Monday, 15 September 2014

One-And-Only-Weekend of Laughs

Now that I am in a house that is far more central to our classic hangs in London, One-And-Only-Daniela has begun to turn up at my doorstep again of a weekend... granted, this time I invited her, but I can see it becoming a regular thing in the future.

After the success of the going out and laughing at people night we had last Monday night, we decided to go ahead and do it spontaneously again. When you want to do some spontaneous laughing in London, there is no place better than Piccadilly Circus' Comedy Store. It basically offers some of the best selection of stand up comedy for a very reasonable price... sure, they make up for the low price tickets with the price they charge for the drinks, once inside, but we're choosing to ignore that fact. 

One-And-Only-Daniela and I both adore this place. There's only one thing we don't agree about our watching experience of it. I (being someone who doesn't mind a teensy bit of attention and, for some reason, has this need for someone to take the piss out of me every so often) love the front row. Seriously, can't get enough of it. The prospect that someone who is funny for a living might make fun of me in some way makes me highly giddy... One-And-Only-Daniela, on the other hand, could not think of anything worse. 

For a normal friendship, one that's based on a level of compromise and give and take, it might mean that occasionally we sit on the front row, and occasionally we don't. However, our friendship isn't exactly built that way... instead, we consist of someone who feels very stubborn and passionate about something (OAOD) and someone who also feels that way for about 5 minutes until the thought of debating the topic any further knackers them out and they just can't be arsed to talk about it anymore (me). We sat on the front row once, but that was because we were with others who did the debating for me, otherwise, One-And-Only-Daniela will always win. 

Having said that, I managed to convince her to sit on the second row, on the basis that stand up comedians never bother with that row unless the people on that row are being loud. One-And-Only-Daniela practically becomes invisible in stand up shows; her survival instinct kicking in and causing her to camouflage into her surroundings in a way that would make a chameleon jealous. So we settled into the second row, feeling particularly safe from any onslaught when the people in front of us seemed to become quite vocal and even insulted the comedian at one point... that, of course, just set the comedian off on a tirade and One-And-Only-Daniela settled down comfortably, knowing that they had just given him all the ammo he needed for the rest of his act without ever deviating from these people... 

... It is something I've never understood. Why insult a person who is funny for a living? That is never going to end well for you. All you will do is just give him reason to rip into you in a way that is ten times more clever than anything you could even think of, right in front of a bunch of people who will laugh heartily at your expense. If you don't want to get picked on, don't sit on the front row... just like One-And-Only-Daniela. 

For me, there always seems to be some kind of exaggeration effect that takes hold when I go to watch someone do stand up live. However funny I might have found their joke if I had watched in on my TV at home, if I'm watching it live, guaranteed I will find it 10 times funnier. This was proved when one particularly hilarious guy came on with a guitar and did some amazing stand up about current affairs and what's going on the world today. No doubt this man was hilarious. Me and One-And-Only-Daniela laughed a lot throughout his act. I think I even started crying at one point and my stomach and cheeks hurt after his act had finished... there was just one problem... I don't watch the news nor do I read a newspaper. I haven't done either of those things for about three years. I live on the basis that the world is too depressing and when I watched or read about it, I was just getting depressed with it. So I stopped. If anything happened that was absolutely massive, it would eventually start trending on facebook or twitter and I could then choose if I wanted to find out anymore about it. I'm not saying this is a healthy way of looking at the world, but it's certainly made me happy so I've continued to do it... 

... The problem with that is that when a comedian comes on stage to talk about things solely in the news or in the world around me, there is a large chance I'm not going to have a single clue what it is that he is talking about. And this was true, of his entire act, I probably understood about 10% of it. The rest went completely over my head. The whole thing consisted of:

Comedian: Makes joke about current events and sings song about it
OAOD and I: Laugh heartily and genuinely
Me: Turns to OAOD. What is that story he's talking about?
OAOD: No idea. 
Me: So why are we laughing? 
OAOD: Because it's clearly very funny and clever
Me: Yes, but why is it funny and clever? 
OAOD: I don't know, but it is. 
Me: Fair enough. 

We weren't even making up the laughs, we genuinely thought this man was hilarious. I cannot work it out at all... 

We also ended up dancing afterwards and not getting home until 4am, whilst discovering that the McDonalds which is scarily located 30 seconds from my new house, is also open 24 hours, which is not going to bode well for any late nights returning home, and the continuation of my diet. But, if I'm honest, the memories start to get hazy at that point, so I'm not going to go into much more detail of that... because I can't. 

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Doctor Who; Robot of Sherwood

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

Naturally I have put the Doctor as my Fancy Thing this week. Especially as they have combined two of my favourite things. Doctor Who and Robin Hood.

Doctor Who is the king of serious and awesome plot lines. However, occasionally it throws in the awesome light hearted episode and this was what this episode was all about. It's what we need in amongst the Doctor's ongoing angst. This episode does not disappoint.

