How To Speak Emoji

Although I’m one of those people who talks about their opinions on the Internet, in the IRL I’m actually a person of few words. This definitely transpires when I’m texting, because if I can convey something with a little yellow face instead of boring normal human words, then I’m going to. At first I felt a little self conscious, as I seemed to be the only one of my friends who fully embraced the wonders of Emoji. Sure they’d send me a little smiley face every now and again, but when it comes to Emojis, I go big or I go home. It was the final thing that confirmed I was the Shoshanna Shapiro of my friend group; something I’ve actually begun to embrace. However, much like Shoshanna, sometimes other people don’t get my Emoji usage. They don’t really understand what I’m trying to say when I put a snail next to a pizza slice and a broken heart. I’m clearly saying that I ordered something from JustEat and it’s taking an entire lifetime to get here, duh. So to avoid further confusion, I am here to share my ways with the world by translating some of my most used Emojis into actual human sentences. I may have struggled with German in school, but I’m fluent in this. Consider this the Rosetta Stone of Emoji… the Rosytta Stone, if you will.

Sunglasses Emoji: I am in need of validation, so I’m faking confidence in what I just said.

Love Heart Eyes Emoji: I am so happy about this, a simple smiley face would not suffice.

Blowing A Kiss w/ Love Heart Emoji: You’ve probably just agreed to do something that you didn’t want to do, I am grateful.

Winky Face Emoji: I hardly know you and I want you to think that I’m cool and not agonising over every minute detail of this text.

Excessive Crying Emoji: You have slightly disappointed me but I’m going to act like you have ruined my life to show you how totally cool I am with it.

Medical Mask Emoji: I can’t hang out with you because I’m sick. This Emoji has exactly the same validity as a doctors note.

Skull Emoji: Valar Morghulis.

Poop Emoji: You have done something I disapprove of, but it is humorous.

Thumbs Up Emoji: I agree to these demands. Usually in reference to making plans.

Clapping Hands Emoji: Congratulations/I am proud of you.

Red Love Heart Emoji: I am showing affection regarding the current situation. This is the closest thing to an X you are going to get.

Dark Moon Face Emoji: I am expressing happiness in the same way that a normal yellow Emoji would, but you know me well enough to know I am super creepy (like this moon), and you will not judge me.

Ghost Emoji: My reaction to that news was so intense I am now deceased. This could refer to any emotion.

Gun Emoji: Don’t make me make you.

Slice of Pizza Emoji: I am bribing you with food. Often used with Red Wine Emoji.

Red Wine Emoji: I am bribing you with alcohol. Often used with Slice of Pizza Emoji.

USA Flag Emoji: Usually sent to American friends to inform them that their country has done something right for a change, often in regards to a TV show.

Union Jack Emoji: Usually sent to American friends to inform them that my country is better than theirs, often in regards to a TV show.

Aubergine Emoji: Love you xoxoxoxoxoxo/only special people receive this.

Hopefully in the future everyone will learn how superior Emojis are when communicating. Why would you say LOL when there is a laughing Emoji for it? Why would you say TTYL when you can use picture of a waving hand? We are living in the future; Emojis are upon us. Although it still weirds me out when my mum uses them. Maybe I will become a TEFL student and spread the word. Teaching Emoji as a Foreign Language.

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TV | Five More Fictional Crushes

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I’ve been single for over a year now, which doesn’t really bother me as much as it does the protagonists in those romcoms that I totally don’t watch… ahem. So I may not get to be the little spoon anymore (I’m the big spoon to my cat), I have television. And with television comes the option to be attracted to somebody without all the hassle of trying to woo them. Y’know, because they’re not real. But that’s the best part about having a fictional crush. You don’t have to spend hours agonising over whether they will like you back or not, and these people definitely don’t care that you’re drooling over them whilst wearing a Hello Kitty onesie and shoving Oreos into your mouth. I think that everyone should just stop dating entirely and focus on Netflix. Here are some more characters to get you started.

1) Daniel Desario, Freaks and Geeks:

I’ve always had a crush on James Franco. He’s just one of those people who is blessed with a really nice face. I even sorta kinda maybe liked him in Spring Breakers when he had teeth that looked like they were made out of tinfoil. However, in light of recent events, I’ve actually realised he’s a bit of a creep. I got weird vibes from him when I first started following him on Instagram, but the whole seventeen year old girl scandal kind of put me off him. So even though thinking about James Franco now kind of makes my skin crawl, I can still think about Daniel Desario with ease. There is a reason that when you Google Image search ‘Daniel Desario’ the first suggestion is ‘Daniel Desario smile’. He has an amazing wardrobe that I would totally be borrowing from all the time, and even though his relationship with Kim is turbulent to say the least, he seems to be committed to hear and it’s kind of endearing. There’s also the fact he was super nice to the Geeks, which is always nice to see within the bad boy archetype. Yep, this character almost makes me forget about how gross James Franco is IRL. Almost.

