Saturday, 29 December 2012

The New Year is Nearly Here!

Well, someone call the Mayans and tell them their calender maker needs to be sacked because 2013 is almost here. Over a week since the supposed 'end of the world' and we're all dandy (I challenge you to use the word 'dandy' before 2012 is out). But more importantly we have all survived Christmas again. After the months of stressful festive lead up we've gotten through one of the most expensive and eventful holidays. It really is an achievement if you've not had a heart attack from too much food, liver failure from all the booze or gone mad trying to get children's toys to start working and killed all the family in a fitful rage. Actually, even the toys working is irritating as, hello, Furby was one of the top toys on Santa's list this year. I had a Furby, I loved it (could never figure out the gender) but my grandparents used to have to leave it in the kitchen when I'd gone to bed because it would randomly start talking at any time of night.
But no sooner has Christmas ended does New Years begin. Arguably the biggest night of the year which comes at the worst time, after all who feels good in their little black dress after a week of living off Quality Street chocolates and cold meats? Certainly not me after hearing drink in Ireland averages around €5 in the city now. I mean a fiver for a pint?! That's like £4! I've been spoiled with student nights and northern living. It's time to pay, literally. But it is NYE and I should pitch in and help rebuild the Irish economy (notice, at not one point have I considered drinking less).
This will be my last blog post of 2012. There's a big thanks for all of you who bother to click on my links, wherever you may find them. I'll leave you with the top 3 posts of this year; in at number one with a phenomenal 1668 page views, yes you read that right and I'm amazed too, is http://coffeexandxcake.blogspot.ie/2012/10/lady-gaga-fat.html
Second is my review of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks http://coffeexandxcake.blogspot.ie/2012/09/review-starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte.html
And number three is about the five students you'll meet at college/university http://coffeexandxcake.blogspot.ie/2012/09/the-five-students-youll-meet.html

Furby!

Monday, 24 December 2012

It's a Christmas Eve Special Blog Post!

Happy Christmas everyone! It always comes around so fast, doesn't it? It feels like only a few months ago I was escaping to the kitchen away from the screaming nephews and nieces. If there was ever a moment to appreciate your childless state it's when you're topping up your wine glass whilst listening to your brother sooth his crying son. Why was he crying? Because he's a child and apparently you howl non stop until you're 12.
But this year there will be no screaming children, just three fat cats (I'm not joking, I've come home to what can only be described as morbidly obese cats) because I'm here in Ireland with my grandparents. It's already lovely and festively Irish, there's enough booze in the cupboard to open our own pub, and the food...oh the food! It sounds mad, but the Irish vegetables are so much better. Probably because half of them are grown down the road, as was our turkey. Yes, a full on free range turkey was delivered this Christmas eve morning. Reared only five minutes from the house the bird is huge, it's literally taking up a third of the fridge.
I braved Galway today, brushing off warnings of busyness and crowds because I've seen Leeds on a Saturday afternoon. Once you've been in Primark at that time...there's no erasing those memories. Galway was absolutely fine, in fact I'd say the morning was fairly quiet. Or maybe I've become city hardened.
Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. Easy on the mulled wine until the children go to bed, unless you're lucky enough to be childless in which case pour it on your Cornflakes. Fill up on the turkey, lest your mother turn it into a turkey curry which lasts until the new year. And remember it only comes around once a year, so the fact you've eaten a tin of Quality Street mostly to yourself is forgivable (this also applies to St Steven's Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and days in between and directly after when you need to 'get the food eaten').

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

How to Survive the 2013 Budget

The new budget for Ireland has been released and it's official; we're all in the shite.
Well, not me actually, I live in the UK (so take the 'e' away), but nonetheless I thought I'd give you all some tips on how to cope with this new budget.

1) Pack the wine away Bridget Jones, an extra €1 per bottle means it's cut down (not an option) or find an alternative. Well, how about a drink that would support the local economy, is totally tax free AND will get you locked just pouring the stuff? That's right, we should all go back to poitín. Though I should point out I don't mean the weak, legal stuff. They tax that.
2) Cigarettes have gone up by 10c to €9.40 a packet, if you think you can afford this price hike then go ahead. That's a 0.5c increase per fag, so by cutting down by one cigarette every ten packets you won't be affected by the increase. You know, except for those crazy nicotine withdrawals you'll get every tenth packet.
3) The biggie; the local property tax. A tax of 0.18% of the value of your home. How do you get around that one? Well, have your home valued but before the inspector comes round make the place look like a hell hole. I'm talking painting mould on the walls, bricking up the spare bedroom and paying the neighbours to rave for 24 hours straight. Then serve him tea made with spoiled milk, don't offer him any biscuits (but eat one in front of him) and talk about how badly you're wanting to sell the place (you know, so it seems believable).
4)The child benefit has been reduced by €10 a month so I think it's time you explain how the benefit system works to your child, angrily inform them that the fat cats at the top have banned all pudding allowences! What scum! Feed them with anger, instead of custard, and hopefully you'll motivate them so much that they grow up to be a politician who brings in mandatory jam roll Fridays
5)Win loads betting with Paddy Power, they offered great odds on what would come up in the budget including what colour tie Michael Noonan would be wearing (handy tip: google images of him from the last ten years, work out his favourite colours and make a fortune!). However, remember there's a mansion tax on properties over €1m, a slightly higher percentage of 0.DriveTheMoneyOutOfIreland

But, if after all these tips you still feel like the Emerald Isle has become too much you could always emigrate! There are 26 other affluent EU countries to choose from; Gre...Portu...you know, never mind. All the hot ones would fry the Celtic skin and all the cold ones would be, well, cold. Sit tight at home and just try to get through the next few years. "The worst is over" according to the pink tied Mr Noonan.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Best Days of your Life

'High school days are the best of your life'

You poor soul, I don't know who started that but, my God, they need a hug. If my life really had peaked in high school (or secondary school, for the Irish readers) I would honestly just give up and become an alcoholic now. You know, instead of waiting.
Let's break high school down; you're forced to spend five solid years with people who the only thing you have in common is your age. Oh, and this also coincides with a time where you have to deal with the whole 'becoming an adult' thing. You know, self discovery etc. Sometimes discovery of others, depending on how attractive you were.
It's at least a bit bothersome. I'm sure there are people out there who had great high school experiences but I'm going out on a limb here and saying for most of us...not so much. In fact, all my best memories are of times I was meant to be in school but, uh, wasn't.
If you ask me (and if you don't, well why are you even here?) college/university is the best time of your life. Between the 20 hours a week timetable, the ability to buy liquor and the general freedom you get it makes for a good time. Well, within reason. You still have to learn. But, you can go to the pub between classes (I'm not that cool) or bring your knitting and sit in the common room (I'm not that uncool either, my knitting is a predominately home/knit shop activity).
Plus, it's great to come in on a Monday and hear a 'I was so DRUNK' story caught in that delicious age gap after you're so young what happened could be classed as child abuse but before 'I think Mary has a drinking problem'.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Flying Home for Christmas!

