Sunday, 30 December 2012

So Book Club who's with me?

   I have decided to do a book club as part of doing things that I want to do to in the New Year. All are welcome to come and join if they want. I think I am going to post questions and thoughts on the last Friday of the month, and also pick another book probably with a discussion as to what people would like to pick.


   So since I have just got out Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and have read nothing but good things about it, I thought that would be January's book, it's also something that is really different to what I usually read so would be cool to see what it's like.

   I have really missed book clubs that I have been a part of, I love having a discussion of books in any capacity so I think it's going to be really cool. So hopefully it won't be me all on my lonesome on the 25th of January the last Friday talking about the book.

   Happy New Year in advance!

  

  

My Love of Recaps



   So I have been following the series Strictly Come Dancing for the past couple of months, and it finished not too long ago and really it's because of the recaps. The recaps that I loved were from the website xojane.co.uk. I think really because those recaps are from people familiar with the British culture and that they are really interested in what is going on in this show.

   So this is a show that is basically Dancing with the Stars UK. I have no idea which came first but this doesn't make me wince like The X Factor or Big Brother (although I did watch the first season of that show on Channel 4 and thought that it was interesting because they looked at it more like a psychology experiment then it quickly went to shit). This is a show that had people who were already famous in one context or another and chose to be on this show, and not to become famous (they already have a career or that is not the reason they are on to get the public to know who they are from Adam).

   So I don't object to the reason, unlike something like the X Factor or America's Got Talent. That isn't about talent as far as I can tell. It is about commerce, and who is going to sell the most tickets or get them the most amount of money. What makes me sad about that is that the public seems to really like this, despite not really caring about the fact that at least some of the contestants really want a long term career in music rather than some short burst as a money maker and then let go.

   Maybe it's my cynicism coming to fore, but that is what those shows represent to me. I am not really a big follower of music, but really who remembers the winners of these shows six or five years ago? It makes me sad for those who participate in it, because they are selling something that who knows what the cost will be? And really for what?

   This is the reason why I like Strictly it's not really trying to sell you anything other than seeing celebrities try and perform really hard dances well.

   This is not the only reason, mostly, now I have got moralistic rant out of the way, it is for the recaps. They are hilarious. The talk about the hosting (I am team Claudia Winkleman all the way, I love her and she really is good at her job on this. Presenting I have always thought in entertainment jobs can be very hard, she does it effortlessly. She's great, she is only on it once in comparison to the others who host the show, but boy am I glad that she's there in any capacity). The other two hosts one of which I really dislike and the other is a bit meh to me, so Ms Winkelman all the way. The recapers love her too.



   They talk about the judges, I really have no thoughts on this apart from the fact they seem need to be there to least add some professional eyes to the dancing. Darcy Bussell was added just this year, she's a former ballerina and was pretty cool to me. I really didn't know enough about the other judges or really care, but for the people doing the recaps I really liked what they had to say.

   The contestants were all trying to get the dancing down. I was surprised that were two Olympians on the show, but I guess they were offered enough money. Jerry Hall was on, bad dancer, really funny on the recaps (she was only in it for two or three weeks). I liked Dani Harmer and really didn't have much of an opinion about anyone else. Apart from Lisa who was awesome (knew she wouldn't win, but was really good and I thought performed well, and like she wanted to be there). 



   Still love Lisa and there she is in my favourite colour. I really like the sleeves of that dress as well.

   I have also found other places that do recaps, Television without Pity, as well as Vulture and TV.Com. Really I fell in love with xojane's and I love that website anyway so will follow any recaps that they do.

   Strictly I didn't really watch for the outcomes I watched it for the recaps which were funny as hell, and I loved them. So really thanks to xojane.co.uk, for making me love your super funny recaps, and also as an aside being not the only one who hates Bruce Forsyth. Really it has been almost 20 years and I still can't find it in myself to really think he has any talent. As a personal request to Strictly please, please, please replace him. Even if that doesn't happen, I will still follow the recaps, because you've got me now.      

  

  

Friday, 21 December 2012

Female Friendship

   I have recently been really obsessed with Pitch Perfect that hasn't come out yet but I really want to see it. Mostly because it's about women and importantly friendships between more than two women. I love Buffy but the female friendship on that show is really only between two women of Buffy and Willow. I like that show for a lot of reasons but I find that friendships between women and more than two are rare.


   I think that this post really comes from the fact that friends in life are really important and they are always different in the women that you have them with. Friendships have been really important to me, and I really wish that there were more examples of this.

   So I wanted to give a list of stuff that I love for the friendships shown, and no particular order they are:

   Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie. I love Crusie, I have read almost everything that she has written. I think to be really honest I have only not read all of her work is because I live in the UK and it does become hard to get imports. Anyway Bet Me is one of my favourites, and I have to say because there is friendships between at least four different female characters. They are all fully fleshed. I love Min, but I also love Diana she is wonderful, and the real betrayal at the end of the book is the breaking of a friend's trust. It really is well done.

   I love this book, and Crusie is my favourite writer so no wonder I like it so much, but it really does show different women being real friends.


   Whip It. The reason again that I like this film is about the women in it. I have not read the book but the film shows different women and I like the way it's framed around roller derby. Again friendship is really the core of why I like this film. I really liked the best friend character as well as Kirsten Wiig's character.

   Calendar Girls. I have liked this film since I saw it in the cinema. Again various friendships and really it's about women standing up and doing something daring. It has the great Helen Mirren and Julie Walters in it. I really liked Penelope Wilson in it too.

