Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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What Disney princesses taught me

I love Disney. I think I love Disney probably more than I love cheesecake which, as I’m sure you can imagine, I have a lot of love for. I was raised on Disney films and my favourites tended to be the ones with a higher animal character to human character ration.But today I was thinking: what could I take as life lessons from Disney princesses today? And this is what I came up with.

Everybody can sing. 

Even the baker, your dad and maybe the mouse that lives in your kitchen since he learnt to sing from the fork. Also, everybody knows the lyrics to the song you’re about to sing about your life. Unfortunately I think I have a different lyric book to the world as so far any of my public singing has just resulted in odd stares. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not dancing at the same time.

No matter what you do, be it fall of a horse, come out of the sea or have your dress ripped to shreds by your evil stepsisters, your hair will always look amazing.

This is probably why I am always unhappy with my frustating excuse for hair. I still half-expect it to look blow dried and healthy at the end of the day when I have sweated off my make up and made my hair greasy from touching it so much due to my indecision at having it in a pony or free and happy. Yes, I am that attractive. Calm down.  

Happily ever after exists with only a little strife at the very start of your life (because most princesses were 16 in my day).

I use strife lightly here because that strife tends to be someone trying to kill you which, you know, is probably a tougher experience than most 116-year-olds experience. But still after that, I always got the impression that everything was going to be hunky dory since the bad guy was dead and she had got what she wanted (which was usually a man but that’s a whole other issue). Maybe this is why I feel like my life is over when we don’t have enough salami in the fridge for me to make a sandwich.

You can fall in love in less than 24 hours.

Cinderella and Snow White are the guilty ones here and when I was young I imagined love hitting me hard on the head so that there was no doubt of feelings. In hindsight that sounds painful and love wasn’t like that at all for me. It was more like the central heating in a house (crazy romantic I know), where it slowly but surely sneaks up on you and before you know it, the house is warm. But still, I learnt not to settle without some sort of butterflies straight away. (I just blushed at admitting to butterflies, I am  officially a loser).

Belle is my favourite princess because I like to pretend that if I was an animation I would be her. Plus I always look this worried when I look at a menu because I take too long to make a choice.

Belle is my favourite princess because I like to pretend that if I was an animation I would be her. Plus I always look this worried when I look at a menu because I take too long to make a choice and I don’t want to waste the waiter’s time.


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Why growing up isn’t that bad

When you’re a child, all you can think of is how you want to be a grown up and do grown up things like drive a car and watch television whenever you want. Little problems such as car tax and crappy programming isn’t a concern because the OPTION is there and that’s what it’s all about: options.

When you’re a teenager, you think you’re grown up and life is, like, SO stressful because of all the grown up things you need to handle and all those grown up feelings you’re experiencing that you never felt before. Then you have the thought that you can’t wait to grow up because of your parents, and school and all those things that make life hard when you’re 15 and will disappear when you’re older and as cool as those pictures you see on tumblr. (I still want to be as cool as some of the photos of the people, clothes and houses on tumblr).

When you’re classed as a ‘young adult’ (which is a weird term right? Or is that just me?) you become a little bit terrified of growing up. Mainly because it sounds scary and by this time you realise there are things like tax, terrible pay and lots of responsibilities and you realise you don’t want anything to do with all those adult things. That’s the last real, strong thought you have about being an adult. It makes you queasy and nervous and adulthood does not seem to be filled with the excitement and promise it had when you were five years old.

But then you get to a point as a ‘young adult’ where you’re practically a grown up but still doing the crappy things that young people need to do. The word exams buzzes like a neon light but it isn’t anywhere as pretty as those cool, vintage signs. I am at that stage and I have come up with the top three reasons why being a grown up isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.

You get to do what you want to do

I know most young people nowadays have a lot more freedom than they used to and I know most think they can do what they want anyway so this isn’t a big change. But it is. When you’re a grown up, you answer to your parents out of respect rather than because you have to – it’s more of a habit than them teaching you how to be in life. When you’re a grown up you get to chose how you live your life, what you study (if you do), where you work, what you watch, what you wear, who you talk to and where you go. I mean, the negative is that you can’t really blame your mistakes on anyone else because that doesn’t really cut it but, at the same time, every achievement and every adventure is yours alone.

