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John the shady indie denier

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Fame at last! [Dec. 29th, 2006|03:32 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[music |Emily - Joanna Newsom]

From the Cambrian Printers Christmas Newsletter... Ho hum.

John in newsletter
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Right then... [Dec. 26th, 2006|11:42 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[music |Patience - Take That]

Last.fm makes me realise that my music taste isn't nearly as cool as.... err... as I thought? Shit.

Laugh at John
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They're asking questions door to door [Dec. 26th, 2006|11:42 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[Current Location |CV5 7GU]
[mood |contentcontent]
[music |Gift Horse - Black Box Recorder]

Despite only just having graduated, I am already feeling nostalgic about my time at uni. Partly to fire this nostalgia, and partly to slap myself around a bit and say 'what the hell are you talking about? you were bluddy miserable', i had a quick read through my livejournal. And lo! It was embarrassing reading, but... nice. The ultimate act of narcissism, but I quite enjoyed reading it. Its astonishing how much of my recent past I forget, and it brings to the fore all kinds of questions about the nature of 'personhood' and continuity... all of which is a roundabout way of saying that I should write in my livejournal more. There we go.

So, I am four months into my job. An estimator for a local print company. People who I speak to seem to see it as a stop-gap job, which I suppose in some respects it is - I can't see us living in Aberystwyth forever (who knows) - but actually I'm quite enjoying it... its a nice company, I get on quite well with colleagues, and the print industry feels a little bit like i'm working in a creative industry, y'know? Just a little. Its nice. At the same time, the work can sometimes be a little mind-numbing, and however much I paint it up, it is basically 'just' an office job... I go in at 9, turn on the computer, and then turn it off again at 5. The jury is still out, basically, watch this space.

I am secretly looking out for adverts for posts in the National Assembly. That feels like a cliché too though - and I might be leaving a good thing for something that only sounds good. Priorities, John!

My M.A. has started - that is to say, the first OU module which might, one day, count towards an M.A. has started. It is difficult, but really really enjoyable. I've only been studying for 2 months and the course content has already forced me to take another look at some of my attitudes towards environmental ethics. As I hoped, it slots in nicely with my 'day job', and whilst I don't have an awful lot of free time, free time never got on all that well with my mental health in any case. There is a downside, and that is the essays - the assessed work - as I should have learnt during my undergrad, deadlines don't agree with me, and I think I've probably embarrassed myself in the first essay. Hopefully a bit of planning in advance and all that stuff will help for essay number two... but frankly, will that happen? Like hell it will.

I'm at my parents' new home in Coventry. Its quite pleasant.

Christmas was uneventful this year. Just how I like them.

Back to work on the 2nd.

I'll update more. Yes. Yes I will.
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Summer and such [Jul. 19th, 2006|04:09 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[Current Location |SY23 1HE]
[mood |happyhappy]

Well, two full days of temperatures floating around the 90 degree mark has given plenty of opportunity to take advantage of Aberystwyth's two (oh yes!) Blue Flag beaches. Yesterday the sand was too hot to stand on barefoot and today I dug out my swimshorts and had a swim in the sea, which is something I didn't think I'd ever do off a British coast (not least because I'm used to the sea looking slightly slimy looking and grey - I was most impressed to still be able to see my feet when I was stood waist deep today, I can tell you!). Now I have a taste for it (yes, salty - har har) I might do it some more... or else I might just take advantage of the Leisure Centre 100 metres down the road. I'm sure once the 'heatwave' passes the sea will seem like a less attractive option, and I remain a wimp, despite today's showing. Ahem.

Meanwhile, I've finally got around to signing up to an employment agency in Aber, so I suspect I'll be in employment of some description sooner or later. There are a couple of bank jobs and things going so we'll see what becomes of that. The three months until my first OU course material is sent out seems to be dragging a little!
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Well, there's that over and done with then. [Jul. 7th, 2006|06:42 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[Current Location |SY23 1HE]
[music |Vashti Bunyan - Swallow Song]

Apologies, I'm sure none of you want that terrifying image on your friends page...

And yes, I do seem to be walking on water.
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(no subject) [Jul. 7th, 2006|10:24 am]
John the shady indie denier
I graduate today.

My parents are picking me up in an hour.

I think I have Marmite in my ear.

That is all.
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Unexpected variables [Jun. 13th, 2006|01:32 am]
John the shady indie denier
[Current Location |LE2 5AB]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Gwylio Sêr y Nos - Elin Fflur]

Well, I've just accepted the offer of a place on my Masters course - so whatever else may happen during the next few months, this is a certain - I start in November. I'm actually really looking forward to reading a different subject, and studying in a completely different way, but I'm sure this nice long break from studying will do me good too - I really feel like I need it after the vaguely disastrous end to my undergrad degree (still no word on the classification yet incidentally - though I'm sure you shall hear about it as soon as I do...)

