Happy Holidays To All!

Golden Happy Holidays Card | Birthday & Greeting Cards by Davia

This will be my last post until at least the 26th so I want to wish you all an amazing holiday season. I hope it brings you all the joy and happiness you wish for. May you all be safe and healthy both in your physical and mental health. Whatever your situation whether you are spending this season with loved ones or alone I hope it will be joyful and peaceful. We have all had a pretty hard year so I really think we deserve a bit of positivity at the end of the year.

Sending you all the best of joyous greetings,

Lisa

XXX

A Letter To My Teenage Self (Part 1)

The idea for the following blog post I found on an incredible blog called Chateau Cherie

cartoon old letter Clipart | +1,566,198 clip arts

Dear Teenage Lisa,

Yeah, hi honey I see you. Probably with your nose in a book. Well let me tell you some things are not new there darling!

I am not really sure where to start but just to let you know that everything will be ok. I know you worry it won’t be but it will. It won’t be perfect my dear and I know right now you are so worried it won’t be but you will grow to realise that life isn’t perfect but you will still be happy. And you are a lot stronger with a bigger capacity to survive than you think.

I know you are worried about that passionate heart you have and I know you are worried about questioning everything. But let me tell you one day you will realise that those things are two of your most beautiful qualities. You are not a bad person, you are compassionate and kind but you are also strong and you stand up for what you believe in, your rights and the rights of others. And babe, no matter what some people tell you and how much they put you down, you remember that because you are going to need to. People are going to/are saying these negative about you and though you may not think it, it is when you start to not take those things in that you will blossom.

Right now you are being bullied in school and I know not too much of it gets to you but it will all hit you later down the line. While you will have scars from the cruel experiences of being bullied, you will become even stronger from it and you will get through. That is going to be a common feature of life: hard times will be hard but you will survive them and you will come out of them stronger.

You are trying to figure out your sexuality and your romantic orientation. You are spending too much time trying to figure it all out. You will in time. In fact you will think you know at 18 but you won’t till quite a bit after that so why worry? Let it just come. You will question more too like your religious beliefs and your gender and you will sort all that too. You will question if you are capable of success, whether you are a good person and what type of clothes you like but babe, you’ll get through it all. My message really to you is stop worrying so much about figuring things out. You will and then you will wonder why you wasted so much time trying to sort things that you always eventually get the answers to. Live in the moment and trust yourself that you are capable of finding out who you are.

Your life is in writing. I know your two passions are writing and singing. You will go for a couple of auditions so you won’t have regrets about that but writing is where your life and career mainly lies. You have published 29 books. Yeah, pretty impressive, eh girl? There’s a bit of everything in them from romance, mystery, drama, horror, supernatural, self-help, poetry, a childrens’ book and in your books there is a lot about social issues! You have a blog which this letter is on. It is called Culture Vulture Express. You have written for magazines and websites too. And let me tell you honey, keep the writing up because while you are not Oscar Wilde, you are pretty damn good at it.

You are going to have mostly a very happy life but you are going to have some hard times too. You will lose your father in 2008 and you will lose your dog in 2010. They are going to be very difficult times for you, your mother and your sister and you will go through all those stages of grief people talk about but those stages will be more hellish than anyone could ever describe. The two men in your life will always be in your heart but though it might not always feel like it at those times, you will get through and survive and so will your mother and sister.

Later in your life, you will go through a very difficult night where you will feel like taking your life. You are going to face a lot of prejudice, discrimination and gaslighting and you are going to put a lot to the back of your mind and that stress is going to build up and make you feel that way. You will feel like you are going to go through with it but don’t worry, you won’t. You are a fighter though you think you aren’t. You are going to see life a lot differently after that happens but Lis, I want you to see life a lot differently now instead. I want you to know your worth without having to experience something so awful and scary.

