Day #19 - On Tapas and Headcolds.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Saturday, 19 September 2009 at 14:08

It's a long long way to Tipperary, and it's even longer when you've got yourself a nice headcold for company. I'm currently supping on Strepsils to ease the throat pain, drinking Chai to soothe my head and warm me up, and eating bananas so I don't irritate my already painful throat. It's a lovely way to waltz into your 20th year, it really is.

On the plus side, I've now got a book that can teach me how to cook all manners of Tapas (if I ever get the money to do so); I've got a need to play my bass and cope with the complexities of funk over the next few weeks; There's only one more week of Freshers' Fortnight left, which means it's almost time to start learning, thank God!

But the biggest plus is hooking up with the prettiest girl I know. It's one of those moments where your heart turns to jelly, and your legs go along for the ride. She's down on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to get rid of this cold just for the hugs it may afford me. After that, I've got to make sure I've got roughly £35 a month to get on the train to Exeter to see her at least once (over Christmas and Easter it'll be soooo much easier). It'll be lovely.

I'm also a little disjointed today, because I lack the mental faculties of a sober person - I blame the Strepsils personally...but who knows what it is. Either way, I don't like it - and I've yet to do any darned work! I need to start re-learning my Italian and Spanish before I get thrown in at the deep end - piedi in primo, as it were. I think a lame, early night is in order. No more boozing until next month.

Day #17 - A Day In Retrospect

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Thursday, 17 September 2009 at 14:43

It's been 3 whole days (and 14 hours of this one) since I turned 20. All I've done since then is drink alcohol at least once a day. My liver actually screamed STOPPPPP! last night, as if it would make a massive difference to the damage I already predict having caused. Still, it can't be as bad as the damage I just caused my arteries by having several rashers of bacon in two bacon sandwiches for lunch - in short, it was a cholesterol-fuelled, heart-attack-inducing pair of sandwiches. It really was.

Anyhow, my days have been eventful thus far. I had a good night out with 'the guys' last night, and ended up showing them the delights of Clwb Ifor Bach. I salsa'd to N.E.R.D. and multiple other songs that nobody should salsa to. I drank til I could drink no more. And I kissed a pretty girl, and then woke up and told the internet about it because I'm an idiot who can't function well in the early hours (well...well enough to be able to click a button that says 'Post as Anonymous').

Yesterday was also a day of firsts - my first I.D. check in the cinema at 2pm to see an 18 film. I was told I have a babyface. I did not like that woman. I also bought my first lighter, just for the fuck of it, and to be able to light candles and such. And it was my first night of early-morning Facebook-while-drunk since last year! I am back on track. Shame, I was doing so well. Really, I was.

Now my mind is elsewhere. I should be cutting down on my to-do list - I have to get a job; work out how to get my printer to work with Ubuntu; and do a review of Monkeydust for my good pal Luke. I should also check my emails daily. I have not done so in a while, and found some very important society/study related emails awaiting me. It means I now have stuff to look forward to academically. Now it's just looking for the social side of things.

DAY #14 - On Growing Up

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 14 September 2009 at 09:58

I turned 20 today. It's not like it's a brilliant thing; I mean, wow, it's a big round number (again) but it's nothing amazingly special. I've had a lame night's sleep in a lonely double bed; I've aged slightly; I have to phone utility companies to change payee names; I have a lot to do and not enough partying to be doing.

There's really nothing else to add to this blog, because it's 10am, and I've not done much - I've moved into the new 'student house' in Cathays, and everything is sorted; now it's just sticking to my budget, finding a job, and passing the 2nd Year with 'flying colours'. go back to sleep...or maybe shower and go out and buy some real food so I'm not stuck eating Lamb and Barley Hotpot for the next meal of the day.

Day #11 - On Retrospection

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 11 September 2009 at 11:13

I've not really been online much in the last week, really. I've been to Cardiff for no reason other than to drive around; twice. It's not the best way to spend a day, but, if you can insert moments of hilarity, like shouting down a phone asking someone to read you Cosmo's sex tips louder, whilst in a traffic really lightens up quite a dull summer.

