All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Common People

Day 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend

Common People | Pulp

archie_common_people_1

I’m not one for nightclubs, parties or rave like shenanigans. When I dance, I dance; tango, waltz, salsa, pasodoble…you know, proper dancing. But now and again, when the mood takes me, I have been known to boogy on down to contemporary tunes.

One such occasion occurred in Glasgow with my friend Samantha. After a morning of chilling out and minor adventures, we decided to hit up a pub and ended up drunkenly performing to the Pulp classic Common People. Although it was more a karaoke session than a dance session, we both shook our bootys in between breaking down in fits of laughter.

A rather wonderful memory, if truth be told.


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Saturday 9: Beer Barrel Polka

Saturday 9 is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Crazy Sam Winters (she added the crazy, not me!).

Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like.

Polka

1) Have you ever danced the polka?

I’ve danced the waltz, tango, salsa, paso doble.

I’ve break danced, swing danced, drunk danced and dad danced.

And nailed every single one of them in ways that Dancing with the Stars contestants never will!

But I’ve never danced the polka…however I’ve danced in a purple and white polka dot skirt, does that count?

2) Frankie Yankovic was a stellar accordion player. What instrument have you mastered, or would like to learn?

I am the Master of Good King Wenceslas on the recorder, courtesy of my recorder group in Primary School.

Many of my fellow male classmates gave me a lot of grief for being the only boy in the recorder group…never once taking into consideration that this meant everyone else in the recorder group were gorgeous, cute, deliciously attractive girls. Which, at a time when my eyes were opening to the wonders of the opposite sex, was rather awesome ;)

3) When Frankie died in 1998, his obituary proclaimed him as “America’s Polka King.” Lucille Ball was “The Queen of Comedy” and Michael Jackson was “The King of Pop.” What royal title do you deserve?

I don’t believe I deserve a title. Even if I did, it’s not something I could give myself…so I’ll throw it open for suggestions :)

4) Do you like light beer?

I don’t like beer, period. Horrible, disgusting stuff that tastes worse than yak’s piss! How anyone can enjoy drinking it is beyond me.

Give me a single malt any day of the week, much more satisfying.

5) In 1901, daredevil Annie Taylor successfully went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She was badly bruised but otherwise fine. How much money would it take for you do to do something that dangerous?

No money, all it would take for me to do something that dangerous is love.

6) When was the last time you visited a pet store?

Alice Springs, 2008. My girlfriend wanted to get a dog. Thankfully, given my fear of dogs, we didn’t end up getting one.

7) What’s your favorite salad dressing?

I particularly enjoy a citrus dressing. But if this isn’t available, I’m a classic ‘balsamic vinegar’ guy.

8)  Sam Winters is crazy about her smart phone. She uses it to take pictures, record videos, listen to tunes, answer emails and surf the net and, oh yeah, she even uses it to make calls. How indispensable is your mobile phone in your day-to-day life?

I rarely use my mobile phone.

Unlike the rest of society, as regular readers of my blog know, I live in poverty…and when you live in poverty you’re not allowed access to things like smart phones (or televisions, decent computers, iPod’s, tablet computers or internet access). I think this has something to do with society being terrified of giving people who live in poverty a voice.

But I adamantly believe that these people deserve the biggest voice of all!

So, other than the occasional phone call to remind me of appointments or chat to my family, I rarely use my phone.

9) “Kocham cię” is “I love you” in Polish. Can you say “I love you” in a language other than English (and Polish)?

Scottish Gaelic: Tha gaol agam ort

French: Je t’aime

German: Ich liebe dich

Spanish: Te quiero

Icelandic: Ég elska þig

Italian: Ti amo

Inuktitut: Nagligivaget

"Eskimo Kiss" - Interior illustration for Santa Goes Green

Eskimo Kiss by Elisa Chavarri


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Eleven (Slightly Odd) Ways to Reduce Stress

In honor of the fact that it’s Lifeline’s Stress Down Day, I present to you eleven (slightly odd) ways in which you can reduce the stress in your life.


1. Watch an episode of Glee (or if you have the time, enjoy a Glee marathon)
As I perused my Facebook profile recently I noticed someone made the following comment in regards to this show “Everything about it just makes me happy,” and they are absolutely right. Rigorous scientific study has shown that if you do not feel happy whilst watching this show then you officially need to throw on a tin suit and skip off to see the wizard.

If you doubt this perfectly valid way to combat stress, I dare you to watch the clip below and not feel your troubles just slide away like hot butter from a knife:

2. Just pick up a pen and start writing…
To be honest it doesn’t matter what you write with nor does it matter what words you do, all that matters is that you write whatever you feel like writing – even if that’s repeating the word “wibble” across an entire sheet of A4.

Sure, the “wibble” approach wouldn’t work quite as well as jotting down your feelings so that you can gain some perspective on what’s bothering you, but it’s such a brilliant and random word I don’t think anyone could say it aloud without cracking a grin.

