Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sometimes things just don't work out...

As some of you know, I was all psyched for the summer since I would be in Mumbai for two months doing an internship with a magazine I had an article published in (to read the article click here). Unfortunately, that seems to have fallen through. I'm just glad I hadn't bought my plane tickets yet; luckily my mother and I were a little apprehensive, and alas it seems we were right to be. I keep thinking to myself:

What if?

What if I had tried harder to keep in contact with the editor? What if I had been less patient and more persistent for information? What if I had been less naive that it would all go as planned? A whole army of 'what if's float around in my head, and it sucks. I was going to have the best for once. For once it was going to be me boasting about what I did during the summer, and for once it was going to be my friends gawping and feeling sick with jealousy.



Maybe I'm still too childish, and maybe that's why my summer plans fell through. Maybe there is a God, and He was going to give me a chance, only I proved Him wrong and that I was not deserving of such a grown-up sort of responsibility. Maybe He's trying to protect me from myself.

I've often wondered why I sometimes act so immature. Sure, some things in my past meant that I had to try and grow up quickly, but why is it that after the problem left I appeared to become less mature? Am I trying to make up for lost time? I guess I'd rather not use that excuse: that excuse is reserved for broken families, not our family that had a spare part we needed rid of. I once thought maybe my immaturity is due to dyspraxia. After all I'm quite hyper and fidget a lot, I suck at throwing and catching, and I've always been rather slow at writing... But after doing some research I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

I can act mature; it's just I seem to choose not to. Or maybe it's just all in my head. I should ask a friend, but I'm scared that they might not be honest...or maybe they'll be too honest.

Which leads me to uni. To be honest, I'm not doing that well at uni. Sure, I've handed in and done well at assignments, I've attended most lectures, and I even hired a tutor to help me with MATLAB and Maths. But I've still let myself down. Exams started this week, and to be honest, they're not going very well. I doubt I'll pass. I always stress so badly during the exam period, even more so than when I was doing my GCSEs. Not to mention my motivation levels have been running on empty, hence my lousy papers that my poor professors have to mark. I can imagine them sighing as they think they hold the exam papers of a lazy partying nitwit who hasn't turned up to a lot of lectures and spent most of their time drinking or being hungover, and it sucks because it's not the case. To be honest, I found it difficult. Really difficult. I didn't want to go to uni, I was forced, and I found a lot of the lectures either boring or challenging. And - stupid me - I decided the best way to handle it was to bury my head in the sand for the majority of the year, watching the clock as I waited for each hour to pass and for each day to end.

You're probably thinking now, "Well if you fail then you've got what you wanted. Shouldn't you be happy?" and I wish that was the case. But I'm torn. I don't want to stay because I'm hating uni what with the stress of exams and education as a whole, but I do want to stay because if I leave I'll be back to being surrounded by fake friends again. Yes, I've made friends. A lot of great friends who I love with all my heart. Sure, I have one or two friends I have kept in contact with from high school, and I hope to stay in contact with them for a lot longer. But these guys...I love them so much. I can trust them to not let me down, and I can trust them to not bring me down either. I feel close to every single one of them. We're honest with each other and I can feel my guard lowering. But if I leave uni like I want, I'll be leaving them too. Do I really want to do that?

Without my results, I can only guess that I have two options: I can quit university, or I can resit modules - or the whole year - and continue. Maybe things will be better next year. Maybe, because I'll be in a house with friends who want to do well I'll find it easier to stay motivated and revise, something I've found difficult in a house full of students who get drunk and rowdy nearly every night.

Sometimes things just don't work out, and I guess that has to be okay. Right now, I honestly don't know what I'm going to do, but as soon as I work it out I'll let you guys know. In the meantime, keep smiling.


Claire

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

One day I will forgive my brother...

...for sending me THIS.

I wouldn't mind, but I'm scared of the dark, and to send me this when it's dark and I have to go to bed...


That's me for the rest of tonight awake. Seriously, my imagination is even worse than the goddamn site, especially at night.

