Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chapter 50: "Nobody's Gonna Hit You Harder Than Life."

Another review blog this week ladies & gents. I'm gonna be harping on about, Orange Is The New Black and just how frickin' amazing it is! If you haven't watched it yet, what are you waiting for? It is a Netflix Original series, which is probably the reason why it has done so well in such a short space of time as more and more people are registering with Netflix for their free first month trial (and if you're like me, you can watch A LOT in that space of time) and after the month paying £5.99. Don't fret though, if you don't have any interest in getting Netflix (you're weird), you can purchase the series on Amazon for £21.99 (I don't know why you would do that).

Starring Taylor Schilling (also known for, The Lucky One (2012) with Zac Efron), her character, Piper Chapman, is sent to prison for transporting money for her drug dealing lesbian lover... 10 years later. Chapman is now engaged to struggling writer, Larry Bloom (who we all know as the pie screwing, Jason Biggs) and together, they are both coming to terms with life apart, their true feelings for one another and what their life now has in store. 

My Mammy started watching this last year and all I ever heard was fits of laughter and the occasional gasp and squeal at her complete shock at some of the scenes. One involves a bun and a tampon - I'll say no more. At the time I was watching Breaking Bad, so I thought after I watched that I will start OITNB. However I only started it last week and I am on the last episode of the first series. I've found myself doing the same gasps and loud laughs my Mammy did and now I can't wait to start Season 2!

When I first started watching it, I felt like I was in Chapman's shoes and I can't even think why? I've never been to prison obviously, but I could relate to her because she is a good, normal girl who is about to embark on the most frightening journey of her life. We've all been in a scary situation in our lives, right? I think I relate a lot to her, because I can imagine I would act like her in prison. Keeping myself to myself, trying to stay clean ('cause I'm a clean freak), blurting out things I probably shouldn't say and knowing my luck, being someone's bitch ha!

Not only could I relate to her, but I felt a lot for Jason Biggs' character. Having to deal with life without his fiancé and struggling to find a break. What I can relate to most about him is how he desperately tries to find material to write about. In one episode, his brother-in-law suggests he writes about "Edging". I'd say google it, but if I were you, I would just look up its definition on the Cosmopolitan website..

But it's not just about these two characters, every episode delves into the story of a different character. Very similar to the structure of Lost, portraying loads of different themes like, love, romance, humour, family, danger, the list goes on!

The poster alone is enough to reel you in with the tag line, "Every Sentence Has A Story". Obviously a great play on words, but very fitting for the programme itself... I would explain why, but that would be a MASSIVE spoiler and I don't like to spoil things for people, so all  I will say is... GET WATCHING. Women, the programme will give you a great sense of empowerment and the distinct feeling that you potentially survive prison if shit ever got serious. Men... there's lots of woman on woman action. Sold? Get on Netflix pronto.

Here's a little trailer to really sell you.

We've all been dealt a shitty hand and one stage or another. But remember, nobody's gonna hit you harder than life. It's up to you to decide how you want to live it.

Peace & love.

P.S. It's 3 weeks until me and my sister's run, Race for Life. Just another massive thanks to you all who have donated to this very worthy cause. We will be running for our personal angel and everyone else who is fighting cancer. If you haven't already donated and would like to, please click the following link: www.justgiving.co.uk/jennys-girls xxx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Chapter 49: "I Couldn't Help But Wonder..."

Any woman reading the title of this and doesn't know where it is from... SHAME ON YOU. It is only the most used line in what is probably the most empowering programme for women, like, ever! Sex & The City. That's right, I'm going to bang on about how great this show is because I don't think enough blogs/essays/dissertations have been written about it... (I'm obviously joking).

I can't believe I'm about to do this, but for those of you who haven't watched it, I'm going to give you a brief synopsis:

It's about 4 single women in New York City.

God that was lengthy. 

