R is for Rosemary’s Baby and the Ring

Well, for once my excellently laid plans have been ruined by my extensive film watching. Normally, I get derisory stares when I say that I haven’t seen something rather particular, maybe I just hang out with too many filmy people. Anyway, my idea was, as it’s Halloween today (supposedly the most scary of all the made up holidays, though there are plenty of convincing arguments for it being Valentine’s Day – satire there), to do a review of a horror film beginning with r that I haven’t seen.

However, the list I found provided several examples but the most well known, Rosemary’s baby and the Ring, are ones I’ve actually seen before. Damn. Of course it was the American version of the Ring that I’ve seen so that might count? No, I’ve read the book. Why must I be so pop culturally savvy (for once)? I’ve even seen number one on the list, the Exorcist, and I genuinely don’t see what the fuss is about. I could do a review anyway but where’s the fun in that? It would just be a carefully nuanced and cuttingly accurate treatment of these two cinematic… I hesitate to say masterpieces that would drive you to experience them again or, if you’re very lucky, for the very first time.

So we won’t be bothering with that malarkey then. I’ve made it clear before that I’m really not into horror movies, I just don’t understand the appeal. In fact, Rosemary’s Baby and the Ring (if I say them together like that then someone will pick up on the idea that it would make an excellent sequel – a kiddie romp through the underworld with baby Lucifer on a coming of age quest to kick a particular hobbit in his nether regions and nick his jewellery) represent nearly half (probably, I haven’t really counted) of all the horror films I have ever seen. Oh well, I’m off to celebrate Halloween by watching something lovely and fluffy accompanied by hot chocolate studded with marshmallows. Probably. Or I might take the plunge and watch Cabin in the Woods. I am such a conformist.

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Q is for Quoz

Sometimes there are words that the very moment you discover them you want to share them with the world because you’re certain that people must not be aware of it otherwise you’d have heard it long before now. Or that might just be me. Well, I saw this yesterday (no level of enthusiasm can make me break with the totally rigid format. It will be either boredom or ineptitude that will put an end to this alphabetical nonsense. You can’t say you weren’t warned) and have been itching (or that might be something else… probably ought to get that checked out) to bring it to your attention.

Quoz – an absurd person or thing. That is a thing of beauty, something to excite and be appreciated. I might well have a slightly different perspective on this because I have to write something based on troublesome and obscure letters several times a twenty six day cycle but still I think that quoz is a word we should all be using. Though, according to urban dictionary, it’s in use as by cockneys as slang for quality, apparently accompanied by a finger slappy hand gesture thing (technical term).

I haven’t yet decided quite how I want this word to be used. It’s obviously down to me to choose, it is my right as the champion of quoz. It’s possible that it’s just because it rhymes with my name that I’m so interested in it. So because of this I’ve made a snap decision that being a quoz shall be a fantabulous compliment, indicative of an interesting and worthwhile person who is absurd in a way that is as refreshing as a summer breeze rather than simply strange and off putting. Someone who is deemed to be a quoz should be a figure of respect, someone whose wisdom must be shared so that the whole world can share in the fun. So go forth and be quozzes, every one of you.

P is for Performance Anxiety and Pettiness

There are many things that I like to think about what I do on here – the sort of happy daydream that really doesn’t bear up under any sort of external scrutiny. But like some sort of squishy headed moron I’ve decided to try and share my work in various different guises. Stand up is one thing, admittedly I haven’t done it for a while but the principles remain the same; the audience is semi drunk and you have a microphone, there’s a certain power dynamic. But sharing stuff with other writers, that’s something much more difficult.

Of course it depends on the writers in question and how well you know them. At this point I’m basically trying not to go into too much of a rant because, well, someone might read this and realise how petty I am (it’s in the title, you don’t exactly have to be a genius). So, with cheeks aflame and notebook aquiver, I shared something decidedly non poetic (you’ve read some of my stuff, you’re reading it right now, I’m sure that you can agree that it simply doesn’t scan – I’m not a poet, still love me?) in a poetry dominated session.

So excuse me if this is not precisely your cup of tea. I’m terribly sorry (you know, reading this through as I type, I don’t actually think I’m remotely sorry. It would seem that writing brings a previously unexperienced level of self awareness. Who’d have thunk it?) if this isn’t quite creative enough for you. I’m not an English or creative writing or whatever student. The time I take out of fervent sciencing to write this sort of thing is creative, deal with it. It’s not serious, it’s not factual, it’s not informative. But if I don’t call it creative then it’s just fannying around and that simply doesn’t sound quite as fancy pants or worthwhile. Even if it doesn’t rhyme. Who says I can’t cope with constructive criticism? I will fight you.

O is for One Word You Need To Survive in Any Language

Yes, I admit it, I’ve been wasting my life on Buzzfeed again (it’s not as if I’ve got anything important like a degree to be getting on with, this is perfectly effective time management). So anyway, according to an article on said noble site, the one word you need to survive in any language is cheese. In the spirit of pedantry, I’m really going to have to dispute this. While cheese is certainly a very significant part of modern life (that chilli I had last night really wouldn’t have been the same without that mountain of medium cheddar grated on top), I’m not overly sure precisely how cheese adds to your survival.

