Monday, 21 December 2015

From Dating To Friends

I’m big into personal development these days and as I get older, it seems a shame to completely cut a person out just because you guys are not a good fit, dating-wise. I mean if it’s a cheating, sleazy asshole or someone you dated for years and years and you’re heartbroken then DEFINITELY cut them loose for your own sanity, especially if they ended things.

Image credit: BlueOlive
But if it’s a generally kind and decent person with whom you have similar interests, should you really burn bridges like that? When you can mutually benefit from one-another’s company?

Especially if you live in a medium-sized city like I do, where the odds are high that you will frequently bump into each other, especially if you attend the same popular events.

Whilst this would have been awful if I was heartbroken over a guy, it’s actually quite nice to see a friendly, familiar face out and about (of-course, I'm not sure I'd be so relaxed and unconcerned about it if I saw him getting cozy with another girl).

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

How Soon Can You Use Your Oven After Cleaning It?

Image credit: Pimasuro
I read an article how things like burnt or well-done potatoes, toast or other starchy foods release chemicals that can cause cancer.

So when I noticed a bunch of burnt bits in the oven I thought it might be time to give it a good scrub-down, especially when in the past few weeks I’ve heard multiple sad stories from lovely folks at work whose loved ones have been diagnosed with cancer.

The problem is the heavy duty cleaner I used left a lingering smell, even after I left the oven door open for hours. So I was then left worrying about toxic chemicals of a different kind.

And they say no good deed goes unpunished.

Anyway, as usual there’s always someone else in the same predicament and after a bit of research online, I found a foolproof solution to get rid of the chemical smell that lingers when you give your oven a good clean:

Give the oven one last wipe-down with a damp cloth to get rid of any residual cleaner. Then switch on your (empty) oven and let it warm up, kinda like how you’re supposed to pre-heat the oven before you cook something (let’s be honest though, who really does that?). After about 15 minutes, the smell should disappear. 

It may take a couple of goes, but the smell does eventually fade after a few uses.

My attempts at cooking usually end in disaster (hence why the oven gets a lot of use). I thought cleaning was my forte for sure, but apparently not. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Signs You Can’t Handle Your Drink

I have a low tolerance for many things. This includes alcohol consumption.

I don’t know if it’s just me getting older, or if I'm just more used to eating clean so that on the odd occasions that I do drink, my body's like "Aw hell naw! What ya tryna do to me, breh?!"...but I’m seriously a sloppy drunk these days.

When I look back at uni days and how we used to go out multiple times a week, I honestly don’t know how we did it. No wonder I was heftier back then.

On the plus side, it does mean nights out are pretty cheap now as it doesn’t exactly take much to get you drunk.

still-drunk-from-yesterday-imageBut on the downside…

1) You may find yourself in the men’s toilets (alone, I hasten to add) – This actually happened to me. In my drunken confusion, I couldn’t decipher which were the male or female toilets. When I walked in and saw the urinals, I just thought that maybe the toilets in this joint were unisex.

When I got to the cubicle…well let’s just say I’ve had more pleasant experiences squatting in the woods during hikes.

Boys are gross.

2) You may also find you end up drunk-texting exes/boys you had brief flings with – But that "friendly" 2am text won't seem like such a good idea in the harsh light of day, especially when you’re anxiously waiting to see how they’ll respond.

3) You’ve lost half of the jewellery you had on that night. Sad times.

4) It takes you 3 days to fully recover from a hangover. Sore head, much?

5) Memory loss - When you see the post-party Facebook uploads, you can’t even remember how/when the pictures were taken.

So as the holiday season is upon us, remember folks: drink responsibly.

Cheers!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

How To Brighten Silver And Remove Tarnish

I must admit, I do like a bit of bling. Not tacky jewellery mind, but I like my accessories (especially ethnic-style jewellery) and I have some statement pieces.

sterling-silver-image
Image credit: starbright
Unfortunately, due to constant moving, sometimes I’ll forget about some of my jewellery pieces, or I’ll go through phases where I just don’t feel like wearing too much jewellery and some pieces lie forgotten.

As a result, some of my beloved jewellery pieces have gone from being bright sterling silver, to a dark, dull and tarnished colour.

I thought these pieces had perhaps reached their sell-by date so were beyond repair... that the change in colour was inevitable for cheap-ish jewellery that’s prone to rusting or something.

About to chuck it in a carrier bag to give to charity (even if charity shops can’t resell your stuff they usually do some sort of textile recycling, so they know exactly what to do with unwanted materials) I thought actually, I bet there’s a solution online from lifestyle gurus.

And apparently there is.

Friday, 13 November 2015

When He Doesn't Want A Girlfriend, But Acts Like Your Boyfriend

Picture the scene: you’re dating someone. The attraction is mutual. You have tonnes of chemistry. You enjoy spending time with each other. They seem decent and trustworthy. Things seem to be heading in the right direction.

