Thursday, April 28, 2005

A bit of Time Wasting!

Internet quizzes...I could spend hours and hours wasting time taking all kinds of quizzes on the internet! I used to frequent a site called that has now changed to They have tests such as, "Who's your cat's celebrity match?" and "What breed of dog are you?" Really important life changing tests!!!! But so much fun all the same. Then for some reason or another, I don't remember now, I stopped visiting the site and starting spending my time a little more wisely (well, maybe not wisely...But doing something different anyway!). Then, yesterday, my sister sent me a link for this test. It determines what kind of thinker you are. Now, I'm always fairly skeptical of tests like these, because I think the results can be swayed if you answer 1 question differently, but they are still fun to do! I came out as a Linguistic Thinker, which I think is quite true. You should take it, and see how it turns out. *This is a British quiz, so there may be some questions that my American readers will not know - I think there's one about TV hosts.* But give it a go anyway....After all, who doesn't have 10 minutes to waste finding out one of life's most important questions? :-)

Also, if anyone else is bored out there, try Tickle. It's hugely fun, and you can find out all sorts of things about yourself that you never knew! Apparently, my celebrity LURVE match is Hugh Grant! Well, I wouldn't say no! And my Formula 1 Co-Driver would be Ruebens Barrichello! I think I might go and waste a bit more with those life changing quizzes right now! Go on....Have a giggle! Find out
what flavour you are, or what kind of monkey you are!

Just on a side note...I've been trying to find out how to add a picture on to my blog. Not onto the posts themselves, but onto the main page, and I can't find anywhere to help me. I have very little experience with HTML, so I have no idea how to go about it. If anyone can help me, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks, and have a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Where the writing's good...

Over the past couple of days, I have been directed to some new and wonderful blogs. Thanks to Shane, I've been introduced to some of the best writing I've come across in a long while. As I wrote to him in his comments, if I could write anything that came remotely close to being half as good as some of the stuff I've read recently, I'll be very happy indeed.

However, I think I have a long way to go before I enter the vicinity of those guys! I know what I want to say in my head, but then when it comes to putting it down on paper (or screen in this case!) it just sounds terrible. Is that something that comes with practice? Or are some people just born with a natural talent to be able to grab people and suck them into a different world for a while?

I love escapism. I think that's why I'm such a movie fan. I love to be able to disappear, even for just a few minutes everyday, into someone else's life, be they real or fictional. When I read a book, or a blog in many cases, I am right there in the action, not just reading words off a page. I can visualize every fine detail of the scene, whether its been outlined in the narrative or not. I often think, when I'm hooked by a book, how I would turn it into a film. I can see the characters so clearly that if I ever was to make a film of a book, I'm not sure I could ever find the right actors for the job. It's hard to describe what happens to me when I read, but I am most definitely 'transported' into their world. I leave the mundane-ness (is that even a word?) of my world, and enter into a completely different one. They can be exciting, sad, dark, all kinds of different colours, depending on the subject matter. At the minute I'm reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, which is just amazing. His narrative is so clear that the room I'm in becomes Mid-World, or End-World for a length of time that is totally lost on me. Maybe one day, I'll be able to write like that...

I would love it if anyone has any advice on how to become a better writer, even if it's just to tell me that it comes with practice. There are so many people out there who I admire so much for what they do, and it can sometimes dishearten me, because I know that I'll never be as good as they are. But then I suppose that's what life is about!

Anyway, thanks Shane for directing me to those wonderful blogs.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Poker Faces Everyone

Last weekend, my friends and I had our first Poker Night! It was so much fun. We were only using our coppers to bet with, because it was more of a teaching session than an actual game. I knew the basics, from watching it on TV, and reading bits and pieces, but wasn't too sure how the betting part of it went. My housemate just didn't have a clue, and our other friend didn't really like any form of card games! So we had Ian, who is a MASTER at all things card like; Sally, who's almost as good as Ian; my housemate Daisy, who as I've already mentioned, didn't know a thing about Poker; Kim, who was quite happy to sit and watch the proceedings; and me. We all sat around my our tiny dining room table, while Ian went over the basic rules. We all decided that it would be easier if we learnt as we played, so Ian dealt us all our hands. We had shared out the contents of our piggybank, and we had 29p each to play with! The bets started at 1p.

Tensions were high, because most of us didn't know what was going on! But we all had our first hands, and Daisy just decided that she would bet until the cards were shown, on EVERY hand. Guess what? She won the LOT!!!! She would show her cards and say, "So, what do I have here?" We couldn't believe it! The one person at the table who really had no clue whatsoever, ended up winning everything! However, we played another game, and Daisy's losing streak ended! I won that one...wahoooo!!! As we all learned what we were doing, it became more about strategy, and less about luck, which was even more fun!

Anyway, I've been bitten by the Poker bug, and I want to play more often! We are going to have a Poker night soon, with loads of people, and I can't wait.

