Thursday, January 31, 2013

Short version:

Marriage doomed. Sorry, man.

Also these 76 sex tips may not blow his mind. I'd say maybe 2 of them work - the rest is padding.

Holy shit, have you guys noticed that on the Cosmo website (not of course you haven't because you're not reading the fucking Cosmo website but honestly I was directed there via this) that it has the following disclaimer on it:
The models photographed in Cosmo are used for illustrative purposes only; Cosmopolitan does not suggest that the models actually engage in the conduct discussed in the stories they illustrate.
What the.... I would give money - real money - to find out the backstory to this. In my head it all started with a model called Adele whose beautiful frowning face was used to illustrate a story about having unprotected sex with your boyfriend even thought you're secretly rife with STDs and when the magazine came out her actual real life boyfriend was all "bitch have you got something tell m?e" because he, clearly, is a FUCKING MORON WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORD "MODEL" MEANS. In short: I love it.

Low point in an already fairly low day:

Having a lovely lady you've been speaking to regularly call you up to tell you the time has come for her to kill herself and she just wanted to let you know.

Even lower? Having to wait for an email the next day to learn if she did it or not.

Coming soon:

Something funny about all the stuff I've been up to that have made me too busy to blog. Um, honest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The emails/texts that almost made me weep today after I wrote a thing about feminism that was published somewhere

1. From a father of 2 girls who said he'd never thought of himself as feminist but now he'd realised he was and he hoped his daughters would grow up to be femmos too.

2. From my father saying... basically the same thing. I have something in my eye.

Things people told me today about feminism

* Feminism = sexism.
* Feminism does not make sense because female tennis players do not have to play 5 sets.
* Feminism is not necessary because everything is equal and lovely now.

Every now and again

All it takes to make you realise how unhappy you have been is a gush of unexpected happiness. I am, as Lindsay might say, at the top of the rollercoaster right now but I am determined not to look down so there.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Girls on Girls

T.S.Eliot once quipped that television was a medium of entertainment that permitted millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time and yet remain lonesome.

It's not quite up there with The Wasteland, I suppose, but he made a good point. Television can be an isolating medium. Unlike going out to the movies or a concert, television is most often consumed in our own homes, sometimes with friends and family but also, quite often, alone.

At the same time, it is also possible to make the exact opposite point to the one Eliot did and still be correct.

Enter: Girls, the HBO television series that has made waves overseas and which has just returned for its second series.

In theory, the series follows four girls in their twenties, living in New York, trying to make their way in the world. In practice, it offers the viewer an insight into the lives of four screw-ups who have no idea what they’re doing and are, more or less, thrashing about onscreen for our viewing pleasure.

It a series that, I say with no trace of hyperbole, every single girl ever should be watching.

The word “empowered” gets thrown around too much these days, particularly in relation to women. Once upon a time the Spice Girls were empowering women. Pole dancing is empowering women. A certain brand of lipstick, if you believe the cosmetic company ads, is empowering women.

That much said, as a woman I find the experience of watching Girls... empowering.

I love the fact that Hannah, played by the series creator and writer, takes off her clothes at every opportunity despite being in possession of a body best described as… squishy. I don't mean that as a slam: her boobs and stomach and bum look a lot like the female bodies I see in the gym changeroom or swimming in my local pool - they just don't look like the bodies I usually see on TV.
I love how directionless and lost they are, just how little idea any of them have about what they’re supposed to be doing. Sure, they're in their 20s where that kind of thing is more acceptable but as a girl in my *ahem* 30s now, it's a nice message to here that you don't have to necessarily have your shit together just because you're an adult.

I also love the fact that none of the characters are exactly… likeable. There are lots of pretty dicky and unlikeable guys on TV – Hugh Laurie on House, Joel McHale on Community for example – we are nevertheless supposed to, well, like, but I don’t feel like that happens with women very often. Women can be cute or sexy, bitchy or sweet, desperate or intriguing but they don’t often get to be weird and a bit annoying.

So this feels like a win.

To circle back to TS Eliot and, you know, raise the tone a little bit, Girls makes me feel less lonely in my weird little life, with my soft-edged body, my sense of anxiety that I'm wasting my life and my, well, let's call it not-always-likeable personality, shally we?

But don't listen to me: go and watch this shit, ladies and gents. It will make you less lonely too.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Part of me...

... wants to get behind this idea. The bigger part of me, however, thinks it sounds like the makings of a fairly shit night out.

Music to write your suicide note by #13

How not to spend your day

Reading through two weeks of death notices. Just... trust me on this one.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Overheard in the work bathroom

"A true friend will rub cream on your back in the bathroom during work hours."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Please leave your "worse than 50 Shades of Grey" jokes at the door.

I'm not into depressive literature these days to the same extent that I was ten, maybe even five, years ago. Back then I had an idea that if I read enough books or short stories or essays there would be some kind of solution for How To Have a Good Life... which, not so much. So these days I read what I fancy: things that interest and entertain me, make me think or happy or blah blah blah.

Which is all a long way of saying this essay/article by Elizabeth Wurtzel (of Prozac Nation fame) is genuinely one of the most depressing things I've read in years.

