Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Just a Quickie!

I used to update my blog as often as I could at work! Cheeky, but I was getting away with it...Until last week that is. I was called up on the amount of time I was spending on the Internet, and so now I have to cut back, A LOT! So I am afraid that until I can afford a new computer at home my posts may be a little thin on the ground. I am hugely upset by this, but there is nothing I can do I'm afraid! Not that I really have enough regular readers to mind, but hey...
So, I shall update as often as I can, without getting caught at work!!!!!
hope you are all well,
take care

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lost for words

I've been trying to think of something to write here for the longest time, but I've been bitten by that evil bug of blankness. I was going to say writer's block, but as I don't consider myself a writer just yet, I can't say that. Maybe one day! No....No maybe's about it! Definitely one day.

I have been trying to work out what it is that I actually want to do with my life, and its proving very difficult. At the minute I'm working in a job that I don't enjoy all that much, but it's quite easy and the pay isn't that bad. It's keeping a roof over my head and food on the table. But one my biggest fears in life is ending up in a job that I've just settled for; one that's easy to do and pays ok, but means that I'll be stuck behind a desk for the rest of my life. I couldn't cope with that at all. I'm not the most active of people, but I have been working in the job for about 5 months now, and I'm more than ready to push my head through the computer screen that stares back at me for 8 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week. I would really love to work in the film industry, as a Script Supervisor. That is my DREAM job, but I have no experience with working with films, and only a very limited amount of experience in theatre. I know its not really about what you know, and more about WHO you know, but I just can't help but think that a little experience could go a long way to getting me my dream job. As a back up, and maybe the experience that I need, I think I could work in Radio. I hate being on screen or stage, but I love talking about rubbish (as you may have guessed by this site!!!!!), so radio seems the perfect option. I think in a couple of months time when my contract at my current job runs out, I'm going to have a serious re-think of my life, and see where I am, and more importantly where I want to be. I just wish somebody could come along and tell me that everything will be ok, and I won't end up wearing my computer monitor as a hat, but that's not what life is all about, so I'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Anyone for a drink?

I went out with my friends last night on an impromptu drinking session! As I was walking home from work, I was so looking forward to putting on my PJ's which are my favourite clothes in the Universe, curling up on my sofa with my quilt and a good movie, then going up to bed to read my book. (I'm reading Stephen King's Dark Tower Series at the minute, and I'm on Book 6! I just want to get it finished...I'm gripped.) But when I got back I was informed that our friends Ross and Gaz would be coming over for dinner, and that after that we would be going out to listen to them sing and play at a bar called Ryans, where they have another open mic night. So my plans of complete vegging were ruined. I know I didn't HAVE to go out with them, but I wasn't going to go and let them have all the fun and leave me behind! So, after a delicious dinner of Toad-in-the-Hole (which you American's might not know about and I suggest you find out, because it is the epitome of British dishes and scrummy!) I grumpily and quite loudly went upstairs and got myself ready. However, when we got there we had a large glass of red wine that went down a treat. That sorted me right out! Grumpy Rach was replaced by "wahoooooo lets get drunk" Rach! One glass of red wine turned into two glasses, which turned into 3 glasses, which basically meant that we had had a bottle of wine each! hhhmmm...Needless to say I was more than a little wobbly when leaving there. Daisy, Gaz and I decided that we would venture down to our local haunt The Friary to the Cheese night they were having. Now, I'll have to stop you there, because I know what you're all thinking...Cheese night in a club? hhmmm? By cheese I don't mean the average Brie, Cheddar, Mozzarella cheese, I mean the Build Me Up Buttercup, Eye of the Tiger, Baywatch Theme Tune kind of cheese! It was wicked cool! There were just enough people there to make it worthwhile going, but not too many so as you couldn't move. While there we drank copious amount of beer, on top of the wine, which didn't really do to much for the whole wobbliness, but we danced away, making ourselves look very silly, but really not caring!

