Catch me over on Beatsandswag.co.uk for fashion, music and general shit.
Friday, 27 July 2012
We all deal with heartache in different ways. Some of us head directly to the nearest pub and get out of our head on cheap brandy and coke, others sit at home ripping up photos of their ex-beau and crying snottily down the phone to their best mates, as Now That's What I Call Breakup Songs Vol. 2 plays in the background. Both of these are commonly accepted methods of dealing with the pain of a recently kyboshed relationship.
However with the advent of the social media age the end of a union can be played out on a more open stage, mud can be flung over Facebook statuses and 140 character assassinations carried out on Twitter. Watching a once smug union trade blows from behind their keyboards is a guilty pleasure of the modern age.
Sometimes though, people just can't find the words to express their hurt and pain, they need an inspiration, a quote that embodies both the deep loss that they've suffered and also their strength to move on and show the other person just what they're missing. Enter stage left - The Notebook of Love.
The Notebook of Love is a Twitter account that has somehow managed to amass over 3 million followers, a number that instills deep despair in me for the intelligence of the human race. Its output consists of a steady stream of saccharine quotations which are then dutifully retweeted by an army of lovelorn females. Occasionally one will stray into my timeline and with a heavy heart I will unfollow the offender, as any respect I once had for them is instantly diminished. It's only the knowledge that they'll be able to find an appropriate passive aggressive Notebook tweet to express their hurt over my harsh actions that sooths my conscience.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Notbook, here are some samples of their most recent work:
I don't regret meeting you, I don't regret loving you, I only regret not fighting enough for you.
Code for: I wish I'd given the bitch you cheated on me with two black eyes. Call me!
A broken heart can heal, but that doesn't mean there's no scars.
With a display of English this poor... quite frankly you don't deserve to be loved.
I've always wondered what hurts more, the pain of wondering or the pain of knowing the truth.
It's actually secret answer C) The pain of having to read this tweet.
LOVE me or let me go. I think it should be a "yes or a no", not an "I don't know".
I'm afraid it's a no from me.
The happiest people with the biggest smiles are sometimes the best actors.
This also appears on Julia Roberts' CV.
Before I go to sleep, I think of YOU, when I fall asleep, i dream about YOU. I wake up the next day and it starts all over again.
Everyday is Groundhog Day when you're in monotonous amore.
Every moment we spend together is a little more than amazing.
Only a little though.
With all the smiles you brought me, I never thought that you could cause me so many tears.
You're like an onion, full of layers and you make me cry as I chop you into TINY LITTLE PIECES.
For more LOLs at the imminent downfall of society, head over to https://twitter.com/Notebook and fill your boots.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
I don't have many CDs. In total I have about 20, scattered around my room and my car. I'm very much a devotee to digital music, last summer I looked at the piled up dusty crates of scratched and battered CDs that I owned and realised that I hadn't listened to the majority of them since I'd moved into my flat 4 years prior. So I took the musical bull by its jewel case horns and I chucked the lot of them. I didn't even consult with Twitter over it, I just did it, like a person who is capable of making decisions without the input of a hivemind.
Since then, there hasn't been a moment when I've regretted that bold move, I'd like to say my room looked tidier for doing it but I am a messy slut and where there was once CDs, there are now shoes, velcro curlers and hoop earrings taking root like weeds in an empty space. My living quarters could never be described as minimal, more "fucking hell Steph, ever heard of eBay?!".
I digress. Basically my long winded point is that you don't need CDs anymore, the days of having to leave the house in order to obtain music are long gone and good riddance to them. The other night I spent 3 hours wearing my ex boyfriends boxer shorts and a NASA tshirt desperately scouring the internet for an obscure Coldplay remix that I'd heard 10 year previously when I was off my face in a warehouse rave. Had I gone to HMV they a) wouldn't have been open, b) wouldn't have let me in wearing that and c) definitely wouldn't have had it. Digital is the future man and I have like TOTALLY embraced it.
Just to clear something up, I'm not a Coldplay fan but I am a fan of the pop remix. I love seeing how one person's vision can be reworked into something totally different and yes I'm aware of how wanky that past sentence makes me sound but I don't care. Tweaking the pitch, adding a pumped up bassline, looping a vocal; I'm a total sucker for it. So here are my top 5 pop remixes that is actually a top SEVEN because I couldn't cut it down sufficently. Told you I was a sucker.
