Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Tiredness and angry rants

I am so tired. SO TIRED. I am not there at all today. Earlier I put the oven on and then forgot about it for an hour and a half. I feel out of sync with the world. All I've been doing for the past two days is re-watch Caroline in the City in a desperate attempt to cheer myself up. Richard is wonderfully sarcastic, Annie kills me, and Caroline is absolutely adorable. Lea Thompson is beyond gorgeous.

SO TIRED. Need to sleep. My sleeping pattern is complete whack at the moment, because I've experienced a tiny crack of insomnia lately. And then, when I finally fall asleep, it's like I fall into a coma. Isn't that great?

I don't think it's a good idea for me to watch Dancing With the Stars, actually. It really gets to me, and it's making me slightly insane. It's bad. I probably love Lea Thompson to an unhealthy extent, but fuck that, she is the cutest person of ever and I just hate to see her so beaten down. She started off really enjoying herself and having fun with it, and then the stakes were raised and she drowned in all the pressure she put on herself. I feel like she really wants to prove to herself that she can dance, and I can see how important it is to her, but it doesn't look like she's having fun with it anymore. She looked a bit happier this week, maybe she's starting to let herself because she's realising it's all coming to an end at this point, but she's not where I think she deserves to be.

To me it looks like the judges have it in for her. They are being unnecessarily harsh on her, and in the past couple of episodes they have said and done a few things that actually really pissed me off. Carrie Ann, for example, decided to compare Bethany to Lea by pointing out what Lea did wrong in order to tell Bethany that she was doing it right. What was the point of that dig? There is no need to put another person down in order to give someone a compliment. Only assholes do that.

And then there was Alfonso with his crappy reasoning behind choosing Lea for his dance-off. His reason was that Lea USED to be above him on the leader board? He said something ridiculous along the lines of, "I want to prove that I can get above her again." Um, excuse me, but this week you had already scored 38 points, whereas Lea's score was 32. You didn't even NEED those three extra points from the judges to get above her on the leader board, and besides you were above her LAST WEEK as well, you twat. Honestly, that was a weak move from Alfonso, and I was incredibly disappointed. He should have challenged Sadie instead, but he was too chicken-shit to do so. He KNEW the judges would choose him over Lea, because he is their favourite and Lea clearly isn't. The judges are displaying blatant favouritism and it really gets my tits in a twist. The only judge I still like at this point is Bruno, because he is so camp and hilarious. The rest of them can go back to their troll caves.

Honestly, Lea is much too good for this lousy competition, but she is way too modest to realise it. It is hard to watch her grapple with self-esteem issues when she is this amazing human being who always puts her heart out in the open. This is what I hate about these competition shows: they knock people down, and it's always the ones who least deserve it. I know it is meant to be entertainment, but that's exactly why I hate it: it is mindless dribble disguised as a serious competition. To the contestants, it's real. To some of the viewers, it actually matters, because they love singing or dancing or actually CARE about talent. However, most people don't, because most people are idiots. Most people buy into it, or get struck by the bollocks bat, and they think what they are watching is legitimate. But it really isn't. Most of the time it's just rotten piss.

I will continue to watch the show, because my love for Lea knows no boundaries, but once she's out, I'M out. Alfonso is an arrogant bastard and I am not going to sit back and watch him take home the trophy. Maybe I'll return for the finals, IF he isn't in it. But he will be.

Yikes, I really needed to get that rant out of my system.

Peace out,
A Norwegian Girl in London

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Limits

Lately I find myself backing away from opportunities, or shutting myself off from people because I'm tired, and I feel like a failure, and I'm afraid I won't be able to cope. I'm afraid that going to university was one gigantic mistake that I will spend my life paying for and ultimately regretting, because I failed to get through it or I ended up scraping a pass or something. I'm afraid of throwing myself back into singing again, as well, because it has brought me down so many times in the past. I'm scared of saying yes to things because of the implications of it: other people will rely on me. What if I let them down? I've certainly done so in the past.

All of this is problematic, of course, because what kind of life is that? How limited am I really? And exactly how much should I limit myself?

