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January 6th 2005

My feet have finally hit the ground by now, as I've got all my stuff back to Uni - including a VCR, which you may have read about - done a couple of tests, had my first lecture of the year, almost unpacked, and done my first Su Doku of the term. I'm sure I have a lot more stuff this term than last term... my desk is something of a mess. Even more so than last term. Well, happy 2005 to you all - the third year of my online diary. Taking Dad round Tesco was an experience, since he had to witness the stacks of microwavable ready-meals I was buying, even though I bought carrots, apples and potatoes as well, to balance it out. For more details on my shopping list, please look at old receipts in my bin. Hmm... this page has often been used to point out the various stupidities in the running of Prince Henry's High School (this springs to mind) but, on the whole, Warwick Uni is far more sensible. However, they saw fit not to give any first years timetables for this term, nor tell us where to get them, or when our first lecture was, or anything so unnecessary as that. We got there, by our own ingenuity... this has been rather a rambling entry, hasn't it? Next topic: books. Last year (and possibly the year before) Simon kept a list of all the books he read during that calendar year, and it seems a good idea to me, so I'm gonna start this year... I'm currently reading three books, one fiction (Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan), one non-fiction (Lucky Man, Michael J. Fox) and one in-between (Dude, Where's My Country?, Michael Moore). The third is pretty ridiculous, and will be the subject of a longer post once I've finished reading it. In other book news, my lovely brother gave me There And Back Again by Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee in LotR)... signed by the author!! Fantastic. Well, I think my rambling's done for now, at least.

January 8th 2005

Yesterday was, as many days are, kinda good and kinda bad. Bad, because it involved a very difficult and totally incomprehensible first lecture on Ordinary Differential Equations, and good (probably enough to outweigh the bad) because we made all the arrangements for our house for next year. In fact, that greatly outweighs the bad. As of next September, I'll be living with Anthony, David, Iain and Richard in Earlsdon, near Coventry. Sweet. I think I'll kinda come back to the bad lecture... there were two lectures I regard as good today, because they were easy, and I feel this marks an unfortunate change from High School. At PHHS, I was annoyed when subjects were too easy (RE GCSE, English A-Level), but now I'm delighted when they are, because so much stuff is really hard. My ability has always been exaggerated by people at school, and I've spent much of the last five years at least trying to play down my intelligence - not referring to maths if I can help it, making myself out to be stupid if possible. Now that I am of average ability at best, I find myself stuck in the trend, and it has a bad influence on my work. I've discovered that, although I don't need to be the best, I work much better when I have confidence, and after years of being at or near the top, I can only be confident if I'm at or near the top - which I'm frequently not. Well, that's my tale of woe... it's not much to be sad about, really, is it? Pretty much every other area of my life is going nicely...

January 10th 2005Michael J. Fox as Marlene McFly in Back to the Future 3

If you trawl through the archive, or remember things, or know me, or are Anthony or Richard, you'll know that I like Back to the Future. What I didn't discover until yesterday was that the excellent Michael J. Fox played not just two, but three different people in BttF2. The first two were Marty McFly senior and Marty McFly junior. Fair enough. The third was Marlene McFly, the daughter of Marty McFly senior. There's a picture, in case you don't believe me.

January 11th 2005

And in today's Back to the Future news... did you know that the person who played Jennifer in BttF1 is not the girl who played her in the two sequels? This is particularly weird because the end of part 1 is the beginning of part 2 - more or less - so the opening was reshot with the new actress. Wow. More on that story later.

Today, in one of my rare ventures into the world of real cooking, I managed to cut myself quite badly on the finger. Well, as Richard pointed out; "There's cooking, and there's hacking at raw sausages with a big knife, and you were veering towards the latter." I think that's my favourite thing I've heard said at Warwick Uni. As I've never had a cut I didn't solve by putting a tissue round it, that's what I'm going for now (having dipped it in Savlon, and turning the Savlon very red. Tetanus... here I come).

