GIF Watch Part II

24 Apr

I was moaning last post about not being able to cope with Monday so I think it’s important for me to say happy Friday!

Does anyone have anything excited planned for the weekend? I’m going to try to find an extension lead to plug in my printer so I can show you guys the next batch of election leaflets I got through the door – turns out the Lib Dems are running here after all…

Oh the choice.

Then I’m going to go on a crusade to work out how to open the majority of my saved photos and GIFs on my PC. Apparently Windows 8 isn’t collaborated with some file type that the rest of the universe uses… I have loads just waiting to be uploaded but my computer won’t let me, so it’s increasingly difficult to indulge in arguably my favourite part of blogging – browsing my folder for the stupidest picture available. Which reminds me – as well as learning how to open the damn things I need to replenish my supplies…

To the Internet.

GIF Watch

20 Apr

Happy morning snowflakes.

That’s definitely a figure of speech today… but ‘sleepy morning snowflakes, why don’t I take the day off and make a folder of Poldark GIFs?’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

There is lots of new and seriously cool Etsy news soon and I think I might wait until I’ve got a lot before I dedicate an entire post to new products (and something else I’ve been working on for far too bloody long). Makes for better gloating…

I keep stopping this post to go through the BBC One Twitter and collect more GIFs. I’m running low on new ones and trawling Tumblr for that exact image is tiring so it’s important to build up a bank. That being said, there are some I hope never to use…. I just saw a post full of Vladimir Putin memes and having seen that Reggie Yates documentary about extremism in Russia I’m not totally sure if I want to plaster ‘Putin riding on things’ all over here.

Maybe that’s why I should do it.

Monday has just cheered up a little!

NB: I just realised that when I started this post it was still Monday morning. Will leave everything as a nod to how much I’ve been finding excuses to sit outside instead of work.

Election Flu: A Look at Local Candidates

14 Apr

It’s a sign of how depressing this election is that I have to work up the energy to take the piss out of it.

In the spirit of the Six O’Clock News I’ve collected all the election leaflets that have come through the door, annotated them with some thoughts and scanned in the carnage. I’ve also removed any personal details and names so you guys can’t a) find out my constituency and STALK ME (I like to flatter myself) and b) throw bricks through the windows of any candidates’ offices (I like to insult you, clearly). Plus it looks like we’re dealing in espionage if words are blacked out.

The Lib Dems did not send anything through my door. I think this is very telling. (I also experimented with the gallery setting for the pictures; if it works brilliantly/not at all, please let me know.)

I think this settles it; I’m going independent.

Calling Everyone Who Can Identify Hollywood Regency from a Line Up

11 Apr

To see if it would boost sales, I just explored the style’ option in the Etsy listings. Here are some of the gems you can choose to help your product increase visibility:

  • Renaissance
  • Kawaii
  • Industrial
  • Art Nouveau
  • Beach
  • Victorian
  • Mid Century
  • Hippie
  • Hipster
  • Waldorf
  • Hollywood Regency
  • Neoclassical
  • Cottage Chic

I’m not sure what those words mean, let alone if my artwork fits into the categories. As an experiment I have made Ghost Stories Goth and Fantasy, these Retro and Kitsch and my Imitation Game poster both Traditional and Modern. Etsy also offers an ‘occasions’ list, which is handy around, say, Valentine’s Day, but feels quite constricting the rest of the year. That being said, I made the first Ghost Stories Halloween and the second Day of the Dead just to see. I’ve also done something I didn’t want to do for the tea/coffee posters and selected the optioning proclaiming them ‘for women’. They’re not, they’re for anyone who wants them… but Etsy’s front page makes casual Joe customer browse by person type… so I thought what the hell. I feel icky though – if I don’t receive cold hard cash in return for my sexism, it’s going back.

Okay, now can anyone tell me what ‘Industrial’ is supposed to mean? Does Etsy have a subculture of 17th century mine works salvagers?

Tuesday is the New Monday

7 Apr

I think I say this every year, but I really have no idea how to cope with the four day week thing straight after Easter. Is it Monday? Is it Tuesday? Is it time to eat chocolate? Tough questions when you’ve spent the last week binge watching Luther and hiding behind cushions whenever something creepy happens (ten times an episode).

But it’s back to work now, innit, because we’ve just started a new tax year and I am full of the joys of work. I’ve been spring cleaning the shop and there will be new shiny products there soon, which I will definitely not stop talking about. I’m considering having a contest or giveaway when new things go up; watch this space (or Instagram, as the case may be). I’ve also got to get another article for The Beard Mag done. So far I’ve covered the bog standard topics faced by every writer who’s charged to write about beards but does not have a beard: Conchita, a brief history of facial hair, alternatives to shaving foam, the media’s pressure on everyone to look a certain way… Gotta start thinking outside the proverbial box. My friends suggested an article on beard topiary, which is apparently a thing.

Beard Topiary

Hmm.

