Wrestling with Sass

Sassy commentary from a failed journalist

Friday List #24

  • My week is ruined by rediscovering Cookie Clicker, one of the most pointless but satisfying browser games ever. Get clicking here.
  • Really interesting long-read from Sam Kriss about the various theories, conspiracy and philosophical, that surround the planet Saturn. Read more here. 
  • Another bit of eccentric knowledge, did you know in Kobe, Japan 1970s Northern Soul Dancehalls are being revitalised. Don’t blame them, everyone looked cool back then. Get funky here.
  • Nice /r/AskReddit binge-worthy thread here, ‘what subreddits have the best ‘top all time’ binge’. Some good time wasting. Waste it here.
  • Nice experiment and data visualisation, what would you draw if someone asked you to draw the Apple logo? See how well people remember iconic brand logos here.
  • Nice writing editor software I’ve been using recently, picks up on redundancy and tells you how difficult to read your writing is. Write better here.
  • Surrounded by arseholes at work? Find out the best way to deal with them from Stanford psychologists. Avoid arseholes here. 
  • The subreddit VillagePorn is right up my street, I’ve been craving oddly shaped streets and inconvenient hills for months now. Get aroused by cobblestones here.
  • Been hankering to do some sort of long-form writing for a while, Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing has given me that hankering. Get inspired here.
  • The person who started the recreation of Shakespeares Globe Theatre was Sam Wanamaker, an American who was worried about blacklisted due to his liberal views. Read more here.

Friday List #23

  • Around 5 people were killed in 1982 in Chicago after someone tampered with the over-the-counter medication Tylenol. No one has ever been charged. Read here. 
  • Adam Worth is considered the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conon Doyle fictional criminal mastermind James Moriarty. A master criminal, he famously stole a priceless painting but never stole it because he liked it. He was caught after making a minor error, his wife was seduced by a close friend who then abandoned her, she went insane was committed to an asylum and when Adam got out, she didn’t recognise him. Horrifying, be engrossed here. 
  • Adam was also buried in Highgate Cemetery which is filled with interesting characters from previous centuries, easy to get lost in a Wikipedia hole here. Get lost here. 
  • Gretna Green by the Scottish/English border is where young people went to get married quickly, apparently, this was covered a lot in early 20th-century film and television. Pop the question here.
  • An oubliette is ‘a secret dungeon with access only through a trapdoor in its ceiling’. Sounds awful, read here.
  • One of the best AskReddit questions ever, ‘Reddit, what are the most useful askreddit posts?’ Meta, get informed here.

Friday List #22

  • Keep being bummed out when I discover bands and realise they’re not playing Berlin on their EU tour but are stopping off in my hometown of Bristol. Anyway, go see Slothrust (listen here) on the 28th of October. Buy here.
  • This New York Times interactive article showcases some of the best female-fronted indie, punk and grunge bands – some excellent people to listen to. Explore here.
  • The ever controversial Lenny Letter had a really interesting interview with Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest, on how women should be smarter with their money and invest. Useful tips here. 
  • The Two Schoolgirls Who Fooled the World Into Believing in Fairies is a nice re-dive into the Cottingley Fairies affair. Read more here.
  • This started going viral on my Twitter but I didn’t realise this information was leaked two years ago in Sony leak. According to a legal licensing agreement between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment, on film Spiderman must always be depicted as white and straight. Read here. 
  • I’m going to try and plug my Game of Thrones gap by rewatching it from episode one along with the other folks from /r/gameofthrones with Discord. Join us at 6pm UK time of 7pm CEST. Join us here. 


Friday List #21

  • I didn’t know much about Scottish King James I as I swear the UK History curriculum consists of just teaching you about the Tudors and visiting Tintern abbey until you die. Anyway, apparently the sexuality of James I is much debated owing to the fact that he had a lot of attractive male courtiers, one of whom George Villiers he promoted constantly despite the fact he didn’t hold many monarchal qualities. Read here.
  • Excellent comic from Luke Humphris and The Nib ‘What do we mean when we say “Toxic Masculinity?”‘ Stop conforming here.
  • I’m in love with this relatively new Twitter account ‘Sega CD Games’ – as much as I wish ‘Ecco watches the Titanic sink – let the vortex claim man’s folly’ existed. Explore here.
  • Polyvore might be old news to some but I’ve just discovered it. Users can create their own fashion/outfit mood boards, the best part is that they actually link to where you can buy the clothes as well. Sorry credit card but I just found a bunch of ‘witch’ themed mood boards. Spend here.
  • I wrote 3000 words why RuPaul Drag Race is like Professional Wrestling and you need to read it to justify my existence. Get woke here.
  • Did you know you can access thousands of copyright free images from the British Library? Pretty rad eh?

