Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A to Z: Zombies

It's the very last day of the A to Z April challenge, and therefore also the last day of April. Hopefully some warmer weather is to come during May.

I know, I know, everyone and their dog is doing Zombies for the last of this challenge, but hell, I couldn't pass up on a Zombie Apocalypse now could I?

So today I'm doing a how to post, and hopefully you'll find it interesting, amusing, and in the case of a real zombie apocalypse, useful.

Cute Zombie, from Shutterstock.com
How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse in 5 Easy Steps.

1. All good brits know how to scimp and hoarde, so the first way of surviving is to make sure you have plenty of cans and food that won't go off for a while, as well as biscuits and portable snacks. If there's only cans, for god's sake don't forget your trusty can opener ( preferably not an electric one, in case that's disturbed).

2. Keep heavy artillery in the larder/basement/attic/cellar/laundry room. You never know when a zombie could try to break in. Also keep things you could use as weapons (like bread knives, rounders bats - they're fatter and shorter than baseball bats, so you'll be able to knock them down easier- paint guns, a scalpel and so on) around the house, just in case. Or spend some time thinking of things you could use as a weapon. Perhaps that strimmer in your garage might work to keep them back?

3. Hang out with someone who doesn't stand a chance against zombies, or who runs slower than you. They could be the difference between life and death. Make sure it's someone you don't actually like, otherwise you'll spend all your time going back for them or fighting off zombies and no time doing important things, like escaping.

4. Make sure you have a good escape plan. If it's rubbish you will die. Maybe try to escape to the outer hebrides or something.

5. Bring a large dog. Along similar lines to a person who runs slower, but a dog will go for an attack and could actually keep the zombies busy for a long time. Unless they're lazy.

Last but not least, don't get killed or run out of food, or you're a goner.

I hope that brightens up your day with the thought of an impending zombie apocalypse, it sure did mine.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this blog challenge as much as I did.

Monday, 29 April 2013

A to Z: Year (time)

A year, a day, a century, a minute. Time.

Time is one of those abstract things in life that we think about all the time, and yet not at all. We always need to know a certain time to be somewhere, when we should leave, how much time we have left. Days are measured in time, life is measured in time and our daily lives revolve around time. Yet do we really think about it properly?

Not very often. Even when we do it's more like, do I have enough time to be able to do all the things I want to in life? Is my biological clock ticking away? Am I too late?

Sundial, image from Google
When really we should be thinking about the sheer amount of time we do have, noting that there's not really that much of it, and making the most of it now, rather than later. That's why I try to make every minute count in my life. I have plans of things I want to do, but I'll still do them even when I get really old, because time sure as hell won't stop me.

Time, really, doesn't matter. Because although it's useful to know how many hours you have left in your day, and how long you should be sleeping for, our time could stop at any moment, and then what would have been the point in worrying about it? But then, if you're late for a job interview because you don't believe in time, well, that would be your own fault.

It is a shame that the world is ruled by time, but if we didn't have it (we assume) the world would just be a mess. Though personally I think our body clocks would work it out for us.

This year, I'm going to make a promise not to worry too much about time, and to enjoy life as I live it. As it's coming up to my birthday (another marker of time, I'll be 22 in case you're wondering) I think it should be like my mantra for my next year.

What would you do with your life if you had the time?

Sunday, 28 April 2013

A to Z: Xena

Xena warrior princess was a show i liked quite a lot as a kid.
It was just about these two friends having an adventure together whilst looking like a couple of Amazonian warrior women.

Personally i always preferred Gabrielle. She might have been quieter but she was kick as when she had to be, or rather, when it mattered. Xena, however, was always a bit more aloof and proud.

It is and was nice to see some proper strong women on TV. It's much better than the masses of weak ones you see.

I always hated the older princesses in Disney,  they were so much more pathetic. Especially snow white. Sure, she was pure, but she was also completely thick. If someone who cares about you tells you not to open the door to complete strangers, you don't. You'd think she wouldn't anyway after one bad experience. But no, she's dumb about it. She also flounces around like an idiot and expects everyone to protect her.

Whereas the modern ones, let's take Megara from Hercules, not only have common sense and can take care of themselves perfectly fine, or at least try to, but they also have sass and attitude. So they actually have personalities instead of just being pure and simple.

Rant over. Weekday address your thoughts on strong women?

Friday, 26 April 2013

A to Z: Water

Sorry for the ridiculously small post, but its late and I'm tired.

Water. I like water. It's pretty, and very useful.

Good stuff.

Err, Neptune was the Roman god of the sea, Poseidon is the Greek equivalent. There are many other water gods and goddesses, as well as monsters and dryads and so on that lived under the sea and in rivers and lakes in mythology. They're pretty interesting so do look them up.

Sometimes water carries disease.

So to end on that positive factual note, thanks for reading this. Again, I'm very sorry for this poor post.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A to Z: Vader

Back to the Future 2 movie poster,
from Google.
Darth Vader to be precise.
He's pretty cool really.

