LIFE | A Whiny Unemployment Post, But With A Difference!

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(I figured another unemployed graduate post might be a bit excessive, so I made it rhyme instead. Written in the style of The Cat In The Hat, because I’m obviously super cultured. Marvell who? I’m gonna use the excuse that the childlike structure acts as a great juxtaposition against the bleak and depressingly adult subject matter).

I am sat in the house,

Like I am every day.

Scrolling through job websites

For something that will pay.

 

I wasted all my time

On an English degree,

When everyone speaks it

And they get that for free.

 

The three years I spent

Claiming ‘oh, this means sex’

During every book,

It was hardly complex.

 

So now I am here,

The age of twenty one,

No job and no money

And it’s not very fun.

 

Every job listing with

Entry level appearance,

Then crushes my spirit,

‘Two years experience’.

 

‘So, why go to uni?’

The question is now raised.

I see no job prospects,

I’m just left feeling dazed.

 

Sure, there were fun times,

I made some good buddies.

But my crowning moment?

Acing Disney Studies.

 

It seemed like a good choice

Back when I was sixteen,

To study great novels,

It just felt like my scene.

 

But now all the teachers

And nurses have found work,

Leaving me in the cold,

On job websites, I lurk.

 

But this is my struggle

And I’ll take it in stride.

Or run off to Berlin,

Where forever I’ll hide.

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TV | Palmon: Loyal Friend, Saviour of the Digital World, Total Feminist

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I see a lot of articles written about various feminist icons and female role models that we should all look up to. A lot of these are real women who did amazing things, some of them are fictional characters who hold strong ideologies, and a few of them are even from animated shows. And whilst I always admired how Sailor Moon and Daria Morgendorffer were great role models, one of my childhood TV favourites seemed to escape my notice until I was 21. Every few years or so, I like to rewatch Digimon, and at every stage in my life I seem to pick a new Digimon that I’d want as my partner. As a kid it was Biyomon because she was pink and cute, as a teenager it was Gatomon because she was super sassy and a cat, but as a twentysomething, it is Palmon.

What I love about Digimon is that the Digidestined and their Digimon complement each other so greatly. I love Pokémon and everything, but it’s not as if Ash and Pikachu ever had a meaningful conversation about morals and compassion. When Mimi and Palmon first meet one another, they bond over seemingly aesthetic conversations, with Mimi complimenting Palmon’s hair. ‘Oh great’, you sigh, ‘this is the character they’re gonna use to sell the show to the kids who prefer princesses to battling monsters’. But you soon realise how wrong you were, with Palmon retorting ‘do you think you put too much emphasis on appearance?’ Palmon is more than meets the eye; she loves to get her hands (uh, leaves?) dirty and battle with the others, and isn’t afraid to tell Mimi when she’s being selfish or unreasonable. One of my biggest problems with kids cartoons is that there’s always the tomboy and there’s always the girl who likes dresses; not many programmes show that you can be both at once. You can worry about your hair or your nails without missing out on any of the action. You may be the butt of some jokes for a bit of comic relief, but that’s okay, because everyone knows you’re a valued part of the team. Palmon is this character, and she only brings out the best in Mimi.

Palmon sums it up best herself when she says I may be a lady, but I am no pushover!’ She’s like the Buffy Summers of the Digiworld. And although you may initially think that she was designed to look so cute to bond with Mimi’s fashion loving persona, when Palmon digivolves into Togemon she completely loses the adorable little flower look. She becomes badass. Her colourful talons (that I would love to recreate with nail art) get switched for giant red boxing gloves, and the hair that Mimi originally complemented becomes a tuft of blonde sprouting out of the top of her head. Her adorable anime eyes are replaced by black hollow holes void of any expression– but she works it. She’s even covered in a layer of spikes, which is kind of reminiscent of a woman embracing her natural body hair (she only sheds them when she’s firing them at evil Digimon). And by the time Palmon has digivolved for the first time, only the sixth episode of the season, the usually image conscious Mimi doesn’t even make a comment. As if Palmon’s kind and compassionate and feminist (???) nature has already rubbed off on her.

