Facebook is not for feelings

Have you ever stood back and thought, wow I’m good? Not in the ego-centric sense, but more of the realm of giving good, solid advice, to those who need it most? This recently happened to me on Twitter. A friend who I’ve known a while has been going through a hard time and although I’m always there as someone to talk to, there comes to a point when too much, is too much. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good rant, and I love a good tweet, but I just can’t seem to post status updates on Facebook. I can’t deal with the social pressure of not having any likes on my amazing comment and most of the time the only thing that goes through my head whenever I need to tell someone else is one syllable and rhymes with duck.

So, I spend a certain amount of time, dependent on which day it is, perusing the social networking sites I am a member of, reading status updates from people that I haven’t spoken to in 5years that I really should delete, laughing at funny pictures someone has reposted from somewhere but then I almost certainly, once a day at least, come across a post that makes my heart stop, my blood pressure rise and my common sense go flying out of the window. Those kinds of posts, from those kinds of people. I am of course, talking about, the whingy web whiners. The WWW, are a group of people, who don’t know they belong to an exclusive clique, that use social networking sites to outlet their feelings of injustice, frustration and most of all, heartache.

NO ONE CARES that you’re feeling a bit fatter than you were this time last year. Stop fishing for compliments.

NO ONE CARES that you’ve split up for the 5th time already in your 6th month long relationship.

NO ONE CARES that you couldn’t return that printer to Argos because you didn’t have the right receipt and now you’ll have to go back tomorrow.

FACEBOOK IS NOT FOR FEELINGS.

I retaliated to some posts on Twitter the other day, WWW posts. I got a response from said WWW, it was whingier and whinier than the original tweet. In the end, I just gave up. Why is it when you go to give people advice, they don’t like to take it, and instead like to push the blame onto something else, pouring out all of their negativity onto someone that is trying to help? I must admit, most of the advice I give, I wish I took myself sometimes, but seriously, why do we use social media to such an extent as to make ourselves feel worse nowadays?

Where for art thou Simonsen?

So I’m writing this awfully hungover right now, in a living room full of people still after what has been DA BEST BURFDAI WKD EVA. No, seriously, it was really good.

On my actual birthday, myself and Pete had a birthday breakfast, a tradition with bucks fizz. And then we went to see the matinee showing of Romeo & Juliet by the National Youth Theatre at the Ambassador theatre. Set in 1980s ska London, the theme of the play, tragic young love, is brought forward in time from Shakespeare but tucked back in history reliving 80s classic hits from bands such as The Specials and even a guest appearance from Bonnie Tyler, though she doesn’t sing, she just sell drugs. Either way, a fantastic show with a fantastic, young and talented cast. 9/10. The extra point would have gone to an interval, but that’s just my greedy little birthday self wanting to buy a drink and a birthday wine.

Saturday day, a quick visit to Chinatown with the parents, and then last night was the creme de la creme, a comedy gig at the Monkey Business Comedy Club.

The host, Martin Besserman is a dirty old man but probably wouldn’t want to be described any other way. The first couple of acts that were on were really good, including that chap that does the London Underground spoof thing. But really, the night was all about Norway’s finest young comedian, Daniel Simonsen. He’s the kind of guy who would have got in like one big fight in high school over the whole 5 years but always managed to stay under the radar. Never having a girlfriend and his friends thinking he’s the funniest guy in the world, behind closed doors. But what makes Simonsen capitvate a crowd is his awkwardness. I’m not talking about Milton Jones one liner awkwardsness, I’m talking about his general demeanour. He literally just says anything and everything in what he calls ‘his funny little Norwegian accent’.

After the gig, we headed round Kings Cross area, and bumped and grinded to some classic R Kelly tunes in Be At One, a bar on Cally road, which is just like stepping back into 2002, if you can handle 2002.

Why Mario is from Japan

I went to the Japanese festival in Trafalgar Square with a friend last night, and i’m not usually one for culture such as Japan, I don’t know why, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t appeal to me. Perhaps that’s because we are inundated with technology from Japan, or weird food from japan, weird cartoons from Japan, and then of course, weird sexual graphic images (usually cartoon) from Japan. Japan to me, is just weird. But I don’t know, I’ve not been there so I don’t know for sure. However, I actually really enjoyed the Japanese festival. I got some great Sushi rolls and some really nice (and cheap!) Miso Soup. A clever light show on stage and an abundance of people dressed up as real life Manga characters.