2) Marshall Eriksen, How I Met Your Mother:

I think I’ve made my feelings on HIMYM pretty clear on this blog, but that still doesn’t stop me from loving Marshall. Although all the main characters on the show are super attractive, and when NPH sings my heart begins to smile, Marshall is my favourite. Maybe it’s because I never completely disassociated Lily Aldrin from Willow Rosenberg (possibly my all time favourite fictional character), but I definitely feel like Marshall is the most underrated HIMYM guy. He is just such a sweetie, and his relationship with Lily is one of the most solid that I’ve seen on TV, especially in a sitcom. The whole Ross/Rachel, will they/won’t they sitcom trope is great for a while, but sometimes I like to see the happy ever after part. I think part of Marshall’s charm is that Barney and Ted’s roles in the show were mainly about them trying to get women, and Marshall was such a breath of fresh air. It also makes me sad that I’ll never have a nickname as cute as Marshmallow or Lilypad.

3) Jim Halpert, The Office:

Despite this series showing my penchant for whole ‘bad boy’ vibe (vampires, slavers, junkies), I do love me an underdog. When I watched first The Office, I was trapped in this one ‘just one more episode, then they have to be together’ loop until 4AM every morning. I was so invested in Jim and Pam that it didn’t matter that Michael Scott is my least favourite fictional character in the history of the world (even more than Kennedy from Buffy, yeah I went there). It may seem a bit weird that I am attracted to someone purely because I love their relationship with another character, but I promise that I don’t mean it in a Fatal Attraction-eque way. It’s not like I imagine that I am Pam or anything. But like I mentioned in the first crushes post, I’m over the whole lazy musician boyfriend thing, maybe paper sales is the area I need to be looking in. Or I can just stay inside and rewatch The Office. *Turns to make face into imaginary camera*.

4) Gob Bluth, Arrested Development:

I know, I know. I don’t really understand this one either. You would think that Michael Bluth would be the obvious choice here, but there’s just something about Gob. He is a completely horrible person, and I know that being in a relationship with him must be absolute hell. But whatever, he’s hot and he does magic. There’s nothing cooler than a magician. I’m kind of embarrassed by this one and I’d rather not dwell on it much longer, because I don’t really have any ways to defend it. But at least it’s better than Buster, right? Or, like, having a crush on your cousin? Besides, I’m vegetarian, I think all the dead doves in the fridge might cause a problem.

5) Prince Zuko, Avatar: The Last Airbender:

What? I can’t make one of these lists without having at least one animated character. I’d just be lying to myself. Other than Appa, Zuko is my favourite character on Avatar. Sure, he may be a little bit evil, but Aang is super annoying, I’d want to kill him too. He has everything I look for in a character; a catchphrase I can say in barely relevant situations, a tragic backstory, and, well, he’s hot. I mean, technically Appa has none of these things and I still love him, but who cares? Appa is the exception. Admittedly my love of Zuko is not as strong as when he is bald and has a ponytail, but scruffy hair and fringe Zuko makes up for it. And have you seen him with his shirt off? Hello. Now I will make a joke about ‘lighting my fire’ and you can judge me. Zuko’s love is worth it.

I told you I could make a series out of this. I have a lot of time on my hands and a lot of love for things that aren’t real. I’m starting to think that maybe I should just do a whole post of animated characters that I want to snuggle with. Maybe it will get it out of my system? At least cartoons are better than the first crush I had as a child… Beetlejuice. I think we’ve established that I was a weird kid, there’s really no need to delve further into that train wreck.

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LIFE | Two Years Later

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Every once in a while I like to go back and read the blog I kept between the years 2008 and 2012 (with a giant gap for 2010/11 because little Fresher Rosy thought she was too cool to have a blog), and whenever I do this, I go through the same stages. I’m sure we’ve all done it, the whole ‘ugh, I was so cringeworthy back then’ thing. But I can guarantee that if I read this blog again in 2016, I’m bound to feel exactly the same way. One of the last posts on my old blog is from May 2012, when I was living in a house with my boyfriend and finishing off my second year of university. At the time I thought I had a lot to complain about, but looking back I guess that I had it pretty easy. So I’m taking the post that is closest to this date two year ago, and I’m going to bend the rules of space and time to talk to nineteen year old me. Just call me Russell T Davies.

‘04/05/2012: Well… that went well.’

I figured that this is the place I used to come to be whiney so I might as well do that again for a little bit because right now I feel like I’m wasting my life, y’know, the usual stuff.’

Okay, so I guess this is better than when you would write about your unrequited love interests back in 2008, casually avoiding naming any names in case, god forbid, someone you knew IRL found it. And yeah, that whole wasting your life feeling is just going to keep getting stronger. You better get used to it.

I really regret not doing a more vocational degree, one where you actually learn skills rather than just learning for the sake of learning. I’m not sure how much of this literary and cinema criticism will help me later in life.’

Oh, my sweet summer child. Almost two years later you’re still going to be having the exact same feelings. ‘Learning for the sake of learning’ is definitely the best way you could possibly describe your degree. But don’t worry about whether the literary and cinema criticism will be useful or not… you’ll take gender studies and history modules by the time you leave as well. Although your prospective employers aren’t really impressed by those either.

‘This time next year, I’ll be just about finishing off my final essays and wanting to cry and deteriorating into nothingness and I get scared just thinking about it.’

You could definitely predict the future, but it’s mainly your own fault for taking a class called American History Film that you didn’t understand or care for at all. Even though you knew it would be your most challenging essay, you still left it until about a week before it was due. Not everything can be about feminist criticism, you know. Sometimes you’re gonna have to write about Leonardo DiCaprio and the FBI.

