Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Three R's

No, not the three R's in the academic sense, but in the sustainability sense. I'll admit, I'm kinda stumped on this one. Recycling is cool... (I feel like I should put in a "herp derp" here).

I guess I've always grown up in a recycling home. We always keep a recycling cabinet and piles and piles of recycling ready to take to the center (which we don't do nearly as often as we should). We also do our best to make sure that as little of our waste goes to the landfill as possible. The one that drives me nuts the most is probably the aluminum cans, especially because there is one specific member of the family who has the majority of the pop and yet the cans only get crushed when *I* get so frustrated I can't stand it anymore!

Unfortunately though, I think my family is in the minority in the states. We Americans are very wasteful, and most people feel like the little bit they could do wouldn't make a difference. The problem then comes when EVERYONE thinks that and is lazy about it then it adds up. I think there is a movement to greener tendencies in the US, and I think it is growing slowly, and I guess that's what we have to focus on.

So yeah. Recycling? It's cool.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Socially Awkward Butterfly

It seems that I am very similar to Phanee when it comes to friends, although maybe not quite so shy. I mean, I am shy, and in the first few months of meeting people I seem to say all the wrong things and my skin is a semi-permanent shade of red. But I'm getting better. 

I am good at meeting people on a one-on-one basis, when I know most of the people in the situation or in a situation where nobody knows anybody, but if I am in the minority of knowing people then I become completely socially awkward. It feels like I'm invading something and that the existing friends have some kind of unbreakable bond which I shouldn't dare to disturb. Maybe it's stupid, but it's just the way things are in my head. 

Once I am your friend though, there is no getting rid of me. I have one friend who I was minor acquaintances with in primary school, especially as she joined in the last year, but now seven years after leaving she is one of my dearest friends, despite only having had school with her for that single year. And once I am friends with somebody then I always seem to slip into a deeply sarcastic phase and we hit a rocky patch, but once we're through that I become incredibly loyal. I can't explain why I am like this, but I've noticed this pattern in recent years.

Also in recent years, I've started befriending more boys. I definitely used to be a 'girls girl', but seriously, boys are so much more interesting and easy to be around. It's always more fun too. 

Anyway, I had better learn to be more confident and less of a sarcastic bitch, because come September I'm going to have to make a lot of new friends when I move to university. 




Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Friendly, but not so friendly

The thing is, I'm not a person who easily makes friends.

The reason for that being that I am incredibly shy.

When I say incredibly, I do mean incredibly. I am not kidding. More often than not, when I am introduced to a new person or to a new group, I am not the first one to start talking. I usually leave that to the others. So, what I am really bad at is making the first move. Which is definitely not helpful.

But if that new person makes the first move (which I should think is relatively easy, as I don't put people off just by them looking at me - or so I hope!), then I just open up! I can talk and talk and talk, to everyone's content and to someone's annoyance! Naaah, I'm just kidding! But it's true that I then find it much easier to get closer to a person; but they must make the first move.

That being said, I consider myself to have few very close friends, but loads and loads of not so close ones. I am quick to call people friends, mainly due to the fact that I don't dislike people easily and always try to find the best in them, thus elevating them to friend status (even if they don't consider me to be their friends). I suppose "friends" sounds better than "friendly aquaintances" (which is what they might technically be).

So, yep! That's me and my friends! Just a handful of really, really close ones and a bunch of "the other kind"!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

If I'm honest, I chose this topic coming off of a long weekend and it was the first thing that came to mind. I am still trying to kick my brain back into gear. Anywho.

The quintessential "they" always told us that there were two types of people out there: those who have lots of friends and those who have only a few really close friends. I am the poster child for the latter. Despite changing groups of friends several times with changes in school and work, I can probably count on one hand (maybe two, but the point is it's a small number) the number of people I would consider to really be friends. The rest are what I'd call friendly acquaintances.

What I was really interested in when I assigned "friends" as the topic, though, is what your friend dynamic is and what you do with your friends when you spend time together. Most of the time I like hanging out with my friends one on one, mostly because I'm not good at interrupting people so I feel like I can't get a word in edgewise. We generally hang out at the local coffee shop or a movie if we're going out. My favorite is when we stay home and have "study parties." They worked best when we were all living on the same floor in the dorms, and we could all just pick up our computers and find whatever space on the floor we could. Usually we'd stick a movie in that we'd all seen at least once, and we would all be working on something different, whatever we needed to do for our classes at the time. Apparently this is an unusual thing - I couldn't convince any of my friends in England to attend one because they "had too much work"... except the point is to get work done!

So yeah, that's me and my friends, or the IRL ones anyways. What are your friends like?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Back Another Day

The title of this post pretty much sums up British weather, particularly in the North where I live. The girls both say that they would want my weather, but to be perfectly honest, you wouldn't if you had to put up with it day in, day out. 

We are used to summers which are just rainy and terrible, but in recent years we have actually had sun, and, wait for it... heat. Grannies will have died from the shock of it. I love our summer months, weather wise at least. If only I had more plans to go out and enjoy the sun. In fact, there is the advert for some shop which aired a few years ago which really reflects the British attitude for summer, and if I can find it, I will link it

Winter is generally pretty crappy. It is cold and the whole country is waiting on tender hooks for snow. And when it comes? Nobody leaves their houses, and if they do something tragic will happen to them. Roads are closed. Airports shut down. Schools have snow days. Seriously, about two or three years ago when the rest of the world was mocking the UK for our inability to deal with snow, all of our youth crowded around radios while they were getting ready for school to see if they actually had to go in. Seriously, there was maybe two inches that first day. No matter how much snow there is, even just the thinnest of layers, you can guarantee that I will fall flat on my bum within two minutes of stepping out of the door. 

Spring is not a fun season for me, it is my second least favorite seasons due to the immense amount of rain. It's not called April showers for nothing. This year though, we had five random days of sun and heat. It was glorious. And then it was gone. Now we have rain and cold. I don't really mind the cold as much as I mind the rain. You see, I have naturally curly hair and that means that no matter how much time I put into straightening it, it will be half way curled by the time I have done my fifteen minute walk to sixth form. And the shoes! The amount of shoes I have to buy because they've started to smell like wet dog is ridiculous. Shops must love spring. 

I feel like all I have done is moan. I don't mean to. I'm usually pleased as long as there is nothing falling from the sky. I can stand heat better than most, and cold too. It helps that my house is always about five degrees worse than whatever is going on outside, so the real world feels nice and refreshing. 

Girls, feel free to come and enjoy our weather. 


