Learn Something New in 2019

Hey pals,

 

One of my favourite things to do it to learn. I’ve had a very difficult and confusing relationship with learning. I’m dyslexic (as I talked about in this post) and struggled with the typical school system, but thanks to my genuine love of learning all kinds of things I left school with 15 and a half GCSE’s all grade C and above. I didn’t even really do any revision, coz things I’m being tested on I have to learn through being taught, not being self taught.

 

I have self taught many skills just for the love of the thing. Drawing and painting was my first passion, morphing into creative writing where I was mostly self taught until college A-Levels. I taught myself editing, and ways to make those videos better through quality and through my performance. Self taught blogging, I guess. And when I was studying German, I taught myself all kinds of phrases no one else was learning in class.

 

Oh yeah, the point… I plan on learning more this year. I won 3 months of Skillshare at Christmas because of a writing submission I wrote for Kindly. I’ve been looking through all the classes I could watch and even started to take some of them. I collected a whole bunch of classes for learning German because I haven’t used it in 7 years and can barely remember any useful phrases.

 

If you have a useful skill or specific knowledge, you can also become a teacher on the site! I assume you get some kind of payment for it. Definitely something you should look into.

 

I have tonnes of classes I’m excited to check out, particularly the photography and cinematography ones, so I can improve my current content and expand my CV even further. You can take as many classes as you like!

 

If any of this interests any of you guys out there reading this, use my link to try out 2 months free, and with everyone who permanently signs up I get a free month. I’m not promoting this because I’ve been asked (obviously lol) and I’m not promoting to desperately earn some pennies. I’m promoting it because I want to share a platform that makes learning more accessible and doesn’t involve being tested (the worst part for everyone). It could be a way to get into a hobby or finally go do something you want to do.

 

For example, I love Germany and would love to go back and explore more places but my conversational German is pretty poor, so by brushing up on what I learned years ago I could eventually go and do this!

 

There are also tonnes of business ventures or aspects of running a business that is discussed in numerous classes so this could be helpful even if you’re already currently running a business. You can refresh your brain or give yourself new ideas.

 

There’s no pressure for any of you to stick with this site after your 2 months, it’s just something I think is cool and would benefit everyone. And I needed an outlet for my feelings!

 

See you next time!

 

~ Artie

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Alex Strangelove Review

Alex Strangelove is a slightly different take on the sexual-realisation of a teenage boy than we’ve seen before. Sure, we’ve seen white gay men all over the place, and we’ve seen stories of men realising they’re gay whilst they are dating a woman, but this version is a lot more soft and fluffy. Filled with an extortionate amount of cringe, like most coming of age films are, it feels pretty mainstream.

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I have to say that my passion for best friend / sidekick characters is also true with this film. Alex Truelove has a great cast of people around him, helping distract from his very white average beige character creation.

We have Claire, the girlfriend, who is pretty liberal, cute and witty. They’re actually a cute couple which makes your gut ache to watch the plot progress but is refreshingly true to many life stories. They’re best friends and she turns out to be pretty cool about all the shit that went down.

We have Dell, the boy best friend, a self proclaimed ladies man (aren’t they all?) short, scruffy, cute, and the main punch line in some of the more gross jokes. But the most important part is how wholesome and loving he is when Alex comes out. More boy-on-boy BFF love please!! Even though he seems to be on the publicly acceptable homophobe spectrum to begin with, he has no real judgment when it comes to Alex’s sexuality.

And finally, Elliot, the boy. Not your usual love interest, he walks the line of masc and femme, very clearly influenced by 80s pop culture, and has a bit of a sad backstory like most gays in media. He finds Alex’s bizarre behaviour charming, if not surprising, and kind of pities him in a ‘awh bless’ sort of sense. He helps Alex figure some things out through honest and sincere conversation which is a nice change of pace.

