17 June 2007

New Blog

This blog is dead. Go to the new one...


24 May 2007

I know I said I wouldn't post anymore until after the exams, but the temptation really was too great and there have been certain developments since the last post.

The good news is that my body overcame the flu virus and I was in top-notch shape for my English literature and ICT exam. Both went fine (although I wrote twice as much as everyone else for the English paper, which is worrying me slightly...). For all those that commented, thanks for the good advice.

Torquer got us tickets to see Russell Howard and possible Rob Rouse (if he can be bothered to buy them) for £5 each.

I've also got a ten day break before my next exam (geography).

The bad news is that Liverpool lost the champions league final to AC Milan and I'm absolutely gutted. There'll be no parade around Liverpool this time around (which is a shame since the last one started right next to my house).

Hopefully, because Liverpool lost, I'll do well on my GCSEs. Karma works like that right?

Now I'm officially going on hiatus and I won't come back until after my exam are over (in three weeks), and this time I mean it. Honest. When I return there'll be some major changes to this blog.

21 May 2007

Just My Luck...

I swear I must be allergic to examinations.

Last year, I was struck down by chicken pox during my french mocks (thank god it wasn't the real thing. I would have been really screwed if it was). I complained about flu-like symptons on the day (which my friends mocked, calling me a pansy and other far worse derogatory terms), and woke up the next day with itchy red scabs all over my body.

My Dad, being the sensitive guy he is, told me to "stop making excuses to get off school" and to "take it like a man". I ended up bed-ridden for two weeks with chamomile lotion encrusted over my skin.

This year, during my mocks, I had spontaneous neumothorax. It's spontaneous because it randomly occurs (just my luck I know...) and it was bloody painful as well, so I was stuck in a dreary hospital for three days until the pain subsided.

And now, during the REAL GCSEs, I have been battling some sort of cold/flu virus that has infected me at the worst time ever. Two important exams tomorrow and I feel sick and my head is splitting.

My body is usually a fortress, so why must my immune system fail whenever I'm about to sit an exam? I can just imagine the conversation between my white blood cells: "Jingo's about to take an exam... T-CELLS, STAND DOWN. I REPEAT: T-CELLS STAND DOWN. LET ALL PATHOGENS THROUGH. I REPEAT: LET ALL PATHOGENS THROUGH... Let's see him take his exam now!" Or something along those lines...

I think God is conspiring against me.

Anyway, I've decided to put this blog on hiatus, mainly because I need to be focused for my exams and this is unfortunately a distraction. Also, the blog has degenerated somewhat since I'm lacking the will to write (something to do with impeding doom of exams).

Once my exams are over, I'll have time to properly improve this blog.

I'll be back in three weeks.

15 May 2007

A Revision Update

Forgive me for the lack of detail in my last post about citizenship - Had I the time and concentration, I would have properly ranted about this blended and diluted politics/history/media studies joke of a subject that citizenship is.

However, my time and concentration is somewhat divided at the moment since my GCSEs kick off in a few days time. A lot rides on the fact I do well - a cushy future, not feeling like shit during the holidays and a Nintendo Wii (maybe...) are all up for grabs.

In the next two weeks, I will be sitting my Citizenship, English Literature and ICT exams (in that order). Therefore, you may not hear from me any time soon. Citizenship and ICT are not a problem (I've already mentioned how easy the Cit. exam is, and I'm going into the ICT exam with a B grade - so shouldn't be too difficult), it's the English Lit. exam I'm worried about.

English Lit. is the toughest of the two English subjects (much harder than English language). It requires you to have memorised about 20 different poems, the entire "Of Mice and Men" novel, and is the most analytically challenging of the two. To put it bluntly, I am shitting one.

In a desperate attempt to intellectualise myself, I have decided to listen only to Classic FM (and the occasional Radio 4 comedy). I've also started praying - Not to any God in particular, I do it just to make myself feel better.

Hopefully I'll come out of this victorious. My next update will probably be during the half-term, when I've finished my first three exams.

