Catching Feelings Is A No.

I am another month into sobriety and the past month has been difficult and lonely and scary. Let me preface this post by saying that this will probably be the last you’ll hear about my new life of sobriety because we all know that this isn’t why you started reading about my foibles in the first place. In fact, most of what you like to hear (judging by site traffic) revolves around tales about how much I hate clutter and/or women’s magazines, how I prefer to do housework on drugs, good tips for sneaking alcohol into events, Karen’s $20 and other fun lowbrow stuff like that. So after this post I will definitely try to keep it more lowbrow or at the very least, not too serious.


Remember the simpler times, when my blog was about fun stuff like terrible Backstreet Boys tribute tattoos?

But, today, I’m feeling pretty rubbish. And since I can’t drink about it, I’m going to have to write about it. I could just write this in a private document on my computer, but writing about it here actually forces me to organise my thoughts and examine them, rather than just freeballing all over a Notepad document (because y’all KNOW I’m too gangsta to pay for MS Office). I’m sure at some point in the future, I’ll be embarrassed by this post and subsequently take it down. But for now, I’m feeling raw and shit, so that’s what you will receive. If you can’t deal with that, then stop reading right now and go check out one of my lighter posts instead!

Usually, when people engage in behaviours that they can’t moderate, it’s because they are literally forcing down their emotions – I’ve always known this theoretically, and yet I never actually applied that same logic to my own drinking habits. Why? Because I didn’t see myself as having a problem (until recently). As an aside, where do you even draw that line? Drinking thrice a week? Drinking every night if it’s more than a couple? I honestly don’t know and I think that that line gets drawn at different places for everybody. The main point here is that it’s almost impossible to know why you are doing something destructive unless you can accept that what you are doing is actually destructive. Which is why I never thought about why I drank, I just did it, because it worked for me.


Boy howdy!

So imagine how jarring it was for me when after quitting drinking, I started feeling out of control emotionally. What was going on? I thought that I was supposed to be making things better by not drinking, and now everything was worse. I found myself crying my eyes out over not being able to understand geological maps – I absolutely couldn’t handle the fact that for the first time in my life, I was unable to understand something academically. The air was vacuumed out of me in a split-second as I began panicking that I had overestimated my intellectual capacity, and realised that there is actually a high chance that I might no longer be smart enough to study science. Like a runaway ferris wheel, my thoughts escalated very quickly into catastrophic situations and I realised that I was not going to be able to drink my way out of this one. So I went home and cried myself to sleep, because what the fuck else can you do.


Previous me would have gotten drunk and learned how to do it while drunk, while having an awesome time. Current me waahs into her pillow like a full-blown loser.

A couple of weeks later, I was looking at pictures of my Perth friends and fell into full-body-wracking sobs at how lonely I felt without this special group of rad, unique souls that totally understood me and loved me for who I am. I wasn’t able to comprehend how I had just upped and left an entire life behind without really feeling anything (apart from the last two days because I was exhausted from a bender). But I had adopted a “she’ll be right” attitude and just bounced off on a plane, leaving the people I love so dearly without any real accompanying emotion.

It seems strange to me that I was able to make so many swift decisions from a place of emotional barrenness. But that’s pretty much what I have been doing for the last year or two – emotional withdrawal had become my default setting, and alcohol was the software package that I was running. Often, sobriety feels like an obnoxious, relentless Windows 10 upgrade offer – why the fuck would I want this annoying new thing to have to adjust to, when the old operating system suited me so much better?
Wait, I can’t use Windows 10 as an analogy here because that would imply that like sobriety, Windows 10 will eventually be something that I have a positive relationship with. Not happening Windows 10, you irritating jerk.



So now, without being able to drink away any feeling that pesters me with it’s existence, I now have to feel these feelings….. and they are HUGE feelings. Feelings about death and grief, self-esteem, relationship breakdown, loneliness, self-confidence, the intense need to accomplish stuff. All of which are interrelated on some level, I’m sure – but none of which are useful or helpful. I’m not going to start drinking again, logic tells me that this is no longer an option. But I am feeling really exhausted and raw and ready to crawl into a hole and hide. I’m sure this will all pass and get better and I hope it does soon.


