Thought you were in the clear now that Mercury Retrograde has ended? No such luck! It’s now Mars’ turn. Mars is in retrograde from the 1st of March until the 19th May, and is set to wreak havoc over many aspects of your life.
But never fear – I have a foolproof guide to surviving these next few months. All you have to do is follow three easy steps:
1. Don’t let astrology dictate your life.
Seems fairly self-explanatory, doesn’t it?
2. Act normal, and deal with everything as you normally would.
3. Eat nachos.
Because they are [arguably] the best food in the world.
Last weekend, I managed to get myself a little bit sunburnt [while sipping cocktails under the mist spray at Naked in the Sky and pretending that I was somewhere fun and exotic, and not about to head back to my cramped and un-airconditioned flat]. And by “a little bit sunburnt”, I mean that my chest and shoulders were rivalling my hair with their redness1. It wasn’t pretty.
This burn has since faded into a tan, giving me the appearance of somebody who enjoys spending these hot days outside, rather than lying on their bed in front of a pedestal fan wearing little more than a wet flannel.
You may think that I’d be used to hot Australian summers by now, having lived in this country for pretty much my entire life. But the truth is that the heat renders me absolutely useless. As the temperature reaches 30 degrees, my cognitive function begins to slow. And once it’s past 40, well, I’m basically Manny from Black Books when he’s suffering from Dave’s Syndrome.
This is me on a hot day. On the inside, that is. On the outside I’m generally slumped in a heap on the floor, crying. [x]
This past month has been particularly unbearable. Several days have surpassed “hotter than Ryan Gosling with his shirt off”, heading into “hotter than – I don’t even know what’s hotter than Ryan Gosling!”2 territory. I’ve been fairly delusional, trying to work out a way to dive through my computer screen and into a photo of polar vortex-affected Chicago. Frozen toilets I can deal with, but lying in a puddle of my own sweat, eating my 27th Calippo of the day? I just can’t deal with this any more! Calippos are expensive – especially when you’re on a 3 box a day habit.
Today is thankfully a little cooler, which hopefully means that no more people will be losing their homes/lives/animals in bushfires. Please consider this sentence my disclaimer, in which I clarify that I do not at all consider my problems to be anywhere near as bad as those people who have suffered from devastating losses during this heat.
The only thing I have lost is my mind.
And I can’t be sure that I had a very tight hold on it to begin with.
1. Sunburn is bad, kids. Remember to slip, slop, slap. 2. I’m not even that into Ryan Gosling… I was just looking for a universal constant in terms of “hotness”, and I’m pretty sure he’s the standard these days.
Less than thirteen hours remain for you to submit your vote in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2013. Less than thirteen hours for you to whittle down your long list into a top 10, only to discover that Triple J have only seven of your songs on their list, and to ponder whether it’s worth wasting three whole votes on write-ins. Less than thirteen hours to post your final list to facebook, and receive enough confirmation via likes and positive comments to know that you’ve made the right choices. Less than thirteen hours to go… so why am I struggling to care?
Triple J have been the subject of quite a bit of media attention of late. People are publicly questioning the station’s music selection, and it’s about bloody time. For a station with the tagline “we love music”, Triple J don’t always practise what they preach. If they love music so much, why is there so little variation in their playlists? It’s for this reason that despite still fitting neatly into their target demographic, I stopped regularly listening a couple of years ago.
Take, for example, Triple J’s official candidates list for this year’s Hottest 100. Supposedly, this list encompasses everything worth voting for from the past twelve months. While we are given the option to write in our own selections, it’s pretty much a given that every song in the top 100 will be taken from the aforementioned list.
Fun fact: in 1995, Alanis Morissette managed to get three songs into the Hottest 100 without ever being played on Triple J. In 2004, U2 managed to sneak one unplayed track in at #38 ["Vertigo"]. As far as I’m aware, these are the only successful “write-ins” in the countdown’s history.
While submitting my own votes for the Hottest 100 of 2013, I was very frustrated to find some artists under-represented in Triple J’s list of songs. I don’t understand why Hanni El Khatib only earned one song from his 2013 album Head in the Dirt on Triple J’s list, while Major Lazer were given what looked like their entire album. Including this:
I would have thought that the involvement of Bruno Mars and 2 Chainz would immediately render a song ineligible for the Hottest 100 – as they’re not exactly “credible” – but apparently I was wrong. In Triple J land it makes perfect sense to listen to a song with the refrain “bubble butt, bubble bubble bubble butt” – but wanting to vote for Miley Cyrus is just ridiculous. Never mind that “Wrecking Ball” is one million times better than “Bubble Butt” or Kanye’s “Bound 2″ [another artist whose entire album made it onto the Triple J list]. As is the other song I wrote in to my Hottest 100 vote: “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake.
