This is my favourite song EVER

I went to a gig last night. I go to a lot of gigs. Generally, I enjoy them. Generally, I go to small gigs, attended to by avid music fans, who enjoy and respect the music, and the musicians. 

Sometimes, I go to gigs that I don’t enjoy as much. This is never due to the musicians, or the music being played. Of course, sometimes the music is not my taste, or not something I would listen to again, but I always respect the musicianship and care these individuals have taken to practice and prepare a set. Hell, sometimes I think some singers purposefully sing out of tune, but do I behave like a stroppy teenager and moan about it throughout their performance? I do not. 

I wanted to vent really, about gig etiquette, and sometimes the lack thereof. Let me break this down to my top pet peeves. 

Talking. OK. This one will be controversial, I know this straight off. But you do not talk during gigs. You just don’t. Especially if it’s a queieter gig, a gig that does not have a loud drum kit, or screaming singer. Especially not if there are not many people at the venue and we can hear every word you say. This is what happened last night. The band in question last night, was unfortunately a drummer down, so they committed to playing a beautifully toned down set; just two guitars and a singer. It was bloody glorious. Until this chick started talking about her dinner choices to her pal. 

I always wear ear plugs at gigs, I go to far too many not to protect my ears. I could still hear them, even with the music, and my ear plugs. I could still I’ll hear their incessant chatter. Don’t do it. This goes for massive venue gigs too. If you’re going to talk, go to the very back where you won’t piss people off. The only time it’s ok, is to proclmain how much you are loving the music, or to have a quick, “oh my god this is my favourite one” fan girl moment. That’s it. And it should never take more than 20 seconds, if that. If you come to a gig with me, and talk, you will be ignored until the music has stopped. 

If you must, talk in between songs. 

Dancing. Just don’t do it in a small gathering when no other soul is dancing. I love to bob as much as the next person, but as soon as you start invading someone’s personal space, you’ve gone too far. I remember going to see Jimmy Eat World play at the Barras in Glasgow last year, a gig I had been waiting years for. I had the perfect spot, the perfect company, and the perfect beer in my hand. Then, tweedle dee and tweedle dum started dancing. She had hair down to her waist, of which nearly whipped me in the face when she head banged (also, Jimmy Eat World is not head banging music). Her brother (they looked waaay too similar to be dating) proceeded to dance in a circle, arms flailing, standing on my toes about eight times. Nobody else was dancing. I stood my ground, literally, and refused to move. Oh I’m sorry, did I bump into you? Too bloody right I did you annoying twit. 

Ordering drinks. Decide who is buying, what you’re buying, and if you have cash, before the music starts. Have a system in place. Rounds, buy your own, kitty? I don’t care. I just don’t want to hear your negotiation with each other about who bought the chips because then they shouldn’t have to buy a drink. In your own time people. 

Cameras. Who doesn’t have a camera phone? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own a smartphone with a camera. They’re great. Capture the moment, relive a cool experience. I get it. I really do. I love a wee gig snap as much as the next person. But I limit this to one or two. I once went to a gig at which the lady in front of me took a photo approximately every thirty seconds. Maybe more. She watched the whole show through a lens. And it meant that I practically did too. I actually resorted to asking (politely telling) her to put it down, twice. This goes for flashes on cameras. Do you really think musicians want to be blinded, and put off their jam by your flash? For you to then, undoubtedly, turn around with a hand over your mouth, a smirk and say “oh I’m so sorry”. Buuuullshit. Check the flash is off. Please, for their sake and mine. 

Phones in general. It’s like using your phone at the cinema. You will feel eyes bore into the back of your head when your super bright screen (hello, do you not know how to turn this down? Also, night mode) is catching everyone’s eye and distracting from the beautiful sound. We survived without them for YEARS. You can survive two hours. I promise. 

Am I alone in this? Am I being overly sensitive? 