Really, have a think about it – depending on your own personal preferences cheese might well be delicious and vital however, it’s really rather salty and fatty, meaning that you would require some drink to go with it and possibly some sort of accompaniment like crackers. Also, it’s not the best offensive weapon. Unless it’s particularly smelly. In addition to this rather damning evidence, if the only word you know is cheese then how on earth are you going to understand any response that isn’t just pointing?

So I think that we can all agree that while cheese is pretty important, it’s not going to save your life. You might disagree but let me know if you still feel the same way when you’re in dire need of resuscitation and I’ve turned up with a particularly ripe brie. But it’s all well and good to point out all the problems with someone else’s idea, I really ought to suggest some sort of alternative. I’m not exactly the most seasoned traveller but I have a certain amount of experience. Clearly I’ve done alright if I’ve journeyed to relatively exotic locations where they don’t necessarily speak English and managed to get back in one piece. Well, the only word I’ve really ever needed to get through this sort of thing unscathed is ‘dad’ (oh the benefits of having a languages teacher for a father).

N is for Normal People

So Wills and Kate have done it again, they’ve broken with tradition (I’m not sure if they really have, I can’t honestly say that I’ve been paying anything like enough attention to be remotely sure, it just vaguely sounds like something they might have done. It’s what they’re like, extremely gentle rule flouters). When it came to choosing the people who will guide their darling first born through the murky whirlpool littered with unexpected jagged rocks that is spiritual life, they picked norms. There’s hardly a title in the bunch, we don’t have to count earls do we (at this point, I’m not sure quite how obvious it might be but I’ve actually just googled them. I hate myself just a little bit)?

As usual, when it comes to the day to day exploits of our most royal of families, I am distinctly unbothered. However, seven is simply an excessive number of godparents. Seven. They aren’t magnificent or sinful or anything like that, you might well say that they are in fact lucky (I wouldn’t but then again I’m deeply cynical when it comes to this sort of thing). Why on earth do there need to be quite so many? I am in no way opposed to the idea of having godparents if you happen to be religious. But lots of people aren’t and they do it anyway. This is something of a side issue but I propose that we have some sort of look at the baby party for those who don’t have any faith but want to celebrate the birth anyway.

But seven, really? It makes the gesture that bit less special. I understand the idea of not wanting to make anyone feel left out but seven has got to be deemed excessive, surely? Technically I don’t even have any godparents because I wasn’t christened. If we’re being strictly accurate, I think my godmother should be referred to as my sponsor or something. This will play havoc with the system when I go into AA.

M is for Mouthwash Paranoia

I already know that they use my cutlery. My lovely distinctive black handled cutlery that is very definitely mine. Of course I’ve said it’s absolutely fine, I don’t want to be petty – that would be awful and would make me a terrible person – but inside I was seething and holding back a cry of ‘get your own sodding implements or at least wash mine up after you’ve used them’. Then they started using my pan. A reasonable woman (not me) might see this as a perfectly understandable mistake, it is identical to one of theirs apart from the fact that the bottom is much cleaner (not unlike its owner. That was a strange thing to say, if only I had a backspace key).

I’ve tried to be cool, to be generous and giving. After all, what does it really matter if they use some of my lovely new not that expensive but really could be cheaper olive oil that I hadn’t even opened yet? However, I think they might be using up my mouthwash. It’s certainly going down a lot faster than it should be especially when you take into consideration all the times I forget to use it. And there are conditioner marks on the shower screen that I’m almost certain I didn’t create and yet look suspiciously like my now very nearly finished supply. There’s a line, isn’t there? Crockery’s one thing, that doesn’t get used up. Toiletries, on the other hand do. I just want to know the truth without having to resort to marking my bottles with sanctimonious little black lines to see how full they were when I left them.

But I can never say any of this to them. That’s why I have this blog after all, screw the discipline, the methodic construction of an impressive archive, it’s here to soak up all my crazy. And petty niggles. And time. That’s less useful.

L is for Library Noises

I really should be working right now. I have something to hand in tomorrow and it’s not even close to finished. This really ought to be all the motivation I need to get going on this piece, I know it won’t take me very long after all and I get marks just for handing it in. However, I cannot concentrate because of a very specific noise. This is a noise that someone is making. It’s not one of the regular noises like talking or typing or listening to music that is ever so slightly too loud. They’re sniffing. Loudly. Now I don’t have as much of a problem with this as certain people I know (*cough* my dad. Who said that?) but it is pretty bloody irritating.

They’re not even a quiet sniffer. They’re right next to me and will periodically take a mighty, pretty disgusting sniff. So I have some options open to me; I could move to another computer across the other side of the room or even up to an entirely different floor, I could say something, polite or otherwise, suggesting that they go and unblock their sinuses in a traditional fashion before I do it for them (I’m not quite sure how I’d go about doing that but it sounds vaguely threatening which is what I want) or I can stew in silence and passively aggressively write about them in the hope that they somehow get the hint. Now what do you think I went for?

This is a quiet zone after all, a hallowed space for studying and avoiding studying by taking massive Facebook breaks (not that I’d know anything about that…), something far more sacred than the quiet carriage of a train. There the signs are pratically daring you to catch up on important phone calls at ever increasing decibels. But here, no. So lady go and get a tissue or just go away because I have a feeling I’m finally going to get cracking on my assignment. Once I’ve checked my email that is.