Shimura Curves

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hi! My Name Is...

I really ought to introduce myself.

1. FIRST NAME?
Marianna

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
The story: my mum's two best friends were called Carolina and Marianne. When she had my sister and I she named us Caroline and Marianna.

3. DO YOU WISH ON STARS?
Always. But I don't always need stars to make wishes.

4. WHICH FINGER IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
That's like asking me to pick my favourite child!

5. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?
Last Saturday afternoon. I was hysterical.

6. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
My handwriting is rather lovely, to be honest. Which is useful for penning long letters to my Australian girlfriends.

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LUNCH MEAT?
Aww man, nothing beats chomping away at a big fat polony.

8. ANY BAD HABITS?
I'm lazy.

9. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF?
I'm not embarrassed by any of the music I own. So shutup, you haters.

10. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
OMG, we would be the bestest of friends ever!

11. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL?
If I swore I wouldn't, I won't.

12. DO LOOKS MATTER?
Yes. But so much else matters more.

13. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?
By swearing like a trucker.

14. WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME?
Australia

15. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY?
I'm really quite wary of most people.

16. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TOY AS A CHILD?
Favourite toy: Catra (from the She-ra, Princess of Power series). But as I child I really spent most of my time riding my horse, George.

17. WHAT CLASS IN SCHOOL DO YOU THINK IS TOTALLY USELESS?
No class in school is totally useless. You can (and generally need) to learn something from all subjects.

18. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?
Not a journal as such, but I have a load of notebooks that I fill up with anecdotes, lists, dreams, pictures, planned events and crush lists.

19. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
Yes.

20. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT?
Yeah, I was in the crush during The Prodigy's set at Perth's Big Day Out. I can't say I enjoyed it, but it was an experience I thought I should have.

21. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL?
A good heart.

22. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?
Yana. Mari. Miss Longmire.

23. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Probably.

24. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
I mostly wear heels or flats (no shoelaces), so no. If I've been out running in sneakers, then also no as I have a tendency to kick them off afterwards before I collapse onto my bed.

25. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE STRONG POINTS?
I know that I have strong points.

26. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM FLAVOUR?
Oh lordy. I LOVE all ice cream. Top 5 faves: Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, Mint Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Pistachio.

28. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE COLOURS?
Red!

29. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE?
Four.

30. WHO DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW?
Ellie Henderson and Rob Bolton.

31. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
It's not a demand, but it would be nice.

33. LAST THING YOU ATE?
Roasted marshmallows.

34. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My mum.

35. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN A GUY/GIRL?

Posture. Eyes. Smile.

36. DO YOU LOVE THE PERSON WHO POSTED THIS?
I'm totally in awe of her.

37. HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
Very indecisive.

38. FAVOURITE DRINK?
A tie between pina coladas, and peanut butter and banana milkshakes.

40. Favourite sport?
Swimming. Dressage. Showjumping. Fencing. Archery.

42. EYE COLOUR?
Blue.

43. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Yes.

44. SIBLINGS?
Two: one sister, Caroline (lives in Toronto, Canada); one brother, Stuart (just fled Menton, France to Perth, Australia).

45. FAVOURITE MONTH?
This year? The first three weeks of June. Then it all went to hell.

46. FAVOURITE FOOD?
All Thai food, sushi, ice cream, avocados, meat pies, my mum's koonac satay, zucchini pie, fried chicken from Perfect Chicken in Archway, all stone fruits, fresh sourdough bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, roast lamb, roasted veggies, pumpkin scones, goats cheese...

47. LAST SHOW YOU WATCHED?
Curb Your Enthusiasm

48. FAVOURITE DAY OF THE YEAR?

Any day that's filled with sunshine, laughter and love. So what if it's soppy?!

49. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT?
No.

50. SUMMER OR WINTER?
I love all seasons (though I wish the English winters wouldn't drag on for quite so long), but I do prefer summer. Absolutely.

