26 February 2010

Spank you!

Blogging twice in one day? It's definitely Friday. And before you berate me for reminding you when you already know, you'd be surprised just how many people do not know what day it is.

I just remembered the splendiferous LG at London Town and Me gave me the Sunshine Award. Spank you very much LG! ;)

I'm told I have to pass this award onto my 6 favourite bloggers. Oooh that's hard. Do we really have to use the F word? Anyway, I nominate these 6 bloggers because they bring a little bit of sunshine to my day.
Enjoy!


25 February 2010

Anti-climatic much?

Is it Friday again, already?! It's been a week since I last blogged. Time flies when you're having fun you don't have a laptop!

Thank you all so much for the 25th birthday wishes my lovelies! You all rock.

It was a rather low key affair (more on that shortly) and I have to say, now I'm 25 it's all really, rather "well, is that it?!". Anti-climatic. Maybe it's because I'm still stuck being a 'student' and nothing much has changed, except my age. Everything else is still the same. Or maybe it's because I definitely don't look 25, I still pretty much look like this...



except I've discovered mascara. I really wanted that headband, like a fat kid loves cake, so I'm told, which I now realise, made my ears slighty reminsicent of dumbo. *sigh* 

But still, I appreciate it's a quarter of a century and yay for having made it this far. So, Happy Birthday to Me!

I mostly received dollars (not actual dollars, I'm British, I'm just trying to be hip with cool and the gang) but my sister sent me a beautiful framed picture of my nephew. It was propped up straight away! R was planning to get me a coat, maybe because my other one is an absolute bag of shit mess. He thought he better ask me first, though to which I replied I desired a coat. So, massive point scoring for him! We were going into town after uni to have dinner, so went a little earlier to look for a coat together. I really didn't expect to find one but stumbled across a lovely, black coat. Oh gawd, I wish I had a picture of it because describing it as a lovely black coat is just giving you nothing, right? Anyway, it was £95.... down to £36!! Awesome! And it was a size 6.

Oooh, I found pictures, and it's selling on ebay for £125!!


Then we went for dinner at Pizza Express and enjoyed a lovely starter, scrumptious pizzas (cheese-less for moi, a very spicy one for him. Well, it was called 'Etna', dear) and a bottle of white wine. 


You can tell I really dressed up, made an effort, right? Like with my almost complete lack of make-up and with my university swipe card lanyard still on. Jen, you're so hot right now. And you might notice all the chillies still left on R's plate, and those were only half of them. OK, let's stop talking about that, I'm getting a craving for pizza now.

We fell out a little because he made a comment I didn't like. But it was mainly because I decided to be a massive diva cuz, ya know, it was my 25th birthday and all that shizz. Come on, you know the inner-diva comes out sometimes. So yes, I overreacted (which I feel pretty bad about now) but we made up cuz I still love him, of course and because he still loves me, even when I'm a dick. An actual phallus.

And that was that. The next day came and it was all over.  I was considering organising some drinks at a cheap inexpensive cocktail bar tonight as it's Friiiiiday! But I'm not sure I can be bothered really.

I tell you what else is anti-climatic. Getting built up to submit your research abstract online for a conference on the day of the deadline (today). And then, .... *tumble weed* ... nothing. Maybe I will get the confirmation e-mail shortly. Even so, I have to wait until April to hear whether I will be presenting.

Or, you get all stressed out to submit a research abstact before the extended submission deadline closes, thinking you've just made it in time! ... And then, submission is still open, a week later. Arrrhhhh man! 

All I can say is TGI Friday!

What do you have planned this weekend? My parents are visiting on Saturday for a belated birthday dinner and then good ol' Film Club on Sunday. I can just tell this weekend is going to zoom by far too fast and before I know it, I'll be staring straight at Monday!

19 February 2010

Oh. This is weird.

To my recollection, I have only ever blogged on my own machinery. OK, maybe R's machinery. But definitely not in a computer cluster -- basically just a free internet cafe for students at my university -- and it feels quite odd to be sat in the same place I would've been 7 years ago.

I'm sat in the computer cluster for the halls of residence I used to live in during my first year at university. It's kinda weird. But in a good way. Oooh the memories. Very uncharacteristic but I think this calls for a photo:

 Me, aged 18, with 2 of my best friends; Rainbow (yup, her name was actually Rainbow) & Saii Man

Now, what would be weird is if one of my "students" plopped themselves down at the computer next to me. I think I'd end up censoring the websites I was visiting, incase they were looking. You ever do that? I don't know why I should care. But that's me, complete over-carer!
Anyway, none of them are sat next to me. In fact, no-one is sat next to me, it's lovely and warm and it's actually pretty quiet as it's Friday night. Everyone knows students don't work on Friday night, right? ;)

I sat in the house today and waited almost the entire day, 9am-4pm, for DHL to come and collect my laptop to send back to Acer. I've finally pulled my finger out and sent it back. However, as the laptop spent the entire day taped up in a box, I was at the mercy of daytime television. Oh. My. God. *shakes head* That was not easy! So now, I have no laptop and am resorting to computer clusters to get my blog fix! Let's hope Acer don't keep it for too long.

