Tuesday, 25 March 2014

SHORT STORY: Death Of The Author (2013)

Hi all,
I've had a bit of a lazy week in regards to ideas and inspiration. Plus, I've had to do a lot of things for Uni, so this post just sort of fell off the radar. I was going to just go a week without posting something, but I came up with a better idea. Why not share with you one of the stories I've been writing? I wrote this piece last year as part of an assignment and was going to upload it, but just forget to, so now seemed like the perfect moment. I hope you like this piece. I think it's one of the best pieces of writing I've ever done and am really proud of it. I hope you enjoy it. Next week, this blog will (hopefully) return to normal. This is just a taster of my writing :)

Creative Piece: Death Of The Author
“The book has achieved in the most truthful way possible the reality, the secret of writing. Clarice Lispector was ill. She did not know she was going to die, but she knew it the moment she finished this book. One does not really know who wrote the book or who killed who.”
- Helen Cixous, Three Steps On The Ladder Of Writing (p.18)

I can’t stop writing. I wish I could, but I can’t. He’s there, watching me, waiting for me to stop. To drop the pen onto the desk, to finally give in to the exhaustion that threatens to overwhelm me, so he can end my life. Twisted bastard. I can see where he’s coming from. I know the pain he experiences. I feel the loss he feels, possibly even greater than he does. I was Eli’s lover, while my assassin was just his brother. And they weren’t even close. Eli told me often of how his family had tried to stop him seeing me. They would not have a gay son, especially one who was dating a well-known author, with our relationship splashed all over the trashy tabloids. It was a fear I too held. I didn’t want him hurt by disgusting, untrue rumours. That’s how my last relationship had ended. But then Eli had come up with the solution to our little problem. What if I were to use my column in the Daily Harrington to explain our relationship? I was naturally concerned that this would bring us even more publicity, but he insisted that as I would be the one writing, it was a neat way of short-skirting the paparazzi. I agreed to the idea and the Ryli chronicles were born. I think they liked that title, our names, Ryan and Eli, mixed together. The column started out slow before it became an overnight success. Readers couldn’t seem to get enough of our antics as a couple, as we tried to find our individuality in the face of the system. Eli’s acting career shot forward and he began to get some really good roles. My writing became even higher in demand, but the two of us ensured that we always had some time together. We both refused to work on Wednesdays and Sundays. Those were our days. I think the most popular arc, if you can call it that, of the Ryli chronicles regarded our collaboration in making a movie. A famous director had approached me with the desire to film my first novel, Mercyside. And what was even more exciting was that he wanted Eli for the lead role of Fayre Haven, the Butterfly Monarch. We agreed and the film began in earnest. I have never been happier in my life than when I was working on that project. However, the distance between the two of us grew stronger. After an argument, we left one another and refused to speak. I dealt with this in a Ryli column entitled Lover In Distance. