Curioser and curioser

Dear all,

I’m really not having a fantastic day. For three reasons.

1. The drama essay I wrote yesterday: epic fail. I just feel like I am fundamentally missing something in my understanding of this play. Stupid Brecht. Writing such stupid plays. I don’t know how I’ll ever manage to get an A in the exam. I find it really, genuinely hard to come up with ideas. People think I’m clever, but what I’m really good is is quickly memorising, understanding and regurgitating information. When I have to come up with something original I’m stumped. Also, a secondary, but equally big, problem is that I write slowly. I get arm cramp about ten minutes into any essay exam and never manage to write enough. It is a problem, because in drama you need to cover a lot of ground.

2. The stupid DSA cancelled my driving test due to “unforeseen circumstances” and booked me another one… at 9am! Nine in the smegging morning! I’ll have to get up so early it’s unreal. And I’m sorry, but what circumstances are so awful and unforeseen that you can’t fix them in a whole month? I’m super-cross with them.

3. I trekked up to ballet, half-running because I was late, only to find that the health club is closed because of a power cut.

However, it’s not been all bad. I had the most amazing sandwich today. I also came second in the school spelling bee, defeated only by the reigning champion. It didn’t help that Maud* was on the front row, watching me spell and snickering to herself. She’s a girl in the year below who always has to be right and is vastly superior in intellect to us mere mortals. She models herself on Gail Trimble. No jokes. I’m never sure if she hates me or wants to be my friend. But she is very annoying.

Language orals in two weeks! Eek! I need to learn some exciting phrases.

Update on the weight gain plan: I’ve gained about a pound. However, it’s probably all on my stomach, which is now fatfatfat. I’ve suspended all weight gain activities until after prom this weekend, due to this unforeseen circumstance. On the plus side, I’ve been doing some casual weight lifting with the ones we have at home. I’ve been doing about 30 reps every other day on average, and I do appear to be developing some biceps, which is very exciting news!

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

*Pseudonym. Last time you’ll be reminded.

Whatevs

Dear all,

Of late, I have been very stressed. I don’t usually stress about things, so this has been most disturbing for me. However, the worst thing is that I’m not stressed about anything in particular. It’s not that I’m struck with terror when I think of exams, or that leaving home gives me the shakes. Not at all. I just feel vaguely tense and twitchy all the time. This kind of general stress is especially annoying because as there is no simple cause, I can see no simple solution.

The cardigan I was going to wear to the prom has gone missing. It’s not a disaster, because I was planning to take it off when I got there anyway, but it was gold and was going to match my gold shoes. And I just have no idea where it could have gone.

My god, Veronica* is depressing. Sorry to go on about her, but it’s my blog and if I want to I will. She just whinges all the time. Today I bought Harriet* lunch, because she didn’t have any money. She didn’t want to borrow any money – she would just have not eaten anything – but I insisted. After all, she can always pay me back and it’s not a problem for me at all. So I bought her lunch, but in the computer room afterwards we were trying to do some quick mental maths to work out how much she owed me and Veronica butted in. She told me, obviously thinking she was being really funny/cool/sophisticated, not to be such a capitalist and to stop treating my friends in pure economic terms. Well, smeg her, eh? I understand where Harriet is coming from, as I hate borrowing money, and I know she wouldn’t have wanted to accept it as a gift. Plus, I did need her to pay me back so I have enough lunch money for the whole week. But no. Veronica has to be all boho and hippie. She’s such a wannabe cool-kid.

Another thing about Veronica is that she never eats. I see her eat maybe once a fortnight. I know she’s anorexic, or at least a wannarexic. She constantly talks about how much she hates thighs, or stomachs, or other body parts in general, usually while I’m eating… I used to give a damn, but I don’t any more. We all used to offer her food, but she’d just mutter something about calories and refuse. So we don’t bother any more.

I realise I sound like a total bitch who’s just letting my friend starve herself to death, but I promise it’s not like that.

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

*Pseudonym.

Chats

Dear all,

A lightning dash to the shops is called for, as I have realised I have no bra which I can wear with my dress for our prom this weekend. I need a strapless bra, which I do not currently own. I realised this during a “So what are you going to wear?” conversation with Joanne* today. Joanne is definitely one of those people that I would regret not telling how amazing they are if something ever happened to either of us. Thankfully she’s going to the same university as me next year!

