In need of a redesign since 2011.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

The spooky season

I never celebrate Halloween, to be honest. I mean, whether you believe it's a celebration of evil or a pointless consumer holiday, there's really not much point.

That being said, I have been saving up something delightfully creepy to share with you lovelies.

A couple of years back I discovered an animator called Adam Phillips. I sincerely recommend you check out his website, there's some gorgeous animations on there... my favourite of which is Taken. Watch it with the lights off!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Reassuring thoughts on the economy

I know it's all doom and gloom at the moment, but I'd like to bring a little ray of financial optimism into your life.

Think about it like this: If the economy got into a terrible state, and we were all suddenly very poor, and prices went up, nobody would be able to buy anything. Nobody would be able to buy anything from Tesco, or from Rupert Murdoch, or from Microsoft. This is a classic case of the goose that lays the golden egg shitting itself to death, and you can bet that these huge GloboHyperMegaCorps with billions of dollars at their disposal don't want that to happen. It is in their best interests that things stay basically ok, and they've got the leverage to make sure that happens.

I do research for these posts, you know. I even looked up Forbes' list of the top 2000 companies, but it was boring.

So to summarise: Very rich and powerful companies want you to be able to buy what you need to live, and also plenty of stuff you don't need. We also want to be able to buy this stuff. Happily ever after.

Change of subject. I was thinking earlier...
Chocolate in winter doesn't melt as quickly. Somehow this gives it an entirely different feel. I'd go so far as to say that it seems to have far fewer calories than the heavy, sweet, sticky-as-sin summer chocolate. Not as nice though, especially when your face is so cold that you can't taste it properly and the momentary look of mild disappointment gets frozen onto your face and you spend the rest of the day looking slightly despondent until you find a radiator to hug.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Election warz!: update

I've been trying to get informed on the debate (no wait, actually information was just being poured into my head until I gave up fighting it), and while I do get confused over which party are the terrorists and which one are the communists (or are the blue guys both of those?), I am getting a bit of a picture of their supporters.

I think the whole debate has been best summed up by a fanatical McCain supporter (feel free to check out her blog, Sarah's Army, to get a feel for what kind of intellectual level she's fighting on) who wrote: "McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else."

Go Obama, says I.

On an unrelated note... my weekend has been pretty awesome! On Friday I stayed up till 7am watching Avatar with the guys. It was properly amazing, the basic concept of the programme is as follows: there's these four tribes: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water; and some of the people in these tribes can control their element, and they're called Benders. It follows one kid who's a bender of all four elements, and is thus the Avatar. Good for him!

The rest of the weekend was basically spent with my Gavin (he's recently written a great blog post about fair trade and our responsibility to the rest of the world - heavy stuff, but so relevant and important right now. And always.)

Anyway, I've got uni in the morning and this whole clock-going-forward shenanigans has completely thrown me off (doesn't it always! At least it was the good one) - although I'm still a bit jetlagged from Friday night / Saturday morning.

Anyways, go ahead and check out Sarah's Army; if you can make it through three posts without mentally quoting Team America: World Police, you're a better man than I.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Programmes I used to love

... and I still do, to be fair.

I'm not going to go with the obvious thing, which would be to dive through YouTube unearthing clips from 1980s children television (amazing though that would be); instead I'm going to address the programmes that had an impact on me in my teenage years.

First of all, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I am not ashamed of this. I think it was absolute quality, with enough 'normal teenage stuff' to make it relatable. For example, there was a wonderful episode in which students started disappearing, fading into invisibility, and all it took to bring them back from oblivion was some eye contact or a quick conversation. It was a wonderful metaphor; directly relevant without being overbearingly obvious.

My favourite episode would either be Hush, or the musical episode (which was truly amazing if you loved the show as much as I did / do). Hush hardly had any dialogue, which many people would argue was an improvement (these people would be wrong and silly. Silly wrong people). The sheer horror levels of that episode were at an all-time high, and The Gentlemen were unforgettably creepy.

The GentlemenThe Gentlemen

Also, eyecandy is always a winner. The series was around for long enough - six years, apparently - for my interests to phase from Xander to Spike. Even to Giles on some days. And Willow on others (no homo). Never Angel though, the big broody stump of emo that he was. He was all sad and pathetic and in love with Buffy, which held far less appeal than Spike's wannabe-rocker mojo. Of course they eventually cut Spike's balls off in an attempt to redeem him, and he turned all sad and pathetic and fell in love with Buffy. I mean dammit people.