But the extraordinary nature of Palmon doesn’t stop there. Whilst some poor unfortunate souls may be under the impression that women can only be strong if they take on masculine qualities, Togemon totally goes onto defy this by digivolving again and becoming the type of Digimon you would have always expected Mimi to have. Lillymon is the epitome of cute. She is a literal flower, more humanoid than Palmon was, with her petals taking the form of a dress and matching hat. Her leaves act as boots and delicate gloves, a change from her image as Togemon, and her vines even resemble jewelry. And she’s an Ultimate Level Digimon, in league with the likes of WereGarurumon and MetalGreymon, who are very distinctively masculine. And when she’s finished fighting bad guys in her adorable pink outfit, she can joke around and make stereotypically feminine quips with Mimi, even telling her ‘you’re a very special girl, even if your wardrobe sometimes clashes’. Once again showing that you can wear cute dresses and also destroy giant evil monsters that are trying to ravage Tokyo.

All of the Digidestined’s partners give great lessons throughout the show. From courage to responsibility, or from trust to finally breaking free from the abuse you’re used to, and I’m definitely not trying to belittle that. Gatomon’s relationship with Kari is one of my favourite things about the whole show, and her backstory with Myotismon is heartbreaking. But there’s just something I love about Palmon and her digivolutions. In Sailor Moon, Serena is portrayed as totally useless and quintessentially girly, only gaining her strength when she uses the Silver Crystal. And Daria, as wonderful as she is, regularly criticizes Quinn for her love of fashion in an extremely negative way, often feeling she is superior to her sister for her own disregard of conventional beauty standards. I’m not condemning characters who are stereotypically feminine and shy away from danger (I think the various beauty reviews on this blog should show that), nor am I condemning the tomboys who hate wearing dresses (as that was me as a kid). But I am reprimanding the way that the media often portrays the girly girl and the action girl as two separate, and often warring, characters.

If I was ever sucked into a world made entirely of data and forced to defend it from giant monsters, I’d definitely want to bring some moisturizer and a ferocious red lipstick for when I’m fighting to the death. And I think that Palmon would look great in it too.

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LIFE | We Need To Talk About Alan

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During my second year of university, I moved out of halls and lived in a student house. When we first moved in, it seemed perfect. It was on a secluded street, my bedroom overlooked an old convent, and it had all of its original Victorian features. But considering I grew up in a super creepy and obviously haunted Georgian house, I really should have known something was going to happen. That something was Alan.

Alan was a ghost, and the official fourth roommate of our house. At first, we’d just hear the creaking. ‘It’s a an old house,’ we’d cry, ‘that’s what they do’. But I always knew something wasn’t right. Shortly after, the creaking turned into slamming doors. ‘But old houses do that too, right? Right?’ But really, I knew it was Alan telling us to close the doors behind us and keep the heat in. After all, he didn’t want roommates who were raised in a barn. By this point, it was obvious that we had a ghost. Or the ghost had us, because technically he was there first. So I started to talk to him. If the door would slam, I would apologise. When I came back from a lecture, I would greet him just as I would my other housemates. It’s a habit I developed when I was growing up, because living in a giant old house as an only child does things to a person. I decided at a very young age that it would be safer to make any ghosts I sensed like me. And at nineteen years old this still seemed like a perfectly logical thing to do. Much like it does now, at twenty one.

So he became Alan. I didn’t know if the ghost was a man or a woman, but I just felt like like he was a male presence, and Alan was the first thing that popped into my head when I decided it would only be polite to give him a name. The last thing I wanted to be was rude, and I remember sitting on the little yellow sofa in the living room and whispering ‘If we’ll be living together, it’s only fair that you have a name. Shall I call you Alan? Let me know if you don’t like it!’ Then I waited. Looking awkwardly around the room, as if this would be the first time he showed me some sort of form. He didn’t. But he also didn’t make any loud banging noises, so I presumed that he was happy with the chosen name. And we went along with our day.