I nodded along with this, thinking I knew what the next 3000 words were going to be like -
"Convention serves a purpose: It gives life meaning, and without it, one is in a constant existential crisis."
Started to weep internally by the time I got to this - 
"I have no husband, no children, no real estate, no stocks, no bonds, no investments, no 401(k), no CDs, no IRAs, no emergency fund—I don’t even have a savings account. It’s not that I have not planned for the future; I have not planned for the present. I do have a royalty account, some decent skills, and, apparently, a lot of human capital. But because of choices I have made, wisely and idiotically, because I had principles or because I was crazy, I have no assets and no family. I have had the same friends since college, although as time has gone on, the daily nature of those relationships has changed, such that it is not daily at all. But then how many lost connections make up a life? There is my best friend from law school, too busy with her toddler; the people with whom I spent New Year’s in a Negril bungalow not so long ago, all lost to me now; every man who was the love of my life, just for today; roommates, officemates, classmates: For everyone who is near, there are others who are far gone."
And was more or less ready to end it by the time I got to this -
"I have lost my life. I had a lot of friends, saw people, had full days. I don’t know where anyone is anymore, and I can’t even remember who it is that is gone. I am not sure exactly how that happened: I was hiding, although it was not safe in the place where I was hiding, and life became impossible to explain, and too strange to explain, and finally I stopped talking to anyone."
I've read some criticism of this piece saying it reads like a nonsensical bit of nothing from a woman who is still deeply, deeply depressed but... I don't know. In as much as it is possible to write about depression I still think she's got it, unfortunately I just think "it" is the ability to engender in her readers a desire to open a vein. Which is still, you know, something. It's just not a brilliant thing to enliven one's Tuesday night, is all I'm saying.

"Depression, when it’s clinical, is not a metaphor. It runs in families, and it’s 
known to  respond to medication and to counseling. However truly you believe there’s 
a sickness to existence that can never be cured, if you’re depressed you will sooner or later 
surrender and say: I just don’t want to feel bad anymore. "
(Jonathan Franzen)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Highs and Lows: A Monday

High: Helping out (long distance) a chum in a scrabble game by suggesting the word Agio - meaning, of course, the difference between the nominal and actual values of a currency.

Low: Admitting that's hands were all over my brilliant suggestion. I feel... shame.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Text THIS, Buster (is what I *should* text back)

Every now and again, I get a random text from a chap I was kinda friendly and a bit flirtatious with forever ago. Like: YEARS ago. Whatever. He's a nice guy but we basically have nothing to do with each other these days, except for the fact that he's still on my phone and we're probably, I don't know, Facebook friends. Anyway, every now and again I get a text from this chap that drive me crazy. It goes like this:

Him: Hey. How're you going. Saw/heard/smelt ________ and it reminded me I haven't seen you in forever. How's it going?

Me: [Appropriately thoughtful and friendly response]

Him: [Nothing].

Seriously, this happens every time. I hear from him out of the blue, politely text him back and then he fails to reply. I mean... why... BOTHER. What's the point? Does he just like to remind me that he still exists? Is it just to check that I haven't deleted him from my phone? Is he FUCKING WITH ME?

To clarify, I have nothing against the random out-of-the-blue text: there are plenty of people in my life I've lost touched with for periods over the years and I always enjoy hearing from them, even if it's just to touch base and see what's new. Sometimes I don't have time to catch up with someone I've been meaning to catch up with and a little text volley back and forth can serve as a placeholder, a way of popping the friendship onto a warming plate, if you will, so you can tuck in once you have the time. But this... this single text and then silence drives me insane, which is a completely out of proportion response, given that the rest of the time I don't give him two seconds thought. It also drives me crazy that I am, myself, incapable of NOT responding to his text. I mean, I can see that is the sensible course of action but I just can't. It seems so... rude. All of which is a long-winded way of saying you should be reading this very amusing (and short) Hairpin series, Reading Between the Texts. It is both hilarious and falls under the category Things I Wish I'd Written Even Thought I Couldn't Actually Have Done It That Well. Or, you know, TIWIWETICAHDITW for short.

Rules for life (or at least for a bar)

While doing some research (read: googling) for a story this week I stumbled upon a list of so-called "house rules" that had been put together the brains at Rockpool Bar & Grill. I was disinterested as I start reading them, prepared for the usual dull shit about not being drunk or wearing thongs inside the bar or whateeeever.
Instead I found not only a guide to good bar behaviour but also - dare I say it - a general handy guide for life. (Although, for the record, I have no objection to freebies so long as I am on the receiving end)
Rockpool Bar & Grill House Rules

Best manners and temperance are expected at all times.

Don’t look fiercely at people, or talk loudly or harshly, but cultivate a smiling
countenance and a quite, but firm tone of speech.

Gentlemen, don’t approach ladies; and if you are so lucky to have one approach you,
endear her as you would your mother.

No hooting, no hollering.

Don’t bring yourself into prominence before a crowd at the bar.

Be polite and approachable, but let them advance to you.
Gentlemen, don’t interrupt or join any conversation, but if it is general you may seem interested.

Leave your attitude, with your hat at the door.

Back slapping after six drinks should be tempered with mercy.

Remember, nothing is on the house but the roof.

Les Miserables, indeed

I have summarised this kinda irritating review of Les Miserables for you below but you are still welcome to click on the link if you care to.

1. I don't know the musical Les Miserables.
2. I don't even know the story of Les Miserables.
3. Having now seen the (movie) of the musical Les Miserables I am disappointed by it.
4. Having now seen the (movie) of the story of Les Miserables I am disappointed by it.
5. I am a joyless human being.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013