Books I’ve read this year

28 12 2009

Sorry for the absence, what with Christmas and obligations and blah blah all that hoot. Even though it’s called the ‘Festive Season’, it’s amazing how that feeling you get of wanting to feed others arsenic comes so naturally at this time of the year…

But enough of that. I month or so ago, I decided to make a list of all the books I can remember reading throughout the last year. Although I might have missed one or two, at least I know that I got most of them down – 57 books, can you believe it?! Many were prescribed books for my Honours degree, and quite a few more are dearly loved Stephen King novels. I highly recommend his latest masterpiece, UNDER THE DOME, as an exceptionally clever novel, something that is lovely to read as you can play detective and put the puzzle pieces together yourself as things go along. Then again, with Stephen King, it is often so. It’s part of his style, one his readers have become familiar with and attached to: going on a journey with King through small town lives and mentalities, living through what makes those people tick, and feeling sheer hatred and frustration at the characters one well should (especially characters such as Big Jim Rennie, one of those Jesus screaming politicians…)

Anyway, leaving Master King and that gem of a novel aside for another day, here’s my list of novels read throughout the year. If you’ve read any of them and liked them (and even if you didn’t), let me know, and we can start a discussion – you might even inspire a future blog, something I am hoping for, as I would like to get back into the feel of talking literature. Just please don’t get annoyed if I go off on a tangent when it comes to S.K. ……

BOOKS I’VE READ THIS YEAR (as far as I can remember…):

* Oroonoko – Aphra Behn

* Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

* “The Yellow Wallpaper” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

* Indiana – George Sand

* Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

* The Lover – Marguerite Duras

* Indigo – Marina Warner

* From Man to Man – Olive Schreiner

* Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

* Villette – Charlotte Brontë

* The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë

* The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

* Bleak House – Charles Dickens

* Middlemarch – George Eliot

* North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell

* What Maisie Knew – Henry James

* Vanity Fair – William Thackeray

* Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee

* Life and Times of Michael K – J.M. Coetzee

* Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

* Diary of a Bad Year – J.M. Coetzee

* All Under Heaven – Darryl Accone

* By The Sea – Abdulrazak Gurnah

* In an Antique Land – Amitav Ghosh

* Crossing the River – Caryl Phillips

* The Wedding – Imraan Coovadia

* Garden of the Plagues – Russel Brownlee

* The Castaways – Sheila Fugard

* Unconfessed – Yvette Christianse

* Lost in Translation – Eva Hoffman

* The End of Mr Y – Scarlett Thomas

* PopCo – Scarlett Thomas

* The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul – Douglas Adams

* Collected short stories of Edgar Allan Poe

* 3 collections with Sherlock Holmes tales (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

* The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J.K. Rowling

* The Dark Half – Stephen King

* The Bachman Books – Richard Bachman (Stephen King, you know!)

* Danse Macabre – Stephen King

* The Stephen King Companion – George Beahm (ed.)

* The Stephen King phenomenon – Michael R. Collings

* Reading Stephen King : issues of censorship, student choice, and popular literature – Brenda Miller Power (ed.)

* Thinner – Richard Bachman

* Misery – Stephen King

* Different Seasons – Stephen King

* The Green Mile – Stephen King

* Just After Sunset – Stephen King

* The Regulators – Richard Bachman

* Four Past Midnight – Stephen King

* From A Buick 8 – Stephen King

* Rose Madder – Stephen King

* Firestarter – Stephen King

* The Tommyknockers – Stephen King

* Under the Dome – Stephen King

* It’s not Rocket Science and other irritating modern clichés­ – Clive Whichelow & Hugh Murray

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Go ahead, make my day

23 12 2009

And someone just did!

A very special someone, I might add, although I’m sure I don’t need to, otherwise why would I be blogging about it?

Now, the internet has been quite good to me over the last couple of years. Of course, the internet is part of technological advancement, the Future, as they say, so it goes without saying that one would hope that it does one good. But it’s more than just reading other people’s blogs, browsing the net for valuable information, and Google-ing an array of pictures from cats to cupcakes. No, I’m talking about human relationships, and how it led me to where I am now, in a way.

Now I know that the internet offers various forms of social applications, such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. They are there in order for one to keep in touch with friends, find people with similar interests (which I did on Twitter – what can I say? Stephen King fans unite!), and whatever else you can think of. Well… maybe not all of the whatever else you could possibly think of, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. I won’t bore you again with the details of how I met my Significant Other, yet I’ll only say again that it was through Facebook. I’m not going to lobby for or against social chat applications (like Zoosk on Facebook, or all the other chat rooms round and about the internet), but in this case, in my naivety, it worked for me.