This film also acknowledges other terms within LGBT+, such as poly and pan, and Alex even briefly thinks he’s bisexual. These are mostly terms used in passing but this is part of normalizing stigmatised cultures and I appreciate the effort made. When Alex approaches the subject of being bisexual to Dell, there’s a nice moment, which explains sexual attraction really nicely. Dell whips out his junk in an attempt to prove Alex doesn’t like men if he’s not interested in Dell’s genitals, but instead Alex says, “I’m not interested in your junk, YOUR junk!” And I, a well known bisexual, liked this moment considering I’ve had varying degrees of this conversation since I was 14.

This also has a focus on safe sex where everyone is always checking the other person has a condom even in one-night hook ups, something else I can get on board with in this film!

One section I didn’t like (but I think I didn’t like it because of how realistic it was…) is after Alex and Elliot’s first kiss. Alex switched from the mild-mannered, awkward and sweet nerd into a crying piss baby. He starts saying it’s all Elliot’s fault it happened even though HE was the one who made a move NOT Elliot and declares that because Elliot wanted to kiss Alex it’s his fault. All very ‘urhhh I’m STR8’!

 

My one true downfall of this film was just that there wasn’t enough action between Alex and Elliot. I loved what was shown so much that I wanted more of it, it felt very cut short when I wanted more electricity filled silences and phrases with double meanings. I don’t think there was truly enough tension.

 

This is an easy to watch, silly teen rom-com that will fill you with warm fuzzies. So, if that’s your thing, you’ll love it. I do also think more people can appreciate this film for the smaller details you only catch when you watch it multiple times, and with each view you’ll like each character more.

 

You can watch it on Netflix.

 

 

~ Artie

 

A Warm Welcome to 2019

 

Hey pals,

 

Welcome one and all to another new year. I always feel a kind of freedom and excitement about the new year, all the possibilities and chances to improve myself and my life. I’m going to be quite transparent in this post and discuss some of my goals that I wouldn’t normally speak about to anyone. I’ve spent many years having rigid goals, normally about my weight or love life, until I started focusing on just being happier. I wouldn’t call myself ‘happy’, I’d call myself ‘okay’ which is much better than I used to be. Most of my life I was depressed, numb, hollow and would rather not be alive. I hated my body, I hated myself and I hated everyone in my life and only looked to the day I would finally end my life or the day I would escape this place and start again.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t exactly LIKE my body but we are more at peace with each other than we’ve ever been. Due to my physical health rapidly rolling downhill, I have bigger problems than not being skinny. My focus has shifted to trying to be healthier and have a better relationship with my body. I’ve quit smoking, I exercise regularly, I’ve been weight training to gain some strength back and I actually admire parts of my body on occasion. The muscles in my thighs are a current admiration I have. I’ve had to relearn how to care for my body so many times that we are friends now, and we get on no matter how bad things are. So this year I’m not aiming to lose that same 30-40lbs I’ve hated for 6 years, I’m going to build up my strength, work on lean muscle, and hopefully have some visible muscle to show for it. The real aim for this year is just feeling better in my body and understanding what’s going on. If that’s all I achieve, then that’s okay.

 

I have no resolutions revolving around love. I’m learning not to care about that aspect of my life. I’m learning how to be by myself, take care of myself, and do things I want to do without worrying about someone else or spending so much of my time and energy taking care of someone else. I want to go back to therapy or attend a local mental health group occasionally to keep connected and top up on information. I want to spend more time with people I care about in my life, my family and friends I have right now but don’t see or spend enough quality time with. I want to live in some true connections.

 

Over the years I have lived, I’ve let my mental health and physical health stop me from going out and doing things. This year I want to go to more places I’ve never been, even places in the UK or near home I’ve just never been to. I’m going to LA for a week in January, I’m looking at West End shows I’ve not seen and want to go to, musicians, comedians, etc. It has been a long time never doing these things because of the effort and the money. I make a little bit of money with my job so I feel like I can and am allowed to go out and do these things. A lot of my friends now live at home again and I’d like to see them and see where they live, two birds one stone. I want to experience more in 2019.

 

And now onto the boring bits that I really, really don’t ever talk about: career related goals. I want to create a one off online zine this year with other people’s submissions, I want to finally start writing that damn book, and I want to finish a poetry collection.

