Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It's My Party...

...and I'll throw a tantrum if I want to. The degree show is tomorrow. The Creative Practice tutor called a meeting at 3.30 today and my good mood dissapated like a cloud being hit by the sun. Up until then I was fine. Mellow even.

My Viking turned up this afternoon bearing gifts. Don't mind me, but I am going to bask. He bought me a congratualtory card, olives and JT! Okay, the CD. My Viking so rocks! We cuddled, caught up on the gossip and headed into town for lunch and a bit of retail therapy. He went to have a haircut, I went off to the meeting before the cinema.

We've still got a day's worth of work to do. One person isn't coming, at all. Another, who knows? Of the six exhibiting tomorrow, there were three of us. There's also the important stuff to do, essential for any party...buy the drinkies and munchies. Plus I am determined to be glam.

I've got two blogging guests stopping with me tomorrow night, so it's going to get cosy round here. Yay! Really looking forward to meeting Monkfish and seeing Hottie again. So, that's four people who are definitely going to be there (including Viking and Boy). I've got leave to buy 12 bottles of wine, so if no bugger else turns up I suspect I'm going to be a bit fragile travelling to Dublin in the early hours on Thursday.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Justin Timberlake - LoveStoned

I'm not a huge JT fan, but there's just something about this track that has me doing the chair groove. Definitely makes me want to go clubbing.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Letting it all Hang Out

One of the things that always catches me out is the anticipation of an event, the event itself and how I feel about the event during or afterwards. Thanks to Boy's generosity I came down with a stinking cold on Friday and felt awful all of yesterday. I rang in sick and I'm sure they didn't believe me; as they helped kick off the evening in a wine bar. I was best friends with my sofa and box of tissues. I feel a bit brighter today and have managed to potter around and do something useful today.

Apart from the cold, I feel like limp lettuce, or a dish rag that's been rung out. I'm excited about the show on Wednesday and I'm keen to start another project, but I haven't got the energy to do more than potter about. The Viking is taking us off to Dublin on Thursday; he's really looking forward to it - poor man really needs the break. He works so hard and then when he's come to see me, I've been stressed bunny. Thursday seems like it's ages away yet, and I can't really think about it yet, though I have given in and done the laundry for the clothes I'll be wearing. He's made a heck of a concession though, I am allowed to bring my black wheelie suitcase. As a seasoned back packer, he is a bit sniffy about suitcases, so I feel suitably honoured.

Today, I took a shovel to my bedroom and can now see my carpet, as well as a flame thrower to my desk. It's amazing how much crap I've allowed to build up. When I have the energy, the plan of action is to get a skip sooner rather than later. I'm going to have to be strong and everything that I haven't touched in 6 months is going to go (apart from my books). This is the end of a significant period of my life and I want to start the next clear of crap. Best foot forward and all of that.

By the way, if anyone is free on Wednesday between 17.30 and 20.30, I'd love your company. I can offer art, cheap wine, peanuts and Pizza Express afterwards. Drop me an e-mail, I'll give you directions.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Celebrate Good Times

I have a 2.i! Yay me. Which means my MA is possible...and I'm pissed and loving everyone.

So, for all of you, who have stood by me, during my worst and darkest hours...thank you so much, I appreciate your efforts, good wishes and kicks up the backside.

Many thanks go to my Boy, my Viking, Alix and Gee....I think you guys rock! Here's to the next year! (hic)

PS. Won the Institute prize for Creative Writing for my efforts as student rep etc. In a way, that means more to me than the final grade of my degree.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Countdown

I'm a little bit stressed at the moment. I'm waiting for Friday so I can pick up my results. The only thing is: I'm not by nature a patient person. When I want something, I want it NOW. I really want my results.

My tutors know. They won't talk to me about the work until Friday after I've picked up my little brown envelope (and opened it). While I was chatting to them about the degree show next week, they just seem to be assuming that I'll get on to the MA and will be lurking around their vacinity in September. Rationally, that says then I have little to worry about.

Except, I can't stop worrying.What if my MA application isn't strong enough? I ran out of bullshitese and I never took them up on the option of using additional sheets. My Creative Practice tutor hasn't looked at it properly yet as the poor man has just got back from Lithuania. Did I mention that the course includes approx 2 weeks collaborating with an art department in a university in Lithuania? How fab is that?

Did I also mention that I spent a silly amount of money on a camera and a camcorder? And that I'm hoping to work with a fabulous artistic photographer over the summer? I think I did. I'm repeating myself.

