Friday, 16 October 2009
I am now the proud owner of 'silky-smooth-in-fact-so-much-so-that-my-other-teeth-are-jealous-front-tooth'. Hurrah. Unfortunately I wasn't able to rejoice in the day of tooth beautifying quite as much as I'd have wished.
Not only was October 15th Dentist Day, it also turned out to be school photograph day. Shudder. Now you could be forgiven for thinking that having left school a full 7 years ago I should not ever again have to face the horror of a school photo. I thought similarly. I was wrong. I (apparently foolishly) work in a school and at this school (which shall remain nameless) they like the staff to have their photos taken and stuck on a wall. This alone is enough to cause sleepless nights for an inexperienced admin assistant. But then imagine if you will, that said admin assistant has had a filling on her front tooth at 10am that morning. She has had a local anaesthetic and cannot feel her top lip nor half of her nose. She is finding it impossible to tell whether she's smiling or grimacing. Then merely an hour later stick that poor woman in front of a photographer. Gah.
They took two photos and asked me to choose which I preferred. Two?! In this age of digital cameras surely they could have given me at least 10 attempts to get it right!
Well I hope that they're happy with their mug shot. It's not my wall that it's going to gaze out from for the next year.
I still maintain that mine is a beauty that the camera cannot capture. Such radiance cannot be conveyed in the momentary capsule of time that is contained within a photograph. It must be beheld by the true eye of humanity in order to be discerned and appreciated. And even then you wouldn't believe the number of people who miss it...
Monday, 5 October 2009
It's this man's fault:
Gah. Louis Walsh. Once upon a time he was something of a pop svengali - not so much these days mind. But he's still got his judging role on a little known talent show called The X Factor. The mute button is my friend when Louis is on screen but sadly the mute button doesn't prevent the muppet from making absurd decisions when it comes to his acts.
These two scary looking boys are John and Edward.
On Sunday Louis put them through to the final 12 X-Factor acts and as such they will be performing this coming week in the first live show. Let us all hope that it is a one night only affair and that the twins will be unceremoniously disposed of before the competition has really got started.
They are genuinely awful. It is a mystery how they got past the initial auditions let alone into the prestigious final 12. By putting them through Walsh has managed to erase any modicum of credibility that the show may ever have had. But put them through he has. I can't believe that Louis actually thinks that they have any talent - last night he compared them to a pre-fame Boyzone (in fairness this could be accurate but the pop music industry has changed in the last 15 years and you can no longer get away with launching an unprofessional half-baked outfit - which is what Boyzone started out as - and some may argue also finished as!). So unless Mr Walsh has actually lost his mind what is the other option?
And he's got it. TV, radio, newspapers, blogs (ahem)... all decrying his choice and heaping insults upon him. But it's exactly what he wants. A large percentage of people tend to stop watching X-Factor after the initial auditions are over because their motivation for watching is the cringe worthiness of the no-talent contestants. In which case taking John and Edward through to the live shows is actually a master stroke by the annoying Irish one. The no-talent contestant appeal continues! And the public are well and truly aware of it thanks to all this publicity. To which I have now contributed. Sigh.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
The source of my agitation? Mr Robbie Williams.
I would like to state from the outset that in general I've never really had a problem with Robbie. Some of his music is good and he's a first class entertainer. He does have a tendency to come across as a little obnoxious and arrogant at times, but show me an A-list pop star who doesn't!
It's his new single that's got me blogging. It's called Bodies and you can listen to it here.
Musically I think it's a return to form. Very catchy and it's got a good anthemic vibe come the end. But have you heard the lyrics? Here's a slightly abridged transcript for you:
God gave me the sunshine
Then showed me my lifeline
I was told it was all mine
Then I got laid on a ley line
What a day, what a day
And your Jesus really died for me
Then Jesus really tried for me
Bodies in the Bodhi tree
Bodies making chemistry
Bodies on my family
Bodies in the way of me
Bodies in the cemetery
And that’s the way it’s gonna be
All we’ve ever wanted is to look good naked
Hope that someone can take it
God save me rejection
From my reflection
I want perfection
Praying for the rapture
‘Cause it’s stranger getting stranger
And everything’s contagious
It’s the modern middle ages
All day every day
And if Jesus really died for me
Then Jesus really tried for me
Jesus didn’t die for you, what do you want?
(I want perfection)
Jesus didn’t die for you, what are you on?