Oh, you are 30 now. Did I mention that? How do you feel? More mature because you’ve experienced more life. You know more than back then because you had a good few years to learn it in. But honestly, you aren’t really much different! You are a lot calmer now but that’s normal. You are young and starting out in the world and it’s perfectly normal to be daunted by that but over time, you’ll get used to it. You will learn how to navigate the world like we all do.

You are in a pandemic currently. Yes, you read that right darling, a pandemic. Life is very scary right now and it feels so fragile. But you, your mother and sister are doing well at the moment and making the best of it.

I think that is enough information to load on your young shoulders for now but there will be more parts to this letter so you know Lis, stay tuned. 🙂

From 30-year-old Lisa

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It is that time of week again. Here is my five video suggestions for you all this week.

 

TV

This week the amazingly talented Chi Chi DeVayne who appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race passed away at the age of 34. It is incredibly sad and this video is a tribute to Chi Chi on the RuPaul’s Drag Race channel on YouTube. From season 8, here she is lip syncing against Thorgy Thor. Rest in peace Chi Chi.

 

 

Relaxation

Here is a very relaxing ASMR video by an amazing ASMR artist Silver Hare. This video includes sound therapy, chakras, a cleansing of your negative vibes and many more calming triggers.

This video from Goodful is a 10-minute video especially for anxiety. Very, very relaxing and is great for targeting anxiety specifically if you need your meditation that day to be more centred on anxiety in particular. Once again relaxing words are provided by John Davisi.

 

Music

This video is so creative and the song is a great bop. What more could you want? Absolutely love this. I present to you all Play by Jax Jones and Years & Years.

 

This is mine and my sister’s favourite Mariah Carey track Vision Of Love and the video is as equally dramatic and fabulous! 🙂

 

 

Culture Vulture Express Is 7 Today!

Balloon Clip Art, PNG, 4122x5156px, 99 Luftballons, Balloon ...

 

Today is a special day as my baby/blog Culture Vulture Express has turned 7. Happy Birthday my dear blog! 🙂

 

It is difficult sometimes to believe I set this blog up seven years ago. And yet, when I really think about it a lot has happened in that seven years. I remember at the start I was finding it difficult to figure out how to get a blog up on the internet and figure out the features. Some of that is still going on if I’m being completely honest! 🙂

I have published a lot of books in that time and Culture Vulture Express has always been my website in that time. I’m very proud of my blog. And I look to the next year posting here and hopefully keeping you all entertained one way or another. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported this blog over the years. I appreciate that every day because you don’t have to and the fact that you want to and you take time to come on here means so so much. So thank you immensely. 🙂

5 Videos To Watch On YouTube This Week!

It’s that time of week again y’all! 🙂

 

Music

Billy Porter and cast and crew of Pose joined together to do a special version of Love Yourself. A lot of fun, I dare you not to start dancing to this! 🙂

 

A classic music video here from a-ha with Take On Me. Amazing animation.

 

Dance

This dance is great. Like a scene out of a film or a TV show. It might be actually. I’m not sure but I think it’s great anyway. I love Tango and I love it even more when it’s done well and it’s done very well here by the two women. And the 1920s outfits are absolutely gorgeous.

 

History

In this video, we learn about the aftermath of The Great Fire of London in 1666. I found it very interesting. It was something I heard about of course but I didn’t know much about it and this was a great introduction to look further into this period in history.

 

Relaxation

Relax and enjoy a haircut this week courtesy of RIVER ASMR. Super relaxing!

Talking About Ignorance, Prejudice & Gaslighting

How to avoid grievances of gaslighting in relationships - The ...

 

This blog post is about an experience I went through. A terrible experience I went through. I want to talk about it because many people out there might have experienced the same thing and I want you to feel less alone.

