Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tying the Not

Occasionally I like to have the odd flick through a girly magazine. Yes, you heard me right, but it does my heart and my future career good to know what's out there for young women. I would like to point out, just for good measure, that I often skip straight to the real life stories, gloss over the make-up section (if only to learn that I've been applying the incorrect eye-shadow in an incorrect manner for the past three years of my life), skip through 'This Month's Must-Haves' to check whether tie-dye is back in see if I missed anything on the bargain rail in Primark, before catching the whimsical but pointless list on the back page (this month: '15 Things He Should Do If He Really Loves You'. Etnad scored top marks, making me the smuggest bitch in Christendom) and pass a glance at the generic shirtless beefcake, realising that in my eyes he will never be as lovely as Etnad before falling asleep in a dopey position with my face stuck to the Letters Page.

So anyway. Seeing as though I abhorred any kind of 'chick lit' material until my eyes were opened by a Graphic Design course and my dearest Liz, which was roughly during my last year of College, I must say things might be looking up. Thin is no longer in. Not that I'm happy about that because I hate thin people, being a little more, ahem, voluptuous in bodily volume than your average girl, I just believe it shouldn't have taken this long for people to realise that catwalk models are starving slowly to death. So commences the nadir of the herion waifs, and perhaps a long apogee of curvy women. Fingers crossed.

But one magazine made a horrific downfall. Splashed in the middle of the mag was an article entitled something along the lines of 'How To Get Your Man To Propose'. It was a freelance piece - don't get me wrong; I intend to be one myself, I am merely pointing out that it was not to the magazine's standard - accompanied by a charming picture of a young woman in a bridal gown drawing pictures of massive diamond rings and writing sporadic bursts of marraige-related lexis on an old school blackboard.

The idea behind it: treat your man like an idiot. Abhorr marriage - whine about how you've been invited to a friends' wedding and you hate it, pretend to tie your shoe when a wedding car goes by, yawn audibly through the exchanging of vows. Do this for as long as it takes for him to get the message: you hate weddings.

Now comes the ingenious part: invent an excuse (boiler broken, plumbing being fixed, Hun invasion) to move into his place with him for a week. Then you go from the sublime to the ridiculous (much like this magazine). To paraphrase: "wear stockings and silk shirts and be seen taking a fish pie out of the oven when he comes home." I'm sorry. Fish pie? Silk shirt? Anyone with half a Y chromosome should know that when you bend down in stockings there'll be more pings than a table-tennis tournament. The idea, according to the writer, was to be the most fabulous girlfriend in the world. Which is all very well. But there is with women a certain point during every month or so when we don't want any contact with fish or stockings, we want Bridget Jones's Diary on DVD and some cotton pajamas and the only men we want intimate contact with are called Ben and Jerry. And it doesn't even have to be our 'lady time' either.

I'm just saying, why are women of a certain age assumed to be obsessed with marriage? You'd think with the popularity of Sex and The City, which points out quite well that marriage doesn't mean you waltz off into the sunset possessed with the instant urge to re-populate and everything's sunshine lollipops and rainbows from then on. In my generation, I happen to be of a very slim percentage of two-parent families who haven't yet experienced marriage crisis. A lot of my friends have a mum or a dad living elsewhere, so every day I count myself lucky. But I also dread the day my future husband and I hit our first obstacle: how will we cope?

All I'm saying is that if I can figure all this out at nineteen, why are thirty-somethings still confused? Marriage isn't everything, but it's a nice idea. A possibility, like going to University or seeing the world. I haven't doen either yet, and I don't expect to open a magazine and find someone trying to tell me how to do it the 'easy way'.

Teeny ~ "If you now have 'Sunshine, Loillipops and Rainbows' in your head, I've done my job"

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Herping On

In the words of the Great Chrissie Hynde: don't get me wrong. I love my turtles. In fact, it's got to the point where I've found that the more people I meet the more I love them, but then you don't generally get turtles starting world wars or backing into each other's parking spaces (yes, turtles need to park).

However...they are a very special kind of pet. By this, I mean they require a certain amount of attention. But here's the thing (or rather things - yes, it's another list):

My mother is insane. "Of course," I hear you cry, "But what has that got to do with the turtles?" Mother has convinced herself that Soupy is incapable of eating pellets independently. i.e. she feels the need to hand-feed him. Apparently if she doesn't, he just spacks at her while George nips around eating all the food. I would understand her concern...if only I didn't believe that she has been hand-feeding him too much, and now he expects it, like the turtle equivalent of the Maha Rajah.

Turtles know full well when they are being naughty. I bought a little dried out urchin shell to decorate their tank with. Yesterday, I was approaching the tank and was startled to see Soupy 'bouncing' up and down on it. Unsurprisingly it split in two. He spotted me approaching, and instead of his normal routine of following me around, he looked directly at me and smacked one of the pieces of shells with both claws. Annoyed, I removed the lid to scoop the ruined adornment out with a net, and Soupy found it hilarious to jump into the net. Twice. He then commenced a few cheeky victory laps before smacking his brother in the face.