Then BOOM! Outta nowhere, they drop the "I’m not really looking for a relationship right now..." (or similar) line.

An all too common predicament that those who are unlucky-in-love will be able to relate to:



Monday, 9 November 2015

Comment Of The Day #5

Haven’t done one of these in a while…

Backstory: A Spanish man went missing 20 years ago. He was recently found in a Tuscan forest. Despite being declared dead, he had actually voluntarily chosen a life in the wild due to severe depression.

[Read the original article here: "Hermit's 20 years in a forest"- Daily Mail, 09/11/2015]

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Games People Play

As I’ve mentioned in another post, it’s weird when things in your life (both good and bad) tend to happen all at once. For example, you’ll go weeks with nothing exciting on your social calendar, and then you’ll get about three invites in one week.

Thinking it was just one of those strange sod’s law life occurrences that Alanis Morissette sings about in "Ironic", I mentioned it to my sister who had noticed something similar.

Obviously much more practical-minded and less spiritually-inclined than I, she deduced that it was because people can sense that you’re busy (usually because they’ve been watching your social media activity closely).

I seriously doubted people were that manipulative, or basically such mindless sheep, to suddenly want to hang out with you more once they saw you were going out and having fun without them. Isn’t that type of game-playing tactic usually reserved for dating? Besides, I doubted people were paying such close attention to my boring life, both online and off.

But then I started noticing remarks from people I was interacting with regularly, mentioning a pic or a status and bringing it up in conversation. Some will even text/WhatsApp me after they see the update.

So basically, they’re looking. They’re noticing. They just don’t acknowledge it online (aka "lurking")

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Does Life Keep Itself In Balance?

universe-balance-image
Image credit: jpornelasadv
Ain’t life strange, the way good things tend to happen all once. On the flip-side, things tend to all go wrong at once as well.

I’m not the only one who’s observed this life-pattern… I'm sure you've heard the saying: when it rains, it pours!

Of course, it could all just be psychological. Maybe it seems like one bad situation is following another, because it’s more noticeable when you’re already stressed about something else.

Strangely though, what I’ve found is that things tend to get a lot worse the more you actively let things bother you.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Subtle Signs The Guy You’re Dating Might Be Gay

rainbow-lgbt-image
Image credit: Kurious
This is probably the most ignorant and ridiculous article I’ve ever written, with absolutely no merit at all, but here we go.

When you’re single, you find yourself dating all different types of characters. And sometimes, a certain type of character may cause your gaydar to go into overdrive.

Looking back, I’ve heard similar stories from other women, where they’ve been trying to figure out if the guy they’re dating is gay, straight or bi. I think living in a permissive society, where sexual experimentation is readily accepted, has blurred the lines even more.

That, and women are becoming so suspicious of men due to the sheer volume of failed or f*cked up relationships, looking for red-flags (or I guess in this case, rainbow flags) becomes second nature (that might just be me though).

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Why I Took A Blogging Break

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Work break... [Image credit: kaboompics]
Women are meant to be great at multi-tasking. My current job role has certainly improved my ability to think on my feet and juggle multiple tasks.

However, sometimes life just gets the better of you and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So things like hobby-blogging have to take a backseat.

To be fair, it has been an extremely busy few weeks…here are some things that have rendered me with less free time:

- Joining a walking group, where I subsequently met some lovely people who I ended up striking up a friendship with and as a result, my social life has been a bit more active.
- Going from part-time to full-time at work after a member of staff left.
- Starting a weekly writing class.
- It’s that time of the year again, where colds and flus are spreading and unfortunately, I wasn’t immune.
- I’ve had annoying household things to take care of e.g. boiler repairs, switching broadband services.
- This website domain is up for renewal so I’ve had to do some work for that.
- My sister who still lives in London has visited us a couple of times.
- Those friends that you only hang out with from time-to-time have been reaching out, wanting to catch up.
- And finally [shock-horror :P]…I’ve been dating.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dating and Paying Etiquette

wine-and-dine-image
Image credit: Steve Buissinne
There has been many a time during my colourful dating history that I’ve sincerely wished I was into chicks: not only because (coming from the same gender) there’d be a natural understanding about certain things, but also because there’d be no confusion about what position each person has in the relationship.

I hate the awkward moment when you’re seeing someone, you go out to eat, the bill arrives and you’re not sure how it’s going to be settled. We’re in the 21st century now and I, like most women, know we can't expect much from men these days when it comes to chivalry.

Basically, get your purse out lol.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Are You Too Used To Being Single?

Imagine coming home to your mum, somewhat apprehensively, asking if you’d mind if the guest on the couch moved in as a lodger. That night.

I’m used to such impulsive behaviour from my mother, which is usually the main reason why we butt heads when we do – she just can’t sit still sometimes and relax!

I guess it’s nice that she asked me first. At least she offered me that courtesy. I mean, technically it is her house.

