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A miscellany – of essays, of reading, of Princi, of music. January 15, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Children's Literature, EA300, ECA, music, OU, The Principessa Files, TMA03, TMA04.
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Well, I managed to get that last essay finished. Yay! Then yesterday, about an hour after the cut-off time for submission, I asked my cousin to have a read-through, just to tell me what she thought. I sat and read the essay over her shoulder and as I did the stupidest mistake flashed up like a streak of wildfire. Nooo! I couldn’t believe I’d done something so brain-numbingly dumb and hadn’t noticed it in any of my previous read-throughs. Instead of saying that the poem was written in alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, I’d said it was written in iambic tetracets and iambic tercets! Stupid, stupid, stupid! Argh!

Thankfully, after an email to my tutor to tell her that I’d suffered a brain malfunction, she emailed back to tell me not to worry. As I’d informed her of the mistake she wouldn’t mark me down. Phew!

Now that the essay is done – really am not going to do well with it, I had a hard time absorbing all the new technical language – I have started the reading for the next block. All I can say is that this course is definitely a challenge!  Within the next five weeks I have four books to read and analyse, 21 critical essays to dissect, the study guide to work through, and then another essay to write based around at least two of the set books and the relevant essays. Yipes! And knowing me, I’ll probably try and look up other essays to back up what I already have. And this time I will read everything. In the last block I completely missed out the Peter Pan section and I feel as if I’ve put myself at a disadvantage when it comes to the ECA. Oh gosh, and I have to start thinking about that now, too. Need to start planning which option to go with, labelling up the critics I have to read for it, and devising some sort of essay plan. I don’t want to be caught short at the end of the course. And breathe!

Is it me, or is the first half of this year going to pass by in a flash?

As for Princi, she has been fabulous this week. She has had her moments, but for the most part she has been brilliant. Both bedtimes and mornings have been easier than they ever have – I honestly expect next week to wake up to a raving demon child! – and dinner times haven’t been too bad either. At the moment, bedtime means tidying up her toys, fixing her bed, finding Magic (her light up teddy) and Snoopy (my raggedy old cuddly Snoopy, who is older than I am!), and listening to either Coraline (yeah, still) or Wolves in the Walls. So far, she usually falls asleep between 8-8.30pm.

For mornings, since she asked to listen to Needle Gun by Hawkwind on Monday morning, the morning routine has emerged as cajoling her out of bed to brush her teeth and have a wash, a minor struggle to get her to eat her breakfast – this has become easier over the week since the introduction of her favourite songs during the morning – and then asking her to find her uniform and get dressed. The getting dressed on her own has been a long time in coming, but she’s doing quite well at it. As for the music, the soundtrack to our mornings looks like this:

  • Needle Gun – Hawkwind
  • All Star – Smashmouth
  • My Favourite Game – The Cardigans
  • Underground – Ben Folds Five
  • Monkey – Counting Crows
  • 3’s & 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
  • Voodoo Child – Rogue Traders
  • The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

It has made mornings go so much faster! And more playful too, as we both have a dance while she is getting ready for school. I also have a giggle when she’s singing along – My Favourite Game sounds like a Teletubbies favourite, she runs around singing ‘Eh, eh-eh, eh, eh-eh’, and Voodoo Child is now Boo-boo Child. But I’m glad I’ve found a way to make things more fun for Princi, beforehand mornings used to be composed mainly of shouting.

I am hoping I haven’t jinxed the happy by blogging this!

Of course, she is still as cheeky as ever. After prompting her her eat her breakfast for about the fifth time yesterday morning, she turned to Grandand and asked him:

“Could you ignore her for me, please?”

Cheeky monkey!

Anyways,  as there is a moment of silence I think I shall get back to reading essays. Sigh.

