For some reason I thought that once I got into Westminster, if I got in, everything would be easy. I didn't think about all the paperwork that goes into travelling and studying in a foreign country, nor did I think about all the bureaucratic hoops I would have to jump through (because there are always hoops) to even get to point where I could go abroad. I just thought once I got in everything else would fall in place. As I sit here with a half written email to the head of the business department, I'm realizing how wrong I was.
The process for applying for a visa makes no sense. The UK Border Agency's website is convoluted but I'm semi-loathe to put off applying for a visa until December because that feels like I'm cutting it too close. On the other hand IAS seems to be of no help because they're information on applying and acquiring a visa to the UK isn't up to date (though the UK's new system is really f-ing confusing and the changes have to do with continental Europeans living and working in the UK illegally and trying to root those people out). So either I apply for a visa over Thanksgiving break or try and suss out how to do it all by my lonesome. Issue 1.
After talking to Dr. Long and IAS it seems that two of the course I'm trying to get approval for work best as general electives under the business department. Thing is I've never taken a business class and wouldn't know the chair of the business department if he smacked me on the butt (though that would be well creepy.) So I'm sat here trying to write an email to this person I don't know to set up some time to get these two courses approved. I hate writing emails like this. I never know where the line between formal enough and not formal enough is and therefore I get hopelessly stuck trying to come up with a formal version of what I'd really like to say (please see me tomorrow so I can get these courses approved thank you.) I hate doing this with professors I do know, so writing one of these is like ten times worse because it's to someone I don't know the person I'm writing to and he doesn't know me. It always helps if the person knows me because then my inability to write is made up for by my nice personality and the like. Issue 2.
It's almost fucking November. When the hell did that happen? It doesn't feel like it was all that long ago that I was working on my demos and fretting over my lack of a Zune. Obviously it's been quite a long while since September, but really, what happened to October? Where did that month go and how can I get it back? I'm not ready for the end of the semester. The end of the semester means that London is really happening and I'm not ready for that either. I need more time to bask in the glow of my acceptance. Also I'm not ready for finals or any of that other crap. So please, can I have October back now? Issue 3.
That's it. I need more time to process everything and get everything done (finished the email, but yeah...still a valid point.) And of course it's raining, but at least I have wellies. And now I'm going to go hide under a rock until the semester is done. And listen to happy music.


Incomplete Sentences and Bullet Points

Because I just can't be arsed to write a proper entry. I used up all my motivation yesterday with that review, so today you get bullet points. :raspberry:
  • Before I dropped my Zune in the toilet, I had no videos. Then I a) discovered Mika and b) discovered that 80GB is a lot. Now I have almost all of Mika's videos, plus 1 video each from the following artists: La Roux, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Kaiser Chiefs, Patrick Wolf, Franz Ferdinand, OK Go, and The Cribs. That's right I went from zero to fifteen! I'm so proud of myself.
  • Weird thing that I do that you wouldn't know I was doing if I didn't tell you: On the stairs to Pollard, the ones I walk down I do in tempo with whatever song I'm listening to. Today it was "Love Today" and I walked the sixteenth note. I was super impressed with myself, but you'd never know I was doing that if I didn't tell you. Yes, I am that big of a geek.
  • I realized during skills on Tuesday that as excited as I am about getting into Westminster now by January I'm going to be freaking the fuck out. Like literally. I can imagine, right now, when I get to the dorm I'm staying in I'm going to be a nervous, crying wreck. It's going to be amazing.
  • The best part of Dollhouse is when Eliza Dushku isn't on screen. However Firefly is by far Joss Whedon's best show. And my ex is an idiot when it comes to practical obvious crap. [That last bit was in no way related to Joss Whedon, more just saying something else that's fairly obvious.]
  • When the ex found out I was studying in London his first reaction was "I hate you." His second reaction was to state "You're going to stalk David Tennant." I told him that no, there are other people I would rather stalk :cough:Mika:cough: and something I thought of later: There's no guarantee that David Tennant even spends all of his time in London. He is Scottish ya know.
  • Two of my classes for next semester might get transferred in as business electives. This is the only time I plan on taking any kind of business related class ever. I just find that really amusing. More amusing was Dr. Long's description of them: "They sound good." Yes Dr. Long, they are good.
  • Watching the certain music videos without sound are still entertaining, especially if the alternative is John Doe. 0_0
That's it. Until next time, don't panic.


