Wrestling with Sass

Sassy commentary from a failed journalist

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.

Friday List #17

  • The University of Aberystwyth Old College was built in 1791 and looks like a classic straight-from-a-fantasy novel castle. Pretty, everyone go and look at it – Look here.
  • 1920’s Shitposting made me laugh. Here.
  • What YouTube Channel is Great to Binge was a good /r/AskReddit question recently and it had lots of great recommendations. Binge here.
  • This recommendation on /r/AskReddit (again, I know) about how to your correct posture is a nice exercise of habit that has really made my back feel better. Get better posture here. 
  • Check out the 2017 Emmy Nominees, I usually use this as a good starting point to watch some new TV and you should too because everything on this list is banging. Get inspired here.
  • American Pie isn’t American, it was invented in the England. But what American’s did invent was putting a slice of orange coloured ‘cheddar’ cheese, well so I thought. Turns out England invited that too. Be grossed out here.
  • Get stressed out about tapas? Me too. The Economics of Dining as a Couple explains the political stages of eating together as a couple, and how we should all be ‘food communists’. Read here.
  • Mary Shelley would meet her boyfriend, and later husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley at the grave of her mother Mary Wollstonecraft. It’s also where she lost her virginity because Mary Shelley is fucking hardcore. Be scandalised here. Be scandalised here. 

Mary and Percy began meeting each other secretly at Mary Wollstonecraft’s grave in St Pancras Churchyard, and they fell in love—she was nearly 17, he nearly 22. On 26 June 1814, Shelley and Godwin declared their love for one another as Shelley announced he could not hide his “ardent passion”, leading her to in a “sublime and rapturous moment” to say she felt the same way; on either that day or the next, Godwin lost her virginity to Shelley, which tradition claims happened in the cemetery. Godwin described herself as attracted to Shelley’s “wild, intellectual, unearthly looks”

Friday List #16

  • Read the awesome article How We Dress Women For The End Of The World, especially prominent as it seems the trend of dressing like Handmaiden’s at protests is becoming more prominent. Read here. 
  • Never heard of Workaway before but basically, you work somewhere for room + board and it looks pretty rad. My love of Stardew Valley makes me want to give up everything and go work on a farm. Work here. 
  • Loved @Jumpgyal’s Twitter thread of words in other languages that explain emotions we can’t. I like the German word ‘Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.’ Read it here. 
  • Did you know you can go to Poland and take part in huge LARPING events for like five days and it looks fucking cool? There’s a lot in Poland but Oldtown Festival looks like a rad Fallout/Bioshock nightmare. Go here. 
  • This article from McSweeneys made me laugh. ‘AN ORAL HISTORY OF QUENTIN TARANTINO AS TOLD TO ME BY MEN I’VE DATED’. Read here. 
  • Peruse a list of ‘folly’s’ i.e. buildings that serve no purpose other than for decoration. Read here.

Where to get Cider in Berlin

Cider is amazing. However, Germany has been slow to catch on to its amazingness. Which makes sense, the beer-drinking country of the world isn’t going to give up its best asset easy. However, in the past few years, cider has become more prominent. That’s not me saying that I’ve only lived here for two months after leaving the cider-drinking capital of the world – Bristol. But long-term Berliners have noticed a sizable increase in cider availability in bars, supermarkets and spätis. So here’s a list of bars I’ve managed to get that sweet, sweet nectar.

  1. Das Gift


Literally meaning “what’s your poison?” in German. Obviously, a Scottish themed bar is going to have UK exports, as well as Buckfast and an excellent Scottish breakfast Das Gift also stocks Aspall in bottles. A bit pricey (well for Berlin) but hey, the bottle looks fancy as hell so you won’t feel too ripped off.
Donaustraße 119, 12043 Berlin

2. Tristeza

Image result for tristeza berlin

Sporting a queer punk collective vibe Tristeza has rad outdoor seating and is somehow as dark in the day as it is in the night thanks to its moody lighting. Best of all, they serve Strongbow on tap in Steins, now if you’ve gone without cider in a while then it’s likely you’re not going to turn up your nose at a full pint of the cold stuff.
Pannierstr.5, 12047 Berlin 

3. Ä

Image result for ae bar neukolln

Weserstraße is full of rad bars but A is fairly unpretentious apart from its affinity with being pitch black apart from a few precariously positioned candles. It’s another place that has obviously been sold the fancy Aspall in a fancy bottle by a travelling cider salesman, again a tad overpriced but it’s served ice cold.
Weserstraße 40, 12045 Berlin