It was also via the internet that I met my best friend.

In 2001, at the end of March of beginning of April, I believe, my father ‘got with it’, technologically speaking, and decided to get us the internet. This was when I was in the 8th grade, and here in South Africa, that’s your first year of high school. You have primary school, which is from kindergarten until the 7th grade, and then high school, grades 8 until 12. Now, since it was my first year in the big league, my father thought that it would be a good idea to have the internet in our home, for in case I wanted to do some research (way to go, dad!). Now, I might be mistaken, yet I’m almost positive that Mr Jack Daniels (not his real name, obviously) met on the day after my 14th birthday. Although, technically, I didn’t know it was him, since he was trying to get one of his friends to open up, and helped him to type e-mails to me. That friendship having failed, he told me that it was sort of him all along – although not the personality, the other guy was horrid – and then we took our friendship from there. And where did we meet?

Pen Pal Garden. I kid you not.

I’ve always loved having pen pals. I used to have quite a few from overseas, as well as a few local, yet most of them dwindled away, one of my friends died (allegedly – that is, according to his sister), and one moved to another country, so I assume that she misplaced my address. Now, with Mr Jack Daniels, the two of us would send e-mails, yet later we started sending one another snail mail, as they call it – real letters, coming through the post, just like I used to do with my other pen pals who mysteriously disappeared. For Christmas, Jack and I would mail one another gifts; every now and again we would call one another long distance and talk for what felt like ages; and birthdays always held the certainty of a card that would be delivered, be it sometimes a bit early or sometimes a bit late. For my 16th birthday, he sent me a heart pendant. It’s been almost 9 years (it will be, come next April), and it has been the best – and longest, I suppose – friendship I have ever had.

Since there is about an 8 hour time difference between where the two of us live, phoning doesn’t happen anymore. And it’s quite rare for the two of us to be on the net at the same time. Yet this morning, while I sat twiddling my thumbs and perusing Facebook (can you imagine my desperation?), he was online, and he told me that he wanted to come down all the way from Clarksville – Nashville, Tennessee – to my lil’ shit-splat town down south (shoot me, I’m getting into my Western Speak) for my wedding, if I wanted him there. How many friends would be willing to fly thousands of miles/ kilometres, on their own expense, to see you get married (to someone else, haha…)?

So thank you, internet, for leaving me with endless possibilities. Even though I made the choices and built the friendships, your Google abilities led me into the (Pen Pal) Garden to pick one of the sweetest flowers.





Sacrifices

18 12 2009

Being the middle-child in a home with three daughters, as well as being a humble and helpful person, I suppose there have been many times in my not-too-long lifespan (almost 23 years) when I have had to make sacrifices. Yet the latest one, a voluntary sacrifice, I just might come to regret for a looong time…

I’ve been growing my hair for 13 years. Yip, you heard me. The last time I had my hair cut short was at the beginning of the 4th grade, which means January 1997. Since it is now December 2009, I think I can count the years as 13 instead of 12 years and 11 months. Now, I’ve been thinking for some time that I ought to have my hair trimmed. Not drastically, though – just the ends, since no shampoo has been a great help in keeping my hair (a) soft and shiny, and (b) split-end free. Instead, my hair still feels dry – often a bit listless – after I have washed it… Oh, and of course there is the split-end thing. The thing where it is ever present and annoying? Yeah, that thing.

So, last Saturday, I made the decision to have my hair cut.

I didn’t want to have it cut short. My hair goes (or should I say, went) right up to where my behind is, as seen in this photograph:

Here I am on Sunday, happy, healthy, thin, and with my long hair in all its glory. Okay, so perhaps this photo doesn’t show perfectly that my hair reaches down to my buttocks, yet believe me, I would most definitely know up to where my hair goes/ went. After a great debate and inner struggle with the being that makes up myself (oddly put, huh?), I decided to have my hair cut to a certain length: that length being to the middle of my back. That way, my hair would (a) not be that short, and thus alleviate some of my guilt, (b) be at a length where I can still at least do a few things with my hair, style-wise of course, and (c) look healthier by getting rid of a lot of those bloody split ends. So yes, I decided to sacrifice my hair in the name of health, shine, and ‘body’.