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This is my favourite song EVER

From my window

My window is large. It’s wide and short, a landscaped pigeon hole to the world outside.

In front of me lie two white, crickety tables. They’re dirty, old plates sat upon them; coffee cups with the remnants of that flat white. Above the tables, I can see the pavement. It’s dysfunctional, gaping with cracks and cigarette buts. But it’s busy. At this time of day, on a Wednesday, there’s a mix of people. There are old ladies, with their clear rain caps on, shielding their perfectly permed hair from the elements. She’s thinking about the meal she’ll eat tonight, probably alone. The over-50 men; they carry canvas tote bags, sometimes have a satchel, always with a newspaper tucked under their elbow, walking with such purpose. He’s preparing for a date tonight; buying the nice wine. The students, in crowds of five or six, with rucksacks and converse. They buy exotic salads and complain that they contain only one grain. I wonder what they study; arts, maybe literature.

Waitrose sits across the road, a steady stream of customers pouring in, and out. Some with coffee cups in their hands; we both know that coffee was free. I’m never in this spot, at this time, on this day. I wonder if these people are usually here too? I usually sit at a desk, in a high office building, at the mercy of my telephone, my email account. If my phone rings, I must answer. If an email appears in my inbox, I must respond. It’s tiresome.

Today though, I sit with no plans. Nowhere to be. No one to see. It’s refreshing. I ate a breakfast of french toast with bacon, and maple syrup. On my own. My phone was face down on the table, my laptop only showing the news websites I subscribe to. I hated asking for the wifi password; I feel cheeky. And instantly ashamed that I need an electronic device to be able to sit alone. Next time, I’m not taking anything with me. Maybe just a newspaper. I really miss newspapers.

What can you see from your window?

From my window

I never finish

A project. I never finish a project. I bet you all thought I meant orgasm. You can think it. The title was clickbait. I hope it worked. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads; I am very satisfied, sexually. Onto the projects.

I can half play about eight instruments; I can kinda use about five different specialist computer softwares; I have qualifications in random, completely non-related disciplines; I have one big ball (now now…) of very nice grey wool that once had a destiny of becoming a crocheted blanket; about four half read books (yes I fold over the corners and always write in the margins); one box of paint pens, un-used aside from the underside of one wine glass (pintrest, your fault); a tin of very expensive chalk paint, along with two packets of sanding paper, dust sheets and six paint brushes and a commitment to running any distance farther than 6k that is about as loyal as my commitment to dieting and flossing. I think that’s all. I even got Mr K to proof this paragraph in case I missed anything; he was proudly anxious that this might be the day I decide to restart everything.

I just don’t have any patience. I am the most impatient person I know. I can’t even wait for toast to toast; seriously, I will pop the toaster about four times before letting it do it’s sole purpose and toast my toast. (Side note: should it be toast my bread? Possibly).

Pasta is stressful. So are baths. You turn your back for one minute and there’s water everywhere. Kettles are pretty much my arch enemy. Why do things take so fucking long? Don’t even get me started on self service machines in supermarkets. IF YOU TELL ME TO REMOVE THE LAST ITEM FROM MY BASKET ONE MORE TIME.

I have so many grand ideas. Really, you should hear inside this redhead; it’s bloody wonderful. I’m going to cure inequality; climate change; the problem with self service machines; digitally inept companies; Britains urge to queue; cash machines asking if you want a receipt when you clearly selected cash no receipt.

Many of these (none of the above) come to fruition. I plough time, money and my poor friends attention spans into each and every one; buying the tools, learning the knowledge and making the connections that I need to. But I really don’t like being bad at things. It makes me so sad. I bought a 300 quid banjo and upon my first try realised it was going to be really hard. I picked it up two more times, then sold it on a Facebook buy, swap and sell group.

