In which I make very difficult decision…

Just to let you know, everything about this post feels wrong. Wrong deep in my soul…

My To Be Read pile is fairly large, I like to think of it as epic but then I’m a drama queen. That’s not to say others don’t have bigger piles, or more impressive piles, or piles that are arranged nicer than mine…let’s not get competitive people!

I currently have 57 books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. This does not include the eight books at my desk in work that have been ordered, delivered and languish there because I’m too lazy to drag them home. To the pile. The epic pile. I love books, love them with a fierce, burning passion…I used to cry in the local library because there were so many books and I couldn’t read them all right now. I had two library cards and took out the full quota every week. (Yes, I was a massive loser, move on…) and when I see a book that sparks my interest mentioned online, by a friend, in a shop I tend to forget the epic pile and buy it! It’s a book, yay! Nothing wrong with it, in fact, I think impulsiveness in the face of a good book is one of my best qualities.

So. Here we are, a large pile of lovely books, one girl, two eyes, a full time job, various activities and (let’s face it, this is the most important reason) a bank account that’s so empty homeless people feel sorry for me. Actually, scratch that, the most important reason is the fact that I have purchased these amazing books that all caught my eye but are permanently being ignored in favour of the shiny new book that lands in front of me…

NO MORE. I will not purchase another book until the pile is significantly diminished. Significantly. Down to maybe five? That’s reasonable, right? The very idea makes my heart thump, to be honest. I made this decision yesterday and immediately fought the idea to slip a few new books in under the radar…I mean, I reaaaaaaalllly want to read “Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A New Commentary”, ooh, and, well…everything. That’s the trouble. I want to read everything. (Still one of my best qualities.)

So that’s it. Operation Be Really Strict With Myself has begun. Who thinks I’m going to fail miserably?*


*Me, I am soooooo going to fail. I added two books to my Wish List today alone…doomed.



In which I meander…for the first time this year

Ah beloved blog. Bloggitybloggityblogblog…I knew I would soon tire of you. All of a sudden though, I woke up with an urge to communicate and who am I to ignore that? Well, exactly.

What have I been up to since I last graced these hallowed [web] pages with my verbose, systematically meandering prose? Well, something bad happened workwise (nothing I could help and it only involved me in an extraordinarily peripheral way *throws angry glance at UK Supreme Court* *mutters* but was still a pain in my ass). More importantly, I have been home for Christmas (Muddled 1, ridiculous snow 0), which was lovely. Really, surprisingly delightful. For the second year running we had no fights. As I type this I am sure of two things: (a) most of you hate me right now; and (b) next Christmas will be filled with familial carnage where a group of intelligent, extraordinarily sarcastic people penned in together for a week will utilize every tool in their arsenal to rip the other asunder. So a return to the Christmases of my youth, yay!

This Christmas was also more fragrant than expected…and not in the pleasant sense of the word. Six days of frozen water pipes. Imagine me in the shower (no, not like that!) on Christmas Eve pouring jugs of water over myself in order to fool myself into thinking it was a shower. It didn’t work. Grrr.

However, I did get over my utter steaming malevolence towards New Years Eve; I spent it in the company of some of my best friends drinking hot port and chatting. There was only some randomness: the DJ rang in the New Year three minutes early and seemed to only play Prince, and there was the small incident of the house fire (not actually a fire, everyone is ok, but it was scary).

Anyway, all this festive joy and the ensuing return to work (yay, work! No sarcasm) has made me consider my priorities for the year ahead…

I haven’t come up with anything meaningful.

In light of this, here are some random things I hope might happen.

  1. Everyone will be happy and smiley and only have good things happen to them. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Likelihood zero.)
  2. I will succeed in secret career plan. This shouldn’t be difficult, I rock. Also, start a fricking pension (so old, soooooo old *sobs*).
  3. Book, pay for and travel to Australia to visit Travelling Bestie. Oh she thought she was getting away from me, ahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
  4. Spread the good word of the em dash far and wide so people both understand it and USE IT. Similarly, I am willing to offer some form of sacrifice to the author gods so that lovely, wonderful writers stop using double spaces after full points. Yes, this is my constant bugbear.
  5. Um. Other stuff.