Turns out it didn’t work out so well…

I had my hair cut last Sunday (13 December). Have a look at my slashed-off hair, residing on the floor of Carlton Hair Express:

Anybody want to wager a guess as to why I state that things didn’t work out well? I think my third and final photograph will reveal all:

Yes, dear readers, she cut my hair too short!!! *extremely sad, upset face* I asked for hair that would hang in the middle of my back. Instead, I walked out with hair hanging just below my shoulder! Shock and horror!! I’ll be honest and say that these people are professionals, and that they offer great service. The girl – she couldn’t have been much older than myself – washed my hair three times, and used conditioner on it twice. Everything was still fine as I sat in the chair with my wet hair cascading down my back. But once she snipped my hair off (a sound I shall never, ever forget), I knew that she had cut it too short. I simply knew it. I literally felt nauseous. I kid you not, dear readers. My vision started to go blurry, as if I wanted to faint, and I could feel a sickening, hollow feeling enter my stomach. I almost sent my Significant Other a text message to ask him to bring me a bottle of water – aforementioned ‘hero’ having left twice, (a) to go have a cappuccino, and (b) to have a cigarette outside. As such, he wasn’t present at the sacrificial Snipping Of The Hair ceremony, and thus could not alert the woman with the Holy Scissors in her hand not to snip. And yet, all is in vain, now, for the snipping has been done, and the sacrifice made. Now I weep the tears of the scarred, another sacrifice – one of sorrow, where the tears act as a purifying, cleansing factor… (I truly am spinning a lot of bs right now, aren’t I? Don’t worry, it’s over now).

I still haven’t made peace with the sacrifice I made, and neither with the hairdresser’s mistake. All my Facebook friends (sad that it’s the only way people seem to have time for each other nowadays, isn’t it?) as well as my family (parental home and in-laws) like my new hairstyle. Seems like I’m in the minority; I’m the only one who hates it. I’ve been perusing teh interwebz (LOL-speak) in search of things I can do with my hair, yet I can find absolutely nothing…

So today I have my hair done up on the left side of my head in a ponytail that eerily makes me resemble Misty from Pokémon. The fact that I am wearing short black shorts isn’t helping, either… Oh well. Hopefully, my hair will grow to a fitting length before my wedding. Otherwise, it’ll just have to have a Pokémon theme.





Predicting the future (?)

15 12 2009

There is much to be said about films nowadays. Not even just nowadays, but way back when, tracing to the 90s and even the 80s, looking at how technology might develop, and where we would be come certain points within the new millennium. Well… not just looking at the future, in terms of years, but also the use of advanced technology that doesn’t even exist yet. We have ROBOCOP, DEMOLITION MAN, THE FIFTH ELEMENT, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (what with the aliens and the rise of the machines and all), PAYCHECK (can you imagine a mind-wipe so severe?!), EQUILIBRIUM, THE RUNNING MAN, and now 2012, to name but a few. Also, take George Orwell’s novel 1984 into account (and let’s not forget ANIMAL FARM, although I won’t discuss it here) – the media saw fit to turn Big Brother into a television series, creating a perfect Panopticon, a type of hierarchy, if you will, between those in charge keeping an eye on the housemates, and the housemates themselves (not to mention our own voyeuristic involvement). You can read up about it on Wikipedia, or check one of my previous blog entries (14 May, to be precise) where I discuss the Foucauldian notion of the Panopticon.

That mouthful set aside, I have been wondering whether films truly can predict the future, and also what kind of power they may start to hold over our minds, thoughts/ thought processes and points of view. Now, this has not been a new notion for me. Being of a literary persuasion, I like to think about what the ‘text’ (be it a book or a film, id est the media form I am presented with) is saying, how it can be interpreted, and whether these fictions might be able to be viewed as factual, in a sense that (a) it seems fitting for the purposes within the ‘text’, or (b) that it does not seem like utter hogwash, and that there might be a strong possibility that what is being portrayed could turn into reality in the future (geez, another mouthful – what is it with me today?)

What got me thinking on the topic again was a simple little occurrence. After having persuaded my Significant Other to watch SCOOBY-DOO AND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER on Saturday, I thought that Sunday would be a good day to make him watch SCOOBY-DOO MEETS THE BOO BROTHERS. I had tried getting him to watch it on two other occasions, yet both attempts failed, as he arrived home tired from work, and after having eaten basically fell asleep on the couch. So Sunday evening I told him to switch on the television for our viewing pleasure, while I in the meantime reply to a text message my younger sister had sent me. When I went back to the living room, my eyes didn’t fall upon Scooby and the gang on the screen. No: he was watching DEMOLITION MAN. Now, as a fair individual, I decided it fit that we should watch what he wanted to (he was already absorbed in the film anyway). And, Dearest Readers, you will not believe what I came across in this film…

