Thursday, 10 May 2012

Are you there, Blogger?

It's me, Rachel. This is nothing but a shameless bit of self promotion. I have a new blog:

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Monday, 8 June 2009

rachel and emma's guide to life: part one, relationships.

I would like to introduce Rachel and Emma's guide to life.
This may or may not be a series, but we're starting with relationships. First, Rachel's version of what we think is the best way of getting a boy that you fancy.
1) Talk to him, make it obvious you're keen. Then act like you're not. This is like playing hard to get but much more interesting, because acting like you're keen is fun, and then you get to fuck 'em up a bit by pretending you don't care.
2) Get with people who you judge to be less attractive than you. This works two ways because it gives you confidence to either fuck them about or be honest with them, and also you know they will never, ever cheat.
3) If all else fails, get them hideously drunk and pounce, everybody knows it only counts as taking advantage if it's male on female...
4) You know when you're in love because you will risk danger and disease to be close to them. For example, Rachel said she'd still let Nick Grimshaw play footsie with her, despite the fact that he has a verruca. Love, is what we call this.

And here are traits we find attractive in boys. Take note, I think these apply to most girls.
1) Clothes. I know people who have gotten laid because they wore the right band t-shirt at the right time, no joke. Rachel admits to "fancying clothes more than people" which may be a bit extreme but you get what we mean. Clothes maketh the man. Shoes are important too, shoes may even be more important than clothes, because if they're wearing a good outfit and shit shoes you know it's a no-go.
2) Body. Do not be disheartened by this, though! Rachel tends to like 'em skinny, but sometimes deviates from this and goes for some muscle. Everyone seems to have different preferences. Just go for girls who are smaller than you, preferably even in heels, unless you have the confidence to walk around with her and not go all short-man-syndrome on us, that's pretty much the least attractive thing ever.
3) Wit. Obviously thick people are boring, and wit is pretty much the best way of showing that you're clever without seeming stuck up. Also whatever you're told about laughing girls in to bed is ALL TRUE. I've seen it happen.
4) Arrogance. Because then we think that you think that you're too good for us and we set out to prove that you're not and we could have you any time we like.
5) Hair/face. If you're really tall this won't matter that much. No, I'm kidding. If you're not attractive, get nice hair and you'll still be passable, it's fine. And also, that thing about girls hating when boys spend longer on their hair than their girlfriends do? Lies. It's really quite endearing. Hideously straightened over-styled hair is not attractive though, if I wanted a girlfriend, I'd go and get one.

Obviously there's all that having-things-in-common stuff, and communication and whatever else. But really, if you're attracted to each other enough (or drunk enough) you'll get past all that.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Baby Said

I've seen about three good things in the last few weeks. One of them was a man called Major Dickie Head on the news talking in a very serious tone of voice about the Iraq war. It's people like Major Dickie Head's parents who want us to be immature and ridiculous forever. That can be the only reason you'd ever name your child "Richard Head" and encourage him to take a career in the armed forces.

The other two things are less hilarious, but just as wonderful in their own ways.
I saw a play called A History of Falling Things which was a very unusual love story about two people who both have a fear of satellites falling from the sky (keraunothnetophobia for anyone who's in to that sort of thing), and meet in a chatroom. Predictably it is principally about two people, but it's not as self-centered as you might think: the emphasis is on life outside of their houses (they're both too scared to go outside) and the way things were for them before they develop this phobia, and what could happen if they get over it, and not on their current lives. I never felt sorry for the characters, they both seemed too strong and stubborn and difficult for that, so although it's sad, there's no pity, and it's not patronising. I won't tell you what happens at the end, because I want so badly for everyone to go and see it. I think it might have just finished its run at Theatre Clwyd but if you see it advertised anywhere, go.

The second was La Roux playing in Wrexham which was wonderful. It was a pretty last-minute decision to go, we just turned up, paid our £12 and that was it. Samsung even gave us free drinks because they were the sponsor and we were within the first 100 people in. But in terms of the bands it could have gone either way, because there was always the chance that La Roux herself wouldn't be able to sing. Two out of three of the support acts were brilliant, The Chapman Family opened, and they were great, albeit completely mental. You can download their song "Kids" off iTunes now, and it's definitely worth 79p. Magistrates were on after, who sound like what would happen in the unlikely event that Black Kids, Maroon 5 and Cold War Kids decide to "jam." Obviously they're brilliant, and if they don't get really, really famous I'll be surprised, alarmed and very very angry. Their new single "Heartbreak" is out soon and is great, but until then if you type "magistrates make this work mp3 download" in to Google you can get one of their songs for free.

The third support band were so dire I'm not going to talk about them. They were called Heartbreak, and they ruined an otherwise perfectly good line up. Plug your ears if anyone ever tries to make you listen to their music.

La Roux was good, she's got a great voice and some very shiny clothes but not much in the way of stage prescence, and when you're performing with 2 other people on stage with you (remember, no drum kit to fill space) it looks pretty empty, but maybe that's something that will come in time.

So, to sum up, go and see A History of Falling Things, and keep an eye out for Magistrates and The Chapman Family.

Monday, 20 April 2009

HOW TO: make a shredded t-shirt!


- A t-shirt, one belonging to your your dad/brother/boyfriend works best so it doesn't matter if you mess it up, because it's not yours. (I used the latter.) Make sure it's knitted, not woven though, but this isn't really important because most t-shirts are knitted.

- A stitch unpick/drawing pin (My stitch unpick broke, I had to improvise.)

- Lots and lots and lots of time.

- Fully functioning hands.

- A LOT of patience.

Once you've collected the above, you can start!

