I am a dork and I am utterly offended.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A while ago I wrote this here article about the abhorrent concept of "geek chic. I mentioned club nights that until now I haven't had the misfortune to come across. Now i'm disappointed in the newest club in Lincoln... Tokyo. I love the place. Though I mostly frequent Sugarcubes, everybody's favourite rock dive, I have been going to Tokyo more and more.

I saw this on their Facebook page.

"GEEK GLASSES will be available on entry to get y'all in the mood!!"

"Geek glasses"... now how exactly are geek glasses any different to any other glasses? And "in the mood"? The mood for what exactly? I am, of course, expecting the "geek chic" theme to continue throughout the night. Tokyo's team have developed a new technology that without the Geek Glasses™ makes everything blurry*. As we all know very very well bad eyesight = intelligence. Entry will be £3.14 but free if you solve a variety of mathematical problems, £1 off if you fix the doorman's computer and £2 off if you submit a short essay detailing the research you went through to decide on Tokyo above the other clubs in Lincoln.

Now which genre of "geek" are we looking at? Will there be books to read around the club? Will each room have a different console? Will the drinks be served in receptacles from scientific experiments? I like to think the staff will be dressed as various film and game characters. I think Leeloo, Ezio and Mario should be doormen. Doormen have moustaches, right?

Are we counting down the days until "hipster night" or  "emo night"? Is it a new trend that club nights alienate certain groups in society? What music would you even associate with "geeks"? I'm not entirely ungeeky and in my circle of "geeky" friends there is certainly no trend in music taste. And anyway... are real "geeks" wouldn't be there anyway, surely? I love Monday nights at Tokyo but there's no chance I'll be there on that night.

It'll be full of slutty schoolgirls and too many fake glasses. It just sounds horrible and ungainly.

Dick move, Tokyo. I love your faces, but dick move.

*A source from Tokyo Lincoln denies a connection between this new technology and alcohol.

At least Professor X would know to arrive early for his train

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Is it just me or is this a little bit off? Currently at Lincoln train station they're performing some kind of maintenance work on the lifts. Which I discovered, when to my delight, I had to heave my heavy suitcase across the platform bridge. Now, I am not hugely bothered by this but my first thought (after "oh effort!") was 'How's a wheelchair meant to cross?'.

BOXED IN: Works going on at Lincoln Train Station.

I asked one of the men who stand around in high visibility jackets... because that means they're important (or something). And apparently if there's someone who needs disabled access to the far platforms then they need to re-platform the train. I see several problems with this. As there's no way of telling people before they arrive then I doubt they're going to miraculously think "ooh, maybe i'll arrive extra early today. And, as far as I know, I think it's possible for people in wheelchairs to be late too. I mean, I'm not sure, but someone, somewhere, in a wheelchair may have been late for something at sometime.

Anyway, in this situation the concept of "late" can be subjective. For example, the train I catch from Lincoln to go back to the West Midlands is always at the platform about half an hour before it is due to leave. Let's say someone in a wheelchair arrives for their train 10 minutes beforehand. This is perfectly acceptable. Will they take the train out of the station and bring it back in to platform 2 or 3 (the only ones when you don't need to cross the track) and can't they even do that what with other trains coming and going.

This re-platforming plan only works if the passenger arrives before the train. Lincoln is the end of the line for many trains, the only really notable places Grimsby and Skegness further east... they're not exactly the Paris or New York* of Lincolnshire. If they arrive even slightly late or perfectly on time, when their train is already there, then what's the answer? Can they just not travel?

There's definitely something not right about this whole situation. It seems like they've looked at the problem and thought "eh, we'll play it by ear".

*I'd go close to saying Newark was the New York of Lincolnshire because for some reason the similar sounding nature of them makes me giggle.

Violence and stupidity

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

It's hard to know whether I feel ashamed of my country right now or proud. I have never been patriotic... when patriotism seems to only show it's face during sporting events it seems like a weakened concept. However when patriotism comes down to simply liking of and willingness to to protect your home we British do flourish. Most Brits wouldn't dream of flying the flag... it's a thing that doesn't come to mind unlike in America. Though when so soon after the riots began the hashtag #riotcleanup appeared, I felt a surge of affection for my country.

00:38 9/8/2011: Camden Town, London
So beautifully British.

Can anybody link me to the original source of this photo?

Whilst only a minority were calling for the army, armed police and assorted violence to stop the violence a huge about of people were already on the streets beginning the cleanup, websites popped up, ready to publicise photographs of the offender and the general feeling in the country appears to be that of shock and outrage.

How dare people destroy their own country? Our governments of years passed have damaged it enough without 'yobs' hindering the attempted economic recovery.

There are no excuses for the riots right now. This is not a protest, protests have a message, and there is absolutely no moral authority for nicking flat screens. Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, Graham Stringer put it brilliantly; "[the riots are] nothing to do with cuts, nothing to do with racist, it's entirely to do with criminality". These people are criminals, they are doing nothing good, nothing productive and it is not a protest.

And I truly wish that news agencies, MPs and irate members of the public would stop with all the keywords. They're blaming youths, bad parenting, frustration, chavs, society. There are so many factors that turn people into criminals and that's simply what they are. Not protesters, not neglected children, criminals.

Now onto another matter that has come out of these riots. It's not just violence that is rife, but also stupidity. Yesterday I became angry and tweeted this...

Last night many in Lincoln and Lincolnshire were tweeting about rumours of rioting in Lincoln. This is tiny, middle-class Lincoln. These tweets were speculation and guesswork. I was even told that there was "rumoured police confirmation". Now there's an oxymoron if I've ever seen one. It took me less than a minute to check the websites and twitter feeds of the local emergency services. Nothing. No press release, no statement.

Then this morning an offical statement was released.
"There were no public order incidents in Lincolnshire related to the on-going national disturbance issues last night."
- from a @lincspolice press statement.