I don’t think I’m a bad loser. I just don’t like being bad at something. Learning to drive was fucking torture. My angel of a driving instructor had the patience of a saint; I told him the wrong date for my final test. He didn’t even swear at me when we turned up on the wrong day, at the wrong time, after he had cancelled three other pupils to hold my test…

My brother is the same. We’re not good at being ok. Ok; mediocre; average; moderate; regular. We were brought up by parents who thought we walked on water (I’m scared to tell them that might not be quite accurate) and by golly we believe it too. Anything less than perfect and it’s not good enough. Millennial they say; my feelings about the whole millennial movement and it’s angels could fill the pages of a book, so let’s not. My motto? If you’re not instantly good at something, move on. (It’s so shit, I know. It’s how I justify my flakey ass behaviour).

Ask my how my crochet blanket is going. I dare you.

I never finish

See what I’m seeing, hear what I’m hearing

It’s glorious in Glasgow. Sunny, yes, chilly, slightly, better than usual, definitely.

This week has been a funny ol’ one. Mr K and I had agreed to try and be veggies for April; I did it purely because I didn’t think I could. Actually, that’s harsh on me; I was eating meat and didn’t know why. I didn’t think I would miss the taste, and was convinced I was only eating it because I was brought up believing you had to include meat for a meal to be filling. With a bout of excitement, and armed with a bookmarks folder full of veggie ideas, I was 100% committed. And I did it, I really, really did. Until Wednesday. I caved. I had a sandwich from my favourite sandwich shop in the whole wide world (Where the Monkey Sleeps FYI), and had a Stoofa Deluxe. Fuck those sandwiches are the best. I cowered back to my desk, tail between my legs, oozing guilty from every pore. But it was affa tasty.

Guilt, shame and sheer disappointment aside, I wanted to preach about my current digital/social media/television/music loves. Get ready for a lotta Googling/adding to playlists/subscribing/following.

WATCHING

13 Reasons Why – SPOILER ALERT – I didn’t rate it. I adored the soundtrack (see below note on music for evidence). But the series? I’m not convinced it sends the right message. Yes, it’s important to bring mental health to the forefront, and to ensure the stigma around discussion is dissolved. However, I’m not sure I agree with portraying suicide as a method of getting revenge; or as a catalyst to ensuring the people involved realise their own flaws. I also think the main character is just a bit of a dick. Throughout the programme, she is selfish, and manipulative, and WATCHES HER BEST FRIEND GET RAPED AND DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT. I’m keen to hear your views on this, leave a comment, I wanna discuss.

Big Little Lies – A M A Z I N G. That’s all. Not all actually; I could go on about this for days. The characters are fucking magical. The plot is magical. The importance of the lead female characters is magical. The soundtrack is magical (see below note on music for evidence).

@jessrenogrooming – Holy macaroni. This Instagram account is all my dreams in one. A super cool dog groomer based in NY uploads hilariously endearing and adorable videos of dogs, to amazing music. What’s not to love? Shout out to Nugget. The fact he’s ginger has nothing to do with my bias.

LISTEN 

I am a super obsessive music lover. It’s all I do. I always have headphones plugged in, and have near panic attacks when I can’t find my headphones (who copes on the subway without them?!). My current music loves are varied, vast, and too long to write down. Here are my top three:

  1. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole‘ – Martha Wainwright – Oh holy mackerel this is wonderful. It’s wonderful. Proper girl power shit. Featured in Big Little Lies. YES. Get it added to whatever provider you listen to tunes through.
  2. The Night We Met’ – Lord Huron – Super cute, super sad, super lovely, super wonderful. Featured in 13 Reasons Why. Whoever picked the sound for that series deserves a medal.
  3. ‘The Afterlife’ – James Blunt – who here loves James Blunt? YES YES YES. He’s hilarious. His music is funny. The lyrics make me laugh. And the actual tunes are fun. No they’re not the most intelligent, or the best sounds, but they are amazingly poppy and perfect for the car/walk to walk/run. Listen to them all. Lose My Number is my personal favourite from his latest album.

