Monday, 24 January 2011

people are strange when you're a stranger

Being unemployed is making me incredibly lazy. Lectures have not yet started again at university and I should really be working on my dissertation, but not having to get out of bed to go to work and not having any imminent deadlines is turning me into the kind of student that only a month ago I would have looked upon with a curled lip and a raised eyebrow. I sleep till noon. I watch Gilmore Girls one both E4 and then E4+1 (Jesse is in it at the moment, so I'm all RAIAHIHIAAARR when he comes on screen). I actually eat microwave meals for my lunch. Urgh.

It's really not as bad as I am making out. Aside from this unshakable indolence and the fact that I won't get a paycheck at the end of February, I am actually really enjoying having a rest. For the past year it has been all yawning, bus rides and 6am alarms. To be able to stay up watching films all night and not be destroyed the next day is smashing. I have been luxuriating in the fact that I have nothing to do (that is urgent), and I have been catching up on everything that I have been too tired to do.

First of all, I have been reading some of the books that I have had stacked next to my bed, untouched since purchasing because I haven't had time to read them. I haven't really been able to stop thinking about
With the Old Breed - a book that I mentioned I was reading recently - since I finished it. It changed the way I think about so many things and affected me on such a deep level. I can't really explain it; it has really blown me away and sort of broken my heart, too. But in an amazing way. I am now reading China Marine, which is Eugene Sledge's second book. This one is about after the war finished and the marines who served in China (obviously), sorting things out there before going back to America and try to live their normal lives again. I'll let you know how I fare with this one, but I've already cried twice.Eugene Sledges and Joe Mazzello, who portrays him in The Pacific.

I also just read the delicious James Franco's first book, Palo Alto. It's very Bret Easton Ellis-ish, so of course I adored it. It is about a group of teenagers growing up in - where else? - Palo Alto, and they just seem like a normal bunch of kids (unlike Bret's books where they're all rich and privileged) until you realise that they're all alcoholics or drug addicts or sex slaves, or any of the other normal teenage things that go on day in day out in suburban America. It's like Skins, or something. But the characters are incredible; there's this one lad, Teddy, who is an amazing artist and he really seems to actually care about things in the chapters that he narrates, but when he appears in chapters narrated by others they don't notice anything about him apart from the fact that he is an alcoholic. It's fabulous. And it only took me about two hours to read, so if you're looking for some light (and by light I mean intense) reading, then definitely pick this up.
On Saturday I went to the cinema to see the much-discussed Black Swan. I know a lot of people have already posted about this (and most of them loved it) so I will try and keep my comments brief.I wanted to love this this film. I expected to love it, actually. And there were parts of it that I did truly love - the dance scenes, for example, were absolutely beautiful. And it is undeniable that Natalie Portman was incredible, if terribly annoying in all her patheticness (I did love crazy/evil Natalie). Like, why doesn't she just go and get a bacon sandwich and get over herself? But most of the time I was just utterly bemused. What is going on here, I kept thinking. Is this scene entirely necessary? It is a very touching and thought-provoking portrayal of mental illness though, which I think is something that should definitely be focused on more in films. Thinking back on it now, I did really enjoy it, and while I wouldn't necessarily go and see it again, I would probably recommend it to someone else if only just because it was so weird. And because of the ending. Oh my God. The ending almost rivalled Inception in its epic-ness. That really made the film for me.

The only other thing that I have been doing is charity shop shopping (lots of floaty sundresses and long nineties skirts ala Julia Stiles in 10 things I hate about you), and dancing around my house listening to The Doors at full volume. I have recently become absolutely obsessed with a single song by The Doors (video below). I was listening to their Best of... album, and this song came on and completely blew me away. I just sat down and listened to it repeatedly for about an hour. The lyrics are perfect and his voice just makes you melt.

There's a stunning passage in Patti Smith's Just Kids where she visits Morrison's grave in Paris. It's incredibly moving and made me think about all the musicians and poets that I adore and that have affected my life, including Jim Morrison. You realise in that moment that everyone is inspired by someone, even people as talented as Patti Smith.

Well this has turned into an unintentionally long post. I apologise. To finish, I'll leave you with this picute of the sky over York as I was driving (being driven) home the other night. Lovely.


  1. Your blog is so interesting! I love your header too x

  2. i would love you to check out my blog and tell me what you think

  3. I was looking forward to see Black Swan, so of course went to see it. I feel the same way about it as you, but unfortunately the film stopped just before the ending-it was scratched or something, and they couldn't play the rest. So I don't know the ending, and I'm physically dying to know what happens. & this post has just made me even more impatient :P

    MUST read James Franco's book, it's gotten so many good reviews.

    Lovely blog :)


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