Thursday, 24 January 2013

I am a Manic Street Preachers fan

I love the Manic Street Preachers.
I know it isn't particularly cool, but I can honestly say that no band makes me as utterly happy as this one does. Few people do!
 Whether it's when I am feeling grim and full of angsty hate and I listen to Faster (I am, stronger than MENSA..) with a smug bitch of a smile on my face or I'm listening to Masses Against the Classes and I get all left-y and powerful or Small Black Flowers and I think of Arno and the snow of Somero. 
There are so many things I would have never done without this band. Some of my favourite books I would have never read, I would have never visited Auschwitz, I wouldn't have deliberately and publicly smeared salt into a cut just to piss off someone that thought they knew best. I definitely would never have developed my whole attitude and outlook on life the way I have with out this band.  
I've met some amazing people through them too, my much missed friend and partner in naughtiness Jenny, bloo, Arno and even the Wrestler shares some interest. There is an automatic affinity between fans because it's so rare to find someone that goes "oh man, me too" When you declare you love a band that are still going after 20+ years, the loss of a member and the album Lifeblood. 
I have a cheap plectrum style necklace with Manic Street Preachers printed on there which I often wear to work and sometimes it gets commented  on by customers as I pop them through the till, my favourite ever being " Oh, you like the Manics? I thought you were all cheerful here!" I have to admit I had a good long laugh at that one for days. 
I've seen the boys 6 or more times now and they're currently coming to the end of a break from performing live in the UK, cannot wait for them to get out and about again so I can immediately spend all my money on tickets. These days I am more comfortable about going to a gig alone if I have no one to take along with me. Nevertheless, it would be lovely to have company.
It's always lovely to go to a gig with someone else that loves the band.

Fictional characters I've fallen in love with.

As you may have noticed if you've read any of my previous posts- I'm sort of doomed when it comes to finding someone that I absolutely adore who actually feels the same way about me. I don't think this is unusual in any respects, we're now on a third (or fourth, depending on how you count it) generation of people who grew up watching Disney films. As we all know, they're terrible for your ideas of love. 
Hell, my favourite Disney film love moment is two squirrels chasing each other around a tree (notice that she's chasing him....) 
But something I do quite regularly is fall in love with characters in the books I read, to the point that I think about them for days. Since there are real life actual people that I've been in love with that I can easily go weeks without thinking about, or hours in the case of him this can cause a few real problems.
  1. I've never met these characters
  2. I only know what the author has give me as information
  3. Mostly they look how I interpret the descriptions
  4. They're just not real.
The first time I recall this happening is when I read Primo Levi's If Not Now, When? on holiday in Gran Canaria when I was about 14. I had recently got very into the Manic Street Preachers and was very deeply busy being a massive stereotype. One good thing about being a manicsfan (offically all one word) is that you get a pretty impressive reading list! 
The main character in this book is called Mendel, he's a Russian Jewish partisan fighting in the woodlands against the Nazis. He'd been a watchmaker before the war and his wife was killed.
So fairly inappropriate for me to fall in love with this character. However, he's just so human. Methodical, contradictory and scared that I found myself a little jealous when he sneaks off into the woods with partisan women. 

Another strange one is Sam Vimes from the Discworld novels. For those of you that don't know, Sam Vimes is a film noir style, old fashioned cop. Captain of the Ankh Morpork City Guards, ex-alcoholic and in the more recent books happily married and a Duke. My first introduction to him was in Feet of Clay my first Discworld novel that didn't feature Rincewind where at length he solves some crimes by resisting booze and prodding buttock. He's dirty, unshaven, kind of old, but generally quite loveable. He cares for people and hates authority. So it isn't an unsurprising attraction. Nobby Nobbs would definitely be more difficult to understand.

Patrick Bateman. I'm not going into it. I know it's just wrong. American Psycho if you don't recognise the name. 

Captain Yossarian from Catch-22 . I finally read this one only last year, after much encouragement from my Dad who repeatedly told me he'd only ever "got about 30 pages in before I decided against it" I'm pleased I did because Yossarian is just a delight to read, he's such a flawed character and totally bent on his own survival you just cannot help love him. He might be a little bit crazy but that's all part of catch-22 itself. You can't fly a plane if you're crazy, but to fly the missions you've got to be crazy. He's so callous towards but consistently believes himself to be in love with the women he encounters. 

There's others- Aramis from The Three Musketeers  is another one. I'm sure I'll think of more and write a second post on it soon.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I don't like pink.

No, not the slightly butch American girl-power singer.
The colour. Sort of the colour.
This is the first of my 'proper' posts. The others have all be melodramatic moaning about my life. 
So, yes let's get it out of the way - as you can see from my profile picture my hair is pink. That doesn't mean that I automatically <3 pink.
 What it actually means is that when I am intellectually stagnant I do stupid stuff - usually to my hair. 
Occasionally when I'm at work, trying to persuade actual grown ups that a blue robot bath ballistic won't turn their precious princess into a lesbian, I say "some girls don't even like pink - I don't!" I just see their faces go blank as they look at my hair. I have no answer to this other than pink hair suits me better than blue or green or red and I've had purple hair before so I don't want a repeat of that. 
It of course, happens the other way around when little boys want the sweet pink bath ballistic with love hearts inside mums will bat them away going "no, that one's for little girls." No, it isn't. It is for anyone that wants it. The colour of your bathwater doesn't mean anything. I have gone so far as to say just that to people because I am fed up of listening to real adults restrict their kids from something because of it's colour. 