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write, because I was heartbroken. Suddenly, our relationship was front page news. There was speculation that the film was going to be cancelled, meaning an expensive Hollywood failure. The day after Lover In Distance appeared, I was eating breakfast while reading the Daily Harrington. There, on the third page, was another column entitled Elan, Eli’s preferred couple name, with the subheading simply being I Miss You. I read it and was moved to tears. I got up to call him, but he was there waiting outside my door. We were never separated again and the film was a huge global success. However, what meant more to me was the fact that people came up to us on the street and thanked us for inspiring them to look past their differences. I swore that we would never be apart. Except, life had a different plan than that. Less than two years later, Eli was killed. A speeding car plowed into him. He died on the scene before I could even say goodbye. The thing was I felt it, an overwhelming sadness, at exactly the same time he passed on. After that, I didn’t know what to do with myself. The rumours began to circulate about whether Eli had been murdered and what the future of the column was. Friends were over almost every day, keeping watch on me, just in case I “did something stupid.” I must admit I thought about it. But then I remembered Eli. He wouldn’t have wanted me to do that. He would have wanted me to keep going forward. So I did. I continued the Ryli chronicles, but it wasn’t sad. I shared the memories I had of him, the times where we had been happiest. But then, one day, I ran out of memories. I had exhausted my supply. I couldn’t stop writing. I couldn’t admit that our time together had been fully defined, so I kept going. I made it up. I made up stories where we’d been arrested in Paris or been kicked out of Russia. I made us a worldly couple. I made him live on. But then, one day, there were no more ideas in my head. Nothing came to me. I finally realised that it was time to end the Ryli chronicles. I wrote a letter to my editor, explaining my decision, before I completed the penultimate column yesterday. And then this morning, Eli’s brother, Axel, had come to the door. He had read the column. He didn’t want it to end. I said that the time had come. He pulled a gun on me. Made me sit down and write. If I stopped for more than ten seconds, he would shoot me. I’ve been writing for hours now. I’m hungry, thirsty and exhausted. My hands are bleeding. I don’t want to write any more about Eli. It hurts. It hurts a lot. But I can understand where he’s coming from, I think. I’ll ask him to be certain, “Why are you doing this?” He speaks gruffly, I can’t tell the expression on his face, because that would require turning around. “Because Eli has to survive.” I find this strange. Eli’s dead. I tell him as much. He replies that I have kept him alive. I’m a bastard who is just cashing in on the memory of his brother. I explain to him that I’m not. I just didn’t want to let him go. He says that it was selfish. And maybe he’s right. Maybe I was selfish, keeping him alive, making up memories. Surely, I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself, I say. And our mother, he whispers. Of course, I’m such an idiot. For all those years, the only way that Eli’s family were aware of his life was through me, our column, the stories we told. They had to believe every word I wrote. Axel interrupts my thoughts. She kept them all, you know, all of the columns. Every day she cuts them out of the newspaper and glues them into a scrapbook, along with all the photos of you two out and about. She’s got a poster for every film Eli ever appeared in. They’re all in a room. She would never say it, but she was proud of him. Why didn’t she tell him that when he was still alive, I ask. Because of that same pride. She couldn’t bear to have a son who was dating you, but she couldn’t bear to lose him either. When she heard of his death, she was devastated. She never said so, but I think she felt guilty. But through your column, Eli was still alive in her mind. It’s all that’s kept her going. If you stop this column, then you’re killing her. If I don’t stop this column, I’m killing myself, I reply. Axel speaks angrily. Think about Eli. He’s still alive because of you! Everything must pass, I say. I have given everything to the Ryli chronicles, but now it’s time for them to stop. And so it is time for me. I place the pen down on the paper and begin speaking.