Panic! At The Black Parade.

Ugh. Next post won’t be so shitty I promise.

Love, Chelle xoxox


It Really Is That Black And White: An Open Letter To All People Who Need To Change Shit Up.

I have had so many friends confide in me about how shitty their abusive partners make them feel on a regular basis so I figured that since I was spouting the same advice every single time, I may as well write a blog post about it. Much like the old adage, “he’s just not that into you”, what I have to say is very blunt and aims to rebut all the bullshit excuses you give yourself to justify sticking with the scumbag that treats you like his emotional or physical punching bag. For the sake of minimising pronouns, I’m going to write like I am talking to a female in a hetero relationship but this advice knows no gender, and is equally applicable whether you are a woman, dude, agendered, transgendered, bigendered, omnigendered, pangendered or otherkin (apologies if I have missed anybody out, gender description is not my specialty).

So. If you are with a person who treats you like dirt, calls you names, physically hurts you or makes you feel worthless, chances are that you and he have argued over this and he has apologised and lured you back in, time and time again. Firstly, and most importantly, HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU AND HE IS NOT ACTUALLY SORRY THAT HE HURT YOU. If you are genuinely sorry for something, you apologise sincerely and then you NEVER DO THAT THING AGAIN – because you can actually acknowledge why what you did was fucked up. This guy is probably the world’s best apologiser, and he sucks you back in every time. Why? Because he is genuinely concerned that he will lose you – but not because he loves you. He is freaking out because treating you like shit is one way that he can feel superior and take out his own shitty issues, and he is scared of not having that nice, safe, convenient, easily controllable outlet.

It’s SO important to grasp this fully: HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU. If there is any glimmer of love in there, it’s not a healthy, caring love – so again, you should get the hell away from that. If somebody actually loves you and cares about you they will make the effort to be kind to you and not pound you into the dirt repeatedly.
There are no exceptions to this.
Anything else is not love, it is insecurity and baggage and deep personal issues disguised as love. Actual love feels good. Love is not crying half the time and having the same conversation with your friends over and over and over for the billionth time because he did it again.

The reason that you stick around is because you have low self esteem. And believe me, HE KNOWS THIS. He NEEDS this to be the case. Because if you had a higher sense of self esteem, you would have been gone long ago. What you have to feel (and concentrate on getting professional help for if need be) is that YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT. EVERYBODY DESERVES BETTER THAN THAT. And if you stick around, guess what – he will NEVER magically change. For change to occur, there needs to be a catalyst – and you subtly reinforcing and validating his behaviour every time you go back there, is NEVER going to make him change. I know it sucks being single if you are one of those people that crave emotional tenderness and shit. I know personally how much it sucks having low self esteem. But the only way you will ever be able to build self-esteem is by NOT BEING WITH SOMEONE WHO KEEPS YOU DOWNTRODDEN. If you truly think that being made to feel like a piece of shit is a better option than being single, then you need to get counselling immediately. Because that’s the most heartbreaking shit I have ever heard.
On a side note, why are people so scared of not being in a relationship? Ask yourself this question and think about it very critically. There are other ways you can probably get your various needs met that don’t involve you being abused.
Just know this; if you stay with this dude, you will never feel good about yourself and you will never lead a happy life. It’s as black and white as that – there’s no point trying to dress it up.

If he is a repeat offender, you are fooling yourself if you think that you can help him change or that he will change out of love for you. HE WON’T. And if he truly loves you (which he doesn’t), he should be able to be apart from you for a very long time to fix his myriad of fucked-up issues, and then demonstrate that change by treating you with nothing but the utmost respect and care. But again, you’d be stupid to expect that to happen – and life is far too short to take a gamble with such ridiculously long odds.
Life is so short, dude. How fucked off will Future You be with Past You if you have to look back on your life and acknowledge how much of it you wasted being with someone that treated you so badly? What if it were your friend in this situation? Would you think that it was all G?

Look; I know it’s not as simple as “just leave him”. I’m not telling you that it is. I’m just trying to get you to look at this with a shred of critical thinking, because that could be the spark you need to set up some therapy, or do something else which will set off a chain reaction of events that will finally get you to wake up and fuck this guy off for good.

