Floor seven, please

Lifts.

No, not the shoes Tom Cruise made famous. The big, metal machines that take people from one level of a building to another. The etiquette on these things is crazy. We have lifts at work; I can't get to and from my desk without navigating one. I mean, I could… but it would mean walking seven flights of stairs before 8am every morning. No thank you.

I feel like I've become a somewhat expert of lifts, and the dance we do when we need to use one. Let me enlighten you.

We scan our passes at the main entrance, and it's then about ten steps to the pair of lifts, of which 90% of staff use every single morning. You can imagine rush hour between 8-9am. It rivals the queue when bloody Tim Hortons opened in Glasgow and everyone acted like they'd never seen a coffee shop before.

You scan your pass, and are presented with one of two scenarios. One; you have to wait in line. Queues. Fucking, bloody queues. Once, I stood in an eight person queue, only to find out that nobody had pressed the button. That person got so many daggers in their back that day. Two; there's a lift door just closing as you are coming through the gate. You have made eye contact with the person in the lift. You've seen them. They have seen how close you are. Do you wave them on? Silently mouth 'no it's ok'? Or do you start the jog? The half jog, half walk we do whilst the person in the lift panics to hit the 'doors open' button, but instead they hit the 'doors close' button, and you are stood looking like a proper fudd, way too close to the now closed door? Personally, I never jog. I will wait the three minutes for the next one.

So, you're in the lift. Usually, at my time in the morning, there's only a couple of us. I hit floor seven; floor three is a popular one. Lazy buggers. But sometimes, it's a very full lift. Too many people. Too many bags. Just too many. And you hit every. Single. Floor. By the time I get to five, I'm so sweaty and grumpy that I go 'fuck it, let me out, I'm walking'. Two floors ain't that bad.

Sometimes people try and chat. The most common one is when you try and press the 'door open' button for someone but they don't make it. You joke together about hitting the wrong button, looking like a dick as you know the person running for the lift won't be getting on, and it's all your fault. You also joke about sometimes getting out on the wrong floor because you haven't paid attention. We sometimes talk about the weather, specifically if it's very sunny or very wet. "Busy week ahead?" is popular. And then some poor ass will be listening to their music too loudly and we will all stand and judge them. Oh, we judge them hard.

Then we get out of the lift. I have one main point of contention here. Men always let me go first. And I always say no. Out of my feminist fucking right to not be treated like a delicate flower. Sometimes the doors start to close because I'm resisting so much. Another point? People who say thanks when they exit the lift. It's alright mate, it's not like I have an actual job to go to, I'm just here to make sure you get to your floor safely. Happy to be of service.

Don't even get me started on the snooty lady who gets on the 5pm ride down and then overly sighs when we stop at every floor on the way down; we all want outta here lady.

Do you know what I love about lifts though? Absolutely fuck all. Let's install escalators please.

Floor seven, please

Are we there yet?

I've been busy. Affa busy.

I've been adulting. How fucking annoying is that word? Adulting? It's fitting though. It shouldn't be, but it is. We shouldn't feel like we're still muddling through the world, a wary child, only acting like an adult a handful of times. Ironed a pair of pants? Adulting. Putting a bag of salad in a resealable food bag so it doesn't go off? Adulting. Saving money? Adulting. Purchasing mattress protectors? Adulting.

I've been adulting. I'm moving in with Mr K. All I can think of is Monica in friends, crying in to Rachel's arms crying, "and I have to live with the boy". Can you picture it? Can you hear her crying? I'm not crying about it, I'm bloody fucking excited. I've lived with boys for the last two years, two very lovely friends whom I have not know my new town without. Many say, oh but you've lived with boys already so it's not going to be that different. I think it will be. This particular boy will be in my bed… all the time… in my bed… using my stuff… using my expensive face wash… But do you know what? That is exactly what I'm excited about. Being responsible for someone other than myself.

So yes, I've been adulting. I've packed a scary amount of brown cardboard boxes, with labels handwritten in my unreadable scrawl, "bedroom", "spare room", "bathroom". I'm used to writing my name, because my boxes generally just went into one or two rooms that were mine. Not now; now everything is shared.

We have a "flat account". How grown up is that? We have contents insurance. Very adult. We bought a fancy new cutlery organiser after spending a good twenty minutes in Debenhams deliberating what to spend our £25 gift voucher on. Rolling pin vs. cutlery organiser. The latter was needed more urgently. (How urgently can you need a cutlery organiser?)

My current flat seems so bare. All the tat is gone from the walls, the mantle piece, all my girly arty farty decorations are down. It just looks like a space, not a home. And now, and the aforementioned crap is littering my our new home. Mr K loves it. I can tell. There's a wooden love heart hanging from four out of five door handles in the hall… I'm placing bets as to when he will get annoyed at them banging every time you open a door and remove them, hoping I won't notice. There's fairly lights, everywhere. Candles, everywhere. It's a bit girly. I'm going with the 'I'll put in everything I want and see what he removes' tactic… I'll let you know how much I end up with.

I also phoned the bank and requested a new debit card without contactless. I can't keep track of my money, there's nothing new. But I felt so adult. Taking action against my frivolous spending habit, and hoping the hassle of entering my PIN number every time will prevent me from 'popping' in for something.

What adulting thing have you done this month so far?

Are we there yet?

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? 

.

This is my favourite song EVER

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

A gazelle

I did a very cool thing today. Cool by my standards.

