Radio Show Glasgow Adventure Time

Hey Hey Guys!!

Today has been a good day.

I had my first ever Radio Show, What’s Up With Gem?, on www.radiocaley.com, I got some life changing news and I saw (potentially) the love of my life. Yeah, y’all heard it! I’m making it  more than FBO; I’m taking that s**t to the BLOG!!

Just a wierd man playing a violin while walking a tightrope. Standard in Glasgow

Just a wierd man playing a violin while walking a tightrope. Standard in Glasgow

So today I have a lot to be thankful for. It all started this morning, early (too early for my student brain to get it’s tiny little temperament around, if I’m honest). My doctor gave me the news I’ve waited 106 days to hear. I literally skipped down the corridor from his office with glee that would make McKinley High School proud.

Then I got an email from Scotcampus (shout out, by the way!! Follow them dudes on twitter!!) saying that they would like to meet me for an interview for an internship! At a magazine! A real one, not just one that is online! I was about this excited last time this happened, with Source Magazine pity that one didn’t quite go as planned…

Then I had my first show on Radio Caley! Well wasn’t that something! Honestly, it was great. I’ve been on the radio before but I have never hosted my own show. Now, I have one every Tuesday! On my way to Uni (where the studio is) I passed by a girl busking. But she wasn’t just busking. Oh no, she was busking my first song!! FLEETWOOD MAC, GO YOUR OWN WAY!! This lovely lady was playing it 🙂

Lovely Busking Lady

Lovely Busking Lady

I saw a man playing a violin while on a tightrope… so that was a thing… (see above) Pretty standard practice on Buchannan Street, to be fair…

I bumped into an old friend on my way to the studio (which was lovely) then I got to present my show with one of my best friends as a guest, which was such a relief! He’s far more technically minded than me and fixed all my little (*ahem* potentially disastrous *ahem)* technical hitches without a thought. Which I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to do without him. Because I am so technically challenged it’s legendary. ( The tech guys in uni won’t let me borrow equipment without a tutors’ say… I try, guys, I really do…)

On the show there was a major topic I wanted to discuss. For the past 4 years I’ve been heavily involved in the Mental Health services of Scotland, mainly as a patient, but also as a volunteer. It’s a subject close to my heart because it’s affected not only me, but my family and friends, as an extension. I’ve been going through what my dad describes as “a little blip”, but what my psychiatrist would probably call “the reason he has a job“.

mentalhealth

I’m not sure I’m 100% comfortable revealing exactly what I’ve been going through, but I’ve hinted at it in previous posts. My point is, though, that this is Mental Health Awareness Month an I am a survivor. I’ve been through the worst (twice) and now, look. I survived. I’m back at Uni. I’m (hopefully) going to be interning at a magazine. I’m on the radio. There were only 5 listeners but still! That’s 5 people who I hope have been enlightened a little bit, amused, heartened or even just mildly entertained. If one of those 5 got any kind of enjoyment or education from my heartfelt statistics, then I consider that, job done.

What could have, and with my luck might well have, been a catastrophic black hole of a day, was actually something rather wonderful. I’m cherishing this day because there are so few like it for me. There are so few days when things actually go relatively to plan. So often there is something that plagues me, that s**ts all over everything, no matter how hard I try. I neglect self care because if I don’t love myself, then I can’t be disappointed when I receive no love in return.

Keeping it real

Keeping it real

I don’t seek attention, I seek to attend to others. But now, maybe it’s my turn. Maybe I will get the chance to be happy. So I’m going to work hard to make that happen.

SSDD

Hey! Guess Who’s Back??

Hey troops! Long time no write!

I have been somewhat (ok, COMPLETELY) absent from the blogging scene for a long time. I just felt that nothing I had to say was important anymore. That hasn’t so much changed, as I feel like I’ve been on a journey. I’ve had adventures and I want to share them once again. I have still been writing, but not here, and I have missed the community. So, here we go again bitches!!

A quick catch up on where I’ve been at.

Since last year I have been travelling, I have been at Uni, I have made friends and lost friends and I have been on the 2nd biggest, 2nd most terrifying journey of my life. I went to live in BARCELONA for a semester. I actually just got back a week before Christmas so I’m still adapting to the CRAP Scottish weather 😄 But that’s ok, I have Scotland in my blood, I might not like it but the belligerent highlander in will get me through.

So, get ready for tales of sunny Barca and news of my adventures. I’m planning on making some review post and the like but at the moment i’m really thinking i’m just going to wing it and see how it goes.