If there's a time to trust the police this is it. Don't believe pathetic rumours. This willingness to believe unfounded rumours seems almost as if you would want the ritos to come here 'for the excitement'. No thank you. Rioters or rumourmongers... you do not deserve respect.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Counted over 20 police at the bus station alone. There is a truly tense atmosphere on the streets of Wolverhampton. Just witnessed in excess of 30 policemen leave Bilston St police station in group formation. Although there are a lot of rumours going around they are obviously expecting trouble. We heard that there was a group of 100+ moving into town from Whitmore Reans but we just don’t know. It’s so surreal leaving work and not knowing if the building will be there tomorrow. 
Police just swooped on a group of youths right in front of our bus! Have them pinned up against the shop and are searching them. I just want to get out of Wolves. It’s horrible!
- Sarah Aldridge (my Aunt who works at Wolvo Courts)

And the West Midlands police haven’t made a statement about Wolvo since last night which was to say that nothing is happening in Wolvo....

Oh how fantastically awfully I am...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I'm genuinely ashamed of my lack of writing this summer. I find that moving house (which i'm half way through doing), working (which I'm on holiday from at the moment) and drinking/reading/lounging about on a beach (which is the reason why I currently look like a pasty patchy lobster) don't fit together as a good enough excuse.

Other than drinking and moving I have little motivation for anything that really matters... losing weight, not being poor, writing etc. In fact, gimme two more months of this I'll be fat, broke and illiterate and that will just not do.

In spite of all of this anti-productivity I have managed to do some mildly course-relevant work, designing posters and such for my Aunt's play in October. I've also delightfully misused Quark Xpress to make a drinking game. I really need to actually get work experience so that I'm making layouts that aren't spoof birthday presents or card games. This is my one talent and the last two layouts I've created involved fake stories (Jamie and Hazel's diamond heist) for birthday presents. It's a shame that I can't help but create phoney layouts in a tabloid style. It looks more cutesy than professional. Damn my need of experience to get experience. I don't like that I know I'm good at layouts but have no substantial way of showing this.

Now that I've rambled incoherently, I'm gonna to pootle off and thing of things to write about that aren't simply "I can't think of things to write about".

Bicycle... bicycle... bicycle!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

It would just be LOVELY if someone could buy me this. Seriously... someone give me £169. 

I bought my current bike second-hand last year and not long after I got it I came off it. Only a couple of months after I bought it and apparently I buckled the back wheel. As well as that, the brakes and the gears like making horrible noises, it just doesn't feel safe. I'm on it every day... not any great distance but it's still in regular use.

I'm currently looking at more second-hand bikes... preferably folding ones (I have nowhere secure to keep it outside the new house) but I really want a new one. Then I know there's no problems or rust or anything. *sigh* And it'll be shiny.

It's fiction remember... fiction.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sometimes I hate television writers. I like to think I am a relatively sane human being but too many times have I been brought to tears because of the lives of fictional characters. In the same way, if I watch an episode of Green Wing or Black Books, I'm instantly cheered up.

Part of me cried because of the plot of the last episode (OH THE PLOT! THE PLOT!), part of me cried simply because now I have to wait until September 19th to find out if one of the characters is alive or dead. This is fan torture! You bring us into the stories of these shows, we are hooked then in the last episode there's big reveals, shootings and declarations of love and suddenly we're left hanging.

This doesn't happen with films, you don't experience the "lives" of the characters in films like you do in an ongoing series. Books are the same. You get to know a character in a way that you can't in just two hours.

And this is what comes of my lack of human contact (apart from at work) at the moment. I watch a lot of television, eat too many crisps and cry into my duvet when someone fictional gets shot. Oh what summer fun I am having.

A handbaaaaaaaag?!

Monday, 13 June 2011

I don't understand fashion. Fashion, trends, whatever you wish to call it. It completely and utterly baffles me. Why is the female oriented media drenched in images of clothes, handbags and makeup? Do we care about nothing else? I'd like a magazine that talks about books, television, films, theatre, tattoos, piercings... These aren't just confined to alternative sub cultures, you know! I'd like articles about social media, technology, even bloody interior design. I'd like health stuff that isn't focused on articles that are a menagerie of "LOOSE WEIGHT YOU FAT SOD OR NO-ONE WILL LOVE YOU", "HOW TO GET THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS", "WHY YOU DON'T NEED MEN" and "OMG LOOK AT WHAT THIS CELEBRITY DID AND THIS IS WHY IT SHOULD MATTER TO YOU/IT SHOULD OFFEND YOU/YOU SHOULD BE DISGUSTED BY THIS". EXCUSE... ahem, I mean excuse the caps but I feel most idiocy is best expressed in capslock. Ridicule and all that lark.

But that's magazines. Fashion confusion hits me from many different media. It's not just magazines but what people are actually willing to wear that infuriates me. At the moment the fashion seems to be a lot of horribly fake vintage clothing and a lot of beige. Why beige? And why chinos and slacks? On women!

Most annoyingly I keep seeing groups of young girls, teenagers, all wearing these odd identical outfits. The other week I saw three girls all wearing the same kind of nasty high-waisted, arse-showing denim shorts with the same style of floaty vintage-esque blouse. And it's not vintage jewellery if it's made out of gold painted plastic! It's not vintage if you got it from New Look, Next, Dorothy Perkins or fucking Primark. I have a vintage dress, it is actually vintage and I bought it from a vintage shop in Birmingham long before this current "craze". I'm not sure whether I want to wear it now. Or is actively not wearing something "fashionable" as bad as actually wearing it?

I understand why fashion happens. Otherwise people would have to have their own thoughts and where would we be with that!?