Another programme that influenced me was Star Trek: The Next Generation, shuttup, it's awesome. And here's why. The spirit of adventure - of scientific discovery in space, and of pure indulgent fantasy in the holodeck - really caught my imagination. If I'd been any older I'm sure my imagination would have been elsewhere, no doubt musing on the contents of that secsi uniform (muscle padding, apparently. *Noise of disappointment*). So it's just as well TNG got me while I was young and innocent; I was too young to find Wesley Crusher irritating, so I just harboured confused daydreams of making friends with him and, I don't know, discussing dilithium crystals.

Wesley attractive?
Now you kinda see it...

Mmm Crusher
And now you really, really don't.
Goofy WesleyYou SO don't.

It's sad but true: if I watch something enough, I start to fantasize about having conversations with the characters. That's not insanity, it's imagination, and anyone who disagrees can take it up with Frank the 6-foot rabbit, can't they Frank.


Also, I'd like to cast an obvious yellow vote for the Simpsons. I'm pretty sure the Simpsons affected everyone in some way. They informed American and British humour for over a decade until South Park took the reins. I still hold a tremendous affection for the characters, although not to the point where I'd willingly watch them in anything for quite a while.

Homer likes donutsHe likes doughnuts LOLLLLLL

So, yes. Those are my three nominees for "Programmes I used to love." Feel free to share your special memories in the comment box. You too, Rich, don't be shy!

OH by the way, Dan, Stephen Fry, the ACTUAL Stephen Fry, is following me on Twitter. I Shit You Not. Admittedly he's got as many internet friends as MySpace Tom, but this IN NO WAY
(slightly) cheapens how awesome this is.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Being better

Egads, people...

I don't really know what to say for myself.

I'm sorry, most of all. I am currently feeling very sorry indeed. I've been a terrible friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend. a terrible person in general. I'm not depressed about it; it's not my way to convince myself that I'm worthless and to feel terrible about it.

How to express it... I would be worthless without the love of others. As it is, you've given me a value, God has given me a value, that I could never hope to earn on my own. So thank you for that.

I'm trying to be better, but then I always try to be better and very little comes of it. Still. One must keep trying.

As I'm often told, you don't have to be better than anyone else, you just have to be better than yesterday.

Friday, 17 October 2008

I love you, Randall Monroe


The addiction

It's that time of night again when I know I should sleep, but I really, really don't want to.

I posted recently about my childhood insomnia. It's not a problem for me any more, I could get my head down now and be asleep within ten minutes, if it weren't for the fact that I keep waiting for something to happen. I feel like if I go to sleep I'll be missing out on something.

This is, of course, because of my internet addiction - a lot of the things I'm interested in run on American time - so I end up loitering on msn and going in little circles of email -> twitter -> google reader -> blog -> flickr -> email, ad nauseum.

Maybe it's time to take a week offline again... although this time I'm not sure I could do it. My real-world life is a lot less busy than it was last time.

Anywhoot! Hope you're all well, thanks for keeping my blog active - it makes me happy.

Interesting thing of the day: My birthday present from G's parents. So so so pretty!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Anna the Drag Queen

As I was wandering in and out of all the clothes shops in town today, desperately searching for a white jumper like the one I made up two years ago, I was reminded of something I learned about in Sociology lessons in high school.

Judith Butler wrote about Gender Performativity, which is the idea that acting, dressing, walking in a female way, so as to appear as female as possible, is a drag act - regardless of the biological sex of the person doing it. She knows the score, man, I'm telling you. As I wandered fearfully through aisles of puffy dresses and stupid shoes, I whispered silent thanks to Ms Butler for explaining this to me.

Y'see, it's not inborn knowledge. Girls don't automatically know how to apply eyeliner, or what to wear to a 'soirée', or whether red works with purple. They don't wake up one day in a tasteful sunglow-gold haze, sit bolt upright, and say "My gosh, I've been wearing dresses with flats all these years!"

So for my entire life, I've been making it up as I go along, desperately hoping that I won't get caught out. I throw on something that probably might look ok I guess, and venture outside into the hostile, judging gaze of those who knows more about fashion than me - i.e. everyone. I fear being accosted by Gok Wan or Trinny and Susannah; those supremely confident beings who seem to know exactly what I should wear despite not knowing who I am or what I like. Maybe they could help me. Maybe they could tell me what kind of occassion those horrible puffy dresses are actually for, and it would all fall into place, and I'd cry and we'd buy me a tangerine clutch to celebrate.

