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Lurgified! March 28, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, Art, OU, Sick again, The Principessa Files, TMA04, TMA05.
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Ugh. Struck down by illness again. I hate being sick.

Over the last week I’ve been feeling so eugh. Sore throat, stuffed up nose, hackity-mcyackity cough, and just generally washed out. Which means I haven’t been able to properly celebrate another fab result for the mythology course or get down to writing the next essay. OK, the next essay – “Does classical mythology reflect a disposition to explore the realities of the world or a desire to escape from them?” –  isn’t due in until April 20-something or other, but I wanted it done by Friday as that is when Princi breaks for Easter. I have got to hope I can tease 1,600 words into a stylish ‘do in two days whilst my sinuses feel like a full nappy! *Sob* But try I will.

Talking of Easter, today was Princi’s Easter Bonnet parade, so we have spent the last two afternoons constructing a monster bonnet:

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The crazy, monster Easter bonnet.

Princi did a lot of the work on this herself – all I really did was build the skullcap base (made from half an old football and a piece of card) and attach the basket. Princi made the flowers, sewed the bunny, spelled out and threaded the ‘Happy Easter’ bead banners, and stuck the eggs and chicks on. Nanny kindly made the pompom chick for her. And to top it all off, she won ‘Best Bonnet’ in her class too! Rock on, Principessa!

Anyway, I poured my creative brain into helping Princi with her bonnet, so I apologise for the rather dull post. Hopefully, next time I’m here, it’ll be a bit more exciting.

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And breathe…. March 10, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, Art, iPhone, OU, Principessa art, Proud Mummy, reading, The Principessa Files, TMA04, TMA05.
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Well. After the rigmarole of last week, this week has been a steady, squeaky parp of air from a slowly let down balloon. The essay finally ripped its way from my brain and was submitted to the cyber-sewage works on Monday. It also saw Princi and I reunited with our favourite technologies – DVD and computer for Princi, iPhone for me. Yay! And there endeth the good times.

Wednesday brought the news that the NSPCC had decided they didn’t want to use Princi in their advert. And there is where the deflation of said balloon increased as it screamed around the room and flopped to the floor in a mass of flaccid finality. (Yeah, I used a few f words…) How would I tell Princi? She was so excited about it. I even thought about not telling her and hoping that she’d just forget about it. But that would be wrong, so when she got in from school I called her for a hug and told her the bad news. I needn’t have been worried. She gave me a wide-O shocked face, then shrugged, jumped out of the hug, and went to do some drawing and watch Dexter’s Laboratory. Whereas my disappointment for Princi sent me moping, it didn’t phase her at all. That is one quality that I really hope she keeps.

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The Garden of Dexter.

On an up point, I’ve only two more essays to complete and that’s another course towards the degree finished. I can’t believe that this time next year I’ll be nearly done with the last course and the degree. I’m almost excited about it! Though what I’ll do afterwards is still a burning question. I’m still thinking about the MA in children’s literature, but I’m worried about making a fool of myself. At the same time, I’m hankering for the addiction that was sparked during the kidlit course. Sometimes, I hate being indecisive.

Anyways, time to bog off and read some more on muthos and logos, and the beginnings of Ancient Greek cosmology. Oh, to be a foetus living inside a fish-like creature, living on an earth made up of moisture surrounded by thorny bark

But here is evolution of a different kind:

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Evolution of a Cybergirl.

What a week! March 4, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, OU, The Principessa Files, TMA04.
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This last week has been a tough’un. No, the last two weeks have been tough…

It started off with me panicking about my latest essay.  The wealth of information I had to cram into my walnut completely overwhelmed me and I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Or, as the case was, the thread for the wool. The essay this time was about how Ovid created a unified narrative in Book VI of Metamorphoses. My first problem came with reading too much about syntagmatic and paradigmatic structure and totally confusing myself. That’s pretty easy to do, believe me! So, I spent last week crying and flustering in a daze of ‘It’s not possible, I can’t do this,’ to this week typing any old rubbish just to clear the cobwebs. But I’ve a draft done now, bibliography and all, and tomorrow I shall read through it one last time before submitting it to the cyber-gods for divine judgement.

Then, a completely new proposition popped up to bite me – well, Princi – on the bum. She was called in for her first audition for an advert for the NSPCC. This came totally out of the blue. We had to quickly arrange a couple of hours off with her school (the call came through on the Tuesday lunchtime (21st Feb) for her to audition on the Wednesday afternoon), work out where we were going, and arrange train travel. She got there and dazzled them with her knowledge of Samuel Pepys and her ability to look sad. Then, on the Friday, we got the text telling us she had a recall. Wow, wow, wow! Again, didn’t expect that! So, back to Manchester on the Sunday, where she dazzled with her knowledge about Edward Jenner and her ability to look sad. And again we waited…