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The lack of normal seasons is the rule

(source)

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Ah... How nice it would be if you were not so temperamental and you all lasted the same amount of time during the year....

Up until last year, I stood firmly in the camp of people who refused to believe that there is such a thing as seasons on the island of Crete. It's either winter, or summer. Nothing in between, except maybe for a few days in between, which in no way can someone say correspond to WHOLE seasons!

For as long as I can remember, we've had seriously hot summers and pretty mild winters. The thing is, that we never really had much of an "in-between" period. The weather went from being far too hot to being cold and vice versa. Mild temperatures and the such that accompany spring and autumn seemed to elude Greece.

But last year something happened. Something I really cannot explain. After a pretty hot summer, we actually had an "in-between" situation, where it was cool-ish and rainy and lovely and autumn-y! Then we had a lovely and rather cold (for Cretan standards) winter, which has now given place to a pretty mild spring! Delightful, let me tell you! It certainly makes a difference, when you can actually tell when one season gives way to the next!

The thing is that when we have particularly cold winters, they're usually followed by particularly hot summers.... Uh-oh. (Definitely NOT looking forward to that one...) We might not go below 0 degrees Celcius in the winter, but it's pretty much standard procedure that the temperature will be in the really high 30's and often over 40 for quite a few days. Yaaaaaaaaaay.   :-(

And, just like Anne, I belong in british weather, too... You always want what you can't have, as the saying goes. So let's see what the Brit of the group has to say on Friday!


Monday, 9 April 2012

Mother Nature is either bipolar or schizo

Bold statement, I know, but around here anybody would believe it! Kate assigned us to talk about seasons this week, and I'm pretty sure I have the most diverse seasons of any of us. [As a note for any international readers - I'm too lazy to do temperature conversions so they're all gonna be in Farenheit. There's lots of online temp. converters if you're that nosy =P]

 

The thing with seasons for me is that while I love at least a few days of each season, I'm not that big on the extreme ones in general. I would be perfectly happy with only a week of snow, and a week of the extreme heat, and then just spring/fall in between. I am generally happiest with temperatures between 60 and 75F with an average of 2 days of rain a week - typical spring/fall weather for us.

 

The problem with our weather is that winter is unbelievably cold - we regularly have 2-3 weeks of below 0 temps, sometimes without snow even. Then add the wind, and it feels almost 20 degrees colder. They actually canceled classes at the local university because it was so cold that any exposed skin would have frozen solid within 5 minutes. Those are the days I wish we hibernated in the winter, just so I wouldn't have to move from my bed.

 

Then we have the summer. Generally we stick around 80F and bright sunlight, excepting the occasional pop-up thundershower. To make things worse, the area I live in used to be right in the center of a huge swamp. Even though the water was drained off by settling farmers, the humidity stuck around, so while there's only a handful of days that actually get over 90F, the majority of them feel like it anyway.

 

And of course, then there's the bipolar/schizophrenic days. Most of the year is spent hopping from one season to another. Since mid-March we've been having weeks that are spent half in the 30s and the other half in the 70s. The joke that goes around town regularly is that if you don't like the weather, just stick around. It'll change in 5 minutes.

 

I really do belong in british weather, don't I? lol.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Break a Leg!

(I couldn't think of a title for this post)

I have never really been one to act, largely because I have stage fright. As a child I did the obligatory Christmas productions in primary school where I was always either an angel or a swan - the costumes being much the same every year. I never had to do anything, just stand there, so I was fine. Then my only other acting experience was in the year six production (I don't know how things work, but in the UK most primary schools have their pupils do a production of some kind in their final year). Here I played the Greek goddess Hera, and I managed quite well as I was actually relatively confident at that point. 

As soon as I started high school though, I never acted again because that stage fright I mentioned earlier started to develop around the same time. While I did not perform myself, I have always enjoyed watching plays and going to the theater. 

In the UK pretty much every theater in the country has a pantomime at Christmas (these are usually twists on classic fairy tales and always have three staple characters: Buttons (a kind hearted idiot), X's mum (X is the main character and their mum is usually played by a burly man) and a main character who is played by the opposite sex). For as long as I can remember I have seen at least one panto a year, even now when I am eighteen years old and most people my age have given up, I always find someway to see one. 

My favorite play has to be The King and I, which I have seen maybe five times in different theaters. I just love it. It was the first 'proper' play I went to see. Other than that my experience hasn't been too extensive, only seeing The Twits, Wicked and something else, but I forgot what it was called. It was good though. 

I love going to the theater and I wish that I went more. 


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Behind the scenes and in the audience

 A day late, but it's here at last!!!!

When I came up with the theme for this week's discussion, I thought we would all end up talking about our experiences when going to watch a theatrical production. But Anne took it into a whole different direction: actually being part of a theatrical production.

I've had my fair share of those. I've played both a cow and a dolphin in two different plays we did at school (do not laugh, I was only 7 and 8 at the time), but from then on, I usually chose to be in the sidelines: give me anything to do behind the scenes and I will do it for you. I feel much more comfortable being the person who organises stuff rather than being on stage. And that sums my theatrical career!

The thing with the theatre is that I didn't discover it properly until about 3 or 4 years ago. Living on an island means that we don't get big theatrical productions and you don't get any to choose from. We only ever get local productions (not all of which are very good) and the occasional "travelling thatre". The first time I went to a proper theatre was the first time I visited Athens. My (then) boyfriend took me to see a play that was supposed to be very good and I ended up absolutely loving it!

Since then, whenever there is a play coming to where I live, I take a good look at the cast, the plot etc, and if I am drawn in, then it means that I will definitely be going to see it. Fortunately, as I said before, they don't come here often, which saves me some money!

But the thing is: how can you not go to the theatre? Granted, not all productions are good, not all actors can build good camaraderie with each other and with the audience. But, when the actors are good, watching the actors acting in real time - live on the stage - can't compare to seeing them in a movie.

I really do admire people who can do that; go on stage and be someone else for 2 hours (even if it is their job). I'm far too self-conscious for that...


Monday, 2 April 2012

All the world's a stage!

Just as a warning - this entire post could probably go under "Things you never knew about me."

 

This week's topic, as assigned by Phanee, is "Theater." My theater career started at the tender age of 4, with the role of "fairy assistant" in the opera "Merry Wives of Windsor." What I remember of that is being excited that my dress matched the leading lady's dress. (I've seen pictures since. It didn't.)

