All entries for September 2004

September 30, 2004

Week 1 Blues

Summary of week 1 so far…

1) Sore throat. Damn freshers flu and I haven't even got around meeting that many freshers yet!
2) I think we may have scared the women's football freshers away.
3) My lectures keep getting changed, argh! Make up your minds people.
4) People complain about the buses being 10 minutes late. Where I lived there was one bus, once a week which went to a boring market in a rubbish town and it never came back!!! Dozens of people would take it and vanish, never to be seen again.
5) Where has my stamina gone? Too tired for Top B, Score and (probably) the Colleseum.
6) I have to spend 30 on a new Spanish dictionary. Mierda.
7) amazon.co.uk has all my money. (see point 6)
8) The longer and more ramblingly incoherent my blog entries the more likely people are to read them and feel inclined to reply. Strange.
9) I have accidentally caused myself to get a job offer from the Boar. I think I might take it.
10) University Challenge… I must point out now I was bullied into doing that by a crazy Polish girl. True story.
11) I argued with my friend last night and I feel really bad about it now. I am an arse.
12) My alter ego (i.e. the person who is in most ways the total opposite to me) actually exists and lives in London. She had a good day yesterday. I didn't. But she did invite me to a party in London so I'm happy.

And those were the twelve rants of Holly.


September 28, 2004

Arsebiscuits…

True story…

I think I've gone on before in this blog about my affection for lost distance running. I'm a solitary jogger, not one of those people you see jogging in brightly coloured herds, nope, mine is the dark blue jog of solitude. I like it, me and my radio (I need noise, there is nothing more offputting than the sound of my tortured breathing), the pavement. I hate running machines. They are fake and wrong.

Running at home was a doddle. A quiet, curiously quadrant like, country commuter town, a run to the motorway and back was about two miles, for a one mile jog I would head the other way out of town, to the train station and back.

Living on Westwood was even easier. There's a nice running track and early in the morning there was normally no one around to stare at my spectacular slowness (stamina not speed) except the nice old-ish man who would walk around the track.

But then there was Leamington...

Yesterday I went on a pleasant 20 minute jog. Sure, it seems like a lame run time but as a result of a horribly long houred summer jog, I'm now out of practise and unfit again. 20 minutes is the reasonable minimum. Give me time and I'll push that up. Ah yes, time… here's where it goes wrong.

That pleasant 20 minute jog was followed by a not so pleasant 50 minute walk. Why? Well I'm not entirely sure myself y'know. Somehow, somewhere along Tachbrook road, the rules changed. Vaguely dirty Leamington old town streets gave way to non-descript roads of semi detached houses and Stagecoach buses of unusual numbers (ie not X12 or X17). But then things went wrong.

I hate housing estates. I hate the blandness, the lack of personality, the way the amenities are so perfectly equidistant from all the houses because Barret or Kingsmead or whoever built them know how far people will walk before they get too middle class and have to use a fecking people carrier because as we all know the roads in this country are little more than dirt tracks, cursed by the plagues of tigers that roam wild, killing at will.

I hate the smugness of them. I hate the Ford Mondeos and yes I am pissed off that my parents own one but they at least live on an old road.

I hate the fact I can't read them. I run by feel in unfamiliar places, up hill, sun in Leam because it runs parallel to my street, George Street. Run with the sun to your right in the morning because that's north and parallel to Parade. But housing estates are roads crammed togethr, no lovely mathematical parallel lines (Blondie) just roads and houses and Ford Mondeos packed together whilst mum goes off in her 4×4 to rescue the kids from primary school whilst dad knocks off the secretary in the cupboard of the beige blighted office his 2 1/2 A levels were able to land him a job in.

I hate housing estates because they commodify life and experience. And I hate them because I can't navigate them. And I hate them because when I turned, yesterday, as my run wound down, and saw to my shock and horror a sign saying "Welcome to Sydenham Primary School", I ran straight into one and was lost utterly.

How the hell I ended up in Sydenham I will never know. Somewhere Tachbrook Road screwed me over and I ran straight into the trap. Even now, with a map of Leamington, I'm not sure how I managed it. 50 minutes in the drizzle it took me to get home. A miracle I made it really. At one stage I was one crossroads away from heading for Warwick itself. I had no money, no buspass, nothing but my radio. But as Bono says in the new U2 single translation "one, two, three, fourteen".