Meanwhile, I've started applying for jobs. I suspect this period of job-seeking might last longer than I originally hoped. The first job I applied for, I was rejected on the strength of a single psychometric test. I'm not sure how it is possible for one to 'fail' a psychometric test, but it seems I succeeded in doing just that. I'm sure I didn't want to work for a building society anyway. Hmph. In any case the job that i 'really want' has its closing date this week, so we shall see... I'm not sure I rate my chances, but I'll maintain a positive attitude and keep plodding on with the search regardless.

There has been some positive job news in the family, however. My father, subject to confirmation and managing to worm his way out of his current church appointment, has been chosen to be the Free Church chaplain to a rather large and prestigious university in Central England, along with its even larger but somewhat less prestigious city-mate (any guesses?). Its fantastic news for him, its a role he'll really enjoy, but it means my links to Oadby, and indeed Leicestershire will be severed, at least on one level, in the next couple of months (at least, before the new academic year), which is an odd thought. Every time I return here I bump into someone who I went to school with, or arrange to see an old friend, and that will be made more difficult post-October 2006. There again, if I am working and studying in mid-Wales, I will have little time to return to England anyway, so perhaps I should stop worrying about it and move on. Its a great new direction for my parents, I'm sure they'll be really happy in the new city. It's far nicer than I would previously have expected, actually.

So there we are.
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Consummatum est [May. 30th, 2006|12:57 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[Current Location |SY23 1JU]
[mood |pensivepensive]
[music |Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Face Like Summer]

So, 40,000 words and an exam later - my degree is finished and done with.

I've handed some really appalling work in these past few weeks, so there is no longer any justification for me to moan about my degree classification when it is announced. Feel free to remind me when I start feeling sorry for myself.

On which note, I should perhaps take some time to reflect on 'what went wrong' with this degree. I worry that I perhaps found A-level stuff too easy and as such I never really formulated any mechanisms for organising myself. Throughout my whole 'academic career' I have been able to leave things until absolutely the last minute, but as workloads have gradually increased that has become more and more stressful. There is also the problem that having 'too much' to do acts to reduce not boost one's motivation to work on. Along with the absolute lack of routine that the university lifestyle brings... well, it has been a disastrous combination, and I think its fair to say that the university lifestyle does not suit me or my style of working at all. Ironically, seeing as my outlook is usually rather anti-authority, I do need a slightly more regimented way of life to be at my full productivity, I fear.

That said, I am pleased that I came back to university. I may have had routine when I was working a couple of years ago, but I felt like I was missing something when I wasn't studying. In a sense, perhaps, academia is a false security because it just 'puts off' that feeling of emptiness for another 'x' years, and I'm not really sure it goes any of the way to 'dealing' with it. I think this explains people who choose to be lifelong students, and I rather cynically suspect this is why many people stay on at university to do postgrad.

I think doing an Open University qualification 'works' for me on a number of these fronts. For a start, it will allow me the time to get a full-time job, so I'll have the routine that I miss from when I was working, and hopefully that will 'carry over' and I will have a 'slot' for doing uni work as part of said routine. It will mean I stay in education to some extent, and so don't feel like i'm aimlessly drifing, but it will allow me to build up interests and such outside of studying, so I won't have that same feeling of emptiness when I emerge bleary-eyed from academia at some point in the very distant future. Hopefully it will also allow me a change of career if and when that is necessary in the future. Perhaps it won't be, perhaps i'll find my niche in the meantime. Who knows!

I have started applying for jobs and tweaking my CV to match job specifications. I'm secretly a little concerned that my lack of fluency in the Welsh language might hold me back from some of the sorts of jobs I've been looking for, but I shall keep my fingers crossed and see what happens.

We move house on Friday. The packing will give me a chance to sort some of the crap that I've accumulated over this year, although to do that I will have to allow a little time to pack and not leave it all until the last minute and just end up piling everything into boxes. Unfortunately I suspect the latter is rather likely.

And finally... Gorky's Zygotic Mynci are no more as of this week. A sad time indeed. I have honoured their memory by listening to Gorky's songs non-stop since 9 this morning. This has made me happy.

That is all.
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Just an aside... [Apr. 13th, 2006|03:24 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[music |Cinerama - Tie Me Up]

The music of David Gedge is making me happy. In a world where everyone wants to give the impression that they are thinking high-minded thoughts, when they are secretly repressing every ounce of sexuality, Mr Gedge can still get away with lyrics like 'I cried your name and then I came'. I mean, bless him.

Unfortunately, wishing to immerse myself myself in music which centres on heterosexual sex does, I am told, make me a self-hating gay. Who'd have thought it hey?

I'm reminded of Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm - "I do hate myself, but it has nothing to do with being Jewish!"


Ahem. anyhow.

3 posts in a day. I really am ill.
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Right... [Apr. 13th, 2006|02:39 pm]
John the shady indie denier
[music |Yo La Tengo - Let's Be Still]

Ok, hmm... scrub that. I'm fine I'm just tired ;)
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