I was initially resistant to the idea and told her if she needs some extra cash, I can just give it to her. But my mum has temporarily housed people before in the past. For free. I think she feels sorry for people sometimes, often at her own detriment. She has a soft spot for Muslim people in particular.

From a financial standpoint though, this arrangement kinda makes sense – with two double rooms lying empty, she may as well make easy money from one room. I obviously already do contribute to the household, but she’s never asked me for me money and I think she feels guilty even taking it.

This dude is an old family friend so it feels more like a cousin or someone staying. I guess it might be nice to have a male in the house anyway, to balance out all the oestrogen. Plus, my mum cooks and buys food in bulk, it’s nice to have another mouth to feed.

But this potential new housemate got me thinking about how I dread the idea of meeting someone, settling down, moving in together and having to make that adjustment from being single, enjoying your company and only really having to worry about yourself…to having someone around ALL THE TIME. Someone else to consider, who will inevitably intrude on your personal space or take up more of your time.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Bank Holiday Weekend ***Shopping Haul***

I always thought "shopping hauls" were quite a stupid vlog/blog idea…I mean, a video of you doing something that pretty much every person does on a daily basis?

OK.
 
Superficial, much?
 
But then a few things occurred to me:

Firstly, I’ve been crazy busy for the past few months, with barely any time to shop and I haven’t had a decent, purely-for-leisure shopping trip in ages. Whenever I have been shopping, it’s been to purchase practical things.

As a result, it’s gotten to the point where I now feel guilty buying things I don’t necessarily need.

First World Problems. Indeed.

But what’s the point of working hard, if you don’t treat yourself sometimes? It might seem superficial and materialistic but hey, they don’t call it retail therapy for nothing. And when you’re living a modern, rat-race lifestyle, I encourage it from time to time.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Downsides To Being Beautiful

I’m sure every girl has had to deal with unwanted attention at some point in their life. It’s especially funny when it happens on the days when you’ve put zero effort into your appearance.

Can you imagine what it must feel like for those stunning girls, who turn heads wherever they go?Especially if it's constant. I would imagine it would make you feel quite uneasy and self-conscious, especially if you’re the shy and nervous type.
 
I know, I know. Such problems in life.

It could just be a simple case of frequently running into guys who hit-on anything that walks. But when you walk past a group of guys who suddenly go quiet and you can feel their eyes following you…it’s quite noticeable.

Then you have the guys shouting stuff out to you from their car/van window, leading to everyone within earshot staring at you. You also sometimes have to deal with death glares from girls who have caught their boyfriend having a good ole gawp at you. It’s surprising when this comes from respectable-looking guys too.

I guess it’s good to remember that looks are fleeting…so there is one inevitable cure: middle-age :P.

Might as well enjoy it and take it as a compliment while it lasts.

But it got me thinking, if someone as average-looking as me has to deal with being gawped at and perved on, imagine what drop-dead supermodel types have to deal with.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

YouTubers and Depression

Now, we all know I love to analyse celebrity culture/behaviour, especially when they’re behaving in a peculiar way, or dealing with things that are relatable. This interest extends to my favourite YouTube personalities.

Public figures make for interesting psychological studies. So let me take this moment to admit that yes, I’m probably farrrr to invested in the lives of people I have never met.

I assure you, I'm not as far-gone as Rupert Grint’s obsessive fan character in Ed Sheerhan’s "Lego House".

Musical Ink

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Roots of Racism

I like to think of myself as an open-minded, non-prejudiced person. This past week however, this virtuous view of myself has been challenged.

So I was back to work after a few days off, which meant going back to doing my usual commute. I’ve had some hellish commutes in the past, but my current one is ideal, lovely even: a scenic half an hour walk for an 8.30am start. At 1.5 miles each way too, it’s also good daily exercise.

However, as I’ve mentioned I’d had a few days off and when Monday morning came round, much to my chagrin, I was met with this lovely sight as I made my way to work:

holbeck-moor-park-irish-travellers-photo

A week off work and some visitors had decided to set-up camp by the local park.

It might not look so bad in the pictures, but trust me…it was. Especially first thing in the morning. The stench of dog sh*t/p*ss was overwhelming and I full-on felt like I needed a tetanus shot after I walked through it – it was like walking through a rubbish site. I don’t think the humidity helped.

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Appeal Of Made In Chelsea

As Made In Chelsea (now in its 9th season and having recently celebrated it’s 100th episode) continues to dominate UK television ratings every Monday evening, let’s take a look at just what it is about this show that manages to consistently draw in an audience. 

made-in-chelsea-cast-season-1-image
Twitter: Made in Chelsea
I’ll admit, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine although these days, as the scenes/storylines become increasingly staged, I watch it more out of habit and I am started to get a little bored of the show, finding it hard to stay fully engaged. I mean, there are only so many times "so-and-so-hooking-up-with-so-and-so’s-ex" can be an interesting plotline.

