Stylised Monologue

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

ACUTE SELF-DEPRECATIONITIS

A stylisedmonologue overspill:

At the tender age of six, I got labeled a ‘bohemian child’ by my favourite teacher of all time. My creative streak and penchant for mischief earned me the highest spot on her pedestal of students. During a teacher-parent meeting (my most dreaded occurrences of all time) my parents expressed their concern regarding my absolute resistance to let numbers and their bizarre incestuous multiplying ways penetrate my young brain. Words made sense, numbers didn’t (I have since developed a theory that I am dysnumeral  - and, evidently, a wordsmith – ) and they bored me to death. My six year old brain, not unlike my 26 year old one, deemed maths unnecessary for my particular lifestyle of choice (what a knobby thing to say, at six especially) and therefore discarded it from the mental list of things I would ever care to learn. My parents were not only exasperated by the fact that they wasted their time trying to get their sole offspring to comprehend the notion of 1+1=2 while it (I) looked back at them with blank stares, but they also feared that this lack of mathematical basis would shatter my confidence in the next few, inevitably numerical, years of secondary school. They were right. That’s exactly what happened.

While being the artistic child that’s far more interested in putting on school plays and writing up imaginative stories was all the rage at my primary school, my new ‘grown up’ learning camp had a strict policy of feeding us information that we had to swallow intact and unquestioned, only to then vomit it all up on an exam paper. Learning to understand things was irrelevant to them. Having our own opinions on things was just plain unacceptable. Being creative or imaginative were borderline offences and I once got punished for rapping a prayer. Rapping could have been my true calling, now I'll never now.

From the ages of eleven to eighteen, I slowly saw my confidence slipping away from me. This is not entirely a bad thing. I developed self-sarcasm which, trust me, is a double ended sword. On the one side, it's given me a fairly sharp sense of humour and the ability to not take myself seriously which makes me, not a knob. On the other side, hara-kiri. Unfortunately you occasionally encounter people who don’t understand sarcasm, self or otherwise, and will think that there’s nothing about you that is, in fact, serious. (I'm about to go deep for like, one minute, CAN YOU HANDLE IT? Let's go) The problem with being pigeonholed a  bad student is that, despite not quite realising it at the time, it makes you start doubting your abilities. So you joke about shortcoming you don't even have in order to prevent someone else finding them out for themselves. (But they don't exist, so they wouldn't find them out, so you're stupid. I am mostly talking about myself by the way, don't get offended. Also, I'm not stupid). I realised this started getting worse when I became a 'real adult' (wait, surely that's not actually happened yet?). Having an ignorant friend frivolously house me in the poor work ethic category for no reason other than, I can only assume, based on my own undermining jokes, really struck a chord.

While complaining about it to my saint of a boyfriend (whom I have in fact worked with and who can vouch I not only work hard and efficiently but I’m also good at team building) (he can vouch that because he wants sex, but also, because it’s true) (parenthesis), he pointed out that every time someone asks me what I do for a living, I flap my hands awkwardly and then trash talk myself. Is it because I think I suck? No. I think I’m good at my job and any job I’ve ever done including being a waitress and writing copy for escorts (excluding that one time I spilled orange juice all over some guy’s crotch – I’m not going to tell you which of the two jobs this happened during).  

In the same way I diagnosed myself as dysnumeric, I shall diagnose myself as a sufferer of a rare condition called self-deprecationitis. And lets be honest, self-deprecationitis is basically a residue of the even greater disease(fun fact: I had to leave without finishing my sentence, a whole 24 hours later, I have no idea what this greater disease was going to be but lets assume it was something hilarious with small rays of profound truth shining through). 

Like with every disease, imaginary or not, certain things can trigger symptoms. So, in the same way my body shuts down at the sight of an apple, my self-deprecationitis flourishes in nearly all social circumstances (especially the beginning and ending parts of a social gathering where you have to hug, kiss and introduce yourself/hug, kiss and make fake plans with each other) as well the receiving end of compliments (a position I oftentimes find myself at… #knob). 