‘Princeton from Avenue Q said it best: ‘what do you do with a BA in English?’ Also film… I guess even the puppet had better life prospects than me.’

You’ve seen Avenue Q twice now and that song is pretty much the soundtrack to your life. You joke about it here, but by the time you’re 21 it is going to haunt your dreams.

‘I’ve always said I wanted to write (although I hate actually declaring that on the Internet because I don’t want to be included in that group of fourteen year olds who use the xD emoticon and talk using .gifs) and even though the medium of what I want to write has changed over the years, I still really like the idea of doing that.’

You still do want to write, so I guess that’s a good sign. Although nobody actually wants to hire you… or even comment on your blog. It’s okay, you’re just a struggling artist. Your time will come (it probably won’t come, it’s just that you’re nineteen and still cute and innocent).

‘Part of me wants to run away and work in a Coyote Ugly-esque bar, part of me wants to work my way up a magazine starting from intern to fashion editor and part of me just wants to marry rich and surround myself with an army of pugs and cats.’

You’re still totally down for doing all those things. Particularly the Coyote Ugly one. Hey, if it worked for Violet Sanford…

‘Whichever of those I decide to do, I should probably start this essay on South Park first.’

You got a 2:1 on that essay, congratulations.

If I learnt anything from this experience, it’s that I’m pretty much the same as I was two years ago. Back then I thought that things couldn’t get any worse for me, just because I was struggling with writing essays on The Wind in the Willows and angry at my boyfriend for not taking the bins out. But now almost two years have gone by, and I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom because I can’t get a job and I live with my parents. Yeah, it’s pretty sucky, but I could have it a lot worse. When I’m 26, I could be living in a really nicely decorated apartment with a rescue dog named Jasper, or I could still be with my parents and crying over job websites. A lot can happen in two years or absolutely nothing can. The only major change between 2012 and 2014 Rosy that I can see is that we clearly have differing views on the Oxford comma.

 (The flattering/totally artsy photo in this post is also the one I used to accompany the original blogpost, it summed up how I was feeling then and also how I’m feeling now. ART.)

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TV | What My Netflix Suggestions Are Actually Trying To Tell Me

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I have a love/hate relationship with Netflix. Sometime’s I’ll find a really great TV show or the perfect movie for how I’m feeling, but most of the time I find myself just endlessly scrolling through the genres. Usually I actively search for what I want to watch, and I can’t remember the last time I actually clicked on one of those super helpful suggestions. I’m starting to think that my Netflix account is actually a sentient being that either really hates me and picks these titles to make my life a misery, or is just really passionate about what we should be watching together. If it is the latter, I’m sorry I’ve made you rewatch Gossip Girl four times, okay? I just have a lot of feelings. If it’s the former, however, then I won’t feel bad about the following list. See, with all this downtime I have thanks to my perpetual unemployment, I’m starting to think that I can speak Netflix. I know what these suggestions and category titles are actually trying to tell me, so I went through the selection of recommended titles and and changed the category names to something a little more fitting. I’m onto you, Netflix.

Recently Watched/My List: You choose these ones so, uh, it’s all down hill from here.

Popular on Netflix: I don’t care if you never watch comedies, the rest of the world really like Superbad, okay?

Critically-acclaimed Films: Who cares about what genres you like, this won an Oscar.

Top Picks for Rosanna: You will hate all of these suggestions, but I really think you should know about them.

TV Programmes: I could not be any vaguer if I tried.

Watch It Again: Pay £5.99 to have access to a sprawling catalogue of titles… only to watch the same five movies over and over again.

Popular on Facebook: People you don’t care about like these movies, you should really try and be supportive of their interests.

Dramas: A little bit of fantasy, a little bit of romance. I’m just trying to cover all of my bases here.

Because you watched The Dark Matter of Love: You watched a documentary this one time, so here’s every other documentary we have. If you like troubled adopted Russian kids, you’ll enjoy one about beauty queens, right?

US TV Programmes: I noticed you like shows about American high school kids, this show about stopping terrorists also has Americans in it.

Visually-striking Films: I don’t know what you want so I’m giving you artsy independent films, but also lots of CGI explosions. You’re welcome.

Recently Added: I am an actually useful feature– see, they do exist.

Irreverent Films: I could literally not find a type of movie you could hate more than this.

Because you watched House of Anubis: Remember that time you marathoned a kids TV show because your parents abandoned you to go to the Caribbean over Christmas? Here’s every other show made for children that we have. I’ll be sure to be on the screen when you have friends over.

Crime Films: I’m gonna be useful and give you documentaries about serial killers, but I’ll also show you 80s romcoms about the police that you’re bound to hate.

Because you watched Gavin & Stacey: Here’s every other show the BBC has ever made ever!

Horror Films: I’m sorry I haven’t really been helping you very much, I’ll try to be more useful now. We’ve got The Mist, The Amityville Horror, and LOLJK you should watch Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Documentaries: So you wanna learn something, huh? Why don’t you try Vegucated, Kurt & Courtney, or Louis Theroux? No, no, I got it! The Katy Perry documentary. You’re into that, right?

Children & Family Films: You’re unemployed and living with your parents.

Emotional Films: You’re still unemployed and living with your parents.

