Monday, March 26, 2007

When love is gone, there's always justice

A while since the last post, since (as usual) life took over, things went ever-so-slightly to pot, and I went a leetle beet mental. Well, not mental, but a few things happened that made me feel rather uncomfortable with myself. Aside from going to school, I barely left the house, and would do little more than sleep when at home (still finding it hard to drag my bleary self out of bed in the mornings, but I put that down to laziness). However, the medication has kicked in properly now, and I actually feel quite stable and - dare I say it - chilled out.

School is going well, as I'm gearing up for the forthcoming Final Teaching Practice. This is basically 6 weeks of mayhem, where I am *officially* the class' teacher, doing 90% of the lessons from day one, while Jenny (the proper teacher, as it were) does the odd observation of my work and drinks a lot of tea. I need to keep my grades above an Ofsted Level 3 ("satisfactory") though I obviously aim for 1s - "Outstanding". It's going to be very hard work, but (and maybe it's the drukqs talking) I'm feeling confident in my abilities. It's just the paperwork that's spectacularly annoying. Still, that's what Easter holidays are for - in a mere four days, it's a secksy Two Whole Weeks Off. Can't wait.
I have recently been scaring the hell out of children at school by playing them "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson. If you've never heard it, you're missing out on the most avant-garde thing ever to nearly top the charts here in the UK (it got to #2 in 1981). Based on an aria from an 1885 opera by Jules Massenet called "Le Cid" - both are quite wonderful things. Anderson's version is essentially a spoken word cover - all vocoders, repetetive beats and curious imagery. Being a performance artist, the video is very odd, but strangely compelling. Song of the week, even though it's 26 years old.
I had my first proper hangover of the year last Saturday! There's only two things that will heal my self-induced pain - getting a coffee (or 'vanilla flavoured milky gunk' as one friend refers to it as) and buying books. Thankfully my local Borders can fulfill both elements, so I headed there. As usual, I got frustrated because there was so much there I wanted, and couldn't decide what to blow my limited budget on - so I walked out bookless (though I did have the coffee, and it was tasty). Got home, perused my heaving shelves of stuff, pulled out a pile of books I've not read... and again, couldn't decide. So I plumped onto the sofa, fired up the TV to watch the Ireland game (beat Wales 1-0 in the Euro2008 Qualifiers - good stuff) and fell asleep.

When I woke up, I fumbled about for my glasses, put them on, and the first thing that my now working eyes fell upon was "The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. I forgot how much I loved this book when I first read it, so it's currently being read again - and it's still a beautiful thing. There's just something so unashamedly... lovely about it. The fact that the link between the characters is so strong, so incredibly powerful - it just brings out the insufferable romantic in me. Clare's tolerance of Henry's chrono-impaired state (if you've not read it, that sentence will make no sense, so just go get the book) is a continual act of love, even if it means not seeing him for long periods at a time. As with all the great romantic stories, it takes a tragic turn, but ultimately ends with a final shot of happiness. It's incredibly well written, even if it seems initially confusing - I'd even suggest reading with a pen and pad to put a timeline together the first time you read it, just to keep yourself on track. It nearly restores my faith in people. Nearly.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

It's OK, it's alright, nothing's wrong.

Many things to report. Some good, some not so good, but hey. This is going to be a bit stream of conciousness, I think, so brace yourself for tangents aplenty; that's kind of where my brain is at the moment. First off, in exciting swizzy news, the increasingly popular (for no reason at all I can think of bar an increase of drugs in the world's water supplies) Michael and Elmo Podcast has somehow stumbled into it's third episode, which you can listen to here if that is what you so desire. For the more masochistic amongst you perhaps the idea of subscribing appeals, in which case you may care to do the following:

- Open up your iTunes
- Go to Advanced
- Click "Subscribe to Podcast"
- Copy and Paste this into the space --> http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/OXkB

...and that's it! We're having a lot of fun making it, even if the sound quality can be a bit bobbins. Bear with us - we've decided that if we ever get any money ever, we're going to buy some proper mics, not the SingStar ones we use at the moment. Personally, I'm drooling over a pair of SM58s, but that's just my suppressed inner sound geek crying out for attention.


There's a band called The Horrors. I heard about them a few months ago in an Observer piece about underage clubs and (of course) the use of MySpace to promote music. Never actually heard any of their tunes until this week. Now I wish to stab the very drums out of my ears. They're shit... People should go listen to CSS or something. Or Devo. Devo are good. Me and Elmo are off to see Eagles Of Death Metal next weekend. Not only will that be good, that's going to be dirty in the extreme. Which is a Good Thing.


I'm back on the Drugs again - good ones, obviously, not nasty ones you get off a guy called "Biggsey" in a pub toilet. I've been having a few massive episodes over the last couple of weeks, and decided a few days ago that the middle of the most important year of my life (education wise) isn't the wisest place to have a full breakdown. Went back to The Nice Doctor (the Nasty one being the guy who took me off them last year!) who listened to everything I had to say and promptly put me on the strongest SSRIs I've ever been on (Escitalopram 20mg). While it may not be a huge amount, I'm hoping that it'll shock my system enough into helping me get through the next few months. I certainly need something, as I felt myself slipping a fair few times in the last month.

A horrible one was actually last weekend, where I was DJing for the first time in a few months (alongside my apprentice, the charming Coxtin) at the Perplex City End-of-Season-One Bash. What should have been a lovely evening (and for the vast majority, it was - drinks, dancing, puzzles, and silliness) turned into a really horrible experience for me, thanks to one small part of my brain deciding to take over the rest for no reason whatsoever. Sigh. Mercifully, there are several people who managed to talk me down off the ceiling, and I will be thankful to them for a long time for settling me, convincing me that I'd be OK, and telling me that walking halfway across London in order to go wait for a train that wouldn't be there for 5 hours was probably a stupid idea. I shan't say who they are, but they do read this, and they (hopefully) know how much I am grateful for them.

So yeah, back on the tablets. Not an admission of failure, more a desire to help me cope with stuff until I feel ready to sort myself out. At the moment I feel far from ready, but one day (soon, I hope) it'll happen. It's a necessary evil (because yes, I do get side effects - sleep and appetite are affected mainly) in order to stop the dischordant noise that I have in my head most of the time. Without the medication, it does clear once in a while, and I get to function normally for brief shining moments. With the meds... well - I'm hoping for longer periods of being able to deal with stuff. Reports as and when :D


Back to all things Perplex City-ish. The world's favourite ARG (kind of) kicked off it's second series yesterday with the release of the first wave of Season Two cards. If you're lucky enough to have got your hands on some, you may see my name on a few of them - they turned out just as I envisioned them all those months ago, so I'm pleased with them. I think my favourite of them all is "1,2,3,4" - basically an equation involving Beatles songs. A simple idea I had late one night that took AGES to actually put together. If you're a player, I hope you enjoy my contributions. And if you're not... why not? Go here and start investigating...


Guillemots are making me smile a bit. People should buy their CDs. Also, I think I'm now the oldest emo-boy on earth, as my iPod is currently listing Fall Out Boy in six of it's Top 25 Most Listened To Songs. All American Rejects are also making a show of it with three, Panic At The Disco! with two, and +44 (risen from the ashes of Blink 182) have two as well... I'm probably far too old for this stuff, but meh. It's getting me through some bad days. Nothing helps clear the mind better than shouting along to tales of suburban-American teen-angst - even if I'm twelve years late.