Stop Doing That… Game Of Thrones Edition!

It’s not easy being drunk all the time. If it were easy, everyone would do it” – Tyrion Lannister

Oh yes, that’s right the ever ranting Stop Doing That series returns, this time with a Game Of Thrones special edition!

We are now nearing the end of Series 5 of the hit show, so if you haven’t heard of it yet it’s time to crawl out from under the gigantic rock you’ve been living beneath and step blinking into the sun (yes, it’s the ciiiiiiiiircle of life).  Before we start, I’d like to make everybody aware of something:

THIS BLOG POST MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR THE BOOKS AND TV SHOWS and also a bit of bad language but honestly, if you’ve read or watched the series you’ll be completely desensitized to it and if you haven’t then this probably isn’t the best place to start or you clicked on this by mistake…

Now that’s out of the way, lets take a trip to Westeros and find out what we need to stop doing!

STOP: Giving Sansa Stark so much screentime

Her book plot happens to be one of the most tedious things I’ve ever read (and I’ve read two out of three 50 Shades books: Part 1 and Part 2) and to be honest the changes they’ve made to the storyline for the TV show are just not quite enough to make it as interesting as the rest of the show. Fair play to Sophie Turner for doing her best with what is quite frankly a weak and underdeveloped character that most of the time feels like padding to make sure there are some female leads in the story but if we need that, can’t we just have some more Brienne? Or even even bring back Osha the Wilding or Yara Greyjoy (remember them?).

STOP: Rushing through important plotlines but stalling the boring ones

Keeping on the theme of dull stories being told, why are we giving so much time to the unnecessary story lines this season? Petyr Baelish continues to be one of the most despised and creepy characters I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch and yet we’ve seen some of his story in almost every episode. It’s just not needed, let’s skip ahead to the good bits. Similarly, how quickly do they want to move along the Tyrion and Jorah storyline?!. Last week they were captured by slavers and this week we’re suddenly in the fighting pits of Mereen. I feel like we’ve missed a bit. Don’t even get me started on the Dornish plot line either…

STOP: Making Jaime Lannister an afterthought

Not much has happened to Jaime since he lost his hand. He should be the Head of the Kingsguard if his book counterpart is anything to go by and we should be seeing him in Kings Landing, dealing with the ramifications of his clumsy new hand before going off to Riverrun to deal with the last remnants of the Tully resistance. Unfortunately we seem to have forgotten there’s not long been a war and the Tullys are all but a puff of cloud on a clear blue sky so they’ve shoehorned Jaime and even Bronn into the Dornish plot line; seemingly just to give them something to do. I’m not complaining about the chance to get more Bronn (he should be in every storyline possible) but let’s take a pause and give Jaime Lannister the respect he deserves because at the heart of it, he is quite an interesting character to follow.

STOP: Letting characters disappear vaguely for large spells of time

Remember Osha? Yara? Gendry?

You keep dreaming, Gendry... You keep dreaming, Gendry…

Probably, but the memories of them will be hazy. All three of these characters were introduced to us, made out to be important and then suddenly they’ve been relegated to the lower leagues of GoT characters. Probably to make more room for Sansa plotlines (I can’t bash Bran this year since we mercifully get a break from his storyline). Even Varys appears to have disappeared without a trace since that fateful brothel trip in Volantis, though I’m sure a fan favourite like him will be back before long (the series has suffered without his dry wit and sarcasm). At least the actor who plays Gendry has a good sense of humour about his continued absence.

STOP: Forgetting about the direwolves

Seriously, you spend your CGI budget for the season on dragons and stone men and yes that’s fairly interesting but let’s not forget we still have Ghost the direwolf and so far we’ve only seen him in a single tiny scene! Step it up.

STOP: Cramming House words into it the episodes for the sake of it

After an entire episode titled after the words of House Martell we have yet again been told that Winter is coming. I know most of the Starks are dead an Winter is indeed on its way to Westeros but can we at least give some love to the other ouse words. Have we had House Lannister’s said recently? House Baratheon?  Didn’t think so…

STOP: Toning down the swearing

Is it just me or have we had far less swearing since the last few seasons? GoT used to be pure filth streaming from the mouths of characters that would turn the air blue. This season, we’ve had a bit of swearing but sadly it seems like the loss of The Hound has meant the loss of a large portion of the swearing. Who could forget his greatest scene ever, complete with all the swearing!

