Anti-Valentine’s Day

I don’t think there’s any need to beat around the bush with today’s blog post. I absolutely CANNOT stand Valentine’s Day and every single year, I cringe as February 14th creeps closer and closer. I wish I could hibernate from mid-Jan to Feb 15th so I could avoid the vomit-inducing tradition that forces me to read bullshit marketing material like:

“Top 10 sexiest restaurants to take your loved one” –> 7 course meal for you lovebirds…at only £100 a head. Good deal.

“(Expensive) Gifts to show her you care” –> Because the more money you spend on me, the more it means you love me…right, bae? #nomoneynohoney

Gotta love this one…what’s better than diamonds? Diamond water, obviously.

Really? A whole new low...Really? A whole new low…

Even Sainsbury’s is sending me Valentine’s Day themed emails…hello, I don’t want to buy heart-shaped cookies and pink sparkling wine, OK!? #unsubscribe

I’d just like to add in here now that these are not words coming from a bitter and single spinster. These are words coming from a girl who appreciates thoughtfulness all year round and doesn’t want one particular day to be forced upon someone to prove their level of affection. The funny thing is, the day is SUPPOSED to represent romanticism when in actuality, it’s the complete antithesis of that. Valentine’s Day has now made it easy for people to turn their brain off when it comes to showing their S.O. that they ‘care’. Where’s the spontaneity and surprise element? Instead, a day of romance has been chosen, where gifts are readily available (oh, the power of suggestion) and thought is no longer required since advertisements and the masses have stated what’s appropriate to do and give. The world has essentially done everything possible to make romance as easy as possible, which really leaves me thinking that…#romanceisdead

This year, in particular, is filling me with #ValentinesDayRage. This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, which means I’m going to be subjected to the madness all day. If it fell on a weekday I could just go to work, go home, and avoid all the VDay shenanigans, but tomorrow as I walk out and about I’m going to see vendors fitting in their last attempts to sell their bouquets of red roses, helium heart balloons and jewellery stores staying open just a little while longer so people can pick up last-minute gifts. Ugh, it’s all so commercial.

But that’s not even the worst part of the weekend. Because get this, my most despised ‘holiday’ also coincides with the movie release of THE WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN (you can read my sentiments on the book here).  50 Shades of Shit officially opens in theatres today so not only have I been forced to face the sickening lead-up to Valentine’s Day for the past three weeks, but now I’m predicting I’ll be forced to spend the next three weeks reading and hearing debates and reviews of this Oscar-worthy movie.  I should just ship off to the South Pole for the next month…I clearly shouldn’t be part of mainstream society at the moment, huh?


Valentine’s Day Protester

Edit: M asked me Friday night if I’d like to do anything tomorrow. I asked him why he was asking, to which he responded “For Valentine’s Day! Like a date!”. I don’t remember the last time he suggested a date night so all I can say is….Point. Totally. Proven.

Grammar grumbles

Feb 7, 2013 update: I ain’t the only one!!! I mean…I am not the only one!!! Read on…

43 percent of singles say bad grammar is a turnoff

YES!!! In total agreement and loved reading the comments. *sigh* I feel like I belong in this community of haters…

Originally posted: Jan 30, 2013

I don’t have any near-future plans of having my name beside a Pulitzer or Man Booker Prize and while I ain’t no great writer, I sure do appreciate literary geniuses. You know what, let’s take it down a notch – you don’t need to be a literary genius, I just appreciate good writing. Actually, let’s just take it down to the basics, I appreciate good grammar.

Seeing anything otherwise causes some pretty serious internal fits…internal fits that, at times, makes its way out to the external world. Twitter has become a good release for my rants and placing myself behind a wall of semi-anonymity makes it easy to unload. I started following @ItsDaGrumpyCat because oh, how he brightens my day so! I feel like his thoughts are my thoughts…except if I want to keep up my happy, peppy, image that I’ve created for myself here in England (alter-ego) I need to keep most of these thoughts locked up. But it’s comforting to know that there’s someone out there who can, and will, freely voice my sentiments.

Oops, like the cat that I am, I’ve strayed from the original topic. The reason why I brought up ItsDaGrumpyCat, and how it relates to this post, is that apparently he feels the same way I do in regards to poor grammar. I’ve been re-tweeting his tweets because that gives me the safety barrier of pushing my thoughts out there without me directly saying, “I despise people who, after 15 years of schooling plus life experience, still can’t get simple grammar straight.”

Yes, ItsDaGrumpyCat, YES!!! You know me so well…

It’s bad enough when I see general spelling and grammar mistakes floating around my emails…my social media…my chat boxes…but when it starts to appear on professional business packaging, THAT’S when the shock/rage factor shoots up a bit as I think, “You git! This is your professional branding! Couldn’t you have taken the effort to have it proofread before distributing to thousands/millions of people!?”