It made me realise that, it’s easy to stick to what’s normal with you, but how about something that’s normal to someone else, could be a new discovery to you?

You’ll find what you want in the Portebello road

I went to a party in the SU of St. George’s hospital last night in Tooting Broadway. It was a UV Foam Party, I hate UV, and I hate foam, and subsequently, I’m not sure if I like medical students. But this is a story for another time, a time when I can comprehend that 24 hours ago, I walked down a ward to turn the corner into a bar with dancefloor and hard working medical students going wild which included swimming in the foam.

Today, I spent the day with another university friend at Portobello market. I’ve been to Notting Hill Carnival a few years ago, so was able to direct myself around the area a little, but really, it’s hard to miss.

After an hour or so perusing the many and overpriced stalls, we started to realise that Portobello market, really is the bustling hub for weirdos to show off their weird ‘talents’ to other weirdos to see who can outweird each other. Now, my vision of Portobello road comes from watching bedknobs and broomsticks, and the whole scene with teh dancing in the dirty London street and it being more of a cattle market. The cattle part hasn’t changed but MY GOD, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many try hard people in the same place, or whether some of them are genuinely warped in the head from years of drug taking.

There was a guy, probably around my dad’s age, so early 50s, who was wearing an embellished waistcoat with paint splattered jeans and clogs, singing Take That’s ‘Rule the world’, in the middle of the street, lay on the floor. Cue goths selling avacados so ripe they make your eyes water and by the time I got to the end where there was a jazz band performing in the back of an open transit van, I nearly missed it I was so numb to the whole experience.

One place that I really liked though, was a little place called Acklam Village market, for those who haven’t been, it’s basically a semi-covered hall, with chairs and tables, a bar, and a small staging area. You can take in your own food and drink, as well as anything from the food stalls outside. When we arrived, there was a guy solo performing a few well known Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton covers. He was good, and then followed by a band who are known as Jacob & Goliath. Four stringy looking teenage boys with more pout than a Towie cast member but this front of nervousness arrogance was replaced with genuine talent and the ability to hold a crowd for around 30 mins. I’d recommend not only this band, but the venue of Acklam Village market if you’re a band wanting some exposure for free on a pleasant atmospheric saturday afternoon, but also if you’re as bored of listening to Katy Perry on Radio1 as I am. It offers the change to see new music, live, and totally for free if you want, you don’t have to buy a drink. The project of AVM was in order to give community spirit to Portobello, an escapism from the stalls outside.

Speaking of one stall, if you ever go, go and ask the man who runs the stalls of double umbrellas. Basically, umbrellas that are two colours, layered on top of one another. Not rocket science but aesthetically pleasing all the same. My friend enquired about the price of one of the umbrellas, to which the stall man replied “would you like to know the story behind these umbrellas?”, to which we both eagerly nodded. The guy was young, probably only 4 years older than us, we both wanted to know what had inspired him to create these umbrellas and of all things, sell them on Portobello market, under the bridge, where if anything, you’re completely sheltered by the rain and wouldn’t think to buy an umbrella once you’d reached that point.

Anyway, this guy was in a new relationship with this girl who he was going to meet at the train station, he forgot his umbrella and turned up soaking wet. A month later he’s in spain and sees these umbrellas in a shop, sets up the import details and here he is. Literally, dumbfounded at how this guy had tricked us into listening to THE SHITTEST STORY EVER.

My friend Dan told us a story in first year of how when he was 17 or so, he went to Pizza Hut with a couple of friends, but he didn’t order anything and just bought a tuna sandwich on the way home. Yeah literally, again, so you can see how bad I wanted to slap and rub a tuna sandwich all over this guy’s face when he’s wasted 5 minutes of my life with his dumb ass story. Luckily, my friend is pretty blunt, and normally, me being awkward and polite and British would have humoured the story and been like ‘AW HOW ROMANTIC N CUTE, WHAT A LOVE STORY. But my gobsmacked face + my blunt friend = us just walking away from the stall. We just walked away, without saying anything. And then when out of earshot, we laughed. OH HOW WE LAUGHED!