So, in a bid to no longer self sabotage, I decided to fake it. I mean I got really good at it during my last relationship… JK! LOL! HAHA! etc…  No, but seriously, I am terrible at faking anything. I think it stems from that one time when I was, like, 7 when my dad asked me if I’d done my homework and I straight up lied about having been assigned none. When my dad persisted, my guilt got the best of me and I mumbled something along the lines of “err… something was written on the blackboard but I’m not sure that it was homework”. And that's when my dad proceeded to ruin my life forever (It’s true, dad, I’ve been meaning to tell you this for YEARS)*** by being really angry at me for lying. “Your punishment is that I will never trust you again” he said while wrath laced his voice and disappointment painted his face. I see what he was doing, he was trying to raise me an honest individual. An overrated quality, if you ask me, which he did managed to forcefully instil into me. 19 years later, and I’m more honest than Shakira’s hips(but with less of an ability to make a man want tospeak Spa-nish). I don't lie because I'm terrible at it, not because I don't want to. I don’t even lie on my CV out of fear that I will get caught and end up ugly-crying into the interviewers lap while questioning if she/he will ever trust me again. (You’re paying for therapy, right Dad?)   

So faking confidence when you are very confident that you can’t fake anything is hard. (Plus will that make me less funny? Since, you know, I mainly laugh AT me?) BUT I VOW TO DO IT!

Starting from today, I promise to not put myself down. Not even for the sake of a really great joke (I'm probably lying, but I do promise I will only do it when the joke is exceptional).

And if you are also a victim of Self-deprecationitis, you should do the same!


I WANT YOU, TO BE NICER TO YOURSELF!

God, I look SE-XY in a top hat
Unlike Jean D'arc (gurrrl was nuts!) we shall shut those doubt-y little voices. Well, maybe not shut them, but reserve them for the people whose humour can take it!

***I'M JOKING DAD, YOU'RE THE BEST!

Friday, 14 February 2014

THE STYLISED GUIDE TO LIPSTICK-PROOF KISSING

I like film scripts, discovering a well written film gives me the kind of joy and satisfaction only ever rivalled by a perfectly cooked medium rare burger housed between melty slices of cheese and a shiny brioche bun. I love a brilliant book and although I'd fancy myself a lover of the classics that often drops Flaubert into conversations like a steaming hot potato, my heart will always belong to David Sedaris (who is competing with garlic for the role of my soulmate) and I'm much more likely to quote Joy Tribiani than Earnest Hemingway. Kieslowski and Spike Jonze have forever been entangled in battle for first place on my favourite directors list, but I'd pass them both up in a second for a marathon of High Fidelity (and by marathon I mean I'd watch it on repeat all day,everyday!).

Despite it looking like all I did was de-intellectualise myself, my first paragraph is meant to be a list of things I love. Think 'The Sound of Music' but with less nazis and brown paper packages tied up with string. (may I just digress here to point out that if, on a shitty day, raindrops on roses is all it takes to cheer you up, you are -in my humbe opinion- a twat!)  

I put all of my favourite things to the ultimate test, what would I pass meeting Bruce Springsteen for. Literature, films, music, travels, a handful of meetings with friends, good meat, tangy hearbs and creamy dairy all lost to the Boss. And then, I came to the sickening conclusion... my all time favourite thing in the whole wide world, the thing that I'd rather do than assume Courtney Cox status in THIS video, is new relationship kisses! I know, I know, what a soppy thing to say... but think about it. It's an unbeatable feeling! 

I call my relationship new despite it being the same age of a fully formed foetus nearing its due date. So kisses still turn my stomach into a butterfly disco! (I know, I judge myself too...). 

