Monthly Archives: September 2014

Revised expectations for a twenty-something

At the antique age of 22 there are certain things I was lead to believe that I was going to have accomplished by now. I was told by my parents, and teachers, and what I’m fairly sure were complete strangers, that I would do great things, that I could be anything I wanted to.  This unusual brand of cruelty warrants only one form of punishment, akin to that prescribed by a certain Hogwarts professor, to the tune of: “I must not tell lies.”

I assumed I would wear nice clothes and look nice all the time. When I was a child I assumed there was an age where you suddenly knew how to dress and put your hair up without strays. I thought one day I would wake up and draw eyeliner so straight you could build bridges by it. I would drive to work in my car and no one would merge mercilessly, inches from my car, I would walk gracefully in my heels that didn’t blister my feet to my high paying job, where people would treat me like the respected and talented professional I was. I would make friends easily, we would go to cocktail parties, and gym classes, and they would let me pat their children – or whatever it is people do with children. I’d probably have two or three best sellers under my belt. To everyone waiting for this mythical age to come. Just stop. You will wake up too late for markets and swear at all the fuck trumpets on the road.

So I figured I should re-write a new list of expectations for myself, and celebrate things that I expect you all to accomplish by the time you are 22. If not… Make a new list with lower expectations. No judgement.

  1. You will stop buying dessert for dinner

bread makes you fatSometimes unusual things are bad for you. When I was a child, I thought chicken kieve was good for you, mostly because you cooked it at home. Kebabs had salad materials in it, they should be healthy? Apple pies = apple. It just isn’t true. Everything but water and water based foods will make you fat. Dessert is just the first step. Amy. I fully believe that for a full week, at some stage in your life, you will have the self-control to not eat chocolate for dinner.

  1. Something in your house will break, and you will fix ittumblr_m96ggwZ28R1qffs5p

Be it blown light bulbs, clogged vacuum cleaners, or hitting a microwave to turn it on. A sweet wave of accomplishment will overcome you and you will know that everything is alright. You can look after yourself. No room unlit, no vacuum unsuckable, no two minute noodle unheated.

  1. You will fill out some personal paperwork

tumblr_myadqcAniG1rm5arco1_500Do you know how many things you need in order to prove you are yourself? Lose your wallet one day and your whole world falls apart. You have to cancel your cards – all of them. Credit, frequent fliers, student cards, licenses, and the irreplaceable buy-ten meals-at-Siam-Simrarn-and-get-one-free card. Some days I look back on that experience/experiences (I’ve lost such cards more than once) and think that was the moment someone should have offered to buy me a pony – because I did it. I got all new cards, all twenty million of them, and then the café I left it at posted my wallet to me. With my $11.75 still in it. I didn’t know if I should be happy or irritated. Still don’t.

  1. You will go to the doctors when you feel ill

Like all things on this list, I’m sure people naturally do these things. Somewhere along the way I got the cures for ‘heartbreak’ and ‘swine flu’ crossed. Time does not heal all wounds. Antibiotics heals all wounds.

  1. Decorate your home

Obviously I just mean for Christmas. I really can’t be bothered decorating for any other time.  And tumblr_mbwszeLc0m1rj3rldo1_500you know what. You might even take it all down before February. Because you’re an adult. Last year I did this, not the take it down before February part, but the decorate part. My sister and I used stolen Christmas decorations from her work that were too broken to be of practical use… Except in our house. Welcome to the Wallin’s island of misfit toys.

  1. Invest

Investment items are items that you really can’t afford to buy but you do anyway by convincing yourself that they are of good quality and you will probably have them till the day you die. My frypan is an investment in my health. I cook fried eggs in it, aaaand that has been all I’ve cooked in it for the last three weeks. See? Investment.

  1. Spend more than half an hour on the phone to a provider of some sorttumblr_mevvmyB5191rt1iuko1_400

The reason my generations, and every generation to follow like to text so much is because we hate you all. Seriously stop with all your words to me, I don’t care for them. Tell me that you can’t switch my electricity back on for another three days with emoji.

