Why Not Review: Blogs

Eleven easy ways to waste away half an hour – The Tab team’s favourite blogs.

Alasdair Pal Anna Sheinman belle de jour billie piper blogs Ellie Pithers escapeblog.com etsy.com Jordan Bickerton Josephine Taylor Julia Carolyn lichnova leonie james Lizzie Bennet mnml ssgs Phoebe Luckhurst techno thisiswhyyourefat.com wayne tippetts what katie wore

The internet provides far too many interesting and free distractions (considering the wonders of broadband) to be working all the time.  Here are our choice of blogs to indulge yourself with.  Without even having to close the word document next to it, you can pretend you are still studying hard.  


LAURA DENNEHY is kept up late at night by Sleep Talkin' Man

This blog comes with the disclaimer: “Some of the content on this page is not suitable for young eyes or faint hearts.”  And it is right to warn you. On my first visit to it I was in danger of heart attack brought on by extreme laughing. People have been known to wet themselves.  An American woman who now lives in London blogs the absurd ramblings of her sleeping husband. Who knew the sleeping could be so wise.  But this man covers it all, from religion: “I can't believe in God when I'm THIS good”, to weight gain “I haven't put on weight. Your eyes are fat.” to the all important sport: “Badger tickling: Proceed with caution”

It is wonderfully absurd and sock-falling off hilarious. Sleep talking Adam is completely and sincerely bonkers. I’d love to know what Freud would have made of his deep-set hatred of lentils or hidden desire to destroy glass, his nemesis. But what I love more is trying to picture the wonderful dreams Adam must be having.




JULIA CAROLYN LICHNOVA finds help putting her Christmas list together…

Etsy.com is a website which allows arty and crafty people to sell their handmade wares. Regretsy.com, which takes ‘Where DIY meets WTF’ as its slogan, is a compedium of things from this website that we wish had never been brought into existence, and will single-handedly countermander any respect you may have had for arts & crafts. Brandishing categories such as ‘Decorative pillows’, ‘Pet humiliation’ and ‘Top ten things that look like turds’, it is a constant source of joy. Particularly exquisite is the ‘Vaginas’ section, boasting things that have been made with or painted using vaginas, and also my favourite, the ‘Frida Kahlo Uterus Plushie’, wrong on so many levels it needs an elevator and consequently possibly worth the purchase.


ALASDAIR PAL treats himself to some cross Atlantic calorie counting…

Cadbury Crème Eggs Benedict? Nine-Decker Fillet-O-Fish? These are some of the more outlandish creations from the glorious thisiswhyyourefat.com, dedicated to the world’s – well, America’s – unhealthiest nibbles.

Reader submissions vary from the positively healthy (Guinness Chocolate Pudding anyone?) to the terrifying Ten Thousand Calorie Sandwich. But perhaps its finest creation is the Meta Meat Cake, a hulking, throbbing tower of gristle and death. It contains (deep breath): “four types of sausage, bratwurst, chorizo, ground beef, ground pork, diced ham, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, hickory smoked bacon, hot cappy, queso blanco, provolone and sharp cheddar, wrapped in sausage, bacon and cheese ball dough and baked, decorated with American cheese, cheddar squeeze cheese and bacon strips”. I’m not entirely sure what most of the ingredients are, but it sounds good to me. Vegetarians beware. 


LEONIE JAMES finds unexpected class…

One of the most infamous blogs around, Belle de Jour actually makes much tamer reading than expected. Maybe that's just me as desensitised 21st century teen but still, there's a lot less sex and whole lot more chick lit than the tabloids would have you believe. Essentially it is still a blog about a high class hooker and her ahem 'work', but – god forbid- she's actually a human being too. Friends and even boyfriends (briefly) get a mention. Plus it's really quite funny. And incredibly well written, but then this is a university graduate who has written for the likes of The Times and The Guardian. Not just your run-of-the-mill hooker then. Addictive in the same way as every guilty pleasure American drama about overly rich teens (Hi Josh Schwartz!) it is exactly that: a guilty pleasure. And a bloody enjoyable one at that.


ELLIE PITHERS has her faith in love rekindled by What Katie Wore… 

Who says romance is dead? Joe writes the words, Katie wears the clothes. One hapless boyfriend trying to make sense of his girlfriend's kooky fashion sense, by photographing her in a different outfit every day for a year. Her collection of rainbow coloured tights aren't really my thing, but what the heck – reading Joe's slightly bemused comments about her exuberant fashion combos are way more interesting than reading T. S. Eliot's essays about Creative Criticism.

Aside from the clothes though, What Katie Wore is an expression of love – something I thought had died when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston broke up. Joe is a 21st century Petrarch; instead of writing 365 love letters featuring now-hackneyed similies about oceans of tears and arrows piercing him with love, Joe takes photos of Katie on his iphone and writes sweet little comments underneath, such as, "Katie's looking especially beauteous today." Ok, so I'll admit, sometimes you want to hurl a wet flannel at Joe's overly lovestruck sentences – but surely it's healthier to read about a couple in love than read yet another article about Alistair Darling/Arsenal's injury woes/snow in April.


