(well, at least ‘rather large’ proportions)
As promised yesterday, here’s a quick rundown of all the things I’ve been up to lately so you can marvel at my glamorous lifestyle, and so that if I make a passing reference to one of these events I’ll be able to blame you for not getting my reference, instead of accepting the blame that I deserve for treating my own life like a series of memes that everyone knows.
1) Fanciful headgear
I bought a hat that looks like a shark. The buying of said hat wasn’t particularly eventful, but I think it’s a very important aspect of my life that I have a hat capable of nomming.
2) Flag football tournament
Flag football, for the uninitiated, is essentially non-contact American football, and basically boils down to a glorified game of catch in which a team’s quarterback attempts to throw the ball to one of their receivers, who then tries to leg it to the other team’s end of the field to score six points; in the meantime, the defence is trying to stop this play by pulling the flags tucked into the waist of the quarterback, or the receiver in possession. Like all good things, from the indie masterpiece Limbo to the literary masterpiece Use Of Weapons, it’s way cooler than it sounds.
Me and the rest of the fledgling UCL American football society entered a tournament on the 30th of May, coming third out of three teams, but putting up decent fights against the established Oxford team, and a Durham side that consisted entirely of American collegiate players visiting the UK on a year abroad. I dropped one pass that my team-mate caught for a touchdown, and intercepted an opposition pass when I was playing defence, and we got a fancy engraved trophy at the end of the day; bust most importantly, it was good to actually get some experience playing in real games, because I love playing the sport, but I’m still rather crap.
A report of the tournament can be read here.
I’m a huge fan of American punks Anti-Flag, and jumped when I heard they were playing a tiny venue in Shoreditch; I reviewed the gig, and their new album for Savage, and they should be online here at some point in the near future if you’d like more about them.
One thing I will say, however, is that I wore an awesome shirt to the gig. It’s maybe my favourite shirt, a black one with a stylised hoard of police officers on the front, and ‘FUCK POLICE BRUTALITY’ plastered across the back, in reference to Anti-Flag’s song of the same name. Obviously the sentiment is righteous, and the honestly endearing, but a bloke also asked me for a photo of the back of said shirt for him to take home. I didn’t tell him you can buy them online for like fifteen quid, however, and happily posed for it as if I’d invented the damn thing like the prick I am.
4) The UCL Writers’ Festival
The next day I headed to this combination of prose readings and poetry recitals that bordered on rap; it was largely okay, with UCL students and local poets being entertaining, if sometimes heavy-handed with their ideas, but was let down by the so-called headliners. This act consisted of a British man and a woman from the Indian subcontinent, who offered lyrics in their own dialects simultaneously, which had a lot of potential to comment on both the issues of their poems, but also the wider issue of incommunicability in art. But the woman’s more melodic, song-like words, that flowed and rolled off her tongue, were often clashed with the man uttering a single word in the more spiky English tongue, and it all sounded a bit off; at one point she was speaking alone, in what is very much the multicultural poetry world’s answer to a guitar solo, before he chimed in with the word ‘dreams’, and then shut up for like another ten minutes. It felt like a Spinal Tap-style mockery of two artists trying too hard to be artistic more than anything genuine.
But these two days served as a stark indicator of where my interests in life may truly lie; I had way more fun moshing to anti-establishment songs than I did trying to engage with poems from the tedium of a desk chair behind a table. I’m not saying I’m going to pack in this English degree and go be a writer for Straight Edge Worldwide, but I’m definitely more set on genuienly engaging with music as an art form, instead of just background noise to cleaning my room.
5) Crazy twelve-hour dodgeball partying
It’s no surprise that I spent an inordinate amount of time with dodgeball or dodgeballers, and this kinda epitomised it. As an end-of-year / end-of-exams / end-of-some-people’s-degrees party, this started at three in the afternoon with a BBQ and a series of primary school-style sports day events that my team sucked at (although I was sick at the egg and spoon race), and went on to a pub for predrinks and hours of dancing at Propaganda at the O2 Islington until three in the morning.
I also got a few amusing anecdotes out of the day, such as That Time I Took A Bin Bag Full Of Bread On A Night Out, which I’ve already quoted to tedium, and The Time I Tried To Bring A Pair Of Scissors Into A Club, which has been relegated to the night’s second-most quotable thing.
6) My mate’s film premier
As part of my life involves meeting new people and all their friends, I’ve befriended a bunch of people at a different university to me, studying various degrees involving films. One such friend has just completed their degree, and was showcasing two films they had produced in the surprisingly swanky surroundings of the Genesis Cinema just off Whitechapel station. And although the first film, not produced by my friend, was, to quote British punks Brawlers, ‘a worthless piece of shit’, my friend’s films were awesome. One was set against the narrative of Jack the Ripper, but focused on the people behind his victims, as opposed to simplifying them into statistics to enhance the legacy of the murderer; and the latter focused on a man and woman’s responses to their breakup, in which the emphasis was on the emotional struggles of the male character, as opposed to the cliché presentation of women as being the only ones to have strong emotional responses.
My friend Lewis wrote a more coherent post about the evening, which can be read here.
7) Globe trip
The very next day me and my future flatmates went to see As You Like It at the Globe, a play full of potential for queer theory readings, and an unexpected amount of attractive, shirtless men. I was a bit of a bitch because I was low and had had to run home to grab my diabetes stuff and so was almost late, but I hope my flatmates didn’t mind too much. I hope.
Sorry guys ❤
8) Trousers, GP, and results
Yesterday, which now seems to be the last stop on the James Patrick Casey World Tour Of The Last Week And A Bit, was filled with picking up a pair of suit trousers from the M&S on Oxford Street, getting told I’m in strangely good health by my rather lovely GP, and finding out that there’s work to be done regarding my academic life. I probably could work each of these things into a blog post in their own right, but this is already over a thousand words and I’m sick of reading my own bullshit back to myself.
I can’t imagine how you guys are feeling.