Thursday, December 27, 2007


I have been ill since Christmas Eve. There is nothing that blows in quite the same way as being ill the one time of year that its considered publicly acceptable - nay, TRADITION - to stuff one's face, get pissed and pass out on the sofa by 3pm in front of a crap film for a few days running, depending on how hardcore you are.

I woke up on Christmas Eve feeling a little woozy and chilly but I figured I'd just picked up a cold. As the day went on, it got a little stronger but I still went and did a little shopping, picked up some flu drugs and cough syrup, figuring I'd be fine. Once the drugs had kicked in, I felt fine enough to get through the evening, eating absurd amounts, mixing drinks and other activities that generally count as a good time.

But Christmas Day? Oooh, Christmas Day. Hell hath no fury like head flu ignored. And so I have stayed ever since, making a brief appearance to eat lunch before passing out again in my bed. It blows. I was meant to go down and stay with my boyfriend's family for a few days today; no longer. I really wanted to go, more so now that I've been trapped in my room for three days.

Unfortunately, the cough syrup I've been taking has not agreed with me, I still have a loud and throaty cough that can be heard for miles, no appetite or hearing. Ever since I was little, I've had issues with my ears, nose and throat. One of the ongoing issues is that whenever I get flu, my hearing goes to the point where I can barely hear anything. Annoyingly, it takes about a week for it to come back fully so for a few days, it's like I'm swimming underwater constantly.

Okay, I agree that me bitching about being ill can hardly be considered entertaining or even vaguely interesting but it's not like there's anything good on TV. Hopefully, I'll be better tomorrow then I can venture out, have a minor adventure and come back here with it. Or maybe not. We'll see.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I can't figure out which my dogs hate more; me, for dressing them up or the hats I dressed them up in.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

'The Girl Upstairs'

Okay, mini rant time. As an intern, I understand that there will be times where I am treated like shit. However, what I do expect is to be referred to by name when this happens. Then, at least I know that the person treating me like shit has done so with enough reason.

However, there is one person in my office who steadfastly refuses to learn my name, even when calling me about an email I sent round the office enquiring about a work related matter. The email had my name at the bottom and still this person insists on not bothering. When instructing a fellow colleague to do something she should've done in the first place, she then deligated that said colleague should pass on a message to me, dictating what I should do. Again, no name reference. Instead, I was referred to as 'The Girl Upstairs'. Well, you know what? This person can suck it as far as I'm concerned.

I don't work for you.
I don't work for your department.
And I certainly do not work for someone who (despite working in the same office as me for several months) cannot be bothered to refer to me by name because they consider themselves too superior to bother even finding it out or reading it off a computer screen.

Blow. Me.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Blargh. Argh. And more X-Factor.

I'm not entirely sure why but tonight for the first time in a year, I decided to update my myspace page. I haven't touched it in a very long time but I guess as I fall into a foul mood caused by the general ruins of everything else around me (ooh dramatic), I figure the only thing I can control is my damn myspace. How pathetic, you must be thinking. I am too. I should be preparing for tomorrow but I find myself in a procrastinatory coma where I can't think about the things I should be doing instead of wasting time.

But at least I'm actually motivated to blog. However, I will not be exploiting my current state of mind for that kind of entertainment. Besides, there is nothing in particular that has put me in this mood, it's just a general contempt that will undoubtedly lift shortly. On with the show.

As you've undoubtedly noticed if you read, listen to or watching anything with vaguely newsworthy substance, X-Gate carries on with 700 people now having lodged official complaints with Ofcom. At that level of complaint, they'll be obliged to investigate and waste lots of money only to tell us that there is no scandal. And then there'll be cries of a cover up.

My mother actually added her own thoughts on the matter today. She too read Chart Throb and like me, has a streak of cynicism about her now when it comes to the show. As she pointed out, there is the possibility that this is all a rig in order for Simon Cowell to make even more money out of the shows. Leon will get a £1 million record contract but Rhydian has already allegedly signed with Simon Cowell and SonyBMG. Simon can milk two separate audiences from one show. Hurrah!

Aging is bringing out my cynicism nicely. I promise I will stop blogging about X-Factor too. It's getting unhealthy. I should start conserving my energies for the new Big Brother.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

What. The...? Aftermath

After my unexpected rant about X-Factor last night, I was not surprised today to discover that there are a lot of other sceptics out there. Whereas once upon a time a public outcry over a reality TV show would've made a few ripples and maybe have got a mention on the parent channel's news, the effects of multiple voting and competition scandals have rocked the big cash cows that are interactive viewer participation.

