Blogger’s block.

I apologise for not writing here that much last week. I went to visit my family back at home and it is easy to get sidetracked there. It also seems that I have lost any inspiration I once had to write posts which has left me with what I call ‘blogger’s block’. I will not fret though. I know there are a lot more blogging topics left in this head of mine and I will attempt to tap into my muse again and give you more of a reason to keep reading my blog. So instead of this post being useless, I though I’d post a few of my favourite online games. I know a lot of people who come across boredom (or should I say procrastination). If you’re interested, try these games.

Travian

Sleuth: Shades of Mystery


The West

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Jonas Brothers are not the worst band!

There has been some bad press lately about one of my favourite bands the Jonas Brothers. The boys picked up Worst Album and Worst Band at the NME Awards in London on Wednesday, February 25th. The article (which can be found here) claims that “The band are officially worse than Scouting For Girls and Fall Out Boy”. I’m not a big fan of  Scouting For Girls or Fall Out Boy but there is nothing wrong with their music. I absolutely hate it when people think they are music aficinado’s and that anything that is too mainstream is not to be considered decent music. They are not music experts but closed minded, arrogant twats. Anything that does not fall under punk rock or indie rock is to be shunned? That is total bullshit. I feel I have more of a stand in judging music, my musical tastes range from pop to rock to R&B to soul, I even have a few oldies put in for good measure.  By looking at my Last FM page you’ll be able to see my top 8 most played artists: The Cure, George Michael, Jimmy Eat World, Take That, Jonas Brothers, The Script, Ne-Yo and Robert Pattinson. No one can tell me I have no idea about music. And that’s just my top 8! When it comes to music, no one can deny me of being open minded. It is just about the only thing I am open minded about! So, after clarifying my right to talk about what music is good music, I will now begin to defend my love of the Jonas Brothers.

  • They are heartthrobs. It isn’t just teens who like the band. Joe Jonas has been rumoured to be dating Camilla Belle. She is 22 and he is 19. I am not too old to like them. The oldest, Kevin, is 21. He is six months older than me. I don’t think that’s paedophilia!?
  • Think about boybands of the 90’s, they were way cheesier than these guys! JB’s songs are catchy, very catchy in my case. So why all the hatred?
  • You cannot deny their business skills. They have released album after album after album for the past three years, have performed at countless of shows, have had two movies released… these boys aren’t so stupid! I don’t think they’d care about haters. Would you care if you had millions of dollars rolling in? I think not.
  • They are great role models for kids. They are all round nice guys. Whether or not you believe in their virginity pact, they are setting a good example.  Their songs are not about sex, something which is unusual for music of today.
  • They are amazing performers. They know how to get a crowd going with singing, instrument playing and acrobatics. I have seen them perform twice and am going to see them again June 15th. I can’t get enough.

    Meeting JB at Hammersmith Apollo on September 11th, 2009

    Meeting JB at Hammersmith Apollo on September 11th, 2008

Whatever anyone says to me, these guys rock my socks! And people can call me sad or say that I have bad music taste, but I know that I do have good music taste. I am open minded too. It’s just a shame that haters aren’t that way too.  I believe people to be jealous, JB have the money, the success, the fame, the girls. It seems like these factors cloud haters’ judgement and instead of viewing their music for music, all they see are reasons to dislike them. Reasons that have nothing to do with their talent.

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I swear by Evening Primrose Oil.

Today I am going to talk about girly stuff. Girly stuff that can turn a man pale in the face. Girly stuff is what plagues a women’s life from adolescence to the menopause. Of course, I am talking of menstruation. I first started menstruating at age 12. In actual fact, I came on my period on the last day of term in year 7. It is quite daunting for a young girl to go through such an ordeal. I was slightly embarassed and tried to deal with the bizarre phenomenon by myself. My mother intuitively knew that something was not right and told me that I should have let her know about it sooner. Her little girl was growing up.

Ever since my first period, I have always been irregular up until about six months ago. My cycle could span from 20 days to 50 days, it had a mind of it’s own and did whatever it felt like. You may think being on your period is enough to make you kill yourself. But not actually knowing when it’s going to come gives you no time to prepare yourself both physically and mentally. This makes PMS symptoms all the worse. It seems like your body never gets enough time to recuperate. It is not merely one week of every month that we have to endure this pain. As soon as you finish your period, your body starts getting used to not being bashed about. You then spend a week feeling awesome, not a care in the world. A week later, you start to feel a little groggy, the physical symptoms of PMS appear and then the psychological symptoms slowly creep in. Another week ensues with you being on your period. By this train of thought, us girls only have one week to feel fabulous.

