A Dilemma

A Dilemma

*First-World-Problem Alert*

Hmm. So I’m at home at the minute and…and my mum has pretty much stolen all of my books. No, not “pretty much”, she HAS stolen all of books.

I didn’t notice last night. I was too sleepy and too excited at being home. So sleepy and so excited that I skipped around the whole house and then fell fast asleep on the couch. It wasn’t until this morning that I realised that every single shelf in the house is filled with my books.

When did that happen?

I haven’t been home since Christmas so I’m guessing sometime between then and now.

Hmm.

I don’t know if I should say anything. Does she know that I’m planning on having a library room in the house of my dreams? Probably. Does she know that when that happens I will drive home in a big van and take all of my childhood and teenage books? Probably not.

I get that they were just piling up in my bedroom for no one to see and that they’re probably a lot happier in the shelves Mum has put them in, but it just means that I won’t be able to take them. Because how can I? I know I said I would, but I can’t rip them from their beloved home. If they were still in boxes and sad piles in my bedroom, they’d GLADLY come with me to my new house with a fancy library, but they’re happy where the are now and they’d only be sad and scared if I moved them. AND they wouldn’t know the books of my adult (ish) years. What if those books make fun of them or think them stupid?

For the love of god, what the hell am I talking about? You see? This is what happens when you get writer’s block. You start writing absolute shit. I’d be really impressed if you’re still reading. Really, REALLY impressed.

I’ll just stop now.

 

A New Kind of Book in Town

A New Kind of Book in Town

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There seems to be a new sort of story bracing the shelves these days (hehe these days – I’m only 22), stories like Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and Lena Dunham’s NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL that I sort of have a love/hate relationship with. I love them because they’re bold, shocking, and make me laugh in the kind of way I do when someone falls over (most hilarious thing in the world), and I hate them because they’re bold, shocking, and make me laugh in the kind of way I do when someone falls over (seriously, slapstick’s where it’s at).

I’ll explain. Moran’s book opens with a detailed description of her 16 year old self masturbating in the same bed that she shares with her little brother (he’s sleeping at the time), and while I admire her guts and think it’s a great way to grab a reader’s attention, I also feel it’s a little like Look at me writing about all this secret stuff that we do, but no one talks about, so I’m going to talk about it and make LOADS of money!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, these books are extremely sharp and extremely witty (I wasn’t able to put them down), but they’re basically just diaries. I wonder where the effort is. And they’re another thing that’s adding to this self-obsessed world. They’re like the book versions of selfies and they’re becoming more and more common and I’m worried that one day, OUR IMAGINATIONS WILL BE DESTROYED AND ALL THE STORIES WILL BE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll just be watching and reading things about real people doing real masturbating and eating real icing at four in the morning and going to the toilet for real and awkward real sex stories and other real things like that.

Although, that’ll probably never happen. And besides, a lot of made-up stories spring (spring) from real life too. And I also realise that I am being a COMPLETE HYPOCRITE talking about this on my BLOG.

Sigh. Basically, I’m just jealous that these people are getting paid and I’m not.

Fuck sake.

Nice People are Creepy

Nice People are Creepy

Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, but whenever someone is overly nice to me, I immediately become suspicious and jump to the conclusion that their niceness MUST have an ulterior motive. I know – it’s pretty sad, but I can’t help it. Nice people are creepy.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this view. On the plane over to Canada, I could easily have pointed out who was Scottish and who was Canadian just by their response to the air hostess’s suggestion that we give “the beautiful Macie” and her “cute, cuddly penguin” a wave. The Canadians giggled, waved, and said a big hello to Macie and her penguin, while the Scots bore an expression that was part confusion, part terror. I, being an extremely nervous flyer, wanted to get off the plane. Anyone who made a bunch of adults say hello to a toy penguin could not be trusted in ensuring a safe flight.

Although, having been in Canada a few days now, I do know that Canadians are actually, just nice. It’s who they are. You walk into a shop and they come bounding up to you, smiling, and say, “Hey, how are you today?”, and what’s more, they actually care about your answer. The first time this happened to me, I almost dropped my bag, and ran out of the shop, screaming, “Take whatever you want!!!!!!! Please don’t hurt me!!!!!!!”, but now I manage to stutter a “fine” and then swiftly, but calmly, make an exit.

It’s funny thinking about it the other way around. I mean, if we are scared of Canadians and their friendliness, what on earth must they think of us?! The other day, for example, we were sitting in a restaurant and as I was reading the menu, Dad slapped me on the head, telling me to hurry up and go order. I laughed, but as I got up, the family sitting next to us looked absolutely horrified. I almost had to tell them that it was just a joke and that the slap didn’t even hurt, but that probably would have confused them even more so I just went and ordered.