New Order - Crystal (Lee Coombs remix)
Given that New Order bankrolled the Hacienda (which subsequently bankrupted them) it might be a strange choice to pick as a "mainstream" remix but the original of this track was a very different creature. Taken from Get Ready, guitar led with a female backing vocal, it was great before Lee Coombs got hold of it but afterwards it's a masterpiece. When I first heard this in 2002, the genre of Breaks was somewhat of a dirty word in my social circle but this is an example of good breaks done well and with my attention span of a gnat, if it's held my focus for 10 years it must be worth investigating.
Kylie - Slow (Chemical Brothers mix)
Oh Kylie. Everyone loves Kylie. She's 5 foot nothing of perfect pop with an arse that garners its own headlines and a career that is currently in it's 7th decade. KYLIE, the nation's princess apart from that she's Australian and not in the royal family, that Kylie. The one who was in Neighbours before it moved to Channel 5? Yeah, Kylie. That one.
And the Chemical Brothers, they've never been in a soap, they have unremarkable arses (at least as far as the media is concerned and I've never seen them in a hotpant) and they're considerably taller than 5 foot. What would happen if you put them together? THIS. This is what would happen. Seven and a half minutes of squelchy electro, progressively speeding up throughout the track. Where do the Chemical Brothers get their noises from? Because I love them.
Britney Spears - Breathe on Me (Thin White Duke mix)
Come on now, obviously there was going to be a Miss Spears track in here. With Jacques Lu Cont in his Thin White Duke guise, this takes a decent album filler track and turns it into a heavy breathing drugged up sexy electro romp with multiple climaxes. It's hot stuff. I've had to delete most of what I'd previously written here but it involved the words "hair" "pulling" "ride" "poppers" "neck" and "scream". You'll have to fill in the gaps yourself.
Jessie J - Price Tag (Benny Page remix)
A quality that I really appreciate about the remix is that it has the capacity to turn a really really bad song into something pretty damn good. Case in point, I'm not a fan of Jessie J and I hated Price Tag when I first heard it. This version (which I was recently introduced to by a lovely Twitter person) is so up my street that it's moved in next door, had new windows put in and got all the neighbours gossiping about their late night parties. By keeping the most minimal vocal and introducing a sick Drum and Bass bassline, it's an excellent example of how you can actually polish a turd.
Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX mix)
And then there's turning an already brilliant track into next level remarkable. Jamie XX has more than proved his production chops over the past 12 months and his work on this is flawless. Probably helps that you've got a voice like Adele on board which doesn't need accompaniment but DUDE. Those handclaps! That bassline! That distorted manly vocal? Perfect. Bravo. What else can I say?
Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You (Basement Jaxx mix)
I first heard this at the Tribal Gathering weekender in 2002, held at Pontin's in Southport which is indubitably the most depressing place in the world. I was okay because I didn't sleep for 3 days and was off my face on vodka slushies which stained my mouth blue but I've heard rumours that people, no, FAMILIES actually pay REAL MONEY to go and holiday there. It astounds me, why spend your hard earned cash on a jaunt that could be easily recreated by forcing your family to sit in your shed all weekend and sleep on bricks.
But anywhoo, this is the track that took Mr JT from pubeheaded ex-boybander to actual credible musical artist. It sticks fairly closely to the original, just basically giving it a good kick up the arse with some stuttered vocals and a bit more pizzazz. Yeah, pizzazz. An' wha'?