Should I sit around and wait for the next wave of depression to hit me and take me down? Should I stay in this "neutral" zone for the rest of my life in a desperate attempt to keep myself from any kind of mood episode? Because so far, this has done me no good at all. The medication has flattened everything out, and for a while it was a relief to feel nothing, but now? Now I've realised how much it sucks to be empty. I actually kind of miss the darkness and despair because at least then I felt SOMETHING. There was a driving force inside of me, however horrible it was. It made me force myself to do stuff that needed doing, regardless of how crappy the outcome was going to be. I didn't care about grades, not really, because I didn't think I deserved anything good anyway. The voice inside was usually saying something like, "Write your essay, you stupid worthless piece of crap. Just write it. WRITE IT. YOU SUCK. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU JUST GET IT DONE AND GO BACK TO YOUR NORMAL LEVEL OF SUCK YOU TWAT." No, not an actual voice, but it seemed real to me all the same. The voice of depression can be very loud, especially because it grows out of very deep-rooted beliefs about yourself. You start seeing yourself as awful, and then that feeling grows and grows until it takes up all the space in your life, having pushed out every last shred of light you ever had in you.

I know that depression is a horrible place. I know that I do not want to go back there. I know I need to keep myself balanced. But where should I draw the line? Should I always be scared of taking risks? Should I always worry about putting myself out there? And will I ever feel like an actual person again? Will I ever feel like living?

I don't know, but I don't like this dullness. I don't like feeling hollow. I don't like drawing a circle around myself and refusing to step outside of it. I know I am limited, and I am trying to come to terms with that, but should I let limits rule my life? Do I need to walk on eggshells around depression to avoid being attacked by it again? Why does the thought of falling down again scare me so much?

It's like that Natasha Bedingfield song: "If I don't get up, then I can't fall down." I love that song, because it speaks to a part of me that I've been trying so hard to hide, not just from other people but from myself as well.


This woman is a true inspiration, and this album, Strip Me, got me through some hard times. A beautiful musician with a lot of important things to say. When people like her open their mouths, we should all listen. So Natasha: I'm listening. I will try to get up, even if I might fall back down. It's all part of life, after all. Every single asswiping aspect of it.

Welcome to life. Come on in. Take a seat.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Sad weirdo reporting for duty

I keep clenching my jaw, which is making my face hurt and has now turned into a migraine. I've been trying to relax my facial muscles, but they just start straining again on their own, and I don't know what to do about it. Things have kind of sucked lately, and it is beginning to take its toll I suppose. I'm struggling financially because student funding decided that I need to prove to them that I still need them to fund me, which is obviously necessary because there IS that pill that can cure my bipolar disorder, I've just been neglecting to take it. I enjoy being mentally ill, it's a total blast, and the icing on the awesome cake is not being able to afford anything, including medication and therapy. That's really great, I love life.

In addition to that glorious fun fest, my phone has started to die on me. It now takes about 24 hours for it to charge to a full battery, and even then it doesn't last very long. I also have to leave it in various weird positions because otherwise the charger will disconnect, and I have to constantly watch it to make sure it's still charging. Crappy phone, no money, having to prove that my permanent mental illness is STILL permanent… the fun never ends.

I have been re-watching Switched at Birth from the beginning just to escape my own thoughts for a while. It is such a beautifully written show, and it has a brilliant cast and a nice mix of characters. Some get on your nerves, others are instant favourites. Obviously, Kathryn is the one I love the most, just because she is such a gorgeous creature (also, mad girl crush on Lea Thompson), but I also adore Regina and Bay. John can be irritating with his pushiness, but he always comes around eventually which I guess is the main thing, and he is a good dad.

Even Angelo starts to grow on you, eventually. Character growth is satisfying to watch. It is, however, incredibly frustrating when it goes in the opposite direction. Nikki, for example, starts out as this really sweet girl who seems pretty cool, and then she turns all preachy on Toby's ass as the second season plays out. I LOVE Toby, and I did not like what he turned into with Nikki around. She was self-righteous and annoying in so many ways. I was glad when she moved to Peru for good, and I totally have a crush on the British girl he's been hooking up with in the most recent episodes. I can't wait to see how that develops when the next season begins.