It was awful because I was on Skype to my brother when he sent it me. And then when her head turned 180 degrees (AND THOSE SOUND EFFECTS!) I ended up accidentally closing the browser...so I had to go through it again to read the rest of the story. And I'm telling you now it took me over an hour to muster up the courage to scroll down to that part again, and another hour to just get to the end.

Having said all that, if I was to be given another horror comic like that one, I would still eventually read it. The curiosity gets too much to bear and I just have to terrify myself. So feel free to send me some links to others if you want and then I'll comment with some of my foul language (e.g. "Why the flip-flop-flop-flubbery would you do that to meeee?!").


Now please excuse me while I watch medieval methods of torture and execution. Keep smiling!


Claire

Monday, 13 May 2013

This made me chuckle:


A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. 

She descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don't know where I am." 

The man below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude." 

"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.

"I am", replied the man. "How did you know?" 

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip even more." 

The man below responded, "You must be in management." 

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?" 

"Well," said the man, "You don't know where you are or where you're going.You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems!"

Short Story: Change of Character

I would like to thank my friend Damien for this idea. His imagination causes his head to be clogged up with even more good ideas than my own. Thanks, Damien!



What if writing erases you as a person? Think about it. You create characters, places, perhaps even whole worlds...but maybe in creating all this you're destroying yourself. You are no longer you, the person. There is no such thing as the real world anymore; only the worlds that you write about exist. After all, nobody wants to know you, the person. They want to know the characters you write about.

I am a writer, a tool for my characters to use to reach into the real world, and that's all I really know about myself nowadays. The stories I have written...they have become my identity. I am no longer Jack Nixton, the person. I am no longer Jack Nixton, the writer. My characters exist more than I do: Caroline, the poor little rich girl who falls in love with her children's nanny; Darren Lithe, the aspiring astronaut with autism; Dr Kenneth Thrile, the cardiologist who does nothing but work and insult nurses...they've all replaced me. Jack Nixton is merely a name on a book cover. It's the names inside the book that people care about.

It was always something I was passionate about, writing. It used to give me the most amazing feeling - the feeling that I have written something that people can read, relate to, and perhaps even unite people together over. Used to. It used to make my heart flutter to think that eyes were roving over my ink, embracing every word, caressing ever syllable. But now...

Now writing feels like a chore, not a thrill. I no longer feel excitement when I have a new idea; to be perfectly honest I have to force the pieces together these days. I'm merely feeding the characters to the audience, making the stories appear more real, and me less so in the process.

"Jack, Jack, Jack. What is your life?"

Good question. What exactly is my life? What am I actually doing other than writing and moping at home? Why am I a thirty-six year old man with no wife, no friends, no family, no work colleagues? The only person I have in my life is my agent, but I pay him. I don't even have a love interest; I haven't been with a woman in years.


Four years later

The reason why this piece of writing just suddenly stopped was because I dropped my pen and left. I walked the streets aimlessly, trying to find the inspiration I used to experience in life. When my feet eventually stopped I looked up at the theatre and smiled. Of course.


When I was very young I had wanted to be an actor. I used to thrive onstage, for I was the centre of attention. There's just something about telling a story to a physical audience who watches your every move, who tells you there and then through expressions what their honest opinion is of your performance. This connection with the audience is something I don't feel as a writer. As an actor I am not fading from the people's eye.

And so I joined the theatre. Acting at first was scary then it became invigorating; it’s physically challenging and head-clearing. As I received advice and feedback from the directors and my fellow actors I could feel myself bloom like a rose. And that's when I met her.

She was writing an article for her magazine about the performance that was on at the theatre, and she came backstage after the show to interview us. There was a connection there and then. I don't know whether it was because we both had a passion for writing - or at least I once did - but we just clicked, as cliche as it sounds. She's been "writing articles" for every one of our performances ever since that first night.


