Friday, 23 March 2012

Currently loving.... 2 Broke Girls

I'm a bit of a late comer to this party, but boy am I glad I arrived! 2 Broke Girls is a sitcom about the trials and tribulations of well, two broke girls in Brooklyn.

Max is sassy, opinionated, and tough. Caroline is a fallen billionaire's daughter. Together they want to start a cupcake business. That sounds a bit like the beginning of a super hero movie doesn't it?

I was initially sceptical about it, worried that it would be about the pathetic rich girl who complains all the time, but Caroline is a funny, strong character who is incredibly self deprecating. Max is the me that I'm afraid will sneak out unless I keep her in check. This might not be such a bad thing though! I think I have girl crushes on both characters.

The show has received mixed reviews, with most criticism being levelled at the racist and sexual banter.  And yes there is a lot of sexual banter, but as Emily Nussbaum wrote in The New Yorker, it is this sexuality that makes Max something special on network television in the USA.

This could be a controversial thing to say, but I wonder whether the stereotypes in 2 Broke Girls are as terrible as they are made out to be. Let me illustrate this further. One of my favourite films is Eurotrip. If you haven't seen it, it has a wonderful range of European stereotypes that are absolutely spot on. However, my Canadian friend hates it. She does like Roadtrip (Eurotrip's erstwhile prequel), which The Beard and I can take or leave. I can only put this down to the difference between the European and North American sense of humour. And I wonder whether this comes into play with the reaction to 2 Broke Girls, particularly the Polish and Ukrainian characters. Who knows. I can see both sides of the argument.

Watch it for yourself and see what you think.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Becoming a new name

I got married when I was a mere babe, at the tender age of 18 and 11 months. I took his name, because it felt right. Oh, and because I was a little fed up of being instantly associated with my mum when all I wanted to do was make my own way in the world (I love my mum and am incredibly proud to have her as my mum, but professionally we are in the same business and a different name helped at the time).

So for most of my adult life, I have had his name. We split nearly 5 years ago now and I have finally got round to changing my name. Why so long?

In part, it is because I'm known professionally as that surname. With some of what I do (elected official at a council), having a consistent brand is really important. I took the decision to keep my married name because it was less confusing for my residents, and for work purposes (it can take forever to get a name change at my other job!). The other reason was that I've had this name most of my adult life and I wasn't sure what I wanted to be. For a long time, going back to my maiden/family name didn't feel right, it felt like I'd be taking a step back into childhood.

But then The Beard and I got serious, and moved in together. And because I am usually the one who books hotels, or holidays, he gets called Mr MyMarriedName sometimes, which is both uncomfortable and weird. So I knew I had to do something. But it has taken me another 3 years to get round to changing my name officially. I changed it on Facebook and Twitter last year, testing the waters. I had finally decided to go back to my family name, rather than picking something else out of the air.

One reason for this was the cost - to go back to my maiden name simply required all my ID documents showing my name change (birth certificate, marriage certificate and divorce decree) whereas a new name altogether would have required a deed poll.

But ultimately it was because of my family that I went back to my maiden name. It's quite unusual in this part of the world and it will be even more unusual in Austria! And you know, it's my name. And a new start in a new part of the world feels a little bit like starting my adult life all over again. So it made sense to start all over again, name and everything.

It has taken a while, but I finally got my new passport through last week. I am not officially known by my new name. And it pleases me greatly :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I'm not ok

There has been a considerably drop off in posting by me recently. It isn't that I don't want to post, and I have so many posts that are still in draft form.

Things have been a little stressful for me at work and things are just coming to a head now. Thankfully I only have 10 days to go until my notice runs out. But I've had to admit that I am definitely not ok. I've been ignoring the signs and hoping I can push through it for a while now, hence the lack of posting. I've been focusing on the move and all the stuff that goes with that, but in turn getting lost within things and not giving other things my full devotion. Or even being able to. I've started so many posts lately that I have never published, because I can't quite get the words right, can't quite work out what it is that I want to say.

As Mel C and Bryan Adams sang "even food don't taste that good" (I'll ignore their seemingly poor grasp of correct English for now). For someone who gets as excited about food as I do, the disturbing realisation that you just don't want to eat anything in your kitchen despite it being full of yummy things, is a sign of the impact that these things are having on me.