Alas, there is one thing interfering with all the fun that can be had while exchanging saliva with your paramour, and that is my love for lipstick. I don't know how it became socially acceptable to literally juts put paint onto your face and walk around like it's normal, but it did and I'm embracing it to the limit! So, to sum up... on the one hand, I love kissing. On the other, I love lipstick... now put your hands together.... -.- 



So for this Valentine's day (which I still think is the most unimaginative of man made holidays), when the dress code still calls for red roses, red wine, red dress and red lips, I propose you do more snogging and less consuming overpriced chocolates. 

To help you do so, I indulged into a highly enjoyable little experiment during which I searched high and low for the most long lasting lipstick formulas, I put them to the test and can now present you.....


THE STYLISED GUIDE TO LIPSTICK-PROOF KISSING


  • Contestant number one, is a stain that comes up so often on the long lasting lipstick google search, it might as well have it in its name. I'm talking about the one and only YSL glossy stain in #9. Overpriced, overly glossy, pretty sleek packaging....

....NOT KISS PROOF. 

  • Contestant number two, is an oddity in my collection. Picked up on a whim in New York, this fuchsia lipstick bares the brand of an Armenian family whose journey in America has been captured on film for the world to see. Kardashian Khroma in Shocking Pink. Tacky packaging, Tacky smell, Great colour/texture
... NOT KISSPROOF

  • Third on the list, is a liquid stain for the more Vampy of Valentines! My mother covets this so much I always have to hide it when I visit home or it 'falls out of my bag' straight into her make up storage. HOURGLASS icon
...This is one for couples that like to match. Boyfriend looks fairly unaffected but I seem to have acquired some crimson facial hair?! 

  • Next one up is my all time fave red. And the one most similar to a dog's penis. Bobbi Brown matte lipstick in HEART. One that may be aptly named for Valentine's... 

...but, sadly, not quite aptly formulated. Bummer. (we also seem to be a couple considerate of each others nostrils during kissing sessions...... what!)

  • The penultimate lipstick put to the test, is a NARS one. This one is in pencil form so I had really high hopes for it. Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick in Red Square...

... is DEFINITELY the winner...  of Lipstick-Most-Likely-To-Make-You-Look-Like-You-Have-Severe-Acne. 

  • My last contestant was the underdog. A ridiculously cheap lipstick I don't remember buying/being given. Max Factor something or other... 
...CAN YOU HEAR THE ANGELS CHANTING? (if not just click on the link...)!!

WE FINALLY HAVE A WINNER!!

 with the ST.D(stylised dialogue) SEAL OF APPROVAL, you can now proceed to start snogging! 

xxxxx

Friday, 24 January 2014

#100DAYSHAPPY... (or, some cheerful pictures in the midst of complaining)

If you follow me across blogging platforms (firstly, thanks and secondly I'll call you later dad), or in real life (firstly, stop stalking me and secondly yeah I used dry shampoo for the third day in a row, SO WHAT!) you might come to the logical yet untrue conclusion that I harbour some sort of a deep routed vendetta against the month that we're currently inhabiting. I don't HATE January. But, let's be honest, as far as months go, this one is like the liquor filled truffles in the chocolate selection that is our year. It looks all nice, rotund and full of promises but the moment the bitter, runny filling comes into direct contact with your taste buds (still talking about liquor guys!), you wish you'd never been allured into bitting into it.

But, I'm not here to trash talk good ol' Jan for the millionth time this week. This post is going to be about my decision to make peace with all those great things these fun 31 days bring to the table (namely: the end of the holiday season, ability to afford things and/or will to live). I took up a challenge.  

NO. 

Sounds awful, right?! They expect me to be happy for 100 days in a row? 

Firstly, I thought, this is DEFINITELY a challenge created by homo sapiens of the single and male varieties because NO ONE who has ever experienced PMS, by either genetics or association, would EVER consider 100 consecutive days of happiness to be a feasible task. 

But then... I read the fine lines. You don't have to BE happy. You just have to photgraph one thing that triggered any amount of serotonin in your brain each day, for 100 days. 

