This blog post was prompted by my watching of the introduction videos to the latest incarnations of the Vloglovers channel on YouTube. It got me to thinking about long distance relationships, and relationships in general. Then it got me to thinking about how I have an exam in six hours, how little revision I’ve done, and how easy it is to forget about that whilst writing a blog post.
My boyfriend and I live about twenty minutes away from each other, by car. That’s three bus rides away, but still not too far, and doable in about an hour and a half. Still, I find it’s too far away. I read a quote recently that at some point during your approach to adulthood, the place that you’ve grown up in just stops becoming your home, and you feel the need to create one for yourself. I mean, I love living at home and my parents are awesome, but I am a proper adult now. I need to go out and explore. I can’t live in my childhood bedroom forever.
When I was about ten, I really liked this boy in my street. I got it into my head that he’d think it was cool if my room had a space theme. Yeah, ten year olds use logic and reason, then apply it to life. The long and short of it is, I still have glow in the dark stars on my ceiling. No lie, it’s pretty awesome, but you see my point. I should be living in a beige apartment somewhere, with wood floors and arty twigs covered in fairy lights adorning my mantlepiece (not a euphemism).
It’s not that I want to trap Bearded Boyfriend into living with me. I don’t want to suck him into my fairy-lit mortgage pit of despair (also, not a euphemism). It would just be nice to come home to a place that I’d worked hard to create. It’s difficult to feel that when you’ve got a part time job and are surrounded with posters of your favourite childhood toys. Sylvanian Families and Pok√©mon, I’m looking at you.
To bring this back to my original point, I can’t comprehend being in a long-distance relationship. I’ve never done it, and have no plans to. I’m a very touchy-feely (not gropey though, unless I know you well) person. I like to be able to hug people, or punch their teeth out by accident. (Bearded Boyfriend tickled me. I am not responsible for my flailing limbs.)
BB and I are swiftly approaching our three year anniversary. During the month of July, not only will I be turning 21, but it will also mark the time when BB becomes my longest relationship, which is a title I feel he deserves. Anyone who can put up with my irritating self for that long, needs some sort of recognition. And, I am not just saying this to be all ‘Nyerrm, compliment me please! I need validation!’ No, I am fucking annoying. I know this. I have made peace with this. So has he, evidently.
Thank you, if you read this stream of drivel. I’m now going to go back to revising, then will hopefully fit in a two hour nap. How I’m not getting better grades, I’ll never know.

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Oh, Internet.

November 30, 2010

About forty-five minutes ago, I finished my night-long quest to get through all of the backlog of posts I hadn’t yet read on Hyperbole and a Half. I did it, and it was glorious. Never before have I felt so high on life!

Then Facebook must go and ruin it all! Curse you, you blue bastard.

At this precise moment, it is half past five in the actual morning. I am sleepy, but my Allie Brosh-related endeavour makes it entirely worthwhile. As I often do when I stay up late, I went onto Facebook, located my boyfriend’s page, and scrolled down to send him a message. Normally my messages are filled with the insane ramblings of someone suffering extreme sleep deprivation, but usually he nods and pretends to understand me. Actually, that can be said for just generally, too.

So, following my carefree scrolling, I notice his ex girlfriend had left a message on his wall. (Can I just point out at this stage, how much this is making me sound like a whiny teenage girl? Well, I’m twenty, so haha! Joke’s on you!) My glee of completing the Internet was immediately dissolved. The message referenced something they had clearly been talking about! I didn’t know they had words! And she included an X on the end! What does this mean? (Nothing, probably.)

I don’t know if it’s just the fucking ridiculous amount of snow magically appearing in my front garden every morning that is turning me into a nutcase, or maybe my alarmingly high E number intake, but I am worried for my own safety. This would not normally bother me. I am a rational human person. My boyfriend is an inherently nice man, with a beard, no less. A bearded man can do no wrong! Unless they are a paedophile, which they probably are.

Coupled with my snow-induced insanity, is my disappointment in Tommy Wiseau. Yesterday, technically speaking, I was supposed to go with a couple of friends, plus Bearded Boyfriend, to watch Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece The Room at a local cinema. I was just about to step into the shower (Oh, racy. Actually, not really. I have a cold, and am still pretty mucus-y.) when I got a phone call from Bearded Boyfriend. They had decided to change the film they were showing, approximately four hours before they were due to show it. We bought our tickets two weeks ago. Learn to Maths. We found out later on that there is only ONE copy of The Room in the whole of the UK, and it was stuck down South because of this delightfully inconvenient snow we are currently experiencing.