My grandmother rang last night and suggested I come home for Christmas. At first I dithered, weirdly, because I have exams in early January and have to spend a lot of time locked in a dark room with a single light bulb hanging over my head while I study. Then I realised that Ireland is the best place to study because the house is in the middle of nowhere (by English standards).
The next hurdle was booking the flights, luckily I got a bargain the whole thing cost £120, which includes a £50 fee for bringing a bag. I was charged almost £20 to pay by card...but every card had the same charge so it wasn't like I have a weird card or anything. Ryanair literally charges you to pay them. But a £120 round trip is still pretty amazing so I won't complain.
Here's the kicker though; my flight is 6:20am Saturday morning and, because I'm nothing short of a badass, I'm having my last Leeds night out of 2012 on the Friday. Partly because I want to be able to turn to someone at 2am and say "wow, look at the time! I'll be on a plane in 4 hours", because nothing sounds more rockstar than I've got a flight in 4 hours at 2am.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Twins of Evil Review (Manchester 27/11/2012)

When I first heard about the Twins of Evil gig I was surprised to see Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie touring together, I didn't really know what to expect but I knew whatever they did would be worth seeing. As it was my third time seeing Marilyn Manson I already knew he puts on one heck of a show, online videos and word of mouth confirmed Rob Zombie would do the same.
Marilyn Manson was the first on, opening with 'Hey Cruel World' followed by 'Disposable Teens' to get us in the spirit. I'm pleased to confirm the guy's still got it. Manson commanded the stage and belted out each song with real spirit. Or, whatever the dark version of spirit is.
The set list differed from his other gigs with 'Irresponsible Hate Anthem' being missed out. I won't lie, it's one of my favourite live songs so I was disappointed, but not for long. 'Coma White' was played, with fake snow and real heart it was a highlight of the show. Even more surprisingly 'King Kill' was played, yeah remember that?! He played it! And my favourite cover, 'Personal Jesus' was played too.
Manson's crowd interaction was as usual, you get the feeling he's worried about catching 'fan'. But there was enough to pacify the audience. There was no speech but a few quips and general mood boosting. The atmosphere was electric when he came on, so I guess the phrase the 'only way is up' doesn't apply when you're at maximum capacity.
I like Rob Zombie, don't get me wrong, but I was there for Manson and Zombie was like a happy extra. Well, what an extra! I thought I'd be content to stay for a few songs then move back as we were right at the front and it can get tiring after a few hours but nope, myself and my friends got even closer and lasted out the whole gig. What a show! Zombie has so much energy on stage and he really got involved with the crowd. And the guy's funny! From gentle fun poking at the sat down portion of the audience to pointing out "no matter how old you are, you see a mother fucking balloon and you gotta hit it!" Zombie made me laugh.
My favourite part of his set was each member of the band got a chance to do their own solos. Half of them are in Marilyn Manson so don't really get that opportunity, but wow, it was great seeing Ginger Fish's drumming ability and Piggy D's and John 5's guitar solos. Those guys are amazingly talented and it was good seeing them get time to shine. Also, they really seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage. From the constant crowd interaction to the grin plastered on John 5's face (he was wearing sinister make-up, but nothing can mask the 'kid on Christmas day' look) you could tell they were having a blast.
I haven't even started on the music! Every song was great, delivered with precision and charisma  The stage props looked like something from Gears of War and the videos in the background added life to the stage. 'Living Dead Girl', 'Sick Bubblegum' and, of course, 'Dragula' were my personal favourites but every song was a pleasure to be present for.
Honestly, this concert was the best of my life and sets the bar high for future bands. Both Manson and Zombie proved you're never too old to rock mother fucker, rock!



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Photo Issues!

You may have noticed all of my photos have been replaced with grey void signs. I have too, I don't know why they've been taken down and unfortunately I don't have the memory (in brain and computer terms) to replace them all.
I would e-mail blogger to complain because they're not all stolen from Google images. But truthfully, a lot of them are. I know, shocking. But don't you judge me, at least until you stop illegally downloading Ke$ha.
So I'll work on removing those grey, ugly voiding demons. Maybe update a few pictures. maybe not. It depends on how active my social life is.

Thanks for reading! (that's a broad thank you applying to all posts btw)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

5 Things I Enjoy About Being Single


According to all those Hollywood films I should be out there looking for a man, or flirting with that guy from the office or just generally beating myself up for being single. But, I live in Leeds. There isn’t exactly a plethora of ‘my type’ just waiting to meet me, I don’t work in an office and I’m fairly happy being single so I think the beating would be counterproductive.

1) The other side of my double bed is often used as the holding place for whatever book I’m reading, that’s right the place to traditionally keep a boyfriend has been filled with books. This mainly happens on those days where I hole myself up in my room to read frantically and take any negative feelings about my own life out on my Sims.
2) When I open a bottle of wine I can drink a bottle of wine. Not half a bottle of wine. It’s just good economics to be alone sometimes.
3) There’s no guilt about the fact I regularly visit Starbucks, not just for the great coffee, but for the great visual service I receive. I honestly pass three Starbucks to get to the one I want.
4) I can enjoy a flirt, I think that’s really the best thing about not being tied down to anyone you can be more carefree and wink at that lad who’s staring at you. Well, you can. I can’t wink. I look incredibly moronic and unattractive whenever I try. I’m not making this up; I’ve shown people my wink as a demonstration of how much I can’t wink. They agreed. I shouldn’t wink.
5)  I can buy and enjoy things like slippers with sheep on them, Christmas socks and Marilyn Manson t-shirts. They’re not sexy, sheep rarely are (it’s why you don’t get woolen bras), but I like them.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I Hate Costa

Just like the Blur vs Oasis battle coffee lovers can be divided by Starbucks vs Costa, or good coffee vs liquid horse dung.
I think you can guess which side I'm on, it's not like I never gave Costa a chance, I actually have a Costa card with enough points to get whatever coffee I want for free. I just don't want any.
The problem isn't just the brand, I appreciate the Costa adverts. In fact, I really like the 'I was made for loving you' one. Though, Starbucks doesn't need such gimmicks. If you like good coffee you know where to go. The Costa empire itself is great feat of business ingenuity. But there's just something about it that makes me feel like I have a dirty taste in my mouth. Probably some subconscious reminder of the last time I went there.
The main problem is the coffee, it's so bitter! Take the last time I went, only last week actually. I was with a friend and we were driving up to Scotland. Warning! There are no services with a Starbucks on the way to Scotland. We need a break so we pull up and go to a proper sit-down Costa. I get a cappuccino but I receive a filter coffee with half a cup of tasteless foam. It wouldn't even stir in. I was scooping it up like ice cream but the foam sort of sat in my mouth until I mashed it up with my tongue. It's what I imagine eating bubbles from a bath would be like. The worst part was the coffee, even though I added two sugars it still had this edge to it that made my face turn to 'lemon mode'.
Maybe it was a bad cup? Oh, you optimists! I wish it was the first cup of bad coffee Costa served me. I almost gave up soya lattes after receiving ones which tasted burnt time after time. Then there was the time I tried a cold latte, which sounds a lot more appealing than coffee and cold milk. Which is all it is. With the added bitterness of the Costa brew.
This is how bad it got, after three blissful mornings of breakfast at Starbucks (well, if you can't do it on holiday) there was no way myself and my friend could go back to Costa. And we couldn't drive for five hours without a coffee break. Solution? Well thank you helpful barrista Alex, we bought Starbucks Via which is an instant coffee. Alongside it in the Starbucks swag bag was lunch, sugar and stirrers. Yes, stirrers, because in Costa the one I picked up had been bent in the middle. They can't even get that right!
So thank you Costa, for providing the hot water and milk for our coffees. It's all you could be trusted with.

And the cup was even beginning to peel away at the side.