If anyone knows of any good Poker books/websites to give me any more beginners hints and tips, it would be muchly appreciated!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Where words fail, music speaks

On the TV last night, they had a show of the Top 100 Albums ever. It got me to thinking (I swore I'd never use that phrase, it's just too Sex and the City!) about the impact of music on everyday life. It struck me just how big a part music plays in so many things that we don't notice. Take commercials for instance, if they use a popular enough song to advertise their product, every time you hear that song, you going to be reminded of that product. That's a fairly obvious point just there, but it does the job I think.

My housemate pointed out that music is one of the few art forms that can affect you so much, and you don't even really need to understand it. Like, for example, Opera. Not everyone's cup of tea, but you can listen to those songs, written and sung in a totally different language, yet still feel the emotion, and energy of it. You don't need to understand the lyrics of a song to be affected by it, is what I'm trying to say I guess. In other art forms, you need to have a vague understanding of what it is for it to have an effect on you. (Feel free to disagree with me, this is just my opinion.) In order to be moved by a film, let's say, you need to know the whole story, or at least part of it. Yeah, you have foreign language films, but they're more often than not, subtitled, so you CAN understand what's going on. The same goes for literature; if you pick up a book that you've never read before, and start reading it halfway through, it's not going to have the same effect on you, as if you'd read it from the start. But with music, you can be swept up in just one lyric, and it can provoke an enormous range of emotions. There's a quote in the movie
Empire Records that says, "...Music is the glue of the world. It's what holds it all together. Without [it], life would be meaningless." I think that's so true, without music, my life would be so much emptier, and quieter!

I hope everybody has at least a little music in their life, even if it's singing to yourself in the shower!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

He's a Geek

I have just finished reading Just A Geek, by Wil Wheaton, and it's absolutely fantastic. I have been an avid reader of Wil's blog for many years now, and I fully advise those not already reading it to go and check it out. Some of you may have heard of Wil from such things as Stand By Me, Star Trek:The Next Generation, or my personal favorite, Toy Soldiers. However, Wil is no longer The Guy Who Used To Be An Actor© he is now a WRITER and proud of it! If you read either is blog, or his book, or both, you'll understand what I'm talking about. I don't really want to write too much about the book itself, because nothing I write could do it justice, I just advise you allllllllll to go out and read it yourselves.

I'm a huge fan of Wil's writing style, as he totally transports you from in front of you computer into 'Wil Wheaton-land'. You're right there with him as he goes through an audition, or plays D+D with his step-kids. Its wonderful. Both Wil's books (he also wrote Dancing Barefoot a few years ago) are excerpts from his blog, padded out with new material to link the stories together.

Now I'm not a writer, and as I sit here are re-read this, I think it sounds horrible, but I just know what to write to make it better, so I'm afraid you'll just have to be stuck with my horrendous grammar and style. But that is what made reading Just A Geek even better. When Wil first started his website, he wasn't happy with his style either, and he can look back and see how much the whole process of gathering thoughts and putting them onto 'paper' has improved. I can only hope that I can look back (if this is still around in years to come) and see if I too have improved.

So, everyone...Go out and buy a copy of JAG, or Dancing Barefoot NOW! Trust me you won't be able to put it down. I couldn't....I read it in 2 days! Go Go Go!

Monday, April 11, 2005


Recently I have been thinking a great deal about my time studying and travelling in the States 2 years ago (can it really be that long ago?). My fellow traveller, Beck returned to America last month to go on another cross country mission with her cousin, and as I got numerous wonderful e mails recounting their adventures stateside, I was both happy for her that things were going well, but also so very very greeeeeeeen with envy! I miss all my friends from Keene State College, and the time spent there.

Being from the UK, we don't get a lot of snow over here, so to turn up at the start of January, to about 3/4 feet of snow was like entering a strange and wonderful world like Narnia. I remember stepping out of Boston airport at about 9pm into the coldest temperatures I think I've ever been in! We struggled down the road to find the minibus that would take us to Keene, marvelling at the amount of snow, while trying hard not to fall over on the ice! We had to stop on the way to find a pay phone, because our flight had been delayed by about 3 hours, and we needed to warn the lady who was meeting us at KSC. When my friend and I got out of the nice, warm minibus into the seering cold, our breath caught in the back of our throats! We must have been outside for all of about 2/3minutes, but already by then our hands had gone numb and we could no longer feel our toes! Little did we realise that we would have another 2/3 months of this blinding cold!

When we finally arrived at KSC a long and very sleepy 3 hours or so later, we were met and taken to our dorms, that would be our homes for the next 5 months. There were about 4 of us, and all in separate dorms, so while they took one person, the rest of us had to brave it out in the -whatever it was degrees! It was only the next day when we could fully take advantage of the New Hampshire snow! And oh! how we played! Snowballs, snowmen (which I was very disappointed to learn that many KSC students don't actually make anymore!), we tried a few snow angels, but to no avail as when you got up the soft powdery snow just filled in the holes!!! It was wonderful!