51. HUGS OR KISSES?
Both. I love, love, love, love kissing, but you can't beat a really good, strong, lingering, hug.

52. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS?
Relationships. The sex is ALWAYS better.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Questionnaire

So I'm buying a flat. And I'm so wound up by arguing with my mum about my house-buying that I've decided to answer a silly web questionnaire I found on The Lex's blog instead of working.

1. FIRST NAME?
Kate. Well, Katharine, really.

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Some television actress my dad had a crush on.

3. DO YOU WISH ON STARS?
Every single time I see one.

4. WHICH FINGER IS YOUR FAVORITE?
My little finger, because people tell me it makes me look posh when it sticks out uncontrollably.

5. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?
About ten minutes ago, after having a transatlantic telephone row with my mum.

6. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yes, I have quite elegant handwriting (when I can be bothered).

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I don't eat meat. Hummus.

8. ANY BAD HABITS?
Overeating.

9. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF?
Any one released by my old band.

10. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I think I'd go on my own psychogeographical walking tours, that's for sure.

11. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL?
Yes, once, while extremely drunk. I thought it was for the good of both parties, and in the long term, it was, but in the short term it was horrible.

12. DO LOOKS MATTER?
Only if they're not mine.

13. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?
Shouting. And bashing the stresspig against my head.

14. WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME?!
My office.

15. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY?
No

16. WAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?
Lite Brite. I loved the clear plastic coloured pegs. Even long after the Lite Brite was not of this earth, I kept the pegs and played with them, pretending they were currency to be exchanged. Years later, I had a boyfriend who made conceptual art out of Lite Brites. I wonder what happened to him...

17. WHAT CLASS IN SCHOOL DO YOU THINK IS TOTALLY USELESS?
Sport.

18. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?
I have a diary.

19. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
Nooooooo...

20. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT?
Yes, at hardcore shows at the VFW in the mid 80s. It was very cathartic. I broke my foot slam dancing in sandals.

21. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL?
Good hair and a pointy nose.

22. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?
None that anyone would dare call me to my face.

23. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
God no.

24. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Of course. Unless I'm wearing shoes with buckles on them.

25. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE STRONG POINTS?
My breasts are quite pointed.

26. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
Mint chocolate chip.

28. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS?
Cobalt blue.

29. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE?
I've no idea. Haven't been to a dentist in 18 years and counting.

30. WHO DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW?
Kaliflwr, my former housemate and oldest friend in NYC.

31. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
It would be nice if my bandmates did.

33. LAST THING YOU ATE?
A banana.

34. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My mum, in that transatlantic row mentioned above.

35. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN a guy/girl
Hair. I am so shallow.

36. DO YOU LOVE THE PERSON WHO POSTED THIS?
Lex? I positively ADORE him!

37. HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
Nervous and a bit wound up by all this house-buying stuff.

38. FAVORITE DRINK?
I can't drink alcohol at the moment, so chococcino.

40. Favorite sport?
I morally disapprove of sport.

42. EYE COLOR?
Green.

43. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
God no. My glasses are my trademark.

44. SIBLINGS?
One biological brother; but he's mad. And then there's Dare, who is my Secret Psychic Twin because we were born on the same day.

45. FAVORITE MONTH?
October. Which is odd because it was a bit rubbish this year.

46. FAVORITE FOOD?
Pizza, sag paneer, chocolate.

47. LAST SHOW YOU WATCHED?
Grand Designs? I watch a lot of TV but I can seldom remember it afterwards.

48. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR?
The 22nd of November. It's, like, international conspiracy theorist's day or something.

49. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT?
No. But they never say yes.

50. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter. Big sweaters and tweed jackets and boots... autumn is even better, though.

51. HUGS OR KISSES?
DON'T SQUEEZE ME!!!

52. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS?
Errrr... I can't remember. I can't really be bothered with one night stands any more. But then again, getting *into* a relationship in the first place is an even bigger bother, isn't it?