Friday, 19 October 2012

5 Ways Technology is Ruining my Life

1) I almost give myself a stress induced heart attack every time I use PayPal. I find the website so frustrating, if it's not ridiculously long waiting periods then it's issues with transferring cash because, oh yeah, the website is trying to give me a mental breakdown. Well, mission accomplished.
2) I turn to the internet for advice and end up feeding paranoia. My pulled muscle is actually the first symptom of leg-falling-off syndrome. Or maybe that person I thought was being off with me actually does hate me. Oh, and let's not forget ten different answers to the same, simple question that extends my essay writing time by an hour.
3) I waste hours of my life, which I will never get back, on Facebook and Twitter which, c'mon let's face it, aren't going to lead to any accomplishments. Unless you count social hermit as a Girl Guides' badge.
4) I can't spell a lot of words because I'm so used to right clicking them. I DO A LEVEL ENGLISH...COMBINED! (it sounds like a marginally more dire situation now, right?)
5) Staring at my phone for too long actually messes up my vision, like I'll go to look long distance and my eyes need time to re-adjust to 'real life resolution'. But I keep on reading the Guardian anyway.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Happiness

One of my favourite teachers, actually Ian's never going to see this...so Hugh starts his lessons with interesting questions that can be asked in university interviews. One of them was 'can you measure happiness?'. I think you can, in fact I reckon you can do a 1-10 scale of happiness.

1- Fresh bedding.
2- Christmas smells.
3- Gloves on a cold day.
4- Fish and chips with plenty of vinegar on a cold evening.
5- Kissing someone you fancy, or kissing someone you met 5 minutes and 7 vodkas ago.
6- Starbucks coffees (only placed 6 because the high only lasts 15 minutes-ish)
7- The sound of a bottle of wine opening.
8- Those inside jokes you have with friends which make no sense to anyone else.
9- The sound of wine being poured into a glass.
10- Seeing old friends and family, and enjoying a bottle of wine.

Well, that's my scale anyway. It's actually harder to write what makes me the least happy and the middle level of happy than the filler.

Dey turk er happiness!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

10 Bad Starts to a Personal Statement

It's the time of year where some of us are getting our heads down and writing the dreaded UCAS personal statement. I was once told the first sentence is the most important, which is a lot of pressure for a sentence. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out what to start with, so I thought ruling out what not to say might help.

1) I've wanted to go to Sterling University ever since I found out it was the cheapest place to buy a pint.
2) I want to get blinding drunk every other day and not be called an alcoholic, so I thought becoming a student was a good solution to that.
3) I've looked at the ratio of men:women, then made deductions for the gay, the unattractive and the undateable, this information has proved invaluable for my top 5 universities.
4) I really like drinking and causal sex, this seemed like my best option.
5) Freshers' week, 'nuff said.
6) I don't want to grow up yet, university is a way to put off all the responsibilities.
7) I don't want the 10% student discount in some of my favourite stores to end and I'm not clear on whether it's illegal to forge an NUS card. (yes I am, I'm on the union)
8) I've wanted to go to university ever since a tramp in the bus station turned to me and said, "we're alike you and me".
9) I've had a passion for law ever since I was a child and I know that a career in law will satisfy me fully in working life. (Read: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit) (Actually, read: I want to make bucket loads of money for my expensive hookers and cocaine habit)
10) I want to go to university because God told me to.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Lady Gaga Fat?

Recently there were some unflattering pictures of Lady Gaga published with accusations of her piling on weight. I've gone away and done my research, so yeah I Googled it, and this is my view.
As you may know I've already got a blog post about Lady Gaga (http://coffeexandxcake.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/free-advise-for-lady-gaga.html) where I encouraged her to eat a bit more (and wear a bit more) so it's obvious I already thought she was too thin. It was when 'Born This Way' was released that I really looked at her body and thought she'd gone too far with her weight loss.
Then I saw those 'fat' pictures of her. Okay, she doesn't look great in the photos, I won't lie. But mainly because they're all from unflattering angles, if you bother to Google them she's not posing for the camera in any. Before we go poking the fat pole at her let's keep three things in mind:
1) We all have bad photos of ourselves which makes us look like porkers, in fact my old phone would make anyone look a stone heavier.
2) Lady Gaga is constantly photographed so there's more bad photos of her out there.
3) Paparazzi want to get bad photos of her, because then magazines can sell issues about how fat she is to us gullible fools!
Looking at the photos with a pinch of salt I can see that yes she has put weight on, but no she's not gained three dress sizes. Something has to be up with them because according to Google there's little more than two weeks between these photos (exact dates can be hard to find).



Now if we can compare the pictures on the right, which are from a shoot she did to prove she's not the hippo she's been made out to be, to her in 'Born This Way' and the ones I've seen when I Googled 'Lady Gaga thin' (I don't want a blog post full of pictures, this isn't Tumblr) there's a whole woman of difference. Honestly, it's amazing.
Another interesting thing is one website claimed she'd gained 30lbs while another claimed she'd gained 25lbs. Both had the same picture of her on the site. And, even more noteworthy, there's not a woman alive who's going to be singing her weight gain to everybody. We just don't do that. Loss? Yes. Gain? NO!
All I can say is after looking at those photos she's posted I think she's looking a lot better than before. She still has a lovely figure without looking like a strong wind will take her away. I hope she doesn't go crazy because of all this press and start some horrible crash diet. We all remember what happened to Britney.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Mundane Reality

It's week four of college and now we've settled back into our routine. People have started taking days off, I've stopped caring whether my t-shirts are meant to be worn by men and the weather has take a turn for the worse(er).
I've already been struck by some horrible illness, which is an over dramatic way of saying I have a sore throat and headache. I mentioned it today and four people told me I've looked tired and run down lately. I only started feeling ill yesterday! Honestly, what's the point in buying £23 foundation to still look a mess?! YES CLINIQUE I'M DIRECTING THAT QUESTION AT YOU!
Today seems like a bit of a write off anyway, I can't concentrate on any of my work so I'm going to relax with some take-out pizza and a few cans of Guinness. It's all swings and roundabouts in my life.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

5 Things That Happen More Than They Should on Nights Out

1) Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' is played and even though I don't really like the song and wouldn't listen to it before midnight I suddenly know all the words and have found someone to do a moving sing along with.
2) People are sick in the street, like a lot. It reminds me of those cheap electronic games you'd get as a child where you'd have to get a car through traffic or a frog across a pond. Funnily enough if you didn't make the lilly pad the frog died, which is so unrealistic.
3) I have to tell someone to stop touching me.
4) There is some form of nudity (bum/breasts/occasionally a game of cock or balls).
5) Photos are taken and I will have red eye in at least 50% of them. I once went out and had about 20 photos of me taken, all with glowing demonic cat eyes. And the worst part is it's only me! Even in big group photos it's only my eyes which glow. Obviously I have some form of supernatural power...just not a very good one.

