No Books, just Gig

I had a delightful flashback to my youth on Friday (because I am so fricking old…), when I went to see my once beloved Placebo play. Now, firstly, I was kinda pissed because I had a seating ticket and I wanted to be in standing. However, the o2 Academy used to be pretty lax about such things so I, of course, just tried to swan into standing. Now though, they have these machines which read the ticket and confirm where you are meant to go. So instead of a ‘beep-beep’ which would allow me into standing I got a ‘beep-boop’. So off to my seat I go. Now it is unreserved seating which is a bit of a nightmare, because 1. If you get there too late, how do you find a seat? And 2. I was by myself, which meant that if I wanted more beer I would have to leave my seat, get my beer and come back to hopefully the same seat. So, I was in a bit of a dilemma.

 

I found a delightful seat, excellent view of the stage, beer in hand, and settled down to enjoy. The support act was kind of meh, plus lots of strobes which I am not a fan of. They started off kind of promisingly, but it just went downhill quite rapidly. Then, behind me, were some (what I thought) incredibly obnoxious teenagers laughing and kicking the back of my chair. I debated for a while whether I should turn round when suddenly I found myself doing it. I said, confidently “Do you want me to move?”, only to be confronted with a middle aged couple who just looked confused. Plus the music was loud, so they probably didn’t hear me, but I think they got the gist as the kicking kind of stopped for a while…

 

Anyway, support act finished and I decided to venture forth for another alcoholic beverage. I found myself in the VIP bar, which I am guessing was open for general use that day and returned successfully to the same seat. I then realised I needed to pee, so off I trot to try and find the toilet, upon entering I managed to hit a woman very solidly with the door and on my left a delightful view of a lady emptying the contents of her stomach into the toilet. So I manage to get in out, fail to spill any of my beer and back to not my original seat, but the one next to it where there was no kicking. This, for some reason, drew dirty looks from middle aged couple, but fuck them though.

 

In front of me was a girl, also by herself, so I felt less lonely which was nice. I noticed them setting up the stage and smirked to myself as I saw the two mikes being set up, one noticeably higher than the other, (the left shorter one for Brian and the right taller one for Stefan). On my left there was a teenage girl and her father, which made me smile. Then, however, just as I got settled into my seat – lots of space on either side, two men sat down next to me. At first I was quite wary, as you would be, a girl by herself, a little bit pissed, however, they actually seemed ok. Also, they had these epic two pint cups (best invention ever?), so I was quite jealous of them.

 

As Placebo launched into ‘Twenty Years’ (not a song I like), I took this opportunity to ask the men next to me to watch my seat and jacket and ventured down to the bar to get myself a two pint cup of beer. The bar was filled with men, so I waited a little while and missed ‘Twenty Years’ and also ‘Every You, Every Me’ (which sounded like a ridiculous version anyway), and then got back to my seat, which had been dutifully guarded by the two men and settled back down. The set list up until this point had, quite frankly, been pretty shit and I was now part way into my two pint cup (for those who are counting this is probably around my third pint with minimal dinner), and decided to share this opinion with the chap next to me.

 

So we got talking and he seemed nice, was pretty funny, but since I am quite naturally flirtatious, it seemed to start veering into dangerous territory, so I explained, I have a boyfriend, I am probably being presumptuous, you probably have a partner etc etc. This seemed fine, we continued chatting, and by this time the gig was getting way better (whether this is the case or the beer was contributing to it, you decide), when his friend, suddenly disappeared and the chap next to me was asking why my boyfriend wasn’t there with me. I explained I was meeting him after, and that I wasn’t willing to fork out over £50 for two tickets for my boyfriend to be incredibly bored throughout (however, I would have enjoyed having him as a beer slave, so this has been taken into account for future). The response to this was that he had with his (current/ex?) girlfriend suffered through Michael Buble, so the least my boyfriend could do would be to come with me to Placebo.

 

To be fair to him, after this point he kind of apologised and backed down and left not long after. I stayed for the encore, but they played a song I wasn’t that keen on so I just left (Infrared maybe?). I couldn’t be bothered dealing with the packed Subway and I didn’t want to walk back by myself.

 

So it was a good night – I had more drinks in town after with my boyfriend – and although it was slightly eventful, I really enjoyed the gig and will probably venture to a few more on my own.

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RIP Kindle and Forensic Science!

Sad news chaps, I broke my Kindle. I was very hungover, (who knew a three year old’s birthday party would include so many drinks?) and lying in bed reading Americanah while the Boyf watched the football. I was going to make Enchiladas for dinner that night, but decided instead I wanted Chinese. I went into the living room to get the menu, came back, kneeled on my bed and underneath the duvet, right where my knew went was my Kindle. Cue broke screen and then frantically turning on my laptop I could not find anyway to fix it. Nothing worked. So I spoke to Amazon, and since it was out of warranty they would not replace it…however…they did let me buy a new Kindle at a reduced price.

 

It is a refurbished paper white, which I am very excited about. Sometimes I find myself reading in dark places (I.e. my room where I broke my bedside lamp) and this way I will have the extra light to read with no eyestrain, plus you can still read it in direct sunlight (the reason why I got a Kindle in the first place). It is still just wi-fi – 3G would just encourage me to buy too much.