“I won’t write any more. I can’t go on lying to myself, to the public, to Eli.”
   “I’ll kill you.”
   “I don’t doubt it.”
   “Keep writing or you’re dead.”
   “Eli wouldn’t have wanted this.”
   “How do you know what Eli would have wanted?!”
   As Axel pulls the trigger, I close my eyes.

When I opened them, I was seated at the desk. What happened? I turned to face Axel. What I saw was something very different. Eli was standing there, holding the bullet between his thumb and index finger. He smiled as he walked over to me. He couldn’t speak, just grabbed a different colour pen and wrote.
   “Still writing, I see?”
   “Of course,” I wrote back.
   “Sorry about my brother. He didn’t mean it.”
   “To try and shoot me?”
   “No, to succeed.”
   “Oh,” I wrote back. “So, I’m dead.”
   Eli nodded, before trying to hug me. It was made awkward by the seat. He always did that. I stood up and held him, before he smiled and spoke for the first time.
   “Come on,” he said.
   “But what?”
   “Have I done enough?”
   “For what?”
   “To make sure we’re remembered.”
   “I don’t know. Only time will tell.”
   I smiled. “Yes, only time.” I rested my head on his shoulders and held his hand, before everything I knew faded away.

Axel dropped the gun. He hadn’t met to kill him. It wasn’t what was meant to happen. He was supposed to keep him alive. To make sure he kept writing, so he kept the legacy alive. But then an idea came to Axel.
   He walked over to the desk and grabbed the sheath of papers. Thankfully, there wasn’t that much blood on them. He picked up Eli’s blood-covered pen in his hands and began writing…

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Beautiful Boy Tango

Hello all,
A short disclaimer before I get into the post proper. I’m writing this just after I finished the Red Wedding episode of Game Of Thrones, so I’m sort of in shock. I thought it would be a great idea to write this now, so I’d give myself some time to recover, but I’m starting to think it wasn’t one of my best ideas…
   So, anyway, what I wanted to discuss this week is how so many people are attractive and how to a single man this is both wonderful and frustrating. It usually happens when you’re incredibly bored and your mind is starting to wander when suddenly this incredibly attractive person walks into your life for just a few moments. And because I’m too chicken to actually talk to them, I just end up sitting there, admiring their attractiveness from a distance. That is fairly acceptable and I’m sure many of us do it, but I doubt that anyone else does this; as I sit there, I come up with their personality and create an entire relationship between the two of us. I come up with where he’d take me on a first date, what shows we’d watch together and… other things. It’s one of the more awkward and embarrassing things I do, but part of me likes to think that it’s a creative writing exercise. The other part of me knows I’m just trying to comfort myself, trying to ignore my own lack of boyfriend loneliness.
   I have never had a boyfriend that lasted over a week (I’ve seen two guys for about a week each, but both ended up badly and awkwardly. I would tell you that story because it’s actually quite amusing, but they still follow me on Facebook) and often I get this aching sense of wanting a boyfriend, someone to watch those scary movies with. What’s worse is watching a comedy by yourself, though. You laugh out loud and become acutely aware of the silence around you. It becomes quite a depressing experience, to be honest. There’s also those times when you really need someone to talk to, somewhere to escape to when your own life gets a bit insane. To some people, this would be a partner. For me, it’s a fantasy.
    In year 12, I had this crush on this guy and that was fine. And then my entire family life imploded and I became so depressed and alone and the crush on this guy was just getting worse and worse. I thought I was going to explode before I came up with the solution. This is the most embarrassing and painful thing I’ve ever done, but here we go. I fictionalised my life, turning the guy I had a crush on into my boyfriend who would comfort me when my family became too complicated and insane to deal with. Every night, I would sit down to my laptop and explain the events of that day with added boyfriend. Of course, he wasn’t just my counsellor. He had his own family troubles and the two of us would comfort each other as we struggled to deal with difficult situations. Also, there were musical numbers.
   This worked just fine. In fact, I think it was the only reason I didn’t go insane or do something stupid I wouldn’t later have a chance to regret.  So, basically it was my saviour. Until the end of the year came and I had to say goodbye to the guy I had a crush on. I knew that he wasn’t my actual boyfriend, we hadn’t just spent a year dating and being strong for one another. But that didn’t make saying goodbye to him any easier. Part of me thinks that I was transferring my emotions at leaving the school onto him, which is what made it so hard. I bottled up all these emotions, until I watched the Glee episode where every couple broke up and I just broke down.
   I was so depressed until I started Uni again and even then the story of me and this guy continued. It was a good story with some great character development and I wasn’t going to give up on it just yet. Thus, the pain continued, until about halfway through the year when I just had to let that story go. I had to accept goodbye. I still write that story sometimes, but it doesn’t feel as personal now. It just feels like this story I’ve worked on for three years.
   So I have quite a history of creating relationships on the smallest of glances and gestures. None of the guys I’ve found attractive have had that kind of relationship depth, but still I do it to some extent. And this can’t be healthy. Sometimes, however, it can be. When you’re feeling a bit down and you see this really attractive person smile (not necessarily at you but it helps) you just feel so much better. Then there are those other times when you look at them and you get a bit depressed because they’re not with you and you are alone. It’s all very confusing.