I had a similar flap recently when mooching aimlessly around Wilkinsons I came across a PINK tool set, for GURLS obviously. 
Right, retailers shall we get this straight? 
Women do not need a gendered hammer, it's a blunt instrument for whacking nails into walls/furniture or errant partners around the head (joke) I don't need a screwdriver to be pink when I am trying to affix a shelf to the wall. It's nonsense. Possibly nonsense put together by a man who thinks that buying his wife/girlfriend/whatever a pink tool set means that she'll help out with the DIY. 
I actually have a small set of tools, I live alone and I don't want to have to call my dad every time a bulb blows. They aren't pink and it makes me no less of a woman to use tools that aren't pink. But still whenever I've had to have someone come into my little home to help fix the boiler or the sink they ask "I don't suppose you have any tools? Do you?" And look genuinely shocked when I produce a selection from the kitchen drawer.

As I kid I played with Barbie, usually dangling her naked out of my bedroom window to scare one of my sisters in the kitchen below, I also played with LEGO. I built castles and huge towering thrones for the tiny LEGO people to sit on and oppress their fellow people (tiny dictator in the making.) I had a little play kitchen and chop up food (anyone else remember that, with velcro holding the pieces together?) And I played football with the next door neighbours. Kids should be allowed to play at what they want, not just what we deem suitable for their gender. Would Marie Curie have played with radioactive material if she'd stuck to female pastimes? Would Queen Victoria have been Empress of India if she'd allowed Albert to rule for her? There are hundreds, if not thousands of other examples I'm certain - can we forget all this ancient modern gender nonsense?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Virgo with Scorpio ascending

So the poetess has worked out the sign that is my ascendant with my star sign. Look at what it says I am like

Your psychological nature is bilious with aggressive impulses that spur the transformation of your being and of any situation you are involved in. You are constantly struggling to assert yourself. You cannot refrain from testing others with cutting remarks, not because you want to hurt them, but because you want to know them better through their reaction; life and the feeling of aliveness are experienced through rebellion and tension. Your aggressive attitude may equate with sly inquisition as often, you remain silent, introverted and secretive, mulling over turbulent thoughts in the depths of your mind, leaving others puzzled by your quite strange behaviour.
With this Ascendant, you come across as secretive, powerful, dominating, enduring, intuitive, assertive, charismatic, magnetic, wilful, daring, clear-sighted, passionate, creative, independent, vigorous, generous, loyal, hard-working, persevering, indomitable, possessive, shrewd, stubborn, ambitious, instinctive, tenacious, sexual, sexy, proud, intense and competitive. But you may also be aggressive, destructive, stubborn, anxious, tyrannical, perverse, sadistic, violent, self-centered, complex, critical, cruel, nasty, jealous, calculating, vulnerable and dissembling.
Hilarious and true. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Yesterday was my review at work, I cried of course because I had to think about 'the future'. Whenever someone asks me what I want to do with my life I immediately get this massive lump in my throat like I've tried to swallow too much food, my voice goes all wobbly and I just go "I er.. well.. I don't know" Not because I have nothing I want to do, I have ambition. Motivation is where I fall down. I want to do everything that I am good at. 
There is a passage in The Bell Jar where Esther describes her options as avocados on different branches on a tree. Now being The Bell Jar it then goes down a wholly depressing route of the avocados rotting and falling off. This isn't how I feel, because largely Plath was Not A Happy Lady and I generally am. But I think the imagery is good for how I feel about 'the future'. 
The conclusion was I should do what I really love and get into working with museums and archives and all that deliciousness that I adore. But not before my manager got me weeping. I will though, Luck brought me into contact today with the person who can help. 

Due to the unexpected influence of the poetess the little bit of me that got killed by writing for my degree has pricked her ears up again and I want to write for enjoyment once more. 
On New Years Day I wrote a facebook status which evolved into a full post about perfume and memory. Mainly due to feeling rather reflective about love and people I have been in love with (and continue to be in one case, it's no secret) I wore a perfume that sent me into a whole reverie, like the madeleine cake in Proust  I could recall everything about the feeling and memories connected with that fragrance. It was pretty intense and I felt utterly daft about it for days. But in the same way it made me brave, being made to remember all the sweet things meant I was brave about him for the first time in months. More of that some other time I'm sure. 

So I am talking to the poetess about religion, this is always an interesting point for me. Not because I have fully thought out views but because my ideas are unfixed and flowing - generally I was raised as a Methodist but I actually have no faith in an organised religion type of way. I think I believe that the world believes in me and I don't need more than that. I know that in some way or other I am destined for greatness, but I think everyone deep down feels like that and it's probably just part of the human condition? If being human is a condition. Perhaps it is, maybe you catch being human like people catch the common cold? Little kids have no concept of 'being human' they catch it at some point as they grow. 

This post isn't going to come to any sort of conclusion, they probably never will. I'm not a conclusions sort of person.