When I see something spelled incorrectly or notice a major grammar mistake it’s definitely enough to turn me off from using that product if there’s a suitable alternative around.

Case Study 1:

Spot the mistake?


It was so hard to eat my noodles with the bag facing me...leering at me...taunting me...

This restaurant’s in Bath, England. Notice before I said I’d switch companies if there was a suitable alternative available? Well, in this case there’s no suitable alternative :( Bath’s lacking in good Asian cuisine, and finding bubble tea, especially GOOD bubble tea is scarce. Almost as scarce as good spelling and grammar.

Tonight’s Italian class consisted of learning restaurant etiquette, ordering dishes, faux-pas’ etc. Have you heard of the dish Spaghetti/Penne all’Arrabbiata? It’s pasta with spicy sauce (arrabbiata means ‘angry’ in Italian). My teacher told us today that if she sees on the menu that ‘arrabbiata’ has been spelled incorrectly (on menus it’s often missing either one of the double r’s or the double b’s) she won’t order it because “if it’s not spelled right it’s not cooked right!” Trust the Italians to feel as passionately as I do about misspellings 😉

I say this even though M spells gym ‘jym/jim’, ache ‘ake’, receipt ‘receit’…Don’t worry, I’m working on it. I’ve always been one to take on a challenge!


When things get a little out of hand…

It’s been a long time since my last update and while I’ve been meaning to write about my updates (new flat, new job, new hobbies) I just haven’t had time! I’ll get to all that in due time but for now, I have to dedicate my first blog entry in a month to an event that has had me griping all day long.

So I’m not sure how big of a deal this is across the Atlantic but something happened here that’s been splashing the headlines since Tues Dec 4. Let’s recap: Australian radio show 2Day FM played a prank pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles and called the hospital where Kate Middleton was staying. In case you haven’t heard it, you can find it here (just scroll down a bit to where it says “Listen to Mail Online’s edited version of the prank call).

You can tell instantly that it was meant to be a joke. They sound as much like the Queen and Charles as I sound like Morgan Freeman. They never expected to be put through the switchboard. Yet, they did and what ensued afterwards now has England in an uproar, me included. But apparently, I don’t agree with the majority.

Once the radio clip aired the comments started flowing in…and this resulted in the suicide of the nurse who took the call and put the transfer through. In case you haven’t read the story, here are some links to save you some search time:

Hospital bosses turn against radio show for humiliating nurses (The Telegraph)

“Truly appalling”: Royal hospital condemns prank call in letter to radio station

 (The Independent)

Duchess of Cambridge hospital accuses DJs of humiliating nurses with prank call (The Telegraph)

Death of U.K. hospital nurse strengthens call for new privacy laws (Globe and Mail)

So out of all these titles the only one I can look at without disgust is the Globe and Mail’s. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the consequences of what happened are really horrible and it’s really tragic that a death resulted in it but there are a few things I need to address:

1. There should be more focus on the fact that hospital security WAS breached. Why was it so easy for the call to be put through? Something was obviously missed and protocols should certainly be reviewed. The DJs exposed a flaw in the hospital’s system and due to the way it was exposed (a prank) they’ve been condemned. If a ‘serious’ undercover investigation had been launched and aired by Dateline/20-20/60 Seconds (sorry, I only know North American news shows) the same thing would have been aired on TV but it would have been taken much more seriously. Somehow I don’t think Barbara Walters would’ve received hate mail if she had been the one who’d exposed the hospital’s error.

2. According to the media (I say this with a grain of salt and a huge eye-roll) the hospital didn’t discipline or suspend the nurse for the event. Also stated was that “At no point during the process did the Duke and Duchess lay any blame on anyone there. They only offered their sympathy and support at the time, and even more so now.” PR people working their best so everyone can maintain their angelic image or is this truth? Who knows. But if there really wasn’t any discipline given and all was good with Kate and the family then I think the nurse involved must have had other issues going on to jump to such a drastic level. People react to things differently but this was an emotionally extreme reaction.

3. People are saying things to the DJs like “You deserve to go to hell. You have blood on your hands”, but as pointless and stupid as the prank was they did not kill her. If anything, the media has blood on their hands because it’s the media that has let everything that has unfolded get to the level it has reached. These radio shows exist to entertain and that’s what they did. TV shows like Punk’d do the exact same thing and everyone has a good laugh. Prank calls are done on a global basis and it’s not a crime. Just God forbid someone does anything to the Royal family. Newspapers who are blasting out titles like the ones I have listed above are doing it to increase sales and both magnifying and propagating the story for their own self-interest. From Tuesday until now the wording has changed from “prank” to “cruel hoax”. The hospital has managed to turn a situation where their security measures should have been made priority to being ‘victims’ of a CRUEL HOAX. Give me a break.

