a cry for help

at 22:39

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Alright kids. I'm asking everyone who ever comments (and, in the event that more than three people actually read this, anyone who lurks) to help a sister out here.

I'm stuck, and I figure as you have access to the innermost workings of my MIND via the medium of blog you're just as qualified to advise me as anyone else in my life right now.

So what do I do with myself? I'm at a threeway fork in the road and the indecision is killing me. I cannot stand still. I just can't. I feel like ripping out my hair, peeling off my skin, fashioning the resulting goo into a minature model of l'Arc de Triumph and setting light to it in sacrifice to Athena. While dancing. Just so that I'll have something to do.

Not a good state of mind to be in.

Here are my options (complete with a nifty pro and con list for each) as they stand now:

Option 1
Take a Masters in Science Communication
Pros: It'll be amazingly fun, I get to be a student for a year, try my hand at documentary production, script writing and other creative malarky and I end up with a formal qualification in journalism.
Cons: I'll be a grand total of £30,000 in debt after it - a year of school will effectively double my total debt and it won't be low interest this time. I'll have to survive on practically nothing for a year. Everyone in the world wants to try their hand at journalism - competition for jobs at the other end is going to be beyond insane. It's not exactly a stable profession at the best of times.

Option 2
Qualify to teach high school level science
Pros: I'd be fucking amazing at teaching and it would keep me constantly stimulated and entertained, I could spend the long(ish) summer vacations writing fiction like I've always said I would. I'd have a job for life at a very liveable from salary. The course would be paid for and they'd help with my debt. Plus I could continue to freelance during vacations to keep my hand in.
Cons: Unless I want to go into management I'd never earn much, I'd have to be slightly more conservative in my future tattoo plans (although I was never intending to go to full sleves anyways). Unlike option 3 below I don't really have the option of jacking it in and doing the masters if I feel like it. It's a job for life.

Option 3
Apply for a graduate scheme in Marketing/PR/Advertising
Pros: Within a couple of years I'd be earning incredibly well. I'd always be busy. In theory I could branch out into the creative side (in practice: not so much), I'd be moving into the right industry if I do decide to take the masters. More experience = better and if I'm uber lucky (like, 1000:1 odds) I may find a company willing to support me through a masters.
Cons: I'd be selling my soul to the city, high stress and company politics have never really been my thing. Despite promises of creative input I'm willing to put down money on the fact I'd be chasing unpaid bills and doing pretty much the job I do now.

So what do you guys think? No matter who I talk to I get a different opinion:

Mother: Why aren't you teaching? You've wanted to do it since you were a kid. You'd make a great teacher. Or you could do your Masters. What's all this about a job in media all of a sudden, you're only saying that because G's doing it.

B&G the flatmates: Don't teach, you're copping out, you've never mentioned it before, it's a waste of your degree. Do a job that has prospects. Take the Masters you can do whatever you want with it afterwards [Alex note: bollocks to that, if I'm spending £15,000 on the thing it's better be worth every relevant penny]

H the co-worker: Do whatever makes you happy because in the end it's your life but the Masters is going to be expensive and how much will it really help you out in the end?

AAAAAAAAARGGGGHHH!!!! It's driving me insane.

Anyhoo: Masters deadline is the 22nd and my application is almost done, I'm registering for graduate teacher training this weekend and my CV is posted and some half-hearted applications have been sent. I'd simply love for some input.

Cause after writing those lists? I'm itching to bust out the frog dissection kit, laser pointer and lesson planner and get educational on some asses.

What do you guys think?

[Addendum: I am aware that I'm incredibly young and that I have my whole life ahead of me blah, blah, blibbity blah. I know that but right now that isn't helping. I have no choice but to leave my job now - pay's going up in May and again in August and if I stay past then I'll be on "hey, I can get whatever ink work I want done whenever I want, oooh look I can move into a bigger place, awww great this means I can have my Westie puppy... and a kitten! What's this? Enough cash to purchase all nine seasons of the X-files AND a pair of red stilletoes. And I don't have to do any kind of complicated mental calculation before buying them? Awesome!" money and I'll never leave. It's now or never folks.]