January 13th 2005

My Beatles song collection came dangerously near completion with today's arrival of Real Love, a 1996 single release (it was around that time that Anthology came out, and the Beatles released a couple of songs in an unsuccessful attempt to get more No.1s). In other news, I attended my second Philosophy lecture today, and a seminar. What a ridiculous subject! I share the mathematicians' common contempt of any subject that isn't maths, but even so, there is so little content to this ludicrous course that it's - literally - laughable. Hilarious, in fact. A bit like this joke, which I thought up in today's lecture, and was adapted by Anthony.
Philosopher A What time are the Philosophy lectures?
Philosopher B I think they're 4am.

January 15th 2005

Call me slow, but I realised for the first time today that typing in something like www.StephScully.co.uk/thisweek.html actually works: since the URL is just a link to Freewebs, I assumed the /thisweek.html would do nothing... wow.

One of the more unrealistic things about Friends - perhaps even more than the apartment that is roughly the size of Manhattan - is that the characters very, very rarely wear the same clothes more than once (this is emphasised in episodes like TOWT Football and TOWT Red Sweater where clothes are referred to). This mistake is not made in Neighbours, where each character has a wardrobe (which obviously is not unchanged) so they see more realistic, as it were... and less likely to be paid $1m an episode. For example, Steph's red and black top makes appearances in episodes like the one after Max discovers she has cancer, the one where Max tells her to leave him, and last week, when she was arguing with Jack. Little things...

January 18th 2005

I'm sure the world in general will be delighted to know that Matthew Perry's latest film, The Whole Ten Yards, came out on DVD yesterday, and I bought it at approximately 00:23... on eBay. If it's so bad that someone's already decided to sell it... but then, I've seen it before, and I didn't think it was that terrible. In other news, I thought I'd like to mention that I have around 25 hours of lectures/tutorials/etc a week. So those of you who reckon Tuesday's bad because you have a lecture and have to get up before noon, pity me and all other maths students. We are the ones who do the proper work (taking a Philosophy module has only made me more aware of this). In the last two days I've had twelve scheduled hours of stuff, and missed two of them (optional support classes). Add to that Hot Chocolate, Glassball and so on, and you'll see that I need sleep. I also hardly get to read books any more - at the turn of the year, I was reading three books. Since then, I've finished one (and started the next in the series), read a couple of chapters of the second, and nothing at all of the third... Michael Moore's book may get Amazon-ed without me getting beyond halfway. And speaking of Amazon, I bought Queen's Greatest Hits Vol.1 from the market place yesterday... apologies for the state of these entries of late. Not my number one priority, I'm afraid.

January 22nd 2005

All the fun of the fair this morning, as the fire alarm went off at about 11am. Although all of our building had to vacate, it was P3rd (our corridor) that had the honour of being originators of the fire. Well, smoke really - burnt bacon. Our corridor was divided into those who were woken up by the alarm, and those who were already awake - you can guess which faction I was firmly entrenched into... especially given that last night was my first shift of 24/7 prayer. Let me explain: next week on Warwick Campus is mission week, named 'Essential', and as part of it, we're spending the entire week in 24/7 prayer at the nearest church, in Westwood. This doesn't mean one guy praying non-stop for a week; we do it in shifts, and I covered (with Anthony and Hannah) 1-2am last night. There's something quite astounding about praying for an hour - not only does the time go more quickly than you'd think it would, but without anything to distract you, or any other place to go, you can really focus. I'm hoping my next shift, 4-5am Friday morning, will be even more beneficial. Speaking of which... it may be known to readers of this page that I occasionally try to beat the 'Tesco record' (the latest time going to Tesco, just off campus), and it currently stands at 4.30am. So Anthony and myself have a plan that follows: we stay up until 3.40am, walk to Westwood, pray for an hour, walk back to campus, up to our kitchen, collect Richard (we haven't checked with him yet... if he can't go, it might be just the two of us), go to Tesco, buy the cheapest thing in sight, get back to campus, sleep until 8.15am when we have a morning prayer meeting, sleep until 9.50am, get to a 10am lecture... and thats pretty much the plan. Might require a bit of tweaking.