   I know that I have recommended Laura Lockington before but Capers in the Sauce is still one of my favourites. I love the Englishness of the setting and again for it's about the friendships. Both male and female in this case that I really like. The characters are fully realised and what I like about this book and the people in it is how non judgemental they are. It is a real joyess read. Of course nothing at all like my life but for me that is what makes it all the more amazing.

   The Dream Series by Nora Roberts. I think my favourite today would be Finding the Dream. It about three women and their bond of love keeps the series going. I also have great affection for the two small girls in the book, because they really likable and real at the same time.

   Going down the route of female family Trisha Ashley's Every Woman for Herself, centres around women but they are sisters. For me though it is a really good book. Caitlin the daughter if the love interest is also really good and bonds with heroine in a believable way for me.

   Steel Magnolias. I know that it's a cliche to say this probably but what fuels that film is the friendship between the four main women. I really liked the film and in particular Olympia Dukakis.

   A few honorable mentions, Moonlight and Valentino, Time off for Good Behaviour by Lani Diane Rich, Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb (which I do love but has quite a lot of fat hating in it, but the friendships are really good), Friends, I think the earlier series reflect the bonds between female friends really well, I loved the episode where the guys are at a hockey game and girls have a sleep over, interestingly that episode centres around what people are doing with their life and work for the women. To finish The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde (I think my favourite has always been Living Dangerously) but this I really love too partly because they are really a band of three women bonded tightly within the book, and I took my writing name May from this book.     

    I also wanted to mention a few that are about women being friends but that I had a few problems with. Bridesmaids is about women and women importantly being funny. I love the shot of Kristen Wiig on the fence trying to get back to her car and I really laughed out loud at she and Rose Byrne trying to get the attention of the policeman.

     I had problems with it too though. I felt like the rift between her and Mara Rudolph felt quite contrived. I also had a problem with the way they showed the main character being poor. At the beginning of the film they don't want to pay for the exercise that costs 20 dollars. Yet when getting bridesmaids dresses she seems to be able to afford one the costs 300 dollars. I also felt like the tone of the film seemes a little off, especially in the scenes where something grotesque would happen. I just felt like that there wasn't enough in this film to really make me connect to the friends. Not that this isn't a funny film, but I had a disjointed reaction to it.

    I also wanted to mention Drop Dead Gorgeous. I would have put this on the list but there are three big problems with it for me. That one of the judges seems to want to have sex or at least molest the contestants is really uncomfortable to watch, and not in a good comedic way either. This makes me doubt what the film makers were trying to say. Kirsten Dunst is not a good tap dancer in this film, which pretty much scotches the whole premise of her being excellent at her talent, and that being the reason why the people who are head of the pageant want her to be blocked.

   And the most egregious problem is the way they handle the disabled character. I find most characters that are like this in films very rarely handled well, and even worse when in a comedy. I didn't understand whether the intention was to make me laugh at him (which is horrible), or to laugh at how other people treat him (which could have been interesting but also ill conceived if that was the case). I think really it was a shoe horned thing to get a character to do outlandish things. If that was the case then it is lazy and offensive film making.

   I wanted to mention this film though because the things it tries for and pulls off does make it interesting. Like the whole white trash culture and the way this is shot. I also thought it was interesting to show how the women interacted with each other. There is a former winner who is now anorexic which I thought was interesting to show (though could well be offensive to people with eating disorders). I don't know I have mixed feelings about this film, but it does do something interesting with female friendships. Also Alison Janney is in it who is awesome. So if only for her scenes it is worth seeing her in a comedic performance.  

   Something that shows women together is a film worth while watching. So I hope people continue to make them and see them.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Looks

   So I was recently walking home, for those who have already read the Facebook thread, you already know what happened. Suffice it to say that a drunk guy called me ugly twice. I am over it now, but it still stings when somebody shouts at you, whatever it is that they are shouting.

   Even more annoying or ironic, I can't decide which I had recently been on a reclaim the night march. This march which is all about women saying that it is our street as much as it is men's. Now there are issues here to be discussed about safety and rights. I have never shouted at someone in the street even people I knew, it is really about intimidation and priviledge.

   Men or I should say the people who have said shit to me in the street are men, and they assume that it is their right to be able to say whatever they like to me. It pisses me off, but even more it underlines the fact that a woman on her own is still yet more vulnerable.

   I should also say I have not put pictures of myself up here. But I am going to Betty up. I am not ashamed of how I look, but I don't advertise myself. I am not trying to get a compliment and physical compliments always make me feel slightly uncomfortable. See if he had called me stupid I know that isn't true, but atacking my physical appearance seems like a judgement I can't stop but think about. I am not angling to say that I am pretty, but you know what I am human and I have feelings. I look fine and I want to share that I am perfectly OK with how I look.


   That is me at a Birthday Party. I was going through a phase of trying not to look at cameras. I think it was taken quite a few years ago.


   That is me pointing at a lollypop on the coast, I remember laughing a lot when I was there with my best friend. I love that shirt.


    I was dressed up as Wonder Woman because we had a super hero party. I loved doing it. I also loved my head band.



   And finally me at my brother's house helping make chocolate roulard with his girlfriend(as seen on The Great British Bake Off). I love this picture becuase I look slightly crazy but because it captures the fun we had making it.

   I am there in many a picture, and I am great. Just stop shouting at me in the street, and I think I will be wonderful!

