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The Gig Audit: Wheatus




As mentioned, last week I headed along to King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (who even came up with that name?) to see the beauty that is Wheatus live and get my vocal cords moving for 'listen to Iron Maiden baby with meeeeee'.

Obviously we should all know those lyrics (yes?) from an early noughties anthem but when I told most people I was going I found that not many people knew they had any other songs. Not even A Little Respect which had Britney Murphy in the video (I mean, I know Teenage Dirtbag had the American Pie cast in it but Ms Murphy should never go unnoticed). I admittedly hadn't paid enough attention to know they had a 2013 album release which was a slightly different sound (the lead singer is the only originally member left so figures) but it still went down well with me (Lemonade is a personal favourite).

They brought along three support acts (which I'll touch on later) which left Wheatus to play for an hour. The best part of their performance is that the first half hour they played what the audience shouted out for, which included a track for their first album I can't/couldn't even name and tracks from their new album. Then the last half hour they moved into their own playlist - which included their own rendition of What Make You Beautiful (in case YouTube hasn't informed you, One Direction covered Teenager Direction and the internet didn't like it) which was awesome and then covered Basket Case, which was even more awesome, since I haven't managed to see Green Day live, as of yet.  Then they closed with you guessed it, Teenage Dirtbag (with a rap in the middle!).

Whilst the support acts were playing, Wheatus themselves managed their merchandise table. Yes, themselves; doing some non-musician work. King Tuts is a small venue so not sure if this is the standard procedure (but let's be real, can we imagine One Direction managing their own merch table?). It took me a while to spot Brendan (he's a pretty short guy) and whilst I was too scared to go over alone and wouldn't have bought any merchandise anyway (despite my love of music I never really got into band t-shirts even as a MySpace kid) he was taking pictures with fans and signing autographs and having chats. And then he watched the supports acts within the general audience. Despite not speaking one on one, he came across a as genuinely down-to-earth dude (he did walk pretty close in front me, and I got starstruck).

He's also kind of sexy in real life, but probably more because of the guitar and musician thing...

And it shows how great the fan base is that it can't be a security problem for them to stand with the crowd (I genuinely thought "imagine what would happen if 1D manned their own table?").

Support acts

Whilst I was entering the building the first support act Ventura Project, were already playing and then we had some solo songs from the Wheatus's backing vocalists before we moved onto the main support act MC Lars. I had never heard of him but apparently half the audience had since he been in King Tuts before. Admittedly I thought he was a bit post-Backstreet Boys Nick Carter at first (just picture that for a bit) but despite not being a rap fan he won me over with his section where audience members held up personal objects and he added them into the rap (including shoes, condoms, hats, inhalers and phones). I wouldn't fall over myself to see him again because, as I said, I'm not a rap fan but he was definitely entertaining for one night whilst waiting to see a main act. 

Going to a gig solo

I found out about the gig with not that many days notice and the few people I did ask were either skint/busy or only knew the one song. So I gritted my teeth and went alone, something many people wouldn't do. Honestly, I'm good with own company and have a high boredom threshold (proud introvert and shiizzzzz) but this scared me as gigging is seen as a very social thing and a bit bizarre to do alone. But I decided I only have one life and missing a favourite band live because no one could accompany was illogical. So I did, and it was fine. Nobody walked up to me and laughed because this wasn't fucking high school where we laugh at the kid who sits alone. I just slid into a quiet corner which also had a few loners and some older couples who didn't quite want to head bang at the front. And everyone else probably thought I was with them. Plus, no one I knew showed up, which was grand. 

Lesson of today: if no one will go with you, go yourself. Stop being a wuss. 

Lots of Brendan B.Brown love
Morag
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The Linkables


 
Because the BBC aren't going to tell you, are they?

Are you living your eulogy or your resume?

I fan-girl squeed when I noticed that one of my all-time favorite bloggers NubbyTwiglet is now launching a full service design studio.

Always Autumn is a fantastic vegan blog I discovered this week. 

Why Apple fans like queing in lines.

Jack Osbourne has been diagnosed with MS and BBC News have a ran a FAQ on the condition (My aunt was diagnosed a few years ago so this is a cause close to my heart).

Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock can be cut by 30%, says FAO

Pepsi makes a big font fail (comes with a surprise trigger warning).

Door sixteen is my new favourite blog.

That weird thing we do, which we shouldn't (which I even made a new years resolution not to do) called looking at the Facebook of someone we don't like? Here is some psychology on it.

Rock my wedding is a brilliant UK based wedding blog with quirky ideas for the big day.

I've been meaning to add a posture post to my anit-diet series but Alle sums it all quite well anyway

Street harrassment in an ideal world.