A girl across the room keeps looking at me. Whaaaaat?! Stop it, will ya?!

It's my birthday on Tuesday. Not just any birthday, my 25th. I don't have anything planned. Think R hadn't realised it's so close either. Should I do something? I really think I should and actually want to but it's probably too late now. I'm always late organising shizz for my birthday.

Anyway, I'm just talking jibberish now. I need to go get some dinner and have something of R's to return to him so I have to run along.

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend y'all! What do you have planned? Maybe a few drinks for me tonight and then a friends birthday on Saturday, which I could possibly tag some of my own birthday celebrations onto but not sure what the music is like where we're going. Might have to sacrifice my musical tastes but hey-ho.

Toodles!

18 February 2010

Beaudifu' Bloggers

The wonderful Tuppence over at Tuppenny Tales has given me the Beautiful Blogger Award, and I will tell ya, it really warmed my heart!

I've only ever had one award (but possibly forfeited it by not following the rules, and passing forward) so thank you so much Tuppence! (hey, what's your real name lady?)

The award winner (oooh, I feel special!) must:
  • thank and link the person who gave them the award:
Tuppence, muchas gracias my dear! 
  • award another 15 bloggers you deem fantastic or beaudifu'.
So, here's my list:
      1. Nicole at pine nuts and vodka
      2. Amy at Just A Titch
      3. V at sunshine tinkerbell
      4. Nahl at The Juicy Courtship
      5. Meg at *curls and coffee*
      6. LG at London Girl and Me
      7. Nikolett at Better Than Coffee
      8. Eileen at Engineering Eileen
      9. Brittney at La Midge
      10. Jessica at Lildonbro
      11. Emma at Irregular Expressions
      12. Ali at The Way I See It
      13. Paul at Langley's Blog (men can be beaudifu', too!)
      14. Amber at Girl With The Red Hair
      15. Stefanie at Yeah honestly
      That's the lot! And you I want to thank you all for being such beaudifu' bloggers!

      Toodles!

        17 February 2010

        Happy Valentine's Day!

        It's a taaaad late because I spent my Valentine's enjoying it and, in the days that followed, being snowed under with work and just generally living a life full of endless crap. Anyway, before this turns into an "I'm too busy to do anything" rant and sob story...


        What did you get upto? I've really enjoyed reading all the different things people have done (or had done for them) on V day 2010 and their opinion towards this "commercial bullshizz holiday".

        Wanna hear about mine? No? Well, you're gonna.
        R and I did our celebrating on Saturday the 13th. The original plan was to have a 3 course meal, cooked by me, the same as last year but we couldn't actually agree on what we fancied for the main course (our faaaave is steak, but we'd had that recently) so instead we went with the easier option of eating out. I did promise to still make him the rhubarb crumble and custard I had planned as dessert, I just didn't say when.

        We'd been to Italian Ciao Bella a few times before and loved their tomato soup, and I was particularly taken with their meatballs. But we'd never known it to be busy or popular so were hoping we could just wing it; arrive a little earlier and get a table. But we actually ended up going to thai restaurant Siam Orchid a few doors down and opted for the 2 course meal with a glass of wine; red for him and white for me. The meal was actually pretty good; Thai Red Beef Curry for R and Chicken Pad Thai for me, although our order ended up lost in translation and R ended up with a free starter. But who's complaining?!

        So, at the restaurant, I presented him with my homemade Valentine's card which I had wasted spent all day making. It was based on this Martha Stewart Ribbon-Punched Valentine's craft. I put to good use the red and pink card and extremely inexpensive red ribbon I'd bought for my Christmas crafts. Sewing the heart into the card was really fun!! I really wish I'd taken a picture of the final result, I will try to soon and probably tweet it.

        He didn't get me a card but that's OK, I know he's not the card giving type and actually, if I hadn't had this craft stuff lying around, he wouldn't have received one either.

        After the meal, we headed to a popular area of Manchester full of young and trendy bars called the Northern Quarter, which, if you're ever visiting Manchester, is well worth a nighttime visit! We decided on Walrus, and I didn't get ID'd! We had such a nice time, the music was fab and we danced the whole night! By the end of it, we'd managed 3 bottles of rosé between us, although I was adding lemonade to mine, which is why R explains how he became so drunk by the end of the night and terribly hungover the next morning and I wasn't.