News like this gets pumped out because people (especially those in the UK) crave and suck in anything Royals-related. If the exact same thing happened to Victoria Beckham it would’ve been a quick ‘hee hee’ and been done and over with. People stick the Royal family on some kind of pedestal and everything related to them just seems to get blown out of proportion times a million.

3. Quit it with your self-righteousness. When the story first broke out everyone was all ha-ha-ing about it and people were originally wanting her to get fired. Now with the death everyone’s condemning those who thought the prank was funny. The story has evolved over the past days…when the hospital originally responded to the situation they stated they were ‘deeply embarrassed’. According to The Globe and Mail article John Lofthouse, the hospital’s chief executive, said the call never should have gone through. He said patients like the Duchess had secure phone lines and that staff had been trained not to fall for such stunts. The mood lightened when Prince Charles joked with reporters during an event on Thursday: “How do you know I’m not a radio station?”

Then everything changed Friday morning when the nurse was found dead in her apartment and public fury was unleashed.

So people are now commenting, tweeting, airing out their rage, saying things like “The Aussie morons should get fired”, “the radio DJs should be charged for manslaughter”, “I hope that the people who instigated the idiocy that led to this have a hard time living with themselves”, “get rid of these low lifes”, “take that picture off, it’s disgusting to look at them!!!”, “stand up and face the music, you vile and horrible couple” and apparently what’s not being realized is they’re doing the same thing that likely drove the nurse to suicide. The pressure built up, she was berated and now the exact same thing is happening to the DJs. If all this backlash were to result in their deaths could we then say “you have blood on your hands, you drove them to kill themselves”? It’s easy to say all this because they’re among a mass of people, hiding behind the internet. Bystander effect. I’m seeing so many comments such as “hope your realize your actions have consequences” and doubt many people see the hypocrisy in their words.


Final thoughts are: I know that I represent about 2% of people who aren’t hating the DJs. I’ve been reading the comments associated with the articles and my opinions tend to side with the ones who get 86 thumbs down or a -8000 rating. But I think the DJs did something routine (aka typical of that kind of radio show that people would normally enjoy) that resulted in something tragic and are now being royally (pun intended) punished. They can be blamed for doing something in bad taste, but murder? To put very ineloquently, this whole situation just really f’n sucks.

A cornucopia of disappointment

I finally had the chance to watch the hugely anticipated Hunger Games on Wednesday and was ready to write something up about it as soon as I got back from the cinema (largely, my disappointment) but I decided to give it a couple of days to let the anger diffuse a little.

It’s now been a couple of days and the disappointment hasn’t diffused once ounce. I haven’t voiced my opinion too loudly on other platforms since I don’t need the whole world reading my opinion and telling me I’m nuts, the movie was amazing, and there’s no way they could have put everything into the movie blah blah blah blah BLAH! Since you’ve actively chosen to read this you’ll just need to suffer the consequences of your actions and put up with my bitching. Because this is my blog and bitch I will.

*SPOILER ALERT* (common courtesy, since you may not have watched it yet…directed at Suse).

Ok so I’m perfectly aware that there’s no way they could have crammed all the good stuff into just a 2.5 hr movie and I didn’t go in with extremely high expectations or anything but there are a few things I would’ve alternatively preferred:

  1.  If they had just made the movie a 2-parter or just made it 4 hrs long…
  2. I had read the book after watching the movie
  3. I never watched the movie at all

A lot of the parts of the book were missing but there were KEY things in the novel that SHOULD NOT have been left out!! I read an article about how people are outraged over some of the races they chose to play the character’s parts (read this if you’re interested: Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed). These people are ignorant and should be banished from the face of the earth. My gripe isn’t with the characters chosen (although I thought Josh Hutcherson’s acting was a little less than stellar), it’s that significant parts of the novel were either altered or taken out altogether!

Let the list of disappointment….BEGIN!

1. “She has no idea. The effect she can have.”- Peeta Mellark. This was one of my favourite lines in the book and was one of the first signs you see of Peeta having real feelings for Katniss. Why was it taken out???

2. Katniss bought the mockingjay pin from the market in the movie, meanwhile Madge gave it to her in the book.  This was also a significant part of the movie…and it’s one thing to leave parts out but to alter a concept of the novel altogether?? Hello, are you nuts!? Why did they take out Madge and the mayor completely when it’s minorly important in the second novel? I wonder how they’ll mess up that scene when the sequel comes out. Grr..