You get money

Obviously this doesn’t happen as soon as you become a grown up. You’re not handed a cheque and told “congratulations, you’re an adult.” That would be absolutely amazing but no, you get money in exchange for work. Work, when it is a part-time job and not the job of your dreams, will be tedious within the first week but that monthly paycheque will feel like it’s sent from the Gods. It will probably be one of the happiest moments of your life. I’m not even kidding. As a person who is not driven by money, I still remember the excited, joyful feeling I got at 16 when I received my first paycheque.

You never have to do exams

Unless you become a doctor then ignore this. But if you’re a normal person then this will be one of the best things ever about growing up. No more revision, no more frustrating hours spent looking at notes and never feeling satisfied that you know enough. Never having to spend two hours writing as much as possible about everything you can remember on the subject. I. Can’t. Wait.

I mean there’s more obviously. The whole driving thing is pretty cool and the whole following your dreams (career wise and personal wise) is probably the single bestest thing ever about growing up but these, I feel, will apply to most grown ups and grown ups to be.

Growing up isn’t terrifying, it’s exciting and I feel like I am back to my five year old self where the grown up world is thrilling and full of promise. The only awkward thing is that I’m not quite sure when you actually know that you’ve entered the land of the grown ups. Should I expect my certificate of entry in the post?


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Books you HAVE to read

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but never seem to give justice to the brilliance of these books. As a result I delete the entire thing and write about something else. Reading, I understand is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is my form of escapism. I am always shocked to find that people do not like to read or would rather watch television than pick up a book. However, this post is not a rant on my disbelief at people’s lack of love for books. I’ll leave that for another day and fellow book lovers will probably know what I would say, while people not interested in books will have heard it all before.

If I had endless supplies of money, I would buy the house next door to wherever I was living and it would look like this.

If I had endless supplies of money, I would buy the house next door to wherever I was living and it would look like this. It would, however, be a lot neater. I can’t handle wonky piles or shelves.

I have two favourite books. Both are incredible and I couldn’t decide on which is better if my life depended on it. I also have another few which I think are pretty special and definitely worth reading even by those who don’t enjoy it. The thing with being a bookworm is that once you find the right book it does not seem all that difficult to fall in love with reading.

So for book lovers, this is my small but special list of must-reads. For those who do not enjoy reading, I promise you that if you read any one of the books on this list, you’ll at least become a reading fan if not a die-hard book lover. If I’m wrong I’ll send you chocolate (NOTE: by chocolate I mean happy thoughts to make you feel warm and fuzzy).

Without further ado here is my list of five books you have to read (which technically speaking includes eight books but whatever, this is a literary post not a numbers one).

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Technically speaking I shouldn’t be putting these books on my list because I haven’t finished reading them all. BUT they are so addictive and consuming my brain that I had to. Aimed for teenagers but some of the best books are, I think it has something to do with the fact that writers feel they are able to be more creative and that improbability can be used more. Oh and the pressure of being an adult novel is removed.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This is one of my favourite books, in league with another that is also featured on this list. It is one of the most amazingly, wonderful books I have ever read and words are not enough to express my absolute joy and love for this book. It is a book that leaves you breathless and the world a little changed after you’ve finished reading it. That’s pretty epic reading if you ask me. If you haven’t yet, read the book before you watch the film. The book is so incredible that it deserves a blank mind (in terms of having little to no idea of what to expect).

The Shadow of the Wind book coverThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Just writing the title of this book made me happy. It is my other very favourite book along with Life of Pi. Carlos Ruiz Zafon likes to lead you one place and make you think one thing and then spin everything around. It is full of mystery, love, death, danger and intrigue. It also all surrounds a book. In a word: perfection. If you choose to do nothing else this year, read this book.

The Great Gatsby and May Day by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Okay, I’m cheating because these are two different books by one author. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stories though are short and so I feel justified in putting them together. These two books are a smorgasbord of descriptions, details, colour and vibrancy. Everything is rich, even when Fitzgerald is describing something ordinary. Reading these two short books is a little like being wrapped in colourful dreams and fantasies.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I read this a few years ago whilst on a family holiday to Malta. It was a brilliant book and because of its size I thought it would last me a little while even though I’m a fast reader. It didn’t. It was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down and it’s written in a way that makes it easy to read without being overly simple. It’s entertaining, and emotional. A book that is nothing like you’d expect and would be loved by young and old alike.