So I hope you will join me on my wee blog and I hope you enjoy whatever trial nonsense I post here. I will leave you with this astonishing piece of trivia:

Snakes have 2 penises but only use 1 at a time!

You’re welcome.

SSDD

Review: The Hangover Part III

**SPOILER ALERT** just the last paragraph though, please, read on…

the_hangover_part_3_movie-wide

I feel like I have a hangover. And I’ve never even really had a hangover.

This was meant to be a review of what had the potential, however unlikely,  to be one of the funniest films of the year – The Hangover Part III. Yeah. So, a heads up; this one isn’t exactly going to be the most positive review in the world

I was so disappointed.

The only reason I can see for this movie to have been produced in the first place would be to deliver fans with a trifecta of classic Wolfpack hi jinks, a final, concluding pilgrimage into the boozy haze that is the Vegas/Bangkok adventures of those 4 friends. People like things to come in threes, afterall.

Well. It can only be said this attempt (feeble, poorly executed) was at best, bearable to watch. It wasn’t so much unfunny, as much as it just, wasn’t about a wild night out. Nor a missing friend. Not even memory loss.

Half way through I found myself actually wishing it would end! Where was the rambunctious night of drug and alcohol fueled madness? Where was the tiger?? The baby even??? Where was the HANGOVER!?!?

With a plot centered around repaying a debt they never knew they owed, this was more an amateur version of Ocean 11 than the Wolfpack Revisited. Yet again we have a kidnapping but was there ever any real danger? Was it even necessary? I actually forgot Doug had even been taken it mattered so little in the plot. Poor Justin Bartha. He’s a good actor, National Treasure would just have been another brooding Nicolas Cage film without him as nerdy side-kick, but he just isn’t necessary in The Hangover.

Put it this way – as much as I hate to see the guys criticised, I do not disagree with the Rotten Tomatoes rating of just 21%. I wasn’t alone in wanting and hour and a half of booze fuelled stumbling through the grandest suites in Las Vegas, doped up thrashing around the seediest back-alleys of the Thai Ladyboy underworld; I wanted a drug dealing monkey! What I got was that guy from The Flintstones and a sexually deviant Chinese guy with an agenda. Not even the so-called Sexiest Man in the World, Bradley Cooper, added any brownie points.

Sure, I chuckled from time to time, but the only big laugh was during that little bit of extra footage as the end credits rolled, signaling the end of this shambolic conclusion to a greatly anticlimactic comedy series. Instead of waking up with a tattoo on the side of his face, our dear Dentist Stu (Ed Helms) wakes up… with a boob job!

Now that would have been a hangover worth watching!

 

SSDD

Today, The Tyranny of Thatcher Is Truly Burried

Today, the tyranny of Margaret Thatcher was finally laid to rest. Literally.

Great Britain’s longest serving and only female Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, was granted a funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Margaret-Thatcher-Funeral-GQ-17Apr13_pa_b_642x390

More than 2,000 guest were present in the cathedral, which has served as the funeral location for some of the nations most famous leaders, including Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Lady Thatcher’s coffin was carried from the cathedral and returned to a hearse which took it to the Royal Hospital Chelsea. From there is was taken to Mortlake Crematorium in south west London for a private cremation.

The streets of the capital were lined with thousands, the crowds containing both of mourners and critics. Celebrations were held across the country, some in commemoration of her life and rich political history, others in jubilation at her death, aged 87.

Famous in this country for all the wrong reasons, haters of this prominent figure of British political history seemed to grossly outnumber her supporters. Not only was she the first and only female Prime Minister we have ever seen, she was the longest serving. During her 11 year rule her decisions inspired much hate and controversy, implementing policies which became known as “Thatcherisms“. Despite her strong leadership in difficult times, to say she was popular now would be wildly inaccurate.

_67056105_67056104Without a doubt she was not the working mans candidate, favouring business over labour, privitisation over Trade Unions. She had several names. The Iron Lady, for one. Know as “The Milk Snatcher”, she took free milk from schools in 1970 as a result of educational budget cuts.

Her name will forever be synonymous with some of the darkest times of Great Britain’s history, but the public reaction to her death has been something utterly unprecedented. Instead of laying to rest a political figure who divided a nation, she has died as she lived – in a haze of controversy and antagonism.