4. UnterRock 

Image result for unterrock berlin

A nice little spot where I saw Non-Canon play some acoustic jams also serves the Berlin made, OBC Berliner cider which comes in three times Classic, Rose and Strong (it’s only 5%) The bartender also serves you your drinks and you pay a tab at the end, something that seemed to be standard in every bar I went to a few years ago but seems to have fallen out of fashion – or I’m going to less classy places.
Fürbringerstraße 20A, 10961 Berlin

5. Banja Luka

Image result for banja luka berlin

Just opposite Music & Peace which is a rad music venue is Banja Luka. A great hidden beer garden for those who don’t like a more rowdy crowd Banja Luka is a great place to take people on a sunny day. Serving another Berlin brewed cider Ostmost, which comes in two styles Wild and Dry.

Falckensteinstraße 1-2, 10997 Berlin

6. Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke

Image result for monster ronsons

Ignore their terrible website Monster Ronson’s is really awesome. Just opposite Warschauer Strasse, you’ll find a whole host of events going on, I’ve only ever been on their drag nights on a Tuesday hosted by PANSY but I’ve heard from others that their hosted Karaoke nights are pretty spectacular. They serve cocktails and bottles of ‘Golden Apple’ Strongbow which isn’t dry like regular Strongbow but pretty sweet, so prepare for that sugar headache.
Warschauer Str. 34, 10243 Berlin


Image result for home bar berlin

Full disclosure I haven’t been here but someone told me they serve Aspall on tap and their menu appears to back it up. They also have a full range of craft beer and other ales on offer so you won’t feel bad when you drag your friends here so you can have a pint ‘o apples. They also do pub quizzes, DJ nights, the lot in the heart of Fredrichstein.
Neue Bahnhofstraße 23, 10245 Berlin

This is an ongoing list, so if you have any suggestions then comment below!

Friday List #15

  • The bedshelfie is fucking genius and I need one immediately, you know if I wasn’t poor and spending my morning on boring things. Buy it here. 
  • My German boss asked me what ‘mufti’ meant in the UK and I answered that it referred to Mufti Day, when you don’t have to wear your school uniform to school. He then asked what it meant and I replied ‘no idea’. Apparently, it’s similar to saying ‘civvies’ for civilian clothes when military personality are out of uniform. Read about it here. 
  • The Isles of Scilly off of Cornwall had a 335-year war with the Netherlands because some person declared it and Scilly realised it had never been called off, making it one of the longest and bloodless wars ever. Read more here.
  • A great AskReddit thread about the most useful online certifications to get, I’ve still never got my Google Analytics certification even though I use it constantly, some other good resources in here. Get learnin’ here. 
  • Pop Kultur is an awesome looking festival in Kreuzberg in August if you’re interested in going hit me up. Buy tickets here. 
  • I’ve slowly become obsessed with The Hermetic Order of Golden Dawn and their activities in the UK and really want this book but it’s a lot of dollah to spend on something so ridiculous, but it’ll be on my wishlist for a while. Read about it here.

Friday List #14

On a Sunday? Yeah, I’m breaking all the rules/was too busy on Friday to post.

  • Someone mentioned Near Dark to me recently and it looks amazing. A western cult vampire flick? I’m sold. Read about it here.
  • I had never heard of the Kansas experiment, it’s insane a theoretical economic idea can be inflicted on an entire state. Oh, and everyone should subscribe to The Nib’s newsletter because it’s amazing. Read more here.
  • Alice Kyteler was the first person accused of witchcraft in Ireland, her Wikipedia is amazing and I’m amazed a film hasn’t been shot about her yet. Read about her witchy ways here.
  • The New York Times ran an article with the 25 Best Films of the 21st Century – it was controversial to say the list, some films I liked, some I didn’t, most I’ve never heard of and some real, real surprising additions. Judge here.

Friday List #13

  • Read Jay Duplass’ article about having a on-screen romance with a transwoman, the first non-fetishised romance of its kind on Transparent. Read here.
  • Even though Labour made great headway today, the Tories still control a lot of our lives so buy this to remind yourself what we should be doing. Fuck the Tories. 
  • If I could buy everything in the School for Life I would but I really like these confidence cards. Buy here.
  • Even though it was an advertising campaign I’d love to drive the Romantic Road through Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg at some point. Discover here.
  • The most remote and isolated island in the UK is Foula, with only around 30 inhabitants. With a strong sense of Norse tradition they still celebrate the old Julian Calendar with Yule (Christmas) on January 6th and Newerday (New Years Eve) on the 13th. Read here.

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