Why is television so great? Movies are great and all, but they are usually over in about two hours, so you don't get to know the characters very well. With TV, you do. You get to really connect with the characters, and you start to care about them. Some people might say, "It's just a TV show, you know?", as if I don't actually know that. I don't watch TV to be reminded of reality. I watch TV to escape into an alternative universe. I mean, why does anyone watch TV? Or a movie? Why do people read books? We connect emotionally with these things because they are created that way. That is their purpose. If they don't make us feel like the characters and their lives matter, what is the point? Why spend time on something you don't actually believe in?

When I watch a TV show, I do so because I am emotionally invested. Of course I like to be intellectually stimulated as well, and I can't get into a show unless it is well written, but a good script needs emotional hooks. People need something to root for. Something to become invested in. If you don't believe what you are watching, you can't escape your own reality and submerge into the fictional reality of the show, and that is a really sad thought.

So I hold on to the world of fiction. It has always been my friend. Does that sound beyond sad? Yes, absolutely. Do I care? Nope. I will take my weirdo-badge and wear it with pride.

Love,
A Norwegian Girl in London

Sunday, 26 October 2014

I love music

Music is life. It allows us to connect to our emotions, whether it's a particularly beautiful harmony or a uniquely gorgeous voice, or just something as simple as an inspiring cadence at the end of the chorus. Sometimes music can touch us in ways we can't explain. It's like a language of its own, and it speaks to us. It starts a dialogue with our emotions, whether it is to raise our spirits or to help us heal, and most of us listen to music on a daily basis whether it's sporadically listening to the radio in the car or taking our iPod for a walk.

However, people are extremely musically deprived, because there is so much music out there, just waiting to be discovered. So even though no one ever reads this blog, I am making it my mission to make people aware of all the great music they are missing out on. I will put the spotlight on a lot of Scandinavian music, but I will also write posts about artists from other parts of the world.

I listen to a variety of stuff from several different genres. I like a bit of everything, with a few exceptions: I am not a big fan of heavy metal, or anything that involves actual screaming (or screeching, really), and I cannot stomach rap that is basically all about bitches, "niggas" and gold chains. I'm cool with pretty much everything else.

To kick off this mission, I will start with Australian musician Betty Who. This hugely talented singer-songwriter released her first full-length studio album earlier this month, and it is an impressive collection of catchy songs as well as songs that are more calm and mellow, and touching without becoming clich├ęd. It is a pop record, but it is far from generic.

My favourite track, "High Society", is a song about dreaming of the easy life, but it doesn't overdo it, and it has the uplifting message that the "easy life" is attainable because it's about finding the right person. Like many of the songs on this album, it fuses different eras of pop music, particularly 80s pop with the electronic influences of today's music, and it sounds like she's been inspired by Cyndi Lauper, among others.



This track just makes me want to get up and dance around, and it never fails to lift my spirit.

For an example of a low-key, mellow song, "Missing You" has a nice beat and a tenderness to it that makes it very interesting melodically.



One of the things I like about Betty Who is how real she seems. She wants her music to be accessible; she doesn't want to be like Lana Del Rey, for example, who puts on this "persona" that leaves people wondering what is true and what isn't. She told Time magazine that she doesn't want her listeners to feel like they "don't get it". Personally, I applaud this statement, and not just because I find Lana Del Rey unspeakably irritating. There is something so refreshing about someone who doesn't take themselves so seriously - someone who isn't pretentious in the slightest, and yet manages to create unique and intelligent music.

Yes, her career was given a push with a viral video of a gay couple getting engaged using "Somebody Loves You" (isn't that fantastic?), but it was highly deserved, and though "Somebody Loves You" is a very enthralling song, there are other tracks on the album that deserve just as much attention.




Finishing off this fantastic record is the hauntingly beautiful "California Rain". With its serene piano chords and quiet synth waves running constantly throughout, this song shows us a completely different side of Betty Who.