 

For the next ten or twelve years I spent every summer either in the summer musical hosted by the local university or attending rehearsals for it if there weren't any roles for kids. Usually I was just in the chorus, but I didn't care. I was having fun! I even got a dancing role one year, in The King and I. If you've ever seen it, during the scene where the young wife (Tam...something, I forget) is putting on a show for the King, it's basically her narrating with dancers acting it out. The way we did it, we had 3 or 4 dancers being the change of settings and seasons - I was one of those dancers. I got to learn how to twirl pretty batons with ribbons and play with snowflakes on sticks. The only annoying part was that I was only on for like ten minutes in the show. *sigh* My favorite  summer musical I was in though, was probably Camelot. It was the first one that I was old enough to count as an adult in the cast and I had the prettiest dress for it! I wanted to keep it!

 

Once I got into Junior High or so (around 12) I started participating in the local youth productions. There, I got plenty of leading roles. I was a narrator in Charlotte's Web, a really big part, because of the whole paragraphs I had to memorize at once. I later got a major solo in one of the musicals, and.... something else, I forget.

 

After that, just about as I hit high school, I decided that while I enjoyed theater I wasn't that great at it, so I pretty much gave it up for my music. I played in the pit orchestra for 3 or 4 of the drama club productions, and a couple other local productions as well (I even got paid once!) Of course, I will always love attending theater productions, and I do hope someday to be able to join some amateur productions again.

 

So how's that for "Things you didn't know?"

Friday, 30 March 2012

Music and Lyrics

I like music. Stupid statement, most of us like music. That's like saying ''I eat meat'', it's only news if you don't. But anyway, as I was saying... I am not one of those people who think that music is their life, but I do enjoy it.

Like Phanee I rarely notice music on TV and in films, but I have this awareness that it is there. And occasionally I will pick up on it, like that one song in Life in a Day, but mostly I don't. A strange thing happened the other day when I was in a shop with my friend and I said, ''this song is in Remember Me''. I wasn't even aware that I recognised it when I watched the film. Oh, and fun fact: My teacher once told me that you will never find any film or TV show which will go more than ten minutes without using any music. Not true. In the episode of Buffy called 'The Body', there isn't a single second of music except for the title sequence. I am so proud of myself for realising this.

As far as my person taste in music goes, I don't really listen to chart music. It's so forgettable, even if it is catchy in the moment. Sometimes I do pick up the odd songs from the charts if they're played around me enough, but usually I stick to originals by YouTubers and songs from before I was even a twinkle in my mother's eye. I do like covers of chart songs too, when they are done acoustically. 

When I was a child I played the recorder, the guitar and the keyboard, but all were dropped pretty quickly. I had lots of hobbies as a child. More recently I attempted the ukulele but once mine went out of tune I couldn't be bothered to sort it out so that was that. More than making my own music, I like to listen to it live. I have been to numerous gigs and concerts (going to more and more every year). They're so much fun and I really love that moment when the artist goes off stage and the audience makes so much noise that it becomes unintelligible, but you can feel it all over your body, shaking your heart almost. So. Good.






P.S. I made a playlist the other day which features the following songs: Barbie Girl, Hey Mickey, Dragostea Din Tei (AKA The Numa Numa song), La Macerena, Poison, Blue and Karma Chameleon. When I mention my playlist, those are the songs which get reactions. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Music makes the world go round...!

Music makes the world go round,
the world go round,
the world go round...

So, this week's theme is music, kindly brought to us by Anne. It is a rather broad subject, which means I will probably have difficulty finding stuff to say.

Anyways... Let's start somewhere.

Just like Anne mentioned in her post on Monday, there are people who don't necessarily notice the background music when they are watching films. I am one of those people. I very rarely notice the music playing in the backround. It might register at the time, but I can never remember anything about it afterwards. But that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it. For me, a good movie sountrack is either very, very unique sounding or blends in with the film. There have been cases (not many, though) where I have been watching a film and the music they decided to accompany a particular scene with just distracted you too much from the scene itself, which I don't think is the point.

That being said, I do listen to many different kinds of music. I can listen to really bad Greek pop to classical music (Anne, you really must explain why it's a misnomer), all depending on the mood I am in at the time. Sometimes I need something to lift my spirits, so I listen to something silly! Other times, I feel like listening to a calmer song and I do just that. There are a few types of music that I really can't stand, though, such as heavy and death metal, but that's mainly because the singers shriek and scream. For me, that's not music. That's just noise. (I'm not saying this to offend anyone. It's just not something I enjoy.)

As for actually being able to play music, I've always been a little bit sad about the fact that I can't. I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but I never actually had any lessons. To be fair, though, we did have a small electric piano thing at home and I did learn how to play a few things on it by myself.... So, I guess it's not that bad! I do want to learn how to play the piano one day... Just for myself.



Monday, 26 March 2012

Story of my life *sarcasm*

So, funny story - I assigned music to talk about this week, and now I'm totally blanking on what to say. *sigh* Stupid blogger's block!

I think part of the problem is that music is such a huge part of my life. My dad is a professor at the local university, teaching Music Theory, so I really can't remember a time when I wasn't involved in something musical. Some of my most annoying memories of my father are of him quizzing me on who wrote whatever piece happened to be on at the time, completely by ear. I learned how to do it pretty well eventually, and I think it helped me as a musician, but it was still annoying.

Now, as a result, my tastes run a little more to the classical (which is a misnomer btw) side. My choice for music while I'm doing anything is generally soundtrack music, mostly because it doesn't have any words to it, but also because I love what that kind of music can do to people. I find it fascinating that many, if not most, people who go to the movies hardly notice the music at all, and yet it is so influential on a subconscious level that viewing the film without any music loses the enjoyment. (Talk about an awkward sentence! I am SO sorry, I'm obviously not at my best at the moment lol) I've done some research on the subject, and I hope to do more as soon as I can find the time.

Otherwise, I'm open to pretty much anything that has a tune I could sing along with. I have a few in just about every genre that I love and will listen to millions of times over. Pretty much everything else I'm okay with until I've heard it about 15 times in a day and then I'm sick of it (sorry, pet peeve on the radio station I'm forced to listen to at work showing there).

Oh, and another thing I love? Finding a song that is just PERFECT for _______. I love realizing that a song and its lyrics exactly describe a situation I'm trying to write, or a ship/fandom that I'm in love with. If I had the talent, I would have a youtube channel full of videos of fanvids, setting clips to my favorite tracks!

There you have it! My life in music =)





P.S. If anyone is interested, the soundtrack for writing this post is "Kayla" [link to a youtube version] from the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine because I have just discovered it through my Pandora and it is SO BEAUTIFUL!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Bonjourno!