La Roux Is Definitely Into The Boy Who Knew Too Much

There is something to be said for good sugar pop (as a fellow radio colleague called it). As I've said in the past, writing a good hit-worthy pop song is not easy task, something that far too many people don't seem to appreciate. However so much of sugar pop is disregarded as fluff while more "artistic" bands and artists are lauded over while the writers of pop songs are ignored and pop stars left for rehab (or worse.) Every once in while though, sugar pop should be, or at least deserves to be, reviewed and treated the same way its more respected musical categories are treated.

When Life in Cartoon was released in 2007, I had no idea it had been released. I had never heard "Grace Kelly" (or for that matter "Relax (Take It Easy)") and was quick to hop on the bandwagon of slagging off Mika for the pleasure of making fun of someone who was in competition with my favourite band, Kaiser Chiefs. So when I stumbled upon the fact that Mika had released a new album and single I saw an opportune moment to take up the mockery once again on my radio show (since that's what I do and most of the original mockery had occurred well before I had a radio show.) I stuck "We Are Golden" towards the end my show and didn't really bother to give it a listen. [It should be noted that in the previous weeks and months I had given my self unto the wonderful joy that is brought about when listening to Barry Manilow, Queen, and the Scissor Sisters* so my state of mind was in a good place to accept what I'm going to describe next. It's amazing what listening to the Scissor Sisters repeatedly will do to one's point of view.] In the course of broadcasting my show and subsequently having actually listen to "We Are Golden" I found out something about Mika: He knows how to write a really infectious pop song. A trained musician (with some of that training having happened at the Royal College of Music) Mika knows how to effortlessly incorporate the musical trickery of the Western European tradition into the format of your standard pop song. But what's slightly more impressive (at least in my mind) is his further incorporation of his falsetto range, which he manages to do without falling into the Darkness trap of using it just for shits and giggles or as some odd way of showing off (something can't be said for his first album, which does sometimes fall into that trap more than once.) The best sugar pop sound effortless and simple while being actually much more complex on the page. The Boy Who Knew Too Much, the majority of which was written by Mika, does just that while also showing the kind of musical growth you would expect of an artist who is so clearly influenced by glam rock and elector/glam pop**.
Recommended Tracks: The whole damn thing except for maybe "I See You." But even that's tentative, so just the whole damn thing.

The self-titled debut album from British techno pop group La Roux starts off promisingly enough. The first half of the album sounds like a throwback to the early 80's when drum machines and synthesizers ruled the airwaves*** but with enough gloss to show that it was written and recording in the 00's. Although a clear line could be made between between La Roux and many of the early new wave band what makes La Roux distinctive, at least for the first half of the album, is Elly Jackson's vocals. While in many of the songs Ms. Jackson tends to let herself settle into her breathy upper range, the moments when she goes back into the lower part of her range (which in my opinion is the stronger part) a needed grittiness is added to the songs. Unfortunately after "I'm Not You're Toy" the album lapses into a repetitive cycle of broken hearts and thin textured techno beats. With time and more maturity La Roux could quite possibly be an excellent band. La Roux defintely shows that the band has that potential and it's a good album. It's just not brilliant.
Recommended Tracks: "Tigerlily," "Bulletproof," "I'm Not You're Toy," "Armour Love."
Album Grades: The Boy Who Knew Too Much: B+; La Roux: C+

On a minor side note, I just checked how many listens Mika has according to Zune. It's 930, which means that, as I predicted, Mika will be the next artist to get a Silver listener badge thingy. Also, Zune has the "Blame It On the Girls" video. I really need to get a life and soon.

*I'm not trying to assert that these three are in any way related. They're all just very dramatic and bombastic. I would never equate Queen to Barry Manilow, I'm not thick.
**I don't think glam pop is an actual pop music sub-category, but it's the best descriptor I could come up with for most of the music heard on The Boy Who Knew Too Much. However if its, go me!
***Ultravox is what I'm thinking of. And yes, they didn't rule the American airwaves, but La Roux isn't from the US, so that's okay.


