Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Cavern, at last!

Hooray! me and Dan and various other Duryard friends went to the Cavern's indie club night last night! We almost didn't go as i had a cold and painful feet (loads of blisters) and Dan was a bit tired, and we didn't have a lot of money so we had to get there before 9pm to get in free, but we met in the Welly, struggled up the road and made it in the end. Had a couple of mailbu + cranberry in the Welly before we left - since Colin the legendary bar manager introduced me to it (last term i think), it has become one of my "trademark" drinks. Felt ill on the way to the Cavern (alcohol + common cold + cold weather, i think) but was still determined to get there! (I felt much better when i got there, and totally OK now - my cold has gone overnight!)
Got there in time, and in the queue Ash and Vicky from my corridor were there behind us. They stuck together the whole night, they're practically a couple i reckon. Ash used to be one of my best mates but i haven't got on that well with him lately. He's very nice when he's with certain people like Lola, but Pete has a really bad influence on him - when i went to see the Rakes they said they were going to walk there with me, then they led me on a wild goose chase (took ages to find the door and get out of our hall!) before running away laughing like idiots.
Anyway, so i spent time with lots of people, at first we just hung around drinking and chatting but then the Smiths' classic "Bigmouth Strikes Again" came on so me and some of the people i came with just HAD to get on the dancefloor for it! Quite a few of our bunch are metalheads-turned-Smiths-fans (I'm listening to Iron Maiden as I type this), so our way of dancing is like a cross between usual metal dancing (headbanging, throwing horns etc.) and stereotypical indie dancing (flailing arms, shoestaring etc.), if you can imagine that. They also played White Rose Movement's excellent "Alsatian" too. Oh, and we met a guy dressed as Morrissey! :oD
After a bit, punky rock'n'roll band Louie came on and played for an hour. They really rocked - sweat, screams, leaping about, everything - great stuff! It was a bit of a mosh pit in there, and me and my mates were right at the front. Louie have 2 frontmen it seems, and both, especially one of them, were getting very close to the audience and doing high-fives with people. Afterwards it seemed everyone were chanting for more and doing high-fives with everyone. Then it was back to indie disco and a bunch of us made a circle in a corner of the dancefloor near the stage, where we danced, leaped about, pogoed and headbanged to stuff like Muse's "Plug In Baby," The Departure's "All Mapped Out," The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," Pulp's "Common People," Razorlight's "Rip It Up" and Blur's "There Is No Other Way" :o)
After a bit our circle disintegrated, as these things always do in clubs, so me and Dan danced together for the next couple of hours. I grabbed his hands and waved them about trying to make him dance, and we ended up holding hands and dancing like that for over an hour non-stop, absolutely exhausting, but it was like one great party track after another so we wouldn't stop pogoing until we were absolutely knackered*!
Songs we danced to together included...
Ordinary Boys - "Talk Talk Talk" and "Boys Will Be Boys"
Arcade Fire - "Neighbourhood #7 (Power Out)"
The Jam - "A Town Called Malice"
The Caesars - "Jerk It Out"
The Strokes - "Last Nite"
The Undertones - "Teenage Kicks" (incidentially i heard a cover version on a shop's radio about a week ago, it wasn't as good as the original tho)
The Cure - "Lovecats"
Maximo Park - "Apply Some Pressure"
Kaiser Chiefs - "Everyday I Love You Less And Less" and "I Predict A Riot"
Bloc Party - "Helicopter"
The Clash - "London Calling"
Editors - "Munich"
Fall Out Boy - "Sugar, We're Going Down"
Buzzcocks - "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?"
Blur - "Song 2" (during which someone spilt his beer all over us)
The Futureheads - "Hounds Of Love" (until Dan's mate known as Ibby crashed into us complaining that he couldn't remember his own name)
The Killers - "Mr Brightside" (very difficult as people went crazy when this song came on and we got knocked over a lot)
...plus loads of others i can't name or remember. We also tried to take photos of ourselves, but they didnt work as it was too dark :o(
At half past midnight Ibby was really paraletic* and me and Dan and some others helped get him home. As we were waiting outside for some more help, trying to prop Ibby up against a wall so he didn't keel over (he's a tad heavy), they started playing The Smiths' "This Charming Man" inside, and me and Ibby (and probably Dan too) were so gutted we weren't in there dancing to it! :(
After heaving him home (it was difficult and Dan's back really hurts now cos of it, cos he took him all the way home while me and the others only took him some of the way) we hung around in Ibby's room for a bit to make sure he's ok. He had what he calls "a tree" in his room - it's a huge branch he found in the road once, it's practically a tree. (He also nicked a bamboo stick from a garden on the way home, hit everyone and everything with it and tried to take it home, except it broke after he whacked it against a bus shelter, so he gave up). Went to bed in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Although we were all disappointed that we had to leave early (Ibby really needs to learn how to take his drink - pace yourself, don't mix, etc - he's never been that drunk before in his life), overall it was an excellent night, one of the best ever.