I know I'm stressing, but I just can't seem to help myself, so I'm going to have a shower, get into my pjs and pour myself something naughty.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Blogday to Me

Today, this blog is a year old. In the next two weeks I will be coming to the end of this particular journey. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. This afternoon, after a particularly tempestous meeting with our external examiner, I went for a bus ride and tried to take some photos. I was really struck with the fact that it didn't feel right. I was happy enough riding around, listening to my MP3 player and being nosey about other people, but taking photos of the experience...it felt unnecessary and wrong. So I took others instead.

This time last year I had concrete plans: I was going to get a First, I was going to do the full-time MA in Culture and Communication, I was going to get funding, I was going to get a part-time job, I was going to become a lecturer. I was also worried about Boy becoming a teenager, having a long-term relationship (not being in one at the time) and feeling sad about not having any more children (that really bugged me).

This year I have come to terms with the fact that I'm not going to get a First, I'll be happy with a 2.i (well, not happy exactly, but not disappointed either). I get my results Friday. Fortunately, I'm going to be working, otherwise I'd be going on a weekend bender and my liver is a bit fragile at the momet. I've applied to do the part-time MA in Digital Arts at the college and await further instructions. I'm not going to get funding (certainly not without a First, or filling out the application form), I'd rather do the course part-time and work as it gives me more flexibility and I can't be arse to wade through 40 pages of forms (I kid you not). I have had a couple of part-time jobs, the second one has kept me sane, in money and make-up. The first, stressed me to dangerous levels even if it did pay a heck of a lot more. Boy has got taller, broader, a touch moody, a bit spotty, but is the same lovely lad. I still get loads of cuddles and we still have fun hanging out together. He has a cheeky sense of humour and a fabulous smile. I am still potty about him...you might have noticed, probably as I keep going on about him. I am in a relationship, one which I didn't expect, but am enjoying very much. I no longer feel sad that I'm not likely to have more children, I suppose I'm too busy being creative and trying to keep the rest of my life going.

I suppose the biggest change has come from my attitude towards life. I haven't got a clue what's going to be good for me. Rather than trying to impose my will on life in general, I'm just letting it happen and going with the flow. I think I'll try and follow this advice, which you can see over here as well. My energy levels still aren't much to write home about, but I've started exercising again and am pleased to say I've lost 2 lbs last week. I am getting there, just a bit slowly; and no, I still have no idea where I'm going.

When I started writing this blog, I didn't realise that I'd get loads of new friends. New friends who've kept me company when I was low, who encouraged me when I lagged, who gave me loads of virtual hugs when I was pleased with myself. So, thanks very much all of you. I'm really enjoying this journey, I hope you'll stick around to see what the next year will bring.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Faithless - Mass Destruction

This seemed apt.

Saw them live earlier this year with my Viking and Boy. What a brilliant gig!

Enjoy.

Civil Liberties

This post rides on the back of the coffuffle caused by a certain anon visiting the sites of well known police bloggers, some of whom are listed on my sidebar under Those Who Do, crowing about the death of PC Jon Henry. I'm finding it difficult keeping my temper about the whole situation, especially since he decided to pay a visit to my Viking. But, I have to say anon's comments started me thinking and I don't believe that's necessarily a bad thing (well apart from the fact that I'm about to bore you to tears with my musings).

Anon quite likes the word Nazi and bandies it about at any given rant. Quite interesting really as it carries with connotations of racism and repressive regimes, not to mention mass murder and war. In this context the polizei and SS were agents of Hitler's madness. Germans, as well as Jews lived in fear of the knock on the door in the middle of the night. People disappeared.

If we really did live in the repressive regime, anon makes out we do, I think he'd have been disappeared 3 days ago for leaving comments on the Agents of the Repressive Regime's blogs. He wouldn't have a paperwork trail. There wouldn't be any trace of him at all. He would just no longer be there, perhaps with his family leaving posters up 'Have you seen...?'.

Given that most of the Agents of the Repressive Regime he's been kicking up against are actively critical of the system they work within, complaining about the lack of resources, the endless paperwork to ensure fair trials, the helplessness at watching another family suffer as the bad guy walks...you get the picture. I don't somehow think any serving officer of the SS would have had a blog. Although, I have to remind you that Inspector Gadget has had real problems with the Dog with the Ginger Eyebrows, but despite this he still blogs (thank god).

I had a quick look at a firey exchange between regular commentors and a guy calling himself Mark on another of IGs posts. He quoted the high profile deaths of civilians at the hands of police officers. Spent a lot of time going on about the corrupt officers, etc. I found it interesting that given that the police arrest and detain how many thousands of people over the years, the figures Mark was quoting were in the low 30s. I wonder how that statistic would match up to the police officers who've died at the hands of the bad guys? In my ignorance I can only name a handful.