How to tell the Olsen twins apart. (Because who doesn't need to know this?).

P.S. I could already tell them apart. As long as they were standing beside each other.

Toasted pecan and blueberry couscous salad.

Coffee and espresso drinks explained.

Five bread recipes for fall and how to write on bread (this blog is also heaven as a whole).

Hot cocoa ornamnet favours.

26 things Summer Roberts wore in the first OC that were so 2003 (2003? I can remember watching the first ever episode).

Morag
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Marks and Spencers anti-perspirant deodorant




When making the commitment to a cruelty-free lifestyle, one of the hardest products to re-direct your moolah to is that of a good sweat blocker. 

Thankfully the great British department store Marks & Spencers has come to the rescue. Along with Superdrug and The Body Shop (read my review here) this is the only brand I know definitely does a cruelty-free anti-perspirant. I was informed that Holland & Barrat also sell one but when I've had a look I could only find a deodrant, which as nice as they can be to cover the smell I'd quite like to not have sweat patches...

When I was in Markies picking up the vegan labelled food I headed up to the beauty department and was very surprised by their selection. I bought four ones to try out (as you might have guessed) but there were a few other scents available (there was cocoa butter, which I think is a weird smell for underarms to have). Because Marks & Spencers is regularly seen as middle-class havana I expected the products to be £10 each, but alas they were £2.00 each (aside from the coconut one, which was £1.50). 

Out of the four I bought, the one I have found myself reaching for the most has been the aloe vera roll-on. As much as I love the smell of coconut I'm not convinced it belongs on the underarms and the roll-ons just kept me somewhat drier than the sprays. And let's be honest, the Magnolia and Rose deodorants would make a good birthday gift if you're gran was looking to go cruelty-free. 

Obviously, make up your own mind about the scents (maybe you're not a weirdo like me who likes unscented products) but in terms of providing a blockage for sweat whilst still keeping your moral high-ground, then hands down Marks & Spencers all the damn way. 


Morag
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Career Advice: getting your first bit of work experience



You might have seen the above picture doing the rounds on social media. And whilst I can see the frustration for every graduate who has moaned about this there are also many graduates (and other job hunters) who have managed to break through this work experience circle and, well, got themselves some experience in order to get more experience.

So what did they do differently?

My motto for getting work experience is: start young and start small

My first paid job in marketing was a part-time job in my university careers centre looking after their Facebook and Twitter with some events assistance and design work thrown in. And whilst that gave me a brilliant head-start against other graduates going for marketing jobs I only got this job because I had already done 'shitty' paid jobs, and even took on some volunteering. 

My work experience almost went in this order: volunteering at a church kids club --- waitressing at a golf club --- joining the university dance team and acting briefly on the committee --- being a freshers helper and showing new students to their classrooms --- becoming part of Abertay RAG --- helping start the Abertay Business Society --- working as a social media assistant --- starting this blog --- Social Innovation 2011 --- starting the Cupcake Society --- being a class rep --- graduating --- full-time job in marketing --- Arbonne Consultant (whilst still doing my full-time marketing job).

There are certain professions where your own work experience can be self-started. As a business student who wanted to concentrate on marketing I was lucky that I could build up my own work experience that didn't have to start with someone employing me (starting a blog, being active in social media, starting a society). If you are a budding programmer, photographer, artist, sound producer, journalist, graphic designer, film addict, writer, hairdresser, sports coach, web designer or make-up artist it is easier than some professions to just do some work experience for yourself, or even a friend of the family. 

There are however some professions that are harder to get work experience in because someone has to let you. A budding nurse can't just practise on their friends and playing with a chemistry set isn't quite the same as getting an internship at Unilever. You may need to fight hard for internships, achieve the first class honours (and in the health and science fields academic grades mean a lot) and think outside the box. My flatmate is a speech therapist with children and whilst she couldn't fashion herself a speech therapist job she volunteered with children with special needs that weren't speech problems but were still special needs nonetheless (and she was the first person from her Speech and Language course to gain full-time employment).

But not all work expeirence is paid, and sometimes the most specific isn't. I never received a dime for running a society, helping run another, being a member of Rotaract Dundee or doing fundraising events for Abertay RAG. But I did gain some great work experience and CV material. As I mentioned above my flatmate gained some work experience looking after children, and if you want to work in the health, sports, care or education fields then volunteering in a care position is a great way to add something to your backlog. 

Science related degrees are possibly the hardest, as you can't fashion your own work experience and you can't exactly volunteer as a scientist. This is a degree where academic achievement is extremely important (would you feel comfortable in the hands of a dentist who got a third class honours?) and you'll need to hunt out extra internships, and if your course includes an internship as part of the curriculm, then work your cute behind off at it. But a really important piece of advice is get some extra sciency qualifications on the side (Bio Dundee sometimes have some going) that show you know how to behave safely in a lab or do a random college module during the summer that show you are an extra smart cookie (also attend networking events).

