31/07/2006

Fun and Fonts

Its only a few more days until my sisters wedding. As wonderful as weddings are, I can't help but think they would be better if they weren't so much hassel. The awful part is that most of the trouble isn't created by the people getting married but everyone else. One family has one tradition the other family has another, one person want this food the other hates and so on and so forth until not one can remember why they bothered. Some how it all manges to work out on the day.

Anyway I was surfing the the web the other day and came across this really cool site, http://www.typenow.net/themed.htm its fonts from movies and tv shows. Oh the fun that can be had.

Over and out

28/07/2006

home cooking

I couldn't be more happy that its friday. Even though I have a million little things to fit in this weekend I'll hopefully get to see some friends and enjoy my mum's cooking. Is there anything better then you own parents cooking? To me its like going back to being a child, every meal was delicious and more of a treat then going to some fast food place or a restraunt. Of course at the time the odd McDonalds was fun but I'd take home made food over that any day.

There is a phrase in bengali, translated it means 'by your own hand'. Its so very very true, it mean there is a certain satisfaction to eating a meal or dessert knowing you made this yourself, the flavours will be just right becasue you know how it should be. This is probaly why I love my folks cooking so much, its the spices I grew up with, other people can cook the same dish but it just won't be the same.

The other thing, is there has to be an element of love or passion when cooking, I know that the more I like what I'm making the better it is. The same for other people, I'll make better food for someone I like, then for myself. As much as I like eating out, that element is always what missing and I swear you can taste it in the meal. Every now and then you find a place that takes real pride in the food they serve and I promise you these are the places you want to eat at. Enough ranting I'm hungry now, time to find breakfast...

Wind that shakes...

Went and saw 'Wind that shakes the barley' last night. After reading serveral review I wasn't sure what to expect, some claimed that this should have been made years ago and others that it glorifed the IRA. After seeing it all I can say is what a brilliant film, it manages to do the almost impossible and give a more balanced view of certain aspects of Irish history. Be warned though, its throws you in from the very beginning and is not for those who are sensative to violence. I don't see how anyone could think this 'Glorifes' the IRA, it does attempt to explain the resoning behind thier actions, just as it trys to explain the view of people who were for the freestate (whether you agree with either side or not) but the film doesn't condone or validiate any sides actions.

27/07/2006

All work and no play...

I've said this before, but I really do possibly have the best boss ever. Maria is more like a friend who happens to sign my holiday form which means I work ten times harder for her then I would for the crone who runs the studio. I know that when (and if) I ever leave this place I'll do my best to keep in touch with her but I'm not so sure about anyone else here.

A guy at work is having his last day today and I'm going out to his leaving lunch but I was thinking, as much as I like this guy I doubt I'll ever see him again.You have a strange relationship with people you work with, they see you more then people you live with and people you are in a relationship with, but how much do you know them and vice versa. I find even though I had a millions jobs I've only kept in touch with a few people from one job at Books Etc. Maybe its becasue there was only about 8 of us and we all worked in very close contact but its strange that I don't even text anyone else. People wise, I don't think I'll get to work with such a strange, funny and different bunch of people, the job sucked but the people were fantastic, made it worth coming in to work. Things now are like this, I am bored to tears with my job there is no challenge and no possibilty of promotion, so I'm playing the apllication and wait game at the moment, but I know I'll never get such a lovely boss again.

Eoin and my friend Kum have a very different approach to work, they have like a box called work people and another called friends and don't really like to mix the two. On the other hand a a few people here have had the same job for 10 years and don't seem to have have any life or friends outside of this company.

I just find the work relationship dynamic interesting is all. I guess it depends on the profession, I know teachers who work in the same school for years tend to form closer relationships then thier office counterparts. People who move jobs every one to two year tend not to make any lasting impression especially in retail, which has a high turnover.

So my question for the void today is, if we don't make friends with co-workers how are we meant to survive the mundanitiy of work?

26/07/2006

Big Bear Week


A lovely morning is out today, the warm glow of sunlight is brightening up the world and its nice and warm. Summer is fantastic.