 

However, Amazon are insisting that I send back my old Kindle (I love it, I am sad to see it go, scratches and all, plus I will need to get a new cover for it), so they then refurbish it and then send it to someone else. Firstly, this raises the question, why can they not just repair it for me at a cost and secondly how much money must Amazon be making off this thing? I dislike Amazon, and I grudge giving them money and if I could get another e-reader with the same number of titles then I would, but unfortunately Kindle, from my limited research, appears to be the best.

 

In this specific scenario though, I  (or more precisely my Mum), bought the Kindle, I then broke said Kindle, bought a new refurbished one, for them to then receive my old Kindle, refurbish it and send it on to someone else. Basically, they seem to be printing their own money. Why didn’t I think of it?

 

So, in short, I am bereft. Desperate to get back to Americanah, but also, kind of ragey, because I am now definitely going to miss my Goodreads target for the year.

 

That turned into a rant. I really just came on here to let you know my most recent time wasting device between calls (yes, yes I could almost certainly be doing something more productive). I present to you: http://forensicoutreach.com/

 

I am a bit of a fan of all things gory and as a child subjected to much Discovery Channel watching, via my Mum, of cold cases, DNA and Forensic Science. So this, with its short, informative articles is perfect for in work. I currently have about 5 tabs open of different articles to read. It is excellent, but making me wish I had made an effort in school to do Forensic Science. If only it wasn’t too late, sad times.

 

I just read the requirements and gave up, I wish I had made more effort. Still though, there are wonderful websites like this which satiate my need for more knowledge, because what is a life without constant improvement?

Links & Books

I tried to post some links here, but failed miserably, I have completely forgotten how to do hyper links so briefly, I tried to link to George Takei’s perfume (Eau My – please buy me if possible) Some fun abbreviations and an infographic about inequality in the media, both courtesy of Jezebel. So, feel free to saunter over and try to find. In the meantime I have given up, so onwards.

Recently I have been reading Patrick Rothfuss’s ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’, it is a three part series and I have read the first two books ‘The Name of the Wind’ and ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, and much to my dismay the third book is not due out forever.

Good points about the books; they are fantasy, excellent, long and engrossing. There are few things better than a really enjoyable book that keeps on going. I read quickly so this is heaven for me. The first book kept me going through lunch times at work, travelling to training for work and lounging around the house. I could not put it down and was so pleased to discover that the second book was out and longer than the first. 

It follows the story of a man called Kvothe who starts out with an idyllic sounding childhood and more intelligence than can be good for him. He then suffers tragedy and sets out to find the causes of this. He is lost, bewildered for a time and then goes to University where he learns…I am struggling to find a way to say this that does it justice, but am failing, so for want of a better word, magic. The story of how he gets there and his adventures and growth on the way are so good. It is written from the perspective of modern day Kvothe and how he got to where he is today, so it is interspersed with stories from the past and present. I was very sad when I finished the book. 

The second book, however, was, while still better than a lot of books seemed to leave something lacking. It was longer, but I am not sure that the additional length added anything. There are two long sections near the middle and end that just dragged. I enjoyed reading it, but there was so much tracking in the forest, a detour on the way home and then Kvothe went for training and I just felt like it was a way to pad out the story. The training did add substance as I understand that what the author is trying to do is to show that heroes and legends take time to form, to be created not just appear overnight, but honestly, it felt a little bit like overkill. 

I feel quite bad typing that as it gives the wrong impression, I would thoroughly recommend the books, they are excellent and the writing is incredible, – so good it makes me despair at my own feeble attempts – just that perhaps the story could have done with some tightening up. 

After this I read ‘Dune: Messiah’. I loved the first book, this one was enjoyable, but not as much as the first one. It isn’t for everyone. I have friends who enjoy the same style of books as myself but cannot stand Dune and others who love it. I am dreading starting the third one though as I think someone told me that it is a difficult read, but worth it to get through to the next books. Well, it was either the third or fourth one, I should really listen better. I will query next time I see them. 

Finally, the last book I read was ‘Shades of Milk and Honey’ by Mary Robinette Kowal, she isn’t someone I have read before but I do look forward to reading more. It is a Regency Period novel (and I love a Regency novel), but with the fantasy world thrown in. Good points, writing was incredible and the story was engrossing and the idea of ‘Glamour’ that is creating images by pulling threads from the ‘Ether’, was interesting, but I am not sure it was used to full effect. 

The story was very much a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ tale and this was apparent from early on. It was engrossing, but there was very little that surprised, I found the plot reasonably predictable apart from a few parts. I thought the implied feminist slant was nice in that ‘Glamour’ was something every respectable lady should be able to do, much like speaking French, or painting or playing piano was in that period, but that they could not use it to make their living in the same way that men could. So that was an interesting element. It is also the first book in a series so I look forward to seeing how this idea is developed through the further novels, but boo! Hiss! They are not out for a while as this book was only released recently. Why can’t everyone have the productivity of Terry Pratchett?

Anyway, summary.

Look at the links above, definitely read ‘The Kingkiller Chronicles’, dip your toes into ‘Dune’ and see if it is for you and finally read ‘Shades of Milk and Honey’ if you enjoy Regency and fanasty.