Then there is also the internships. I never had one but in many professions they are a gateway to full time employment. But I'll state that they are competitive, and the people who get them already have some kind of work experience (start small and start young, people). I was okay without an internship simply because I never wanted to work for the big corporate management firms (Ernst & Young etc) and wanted to slide into a small company, but if your dream is working for the big corporate firms then gaining a corporate internship should be a top priority.

Most student associations will have societies such as the Accounting Society, Forensic Scientist Society, Biomedical Science Society, Psychology Society etc. The simplest form of action you can take away from this blog post is joining your particular subject's society, and if one doesn't exist for your area of academia then be the person to create it (and from my personal experience creating your own society is an excellent talking point during interviews). And if you're a sports student then join a fudding sports team (or three).

Finally, never underestimate the transferable skills gained from waitressing or shop assistant jobs. Time keeping, responsibility, people skills, communication, confidence and assertiveness all come from these Saturday jobs. And once you have one job (any job) it becomes easier to get another. It's always better to gain specific work experience to gain specific skills but it's usually the simple jobs with transferable skills that will get you these specific jobs later on (sorry for being wordy haha). 

I am certainly not discounting academia, but I am a huge advocate for practical work experience. You may get some noises from your parents that you should 'concentrate on your studies' and they may even offer to pay you through university. This is crock advice. Even if you were born to a doctor and a lawyer who earn enough for you to never have tuition fees, you still need work experience. Going to university and getting a degree and then getting a job was how it worked for our baby boomer parents. But back then not that many people had degrees and there were a lot more jobs; we are graduating into a broken economy with less jobs but with a larger pool of graduates - so you know, the game has changed slightly and competition is fierce.

Have you done work experience that turned out to be really valuable, and have any other ideas?

Morag
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In This Week



Rainbow in Tradestone // dude from Wheatus // my flatmates packing for Greece // veggie tortillas // Smirmoff Gold // broke my favourite mug :( 

I'm currently sitting snuggled up on the sofa with a chesty cough (again) in my empty flat as my flatmate left for Greece with her boyfriend yesterday. This place is creepy by itself as it's usually quite big for two people, let only one person haha. Got the fright of my life when my neighbours starting jumping! :/

The highlight of this week was definitely going to see Wheatus. I only found out they were playing with 18 days notice and ended up heading to it myself. I'll be writing up a full review of it at some point this week but I'll just put in short that I am so so so glad that I went and I am now an advocate for gigging solo if you really can't get someone to go with you. 

And, if you remember a blog post I wrote about travel exclusive vodka and were thirsting over the Smirnoff Gold you'll be glad to know it has now definitely come to the general UK market. I spotted it in the Tesco Metro beside the St Enoch centre today. I didn't buy any as I have been savouring my bottle so not to run out but I'm now maybe going to stop being so conservative about it now that I know I can easily get a new bottle ;)

Lots of Teenage Dirtbag love! 

Morag
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Hamptons By Hilton Birmingham


Last week I was in Birmingham for the Arbonne Consultants UK conference. For the weekend me and my team decided to stay in the Hamptons by Hilton on Broad Street. This was the second time I was staying in a Hilton this year (not bad for a recent graduate) after having stayed in the Dunblane Hydro earlier this year for the #rediscoverhilton campaign, and this stay was also just as lovely.

The location was really good for us as it was just over a 5 minutes from The ICC where the conference was taking part. It was also a ten minute walk from New Street Station though I do tend to walk really quickly! The route was simple enough to walk, though the station itself was quite big and I did walk out two exits before I finally got the correct one!

The Hotel has a really simple but lovely decor. It felt quite businessesy though some of the visitors did seems as though they were visiting for something other than business reasons. One of the other consultants informed me that there was a hen party in the room opposite her haha! So take that memo as you will! The hotel is also situated on a street with more clubs and bars then there may possibly be in the whole of Scotland (okay I am exaggerating, but it was the Suchiehall of Birmingham it seemed). 




The room I stayed in a had a big double bed and a double sofa bed which had been made up before our arrival. It also came with a desk, a view of a parking lot (hah!) and an en-suite with a shower, towels and some toiletries included. The only 'flaws' I seen with the room was the shower didn't have a full door so the floor got wet and the wardrobe door doubled up as bathroom door - it was a slide door that sat in front of the wardrobe but was pulled along to cover up the bathroom when needed (if that makes sense).