Oh Lord(Jesus really died for you)
Ohh(Jesus really died for you)
(Jesus really died for you) Ohh
I've bolded the stuff that's causing me a problem. It's obvious that the song is an outworking of all sorts of things that Williams has been thinking about. His interest in spirituality has often been a feature of his songs and I don't believe that he's intending to offend with his lyrics. But offend he does. I'm loathe to use the word offend actually. It's bandied about too often these days and has lost any real meaning. It might be better to say these lyrics upset me.
I'm a Christian. The absolute core of my beliefs is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, totally God, totally human, absolutely holy and pure, died an horrific and undeserved death in order to take the punishment that I deserve for my disobedience and rejection of God. This is a truth. Jesus died for me. Really. I would have no problem if Robbie was singing that Jesus didn't die for him, if that's how he feels. But it is heart-breaking to hear someone singing at me through the radio that my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ didn't die for me.
This also brings up an interesting situation. Who do I complain to? There's no real reason for me to complain to Williams (other than to correct him!) - he has a right to write and sing what he wants. Freedom of speech and all that. But should radio and TV stations be more responsible in what they are broadcasting? I'm 99% sure that if someone wrote a song denying in such terms something so integral to the Islamic faith, that the media would at the very least think twice before airing it. It is in fact only two lines of the song that truly affront. It would be very easy to edit out - they do it enough with swearing these days. You would be well within your rights to say, "But if it's only two lines then what's the big problem?" but those two lines - "Jesus didn't die for you", "Jesus didn't die for you, what are you on?" are killers. They come at the very end in the most anthemic part of the song and for Christians they have the capacity to cut to the heart.
Robbie's confusion and agnostic predilections are made clear by the fact that whilst he's singing these words the backing vocals are chiming, "Jesus really died for you". He would probably use that as his defence and it does diminish the insult a little. Although until I looked up the lyrics I thought that they were also singing "Jesus didn't die for you" - perhaps a slightly greater quality of diction is all that's required there!
Interestingly I've not heard a single word of complaint to any media outlet but I expect that a lot of Christians find themselves in a similar situation to myself - to whom do I complain? It makes me sad but for now I'll have to make do with responding to Mr Williams in a loud voice each time I hear his song: "Actually Jesus did die for me, thank you very much! Praise the Lord!"
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
He's only ever really satisfied once he's found either Trawlermen, Deadliest Catch or How It's Made. But he also enjoys regularly checking British Eurosport (1 and 2) to make sure that he's not missing some random Latvian 125cc motorcycle race. There are many downsides to this strange behaviour but every so often it does provide me with a little gem of entertainment that I would otherwise have been ignorant of. A couple of days ago I was gifted such a nugget.
Aussie Rules ladies and gentlemen. That's what I'm talking about. That bizarre Antipodean sport that thinks it's rugby but better. It isn't. However, it does have a couple of joyous elements that I believe need to be introduced to the rest of the world.
The following video should give you some idea of what I mean. Sadly YouTube was unable to provide me with a simple example of the elements of the game that I am so in awe of. So you'll have to make do with a random fan's System of a Down music mix!
Check out the 'ball-up' (aka Bounce) and the backwards boundary throw-ins. Sadly the video doesn't quite get across the verging on acrobatic nature of an umpire's Bounce. The match I saw this week featured a much better standard of bouncing. But you get the idea. The umpires get all the best stuff to do in this game! We need these rules in British sport - I vote we get both elements put into football forthwith! All in favour?
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Thankfully my dentist is much friendlier than this one.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
He's right you know. Life moves pretty fast. So this is me stopping and looking around for a bit. It has been 4 months, 22 days, 22 hours and 27 minutes since last you heard from me. Not that I have to tell you that, I'm sure you've all been counting. But why the months of silence I hear you cry? Well, life's been moving pretty fast.
I need to start with the big news because all the other news really stems from that: 11 years of M.E. are behind me and no years of M.E. are in front of me! I'm delighted to tell that I have made improvements in leaps and bounds since around November last year. I signed up for The Lightning Process with some lovely people in Suffolk and results have been remarkable. It is one of those things that is often viewed with suspicion by the M.E. community - hardly surprising. In fact when I first started researching it I was one of those cynics. It's a cynicism born of years of either no treatment or utterly ineffective ones and little hope for the future. It's the self-preservation instinct. Many sufferers have had their hopes raised by various promises of 'cures' only to have these dreams come crashing down around their ears. I won't recommend The Lightning Process unreservedly. It was the most difficult thing that I've ever done (and that includes dealing with the loss of the 2007 Rugby World Cup!) and I'm not convinced that every person will cope with it but I can't deny the fact that it's worked for me. This blog is not the place to go into details but feel free to comment leaving your e-mail address if you'd like to hear any more of my thoughts.