There's another version of this which is equally as good but slightly moodier by Deep Dish which you can find here. Either way, what I think we all agree on is that Justin Timberlake needs to stop faffing about with "films" or "clothing lines" or "asking Jessica Biel to marry him" and get back in the studio post haste.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
I have a dilemma, a predicament that is weighing heavy on my mind. Caste your minds back to a couple of months ago when I forked out a ridiculous amount of money on a pair of Ash wedge trainers as my inner Spice Girl took control over my sensibilities. I’ll level with you here, I didn’t think I’d get much wear out of them, I thought they’d be an expensive attempt at recapturing my youth. I still bought them like. However it is with great delight that I can report that not only have they ingratiated themselves excellently into my current Sport Luxe/Little Mix fashion agenda, they have more than proved themselves on a Cost per Wear basis - frankly I’m not sure how I coped without them. We’ve been shopping, clubbing, bar hopping, to an FA Cup Semi Final, for walks down the prom, they lend themselves to a variety of situations. Well done all involved.
|The originals. Damn I love these kicks.|
Unfortunately this has led me to my aforementioned tough decision – I need to buy another pair. I’ve worn the hi tops so much that they’re starting to look a bit battered now and a black colourway isn’t the most seasonally relevant when you turn the calendar pages over into May/June/July.
What, I hear you sneer, what kind of problem is that? Just go and buy another bloody pair of stupid trainers you daft cow. Well, it’s a pretty big problem ACTUALLY. For I am in love with two pairs of sneakers, both very different from each other but with their own benefits. And I only have enough money for one pair. Do you see my strife???
In the blue corner we have the latest colourway from Ash. An updated version of the ones I already own, I know I’d get on with these. They have a 3.5” wedge and are extremely comfortable – no blisters or sore feet here. They drop in early May….
But in the red corner we have limited edition Nike x Liberty Sky High Dunks. DUDE. These are pretty special, my favourite sports brand hooking up with an iconic English heritage label. They look ace but is the red going to make them more difficult to wear? And the height of the wedges is as yet unconfirmed.
Both are serious contenders – which one should I go for?
Sunday, 15 April 2012
So it's finally happened, I have become that blogging cliche. I am a single girl who is going to write about ONLINE DATING. There is a superfluousness of blogs about this subject and it saddens me to have to join them. But hey ho, such is life, we all have to conform to the norm at some point.
For starters and for complete clarification, I have not actually gone on an internet date yet. I don't know if I ever will. But I have joined a site... actually I've joined two sites, with the underlying thought that if nothing else I'll get some decent stories from them. I have a truth that I attempt to live by - "no regrets, only better anecdotes" and when it comes to my love life it rings especially true.
The thing is, girls talk. They talk a lot. And they especially talk about what's going on with any men they might have in their life, or men they wish they had in their life. Or men that have previously been in their life and they're glad they're out of it THE SELFISH FUCKING BASTARDS. Sorry, I lost my train of thought there.
We don't even need a drink to get tongues wagging, only recently I had a good 40 minute debrief with my gym buddy about our antics as we furiously pedalled away on the stationary bikes. It's just what we do. So if you've ever had any kind of, ahem, dealings with me, be assured that all my mates will be well versed in what occurred. Especially if it was particularly bad/amusing/cringeworthy. Soz but it's the truth. GIRLS TALK.
Anyway, as I decided to take the plunge and actually involve myself in online dating, that was the thought in the back of my mind. If nothing else, I'll get some top tales out of it and I can hold court as I regale my friends with the mishaps and shenanigans. Oh how we'll laugh at my inevitable misfortune!
But surely Steph, I can hear you thinking, joining up for an online dating site purely for the LOLZ is a bit extreme? Why not continue on in your current trend of necking boys in bars and never calling them, this is fodder enough for tales of misfortune? Yeah well, I suppose there was another reason. I kind of, sort of, might want to find a boyfriend. Maybe. Shut up.
Look, I do alright for myself. I somehow manage to attract lads, usually when they (and I) are in inebriated states which I think helps greatly. But they're never anything more than a drink and a cheeky snog in a bar and to be honest at 30 years old, it's getting a little bit tiresome. I'd like someone a bit more longterm, not wedding bells and children (dude, I would run A MILE from that situation) but more... going out, having a laugh. Someone who you can go the pub and watch the footy with and also have sex with afterwards - I am a dream date, non?
The thing is, and don't you ever tell anyone I told you this, but... I'm shy. I can practically hear the guffaws of laughter through the screen from those who know me in real life but I am. When it comes to fancying men I will never ever make the first move unless I am tanked up on tequila and that is not a recipe for success. Trust me, I've cooked that mistake far too many times.
