Two thousand and ten has moved aside to welcome in the new year and now’s the time when we all start analysing our lives and achievements (or lack of). It’s been a funny year. I moved house four times. I watched my little brother get married. I got sacked.

I made friends, I missed friends, I lost friends.
I made rubbish decisions, brilliant decisions, brave decisions and drunk decisions. (although it turns out those four things aren’t mutually exclusive)

I’ve gone from one job to two jobs to no jobs and back again. I’ve learnt that far too often the things I hate about myself come to the surface and that if I could grow a moustache it would be a handlebar.

So that was last year. I don’t make resolutions. I don’t give anything up for lent and I don’t normally try to improve myself. (not for some misguided belief that I can’t be improved, I am fully aware I have plenty of room to manoeuver on that point) But this year is different, I have two resolutions.

Resolution One:

Learn Moderation (not solely, but especially in regards to alcohol)

I’m a bit all or nothing. I generally think if you are going to do something you might as well do it properly, launch yourself into it completely or don’t bother in the first place. There are no half measures. This is good when it comes to the boring things in life like budgets, cleaning etc no so good when it comes to the fun things in life. I do drunk maths. Drunk maths goes a bit like this: I have drunk (x) drinks, I feel this level of happy (y) multiply the drinks by 2 and you get double the happy. It’s a good notion. But it’s wrong. Double the drinks usually equals a hangover and a sinking sense of shame. For new year I give up drunk maths.

Resolution Two:

Stop over thinking.

Sometimes things just are. Sometimes running through every possible outcome in your mind is a little excessive. Sometimes you should probably just get on with it. In 2011 I shall be just getting on with it

I’m pretty independent. I live on my own, well I would if I could afford it, so technically I live in a shared house with strangers (Who, as it turns out, aren’t that strange but certainly aren’t sociable) and the majority of my friends don’t live within a 100 mile radius of me. Not ideal but such is life after all. However, perhaps this distance and perceived isolation on the part of my Mother prompted her to give me some, as it turns out, terrible advice. For a good twenty-five out of my twenty-six years I have pretty much always ignored my Mother, however within some moment of weakness, brain hemorrhage or perhaps diet coke lull I took on board her advice and further than that put it in to practice.

Her advice, unsurprisingly, had to do with relationships. It appears, in her opinion, I am too picky. And, should in fact be making efforts to go on ‘dates’ in order to rectify my state of permanent singleness. Now, my Mother met my Dad at 17 and they have been together ever since so what knowledge she has of ‘dating’ you tell me. Still for some bizarre reason I took this on board. I don’t think I’ve ever really been out on a date in my life and I have surprisingly had, an albeit small amount of boyfriends. There was he who shall not be named, the now married one, the one I really, really, really liked and the one that ditched me for another girl from work. So yes not a vast amount of possible experience but I don’t think there was a ‘date’ amongst them.

So maybe that explains why I decided to heed the advice. I should be more approachable, less judgmental and say yes. All good points in theory except I am highly judgmental and I don’t have a problem with it. I am a reasonably good judge of character, situations, outfits, haircuts, drink choices, not so much shoes but you can’t be good at everything. I’m not approachable at all. But I don’t want to be, it works out nicely on public transport. Seat to myself? thank you very much, Megabus, Great Western train etc. Am I sat by the weird, unpleasant smelling man, I am I hell, he’s sat by you because you were foolish and let your guard down. I’ll enjoy my fresh air over here thanks very much.

Anyway so basically, I should change some key aspects of my personality and be a lot more open. Alright fair enough, it is worth a try, at the very least I might become a nicer person. So my next bar shift I decided to put this into practice. I dropped my usual aura “of fuck off and leave me alone”, and served drinks with a smile even past grumpy o’clock (which is ten pm) and when customers were so annoying I want to stab them in the eye with a fork. I have never stabbed anyone with a fork but my goodness students in a scream pub will bring you close. And lo and behold with little effort I hooked one. Now said hookee (that’s probably not a word) was not my usual type and had I not have been following Mother’s advice for once in my life I would not have received the most hilarious text message I have ever had the pleasure/pain to receive, so rough with the proverbial smooth.

