Saturday, 31 March 2012


Insecurities; everybody has them. Even the person considered to be the most beautiful, successful, talented in the whole world will have moments of self-doubt. Let’s take an example. Who is considered to be at the top of his game these days? James Cameron? Don’t you think that at times he doesn’t think that his movies might suck?  Sam Worthington? Kate Middleton? I strongly believe that at times they might be bothered by something on their looks, like a nose, skinny legs or something of that sort!

It’s like a dark cloud getting in the way of the sun. You can’t help it. It will appear, maybe when less expected. It might not even be about your looks but about a skill, or lack of it. It’s how you deal with it and how much it affects you that counts. In a society driven by materialism, vanity and narcissism, the existence of photoshoped celebrities with plastic surgeons on their speed dials, I fear, increases the number of people feeling bad about themselves. The extreme level of this phenomenon leads people to anorexia, bulimia or even depression. Unfortunately, nowadays finding people with low self-esteem is not that difficult to distinguish. They can be easily spotted at work or on the road, with their heads low, trying to remain invisible, hidden from the world. These are however extreme cases, but they are real nonetheless.

For me, the situation is not anywhere near that dire. As a normal human I have my insecurities. Sometimes these dark clouds appear while I’m at the gym. I have to admit that in occasions I feel I don’t belong there with the rest of these fit, good looking people or that my efforts are wasted and that I should simply give up. These thoughts come to me more frequent when I’m really struggling to do an exercise, I’m tired and people next to me do the same thing with more kilos, seemingly effortless.

But then, I try to think that they do must have their insecurities of their own. I’m in the same gym, trying (struggling) but at least I’m there, doing the right thing. I don’t have a six pack and I can’t do pull-ups properly. My biceps and shoulders are weak, but at least my triceps and back are strong. What if I finish last (or next to last) with my running club? I might feel bad that they have to wait for me sometimes in big junctions or at the finish line, but at least I’m there. I will get better. I might have a little bit of a muffin top, but they are also called ‘love handles’! No one is perfect. I will accept the challenge and I will keep on going with my head high, smiling.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Guilty feelings

Guilty feelings

I feel a bit guilty about my small outburst the other day on my guest. What I haven’t mentioned is the fact that he’s 25 years old! I wouldn’t be so harsh on him if he was younger! However, I do expect some basic normal things from people his age like a pinch or maturity or a touch of responsibility. Yesterday, when he returned from his apartment hunt, I was doing the dishes. I told him three times to wait for me to finish, relax and sit down before starting his daily report on what happened. Of course without even listening to what I was saying, he kept on going about his troubles. He said that he found the most amazing place ever, with everything he needed and more, the house was simply astonishing. However, he didn’t book it because it was far from the closest tube station! So, I did my research. According to Google Maps, the house is 13 minutes’ walk from the station and there are also 2 busses that can take him there in 7 minutes! Am I wrong to argue with him on that? What was he thinking and he didn’t book it? Then he kept on going that other agents were showing him places in abysmal situation, basements with no light, etc! What did he expect? With his way of thinking he’ll never find a place. This is not Greece, things work differently! You need to act fast and wisely. I’m not going to be providing him free accommodation forever and I fear this will not end up well.

Wow, sorry. That turned up to be my second rant in a row. I promise I’ll behave and stop. I’ll just shut up now.

The weather’s been brilliant the last couple of days. It smells like summer already, although I know this is just an illusion that will go away soon. But look at these pictures I took during my lunch break today. No cloud in the sky!

Monday, 26 March 2012

News Update

I haven’t had much time to blog this month. I try to reach as close as possible to 10 posts per month but that of course doesn’t frequently happen with my schedule. There are so many things happening in my household that I don’t really know where to start. So, I’ll try to start from the beginning, chronologically.

The previous weekend, almost 10 days ago, a friend of mine came to UK from Greece and he’s been staying over since. He’ll soon start studying Opera singing and he’s looking for a place to rent. While viewing apartments he’s staying over at my place. He wants to become a tenor and from I’ve heard, although not an expert, and the feedback he’s been getting I believe that he’s good. He’s got a position already in one of the most prestigious establishments of the country. He’s generally a nice guy, however he can be quite immature and a major drama queen. I assume its normal (to a degree) for artists to be a bit self-involved but the situation gets a bit out of hand sometimes. He’s a major mummy’s boy and his understanding of the world is very bad. Especially for an environment like London’s, things can get tough. I’m not going to go into details. We’ve been having some arguments over the past days that he’s apartment searching. His understanding of the reality is a bit unrealistic. I can’t spend hours explaining to him over and over the some simple things or try to pamper him to feel better. I am being a bit harsh but life’s tough. Deal with it.

An example of a conversion we had and things I’ve said:
‘There’s no point in telling us you want to commit suicide because you can’t find a place. If you want to look for a flat, get up early in the morning and start looking. I’m definitely not waking you up. You have an alarm in your phone. Learn how to use it. Grow some…’

OK, after this small rant, I feel so much better!

On a very different note I joined a running club! YAY! I’ve been meaning to do that for ages but I never actually made up my mind! So, the opportunity was found by accident. My manager told me that there’s a club that meets after work hours and runs from the centre of London towards various destinations around the city. He was given a leaflet by them. So, instead of commuting, taking the tube in busy rush hour, we run along the tube line up to a station much closer to home. We also had a guy with a car carrying our bags to the finish station! Their pace was a bit faster than I normally run but that’s a challenge I’m willing to accept! So, I ran with them once the past week, but I’ll join them this week as well.

