By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Feminine as a feline

Reader, today I went to see a film called 'Bridesmaids'. It was so fantastic. Like The Hangover, only more girl centric. The actresses in it were all in their thirties and forties (which made it a far better film than it would have been with a cast of picture perfect 20 year olds), it was crude, unashamed, naughty and completely hysterical. I would quite happily watch it again today in fact, which I can't say about most films. Me and the mother cackled so hard that at one point we were afraid we'd get kicked out.

One thing that it really made me think about was femininity. The concept of femininity has changed so much over the course of just a few decades that it's unclear what constitutes being feminine any more. In the film, we experienced a group of fantastic characters, who were bawdy, filthy and (for want of a better word) blokey, but I for one could see a lot of parallels between them and my group of friends and I. Like them, we get drunk on really quite atrocious brands of alcohol, swear like troopers and make tasteless jokes about blow jobs. But I would still say that we have our feminine qualities. In fact, I am quite proud of my feminine side and like to indulge it whenever I can. There's definitely an interesting oxymoron there. Whilst I encourage my girly side in all it's forms, I also would be furious should someone tell me that just because I'm a girl I shouldn't be loud, make dirty jokes and knock back Sambuca like a seasoned pro. I don't really mind though. The truth of it is that I am not completely feminine. I think anyone who is entirely must be quite boring, I'm quite sure I've never met any woman or girl who doesn't have at least one unladylike trait.

Maybe then we can make a 'new femininity'. A list of the rules to be feminine but without losing our sense of fun? I suppose it's different for everyone, but here's the beginning to my personal list:

  1. Always wear nice underwear. Matching or at least similar colours. Never buy underwear simply because it's convenient and comfy (this of course is excepting nude undies and spanx), always think that someone may see them soon.
  2. Wear beautiful perfume. Never pay less than £30 for it, cheap perfume goes funny very quickly. (I earn practically nothing and live by this, good perfume lasts at least a year so there's no excuse)
  3. Read fantastic books. Femininity shouldn't mean bimboism. Some of the most feminine but striking and memorable women I have ever met have been huge fans of Tolstoy, Dickens and Joyce. 
  4. Have at least one perfect red lipstick. It should be matte, not shiny and without glitter. It may not be used every day but the option should always be there.
  5. Have at least one heroine to compare yourself to. Never tell anyone who that is, it's yours for personal reference. Do not copy this heroine, be uniquely yourself, but in times of trouble, embrace a little of their spirit, because a little spirit goes a long way.
  6. Know how to do DIY. Never rely on a man to hang a picture for you. Unless you have no arms.
  7. Swear, but do it with class, not every other word. By all means, say the C word if you want, but make it count when you do. 
  8. Never allow a man (or indeed another woman) to strike you in anger. Play fighting and abuse are different. A truly brave woman is a woman who knows when to walk away.
  9. Sex is not currency. It is a wonderful experience that should be enjoyed by both parties and should never be given if not meant. Have as much of it as you like but be discrete, safe and as soon as it stops being fun, stop doing it.
  10. Although #8 is so so true-very rarely in life there comes a time when one truly sensational slap is needed. If someone gropes you, mistreats you in a heinous fashion or reduces one of your nearest and dearest to tears, a single slap may be in order. BE WARNED. This is rarely the case and should not be handed out willy nilly. Violence is not attractive. I have only ever had this twice in my life. Both were very dramatic moments. After a slap, simply turn and walk away. Don't turn it into a punch up.
  11. Know when to say sorry. Especially if you've done number 10 when it wasn't deserved.
  12. Support your friends at all times, even when they're acting in a ridiculous manner (support whilst giving great advice in that instance)
  13. Spend as much time with people you love as possible.
  14. Have at least one great dinner party recipe up your sleeve that you can make in less than an hour. This has been known to win people jobs, entice proposals and in my case, earn money.
  15. Be a great listener. You'll gain huge amounts of knowledge and when the time comes, the people you listen to will listen to you.
  16. Know what your beliefs are and be able to defend other peoples against bigotry.
  17. Take advice from glamorous older women, they are wise and know all the best secrets.
  18. Dry shampoo is a short term solution. Not a way of life.
  19. Say thank you with grace. Say fuck you with conviction.
  20. Never wear trainers with a suit. Even if it's really comfy. Just don't.
I could go on forever. I'm sure not everyone will agree with the list, but then to be honest, everyone should have their own individual ones! Men included. I would love to hear some of your own lists, men can do the 'new masculinity' ones if they like! I know my father's would include having a record collection and a great supply of black socks...