* P.S. I am aware that my blog may be read by people from anywhere in the world, so I will clarify some English words (mostly slang) for any non-Brits reading this:
Knackered = tired, exhausted, damaged, etc. In this context it means tired/exhausted.
Paraletic/Paralytic = very drunk, to the point of falling unconscious.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hail the Rickman! (and praise the Lord!)


I have fallen in with an Alan Rickman worship cult. As you know, I've been hanging with a certain bunch of mates a lot lately. Last night we watched Die Hard - i'm not much into this kinda thing, but we just took the mick out of it (and movies in general) half the time, predicting what will happen next etc., and cheering loudly whenever the legendary Mr Rickman was on screen (or talking with that distinctive voice). Emily and Harriet have a slight obsession with him. We watched the bit when he is dropped from the skyscraper over and over again - it probably sounds a bit silly, but it was so funny to watch him fall, then rewind and watch him go up again, then play normal again, then rewind again... etc... slow-motion "nooooooo"s (and cheers) all round.

Mum came over yesterday evening too, and she's staying here for the weekend. We went shopping today, huzzah! The only problem is, she said she might come along to Truro too when i go to see Morrissey there. I know she'll be fretting over me going to a gig on my own (I wouldn't be surprised if others from uni go too, but at the mo i don't know anyone who is), i've been to gigs on my own before but you know what mums are like.

Before going to see her again this evening i hung around with the Hetherington posse again (i felt a bit guilty in case my corridor might think i'm neglecting them, but i hope they don't mind, and anyway i'll make it up to them), we talked about the usual stuff like halls' rubbish food, the way Hetherington seems to crumbling right before our eyes, retro kids' TV and movies of course. Dan and I agreed that hamster sidekick Penfold from Dangermouse and former Tory leader Michael Howard look alike (I think they were featured in the "Lookalikes" section of Private Eye too). We also discussed other (more obscure) topics including Dan's "unmentionables" (underwear), what we'll do with Chris's body when he dies (possibly from sniffing Dan's socks), karma and reincarnation, Jews (i.e. Dan), Italians (i.e. me and Chris), eccentric Scottish people (i.e. Harriet), eccentric (yet tempting) Scottish customs (tossing the caber and eating haggis), tapeworms (we suspect you can get them from hall food) and ways to kill them (e.g. hot curries), and the other effects of said hot curries. We talked about a lot of other random things too, some of which are not suitable for a family blog.

We have a heck of a lot of in-jokes now. This is one of the things i like about going to uni, especially living in a hall, it's a community really and you end up with these long-running in-jokes. If you're a Law student, you also end up with this in-joke about the legendary Lord Denning, which students of other subjects just don't get. I like using his quotes during law workshops. Praise the Lord (ha ha).
If you do Science, you might like the NearingZero and ToothpasteForDinner comics, which often have science humour.

Tomorrow i'll see Mum again before she goes, but hopefully i'll also get some time to do some work - i have to finish my criminal law essay (it's one of those "problem questions" - you know, like a story, and you have to consider the criminal liability of all the characters) and start my contract law essay (about what area of contract law i'd like to reform and why). Tricky stuff. I also feel a bit of a sore throat coming on - i hope i haven't caught "the lurgy", what we call the latest bug going round uni (it's like a flu that makes you really tired and gives you a sore throat).