After many conversations about internet dating with friends all urging me to give it a whirl and flooding my brain with success stories about their friends who had met someone "really nice" I thought fuck it. I'll do it. At least with online dating you know that they're single (most of the time) and all there for the same reason. Plus you get to have a good geg at their photos and ascertain if they are able to deal with the english language reasonably well. Imagine meeting someone in a bar, going on a couple of dates and then finding out they don't know the difference between they're/there/their. Oh the horrors.
So I signed up. I already had an account with a well known dating site which I had used for research purposes (looking at photos and laughing at them when me and my mates were drunk - what a COW I am) so I took the leap to the dark side and filled it in, whacked up a few photos and waited. Whilst I waited I decided to join another site - might as well double my chances eh? - and waited a bit more.
The next day I woke up to an email from one of the sites telling me a member had messaged me! How exciting. Upon opening it I found it was quite a lengthy missive, approximately 2000 words and closer examination told me that writer had quite a lot of knowledge about me. In fact he'd been following me round the internet for about 5 years on various message boards and latterly on Twitter and it was down to a tweet I'd posted about joining the dating site that had spurred him to join and track me down. I wasn't sure whether to be flattered or terrified but I thought it was only polite to reply. So I did, asking him if he'd mind taking off the gimp mask he was wearing in his photo. He got all sniffy at this great invasion of privacy and told me to "forget it".
I'm not sure I could have made up a more surreal first encounter.
Since then I've had a fair amount of interest, I can on occasions take a decent photo so they're lured into a false sense of attraction by that. However - and I'm not sure how to put this nicely - they're not the hottest specimens themselves. Usually eliciting a reaction of "are you fucking kidding me" I hardly respond to any. Instead of opening up a whole new world to me, it's made me more judgemental. Clicking through pages of photos and dismissing men straight away, the kind of lads who might charm me in a bar with their humour don't even get a look in.
Reading through their profiles makes me colder still. Poor grammar is an instant cut off, any mention of supporting Liverpool or Man United garners the same reaction. There is an alarming uniformity to the profiles; the most common height is 5'7'' (I'm 5'8''), they all want to travel, they've all got photos of them doing adventurous activities like jumping out of planes, climbing mountains and deep sea diving. There's a humdrum selection of musical tastes offered; one chap stating he enjoyed an eclectic offering of music liking everything from "Kasabian to the Arctic Monkeys". It's as if there is a pro forma profile that they've copied and pasted from in the hope of attracting a bird. Unfortunately, it's not this one.
As for actually meeting anyone, well there hasn't been anyone that has enthused me enough to want to leave the house for them. It's still very much a browsing exercise thus far, maybe I will find someone to click with but then that just throws up a myriad of issues; what if they don't look like their photo? What if they're repulsed by real life me? What if they're a bit mental and not in a good way? What if they kill me and it's splashed all over the news that I used a DATING SITE? I'm not sure I could deal with that shame, even in my deceased state.
So let's wait and see. I'm still holding out to meet that tall Evertonian of my dreams but in the meantime this will pass the time. And I promise to pass on all hilarious stories to you with prompt efficiency.
Monday, 12 March 2012
You know, I look at other people's blogs - specifically the fashion ones - and I think "how do they do it?". How do they take consistently good photos of themselves, make Primark look like Prada and have 1000's of adoring followers who hang on their every word. Whereas the only photos that ever look half decent of me are those taken at 1.30am in Mojos after 5 tequila slammers and even then it's only the alcohol that make them bearable to view. I have an enduring respect for those bloggers who love fashion enough to make themselves presentable enough on a daily basis to be photographed. Bravo to you guys.
As for me, well I'm a bit of a scruff and pretty lazy so I'm just going to nick the images straight off the sites. Soz an' tha' but seriously, if you saw me in these clothes then no-one would buy them. And there's a recession on... well I think there is anyway, or maybe we're on the brink of one. Or are we just climbing out of it? WHATEVER. I am helping the economy here in some roundabout tenuous way.
(This post is made more poignant by the small matter of me giving up shopping for Lent in a vain attempt to hoodwink God into letting me into Heaven by making a comparatively tiny sacrifice to the rest of my yearly expenditure. For those that don't believe in God it's a vain attempt to save some bleeding money).