What I don't understand is why people pursue it endlessly even though in all likelihood they'll end up wearing the same as everyone else. Obviously I don't expect everyone to have their own individual style but I don't understand the obsession with needing to wear the same style as you're friends, celebrities and them-people-what-are-on-the-telly-box. And it seems that so many people wear whatever is in fashion regardless of whether it suits them or not.

There are two main fashion phenomena that I don't understand.
  1. Playsuits. A hideous creation I have discovered since working in the warehouse of a fashion outlet. Why why why would you want to wear a garment associated with onesies and overalls that makes you look like you're wearing a table cloth in some kind of disgusting printed material you'd find upholstering your Grandma's dining room chairs? They are unflattering, hideous and if you bend over and I can see your pants then they're too damn short... I'm talking to you woman I saw on the street the other day.
  2. Leggings as trousers. LEGGINGS ARE NOT TROUSERS. They are not designed as trousers, they are too thin to be trousers and they're a close relative of tights. I do not want to see that much of your arse, missus. We don't live in the land of photoshop so when struck with a legging-ed arse all I see is either a boney one or one that would need to book multiple seats on an airplane. And I never, ever, have any desire to see the outline of anyone's pants. Tops should go with skirts, shorts or trousers. "Dresses" should certainly cover arse and crotch. Arse and crotch, remember that Ladies. Relevant. Also Relevant.

I'm gonna end on a point about brands. Handbags seem the worst... extortionate prices for a label. What's so special about a £100 hangbag that has a little word on it as opposed to a £20 that doesn't? Shoes are also a big one, though with my love of Vans, Etnies and Converse, I am also guilty of this. However, I also buy shoes like this because, damn and blast it, they are comfortable. You wouldn't catch me dead in a pair of Jimmy Choos*.

Now, there's clearly a difference between Primark clothes and FatFace clothes. FatFace clothes will last you an eternity and cost you an arm and a leg whereas Primark will cost you pittance but last you an evening. For all those crappy t-shirts you bought in Primark you could have bought a similar one that would last. That's where brands are good, you get the quality but there's got to be a limit on when it goes from will-weather-the-storm to will-show-everyone-what-you-can-afford-and-still-falls-apart. I'm looking at you, Macbook.

Alas. Maybe I will never understand. Maybe I'll become one of them. Or maybe the next time I see someone in jeggings I'll punch them in the face.

*I had to Google that to learn the spelling. I'm not sure what that says about me.

A/N: If you understand the reference in the title, you get points.

“The electric things have their life too.”

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Today I discovered this website. The sculptures are absolutely beautiful. All I can think of is how it reminds me of Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? Now I love Bladerunner, which is based on Dick's novel, but it doesn't really live up to the book for me. I've call for a proper film or series of the book but sod's law says it'll be appalling.

by Jamie Salmon, sculptor.

I can dream of a good adaption, can't I? The other day I dreamt about Socialists with superpowers. I can dream it, but that doesn't mean I want it to come true.

Charity begins at home.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

I've ever really understood that phrase. Is it trying to persuade you to give to charity because some day it could help your home? Or is it there to be used as an excuse to keep otherwise charitable donations to yourself? Hm. I don't know. It's an odd phrase which I hear to often and yet am still baffled by. Phrases that I don't understand should be banned.

The point that i'm meandering slowly towards is that I love charity shops. As I'm not one for following trends (I'm currently brewing a blog on this matter ready to be written when I can be arsed) and never really in the money I've always enjoyed perusing charity shops for some nice unique little bargains. It's not as if I get all of my clothes from charity shops but I do have a handful of stuff from them.

Today I bought a really pretty top, a red shirt and a polar bear. I've gained new things (most excitingly the polar bear) at a low price and that goes to charity.

I'm not quite sure what my point it. Basically... I like charity shops, there's no reason to stick you nose up at them because the stuff's second-hand. I hear this too much. Do you really know what happened to your stuff on the way to the shelves anyway? It's a great way to get good quality stuff at a crazy-cheap price.

And I bought a really cute cuddly polar bear.

I'll finish with a free opinion on charity in general.... I'm not for all this monthly giving to charities, I always worried where the money actually goes with those Big charities and I hate being stopped on the street by people. I'm not sure how longer I can get away with saying that I'm 17. I already give to charity and I'm clearly a poor student. Don't bother me with your antics.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Oh wait... we're not meant to?!

Experimental silliness as always from the School of Journalism and we've been given a strange new exam format for our one lonely exam this year. It requires no revision more than a good read of the pre-release as it's focused on our knowledge, research and critique of two news stories in the papers on the day of the exam.

I think I like the idea however I can see myself cursing it tomorrow in the 6ish hour sprint to the finish. Yes we don't have any revision but we still need to cram in a lot of prep and research into one day.

However after this hour and a half of scribbling myself and my writing knob on my middle finger will be free to enjoy the Summer. It's mid-May and I'll be finished! Cue assorted dancing gifs...

Yeah... I do GIFs now.

Less than 24 hours until second year is over. Good lord.

No referendum for me.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Fuck you, Lincoln City Council, fuck you.

Because you seemed to lose my change of address application I now can't vote today. I'm one of the only people I know who actually cares about my vote and now I'm not fucking allowed to use it.

Clearly fucking bureaucracy matters more than democracy.

EDIT: One afternoon, two polling stations, countless phonecalls to the council and a visit to my old flat. AND I FINALLY GOT TO VOTE. :D


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I seem to spend a lot of my time worrying about money. And as my current job gets me only 5 hours of work per week I'm constantly job hunting. Finally after months of looking I've just got a job working in the stockroom at Next. It's only temporary but it's perfect for the summer.

When I first arrived I immediately thought I had no chance. On the phone I was told to wear comfy clothes as there would be a practical side to the interview. In my mind with was jeans, a plain tee and trainers and I made sure my hair was neat. However everyone else had arrived in normal interview gear, shirts and smart trousers.