Now, the point of this post is to tell you that when I finally stumbled through the door, trying to be quiet becuase of our housemate, who had left us earlier to go to bed (sensibly!), and made it into bed, I thought of the perfect topic to write about here. It was thoughtful, deep, inspired and just plain amazing! I worked out exactly how I would word it, and just how it would read. I fell asleep praising myself for my Geniusness. Then when I got into work today to type it up, I had completely forgotten what on earth it was about. I have been racking my brain all morning, but to no avail! aaagghhh!!!!! I'm wondering if getting drunk again will jog the old memory, or just make things worse? I guess I'll just have to try it and find out!!!!! I have the lyrics to Tenacious D's Tribute going through my head, where they write the Greatest Song in the World, and then forget it! tee hee Oh well, I'm sure it'll come back to me at some point. I think the lesson I need to learn from this is: STOP DRINKING! We'll see! :-)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Real or Facade?

I was e mailing Warren the other day, when I started to think about celebrities and other famous people. You see I am a complete and utter Tom Cruise NUT! I just think he is amazing! It all started when I was 7 years old, (7 years and 11 1/2 months to be precise!), and for some reason my Dad gave my Mom a photo of Tom Cruise for Christmas. Even at that age I thought to myself, "Oohhh, who's that?!?!" My parents said in unison, "That's Tom Cruise, star of Top Gun" Being that young, I didn't have a clue what they were talking about, so for my 8th birthday two weeks later, I was allowed to watch the movie! My parents edited bits of it however, as it is actually a 15 rating! I was stunned....I immediately fell in love with this man Tom Cruise. My former crush of Jason Donovan, (who most Americans will probably not have heard of) was forgotten about and my new man had taken over. Ever since then, 14 years later, I'm still in love! :-) I worship the man - to a certain extent - which I find completely baffling. After all he is just a man. So he's got more money than I could even imagine, and his face is always in some magazine or another, but he goes to sleep just as we humans do, he bathes just as we do, he has a family he cares about, but for one reason or another he just doesn't seem REAL. As I was thinking about this the other day, I was wondering how much of what we see of these people is actually them. Do they put on a facade for the cameras coming across as one thing, but then when they got home and away from the press do they change completely? Tom Cruise comes across in interviews as being such a nice guy. I read once that when he was at a premier, a nurse got hit by a car; he stayed with her until the ambulance came then paid her $15,000 hospital fee for her. Then the other day I heard that while he was filming War of the Worlds, he took the cast and crew out to Dairy Queen, and on the counter was a jar raising money for a young girl who needed an operation, and apparently he put $5,000 cash in it! How much of this is really true, and if it is, is done out of selflessness, or just for publicity? I would love to believe that it was an act of kindness with no ulterior motive involved, because I want to believe that he is the 'perfect' guy.
But I guess that everyone with an ounce of influence on society is the same. They have to be so careful of what they say and do in public because they are aware of the following they have. The slightest thing could damage their whole career, or on the other hand, give them that much more better publicity that their influence then becomes greater. It would be nice to think that what we see on our screens and magazines etc. Is an exact representation of their true personalities, because otherwise I think I would feel a little cheated, as if I was being lied to. But on the other hand, I can understand why they would hide their true selves from the millions of adoring (and no so adoring) fans, to protect themselves. It must be hard to live such a public life!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hanging with Hippies