   Most of these fictionalised relationships I forget quite quickly (or apply them to other characters in my novel), but there are a few I can recall. There was Lollipop Boy who sparked a huge awakening within me, as I continued to see him every so often. Now, of course, he’s started at Deakin Uni where I see him and lose all track of my conversation. There’s the guy at the Jam Donut stand who always smiles at me and I swoon. Then, there was this guy on Friday who said that my Doctor Who jacket was cool (I’d spent the last five minutes trying not to stare at him).
   I don’t really know what to take from this blog. Being lonely sucks? I really need to find a boyfriend? Actually, on that last one, a few of my Uni friends are trying to find me one before we graduate at the end of next year. I think they have a better chance of turning me into a muscular, fit and attractive person (ie; it will never happen) but I’ll have faith in them. With this post, though, I’ll just put with those moments of intense embarrassment, a funny story to tell later in life with my future boyfriend who just happens to resemble my biggest celebrity crushes, Alexander Rybak (pictured at the top) and Eric Saade (pictured to the side). If not, well I suppose I can just make him up.
   A couple of last things. I’ve started a website, A Film To Remember, where I’ll be reviewing classic and important films.  I decided to make it a separate one from this because otherwise this would just become a reviews blog and that’s not really what I want. With regards to what I discussed last week, I managed to change my Children’s Lit class to one where I have friends. I had that class on Monday and it was amazing. I’d just like to thank you all for giving me the confidence to move classes. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. Oh, and this week’s Fright Night Friday will not be Leprechaun 2 (because the first movie was godawful and I need to watch something good), it’ll be a John Carpenter film which I’ve wanted to see for some time, so I’m looking forward to that.
   Now, I have to go. I’m going to go die of Red Wedding inspired shock.

The Playlist Of 12 Mar – 18 Mar
Burning Gold (Christina Perri)
Our Time (Lily Allen)
O Vertigo (Kate Miller-Heidke)
Cell Block Tango (from Chicago)
Heaven Knows (The Pretty Reckless)
Wig In A Box (from Hedwig And The Angry Inch)

The Top 10 Films Of 12 Mar – 18 Mar
Seven Samurai
Hedwig And The Angry Inch*
La Grande Illusion
Toy Story
Mildred Pierce
Despicable Me 2
Vanishing Point

*My 600th film, which makes 120 films so far this year!


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Fright Night Fridays: Leprechaun (1993)

Hi all,
To celebrate St. Patrick's day which is coming up, this week's entry of Fright Night Friday is the 1993 film Leprechaun. It features Jennifer Aniston in her first feature film role fighting against a homicidal little elf in search of his gold. This was a horrible film, by the way. And the awfulness isn't over yet. The sequel's next week.

1993, USA, Directed by Mark Jones
Sometimes a film’s premise works against it. The Idea of this movie is that a killer Leprechaun is stalking whoever takes his gold (and whoever else happens to be in the way) which sets up a whole number of inventive and unnerving possibilities. However, this is one of the worst films I’ve seen in some time. It’s got crappy music, weirdly lopsided storytelling and dumb characters which you just want to die (not a good thing for a horror movie to do). It even tries its hand at feminism but destroys any hope the film had of being that by having Tori (Jennifer Aniston) constantly hiding behind the man and being an incredibly useless and annoyingly clich├ęd female character. Then there’s a discussion about mental illness which tries to be clever and forward but is just painful. Worse still are the incredibly mind-numbing plot twists. Aspects of the film’s conclusion haven’t been foreshadowed and don’t even make sense (the Leprechaun can be defeated by a four-leaf clover which I’m sure there would be several in Ireland. I get they’re rare but the film makes a point of saying that you can find one quite easily if you believe. Cop-out much?). Characters appear and disappear for no reason other than to die or provide key plot elements at a convenient time. That’s not to say the film is all bad. One of the Leprechaun killings is inventive and you really get a sense that the bugger’s really hard to kill (probably a symptom of that lopsided storytelling though). However, most of this film is just awful and it was a real struggle for me to make it to the end as I was nodding off at the same time. A horror movie shouldn’t make you fall asleep.