Edit: want to see how pissed this whole thing has gotten me? I'm broke and I just bought these:

On the up side: I now have hot red shoes.

Weird, I feel more relaxed already...

five things that make me the world's best potential girlfriend

at 15:17

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

1. I'm generous, impatient and I have an incredibly good memory. Chances are if someone I know desperately wants something and can't/won't buy it for themselves I will buy if for them and give it to them immediately so that I can see their reaction. Because that's just how I roll.

2. Want to go out with the guys? Brilliant, I've been itching for a night out with my friends anyway. I'm a firm believer in having your own social group. I would be absolutely baffled if a guy objected to me going out with my friends and can't see any reason to impose social restrictions on anyone.

3. I'm enthusiastic about pretty much everything, especially if it is something I haven't been exposed to much before. If someone can teach me something new about their obsession (whether it be sports, music, video games or stamp collecting) you can guarantee that I'll quickly be into it too.. or at least understanding of the attention it needs.

4. Cosmopolitan magazine is the devil. I will never spring anything involving a scrunchie, ice or pineapple slices on a guy. Ever.

5. I'm nine kinds of awesome. For serious.

five things that make me the world's worst dating prospect

at 15:05

1. I have to be slightly in awe of someone in order to take them seriously enough for me to date them, unfortunately my giant ego and sense of intellectual superiority immediately excludes 90% of people from this. As does any indication of keenness.

2. I change my mind on a minute-by-minute basis about everything from my career path to how my hair should be looking. Anyone who assumes they would be exempt from this is an idiot.

3. There are days when I will choose my playstation over my boyfriend. I'm sorry, but RPGs don't just complete themselves.

4. With great ego comes great neuroticness. I need the following things constantly: attention, praise, reassurance, requests for advice, physical affection. Also: once I get into a routine it has to be maintained: if I'm used to getting a nightly goodnight text message and suddenly don't receive one I will spend the entire next day convinced that the boy in question hates me.

5. I'm covered in tattoos. And in a couple of years' time I will be covered, covered in tattoos. Parents are not going to like me purely on principle.

a letter, bursting with passive aggressivity, that probably shouldn't be open (and makes me look like a bitch) but either way is one he'll never read

at 11:53

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


It's been a year now. A year since I last spoke to you, more than that since I last saw you. I honestly thought I'd never be in the position to say that. Honestly believed that despite all the bullshit and the game playing we were at least, underneath all the layers of passive aggression, friends. Although you tried to keep in contact I wouldn't let you, I know that probably pisses you off, frustrates you to no end and seems incredibly of petty of me; it really isn't. In your mind you are exactly the kind of stand up guy who keeps in contact with the ghosts of relationships past, who has exes as friends. I know it's taken years of overcoming the scrawny kid who played Warhammer 40K with stolen game pieces, who got picked on. You are the product of years spent carefully stacking up layers self conviction, feelings of superiority and entitlement. Your opinions were a little too offensive, your humour a bit too crude, your arrogance too overpowering but everyone bought it, including me. It's pretty much the only thing I regret: that I never got to see the man, only the construction of the boy you tried so hard to leave behind.

And that's who you are, your own construction. It's not a criticism, we're all that way but I know that for you at least your unshakable views are something to hold on to. And that's why I can't speak to you: I'm not doing this to fuck with your world view. I'm doing it because I have no desire to bolster up your ego. I have no desire for empty emails containing life updates. I'm doing this because I remember how much it stung to find out you'd sent yet another unsolicited email to your first great love. And I know there's another girl now and, frankly: I want to give her all the help I can.

I think I kind of like your new girl, she seems pretty - if eerily similar to me, you traded up again it seems - and from what I can tell bright, funny and kind of cool. I hope she's strong, because it would have broken me to discover that the pet name you used for me (and you know I'm not talking about "honey" or "sweetie") once belonged to some other girl. Be nice to her. If she haltingly confesses something to you in the dead of night, something she's never had the guts to vocalise before, something that could come to define her, don't mock her for it. (Seriously, sugar: scorning me for being "a bit gay"? You cheated yourself out of at least one threesome that way. You really can be an idiot sometimes, you know?) Don't accuse her of hysteria, don't make her feel guilty for crying. Don't goad her into resenting her friends.