I have only felt this way a couple of times in my life. The first time was when I was in my second year at university. I'd been a bit screwed over by my work, then changed my pill which didn't agree with me and sent my hormones all over the shop. I would sit on the sofa like a zombie watching day time television, occasionally finding time to write essays and stuff. It is no real wonder I got an acceptable fail on one module that year and didn't do that great on the others. It wasn't until I told a friend how I was feeling and he told me that it sounded like the early stages of depression. I resisted that a bit, I mean, I come from a family that has had various knocks over the years and we all just cope with things. But gradually as I started to feel better I could look back and appreciate just what had been going on. I tried to learn from the experience - I didn't go to the Drs or get a formal diagnosis, but it took me a long time to recover from that.

The second time, understandably so, was when my marriage broke down. Trauma like that is enough to push even the strongest person over the edge, but thankfully I managed to work with myself and stop it getting too bad. Processing my thoughts and feelings about my marriage helped a lot with that.

But this time it has snuck up on me. I've tried my absolute best to cope with all the stress from work, whilst trying to deal with moving abroad, but really all I want to do is just curl up and sleep. And when I try to do that I can't manage it very well. I don't even want to put make up on, something absolutely unheard of for me when I have the time!!

As the stress is most definitely caused by work, and that will all end in 10 days, I'm fairly confident I can feel better soon. And once the packing kicks in it'll all be fine. But for now, I am not ok.

Monday, 19 March 2012

New glasses

Last week I went for my bi annual sight test, knowing that I'd need some new glasses because mine weren't quite strong enough anymore. I don't wear glasses very often, as I wear continuous wear lenses most of the time. And no matter how much I love my glasses I can't bring myself to wear them more than once or twice a month at most! Especially in the summer when I get to wear my gorgeous D&G sunnies!

Anyway, I found some new frames that I liked :)

And this is my skin with some make up on - just a quick application of MAC Matchmaster Foundation in 1.0, a touch of Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 (my favourite concealer ever) and Select Sheer Loose Powder in NC15. Lipstick is Hang Up.

Acne: My thoughts

Following 5 months on antibiotics (and continuing, probably for at least another 2 months) and a slight change to my skin care routine (which I will describe further down), I am pleased to report that my skin is greatly improved. I still get the odd spot, either because of hormones or stress, but by and large my skin is clear. I have still got some redness and scarring but foundation covers that well enough!

So from this:

To this:

Massive improvement no?

I'm so glad I went to the Doctor. I'm also glad the Dr didn't push me into topical treatments, which I think would have destroyed my sensitive, dry skin. And yes, you can have acne and dry skin. I have found since I started treatment that I get a few spots on my upper lip around my nose. Tiny spots which go quickly and don't show through foundation, but I find that as long as I moisturise properly, these stay at bay.

So my skincare routine... I love Nivea Pure and Natural. I switched to it originally because I was a) curious and b) trying to 'Vienna proof' my skincare regime. But it has worked marvellously well for me and my skin has survived the winter without getting dry or sore. When I last had a cold I kept a small pot in my bag for application to my nose and I didn't get the dry cracked nose that is so typical of a bad cold.

One of the key things for me to deal with my acne has been to work out my triggers. Some silicones, and mineral oil (paraffinum liquidium) are my triggers, as well as stress. So ensuring that those things do not get near my skin is quite crucial. Oddly it is only some silicones - the ones in MAC foundations are perfectly fine, but the ones in some primers and hair conditioners are not. Mineral oil is never ok. Which is a shame, because it is the only thing that stops me using Illamasqua's Skinbase!

At around about the same time as I was starting my treatment, a friend recommended the hot cloth method of cleansing. Basically you use a flannel soaked in water as hot as you can stand and wrung out. Its a bit of a steam treatment every day, with the exfoliating effects of a flannel as well. It helps massively. You can vary the treatment depending on your skin type, so if you have oily skin just use water, but because I have dry skin I use the Nivea Pure and Natural cream cleanser and remove it with the hot water. I then use the hot cloth twice more, and follow it up always with the Pure and Natural Cleansing Toner.