My friends and I last night

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Review: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

On Monday I received an e-mail from Starbucks telling me they’ve brought their ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ to the UK by popular demand. I won’t question how people have demanded a product they could have only tried a few times on holiday or how demanding Starbucks customers really are. I’ve never seen any picketers or protesters in the queue, but maybe they avoid the lunchtime rush.
I thought this would be a good excuse to combine the two things I love; Starbucks and blogging. So the next day I headed down to my favourite branch (Albion St, Leeds…they have the best looking baristas) and ordered myself a pumpkin spice latte.
On first appearance it’s just like another latte with nutmeg sprinkled on top. It would look more impressive if I got my drink with cream but then I’d be forced to write a terrible review because I hate cream. But a Starbucks coffee is a Starbucks coffee, it looks yummy and inviting.
I wrap my hands around the warm cup, a welcome change from the wet rain outside, and hold it to my nose. I can instantly smell the nutmeg. The mix of spices makes me think of cold weather, scarves and coming home to blankets on the couch.
There’s a slight amount, about half a centimeter, of foam. The nutmeg isn’t overpowering and there’s an undertone of clove. There’s also a slightly creamy texture to the foam which reinforces the cosy feel of the drink.
The latte is at the perfect drinking temperature, like all Starbucks coffees. I take my first sip and find that it is surprisingly sweet. To me it tastes a lot like vanilla, but apparently it’s pumpkin syrup. I didn’t notice a large amount of difference between the two. Honestly it’s like a strong vanilla latte with a hint of spices. Personally, I would enjoy the drink more if the spices were slightly stronger.
Even thought it's very sweet it doesn't become sickly, though I should point out I only had a coffee. I don't think it would go well with a slice of cake or a muffin because the combined sugar content would most certainly give you diabetes.
Overall I think it’s worth trying. I felt a bit let down because I was anticipating a brand new drink like they do at Christmas. I was excited to try something new and yes, when I took the first sip I was disappointed. But that doesn’t take away from the fact it’s a lovely drink. It delivers a feeling of comfort and indulgence while retaining the class you’d expect from a Starbucks coffee.

I’d like to leave the review there but I feel I should mention the nutritional information. According to the Starbucks website a grande pumpkin spice latte made with 2% milk with whipped cream is 380 calories.  Wow! That’s a lot of calories for one drink! If you’re trying to cut the calories in preparation for the Christmas splurge then try leaving the cream off and it’ll save you 70 calories. If you can’t live without the cream get the tall size for 300 calories.

The top sort of looks like a cream pond with
nutmeg lilly pads
(I was on a caffine high when I thought of this)

Before I go I’d like to say a big thank you to Steve who funded this review.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Price of Pop

Something that really bugs me is how much pubs charge for soft drinks. They get it dirt cheap by taking advantage of economies of scale (thanks, business studies) but charge about £2 a glass. It seems really unfair that most soft drinks could be traded in for something lovely and alcoholic for an extra 50p.
Now you might be thinking “yeah, but who goes to the pub for a coke?” well lots of people actually. My mother and I often go for a pub lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. I have homework to get on with and she has to pick up my little brother from school. Generally it’s not acceptable to be standing at the school gates with beer on your breath. Designated drivers will also be on pints of pop. It’s not fair for them to still spend almost as much as the people who are drinking alcohol.

The worst part is that it discourages people from calming down and having a break from the booze. This is how your mind should work: oh, I’m a little tipsy. I know, I’ll have lemonade. So you’re thinking all the right things until you get to the bar and, price wise, it doesn’t make sense to order pop. Then before you know it you’re hanging off every guy in the bar and less ‘dancing’ more ‘stumbling off beat’ (this isn’t me, this is a reference to a girl I saw on a night out last month…I always stumble to the beat).
At the end of the day it’s just carbonated water, sugar and flavourings. Don’t charge over a quid for that when I can get a double vodka and coke for £2 in selected places*.

*savings are based on monetary values, shame measures may vary

£1.80? I'll be having the
whole lemon then

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Five Students You’ll Meet

If you’re progressing onto university or college this year then you’re going to meet a lot of new people. At first it may seem scary, the unknown usually is, but let me help you by describing the five students you are guaranteed to encounter.
1)      The one that went to a festival. This type of student is really easy to identify as long as you can see their wrists. They like to advertise the fact they did something more than watch Jeremy Kyle over the summer and think a few brightly coloured, old wristbands will make them look cool and interesting. What they don’t realise is they’re actually wearing germ magnets. Think about it, the wristbands are worn day and night near the area of your body that you use the most. You (hopefully) wash your hands frequently but what about these wristbands? They’re collecting bacteria from everywhere and are in the perfect position to contaminate food or other things you may put in your mouth. Worse still is when the wristbands are from more than a year ago, oh this is too shudder provoking, next student please!
2)      The student that takes life easy. This person, usually a guy in my experience, is chilled out. They don’t stress about exams or homework assignments and look at people like me as if they’re mad for thinking about more than one thing at once. Usually they’ll be found outside having a cigarette or in a more secluded area having a special cigarette.
3)      The student that drinks. Obviously this is a lot of students, except the few that choose not to because of religion, personal views or maybe they turn into a complete eejit and are sensible enough to stick to a virgin rum and coke. This student is the person who talks about getting drunk every Friday and tells you how hungover they were on Monday. They’ll recite every drop of alcohol that went into their body and all the wild, crazy things they did. Not to be confused with the genuine party animal you’ll also find roaming the halls (or passed out in them) this person is exaggerating. They think getting trashed somehow makes them cool, it doesn’t. Throwing up isn’t cool (although supermodels are rather popular). Anyone with a hangover can tell you it isn’t cool and they’re never drinking again. And those dodgy Facebook pictures? Hilarious. But not cool.
4)      The student that talks about everyone, including you even though you’ve never said more than two words to her (let’s face it this person will be a her). Pay attention to this, you didn’t do anything to this person. She has no reason to talk about you. She has no reason to talk about anybody in the class. Actually no, she does have a reason. This student has low self-esteem and talks about other people to make herself feel better. It’s a classic situation, your mother warned you about her type and the world is full of them. Try not to take it to heart and remember, for every finger they point at you there’s three pointing back at them.
5)      The student you can call a friend. One of the best things about going somewhere new is meeting new people and making more friends. The absolute best thing about it is when you find someone you really get on with. Not just someone you can eat lunch with. Not just someone you can borrow notes from. But a proper giggling, phone calls, swap clothes, stupid photos, inside jokes, secret sharing, dancing partner type of friend. The sort of person you’ll still know long after you’ve lost your figure and your hopes and dreams. Who’ll pick you up, pass the wine and stick with you through office dramas and big life moments. The sort of person who’ll be your head bridesmaid or best man. You’ll know them when you meet them.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Results Day

After about 2 months of waiting I’ve received my results and they’ve confirmed the worst. I’m bloody stupid.
Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. But it is 33% true as I got a U for my English Lit and Lang paper. I mean a U. I’m not even worth a grade! To put my shock in perspective, I was predicted an A. That’s quite a leap. I’d known I messed up the first question a bit, but that’s only worth a third of the paper and I thought I’d still get okay marks for it. Plus I was quite confident about the second question, misplaced confidence as I now know. With my coursework grade of B I’ve come out with a D which I will resit, obviously. Still, though…a U! I write a blog and I got a U!
But fortunately my other grades were, not to be big headed, wonderful. I got an A for my Business Studies paper which has combined with my A from January to make an overall A. I was so happy about this, if I’d failed business I think I would have broken down and cried and seeing as my Chanel mascara isn’t waterproof that would have been a disaster.
Now onto Law, back in January I got a C which I was…let’s just say not happy with. It was to do with how I’d answered the question and my teacher told me if I’d just put in these small details I’d known but had thought were unimportant I would have got an A. So I retook it and I did amazingly well. 79 out of 80! That’s like 99% (98.75% to be precise) so I’m quite chuffed. I did wonderfully in my May paper too with 110 out of 120 (that’s 91.6*% but we can call it 92%). I was apprehensive about these results because the paper was so hard to prepare for. The volume of things I had to cram into my brain was mental (I actually forgot my pin number shortly before my exams. I had to go into the bank and everything). To have to do that paper again…I honestly don’t think I could. The exam was so intense too, two straight hours of furiously scribbling down law.
All in all, I’m okay I guess. I know I should be happy, straight As in 2 of my subjects is amazing, but it isn’t enough, not for me. Now all I want to do is get my script back and find out where I went wrong, but I guess there’s time for a few bottles of wine before I get cracking with that.