Unlike when I was growing up in my childhood home, I never felt any threat around Alan. The only time I remember feeling too scared to sleep was after seeing The Woman In Black, because in my state of exhaustion I kept thinking that my giant cutout of an Academy Award statue was her watching me sleep. I had decided that Alan lived in the under-stairs cupboard, because I always got a little feeling whenever I opened it, and I used to knock if I ever needed to go in. ‘Alan, I’m coming in, okay?’ He was fully integrated into life in the house, and my housemate Sammy and I would often refer to him in conversations. Slamming door? Better say hello to Alan. So I thought that as far as human/ghost relationships go, we had a pretty good one. If you’re gonna spend all of eternity floating around and slamming doors, you might as well do it with someone who acknowledges your existence. Even if we couldn’t have conversations, and even if he couldn’t take corporeal form– it must be better than the never-ending stream of ‘it’s only the wind… it’s an old house, they do that… don’t be silly, ghosts don’t exist’. But then it happened.

I was alone in the house. I was heading out to a lecture, and was putting something in the kitchen bin before I left. Just as I took my first step out of the kitchen– BANG— I turned around, and saw our giant wooden chopping board in the middle of the floor. It used to live on top of the fridge, right at the other side of the kitchen. I hadn’t touched it. And there it was, on the floor. When logical reasoning failed to tell me why my chopping board had flown across the room, I moved on to what is affectionally (I hope) known as ‘Rosy Logic’. And Rosy Logic told me that Alan did it. So I scuttled off to university, quite glad to be out of the house and away from the chopping board… which was still on the floor because no way in the nine circles of Hell was I going anywhere near it. If horror films have taught me anything, it’s that an angry spirit is never a good thing. I’d take Casper over Poltergeist any day.

Alan never attacked me again. Or anyone else. And I continued to say hello to him whenever a door mysteriously closed or I heard banging in the walls. I even wanted to leave a note for the next tenants after we moved, letting them know that they lived with a ghost called Alan, who was friendly 99% of the time. I didn’t want him to go back to being alone.

You may read this blog post and think that I’m deluded or hysterical or just really weird. But I’ve always felt like ghosts exist, and I enjoyed my time with Alan. Even if I’ll never know why he threw a chopping board at my head (maybe he had some ghost friends down that day, ones who didn’t like humans). I think the idea of spirits is really interesting, and I love to debate their existence whenever I find myself discussing The Mysteries Of The Universe. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their answer to ‘so, do you believe in ghosts?’

My name is Rosanna Parrish. I believe in the things that go bump in the night. I believe that unicorns must have existed once upon a time, or we wouldn’t have them on our passports. I believe that we can’t be the only lifeforms in the whole of that giant thing we call space. And I believe in ghosts.

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FILM | Top 10 Feel Good Movies That Will Make You Happy

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So far 2014 has not treated me well. It’s barely February and I’m already on my second course of antibiotics for two completely different illnesses. This means I’ve been spending a lot of time doing my Happy Things, like reading trashy YA fantasy novels and drowning myself in green tea. But my favourite pastime is watching feel good movies. I’ll be the first person to admit that I can be a bit of a film snob, but there’s times when I just want to watch cheesy boy meets girl love stories and pretend that I’m not rolling around in bed and coughing up my lungs. Sometimes you can have escapism without heading off to Middle Earth or Hogwarts!

10. The Hot Chick:

It’s a mystery to me why I like this film so much, since I’m often found drawling on about how much I hate certain Anchormanesque comedy films. But I just find it really cute, and I can somehow forget all the offensive stereotypes and just enjoy it. I’m not a grouchy feminist aaaaall the time. It’s also probably the only film on this list that isn’t heavily romance based, which makes a nice change for a brainmush movie. Boys are cheats and liars, they’re such a big disgrace!

9. Pretty Woman:

Everything about this movie makes me happy. I love the constantly shifting (but totally non-aggressive) power struggle between Vivian and Edward. Vivian may be looked down upon by other people in Edward’s social circle, but it doesn’t matter because she knows the directions and can drive the car that Edward fails to do so. And the shopping scene is like my life goal. Getting revenge on people who were mean to me and buying designer clothes in the process? Living the dream.

