Absolutely choice choice of songs. Especially My Body is a Cage by Arcade Fire, Country Feedback by R.E.M and Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones. Brilliant.
P.S. This whole website is something else. Humble, honest, wise and funny.
HOW WOW BROWN COW
1. I can’t wait for my hair to grow longer so I can look after it properly and never straighten it again. I want my hair to feel freeeeeeeeeee.
2. Why is renting in London so expensive? Why can’t people be allowed to live comfortably.
3. I hope my friends like me as much as I like them.
4. I really should be cracking on with my English work. It is getting on 5 weeks since I’ve done anything! -__- But at least I’ve read two of the books.
5. People need to recommend more music to me. I love all the music that I love but sometimes I scroll through my music on the bus and feel like I don’t want to listen to any of it. But anything that’s new (by that I mean current)… tends to insult my ears.
Ryan gave me some recommendations recently which I’m working my way through. It’s nice to hear things that are alien.
6. I’m going through a big relationship mind-fuck at the moment, so I’ve been rereading Jeffrey Brown’s comics. They make me feel slightly normal again.
7. New phone or new contract?
8. I want a flat and a cat.
^ Picture from one of Lucy Knisley’s hourly comics. ^
9. I booked a flight to Salzberg for my birthday!!! So one of the places on my top 5 can be scratched off soon. I’ll head off on the day after my birthday, on January 11th, and come back on the 13th (very short, but it’s going to be sweet).
10. Boy mind-fuck AAAARRAAGGGGGGHHHH
11. Must get my hands on a particular German course and bloody well learn the bugger.
Top 5 Places I’m Dying to Visit
2. New York
It’s been a while since I updated my tumblr with all my mind-boggling mindfulness.
I really don’t know where to begin.
I’ll start with life. Oh wait, aim smaller. I’ll start with my courses and stuff.
So, my drama course has been brilliant. I loved every moment of it, even the moments where I was so nervous, and all the moments I screwed up. I met wonderful people who I hope I stay in touch with!
In the last session we all did out Mike Leigh scenes, which all went really well. I felt such genuine pride in how fantastically everyone performed. There were a couple of people in particular, who I think felt probably the least able in the group when they started, but man, they exceeded all expectation. They came out of their shells and transformed and are really, natural performers. A lot of people had a lot of lines to remember, and it was really impressive seeing them NOT forget anything. They said later on that they did screw up, but they kept their cool and not a single person noticed. Everyone was brilliant.
My scene went well, it felt like at the time. I was very happy when it ended, and people were really nice to me in what they said about my performance. I was thrilled. Until our tutor sent the YouTube videos that he put up of our scenes.
This will be something that we’ll all have to get used to - watching back on ourselves.
It was horrible. I am not happy with anything at all, except maybe the second half of my scene with Pablo. If I could go back, I’d change a lot. But I must admit, I was scrutinising my body and face and my hair and my arse all the way through. I need to get over all that shit, really. But, it’s probably going to always be this way - watching yourself is not fun at all.
On the Monday after our final session, I met up with a few of the guys to go to an audition. The audition was for another drama class that was two levels up from what we just finished. Because we hadn’t done a second level after the first, we’d have to audition if we wanted to go on to the third… We decided to go just to have the experience of an audition. I’ve never had one before, so it was pretty terrifying. I was the second one in, and I didn’t have anything prepared (only decided to go pretty much the night before), so I was given a monologue and the tutor gave me direction. Performing with such instruction and thought provocation was a great, fulfilling task. He gave me a lot to think about and he got a lot out of me. And I can’t believe it, but he let me on to the course.
I really did not expect to be let on. So, it seems, I had to make the decision between doing my Access course and this new drama course.
In dating news, it’s ok. I’ve become very good friends with the first person I met up with a couple of months ago. We have been out for another drink since our second date and the cementing of our friendship, and I leant him another book. He’s a great person.
I did meet someone else, at a really lovely pub on a beautiful sunny day in Islington. I was so fucking nervous it was untrue. Eventually, we had a really great time and I liked him well enough that I wanted to see him again. We met again nearly a week ago, but everything felt very off. He said he didn’t feel well, and I genuinely felt in the most unsocial mood. We put each other out of each others misery when I asked him if he wanted to call it a night, and he said that he was really sorry, but yes. He did seem as out of sorts as I did, so this was the right thing to do.