That's all for now Reader, 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

One track mind.

I am tired at the moment Reader, which is not good news for my weight, despite my newfound love of running. Why? Because when I'm tired, no food is safe. Carbs fear me. Cheese hides in the fridge door, trembling at the sight of my gaping mouth. Chocolate factory workers go on strike, complaining that they just can't keep up with the demand. My bed is constantly grainy with toast crumbs. It's like I've taken on all the eating of those who now have gastric bands.

Here is a list of the foods I've dreamt about today at work:

  • Snickers bars. At least 5 of them.
  • McCoys Cheese and Onion crisps
  • Real bloomer loaf with real butter
  • Chips
  • Dahl with rice
  • An entire Dominos pizza
  • Beans on toast with cheese
  • Deep fried brie
  • mashed potatoes with gravy and Linda McCartney sausages
  • Veggie haggis (it exists)
  • Potato smiley faces
  • Caramel galaxy
  • Skips
  • Toast with jam
  • Honey nut cornflakes
  • Pancakes with syrup
  • Veggie burgers
  • A peanut butter and blueberry sundae
  • Potato waffles
  • Nutella
I am so so obsessed by food. And baths. I dream all day of soaking in a hot bath with a mouth full of toast and lucozade and maybe someone giving me a back massage. It's been a frantic week and it's not looking to get any slower! However, I got my payslip and I actually made commission this week which is awesome. Maybe I can pay to have someone massage me and feed me toast and lucozade as I bathe? Are there people who do that? Am struggling not to spend all my money in one go, I would love to treat myself to one of the small luxuries I've denied myself for such a long time, like a new outfit or even, GASP, a facial! 

What I'd really like would be for someone to treat me to an all inclusive holiday in the sun with general spa stuff. Erm.....mysterious millionaire benefactor? Uh....hello?

Anyway, it's late and I've got another day at work tomorrow (must make commission! I've caught the bug!) so I'm off to bed. Possibly with toast.
Love and bisous Reader!

Monday, 13 June 2011

So many bags under my eyes I look like Heathrow's arrivals lounge...

Dear Reader, I must apologise about the long break between blogs (it hasn't actually been that long, but I've got so used to writing practically every other day that I feel guilty when I leave it a while) but I am utterly exhausted. It's been a very jam packed, but very good week. Work's going well (I keep winning bottles of wine, much to the delight of my parents who are drinking them delightedly), I have some brilliantly interesting auditions coming up (Including one for a tv series, eep!), I'm doing a film on Sunday, the boyfriend is moving in next week (surveys tip of a room with a little concern) and all is well. Apart from the bone aching exhaustion that is. I spent the last week dashing round like a mad thing, cleaning the house, organising cutlery and music, trying to assemble an outfit that wasn't too daring or so frumpy it made me look like princess Anne, baking two cakes, going to work, had the christening (plus 100 or so family members in the garden all at once...argh!), followed swiftly to a trip to Surrey for my old housemate's engagement party, got wildly drunk (surprisingly easy on very little sleep and an empty tummy), missed train to London so stayed in Surrey on said housemate's floor, got up at 7.15 next morning to go back to London (whilst trying hardest not to vomit on christening/engagement party dress), went to help friend do her holiday shopping (in most dreaded place in the world Brent Cross, during rush hour for shoppers, hate hate hate) and then finally collapsed in a heap of knackeredness.

So now, I resemble a blob of lard with panda eyes and a tendency towards hysterics. (I cried last nigh because I couldn't reach my lamp and then today I nearly vommed from laughing so hard at a workmate. The work mate hadn't even done anything that funny.)

Which is why this is a short blog. I'll bring you more as soon as I'm more awake!
Love to all!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Mud, Wine and religion

Reader, I have just landed an acting job in which I shall be spending a Sunday afternoon knee deep in the depths of the Thames. What a job. However, the scruffy six year old within is ridiculously delighted. A chance to roll around in mud? What could be better? I really do have a big love for those roles where I get to mess myself up. Whether that be with fake cuts and bruises, mud in my hair or prosthetics all over the place. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love just a nice simplistic rom-com as much as anyone, but horror movies are just more fun! Apart from when you have to walk home covered in fake blood and mud if there's no cleaning apparatus around...yes, that's happened before.

