Sunday, 30 December 2007

a view from the afternoon

to write something like "this is what all the older pubs look like from the outside" would be a broad, sweeping statement that isn't really entirely accurate. but I feel like I've been inside the Swansea Jack even though I've only passed it.

Usually on the way to here:
this is Swansea beach, which basically
stretches the length of the city, as is wont
to happen in "cities by the sea." I don't know why that's in quotes. I do like having a beach
within about a five minute walk from my room and plan on taking greater advantage of it in the coming year. hopefully in spring going there to study will be not ridiculous, with wind and sand all over notes, books and trousers. I only tried that once.

I often wish I'd spent my high school years a little less nervous about consequences and a little more like the person who instead of just joking about this sort of thing, actually did it:

The walls are blankwashed over now, but won't be for long.
not pictured, but I found equally amusing (mainly for it's grammatical qualities) "Rhodri Morgan eats horse shit whilst molesting turkeys." Also, as with any good library bathroom, you can learn all sorts of things about the sexual proclivities of Welsh girls. There's quite a heady debate regarding whether they prefer the company of English gentlemen or their Welsh counterparts. Both sides produce convincing arguments.

If you get tired of pubs like the one pictured at the top of this post but don't want to go to a chain nightclub, and you live in Swansea, you will probably at least once find yourself here:This is where I witnessed a very tall, curly-locked man in a football jersey standing in the middle of the room playing air guitar and headbanging the entire eight minutes duration of "Master of Puppets."
"word, dude."

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

put you in a picture, show you what I mean

the thing about taking pictures these days is that people are accustomed to digital cameras and being able to instantly flip through and delete, save or adjust, find them on facebook later that night. which is why most of the pictures I've taken recently have been of or at historic sights, beaches, especially bright afternoons or painfully rainy nights. I've a wry suspicon that at the end of my stay at uni, most of the pics I'll have will have a lot more to do with the exceptions than the rules. Because you take out a disposable camera and people get awkward, knowing they won't have the immediate-delete option. Or you can wait til they've knocked a couple back and will pose immediately. . . but then drinking isn't something I want to overreperesent, Lord knows it don't need the help.

which is why my roll of film from scotland is a bit disappointing; not enough people. after a while, pictures of buildings are just pictures of buildings.

when I wrangle campus computers into submission, I'll get a few of those up here

<--- this is the view from my room, mid morning, circa late november. it's a good view, with or without the beer can, and more and more I'm feeling like when you have a good view, it may actually be better not to share it. at least with a bed as small as mine is these days.

Friday, 7 December 2007

secret blog's adventures in travel, cold, callous reasoning

Just back from Scotland. Blogging comes before shaving or washing, apparently. Toothpastefordinner have a comic about that somewhere, or not because it's too obvious.

I had a good time in Glasgow/Edinburgh with Chelsea. I was feeling pretty under the weather for most of it with sneezing and the headaches that come from needing to sneeze but not allowing yourself. That, I fear, made me less awesome at being a guest/rekindling old acquaintanceships.
Nonetheless, I'm glad I went. I'm actually really glad to be in my room now, with no set comitted plans for the rest of the weekend.

my room. it's currently a lot of papers and wrapping and suitcase. Checking the mail has been futile for the last month, but the week I was gone I hit a jackpot.


In Port Talbot, there are lots of industrial parks. Granted, trains always run through that part of town, and I've never been to Port Talbot but I've been by it a few times, as it lies between Cardiff and Swansea on pretty much any line you take.
There's a couple factories in particular that tend to strike me hard, especially in the dark. I'm used to smokestacks, I'm used to solid, opaque black smoke bunching up over buildings and I'm getting used to seeing it float over sheep pastures. Still not used to smokestacks shooting out bolts of yellow flame at all times. Against the night sky it's sharp and bright and makes the factory look like something from hell. Same goes for the stack with blue smoke.
Next to these factories there's something (I'm assuming gas/energy building) with all the pipes and round lights. . . it doesn't look like something from a horror/sci fi movie because I've seen a lot of those, a lot of movies like that have been made because of buildings like this.
Sights like that do a lot more for my pessimism re: the state of the world than any war-casualty reports. After all, the factories are new.

I'm already starting to feel torn in social priorities. I talked with Anne, my mother's friend and my adopted auntie as she drove me to Cardiff Central to ride up to Glasgow. How Tuesday is both the Gerald House (my "real" friends, for the sake of afterschool special) Christmas Party and the Framework Social (a open-to-public gathering for creative types in Swansea to meet and mingle-- i.e.: the "cool/fake" friends our hero cruelly betrays his "real" friends for only to realize What Really Matters in the End). . . cough, cough.

Yeah, I'm going to the Social. Time's gone on and I've found that very few people who'd play the "real friends" card care as much about you as they think they do.

It's not as cynical as it sounds, or it's more so; I'm here for a year and I want to do a lot. I need to meet fellow creative types who also want to do a lot. Very often this is not people in school. I think this is an Ecclesiastes thing; everything in it's time.

I'm here for a year and I gotta know about this stuff for a reason.