Because you watched Life Unexpected: Remember that one TV show you watched because Anya from Buffy The Vampire Slayer was in it? Here’s some more shows that she isn’t in.

Foreign Films: I know that if you wanted to read you’d be on your Nook instead of me, but I think you should give these subtitles a shot. Be cultured for a change.

Because you watched Treasure Planet: So I heard you like talking animals?

Films Featuring a Strong Female Lead: Let’s be honest here, half of these films would not pass the Bechdel test.

Films based on a book: Reading is for losers.

Cerebral Documentaries: I’m sorry I suggested the Katy Perry movie, okay?!

TV Dramas: Because The Tudors and The L Word are totally the same.

Critically-acclaimed Dramas: Look, you’ve watched the Hey Arnold movie more times than a 21 year old probably should have, I’m just trying to help you.

When Netflix first arrived in the UK, I thought we had something special. But no, it lives to torment me. I don’t know how many times I can say that I don’t like comedy films before it stops telling me to practically marry Adam Sandler. But I’ll continue to keep feeding it my money… even if that is so I can just keep watching 10 Things I Hate About You and Orange Is The New Black on a monthly basis. And if anyone wants to suggest some TV shows and movies for me (ones that don’t come up in those completely useless categories), then I definitely want to hear them. I love you, Netflix, don’t ever change… unless you want to give the UK access to the US library, then I’d be totally cool with it.

TV | Five Fictional Crushes

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I mentioned briefly in my last post that I am attracted to Sandor Clegane from Game of Thrones (I mean, have you seen him in that porridge advert? Hello), but there are so many other characters in different fictional universes that I have crushes on. I think this blog has already established that I spend a lot of time watching TV, and although I do pick these shows based mainly on the writing and acting, the pretty faces don’t exactly hinder my choices. Over the years I’ve actually found myself being more attracted to fictional characters than random famous people… or, y’know, actual people in my life. Why have a crush on a fellow university student when you could be thinking about kissing a vampire?

1) Ser Jorah Mormont, Game of Thrones:

I may have started this post by talking about The Hound, and although I really do enjoy his face, my heart truly belongs to Ser Jorah. It might be because I want to be Daenerys, or it might just be because I really enjoy his beard, but I love Ser Jorah. My iPhone is called Jorah (it is my advisor and closest companion, duh) and I already have plans to name a cat Ser Jorah Meowmont. I know he’s meant to be super ugly and hairy and whatever in the books, but I can’t stop picturing TV Jorah when I read them. And he has a nice face. And he taught a zombie to answer a phone in Resident Evil. Dany just needs to love him already. Or else I will. There are plenty of characters in GoT who warrant being on this list (Jon, Jaime, Tyrion), but I’m rooting for the underdog. Can we have more Jorah scenes now please?

2) Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

I have a long love affair with fictional vampires, from Edward Cullen to Bill Compton, but Spike was the first. I never bought onto the whole Angel thing, yeah he was hot but he was so whiny. Spike was what I imagined vampires to be like. Humans are a yummy food and a vital life source, not something to impregnate and marry, Edward. His dedication to Dru makes it seem like he’d be a great boyfriend, and adorable little season five Spike when he had a crush on Buffy is just the cutest. I wouldn’t mind him hiding behind trees outside my house, in fact, I welcome it (no one else, just Spike). Then there’s his face, his hair, his style, his chipped black nail polish *heavy breathing*. He loses a bit of his edge by having one of the most underwhelming deaths in TV history (although I guess he got a better deal than Anya), but my disdain for the final episode doesn’t destroy the love I have for the rest of the series. Team Spike 5eva.

3) Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl:

GoT and Buffy are two of my favourite TV shows ever and I’m a huge fan of the fantasy genre, which is why it comes as such a shock to me that I love Gossip Girl as much as I do. Admittedly the writing falls a little short during the later seasons, but by that point I’m so past caring about 3/4 of the characters and who Gossip Girl is (just kidding, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over that crushing disappointment), I’m only really interested in Chuck and Blair. I think I was one of the only viewers actually rooting for Blair and Nate to split up in season one, and the limo scene remains one of my favourite TV moments. He dresses amazingly, he is super rich, and has possibly the most attractive voice I’ve ever  heard. I didn’t even know you could be attracted to a voice until I watched this show. I don’t care if you have super bad daddy issues and sexually harass women multiple times on the show, we were meant to be.

4) Charlie Pace, Lost:

Lost was one of the first TV show I was heavily invested in, and even though I can admit that it got slowly worse as it progressed, I couldn’t turn it off. One of those reasons was Charlie. It’s not just that he was Merry in LotR (although that helped), but he was a total rockstar and thirteen year old me totally loved that. And so did fourteen year old me, and fifteen year old me… and twenty one year old me still does, so you get the picture. Yeah, there were lots of hot shirtless men on Lost that I could have picked over him. Sawyer and Desmond also rank high on my list of fictional characters I’d make out with. But Charlie was adorable, and he looked after Claire and Aaron, and he was BFFS with Hurley. What’s not to love? His death is one of the saddest TV deaths I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t watch that episode without completely losing it. Not Penny’s boat, guys.