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7 things that should happen to me right now

So it’s Tuesday. I am yet again filling in applications and trying to learn shorthand before my course starts in September (because I’m geeky and like to get ahead). Both tasks are making me start to hallucinate of places where such things don’t exist: you know, happy places.

This is me, only I’m not feigning my exasperation. And there might be a little more paper around me.

Out of said hallucinations (hallucinations were a result of a tedious Wednesday not from any enhancing type thing that could have been consumed. This is my promise to you) this list was born.

1. Some very handsome man would knock on my door and hand me a check for at least £150,000,000.

I don’t even need that much money, but I would help a lot of people with it. I also like how many zeros that number has without it being a bad thing.

2. I’d open the fridge to see that there was a lifetime supply of muller blackberry yogurts and strawberry or NY cheesecakes. 

Obviously these would be the best tasting muller yogurts and strawberry or NY cheesecakes in the whole universe and they would not make me so fat that I could no longer walk to the fridge to get such glorious food.

3. At least two dogs would magic up, I’d keep them as pets and my parents wouldn’t even care

Any breed is good of course but so far I’ve only imagined huskies, dalmatians, bull mastiffs, labradors and French bulldogs. They would love me almost as much as I’d love them.

4. YouTube would stop interrupting my incredible playlist with adverts that are so loud, my eardrums have burst.

I’m productive to music, if this could happen for just two hours who knows what I could accomplish?

5. Make nudism okay in public

Okay, I know I’m inside trying not to drown in my own desperation of never ending applications but I have to leave my house at some point to pick my mum up from work. This means putting on clothes that at least cover part of my body. I’m currently wearing shorts that love to ride up and kiss my bum and a top that’s so baggy there’s really not much point in it – if you get my drift. Attractive, I know. Still, I would be far happier if this was allowed without me running the risk of getting arrested.

6. My life suddenly turns into a musical

I want people to burst in (in a totally non-scary way) and start singing about my little predicament and how it’ll all work out in the end. I want us to all do the same dancing moves, smiling so brightly it might rip our faces and all singing in perfect tune.

7. ONE application is accepted

Please.


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Females according to the entertainment industry

Women make up approximately 50% of the population. If you’re not a woman, then through the process of elimination, it’s fair for me to assume you’re a man. I appreciate that some people do not consider themselves to belong to a certain gender. However, I’m not talking about those lovely people.

Women are every bit as complex as men. We’re humans, half the time we don’t know how we feel and we change our minds as often as we brush our teeth. In reality then we can all agree that women and men both reach the same levels of complexity because after all: we’re all people. But I’m confused because, according to the majority of the entertainment industry and a lot of women’s magazine (I don’t read enough men’s magazines to make a fair judgement) there are only a limited number of women. All seem to have been made to not seem ‘threatening’ to their female counterparts or ‘intimidating’ to their male ones.

Since my course doesn’t start until September and there’s only so many application forms you can fill before wanting to repeatedly bash your head against the wall until it, or you, breaks; I’ve been watching films. I like films. Films make me happy. The representation of women in films however, doesn’t make me as happy.

Females according to the entertainment industry are pretty one dimensional. Even if they have a ‘hidden’ side to them, it’s easily uncovered by a sexy male lead and a candlelit dinner.

So here are the females according to the entertainment industry, in particular rom-coms. If you believe you are completely like any of these women then stop selling yourself short. If any guys reading this believe that some of their female friends are exactly like the women I’m about to describe: don’t be ignorant and stop selling them short. Enjoy the list. Don’t let your brain explode with the frustration.

The teeny tiny woman who eats more than an obese man

This lady is skinnier than a healthy thirteen year old. Yet she is filmed in many of the films’s scenes stuffing her face. She’s usually eating something that would make Beyonce gain weight within a few minutes, even with the Single Ladies dance. You never see her actually finish a meal and you hear her family and friends mention her eating habits several times during the film; heaven forbid she should stop wearing children’s clothes. Anyway squealing ensues, she takes a big bite out of something, eats with her mouth open, and then the scene cuts and we go to the man that she will eventually kiss with her skinny lips as he wraps his arms around her super small, almost non existent, waist.

