Monday, 25 June 2012

Mind Your Mobile Manners

Or 'How not to be another dick with a smart phone'.

I recently caught up a little bit with the modern age when I inherited my Dad's old touch screen phone, as my beloved flip phone had started to fail a little in its old age (sob!). When I rang up Orange to tell them I had a new phone the woman seemed very surprised that I didn't want to add an internet tariff to my bill, going so far as "Well if you do you can go on Facebook for free rather than it charging you". I assured her that this won't be a problem and she sounded very weirded out by the fact that I use my phone as, primarily, a phone. I don't care if I can't get on the internet on it, I like to be able to phone people and text people and that's all I really need. Sure, it's nice to be able to take photos and have a calculator in my pocket too, but I mainly use my mobile as a communications device. Shocking, I know. I really don't like this smart phone culture, where you need to have everything in your pocket all the time, and be able to instantly access YOUR ENTIRE LIFE through your phone. You don't. I have so many pet hates when it comes to the way people use their phones, and I know I'm not alone because I've read blogs like this one before. I'd like to lay them out here so you can nod along in silent agreement too.*

Don't play music on your phone in public, unless there is a specific reason for you to. This mainly seems to apply to chavvy types around the ages of 12-16, but they are ALWAYS on my buses. I don't want to hear whatever passes for music these days, especially not if I can hear it OVER MY HEADPHONES. If I am listening to my mp3 player then I shouldn't be able to hear Rhianna's latest tune blaring out over the top of my own music. And even if I am not, it's rude and inconsiderate and downright annoying. Stop it, stop it now. 

Don't leave your phone switched on (even if it is on silent!) in the theatre or cinema. And if you do have to, leave it in your POCKET/BAG! I once sat through a whole film in the cinema with the two surly teenagers next to me on their phones the whole time. They weren't even looking at the screen, just down at their laps. Why pay to get in if you aren't going to enjoy it? Plus for the people sitting nearby, the lights emitted by the fairly sizeable screens were a persistent distraction throughout the whole thing, which somewhat spoiled it for me as well. And it's even worse in a theatre. You're supposed to be enjoying this most ancient of art forms and losing yourself in the magic of the story, when actually you're just annoying EVERYONE around you. Just switch it off and allow yourself to be un-contactable for 3 hours. If that's too hard, just wait til the interval, the world won't end.

You really don't need to have Facebook/Twitter on your phone. Stop tagging yourself into every new place you go, stop instantly uploading photos, stop tweeting everything you see on the street. Your friends will survive without updates from you for a few hours, and it might be a novel experience for you to actually live a little, rather than methodically documenting every aspect of your life. A massive pet hate of mine is when, in a lull in conversation, the phones automatically come out and everyone checks Facebook. Can you not bear to not know what's happening in all the lives of your friends for this one moment? Would it not be a bit less rude/a bit more conducive to keeping this living breathing friendship alive for you to not suddenly check your phone as if my presence isn't enough to keep your brain from getting bored, without inputs from your virtual life? It's really inconsiderate and it kills the natural art of conversation-if you stopped speaking to someone you used to exist in easy silence or find a new topic to discuss, but no longer!

If you're at a gig/concert don't film the WHOLE thing on your mobile. Yes I understand you have oodles of virtual storage space that you don't know what to do with. Yes, I know that you want to keep a memory alive of how amazing this evening was-I get it. And I'm not saying don't film your favourite bits, or take photos, but just don't watch the whole thing from behind a 6inch screen. How is that enjoying the music, the atmosphere? That's producing a documentary. You can't even move around to the music because it'll blur. Put it away, we all know that the sound quality will render the song unrecognisable, and I bet the person stood behind you will be grateful too.

Please please turn off the sound of the keys when you type. Having to listen to your text tone every 3 seconds is bad enough, but taptaptaptappytaptaptaptaptapppitytaptap to go with it is infuriating. It serves no function except to annoy other people. Switch it off.