I normally don't bother watching too much television and until recently our ariel was so bad there really wasn't any point but I'm hooked on Big Bear Week (BBC1 7pm). It is fantastic, I don't know why but I'm one of the those people who could watch animal planet for hours, but the BBC always go to extra effort to make thier documentaries that little bit better then anyone else. (I'll say my David Attenbourgh is the best, post for later).

The series is following Black bears, Brown Bears and my personal favourite Polar bears in Canada. I think its done by the same team who work on Big Cat Diary, who always name all the animals and get really invovled on the action. On Monday one of the guys was just a few feet from a Brown Bear and guide somehow manged to talk to bear out of getting any closer. I can't wait for more tonight!

25/07/2006

dr lego

Eoin and finished watching the new series of Dr Who the other day and I have to say I really like the new series. There is a rather strange appeal to the show, it doesn't have the best special effect, and the plots are sometimes rather random but it is fun. I remember watching it as a kid, not really understanding a thing that was happening, just that two people would hop into a blue police box and go off to other planets (which all looked like they were filmed in someones back garden) and fight robot aliens. Ahh how I loved it! I also recall an exhibit at the Museum of Moving Images in London (before it closed down) and they had loads of the aliens and the real model of K-9, it was totally cool. So I thought until I found this, yes indeed its Dr Who lego! Is there any end to the marvel that is lego?


24/07/2006

Carpe Diem

Why does the weekend seem to move at hyper speed while the weekdays can drag?By Wednesday the weekend is a myth, invented to keep people going but your not sure if you'll ever make it, sometimes it can go by so quickly you find yourself back at Tuesday trying to recall if Sunday actually happened.

The world we know is driven by economics, people need money to survive. To buy food, have shelter etc but surely everyone need more in their life then the pursuit of wealth. I'm sure most people would agree that there are a million things in life which are more important then money but how much time are we left with to indulge in these things that make life worth living...

There are 168 hours in a week.

We spend on average...
42.5 at work
56 asleep (That's more then half the week gone)
15 Hours eating or preparing to eat
10 hours in the bathroom and getting dress
5 hours travelling (to and from work if your journey takes 30mins)
3 hours tidying, washing dishes etc
2 hours shopping for groceries

Leaving 34.5 hours of free time 25 of which is your vanishing weekend.
With 1.9 hours a weekday that belongs to you.

Of course it's never so direct some nights you have lots of time and others times you have none. This doesn't include all the other millions of things we do in our daily lives. Note if you have kids this goes into minus figures and I have no idea how you manage.

I shouldn't complain, millions have it worse. So my task (and I suggest we all try this) is to find those 1.9 hours and use them for something that makes getting up in the morning that little bit more bearable.

21/07/2006

The grass is greener


London has been boiling the last few days and I'm loving it. Summer is such a fantastic season, makes me feel healthier and more alive. I'd happily stay up all night in summer and could spend all day laying down in a garden. This lends to my theory that I'm part reptilian (in my case snake) and need direct sunlight to be truly happy. When the weather is like this I can't understand why anyone would want to be anywhere else.


The only draw back is the topless loons. They are everywhere we've all seen them, the men and women who walk around topless and or practically naked just cos its a tiny bit hot. I hate to be a pain but it is far cooler to wear loose fitting clothes made of linen then it is to walk around topless or wearing the tightest shortest thing known to man. Brains before skin cancer please...

What baffles me is the whole going away during August thing that Britain has. August is always fantastic in London, why leave? Holidays are always at their most expense, popular tourist places over crowded and the temperature is no higher. I'd happily leave these shores between November and early April, when daylight is a rumour you once heard but for summer I'm staying put. When else can I walk along the south bank, ramble through Hyde park, go to the Zoo a million times and see all the animals, eat outside at Covent garden or picnic with friends where ever suits, find random markets and all whilst wearing flip flops.

20/07/2006

Philip K Dick


Philip K Dick is probably one the best Science Fictions authors I've ever read. Though I surpirsed myself the other day when I realised, I've never read one of his full length novels only the short stories (which are fantastic). If you haven't heard Philip K Dick then I'd be rather surpised as Holloywood love filming his works: Total Recall, Blade Runner, Paycheck, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly to name the really big ones.