I also had a very interesting conversation with Lucy* about how we were when we were children. She always thought she might just change into a completely different person overnight, whereas I thought I could never change who I was. I would never go out of my comfort zone. I’d would never do anything or wear anything that I didn’t think was “me”. How different I am now! Though I do still feel like that sometimes.

My attitude to hygiene is fairly casual. Not in the “I don’t shower” sense, but in the “I’ll eat food off the floor” sense. However, I was reading about swine flu in the paper and on the bus someone behind me sneezed and it scared me! It seems we are safe from nothing these days. However, hay fever is apparently worse this year, perhaps because we are not exposed to germs any more and so do not develop our immune systems. You can’t win, can you? It’s either hay fever or swine flu. Make your choice…

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

*Pseudonym, obvs.

P.S. [21.20pm] I bought my bra and vests too because they had a sale on.

I forgot to update y’all earlier on my weight gain project. I am finding it hard to eat more without resorting to things like chocolate and biscuits, so on the way home I bought a bug bag of banana chips. I will keep them in my locker at school to snack on, which will make eating more easier during the day. However, I am starting to get flabby and it’s tres upsetting. My stomach is huge. I’m crossing my fingers that it’s just a stage my body is going through and I will be less fat soon. See, I do want to gain weight but not all in one place! And especially not on my stomach. That was big enough already!

I picked up some more ink cartridges too. I feel so cool that I use a fountain pen. It avoids a lot of waste as the main shell of the pen is not replaced, and it looks awesome too.

Brother is very spotty indeed. It’s probably stress-acne because he has exams coming up, but it makes me laugh to myself because I’ve almost never had any spots whereas he seems to have inherited all the family spottiness.

Self-diagnosis is the new doctor

Dear all,

First an update on last night’s play. It was brilliant, but the most exciting bit came on the way home when we saw one of the main actors on the train. Brother and I got him to sign our programme. He looked surprised but excited to have been “spotted”. I always secretly think that when I go up to someone famous it gives them a big self-esteem boost and that little glow you get when you feel important. Maybe they don’t care. But I like to think they do.

I have been googling things and have come to the (perhaps erroneous) conclusion that I may be suffering from malnutrition. I am underweight, tired, feel cold all the time and have very dry skin. The thing is, I’m not entirely sure what precisely to do about it. Eat more, certainly, but what? I can’t help but laugh at all the American websites that say “go to your doctor to discuss your eating habits”. No way would I do that. I mean, what do the GPs know that I can’t read on the internet? A ten minute appointment is not enough time for them to acquire all the information they would need to construct a proper diet/nutrition plan. I shall have a think about it all.

Today’s driving lesson went pretty well. I’m just counting the days until my test now. I can’t wait to get it over with!

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

Quickly

Dear all,

I’m going to a nearby provincial theatre, and am leaving in ten minutes. I need to get changed. Eek.

At the end of my stint in the charity shop (I left early) I bought a nice blue, red and white checked shirt for my patchwork quilt. It’s the only thing I’ve actually bought for it (as opposed to outgrown or worn clothes from the family’s wardrobes), but the colours and pattern would be the perfect linking patches, so I did. It was only £3.99.

Anyhoo, must dash. I have a play to see.

Lots of love,

Wilhelm Scream.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Dear all,

Today, I did two hours vital work on my coursework plan and research. I had only one copy, on my flash drive. I accidentally deleted it instead of saving it to my laptop. OH MY GOD. I nearly died. I couldn’t believe it. How could I have been so utterly, mind-numbingly stupid? Why didn’t I save another copy at school? I panicked and googled “recover lost files”. I discovered something called “undelete software”. Basically, you download it, click “scan” and then it comes up with every file you’ve ever deleted. You click “recover”. The logical next step would be that your file is recovered. However, in 99% of services, the following occurs:

1. You scan your hard drive and associated storage areas (i.e. the flash drive which my file was on)
2. The file comes up.
3. You cry with joy and thank God for blessing you with such a bounty.
4. You click “Recover”
5. You get sent to a web page asking you to subscribe to their service for *only* £50 a year!
6. You think “But I only want this one file. I’d pay per file, but I’m not subscribing…”
7. You put your head in your hands and cry with sorrow.