Upon word of her death from a stroke, parties were held in the streets, including one in George Square in Glasgow, a practice that was quick to be condemned by the local police force. Protesters today were in uproar at the fact that, despite these times of austerity, the taxpayer was still obliged to fork out an estimated £10m for the pleasure of seeing her burried with honours similar to those of the late, and much loved, Princess Diana.

Margaret_Thatcher

Yet despite her many adversaries, final respects were payed to her with cheers as her body was taken to be cremated. Few deserve to be jeered and spat at, purely in spite, in anger, in disgust at their audacity to die. While her policies may have been unpopular, many of those disrespecting her memory were not even born during her reign. Such barbarism is deplorable, especially from those who are uneducated and had no experience of her a leader. This behaviour is an example of inherited prejudice. Perhaps now that she is gone, such anger will finally dissipate and this country can rid itself of Thatcherites and move on to hating David Cameron for his failing efforts at “New Conservatism”.

No politician gets it right for long, as the Baroness so acutely demonstrated. Yet it cannot be said that her career was a failure, It id certain that she has left an indelible mark on our country. Whether that mark is a light or a smear, is for the individual to decide.

 

MARGARET THATCHER, 1925-2013

BBC News Gallery of Margaret Thatchers Funeral

SSDD

I Brought My Own Coffee, Thanks

There is a major problem with office workers.

How the hell they expect someone to survive in an office environment with crap instant coffee is utterly beyond me.

This was the predicament I found myself in recently, when I had two days work experience at my local paper. Now this post is in no way to be considered poor reflection on those fine wordsmiths at the Greenock Telegraph – which, in case you hadn’t heard, is in fact the finest local newspaper in the West Coast of Scotland – no, in the whole of Scotland! (and if that isn’t a claim worthy of the Sun then I don’t know what is) It is merely meant to reflect my utter admiration for people who work under stressful conditions – without super quality caffeine on an IV.

When I began my two days I knew roughly what to expect since I had spent some time there before. I felt prepared.

So this time, when I walked through those double doors at 9:30, I did not feel such an amateur. I slid in front of my very own computer booth, tapped in my personal log-in and snapped on my secretary-come-secret agent headset. Reporters notepad on desk, pen in front pocket and handbag stocked with reporter-like things tucked at my side, ready to be grabbed at the click of my editors fingers.

Everything was going well as I spent the morning fashioning nibs from local ads (what we in the industry call those little fillers at the side of the page that tell you of local events and whatnot). It was only when my trust-me-I’m-a-journalist shirt began to feel just a little chilly, that I noticed the other warning signs. The thirst. The headache. The tightening around the eyes that seemed to spread to my jaw. Eventually using a slightly shaking hand to straighten my short-in-a-sexy-yet-sensible-way skirt I had to admit it – it was coffee time!

10:30am. Damn it. I had hoped to make it til at least 11 before I let the caffeine get the better of me but hey, strong coffee is a mark of a true journalist, right?

But when I get to the tea room, I was a little… disheartened. Not so much disappointed, that would be too much. But my heart swelled a little at the sight before me, and not in that joyful way it sometimes does, more in that way that tells you something awful has happened but that your too pumped with adrenaline to appreciate it.

There was coffee, sure. And it was instant, which is fine, more than fine, it’s great. But it was the second most intolerable instant coffee known to man. It was that dreaded fiend, Tescos own brand. Not even one of the decent ones that tasted just like the good stuff but a slightly more aerated colour in a different jar. It was that rubbish that takes two spoonfuls to have a taste, two more to just about bear some morose resemblance to coffee. And the worst part – it was decaf! I know, I felt it too; the horror. I mean for goodness sake, why even bother drinking something characterised by its potentially heart disease creating key ingredient in favour of a version which might boost you concentration a tiny bit more but has only been so far proven to do in mice!? I can think of other kinds of murky water that could well have the same effect and probably taste about the same!

This sad scene put something of a dampener on my morning, but I was not prepared to let it beat me; so I had three more before noon and by then, things began to look significantly brighter.

I have nothing against the humble instant coffee; I drink cups of the sweet brown nectar everyday (black, two sugars, if you’re interested), and I did feel so suave and journalisty sitting in front of my pile of half read dailys, shorthand notes and copy print-outs. The steaming mug to my right was the perfect addition to my completed look; keen young reporter at work, disturb and face her cutting wit. Even the glasses perched half way off the end of my nose since I wouldn’t see the computer screen from the ridiculous distance it was stationed away from me made me appear somehow like I fitted my situation. (whoever sat at that desk before me must have been the most long-sighted fellow ever to have lived, by the way, and I think they superglued that tower to the flippin’ desk because for all my efforts, it would not move closer)

But be serious. I am only 19 years old and while yes, I may have acquired an unhealthy addiction to strong coffee at a young age, the rest of the people in that office were there every dayDrinking that stuff.

