Month: January 2014

Lava lamp

Not really having a great deal to do tonight, I thought I would give writing a poem a go. Simply because I’ve started a module at uni that involves the analysis of poems and other literary text in a really detailed way. Having just analysed two observational poems about the world that the speaker sees  I thought that I would give it a go by picking the nearest object to me. Just so happened to be my lava lamp, nothing meant to be too deep or meaningful . So, here it is:

Timelessly sealed forms of wax,

Encased in glowing liquid

The rise

The fall.

Ever-shifting shape and form,

Twisting and turning in space,

The rise

Then the fall.

Mesmerising endless cycles

Falling through slowness,

Then the rise

And then the fall.

Some do not make it,

Unsure of their grounding they wait, illuminated.

Then the fall,

Ready to rise again.

Dog Walk

As you can imagine, the daily routine of a dog walker could become quite monotonous and repetitive, the trick to keeping things interesting is often to diversify the route of the dog walk. Easy peasy right?

Sure and infact, I only really know my way around some places because I’ve stumbled upon them on a blustery and dark winter afternoon followed eagerly by my furry, four-legged friend, tail wagging so quickly that it resembles the motion of a propeller.

That is only of course if something weird doesn’t happen instead.

Yesterday’s dog walk occurred on a typical British afternoon, nothing unusual. By that, I mean that the weather was bloody miserable (as it has been for the past week) with only brief and teasing sun-filled windows of good weather quickly eclipsed by grumpy grey-ness. As a British person myself, even I question why us lot talk about the weather so much, it really does not hold any surprises so the conversation usually goes as follows:

“It’s raining here. I wonder if it’s raining in London”

“Yes quite. Cup of tea ol’ chap?”

I was casually walking through town, soaked from being caught out in a particularly enthusiastic shower. If you’re an avid Friends watcher or can remember the episode where Ross goes to get a sun tan but only gets his front sprayed and repeatedly three times (as funny as it sounds if you haven’t seen it) then imagine the same thing but with rain. A lot of 100% Organic rainy rain rain. Except only on the back of my body, great.

Anyway, I was strolling unperturbed along the pavement of the main road near the seafront when a man stepped out from the front garden path of his house. Normally this wouldn’t be a strange thing, I’d just make sure to move over on the pavement so that he could pass, the polite thing to do right? Except that there was something interesting about this man’s attire, or rather lack of. He was dressed in winter gear; jumper, coat, scarf, boots and shorts. Wait…what? Those shorts look a bit…Oh…riiiiiiiiight.

The man had left his house completely dressed. All except for one of the most crucial items of clothing; his trousers. And continued past me in true British spirit; awkwardly shuffling past and avoiding eye-contact at all costs which led me to believe that his lack of trousers was not what he had wanted from today.

I carried on walking past and nearing my home I was still wondering what, how and why the man had been walking at such an anxious pace away from the house (other than the obvious chill haha). Had he been caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to? Was he enduring some kind of strange of punishment? Had he lost a bet? Had all pairs of his trousers spontaneously combusted at all the same time? Had he just forgo- 

And then the heavens opened again, soaking me from head to toe and this time the front of my body, completing the job, stopping only when I stepped in the front door of my home to say:

“It’s…well it’s raining outside.”

“Really?”

What a strange dog walk.

 

Why I don’t trust `Shuffle mode` anymore

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Everyone has it, whether its on your ifruit, blueberry, robot or laptop device.

Yes that’s right, good ol’ Shuffle mode. Whilst of course this mode offers many uses; allowing the user to simply relax as they listen to their favourite songs specially selected for them, it also has its faults.

Of course you must be thinking, what’s the problem? don’t you like the music in your music library? For the most part, yes I do. However, there really are some situations I think you will all agree where shuffle just doesn’t help the situation and here is a scenario that happened to me the other day:

I’m casually walking to the bus stop, I arrive in good time and equip myself with my trusty headphones attached to my favourite MP3 player oblivious of how it was about to later betray me. This is all fine, relaxing as I wait for the inevitably late bus until an elderly couple arrive. Enjoying their afternoon, they enter the bus shelter and stand behind me, out of the rain. As you can imagine, to the elderly couple they see the full embodiment of the teenager stereotype, standing in the bus shelter with music leaking from his headphones, hood up obscuring his face. Aware of this, I flash them a quick smile as I see them approach, just to reassure them that I’m not a psychopath who prays on the old and vulnerable (or whatever picture they have in their head) ,that the hood on my head is simply to shield myself from the rain and I do infact not belong to some violent street gang. A common misconception of course. Anyway, at this point, my music shuffled itself, just as I made eye contact with the gentleman and his wife to `Break a leg` from the dubstep, trance album that my friend had lent to me last summer.

This inspiring composition of sounds, sound effects and bass-y beats contains enthralling lyrics such as: “shut the f**k up man or I’ll beat the sh*t out of you.” A fantastic song really. This proceeded to leak from my headphones at what I can guess to be loud enough to have been heard judging from the elderly couple’s reaction. As they slowly backed into the opposite corner from me with a mixture of horror and despair as I frantically fumbled through my pockets to change the song. I might as well have had a boombox blasting out `Big Booty Bitches` or `Smack My Bitch up`; it didn’t matter now, it was already too late as all my previous efforts to appear like a normal human being had been destroyed as in their eyes I was now a social miscreant. I managed to change the song just in time for the bus to arrive, breathing a sigh of relief. This couldn’t get worse could it? no no…Wrong.