I haven't even scratched the surface yet, there is so much music out there that I want to talk about, but you've got to start somewhere, right?

Love,
A Norwegian Girl in London

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Fucking Friday: Because alliteration makes the world a better place.

So technically, it's no longer Friday in the UK, it's been Saturday for three hours and forty minutes at this present time. However, I intended to write this blog entry all day (and it's not tomorrow until I fucking wake up!) and then just forgot and ended up re-watching series one of Scott & Bailey again because I just fucking love that show. As someone on tumblr pointed out, those characters are the Holy Trinity of kick-ass police officers. The episodes never get old, and Gill Murray is one of my favourite characters of pretty much ever.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this song by Sara Bareilles called "Sweet As Whole". It goes like this:

Sometimes I can be perfectly sweet
Got this sugary me stuffed up in my sleeve
And I'll talk of ponies and rainbows and things
And I'm just who you want me to be
But like most creatures down here on the ground
I'm composed of the elements moving around
And I grow and change, and I shift and I switch
And it turns out I'm actually kind of a bitch

But that only happens when I get provoked
By some piece of shit asshole we all sadly know
And I sit and I write while reminding you all
That mean songs are still better than going postal

That guy's an asshole
And that girls's a bitch
Baby it's natural
No getting away from it
So sing it out with me
And then let it go
Fuck that guy he's just an asshole

Sometimes I find that I need to remind myself about all of this, because there are some serious assholes out there, especially on the internet. It's bloody ridiculous. The worst part of it is that they actually manage to troll their way into my head to the point where I feel I have to retaliate, as if it's personal somehow. As if it's personal that some twat on youtube is spewing hatred towards the Disney film Frozen, and thinks it should have been more like the story of The Snow Queen by H. C. Andersen. Like it is personal when some comedian makes a lame sexist joke that only other twats of the same kind will find funny. Like it is personal when some random arse writes an opinion piece stating that he doesn't think people should be allowed to be upset about a farmer shooting a dog in front of his owner just for being on his property. Apparently this is taking animal welfare a bit "too far". These are three of the most substantial annoyances that have flown my way during the past few months.

The hatred towards the movie Frozen is sheer stupidity. This bollocking twat-troll on youtube made a nonsensical comment about how Frozen had ruined her favourite "book" (The Snow Queen) and that she hated it because it was supposed to have been Danish and not Norwegian. First of all, "The Snow Queen" isn't a book, it's a fairytale so ha-bloody-ha but NO, and secondly, it could never have been set in Denmark because at some point during the story they go to Lapland which is up north in either Finland, Sweden or Norway. There are no lapps in Denmark.

Going down the list of this girl's (or shall I say "creature"'s?) complaints, it doesn't get any less moronic. Everything she says is nonsense. She acts as if she knows H. C. Andersen personally, and that she knows for sure that he would have hated Frozen if he were still alive. This is a hilarious assumption for so many reasons, but if you try to explain this to her she'll just continue to argue her bullshit anyway, so why bother? Oh, but I can't help myself.

Shit like this really pisses me off, because it's stupidity. It's ignorance. I cannot handle it for as much as half a second, it's awful. If the people who are criticising Frozen for not being a film adaptation of "The Snow Queen" had bothered to do even the tiniest bit of research they would know that Frozen was only ever going to be based on the H. C. Andersen story. It's such an unnecessary and invalid piece of criticism and it makes me want to track these people down and then follow them around singing "Let It Go" off the top of my lungs. I bet they'd hate that, and I would find that delightful. I could mix it up occasionally by singing it in either Norwegian or German as well. It would be fantastic.

