The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.
— Barbara Kingsolver (via jennifercoynequdeen)

I’m taking a LOT of deep breaths these days. I finished my PhD in June and since then I’ve been flailing slightly. I thought I’d get a part-time job but I live in Ireland and haven’t found a thing other than odd jobs here and there. I’m Canadian so I don’t get the dole and trying to write and publish without a financial structure is hard if not impossible. I’ve applied to a bunch of things both in and outside academia and have had interviews but nothing has taken so far. How hard can it be to find a fucking job, although I think I’ve also been suffering from exhaustion. This is what they don’t tell you in those ‘why you should do a phd’ articles. I thought I couldn’t afford to continue after my fellowship ended, (with hindsight I can now see that was just wrong) so I pushed myself to finish on time and what I ended up with was exhaustion which the University couldn’t care less about even though they got the kudos for having a student finish on time. Also my supervisor is in the midst of his own breakdown and is one of the least supportive and helpful people I’ve ever met. If he doesn’t get paid to help he won’t help. So I’m not in a great position. I have a novel and I’ve begun pitching it to agents somedays I feel like everything revolves around selling the novel. Late last night while I was preparing to send it to an agent in London I had the terrible feeling of ‘what if I don’t sell it.’ I haven’t entertained this idea at all because I just couldn’t, maybe it’s a sign I’m getting stronger but I don’t know how to answer that question. Besides the need to moan I’m writing this because I need to reinvent myself. And I do think I’m starting to recover physically and emotionally, I’m beginning to enjoy myself again and engage in books and movies (I just couldn’t during the phd) but finding myself totally blocked when it comes to writing. Or maybe I’m not blocked - I’m just afraid to commit, to apply myself. Some days (most days) I feel stuck. Chances are I’ll return to Canada but will that be the answer - won’t I just be stuck in Canada and then living with my brother and his family?  

Anyway I’ve been sitting on my bed for the last few hours reading entrepreneurial ideas, thinking of avenues and avoiding applying for jobs, fixing my CV etc. Avoiding applying myself. help I think. 

There are tens of millions of people unemployed, looking for work, wanting to work (and) there are huge resources available. Corporate profits are going through the roof, there’s endless amounts of work to be done – just drive through a city and see all sorts of things that have to be done – infrastructure is collapsing, the schools have to be revived. We have a situation in which huge numbers of people want to work, there are plenty, huge resources available, an enormous amount to be done, and the system is so rotten they can’t put them together.… …There is plenty of profit being made by those who pretty much dominate and control the system. We’ve moved from the days where there was some kind of functioning democracy. It’s by now really a plutocracy.
Noam Chomsky (via azspot)

dustyfleas:

Austin Healey 3000 (1959)

Vintage Dreams - there were only two: the sporty Austin Healy and the MG A.

Although people call sporty cars “Sports Cars” none of them are. A Sports Car are racing machines, as in Formula A, Formula 1 etc - anything on the road is a sporty car, ask any racing driver. Vive la différence. 

- DF

(Source: lacloserie)

Movies over Christmas

I’ve seen quite a few movies over the last week. Many of which were only snippets (has anyone ever watched the whole of Taylor and Burton’s Cleopatra?). Below are the ones I watched in full. 

Cartoons:

Enchanted - nice, cute, very sentimental. Patrick Dempsey was okay but Amy Adams was great. The singing was a little too much at times, like the number in Central Park. 

Tangled - cute, yes, good animation but otherwise I look forward to watching it again when I’m hungover.

Secret of Kells - completely surprising. Really liked this from all angles. The animation felt a little nostalgic of the 1960s. The representation of the bad guys as a large black insidious and non-individualised force worked very well. 

Alice in Wonderland (the disney version) - is good of course. I’ve recently read the original and this adaptation is leagues (LEAGUES) above Johnny Depp’s later version. 

Verdict: most have been feel good, passive entertainment with the last two being the most demanding of the viewer. 

Dramas:

The Fighter - I put off watching this for a long time and woe is me. I’m generally a bit reticient when it comes to Christain Bale and Mark Wahlberg (especially of late) but they lived up to the hype here. Did Bale win an oscar for this? He deserved it either way. And again Amy Adams was superb. 

The Hobbit (The Desolation of Smaug) - I love LOTRs so I like this, but it’s gone a little too lord of the ringsy now but anyway. I was left a little blase by the whole thing but then one cannot judge these three-parters until all three movies have been seen. That said I went back to watch the first one and skipped through most of it. 

To Kill a Mockingbird - this was probably the best movie I saw over the holidays. A good story goes a long way. Great acting helps a lot. Gregory Peck makes a classic.

Cast Away - is this now a yearly tradition? Perhaps. I’m always a bit reluctant to start watching this but once I start I’m sucked in. Tom Hanks has done some sentimental crap in his day, but this is not it. This is a really interesting and strong movie even if it’s considered a little twee. Hanks can be forgiven for a lot. 

Jane Eyre (2011) - Liked this adaptation quite a bit although I’m a sucker for Bronte adaptations, especially if Keira Knightly isn’t in it. The lead actors (Mia Kowalski or something) and especially Michael Fassbender were great. 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) - I found this movie a bit complicated. I wonder if it isn’t targeted to TTSS fans. I’d never seen this story before and I felt some story strands weren’t made particularly clear but then maybe I wasn’t watching close enough. Production quality and acting was superb though.  

Dead Poets Society - surprisingly this celluloid pearl of my youth isn’t aging well. Looks a little hokey now. 

verdict: I usually stay away from drama cos it’s such an intense genre (not good when finishing a phd) but this time round found them most enjoyable. 

Comedys (the loose definition)

Seven Psychopaths - well written (I saw McDonagh in a pub two days before I watched this!), well acted but the violence was a bit over the top. was all that necessary?

Bridesmaids - disappointing. What the hell was all the hype about regarding this movie. The airplane scene was the best. otherwise this was a movie about poo jokes. Ugh. Chris O’Dowd was the best thing about this movie but he’s not playing such a different character than he does in the IT Crowd. I thought it was quite unfunny, stretched, and predictable. Nowhere near the Hangover. 

Babe - an old favorite. I watched it too many times now to pay too much attention other than the very end. That’ll do pig. That’ll do. 

Sound of Music - is this a comedy? I don’t know but it makes me feel good so I’ve placed it here. Julie Andrews is good, yes of course, but this time I was struck by how good Christopher Plummer was. 

White Christmas - Bing has a sing. bling fling, ring. Ting.

Verdict: poo-jokes do not a comedy make.

I also have watched a lot of Doctor Who (anti-climatic Christmas special and WHY do we have to wait till the Autumn for the next series) and Sherlock which is brilliant, brilliant and brilliant.