But then out of NOWHERE, I met a German guy named David a few days before this, after a showcase performance for the college I do my classes in. He is a friend of one of the girls on my course, and he is lovely. We talked a fair bit, and some of us went to the Pit Bar underneath the Old Vic. He’s great. We met up on Monday after I finished work, which I am so glad that I did. Again, I wasn’t feeling very sociable (considering I’d met my other date the night before), and I was exhausted from the last couple of weeks. But I went, because he was flying back to Berlin the next day. I’m so happy I did. Er ist fantastisch!
We’ve been texting ever since.
I am also at the end of Day 1 of my long weekend off. I have been dying to rest over the last few weeks. After all the performing, and being on edge, and also working full time (payroll fucked me over, long story), I’ve been looking forward to this for aaaaages!!
Things I Did Today
These are the books I had been dying to read, that I listed a little while ago. Let’s see my progress…!
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 3. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
4. Zen & the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
5. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
7.Dune by Frank Herbert
8. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
9. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (just purchased on Amazon - very naughty, spending money I don’t have!)
10. And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave
11. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
12. Diet for a New America by John Robbins
13. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
14. The Woman in the Fifth by Douglas Kennedy
But every day I stare at my library pile wearing a huge weight of guilt on my shoulders. So the other day I did start to read The Quantity Theory of Insanity by Will Self. But I wasn’t getting into it, which is sad for me because I really like Will Self. But after finishing off my English Lit. A-level the other day, and finishing the Nick Cave book, I just wanted to read a book I felt like reading.
The Great Gatsby has been on my list for a very long time, so I intended on reading that, but instead I have started a little book called Magnetism, which is also by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Someone returned it to work yesterday and I just started to read it pretty much then and there. That should’t take me too long to read though, as it’s so small and the writing is fantastic. I have even ordered a used copy for myself, because there are many things I want to make note of and underline in it, some beautiful sayings that basically sum up things that I think about.
After that though, I have promised The Great Gatsby to myself. This is the edition I have, it’s so pretty!
And the Ass Saw the Angel was a crazy book. I’m a huge Nick Cave fan, but I was also quite the opposite of optimistic about this book. I’m not sure what I think when a musician I like writes books, or an actor I like becomes a musician, or whatever. But I really shouldn’t put those barriers up, these are talented bastards, and they are good at everything it seems. Nick Cave is obviously a fantastic song writer anyway, but I was still surprised by how wonderful his prose was. Ass-Angel is gritty book, twisted and dark, just as you’d imagine a Nick Cave book to be. His language is so rich, illuminating, potent. The descriptions are vast, alliterative and precise. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The matter is still grim though, which at times was a chore to get through, especially in Part 3 - Doghead. My Okcupid date told me that his friend gave up around that point, because it does become a bit non-sensical (to me anyway) and heavy, and I don’t blame them. However, I really recommend it to everyone! This is my review. I won’t write a new blurb about it which is what seems to be a book reviewers do in newspapers. You can read that on the back of the book. Which I have here for you :)
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s:
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is the one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
1. Toss and turn, try to influence your dreams.
2. Come up with names of other Top 5’s (one that came up when I was in-between being asleep and awake: Top 5 songs that if my ex’s were emails, the songs would be their attachments).
3. Lay in bed thinking of all the stuff you want to do like have a drink, eat a slice of cake, go to the toilet, but don’t because you are determined to not move.
4. Read a book.
5. Write on your blog, spewing out whatever is going on in your brain.
I had a pleasant enough day at work, then I came home and my dad was sweet and offered to order in our dinner (since mum and my sister are smug and in Berlin at the moment), INDIAN!! After dinner I went to rest up my belly so that I could fit in some of my cake that I baked the day before. This is standard routine for us at our house - have dinner, rest up, consume tea and cake/chocolate/biscuits.
After all this I attempted to watch The Age of Innocence, as I am a big Scorsese fan and I’ve also had this film out from work for aaages. I fell asleep however, at around half 8. A few hours later, I woke up, and I’ve been up since.