Blimey. I feel a lot better now. I enjoy filling out questionnaires. Why can't be psychological evalutions be more like this, and less like... well, psychological evaluations?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

National Solo Album Month

NaSoAlMo - ripped off National Novel Writing Month. I am *SO* doing this.

29 minutes of solo material? I could crank that out in a weekend! I sneeze and solo albums come out!

Final Fantasy

My Crystal Consultant has gone, so I finally get to eat my lunch and answer email and update my blog again. Why has it been so busy at work lately? Don't they know I'm only here for the free bandwidth?

Back from Brighton (obviously) and in some ways wish I were still back there. I spent a stupid amount of money on a posh hotel though damn, my view could not have been more fine. I watched the waves while I showered, and while I lay in bed writing my diary, and could watch the Steine from the other bed, and if I stood on tiptoes I could see the tips of the Pavilion...

Oh, the Pavilion! I've been to Brighton a dozen times and never visisted! A fantasy or fantasia... ever since I was a child reading Mark Girouard (sp?) books and articles in Country Life, I have wanted to visit it. And found, as an adult, that it was even more magical than I could possibly have imagined. I spent hours wandering around, pretending to be an Austen heroine, shepherded by Captain Anderson or some other Regency Sea Captain (I even bought Patrick O'Neil's Master and Commander in Brighton, I am so ashamed of myself)... but anyway, enough of my perverse fantasies.

It has been a good week for music. Kevin Blechdom was... interesting. The sound was apalling, but the show was fantastic. Very inspiring! Final Fantasy, though. Blimey. Inspired me to shut up and never make another note of music, because I could never be as talented as him. It's kind of a double-edged sword when you see a show *that* good. Reminded me vaguely of Mozart in Amadeus - this skinny, geeky, skinny child with limited social skills, apologetically dashing off genius with the flick of a violin bow. I felt ashamed to call myself a composer.

Monday, October 24, 2005

More On This Later...

I trust my judgements enough to not worry too much about marketing strategies. I hear ::band X::; I like them, or I don't - why should the mechanics behind me hearing them and making that decision be allowed to affect that decision? - Tom Ewing of Freaky Trigger on ILM.

This is, in a nutshell, the sum total of every discussion about music - especially "manufactured music" - that I had on Friday night. I wish I could be so eloquent.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pain Delays Play

I didn't realise until last night how much I miss it when we don't rehearse. It was one thing after another, with people dropping out and being unable to make it for various reasons, until we decided just to skip it. And it wasn't until I just burst out crying for no reason in the middle of Holborn Circus that I realised how much I'd been looking forward to it.

I often find it really frustrating being in a band - the organisation of it, the shit you have to put up with to play gigs. So sometimes I kind of lose track of why I *do* it and find myself swearing in a moment of madness that I hate it and I don't want to do it any more. But I miss it when it doesn't happen. It feels like life is a big grey expanse devoid of colour without my band. I hate where I live, my job is a big ball of stress and the Cute Typographer seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

Recording has been put off... again. Just as well with all the housing troubles I've been having. Although I don't think that our drunken rehearsals had anything to do with my eviction, I'm still nervous.

Going to Brighton tomorrow to see AMP's Kevin Blechdom gig and I think I might stay for the weekend, FAP with the ILX crew and hang around by the seaside. Going to Kent last week was so wonderful that I think getting out of London again might do wonders for my mental health.

In the meantime, I leave you with this old photo I found while looking through the I Make Music board. Wow, I was HOTT once upon a time. Maybe if I keep up with the country walks I can get that way again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And in complete contrast to the previous post...

How about this for a hott little Shimura Curves onstage look? I guess K8 will probably hate it, but I can see me, Anna and Marianna rocking this something chronic.