So this post is all about my inner geek. I believe we should all embrace our inner geek.
More recently it is more acceptable socially to have geekish tendencies, with the huge popularity of Big Bang Theory (which follows a group of geeky men, and a fairly normal girl, in their daily lives) and it's endorsement of Star Wars, Star Trek, Action Figures, Super Heroes, Advanced Science and all sorts of geekery.
Also loads of people love Star Wars and Star Trek, Comic books and other supposedly geeky things.

So I thought I would show all of you my inner geek.

First and foremost I shall tell you my favourite film. It is Back to the Future 2. I'm a massive sucker for time travel, especially futuristic time travel. I love films set in the future too, just so I can take note of all the awesome things that people have thought of in these made up worlds and see if any of them happen in real life. It has to be back to the Future 2 because of the time paradox and the future, and it being the first thing that made me think about how your actions change everything in your life. Even the smallest thing has a consequence (which I was later to find out about in The Butterfly Effect, admittedly).

Doctor Who is yet another time travel show I absolutely love. I am currently hankering after a Tardis cookie jar (complete with noises), and possibly something with the sonic screwdriver. The Doctors personality (especially the last two) is just awesome, and to be honest, who wouldn't hop in the Tardis and travel with the doctor, and come back in time to watch your favourite TV show? There are a few places I'd definitely want to go to, like 1920s America, maybe LA or new York, and definitely to the future.

Big Bang Theory is awesome, and I'm very proud of myself for understanding geeky Star Trek jokes and some scientific theories.

Is being really frugal a bit geeky? Possibly. I think this counts. I'm ridiculously frugal, but I do love it. It means you get to be creative.

I also really like comic book films. This has been getting increasingly more popular with the success of the newer Marvel films. Though I will say that the Hulk one wasn't that great and.. I know this could be controversial.. I prefer Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.

I probably have a lot more geeky qualities, but these will do for now.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A to Z: Ultraviolet

This is the only subject that i could come up with that was interesting. I did think of being lazy and doing Ulna, and just a picture with an arrow pointing at the Ulna (which, in case you were wondering, is a bone in your forearm, the one closest to the torso).

So Ultraviolet light. I think the first thing we all think of is the purple light you see in clubs.
But do we know where it comes from and what it is?

Well, I think it may be best explained by a scientific diagram, done by the experts. So here's one for you.

This diagram shows the wavelengths of light. Visible light has a longer wavelength than UV light. UV light is found in sunlight and causes the melanin in our skin to darken when exposed to it, resulting in a tan, or sunburn depending how long you stay under the sunlight. It's also used in sunbeds for the same purpose.

UV has a lot of uses. Off the top of my head I can think of cosmetically, with ultraviolet nail polishes that glow (or fluoresce) under UV light. There is also a type of tattoo ink that does the same thing. There are pains that also do this.
You can also put a banknote under UV light and if it's british you'll be able the see the queen. There are other UV watermarks on things like driving liscences and passports.
Then theres imaging of things in space, forensic uses in crime scenes, air and water purification.
It's also used in reptile tanks.

Wikipedia has a page on it if you'd like more information and many many more uses. It may not be any good, but it's worth a try.

Ultraviolet is also a film starring Milla Jokovich. I have absolutely no idea what it's about.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A to Z: Type

I'm talking body type today. Sorry boys, but as I'm a woman I'll be talking more about women body type and body issues, although I do acknowledge that men can also have just as many body woes as women, and are affected by the same debilitating illnesses and embarrassments too.

To start, every person has a body. We're stuck with that body. It is ours. Long or short, large or small, wrinkly or smooth. And each and every one is different. That's what makes us unique (as well as our awe-inspiring personalities and sparkling wit).
But with women we all have body types, be that pear, apple, hourglass, rectangular, triangle, athletic and so on, you will fit into a category. That category is god in the clothes department.
Channel 4 has a wonderful and in depth beauty area that can tell you what your body type is, and what clothes to wear. I would fully recommend it. We also owe it to icons such as Gok Wan and Trinny and Susannah for showing us the way in these areas. Here's the Link. 
(Also, if you haven't seen Gok Wan in anything I suggest you go watch How to Look Good Naked right now)

The thing about our bodies though, is that there's so much to them that people end us disliking parts - or even all - of it.Everyone has things that they're not overly keen on. For me, it's my thighs. they're wobbly and riddled with cellulite and stretch marks. But, it's no big deal. So what if they are? There are plenty of women out there with legs just like mine. Perhaps the only difference between them and me is they know how to flaunt it. Over the years I have become much less conscious of my body, I'm very glad to say. I think teenage angst has a lot to say for itself in the body image department. But once you move away from your teenage fears and get a reality check, that's when your body can be something you start to love and flaunt.

Dove has a great advert that shows what real women look like instead of those ridiculously proportioned models. It's very inspirational. The picture is on the top right. Dove also has a very interesting advert about how you see yourself that I also thought was very moving. Here's the advert.
Dove really does have a wonderful message about real beauty.
Saying this, there are some that disagree with the advert Like This One. But I think that it's true that we are our own worst critics and that if we saw us as the world, or someone we love sees us, we wouldn't be so afraid.

