Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Nails and New Year's Resolutions

I don't make New Years resolutions or even like the concept of New Year's resolutions, but I coincidentally painted my nails just before January 1st, repainted them a few days later, and subsequently haven't bitten my nails this year. They have now grown to disturbing, unprecendented levels (very slightly past my fingertip). To me, this is the equivalent of having talon-like claws. I have bitten my nails probably ever since I started growing teeth. I bite them whenever I am bored, anxious, or simply notice that they are getting long. For many years I have unfairly scorned the concept of manicures, nail files or any kind of nail maintenance at all*. Whenever my parents have criticised me for biting my nails I haven't really seen a problem. They're my nails, I'm not harming anyone, I don't find it to be a disgusting habit compared to nose picking or public urination (I couldn't think of many common disgusting habits.) 

So now my nails are getting disturbingly long, and soon I'll have to file them for the first time since, I'm guessing, 1999. As I refuse to consciously stop biting them, the only way to actually stop myself biting them is as a by-product of painting them. Today I discovered that I have thirty-six bottles of nail polish, given to me as presents over the years, presents that I have completely ignored, thinking 'oh great, nail polish' and then put in my designated nail polish box. It was this year's nail polish intake that prompted me to paint them. Of the thirty-six bottles, I threw away eleven for being too old or too hideous. Now I suppose I will have to start being one of those people (i.e, many, many women) who paints their nails. What next? Hair dye? (No, my hair is too dark) Massages? (I prefer not to be touched by strange humans) Dental floss? (No). 

This is all because my first sort-of New Year's resolution didn't work out. I was hoping to rediscover the music I liked when I was twelve, but then after listening to Avril Lavigne's debut album I was disappointed, mostly because the genre came up on iTunes as 'pop' and not 'radical alternative indie skater rock' as I had previously imagined when I listened to it in 2004 on my CD walkman. Never mind, I still enjoy the music I liked when I was a much more tasteful seven-year-old (ABBA and the soundtrack from Tarzan). 

So until I am too lazy to put on nail polish, end up in a nerve-wracking situation and bite them again, welcome to the new me. 

*I obviously do not bite my toenails. I'm not revolting or flexible enough. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Why I Hate New Year

It's time for another blog post to acknowledge my least favourite of all holidays - New Year.

So, birthdays are a bit of a let down. I think the only reason I enjoy birthdays is because I share them with my twin brother. If it wasn't for him, I would probably feel like my birthday is an artificial celebration. Yes, it's the anniversary of my birth, yes I'm a year older, but what difference does it make? Nonetheless, I get to celebrate my twin's birthday and I get presents, so the whole day isn't a complete waste of time.

The same can't be said for New Year. Other than the new millennium, which was actually pretty impressive, New Year is a pointless, false celebration of nothing in particular. Nothing happens, time just passes. The number of the year changes. This isn't special; the day changes every day. The time changes every second. It's not a big deal. It's at this time of year that I regret being too old to spend New Year asleep in bed and too young to spend New Year looking after a newborn baby or sitting in a retirement home. I yearn for the day when someone will look to me for New Year plans and I'll say 'Sorry Mildred*, I'm spending the day with my grandchildren.'

I hate how everyone feels an immense social pressure to be out and drinking. There is nothing shameful about a night in, alone, on literally any other night. It's only on New Year that it actually matters. This makes any night out inevitably shit, because the entire world is out trying to have a good time. What makes nights out enjoyable for the rest of the year is that everywhere isn't horribly crowded. New Year is the worst time to try and go out. I actively stay in, but even so there's always a huge amount of social juggling trying to make sure everyone is doing something.

It's not a question of not having plans, it's a question of everyone having to have plans, to the point where plans are impossible, After the happy, familiar routine of Christmas we have to suffer this chaotic mess. There either needs to be an enforced religious celebration in which every New Year is spent with family, or everyone needs to treat New Year like a regular evening. Why the hell are we even celebrating the onset of January? January is the second worst month, after February. Lets put an end to this repulsive madness.

I hope everyone has a reasonably pleasant Wednesday night. But if you don't, don't worry. It's just one night out of 365.