10 Signs I’m a Grown Up

1)      I have a specific place for ‘documents’ instead of just whichever drawer is closest.
2)      75% of the time my bra and knickers match.
3)      I buy boring things like milk and bread.
4)      I have bills.
5)      I can stop after 2 glasses of wine, although by Sainsbury’s standards I’ve drunk a bottle by then.
6)      I have a diary where I can write down appointments and other important things I must not forget. It’s spotty and has little masterpieces (doodles) inside from where I’ve gotten bored of reminding myself of things. But it allows me to say, “Oh let me just check my diary and I’ll get back to you” when people need me for stuff.
7)      A lot of my favourite bands aren’t playing anymore, like King Adora. Last time I heard their lead singer works in a leisure centre somewhere down south. Rock and roll.
8)      I look for ‘sensible heels’ in my day shoes.
9)      I’m happier to see the cat than I am to see my own mother.
10)   I know the meaning of phrases like ‘low GI’, ‘ISA’ and ‘GDP’.

Back to the Daily Grind

Hi everyone,
I'm back after my summer hiatus. I've written a few posts that I'll put up soon, so if you're like me and have had to come back to the glum learning facility you call hell at least you'll have something to read that reminds you no matter how bad your life gets, mine is more embarrassing.
Well, I'm going to go drink  coffee and think up some more ideas. Happy September!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

August Appoligies

Hi everyone who likes my blog. Unfortunately I've been unable to post anything for the last while and it's going to continue until September. I'll be back as soon as possible and I'll make it up to you all.
Go outside and enjoy the good weather, I'll be back when the temperature drops and there's rain to moan about.

Faye

Monday, 16 July 2012

The 5 Worst Ways to Die

5) Unsolved murder. Because I'd be looking down from heaven screaming "it's him, it's him! Arrest him! The evidence is all there! LOOK IN THE TRUNK UNDER HIS BED!" the frustration would kill me. Metaphorically.
4) Not dying until you're really, really old. This sounds pretty good, but imagine it. You're in your 90s, your children and grandchildren are a bit rubbish and never visit. All your friends are dead and your partner passed a decade ago. You only have the care home's nurse to talk to, and she's busy she's got a lot of people to look after. She's not paid enough and basically isn't in the mood for chit chat. So all your days are filled with is a bit of TV and the highlight of your week is Saturday night bingo.
3) Dying in a safety video. In primary school we were shown different safety videos so we wouldn't walk into the combine harvester. There'd be a group of kids (unsupervised while around dangerous equipment, something tells me we need to show these videos to parents) running around, all fun and games, until one fell in the river. Or there was the one where they took an old boat they found out into a lake but the boat had a hole in it and that was not good. I think one fell off the roof into the path of a tractor.
2) Death by chocolate. As in eating so much you can no longer clean yourself, walk or live. I really don't understand those people.
1) Falling into the slurry pit. For those of you who aren't knowledgeable about farming the slurry pit is where all the poo goes when it falls between the slates in the cow shed. Then, every so often, a man comes and uses a massive pipe to suck it all up and it gets spread onto the fields. There's a trapdoor that is used to access it and Grandad always warned me to stay well away in case I fell in and drown. In poo.

Oh cake, I can't stay mad at you


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

London: Extra Bits

There were some moments from my London mini-break (I'm so Bridget Jones) that I couldn't find a place for in my blog. I figured I'd throw it all into one post and see what happens, it's the blog equivalent leftover vegetable stew. You don't have enough of anything to make something specific, but sometimes it turns out to be the best meal you've had all week.
I'll start with meeting Abbie and Roy, Ashy's friends, they were so lovely. They'd been waiting in the line for the concert since about 1pm and had saved a space for us (thank goodness because the line was so long we couldn't see the end). Then there was a problem with Ashy's ticket (they'd put her in circle standing) and we had to beg staff to let her into the downstairs part because we were in a group of four and we didn't want to lose someone. They were so unhelpful, we must have talked to five members of staff all of which told us there was nothing they could do and that it was too packed to allow anyone extra in. Total rubbish because Ashy's 5"2 and a slip of a thing, no one would have noticed her being there. They even made us wait for manager, who looked stoned, and groaned "no" at us. The guy was so dopey it's amazing that he didn't add in "but I can sell you some pot". Luckily genius Roy thought of an idea, one so simple it couldn't fail to work, he came out of the room where where the stage was and gave Ashy Abbie's ticket so Ashy could get in. So after knowing them for about two hours they'd totally saved our night. Plus Abbie's mad camera skills recorded the show in a way that my phone could only dream about.

We spent a fair amount of time on the London underground. The only way to describe it is if the apocalypse happened and all the sinners were sent to hell they'd be sent there on the underground. It starts with a sudden jolt which can lead to a free grope from a stranger, depending on whether you take advantage of what life hands you. Then it whooshes through the black abyss. I tried to look out the window to see if the ball of flames was getting any closer when we stopped at London Victoria. Which is close enough. A lovely little mouse appeared on the part bellow the tracks while we waited for our next death ride, it was so sweet looking but it must have been deaf from the constant noise.

On Saturday we went to Camden market which, fair play to it was pretty big but it was a bit of an anti-climax. I'd been told it was too big to get around in one day and Ashy was told it's on four floors. I don't think we missed any bits out though because we saw some stalls twice. In fact it was a bit disappointing because there was no Marilyn Manson gear, which for the market that supposedly has everything is poor. He's been around for over two decades and everyone has at least heard of him so I would have expected a couple of t-shirts at least. Especially as he'd just played London. Another thing was the volume of second hand converse. They were everywhere and 80% looked like they'd been worn for a year straight. Seriously, who's buying the tatty Converse? They looked like they were ready for the bin, not a second home. I have no problem with second hand things, most of my books are from charity shops, but there's limits.

Finally, we watched 'Superbad', I'm sure most of you have heard of it, and we were literally in hysterics. Though that was aided by the wine. I asked Steve whether it's funny before a bottle of wine and apparently it is, but it's hilarious when you're drinking.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Our Serving Suggestions Differ

Tonight has consisted of many, many bottles of wine. This has resulted in the great idea of complaining to Sainsbury's about their...well, you'll see.

"Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you about your 'Sainsbury's Taste the Difference 2008 Vintage Cava'. First of all I would like to congratulate you on making such a lovely and affordable wine. My friend and I took advantage of the wonderful two for £12 offer you are currently running. I think this is great value as one bottle usually £10.49 which is still affordable, but we wouldn't have been able to buy so many.

While we were enjoying your excellent product I began to read one of the empty bottles that were stood next to me. We had an interesting conversation about the 'IWSC Bronze Award' the wine had received, the origins of the wine and then I cast my eyes upon the recommended serving of six glasses. I was sharing the bottle with a friend, we had drunk one glass each and there was only a third of the bottle left. Neither of us could believe it. There is no way there is six glasses of wine in the bottle. (We were using standard wine glasses)
I know you will be obligated by Sainsbury's to tell me that this is the official serving size, but seriously, throw a dinner party for six people (no drivers) and serve two bottles of wine. I guarantee you will be met with judgmental, horrified stares.
I would therefore like to suggest additional serving suggestions, perhaps a 'Sainsbury's suggestions', as to not mislead non-drinkers. Had I taken heed of the serving suggestion we would have had to resort to the cooking sherry much earlier than usual.