Background: the film is set in 2032. Sylvester Stallone’s character, John Spartan, was frozen way back when, but then unfrozen again to take care of a bad guy he had dealt with before (said bad guy also having been frozen and unfrozen; not great handling by those in power, if you ask me). Anyway, in the film, we find that the Future People have become a non-violent society. Oh, and they use proper language too. I’m not just talking about sentence structure and grammar. I mean their whole way of talking and stringing along sentences – Sandra Bullock’s character says the most polite things, such as: “I thought your life force had been prematurely terminated!”, “No, John Spartan, you do not accuse the savior of our city of being in league with a multi-murder-death-killer like Simon Phoenix! It’s… rude!”, and “You are a savage creature John Spartan, and I wish for you to leave my domicile now!”, amongst other things. If that isn’t proper, I don’t know what is.

Now, finally getting to the scene in the film that set my thinking sensors into overdrive: while Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) and John Spartan (Spartan – quite apt, huh? If you know your history… Oh, right, that’s Sylvester Stallone) are driving in her car, the following scene plays out (thank you IMDb):

Lenina Huxley: I have, in fact, perused some newsreels in the Schwarzenegger Library, and the time that you took that car…
JohnSpartan: Hold it. The Schwarzenegger Library?
Lenina Huxley: Yes. The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn’t he an actor when you…?
JohnSpartan: Stop! He was President?
Lenina Huxley: Yes! Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment which states…
JohnSpartan: I don’t wanna know. President…

And isn’t that ironic? Arnold Schwarzenegger might not be the president (yet, haha), but he is the governor of California. I just couldn’t believe my ears when aforementioned scene played out in the film. Was it predicting the future, in a way? Or did dear old Arnie watch the film, think, ‘Hmm, that’s a good idea’, and then eventually get himself elected into a position of power? Perhaps, if he watched the film, he didn’t think it out loud, or even consciously, but maybe his sub-/unconscious mind (whichever would be more fitting) took hold of the notion, and started plotting a way to make this prediction true to a certain extent.

That said, the only food chain (eatery wise, that is a place where you can go out to have a meal) that remains standing in the film is Pizza Hut. I mean, Sandra Bullock actually gets excited when she hears they are going to pizza hut, donning a fancy, glittery cocktail dress and gloves, gloves, for goodness sake – and the viewer must wonder, what in the blue blazes is going on here? Turns out that, since it was the only place to survive, it became all fancy and upper class, to term it lightly. The pizzas served look like appetizers you might find at a upper class cocktail party, being only bite sized, truly gourmet… Now, even though the Pizza Hut of the future became so upper class and snooty, it could act as another prediction: that fast food chains will take over the world. Which, in a way, is already happening. You can’t go anywhere without there being a McDonalds in sight. Not to mention drive-thrus, and whatever other services fast food places cater for nowadays.

I’m not sure what you think, but if fast food chains are going to take over the world, I intend to invest in a pantry and stock it up with goods – I’d rather stay home and prepare healthy meals than submit to the norm and have to deal with the ‘consequences’/ repercussions (and I’m sure you can imagine what those are).

What do you think?





“Oh I’m the happiest Christmas tree…”

11 12 2009

“…ho ho ho, hee hee hee – who came up with these lyrics, can somebody tell me?”

I hope you all sang that intro bit to the rhythm of that happiest Christmas tree song, because that’s what I was kind of hoping would happen.

Have any of you ever stopped to wonder where any of these lyrics came from? To think about who would sit down and write things like “Frosty the snowman, happy happy snowman, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha”, et cetera? Why are these Christmassy things always happy? I think Frosty was smoking his corncob pipe, while that happy little Christmas tree got high on the fumes of the aerosol can of spray-on snow. For real.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas music, I truly and honestly do, even though I once complained in a blog entry about how everything Christmassy starts earlier with each passing year. To quote myself: “It kind of makes me want to load all my Christmas music (and the vast collection in my mother’s CD rack) onto my laptop, then to connect my laptop to the largest set of speakers I can find, and ultimately blaring it out for all the world to hear while I bang my head repeatedly against large, pointy – or metal – pain-inducing objects” (5 November 2009). Then again, if one can avoid the shopping malls, and also not turn your radio on, Christmas music can become rather pleasing and welcome when played within the comfort of your own home.