In other news, I can't believe that weird looking girl won the Eurovision for Serbia. I really wanted that Dr. Evil look-a-like for France to win, or those drum-beating Hungarians (they had attitude!). Ireland, in true Father Ted fashion, came last which was pretty funny. I'm just glad England didn't end up with nil points.

And I watched "Scientology and Me" as well. How can anyone buy into that crap? It's not even a religion! I don't see why celebrities are so attracted to it, it doesn't seem to have any benefits whatsoever. You don't see people paying a hundred grand to read the next chapter of the Bible.

And finally, I'm looking forward to the Champions League Final. I can't wait until Liverpool kick AC Milan's arse, just like before!

That's it. I can't wait until these GCSEs are over.

11 May 2007


What does it take to be a good citizen? An A* in GCSE Citizenship that's what.

Last year, I was offered the chance to take this extra subject, which would increase my GCSE tally to 11 and give me a chance to add another shiny A* to my currently small collection (it'll be bolstered in a months time I hope).

Having "studied" (I use the term very loosely) the subject for a year, it's hard to take it seriously. The course mainly deals with human rights, diluted politics and current affairs; topics that can be learnt from simply watching the news. As long as I can still recognise Tony Blair, the exams shouldn't pose a problem.

Here is a sample question from one of the citizenship past papers:

You have found a caterpillar in a sandwich you have bought. Who do you complain to?

A. The government
B. The police
C. The supermarket

Apart from being ridiculously simple, citizenship is only a half course so if I should achieve an A* grade, it would only count for a C grade's worth of UCAS points (these precious points are needed to qualify for further education). So basically, citizenship is micky mouse.

And I've done fuck all in lessons. The teacher has been on leave since having a mental breakdown so I've just been sleeping and playing cards every lesson.

Oh well. It's only citizenship. My exam is a week today.

07 May 2007

Le Francais

Remember when I said I'd do a post for every subject I will be sitting this year? To start, I thought I'd do a post about French, a subject I did a year early and miraculously got an A* for.

Next week some of my friends will go for their french orals - They'll experience the same dread, the same fear, the same pain I went through. And I won't be sympathetic - I'll laugh, and make inappropriate jokes, and I'll fill them with horror stories (I'm not fucking with you! They made me translate french passages of Jules Verne into english I swear!). I'll do exactly what they did to me a year ago. Oh how revenge is sweet.

There was a time when I was afraid French. I was afraid it's subtle accents and gendered nouns, afraid to read out passages of TriColore, afraid of the embarrassment generated from calling a friend copine instead of amie (or vice-versa, which one meant girlfriend again?). But what I feared most of all were the French Orals.

You probably find it amusing that a language can have such an effect on me, and you're probably thinking up jokes involving the French and orals as we speak. But laugh all you want, the mere thought of French reminds me of that day. The day of my dreaded GCSE French Speaking.

Instead of doing some frantic last minute preparation, I came into school and just sat in a corner pondering. Why oh why did I have to take French? Sure, the language sounds damn sexy but was it worth three precious years of my life to learn?

I could of learnt Spanish (a lot easier) or Latin (a whole lot more useful) but instead I chose this! A language spoken by a bunch of baguette wielding anglo-hating beret-wearers who wouldn't even give me directions to the Louvre! (I had to learn the hard way - being stranded in a Parisian street filled with hobos). And what made me choose to take this a year early? I'm too young and stupid! I'm not ready yet to face the cruel rigours of examination, I want to frolic in the Sun without a care in the world!

I waited in the corridor for what seemed like an eternity, with those doubts racing through my mind - I entered the room, I did my oral, and I can out a changed man.

Whenever I recall those moments in that room, I sound like a Vietnam veteran: "you weren't there man! The silence, the flickering lights, that disconcerting smile... Oh God! In those split seconds your mind goes blank, and you can feel the pressure build and you're sweating like a pig... Never again! Never again... *incoherent mumbling*..." I would gladly face the might of Xerxe's Persian army rather than go through that ordeal again.

But I got A* so I can't have been that bad.

02 May 2007

Getting Better?

