Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas

I am away for a few days now and won't get the chance to update the blog for a while. Everything is nearly ready for Christmas, still a couple of things to wrap, but the rest is done.

I hope you have an excellent Christmas and I look forward to reading about your Christmas exploits (you know who you are!)

Friday, December 19, 2003

Buffy Finale

Last night was the last episode of Buffy on BBC2. 21 episodes and it seems to have flown, especially as there were 3 a week. A pretty excellent battle at the end although the final scene left a lot of unanswered questions. Only unanswered I suppose because I want to see more! It was sad that Anya and Spike died. Apparently Emma Caulfield reportedly requested that Anya be killed off, as she didn't want to return after season seven or appear in any Buffy films. Seeing Spike die in saving the world was a great twist but also meant we are unlikely to see him again without some far-fetched reincarnation storyline.

I haven’t heard any plans for a follow up film or one-off episodes – suppose I will have to start watching the DVDs from Season 1 right through again!
It was also rather infuriating that the BBC are now starting to re-run Season 7 with an unedited version late at night. Usually, they run this at the same time as the 6.30pm showing. Now I will have to sit through it all again looking out for the extra violence, sex and swearing that the BBC snipped in the first airing. The BBC Buffy site says “ Never mind the cuts on BBC2, Buffy gets snipped in America too. "They were small edits," Joss told Dreamwatch magazine. "My favourite one would probably never have made it to air anyway. It was Principal Wood and Giles sharing a joint right before they go into battle, or as I referred to it in the script, a hand-rolled cigarette. That was shot and not aired... We did a version with tiny airport bottles of whiskey, but we did one version with the joint."

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Germany Honors Gay Holocaust Vicitms

I read an entry on Must Get Out today about Germany Honors Gay Holocaust Vicitms and a memorail that is soon to be erected. It got me thinking a lot about some of the issues. Sam's entry notes that:

  1. As well as being convicted and labeled degenerates, up to 20,000 gay men were sent to concentration camps from which they didn't return.

  2. Last year the country gave a formal pardon to the 50,000 gays convicted under the Nazi regime, in what was seen as the first recognition of the level of persecution.

  3. The memorial, which is funded by Germany's government and will be placed in the Tiergarten Park area of the city, is the result of fierce arguments between gay rights groups and conservative politicians.

  4. In the past, remembrances specifically for gay victims were rejected on the grounds of homosexuality being taboo -- a law barring gay sex was only repealed in 1969.

I agree that the thousands of gay men sent to concentration camps has never been really acknowledged. When I was in Washington DC a few years back I went to the Holocaust Museum. It was a truly enlightening experience and the horrifying treatment of the Jewish People defied belief. I already knew a lot about it, but there was a level of detail and personal information that made the true horror really hit home. There was an arena at the end that had films of survivors telling their stories and hearing how they had been treated and their remembrance of family and friends who died was probably one of the most powerful sharing of emotion I have ever experienced, and something I don't think I will ever forget.

There was a small section in the museum to talk about other groups who were persecuted, including gay men, gypsies, trade unionists and communists. These groups are often excluded from the discussions of the holocaust and should be remembered as part of the legacy of hate and intolerance that drove the Nazis into power.

I think the monument in Berlin is a step in the long over due acknowledgement and healing that all parties need to participate in to ensure this kind of horror doesn't happen again. It is so easy to see how lessons remain unlearned and nations still strike out at others in the name of moral good, religious certainty or pure evil.

After all the recent atrocities in the US, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Baltic region etc etc, it is easy to imagine that we haven't learned anything.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Whizz Kids

Great mention on Terrus for Whizz- kids. Click the link and Easyjet will donate 25p towards a fund for customised wheelchairs, tricycles and other specialised mobility equipment to change the lives of disabled children across the UK. My click returned "Thank you for your support. We have so far received 75410 clicks and raised £18,852.50" Not a fortune, but a great start.

Easyjet are one of the airlines recently lambasted for charging extra for passengers in wheelchairs to be escorted to the plane - so this feels like a good way to redress the balance. It only takes 20 seconds to click and donate so please click the site.

Christmas Countdown

It has been over a week since I have managed to up date the blog and what a week it has been! Work has been extra busy with the internal business plans for 04/05 hitting a few crucial deadlines. Seems to be coming together well though. I headed up another event and again the team received positive feedback, which is excellent considering I had been at work until 10 the night before finishing a presentation! As long as you mange to stay calm on the day no one knows about the chaos behind the scenes.

On Wednesday night I was pretty concerned as I started having heart palpations, which I haven’t had before. I had to get out of bed and try to calm myself. Never having had this before made me a little paranoid – you begin to imagine that you won’t get up again! Obviously, I did get up and zoomed straight over to a meeting at another hospital. I was still very aware of my heart all morning and felt as if I was constantly on a rollercoaster with my heart in my mouth. Once back at base I mentioned this to one of the nurses I work with. She checked my pulse and sent me straight over to the main hospital for blood pressure and ECG. Turns out my heart had been going a bit mad! Nothing serious – certainly not heart attack territory, more a symptom of everything that has been going on. I don’t think the two car accidents had sunk in and I pushed them aside with work pressures etc, now the big pieces of work are more sorted everything has come together to give my body a sign to slow down a bit.