I decided to instagram my progress because I had to choose a social platform and that's the one I know practically no one on (and then of course, I blog about it soooo... that choice made no sense!)

Can I please get a drumroll for the first TEN mega-filtered contestants...






(I know you know what to expect from this *pointless* video, but please, I urge you to watch it... It has subtitles... JUST IN CASE 'drrrrrdrrrrrrdddrrrrrrrrr' means NOTHING in your language!!)


DAY ONE



Ok, so it's slightly sickening to begin with... but I HAVE A HEART, you know! 


DAY TWO


Have you already clicked off? 
I promise, that if you keep scrolling you will witness some variety, honestly!


DAY THREE


This one is a bit of a cheat. I like cinema dates but I do not like Hobbits... I was in a full fledged strop just minutes after this photo was taken. Also, why do Elves speak in a Turkish accent? And is hobbits plural? or is it just a hobbit? I'll stop now. (the film sucked) 


DAY FOUR


...Slow news happiness day, I hear you think. You're right! But Sour Mango OOH YEAH! 


DAY FIVE


A short reunion. 


DAY SIX 


A great time was had in what appears to be a Mexican Brothel.


DAY SEVEN


Burger Banter. What a pretentious thing to say.


DAY EIGHT


A candle made me happy. I'M A GIRL.


DAY NINE


My happiness levels went straight down when a guy having a really loud phone conversation while staring at my screen sat near me.


DAY TEN


I tried to avoid an overload of soapiness but sharing a freelance office (my living room) with this sloth-like creature, is far better than dehydrated food and scented fire hazards. Sorry I'm not sorry! 


(In case you wondered, my instagram handle is cryptically named daphnecon, but I have to warn you, there will be spoilers on there..)


Thursday, 28 November 2013

17N : Nudism with your dad and a couple of terrorists.

Here’s the thing, being a pre-teen is not fun. Period. Now add a recently deceased grandfather, a cancer stricken aunt, a nudist beach, a lack of survival skills, the constant sight of where you came from (aka your father’s penis) and a couple of members of your country’s most wanted terrorist group to the mix and you get a slight feel of what the 6th month of the year 1996 was like for me.

Before I let my intro carry all the spoilers, let me tell you how it all started. June 1996 was a bleak month for my maternal family as my grandfather unexpectedly died while my mum’s twin sister was hospitalised for a type of cancer brought on by a previous two year long course of chemotherapy. Unable to add a child going through the first stages of puberty to the list of things she had to deal with, my mother decided that 10 years of marriage should start paying off and basically handed me over to my father with a verbal note that I can only assume went a little like this ‘do whatever you want, just don’t bother me’. My father and I have always had a great relationship and spending time with each other was a frequent and fun filled happening. Regardless however, the idea of a tete-a-tete holiday over the course of over a week with his little girl dealing with growth pains in the chest area (I mean, they were minor pains as there was minuscule growth, but you get the feeling), tampons and period cramps for the firs times in life was certainly not my dad’s idea of a carefree holiday. So he did what every logical human being would do… contacted a male friend who had long been abandoned by his spouse and left with a daughter around the same age. George, said friend, used to spend every summer camping at a beach in the central part of mainland Greece… grand!