I look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Faye Hurley"


Friday, 6 July 2012

Marilyn Manson Concert Review

Usually the kind of nights which end up with other people's sweat on you are pretty darn good, and this was no exception. The show was opened by Lacuna Coil who played really well. They put a lot of effort into their performance and it showed. Unfortunately, they weren't playing for a crowd who particularly liked them. Our lack of enthusiasm was most prevalent when the singer asked everyone to jump during the next song and almost everyone stood their ground. We were all desperate for them to get the heck off stage so Marilyn Manson could come on.
Once Lacuna Coil finished we were left waiting forty minutes for Manson to come on stage. That's forty minutes of standing like a sardine in one hundred degree heat. It was hell. Luckily we were stood behind a very good looking man and yes, we did spend an ashaming amount of time ogling his bum.
The highlight of the wait for Manson though was reading a man's texts over his shoulder. He was asking his wife/girlfriend if there was enough milk (well, we did have lots of standing around time, minds do wander) to which she replied "enough until the morning unless you're wantin' Horlicks tonight". With the essence of rock and roll he then sent "I'll pick some up on the way home".
Now for the good part. The band opened the show with the song 'Hey Cruel World' and the crowd went wild trying to get a good view of the man himself. The stage was smokey and Manson had a hand held dry ice/smoke blower and was blasting the audience. This may have looked really cool, but honestly we were half choking to death on the stuff.
All the classics were played like 'Disposable Teens' (ohmygoodness) and the new tracks were executed with the quality you'd expect from a rock god. At the beginning it was a bit mad, with everyone pushing and shoving, but five or six songs in we mellowed out (when 'Slow-mo-tion' came on) and there was an atmosphere of pure enjoyment.
My favourite song was 'Irresponsible Hate Anthem'. We behaved exactly like the crowds in the cd recordings by chanting "we hate love, we love hate" until Manson came back on stage (he had about 5 or 6 costume changes) and played us what we wanted to hear. We. Went. Mad. Oh, it was everything I ever thought it would be.
The song with the best performance had to be 'Antichrist Superstar'. It was the longest costume change, about three minutes, and when he reappeared he was stood at a podium with the Antichrist Superstar logo. I loved the way he imitated politicians by blowing kisses to the crowd and plastering a grin on his face. It was classic Manson behaviour. He was dressed in a full suit with black lines down his face, which were smudged within seconds, making me imagine the make up artist slapping their forehead from the side of the stage. He pulled out the old 'rip up the bible' routine, but only a few pages. The recession has hit harder than anyone thought possible, even Marilyn Manson can't afford to rip up a full bible.
Overall, the performance was excellent. We spoke to a few people after the show and there were ones who thought it was good but not as good as his last tour. I attended that one too and think they were both brilliant. I especially enjoyed this one because I was with my friend Ashy who's lovely, so lovely in fact she bought me one of the tour t-shirts (thanks again!), and now I get to spend the next three days in her company so expect some entertaining posts in the near future.
All in all I'd give the concert 8/10, purely because I don't like Lacuna Coil or waiting around in stifling heat. But if the rating was only based on watching Marilyn Manson then it'd be the full 10/10.

Marilyn Manson @ O2 Academy Brixton 5/7/2012

Getting There

My journey to London began with a 10:20am coach from Leeds. After half killing myself getting up at 7am (I'm not missing college) and having my typical 'big day out' breakfast of scrambled eggs I was all set.
I got to the coach station without any hiccups. In fact I quite enjoyed walking around in my New Rocks, I felt like I had the world at my mercy with those steel capped boots. The coach was fine. There was a baby who, fair play to it, behaved pretty well with only a few grumbles along the way. The only issue was when I got up to use the loo.
So after hawk eyeing the door I grabbed my opportunity and went to the back of the coach. Only to be presented with a door without a handle. It had this rectangular dent, like if a child had tried to draw the sliding patio door, but when I went to slide it nothing happened. I pulled it back and forth, panicking by then because I'm 18 and really by now I should have mastered opening doors. Finally, and this is shameful to admit, a man opened it for me. He leaned over and opened it with his left hand. So what did I do? Well I did what any woman would do in that situation. I flirted. "You're obviously much stronger than me" *giggle* the 'I'm just a helpless children's story character' act. He took the bait and graciously acted like he was my knight in shinning armor. I'm Rapunzel, I thought, I'm Snow White, I thought. I was cocky now, thinking I must be great having men open doors for me. Then I get into the loo, look in the mirror and realise I'm a scarecrow. Cheers humidity, cheers.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Is the World too sexy?

This morning on the news I heard the story of a fourteen year old boy who had been given a community order for the rape of a five year old girl. The judge justified this by saying it wasn't the boy's fault, he had been 'corrupted' by internet porn.
I get where the judge is coming from, after all we live in a very sexual society. Everything is sold to us using sex and sex is used as a form of entertainment in everything from music videos to tv shows. These are the things children will see. It would be very hard to protect your child from every single racy image, but there are steps parents can take. For one thing, blocking the porn. It's hardly a massive life sacrifice and when weighed against the damage it can do I say you'd be better off just having good old fashioned real life sex.
The alternative is children growing up with a distorted view of sex, believing that the way women are treated in porn is actually how you treat a woman.
How much responsibility lies with the companies churning all this out? Well, they're not doing anything illegal and they're in fierce competition with one another so I wouldn't be the first to lay a basket of blame at their door. The government could bring in some regulations but this would be very hard to monitor. What's racy to one is tame to another and what one person finds offensive another will find a turn on. They can hardly bring in a skin-to-clothing ratio now can they?
Really the responsibility lies with us all, parents need to monitor what their children are viewing and companies should be more aware of their impact on young minds. In general we all need to push sex back into the bedroom because it's currently all over the house and I don't know about you, but I like my breakfast without a penis on the side.

The only sausage I want on a morning is
Linda McCartney's

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

You're Not Special

How many times have you heard someone say they're unique, special or different? I'd guess quite a bit, if you're anything like me. I see a lot of things on facebook that, first of all reminds me I need to weed out a lot of 'friends' on there, are about people expressing how they're different to everyone else.
No you're not. You're not different. You're just like everyone else. For one thing people who are different don't go around shouting about it. So that's pretty much how you check whether you are different. Oh, and if you do things just to stand out of the crowd, then look around, you're in the centre of the crowd.
I'm so sick of seeing people upload pictures they got from Google which totally expresses their inner most feelings and songs which totally get their lives. And if I say this, then I just don't get it *sob*. No, I get it, I just think it's dumb. The height of this is Tumblr which people use to collect photos taken and edited by someone else to define who they are. It's like an online scrapbook with unlimited access to pure crap. I know people can blog on there, but that requires effort and braincells.
The take home message here is it's fine to be part of the majority, after all that's society. There's nothing wrong with being average and at the end of the day we can't all be different. For one thing if we were then that would be the majority so by default that just can't happen. If you're one of the crowd stand up and admit it because sometimes it's better to be 'normal'. And if not, well at least you have company.