Making Your Own

   I recently made some brownies. I made them rather than shop bought them. It is probably cheaper to buy them actually, but I think making them myself actually in the long term makes them better tasting. Though that's true I think for most things. Making stuff by yourself I have to say I feel like I making stuff appear out of thin air. It is easy enough to follow a recipe but seeing the end product is pretty cool!

Rediscovery

   I have rediscovered several things over the past few weeks, and one of them has been singing. I mean singing in a full bodied and full on way. This has been partly because I am part of a choir now.

   Singing for me has been wrapped up in a of of stress. I used to run and be part of a small choir, this was accapella, which means not having a piano or accompaniment, just voices. I do like that kind of singing, but it came with a hell of a lot of stress from running it I have to say. I do not miss the stress of emails and really putting yourself out there to get people to join. I also will not miss all the other music societies looking down at us, or the headache of money and budgeting that was all really hard. I also remember a head of a music telling me that I should put aside a whole day a week to deal with the choir when I was in my last year of University and buried in work (screw him).

   There were some great side benefits though it does look good on my CV that I was president of something (we'll whisper that it was only because no one else would take the job on but I was head of it for two years). The other stuff that I loved was the actual singing, and really enjoyable for me crafts, posters and really playing with art. I did love that part of it.

   So now I am part of choir. It is much bigger (couldn't be hard to be we hard I think our biggest was twenty people and our smallest about 8). This choir I have to say is really great. I am also fully owning that I am a soprano, that is where my voice naturally is, so I like singing stuff that I fully like and feel comfortable with.


   The thing that I like about this is that we are all in the sound that we are making together. And it's been fun belting out sings while I do the washing up (at the moment I am learning Winter Wonderland).

   This rediscovery has also come from the fact that there are songs up on youtube from Pitch Perfect. The songs I feel are great. I am definitely going to see this in the cinema when it comes out here in the UK. I know that this is going to be predicable from the goth girl who isn't really one to the connection to the guy who finally makes her feel, but I love films that are primarily about women and this is definately one. And it is about a choir, an accapella one at that so count me in! I am already singing to the songs on youtube.

  

La Roux

   I like La Roux a lot and sort of for the same reasons that I like Adele. They are both really good, and more than that I personally like the music that they put out. La Roux though for me has a kind of electronic sound that I don't often like but with her I do.

   I also like them both for singing songs that really kind of go past all the feminine stuff. I think for me both artists are not sexualised in the way other female artists are, they kind of do more interesting things.

   La Roux in particular and her videos I like in particular In For The Kill, Bulletproof and I'm Not Your Toy. I like a lot of the stuff that she produces. I also want to put a quick shout out to the Mercury Awards, these are awards in the music industry I think in particular the UK, and I have to say they can be a bit poncey and pretentious but they do highlight music that I might not have otherwise have known at all. This is how I found out about Florence and The Machine as well as La Roux.


   Hats off to La Roux, who produces really interesting and for me really good music.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Character

   I was thinking about laughter and comedies this week. I was thinking what makes me laugh may be completely different from someone else. I was also thinking about romantic comedies both books and films. I have a high tolerance for it being bad, I will forgive bad photography, bad acting (to a certain extent), bad directing, bad set, but the one thing that shines through all of that is character and writing. I will forgive huge amounts if the medium hooks me. If the people I am engaging with really do engage me.


   I was thinking about movies that are sneaky in their romances. Tremors is undoubtedly a horror movie. I am not a fan of horror, well it's more like a creature feature, but it's still about life and death. This plot revolves around defeating the creatures. What I like about this film is that the rules are very simple and never broken. In a way for me this film really shows you how to create trouble and very clearly shows the acts of the film through these things in the ground that eat you.

    I am a huge fan of this film and it does everything right as far as I am concerned in showing how a good movie structured correctly and that rules need to be made in order for films to work.

   Tremors is also sneaky with it's romance. It sneaks it in the B plot, this is not a romantic comedy but it is comedic. Also the stakes are really high in this instance of life and death. The romance in believable. The is the last shot of the film the lovers together, tells you something. I think this is a great film, and is a great example of character being the primary thing to concern yourself with, because it is what the audience will first grab, and if you falter the audience will not be with you.

   A quick thing about Tremors, the effects in it may not be the best,and look a little dated, but you can tell that they were practically done. That I think makes the film wonderful, and the creatures all the more real. CGI when done correctly can be great, but when creating something that lives in the ground they made the right choice, it definitely pays off.    


   Which leads me to The Mummy, another creature feature at it's heart. This film is all about love, doomed love in the Mummy, and hopeful lively love in Evie and Rick. It really is about these two relationships. This is another film that I think is simply and clearly set out. There are rules and they follow them. Nothing is broken here including character.

   When I say simple I do not mean dumbed down, I mean that it easy to understand. The audience understands the dilemmas put forth, but they also understand the world that they have been invited into is clear. This is not muddy, confusing or glaring with holes that make not sense. This is what craft, character and story should follow.

   There are plenty of film that break the rules successfully but I have to say a lot don't and confuse the hell out of me. These films have everything to recommend them, but most of all the characters in them are wonderful.

  

    

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sick

   I am quite ill this week, not really helped by the fact that I have had a really bad nights sleep for two days. So this week's post isn't going to be all that long. 

   So colds are not really the best thing to have happen, but in the end you just need to remember that this will pass, which I am trying to do.