Best Reaction Ever

So this a bit redundant, but I got into Westminster. I've done everything to convey this news save going to the top of a very tall hill and yelling it at the top of my lungs (which, as those people who went to the first sci-fi club meeting of the year can attest to, is very loud.) As well as people "liking" my statuses and commenting and/or replying to those statuses, I had some people tell me in person congratulations. One such example was in theory and of course when someone says "congratulations" to someone else, if other people don't know why the first person is saying that, they like to know. So I said why the person was giving me congrats and then my theory professor went "huh?" So I said it again and he asked where and told him London and then he asked what I'm going to be studying. Now as I've said in the past, my theory professor doesn't hold pop music in the highest esteem, but has been making an effort not to completely slag the genre off as a whole. This has been done to varying degrees of sucess, so I was somewhat intrigued to see what his reaction would be to my answer, which was radio production and pop music. He looked at his papers with a frown on his face from confusion, repeated what I said and then said "Okay." We moved on and it was suggested that I write the department post cards. Now, I have a lot of respect for my theory professor, despite our differing views on the legitimacy of pop music. Everyone is allowed an opinion and a strong argument can be made, as has probably been made throughout pop's history, that pop music isn't really legit. But in my heart of hearts, I know he thinks that I'm wasting my time next semester. I don't think I am, but I can see where he's coming from. I just found it amusing to see the way he reacted. As nice as it was to have many people congratulating me, it was more amusing to see Dr. Long try and be diplomatic.
One last thing that has nothing to do with getting into Westminster. This is more a general statement, but I feel I need to say it. Sometimes I write things in this blog about situations in my real life. Sometimes when I do that, I don't always take into account that people in my real life can, quite possibly, see and read what I've written. It rarely happens, which is why I don't worry about it often. However this doesn't mean that I don't make mistakes. I am human and therefore make mistakes and misjudgements. This is just kind of my caveat to all of you out there in the ether: I'm not perfect and I sometimes write about things that I shouldn't. Anyway, just wanted to say that.
The only down side to finding out today, is that I can't really do anything to celebrate until Wednesday because of this analysis paper for history. Other than that though, my entire week is made. Entire month actually. My life is made. :does best impression of Bernard Black smiling:

Because I Have To Remain Calm Elsewhere

I got the email this morning. I am happy. And now, back to writing about Vivaldi's Gloria which is not fun.



I don't think I'll ever completely understand human nature. I do my best (as do philosophers and psychologists) but certain things just baffle me. For instance, why would you re-re-start dating someone who cheated on you repeatedly? Why be with someone who you seem incapable of being nice to? I'll never understand some things that people do.
In the positively brilliant play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the main characters George and Martha make everyone around them uncomfortable with their constant arguing and bickering. Reading the play was uncomfortable and profoundly moving, but imagine being around a couple, a very young couple, who are similar to that. They constantly bicker and you can just imagine what they'll be like in 20 years time, old and married. They'll still be bickering, the husband giving into the wife in a desperate bid to make her happy, but she'll never be happy. I know that attraction is uncontrollable and has absolutely nothing to do with logic (for the most part, and if it's real attraction) but why would you do that to yourself? Put yourself on the path to becoming a real life George and Martha? It's agonizing to watch the two of them go because in the back of my mind I'm seeing an old married couple who have done clinical psychological damage to their children. Maybe I'm just jealous (always a possibility), but what do you do? Ignore the awkwardness and hope that it goes away? Try to placate everyone by being Switzerland? I don't know. All I know is that it's frustrating at times. And confusing in general.
I made the big leap and read the entirety of the Wikipedia entry on Mika. He's a trained musician and has dyslexia. My respect has grown 100 fold and just proves my entire pro-pop music point: Really good pop music takes a knowledge of music beyond the power chords. :sticks out tongue in the general direction of Dr. Long:
And now, back to Bones.


