Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's been a long time...

it's been a long time, it's been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time, as the great Robert Plant once sang. I haven't posted any blogs for so long, although i've half-typed some, saved them as drafts, and forgot to finish them. I'm now procrastinating over a letter i have to type, asking for work experience. 20% of the mark for Introduction to Law comes from an option in either work experience or advocacy, and i chose work experience. Maybe i should have chosen advocacy instead, as getting work experience placements is harder than it seems - most solicitors' firms are too small to offer it. I've got to get 35 hours of some kind of work experience, link it to law somehow (if it's not law-based), and prepare a preparation about it by the 25th of April. That sounds like loads of time, but when you haven't even got a placement yet, it's not that easy. Term ended last week but my parents didn't actually realise that until i phoned them on Friday to ask if they were picking me up or if i had to make my own way home (quite a trek). Finally they picked me up on Saturday morning. On the way back we stopped at a Little Chef for brunch - good food, but the only newspapers on offer were The Daily Express and The Daily Star! argh!
I managed to stay reasonably healthy (save for a hangover or two) this term, but in the last few days of it i developed a cold. I almost always seem to get colds whenever i have work experience! Is someone up there trying to tell me something? Is my fate to be a slacker for all eternity? Or is it just mere coincidence?
I got home to soon find that one of my favourite forums has been hacked by Muslim hackers. Apparently thousands of Western websites (mostly Danish of course) have been hacked in protest at the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Websites, webpages, forums and blogs about all kinds of things, mostly completely unconnected to this controversy, have been hacked. OK, I know that they're pissed off with Westerners disrespecting their religion, but there's no need for them to throw all the toys out of the pram like that! If you have to hack something, hack an anti-Islamic page, George W Bush's website, the BNP site, pro-war websites... then you would be making a statement! If you hack random websites that have nothing to do with Denmark or Islam or anything, it just looks like you're throwing a tantrum, and it doesn't get you anywhere.
On a brighter note, however, i had a great last week of term. I got all that term's essays done in time, leaving lots of free time for myself. I planned to spend a sunny afternoon sitting under a tree drinking Pimm's and Lemonade, but sadly the weather was too crap for that. Anyway, i had a good time regardless, with the obligatory party being Dan's birthday celebrations on the ides (15th) of March. Beware the ides of March, indeed: I got completely wasted! I vomited! I fell on the floor and injured myself! I talked absolute rubbish for hours! I was amazingly ill the next day! I regretted a lot of things, including an absinthe-induced hallucination that made me throw a glass of water at Dan! But overall, I had a great time.
We went to The Welly so Dan could drink the traditional birthday beverage. It was absolutely disgusting, a mix of loads of different types of drink, and it made him puke a couple of times, and he spilled some down his front at first, but eventually he somehow managed to drink the lot (even if he couldn't hold it all down). Drinking the Welly is difficult, so drinking most of it is still an impressive feat.
One of his presents was very cool/kitsch: a pair of racing grannies! They kept me, Dan, Harriet and Chris amused for far longer than they should have done (we must sound so immature). We also met someone we vaguely knew who was also celebrating her birthday in the traditional welly-drinking way. She'd been given a Rampant Rabbit by some friends. It was huge and intimidated quite a few people, and it vibrated so much that it moved across the table when switched on and placed on it. We tried racing it against the grannies. Actually, better stick to the grannies.
After everyone had finished their drinks, most people (inc. me) went on to a party in Hetherington common room. There was free alcohol on a coffee table there. Free alcohol + Already-drunk people ready to drink more due to loss of memory/inhibitions/common sense = Recipe for carnage. At first i sat down with a drink and a cigar and some nice polite conversation, but then i started talking bollocks, and on top of that I talked in a strong Geordie accent (some of my family are from Newcastle, up north, so that must be where it comes from) too. Then i felt dizzy and the room was spinning so i needed a long sit down. After a bit I went to the loo and watched a drunk guy ripping off one of the toilet doors (isn't it amazing how strong and determined people can be when drunk?). After a bit I was sick - I thought i'd learnt from experience, but maybe I hadn't after all (Now I have and I know what drinks and combinations of drinks to avoid). Then I danced - someone put some good Britpop records on. I can remember dancing in a circle with some mates and occasionally hugging them for no apparent reason (God bless drunks with their sense of humour and lowered inhibitions!). I can remember "singing" (hollering) along to Blur's "Parklife" really badly (luckily it's one of those songs that isn't really sung, more spoken, so hopefully nobody noticed my bad singing).