I also have social media follower goals for 2019 (a snore fest I know, but I feel like I should put this in too)

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This blog

Currently: 11 followers

By the end of 2019: 100 followers minimum

My facebook page

Currently: 61 likes

By the end of 2019: 100 likes minimum

Twitter

Currently: 259 followers (but this constantly goes up and down by 10)

By the end of 2019: 300-500 followers

Instagram

Currently: 726 followers (also goes up and down by 20 constantly)

By the end of 2019: 1,000 followers

YouTube

Currently: 120 subscribers

By the end of 2019: 200-500 subscribers (I find this one really hard to gain subscribers on compared to everything else so I’ve kept it reasonably low)

 

I have no reason for writing this but to share my personal journey and goals with my followers and friends, but also to be able to look back on in a year and see what I did and what I didn’t do and figure out why.

 

I hope everyone has had a good holiday and is starting their new year the way they want to.

 

~ Artie

Merry Christmas, See You In The New Year…

Hey pals,

 

We have just over a week until the New Year and less than a week until Christmas. Like most years, I don’t feel very Christmassy and have no New Years Eve plans. I’ve also struggled with buying or making people presents this time around.

I love the act of celebrating and giving gifts that are thoughtful and useful to people you love, but it doesn’t ever really feel like that anymore. It feels like if I don’t have the money or time to get people presents, I’ve failed as a human because it’s constantly sold to us as a necessity. Even my Gran has started saying she doesn’t want anything for Christmas or to buy anything because she’s so tired of the pressure.

I hate getting a useless present for the sake of giving someone a present. I don’t hold a standing to the more you spend the better it is. I buy a lot of presents for people in charity shops, or even gift them something I already have if I think it’s something they would enjoy.

Christmas every year feels like Dudley’s birthday.

“How many are there?”

“36, I counted them myself.”

“36? But last year, last year I had 37!”

“A lot of them are quite a bit bigger than last year-“

“I don’t care how big they are!”

It all feels like consumption and who can out-do who, and what will get me likes on instagram…

I think that spending time with the people you care about is worth so much more than anything you could physically give. I would much rather someone spend the time and money to see me, or go and do something with me, than send me a half-arsed present as an after thought.

 

I love what the promise New Year brings, and I really miss the parties I had when I was a teenager, I’d like to see what I can pull out last minute. The end of the year really snuck up on me, honestly. I have a lot of personal goals and plans for 2019, I may share them with you in more detail in the New Year. But one of them is to go out and do more things, see more places, alone or with friends.

 

I’m tired of looking at the same old scenery day after day. I want to see something new.

 

This is my last post of 2018. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but I’ve grown a lot and found my focus. I’ve realised what is important to me and what I want to spend my time on.

 

Merry Christmas and see you all in the New Year

 

~ Artie

Chronically Cute Cards

Hey pals,

 

A while ago I came across #chr0nicallycutecards. This is a project run by a woman named Ruby who hand-makes cards for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities in an attempt to provide some positivity in the world. Ruby is a university student who has EDS.

 

I have a disability that gives me chronic pain and other unwelcome symptoms. Seeing this project got me very excited, so I placed a request for a card. You can request for yourself or someone you know to help boost morale. It can be really isolating and difficult living in pain and this project is made to help reverse this.

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People with chronic illnesses or disabilities are often not talked about, listened to, or believed. They often don’t feature in traditional media at all, especially invisible illnesses. We experience a lot of being brushed to one side with or without visible signs of our illnesses or disability.

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I’d forgotten about ordering my card until it arrived one day in early November. Ruby wrote a really nice little message inside the card that would change someone’s day to be less shitty. I immediately posted about it on instagram and still have it up on display in my bedroom.

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I’m writing about this to direct some attention towards her. (all links at the end of this post) She has had many requests since an article was written about her and published in the Metro paper, but this isn’t a cheap hobby. This is something that can help make disabled and chronically ill people feel loved and cared about. We need more of this positivity within the disabled community, so this project needs some financial support!

 

Please donate whatever you can to this wonderful endeavour here.

 

The world needs more positive energy in the world.

