Archive for November, 2010

Snow, Laundry, and Work

Posted in Food, Friends, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 30/11/2010 by arabrhizome

So I woke up early on Monday to a snow covered scene. I had decided to stay home in order to do my laundry and some shopping, as well as some work. Since Monday was going to be a relatively snow free day I thought I could get my stuff done for the week and not be worried about these things for the rest of the week. So as I was up quite early I decided to start working. My work was okay, but was still not very efficient.

After lunch I made my way to the laundromat and then went to the supermarket. I didn’t really know what to buy so I made a decision over there. Having had scallops in Liverpool, I thought I could make some at home, so I bought a few and thought I’ll make them with some pasta. I made my way back to the laundromat thinking I can put some stuff in the dryer and take the rest home. When I got there the lady in charge was there and we had a nice little conversation.

I like talking to strangers most of the time. This lady was generally nice and quite interesting. I liked her. We talked about the weather and she was very interested in my work. She asked about my thesis and what my plans are afterwards. Anyway, I then made my way back home and after I got my dried laundry back home I sat and tried to work.

My work was choppy and I couldn’t concentrate for a significant amount of time in order to make headway. I spent the rest of the evening trying to get work done. I eventually did get a little bit of progress but nothing very significant.

Later in the evening I got a call from B. It was very nice to speak to her. We haven’t really spoken in a very long time. We talked for about an hour or more. After that lovely conversation I was able to get back to work. Later in the evening snow started falling and it was a magical scene.

I tried to sleep by 1:00 but I couldn’t. I stayed up and got a very strong itch to play my guitar. It was very late and I couldn’t bring myself to be rock and roll enough to play and not care about my neighbours. I haven’t played guitar in a while and I’m starting to miss it properly. I have been playing bass though and that’s a lot of fun as well.

But all in all I felt a little bit of melancholy. Not in a bad way, but the snow outside made me feel very happy and also causing me to feel melancholy. I also listened to radiohead, which I think increased that feeling of melancholy quite a lot. I haven’t listened to them in a very long time and it was nice to remember my younger days while listening to them.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep until around 4:00. It was a little bit of a long night and quite unproductive as well. I couldn’t do any work in the late night but I’m hoping to get some more work done tomorrow. Anyway, that was my day on Monday.

Morning in Liverpool, Afternoon in Train, Evening in Nottingham

Posted in Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 29/11/2010 by arabrhizome

I woke up on Sunday before my alarm rang at the incredible time of 7:30. My alarm was set for 8:00, but somehow, even though I had a very rough night, and I had slept very little the night before that, my body wanted me to wake up early. I was very happy to be up, I realised that one of the occupants of my room was in the bathroom. So I checked my emails and did some internet surfing on my phone while waiting. I also got my stuff ready for my shower and teeth brushing. Anyway, I was dressed and in the lobby by about 8:15.

We went into the dinning room to have breakfast. It was very nice. We decided to have a big breakfast, that way we can have a light sandwich on the train and not feel too hungry. An asian girl, I think she was chinese but I’m not sure, sat with us at our table. She was on a tour of the UK. She had already been to London, Cambridge, Belfast, Somewhere in Scotland she wasn’t clear where, Manchester, and was here in Liverpool on her way to Oxford. She mentioned that when she finishes, she’s going to Italy. She kept asking us about the food and about britain.

After a while, her friend came in and she left us to go and sit with her. It was clearly very cold outside, so we decided to stay in the hostel until around 9:30, in order to go around and some shopping before we made our way to the station by 12:30, the train was on 12:52. I thought I should buy myself a pair of proper boots in order to be able to deal with the snow down in Nottingham. So we hung out at the hostel lobby while the concierge told us he wasn’t able to go to Edinburgh because of the snow.

Eventually though we made our way out and it was quite chilly, but not as cold as we expected. most stores weren’t open yet so we walked around a bit waiting for them to open. We eventually made our way to the big John Lewis, I played a bit with an ipad there. I know it is completely useless and is something that I, along with the rest of the human population, do not need, I still want one more than anything in the world. We kept going from shop to shop. I bought myself a pair of Doc Martins boots. Even though I was a grungy kid in the 1990s I have never owned a pair. My mother never bought them for me and I never had enough money myself to buy some.

