Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas

If things on here have come to a screeching halt, this little person is the reason. Our daughter, Julia Sophia, was born on the 15th of December. More later when I've managed to extricate myself from her hungry little mouth and or the breast pump. Ah the joys of motherhood... .

Photo: Mags Arnold

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jodie Marsh is getting divorced

(Image removed at request of owner)

According to Holy Moly,
Jodie Marsh and Matt Peacock are getting divorced after three months of marriage. Continue reading.

Who can forget that worthy of a Bafta (or 10) television experience that was 'Jodie Marsh - Who'll take her up the aisle?' or the media frenzy that was the wedding itself?

Yes, I'm totally shocked. Didn't see that one coming at all.

Source

Is it a pig? Is it a sheep?


And no, this little piggy is (thankfully) not a product of one of those weird lab animal hybrid cloning experiments. According to Yahoo News, this is a Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig, which is thought to have died out in the UK in the early 1970s. A litter of seven piglets has been born with curly coats in Lincolnshire, bred from pigs in Hungary. Continue reading

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Transsexual cellulite and other news

OK, I'll admit it was a weird instinctual reaction, but this photo of Amanda Lepore (taken at Marc Jacobs' Arabian Nights themed Christmas party last night in NYC) made me kinda happy. It's such a relief to see that even transsexuals, who often put biological women to shame with their figures and the amount of effort they put into their appearance, can have cellulite. Source

In other news:

Photo: Dlisted

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

British women are fat and unkept, apparently

There's an article on the Daily Mail website by an American male screenwriter who maintains that American women are better kept and subsequently more attractive than their English counterparts. Lack of grooming and over eating are apparently just some of the things to blame.

It's a stupid claim because I think things like grooming and style are more influenced by factors such as how much people earn, the industry they work in, and if they live in big cities or small towns. It's true, while visiting New York in the past, I have commented on just how well kept the women there are. But trust me, I've also visited some places in America where ladies consider a tracksuit, scrunchie, and flipflops glamorous evening wear, and pre-book the super size seat in the cinema.

What did make me laugh though was one of the comparative pictures they used to support the story, i.e. the above one of Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter. Helena Bonham Carter? The woman is infamously dishevelled and constantly makes the 'What were they thinking?!?' fashion blooper pages here in the UK. You could put a picture of her next to one of a black-toothed psychotic hermit that lives in a cave somewhere, and the cave-dweller would still probably win in the style stakes.

In our defence, I think us Brits need respond with just two little words: Britney Spears. Enough said.

Photo and source

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dexter


It's not often that an actor successfully transfers from one hit TV series to another one, and does as good, if not an even better job of it. For fans of the Michael C Hall character in Six Feet Under, I highly, highly, recommend you watch Dexter. And even if you weren't a big fan of Six Feet Under, I still think you should check out this new TV series.

In my humble TV addict opinion it's simply must-see TV. It's shot beautifully, the cast, even supporting actors, are superb, multi-dimensional, and well chosen, and the story makes for some compelling stuff.

Hall plays Dexter, a blood spatter specialist with Miami PD by day and serial killer (with a purpose) by night. The double life he leads and subsequent conflict (both inner and in terms of practical complications) it causes for him, form the central premise of the show. But this is so much more intricate than a simple Jekyll and Hyde storyline.

Hire it or buy it on DVD - and sit back and enjoy over the cold Christmas holidays.

Official site here though I'd avoid it as it contains spoilers which will definitely ruin the progressive plot line that is intrinsic to the show.

Photo: IMDB

Tuesday roundup


On a personal note, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone for their emails, facebook messages, texts and calls wishing us good luck with the birth of our baby. Our official due date is Sunday the 16th / Monday the 17th of December, so not long to go now.

Today I'm actually waiting for the plumber as the hot water in our bathroom isn't working. This would normally be a pain in the ass, but it's doubly so as I want to use the bath as a way of coping with early labour at home. So fingers crossed those guys get it sorted asap, or at the very least before my own waters break.

Photo

Monday, December 10, 2007

Infamous techy qoutes

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with
the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what ... is it good for?"

Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.,1977

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

Bill Gates, 1981, commenting on size of RAM in computers

Source

How to pull at the office party


Three out of five British women have admitted it was extremely likely they would do "something they'll regret" at the seasonal shindig.

Workers classified as 'mature and married' were most likely to misbehave, followed by anyone working in accounts.

Another recent study says one in four people have had sex in a car park after the office do.

I always knew those people in accounts were dodgy.