I first discovered this show when I was 11. Yes, 11. Pretty young. I shared a room with my 13 year old sister and every Wednesday night we would sneakily put on SATC at 10pm and have it on a low volume so our parents couldn't hear. I remember being so shocked back then, especially by Samantha's character. I had to watch it because it was a topic of discussion for my sister and her friends every week at secondary school. I can just picture it now... "OMG, can you believe Big did that?!" I was very innocent back then, I couldn't get over how girls our age were getting into stuff like this? Mind you, back then the emergence of South Park hit the roof and my potty mouth was worse than ever. I got sent to the Head Teacher's office for calling a boy an asshole around that time. Little did the teachers know he called me a ginger bastard first. Little twat.

ANYWAY. We have 4 female characters all with very different personalities and sexual preferences... like most women and!

First we have Carrie Bradshaw: A sex columnist who basically writes about all of hers and her friends sexual encounters with men across the city and their struggles to find, "The One". She also, ALWAYS has sex in her bra, bar like ONE scene where you see her bare back. 

Miranda Hobbes: A strong minded, opinionated red head (sounds familiar) who's a Lawyer (not so familiar) and one of Carrie's best friends who struggles to find what exactly it is she wants, but enjoys trying to find out nonetheless.

Then we have Charlotte York: An Art Dealer who comes across as very prudish but is actually the token dark horse. Bottom line for Charlotte, she is after love in a big way. She wants the fairy tale shit (like most women do deep down but have grown too strong and independent to admit).

Finally, I had to leave the best 'til last, Samantha Jones: A PR genius and one of the most hilarious characters I have ever come across. She has the outer shell of a woman and the mind of a man. All and all, she gets about!

Now, every time SATC is brought up into conversation around a man, all they seem to do is roll their eyes. Have they ever given the show a chance? A lot of the time, no. I have only ever known a handful of men say they've watched the show and enjoy it, one of whom actually referred to my blog as SATC-esque which I found very flattering... until he followed with, "yeah it's a good toilet read." I laughed. Anyway, the reason why so little men have watched it, is probably because their other halves forced them to, but nevertheless, they enjoyed it. I have had to beg ex boyfriends to watch the show with me in the past which is unbelievable to me still... the show is called "SEX and the City", surely the first word is enough to make them watch it? The two responses I've ever got is:
  1. "Na I don't want to watch that horse/foot on my tele (Sarah Jessica Parker. Don't ask me why she is referred to as a 'foot').
  2. Will the brunette be in it much? She's the only fit one.
HARSH. To me they all portray different types of attraction. Yes Charlotte (Kristin Davis, the brunette) is instantly attractive, but her character actually pisses me off a lot because she tries to convey herself in a certain proper way, when really, she's as dirty as the rest of them. I've always thought Carrie (SJP) is gorgeous! I love her curly blonde hair, the fact she can run in heels and ALWAYS wears heels (which I think is wear my shoe obsession started) AND her flawless style. Girl could wear a McDonald's paper bag and still look good. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is the older of the bunch, yes, but by God... If I had a body like that at 40+ I'd be walking around in a bikini 24/7. And Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is quite androgynous, but she is so smart and has the best wit. Since when did men become so picky about what women they're looking at on TV? GIVE THE SHOW A CHANCE!

And no people. When I say watch Sex and the City, I don't mean the first and second movies. I mean the television series. This programme is a bible to women every where. Whether you are single, in a relationship, a married woman, a mother, you NEED this in your life. Whenever I think yo myself, "my God there are some knobs out there" - that's me referring to men - SATC always makes me feel better, because I then realise what me and every woman on this earth goes through, is all protocol. You know that saying, "you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince Charming." Yeah, I fucking hate that saying too. But this show is a prime example of it. We all want to find our 'Mr. Big' at the end of the tunnel. Whether we are looking for love, not looking for love or don't know what exactly it is we are looking for... SATC has all the answers you will ever need to know. It is a bible if you will... And if you don't know who Mr. Big is, this is him:

The man speaks truth...

If you haven't watched SATC, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Box Set's are available at a decent prices now. Here are some snipets to reel you in if this blog hasn't done it.

