Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Month: April 2005

The Plan

Pricey on formLast night the Chaplain took a few of us lawyers to Formal Hall (he takes the whole first year in small groups over the year). The food was pretty under par but hey, it was free. More importantly, since it was second year lawyer Ally’s birthday, she had a large contingent at Formal and everyone headed over to the bar afterwards. Despite having a healthy distaste for the often overcrowded bar, it was a really fun night, especially as I knew the full backstory to a lot of the typically convoluted student consanguinuities. The Tribe turned up later, as drunken and rowdy as ever, with a few individuals managing to cause some particularly amusing friction. I’d actually forgotten how easily I can slide in amongst the second years and some of them know me a lot better than I realised when they started introducing me to other people. It’s been particularly nice getting know Irina (Ravi’s college dad’s girlfriend) this term, given that I’ve barely spoken to her before but we get on really well – though I think it would be remarkably difficult not to get on with her. She is without a doubt the sweetest Ukrainian boatie I know.

Ravi & the birthday girlAnd later it dawned on me that actually they’re my year. I was supposed to have been here a year already. That was the plan. My plan. I wonder how differently things would have run if it had gone my way, sans gap year. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed myself both working and in the States, but things here would be very different. Work has been really hard to settle into again and is only starting to come together now. And I would never have met some people here, which is a strange thought. I wonder which of the second years would have been my crowd. I can sort of guess, but it’s strange to think just how close we might have been under different circumstances and how certain other things may never have happened. What makes it weird is that this isn’t a random hypothetical, this was my plan that got derailed, or least postponed.

In other news, I’ve published the Marriage Formal photos from last term through The Griffin Online. I was official photographer for the night which is why there are so many. Since I didn’t post regarding it, at least you can look over the photos and see for yourself. The ones of my darling wife Charlotte and me are about halfway down (and to quell your curiosity, no we’re not going out; she was actually dating Lewis, a second year whom I met here about two and a half years ago on an open day before either of us had places!). I’m not really keen in going into detail about the night but suffice to say that, in keeping with tradition, it was fairly eventful.

And for Star Wars fans itching for something to do till May, I’ve just come across Darth Vader’s blog, The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster. Be sure to read through the comments which are often as funny as the content itself.

Stresscam #01

Stresscam 2005:04:22I am swift to point out that the following idea was inspired by Radeel since I’m already in her bad books regarding a certain photograph that mysteriously found its way into The Griffin Online. She’s currently teaching me how to grovel successfully.

So the idea was that since this exam term is highly stressful for everyone here, to the point where one lawyer last year is rumoured to have had his hair turn white, a StressCam is in order so that you can keep tabs on me. It’s quite simple: the StressCam will periodically display an image of my hair so that you, the vigilant viewers, may search for those telltale white hairs that will precede my inevitable psychotic break.

In other news I also feel it my civic duty to issue to a public warning to anyone named David. Having decided that her phonebook contained too many “Dave” entries, Catherine has decreed an impending Dave Cull. Consider yourselves warned.

Honey, I’m…Here

It’s great to be back here. Well, it’s weird to be back here. In all honesty, it feels like I never left, which is both good and bad. The last four weeks were generally fairly empty, but I’m not entirely convinced the alternative is better. I managed to forget my posters, so this room’s looking pretty bare at the moment. Any (appropriate) donations would be gratiously accepted, of course.

Having had about two and a half hours sleep last night, getting to bed at 6am after packing, I’m fairly exhausted and not in the most verbose of moods. However, I did see The Edukators tonight (full film reviews may start appearing once more, time permitting) which was great anti-capitalist fun, while casting an interesting light on the nature of rebellion. Managing to avoid being preachy, it was an interesting ride and it’s true: some people never change.

Colonize is Microsoft’s new X-Box related viral marketing campaign, this one designed to drip feed info on the upcoming next gen console. The more reliable rumours currently tout the official name of the successor as X-Box 360. May 12th is when the official unveiling will happen (on MTV, of all places) followed by a “proper” press release at the E3 convention the following week.