Friday List #20

Cat leek
Number 20 guys, we did it.
  • Here’s Mark Kermodes 50 films every film fan should watch, some really interesting ones on here, that’s my Sunday’s sorted for the next few weeks. Swot up here.
  • There’s a word for people travelling in the US to see the leaves change, and it’s called ‘leaf peeping’. How delightful. Read more here.
  • Cooping was a form of electoral fraud in the US that functioned by gangs essentially kidnapping people on the street, plying them with booze and beating them. The Gangs of New York portrayed this in a much nicer way. Read more here.
  • People thought Edgar Allen Poe might have been a victim of ‘cooping’ amongst other theories of his death. Edgar Allen Poe was found on October 3rd delirious walking the streets of Baltimore before he died and his cause remains disputed to this die. Read more about it here.
  • The last thing about E.A.P. An unidentified person visited his grave every year on January 19th (Poe’s birthday) and toasted his grave with a glass of cognac, left three roses and the bottle of cognac. This person has been named the Poe Toaster, and for 80 years the person has appeared (although it’s likely it’s a tradition that’s passed from father to son). In 2010 the toasting stopped and the Maryland Historical Society named an anonymous person to revive the tradition. Read more theories here.
  • This house makes me angry, it’s so goddamn beautiful and no one deserves it goddammit. Get envious here. 
  • Beyond the fold and above the fold is a lie, it’s not 1997 anymore. Get informed here.


8 Reasons Why RuPaul’s Drag Race is Professional Wrestling

RuPaul’s Drag Race is professional wrestling in its purest form. FACT. Okay, opinion, but hey it’s 2017 (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

While my boyfriend and I may have drunkenly discussed this theory many times, it appears the internet is none the wiser. Only NPR covered this theme back in 2014 and it barely got the recognition it deserved because it’s so obvious, right?


Anyway, here are 15 reasons which categorically prove that professional wrestling and drag will somebody merge into a gender-fuck fighting extravaganza yaaas mama (sorry).

yaaaas mama
Well this is homophobic

1. The Gimmicks

The first time Raja walked in the workroom rocking a flat chest and cyclops felt hat that covered her face, I understood that I knew nothing about drag. Alexis Mateo, the glitzy glamorous Puerto Rican, who had entered before Raja looked dryly at the camera in one of the cutaway’s and said “club kid” in a voice that denoted she didn’t care much for this school of drag.

Was..was it a dick joke?

In its 9 seasons, RuPaul has gone through an evolution much like the WWE. We don’t just see ‘fishy’ or ‘glamorous’ divas entering the competition anymore. We see all kinds – performance artists, genderfuck, queer, horror, comedy clowns, gothic, robotic Stepford wife bitch.

This is a perspective trick actually that referee is 2 feet tall

Similarly, professional wrestling used to prescribe to a specific aesthetic. The 80’s wrestling school used to be about roided out veiny tan dudes who had to be 6’2″ and 250lbs up but hey, even B+ player tiny 5’10” 210lbs Daniel Bryan got to be champion for a bit

Your gimmick is what makes or breaks your drag and your look, whether created or natural, is integral to your gimmick. You either live your character or your character is you. In RPDR there have been contestants who have carefully cultivated their character and fully realize the transformation e.g. Ben De La Creme. Then their queens whose gimmicks are just another facet of their personality but they are essentially themselves e.g. Katya, Alaska, Sharon. They are that person, and that person is them, makeup or not. RPDR tends to favour queens who have a character they can jump into but is similar to themselves, rather than a queen whose shy and quiet and whose character is the opposite of that (I’m looking at you, Michelle Visage). Queens have to ride a rollercoaster of emotions as they figure out how to be-themselves-but-different-but-change-but-stay-the-same.