Frozen has a lot of important things to say to people of all ages. It's more than just a fun animation for kids, because it's actually poignant and beautiful in a way that we haven't seen from a Disney movie for quite some time. Ahh well, fuck the people who don't like it. Fuck 'em. They're all just bitches and assholes. But as Sara Bareilles points out in her brilliant lyrics: "I say what I think, cause it's more economic than drugs or a drink." Words to live by, right there. I feel like it is better to get stuff off your chest and then let it go (pun very much intended). Nothing is more annoying than sitting on the toilet thinking about life, as you do, and then having something irritating pop back into your head, because you start to think up ways to respond to the thing you find irritating and then it just becomes more irritating because you're on the toilet so you can't do anything about it at that very moment and you really, really want to. So when something annoys you, get it out of your system. People will tell you that you are wasting your time, but if we all thought like that, I don't think anything would ever get done. For every annoyance that stays unvoiced, ignorance is allowed to breed and spread just a little bit more, and that isn't okay. You shouldn't let the annoyance take over your life, you shouldn't let the "toxins" that Sara Bareilles speaks of in the second verse of her song take up any amount of space in your life, and that is exactly why you should "sing it out" while you can.

So I don't care if it makes me look pathetic - I hate people on the internet. People on the internet are the worst. I know starting an argument with one of them is kind of like killing one ant while a thousand others are biting you, but whatever; if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? So I'm here, I'm online, and I'm ready for whatever piss you are going to throw my way.

And if you don't like random mentions of me sitting on the toilet, just lean back and imagine me flushing it after I've used it, and that is exactly how much your opinion matters to me. Neh, I'm joking. Or not.

Peace out,
A Norwegian Girl in London

Friday, 5 September 2014

Film Friday: If I Stay.

If I Stay is the title of the new teen drama starring Chlo├ź Grace Moretz. It is based on a young adult novel with the same title, and it does have a lot of those standard characteristics of a young adult storyline, but at the same time it sets itself apart. Many will draw comparisons to The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent etc., and they may be right in doing so, but but it does not deserve to be discredited entirely just for being similar to something else. It knows its target audience, and it is not trying to fool anyone.

The main character, Mia, is a teenage girl who is an epically nerdy classical musician; she plays cello, listens to Beethoven and has the inside of her locker plastered full of "I heart Yo-Yo Ma" stickers. She dreams of going to Juilliard and has amazingly supportive parents. Then, one fateful morning, her family ends up in a car crash, and Mia wakes up in limbo between life and death, watching the entire tragedy play out in front of her without being able to say or do anything about it. Outside of her own body, she witnesses her own surgery and the aftermath of it, all the while hearing doctors and nurses telling her to fight for her life and that it is all up to her. However, when her parents and her younger brother have all died from the injuries they sustained, she starts losing the will to live. Even as she observes the constant stream of family and friends pouring into the hospital to support her and cheer her on, she still doesn't want to wake up. She doesn't want to face life without her family, so she ultimately decides to take the easy way out by following the light shining towards her from down the hospital hall.

This brings to the surface a lot of interesting and important questions: What makes life worth living? Does YOUR life lose its meaning if someone else's life ends? When life gets hard, do you give up and walk away from it, or do you stick around and face the fight? And is it really the best time for making big decisions like that when you are faced with a personal tragedy? Depression makes you unable to think clearly. It clouds your brain. It makes you act irrationally at times, and this movie shows us just that. Mia's head is clouded by the devastation of losing her family in a horrible accident. She is unable to see past it, and eventually breaks down and wishes for it to "end".

But something stops her just before she is about to step off into eternity: music. It is only when she hears a classical piece of music she really loves that she is pulled back towards life again. The piece of music serves as a reminder of how much life still has to offer, despite everything she has lost. It is enough to send that first tiny spark of hope through her; not enough to take her pain away, but enough to consider facing the battles ahead of her instead of dodging them by walking away. The thought of playing music and making something out of her life gives her a sense of purpose, and it wakes her up - first figuratively, and then literally.

I don't have very much in common with Mia in terms of our life situations, but one thing was very easy to relate to: the overwhelming wish for life to just be over so the pain can finally stop. I have felt this way a stupid amount of times, and I bet a lot of other young people have as well. Therefore, the importance of choosing life, always, becomes the most important message this movie has for its audience, and it is one I hope most people who see this movie will walk away with. Because it is indeed a very valuable message: never give up.


Love,
A Norwegian Girl in London