I do this both morning and night, and use the appropriate anti ageing cream from the range. I don't use the anti ageing creams because I worry about wrinkles, but more because it happened to be the right texture and weight for my skin, as well as including burdock as an ingredient which is good for scarring and healing.

I appreciate I sound a bit like a walking advert for Nivea but I promise they haven't paid me for this! I am just passionate about good honest products that work and do not cost the earth.

So that's where I'm at now. The difference this has made to me and my self confidence is massive. I don't think you can measure just how much acne affects a person, whether that person is a teenager or an adult. I think more is written about the self esteem effects of acne on teenagers, than on adults, but that doesn't mean that adults can get through it without it having any effect. I still can't believe that the person I see looking back at me in the mirror is real some days.

I'd also like there to be more about the fact that acne does not only affect those with oily skins. Excess sebum production is the most common cause of acne, but it is not the only cause. In my case, I think mine was triggered by skin level bacteria, which is why the antibiotics have worked so well. How these bacteria, which live naturally on our skin, managed to get one up on my immune system is anyone's guess, but it wasn't oily skin that caused my acne. Nor was mine hormonal - I have been on a variety of contraceptive methods including the ones that are supposed to help with acne and they didn't work or make much difference.

I wish I'd gone to the doctors earlier. I do have some mild scarring (not visible once I'm wearing foundation) which could have been avoided, and I wouldn't have spent so long feeling miserable. But I guess like losing weight there has to be a point where you feel able to seek help.

Friday, 16 March 2012

What will the future hold?

It's now 32 days until we set sail for Vienna. And even less days until I finally finish my job.

I am now really starting to contemplate what I'm going to do with my life. I'm relishing the opportunity to have some time off, to settle into our new surroundings a bit, and figure things out. But I'm most looking forward to the prospect of something simple, something like a bar job, to keep me going for a little while. In fact, we both are!

Working behind a bar is one thing The Beard and I have in common. Thing is, if you put me in a position where I don't have to have as much responsibility as I have now, where I don't feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, well, it is a bit scary thinking about what could happen.

One of the things about getting married when you're 18 (to a total douchebag as well) is that you never really get the chance to be yourself. Especially when the weight of the household staying together is really on you,. And then the weight of the world becomes your burden. I've never really got out of it and for the last year I've felt like I have no time to properly enjoy everything I've worked for, or just my life.

I'm sitting here now watching MTV Rocks 100 Monsters of Rock, and it's ACDC Highway to Hell. Earlier, before I went to have a bath, it was Judas Priest "Breaking The Law", which I love. I have danced around my living room tonight to a variety of tunes and smiled a lot, from the inside out.

When I move to Vienna, I want to find myself. And that me is somewhere at the bottom of a whisky bottle with a filthy mouth. I'm actually a little bit scared of what might happen to me... But I just know there is someone or something inside me needing to be set free!

(this post is brought to you by rather a lot of beer)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Sabaton's new album in Swedish!

Sabaton are one of my newly discovered loves. Part of it is the sublime ridiculousness of their music, which is just awesome, and part of it is because they are from the same part of Sweden as The Beard. I gotta feel some kind of attachment.

So I'm a little bit excited that the band have announced that their new album will be available in both English and Swedish, as posted up on Metal Underground today!

The Beard has told me that the accent from his particular bit of Sweden is quite distinctive. I can't verify the accuracy of that statement, but I do know that the first time I listened to the bonus live in Falun tracks on one of Sabaton's albums, I was momentarily confused when singer Joakim Brodén started talking because a) The Beard was at work and b) The Beard only really speaks Swedish with his sister!

The album is scheduled to be out at the end of May in Europe and North America. I can't wait to get my grubby little mitts on it :)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A new project...

Apologies for the long absence - life has been incredibly hectic of late!

I have plenty of posts in the pipeline and things are starting to calm down a little, so I should have time to finish them and get them published.

I can now unveil my new project which is replacing my totally abandoned attempts at Project 365 this year.

I've started a new blog, called The Third Woman, which will document our move to Vienna and our first year there. My aim is to take a photo each day of our new home. You can find the new ramblings over at Please come and take a look!

This blog will then focus more on the alt. bits and bobs, as well as a few of my more personal ramblings.

Thank you for sticking with me!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...