I’m too bummed about this subject to write a well-flowing piece so I will just sum it up in a few bulletpoints – forgive me for not sugarcoating anything. I care about my friends too much to be gentle when what they really need is a huge shake.


Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxox



The Best Movies Ever If Your Brain Is The Same As Mine

The other day I watched a movie that really got me excited for films again and I realised that I’ve never actually compiled a list of some of my favourite films – which for someone who loves lists, is kind of odd. So, I figured I may as well put it on here for people to read and hopefully some of you will perhaps sample parts of this list. Also I guess that if I meet some new friend who asks about my taste in movies, I can lazily point them in the direction of this post (and if you are here because of that, then might I warn you that I’m definitely not as cool as you seem to think I am). I will do my best to give enough pertinent information about these films without giving away much plot, because much like sex without a condom, films are far more satisfying without too much premise. So sheath up buckeroo, and take a hearty dive into my top 15 film recommendations, which are in no particular order. I should add that I am going to refrain from including my favourite comfort movies which include (but are not limited to) things like The Mummy, Con Air, Almost Famous, National Treasure, Lara Croft and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, because although entertaining and easy go-tos, they don’t really get me truly excited about the world of film like the ones below.

Donnie Darko
This film is just fantastic. It is a sparkling orgy of all of my favourite things – exploring the fabric of spacetime, inter-dimensional abilities, excellent humour, top-notch acting, time period nostalgia, a beautiful soundtrack and visual spectacularity. It’s one of those films that you definitely need to watch more than once, as you aren’t likely to fully comprehend some of the deeper plotlines the first time around (or the second, or the third). I drunkenly posted a video on Youtube once, ranting for ca. 13 minutes about what the actual fuck is going on in Donnie Darko, and there are countless other videos along the same lines.


Oh, you thought I was kidding? Nope. Here’s me just casually nerding out about my fave film, complete with chalkboard of notes.

Across The Universe
Perhaps I’m biased because I like 20th century history, LSD and The Beatles, but this movie really stood out for me as an achingly gorgeous love story offset by a politically restless yet totally vibrant, psychedelic era. The singing is off chops – Joe Cocker absolutely nails the shit out of Come Together, which is sandwiched between other stellar vocal cameos from the likes of Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek and Bono. It’s a very bright and colourful film with a soundtrack featuring nothing but Beatles songs in various styles. It’s a yes from me Simon.


SUCH good art direction.

Chasing Mavericks
I’ve always loved surfing films and this one is based on the true story of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer from Santa Cruz who was the unknown local who made the cover of Surfer magazine in the 90s when he wiped out on Mavericks during a massive swell. This film is a testament to hard work and dedication to your goals and is motivating as heck.


The inspiring story of how Jay arrived at the point of this shot, at just 16 years of age.

The Man From Earth
This film is literally a bunch of academics sitting around a fire talking after one of them reveals himself to be a Cro-Magnon man who has survived ever since his day. It’s kind of a philosophical thought experiment and is really fascinating. Low budget as all heck but has a pretty dedicated intellectual sci-fi fanbase.


Trippy story.

The Prestige
This one is a very clever Christopher Nolan effort, so you know it’s going to try to mess with you good and proper. The film is a story of intense tragic rivalry between two magicians (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) and it dissects the nuances of stage magic along the way. It’s not until after you watch it that you realise that the film is actually a magic illusion in and of itself. Are you watching closely?


Bonus: the late David Bowie features as the late Nikola Tesla…. two absolute legends.

NB: In fact anything by Christopher Nolan is insanely boss – Interstellar and Inception are also two firm favourites of mine. Watch those too if you know what’s good for you.

JK Simmons, oh my god. That man can be SO chilling when he wants to be, and in Whiplash he is a megalomaniac music conservatory instructor who abuses the shit out of a promising young pupil. It’s really intense, yet the ending is so incredibly triumphant that I found myself inadvertently holding my breath during the final scene. SO GOOD.



The Blues Brothers
Man, I really like a lot of music-themed films. The Blues Brothers is hilarious and vividly pretty and the music is nothing short of simply joyful. I have a huge crush on Dan Aykroyd in this one.