See, aren’t you glad I decided to blog again? If nothing else it lives up to its name, miscellaneous, utterly muddled musings…you missed me, didn’t you?

Harry Potter and the High-Falutin’ Blog Post…

Harry Potter, first day on release, 22.45 (after adverts 23.15, sigh…). One of my best friends flew over from Ireland to watch the movie with me. We dined and drank and queued with hope in our hearts and a twinkle of fanatical mania in our eyes.

I did everything right…ish. I didn’t re-read the book immediately prior (the subject of feverish debate in the streams of Twitter) and reminded myself regularly that it would never, ever, ever live up my expectations. My excitement levels were beyond anything that was sustainable or realistic. I knew this.

However, I could not “obliviate” my freakishly good memory. Teeny tiny details from copious re-reading, compounded by the purchase of the audiobook (read incredibly well by Stephen Fry, definitely worth the moolah) are burned into my feverish brain. No movie could ever live up to that. Hence the almost title of this blog (ah, the road not taken…) “For what it is…”.

The positives:

Also: Here be spoilers!

I think this was the best HP movie yet. *I really do. It was dark and clever and had surprisingly good comedic moments. It was true enough to the book to leave my blood pressure at an acceptable rate (unlike Half Blood Prince…) and I certainly felt, and got wrapped up in, the tenseness of the movie. Particularly excellent scenes include the visit to Godric’s Hollow (Bathilda scared me witless) and the scene I am calling “Harry Potter and the Awkward Dad Dancing”. The whole cinema clenched as we, in one mind, went “ohnoohnonohno, don’t doooooooooo it”…there was a palpable sense of relief when what we all thought was going to happen didn’t. (Sorry for ambiguity, but I don’t want to spoil everything).

On a side note, I don’t think Daniel Radcliffe gets enough props for the funny bits, in Half Blood Prince my favourite scene is when he’s hyper/drunk from the Felix Felicis and, similarly, in Deathly Hallows he plays a blinder with the odd quick quip. Moody was phenomenal as always, best line (paraphrased)? “He’s gorgeous, now let’s all get inside before we get him killed”…doesn’t read like much but it’s all in the inflection. Of course, he snuffs it soon after. This leads me, rather swiftly, on to:

The negatives:

Moody dies, people! He’s dead. D.E.D. And how do they commemorate him? By looking sad. For three seconds (I timed it! Three seconds! Ok, I didn’t, but still. He deserved more, dammit!).

Also, I found a lot of the action sequences confusing…although confusing isn’t the right word. Slight-of-handy-y, maybe? Does that make sense? For example, in the first chase scene when Hagrid ferrying Harry away (on a sidenote, I haven’t seen a side car in a movie since Bedknobs and Broomsticks! Angela Lansbury 4evah!), Hagrid is somehow belted with a spell and slumps over. Harry has to take the wheel…I’ve seen the movie twice now and I still have no idea how Hagrid was incapacitated. Slight of hand, see? Or just a light touch with the details? I might stick with that description. This continues throughout the movie, I think, and makes it feel very “surface”. It is for this reason, and this reason only because I love the weirdo, that I didn’t cry at Dobby’s death. Also, Dobby dies, people! Ahem. Anyway, I cry at everything. The Notebook incapacitated me for 20 minutes, a particularly poignant Mastercard commercial reduced me to floods once. Yet with Dobby’s vicious murder, nothing. Definite lack of emotion depth (the movie, not me. I gots plenty of emotions. Most of them rage).

But back to The positives, or as I shall call it, Totty Count…apart from Voldemort himself (come on, own up, I know I’m not the only one, what woman doesn’t love a man with power, perfectly manicured nails, a cute snub nose and an extreeeeeeeemely large snake?) the winner has to be Yaxley. The man has fabulous hair, is obviously in the whole of his health (the Ministry seems v.large and he ran through it very swiftly) and has the Best Voice Ever. Husky, menacing, slightly Scottish…* thud *

So what I’m trying to say, poorly, I know, is that Deathly Hallows was enjoyable, definitely. For what it was. It will never, ever, ever, match the book; my logical side understands this, my heart, however, fights against this.  No doubt I shall await Pt 2 with the same stupid hope in my heart…chief amongst these hopes for the final movie in the series is my most fervent wish that Rupert Grint learns to breath with his mouth closed. Truly, it was reminiscent of emphysema and it made his dialogue disjointed. Ho hum…

* Feel free to chime in with your thoughts, do you think it was the best yet? Am I the only one who noticed the mouth-breathing? Is anyone else contemplating shaving Emma Watson’s eyebrows off to see if she can act without them?