Similarly, in wrestling people whose characters reflect themselves to some extent is what makes them popular to their audience – their authenticity, or ‘the realness’ as RuPaul might say. CM Punk is a bit of a prick in real life so can play a ‘heel’ (bad guy) easily and John Cena is a weird homophobic American robot so can easily portray that on stage.


Alaska is Alaska when she’s in drag // Ben Dela Creme talked about ‘Ben’ in the third person in Season 6 Finale and is very different in and out of drag.

Naomi Smalls –  When Ru asks who she as a drag queen and she can’t say anything other than ‘I’m Naomi Smalls’ // Roxxy Andrews – Roxxxy Andrews not able to change characters in the final challenge of Season 5.

2. The Makeup

One of the things you’ve got to keep in mind about professional wrestling is that while a lot of the 80’s ideas have gone out of the window – one of the things that never changed is that professional wrestlers have to be beautiful. Men and women alike need to look like they’ve just walked off the set of a movie and somehow these supermen and women walk among us – this allows us to suspend disbelief for a moment and go ‘okay I can go along with the man flying off the top rope because he looks like he does it when he wakes up the morning after accepting an academy award.’ 


Makeup plays a minor role here, but overall in wrestling, it’s about your look – more than once you’ll hear wrestlers being described as having promise because they’ve got a good ‘look’ i.e. Tall, strong looking, good looking, stereotypical of the ideal.

Makeup and drag is a contentious point in RuPaul’s Drag Race. As the main staple of most drag queens arsenal if your makeup isn’t PERFECT before you get on that show you might get read. But there are different schools of thought, does your makeup need to be the best in the business, does it make you a better drag queen? Or can you get by on luck, natural looks and your makeup is secondhand to your charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent?

Similar to wrestling, if you have talent then having ‘okay’ makeup is not a problem, RPDR is not a fashion show and neither is wrestling – if you can get a crowd going and get them to feel that magic then who gives a shit if your eyebrows are wonky.


Bob the Drag Queen’s make up isn’t transformative but his drag is very ‘real black women’ but it has been commented on as lacking in expertise. BUT, it’s worth noting that it’s difficult to find darker shades of makeup to contour similarly to light skin.

Okay you can’t get away with this I take it all back

3. The Outfits

One of my favourite things about wrestling that is full on pageantry bitch is when wrestlers change their gimmicks.

They change from being either a ‘heel’ or a ‘face’ and suddenly your best pal, the one the kids all look has come out in scary black wrestling attire and has grown some kind of moustache. It’s confusing, the person you liked is gone and they have changed, and change is bullshit and it’s the kind of simple psychology that is so obvious and in your face but it works.

Ew Michelle

Drag queens can change who they are on a dime, but still, have tangible continuity running throughout their outfits so you know it’s still them. They know what works, but they know have to versatile and change and this KEY to winning RuPaul’s Drag Race. Because even if you’re the greatest and what you do, they want to see you change and show vulnerability – something wrestling fans want from wrestlers, growth and change.

Except Bianca Del Rio is Season 6 who wore the same dress like 17 times but who cares because it’s Alyssa.


One of the things you may not have clocked even if you’ve only watched wrestling briefly is all the wrestlers tend to shave their armpits, legs, chest – everything. For a number of reasons.

Demonstrated in Oscar winning film The Wrestler
  1. Pulling your body hair out when you roll around on that mat is painful
  2. Sweaty armpit and chest hair looks gross
  3. Maintaining the illusion these are super humans, not regular Joes with gross armpit hair

In our post-modern ‘gender is a construct, tear it apart’ world being feminine (and for the most part drag queens are attempting female illusion/fantasy) doesn’t mean being shaved. However, RPDR is still a fairly standardised view of drag so most queens don’t walk the runway with hairy pits.

A hairy queen for the people

Notable exceptions include Thorgy Thor who rocked hairy legs but never braved them down the runway, which is a shame, I’d love to have seen a glitzy gown with some hair legs peeping out and seen Michelle have a nervous breakdown.

5. Heroes and Villains/Faces and Heels

Like every good TV show, you need heroes and villains. WWE has script writers and talent agents who work with wrestlers to develop their stories, although rookies tend to get what they’re given and told to ‘make it work’. This could be mean that after grinding for years of your life to finally get to the great heights of the WWE only to be given the character of a dancing jive-talking dude whose name is the Funkosaurous.