I have tried to relax more, Thursday and Friday evenings were quiet nights in. Saturday we had a friend’s birthday to attend. It was fancy dress with a pop/rock theme. Desperate for a quick, easy and cheap costume I went as Justin Trousersnake – beanie hat, key chain, sports top etc. Not the most convincing but at least I was able to relax. It was a bit of an odd affair. There were no decorations, alcohol or food. Luckily we had brought 20 bottles of Stella, so managed to get into the party spirit!

Today is also the start of my last week at work!!!!!!!!!!! I finish on Friday until 5th January. 2 Whole weeks off! Of course there is Christmas, a wedding, travelling up and down the country and another assignment for my MSC to complete, but I cannot wait!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Urinal Etiquette

For something really bizarre check this guys urinal etiquette site, including a free urinal game if you scroll down to the bottom (so to speak) Urinal Etiquette - a game for all the family!

Leo's Lyrics Database - Avid Merrion - Proper Chrimbo lyrics

I am getting quite addicted to Avid merrion's 'Proper Crimbo' song. It should definitely be number one - not wrinkly old Cliff Richard. I especially like his Craig David- Falkcon-flying-bed-wetting character! First couple of verses for you to sing along with...(full lyrics here)

Come an sing with me, proper chrimbo,
I take you for a drink with me, proper chrimbo,
Hold up your Christmas tree, proper chrimbo,
So excited you might wee, proper chrimbo, proper chrimbo,

On the seven days of Christmas my true love came to me,
A peregrine falcon, proper bo I tell thee,
She had two trainers and a beanie hat,
A new set of headphones all shining black,
I didn't sleep that night,
For Santa to come,
I wet the bed, that's what I had done,
Cos Christmas time is the place to be,
I always wake up in a puddle of wee,
With a ho ho and a silent night,
A little chipolata I'll be feeling alright,
Turkeys on the table, which brings a crowd,
Celebrate chrimbo I tell thee all.

Transvestite potter wins Turner

Transvestite potter Grayson Perry has won the turner art prize. He produced vases depicting images of death and child abuse that has the usual controversial image that appeals to the turner prize judges. More on the story at the BBC. What is more interesting is the dress he wore to receive the award:

Christmas tidings

Feel like I am finally getting control of my life again. It has been a crazy time here with both car accidents and work being really full on. We are right in the middle of our annual business planning process which I have the lead for. This has meant a week of 12+ hour days, which I can only do for so long. I finished early on Friday after a big event and went home and straight to bed for an hours sleep. Just what I needed to stop me from shutting down completely.

We also managed to get a big chunk of Christmas shopping out of the way at the weekend. I know there are a million people who are smugly announcing how they had it all done in October – but they obviously don’t have much else on their plates. I still need to buy some presents for my boyfriend and brother, but that is pretty much it then. I haven’t gone mad this year as cash is a bit limited after the house and car, but we will still have a great Christmas. I have managed to get two weeks off which will be great, although it is only 2 weeks away I am beginning to feel festive and in full holiday mode. I will need to keep my nose to the grindstone at work before I finish though. I don’t want to be off thinking about all the work that will be waiting for me on my return.

Sunday was a more festive day. We decorated the tree, which looks great. It seems to be absolutely massive – at least six feet wide and it is like walking into a forest. The holly garland is on the mantelpiece, wreath on the door, lights and decorations are up. A full gay-boy Christmas with all the trimmings. I am sure my mother would be proud! It is important that the house looks good with people coming to stay, and more so as it is our first Christmas in the new house and we want it to be extra special.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Jay update

Back online after a few days off. I was pretty shaken on Thursday after the accident and spent most of the day on the telephone sorting out insurance and arranging a hire care, until I found out what the insurance company were going to do. Looks like the BMW is definitely a write-off which is a shame but at least no one was hurt.

So, Saturday boyfriend and me went off to look at new cars and ended up buying the Bora, ready for collection on Tuesday. I was feeling better and getting back to normal. On Sunday we decided to head into town to do some Christmas shopping as I still haven't started. Just got around the corner from the house when someone drove into the hire car and wrote it off!! I was in a state of total disbelief (and probably shock). Spent the rest of Sunday wrapped up in a blanket wondering ehat else could go wrong. I took Monday off work just to wrap my head around it all and sort out the hire car. Again, no one was hurt, but it seemed as if fate had in for me in some way.

Today I have picked up the new car and have been driving extra carefully around. I feel OK driving, but could really do with some extra time off to chill. Unfortunately, work is too busy for that so I have had to cancel my ticket for the wedding I was meant to go to on Friday and cancel my Masters course next week.

I think trying to do all those things on top of the hassle with cars and the work pressures could have pushed me over the edge!

I have really appreciated the comments from fellow bloggers. I know we are a detached community in many ways, but good to know others are looking out for you.