   A couple of things though to note, having soup always makes me feel better when sick, nothing all that surprising about that, but soup is easy to make and make you feel great.


   That looks really good.

   Always have enough tissues, when I've been sick before I have not had enough tissues, and it really does not go well. Tissues are always good to have, and I made sure this weekend that I had enough.

   Eat, even when you feel like crap. It's important to keep on this, because this is about taking care of yourself. When your reserves are falling I find I really need to hunker down and make sure I eat. And it does feel like a real time suck when you are sick, but it is worth it.

   Make sure that you are warm enough, always good to note. But I have really had to keep watch on making sure I don't get really cold.

   And lastly rest. Sometimes even when not asleep if in bed and resting, it makes you feel better, or at least for me. I tend to forget that pushing yourself when you're sick extends your sick time.

   I'm not all that sick, but I tend to be way too lenient. What I mean by that is that a couple of Christmas's ago I was really sick, hacking up phlegm and not sleeping properly for about a week. It got really bad, and I nearly fainted about twice while getting food in that week. I insisted on just getting through it. 

   Really it is best to be kind to yourself when sick, and having a cold is being sick. It really effects your breathing, especially when trying to sleep.  

   This will pass, and hopefully will feel a lot better next week!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

False Balance

   I managed to get really quite irate this week at of all things a review programme on the BBC. I like the BBC a lot but it is elitist and largely has programmes with and about white, able bodied middle class men, and is run by them. This happens to be true of quite a lot of organisations let's face it, but it something to keep in mind when irritated.

   So first the Review programme is I think something I have to at least take with a pinch of salt. This is not the only opinion people about TV or books. This is also about the arts, I think that is a bigger discussion to be had about what the state is for funding and how people perceive art, but this is not helping it's case as far as I am concerned.


   I also hate this idea of balance, the panel was conceived of two men and women. Why? Is having four women that bad? Indeed why have four people? And if we are really going for balance let it be actually thought about, why all white? Why all in the same money bracket, why not have all queer people on the panel? Why not have people on who are not all from Britain? Why not have people on the panel that really want to question and be curious about this stuff rather than all the tired and frankly boring opinions being spouted again and again. Not yet again having two women and two men to apparently have balance which is fact nothing of the kind.

   Now getting to what they were discussing, and what made me in fact switch channels. They were talking about a book called The End Of Men, I can't remember who it was by, this doesn't really matter in terms of what bothered me so much. First of all I am never going to read it, for various reasons but mostly I can't be bothered to read another book that is supposed to be about feminism and won't shut up about men, or looking at how hard done by they are. The title also brings up yet again this whole thing about feminists being men haters. Frankly I couldn't give a fuck about what gender you are as long as you are not a douche then that's what I care about.  

   They were talking about this book, and both men were taking the position that they all know that women do things. Oh big fucking deal, pat yourself on the back for actually thinking that women are people. Good for you. May I just remind you that there is something like a 15% wage gap between men and women, so us doing things doesn't seem to have the same effect as YOU doing them. Women do something like 75% of the work world world and get paid very little (not going into the debate about housework that is still done by the majority of women and is not paid at all). I can understand in a way that you want to indicate that you are not one of the oppressors, that you respect women, well that statement didn't really do the job.

   Then as my blood was coming to boil it damn right reached maximum hotness when one guy said that the tone of this book, made him think of a feminist that used to get into argument with him being the editor of Loaded, and then at the end of the night ask him for a shag. I am paraphrasing. 

   I must admit, if I had been there I would have told him he was a really big douche bag, punched him in the face and walked out, but I wasn't which is probably for the best. First why should I take his word that this happened? If it did then I don't really think it is appropriate to give this as an example that all feminists are like this, one feminist is according to him, but I hardly think this applies to this novelist or in fact a movement.

   This also brings up that tired argument that all a feminist needs is a good fuck with a penis and she'll stop talking. Trying to silence women is not cool, nor is indicating that people and in particular women who object to lads mags are all looking in fact for a man to shag them. As we all know that objecting to something means you are lying to yourself, which isn't bloody true.

   Lads mags I have to say here I don't look at them unless they really are overwhelmingly obvious to the point that I can't look away from them. The stuff that is in them to me is vile. If you want to look at naked women with a quite a lot of misogyny thrown in, it doesn't effect me. This did. Having a former editor of such a magazine on a show that is discussing feminism, should I really be surprised by his comment? No I'm not really, but I am surprised that in the favour of balance I get to hear feminism and women disrespected. That such a guy who used to edit a magazine that not only revels in objectifying women, but has the tone that all women are good for is being an object without thought, curiosity or indeed any aspect to her that shows she is in fact a fully fleshed human being, would be a balanced person on a panel baffles me and frankly makes me really angry.

   We are better than this kind of misogynist shit being put forward in the name of trying to get a balance of gender. I deserve seeing a programme dealing with a book about feminism that doesn't spit on it. I deserve better than having my anger come to the rise at some idiot that is given a voice to millions. I also actually want a decent hour of television that discusses art well. Screw balance, give me respect and passionate people who aren't douches. That would be great.

  

    

Cinema

   I recently went to the cinema to see Argo actually. I forgot how good and enthralling going to the cinema can be. This happened to be showing at the town hall but none the less there is something quite enchanting about watching something on the big screen.


   I did like the film a lot, but there are some flaws. I don't know whether it is getting a wide release all over the UK I saw it as part of the film festival going on where I am at the moment. I am planning on going to some other stuff as well. I think it'll be really fun.