5) Trent Lane, Daria:

I’d like to think that I’ve given a bit of variation on this list. We’ve had disgraced knights, evil vampires, filthy rich hotel heirs with questionable morals, and heroine addicted plane crash survivors. But it might seem that I’ve failed a bit here, because Trent and Charlie are kind of the same. I mean, yeah, okay, one of them is an animated character, but still. They both have the same look. Tattoos, piercings, messy hair… actually, maybe Spike fits this category too? I definitely have a type. They might have the same aesthetic, but they’re totally different characters inside, and I had a crush on Trent long before Charlie Pace came along. I really don’t think that Trent would risk his life to save Desmond, in fact if Trent was in Lost he’d probably have been the guy sucked into the plane motors in the first episode. Pre-teen me really liked the idea of a musician boyfriend who didn’t wake up until three in the afternoon, but twenty one year old me has had that type of boyfriend, and realises that if we’re gonna do the whole musician boyfriend thing again, Charlie would be a better choice. Heroin addiction or not. I still have a total crush on Trent though. I don’t think you ever get over your first fictional love. Queue romantic sighing and longing glances into the distance.

I could probably do a whole series of this if I really wanted to. I have a lot of feelings about fictional characters. Maybe I’ll do one about literary characters that I want to smooch, because that way you know I’m doing it for what’s on the inside. Characters descriptions are very subjective, J.K. Rowling doesn’t tell us that Lupin is attractive, but I still want to ruffle his hair. I probably wouldn’t be able to put any GoT characters in that list though, seeing as they’re all about twelve.

FASHION | April Wish List (Shoes, skirts, and Sandor Clegane)

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This whole unemployment thing is terrible in many ways, but one of the worst parts of it is seeing pretty things and not being able to buy them. It’s not as bad as the whole ‘I am a useless human being’ mindset that it gives me, but I can’t even buy frivolous presents for myself in an attempt to lift my spirits. This is where the whole wish list idea comes in. If I had a job, or was still living in the perfect little bubble that is student life, these would be on my body right now. Except for maybe The Hound. Maybe. Cough, cough.

These red shoes from Office are like my dream shoes, unfortunately they appear to be made of leather. This means that even if I did have money, I wouldn’t be buying them anyway. Hashtag vegetarian problems. But I’m using them to set the bar for future shoes. They will be red, they will have a chunky heel, and they will have a buckle. Keeping with the shoe theme are these amazing leopard print Vans. I spent my teenage years alternating between Vans and Converse, with the odd pair of Doc Martens thrown in. My first pair of Vans were the flying pig ones and I absolutely adored them. But I am an adult now, dammit. I’m too old for flying pigs! Now I’m a ferocious leopard, grrrr.

This girl shirt from Topshop isn’t my usual style. I’m not really a tshirt person, I much prefer button up shirts and jumpers. But I really like the lace detailing, it definitely livens things up a little. Also, I’m -proud- of being a girl. We are awesome. It only makes sense to celebrate it on a tshirt. Also from Topshop is this cute skirt, which I am totally into. It’s from the petite range, which definitely helps as I am the size of a small child and most of my skirts go way too long on me. I had a major clear out of my closet recently, and I discovered that I have a distinct lack of floral skirts. Dresses I have in abundance, even the odd shirt or two. But there is a floral skirt shaped hole in my life, and I think this would fill it. Topshop has come to the rescue yet again for me, as for the past few months I have been on a quest for the perfect pair of ugly trousers. So far the ones I’ve bought have been too normal or too ugly, but I think these ones are just right. I just want to look like a Moroccan carpet, okay? Admittedly, these are a little more Aztec, but I still love them. They’re also from the petite range, so they will actually fit me for a change. Everything’s coming up Millhouse!

I recently broke my favourite ever pair of sunglasses, and now my only remaining pair are ones that make me look like a bug and fall off my head when I look down. These ones definitely bring out my inner cat. Meow. It will also make a nice change for me to have tortoiseshell glasses, since usually I represent the darkness of my soul through my eyewear. Not that it looks like I’ll ever get the weather to actually wear sunglasses, it’s just rain and wind and fog nowadays. Great for Brontë era Yorkshire, but not for the Parrish era. And, uh, I really can’t explain the last item. I just really love The Hound. Out of all the many attractive characters on GoT, I have a crush on Sandor Clegane. I”LL BE YOUR LITTLE BIRD, SANDOR. Love meeeeee.

So these are the things that I like. Although I should probably be saving my money right now, I really want those trousers. I’m already mentally planning outfits with them, so there will probably be a cheeky Topshop trip in the near future. The search for the red shoes is still on, but I know I’ll find the perfect pair eventually. And as for The Hound… I’m totally gonna buy him and no one can stop me. Hi, I’m an adult.

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LIFE | The Gardener

Are you all sitting comfortably, children? Good, because you’re about to hear a story. Once upon a time in a land far, far away– well, actually it was about thirty minutes away from where I’m writing this from, but that sounds better– there was a little girl. That little girl was me, obviously. Because what else do I write about on here? Write what you know and all that. I had pretty lonely summers as a kid. I’m an only child, and both my parents worked, so I spent my summers with my Nan in a little residential area surrounded by old people. Occasionally another old person would have their grandchild down and I would have someone to play with, or maybe sometimes my best friend’s family would take me swimming or to the cinema. But most days I spent my time talking to teddy bears or running around the driveway and sneaking into the bin area because that’s where the monsters lived. I got to know a lot of the old people throughout my time there, from the nice ones who gave me chocolate to the mean ones who shouted if I dared to venture too close to their garden. But one of the regular inhabitants of the street wasn’t an old person, he was just a regular adult. He was The Gardener, and he wasn’t my biggest fan.