 

~ Artie

 

 

 

https://www.chronicallycutecards.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chr0nicallycute

Supporting Small Creators and Why it’s so Important

Hey pals,

 

This week’s post is a bit of a PSA and a request for creators to not see each other as competition all the time, but also for non-creators to support their favourites. It is particularly important to help raise voices of marginalised creators to normalise us and start celebrating us equally.

 

This is a general ‘trying to cover all the bases’ post. A lot of artists and creators have their portfolios of work online and sell items to help fund their creative endeavours, and when you are a smaller creator with a minimal following, supporting yourself can be greatly difficult. I will be addressing as many points as I can across most types of creative and explaining how fellow creators or followers of the work can help bring more people to the art.

 

Creators is a pretty general term but I feel like it’s a pretty good one considering all the different types of artists we have now on the internet. Traditional artists, comic artists/writers, clothes designers, filmmakers, YouTubers, musicians, photographers, script writers, fanfic writers, novelists, short story writers, poets, performers, actors, comedians, tattoo artists, dancers, it really does go on. Every category has a sub-category and so on.

 

The world we are brought up in, particularly for millennials, makes you feel like everyone is out for themselves and lifting other people up means losing your clients or customers… If you’ve not succeeded by 25 you’re a loser and will always be a loser. The best thing for small creators to do is to shout out their fellow small creators and acknowledge what they are doing, send some of your following their way. Most of the time this will be reciprocated and if it isn’t you haven’t lost anything in the process. There are other ways of helping your fellow small creators and that is usually offering your time and skills to assist them with a project. It is also okay to ask for payment for your time, or for a favour in return. Really it feely like we are all stuck out on different rocks until we get to a certain ‘popularity level’, it would be nice to make it feel more like a community than an aggressive LIKE4LIKE SUB4SUB spam-fest it tends to be when you’re starting out or trying to boost your following.

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Now onto the people who don’t make content but enjoy consuming it.

If you have FRIENDS who create content and you know work really hard to make quality stuff on the reg, give them a boost! They’re your friend and friends should be doing what they can to boost your status. Even if their content isn’t your thing, do what you can, there is so much on the list below you could do that wouldn’t disrupt your day at all. It’d be great if you could SHARE what your friends are creating once in a while…

This is my all-encompassing list of things anyone can do to support creators!

(if I miss anything, my bad, leave it in the comments!)

 

Writers:

  • write a review (you can do this on any social media, or more specified websites like goodreads or amazon if you purchased the book there)
  • go to the library and request they purchase the books
  • vote for the book on goodreads lists
  • recommend the book (to any one in any way, even lend the book to someone)
  • talking about them or their books on social media is always good promo, also while you do this putting in some links is helpful. Maybe a link to merch, the book itself or other ways the writer can earn some money.
  • Vote for them to be nominated for awards, or vote when they are nominated for awards. Being able to say you won an award as a writer makes people take you a little more seriously.
  • If you’re at a university, see if you could pay the writer for a guest lecture from your course or society funds
  • For fanfic writers, leave kudos! Or comments. Share the link around.
  • These things go similarly for graphic novels btw.

 

Music Creators:

  • Anyone with music on a streaming platform (apple music, spotify… etc.? even YT actually) play their music on repeat whilst you sleep, put it on mute if that’s better for you, and their music will get 8ish hours of play/watch time every night (this would also work for filmmakers and YouTubers)
  • Requesting the songs on radio. I’m not sure how you go about doing this but I know you can still do it, it gets the music out to a more mainstream audience and I think the radio play means something cool? Sorry, I don’t know I’m not a music person…
  • Buy their merch and make sure it’s from the official musician’s seller so they actually get paid.
  • Buy their music. Seems pretty straight forward but, I think it needs to be on here.
  • Some musicians are able to do small jobs like creating jingles etc. so if you need a jingle or short song for some reason, ask.

 

YouTubers

  • Similar to the music one. You can literally click a button to play all videos on a channel, or lots of YouTubers have playlists so you could select to play one of those. Stick it on mute or have it on whilst you do something else. Views are important.
  • Along with views, likes and comments are also important. So wherever you can, give videos a like or leave a simple comment. Doesn’t take up much time.
  • YouTuber success is highly based on interaction. So do as much of that as you can! And please subscribe even if you’re not a big YouTube watcher!