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to Georgia for my Spring Break when I was at Keene State College. It was the most amazing week ever, where I met some wonderful people who changed my life, but I doubt if I'll ever see again. My friend Beck had been a couple of years before and persuaded us to make the 30+hour bus ride from Keene to Brunswick, GA. I'm so glad that she did.
When we arrived to the Hotel in the Forest, all backpacked up to the ears, we were taken straight to the hub of the hostel, where we paid up for our week's stay. As soon as you walked into the gates of the hostel, the whole atmosphere changed. People changed. The noises changed. It was incredible. We were then shown to our 'treehouse'. It was really a Hut on Stilts, with 8 bunkbeds on the top floor, and hammocks slung from the ceiling on the ground floor. We put our stuff down and decided who was going to be first in the shower. There were only 2/3 showers, so we had to take it in turns. Especially as they were outdoor showers, with very little shelter. Luckily they were quite deep into the forest, with many trees to camouflage you. Our nearest Shower was called the Angel shower, and there were a few angel statues dotted around, and a huge full length mirror. The shower spout was attached to a tree surrounded by boardwalk, so that you could stand underneath the water looking out onto nature herself. It was so peaceful, with hardly a sound at all, other than the running water. Once we were all clean and dressed again - without shoes I'd like to add...There had been quite a bit of rain the week before, so all the paths were quite muddy and sandy, so you just didn't wear shoes, I didn't see a pair of shoes all week - we walked back to the main part of the hostel, where we were given a quick guided tour. Beck remembered most of it anyway, and she was thrilled to be back again. There was a certain serenity to the place that just took over, and I think we became very different people. We were just in time for the free dinner that you get every night, and we walked into the dining room to see everyone standing in a circle around the room holding hands. We duly joined in, not really too sure what to expect, when one of the managers informed us that at this time every day, everyone gathers to say their name, where they come from and what they are thankful for, for that day. At first we all felt slightly awkward, not really too sure what to say, I think we all managed to stammer out our thankfulness for our safe journey, and our friends and family back at home. By the end of our stay, we were so relaxed in our surroundings that we were thankful for the birds and the trees; the sky and the lake; the incredible people we had met there...I could go on. I think that was one of my favourite parts of the Hostel.
As I've just mentioned we met some unbelievable people during our stay in the forest. There was a group of people touring the states in a Camper Van named Georgia Peaches! One guy was called Ralf and he was as big as a bear! He was huge with broad shoulders with long dark hair and a big beard! He was slightly grizzled with age, but still had the glisten of youth in his friendly eyes. You would have expected him to have a great booming voice, but he didn't, he spoke quite softly, as if not to disturb the nature that surrounded us. He wore a long thick poncho, and gave the best hugs I think I've ever had in my life. Because of his great size, he just enveloped you in his arms and for those few moments in that embrace, you knew that if the world collapsed around your ears right then, you would not be harmed, because you were protected from everything. I would give anything to have another of those hugs. I remember one night, a small group of us had been talking until quite late, and when it was decided that it was time for bed, the 4 of us stood up and had a 'group hug' with Ralf being the 'centre'. We must have stayed like that for a good 5 minutes, but it didn't matter, because once again the world was right. No one felt the need to talk, the silence was not awkward - just peaceful.
There was another man whose name was Colonel Jack Cornflower. (How cool is that?????) He was phenomenal. I swear he saw the world in numbers! He taught us all about the Mayan calendar, and that numbers were the basis of the Mayan Culture. (There are loads of great websites out there if anyone's interested. I won't link them, as there are just too many.) We would sit and talk for hours and hours about all sorts - the UK, travelling, stars, the universe, culture, food....You name it - we talked about it! He knew how to read people, how to discourage their insecurities and encourage their inner self to be true. There were many other amazing people staying at the hostel, from families with small children, to more spring breakers like ourselves, to people with busy day jobs who just wanted to get away from it all. What struck me the most was how these people would come down to Georgia and live the ideal (to me!) lifestyle of being close to nature, recylcing everything, living off the land etc, and then inform us that they were IT Consultants in Detroit, or Piano Tuners in Boston, or Photographers in New York...It was almost as if they, and us to a certain extent, were leading a double life. It was fascinating to me.
The week we were there was the week in which the USA declared war with Iraq, but because we were so cut off from all civilization with no TV or radio, and just one telephone, most of us didn't have a clue. To be honest, I liked it that way. On the Wednesday night the owner of the Hostel came had held a meeting on the porch of the main building. It was then that he broke the news to us - obviously the mood changed, and went from being a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere to very somber, withdrawn. As the gathering broke small groups just drifted away to discuss the topic at hand, until later on when nature seemed to take over again, as if she was telling us that there was nothing we could do about what had happened, so just accept it, and go with our lives. And after all - who are we to argue with Nature!?
It was just the most incredible week ever, and I WILL be back at some point. There are so many people I want to take there, because they have heard so much about it! I just can't wait for the time to come when my opportunity arises, I'll snap it up in an instant! And if any of you are ever in the Georgia area (!) pop on down to Brunswick (well just outside) and stay at the Hostel in the Forest!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I've been Tagged!