I would love for us all to love our bodies no matter what, but as that's a pretty big ask I'll just ask you to focus on something you really love about yourself. Two things actually. One is a body part or facial feature, the other is a personality trait. Select two things you love about yourself.
Now be proud of them.

I'll share mine of you share yours.

Mine: My eyes and my weird sense of humour.

Monday, 22 April 2013

A to Z: Stories

I can barely begin to tell you how relieved i was that I didn't have to write a blog yesterday. The boyfriend usually does his blogs beforehand and I leave them to the day, and then to the last minute, and yesterday I was pretty exhausted. I was in need of a good break. So I did some reading and some thinking.

As you may know my sister and I are writing a book, were still working our way through the second draft, but I'm stuck. I have writers block. I was hoping this challenge would help and inspire me, but no such luck so far.

But instead I decided I would read more, and look at how other writers have done it and use that to help improve my own writing. I also thought about doing some short stories about different topics (say, fairy tales or Arthurian tales or something), and though I've had a few ideas, there's nothing concrete at the moment.

So today instead of sharing with you something new that I've written, I'll share with you something older.
It's a short story based on the tale of 'The boy who cried Wolf'. It's short, but I think if I copied and pasted it on here it would take up a lot more of this blog than I would like, so here's a link:

The Wolf-Boy.

Please give it a read and tell me what you think. You would be doing me a huge favour.
Or even better, give me some suggestions for other short stories you'd like to see me write.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A to Z: Rumpelstiltskin

I always felt sorry for Rumpelstiltskin. He's always portrayed as the bad guy. It's always the miller's daughter/queen that people are supposed to root for, but if it weren't for Rumpelstiltskin, she wouldn't have even been alive to be Queen or have a kid. So really she owes him her life.
To make this a little more fair, I've compiled the facts. They might be slightly biased though.

- A father's terrible actions would have killed his daughter if Rumpelstiltskin hadn't come along. The father is really to blame for all of this mess. He is a very bad man.
- He asked her for the daughters first born, which was a little steep, but he had spun gold twice for her, and you don't get something for nothing. She said yes. She committed.
Now here I think that a good reason for Rumpelstiltskin wanting the child was because he wanted a child of his own but could not have one, or maybe he lost his own child. Or maybe he really is evil and wanted to turn it into a demon, or eat it or something.
- Rumpelstiltskin took pity on her and gave her a chance to thwart him by her guessing his name. He gave her an unlimited amount of guesses, so it was very fair. She was going back on her promise.
- She sends a messenger to go out and find all the names he can, and he spies on Rumpelstiltskin. I call this cheating.
- Rumpelstiltskin was angry and tore himself in two when his real name was guessed. A name is a precious thing, and so it makes sense that he was angry. Maybe he was upset too, as he didn't have a kid to bring up.

He's just misunderstood really.

What do you think?

Friday, 19 April 2013

A to Z: Queen

No, not THE Queen, Queen the legendary band. I've enjoyed the tunes of Queen for many a year. It's just some real feel good music, and sing a long very loudly music. Somebody to Love is my personal favourite, however I am partial to Don't Stop Me Now. I do love a good Queen song. This post is a celebration of music that will last forever, or at least many, many years. There's a lot of oldies, but I love them.

The Beatles.
Yet another legendary band. Here's my favourite, She Loves You. Close runner up is Twist and Shout. I very nearly put it, but she loves you is, now this is really a feel good song.. it's the beat that does it..

The Beach Boys

Elvis Presley.
I was debating between Jailhouse Rock and Blue Suede Shoes. Jailhouse Rock won, but only just.

Going along slightly with Elvis, another favourite type of music of mine is Rock and Roll. You just can't go wrong with it. Whether it's Little Richard, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker and so on.
But I'm going with Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis. (although I do love Let's Twist again by Chubby Checker)

To end, Michael Jackson. Obviously. I'm an 80s girl at heart.
However, I'll be different and go for a 70's. Here we have a Jackson 5 one:

There are so many more to talk about, but i can't talk about them all, otherwise you'll get really bored. I'll tell you a few more favourites: Bon Jovi, Elton John and Phil Collins.

What are your favourite songs?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A to Z: Psychopathy

I wrote my 10,000 word dissertation on Psychopaths. Specifically Psychopaths in film compared to real life. Considering I spent the best part of a year researching psychopaths, I consider myself quite well informed.

In my dissertation I concluded that Antony Hopkins portrayal of a psychopath (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs) was the best one in showbiz. I didn't quite phrase it like that, but that's the gist.

So I guess you want to know what a Psychopath is, right?
Well, a person who is a psychopath is usually identified by Robert Hare's psychopathy checklist. They get an interview, looked at for a while and possibly some poking and prodding (ok, maybe not) and then marked up against 20 traits, each of which is scored out of two, 0 being that they show none of this trait, 2 being that they most definitely show this trait. 1 is a.. yeah, sometimes they do that.

