30 Mar 2013

Losing Touch With Reality Through Technology

I was having a brief catch up with Mum last night, since I've been away. I told her all about London, and my friends. She told me about the cats, and the snow, and then "Oh, I wrote a sonnet the other day. Do you want a cup of tea?"
Alarm bells went off. My mother wrote a sonnet. I assumed it was for her Open University course (she's studying Introduction To The Arts). What do I do now? Should I ask her if I can read it? I want to read it, certainly. But I don't want to read it while she's there - there's a chance that might lead to a talk about 'feelings', and 'what it really means'. I'm rubbish at both of these things. A better idea would be to try and read it slyly, behind her back. So all I'd have to do is hack her computer - easy, she told me her password ages ago and isn't yet suspicious of me enough to change it. 
No, wait, she's doing most of her OU work on paper. That means she's probably written it in a notebook. 
How do you hack notebooks?

In other news, my home girl Nikki has restarted her photography blog. I like it because she talks about me a lot.

24 Mar 2013

I Miss This

I think the most bastard thing about being a writer is that every time I have a decent amount of time to work with, I can't think of a single thing to say. Which is why I've spent a lot of today being exhausted and staring at a blank computer screen. I just kept thinking I have to write something, and then thinking but what is that something? Long story short, I have no idea. I was all "I'll write a short story about snow!" and then I remembered that I hate snow and it's all just sat there outside of my window giving my Mum a cold and metaphorically crippling me by confining me to my house. I hate snow. Then I thought "I'll write a poem!" But, ahahaha, good joke me. I'm awful at poetry. And again, the only thing I can think of to write about is snow. Because there's just so much of it. So no poetry, and defiantly not poetry about snow. 
I guess I've been gone a while. Sorry about that. I just had a lot of stuff on. I was in a pantomime, did my practical A Level drama exam, and did my grade seven speech and drama exam all within the course of one week, and I am knackered. I've got a load of stuff that I want to say, but I just need a little bit of time (but not too much). Also some of it is oddly daunting, so we'll see how that goes.
I'm trying not to make any of this too personal, because I've made the mistake of making blogs very personal before, and it never ends well. But I just needed to have that tiny rant. I'm trying to think of a funny story to end this with, but sod it, I have no funny in me right now. No, I lie, I'm going to go and write Top Gear fan fiction, and if that's not funny, I don't know what is. I always have funny in me. 
The pantomime was great - it was the story of Jonah and The Whale, in my local church. Jonah was played by an angry teenage girl, the whale was played by a six year old in a fish costume. I played a banker. There was a drag queen and a gang of ten year old arms dealers. I think this is what happens when you stay in the countryside for too long. The exam was fun and also one of the saddest moments of my life and left all of us with a lot of bruises in places we aren't comfortable talking about. The second exam was the single most terrifying experience of my life. But I did get get a new bra out of it, so swings and roundabouts, I guess. 
Here, have some mentally scaring photos of myself and my pets.
"When there's grubby money making to be done (to be done), oh a bankers lot is such a happy one..."
My Favorite Bimbo
"Hold me."
"Did you say hold me?"
Proof that I no longer fit into the kids dressing up clothes you get in museums.

12 Mar 2013

Just A Note To Say

I'll be honest, this isn't a real post. I just need to tell you some stuff quickly. First off, I have decided to name the readers of my blog Shipmates. Seeing as it's called "I am the Pirate Captain" and all that. Second, sorry I haven't updated for a while. You may not get any proper updates till next week. Sorry. I'm just y'know. Really busy. Luckily though, I have two rather meaty posts that I'm looking forward to writing (and hopefully you're looking forward to reading.) I just have a lot of stuff on, but with any luck, by the end of the month we'll have tackled democracy, drama, and menstrual cycles (I promise you it won't be as scary as it sounds. Please don't leave.)
I'm off to Berlin at the end of the month. If I don't have a couple of great stories to crack out at the end of that, I clearly need to rethink my future career.

Next, I FOUND THE FEMALE BRIAN COX. Long story short, I read a story about a mummified mammoth carcass, there was a quote from a scientist, I looked her up, etc. So I present to you Alice Roberts, a very clever and very pretty lady who knows a lot of stuff. She's written books and been on Coast, and is generally really great. We love Alice Roberts.

Portrait of Alice Roberts

I was in a YouTube video! My friend Lauren is quite a talented film maker, and was recently in my house. She was filming a vlog, and I sort of ended up wandering into it. FJ, if you're reading this, the reason you're mentioned is because I was impressed that you had 'liked' something on my Facebook. That is all. Thus, here is me reading gay fan fiction aloud.

And finally I should probably say thanks to I Set The Sea On Fire, who I like to call my very good friends, and who promoted me on their Twitter feed. Thanks guys. Bellow is a photo from their album launch.
To wrap up, I'm sorry this post is awful, normal service will be resumed shortly. OH, and THANK YOU TO YOU, dear Shipmates. I genuinely never thought anyone would ever read this, so every time anyone tells me that they read this, or enjoy it, my brain just... stops. Thank you for the continued love and support. It's making me crave journalism more than ever. So you may or may not be digging your own graves. I love you.
And very quickly, I wrote a story about the misadventures of Brian Cox and Boris Johnson. I hope you like it. I may write more.