But hey, clearly a cheery disposition and the ability to put cubey things on clothes hangers gets me a job.

So happy that I'm supping a celebratory milkshake.

What are you trying to do to me, Macbook?!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

So my beloved Macbook went on a massive go-slow. A rare occurrence but non-the-less I restarted. Half way through the restart it crashed... then it somehow crashed during the crash. Then it booted fine, quietly apoligised for Mac OSX crashing and continued to go about business as usual.


Half way through all this nonsense I got this screen...

Which is apparently like a windows blue screen of death. According to Wikipedia. Also people who've been asking around on forums about this a) were doing something unusual (using new hardware/software) and b) couldn't revive it.

Mine's now fine after a reboot. Plus all it was running when it happened was Chrome, Photoshop and Word. Just the usual.

I'm SO confused.

My Macbook is undead? Should I be worried that my awfully expensive laptop just seemed to have a near-death experiance?

Redtops and jesus socks

Friday, 22 April 2011

I'm currently writing an essay critiquing health and crime reporting and this ended up in my trawling tabloid websites for examples of irresponsible journalism.

It was highly useful when the Express whacked me
in the face with this frankly ridiculous headline.
However I've now had to take a break from my essay and get back to packing for my Easter week at home (hurrah for my little village being away from all this awful killer smog) because it was chipping away slowly but steadily at my belief that there's good and intelligent life in the world. Urgh.

The other day I happened to bump into an old "friend" from high school who asked me how I was getting on. After replying with "busy, journalism degree, lincoln, blah blah blah small talk" her friend said something that saddened and irritated me.

"When you finish your course do you want to work for The Sun?*"

Not, "a newspaper" but specifically The Sun. Yes, I get that people enjoy that redtop trash but it's not really something to aspire to, is it? I guess people must want to write for the redtops but surely people can see that the quality press is refered to as the quality press for a reason. The writing quality is better, everything is better.

There's a chance that I'm being a bit... er... "socially mobile" here but really. If I get stuck reporting on "celebrities" and socks with heavenly aspirations then my career has gone down entirely the wrong path.

*She seemed the type that if she'd have written it down she'd have used the wrong "your".

Thanks, Aunty Beeb, for that fleeting glance into the dystopian future of Britain.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Maybe I watch too many sci-fi films, maybe it's because I'm currently reading Do androids dream of electric Sheep? in which cities trudge on underneath a blanket of radioactive fallout, maybe I've just gone a bit odd out of boredom (I stare pointedly at the essay that is sitting ignored in another window). Either way, this tweet both chilled and excited me.

As a lover of futuristic fiction it excites me every time I see something that hints towards the future. Sometimes the robot, Akimo will pop up in a documentary or I'll learn of some crazy sounding new scientific experiment... then every now and then I see a Segway and yearn for the future where they're as cheap and commonplace as bicycles. Oh see how I yearn.

In spite of my love of dystopian fiction seeing a smog alert hashtag on twitter is still a little strange and disconcerting. Should I wear a mask out? Or a protective suit? Or maybe I won't go out at all, just stay inside with my hoverboard and self-lacing boots.

Is anyone really surprised at the £9000 fee hike?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Right now do I hate the Government more or The Inbetweeners for giving us so many ready made self-loathing headlines? "Second-rate education" "shithole"... fuck off, okay? Was anyone calling Lincoln this before the goddamn Inbetweeners? Lincoln is a gorgeous city, a tourist hotspot and the university isn't bad at all! We're not fantastic but for a relatively new university 72 in the league tables isn't too shabby.

All I know is I don't hate my university. What other option did they really have? It's not the university's fault that David Cameron wants to bugger our universities and strip the UK of quality education. The government are taking away all funding for universities... is it really any surprise that when they didn't have enough funding in the first place they'll opt to get all the money they can?

People have been complaining that the university announced they could afford £7500 fees yet still opted for the full £9000. I mean, wouldn't you? Would you be happy with your university unable to afford any improvements? I think my course is pretty good, yes we don't get a huge amount of contact time, and the computers are a bit dodgy but I know many people doing Biomedical Science at Lincoln, a course that seriously needs better funding. They have no lectures theatres meaning that 2 or 3 hours lectures that frequent their schedules have to be split up in hour sections where they're shoved into whichever lecture lecture theatres the media and humanities buildings can spare.

Why are people asking "Is the University of Lincoln even worth £9000"? How do you define what university education is actually worth? The dickhead politicians who are bringing in these higher fees got their degrees for free. At the time would they have happily paid £1000 for it? "No!" they cry in outrage, "Free education is a right! Why would I pay for something I could get for less?!"

Why would I pay £9000 for something I could get for £3000? You wouldn't! No-one would! Just like if you could earn £9000 instead of £7500 you bloody well would. Define worthiness for me. If this were as simple as how much the course is worth then £9000 wouldn't be such an infamous figure. It's all political. It's not the universities fault that they've been put between a rock and a hard place. The government took away their funding so they have to find it somewhere. Even with the government funding they didn't have enough so why not get as much as they can?

Stop blaming the universities. It's the government that's made this happen. And all of us foolish Lib Dem supporters who didn't foresee Clegg's arselicking tendencies. Politicians are at fault here.... as fucking always.

Urgh. Urgh. And urgh.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

I hate group work sometimes. Trying to wrangle a group of people into the same place (even a virtual place) at the same time is seemingly impossible. My group were due to have a Skype meeting at 8pm, due to my abysmal internet connection at home I came into the newsroom (yay 80 meg internet). However, this afternoon I felt ill and not wanting to skip this important meeting I made myself a packed tea (foil + sandwich) and soldiered on to the newsroom at about 4 so I wouldn't just go to bed.

6 hours later and though I've done some work (set up the website for print, edited/rewrote some articles) I've spent a lot of time just enjoying the internet connection and staring into space. Two people arrived on Skype, one of which was sat next to me in the newsroom. And we could do absolutely nothing. Wonderful.