I was really into the storylines at one point though, but even then I was a late fan.

Prior to that, I remember my sister catching up with an episode and wondering how on earth she was so engrossed in such a slow-paced show with not much really happening; a show that was seemingly just full of awkward pauses and stilted dialogue to move the storyline along.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

If We Can't Blame Immigration, Who Can We blame?

england-flag-image
Image credit: ClkerFreeVectorImages
The Calais migrant situation has been a recurring story on the news over the past few weeks; basically, the number of migrants looking to illegally enter the UK (via numerous cross-channel transport routes that connect Britain to France) has been high recently.

Whenever certain news outlets run a story related to the situation, it’s quite funny seeing all the outraged comments from people after they’ve read a sensationalised article.

But I find the lack of compassion in the comments section quite astounding:

daily-mail-immigrant-comment-image

That's a human being we're talking about. The majority of these migrants are seeking asylum because they’re fleeing a country where they have no basic human rights. Yet they’re being treated like pesky vermin.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Things To Do In Leeds, Yorkshire (UK)

So apparently, the 1st August is known as "Yorkshire Day" – I’m not sure how serious people are at observing this as it’s the first I’ve heard of it, but I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate my own city; a city which I’ve found myself acting like a tourist in since I moved back.

leeds-kirkgate-market-image
Kirkgate Market, Leeds
A lot of people travel around the world (even I’ve been to a fair few places abroad) without having explored their own backyard or having made the most of places that are on their own doorstop.

A city like Leeds is perfect to do some local exploring, especially if you’re anything like me - someone who’s grown a little wary of travelling abroad.

Leeds isn’t so big where going to local events and meeting new people is too daunting, but it’s still big enough where you can meet a wide range of people.

It's changed a lot since I last lived here - the people are generally a lot more open-minded and friendly, and looking to expand their social circle.

Which has worked out great for me in terms of meeting new people. There are also enough events going on with different things to do, or cool new places to check out which are easily accessible.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Is Bruce Jenner Brave...Or Just An Attention Whore?

It seems to be on a daily basis that Bruce - sorry Caitlyn - Jenner is in the news as she completes her transition from male to female.

Today, her very own reality show premieres on E! and the whole spectacle just makes me think that Bruce is just loving all of this attention.

I’ve been an avid watcher of the family's original reality show for years and there have been numerous occasions where you see him (I'm going back to that pronoun now as I talk about Bruce, not Caitlyn) whining or acting resentful because he is being overshadowed by the stronger, glamorous female personalities in the family. Now, the spotlight is on him and you can tell he’s loving it.

His social media antics do little to dispel this assumption:

caitlyn-jenner-tweet-image
Twitter: Caitlyn Jenner










Erm Caitlyn, you know who else has millions of followers? Amanda Bynes. Twitter followers does not necessarily mean support - some people just like to see a car-crash play out in front of them. It's entertainment. Don't be fooled.

Besides, are you 12 that your self-esteem relies on how many social media followers you have? Or do you just relish ANY sort of PR coverage and its milestones, whatever the circumstance?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Taylor Swift Show

taylor-swift-image
Instagram: Taylor Swift
I like Taylor Swift. Her songs are catchy, sometimes relatable (even though it can feel like they’ve been written from a 13 year old’s perspective). She seems incredibly hard-working and ambitious, but still manages to have fun.

Style-wise, Taylor always looks chic and glam too and rarely gets it wrong on the red carpet, proving you can dress sexy without being vulgar or trashy.

However, do I feel she deserves the blatant industry favouritism she gets? No.

Music industry nepotism was more recently being displayed when the 2015 MTV VMA nominations were announced, with Taylor Swift being nominated for a total of NINE awards.

Frankly, I’m surprised they didn't find a way to nominate her in EVERY category… including "Best Male", "Best Rock" and "Best Hip-Hop".

Taylor’s success led to an outspoken Nicki Minaj publicly commenting about her own lack of acknowledgment in a specific category, despite breaking video-viewing records herself. She's put it down to white music artists being favoured in the media (an old argument, and incidentally, part of the reason why Kanye West stormed the stage at the 2009 VMAs when Taylor won an award over Beyonce).

To be fair, "Anaconda" is a horrible song with an even worse music video…it’s so crass, it’s almost like a parody. Given the choice, I would give the award nomination to Taylor Swift too. She’s like the lesser of two evils.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

"One Conception": Louis Tomlinson's Baby Mama Drama

It's been a busy week of press coverage for both past and present members of boyband One Direction, what with Zayn Malik being embroiled in a nasty spat with former friend and collaborator Naughty Boy… as well as news that, at the ripe old age of 23, Louis Tomlinson is set to become a father.

louis-tomlinson-image
A bleary-eyed Louis
Instagram: Louis Tomlinson 

Between the public slanging match and the baby-daddy news, it's like Jeremy Kyle for the rich and famous.