I’m sure The Gardener didn’t have a problem with me at first. In typical only child fashion, I was quiet, polite, and shy. Pretty much any grownup’s dream. I never usually did anything wrong. So to this day, I still have no idea why I did what I did. It all started when my Nan had gone to talk to someone outside; even though she was ridiculously overprotective, she’d finally gotten to the point of leaving my indoors by myself without thinking I’d choke on something or set myself on fire. But something in me snapped that day, that or I was possessed or something. I went to the front door, I took the chain that locked it, and I slid it into place. My house didn’t have one of these chains and I usually wasn’t left alone long enough to experiment on this one, so really I had no idea how to use them. You’d think it would be pretty simple, right? You just unhook it, it comes right out. Apparently this was too much for me to grasp. When it came time for my Nan to return, the door was jammed on the chain. She called me from upstairs and asked me to unlock it. I couldn’t. I physically found it impossible to get this chain to unlock. I’m pretty sure it’s because I was so scared about getting in trouble for touching it that I just went into a state of shock. I don’t remember much about being this young, but I do remember crying uncontrollably and squawking ‘sorry, sorry, sorry’ over and over again.

Image(There is a reason I do not illustrate my blogposts, this is it)

After about ten minutes (a lifetime in crying child years) and attempts from multiple people coaxing me into trying again, they all gave up. There was only one thing that could be done. They went to get *dramatic music* The Gardener. The Gardener arrived, and once again tried to talk me through how to open the latch. I don’t remember much about him, I think that he was bald and tall and he definitely added to how terrified I was in this situation. I was absolutely sure that this was it, I was going to be stuck in this house for eternity. They couldn’t get in, and I couldn’t get out. Then things started to turn dark (for poor Baby Me, anyway). The Gardener took out his tools. I don’t remember what he did next, I just remember being told to get away from the door. I crawled onto the stairs, still crying, and just watched the chain be cut to pieces. This made me feel even worse. Not only did I do something bad, but now my Nan’s door didn’t lock properly and she might get burgled and it would be my fault oh God.

After they got the door open, I don’t remember much about what happened. I presume that I got in trouble. And I had to look at that broken chain for like the next ten years whenever I visited my Nan. A constant reminder that I was such an inept child that I couldn’t even unlock a door when asked. But that wasn’t my only encounter with The Gardener. A few years later, we met again.

One of the aforementioned grandchildren, Holly, was at my house. We were waiting for my mum to get off work and take us to one of those giant ball pit places where a bunch of my other friends where. When my mum finally arrived, she decided to torture us even longer by needing the toilet. Now, the lock on my Nan’s bathroom door was a weird one, and if you stuck your nail into it you could easily lock the door from the outside. I’d done this dozens of times to people in the past, and had it done to me, you just unlocked it from the inside and everything was fine. I did my usual trick of locking my mother in, and shortly after the door rattled and she announced she was stuck. Everything that happened after this gets blurry, because I love my mum, but I’m also terrified of her. And she was not happy. I told her that I’d locked her in and that she should just unlock it normally, I probably laughed a bit because I’d scared her. She then claimed she couldn’t unlock it. She was stuck. Queue various attempts at opening the door from both my Nan and my mum at either side of it. I was probably crying because I could not handle the rare occasions where I did something wrong.  Holly was probably just stood around awkwardly. Nothing worked, she was definitely stuck. My Nan went to get him. The Gardener was coming.

This whole memory is even blurrier to me, and I’m not entirely sure how he got her out. I know that the tools were used again, and that after this you could never lock the door (another painful reminder that I should just live in a bubble). I’m positive that I must have gotten in trouble, but I remember that I did get to go to the giant ball pit place. Although, I’m still 80% convinced that my mum just wasn’t opening the door right, there is no way I could have broken it. I was about eight. Still, the blame was put on me. And that meant the blame in The Gardener’s eyes too. He must have thought I had a vendetta against the locks of the house. Maybe I did. Maybe it’s some weird Freudian thing. Or maybe I was just a very inquisitive child who always wanted to push the big red shiny button.

I didn’t have any more run ins with The Gardener. And as I got older I spent my time away from the old people and the locks, and celebrated my new found summer holiday independence by hanging out at skate parks and getting the bus into town. But although I stopped hanging out where my Nan lived, and even though she eventually moved out, I still imagine The Gardener as some sort of dark hero of the street. There with his tools, ready to right the wrongs of every mistaken child. Because he’s the hero that street needs, but not the one it deserves.

Image(Amazing artist’s rendition of The Gardener. Did I forget to mention that his tools are his limbs and he drinks the blood of children who break locks? Because that’s exactly how I remember it.)