Speaking of running, I did my 10k race on Sunday morning in Wimbledon! It was very nice. The route was a bit steep at places and I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, but that’s fine. I finished the whole route in 1:10. That’s not the best of times but I’m happy I did at least that with the lack of cardio exercise. Now, with my new running club I hope to get much better though!

that's me at the end of my run, sweaty but happy, with my medal!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Gay Evolution of the Video games

I think it was a year ago when I had lots of free time and I asked my fellow readers / bloggers / online friends of a good PC game to play. Gauss Jordan back then suggested Mass Effect. I got Mass Effect 2 and I loved it. Thanks for that by the way. I never thanked you for the suggestion.

Since I liked the 2nd game, it was only natural that after I read some very good reviews about it, I got the recently released 3rd instalment of the game. Thank you so much for the birthday gift JJ! Since Skyrim was getting a bit old and after I spent many (way too many) hours playing it, I’ve now started devoting my free time in ‘Mass Effect 3’. And boy was I for a treat?

The game takes place in the future, in space. There’s an evil alien invasion and you, Commander (I think) Shepard of the spacecraft Normandy are trying to save the Galaxy. It doesn’t sound like the most original story ever but the details, subplots, graphics and action make it a really interesting and captivating game. While Shepard’s trying to unite the various species against the new common threat, he (I’m playing a male character) interacts with his ship’s crew, gets to know them and finishes missions provided by them.

One of the crew members is Stephen Cortez. He’s a Lieutenant and pilot for the good guys. While I as Shepard was visiting the deck, I was told that I need to speak to Stephen, so I headed down to the Armoury. There I find a crying Stephen, so I asked him what’s wrong. Do you know what he said? His husband died on one of the evil alien invasion? I’ll repeat that: ‘his husband’! I was like wow, that’s cool!

Cortez crying over his husband

So, I did my research. I don’t want any spoilers for the plot of the game, so I was cautious on what I could find. Apparently, Stephen is the only opening gay character of the game that was actually even married. There’s also the possibility to have ‘intimate’ moments with him if you are a male Shepard. You can select the gender at the beginning of the game. So, I’ll see what the future holds.

Shepard and Cortez

This development is not something completely new. In Skyrim as well a male character could marry another male NPC (that’s Not Playable Characters for the non-geeks). This option was also allowed in the ‘Sims’ series and these are only three widely accepted games that I just thought of. Compared to the Sims though, both Mass Effect and Skyrim are considered to be violent action packed games which I believe have a different (male, younger, heterosexual) target group than ‘The Sims’. So, are gay characters in video games becoming mainstream? There’s even apparently a gay sex scene later in the game if you decide to make Steve and Shepard an item. I’ll definitely make that happen…

On the other hand, I have found some online forums where this option is condemned and homophobic hatred comments are posted. I’m not going to comment on them and decide simply to ignore them. I do love the existence of gay characters in video games. People from various backgrounds should have this kind of incentives. It’s even nicer to have a gay Commander fighting to save the whole galaxy! Gay characters shouldn’t follow stereotypes.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Tuesday the 13th

 According to Greek customs, the so called unlucky day of the calendar month is not Friday the 13th but Tuesday the 13th. There is of course a reason why this happens that is not lost in the past.  The story says that on a Tuesday, back in May 1453, the greatest city of them all, Constantinople, fell to the hands of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks. Losing that war meant the end of the Byzantine Empire and the start of almost 4 centuries occupation by the Turks, which is considered to be the darkest page of the Nation’s history. The occupation officially ended in 1821 with the Greek revolution!

However, I’m not superstitious and I don’t care about things like that. So, yesterday I went with Jeff to the ‘Duke of York’ theatre to see ‘All New People’ (after devouring an amazing meal at Yo-Sushi). That Zack Braff’s (Scrubs) latest play. Apart from starring in it, as expected, he’s written it too. To be honest I was a bit hesitant about it. I didn’t consider Zack to be an amazing actor and I feared that the play would be mostly fixated on him. Hopefully, I was wrong, not in everything, but in some stuff.

I was right when I thought that Zack is not that amazing actor. He’s not. He’s not bad either though. His co-stars however were the ones to steal the spotlight from him. Which bring us to the point where I was wrong. Although the story starts with Charlie (Zack Braff) and revolves around him, Charlie doesn’t have much to say apart from a small monologue near the end when he describes his story. The other three people that enter his life the day he decides to commit suicide (thus the play’s title), have a lot to share and do.

Generally the play is about life, its purpose, relationships and even the existence of god. Although these topics do seem a bit heavy, the play is a comedy with not that many dramatic moments. Braff’s writing style is inviting, modern and funny. There are some unavoidable stereotypes like the existence of the unintelligent bimbo / escort but they don’t spoil the fun. At some point I had to roll my eyes backwards but I also laughed and generally enjoyed the play. It’s not an experience not to miss but it offers a great night out. I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Birthday boy

I’ve been having some very busy last weeks. I was working the whole next to last weekend. I’m not really used to be working extra days and I’m definitely not getting paid enough for it, but anyway. I had to do it and in a sense I enjoyed taking on the challenge. I might share some more details about it at some other time. I’ve been really busy and that is why I didn’t manage to post anything the last couple weeks.

However, last Saturday, it was my birthday!!! I’ve turned 31! These are some photos I took on that day! After a lovely start of my day, we visited the Olympic Village under construction at Stratford.Today, I have a day off from work. So, I plan to spend outside the house! Catch up with you later!!!

What JJ brought to bed! Homemade pancakes and coffee!!! 

That's how I look at 31... 

Westfields in Stratford 

There's lots of new development in the area 

The Aquatics Centre made by Zaha Hadid and 'The Orbit' by Anish Kapoor

The Olympic Stadium between them 

The surrounding area needs  some cleaning up

The 700 year old Bow Church 

That's the t-shirt JJ got me! I also got 'Mass Effect 3'. :-DDDDDDDDDDDD

PS. Thank you everybody so much for wishing me happy birthday in facebook!  :-)