In need of a redesign since 2011.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Found On Flickr 5

Just a quick "still alive" post, I'll probably be posting some photos of my own soon! Having a lovely time with my family, lots lined up for the next couple of weeks too. I'll update... at some point.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Photographs and pachyderms

2 weeks between posts? Impossible! Unfathomable! Unheard-of!

Well, as it's the run-up to Christmas (sudden realisation: 3 DAYS?!), everyone's been very busy, myself included. I've made the should-have-been-so-simple journey home...

It was an interesting journey, actually. Our train broke down, so we had to board a second train that would take us two stops so that we could get on a THIRD train that would take us the route we were supposed to go in the first place. I was on the second train, wrestling my unwieldy bag into one of the less crowded corners, when I got talking to a girl called Amy. For once, it wasn't me who initiated the conversation, and I was grateful for someone to talk to.

It turned out that she had come from Cardiff too. She's studying maths at Cardiff uni, and plans to take teacher training. However I suspect that in the 20 minutes we were talking, she found out more about me than I did about her. She found out about my course, my depression, my boyfriend, and which church I'm going to. Apparently she lives just round the corner from me, and occasionally even goes to an event held at my church! Chalk that one down to coincidence, providence, fate, whatever. But it was interesting.

Last Friday was particularly lovely; Gavin always makes it very special when he gives me presents - candles, music, performing bears and the like - and this was no exception. He made a real song and dance out of giving me my present, and rightly so.

I am now the proud and excited owner of a Nikon D40!

Nikon d40
The lens I've got is better than the one shown; 18-70mm instead of 18-55. The D40 is the camera everyone has recommended as a good entry-level DSLR. I've spent the past few days trying to familiarise myself with all the buttons. There are a lot of buttons.

It actually took me about a year to find all the functions on my little digital camera, mostly because I never intended to get as interested in it all as I did! I thought it would be fun, a toy; a way to make memories. Instead I ended up wishing I could fiddle with the depth of field... well, I can now.

I haven't taken many photos yet, and very few that are fit for the public to see, but you can always check out my flickr page if you want to see what I've taken recently.

Interesting thing of the day: Achievement Unlocked, a cute and quick little game in which you are an elephant.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Seems like it'd be very cold

Ok for SERIOUS people, this has to stop.

Remember a little while ago I posted a picture of some slutty jeans? Well I've found some better / different pics of them...

Well, these low, low, lowriders aren't the worst denim-based fashion crime out there. We have a new contender.

Dignified. This girl really puts the ass in classy, hunh?

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Nice people

I know that ‘Nice’ isn’t the most hardcore word ever. The other words pick on it and call it names. It’s associated with weakness, spinelessness. The sad truth is that true positivity, a proper "la la la everyone's lovely" mindset, is despised at worst and pitied at best. They call it naivety, but naivety is a better kind of positivity; vastly preferable to the because-I'm-worth-it narcissism that leads people to believe that they could be the next President of the USA if they just follow their dreams, despite all the pressing evidence to the contrary. I am not that kind of optimist. I know that the world is an ugly, brutal place. I just think that stubbornly refusing to accept it leads to a marginally more beautiful, gentler world. (In figurative terms, think of it as if I've superglued a pair of rose-tinted glasses to my face.)

When I really think about it, I believe that people are fundamentally good, or at least that they have the potential for good. They might not always seem that great but first impressions count for a lot, you know. Sometimes when you meet someone and they seem distant, angry, or just plain rude - well, maybe they're having a bad day! Maybe a smile and a kind word will brighten up their day a little! Maybe the knife they're showing you is for a surprise cake!

I try to go around constantly believing the best of everyone. Constantly believing that a little love could thaw them out, that a little friendship could stop them from being such an unmitigated bastard. (But to be fair, I'm only human, and I have bad days too. Many, many bad days. Sometimes I'm a bitch. But I promise, I didn't know she was pregnant, and it was hilarious at the time! Ahem.) Sometimes my reserves of goodwill run dry long before their reserves of pervasive crapness. I still don't know how to let go, of course; I still cling onto their ankles yelling "I KNOW YOU'RE A SWEETHEART REALLY, IT'S OK, YOU CAN BE VULNERABLE WITH ME!" as they dance around the burning orphanage, laughing.

That's the exception though. In general, expecting great things and great behaviour from someone really does bring out the best in them. It gives them something to live up to. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with expecting better things from yourself, and that requires effort, and oh God wouldn't it be easier just to stay the way you are and eat ice-cream?

Ladies and gentlemen, I dream of a better world. A world in which we all have ice-cream and surprise cake. Thank you.

Found on Flickr 4

Romantic, chaotic, fun. I like this picture. And I love her shoes!