On that note, I'll leave you with Cheryl Lynn - To Be Real.

SATC Love.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Chapter 48: Fever Pitch

So guys, the World Cup 2014 is approaching us! Starting on the 12th June to be precise. Anyone reading this and thinking, "Wow, Trish is about to talk about football. Who knew she knew shit about it?". Now, I’m not going to claim I know a thing about it, because I don’t. But it's a time to celebrate our Nationalities! A great time to come together and bond over something we may know soooo much about, or we know nothing about (cue me).

For someone like me, it's difficult. I am English born, but I have Irish blood. "Irish blood, English heart..." Sorry I had to break out into Morrissey there. Although I am Irish, when someone asks me who I follow, I merely say both Ireland and England (but they haven't qualified this year and we all know deep down, Ireland never do very well in the World Cup generally. Sorry Ireland). 

The World Cup is a time when people come together from all over, go to the pub together, watch whatever team it is they're supporting and drink to them either winning or losing. At work we have a countdown blackboard to how many days are left until the World Cup begins. 
Colleague: "Not long now guys! You all excited?!"
Colleague: "Really Trish?"
Me: "Yeah I'm excited to go to the pub on a summers days to watch the football my friends and I really aren't following."
We've also done the good ol' sweep stake at work. Who did I get stuck with? Australia - great. It's funny though, because people who genuinely aren't really into football (like at all) have got the teams who probably have the best chances of winning (Spain, Argentina, Brazil). 

I do like football, I actually support a team; the mighty Arsenal! Not only are they fantastic players, but they are a pretty bunch aren't they? Like... since forever really:

Freddie Ljungberg.

Dennis Bergkamp & Thierry Henry.

Aaron Ramsey.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Top one is my fave obvs. What? He's a fantastic player! AND he is a talented model of underwear:

Anyway, back to the World Cup!

There's been a lot of debate this year about it's location. This year it is being held in Brazil, a country widely known for it's poverty and high crime rates due to this. A lot of money has obviously been invested into this, so it makes us question what difference could be made to Brazil itself if all the money was put into overcoming the terrible issues Brazilians have had to face for many years... Such a beautiful country that many people visit as a holiday location year after year. Where all the footballers are posting their beautiful seaside/poolside views from their hotels on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook and yet Brazilian citizens have not been able to appreciate their homeland for themselves because of the way they have had to survive and live. Makes you think really doesn't it? Maybe all the press surrounding it will open peoples eyes a little more to all the troubles that actually go on in that country? Hopefully important people who can make a difference. But, in the same breath, I'm sure Brazil are proud to have such a massive event in their country the way we were about the London 2012 Olympics.

Not only will this be an amazing excuse for the guys to talk important issues like "Who tackled who?" and "Why the F**K did the Ref call a red card?" It's a great excuse for us girls to talk about the amazing team spirit shown by none other than... the WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends). Let's hope the magazines will be filled with more of this, this year:

"Omg Chezza, Carly clearly doesn't understand its 'hand over mouth' pose when it comes to penalties. We push our cleavage together to distract the boys."

On that note, I want to wish all the teams good luck! However I know if we don't get through to the first round the whole country will be in a state of depression... another excuse to have a piss up though really isn't it?! If we can take anything from it though, it's the team spirit every country experiences with their family, friends, work colleagues and even strangers. Not just the teams we are watching on the screen.

On that note I will leave you with the official World Cup 2014 song by none other than Pitbull singing We Are One (Ole Ola).

COME ON ENGLAND (and Ireland)!!!!!!!!!

Team spirit!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Chapter 47: Man, I Feel Like A Woman

So after last weeks blog, I got the distinct feeling that a few men thought I was laying into them a bit. My friend even said he refused to read it purely based on the title alone! So for that, I apologise. This week, I will be discussing women being ladies. My friend who shared my blog last week made a valid point. Although she thinks chivalry is NOT dead (I implied it was last week), she also added that neither is being a lady. Granted, us women don't think about chivalry NON-STOP, but when it comes to a situation where a man is in front and doesn't open the door for you and leaves it slammed in your face, that narks me. My friend further adding:

"Unfortunately most people are too concerned with playing games, trying to impress the wrong people and having too much of an ego to identify a true gent/lady these days."