Girls, I promise that I didn't pick this topic to spite you, I just want to holiday soon so I've been thinking back on my previous ones. As Phanee has said before, she can't really recall her childhood, and the same goes for me, my memory is terrible. The only holiday I really remember was my last one from two summers ago.

My mum and I went to Italy (my first time, her second or third). We stayed in Rome for 4 days and Sorrento for 3 days - and I really wish it were the other way round because Sorrento is my favorite place in the world (so far). Rome was stunning but it didn't really live up to the expectations I had of it. Mostly it was just really busy. 

As I said though, we also went to Sorrento and OMSVFTGFBSDCG! I want to go back, but I fear that it's going to way of Benidorm and that would just be so sad (Benidorm was once only a small fishing village, for those of you who didn't know). Sorrento is about an hour outside of Naples, on the coast of Italy and only a short train ride from Pompeii. I can't express to you how gorgeous this town is, but I urge anybody who gets the chance to visit it to do so. There are shops and restaurants in alley ways, there are street performers on the main strip, there are bars and an Irish pub for some reason. It has piazzas with children riding bikes and people shopping. And so many slushies! 

That was a bad description. But you should go. 


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

I wanna go travelling!!

As Anne also mentioned in her post, Kate definitely picked this subject just to spite us, seeing as none of us cam actually go anywhere right now (not even for a mini-vacation). Anyways... (Just so you know, Katie, this is not compalaning! We love you and I really do like the subject for this week, even though my vacation stories are virtually non-existent.)

The thing with travelling is that I am a horrible traveller. Whether we go by car, by ship, by train or by plane, you can guarantee that (at some point or another) I will get sick. (The woes of a sensitive stomach - not going to analyse it, though, so don't worry!) I love going places and seeing new things, and I have recenty come to the realisation that my stomach is the reason we didn't really go to many places when I was a kid.

We had a big family vacation every year, sometimes in England, sometimes in Greece, but always in the same places, so it's not what you would call very exciting. The first time I went anywhere on my own was this last September, when I went to Rome with one of my friends for 5 days. I had been to Rome before on a school trip, but it just wasn't the same. We ended up having an amazing time and I am hoping that we will be able to go somewhere else together in the future (though not so far in the future)!

I just had a thought, though.... Maybe that doesn't count, as - technically - I wasn't a kid then.... Hmmm... 

Oh, well.... That really is all I can think of... (As you may remember from a previous post, I cannot remember much from my childhood... Sad but true.)

Now, I wanna go travelling again............... 


Monday, 19 March 2012

Let's go on a journey!

I swear Kate picked this week's topic just to spite me. It's been far too long since I've been on vacation, and she wants us to talk about our favorites. Not only will I be sad that I'm not there now, I'll be sad cause I need it so bad!

Anyway, rant out of the way, I have a hard time picking my favorite vacation. We were always traveling when I was a kid, anywhere and everywhere. We never really did recurring vacations anywhere unless it was to visit family. Even so, I loved it! As a kid, I earned the nickname "the go baby" because all you had to do was say "car" and I was headed to the door.

So for me, a favorite vacation is going somewhere new. I love to go somewhere and spend time learning about the local culture and the nearby important sites. It obviously helps if the landscape is beautiful as well, but considering I live in the flattest place in the entire United States, if not the world, that's not all that hard to do.

Following that theme, probably the favorite I've BEEN on was my two week tour of Europe. A friend and I went over our spring break while we were studying abroad in England and went to 6 different countries and 10 different cities in the space of something like 14 days. It was so amazing to visit all the places I'd only heard about in history books, as well as a few I'd only heard of in passing from other travelers. I have about 30 bajillion pictures, some of which I still haven't sorted through, and most of which I can only caption with "I... thought it looked pretty?" because I have NO CLUE what it was.

But, I guess, the important thing about favorite vacations, is that you never settle for what you've already done, at least not for me. I'm always looking for the next vacation. And seriously? It can't come soon enough!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

When I grow up I'm going to be...

First of all, apologies for the late posting. I just forgot. No other excuses can be used.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a vet. I don't really know what kicked off the urge, but it's one which stuck with me right the way through primary school and high school, at least until I was about fifteen (in my penultimate year).

See, what happened here is that the school librarian told me that I wasn't smart enough for such a career choice. This broke my heart. I mean, while I wasn't the top of the class by any means, I was never getting lower than a B in any of my subjects at the time. I was completely crushed. Then I did a thorough search as the what grades I would need to actually become a vet and I was crushed again, because I really did need to be top of the class to even be considered. 

Quite quickly though, I moved onto the idea of becoming a psychologist, and that is still what I want to do. I am currently in the process of getting into university to get a degree in psychology. There is nothing else I want to do. 

To be perfectly honest, I am not the best person in the world when it comes to psychology, but I love it. Like Phanee said, you should do something that you really love and enjoy, so I am doing. 


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Growing up

First of all, I know that this post is a day late, but I was in a pretty bad state all day yesterday and didn't go online at all... But I didn't want to not post for a second time, so here is my post of the week!

Secondly, whatever you say, your story is much more interesting than mine!

On to my story now...

The one thing I am absolutely sure about is that I - for one - never, ever wanted to be a ballerina! I had a few girl friends who took ballet lessons, but they all started acting high and mighty after they started taking them. So, my young self associated ballet with pompousness (if such a word exists) and decided on the spot that she NEVER wanted to attend ballet lessons. Growing up, I realised that you can't judge a person just because they took ballet lessons, but then again, I was never really fascinated by ballet.

The only thing that I had ever pictured myself becoming while I was growing up was an English teacher. I always liked doing English homework and writing essays and reading books a lot more than I did with Greek homework. I seriously hated learning English grammar, so I have no idea why on earth I wanted to go to university to learn it all over again, but - to be fair - I was quite young then! I still like English, and I can teach it in an unofficial way (because I have the highest English certificate there is - from both the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan), but I think I'm more of a "speaking and listening" kind-of person, as opposed to a "grammar-Nazi".

The idea for biological research only surfaced in my last year of school. I had always liked biology and chemistry and, during the last year od school, we did some very interesting lessons about genetics: DNA, RNA, proteins, viruses, gene therapies, animal cloning etc. All that stuff just sounded so interesting, that I pretty much decided that I wanted to do something like that... Not necessarily cure cancer or anything like that, but actively doing science-y stuff!

That was 5 years ago. Despite many frustrations I've had over certain aspects of biology, I can honestly say that I have not regretted my decision!