Just a quickie

For a while now I've enjoyed writing drabbles - stories of 100 words. I've got a fair few up on my DeviantART, but I've been presented with a new challenge in microfiction... yes, it was inevitable, there's a twitter fiction account.

Their site's here if you're interested in submitting.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

How peculiar

On Thursday, I met my new cell group. And in traditional "my life is rather odd sometimes" fashion, one of the girls mentioned that I looked familiar, and was I from the Isle of Wight?

I was indeed.

And did I know Hannah Barker?

... Yes, yes I do.

And had we met once before at (insert random Christian event here)? We had. And were we in the same team at (insert other random Christian even here) back in London in 2004? ... Quite possibly, yes.

Funny how things go.

Anyway, after that we went to an event at our church - yes, at this point you're realising that random Christian events make up a large portion of my life - and Gav did his thing.

His thing is being awesome.

This time his awesomeness took the form of beatboxing, and everybody was very impressed, and I was slightly smug. I'm thinking of learning a skill for the next open mic. Whaddaya reckon? Stand-up? Poetry reading? Poledancing?

Wait scratch that last one I just realised it wouldn't really work in the church.

Their pole's out of order. (The whole freaking SYSTEM's out of order!)

PoledancerANYWAY! Today's interesting thing! Because I have not shared anything interesting in quite some time! Free Rice. You may well have seen it before, and indeed I have mentioned it in the past, but do go play it again please. Feed the hungry!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I'm back I'm back what did I miss!

Every morning for the last five days, I've turned on my laptop, and we've had the following conversation.

Me: Morning. Internet please.
Laptop: Ooh, no can do. Sorry.
Me: Why not?
Laptop: Can't tell you. If you like, you can click this to fix it.
Me: Okay...
Laptop: Hmm, didn't work. Are you suprised? I'm surprised. On an unrelated note, would you like to renew your Norton 360 subscription?
Me: Uhh maybe later... are you working now?
Laptop: Have you tried turning it off and on again? That sometimes works, Microsoft knows why!
Me: I've tried that. Look, I just want to get online.
Me: But-
Laptop: Can't.
Me: I-
Laptop: Can't. Tell you what, try clicking this, that might work. (Except it won't.) While you're pounding your head on the table, how about renewing your Norton thingy? That might be fun.

Eventually, the cogs started turning and I uninstalled Norton, worrying while I did it that my laptop would suddenly say "I'm sorry Anna, I can't let you do that." Three quarters of the way through, the brakes came off and my laptop connected. I ARE ONLINE.

It's amazing what I achieve without the internet, though: my room has never been tidier. It's been good for me. I've been considering going offline for a while, actually, but I didn't have to fortitude. Providence.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Christmas music

Tell me baby, do you recognize me?
Well it's been a year, it doesn't surprise me.

I have had to fight, almost every night
down throughout these centuries.

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life

We know them, probably word-for-word. Every year. Every damn year the same songs for a month straight. Every radio station, every shop, every music channel, playing the same 40 songs on an infinite loop.

I don't mind, at the moment (it's only day 2 after all!) but it would be nice to get a bit of variety. So with that in mind, here are some songs to add a bit of interest (and pirates) to your festive season. Let's get into the spirit, people! After all, if you can't beat 'em... and you certainly can't beat 'em... you may as well join the masses, (only with more pirates).

So for your delectation and delight, I present:

Chiron Beta Prime, by Jonathan Coulton
Podsafe Christmas Song, by Jonathan Coulton
A Pirate Christmas, by Tom Smith
Hey Frickin Nonny, by Tom Smith
All I got for Christmas, by Pond Life.

Christmas skull

On the importance of internet and family, and how they both kinda suck

plugged in
When I'm having a bad day, and the depression seems to have a firm hold of my mind, pure escapism is the only way I can convince myself that things are ok.

When I was a child, fantasy books were my escape. I'd spend every breaktime, every lunchbreak, sat in the library huddled over some new mystery; some enthralling adventure that would take me away from real people for a while.

These days, I seem to have been struck with that curious perspective disorder that makes people further away seem more important. I could be talking to my family; the people I love, who I grew up with, and will miss when they're gone. But for some reason I need to escape them sometimes and talk to a chatroom full of Americans who don't know me. That's how I escape.

The escape has been going fairly well lately. A couple of people I really respect have acknowledged me, which validates my existence in some tiny, pathetic way; and makes me think that perhaps I matter. (Yes, I know this is a very emo post - I'm unhappy. Deal with it.)

That said, my 'internet friends' can't bring me comfort the same way as a phone call from my sister. Nobody on any of the forums I frequent know me and understand me as well as my brother (aside from, erm, my brother). And nobody will be there when it all goes tits-up the way my family will. So tonight I have to remind myself that, one day, I will regret every second I passed them over in favour of a faceless name on IRC.

That doesn't mean they don't drive me crazy sometimes, though, 'cuz they do.