RuPaul’s Drag Race works like any other reality TV show though, I think NPR summed it more eloquently than I could.

The show itself operates under the rules of any reality television show, by trading traditional writers for story producers. (Meaning the show crafts the narrative after it films, rather than before.)

But the result is the same, storylines are crafted out of second-glances and arguments that lasted 20-minutes can dominate the show and serve as the classic Good vs. Evil construct. Sound effects and out-of-context cutaways used to serve the purpose of a storyline rather than tell the authentic experience of what actually happened on the show. Like the WWE, RPDR is trying to construct a narrative that will keep viewers hooked, make them rage online in forums and on social media and, most crucially, pick their favourites and defend them to the death.

RPDR is giving it’s queens the kind of ‘heat’ (wrestling terminology for a bad crowd reaction) that most ‘heel’ (wrestling terminology for an evil character) wrestlers have tried to cultivate for years. On the opposite side of the spectrum, queens who might not even be the saviours of the universe types like John Cena or The Rock will enjoy the ultimately ‘good’ role they’ve been cast with.

RPDR is masterful at creating these story arcs and feuds, mostly because unlike most reality shows – it’s not striving for reality. Drag is self-aware, it’s a reflection of pop culture, counter culture, cult classic and the zeitgeist all at the same time – even the fishiest queens are never attempting true female illusion. Because of this self-awareness, RPDR can play with the fans expectations and poke fun at the reality TV format because it’s viewers are wise to the game. WWE is also masterful at this ‘meta’ storylines that turn the tables on the fans because wrestling is fake and is, therefore, ‘predictable’ to some the writers at WWE are great are changing a story on a dime to change the crowd’s expectations.

Unlike wrestling, drag queens are ‘real people’ who didn’t sign up to have their career ruined for the sake of ratings – however, RPDR loves a ‘rudemption’ arc and All Stars is another masterful stroke that is professional wrestling storytelling at its finest. Queens can rebuild their reputation and have another shot of the crowd, whilst we all sit and wait and hope they go fucking mental and smash a mirror.

Notable feuds:

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart – Sharon Needles vs. Phi Phi O’Hara

The classic upstart vs. the traditionalist that sparked one of the greatest feuds in RuPaul’s Drag Race history and shot Sharon Needles to legendary status and segmented Phi Phi O’Hara is a crazy person (well Phi Phi kind of did that to herself a bit too).

Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority – Jinkx Monsoon vs. Roxxxy Andrews

We all love an underdog story and it’s easy to tell. WWE may have told the first true underdog story with Daniel Bryan and Jinkx was definitely the first (but not the last) drag queen to win with barely any fashion kudos from the judges under her belt.

6. Legacy – Knowing Your Herstory

RuPaul’s Drag Race has been praised for bringing subversive drag the masses and educating lots of people who, otherwise, would have no clue about the challenges and demands that professional drag queens face in the world.

From workroom talks about gay rights, marriage, people being kicked out their homes or their families not even knowing they were gay let alone in drag, these issues are brought into the open and lay separate from the drama that the show creates. The idea of ‘sisterhood’ amongst queens by offering support, make up and even helping with outfits is integral to the drag community – however, it should be noted this sometimes doesn’t extend to the more ‘kooky’ queens – see Milk vs. Gia Gunn in Season 6.

This idea of ‘sisterhood’ is similar to the wrestling ideology of ‘brotherhood’. Human trash person Hulk Hogan was famous for saying ‘brother’ constantly during promos and it’s something that stemmed from lockerroom talk amongst wrestlers. The ‘locker room’ is also another idea that correlates with the drag idea of ‘families’ or ‘houses’. Something Paris is Burning legendary documentary that chronicled the New York drag and ballroom scene of the 1970’s explained more eloquently than I could.

Like the House (or Haus) mother of a drag family, the ‘head of the locker room’ looks out for the ‘boys’ in the back. In his infamous podcast CM Punk spoke to Cult Cobana after his dramatic exit from the WWE after feeling like his talents weren’t being respected (see Adore Delano walking off All Stars 2 because she felt unable to deal with the judging) CM Punk talked about how he didn’t leave for a long time because of ‘the boys in the back’. As a veteran wrestler, it was his responsibility, although not in an official professional capacity, to look after the rookie wrestlers and make sure they were understood how they could get better.

