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The ardour of shutters

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Mood: drunk

26 plates // hurl
I just put two contact lenses in the same eye. See? (Pun not originally intended, but I'll go along with it) This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say "incompetent".

Must make self useful today. Must cash school bursary cheque so that money can be spent on very academic things like cab fares and food I can keep in my desk drawer so that I don't have to brave the stale-beans-smelling kitchen and try to make myself something while five other people who don't even live here are making their tea in the same area and won't get out of the fucking way and I have to keep apologising to them every time I want to them to move their arses so that I can get into the fridge because they're strangers and I'm British, dammit, excusemesorrythankyou, every time I get hungry, dammit. Must buy milk. Must spend lots of money in Primark.

Here, have a flatmate:

Olli is Finnish. This is his door. He does Law.

(I wish that rhymed in my accent.) I don't see much of Olli and consequently don't have much to say about him. After all, I do lack imagination. Occasionally, he comes into the kitchen and stabs at the membrane of a microwave meal with his pocket knife. (Yes, pocket knife.) As he waits for his potato mush to cook, he stands directly in front of the oven, taking long, sober draughts from small, sensible cans of Heineken.

His loose, slow-flowing English is full of melodiously varied hesitation sounds. He has a flushed, diminutive, motor-mouthed girlfriend called Vicky who likes to throw beer around. He reminds me of Rainier Wolfcastle from The Simpsons.

Mood: idiot

my first plate! // hurl

Clique having a sunset picnic together. Footless tights and ballet-style slippers= getting kind of annoying now. Sam = yet to realise this.

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Mood: mellow

9 plates // hurl
My Italian teacher pronounces "suffix" like "Suffolks". Fact of the day.

Why does The Clique always have to buzz for someone to let them into the flat? They've got their own keys, dammit; surely it doesn't take that much effort to pluck them from those undersized Hello Kitty bags of theirs. It's as though an action as simple as opening a door cannot be completed without some sort of social contact. This usually takes the form of a vapid, feathery "hihowareyou?" as they swan past, out of sight before the doorperson can articulate an "um...fine..?" I'm old-fashioned, and only say "how are you?" when I have the time and compassion to listen to an answer. Since when-the-fuck was "how are you?" an automatic rhetorical appendage of "hi"? Since women could talk, probably. *inverted sexism*

Reading week next week! I should probably order some DVDs in preparation for that. I'm thinking Seinfeld. Suggestions welcome.

There won't be much studying to do, you see. Academically, I feel like I'm being...retarded? Hah. Held back, I mean. The workload is pisstakingly easy and light. I'm hoping that this is just a soft-hearted "early days" tactic. For the first time in my life, my limbs are becoming more muscular than my mind. (Other firsts: having my hair straightened, phoning a customer service helpline.)

I feel like such a failure. I can't conduct the most mundane tasks without putting a spin of gentle, lopsided incompetence on them. Tying my shoelaces? Quadruple knots and plaits. Looking for something in my bag? Receipts flutter to the floor. Bending down to pick them up? Knocking over an expensive display. Making small talk? I end up talking about my obsession with buses. Closing the door of a taxi? "It's the big yellow handle." "Huh? I wouldn't say that was particularly big as handles go." "Just pull the fuckin' handle, hen." Making friends? Not really. Walking home? An almost balletic fall into a puddle of mud. Walking home in the rain? It doesn't rain on me. It rains at me. In my face.

Otherwise okay, apart from the fact that about ten minutes ago, I downed about half a litre of the bottled water that was on my desk before realising that it had a worrying "week-old 'n' sulphurous" smell. So I guess this is goodbye.

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Mood: unfortunate
Music: Sigur Rós - Flugufrelsarinn

10 plates // hurl
Girl in discussion group: "So I did English Language at A-level, so I've actually done all this. We did all this in class. So I basically know all this, it's just, I know you don't have A-level English Language in Scotland, so..."


Same girl, later on, brow comically furrowed: "What's an inflection?"

Mood: bitchy
Music: Chingon - Malagueña Salerosa

9 plates // hurl
Guess who just single-handedly dealt with the fat irritable October wasp that found its way into in her room! This is the strongest piece of evidence I have to support the argument that I might be semi-coping with this semi-adult life. Speaking of insects, this is sort of cool, because there is a particular sophistication in being a connoisseur of something as primal and underexplored as pain.