1.) Firstly, cut the hem off of your t-shirt, all the way around. This means that you can get at the individual threads.

2.) Next, stretch the rough edge so it becomes easier for you to see individual threads.

(ignore my scabby hands)

3.) Using the stitch unpick, pick out the first horizontal thread closest to the undone edge, to the width which you want your shred to be, and be careful not to snap it (although it doesn't really matter whether you do or not, you can just try again)

4) Repeat this all the way along, although after somewhere in the region of 10-20 threads, you should just be able to work them out with your fingers. It doesn't matter if you snap the odd thread or make the occasional hole, if anything it makes it look better.

5) Ten years and ten swollen fingers later, your finished product should look something like this:

..but probably better

Saturday, 11 April 2009

farewell my black balloon

I make a lot of lists, but much of the time they sort of form in my head but are never really finished, or when I write them down or try and make any sort of sense of them they fall to pieces. This happens more than I'd like to admit. My favourite kinds of lists are lists which go "item: reason". What I mean is, what's on the list, what position it is on the list (this matters, no matter how much you're told that it doesn't) and WHY it's on the list. "Why" is so much more interesting than anything else in a list. You can say what you like, and invite people to form their own opinions on it but I like opinions that are articulated and written down so I have a chance to argue with them.

At the moment, there are two lists being formed: one is Best lyrics that I have recently heard, and the second is Things to do when you're dead dead dead poor. I think the second list won't make it any further than here because all the things I can think of are completely shit, or quite obvious. Or not actually that cheap, which is okay but when I come to writing the "why" part of the list the whole thing collapses. So no list of things to do when you've got little or no money.

The best lyrics list will probably never be fully formed because I'm not very good at being utilitarian. So here are two songs you will definitely have heard and one song you might have done that have underrated lyrics in them:

1) Kings of Leon - Use Somebody: "Someone like you with all you know and how you speak." I am, in general, cynical and short of attention span, so I'm not too big on love songs, particularly over-played love songs. Curse Radio 1. This is essentially an over-played love song, but it's such a simple and honest lyric that every time I hear it, particularly in the moaning, melancholic tone of the song, I like it a little bit more. Just think about it for yourself. Is there any compliment greater than someone admitting that their ideal person is just like you? And what is a love song if not a giant compliment?

2) Catch 22 - Keasbey Nights: "When they come for me I'll be sitting at my desk with a gun in my hand wearing a bullet proof vest singing my my my how the time does fly when you know you're gonna die by the end of the night." This is cheating a bit because this is more about delivery and rhythm than actual lyrical content. It just sounds perfect - if you've never heard the song (and maybe if you hate ska music you'll never want to) just say it out loud to yourself. Bloody brilliant rhythm and rhyme. I'm trying really hard not to get my English lit A level out right now but it's difficult. Just accept that the timing in this is PERFECT.

3) M.I.A - Paper Planes: "All I wanna do is (bang bang bang bang) and (ker-ching) and take your money." No, no, I know these are pretty standard shitty rap lyrics but let me explain the genuis of this. It's clever because it's sarcastic and a bit silly and makes some people go "THIS IS SO VIOLENT, TURN IT OFF" and other people go "Did she basically just sample "Shake ya rump?"" And I think that's pretty clever. Also I could never hear that song too many times.

Also, I'm sorry about the lag in posts but right now A levels have basically taken over our lives, give us a few months.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Pros and cons of the smoking ban and why I will always hate it.

Pros and cons of the smoking ban and why I will always hate it.

The smoking ban made me very sad. I had only been sixteen for such a short while when all of a sudden, BAM! Smoking ban and raised smoking age. 2007 would never be the same again.

For those who don’t smoke, have never smoked or purchased cigarettes illegally, you will never quite understand the doubt that plagues you as you drag your underage backside up to the counter. The person behind the counter seems to become taller, scarier and generally more evil, as they are the ones in control of your smoking fate. You might get a little sweaty, you might blush but you can almost guarantee you’d try your hardest to make your voice seem slightly deeper and therefore in your own mind, nonchalant. Of course, if you haven’t made the trek to the notorious newsagent that is known for selling cigarettes to kids, you probably will get knocked back and that’s an ordeal in itself. You can either do one of several things; you could hang your head in shame and walk out and then wait for your friend to try after you, check your bag and pockets for your imaginary id, or say that you are genuinely nineteen and that you lost your id and that you look young for age and they’re complementing you. None of these generally worked, unless you were very lucky.

Being a sixteen year old smoker was tough, it was all about looking cool (and failing) and scabbing cigarettes off anyone who’d give them out. The smoking ban was tough on us. We used to hang out in pretty big groups on pretty small sofas and chairs in pretty crappy coffee shops and smoke as much as we could without vomiting. Without the smoking ban we had places we could go where we could sit and be mildly anti-social towards other customers. It also gave us a place to “revise” during our study leave. In other words, we would sit and talk about childish things while listening to the cheesy songs they played on a loop, including such classics as Shaggy and “are Diana”.

When the smoking ban came in, we lost this magic and have now been banished to the streets and with the British weather it can be a struggle to stay positive. So after a couple of years of this, I still feel quite bitter about it. I do occasionally smoke indoors and it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s so relaxing sitting indoors, in the warm and using an ashtray. Nothing can beat it.

All in all there are very few pros to the smoking ban in my books. Yeah, of course we’re not damaging other people’s health blah blah, but seriously non-smokers don’t understand just how cold it is outside! And yes maybe we are smoking less and saving money, but it doesn’t stop me resenting all the bastards sat in the warmth with their coats off.

In all honesty, I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. My only hope is that they don’t change the alcohol laws for at least three years until I’m out of university.

I need a cigarette.