Sorry, I think I'm drifting off point. Having had my Boy (who is still lovely), watched both my parents die before my eyes, and my own spiritual persuasion, I believe that life is sacred. I also believe that life is truly difficult. Bad things happen to good people, without rhyme nor reason. It is so easy to say, I'm just going to look out for me, no bugger else counts. Me, me, me. It's not so easy to say I'm going to go to work, to try and make a difference today. Knowing that the people you're trying to help, don't want it, don't care and are making a Jerry Springer mess out of their lives, often at the expense of others.

I know I'm repeating myself, but I have nothing but respect to those who do. I don't have a lot of time for those who spread messages of hatred and violence.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fallen Officer PC Jon Henry

If I'm honest, I'm a bit of a police groupie. I'm blessed with good friends who've been in the Service for most of their working lives, and my Viking who has not long started. When I started blogging I tripped over Inspector Gadget's musings and I've been hooked ever since. I have nothing but respect for the people who get up in the morning, leave their families and loved ones, put on their body armour and hit the streets. I couldn't do it. The frustrations of seeing the same people day in day out playing out their own particular soap opera in the System, knowing that those above are busy creating origami and most of the general public don't care.

I haven't blogged about PC Jon Henry before because I haven't found the words until now. To be honest, it's still all tied up in the fear that one day I'll be seeing my Viking's parents sitting next to some bloke in a suit dishing out arse covering phrases and spin-written speeches.

PC Jon Henry died doing a job he loved. He leaves behind a grieving widow and his baby, he leaves behind friends and colleagues who will be looking at his locker, at his coffee cup. For those of us who didn't know him, he is more than a news story.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Fin

Yesterday, I set up my Creative Practice work and that is the end of my degree. Yes, I do have a degree show to sort out, a publication to edit and my graduation...but that was the last of my work to be put in for assessment. Just so you know, I get my results on the 22nd of June and graduate on the 4th of July.

To celebrate I went to work. After work I wandered around and bought loads of make up. MAC have just brought out their summer collection and while I'm not into orange I thought I'd give it a go. I bought some lip liners, loose broze glittery eye shadow, some nail polishes, sparkley face and body powder on the cheap from Superdrug; and today after a consultation and MAC, their fabulous eyeshadow and a sparkley pink lip gloss which is just to die for. I've booked myself in for a facial next Monday, a birthday pressie from Hottie and a hair cut and colour on Friday. Tomorrow, I will start my exercise regime up again. I realise the key to a good life is more not less. Like KAZ suggested when I floated the subject a few weeks ago, more exercise, more yummy veggies and salads, more dancing, more walking. I want to have more energy and more fun.

I've also got quite a lot of catching up to do around the house. I promised myself in February that I'd get a skip and dump all of the shite I've accumulated. There's quite a bit of paperwork to catch up on. I suspect the trick is to just take things slow. Hand me a knife and fork, I've got an elephant to consume.

Plans for the summer? Well, Boy and I will be flying back to Trinidad to scatter Pops' ashes in the middle of August. Before then, the Viking and I will be going to Dublin for a few days. There's also a couple of weddings to attend, and buy shoes and frocks for. I also am hoping to work with a professional photographer to try and up my technical profficiency with a digital camera. Did I mention there's an MA course to apply for? I don't think this summer is going to be laid back or quiet. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Almost There

As I expected there were hitches, but not insurmountable. There was quite a bit of running around: to the shop to get some blank CDs, and a pen to write on the damn thing. Note to self: any time the CD burner can't burn something onto a CD, chuck the blank CD.

One of the advantages of being in the turret room at the top of four flights of stairs is that I'm getting a bit of exercise. It has also helped to burn off my frustration with the situation.

It's not quite the end as I've got to get to college first thing, so I can set everything up and see what the presentations look like being projected large and together. At the moment, it's still a leap of faith. I can't see that it's all going to go horribly wrong, but you never can tell. Not that I'll be able to fix it if it's all gone Pete Tong. I don't do cables, wires, s-video leads or scarts. I can just about manage {play}

After I set up the presentations, I've then got to hot-foot it into work for the rest of the day. Which is just as well. Knowing that my Creative Practice tutors will be busy assessing it, I'd probably pace myself into the flat below.