They like music. When they were in my room, Etnad would sit on my bed and play the guitar. You couldn't find a more precious tableau this side of the Nativity Scene: Him sat strumming gently with the turts squeezed into the corner closest to him, stock still and listening intently. I was half expecting Gabriel and all his angels to appear among the rankweed. Turn the hairdryer or vacuum cleaner on however, and watch them crap themselves and run away.

They can warm even the toughest of hearts. While away at Isle of Wight Fest, I received a text from my mother: "Dad is bonding with the turtles. He is cooing over them." So there you have it. Bear in mind the fact that I haven't known my father to coo, except when attempting to lure a pigeon into the path of his car.

Turtles smash. In pretty much the same way as their green counterpart (technically I meant Bowser, not Hulk) they have a penchant for distruction. This would be funny had their evil eye not turned to:
1) a £12:00 filter
2) several ornamental plants and shells
3) themselves, and
4) each other.

All literary, fictional and mythological turtles are cooooool. See the many 'o's? I mean think about it: in the contemporary corner you have Bowser, TMNT (both of whom have been cool since the '80s, thank you very much), Tortigar and the World Turtle from the Discworld series. Chinese culture heralds the turtle as one of it four central powerful animals (incidentally, it's the only one of the four that truly exists, the other three being a dragon, a phoenix and a unicorn). In Japan, the minogame as it is known is a symbol of longevity and felicity. We have the Mock Turtle from Alice in Wonderland, Cassiopeia and Morla from Neverending Story...I could go on. I don't really think I need to.

A pack of 10 Sidenecks can take down a flamingo. Don't ask me how - I only know it happens. Really, what more do you expect from a pink bird that stands on one leg most of the time?

So there you have it. Turtles are destructive, mischevious and difficult to care for, but they're cute and very easy to love.

Teeny ~ "Well, if Bowser can fall into a burning planet of lava and survive..."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

PETA-ing Out

Well, bang goes my social conscience. After seething about the mistreating of animals for the fiftieth time, I decided I might join PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

However after reading from sources of considerable bias (PETA website, and taking in a middle-of-the-road account (Wikipedia, shamefully)...I decided I'd rather keep my morals.

Before you all scream at me and wave the famous pictures of a dead fox being held up by another dead fox Sophie Ellis Bextor, allow me to explain.

I would love to campaign against chickens being electrocuted by having electrodes shoved into their anuses, or of course the likes of Naomi "I'm going to sue you like a motherf*****" Campbell threatening to build on environmental reserves. But if it involves Veganism, comparing animal slaughter to the Holocaust (I shit ye not) or handing out pamphlets to schoolchildren entitled "Your Mummy/Daddy Kills Animals" and depicting a cartoon of a woman stabbing a rabbit in the stomach with a big-ass knife, then thanks but no thanks.

Not that Veganism is bad...but it's not for me. And yes, every cause has its finer points, but there's a fine line between fighting for a cause and extremism. PETA have been good by offering to neuter or euthanise sick pets in poorer parts of America. But dumping the bodies wherever they can speaks volumes.

The conclusion? Yes, I will protest, but I think it's time to think less mainstream and stand up for the causes I can really relate to.

Teeny - "That's an actual Campbell quote from The Times"

Stay Tuned For This....and MORE!

Seeing as though the only reason I write here nowadays is to provide ventilation for my most intimate irritations, I thought I'd treat you all. No, not more turt pics (the buggers won't stay still long enough now), not more Total Crashing Malady, nor will I submit a video to YouTube of me gargling the words to Gay Bar through a strawberry milkshake (best not to ask).

Instead here's a list of Teenyversal truths. Mainly because I forgot to do this upon turning 19, and was reminded of this fact by Sprog.

~ Girls of a certain age (i.e. mine) are generally one of three categories: they act dirty, they talk dirty, or they play dirty. I'm not telling you which one I am either.

~ Film or TV series that were good ten years ago will now be 'modernised'. Note: for 'modernised', read 'daft'. Cough, Indiana Jones. Just because Lucas is obsessed with space, it doesn't mean Harrison Ford should suffer.

~ Radio One's Live Lounge is possibly the biggest music pioneer of the moment. Although ideally not the best place to go if you think the idea of Daniel Bedingfield covering The Killers is a stupid one.

~ Young girls should learn to sing and not to just talk along to a tune. Yes, I do like the music, but I expect that in a few years time it'll be out of fashion.

~ If you're going to go out with a co-worker, co-habitant or co-caine addict (note: the last one's a joke), make sure that they're your other half beforehand. That way you have a slight get-out clause if you need it.

So there you have it.

Teeny - "No matter how hard you pray or how much you beg, you will never get back the two hours you wasted watching Nicholas Cage's The Wicker Man"