I could come up with a really deep
metaphor for this picture but it's
so cute that I don't want to

Two Days and Counting

My summer reaches its height in two days. My trip to London to see the only UK leg of Marilyn Manson's 2012 tour is on Thursday and I. Can't. Bloody. Wait.
Am I bragging? Of course I am, do you know how far in advance I had to organise this? In teenage speak ageeeeessssss. But thanks to good organisational skills it's happening, I'm going, I'll be there, I'll be watching. Live. Marilyn Manson. Oh YES.
Don't worry, I'll be giving a full blog post over to the show when I come home. I'm hoping to be able to give a rave review and fingers crossed I will. I saw him in 2009 during his last tour and that show was just amazing. I was completely taken over by him and the incredible show the whole band put on. It was easily one of the best moments of my life. Easily.
I don't know if you've guessed but my brain isn't working very well today so I won't drag this post out any longer. But don't worry, what I lack in decent material now I will more than make up for next week.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Football Knowledge


The World Cup is happening at the moment, which isn’t news to anyone because it’s everywhere you turn, and I feel compelled to join in the hoo-ha. I mean I might as well, I’m getting a match-by-match update from Facebook anyway. My mother once said that even people who don’t normally like football enjoy the World Cup, but I’m yet to experience that for myself.
Anyway, I thought I’d share with you my knowledge of the subject that is football. I won’t lie, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel by number four.
1)     The goalie wears a different coloured shirt from the other footballers, presumably so people know he’s the goalie. But this should be obvious, if he wasn’t why would he be stood in the goal? It’s the only thing on the pitch besides the ball so there’s no way someone could accidently wander into it.
2)      The manager is often a big out of shape looking, which makes me thinking coaching is mainly do as I say not as I do.
3)      Football boots are like trainers with studs on the bottom, which means they’re trainers or, at a push, shoes but definitely not boots.
4)      Even with my limited viewing I’ve never seen a football team have oranges at half time, which makes me wonder where all that started.
5)      Coco-Cola sponsors a lot of football things, which is bloody ironic.
6)      Men believe they can control the players on the screen by shouting at them.
7)      For something that should be a stress relieving, relaxing pastime (it’s just watching TV after all, for most fans) it gets ridiculously violent.
8)      Gone are the days when ‘it’s the taking part that counts’. But I guess you’re not being paid £stupid to play for the craic.
9)      It gave us David Beckham, say what you want I’d be happy to watch him run around for 90 minutes. But only if there’s no clothes and two balls on the pitch.
10)   The Americans call it soccer, because their football is a bit like our rugby and because they can’t speak English properly. You can’t change the ‘s’ to ‘z’ in a word, drop your ‘u’s and make up a few words then call it a new language. No, sorry, either put in the effort or accept you’re speaking English.

"Ah-ha! Not such a wholesome, innocent snack now am I?!"


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Freedom and Frappuccinos

I'm free! No, I have not been released from captivity or a mental hospital, I'm free from college. For three whole months. I feel...indescribable. Which is brilliant for a written blog.
Anyway, my exciting news is that I am now a working girl. With all the exams I've had I haven't bothered applying for anything in months. But a few days ago I applied to work at a bar in Leeds and my first day is tomorrow. Of course I'm nervous about working in Leeds until the wee hours of the morning, but I need the money. 
The Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour is back. So I'm pretty darn happy. I tried the mocha cookie crumble one on Monday. It's chocolatey without being sickly and the hint of coffee provides a subtle and pleasant reminder that it's from Starbucks. Overall I'd give it a 4/5 and I'd recommend only getting a tall one. It satisfies  your sweet tooth (or in my case teeth) and anything bigger would be a mistake. Also, they're pretty calorific so if you can live without the whipped cream...do.
Other good things in my life are the new shoes my mother got me as a reward for doing my exams, which was lovely of her. They're gorgeous brown sandals from Office and when I tried them on I knew they were the type of shoes that hug your feet and will never cause blisters. My copy of Born Villain by Marilyn Manson came today, so I think we all know what's being played full blast in my room tonight. And I officially have everything booked for my trip to London this July to see Marilyn Manson live in concert.
However, I now feel rather uneasy about everything going so right. There must be a catch somewhere. Life cannot go so well without there being some massive tragedy on the horizon.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Guide to Summer

Here's some handy tips to get you through the summer.

1) To make the most of the 10 minutes of sunshine we get have a disposable BBQ, jug of sangria and floppy hat sitting somewhere in your cupboards. Try buying any of those items when it's hot. Go on, I dare you.
2) If it's not hot turn on the central heating and pretend, this also has the bonus effect of global warming and may make for future warmer summers.
3) If you get a summer job you'll have no time to relax and see your friends. If you don't, you'll have no money to do those things.
4) It's never a good idea to bring ice cream into the bedroom, not matter how high you turn the central heating.
5) Remember the sun dehydrates so drink plenty of cocktails.
6) A summer fling lasts a week, herpes lasts forever.
7) While the films of the 80s make swimming in the lake look like the coolest thing ever, remember, it's 2012. Our lakes are just collected masses of liquid pollution. If you go in them you will grow an extra eye.
8) Shorts should always be cut BELOW the bum cheek line, not above. I know some of you girls have been having trouble with that.
9) Red lobster skin is not tan, it's skin cancer waiting to happen.
Blinky should have listened to me

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Street Botherers

My issue today is with all people in the street always trying to sell you something. There's the Big Issuers, the joke bookers, the charity-ers, the sign-up-to-our-service-ers and of course the Jesus pedlers.
I actually don't mind the Big Issue sellers. There's a few entertaining ones that I quite like having around. I just dislike the ones that stand there with a face like a slapped bum. Cheer up. You're trying to sell me something after all.
The joke book sellers are sort of in the same category, in that they are out of work and are participating in a scheme that helps them do something and earn a little, but ohmygoodness I've never met a group quite like them. Their sales technique is tell you you're gorgeous, in the way the drunk old man at the pub pats your arse and asks if you have a boyfriend. Without the touching (thankfully). And they're all centralised in one area to the point that I'm running from one into the arms of another. They're really pushy sellers, which I understand, but here's my point: I DO NOT WANT TO BUY YOUR LEAFLET OF CRAP JOKES FOR £3. And that's it.
Charity is a good cause...obviously. And I do donate to charity. So yes, I do my part. My complaint isn't with any particular charity, it's with the sheer volume of charity workers. And how often I get stopped. All the main streets in Leeds have at least one and if you manage to duck down another street to avoid them you'll only run into another bunch. It's not that I don't care, I just don't have the money to support everyone and I feel really bad saying no because the point of charity is it's all very sad. If I supported everyone I wanted to I'd be on the street begging, ironically. But since this is such a sensitive subject I'm going to tiptoe onto the next one.
Okay, let's start hating big companies. Stop trying to sell me television services, film subscriptions and energy suppliers. You're everywhere. Back off. Pack up your bags and we'll make a pact that I'll call you.
And finally, the people trying to sell you nothing but eternal peace and happiness. Well, I'm not touching this one. They're the most considerate of the lot. They may shout out their views but they never personally stop me or make me feel bad for walking by. In fact I think it's pretty great they're shouting their views, they might not be mine but isn't that the point of a free country? Being able to talk about things freely is one of the greatest things about Britain. So there you go, Jesus wins.


