Thursday, 29 July 2010

Always look on the bright side of life

I'm back, with two arms

I can only apologise for my lack of blogs lately, as you might know I'm in post shoulder operation recovery and with that comes a multitude of minor/major things to deal with that are ultimately time consuming and tedious.

Anyway, since my last blog things are generally looking up. My sling has come off and my right arm no longer continues to be a sweaty mess stuck to my clothes, hurrah, and I am slowly but surely regaining movement and strength in my shoulder.

I have just started back driving and I cannot tell you what it feels like to be able to be independent in that way again. I'm not a hater of general transport (apart from buses) I do like train journeys, but the last six weeks having to run/speed walk to catch trains with a sling on has been a real pain in the ass.

Next week looks set to be busy but exciting and potentially rewarding which fills me with glee. I have a meeting to discuss a vacancy with an organisation with offices just up the road (lazy girl in me prays this is fruitful for 'roll out of bed' work scenario) also an interview with Comic Relief for a job based in the Cardiff BBC offices. I feel determined, motivated and excited about the prospect of having a new challenge in my life.

Lately I have been pessimistic, down in the dumps and probably not a pleasure to be around most of the time (TB can verify this) and yes I can attribute some of this feeling to the frustration and boredom I have felt since dealing with the recovery process of the operation. However, it's also my state of mind and approach to my predicament that put me in a 'funk'. I've decided to shut the hell up and be more positive.

SGS's Shut the hell up and be grateful for list

  • I now live and have a flat with TB in Cardiff, we are no longer living apart and seeing each other every other weekend (his pants on the floor annoy me, but so what?!)
  • I have a wonderful family who love and support me and put up with my only child behaviour
  • My friends are also great and continue to male me smile and support me
  • I have two great opportunities next week and if nothing comes of them then I will have gained more experience and must realise there will be more
So, if like me you ever feel down in the dumps please try and remember that there is a bright side of life, sometimes it gets overshadowed, but it's always there.

Love, SGS xoxo

Thursday, 15 July 2010

5 things that have helped alleviate my boredom

Sometimes 'time off' is not a good thing

I've been off work for what seems an eternity (almost six weeks), for the majority it has been painful, uncomfortable, awkward, sweaty and a tad boring.

My friend asked me this week "Are you enjoying your time off? I wish I was off", at the time I was in a stinking mood, so I wanted to reply: 

"How would you enjoy having a anterior stabilisation to the right shoulder in what the aftermath is having a nerve block, taking medication that makes you slightly mental and nauseous, being in a sling for six weeks, feeling constantly warm and sweaty, stared at by people on the street and gawped at by toddlers, not being able to complete basic tasks - bathing, washing, dressing and most annoyingly driving".

Instead I answered with an edge of malice "I'm a bit bored to be honest and not driving or being able to wash your own hair isn't great".

"Oh, yes I didn't think about it like that" came the reply.

There have been a few things to keep me going through this almost six week stretch.... here they are, without which I would have probably gone completely bonkers.

Eclipse: The Twilight Saga

The release of the third instalment of the Twilight Movie saga has had me salivating since New Moon came out on DVD last year, and it disappointment. I booked the ticket when I had two good arms, and knew that the thought of seeing this film would be an instant boost - like a mouthful of pure oxygen or a Curly Wurly. 

Iced Tea, lemon variety.

This has been an obsession of mine recently, essentially cold tea with sweeteners.... but by god, it's bloody lovely. I developed a new found love of this beverage in NYC after visiting in January, I spent many a dollar or twenty in Starbucks on all varieties but I always come back to lemon. Luckily the petrol station shop at the bottom of the road, 'Bonjour' stocks it (result) and although it's £1.30 it's a small price to pay for a tasty beverage overlooked by the UK.

Trash TV: Keeping up with the Kardashians/ Khloe and Kourtney take on Miami


I now have Sky + installed and have discovered the wonder that is E! Entertainment channel. It has basically really crap shows from the US that are unbelievably trashy but just so addictive. Admittedly I have succumbed to KUWTK before, but now I can record and series link the episodes.... JOY! I realise that what I am doing is vulgar, watching an American family 'famous for being famous' with an abundance of wealth and too much time on their hands, but you know, like, it's so addictive....

Mad Men

Mad Men is undoubtedly one of the best series to ever grace our television sets. If you haven't heard of it, then I implore you to look it up. Following the professional and personal lives of the employees of a New York advertising company in the 1960s, it is slick, quick witted, visually stunning and incredibly well made. I needed to catch up on Season 3 so decided to just buy all the series and am now going back to Series 1 and embracing my inner Joan Holloway.

TB, friends and family

This might be a tad corny but honestly I don't know what I would've done without these people in my life.Whether it be emotional and physical support, sympathy, empathy, lifts, hair washing, kisses, cuddles or just being on the other end of the phone I am incredibly lucky to have great support around me. It's so easy to take these people for granted, but in times of crisis or emergency you never know when you will really need their help.

I'll be moaning when I have to get back to work, guaranteed.

Love, SGS xoxo.

Friday, 9 July 2010

The life of a graduate, who'd want it?

Graduates: Ready, Steady, Stall....

So everything is rosy, you've had your degree classification in the post, got some cash and slaps on the back from your family and prepare for graduation. With the silly cap and oversize gown you have your picture taken with a plastic rolled up degree in your hand, pray you don't fall up the stairs, wait for your name, congratulate your classmates, pose for endless photos with your family and throw your cap up in the air... then gather it quickly, because it cost a small fortune to hire...

But.... what then? University is a lovely bubble for the duration you stay, in my case three years, you work hard, play hard, make new friends, throw eggs from the 9th floor, consume masses of pizzas and shots and wonder why you have £12 in your account at the end of every term.