My advice to you? Think about doing something you think you actually like. It will make a big difference if you end up doing a job you actually like! :)




Monday, 12 March 2012

When we were very young

So this week Phanee assigned us "What we wanted to be when we grew up." The sad part? For all I remember about things I did, I don't remember much about what I wanted. I remember wanting to be a ballerina when I was very little because I thought that's what all little girls were supposed to want. I took ballet lessons off and on for many years, but as I never took two years in a row, I got stuck on year one (and took it about 10 times) and eventually decided that wasn't for me.

So then, when I managed several years in a row of figure skating lessons, and got good enough to do several tricks, I decided I would be a professional ice skater. I even went so far as to dress up as a figure skater for career day one year (I think it was third grade).

After that, the next thing I remember is deciding in Junior High (like 13 or 14) that I was going to be a studio musician. Or at least I wanted to work on movie scores. And that got me all the way through college. Not really an interesting story, but that's the part of my childhood that I don't remember. Tune in later this week for the (hopefully more interesting) stories of the rest of us!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Positive about Politics... Mostly

Unlike my fellow PAKter's I am actually rather enthusiastic when it comes to politics - although I will readily admit that this may be down to a lack of education and experience. I am only just old enough to vote in the UK and I was really disappointed when the last General Election came around and I was too young to vote because I really wanted a say. Nonetheless, I took it upon myself to try and learn about politics at the time and what all the parties are about. 

The three major parties in the UK are the Conservatives (who are currently in power as part of a coalition with), the Liberal Democrats and Labor. I believe that Labor has been in power for the entirety of my life, with maybe the exception of the first few years and the present day. This made me resent this party because all I ever heard was that the country was going to sh*t (a charming expression), and obviously I blamed Labor for it. That said, Gordon Brown's speech when he was replaced by David Cameron was so perfect and I would have him back in a second.

What you may have gathered from what I just said is that I do not like David Cameron. That is an understatement. I didn't like anything about the Conservatives anyway but the moment his party decided to remove EMA (money which students are paid weekly when they're 16-18 if they meet conditions set by their schools) and triple university fees, I stared to despise David Cameron and his party. I consider myself a Lib Dem, if anything and I do not like that these two parties are in bed together. 

One thing the UK has which always livens up elections is the Monster Raving Loony Party, where the candidates costumes are just brilliant as you're hearing which party each constituency has elected. I'm not going to go on about this party but if you fancy a few laughs then I urge you to click the link above. 

Every now and then we here about corruption in the government but to be honest the UK really doesn't have it that bad. I like to think of us as that geeky kid in the corner of the room who always knows what is going on but doesn't really show off or do anything to get in trouble - in comparison to some over governments, anyway. One thing I'm thankful for is that despite everything, my country has an NHS and they don't shoot us all down in the streets just for thinking differently from those in charge. 


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The ruling idiots

It might sound a little harsh, but, in all honesty, I have very little tolerance for politicians. And politics in general.

I remember when I was in school and some of my schoolmates used to talk about the goods of a particular party or the bads of another one. The same thing, but to a greater extent, happened when I was an undgraduate at university. (The way I'm saying it I'm making it sound as if it were ages ago... I only graduated last year.) Especially at uni, people would come up to you and try to tell you absurd things, completely blown out of proportion, just to get you to vote for them in the student elections.

Because I was one of the few people who did not belong to a student political party and was not rude to their faces, telling them to shut up and leave me alone, I used to get into quite a few conversations. All of them inevitably began with them trying to ask me my opinion on something, and proceeded with them trying to make my argument sound stupid and telling me that I should support their opinion. Yep. Exciting stuff...

Going on to the bigger picture, we have country politics. As you may or may not know, Greece is in a pretty bad state financially. The government had to resign and the leading political parties of the Greek parliament (the Democrats and the Socialists) as well as the Radical Conservatives, decided to form an emergency government to get us out of the financial crisis. I don't know how that works exactly, but I am assuming it's all about the face that represents us to the world (and the world was not happy with our former Prime Minister). Which means, that we will probably have to vote for a new government sometime in the near future...

To which I say..... "Not again"

To me, politicians are people who say that they want to help the country and to play a part in getting it out of its dire financial state, but actually end up putting govenment funds into their pockets, sending them to offshore accounts and using up obscene amounts of money to have 5 armed guards and 2 great big 4x4's each, as well as ("supposedly") to help them cope with the stress of running a country. A great big pile of rubbish, if I ever heard any...

Hence, my irritation...


Monday, 5 March 2012

Politics, politics

Honestly? I hate politics. The only reason I assigned it as a topic this week was because I have to vote on Tuesday. Luckily it's only a school levy this time, so it's not particularly complicated.

The big issue coming up in America is the presidential election coming up in November. It's currently March and already the slanderous commercials have shown up on the television. I hate presidential election years, for exactly that reason. Some years it seems like the entire point of election commercials is to see who can hate the other guy more. Why is that what we base our leaders on?

While I don't condone the system, I don't have a better solution. I kind of understand it, because I spent quite a lot of time watching The West Wing. It seemed so much cooler when they did it. I kind of wonder if the politicians would look better if the media (and other politicians for that matter) didn't spend all their time looking for everything the other guys did wrong. I would much rather vote for someone who tells me how they're going to do things than someone who can only say bad things about someone else. I mean, really, how many of us knew that kid in high school that only ever gossiped about everyone behind their backs. Did any of us really like them? Probably not. And yet, that's who we want running our country? Seems backwards to me.

Anyways, that's my rant for the week. Here's to any politician who can figure out how to campaign without mudslinging!

Friday, 2 March 2012

A stupidly long list

One of my favorite quotes is 'Don't live for today, because then you'd be fucking crazy, but live your life like it's a story that you'd want to tell someone' (Philip DeFranco). I think this ought to be my motto because I have always been obsessed with living an interesting life and have been lusting after all of the things which I am about to list below. 


The following list has been compiled over the last few two years or so and has been edited many times since its origin. I'm only going to write the things I haven't done yet. 



  • Swim in the Devil's Pool
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro 
  • Get high in Amsterdam
  • Get drunk at Oktoberfest
  • Meet a YouTuber (known for vlogging)
  • Meet a celebrity
  • Volunteer or work abroad
  • Go to university
  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Really travel 
  • Take a picture of the stars
  • Get something published
  • See the 7 wonders of the world
  • Sail down the Nile in a felucca
  • Visit Iguazu falls
  • Hold a sloth 
  • Road trip across America
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Spend Christmas and New Years in New York City
  • Catch a firefly in an old jam jar
  • Travel across a desert
  • See a zoo animal in the wild
  • Fill my travel diary (an old leather-bound thing filled with real parchment)
  • Go to a sweet shop in Japan and try five random sweets
  • Go to Loy Krathong in Thailand
  • Swim in a lake
  • Own a cat or dog for the entirety of its life
  • Visit the fjords in Norway
  • Take a picture of a skyline 
  • Protest
  • Write in The Elephant House
  • Truly help somebody
  • Watch the Superbowl as it should be watched
That is a long list.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

On the weird concept of bucket lists

First of all, I must apologise for the lateness of this post (once again). I thought I wouldn't have pressing deadlines for while, but it all came to kick me in the butt... So, yeah... Uni is hard work, let me tell you.