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FAVOURITES | Monthly Musings #1 (March 2014)

I may come off as a bit of a nihilistic person, but I actually do get a little ecstatic whenever I find something I like. My excitement shines like a ray of sunshine behind my usual fog of pessimism. Like Gatsby’s Green Light, but instead of unrequited love it’s usually an inanimate object, and instead of throwing lavish parties I write blogposts. Usually people in the dreaded real world don’t listen to my claims of ‘this is a good thing’, but the Internet has yet to discover how incredibly lame I really am, so hopefully my cries will go noticed here. And soon everyone will know that I don’t spend all my time complaining.

1) The Good Wife
The Good Wife is one of those shows I’ve always meant to watch, but just had other things take precedence of my viewing habits. So when I saw that it was on Netflix, I knew it was time. I’m a big fan of legal dramas, which I’m pretty sure stemmed for my unnatural love of Legally Blonde as a child. And while Alicia Florrick is no Elle Woods, she is a total badass. A total badass with really great eye makeup. But whilst Alicia is great, the real gem of this show is Kalinda. Whenever I watch her I feel like I made the wrong career choice, and I’m now convinced I’d make a fantastic private investigator. With all of Kalinda’s dark colours and leathers, I’m sure I’ve already got the wardrobe for the role. I’m also convinced that you could make a drinking game out of every time Archie Panjabi’s accent slips back to English, but then you probably wouldn’t be able to remember the plot by the end of the episode. I’m only on season two, but I’m definitely a fan so far. I can tell it’s going to be a good companion during the dreaded summer of the TV hiatus.

2) Tea Tree Skincare
I’ve been dabbling with Superdrug’s Tea Tree range for over a year now. Some things have proved to be quite good, some have turned my face red. It’s been pretty hit and miss. But recently I bought the Tea Tree and Peppermint Facial Cleansing Wipes and I am in love. What originally drew me to the range was that it’s not tested on animals and is also vegan friendly, because I think I’ve made it pretty clear already that I don’t think what I put on my face is more important than suffering animals. And these wipes are one of those products that should prove to people that you don’t need to hurt animals to get a good product. They’re antiseptic, soothing, and pretty much destroy any blemishes. And also ridiculously cheap. My skin feels amazing after I use them, so tingly and clean. It’s pretty much everything you want in a cleansing wipe. I use them twice a day and it really does make a difference. 2014 hasn’t been a pretty good year for my health, and when I’m sick my skin just completely fails to look human, so these were pretty much a lifesaver. Not just for my skin, but for my mental health too.

3) Game of Thrones
DUH DUH DUHDUHDUHDUH DUUUUUH DUH DUH DUH. I’ve been a big fan of Game of Thrones for a while now, but recently I’ve taken things a step further. I decided back in January that I would rewatch the previous seasons before season four started. I did not need to start in January. I zoomed through them all and I managed season 3 in less than 24 hours. Then I started with the DVD extras, then the cast commentaries, then articles on the Internet. Suddenly I was filled with the desire to know everything about it. I bought the book Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones and was quite distraught to find that nobody in my house cares that ‘they built a real life lift for the Wall’. I initially planned to read the books before I started watching the show, but I’m lazy so that never happened. So I’ve had a copy of the first book just lying around for over a year now and I finally started reading it earlier this month. George RR Martin owns my life now. I’m this close to buying a figure of The Hound to kiss at night. This close.

4) Treggings
I am definitely one of those people who will angrily scream ‘leggings are not pants’ at whoever I’m with if I see someone committing the crime when I’m out and about. I don’t say it to the people wearing the leggings, duh, that would be rude. But I’m conflicted; because jeans annoy me. They’re expensive and boring and 80% of them are too long for me. But recently there’s been an uproar of patterned treggings in the stores I frequent. Patterns! Since I’m usually clad in monochrome, this is a very good thing to happen to my wardrobe. It livens things up a bit. So far I’ve acquired a black embossed leopard print pair and a blue pair with a tile effect. All the comfort of leggings whilst not making myself look like a giant hypocrite. The perfect solution.

5) Scented Candles
I’ve always thought that candles were a bit of a waste, and that you were literally burning money. 2014 has been the year of my awakening, and March has been the month of my obsession. It started when we had a power cut in December. Let me set the scene for you: I was alone with the cat, singing Disney songs in a dark room to amuse myself, as is a common occurrence for me (minus the dark room bit). I had lit a candle to ward off the evil shadow monsters and also to sing Be My Guest to in a terrible French accent. I don’t know if it was some suppressed pyrotechnic urges that were surfacing, but suddenly I needed to light more. Two candles. Four candles. Six candles. And then I found it. The mother of all candles. Giant and pink and calling to me. It was scented. I don’t remember what fragrance it was, I just remember the pink. But it was love. Currently I’m using an Egyptian Cotton one in a pretty tin, because why would I want to buy Egyptian Cotton sheets when there could be FLAMES? I also took the ruse of Mother’s Day to stand in a shop for fifteen minutes smelling every candle available. It was heaven (except for a pine scented one that was Nose Hell). I bought my mum a giant lavender candle because she also shares the burning love of scented candles (heh, burning).

These are the things I have loved in March (what do you mean it’s April?). I think it gives you a clear idea of how exciting my life really is. Candles and TV. I’m sure it would be super romantic (even with all the castration and incest in GoT), but alas, I enjoy these things alone. But that does mean more Oreos* for me.

*I would have put Oreos on the list, but they’re my favourite every month. And every day, week, year, and lifetime. Oreos forever.