*I imagine that when I am old everyone I know will be called Mildred.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Sad Dog Films

I have never had a dog, or any pet in fact. I like dogs. I will happily see a dog and think 'oh, that is a cute dog.' If somebody has a dog I am mildly interested, but not as interested as I would be if they had a miniature, talking dragon. I have friends (and my mum) who will go crazy whenever they see a dog. They will immediately feel a strong emotional connection to the dog and want to pet it. When I watch adverts with my mum if there is a dog she will say 'Aww what a lovely little dog,' but when I once pointed out an adorable baby in an advert she said 'Nah, I don't really like babies.' Great, thanks Mum.

So at Christmas I saw Marley and Me, which is supposedly a really sad film. I saw it with a grown man (and former dog owner) who cried. I also watched it in the company of the most pitiful dog I had ever met, who was blind in both eyes, had strange growths behind his ears, and whined whenever he wasn't lying down. The main thing I got out of Marley and Me was that being a newspaper columnist looks like a fun job, and that Eric Dane played the exact same character he did in Grey's Anatomy. Given the hype about how sad the film was, I was expecting Marley to die saving one of the children from drowning. When (spoilers!) the dog died- and I don't mean to sound callous- it was kind of an anticlimax. Marley was old, he had a good life. Dogs aren't immortal.

Recently I watched My Dog Skip, which was more interesting because it was a coming-of-age story set in the American South with 15-year-old Frankie Muniz managing to play a convincing 9-year-old. I did cry a bit at the end of that one, mostly because (spoilers!) I thought Skip was going to die when the evil alcohol smugglers, or whoever they were, hit him with a spade, but then he actually died of old age when Frankie Muniz was off at university. Also, to be honest, Skip was a nicer dog than Marley.

I cried when Simba's dad died though. And Nemo's mum. Not Bambi's mum, though. I once painted a picture when I was three which is either 'Father Christmas Walking Through The Woods' or 'The Death Of Bambi's Mother'. I'm not sure if the big red splodge is Father Christmas or the blood of a fallen doe. I'm probably a terrible person.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Secret Badassery

One morning recently I was going to wear a white t-shirt to do work experience in an office, but I decided that I am, in fact, an anarchist, so I wore a black t-shirt instead. My subtle rebellion against the establisment was ignored. I was not stopped at reception by a bouncer saying 'You can't come in here young lady, that black t-shirt is far too hardcore for the office environment.' Once again, my secret badassery is so stealthy that nobody has caught on to it yet.

Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly tired or grumpy, I consider putting on eyeliner, as if that would be a noticable statement against authority and would frighten people on the train. 'Imagine,' I sometimes think, 'If I wore nail varnish, that'll show everyone that I am wild and out of control.' I seem to have made up completely non-existent uniform regulations so that I can mentally rebel against the adult world without actually rebelling. If I listen to angry teenage-girl music while wearing boots I somehow assume that this is it, this is the revolution. I am the Mockingjay. 

In truth, I respect authority. I used to cry when I got told off in school, apart from when I was sent out of maths for laughing because that was ridiculous*. I obediently follow instructions. Sometimes I automatically refuse cups of tea because I feel like I don't want to waste time and resources, then I have to awkwardly backtrack and say that I actually would like a cup of tea, please, thank you, if it's not too much trouble. All my memories that involve actual bad behaviour are followed by even stronger memories of tearfully apologising. The toughest, most rebellious thing I have ever done was put glitter gel in my mum's facecream, when I was eight. I tried to say it wasn't me, I tried to blame it on my dad, or on my brother, who can't walk, and who in the unlikely event of gaining the use of his legs probably wouldn't think 'At last, I can make her go to work with glitter on her face, that'll show her.' Then I admitted it was me, cried, and was sent to my room. 

Basically: beware me. I may never have had a detention, I may have had a nightmare last night about being late for a lesson because I left my bag in another classroom, but I am a RECKLESS, UNTAMEABLE BADASS.** 

*I was forbidden from smiling for the rest of the lesson, as if it's illegal to actually enjoy maths. 

**Perhaps not. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Return of the Anne

After a two year hiatus, I have decided to re-start my old teenage blog.