I am not exaggerating when I say that my periods are like an illness. Sometimes I can feel really depressed just before my period, I become a self-pitying, sobbing wreck! I have terrible mood swings too, picking fights with loved ones about petty things. It is as if I suffer from Jeckyl and Hyde syndrome, PMS can turn me into a monster! Also, on the first day of my period, I get excrutiating pain. I feel bed-ridden and the toilet becomes my best friend. It is a sort of hysteric feeling, I turn hot and cold, hot and cold. I bloat like a ballon. I feel faint most of the time and sometimes I feel naseous. When periods interfere with normal, every day functioning it cannot be a good sign.

Here’s where the good news starts. For the past six months, my cycle has been quite regular. Spanning from 31 days to 41 days, the average being 35 days. I do not know what has occurred that would regulate my cycle so drastically. I have not changed anything about my lifestyle or diet. It is quite a mystery to me. But this mystery I cannot complain about. As for the depressed feelings, I have come on my period today and during this cycle, I have not experienced one low feeling. What have I been taking, you may wonder? My mother has been nagging at me to buy Evening Primrose Oil, it provides you with nutritional support during the menstrual cycle. During my last cycle, I got so fed up with my PMS symptoms that I decided to listen to my dear mother. Mother’s are always right. I have been taking Evening Primrose Oil every day since I finished my last period. Of course I get a little twinge here and there, but during this cycle I have not wanted to commit suicide! It is not expensive. I purchased Tesco’s High Strength Evening Primrose Oil for £1.45 (1000mg, 30 capsules). At that price, it’s hardly going to break the bank. It is a definite must buy for anyone suffering, even the least bit, from PMS and periods.

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The British Oscars 2009

I have spent the past hour looking at clips of the Oscars on YouTube. Red carpet clips, glamour clips, presentation clips, award clips and after party clips. I have officially ran out of Oscars 2009 related YouTube videos! The night was dominated by British talent which I am thrilled by. It is great to see Britain putting their mark on Hollywood. Slumdog Millionaire won a staggering eight awards. I have not seen the film but it is on my list of films to watch, there have been raving reviews about the film both from critics and laymen. Gordon Brown also congratulated the British winners of their successes (not that his opinion would motivate me any more than before).

Slumdog Millionaire winning Best Picture:

A Heath Ledger tribute was given, as his family accepted his award for Best Supporting Actor. I am not doubting his talent, I have seen The Dark Knight. It is not my type of film but you cannot doubt Heath’s role as psychotic Joker, he plays him superbly. I think if Heath were alive today, it would have been likely that he’d win the award. But it makes me wonder, has his death made him more popular than he was before he died? Death has a strange way of reeling people in, especially with celebrities.

Heath Ledger’s tribute:

Another British gem, Kate Winslet won Best Actress for her role in The Reader. She has been nominated six times (including this years awards) and this is her first win. It has been long awaited and is much deserved. I’ve always loved Kate. For Sense And Sensibility, The Holiday, The Reader… the list goes on! I am so pleased that she won over other actresses such as Angelina Jolie. I just can’t stand her (maybe because she’s a homewrecker, I side with Jennifer Aniston)! I have seen The Reader and it is an engrossing film. It reminds me of other films such as A Beautiful Mind, Shawshank Redemption and Atonement. It is a drama, a drama retelling a realistic story. Kate’s speech was particularly endearing. She is witty, unpretentious and natural. I can always spot a strong woman. Be sure to watch The Reader as soon as you can, it is highly recommended.

Kate Winslet’s acceptance speech:

Here are the award winners of the Oscars 2009:

Best Picture – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director – Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor – Sean Penn for Milk
Best Actress – Kate Winslet for The Reader
Best Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Animated Feature Film – Wall-E
Best Foreign Film – Departures (Japan)
Best Original Screenplay – Danny Lance Black for Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beufoy for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Documentary Feature – Man On Wire
Best Original Score – Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song – ‘Jai Ho’ for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Film Editing – Chris Dickens for Slumdog Billionaire
Best Documentary (Short Subject) – Smile Pinki
Best Cinematography – Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Costume Design – Michael O’Connor for The Duchess
Best Sound Mixing – Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Sound Editing – Richard King for The Dark Knight
Best Live Action Short Film – Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Best Animated Short Film – La Maison de Petits Cubes
Best Makeup – Greg Cannom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Art Direction – Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Visual Effects – Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Lost And Found