I cycled to work. And then ran home from work.

Yes, you read it right. CYCLED to work, and RAN home. I’ll say it again, just in case you missed it. I cycled to work. And then ran home from work. Go fucking me. Hell yeah. I have found my perfect routine. A 13 minute cycle to work using the ever so fashionable Next Bikes (think Borris bikes in London), casual 9 hours in the office, then a 20 min run home.

Before a few weeks ago, I hadn’t been on a bike in about six years. That first time, with my super hot boyfriend in front of me in very tight shorts, I nearly fell over, crashed into a post, and narrowly avoided knocking over a small child. It was not good. I blame the shorts.

But now? Four attempts later, I am THE QUEEEN OF THE BIKE. I just glide. You know the way you glide when you have newly shaved every part of your body within an inch of your life? Glideeeeee. I glided to work. Sun in the sky, sunglasses slipping down my nose, bright red running trainers paired ever so effortlessly with my very smart office clothes, runny eyes (thanks wind), bright red freezing knuckles and a nervous twitch at every traffic light. Glided to work I did. Like a shiny smooth leg. Glided.

I had a running bag. Like a zippy, colourful, multi-pocketed (like who uses all of them anyway?) bag. A running bag. It held approximately one bra cup, a pair of leggings and a running top. But, it made me feel like a TOTAL BOSS. I felt like if someone was chasing after me, I could outrun them AND show off my fancy new bag at the same time. They would be dazzled by my running bag. BOSS GIRL.

It chaffed a bit. When I ran home. *Side note: I would like to point out that when I say I went for a run, I really mean a jog. A 10 min mile jog.* It bounced a lot and rubbed against my neck a bit. As I was running, like a glorious fucking gazelle might I add, I found myself wishing I had some vaseline for my neck. Just a wee tin, maybe the green one with Aloe. Next time, next time.

I got home and felt like the fittest person in the whole entire world. Like, I could run a marathon. I should have been at London Marathon. I should be on the Olympic running team. Seriously, you should have seen my gazelle like movement. Beautiful strides, barely out of breath (I think I wasn’t breathing, that was it), not a drop of sweat (it was highlighter I swear). I sat down to a big bowl of pasta, because you need to refuel after a tough workout (2 miles…),  and ate seven Oreos. I still haven’t moved and it’s been 3 hours. My legs hurt. My back hurts. My feet feel like I’ve walked over hot coals for years. BUT I WAS A FUCKING QUEEN TODAY.

Exercise done for the week? You betcha.

How’s your running? Do you even run bro?

Your redhead.

A gazelle

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

My tits and I

I think I’m going to take up karate. Or kick boxing. Or just boxing.

Listening to a podcast on my way home today got me thinking. What if I was ever in a position of compromise, and needed to defend myself? I don’t have any special skills, unless wiggling my nostrils counts?

My nunga nungas would only hinder my efforts, ultimately disproving the ‘you could knock someone out with those’ theory. Trust me, that would hurt me more than it would them.

Maybe I need to give you a bit of context. I have big jugs. Last time I got measured, they were a GG. Yes, two Gs. But they’re not nice, perky, porn star boobs. They’re sling ’em in your waistband, breast feeding without the baby, more stretch marks than a tubigrip, boobs. They get in my way, all day, every day. Do I hate them? Nah. Mr K certainly doesn’t seem to mind them either. They do cause me a problem though. Read further for the detailed insight.

I could run away. I can run; I’m a runner. I could gather myself, put my sprinting head on, and run. But boobs. I could not run without a sports bra. They’re like tennis balls in socks, and the top of the socks are attached to my body, and they bounce, and they swing, and they thud. They hurt when they are not warned about fast movement. I sometimes contemplate wearing a sports bra during sex… seriously, it’s crossed my mind.

Bralets? Those intricate, pretty, sexy, non-wired, non-supportive, sexy, pretty, lacey things? The ones you can see the models nipples through? The ones that Agent Provocateur sell? Yes, those super hot things. They might just cover my nipple and no more. No under wire = no, no, no go.

Picture this. It’s Wedding/Engagement/Ball/Party/Special Occasion season. You are looking for a new outfit. You go to ANY shop. There’s a pretty sleeveless dress. There’s a pretty off the shoulder dress. There’s a very edgy silk jumpsuit with spaghetti straps. Can you wear a bra with any of these items? Nope. So, can I wear them? Nope. Unless I tuck my tits into my granny pants and hope nobody asks where my extra muffin top came from… Don’t even get me started on sexy pyjamas. Lucky Mr K is regularly treated to lumpy leggings and an old band t-shirt. Hey baby, come get me 😉

They attract unwanted attention. ALL THE FUCKING TIME. On the tube, on the street, in the gym, when I run, when I go to the dentist and don’t wear a polo neck, when I have to tie my shoelaces; the list is endless.

My last moan. They make me hypocritical. They make me forgot all my feminist, strong, body positive views. I have said professed all of these in the past; don’t change your body permanently, don’t have plastic surgery, don’t conform, don’t hate yourself, don’t be jealous of other girls, be happy, be brave, be confident in your skin, be proud of what you have. But me? PLEASE GIVE ME TEN THOUSAND POUNDS SO I CAN CHOP THEM OFF NOW.

Let me know if you have the dolla and I’ll send you my bank details. Cheers chum.

How do you feel about your breasticles?

Your redhead.

My tits and I