Wednesday was the highlight of the week, though. I spent it down in my house in Cardiff, learning how to Salsa. It was four hours of no-holds-barred intense salsa, taking me from the basic step, through cross-body leads, through twists, flicks, crucifixes, and even that sexy drop you always see women do in movies. And although I wouldn't say "I mastered it", I managed to "get it down" without any major hurdles to jump over.
All of this was followed by watching Dorian Gray in Cineworld with a bottle of Corona; and a ride home that involved me shouting "We're all going to die!" a lot. I think it may have either added to the atmosphere, or scared everyone on board. Luckily, I wasn't driving, otherwise we may have actually died.

In more recent news, it's only two more days before I finally move back permanently. I was going to move back tomorrow, but, then I figured I'd be bored, doing nothing in the house at all. So, it's easier to move in on Sunday, and make everything seem...homely through the day, and it also means I only have to buy £10-worth of food or less to last me til Tuesday when it's pay day (from work I did last month). Excitement doesn't come into it - my main worry is: "I'm going to be stuck in the sleeping pattern of 'bed at 1am, awake at 11am". I really need to break out of that one. And fast. But, until then, I'll just enjoy my sleep.

Day #8 - On Extensive Failures, and the Victories of Others

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Tuesday, 8 September 2009 at 13:21

It's not been a promising weekend; nor a promising start to the month. The job I applied for, well, it didn't get past the interview stage. So, we're back to the drawing board (and more than likely to the little corner of the drawing board that doesn't have scribbled out failures written all over it). In other failure news - I've miscalculated a few things with the other blog, so, for once my music blog will be 'out-of-sync' with how it should be written.

I wanted to write up the new (and dare-I-say "amazing") Rodrigo y Gabriela album for tomorrow's installment, but, I'm planning on heading out, learning a bit of Salsa, and going to see the new Dorian Gray flick. Plans changed to "Let's review Dorian Gray", knowing I'd probably get an hour before 'total blackout' (still living at home for another week, meaning periodic internet shutoffs; it's like living in the Cold War). Anyhow, I miscalculated, and the film is showing later than I wanted it to be - so, it looks like Wednesday now goes up Thursday, or, I review Rodrigo y Gabriela and post it tonight...either way, we're out of sync, people! Out of sync! (Though, we still have kitchen variety syncs).

On the happier side of the coin, there are extensive victories going on everywhere: my best friend has nabbed himself a job in Bristol, alongside his massive repertoire as a gonzo journalist; the girl I've been teaching Italian has progressed immensely, and to return the favour is teaching me what she knows of Salsa - the master doth become the student and all that; and the greatest victory of all this week: Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak has posted a comic that made my eyes water when I read it. Am I in love? I think so.

It's still another week before I get paid; still another week before I have permanent 24-hour internet; and still another week before I am permanently moved out of my house and into the swanky, new abode in Cardiff for the start of the new season of academia. The only thing I dread is the bills. And the fact that I'll be paying for electricity I'm not using, by spending my entire day in the library ensconced in one of my languages, or some tome that should expand my worldliness. (In fact...I need a list of all the books I *need* to read this year, regardless of their subject matter).

All in all...this could be a very productive year, despite lacking permanent income.

Day #3 - On Interview Technique

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Thursday, 3 September 2009 at 19:03

It's been one of those long days, and its been made even longer by the presence of a job interview. It's one of those things I always feel infinitely confident about beforehand, and surprisingly nervous about afterwards. I'd love to see myself from the other side of the table, from the side that sees my face turn that beet-red colour, and the side that watches me stammer through my answers.

Either way, I end up coming out sweatier than when I went in, wondering what in the hell I did to deserve such failure. And then I mellow out, and think "Oh well, it can't be *that* bad, can it?"