        We were also celebrating a bit of good news; a good journal accepted his research abstract and so he's on his way to his first publication! Congratulations! So, I don't blame him for getting a little trollied. :D

        Valentine's day itself wasn't filled with much except relaxing (i.e. R getting over his hangover), some football (R playing, not me watching) and TV. Just a pretty typical Sunday really.

        I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's day! And I'm glad R didn't spend lots of money on me, because...

        ...what he really needs to save his money for is my birthday next week.  ;)

        Toodles!

        13 February 2010

        Blogging No Man's Land

        "Good morning, gooood morning! It's great to stay up late..." ♫ ♪

        Even though I didn't stay up late and was naturally up quite early this morning. When I woke up, however, I couldn't breathe and my face felt like a balloon as it seems my housemate left the heating on all night! 

        I digress.
        I realised, after over 18months of this blog (with rather inconsistent posts, I must add), I am still in blogging no man's land! I don't really know what I want this blog to be about. Well, I know I want it to be about me (why did that sound so self-absorbed?!), all the things I like, and hate, doing and just generally about my (limp excuse of a) life but I never know which things to include or leave out. 

        Admittedly, most of the time, there's no post because I end up not having time (read: I don't make time) to sit down and post content I had planned. And then the topic feels stale so I just toss it aside, maybe for a rainy day.

        I think I shall just stop worrying about what to post and just post it! And of course, make time to actually sit down and post it. If I just stayed in at the weekend and blogged, rather than going out shopping and/or partying, my bank account would be hella happy!

        So, matter resolved? Yeh, probably. I seem to have just 'talked it out' with myself, right here, for your viewing pleasure. Aren't you just so thankful. 

        But now, sadly, I have to leave you to complete my long list of errands and chores today e.g. bank, food shopping, bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, and completing an all-important beautifying ritual for my dinner date with R tonight. ;) He seems to think we will just be able to turn up to this nice Italian restaurant tonight and get a table. It is normally pretty quiet, I suppose. Fingers crossed.

        I did have some topics in the pipeline so I hope to be finished with my duties to share them with you -- even if the Valentine's themed DIY, crafts and cooking maaaay be a tad late now.

        Right, shower time (should sound distinctly similar to hammer time).

        Toodles!

        10 February 2010

        How could I forget...

        ... to tell you about my Film Club night?! Never fear, I am here to fill you in.
        In the end, after spending 2 hours on Sunday afternoon proof-watching it, I went with Oldboy. At 2 hours long, it was right on target for the duration that the Film Club audience can withstand. But those 2 hours actually went by really quickly, considering I had already watched the same 2 hour footage a few hours earlier and knew exactly what was coming.

        Has anyone seen this? No, I'm not going to spoil it and tell you the twist but, omg (importantly, I pronounce it 'omj', like that well known, international sound of meditation, with an additional 'j', not like o-m-g. Anyway) it's pretty sick.

        With a subtitled film, I find it difficuly to judge the acting but I thought it was quite good. I loved the soundtrack and the fight scenes were damn cool. I thought it was great cinematography, actually. I would rate the film 8/10.

        Apart from the sickiness of it all and despite hearing "oh great, another subtitled film" at the beginning, everyone seemed to really enjoy i.

        There were 4 out of the 10 in the room that had seen the film before and I actually heard the occassional huffing from one person who may, or may not, have been unimpressed about having to give up 2 Sunday hours to watch a film they'd seen before. I hope it wasn't that but if it was; middle-finger-up to you, my friend.

        My film night almost failed thanks to my troublesome hard drive not being recognised by R's computer. But all worked out in the end and disaster was averted.

        Snacks and drinks? I went with what I would want to eat and drink; so, armed with 2 Kettle Chips multipacks, cartons apple and orange fruit juice and a tub of homemade Fairtrade chocolate brownies, I think my night turned out relatively well!

        Toodles!

        09 February 2010

        "What's in the bag, lady?"

        This was something really fun I saw over at Better Than Coffee's blog and have wanted to do it all week!

        So, I present to you... the contents of my bag;

         
        1. Lab Book  2. Phone  3. Calculator  4. External HDD  5. Camera  6. MP3 Player  7. Inhalers  8. Pencilcase  9. Book  10. Glasses  11. Diary  12. Cosmetics  13. Documents  14. Cycling Gear  15. Purse

        Wow, there's a lot, huh?! Please remember I carry a backpack around with me most days. It's not as bad as it looks. Oh, click the picture if you fancy a closer snoop. Here's more info;

        06 February 2010

        Saturday slump

        Thaaaaanks so much for all your responses about my Film Club choices. I'll admit that I really want to go with my first choice and instinct and show Lars and the Real Girl mainly because yeh, it is weird. But people might just be left wondering "what the hell was that all about?!" I'm torn with that one.