Lay your weary head to rest. October 1, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in EA300, music, Occupational Therapist visits., OU, sick Principessa.
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It was definitely a day of mixed emotions yesterday. I spent the morning stressed out by the (then) impending physio visit. My stomach was in knots at the thought of them trying to pick me up. Thankfully, they didn’t try. Gaz was there and we demonstrated how he picks me up – although from the seat in the front room it looks more awkward than it actually is – and then they suggested an alternative way to stop any stress on the neck of the lifter. So a big phew there. I also explained the difficulty I had had with some of the exercises that the first physio had given me, so the second physio – who was far more knowledgeable – suggested other exercises, mainly Pilates-style, that we could try the next time the first physio comes to visit again. I have two weeks to slightly stress about that.

In the afternoon the good news dropped through the letter box. The planning on the extension has been approved and the grant has been awarded. The work has to be completed by next September and I am now waiting to be contacted with start dates. Ooh, so excited, but also stressing a little as there is a lot of stuff needing to be done before the work can start. At least it’s finally moving in the right direction. Yay!

(Ooh, having an epic/theatrical rock day today. Currently listening to Whitesnake. ‘Twas Heart and Meatloaf before that.)

Princi is back at school today. She was sent home Monday lunchtime because she was ill. She spent the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday with a fever, then yesterday she was back to her normal self. I kept her home just to make sure she was a-OK. So with my Munchkin out I can try and get some of this LRRH assignment written. I’ve managed about 50 words so far. I think it’s time to print out the essay planner and start noting some points down that I will argue.

So this is me, off to scribble.

S*P*A*M June 25, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in Bedbugs, music, Poetry, Shonen Knife, tennis, The Principessa Files, Wimbledon.
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I think I am sick of spam. Not just any old spam, and not chips with spam, or eggs with spam, or spam with spam. But S*P*A*M.

This is Princi’s ‘favourite and best’ song. She has been running around all afternoon singing it.

Everybody’s hopeful

and it must be S P A M, S P A M.

Not that they are the actual words (apart from the spam bit), but they are the words Princi hears when she listens to it. It’s driving me nuts. More so than her single-minded desire to use the voice recorder on the iPhone or the digital dictaphone. My own fault, really. She found the dictaphone, so I played jer the poem that I had recorded earlier to demonstrate what it was. Oh! The intrigue! I had to allow her to record herself reading her latest school book – The Frog Prince – so she could hear herself speak. With the time she spends talking you’d think she’d be sick of the sound of her own voice, but no. She wanted to record more. I think I have realeased a monster. Maybe I should let her record the Bedbugs poem and then put it up on the blog. That might be an idea.

Anyway. I’ve not been able to see much tennis today – just Elena Baltacha‘s last few games, ho hum – so I am going to get myself comfortable for the Murray match whilst Princi is currently bugging Nanny with S*P*A*M!

I want Rockstar music. June 17, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in music, Shonen Knife, The Principessa Files.
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(OK, this has nothing to do with this post, but ouchy! I have no idea what is wrong with my left shoulder blade, but it feels like there’s something crawling around underneath it with a mobile phone on vibrate on its back. Uncomfortable? Oh yes. And now it’s turning all pins and needlesy. Joy.)

This lunchtime, while eating lunch, I decided that Princi and I would listen to some music. I turned the iPod on and  set it to shuffle. Oooh, a good song to start – Easy by Faith No More. Nice, relaxing, eating food type music. But oh no, not for Princi.

This isn’t good. It doesn’t feel right.

So I flipped onto the next track – an INXS song. But no, not for Princi.

This still isn’t right. I want rockstar music.

So I flipped through a few more tracks – Third Eye Blind, Linkin Park, Leonard Cohen – but none were to Princi’s taste.

No. Not right. I want Shonen Knife.

At least now I had an idea what the problem was. And so I will say thankyou to Dadwhowrites, as if it hadn’t have been for the mention of Shonen Knife on his blog I might not have listened to a couple of  songs online, liked what I heard, and ordered a couple of CDs from Amazon. Princi is hooked. She thinks Shonen Knife are the only rockstars worthy of listening to right now!