Mika, Ranting, and Rain

In case you're wondering, Mika has taken over my head space. The Kaiser Chiefs are making a valiant effort by forcing me to wake up with their songs stuck in my head, but overall Mika has taken the place of top obsession for the moment. I suspect there will be a point where his infectious pop music will start to annoy and then t'Chiefs will ride in on a big horse and take back over, but for now it's all about Mika. Mika, Mika, Mika. Anyway, that's not the only reason I'm updating (yes, there's more than one reason.)
Westminster applications for next semester were due today and I'm dead nervous that a) my application didn't get there on time and b) I won't get in. I sent it over two weeks ago (approximately) but the mail people said 6 to 10 days and...I just want this to happen so badly and despite my college acceptance experience, I'm not entirely sure I'll get accepted into Westminster, which is way more important to me than getting into college was. Now that it's out my hands and...gaaaaah. I can't even verbalize/write how important getting in is and how scary/nervous-making this whole process is for me. It's like waiting for college acceptance letters times twenty-hundred five thousand million billion. I've jokingly told Stephanie that if I don't get in, she won't want to be my roommate next semester, but it's not a joke. If I don't get in, as far as I'm concerned my future is dead. Technically that might not be true, but that's how it feels. And of course it's raining and bitterly cold and I don't have a coat and left my umbrella at home. And yes, I know this pales in comparison to many peoples worries/fears, but dammit I get to be selfish sometimes.
Then of course we have fall break. I swear to god if my mum asks me if a) she's a good person or b) a good teacher ever again I'm going to throw cutlery at her face. I'm so tired of her insecurities. I'm tired of my dad cutting everything I do down to nothing even when it's actually really quite impressive. Amazingly enough my sister is the only person I can stand being around, but really that's only under certain circumstances. Back to my mum. She manages to direct every fucking conversation to special education and her experience with special education. I'm all for special education, but most of the theories and principles behind special education I think are bull shit. Studies are crap. Generalities mean diddly squat in real life. And my life has nothing to do with teach sp-ed. Nothing whatsoever. I'm just so tired of my family. I would have preferred to have spent fall break doing almost everything I did, but at school. It just pisses me off that I can't go home without coming back with a guilt complex and feeling like I didn't really have a break at. :listens to Mika:
At least I have my Zune back. It's been so nice having my music with me at all times. I don't have to converse with people randomly and I can listen to things that make me happy, which will be excellent tomorrow night which is when I'll really need it. Can I go to London now? Pretty please? I've been such a good girl lately. :sigh:
One of Stephanie's friends wrote the following on our whiteboard: "Isn't the weather great?" He was being serious (he wants to live in Germany when he graduates) and I've been wanting to see him in person so I can tell him, yes I can deal with this weather, but only if I have an umbrella and Wellingtons. I have neither and I know as soon as I acquire them, it will stop raining. But yes, this weather is great Houston.


Non-Topical Points of Interest

I'm home for fall break and here are some of the thoughts/interesting factoids I've garnered since the last time I updated.
  • Glasgow is located in the Clyde Valley in Scotland (Thanks British calendar) [Immediately suspected that Glasgow was involved because of these faces, which I had seen before.]
  • I'm either listening to Mika or a strange combination of playlists and new music, but I have my Zune back!
  • You need elbows to put glasses on
  • Mika is just like Micah, except British
  • The biggest difference between Queen and Mika (in my opinion) is the use of guitars. Basically, Mika doesn't have Brian May
  • I earned a Bronze Artist Power Listener badge for Mika after 3 days (which means I listened to Mika 200 times). I'm working on getting the album equivalent (which means listening to The Boy Who Knew Too Much 200 times). (I know I have an illness, no I don't care.)
  • I am finally in possession of a white tie which means that either my Old Gregg costume is complete or I need to buck up and get some white gloves.
  • I've mailed my application to Westminster (did this awhile ago, but I don't seem to have mentioned it yet) and hopefully it will arrive before Thursday. When I hear about acceptance is up for grabs.
So that's it. The definition of home changes constantly and as much as I needed this break from school, I would have preferred to have spent it not here. So yeah. Can I go back to school now?