Even though most of the New Englanders we had met were totally sick of the sight of snow by April, when it was STILL going, the English lot LOVED it! (well, I did anyway!!) However, when it came to about this time of the year, we were able to wear just the one t-shirt, instead of our usual 2, and we could finally don our flip flops or sandals without getting major frost bite on your toes! Lorianne has a fantastic post about it today, with some very cheery pictures of Keene in the spring time. It was her post that really got the memories flowing Keene, and how much I really do miss it. I would love to have those months back again, and do it all over again. I just enjoyed my self so much, and I met some amazing people, who I miss even more!

My withdrawal symptoms are getting stronger and stronger, and I'm going to need to top up my 'America Levels' soon! Plus the fact that I just need to get out of the UK for a little while, I do NEEEEEED to go back to the States. I'll be there soon, I promise.

Just as bit of a side note, Please can everyone send their best wishes and any good mojo they can spare to Shane Nickerson, who's going through a bit of a rough patch. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

I was watching Gladiator last night, and I was inspired by the section in which they put maggots into Maximus' wound to clean it. It struck me how wonderful Nature is, and how much more we could rely on her. Nowadays there are so many manufactured drugs and technologies that we've almost stopped looking to Nature. In so many cases (I understand that there are exceptions) the cure could be right there in our 'back garden'.

I know that some hospitals do use maggots to clean wounds, for example, and many of the drugs that are used come from natural products. But there are many remedies out there which have not been modified that could work just as well.

Now, don't me wrong, if I feel a headache coming on, I'm the first one to say, take some Paracetamol. But first I like to try my Tiger-balm, which more times than not works just as fast, with the added feeling that I haven't just pumped my system full of chemicals.

Bill Hicks has a sketch about Marijuana, and how it shouldn't be illegal, because that would be like admitting that God had made a mistake. Personally, I'm not a great believe in God etc, but it would be admitting that Nature had made a mistake. If Nature hadn't intended for certain things to grow and be used, they wouldn't have been created in the first place. I people could say that such plants and flowers could have been created by mistake, the odd cross contamination here and there, but then that leads us the question...Can Nature make a mistake? I believe in fate, and all things happening for a reason, so my answer to that question would be no, she doesn't make mistakes. So why should we be banning substances that grow naturally upon the Earth, yet condone products that have been manufactured, modified and pumped full of who-knows-what to make us feel better?

Nature is a wonderful thing, and I think we should all take note of John Muir (again!!!) and be at peace with the world and nature.

Monday, April 04, 2005

A world - wide Universal Plea for Help!

For as long as I can remember it has been a dream of mine to someday work in the film industry. Everytime I watch a movie, I long to be a part of it, and have my name on the credits. I don't want to act in movies; I've never been comfortable on the screen, but most definitely behind it. At school, I was always a part of the School plays, as part of the backstage team, and even managed to work my way up to Assistant Director, and Head of Backstage. I loved it. After university, I was trying to think of a career that I could see myself in. I'm not the most academic people, and my attention span is very very limited! So sitting in an office for 8 hours a day (which is what I do at the minute) is not what I call a dream job!
I'm calling for help from anyone who might happen to read this, if they know of anyone in the UK who is willing to take on someone, even for work experience (as that is primarily what I need right now) please, please let me know! I'm feeling at a bit of a loss, and I'm not really too sure what to do with my life, so any direction would be muchly appreciated!
Thank you!

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Power of imagination makes us infinite

Having an imagination is one of the best things in the world, I think. I am very easily pleased, because I have an imagination. Give me a cardboard box and I can amuse myself for hours...Yes this is coming from a 22 year old! As long as you have an imagination you can do anything, as John Muir says above. If you want to go to the moon, then go; if you want to be a rock star then sing; anything and everything is possible if you imagine it.

Some people may think it childish to imagine you can fly to Mars or beyond in a cardboard box, but in the long run I think its those who have very little imagination, and take things at face value who are the childish ones.

On family a family vacation many years ago, we visit an old Castle ruin in Shropshire UK. As we walked up a flight of 500/600 year old stairs, I could hear the hustle and bustle of the Castle occupants as they went about their daily business. Footsteps going up and down, running errands, or just going places. Then as we stood over what used to be the Great Hall, which is now just a shell of the outer walls, I could see the huge table down the centre, the roaring fire at the end of the room with people milling about drinking from their tankards or goblets. There were women in their float dresses with flowers in their hair, men sitting at the table eating the great chunks of bread and meat. I could feel the warmth of the braziers on the wall, giving out the flicker light which dances on the walls. The musicians in the corner playing a lively, cheery song, keeping the guests entertained. It was just wonderful. If I could choose to live in one period of history, it would be in the Medieval times, in a castle, so to visit one, and have the imagination to actually BE there, even for just a few minutes, is something that I'll never forget.

I hope that you all have at least some imagination to achieve the unachievable!