Thoughts...onscreen

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Every piece of information in existence is at your fingertips, and it keeps getting in the way, meaning you can never find what you want...which is the purpose of computers.

Articulating a need to be satisfied, rather than stipulating text to be found, is a step search engines or anything peripheral to internet content should take in the near future. Preferably by Monday, as it is unlikely that I will be doing much web-work this weekend.

Thank You
Yours,
Stuart 'Fecking Internet' User;
-having spent almost all day trying to find out if individual courses qualify for postgraduate funding from the engimatic Research Councils, also attempting to find a job, attempting to put together an application to teach in Japan very quickly, (something the internet is meant to be good for), and generally trying to find something interesting to do with his life, and failing.

RA
Announcement of new blog for rants and appreciation
Onscreenmind opens today. Link to be found on the left. Also here:

Delve into my Onscreenmind

The Sun Is Shining...

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Good Afternoon
or
Good Morning
...or a good whatever time of day it is for you, wherever you are...wherever that is.

The thing about intense bursts of enthusiasm and lust for life is that more often than not you need a lie-in the day afterwards.
It's a bit of a blow to your idealism/enthusiasm combination when you awake in bed, bleary-eyed at 11am, when you had hoped to leap out of bed athletically at 7am, ready to take on the world in a hundred new and exciting ways and win at all of them.

So, my new campaign is to be realistically enthusiastic and lusty-for-life, despite reality.
- i.e. I will accept that I am :
a) periodically lazy, and I should not deny this fact to myself by attempting to set my alarm for 7am every day
b) hopelessly enthused by imaginary ideals, and I should take advantage of this to put in a day's hard work whenever I can.

Now I can say both: "YES I am enthusiastic, and I AM doing something about my life, but like, not today, man,", and "YES I am enthusiastic, let's really get to grips with this problem, and not sleep for three days! Yeah!".

...The Weather Is Fecking Freezin' (Yeah)
It's bloody icy. I have now accepted that it is Winter, or a talented enough Autumn to be doing such a good impression that you can't tell the difference.
This brings home the fact I've been out of university since early Summer, which is another mental firecracker-up-the-arse in the 'Get A Life' stakes.

...Makes Me Wanna Move...
So yes, I have set the aim, and I feel I will be slightly more motivated if I make the aim public, of having sorted myself out by January 31st.
This means: To be doing something/have a direction/have set plans by January 31st at the latest.

Yesterday I spent about three hours in the Careers Library, and as well as checking out working abroad, avenues of engineering and media I hadn't considered, I looked at a Postgraduate Prospectus for the first time.
Even taking into account the hopeless-enthusiasm-for-imaginary-ideals factor, I was interested by some of the courses available.
Who knows?

...My Dancing Feet...
The RAG Traffic Light Disco was great fun. Good for the soul, and, if I'm honest, good for the ego, too.
Ben and I mucked about with inflatable electric guitars on stage a lot last year, and, as you'd expect, there were more than a few negative reactions from the crowd, mostly in the form of shaking slightly opened fists in a vertical oscillatory manner. Hey, there's always a few.
On Saturday, it was bizarre. It was if...and I type hesitantly, cos it feels wrong...they'd missed us.
During our inflatable-guitar classic, Wheatus' 'Little Respect', most of the front row had their hands aloft waving imaginary lighters, and one guy held is hand out to me in a 'jingly guitar fingers' gesture that I believe is more commonly found at the better class of Eric Clapton gig, and danced off screaming (in a good way) when I jingled his fingers in return.
It was such a good reaction that it felt totally and utterly bizarre, but only afterwards, when we'd calmed down enough to notice.

Dave was amazing. The live 'Faking It' that we had created (Dave had never DJ'd anything before in his life) went without hitch, with many a quality tune rolling out from the Funkmeister to rapturous cheers.
I think he enjoyed himself.

The Old Alma Mater

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I'm sitting in the RAG office, listening to people generally venting their 21st century angst...
As you do.
I've stayed very kindly in the flat I would-have-been-living-in, as well as with Cath in Leamington, and the weekend generally has gone really well.
It's nice to see all these people again, seeing as my current social sphere at the moment exists of about three people, but I think Warwick is currently a case of 'Been there, got numerous t-shirts' (mostly from RAG hitches).

I'm off home again, picking up my entire CD collection from Dave en route, and tomorrow I'll wake up in my bed in Ventnor, recently compared to 'a pile on the arse of the country' which I think might be going a little too far, but ain't far off.

Being here has given me a new surge of determination...to do, to go, to see.
I'm off.

Interview Time Is Here Again

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(To Be Sung To The Tune Of 'Happy Days Are Here Again')

My BNFL interview is tomorrow at 1:30, at The Thistle, Euston.
I have yet to find exactly where this is.

It will be based on a 'Graduate Behavioural Competency Toolkit'.
I have yet to discover to any kind of satisfactory level exactly what this means.