Gore/Violence: 3 (a lot of blood and a gross eye-for-an-eye scene)
Sex/Nudity: 0 (none at all which is surprising)
Scares: 2 (I jumped once or twice and the persistence of the Leprechaun is a little freaky)
Best Scene: Pogo stick killing
Overall Verdict: 3



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Like A Wrecking Ball

Hello all,
This week, I returned to University after a four month break. You would think that such a long time off would be a good thing but it’s not. For the first two months, you’re really excited because you can watch and read all these things you’ve had to put aside whilst attending Uni. And then, at about mid-January the boredom sets in. There’s a feeling that you should be doing something with your life as opposed to finishing Girls s2 in a day (although it was amazing). For those of us jobless, it’s even worse because you have to face rejection from all the places you tried to get a job that all require experience. You become desperate to return to Uni, to see all your friends, to learn new things and to just simply have something to fill your days and give your life purpose. The problem is you forget all the awkward things.
   On Monday, I had to get up at 6 for an 8 o’clock class (because the buses weren’t running as frequently because it was a public holiday that the University doesn’t observe) and was still late for the class. My first class, Script Writing, was all right but a little boring because it was mainly introductions. Straight after this was my second class, Fiction Writing, where I met several of my closest friends from last year again but this soon descended into a two-hour talk about the readings we had to do for that. Most of the people hadn’t done them. I had, which was awkward because the tutor looks to you every time class goes a bit dry, hoping that you’ve found something in the readings, a way to kick start discussion up again.  This was a bigger problem in high school, because people just thought I was a teacher’s pet. It never occurred to them that if they did the readings then this wouldn’t be a problem. At Uni, you don’t get this as much but because I’ve been told this so many times, it becomes internalised and you grow fearful that all your friends are going to turn away from you or think you’re showing off. Not a pleasant feeling.
  I then had a break for an hour where I caught up with some friends before my third and final class of the day; Children’s Literature. Now, I love Lit classes, I really do, it’s just that sometimes they’re a teensy bit soul-destroying. They take a text and proceed to rip apart, forcing you to see the injustices within the text or the world itself. It’s like your entire world is thrown out the window. In the first year, it was incredibly difficult for me. I came from a Catholic All-Boys school where religion was taught and homosexuality was hidden and issues like feminism and racism were never talked about. I had to make up my own ideas and try to see the world in a different way, challenging my own beliefs about certain things. I went to Uni (however piously) believing that I was an incredibly enlightened person and had survived the ordeals of high school remarkably well.
   And then Lit class happened. Religion was derided, homosexuality was embraced, feminism and racism are still issues. It was like someone had taken a hammer and smashed all the principles that I hold dear. I’ve spent much of my time since trying to realign myself and become a more properly enlightened individual but it’s hard. However, the hardest part comes when they take a text you like and destroy it utterly.
    Two texts I loved were covered last year. One was Charlie And The Chocolate Factory which survived relatively unscathed (Augustus is apparently just applying to racial stereotypes and Mr Wonka may be more of a capitalist businessman than is initially obvious, but I can cope with that and make spirited defences to the contrary). The other, however, did not. The Lion King, one of mine and many other people’s favourite movies, was torn to shreds. It was racist and sexist and the scene with Scar and the Hyenas looks like Nazis. And talking about Scar, he’s apparently gay (which as the villain is not good) but so are Timon and Pumba (which acts as a metaphor for same-sex parenting). Even now when I watch this movie I can’t see these things in it. I just can’t. The only way I was able to deal with this class was that I had good friends in it, able to support me enough to point out inconsistencies as well as defend its honour. With such a class as Literature, which is simultaneously incredibly enlightening and soul-destroying, you need to have friends there. In my third class on Monday, I did not. I had an acquaintance, but we don’t know each other that well.
   It was hell. Miracle On 34th Street and Shrek were torn apart on the grounds of feminism. And everyone in the class could see sexism in these texts and I just can’t. Which makes you feel really stupid and the fact that you like these texts makes you think that you’re a teensy bit sexist yourself, which is the worst feeling in the world. Especially when you’re family goes off at you because you won’t shut up about how sexist that add is or how racist that news story was. The way to look at this is that this is more for me to learn, but my brain doesn’t go there. It goes to panic stations. I was alone and stupid and with a growing headache.
   The class took forever and when it was over, I had the mother of all headaches and was exhausted. After limping back to the bus stop (limping because of a long and mildly amusing story that was originally going to be this post but I didn’t think it could sustain the whole length), I realised I had 45 minutes to wait for the bus and felt incredibly sick. I stood for 5 minutes feeling worse and worse, until I eventually sat down and instructed myself to breathe. This worked and my headache eased. The problem, now though, was that I was incredibly tired. The bus came about 10 minutes later and I really had to force myself not to fall asleep (I was sort of nodding off, falling in and out of consciousness. What was really weird was that the radio was playing the Beatles so I had a weird dream about Luka In The Sky With Diamonds). I walked home and collapsed on a couch in the lounge, reflecting on how much of a fail my first day was.
   I love Uni, I really do, because it makes you more aware of the world around you but at the same time, this is like a wrecking ball to your heart. It’s exhausting but brilliant. I just wish someone else was with me in that class to take that journey with. I’m sure I’ll make some friends, but it’s always hard at this stage. I hope it gets better and soon.
   Anyway, that’s what’s really been bugging me this week and I know it’s not much of a story or a soapbox discussion, but it was either this or a discussion about how watching too many good things in a row isn’t as great as it sounds. It’s a bit of a pointless discussion though. This isn’t much better, but yeah, I thought some of you might relate to this better. Maybe. Oh, and this week’s Fright Night Friday will be heavily influenced by St. Patrick’s Day which is next week. Thought I might just give you a bit of a taste. Anyway, see you next week!

