Welcome to another instalment of posts from my journal, as we approach the halfway point in 2003. I’m getting ready for the summer here, by taking my final exams in my second year at uni, socialising with friends, buying various DVDs including particularly good ones by Queen and Led Zeppelin, and getting hooked on the latest Grand Theft Auto game. So I hope you enjoy!
Sunday June 1, 2003
June is here already, this year is going so fast! And I’ve finally seen the first Harry Potter film! Dad borrowed it from a friend at work, and I saw it last night. And it’s a good bit of entertainment. I don’t think I’ll become a fanatic of the series, like some people seem to be, but I enjoyed it. The special effects were good, and It was a bit more grown-up than I expected, so I can see why it appeals to people of all ages now. I still think Lord Of The Rings is better, but Harry Potter is good too. There’s just a bit too much hype about it really.
Wednesday June 4, 2003
2 exams down, 2 to go. I had the Audit exam today, which went well I felt, despite it being the most boring of the modules this year. My next 2 exams are next week, on Monday and Thursday.
I’ve also bought some more CDs and DVDs for myself. The CD set I bought today was the new live Led Zeppelin album – How The West Was Won. I’m a newbie to Led Zeppelin, and got their greatest hits earlier this year. I’ve got the live CD on now, and it’s great so far. There’s some long tracks on there I haven’t heard yet – a 25 minute version of Dazed And Confused, a 19 minute version of Moby Dick and a 23 minute medley around Whole Lotta Love.
I also got Led Zeppelin’s new live DVD, which has completely different material to the album. It’s a mixture of live shows over the years, with over 5 hours of footage! I haven’t seen any of it yet, so I can’t tell you what it’s like, but I’ve heard good things about it. Even the menus have extra footage which isn’t in the main feature, so I’m told. I’ll let you know what I think.
Incidentally, the DVD for Queen: Live At Wembley is out next Monday – I’m looking forward to that a lot, as it’s the full concert (as on the CD), rather than the chopped down VHS version. Plus we get extras including multi-angle tracks and documentaries, apparently. Sounds great!
I also got Citizen Smith: Series 3 & 4 on DVD today as well, so I now have all the episodes of that great comedy.
Friday June 6, 2003
Well, I think it’s fair to say that Led Zeppelin have another fan for their huge collection! The live CD set is superb, and the DVD is also very cool so far.
Now, I don’t get too mad over any music artist I like, but it seems like one woman has. She paid to get a pair of Ronan Keating’s boxer shorts in some radio sale. How much did she pay? £1,610! Yep, you read that right. Plus, and this shows you how mad she is about him, she got an extension on her overdraft just to pay for them! She’s got them on the wall in her lounge because he’s her “babe”, apparently. I can understand if people like him, that’s fine, but isn’t she just going a little bit too far, paying that much just for a pair of pants?!
My next exam’s on Monday (Financial Accounting), so I’ll let you know how it goes. It will probably be the hardest one this year. I expected Audit to be pretty hard too, but it turned out to be better than I expected. Let’s hope the Financial Accounting exam works out the same.
Monday June 9, 2003
Well, that’s another exam done. It was Financial Accounting today. It went a bit better than expected – my consolidated accounts for the first question actually balanced! It doesn’t mean they’re right, but it’s promising. The rest of it went well too. My next, and last, exam is on Thursday – Taxation.
I’ve been getting ready for the summer by buying some more DVDs to watch today:
- Queen: Live At Wembley – This is the big one that I wanted mainly. It looks great, and when there’s nothing on TV this weekend I’m going to sit back and watch it all. There’s a lot of bonus stuff too.
- Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains The Same – This was their first DVD, which has live footage plus some other stuff. I’ve heard it’s not as good as the new one, but it still makes for a more complete collection.
- Rolling Stones: Bridges to Babylon Tour – I’ve never seen the Stones live, so this will be a good chance. It’s from 1997-1998, and I would like to have seen their earlier stuff, but this is a good start.
- Rising Damp: Series 1 – Another funny sitcom.
- Don’t Wait Up: Series 1 & 2 – I don’t know this show, but my parents do, so I bought it for them as they wanted it. It’s a gentle comedy like As Time Goes By. I might give it a go as well, but I don’t think it’ll be my kind of thing.
I’ve also been watching Citizen Smith, of which I’ve got all 4 series on DVD now, and they’re very funny. They’re written by John Sullivan, who did them before Only Fools and Horses, and you can recognise the writing style. If you like Only Fools and Horses, find the DVDs of Citizen Smith and give it a go.
On Thursday, after I’ve finished my last exam, I’m going to buy my holiday ticket – by which I mean I’m finally going to get GTA: Vice City, so I suspect I’ll get very engrossed in it over the summer, and it’ll feel like a holiday somewhere else! I wanted to wait until the summer so that I had lots of time to play it, and also because there are now plenty of walkthroughs available for free on the web in case I get stuck later. I won’t use them straight away, but I’ll probably end up using guides from GameFAQs.com, as they helped me with GTA 3 near the end.
