Lunch in the cafeteria today reminded me of how much everything affiliated with fish and chips tastes exactly the same. The first time I ever had this particular local delicacy was when Chris and I were waiting for our train back from Cornwall when we went camping there last summer. We stopped at a local fish-and-chips place in the town where we were and had a lunch that was certainly palatable but completely homogeneous. The hake, the calamari, the french fries, the onion rings, the utensils and the napkins* all had roughly the same oily-crunchy texture and bland flavor, even with liberal application of aioli and salt. You could have put everything into a blender, reconstituted it into long, thick, lumpy shapes and deep-fried it and it would have been more or less the exact same meal.
Along the same lines of long, thick, lumpy objects, I had a lecture today about The Nun's Priest's Tale from Canterbury Tales in which the lecturer bravely chose to keep referring to Chauntecleer as a "cock." There was surprisingly little giggling, even when she alluded to the fox running off with a cock in its mouth and people chasing after it. Even after the lecture conversation kept to the less puerile side of things with a discussion of "Chaucer-Fried Chicken" (don't ask me how that one came up) between me and a couple friends. In conjunction with long, thick, lumpy things being deep-fried, however, my inner eleven-year-old is surfacing. Must not disturb other library patrons with juvenile laughter...
Am now off to write 1,000 words about The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd. May just type random gibberish until I actually think of something to write about.
*I may be exaggerating about a few of these. Poetic license.
Just now while revising my essay on Persians by Aeschylus, I was trying to think of a way to describe the time before Athens was established in which the Greeks considered a lot of their myths and stuff to have taken place. I tried a whole bunch of things, but the only one I ended up liking very much went something like this:
"Persians was written only eight years after the events it depicts, as opposed to the vaguely defined TIME OF ANCIENT GODS! WARLORDS! AND KINGS! in which most tragedies of the day took place."
Sadly, I'm pretty sure if you reference Xena: Warrior Princess in an essay for a Classics course they automatically fail you, so I suppose I'll have to come up with something else.
I recently finished reading 2001: A Space Odyssey and will never again question why Clarke has a sci-fi award named after him. I've never looked much into the wide world of hard(ish) sci-fi, but as presented in 2001, the prose was so engaging and the explanations were so straightforward and clear, even for a non-science person like me, that I stayed fascinated the whole way through. The story made so much more sense when actually explained by a narrative (although it didn't help that the first time I saw the movie was a) several years ago and b) with my dad keeping up a semi-constant drunken commentary about how deep it was all the way through, so I may have been slightly distracted from understanding it all.) The suspenseful parts were suspenseful, the beautiful parts were beautiful, and the long cat was lo--er, sorry.
Ironically, reading the book has just made me hate the movie even more. I can see what Kubrick was trying to do now, but the story deserved so much more than what he gave it, or even could give it. In the book, for instance, Dave's journey through the star toward the room/rebirth at the end was absolutely beautiful, both in description and sentiment. In the movie... well, it was the 70s. The asthetics of the 70s will ruin anything you plug into them. I suppose the sentiment was the same in both cases, but again, without the narrative it lost a lot of the impact in addition to looking like a Windows screensaver having a bad trip. This has happened to other books I liked (yes, Girl with a Pearl Earring, I'm looking right at you and your boring, piscine star. I don't get why so many people find Scarlett Johannsen so gorgeous. IMHO she looks like her parents were straight out of Innsmouth. I'm off topic again.)
Next up: Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler, and see if I can track down the 2001 sequels. I was also sucked into re-reading China Mieville's The Scar, but I left off at a slow enough part that I've abandoned it for the time being.
Well, my first flight was a resounding success, but the second flight came to a screeching halt when the flight attendants informed us that there was a mechanical problem and they had to go look for another plane. After waffling for a while they finally told us the flight had been officially cancelled and we would have to rebook, so after only the most minor of panicking I managed to get on the phone with American Airlines and reschedule for a flight into Heathrow. The good part was that it was direct to London and I wouldn't have to take a detour through Ireland as previously anticipated, but the less good part was that it was the next day at 9 AM local time, leaving me about 12 hours to kill. They gave me a hotel voucher but I chose instead to stay up at the airport all night watching MSTs and talking to Chris. (What can I say, I *really* hate airport security.) It was actually nice in that my subsequent nap on the plane was the most restful plane sleep I've ever had.
Anyhoo, seven hours after that I landed and took my two ridiculously heavy trunks and one ridiculously heavy bag to Chris's place where I am now. We're planning on goofing off all day and then getting me moved into student housing tomorrow.
OH GOD I LEAVE ON THURSDAY
OH GOD I'M GOING TO BE IN ENGLAND GETTING A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE
OH GOD I'M LEAVING ALL MY FRIENDS HERE BEHIND