In other news, am doing jolly well at the new job! Selling wine seems to suit me. I've managed to overshoot my target two days out of three and the only day I didn't was the day they put me on a really hard campaign, which no one seems to do too well on. It was one where you have to call people who quit wine plans ages ago and try and convince them to buy wine, and barely any of them are up for it. The most common replies I experienced were:

  • Sorry, we quit because we couldn't afford it and we still can't. Don't you know there's a recession on?
  • I've given up alcohol because of an operation/my liver failing/diabetes/my weight.
  • I'm pregnant.
  • I hated the service you gave me, you're an awful person for calling me and let me now list all the reasons I won't buy from you ever again.
And then once...
  • We cancelled his account because he died.
The worst response I had was when I was having a perfectly nice conversation with a lady who was quite interested in a wine plan, and could vaguely hear her husband in the background yelling something, but I assumed he was being jokey or asking her to ask me what wines they had. We rarely get a really angry response because we only ever call people who are members of the wine club and who have ordered through us before, so in general they sort of expect us to call. In this case, the man grabbed the phone off his wife just as we were closing the deal and screamed at me 'Sod off! I hate these bloody cold calls, don't you ever call us again!' then hung up on me! I was pretty shaken up after hours of people saying either 'ooh yes please' or 'oh no thanks, we've got plenty of wine' so instantly pressed the DO NOT CALL button. At least no other poor call centre worker will have to deal with his rudeness! I do feel sorry for his poor wife though, what a horrid man to have to live with.

Finally, a friend of mine is a keen debater and was telling me the other day about a debate he is trying to set up between Atheist Richard Dawkins and Religion philosopher William Lane Craig. You see, R. Dawkins is highly famous for his rejection of there being a God, which is fine but his arguments can be a little nonsensical. E.g. If 2+2 is 4, Michael Jackson must be dead. Useful stuff. And thus far he has refused to debate with William Lane Craig (who is widely seen to be someone who fights for there being a God but is actually very logical and reasonable instead of a mental preacher man who thinks we're all going to die in a fiery pit for enjoying champagne) listing a whole series of invalid and frankly silly reasons. It would be a really interesting discussion and rather than Dawkins picking on small fry, he'd be arguing with someone on the same level as himself, making interesting viewing/listening for both sides of the argument. Below I have listed the link to a video my friend has made as a sort of trailer as it were for a tour Craig is doing and a enticer to Dawkins for the very debate he seems to be shying away from. It makes interesting viewing so do have a look! (as well as the debates going on in the comments section!)

On that note my lovely people, I'm off to babysit, have a great evening!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Pokemon WAG

Ok Reader, so on Saturday, The Lad and I popped on a train and went off to Birmingham so he could compete in the National Pokemon Championships. We were both knackered, he'd been up till the wee hours all week training his virtual pets to do all sorts of mad things and I'd just had my first week at work, and had that day had an optician's appointment, an audition and an 8 hour day at work, all in completely different parts of London. The Lad was stressing out because he was pretty sure he wasn't going to make it in time to register to take part (which would have been a hell of a waste since he spent so much on our fares) and I was trying to stay awake with quite a great deal of difficulty. We did eventually arrive though, clammy from the train. What was pretty surprising was that the train station was actually attached to the warehouse/exhibition centre that the event was held in. Handy, but it did mean that even though I have now been to Birmingham, I've never actually seen any of it, which is vaguely ridiculous.

Reader, we walked for miles. It was like walking through a huge shopping centre, only it was completely dead and longer, with less to look at. It was at this point I became convinced that there wouldn't be anyone there. That it would be just me, The Lad and two 11 year olds. Boy was I wrong.

We turned a corner and saw the sign for the hall we wanted, entered it and were almost eviscerated by a wall of BO. There were at least 600 people in there, mainly all bunched up in a square of people. After a while we figured out that the big square was actually the line to sign up to compete, so we joined the back (yes, we. I kept him company despite the sweat smell) and waited. Now, I'm generally a big fan of the geeks. My boyfriend is one, my brother is pretty geeky and most of my friends have their moments. But my god. I have been to conventions before and experienced the hidden geeky nature of Britain and have enjoyed it but this....this was unspeakable. The people in the line were what can only be described as socially inept, it was a bit like a group of hyperactive 5 year old boys with ADD and hygiene issues got put into sightly overweight men's bodies. There was the guy behind us that kept quoting pokemon to himself as if it was real life in a too loud, snotty nosed way 'Oshawot, I choose YOU!' and then going 'This sucks! I'm never going to get in! I HAVE TO DO THIS!' We were pretty scared. Then there was the obese albino man dressed as a fisherman. And who can forget the double denim'd lad with enormous glasses who looked like he was going to wee himself? And those were the normal people...

