Sunday, 24 April 2016

Lit Nit Wit; Luckiest Girl Alive

OMG lads, I've read something that hasn't been made into a movie yet. I'm subscribed to Lena Dunhams' newsletter, and while I don't read every letter every time, on one particular occasion Jessica Knoll wrote about her experience as a teenager and about her reaction to what she went through as an adult. I happened to be in the library and saw the book and I basically jumped for joy as I had put the book on my never ending wish list on amazon.

Ani FaNelli is a soon to be married sex journalist living in New York. She instantly reminds me of Amy Dunne from Gone Girl, all her moves are calculating, being the cool girl drinking pizza with her fiance, being friendly with her co-workers, knowing how two faced they all are, with a dark edge, a history that follows  her when she goes for coffee with people who want to start working in magazines.

We see her past in two ways, she documents herself, how she ended up in the new high school what the people in her area were like. A producer has also contacted her to help with a documentary about an event that happened while she was in school, an event she doesn't divulge until much later in the book, an event I was blindsided by to be honest, I was too busy concentrating on something equally as bad that happened earlier.

When you read what has happened to her you understand why she is the way she is, it doesn't excuse it but it makes the character more rounded, its interesting to see how certain events still affect people ten years on, solidified in their very being.
Highly recommend

Friday, 8 April 2016

The one where I get tested (my 100th blog post)

Right so bit of a different type of blog post today but I thought I'd share it.
So I am a single lady, who likes having Sex 99.9% of the time I am very careful, taking the pill and also using condoms. In fact the total times I've had Sex without a condom is three times , which is three times too many of course. I've been tested before and I've wanted to get tested again for the last year in all honesty, not for any particular reason, just to know myself I'm fine, kinda like a car engine or something, you use something regularly you think it's fine but you want to check anyway in case something is lurking.

Also; on a slight tangent, when I cut my hair, it turns out I have quite a large bald spot on the back of my head, matrix style, and I recently watched a YouTube video by letzmakeup and she said her hair had thinned became of her using the pill , and there is no other reason why I would have lost it, so I've figured that's why I'm the same, this video was about her choosing to have a non hormonal coil inserted and she also mentioned that you need to get tested before a coil can be inserted, and the coil is something I've been thinking about getting so all these things led me to finally stop procrastinating and finally book into getting tested.

This visit to the clinic was different from last time, both location wise and procedure wise, the last time I was tested I lived in Dundalk and now I live in cork so there's that.

I slightly messed up when it came to my appointment, time wise, so I was only able to get my throat swabbed and have my bloods taken and I needed to come back the following week for the interval swab and urine test, but even if unlike me you are on time it still is a two visit procedure. You're also asked a series of questions on the first visit, like how many partners you've had in the last 6 months, year and ever and I have to admit I fibbed on the ever question, sorry doctor, she also asks about the kinds of sex you've had with your last partner (oral, vaginal anal) and where the partner was from (I think that question has something to do with vaccines) The doctor was very nice on both visits, on seeing my birthday the doctor told me to get onto to see if I was due my first cervical smear, turns out I am (yay...) and I'm going to book that at my local GP next week

When I went back for the interval swab, they had the results from the throat smear and blood tests and they were all clear and then she had me up on stirrups and the internal smear took place, that is not at all comfortable, not sore or anything but not something I'd look forward to.
After that smear you go back to the waiting room until they call your number, your name is never mentioned, or written down its all private and confidential.

So I was called back in and was told there was some white cells on my cervix, which there shouldn't be, she said that germs and the like get up there all the time but it could be something, so she gave me two antibiotic tablets and put me on a sex ban until she called me again.

I googled the antibiotics to see what they are supposed to treat and along with ear infections it treats chlamydia and gonorrhea.
I kinda freaked a small bit to be honest, thinking about who could have given something if I had something and if I'd passed something on, would I have to tell future partners, would I be left sterile cause of some bacteria hanging around in my body for a long time.
There's a shame associated with it to be honest, i met my friends after I had the blood test but I wouldn't tell them what I had the blood test for, I felt I'd be judged if it ever came out, almost as if I deserved to get an STI cause I slept around more than other people and what would I expect. All this was going around my head, and I hadn't even been told if I had anything, last week j was on a bus after a couple of drinks with a friend and I kinda blurted it out, she asked who would it have been and I said I wasn't sure and she kinda jumped to the conclusion I'd been careless every time and got something that way, but it was the opposite. People are quick to judge, without even meaning to, and I was preparing for the worst.