*awaits smackdown from rest of band*

Kent



I want to move to Kent by the time I'm 40. I don't care if it's a cliche on a Country House scale. Emma and I went on a country walk through the North Downs at the weekend. Somewhere on the train ride out, my depression broke, and I started to turn back into a human being. Ambling down country lanes and hedgerows, bounding like a puppy who had been kept indoors for too long, smiling and greeting the few people we saw. (Oh, but the solitude of the country! Not a madding crowd in sight!)

I grew up on a farm. I think it's fairly natural that in my old age (oh, hush, Anna) I would want to return. Devouring back issues of Country Life no longer suffices. I want green things and mud and big friendly dogs and sheep and orchards and freshly ploughed fields and styes (sp?) and hedgerows and giant ancient oaks like that one we're exploring up there.

They say when a man is tired of London he is tired of life itself. That's bullshit. I just want to be by myself.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Homeless

It's official.

Hell is other people at breakfast.

I've got five weeks to find another place to live. I just want a nice burow - or an isolated turret somewhere - to hide away and compose without anyone bothering me. Or criticising me for not being "social" enough because after a hard day at the office I just want to eat dinner and go to bed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Draw Your Own Shimura Curve

Thanks to Dare for this link, it is the COOLEST THING EVAH!!!

I am still hungover from rehearsal last night. We went through five bottles of wine and a pint of beer. Had a good gossip and some good girly rants and managed to teach Marianna exactly two songs. Well done us. More later...

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Mum Is Confused

I finally sent my mum some demos after putting it off for ages. This is her review:

i am listening to your cd. some of it is lovely especially when you are singing. the other girl who sings has a hard accent and is not as lovely as you. i also loved the first song. and the ever after. much love mum

The irony being that it is *only* me singing on the demos. I haven't recorded any of the other Shimuras yet. I wonder what kind of an accent it is that my evil non-lovely alter ego has!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

OK, So It's Official

Frances has now left the building band. I'm quite sad about this, though I'm not really shocked. I understand her reasons (mostly time pressures) and it's all coo and friendly and on good terms. But I'm still feeling a bit... shellshocked. And daunted at the task of finding another Second Soprano.

I don't know, maybe this is more to do with other circumstances in my life, the job, my ill health, the attempted pickpocketing I foiled today. (Dude, that was one unfortunate mugger who thought I looked like an easy mark, a nice, middle aged lady - coming from anger management I let loose a string of expletives and threatened to cut his balls off and call the police (in that order) - not realising afterwards how lucky I was that he didn't have a knife.)

I was really not looking forward to the band meeting last night, with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and rising panic and the growing notion that we should just chuck it all in. Anna was slugging down shots in the bar to steel her nerves after a tough day at work. But I was really surprised by how AMP really just kind of shrugged her shoulders and took over planning and dreaming and suggesting and organising. And that point it suddenly clicked, that was the crisis that had focused us, and I realised that we had actually become a *band*. Like, this was a *thing* which existed and had a life of its own and energy to sustain us even when I wasn't feeling 100% about it.

So, er, yeah. We're looking for a new Shimura now. We need a lady who can sing harmonies (second soprano ideal) and also dance, and look fabulous in pretty dresses. Email us if you think you know who it could be...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Viva Forever

Feel really down this morning. Not shocked, but still a bit upset. Some changes are coming. Some changes are good, some changes are bad, but all changes are necessary.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pride and Prejudice



I just saw Miss AMP's photo of the gig last week, and I actually started to feel good about the gig. Maybe this is shallow, but just looking at the photo, it looks like the sort of thing *I* would want to watch. For a moment, I see us as the audience saw us - geeky guitar girl with laptop and spectacles hiding behind three glamourous, beautiful ladies who look like they're having more fun doing their synchronised girly dance moves than you've ever had in your life.

Miss AMP's Flickr account is great, you should check it out.

Also, although I don't believe in this kind of thing, we appear to have a My Space. I'm kind of scared of MySpace but I guess it's a good idea. I just wish I could hear what was playing in the background! Stupid work laptop. (What am I doing at work on a Saturday anyway? Oh yeah, running the monthly reports when no one else is on the system.)