After siting these made up frightening stats, the Daily Mail advises what the best way to pull at your upcoming Christmas party is. For those of you with your sites set on your boss, the article includes this invaluable nugget of advice: "On the flip side, you have to make sure he knows that if he returns your advances, you aren't going to sue for sexual harassment."

Were it not for the fact that at 9 months pregnant I'd be more likely to be sued for physical assault if I tried to launch myself on my boss (if I had one) or anyone else for that matter, I'd feel super confident attending any festive bash with this useful advice.

Source and photo

Friday, December 07, 2007

The debt diet


I think we've all been in a position at some point in our lives, if not currently, where the amount of money we owe on a credit car, our mortgage, or even to a friend, has us waking up in the wee hours in a sweat. It's a terrible sensation, and you feel as though your pay cheque just about covers the bills (and not even all of them), and there's nothing left for you to enjoy.

What's worse is that credit card places are a bunch of bastards. They like people who cannot pay their cards off in full each month, and keep offering to up your limit. Sounds good until you see how much interest you're paying on top of what you owe.

I once took out one of those brilliant-sounding 'consolidate your debts with one easy payment' things. Sounds like a heaven-send doesn't it? But again, as any smart girl should know, nothing is for nothing, and when you work out how much you are paying back on top of what you borrowed, it's not so nice after all. And what's worse, a lot of these places have a fee if you want to pay off your debt early. Yes, because god forbid they lose out on the interest they're screwing you with.

They had these financial experts on the Oprah show this week, and the fact is there are all sorts of ways and means to (a) get yourself out of debt - though be warned there are no quick fixes, (b) how to stay that way, and most importantly (c) how to save money.

The last of these, saving money, isn't really something you think about too much in your early twenties, but as you get older and look at the fact that you have been working for x amount of years and don't actually have any savings to show for it, well it's quite scary. Also, you only have to look at how elderly people struggle these days to know it's not a good idea to lean on the idea of pensions. You have got to start saving, and the sooner, the better.

I don't consider myself particularly money-savvy, or rather, good with finances, so it was a relief to see that you don't have to go to a financial expert (and pay more money) to get good solid advice. That's the good thing about the Oprah show, she has these world-class experts who come on and give their advice for free - OK and probably to help sell a few books too. But really, why not take advantage of it?

If you want to learn how to sort out your debt or even just to work smarter with your money each month, check out the step-by-step debt diet guide here.

There's some really useful advice - even something simple like changing your credit card provider from a place that charges 29% interest to one that does 10% will save you a bunch of money over time. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The glamour of it all


I'm probably one of the few people that actually feels sympathy for Heather Mills McCartney. Or rather, put it this way, I'm inclined, unlike most people, to think she's not the only one to blame for the downfall of her marriage. You don't need to be a genius to know that it takes two people to make a relationship work and two to make it fail - however you apportion the blame.

And why people have such a hard time believing that Paul Macca could be controlling or have substance abuse issues is a mystery to me. He's an ex Beatle for godsakes! Those guys perfected substance abuse long before the light weights such as the Britney's and Amy's of this world came along. As for being controlling, well, the guy's a singer/song writing genius and has made bags of money out of it. If you've ever worked with someone who's not only very creative but very successful at it, you'll know that being a control freak is often the least of their vices.

Anyway, I digress.

Recently Heather, know for her, how shall we say, creative interpretation of her past, was on GMTV defending those photos as glamour shots. Well, I hadn't seen them until this evening, and though I don't consider myself an expert in these matters, some of them do look a little more like porn than simple topless glamour stuff.

But hey, judge for yourself. Definitely NSFW

Photo

Want butt implants? Watch this



This video is scary, not because of what went wrong specifically, but because someone would be dumb enough to get butt implants to begin with. The best thing however is the TV announcer/voiceover guy trying and failing not to piss himself laughing while doing the segment.

If you can't see the clip, click here.

Source: Dlisted

Thursday roundup


Photo: Daily Mail

Watch your waist


OK, so I've been watching Oprah again. She often has doctor Mehmet Oz on her show, who is a cardiothoracic surgeon and professor of cardiac surgery at Columbia University. He answers every and any health questions the audience may have and it's often quite educational.

In today's show he revealed the following scary health fact:

If you are 100 pounds over weight when you are 50, or if your waist size is close to 40 inches as a female and close to 45 as a male, you have the same chances of surviving a normal life as if you had cancer of the prostate or breast.

Optimal waist measurements for adult men and women are as follows:
Women = 32.5 inches
Men = 35 inches
Or half your height

He said a good way of measuring your waist is to start and finish at the belly button, and that it's OK to suck in, because you're measuring what's inside the muscles, where the omentum and omentum fat is. Continue reading

The good news is that if your waist measurement is exceeding the healthy norm, it's 100% reversible simply by changing your diet and yes, I hate to say it, by incorporating exercise into your lifestyle.