 

I had been getting doubts for a while about things but I had been putting them to the back of my head. I am pan and omni and I faced gaslighting. I felt trapped and that led to me to feeling suicidal. I felt trapped because people were prejudiced and ignorant towards me directly and indirectly and while that was not said to be alright, the gaslighting said in its traditionally roundabout way that I had no right to defend myself and if I did I was as bad as or worse than the people being prejudiced or ignorant. I can’t stand ignorance and prejudice but I will say in comparison to gaslighting, they aren’t as bad. Because gaslighting is effectively bringing someone down or kicking them when they are down or often a mixture of both. I don’t know where gaslighting originally stems from but I would hazard a guess that the idea of someone being not compassionate because they won’t put up with shit doesn’t help. That only makes you feel like you should put up with gaslighting and one third of my brain did feel I should. I can’t even begin to imagine how it feels to have more of your brain thinking that.

I sat in the living-room of my home one night with my hands around my throat and I thought I would go through with killing myself. I was surrounded by a society where so many times I would see someone calling someone out for ignorance or prejudice and they were made out to be the bad person, cruel, in order to save the ignorant and/or prejudiced person and I felt like life was meaningless. Anyone could say what they liked and in order to be alright of a person, I was expected to accept that, be ok with it, be totally understanding. My mind was so screwed with that I was guilty for even feeling that the ignorance, prejudice and gaslighting was wrong. I don’t know what made me see sense that night but I did. I realised that in this situation I was not the one in the wrong and I would not believe or torture myself with that any longer. Writing helped too. When I got myself alright, I wrote a short story which helped me but which I never published. I published a much more web-friendly version of it once but not the actual story from that night.

Since then, I have seen people talking on the internet about mental health struggles and sometimes I can read between the lines that where they are coming from is what I was feeling. But let’s be clear: some people have lengthy struggles with mental illness. I had one night. That fact was part of the reason why for a while I felt like my story was not something to talk about because I felt like an imposter even though I felt what I felt and I couldn’t deny that. Even for one night, it was hellish and I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must be to go through that feeling of worthlessness on a regular basis. I want you to know that no matter what your story is you are not alone and no one deserves to feel that way.

I’m ok now. Very ok. It’s weird because that night which was one of the worse times of my life changed everything for me. I seen things so differently. Life wasn’t huge. I should do my thing, live my truth and I believe I have done that more since. I don’t wish for anyone to go through that kind of pain to get to that stage. I wish people could without doing so.

Life doesn’t change but if your attitude changes, everything changes. That might be hard to believe, and I would have found it hard to believe too, but it does. You will always get people who don’t give a fuck in one way or another but it doesn’t matter because in your life them and their shit doesn’t matter anymore.

It’s cliche but love yourself because when you do, you’re ok and set to unleash the potential that is within you. You don’t need to feel bad or frightened. If someone is insulting to you, however polite they put it, you have a right to feel insulted and to defend yourself. Don’t let them make you feel guilty for that ever.

5 Videos To Watch On YouTube This Week!

Week 3! Here is my five video suggestions this week! 🙂

Dance

This is a very momentous moment in Irish Entertainment history. I present to you The Riverdance from Eurovision 1994:

 

Music

Hozier’s Take Me To Church music video is so emotive and highlights so much that needs to be highlighted. Not an easy watch but a brilliant and powerful video.

 

Social Issues

In this heartbreaking video, singer and former X Factor UK contestant Misha B talks about racism she experienced on the show and how it impacted on her mental health.

 

 

Relaxation

To help relax you and rid you of stress, here is a great ASMR artist Sarai from Peace and Saraity ASMR. In this video, Sarai helps you to relax with a variety of sounds. Each sound is given a certain amount of time and the descriptions of the sounds go up underneath so you can find any helpful sound easily which is very helpful. Very relaxing.

 

 

History

The following video from Weird History talks about the murder of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865 and the aftermath of the murder. Very interesting and concise.

 

Childishly Opportunistic

Social Media For Small Business (Beginner/Intermediate) Tuesday 19 ...

 

I sort of debated whether to speak about this because it was a Twitter comment and who really cares about Twitter comments? But I think I probably should because I am guessing that I am probably not the only one who is being said things like this to because they are speaking about racial injustice. Let me be very clear, I don’t wish the person/people who said this any ill will. This is simply me talking about my side of it and about something I find quite ugly that is going on right now.