I can't believe I'm actually done. As my gran used to say 'it's all over, bar the shouting'. Well, I suppose I'm not quite done yet. I've got to get the presentations set up tomorrow morning, I've promised to proof read the publication which I was Editor-in-Chief last year, we are hoping to launch it before we graduate on the 4th of July. The degree show is still pending, and the Creative Practice Tutor number 1, still wants me to print my images off and create a banner of sorts in the stairwell of Satan (nodding to Eddie Izzard). I've got to order Cap and Gown, and ask about photography etc. I still haven't completed my application for the MA and that really does need to be done sooner rather than later.

The more I think about how I want to spend my time, the more I want to work creatively and the MA certainly will give me more employment opportunities than the just the BA. I would like to start applying for funding to do artistic projects, that would way cool and those kind of opportunities definitely happen through the college.

Anyway, thanks for all your messages and texts. I really appreciated it. You guys rock! It occurred to me last night that the blog has now become a separate entity to my Creative Practice project and that now that is all done...what should I do with this space? Any ideas on what you'd particularly like to see on here? I mean besides pictures of topless babes and blokes. Seriously, let me know what you think, otherwise you're just going to keep getting more of my spontaneous outpourings and random rants and I wouldn't want you to get bored.

Today's the Day

Today I hand over my Journeying project for assessment. The broomcupboard, with some paint and a clear out actually looks a lot better than originally thought. My thanks and gratitude still goes to Gertie and my Viking for giving up their precious time to paint and listen to me whinge.

My To Do list before my deadline this evening is surprisingly short. I've got to write my critical appraisal (as you well know, always left to the last minute), sort out a plinth, copy a CD, run off some prints, buy tutors drinkies in the student bar at 7pm. Not too many drinkies, mind you a) I don't want them to be too fragile while marking the work and b) I've got to work tomorrow.

Well, if I don't get started on my To Do list, the usual panic will set in and my stress levels will go up and all manner of disasters will strike. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Everythings Fine with Sparkley Pink Toes

It's a good thing I've been too busy to post. The draft I typed on Wednesday and never got round to finishing went along the lines of: rant, rant, rant & more rant.

A quick recap on the Degree Show Situation: the room we were promised didn't materialise, the e-mail informing my Creative Practice tutor went walkabout because it went to the Course Leader, the Powers That Be recognised that 6 people couldn't show in the exhibition equivalent of a broom cupboard and gave us 3 other (out of the way) spaces as well as the broom cupboard. Still with me?

I get into college on Wednesday and I find out that the Powers that Be (may the fleas of a thousand camels infest their pubic hair) have reneged on the agreement. Apparently, the MA students were promised one of the rooms (the room me and another were going to use). The MA students don't show until September...but they were promised. So 6 of us will be showing in the broom cupboard.

As if that wasn't bad enough. We get to the cupboard and the course that had been using it as a studio space still had artwork in it and a WHOLE lot of their SHIT. It took us the rest of Wednesday and yesterday to finish moving their stuff out, while at the same time trying to paint the space and come up with solutions to our current problem. It was decided that we would treat the assessment and show as two different entities. For the assessment, everyone would have an opportunity to set up their work in the space and display it as the artist wanted, the work would then be taken down for the next person to set up. For the Degree Show, a show reel of examples of our work would be created, with a few artifacts left in the space for people to see.

To say I was stressed was an understatement. I was so tired, but determined to go and chant with my hommies and I'm glad I did. I had an idea appear. With a bit of help from Gertie I did a mock up that evening and fretted all night. Thursday I took it to my Creative Practice tutor and said I was prepared to give the second idea a go for the show, but if I felt my work couldn't be shown to its best potential, then I would pull out. After listening to me rant for ages, they had a look at my mock-up and were really keen. I did briefly entertain the thought of using the new idea for my assessment, but I don't have the time and resources to do it for Wednesday.

Big up Gertie and my Viking for rolling their sleeves up and mucking in. Gertie on Thursday and Viking today, cleaned, brushed and rollered, whilst giving me pep talks, hugs and alcohol, as well as putting up with me standing on my very large soapbox.

The problem that has led to this horrendous situation points to the Creative Writing course being marginalised within the college. We are a small course struggling to survive in an environment run by pin-striped bean counters. We haven't had a permanent adminstrator for 2 years because the college believes it makes more sense to have a part-time adminstrator working for 2 separate courses. Did I mention the workload is so horrendous that we've gone through 5 administrators?

What hasn't helped my temper is that while we've been struggling in our broom cupboard, people from other courses (including the ones now in the room we were promised) have been wandering in and going 'can we borrow the ladder, we've only got one between 7 rooms? Can we have some paint? Can we borrow your hammer?'

Funnily enough, they didn't come around today.