What it doesn't prepare you for is the next step... the dreaded 'real world' where working is about surviving. There are not many people in the world who don't need some form of income to live day to day and ultimately you've worked hard in a specialist area and want a job doing something you know interests you.

After graduation I felt really enthused, excited for a new challenge, ready for work but after the lack of jobs found and rejections began to mount I felt a little bit lost. I have been fortunate enough to have a few jobs since leaving the University nest, but I'm not settled yet.

The last two years have been tough on Britain and unemployment has been a major factor that has affected us all, people getting laid off, pay cuts and freezes, forced to take early retirement and graduates have found it increasingly difficult to find jobs.

When I read an article in the The Telegraph stating that now students require a 2:1 degree as a minimum qualification, employers want relevant work experience and now 69 graduates for going for the same job as oppose to 49 from 2009, my heart sank. Those statistics almost begs to ask the question, "Why did I bother going to University?" and I feel it's a relevant one, what at the moment can we say is the benefit?

Things are getting tougher and I suppose I am still classed as a graduate and although I am employed, I want a new job. I have had plenty of interviews during the last three years but some of the better jobs with the bigger companies I don't think I ever had a chance. The amount of times I have heard "not enough experience" is enough to send me around the bend.

I have hope for the future and now like most graduates, I'm in the fight but there's a longer queue to get out of the cage.

Never give up dreaming, love SGS xoxo.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tunes for a Tuesday

This week I'm doing the one armed robot to.....

Well, I haven't done this in ages but there are some tunes that I am just absolutely loving... so here they are. 

Love, SGS xoxo

Monday, 5 July 2010

Eclipse: The Review

The Twilight saga graduates....

The Twilight saga franchise has followed the premise of the 'Harry Potter' blockbusters and employed different directors for each of the books converted to the big screen. When British director David Slade's name was signed up for 'Eclipse', the third instalment of author Stephenie Meyers supernatural phenomenon, many Twi-hards were a bit bemused. Slade is probably best known for  '30 Days of Night' an adaption of a dark vampire comic, music videos with rock and punk bands including Muse and critically acclaimed film 'Hard Candy'.

What Slade has done with 'Eclipse' is taken it to the next level, the story required a director with a knowledge of CGI, action/fight sequences, cinematography and an appreciation of the emotion of the love triangle that is so critical to the success of the story - Slade delivered.

The film centres around choices, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is now reunited with her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) after a separation that almost resulted in them both getting killed. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) helped Bella through her loss but  in the process revealed he was a werewolf and very much in love with her. Bella as a result, is torn between her love for her boyfriend and best friend and must face the agonising consequences of choosing to become a vampire.

Bella's life gets even more complicated when recent mass killings in nearby Seattle reveal her to the be main target. Still on the loose from the first film is devasted, sadistic vampire Victoria (Bryce-Dallas Howard) who is out for revenge as Edward killed her mate, James to save Bella's life in Twilight. With a newborn vampire army formed by Victoria and new sidekick Riley (Xavier Samuel) heading towards Forks, the wolves and Cullen clan unite to defeat the army and protect Bella.

The film delivers on many levels for Twi-hards and supernatural film lovers alike. There is a good balance of action and fight sequences from the vampires, newborns and werewolves with the inclusion of CGI used to good effect. The very believable love triangle of Bella, Edward and Jacob is delicately portrayed with the use of stunning close ups and emotive dialogue that is paramount to the chemistry between the three actors and Pattinson and Stewart in particular.

Eclipse has already taken a whopping $260 million dollars worldwide on it's opening five days and threatens to flatten any new releases to the box office over the coming week. Whether you are on or off the Twilight juggernaut, few Twilight fans would disagree it is the best film to be released from the saga.

What's right with it?

  • The opening sequence was brilliant - almost a graphic novel brought to life. The darkness, shadows and white sheeting rain was like a backdrop to 'Sin City' visually stunning.
  • The chemistry between the cast is superb and vastly improved from 'Twilight'. Pattinson and Stewart in particular are on fire, whether or not they are indeed an item their onscreen projection of desire, devotion, lust and love is spot on.
  • The acting has greatly improved - Emmett is given more to say and Lutz delivers a believable performance of an alpha vampire male with a penchant for killing new born vampires. Jasper's flashback and fight training scenes gives Rathbone to showcase his acting capabilities and do more than grimace . Reed adds more depth and warmth to the Rosalie character and her chat with Bella is quite emotive.
  • The CGI wolves are now far more realistic, and I would guess this is a combination of Slade's influence and a bigger budget from Summit.
  • The action/fight sequences are impressive and well choreographed, there is a good combination of CGI and real action to convince of the superhuman powers of vampires and wolves.
  • The flashback scenes with Rosalie and Jasper were brilliantly done, I just wish they had been longer.

What's wrong with it?

  • Bella's wig - in some scenes it was just painfully obvious and awful. Kristen Stewart's dedication of playing rocker Joan Jett meant before filming she had a shaggy, black mullett... not cool.
  • PG13/12 - I do understand that this series is aimed at the teenage market but this rating meant that particularly exciting scenes were IMO cut too short. The flashback scenes with Rosalie and Jasper could have been even better with just a bit more action in the killing/death scenes. Bella and Edward's compromise that they will try and have sex after they are married doesn't get mentioned, surely this is presenting a good message about sexual relationships?
  • The script was a vast improvement on 'New Moon' and 'Twilight' but I have always have a gripe with some of the things that get included under the power of screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. Bella's speech at the end of the film I found a bit disappointing, not only does she not say anything of the sort in the book but she has always chosen Edward, she could not live without him - she had just never considered a different future before.
SGS Rating: ****/5 

Love, SGS xoxo.