Election Flu: Leaders’ Debate

3 Apr

Have you guys recovered from last night’s debate yet? I must say I rarely finish a TV show and fight the urge to pour myself a large glass of neat spirits. Still, it was interesting for a few reasons:

  1. There were aspects of all seven leaders’ arguments I agreed with. No more zero hours contracts? Yes please. Higher minimum wage? Definitely. Quit privatising the NHS? Amen. A middle road between austerity and borrowing? Sounds like an okay compromise. I even agree that grammar schools should be more of a thing – provided, of course, that non-academic eduction is equally well-funded and respected (I know I bitched about my school last post, but ultimately it was a good choice for me. I’m just bitter and twisted about its internal politics).
  2. There were aspects of all seven leaders’ arguments that made me want to hop on a train out of the country. ‘60% of people with HIV are foreigners’, are they Nigel? Well maybe if you don’t cut the foreign aid budget you and withdraw from international politics you might find that there are ways to curve the HIV pandemic.  Motherfucker. I’m also not convinced that it’s a smart idea to keep borrowing money even if it is supposedly to improve infrastructure… how hard can it be to make stuff without borrowing three trillion quid from an international fund? Seriously, if anyone knows, we need you.

    From bitternab.tumblr.com

  3. Women are smarter than men. I was ready to loathe Nicola Sturgeon as Alex Salmond’s puppet, I had absolutely no idea who the Welsh lady was at the start and all I really knew about Natalie Bennett was that she forgot some stats on a radio show the other week. But in debating terms, they were polite, level headed and came across (let’s assume it was a front) as far less arrogant than the guys. Or maybe I’m projecting. Do you guys remember Harvey Milk? You won’t unless you’re, like, 40. He was, amongst other things, the first openly gay US politician. I have no idea how many gay people agreed with his politics (I don’t even know what they were) but he was somebody the LGBT movement could identify with. I’m not saying I’d vote for the Green Party just because it’s lead by a woman, but I felt more represented as a person by having three women on the stage than I did in 2010.
  4. Naturally I’m quite socialist, yeah? I like civil rights and the environment and equal pay and the EU. But – and I dunno if you lot think this way – I will probably never vote Labour or Liberal Democrat. I grew up in a Labour-induced recession and the Lib Dems have done a brilliant job over the last five years of proving that they’re completely spineless. My gut feeling about the Greens is that they sound like my sort of party now but at a whiff of power they’d turn into the rest of them – hypocritical, arrogant and willing to say what people want to hear to win elections.

Doesn’t stop me wanting them to make good though. So, I’ve learnt that I will probably still vote independent unless I vote Green. What stuck in your mind? Apart from the thinly-veiled racism, Ed Miliband’s attempts to atone for the last Labour government and Clegg and Cameron pretending they never worked together?

In Defence of Media Studies

1 Apr

Heads up: this is not an April Fool. Thought I’d better add a disclaimer in case of people thinking I’d spend 500 words taking the piss…

I only got two A*s at GCSE, and I say ‘only’ because I went to a grammar school, and as far as senior management were concerned I was too low on the food chain to bother with after my year nine end of year exams. I’m quite proud of them, though, because I worked hard for them… mostly. One was for English Literature and generally required candidates to read stuff, which was, you know, really tough. The other was for Media Studies.

Don’t look at me like that, subject snobs. I also took three whole humanities and I wanted to take something colourful for balance. It turned out to be one of the smartest things I ever did, because now I use what I learnt in my job. How many of you use your entire Maths GCSE every day? Thought not. (Incidentally I have a tax return to file soon and I regularly calculate how much money I haven’t earned, so I do use snippets of Maths Unit Whatever. But now’s not the time for Francesca’s Thoughts on What Children Should Learn About Money.)

I’m writing this now because last week it was announced that the eduction official people have cut a load of subjects from the curriculum, but left in the ‘often-maligned’ Media Studies. I never thought I’d say this, but good for you, Ofqual.

If I hadn’t taken Media, I would have no idea how to use Photoshop. I wouldn’t know what a press release or Google Docs or a sans serif font is, I wouldn’t have such an interest in the media, this blog wouldn’t have continued in the vein it has and I wouldn’t have my internships/commissions/shop. I might actually have gone to university to study a humanity – or, God forbid, English Lit – instead of setting up as a freelancer. When I was in school I got to take a break from essays and learn how to make things – and I still did pretty well in my other subjects (A*-C all the way, thank you very much). Of the four grammar schools in my area, mine was the only to offer Media, and a lot of teachers, students and parents looked down on it.

Joke’s on them, though, innit, because if our school system’s going to make everyone in it a miserable grade-obsessive, it might as well show kids that at the end of the misery their skills are still relevant. And if that’s not academic enough… I don’t care. I really enjoy my job and I didn’t even build a massive debt to get it. Plus, writing this counts as part of my working day.

Election Flu

28 Mar

A kind soul at the BBC decided to display on the TV screen that there’s 40 days left until the election… is it just me or is the coverage already boring, depressing and altogether too full of barely-distinguishable white dudes?

I’m tempted to do a mini-series – well, a series – where I blog about the election, maybe like The Six O’Clock News. I’ve been meaning to get info about the candidates in my constituency, to take the piss if nothing else. So far there’s been no door-to-door lark except for a Green Party leaflet. How am I supposed to decide how to cast my vote if the only constituent I’ve any understanding of is Mr Green Party?

(For the record, I live in Essex and there’s a higher chance of the Lib Dems taking the seat than there is of a Green winner. I am 80% sure it’s going to go UKIP and that makes me want to move.)

Anyway, I will sleep on it and decide whether it’s worthwhile doing genuine work about these fuckers. I mean, with the best will in the world they’ll all still be fuckers by May, and the people who don’t care now probably won’t care then either. But it is quite tempting to embark on a 40-day piss-take, like a grumpy atheist Noah. God, what a thought.

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