Well, the text came through on Wednesday evening (29th Feb), Princi has been pencilled in to do the advert pending being granted her performance licence. That in itself was a cause for stress as a form needed filling out, a letter from the headmistress was needed, as was a doctor’s note, a photocopy of her birth certificate and two passport photos. All of this had to be arranged right when I was finally in the flow of writing the essay, and photographing Princi is a pain in the bottom at the moment. While this news was a welcome yay, the jab in the finger from the shard of glass from the iPhone screen certainly wasn’t a yay. Princi had accidently dropped it on the Tuesday night during one of her difficult moments – I’d asked her to give the phone to me, and she decided she didn’t want to so she pulled the phone away from my hand and it slipped out of hers – and the screen had cracked. Argh! Not only was she counting on that phone for news about the audition, but it’s my emergency button for when I need help. A huge hoo-haa followed, with Princi first threatening to kill herself (that freaked me out somewhat!) and then saying that instead of that she was going to leave by running away after school the next day (that freaked me out just as much!). After all was sorted out (a punishment of no computer and DVD player until Monday), and a cuddle and long talk, Princi went off to bed still a little tearful.

Wednesday also bore the information that Princi needed a costume for school on Friday for their belated World Book Day dress-up. Crap. We went through the gamut of her favourite characters and finally settled on Edgar the Raven from Marcus Sedgwick’s The Raven Mysteries. Princi ended up wearing one of my tops because it had wing-like sleeves, black trousers and boots, and we found her old witch’s nose and painted that black.

Princi as Edgar the Raven.

So Friday came, as did costume day, the completion of licencing forms, and the completion of the first draft of my essay! Yay! And tomorrow I get my phone back and Princi’s punishment is completed. Woohoo! So no more Princi whining that she has nothing to watch. No more whining about how much she hates punishments and consequences. And no more whining that I am missing my phone!

Quick post with added Wreck This Journal. February 16, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, Art, Mythology, OU, TMA03, TMA04, WTJ.
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Argh! It feels like ages since I’ve popped my head around the blogging door, well, I suppose it has been really, so thought I best binary scrawl a post quick sharp.

First things first. I would like the thank the lovely xlalalalisax (plooberific award) and kofegeek (liebster blog award) for fabulous blog awards. Thank you both!

The mark for the last essay (TMA03) came back about a week and a half ago. Yeah, I know. I shouldn’t have been so worried about it. Needless to say, I was distinctly happy with it. And quite shocked, because I really didn’t feel that I had taken in much of what I’d read. So, yay me! Two more essays and the big examinable essay left to go, then I’ll be onto the last course of the degree. Can’t believe I’ve been so stubborn to have stuck it out! OK, I know I’ve still got a ways to go, but still. Don’t know what I’m going to do to fill my time when it’s all over.

Well. Wreck This Journal time. I’ve not done much, so most of these pages are ones I’d completed a while ago and not posted yet. And one is a half-arsed attempt. But I’ll let you decide which one that might have been.

The frontis page. Liked getting the Mars and Venus stickers in here, considering the Greek and Roman mythology course I'm doing right now.

The copyright and dedication page. Penguins for Princi, and the 'Warning' now reads: During this book you will find yourself in the solar system. You will do things. Grieve for the book. Begin to see creative ideas everywhere. Begin to live more recklessly.

Rubbings with a pencil. A bit of a Ronseal moment...

Make a paper plane. Plane made with kimono-patterened origami paper. I was going to put a decoupage Snoopy on his Sopwith Camel kennel on the painted part, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

And that’s that. Now to get back to Mr Ovid and his Metamorphoses and the evilness that is the two-part essay. Part 1: comparing the Venus and Adonis story to Titian’s ‘Poesie’ painting. Part 2: It’s spiders and frogs and birds, oh my. And spinning a yarn about transitions between stories and how Book 6 is constructed into a unified narrative. So it’s off to the loom to spin the critical fleece and weave my own fictional tapestry of an essay.

Party time! Excellent! February 19, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in BtVS, Children's Literature, EA300, OU, TMA03, TMA04.
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So I received the result for TM04 this morning. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* I shall direct you to the post for the TMA03 result, as it was exactly the same! Again, the words chuffed and mintballs come into play here, along with a Snoopy dance:

Well, that is my celebration done. Back to the grindstone.

Persephone, Cassandra: Forsaken. February 12, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Bendy beds and springy seats are supposed to be good for the health, blogs, Building work, Children's Literature, EA300, OU, Personal Mythology: A Triumvirate, Poetry, TMA04.
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Well, it’s been six months to the day since I sent my poems out. There’s been a deafening no response. Ho hum. I wonder if it’s because I used classical mythology? I remember reading a post on the Magma poetry blog asking if poems using classical mythology had a place in contemporary poetry. To my experience, no. No-one wants them. So, as I like them I am going to post them up here.