The best friend that would have a personality if she had her own life

Ah the best friend! She doesn’t have a life, has a hopeless love life and is more interested in the many dramas of the main female than her own life. She talks about sex, is always friggin’ hilarious with her brilliant one liners. She’s not as good as the main female character obviously, heaven forbid that women can be friends and equals. This Best Friend gives pretty good advice and yet, by a viewers calculations, her life is empty – as empty as her head.

The whimsical fairy type girl

Firstly I would like to point out that, in the real world, this girl does not exist. She only goes for obscenely boring and miserable male lead characters and shows them once again the beauty of a life. Like a child, only grown up so it’s not weird to fancy her. She is quirky and weird for weird’s sake. She’s like a fairytale character and decides to do spontaneous things on a whim. She is free, cannot be pinned down and apparently happy (although it’s just an assumption rather than actually implied). She doesn’t seem to have a home, a background or a family. But who cares? She’s only a woman. In real life she would be homeless, in a mental institution or a cartoon.

The workaholic 

This woman is very, very serious. After all, career women are very, very serious. She does not have a boyfriend because who would want someone that cared about her professional progression so much? She always has her hair tied up to make her look very, very serious. She does not smile and she’s a little bit socially awkward. Obviously the most important thing about the workaholic is that she is unsatisfied about her fabulous life. Why? Because she hasn’t found love. Duh! Oh and it is also important to remember that the workaholic does not know how to have fun.

The arty farty and child type

I’ve put these two in the same lovely bold heading because there’s not much to say about these two types of females. A lot of women in rom coms work in an art gallery or paint. When she actually talks about art, which is very little considering how much she loves it, you realise she (nor the person that wrote her script) understands anything about art. And that’s coming from someone who knows very little about art. The child type is the woman who teaches very little, cute but annoying children. The children all love her, mainly because she never gets to teach them. They’re either playing or when the lesson begins she’s interrupted by the main male character. These women are ALWAYS interrupted at work: not like they’re doing anything important anyway.

How my brain feels at seeing women portrayed as one dimensional dolls in films that are targeted at a female audience. What kind of sicko does that?


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Several things that make me feel like a loser

Loser: Slang . a misfit

I’m 21 years old, trying to learn shorthand so that I’m more prepared come September, and have more receipts from six months ago in my purse than actual money. I graduated this year with a robe that made me feel like a superhero and a hat so tight it gave me a headache. The summer started really well: I celebrated my 21st and had one of many dreams actually come true.

Sometimes though, the summer sucked because after living with the boy, pathetically, it’s much harder to be apart. The first thing that makes me feel like a loser. I love being at home but if you’re human, which I assume you are if you’re reading this, you’ll know we are a complicated species. Our brain loves to make us continually want. I think it’s a part of the whole evolution process; if we continue to strive and develop for more then we won’t fall behind on the whole evolutionary scale thing and, you know, die out.

The lack of money is also getting to me now and adding to my feeling of feeling like a loser. For three years now I have had a loan and at least one job, at some points two jobs. Money was always an issue because I’m a student and I like to save – two things that are hard to mesh together. I’m not a capitalist, nor do I think money is important. However, having no money means that when I do need money for important things: such as the course books I need for September, you realise that money is important. I’ve been told that due to the course being intensive (a years’ work in 25 weeks) that I should not get a part time job unless it is related to the course. So, work experience which not only does not pay; it is also very hard to find as I have also come to realise. I continue trying and I’m pretty confident it will work out if I do, but it doesn’t detract from me feeling like a loser.

I also feel like a loser when I get nervous on hill starts in my car. It’s not that I can’t do them, and it’s not like my car can’t cope (even if she is old) but I just have a fear that I’ll roll into a car behind me, even if there is no car behind me. I can drive okay, I’ve never actually rolled down a hill since I passed my test and got that beauty of a pink license. But this feat always makes me want to either cry or scream and it always makes me sweat uncontrollably. Whenever I’m in traffic and we’re rolling up a hill I begin to grip hard to the steering wheel and chant myself, “don’t let me stop here. Just over the hill. Don’t let me stop here. Just over the hill…” You get the picture.