Anyways, this week's topic is bucket lists. First time I ever heard of a bucket list was sometime last year when a little girl who has cancer made a blog about all the things she wants to do before she dies. And people started responding to it and helping all of her wishes come true. My first question, naturally, was "why do they call it a bucket list?". I didn't really care enough to find out and hadn't really thought about the whole concept until Kate chose it as our theme this week...

Which essentially means that I do not have a bucket list of my own. So, people, I will have to think of a few things just on the spot...

Taking a cue from Anne (and in the process, stealing some of her wishes) here are some things I would like to have/do sometime in my life:


1. Own my own house with a LOT of books in every single room! And definitely a study of-sorts, where I would have even more books!

2. Travel a lot! I live on an island in Greece and I haven't been to many other places in Greece, due to the fact that you always have that extra boat trip to the mainland (which is a bit of a pain). So, I'd like to go to other parts of Greece, to all the countries in Europe and I would definitely like to at least visit one place on every single continent! One place I really want to go to is Australia! It must be weird to have snowstorms in July and wear shorts at Christmas....

3. Have a job that I actually like doing. I don't fancy getting stuck in a tedious 9-5 job. Actually, I don't mind the 9-5... I just want it to be on something I actually like doing.

4. Go to a book signing. This one might strike you as weird, but foreign (non-Greek) authors don't really come to Greece (not counting Victoria Hislop). I don't want to have a conversation with the author (I'm rather shy and not very talkative), I just want to go to one of those meetings! They sound fun!

5. Since I've already met Kate in person (and hopefully will be seeing more of her in the not too distant future!), I really, really would like to meet Anne in person! But she is so, so far away..... Someday! I promise!


That's all I can think of right now. They're not really all that interesting, but then again, I've never given the matter much thought (if any)... I'm actually rather proud of myself for coming up with these 5!

Let's see what next week has in mind for us!


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

If I die before I wake...

ACK! It's 10:30 on a Monday and I haven't posted yet! Sorry in advance for the lateness, and shortness, of this post, but I have to get up early tomorrow so I really should already be in bed... (though in fairness, I do have a good excuse for not being with it this weekend =P)

Topic this week is from Kate, and she picked Bucket Lists. Unfortunately I've never done one, though I've always meant to. Yesterday, when I first saw the topic I thought I should just go ahead and make one up just for the post, since I wanted to anyway. Yeah, don't think that will be happening because it could take me hours. There is just so much that I want to do with my life. BUT! If I had a list it would include things like:

1) Set foot on each continent (current total 2) and each state (current total 24 + Wash D.C.) at least once.

2) Own a home/apartment with an entire room devoted to books/a library.

3) Live at least 1 year in a foreign country on my own (kind of already did this, but I don't really count it because I was still in school so they took care of things like a place to stay etc.)

4) Learn to at least read a language that uses a different alphabet than English.

5) Grow a plant without killing it.

6) Be a published author (either through research or fiction).

So yeah, that's my brief beginning of a bucket list. I'm sure I'll be adding to it, and one day, maybe I'll actually sit down and spend some real time thinking about it. For now though, that'll do.

Friday, 24 February 2012

My Name is Katie and I'm a TV Addict

The theme this week is TV shows as decided by our invisible member. I definitely watch too much TV, it has to be said, and what with me signing up to Netflix a few days ago that is only going to get worse. Right now, thanks to Netflix, I am really into Dollhouse. As I write this I am only about six episodes in but completely hooked. It is not Joss Whedon at his best but Dollhouse is still up there. I'm so sad it got cancelled after only to series. Joss is a brilliant writer, a fact which is obvious if you ever saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer which has to be my all time favorite TV show. It is just so good. 

At the moment I am watching The Big C, 90210, Shameless, Skins and Grey's Anatomy. They're all really good shows and I would recommend the American ones to most everybody and the British ones to anybody who could handle them because they aren't for the prudish. I recently finished watching Call the Midwife which was a British TV drama set in the East end of London in the 1960's, it was really good but sadly too short - as with many British TV shows. 

I tend to watch more hour long dramas than half hour sit-com's even though I enjoy both just as much. I desperately miss Friends being aired on E4 day in, day out because other than that I don't really like to just sit down and watch random sit-coms because I rarely know where it is at. That said, I am watching New Girl regularly and do drop in on Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement every now and then.

On top of all that I watch 'adult cartoons' when I'm trying to sleep because they are both entertaining and easy to ignore. For this I usually watch Family Guy, American Dad, Bob's Burgers, The Cleveland Show or South Park. One of these will be the next thing I watch, in fact. 

I'm going to have to go now and kill a queen bee which is hiding in my room. Bye. 


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Apologies of a TV series addict

First order of business...

I would like to apologise to each and every one of you (especially Kate and Anne) for not posting last week. I was so, so busy that I completely forgot I had a post to write and publish on Wednesday. I did remember on Friday, but it was a little too late by then. Anyways, here I am, awaiting my punishment...

And now on to the relevant to this week's topic part. TV series!!!

I am sooo sxcited about this topic! (I mean, I did choose it after all.) Anyways, I just have to tell all you guys what you might have already surmised from my post title. I am a TV series addict.

I'm not sure when exactly this came to be, but it's definitely been going on for a couple of years, since I first found out about How I Met Your Mother and started watching it over the internet. Don't get me wrong, I used to watch TV series before that, but not that many... I remember watching Friends (which I love, though I do believe that there must be episodes I have watched more than 5 times over the years), Grey's Anatomy (which I was only hooked on for a season), True Blood (which I used to watch with my friend, Penny), Lois & Clark (yes, the ancient one with Teri Hatcher!) aaaaand that's about it. There were some other series that had been on Greek TV, but I hadn't really been interested in them at the time. Prime examples are Smallville (which I watched for a while and then just got boring), ER (which I never got into), Ugly Betty (ditto), Two and a Half Men (ditto), Lost (which I seriously disliked - for no specific reason) and quite a few more, whose names I now cannot recall. (See my amazing use of the English language?? I am oh so sophisticated!).