This solidarity amongst queens and wrestlers is something that exists in any art/performance art community, born out of a need to protect each other from the potentially judgemental outside world. The talent and passion and respect is something that ties them together and bonds them in a way that doesn’t exist in many other career paths.

7. Step Your Pussy Up vs. Grabbing The Brass Ring

The comedy queens vs. beauty or ‘pageant’ queens is something RPDR parodied in a musical challenge. The juxtaposition between comedy and pageant queens is something that was a mainstay on the show until around Season 7 when pageant queens knew that they had to ‘step their pussy up’ in order to stay in with a chance of winning.

Like professional wrestlers, drag queens can no longer be one note, being a gorgeous fishy fashionista or a stand-up genius may work well on the club circuit but those HD cameras and picky judges favour nobody. Queens now have to have a great look, put on a great performance, be funny, be vulnerable, be versatile, kind, quick-witted and understand how to capitalise on their media presence with expert precision and marketing know-how. They have to ‘step their pussy up’ they have be a better drag queen in order to maintain the spotlight and capture an audience.

Nobody better exemplifies this than Alaska Thunderfuck. In Season 5 in the shadow of her much more famous boy/girlfriend Sharon Needles, Alaska wilted under the spotlight and instead spend most of Season 5 in the clique of Rolaskatox instead of stepping out as a drag queen in her own right. In All Stars 2 she came to play with a killer wardrobe, better makeup and a fully realised character with performances and wit spilling out of her at every turn. However, she controversially sent home fan favourites in favour of keeping her old friends on the show when, realistically, they should have been sent home. Then, she threw a major hissy fit in front of the cameras that was in direct contrast to her cool, calm demeanour.

Suddenly, Alaska, who had been doing amazingly well even amongst the hyper critical super fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was painted as a dramatic, bribing, snake in the grass. And what did Alaska do, tweet an apology? Write a blog post explaining her complex feelings at the time? No, she posted an amazing video that PRO WRESTLING BABY YAAAAAAAAAS.

Painted as a heel? Then act like a heel in a way that wins everyone back to your side, oh and then post another video where you actually donate your winnings to a charity. 

IN SHORT, Alaska stepped her fucking pussy up to become one of the most intelligent queens of any season.

So, whats grabbing the brass ring?

“Grabbing the brass ring” or getting a “shot at the brass ring” also means striving for the highest prize, or living life to the fullest. It is not clear when the phrase came into wide use but has been found in dictionaries as far back as the late 19th century.

Professional wrestling is was bought of carnivals, hence all the ‘carny’ terminology that litter wrestlings landscape (heel, face, smark, mark). Vince MacMahon has famously used the term ‘grabbing the brass’ ring as a metaphor for when a wrestler seizing the opportunity that wrestling, specifically the WWE, has given to them. Because like RPDR, Queens aren’t made famous, they make themselves famous, they treat the show like one long show to prove to the world they are worthy of lasting fame. In wrestling, you may be given a terrible storyline, or a terrible character to perform, even though you know that if you had the choice you could create a better gimmick for yourself.

But the WWE doesn’t want people who complain, they want people who demand the attention, who demand the performance, who create a fantastic storyline out of a trash one. In WWE you have to step your pussy in the exact same way. The main difference is that the audience interaction plays a major role in this ‘grabbing of the brass ring’ you have to have them on side, whereas in RPDR, as the show is pre-taped you just have to focus on getting Ru on your side.

8. Lipsyncing for Your Life IS PRO WRESTLING

We come to the greatest example of professional wrestling in Ru Paul’s Drag Race. This is performance art at its finest. The lipsync for your life.

Simply put, the two worst performing queens of the episode face off in a lipsync to determine who goes home. Whoever puts on the best performance, according to Ru, gets to stay and whoever does the worst, has to go home. It’s as close to saying ‘okay lads just beat the shit out of each other’ as you can get in a show that’s essential about people dressing up as ridiculous women.

Here are some of the best examples of Lipsyncs for your Life where they have been so close that as fans, you literally feel like someone may DIE if they go home because of the intenseness of the competition.

Tatina vs. Alyssa Edwards – All Stars 2 – Shut Up and Drive

Roxxxy Andrews vs. Alyssa Edwards – Whip My Hair – Season 5

Dita Ritz vs. The Princess – This Will Be – Season 4

I will go on record (lol who cares I KNOW) and say that a great lipsync for your life would rival any 30-minute Wrestlemania main event.