So there we have it. A few things we need to stop doing in the world of Game of Thrones.

And just remember, you either win or you die…

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Stop Doing That… In a Fast Food Restaurant!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might think that the topic of Fast Food is a bit played out since I’ve already talked about it a fair few times. If you’re new here or require a catch-up then please click here to learn about OCS (Obnoxious Customer Syndrome) or here to see the first “Stop Doing That” about ordering your fast food.

So where can we go from here? Surely I’ve already covered the most important parts, right? Well today, we’ll be looking at what happens when you move away from the counter and enter the restaurant seating area. There are just oh so many things that you can do here to make yourself one of the most annoying customers ever. So, without further ado let me attempt to help you realize and rectify your mistakes!

STOP: Not clearing your own table
This is something that majorly bugs me. It’s not difficult to do either, so there’s no excuse for you getting up and wandering off WITHOUT taking the tray with all of the rubbish and detritus from your meal and putting it in the bin. Seriously, the bins are out there, in the lobby, for you to use. In most cases you walk past at least one bin to reach the exits! It’s not hard. If you don’t take your tray to the bin then I hope you enjoy the special hell that will be waiting for you. you know, the one reserved for child molesters and people that talk at the theater. (Bonus points for you if you got that reference. If you didn’t, you can educate yourself here: Special Hell)

STOP: Covering the tables in sauce
I mean really, we give you paper plates for a reason so is there any need to cover the entire table in sauce? Do you know how difficult it is to get that stuff off once it’s dried!? It’s like adamantium, you can’t destroy it!

STOP: Getting carried away with the napkins etc.
You know full well you’re not going to use that entire wad of 50 or so napkins for your single burger meal, so how about you just grab a few and not half a forest’s worth of napkins. Save the Earth guys! (And yes, stop me having to sweep up hundreds of unused napkins every shift.)

STOP: Throwing what seems like the entirety of your meal on the floor
I know that occasionally, things fall on the floor. I’m ok with that really. I don’t mind having to sweep the floor, I have to do it anyway. I do take a personal vendetta fueled by my own burning rage against people who do this slight umbrage with those people that seem incapable of using a table and have managed to tip an entire trays worth of food and rubbish over the floor. Table manners do exist guys, please try not to forget them just because you’re not in a fancy restaurant!

 

Stop Doing That…At the Bar!

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Pub, club or trendy urban bar, it doesn’t matter where you go for your tipple, the end result will always be the same. I find it staggering that we Brits, a nation that love lines and queues and the etiquette associated with them will let all of our logic and good sense fly out of the windows in two scenarios. Bus stops, but we really don’t have time to get into that area right now, and bars.

Bars just seem to be filled to the rafters with people swanning about, doing their best to annoy me. I’m almost certain that they know that they’re doing it and its some kind of cosmic test of my character which I have to pass in order to live a full and happy life (Think Galadriel refusing to take the One Ring in The Fellowship of the Ring) but on the off chance that this isn’t the case, I thought I would take it upon myself to set some ground rules…

STOP: Staring
We’ve all been there, waiting at the bar in whichever establishment you choose to frequent, when you get the nagging feeling that something’s not right. Someone is staring at you. I’m not talking just maintaining a look at the back of my head because I’m in front of you staring, I mean full on laser bean vision staring, targeted directly at me. I don’t fully understand why this happens, but it seems to be the case with most places that I go. Guys, it’s especially creepy if your doing it to a girl because yo fancy her. Lets face it, what you think is your best Brad Pitt smouldering sexy look actually resembles something more akin to a plumber standing in a room with the worst blocked toilet ever. Not attractive at all…

STOP: Pushing
Whoever thought that the best way to remedy the brief few minute wait to be served was to plow forwards like a rugby player eight steps away from the line is, quite frankly, one of the biggest morons in the world. Lets just think this through for a second. We are at a bar, in a pub, trying to buy a drink, which comes in an open topped vessel and is very wet. Brilliant. Lets add some massive instability into the scenario and let the good times roll! I paid almost triple what that coke is worth for the privilege of having it in a pint glass with a lemon wedge, I would like it to go in my mouth, not down my shirt.