So it's all change for Giraffe-a-licious. I have a job! Since June I've been working part time in the office of a local primary school. I'm just coming to the end of the school holidays now so I've got to get my work head back in order but so far so good. Do you know what the best thing is about having a job? Not having to look for a job! Job hunting must be one of the most soul-destroying undertakings in life. Gives me shivers just thinking about it. Ugh.
Friday, 3 April 2009
I may love films but I can promise you I'm no actress. Can't be doing with all those people looking at me. I might actually be a very skilled thespian, but the world will just have to resign itself to the fact that it will never know.
But it occurred to me the other day that even if I was an outgoing type with all the talent of Judi Dench, the beauty of Jennifer Aniston and the wit of Sandra Bullock I'd probably never be able to be successful. Why? Because I'm a Christian. Now I'm not saying that I wouldn't make it because Christians are discriminated against in the industry (they may or may not be, I haven't a clue) but simply because there would be no roles for me. As a Christian I wouldn't want to swear in a movie and I would be uncomfortable about being in a film that featured sex outside of marriage - let alone actually be in a sex scene! With just those two stipulations I have pretty much blown my chances of a film career. How many films are there these days that I could get involved in? If I became a Christian after having become a successful actor then no doubt it would be possible to pick and choose roles in family friendly projects. But as a newbie trying to get a foot in the door I expect I'd be laughed out of Hollywood.
I don't know exactly what point I'm trying to make (you should all know by now that I'm rather prone to rambling musings!) but it's certainly something worth mulling over don't you think?
P.S. I am aware that I could easily be labelled a hypocrite. After all I watch a lot of films that I've stated that I wouldn't want to be in. But I do think that there's a difference between viewing something and endorsing or promoting it by being in it.
Friday, 20 March 2009
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) have just announced that they are to officially question the validity of the new system. Opposition has been voiced not only against the system itself but also in protestation at the lateness of the change of plan; the first race of the season takes place in just over a week's time.
It may be a long shot but let's hope that common sense prevails. It seems absurd to me that a driver that won 5 races but failed to finish the other 12 could be World Champion over a competitor with 4 race wins and 13 2nd places to his name. I do despair at not only the ignorance of the people in charge of this sport but also their seeming lack of passion for their product. Mentioning no names of course... but it sounds a bit like Fernie Pecclestone.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Today's guilty party? The Haunting in Connecticut.
I mean really, what kind of name is that for a film? It's the equivalent of a Brit making 'The Haunting in Worcestershire'.
Come to think of it, surely Worcestershire has far more fright potential than Connecticut?*
Soup. For one.
* I should probably point out that I haven't actually seen said scary Connecticut film. Nor do I intend to. But that title is definitely enough to justify my 'dire' label.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Oh wait. That's not exactly right. I was thinking more along these lines:
Ah... much better.
You may have guessed that I've just got back from watching The Young Victoria at the cinema. It's a fairly standard costume drama - the type that I love - but rather heavy on the romance - which I don't usually love. But Prince Albert here won me over. Apparently he's actually some actor sort; goes by the name Rupert Friend, but seeing as there's no way on earth that Mr Friend could ever match up to the lovely Prince Consort, he'll always be Albert to me. Sigh.
Saturday, 14 February 2009
These are not the rantings and ravings of a bitter, single woman. Granted, they are the ramblings of a single woman but that is clearly beside the point. I just don't get the whole Valentine's Day hoopla. Surely romance is about spontaneity? Showing someone you love them when they least expect it. Actually it's probably more romantic to find a way to live that shows someone you love them each and everyday.
Do excuse me whilst I take a minute to go and throw up somewhere. (Oh dear, that might just be some bitterness being vomited into the bathroom sink).
My point is that Valentine's Day doesn't come close to meeting either of those criteria. It's not spontaneous and it's not long lasting. It's probably too late for a boycott this time around. But next year, when all those shops try to lure you in with their lovey-dovey window displays and bargain chocolate and wine combo offers, do as the Grange Hill kids once did - "Just say no!"
Monday, 9 February 2009
Incidentally I also saw a mad woman in town. She was wearing the tiniest denim shorts possible. Yes, she had tights on underneath but they were hardly woolly ones. What's wrong with these people?!
Wet feet make me grumpy. Can you tell?
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Monday, 26 January 2009
Back to the present woe. Out in the 4th round of the Aussie Open to an inspired Spaniard. Deeply disappointing. But we must not get too despondent. Murray didn't become a bad player overnight. He is still supremely talented and probably several years off his peak. Maybe he's just saving it for Wimbledon...