10 Mar 2013

Dear Mum

So first off, I forgot to buy you a card. Soz about that. You'll have to do with a blog post instead. Depending on what time I wake up I might even print it off. Hardcore.
Let's face it, we don't really do sentimentality. We're one of those families that expresses affection by only verbally abusing each other, and in our cases, falling on each other from great heights. Well, I do that. Your knees are bit too squiffy to do any real falling. I hope you never have to appear on Miranda. Anyways, you've been a Mum for like, eighteen years now. That's a well long time.If there was a branch of Girl Guiding for mums, you'd probably have earned some sort of badge. Probably one of those ones you get on the anniversary of joining. I only ever got my yellow one. Not for being a mum, obvs, but in the actual girl guides.   Long story short, I'm rubbish at cards. You get a list instead. Much better. You get a list of 'thank yous', because it's Mothers Day, and it's socially unacceptable to ignore it. So, thank you...

  1. ...For taking me to that Pogues gig, even though it was a school night, I was ill, and going with a load of older boys I didn't know very well. It was fun. My hair still smells of Guinness.
  2. ...For being at home quite a lot when I had glandular fever, and finding that there tutor and stuff.
  3. ...For letting me do media, which was probably a bad decision, but also meant that I met two of the best teachers I've ever had.
  4. ...For letting me do drama. Ditto.
  5. ...For talking me out of going to drama school/doing it at uni. In hindsight that really was an awful idea.
  6. ...For not trying to change my mind as I slowly became more and more of an insufferable liberal. I realize it can probably be quite annoying some times.
  7. ...For saying "Just as long as it's not Baggy." when I told you I had a girlfriend. Probably the best response overall.
  8. ...Letting me go to a lot of slightly shady house parties, and slowly imparting enough wisdom on to me that I know that getting drunk/doing drugs/getting pregnant is way more effort than it's worth.
  9. ...Playing David Bowie to me when I was tiny. I would later hear him on the radio and know all of the words. I would not know why. It would be really weird.
  10. ...For putting up with the Spice Girls phase before I discovered Green Day.
  11. ...For not killing me on the second Spice Girls phase. At least it wasn't Justin Timberlake.
  12. ...For putting up with this blog post. It's really late and thinking of eighteen things is hard.
  13. ...For raising me to be the cynical bitch that I am. It's really fun. 
  14. ...For encouraging me to have Noel Fielding as a role model. Are you sure that's a good idea?
  15. ...For not having me drowned by a mob that time I indirectly stabbed you in the eye with barbed wire. I still don't know how you missed the fence, and maintain that it wasn't my fault. 
  16. ...For decorating my room like a Moroccan brothel. 
  17. ...For raising me entirely on programs with Tony Robinson in. Although there's now a high chance that I shall commit suicide when he eventually dies.
  18. ...For indulging my weird obsessions with middle aged male 'celebrities'. At least Brian Cox and Boris Johnson are acceptable to the rest of the family. 
BONUS ...For Alan. I feel like he's being left out. And he did buy me a mug. Although he does smell funny.

So, y'know. Cheers and that. Your present will arrive within 4-6 working days. Please can you pick me up from drama on Monday.

PS Please keep the rest of that wine. I do not like it.

