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:


- How I Met Your Mother


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


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


- 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!)


- 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)


- Castle (which I only just started)


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


- 2 Broke Girls


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


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


- The Office (Loooooove John Krasinski!)


- 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!

Friday, 3 February 2012

The End is Nigh... But Not Really

Apparently I live in the tamest place in the world because natural disasters really don't happen in England - we just get the occasional natural inconvenience. Now don't get me wrong because I obviously prefer my house standing rather than it being a crumpled mass on the ground, but it is a little boring. 

Phanee mentioned that England only gets an earthquake every decade or so, but I beg to differ. At least once a year I am asked if I felt 'it' last night. Usually I respond with 'no' and have to ask what 'it' is. They are earthquakes usually and they seem to creep up only in the middle of the night and don't move so much as a feather, but they do happen. And ever few years they even get reported on the news. 

We don't get tornado's like Tornado Alley does, either, but we do have our own mediocre version of a plastic bag blowing in a circle in the wind. It may not be impressive, but it's the closest we get to a natural disaster. 

What we do get a lot of here is flooding. I can use my geography knowledge now, because I took that last year, and say that it happens as a result of urbanisation as the surface run off water at times of high precipitation has nowhere to go but on land because we've plastered everywhere up with concrete so that the earth can't absorb any moisture. I am actually I surprised that I managed to retain that information. So yes, we get floods. Not me, the largest body of water near me is a canal and I've never heard of one of those flooding, but England does flood a lot in places with stupid names like Cockermouth. 

I have to say that despite how much I complain about the wind and rain we get, particularly in Manchester, things aren't really as bad as it could be if I lived elsewhere. My geography teacher told me that geographically speaking, the UK is one of the most stable and safe countries to live in because of wind patterns and whatnot. I wasn't really listening so I don't remember properly, but yes. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Shakey shakey!

As you will have seen from Anne's post on Monday, it was me who chose the theme for this week's discussion: natural disasters. There actually was a pretty good reason I came up with that idea, though at first it might seem pretty random.

The reason being that in this last week we have had over 40 smaller earthquakes, as well as 5 pretty big ones. Well, not "pee your pants" big, but ones that you could definitely feel and which shakey shakied you.

As you also might remember from my first ever post on this blog, I live on an island called Crete, which just so happens to be on the edge of two tectonic plates: the European one and the African one. Essentially, what that means is that we get earthquakes all the time (though we don't necessarily feel them all). It's not even really much of a problem with the ones we do feel. They shake around for a little while and then, they stop. Granted, sometimes they shake around for just a little longer than they should, or they shake in an up-down motion, which is much scarier than the left-right one for some reason, but they're still manageable. You just stick yourself under a table or a desk for a few seconds and you're all right.

Just so that you don't get the wrong sort-of feel, earthquakes here DO NOT resemble all those very scary, very, very, very powerful earthquakes that happen in Japan. No. Fortunately no.

There is a tad of a problem though. We have a volcano in Greece and it's on a small island pretty close to Crete. If you've ever heard of the Minoan civilisation, you might also be aware of the fact that the Minoan civilisation was destroyed when the volcano on the island of Santorini erupted and brought an tsunami-like wave splashing onto the north coast of Crete. Now, let's get back to modern day Greece. After all those earthquakes, we started hearing things on the television and the radio about the volcano "awakening" from its relatively dormant state and possibly leading to the formation of large waves (that would of course just head straight to Crete). Fortunately, no such thing has happened and I do hope it won't happen. It sounds too scary...

So there you have it. That's what you get when you live in one of the most seismogenic areas in the world (excluding Japan, of course). No fancy tornadoes (though I do think I once saw something that looked like a mini-tornado in the sea - not sure what to call it) and definitely no blizzards, but we do get more than our fair share of earthquakes.

I always find it weird though, how my Mum even manages to cope at the level she does (which is not much, to tell the truth). She grew up in England (where earthquakes happen maybe once every decade or even more) and she decided to move right on the verge of two tectonic plates, with earthquakes once every 4 months (when things are normal). Weird.

PS: Do you realise it's actually the 1st of February??? Time seems to be flying by....!