Wednesday, 13 December 2017

i (don't) like to move it move it

You can always tell something has upset me if I start looking for new places to move into and/or jobs to apply for online. Both together is an especially bad sign. Because both means that I feel like I'm being forced to leave behind what I have now, rather than just fancying a change.
Both usually means that one will be a means to the other - a job to take me to (and pay for) somewhere else to live, or a new place, to give me reason to find a new job.

I've realised this is a form of crisis management I resort to because I have resorted to it again over the last couple of days and it feels very familiar. The reason being that I have an issue with my flat and the landlord is not being in the least helpful about it, making me feel less and less at home and/or welcome.

The thing is, I thought I finally had it figured out. I have managed to live in this building for two years now. The last time I lived somewhere for two years was between 2007 and 2009, and that was the first time I ever lived away from my parents.

Between 2009 and 2015, I moved at least once a year - usually more frequently. After my initial student studio, there were two more places while I was at uni (the last few weeks I spent sleeping on my flatmate's floor, and finishing up my Bachelor's thesis in the shared kitchen, as my replacement had already moved in), there was the first place in Brighton that was definitely dodgy and had a rodent problem, there was the second place in Brighton which was actually nice, there were a few months back home with my parents when I felt like an absolute failure, there was the third place (back) in Brighton, the one above the garage where I only had a skylight window and was absolutely freezing the first week or so, where I tried to construct a second hand loft bed which ended up being too wobbly, but then I only stayed there for two months anyway, there was the fourth place, which was actually the second place again (the one that was nice), the one where I slept on a mattress on the floor for eight or nine months because buying a bed felt like too much of a big purchase, the one that eventually went wrong because I upset people without intending to, that went from being an actual home to not feeling like a home at all very quickly, there was the fifth place in Brighton, the one above the pub, that again was definitely very dodgy but was the best that could be done at short notice, where again I only stayed two months, there was the sixth place, the last place, in Brighton, the one that definitely put the nail in the coffin of that town, the one with the tiny all-white attic where the window would fall out of the frame, the one with the effing birds that lived in the kitchen without a cage, the one with the hole in the bathroom wall, the one where everything went wrong... there was the first place in Liverpool, which was fine for a while, until I noticed that the floor made me feel sea-sick, there was the second place in Liverpool which again was fine but was just too much space for just one person, at least if that one person was me, where the neighbours would have nightly arguments and to my surprise I was more amused than annoyed, the one where I had my own backyard and where for a few weeks in summer I actually felt very free, there was the third place in Liverpool, this place.

Looking at that list you might think I was some sort of madwoman, or a rental nomad, one of those people who doesn't pay rent, trashes the flat and then moves on to scam someone else, when the fact is, I can't remember ever even being late on a single rent payment and I think had a good reason to move every one of those times.

This time I thought I had it all figured out, if only because I've managed to stay here for longer than a year, which is clearly an achievement. This time I thought, I feel comfortable here, and at home, and when I move out it will be because I have carefully considered my options, and it will be because I am making a fresh start and not because I am forced out by things beyond my control, things that make me feel uncomfortable. And then I notice that my search history displays all the signs of "how can I do a runner / get out of here as quickly as humanly possible", the same feeling I had in the first place in Brighton only days after I moved in, so much so that I went to view another place before I managed to calm down, the same feeling I had in the second/fourth place in Brighton when I stopped feeling like I was at home, the same feeling I had in the fifth place in Brighton when they said you'll have to move out within two months at most, the same feeling I had in the last place in Brighton when the shit hit the fan and I lost entire days to feeling really uneasy about the place I lived in.

Giving up and running back home is not an option for everyone and if it had been for me I feel like I would have done it over and over again.

Yes I know I'm lucky to have a roof over my head, but oh well here we go, and oh well another one to add to the very long list, and oh well it all gets very boring after a while.

Monday, 27 November 2017

This post has no content and is about nothing in particular

I've had a very good day today.

Sitting behind my massive computer machine keyboard wearing gloves to combat the cold like something out of the fucking 19th century, except they didn't have computers then nor computer keyboards like. 

Did some work - not loads mind you, just enough, had some healthy snacks, and some unhealthy ones, and did some laundry.

Wearing my massive jumper because the room is cold. Got my massive headphones on because they make the music sound better and the music cheers me up when I've been cold. 

Fourth load of laundry in two days, cleaning out the wardrobe, you see.

Except the headphones and the loud music make a weird vibration happen in my head that stays behind even when the headphones are off and stop me from falling asleep because my head can't relax. 