8. Legally Blonde:

Whoever said that orange is the new pink, is seriously disturbed. Elle Woods is my hero. She dresses amazingly and she gets what she wants– a double threat. Every time I watch this movie I always end up wishing I studied law at university. And she saves poor defenceless animals in the sequel, and we all know how I feel about poor defenceless animals. I have a very vivid memory of seeing it at the cinema with a toy Buster the chihuahua. Maybe one day I too will be as great as Woods comma Elle.

7. Raising Helen:

I know a film about little orphan children doesn’t exactly scream feel good movie, but it really is I swear. Much like Elle must prove herself to the people at Harvard Law, Helen must prove that she is capable of looking after her late sister’s children. I can’t promise you that you won’t have a little a cry when you watch this, but everything works out best for everybody in the end. Love and happiness and family!

6. The House Bunny:

The second Anna Faris film on my list, and for good reason. She is the Feel Good Queen. Even her voice makes me feel good. Some may protest that I only love this film as much as I do because of my obsession with Hugh Hefner, and that may be true. But why wouldn’t you love Hugh Hefner? It’s full of cute little cameos and it stars Emma Stone (Easy A almost made this list), so it should have something for everyone. Instead of the Mahi-Mahi, can I get just the one Mahi, because I’m not that hungry?

5. Coyote Ugly:

YOU CAN TRY TO RESIST! TRY TO HIDE FROM MY KISS! BUT YOU KNOW, BUT YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN’T FIGHT THE MOONLIIIIIIGHT! Continuing my theme of pretty blonde girls who must struggle to overcome something, but only this time it’s better because it has SONGS. And a hot Australian guy. It makes me want to run away to a big city and work in a bar like Coyote Ugly. I don’t care if up until this point I’ve identified as the introverted writer type, I’ll even dance on a bar like the girls in the film do. Although films where a foreign person lives in the US always drive me insane when they don’t mention how they got in. Where did you get your visa? Show me your secrets!

4. Clueless:

If you don’t like this film, then you’re a virgin who can’t drive. If Elle Woods is my career motivation, then Cher Horowitz surely is my style icon. It has Brittany Murphy and Cyrus from Gossip Girl and Paul Rudd and Turk from Scrubs! If that’s not feel good, then I don’t know what is. It just oozes with 90s goodness and it means you’ll never have to read Jane Austen’s Emma in your life.

3. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist:

Probably the least cheesy movie on the list, but still midnumbing enough to tune out for a few hours. I have a lot of love for Michael Cera (both Scott Pilgrim and George Michael Bluth would be sure to appear on a list of my favourite movies and TV shows) and Kat Dennings is one of my favourite women in Hollywood, so watching them fall in luuuuurve definitely appealed to me. I also have a fondness for movies that happen all in one night, I don’t know if it’s a character development thing or realism thing, but it works so I try not to question it. It’s the quirky Indie teenager’s answer to The Notebook.

2. Wild Child:

I’ve always loved a good English boarding school movie, and transatlantic confusion will always have a special place in my heart thanks to the two years of my teenage life I spent on Skype everyday to Americans. Wild Child has pranks, and friendship, and love, and redemption! It’s always my go-to movie whenever I’m feeling under the weather (since number one disappeared off of Netflix at least), because I know that if I take an accidental nap in the middle of it I won’t miss too much. And even if I do manage to stay awake, it’s still entertaining on it’s seventh rewatch.

1. 10 Things I Hate About You:

The second hot Australian love interest on my list. Do I have a type? Obviously. This movie has the best soundtrack on the list… in fact, maybe it has the best soundtrack of any movie ever. And Kat Stratford has been destroying the patriarchy since 1999, ’cause she doesn’t give a damn ’bout her reputation. It’s also got the added bonus of being an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, which makes me feel less bad about watching it so many times. It’s cultured, right? It’s Shakespeare!

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I hope this list proves to you that even if the majority of my favourite films are mundane, bleak, and gritty (Fish Tank and Kidulthood, I’m looking at you), I can still watch trash with the rest of them. It makes a change from reading the wikipedia article on List of Unusual Deaths, which I am totally not doing right now.

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