The worst thing is that even though I have listed 5 annoying habits of smart phone users, this is only the tip of the iceberg, there are so many more. And I know that inevitably I am going to have to join the ranks one day, when they stop making decent phones with proper buttons all together. And I'll probably be just as bad as everyone else by then, and we'll all forget how to talk to people properly without having a pair of machines between us, and no-one will ever laugh but will only say "LOL" like a robot. It's like the world is addicted to its technology, and no-one can prise it away. It does make me a little bit sad sometimes. And then my phone chirrups that I have a text and I forget all about it for a while. So yeah, I'm a hypocrite, but at least, for now, I'm not a smart-phone Dick.


*Or alternatively pour scorn and hatred upon me with your death-ray like eyes. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Music, Makes the People, Come Together, Yeah

Or actually, in most cases, it doesn't. 
I came to the conclusion a long time ago (after many many arguments with my friend on the subject) that it's simply impossible for someone to have a bad taste in music. Yes, you can entirely disagree with them on the idea of what is good and what is utter tripe, but the whole thing is so subjective that you cannot tell them it's bad in the same way you can when someone has picked out a truly awful pair of curtains that don't match their room in any way. I personally have to confess I am a bit of a music snob, in that I don't really like most stuff that comes out nowadays. For every truly brilliant singer/song writer (like Adele) there's about 100 unoriginal tryhards sampling stuff or just repeating the same illiterate noises again and again (Ella Ella Ella Ey Ey Ey, for example) and to me it's just unbearable noise. But I'm not even going to try and start to convince you that I'm right and you're wrong, because people like what they like. And I have a weird taste in music, I will readily admit that. Most of the music on my laptop is from at least 20 years ago, and I bet most people haven't heard of a lot of it. Favourite band: Queen. Always will be. But along the years I have picked up/discovered a rather odd mix of genres and styles and I want to share the musical love and perhaps introduce people to some awesome tunes they've never heard before. I'm not saying you have to like them, I'm not even saying you have to listen to them. You just can't tell me that I have bad taste. Who knows, maybe you'll even enjoy them too?

Chairmen of the Board
I have to confess I love an awesome bass beat, and these guys are so funky that you can't help but sing/dance/toe tap along to their songs. I inherited the Chairmen off an ex-boyfriend, and I have kept them because the songs make me smile.
Everything's Tuesday-Chairmen of the Board

I was introduced to these guys when the fab Tim Minchin tweeted about them, and as far as I am concerned they're just brilliant. In this Globalsoft world* of computer generated music and regurgitated lyrics it's really really awesome to find something different that stands out a mile. And boy do these guys stand out! I've never heard anything like it, but I LOVE IT.
Brand New Me-Bitter Ruin

I'm pretty sure almost everyone everywhere has heard the song 'Valerie' done by Marc Ronson + Amy Winehouse. But not many of them seem to know that before that it was originally done by a band called The Zutons. (And I much prefer the original if I am honest!) The Zutons were the first band that I really discovered for myself, I heard a song and bought their first album and it was brilliant. Their songs are really uplifting and jazzy (and sometimes really funny), and they are a modern band with a saxophonist in, and she's a girl. I can't see what's not to like!
Valerie-The Zutons
(Had never watched this video before, no idea why it's set in a prison but I giggled my way through it)

My Dad discovered this lovely lady for me, on Radio 4 one day. He bought the album and insisted I listened to it, and I am glad I did. Again, I love her because she's different, she's got a very 1940s feel to her music which I think is just fabbity fab and I really like her voice too!

That Man-Caro Emerald

So there's just a small selection of my weird music for you. Hope you enjoyed at least one of them!
How about you, what are your favourite bands/singers that no-one will have heard of? Send me a youtube link, I'll give them a listen. You never know, I might add them to my collection too!