6 Mar 2013

All I Want Is A Female Brian Cox

I love Brian Cox. I think he’s great. Properly, honestly great. He sort of vaguely wondered into our lives with the force of a Sherman tank, and then refused to leave. He sat down on the living room sofa of England and said “You need some science. Here, here is some science, delivered from the top of a gorgeous mountain which you too will want to stand on, but only after I’ve finished with it. And trust me; you’ll be able to, because after I’ve finished with it, this mountain won’t be able to walk for three weeks. Stand on my mountain, and love science.” And all of England immediately made him a cup of tea and cried “Of course we shall stand on this lovely mountain, you insanely beautiful man! What fools we have been, to believe in homeopathy and the apocalypse before we gazed upon your lovely face.” And then Brian Cox nodded, and wondered off to drink his tea, and play a bit of dodgy piano. 
I’m really glad we have Brian Cox. He’s bought science to the normal people, made physics cool, and worn an All Saints polo shirt while doing it. Really, very cool. 
But I’m greedy, and now I want a female version. As a raging feminist, I think women need a female Brian Cox. The closest thing we have is Mary Beard, lovely, quirky and interesting, but still not science, and still not shaggable. I don’t mean that in a way that want Scarlett Johnson running around in a lab coat, pointing at the sky and screaming “Wow! Gravity!”, but more in the way that I want a woman who you can fancy, and is still really, profoundly clever. 
Watching any program at the moment that has a bit of a science-y segment, and that has a female presenter, it is guaranteed that she will end up in a lab, looking a little bit lost, asking an actual scientist what the hell is going on, before turning to look doe-eyed into the camera, and announcing it’s time to go back to the studio. 
Nope. Defo not what’s needed. No seems to have yet managed to bridge the divide between ‘female scientist’, and ‘female presenter’. I want someone who a ten year old girl will look at and go “Wow! I bet loads of boys fancy her, and she knows the theory of relativity inside out. I wish I could be like her when I grow up.” I want a bird who throws on a McQueen sports bra to go inside an anti-gravity chamber – which she helped build. If she climbs up a mountain to observe the Northern Hemisphere in winter, I want her to snow board back down, without first having to get a bloke to strap her into her ski boots, and give her a push. 
Is that too much to ask? I like to think it isn’t. If a bloke can do it, why can’t we? Maybe, out there somewhere, there are thousands of women with PhDs and big hair, jostling to host their own physics show, on prime time BBC. Maybe the media think that no one would watch it, it would be a novelty for all of five seconds, before burning out like an asteroid entering the atmosphere. And of course it wouldn’t. Loads of people would watch it, and it would be wonderful. A wonderful new role model to sit our daughters down and say “You can be feminine, and love science, and you should, because you’ll be able to actually work out which face creams will work just by reading the ingredients.”  A lovely, big haired chick in walking boots and kaftan climbing up hills, and knowing stuff, and wanting to tell everyone about it, because science is just so incredibly wonderful that the only rational thing to do is to scream it from the top of a mountain. 
And if she just so happened to play keyboard in a series of truly alarming bands in the 80s, well, that would just be a bonus. 

5 Mar 2013

Jumping On The... Horse And Cart

In January, some scientists found some horse in a burger. I had a very strong initial response to this, and it was one of AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
See, I'm a vegetarian, and while I'm not the sort to go around slapping people eating KFC, screaming "YOU BASTARD, THINK OF HOW MANY CHICKENS YOU'RE IMPRISONING  TORTURING AND MURDERING. THEY HAVE FEELINGS TOO YOU KNOW!!1!", I do feel a little bit smug. 
It's not so much that I think people who eat meat are 'finally getting what they deserve', as such, it's more that  sort of smugness that crops up when something bad happens to people who aren't you. I sat in a corner with my salad, and cackled as the media descended into an infernal outrage.
Which I think was the best bit about, what Wikipedia has dubbed, the 2013 Meat Adulteration Scandal. The press treated it as if the manufacturers were playing a nation wide game of Russian Roulette, by sneakily sprinkling horse into one burger out of every ten, and that the only conclusion was that everyone would somehow be horribly poisoned. They had to call in 'top scientists' (the majority of which were students with lab coats) to reassure all England that there was not actually enough horse meat in anything that could be in anyway harmful. None of the horses that had accidently been dropped into the mincer contained drugs, and everyone was going to be totally fine, honest, cross our hearts and hope to die.
The only problem was, that for once, no one actually needed reassuring. The entire population, as a whole, seemed to just shrug and go "Well, these things happen.", before carrying on moaning about the weather, and slagging off Micheal Gove. The only food that contained horse was, and is, dirt cheap. The people who were actually eating it quietly agreed that they probably should have seen it coming, and looked a bit sad. Everyone in the middle class tutted, in a "As if we'd shop at Tesco's" sort of way, and went back to staring at the free range washing powder in Waitrose. 
And I think everyone knows that the upper class has been nibbling on polo pony on cracker for decades. They're not called Hor(se) d'ourves for nothing.
The other thing that surprised me was the we were all very rational about the whole thing. Everyone seemed to recall the fact that, just because we are not culturally inclined to eat horse, doesn't mean that others aren't, and it isn't necessarily all that unethical. We don't make a habit out of it, but we made a habit of eating cow. 
So, y'know, thanks a lot British press. It's time to move on now.

4 Mar 2013

A Brief Intermission: At Home With The Family

It's just gone nine o'clock. Mum and I are in the kitchen, the Step Daddy is in the living room, trying not to have anything to do with us. We're both tired, and giggly. The oldest of the cats is in her basket. The smallest is picking over the remains of a fish pie. The other two are violently staring at the one that got to the pie first, and are silently plotting ways to send him to a speedy demise, without damaging the fish. 
Mum is sat next to the fire, with a text book about the history of art on her lap, which she's doing a very poor job of reading. I'm sat on the floor with the cats, in a small blanket pyramid while eating some jelly. The cats edge closer to the pie. 
"Bob. Bob." Mum waves at the cats. "Bob. Look, Bob." She waves her pencil up and down, in the manner of one trying to make it look like it's made out of rubber. She drops it, and it hits a cat on the head. He doesn't notice - there's pie to be had. I laugh, snort, inhale jelly, and the sneeze it onto a cat. Mum bursts out laughing, and tries to grimace. "Gross. Now shut up, I'm trying to be grown up." 
We both laugh for ten minutes straight. 

Neither of us notice the cats clubbing the smaller one over the head, and loading the pie into a transit van, before driving away.