January 24th 2005

Kids, kids! Take a look at this! While you're looking at stuff, try this for size. G'night.

January 31st 2005

What's been happening in my life, I hear you ask. Why am I not updating so much, I hear you ask. Is it because I've been exceedingly busy? Well... not exactly... I just haven't got round to writing here very often. Today and yesterday were a double-party for Iain and Annie (on my corridor) who have consecutive birthdays, so that was pretty cool. I also got a ring from my parents today (please deliver obvious jokes to the usual address) saying that they were passing, and would I like to see them? I said yes, so they came and had a cup of tea, consoled me after Wolves loss to Arsenal, and told me the latest. Which was nice. In other news, I beat the Tesco record last Friday at 5.35am... having done our prayer slot from 4-5, Anthony and I returned to find Richard and we broke the record... except, Anthony fell asleep for a few minutes in the church, so he's not a record holder. My two Red Bulls saw me through. Does anybody remember the philosophy joke here a few entries ago? Well, despite both myself and Anthony thinking it was hilarious, we've discovered that very few others share our opinion (the only person who really thought it was funny, it later transpired, didn't actually get the joke). I've had rather more success with this one, which I made up some time a year or two ago:
What's the difference between this joke, and a window cleaner who's scared of heights?
The window cleaner will only work on one level.
Again, although this has generally had a good response, the person who finds it funniest doesn't quite get it, I feel. I don't think these question, answer jokes are really my style. In yet more other news, an update on Su Dokus... for those who don't remember, they're the number puzzle in the Times. I won 1 the other day when Tom bet me I couldn't complete the 'fiendish' one I was trying (at the second attempt) so I made a shiny quid... Anthony and Tom both later solved it. I think the medium ones are the hardest. Find out for yourself at SuDoku.com

The other day, I decided to make myself a CD. Since I've had the capabilities to make compilations, I've only ever put together Beatles songs (recreating the 1 album, for example, or putting together all of George's compositions). But I was thinking; there are lots of songs that I really look forward to on CDs, and if I put all of them together, I'd love every track on the CD. That was the plan. I laid a couple of ground rules: no Beatles songs, because I could easily make two CDs of Beatles songs I love. Also, no tracks from the compilations 50 Years of Great Hit Singles (Gold or Platinum), because there's so much good stuff on them I'd have nothing else. When the short-list was made, there were too many songs to fit onto one CD, so I added a rule that no solo songs by former Beatles members could be included (a rule I partially scrapped, allowing Maybe I'm Amazed but removing Just Like (Starting Over) and Art of Dying (Paul, John and George respectively). Songs that nearly made it include Hotel California, Johnny B. Goode, Hi Ho Silver Lining and Insane. The final listing is as follows:
1. Desperado - The Eagles
2. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
3. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
4. Danke Schoen - Wayne Newton
5. Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis
6. She - Elvis Costello
7. Motorcycle Emptiness - Manic Street Preachers
8. Take It To The Limit - The Eagles
9. Everybody Hurts - REM
10. Sky Blue And Black - Jackson Browne
11. This Year's Love - David Gray
12. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will be Next - Manic Street Preachers
13. With Or Without You - U2
14. That Says It All - Duncan Sheik
15. The Scientist - Coldplay
16. Slow Train - Bob Dylan
17. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
18. Love Really Hurts Without You - Billy Ocean
When Richard came in (and She was playing) he asked if it was 'Music to slash wrists by'... the actual title is 'Songs-a-go-go'. I added the a-go-go myself. But yes, it is clear that I have a tendency to listen to sad songs... what can I say, I like 'em.

what was I listening to?
Songs-a-go-go
what was I reading?
Lord of Chaos - Robert Jordan
what was I watching?
Back to the Future 2
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