Here are the traits for you. Try scoring yourself. It's fun, I promise.
Disclaimer: it's not that much fun, but it is interesting. Also, everyone exhibits some of these traits, if you score 0 you're lying to yourself. It's only when many of the traits, in high levels, are in one person that you have to worry. Even then, they might just be mean.

Factor 1: Personality "Aggressive narcissism":
-Glibness/superficial charm
-Grandiose sense of self-worth
-Pathological lying
-Lack of remorse or guilt
-Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
The Silence of the Lambs film poster, from Google.
-Callousness; lack of empathy
-Failure to accept responsibility for his or her own actions

Factor 2: Case history "Socially deviant lifestyle.":
-Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
-Parasitic lifestyle
-Poor behavioral control
-Lack of realistic long-term goals
-Juvenile delinquency
-Early behavior problems
-Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor:
-Promiscuous sexual behavior
-Many short-term (marital) relationships
-Criminal versatility

Yes, yes I did just copy and paste from Wikipedia. But trust me, it's correct. Strait from the Hare's mouth. Aha, see what I did there?

If you get 33 or more, you're probably a psychopath. However it has to come from both of the categories.

Now you know what a psychopath is, I must stress to you that it is completely different to a Sociopath. They are NOT THE SAME THING. Though some characteristics are similar, these, errr.. states? are different.
For one, sociopathy is more of an anti-social personality disorder. Though psychopathy also is, psychopaths are actually less able to form normal-appearing relationships with others, and often any relationship is short-lived. Psychopaths are also generally more erratic and impulsive, whereas sociopaths are more controlled and calculating.

In essence, a psychopath is someone who does not feel. I've seen many interviews with them. In one a man was describing killing his brother. He said it with an eerie lack on emotion. That's the main thing that i think defines a psychopath, their lack of emotion. They don't know and don't care about right or wrong, good or bad. They would help an old lady across the street if it meant something was in it for them. That's an interesting thought.

To end, an interesting fact about Antony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter:
He rarely blinks in the film. This was done on purpose because in real life psychopaths do not blink as much as other people (apparently).

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A to Z: Orange

Orange is the topic that was suggested to me in jest while I was trying to think up a topic.

I couldn't think of another good topic.

So here's a short poem about orange, seeing as my last one was rather enjoyable.

Oh Orange, you colour you,
you smell nice in my shampoo,
You're bright and fun,
not quite the colour of hon-
other that that you're full of zest,
sweet and juicy, you're the best,
Ed's face is orange sometimes,
but he prefers limes.
Sorry orange.

I honestly can write much better poetry than this, but I'm tired.
I'm sorry about this monstrosity. Truly sorry.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A to Z: Night

Image from Google
This will be a very short post because I'm tired.

Night time is my favourite time of day. Especially in summer.I prefer driving at night, when nobody is around for car headlights to glare at you, or beep constantly, or tailgate you. That gets increasingly more annoying when it's dark, your car is low and all you can see in your rear view mirror is a bulk of car and headlights on full beam. However, when it's later on, and you're driving down country roads or a deserted motorway with music humming in the air it's just lovely.

I especially love the smell. When you're out at night next time, and are either in the countryside or in a garden or a place that has trees and flowers and such (and even sometimes in a place that doesn't have those things) you can smell the lovely fresh air. Do it in summer, when the flowers are blooming and you're sitting in your back garden as the sun goes down. Take in a nice, big lungful of air and relax. Although I even like it in winter, just leaning out of my window with cold air in my face, and breathing in the midnight air.

Also, you get to see the stars. It's something I really appreciated when I moved back home from Uni. I could see the stars again, and I could stand in my back garden and breathe in my air and just watch them for ages.

I think this is more of a post about taking a small moment out of life to look around you and appreciate it. To just do nothing for a bit, and relax.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A to Z: Mythology

Iris the rainbow goddess, from google.
I've always loved mythology. Any kind of myths and legends, folklore and fairy tales - I devour them all.
When I was little it was always Greek mythology. I knew all about the gods and goddesses, the gorgons and cyclopes, heroes and nymphs. Nowadays, not much has changed, only it's grown to include Roman mythology, and some Norse and Egyptian, and a few more.

One of the best books I've ever read that included mythology was Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'. Not only was it a very good introduction to Norse mythology, but it was also very interesting, and occasionally funny. Do read it if you get a chance.

Another series of books is Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, and the Heroes of Olympus series. He's also done an Egyptian Mythology series that I've yet to read.But though they're a series for children, they're actually very good. They include many many mythological stories and characters from Greek mythology (and some roman), so actually you learn quite a lot from it too. If you already know a lot of mythology, like me, you can see all of the stories intertwining and appreciate the subtleties if his stories. Maybe read these too?

Hercules (the Disney film) has to get a mention here because it's one of my favourite films. It doesn't deal with any of his trials apart from the Hydra and a scene where they all flash by in a good old song and dance (Zero to Hero, good song). However, it's funny and endearing and I like all the references.

Probably my favourite person/god in all mythology is Iris, the Greek goddess of rainbows, also a messenger goddess.