Also, Ray’s shirt.

Jurassic Park
The theme of scientific advancement vs social ethics will be a winning combination every single time. Add in some skilled Michael Crichton plot, some INCREDIBLE Steven Spielberg effects, some dinosaurs, Jeff Goldblum, and you have yourself a classic. If you haven’t seen Jurassic Park then what the fuck is wrong with you, get out of my blog and go watch it. Run don’t walk.


Because life finds a way.

Interview With The Vampire
This was that one time that I quite liked Tom Cruise – his character Lestat is really rather funny. This is a pretty well-made film that gives a glimpse into the human aspects of traditional monsters, showing the ever-present duality of nature among all creatures. The acting is excellent and the pacing is perfect.


So this is what happens inside the church of Scientology.

Disney’s Fantasia (1940)
I watched this a couple of years ago and couldn’t for the life of me reconcile with the fact that it was made in 1940. It is such an unbelievably rad achievement for it’s time! There is no dialogue whatsoever, just music and animation, so it’s a real audio visual treat to get lost in.


“I don’t need drugs to enjoy this … just to enhance it!”

American Beauty
I love this movie for many of the same reasons that I love Donnie Darko, and one day after watching them both on LSD, I realised how eerily similar they actually are, and subsequently found a guy who was able to communicate what I was far too high to at the time. Also, Kevin Spacey is probably one of the sexiest people of all time, which is so weird because he always looks a bit like a tired accountant on his day off. Maybe it’s the way he speaks, I dunno. But his inherent quiet sexiness only adds to American Beauty and I think Mena Suvari’s character missed out by not getting all up in that for real.


I rule.

Based on the book by our lord and saviour Carl Sagan, this film is about the reaches of radio astronomy, presenting some interesting ideas about how shit might go down if we received communication from out there. Jodie Foster is a radio astronomer working for SETI (aka bae) who receives and manages to decipher communication from extraterrestials. Her scientific nature is frustratingly cockblocked at many turns by Matthew McConaughey, a religious philosopher. But fuck that guy, because Jodie Foster is going to get amongst some otherwordly interaction! This one is directed by Robert Zemeckis, so you know it’s good.



Back To The Future
Speaking of Zemeckis, This one has been my best friend since it came out – which is the year in which I was born (I am going to just assume that my parents watched it with me as a baby in the room because it has been a part of my life ever since I can remember). It’s a playful time travel classic, with fun, bright visual design and a corking good soundtrack (thanks to Alan Silvestri and Huey Lewis) – and the attention to detail in what on the surface seems to be a pretty one-dimensional film, is actually very lovely.


All the best artistry of the 80s in one film.

Ex Machina
I only just saw this one a couple of days ago and it’s what prompted me to write this post, and to try seeking out more like it. Ex Machina is a recent indie sci-fi film about artificial intelligence, involving a multi-faceted Turing test that is ongoing throughout the whole film. I started to subvert the Turing test back onto the other characters in my mind and for some time I started wondering whether the characters presented as human were actually human or not. I started to suspect that I was unknowingly participating in the test, and I am still thinking about Turing’s test parameters and the real-world applications in a future where “computers will overtake humans with artificial intelligence at some point within the next 100 years”, according to Stephen Hawking. A true mindfuck, plus the dialogue is actually believable, which you don’t come across all that often.


It’s pretty dope.

Band of Brothers
Not actually so much a movie as a 10 part HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers is one of my all-time favourite pieces of narrative ever. The portrayal of the men of Easy Company throughout their WWII campaign is just incredible, and really captures the grim horror of war in juxtaposition with the good-humoured nature of these adolescent men who were a long way from home. I must have watched this at least fifty times and will probably watch it many more. A phenomonal production effort from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg with outstanding acting and visually stunning shots.


Just chilling in Hitler’s Eagles Nest drinking his wine, as you do.

So that’s it – 15 of my favourite movies. Feel free to suggest any to me that you think i’d like, based on the above list!