Podcasts. Who listens to them? Please tell me you listen to them. I am not a radio person. I don’t like the jumping back and forth between talking, music, adverts and all the shit competitions that go on in-between. Podcasts are the prime chat portions of the radio, condensed into smaller episodes. My current favourites are;

  1. The High Low – first of all, I adore the girls. And their names. Dolly and Pandora. How fucking cool are their names? Their chat/banter/giggles are good too. Their motto is nothing is too high or too low to talk about. They believe in talking and exploring high brow topics including current affairs, politics, and world events. They also believe in talking and exploring low brow topics including Thersea May’s pants, bad adverts, and their current Netflix binges. Always about last weeks news, no longer than 1 hour, and always promising a giggle. Get it subscribed.
  2. The Guilty Feminist – my love for this podcast is deep and far reaching. I call myself a feminist, but then I also bloody love when a man looks at my bum (thank you jeans!). Does that make me a bad feminist? These gals don’t think so. This podcast tackles feminism in our current world, and allows you to be a raging feminist whilst also being a big guilty at the same time. This is laugh out loud on the train and everyone stares at you funny. Always. Go on, subscribe. Even the boys. Everyone will love this.

Drop me a message if you click on any likes and like/dislike what you see. I wanna chat.

Away to eat a medium-rare burger and hang my head in shame.

Your redhead.

See what I’m seeing, hear what I’m hearing

The Cows 

I just finished reading The Cows, by Dawn O’Porter.

I wanted to LOVE this book, because I adore Dawn. I love her style; I love her humour; I love her podcast; I love her husband; I love the name of her dog. I just love her. And I really wanted to love this book.

Now, let me start by saying I do like it, I like the story line, I like the characters, and I like the way it’s set out. Dawn has introduced three characters, three strong women who have their own story, each very different from the other. The story is told in each point of view, and in each chapter we hear from each women at regular intervals. This point, I loved. I loved how involved I was with each character, how we knew what they were doing at each moment in time, how it interacted with the other women.

Each character has an interesting life, each strong, each wilful, each a little bit mad. I read the book in two days. That’s a good sign.  Although, I did find myself skipping lines. I wasn’t interested in what filled each invisible dotted line on my page (okay, iPad, but you get the picture). I skipped the dull prologue and searched for the dialogue; that’s where the good stuff lay.

My biggest bugbear? It was all about men.

Ever since I listened to an episode (35 to be exact) of The Guilty Feminist, I carefully and judgementally interrogate everything I read, listen to or watch for the passing of the Bechdel test. Created by graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, a film passes the test if there are two women present, who talk about something other than a man for 2 uninterrupted minutes. (Google it, it’s a very interesting revelation). This book doesn’t pass it. I know that officially, books aren’t included. And I don’t want to ‘diss’ anything that Dawn does; see previous gushing love confession. But I hate that these three women, these three strong women, talk about men ALL THE TIME. Why Dawn, why?

SPOILER ALERT

Why does Cam, a feminist, no shit taking blogger, write about her toyboy? Profess about her man friend? She is such a good, badass character who has made her millions (literally) by blogging about her childfree, carefree, man-free life, and the main fixture of her story is a man.

Tara, a single mum, is a successful TV producer, and a superhero mother. Yet her story line focuses on a man, who after date one, made her so horny she masturbated on a train?

Lastly, Stella; she has an eighty five percent chance of getting cancer; lost her twin sister and mum to cancer; and has a pretty shitty relationship with her boyfriend. She has a crazy plot to get pregnant by her boss (a man).

What’s going on? Why are they all pining after men?

Please read it and let me know your thoughts? I think I’m being harsh, but then again, I’m allowed to be aren’t I? I’m allowed to feel angry and a bit upset that a woman I admire so much, took an excellent opportunity, and spent it writing about men.

Awaiting your opinions.

Your redhead.

The Cows