Unavailable is attractive, in fact unavailable is pretty damn irresistable. Available on the other hand is repulsive. That’s just the way it is and it is that delicate balance between the two that makes someone the person you are eager to hear from or the person you can’t get far enough away from. It is amazing how swiftly a few text messages can send you from one pole to the other and how texty man managed to talk himself in and out of a date in a matter of about two days.

First couple of messages ok, we’ve established a date would occur once I’d seen next weeks rota and knew when I was free. Fine. Normal. Acceptable. But wait, are you sending me messages before I’ve replied to your first one? Yes you are, hmmmmm I’m not keen on that, seems a bit needy. Levels of repulsion increasing. Hang on, hang on, did you just send me a message saying ‘are you bored of me?’ because I haven’t replied to your incessant messaging. Oh you did. I’m thinking you might have answered your own question there, sweetheart. Repulsion climbing. What’s that you haven’t quite put the nail in the coffin yet so you thought you’d give it one more go? And here’s the beauty, the message that completely and definitely moves you without redemption to repulsive “Oy! Are you ignoring me, what have I done.” In and out of a date so very easily. Apparently normal to so very needy and dependent in a click of your fingers.

Now after the last message, I had slight fear texty man might be a bit stalkery so decided rather than just carrying on ignoring him I’d send a wee message just saying ‘date’s off see you later weirdy’ but you know, nicer. My friend and I composed the message over Nandos. Chicken helps me think. Does it fuck, I just love Nandos. I ate chicken and hid from my phone until the inevitable message tone indicated texty man had not yet grown tired of talking with his digits.

“Babe, I’m a DJ, I’m going to Ibiza for the season so don’t know what you expected”

Need I say more?

So, that was my forray into the world of dating. I didn’t even technically go on a date. Impressive. And what to remember for the future? Being judgmental means no textual stalkers and Mother definitely doesn’t know best.

The first episode from the new series The VICE Guide to Film. (Which I told you about not long ago)

Forget platinum blonde and plastic veneers because Hollywood this is not. From North Korea to Beirut, from Russia to Mexico City, The VICE Guide to Film offers an alternative view of cinema via a series of groundbreaking documentaries, each exploring some of the lesser known film movements from around the world.

Directed and Produced by VICE co-founder Shane Smith, and VICE Creative Director Eddy Moretti The Vice Guide to Film premiers from today on, with a behind the scenes look at the Mexican film industry.

In this episode, Shane and Eddy explore the active B-movie industry where the movies are low budget and about the very real world of drugs – narco-cinema. They visit ‘Video-Home’ (films that go straight to video) sets all over Mexico and speak with two of the biggest narco-cinema men.
Shane Smith goes to Mexico City to hang out with Mario Almada and other actors, directors and producers that play key roles in what is called in Mexico the “Video-Home” industry. He visits some sets both in Mexico City and in Sinaloa, in northern Mexico, where the drug trade is both very real and also reaches mythological proportions. The coverage will also touch upon cultural elements of northwest Mexico such as Malverde, the pagan patron saint of drug dealers and the narco-corridos, a music genre that sings about the perils and adventures of those involved in the drug trafficking both in Mexico and the US.

“>Watch it here

Swansea Love Story is the newest film from which airs on the 12th February in six episodes. Produced and directed by Andy Capper, Vice’s UK editor  and Leo Leigh, son of Mike Leigh,  the film explores the currently under reported heroin epidemic facing South Wales.  The film takes a closer look at a group of young addicts they met through the SANDS drugs agency. Swansea Love Story shows how love, unemployment and the breakdown of their families all add the problems faced by these young people.

Describing the film Andy Capper said: ‘We wanted to make this film because we were tired of seeing homeless young people being portrayed as little more than statistics. Documentaries about drug use often come out pious and fail to really get to know the people behind the drug usage. We wanted to show what it was like to live with an addiction as realistically as possible.’

You can watch the trailer here:

Something that recently I seem to be finding more and more difficult. Panic attacks. The logical and emotional sides of my brain seem to have divorced themselves from each other and my body is left telling itself its fine and feeling like its having a heart attack. Its bizarre. I’m sure it will pass.