I think I've reached a point where my interests are so outside of what other people I know are interested in, that I no longer care what people will think. I blame Mika for this discovery. [I can't stop watching "We Are Golden." It's bad.] I was bound to hit this point, where the hipsters and trend-setters would no longer matter because I'm so immersed in a completely seperate culture. It's very liberating actually. Doesn't mean I'm going to start dressing or acting like a crazy person (I'm still very much a wallflower), but at least I'm starting to accept things that I wouldn't have when I first delved into pop culture almost five years ago. You can't accept the very serious without having a healthy dose of the not-serious-at-all. And that's all I have to say about.
This upcoming week is mid-terms and I have two tests (Tuesday and Friday) plus the regular radio show on Wednesday, so I won't be updating as furiously as I have been (most likely.) Just wanted to let y'all know. Evil mid-terms.


Music Videos

After last night's self-induced melodrama, I've decided to reward everyone with music videos. Since I've currently got Eddie Izzard's voice in my head, I won't say much more, save for some commentary next to some of the videos. Enjoy!
  • Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - Beyonce
  • Uprising - Muse
  • The Universal - Blur (See that reference to A Clockwork Orange? It's intentional)
  • Mirrorball - Elbow (This was performed and recorded at Abbey Road studios and the band is backed by a live orchestra and chorus. Which is why this video is here.)
  • Like It Too Much - Kaiser Chiefs (Well if Elbow can get a live video, why not my favourite band?)
  • Antmusic - Adam and the Ants
  • Heads Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The werewolf is played by Richard Ayoade[whose last name I spelled correctly without looking]. Except you can't tell, but that's alright, you know he's under there somewhere)
  • Can't Stop Feeling - Franz Ferdinand
  • Just - Mark Ronson
  • Good Days Bad Days - Kaiser Chiefs (A real video. Not live.)
  • Young Love - Mystery Jets
  • Grounds for Divorce - Elbow (The actual real video. But if you look for the song on YouTube you can find the Abbey Road studio version as well.)
  • Can't Say What I Mean - Kaiser Chiefs (This is me dragging all of you head long into my sick obsession. Just in case you weren't there already)
  • We Are Golden - Mika (This is exactly what I expected this video to be like. And sadly I find Mika semi-attractive. :hangs head in shame:)
  • Never Forget You - Noisettes
  • Not the Only Person - The Rumble Strips
  • Bulletproof - La Roux (She looks like she's scowling the entire time, and the video quality isn't that good so...good song!)
  • Vienna - Ultravox (Ooooooooh Viennaaaaaaaaaaa!!!)
  • Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs


It's Friday Again (So It's Probably Best to Ignore Me)

I hate him. I hate him for being my first. I hate him for moving on so quickly. I hate him for breathing. I hate him for laughing and acting like a normal person. I hate him for being nice to me when I'm so cold towards him. I hate him for making me care. I hate him for making me cry. I hate him for being so completely oblivious to how much he continues to hurt me by just existing. I hate him for making me feel so completely shitty. I hate him. I think I'll always hate him. I wish I had never said yes to watching that stupid movie with him. I hate myself for allowing him to do this to me. But most of all, I hate him for not noticing. I wish I could leave this school, go some place new. Somewhere far from him and everything that reminds me of him. From the tangled web and tension filled situations, where I'm the only one who feels any tension. I want to start over. I want him to understand all of this and to feel all this pain. I want him to feel all this hurt and anger. I hate him completely. And I'm sorry to all the people who have to even know about all of this. If I had known that this would be how things would turn out, I would never have said yes to anything.
I still hate him. I promise not to do this again though. You have all read it enough times to know how I feel. I just wish I had some rum right now. Or more chocolate.
I do try to act like a normal person though. Sometimes though, it's just too hard to keep the mask on. Tonight just happened to be one of those nights. Still, I'm sorry. It's not fair to the rest of you.


It's a Small World After All

The world, both in real life and on the internet, is a very small place. While I'm not often reminded of that fact, except when I'm on Facebook, it's always interesting when I am. Anyway, I just wanted to say that. The world is small. Go check out my latest radio show blog and watch "Vienna" because it's so much fun.