I do have to say, the Roman God Bacchus (or Dionysus in Greek Mythology) was represented amazingly well in Disney's Fantasia. He was the philandering drunk guy riding the donkey in the wine and thunder scene. Zeus obviously wasn't very happy with him.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

A to Z: Letters

I thought Letters was quite appropriate, as in the A to Z challenge we are celebrating how diverse letters can be, and what words you can find that begin with them, and hopefully using that letter to inspire a great post.

The kind of letter I'm thinking of though is a letter that you might send by post or e-mail or that you could type or hand-write. A form of communication. A love letter, a dead letter, a lost letter and so on. A piece of prose that's frank and sometimes beautiful.

Now I've typed the word 'letter' so often that it seems like a weird word. Does it seem weird to you? So many e's and t's.

So now I'm going to write a letter. This one in particular is to my younger self, because she really needs it. The question 'What would you say to your teenage or younger self now?' is one that is asked a lot. I think it's about time for mine.

April 13th 2013

To me,

Now that your teenage years are starting, there are a few things you should know. I'm here to tell you all about them. Please heed my words. I know you're stubborn (and you will only get more so), but just listen, it'll pay off.

First off, don't listen to the bullies. They're morons. You'll grow into your looks one day, it'll take some time though. Now some of them have fallen pretty darn low. You'll love the payback they get.

Secondly, don't waste your time with people who you're not sure about. You're actually not a bad judge of character. Listen to that, and also, tell your sister to listen to it too. These people will turn out to be just as awful as you thought they might be. Definitely don't waste time on boys who are up and down like a yo-yo. You're better than that. But take a chance on one and see how well that turns out.

Thirdly, liking different music is not a crime. Embrace it. In time it'll be pretty cool that you like the golden oldies.

When you want to die your hair red (yes, you really will) just do it, and don't listen to teachers telling you how bad it is, because nowadays you've reverted back and people seem to think it suits you. Red hair rules.

Do the things you want to do. It doesn't matter what people say. Grab life and shake it up a little. I know you will anyway, but do it more so. Jump at chances, and for God's sake try to get a job at 16, you really need the experience.
If you're proactive and happy, everything will fall into place.

Yours Faithfully, me (only older and hopefully wiser).

Friday, 12 April 2013

A to Z: Knight

Today, a how to is in order.This how to in particular is ridiculous and spurred on by lack of sleep. it will probably make absolutely no sense, or possibly just very little sense, and have lots of grammatical and spelling errors. Personally, I'm impressed I can even use such long words in this stage of half-sleep.

How to become a knight.

1. Know King Arthur personally. That or the Queen. Be really really nice to them and they may well knight you. In King Arthurs case you might have to slay a few dragons before the honour is bestowed. In the Queens case all you have to do is be in loads of films, or write some stuff, and preferably be over 50.

2. If I stick with the standard round table knight, you have to have a pretty good name. No Johns or Charlottes. Not when you can have Baldric or Aloysius. Some great Arthurian names are: Galahad, Gawain, Lancelot, Percival, Mordred and so on. See how awesome they are?

Image from Google.
3. Parade around on a horse in full armour for no real reason, preferably looking a little bit haughty and very alert.

4. Speak in Ye Olde Tongue. I'm sure it will help in some form, if only to converse with various old world beings like fairies...and the lady of the lake.

5. Go to a swamp planet and talk to a little old green guy.

6. Become and expert Jouster. It worked for Heath Leger in 'A Knights Tale'.

7. Beat up some mythical creatures. Preferably Dragons or Demons or something. Do it with style and panache and you're onto a winner, you'll be at the round table in no time.

If all else fails, you could always marry the king yet have a steamy affair with his right hand knight. Though the repercussions are pretty bad I've heard it all works out in the end.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A to Z: Jam

I love Jam.

Any jam: homemade, shop bought, squeezy or jelly, thick or thin, I adore the stuff. Though I do love a massive batch of the homemade goodness (not that I've tried making it yet, but I'm I will).

I enjoy browsing the jam and spreads section of the supermarket, love the more odd and less traditional flavours of the farmers market and adore the the thought of it on porridge.

In fact, that's mainly what I have it in. Porridge. Or semolina. Sometimes on crumpets as a treat or on toast as something not quite as treaty.

My favourite is raspberry.
But most flavours will do.

I also like marmalade but would never purposefully pick it out to eat. However I do like Paddington Bear.

That's just Jam for you.

I'm terribly sorry about this post. I know it's not very informative or funny. But i got told to write about Jam, so I am.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A to Z: Irritations

This is a list of the first irritations I could think of.

1. Pigeons and other winged pests sitting in the middle of the road when you're trying to drive. My car is too low and small to be bashing into them, much as I would love to.
1a. Related to this, I also hate it at night when people drive really close behind me, because all I can see is headlights. My car is too low for that. I slow down.

2. Mothers that push prams in your face, run over your toes and are generally nuisances. It's like by putting their child in a pram or buggy thing they have become their mothers' personal battering ram.

