Month: April 2013

Vibraphone

As longtime readers know, the vibraphone is my favourite instrument. I want one quite badly. This Yamaha one is a basic student model and it is over £2,000. The ones at the upper end of the range are more than twice that.

vibraphone

http://www.jampercussion.com/buy/yamaha-kyv520-vibraphone_500.htm

It is perhaps irresponsible of me to contemplate this sort of spending. I would have to think about where the money is coming from and why I am not spending it on something more essential to survival. On the other hand, playing the vibraphone is an ambition that I’ve nursed almost since childhood and thus is prime TLYW territory. Not that I don’t already spend money on Chinese and sewing, neither of which I’m an expert in. So I don’t know. Let’s have some Red Norvo while I think about it some more.

Red Norvo Octet: Blues in E Flat (1935)

Lionel Asbo: State of England

So I finally scored a large Home point by doing about 8 loads of laundry, picking up in the bedroom and cleaning my bathroom.

I finished Lionel Asbo, so one Books point. I have mixed feelings about it. I like Amis a lot but I can only take him in small doses. The book is about an underprivileged family in London, where the lead characters are the gentle and law-abiding Desmond Pepperdine (15) and his criminal, violent, tyrannical and deliberately stupid uncle, Lionel Asbo (21), who has named himself after Britain’s controversial Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. Life carries on in a fairly desperate way in this desperate borough, which has a life expectancy of 60 with old age beginning at 40. People are poor and depraved and everything hates everything. Then Lionel wins £140 million on the lottery. It does not really improve his personality but it does allow him to express it more flamboyantly.

Amis’s many strengths include characterisation. Lionel is a recognisable figure, and he’s more than a caricature, he’s much more intelligent than he appears and yet is determined to keep striking the pose of an offensive, uncontainable anti-hero. There’s also quite a lot of enjoyable comic satire about what happens in Britain when unpopular and undeserving people acquire large sums of money.  Lionel is said to resemble Wayne Rooney. Glamour model Jordan makes an appearance. I hear that other readers feel that Amis has done better satire elsewhere but I liked it well enough and the comedy was very welcome in the generally dark and grim surroundings of the novel. It is a well-told story, fluidly written, as you’d expect from Amis. I think I want to give it 8/10. I’m just not hungry to read any more Martin Amis right now.

I think that’s all for now. See you later.

 

asbo

Warcraft

Is there anything nicer than Thunder Bluff at sunrise? I think not.

WoWScrnShot_042713_053351

I woke up at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so what are you gonna do?

I must confess I am not scoring a lot of points at the moment. I am dieting, which is good. The thing I like about dieting is that it is not really that hard, you just eat less. It’s not a massive effort or anything.

I’m still reading and have nearly finished Lionel Asbo.

Dating wise, things are a bit crummy. Marcel and I are still getting on well but we have run into a whole month of conflicting diary schedules. He’s travelling, then I’m out of town. I think he’s on a plane to the US right about now. It was my mom’s birthday one weekend, then the next week he went to France to visit his mom. I haven’t seen him for about 3 weeks and it could be another fortnight before we’re next in London at the same time. I wouldn’t mind this too much but he is also not being very communicative and it makes me feel like I might as well be single. I’m not getting any sex and when I get lonely I think about JC which is not really helpful for anyone.

Meh. My house is messy and I can’t be arsed to go to the gym and I have been awake since 3am. So that’s why I’m going to Azeroth.

If we have any Warcrafters in the audience, here’s what I’m doing. Everyone else, there’s a nice tune at the end.

  • That’s obviously my death knight that you see there. I have 7 main characters, four of which are level 90 and the remainder are 87. So this DK is 87 and it’s her turn to be levelled up.
  • I also have four other junior characters because I wanted one of every class. So when I get bored doing all the Pandaria quests, there’s an alternative. My level 39 druid is spending a lot of time doing pet battles and I am amazed how much xp you get for doing that, she hasn’t any time to do any quests before she has become too high a level for each zone.
  • I’m glad I have some lower level characters also because the AH is flooded with Pandaria crafting materials at rock bottom prices and you can actually charge more for things like rune cloth and fel iron than you can for the higher level stuff. This is a relevant concern because the cost of flying training is fucking ridiculous and as noted, I have a lot of characters who all have to be paid for. My shadow priest just hit 90 and she’s not getting any flying training until I’ve made 9k on the AH.
  • All my characters belong to my guild, which is entirely populated by me. OK, me and a 12th character, a low level goblin, which is owned by my ex boyfriend, who I occasionally call on for those guild admin tasks where you need more than one account. As my entire guild is basically just me solo-ing and not even doing any dungeons, it pleases me greatly to report that it is a level 8 guild.
  • I am moderately sick of growing vegetables at Halfhill, yet I cannot stop.

And now for some music. Here’s Big Youth, who knows what the girls want. Lord have mercy.

Big Youth: Natty Dread She Want

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More mountains in the early morning sun:

WoWScrnShot_042713_061626

Right then, that’s me back on the fitness wagon.

So yeah I scored a second Books point over the weekend. I read The Poisoned Island by Lloyd Shepherd (2013), a historical novel set in the early 19th century about a ship that returns to London full of plants that have been plundered from Tahiti and that are destined for Kew Gardens, with fatal results. I don’t care too much about murder mysteries or the practices of early 19th-century detectives in London, but the parts of the story that took place in Tahiti made a refreshing change, and the relationships among the sailors are quite engaging, so 7/10. I had this on my desktop while I was reading:

William Hodges, Tahiti Revisited, 1776

Hodges_Tahiti_Revisited

I finished The Poisoned Island almost in one sitting and then made a start on Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis (2012). You know Amis. He can really write. It’s proper literature. He’s funny. And it’s full of desperate corners of London. I might tell you some more about it when I’ve finished it.

And now I need to get off my fat arse. I need to get on a strict diet IMMEDIATELY and get back in the gym like I mean it. More travel is coming up. Not to Tahiti, but to somewhere nearly as good. There might need to be swimwear. I am doing low carb as of right now.

Must read all the things.

There’s been a shocking lack of news over the last few days, hasn’t there. It is like this. After that burst of point-scoring ten days ago, I had a period of several days where I was dealing with a few different sources of stress, the details of which I will not bore you with. The result was a tension headache that simply would not go away. I don’t think I’ve listened to a single tune since the last time I posted one here and you know there’s something not right when I’m not listening to any music. I’ve spent most of my non-work hours lying down, either sleeping or just trying to take the weight off the tense muscles in my neck. Was not fun.

However, I have been doing a lot of reading. Since we last spoke about books, just a few days ago, I’ve read Injury Time by Beryl Bainbridge (this was funny but also grim and the state of gender relations in 1977 in Britain was appalling, the characters casually talk about men hitting their wives and girlfriends like it’s no big deal yet meanwhile it’s regarded as terribly SHOCKING that one of the men once went to what they prissily call ‘a VD clinic’, presumably in a responsible effort to take care of his health. Priorities, people.) I also read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It’s an amusing, contemporary comedy with a hero who’s somewhere on the autism spectrum and is only vaguely aware of it. I’m about halfway through Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma, about pharmaceutical research. It’s riveting and I’ll most likely blog about it when I’ve finished. Today I would be well advised to spend some time cleaning my house but instead I’m going to knit a bunch of things and read something new.

This weekend I am sporting the podgy waistline of someone who reads a lot. I’ll claim a books point in due course.