Everyone is tossing off about the snow on Facebook. (Ah yeah, that was my original point, wasn’t it? That actually doesn’t seem at all important now that I’ve had ten minutes to digest it. That and the jam sandwich I just ate.) I would not even have a beef with snow, had it not disrupted my driving test last year, meaning I had to wait six weeks to get another testing date. This did give me six extra weeks to practice, but it clearly did no good, as I am still riding the disease infested petri dish of death and ebola that is the bus service.

At this point I was going to insert a whole list of why I hated snow, but then I realised I perhaps shouldn’t. Snow was good to me on Saturday. Snow might actually have my back.

I hate working Saturday shifts. The malls are filled with countless cases of Maternum perambulus, or Charverii myrmidius magnus. Sundays are fine, because they are mostly just filled with Angry Customers, but I don’t know whether they have a Latin name. Anyway, I was at work for a Saturday afternoon shift, when members of staff started talking about people on other departments being sent away, because they wouldn’t be able to get through the Impending Snowstorm of Doom that was about to envelop us. Because I live quite far from my workplace, I was hopeful. A full hour and a half before I was due to finish, my area manager told me to go home. I nearly kissed her. (I didn’t, because I’ve been there three years and she still doesn’t know my name, so I don’t think we have a future.) As a result, I got to catch an early bus, where someone had drawn a penis on the window, and come home to a lovely warm fire and sausage, mash and peas for tea. Was there ever a more fulfilling evening? I think not, friends.

My, my. This blog post was particularly coherent. In summary: Insecurity! Needless angst! Oh look, a sandwich! I’m over everything that has ever bothered me. Fuck, I hate the snow! No wait, maybe I don’t! Peas.

And, as someone on my Facebook said, “RIP lesly nelson”.

Edinburgh Jaunts: Part Three

September 19, 2010

For the concluding part in my trifecta of Edinburgh trips, I went with just my mother. I always feel weird typing “mam” on the internet, which is what I call her in actual real life. Being from the north of England does not make for classy speech, but that is her name, so from here on whenever she is mentioned, she will be “mam”.
This was the longest I stayed in Edinburgh out of all three trips, as we were going to be there for two nights and three full days. I was jazzed. I became instantly unjazzed when, as soon as we arrived at the hotel, I got a migraine. The last time I had one was when I was maybe 14, and I got sent home from school and got to watch cartoons all day. But now, I am a grown-up! I have funny gigs to attend, dammit! Boring story short, we wandered all through the street of Edinburgh, bought some tablets to ease my pain, and I was fine in about twenty minutes. Yay health! Speaking of which, we went to McDonald’s.
We were back at the Pleasance Courtyard, queueing for David O’Doherty (who is a lovely actual real man with huge hands, if you ever meet him), when we spied Tom Wrigglesworth just milling about in the crowd. Maybe he was stalking us. Maybe we were stalking him. It was difficult to tell at this point.
I’ve seen DO’D gig three times, and this was the first proper venue I’ve seen him in. The seats were so comfy! And we were right in the middle, and three rows from the front. I tried not to make eye contact with him for most of the night, rigid with fear in case he picked on me to be hilarious and I would fail miserably. He didn’t pick on me, and I later learned that Jimmy Carr had been in the crowd. Phew, escaped that comedic minefield. That was a close one.
For breakfast, the hotel didn’t even have beans. Is this a Scottish thing? Sheep liver but no Heinz nearby? Instead of eating my feelings, I spent them in Topshop. I am usually morally opposed to Topshop, because they make fat girls look fatter, which is something only a fat girl would say, but following on from the bean fiasco I thought I’d grant myself a pass.
My mam and I sat on a windy tour bus for a while, as I tried to ensure her hand was not dangling her camera over the side of the bus in her haste to take pictures. It was. Numerous times. This is one of my irrational fears. Like nails touching glass or terracotta. It just shouldn’t be done, you mental.
Before our next gig, we went to Gusto’s, which I think is actually a chain of restaurants. As you’d expect it was pretty nice, but when it came to ordering the chocolate mousse they did not inform me that it would come with a load of shit on top of it. By shit I mean nuts. By nuts I mean WHY ARE THEY ON MY DESSERT. The menu did not mention them. What if I’d been allergic, rather than just really finicky? Where would we be now?
At a Rhod Gilbert gig, probably. It was honestly the worst gig I’ve ever been to. I’ve seen him do tv stand up, and it’s been decent. Recently he did a documentary-type programme where he had to adopt the professions of others for a week. That was hilarious, so I had moderately high hopes, as this was my mam’s choice.
She enjoyed it, which is all that counts I guess. He did a similar thing to Tom Wrigglesworth, with patching up all of his anecdotes, but this was less a quilt of amusement, more a Bayeux tapestry of shit. It didn’t really pay off, but that’s just my opinion. And the man sitting next to me, if his general stony silence was anything to go by. He recycled his jokes, there was a fucking huge amount of swearing, and he mentioned how women never listen. Lazy comedy I thought, and I’m not a comedy snob, but I like to think I’ve refined my taste what with all this here gig watchin’.
The next day, I skipped breakfast entirely. Bed is better than substandard nomz, I think. My mam and I then wandered round a graveyard for a bit (morbid) before going into The Elephant Cafe, where JK Rowling wrote most of the Harry Potter series (not so morbid). Rocky Road is delightful.
We settled on nipping into the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, and apparently Kevin Bridges had the same idea. I didn’t harass the man because he was both eating and Scottish, which is a dangerous combination. Although, I did engineer it so we both left at the same time, and I’m sure people thought we were together. Ahh, simple pleasures. I was semi-famous by proxy for half a second.
After all that excitement, it was time to come home. Too many paps were following me, and my autograph hand was tired.