But until the day comes when I pledge my undying allegiance to Red magazine, if indeed the day ever comes, I'll continue to wear stuff I find in charity shops.

My most unfashionable fashion choices:

  • a long denim jacket with stars and furry bits on. I bought it because it matches the jeans I got given by a friend and fell in love with. The jeans have since fallen apart, but the jacket lives on!
  • man-shirts! I love man-shirts. I have one of my brother's that he gave me, and one of my dad's that he... hasn't noticed is gone.
  • a massive black rucksack. It's technically for a laptop, but when most girls don't have room for their mobile phone in those tiny pink bags of theirs, I'm pulling hatstands and stuff out of mine.
  • my nails are currently bitten raw, with chipped black nail varnish. Stylish!
  • big stompy shoes. They're so worn down that they squeak on every surface known to man, even carpet somehow, so it's time I found some almost but not quite exactly the same to replace them.
Mistakes even I haven't made:

Low low low rise jeans
 Cros. WHY?!?!In other news, I'm retiring my Creative Splurges blog. I won't delete it, but I won't be adding to it any more either - instead, feel free to check out my deviantART page!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Words are not enough - or too much

Roath park
I was walking home from Gavin's just now when I noticed a cat sitting by the side of the river. She was just waiting in the dark, watching. As I passed, she turned to look at me, then resumed staring and thinking.

I was struck by curiosity - what was she thinking? How could I ever possibly know what a cat thinks about in its leisure time? As I reflected on this, I recognised the same awe and wonder I felt when my little sister was too young to speak. I'd stroke her short, wispy hair while she played with duplo bricks, and wonder what was going on in her oddly-shaped babyhead. She was thinking, all right; she was doing some of the most rapid learning any human ever gets to do - she just had no words for it yet.

This is something that affects all of us at some time or another. As we grow, our thoughts progress from "I don't want to go to Grandma's house, it smells funny" to "Her routine and standards are completely alien to me, and she reminds me of my own mortality and that of my parents." The same feelings, just different thoughts. Just because we learn new words.

Sometimes I wonder if words interfere with the experience. I've been writing for so long now that I can't sit and watch anything without describing it to myself, layering the sights, sounds and smells with words. This isn't a bad thing; words are beautiful, words are another way of digesting an experience - but between that and my obsessive photography, I don't often stay in the moment and just drink it all in.

It's at times like that I envy the cat. She has no words to describe the wind brushing through her fur; the sound of the river trickling over loose pebbles; the occasional sight of a lone human walking tiredly home. She just experiences it, raw and unprocessed; she just Is. She just Is a Cat, and things Are what they Are. Maybe that should be enough for me sometimes too.

This is what I was thinking about as I walked home tonight. The church tower chimed twelve, and I wondered how I'd describe it to you.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Ten things

For some reason I've found it difficult to write about anything lately. I haven't seen any new films lately, or I'd attempt a lacklustre review, possibly with a few mediocre puns thrown in for good measure.

So anyway, as I said, not much in the way of inspiration happening here. I suppose this is a filler post. For my regular readers, here are ten unrelated things about me that you may not know. To those who don't know me, who are new readers, perhaps, here is my proof that I'm not just another cardboard cut-out person who sits on the bus with you.

  1. The place I dream about most often is my home church. I've had flying dreams, naked dreams, exploring dreams, even a sexy dream once, located there. I think I probably dream about it roughly once a week.

  2. My parents sent me a bear for my birthday. He arrived today and has a hot water bottle inside him, and I've named him Bode. I think the journey must have been stressful as he's shedding a fair bit - I never want to travel by envelope!

  3. Back when I used to get insomnia as a kid, I'd try sleeping the other way round, on the floor, in my wardrobe, on top of my wardrobe, in the hall... anywhere. It never worked.

  4. I want to redecorate this site to something a little less fey, but I've absolutely no idea where to get the layout. I got this one by butchering some code from one of those "OMGLOL pretty up your myspace, lyk totally hot!!!1" sites.

  5. I have maybe sort of cyberstalked before. A bit. But it was all public information. But I'm still sorry. Although I would probably do it again. Well then people should stop being so damn INTERESTING then shouldn't they! Still, we're going out now so I suppose I must have done something right! Hahahaah!! I'm not crazy!!! Hahahaah!!!!

