This Is KNN

My Civil Procedure paper was wild. Two fiendishly long questions and 40 short questions in 3 hours, each one of which involved frenetic flipping and re-flipping through voluminous notes and statutes, with an exhausted mind that had gone completely blank. I don’t know why anyone even bothers with extreme sports when they could be getting their adrenaline rushes from doing death-defying examinations in Civil Procedure.

So anyway, after an indulgent dinner at Michelangelo (Me: This panna cotta is so wonderful, it’s solid cream! Everyone else: Michelle, that just sounds really gross), I was reading IS on the bus home and found finally, finally, a DJ at Zouk who I’d bother leaving the house for! Meat Katie! He was there last Saturday. Kan ni na.¹

I have to echo Laces’ plea for Zouk to bring in some interesting DJs and stop being so goddamn pedestrian. I want Diplo and Michael Mayer too. Also DJ/Rupture. Also Akufen. Amon Tobin. The Scratch Perverts. And world peace.

As I do every now and then, I was surfing around to find out how London is, and found out that DJ/Rupture was at 93 Feet East with Supersoul on Sunday, Ty is at Cargo tomorrow, and Eclectic Method are doing weekly video mashups at Herbal.

Again I am reminded of my grim theory that if the amount I saw and did over four years in London is anything to go by, the amount I’ll have missed this past year and over the next six is just…depressing. Then why, you shriek in aggravation, do you keep CHECKING UP ON WHAT YOU’RE MISSING, MASOCHIST? The answer is: because one of my biggest fears is ignorance. I would rather know what’s going on where things actually happen, even as it makes me chafe at my limited options here, than escape back to London years from now and be completely out of touch with everything that used to excite me so much.

In the meantime, I’m sitting at my computer listening to Amon’s Solid Steel Presents and shouting KAN NI NA to a funky beat.

¹ Definition here

Backs Up Backs Up Back Off The Wall

During previous exam study periods, my walls have been adorned with post-its bearing various motivational messages such as “A 2-1 IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, “YOU CAN’T WRITE ESSAYS ABOUT ____________ (whatever book I was absorbed in at the time) CAN YOU??” and “STOP PLAYING DOPE WARS”. They worked.

This time I wanted to quote Dizzee from Stand Up Tall, but then realized that my mum wouldn’t take too well to “Can’t run the marathon without training or stretch the arsehole without straining” whenever she comes to my laptop for her Solitaire fix.The poor woman already takes issue with the photos I paste on my desk wall (of my life in England):

My mum: From these photos it would look as if you’ve had strings of boyfriends!
Me: Mum, two of the men with me in those pictures are priests, and another one is the preserved corpse of Jeremy Bentham
My mum: That’s even worse!

¹ Upon graduation, I thought it was only polite to pose for a picture with the subject of my dissertation. (Jeremy Bentham, not his corpse.)

When Exams Attack

Studying will really really begin tomorrow. For real. Really.

Unfortunately, going by previously established patterns, dear Reader, this probably means you’re in for a rather slow 3 weeks. No more of my rapier wit and irresistable personality! No more visceral vignettes of my swinging rock and roll life! Indeed, my friends, you will have to get by with my usual exam output of unrestrained music geekery, pointless links collected during hours on end of study avoidance surfing, and most certainly nothing even remotely intellectual.

So, pretty much the same as what you’ve always got here, just with even less of a life than before. Sigh. Here’s a little taster:

Music Geekery
Newly arrived from Django, yay!

  • Bubba Sparxxx: Deliverance
  • Dirty Three: Whatever You Love You Are
  • Aereogramme: A Story In White
  • Lewis Parker: Masquerades And Silhouettes
  • Bedhead: What Fun Life Was
  • The Walkmen: Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone

Pointless Links
In honour of For Alec, who had his first actual bout in a boxing ring a few days ago and wisely decided not to tell me about it until after the fact: Mike Tyson Quotes.

Here’s one I’d like to highlight for you, you big dolt no one in particular, because of course I’m totally cool about the fact that my favourite nose in the world could quite possibly have been broken before I got the chance to see it again – “I try to catch him right on the tip of the nose, because I try to push the bone into the brain.”