The Playlist Of 5 Mar – 11 Mar
Afterlife (Ingrid Michaelson)
Recover (CHVRCHES)
Empty Handed (Lea Michele)
Animals (Martin Garrix)
Colours Of The Wind (from Pocahontas)
The Top 10 Films Of 5 Mar – 11 Mar
Love Me Tonight
Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
Nosferatu, A Symphony Of Horror
Children Of Men
The Conjuring
Monsters, Inc.
Struck By Lightning
Monsters University


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Fright Night Friday: The Conjuring (2013)

Hi all,
I would never say that I am a horror movie fan. I'm not. I find them terrifying experiences which ultimately become a test of the strength of my will as I jump and scream until the end. But I do like being scared. And it's so, so confusing. Especially when many of the movies I end up buying (cheaply) are horror films. That's what this new series of posts will be about. My genuine terror at horror movies every week. Every horror film you can think of will be covered (hopefully), nothing is off limits. This is going to be a test of terror every Thursday night for me and my thoughts and opinions uploaded to the internet every Friday. This should be fun. Welcome to Fright Night Fridays.

 The Conjuring
2013, USA, Directed by James Wan
Well, that was terrifying. This is one of the most genuinely frightening films I have ever seen. After I finished watching it (at around midnight), I was shaking because of the terror. It could also have been because my usually fool proof way of making it through horror movies wasn’t as successful. I’ve found that when I watch scary films all I have to do is grab on to something tightly and I’ll be fine. It’s like the mattress (or my leg) is absorbing the terror making me able to watch the film. Well, after watching The Conjuring, I’m fairly sure I’ve broken a few springs in my bed and my fingers were barely able to move. It’s a story that we’ve seen numerous times before, a couple of paranormal experts investigate a house and a family rocked by terrifying incidents, but what it lacks in originality, it makes up in style. We’ve all seen many of the set pieces the film uses, but it uses them in a way that is completely terrifying. It ratchets the terror up to eleven and watches us scream. Like many horror movies, the characters aren’t particularly three-dimensional (well, excluding the Warrens, particularly Lorraine who is one of the strongest female horror protagonists I’ve seen in a while), more conduits for the horror that the story forces them to undergo. However, what really makes this film stand out is that it doesn’t look like it’s made in 2013. It looks like a film from the 70s or 80s with minimal effects and maximum terror. Unlike many new horror films, it doesn’t rely on blood and gore to get the fear from its audience, which makes it much more terrifying because it feels more realistic. I’ve also heard that this is set to become a franchise with a second sequel in the works and a spin-off based around the creepy doll Annabelle coming later in the year. If it’s anywhere near as terrifying as this film, then we may be witnessing the start of a brilliant new franchise. We may also be witnessing the start of many sleepless nights and bloodied fingers for me.
Gore/Violence: 2 (a bit at the horrifying climax, but not much)
Sex/Nudity: 1 (a reference right at the start)
Scares: 5 (watching this at midnight was an extremely unwise decision)
Best Scene: The sheet catches someone in the wind
Overall Verdict: 9