What a waste of an evening when I could have been getting some shut eye and trying to ward of this cold.

Review: The Adjustment Bureau

From the film's official website:
Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he's ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York.
David (Matt Damon) and Elise (Emily Blunt) look at the notebook that chronicles their fate.
WARNING: Possible spoilers...

Retro vs. Modern Gaming: Arch enemies or father and son?

Monday, 7 March 2011

So you’ve just bought yourself a shiny new PlayStation 3. It’s stood proudly on your desk boasting high definition graphics, motion gaming and some of the best titles on the market. Your old PS2 is discarded on the floor amidst a flurry of cables awaiting its fate. Will you trade it in and grab yourself a few second hand games for your latest toy or will it be destined to gather dust in the loft with the Sega Megadrive and an army of old teddy bears? Is it worth keeping your old consoles or does newer instantly mean better? If that’s true, then why do people keep going back to retro games?

A/N: This article was originally destined for Bullet magazine but as apparently the entertainment editor has no say here it is for your reading pleasure.
Classic games are now being rebooted for the modern market. Characters such as Mario and Pikachu, who first appeared on Nintendo 64s and Gameboys are now enjoying their time on the latest consoles. Now 25 years old, Mario is actually older than most of his target audience. Solid Snake, famous in the Metal Gear Solid series originally hit the mass market on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) but since then he’s been seen on each generation of the Sony PlayStation. Are games developers giving the people what they want, introducing a younger audience to the classics or are they simply running out of ideas? I think it's the former... Only this morning I got out my Gameboy colour after I had the urge to go out and catch a few Pokemon. Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold are the latest incarnation of the Pokemon series and they're as popular as their predecessors.

Beautiful day in Lincoln

Photo: Me
Beautiful clear skies in Lincoln today. It's cold but delightfully sunny which is a perfect day in my view. I arrived in Lincoln on the train from York earlier and is was a nice change to be faced with pleasantness. I love Lincoln but stepping out of the train station on a grim day is just nasty. Today however is beautiful. For once I look forward to the summer, momentarily forgetting the humidity and sweatiness that my British constitution doesn't like.

Want-to-see film of the week: The Adjustment Bureau

Sunday, 6 March 2011

With a seemingly dull title I wasn't particularly grabbed by The Adjustment Bureau until I actually watched the full trailer and read about it in Empire. How often do I need to tell myself "Don't judge a book by it's cover"?

As it didn't hook me straight away I failed to notice it had several aspects that I enjoy in a film...

  • A Philip K. Dick inspired storyline.
  • A secret organisation that is controlling humanity.
  • Trilbies and suits aplenty.
  • Matt Damon and his face.
With a storyline that Empire calls "Inception for romantics" this sounds like just my cup of tea.

Hopefully off to see it on Wednesday and I'll give you a full review then.

Mmmmm academia...

Saturday, 5 March 2011

For the first time I had a discussion today about what to do after university without feeling utterly terrified. All other discussions have ended up with my inner self whimpering and mumbling about debt and jobs and my outer self is focusing intently on the ceiling or a nearby squirrel.

A few days ago I was first tempted by the possibility of doing an MA. Myself and Kirsty had a mooch around the possibly MAs at Lincoln, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent. Looking through the courses it became clear that a lot of the journalism MAs (I was looking at print and magazine ones) crossed over with my BA. However when I came across the creative writing course I was intrigued. This is perhaps an option I could look into. I was thinking part-time MA with part-time work.

It's nice not to be terrified about AFTER UNI for once.

D'awwh, look... a baby iPad.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Well done, Apple. Just well done. For the first time I like something you've done without hating myself for it. The iPad 2 is still what the first one should have been but they haven't put the price up, it looks gorgeous  (except the white one) and even better, they've put the old one down in price by £100.

For once Apple aren't touting an overpriced cigarette case. The iPad is the leader in the market and it's actually good value for money. For once! Other tablets are more expensive and Android is still trying to catch up. I know I sound like a fangirl but hey. I actually think they're doing something right for once. Let's ignore the overpriced iPhone 4, the shattering glass, the pointless re-branding of video calling, antennagate and this wanker...

How to hide mediocrity behind a veil of pretty colours and vanity.

No matter how many different colours they projectile vomit onto a page Bullet is still nothing more than an SU toy with a budget it doesn't deserve. Well done, you have glossy pages but you seem ignorant of your audience and you treat your staff like idiots. Three members of staff have left in the last few weeks, it's like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

If you shove enough colours on it everyone will love it.
This month's copy was the last straw for my good friend Crystal. As entertainment editor you would think she would have a little creative control. However out of the 4 pages (one double page feature, 1 single page article, and 2 shorter articles) what ended up in the print edition (not to the knowledge of the so called entertainment editor) was the single page article and one of the half page articles with a page each then an article written by the editor about some microsoft software that came out months ago.

The article claimed to be about software that helped students but it only mentioned microsoft's windows live mesh and so just looked like a pr piece. If the article had been well researched she would have talked about Dropbox, the new Facebook groups feature, Google docs, and the fact that students can get cheap software. That's what that feature should have been.

I find it strange that with the SU promoting democracy so much it's publication is such a dictatorship. One editor asks everyone else to do the leg work then ignores it all and does what she wants.

This edition has just been the last straw. The contents quite good, Jamie's got a couple of good articles, and I can personally vouch for the two articles by Joe and James. But there's yet another article about clothes sizes/body image, do all Lincoln students think they're too fat and constantly think about clothes? And the photos are ridiculous. Almost all images in the issue are pixelated and dreadful. The front cover is badly photoshopped and makes no sense. Not only that but the subbing is frankly lazy, instead of subbing properly they've just deleted spaces after punctuation.

