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December 10th 2003

This diary begins, as all good diaries should, on my Dad's birthday. For his birthday, I bought him a Beatles DVD and a Cliff Richard CD, to make sure that he's at the cutting edge of 21st Century music. He got nothing from Simon, because Simon is in Oxford for his University interview. And I don't mean Oxford Brookes. Since I promised that this page would be at least a little bit about Matthew Perry, it might interest you to know that I saw the trailer for The Whole Ten Yards today... it looks okay. Not brilliant (like Return of the King, which comes out a week today), but better than most forms of burning. My hectic day also included bidding on eBay for Good Morning Vietnam, which I might have won by 3:00 this afternoon, and checking to see if the school's fantasy football poster had been updated, since Powly and I are manager of the week. It was not updated. Not that can complain, being that I'm currently writing this in the library. I must apologise at this point: I'm not in the library, I'm in the Learning Resource Centre. And they're not librarians, they're Learning Resource Centre Managers - at least, one of them is. I'm not sure what the other one's title is... Well, what with two chemistry tests and part of a maths test to do, I better end this entry... hopefully the librarian thing won't end up in my biography, or in the tabloids: "Local resident claims: I'd burn books".

December 11th 2003

This morning started interestingly, as the coat that I lost yesterday proved conspicuous by its absence, as the coldness outside proved conspicuous by making me cold. The bus driver, no doubt deciding to prevent his bus's temperature from falling, drove straight past me as I stood at the bus stop. But I got here, having forgotten my watch, and something else that I can't remember, and with money in my pocket to purchase Christmas Concert tickets, although I'll no doubt forget to do that too. Only two lessons today, and I may get the result of my latest essay on Heaney's poetry, in which I quoted from the Timeline trailer and wrote extensively about the fact that we shouldn't have to write essays on Heaney's poetry. I have to warn anybody who might stumble upon this page in the process of opening a Seamus Heaney book. Stop what you're doing. Destroy the book. Swallow it if you have to. One person who wouldn't agree with me is Simon, who is having another Oxford interview today, although he should be back tonight, and will no doubt be impressed with the fact that I managed to make something italic in html. Those of you who have been on tenterhooks as to Good Morning Vietnam will be pleased to hear that I won it, for a very reasonable price of 1 plus 1.50 p&p, although I abandoned my attempt to buy Two Towers on DVD... I've got to leave something for my family to buy me for Christmas. And I discovered yesterday that my bank balance sits at around 50. I've remembered what else I forgot: it was to print of a fantasy football table, since Powly and I were manager of the week last week. And, looking at yesterday's entry, I've just realised that I've told people to burn books again, but I have to stand by my statement: burn Heaney. Or just his books, if you'd rather. One thing I won't be burning is Powly's Christmas present (what a link!) since I haven't bought it all. I got him something (which I won't vouchsafe here, in case he reads this... unlikely...) but then he said we should get each other really stupid stuff, to see how much we could make the other person laugh. I've got my eye on a rather large pink bird. Since I'm supposed to mention Matthew Perry, I was wondering this morning what it'd be like if he died: I'd be able to change Crazy Snake Man's background colour to black, write 'In loving memory' on it, and try to find a Chandler quote such as 'I'm gonna die alone' or 'If you see a little version of me, kill it.' It's always nice to be prepared.

Wow! Twice in one day. I remembered that I was going to write about the Comedy Awards, which were on last night, and I am depressed to announce that Julie Walters was a winner. She is about as cutting edge as a lemon. But apart from that, the evening was very good, Jonathan Ross putting in a much better performance than Angus Deayton (a personal hero) did at the BAFTAs a few years ago, with his first ten minutes being some of the funniest this year. Ricky Gervais, a man whose comic talent I sometimes doubt, was undoubtedly the funniest person there, making a hilarious speech when awarding a prize. And I bought the bird.