For purposes of equality "Jesus" may be
replaced by a profit of your choice



Monday, 30 April 2012

Germs

Lately there has been some sort of sickness bug going around. I'm hyper aware of everyone around me sneezing and coughing, spreading their illnesses to unsuspecting bystanders. Basic hygiene is ignored. If there's something I can't stand it's people coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths. They know how horrible it is to be sick but have no regard for those around them, choosing to put us all at risk of whatever they're suffering with because they can't be bothered to bring a tissue.
Do you know how many germs are sprayed into the air with every sneeze? Millions and millions. They're travelling at 100 mph in around 40,000 infectious droplets. They cover surfaces, which are then touched by other people as much of this is invisible to the naked eye. Children touching bus railings, grannies opening doors and students resting their heads on Mc Donalds' tables at 4am are all picking up the germs careless people have left behind.
The thing is you can't make up for someone else's bad hygiene by being more stringent about your own. Hand sanitisers people carry around have shown to weaken the immune system because your body is used to having to fight a certain amount of nasties. Take them away and, basically, it gets lazy. I suppose you could try to even this out by only sterilising one hand.
Basically, I'd be much happier if everyone listened to their mums and covered their God damn mouths.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Useless Technology

1) The E-reader. It costs around £80 before you even put a book on it. You know what doesn't cost extra to put a book on it? A book. It's all inclusive.
It's just calling out for trouble. Suddenly the annoyance of leaving your book on a train is a huge financial loss. It's another thing for someone to steal; when was the last time someone had their book stolen? People argue, "but you can store thousands of books on it!". Oh, so you read thousands of books at any given time? You read three pages of Shakespeare, two of Oscar Wilde and seven of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones? All in one sitting? No, I didn't think so. And if you do, you're reading wrong.

2) The iPad. So, everyone knows the story here. The latest in Apple's attempt to rob you blind. A machine that has all the functions of an iPhone, without the most useful calling/texting functions, combined with the size of a big netbook. Which sort of excludes it from the benefits associated with it being small and lightweight, because at the end of the day you still need a bag to carry it around in. Sure, it's lighter than a laptop...because it's less useful. All those useful thing being left out, that what makes it so light. But two cameras I hear you say? Oh, yeah, because we need two cameras. Yeah, they're useful for video chatting but honestly how often have you done that since the buzz of owning an iPad wore off? Face it, an iPad is just somewhere to play Angry Birds on a big screen.

3) Home Blu-Ray players. Before you quality obsessed geeks flail off into an argument about how Blu-Ray is the best thing ever just hang on. Hang on. Keep calm and hang on. This is my point; these things cost about ten times the amount of a DVD player, every film you buy will cost more and with the quality of most people's TVs and modern films there isn't much difference. Of course there are exceptions, some things look amazing in Blu-Ray. But when put against the extra money, unless you're a total geek in it for the commentary and the deleted scenes, it's just not worth it.

4. 3D TV that uses glasses. Remember when 3D TV first came out and you had to wear glasses to be able to see the 3D effect? And all the TVs only came with two pairs of glasses so customers were forced to buy extra pairs each costing at least £50? Then the Nintendo 3DS came out and the TV companies came out with TVs that didn't require glasses? So, er, the whole 'glasses' thing was a completely redundant money making scheme exploiting those who wanted to have 3D TV and leaving them looking like arseholes watching their TV at home with glasses on. Thing is, if this was just a general move in technology it wouldn't have been so bad, but it was just so obvious that someone at the top said "let's make people pay extortionate amounts of money for something that makes them look really stupid" then the Nintendo company, like an annoying little brother, went and ratted them out to the public while simultaneously making themselves look clever and forward thinking.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Exam Season and Bad Tips for Studying

Argh! No sooner have one set of exams ended do another begin! A Levels are like constantly running away from an angry lion. They're always right at your heels and you're scared, well, yanno *that word*.
A Levels ruin every holiday you get from college. You get two weeks at Christmas and Easter and when are your exams? Right after Christmas and Easter! Great, now I have two whole weeks with nothing to do but study and worry about studying. It's not like I wanted to, you know, relax and rest after six weeks of gruelling mental work.

Now for some bad study tips:
1) Worry about everything. Every little thing. It all has the power to make you fail.
2) Believe you're going to fail because, after all, you're going to fail.
3) Stay up all night the day before your exam. You can just Starbuck your way through the exhaustion.
4) Sleep with your textbook under your pillow and the knowledge will be absorbed while you sleep.
5) Get sick the week before your exam, if you get something really bad you could become delusional which will ease your stress levels.
6) Spend an hour straightening your hair the morning of the exam, even if you're a boy.
7) Offer the examiner oral sex.
8) Bring a blue pen instead of a black one. The person who marks the paper will be impressed by your rebellion against society and will surely mark you higher.
9) Skip all revision classes to go to the pub, then use your notes as a drink coaster.
10) Eat your notes and be amazed when knowledge is assimilated directly into your bloodstream.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Don't Blame the Schools

This morning I was watching the news; they had a piece about how more needs to be done at school to teach young children how to be decent people. This all relates back to the riots we had in August last year and the argument about whom the blame lies with.
I'm sorry, but there are people leaving school who haven't grasped basic reading and writing skills. How can you expect the schools to find time to teach them what they should be learning from parents? As a parent it is your responsibility to teach your child right from wrong, how to behave in public, how to treat people and all other moral lessons. If we turf that responsibility over to the school the, already low, standard of education would fall. And where would it end? Would we expect the school to teach children how to behave at the dinner table? Would we demand them to stamp out swearing? And if a teenager becomes pregnant, would we blame the school for that too?
If a child does not receive proper parenting you cannot expect it to behave properly. If you made a cake without using flour would you be surprised when it didn't turn out well? Of course not. The same rule applies to children, if you do not teach them properly they will not turn out to be well functioning members of society.
The schools  are there to teach academic subjects, and one could argue they can't even do that well. They are not there to raise people's children for them. Of course a basic moral code is enforced; sharing, including others, not talking back but that is only during school hours. That's why teachers don't run around the streets on an evening, forcing children to let the scrawny kid join in their game of football. It's not their job.
So, my advice? People should learn that becoming a parent is easy, being a parent is hard. It's easy to argue that the government should be providing parenting classes, that people don't know what to do but that's a cop out. People have been raising children since the dawn of the human race. If we can't manage it, we're pretty much doomed. And seeing as there are still large numbers of well functioning adults out there obviously people do  know how to do it. Some people just need to get off their arse.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

First World Problems

A list of the things that are currently bugging me, but are so unbelievably trivial that you'd have to be part of the first world to even consider them an issue.

1) The DVD I ordered five days ago still hasn't arrived.

2) We're officially out of chocolate.

3) We're also out of milk so I can't satisfy my chocolate craving by making some chocolate milk.

4) There's nothing worth watching on tv, also I have a hand cramp from college yesterday so I can't do my homework either.

5) The washing up STILL hasn't done itself.

6) When I walk up stairs my slippers won't co-operate and sometimes I trip/stumble.

7) I can't afford a new Radley purse, mainly because I bought Elizabeth Arden moisturiser this week.

8) The internet keeps teasing me with Radley purses I can't afford.

9) The light bulbs in my kitchen are too dim, also one is brighter than the other.

10) I can't think of a tenth problem to make this list up to an even number.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Firsts

There's nothing better than your first of anything. The first bite of chocolate is always the sweetest, the first moment that you get to sit down is the most relaxing, the first bottle of wine is always the most agreeable...
I wonder why that is. There's no difference between the first bite of chocolate and the second. It's the same bar, the same size, it's the same. So why is it so different? Is it the sudden change? Or perhaps it's built into us to only appreciate something for a short amount of time. Maybe it's because we only get one 'first' (I keep feeling like I'm talking about sex), but by that logic we only get one second and one third. If anything we get more firsts than anything else because you can't get seconds or thirds without it.
Why should the first be any different from the second, third, fourth etc? Really the first should be the worst because we don't know what we're doing (I swear I'm not on about sex). The first time you ride a (wait for it) bike is probably going to coincide with the first time you fall off. If anything the hundredth time you ride a bike should be the best because there's such a low chance of you falling off. You can ride without fear. Sure the risk of falling off adds to the thrill, but isn't it much nicer to know you can have a ride around and not fall off?
Today I wrote a blog post without making any sort of joke...pretty much