It's weird, Dan isn't conventionally handsome (he was once called "cosmetically challenged" by a PC person), but i feel rather attracted to him (no, it's not a side-effect of the lurgy i seem to have caught from him, or a side-effect of hall food either). Nobody knows yet (tho they might suspect... that's what people always do). People would probably find it a bit strange. It's just i hardly ever fancy people for looks alone, i tend to go for the whole person, if you know what i mean - looks and brains and personality and sense of humour and everything. Not like when you're 12 or whatever. Is it a sign that i'm maturing? I like being an adult in some ways (independence, being able to drink, etc.), but i'm also nervous of it and like being young (so i have an excuse for immature humour, having fun, drinking, not having tons of responsibility, etc.). I think i'll stop worrying about my age for a while and just enjoy it for the moment (it certainly won't last forever) and go to bed now (it's nearly tomorrow).

P.S. My neighbour Pete fancies me, and he isn't attractive (physically or in any other way) in the slightest, no matter how mature and open-minded i may be. He treats me like shite, like when I went to see The Rakes he was going too and pretended he was going to walk there with me (it was dark out there so it's reassuring to not walk there alone), and then he suddenly ran off, laughing and thinking it was really funny to leave me alone in the dark in the middle of nowhere. I got there in the end, luckily, and had a great time regardless, but he was acting weird and avoiding me the whole time. He lives next door to me but we can go for ages without even saying a word to each other cos he goes through these weird phases when he avoids me or won't talk to me. Also, he's arrogant and keeps on telling everyone that he's superior because he's doing Computer Studies, which is getting really annoying. And then he wonders why i don't fancy him back. Well, duh. Give me Dan over uber-arrogant Pete any day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The high cost of low living