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

With A Little Fail From My Awkward

Hello all,
This week, after much to-ing and fro-ing, I had a haircut. For the last few months, I’ve been growing it out. It began because I had an 80s dance party coming up in July and decided that in order to fit in, it should be as long as possible. Then the party came and went and I just neglected to cut it off. I just let it grow, more out of laziness than anything else. It got so long that it reached down to the base of my neck and I could obscure my whole face with it at the front.
   I’d been tossing up whether to get rid of it all for a few months now. During the week of 40 degree days Australia experienced earlier this year, I almost grabbed a pair of scissors and cut it off myself. I decided that this wouldn’t be the best idea and that I was going to wait until a week before Uni before changing my hairstyle.
  So, last weekend was the last before Uni starts up again and I get to see all my friends and I go down to the hairdresser and ask for my haircut. I, being the clever person that I am, had already decided on how I wanted it to look. For a fair while now, I’ve wanted Nickalaws’ hair (from the youtubers Lush, pictured to the right with his boyfriend Matt with the rainbow hair) and to make matters even easier he even uploaded a tutorial on how to get his hair. This was the hairstyle I wanted. Mum advised me that I should take a picture in, but I forgot and decided to just explain it to the hairdresser. I wanted it quite short around the edges and longer at the front and he said that this would be fine.
   As I sat in the chair, I remembered how much I hated getting my hair cut. First there’s the fact that you have to look at yourself in the mirror which was an unpleasant experience as my body image post a few weeks ago explained. Even if I didn’t have horrid body image, what do the hairdressers expect you to do? Are you supposed to look at your face? To look at theirs as they cut your hair off? Then, he asked me how long I’d been growing it and I said a few months and that was the end of that conversation. I hate it when they try and start a conversation with you because I’m usually so awkward that I can barely answer anyway. However, the awkwardness was far from over.
   Looking at my hair, I was horrified because around the edges it was straight and covering my eyes. It looked like a glorified bowl cut and nothing like the hairstyle I so craved. I realised I needed to do something fast. I suddenly remembered that I’d noticed in the videos that it was clippered slightly around the ears. I knew I had to ask him. Suddenly, I was filled with fear.
   This happens to me a LOT. I suddenly realise something quite important or have something to contribute to a discussion and I get ridiculously horribly nervous. It’s the single worst thing you can imagine. Even thinking about it now is making me a bit tense. Usually, I end up just shutting my mouth and spending the rest of the day regretting it. However, this time I decided I wasn’t going to do that. Because it wasn’t just about having an awful haircut. My long hair phase had led to me being confused for a girl numerous times by shopkeepers (most don’t even notice. One did and apologised. I loved her for that). I was getting a bit sick of that. Then, there was the ridiculous and stupid thought that my future boyfriend might not find me attractive (or even find me) with this bowl cut of a hairstyle (the reason he hasn’t found me before was because he thought I was a girl. I know that’s wrong but in the dark and lonely nights when I watch romcoms that’s how I comfort myself). And I was so angry at myself for allowing my awkwardness and social ineptitude to ruin the rest of my day and my life for the next few months. Mustering all my courage, I explained in a timid voice that I just remembered I usually have the clippers on the edges of my hair. The hairdresser looked flustered for a moment before asking me why I hadn’t told him at the start. I was quite confused. Surely this was only a small thing that didn’t really matter. He hadn’t really been working that hard on the sides. I apologised before he pulled out the clippers…