Thanks to Lorianne I've been tagged for the latest Book Meme for the first time! It's sooo exciting! She tagged me because I'd had to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig whilst at Keene State College, and as she wrote, "lived to tell the tale". I loved that book, where as many of my class mates couldn't finish it. I read it whilst on spring break in a hostel in Georgia. I think it was the perfect situation to enjoy such a book, being surrounded by forest, sleeping in hammocks, swimming in lakes. I think that's one of the main reasons I loved it so much. Anyway, that's not what I'm talking about...I'll save that for another time.

1. Total Number of Books I've Owned: Oooh, that's a real tough question...Too many to count I would think. I recently had to sort out my room at home, and I came across so many books that I had forgotten I owned, that go all the way back to when I was learning to read. I had to give most of them away, but I kept hold of the real important ones, like
Mrs Merryweather's Letter and Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia. Along with my childhood books, lined up on my bookshelf are the many text and literature books from my university course. American Studies entailed a great deal of reading, and many of the texts we had to read were actually quite good (as far as compulsory reading goes!!!!), so I kept most of them. Counting those, I have a goodly sized bookshelf full of books of all genres, styles and ages!

2. Last Book I Bought: To be honest, I can't remember. I know that the last book I got out of the Library was Stephen King's Wolves of the Calla - Book 5 of the Dark Tower Series. I have a feeling the last book I bought was
Cinderlily by David Ellwand. It's the most beautiful book, telling the story of Cinderella, but by using flowers as the characters. The photography and the colors are just so stunning. David Ellwand has also done a book called faerie-ality, which is a catalogue of clothes...For FAIRIES! He has made them all out of feathers, leaves and petals etc. Again, the photography and illustrations are breath-taking. I love it!