I mean I needed to clear out the wardrobe anyway, but the mould inside the wardrobe gave me a good reason to do it.

Like tension in my head. 

So, in a way, the mould is a good motivator!

The same tension that is caused by the electric fan heater because of the weird noises it makes. 

It also meant I had to wash all the clothes that were in there.

Like when the room I moved into had a mini fridge in it but I decided immediately not to use it because the noise would drive me mad. 

But it's good to get stuff done, and it means that I can sort all the clean stuff into neat little piles of what to keep, what to give away, what to chuck out, etc.

Possibly because the weird vibration-tension thing in my ears. 

Cleaned out the dresser the other day, because of all the random shit in there.

The one I also get when I've been talking or thinking too much. 

Looks and feels much better now.

Possibly also caused by tension in the shoulders. 

One drawer for one purpose - more or less.

But hey at least it's been a good long while since I've wanted to punch someone for chewing with their mouth open. 

Make-up stuff and jewellery in the first.

At work that is. 

Medicines and sewing bits in the second.

Because I don't go to a job anymore. 

Art supplies and pens in the third.

I still occasionally experience it in my private life but then I think hey at least I've chosen to be here and if I act like a weirdo at least no one can say anything because I'm not at work. 

Hair-dryer, hair clippers, hair scissors, epilator and a couple of old, broken mobile phones in the fourth.

I certainly have not wanted to punch anyone or wanted to cry because someone was jiggling their leg or their arm or something on the edge of my field of vision, not in quite a while. 

And everything I use on a daily basis on top of the dresser, as before.

Which is nice. 

It feels like the other dresser is still too full, though.

I did use to feel like a weirdo leaning on my hand in such a way as to cover the movement that was literally the only thing I could focus on until I covered it up.

The one with all the clothes in it.

 It has been a while since I have wanted to claw my way through the various layers of my skin because I had forgotten to cut a tag out of a shirt. 

Especially as I seem to wear the same 10-15 items 90% of the time.

When that happens now I am usually at home so I can change my shirt or cut it out with scissors. 

So maybe I should just throw out everything else!

So all of my tops have one or two little holes at the back of the neck unless I have the patience to do it properly and pick the seams apart. 

That might be quite refreshing.

They are the tiniest of limitations. 

Then again, I do like having Options.

It has been a while since I've felt like a weirdo because I could feel the vibrations of a bus or a lorry pass by outside a building that I was inside and it really really bothered me. 

Because who doesn't?

It really really has been a while since I've wanted to slap someone in the face for eating crisps at work especially when it wasn't even during the lunch break because then how am I supposed to put on my massive headphones with the loud music to drown out the sound because I need to work and that is not allowed? 

Anyway.

How am I supposed to leave the room because I cannot stand the sounds that human bodies make. 

Tomorrow I leave the house, first on my bike, then later probably on foot, to take the train.

How am I supposed to go and calm down and try to dispel the rage I have for people I think are being rude because surely everyone must get this annoyed about the sounds and the smells and the temperature and the sights and the habits and most things in general. 

There's a plan which might allow for some more tidying, depending on my efficiency.

Surely they must all be like me always paying attention to whether they might be doing something which could annoy someone because it's caused a lot of anguish for them too? 

Sometimes I have trouble believing that I am able to feed myself.

Better take off the massive headphones now to stop the head vibrations else sleep will never come.

But I've had a very good day.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Throwaway Literature 2017

It's been a fair while, but it is high time that we return to the International Cheese-Fries' very own digest of literature of little or no value - Throwaway Literature. Here, then, are the best/worst submissions to the editors' inboxes so far.

***

"Scattered thoughts wade through a heavy cloud of coughs, half-finished sentences and well-meaning jabs at someone's confidence. The confusion is strong with this one, they seem to say, watching from opposite, on the bench. She gets up, as if to leave, because this is frankly too much. Instead, the mouth opens. "Why are you all looking at me?" comes the hoarse inquiry, a shaky utterance, barely audible.
A pause.
"Why are you all looking at me? Answer me" she repeats, this time looking one of them directly in the eye. The target, a wiry-looking man in his thirties, is hesitant. "Is this not where the play is? We were told to come in here for the show".
Of course.
She's known there was something she has been forgetting. Days have melted into each other of late, and now the day is upon her, the audience is here, and she hadn't even noticed.
And what an audience! Fifteen people, is it really worth doing the performance now? Does she even remember all the moves and all the lines? What is it called again? It's all swimming around somewhere in uncertainty, until she turns around and spots the costume on the chair next to the one she's been sitting on. The simple white blouse and the tracksuit bottoms. It's all coming back. She sighs, and starts to undress."