Photo

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The final countdown - Part II

And no, I'm not referring to the song they play in the wee hours at the Roxy - eliciting energetic air punching from the drunken rabble populating the glass strewn dance floor. I might add that pre-pregnancy I happily formed part of that drunken rabble on occasion.

The final countdown in this instance refers to the fact that our baby is due any day now. In fact, she could even come this evening. Roberto has suggested live blogging throughout the labour process. I didn't need to respond verbally, I think the look on my face (penetrating eyes reflecting the promise of bodily harm should he attempt to press the matter further) said exactly what I thought about this suggestion.

I do however want to do little film clips - perhaps one of me having a particularly strong contraction (to guilt trip my kids with at some later point) and perhaps when they pull the baby out - though the latter definitely filmed from this end rather than that one. The filming is not for public consumption, but rather part of a little cinematic record we've been keeping for our child and ourselves. The kind of stuff they're fascinated by when they're really small, and which mortifies them when they're teenagers and you think it's fun to show their friends.

In anticipation of us becoming parents, we've had all sorts of advice and warnings. Most notably people are fond of saying "Hooo boy, once that little one comes along, your lives change completely." We've learnt to smile in a good natured way, and nod as though this were really useful to us. But by the time the 30th person tells you the same thing as though they're imparting a valuable piece of ancient never heard before wisdom, it does wear a bit thin.

"Really?" I want to say, "And you don't think that 38 weeks of watching my body morph into a massive 'arse/stomach and not much in between' hybrid, experiencing increasing physical discomfort, exhaustion, biological functional indignities, and a non existent social life haven't been a change?" People mean well, but with hormones and chronic backache it's hard not to get grouchy.

The fact is since the day we are born, our lives are in a constant state of flux, consisting of a stream of changes with required adjustments and associated responsibilities. This progressively escalates with the onset of adulthood: You get your first job and learn to drag yourself out of bed at an ungodly hour every morning, and act (the operative word here being 'act') responsibly. You apply for a mortgage and discover if you want to keep a roof over your head, you often have to swallow your principles and prostitute your skills. You get into a relationship and come to appreciate if you respect and value that person in your life, it's best to keep it in your trousers, even if on occasion the vast amounts of alcohol in your bloodstream tell you differently.

I believe that having children is just another one of these changes that you very quickly adapt to and incorporate into your way of being, because, if nothing else, you have to. But in this case, I like to think that this particular change and responsibility comes with a whole lot of benefits which far outweigh the negatives. Saying this, talk to me again when our child is a teenager, dating someone with a lot of expressive body art, and telling us she hates us as a form of positive assertion (as recommended by her therapist).

Am I scared? Someone asked me the other day. About the birth that is, not the tattooed future boyfriend. The answer is no, I'm not scared. I'm anticipating it to be a grossly uncomfortable at best, horribly painful at worst experience, but also a necessary process to go through so that we can bring our daughter into this world. And for the record, I can't imagine it will be much fun for her either.

I've read as much as I can, spoken to my consultant, attended antenatal classes, listened to midwives, watched birth videos, heard friend's birth stories, and well, I feel that I'm as prepared as I'm ever going to be. And even with a birth plan that pretty much amounts to, "OK, give me the drugs NOW!", I'm aware of the fact that it can all be completely different to what I anticipate, so best not to anticipate too much.

I don't think mentally scaring the hell out of myself ahead of such an experience is beneficial either, this sort of thinking ahead of a challenge seldom is. So right now I'd say my state of mind is cautious anticipation - praying that we both get through it in the healthiest possible way, and putting a lot of faith in the team of people, and my lovely Roberto, that are going to help me get through it. Oh, and at the end of the day, there's always those drugs.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Holy Crap II

This must be the worst case of cosmetic surgery/bad makeup I think I've ever seen on a celebrity - this one being a recent comparative pic of Joan Van Ark of Knots Landing fame. Continue reading

A sobering reminder that perhaps a few lines aren't so bad after all.

Photo: Daily Mail

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday roundup


What men really think about your underwear

Tis the season, and a lot of women will be racing off to the likes of Anne Summers to get some complicated kit (have you ever tried to connect suspenders to stockings while wearing them???) to impress their chaps for Christmas. Because that's what they like right? All that kinky lacy stuff that makes you look like a very well paid lady of the night?

Well, not really, according to a panel of three gents who consider themselves in the know. And their assessment of which underwear is a turn on might just surprise you, unless of course you are a bloke that is. Continue reading here.

Photo: Daily Mail