This is for several reasons. Firstly, I can't remember why I stopped blogging. Perhaps the sad news story that I read on the 15th March 2012 was so harrowing that I suffered some kind of brain lapse, and subsequently repressed the memory that I ever had a blog. Perhaps I was overcome with university work. Perhaps I took a deliberate leave of absence from blogging to focus on my personal life. Maybe I just decided to tweet everything instead. I will never know.

Secondly, my parents found this blog one night in 2013. From the sound of it, they sat up for most of the night reading it. My dad then printed off my Christmas-related blog posts and stuck them on the labels of my Christmas presents. While I found their enthusiastic response encouraging, I was pretty embarrassed. They didn't create me and raise me to adulthood so they could Google me. Nonetheless, my dad seemed disappointed that I no longer had a blog, so maybe I'm restarting this as a desperate cry for further approval. Hi Dad? Dad? Are you reading this? Dad?

Thirdly, I think of things to blog about all the time. I enjoyed blogging. I miss blogging. When I tried to blog about my time in Indiana it eventually failed, because I was tweeting everything I blogged, I was extremely busy watching every season of Grey's Anatomy, and I got acclimatised into America so that it stopped being as much of a novelty. People stopped mispronouncing my name. They asked me the same questions ("Do you watch Sherlock?" "So do you, like, drink a lot of tea?") over and over again. Now I have new things to blog about. A lot has happened since March 2012. I am a real grown-up, even though I'm currently reading the most recent Percy Jackson book and I still can't drive.

So, to the hopefully at least one person who is actually reading this (Dad, turn off the computer and go to bed), expect more blog entries in the future.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

News Story

Today I read a sad news story, which I thought I would share with anyone who reads this blog. I know this is cruel of me, because it was one of the most depressing articles I have ever read and this kind of needless tragedy makes the world seem like a harsh and devastating place.

So basically there was a teeny tiny baby bunny rabbit in Germany that was born with no ears. This is already a deeply emotional and heart-wrenching story. It gets worse. Here is a picture:

See? It's tiny and cute and also with a tragic deformity. As if that wasn't bad enough, it's now dead. I just heard the sound of your hearts breaking. I'm sorry, I wish it wasn't true. This rabbit was set for global fame, when a TV cameraman stepped backwards, onto the bunny, which died.

He (the bunny, not the cameraman) was only 17 days old. Imagine if you were 17 days old and born without ears and you couldn't even hear your imminent death coming before a cameraman trod on you. I might as well mention while I'm here that Father Christmas isn't real and one day everything will be dead. But hey, the weather was lovely in Kent today.

(To clarify, I do not google anything related to baby bunny rabbits, I was grabbed on the Guardian website by the headline 'German Celebrity Bunny Crushed To Death By Cameraman)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Two Born Every Episode

So at the recommendation of my friends who study Biomedicine and enjoy a good cry, I decided to check out the Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary 'One Born Every Minute,' which is part horror film, part soap opera and part sitcom. In fact, I can't quite believe it's not a sitcom, sort of like 'The Thick of It' but with a maternity ward.

I think part of the reason why this programme has won BAFTAs is because it covers the full spectrum of human emotion. While watching it I alternate between covering my eyes, wincing, saying "Stop being a dick Steve" to a husband who keeps blowing up the rubber gloves and throwing them around the room, crying and getting annoyed at the woman who decides at the last minute that she doesn't want a baby after all and needs to go home and water the plants.

Then there's the receptionist who at one point says on the phone: "Gotta go, darling, we've got an ambulance in here. No, not an actual ambulance, that wouldn't fit through the door." Just now (I'm on episode three, not sure how much more I can take) I thought that the midwife was genuinely about to rip off a baby's head. Most of it, however, seems to be focused on the weird things people say under stress. The greatest moment of the show (and possibly of all television) so far was a woman complaining that childbirth was hurting a bit and the midwife responding with: "It's meant to hurt, you're at the ring of fire." The Ring of Fire???? This isn't that bit in 'Finding Nemo' where Nemo has to swim through the volcano in the fish tank.

Even better, in the next episode, based on the preview, there's a couple having a debate about whether it would be amoral to name a child 'God.'

People are so weird.