   Anyway what I am recommending this week is going to the cinema, I had forgotten how much I liked the experience. The big screen it's really lovely.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

So what have I learnt?

   I wanted to have and end to this month of posts. So what have I learnt from this Dorothy?

  
   Well I love writing and doing it regularly has been a great experience. It hasn't all been fun and games though, but it has really made me sit down and write something every day. That is really been very good for me. There is a bit in The Book of the Banshee that the hardest part is putting yourself in a chair and beginning. And you know what, it really does start with the intent.

   Another thing is that this has been educational, is what I write about and what I find interesting. I think I am going to this twice a week. So I'll post a recommendation and another one twice a week. So the next one will be on Sunday.

   This has been great, and that people have been reading what I have said is kind of thrilling.

   I have been going through a hard time in the last couple of years, and i think I am finally learning to breathe and to swim without drowning.

   So this has been wonderful, and I will be posting regularly. Oh and I think we all have learned that I love books, and always will! That is something that has never changed.

   See you on Sunday!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A plan...

   I had a terrible day yesterday, I felt like crap all day. When I get like that nothing really helps me. I know that my feelings pass, because today I have a plan and I feel a lot better.


   So here is my plan:

   1. This happens, it happens more that I'd like but this is something that I have to accept. Wishing it will go, has the opposite effect. Accept and be nice to myself. Beating myself up achieves nothing, in fact it makes me feel worse, when I am feeling like a black cloud has descended over me.

   2. Accept that I have been out of work for 4 years. This is obviously not the best situation to be in, but it is the truth. This is not cast in stone, things change and I want to get to a point where I can. This does not mean that I am a failure, the climate has been really awful for years, and also this has been a really big cause in making feel like shit for a long time. I can change this, I am able, I just need to get into a frame of mind where this is actually possible.

   3. One of the bonuses to being out of work, actually practically the only one, is that you have a lot of free time. At the moment, I am not really making anything happen with that time. I have gone swimming every week and I am part of a choir, but I want to do more, and get out more. This does mean making decisions, but I might as well get on the train of actually doing something that I would enjoy and want. Then that would be a stepping stone to getting stuff that effects reality.

   4. Creative things always make me feel good. That includes writing this book that I have always felt passionate about. This isn't really about anymore whether it gets published or people read it. It is about writing about a subject that I love. This is going on the list of stuff I want to do, and really devote time to do it, after all this is something that I love and I have all the time in the world at the moment.

   Creative stuff includes making things like blankets and clothes, having the idea is fine but I want to follow through and the stuff that I want to make. This will involve lists, but I am going to do it, as it is something that both makes me happy and something that I actually do.

   5. There are behaviours that I have that really make it difficult. One of them is that I can't seem to communicate what I want. I think this really is because I have no idea what I desire. I also realised at one in the morning last night, that I am deep boned scared. I am frightened all the time, and I have to be able to get past this or at least live with it. Trying to dampen it, or suppress it has not worked, being scared is not the same as failing. I am OK with being scared, I have my reasons.

   6. Doing things, that is the one thing that the therapy I am in has actually had an effect on. It is really looking at tasks and even if I don't want to do them, making a list of actually putting things into practise. I am now a big fan of lists, and I did do a lot of the tasks that I wanted to do this week.

   7. I am never going to be one of those together people. In fact the more that I think about it it is a myth that people are together, or at least very rare. I am not together, but I am strong, I have done things in the past, with every obstacle but I did them because I had the drive there. I forget that I have that, the majority of the time if I say I am going to do something that I will do it. It is time for me to remember that I have that in me.

   8. Acceptance is not the same as rolling over and staying frozen. Acceptance is about knowing the state that you are in, acknowledging it and letting it be. There has been scant of that in the past month.

   9. The thing that really pulled me out of my funk was saying that I loved myself. As Operahery as that sounds, I found that I really did love myself then, it is good to keep that in mind. I love myself at my worst and best.

   10. I have to live my life as I want it to be. I cannot try and please other people or try and make others like me. First it's exhausting and second this is not even based in reality. That is the one that gets me. There is not basis that trying to make people like you even works. This is surely the definition of insanity, trying to do something irrelevant of the result, or thinking that you can do something regardless of the what actually happens.

   My life is as important as anybody else's and is just as good/worse as anybody else. What makes it different is that it is mine, I might as well try an enjoy it, or at the very least fill the time that I have things that I do that I might enjoy.

   This is my plan, and I am going to try my level best to enjoy it, and be in it. Really be in the life I am in. That's the plan.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Exhausted

   I am really tired today, for various reasons including a very disjointed nights sleep. I swam 30 lengths though which explains why I am tired. There was something else that made me emotionally tired.

   I am not going to go into detail. The people in my life have not given consent to be written about on the Internet. It is not for me to say how these people are or what they have done to me, though if it something nice then I think that is OK. This however is not good.

   I usually like to buy things and this involved today buying something, but it came with a problem. There is nothing that I can do, I don't want to do this thing. The barrier will always be there I can't make it not be there, however much I want it not to be there.


   It is always be a tough thing for me to do, I know that it sounds cryptic but believe the errand came with a bomb emotionally. It really made me tired, hence being exhausted. I did it though, I can't help feeling at least today at what price?

   Sometimes we all have to do things that we don't like, it doesn't I have discovered become any easier really. Still it is done and over.

