Friday, 28 May 2010

Anticipation…

I feel slightly like the people queuing overnight outside an Apple store, waiting to get the new ipad!

After 19 hours of traveling 'JJ' is finally in Europe! He has of course some more hours to wait (it can't be that easy, can it?) and then he'll fly to London Heathrow!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Things I don’t understand...

Maybe I am not that bright but there are some things I really cannot understand. Am I missing something? Please help me out… I was thinking that while I was watching ‘National Movie Awards 2010’ on the telly and changing channels.

1. The twilight saga! Really? Honestly? I wasn’t able to finish the first one and I think that now we are in number 3!


2. Magnum Gold commercials with Benicio Del Toro! What would he do that? With an Angelina Jolie look alike?


3. People’s overpowering love over Glee! I agree that some episodes / moments are nice. I’ve even laughed while watching it. I like the fact that it can be cynical and ruthless. However, in most cases it is so tacky and predictable it’s boring! I’d only watch it if there is nothing else on…


4. Justin Bieber. I simply have no comments…


5. MTV Cribs or other reality shows like the ‘My sweet 16’. Can anything be any less meaningful or more materialistic?

I wonder why

I am not sure why, but also SteveA asked for the 'before' and 'after' pictures of my hair removal. So, I’m posting them. I’ve always said that I’m going to be sincere while writing this blog. I just feel slightly ‘vulnerable’ posting these pictures since they represent insecurities I have on the way I look.
But here they are:

That's clearly the 'before' picture

My house mate's playing with the razor

After being shaved, before the laser, the way it should be

The 'wave' effect of the laser the next day. Luckily the camera flash hides some of it. It's less painful than it seems.

I'm now during the healing process. It's much better than that. I hope to be back to normal till Friday.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Heat wave…

Heat wave…

We had an amazing weekend, the hottest day of the year so far. It was so nice! Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay under the sun but I managed to enjoy it!

I went on Saturday to get my back and shoulders done! I have some ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures but I thought that I wouldn’t like to start this week blogging by uploading some slightly gross pictures. I have a picture of how my back normally looked. I have another after my housemate started ‘drawing’ things on my back while shaving me (yes, it was that hairy) and after I had it shaved. Finally I have a picture with all the red spots and the waves of the laser treatment which I am now trying to get rid off. I hope that my back will be clean by the time ‘JJ’ comes back on Friday! It was quite painful while under the laser but it I haven’t felt a thing afterwards. Neither itching nor pain, just a slightly stiffness that went away by the end of the day. I am lucky that my skin is like that.


Anyway, after I finished all that, I joined my friends for a lovely picnic in Kensington gardens. I have to say that it was utterly packed! We managed to find a nice spot next to a huge oak tree where I could find some shade and practice my ‘people watching’. We had so much fun. We brought some wine (of course) and we tried to have only healthy snacks. We had couscous and tzatziki with carrot sticks, bread sticks, strawberries and grapes!

Of course, after sitting there for more than 5 hours we decided to have some proper dinner! We tried our best to stay healthy but we ended up in ‘Rodizio Rico’! That’s a Brazilian buffet restaurant for meat eating people! We had the best of intentions on the beginning of the day, I promise!

Yesterday was similar. We decided to get our Sunday papers and head to a nice place by the river. We went to ‘riverside studios’ and we sat there, on the terrace, overlooking the Thames and Hammersmith Bridge. A friend of mine and I, we were there from noon till 5:45 in the evening! We had friends coming for a coffee, having brunch and then leaving to be replaced by other friends! The waiters loved us because with each new arrival, we were ordering more drinks, coffees and food. It was the perfect lazy Sunday. I had to stay under an umbrella for the whole day again, but I am not complaining. I’ll get a tan after two weeks and it will be sunny again!

The view from Riverside Studios Terrace

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On a very different matter, MadeInScotland kindly mentioned that he has troubles leaving me comments! Do others have similar issues? I am not sure exactly what to do if the problem does exist, so any suggestions are much appreciated! I know that you will not be able to let me know about it (since you cannot leave comments), but my email address is easily found.