So this morning I stuffed 'The Man in the High Castle' into my bag. The novel is set in the 1960 but in a world were the US never joined the Allies and Europe fell to Nazi Germany. I've only read a few chapters and I have no idea where its going but already I'm hooked.

The best thing about his stories is you really don't know where he is going, sometimes he just leaves the tale in the middle and the rest is up to your imagination. Some people hate this but I find it refreshing, some stories don't need an over explained detailed ending. Note: I hate the way Steven Spielberg ended Minority Report it was pointless, he did the same thing in A.I and ruined it.

My husbands favorite is a short story called 'The Little Movement', its about toys in a little boys bedroom (nothing like Toy Story), I won't tell you the story its better if you read it yourself but it does take a rather unexpected turn.

It's so rare now to find novel with original ideas in almost any genre most of them echo other books, that was the great thing about sci-fi it was fresh, you could do anything you could imagine and with Philip K Dick thats exactly what you got. In a way I think that was the point of Jasper Fforde's Well if Lost Plots, fictions needs a shake up to win people back from TV. Don't get me wrong I love TV but it doesn't compare to a truly cool book.

19/07/2006

Air conditioning



In my universe Air Conditioning is the worst invention known to man after you know guns and stuff.

It seems so harmless, so simple but really it just eats energy and spread disease.

I'm one of the those people who don't really feel heat unless its scary hot but the slightest breeze and I'm in a jumper. This is the first time in year I've tried to NOT wear tights in summer. It's taking some getting used to but I'm coping. I realise most people are the opposite and Air Con can seem fantastic.

You see I hate when its 28c outside people but the A/c on at 12c. Whereas if it was 12c outside they'd put the heating on. The damn thing isn't meant to work like that! You leave the temperature alone say at 19 or 20c and don't mess with it and the constant temp will be comfortable. Instead we go from boiling to freezing which ends up with us all catching a cold, dry skinned and feeling very dehydrated.

Why o why can't people use it properly? I mean there are better way to keep cool, like opening a window! I even think fans are a far better idea (a trick my friends told me is to put a bottle of cold water behind the fan thus it direct cold air out). I guess my problem isn't with a/c itself but the universal lack of intelligence when using it. There is always some idiot turning the temp down and frosting up the place.

I'm ranting I know but I'm in my office with Goosebumps and the occasional shiver because certain people here think 12c is great. I keep meaning to ask if it's so great why are you wearing a cardigan...

Now I'm off to get a warm beverage to prevent hypothermia.

18/07/2006

a sickie


Everyone at some point has done this. You wake up in the morning, you are exhasuted, your hoping your phone will ring any moment and someone will be saying 'You don't have to go to work today (insert insane reason here i.e the building is riddled with a plague of rats)' and you could just stay at home guilty free. But no, instead your alarm goes off and you have to try your best and drag yourself to the bathroom, all the while wondering...should I call in sick? Or course you don't and end up at working doing the most tedious jobs, whilst coming to the realisation that had you taken today off nothing owuld have happened.

I had one of those mornings today, for months now I've been awfully busy with barely time to breath and then I got there, the calm few days before it all picks up again and my oh my how I'd love to stay home, but I can't. I'm trying my best not to give in to the fake sickness cycle even though it calls to me. I wish that when I've done all of my own to work on they'd let me go home but alas it just doesn't work that way. So here I am waiting for my work to come in, doing someone else a favour to pass the time. Just counting down the days till my next day off.

Then I being to wonder about all the people that are out there who must feel exactly the same way I do and about those lucky souls who wake up in the morning and look forward to thier day. I mean who are these people and how do I get one of those jobs?

17/07/2006

Superman

When I was a kid we just to live in Neasden and I remember there being a real community between the neighbours. One in particular was Mary, an absolute gem, who lived across the road. She had two kids the same age as me and my sister and would often baby sit. Even after we moved house, we often went back to visit her.