I will be being interviewed to see my suitability to work for British Nuclear Fuels Limited, a company you will no doubt have noticed, is responsible for large amounts of dangerous materials, dangerous enough to wipe out the UK's population within a year if someone accidentally leaves a door or window open...that sort of thing...

I think I'll do well, don't you?

Stuff
Reading: (deep breath) Douglas Adams: The Restaurant At The End of The Universe, Ernest Hemingway: To Have And Have Not, Hancock: Some Scripts, 'How To Write For Radio', and my own drafts, periodically.
Listening: Lemon Jelly still, cos it's ace (are ALL Lemon Jelly albums this good, or is it just the new one?), Moby 18 (just this minute borrowed from the library), and Feeder: Comfort in Sound.
Watching: Not much really.

Congratulations
Little did I realise when I woke up this morning that today would be the day that it was confirmed that I am in fact going out with a genius...Alice called at about 10 and told me she recieved confirmation in the post this morning that she was being awarded A DISTINCTION for her Masters (in European Industrial Relations).
Cor.

A round of applause, please!

...and after the break...
Myself, DJ Ben Ben Benny Ben Ben and Funkmaster Dave will be returning to Warwick Students' Union for one night only!

Yes, that's right, this Saturday night, not only will you be invited to dress according to your sexual availability with the theme of the Traffic Light Disco being 'Lust', but you will also be treated to the aural equivalent of a multiple orgasm as Ben and Stu return, dragging Funkmaster Dave in by the ears for what will no doubt be a sensational debut.

Don't Miss It.

Generalised Over Enthusiasm

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I've solved the problem of lack of exercise. Yesterday, and the day before, I went for 45 minutes' jog along (and back, and along again) the sea wall at Ventnor, which had pros (some of the only flat land in Ventnor, and it's nearby) and cons (it's a sea wall, in November...I got broadsided by a wave at one point when I was getting too out of breath to dodge any more) but mostly made me feel freakishly energetic for the last few days, which makes a change.
This morning I decided to leave running about until this evening, as I have stuff to do, and well, my legs feel as though they have their own attendant bruise-inflictors attached to either one. Regardless of whether this is still the case this evening, I'm a goin' out...

Writing Stuff - Sorry
I've started a couple of other projects, writing-wise, dropping the over-ambitious radio production idea for the moment, and now it would appear that I am writing against the clock.

I don't know how long I will have this much freedom to write, in terms of impending employment, impending buggering-off-somewhere-else -ness, so generally I am writing for a few hours on one project, making a cup of tea, and then, for a startlingly refreshing change, I sit down and do a few hours on a different project. It's mullering my brain as the day progresses, but by about 6 o'clock in the evening, I have loads of energy and feel fantastic about the fact that I've made headway and generally start dancing madly to whatever happens to be on the stereo.
As you do.

So, coming the raw prawn, these are the projects 'in hand' as it were:

Project One: The big one as it stands at the moment. Nuzzling gently against the 50,000 word barrier, jumping up and down with additions and rather ruthless pruning of sections. Purely an exercise, still, but doing wonders for general writing discipline, lucidity and my own opinion of what I can do, it's a building-it-up-from-the-roots travel thingy, based on my journal from my gap year and my double Inter-rail ticket jaunt around Europe and Morocco. No intent to do anything other than work on it.

Project Two: Erm, hee. Something I suddenly thought that I could do quite quickly and easily (oh, the shame of over-confidence) yesterday. I have a lot of material written throughout university on students, student life and the mixture of hedonism, work and stereotypical student-ness that goes along with those three/four/five/eighty-three (delete as appropriate) years. It ain't a remeniscing trip, but a 'What You Wanted To Know But Thought No-One Would Tell You' thing. Originally titled 'University' at the moment, but hey, it's only 24 hours old. About 8000 words done, incorporating unedited material already written and a few introductory bits written yesterday - a particular favourite bit is 'Choosing Your University With a Ouijja Board And A Hamster In A Ball' and a brief bit of advice on what to do when you end up at Skndjaplpol, Sweden.

Project Three : Trying to get a fecking short story published in any magazine that'll have me. Currently have five stories in various places all over the country. Getting a bit soul-destroying now, as each application and eventual result takes about two months, but every rejection takes me a bit closer to an acceptance. I currently have three...not sure how many is good.

Raaaaaa!
Gonna stop now.
Looking forward to drinks with Davey-boy on Friday and seeing Alice at the weekend.

Boi boi fer now.

Cheerfully Typing Monkey

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I'm feeling outstandingly good. This goes against all sense and sensibility, as I get minimal exercise beyond walking around a lot, and minimal social contact, beyond MSN/Trillian and the comments on this blog. I also have no money. I didn't originally want to include this, but seeing as people will start to suspect an unannounced lottery win if I don't, I thought I'd clear it up.

