Monday, January 31, 2011

I got those Monday blues.... (And something about telly)

Actually, why am I blue? I may be 'technically' unemployed but I don't have a job to get up for on Monday mornings and I can just pretend to be doing some 'proper writing' by writing in this blog. I am feeling sorry for myself because I have a cold and don't want to leave the house and there are no jobs, so those are my Monday blues (Boo stiggin' hoo, man up Coxhead! Just realised that looks like something my dad would write). 

This will be a weekly post as... Well, because. I can save up all the interesting things I have learnt that week. Or something.

Anyway, being unemployed, I watch a lot of TV, of which a lot looks very promising but turns out to be... Shite. Some of them not so shite, and some completely guilty pleasures.

After discovering that this programme was going to be on television, I was very excited - Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan AND Matt LeBlanc to star. I am currently watching the third episode but cannot really fathom watching a fourth. The storyline is ok but the soundtrack is bad, the acting of most of the characters is bad, with the exception of Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig making the best of a bad situation and even worse, laboured jokes. As the internet would say, fail.

Take Me Out
 Yes, it is a guilty pleasure but this is one of the reality TV shows I will watch. I mean, sometimes I do feel sorry for the sweet girls who get rejected week after week but well, they only have theirselves to blame, as their desperation seeps out... It's just too good. And then double cringe points when the date is shown the next week and at the end the girl usually doesn't actually fancy the bloke... Brill. But terrible, all the same.

I actually already wrote quite a long review in Costa, and you probably don't want to read the uncut version, after all, it was in a book and with a pen I tend to ramble more, even if no-one can read it (including me!). So, Skins. After seeing several posts on Facebook about how shit it was, I watched it at first with trepidation. After all, the last cast were not likeable, bratty and  at times, unbelieveable too. But I loved it. I loved Franky, the main protagonist, the main bitch (WITH A BRIZZLE ACCENT!), Minnie, and the metal boy and the ginger boy. And the boy with the B-E-A-utiful mouth at the end. The music, skins-esque, which is fine, with the wonderful excpetion of the inclusion of Chopin's 'Minute Waltz' whilst they were dancing around the shopping centre whilst on a bit of cocaine. Perhaps because it was unexpected (although classical music has featured heavily in Jal's and JJ's episodes in the past) but also because I love classical musical bunged into popular culture. One post on FB that I saw said that the ending was 'an anticlimax' - I totally don't agree - Skins does not have to be the most shocking or the coolest, and the colours and cinematography in the swimming pool scene was beautiful. A lovely end to a really promising first show. I am excited about being excited about Skins for the first time in 2 years - I hope I am not alone.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And So I Watch You From Afar

Photo by Graham Smith

AND So I Watch You From Afar have been around since 2006, but their success has really started to take off in the last year with excellent critical acclaim from various magazines. When I was recommended this Belfast-based band a few months ago by my friend Hannah (named and shamed!) I must admit that I was a tad dubious by her description: 'They're instrumental rock but they're not boring at all!'

On the contrary, the first song I listened to on their MySpace, Set Guitars to Kill, blew me away - they're my ideal type of band: not too growly (well, not at all as they are instrumental) with cranked-up crashing guitars at the beginning and descending into some cheeky almost synthy-sounding guitar melodies. Just beautiful to listen to, resulting in several climatic parts of the song which almost have the listener in suspense. And the fact that their songs are sans lyrics merely enhances the multi-layered tunes.

I've always said lyrics were overrated anyway.

I missed out on the chance to go and see them at the end of last year in Cardiff in Clwb Ifor Bach (Or Welsh Club to most) but the next time they're in England I will definitely not be missing out on what I have heard will be a phenomanal experience.

And they're not bad looking either.

P.S. I did steal this photo off their myspace so in the unlikely event of anyone affiliated with ASIWYFA or the photographer seeing this, I hope this is ok.

UPDATE: I managed to see them at 2000 Trees Festival (review for Beat Review here) - they were amazingly intense and lovely. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baby Lobsters

Originally uploaded by girlscoutuplate
I recently discovered (half an hour ago, to be exact), that I can upload to flickr via my Blackberry, and blog from flickr, which will ensue that I will waste much more time on here.

Looking at what I have on here from various occasions, I am just blown away by my photographic talent. Japes, I have absolutely no talent whatsoever, but sometimes I capture cool stuff!

Like this baby lobster, I think it's about two weeks old, at the Lobster Hatchery in Cornwall, which is surprisingly small, but nonetheless has a good selection of large and aged lobsters and crabs and such with increasingly stupid names.

Nice colours, clarity and angle... Maybe? I don't know. I like it.

The Future Lab

The Future Lab
Originally uploaded by girlscoutuplate
Just a wee collage I found in my room (centre print I did myself but the rest of images are found in nme, q etc.) and put into a simple editor, heightened contrast and pumped up the saturation, simples.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am turning into a fifty-year old woman.


I complain about social networking sites, I want to stay at home, or go to the gym, and I actually get excited about healthy eating. Oh, and I no longer enjoy going out drinking (instead I enjoy a nice cup of lemon and ginger tea with a double bill of Coronation Street and Silent Witness, and that's just Monday) and I get hangovers that last for over one day.

The final straw came yesterday when my mother called me a hermit. I need to get out more.

The first items on my schedule include going for a takeaway at a friend's tonight and giving blood tomorrow. Well, I've got to start somewhere.

It's not as if I would be leading this sanctimonious lifestyle if I lived in somewhere that wasn't well, shit, and I wasn't trying to save so that I might be able to live somewhere exciting (ANYWHERE ELSE), but I do recognise that my life has reached a critical condition of sadness.

Still, it's not the end of January yet, that's not too late to change, right? Cardiff for a soap-inspired party (yes, my life is dominated by soaps) at the end of the month, and to my dear old university, Keele, for a week, where I will (attempt to) drink heavily. And die. Probably.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's that time of the month...

To blog. Not anything else, you dirty people (well, person) (WELL, me).

SO, I've been fairly lax, or lazy, to be more accurate, in writing this or indeed anything, except how amazing I am in approximately thirty different ways (difficult).

I read the paper this morning, the new one that's advertised on telly, a clever offshoot of The Independent newspaper, which condenses the daily news into a much smaller, more 'digest-able' package. And it only cost 20p. Bargain, considering most people would spend more than that on chewing gum (nearly 50p for something you chew for about twenty minutes and then spit out - delightful). Anyway, I enjoyed it (the paper, not the chewing gum), whilst feeling a tad cheated as I was able to easily complete most of the crossword (well, it's not The Telegraph).

There was an article in there about the controversial speeches and introductions Ricky Gervais made at The Golden Globes, and having seen some of it, well... it was quite funny wasn't it? Yes, he may of offended a few people, but as many have pointed out, the Golden Globes folks knew this would happen if they hired Gervais, really. Personal highlights included Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey desperately trying to hide their mirth and Ricky's muttered 'alright' and moving on swiftly when a joke fell flat on its face. And of course, the famous Bruce Willis being Ashton Kutcher's dad joke. And the fact that several people tried, and failed, to start a fight with him after the show. If celebrities will accept by becoming famous that a lot of their dirty laundry will be aired in public, and most importantly, will learn to laugh at themselves, such as Hugh Hefner did at his own expense, their lives would really be a lot easier (though they wouldn't gain as many column inches by NOT complaining about this.


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