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Changing subject again!
I’ve been reading the second book of the ‘millennium trilogy’ by Larrson. I find it quite enjoyable and interesting. What I would like to comment is about what is written on the back cover of the book! It is stated there that a murder occurs and the main character of the book is the main suspect! Now, tell me why do they disclose that there? Honestly, who was the genius of the publishing company called ‘Quercus Publishing Plc’ that thought to write that?

The murder occurs on the 200th page which is almost half way through the book! It’s a very serious incident (it’s a murder, duh!) and a twist in the plot that I would prefer being surprised about than warned! The fact that the main character is a prime suspect is revealed some pages after that! I thought that the killing would take place in the first 20 or 30 pages of the book since it was written on the back cover! That would be understandable to reveal! Why would someone ruin the book like that? I only hope there is another twist in the plot later on…

Friday, 21 May 2010

Various news…

There are some things happening around the globe that caught my attention the last few days. I’m going to start with something not that important, proceed to a very serious event and finish with a weird one.First of all, have you seen the new Olympics 2012 mascots? No? Meet Wenlock and Mandeville:

Munch Wenlock is considered to be the birthplace of modern Olympics where Baron Pierre de Coubertin visited the town in 1890 and took inspiration from the annual Games that were taking place there. Stoke Mandeville was where the Paralympics movement began.

I believe they look quite cute. Although I am not sure how they will look like in stuffed toys. They reminded me of the one-eyed monster in ‘Monsters Inc’. Was he called Mike Wazowski or something? I don’t know why they made them like Cyclopes? Maybe they seem cuter like that.

Funnily enough I think that they look similar to the Greek mascots if you cut out the enormous legs. They have the same colours, hairstyle and posture. Maybe it’s just me… I wasn’t very fond of Phevos and Athena anyway… I liked the idea that originated them though. What do you think?

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On a far more serious matter, two homosexuals were convicted in Malawi to spend 14 years in jail for being gay.

They were both adults, celebrating their engagement on December when they got arrested. Judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa told the pair: "I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you, so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example."


What I find quite scary is that in a country where the 40% of the development budget comes from donors, BBC reporters say the government has come under pressure from Western donors over the issue.

I can’t help but wonder what kind of influence do these donors apply? Is this not pure blackmail over developing countries?

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I will finish my news update with Nicolas Cage aka ‘Big Daddy’. Yes, him:


I don’t know what people do in Hollywood? Do they stay too long under the sun? Are they exposed to radiation or something? Or are they simply high all the time?

Mr. Cage stated that he eats food according to the way the animal procreates.
"I actually choose the way I eat according to the way animals have sex,""I think [they] are very dignified with sex.”
"But pigs, not so much. So I don't eat pig meat or things like that. I eat fish and fowl."

OK, I had to google it. How do pigs have sex?

What is weird about pigs is that the pig’s penis looks like a corkscrew and is 2 foot long. (That sounds funny, not undignified.) The board inserts the penis into the vulva and locks for about 15 minutes. After he finishes, he dismounts and usually goes to find a mudhole if available and relaxes being very satisfied with himself (good for him). Some are very aggressive and grunt and run the fence looking for a boar in reproduction season (humans do that as well). If all was successful they will have pigs 114 days later and hopefully have 9-15 good lively piglets that weigh 1-2 pounds.

I’m sorry but I do not see something undignified in that! How is that different to the way Nicolas is having sex? As far as I know fish (some of them at least) only lay eggs and the male just releases sperm over them! That means that technically the male just ejaculates in front of everybody over some eggs. How is that more noble?

Also, if you are not eating pork, you are missing stuff like that:


Ok, what to expect from a guy who named his son "Kal-El"?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Beginning of summer?