   And proceeded to shave off most of the hair off the sides of my head. As I watched it all fall to the floor, it was like watching my dreams fall with it. There goes that beautiful hairstyle. There goes my dreamy Stiles-mixed-with-Darren-Criss-with-a-hint-of-Alexander-Rybak-and-Eric-Saade future boyfriend. I could almost hear epic classical music. It was such an oddly cinematic experience that, and I kid you not, I began to feel quite moved and get a bit teary eyed.
   You have no idea how embarrassing it is to randomly start tearing up as the hairdresser cuts all your hair off. I began to hit panic stations. What if I started crying in the middle of this haircut? Would the hairdresser stop? How would everyone else react? They’re going to think I’m the world’s biggest cry baby. I realised I needed to calm myself. It wasn’t a disaster yet. I still had a bit of hair at the front which was long enough to be worked in such a way that it looked like Nick’s. It was fine.
   Seconds later, he reached the front of my hair and cut most of that off to. Sometimes in comedy anime, you’ll see this one character frustrated over one thing before it escalates and they start suddenly screaming and yelling and their eyes go wide and it looks like their head might explode at any moment. And I laugh at this moments because they’re so over the top. Now, I realise where they’re coming from. I sat there, numb and in shock. It felt like the world was over.
   Worse was yet to come. He asked me if I wanted gel. Hoping that he was finally going to listen to my one wish and style it up, I meekly agreed. Using the gel, he combed it to the sides, keeping my part immensely visible. So, what I ended up looking like was a guy from the 50s with immaculately combed hair who someone had attacked the sides with a razor. Then, he pulls out the mirror and shows me his handiwork. And he looks so pleased with himself, that I just force a smile and he smiles back. Internally, I’m dead.
   I picked up my bag (which was by my feet, so naturally covered with hair) and paid and left as quickly as possible. I couldn’t stop touching my hair for the rest of the day. It’s horrible and embarrassing and I hate it. Later, I asked my mum what she would’ve done in the same situation and she apparently would’ve told him to stop. By the time I noticed anything was wrong, one half of my hair was already gone. I would’ve looked worse, although I’m not entirely sure that’s possible.
   I’m also not sure what the message of this post is. Don’t try and copy celebrities hair, or if you do make sure you bring a picture in. I learnt that if I was strong and stopped being so awkward, then I get a big old fail at life. I hope you enjoyed this short snapshot of my ability to just be stunningly socially inept. I suppose I did get one thing out of this, though. I got a funny story to add to my vast archives. I could’ve gone without that.
   Two last things. First, on Friday will be a new regular feature, Fright Night Fridays, where I’ll be reviewing horror movies (like a weekly Halloween 13). The first movie I’ve planned to watch is last year’s The Conjuring which promises to be terrifying. Join me on Friday to find out just how much I tortured myself. And the last thing, you should’ve noticed by now that the blog title and address have changed. Formally A Beautiful Nightmare (with the url u1272.blogspot.com) in reference to the novel I’m writing, it’s now Not A Sexy Vampire to reflect that this is now more of a personal blog. The meaning of the title? Well, it’s been said I resemble a Vampire with my pale white skin, two teeth that stick out like the bloodsuckers’ and the fact that I’m occasionally a teensy bit creepy (my stories are filled with violent and twisted death which I will explain to anyone who asks). I’ve heard it said that Vampires are sexy and, as you know, I don’t think I am. So, there you go. Hope you like the changes around here! See you next week.

The Playlist Of 26 Feb – 4 Mar
Do It All Over Again (Elyar Fox)
I Believe (Christina Perri)
Goldfinger (Shirley Bassey)
Human (Christina Perri)
Wild Wild Love (Pitbull, G.R.L.)
The Mother We Share (CHVRCHES)
Battlefield (Lea Michele)
The Top 10 Films Of 26 Feb – 4 Mar
Beautiful Thing
Wolf Children
Kind Hearts And Coronets
North By Northwest
Django Unchained
The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec
Julia’s Eyes