Why do I get the feeling that Simon Cowell’s mentally calculating how much longer One Direction have left, before he starts putting together another group of fresh-faced lads to assault the charts?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, Zayn Malik Style

Zayn Malik really likes his Twitter beefs, doesn't he?

zayn-malik-twitter-beef-naughty-boy-image
Twitter: Zayn Malik
 
Even ex-fellow boy band member Louis Tomlinson wasn’t spared from the wrath of Malik:

zayn-malik-twitter-beef-louis-image
Twitter: Zayn Malik

You can take the boy out of Bradford…
 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Why Women Go Back To Bad Men

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Instagram: Karrueche Tran
When recently asked about the status of her relationship with bad-boy Chris Brown, Karrueche Tran (unsurprisingly) refused to confirm that things were over between them for good.

What a fool. Some women just love being doormats.

Not even taking into account that he beat-up a woman in the past, this is a guy who: dumped her for his ex-girlfriend, returned to her when things between him and his ex didn’t work out, has insulted her on social media and blasted information about their private life on there…and has now fathered a child with another woman.

No doubt Chris has been back in touch with Karrueche, messing with her emotions so she has trouble moving on or is reluctant to date anyone else. Meanwhile, he is probably playing the field, while she mistakenly believes that he is grieving over her.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Can Depression Be Grounds For Assisted Suicide?

A bleak topic, but an interesting one to explore nonetheless.

The 24-year-old Belgian lady, known only as Laura, hit the headlines having been granted an assisted suicide – a controversial decision as, aside from suffering for years from clinical depression, she is otherwise physically healthy.

depression-image
Image credit: StepanFoto
As someone who has dealt with and come back from extreme depression and suicidal thoughts, this makes me uneasy…almost as if they're agreeing that someone’s life is worthless and that it’s the end of the road in terms of receiving help for depression. It all seems really clinical, soulless and "Evil Doctor".

As human beings, we should be kind and compassionate to each other. Not encouraging people to give up.

Some would argue that, in this case literally, putting someone out of their misery is kind, especially if the alternative is a suicide attempt which, depending on which method you choose, can easily go wrong and leave the person dealing with the ramifications of a botched suicide attempt.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Difference Between Atheists and Agnostics

Image credit: Jacky77
It is currently the Holy Month of Ramadan which, coming from a family of practicing/non-practicing Muslims, puts me in a slightly awkward position as being the only one not fasting.

When your family practice a particular religion, even if some are stricter than others, by default it means you do too.

Most people genuinely believe in the religious and cultural practices they have been brought up with, without question.

However, and I know a lot of British-Asian kids struggle with this too, sometimes people who have been brought up with a particular religion are left questioning some of the rules and the validity of the beliefs that have been imposed on them, especially if they’re living in a secular society where their religion and culture is in the minority.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Split – Did You See It Coming?

Tabloids have been speculating that Hollywood couple Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were on the brink of divorce for several weeks now.

ben-affleck-jennifer-garner-splitSeeming like a rare genuine solid Hollywood couple, many dismissed the rumours as unfounded gossip.

However, today a spokesperson for the couple confirmed that the couple are indeed separating after ten years of marriage.

As much as you hate it when the media turn out to be right about something like the break up of a family (Affleck and Garner have three children together), news like this is often not surprising.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Stages of AdSense Approval (Blogger)

google-wallet-image
My story behind blogging began years ago when, sat in a job interview and asked what I like to do in my spare time, I answered, "I like to write."

To which they asked, "Do you have a blog?"

So I set one up. Luckily, my friend had set up a very entertaining, yet slightly oversharing, blog on Blogger so I decided to follow suit since I liked how simple the platform was.

I would update the blog as and when I felt like it, with no real schedule. It turned out to be very therapeutic. And surprisingly, people were reading it.

Not just friends (although even this had a surprisingly wide reach - a post I shared on a mutual friend's Facebook wall led to a guy asking my friend if I would be interested in working for him as a copywriter), but people all-over the world who, judging by my stats, found the content engaging enough to stay on the page long enough to actually read the articles.  

It made me think, I may not have many talents but I guess writing descriptive and engaging content is one of them.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

eBay Sellers At Risk Of Scams

So recently I had to deal with the moral dilemma of deciding what to do when a refunded item I had purchased off online auction site eBay eventually turned up.

I ended up repaying the seller on Pay
shopping-cart-image
Image credit: geralt
Pal, even though it was a bit of hassle to do so.

At the risk of sounding sanctimonious, I’m not sure many people would have done the same. Instead, they probably would have been chuffed at having nabbed a freebie.

I’m sure the seller was even surprised I went out of my way to get in touch informing him of the situation with the intention to pay; he may have initially thought I was an eBay scammer and learnt a lesson about sending out items without a tracking option.

I dunno, I just don’t have it in me to shaft people. Thumbs up for the moral compass!

Some people do though, and I’m sure there are people who have picked-up on this eBay loophole and plan to exploit it.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

My Laptop Charger Exploded!