Nostalgia hurts

Nostalgia: A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.

I receive emails from LUSU all the time. Lancaster University Students Union. Emails i used to delete, i now move to my ‘saved’ folder. I don’t know what it is, but i can’t bring myself to open them. I know they’re just filled with generic ‘What’s going on this week’ at the uni but for some reason, even though I did well and have a degree under my belt, I just presumed Lancaster University would just cease operations and shut down when I graduated this year. But alas, business is open as usual. It makes me sad that I’m no longer part of the community that for 3 years felt like home, and it got me panicking that I could have the on set of post university depression, an idea I’m not totally convinced exists, in the hope that it won’t grab from behind and pull me down to the ground.

Also, this semi-soppy post will now turn into a rant because, for god’s sake, can i ever study at an establishment that doesn’t start building/installing something freaking awesome the year I leave?

Primary school, year 6, a week before we are due to say our goodbyes to childhood playgrounds and hello to teenage smoking behind the bike sheds. What does my primary school do? Installs an ‘adventure’ playground complete with shaky wooden bridge, body catapult launcher and merry go round. I remember being told that Year 6 were allowed 2 days for the final week on the adventure playground because it’s creation was behind schedule and we were leaving to go to big school. Yeah, I should bloody think so too, no wonder my year was the most obese.

High School, year 11, a week before we depart to college if we’re smart enough or apprenticeships if we’re ‘good with our hands’. Now high school, we really did have the best of both worlds. In year 9, we got our uniform changed from an awful teal green sweatshirt to a smart black blazer with matching clip on tie (ladies, please) and we also got a brand new canteen in replacement of our Asbestos ridden old one. We even enjoyed a month of a European school day, starting at 8.30am, one break instead of lunch and finishing at 1pm and a school name change, I’m sure as hell glad the ‘Jonathan Robinson school’ was outvoted for it. A year after I left high school, so 2009, it’s announced that the school has dropped it’s title as ‘Language college’ and in fact is now an academy. Meaning tit gets more money from the government, and in turn, those children in the top pathway (decided after SATS, which also no longer exist, GODDAMMIT) will no longer have to compulsory study 2 languages. What? So I basically have a German GCSE that i will never do anything with, that i don’t even remember taking and most of all, wouldn’t have to take if it had been a year later. Walked past my old high school the other day and they’re now building a sixth form on the site of the old music shack. I know its like 5 years too late but it sometimes took me 40 minutes to get college, even for an hour long lesson. If there had been a sixth form at my school (which was 5 minutes walk around the corner), I would have a) been less tired b) be more on time c) actually have gone in.

College, Year 13, or 2nd year. I was friends with people in the year below me at college, and one of my best friends now likes to remind me every so often of things that happened in the ‘new college’ and I’m like “yeah i wasn’t there at that point, i’d gone”. She is in fact referring to the £46m college that was built right next door to the old, shabby, mostly mobile classrooms which I spent 2 years of college in. The new college was even complete with an uber, mega, interactive library. The library I remember was cold, damp and the DVD selection included The Fox and Hound and a scratched copy of Flubber.

So, when I find out that the University of Lancaster is now re-opening it’s mysterious Bowland Tower as ultra swanky sky rise accommodation and that there’s been a tonne of new computers installed in the library, it makes my 6 month ago self boil with rage of fighting back the tears when not finding a spare computer to print my dissertation off at with 3 hours to the deadline, and to still get it bound, waiting anxiously in a queue of 50 people.

So, in conclusion, I’m not angry, annoyed or disgruntled with you LUSU, I’m just upset, disappointed even, that you fell into the same mould as all my other past educational establishments. Basically deciding to spend money on things the year i’ve left. A friend on Twitter told me to unsubscribe to the emails, but I just can’t yet. Mostly because I’m just waiting for the next announcement of a 115 ft heating swimming pool jacuzzi, free to use with complimentary champagne and strawberries comes up on the ‘latest plans’ section.