 My dad and I ventured for some half arsed outdoors shopping which made us the owners of a shitty blue tent and a few other, unbeknown to us, useless accessories and got in the car full of joy and Rolling Stones cassettes to entertain us. A few out of tune Ruby Tuesday’s and multiple Sympathy with the devil inspired lip tickling ‘mmmmmmmmm’s’ later we finally arrived at the glorious beach of ‘HILIADOU’. I want to say I was happily strolling towards it but realistically it was boiling hot and I was carrying pointless camping paraphernalia so the only child slash teenager in me was most likely already in a state of inner despair… when I saw IT. A wooden sign, the depiction of all my nightmares. ‘NUDIST BEACH’ I think that was the first time I understood the power of words as the combination of a mere few letters carried the highest amount of horror I had yet to experience in real life (given that my grandfather had just died, you get how shallow a teenager I was). My previously flat chest had recently turned into a set of puffy nipples (attractive, I know, but that’s what happens) and well lets just say that I had hair in places I would rather I kept for myself and not share with a whole beach of people. Before the numbing dread had even had the time to sink in, my dad’s friend and his extremely brown penis (A sight forever etched in the depths of my innocent brain) came to greet us and help us carry our stuff to the beach. Following behind him, my feet sank into the hot sand while I observed the plethora of naked bodies casually holidaying around us. They were doing normal things like reading and swimming and playing beach sports but they were doing so naked. You know how in French films you sometimes get (usually from a child’s point of view) a fantasy of normalcy but in the nude, accompanied by the music of some generic jewellery box or the nightmarish tinkly music of funfairs… which then of course blurs out and becomes normal people perfectly dressed… well that's what it was like, except the last bit never happened, the birthday suit was the only thing en vogue on this land. 

To enhance the feeling of utter embarrassment, upon arriving to our designated patch of sand, my dad and I set off to put up our lame excuse of a tent.  Now let me tell you, you know how some families are outdoorsy families? The kind you see skiing and cycling together in matching gear whenever the opportunity of a holiday or even a long weekend arises… well that’s not my family. The little trio that consists of my parents and myself are more the city strolling, museum browsing, cuisine enthusiast types that considers a weekend in the countryside an experience of extreme primal survival.  So when we were faced with the massive task of turning a bulk of blue material into some sort of a shelter, we kind of just stared at it in despair. I can’t remember the specifics per se but I do remember we managed to eventually make something vaguely reminiscent of what the rest of the tents looked like out of ours. To explain how bad it was, however, a day or so later, when a girl I made friends with asked me which tent I slept in and I said ‘the worst one on the whole of the beach’ her instant reaction was ‘oh the blue one that looks like the result of a bomb explosion’. I’m sure you’ve come across campers before. They are organised people. They have chemical toilets, snake repellent strings, little fridges packed with large amounts of small foods, radios, lights, torches, loo roll and more things that I don’t remember and would probably be unable to even think of through basic logic and imagination. My dad and I, on the other hand, had brought… nothing. Except from some SPF 50 sunscreen which my mum probably forced us to not forget. And although sunscreen is very helpful when it comes to preventing sunburn and melanomas, it does absolutely nothing to repel snakes, keep mosquitoes at bay, fill empty stomachs or provide some much needed light once the sun has bid its goodbyes.

The first few days were tough. I have to admit my prudish inner self did get the best of me and forced me to cover my shame inducing body with a red swimsuit that, of course, made me stick out like a sore thumb. It was also glaringly obvious that my prudish side was not inherited by my father who fit right in with the rest of the naked flesh on display. Every night we would lie in our tent with a little piece of waterproof material separating us from the freezing night time sand (because we obviously didn’t think to take sleeping bags, mattresses or anything with us), and every morning we would wake up with the tent fallen onto us, having assumed the position of our nonexistent blankets. My dad’s brown penis-ed friend albeit lovely, was not much help. I don’t blame him, he had his own puberty consumed daughter to deal with. Mosquitoes and all sorts of creatures feasted on us while we feasted on nothing. 

Thankfully, not too far from the beach, was a Tavern, which was basically an oasis full of clothed people, steady ground, food and air conditioning. One day, while watching some TV, at the small slice of civilisation the tavern provided, the annoying tune of breaking news rudely interrupted the bad yet delightful soap opera I was enjoying. At the time the ‘17th of November’ a Greek terrorist organisation was thriving, killing politicians and prominent members of the society as well as mere civilians who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong minute. It’s not that I didn’t have an acute interest in sociopolitical happenings… or actually it is, I didn’t. I was far more interested in the illegitimate daughter of the main character of the soap opera who was about to deliver the twins of two different fathers that were, of course, each others arch enemy. Bored to death I overdosed on tzatziki while my dad and everyone else gathered around the TV stung by interest and intrigue. I drifted in and out of listening to the news  for a good two hours before I was summoned to return to the beach, for the first time this wasn’t terrible news.