ColonySo in the meantime, I decide to check out this new campaign. It’s seems very much in the style of 4orty 2wo Entertainment, who ran the superb Halo 2 pre-launch advertising campaign (ARGN claim to have confimed they are not behind Our Colony). Our Colony is, as of yet, nowhere near as good as the phenomenal I Love Bees project, but we shall see. The site features a countdown timer which will hit zero at 1:30am on the 13th May (GMT). This appears to be coinciding with the MTV console unveiling (which airs worldwide on the 13th). If you feel like getting involved, wander over to the site and once you discover how to enter, use the password 96292816 to join the ARGolonists, the team of which I am a member. Challenges pop up intermittently, but some of the functionality, such as the forum and photo submissions, has been removed as (I presume) servers were getting stressed. It being Microsoft-run, you may need an IE-based browser to view some bits of the site. I would suggest Avant Browser which, like Firefox, features tabbed browsing and mouse gestures.

Further info is also available at Gamem8ker’s blog, which is as cryptic as the main colony site. So, if you’ve got some time to kill, I’ll see you on the inside…

Meanwhile, as recently featured on the Downing JCR forum:

Who should I vote for?
Your expected outcome:Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -11
Conservative -4
Liberal Democrat 28
UK Independence Party 17
Green 26

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Work, Unrest and Play

It makes a twisted sort of sense that the most useful work, and finally getting into a decent work pattern, would happen on the last day of the holidays (yes it’s Thursday, but most of Friday will be spent packing so we can leave early on Saturday morning). I only hope I can keep up that mixture of focused work interspersed with a drop of computer gaming to keep me sane (read: shooting things with big guns as stress relief). That, however, remains to be seen.

So another holiday over. This one has been fairly nondescript. Recovering from term with average amounts of sleep although not as much as I’d hoped, getting some work done although not as much as I’d hoped, and catching up with friends although not as much as I’d hoped. Can you see a trend emerging here?

NIN With_Teeth @ The AstoriaThere were some very definite high points though. Rampaging through the whole of Halo 2 on “Heroic” in an afternoon with Tom, catching up with Ally at Walkabout and bumping into some of guys I used to work with last year, and of course seeing Nine Inch Nails live at the Astoria (courtesy of Shreena) was fantastic. Trent and the new band were on top form. The new line-up produce a terrifically powerful sound, and I love the inclusion of Jeordie White – this being my second gig in a row he’s been at (A Perfect Circle in New Orleans being the previous one). I would have loved to hear more of the forthcoming With_Teeth album (out May 3rd), especially given the name of the gig, but nevertheless they produced a varied and balanced set that covered all the previous albums. Support band 2-piece The Dresdon Dolls were a unique experience with a very theatrical performance (Brechtian punk cabaret, allegedly). Most notable was their drummer who both appears and plays as one would a expect from a mime artist who had been told he could not speak but may express himself however he wished through a drumkit that he plays with as much as plays.

On the dowside I only managed to attend one curry night; a dismal performance, I know. The one time meant I managed to see Andie after ages which is good, although she is soon to be moving away which is less good. And apologies to the guys for not making it this evening either as I was halfway through the second essay of the day. Yes, I’m that keen.

Lyds and Impending Doom

Lyds came by to visit today. While discussing Tom’s and my mutual love for spending far too long playing videogames, she mentioned that she’d always quite enjoyed a spot of Doom in her youth. Having discovered this veiled secret from her past, I offered to reacquaint her with the family through his darker and somewhat more vicious younger sibling, Doom³. Which reminded me that I haven’t played nearly enough of that game myself, and prompted me to reinstall it the moment she left (as I type, in fact). Clearly the discussion brought out her inner demon (witness the transformation for yourself below) and she then proceeded to pick a film to watch that was about…videogames (eXistenZ). Hmm, maybe that girl is growing up…

Lyds gets in touch with her inner demon

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to a space station on Mars to battle the forces of hell. Hey, they’re demons; you’re allowed to blow them away with a shotgun. It’s good for the soul.