The room also had unlimited wifi included, which wasn't a big faff to get on to. We all know this is the most important part. ;)




The breakfast (because we obviously has to discuss food) was brilliant. A help yourself unlimited with hot and continental foods. I was hungover the first morning (and was still queezy from the journey) so kept to cereal and fruit, but the next morning I helped myself to beans on toast, a bowl of coco pops, fruit, yoghurt and croissants. Full I was!

We booked somewhat far in advanced so it was £40 something pound each, but would have been cheaper if all beds had been full (we booked three rooms) and would have been even cheaper if we were sharing beds. but we did book this quite far in advanced so made use of 'book now' prices!

The reception area also had a bar but it wasn't me paying so I can't comment on prices, haha. But they did run out of vodka and gin, so we were waiting a bit ;)

Overall, I'd recommend it if you have a few extra bob but there was a travel lodge on the same street if you wish something simpler but still wanted to be right in the heart of Birmingham. 

Lots of B-ham love!

Morag
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The Linkables




Some hilarious examples of British people being too polite. And I have done more than half of them within my life.

Why I chose state education over private x1000000

27 survisors of sexual abuse quoting the people that attacked them.

Some accounts of people who knew serial killers and some who were almost the victims (there's quite a few Ted Bundy's in there - not for the faint hearted)

A shout out to a cancer charity run by a lovely women I know: Rainbow Valley

Apparently a study popped up on only children in August which I didn't spot, but some of us onlies have taken to defend ourselves (and our parents).

Another resource for finding hidden Glasgow gems

12 quotes from comedians about work.

According to the comments, this is not completely factual but still interesting: unstranslatable words from other languages.

People who switched careers at 50 and thrived!

Making your date reference on blogger a little more fancyyyyy!

Trans teen challenges school to let him run for homecoming king.

I thought I had seen it all on Tumblr, but not this: men taking up too much space on the train.

Get The Funk Out (and as a consequence Kage Nightclub) got a mention in The Skinny Magazine

101 Halloween costumes to make on the cheap. Thankfully my idea isn't there, so no stealing ;)

8 vegetarian chilli recipes.

A great idea for Halloween party favours.

A delcious food blog I came across: hint of vanilla.

31 signs you grew up in Aberdeen.

There's a village in England called Quorn

A Chrome app for vegans

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Things i love thursdays: my life




Late summer could have been a better time time for me. Two of my great uncles died within a week of each other and whilst I never knew either particularly well I was worried for my Gran who now only has one living sibling from an original family of eleven. It also hit home how little time I may have left with my 93 year old grandmother who for the last four Chistmasses I've been convinced it will be her last one.

And not long before this I got the call that my dad was having a health scare. Which was cleared but shortly later he had to deal with the deaths of two uncles with only days inbetween. When I got the serious text asking if I was at home and able to phone, I genuinely believed it was that call I have been preparing for years about my Gran. 

As much as I love Glasgow, it was needless to say I wanted to be in Aberdeen giving out hugs. Thankfully I already had a week booked off work so it was up quickly afterwards, but I wasn't there when news broke which crushed a part of me. 

But within the last week I was given the opportunity to re-realise how lucky I am and just how amazing my life is. Within this past week I discovered a new city and made new friends when so many people my age only know their work friends or who they went to school with. Was at an amazing conference realising just how lucky I was to have such as amazing business opportunity at my feet and also hearing the amazing Katie Piper speak, which was just as inspirational as you might imagine. I applied for Commonwealth tickets and last night seen an all-time favourite band Wheatus play live, both cementing what an amazing city I live in. And my Wheatus ticket and a few of the Commonwealth games were booked solo, because while many people would say "fuck it, I won't go #needmorepals" (a hashtag I really have seen) I went "fuck it, I'll go myself #lifeistooshort". 

Things I Love Thursdays was started by Gala Darling years ago in order to practice gratitude for a positive mindset. Remember, happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one remembers to turn on the lights (yes, I did just quote Dumbledore, RIP Albus). 

To life. Because sometimes you're shit. But within even within the most horrendous times you come back and give me a reason to love you all over again. 

#cheesyemoshblogpost

Much love and Harry Potter quotes. 


Morag
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My favourite non-city places in Scotland


Uath Lochan near Aviemore (or in a drivable area) 

Aviemore 

Probably my favourite non-city place is this town south of Inverness (which is one of the more 'touristy' cities in my opinion). I used to go camping a lot here (as did Gillian of elevatormusik who was recently there with her family) and reckon Rothiemurcus is the prettiest campsite ever and would make a great romantic back-drop. If I had someone to be romantic with...