So, a few months ago my laptop died on me. I traded it in for parts as well as for a refurbished laptop.
explosion-image
Image credit: OpenClipartVectors
 

This refurbished laptop came with a cheap-looking adapter which, despite appearances, seemed to do the job okay. Until yesterday.

I suddenly heard this weird ticking noise. Then I heard a crackle. Then I saw smoke. I ran to switch the power off at the mains before I heard one final POP and the charger decided to permanently exit the world.

Tick-tick-tick-tick…BOOM!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Comment Of The Day #4

Backstory: Rachel Dolezal, a civil rights leader in the US, has been passing herself off as black, until her biological parents revealed that she is in fact…white.

rachel-dolezal-transracial

[Read the original article here: "Twitter goes to town over white NAACP leader PRETENDING to be black"- Daily Mail, 13/06/2015]  

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Social Media: Land Of Make Believe

So I updated a picture on a couple of social media channels recently, a rare personal one, and it sparked-off a few convos with many people curious as to where it was taken.
social-media-addicts
Image credit: LoboStudioHamburg

It’s funny seeing people pounce/start up a conversation as soon as you upload a picture, almost as if they’ve been waiting eagerly, bless 'em.

I don’t flatter myself though – I think it says more about their social media addiction than their fascination with me.

We all have that one social media outlet we favour. For me, it’s Instagram.

I go through phases with social media, though. Sometimes I’ll post regularly but when I start to find it exhausting, I ghost on there and find more useful things to do with my time. Because creating the perfect post, posting it online then dealing with the notifications… it feels like work.

Whenever I do post however, I post general lifestyle pictures - views, architecture, nature shots etc. The odd personal picture/selfie does make it on there sometimes but I guess because I don’t post those types of pictures too often, it piques people’s interest when I do.

It got me thinking how easily people are duped by social media and how curious they get when the story behind a picture is left a little ambiguous, or you stop posting as much. It’s strange how people want/expect to know every detail about your life.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Petty Reasons Why Friendships Fall Apart

You know, I sometimes look back and miss some of the people I had close friendships with before I cut them out. Then I remember what a manipulative nightmare they were and it passes.

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Image credit: Steven Depolo [CC BY 2.0]
But despite my seemingly breezy ability to cut people out without a second glance, I’ve mourned the end of these friendships just as much, if not more, as a romantic relationship ending.

It’s a shame that female friendships can come with so much pettiness. Since ending these friendships, I haven’t had to deal with that type of petty drama for nearly a year now. And my life is better for it.

I don’t want to become a complete loner though and understand the importance of making the effort to socialise. And not to sound judgemental, I also don’t want to end up like my ex-landlady, the archetypal cat-lady bless her. All she really did was work and she didn't spend much time cultivating a social life. Which is a shame, because I had some great in-depth convos with her and she regularly gave me advice.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Why People Dislike Rita Ora

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Image credit: Rita Ora Instagram
Rita Ora seems to be one of those marmite celebs. Some people love her (although I doubt they’re above the age of 16), while others can’t stand her and something about her just rubs them up the wrong way.

So how did this happen? How did an artist who started off with so much potential, with a decent singing voice and amazing connections, become so hated?

I think it’s too easy to say it’s the typical media-bashing that comes as soon as someone is successful. Sure, fame inevitably attracts haters…but even rational people have a hard time taking Rita seriously.

I don’t think her antics that have attracted media attention have helped matters.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Comment Of The Day #3

Backstory: Kunal Nayyar, from The Big Bang Theory, talks about what it's like being married to Miss India on Conan O'Brien's talk show, and chats about married life in general.

kunal-nayyar-conan-interview

Friday, 22 May 2015

Why Hot Guys Never Ask You Out

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Image credit: Nemo
I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets asked out/harassed (as in constant calls and messages, often at ungodly hours) or stalked and perved-on online by guys you vaguely know and have zero interest in... while the ones that you are interested in are none the wiser or waiting for you to make a move.

It's never the ones you want, hey?

Of course, there’s always the possibility that you’re batting way outta your league and the guy you do like is just plain not interested.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Has Taylor Swift Found Love With Calvin Harris?

See what I did there?



Here, the genetically blessed couple put on a loved-up display at the Billboard Music Awards.

You’ve gotta hand it to Taylor Swift, the way she only messes with fine ass men (and incidentally, my celeb crushes - first Jake Gyllenhaal, now Calvin Harris... it's ok Taylor, just kill my fantasy. It's fine).

Friday, 15 May 2015

Quick Hay Fever Remedy

A lot of us, especially those from an ethnic background, have that one go-to product that we use for a number of ailments.
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Image credit: meineresterampe

For Bengalis in general, it’s Vicks. Or "faracetomol". In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it was Windex.

For me, it’s...VASELINE!