So I ran till I found Leam Terrace. And it led me home. Back to the logical but charismatic backstreets I live in. No Mondeos, just the Clios and Micras of students and the Mercs of our landlords. It'd better that way.

I don't think I'll run south again. I'll run north next time, towards the architecture and Kenilworth. Who knows? Maybe I'll be at uni faster than the X12


September 26, 2004

Leamington Lions 13–0 Tyburn Aztecs

At half time the manager came up to me and said "What's blogging?"... which means he has also noticed that Google searches for Leamington Lions throw up this site and my blog as the first search result. Can any explain this to me as the club itself is found at the rather obvious www.leamingtonlions.com?

That's…

www.leamingtonlions.com

I promised I'd link to this page whenever I mentioned them as it seems fair and sensible and all that.

Anyway 13–0. And it was my first start after a minor injury to the first choice goalkeeper and I got to touch the ball three times!!! Woohoo. The sun shone and the poor Aztecs, who started with nine and then one got injured, tried, moreso than many teams I have seen. Unfortunately no much actually happened, apart form the two penalties, three disallowed goals, a freekick so good it would make David B*ckham cry and the wonderfully surreal cheer I got when I touched the ball in the second half…

All of which bizarrely reminds me of the time when me and my dad went to the pub to watch our beloved Manchester United (I was born in London, he was born in Dublin) hammer Liverpool, my mum's team… only to arrive home after the game and find that she'd locked the house and was refusing to let us in…

One more time for the craic…

www.leamingtonlions.com

Go there. It is good.


September 21, 2004

General Roundup…

Points to be considered for today:

1) Leamington Lions lost 5–1 at the weekend away to Ross Town. No doubt this was in part due to me not standing on the touchline shouting encouragement because I was 70 miles away. There is some justice though. After getting kicked all over the pitch last week, Ana scored our only goal.

I have also discovered that if you google Leamington Lions the top hit is not, as would logical, their own website (leamingtonlions.com), but this blog and specifically the previous match report. Weird.

2) Ireland. That's where I'm off to tomorrow to go to a family wedding. Woohoo!

3) Siblings are weird. Especially my brother who decided last night to negotiate with mum for a loan by mincing around the house playing a polyphonic ringtone version of 'Billy Jean'. Couldn't we have tried that in Iraq?

4) The Dutch Revolution is less interesting than the Glorious Revolution…

Anyway, as internet access in Dublin is not guaranteed I want you all to refrain form posting anything amusing, incisive or relevant until I get back (Sunday). Thank you for your cooperation.*

*If you don't comply I'll tell George W that you have WMDs hidden in your trousers.


September 19, 2004

A Small Picture

Just a little self portrait for my many fans*. After reviewing my previous posts I have realised I write way too much as I will post a short one.

*Disclaimer: If I do not in fact have any fans then I apologise for my presumptiousness.


September 17, 2004

Interview From Nicholas Hudgell

1. What would your favourite pet animal be and why?

Ah, here's a good question with an odd answer. I'm a goldfish person. But not just someone who gets a forlorn looking thing in a plastic bag at a fairground and watches it die two days later. No, over the years (and I mean years) myself and my dad got pretty damn good at raising huge, if slightly bonkers, goldfish.

Some were rescued from fairgrounds. I'll never forget the bonfire night when my mum told me I was not to win anymore fish at the fair. So I didn't. I went to the stall where the goldfish were the booby prize for losers and spectacularly failed to get any of the hoops over the 'proper' prizes. Mind you I doubt I could have got the hoop over them anyway, but that's not the point.

Goldfish, especially Fantails, are pretty and low-ish maintainence, and as soon as I have a house of my own I'm getting some more.

2. Your porn star name is your first pet's name and your first street name put together. What's yours?

Flipper Rose.

Absolutely filthy.

3. If you could have a famous person cook you dinner, what would you have him/her cook and who would it be?

Lasagne as cooked by

oooo, that's a hard one. There's a choice there between getting a TV chef who would definitely make a good lasagne, and could possibly teach me to cook one as well, or getting a famous person I want to meet to make it so I could talk to them.

Chef-wise it would have to be Nigella Lawson. Deila, Oliver and that lot don't really appeal to me, I can't watch their shows, but on occasion I have sat through Nigella's show (not that I have any culinary skills to show for it).

However, if it was a famous and interesting person, then I would want Steve Bell, the Guardian cartoonist. Yes I know it's an obscure choice (Gary Larson is better known), but I'm a huge fan of cartoons and comic art, and I draw a lot myself. I'd want to ask how he got started, how to get a decent career out of something like that

and how to make lasagne of course.