Ullapool

Another one I spent a large chunk of my childhood at, and then some of my high school years as part of my training to go on an expedition to Peru. And then later in my uni years as I held down a long distance relationship with a boy in Stornoway (true story). It has a nice sea side town feel and an award winning chip shop which in my non plant-powered days I always made time to pick up a chicken burger and ice cream between the bus and ferry.

Balmedie

Balmedia was probably only recently put on the map because of a certain American tycoon plonking a golf course on the sand dunes. But it has long been on my map as I grew up only about four miles away (fun fact: my driving test was me driving from Aberdeen to Balmedie and back) and was a regular visitor growing up as my cousins spent their teenage years there and the beach was perfect dog walking fun (plus the play park was amaze!). It was where I said I'd live when I 'grew up' and had a family. But then I moved to Glasgow and my ovaries still don't pound when I see a kid...

Arbroath

I mentioned this place in one of my earliest ever blog posts in 2011 upon my first ever visit. It's a place that Dundonians tend to head to when they want a bit of a day trip. I remember some students I knew in first year halls heading up for days out but alas I didn't have a friend with a car until my third year. We headed through during nightfall and it was beautiful and I reckon part of my love is being based in a lovely memory. ♥

Morag
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In this week





New book purchase // onesie weather is back // my Wheatus ticket arrived // beautiful Glaswegian building // train reading material // rose wine from my Arbonne upline // mirror picture in my room at Hamptons by Hilton // view of Birmingham // me and my future car // inspirational talk from Katie Piper // English border // Birmingham plants wear hats. 

I'm away to do that thing where I change the date of my post back to the Sunday, k? I arrived back at my flat in Glasgow at just before midnight last night from Birmingham so didn't have time to blog (and my travel sickness was really acting up so no blogging on the train). 

I was down in Birmingham for the Arbonne Advantage Conference, which was amazzzziinnngg. I didn't actually get to see much of Birmingham itself aside from the area around the hotel and The ICC (which were seven minutes away from each other). The Saturday and most of Sunday were spent in the The ICC listening to some of the highest earning consultants and also the amazing Katie Piper, which was just as amazing as you can imagine. I'm quite the hard ass but I ended up crying when I seen the inspirational video for her charity The Katie Piper Foundation

Aside from that I lay around in a onesie, because brrr it is getting cold now! 

Lots of Birmingham love!


Morag
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The Linkables




Is organic too expensive?

Sainsbury's debuts world's first naturally refrigerated truck.

I was surprised that I had never seen this article as 1) I'm Aberdonian, 2) I'm totes against animal testing and 3) Kimberley Wyatt it totally my dance idol and favourite pussycat!

My new favourite Twitter account is HollyoaksPanda - hilarious to have running when catching up on Chester's hotspot.

Five surprisingly hipster cities.

The least hipster cities in the world

A hipster guide to Brighton.

(I'll stop with the hipster Googling now)

This week was suicide prevention week in Glasgow.  Don't suffer in silence. <3

The social costs of being different.

Men with long hair get female hair styles.

I've always found asexuality facinating and loved this interview with an asexual woman.

So, Greenpeace will be marching a people-powered polar bear through London

An interesting read about anominity in rape cases (using the Le Vell case as an example throughout - Trigger warning comes as standard)

Your tip doesn't always go to the server (from my waitressing days I can confirm that many older customers don't realise tips get shared)

Scottish Eats is a great Facebook page for north of the border foodies.

A blog dedicated to the social construct of beauty.

An amazingly bittersweet piece on growing up ugly.

Track your efforts, not your success.

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Things I love thursday: southside dwelling



Admittedly when I moved to Glasgow, it was the West End I was aiming for. I had been told by Glasgow familiars that it was popular with young people, you could get a beautiful flat for a good price if you were savvy, and that a vegan independent boutique loving hipster like me would love it (plus my work is there). 

But alas I found a beautiful well priced modern flat on the southside. 

And despite its open plan set-up, stairs and spare room I was still convinced I'd try to relocate back across the river and west a bit. 

But the southside has well and truly grown on me. It was a walk through it on a beautiful autumn evening last week (on the way to the post office - glamour alert) that let me soak up what a great location I really do live in. The southside does certainly get a bad rep with the Govans and Ibroxes of the world, but that fuels my love as I've always been a supporter of underdogs and hidden gems (I'm looking at you Dundee). Plus, a true hipster doesn't love the obvious hipster places (I kid, I kid, sort of). 

Within a short distance of my flat I have Springfield Quay and my favorite gig venue the 02 Academy Glasgow. Then a bit further but still within walking distance is the beautiful (and tall!) Queens Park and my local Asian food shop (because Tesco is just too mainstream, though there is a Tesco super close to me). I'm close enough to the city centre on the other side of the river without being right within it and getting woken up my drunk people. And within a 25 minute walk I can be at work, which is across the water and near a certain exhibition centre. 