So now, accusations and recriminations done with, it's time for my confessions. Self indulgent I know, to burden you with them but here they are - take them if you will. You thought I was a terrible liar, that simply isn't true. I just let you believe it because it meant you never picked up on the big things. I never told you anything I didn't want you to know. I didn't throw up through "suspected morning sickness" it was guilt over the person you hadn't even noticed bringing up. I cheated on you because you would willingly state that you didn't love me and your smug assumption that I'd never be the one to leave combined with your lack of any semblance of jealousy made me want to tear off my own skin. I tore myself up over it for years, but now I don't care. Why? Because for the entire three years of our relationship I couldn't get you to just tell me you loved me, I had to beg and plead and wheedle it out of you. You were breaking down outside of clubs and telling her you made a massive mistake, that you still loved her, you were chastely sharing a bed with her when she stayed - sleeping in each others' arms. For all three years. (Honestly I wish you'd had the balls to just get it over with and fuck her. Don't worry, after I found out I did it for you.) Love trumps a drunken kiss don't you think?

Well, would you look at that? I guess I'm still a little bitter. Which means I really do have to make my final confession (I was hoping I wouldn't have to): When you moved away I knew exactly what I was doing. In the end, when I barely saw you, when you wouldn't reassure me, when you refused to give me a definite answer about an event I'd been planning for weeks, when I would come to see you every weekend and you'd disappear off leaving me alone in your room for hours upon end, when your new friends would be shocked to discover you even had a girlfriend, when you wouldn't come to London to see me unless you needed a place to crash, I could tell you were pushing me but I bit my tongue. It was really selfish, and I'm sorry, but I gave up too much of my time and energy for you to be the one who got all the sympathy. So I waited for you to end it.

How childish is that?

If it's any conciliation, I do still feel bad whenever anyone comments on how quickly I got over the break-up. This letter makes it sound awful, for the most part I was happy with you - and although I can barely remember what it was like when we were together (a fact that scares me every day) it wasn't all bad.

I thought after my confessions I'd tell you all the things that I do now, the foods I eat, the exercise I take, the things I drink that you tried and failed to get me to but I can't. In the beginning it was an attitude of "fuck you" (and I'll admit now that is pretty much the entire reason I now drink, and am dependent on, coffee) but somewhere along the line I started doing those things for me, and for me alone. It's really nothing to do with you anymore. It's a lot easier without someone looking over my shoulder though.

So goodbye and good luck. I feel I've spent the last few months waiting for this moment. My emotional state hasn't changed much - pretty much since October - but you know me well enough to know that it just wouldn't be fitting until it got to a proper anniversary. So there it is.

Take care of yourself.


a (lengthy) midnight poetry reading

at 23:56

Sunday, 27 January 2008

If you occasionally read my ramblings then you'll probably be aware that I am a scientist, with the soul of a writer, trapped in the decorated body of a complete slacker. I'm also something of a contrary little madam at times.

I attended a science and technology university (which I won't darken the name of here but a three second foray into google, or a quick look on my facebook profile (hi, random internet people! I have now officially crossed the line into geekdom by having you as facebook friends) will tell you everything you need to know) as such we missed out on some of my favourite people (arts and sociology students, oh how I love them) and had a rather unbalanced education. To try and counteract this every student was required to take a humanities module in their second year. This could be pretty much anything. Some courses were relevant (B took The History of Medicine and hated every minute), some were not (ex-flatmate M took Modern English Literature becasue she couldn't get on to my course of awesomeness). Some were easy (S took "Saying True Things", essentially philosophy lite, and walked it) and some were more work than our actual degree course (the ex Mr TheOdd took Level 3 German because he has a superiority complex layered with a serious desire to be a martyr and had to take on more than the rest of us combined).

I, however, took the world's best course: Creative writing. Side Note: I was mocked for this and told it would be no use whatsoever in my future life, three years on and I'm applying for a masters in Science Communication, working as a freelance writer and looking towards a career in journalism. Suck it.