However, I managed to find these wonderful, wonderful people. It’s called Recuva (pronounced “recover”, I understand) and they don’t give you the fleeting joy of seeing your file there only to make you pay to actually get it. It’s free! All free! Properly free! Spread the word, guys!

I have my work back. And have emailed to it my mother, my father, my school email, myself… I’m not losing it again!

One tiny problem – I want to give money to Recuva. They are truly kind people and should be rewarded. However, if you click the “Donate” button on their website, it takes you to PayPal where they’ve set up an automatic donation amount of £20 which I can’t seem to be able to change. Now, I’m happy but I’m not £20 happy. I’ve had a quick scout for an email address which I can write to to thank them and ask if I can give them slightly (read: quite a bit) less than £20, but I can’t find one. I’ve written to Piriform, which seems to be the parent company. I hope I get a reply.

I cannot tell you how happy I am. Three hours of work, gone in an instant. My heart cracked. But now it’s back! This is the most exciting (yet initially traumatic) thing that has happened to me this week.

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

You can always do more

Dear all,

I must warn you now that this post will be moderately epic, even by my standards. You have been warned.

Now, first of all let’s have those long-awaited thoughts about Bobby Vee. I was listening to The Bobby Vee Singles Album the other day and wondering why no young people listen to that kind of music any more. It’s beautiful, sing-a-long-able and great fun. However, superficially it has nothing to do with the real life of young people these days. “A Letter From Betty” – who writes letters now? Betty should have just sent a ‘Ur dumped!’ text. “Stayin’ in” – it’s called being grounded, and why not just sneak out and get pissed anyway? The youth culture that Bobby Vee sings about is vastly different from ours, and our attitudes to relationships have changed a lot too. No longer does a boy have to officially ask a girl on a date. Now, friendships segue into sort-of relationships, a kiss at a party could mean everything or nothing at all… we don’t have the clear boundaries that we once did. However, if you look at the fundamental themes of the songs, they apply absolutely to today’s yoof. You may not be ringing up someone’s mum to ask them out, a la “Bobby Tomorrow”, but you can still be put on hold indefinitely. You can still suspect that someone’s cheating you and that they’re “Sharing You”, and if they go with the other person you can ask them to “Take Good Care of my Baby”. The sentiment is the same, although the expression isn’t. Same goes for Helen Shapiro.

Today I was walking home when I got pounced on by a “chugger”. For those not in the know, this means “charity mugger” – those people that ask “Have you got a minute?” and then show you a clipboard full of pictures of starving babies and then get you to sign up to give to their charity every month. I made it fairly clear to this fundraiser pretty early on that I wasn’t going to give him any money. I work in a charity shop every week and any money I give will be to that charity, thanks. But still, he kept talking, and it developed into a nice little chat. I only wish I could remember his name so I could give him a cool pseudonym. Let’s call him Richard, because he looked like a Richard. He’s doing fundraising for a year or so before he goes back to uni to do a PhD. He studied the same subjects as me at A level and did a Philosophy degree. It was very interesting. However, he did keep trying to persuade me to sign up. He said that he didn’t want to guilt trip me into it, but it would really help starving people and all that jazz.

I think he was wrong. He should guilt trip people into giving. People should feel guilty if they’re not doing anything to help other people. Guilt is a powerful and important emotion. It’s like your conscience saying “You’re so well off, but what makes you any different from those starving people? You were just lucky. You have a duty to help them. You’d want to be helped if you were in their place.” And I do feel guilty. I try to rationalise it – I have no money to give, I already do stuff, I do a lot more than other people my age… But still. It’s hard to get rid of that niggling feeling that I should be doing more.

On the bus on the way home, I was thinking about it and I came up with a kind of life mission or general purpose.

I want to spend my life making deserving people happy.

Generally, that is how I want to spend my life. Whether it’s teaching, politics or spreading joy through the medium of theatre or sitcoms, I want to make other people happy. I want to give back, to let people know that life can be wonderful. I already do some things to help.