        Michelle, I loved your ideas of showing Strictly Ballroom accompanied with some masculinity-boosters. Asweome! Plus, Jessica's brilliant Tina Sparkle cupcakes idea is making this film choice sound very fun!

        Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a brilliant movie but as I suspected, I now know everyone has seen it. So, that's out.

        Paul, Cashback looks fab. I'm going to try and watch it this afternoon. Downfall; I have actually seen it, I think. Sadly, it is quite a long movie (2.5 hours!) which I don't think would go down amazingly well with the audience.

        For munchies, I was thinking of making my* delicious brownies to die for!

        *not actually my recipe


        Maybe by tomorrow I will have chosen my movie!

        But for now, it's still Saturday and everyone knows weekends are for being a coach/bed/chair potato and enjoying getting your slump on.  ;) 

        I really should be working, though, with only 20 days left to formulate 250 words worth of meaningful research to submit to this conference. Very worried I'm not going to make it. Eek! And the remote access I set up to access my uni desktop and experiment computers appears to have failed. I could get started on these 250 words from here and just leave blanks for the actual numerical results... if I ever get them.

        But, what am I doing? Blogging. Great prioritising, Jen.

        The sound problem with my brand new laptop is definitely a hardware problem, not software. I really need to send it in for repair, I just need to find a box the right size. That is much more difficult than you'd think!

        Kids, I think I really have to start over with my blog layout; the coding is clearly screwed up so much so that it is hindering people from commenting. Such a pain in the ass; it took me aaaages! I also considered of moving over to the dark side and joining... Wordpress. But, I love Blogger, especially it's total free-ness! So, I'm here for a little while yet. Anyone else use Wordpress? Which do you prefer?

        Ohhh, I watched the first 2 episodes of Lost, Season 6 last night - anyone else watching this? What the hell is going on?! Must be the most confusing show on TV.

        Do I have any other pointless things to tell you? Oh, yes, I realised I am a shit twitterer. There really should be a mini-guide or something for us dumbos.

        Toodles!

        p.s. Although, I may be back soon; I can see myself blogging twice today.

        04 February 2010

        Choices, choices? Help!

        I need help. And, no, not the psychiatric kind (well, I probably do, but that's not the point today).

        I may have told you about Film Club. No? Well, about 12 friends and I set up a Film Club, of which I'm also the secretary but that's neither here nor there.
        Basically, Film Club -- also known as Come Cine With Me, you like? -- runs every Sunday evening, the host (chosen at random) shows a film and provides snacks of their choice, the audience scores the film/overall evening anonymously and a short discussion may ensue.

        The first round, before Christmas, was actually quite successful. Although I didn't win, I didn't do too badly either with my Halloween-themed 'The Strangers' film and spiderweb cheesecake.

        So far, this round of Film Club, we've had German film 'Lola rennt' ('Run Lola, Run') and Swedish film 'Låt den rätte komma in' ('Let the Right One In'), both rather good.

        Somehow, with some freakishly-swift passage of time, this Sunday is my turn again and I'm stuck on my choice of film, again.

        This is where you come in and can hopefully help me. What film would you show for a Film Club?

        I have listed below some narrowed down choices. What do you think? Any good? Have you seen any of them?
        • Lars and the Real Girl (2007) | IMDB Rating 7.6 | American/English | 106 mins
        • A delusional young guy strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.
          Originally, I was going to rely on the IMDB rating and reviews alone and show this film without watching it. But, I have since seen it and really quite liked it. But maybe it could be considered as "weird". But weird can be good, right?
           
        • Oldboy (2003) | IMDB Rating 8.3 | Korean | 120 mins
        • After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days.
          This is another film I've not seen but heard good things about. It is exactly 2 hours which is the limit really, as the audience tends to get fidgety around the 2 hour mark. It is in Korean and subtitled but most members don't seem to have any problem with that.
           
        • Strictly Ballroom (1992) | IMDB Rating 7.1 | Austrailian/English | 94 mins
        • Brave new steps put Scott's career in jeopardy. With a new partner and determination, can he still succeed?
          This was one of my favourite films when I was younger. It's actually quite a humourous film, in my opinion and will probably get points for being short. But it is about ballroom dancing - is it a bit of a chick flick? The Film Club crowd is male-dominated!
           