Edinburgh Jaunts: Part Two

September 19, 2010

For my second of three visits to Edinburgh I decided to go with my parents, because I am a good daughter and they pay for most things. This trip was the one I was perhaps looking forward to the most, because we were going to see Bo Burnham. I cannot even convey in text form how much I want to be Bo’s friend. I’ve loved Bo ever since my friend Jeremy thrust me in his general direction. It was one of my greatest thrusting experiences to date.
Because Bo wasn’t going to be gigging until 9.30pm, we had some time to kill during the day. We flicked through the impressively weighty tome that is the Edinburgh Festival Guide, before deciding to get tickets for Tom Wrigglesworth. James and I had seen him at the Radio 4 taping earlier in the week, and I knew he’d been on Russell Howard’s BBC3 show, so all signs pointed to funny.
And he was, really. He did a 50 minute show, telling little anecdotes throughout, and did a 60 Minute Makeover style reveal at the end when all of the anecdotes knitted themselves together in a quilt of amusement. He mentioned that Jeremy Kyle had told him that he looked like Leo Sayer. He doesn’t.
We dossed about in the Pleasance Courtyard in between gigs, where I proceeded to have a small mental breakdown. This was my thought process:
1) What if nobody comes to the gig? How well known is he in this country? I’ll be heartbroken for him if nobody turns up.
2) Fuck, what if nobody but us comes to the gig? What if we’re the only three people in the audience? How awkward would that be? Surely that won’t happen. Will it?!
3) Was that someone from Hollyoaks?
At this point I paused my inner musings to ask the question aloud of my mother, who sort of recognised him too. Neither of us watches Hollyoaks. I was probably asking the wrong person, in fairness.
When we stood up to make our way over to the venue, we passed a blackboard with a list of performers that had sold out for that night. Bo’s name was amongst them. I was so relieved, I danced my way over to the gig. Our seats were directly in the middle, and positioned in such a way that, had I been so inclined, I could’ve watched Rhod Gilbert, who was sitting in on the gig too. I looked at him once. He looked sort of amused. I went back to Bo. He looked tall.
Bo was incredible. Two years of enthusiam for his music made it worthwhile. I’d recommend it with every fibre of my being, even if you’re not into his YouTube stuff. Honestly, it’s astounding how much talent he has.
After spying on Matt Green in the student uni shop afterwards, and then buying Snapple which we proceeded to forget about and leave in our hotel, we went home. Seeing Bo Burnham made my life. Epic. So epic.
Although, I’d have been far too intimidated to talk to him. Give me a less than satisfactory John Green meeting any day, but Bo would make me a vibrating idiot. More so.

Following my experience at the John Green book signing, my boyfriend decided to avenge my disappointment. As all nerds should do, he wrote a strongly-worded email without my knowledge. Here I present the brief conversation the pair had, upon my behalf. I feel awful about this, I really do. Although, the last email was written whilst I was bawling down the phone, snotting sentences at James for him to include. Enjoy!

FROM JAMES:
Hi John,

I realise that you probably won’t reply, whether because you are a
busy guy with a lot to do or because you say on your website that you don’t reply to e-mails anyway, but I thought I’d send this just to
set my mind at rest.

My girlfriend and I were at your talk and afterwards your signing
events in Edinburgh. She’s the reader and viewer of your show and
also, quite a fan of yours. It was her main reason to go to Edinburgh
and she thoroughly enjoyed the talk. However, she felt a bit let down
by you at your signing event afterward, which was quite a shame. She
had brought along one of your bobbleheads and asked you to sign it.
It was kind of you to sign that and the book and I can appreciate the
huge amount of people queuing, however she said to me afterward that you didn’t actually look her in the eye when you spoke to her and
were a little dismissive.