I guess I'm now a fully fledged southside girl

Lots of southside love!

Morag
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Dundee Delights: Dare to be Digital / Indie Fest



For anyone who lives in Dundee: I know this was a month ago. 

But my electricity was being temperamental and everything was busy. 

Anyway, for the unfamiliar Dare to be Digital (and Indie Fest) is a computer games event held in Dundee every August (occasionally Edinburgh). And before anyone switches off this event does cater to everyone, one example being me as I am certainly not a 'gamer'. 

What Dare to be Digital is, is a computer games competition for students (worldwide) and the event in August is for them to showcase their prototypes. Indie Fest, which sometimes runs alongside it, is for smaller games companies in Scotland (maybe further afield but I've never spotted any) to showcase their latest offerings. It also acts as a good platform for new games companies, especially the ones who were started by recent graduates (every year I spot developers who I know to be recent graduates of Abertay).

Even if you do not consider yourself a 'gamer' I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't game in the slightest. The games available to try vary from the hardcore zombie games to the fun addictive ones for the iPad and Android phones. Naturally, I am interested in the later camp, and was drawn to the type of games which I had to elbow the Junior Judges out the way in order to play (I kid, I kid).

(The 2013 festival I played a fish game on the Playstation, a food throwing game on the iPad, a word cross puzzle on the iPad, a paper aeroplane game on the iPad and a milkshake game on the iPad, I promise I haven't moved over to the Apple camp, still an Android gal!)

You also get to vote for your favourite entry - mine was the food throwing gaming on the iPad (if you need any further proof that I am not an ultra-serious gamer).

My main interest in the event and the games industry as a whole is actually more from a business point of view. I am at the end of the day still a business marketer type person who likes to geek out over economics and the Financial Times, so it inevitable that I wish to keep up-to-date with one of Scotland' strongest industries (plus, it’s the creative industries I would like to move into). 

But anyway, if you are due to become a new student in Dundee - games course or otherwise - and you are there during the summer months (or even if you a Dundonian who has never been) Dare to be Digital is not the geek freak-fest you might assume it to be, and I reckon it is well-worth a look when it’s there even if you do just like play an iPad game where you like to throw food everywhere.

 Morag
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In this week


Tikka rice // graffiti in Tradestone // midnight listening to Feeder // in the woods in Carmyle // bad product names in M&S // purchasing M&S anti-perspirants

I have to admit, after two weeks of being home and attending gigs in Edinburgh this week has been pretty sub-par. I didn't do much outside of work, but my excuse is that I am away to Birmingham this weekend for the Arbonne UK conference so I have needed to save the pennies by not shopping/buying weirder food/going out.

I did go into M&S with the intention of just buying the deodorant since finding out that Boots definitely were not cruelty-free and having to do a mad search for somewhere that sold cruelty-free anti-perspirants (one of the hardest products to find!). Aside from a range of anti-perspirants in a range of scents I also discovered some great looking toiletries and make-up in there - I reckon next paycheck I should make my way back there for some cheeky purchases (aside from the Bliss products that seemed to be mocking the overweight - as a consumer and professional marketer I gasped!).

 Lots of M&S love!

Morag
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The Linkables




One of my favourite jewellery companies, Bonnie Bling, has released a new range named Bonnie is a Vampire Slayer.

More reason to watch your spending habits: major skincare companies linked to the destruction of tropical rainforests.

I've seen this post on getting home quicker when your flight is delayed several times, but like a lot of the commenters I'm going to call it out as arrogant bullshit. I've known people to get flight and room upgrades simply because they were the first person to be polite to the person at the desk all day.

Unreliable people make my blood boil - and I love Ash's post on successful people do what they say they will.

A natural beauty blog I discovered this week: NatuRia

If I ever just happen to find myself at Brighton and Hove (you know, on the off chance) this seems like such a nice little coffee place.

There's a charity vegan bake sale the same weekend as I'm in Birmingham (but I'll probably be too busy, but maybe you're not!).

A great Scottish music blog focusing on lesser known barely known acts: Song, By Toad

According to statistics vegans are only 1% of the popukations The Big Vegan Count aims to work out if that is actually accurate. There is the option to be counted as someone who is considering it.

A Glasgow blog for all the Southside dwellers: Southside Happenings.

How to be a polite houseguest from an eco point of view.  (I know there are loads on the internet, but this one covers a pet hate of mine that most posts miss out: not being mindful of my utility bills)

Some funny advice on going to a gig alone

Stop embarassing yourself: how to know when your crush doesn't want you (ouch, but we have all known someone who just doesn't get it and we're all like OH NO NO NO stop it already).