To start off on a relative high, we'll begin with something I already own. Something that I've not stopped banging on about for the previous month and since acquiring them have worn them every single day.
That's right, it's my Ash cool strappy wedge sneakers! With 3.5" hidden wedges and an air of Isobel Marant sport luxe about them, they're basically as on trend as one can currently get. They're not much cop on a treadmill admittedly but they're proper dead comfy in every other respect and who wears trainers this cool to a gym anyway?
Add into that equation the fact it makes you feel like a Spice Girl and you can't go much wrong. Well I can't go much wrong, you wont be able to get a pair as they've sold out everywhere. Still, I'll let you admire mine.
We'll stick with footwear and start coveting items I don't own yet. These pair are a collaboration - or MASH UP as I prefer to think of them - between high street shoesters Aldo and high end hipsters Preen. They're pretty odd looking but that's the whole beauty of them innit.
Do not adjust your monitors, the shoes are actually pixelated. And yes that is a clunky white heel with a chunk of it missing and the whole slingback style was ushered out in the 90's and hasn't quite earned a reprieve just yet but... there's just something about them. I have no idea what I'd wear them with but I'm certain there's a gap in my wardrobe for them. Can someone lend me £130 please?
We went to Topshop yesterday - the "we" being me and my mum. Going shopping with my mum is incredibly dangerous as she just encourages me to buy anything with the rationale "you've worked hard, you should treat yourself". Whilst the actual intensity of my work could be argued, I don't usually demur to her suggestion and this is why I have shit loads of clothes and no money. It's all my mum's fault. (Sorry mum).
But what with the whole giving up shopping till Easter malarkey, I managed to stay strong and didn't succumb to any purchases. I did make a big old list of things I was going to buy on Good Friday though so it wasn't an entirely wasted journey.
In real life this is a veritable rainbow of fluro colours and the happiest loose knit jumper I'd seen in a long time. In the above photo however it looks like a moth eaten dust cloth. PHOTOS ARE LIARS.
In real life this is like a wearable disco ball, the light reflecting a thousand shimmery colours off it when it hits. It's like a party in a dress. In the above photo however it looks like a cheap piece of tat. TOPSHOP PHOTOGRAPHY IS LACKING.
In real life this animal print midi is the kind of wardrobe staple that you can pair flat boots and sling a denim jacket over for daytime or dress up with heels and some bling for the evening. Here, it's managed to make itself look so unflattering that it's even making this invisible model look fat. I THINK YOU GET MY POINT.
I tell you who is good at making their products look good in photographs though; H&M. Whenever I receive a H&M catalogue through the post I eagerly look through it and make notes on what I want to buy and how exactly I'm going to afford it. Then I get to the store and quizzically examine the limp, poorly sewn piece of polyester in my hand and wonder what photoshop magic they performed to yield such a transformation.
Here are a couple of items I'm going to be disappointed by:
I love the idea of floral trousers - especially in the chic 7/8's length that everyone seems to be enforcing this summer. But ankle grazers on a hot model just look like ill fitting kecks on regular civilians. Sad times.
This azure blue blazer gives the air of expensive sophistication with a touch of rock and roll in the above. At a £24.99 price tag though, this will be so charged full of static energy that every handshake with you is like a sentence in the electric chair.
And finally let's end as we began; on a high note. I like this ASOS dress a lot because it covers a multitude of areas for me by resembling standard issue prison wear whilst also being an optical illusion and a tad pretty and doll like.
I'd imagine this is what you're kitted out in when you're sentenced to a ten stretch in fashion jail. Chuck me in the slammer, I'm ready to serve my time.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Life feels a bit weird at the minute. So I turned 30 without bursting into flames/tears/suddenly discovering a love for Bon Marche elasticated waistbands and I had a great time in Berlin. However since I came back I feel all... discombobulated. Like I'm waiting for something to happen, I'm at the bus stop of life and there's been a delay at the depot - I know that's a shit analogy because I'd never be caught dead waiting for a bus but stick with me here.
I've been feeling out of sorts for a while, more melodramatic than usual, the kind of moody blues which follow you round like a small grey raincloud hovering over your head. I put it down to the dreaded upcoming birthday but that came and went without consequence and my lingering unease was still there. Which was a bit of a fucker.