I realise there’s nothing you could do now as the time has passed.
However, from what I know of you I imagine you wouldn’t like to have
given that impression. I just wouldn’t be the person I am if I didn’t
mention it to you. It may have been just another fan in a long line,
but this was a big Nerdfighting fan that has bought all of your
books, the bobble head, and saved and paid for a stay in Edinburgh
herself. It was just a bit of a shame that her experience and, I
suppose, opinion of you was dented a little by this; after such a
build up for her she walked away feeling like she wasn’t really
acknowledged.

Not really expecting a response, but hopefully you read this at least.

James

—-

FROM SIR JOHN GREEN:
Hey, James,

Thanks for your note. I appreciate the honesty and I’m sorry that your
girlfriend had a disappointing experience meeting me. I’m really sorry
if I failed to engage her while signing. I’d been up all night jetlagged and as you point out the line was long, and I was crushingly
exhausted. This is not meant as an excuse so much as an
acknowledgement of the inherently problematic situation: from my
perspective, I was doing something I’m frankly really bad at–meeting
strangers–after having flown across the ocean at my own considerable expense. This is a legitimate interior experience but of course from the also legitimate perspective of your girlfriend, she had supported and liked me for a long time and then I signed her stuff for four seconds or whatever and then moved along with the line.

I don’t really have a good solution to this problem, although it
really bothers me. It may be that the best solution is just not to
travel, bc I feel like the competing narratives of that signing
experience are both totally legitimate and also totally irreconcilable. Like, every person in that line is so awesome, but the nature of the line is that if I spend a minute with each person the festival is going to be furious because I’ll be signing for four hours when I only have the table for 90 minutes. So instead we end up with these fleeting and inherently superficial interactions that may in the memory of my readers prove to be WORSE that not meeting me at all.

At any rate, I really am sorry and again appreciate you letting me
know about this. Please tell your girlfriend that she is awesome for me.

Best wishes,

John

—-
(So, I’ve ruined all future John Green sightings for Nerdfighters everywhere, but we did get a “Best Wishes”. Swings and roundabouts.)

FROM JAMES AND MY SNOTTY SELF:
Hey John,

I very much appreciate you getting back to me, as I didn’t really expect
it, no doubt you get a huge number of e-mails often. It’s nice to know
that you are reading each one. I do understand the constraints you were
working under whilst in Edinburgh as well as that you were suffering
from the effects of jet lag.

It wasn’t so much the time that you spent talking to her, Laura, and all
of the other fans, as both she and I could see, there was an incredible
line of fans waiting to see you. It was more that she didn’t think you
looked her in the eyes that got me, as I just see this as a little
impolite as a large proportion of the line had also traveled quite far
at great expense to themselves also. Maybe not as far as across the
Atlantic, but a number wouldn’t have an income to support the trip or,
like myself, live in the same country.

However, one thing you said in your response bothered me a lot. I would
hate it and myself if I was to persuade you not to travel to the UK or
anywhere else for that matter. Laura, as well as the huge number who
turned up to see you, were all incredibly excited before during and
judging by the Youtube and Twitter response, afterward also. Although we
didn’t attend the gathering as we were pushed for time, those that did
appeared to have a great time. I don’t want this minor thing to sour
your taste of the Fringe or the UK in general and Laura and I feel a
little guilty that I’ve put the thought into your head of not traveling
again.

I also don’t want you to have the impression that Laura had a wholly
disappointing experience in seeing you. It was only the small inaction
that upset her a bit. However, what upsets her more is the idea that,
since I sent this e-mail, she has upset you as you would not have done
this intentionally. We both realise this and are not trying to be
obstinate for the sake of it, but I wouldn’t be the boyfriend to her or
person that I am if I didn’t say anything.

I really hope this doesn’t stop you from returning to the UK as this is
a simple oversight and doesn’t have to be a big issue. I just did not
feel right leaving it without saying anything. The fact that you have
acknowledged this e-mail and replied in the manner that you have is more
than enough for us both.

Thank you and all the best,

James

PS. Laura never forgets to be awesome.

—-

(The parts where James is nice about me he wrote himself.)
I thought it was admirable that John replied at all, and I’m pretty grateful for that. This whole thing sucks, but let’s all move on now and talk about THE POPE, or something.

In my previous post I said I would explain what happened upon meeting John Green following his talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, so here it is. Nerds, please go easy on me.

I’ve been watching the VlogBrothers since Brotherhood 2.0 kicked off, back when Hank first uploaded Accio Deathly Hallows and it was featured. Even as my YouTube interests shifted to other users, I knew I could always go back to the brothers Green. So, I was still pretty excited to meet John. But I have to say, I was a little disappointed.
Woah, step back there, Nerdfighters of the Internet. I know how much you love your king. Let me elaborate.