We also went in a very nice bookshop, I bought a for dummies book, Singing for dummies. As some of you know, I cannot sing to save my life. I am quite musical and play guitar, bass, and a little bit of piano, I am also looking to learn to play violin, as soon as I have a bit of extra money. However, I cannot sing to save myself. I hear myself singing out of tune but cannot do anything about it. I am aware that this has as much to do with ability as it has to do with bad posture and bad breathing. So I’m hoping this book will at least put me on the right track to singing.

Anyway, we got to the station at the right time and bought ourselves sandwiches for the road. Once we got on the train, we were able to find seats, but very quickly the train filled up with a great number of people. Again, there was a bunch of genitals and bottoms pressed against me. the trolly lady on this train was the same as the one on the train up to Liverpool, and the one on the train back when we went there the first time. She’s from Lithuania and recognised us. The train journey was a little boring, and long. We did enjoy looking out on some snow covered fields. We were very tired and had to fight not to sleep.

Anyway, we arrived in Nottingham, and it was quite cold. I spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching tv and listening to radio. I did a bit of work and watched  Match of the Day 2. I had mentioned that I wanted to sleep early, but was sure that I wouldn’t. It turns out I was right. I stayed up until about 3:00. I was hoping to see some snow falling, however, by the  time I went to bed there was no snow. I was a little bit bothered that there was no snow. Anyway, that’s my very busy Sunday.

Liverpool Again

Posted in Culture, Food, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28/11/2010 by arabrhizome

So as I hinted at yesterday, well I actually told you, I went on Saturday to Liverpool. But before getting to that bit of the story I’d like to talk about the previous night and the mixture of wonderment and frustration I felt. So I went to try and sleep at a normal time, thinking that I had to wake up at a normal hour the next day. I was quite tired as well, which was lucky. However, as soon as I got into bed my tiredness went away and I was wide awake.

This is something that does happen to me from time to time, well when I say from time to time I do mean most nights. I was very frustrated about that. I kept fighting it and trying to sleep anyway, but to no avail. So I got up and made myself some herbal tea and tried to relax and eventually go back to sleep. Around 2:00 I looked out of my window and it was starting to snow. It was wonderful. I love snow and sat there sipping my tea and watching the snow fall. Around 3:00 or 4:00 I did go to sleep and was able to have a few hours of rest.

I woke up to realise that while I was very happy to see the world covered in snow, I don’t actually own shoes that can help me walk in snow. So I put on the closest thing I have to boots and, after showering and getting my bag ready, made my way, carefully, to the bus station. I was very angry to see two busses pass by quickly, I couldn’t run so I realised I had to wait for a while. I did wait for a long time and finally two other busses came together and I got on one. It was full and I was soon packed like a sardine in with the other punters.

I wanted to make it a little early at the station in order to renew my rail card, and withdraw some money for the weekend. However, I made it in time just to buy a ticket at full price, it was an off peak but still. I then got on the train and made my way to Liverpool. The train ride was okay at first. We were passing through the snow covered Yorkshire vales. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. But then the inevitable rail confusion occurred. We stopped many times without any explanation. I really hate how bad the rail service is in this country. They invented it and are now one of the worst people at it.

The train was full as well, we were lucky to have found seats, but as usual that meant that some genitals were pressed against me. Anyway, we eventually made it to Liverpool and first put our stuff in the hostel and then went for a walk. We were in Liverpool to watch a performance by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, but it wasn’t going to start until 20:00. So we decided to walk around a little bit, but then we thought we would eat early, that way we can make it to the performance early.

So we went to Jamie’s Italian, a lovely restaurant we had sampled the last time we were there. There was a queue of people that stretched to the outside, even though it was only in the 18:00 region. We eventually got in and were seated. We shared some excellent food, mainly fish and sea food based stuff. I really recommend eating there if you have a chance, it’s delicious.

After food we made our way to the performance. Liverpool is currently hosting an arts festival featuring disabled artists. We got there a little bit early and waited in the lounge while a series of different musicians were playing. It took me time before realising that they all featured or were all disabled. It was nice to see that. The point though is that it is a sad indictment on our society that this whole sway of people need a special event in order to be properly represented.