Nothing Remotely Intellectual
I certainly never kept my Will Young mania a secret on this site during the original Pop Idol, and I see no reason to be shy about my commitment to its American franchise. This Ryan Seacrest fellow is a poor substitute for Ant and Dec, and I like Pete Waterman so much more than the painfully inarticulate Randy Jackson, but at least sexy Simon is still around, and getting sexier by the episode. Oh, and GO FANTASIA!

In Which I Explain It All

Some explaining is in order. I have made vague occasional references to feeling down over the past few months, but never really went into anything in detail apart from whining about missing London. This entry is mostly for people who know me and want a little more information, but those of you who rubberneck at road accidents are welcome to read it too.

Not A Failure! Not A Failure!

I have been awarded the LLM (Masters in Law) with merit.

THANK YOU GOD!!!

And as if this good news isn’t enough, I have finally found the rare collaboration EP by Low & Spring Heel Jack on Soulseek and am downloading it this minute! Joy! Joy! Joy!

Post-Masters Bliss

And today it all ended. I wrote my last sentence in my last Masters exam, hoped fervently it would actually be my last Masters exam (last week’s exam was very, very bad. I might fail), freaked out with Gwen a bit about the toughness of the paper and scooted off feeling like I had wings on my heels.

Made a beeline for Gramophone. I haven’t bought a CD in way too long. Found DJ Spooky’s Under The Influence in the used section for S$7.99, and snapped it up goggle-eyed. Was delightfully distracted in Tang’s for the next few hours (note to non-Singaporeans: this is not the orange kryptonite you drank when you were a kid, it’s a department store), and bought shoes and a top. Would have bought a second pair of shoes except for the fact that they made farting noises when I was trying to walk in them.

Met Luke and Yuping for dinner and extended chat. Walked home from the bus-stop by the spooky route because I was feeling inVEENcible. Came to my room and put on the DJ Spooky, which is a daaaaamn fine mix album, great tunes, great flow, great mixing, or admittedly it might just be because I’m feeling great.

You know how you hear a song again when you haven’t heard it in a while and you suddenly wonder how on earth you went all that time without listening to it? Saul Williams’ Twice The First Time is on this album. I’m turning it up, Saul is off on his “and I be riding on the wings of eternity like HYAH! HYAH! Sh-clack-clack, GET ME THE FUCK OFF THIS TRACK!” trip, and now the beat kicks in, now I’m remembering how even Alec (not exactly a fan of what he calls my “hippety-hoppety music”), bought Xen Cuts almost on the strength of this track alone, now I’m hearing Saul say “Not until you listen to Rakim on a rocky mountain-top have you heard hip-hop,” and I’m thinking, Benny? Let’s climb Mount Kinabalu and bring some Rakim.

Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today Is OK

Handy coincidence. I was sitting here trying to think of a way to start this entry, and was looking through my CDs to choose one to play, and hey presto.

So anyway, this entry will be all about how I had a tough exam yesterday, and then had to leave straight after it to go to uni to do a simulated arbitration which I had done zero preparation for and could therefore have really sucked at, and how the day could have gone really badly, but it didn’t at all, and I’m happy. If all that sounds boring to you, that’s probably because it is. Go read The Onion if you’d rather. Otherwise, read on.

Waking up was agony. I used to have to stay up the whole night before most of my O’level prelims, given that I only tended to start studying the entire year’s work at 3 or 4 that afternoon. In the first year of uni, I remember a delirious conversation around 5 am with Esther the morning of the property law exam, trying to work out what the fuck the case Re Vandervell was all about. Those days seem to be gone. Yesterday, I’d stayed up cramming till 4, and woke up at 9 feeling like I’d been hit by a bus.

Sitting jittery outside the exam room hoping that the questions really really wouldn’t require a sound understanding of hedging or forward markets (i.e. the introductory chapter I didn’t understand) or, actually, international trade law at all (i.e. the entire course), that familiar old internal refrain of “In all fairness, Michelle, you don’t really deserve to pass this exam anyway, given this sort of preparation” was seeming as pertinent as ever.