My professor was an... interesting fellow whose personality didn't really mesh well with my own. Oh, ok, ok - I got bored and was deliberately antagonistic for my own entertainment. One topic we clashed on was the nature of poetry. For the purposes of thoroughly annoying and alienating the man who would be determining my final grade I insisted that I thought all poetry should be structured and would regularly accuse people of "just writing prose and throwing in random line breaks when [they] felt like it". He (rightly so) took me to task for this opinion, with a raised eyebrow and scorn in his voice; saying he supposed that I thought everything should be "filled with "o'er"s and "n'er"s and written in rhyming couplets".

My response?

I came in the next week with this:

The Deadmen's Ball

A spoken folk song that serves as a cautionary tale for young women who go walking alone at night.

She'd always fancied, that one summer night
She’d walk the forest in sun’s faded light
And lo! she went out, all gumption and gall
And that’s how she came to the deadmen’s ball.

The way twisted and turned and soon she strayed
Off the true path and into a glade.
She stood still staring amazed and appalled,
She almost fainted from the things that she saw.

A gaggle of creatures, unearthly and vile,
A cedar’s horned head, an imp’s fiendish smile.
A seven foot skeleton led the strange troupe,
Wearing a top hat and dressed all in blue.

His skull then spoke as he looked in her eyes
“Will you join us child? Are you just passing by?
You can’t leave now, the fun’s soon to start
You really should stay, its getting awfully dark”

She found herself sitting, afraid and alarmed
For though it was foul the creature had charm.
The Ringmaster turned and now faced the crowd,
Seeing him waiting, they all settled down.

He took a deep breath into long rotted lungs,
Addressing the crowd he practically sung:
“Roll up, roll up come one, come all,
To the auction of souls at the deadmen’s ball.”

The first souls came, to the Auctioneer’s stand,
Twelve drown’d sailors at last on dry land.
The skeleton cried “Let us lay them to rest!
The curs-ed crew of the Mary Celeste.”

Lot by lot the damned souls came
Waiting to stand on the Auctioneer’s stage.
She watched in horror, with mounting dread,
As a fury bought three and tore them to shreds

More and more trudged on to the stand,
And each one left with a master’s brand.
And all through the night the souls came on
She watched them in awe till the last was gone.

Still the crowd stayed rooted in place,
And that’s when she noticed his eyes on her face.
They carried her screaming up to the stand
Where the skeleton smiled and reached for her hand.

“Don’t worry, my dear” the creature said,
“Just a few moments more, then home and to bed.”
“All set to work!” The skeleton cried,
“Without a gown she’ll not be a bride.”

A harpy fetched her a gown, as blue as her eyes,
Spun from cobwebs and just the right size.
T'was as if they'd been waiting for this very night
When a deadman would take his own living wife.

The prayers were called by a chimera's left head,
while the right one nodded to all that it said.
As the vows were reached, and the end came near
The tail reached round to wipe at a tear.

The skeleton smiled and waved to the crowd
His voice was clear as he recited his vows
"I take this woman, and she must agree,
For how could she not want one handsome as me?"

He brought out a ring of wire and bone,
And taking her hand he made her his own.
Still he smiled and still she cried
As they left the stage a man and his bride.

Her home now is dark, not touched by the sun,
She wishes and cries but can’t change what’s been done.
Night after night she spends walking the halls
Cursing the day of the deadmen’s ball.

So if you decide, one summer night
To walk the hills in the day's final light
Stay on the path, don't wander away
Bad things happen to the women who stray.

At all costs avoid any people in glades
Who gather in darkness rather than day.
And if a man dressed in blue, is facing a crowd
Though he asks you, never sit down.

And the next week? I wrote a motherfucking Sestina. Told ya I was a rebel.

He can't have been that pissed at me though: I did get one of the two Firsts he awarded that year.

public service announcement

at 23:51

OK kids, get ready for a week of mindless self indulgence. This coming week marks a whole year of Miss Odd existing as you know her. Expect lots of introspection, a couple of open letters and even (shock! horror!) some of my past creative endeavours.

Promise not to laugh, and bear with me.