December 12th 2003

As Paul McCartney might say, back in school again, but more specifically, back in the library again. I am getting more and more concerned by the fact that I have limited myself to this room, where games are forbidden and conversation is outlawed - indeed, only this morning I was playing a small car-racing game in here, and Josh told me that my time was good, although how he knew this, I don't know. 39.90 seconds, if anyone's counting. Simon has been 'asked' to stay for another interview, so he's still not back, and this is currently my maths lesson, which, phonetically enough, lessons my maths abilities. Perhaps because I'm not doing the P4 paper that sits beside me, filled with curve-drawing and graph-sketching questions that chill mine heart. On a brighter note, it's less than a week until the last LotR film, although I'm having trouble finding someone to go with (Powly, being his usual disorganised self, has not answered my e-mail, but Saturday is the plan). To link via my Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings website, which Pete Alcock promised to read, I'm worrying myself by how much I'm getting into the fifth Harry Potter book. Any spare moments I have, I'm reading it, despite the fact that I usually view them as inferior. They're addictive, and Rowling has created, like so few works, a situation that goes beyond the pages of her book. You can imagine the collective lives of the characters, just as you could with Chandler and Joey in the early series of Friends. And I'm not just writing that because I'm trying to mention Matthew Perry in every entry. Honest. For those of you keen to be updated on what is becoming known as the coat saga, I still haven't found it, and it was raining this morning. By 'it', I don't mean the coat, I mean the... what is it that rains? Clouds? Anyway, I was wet. But I better get back to my maths. After all, just one lesson today would be lazy... like yesterday, when Mrs. Hearle decided that there were too few of us to do any work, but wouldn't cancel the lesson.

Coat fans will be pleased to hear that is back on my back, my english teacher having handed it in. She said she gave it to either McGarvey or Miss Dunning, both of whom spoke to this morning, and neither of whom bothered to tell me. Typical.

December 15th 2003

Orchestra rehearsal all day. Luckily, this year I've managed to persuade Mr. Tillotson that I need to go to my lessons, so the amount of time Mrs. McLeish can shout at me (and everyone else) has been minimised. Just had english, in fact, in which Heaney wrote amount making love to England and dead moles. Not much time to write - all my frees are taken up with rehearsing for the Christmas Concert, although the one lesson I've done it so far we did approximately nothing. Happily, it's my last ever concert. Hooray!

December 17th 2003

Today is momentous in that it's the release of the third Lord of the Rings film, which I'm going to see on Saturday with Dad and Powly. However, today for me will be momentous only because it's my last day playing in orchestra, which I've had to go to for four and a half years. The Christmas Concert is exceedingly long, and I've got to sit though it again. But I must leave the library now... class coming in.

And now I'm in B11. As I was saying, my last orchestra (in which I'll probably have to sing 'two turtle doves') and nobody really cares that I'm leaving. Which led me thinking, who will actually care when I leave this school? My name isn't anywhere in this whole damn place, certainly not on the Senior Prefects board. But I was in the concert at the time, about three hours after I arrived, so I can be forgiven for feeling a little depressed. In other news, I got 47/50 for my english essay (Simon only got 46. Result) although Miss Boulter said I was a bit provocative when I wrote that Heaney was saying we shouldn't write essays about Heaney. Ah well. And Powly bought himself a lighter. What a fool. But you gotta love him.

December 18th 2003

Once more into the library, dear friends, once more. Fresh from Heaney hangman (my 'I found a dead mole' was guessed almost immediately), I have only three lessons left before Christmas, and hopefully I'll be able to buy Dad something in town today, or Worcester on Saturday. I discovered yesterday that Chirac wants to ban religious items from schools - all the news items made a fuss about Muslim headcloths, and even though Muslims are fundamentally wrong, I was disgusted. Then I found out that crucifixes are also to be banned, which is horrifying and cannot be made into law, even if it is in France, where showering is also illegal. Received my third Christmas card today, although I'm not going to give any out this year, I don't think. Hardly anyone is, and the only present I've got for anyone outside my family is Powly's. Who hasn't done any Christmas shopping yet, and forgot again the cinema time (3:20!!). And I'm officially no longer a member of orchestra! I have blown my last. Yesterday's concert wasn't so bad, because electricity failure meant that Swing Band didn't go on and on, and our acapello rendition of Twelve Days of Christmas was beautiful (Simon and I were Two Turtle Doves). For some reason, Powly turned up with Sam and his family... he's obviously never heard us before.

December 22nd 2003

Well, the Christmas holidays have begun, and Mum is already madly going round the house telling people (ie me and Simon) to hoover and dust and the like. More importantly, I saw the third LotR film on Saturday. My word. Epic in every sense, the trilogy is the greatest cinema of our time, and this is the great film of our time. Certainly not flawless - the first hour or so is slow and a bit confused - but Samwise is played beautifully, it's visually more impressive than the others as well as emotionally brilliant, and although certain aspects are changed or removed, I can't really complain. There was even applause at the end, which I would have joined in with had I not been rushing for the toilet at the time. Powly appeared to like his bird and reggae CDs (he opened them before Christmas Day!) although he hadn't had time to buy me anything. Boo-hoo. By way of apology, perhaps, he allowed me to eat at least 90% of the popcorn myself... and I haven't actually paid my half yet. Oh dear. But the film was so immense that I want to see it again, with Doug if he'll go, since I can't wait until it comes out on DVD. In other news, I have managed to save a small portion of the rainforest by sending out e-cards this year, which appear to have been generally well-received... I even got back two in return.