But from the day I watched my first episode of How I Met Your Mother, I managed to watch the whole of the series that had aired until then in the space of a week. That means I watched four 22-or-thereabouts-episode-long seasons in 7 days!

The thing is that it didn't stop there. Once I started, I found I couldn't stop. So, I'm just going to do a list of what I'm watching right now:

(source)

- How I Met Your Mother

(source)

- The Big Bang Theory (where I used to have a small crush on Leonard... It's all gone now, though)

(source)

- Chuck (for which I have to thank Anne for introducing me to and let me just say, Zachary Levi is soooooooooooooo cute!!!)

(source)

- Sherlock (A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! And Benedict Cumberbatch has a pompous attitude to match his rather pompous name! I can't wait for the next season!)

(source)

- Psych (where I watched the 89 42-minute-long episodes in less than a month and promptly developed a rather weird crush on Shawn/James Roday, who shares my top spot of TV series crushes with Zach Levi)

(source)

- Castle (which I only just started)

(source)

- New Girl (which is so much fun! And I am so rooting for Jess and Nick to get together!)

(source)

- 2 Broke Girls

(source)

- Suburgatory (which is okay, though I only end up watching it when I want to watch something funny and upbeat)

(source)

- 30 Rock (which I am not really in love with, but it's still okay)

(source)

- The Office (Loooooove John Krasinski!)

(source)

- Once Upon A Time (Why, oh why did you kill him off??? Yes, him. Whyyyyyyy???)

So, yeah. That's me... Sounds like I don't have much of a life, doesn't it? Well, I assure you, I do. Just so that you don't get worried about me!



PS: It took me ages to write up this post... All those pictures and link-outs to the sources...

PPS: I have way too many TV crushes. Someone please stop me!

Monday, 20 February 2012

This week on...

OK everybody, pull up your comfiest chair, and get your cup of hot beverage of your choice (TEA!) ready. Phanee has assigned television shows as our topic this week, and let me tell you, we might be here a while!

Hi. My name is Anne, and I'm a TV show junkie, bordering on addict. I have been known to go through entire seasons of shows in the space of a few days. Seriously! We're talking like up to maybe ten episodes a day when I'm not busy. As you might imagine, that gives me quite a lot to say about the subject.

The thing about me and TV shows, though, is that I'm really picky. I think I've watched more shows about halfway through and given up than ones I'm currently watching and have finished combined! The other thing? I hate watching shows in real time. I'm not big on commercials in a show with a story. I'll sometimes sit and watch a cooking show, and I don't care about them there, but seriously, DO NOT just throw them in for tension right when the story is getting good! *glares at ABC execs* Instead, I prefer to just wait until a show is out on DVD or Netflix and go through the episodes all in a row, no commercials, hardly any breaks. In fact, the only drama I've ever watched from the beginning week-to-week as it's on is Once Upon a Time (currently airing Sunday nights on ABC... and CRAP I'M MISSING IT RIGHT NOW!!!! brb... *runs downstairs* OK, am now in position, will continue typing in commercial breaks *glares at ABC execs some more preemptively*) I have done plenty of talking about Once though, and if you're interested, you can hop over to my book blog and read all about it.

Since we don't have FOREVER to sit here and talk about all of the TV shows I'm obsessed with, how about a short list. At the moment I'm in the middle of watching things like: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Sherlock and Doctor Who. I also have about 15 shows on hold right now, and for the most part they're just shows that I've set down for the moment and haven't picked back up. Those include Psych, Will and Grace, Red Dwarf, Merlin, Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Smallville, Castle and Chuck. I've probably even forgotten a few. I've maybe finished two shows completely since I got into watching TV. I guess I'm just bad at follow through or something.

That's pretty much all I have to say. I mean, just about the only thing I won't watch is reality (as long as the show is good, at least). And if you don't want to be here all day... well yeah. Back to watching Once now! :) Have a nice week!

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Banes of my Life

As Phanee hasn't posted this week (at least while I am typing this on Thursday evening), it looks like Anne and I will have to think up a suitable punishment. Good look, Phanne.

Anyway, I have some pet peeves to talk to you about. This isn't really a phrase we use in the UK, as far as I'm aware, so my definition of the phrase is coming from an old episode of Friends and an understanding drawn from Anne's post. Basically, pet peeves are things which annoy us, right? I guess I can take a stab at this...

One thing which annoys me is when I come home after a day out or whatever and find a little note from the post man telling me that I have a package that went undelivered. This would not have made it onto the list were it not for the fact that this happened to me today. It's only really annoying because I have to wait to pick it up instead of just going straight over considering the depot is only down the road. Grr...

Okay, so things which actually annoy enough for me to pick them from the top of my head. Hmm... Definitely the weather, specifically weather in Manchester because OMGFWUBHJDSC WHY?! Just why?! It seems to always be raining, or if it's not raining then it's windy or the air is suspiciously moist despite the lack of fog. Do you know what this means for my hair? It means that all my hair straightening was for nothing and I` then get to look like a fool for the rest of the day. 

Another pet peeve definitely has to be sick people. And by that I mean people who have a cold and act like they're on their death bed. I get colds and I live with it, I don't even take paracetamol unless I have an exam or something the same day. I just get on with my life, but then you have those people who get a runny rose and behave like they've been shot in the arm - and boy do they insist on letting you know about whatever is ailing them. 

I'll just go now, because I could list annoying things for hours, but being the kind soul I am, I'll leave you all alone now. Bye.

P.S. Phanee, let us know you're still alive :)


Monday, 13 February 2012

What makes your teeth itch?

Hi there ladies! It's my turn to assign a topic again, and I've picked Pet Peeves.

Most of the time, I would say I'm a pretty even keeled person. I may notice every little spelling and grammar mistake you make, but I'm not going to be upset, just make sure you're aware of it. I may not enjoy the sound of nails going down a chalkboard, but instead of flying off the handle, I just leave. But there are two areas that really drive me nuts and belong in the pet peeve category.

Number one is stupid drivers. You know, those people who cut you off or drive 5 miles below the speed limit for no apparent reason or just seem absolutely fixed on being in the way no matter what you do. I know most people probably don't realize they're doing it, but if we could all just be nice and share the road, we'd all get along I promise!

And the second big one? People who make scenes in public. Some people, when they get really upset about something, feel the need to let the entire world know about it. Especially if it involves another person who happens to be right there and can be shouted at immediately. It makes me so uncomfortable to watch someone fly off the handle in a place where they can be seen and heard by anyone who happens to be walking by. Call me old fashioned, but if you're going to have a breakdown like that, I personally think you should go find somewhere private to cool off before rejoining the rest of society. If that's not possible, then just bite your tongue until it is. I know they say not to bottle up your anger, but trust me, later you'll regret a lot of the things you said (we all do when we get angry) and the more people that hear you the worse it will seem.