Around 2am Dan decided he was going to bed (I called him names like "wuss" for this - drink makes me either sleepy or hyper, and that time it made me hyper, so for me, 2am seemed too early to sleep) and for some reason I decided that he needed my help to do stuff like sober up (I think it was the absinthe putting funny ideas in my head) and I think someone told me to give him a glass of water (this may have been a hallucination), so I ran up the stairs after him and threw the water over him, followed by the plastic cup it had been in (thank fuck for plastic cups, if it had been a glass it could've got dangerous!). We both had to be restrained from hitting each other, and for the next couple of days I fretted that he might have been annoyed with me (I know it was only a glass of water, it was nothing compared to half the contents of the Welly already spilled down his front, and anyway he isn't the sort of person to ever get angry or aggressive - he's one of the most submissive, polite people ever - but he looked abit angry at the time).
I stayed on at the party after that, until about 4am. I can remember everyone dancing the macarena soon after that incident, although not to the macarena song, but to a different song. I was also banned from drinking any more alcohol for a bit. I got slightly suicidal because someone put on some annoying dance music (not good dance music, like the Chemical Brothers or The Music, but irritating dance music, like my neighbour Tina plays on full volume first thing in the morning) - maybe it's classical conditioning and I wouldn't find it so irritating if it wasn't so overplayed or played so loudly. Or maybe it really is shit. Anyway, I found some good indie CDs, but as there had been so many CDs played that night, they were all mixed up (not in their right cases etc.) and I couldn't find the ones I wanted. I think I ended up begging for Radiohead at some point. Near the end of the party, someone put on the first Muse album, Showbiz. Muse are excellent, and highly influenced by Radiohead, especially on their early stuff. Despite being absolutely smashed still, I still made a good music critic, able to correctly identify the band and album, recognise "Muscle Museum" (despite not listening to it in ages) and note that although it is a very good album, it's not as original as their later stuff. After helping the clean-up operation, I went to the Esso station to buy food (talked shite to the staff there too) before going to bed.
The next day I felt ill and strange. My corridor had planned a big day of partying and drinking, partly because of the end of term (drink-The-Welly-dry night!) and partly because of Naomi's birthday. After lunch, most of the corridor went to The Imperial, a Wetherspoons pub near the university, but it was only near the end that I felt able to face alcohol again. That evening we went to Warehouse nightclub - we got there at 9pm to avoid queueing, and it was just us there, so we played on the trivia games machine for ages. It slowly started filling up with people after a bit. What surprised us was the number of people who had gone to Arena that night - we went past it on our way to Warehouse and the queue was enormous, like nothing on earth. Nobody understands why Arena is so popular - it smells of vomit and plays exactly the same cheesy music as everywhere else, so what's so special about it? The only plus point I can think of is the cheap drinks and wide range of cocktails. Anyway, it was nice to socialise in Warehouse for a bit and I met some mates I hadn't seen for a while (including James E from school - I hadn't seen him in ages and was beginning to wonder if he was still alive! he was alive and in good spirits, thankfully), but after a couple of hours I felt my body really needed a rest (i hadn't even been dancing or anything - just tiredness and too much alcohol in the last 48 hours) so I went home.
I spent the last night of term quietly indoors, no partying, just winding down, hanging round chatting with Debbie and swapping mp3s with her. I got an mp3 player for when i go on holiday, it was £29.99, 256mb i think. The packaging said you can fit 80 mp3s or 160 wmas on it - I managed to squeeze 175 wmas onto it. It's tiny, much easier to carry than a ton of CDs. I won't be giving up CDs totally, though; I love the way that digital music can introduce you to new music and it's handy when you can't find or afford records, but it's cool to have a physical record in your hands. I downloaded Morrissey's new album Ringleader of the Tormentors (illegally!) but i'm still going to buy it when it's released - there's that magic feeling when you've waited for a record to be released and you trot down to the record shop with your pocket money and buy it and scamper home just waiting to hear it, and then you put it on and flip through the artwork and read the lyrics... you know. It's a nice, innocent thing. It's probably not very trendy to admit to being a music nerd like that, though, but who cares?
Anyway, talking of music, here's one of those natty, "recently played tracks" things from Audioscrobbler:

and tomorrow I may finish one of my draft posts, a rant about the Arctic Monkeys' hype and some praise for some other "hot new bands to look out for." Oh, and i'll upload some pictures to this post. Cheerio!


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