She remembers very distinctly that one afternoon when I was 3, she was looking for a way to entertain me, so I ran up to her with a video tape and proclaimed that I wanted to watch Superman. To her surprise I'd manage to pick the right cassette from the massive collection of videos she had. When she asked me how I knew this was the tape I replied (in my know it all voice) 'well it says S-man so thats got to be it' as if she couldn't read. Both Mary and my mother claim that I would watch the superman films over and over again (though I was very scared of general zod and still can't speak of the electric woman in 3) and it was the best way to get a few hours peace.

So we went and saw Superman returns on Friday, or should I say 'Superman day' as Eoin had deemed it. I'm sad to say I didn't love it but it was good. I think two things were missing which kept it from being right the first being Lois Lane's missing spine and second but most importantly Christopher Reeve.

Lois Lane was always hard as nails but totally scatty thats what made her different the new Lois is BORING! I frankly did not care about her whatsoever. Brandon Ruth on the other hand was a pleasent surpise and actually manged to convince he was Superman, but wierd not entirely Clark Kent. No one can do the transistion between Clark Kent and Superman the way Christopher Reeve did, his entire demeanour changed, it was totally plausible that people didn't recognise him.

Oh well I think in my three year old eyes nothing could ever be as good as the 1978 movie. For a long time I think I actually believed in that back of my mind that Superman was out there saving the world (in this fantasy his cousin Supergirl may have been there too but thats a whole post in itself).

14/07/2006

Garfield is my hero


Every now and then I pick up a news paper and there he is, old reliable Garfield, making the world a little more amusing.

Now I know there are greats like Peanuts, Dilbert and Calvin and Hobbes but none can hold a candle to that lazy fat cat. Which is why a 3d movie version of him running around was bad enough but now there's a sequel and the worse part is a whole generation of children will grow up not know the true genius of this orange lump. They already ruined Dr Seuss's Cat in the Hat and the Grinch why must they continue!

If he knew or could be bothered I'm sure the cat would say it better, but there is something to be said about 2d animation. I mean who else understands that Mondays are the work of the devil, bed is the best place in the whole world and food is meant to be enjoyed!

Yes Toy Story was fantastic, like most pixar movies but I still love real cartoons. Recently they haven't been fantastic and good ones like Titan A.E are practically ignored but this doesn't mean we have make everything 3d to get kids/people to watch I mean Spirited Away proved that. At least anime is still going strong but I'll save that praise for another time.

13/07/2006

Mary Poppins


It was my friend Kum's birthday on tuesday, so last nigth we went and saw Mary Poppins (I think its one of her absolute favorite musicals). If you haven't seen it on stage trust me you are missing a treat.

I was worried that it wouldn't capture the magic of the movie and how could anyone hope to be as good as Julie Andrews but this was superb!

Note they did change a few bits to be more in line with the book but that just adds to the fun. There are whole new scenes and songs. Most incrediable was the set, whoever thought of it was a genius. I don't think I've ever been more impressed by just how detailed, interesting and versertile the stage was and of course the magic bag scene still has me guessing as to how they did it.

I have to admit I in awe when she started flying and terrified when the toys came to life. Go and see it as you'll be entertained in the most delightful way.

I couldn't talk about Mary Poppins without saying Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Water Water



Summer is here or so it seems for a few days before it changes its mind. I love summer, the heat, the long evening and the extra energie but I almost always get dehydrated. Why, well cos I'm rather silly and often just forget to drink some, this year I'm trying my best to remember but I'll probably never hit 2 litres a day.

So why the water obsession, well in Rome I noticed that most places we went had these lovely public drinking fountains. We only bought one bottle of water and just kept refiling. Now a lot of people think of bad hygeine or just don't like them, but these fountains were great, the water tasted nice and refreshing, it was cold and exactly what you needed (and frequently) in such weather. I began to think we need more of these in England as bottled water can be ridiculously expensive and people frown at you if you dare ask for tap water.

Having never thought too much about the issue before I was really interested to read this article
http://www.guardian.co.uk/water/story/0,,1819264,00.html

12/07/2006

French Films

You know how I was talking about being guilt tripped into things by family, well guess who is spending Saturday in Wales...its a long annoying story so I'll yap about something else.