 

Artists

  • Commission work from them. If you like their style but really want to see them do a specific thing, you could probably commission the piece for a price. It’s a cool way of getting a unique poster for your room or presents for friends.
  • Artists often have shops open with their creations available for purchase so go shopping for things they have already made. This could be anything from drawings to graphic novels or even things like tote bags.
  • When you receive your items you’ve purchased, it’s really cool if you take photos and share them on social media. People want to see what has been made before and what other buyers think of the product!

 

Photographers

  • These guys should be pretty good at giving you a headshot if you work in an industry where you need one. So hiring them to do some work for you in general would help if they’re local. Find out what they’re best at, have a chat with them…
  • Buy prints of their work. Again, obvious, but needs to be here.

 

General Performers (writers, musicians, comedians, dancers, etc.)

  • If you work for some kind of event planning job role, do what you can to book performers! There are so many different types of performers, you could find a singing juggler if you wanted, but not many events make the effort to hire performers or a mixture of different types. Universities are a great example of an institution that has the space and time (and sometimes money??) to have events like this!
  • If you can’t hire them, how about starting a regular open mic type event where local creators can come perform to build their portfolio. Plus if you’re a really small creator, it’s a good way to meet other local creators and iron out the wrinkles. It’s beneficial to many people even if it isn’t a paid opportunity.

 

 

Lots of creators now have Patreons. It’s different for everyone but if you pledge a certain amount a month to a creator, you get to see content no one else gets to see! For example YouTuber bloopers, Musicians’ behind the scenes of music videos, Writers’ old works, or just being able to communicate with the creator in a way you wouldn’t normally!

 

This is my list compiled of as many things I can think of! If there are other things I have missed, please let me know in the comments and I might update this post at a later date for everyone to use as reference.

 

I hope this has helped some people to see this differently or find new ways to support small creators! See you next week.

 

~ Artie

I Accidentally Quit Smoking

Hey pals,

 

Soooooooooooo… first I want to apologise for not posting last week. I have been dealing with shitty health again (woo chronic illness) and my work has made me real fucking tired and need more down time. I have a lot of stuff going on that sometimes it’s just not possible to create. I will be trying my best to post weekly and consistently on my YouTube channel so if you’d like to see more from me, please go in that direction and watch some of my videos and subscribe!!

(youtube.com/c/artiecarden)

 

But onto the real topic of this post! I quit smoking. This is not a usual quitting smoking story because I kinda accidentally quit.

 

TRIGGER WARNING: I talk about the link smoking has to my mental health and disordered eating. If you are sensitive to these topics please be careful if you decide to read further. This post is not meant to give tips or ideas to anyone, it is to be open and honest and show others in my situation they are not alone.

 

I’ve been smoking on and off (but mostly on) since I was 14. My boyfriend at the time smoked, my friends smoked, their families smoked… so I just smoked too. I have consciously tried to quit many, many times before. I’ll even be smoking free for months, but I’ll start up again.

 

My relationship with smoking is not really an addiction. I don’t really crave cigarettes and I can go for weeks without smoking… then why was it so difficult to quit before?

 

So I have (3) parts to my smoking habit:

 

1) Mental health and stress: I smoked when I had anxiety, when I was under a lot of stress and pressure, or when I was intensely angry. I smoked roll-ups 99% of the time, I like the ritual of rolling a cigarette. It gave my body and mind something to focus on when I was being overwhelmed with emotion. Plus, the deep breathing and holding your breath for a second before you blow the smoke out is a breathing exercise that people teach to help calm you down. I’ve always been aware of that being a factor.