   The other thing that I realised today was that I only have two days left of the experiment. I will have posted every day for a whole month!
 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Anti-love Songs

   OK to be really cynical for a moment I love songs that are basically I hope that we never meet again and it's over.


   In no particular order, No Children by The Mountain Goats. I love that this song is basically I hope that we kill each other. The way this is sung as well has a place in my heart. I do like love songs of the sweet variety but this one always makes me happy in how straight it is. My favourite lyric: I hope when you think of me years down the line, you can't find one good thing to say. This song is the opposite of yearning in every way, which makes me love it all the more.  


   Heart of Glass by Blondie. I like a lot of things about this song. That I feel like this is a woman singing and the point of view is all from her. I like that this is a song about being disillusioned. I also like how upbeat it is in comparison to what the song is about. My favourite lyric: seemed like the real thing but I was so blind.


   One night Stand by The Pipettes. I like that this about women not feeling love at all. It is about the only thing that the person only wants sex from the relationship. The Pipettes are one of my favourite female bands. My favourite lyric: I don't love you, I don't want you, leave me alone you're just a one night stand. 


   Finally because I got really into old American folk, Frankie and Johnnie by Pete Seeger. What I really like about this song that it tells the story of a relationship gone sour (really sour). I like the way it sounds as well. It really is for me really good. My favourite lyric: This story only goes to show that there ain't no good in men. He was her man but he was doing her wrong.

  

  
      

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Scary, not for me

   I have a history of not liking things scary. I have it quite baffling why people want to be scared, I have a healthy relationship with fear, it's a very deep seated response for me.

   It is one of the reasons I have never been a fan of horror films. I once tried to anaesthetise myself to horror by watching something called the top 100 moments. The thing that finished me off was the clip they showed of Misery, where the women does something horrible to the guy. After she does this, she stands up and says that she loves him. That scene has made me feel ill ever since.


   I don't tend to get scared by lots of blood coming out of someone or an axe yielding murderer. It is the psychological stuff that really unsettles me. I think it is because people can really be like that, and that is something real that we can all be scared of.

   That stuff creeps me out far more than someone getting their arm chopped off. I also do not like the treatment of women in horror. The sexual undertone is really disturbing to me. Women tend to be the victims of whatever bad thing is happening, although I guess in Misery that is turned on it's head, though it is still something that I will never watch or read.

   There is something that I do like and that is songs and funny horror done well. Like Sean of the Dead (though in that film i don't think that women are really shown well), or something like The Adams Family, or The Munsters.

   There are a couple of songs that I like as well like The Monster Mash, and One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater. Really though horror and fear not for me.

   This doesn't mean that I don't like films though, and maybe I am missing out, but for my money if I couldn't hack Scream then I think horror and me are never to meet.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Periods

   I have always thought that people tend to think that women talk about their periods all the time. I don't but I am going to now.

   Considering this happens to half the population the amount that it is talked about seems not all that much. First of all blood coming out of your vagina isn't the greatest feeling in the world I have to say.


   My periods are regular, not when they come but how long they last and the pain that is associated with them. I get cramps about three times in the first day that I have a period. I'd say it is about two hours of really intense muscle cramp (that does not go away with drugs) and it is like waves of really bad pain. After that I get 4 days. It is like clock work as well if I start at 6 in the morning 5 days later I'll stop at 6 in the morning.

   I have to say this is actually a good thing in terms of planning. I also get really heavy periods, so it does limit things in that 5 days like swimming or wanting to have sex. I find that the amount of blood makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

    Really though I have got used to my body, after all I have been having periods since I was 12. I have gotten used to how and when my periods are and if they effect my mood.

   Also can we get over this myth that periods are dirty they aren't it is how the female reproductive system works, and has been like this for hundreds of years. Making women feel dirty has been one of patriarchy's biggest sins as far as I am concerned, especially when it comes to the things that your body produces.

   On a personal level it took me a long time to a) feel like my body wasn't punishing me and b) realise that most women go through this and that you can accept and understand your period.

   A couple of things people I feel tend not to talk about. First it it is a waiting game. My periods are not regular in the amount of days between them, good for those women who do have them regularly but mine aren't. So sometimes it can be a whole week of me looking at my watch thinking is it now?

   Second tampons and sanitary towels are not inherently bad things. Stop for god's sake (for me personally at least) putting them in the female hygiene section (my vagina does not need to be cleaned up so patriarchy can fuck off), name it something different. And third blood is not a bad thing. Your body should be respected for something it does month in and month out. Having a missed period for me is a sign that something is wrong with my health.

   And the final thing, it is inconvenient. That is the most consistent thing that has come out of me having them for nearly two decades to come about. It is annoying to always have a tampon on you when you go out. You have to make sure of a lot of things, but mostly it's inconvenient to buy these things every month, and sometimes it is not cheap.

   Periods lets take it out of the myth of dirtiness, and also lets stop thinking that this is something that women either take too seriously or too lightly. We are in a club that we understand. Let's talk about them for however long we want!

  

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Love Songs

   I have a few favourite love songs at the minute and thought I would share them.


   Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran is a real favourite for me at the minute. It really is lovely and encapsulates that unsteady first shine of love. A beautiful song (it's on youtube). In fact most of the songs that I am talking about are going to be on youtube. I think my favourite lyric is the chorus: kiss me like you want to be loved. His voice is amazing for me on this record.