I'm convinced I'm going to find my photo on here: pictures of hipsters taking pictures of food.

The Weegie Hipster Tipster was such a good short lived blog which I hope comes back to life.

And finally, from a rape trial in the US Navy: was the victim wearing underwear on the night of her assault?   Because what's a link round-up without a rape apologist?

Morag
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Things I love thursdays: a good gig



I was going to write this post the night after the Alkaline Trio gig but I was hungover. And then I going to write it last night but I have some friends to meet. So I am writing it now and editing the date back to Thursday (shhhhh). 

It might surprise some people, but I have not been to that many gigs. Most bands don't come to Aberdeen, and even when they do the AECC is in an awkward location for buses and I grew-up outwith the city limits. And then I moved to Dundee and, well, no one tends to venture there.

But now I live in Glasgow which is, if acts bother with a Scottish venue, is where the gigs go (unless you're Alkaline Trio) and this was one of my main pulls for becoming a west coast 'hen' (I'm still an east coast quine at heart, promise).

However, I don't need to go to truckloads of gigs to realise that seeing one of your favourite bands in the flesh (that feeling as though 'wow you're actually real') and then having the lyrics of an all time favourite travel through your veins is like nothing on earth. Honestly the Gaslight Anthem covering Baby O'Reily as a closing piece? Words could not even describe it. And then there was all the Feeder songs, though closing with Just a Day was maybe still a highlight (I really do love you Feeder). 

I've been to more gigs this year than any other and I've decided to make a commitment to seeing more acts live as they pass through Glasgow. 

And part of that commitment is going to be putting on my big girl pants, stepping outside my comfort zone and accepting that sometimes no one wants to go with you. Right after I hit publish on this post I will be booking a Wheatus ticket for one, because I've ran out of people to ask and I've decided that missing out on seeing a band you love play live isn't worth it just because you'll have to play Nigel-nae-mates. (But yeah, if anyone else wants to join I wouldn't complain haha).

Because in one years time I am not going to give two shits that I went alone, all that will matter is that I was there and experienced the feelings of all feelings. ♥

 Morag
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University: decorating a dorm room


This September will host the half decade anniversary (!!!) of when I packed up my life in Aberdeen and made my first move to another city. And this move seen me move into a ratty old student flat shared with seven other teenager girls and a dorm room which was literally a box with plain walls, a bed, a desk, a bedside chest of drawers and a wardrobe. Sexy, no?

But unless you're parents are gangsta earners who can put you up in a posh private student accommodation then you're probably gonna get much similar. 

But despite the basic decor in a 1970's building, I think I did not too shabby (see picture above). 

I also did much better in my second year of university but I never actually took a freaking photo so you'll just have to believe that my bedrooms got better from then on. 

Here's my dorm room tips:

Move furniture around
My room was quite rectangular with most of the furniture down the long sides. If you're slightly better at geometry than me you might realise that if this is the shape of your room and you want more floor space, put you bed (or desk) along the short end. Voila, instantly bigger room. 

Buy extra furniture (only after you've arrived)
Unless you're moving into fancy private halls, the marketing brochures generally lie. The photo showed a desk with drawers but I didn't get that and I turned up to my second year halls with a mirror (because my first year halls didn't have one) to find that my new en-suite (fancy!) had a large mirror. Standard. However extra furniture I did buy which came in super handy was my own shelving (which I kept until fourth year) and an old foldable coffee table my parents never used with a fancy tablecloth from Nepal thrown over it. And a pop-up laundry basket.

The hooks you see over the top of my wardrobe actually didn't fit over the wardrobe in my second year halls.

Tablecloths
It was my mum who brought down a tablecloth for me to throw over my desk and it gave my room some much needed vibrancy. Next year it wasn't on my desk but on the aforementioned foldable table, which acted as a bedside table. 

A mini-office
Your university stress levels will be managed so much better if you can afford to set up a mini-office. My first year I didn't have anything until my boyfriend of the time gave me a PC he had lying about (as you do) and everything went so much smoother after that. The money from my summer job, between first and second year, went on buying a new PC, a printer (with a scanner included cause I'm fancy), a netbook and a shredder. Also, get internet (proper internet, dongles are a tad shit).

Saying this, once I moved into private non-halls accommodation I could only concentrate in the library.

Take advantage of all inclusive electricity
As a general rule, most halls have utility bills included within the rent. My first year halls didn't (and second wasn't meant to, but we discovered the meters never ran out haha) but students I knew who were in all-inclusive halls had fairy lights and net lights scattered about their room.

