to have a stronghold of White nationalist party supporters, as i pulled down a few stickers someone had put up promoting them. I spent a miserable five hours in the cold and rain making sure people didn't nick the firwork display. I wouldn't care to repeat the experience.

However i did get told some interesting advice. Apparently, if you piss on your hands it hardens them so you don't get cuts so easily. This is an old plasterers trick.
The interesting advice wasn't that though. It was never shake hands with a plasterer.

If anyone can tell me how to set up a comment form on this blog e-mail me at eng1rwb@leeds.ac.uk, as i don't like feeling like i'm talking to myself all the time.

I'm going to give another shout out to emma, hopefully to console her as she's missing the snooker season. I'm missing it too, but for a different reason :). I'll probably come to yours on new year, if the invites there, which it is, so I'll be coming!


posted by Robert  # 1:14 am

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Downloading

Many people apprear to be downloading the third matrix from my computer, so i've decided to help them enjoy the film by renaming the file The Matrix "trinity and neo both die at the end" Revolutions.


posted by Robert  # 1:55 am
Quizzilla

Just did a web quiz 'What film do you belong in'. It turns out i belong in the matrix. I went to see the third matrix the other day. I thought it was incredibly average. I watched Blade two tonight. That was pretty awful too. It pisses me off how there is so little variation in these kinds of films. Take some heros dressed in black with sunglasses, let them know kung fu and make them fight some kind of evil and win. Make the last scene being someone staring out into the sunlight, throw in some cgi effects and bingo! We have a waste of my afternoon. Action films attained perfection in the 80's and 90's with commando and running man. Everyone knows that. Look at sky for gods sake, it manages to keep its movie channels going on the strength of die hard alone.

I've been very bored recently. All i seem to have done is read an incredibly long victorian detective novel called the moonstone and cook increasingly bland meals. I'll have to fix that by going out either tomorrow or saturday. I'm working on Friday, so that'll at least provide some variation. I have no idea what i'll be doing. All i know is that it'll probably involve standing out in the cold.

I
posted by Robert  # 1:42 am

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

An explanation

Ask Bizarre November 2003

What’s up with that whole just-about-to-fall-asleep- big-muscle-spasm-scares-the-shit-out-of-you crap?
JZ by email


Bizarre’s sleep expert: The unnecessarily scary muscle jerks that happen as you’re falling asleep are known as hypnic jerks. According to Dr Mark Mahowald, director of a sleep-disorder clinic in Minneapolis, “As far as I know, we don’t have a clue why it happens.” There are a couple of theories, though. The most simple is that in the process of going to sleep the muscles have to relax, so if the body has been engaged in a physically stressful, repetitive activity that day, they spasm. Many believe that between dozing off and entering REM (deep) sleep, there is still some communication between the brain and the muscles. So, if you think of something stressful, your brain tries to jolt your body back into the ‘awake mode’ in order to fend off the perceived danger.



The most common theory, though, is that as your body prepares to make the transition from alertness to sleep, many physiological changes occur – breathing and heart rate slowing. There is a point where the muscles completely ‘let go’ as you are slipping out of consciousness. Sometimes, the brain misinterprets this sudden relaxation as a sign that you are falling, and sends messages to your arms and legs to thrash around in an attempt to keep you upright as you ‘fall’. This would make sense, as you often awake like this after a dream of falling.


posted by Robert  # 12:21 am

Monday, November 10, 2003

Sleep is for the weak

I am still suffering from insomnia. Four am is now my natural bed time. I spend my nights playing guitar, surfing the net and watching films, waiting to get tired. I know that tomorrow i will wake up at one, have a shower and then doze off. I will then re-awake around three to five and eat breakfast.
Due to the fact that England is now approaching winter and the sun sets at 5pm it is not unusual for me to only see an hour or two of daylight a day. However since I generally have so little I have to do in a day there is little incentive to actually change this pattern. The thing is I hate sleeping during the day cos I usually dream crazy dreams, or have really mundane dreams that are so close to reality they confuse me.

Today I've decided to get my arse into gear. I have reading week next week so I have even less officially organised time, which gives me the perfect oppurtuity to get organised. I was thinking of writing a list of ten things I should do before I finish Uni, but i couldn't think of any. Well, none that don't involve sleeping with someone or pulling off that jump shot I've been attempting at pool for the last couple of weeks.

I played Risk tonight. I haven't felt that angry for a long time. I'm normally very tolerant. I mean, i can take being annihalated at pool on a daily basis extremely well. Risk is a different matter. The look on people's jammy faces when they're winning when of coure its only luck that they nicked Irtusk with two men...God. Its not tactics, its luck. Pure, stupid dumb luck. Bastards.