It was about time I wrote a new post. I couldn’t have Baldwin’s picture as my latest post any longer! I saw it in a friend’s and follower’s website as my latest post and I was shocked. It’s so distasteful it’s not funny more. I just hope you all donated some money to a good cause, making a good Christian wealthy again… No? Shame on you! Lol…

I’m in quite a good mood today (which will probably be ruined in the next few hours at work but anyway). After gym I was able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee as I normally do before work. What was really interesting was the fact that I had my coffee OUTSIDE, without wearing a jacket! During this year’s London, doing something like that is remarkable! We had a couple of weeks or sunny spells but it was quickly followed by more rain and cold. It even snowed in the north beginning of May. But we’re expecting the temperature to get better and we might be seeing the Sun more! It might (of course) rain a bit the next few days, but they promised a sunny warm weekend. OK, I know. Most of the times they don’t know what they’re talking about, but it would be so nice…


Unfortunately, since it is the beginning of summer I’m starting again my treatments to get rid of some of the excessive hair I do have (all over my body). Since I don’t want to be the only Chewbacca of the beach, without being too picky about it, I booked an appointment to have my back and shoulders cleaned. Fortunately, ‘JJ’ doesn’t mind a bit but it is something I want to do for myself. For those of you out there who do not know the ‘pleasures’ of waxing, sugaring or laser, YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!! It is SO much fun spending almost an hour on the bed of pain and also paying quite some money for it…


On a happier note I can’t wait for my boyfriend to get back. He’s been gone for a week and will be gone for a week more. I miss him. I’m thinking of taking some time off work and either go to pick him up from the airport or find one of his roommates to sneak me in his bedroom to wait for him. Probably the latter seems nicer, but I can’t trust his housemate that I’ve found through facebook to keep it quite. I also don’t know if he’ll be at home or working. I don’t really like him that much (that’s my boyfriend’s housemate, not my boyfriend)…

Monday, 17 May 2010

Restore What?

Ok, I didn't know about it.
I was shocked when I found out though...

There is a website to donate money to Stephen Baldwin.
Yes, him:
Why?
Because he was just a good Christian and he refused to play in movies that included sex or violence. So, now he declared bankruptcy and is poor...

So, come on. Give him money. You can do it through paypal!!!
Here:
Check the FAQ section if you have any queries.
I especially like the part:

Q- Why does Stephen need personal wealth?
A- Stephen’s influence is in Hollywood. Hollywood worships money and without it you are seen as a loser and cannot be an effective influence to this group.


Monday morning…

It’s gym morning for me. I get up earlier than normal and I go to the gym in the morning. It’s like a ritual I follow. I don’t mind it being Monday. It’s slightly less crowded than normal. People don’t usually like getting up at that time on a Monday.

I usually hit the cycles with a newspaper first, browsing through it under the TVs. Today, I noticed that the screens where showing a WW Raw match. I don’t know what the difference is with the normal WWE. Maybe it is a specific show called ‘Raw’, showing scenes from WWE matches!

Anyway, the thing was ridiculous! The ‘acting’ of the wrestlers was absurd! Funnily enough the stadium was amazingly packed and people seemed to enjoy it. I believe there might be many fans of that show / sport although I can’t see why. They should realise how fake all this seems!

That scene was hilarious

Funnily enough however, I was slightly drawn to the show. I wanted to see what else they can think of to do. I enjoyed the amazingly silly names they use, the faces they pulled and their tiny suits.

The guy standing looks quite cute though


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On a very different matter, JJ safely arrived in Johannesburg on Friday to attend a wedding the next day. He is now in Cape Town enjoying himself. We’ve managed to chat a bit, but not too much. He’s using words that I hate (at this point) like ‘swimming pool’, ‘fish barbeque’, ‘tanning oil’ when I use words like ‘umbrella’, ‘warm jacket’ and ‘work’!

I’m trying to organize our summer holidays and suggest to him a full plan when he gets back. I hope to persuade ‘JJ’ to go island hopping in Greece with me (I don’t think it will need much effort). I’m planning for us to fly to Rhodes, one of the biggest islands of the east-southern Greece where my best friend lives. We could spend some days there and then travel around to a couple of the islands of the same island group. The islands around there are not that much touristic and they are great for a less crowded, less noisy, relaxing vacations.