 

2) Socialising: drinking makes me want to smoke more, being around people makes me want to smoke more, being in a situation where I don’t know many people makes me want to smoke more… going out for a cigarette is an easy way to bail from and overwhelming environment. I deal with sensory overload issues and leaving the building and doing the ritual above helped. Or if I’m somewhere I don’t know many people, I can make some friends in the smoking area. Or if I’m flirting with someone and want to have some one-on-one time to talk in a quieter environment, I’d invite them out with me even if they didn’t smoke. It’s a crutch. Plus, having lots of friends who smoked was a good way to catch up with a smaller group or to have a bitch about someone…

 

3) Disordered eating: a big part of why I started smoking in the first place was seeing on those gross pro-ana forums of 2009 that smoking cuts your food cravings. I was very sick mentally and did a lot of awful shit to myself physically to lose weight and smoking was one of them. Why would I eat a sandwich at lunch when I could smoke 5 cigarettes? Why would I eat snacks at the party when I could smoke until my lungs were on fire?

 

So, how did I ‘accidentally’ quit?

 

I’d come to terms with feeling like I was never going to quit because my issue was not addiction and groups would not help. A lot of shit happened in August and I ended up moving back home with my family. My mum knows (and entirely disapproves) of my smoking, but my other family members do not. The lay out of my family home makes it impossible to pop out for a cheeky fag without being caught or having to walk into the woods in the dark. The weather started getting shittier and I didn’t want to make that effort.

 

To begin with, I still smoked when I went out. I’d gotten back into contact with some old friends in the area and none of them smoke! My long-term friend had quit (and so had his wife) since they had their son last year. Another friend I had in college has never smoked and my main friend from uni doesn’t smoke. So, that’s reason number 2 completely out of it.

 

The last time I smoked was 21st September, the first time I’d been to a gay bar in Brighton. It was my mum’s friend’s leaving do and I went out by myself for a cigarette and I just really didn’t enjoy it and actually felt more awkward than if I’d stayed inside. Then I’d just kinda not gone out much. I went to see these non-smoker friends and felt weird at the thought of going for a cigarette… they never made me feel weird and would have been completely fine with be going out for one but… I didn’t want to.

 

I spent a lot of time by myself, doing things I wanted to do creatively, really threw myself into improving my life. I may not have wanted to be where I am, but I’m here now and I feel like there was a reason and I should make the most of it. I just kept myself really busy and decided to start leaving my cigarettes at home instead of taking them out with me if I went into town to get some things done… then I just didn’t think about it anymore.

 

I worked on my sleep and I worked on a lot of my issues. I’ve been told that when you leave one therapy you should have a break before you start up another one and that’s what I did. I found a therapist I’m interested in seeing again for issues I’ve yet to tackle, but I spent time with myself. I learned to be okay on my own and not needing people or cigarettes to feel better. There’s my first point taken down now too…

 

And point number three? I’ve been consciously dealing with disordered eating as long as I’ve been smoking. For 10 years I’ve been working on being okay with not weighing myself or being more okay with what the scale does say. I found an exercise class that really challenges my muscles and cardiovascular abilities, and I had the support of my mum going with me every week too. Then I looked into weight lifting and ‘skinny-fat’ and started to slowly working a consistent amount of exercise working with a weight… I feel healthier in my body and the connection between the two is much better than when I was 16. I’m enjoying seeing muscle tone developing and being able to do more reps than when I started. Point three, done.

 

I spent a long time not wanting to label it as ‘quitting’. I felt too much pressure around this, but I started talking to my friends about how I haven’t smoked since September 21st and they all gave me encouragement. Not aggressive condemning of smoking, but celebrating quitting and no longer smoking. They gave me the courage to really dedicate to it and start calling it quitting. Anyone I go and see I tell them I’m quitting. Especially if I’m going to be drinking, I’m a bit wild and unpredictable when I drink and could easily drop £30 to buy roll-ups.

 

And that’s how it happened.

 

Besides having an extra £20-£30 in my wallet every week, I can breathe better and without the I’ve-smoked-too-much pain, and I can see the yellow stain on my fingers disappearing. Hopefully this will also mean I can stay on my combined pill for longer, not make my possible asthma worse, and I wont smell God awful. My car in college stank of damp and cigarettes, It was awful and I can imagine I actually smelled like that for most of my 10 years.

 

I’m not preaching or telling you to quit. Do what you want, it’s up to you.

 

I’m just sharing my story of accidentally quitting smoking. I’ve not smoked in just over 2 months, let’s make it to three and beyond.

 

~ Artie