I knew I wasn't on blistering form in terms of maths results, but I must have been on crack or somethin' when I took that test. I won't post the results since I don't want you all to think of me as some kind of mathematically-challenged, numerically-braindead cretin, so let's just use the euphemism "could have done better".

I feel bitter - like a former beauty queen who's grown too old. I can't quite come to terms with the fact that I'm no longer number one and I'm ever hopeful of clawing my way back to where I truly belong, and that's at the top.

These are dark days indeed. The Gods of calculus are fickle beings - As soon as you start believing you are Blaise Pascal and can solve every Millennium Prize problem, they taketh away and you are left with nothing more than an empty feeling and a half factorised quadratic equation. I wish the Gods would restore me to my former glory, especially since my actual additional maths exam is in a few weeks time.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Things are getting better.

My English abilities have improved tenfold - I know the blog doesn't quite show this, but my English results beg to differ. I think it's because I now know "Of Mice and Men" off by heart, and my poetry analysing skills have vastly improved. The only thing holding me back now is my essay structures (which can be easily remedied).

I suppose I should be glad, since it's not hard to improve maths (it's all about practise and memorising equations) but how on earth does a person go about improving their English? The only way is to read a lot of books, or have the natural ability. Both can't be done the night before, which makes me feel somewhat better after screwing up the maths exam.

So whilst Maths ability has fallen, English ability has risen. Since English counts for 2 GCSEs, and Maths is some kind of post- GCSE, pre- A-level qualification thingy, perhaps this is for the best. Nevertheless, I will be working night and day to improve those maths results.

As I come nearer and nearer to the GCSE exams, I'll probably do a post on every subject I'll be sitting for. There's two weeks to go before things kick off with my Citizenship exam (just to ease into things).

Stick around. Things are soon to get exciting.

28 April 2007


I can't believe how poor this film is.

You don't need to have read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", Machiavelli's "Dell'arte della guerra" or even played on Rome Total War to realise that the warefare in 300 had no tactics whatsoever. This is totally unsatisfactory, considering this is an adaptation of the Battle of Thermopylaie, when vastly out-numbered Spartan hopilites out-manouvred the Persians in one of the most famous last stands in history.

I'm no film connosseur, and I don't watch innovative indie art films. I was prepared to overlook the pathetic dialogue and boring plot as long as it redeemed itself with the "Lord of the Rings"/"Kingdom of Heaven" style epic battles scenes I had expected when I watched the trailer.

Instead it was just close-up filming of Leonidas and (at most) ten other Spartans slashing at ethnic minorities, and making "hwargh" sounds whenever they reach a milestone of kills (that's the level of dialogue you should expect when watching this film).

This gets repetitive after awhile

And I know that a great deal has been made about how the film misrepresents the Persians in history, and how it's propaganda for the war in Iraq. At the time, I thought: "That's a load of bollocks". But having watched the film, I have to admit, they have a point.

I saw nothing wrong with King Leonidas hacking at waves of Iraqi insurgent look-a-likes, but Xerxe's special guard (The Immortals) were taking the piss a bit.

Wait until you see what's underneath those masks

They looked like Taliban wearing mongol masks carrying samurai swords. I mean that's pretty far-fetched to begin with, but when they took off their masks, they looked like extras from Resident Evil (You see them in the trailer, but not their zombie faces). Although they look like your Asian stereotype of super-warriors, underneath it all they are bloodthirsty zombies. I can see how associating Asians with pure evil can be a tad insulting.

Not as exciting as it looks

And let's not forget the monsters, and African animals (it was a joke how little they featured, and how unexciting they were). And Xerxes himself who's a 7-foot freaky homosexual with a very camp voice synthesised so that it's deep.

I can't see how anyone could be so shallow as to like this film (unless you enjoy looking at chiselled abs. In which case, this film must have been incredibly enjoyable).

25 April 2007

Add. Maths

My brain felt like it had just endured several bottles of German schnapps. My neck hurt, my back hurt, my wrist hurt, my eyes could no longer focus properly. I felt like collapsing on the cold concrete and wait for the numbness in my mind to subside, or at least until I got my vision back.