Out of the hundreds of people, I spotted only one other WAG, who frankly looked as out of place as I felt. We shared a sympathetic look as we carted out boyfriends' bags around while they competed and I felt she was a kindred spirit who understood my pain. However, it did mean that there was never a line for the ladies loos which was nice. 

Anyway, The Lad hasn't stopped boasting since, because he got into the final 32 people out of 500 and we worked out he was something like 26th. He has told literally everyone we've encountered since the battle and I have to say, I am a little worried. He's become a little aggressive to strangers since then, especially on trains. I have to keep reminding him that it doesn't give him special social status and nor does it allow him rights over other citizens of England. However, I have to admit, I am pretty relieved. Going to the tournament showed me that yes, I may have a geeky boyfriend, but in comparison to most, he's a god! Comparatively, he was the coolest guy there. Which was nice. Although we were disappointed that One Direction didn't show up after their ad campaign for pokemon of late... 

Another thing that I keep meaning to blog about is a gig me and The Lad went to a while ago, which was AWESOME. It was for a band called The Cold War Kids who are like The White Stripes, but better and more talented with more interesting songs. The Lad introduced me to them last year, and I have to say, I'm very glad he did, cause they're fantastic. Their gig was no exception, they were brimming with energy and we managed to get all the way to the front! We were so close in fact that we kept catching the lead singer's eye (so cool) but conversely, there was a scary looking bassist who looked like he belonged on a Mormon farm 200 years ago and had terrifying deep set eyes. So whenever he looked our way we'd pretend to be distracted by something shiny. He was THAT SCARY. And he looked angry all the time. If he had smiled we probably wouldn't have been so freaked out, but noooooo....But yes, they were incredible live and I would completely go and see them again. I would also suggest all of you lot go download the album because it is hella good.

In other news, it's looking like my wheat allergy is getting worse which is tragic as my diet mainly consists of bread and cheese in various different forms. I will endeavour to ignore it still though, despite the agonising stomach pains it seems to be flinging my way! Have steer cleared of the wheat all yesterday and today, but I have a red velvet cupcake in my fridge, so I may well cave tomorrow!

On that note lovely Reader, 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A full bodied little number with enormous legs...

In case you were wondering Reader, the title is an amusing pun on the fact that I am currently quite shapely and the fact that I now sell wine for a living. Ha. Ha. I am so very hysterical.

Well, I'm uncomfortable, you're uncomfortable, it's all very British. Moving swiftly on to making sense.

So as you may have guessed, I got through to probation for the telesales job. Only I'm not supposed to say that. I'm supposed to say that I'm a Wine Merchant. Who just so happens to do their work over the phone. It's at this call centre that's pretty much run by actors, with only actors working for them and is pretty much the perfect job an actor could have between acting work. It's flexible, it pays well, the people are lovely and the office has a lovely view. *le sigh*. The only issue is I've been put on an account selling wine. There are two issues with this Reader. Number one is that I don't like wine. However, as I learned today, this isn't really a problem. One of their top sellers doesn't drink booze and has actually never even tried the stuff! Also, I have discovered that although I'm not very good at drinking wine, I am rather skilled at tasting it. And picking out key flavours (like 'under ripe apple' and 'dog food'. I kid you not, that is what I detected in one). And they taught me how to do that grotesque slurping thing that wine tasters do which is VAST amounts of fun and makes me feel terribly well educated. So that's the first problem dealt with. The second problem is that it's selling. Now Reader, when it comes to actually working in a shop, I am like the queen of sales. I'm really smiley, I develop awesome rapport with the customer, I get them to buy add on items ('oohhh, you know, we have the PERFECT pendant to go with that dress, now, it wouldn't work for most people, but you have the décolletage to carry it off')  etc. However, over the phone, I am a nervous wreck. Now obviously I only know this from my experience at the charity fundraising call centre, so maybe selling wine will be easier. Reader, I hope so. I really really like this company and it's a great one to keep the money coming in. I hope that even if I'm truly crap at selling, they'll put me on customer service instead! Fingers crossed for me eh? Day two of training tomorrow, I might even be put on the phones!

In other, actually, I'm knackered, I smell and I need to brush my teeth because all that wine has turned them vaguely purple. So you'll just have to wait till next time Reader!