M’iphone, m’ilove

Sad, isn’t it? How much I love my phone? (Or, as you may have surmised from the title, m’iphone as I like to call it…) I love it, I love, love, love it. In a slightly wrong way, tbh. It’s like a man when you think about it, m’iphone shares my bed every night (I can dream), it brings me untold amounts of joy (some men can, I’m sure) and it lets me down just at the wrong time (damn battery life/signal issues/[insert gripe here]). Anyway…

I know it’s only metal and smooth, beautiful glass but think of the vast amount of complexity held within it’s delightfully compact body (veering into slightly kinky waters)…the mind boggles. There is a huge amount of software, algorithms, research, blahblahblah, in each iphone…but let’s face it, I mainly love it because it allows me to carry my addictions with me, music (yes, crappy pop included), twitter, facebook (this addiction is getting less and less, I must say), google reader and the hilarious “Texts From Last Night” (so disgusting, so hilarious, who are these people?!).

I will admit that I preferred (slightly) the more curved body of my previous iphone 3G, this coupled with the fact that the back of the thing is now covered with gorgeous, oh-so-breakable/scratchable glass means I was a bit eager to make sure it was protected.

I dondered off to (as is my wont from time to time) and looked for iphone cases (meh, I tend to dislike these, what’s the point in owning something so pretty just to put it in a chunky case?) And then I found these from TopDecal, a fab and slightly quirky Snow White decal for back of the phone…see how Snow White gently cups the apple symbol? I likes it! So I ordered it without regard for my bank account (heinously low funds people, heinous. Also, I just like that word…heinous, hehe)…Ahem, where was I? Oh yeah, I ordered it. It shall protect and be pretty…what more can a girl ask for? Well, let me tell you, I then saw that they offer a 50 per cent refund on orders if you recommend their store on your blog and lo! a blog post was born!

Yes, some of you may feel dirty and used that I made you read this just so I could get moolah back, but um, hey, I’ve been living in Scotland for three years now and their slightly tight ways (said with love, Scottish people who may be reading this, said with love) are rubbing off on me…


Sunday, Sunday, just turns out that way…

For years, as is only right and proper I think, I worked Sundays. Sundays, Mondays, all days in which I would be paid and could then survive another week in uni…I say survive, evidently I am in a dramatic mood this morning, I was never horrendously badly off in uni, there was always enough for some wine or a night out or a DVD. Or chocolate. This would then be followed by pasta and sauce or some such bland meal for the week, which was (and is, tbh) completely fine with me—I haven’t yet remembered that I am supposed to be an adult and shouldn’t blow all my cash on having fun. Some day, presumably I will have to learn this horrible lesson.

Anyway, through the horrible, evil accessories shop (shall remain nameless), the call centre, the shoe shop, the other call centre (for about five months the final two ran concurrently) I worked Sundays. Loads of them. Then I got my current, best, most beloved job (in the subject I actually studied and did a Masters in, whoop!) and lo! Sunday was free. A lifetime (see what I mean about the drama…) of Sundays stretched ahead of me like a beautiful sea of laziness.

So I always appreciate this day, even if I waste it completely by being hungover (*cough* not often, obviously). I used to dedicate my Sunday to coffee and the papers but my to-be-read pile has built to epic proportions and is, thus, more pressing.

So here is my perfect Sunday…a lie-in, chat, phonecall from parents (11am on the dot), music (starts loudly, gets more chilled as the afternoon goes on), reading, arranging *playlists on m’iphone, pondering, dondering, wandering and milling…not necessarily in that order. We also have a running tradition of my flatmate forcing me to look at her feet…long story…

*Playing at the moment K’naan’s Bang Bang which has caught my music bone good and proper (this exists, right?).