STOP: Queue jumping
This ones for all of you ladies out there. There may not be a defined queue at a bar. Sadly, the lack of queuing protocol exhibited at all establishments with a bar is one of my biggest bugbears in life – guess I’ll have to wait until I become the Supreme Overlord of the World to fix that but that’s another story for another time. Having no defined queue makes it all too easy for people to exploit the natural order of service and jump the “queue” to be served first. The sad thing is it happens a lot more with women, because yo think you can get away with it.
Up you swagger with your make up and your womanly charms and straight to Barman you go. Sadly the flirty wink and demeanour will get his attention and he will, unfortunately, serve you before me even though I’ve been waiting here for a good 15 minutes. This is not okay, there’s a mutually agreed code at the bar that you’ve now come in and broken. Personally, I’m all for gender equality so if I ever happen to be in this situation I will tap you on the shoulder and tell you to wait your turn. It’s only fair…

STOP: Eavesdropping
This one is just a matter of good manners. Stop listening in to other people’s conversations when you’re stood nearby them. If you really want to carrying, at least stop doing it so obviously! And actually…

STOP: Having personal conversations
If you’re having a conversation that you don’t want to run the risk of being overheard then wait until you’ve got your drinks and are back at your table, don’t spew it out in a crowd of strangers. Come on guys, a little bit of common sense is all I’m asking for.

Doubtless, the moment that I hit publish, I’ll think of a million more things to add but hey ho. Is there anything that you can think of that annoys you about waiting at bars? Leave a comment!

Stop Doing That… At The Library!

Well the holidays are well and truly over and all of us students have gone back to struggling our way through the mountains of work that have somehow managed to accumulate themselves, even though we’ve been keeping an eye on them. No, that was not sarcasm, I honestly thought I had less work than I seem to have now! This is why my new best friend is: The Library!

The library is great! There are loads of books, plenty of tables, access to the University’s intranet and all the software they have in the Open Access commuter suite. Heck, it’s even got a cafe in it and a park out the back to go for a walk around for a break! It’s a great place to go, sit down and power your way through all the work you’ve been doing.

There is, however, a problem with the Library.

It’s full of PEOPLE.

More specifically, stupid people that don’t know what they should and shouldn’t be doing, which leads the rest of us to get annoyed and turns the library from the tranquil, intellectual refuge that it should be into a teeth grinding pit of annoyance, stress and resentment.

In an effort to simplify my life (and therefore those in my immediate surroundings, also) here is a brief list of a few of the most common misuses of the library and why you need to stop doing them immediately.

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STOP: Taking phone calls
There is nothing more irritating than being sat in the same room as someone who insists on hollering details of their inane life down the phone the entire time they’re in the library. You’ll be trying to work and they’ll just keep going and going and going, these people have no off switch. Here’s an idea for you, turn your damned phone off when you come to the library. You’re in here to work, not organise plans for “a sick night out, bro!”. If the call is THAT important, then shift to one of the corridors or go outside where you can jabber away to your hearts content, if you don’t then don’t look at me like I’m the bad guy when I loudly sigh and tut at you.

STOP: Using the computers for Facebook
I cannot tell you how many times I haven’t been able to do work in the library, or any, computer room because it is chocked full of morons staring at their news feeds hoping something has happened in the last 2 minutes. I need the software on these computers to be able to do my work and you’re staring at your friend Jessica’s holiday photos/pictures of a cat in an outfit/a club night that you want to go to but “only if you get the work done first”. Here’s a novel idea: GET THE HECK OFF FACEBOOK AND DO YOUR WORK! I will fantasise about dipping you in molasses and covering you in fire ants if I see you wasting time on Facebook when I need to do actual work. One of these days I may even follow through with it. You have been warned…

STOP: Putting books back wrong
You know those little tags on the bottom of the spine of the book? Those ones that have the little numbers and letters on them? That’s a reference number so that everyone can find the book, where it is supposed to be. It just makes it easier and less time consuming. So stop just chucking a book back anywhere when you’re finished with it. Try and stick the book back at least CLOSE to the books with the same numbers on the notice! Imagine trying to find a book in a world where no one catalogued them and didn’t keep them in an order. It would be like trying to look for a literary needle in a page turning haystack. Think about other users and learn to use the system, please.