Try and minimise your belongings
Generally speaking, dorm rooms aren't huge so try to minimise your belongings and don't bring the kitchen sink. Leave clothes you never wear behind and don't bring loads of framed pictures of you and your bezzies (take the normal photo and blue tack it to the wall). Bare in mind - depending on who you live with - you might also need to make room for your own kitchen stuff in your bedroom (you'll probably only get one cupboard each in the kitchen and if you have the same luck I did in first year you might think your flatmates were raised by wolves).

It's part of the student experience to collect bottles, free t-shirts from club nights and random inflatables, and within time these will become your primary room decor. I wouldn't use hand-made posters from a superhero night out to decorate my room these days, but I honestly have no regrets that I once did. ♥

Morag

P.S. For anyone going to study at Abertay, this is a basic room in Alloway Halls.
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The Gig Audit: Alkaline Trio



In case you didn't realise from the combined tweets of myself and Gillian of elevatormusik, Wednesday night I was in Edinburgh for the long awaited Alkaline Trio gig (we bought our tickets in, like, May). 

I've known of Alkaline Trio since roughly 2004 (so Myspace days then) and have considered myself a fan since then but Gillian however is a super-enormous-used-their-lyrics-as-a-username fan (sorry Gillian) and she was on the lookout for tickets since they released a new album, My Shame is True, this year. 

They, for some reason, decided to only play five shows across the entire UK (well, England and Scotland) and I remember a few upset internet tears on Twitter that they hadn't realised there was even a tour! But anyway, the Edinburgh gig was played at The Liquid Rooms (which was on the hill leading up the castle - I get really disorientated in Edinburgh so I can't provide any better directions than that!).

They did bring a support act with them but I never caught their name and Google didn't answered my question either. One or two of their songs did sound familiar though. They weren't on the stage for long which, despite respecting the reason support acts come along, did add to the enjoyment as who really pays attention to the support acts? I only have once because they were also a band I knew of.

The entire gig did move quickly - which was a change but did make the gig more enjoyable instead of waiting an hour for support act to come on, support act playing for 40 minutes, another 40 minutes waiting for main act, then an hour of main act. This may have been more to do with the venue itself as the Liquid Rooms is used as a nightclub so I figured we had to be out in time to have it changed around for the drunk people coming. It was also small and warm, and probably not suitable for claustrophobics (I'm always such a delightful reviewer).

In the end Alkaline Trip themselves did get through just over an hour of songs. The song choices did include their newer stuff but also a lot of their older albums which is probably because the room seemed primarily filled with people my age whose clothing choices did raise the question of "so did you have a MySpace by any chance?" I was however upset that my fav 'Time to Waste' wasn't played. Boo!

Alkaline Trio are definitely worth seeing live. But the venue itself I think hurt their performance slightly as the small venue did make it echo a bit and you can feel the vibration in the floor a lot more (but hey, I know that is some people's cup of tea). So Matt Skiba and Co, if you are reading this (which of course you are), thumbs up to your performance but next time you come to Scotland you should totes go for the the 02 in Glasgow (and I promise that is nothing to do with my bias as a Southside dweller).

Morag

P.S. Sorry for the ramblyness of this post - my throat is bugging the health out of me right now but I just wanted to get this post up before it was two weeks later.
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In This Week




Barry M nails // Face for gig // Alkaline Trio // Wine choice // Me and Gillian // Outside The Hive // Greasy vegan breakfast // Korma curry // Spending Sunday ill watching 10 Things I Hate About You

I'm blogging from my bed now as I woke up with a sore throat yesterday and have been trying to rid it in its early stages before my first full week back at work in two weeks begins. I'm guessing by my Twitter feed quite a few of us were tuned into Channel 4 for 10 Things I Hate About You earlier - but I have to ask, was I the only person irritated by the removal of some of the films greatest quotes just because of 'bad words' (such as sperm hahaha and "squandered half his life hanging about Picasso trying to nail his leftovers"). 

On Wednesday night I toddled on through to Edinburgh to visit Gillian for an Alkaline Trio gig and then headed out to The Hive for the annual Hive to Five in line with the festival. Alkaline Trio were, as predicted, amazing, and The Hive was also amazing but no one ever needs to tell you that, do they? Admittedly we didn't stay out until 5am because 1) we're both pushing our mid-twenties and 2) I'm still used to the 2:30am deadline of Dundee clubs (that's what I tell myself anyway hahaha). We both woke up stupidly hungover and I ended up discarding the bus ticket I had already paid for in order to travel back to Glasgow via train as I just couldn't deal with the idea of a bus hahaha. 

Hope you had a good week and don't feel as ill as me hahaha. 

Much Alkaline Trio love!

Morag
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