In which I do not review *“Eat Pray Love”…

I refuse to blog about “Eat Pray Love”. Refuse. I mean, I tend to review movies shoddily but I feel if I got started on such a travesty of a movie this could turn into the longest, most curse-filled blog post in the history of the world. No exaggeration. If I were to review it though, some of the words I might mention are “bullshit”, “pop psychology” and “shutupshutupshutupshutUPJulia!!”

Ahem. Anyway, what have I been up to since I was last with you? I’ve been working like a maniac on my last book of the year (has anyone else noticed how quickly time is flying, btw? It is 11 weeks until Christmas eve…), it’s an excellent book with an extremely knowledgeable author, which is always good, but my, oh my, turnaround times are getting tight.

This brings me on to secret time. We all know what secret time is, right? Time built in between when we say something needs to be done and when it actually needs to be done. When I first started my job I thought (because I am good at deadlines, I like them, I respect them, sometimes I even cuddle them as I go to sleep at night) that everyone would play ball, write their article, update their section, submit their copy on the due date…I was not fool enough to think things would ever be submitted before time, just on time. Ahahahahaaaaaa….

So that was a learning curve. Now that I’ve been doing it for a while, I have learned who needs extra time to submit/correct/reply to a fricking email once in a while (arggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh), and it all works quite nicely. I have no point to make with this, just that secret time can be very handy and that over time, you learn. I’m deep man, deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

Also, because this would be nothing without a whinge:

I don’t feel well, I’m stressed and tired and everyone is talking about Christmas and I haven’t booked flights yet home yet, I need to figure out my remaining holiday time, I can’t muster the energy to put on make up…despite not having the energy, my overwhelming sense of shame/shiny shiny face demands that I must put it on prior to leaving the house. Damn the shame, damn it to hell.

* Also, does the completely feckless disregard for punctuation in this movie title annoy anyone else? Just me? No? Yes? Yes, it is, isn’t it?

Members of the bus…

Why, why, why, why, why are there such stinky people in this world? And why do they find me? Every. Single. Time.

As I was minding my own business on the No.11, minding my own business as I struggled my *weary way home with an overnight bag, handbag (size: sacklike, of course), and bag of groceries. The seat beside me was mercifully empty . . . until Stinky MacPoopstain bumbled onto the bus and plopped himself down beside me.

I have an uncanny knack for attracting the more unusual members of society. The young men who read the King James bible out loud to themselves. The old men who like to strike up conversation so they can stare at my boobs. Drunk dudes are drawn to me like metal things to a giant, powerful magnet (cartoon style, practically) . . . I once got serenaded by two drunk dudes in a pub—they were standing on the table, I was scarlet from mortification and laughter/randomly twirled around the place/accosted (nicely) in the ATM queue/made to admire a Father’s Day card (about 7 months before Father’s Day), the list could go on and on and on. And on. But I generally get such a giggle from these random events that they are kind of worth the hassle, I think

So yes, the thrust of this email is that I dislike smelly people. But that most of the time, what’s strange is wonderful. Also, here is a fairly accurate representation of my bus situation…note Non-Smelly Stick Figure’s sad face.

*Very, very weary as I spent my weekend “celebrating” the fact that my friend of 25 years (i.e. our whole lives) is leaving to go traveling. Inverted commas are in use because although we had an amazing weekend (on this note (ish), late night bars rock! We found this random place that was basically the bottom floor of a house with no lights, just candles, who served chips and bruschetta, of all things, for the drunken masses!) . . . um, where was I, oh yes— embarking on such an amazing experience must obviously be celebrated. Anyway, such a good time was had by all, but at the end of the day she’s leaving for quite a significant period of time so really, it was a little like mourning for me. But it’s fine, I was obviously stalwart and hardy and only sobbed for 25 minutes straight. And you all thought I was cold and dead inside . . .

But anyway, I doubt she’ll be reading this because of the general busyness that comes with uprooting your whole life for a massive adventure, but just in case—GOOD LUCK! I’ll miss you but I’ll live with the pain because you are going to have *such* a fabulous, wonderful experience. xxx