When even Blue Peter got caught up in it - twice, no less - you were guaranteed that even the cosiest naive fool was left feeling slightly suspicious of anything remotely riggable. So, no surprise that today's entertainment websites such as Heat World published stories about it and almost equally as little surprise when the news programmes and radio stations picked it up with plenty of people claiming they tried to vote for Same Difference and Rhydian. While those who voted for Same Difference deserve not to have their votes counted (at least, in my opinion), the fact that there was as little as 1% at points between Leon and Rhydian makes me very curious. Still, it's nice to know that Rhydian has already been scooped up by Simon Cowell and SonyBMG for a hopefully successful future.

Of course, by now, you're probably thinking that I'm some X-Factor junkie shut in who has dyed her hair white and had it cut into a Rhydian style quiff, from all of the gushing I've done the last two nights. Rest assured dear reader, this could not be further from the truth. As I mentioned last night, since reading Chart Throw, I can't take the show seriously. I have instead watched the last few weeks with a morbid fascination.

Thank God the show is over for a few months and I can now redirect my cynicism elsewhere. Quite where is yet to be decided, perhaps a anti-consumerist one will soon appear after I once again try to tackle the christmas crowds in order to complete my shopping. We shall see.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

What. The...?

When I was in Cyprus a few months ago, I took too few books with me and ended up reading the ones that my boyfriend had bought with him. One of the books was Chart Throb by Ben Elton, a satirical view of X-Factor style shows. I've never really believed that reality shows are all that real but after reading Chart Throb, I could no longer watch X-Factor (which I'd never really been all that into past the initial rounds full of weirdos) in quite the same way.

Suddenly, I doubted everything. If a particularly good finalist got kicked out and an awful one got to stay in, I questioned everything - song choices, sets, voice overs, EVERYTHING. And I quickly got sucked into the show as I had never been before.

For last night's final, I was rooting for Rhydian. Most people I knew were too. Let's face it, Leon is easy on the eye but doesn't have a very strong voice and Same Difference project something creepy and far too Stepford Wife-ish in an incestuous way. I don't think their case was helped in my eyes by the fact that every performance included children doing incredibly cheesy things. Once upon a time, in a more innocent age, this could've been cute. Unfortunately modern society's obsession with all things hysterically paedocentric, to the point where parents may no longer film little Timmy making his stage debut as 3rd donkey in the class nativity play, their entire performance smacked of something slightly Michael Jackson-esque.

So, no real surprises when they were booted off for endless panto appearances, leaving Leon and Rhydian sweating it out. I thought it was in the bag for Rhydian - own slightly weird but cool image to appeal to the younger crowds, allegedly good moral values to please the mums and right wingers and a bloody good voice. But then, as I mentioned before, Leon is easy on the eye in the most conventional of conventional ways. His voice may not be powerful like Rhydian's but it can be tweaked by an engineer and he can smoulder on a couple of single covers, maybe an album, and then fuck off back to obscurity with enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life, providing he doesn't pick up pretensions or a coke habit along the way. And of course, the fact that those vote tend to vote for shows like X-Factor are 14 year old girls.

Whilst I am disappointed for Rhydian, I suppose part of me knows that he'll go on to have a good career in a more grown up market despite losing out. He has enough talent and interest about him to carry on.

I must say, I'm not entirely sure what has led me to write one of the longest posts I've written for some time about the X-Factor, let alone with the air of injustice that I'm sure I've been radiating. I suppose I blame Chart Throb in part, as I mentioned earlier. The day after I finished it a funny and totally coincidental thing happened. I was flicking through a copy of the The Mirror that had been lying around by the pool of our hotel when a tiny 2 inch side column caught my eye. The blurb was a small piece featuring Louis Walsh confessing that the houses that the judges had taken their groups to were in fact not their own as presented on the show. The fact that this very scenario was presented in the book made me laugh but also made me begin to consider the satire as perhaps more knowing that Ben Elton realised at the time he wrote it.

Anyway, enough pontificating about the X-Factor. If I spent half of the effort I do analysing reality TV as I do on this blog, I might actually post more than once a month.

At least X-Factor's done for the season.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two week synopsis

I'm terribly sorry, I meant to blog from San Francisco but the definitive lack of a laptop or internet cafe meant that for a week I was there, I was forced to loiter in the Mac store round the corner from my hotel in order to check my email and facebook. I didn't think I'd be able to get away with a blog comfortably and besides, there was shopping to be done! At the current exchange rate, I'd have been a fool not to. Oh and I also had to take the opportunity to eat Panda Express' Orange Chicken as often as humanly possible - which was a lot.

Then I came back, got thrown head first into complete chaos at work, mixed with jetlag which meant that for the first time since I was ooh about 11 I was in bed by 10 each night. Usually, I can't get to sleep before midnight but clearly all of the time zone changes took their toll on me and I found myself propping my face up on my hand every day for a week.

I recovered just in time for my birthday which was on Saturday. I am now at the grand old age of 24 and creeping ever closer to a quarter life crisis. But more about that next time, when I can keep my eyes open, along with the possibility of more photos with which to bore you all.

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