Define ???

I’m constantly Googling. I’m constantly searching for an answer to a random question or thought. I’ll shamelessly search for love, career, medical, friendship, cooking and practical advice. My search history paints such an accurate portrait of my weakness and inabilities that I have no other choice, but to continually ‘clear search history’. Luckily for me, Google doesn’t judge – well at least not to my face.

I’ve began to treat Google like some omnipotent source of knowledge. It doesn’t matter if the question is significantly important or completely pointless, if I’m unsure I’ll Google it. And if Google doesn’t contain the answers, then all hope is loss. Or I’ll keep rephrasing my question until I can find my desired answer.

Except, for some reason, Google doesn’t have a simple answer for ‘what do you do when you have to make a tough decision (and you really hate making decisions)?? The decision is time sensitive so you’ve got to act quickly but you better make sure you make the RIGHT decision and how do I seem like I know what I’m doing ?????’.

Google can define love, but it can’t make you feel it. Google has fifteen thousands suggestions on how to give a confident speech in front of a group of people, but it’ll never actually do the speech for you. Google will tell you that cooking an omelette is a rather simple task, but somehow cannot explain how you always seem to fuck it up.

Annoyingly Google doesn’t actually have all the answers. And no one else will be able to give you the answer. No matter how much you beg and please, or continually refresh the page. Google might give you a possible answers, but it’ll never truly enlighten you.

You must seek for the answer inside of you. (Lame, I know)

Now please enjoy a few of my past Google searches

Ms Lopez

Ms Lopez wore her lavender glasses on a chain around her neck. She spoke softly, like a librarian should. It seemed impossible she could ever raise her voice above a whisper. Ms Lopez moved with purpose. Every movement felt considered and thoughtful. Ms Lopez was actually Andrea Marie Lopez, but she preferred to be called ‘Lo’ by the patrons at the library. It’s less formal she’d tell them with a small smile. 

It was wonderful to watch Ms Lopez interact with each person who walked through the broken automatic doors of the library. She always used the same polite, yet firm tone. 

“Only six library books can be borrowed at once. And you must be a member to borrow. No address or email needed. Just a name and a promise to respect the books”, Ms Lopez would inform a person on arrival. 

All the local teenagers and kids loved Ms Lopez. She always had a stash of muesli bars to give them when they came in. The kids often wore the same clothes, which were always dirty. They knew the library was a safe space. It was a space in which one could make their own. She could tell they were starving. The school lunches were never sufficient. They never asked so she would always offer either a chocolate chip or cherry and coconut bar – which one? 

“Thank you Lo” they would mumble as they scoffed the muesli bar down. 

Ms Lopez liked to show the kids all the different types of books in the library and how each section was organised. The kids would then grab one or two books of their choosing and read them quietly in a corner. They would be swallowed into the world of the story. It was a welcome escape for them. 

Three cups of Earl Grey and a chicken mayonnaise sandwich was all Ms Lopez needed to sustain her. After the library closed for the day, she would walk the fourteen blocks to her home. It was simple but bursting with character – must like Ms Lopez herself. A cup of French Earl Grey and the latest Lynda La Plante novel awaited her. 

It was the small things, Ms Lopez thought as she sipped from her favourite porcelain mug. It’s the small things that make life bearable. 

This short story was loosely inspired by an episode of This American Life. The episode can be found here:

My recent love affair with Goodreads

I have recently found myself infatuated with social networking site Goodreads. I think of it as a Facebook for intellectuals, but in actual fact it’s just another platform to brag on. And that’s exactly why I love it. An any opportunity to show off how cultured you are is one worth taking. On Goodreads I can update my page count and provide thoughts on the current book I’m devouring. Something no one gives a rat’s behind about on Instagram, and my God, if you are still using it Facebook. Which is exactly what makes Goodreads so delicious. It is solely about the books. Better not be posting about your holiday Greece or new engagement. Goodreads is simply too cultured for that, too smart. You better live up to it’s good name otherwise you’ll be outed as a fraud. So I make sure to keep up appearances and lay low as the common book nerd does.

“Not too sure about this Helvetica” I’ll post hilariously to my two friends/followers (still working out the difference between the two). No one replies of course. Occasionally I’ll receive a juicy like when I add something worthy to my ‘to-read list’, but that is once in an aquamarine moon.

Goodreads does nothing if not humble me. I’m so aware that there are hundreds of thousands of books that I should have read, but haven’t. And probably never will get round to. There are people (readers? GRS? Book bros?) who are absolutely tearing through a diverse range of books quicker than you can say Ulysses. They are then leaving the most thoughtful and eloquent reviews for each individual title, which are probably more poetic and philosophical than the last book you actually read. And I feel honoured to be among them. I will continue to pretend like I know who Jeanette Winterson is and Google that character from To Kill a Mockingbird*, because God damn it! I finally feel a part of something special.

So, take a peep at my reviews and prepared to be mildly amused (I hope). Cheeky secret, I have reviewed two books I ‘technically’ haven’t read.I had to write reviews for work so thought I’d take a stab at reviewing something at a first glance – I’m crazy like that. Please try and guess which ones…Oh and follow me on Goodreads!!!! (@india_alessandra)

P.S this was not sponsored (obviously), but @Goodreads happy to chat if you are interested X

*Yes, I am part of the 1% who did NOT read or study To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. To think my parents paid all that money to send me to a private school, and yet I remain an uncultured swine.

Spice it up

We dance in a literal cage at this club. Is it empowering? We aren’t too sure. But it’s fun and people look at us. We are always wanting people to look at us.

Older men dressed in semi expensive suits move in packs. They circle us like sharks, hungry for our youth and our innocence. But we aren’t here for hook ups. Only free drinks and attention. Luckily we are served both.

Delete that photo. I fucking hate it. Wait, don’t put your phone away. We’ve gotta keep projecting that image, the one of perfection. The club photographer takes a snap. Oh god. How will it look tomorrow? In two days? Why do I care so much? Wait, why isn’t anyone looking at me?

Swing your hips in time to the music. Face twisted in what you hope is an attractive pouty expression. This is your moment to show off those moves you practiced in the mirror. This is your moment to prove you are attractive, to prove that you are truly fuckable.

Those four tequila sunrises are beginning to catch up with you now. You watch as other girls dance in the cage. Early thirties wearing tight leather pants with an unmistakable stench of desperation. They need this and we don’t, you think coldly. Something about them actually trying to sleep with the men in this club makes your skin crawl. They are a cautionary tale of what you could become.

But never mind all that. Slam another tequila shot and continue indulging in this patriarchal bullshit. Free drinks and male attention will suffice for tonight. Tomorrow you will nurse your hangover, and perhaps try to remember your Feminist values