And this is sort of funny because it says "twat".

Mood: lazy
Music: Franz Ferdinand - You're the Reason I'm Leaving

11 plates // hurl
Goodness gracious, I think I might just like it here. Queen Margaret Drive smells of wet leaves, and I'm sure Kheredine Idessane will run into me with his car as he drives out of work one day.

Mood: peaceful
Music: Yann Tiersen - Comptine d'un autre été : L'après-midi

3 plates // hurl
I had low blood sugar and felt shaky-sick on the expensive train this morning. >_< My flatmates bought me a card and a lovely cake and a Lord of the Rings poster and sang Happy Birthday to me and left confetti and balloons outside my door. I am deeply touched. I also feel monstrously bad for ever bitching about any of them. >_< MSN randomly disconnected me and I can't sign back in. What the fuck is a Default Gateway, and why is it offline? >_< I hate AIM. >_< My legs hurt. >_< I was going to write a substantial entry, but all I want to do right now is whine. >_<

Mood: woe

6 plates // hurl
For my birthday, I got a dressing gown and a digital camera. They are very big and very small respectively. I am now nineteen and past it. If I were to use Mary Shelley's life as a blueprint for my own (not the strongest idea, I know, but play along), by now I should be completing my first novel in between vigorous love sessions with a poet who bears the best middle name everest.

I just spent a few days in beautiful, sweet-smelling Edinburgh, doing that special brand of Fuck All I tend to do in Edinburgh. For the benefit of the curious, Fuck All involves eating things that aren't tuna, watching Frasier, and being able to oversleep without being disturbed by cries of "who the fuck sleeps that long? Cheesus!" outside my door, whose name-sign was not at all influenced by the Funeral album art, I swear.

My first class starts at 11am "tomorrow" morning. I'm still in Edinburgh at, erm, home. Is it wrong and unstudently of me to call it that? I'm not sure if I have a home anymore. It's become an imaginary place, like in Garden State. O, Generation whY! O, rites of passage! Anyway. Who fancies an invigorating early race across the Central Belt with two awkward shoulder bags and a laptop? I'm sure as fuck that I don't.

I recently discovered that the venue of the Freshers' Ball advertises itself as "Glasgow's very first frat house", and that the entertainment will be provided by a band that calls itself GREEN DAYZ. Should I laugh or should I cry? 

Flatmate number two is Amy.Collapse )

I know. If I carry on at this rate, I'll have moved out of Halls by the time I get to profiling my eleventh flatmate. However, I should soon be set some sort of academic work, and Livejournal will undoubtedly come into its own.

Mood: listless
Music: Devendra Banhart - Inaniel

13 plates // hurl

Wow. Livejournal seems so…lame now that I have a fantastic new life. My personality has changed overnight: I can't believe I used to be so sad and negative. Uni is amazing! In the whole week I’ve been here, I’ve made the best friends I’ve ever had. Seriously, everyone else I know is so boring and sucks ass compared to them. Hey, I’m just being honest! I got so wasted on Apple Sourz last night and had lots of unprotected sex with complete strangers, it was really awesome. I woke up feeling like a pig shat in my head. Hehe. Y’know, my life is so full of wild party fun these days that I totally forgot what movie that quote was from.

*derisive snort*Collapse )

Mood: invisible
Music: Radiohead - Paranoid Android, drunk people not shutting the fuck up

20 plates // hurl
The putting-off-updating-properly thing is going very well indeed, thanks for asking. However, I do feel that certain things simply cannot go unblogged for much longer, like how at three in the morning, someone unravelled an entire 100-metre(!) roll of aluminium foil on the grass around our hall and claimed that it was the glistening trail of a "giant silver cosmic snail". And how one of my flatmates actually likes Leonard Cohen.

As for the rest of this entry, I'm going to be shameless and copy mordant21 by just posting a poem that I loveCollapse ), but he totally copies me all the time anyway, so who cares? :p

Mood: relaxed
Music: The Arcade Fire - The Woodlands National Anthem

4 plates // hurl


Mood: pissed off
Music: FUCKING people yelling, doors slamming constantly, Kaiser Chiefs, drunken laughter

8 plates // hurl
So...here I am. My room smells of new paint and it is surprisingly spacious. Our kitchen has a balcony and a view of the city's alien, sealess skyline. Last night was misty, and brown-skied Glasgow seemed to stretch out forever: it occurred to me that I was in a real city, where trains rumbled underfoot and the high roads straddled the low roads with long grey limbs in a cheerless game of Twister. In the morning, however, I found that the curtain of mist had lifted to reveal a decorous backdrop of hills in the not-too-distant distance. Relief.