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TV | How I Met Your Stepmother?

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I got into How I Met Your Mother a little late, probably sometime around 2010. My time at university included a lot of me sitting alone in my room at 3am surrounded by 16th century novels on the plague, and a little twenty minute per episode sitcom was just the thing I needed to, errr, ‘reward’ myself for managing to read a chapter. I’ve never really been a fan of the sitcom format. I don’t usually like my comedy to seem forced or unrealistic, and I haven’t really been a big fan of a sitcom since Friends. Something about HIMYM seemed different to me though, it actually had emotion and character development behind the jokes and the surreality. I even began liking things such as the Cockamouse. But all good things must come to and end, and for the last few months I’ve been nervously awaiting the final episode. Where they going to ruin this show that I’ve invested so much time in? Will I feel that all those hours I marathoned the episodes were  wasted? Finally, the episode arrived. I watched it, I cried, I thought about it a little bit, but I still can’t decide whether I liked it or not.

Series finales are always bittersweet for me. On the one hand it means that a show I’m emotionally invested in is ending, on the other it usually means that all the loose ends that have been bugging me for years will get wrapped up. HIMYM actually delivered on the second one. One of the things that’s annoyed me for years about this show has been what was Ted sitting on whilst telling the story? The last episode finally revealed that to me (a desk, not what I was expecting for some reason), and I know it seems a trivial and minute thing to focus on in the grand scheme of things, but I’m glad I know. I’m also happy that it told us that Marshall finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a judge, but we never find out what the other characters ended up doing with their lives. Does Robin travel with all those dogs? Does Barney actually have any transferable skills? Is Lily a stay at home mom after living her dream in Rome? I’m emotionally attached to these characters, I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FUTURE.

That being said, there were a lot of things that I liked about the finale. The most major of these was Barney and Robin’s divorce, because I really don’t think that they ever made any sense as a couple anyway. I’m not sure Barney is actually capable of romantic love. The flashback they used was perfect too, as we saw part of the scene earlier in the season, and had no idea that it is what would lead to their divorce in the future. Another thing I loved was Barney becoming a dad. Although I groaned when they initially revealed it, as soon as he held her I was turned. Barney is like the King of Daddy Issues, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the best dad ever to Ellie. If not a little sexist and degrading, but maybe her birth will show him the light a little bit. I especially loved how they didn’t make Barney have a fairytale love with Number 31, because like I said, I’m not sure he will ever be capable of having a serious committed adult relationship. Lily and Marshall continue to be perfect, and I kind of wish that they had more focus in the finale. They were Ted’s original friends, long before Barney and Robin came on the scene.

But now we get to the negatives. But really there is only one. Ted and Robin, really? Why didn’t the show just end after the first episode then? I feel so cheated. I never liked Ted and Robin as a couple, Ted was clearly more into the idea of starting a family than she was. I also find it highly unlikely that Robin would be willing to take on two nearly-adult stepchildren, as she’s never really shown any maternal instinct before. I know that the ending set it up that they were soul mates and that Ted and Robin would spend the rest of their lives together, but I give it three years maximum. They’ll split up and Ted will find someone nice again. Not too nice though, because he really did find the perfect woman in Tracy.

Waiting until the end of the series to introduce The Mother was always going to be a risky move because people have had nine years longer to get attached to the other characters and to want the best for them. But I thought that HIMYM executed it perfectly, and I was pretty much instantly a fan of The Mother. It really did seem like Ted and Tracy were supposed to be together. The umbrella, the Economics lecture, the fact he dated her roommate. They even have the same initials! The show really spent a lot of time pursuing the whole ‘so close, yet so far’ theme. And then they just ripped it away. She dies. Fantastic. I kind of saw the death coming though, thanks to the hints throughout the last season. Most notably the talk about attending your children’s wedding, but also showing that Tracy had a previous partner that died. It was as if they were letting the audience know that it’s okay to move on so that we wouldn’t hate Ted for dating someone new. I also hated Robin’s hair when Ted brings her the Blue French Horn. Where they trying to make her look older or like an alien posing as a human?

I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad that the ending was planned from the beginning. I could have maybe forgiven Ted ending up with Robin if it looked like it was something the writers threw together out of desperation at the last minute, but the inclusion of the children’s dialogue shows that it was always planned. I probably should have seen it coming, it is a bit weird that Ted started the story of how he met his children’s mother with how he met some random Canadian lady in a bar, nine years before he even knew his mother existed. Robin was clearly a huge part of Ted’s life, but I’m still not convinced that they’re soul mates.  Ted always was a huge romantic, Lily and Marshall said it themselves in the last episode. I can imagine the rest of the gang finding out about Robin and Ted and being all ‘uggggh, not again’.

Overall, I think that I liked it. It’s a lot better than other series finales that I’ve seen. The first half of the episode was perfect, it was mainly the last one I had the problems with. The flashforwards are what really made it worthwhile for me, it was great to get a glimpse at what the characters would do in the future, which is a lot more than other TV shows give when they end. Much like I do when I say Poltergeist is my favourite horror film, I’ll just pretend that the last five minutes didn’t happen. That Ted never confessed his love to Robin. That, or I’ll imagine that they went on a few dates but decided to just stay friends. Can I have a spinoff about the adventures of Goth Lily in college now please?

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