Saturday, 24 January 2009
A few years ago I was ready to throttle the man for ruining Ally McBeal's chance of true happiness and forcing the rest of us to endure Jon Bon Jovi as the love interest in the final series of the really quite barking mad TV lawyer show. He played Ally's soulmate, Larry Paul, in series 4 and a simply brilliant combination of actor and script created one of the funniest and wittiest small screen characters of recent years. Then Downey screwed it all up by falling back into the drug problems that had plagued him earlier on in his career. Bye bye Larry, hello dull as ditch water Jovi man, so bland that even the name of his character eludes me.
But credit to Jr. He sorted himself out and these days is at the top of his game.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang? Brilliant.
Goodnight, and Good Luck? Top notch.
Iron Man? Joyous.
The icing on the cake? An Oscar nomination this week for his role in Tropic Thunder. Now I haven't seen the aforementioned film and I don't actually intend to. Despite being a card carrying member of the Robert Downey Jr fan club, I have no desire to see the Ben Stiller war movie spoof. I'm sure that its core demographic find it hilarious but it's just not my cup of Earl Grey. Nevertheless I can still appreciate the Academy's sense of humour in giving Downey's Kirk Lazarus a nod. Never mind that it's in the category of Best Supporting Actor where Heath Ledger is a shoo-in for the statue, credit to the stuffed shirts for recognising a comedic role. RDJ won't (and shouldn't) get it this time round but if he keeps up his current run of form in both blockbuster and indie roles then surely it won't be long before a little gold man turns up on his doorstep.
Monday, 19 January 2009
It's important for you to know that in theory I should be one of Mamma Mia's biggest fans. I'm a musicals freak. Mary Poppins; Moulin Rouge; Evita; Hairspray; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; My Fair Lady; I love them all. I maintain that the world would be a much greyer place if people weren't able to randomly burst into song whenever the feeling takes them.
I also love Abba. Rarely has there been a group or band responsible for so many impossibly catchy hit songs. I'll Abba karaoke it up with the best of them!
So why my dread of Mamma Mia? I can't quite put my finger on it, but its huge popularity amongst middle-aged women made me faintly uneasy and the trailer certainly didn't help matters. Don't ask me how they did it but somehow they made an Abba loving musicals fan shudder at the merest mention of their film. Quite a skill.
But after all that I still sat down and watched it with my dear old mum. And yes, it is awful. Hideous. Terrible. A crime against cinema. And yet...
It's funny. Not necessarily always in the way that it intends to be. But by and large the cast and crew seem to be in on the joke. Pierce Brosnan can't sing to save his life and Colin Firth isn't much better but that just makes the whole endeavour all the more hilarious. It's utterly silly and allows people to be silly whilst they watch it. I'm convinced that's why that multitude of middle-aged women flocked to see it again and again. It's the very definition of escapism.
So kudos to the makers. They have triumphed with a product unworthy to even sit on steps outside the pantheon of great musicals and yet glorious in it's own ridiculous way.
Monday, 5 January 2009
Grumbling aside I am optimistic about Mr Matt Smith. For a start, credit to him for sticking with one of the least exciting names in the history of naming.
He may be young (26 apparently) but Tennant always seemed a great deal younger than his 37 years - I think Cliff Richard must have let my dear David in on the secret of seemingly eternal youth!
Most encouraging of all is the fact that I'd already had my beady eye on Smith. Anyone who caught the Beeb's Ruby in the Smoke or The Shadow in the North should have singled him out for potential greatness. He played a character full of charm, quirkiness and charisma - it may as well have been his Doctor Who calling card.
So thumbs up to the BBC. For now. I'm still worried about the rumours surrounding the casting of the new companion. Lily Allen? Please no. The producers should have the guts to cast another relative unknown. The programme has enough of a following these days, the Beeb mustn't cave in to the commercial demands of a 'name' or 'face'.
Oh and the new Doc's hair? The jury's out.
Friday, 2 January 2009
A year ago I made a few predictions. Let's see how I fared shall we?
Re: the popularity of the TV channel Dave. Strangely enough I don't have easy access to recent audience share figures. Even more strangely, I don't intend to spend hours trawling the net to find such statistics for you. Can you survive? I do hope so.
Sadly my predictions seem to be getting a little less accurate as we go along. Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came in 2nd in the global box office stakes, over $200 million behind The Dark Knight. I'm pleased I was wrong in backing the well-hatted one. The Dark Knight is a fantastic piece of film-making. Indy was fun but flawed.