4. What would you like your first childs (if you plan to have children, or have children) name to be.

I'm not a big fan of children. I don't mind other people's but I don't have much in the way of child rearing skills (what with that and being unable to cook I'm a bit useless really).

But naming children is a fun game. I wouldn't go for any really odd names because the kid will get teased and resent it. My brother, Kyle, disliked his name for many many years, no doubt due to the chart success of a certain singing Australian midget.

With girls I like Gaelic names. Siobhan or Niamh, although this can cause I problem with the utter inability of the English to spell these names or say them when they see them written down (my dad long ago gave up trying to get people to pronounce his Gaelic name, Cathal). But I also like Trish, even though it the name of both my mother and godmother.

Boys names

I like Richard or Sean (but not Shaun/Shawn) or possibly, if I had a different surname, Nial.

5. If you are doing your degree, or have done one, would you rather you had done a different one? Or are you completely 100% satisfied with the one you are doing?

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that my degree, history, going into second year, could not possibly be any better. I absolutely love it, even though I have no idea what I will do with it once I'm finished. I think not having a clear idea of the sort of job I want has made sure I only ever picked subjects (at GCSE, at A level and at Uni) which I wanted to do and enjoyed. That's why I think I got good grades.

If anyone wants an interview then leave a note in the comments section but be warned that I ask unusual questions...


September 16, 2004

Bass playing and the Art of Looking Cool II

Follow-up to Bass playing and the Art of Looking Cool (with 4 strings) from Hollyzone

Riff A                                
   Cmaj7
G-|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
D-|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
A-|-3-3-3-3 - - - - 3-3-3-3 - - - - - |
E-|- - - - - - 3-3- - - - - - - - 3-3-|   

Riff B
Dm7/9
G-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
D-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
A-|-5-5-5-5 - - - - 5-5-5-5 - - - - -|
E-|- - - - - - - 5-5 - - - - - - 5-5-|

Riff C                             
   Gmaj7
G-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
D-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
A-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
E-| - 3-3-3-3- 0-1 - 3-3-3-3 - 0-1 - - |   

  Riff D
 Ebmaj7
G-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
D-| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
A-| -6-6-6-6 - - - - 6-6-6-6 - - - - -|
E-| - - - - - - 5-5 - - - - - - - 5-5-|

Now I know what some of you are thinking. And I know what the rest of you are thinking.

Some of you know what the above writing is about. The rest of you either want to know or would rather I went back to complaining about the trains the whole time (that may well happen so careful what you wish for).

What that random writing is is a bass guitar tab, music written for guitar users. Now, I can read music but I never read it on a conventional stave for guitar because this form, tabbing, is so much easier. Basically each line corresponds to a string on the guitar, usually lowest string at the bottom, although they are often labelled, and the number is the fret that's held down and played.

And that's it really, nice and obvious. Any tab website, like my personal favourite mxtabs.net, could tell you as such.

But they don't really tell you how to get started. They are a library but it's often about learning to use the library (as a history student this similie makes perfect sense to me) and that's what I found a bit tricky.

You are not going to be able to play the Red Hot Chili Peppers after only 5 minutes.

Start with the easy stuff that you know and like. It's much more rewarding to play along to songs that you enjoy listening to and playing along to. In my case I discovered that my favourite band, the Manic Street Preachers, are prone to quite simple basslines which can be easily played. As a result I was able to start playing quite easily.

The trick is to try something a bit different to what you already know and learn what you like to play. I can play Red Hot Chilli Peppers' songs, albeit after much practise, but I don't really like to (except Otherside and Californication) because I find them a little over the top and self indulgent. They're also so rigid, there's not much room to improvise as Flea fills all his basslines with little bits and pieces of his own. I like to be able to play something a little differently to what it is on record, it makes it more fun.

I like to play along to bands like Elastica, Interpol and Muse, all interesting basslines from bands I like. But, as any half decent music teacher will tell you (ad infinitum) practise practise practise. Annoy your housemates or buy headphones or play quietly in your room or do what I do and play in the kitchen when no one else is at home.

Or call me and I'll give you lessons for a wonderfully extortionate fee.

Thank you and goodnight.

(PS There is a prize of a cupcake to anyone who can identify the bassline at the top of this piece. Clue: It's in 6/8 time).