        • 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) (2007) | IMDB Rating 7.9 | Romanian | 113 mins
        • Drama about a woman who assists her friend to arrange an illegal abortion in 1980's Romania.
          A pattern is forming; I haven't seen this one either, but I have heard good things about it, too. And remember wanting to see it. It's under the 2 hours, subtitled and from the clips I've seen, looks interesting. I'm just curious, as with any film I haven't seen, about the ending.
           
        • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) | IMDB Rating 8.5 | American/English | 108 mins
        • A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
          I have seen this one and it's fab, but I imagine a lot of people will have seen it before and whilst I believe it's OK to show a film some have seen before, if everyone has seen it, it might be a bit of a waste of time. 
        I think that's the lot, actually. I just simply don't have time to get hold of all these films and watch them all before Sunday.

        So, please, give me some guidance! :D

        Toodles! 

        P.S.: If you can't comment, and want to e.g. Wordpress people, I would really appreciate if you could kindly tweet me and tell me. Please! I am trying to see how many people are being affected by the commenting issues here. Thaaaanks!

        01 February 2010

        Q&A

        In an effort to help you lovelies get to know me better, I proposed a Q&A session; in which I said you could ask me anything and I would answer. I also hinted at a post containing all the probing Q's and the honest A's.

        Now, I wasn't inundated with questions but -- mainly because I said I would and because I've left it quite long enough, in the hopes I would get more -- here is the list of Q's and A's for you to enjoy (or deteste) to your heart's content.

        • Q: What is your favourite book? (Sonshu)  

          A: My favourite book was probably 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. I imagine a lot of people choose it but (sometimes) I don't mind being a little obvious. I just could not put it down and was so engrossed! Have you read it?


        • Q: Did your first crush know that you had a crush on him? Did you tell him/her!? (Sonshu) 

          A: Well, I'm wondering how far back I should go here - I've had a lot of crushes, I'm not sure which one I should consider (or can even remember) being the first! Either way, yes, I told my first crush that I had a crush on him. It didn't turn out too well in the end so it just gets filed in the 'life experiences' section.  :P


        • Q: What do you really look like? That's my question. :) (Langley) 

          A: Just like most people, I have eyes (brown), ears and a nose, oh and red hair. But maybe a picture would be a better illustration. {The picture I showed him is on the right, there.}


        • Q: What would you recommend as the "must see" thing in Manchester?! (Michelle) 

          A: Hmmm. It depends what kind of thing you like? It has a brilliant football stadium; Manchester United's Old Trafford. It has a pretty good shopping mall; The Trafford Centre. I really quite like the Town Hall in St Peter's Square. I don't think there are a great deal of tourist attractions in Manchester. :(

        Now, sadly, because those are all the questions I received, the rest are random auto-generated questions by Formspring. Yes, that's very sad. :(

        • Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?

          A: Vanilla


        • Q: Would you rather be really hot or really cold?

          A: Really cold, assuming I had access to a large number of extra layers I could pile on.


        • Q: If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose? 

          A: The first or second year of my PhD, probably the second more, as I just didn't make the most of it and hence am cutting it a little bit fine with getting some good quality (and publishable!) research.


        • Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

          A: A singer. And then a teacher. I would still be a singer now if I had an amazing-enough voice, but not a teacher. I settle for being an alto in the choir these days.


        • Q: Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?

          A: Hmmm. Vampire!


        • Q: If you could be a star athlete in any sport, which sport would you pick?

          A: I would love to be a star gymnast or trampoliner! I used to do a lot of gymnastics and dancing when I was younger and was a member of the trampolining club for a while.


        • Q: What TV show makes you laugh the loudest?

          A: I think it would have to be the British music quiz show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. I find it holarious at times! Although, they have gotten rid of my favourite host now. I always love the Identity Parade round.


        • Q: What's the furthest you've ever traveled?

          A: It would have to be to Hong Kong when I went with some friends in 2005.


        • Q: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

          A: loving, insecure and ginger


        • Q: If you could be invited to one person's birthday party, whose would it be?

          A: I am not sure why this person sprung to mind but Lionel Richie maybe? I imagine he would throw a good birthday party! That's a poor answer but it was instinctive.


        • Q: What was your favorite birthday gift?

          A: Hmmm... I actually prefer the simple little things and a Sudoku book that R (the boyf) got me last year was a good gift; it's small and I'm still using it! But I also love things I can consume (takes up less space), especially cake!

        You can of course still ask me anything using a variety of methods (visit the right sidebar!) e.g. email, twitter, in the comments, etc. or you could even use this form I have conveniently pasted for you here:


        Toodles!