It's mid-way through the Easter holidays so naturally I feel sick because I've eaten a stupid amount of chocolate. I have also been experiencing heightened anxiety since beginning my assignments. I'd like to say that this is because it's especially difficult this semester, and perhaps it is in its own way, however, April was very similar last year. April is the dreaded month of little money and lots of work. After writing a detailed to-do list to empty my head of assignment stress (I love lists), I decided that a blog post would be a therapeutic way to end my evening.
A little catch up, as I haven't posted for a little while, is that I have have purchased several books that are squirrelled away in my room until I can fully enjoy them over the summer - but I have been unable to stop myself from tackling the shorter ones. Last week I completed Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me; and Other Essays. I was a little bit hesitant about the title, as I've not always been very fond of the term "mansplaining" though I can sympathise with the experience, but it was a good read. I would be lying if I claimed to be fully clued in on everything that Solnit wrote about, as it was politically historical in parts, but the point that she was trying to make very much hit the mark. I have finally reached a point where I am not frightened to identify as a feminist.
In other news, I'm currently halfway through Nicholson Baker's Vox which was a lot better than I was expecting. Fifty Shades of Grey did rather darken the doorstep of adult novels for a while, and I was reluctant to purchase one considering I had made it approximately three pages into Anastasia Steele's life until my eyes winced along the phrase; "floor the pedal to the metal". Needless to say, eyes rolled and book was closed. Vox is considerably less cringe-worthy, though still creates a very necessary weirdness and sense of discomfort. I'm still trying to make up my mind about it, so perhaps there will be an update in the future when I have read it.
I know that I made a summertime list for the books I was going to read this summer, and I intend to gather the remaining ones on my list, however, I worked with what little money I had to treat myself to some affordable books!
- All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven (Steph inspired this!)
- Making Friends with Anxiety - Sarah Rayner (I know)
- Men Explain Things to Me: and Other Essays - Rebecca Solnit
- The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky (My lovely friend Bridie let me borrow her copy a while ago and it was so lovely I had to own one!)
- Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher (I must see the hype)
- Vox - Nicholson Baker
- Watership Down - Richard Adams (I adore the film)
I think that's it for the general roundup of things-Lauren-has-been-doing-in-between-worrying-about-stuff. I have decided, after seeing several of these things on YouTube recently, that doing a Get To Know Me TAG thing might be a nice thing to do.
A conversation with myself:
Self-conscious me: Nobody cares! Why would you do something so self-centred?
Self-loving me: Do whatever you want, it's your blog, you crumpet.
Here we go!
Are you named after anyone?
Yes. I'm named after my Grandad whose name is Laurence
When was the last time you cried?
This afternoon. I'm a very emotional and sensitive person, as I'm sure you've all gathered, and I was experiencing a lot of anxiety which caused me to cry.
Do you have kids?
Only if pets and cuddly toys count.
If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
Of course. I think we would all benefit from imagining what it would be like to be our own friend, we would be a lot kinder to ourselves and put more effort into self-care.
Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Not usually. I tend to use sarcasm in writing or texting etc when I have time to plot how I'm going to use it. Otherwise I would fear that I had upset someone with it. I will occasionally use sarcasm with friends if I know it's commonplace.
What’s the first thing you notice about people?
Would it be cliché to say their vibe? Probably is. But I genuinely build up a little caricature in my head and then the more I find out about the person the more it changes in my mind to suit the person. Admittedly, I'd be better off starting with a blank slate but I'm human and I like to guess at the personalities that people might have - I just have to make sure I can easily accept it when I'm proved wrong.
What is your eye colour?
There is some debate about this, but I've settled on grey. Photos rarely depict what they usually look like.
Scary movie or happy endings?
Happy endings. I don't particularly mind sad endings, but I will pick absolutely anything over scary films. Dark films? Great. Scary films are the worst.
Any kind of food being cooked (though Italian always smells the best). Clean washing. Petrol. Winter. Summer. The seaside.
What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?
Wisconsin - USA. My family have friends living there who we visited for a couple of weeks in 2005 (if I'm not mistaken).
Do you have any special talents?
Give me any situation and I'll tell you how it can go catastrophically wrong.
Where were you born?
In my hometown, in the same hospital that almost everyone here was born in.
What are your hobbies?
Art, eating, listening to music, reading, painting, video games, watching films and writing. I have also dabbled in crocheting and polymer clay modelling.
Do you have any pets?
A border collie by the name of Jack Jack (yes, the baby from The Incredibles)
A black cat called Salem (Again, yes - Sabrina The Teenage Witch)
A ginger and white cat called Alistair who we usually just call Ali because Alistair is a bit of a mouthful for a cat.
Do you have any siblings?
A younger brother.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If I think about this question I will inevitably panic again.
Who was your first best friend?
She is a lovely individual, who I very rarely see now, who I met in reception in primary school. I was playing with a plastic Pongo from 101 Dalmatians, having him trot around a dollhouse, and she asked if she could play with me.
How tall are you?
5'8 the last time I checked, though I may be taller now.
Funniest moment throughout School?
I spent most of Year 10 and 11 with two particular friends who constantly made me laugh. I couldn't possibly extract a single memory from those two wonderful years of school - it was all lovely.
How many countries have you visited?
I have only been abroad once to the aforementioned Wisconsin.
What was your favourite/worst subject in High School?
Favourite: English. I adored Art, but English has always been the one I genuinely looked forward to every lesson.
Worst: Maths. I have never felt more stupid than when I was sitting in a maths lesson.
What is your favourite drink? Animal? Perfume?
Animal: I've always said pandas, but I genuinely adore all animals.
Perfume: I don't really know. I liked one by Britney Spears, but I don't particularly agonise over perfume.
What would you (or have you) name your children?
I used to have a pretty solid list of names I liked for potential future children, but I don't remember any that I still like now. Except for Violet, which completely coincidentally is linked to this blog.
What Sports do you play/Have you played?
I used to love badminton, basketball and netball. I haven't played any sport for a long time though, apart from a game of badminton with my boyfriend once which nearly killed us both.
Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?
A Thousand Words - she is actually my mom's favourite, however, I recently emailed her about giving a shoutout to my mom and she did!
I probably have a lot more but I'm tired.
How many Girlfriends/Boyfriends have you had?
None-serious? Probably like seven?
But things that I would actually class as proper relationships: two.
Favourite memory from childhood?
The one that makes me laugh from when I was a toddler is when I was on the beach and kept putting pebbles in my pockets until my jeans got too heavy to walk in.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
If I had the money to afford all the clothes I want then it'd be 50% retro/vintage and 50% gothic/punky? But who knows? I don't really know how to label it.
What phone do you have?
Tell us one of your bad habits!
I think my worst ones are pulling all the skin off of my lips and plucking the mascara from my eyelashes (resulting in some very sparse eye-hair).
It's now almost midnight and I've successfully vented out my worries through writing!
Sweet dreams saplings,
Lauren Newman a.k.a shr-Inking violet