I know it's such a tiny thing by they've done it many times in the issue. It just not professional. The whole thing looks like it's just been cobbled together at the last minute. If you're going to do something, do it right. This is not a publication I could be proud of, I'd never publish something I didn't think was perfect. Not even as an assignment.

Oh this silly magazine enrages me. Silly silliness.

Choo choos making me blue.

Monday, 28 February 2011

I'm only on my second train of the day but already I've waited around the hellhole that is Birmingham New Street for nearly an hour, freezing my tits off and eating a twirl, been offended by the people (many people) who insist upon pushing onto the train before the previous passengers have gotten off and therefore pushing in front of myself whilst I politely wait and now Cross Country trains are hindering my ability of type due to the distinctly wobbly nature of this train. The only light at the end of the tunnel (other than on exiting the dark, dank underground of New Street) was the delightfully friendly ticket man and the fact that I rather like the colour of the seats.

The delightful Birmingham New Street, well overdue for a revamp.

This is all from a person who is very much in favour of public transport.

I don't take a lot of train journeys but once every 4 weeks or so I return to my family and friends back in Wombourne for a weekend of heavy drinking and heavier washing machine usage. I'm the same with buses... I only really used the bus to get to and from Wolverhampton train station. Basically, I'm not a commuter but nor do I shy away from the ticket office.

With all the furor over green technology and one's "carbon footprint" the last Labour government tried to push public transport (not that the current establishment is taking any notice) but it wasn't a success. As always what the buses, trains and metros need is funding and we're not exactly going to get that from the Tories. In January train tickets went up, mine regular one by a fiver but I have seen no improvement. Wolverhampton bus depot is being renovated, it's a beautiful modern building but with the single bus tickers going up it seems (if anything) the service has deteriorated. And the local buses are still as vile as ever.

It seems that in the current economic climate public transport is going to be shoved to the bottom of the pile. It's going to be ignored and stay the same until greater prosperity returns to Britain's economy. That is of course not including London which no doubt will be picture-perfect in time for the Olympics. I'm not against the Olympics it just feels as thought we're just fixing up what you can see at first glance as to impress the visitors. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it's working.

For now the trains and buses will sadly carry on with their work. I will continue to enjoy my journeys but push to the back of my mind the niggling feelings of disappointment.

Home comforts, cosiness and a not-quite-relevant video clip.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Sometimes I wonder how I would define "home comforts". Unlike most people I know in university I wholly consider Lincoln to be my home. Wombourne is just my other home. Is it possible to have two homes? It must be... Wombourne is my family home to Lincoln is my own city where I came to out of choice rather than the geographical location of my Mom.

I think there's two kinds of "home comfort". First there's the material type; a washing machine that I don't need to go to another building to use for a start. Then there's the distinct lack of loud students in Wombourne. If there's loud noise on my street in the wee hours then I'm usually the one making it. I also get woken up by laughing children outside my window rather than the strange squeal of something being done to a tyre at Tanvic (your No. 1 tyre centre) that seems to start at about 7am. Add to that the busy main road outside my window and I don't have the quietest accommodation.

Every time I think of washing machines...

Then there's the flat itself. By student accommodation standards I'm pretty lucky but due to the letting agent's incompetence with maintenance we have a rotting bathroom floor (ooh bouncy) and radiators that don't work properly (damn knobs). It's only now (after living here for 6 months) that we have extractor fans in the windowless/ventless bathrooms.

One thing (for once) I can't blame Lighthouse for is the lack of "cosiness". For a home to be "cosy" is a desired characteristic. Only the British could turn "small" into something so positive.

With all my photos and random objects and (cause I'm actually a small child) cuddly toys, my room does have a certain amount of cosiness but only so much clutter can try and cover up the bland furniture that's identical to every single room in the entire building. Then there's the kitchen, no matter how nice "open plan" seems, having a kitchen with a pile of washing up in your peripheral vision ruins any kind of pleasantness a cheap faux leather sofa, a tv and a pile of DVDs can achieve. It's not a living room, it's a kitchen with a sofa and a fridge that's far too close to the tv.

Our living room next year is big and square, it has an old, well-loved suite and carpet that isn't from the B & Q basics range. There's a chunky coffee table... (though I'm not sure it will ever earn the legendary status of my own coffee table that is current stored in my bedroom back in Wombourne.) We've got a hatstand people... a hat stand. Lighthouse would never provide a hatstand! If they did it'd probably be held together with tape and allergic to hats.

Next year I just have a feeling that I won't want for material home comforts. I'll have my washing machine, everything in the house will work, I won't need a code or a key fob to get home and i'll have somewhere to put my hats. When I travel back to Wombourne I'll be going to see everyone rather than to see everyone and also do as much washing as I can fit into my suitcase. I'll have the proper home comforts, a mom-made meal covered in cling film in the microwave, year old christmas chocolates in the fridge, and evening on the sofa with the mom discussing the latest drama at the Co-op, that long walk up Ounsdale road to see the group or go to my Aunt's. Damnit, I want to go home for family and friends not appliances, my mattress and a nicely decorated bathroom.

Gosh darn it studenthood, why aren't you cosy?

Happy Social Network comes out on DVD day.

Monday, 14 February 2011

I have a strange feeling of pride at the fact that, though now in a relationship, I am still opposed to Valentine's Day. Rather than not liking it for "OHNOESINEEDAMAN" reasons I genuinely feel all of this commercial propaganda is morally obtuse. Why should I dedicate a specific day to love when I live and love every day of the year? And why are cards and flowers and presents all so very necessary to put across this message?

I mean, I like the idea in principle. I didn't through Joe's card back in his face. But he didn't need chocolates, flowers and a cheesy typed message to tell me how he felt. Why do we only have to say these things on this day?

Sometimes I think single people don't like this day more than taken people actually do. Pah, silly commercialisation.