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxo


Firstly, this has probably been the longest I have ever actually stuck to any habit that is supposedly good for me, so I guess I should feel some kind of smug pride at that – but oddly enough, I don’t.
Here’s what has happened in the last month: Nothing.
Like, literally fucking nothing. I have become a boring shell of my former fun self and have ceased almost all social contact, preferring to take extra shifts at work, tidy my room, go for walks, make future home decor vision boards (yes really, kill me please), revisit my seven year plan, and study for a paper that I’m not even taking until summer school next year. I have had zero sex. Fuck my life.
My brother had his gang around to watch the rugby the other weekend and I ended up watching it with them all – it was a giant fun-fest of drinking and happiness and I couldn’t be more internally pissed off that I couldn’t partake of the ale. It was an excruciating 80 minutes of inner struggle and hatred as I watched them all get progressively drunker and more excitable. I clammed up and kept my eyes fixed upon the screen, awkwardly only speaking when specifically asked a question, probably leading people to think I had acquired some sort of PTSD and had come home to be put out to pasture, rather than being here to study. Someone very kindly passed 1 x marijuana my way at some point, which mercifully got me through the second half.
I haven’t given up drugs, by the way. They are just far more expensive and crappy here so I assumed they weren’t going to be anywhere near as much of a problem for me as alcohol. I also vowed not to buy any more weed, in future only allowing myself a social hoot of whatever is proffered at any given time.
I feel like such a martyr.
On the health front, I had a constant headache for almost two weeks, combined with some hot flushes and shakes, but I’m told that will happen when you’re giving your favourite things up cold turkey. After that shit cleared off though, I felt … well … not much different, to be honest. My body had gotten pretty used to functioning hungover so I had kind of stopped getting perceivable hangovers altogether sometime in the mid 00s. My skin seems a little clearer, and I lost around 10kg this past month – which is good, because I am a fat bumbling idiot and I’d like to be just a bumbling idiot without the fat. I hope that continues and I also hope that I develop some sort of transfer addiction to exercise or something else that will make me thin (unlikely though, because fuck you genetics and Murphy’s Law).

My mind has been a whole bunch of dildoes. Being sober means that my mind is now racing constantly with all of the lame things that I usually managed to obliterate with drinking, so I’m forcibly reminded constantly of all the little things I can’t stand about myself and how I am still messed up over stupid stuff that happened ages ago, and how anxious I am about going back to uni this semester as an old-as-fuck 31 year old who may or may not be able to keep up with her peers intellectually, especially because I have to re-learn three years of forgotten high school maths in a couple of months just to be able to pass a maths paper…. and other such worrying thoughts. My concentration/focus and attention span are both highly impaired (or were possibly never that good to begin with, although I don’t remember all the way back that far). But such is life and literally everyone has a whole lot of crap to deal with at all times so I’m no worse off than anybody else, to be fair.

If it weren’t for the weight loss, I’d be solely unimpressed with this whole bullshit sobriety thing. I’m bored and I’m boring and I definitely wouldn’t want to be my friend right now. Thankfully the majority of my mates are all in the North Island and Australia, because it’d be pretty boring for them to have to hang out with me in this state. I really hate it when people adopt some sort of new regime and wax lyrical about how it changed them and how they are much better people now, so I’m not going to lie to you guys. Sobriety sucks and it should only ever be done as a last resort when you have a giant drinking problem. Don’t ever do this shit by choice or because you think it will make you some sort of better, cleaner, person. Just don’t. Drink literally everything you can get your hands on and pillage your lithe little livers – and then have another one for me. I wish I was you.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxo

Drunk Me Is The Poor Man’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Today I decided that I was going to give up drinking – for real (this is not a drill).

Anyone who knows me, the eternal party girl, will be aware that this is going to be a pretty massive change of pace for me. Although I’ve tried to cut down a few times in the past, placing certain limitations on myself (“never at home alone/only once a week/only classy booze that doesn’t come in a cardboard box”), I’ve failed spectacularly every time. Why? Because I have zero willpower and poor self-negotiation skills – so I have to do it cold turkey, or it’s just not going to happen at all. Drinking is a really difficult thing for me to give up, considering I am a product of Dunedin and thus grew up with a comfortable acclimatisation to the binge-drinking normality of teen and student life here. And as a party-loving adult who is child-free, I have never really had a good enough reason to be responsible or stop drinking – not to mention it’s fun as fuck, and I don’t have a problem!