I found the courage to ask her out on a date about a month or so after we first met, and (as is said) the rest is history. I can't help but smile as she chuckles quietly behind me, reading this over my shoulder. Life is good now. I am a person, and it can now be seen by everyone.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sometimes I Hate Girls...

I know not all girls are like this, but when your Facebook and Twitter becomes clogged up with pictures like this:



...and this:


...and a thousand more like this:


...and maybe one like this:



...and perhaps one like this with the caption "I'm so weird!" or "I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing here! :')":




And there'll be like a block of 40 of these pictures (from one freakin' person) on my timeline on Facebook or Twitter, and I can't help but look at the thumbnails with a look of utter distaste.




Why are you posting all these goddamn pictures of you posing the same fudgecaking pose of your duck pout?!

I hate girls sometimes...

But ohhhh! To make matters worse, they use Instagram. And what do they all seem to use Instagram for? Taking lots of pictures of food, changing the contrast, and then posting them on all their social networking accounts with stupid hashtags like #food #snack and #yum.

Way to go! You’re such a professional photographer, it is your duty to capture all the simple things in life and post them everywhere. And there is nothing simpler than food, right?



"Breakfast butty! #bacon #toast #beans #hashbrown #food #instafood #morning #delicious #breakfast"

"Glorious food like Quiche for lunch, along with Bee Hoon and another noodle, alongside with chicken drumsticks and some vegetables :) #lunch #quiche #food #Jumpstart #SantaClara #Perth #youth #2013 #blessed #EaglesNest"

Demolished this in literally seconds. emojiemojiemoji #pancakesontherocks

"emojiemoji #food #pringle #yummy #delicious #tagsforlikes #likes #likes#instahub #instafood #instagood #instagram #iger #igers #igdaily #new#new #new #follow #followme"

"Mmmh #les#délices#de#mon#moulin#stockel#chill#hot#chocolate#friend#yummy#biscuit#food#soft#iphonesia#instacoolemojiemojiemojiemoji"
"Dont have to pick them out of the tangfastic bag anymore! :D #tangfastics #sour #cherries #haribo #bear #beats #speaker


"2 ice creameries and AYCE shabu shabu with ice cream at the end. Happy Faturday!"
Oh, girl! You are such a wonderful artist!
I'm being sarcastic!

And they post pictures of their tea! Their teaaa! Bitch, I know how to cook a Sunday roast! Everybody does! If you're so obsessed with food, become a chef. Give us pictures of dishes we might not know of, like chicken-ala-king or chorizo tagliatelle (I make a mean chorizo tagliatelle!), or something. And give us the goddamn recipe instead of just a stupidass photo with dumbass hashtags!


And then said girls wonder why they're not taken seriously.

It's because of your dumbass posts!

I apologise for this post, but it needed saying. Again. By a girl of the same age group as the idiots who do this stuff. Now, I'm gonna go to bed, and when I wake up in the morning, I expect there to be no pretentious Instagram pictures on my timelines, okay?

STOP.

God I hate people sometimes...

Keep smiling!


Claire

P.S. Please can I just make it clear that I know not ALL girls are like this - exhibit A: moi - but alas there are a lot who do. And I guess I feel that sites such as Instagram just...I dunno...ruin the wonderful world of art and photography. It's not a way for one to express themselves anymore; it's more: "How many likes can I get on this picture?"
I've been guilty of posting lots of pictures on Facebook of pictures that can appear very similar to one another as well - haven't we all at fourteen? - but now it's time for my generation to grow up a little. We're nineteen going on twenty. Act like it.
Sorry again for the rant.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Where's My Catnip?!

Yes, I'll be joining Adam again on Where's My Catnip?! tomorrow, from 3pm til 4pm GMT.

You can listen on the LUSH Radio website at lushradio.net.

Also, don't forget to email in! I'll be super nice and mention you; you could be FAMOUS!!!!!!!

...on LUSH Radio. Hm.