*If you get this reference you're a tiny bit awesome.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

My Lovely Room

So my time in this house is very rapidly drawing to a close, and I am kind of sad to have to think that I am going to have to move out very soon, and especially out of Sheffield, this city that I love so. I've loved living in this house the most (of the 3 that I have known!), not only because it is close to everything I need (3 minutes from the SU is a godsend for early lectures!!) but because it's been a lot less stressful than my previous ones. Sadly, I was unable to appreciate my 2nd year house as much due to some horrendous conflict surrounding a single person who also lived there, but this year has been full of fresh faces and it was lovely. Anyway, before I start packing up my stuff and dismantling my wall displays (i.e removing the 120+ things that adorn my walls*), I thought I would take some photos for posterity and share them as I promised to do a very long time ago. I will apologise now for the blurryness of the photos, my camera doesn't do very well indoors!

My door.
Crime Scene tape + Minions FTW.

This is in my bathroom, without showing you any of the facilities. I like ducks.
(The sign came all the way from Australia to declare 'Last Dunny for 400km')

This is my Wall of Happy. A good friend of mine introduced me to the idea a long time ago and it's just stuck.
It's full of lovely memories of lovely things, and I like to sit and stare at it sometimes. ***

Plus my photo wall.***

Shoes. BOOKS. Wardrobe.
I collect awesome postcards by the way.
Yeah, totally made my bed just for the photo...

I LOVE my bed.
Messy dressing table is MESSY. Koalas also from Ozland.

Bathroom door + more awesome postcards. 

And so there you have it, my lovely room. It is, as many people have commented, very 'me', in that it's slightly messy and not the most organised of places, but covered in things that I think are awesome and that add a bit of colour and humour into it. I'm really looking forward to (hopefully!) being able to spread them around a few more rooms when I get a flat of my own, but I'll miss this place. Wilkinson Street, it's been awesome. =)

*I get really bored of plain ones!**
**I am going to have SO MUCH blutac soon.
***No we don't mention how messy the desk is.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

More Awesome Things

So last time I did this I mentioned that I might make a regular thing of it because sometimes it's nice to just reflect on the nicer things in life. I guess this is me, making a regular thing of it. Or at the very least there's a pair of them now, and all the best things come in pairs. Like boobs. And socks.
So here we are:

Number 1: The satisfying feeling of completing something.
Now, I may be slightly talking from experience here, seeing as yesterday I finished university! But everyone has had that sensation in life of finishing something they started a long time back, and have been working really hard on. The freedom to do anything that you want, without feeling like you really should be doing something else is wonderful. Knowing that it's done and you never have to worry about it again is also pretty awesome. It means you (and I) can relax and enjoy yourself, and start looking forward to exciting things ahead. For me, this means it's officially summer. And of course that also means it's raining. Which leads me rather nicely to...

Number 2: The feeling of standing in the rain when it's been a really hot week.
Totally and utterly revitalising, it makes you feel ALIVE and quite amazing to boot. It's like the weather is coming along and pushing a big old reset button and the world can breathe again. Lovely.

Number 3: Being totally relaxed without a care in the world.
Whether it's chilling out on the sofa in your PJs with a glass of wine and a good tv programme, lying in bed with a book or getting a massage at the spa* it's a really nice feeling to feel completely comfortable and happy and not worried by anything, maybe not even thinking about anything-just turning to mush and not letting any stresses and annoyances touch you. Wonderful, and good for you too!

Number 4: Home-made bread, straight out of the oven, slathered in butter. 
*drools* IT'S SO GOOD.

Number 5: When something reminds you of a private joke in public.
We've all done it, sat on a bus, or on a bench, or at work grinning like a loon for no visible reason. It makes people try and edge away from you a little because you look a bit mad, but isn't it a lovely feeling? Never try and explain because no-one else will understand, just enjoy your moment of mirth while it lasts, and text the person who will get it, to make them smile too.

So there's my five this time. But I thought I'd share an awesome website with you too, to try and continue the tradition. Not Always Right  is a favourite procrastination website of mine-filled with stupid things customers have said/done as written by the workers. Great for a laugh, but only if you have either a lot of time on your hands or a strong will to quit early on ;) Enjoy!

Until next time, you stay classy Blog Readers! (And thanks for stopping by)


*I did this today. Proper LUSHHHHH