3. Children. Enough said (sorry, but you can't say it's not true).

4. People who think they can sing but are terrible. This is the worst thing about X Factor. Because when told they're terrible they always argue. I'm one of those people who know they can't sing that well, yet sing all the time anyway. I guess that could also be irritating.

5. When you get down to your last malteaser. Or any sweet in fact.

6. Flies and other such bugs. Especially on my windscreen.

7. People from random companies calling you over and over and over again.You're not answering. Why can't they get the message?

8. People who play crappy music really loud in public places.

9. When people never answer their phones.

10. Rude people. Or really snobby people. Both are very annoying.

Bonus: Those people who always complain about minor irritations.

You can tell I got bored towards the end.

What most irritates you?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A to Z: Heroes

The definition of a hero (according to google, where I get all my information) is a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities. It also says something about men and good qualities, but I think heroes are women too.

My personal definition of a hero is someone who looks out for other people, who is selfless and kind and isn't afraid of getting their hands dirty for the good of others. That includes a lot of people. There are in particular some professions that are worthy of the title 'Hero'. These include Doctors and Nurses, Police Officers, Firefighters, Care Workers, Social Workers, anyone doing charity work. Even, if I may be so bold, Politicians. If I missed any other heroic professions out, sorry, but that's all I could think of. Isn't it nice that some people get paid to be heroes?

 Then there are personal heroes. For a lot of us I would think that includes our parents. It definitely does for me. My mum is even a Nurse, so I guess that's doubly heroic. For others personal heroes can be actors or TV personalities, or even musicians. This is where we step into somewhat darker territory. Often it's children and teenagers who idolise these kinds of people, but often they're not the kind of people they should idolise. For example, Justin Bieber. Why, oh why would that kid ever be a role model? So I think perhaps it's more healthy for children and teens to idolise someone they know, because then they see all the human brilliance and weakness inside us, and then use it to their own advantage, instead of following someone they don't know blindly.

Milo Ventimiglia from the TV Show Heroes. Google came up with him because he is so very pretty,
and I thought his face may attract more visitors to my humble site.

There are also action heroes and best of all, super heroes. And the TV Show Heroes. Now that was a great show, everyone should watch that show. Anyway, super heroes are rather wonderful. They teach kids to do right and all of these great heroic qualities, whilst showing their human side (be they human or alien) and weaknesses. They are far more realistic, approachable and down to earth, mostly, than real life celebrities.

This brings me to probably the greatest question of them all.
If you were a superhero, who would you be?
And even greater:
What superpower would you have if you could choose one?

My answers are first and foremost: Possibly Mystique from X-Men, when she's not evil.
And, I'd quite like to hear thoughts. I am very nosy. However manipulating the fabric of time and space would be amazing.

How about you? What power would you have?

Monday, 8 April 2013

A to Z: Games

Everyone loves games. Whether that be mind games or board games, it's true for everyone (mostly).
Growing up games are a huge part of life because basically, it's all you ever do. At least, it's all I ever remember doing. We'd play role playing games in the garden, make our beanie babies talk to each other and Lego men fly over canyons in some of the least streamlined contraptions known to man.

When me and my sister were little we would play games for hours and never get bored. Heck, you could give us a box and call it a space ship and we could be there for days, especially if it was a Tardis, now that would have been great. We would race snails, play in our den, play buses on the stairs, try Pokemon trading cards (and failing because nobody knew the rules of that game) and all sorts of other games at school. Some classics were probably the yoyo craze and the Pokemon cards craze. Those were some good times.

When you grow older you don't just grow out of this. At Halloween in my early teens I still used to pretend to be a witch and cast magic spells. In fact, that would probably still be true today if I went trick or treating. We started playing more grown up games, like Monopoly, card games and other board games. Only now we actually tried to win and fully understood the rules of the game, though I was still prone to cheating.

Earlier than this though, came the computer games and games consoles. We would play Master of Olympus for hours on the computer, and play Toejam and Earl on the Sega Megadrive. Anyone? Anyone? No, I thought not. I honestly don't know anyone else who ever played that game. Then the Playstation 1 came, and The Sims came with it, and I was obsessed. I think once I played it for 8 hours in one day. That's pretty bad. So fast forward a few years and you've got the Wii and the X-Box and all sorts of other contraptions, and although we played on those, we still played on the classic board games too.
Nowadays, and for a few years now too, my mum plays these newfangled mini games on the computer. I do think sometimes she goes overboard. But things like Farmville and the like are ever increasing in popularity. I think they're rubbish, but lots of people would disagree.

For those who were wondering, this is what Toejam and
Earl looks like. Yes, it was weird. From Google.

My current favourite board games are Absolute Balderdash and The Big Taboo, both of which are great games and i would recommend them to you. I still enjoy playing The Sims, though nowadays I'm treated to more FIFA and Halo than I would like, courtesy of living with the boyfriend.

This has been a very nostalgic post, and if you were born in the early 90's or late 80's you probably get it more than most other generations.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

A to Z: Food

I am a great food lover.