And I do believe that now is a reasonable time to start listening to Christmas music. It is the 11th of December, after all. In two weeks’ time, all the fuss will be – almost – over, and then everyone will move on to the next ‘festivity’: New Years. And the festivity after that: Valentine’s Day. And the festivity after that: Easter Weekend. And, and, and – I think you know where I’m going with this.

I do believe that my liking for Christmas music is something which is deeply inbred – an important factor embedded within my genes, and most definitely finding its root in my mother’s side of the genetic pool that makes up a living, breathing human individual (although I must wonder at times whether all men can be said to be human, but let’s leave that out of this). My mother absolutely loves Christmas music. Plus she’s active with the school choir, teaching them songs to perform, so in that scenario she gets another dose of Christmas music, as the choir has to perform at the prize giving (amongst other occasions) at the end of the school year. Oh, and of course, since my younger sister is in the South African Youth Choir, we usually (*cough* have to *cough*) attend their Christmas performance at the end of the year. Put together, that’s a lot of Christmas music going around – and by the end of it, I cannot say that I feel exceptionally cheerful.

Anyway, putting my ramblings aside, it’s no wonder that come December, I am significantly in the mood to crank out some Christmas tunes from my laptop and have a merry old sing along, a real gay ol’ time. But still… what is up with some of those lyrics?? Honestly. I can understand songs about Christ and Mary and all that hoohah, yet I’ve always been slightly puzzled by the more ‘child friendly’ songs – or should I rather say, songs that appeal to children. Okay, so Rudolph has a red nose. He was an outcast, he was teased, but he rose above it, and Santa chose him for an exceptionally special job. Great moral to that little story, blah blah et cetera. But what really gets my goat, is a song like “Mrs Santa Clause”. Have you listened to the lyrics? Really listened? The song states that she basically does everything!! And who gets the credit? Santa, of course. Just like those poor little elves work hard (metaphorically speaking, since there is no Santa Clause, but stay with me on this) and all the little kiddies love Santa because he delivered the toys. Okay, so he delivered them. Did he work hard to make them? Did he really put any thought into what he’s giving the kiddies in story books and films and cartoon shows? I think not.

But I’m rambling again. Not that that’s anything new… Also: Rudolph, Frosty, Santa, and I’ll bet you even that happy little tree – all of them are male, have you noticed that? And there’s a song “God rest ye merry Gentlemen”. I’m not going to say it’s discrimination, I understand what the songs are about and all, but they say that there should be equality, and that we should go with universal things (although some say we shouldn’t), so right now I’m a bit confused. Not that I’m going to blame my genes on this one. I’ll just blame logic. Or the use of reason, or something to such an extent.

In the meantime, I’m going to make myself a cup of black, bitter coffee and turn on that Fall Out Boy ‘Christmas song’. It is Christmassy, after all… and all my other Christmas music is at home… bah, humbug.





I officially have my second degree…

10 12 2009

…which, I guess, makes me unemployed now.

Three weeks down the line, having heard absolutely nothing from the company where I went for an interview (which I thought went pretty well, actually), I am strongly considering the option of becoming a housewife. At least my migraines won’t interfere with my workload. Think about it: when I am at a real job, migraines could break my concentration, causing me to deliver work of substandard quality, and thus leave not only the boss in a tizzy with me, but myself as well feeling dissatisfied with my performance. If I were a housewife, on the other hand, I could sit down and take a breather whenever the big bad ‘M’ strikes. But I wouldn’t be just a housewife. I’d be a learned housewife. With two degrees (!)

Not the best optimist, am I?

Oh, how I would love to go back to university next year and do my Masters degree… and a Doctoral after that… *sigh* Yet life teaches us that you cannot always have your cake and eat it, as well. In the immortal words of Garfield the cat, whoever invented that saying should be drug out into the street and shot. What’s the fun of having cake, but not being able to eat it?? Although it does cut out the annoying calorie factor, thus not leaving a person feeling guilty about indulging in such a delectable treat. So for weight conscience people, this saying is a ‘yes go’ (as opposed to a ‘no go’… not that I have ever heard anyone use ‘yes go’, so I suppose I shall be the first).

Not to sound blasphemous or anything, but graduation feels like such a waste of time. You have to (a)  hire your own academic gown; (b) arrive two hours early to be sorted into categories – being given a number (!!); (c) sit in a stuffy gymnasium, causing you to fan yourself with the big official graduation ceremony booklet; only to (d) get up, walk across the stage to have the sash draped around your neck, and then walk off stage again to receive your degree, which has been stuck into a maroon tube with your name (and number!!) on it – and this all lasts for a mere five seconds.