   Whistle for the Choir by The Fratellis is pretty amazing as well. There is an acoustic version that I fell in love with on youtube. Also a song about young love but I really like it. My favourite lyric: oh my you caught my eye, a girl like you is irresistible. There is something very fragile about the song that makes me like it a lot.


   One Wonderful Night by The Honey Bees. I love how 60s this song is. I found this song when I was trying to find 60s girl groups and I have liked it ever since. I love that this song is so bouncy and that it makes me want to dance. My favourite lyric: we were in world all of our own.


   You make my dreams come true, by Hall and Oats. I never knew this band in fact until it was on of all things an episode of Rookie Blue. I have loved it ever since. I love how eighties this is, and how unashamedly positive this song is. I am not usually one for just cheeriness but this song always makes me smile. My favourite lyric: Thoughts and dreams ascatter, you pull them all together.


   Chariots Rise by Lizzie West, introduced to me through the film Secretary. I really like this song. Her voice really makes this song so poignant somehow. My favourite lyric: now I find in the end, with him I need not pretend. I think it's awesome.


   Bir Mir Bist du Schoen by The Andrew Sisters. I really feel in love with The Andrew Sisters that were a group during the war a long time ago. I love how the melodies work in this song, it kind of reminds that love as a theme for music has happened for ever. I love how old fashioned this song is as well. My favourite lyric: and so I rack my brain hoping to explain all the things that you do to me.  

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Sin part 3

   The final instalment about sin.

   1. Sloth. I don't know whether or not that this is a sin that is applicable to the modern age to be honest. I know that I can be lazy at times. I once had a teacher that said this was the stealth sin. That is sneaked up on you because it didn't have the fire and brimstone of lust or wrath.

   Maybe this is just me but there is nothing wrong as far as I am concerned with taking it easy and doing things on your own terms. This to me seems a little like it is a sin that is aimed at making people feel bad at not working. it seems to try and make people feel guilty.

   I feel that considering in the UK compared to Europe we have the least amount of bank holidays. I think we all forget that there are people working on those too especially in retail. I don't think forcing people to feel bad for taking their own time to do things is a good thing. So I don't think it's really a sin that I feel does anything in the modern age at least.


   The animal looks pretty cute to me though. So there is that.

   3. Wrath. Definitely not a stealth sin in the least. Anger I feel serves a purpose though. Getting angry about things can be constructive. Though if all it does is make you feel like there is no way to solve it that can be a bad thing.

   I think the worst thing that can happen when you don't get a chance to solve the underlying issue that got you angry in the first place, it leads to resentment and for me at least if that festers then it goes downhill from there.


   I don't think that wrath itself is necessarily all that fire and brimstone. I also think  that there is a weird relationship between anger and gender. Women tend not to be given credit for being legitimately angry. I also think that people are taught to fear anger in people.

   It can be a useful emotion I feel and after all bottling up something only leads it to coming out in another way. Wrath not all that scary in the end.

   As this comes to an end I don't think I really feel any of the sins are really all that bad, but I think they are useful to discuss at least.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Giving Blood

   I know that I was going to finish the sins, but it needs to be a quick post as I am leaving to sing a choir soon.

   The reason why I'm going early is that I am also giving to give blood. Now I am not squeamish about needles, so those who are hopefully avoid this. I don't really care, about it to be honest. I also have had low iron before so they don't want to take blood from you if that is the case.


   The process isn't that bad, so to get into it, they first have a small test to see your iron levels. They take a drop of your blood then if it drops in this blue filled tube then you get the blood taken.

   The process basically is you leaning on a bed and they take the blood. It does take some time with me as my veins have always been hard to find. That is the most weird part for me, people feeling my arm whilst I clench it and trying to find a pulse.

   Good news no one has found me dead yet. They put the needle in (and for me it really is a small scratch and I never look while they put the needle in), and then the process really takes care of itself. It is a strange feeling of having of the tube on your arm flowing with your blood and it feels warm against your skin.

   It really actually takes not that long in total from getting in the door to leaving. It is about an hour or an hour and a half including filling in a questionnaire at the beginning to make sure you are eligible.

   I feel that I am happy to do it. I have done this over twenty times now, and I think it takes practise to be comfortable in the process.

   One thing that I find funny about it though is sometimes you get a bit of a bruise and I always have to say if I am not wearing sleeves that I am not a heroin addict I just give blood.

   So giving blood it isn't that bad and I feel like I am doing something useful and am happy to do it. I have to go soon though to do it!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sin part 2

   OK as I am going through the seven deadly sins alphabetically lust and pride are the next ones that I am going to discuss.

   1. Lust. I can't really see that much wrong with lust to be fair. It is kind of essential in romantic attachments after all. I think when you grab something or someone that you lust for without considering the feelings of others involved then you obviously have a problem. Lust though itself I can't personally see as a thing that is going to bankrupt the world.



   I do lust after things that are unattainable personally but that really only affects me, though surely. (I love the picture above by the way, and not just because of her hair and hair band). I have a warm feeling towards lust, it makes people feel good and I think as long as we consider other people then you are fine.

   I also feel to certain extent that women get slammed with lust as a bad emotion much more than men. That we have to control it, or the patriarchy gets threatened. Women as much as men feel lust, and that is not threatening not does it need to be controlled, let us let it be. Sex can be had for pure enjoyment and I say lets celebrate it without berating anyone else for it!

   2. Pride. Ahh pride, it is considerably more damaging I think here. It can really hinder how you interact with other people I have found. To have pride in what you do i think is a good thing, but when it effects how you judge other people I think then it can become a hindrance.