I knew I would be flagging after two days of that. My means of remedying a potentially embarrassing situation?

I brought my coffee, thank-you very much.

That’s right, in a sandwich bag. I brought enough of my favourite from home to last me the day and low and behold, my two days ended marvelously. I had a couple of pieces submitted for the paper for the rest of the week and went on my merry way, even with the promise of future days work to come.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the press, I would like to take this opportunity to impart these words of simple wisdom to you: If you work in an environment where concentration is key, make sure you are well stocked in whatever you need. Be that cigarettes for the nicotine addicts out there; biscuits and bananas for the diabetics, as I can only assume Eric, who had the desk next to me must have been since for all the time I was there the man never stopped snacking yet was not fat; or in my case, decent coffee. Make sure you have what you need and it will give you the confidence and the focus to enjoy the experience more.

See you in the headlines!!

SSDD

How Should the Media Be Regulated?

I was recently asked to fill out a survey about my thoughts on how, in light of the phone hacking scandal, the media and the press should be regulated from now on.
 
Now, that is a touchy subject with most people, as there are so many factors to consider in this. So, I found myself on somewhat of a rant when answering. I edited some of the more Sun worthy statements, but the end result had much the same feel to it. (waddya know, my mum was right – sometimes there really is no need to swear!)
 

NOTW - The Final Headline

 
It is believed that over 4000 people may have been affected by phone hacking at the now defunct tabloid, the News of the World. Without a doubt the scandal was a profoundly intrusive experience for many people, the vast majority of them being of high profile or celebrity status. However, this does not excuse the fact that, in the midst of the star spangled bellyaching there were real victims.
 
A perfect example of this would be the hacking of murdered school girl Milly Dowler. The hacking the phone of a missing/murdered child is out of order, completely. It is something that should never, ever have been done.
 
The guilty reporters even hacked the phones of victims’ families.
 
Sara Payne became a campaigner for better child protection laws after her daughter, Sarah, was murdered when she was just an innocent eight year old. The NotW paid her an undisclosed sum.
 
 Whilst the case of Madeleine McCann is still shrouded in mystery and, to this day, remains without conclusion, it was a media hotbed in 2007. Madeleine, three at the time, was taken from her Portuguese hotel room in 2007 while on holiday with her parents. Despite thousands of reports, spanning the world over, no sightings of her in the years since have been confirmed and the most important details of case are still unknown. No one knows who took her, where she is or even if she is still alive. The NotW stand accused of accessing the personal diary of Kate McCann, Madeleine’s mother, and publishing it without permission.
 

The McCanns

 
Surely, some morose bell must have rung the heads of those journalists. Some human instinct must have told them that what they were doing was just not right. To unduly increase the agony of the already tortured families of a lost child is perverse, and one must seriously question the morals and professional ethics of those reporters.
 
The question now is whetherUKmedia should be governed by an independent regulatory body or a government run one. This issue may be complicated with the imminent referendum for Scottish Independence, due in 2014.
 
Having an independent regulatory body would satisfy the need for freedom so that journalists can actually do their jobs but would also keep the rogues who would step out of line in check. Not all journalists are scum so they shouldn’t all be treated like criminals.
 
However, the Government should not use the NOTW as an example to let them step in and stop a story being reported just because it isn’t favourable to them. With a government run committee, free media would constantly be watching its’ back, leaving a danger of creating a new branch of reporter more willing to take risks and break new regulation – leading us inevitably right back into the situation we’re in. One disgraced tabloid down and a plethora of angered MPs, a handful of genuinely wronged victims of trauma, and a spattering of wounded pride and celeb drama to top it all off.
 
The phone hacking scandal has acted as a warning to other news outlets that misconduct will no longer be tolerated within the media. The NOTW has been made an example of and the whole thing has been a farce with all the celebrity attention. But, it has been used to show that no matter how long it takes, investigations will now take place into such accusations.
 
There is a definite case for more regulation, but as I have said, it’s a volatile issue. I do not want us to suffer a press shackled by a restriction on its freedom of speech, a quality this country has always fought passionately for, but to commit morally unjust acts such as to hack the phone of Milly Dowler, or someone similar, is unacceptable conduct given any circumstance.

If you want to know more deatils about who got paid what:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14187122