I loved his talk. He was funny, charming and connected well with his audience. But, bearing in mind I’d travelled a fair distance, I wanted meeting him to be amazing. And I’m sure it was, for pretty much everyone else in the venue. I spoke a lovely girl called Amy who was in front of me in the queue and she was so freaking nervous about talking to John. As another of my YouTube amigos (name-dropping) told me, he too has met one (or both, I’m not sure – either way, there was a Katherine there too) of the Green brothers. He said they were just like normal people, and I found this hard to believe. Normal people? No, surely they were Internet gods and they radiated awesome from their eyeballs, don’t be so ridiculous.

Turns out, homeboy (no.) was right.

When it was John’s birthday, Hank wanted to make him a bobblehead of his own likeness. Turns out, you have to order a minimum of 500, so the remaining batch of 499 were put on sale. Anything limited edition, I have to have, so I bought one. I thought it’d be cool to have John sign himself, so I took that along, as well as my copy of Paper Towns.

When I got to the front of the queue, I was excited and nervous. I’ve met a few famous people before, but I wasn’t sure if this would be different, as he isn’t really famous through conventional means. For example, in an earlier blog post, I explained how I met the comedian Dara O’Briain, who was a positively lovely and charming man. He shook my hand, we had some banter, and he looked at me as a proper person and an equal he could have a chat with.

Now, John Green on the other hand… Look, I think he’s a good writer, and I love how he portrays himself on video. Thing is, as nit-picky and boring as this sounds, manners are really important to me. I don’t want a celebrity to look down at me, or be rude, especially if I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how I felt. John didn’t actually ever even look me in the eye. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Hi!
JG: Hey, thanks for coming. Oh, you’ve got a bobblehead, thank you for bringing that.
He then held the bobblehead in front of his face, shook it around a bit, whilst shaking his own head about. I see wut he did thar.
Me: Yeah, would you mind signing yourself? I’ve got a pen here, I don’t know if that’ll work.
JG: Yeah, that should be perfect.
At this point a member of staff from the event remarked on how cool the bobblehead was, and he proceeded to explain what I’ve just mentioned, about how you needed to order 500 as a minimum etc. During this he had signed both my bobblehead and my book, and as I looked at him to thank him for that, he’d already looked away and seemingly ignored my thanks.

This sounds like I’m being unnecessarily harsh and critical. I felt the amount of John Green love that was going down that day, and I have no doubts that he’s really a nice person. I can only say how I felt after the event, and if that illicits any sort of negative response, I can’t really apologise. So there you are, citizens of the Internet. Judge me harshly.

Edinburgh Jaunts: Part One

August 17, 2010

Hello there internet! This series of blogs will come to you in three parts. A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to book up my tickets for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, something I have attended every year since 2007. This year however I decided to do something slightly different, and entirely mental. I booked up to go three times. Three different trips. What even is this. Do I have more money than sense? Yes. Well, now I have significantly less money, and even less sense.
So, I have just returned from my one day visit, and I will now proceed to fill you in on what went down, yo.

I met my boyfriend at the train station at about ten in the morning. We found our seats on the train with no problems, for once. (On one trip to London we got on the wrong carriage, like absolute fucking numpties, and had to stand until the next station, then leg it to our actual proper seats. Idiots.) The trip lasted about an hour an a half, and when we got off the train, I forced him to come with me whilst I looked around for the Nerdfighter gathering that I knew was taking place in the very same train station, at just the time our train happened to be getting in. We found the posse of nerds fairly easily. They weren’t difficult to spot, what with their HUGE YouTube sign being chucked about through the air. Upon spying them, I decided it would be weird if I approached them, as they all looked about 15 and I have just turned 20. Instead, I watched them from afar for a few minutes. Yeah, that’s definitely less like the actions of a paedophile.

So then we wandered merrily to our hotel. Oh wait. No we fucking didn’t. We strolled to the bottom of the street, only to be confronted by a torturous amount of stairs.

These stairs + a suitcase + super hot weather = rage.
Luckily, James carried almost everything. That man is a bearded saint.

We left our bags at the hotel, after sweating on the concierge, and went for some lunch. Walking down the Royal Mile is not an easy task, particularly in Fringe season. So many people are trying to get you to come to their shows, shoving fliers in your face. I came away with a stack of papers about an inch and a half tall. This would be excellent roach, were I a drug user.