On fever and music. May 17, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, ECA, Editing, Eurovision Song Contest, music, sick Principessa.
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Princi and Grandand are currently sitting at the walk-in centre on Smithdown Road. Princi was really lethargic yesterday, with a temperature, an achy head and tummy, and swollen glands. While she’s about a gazillion times better today, I wanted her to have a check-up to make sure it’s nothing serious.  I’m hoping that yesterday was the end of whatever was bothering Princi, as she’d been complaining of a tummy ache and head ache for a couple of days, although it hasn’t stopped her from being a Destroyer of Worlds. I hate to say it, but I thought it was just an excuse not to eat, because she’s always finding ways not to eat her dinners (usually she will suddenly decide that she ‘needs ve loo’) . Thing is, she first started complaining after she had eaten. Hmm. I’m a bad Mum for ignoring her complaints.

(As for other illnesses, I just want to say *Hugs* to Skips and her little Bean.)

One thing about yesterday, at least Princi slept some. She’s been going to bed late – refusing to go to sleep on school days, and I let her stay up a little later at the weekends – and getting up early. So I’m glad she’s had some sleep. I think she needed it. And her sleeping also gave me a few minutes spare to do a little bit more on the ECA commentary. Thankfully, that’s starting to shape up. I need to sit down and sort out the referencing and bibliography, but I think I’m close to leaving the commentary as it is. That leaves me more time to fuss over Princi. Yay! With no work to worry about, Mummy should no longer be a dull girl!

As for the music… Yep, Eurovision. The set was fab, hundreds and hundreds of LCD screens providing the backgrounds. Some of the music was good, which was a shocker, and not too much dancy-techno stuff. The song from Iceland was quite nice. I’m still not over-enamoured with the UK’s entry, but at least it didn’t end up on nul points. In fact, fifth place was a shock! I wasn’t so impressed by the winning song – from Norway – either. Overall, it was a better song contest in previous years.

Well, back to waiting for Princi and Grandand to get back home.

Update 13:03

They’re back. Princi’s got a viral infection, and according to the doctor, nothing to worry about. *Sigh of relief*

Head is spinning, Exorcist stylee! May 12, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, music.
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Not that I’m possessed or anything, just from reading lots. I’ve been critiquing various stories and poems over last night and this morning. I take hours over the stories/poems and go through things so thoroughly that I worry that the peeps I’m critiquing might think I’m being overly picky. Eeks! But I say things as I see them, and I would hope that anyone critiquing my work would rip it to pieces so that I could improve it and get rid of any anachronisms.

I am still loving blip.fm. Last night I thought I’d post some songs before I went to bed, so I looked for songs with ‘sleep’ and ‘goodnight’ in the titles. It was then that I stumbled across an artist called Voltaire. I listened to the song because the title intrigued me (it was called ‘Goodnight Demonslayer’), and the song didn’t disappoint.

After listening, I promptly set off in search of the song on iTunes. So yay! I sat and listened to it properly before I went to sleep, with a Supernatural montage playing in the back of my mind! Yes, I know. Sad. But it is there in my head, so it will be put to use!

Blast from the past. February 20, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in ER, music.
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Ah. Starting to feel more like the old me. That is such a good thing, as I’ve been stuck in some weird stasis for the past five years, since things broke down with Princi’s Dad. I just stopped doing everything I enjoyed (except watching tennis, which was a pleasure I rediscovered) and became a bit of a wreck. I stopped listening to music, stopped playing computer games, and even lost interest in reading for a while. But these things have slowly been edging themselves back into my life over the last few years. I am now back to reading voraciously. I play games on the Wii whenever I get a spare second, or when Princi asks me to play Guitar Hero so she can headbang along with the songs (mad babes!). And I think it’s the influence of Guitar Hero that has pushed music back towards me. But I’m glad it did.