– I am vegetarian.
– I am on the organ donor register.
– I work at a charity shop.
– I make and effort to be kind and polite to everyone.

But I know I can do more.

I would very much like to give blood. It’s so simple and such an important way of helping other people. But I don’t weigh enough. This winter, I’ve been cold all the time, as usual, and I think that gaining weight might help. So I now have a goal. Gain enough weight to be able to give blood by this autumn… and then give blood! Only 11lbs to go… 😛

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

Whingers

Dear all,

Today I went au theatre with the school, and Molly* and Veronica* were there. And my god, Veronica pisses me off. She’s such a whinger! I hate people that moan and moan about the simplest things and never do anything about them.

Furthermore, in our leavers assembly, the year has been arbitrarily divided up into cliques, most of which are subject-based. It’s hard, because our year really isn’t very cliquey. However, me and my friends are the Computer Room Crew*, because that’s where we hang out. Three of us laughed uproariously when we heard the suggestion and have taken great delight in devising a hugely self-mocking skit. The other three (including Veronica) are offended. One of them has got herself transferred to another group, one is just refusing to be in the skit (but she’s shy so probs would anyway). Veronica, however, sits there moaning and whinging about how offensive and unfair it is that we have to be the Computer Room Crew. So I suggest she moves if she’s so upset. So she whines “No…” and stays. Rinse and repeat until I want to shout “Well you obviously don’t want to be associated with us so why don’t you just feck off?”

She always does this. We go to the computer room because it’s quiet, spacious and private, unlike the common room. We like it there. We actively choose to hang out there. However, Veronica always says “Let’s go up to the common room!”
“Why?” we ask.
“Because we’re like outcasts down here.”
“What, you’re worried about what everyone else thinks? You think they’re ostracising us?”
“No, I don’t care about that.”
“Then what?”
“I just feel like an outcast.”
“But you’re with us. Your friends. Or don’t you like us…?”

It seems to me like Veronica is either concerned with the way we are perceived by the rest of the year and values this above our comfort, or she doesn’t like us.

Biznatch.

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

P.S. Thoughts on Bobby Vee tomorrow, I promise. I really need to get to bed.

*All names are pseudonyms.

Anyone can be beautiful

Dear all,

I go back to school tomorrow. I’m half excited and half dreading it. I’ve got some serious work to do on my philosophy synoptic essay and I’m not looking forward to the return to the daily grind. However, the weather’s getting sunnier and it’ll be nice to see everyone again. I’ve spent most of this holiday holed up at home. It’ll do me good to get out a bit more!

I’d also like to point you in the direction of this video of The Shan and Rozz Show, about beauty queens. The younger one is a bit bratty and boring, but the older one is amazing. It’s sad how alienated the elderly are in our youth-obsessed society. TV execs want everything to be young and dynamic when actually older people watch just as much TV, if not more, and don’t want their senses to be assaulted every time they switch it on. Furthermore, not every teenager is “young and dynamic”. Some of us like old-people things. For instance, today I have been listening to Buddy Holly on Spotify. I also had some thoughts about Bobby Vee (I love him!), but they can wait until tomorrow. I need an early night.

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

Hot tips

Dear all,

I am sweating. My bedroom is unbearably hot, and I don’t know why. My radiator has been off all day. I had my window open this afternoon. There is no earthly reason why my bedroom should be so heated but in the last hour or two it has, according to my Galileo’s thermometer, gone up to 24 degrees. The fact that it’s so stuffy makes it seem even hotter. I’m fairly sure it is the room that’s hot and not me. I don’t feel unwell at all, apart from feeling so hot.

A minor crisis today involving some emergency bank visits when I discovered that some money matures tomorrow and I hadn’t given the bank further instruction on what to do with it. I also got some information about student bank accounts, though the lady appeared to be confused about when I could actually apply for one – i.e. how definite my university offer had to be.

I have been thinking more about getting work experience in radio and/or TV production this summer, but have not got much further. My current work experience is all in theatre. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but I have no evidence of my strong and all-consuming desire to work in radio&TV except for my word, and that just ain’t enough in a CV. I shall think some more tomorrow.

Lots of love,
Wilhelm Scream.

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