  1. You buy toilet paper before you run out at the most inconvenient of times

You may have at some point realised that your toilet paper roll is going to come to the end of its life within the next few days. Maybe you only have one left and it occurred to you to immediately do something to resolve this impending conundrum. Being a twenty-something means never having to use paper towel as a toilet paper substitute.

‘Last Sacrifice’ by Richelle Mead

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It was the end of an era. With Vampire Academy I did something that I have never been able to accomplish with any other book. I put off reading the last one, just so I always had that excellent little feeling of: it’s not over yet. I get the same feeling if I freeze some spaghetti sauce, or a buy two bottles of wine, or if I’m rich enough to hide $100 in my sock drawer. It’s a comforting, don’t worry, I’ve got your back when you just can’t go on – sort of relief. But just like the last-sacrificeplumbers bill to my $100, Last Sacrifice (how apt) was called upon to get me out of a particularly boring evening.

This was by far the best Vampire Academy book in the series. Rose and Dimitri have fucked right off to – wherever with an alchemist that hates them, Vasilisa is going through gruelling trials of royalty nominations with all the calm and poise of a lady, and meanwhile the vampire community is in political turmoil over various Queen killings, archaic laws, and some Strigoi reversibles.

It upsets me to announce that I saw Tasha’s betrayal coming a while ago. I never really liked her, perhaps because Rose never really liked her. Way to revoke the stigma of evil surrounding your family you bitch. I mean she was evil for a good cause, but she for real killed a person, she was indirectly responsible for another Moroi death, she used that poor boyfriend of her, and set up Rose tumblr_nbvbtnQ1IY1shn6wzo1_500to take the fall so she could have her boyfriend. The strangest thing is, she didn’t seem like a psychopath at all. Poor Christian and Lissa have been through some dramatics. Both of them with their families dead, and the closest relatives they have betraying them for selfish gain. Meanwhile here is Rose with her parents both alive and well, multiple boyfriends alive and well, and eating doughnuts for breakfast and not getting fat.

Though Rose is lacking magic. It occurred to me while reading the first book, that this would truly be a horrendous punishment. To be a similar race to these people, but not able to use magic. They are the muggles and squibs of the vampire world.

The only complaint? The ending sentence was trash! “But I think it’s going to be good.” !!! WHAT!  This is the swill we get left with after 6 books of jazzy scenes and witty quips and you leave us with some soap-opera-esque, everything is gunna be alright! SO DONE!

Let’s explore some of my favourite of those quips to wash the taste of bad last lines out of my mouth.

“What the hell?” I asked. Is this daring escape being sponsored by Honda?”

“So that’s how you’re going to fix the family problem. Little Dragomirs. Good idea.”

The saleswoman’s eyes widened. “No one has ever worn straps to a funeral. It wouldn’t be right.”

“What about shorts?” asked Adrian. “Are they okay if they’re with a tie? Because that’s what I was gonna go with.”

Oooh speaking of Adrian. Poor sonovabitch. Cheating is cheating, true love or not, and while I’m glad they ended up together, I’m glad Adrian didn’t let her get off lightly:

“I loved you!” he yelled. He jumped up out of his chair so quickly I never saw it coming. “I loved you, and you destroyed me. You took my heart and ripped it up. You might as well have staked me!” The change in his features also caught me by surprise. His voice filled the room. So much grief, so much anger. So unlike the usual Adrian. He strode toward me, hand clasped over his chest. “I. Loved. You. And you used me the whole time.”

Luckily, I have the Ruby Circle coming out next year, on my own birthday no less. I will get to see tumblr_nba4z3H6Ni1tntp9qo1_500Adrian happy once more, see Lissa pull off some royal decision making, and revisit some old grievances I’ve had with the royal Moroi and the Alchemists. Let’s just bring the lot of them down in one fell swoop. Saddle up Mead, I have some requests. God now I really want to reread Bloodlines… But I have so many other books to read. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

‘Crown of Midnight’ by Sarah J. Maas

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I started Crown of Midnight immensely relieved. Here was a likeable protagonist. Evil and cold, 18005628leaving more questions than answered. It lasted all of fifty words before the bouncing bubbly Cinderella came back into play. Damn it Maas! So close. We, readers, were told of the last four months break in between the two novels. A thrilling tale of assassinations and cold shoulders. I wish now that Crown of Midnight started a little sooner so I could relish in a sensible assassin Celaena.