3. They didn’t show Peeta killing one of the tributes when he was siding with the Careers. This was also important in the novel because it was at that point where Collins made you wonder “hmm…is Peeta seriously playing Katniss? I can’t believe he killed someone!”

4. I didn’t connect with any of the characters at all. I didn’t think the acting was that horrible but I definitely didn’t connect with them the way I did while reading the novel. I don’t think anyone knew the names of the stylists and I know they TRIED to portray the spark between Cinna and Katniss but again..didn’t feel it.

5. Everything in general was just so condensed. When they did the initial training you couldn’t tell in the movie how big a deal it was that Peeta requested to be trained on his own. It was just an ‘oh, ok cool’ kind of moment. The audience should’ve had a “WHAT!?!” reaction. And the book’s called the HUNGER GAMES. I didn’t really get a sense that they were really starving for food in the games, while in the novel Katniss was almost at death’s foodsteps because she couldn’t get water. They didn’t show the hovercrafts picking up the dead tributes, the scene in the cave with Peeta and Katniss was supposed to be the defining moment where we get to see Katniss begin to develop real feelings for Peeta. And what happened to her giving him the sleep syrup!? There were so many parts missed that the friends I was with who hadn’t read the book yet were asking me questions because no explanation was given (i.e. the concept of the Reaping wasn’t really explained and people didn’t understand why some people’s names were input more times than others)

6. Another important part that was skipped out was the end when the Gamemakers announced that there would, in fact, only be one winner and Katniss’ first instinct was to point her bow and arrow at Peeta, while he had already tossed his knife to the ground. That was another turning point showing how Katniss only thinks of herself and you see Peeta truly only cares for her. AND ONE OTHER THING to end of this list…Katniss was supposed to declare to Peeta that she had only acted a certain way for the camera. It was all for the Games….poor Peeta L

I think those are the main points…all you really need to know is that I left the theatre feeling empty, dejected, and aggressive. I found myself filling in all the missing parts in my head while I watched the movie. I was told that I have an overactive imagination when I said I was disappointed by Katniss and Peeta’s entrance at the Capitol because I was expecting to be BLOWN away by their fire costume but instead, it was just all very ho-hum.

Anyway, that’s my rant for now. You’re lucky that I have to jet off in 2 minutes to leave for London because trust me…this list could go on, and on, and on, and on…


Angry Fan

Some people do their part to make this world a better place

Unfortunately, today, I was not one of them.

Something happened today and I will likely mull over it for awhile wishing I could have done something different. Regret- an awful feeling that little sucker is.

M and I spent the afternoon taking advantage of the amazing weather by basking in the sun and taking in a few ciders at Royal Victoria Park today. We weren’t the only ones who came up with this amazing idea, as the park was packed full of people- families, couples, friends…and pricks. Well, there’s one prick in particular who angered me to no end, but I’m even angrier at myself for not having done anything about it and just being one of the many others who watched him be a prick.

What first caught our attention was a dog running around with a long piece of crap flailing behind him. His owner was running after him trying to clean him up a little and everyone watching thought it was pretty entertaining. Our attitudes changed a second later when the man threw the plastic bag containing the dog shit over the park fence. There was probably a garbage bin not even 5 meters away but he just decided to litter the park instead. I actually couldn’t believe what he was doing when all of a sudden I heard someone shout “Throw it in the bin, you lazy git!”. I whipped my head around and, to my delight, I saw a girl doing what I wish I had the guts to do. The man didn’t take too kindly to being yelled at in public and a screaming match ensued. His wife (or whatever female companion who was with him) scurried away (I hope she was embarrassed) while he tried to defend his actions  by saying “that area is for trash!”, which only caused further infuriation since the “trash area” he was speaking of was where the city had put wood chips for compost. Hardly a dumpsite! He walked away and all I could think was how I wish I could have videotaped the whole scenario. Not just tape the scenario, but to have sided with the girl as well instead of being another bystander. As I was grumbling over my “if only” the man came back…only he didn’t come walking back like normal. He came back strutting like he had something important to say. I was waiting for something intellectual to come out of his mouth, but instead he just yelled “And don’t you ever dare to speak to me like that again!”. I thought that was a bit odd, but then he bent down to pick up a jacket on the ground and strutted off again. Turns out he forgot he left his jacket on the ground and the humiliation wasn’t enough to prevent him from coming back to pick it up.

I would have loved to have the video go viral and to start a manhunt…I have a feeling he wouldn’t want to show his face around Bath much once people recognized him as the prick from Royal Victoria Park.

For now, I’ll just have to praise the girl with the long purple skirt and orange scarf for saying something on behalf of everyone else at the park. So…thank you, girl with the orange scarf. I wish there were more people like you out there.