What can we learn from this ridiculous parallel?

People who enjoy drag should watch wrestling and people who watch wrestling should watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. There’s already an excellent YouTube series called ‘Nobodies Watching Wrestling: Drag Queens Review’ which combines the two into an excellent format. If we’re going to enjoy performance, drama, soap opera and storytelling at its best then it shouldn’t matter what format it’s in, whether it’s dudes wrasslin’ or drag queens dancin’.


Friday List #19

  • All Walls Must Fall is an indie game I heard about through Twitter, obviously leaving in Berlin I’d be interested in playing this tech-noir thriller set in the year 2089 where the Berlin Wall never came down. Read about it here.
  • Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, whilst it’s construction was mired with human-rights abuses, I found this fact about the upper levels really interesting. Read more about it here.

Ramadan observance on the higher floors
At the higher floors of the Burj, people can still see the sun for a couple of minutes after it has set on the ground. This has led Dubai clerics to rule that those living above the 80th floor should wait 2 additional minutes to break their Ramadan fast, and those living above the 150th floor, 3 minutes.

  • A friend tweeted about ‘Snob Screens’ – a device that is still found in some British pubs. Originally created so middle-class drinkers could see working class drinkers in the bar next to them, but not be seen by them. Be snobby here.
  • If you were big on Tumblr back in the day (FYI I’m one of the five people still on Tumblr) then you may remember the fashion blog Suicide Blonde that mysteriously disappeared. I found her new account and spent a while getting lost in her excellent mood-board, aptly renamed for 2017 as Homicidal Brunette. Get lost here.
  • Another Twitter friend posted about a YouTube account that reviews junk food found in German supermarket’s and it’s honestly made me so happy. Fill up here. 
  • Just bought these Nike Air Force 1’s on sale (MAYBE, I’m still having problems ordering anything online in Germany), apparently, nobody wants a bigger stack on their heel but I want us to all go back to wearing platform shoes. Oogle them here. 

Anxiety Is Bullshit and So Are You

Content warning: I wrote this blog when I was having sensory overload I think so, therefore, it is rambly nonsense.

“OVERSTIMULATED” I messaged my boyfriend after finding the perfect word to describe how I was feeling at that moment.

“Like your socks don’t fit right?” My boyfriend replied, harking back to a conversation we had when he described a feeling he gets sometimes when he feels ‘unnecessary’ and we both kind of childishly roll around and play fight until we get rid of the ‘unnecessary’ energy.

“Yes but it’s making me tense and angry and I can’t concentrate” I replied frustratingly.

Whereas his unnecessary energy could always be counteracted by a laughing fit at this picture or us attempting to chokeholds until both of were exhausted. Mine has always manifested into anxiety and irritation.

Overstimulation is for dogs and babies, not adults

Overstimulation is the perfect word to describe the feeling that too much is going on, not in the bigger picture kind of way. In the way your brain is going 100 miles a second going – ‘oh my god stop clicking your pen, oh it’s too hot in here, fuck I’m tired, I should be doing this, do I need more water, oh my stomach hurts why does it always hurt’.

It’s when you have too many tabs open on your computer or every tiny action is taking too long, you’re trying to start a piece of work and your furious that it’s not done yet but you’ve not even started. It’s the feeling when you stretch out your legs and it feels amazing but they go back to feeling like normal boring legs immediately after the stretch and you curse yourself for letting yourself taste the good life for a second.

It feels me with dread and anxiety and it’s incredibly annoying when you’re just having a standard day and all of a sudden you’re unable to concentrate on anything but yet feel the need to do everything.

I might possibly have anxiety but doesn’t everyone

At my last job I was bollocked a few times for taking too many sick days, 16 in 12 months if I remember rightly. My boss was very jovial about it, very ‘we all understand but come on now, you can’t keep calling in sick’ and made a comment that I typically called in sick on a Thursday and was there anything happening on the Wednesday night that caused me suddenly be ill.