As I walked home, I kept asking myself: "What the fuck happened?"

Having been left to squint at a ridiculously hard test paper in a darkened room for over two hours, I can be fairly certain it was maths. I mean, there were numbers and x's and y's and stuff, but it asked me crazy questions about binomial expansion and kinematics and crap I can't even begin to contemplate.

To say I was overwhelmed would be a bit of an understatement - Binomial expansion seems to need about a tree's worth of paper just to fit it all in and kinematics... I didn't even know such a term existed until last week.

What happened to the Jingo of old who beat 120 people in his year in the KS3 Maths SATs and basically owned everyone in the subject? Ah, those were the days when I was sharp as a knife and algebra would solve itself right in front of my eyes...

But now-a-days, I'm so confused I don't even know whether to differentiate or to integrate anymore. People walk past me, watching me slave over an equation, probably thinking to themselves: "That poor bastard, if only he knew you have to differentiate to find the gradient..."

So it's a fall from grace. I put it down to naivety, lack of revision and overconfidence (being a cocky bastard).

I have made a vow to myself that I'll revise 3 hours every night. Honest. This time I'll actually stick to it instead of procrastinating in front of the computer.

Actually, I haven't even got my results back so we'll wait and see.

21 April 2007

Let The Music Do The Talking

Since I no longer have to worry about coursework, and have badly over-estimated the amount of time I'll revising, I have freed up quite a bit of time.

So I thought I might as well do this music tag of my top 10 songs. I tend to "acquire" hundreds of albums, and I've got about twenty gigabytes of music, so choosing just ten to list here proved quite tough.

My taste also changes every few weeks, so I can never stick to one band or one song. Since the collection is so massive, I occasionally discover hidden gems in my own collection, or I re-listen to old albums and realise the songs have grown on me. Sometimes I just get albums for the sake of getting albums, and only listen to them months later, Or even not at all.

So anyway, here's the list:

1. Ignoreland - R.E.M

One of my favourite bands. A friend gave me "Automatic For The People" and every song on it is pure class.

2. Cosmic Girl - Jamiroquai
This was the first song I heard by Jamiroquai, and it's clearly his best (although his best album is Dynamite). I then became a massive fan of his, even his earlier acid jazz stuff, which has grown on me lately.

3. Reason is Treason - Kasabian
When I first got the album off Torquer, I hated it. I didn't even listen to it. I gave it a chance months later and found their electronic rock quite psychedelic - it was like listening to music on drugs. Definitely not your conventional boy band.

4. Love In An Elevator - Aerosmith
Another one of those bands I loved when I was younger (I've moved on from them since then). They are one of the few glam rock bands I actually like.

5. You Got The Style - Athlete

Britpop at its finest. Will I ever get tired of Athlete? Although not a big band, these guys are fantastic.

6. Manchester - The Beautiful South

That's right, I like old music as well. I doubt anyone outside the UK will have heard of them, but their witty lyrics and mellow tunes are brilliant.

7. Big Yellow Taxi - Counting Crows
An American indie band (I think). I was bored at a party watching a music channel when this song popped up. Based on that one song, I got their Films About Ghosts (their greatest hits).

8. 19-2000 (Soulchild remix) - Gorillaz
This is the best remix I've ever heard - All remixes should sound like this. I also recommend Gorillaz - Their electronic tunes are perfect for parties.

9. Living For The Weekend - Hard-Fi
I discovered them whilst in London, and I saw a big poster advertising their "Stars of CCTV". Very catchy tunes.

10. Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast) - Lostprophets
Don't let their emo look fool you, they are an excellent metal band. Rooftops in particular is very inspiration and I can imagine it being played in the stadiums.

This list will probably change in a couple of weeks time. To finish off, I'll list the albums I acquired this month:

Cassadega - Bright Eyes
Dreams: Ultimate Collection - The Corrs (ah the nostalgia...)
Yes, Virginia - The Dresden Dolls
The Remote Part - Idlewild
Get Born - JET

If I carry on at this rate, I'll have no space on my computer anymore.

I tag anyone who can be bothered.