Wednesday June 11, 2003
I’ve been looking at some of the extra stuff on the Queen: Live At Wembley Stadium DVD and I’m very impressed. It’s their best DVD to date, they’ve really put a lot of work into it. The multi-angle feature is great, allowing you to watch just one member at a time, and you can flick between them as you choose over a 4-song set. The photo gallery has a great alternate version of A Kind Of Magic which I’ve never heard before, and there’s also a time-lapse photo feature on the removal of the two towers at Wembley, which Queen clearly aren’t happy about. That’s set to an instrumental version of These Are The Days Of Our Lives. There’s also interviews, a documentary, rehearsal footage (not as good quality as the rest, as it was shot by a private collector) and clips from the Friday night concert. Most of those bits I haven’t seen yet, and I haven’t watched the actual concert in full either yet, but I’m very much looking forward to it.
Apart from that, my last exam is tomorrow, so this year at uni is nearly over. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Friday June 13, 2003
I’ve finished! My second year at uni is almost done. I obviously need to get my results later, in about July, but apart from that I don’t have to go in any more until October! The exam (Taxation) went well, I didn’t have too many problems. My body decided to catch a cold at some point on Monday, so I didn’t feel too great on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it went away enough for me to do the exam, thankfully.
After I did the exam, I went and met up with a couple of friends. We had lunch, did some shopping and then had a few drinks down the pub. So that was good.
I also treated myself to GTA: Vice City yesterday, as I said I would. I started playing it last night, just to get the feel of it. I’ve already decided, thanks to my experience with GTA 3, that I’m going to drive around and get to know the area fairly well first. Looking at the area though, it’s pretty big! I’m thankful some of it is shut off to start with. But it’s already looking like it will be a good game. It’s great that you can drive bikes, that’s a good addition.
The graphics are better compared to GTA 3. There are certainly games with better graphics, sure, but these are good enough and it plays well. The best thing about the game so far has to be the music though. I’m just listening to bits of radio stations as I use the vehicles, and they’re all pretty good. I’m going to get quite lost in this over the summer, I can see that!
I don’t have much else planned for the summer at the moment, I’m just going to see what happens. There’s a college reunion in July, and I might go along to the college’s end of year disco if I’m invited, to see some people I know who are still there. Perhaps we’ll go up to London to see our relatives again at some point too. Other than that, I’ll just relax and see how it goes.
Sunday June 15, 2003
I watched Queen: Live At Wembley last night and it rocks, enough said! It’s wonderful to see the full concert, and the extras are great too. I think my favourite part of the extra material is from the Friday night performance. It was raining, everyone was wet and they were having a lot of fun. It was also quite different from the Saturday night show, although the order of everything is the same. But unlike many groups today, who just do the same thing every night, Queen keep things varied, and do what they feel like doing.
Take the sequence after A Kind Of Magic where Freddie gets the audience to copy him. This happens on both nights, but I thought the Friday night version was even better than Saturday’s. He really shows off what he can do with his voice. The backstage footage of the band is also great to see.
Wembley ’86 and the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert are the only live Queen concerts I’ve seen on video. There are others on VHS, which I was going to buy in the past, but hopefully they’ll do them on DVD now. If Wembley’s anything to go by, they could do a good job with other DVDs. If they have only bits of some shows, they could do a Led Zeppelin style DVD, as that showed everyone how a great music DVD can be done.
Enough of Queen, and on to GTA: Vice City. Even though I’ve played GTA 3, I’m still astounded by how huge this game is, and I’m only on the first island! I haven’t done any missions yet, I’m just driving around, getting to know the area. I’ve done a few unique jumps already, and I’ve stumbled across some hidden packages. I’ll probably do some of the side missions (taxi, police, pizza, etc) to help me get to know it even better, before starting on the main missions. It’s going to be a cool game.
Monday June 16, 2003
Vice City is still as addictive as ever, I’ve bought one property now for $2500 in Vice Point, and I’m trying to work up a bit of cash for the others I’m able to buy. Pity I can’t buy the strip club yet though, oh well. As for real life, it’s very hot and sunny right now. Not much is happening, but at least summer is here.
Friday June 20, 2003
I met up with 2 friends today, although we didn’t do much, as we didn’t have lots of time. It was still good to meet up though. And I’m doing quite well on Vice City. I’ve only just started doing the main story missions, as I’m quite busy exploring and doing other stuff, it’s very addictive!
Thursday June 26, 2003
I met up with some friends again today, although there’s nothing really interesting to report about it. We had some lunch, hung around and chatted for the afternoon. My old college are having their end of year dinner and disco next Thursday. I’m not invited to the dinner (only current students and the previous year’s leavers can go to that), but students can invite guests to the disco, and a mate has invited me. So I’ll probably go along and stay the night. My results are due out around that time too, so when I find them out I’ll let you know.