I suppose it could be a combination of the other two things I should take into consideration...
1) Alice
2) I am spending almost every waking hour (apart from eating, drinking, sleeping and applying for 'proper' jobs) doing something I love.*

I've done something that most of you will probably regard as a little unhinged. Remember the chunky word total I had before?
I've started again.

To get it right, you know...
This time I'm writing as I go along, using the other as a guide, and now I have additional notes, and a couple of tapes from the other day...you don't want to know this. Sorry. Anyway, I'm enjoying it immensely, which is the important thing, I suppose.

The weekend just gone was a wonderful couple of days. I stayed with Alice in Winchester, and we chilled out in a variety of drinking establishments on Friday night, went round Winch the next day, then had a meal in a great Chinese restaurant on Saturday night.
Now, I can get a little testy going out for meals, as I like things to be as near perfect as possible in those kind of conditions. So, as you could imagine, I don't like getting automatically directed to the table sandwiched between the corridor to the toilet and the door to the kitchens...I also feel slightly stupid sat in a restaurant with an empty table.
Don't know why.
Must be one of those things.
Anyway, I was suitably calmed by the arrival of the wine, and when the food arrived all was well.
I had a wonderful time.

Other Things
Listening:
Lemon Jelly: Lost Horizons (arrived in the post this morning, and is most pleasing to the ear)
Reading:
Ernest Hemingway: To Have and Have Not (a chance find in a charity shop in Winchester over the weekend)
Writing:
My arse off, mostly. Have also started having ideas for 'The Sitcom' and may snoop around and bid to take on the production of a certain bestselling author's material for radio. You know. As you do.

*Not Alice - you have dirty minds, the lot of you

Web Of Lies And Deceit

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Yesterday's blog headline was a lie.

I couldn't help it. It was only a couple of hundred words.

Oh, that and the fact that I took a dictaphone out with me today for mobile thought recordings.
What is happening to me?

Oh dear.

Newsflash

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*** ! ! ! NEWSFLASH ! ! ! ***

- - - THURSDAY THE 7TH OF NOVEMBER - - -

- - - DESIGNATED 'NO WRITING DAY' BY PERSON - - -

- - - LIVING ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT - - -

- - - MORE FOLLOWS - - -

The Project, or 'It' as the file on my computer is called, has progressed well. For 'progressed well' read 'I have mashed my hands to bits and my brain as well in the process of getting where I am today, but still kind of enjoyed it'.

The size of the beast, or rather the number of ( words in) the beast stands at a staggering-even-to-me 27, 494, as of about an hour ago when I called it a day.

My little finger feels as though it has been burned from the inside, poor thing, from all the 'shift' and 'ctrl' action on the right hand side of the keyboard.

Hence tomorrow, the 7th of November, being designated a 'no writing' day.

While on the scale of things at the moment, I have not finished typing from the original notes, and a tripling of length to include the desired detail; the descriptions of the scenes and the people, along with a bit of background info to give it a touch more depth, does not seem too far out of the bounds of possibility.

Three times 30,000 words is 90,000 words. Not too far off, as a couple of people have pointed out already, the length of your average insert B-WORD here. Now, I have not set out to write a insert B-WORD here, and this is, despite the length of it, just an exercise, and will remain so as long as I work on it. Writing something that feels and reads as real can only be the result of really, truly knowing how to get across something that is real, at least in my mind to begin with. That's why I'm doing this.
Really.

The Rest of My Rapidly Waning Life

- Interview Shock -
Checking my email on Tuesday I discovered that I had an interview. It was an interview arising from an application to British Nuclear Fuels Limited that I had more or less written off, from way back in early July, pre-graduation.

After a couple of months convincing people that they want to take me on to manage and develop their internet and television advertising, I now have to pull off the switch to convincing someone that they really want to let me decomission one of their old nuclear power stations.

Life, as I have said many times before and hope I will again, is a strange and beautiful thing.

Other Stuff
Alice and I had a great weekend, chilling out, walking by the sea in the wind, eating pub lunches and Doritos.

Listening to: Frou Frou : Details (yes, STILL - it's quality), and Groove Armada: Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)

Reading: Alexander Solzenitsyn: 'One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich', Bill Bryson: 'Neither Here Nor There'

Playing: Sid Meieieieieieieeier's 'Alpha Centauri'. ( I started an epic game - huge map, second-to-most difficult level the other day, and haven't even got very far now...mind you, I HAVE been writing a fair bit...)

Take care, people. Live big.

Headway

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Another batch of applications wing their way over the electronic ether.
This is getting a bit tiresome now, jobhunting and all.

Writing
I am about 15,000 words into a new project. It's the longest thing I've done so far, it's mullering my brain but I'm putting in some serious time on this beast. I don't know how long I've got before I start 'proper' work, and that's not meant to mean I'm dragging my feet in the jobsearch, either.

Anyway, 15,000 words down, and a fair amount more to go.
I don't know how many, but we're looking at a very, very long short story here...

Alice
Alice is coming this evening, and I'm looking forward to the weekend with a vengeance!

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