The situation in the halls reminds me far too much of Big Brother: a bunch of young people are thrown together to play retarded drinking games. They do. </mini adventure> Everyone Else is a law student from Aberdeen, caught up in a frenzy of drinking and denying all non-euphoric emotion. They seem like decent people and everything, it's just a shame that all the girls are into McFly. Everyone Else also seems to know at least twenty other people from school. I never realised that the social networking you did (or, in my case, so totally didn't do) in high school would count towards how well you got on at university. Oh well. 

Even if you don't end up with Everyone Else talking over you as they zealously plot points of contact on their shared social map, there are so many unwritten conversational rules. You may talk about music, but only if you've seen the band in question live (extra points if you thought they were "shit") or have a quasi-amusing story of how, like, wasted you were the last time you heard this song. Book-talk is streng verboten, as is most movie-talk, along with expressing enthusiasm for your degree subject. I expect that more interesting conversation will come later on, when everyone has settled in properly and doesn't feel quite so obliged to be fun-loving. As usual, I find myself getting on so much better with the guys here: their introversion and cynicism is comforting to me.

Pictures and further whining are forthcoming. I've got the internet working (evidently) but MSN is acting up and causing me all kinds of woe. Oh, and I mistook the freezer for the fridge, so now I have a rock-hard cucumber (heh) and nice bottle of mineral ice.

I like it here.

EDIT: Found some Radiohead fans. :)

Mood: grumpy
Music: party in the kitchen

7 plates // hurl
I will miss this city with every artery, ventricle and vein: take care of it while I'm gone.

I have packed far too much stuff. I'd treat you all to an exhaustive inventory, but frankly, it's too embarrassing. When I move into Murano Street tomorrow (TOMORROW), everyone else will laugh so hard at my special dictionary-crate and brand new crockery I probably won't need. Everyone Else, you see, is effortlessly beautiful and low-maintenance in a hip sort of way. All Everyone Else needs for university is a toothbrush and a fliptop mobile phone with an obnoxious, Cyclopic little camera attachment. Everyone Else's primary concerns are not "oooh, should I start German just for the hell of it?" and "shit, I hope the internet works straightaway". Everyone Else has spent her Gap Year travelling the world and actually speaking the language she's going to study for her degree. Everyone Else is not secretly dreading Freshers' Week: she loves drinking! It's so fun and totally not nauseating, expensive and pointless!

I know. It sounds like I've just spent this year shuffling along a path crazy-paved with virtuously social intentions, only to find myself standing exactly where I was last year. Negativity is my worst, and most comfortable, habit. Perhaps part of me thinks that as long as there is something petty for me to complain about, things can't be all that bad. I like to call this my "insecurity blanket" because I'm so brilliant.

Soft, warm, familiar whining aside, I'm more than ready to do this. Returning to education, to learning, to training up my mind: I can't wait to overcome my rustiness. Oh and new people fun etc whatever. I may seem convinced that I won't function in Glasgow unless I bring with me my entire lip balm collection, my old Latin textbook, all my Frasier DVDs and six pictures of my brother, but I'm much tougher than I act.

This is what the past looks like.

Important books that have been loved to death are sandwiched in between the brown souvenir bundles and chronologically-ordered folders. Please ignore the bluish tinge of my not-actually-deformed, no-seriously, it's-just-the-shoestraps feet but do acknowledge how cool and impractical my shoes are. (Emma, somewhere in there, I still have Ahmed's half-melted Private Ryan and Mr Papathanassiou.)

I just preemptively changed the location on my profile. Why? In case I can't access LJ to change it as soon as I get there, and a period of time might pass in which random browsers of my journal would think I was still in Edinburgh and wouldn't be able to stalk me successfully. So. Lame.

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Mood: indescribable
Music: Eurythmics - Who's That Girl?

24 plates // hurl
Greyish-white angst today: the angst of emptiness. I shall try to fill my head.