Swimming Days, the long and rambling story of a highly intelligent and busy performer with a knack for drifting in and out of reality (includes a colouring-in section towards the end of the book, before the finale).

***

"When you go out and realise, two minutes down the road from your house, that you have not only forgotten your keys in your flat and thus locked yourself out, but have also left the hair straighteners plugged in, switched on and resting on your most flammable pair of colourful polyester trousers, the back pocket of which contains your smartphone and your bank card, as well as instructions regarding the donation of your organs after your death - this of all times is when you should honour the mantra that we live by and  c a l m  d o w n." 
"You know the moment. The moment when someone has come up to you in a bar, insulted you, your partner, everything you stand for, and, by extension, your mum, and now this lad is standing opposite you, squaring up, sleeves rolled up and getting ready to punch you right in your pretty face whilst wearing a shit-eating grin on his own horrible arse-face, and then he opens his big hate-filled mouth and tells you to CALM DOWN? Well, conversely to what you might think, that is exactly what you should do in that situation."


The Little Book of Calm Down, recently reviewed by amazon user hotcakes15 as being "literally the worst self-help book I have ever read whilst on the bog".

***


"I wish I could fold up my life and stick it in a tiny little envelope and put that in a tiny little drawer in a miniature bureau made for a dollhouse out of wood and glue. Don't tell the dolls where my tiny folded up life is kept. They will only take it out and look at it and it will make me feel embarrassed about what I've been doing these past forty years. I wasn't even alive for some of them.
I think."

Wat is origami?, [according to the author] a collection of "confusions, contusions, and anthropomorphic auto-bamboozles, with a twist of the old nihilism". Nominated for "Worst in show" at the 2017 Small Literary Show Prize.

***

until next time
x

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

HOT BOOZE

based on "Knecht Ruprecht", a classic German Christmas poem (http://www.weihnachtsstadt.de/gedichte/klassisch/knecht-rupprecht.html)
- meaning I stole the basic structure and meter (but possibly not very well...).


From up near Toxteth is whence I came
I tell you, it’s freezing there just the same!
All the street lights are flickering
To the sound of residents bickering
And over by the Princes Park roundabout
I heard somebody scream and shout
And as I cycled past shady Princes Park
A little, old-fashioned voice cried: Hark!
Chucky dear, it said, you daft old bird
Get yer arse in gear and spread the word

The pubs are starting to sell hot booze
So there really is no time to lose
Everyone in Liverpool
Is now allowed to lose their cool
And tomorrow I’m going down as well
And boy will I drink, I’ll drink like hell!

I said: Hi mate, whoever you are,
That sounds like a plan, at least so far.
I just need to pop into my flat
And see where all my cash is at.
“Will you have enough for mulled wine – lots?”
I said, I’ll even have enough for shots.
Because this jolly Christmas time
Is an excuse to drink hot wine
“Will you have enough for doughnuts too?”
I said: Lad, calm down, of course I do.
You can’t exactly enjoy this place
Without stuffing something sweet into your face.

The stranger said: That’s boss yano.
Go ‘ed then bird, on the lash you go.

From up near Toxteth is whence I came
I tell you, it’s freezing there just the same!
Now off to warm up with boozy drink
Don’t give a toss what any of youse think.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Fries in the rain

Fries in the rain
So much pain
Chips got all soggy
Fries in the rain

Rain-soggy, not gravy
Chips gone all wavy
Really not pretty
Fries in the rain

Gone cold as well
Think you can tell
Go tell the chippy
Fries in the rain

Wrote a crap poem
Thought that might show 'em
Drove 'em insane
Fries in the rain.


Friday, 16 September 2016

Thoughts on things - On being a journalist, in the world

Hello kids. Sin here.

You may all know me as the cosmopolitan, jet-setting, affair-having, sexual adventurer-warrior that I play in everyday life, but behind the facade lies a human being that actually cares about her work. ...well, a little at least.

I saw a pair of shoes online today. The six inch heels were made of some sort of petrol coloured metal and the rest of the shoe was floaty-white and feathery (with actual feathers stuck to it). Needless to say I ordered three pairs, one for me, one as a backup and one just in case.

I might run out of money for this month.