Right now, I've got at least 18 hours before I know the results of my interview, but I'm really hoping I get the job. It's 2 to 3 shifts of 5 hours each, per week, in the evenings. So, it's perfect for me; it stops me drinking and using the internet! It stops me procrastinating in the day too, because I'll have less time to do it at night!

So now, without actually knowing if I've succeeded or failed miserably, I'm going to head out to the pub and drink Sam Adams by the bottle, or maybe one of those little fruity wines they do. Who knows. Either way, I want to fall asleep tonight.

Day #2 - On Application Forms.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Wednesday, 2 September 2009 at 20:39

I woke up from the best twelve hours of sleep in existence - a twelve hours of sleep where I didn't actually stir once - it was a nice, consistent, indulgent sleep that involved plenty of dreaming and plenty of feeling groggy afterwards. It's just the sort of thing I needed.

But, sleeping late meant I almost missed the email from Cardiff Uni's JobShop to tell me that they're hiring Box Office staff. Lucky for me, I was feeling perky today, and, with my reviews all written up for this week, I had no excuses, no procrastination to do, in order to escape the fact that I would have to sit and fill out a form. And fill it out I did.

Then, the nerves set in. It's a job application, right? What do I need to worry. I'll get a phonecall saying "Sure, come for an interview", or I'll get nothing back (the latter being the predominant case in my life). Either way, I sat in my room with the landline phone, my hotmail account and CardiffMail account open, and my mobile set to 'Outdoor'. I really was in a hopeful mood. I mean, I actually went out in the rain to sort out all the stuff I'm taking back to Cardiff, just to get five minutes away from all this 'pressure'.

And then, the phone rang. It's almost a cliche to write it that way. In no time, I was signed up for a 3pm interview, and my life actually started to look a little bit better. All that was needed was a dose of "confidence but not cockiness" for tomorrow, and I'd be all prepped. After that, what more could I do than pick up my bass and 'celebrate' by loudly thrashing about to British Sea Power - you'd swear I'd been hired already. (After a summer of "No thankyou" and no replies from all sorts of companies, one job interview is really a 'big thing').

Let's have some crossed fingers! And hope that drinking tea and watching The Wire: Season Five won't put me into a state of insomnia.

Day #1 - On Blogs.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Tuesday, 1 September 2009 at 11:22

I decided, after a lot of summer boredom, that I would create a student blog. You know, one of those journal-type things that lots of students keep to document their way through 'College' or University. I totally didn't bother in my first year, but, then again I was trying to keep my head above water. Now I have a plan of attack for the year, I feel I can fit in time to manage a journal-blog and my music blog's not-so-hectic "three days a week" schedule.

This blog all started as one of those crazy ideas to set up two blogs on one Blogger account. I'd had the Retrospective Review since last August, but, barely used it. I spent the weekend cleaning it out and sprucing it up; and then created this baby, my Student Journal, codenamed VENT.

Now, why would I call it VENT? VENT sounds like an airduct, or an Agony Aunt column... "What a silly name for a blog!" I hear you cry! However, it couldn't be more perfect in my eyes.

The more astute amongst you will have noticed the URL - viajes-en-nuevos-territorios - which, translates to Journeys into New Territories. Now, the brilliant thing about this is: I study Spanish! So, one connection point for me! But, I also study Catalan, and the URL in Catalan would be viatges-en-nous-territoris. Are we noticing a pattern? It spells VENT, which, when lower-cased, and made into a verb "to vent", is a nice way of saying "to let of steam"...which is what this is for.
(It's a shame that in Italian the URL is viaggi-in-nuovi-territori, but, on the plus side that spells VINT, which is Catalan for twenty...which is the year of my life which this blog will cover! I'm just too sharp for my own good...)

That's basically it. I'm hoping this one will last me well into my twenties, so I may document what I've done and where I've been...though that really assumes that I will have constant internet access wherever I am. And that I will update on a regular basis. Which, as ashamed as I am to say it, rarely ever happens with me.

Still. The project has only just begun, and I don't have anything to vent about just yet. Here's hoping for an interesting year.