Of course, I didn’t have the nerve to tell me boss ‘Actually I’m deeply unhappy in this job and feel stressed all the time so I’ve mostly taken days off because I literally cannot face another day here in this hostile hell hole’ Because, at the time, I don’t think I realised my mysterious ailments all stemmed from anxiety. I’m a giant hypochondriac so think constantly about illness and how I’m probably dying at this very moment, so I just assume ‘Oh I just have some awful disease’

Because my anxiety was very subtle for me, I just assumed everyone was filled with terror on a daily basis because why wouldn’t you be? The world is scary, people are assholes and everyone who really truly loves and cares about is faking it because you can never trust anyone because people are essentially self-motivated. Everyone thinks that right? Sane, logical thinking right there.

Ah, so this is what feeling normal feels like

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I realised that I hadn’t been feeling anxious at all. Sure I’d moved to a country where I didn’t speak the language and everything was different and people here are very blunt when they speak. But that was understandable, logical anxiety – I could explain that to other human beings and they wouldn’t be like ‘dude what the fuck are talking about it.’

Mostly it’s down to the fact that I’m happier in my job than I’ve ever been, in the fact the idea of my job and the word ‘happy’ has never been particularly close to each other in the past.

So it was a surprise today when all of a sudden the familiar knot in the pit of my stomach arose, I started feeling warm, my heart rate quickened and all of a sudden I was stuck with the feeling like the world was being too loud, too much and I couldn’t breathe as well as I could usually. Not like I couldn’t breathe, but more like I had got my head trapped in the arm of a wolly jumper and I was struggling to get it off.

It was only then I realised:

‘oh no, I have anxiety, nothing is going on, this makes no sense, oh fuck.’ It’s almost like being given a prize late in life ‘Congratulations on the Mental Health Issues. You’re Now Like Everyone Else’

Anyway, still feeling breathless, still feeling like I want to stretch my legs until the end of time, still feel irritable and am trying to figure out how to reduce this feeling with my ole’ friend in hypochondria – Wikipedia.

So Sensory Overload is a thing that can happen to people with anxiety and having looked at this Wikipedia page it’s actually crazy how many things I described without ever having heard of this before.


I went to a meeting and had to stop freaking out and I’m fine now, what the fuck is my life and what the fuck is the blog and who the fuck are you Brenda.









Friday List #18

  • This long read by Jack Nicholls was interesting and a tad scary. Read here.
  • ‘Noli Me Tangere’ is a phrase I discovered after looking up the phrase ‘Non Omnis Moriar’.
  • Noli Me Tangere – Is from the Gospel of John in the New Testament, it means ‘don’t touch me’ or ‘don’t tread on me’ and it’s what Jesus said after Mary Magdalene recognised him after his resurrection. It’s also where the famous Revolutionary-Era America flag (Gadsden flag) gets it’s ‘don’t tread on me’ phrase. Read more here.
  • Non Omnis Moriar – Is something I saw when I was researching Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh. When translated it says ‘Not all of me will die’ or ‘I will not die altogether’ which is taken from Horace’s third book Carmina. Read more about it here.
  • The last Latin phrase I heard this week was in an episode of Penny Dreadful, which is a tad more famous than the previous phrases. ‘Memento mori’ means ‘remember that you have to die’ and was popularised by Christians as a way to exalt the virtues of the afterlife and shun earthly desires. Remember here.
  • Envy is something of a touchstone for competitive millennials, especially amongst creative types. I’m don’t even consider myself a writer even though that’s what I get paid to do on a daily basis, Isabel Slone’s article was a fascinating read. Read ‘When Envy Gets Under Your Skin’.
  • You can make the Hello There – Hell Here neon sign from Catwoman’s bedroom with only a few things. And why wouldn’t you do this immediately? Be cool here.
  • I spent a good long while on this list of Cryptids, animals from cryptozoology that is fascinating to read. The Wolpertinger is especially awesome looking and has been popularised in Bavaria. Explore them here.
  • @a_moments_rest is a Twitter account that posts gifs and images that provide a respite between the political drama, infighting and shitposting that comes with the platform. A bit of a hippy-ish idea but it has lots of great pixel art. Rest here o weary traveller.
  • The aforementioned Twitter is where I discovered Phoebe Morris’ art and I’ve fallen in love with this print, someone buy it for me here, please.
  • Which also led me to discover the subreddit /r/Cozyplaces. Rad place to unwind, I’m not even mad about the ‘z’ in cosy. Get snuggled up here.Get snuggled up here.

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