September 15, 2004

Leamington Lions 2–3 Fairfield Villa 12/09/04

I love football. So much so that I have joined not one but two football clubs, Warwick Women's FC and Leamington Lions Ladies FC. Funny how with one I'm a woman and at the other (quite erroneously) I'm a lady

Anyway, the WWFC BUSA season hasn't started yet but LLLFC's season has and this was our first game proper as the scheduled first fixture was the week before against Tyburn Aztecs but was cancelled for reasons beest descirbed as obscure.

Anyway a measure of how the game went is the two most common comments I overheard from my position on the bench (as 2nd choice goalkeeper):
"We don't deserve to be losing."
"Glad I didn't sign for this club."
Two of our players live in Birmingham and only joined LLLFC as they are ex-Warwick girls and knew me and one other girl who has also signed for LLLFC. One of the Brum girls literally lives down the road from Fairfield Villa but after this game I don't think she'll be signing for them.

Yellow cards in the women's game are rare. for better or worse (better in my case as I have committed a few red card offences in my time) the refs are softer on us. But someone was carded at this game, a Fairfield girl for "abusive language". In fact all of them were a bit grumpy and, in some cases, downright vicious. Our Polish midfileder Ana got royally clattered by an overzealous defender.

They scored all of their goals early on in the first half as a result of their super-fast attcaker who just left our defenders for dead. At this point we did the sensible thing and dropped Sabrina and Merran, the central defenders, back a bit. This worked and for the rest of the game, especially after they went down to 10 (wo)men after running out of subs for their injuries, we were dominant.

But we couldn't translate this into a win. 2 great goals, including an astonishing free kick form right winger Jenny, weren't enough. Even our brilliant tactic of fielding 4 Lauras failed.

Oh well, they did the double over us last year but I think we can beat them away with a bit of luck.

Warwick's season starts soon… I am looking forward to that as well as I get to be first choice (albeit for Warwick 2nds).


September 14, 2004

Blimey, Where Did You Lot Come From?

Wow, loads and loads and loads of new people all blogging.

Suddenly our small, exclusive, overwhelmingly science student system is now a larger, less exclusive, overwhelmingly science student system.

So hello everyone. I am Holly, this is my zone and I have a tendency to rant about trains (new one this week: apparently if I want a 7 day saver ticket for Sunday I have to book it on Thursday. Or possibly Friday. Or sometime, no one seems to know for sure), football, playing bass guitar and of course mysterious sounds like the ever present ping which haunts us all (where does it come from? where does it go?).

Anyway, nearly caused major damage last night. Initially to my house in a futile attempt to disconnect the door bell at 2am when some of my friends decided in a drunken stupor to ring to thing constantly for about 10 minutes and then run away when I stormed out the door armed with a knife (I'm paranoid, so what?) According to Housemate no.2: The Car Owner they tried to get in through the back door as well but my earlier bout of security-mindedness meant I had locked the gate to the garden and they couldn't get in. I therefore reserve the right to cause major damage to my friends as, unlike those lazy bastards, I have a job which involves 6am starts. Losing an hour of sleep as I did will only make me grumpy…

... especially when there's no milk and I could only have one Weetabix for breakfast instead of two. I'm running on empty today.

Suggestions on how to make my friends feel really really REALLY guilty will be much appreciated.


September 10, 2004

The End Of Summer

How do I know it's the end of summer?

1) No more music festivals to go to.
2) It's raining. But not in a summery way, in a evil way.
3) Someone pointed out that it's my birthday soonish.
4) My brother is back at college (yet still manages to be on MSN all day).
5) I have no money left from my summer job.
6) My friend who has SAD has texted me to tell me she's feeling a little down and that this is because she has SAD (and nothing to do with her other excuse "I didn't get enough fruit and veg as a child").
7) I have a creeping feeeling that someone, somewhere may be about to educate me some more.
8) I no longer crave ice cream.
9) Lots of new TV shows starting, none of which I can arsed to watch.
10) My daily jog is looking more and more like a challenge.
11) Crispy leaves everywhere!

Now 11) is without doubt a truly fantastic thing, I love standing on crispy leaves more than is healthy. 3) used to be exciting but there's something oppressive about the thought of turning 20 and I'm not ready to face it just yet (argh). 6) is an occupational hazard. 8) is probably good for me in the long run. And the rest are just indicators. Nothing more, nothing less.

Beware: Summer is only temporary


September 2004

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