Sidenote: I thought of Drake as a joke until I heard the Arctic Monkeys perform a cover of this song. But it’s damn good. Even if the video is completely ridiculous.
So what did I vote for in the end? A small selection of the music I enjoyed from the past twelve months. Sticking to my self-invoked rule of only two write-ins, I left out Robin Thicke and Taylor Swift, and ended up with a list that looked something like this:
Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”
Davey Lane – “You’re The Cops, I’m The Crime”
Haim – “The Wire”
Hanni El Khatib – “Family”
Lily Allen – “Hard Out Here”
Lorde – “Royals”
The Preatures – “Is This How You Feel?”
Stonefield – “Love You Deserve”
Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
Have you voted yet? If so, I’d like to hear what songs you picked. And if not – hurry! There’s less than thirteen hours to go…
For those of you who may not realise [because you haven't been reading this blog or following me on twitter], I spent the new year period working at the Falls Music & Arts Festival in Marion Bay. Since getting back on Friday, I’ve caught up on all the television I’ve missed, and have returned to full time work. As I don’t really know if/when I’ll have time to properly write up a report on my festival funtimes, I figured that I may as well post a bunch of photos as evidence that I really did go there and do things. Enjoy.
1. The beautiful clean valley stage before the punters arrived. // 2. Tacos! // 3. A free hat with an important message. // 4. & 5. JOHNNY FUCKIN’ MARR! // 6. Moo Brew. // 7. Me & Glenn. // 8. Owen’s Woodfire Nachos. // 9. London Grammar. // 10. Jade and Nikki at the Information Station. // 11. Solange. // 12. The Cat Empire. // 13. On the way to the beach. // 14. Jacket tree. // 15. Fiesta! // 16. This is what happens when a lion sheds its skin [or needs to go to the bathroom]. // 17. Neil Finn. // 18. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
While I was at the laundromat on Friday, I took the opportunity to update my “professional” website at BrittAylen.com. After buying the domain name a month or so ago, I hadn’t really put much effort into design or content, so as my towels were spinning round and round in the dryer, I quickly threw together a bunch of things in order to make it look just a little bit better than a half-empty landing page.
Obviously there’s still a lot more work to be done on it, but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved so far. For those wondering, the theme is 907 Parallax, which I purchased from ThemeForest, and the social icons come from iconstoc.
As the end of year is nigh, it’s time to start making a whole bunch of unrealistic goals that I’ll probably give up on within the next three or four weeks. One such goal is to improve this here blog.
Every year, Alex posts a reader survey. She uses it to learn about her readers, and improve her overall blog content. This year, I have decided to blatantly steal this idea from her, in order to help figure out the direction that Britt in Boots will take in 2014.
None of the questions are compulsory, but if you could fill out as many as possible, I would be eternally grateful.
I’m in Tasmania at the moment, living it up at the Falls Music & Arts Festival, so I probably won’t look at your responses for a couple of days. If you leave me some questions for my potential FAQ page, I’ll endeavour to answer them sometime next week.
PS. If the above form doesn’t work, click here to be taken to the survey page.
Sitting inside our tent at the 2012/13 Falls Festival. It was a little bit messy.
Here’s a cheesy blog post opener… Christmas may be over, but I’m still busy making lists: packing lists. Today I’m flying to Tassie, where I’ll be once again working at the wonderful Falls Music & Arts Festival.
Whenever you pack for something, be it a long overseas trip or a three day camping festival, there are always things that you just don’t think to pack until you see someone else with them [glow sticks, for example] or you’re cold and wet and wondering why you never thought to check whether your boots were really waterproof.
Next year, when I get back from Falls, I’d like to update my camping festival packing list and make it better than ever. This is where you come in. I’d love for you to comment here with your camping festival essentials – no matter how obvious or ridiculously over-the-top they may be. All suggestions are welcome, and I promise not to openly mock any of them.
I know I posted this last year, but the only Christmas “tradition” [i.e. "thing that I've done more than once over the past couple of years"] that I truly love is watching the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special.
I may be a Scrooge at the best of times, but this scene in particular never fails to make me smile.
Merry Christmas/happy holidays and all that shiz, and I hope that your Yuletide celebrations were/are not completely terrible. Goodnight.