Thursday, 10 February 2011

I am enraged. There is a small group of websites that I visit every day: BBC News, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Gizmodo and Lifehacker. Gizmodo... Lifehacker... you bastards. Gizmodo, a tech blog, used to look like this...

A nicely designed blog format... simple and accessible. Now however, it looks like this...

I have no problem with the design itself. It looks good. But no longer is it easy to browse the articles, see what's popular (the old style had bigger pictures for interesting articles) or do basically anything. You can't share it without just using the direct link, it's dreadful on slow connections and something weird is going on with the domains. Going to uk.gizmodo.com gets you the old format though clicking on links brings you to the new one, kotaku.com redirects to uk.gizmodo.com. Just what?! Sort yourselves out. I love the Gawker network, stop fucking it up.

Awesome things that the interwebs can do....

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Daily What: This Is All Kinds Of Right of the Day

The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage posted a Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic on their homepage by way of a hotlink. So SMBC creator Zach Weiner asked his brother Marty to change the image.

On his blog, Zach adds:

There seems to be this idea out there that action through the Internet has no important effect. Even people I really respect, like Jon Stewart, promote this idea. Well, today, I probably got a message of equality to over 100,000 people, among them members of the other side. This generation fights in a new way, but we fight just as hard.

This is by far the best thing in a while.


Look at this here blog post....

Monday, 31 January 2011

Charlie Brooker: We shouldn't have to feel paranoid about snoops listening in to everything we say | Comment is free | The Guardian

"We’re in danger of creating a world where everyone has to walk around beaming like an inoffensive gameshow host."

Wonderful insight on the GrayKeysGate by Charlie Brooker. I especially like the comment on how "context is vital".

Sorry, internet. I take you for granted.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

It's seems so childish and pathetic that as soon as the pitiful internet connection I have at my student accommodation goes down, I instantly run to my Blackberry and moan about it on Facebook or Twitter. Most of the time my internet use is largely for procrastination, sometimes I'm writing a blog post, sometimes I'm actually doing research for uni... but most of the time I'm just pootling around the dastardly addictive Tumblr, mooching over the BBC news homepage, having the occasional glance at Reddit, all whilst flicking backwards and forwards to goddamn Facebook.

Sometimes I think I take the internet for granted. It's possible to do so many good and wonderful things but here I am reblogging a picture of a dog standing on his hind legs. "Reblogging", a word only really exists in the shallow end of the swimming pool of the interwebs.

Credit: Cristóbal Cobo Romaní

Egypt has no internet access right now. Yeah, they can use dial-up to get their voices heard but it's the protests that are still being stifled in a massive way. The internet is such a symbol of freedom and I... we... take it for granted. The Egyptian people are being oppressed and this huge thing, this brilliant form of communication has been shut down in a blink of an eye. This shows how important the internet actually is. Not for online shopping or talking to your friends but as an actual force of good, a way of spreading a campaign or message. Egypt is offline and the rest of the world are chipping in, free dial-up is being offered from all corners of the world, photos and videos are managing to get out and people are sharing and sending information to keep this moving.

Sometimes I think the way I use the internet is a little pathetic. I need to stop updating and staring at Facebook all the time. It's pointless. See me demoralised.

Mmmm... Luke warm water, so refreshing!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Is a hot shower actually too much to ask for? Since coming back after Christmas instead of the hot water from the hot tap and the cold water from the cold tap coming out and making a happy union I seem to either get a cold or luke warm shower. Out of nowhere the hot water will disappear entirely for no reason what so ever. I want to step out onto the (spongey and rotten) bathroom floor feeling refreshed, not grumpy.

On top of all this our (sexy sexy 0.4 meg) internet disappears for several hours now and then. It's bad enough that it's barely usable at the best of times but Lighthouse have the cheek to claim "high speed wireless broadband" on the FRONT OF THE GODDAMN BUILDING. We would literally be better with dial-up.

So I'm officially adding "I want a working shower!!" to our long list of complaints including the extractor fans have never worked, the bathroom floor is rotting, the radiators don't work, the windows don't close properly and there's no light in the oven so I can't see my noms.

Basically, fuck you, Lighthouse, fuck you.

Illness, listlessness and generally melancholic boredom.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I hate being ill.

I had this 24 hour thing, which has thankfully buggered off. However now I still have an excruciating sore throat. Y'know the kind were it hurts to breath? And now I'm just utterly utterly fed up of it all. I'm running out of anything to entertain myself with. In my fatigued state I'm not exactly in a writing mood, nor to I have the will power to lift up a book let alone focus on the words. I'm unwilling to play on my PSP because I don't have my charger with me so no games for ill Suzal. And because the TV here doesn't have Dave I'm left with watching miscellaneous stuff online, mostly Bones*.

I'm just so listless right now. Add my sore throat, tiredness, and lack of human company and all I've been doing all day is staring at my computer screen and waiting for Mom to return from work so that I can enjoy listening to anecdotes from the Co-op then eventually faceplant my bed until tomorrow. Tomorrow, at least, I can escape the house. I'm off shopping with the Mother and to Burger King (omnomnom) for lunch which shall really cheer me.

Until then, however, moping around the house and being unproductive is all I shall do. I'll just stare at this here screen until my eyes turn square.

*I also watched an episode of Silent Witness... on the inferiority. The US make a lot of rubbish but crime dramas are something they do well. (Let's not talk about CSI.)

Excuse me whilst I push my teeny tiny trolley around this here teeny tiny supermarket.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Scrambling up onto a chair to reach the top of a wardrobe after a few glasses of wine probably wasn't my best idea. However what I discovered was well worth it.

On a sidenote... I'm glad my hair didn't suffer the 80s.
This toy took me through many an afternoon at my Nan and Granddad's. And it wasn't even my toy. My Aunt was originally bought this when she was about 8 at Christmas. Though I've learnt via anecdote that when first putting the little stickers on the supermarket items my Mom and Uncle apparently took over, eliciting 8-year-old Aunty Sarah to say "Who's toy is this?!"