I have to say I really like the French cinema I've seen, the three colour movies are brilliant and loads of other gems. Then of course there is everything Luc Besson but Jean-Pierre Jeunet is quickly winning me over entirely.
We recently re-watched Amelie and I have no idea what it is about this film but it, all the quirky little bits, like when she turns to water and melts. Strangely I love how theI absolutely love movie is coloured with all those bright hues of green and red, just so beautiful and even though I always rave about it the soundtrack is probably one of my personal favourites. So after watching it we went out and bought A Very Long Engagement, I been put off seeing it as a few people told me it was pretty much the same thing but not as good. Teach me to listen to others without seeing for myself.

If you haven't seen it, do, it is fantastic. The movie does retain some of the quirky elements but has a more serious and sombre tone. The film is set in France around and after the first world war but manages not to compromise the character based plot, something that is very rare in films set around almost any war. The whole thing is filmed in these warm shade of yellow which makes the whole thing look like antique photographs. There something rather charming about this movie and despite the title it never give in to sentimentality but remains poignant.

11/07/2006

Obligations

Sometimes family can be the best thing in the entire world and other times you wish you could take them to the shop and exchange them for a better set, then you realise nobody else has it much better.

The purpose of my ramblings today is to figure out why on earth we as sane human beans keep doing insane things due to wierd obligations.

Before I confuse you let me explain, my father-in-law seems to think his children should run along to heaven knows where, whenever some random person they've never met: dies, has a birthday, is in hospital, turns into a blueberry. He then gets upset should they object, under this reasoning 'I know them and have to care, thus you to must care! otherwise I look bad'.

My sister is notourius for the guilt trip, anytime something is happening in her life I'm expected to drop everything and be there, not matter how major or minor. She'll ask me to go to X which is fifty miles away from me but easy for her as she drives, and then wonder why I can't make it there. After that she'll try and make me feel guilty because her friend Y was able to go and me her own sister could not... When I need something from her, can she be found?

Worst of all the the obligation trick, you who have suffered from this know it well it goes something like this:
You having a nice conversation with a family member or close friend and they ask
'are you free X time?' (they already know you are as you've probably mentioned it)
'yes I'm free' (you say, thinking it might be something nice, like lets meet for lunch etc)
'If you don't mind can you do X for me...' (haha now you've admited your free you have no excuse and will carry out the favour even if you DO MIND).

Now they'll give you a piece of thier reasoning as to why they've asked you and not the other suitable candidates but at the end of the day your stuck. It's soo much worse when its family as if you try and back out of it a major catastrophe can occur. What upsets me is the fact that it's not really honest, most of the time I'd do to favour if asked straight out, its the obligation that bugs me.

Slowly you come to the realisation that you 'spare time' isn't yours at all.






10/07/2006

back again


I'm back at work after a week off. Its amazing how a week how pass so quickly and still feel like a lifetime.

Rome was very different to what I expected, the Collesium and Palatine were incrediable. We spent the whole first day just wandering around the city going from site to site and random chruch to random castle. You couldn't have asked for better, the sun was boiling (and our room was a fridge) and there was plenty of ice-cream. Unfortunatly I hate how rude people in Rome are, the entire place is swamped, I kept getting vertigo in the Sistine Chapel (which is lovley but I think there are other places in the Vatican museum to rival it) becasue of the heat and sheer volume of people. Then there is the added bonus of almost being killed everytime you try and cross a road, its a real shame how polluted the place is as well. Rome is well worth seeing but unfortunatly its ruined by the modern world. You'd be standing somewhere beautiful like at the Trivi Fountain and the entire place is packed to the point were you can't move and begin to feel clusterphobic, now you want to stay and admire the fountain but you also want to breathe.

Its just a real shame, as sometimes you could almost get a sense of what it must have been like to live in ancient or Renaissance but then a troupe a tourists and horribly loud cars would throw you back and ruin it.

The rest of the week was nice, just went to the cinema and saw friends and got to sleep in. In a way when ever I go anywhere I always appreciate London a tiny bit more.