She came back though, fear not. I found Crown of Midnight to be far more likeable than Throne of Glass. I couldn’t tell you if it was the lack of faults I found in her character, or the evidence of actual bad ass-ness. I didn’t even mind the fault in physics this time. And isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do? Make you forget the physical boundaries of the human world? I think so too. You guys really aren’t needed for this blog conversation I appear to be having with myself. It’s like Dora the Explorer, how she waits for you to answer a question and then answers it herself.

There is something truly irritating about a character who insists on keeping secrets, to no obvioustumblr_m29bk8LPwH1ro90doo1_500 end. I sensed that this was going to be a common occurrence with Miss Celaena Sardothien in Throne of Glass, the theme continued with Crown of Midnight. The strangest thing was that she fully realised this was a problem, even encountered the nasty side effects of not being completely open with someone then, SPOILER, they proceeded to die with questions and tales untold. Yet Cel goes about keeping secrets. I really don’t mind her keeping them from Chaol, he strikes me as an idiot whom I have no time for. But she should share them with Dorian, who is in just as, if not more, of a dangerous situation, is magical, and doesn’t blindly follow the king.

Despite this, her faults are actually decreasing, but best of all, she is now fighting with double swords! Yes! My avid blog readers could probably not tell you that I have an obsession with just this thing, as spoken about in previous, equally enthralling posts. Double swords are the shit. Impractical, tumblr_inline_mtg3cxycBX1r49tzv unlikely, and totally bad ass. I’m now in a state of, should I go out and attain the next one, or get through my current pile of books?… Luckily I planned ahead and sneaky sneaky got my sister and my friend into reading them. So they can buy, I can borrow, we can all live happily ever after.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

6 questions that someone must answer mighty fast.

I was having an Enrique Iglasias moment the other night. Hero was playing, I was sobbing into a pillow (not really) while he asked a million questions of me:

Would you dance, if I asked you to dance?                          Yes, even if you didn’t ask.

Would you run and never look back?                                     Best to look where you are running

Would you cry if you saw me crying?                                    Ah yes.

And would you save my soul, tonight?                                Can I just have your heart instead?

So many pop musicians have given their artistic abilities over to answer questions of their own. What you going do with all that junk? You know, all the junk you have inside of your trunk. I am going to get you drunk, off of my humps (Probs filled with tequila, am I right?). So after a solid night of research I have come up with the top 6 questions that have never been answered and attempted to answer them for you.

  1. Who wrote the book of love?tumblr_n980s72eqY1rks8zxo2_500

E. L. James.

2.Annie are you okay?

The title of the song is Smooth Criminal. I think it is safe to assume any dealings with criminals, smooth or otherwise, are going to leave someone not okay. Annie is not okay. MICHAEL! ANNIE IS NOT OKAY!

  1. Parlez Vous Francais?

Je ne parle pas français

4. Who the fuck is Alice?

A quick Google search provided the answer.

tumblr_nahw6j7UhW1t6lb6ao1_400

5. Why does it always rain on me?

Well Travis, it truly depends. It could be that you are always outside in London. It could be that you were never a boy scout and hence never learnt preparedness. It could be a hex or a curse, in which case I would suggest you try Finate Incantatem.

  1. Have you ever seen the rain?tumblr_nbyxrsHExV1r90377o1_500

So many questions about the rain. I thought the moon was the one meant to inspire poetry. So obvi we have all seen the rain. I assume you were on something chronic when this occurred to you to find some deep meaning in an obvious place. We have seen the rain, but have we seen the rain? The answer is still yes.

There are so many confusing things in the world that I have just learnt to accept. There is a website out there that just tells you if it is Christmas or not. Printer ink is more expensive than buying a printer. Ikea makes me feel proud for owning terribly cheap furniture because I put it together myself. I only seem to find inspiration in my direct surrounds. Crazy. So anyway, here are some pets interrupting yoga to send you on your way.