Wonderful in fact. I'm so modest.

I very much enjoy eating it when I go out, and sometimes I even try foods unknown to me. I'm always interested in learning which things I enjoy and which I don't, mostly in the pudding department. However, there's one downfall to my food love.

I'm not a good cook. I can do basic meals, but ask me to do something fancy, or even a roast, or a three course dinner? No way. I don't know how chefs do it, and all at once too.

Only, I love baking. I have a cupboard full of baking things. I watch the British Bake Off, and Masterchef and those kinds of programmes, and love it.On my Pinterest account I have a plethora (isn't that a great word?) of recipes for cakes and muffins and a couple of savoury meals too.

from potsandfood.blogspot.com
I always look on Pinterest, and at cookery programmes and think to myself that one day I'll do it. I very rarely do. This is mainly because when I go shopping I look at the prices of things and work out if I can afford to do a really nice meal that I may or may not burn. The answer is pretty much unswervingly no.

My best meal to date, that I have actually mastered (amazingly) is pasta bake. Everyone seems to enjoy it, so much so in fact that my culinary prowess in this area has swept across my family and when I told my mum I was making it tonight, she almost cancelled her meal for one to have some. If you want to woo your friends and family by making this awesome pasta, I was so proud I made a blog post, which you can find right here.

So yes, I like food. A lot. Sweet things in particular.
I'll tell you my favourite. It's marzipan. I'm heartbroken because my boyfriend hates marzipan. Its a travesty.

What's your favourite food?

Friday, 5 April 2013

A to Z: Extra-Terrestrials

David Tennant - My favourite doctor. Image from google.
Today I'd like to talk about aliens because it seemed like fun at the time of thinking of this topic.

Now I'm not so sure, but I'll go with it anyway. Basically, we know nothing about aliens. We don't know if they exist, or whether they would be sentient beings or microorganisms . We don't know if they would be able to communicate us, or think that we're completely worthless and not bother with even trying to communicate.

Some people think that they would invade us, some think that they already have, others think that we're probably not worth bothering with. And anyway, they might not be able to breathe our air and have to wear spacesuits all the time.

Some of the most fun ideas of aliens come from films. The biggest one of all has to be 'E.T :The Extra-Terrestrial'. He's a cute, all round fun guy who doesn't want to hurt us in any way, and neither do his people. All he wants to do is go home, but all we want to do is experiment on him. Shame on us. That's a nice way to view aliens. Avatar is another one which has fairly nice aliens yet mean humans in it.

Doctor Who is my favourite alien. He's a one man (er, kind of) butt-kicking two-hearted heap of awesomeness who can pretty much win anyone's heart (though some of the first few doctors were iffy on the winning hearts thing). He's also usually odd, which I like. He's one of the aliens that loves the earth and wants to save it.

The not so nice way to view aliens can be seen in things like.. say... 'Alien' where they want to kill us or force us to make alien-human hybrids. Gross. 'District 9' also likes disgusting us with fingernails and alien-human hybrids. Signs, Skyline, War of the Worlds and Cloverfield (which I really hated, controversial, I know).

There are some particularly funny films including aliens, such as 'Galaxy Quest', which I absolutely love, and has Alan Rickman in it (what's not to like?). Also 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' is particularly amusing. I recommend them both heartily. Men in Black should also get a mention here, especially the newest one, 'Men in Black 3', because it involved time travel, and I'm a sucker for true sci-fi elements.

Of course the two classic series cannot be missed out. Star wars and Star Trek are both great, though Star Wars, for me, is slightly better because it has six very good films, and funnier lines. However, Star Trek (the re-imagined 2009 one, directed and produced by the awesome J.J Abrams) has Zachary Quinto, and he's a great Spock. Enough said.

Treasure planet wins the prize for the cutest alien. He is a pink blob with a face named Morph. Though he  is a shape-shifter, morph usually stays in his cute form. Some people wrongly believe that this prize should go to 'Lilo and Stitch's' Stitch. No.
Morph, from Treasure Planet.

The prize for one of the worst films with aliens in it goes to 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'. Aliens ruined that film.

What's your favourite alien film? And which was the worst alien film you've ever seen?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

A to Z: Demons.

This one, as you may have guessed by the subject matter, is a little more serious. But also completely not.

I could talk about demons as in hell demons, or inner demons or... er... other demons of some kind?
Or both. Both is good.

Demons are the subject of many a book or film, TV show or story. They can be absolutely anything, from human-like beings with dark magical powers (Charmed) or some crazy monsters that are nothing like humans (um, you know, everything else, including basic folklore).

Oddly enough, I've actually done a little research for this one, and Wikipedia has some very good (yet not entirely dependable) pages on demons, demon classification and demonology, for those of you who think that demons is actually quite an interesting topic.

Inner demons go pretty well with the notion of creatures from hell. This is because certain demons correspond with the seven deadly sins (you know: pride, envy, gluttony, sloth, lust, wrath, greed) You can find information on that right here in this link. So, when you feel jealous of someone with a really nice car, its really easy to tell yourself that it's the demons talking, not you.