I have just had the most stressful half an hour. I spent the evening with some friends at a friend’s place, mostly spent bitching about other people. At 10pm I said goodnight to everyone and made my way home. I was walking along nonchalantly, opened the door to my house, went inside and started to take my coat off and empty my pockets. I had my bus pass (which included my student I.D) in my right pocket but after putting my hand into the pocket I did not find anything but an empty one. I started to panic. I checked the other pockets, my coat pockets. I emptied the contents of my bag but a bus pass was not to be found. Maybe it fell out of my pocket on the way to my house? So, I proceeded to retrace every single step until I got to my friend’s house again (lucky that I have a fairly good memory)!  I must have looked like a moron scanning every inch of the pavement infront of me. I knocked on my friend’s door and she let me in. Before I left my house in search of the bus pass, I had texted my friend so that she could check her flat. But she had reported no bus pass. We then checked the sofa again, behind the sofa, under the sofa, every crevice of the sofa and any other surrounding areas. I then gave up the fight. With me being slightly religious, as soon as I found out that my bus pass was missing, I prayed to St. Anthony – the patron saint of lost things. I hadn’t prayed to him in awhile and so I thought that it may be unlikely that he’d help me successfully. As I said goodbye to my friend, she decided to check her other sofa. The sofa that I had only sat on for no more than two minutes. And there, in the gap in the middle of her sofa was my bus pass! It was highly unlikely that it could have dropped down there. Firstly, I was sitting on the right side of the two seated sofa and secondly, my bus pass was placed in my right pocket. I should not have doubted St. Anthony. I now have my bus pass which cost me over £100 to buy and my student ID which would have cost me £5 to replace.

“Get lost and then get found and you’ll come back to me.”
Swallowed In The Sea by Coldplay

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The Good Samaritan

I am sorry I have failed to write posts for both Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening I did a variety of things such as getting my nails done, going out to have a meal at a restaurant and also going to the cinema to see He’s Just Not That Into You (which will be the topic for one of my blog posts next week).  Friday, I was travelling back from London to Canterbury and on Saturday, I started my first day’s training with the Samaritans.

All in all, my first training day went well. There were only two girls there of my age (not that I am ageist or anything). One of these girls left during the lunch break and never came back for the second half. I’m guessing she wasn’t committed to being a Samaritan. It is quite a tough job being one. To become a Samaritan you must learn to be non-judgemental, compassionate, kind and a great listener. You can’t give any advice either. We all have our prejudices but we have to learn to curb them when on duty.

The day was filled with ice breakers, exercises and roleplays. Roleplays being the most nerve-wracking, having a Samaritan pretend to be the caller and you having to act as the Samaritan. We were told so many things in our first day of training; we couldn’t be judgemental, we couldn’t give advice, there were certain questions that we couldn’t use and we had to phrase questions in a particular way, we couldn’t sound too optimistic either. It seemed impossible to actually carry out a phonecall even if it was a fake one!

I am hoping that as we work through the sessions everything will become more familiar to us. I hope that I will start to pick things up and the skills mentioned above will occur more naturally. I am also looking forward to getting to know the other trainees on my course a little better too. I think that meeting new people is definitely a positive thing.

Some may be asking why I want to become a Samaritan. In order for me to apply for postgraduate studies in Counselling Psychology, I must have some kind of experience working in a counselling role. One of the suggestions was telephone counselling such as the Samaritans. It is a stepping stone in my career and it will provide me a wealth of experience.

I must be going now. A dear friend of mine is making her special curry for me and I cannot be late for that! I will be posting another entry this evening, so stay tuned.

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The Brit Awards 2009

The Brit Awards was on tonight. I haven’t watched the Brits in years. Most of the acts are voted for by pompous music critics who think that ‘out there’ artists should take home awards over popular, more mainstream artists. I was looking forward to seeing Take That’s performance of Greatest Day but I was slightly confused by their chosen theme. It was some kind of homosexual robotic outfit. I’m hoping the way they were dressed was just for the Brits, I’m seeing them at Wembley later on this year and I hope they don’t dress as stupid as that! Luckily, they were performing on a round stage descending from the ceiling to the audience. My ticket is a standing one, so it is good to see that they are likely to have a circular, central stage optimising my viewing pleasure! I believe Kings of Leon deserved their awards, they’ve been a relevant band of 2008 and I wish them well for 2009. I particularly liked that Girls Aloud won the category for Best Single. I love my pop, more so than any other genre. Take That won nothing, but I am glad that one pop group did. Girls Aloud have been going from strength to strength. I give to them more credit than the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls’ fame was like a massive explosion which died down very quickly, after their second album in fact. Girls Aloud’s success has been more consistent, they have released six albums and have released some good, all round pop songs. I have no affinity with all other award winners, some I dislike, others I’m indifferent towards and others I simply think they have a few good tunes. I do think Coldplay were at an injustice for not winning anything. They are a great, solid British band that deserved at least one win. All in all, I believe an award cannot determine how good an artist is and deem the Brit Awards as bullshit.

Here are the winners of the Brits 2009:

British Male – Paul Weller

British Female – Duffy

British Group – Elbow

British Live Act – Iron Maiden

British Single – Girls Aloud

British Album – Duffy’s Rockferry

Breakthrough Act – Duffy

International Album – Kings of Leon’s Only By The Night

International Male – Kanye West

International Female – Katy Perry

International Group – Kings of Leon

Critics’ Choice – Florence And The Machine

Outstanding Contribution – Pet Shop Boys

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