Hmm…having thought about it, it’s probably us who are the weird ones.

Aaaaanyway, despite this cultural divide, being in Canada has been pretty great. We used to come every summer, but haven’t managed to make it out in the past four years. The last time I was here, I had just finished school, just passed my driving test and was excited at the prospect of university. Now I have just finished university, just got my degree and am terrified of the prospect of full time employment. How times change.

The journey here was pretty uneventful. I’m getting better at flying thanks to Fly Without Fear. It’s a self help book (I know, I’m sorry) that miraculously, helps. I think it’s because it’s written by a pilot and not someone who tells you to just breathe and count to ten. His voice is so rational, calming, and he’s even a little funny – I think I may have a crush on him. But I really would recommend it. If it can transform me from the pill-popping, Rescue Remedy drinking, hysterically crying lunatic that I was, into a calm, almost normal passenger, then I’m sure it would work for you too. I mean, I still have those moments of incredulousness that everyone is acting like it’s completely normal to fly at thousands of feet in the air in a hurtling tin can, but now (thanks to that sexy beast of a narrator Captain Godfrey) I can contemplate these thoughts without having a melt down – like a curious, open minded spectator of a surreal play.

Mmm…breakfast (pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) is calling. My sister thought I looked a little skinny and peaky when I arrived (too much time spent in the pub) so she’s been feeding me up, and I’ve certainly not been complaining.

Home Time

Home Time

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Ah, it’s so nice to be back in the country. So peaceful. So quiet. Nothing but the twittering birds and the frolicking deer; nothing but the slight breeze rustling through the trees and the sun shimmering on the surface of the pond. Ooh, if I squint I can see a wee red squirrel gracefully launch itself from one branch to another. It pirouettes through the air like a dancer, landing with such ease it’s almost as if it didn’t land at all.

God, I’m bored.

It’s only ten o’ clock in the morning and I’ve already done my washing, had my breakfast, booked some flat viewings and noted down jobs to apply for (I can’t actually apply for them until I have a printer, ok? Well, I guess I could prepare my answers, but…maybe later). It’s like that episode on Friends when Ross is not fired, but ON SABBATICAL, and he gets all his tasks on his to-do lists done before lunchtime. Joey tells him he needs to learn to spread out his tasks throughout the week so I guess, until I get a job, that’s what I’m going to have to do. Ah, Friends. It’s taught me so much in the ways of life. What would I have done without its wisdom?

Thank goodness for books. And at least reading feels slightly more productive than watching t.v. It probably isn’t any more productive at all. It just helps you feel a tad more intellectual, even if you’re reading the same, predictable crime novels over and over again. Although, actually, that’s not what I’m reading at the minute. I’m reading something about the holocaust – The Storyteller – and despite it having some questionable, uber cheesy lines such as the response to the question, “Miss, are you alright?” being “As if that were an easy answer. As if I could reply with a single word” (BLEH), it’s actually a pretty good story. It’s told from four different view-points. One is from an old man who was a nazi during the war and who worked at Auschwitz, and while you’re reading his story, you’re sort of contemplating how difficult it would be NOT to become a nazi if you were born into an antisemitic Germany. You sort of understand how something so horrific could have happened, but then the novel switches to a story from a survivor of the holocaust and you’re all like, KILL THE NAZIS, KILL THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, it sort of plays with your emotions. I like it.

I’ll be going up to my dad’s later. My brother’s home as well and he, my mum, and myself might all be at dad’s for dinner. That’ll be weird. I don’t think we’ve all had dinner together in a VERY long time. Modern families, eh? The last time my mum, dad, and myself had dinner the conversation went a little like this:

Mum: How old are you now? 67?

Dad: Yep.

Mum: Hmm, you’re looking well for your age.

Dad: Oh, you should see me with my clothes off!

They laugh, while I try and bury myself in my mashed tatties.

Seriously, it’s embarrassing when married parents act like this, let alone DIVORCED parents. I really am considering therapy.

Staring into the Abyss

Staring into the Abyss

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This photo doesn’t exactly show an abyss, but it does show a big, expanse of space so it’ll have to do. I also apologise for the slightly melodramatic title at 8 o’ clock on a Monday morning, but I’m FREAKING OUT. You see, I’ve just completed my 4 year degree and have my whole life in front of me, and – while this should be cause for celebration – it’s causing me to lose sleep. The big knot of anxiety that told me I was going to fail my exams is now telling me that I’m going to fail life.

Great.