   To have too much pride implies that you judge others, I think at least. Pride in your own achievements is great. I think trying to get other people to feel proud of you can get you into a sticky situation. I think pride sometimes pits other people against each other. You are in a way saying that you are better than others. I don't think that this has to be true, or that you have to better. I do think that you can be as good as you can be on your own. To pit your own achievements against each other I think makes a certain amount of sense, without judgement hopefully.

 
   Only two more to go. Sloth and Wrath. Then the sins are over!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Victoria Wood and Me and Mrs Jones

   What a three weeks it has been! This is really hard, and writing when I don't know what topic to write about or not feeling that I have anything to say has been a task. It is though a great rhythm to get yourself into, to sit and write. It also I have to say is great practise on my typing skills :) and it has been a great experiment for me.

   I am not sure that I will carry on posting everyday here, but I hope to write everyday after this. It has been a pretty up and down month (including my therapy) but this has always made me happy, so I am going to continue on to write. I wanted to make a couple of recommendations today.


   I want to recommend first Victoria Wood, and in particular her series. There are episodes of Victoria Wood As Seen On TV on youtube. What I like about her is how observant and sharp she is in all areas that she writes in. Another thing that I have really liked about the sketches is how good the songs that she writes are.

   The underlying thing that makes her show a consistently good thing is that she is funny. I am in awe of what a good writer and song writer she is. The show is wonderful, and it is from the eighties but still holds up.


   I also want to put a word in for Me and Mrs Jones that is a British series and is currently on the BBC. I have written in the past of series getting me in their thrall and this one has. I love that it has a central female character at the centre of it. Mrs Jones is played by Sarah Alexander (you might know her from Coupling), and think she is wonderful in this role.

   I am not one for family shows sometimes, but this has real feeling in it surrounding all the other craziness. I think that the show has the right balance and the comedy in it always makes me laugh. I like comedies that result from character, and are not based on meanness. It also helps that this is a romantic comedy at it's heart. I have always liked romantic comedies, but I think they are quite hard to pull off, especially in a TV series. I can't recommend it enough, a show with a great voice, and really funny.   

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sin part 1

   What I'm going to do is take the seven sins and write about them alphabetically. So, here I am going to be writing about Avarice, Envy and Gluttony.

   1. Avarice. (I like the way this sounds as apposed to greed, I also like the way wrath sounds rather than anger). Avarice the word even though I like it more than greed makes me feel a little gross. I think because for me it is drenched in the idea that you screwed people over to get money. The need for money itself isn't a human sin, it's the way the world's currency works.


   It does seem a little strange that the actual paper that money is printed on isn't worth all that much, but that argument always seemed weak to me, that money itself is useless. To a certain extent that maybe true but what money gets you like food, housing, and clothing these are all things in life that we need, and currency is the way we get them.

   There is no shame in buying things that you need, or indeed things that bring you pleasure like TV series or concert tickets. Avarice for pure money, I don't think I have the brain to just hunger after just money.

   I like what it gets me, but other than that I don't know if money is all that powerful. I like day dreaming about winning the lottery and backtracking around America or buying a cottage in Ireland and writing full time, or living in various places around the UK and moving every month. Those are all fun dreams but I don't hunger for them.

   Avarice as a sin seems a little removed from me. I don't think it's a sin to like what you do and spend money on what you want. It's your money, do as you will.

   2. Envy. OK this is definitely in my wheelhouse. I tend to envy things I think people have get. Sometimes I look at a group of friends laughing and wish I had that. Sometimes I look at great writers, and I envy how good they are. I wish i could be as great as them forgetting that it takes years to develop your voice as well as practise.

   Envy I think can helpful, if you use it the right way. I like this writer, so I am going to work on my own writing, not to imitate but to improve my own voice, to be a good as I can be. I can never really know what is going on in somebody else's life, that group of friends might well be hiding their own bitterness at each other, though I hope not. Those writers some of them dead and some never knew how many people would love them.

   Sometimes there is the trap of falling into wanting what you perceive you can't have. Really this is blame twisted, and self blame at that. People get good at something because they practised, because they believed, because they were able to hone their craft. I can do that too.

   Envy can be self destructive, but i think it can also get you to strive for what you want. I know that it has in my case, you just have to know where to line is.


   I have also envied beauty, but I came to the startling revelation (at least for me), that it doesn't last. This isn't a cynical line. Beauty, is great to look at, to wonder at, but for me there is a comfort or a certainty at least that we all age, and that works of art that hold beauty in it's grasp can be wonderful to look at but that will also leave us. Nothing can stay the same. There is something about the certainty that we all die, so to certain extent so will beauty, though fleeting, it is nice to look at. I have though come to conclusion that envying something that is so hard both to define and so brief is just silly. That is not to say that I don't admire pretty people but I think talent and curiosity endures.

   3. Gluttony. This is a tricky one. I don't think I have ever experienced eating something till I was sick. I also think that this sin seems to make eating a sin somehow. Eating is something that we all have to do to stay alive. I have said before and will say again, there is nothing morally superior in depriving your body of something it needs. Food is such a tircky subject for most of the population that having a sin about it just makes for more guilt. I like food, and I think we all have to like it.


   The sharpness of lemons, the creaminess of macaroni cheese, the bitter sweetness of chocolate, all things to be savoured and enjoyed. Gluttony can get bent.

   So I'll write about Lust, Pride, Sloth and Wrath in later posts.