Repeat after me:

Wibble,

See?

3. Learn how to say “no”…
One of the shortest words in the human language and worth only a couple of points if played outside of special squares on scrabble. Yet it’s one few people ever use. Day in, day out, people agree to take on more things rather than admit that they just don’t have time to do them.

We’re not superheroes, so sometimes we need to casually turn things down if taking them on means overloading our minds to the point of collapse.

4. Dance! Even if you end up looking like Matt Smith in The Big Bang

This tip taps into the innate love of dancing that all human’s share. Whether you’re doing the slightly uncomfortable daddy-two-step-shuffle or pulling off an intricate routine of ‘Single Ladies’, the mere act of dancing releases all forms of stress and frustration. It is in fact akin to getting totally inebriated.

So, if you have a tendency toward being embarrassed, pop off to the toilet cubicle and have a bit of a bogle to Aswad where no-one can see you.

If on the other hand you’re one of these really annoying extroverted souls, gather together a flash mob and whip out your best routine in the middle of your local shopping centre.

Alternatively, if you have no idea how to dance at all, here are some you could try:

5. Pretend you’re the Doctor…
This may not work for everyone, it will really only work if you’re a fan of the greatest television series of all time (so if you’re not, what the hell are you thinking?)…but it might be worth a shot if none of the other tips work.

It’s simple, if you’re feeling stressed, just re-enact your favourite Doctor scenes and pretend you’re saving the universe from total extinction.

Just be sure not to be doing this in public otherwise you:

(a) Run the risk of people believing that there is an actual Dalek invasion under way, which will cause all manner of stress to these people.
or
(b) Run the risk of creating more stress for yourself as people watch on in scared confusion at the lunatic in front of them.

Note: you could replace “the Doctor” in the title of this tip with characters you may love and admire, for example: ‘Pretend you’re Jane Lynch’ or ‘Pretend you’re Han Solo’ or even ‘Pretend you’re one of the Aliens from Toy Story’. But why on earth would you want to do any of those when you could just pretend you’re the Doctor?

6. Talk to Someone…
So obvious that it’s barely worth mentioning, but quite often it’s the obvious which people overlook, so I will. There is nothing better for combating stress than sitting down for a nice hot chocolate and a spanish donut with a friend.

Granted the hot chocolate and spanish donut are optional, but they will help with the whole ‘combating stress’ part of the equation. No-one can eat a spanish donut without feeling blissfully good afterwards.


7. There’s always the obvious – sex…

With this one, you and your honey strip naked and then…you know what, I’m not even going to explain this for it could get icky. Rigorous scientific studies have shown that sex helps with every stressful thought you could possibly be feeling – as long it’s consensual! If it’s not, don’t ever talk to me.

8. The ‘No, not yet, please not yet…fine, you %$*&)#@!I’ll scream into a pillow while you fall into a blissful satisfied sleep’ Method...
A tried and true approach practised by girlfriends and wives the world over. It’s simple (and less likely to result in bruised/dismembered body parts):

  • Pick up a pillow.
  • Press it firmly against your mouth.
  • Scream as loud as you can.

Note: Be careful not to scream for too long otherwise there may be unintended suffocation, which wouldn’t be good. Nope, nope, nope.

9. Crack out a bath bomb and have a soak…
Good for girls and boys. If you’re feeling stressed there’s nothing like a nice hot bath to ease your troubles and woes away. Fill the tub, whip off those clothes and throw yourself into a bombed hot bath. There’s nothing like sitting there as the effervescence fizzes away filling the soothing water with a beautiful aroma. It also  feels funny when close to your skin, so that’ll help with giggles, but I won’t go there.

Once the bomb has fully evaporated just lie back, maybe nibble on the strawberries dipped in chocolate your boyfriend is feeding you (if he’s not, he should be) and feel the tension drift away.

10. Have a massage…
This tip works wonders if used immediately after suggestion 8, so once you’re done in the bath get your boy/girlfriend to give you an all over massage and then lie in blissful contentment for the rest of the night.

11. Embrace your inner child in a field of fallen leaves…
This one is brilliant and guaranteed to work every time. If you’re feeling a bit stressed head to your nearest park where you’re definitely going to have a sea of fallen crunchy leaves to jump/run/fall/crush/play with and then have at it! Forget all your adulty woes and troubles and reconnect with your inner child, go mental with those wonderful crisp leaves just ripe for the crushing.

Note: This tip will really only work in Autumn.

Note: Please, for the love of all things small and spiny, watch out for hedgehogs! They love hibernating in big piles of crunchy leaves just as much as you enjoy jumping/running/falling/crushing/playing with them. A flattened hedgehog will only result in a great deal more stress, a flattened mammal and a lot of hedgehoggy goo on your once awesome pair of shoes.

Further Information:

‘Lifeline: Stress Down Day’ Official Website

‘Lifeline’ Official Website

Lifeline Australia Telephone Number:
13 11 14

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