Maybe it would help if the big knot of anxiety got drunk, although then it’ll just come back louder and shriller when I’m hungover. Yeeeeah, alcohol’s probably not the best solution. Who knew? Not my Dad, anyway. Oh yeah, my Dad’s third wife has left him, and now he and my mum are flirting more than ever. Seriously, if they get back together, I’m going to have to go to therapy.

Aaaaanyway, I’m just first world whining. I need to give myself what my Dad calls a damn good talking to and look for a job, get a job, and keep the job.

BUT WHAT JOB?!?!?!?!?! WHO’LL HIRE ME?!?!?!? I CAN’T DO ANYTHING!!!! I STUDIED ENGLISH LITERATURE FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!!!!

No, shut up anxiety. I will not take this abuse. Deep down, I know you’re right, but I’m going to attempt to quash your opinions with books and television. Ooh, I’ve read some good books since I finished my degree – READING FOR PLEASURE DOES EXIST HURRAH. Everyone on my course has been talking about it actually, saying how they can’t help underlining things and thinking What would Derrida say? I smile and nod and exclaim, “I know, right?!”, but really, I didn’t even have that urge at University and I have absolutely NO IDEA who/what the hell “Derrida” is. After four years studying English Literature, ladies and gentleman, all I can say about a book I’ve read is “Yes, good” or “No, bad”. I’m like a caveman with the ability to read.

Anyway, I’m off to complete task one on my to do list: wash car.

It’s good to have goals.

Do you see Comedy as a Realist or Escapist Genre (or both)?

Do you see Comedy as a Realist or Escapist Genre (or both)?

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Ooh. Divan Beds.

Wow, English Literature questions at Glasgow University make the shittest blog titles. Hmm. They’ve just underlined ‘shittest’ in red. Is it not a word? I would have thought that it is more of a word than any other due to it being a verb (to shit); an adjective (it was shit), and a noun (it was the shit) all at the same time! But apparently it doesn’t exist in superlative form. Shame.

(I’ve just realised that ‘shit’ probably isn’t a noun, but if I take that bit out, my argument doesn’t look as good, so can we all just pretend that it is? Thanks).

ANYWAY. This is the essay I’m trying to write at the minute – whether comedy is an escapist or realist genre – and as with all English questions, I wish I could just write: I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. It sort of is and it sort of isn’t. It depends on what you mean by ‘realist’, ‘escapist’, ‘comedy’, and ‘genre’ and guess what, I’ve looked them all up and EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT DEFINITION. But WOOOO, that’s the point of English so I guess I’ll just have to embrace it and answer that’s it both (sort of). Although, are you asking whether it is realist/escapist as an actual text or for the audience? Because comedies tends to mock society and ways of life, but surely, all laughter is escapist so…can comedies as a text be realist (and a little bit escapist), but the effect for the audience be escapist (and a little bit realist)? WHO THE HELL EVEN KNOWS?

To be honest, I probably have the skeleton of my essay right here. I’ll just have to flesh it out and remove the expletives and aggressive capitals. And sarcasm.

THUS, I shall venture forth into Essaydom. Hmm. They’ve underlined ‘Essaydom’ in a red as well, but this time, I’m SURE this isn’t a word.

At least my degree has taught me something.

Is the Sun Overrated?

Is the Sun Overrated?

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I awoke today to the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the roof (and also all over my books as I thought it would be a good idea to sleep with the window wide open) and I must admit, I felt slightly relieved. I’m not working until five today and so snuggled back down in bed (after I sorted my books) without feeling any guilt whatsoever. Had it been sunny, I would have had to spring up, put on some shorts, run outside and do something. But no, it’s rain. Rain is kind. Rain does not judge.

I love rain.

I mean, I love the sun too, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling that it’s sometimes nothing more than a big, bright, busybody that chastises you and highlights all your flaws. John Donne, three hundred and eighty one years ago, got it down to a tee:

BUSY old fool, unruly sun, / Why dost thou thus, / Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?

Now, John Donne’s pissed off with the sun because its rising marks the end of a blissful night of blissful sex with his blissful lover, but I get what he’s feeling – the sun is not wanted; it’s just poking its nose in and annoying everyone. It’s sort of like that awfully chirpy person that rises at dawn, goes running, eats healthily, does many activities, gets good grades, and hardly poisons their body at all (you know who you are) and while they’re lovely, you feel like they’re looking down on you for not rising until the back of twelve, eating an entire box of Jaffa cakes for your breakfast, and watching a whole series in one day. Yes, the sun is a bit like that.

And so today, I welcome the rain. I don’t have to shave my legs (although, if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t been shaving them anyway) and I can return to bed with my boiled eggs and soldiers, GUILT-FREE.

Scotland is definitely the right place for me.