3. Last Book I Read: William Langeweische's
American Ground - The Unbuilding of the World Trade Center. It was one of our course books, for our module on 'The American Apocalypse'. I didn't read it at the time...*ooops* but decided that I would read it now. It was amazing. I can't really say that I enjoyed it, because it's not really the sort of subject matter than you can enjoy, but I'm glad I read it. William Langeweische was the only journalist allowed unlimited access to Ground Zero during the unbuilding. He delves into the details of the whole process from day 1 until the day the Foundation Hole was totally cleared, outlining the key players, from the Firemen, the Police and the Engineers to the crowds of public that poured out in the early stages, as the 'bucket brigade'. The imagery Langeweische creates is incredible, at one point he describes in great detail remnants of Building 7, The Banker's Trust Building, and the state in which it was left; there were briefcases still on tables, the plates of breakfast left exactly as they were, forgotten in the immense panic, covered in a layer of grey dust, unifying everything as one. It sent shivers down my spine. I'm not sure it's the sort of book that I could read again, but I'll keep hold of it anyway, just in case.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
There is a quote from the movie Ever After, when Nicole is asked to chose a book from shelves and shelves full, she replies, "I could no sooner pick a favorite star from the heavens." This is just what I feel at having to pick 5 books. I thought it would be quite difficult, as I started to get into reading a quite a late stage, but actually, I keep thinking of more and more....So here they are as I feel at the moment. They could possibly change before tomorrow!
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransom
This was the first book I read where I was actually there in the story with them. Instead of it just being words on a page, I was taking part in the action, I was a part of their group. To add to all this, I read it while we were on a family holiday in Norfolk, on a boat! It was perfect. I could not put it down. When I was growing up, my older sister ALWAYS had her nose in a book, and it would drive me nuts...All I wanted was for her to play with me, which she would do at the insistence of my parents to shut me up!!!! But that summer when I was about 11 years old (I think), I didn't pester her once. I just wanted to sit and read my book! Ever since that summer, MY nose has always been in a book.
Listen for the Singing - Jean Little
Over the years since that summer, almost every book I have read has been on the recommendation of my sister. I had a good 5/6 years to catch up on! One year, she gave me this one to read. It is about a young German girl who's family re-locate to Canada during the war. Anna Solden is 14 years old, and has to adjust to life in high school after years of special classes due to her bad eyesight. When her older brother is called up to fight, and returns blind, the whole family has to come to terms with the tragedy. But it is Anna who helps him come to terms with his blindness, and the bond between them becomes stronger than ever. I chose this book because it was the first book to affect me so deeply that it made me cry. I remember sitting on my bed, and not being able to see the words properly because they were all blurry! Since then, I've become a complete Sop, and I cry over all sorts! :-)
The Alchemist - Paulo Cohelo
This book comletely blew me away. There was so much in it that I could identify with, but at the same time, it brought up new points of view, and subjects that I had never thought of before. Cohelo's writing style is so different to anything I had read before, it was quite simple and easy to read, yet dealing with the most complex of ideas. If anyone hasn't read this, I urge - yes that's an URGE - you to read it!
The Smoke Jumper - Nicholas Evans
This is written by the same guy who wrote The Horse Whisperer - his first novel. The Smoke Jumper is about 2 friends who have grown up together, and work together during the summer months working to prevent and attack forest fires in Montana. Having read this book (and Evans' others) I have vowed that I WILL one day live in Montana. He manages to paint pictures with his words of the mountains, the plains, the forests. The story was amazing, and I was hooked from the first sentence. There is so much emotion in this book, the pain, the love, the hurt, the forgiveness. I could not put it down at all. I finished it at about 3am, and just sat there in complete awe, and I guess a little bit of shock. I couldn't think of a single thing to say (that was coherent anyway!!!). I don't know if anyone else has done anything similar, but while I was reading it, I was listening to Norah Jones' Come Away With Me, and to this day, when I hear any song from that album, I can see what's going on in the book.
My final book isn't actually a book, but a series - if I can get away with that.
The Belgariad - David Eddings
It's a series of 5 books which tells of a young boy's journey of self discovery and growth from a farm hand into the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Yep, this is where my love of science fiction/fantasy novels began. Again, it's all because of my sister, who threw the first book Pawn of Prophecy into my hands and told me to give it a try. Which I duly did with a great deal of encouragement from her, because the opening was very tough going and I so nearly gave up. I'm so glad I didn't and ended up reading all 5 books in about 3/4 weeks, which for me, was huge. I remember one Sunday morning sitting at the dining room table waiting for breakfast, and my mom walking in and being stunned by the fact that I was sat there with a book! Although it's obviously a fantastic story, the characters are believable, and likeable, which means that once they are introduced, the whole saga takes off and is totally gripping! Because of this series, I've read pretty much everything that David Eddings has ever written!

5. Tag five people and have them do this on their blog:
Because I do not know many other bloggers yet, I'm going to have to put the people who's blog I read regularly:
Smithee - I would be interested to read what Smithee has to say as she is an English teacher! (I think!)
Jeckles - Who's blog I have recently found and been loving completely! You should all go and check out his post today! It's wicked! I know he was battling "The White Space" earlier this week, so this should sort that out!
Richard Lawrence Cohen - I found his blog totally by accident, but it turned out that I read one f his books for my dissertation last year! How strange is that? The first post I read had me hooked completely, and now I'm a regular visitor!
Brian - again, I think I found his blog by following links here and there, and was honoured when he left a comment on my blog. His posts are varied and entertaining! And keep me going through my week at work!
and finally,
Batonga - who is jetting off to Hawaii soon, and I'm very jealous. I hope you'll find time to squeeze this in before you go!
I hope you all enjoyed that! I certainly did. Thanks Lorianne!