Now, as I obtained an Honours degree, as a Bachelor of the Arts (can’t I be a Bachelorette?!), and receiving it Cum Laude, as well, I had to sit through all the students who obtained the following degree before prancing about for my few seconds across the stage: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts cum laude, Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music cum laude, Bachelor of Drama, Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts cum laude, Postgraduate Diploma in Translation, Postgraduate Diploma in Translation cum laude, Bachelor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Philosophy cum laude, and (finally) Bachelor of Arts with Honours. Only then did we get to Bachelor of Arts with Honours cum laude. Yeay. I was number 691. Just bear in mind that not all the people on the programme thingy could attend the ceremony, which means that if they had, my number would have shifted on considerably.

Subsequently, I am now sitting at home, jobless, having nothing to do but help with the housework (per usual). I actually found another job I can apply for, which is comforting. Plus I am currently reading the new Stephen King novel, UNDER THE DOME. It’s just such a pity that I cannot read it at a quicker tempo, as my migraines decide to interfere and basically blind me. The doctor prescribed some tablets when I was there on Monday, yet I don’t find the words ‘bear with it’ comfortable when it comes to medication. And I can fully understand why he said it – after taking the first tablet Monday evening, I had the most excruciating migraine I have ever had in my entire LIFE.

So I think that being a housewife is my best bet. I already have a fancy pair of black high heeled Desperate Housewives shoes. All I need is a snazzy house. Or a cute gardener.





Don’t let the doctor in

7 12 2009

I am terrified of going to the doctor. Not in general, of course (although after the taking-of-the-blood-sample-gone-terribly-awry episode, I suppose I should be), yet today – specifically – I am.

So, I took the title of my blog entry from a Fall Out Boy song, 20 DOLLAR NOSE BLEED. The chorus rings: “Call me/ Mr Benzedrine/ But don’t let the doctor in I wanna blow off steam/ Call me/ Mr Benzedrine/ But don’t let the doctor/ Don’t let the doctor in” (http://artists.letssingit.com/fall-out-boy-lyrics-20-dollar-nose-bleed-kpct13w). Now I know that Benzedrine must be some kind of prescription drug, so I looked it up and found out that it’s a kind of amphetamine – and amphetamine is used to stimulate the central nervous system. As Dictionary.com puts it, it is “used chiefly to lift the mood in depressive states”. Apparently, “the drugs are highly addictive and are sometimes abused”.

In the great Fall Out Boy tradition of singing about life, love, celebrity life (as they are part of the industry), and every other such thing, I completely understand the Mr Benzedrine part. For many people, over-the-counter drugs become  kind of survival technique, a dependency they cannot kick the habit of, and which eventually leads them to become addicts in their own way. In a case such as mine, the unhappy state I find myself in (which I shall explain shortly), it is very tempting to become a Ms Benzedrine and just float away on a happy cloud to block out all the bad vibes that are rocking my metabolic system right now. But, unfortunately – or should I rather say fortunately? – it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

I suffer from excruciating migraines. I suppose you all know this by now. I’ve had a headache for every single day of my life since the 11th of 12th grade. During the latter of my university years, they started to become migraines, and although they dull somewhat, my head always hurts. Headache tablets have stopped helping, even the strong stuff. In fact, it just makes my head pound even worse. The last two and a half weeks, the migraines have grown far worse than I have ever experienced them. I went for neck x-rays a while ago, because the doctor thought they might be tension headaches, like before, yet the neurologist couldn’t find anything wrong with my neck. He actually told me I had a beautiful neck, what he called a Nefertiti neck, like the ancient Egyptian queen, smooth and delicately curved (oh, and long…)

I’m not quite sure what to make of my migraines. Although I am young, being nearly 23, yet can my age factor out the possibility of a tumour? Anything is possible, and my little pessimistic mind is racing with anxiety, always acting on the worst case scenario. I hope it’s a worst case scenario, at least…

Another reason why I need to see the doctor, is because I am most dreadfully worried that I have cysts on my ovaries, just like my older sister had them. I am displaying all the symptoms she suffered from, and yesterday I thought I would die from pain, nausea, dizziness, and a general feeling of unease. I’ve been worried about this for quite some time, yet I have been unable to make it to a gynaecologist. I’ll have to see how today goes, get the doctor’s opinion, and then make an emergency appointment with my sister’s gynae.

Can you understand why I am terrified now?

Let’s just hope my pessimism is part of my genetic make-up, and that my genes are wrong about my symptoms.