So, Top 5’s. I’ve enjoyed doing these for a long time, ever since I saw High Fidelity. A film as close to perfection as you can get (because I have mentioned it here, I can free one of my spaces for Favourite Films, that is a fair rule). I think back to my diaries from when I was a teenager. Some nights, I would be too exhausted, drained, or bored of the problems that were in my head that I’d have been going over all day. So instead of a proper journal entry, I’d do various lists of Top 5’s, and they would pretty much sum up my thoughts and feelings at the time.
I’ll do the ones from the book of the film (or most of them), and check out comparisons. This will do the job hopefully, and I can attempt to go back to sleep afterwards.
Most Memorable Split-Ups
I can’t bring myself to actually name people, in case they see this. There are logical reasons too as to why I shan’t do this: I haven’t had many break-ups from full-blown relationships, and most break-ups I’ve ever had have not had a massive affect on me. Believe me, I know the difference between that and being affected. Although, I guess they are memorable. I remember some fibs I may have told, or the fact that one break-up had preceded in me chain-smoking all day, before I trekked over to his house to have the dreaded conversation with him.
Ciara’s Top 5 Favourite Books
1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
3. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
4. The Concise English-Chinese Dictionary For Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
5. Anything by Kurt Vonnegut
I’ll never be happy in narrowing-down my favourite books into such a small list, but this will be it for now. My number 5 is pretty much exactly the same as Rob Gordon’s number 5.
Ciara’s Top 5 Subtitled Films
1. Goodbye Lenin!
2. The Lives of Others
3. Tell No One
4. Joyeux Noël
5. House of Flying Daggers
Ciara’s Top 5 Films
1. Into the West
2. Stand By Me
3. Before Sunrise
4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
5. Reservoir Dogs
Floor-fillers at the Groucho (the only way I can interpret this is: songs that I need to dance to)
1. Colour of a Man by The Hidden Cameras
2. The Past Is A Grotesque Animal by Of Montreal
3. Fairytale of New York by the Pogues
4. Anything by Michael Jackson
5. Killing in the Name Of by Rage Against the Machine
Ciara’s Top 5 Badly Drawn Boy Songs (because I am no fan of Elvis Costello)
1. What Tomorrow Brings
2. The Shining
3. Have You Fed The Fish?
4. You Were Right
5. Another Pearl
Ciara’s Dad’s Top 5 Films (half of this is pure guess work, and also making fun)
1. Into the West
2. Fly Away Home
3. Le Peuple Migrateur
5. Homeward Bound
4 and 5 are definitely jokes, and possibly number 2. It’s a sweet and constantly repeated fact that the only films my dad won’t fall asleep to are animal films.
Ciara’s Mum’s Top 5 Films
1. Blade Runner
2. The Departed
3. Infernal Affairs
4. Grosse Point Blank
5. Winter’s Bone
I think these are slightly more accurate and well-thought out than my dad’s.
Ciara’s Top 5 Episodes of The X-Files (because I don’t watch Cheers)
1. Duane Barry
3. The Blessing Way
5. Bad Blood
Ciara’s Top 5 Bands or Musicians Who Will Have To Be Shot Come the Musical Revolution
1. The Kaiser Chiefs
2. Kanye West
3. Anything involving members of Blink-182
5. Silly girls (Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Serena Gomez, Taylor Swift. I hate that I’ve been forced to know their names)
Ciara’s Top 5 Men Who Don’t Live On Her Street, But Would Be Very Welcome
1. Leigh Halfpenny
2. Daniel Radcliffe
3. Jack White
4. Benedict Cumberbatch
5. Dylan Moran
Ciara’s Top 5 Dream Jobs
1. Owner of book shop or literature café
2. Cult fiction author
4. Musician and singer
5. NME journalist 1999-2005
Favourite Records (singles)
1. They Don’t Care About Us by Michael Jackson
2. Pure Shores by All Saints
3. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground by The White Stripes
4. Date With the Night by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
5. Lean On Me by Bill Withers
Every now and then I do sit around with a friend or two and we go through some Top 5’s. We love you, High Fidelity.