Anyway, I think these shoes are a great metaphor for how I work, and how I think.

like this, except completely different

I'm also planning my next excursion (not: holiday!) in order to find the most exotic and interesting sound samples that the band I represent (the Mekno SEt) can use on their next album which is due in 2020.
I've been trying to collect sound samples around where I live in the good old U of K, but so far the bins I've been recording have not turned up much apart from a slight crackling from the odd freshly disposed-of crisp packet or two. I like to nod enthusiastically and act as if I totally get it whenever I meet up with the band, but to be completely honest I'm not sure what they meant when they said they were looking for a "behind-the-bins sort of sound". I'm going out again this afternoon to buy guacamole and might see if the clothes recycling bin behind Tesco's turns up anything more useful than what I have so far.



The last time I spoke to my cousin to try and clarify the matter, all she said was "Sin, I've got sublimation coming out of my ears, I can't really talk right now" and hung up the phone. And they tell me I'm the weird one. Although on second thought, it was 4 a.m. so she may have been anywhere between actually asleep/high/drunk/sleep-deprived/severely annoyed that I woke her up/still mad at me for that time I was convinced she was wearing a wig made from my hair.

The point is, I'm a very busy woman and I'm worried that I'm wasting my time on recording stuff they won't be able to use, not even as the background noise you give to Milk which then gets mixed so low that it might as well not be there at all (but he still insists it adds to the timbre of the song, whatever that means).

I have my own issues thank you very much.

But yeah, they're gonna do music and apparently that is all that even matters.

...x
(hesitant kiss)

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The International CheeseFries Review review of a fries review

Howdy folks,

Here at the International CheeseFries Review, we take two things seriously:
reviews (well, not really) and fries (though our one and only post about fries is several years old...)

Anyway! Imagine my outrage, then, as, having just tucked into a large portion of (sadly too pale) mashed potatoes, ICFR affiliate Jewelly alerted me to the fact that Independent Liverpool just reposted their list of "SOME OF THE BEST FRIES IN LIVERPOOL". My outrage here not stemming from the fact that a list of fries was published, nor from the involvement of Independent Liverpool (an organisation I am rather fond of), but rather from the content of said list. A review much in need of review.

Item 1: How not to choose a title picture


Really, I do not see the point in posting a piece all about fries when the banner at the top of the page barely shows any fries at all. The fries in this picture (all five visible ones) are hidden beneath shredded meat of some sort, a fried egg, and served as a side dish with what is clearly a burger.
"WHAT WAS ONCE A SIDE DISH HAS RECENTLY BECOME THE MAIN EVENT",
claims Independent Liverpool, having clearly not recognised that in their main picture for this article, the fries are actually still the side dish.

But inaccuracy is not the biggest crime here. Leading us swiftly onto

Item 2: How to hide almost all of the other fries beneath other foodstuffs and their associated tastes

With one notable exception (which we will address later), all of the listed fries are slathered in toppings which would surely detract from the pure taste of the innocent fry. As I'm sure we all agree, the only garnish a crisp fry should have to endure is the sweet embrace of melty cheese - call me a purist, but these principles are what the ICFR is founded on.
In most cases on this list, it's not just a topping to spice up proceedings or a condiment of sorts, it is, as in the case of the banner photo, some manner of shredded, pulled, sliced or otherwise maltreated meat. Which brings us to

Item 3: Keep your meat out of my face

Seriously. What is it with meat on fries? Getting onto my soapbox for just a minute here, I have to mention that while, as a non-meat eating person, eating out is usually not an issue, even in the most vegetarian-unwelcoming dining establishments, there was usually always one safe, reliable, and fairly cheap option to fall back on - you guessed it - fries.
So why the obsession with the meat spilling over and out of its designated place on the mains plate and onto the precious sides, the last refuge of the dining vegetarian? Again, involving meat surely makes this dish more of a main than a side, and what have we done to deserve that? Sure, we might have more mains options now, but that's no reason to take away one of our guilty-pleasure staples... Meaning that, keeping true to form, there is only one real contender in the entirety of Independent Liverpool's list, namely

Item 4: Lobster Pot


So this is it. The only real item on the list are chips from the Lobster Pot. I will mention that I have personally sampled these before, and while I have no especially negative memory (I was not actively reviewing fries at the time; the incident occurred during my public toilet reviewing phase), I also do not seem to recall either a revolutionary texture or a legendary dirtiness that would warrant the inclusion of the chips on a list of the best fries in Liverpool, where all other items appear moot. I am willing to make allowances for faulty memory and will promise to try these particular chips again in the near future, but all in all I have to say that the list I was faced with, having expected pure delights and new ideas for where to dine on a classic dish, was

a complete and utter shambles (= 3/5 stars).