STOP: Eating loud food in the silent area
By all means bring whatever food you like and enjoy it. I bring food to the library all the time, when you’re doing a day of work you have to! The only thing I’m saying is that don’t crack open a bag of Doritos or whack out your “healthy option” of celery sticks in the silent area. The clue is in the name and we’re all in here because we don’t want to be disturbed, so with that said and done we don’t need you marching in here crunching away on the loudest foods known to man. In an attempt to forewarn you, if you ever come and sit next to me in a silent area and start munching away on foods that sound like a frost giant cracking its knuckles, I will not hold back from smacking you around the face with it. 🙂

STOP: Sitting in aisles
This one re-he-healy bugs me. There are tables for a reason. Get up off of the floor, get the hell out of this TINY CRAMPED AILSE and sit yourself down where you should be. People sitting in the aisles make it incredibly difficult for other people to get past and find the books that they’re looking for. Common courtesy guys!

STOP: Using the library to start up pointless discussions
I’ve seen this happen a few times over my time at Uni. Someone will be walking along, notice that someone is reading a book on a certain subject and then, for some inexplicable reason, will strike up a conversation essentially quizzing the poor soul on their beliefs and views on the subject! Chances are that person didn’t want to be bothered and here you are, basically poking and prodding them in the face to try to provoke them into having a discussion, which you’ll likely turn into an argument. Go and get a coffee or something and leave strangers alone.
(I should point out that this last one has never happened to me personally, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s because people don’t want to argue about a book called “Applied Fluvial Geomorphology for River Engineering and Management”.)

Well, there you go. If you have any more that you think I should add to this little list then please leave them in comments! Happy studying guys!

Stop Saying That

Like, OMG WTF is with that title?

I thought I would switch it up a bit today and instead of telling people what they shouldn’t do, I’ll be trying to change your speech patterns by pointing out just how absurd some of the stuff people nowadays say actually is. This has come about as a result of endless overheard conversations on buses, in lectures, in the shop, everywhere in fact, where there are large groups of people doing what large groups of people tend to do best: being annoying.

Do you ever hear someone say something and just want to reach forward and smack them round the head? Do you ever get the urge to correct someone when they say something that you’re pretty sure isn’t a word? If so, you’re just like me (there is counselling available for those poor souls among you that are stuck in the same situation as myself). So here we go, the next in my self improvement series for you and if you say any of these so called “words” then I think you need to go away and have a good hard look at yourself…

Like
Like, I can’t, like, even begin to, like, wonder why some people are like, always saying this. Like, isn’t it enough to just, like, stop and take a seconds pause or, like, know what you’re going to, like, say before you’ve, like, started it?

That was infuriating to type. Do you see how annoying it is? I have nothing agains the word “like” when it is used properly but when it’s used instead of taking a breath in conversation it makes me want to go all Predator on you and pull out your spine before mounting your head on my wall as a trophy. have a little cry about the state of speech in this world.

Literally
I will literally punch you in the face if you keep misusing this word. You did not “literally die when he asked you out” if you had, I wouldn’t be writing this post…

Swag
When did stolen goods become a term of endearment? You say swag and all I see is a guy in a mask and a striped jumper carrying a sack. If you have to talk about how much swag you have, it’s clearly not an awful lot.

YOLO
James Bond begs to differ.

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LOL
Controversial because I’m ashamed to say I use it myself. The real issue is it seems like it’s expected of you now, every time somebody says something mildly funny. I think we should all take a leaf out of Tim Minchin’s book and use “Mildly Amused Smirk” or MAS as a better indication of what we’re doing.
Also, when did it become ok to use text speak in everyday ACTUAL conversation? Say LOL to me in person and you and I will be having a serious talk about your inability to differentiate the real world from a computer screen.

Dench
I don’t even know what this means. When “Peng” was around I didn’t know what that meant but I tried to learn. Now I’m just past caring. Just know that every time I hear you say Dench, no matter what the context, I will be thinking of this lady:

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Well that seemed to take a very Bond twist! That’s all you’re getting from me today but doubtless there’ll be a part two when the next round up of awful slang is delivered kicking and screaming into the general public.