Not enough swashbuckling for my liking...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

According to National Geographic this mess of metal was once a sword guard, possibly under the ownership of the infamous Blackbeard. Yaargh argh argh and all that jazz.

Oooooh... archeological.

Ship wreaks, now they're exciting. Probably not for the archeologist who's cleaning artifacts like this one with a toothbrush. But for though of us who like to swish invisible swords, watch our coats billow and long for a trained (and therefore not inclined to poop on you) parrot on our shoulders all the pirates we have are either fictional or uncool somali pirates who, with their violence and kidnapping, aren't really partaking in the swashbuckling traditional. How unfun of them!

The closest we get to a swashbuckling lovable rogue is David Guetta when he starting hoisting girls over his shoulder in that Black Eyed Peas video.

Dancefloor sea shanty, anyone?
This (decidedly obtuse) thought reminded me of my excitement for Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Even though the franchise slightly fizzled out during the later two films (one might say it "did a Matrix") I still remember throughly enjoying Johnny Depp corsets the swashbuckling goodness. Sword fights, hats, big dresses, ships, the occasional beach and/or semi-naked man, all in one film? Oh yes please.

It seems quite a while since I was last enjoying a good ol' pirate romp and I rather can't wait for it this time. Yes, I love my quality films but big budget, cheesy adventures are always just too much fun to miss out on.

Richard Castle is a Browncoat... and so am I.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Ah, wonderful Nathan Fillion, so charming and dashing that you'd think he was British.

Generally someone becomes on of my favourite actors or actresses when they're in more than one of my favourite shows or films. Nathan Fillion managed this spectacularly. With Firefly and my most recently discovered addiction, ABC's Castle. Firefly is without doubt my favourite ever television show. About the crew of a Firefly class spaceship, set 500 years in the future. Now I love my sci-fi and with Firefly's added swashbuckling, Western vibe it's just a complete winner. How it got cancelled by bastard Fox when it had gained such a loyal and huge fanbase (Browncoats forever) after only 14 episodes is just beyond me. It could have been a cult classic. And to be fair, it still kinda has been.

And my favourite bit of it? The characters. Notably Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Dashing, charming, mysteriously and god-damn swashbuckling. *sigh* And he looks good with a gun. Fillion's performance is brilliant. He manages to create a brilliant and believable hero who remains mostly a mystery through the entire series.

And also this...

Then there's Richard Castle. Cocky, metrosexual, grammar-nazi and adorable father. I discovered the show not long ago and I adore it. I love US crime dramas as it is, they're my guilty pleasure. Castle is a little different though. Ric Castle is a best-selling author who, thanks to his connections, is shadowing (gorgeous) NYPD detective, Kate Beckett.

I just love this show. It's so genuinely entertaining. It's cute, funny, has brilliant storylines and has just the right amount of clichéd goodness. And brilliantly every now and then a little Firefly reference slips in. I say little.... one episode Fillion bounded onto screen in a full Mal Reynolds costume claiming to be a space cowboy. I love this show.
Castle as Mal

I suppose I'll stop blathering on about my love for Nathan Fillion now and I intend to continue my Firefly marathon.

Re: Jeff Bridges broke my laptop.

Monday, 3 January 2011

My wee netbook.
This is now my current set-up. I've gone from a thousand pound Macbook to a netbook and now comically oversized mouse. *headdesk* Please may I have my loan now for I wish to buy my new harddrive?

Jeff Bridges broke my laptop.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

I have decided that Tron Legacy has just concluded inside my Macbook. The hard drive hasn't broken, no. There were light cycles, bad guys and Olivia Wilde. The hard drive certainly did not break. Either way I kinda need to buy a new one and considering my current funds will just about allow me to eat this week I guess I have no computer until I get my loan.

So I do not have a laptop, just a very expensive paperweight which has the sole function of bonging when you attempt to turn it on. Oh, and there's a picture of an apple on it. And a sticker.

*le sigh* If I knew what I know now about computers (which still isn't a incredibly large amount) I don't think I would have bought this heavy white box. It's not a bad computer, it happily runs Quark, Photoshop and Chrome all at the same time and would gladly make you a cup of tea as well (if it could*). However the case cracks every couple of months, when the battery inevitably dies it'll cost £99 to replace and at the moment it's a very expensive "thing that goes 'bong' when you press a button.

Though saying that, it's never had a virus, the incompetent Vista was the competition when I bought it and both the
machine itself and OSX are beautiful.

Oh do the pros and cons and the Windows/Mac arguments never end?

I used to be a Mac fangirl, now I'm a confused lover of my mac and admirer-from-afar of Windows 7 and my only computing power is now a netbook using Windows XP. Oh dear.

2011 fun activities for waking hours

Saturday, 1 January 2011

This morning I woke up with something of a hangover but then I saw two good things. Firstly, a glass of water placed beside my bed by my kind drunken self and then I moved it and discovered this. My hungover self giggled.

Ice Bear likes tape.

I'm not sure I have achieved much so far this year. 2011 for me has so far involved some light housework followed by and afternoon sat in bed watching some good old US crime drama. I feel I did actually achieve some things last year however. I upped my game with my uni work, I got myself a nice cushy job (not that I'd say no to one with more hours), I even found a gorgeous house for next year and most importantly I snagged myself a wonderful boyfriend. The latter made 2010 amazing. And the former three helped a teeny bit too.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. 2011 is waiting for us and I'm gonna start it with an evening in the pub. Start as we mean to go on, I say. 2011 shall be a year of friends, pubs and some goddamn journalism.

And my new year's resolution? 920 x 1080

Eh, who am I kidding? I wouldn't keep it anyway.