The thing is that first of all I agree with the person/people to the extent that a lot of people are opportunistic. You won’t find me disagreeing with that at all. But painting everyone with the same brush is wrong in my opinion. Let me paint the scene for you: I put up a link to my poem A Change Is Gonna Come and not long after an account posts that comment and blocks me instantly. The person/people behind this account do not even know me. They don’t know anything about me as a person or what I stand for. If this was based on something, even if I didn’t agree with them, then ok but it was based on nothing. It all happened too quick for it to be based on something.

The comment is no longer there. I don’t know why. Maybe that’s what happens when you’re blocked. I’m not sure but it’s disappeared anyway. But for that moment, that person or people were clearly out for trouble. They actually weren’t going to get any because I wasn’t going to respond.

It did hurt, it’s a hurtful comment. I shouldn’t admit that but it is true. I am human and things do hurt. It hurt because I am so far from what they were painting me as. I’m by no means a goody-goody but when I say I am passionate about social issues, I mean I am passionate about social issues. There is no ulterior motive, there never has been. It sometimes feels like caring about people is thought of as so weird and so unnatural that surely it can’t be true.

Now, at the moment there is far more important things going on in the world obviously than me being told that I’m being childishly opportunistic but comments like this can be affecting to a person if they aren’t one bit like that and that’s why I’m talking about it. Now, I was hurt by it because I would never use peoples’ misery for my gain but I didn’t take it in and I didn’t believe it about myself. However, I do know what it’s like to believe things like this about yourself. Once, a few times, a person with lower self-esteem might, and that’s a might, pass it over but if something is said over and over or even seen indirectly over and over they will start believing it about themselves. By all means have your opinion, be passionate about it but have some basis to it in regards to that person specifically if you are going to specifically say it to them, be willing to hear what someone might say back to you if they wish to say something and there is no need to be rude. And just for information purposes childish is a very triggering word for people because a lot of people have been gaslighted with that word. I know that from experience so you may not mean it from that place but that instantly brings up a lot of bad memories for a lot of us so that’s something to be mindful of.

I wrote that poem from a good place. I certainly didn’t have badness in my heart writing it and I think most people got that. It saddened me to think someone or some people (I don’t know how many people run the account) would take badness from it but sadly that is the way some people are. It certainly won’t change anything I’m doing. I’m not the silent type, hehe. I will continue to do what I’m doing, what I have always done. And I hope comments like these do not put people off doing what they feel is right. Don’t doubt what is in your heart and don’t doubt yourself. That is a very dark place so you be you, you speak out if you want to and you be happy and content because no one deserves to make you feel any other way.

5 YouTube Videos To Watch This Week!

YouTube considering moving child content to YouTube Kids - 9to5Google

 

 

Here in a new feature on this blog. I hope it will give you some interesting and varied viewing. I am by nature a very curious person, always have been since I was a child and I love to learn so my viewing can be diverse as hell, you have been warned! I hope at least some of the topics will be of interest and I plan to do this weekly so without further ado and rambling from me, here is five YouTube video recommendations to watch this week. 🙂

 

Music

 

This powerful song has been put along alongside some powerful images here. We see activists who are ordinary people as well as well-known activists for the rights of people of color like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Highlighted too are the rights of women and LGBTQAI+ people. A very emotional watch.

 

Social Issues

 

I am very socially-conscious but I hadn’t heard about Juneteenth until very recently. This video explains very well something I must look more into. Please do watch this video which talks about the day and it’s connections to slavery and the emancipation of so many people of color. It isn’t easy obviously to watch because the fact people were treated in that way is utterly disgusting but we need to acknowledge that terrible history and do better by our brothers, sisters and non-binary people of color.

 

TV

 

I am a huge fan of Aquaria and this is the opening episode of her On/Off series where she was out in the Philippines last year. A very interesting series detailing many of her work engagements from last year.

