I’m bored, so I’m going to do the long-awaited (sort of) Barcelona-write-up before I forget too much about the experience! If you were there and have a better memory than me, please chip in so I can fill this out a bit. I’m too lazy to set up a wiki for one page.
I’m at a party at Josh’s and he asked why I haven’t written anything since my post about the ball, and that was on Sunday, I think. So I’m sitting at his laptop typing this out whilst watching South Park.
I’ve pretty much been busy is my excuse. Had a couple of friends down and that kept me kinda busy; well, a friend and an acquaintance, at any rate. Tom and Meg, as it happened. Although Tom had to disappear back to Lancaster because he had an exam in the middle of his visit so me and Meg watched a stupid amount of Buffy, Spaced, and Shaun of the Dead.
Anyways, that’s why I haven’t been writing all of the much. But right now I’m at Josh’s, which is (sorta…) near Spalding. Much as I can tell it’s a good 50 minutes by car from Peterborough, which is about 50 minutes by train from King’s Cross, so it’s a bit of a way away. There was a BBQ, and we went to the pub where we were accosted by a kinda drunk woman (or at least it seemed) called Donna, who challenged us to a game of pool and then kinda failed miserably at playing it. Anyways, back at Josh’s there was a fairly abortive attempt to play Drink Monopoly instead of Ring of Fire, I still can’t quite fathom why.
Anyways, it’s a party at which there’s exclusively guys, so going to sleep is a hazardous experience. Once guy already has permanent marker on his face, nearly got his eyebrow shaved off, and got shocked in the face with a joke electric pen. I was actually feeling kinda sleepy, and Nightmare on Elm Street was on; the parallels were kinda frightening.
In other news, I hope to actually be interesting again in a week or so, when I have time to read newspapers and philosophy and novels and stuff like that.
Oh, I was reading Scoble the other day and he was rating social networking services and amongst other things wondering why Facebook was so popular, almost like he thought Facebook had appeared overnight and become insanely popular because of some feature it had. Social networking sites are useful because they have all your friends on them. Facebook is big because everyone at your university has it. All your friends from back home have it. It’s an exponential phenomenon! MySpace isn’t big because it’s good. Anyone with half a brain can tell that.
Ah well. Time to post this now and do something else!
P.S. Most people agree that Sally Sparrow is hawt.
The Imperial College Centenary Ball. Wow, that was an event and a half. First there was the dinner, then the fun fair, dodgems, drinking at the union, wandering about wondering why nobody was playing good music, eventually ended up in the marquee where Alex Zane was, at last, playing something halfway decent, got some dancing in, then rolled up for the Survivors photo at 4 am. Then we hung around at the union for a few more hours.
It’s 8:20 am and I just got back into halls. I’m completely knackered.
The most annoying thing about living by yourself is that if you’re sick/in pain, you have to actually go get the stuff to make you feel better yourself, when all your instincts are telling you to stay put in bed. Right now my sinuses are absolutely killing me and it’s really getting on my nerves.
And my sleeping patterns are already messed up. It’s 6am, and I haven’t actually been to bed yet. I had dinner at 3 in the morning while watching A Scanner Darkly, which I borrowed from Duncan. It’s not healthy, I tell you.
Defeated all the gang bosses on Crackdown, and even though a logical part of my brain knows that there’s still, in theory, quite a lot to do… the experience suddenly feels a lot emptier than it did. That’s the problem with sandbox-type freeform games; whilst in theory they can last forever, once you run off the end of the linear storyline that the developers have provided you with, the game suddenly stops making sense, your sense of immersion is shattered and the world feels just a little bit more hollow than it did.
Possibly it’s just the existential dilemma pervading the virtual world that we’ve entered to escape the real one – suddenly you realise the tasks which you are so diligently performing (like committing crime in GTA, stopping crime in Crackdown, doing whatever the heck you like in Oblivion) are absolutely without any meaning or higher purpose. You are simply performing them for the sake of performing them. Heck, worse on the Xbox 360 you find yourself doing boring shit just because you’re going to get an achievement for it that will sit in perpetuity upon your Xbox Live profile. I know I’m guilty of that!