The posting of tacky sub-europop music videos, bitching about my diet and random oversharing about my social life will recommence next week.

the Saturday nines

at 15:10

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Nine random thought-groupings for a rainy Saturday afternoon:

1. Alcohol (and the lack thereof): Under no circumstances are any of you to play the Pajiba Drinking Game with the review of 27 Dresses. There. I've said it. I now take no responsibility for any forthcoming hospitalisations. Also: I haven't had anything to drink in the entire month of January, it started off unintentionally but warped into part of my detoxy thing. I'm slightly worried by the fact that I'm impressed with myself for this.

2. My "diet" hasn't failed yet: I've been doing ludicrously well: in the last *checks diary* two and a bit weeks I've lost about 7lbs. Go me. Actually I've surprised myself by eating better and more cheaply since I've been on this mini health kick. Plus: apparently I'm an awesome cook and master of the "I have five things left in my house let's make something that is tasty, filling and nutritious" game. Now, normally I'd go back to my old ways now because I'm back at the top end of my "spiritual weight" spectrum but I don't want to do that, I'm kind of enjoying this whole "feeling healthy" malarky.

3. The "boyfriend" quandary: I really really hate the term "boyfriend". It sounds so twee and teenagery coming from someone of my age (I'm sure there's an age when it becomes applicable again, but I'm not at it). I do however like the term "sigoth" and may have to use that for the next Mr TheOdd (in the event that there is one before I hit the magical age when I can use "boyfriend" again), it's quirky and sounds very much like my favourite unit from Warhammer 40K, which makes me smile.

4. My new cat is an ungrateful brat: I put Plantet Earth on last night and didn't watch the rainforest episode like I wanted to but instead chose the great plains episode so that she could see the lions. Did she appreciate it? Did she hell. She did rather enjoy watching the fish on Blue Planet though.

5. Willpower: Get this: apparently I have some! Madness I know. I always thought I was lacking the necessary glands for feats of self control but I have done remarkably well on that front recently. My normal "can't say no" vices are: cakes and candy, boys, insanely frivolous purchasing of things I don't need, alcohol and watching TV rather than being productive. So far I have resisted them all.

6. Shhhh don't tell anyone: But I'm working out on an almost daily basis and actually enjoying it. Once I get into the habit of blocking off an hour of my evening then I won't notice that I'm missing valuable sitting on my arse time and will hopefully continue. With any luck by the time Spring is in full force I'll have the fitness level of a normal human being and may actually be able to go running.

7. My "to be read" pile is scaring me: I have thirty books that need reading now, five RPGs on my shelf that I haven't even started and some box-sets crying out for attention. For this reason I have been banned from shopping in February, if I come home with DVDs, books, CDs, video games or clothing of any kind they are either getting returned or given to charity by my housemates. I'm hoping the whole "willpower yay!" thing is going to kick in here.

8. A blast from the past: My childhood best friend contacted me out of the blue last night, we saw each other on a daily basis from 8 until 18 when I left for college after doing something that probably should have classified me as "world's biggest bitch" but was actually an act of pure altruism if you knew the back story. She seems happy and entirely less neurotic than I remember her. Aces!

9. I cannot stand my shitty job: Despite having a busy day one Thursday for the first time this year (on a semi related note: who the fuck decided to class bees as livestock? Do you have any idea what a hassle I've had with these fucking bees? Seriously: I'm the world's biggest slacker and I've even been online today on the second day of my four day weekend trying to get this sorted out) I have nothing to do and it's killing me. I'm seriously considering dropping out, working in a bar for seven months and living like a student again. I know that's not exactly financially viable what with my tattoo expenditure and all but I am going to start looking for other jobs as well as applying for my masters. That way if the course falls through (likely as I can't seem to get started on my aptitude assessment, still; two months after receiving it) I will know that I'm not stuck there.

aaaand another one

at 11:03

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Hey, kids! Remember the music video I posted last week?