It is Christmas Eve Eve. As my own weird personal custom dictates, I have bought a lot of flavoured lipgloss. Since Christmas 1996, December 23rd has been a day for the celebration of lip-grease of all kinds: balms, sticks, salves, glosses, stains, you name it. There is something infinitely pleasurable about the cheap, slick compactness and the familiar chemical flavour. It's not the taste of strawberry: it's the taste of the taste, whipped up with paraffin and glitter. Those little wands and pots work an irresistible consumerist magic on me, and they always have done-- ever since a tiny pot of Collection 2000 vanilla lip balm came free in a summer special of "Shout" magazine. On this day, I give thanks.

Also, no basic grammatical errors were spotted today! In fact, I overheard a sleepy-voiced woman using "fewer" with a count noun so gracefully that it made my fingers tingle. All is not lost.

Work was dull (advanced level envelope-stuffing, really) but not once did I make a tit of myself over the fax machine, the telephone, or my elusive timesheet! Come on the me! Oh, by the way, here's a scandal: 60% of the wealth of this country goes on rugby tickets.

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Mood: blank

8 plates // hurl
Good news: I have a new computer. Bad news: it does not (yet) have an internet connection, so I'm chained to my ailing iMac for the time being.

Under the heading of Indifferent News, I can now reveal that the 13 exists, and that it is indeed spooky. As magicalsausage can verify, I carried out a personal investigation of this bus on Monday. At around five o'clock in the evening, I stood in Charlotte Square and waited.

At 17:02, there was a brief lull in the rush and roar of arterial traffic. It was quiet enough to hear the air sigh through the trees. There were no buses in the square. Was this the expectant hush of some invisible audience?

(ssh!) A 13 peered tentatively round the corner. A fairly new single-decker; a fine evening- certainly not the typical setting for a ride on LRT's most haunted bus. That said, a rather portly man with thick glasses was standing at the front guarding the doors, grinning (rather incongruously) like a skeleton.

The bus glided through traffic-eluding cobbled streets. It passed the Tesco near Bellevue: the erstwhile William Low, the supermarket that even Google can barely remember. Here, the yellowing sun shone upon Topsy-and-Tim-esque banality: all brightly-painted tarmac and shiny cars.

Its route ended in Findlay Gardens, a street too narrow and residential for a bus route. We drove right into the middle of its privet summer. When the engine was turned off, all I could hear was the drone of aeroplanes in the blue sky and of lawnmowers on the warm grass. The houses at Lochend seemed to be made from children's coloured building blocks (the smooth and easily-toppled wooden ones).

That was the essence of its toylike spookiness: apparently, the route of the 13 has not changed since the seventies. It has never grown up.

At the other end of the route (Blackhall), I asked the driver if I could take a photograph of the front of the bus. He showed no signs of thinking me to be a crazy woman. Perhaps he thought I was a quirky American tourist.

Also under Indifferent News, I have been fiddling with Photoshop to see what I'd look like with brown eyes. Wrong, it seems. Now, I shall hand over to Slightly Irritating But Not Exactly Terrible News. Livejournal isn't loading properly. >: I blame my own computer.

Amusing "Elitist" quiz nicked from various peopleCollapse )

So not true. :p I'm not as eloquent a speaker as I would like, and people are never impressed by my useless knowledge, perhaps because I make a point of learning unimpressive things. :/

I'm quite bored, you know.

Mood: contemplative
Music: Bedshaped ~ Keane

3 plates // hurl
I was going to update last night when I was feeling extremely hormonal, but rather wisely decided against it, as I would only have written bitchy things I didn't mean.

Cardiff was amazing. It smelt of wet cement. You could see to the bottom of the Taff, even in the middle of the city. The Welsh word for "Philosophy" is "Athroniaeth". (swoon!) There was a statue of Aneurin Bevan on the main pedestrian street. He may have had a nose like a potato, but I love what he symbolises: Old Labour, left-leaning pioneers, the National Health Service. The first Welsh consonant mutation I saw on a sign was an example of spirant mutation. I bought some false nipples from Ann Summers for a laugh. (you know the ones Miranda had in Sex and the City?) The woman in the B&B was a classic B&B-owning harridan, complaining about the time whilst forcing black pudding down the guests' throats. The city was oddly mainland European in places, all long narrow streets dusted with white light. A pearl-grand, fountain-sprayed "Boulevard de Nantes" led on from a "Stuttgart Strasse". The food was cheap. There were beautiful little arcades with dull haberdashery shops, like in Thérèse Raquin. The airport was the standard 20 miles away from the city, and the bus went through the dismal town of Barry, where 20-year-old pure brilliant Dulux gloss paint peeled off cramped terraced houses. (Not "barry" in the Edinburgh sense, then) There were neds, but they wore stylish dark tracksuits instead of white ones. One nedd, two neddau. It said "Caerdydd" on every dustbin. There is a driving passion in both the take-off and landing of an plane. There was a gorgeous Welsh football reporter called Morgan Jones. There were Magnolia trees in full bloom.