Oh good, more I must read

This week’s theme from the Broke and the Bookish are the top ten Authors I have only read one book from, though must read more under pain of death. Or a similar, if less sinister, version of that.

  1. Robert Galbraith

Ah yes, I’m aware this is cheating. Matters not! J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling felt like an old friend when I read it. The comfortable writing style was better than a hug. Silkworm come at me.

  1. Ian McEwan

Also a lie, I have read two of his books, Atonement, one of the greatest literary masterpieces ever, and Solar, an atrocity (mostly just content and awful characters not actual writing) that haunts my dreams still. For a while there, I simply refused to acknowledge him as an author/human. But I think it is time I start again. And what would you know, The Children Act just came out!

  1. Belinda Alexandra

I’ve only read Wild Lavender and it was one of my favourite books growing up. I’ve seen on Goodreads that people actually think it pales in comparison to some of her other work. This can only mean good things. I really should endeavour to find her other flowery titles: White Gardenia.

  1. Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go was such an excellent premise for a novel, I was so excited to read the next one, though at the time I didn’t have access to it. I’m afraid I might have grown out of it though.

  1. Paul Hoffman

I read The Left Hand of God one day when I was sick. A friend bought it over and suggested I might like to read it, not having any new books of my own at the time. It was through one of my non-reading phases that I read it, and consumed it in a day. I really ought to find out what happened to the protagonist…

  1. Margaret Atwood

Having only read The Handmaidens Tale, I have already seen the potential that Atwood has, not only in her literary capacity, but her imagination.

  1. John Green

While I wasn’t that impressed with The Fault in our Stars I would really like to understand the fuss that he has recently caused. Perhaps I shall find the answer in one of his other tales.

  1. Neil Gaiman

Believe it or not, I have only read one of his actual novels (The Graveyard Book), though this is also
sort of cheating as I do have a novels worth of short stories of his as well. At the present I have American Gods sitting beside my bed, which I intend to get to…shortly.

  1. Sarah J. Maas

For those of you who follow my blog consistently you will notice I am currently in the process of fulfilling this ‘must’ list. Okay no, just number nine. I read Mass’ Throne of Glass, figured it was only so-so, so I had to read more. It is picking up. Thankfully.

10. Kazuo Ishiguro

Back when I had time to spare I was involved (created) a book club, and the book I chose was called Never Let me Go. It was one of the emptiest books I have ever read. I felt like I misplaced my soul by the end of it. So naturally I thought it was excellent. Apparently, Remains of the Day is even better.

Suddenly and Extremely Popular

So this week I have become suddenly and extremely popular. The third time in two days I have been nominated for an award. Poet Laureate here I come.  I guess I best start writing some poetry. Here’s one I wrote when I was a bartender. Actually during a shift in a bar call Sticks.

There once was a lass from Sticks

Who served no drinks, just practised her tricks.

But it got so dead,

That she dropped on her head,

A giant bag of bricks.

I guess you are all feeling a little lachrymose now. It is very touching I know. I was nominated for a Liebster Award, which I have heard tell (google machine) that Liebster means ‘dearest’ in German, but I think in this context it actually means favourite? Anyway the aptly described, dearest bloggers: born and read and Kara from What Kara Reads (congrats on the engagement babe!) and Becky from My Infernal Imagination have nominated me, thankyou guys. I was standing in line for a two-for-one steak when I discovered I’d been nominated and I was so excited I almost left the line. But it was pretty good steak. So I figured my joyful shouting would have to wait. AYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! I would just like to reiterate that I didn’t eat two steaks, one was for my sister. Continue reading

Guys. I’m Lovely.

Often times I find myself struggling to write about anything that isn’t books. I habitually foray into work and alcohol and adventures to and from the supermarket. My life is gripping let me tell you. So I appreciate those people who force me to step outside the riveting world of books. Here’s to Anastasia from Read & Survive for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award, you’re a doll. I may even put this achievement on my resume. Continue reading