Anyway, We made our way to the performance area and waited at the door before we were allowed in. One of the signs on the door featured my favourite phrase of all time: ‘This performance contains adult themes and incorporates a dead goat’. I don’t think I will ever encounter a phrase as good as this one. So when the time came we made our way in and the performance began.

I came in not really knowing what to expect. I knew that he was an experimental performance artist. The performance happened over an hour and a half. The audience was encouraged to circulate within the installation participate in anyway we find fit, and even go out to the bar and have a drink before coming back in. This performance was like nothing I have ever witnessed. It was brilliant in almost every way. The audience was a little dead and needed a lot of priming from the performers. But even though that was the case, it was still fantastic.

I don’t want to talk about what happened in it too much, as it is very difficult to describe it without somehow doing violence to it. However, one of my two favourite bits involved us decolonising the body of a woman by removing tiny acupuncture flags that were put on her body. The lady, her name is Maria was brilliant and her performance involved a whole bunch of stuff. Anyway, this bit was fantastic.

The other thing was another female performer who came in at some point in the middle of the performance dragging a bunch of stockings hanging from her naked body, these stockings were filled with books. These books were an eclectic array of theory and literature. Many of these books are ones that I have on my bookshelf or that I have read. She made her way onto a podium, with difficulty. It was really good.

Anyway, basically I am now a fan boy. I would love to see another performance of his at some point, if I have a chance. I would like to watch him with an audience that’s not as stuck up as this one. Anyway, after the performance we made our way back to the hostel. It was very cold, but we made it in one piece. We were quite high from the performance and had a cup of tea in the hostel and discussed it a little bit. Then we went to try and sleep.

It is then that I wrote yesterday’s post. I sat in my bed and listened to a podcast, I wasn’t very sleepy. Finally around 23:30, I was tired and ready to sleep. The problem is one of the people in my room was snoring like a very loud snoring man, I misjudged my ability to come up with a good simile there. It took me very long to get to sleep as I wasn’t able to tune out the noise. But eventually my tiredness meant that I couldn’t stay up anymore.

Well I hope that this makes up for yesterday’s shortish post. I am now going to watch match of the day 2 before getting ready to sleep. I am hoping that I will sleep on the early side, but I am aware of the fact that I probably won’t sleep too early. Anyway, good night.

Work Friday

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , on 27/11/2010 by arabrhizome

Right, I’m in Liverpool right now. I have just witnessed an amazing performance. I will write about this and more in tomorrow’s post. I am going to write a short one today, as I am sleepy and tired, so that what I write will probably be shit. So anyway, let’s talk about Friday. I woke up early on Friday and decided that I would work from home and then make my way to uni at some point in order to pick up some books from the library and get some paperwork dealt with. And that’s exactly what I did after lunch. It was very cold in the morning and I didn’t really want to deal with it.

I got the books I needed and got my rail card application signed and sorted out. You see as I am a ‘mature’ student, they mean old, I need my student rail card application to be signed by someone at uni. Basically, they need someone to vouch for me that I am actually a student. So I did that. I thought about maybe working a bit at uni but since I’m mainly reading at the moment, I’d rather be at home. I hate reading at a desk and that’s the only option at uni. The space with the couches is usually quite loud.

So I went back home and worked. I actually worked quite hard. In fact, I worked so well that I ended up writing a good amount of stuff, not all of it usable but it’s better than nothing. I worked so hard I ended up not going out with my friends. I just realised that the last two sentences have the same rhythm as yo mama jokes. It seems that I am a poet and I do not know it.

Anyway, I watched peep show at 22:00. For those who don’t know, peep show is a brilliant British sitcom that stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb. It is rude and smart and silly and very well written. I highly recommend it. Anyway, so Friday bight was the first episode of the new season. It was an immense hit. Fantastic from start to finish. I laughed so hard so many times, I thought I might end up having a hernia.

Anyway, I think that’s all from me today. I’m sorry about the lack of substance in the last few posts. I think that I will make up for it tomorrow. Or at least I hope I will. So on this note, I bid you all good night and I urge to come again tomorrow.