  6. I used to get very homesick for places I'd never been. Heaven, Ankh-Morpork, a willow tree by a river. I don't any more. Any great thinker, writer, or comedian will tell you that as soon as you're happy with your life, something in your imagination goes dormant.

  7. The first pet my family ever owned died right underneath my feet. He was a cat called Chloë and I loved him very much. He purred for the first person to get up every day, so our parents had to ban us from getting up before 6.

  8. For years I thought someone I knew was skiving off school. He had six months off at one point just because every weekday morning he'd wake up with an indefinable headache that would disappear sometime after lunch. When he was diagnosed with depression I felt like utter shit, especially since part of me still didn't understand.

  9. My greatest fear is that I will cease to be interesting or likeable, and everyone I know will desert me, and I'll be incapable of making any new friends. Every day I wonder if this has already started happening.

  10. I could be an amazing poet. I know I could. Maybe I will be one day.
I'm not going to say it's a meme, but if any of you decide you'd like to write ten unrelated facts about yourself (and let's face it who doesn't love a bit of a vanity-wallow once in a while), drop me a comment or an email with a link - I'd love to read them.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Interesting Things

Listen guys, I keep accumulating neat things to tell you about and forgetting to put them in my posts. So here, for your delectation and delight, is a list of Interesting Things.

First off, we have the delightful FaceYourManga, a simple, fun and versatile facemaker. This is me:

Manga me

But to be honest, creating these was much more fun!:




Second we have an amazing little flash game called The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2. The physics of it feel natural, and it's charming and original. I absolutely love it! One mini-level is an homage to sonic, and despite the simplistic graphics you could almost believe it was made by the same people. Watch the backgrounds too, keep an eye out for the batmobile!

Thirdly I'd like to recommend Forumwarz. For the internet savvy among us, the terms 'emo kid', 'camwhore' and 'troll' conjure up familiar archetypes. Well now's your chance to play as one of them in the beautiful game that is the internet. By the time you realise that you're addicted to a roleplaying game it'll be too late! I'm a level 7 camwhore, and my only gripe is that you get limited activity per day unless you pay for more.

I think I'll leave it at that for now, but remember I do honestly enjoy sharing this stuff with you. Let me know if you check them out, and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

I don't know what to call this post

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know I haven't updated in ages. I've fallen victim to Blogger's Law - if anything interesting is happening in my life, I'm far too busy to write about it!

The day after my birthday was wonderful. We had a great time at the comedy club - I was going to review the comedians individually but to be honest I can't remember their names!

University stuff is sort of getting started, although I'm still not actually enrolled yet. It's a bit frustrating (in the same way that child abuse is a bit unfair. Um.)

I had fun last night talking to a bunch of people in Americaland, and didn't get to sleep until 5am because the last few of us in chat got talking about the separation of church and state. I also told them about what happened with the vicar, and the objection to that rather bizarre story was "a beatboxing forum? Yeah right." Strange what some people find improbable. Good thing I didn't tell them the bikini story, really...

Anyway, I promise I'll update again soon, I have been getting the blog withdrawal shakes. If you don't know what that's like, it's basically when you walk around narrating your life inside your head trying to make it sound funny; an effect compounded by the fact that I've been thinking about stand-up comedy a lot.... all I'm saying is, haters beware, I've got a few choice heckler putdowns up my sleeve!

Friday, 3 October 2008

A birthday in pictures

Year one resultsI've passed! HOORAY!!!!

Graffiti goofy face



Blowing out the candles

My birthday cake

Not pictured: Gavin took me out for an incredible sushi meal. Delicious!

Guitar Hero
I'm getting better at Guitar Hero.

Perspex ball

I've had a completely incredible day, I'm looking forward to tomorrow so much! YAY!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Big Al says dogs can't look up

Well, things are looking up for me! I'm feeling better, showing up at uni (if not actually enrolled yet), and turning 21 tomorrow. 21. That's properly grown-up! Fortunately that means nothing these days.

And, in addition, a bit of charity shop hunting has led to me listening to Hanson and B*Witched's albums from back in the day! AMAZING. It's even sunny and everything!

Oh, and I must remember to tell you why time flies when you're having fun. I worked it out! yeh! so remind me if I forget.

Today we have a VERY interesting thing: Fantastic Contraption! I've had so much fun with this the past couple of days. Give it a go. If a few of you are into it, I'll post up some amazing solutions!