For the first time in my life, i have an overdraft. My money is in negative numbers now. That's a strange thought. I'm minus £190. I'm in debt! Luckily, i get up to £1000 free overdraft with my student bank account, so i'm safe for a while. I can hardly wait for the next instalment of my student loan :)
I haven't actually been spending the money on huge amounts of alcohol, contrary to the stereotype. Most of it has gone on clothes and records. Sadly i've had to sell some of my CDs on ebay to regain some money.
I've sort of sorted out my accommodation for next year. Me and Harriet applied for self-catered accommodation on campus, but if we don't like it or don't get it we'll apply for private accommodation like most second-years do. I've been hanging with her and that lot a lot lately. We have shared loves, like Monty Python, The Simpsons, The Smiths, The Beatles, HIM (well, me and Emily like them), Dave Gorman, Wayne's World, The Goodies, and gently taking the mick out of Neighbours, and we're all from Duryard: me and Deborah are from Jessie Montgomery House, Emily is from Duryard Mews which is next to Jessie, Dan and Chris are from Hetherington which is opposite, and Harriet is from Murray which is next to Hetherington.
For standard halls, and especially for Duryard, the Mews are luxury. Like Jessie, they have the added luxury of plastered walls. They don't actually look like prison cells! Unlike Jessie, the rooms are really big, well-lit and warm (the radiators work properly and aren't miles from the beds!), and have nice furniture and lots of electrical sockets. Hetherington, universally described as "a shithole", is pretty bad, but not too bad (i.e. it looks like a prison, but it's just about habitable), although i can see why they want to knock it down. Will Young used to live there and he once said something like, "They should knock it down, it was horrendous, a breezeblock building." (Us lot in JM can beat Hetherington for celebrity inmates, i mean alumni, as J.K. Rowling used to live here.) Murray is about the same as Hetherington, slightly better, and JM is between them and the Mews. It's a tad unfair that we all pay the same amount as we aren't all getting the same quality. It's also a waste that they're knocking down the Mews during the summer, as they're in really good condition. Nowadays, people want en-suite accommodation, so they're knocking down lots of old halls and replacing them with en-suite halls. En-suite is nice but you can live without it. I'm guessing that some people have en-suite rooms at home so they're used to it and want it at university too.
Anyway, so with this bunch of friends i have been shopping, checking out next year's accommodation, eating, drinking, going to the movies (Serenity last Sunday, and The Constant Gardener the Sunday before that - the campus cinema is only £3, or £1.50 if you join CinSoc, good price i think) and watching way too much telly (the aforementioned shows and films) for the last few weeks. I haven't abandoned my corridor or any of my other friends, i just think i needed a break from socialising by getting completely lashed (if you're wondering, i mean "getting lashed" as in "getting really drunk", not some sort of S&M activity!) with them, so lately i've been socialising in other ways with people who don't like getting drunk so often. I like drinking, and i like getting drunk, but not to the extent that some people in my corridor do. Also I have three 9 o'clock lectures a week, and every day of the week i have morning lectures, plus i will be doing work experience soon, so i want to avoid getting hangovers every day. I think it's working, as i've recently re-mastered the art of getting up in time for lectures. Hooray! I think i'm also getting better at typing. (Typing when drunk is disastrous.)
Last night our corridor celebrated Ralph's birthday, we made him drink the Welly and he downed it in seconds, it was amazing. He's got a talent for downing drinks, i reckon he can relax his throat muscles like sword-swallowers do. After that most of our corridor lot went to Arena nightclub, but i didn't go as (a) i had a 10am lecture the next day, (b) i was feeling sleepy, and (c) Arena smells of puke so i don't like it very much (i would ignore the puke smell and go more often if the place had more redeeming features, e.g. played more good music/ less bad music, was nearer, etc. like the Cavern).
To be fair to my corridor, they're not all drunks, they can socialise sans alcool too: last Thursday we went to a Chinese restaurant and got all-you-can-eat 3-course meals for £10.50 each, which was excellent value for money and very tasty (better than halls' food!). I would love it if we could socialise like that more often (we are planning going there again, but i don't know when). They're very nice people and i'm friends with them, it's just a lot of them don't have 9am lectures so they get drunk a lot.
It's Valentine's Day today, and i would like to wish you, dear reader, a good day. I used to really hate V-day at high school, there was so much pressure to have a boyfriend, and pressure to "go out" with one from the "in" crowd, and around V-day that pressure would just intensify. A lot of the "harmless" "teasing" over "puppy love" that grown-ups saw was borderline bullying, and it wasn't exactly very nice. If you like someone, go out with them, show them your feelings, whenever you want: you shouldn't be pressured by peers and there's no reason to wait for a specific day in February anyway. V-day wasn't a problem at my first 2 schools, when i was a kid, and it wasn't much of a problem in sixth form, but in high school it was hell, i used to ask my mum to let me bunk off that day (she wouldn't let me). Last year's V-day didn't actually suck, for once, and in the afternoon i was thinking it might be the first V-day in years that didn't totally suck. Then my grandmother, who was one of my best friends, passed away. Today has been a good day, there's been no pressure like at school, most people see V-day as a bit silly, the weather isn't too bad (apart from a shower earlier, it's a beautiful day), people are being nice to each other, but the fact it's the first anniversary of her death is upsetting. My dad isn't well and i wonder if it's because he's depressed over it (she was his mum). I don't know what to do though, should i phone my family in case they want to talk, or should i leave them alone in case they don't want a reminder?
There is a huge hole in the lives of all my family. I don't know how to help the others. I don't want to end this post on such a negative note, so i'll try and find something positive to say. I am having a great time at uni, it really can be "the time of your life", and i'm sure she wanted that. I'll go now, i have work to do. I've got just under 2 hours before my next lecture, which i could use for good, i want to avoid wasting valuable work-time on the 'net (that's why i don't use msn much any more, it's soooo distracting, plus my neighbour Pete, who is the only person in my corridor who i don't get on well with, keeps messaging me with it... well, he used to, until i blocked him because he was getting annoying). I've got a lecture 4pm-5pm today (groan... but at least it's not as bad as criminal law workshops, which are 5pm-6pm on Fridays!) so i hope i get home in time for dinner and telly.