Lindos Bay in Rhodes

Rhodes has so many places to visit on its own. I could simply stay there for many days. However, I don’t want to take advantage of my friend’s hospitality and stay in his place too long. I also believe that I should spend some time with ‘JJ’ on our own. It will be fun / adventurous simply visiting other islands and spending a night here or there. It will be amazing, just us, the sun and the sea…

Friday, 14 May 2010

Pain…

I’ve been having some difficulties climbing stairs today… It’s my buttocks and legs. They hurt…
A lot…

No, don’t think of anything dirty (I don’t know what they call it that, it’s not that dirty (all the time)). My personal torturer (aka trainer) is the cause. We did all kinds of crazy stuff in the gym yesterday...

There are some exercises I like and enjoy and some that I loathe. I don’t mind that much simple stuff, like pushups or working on my triceps or back. Unless of course we start doing the things that our p.t. wants us to do. For example pushups can be fun. Pushups with both your legs on one small medicine ball and both your hands on another, makes the exercise a little bit more challenging. Especially you’ve some other weird stuff that put strain on your muscles already.

with another ball for your feet

I don’t like stairs…

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Lack of focus…

I have this feeling lately of running around in circles with no purpose, getting very tired on the way and not even accomplishing anything. I manage to live quite a busy life. Each day of the week is scheduled at least a week in advance with something that needs to be done.

running around in circle

Let me give you an example:Yesterday I went to the theatre, today I have gym with my personal punisher, tomorrow I have drinks with work, on Saturday I have to help a friend pack and move, on Sunday I have some goodbye drinks with a friend who’s leaving UK and on Monday I have to go for a drink / dinner with another friend I haven’t seen in weeks. I only hope to get some time on Sunday to rest, run some errands, cook a decent meal, do laundry etc.

Already I have plans for the next 5 days and I do not think that the rest will be left empty for long. My week days are like slots with the value of free on the start, waiting to be filled.

tired bear

I don’t want to complain about all that. I like living a social life, having a circle of friends and experiencing London with everything that has to offer. However, I don’t like the fact that I can’t accomplish some of the goals I have.

Unfortunately, I’ve discovered I’m not too fond of going running early in the morning (before work). I don’t mind going to the gym in the morning between 6:30 and 8 in the morning, but my leg muscles need more time to wake up. I feel cold running outside after waking up; I get too tired too easily that leaves me disappointed and grumpy. I like going running on the weekend around noon or in the evenings on week days. With the schedule I have though that is not easily done… I’m embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t done a proper run in May (OK, a trip to Barcelona and Brighton is a good excuse).

Apart from that, I want to start a course in Java and get a certificate (a SCJP to start with). I don’t have any experience in it since most GIS software does not use this language. However, I know how to work on other programming languages and I hope that a SCJP will help my CV. I bought the books to start some months ago but I still haven’t managed to work on it much. The plan was to apply to take the exams during June, but I don’t see that happening either. (Yes, you can take exams to become even geekier).

my childhood memories

I’m not used to be postponing things like that and I feel kind of disappointed with myself. Time flies by quickly. I fear that I will not train enough and I will get accepted to do the London Marathon… I also fear that 2011 will knock on my door and I will still have no clue on Java…

I have to come up with a schedule that I can follow. I’m already trying to pass the running bug to ‘JJ’ so that we can go running together. I have to allocate some of my days to staying home and study (easier said than done).

Monday, 10 May 2010

Weekend away…

‘JJ’ is leaving to go to South Africa this Thursday for more than two weeks. Since he will be away for a long period of time and I was away in Greece for Easter and in Barcelona, we’ve decided to go away for the weekend, just the two of us. We were trying to find a destination that is nice (not Luton for example), not far away from London (not Rome) and affordable (not Paris). We were trying to find a nice spa / indoor swimming pool hotel to treat ourselves a massage or something like that but I couldn’t find something that was not expensive or in the middle of nowhere that demanded renting a car. After my two trips during the last month my budget is a bit tight. Any ideas on nice cheap spa resorts?