December 23rd 2003

Powly came over today to do 'Chemistry revision' because we're both too poor to do anything that costs money, much to Simon's chagrin, since he wanted to go bowling. Powly and I played slime bowling, but it's not the same. (It's better, since I can do it). In fact, I'm talking to Powly on MSN right now, having put some lovely Christmas messages on Crazy Snake Man, since it's nearly Christmas. Simon's standing over me now, changing the CD in the player, so I'm gonna stop writing this.

December 26th 2003

Well, yesterday was Christmas. It wasn't altogether brilliant: I didn't get a couple of things I was hoping/expecting to get, and Only Fools and Horses wasn't brilliant. It wasn't too bad, but not as good as I'd hoped/expected. Powly got me a Boobah (or a Peeka Boobah as it cleverly called itself) and the coolest sink-plunger ever. I think he wins the competition for most stupid present, although he might not win the best-son award, since he hadn't got his Mum a birthday present when last we spoke. I haven't done any revision yet, really, and I don't feel at all in the mood. But I'm sure I will soon. Isn't stream of consciousness ridiculous? You just write down whatever comes in to your head. I can do that, and very few people hail this website as genius. Grandad's still here, and was pleasantly surprised by the presents he got, and he got us a TV/video, which was great. So I'm happy. See: I'm smiling. (For authenticity, I actually did smile as I wrote that...)

December 29th 2003

I'm so bad at revising! I haven't really done any yet, and it's not long until exams start... but today is the day I start. Computers. Why, for instance, can't I create gif files at home like I can at school? That's why the Bing pictures are rubbish (and about 7 times as big as they should be, memory-wise). Well, can't be helped. I did write my thank-you letters today: how ridiculous they are; I just write about exams and Wolves and how great my presents were ('my most interesting present was...'). Nobody can possibly want to read this drivel, but it's not as stupid as Christmas cards. 90% of them just say 'Merry Christmas' or some such, and so what? Who cares if Uncle John wants us to have a merry Christmas? And it was kind of taken for granted... I can't imagine him sitting at home muttering to himself that the Thomas family get all the happiness, and he hopes our Christmas is lousy this year. Think how much paper is wasted every year with Christmas cards - we gave out about 200 and received a similar amount, and they were all fundamentally pointless. A lot of people send letters, and fair enough, but usually that's just as predictable, and can be sent by e-mail anyway. This year I sent e-cards to my friends, and therefore saved paper from being wasted. If everyone did this, deforestation would be dramatically reduced.

December 30th 2003

Today was Lord of the Rings day part two, as I saw Return of the King for the second time, this time with Doug. It's still great, although the bit where Frodo hangs off the edge is even more annoying this time. And the DVD of the second one is 'in the post', so it should be arriving any month now. The day didn't start great, as I realised halfway to Worcester that I'd taken the wrong bus... I should have waited an hour. That gave me time to get the tickets from Warner Bros (eventually... I did swipe the card the wrong way several times) and stand next to Jessops for twenty minutes waiting for Doug to call. Things didn't get much better as he waited outside Woolworths and I waited inside - after about ten minutes I wandered outside and there he was. But then things got better... I was actually able to see the screen without breaking my neck this time, and I discovered that Doug's actually read this page (hi Doug, if you're reading... hope the record's good), although he called it a 'blog', what with him studying Computing and all... we GCSE IT students can't keep up. But I can give him an advantage and a disadvantage of using e-mail as compared to telephoning, something that I think most people would struggle with. And, to show what a great and wonderful friend I am, I waited an extra 50 minutes for my bus, so that Doug wouldn't have to spend too long alone in Worcester. Let me tell you, the place is absolutely buzzing at 7:00 on a Tuesday night. And Powly never called me... he said he was going to phone Sunday night. Ah well.

what was I listening to?
Santa's List - Cliff Richard
what was I reading?
Collected Works - Seamus Heaney
what was I watching?
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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