My experience of single life so far has been an interesting one and I would have to agree with my friend's statement above. Although us women will think that men play games, it's safe to say we are just as bad. If men thought about things as in depth as we do, they might stop and think, "Hang about, she's taking the piss a bit. I'm not to blame in all of this. It's a two way street!"

The Oxford Dictionary defines a lady as:

"A courteous, decorous or genteel woman. 'His wife was a real lady, with such nice manners.'"

However, the development of "The Ladette" has grown more so in recent years. What is a Ladette you say? The Urban Dictionary defines it as:

"A young woman who behaves in a confident and noisy way, who drinks alcohol and may enjoy sport or other activities that are traditionally enjoyed by men. Analysts believe the Ladette phenomenon has been driven by increasing levels of financial independence among young women."

These two are a good example:

So, in a nutshell, I would say I roughly fit this description. Roughly. For anyone that knows me, I laugh a lot and quite loudly. I swear a lot. When I say a lot, I mean too much. So much so that I offend people without realising. I like sport, but it's not my life. I would say my interest in movies outshines this. So sometimes it's shocking for a man to hear what movies I've watched and like. I'm not a major romcom girly girl. Yes I put make-up on and like to feel my best, but I don't particularly dress like a woman for work. If anything I'm a bit of a tomboy. I can't cut chicken and pizza with a knife and fork; to me this is unnatural. I need to pick that shit up with my hands and demolish it without taking the time to properly enjoy it. Why am I still single you say? LOL.

Yesterday, a woman came into our office having a nosey around. Now, this is a rarity at my work place, as there aren't many women in my office (I'm 1 of 4). Everyone had a good look at her and then my friend adds, "I'd bang her for a mill." Just a mill? NICE. My response was, "The poor women that have to walk through this office with all the men gawking and coming out with responses like that." Another bloke said, he used to work in an office full of women and we were just as bad. You know what I did? I agreed. We are just as bad. Me personally, if I worked in an office full of women and a man walked in, I'd probably be taken back. Granted I wouldn't say, "I'd bang him for a mill." But I'm sure I would have something to say.

Going back to the definition of a Ladette and how this has come about due to the growth of financial independence, I would have to agree. Although the 'stay at home' lady still exists and especially with full time Mothers, modernism has changed this. You know the saying, "Women are good at multitasking." It's not a lie, If women can be a devoted Mother to their children and also be the Breadwinner, well, we would pretty much be winning at life. Although we want to be treated like a lady we would still like the responsibility that was once considered to be predominantly the males role.

So for me personally, I have just admitted to you all that I kind of fall under the "Ladette" category. But that isn't to say I don't want to be treated like a lady? In fact, if I had a few doors held open for me, I would feel like a woman and probably act a bit more lady like. Am I saying that lack of chivalry has also played a part in the growth of the Ladette culture? Maybe I am. But I can't deny that a lot of women love this new era because it gives us a certain amount of independence that is enforced with music by Beyonce, television such as Sex and the City and films like Kill Bill.

Just saying!

Anyway, do you think we have lost what being a lady is? Is this down to lack of chivalry or is it because we are so influenced by what we see and hear on the television and radio? Is it because we are wanting to take on the role as woman and man? You decide!

Gonna leave you with some more Outkast this week. Roses is my FAVOURITE Outkast song. I first heard it when I was 16 in Secondary School and thought it was relevant to what I thought about a lot of girls then, and I still do now!

Hope you enjoyed this week as much as last weeks. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blogs. Had the BIGGEST response from you all on the subject of chivalry. Contact me again on the back of here, Facebook or tweet me (@triciabaxter).

Muchos love.