Perhaps it’s psychosomatic/the placebo effect, but these products have seemingly magical powers with their healing properties and multiple uses, and there’s a certain comfort that comes from reaching for them when required.

Monday, 11 May 2015

How Can UKIP Have More Votes, Yet Fewer Seats In Parliament?

I don’t know much about politics and truthfully, the last time I can remember being interested in the UK general election was in 1997, when Tony Blair became Prime Minister and my school made a massive deal about it.

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Image credit: Nemo 
As I get older, I can recognise Labour as the party that represented the working class, while the Tories have generally appealed to the snobbish affluent. But with so many lies, incompetence, nepotism and general abuse of power, a widespread disillusionment of politics left many, like myself, scratching their heads as to who to vote for in this year's General Election, if they would even bother vote at all.

Despite the majority of people having lost faith in politics, established parties still managed to come out on top in the polls, with the Conservative and Labour party claiming a sizeable amount of seats in the House of Commons, the Tories ultimately winning the most.

Smaller parties, such as controversial UKIP and Green Party, managed to secure only one seat in parliament…yet the SNP 56 seats, despite gaining comparatively fewer votes.

So how does that work? Well to understand, you have to delve into how the voting system in the UK works.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Entertainment vs. Serious Journalism

A video clip of Robert Downey Jr walking out of an interview with Channel 4 broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy has gotten people talking recently, with an overwhelming majority of people sympathising with Robert Downey Jr.

I think it was perfectly reasonable for him to walk out of an interview that unnecessarily pried into his personal life, touching on personal and sensitive topics that should be handled with tact. Guru-Murthy hadn't developed any kind of chemistry with him, and he was trying to turn a run-of-the-mill promotional interview into a televised counselling session.

As much as I respect Krishnan Guru-Murthy as a journalist, especially when you look at his body of work that includes shows like Unreported World, this was cringe worthy: he came across as a smug, smarmy reporter trying to set up and antagonise a celebrity - an interview style reminiscent of Martin Bashir.



Sunday, 26 April 2015

Why Kim Kardashian Divorced Kris Humphries

So back in 2011, Kim Kardashian was the subject of tabloid ridicule when her much-publicised marriage ended after just 72 days.

It led to accusations of a publicity stunt and a ploy for ratings, with many doubting the authenticity of the union in the first place. Even the groom, completely blindsided by the entire thing, prolonged the divorce proceedings wanting an annulment instead.

Since the whole spectacle, Kim Kardashian has now moved onto a relationship with Kanye West, with whom she has a daughter. Kris Humphries has slowly drifted back into obscurity.

He has obviously been keeping up with the Kardarshian’s antics (ok, I didn’t even plan that) however, and more recently stepfather Bruce Jenner has shocked us all with the announcement that, after years of gender confusion, he has decided to transition into a woman.

This was Kris Humphries take on the news:

kris-humphries-tweet-bruce-jenner

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Difference Between Men & Women

Pre-warning: this post contains high levels of cynicism.

You sometimes hear females saying "Oh, I have more male than female friends... I just get on better with guys".

Well, we all know my view on "platonic" relationships between males and females (i.e. impossible, unless you find each other unattractive or if one/both of you are in a relationship), but let’s explore the difference between men and women, and the dynamics of their relationships.

men-and-women-difference-imageFriendships

I think it’s fair to say that male friendships come with less pettiness, drama and bitching than female friendships.

Guys can have full-on fist fights with one another, and then be cool and go for a beer together a week later. They tend to not hold grudges.

Women, however, will sulk and do passive aggressive things when they have a disagreement with someone, instead of having an open discussion like an adult and resolving the issue. If/when they eventually get over it, they will often sweep everything under the rug and act like nothing happened, while silently holding onto a tiny bit of resentment.

Sounds healthy.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Comment Of The Day #2

Backstory: Danny Strong, of Buffy fame, has recently found success as a co-creator of hit television series Empire. This showbiz news story focuses on him splashing out on residential property.


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Monday, 6 April 2015

Comment Of The Day #1

Backstory: house partially demolished due to gas explosion. Couple luckily avoid injury as they were out when the explosion happened.

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[Read original article here: "Couple Amazingly Survive Gas Blast" - Daily Mail, 06/04/2015]

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Why Do So Many People Care More About Animals Than People?

I’m honestly sick to death of seeing things like this:

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Yes, it is "really awful" for you to compare the suffering of an animal to that of a human being, showing indifference towards the latter (Comic Relief by the way, for my non-UK readers, is an annual televised charity event focusing on the plight of Africa).

Not that animals deserve to be neglected or treated cruelly. It’s sickening to hurt a poor, defenceless animal for no other reason but unadulterated cruelty. But comments like this, which show a blatant disregard for human life in comparison, really grinds my gears.

We seem to live in a society which has a warped sense of values. At lease this idiot can acknowledge there's something not quite right with this scenario.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

UNBIASED Fifty Shades of Grey Review

Well, I guess I'm a little late to the party, as I believe the film’s theatre run has now come to an end.