Yes. A Tornado Hit. That’s Exactly What Happened.

The crash siteThose of you who’ve been to our house or seen my room at uni know that I generally like to keep things tidy. I’m no neat-freak (with the possible exception of my alphabetised DVD collection – really it’s laziness because I hate searching through a hundred and twenty of the damn things to find what I’m after), but I like things to be conveniently accessible and generally easy to get around. So it may come as a surprise to find that my room here has become something of a tip. Law books, pens, rewritable DVDs, tissues, file dividers and airtight tea containers are strewn amidst a pile of boxes that could easily serve as a short-to-midterm housing construct for a small* family of Somalian refugees.

4 weeks = 2,419,200 secsI guess what it comes down to is that I can’t find the energy to clear all this stuff up with the knowledge that just four weeks later it needs to be packed up once again and carted back to uni where I’ll be living for the next three months. That and the fact that half my life now runs through this laptop and so long as I can hook this up and jack in, pretty much anywhere could feel like home (ah, the wonders of having a beautifully personalised desktop; it’s like your own room, but in a conveniently portable carry-size box). Sure, I kinda miss the spaciousness of this room that let me stretch out and destress (metaphorically if not literally), but maybe I’ll tidy up for the summer, eh?

*small refers to family sizes by UK standards and as such may differ from the Somalian popular interpretation. alternatively, the author notes, small could refer to the physical dimensions of the persons in question as it is feasible that a family of Somalian midgets would indeed fit more comfortably.


Having been involved in the mutual slaughter of a perfectly innocent conversation, I found myself with a fair bit of time to spend fiddling with the site. According to my chat log, the deathly silence that fell after a cataclysmically impressive conversation killer lasted a full two and three quarter hours before a swift exchange of goodnights wrapped things up. The time in between, however, was fairly productive…

Turned out the site still had some tinkering left over from the server migration in Februaray. Some largely cosmetic changes have been made to the entry page, just streamlining it a little. A new feature has been added in the way of a random text link at the bottom of that page. There will be a handful of them at any given time, and they will be updated regularly as I discover new online curiosities, so do take a look at them if you’re a little bored or desperately avoiding work.

Amongst other things the guestbook had been knocked out because it used a CGI script and the cgi-bins were taken offline. So a brand new and rather pretty PHP guestbook has now taken its place. Having removed all the test posts, it’s empty as of this moment so I would much appreciate it if you all (yes, even you) post a quick note at some point over the next couple of days to make it look respectable again. Sorry to those whose previous posts have been lost, and if you haven’t posted before then now’s your chance!

And now, since my insomnia’s been improving by shuffles and crawls, to bed at the sprightly hour of 3am.

Better Slate Than Kevlar

The Griffin Online - Issue #1A quick note to say that, despite the fact it’s been mysteriously quiet around here, the site is not dead. In fact, it’ll be alive and kicking as soon as something happens here. Amidst setting up the brand new Griffin Online website in my new capacity as online editor, everything else took a backseat, and rather more firmly than I’d envisioned. The first ever online edition was the Lent 2005 issue, and you can see Lakshmi’s fantastic cover artwork to the right. At any rate, keep your eyes peeled for new insightful (or perhaps “incite-ful”?) commentary, and plenty more of the usual shenanigans as I head back to uni in a week.

Chances are that I will not be recapping the end of last term because, frankly, it included various events that I really don’t want to think about. So yes, it included the Downing Ball and even my own (college) wedding, but I’m afraid you’ll have to use your imagination, although some photos may surface at a later date.

Finally, if anyone’s wondering what actually kickstarted this site back into action again, it was an email from Dave Marley in the States. So hi Dave: here’s your name in lights until I get out there and we can wreak some site-worthy havoc together again! In the meantime I hope the site will keep you adequately entertained as you recover.

"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2023 Priyan Meewella

Up ↑