At least I got out of halls today, even for a little bit. Quick walk down to the pub, which makes me once more appreciate the brilliance of the British institution which is the pub. Although it’s worrying when you start recognising some of the regulars, like this guy with the most awesome muttonchops I have possibly ever seen. They were astonishing.
So, my last exam was yesterday and I’m now pretty much home free for the next two weeks until everyone gets kicked out of halls. Then I’m home free at… y’know, home.
All in all I think the exams went not too badly. I’m nigh-on certain I passed everything, and fairly sure that I’ll get a good grade. Is grade the word anymore? Anyways, regardless the procedure seems to be that we get a pass/fail letter along with info about if we got into the second year on the 9th of July, then a letter from the Registry in August that gives the numerical results.
The Maths Analysis exam yesterday actually went a lot better than I thought it would. The past papers were truly terrifying. It’s not an exaggeration that I actually was unable to even begin to answer without looking up the method in my notes. The real exam was actually better than that, thankfully, and George agreed with me. Hopefully everyone won’t find it easy though or it’ll get moderated in the wrong direction! Which would be bad.
The QP, SoM, and V&W exam didn’t suck too much, and there were only a couple of things I drew a complete blank on.
E&M I’m actually already starting to forget what that was like. Oh well.
Last night was also the Piccadilly Court end-of-year dinner, which is really strange because… it doesn’t really feel like I’ve been here that long. I mean, it’s only been maybe about 9 months or something, which is nuts, really, and it’s already the end. This extended social group of people is going to drift apart. It’s… sucky, really. To steal some words, I don’t know half of them half as well as they deserve.
In other news:
I bought myself some webspace, so I’m hosting this blog myself now, which hopefully means I’ll be able to put some interesting things on it that were impossible while it was hosted at wordpress.com.
Buffy Season 8 #4 came out on Thursday, and it’s the conclusion to the “Long Way Home” arc, and there’s some pretty disturbing imagery in there, I thought. Better minds than me are probably reviewing it, but suffice to say I’m glad to see these characters back.
I bought a copy of Crackdown for the 360, and It’s mucho fun, what with the beating up the gang members, shooting the gang members, and running over the gang members. Oh, and doing Neo-jumps from rooftop to rooftop collecting agility orbs, which in turn give your jumping ever-greater magnitude, which makes it easier to collect ever-more orbs. It’s beautiful.
Until next time, goodnight. And good luck.
I posted a while back that the most enjoyable thing about writing down stuff that happens to you is that you record the pointless minutiae of daily life that, with no reason in particular to stick in your mind, you quickly forget. Reading back those details takes you right back to that moment you sat and wrote those thoughts.
This was the end to which I instituted my Little Red Notebook, which I have been dreadfully amiss in consigning my thoughts to. The last entry is May 13th, and the one before that is April 4th.
Anyways, what I wanted to record before it’s inexorably lost to the entropies of my mind is that before my exams I’d go to the lobby of the Blackett lab and revise and end up talking to other first year physicists who normally I wouldn’t talk to at all. I don’t even know their names, but we were in this exam-mess all together all the same. Made me wish that on the whole people were more generally social; the herding instinct is terribly old, and the symptoms of it are plain for all to see.
Human beings instinctively form the in-groups and the out-groups, dividing down lines of common interests or thoughts, of common experience. Once you lose touch with a group it’s hard to find your way back in, and it’s definitely hard to break into a group unless you already know someone on the inside. And there’s the risk of ending up in an awful limbo where you’re not really a part of any group, sitting painfully at the fringes. Of course, you also get their logical opposites, the social spiders, sitting at the centre of a vast web of connections.
It’s kinda depressing in a way that we all end up playing this ridiculous game, no matter how stupid we all realise it is.