So, we’ve decided to go to Brighton! We booked a nice bed and breakfast near the sea front, booked our train tickets and went.

Brighton's Pier

That was the first trip I would ever do with a boyfriend (yes, I’m still in the learning process) and spend the night in a hotel. I have been away in the past with an ex girlfriend, but that was millions of years ago and doesn’t really count for many reasons. We had an amazing time!

The weather was not as great as we expected. We hoped at least that it would be sunny to go sunbathing by the sea. ‘JJ’ packed his sunglasses, big sea towel and swimming trunks. He didn’t use any of them. We did use an umbrella he had taken with him though.

The funny part was the bed and breakfast we stayed in. It had 8 rooms, all with different themes. We stayed in the Alpine Room. It was covered in wood, with horns of various big animals on the walls, red striped curtains, a fluffy grey bedspread and a weirdly looking Alpine guy painted on the bathroom door that made you feel like you’re been watched all the time. You can say that it was interesting… It was well located near gay bars though, nice restaurants and the Pier.
The bed & breakfast's Alpine Room

JJ's there on the right. I stayed on the land the second time to video the ride

We tried to enjoy each other’s company and have a nice, relaxing weekend away from the busy, noisy London. We wandered by the sea, did some rides on the Pier, read the Sunday newspaper in an interesting looking coffee shop and ate (a lot) various delicacies and treats. While going through some stuff in an antique shop I found some old comic books that I bought. I found the very last issue of ‘The New Mutants’ (#100) and first issues of ‘X-force’ from the early ‘90s. We also went in a hotel / bar / club called 'Legends' on Saturday night to dance.
I can say it was quite of fun.

indeed

PS. I’m so making ‘JJ’ bring me a copy of ‘A million miles from normal’ from South Africa…

Friday, 7 May 2010

Democracy…

It is believed to be a political government carried out either directly by the people or by means of elected representatives of the people. It has origins from Ancient Greece when the people of Athens could gather, vote and decide on their fate. All citizens were eligible to speak and vote in the Assembly, which set the laws of the city-state.

Since then, of course, so many things have changed. Now, contemporary Greece might appear (?) as a democratic country but it appears to be far from one. Yesterday the Parliament voted for the new measures to be used for the elimination of the national debt. Those new measures were agreed with the Eurozone leaders and the IMF.

In theory, all 300 of our MPs should vote according to what they believe. In my delusional na├»ve mind, when a crisis like that occurs, micro politics should be put aside and everybody should vote according to what they think is for the common good! That’s what I thought democracy meant.

The opposition party before the vote just declared its disagreement on the measures proposed by the government (as expected) without however proposing a different solution. They simply mentioned which parts of the new legislation they don’t like and which parts they do like. The leader of that party simply announced his disapproval and forced all opposition members to vote against them.

Both major political parties decided on a common policy that all of their members should follow. All government MPs should vote in favor of the measures agreed and all members of the rival party against them. Any MPs not voting what their party leader declared would be erased from the party, as simple as that!

One of the major members of the opposition voted pro the measures and was removed from the party. Ntora Mpakogianni was the second runner for the leadership of the opposition party after the last elections. She and the current leader of the party do not get along and strongly disagree on every possible thing. I am not sure whether she simply voted so that she’d be removed to form her own political party. Apart from her, four members of the Parliament belonging to the government voted against the announced measures and were also removed.

I do not see how that is called democracy…

The Parliament


In the meantime, four people were brutally murdered outside the Parliament, when strikes hit the capital. Three of them (one pregnant woman) were caught in a fire started by fire bombs (Molotov) in a bank in central Athens and another was burnt by anarchists in the middle of the street. The latter incident was firstly created by accident when a guy caught fire from a Molotov bomb. Some people tried to help him to put out the fire, but one of the people there in the demonstration simply threw petrol on him. While that was taking place in the streets, on the television news the far left winged party leader and the far right party leader were arguing about whether the murderer with the petrol was a communist or a fascist, because it is far more important to find his political views (apparently).