Upon returning to our tent, that had obviously deconstructed itself into some sort of bright blue rubbish bag, and before my dad had the chance to go back to his Adam-minus-the-vine-leaf look, we noticed a shinny new tent located right next to ours. Surrounding it masterfully were colourful deck chairs that to our camping amateur eyes appeared like thrones and a shower appliance that looked high tech enough to not only rid us of the sand and salt that had accumulated in our hair but perhaps even wash us of all our sins. Sovereigns of the camping kingdom were two good natured looking men in their late thirties with scruffy beards, pot bellies and kind dark eyes. Our expressions must have been reminiscent of the little matchgirl staring at fancy dinners through crystal clear yet very dividing windows on an icy Christmas day because for some unknown reason, the good natured men approached us with utmost sympathy reflected in their kind eyes. I’m not certain of the conversation that followed but I’m fairly sure it was just polite words masquerading the pretty clear subtext that screamed ‘awkward father and daughter duo possessing the survival skills of a mentally retarded slug have seen each other’s private parts too many times and are in dire need of a saviour and some snake repellent”. As the two men assumed much needed roles of mustachio-ed Mother Teresas with a kick ass penchant for all things outdoors living, the best of times began. I must admit that my memory is blurry as to what exactly happened but I know we acquired a constant helping hand when it came to our camping short comings. They put magical and desperately welcome tweaks into our tent managing to finally get it to stand up straight and resist crumbling under the embarrassingly mild elements it was exposed to. Sleeping bags now cuddled us to sleep, while food was regularly consumed and mosquito bites became more and more infrequent. They  offered to show us around the area and took us on little boat rides into exotic looking caves. Best of all, they even broke the biggest nudist beach rule for us by allowing us to wear some sort of cover up on the fish boat without being frowned upon. 

Eventually the days passed and the time to bid goodbye to the largest amount of human flesh I'd ever seen had come. My dad, my best tan to date, unused clothes, useless camping equipment and myself got into a car and drove to the land of the dressed. I don't remember any goodbyes being said although I'd like to spike my memory into making them tearful. 

Back in Athens, while trying to get used to our flesh being touched by materials and our limbs being constricted into tailored clothing, we told the story of our good Samaritans to anyone willing to listen (lies, we probably shared it with people entirely uninterested too). The mens' names is a vital detail neither my dad nor I recall (although a simple Wikipedia search does help create a shortlist), mainly because in the re-tellings of the story those names got replaced by the seemingly accurate characterisation "Those Good Men".

Many years later, in the summer of 2003,  the memories of the nudist beach were nearly as faded as that aforementioned glorious tan. Well into my teenage years, I was staring at the TV screen while waiting for the dial up Internet to end its little melodic dialling and connect me to my beloved MSN messenger when the breaking news tune abruptly landed on my ear drum. At the time this was a frequent occurrence as some of the members from the '17th of November' had been caught causing a domino effect in finding the rest of the group. The tune this time captured my attention as my interest in sociopolitical events had started to get cultivated mainly by the fact that this all seemed like the end pages of a mystery novel. New members had been found and arrested. On a beach. A nudist beach. The names blared on the screen while a shaky TV reported claimed that pictures of the terrorists would be shown soon. The usually relieving sound of the dial up getting connected no longer interested me as I ignored bleeping windows with MSN friends requesting my attention, all I wanted was to see who these people were. Pictures on the screen. Two mustachio-ed Mother Teresas staring back at me and the rest of Greece as they were convicted for being members of a terrorist organisation. In a cartoon-like manner my eyes tripled in size balancing out my dropped jaw. Regaining the ability to resist gravity, my jaw went back into its place and I ran towards my oblivious dad's office ....

"The Good Men! The Good Men ARE TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!"