February 26th, 2017

kiri win

(no subject)

La La Land

I bought the La La Land soundtrack from iTunes this morning. Mia and Sebastien's theme is so emotive. I love this movie so much that I preordered the film on iTunes despite it costing GBP13.99; in fact, I even thought the soundtrack was expensive at GBP10.99. But fuck it, it has been years - literally years - since a film delivered a sucker punch to my heart. It is worth it.

It is staggering how much this film speaks to me. I would even rank it around my all-time favourite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in terms of the emotional connection that I feel with it. It is also because of how much I love La La Land that I'm annoyed that it's getting all this Academy Awards attention - the more attention a movie gets, the more backlash it faces, and because this film feels personal, I am not at all open-minded to negative comments about it.

Rui pointed me to a review in The Guardian in which the reviewer basically said that Mia and Seb are narcissists, and that the film encapsulates today's culture of narcissism, because how dare young people choose ambition over love? I get the point, I really do; the characters are driven by self-interest, by ambition, and end up sacrificing love on the altar of self-interested ambition. But is this narcissistic? They are acting in accordance with their own ambition as much as they are responding to the capitalistic cultural milieu that has shaped their identities. They are interested in their own success, perhaps disproportionately so, but love is an implausibe choice over ambition when they have been brought up to think differently.

Perhaps the reviewer was right to say that it reflects badly on our times; but it is not because of the characters' narcissism. They are not any more self-interested or vain than the average over-achiever; and any perceived narcissism is really a reflection of the atomistic tendencies of modern-day capitalism.

In any event, all the things that the reviewer said was wrong with the film are also all the things that I love it the way that I do. A sucker punch to the heart.

Bloody Busy Sunday

I have to prepare for my French test and a 10-minute presentation for my discussion group session.

I can't wait to go for dinner tomorrow with my friends, for that will be when the stress is all over.

I probably shouldn't have played impromptu tennis with Jay today at 11am, but it's tennis. It makes me happy. I was hitting the ball quite well today so that was good.
kiri win

Lack of Complication

I probably should not have availed myself of fun on Saturday night, considering the shitload of shit I have to get done by tonight, but I will adopt a consequentialist approach to the matter: it was a fun night, and so it was justified.

I had an impromptu dinner with Marc at an Indian restaurant 2 minutes from Magdalene. The food was decent but not mind-blowing. Marc kindly treated me to dinner which definitely sweetened the pot. I was happy to talk to him about things other than my see-sawing love life; in fact, it felt nice to be in a position to give halfway-decent advice.

Later, we went to the musical (Anything Goes) that the guy I met from Tinder - K - invited me to. He plays the drums, and he'd been playing the drums in the musical all week. I eventually decided to go because it was in my college and I didn't have to make special effort to attend, and it was only 5 pounds (that reminds me: I owe Marc 5 pounds). I was expecting absolutely nothing, given that it was a student production; but it turned out vastly more enjoyable than I'd thought. The Asian guy that played Moonface was fantastic. The girl who played Reno whatever her name was has a beautiful voice. There were some awkward supporting characters and I thought the guy who played Billy basically had one expression throughout, but overall, it was fun. The songs are also pleasant.

(Random sidenote: I bought organic leeks from Sainsbury's instead of the normal ones. There is definitely a reason why they are double the price of the normal ones: they taste so much better!)

After the musical, I spent a couple of hours walking around with K. The original plan was to have a drink at the bar in Jesus College but it was packed - and for good reason, too. It was actually rather swanky for a college bar. In fact, it could have passed off as a regular bar in the real world. It's modern, spacious, bright, classy-looking; definitely puts my college bar to shame. K was being too kind about my college bar when I told the truth and said that it's kind of crap; he said that it's not as bad as I was making it out to be, and that it's actually quite nice.

What's also nice is him. Marc's instincts about him seemed to be right; he comes across as a really nice, genuine guy, none of W's complicated, self-absorbed bullshit. After deciding to go elsewhere as Jesus Bar was full and too warm, we ended up walking around the college and the other side of the river, where the boathouses are. I'd never been inside one of those boathouses where college rowing teams hang out, work out and keep their boats, so it was pretty cool to see the inside of one of them. Conversation was also easy. It was just straightforward and uncomplicated, which was a really nice change after the whole drama with W.

Towards the end of the night, he asked me how the Tindering was going. I gave him the honest answer: hadn't logged in for weeks (over a month, I believe), was dating someone, he didn't want to commit so I ended it, someone from the law PhD asked me out and I went out with him a couple of times but eh, not my type. Naturally, I threw the question back to him, and he told me what he'd been up to on that front; basically ended something short recently too.

At one point, he said that he doesn't do hook-ups. After hearing that, I stopped wondering at the back of my mind if he was gonna invite me over to his for tea. The night also ended very respectfully: a kiss on the cheek at the gate of Magdalene, and then he was on his way.

*

He's really into music, and he has a friend who's singing with the Postmodern Jukebox who are performing in Cambridge on Tuesday night. So I may go to that. It sounds exciting. They do soul covers of popular songs and I like some of their Britney covers, among others. If K gets me a ticket, then I'll go for sure; I'm excited just thinking about it so I hope he comes through.

Also, I don't know why, but I invited him to go to the Magdalene May Ball. We were walking into town from Cripps Court and the subject of May Balls came up, and I think he mentioned that he wanted to go to the Magdalene one, and I mentioned that I have reserved tickets, and before I knew it, my mouth opened and the words 'you can come with me if you want' escaped from my mouth. Did I think before speaking? Not really. He said that he has white tie due to playing in the orchestra; to that I said, 'Even better! You must go then!' (Or something along these lines.)

Bloody May Ball. I have to make payment by sometime next week, AND I need to have the names of my guest(s), and I can't change them unless I want to pay 30 pounds to do so. How ridiculous, isn't it? I also inadvertently ended up with two pairs of tickets as I didn't know that I was balloting for a pair when I balloted for 3 quantities of tickets. I thought it was 3 individual tickets, not 3 pairs. So now I have a pair of dining and a pair of non-dining, and if I pay for all of them, it will be 640 pounds after deducting the deposit. What am I gonna do with them?

Do I really want to go? I am kind of curious about it and it would be nice to get into the authentic Cambridge experience, and the Magdalene May Ball is supposed to be good (it'd better be! 200 pounds for a dining ticket!)...but it's bloody Magdalene. It is my college. No matter how fancy-pants it becomes, it is still my college.

And there's this issue, of course: K is nice, but who knows if I'll still be talking to him in June when the event takes place? Like Josh observed on Friday night, I change dating partners every other week. Of course, we could always just go as friends regardless of whether anything happens, and that's fine...but not ideal.

But it will be fun to dress up. Maybe I should just do it, yeah?

*

I am spending too much money on coffee. It's two days in a row that I went back for a second cup. But I was so fucking sleepy today that I gave in at 4.30pm when I found myself almost falling asleep on my boring paper.

Speaking of my boring paper, I really ought to stop writing this entry and finalise my preparation, then memorise conjugated French verbs, and try and get some interesting reading done (i.e. John Banville's Ghosts) before I sleep.

I've been feeling moody the whole day. I don't know why.