Today I was in work and I got a Phone call from a cork number, I jumped into the laundry room, to be told my swabs were all clear, I was relieved in all honesty, if I had been positive for something, I'm not sure I would have admitted it online anyway, I was looking forward to writing about it to try and encourage people to get checked, even if you're 99% sure you're fine, I know of a person who'd only slept with one person and before they stopped using condoms they still got tested, though they'd only slept with each other. It will do no one any harm to get checked, sure it can be a bit embarrassing but it's better to know 100% that you're fine then to accidentally give someone you like something or let an unchecked infection ruin your fertility.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Lit Nit Wit; The Room

Another week, another Book review, I will go back and discuss more podcasts soon, but this week I wanted to talk about The Room. Yes I know another book turned into a movie, but I had heard how good this book was, and to be fair I didn't know the whole story cause of course I haven't seen the movie, I'm only just about to watch the last episode of making a murderer for crying out loud ha.

This story follows Jack and his mother who live in a room,that's about 8 by 8 foot or something crazy small, its a soundproof shed, in someones garden. Jack was born in this room and has never been outside, his friends include bed and chair and Dora the Explorer, as there is a television but he's only allowed watch a certain amount,like any 5 year old. Unlike with any 5 year old, his mother has told him everything he sees on television is not real, and that only the two of them are actual live people. . The two of them have a routine which includes bath time and reading, and running, and screaming ( for help, he doesn't realise that's why they were doing it) and then at night, Jack sleeps in the wardrobe, and on some nights Old Nick, as Jack calls him, makes a visit. A couple of days after his Birthday Jacks' mother tells him they have to escape the room, and the rest of the book follows their escape and reintegration into the outside.

I feel like I've read a good amount of books, and a lot of books remind me of other books. In this instance, The Room reminds me of The Boy in The Stripped Pajamas, in that a young child is in a situation an adult would even find difficult, and uses their limited life knowledge and skills to understand the situation they are in, and the bravery these children have without realising.
Another thing I took from the book was the thought of societal norms and slang term that are said flippantly, it made me think about things that really don't make sense, unless context is provided.

All in all a fabulous book, I'm glad was made into a movie.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Podcasts I'm listening to:2016 Part 1

Sometimes I hate it when I say, ' Oh I listen to podcasts', when I'm chatting to people about what I do in my spare time or whatever, but I love them. The best thing I like about podcasts, you can walk around with them and learn or laugh, as you're going to work or stretching your legs, making dinner and so on, there's always something new listen to, particularly if you're like me and are subscribed to 34 podcasts, I just counted that myself and am kinda in shock myself. Whatever kind of thing you want to listen to, you can find something you like, whether its comedy, fictional, pop culture, sex, having children (I'm not broody, but..I'm preparing......) and the human condition.

There's such a mix, and so much to listen too, and while there are ads, you get over that, and if you don't like to hear a certain interview on nerdist or bulleye, you just don't download it. If you get over a podcast, which does happen, you just remove it from your feed, it's no problem. The worst thing that can happen is that the podcasts can finish up, which is slightly heart breaking, looking at you The message. I'm going to try and break it down into categories, and say why I like them.

The last time I wrote about Podcasts, I think I mentioned Dan Savage and his Love Cast. I have to say, this is something that is shaping my mindset on relationships, monogamy and sex in general.
Sometimes I put off listening to him sometimes, just because sometimes there's so much to take in, but everytime I do I get so much info, I'm glad I heard it and am developing my thoughts on sex work and break ups and relationships.

Another sex positive podcast I started listening to recently is Sex with Emily. I think her approach is more casual, and it is good I've already listened to Dan for a long time. Her's is more of an easier listening. What I love is when I hear a question, and I hear the answers and it was exactly what I thought.

If you didn't know I have an obsession with Louise O'Neill, not quite in a stalker way, but anytime she mentions she's written something or has been interviewed, I'll try and read it ASAP. I think she must have mentioned The Irish Times Womens Podcast, and so of course subscribed immediately.
For some reason I have been pleasantly surprised about how well spoken and smart these irish journalists, and politicians and just fabulous women with amazing opinions on a diverse range of topics.

Another person who I stalk online is Gala Darling and any time she mentions she's been interviewed by someone for a podcast I end up subscribing to it and really liking the stuff discussed
The podcasts I've ended up following are
Stay Real With Amber
Punk Rock Personal Development and
The Lively Show
These three podcasts have a common thread in them in my opinion. All of them try and helping people to empower youself.
The lively show and PRPD interview women, such as bloggers, (The Lively show) authors, burlesque dancers (PRPD) about their lives and the hustle basically. To hear how these people got to where they are, even though that's not the career path I want, is really interesting, and I feel like I could take some of the life lessons discussed in the podcasts. Hearing empowered women is empowering!
I've only just been introduced to Stay Real with Amber, and I've only listened to the first one, but I have high hopes.