We also developed River Slang, (as opposed to Estuary English?) a set of colloquialisms in which the names of various rivers take on lexical meanings which would not be out of place in adolescent conversation.

Voici notre lexicon so far:

Avon n. An exclamation, a reaction to another's stupidity. Pronounced in a blunt, thick voice. Used rather like "moron!" amongst Primary School children. "Avon!"

Cam: fit, eligible, sociable. "He's Cam and all, but he's just not my type."

Clyde n, adj. 1. A minger, an unattractive person. "Your brother is such a Clyde." 2. Minging, unattractive. "Most people your age are Clyde anyway."

Danube: n. an annoying child, aged 4-11. "Get out of the way, you wee Danube. Go and play with your Duplo, leave me alone."

Dee: n. A small piece of stuff. "Hold on, there's some Dee on your jacket." Substitute for "shit" in very informal contexts, as in "there's a bit of shit in your eye." - "There's a bit of Dee in your eye."

Elbe: adj. delicious. "This green tea ice-cream is Elbe. I could eat it forever."

Forth: adj. in-your-face, audacious, blunt, forthright. "That woman was a bit Forth, trying to yell at me for wearing black trousers."

Ganges: n. semen. "Aw, he got Ganges all over the cushion. Well, I'm not cleaning it up."

Hudson: n, adj. 1. a gauche, V-neck jumper-wearing type. "See that guy with the striped pullover? What a Hudson!" 2. descriptive of a place frequented by such a person. "Don't go there, it's bit of a Hudson bar."

Liffey: adj. sentimental. "He got me a bunch of red roses and offered to take me to Paris, but it was all too Liffey for me, so I dumped him."

Loire: adj. affected. "All the Oxford applicants were so Loire, I don't think I heard a sincere word the entire time I was there."

Mersey: v. to mess up. "I Merseyed that exam up good and proper."

Mississippi: n. a tart. "Fishnets? You're a bit of a Mississippi really, arent you?"

Rhine: n. -> a Rhining. A bollocking, a row. "I was late for work again, so my boss gave me a bit of a Rhining when I came in."

Rhône: adj. descriptive of the suicidal feeling resultant from living in Mallaig (extreme long-term boredom, ennui to the point of nausea) "My life there was so Rhône I could've topped myself, but I moved away instead."

Seine: adj. beautiful (of things) "The garden at dusk was Seine in the soft light."

Taff n. Direct translation= arse. "He's such a taff." or "Nice taff!"
-> to be taffed, v. to be bothered. "I could do my essay, but I can't be taffed, to be honest."

Tay: adj. impotent "He says he hasn't had problems before, but I think he might be Tay."

Thames: adj,n. a ditz, ditzy. Slightly irritating and self-mocking usage. "I forgot to lock the door. Oh, I'm such a Thames! Heehee!"

Tiber: v. to dump, to break up with s. "The bastard Tibered me for my best friend after two years."

Trent (fam!) v, n. 1. to shag. "She got quite drunk, so she trented him anyway." 2. a shagging. "All she needs is a good Trenting to calm her down a bit."

Tweed: n. an embarrassed person. "I was walking around with my skirt up, I felt like a such a Tweed."

Tyne: adj. dull, boring. "Sitting at the bus station for two hours was pretty Tyne. Even the kiosk was closed."

Usk: adj. sexy. "John Noble's Gondorian intonation in Return of the King is incredibly Usk.”

Volga: adj. disgusting. "This lumpy clam chowder is absolutely Volga. Don't go near it." Antonyms, see Elbe.

btw, I need more river-names!

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Mood: silly
Music: Whip It- Devo