I know I’m not alone in this…

So in order to maintain the delicate and precarious balance in my universe (and thus my mental stability), there are certain rules various objects and situations need to adhere to. Otherwise my world will end. No exaggeration. My mind will dwell on these incidents and infractions like a kid with a scabby knee, and dig a hole in my psyche so big that my brain will collapse into a white frothy mess. I will be reduced to nothing more than that gunk you see at the bottom of your cappuccino cup, only less tasty.

Rule: Open packets the right way up.

Every time I see a packet of crisps opened upside down, an angel dies. For real. Anyone who’s anyone knows that the food tastes different if you open a packet the wrong way, there’s a system people!! God made arrows point certain ways for a reason…

The packets are all stored right way up, so you get a certain layering to the crisps in accordance with size and taste. You get your average ‘starter’ crisps on top, normally flavoured, nothing out of the ordinary there. As you work your way down the bag, paying your crispy dues, you are rewarded with the smaller more flavoursome ones. Then and only then do you reach the pinnacle: the dust. The bestest bit  by far.

See? Why would you mess up your crispy feng shui by indulging in such anarchistic behaviour??

The tears of a (short) clown..

As someone who spends her entire life online peddling her written wares for the world to see, I realise there are certain responsibilities I must take on board. One important one is to raise awareness of serious issues affecting certain people in the world today. I’m all about issues, me. So the cause I wish to take up in this blog is one that is very close to my heart. It is the plight of The Shortarse. My name is J-Ro and I am a Shortarse. There, I said it…<exhale>. The weight has been lifted. Probably up to where I couldn’t reach it anyway.

Us poor short people live in a world that tells us we need to dislocate our shoulders to reach our favourite groceries, to endure nosebleeds wearing high heels, to have a buddy system in place in order to sit on a high bar stool….and to dismount from said bar stool. To go to ballet classes from a young age so we can stand on our tiptoes for many minutes at a time as we wait to get served in pubs, and to watch the awestruck faces of the bar staff as we lower ourselves down with our drinks in hand and scuttle away like toddlers with new sweets.

There worse stories out there. Mostly mine to be honest. But the world needs a laugh so here you go. Actually most of these things happen in bars for some reason, I’m not an alcoholic I swear, not even a drinker, but I have a social life so there you go! Bring back Java’s and I’ll situate most of my ‘short’ stories in a coffee shop! I was once in an establishment up the country a few years ago, standing room only, chatting to some friends of mine. All of a sudden I feel this cold, glassy, wet weight on my head…I look up to see this rugger-hugger D4 type gowl chatting to his mate Turlough or whatever his name was, blindly attempting to REST HIS PINT ON MY HEAD. I should point out that I was standing next to a very high ledge already piled high with drinks..so imagine his surprise when that ledge suddenly shouted ‘Hey!! What the f**k??’  At least he had the good grace to look ‘morto’. At least he had the reflex to remove the pint before it toppled and turned me into a future slapstick movie scene…

THEN there was the time I spent 15 long agonising minutes loitering around a grocery aisle in Safeway in London awaiting the arrival of a knight in shining armour to reach up and grab a jar of peanut butter. But oh no, I got no knight…instead I got a rather tall older lady looking at me like I was a lost child. So I ignored my rising embarrassment and asked her if she wouldn’t mind using her freakish gawkiness to help me obtain my nutritional goal. Scarlet I was…

So in short (!) life is hard for a midge like me. But it makes for an interesting roller-coaster ride through life. The endless days of sitting on chairs with my legs swinging aimlessly, the heart-stopping fear as you approach a fairground ride and hope you are, in fact, ‘this tall’ to go on it, the humiliation when you’re standing behind someone in a queue and they take your hand and tell you to ‘come on’ because they think you’re their child standing next to them and they don’t bother to turn their head….although it is TOTALLY worth it to watch them talk their way out of it when they look round and see me grinning like a psycho. Makes it worse for them when I keep hold of their hand the entire time. Well a girl’s got to have her fun…

Jedward: Cult Following or Cannon Fodder?