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As for other stuff; yay! I have submitted TMA04. It’s gone! So relieved. As usual it’s a collection of blah, I don’t think it’s very good blah, (oh, distracted by the Tazcat chasing his tail. Daft animal!), but at least it’s done. I wasn’t actually sure I would get through it, as I felt like giving up half way through. Now there are only two more essays left and the dissertation style ECA at the end. Another three months and the course will be finished. Can’t believe I’ve managed to get this far! Hoinka doinka! <– The new congratulatory expression.

The building work. Hmph. That’s come to a nails down a blackboard screeching stop. I should’ve known that it wouldn’t be done in the time frame they gave us, despite the fact that they were three weeks ahead in the first week of work due to good weather. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s mostly done. Kitchen’s in, almost all of the bathroom’s done, the bedroom’s done. There’s a few bits of finishing off – architraves and skirting boards, things like that – but nothing major. Except for paving the patio and constructing the wheelchair ramps round the back and front of the house. But guess what. There are no tradesmen to be seen, and there hasn’t been since about Tuesday. Grrr. Still, I can’t use the rooms yet because I don’t have the bendy bed or the shower chair. So I suppose there’s no rush yet.

Time and relative dimension in space. February 6, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Children's Literature, EA300, OU, TMA04.
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Argh!

*POP*

Head exploding!

Yep, it’s that time of the month again. No, not that time! The time where I enter into concentrated essay writing. And research to back up my thoughts. And research to back up the research just to make sure I have the concepts right. *Nausea*

This time around I am writing an essay on the the comparison of realism and the fantastic on the development of child protagonists in Swallows and Amazons, Tom’s Midnight Garden, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If I never write the word Bildungsroman again, it’ll be too soon! Holy heck! I am tying myself up in knots working out themes and chronotypes, and throwing myself into a Bakhtin crash course to fully understand (well, understand more than I do now) the concept of chronotope as it relates to the books. I so wish I had done the level 2 literature course before embarking on this course. It might have helped me at times like this. I suppose that’s what excitement and impatience gets me! But hey ho, I’m still enjoying the course in some masochoistic way!

Anyway. Back to the grind.

Lost in a forest, yeah! January 26, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Children's Literature, EA300, OU, Procrastinating, The Principessa Files, TMA04.
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Sigh. It’s been one of those days. I had all good intentions of studying today…

  1. But the tennis was on. Andy vs. Rafa. Had to watch it. That wasted two and a half hours… Actually, probably a little longer. It finished around 11.45am, so closer to three hours.
  2. The lure of the internet. It called to me. “OOhh,” (because it’s like a ghost in my head) “come online. You know you want to, I’m as addictive as chocolate. I have binging emails, and no, it’s not all junk mail.’ (Yeah, right!) ‘I have Facebook.’ (So does my iPhone. Big whoopdedo!) ‘I have the OU library login. You can waste time looking for articles you don’t need.’ (Tempting; you gotta point there… ) ‘I have them there TV sites where you can watch them there TV shows before they’re aired over in the U of K!’ (Oh, go on then!)
  3. Princi comes home from school. It must be time to dance on the bed to Ravin’ Rabbids on the iPhone. Or time to take turns playing Doodle Jump. Or Bounce Down. Oh, maybe even have my set books read to me (that’s a novelty, but I love it when it happens). Ooh, I see, it’s time to argue about how you are taking too long to eat your dinner and why you can’t have chocolate cake for afters because it’s actually bedtime now. Oh, and here comes the “can’t have chocolate cake strop.” No, I won’t shout. I’ll keep calm. And quiet. And put Coraline on the iPod while I put some earphones in and watch Heroes on them there TV sites. And phew! You’re asleep.
  4. And now I shall blog while Survivors is on.

And so, tempus fugit. Fantabulous! I need someone to twist the key in my back to get me motivated again. (Or should that be motorvated?) So I will do two hours, maybe three, once Survivors is finished. After all, I want to survive through this course. I want to survive the endless forest of new vocabulary that I am lost in – although there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I didn’t get much studying done today, in the few moments I did pick a book up I came to the realisation that I am slowly, but surely, understanding things. I know this because I re-read a critical essay that I first read at the the beginning of the course and cogs started clicking into place. I think I might even be starting to develop an answer towards the end of course assessment (ECA). This makes me muchos, muchos happy.

Let’s see if I can put my late night study plan into action.

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.

Foxed. April 29, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in TMA04.
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70%. Well, no chance of a distinction for me now, is there. 70 foxing percent. What is the point of working so hard? Never again. Never again.

I am so angry, I can’t even think straight. If I bother continuing with the course it means a radical rethink for the ECA and I can’t be arsed. That mark has just fired holes through my confidence. And yes, I know I’ll have the ‘But 70% is a good mark’ quote, but it’s not good enough for me! Frigging perfectionist! And 70% is far from perfect. I’m not saying I wanted 100%, but I needed 90%. Stick pins in my eyes. No, really. It’d be less painful than this. Grarararararar!