But then the lovely old retiree who’s been invigilating these exams handed me the question paper and oh joy, oh providence, there were questions I could do, although forgetting all my cases couldn’t have helped, and I think I might just have gotten away with this.

I left jubilant, grabbed a coffee, and got on the bus to uni. Prepared doggedly for the arbitration over the next hour or so, fuelled only by a char siew pau and fear of humiliation, and managed to deliver a credible performance despite being mentally dead and feeling somewhat intimidated by the formidable abilities of everyone else. After class, the professor took us all for a drink. I swigged a strangely headless Guinness, got to know my rather personable and engaging coursemates a little better, and generally had a grand time.

Today, in contrast, has been sedate. Woke up in time for lunch. For dessert my mum whipped out a gargantuan tub of chin chow (grass jelly, it’s much nicer than it sounds), and I gorged myself happily. Lazed on the couch. The Discovery travel channel was featuring the World’s Top Ten Seductive Beach Resorts, all of which looked samey and artificial. After a while I got tired of seeing gooey-eyed couples embracing in the sunset, mostly because of my current geographic inability to do the same.

Channel surfing revealed a Hallmark movie featuring an inordinate number of grizzled old men in flat caps and tweed gathered on a rugged beach for a horse and buggy race. It was immediately obvious to me where this movie was set even before anyone opened their mouth and sounded lilting, and the appearance of the prosthetic-eared leprechauns confirmed my suspicions. So anyway this touching love story unfolded between an American, who of course had gone to Ireland to find his roots, and a sassy Irish woman, and there was, like, this PARALLEL love story between a fairy and a leprechaun, and obviously the uniting factor between both love stories was that they come from DIFFERENT WORLDS, and there are all these OBSTACLES to their love, but of course their love TRIUMPHS over all, because doesn’t it always, and at some point I fell asleep.

Last Legs

I just realized the last few times I meant to type “stipulated” in my international trade notes, I typed “stupilated”. Time for bed. I feel stupil.

LLB (First Class Honours)

The news for today, apart from the fact that Munich is scorchingly hot, is that I apparently have a first class honours degree to show for these 3 years I’ve spent at UCL. Next to news like this I suppose mild sunstroke is nothing really to complain about.

Happy Ending

I’ve only just come to the stage of post-examness where writing for the blog begins to feel like a growing necessity rather than the enforced sidetrack from Getting A Life that it would have been in the past few days.

There is nothing wild or bacchanalian to report. Company Law went much better than I’d expected, and I left quickly after exchanging a few perfunctory words with the few people I actually talk to in the course, nothing of substance; there was no feeling of Here Ends Undergraduateness (assuming I pass), no lump in the throat.

It’s an illustration of my general lack of connection with the social aspects of the law faculty, I guess, even if I will miss the lady in the cafe who worried aloud that the owner of the purply coat left behind (mine) would be cold and since then always reminds me to take it with me when I leave, the lovely Irish security guard who always tried to calm me down every time I was desperately apologizing that my debating tournaments were keeping him there overtime (we always got him some whisky to make up for it), and strangely, the roadworker on a long-term job on the road to the faculty, who chats me up every time I walk past and tells me I’m pretty even when I look bloody awful.

I grabbed a Time Out, a Marks & Spencers lunch, and made a long list of things to do, both practical and frivolous. I went shopping – the makeshift stall on Goodge Street again proved itself an unlikely treasure trove when I found Adventures In Foam (Cujo, 2 CDs, £10), reeled back in disbelief, and snapped it up hungrily. Oxford Street yielded two skirts and a garish top.

Last year the night the exams ended was celebrated in typical style – dinner, pub, club till dawn. This year I had dinner with just Russ (in Carluccio’s, which I loved. Can’t wait to try the one in St Christopher’s Place). It felt right, celebrating the end of my undergraduate life at UCL with a friendship which I count among my most important achievements at university. I didn’t feel the need for anything more glamorous.