Jedward. So bad we can’t even bring ourselves to say both their full names. What the hell is going on with them?? The vacant stares, the leppin’ around the place like ADHD poster boys, the anti-gravity hair…why are we so fascinated with them? More importantly, why is there a full-force money machine behind the drive to make us so fascinated? I’m probably not going to answer any of these questions, I just like ranting without any research or backup articles. So on with the show…

These boys are clearly the love-children of Jessica Simpson and Ross O’ Carroll-Kelly (I am aware that one of those is a fictional character, nobody could possibly be that thick, but that Simpson young wan really makes me laugh sometimes). Ever since they burst on the scene I’ve been wondering how they have managed to maintain so much interest. The very fact that I’m writing about them in a blog is testament that their PR money machine is in good working order.

I’ll be honest here and say I’m sickened with jealousy. The very fact that these two young whippersnappers have gotten themselves record deals and endorsements on the basis of their sheer LACK of talent does sting a little in my pride gland. Having gone for X Factor auditions a few years ago myself out of sheer curiosity and artistic laziness, I realised that even though I could carry a tune, I probably didn’t have a sad story worthy enough to be told against a background of a Coldplay ballad while tears rolled down my face. I got through a few auditions but wasn’t selected in the end. Fair enough, I had a great laugh meeting all the (other) crazies anyway! But then along come these eejits, their only talent being that they looked the same, which wasn’t even down to them in the end…maybe their parents should have gone on and procreated some more live on air to show their own talents of twin-producing. They get the whole shebang, and without even having a sad story! Yes, I begrudge them…!

And then I watch them on things like the Late Late Toy Show and think ‘Ah, God help us, sure the little kiddies love them’…fine, give them jobs presenting kid’s tv shows, just for God’s sake don’t release any more music! That’s where my real rage lies…I hate the idea of them taking up valuable space in the artistic cosmos while the rest of us penniless singers and songwriters with dreams of our own slave over a hot notebook and instrument to write and perform our own work – in tune I might add – unnoticed by the majority of the world.

You couple them with the recent spectacle of the ‘leprechaun man’ from Mayo and you have to wonder what people outside Ireland now expect of us talent-wise? Pretty soon I’ll find myself apologising to all those American tourists I’ve slated over the years for thinking we were all a bunch of alickadoos hopping around our pots of gold dressed in green and Riverdancing…they’ve obviously clapped eyes on Britain’s Got Talent somewhere along their travels. It makes me want to cry into my Aran Jumper.

The jealous hater part of me sometimes daydreams about their fall from grace…but actually now I think of it, wouldn’t it be brilliant if,say, John became a wee preacher boy, all evangelical, and Edward became a Satan-worshipping crackhead, sniffing cocaine off the belly of a disgraced Miss World of a Friday evening?? Bring them both back on The Late Late at THAT stage in their lives, and you’ll find a new Jedward follower in J-Ro. Their Twitter would be some laugh to read then…

A Bus, Bon Iver and Bemusement

aka Adventures of a Tattooed Teacher…

As I write this I’m looking out the window of a bus winging its way from Heathrow Airport to Bournemouth for my second ever tattoo convention. I normally don’t do bus tripping, not because I’m precious or anything, simply because I’m a pukey passenger monster in anything with wheels or on waves. But this one seems okay so I’m taking the time to scribble away while I travel 🙂

I think I want a camper van. Or a Winnebago type thing. Just something I can hop in, drive off and sleep in. It’s the hobo soul in me I guess. But right now I’m looking out at all these staunch middle-aged men in short-sleeved light blue shirts driving their little caravans whilst not engaging with their spouse who looks pretty much the same as their husband bar a chromosome or two. The prospect of that is not appealing. But then I realise I’m fascinated by this species. I mean, all the bank holiday drivers I’ve seen in the UK all look so bloody serious. Like it’s a chore. As if an unspoken ancient law descends upon all the dwellers of the land….