Teaching Feminism

Posted in Me, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , on 26/11/2010 by arabrhizome

So I woke up very early on Thursday feeling quite fine. It was nice not to be nauseous for the first time this week. I thought I’d work during the morning and then go to uni before my classes. And that’s exactly what I did. I spent the morning mainly reading. I’m glad to be able to work again now that I am not ill anymore.

I went to uni and made my way to my first class. We’re working on feminism this week. It was fun getting into discussions about the status and role of feminism in today’s world. We got to talk about political correctness and its merits and short comings. We also talked about the way in which we would deal with patriarchal society. It was fun seeing how engaged some of them felt.

I was happy to see that a lot of women were willing to talk and take positions. No one really said ‘I am not a feminist’, which I was very happy about. The assumption also was not that women have achieved all they can achieve. It was really nice to see what they thought were interesting issues to address and what they saw as irrelevant.

All in all I had a lot of fun. I know I’ve said this before but this batch of students is quite good. They are very intelligent and mostly willing to engage in the discussion. I’d like to take some credit for that, but I think that it mainly comes down to them wanting to get the best out of their course.

Inevitably we talked about the student protests as well. I was happy to see that a lot of them participated and had a lot to say about the issue. I made a joke, which I was quite proud of and which made them all laugh. At the end of the classes I urged them not to attack police vans and break windows. I know its not very funny here but at the time it killed.

They asked me if I had participated and I explained that I wanted to but that at the same time I didn’t want to be around if it all kicked off. I don’t want to be caught in the middle of a riot and then be arrested and potentially deported when I would not have done anything of the sort. As you all know I am a woolly lefty sort and do not really like violence. So I don’t want to put myself in a position where I could be construed as a violent protester. This is compounded by the fact that I don’t exactly look like a student, so I might be confused with an old anarchist that has infiltrated the student march in order to cause trouble.

So all in all a good day. It was nice also that my first day without nausea involved such a nice and enjoyable teaching experience. I am looking forward to next week’s classes now. I hope we go abit deeper and discuss some more interesting stuff. I like these students and will moss them when they are gone. Every time I teach I remember why I love teaching so much. It is one of the best jobs in the world.

Getting Better

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 25/11/2010 by arabrhizome

Well I woke up feeling a bit better. I had a bit of a rough night, getting only 3 hours of sleep, but I felt I could go to my training session. So I made my way to uni and went to the training session entitled ‘How to finish your Thesis’ which seems useful. However, it was clearly going o be a bit of a waste of time as these things tend to be. It was funny watching Z being completely and utterly unable to hide her absolute scorn.

We had a coffee break and I realised that I was clearly not going to be able to stay for the rest of the course as I was getting nauseous again. So I left after the break and made my way slowly back home. It was very difficult walking back, as I was getting quite nauseous, but I eventually made it. Once I got home I started feeling better.

I just kept getting better and better until I eventually felt fine in the evening.So I do believe that I have finally shifted this illness away. I wonder what it is about. I must have caught some sort of virus or something. Well in any case I am better now and will hopefully resume proper blog post service with tomorrow’s post. I’m hoping stuff happens.

That was my Wednesday. Nothing really to report. I think that I have now payed off all the credit I was due with the long posts of last week. I have to start having weird adventures again in order to make this work. Anyway, See you all tomorrow.

Another Day of Sickness

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 24/11/2010 by arabrhizome

Well Tuesday was another day of nausea. I have very little to talk about actually since my day was basically spent feeling nauseous and watching some videos on my phone. It’s really difficult to think of anything to talk about when you spend a day like that.

I did go to the supermarket though in the afternoon and got food for the week. But nothing interesting in the least happened to me while I was out. It did make feel a little better to be out of my flat, but not enough to be completely over my illness. It did however encourage me to go to uni on Wednesday, as I have a training course to attend. I will however, only go for the training course and come back home very quickly.

Anyway, that’s all I have to talk about really. I’m sorry the past couple of days have been thin on the amount of words written, but I think you’ll all agree that it is excusable given my state. Anyway, I will tell you all about that wonderful training course I have to go to on Wednesday. I am being sarcastic of course, in case you don’t really understand sarcasm or are american. Again I am joking about Americans not getting sarcasm, it seems I have to say that otherwise they would take offense.