Last night, I decided to bring the iPod speakers downstairs so I could listen to some music while preparing the soup base for the miso soup. When ‘Walking By Myself’ by Gary Moore started playing I couldn’t help but smile as I was thrown back to really good memories of the 147 pool club back in the 90’s. And then Princi made the song new again by running into the kitchen to dance to it. I love my little munchkin!I felt like me again, and it was all good 😀

And then ER was a blast from the past too. I had wondered how they were going to get Dr. Green back into it. The flashback scenario really should have occurred to me. But the episode was fab, and it was like watching ER of olde! Great stuff!

Anyhoos, back to my time-slip.

Warm sun feed me up. November 30, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in music, Poetry.
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Oh, so here’s an interesting music/poetry meme nicked from Elizabeth Bear’s blog.

Put your music player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results. The first line of the twenty-first song is the title.

I was never cool in school.

Oh it’s healing. Bang. Bang. Bang.

I was walking down the street.

She says it’s cold outside and she hands me my raincoat.

You’ll never be.


I’d be really pleased to meet you if I could remember your name.

The song he sang was surfaces.

You’re humming softly to yourself.

Boy you know you make me float.


Last night I said to her.

Somewhere out in the back of your mind.

Well, I’m standing here looking at you.

Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now.


I’m on a train, but there’s no one at the helm.

I hear the roar of a big machine.

Here lies everything.

Here we are with good-bye in our eyes.


Eddie waited till he finished high school.

This circus is falling down on its knees.

Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.

Well I guess you left me with some feathers in my hand.


Underground – Ben Folds Five.

You’re The Storm – The Cardigans

Kick – Adam and the Ants

3am – Matchbox 20

Keep Fishin’ – Weezer

Incommunicado – Marillion

Elric The Enchanter – Hawkwind

Seashell – Seabear

Rock Da Boat – Aaliyah

She’ll Come Back To Me – CAKE

Rooms On Fire – Stevie Nicks

Antmusic – Adam and the Ants

The Waiting – Tom Petty

Narcolepsy – Third Eye Blind

Lucretia, My Reflection – Sisters Of Mercy

Everything You Ever – Neil Patrick Harris

Who’s Leaving Who – Hazell Dean

Into The Great Wide Open – Tom Petty

Raining in Baltimore – Counting Crows

Sisters of Mercy – Leonard Cohen

Angel of the Silences – Counting Crows

(I didn’t skip duplicate artists, but I did skip audiobook chapters and instrumentals.)

Pingback flashback. November 15, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Guitar Hero on Tour, music, Wii games.
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Interesting. Very interesting.

This morning I thought I would have a look through the spam queue to see if there was anything of note there. The first spamble was a pingback talking about an interesting post. Oooh, methought, wonder what post it was? I clicked on the link and was sent winging thought my own cybermulch of words to this post. Why is it so interesting? Because that’s how I feel right now. Lots of thoughts, not enough action. And way too much bloggery. But on the bloggery front – wow! I’ve actually managed at least one post a day since the 1st of November. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get this far. Maybe I should quit this malarkey while I’m ahead and concentrate on real writing. It could be a little more productive than my negative productivity ratio at the mo.

Also… maybe putting a plaster over the Wii addiction could help. But Guitar Hero on Tour rocks! I’m loving the drums, even though it’s hard on waning muscles. I was so chuffed to find Santeria by Sublime on there. I even caterwauled along on the microphone while Kirst played guitar. Love it!

Learning to cry for fun and profit. November 5, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in music, Uncategorized.
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I’ve not listened to Sisters of Mercy for ages, and hearing More this morning made me smile. At least the randomiser on my Ipod worked a bit better today.

  • Push – Matchbox20
  • Treehugger – Kimya Dawson
  • The Hunter – Danzig
  • Daedalus and Icarus – Andrew Sachs (Greek Myths)
  • Rock the Boat – Aaliyah
  • Bumblebee Captured – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
  • More – Sisters of Mercy
  • Grace – Jeff Buckley
  • Let’s Get Rocked – Def Leppard
  • Excalibur returns to the Lady of the Lake – Sean Bean (King Arthur atKotRT)
  • Home Again – Bryan Adams

And, I suppose, history happens.