Well this one's even better:

And yeah, I think they are actually related to the kid from the other video. I wonder if the family will adopt me.


my new heroine...

at 22:51

Friday, 11 January 2008

My newest girlcrush is on the fabulous Eliza Gauger. You may be wondering a)who she is and b)why. Well, aside from her all around geek godess credentials (she blogs! She plays videogames! She makes comics!), and the fact that she's a kick-ass artist she also said this:

"As for "hot people," I am tired of pretty, in-shape, unclothed heroes. Pretty people tax the credibility budget, which is the finite amount of willing suspension of disbelief that can be expended by the audience before they start going "that's ridiculous." Look at Aliens. Or any Cameron film from that era. If he had attractive women in his movies, and he did, they weren't "women" in the way that movies define women: harpies, hags, or idiots. Scifi ditto. Ripley was not wearing any fucking mascara. She was a CHARACTER, she wasn't a GIRL. Ditto for everyone else. They were people before they were badasses, or killers, or idiots. This is not a luxury in sci fi. It is a necessity. Cookie cutter characters are unbelievable, and in a wider context of unbelievable things happening (aliens, lasers, spaceships, all imaginary), it is vitally important for as much of the rest of the package to be well-developed and believable. Otherwise, you squander your credibility (remember the budget) on things like how does the heroine keep her lip gloss so fresh in the middle of a reactor meltdown, or why our hero is standing in the middle of a bare hallway while shooting, instead of taking cover like the soldier he is supposed to be. This also applies to costumes. Case in point, Kate Beckinsale is not going to kill any werewolves while wearing a boned corset, no matter how badly fit it may be."

This woman fucking rules. The mini-interview is over at [io9], my newest internet addiction.

on body image and the rediscovery of feminism

at 11:13

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

So I'm approaching an important milestone: in 20 days' time I will have been a single girl for one whole year (I obsessively celebrate anniversaries of even the most mundane things, go with it). Now, the ex Mr. TheOdd, while a generally all around bitchin guy (seriously, as drinking buddy material: awesome. As a boyfriend: not so much) was.. how shall we put it: a bit of a chauvinist... actually he was a lot of a chauvinist. He was also one of those freaks who actually exercised for fun, and not the "going running with friends, swimming for relaxation and because my amazingly cute bathing suit makes me look like a bond girl it's high necked with a zip up back and I love it and must wear it at every possible opportunity now what the hell was I talking about again" way but in the "I will lift pound upon pound of steel every single day just to make my naturally wiry physique just that bit more bulgey" kind of a way. He also perpetuated my desire to eat incredibly unhealthily (note: strawberry liquorice and sherbert - not a meal) and that combined with his constant non-understanding about my food issues unintentionally prevented me from making a full recovery from my borderline disorder (Hi, I'm Alex. I used to be dangerously underweight).

So what's the point of all this, and what the hell does it have to do with the title of this post? Well, wade through several more paragraphs of my rambling and I'll tell ya.

I stopped being dangerously thin when I hit about 14. I made halting steps, started eating what normal people would class as "food" and filled out. A bit. No longer scrawny but I was definitely slim, while maintaining one hell of an hourglass figure.

I started eating properly this year. I can actually name the date: it was March 24th. Like most things, it was started by a boy (or maybe I should say "geezer", right 'bama?).

The upshot of this is that now I eat everything in sight; foods that would have made me gag previously are now part of my Sunday morning ritual, I take bites out of things without inspecting them first, I don't hover over someone cooking me food and wrinkle my nose up in disgust when they list the ingredients. I no longer take two bites and then push the of my food around my plate, carefully sculpting it until it looks like an entire meal has been eaten.

I also don't weigh 8 1/2 stone any more, that's 119lbs to those who aren't British. I don't think, in all honesty that I'd want to be that small again - I went down to 112 for a while, around my second break up with the ex Mr. TheOdd (due to a month of vodka replacing food and dancing replacing sleep) and I looked dreadful. People started telling me I'd lost weight with concern in their eyes rather than admiration. But since then I've steadily gained weight taking me to where I am now.

All 5'2" of me, weighing in at 140lbs.

Now personally, I don't think I look that bad, although (in my head) I could stand to be a good 10lbs lighter, if I remained this size forever I'd be far from pissed off. I'm still a UK size 10 (that's a US size 6) but in my head I'll always be "spiritually" super skinny. Although academically I know that many people would kill for my curves I still have that niggling voice in the back of my head telling me I don't look like I "should do". No matter how much I slim down (and I will be half-heartedly attempting to in the coming month or so) I am not built to look like an athletic, long legged skinny chick and a mental makeover is required as well as a physical one. However, due to my past relationship with food, and the fact that in times of stress I slip into highly disordered eating patterns (three meals per day of take-out, or four days of not eating at all) I am very aware that I have to be incredibly vigilant whenever I start any kind of eating plan to make sure I don't slip over the edge.