Email me at IBitThePiranha@gmail.com (yes, I now have my own piranhatic email address for this darling!). You can also email me about anything you might want me to write about or whatever. Just keep it clean!

Keep smiling!


Claire

Reliving My Childhood: Mango Groove

A lot of the songs I loved as a child were...let's just say, not the usual thing my age group listened to. When we had to pick our favourite songs in primary school, while others were raving about Britney Spears and that song where you just randomly make up a new language for the duration of about four minutes (that song by Eiffel 65), I was bringing Fleetwood Mac CDs and voicing my love for the likes of Cliff Richard, and even Phil Collins before the gorilla on the Dairy Milk advert made it cool to listen to him again.

Mango Groove was another group I would listen to a lot. My mum grew up in South Africa and sometimes she'd put the CD in to welcome the South African vibe into the otherwise freezing cold English weather. My favourite song by them is perhaps Dance Sum More (though you must DEFINITELY listen to Pennywhistle as well!). So here goes, just for you:




You're welcome.


Claire

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

I lasted just one week of uni without caffeine. Now look at me.

video

It's happening again!!!!

(Alas my sound sucks...)


Claire

I want to tell you about my Grannyma...


The usual names people give to their grandparents are ‘Grandma’, ‘Grandpa’, ‘Nanna’, ‘Granddad’. Not I. Why do I call my grandma ‘Grannyma’? Because it’s unique and special, just like her.

Now I’m not trying to be really soppy or anything; I’m just telling the truth. My grandma has been my mum’s rock through all the rough times. She’s not just my grandma - she’s been a parent, a friend, a babysitter, a teacher, and all four grandparents to my brother and I. When my mum has struggled financially my grandma has always been there to help us out, even allowing us to all move into her flat when we had no place to go. Steve (my biological father) was always quite a hands-off father, even when he lived with us, so my grandma filled his role instead.

...Not to mention the fact she was only too happy to tell him to get his arse into gear!

When my mum was at work, it was Grannyma who would take me to and from nursery and ask me how my day was. It was Grannyma who would skip around the garden with me singing “Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son”. It’s Grannyma who spoils us, who shares my passion for the Tudors, who loves the three of us unconditionally, and who has supported us every step of the way - through the good times and the hard times.

My grandma hasn’t exactly had it easy. She lost her husband to cancer when my mum was 18, and lost her son to cancer just three years ago. She’s one of the strongest people I know, and to see her cry is just heartbreaking. If that wasn’t enough, her sister and brother-in-law were diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's not long after. She’s been through a lot to say the least, yet at 81 she’s still as strong as ever...not to mention bossy.

The thing about Grannyma is that she is loved by many. One of the girls who does her nails once told her that she would love to have her as a grandma. Grannyma has that young twinkle in her eye that invites you to have a laugh with her, and she isn’t afraid to be as cheeky as though she were my age. She’s fiercely protective of her family, and although in her old age she rambles on about nothing, we would be lost without her. Now that I am older, I feel privileged to be able to give back a little, to tuck her head under my chin as she once did with me, and make her feel safe like she does for me.

I love my grandma with all my heart, and that is why she deserves a special title: my Grannyma.



Sunday, 5 May 2013

By the way, I have a brother.

He's sweeeeet sixteen (pfft! I wish he was sweet!) and he's now got his own blog...like it wasn't bad enough that I have a blog, huh?



God help you all.

Anyway, if you want to check out Matthew's blog, click here!

Keep smiling!


Claire

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

RE: 12 o'clock report...WIN!

Got my results for my lab report that I just about handed in on time despite a series of unfortunate events trying to trip me up.

70% baby, YEAHHH!!!!!!!!!!


Claire's happy! I put a heck of a lot of effort into that son of a gun, and for once the effort paid off. I feel as badass as Batman kicking butt Star Wars style!




Keep smiling!


Claire

Hollywood Trips Into Diversity

Progress is finally being made in Hollywood! Viola Davis won an Oscar for Supporting Actress in Fences , and thus became the first black ...