Then it was time for our first gig of five that we had tickets for. After getting lost for a little while, we managed to make our way into the sweaty room for a comedy performance by Goring and Stokes, who billed themselves as nerdy comedians. Well, they certainly were that. They were also really excellent, and I hope to see more of them in the future. Despite the heat of the room and some technical hiccups they managed to soldier on and deliver a top quality comedy performance. Four and a half stars, I say! Also, I’m a sucker for a nerd.

Our next event was the John Green book event, which was actually the main reason we went when we did. We planned everything else around me wanting to go to this talk that he was doing, so I had high hopes. He did a little speech about his book Paper Towns, which has recently been printed in the UK, then he opened the floor to some questions. After that, the entire audience of the sold-out gig shifted to the signing tent. No lie, the queue was the biggest I’ve ever seen for something like this. It doubled back on itself twice, and was out of the door of the tent at one point. Following a sighting of YouTubers Falletron and LittleRadge, and a subsequent excited text sent to a YouTube friend of mine, I felt I was ready to meet one of the freaking VlogBrothers.
And I did. I’m going to explain what happened in another blog, because this one is long enough already.

We had some ice cream and mooched about in our hotel until it was time to see John Bishop. Lovely Liverpudlian John was pretty funny, but I’d heard some comments about his show being more about telling stories than about producing laughs, and I have to say that’s probably a fair statement. Three stars, although in fairness to him he’s got a different style of comedy to what I would usually look for.

Then we had to really run for it, as Mark Watson’s gig was starting ten minutes after we got out of the John Bishop extravaganza, and the venue was nowhere nearby. We lucked out and managed to get epic seats, which was handy, because it was the best comedy gig I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a fair few. It’s not like it was my first one, although that would mean I have a 100% success record, and it’s nice to get the best one out of the way first, isn’t it?
Honestly, can’t say enough about it. Both of us were crying with laughing so hard, and he’s got such a nice manner about him. And he was signing his new book after the gig, and I came prepared and brought one from home. He seemed touched that I’d bothered, and thanked me for coming. Lovely. Ten hundred thousand stars, and a bowl filled with cake batter.

Hotel, bed, pass out. Exhaustion.

The next day, after some overpriced substandard breakfast, we managed to squeeze ourselves into a FREE Radio 4 taping of The Unbelievable Truth, a comedy panel show hosted by David Mitchell. The guests were Rhod Gilbert, Tom Wrigglesworth, Kevin Bridges and Lucy Porter. I don’t think we could have asked for a more perfect set of guests. Each one is excellent on their own, but together they are hilarious. The two shows go out sometime after September 27th, and they’re episodes 3 and 6 of the series, if anyone wants to listen out for that, and the trains in the background. Why they taped it next to the station I’ll never know. Seventeen stars. This is getting ridiculous. Let’s end it there. After having one full day at home, I’m off on another adventure tomorrow! To see Bo Burnham, no less. I am jazzed. Toodles!

Things

July 6, 2010

Things that irritate me:
– Parents who dress twins in the same outfit. Those are the actions of a psychopath.
– Rudeness and general ignorance (If that last part was capitalised, you’d have known I’d meant the round on QI)
– When people use the word “random” to describe themselves. No! All thoughts are connected! Go die in a hole.
– Christians. Particularly obnoxious and/or preachy ones.
– Would-be philosophers. You’re just a douche.
– People who complain a lot (I’m aware of the intense irony.)
– Speaking of which, Alanis Morissette. Virtually nothing you mentioned in that song was Ironic.
– When people stop walking right in front of you. I usually remedy this by getting close to their ear as I brush past and saying, “What a clever place to stop.” like a total mental.
– When I can feel either another person, or even me, breathing somewhere on myself. Particularly when I’m trying to sleep. Fuck you, breath. I know you’ve vital, but I just got comfortable and you’re making me move.
– Children. Or more precisely, parents who can’t control their children. If your spawn climbs around my shop one more time I’m taking it off you and feeding it to the homeless man that lives in our bins.
– Narrow-minded individuals who only see the internet as a source to be used once in a while for some half-arsed uni essay, or as a way to look at videos of dancing cats strapped into some stilettos and made to parade around the moon looking like Tyra Banks. No. The internet can also be used for taking the piss out of Twilight.
– Twilight.

Things I enjoy:
– Sandwiches.
– Cake.
– Food of most descriptions.
– The fact that the last three texts I received were all from different people called James.
– People called James, apparently.
– Making swift exits from clubs and dashing to the taxi rank when school acquaintances become a little too friendly and they leave for a minute to go to the bathroom.
– Ke$ha. I said it.
– Video games where there is little to no amount of challenge involved whatsoever. This does not extend to hidden object games.
– Reading. A tremendous amount. I tried to count how many books I had once, and stopped after 73. That’s not a good representation, I just tire easily.
– Stand-up comedy. Smart humour in general, really. I have a love/hate relationship with Al Murray. I don’t like his comedy, but I know he’s a very intelligent man that has become locked into some obscure character portrayal so much that people assume it’s what he’s really like. The man can do entire gigs in French, for fuck’s sake! I want him to free himself from the shackles of oppression! Eh, he brought it on himself.
– Birthdays. I haven’t had one in a while, but my next one is in 4 days, so I’ll tell you how it goes.