Stepping past the still-shocked couple onto the bus to buy a ticket, it appeared that the song that had been chosen next was: `I Just Had Sex` by The Lonely Island (don’t ask) Anyone not familiar with this song, here is a link to the music video, just so you understand what happened next: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQlIhraqL7o 

At this point, I remembered that I had taken my headphones off the top of my head to around my neck just in case a dialogue was to occur between myself and the bus driver. So as you can imagine the volume at which this played was drastically increased so that all of the passengers (also mainly elderly) and the ones stood behind me, stared judgingly as the song continued to play; `I wanna put another penis inside of herrrrr.` This as you can imagine was not really the attention I wanted, if any, and I quickly stumbled through the crowded compartment of the lower floor to the upstairs of the bus to hide muttering my apologies in true British fashion.

So this is why I don’t trust shuffle anymore, whether I am in public trying not to embarrass myself, trying to tell my girlfriend I love her (At which point it chose`The Penis Song` by Monty Python)  or simply having my friends round my house, it always manages to act as a saboteur regardless of the setting. Maybe it’s just me or perhaps a message from the beyond that I need to re-consider my music taste. Nah, can’t be that, my iPod is just a complete evil bastard.

This is what was on my mind today, hopefully you laughed at my misfortune and if you have any embarrassing shuffle experiences feel free to comment.

Remember: shuffle responsibly.

 

Something that stuck out for me this last term of University, where I was taking a beginners course in Spanish, was how you said or were asked how old you are.

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“yo tengo dieciocho años”

This may not seem to be different or of any interest to anyone else, but I particularly liked it. You see all kinds of posts on websites such as Tumblr, posting what `partner` is in Norwegian and that it translates as something meaningful and how the language is much more emotive and delicate comparatively to English. In the same way, the phrase above literally translates to `I have eighteen years.`

I liked this, simply because from the phrasing it implies ownership of those years; `tengo` the conjugated form of the infinitive verb, Tener: meaning to have. In English we would say `I am eighteen years old` and as we become older, we say it with more despair as if its a quality about us that we regret and have gained nothing from it. I like the Spanish phrase because to me it implies a greater sense of gaining experience from the years of your life much as if you would say `they have knowledge.` If you own something then you can accept it surely?

With another year having just passed it got me thinking and to me this seemed more of a positive outlook. I’m probably looking too much into this, but I think the language that we choose is important. Anyway, this is what interested me today.

Prologue

I was on my dog walk today and felt like writing a little of a prologue for a story, might add more to it later, so here goes:

6:09

Brian watched the light drift sleepily through the gap in his horribly beige curtains from his bed. He battled with his inherent want to tug the curtains sharply into an overlapping position, but decided it required a higher level of effort than he could be bothered to part with. The autumn morning light dimly lit a line across his bedside, highlighting the form of his wife, Sarah, blissfully sleeping without a sound. He had planned to replace the curtains with something more lively when they moved here, maybe blue curtains or a wooden blind, whatever worked. Sarah always knew these things better than him, interior design wasn’t his strong point. Besides, that was 10 years ago now and the material had become tattered and discoloured through age.

“This isn’t going to be a successful or sustainable career Brian and you know I’m right” His father’s un-groomed greying eyebrows had furrowed to combine into one thick menacing line of hair stretching across his creased forehead. “You can’t support a family on…this”, gesticulating with his podgy fingers to Brian’s portfolio of sketches. Beads of sweat trailing down the corners of his father’s receding hairline. His mother had remained silent, staring through glassy eyes out into the garden and rain battering in relentless strokes against the window panes. All creativity had been squeezed out of him at a young age with his father eager to push Brian into a suit and straight into an office job. The sensible thing to do.

6:11

Brian skipped the last 4 minutes he was entitled to in bed before his alarm and slipped out of the floral patterned covers. Sarah’s choice of course. Carefully he folded the covers like origami, following each step and fold without thought, just as a well-practiced Folder would, if that’s what they’re called, Brian wasn’t sure, Origami was not something he’d ever looked into. No time for a hobby.

What I really liked about the film Oblivion.

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Speaking of the recent (ish) film, Oblivion, starring popular action star Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman (the voice of god), Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko.

Based on the graphic novel from writer and director Joseph Kosinski, Oblivion is set in post-apocalyptic future Earth, Tom Cruise or Jack Harper works as a mechanic maintaining a fleet of drones which in turn, protect the machines which are harvesting energy supplies. Without wanting to give too much of the plot away, Jack finds himself plagued by dreams of another life he is not familiar with, not all is how it seems and as the film progresses, events later unfold that dramatically change everything for the characters in this story.

Featuring stunning visuals and grand screenshots of ruined Earth, Oblivion really caught my attention. The plot is strong; full of enough tension and interest to keep you firmly planted in your seat (and maybe fidget slightly through anticipation). Combined with this, characters were easy to engage with in turn with convincing performances, from the leading characters to even the chillingly-cold mission control, Sally; “Are you still an effective team?”. There is certainly not a dull moment in Oblivion and where the plot could be said to lack in originality, the ending is certainly satisfying, with appropriate levels of badassery.

If you’re like me and a sucker for sci-fi thrillers, then I would highly recommend you give Oblivion a watch if you haven’t already.

I give it 4/5.

(I do not own the rights to the photo shown; Source: geektyrant.com)

A little about me

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Uhh, not really sure what I’m doing here but I thought that I’d give this a shot, these blog things look pretty hecka cool so.

I’m a university student, I’m studying English and the English Language, so naturally I like to write things: fiction, articles or reviews.

I love music, movies and coffee, but who doesn’t right?

Yeah, so if you’re interested expect to see that sort of thing here I guess. Still trying to get my head around this thing so bear with haha!