If you type 'demon furby' into google, this is what you find.
So that's enough of the slightly more serious stuff. As interesting as it is, I'm getting slightly bored.

Demons should be fun. I think the challenge for today is to think of the most hideous demon you can think of, and think of what kind of demon it is.
Personally I'm going for a monstrous baby pink concoction which is as small as a kitten yet has massive sharp jaws. It also spews fluorescent orange poison-slime out of a blowhole that you assume to be on it's head. It isn't. I guess it kind of looks like a cross between a Furby and a Jigglypuff. Only less annoying than a Furby and not as cute as a Jigglypuff. If it and a Furby were in a demon fight, the Furby would probably win.
It is the demon of cuteness.

In fact, I always hated Furbys. They're probably the most demonic of things.

Now it's your turn. Please cave in to my demonic desires.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A to Z: Cringe

To cringe is to find something incredibly embarrassing or disgusting, either for you or for another person (in which case you are feeling empathy - something you should rethink). It's also where you wince away from something horrible.

Image from Tumblr.. or Google.
Either one really.
Today I shall list some things that make me cringe.

1. People spelling things completely wrong, or bad basic grammar.Such as using there, their and they're incorrectly. I always have a huge urge to correct them. Mostly I do.
1a. Also, people using Americanisms when they're British (things like 'sidewalk' and 'band-aid' just sound weird in an British accent).

2. Nasty sounds. Such as nails on chalkboard, a fork scraping a plate...those kinds of sounds.They make my jaw feel weird.

3. I'm a Celebrity food challenges.Eating an animal's 'nads. No. Just no.

4. People smashing into glass doors. Don't get me wrong, it is hilarious, but not when it happens to you.

5. Kristen Stewart's really bad acting.Sorry for those who like her, but she's awful.

6. Either in real life or in a film or TV when someone is injured and it's a bloody mess. Broken bones etc. I particularly hate having blood taken, and people talking about things like blood clots.

7. Courtesy of Edward: People saying "Cringe" when embarrassing things happen.

I would go to ten, but I'm sure there are some great cringe-y things that you can think of.
So, is there anything that really makes you cringe?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A to Z: Blueberry Muffin.

Yes, a Blueberry Muffin.

This was chosen mainly because I wrote a poem about a particularly good blueberry muffin, and I wanted to find and post it before I forgot about it completely. So here it is, folks.
Inspired by the likes of Keats, Lear and Shakespeare, this one is a masterpiece.And yes, I've bent the rules of a conventional acrostic poem.

Ode to a Blueberry Muffin.

Blueberry muffins are great. They're
Lovely and delicious, especially the gooey bit inside.
Underneath they're a bit browner and don't really taste as good,
Especially when burnt, like how I make them.
Blueberry muffins are
Especially great when they've been in your pocket for a while
wRapped up in a
Red (for some reason) napkin, so it's a bit squishy.

Maybe this poem thing wasn't such a good idea,

Unless you think my rambling are awesome. If so, thanks.
Funnily enough I think blueberry muffins are awesome too. They're so darn
Fluffy they make me want to drool. A lot.
In fact, I'm going to go and get myself one, this is making me hungry. Hm,
Nah, maybe not, it's pretty late.

I hope you liked my tired spew of rubbish :D

Monday, 1 April 2013

A to Z: Aloysius

As it's from wikipedia, I shall name it Wiki,
and it shall be my Wiki.
Today I decided to take up a hobby for a month. As my boyfriend over at Empire 5-star 500 had done the Blogging from A to Z Challenge last year (not too badly I might add) and is giving it another go this year I decided I'd do the same. Only I have absolutely no theme.

So it's whatever first comes into my mind. This could be anything.
Today it is the name Aloysius.
Tomorrow the possibilities are endless.

I have honestly liked this name ever since watching the film version of Evelyn Waugh's (also an awesome name) Brideshead Revisited in school or college (not sure which, it's all a bit of a blur now) and hearing it bestowed on a teddy bear. Since then it's a name I frequently come up with when naming things, along with the likes of Roy (my car), Vlad and Eugene.

I'm pretty much a sucker for naming things. Growing up, there was always a name for the car. Personally, I think I chose the best ones, which is why I carried on the tradition when I got my own beloved yet truly awful car. It's the dirtiest, lowest, most uncomfortable car I've ever been in, and that is why it's my baby. I'm sure others will agree with me when I say that it's always the tattiest and weirdest of things that you love the most. I think probably the best example of this is the much-chewed toy of your childhood.

Aloysius also happens to be the first name of a great character from books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I had to give this a mention otherwise I'm pretty sure I wouldn't wake up tomorrow morning. He's a character by the name of Aloysius Pendergast who happens to be an FBI agent. So he's going to be pretty cool. If you want to know more I suggest you ask my dear boyfriend (you know, the Empire 500 one) and I'm sure he'd be happy to tell you all about him.

As I can't think of any more to write I'll end there, but I look forward for thinking up something completely at random for tomorrows posting.
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