I thought I'd be able to write about all the podcasts in one go, turns out no I cannot. Gives me something other than books to write about I suppose.
Come again and I'll discuss Science Fiction and pop culture :)

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Attending my first wedding

This week I was going to review Brooklyn, but
1 I'm reviewing too many books, in my opinion anyway

2 I really didn't like the book. I was just about getting by until the sex scene, then I lost it completely


3 I did something this week I'm so happy with.

My love life is not exactly the most fairy tale like story you've ever heard, there's been some unrequited "love", several times feelings with people who were unavailable, both emotionally and actually, yes I know, I'm terrible. I have had the grand total of one boyfriend, which officially didn't last that long, but all in all it was just short of a year. It didn't end badly, at all, just distance and moving on, no bad feelings, in fact after we finished I brought him to my graduation ball and stayed at his new place, to watch my mother do a marathon. It was funny we were still texting, and he started mentioning one of his new housemates, and I just knew they would end up dating, and I was right. I knew when she checked them in at a park late last year saying how happy she was they'd gotten engaged. I was legitimately happy for them, and I decided I'd really like to go to it, though I haven't spoken to him in a long time, not in a bad way or anything like that, people have lives to live after all.

I'm not saying I believe in the secret, or even know anything about it, but I will say I think the fact that I said I'll get invited, I'll get invited, helped get me invited. Also I sent him a message New Years Eve, totally nice, totally about Jessica Jones. I enjoyed talking to him after quite a long time, just a normal chat. We were good friends for a long time, a time that was really tough for me and he was there, with bourbon and pizza and he really helped me deal with stuff.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was in a pub discussing why I loved Bernie Sanders and explaining the cycle of crime in america to my old bar manager, and I get a notification on facebook, saying I was invited to wedding drinks a couple of weeks later. I'd had a couple of drinks at this stage so got on the facebook message, asking my friend to go, and ensuring my friend would be allowed to come, and I was told it would be no problem.

So this year is a centenary of the 1916 rising in Ireland and there are a lot of things happening in Dublin to commemorate it and since I was in Dublin for the day, so I wanted to do something. I decided I wanted to do the walking tour. I studied History in school, but a bit of a refresher would do me no harm. I really enjoyed it, to walk around the city where most of the fighting happened and seeing bullet holes in statues you've walked past dozens of times.

After a quick frantic trip to ikea to find a frame for the present I had gotten I arrived at my friends house, to hear her Boyfriend had had his final inspection at his school and was officially dipped as a teacher. They wanted to meet before we went to the wedding, but I assured them that he should come with us. So we headed to the porterhouse by Trinity for a couple drinks, I had a Galway IPA, which was lovely. Then we headed to Xico where the party being held.When we got to the bar, I saw the groom (well his back) and for a second I got slightly scared, but it helped my two friends were with me, so I ordered the drinks and we sat at a table away from the party for a while. I psyched myself up and went over to him, and tapped him on the shoulder, and it was honestly like I'd seen him last week, not the two years it had been.

I wont go too into the party, I spoke to his father, who had to be told later who I was so he came back and was way more friendly, I met the bride, who I'd never met before. She told me she'd heard all about me, which unnerved me slightly but she seemed happy to see me, so I think she's heard good things. My friends and the bride and groom got on really well, I thought of some appropriate for wedding stories about myself and the groom, it was all so so so fun.

Before I went to the wedding people seriously questioned why I was going and would it not be awkward, to see someone you really liked happy with someone else. To see someone you've seen naked planning on spending the rest of their lives with someone else, who turns out I really liked.
I listen to Dan Savages' podcast, and I remember he said that a relationship doesn't have to last years and end in marriage. The year I was with him, was the worst year of my life, honestly, not cause of him obviously, but he literally dragged me through that with promises of bourbon and pizza.
Why wouldn't I want to be happy, I don't have the mindset that he shouldn't be happy if its not with me, it's not like I thought we'd end up long term together. They look really happy and I love that. I just checked facebook messenger and she's changed her name to his (I sent her a message the day after thanking her for the night)  

Monday, 15 February 2016

Girl Holidays : Iceland

I'm  not a "girly holiday" person, not trying to say I'm better than people who go on them, I mostly just enjoy travelling on my own. Last year, the weekend my friend and I went to Holifest, she said she was going to Iceland for her birthday and did I want to go. I said no first, I had a not great experience in London trying to work there one summer with a friend and we ended up not talking for months, but then I was asked to go again by another friend, and I'm trying to do things with people, so I said fuck it lets go to ICELAND.