Anyone got any other words they hate people using and abusing? Share them in the comments!

Stop Doing That…On the Internet!

The Internet. A vast network of wires and tubes that can connect you to the other side of the world in the blink of an eye. The wealth of information stored online is like having thousands of different libraries at your disposal ready for you to track down exactly what it is you need to know, be it a reflective analysis of two different poems by Lord Byron or just finding out who it is that played that character in that film you just watched. The Internet is wonderful.

Unfortunately, whilst this beautiful resource has so many benefits (i mean who doesn’t love Grumpy Cat?) it also comes with a downside. Being hyper connected to the rest of the world means that you are unfortunately hyper connected to a steady stream of idiots, not just limited to those you know in your own life, but from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

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Here’s a list of things that you need to stop doing to prevent yourself from becoming one of these keyboard bashing, flame war starting, pig headed examples of ignorance unfortunate individuals.

STOP: Over sharing your Instagram
There once was a time where I would have absolutely lambasted someone for having an Instagram account. However, times have changed and I now find myself in possession of one. I follow a few people and like to see their photos come up, to see what they are doing and what they deem to be a good photo. Quite a few of the people that I follow Instagram A LOT. I mean there are more pictures uploaded by some of these guys than there are tramps on the underground. That’s absolutely fine, I like the pictures coming up. On Instagram. The problem is that once it goes outside of Instagram that shit is all over my Facebook, all over my Twitter feed and I’m pretty sure it would be covering my Tumblr in a freshly sepia’d layer of slime if I had a Tumblr. I’m not saying never share your Instagram pictures with anyone on other social networks, I’m just saying only share the ones that are relevant to a tweet you would write anyway. Don’t just vomit all of your photos over the nearest social network otherwise I’m pretty sure you’ll slap a Kelvin filter over that and post it up as well.

STOP: Vaguebooking
Ah Vaguebooking, the preserve of insecure assholes and that girl who is going crazy because she isn’t the centre of attention for five minutes. UrbanDictionary has defined it as “an intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to ask what’s going on, or possibly a cry for help.” Either way, when I see you post “OMG why did he have to do that!?” or “Guess I know where I stand now…” it’s a sure fire way for me to get out my unfriending stick and smack you around your virtual face with it.

STOP: Inviting me to your awful events
Chances are I don’t like your band, comedy show, club night, puppet theatre, cat on a unicycle doing circus tricks whilst you play accordion in accompaniment. We both know that it’s true. So why don’t we work together to solve it? You stop inviting me and I’ll stop burning with rage and wanting to smash your face into your keyboard every time I see that you’ve invited me to yet another event that I can only assume isn’t titled accurately as “A night of extreme averageness on my part and boredom on yours because I still harbour pipe dreams that i can make my hobby into a career.”

STOP: Political Soapboxing
Are you a paid member of [enter political party here]’s publicity team? No? Then shut the hell up with every post being about your political views. If I wanted to hear them then I would ask you myself and start up a charming discussion with you on the subject. Since I’m not doing that, you can stop rubbing your ideas, policies and beliefs forcibly into our faces. This goes for you too, overly religious types. Your beliefs are like genitals. I’m happy for you that you have them but I don’t want them shoved into my face. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule…

STOP: OMG LOL LMFAO SMH
I have no idea what half of the Internet language doing the rounds nowadays is, but its safe to say that I’m sure you didn’t “Laugh out Loud” at my thinly veiled pun. Let’s all take a leaf from Tim Minchin’s book and use MAS (Mildly Amused Smirk) as a more realistic representation of what we are actually doing at that moment.

STOP: YouTube baiting
It’s a YouTube video, not a forum of political, religious, existential, philosophical etc etc expression. It’s a video of a cat balancing kumquats. Stop starting arguments about things that don’t need to be started here. The average comments section of a YouTube video is so full to the brim of hatred that even I can’t stand to read them – and that’s saying something! Be smart, don’t feed the trolls.
If you want the link to the video of cats balancing kumquats then you’re in luck!

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