Monday, 31 October 2016

Why Being Unemployed Sucks

Welcome to the land of Unemployment. Population: No idea because the government like to fix the unemployment figures to make it look like their austerity measures are working.

I won't go into the specifics but I quit my job earlier this year and found another job a few months later. But then the application was delayed due to problems in getting a reference so I've spent most of this year without a job. And for anyone who hasn't had to experience long-term unemployment while desperately wanting to work, it sucks. So much.

So this is basically everything that sucks about unemployment because so many people think it's a party of rainbows and sunshine.

The first is that you have no money. Obviously. Because when I left my job, I had enough money to last me around 4-6 months and I got a job within that timeframe but hadn't factored in that I wouldn't start straight away. And then for the last couple of months I've had very little spending money. I've had to scrimp every penny and have had to let my Mum do some of my shopping because I can't afford to do all of my shopping myself. And being 24, that's really embarrassing.

I may have all this time to do arts and crafts or go mountain climbing but I've got no money to do it. So I've been sitting around all day, just doing nothing.

The second is that people expect you to be free. Sometimes, I babysit so I've been asked to babysit so much during my unemployment that I've considered never having children. It starts out with people asking if you can get something from the shops from them or watch their kids for half an hour. And you find yourself spending all day waiting by the phone for someone to call you and ask you for a favour.

The third is that you start to forget what day it is. When you work, you keep your eye on your rota at all times. You know what days you're working. So when you wake up, you know if it's Monday or Wednesday. But when you're unemployed, you wake up every day thinking it's a Saturday because you know you're not going to be doing anything significant.

The fourth is that you can't treat yourself. This is mostly tied to the first point of not having any money but the worst part about not having money is that your laptop is on its last leg and you know a time is coming where you need to splash the cash for another one and your mobile is broken and needs replacing but you can't replace this because again, you have no money. Some people think that these are luxuries that you can live without when you're unemployed but they've become necessities in this life. You need a computer to be able to send job applications and emails. And you need that phone because without it, people will think you're dead or something.

The fifth is that it really hits you're self-esteem. Go and tell someone you're unemployed and you can almost see the judgement in their eyes. It's crushing and you don't have the money to make yourself feel better. I know they say that money doesn't make you happy but I'd rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy.

The sixth is that you have little or no savings. I used to pride myself on having savings that most people my age don't have but during my days of no work, I've pretty much lost most of my savings. It's nice to have a little security in case the economy decides to do a 2008.

The final point is that you revert to be a university student. Since I've done my medical school entrance exams and have sent my application to medical schools, I've gone back to being a university student. I've been going to sleep when I feel like it and I wake up whenever the neighbour's dog gets loud. I sit around the house in my pyjamas and eat ice cream out of the tub. At my age, this is not a good look.

But now that I have a job (the salary isn't much and it's hard work but at least it's something and it'll help me get more experience to get into medical school so it's all good and honestly I'm looking forward to it) I'm starting to recover from this experience. And this time, I'm going to keep a strict budget to ensure my savings recover.

Also, I've been waking up before the sun sets too which is nice because relying on my sun lamp to trick myself into thinking it was daytime was getting a bit tiring.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Walking Dead Problem

If you love TWD and the premiere, then beware because we're not going to agree with anything here.

Okay, so I just finished watching the premiere of the 7th Season and this is basically everything that has led me to conclude that I will no longer be watching this show.

I started watching during the 2nd season when they were back in Hershel's farmhouse. Back then, the show was about survival and was still pretty much in the childhood years so I forgave the repeating storylines.

You know:
The group seek safety.
They find safety.
Introduce the big bad wolf
Build up the tension between the big bad wolf and the group.
And they clash.
Rinse and repeat.

But now it's the 7th season and it's still following this formula. I don't read the comics so I don't really know where it's going so I rely on the episodes to tell me.

I know what the story this season is but I can't tell you much else about what's ahead. Because we have very little indication of what the arc is. Every good story has one.

Twilight: Girl falls in love with vampire but oh noes, she's a human and might be his next meal.
Harry Potter: A boy with anger and separation issues will defeat an evil dark wizard.
The Hunger Games: A very average girl takes down the big bad Capitol.

But TWD doesn't. A group of humans seek to survive in a zombie infested world isn't really much of a plot. Because we don't know if they will survive. They might all die. We have no indication that the story will come to a conclusion.

It reminds me of that book that gets really popular and then the author and the publisher decide to make it into a series to milk the cow as much as they can but since it was meant to be a standalone or they didn't intend on going this far, the storyline is all over the place and no one knows how to control it.

I may be wrong. There may be this big conclusion coming. But we're 7 seasons in and I don't feel it.

Is there a military safe zone? Did the Canadians survive and decide to let America rough it out for a bit and televise it for entertainment Hunger Games style? Is Mexico building a wall and making the USA (or what's left of it) pay for it? Is there a cure for zombies?

This is what I want to know. We still don't know what caused this. And it bugs me. Was it a virus? Did scientists go too far? I want to know facts about this world. I want worldbuilding god dammit. Because that's what you do with a story. You have a world. TWD dead is basically just torture + zombies + Bear Grylls drinking his own piss.

This isn't a story. TWD doesn't have a story. It has a formula. The story relies on the violence and the deaths. Too much has happened and not enough is being resolved. Deaths of main characters is not resolution btw.

I've just sat through an entire episode of torture porn.

I feel no satisfaction from TWD. A few seconds after Glenn's death, I felt indifference and skipped parts of the episode just to get to the end. And with a series I have watched like this, I've never done that, until now.

I waited all this time (I know it's not 13 years in Azkaban but it sure felt like that) for an episode that was really just filler for an entire season of a recycled formula.

I know there are people out there who say, this show is about people dying because there's no law and the world's collapsed. But look at it like this: The Simpson family is a big part of the Simpsons but if that family started dying off, would it be the same?

I don't watch violent stuff just for the fun or thrill of it. I lack psychopathic tendencies. So that's my problem. If there's a show that has violent parts then fine but when the violence becomes takes over the role of the plot, I'm done.

So basically:
- the violence is just there for shock factor and considering the horrors in Syria, I can't bring myself to see this as entertainment.
- the lack of storyline. no development. no over-reaching arc that defines the series. just nothing.
- no conclusion in sight (i don't watch tv shows forever
- main characters dying. one or two is okay but this is reaching Grey's Anatomy levels of irritating.
- we're not going anywhere. will they ever find refuge? will this zombie outbreak end? and why are the nuclear power stations not going into meltdowns? will anyone try to save the world?

I just noticed I let go of capital letters there.
And this is the end of my rant.