So this, coupled with my pre-existing interest in the topic led me to reading "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body" written by Courtney E. Martin, one of the regular bloggers over at feministing. The book is well worth a read, if you're interested in the issue. The author is young, and that reflects in her writing style. It's by no means a definitive account and the social methodology is somewhat lacking in places but she's writing from the heart about a subject that's close to her own experience, as a reader you can see what she's trying to do and I really applaud that.

The book also had a surprising effect on me, it rekindled my desire to immerse myself in a pet topic.

I was raised with Feminist beliefs but, due to to my public girl's school education followed by a slightly overpowering ex boyfriend as well as the British college mentality of "don't do or say anything to massively alienate yourself from anyone" (we don't do political activism, it's not our way. The kids who stage demonstrations are generally regarded as a little bit weird and are best avoided), I slowly but surely buried them under a jokey facade of "oh, I've never seen it happening, it's not that important" and bought in to the myths and the rhetoric ("I don't believe in Feminism, I believe in equal rights" which I now consider to be an incredibly damaging sentence). Over the last few months I've been re-educating myself. Reconnecting with my Mother on the subject, having some illuminating conversations with surprising people (the most laid back of my school friends, and generally the most easy going woman that I know looking at me with fire in her eyes and stating that she didn't know "how anyone, in good conscience, could possibly say they aren't a Feminist." I found myself nodding, after all it's just that the majority of my peers don't understand the definition any more) and, probably most importantly for me, reading the literature. It's a scary thing to identify myself with a label like this, and six months ago the idea of "identifying" myself as anything would have been alien to me, the culture I grew up in and the current climate doesn't have a particularly nice view of people who label themselves as anything at all. You can't be just "a person with beliefs" you have to instantly lose your sense of humour, become crusading and have no other interests or past-times. Even those with a particular political alignment are viewed as slightly ab-normal.... but I'm going to ignore this. In fact: I'm reverting. Back to my teenage self who actually cared about things and could muster up more than a disenfranchised "meh" when faced with something she should care about.

But where to start? I have the tendency to become over involved in things, I try to learn everything there is to know about any subject that I am interested in and often become completely overwhelmed with the details. Sometimes the task will be so daunting that I don't even bother to start, missing out, I'm sure, on so very much. So I have to pick an angle, choose a niche that I can fully explore, become comfortable in and then use as a launch pad into other areas.

Because of my past experiences, recent reading material, continuing reading of Jezebel and new and shiny subscription to BUST magazine I've chosen to stick with what I know and go for body image, portrayal of women in the media, obsessions with food... basically this is a warning that I'm going to be fucking insufferable on the subject from now on.

So that's where I stand. It feels good to have something, even something small, to believe in again.

As far as my own personal philosophy concerning my upcoming mini attempt at weight loss goes: I've informed both my flatmate and my Mother what I'm doing. Both are highly (and painfully) familiar with my eating patterns and neither one will fail to call me on my shit should I start being stupid about it (this may seem melodramatic but a couple of months ago I suddenly realised I'd spent the previous two weeks existing on less than 500 calories a day... yeah not healthy and my body wasn't best pleased either. Still karmically it got it's revenge as I then spent 8 weeks completely paranoid that I was pregnant and that every test on the face of the earth was wrong). I'm not doing much: just cutting out alcohol for a month, cutting back on sugar and no longer eating a (couple of) Krispy Kreme doughnut(s) on my way home from work. So actually just being a little bit healthier.

So yeah.

it's eye meltingly good

at 14:29

Monday, 7 January 2008

I found this via D-Listed, and had I been at work (rather than on my sickbed in the process of coughing up my own lungs, I know "charming") I probably wouldn't have ever watched the video. Boy, would that have been a mistake.

I beg of you, watch and revel in all it's bad techno beat, glowing fluorescent aura, migraine inducing psychedelic background and underage teeny bopper "rave" having glory:

Happy Monday kids!