This holiday was weird in the fact I booked nothing, I just transferred money to my friend in London (Currency Fair FTW) and I was really just told when to show up somewhere ha. All I had to do was buy my flight to London as that's where we were flying from (though you can fly from Dublin, its just my friends live in London). The flight was less than 3 hours, wherby my friend and I slept the entire time (four of us went, the two others sat more at the front, we also stayed in different hotels, as we got the rooms, flights and the trip to the northern lights through Wowcher, and they had to be bought in twos, and when our other friend went to book, our hotel was full so they ended up in a different place, but their booking included breakfast). When we arrived at our hotel we were told that we actually had two single rooms instead of a twin, which was even better, my friend is a morning shower type of girl so it all worked out. For someone who doesn't do group holidays, space to zone out and listen to podcasts are needed somewhat frequently, as much as I love the girls I went with.

Day one was spent readjusting to super cold weather, walking on ice (GOOD SHOES/ BOOTS are essential, my friend was sure her toes would come away from her body) and of course eating FERMENTED SHARK at the Loki restaurant, don't  think I'll be eating that again but I can mark it off my list of things to eat. We walked around and got a feel for the place. I stood on a frozen lake, admire the concert hall and saw a penis museum. We headed to a place close to both our hotels called Red Chilies. I don't think Reyner the waiter was super happy to see four hyper over tired irish ladies, but once I called him a raving alcoholic and continuosly complained about Johny Cash playing on repeat he took a shine to us and gave us some tips such a walk like a penguin to not fall, go to Lebowskis on a Wednesday, don't eat fermented shark. 

Day Two;  as it was pancake Tuesday I had waffles for breakfast of course. We booked into do the Free Walking tour with the enthusiastic adorable Martin, who told us about the metal houses, the fairy rock, and all about reykjavik he even got a selfie with us in front of a woolen vagina, highly recommend it. We also headed to the Northern lights, which was just unbelievable. It took a while for them to show up so we admired the stars, drank some hot chocolate and jack daniels and eventually they showed up. There was a mini existential crisis and a group hug and the bus lady told us a ghost story, and then dropped us off at our hotels.

Day three: if there's one thing I'd tell you not to do that we did would be go whale watching. We did it as part of a deal, whale watching and the blue lagoon, but I'd say to just do the blue lagoon, go earlish, get a drink and a face mask and you can leave when you want. I must say I've never met a tour guide as enthusiastic about dolphins, cause we only saw dolphins, the whales were hiding that day. On our first day walking around donna who was the reason we went to Iceland, it was actually her birthday that day, she spotted a Sky restaurant, so we headed there. Such a good idea, lobster salad was a good idea! We kept borderline bullied the waiter into guessing her age. We headed to Lebowskis (maybe see the film before you head there, so you can understand the toe reference at the bar).

I just adored Iceland. I more than likely will not head there ever again, and that's perfectly fine.
For a first time girl holiday I think I picked well. The girls and the location, ok the location was picked already but I had the best time

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Lit Nit Wit: Before I go to sleep

Surprise Surprise I'm reading a book that was made into a movie. Even though it was made into a movie I wasn't sure I would like it, I think jut cause Colin Firth is in the movie, which of course is a terrible reason not to think a book will be good, I was very surprised as a result though so Yay

Christine wakes up beside a stranger, then wanders to the bathroom to see she is not the early 20s woman she was expecting to see in the mirror but a woman in her 40s. In the bathroom there are photos of her, none of which she can remember, her screams from the sight of herself have woken the man up, who introduces himself as her husband. He tells her she had an accident years ago and has been unable to retain any memories past her early 20s sometimes even before that, she has to relearn everyday when she wakes up her age and who this man is, and every night when she goes to sleep it is all lost.

When Ben leaves for work Christine receives a phone call from a doctor informing her she had a diary and they were working together to try and work on her memory. The majority of the book is diary entries, where everyday she receives a phone call from the doctor, and she reads the diary and relearns who she is and learns how the doctor is trying to help her,
I felt a deep unease reading the book, a concern for a character of a book. I try and guess what's going to happen, and the first thing that occurred to me was how can she trust a diary? How can she trust the doctor, who has told her not to tell Ben about the diary, and how can she trust Ben, still a stranger, and on the first page of the diary it says DO NOT TRUST Ben. There is also a passing issue on consent that occurs a couple of times in the book, which I find interesting, cause CONSENT IS IMPORTANT!!

I really enjoyed this book, more probably cause I wasn't expecting it to be great, for no reason, I literally judged this book by its cover! There was one turn I was not expecting and I was so shocked I think I gasped, I highly recommend it!!