My dancing is incredible. I am Beyonce, better even. They are moves that are completely out of this world. When I dance on my own in the house, my dance ability increases ten fold. Especially when I’m checking myself out on a mirror or the glass patio doors. Some people may consider this to be part of the things that make me feel like a loser. It doesn’t I feel like a goddess when I dance. Then I saw myself taped dancing and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry; it was when I was on my own: uninhibited dancing. Hasn’t stopped me though.

Not being able to ride a bike. This makes me feel like a loser the most, I feel my parents are partly to blame for never teaching me properly. I have evaded the question of being able to ride a bicycle or if I want to go on a bike ride. I’m not even one of those humans that doesn’t want to learn. I do, I really do. But my core balance is worse than that of a…I can’t even think of what, it’s that bad. My ability to ride a bike is the same as a two year olds to recite all of Shakespeare’s sonnets by heart. It’s the one thing that always makes me change the subject, the one thing that causes me to blush, the one thing that I’d rather lie about than be honest about. That’s the key to it making me feel like a loser: the shame. I actually went to look at the two bicycles we have in the shed at the bottom of the garden (also known as Spider World). They looked rusty and were full of webs, once bought by my father in the naive hope that my sister and I would be able to learn. Every bit of rust, every bug caught in those many webs around those two bikes (which look terrifying by the way) was like a shameful secret. I can’t ride a bike.

This could be me. Look how happy I could look, with my hair being blown in the wind.


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Words that anger me

As a student studying English Language and Literature I fear that I will become a words snob. Luckily, and sadly, I make way too many mistakes in my speech. This is due tomy continuous attempts at trying to sound smart, as a result the boy or my sister (whoever is closest) never allow me to let myself ascend into such a big ego status. However there are some words that make me want to scream and rip my hair out in anger and cry for so long I could swim in the puddles. At the same time. I’ve decided to compile a list of said words for two reasons.

Firstly because I will then send the link to this blog post to my sister in an attempt to out-smug her. Since I am far away, she cannot hit me and I don’t have to run anywhere. Bonus. Secondly, I found an angry baby and a sad pug that sum up my feelings wonderfully and it would be a shame to let such images go to waste. So here’s my top five words that make me so mad that, if I was a cartoon, smoke would come out of my ears. Apologies in advance for sounding pompous! (Which was accomplished in one swoop with the use of the word pompous).

  • Innit: Why, oh why! When did this ever seem like a good idea? How much time does this actually save from isn’t it? Nothing! Pathetically I timed it, to give users of ‘innit’ the benefit of the doubt but nope. No time is saved, therefore there is no place for it in colloquial speech.

  • Fine: ‘Fine’ is the type of word that sends shivers down my spine. It makes me think of horror stories or angry, crazy people about to blow. When people use ‘fine’ it means: boring, or not fine. I’d rather alternatives to ‘fine’ were found, it’s the most mundane word in the world. It used to mean something, and that meaning has been lost. ‘Fine’ no longer means good, it means adequate and there are better words for adequate (like adequate). ‘Fine’ no longer has a place on our lips.
  • Cos: ‘Cos’ makes me sad more than anything else for many reasons. The main one being that it is usually followed by a really crappy excuse. The word ‘cos’ also reminds me of annoying kids, like me, from the 90s that were trying to be cool. ‘Cos’ is another of those words that doesn’t make you look cool and doesn’t save you any time. It’s usage eludes me.

  • Relax: I used to like this word, it used to mean calm and a chill out in front of the tv with my mum. However now if my voice changes an octave then the boy instantly tells me to ‘relax’. As if I am a child high on sherbet and sweets. It infuriates me so much that he now says it on purpose to raise my blood pressure. The word now means the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to. It makes me angry just thinking about it; if I was talking to the boy about it he would laugh and tell me to ‘relax’ and so my hatred for the word continues. And FYI: 99% of the time I AM relaxed.
  • Dough when used instead of though: My sister talks very fast and so cannot control her tongue enough to say ‘though’. One day those that use ‘dough’, will want to say ‘though’ and ‘dough’ in a sentence. The listener will not be able to distinguish the two. Why would you replace a word like ‘though’ with ‘dough’? Yes, they sound similar but they don’t sound the same and they mean two completely different things. Think about it: you’ll never be able to enter a bakers and ask for fresh bread using that particular dough. And that could happen one day! How very sad…