It all comes down to three things. Friends, lovelife, career. Let's look at these in more detail:
It's a been a funny old year on the friend front. I was frozen out by some people I considered close friends of mine with no explanation why. I'm not going to spin the boohoo poor me schtick but at the time it really hurt and it took a while to get used to - these were people I spent a lot of time with and suddenly they weren't there any more. It sucked. It also felt pretty lonely.
Don't get me wrong, I have some fucking amazing friends but for a variety of reasons (geography/family) with many it's not possible to just ring someone up and say "fancy going the pub?". And sometimes you just want someone to sit in a pub with. Or go for tea with. Or catch a last minute gig with. All that low key nonsense is what I miss the most - it's pretty hard to find casual friends when you're supposedly a "grown up" though. Woah I don't know about you but this is depressing me, let's move on to topic numero deux...
Oh yeah because this is such a LOL riot in comparison. Here's the deal - I have an imaginary lovelife. Not in a creepy made up boyfriend way but in that I have lots to talk about but little physical evidence . Let me try to explain...
In January I went to see a fortune teller. I went to see a fortune teller because my mum had been to see one a few months earlier who told her loads of stuff about me and about who I'd meet. Specifically she said I'd meet a man called Mark and then one called Karl and that it would all happen pretty soon. I've never been to a fortune teller before but eventually curiosity got the better of me and I went myself. I went on my own, made the appointment from a withheld number and never mentioned my mum at all and I was purposely cagey when talking to her but within 20 seconds of her looking at my hand (she was a palm reader not some hand fetishist although if she was that she's in the right profession) she said "who is Mark? Mark is all over this hand" and predictably later on Karl was mentioned.
I don't know any Marks and I don't know any Karls. Since she told me that I've yet to meet a man with either name and I dread the moment when I do meet a Mark/Karl because drunk me is probably going to tell him the fortune teller story and he's going to run for the hills. I wouldn't blame him either.
Oh and then there was Valentine's Day. Ahh the most romantic day of the year, I hated it when I was in relationships and I fucking loathe it now. An over commercialised waste of time, rolling my eyes as girls in work went down to reception and came up with flowers - why would you waste all that money on flowers? Till I got a phone call to go and pick up a package and returned with a dozen red roses in a box.
I don't know who sent them. I do know that my first instinct was to hide them under my desk to avoid any awkward questions until eventually they needed putting in water and a make shift vase was created from a cut up Volvic bottle. No note, no hint, nothing - the only clue being the address they were sent to was laid out exactly the same way as my email signature meaning it was someone I'd emailed.
A few weeks have passed and no one has come forward as the sender - I'm beginning to think I've sent them to myself which I think is now the general consensus in the office too. I think if I ever find out who the mystery romantic is, I'm probably going to punch him for making me a figure of ridicule. Cheers mate. Unless you're fit and then I'm sure we can talk it out as you make me breakfast.
Now do you understand the imaginary aspect to my lovelife? A predication from a palm reader and an invisible admirer - hardly the most concrete of evidence. And as kissing unsuitable boys in bars grows tiresome I'm considering turning my hand to internet dating to pass the time. A new low.
And then finally to the third point in my triangle of misery - my career which appears to be on such a go slow that I think it's jacked up on Valium and whiskey - too lethargic to move forward and quite content to just flop out on the sofa of life; I'm a winner with these comparisons today aren't I?
I feel like I'm treading water in my job and there's no chance of this ending any time soon. I like where I work, I love the people I work with but there is little chance of "a new challenge" appearing within my role and so the inevitable search begins for that "challenge" in "pastures new".
But looking for a new job is a long and torturous process and I am an impatient girl. Endlessly tweaking my cv and smarming up to recruitment consultants is not my idea of fun times but it's an unavoidable part of the journey so I'm strapping on my most employable smile and disguising the blue bits in my hair until some hapless fool falls for my disguise and offers me the job of a lifetime. *checks watch* Will it be soon?
So there you have it, the whingings of a middle class nightmare. None of my friends will come the pub with me, I have a secret admirer who sends me expensive flowers and I'm in a good job looking for a better one. Oh poor me, my diamond shoes are too tight...