During the same demonstrations on Wednesday, the fourth floor of one of the buildings of the Financial Ministry was burnt. In that floor, all the governmental records of the later state investigation on tax evaders were stored but unfortunately destroyed. How fortunate for some…

The thing is that most people accept the need of extra measures. They know about the crisis and they accept that there is nothing else to be done. However, they are so frustrated and angry that no politician accepts any responsibility. The see their income being diminished, goods becoming more expensive in a day and they don’t know how long this will last.

The situation is so tragic that it became comic…

Joke:
What’s common between a turkey and a Greek?
They don’t know if they’ll survive till Christmas

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Barcelona…

I came back two days ago. I had a really nice time.
The pros:
The city itself.
It was amazing. I totally loved it. It’s not big and most places are in a walkable distance. It is by the sea, with half of it next to a really nice sandy beach and the other half with a very beautiful marina. The first day I arrived, the beach was full of people sunbathing or swimming. It was like travelling through seasons after having left a rainy and windy London.
I also adored Gaudi’s buildings. The guy was a genius (ignoring the fact that he was killed when hit by a tram). His buildings are a work of art. We also visited many small alleys with very cute tapas bars, the big ramblas (like avenues), the aquarium, Miro’s museum, the palaces and the hills surrounding the city.
I have to admit that for such a touristic destination, the locals are very friendly. Most of them are very talkative, polite and happy to help you out even if they don’t know how to speak English.
I must comment on the food as well. It was brilliant. The whole tapas mentality I found very similar to the ‘mezze’ Greek mentality and I loved it. I am a sucker for seafood anyway. We had paellas, tapas of every kind, sangria and mojitos (lots of them).
Lastly, I’d like to comment on the excellent gay night life. There is an area close to the university that is full of gay bars and restaurants. People are open, friendly and talkative there as well.Barcelona is a destination I definitely have to visit again.

Sagrada Familia

The sea front

Parc Guell


Casa Battlo


The cons:
Part of the company. Apart from my best friend that I know and love for more than 15 years, we had her friend with us (let’s call her Catherine). She is one of the most difficult people I’ve met. She was making negative comments all the time about everything. She would comment on what we’d order in a restaurant, the people, the buildings, the traffic. It was so annoying! Catherine only been to Lisbon some years before and that was the only journey she’s done to a foreign country. That of course meant that everything was compared to Lisbon, which apparently according to her was much nicer.
What made the whole situation worse was the fact that Catherine was mugged in the entrance of ‘Parc Guell’ on our third day. Ok, I have to admit (only to you) that I didn’t feel that sorry for her. It’s a whole ‘bad things happen to bad people’ mentality. I believe that her bad karma provoked the city to take her revenge on her.
The thing is I had told both of them many times that people get mugged a lot in Barcelona. MadeInScotland had warned me as well. Catherine however thought that leaving some of her stuff in the apartment we were staying was more dangerous, so she also carried everything with her. She lost 4 credit/debit cards, €300 (all her money, her driving license and ID. So, I spent that afternoon looking through garbage bins in the area hoping to find the wallet, while they went to the police station to claim the theft. We also spent many hours in the Greek Embassy for Catherine to get a temporary ID to be able to fly.
Of course that incident made Catherine even worse tempered. She had a constant frown the next days, unwilling to even talk to us. She wasn’t enjoying anything and was even crying when my friend went into a souvenir shop to buy something. It was overly dramatic, unjustified and crazy. Bad things can happen in a journey, just deal with it and move on! We had given her money for all her needs and tried to reassure her that it wasn’t the end of the world, but in vain...
The problem was that it was the three of us and there wasn’t much I could do. If ‘JJ’ didn’t have work commitments and had come along, things would have been different. I managed to remain calm and patient for the whole trip. I know many people that would simply have gotten into a fight with her.
That’s enough of me bitching about her. Overall, I really did enjoy Barcelona but there is no way I’m having Catherine with me in a trip, ever again.
I’m now looking forward to spend a very nice weekend with ‘JJ’ in Brighton…