Despite what you might be thinking, I’m almost always cheery. The exception is when any of these annoyances rear their ugly heads. Then I will simmer silently with rage whilst I shake my proverbial fist at you, and you will suffer not at all.

Music and Deviancy

May 19, 2010

I am making a promise to myself: Right after I finish this procrastoblog, I will start my final Criminology essay of the year. Technically, it should have been handed in two hours ago, but we’ll just breeze right on over that.

I was recently instructed, in no uncertain terms, to Blog Moar. As I cannot offer you a full length blog, at the expense of my impending essay writing, I will instead offer you this Baby Blog. Not a blog about babies, though.

May 16th marked the three year anniversary of the last big gig I went to. Two things to discuss here. I am a young, youthful youth, and so should probably have gone to more gigs recently. I don’t know why, but getting sweaty with a bunch of strangers just hasn’t been high on my list of things to do. Secondly, I went to see YouTube winners Julia Nunes and Greg Holden last June. I don’t really count this as a proper gig, because there were about twelve people there, so it was more of a small sing-along.

The band I saw on May 16th, 2007, was Good Charlotte. I await your mockery.

Done?
I always had to defend myself when I told people they were my favourite band. They were often classified as “teen punk”. Well, I was a teen, and if loving them was wrong, fuck that shit. I thought they were incredible. The main reason I started liking Good Charlotte was purely as an act of rebellion. I saw their Lifestyles music video on Kerrang, and noticed the guitarist had adopted a purely insane “Liberty Spikes” hairstyle. I thought I was some sort of goth/awesome hybrid at this point, so told my parents and my brother’s girlfriend that I was totally in love with the band, and they were “actually amazing”, despite having heard little of their music.
As I started to really listen to their stuff, I realised I could identify with a lot of their songs, in a way which was cool then, but now probably would just make me look like a needy teen. Over the years, my love never dwindled. In fact, I found out a girl in my year at school loved them too (along with Busted, but let’s just pretend they never happened), and we’re still friends to this day because of it. I probably owe a lot of my current awesome points to the things I learned and felt as a result of listening to their music.

So, the gig happened. It was everything I could have hoped for, and more. I was right near the front, managed to maintain my enthusiasm throughout, and they were pretty decent live too, which I can’t say for every band I’ve seen.
The best thing happened after the gig had finished, however.
Once everyone from the standing area had begun to disperse, I saw there was a group of maybe 20 kids, all holding onto a towel, pulling it in all directions. I had lost my friends in the crowd at this point, and had everything to gain, so I joined in. Security soon made their way over, and demanded the towel be handed in, as we were making too much of a scene. Bearing in mind, I’d loved this band since before I knew what the internet was, I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. I snivelled up to the security guard.
“Excuse me?” I said, in the best pathetic voice I could muster, as I tapped him on the shoulder.
“Yeah?” He had all the compassion of a bag of sand.
“That towel was actually mine first, and then they all came over and grabbed it off me,” I simpered, along with the best doe eyes I’ve ever produced. I was lying through my teeth, clearly. I’d probably been the last one to join the towel fracas, but the other kids had given up and left, so nobody was there to call bullshit on me.
“Yeah well,” he grunted as he turned away, “You were all making it dangerous for the other people in the crowd.”
“But but but,” or something equally intelligent came out of my face at this point. “It was mine, and they all joined in and STOLE IT off me. :(” I really made that face. What a lying whore I was.
He looked at me and clearly couldn’t resist my whiney charm. “Ok, wait here. I’ll go get it for you.”
Oh thank you, security guard man. I could literally cry tears of lies all over your face.

I did nearly get rumbled, though. He made me wait with a woman security officer, who asked me casually who the towel belonged to. I didn’t even know the towel existed until I’d started pulling at it with all of the strength I possessed.
“Um…” Fuck. Shit. Bollocks.
Then a random passer by girl said, “Oh, it was Billy’s towel. I was at that side of the stage.”
“Yeah, I just reached out and grabbed it.” I silently thanked the Gods of Towel and Gigdom for sending this girl to save me. The security lady laughed, so I knew she didn’t want to immediately strip me of any towel privileges. The man came back, I smuggled the towel away in my mother’s handbag, and I went home happy.