“…That on a Holiday of Bank if ye be of relatively sound mind and body, between the ages of 45 – 75, moderately tolerable of and to your spouse, own at least 3 of the bluest or beige short-sleeved shirts in the land, aquire ye a nondescript black vehicle of 2 litres or more and set forth. Attach ye a home that is mobile to its rear and embark ye on perilous journeys across roads that begin with the letter ‘M’ and end in a number, listen ye to compact discs adorned with vocals of Andrea Bocelli or Katherine Jenkins and avoid all eye contact with your spouse. May no joy or visible expressions of happiness cross your faces until ye reach a destination that almost exactly resembles the place you left..except with more sand and water..(maybe not even).’

Fun times. I think I’ll stick to the National Express, where I can write about the people we pass on the motorway while Bon Iver serenades me and the sun shines in through the window over the gorgeous English countryside.

I still want a camper van though…

Why Carrie Bradshaw is a disgrace..

"What can I change today to fit the man I'm sleeping with in this episode??"

I used to love Sex and the City. It was a great way to shut off the brain and indulge in a glorified fashion show with women living the life an insignificant percentage of people actually live. The shoes, the outfits, the hair..all very nice at some point. But as time went on and I got on with my life, it would come to disappear from my life. But then every channel under the sun started running it and re-running it every night, with different series on each channel so if you weren’t up on the goings-on of Ms. Bradshaw and Co. then all it looked like was desperate very well-dressed women apparently past their sell-by date looking for a man. But that’s not why I’m ranting.

As a lot of my thinking goes on at night, and therefore all my college work gets done then too, I found myself leaving the TV on in the background as I got stuck into whatever mountain of work had been bestowed on me. And that show was usually what I would leave on, more often than not because i had already seen the episode, and mostly because it didn’t demand anything of me as a viewer. Then I started looking at it with a critical eye. Granted, I should have been using my critical eye to elevate my English Lit essay to an ‘A’ standard, but the past is the past. I saw something very disconcerting in Carrie. As I saw the different episodes from the various series, I began to see a timeline of her disintegration as a confident secure woman.

If I was to do a PhD on women and their portrayal in film and TV, she would be my prime example of a weak woman. I’ve watched her change her personality and her fashion to suit every guy she’s ever been interested in, from uptown and city chic with Big, to gingham crop shirts and pigtails with Aidan (whom she should REALLY be with but that’s cos I love him!). However, you can forgive that. I mean, we’ve all made slight modifications to our outer selves and inner musings when courting potential sweethearts, it’s a psychological drive we have to establish an affinity with that person and help us bond. I include both sexes in that.

It wasn’t until I watched the movie that it really hit me just how spineless the character of Carrie really was. She started out being a woman who had always wanted the wedding of her dreams with the man of her dreams wearing the dress of her dreams. She eventually settled for a courthouse marriage with about 10 guests and wearing a pants suit, getting married to the same man who dumped her in front of New York society and all her friends, leaving her in a designer dress-shaped heap on the steps of the hotel cradling what was left of her sanity. And we were led to believe this was her happy fairytale ending. Cheers.

Now before you get all riled up, I’m not for one minute knocking small weddings. The idea of a big wedding makes me want to create a J-Ro shaped hole in the wall frankly, so that’s not an issue. What I took exception to was how Carrie did a complete 180 degree flip on who she was just to snare her man. This was Mr. Big, who has known her for 10 years, and couldn’t have been ignorant of the fact that fashion and all its trimmings were a huge part of Carrie’s life. This was never going to be a small intimate affair by anyone’s standards. He knew this before the question was even popped. He knew before they moved in. He knew before he ever went to Paris on that big gesture of being her knight in shining armour to rescue her from The Russian. So what gives?

Fair enough, he bowed out in the most chicken shit way possible. That’s not what annoys me. What annoys me is her decision to go sailing right back into his arms without an iota of compromise. She threw all her dreams out the window just to get the ring on her finger. A big wedding, while not the most appealing to me, or very many others, was what she wanted and reflected her personality and who she was. And her settling for the small nuptials and discreet classy trouser suit outfit, while a gorgeous idea for some, just wasn’t what we as viewers were led to believe Carrie Bradshaw stood for. She gave it all away just to get married. And that annoys the crap out of me.

Roll on SATC 2…let’s see what kind of a doormat Carrie will strap to her back this time..