 

Relaxation

 

We all need a moment to relax, destress and get ourselves ok again. I have recently got into ASMR as a way to relax and I love videos by Mads Asmr. In this video, Maddie is scratching, raking and pinching and plucking away your stress.

 

Film

 

I am a huge Sister Act fan and this scene with Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris Van Cartier and Sister Alma never fails to make me laugh.

 

 

The Coronavirus

Image result for the coronavirus

 

 

We are living through some really strange times right now. Every day it feels like the gloom is getting worse and worse as we worry what will come next with the Coronavirus. Currently here in the Republic of Ireland, we have taken many precautions as we all try to get through this. The schools and other educational institutions have closed, many work places have closed and pubs have closed. All social gatherings have been cancelled including all St. Patrick’s Day parades. Most of us are all mostly saying indoors apart from going out to get some groceries and back in again. The shops have many empty shelves which show the physical impact of this pandemic. I think our government have handled this very hard and frightening situation very well. Everyone is just doing the best they can in a very bad and unpredictable situation.

My mum, my sister and I live in a small house and we are distancing ourselves into what we call zones. My mum is older and she has many health issues and my sister has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. While I could probably fight off the Coronavirus easier than either of them because I am in quite good health, I fear passing it on to them as their immune systems, especially my mum’s, might not be able to fight it off as easily. It is utterly scary and right now we are all just checking the symptoms trying to figure out how we are feeling and thankfully so far none of us have the symptoms. The thing I miss the most is hugging my mum and sister or giving them a kiss on the cheek but we’re doing all we can do to protect each other. 

Most people are taking this issue seriously and thank god for that because we are all in this together like our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said in his speech. You will always get a few people who will go against the advice with no valid reason behind doing so but I am thankful that the vast majority who can do so is heeding the advice. Obviously there is many people who are in situations where they must go to work and have no other option. It looks like some funding will be put in place for people so that they can keep themselves and those they love and other people safe from the virus without taking chances they are forced to take so it is wonderful to hear that those measures are going to come in. Our healthcare workers have been amazing as have many healthcare workers all over the world. Each day many of these people are putting themselves at risk to help others which is so brave even if they don’t think so themselves and we all appreciate you all and everything you all do so much.

There is so many in scary situations in the world. You think of homeless people, stray animals, people in prison and people who are going through mental health issues. We have a choice to stay inside and create zones which many don’t have that choice and right now not having that choice is scary. It is scary enough with the choice. I just hope people are been looked out for in their situations. I am also very passionate about mental health and there is a lot of people going through issues with no one to talk to about their issues right now and I hope they can just keep themselves as well as they can. This situation is also not great for peoples’ mental health either. I just hope everyone is keeping well.

I wasn’t really sure how to go about writing this blog post because how do you write about something which is scaring the shit out of yourself and practically everyone else. I don’t want to unintentionally add to that fear and yet I want to somehow express my thoughts because writing always helps me do that. I wanted to offer some encouragement even though I don’t know what the hell to do myself apart from take all the necessary precautions like washing my hands, not touching my face (which is so difficult), isolate myself into my zone, keep myself informed and practice social distancing and that’s all we can do. So, in the end I just said to myself that I can only say what is happening in my life and what I’m feeling.

Though we are all scared, confused, unsure we must have hope through this time of fear and uncertainty. If we can, we need to get our heads away from what is happening and do something we enjoy, catch up on work we need to catch up on and relax as best we can. I can only send you all so many positive vibes at this time and hope that this situation rectifies itself and that this virus becomes part of history sooner rather than later even though that looks like it is going to be a while till that happens. Sending you all much love and thoughts, to you and yours and keep your loved ones and yourself safe. Look after yourselves and those you love everyone.

If there is any positive message to take from this whole pandemic it is that life is the most important thing and must be protected at all costs ahead of everything else like profit and the like.

Rest in peace to all those who have died from this virus. I send my condolences to all their loved ones. My thoughts are also with those suffering with the virus and their loved ones.