Well, there you have it. A pointlessly long blog about a towel. You’re welcome.

“Hey, you.”

May 1, 2010

As usual, I should be doing something else. That can only mean it’s time for another update of my blog (insert fireworks here)!

Today, I had the almost immeasurable pleasure of meeting a comedy hero of mine. Dara O’Briain announced on Twitter (@daraobriain) that he was coming to the shopping centre in which I work, to do a book signing. This pleased me greatly, as it allowed me to combine my two passions of reading and comedy. Oh, stalking too. Mustn’t forget that.
Upon finding nobody to go with (I asked one person, who was busy), I decided I would go by myself. I’ve always wanted to go to the cinema or something by myself, but I generally find it too depressing, so I just wait for the DVD and then watch it alone, whilst crying into my ice cream.
As I was clearly keen to meet Dara, I turned up an hour too soon. I wandered half heartedly, all the time with sweaty palms and the constant stress of what I was going to say once I actually met him. Yes, I am aware he is a human being, like everyone else, but when you hold someone in such high esteem, it’s sort of a big deal. And I like to fuck things up with my mouth words, sometimes.
After 30 minutes of pointless wandering, I bit the bullet and went into the shop the event was taking place in. There was already a small queue forming, so I bought my book and dutifully joined the back. (There were some very enthusiastic girls at the front, which was handy. The queue went between two aisles, so I couldn’t actually see the signing table. My first indication Dara was there was from their screams.) (Of excitement, obviously. He wasn’t butchering them.)
As I approached the front, I realised I was probably the only person in the shop, nay, the world, that did not have a camera with them at this point. My reasoning was that I wouldn’t be with anyone, so would have nobody to take the picture. However, I did not think there would be a staff member on hand, to provide such a service. Ah well, I look like a grimacing buffoon on the majority of pictures, so it was maybe a blessing in disguise.
Another shop assistant was meanwhile asking each member of the queue what sort of message they wanted signing into their book. She’d take their name, write it on a Post-It, and stick it inside the book. Probably mind-numbing once you get past fifty or so people.
At this point, I would like to set the scene for you. A few years ago, there used to be a late night game show programme on called Quizmania. There was a female presenter on it called Debbie, who I once swapped a few emails with. If you zoom to modern day nowness, I follow Debbie on Twitter. She @replied Dara, saying she had been taking notes for him during his latest gig. I imagine it was a gig wherein he was trying out new material, needed a hand, and called upon the lovely Debbie. Dara responded to Debbie (this is beginning to sound like a plot in a soap opera), starting with the words, “Hey, you”.
Now, I like to thrust myself in on the business of others. This greeting seemed as though he was quite familiar with her, and I myself would not mind being a close personal friend of Dara. I am sure we would get on famously, we’re both nerds, it’d be fine. So, I @replied Debbie, telling her how jealous I was that she had elicited such a response from the funny man. I’d have been happy to have Debbie reply to me, as I was quite a fan of hers, “back in the day” (Has anyone ever said this in a serious context?).
To my surprise, I instead got a response from the man himself, saying “Consider yourself hey you’d”.
Shazam. Jackpot. Booya, etc.
This made my day. Twitter may be a semi-pointless networking site, but for a few brief seconds, Dara O’Briain was speaking just to me. That made me feel a bit like an apostle.
Back to today. I walked up to Dara, and had a bit of good craic, I think. It went like this:

Dara: How are you, are you well? (His Irish accent makes this sound more exciting that it does on paper.)
Laura: Yeah, I’m well. It’s lovely to meet you.
Dara: It’s a pleasure to meet you too… *opens book and reads Post-It* Laura. It’s quite a weird system we’ve got here.
Laura: Yeah, well, at least everyone knows your name though.
Dara: Yes, but nobody’s writing my name, are they?
Laura: I could, if you wanted.
Dara: *turns book towards me* Would YOU write my name in the book?
Laura: I don’t think that’s quite how this works.

I then asked him if he would mind inscribing it with “Consider yourself hey you’d”, as I’d promised myself I’d get an IRL one someday. He’d already started writing something, then changed it mid sentence, so I’ll never know what he was going to write. Most likely something about pots of gold, or some other mildly racist stereotype (My family is Irish, this joke is therefore allowed).
He asked my Twitter name, probably in an attempt to see if he recognised it. He clearly didn’t, and I felt I should explain my name choice (@SmartieLove) to him. Then I realised it doesn’t take a lot of explanation. I love Smarties.
So, he signs my book, I shake his hand, and he says, “Good luck pet!” in a way that only an Irish man can. As I’m walking away, all I hear is, “Hey, you”.