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Fifty Shades of Grey nail polish...really?
However, I managed to catch it JUST before it did. Not because I was purposely trying to avoid all the Valentine’s Day hype... I honestly just had no desire to watch it.

I haven’t read the books, so didn’t feel compelled to watch the film out of loyalty. Plus, the trailer looked kinda crap and in any interview I’ve caught with the actors, I didn’t feel they had enough charisma to sell me the movie.

However, after an afternoon recounting some recent stresses in our lives, my gal pal and I decided to do something fun and silly on a whim, to take our minds off things.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Signs He Feels Guilty For Cheating

Since the dawn of time men have had their philandering way. When you add into the equation a handsome man who is young, rich and famous…well, hardly anyone is surprised when an individual like this is unable to remain faithful.


The One Direction boy band member is, of course, responding to the following images that are circulating on social media, which seem to indicate he’s been stepping out on his fiance Perrie Edwards, of X Factor/Little Mix fame:

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Gender Inequality and Sexual Violence In South Asian Communities

A harrowing documentary shown on BBC4 caused a lot of controversy about a week ago. This documentary was India’s Daughter.

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Image courtesy of Ramesh Lalwani {{CC BY-SA 2.0}}
I was already familiar with the story of a 23-year old student Jyoti Singh, who was gang-raped, assaulted and left for dead in such a gruesome manner (she later succumbed to her massive internal injuries), since it sent shockwaves around the world at the time it happened. It also solidified Delhi’s reputation as the "rape capital of India".

I’ll be honest with you, I avoided watching India’s Daughter because I knew I was going to find it distressing. Plus, if you’re already in a depressed and disillusioned state, stuff like this doesn’t help.

Besides, the utter lack of remorse by the men who committed the act, as well as the obvious negative cultural attitude towards women and the gender violence perpetrated against them, all highlighted in the documentary, I knew would just anger me.

When shocking events like this are reported in developing parts of the world, there’s a certain comfort in it happening in a place so far away, and in a seemingly less "civilised" place than a developing country like the UK, which has a much more forward way of thinking.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

How To Use Copyrighted Music In YouTube Videos

With news emerging of Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams having to pay out a massive $7.4 million to the family of late Marvin Gaye, for the apparent breach in copyright with the song "Blurred Lines", it emphasises just how serious (and costly) copyright infringement is, especially in the world of music.
 
Personally, I think it’s quite dangerous that artists can now be sued if they take inspiration over a vibe or influence, especially as these days music-wise, pretty much everything’s been done – it must be difficult to come up with something that doesn’t sound similar to content produced by someone else. I love chart music, but even I can recognise that 80% of stuff released sounds the same these days.
 
The thing is, the music industry is known for its heavyweights that come down on people like a tonne of bricks at the slightest hint of copyright infringement or music piracy. Firms like Warner Music, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal, in particular, seem to epitomise greedy American corporate culture in the music business. You can tell these firms are unable to reconcile an age of sharing online with music production, because of its potential to hit their profits hard.

As such, sites like YouTube find themselves in an awkward position between appeasing the major record labels, and still being current and engaging with (and not penalising) its users, without which the site wouldn’t have its mass worldwide appeal, as well as providing a readymade target audience to receive adverts.
 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Curry-Related Brown People Problems

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"When you open a tub of margarine and
there's daal inside instead :-/ "
 
My posts have been a bit depressing of late, so I’m going to try and lighten the mood.

Curry. As a British-Asian person, you grow up eating it just as much as (if not more than) English food, which then always seems so bland and simple in comparison.

You crave it if you go a few days without it but similarly, you body (specifically your digestive system, if you’re of a sensitive disposition) protests if you eat curry all the time.

It’s not just us Asians who like a good curry: an "Indian" regularly tops polls as the nation’s favourite takeaway.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Is Modern Life Making It Hard To Be Happy?

A few weeks ago, I remember doing my daily reading of the news and thinking, "another day, another suicide story" :

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Image courtesy of geralt {{CC0}}
1) Shirley Jensen

2) Rachel Gow

3) Elizabeth Outram

Then of course, there was the recent story of Willkes Mcdermid.

Now, it could just be the media picking up on a trend which meant these sad stories were at the forefront of the news, but there were a lot of similarities in each story.

Recently too, I've been meeting new people or reflecting on people I do already know/once knew. I always thought I was way more messed up/emotionally damaged than most, but from what I’ve observed there are a lot of people who are deeply unhappy, stuck in a rut or dealing with a lot of their own baggage. They may appear to have it together on various social media outlets, but half of what people put on these sites is misleading; even major depressives can convince people they're doing great, with boasts about their general goings on.

[On Smoking] I’m sorry, but it calms me down. I tried painting but I kept painting my own tombstone and the teacher said I was bumming everyone out.” – The Mindy Project

Depression, it seems, is the common cold of mental health.