Otherwise, it's pretty easy to keep me happy. Let me do my own thing, and I'll let you do yours!


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Not Quite as Healthy as I Like to Think

As the other girls have said, I picked this weeks topic of 'health', a very broad subject with many different subsections. Both Phanee and Anne discussed physical health, so I'm going to stick to their line and discuss my physical health. 

I live in England, a beautiful, beautiful country which provides free health care on the NHS for everybody. I could not be more pleased because the idea of paying for health care is a terrifying thought and my biggest off-put for not wanting to move to America (because otherwise I would be there in a shot). Living in my lovely NHS having England, I kind of abuse the system and go to the doctors all the time. I blame my current friends, because I didn't used to do this, but the people I spend the most time with now all go to the doctors on a semi-regular basis.

Don't get me wrong, I don't go every time I cough, sneeze or have to wipe my nose, because that would be stupid. When I was younger I went to get my spots sorted out, it could never be considered serious acne, but I didn't like them so I went to the doctor about it. Other than that, every time I've been has been for something 'serious' or perceiveably serious. 

Three years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS which basically means I have broken ovaries. It's nothing too bad, just makes conception a bit harder than it ought to be and means that every now and then I get a horrible pain which lasts between one minute and about two hours. Joy. 

I'm also very prone to getting colds and have only ever one been to the doctor about it because one lasted six months. Six months! My runny nose was like a faucet (lovely imagery for you there). 

As I mentioned earlier my friends are big fans of the doctors and whilst I don't make as many trips to the doctor as they would, I am a huge fan of Doctor Google. The only thing is, Doctor Google isn't a fan of me. He insists on telling me that I'm going to die. I mean seriously, I stubbed my toe, I am not ready to start planning my own funeral. 

Now I can't think of anything conclusive to say so... bye


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Treatise on Weird Stomach Problems

To begin with, I agree with Anne. This has to be the broadest topic we've discussed here... But then again, it is a very interesting one, seeing as each one of us is different and has a body that responds to similar conditions in completely different ways.

I have never been the kind of person who rushes to the doctor the minute I feel sick. I always wait and see if it will go away on its own and - if it doesn't - then I do something about it. That goes contrary to what a lot of Greek people do (and I am referring to Greek people because that's the environment I grew up in). They tend to overdramaticise everything and rush to the doctor's, even if the only symptom they have is an sore throat and a bit of a cough. It's pathetic really. My ex-boyfriend was one of the worst of the lot. If his body temperature so much as went over 37 degrees Celcius, off to the doctor's office it was...

The thing about Greece is that it actually used to have a pretty good health system (and I'm saying used to because of all the budget cuts that have been happening with the crisis, the health department has been suffering quite a bit). We used to be able to go to whichever doctors we wanted, get all our money back from the government and also get back about 75% of the money we spent on prescribed medication. Things nowadays aren't really that bad, but they're definitely worse than they used to be, so I think that people are going to (out of necessity) stop going to the doctor for every silly little cough and irritating runny nose.

But anyways, I digress.

I have to explain the title of this post.

I am generally a rather weird person when it comes to health. There have been many years when I haven't been plagued by a single cold (not one case of the runny noses all year round!), but there have also been years when I have had colds back to back to back to back etc etc etc. Well, the really bad case has only happened once, when I was actually full of cold for all the three months of winter (maybe even a little longer). Let me tell you, it was not fun.

But there is one thing that I can count my body to be consistent upon. Stomach problems.

Ever since I was little, I distincly remember having more bouts of gastroenteritis than anyone else I've ever known. Seriously. It was ugly, people. My stomach really is extra, EXTRA sensititve and very, very unreliable. As soon as someone I know gets gastroenteritis, I usually get it myself. As soon as I get anxious, I cannot eat, feel sick all the time, am actually sick sometimes and have to take pills to calm my stomach down. I am an awful person to have on a long drive, because windy roads make me sick. I'm okay when I'm driving, but that's only because I have to focus on the driving part. I also get sick when I sit in the middle seat in a car. I have to be able to have a window next to me, so that I can open it the minute I start feeling queasy. I also get indigestion pretty easily.

Yep! Wonderful things, I know! One time, I actully didn't participate in a competition because I made myself so sick with worry and anxiety (over something that I was just going to do for the fun of it!) that I could not go in.

And to end on a positive note, I also have a pretty weird cough, due to the fact that I contracted the "Whooping Cough" disease, despite having been vaccinated against it. For those of you who do not know what it is, you can see HERE. It's also called Pertussis, or the "100 Days' Cough". Yes, I assure you this is correct. I was on cough medication for four months (and I absolutely refuse to take that particulat cough syrup ever again), I kept choking and I even coughed in my sleep. Now, wasn't that a positive note?? *winks*

Phanee, out.

PS: 'Scuse the extremely long post!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Health is a luxury

For this week Kate has assigned us the topic of "health." Talk about a broad topic! You can talk personal, political, global, you name it. But, since I'm not one for politics, and the last experience I had with global health was my global health class sophomore year, I'm gonna go with personal.

I have been told, many times, that I have a killer immune system. I can eat pretty much anything and not get sick - I've accidentally eaten mold, bugs and lots of dirt off of the vegetables dad brings in from his garden. The most awkward was biting into a piece of melon and a few seconds later feeling something creepy-crawling up my tongue - BLECH! Add to the fact that I am allergic to only one thing (far as I know) and short of poisoning it's practically impossible to make me sick off of food.

But that wasn't what really got me the title of "most effective immune system EVER." The thing is, I don't get sick. I'll admit, I'm not the best at making sure I always wash my hands. In fact, I'm probably a germophobe's nightmare when it comes to cleanliness. But it doesn't matter. I don't get sick. The last time I was sick enough to go to the doctor was due to a stress related injury. The time before that? I don't even remember, but probably before high school. Sure I catch the occasional cold, but 2-3 days of coughing and feeling miserable and I'm back to normal life. Even things that had my friends out for a couple of weeks would only cause me a minor inconvenience. Guess I'm just lucky like that.

Really, though, I'm extremely grateful for my good health. I have the misfortune to live in a country where health insurance is extremely expensive. I have a part time job which is not required to provide me with any health insurance and I'm trying to save money for going back to school, so it's kind of important for me to stay healthy. Here's hoping my good luck stays with me, at least for a while!