Goodnight.
posted by Robert  # 4:26 am

Friday, November 07, 2003

Its been a bad day

Today was the first day after my illness that i had felt reasonably okay and so i decided to get started on my essay (1700 words, due for, er, tomorrow). However two things have gotten in my way:
Firstly, I appear to have given myself food poisoning from an undercooked steak. The funny thing is that said steak was the first real meal i had eaten for almost a week now. And its made me ill again.
Secondly, i found out that the band suede have split up. This has sent me into a spiral of nostalgia for my teenage years. I loved suede. Suede made me who i am today- without them i wouldn't have started playing guitar or listening to indie. Suede splitting up has effectively sounded the death-knell for my adolescence. Their output may have dipped in the last few years but when they were good they were excellent. I'd advise anyone to buy their first two albums as musts.

I've met very few suede fans throughout my life. Well, none actually. Looks like i'll be mourning alone tonight. Which, combined with the fact that i feel a bit ill and am still suffering from insomnia, may make it a very long night. Sigh

On a lighter note i watched joe millionaire tonight. On a date he tried to say "Did you get that dress in Paris?" but it came out as "Did you get that breast in Paris?". Fool.
posted by Robert  # 12:13 am

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Take up thy bed and wash it

I hate being ill. I hate it. I've had the flu/pnumonia/sars for the past four days and i only seem to be recovering from it today. Because of this my weekend has consisted of me being curled up in bed sweating bucketloads and coughing up more flem than that little frilly dinosaur in the first jurassic park. I have eaten only paracetamol based products and drank only lemsip. I feel awful.

I also seem to have turned my tongue a tasteful shade of purple from eating too many strepsils. The problem with strepsils is that they only work if you eat them like they are sweeties, and then you end up numbing the whole of your mouth for the next twenty-four hours.

I've practically been in quarantine for the last couple of days. Hardly anyone's been in to see me. The only time i've had human contact is when i've been making my bi-hourly trips out to fiddle with the thermostat. It makes me miss being home, cos i've got no-one to look after me here at uni. If i was at home my mum would be making me tea and feeding me soup. Instead i have to try to cook my own food.

I ate a cold can of heinz tomato soup last night.
posted by Robert  # 11:38 pm

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Halloween- The revenge

Went out last night for Halloween and God I'm suffering for it today. Me and Steve dressed up as Alex from clockwork orange, fairly successfully I might add. Walking sticks, mascara, bowler hats and everything. Steve even wore my newcalstle brown ale pants over his trousers in order to simulate the codpiece.

We went to the union bar, which was fairly busy- quite a few people had made the effort to get dressed up. There was a guy dressed as colonel Gadaffi and another dressed as Moira Stewart, as well as a couple of papa lazarous. A girl took me and steve's photo, so I'm hoping we may end up in the student paper or something.
After staying in the bar til closing me and Steve went on to a house party, stopping off en-route at home to pick up more alcohol. All we could find was a bottle of archers, so we had to make do with that. The bottle of archers was actually a birthday present for one of my flatmates, yet as usual if someone gets given alcohol as a present me and Steve end up drinking it before they get the chance. We've went through a bottle of vodka, jack Daniels, archers, baileys and red wine that weren't ours so far.
Anyway the house party was pretty fun. It was your typical house party really, I just drank a lot and smoked. Unfortunately the party seemed to die at about two am, so we had to leave to look for another place to go. After wandering around for a good hour we managed to gatecrash this foreign student's party, but since there was no drink in the place we left early, not before thieving a large plastic axe though. Actually before that happened we were physically assaulted by this random student. This guy came running towards us, so in our friendly drunken way we told him to stop and asked him if he knew where any house parties were. He responded by grabbing both me and steve around the throat. Luckily we were both in a pretty good mood, so we just told the guy to let go of us, which he did. Turns out he had just been attacked and was running away from the scene of the crime. Obviously when we stopped him he thought he was going to be attacked again. He was terrified. I suppose the clockwork orange costumes didn't help.

Anyway by the time we got home it was about four o'clock, and i was freezing cold. My beer coat had given me the impression of warmth, when in reality i had only been wearing a vest all night. When i got to bed i couldn't stop shivering. I went to sleep in longjohns, a vest, socks and a sweater. Needless to say i woke up about three hours later completely overheated and was almost sick. I made my way upstairs and collapsed on the bathroom floor for a few minutes, which seemed to cool me down nicely. When i woke up i realised that i had caught a chill, and so I've spent the whole day wrapped up warm watching he-man and feeling sorry for myself.

May be going to another house party tonight. I have resolved to take it easy though.
posted by Robert  # 8:32 pm

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