Do I?


Well, yeah actually – I totally do. Over the last couple of years I have been drinking by myself at home all the time because “why not?” – and frankly, “why not?” isn’t a good enough reason to drink (or do many things, for that matter). I started with the notion that I could get some decent artwork done after a few drinks, which always resulted in me being completely hammered, whilst my easel sat in the corner collecting dust. Alcohol lends me no productivity or creative motivation whatsoever, and it’s immature and futile to keep pretending it does. I can’t even fool myself into thinking that alcohol is a way to unwind or relax at the end of a stressful or busy day, because I am hands-down the least stressed and/or busy person that I know.

rancho relaxo

You might remember me from such movies as “Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die” and “Gladys The Groovy Mule.”

My sister and I recently started using the MyFitnessPal app, and it’s opened my eyes to exactly how much of my energy consumption is solely alcohol, or junk food consumed due to drinking. On days that I don’t drink, I struggle to even eat two thirds of my daily energy needs. On days that I drink, however, the alcohol puts me over by almost double, and on days after drinking I eat nothing but junk – no wonder my weight shot up when I started flatting and drinking beer by the crate! Drinking also saps all motivation or energy to do other things, so many past endeavours have ended up on the backburner while I continued to prioritise getting fucked up. These days however, I have lofty concrete goals that I want to achieve, and being drunk all the time is not going to make those things happen – especially considering they are of the academic and fitness variety. Simply put; I can no longer coast through life being drunk all the time when the expectations I am placing on myself are far more complex than “shower, get dressed and get to your easy job selling dildos”.


(…. as satisfying as that was).

Thankfully I’ve always been a fairly happy drunk, so my alcohol consumption hasn’t resulted in any estrangement of friends or family, but I’m sure that it hasn’t done me any favours, either – I routinely arrive at family events already pissed, and I’m pretty sure nobody expects much better from me after so many years of being like this. I’ve also come to the realisation that I lack self confidence so badly, that in order to go on dates with dudes, I have to be almost legless before I even meet up with them (let alone doing anything else with them). How is that any way to be a human? The lame truth is that I have way more stuff to deal with before I can really be with anybody, and continuing to drink is not going to solve those issues for me. I guess the major thing that worries me is that without alcohol, I’ll have to actually be my sober self all the time, which may result in withdrawing from social situations due to a fear that people won’t like me, and (sob) never getting laid again.


Much like the wearer of this ensemble, who is almost definitely an “up the bum no babies, love” type operator.

As I started writing this blog post, I did a shout-out on Facebook asking others who have ever given up drinking to give me their insights on why and how they did it, and suddenly all sorts of cray bitches came out of the woodwork – people I didn’t even know were sober! Sobriety (something that I had always assumed was reserved for only the cripplingly religious and the painstakingly boring) as it turns out, has become increasingly common in my peer group. Many of these people had decided to give up for health reasons, to improve fitness, or to just undo many years of increased alcohol tolerance. Due to the binge-drinking culture of the 90s-00s, we were all coming of age at a time where a bottle of Kristov vodka split between two fourteen year old girls was as commonplace as an expired condom in a boy racer’s wallet.
A number of mates have quit drinking for reasons similar to me – they realised that they were unable to stop at one drink, or hid behind being drunk, and decided that this probably meant they had a problem. Some had given up after seeing the adverse effects drinking was having on loved ones (ie turning them into total cunts), while others were trying to increase fertility/had gotten pregnant. But mainly, most of us just got sick of being the poor man’s version of ourselves, much like when Dante’s Peak just casually decided to cast Jeremy Foley in the Joseph Gordon-Levitt role, thinking we wouldn’t notice.
But we did notice.



Joseph Gordon-Levitt or not, I am overdue to sort my shit out – and what better place to do it than Dunedin, where the clubs are full of 17 year olds, the drugs are non-existent/awful quality sold at an astronomical mark-up, and the parties for 31 year olds are scarce? Henceforth, I can be found at the library, in my bedroom, or at the library, and in all cases, sober. If you see me, don’t offer me a drink. Cheers.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxxoxo