Wear Sunscreen

This is my favourite speech/article/whatever you want to call it. It’s by Mary Schmich. I have the song version on my iPod and it cheers me up whenever I’m feeling crappy. I thought I’d share it with you.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

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5 things you need to stop tweeting about:

Ah, Twitter. Full of interesting news, funny jokes and crazy facts,  all summed up in 140 characters or less. However, there are also those mindless idiots who feel it is necessary to share the most pointless shit that I really don’t care about. I’m not saying I’m totally innocent, but some people just don’t know where to draw the line. Here’s a list of 5 things that I really hate appearing on my home page:

  1. ‘Happy birthday (insert teenage celebrity name here)’: I do not care if it’s Taylor Swift’s 21st birthday or if Justin Bieber has just reached adulthood. I don’t want it on my list of trends replacing something more important. Also, don’t go on about how proud you are that they have reached that age – you’re 13 years old, not their mother.
  2. ‘I’m so miserable, when will I ever find a girlfriend, blablabla hate my life’: I don’t go on Twitter to look at an excessive amount of tweets from one person about how unhappy they are. If you are that miserable, go and do something about it, rather than mope about on your computer and bore everyone with your miserable life.
  3. Don’t retweet everything: Ok, if something is interesting enough then retweet it, but don’t retweet every single thing that you like! If I wanted to follow someone, I would. I don’t want their posts clogging up my homepage just because you think it’s great that they built a new cat-flap or something.
  4. ‘I’m going to give you some pointless information you don’t care about’: Don’t just tweet for the sake of it! You wouldn’t tell someone in real-life what colour your toenails are, so why would anyone care on Twitter?
  5. Those tweets that are obviously aimed at someone, but are purposely vague so you can’t tell who: They deliberately draw attention to yourself, whether you want it or not, because people will be wondering who your tweet is about. Personally, if someone had a problem with me I’d rather they told me themselves, rather than writing a sly, nameless tweet about me.

Just to balance it out, here are a few things I do enjoy seeing:

  1. Jokes: Especially good/rude ones. A bit of entertainment is always good.
  2. News: I like the news! Twitter is great because you can often find out important things going on in the world before they have gotten on telly. It’s also summed up nicely so you don’t get all of the boring bits.
  3. Pictures: It’s pretty cool to see pictures of amusing or interesting things going on all around the world. However, I don’t care about your new spice-rack.
  4. Dogs: Who doesn’t love dogs?! Dog pictures are great.

Follow me @KCsaid

Proud to be a Gooner

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It was so close.

Although it was pretty much inevitable that Arsenal were going to get knocked out of the Champions League, there was still a glimmer of hope after the strong comeback against Tottenham and the vital win over Liverpool in the Premier League.

A four goal defecit in the Champions League had never been overcome before, but it looked incredibly promising as Arsenal dominated for at least 80% of the game. At half-time they were leading 3-0 against a lethargic looking Milan and the light at the end of the tunnel was getting ever closer. Sat watching it in my bed, I really did have the belief that miracles could happen.

Unfortunately, the task was just too great.

Despite excellent performances from the whole squad (notably Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky and of course, Van Persie), that one more goal that would have taken the game to extra-time just didn’t happen. Did the unlikely blunder from Van Persie ruin Arsenal’s chances? I don’t know, but I’m not going to hold it against him after his fantastic run this season.

With the effort that the team made last night, even the most doubtful Arsenal fan must be proud. Arsenal have shown that not only today, but also in their recent Premier League games, that belief is a very influential thing. It was a difficult loss, but one that is impossible to be dissapointed with. Arsenal have now regained their pride, and now have to put all their focus into securing this fourth place spot in the Premier League. After last night, I have no doubt in my mind that it will happen – there’s even a strong chance of overtaking Spurs. Either way, it’s safe to say that through the highs and lows, I’m proud to be a Gooner.

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TOWIE: Love it, or hate it?

As soon as I heard about The Only Way Is Essex coming to ITV2, it was a definite no for me. “Why would I want to watch that, I just know the people on it will annoy me?” I said to my friends. They assured me it was good but I was sceptical. Four series in and the hype still hasn’t died down, so I thought I’d give it a try.

So far I’ve watched eight episodes, and I still can’t figure out whether I like it or not. It’s full of people who have awful plastic surgery, have far more money than sense, and who wouldn’t even know what a dictionary looked like if it hit them in the face. Basically, it’s full of people not like me.

The thing is, I shouldn’t care if Lauren’s breast implants are dodgy, or if Arg and Lydia have broken up for good, but I do! It’s so unlike me – these sorts of things could not bother me less. However, for some reason I just can’t seem to tear myself away. Maybe it’s because they are so unlike me, I feel like I am spying into a life totally different to my own. Like, I wish I could throw fantastic parties, or have amazing clothes, or have a boyfriend that buys me a £1000 pair of shoes. I’d love it! Unfortunately that isn’t my life.

But what gets me is the fact that it’s not actually reality TV. Well it is, but it isn’t. They call it ‘structured reality’, and I’m not sure what to believe. Did Lucy actually find those messages her boyfriend Mario was sending to other girls, or was it all set up? Was she genuinely upset, or was it all just a scam? I can’t seem to work out how much of it is real, and how much is fake. Am I being conned into believing a load of crap?

I’m almost disappointed in myself for liking it so much. I don’t learn anything from it, I can’t relate to the people in it, and it’s not even that entertaining. But for some reason, I just can’t resist getting my fake tan on and sitting in my dressing gown twice a week to watch it.

What are your views? Love it, or hate it?

Happy birthday Cosmo!

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I just got my newest issue of Cosmopolitan through in the post today, I’ve been waiting for it! It’s by far the best magazine for women out there, and the handy travel-sized version never leaves my handbag.

Cosmo celebrates its 40th birthday this year. 40 years of brilliant reading for ‘fun, fearless females’. Cosmo has never failed to bring us the latest fashions, beauty tips, sex facts and hard hitting stories on issues that are affecting women all over the world. 

Cosmopolitan lets you indulge in all those cringey stories that you hope never happen to you, and it gives you the answers to all those questions you never wanted to ask your mum. It keeps you up to date with the hottest new clothes, and informs you of all the latest beauty products that you want in your make-up bag. Not only that, but there’s loads on sex and never a shortage of gorgeous men to look at.

I wouldn’t call myself a feminist – I’m not all up for kicking and screaming about equal rights – but by reading Cosmo, it makes me feel like I’m part of a huge community. Not only in the magazine, but through the website too, a space is provided for women to talk about anything from the best new mascara to domestic violence. It provides a voice for women that you just can’t help but relate to yourself. Not only this, but Cosmo has campaigned on several pressing issues that women face, such as rape and domestic violence.

So thank you, Cosmopolitan for 40 years of enjoyable reading and strong support for women everywhere. I can’t remember the last time where I didn’t have an issue on my desk, and I can’t imagine a future without it.

‘Luck’ – Series Premiere Review

Luck brings television to a world that isn’t normally seen – the world of horseracing. With this unique idea combined with a cast that you would normally find in a blockbuster film, you would expect Luck to be worth watching.

The series starts with the main character, Chester ‘Ace’ Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), being released from prison. He is picked up by his driver and confidante, Gus (Dennis Farina). We discover that Gus has become the owner of a racehorse, in order to help Ace rain vengeance upon those who set him up for his three-year sentence. However, that’s all we know.

Immediately, you are dropped into the world of racing; a world involving trainers, owners, jockeys, gamblers and stable workers – the likes of which are rarely seen by the general public. You just have to sit there and absorb the information, there is little explanation. This is a risky approach by writer David Milch – even a horse racing fan like myself can get lost the racetrack jargon, and it is easy to see how viewers may lose interest.

Despite this, Luck manages to keep you interested. The drama explores the glamorous world of horse racing, but also what goes on behind the scenes: the addiction, the greed but also the love of the sport and the horses involved. All of this adds to the main concept of the show – revenge. The scenes are shot beautifully by filmmaker Michael Mann, it’s fantastic to watch.

Luck brings us into the scenes behind a sport which is not as popular as others, and some of the language is complex to say the least. It may require a great deal of patience, but the beauty of the scenes and the darker concepts behind the drama definitely have me hooked.