With his favourite blog MNML SSGS, JORDAN BICKERTON is just about able to keep up…

Techno and house seem to inspire behaviour bordering on the obsessive; those who fall in love with this particular brand of electronic music often attend nights and collect records with an almost pious devotion. This blog revels in the minutiae of the scene, its regular contributors boasting encyclopaedic knowledge of rare releases and capricious current trends. An exceptional series of free downloadable mixes, often provided by genuine luminaries, is undoubtedly the highlight. Well written, alarmingly well informed, and sometimes disarmingly personal, this is one of the few blogs I actively follow, in an often futile attempt to keep up with these most dynamic of genres. 


ANNA SHEINMAN likes Streetstyle Aesthetic's real life approach to fashion… 

OK girls/metrosexuals/boys with shoe fetishes: we’re all addicted to original photos-of-people-in-beautiful-clothes blog The Sartorialist (or if you’re not, you should be, it’s like a good orgasm: definitely pleasurable, slightly painful, and completely addictive). Streetstyle Aesthetic takes all the best bits of that eye-watering, eye-candy, I-want-to-be-in-it, fantasy-fulfilling photojournalism, and moves them to London Town. Less ‘why-bother-I-could-never-afford-to-dress-in-those’ designer labels, more Portobello market/Primarni/‘I have that top!’ High Street Chic. Less models, more people you probably know (try Nov 8th 2009). And fewer glamorous locations, so you don’t have to get upset about how much this guy gets to go on holiday. Plus Londoners can go “I know where that is!”, which is strangely satisfying. Yes, the subjects are all still skinny, and the photographer Wayne Tippetts has a very camp obsession with leopard print everything and sky high heels, but it’s rather endearing, and these people have really great clothes.


PHOEBE LUCKHURST has her mid term itch to get away satisfied by escapeblog.com

I love eccentricity. There is nothing more entertaining than meeting a genuine, one-pink-sock-one-union-jack-sock-wearing, green-pen-wielding, smelling-pungently-of-a-potting-shed eccentric and being on the receiving end of a mad, appraising stare that demands you justify why you have colour co-ordinated your own socks. However, I worry the eccentric is being marginalised – not in the good way in which he was always marginalised, with humoured affection, but marginalised in the way that we marginalise the insane or those who have a soft spot for Heather Mills.

In times of want, I look abroad, or rather to escapeblog.com. I love travelling because it fulfils my eccentricity quota. I am not xenophobic – I know, what is strange to me, is normal to them and vice versa – I simply vive, breathe and sleep la différence. Escapeblog.com is simultaneously useful and entertaining: recording the cultural differences that delight me. From the practical (‘Chopstick etiquette’) to the equally practical (‘Hair’s the deal’ detailing the epillation habits of foreign females) this is a fount of wisdom and stories make a great random remark to fill a silence when you’re sitting there in the potting shed wearing your mismatched socks and penning a novel handwritten in green.


LOTTIE UNWIN finds John Sullivan Daily Quotes can make her day…

Once upon a time I went to Google looking to be educated.  I found myself signing up to Quotes of the Day, which then proceeded to litter my junk mail with true wisdom in between momentarily alluring credit card offers.  Later, when trying to save myself from the daily confusion as I deciphered just what it was on about I came across John Sullivan's version of the same thing and a love affair began, both with the website and the man himself.  

Sullivan is a Ceramic Tile Installation Contractor from Scottsdale Arizona who offers you a quote for such Tiles or a quote from someone famous on his simple and very American website.  On April 1st Mark Twain told me 'all you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure' and surrounded by piles of paper it was just what I needed.  

I like being encouraged to think by someone who assumes no authority over me and a million miles away is posting every day just for the love of it.  Surely he can't think it will boost tile sales, or maybe I have no mind for business?


JOSEPHINE TAYLOR is unexpectedly very amused by www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com

I hate all these pictures of cats with grammatically incorrect captions: it's not funny and its certainly not clever. However, I have a soft spot for a certain website. When I innocently first clicked on the link from my Facebook profile I expected a witty article   from the Independent or maybe some fundraising endeavour to make me feel bad that I’m not throwing myself out of a plane for starving orphans.

Instead I starred dumbfounded at the scream as I was asked: ‘Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he's going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like "Sieg Miaow"?’. I didn’t know whether to be confused or offended so I settled for laughing so hard I fell off my swively desk chair.


LIZZIE BENNETT disagrees – pictures of cats are funny and clever, writing in to proclaim, 'I IZ BORD WIZ ZEES REVIZUN-AGE. NEEDZ MUST RITE 4 TAB-AGE'…


OK, I’ll stop now – but that does give you a taste of some of what there is on offer. Visitors can post their own captions to unfortunate pictures of cats and other animals, and through this medium people the world over can satisfy all their curiosities. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that troublesome boyfriend or what Hobbes really does do all day when Calvin is at school – and who hasn’t? – then visit the blog now, where you can trawl through 666 (and counting) pages of friendly advice. For those who really want to sabotage their degrees, the links to “Loldogs” and “FAIL blog” will not disappoint.