I was naturally excited as the episode is written by Mark Gatiss, co-writer of Sherlock. A series we can all agree is one of the best things we Brits have brought out in years. Fact is, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are the best writing duo our country have produced in a long time. So when you have a series lead by the Moffat with an episode written by the Gatiss, we can't go wrong. And we don't... it's awesome. It funny and light hearted; granted, there's nothing more than that, but that's all we need for this. Especially as the next episode promises to be dark and deep, it serves a need to lift to mood at just the right point in the series.

I won't lie, as much as I love the series as a whole, there have been Doctor Who episodes where their light hearted episodes have fallen short in standards, but this one works amazingly in the way that it keeps the fun whilst also keeping the standard. It lives to the hype of this duo. Gatiss and Moffat should write together for the rest of their career and we will always be entertained.

As mentioned in my last review, this is the series where I have started to get in line with Clara Oswald; a woman who I had previously not been that fussed over. I'm warming to her a lot. She provides character and is continuing to represent the voice of the Doctor Who fan as she goes along. It's almost as if fangirls are mediating through her. She's one massive fangirl who is lucky enough to travel with the one Timelord we all wish we could travel with.

There has been a common plot repeated in this episode, regardless of the light hearted fun. Clearly the Moffat wants us all to be intrigued by the plot of robots. There is something in it that will be carried through the series. Although this seems a simple light relief episode from the overall canon, I do think there is more to this episode in conjunction with the rest of the series than meets the eye. This series is screaming an underlying plot of robots all the way through. Although there is no Missy in this episode, it still hints at something she might possibly be planning; especially with the repeat mention of the 'promised land' as mentioned in the first episode. It was a place the clockwork robot inspired to go to and a place Missy promised he was in. It gave reference to her without her actual appearance being necessary.

In amongst this, there was genius writing written throughout. Quotes that made me shiver with delight. Seeing the Doctor fight Robin Hood, refusing he is real. All to find out that Robin Hood is 'just as real as he is.' (Best line in the series so far.)

Sure, things are slightly ridiculous in certain aspects. The idea that an alien spaceship can be crashed by a single arrow in its side takes a lot of imagination, but I don't care, because it makes the episode and creates the same fun plotline. You don't care because, quite frankly, it's Doctor Who, and there's always a certain degree of distension of belief to go along with the series; it comes hand in hand with being a fan. It's about the drama and fun, rather than belief that it could actually happen... after all, let's face it, as far as I know, time travel is not something that is possible as of yet... so if that's possible in this series, then a UFO crashing from the skies from a single golden arrow must also be possible.

Overall, I loved this episode. It's fun, exciting and loveable. This is what Doctor Who is at it's core. I think was also intentional because this next episode coming up seems absolutely terrifying, so it leaves us all feeling safe and happy in the eve of the intense episode coming our way...

Get ready for it, peeps. It's gonna be a stonker.

Peace out my lovelies.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I was a monkey. I was asked to dance. I did as I was told. I may have overdone it.

So I've been living in my new place now for almost two weeks... that's a little bit ridiculous to think of but also incredibly cool. What's awesome about it is not only that I crawl out of bed a mere half hour before I have to be at work, but that I've had a chance to chat with the two awesome people I now live with. They are pretty cool.

Last night, one of my housemates mentioned that they were going to see Wicked in the West End today. I got very excited about this, being a woman who spent a large amount of her early 20s memorising each song off by heart... I'm not kidding. If you asked me to, I could perform the entire musical for you. Elphaba rocks my world. When he mentioned that he hadn't really heard much about the musical, I naturally brought out my album for him, which happened to be one of the only 3 CDs I hadn't thrown away in the move because, well, it's Wicked... I wanted a cleanse, I didn't want to be stupid. I promptly then began to play 'The Wizard and I' as I had deduced that it would be an excellent first example of the music genius that was this show.

Unfortunately, a mixture of both being overcome by the music and realising that our kitchen was amazing for acoustics, I found myself unable to not join in. I started by just acting it out whilst miming, not wanting to ruin his experience, but before I realised it, sound was escaping my voice and I was channelling the Elphaba within... I know I haven't really discussed this side of me all that much before, but it is something that is at the very core of me... deep, deep, deep down. I wasn't kidding when I said that I was Rachel from Glee when I was at school. The only reason why I stopped was because I had no intention of being either broke trying to get work or getting work and being famous, thus going down the inevitable downward spiral along the lines of Britney and Lindsay, which I highly suspected would have happened in that situation.

As a result, I suppressed the inner diva and went a different direction. However, every so often that diva likes to break out. Sometimes, I just can't help myself. It's usually only 2-3 times a year, or if there is a karaoke bar and alcohol anywhere in sight. Last night, it was thanks to a particularly heart breaking story about a misunderstood green woman who just wants to be loved...

Anywho, I got caught up and my housemate didn't object to this outburst, in fact, he asked for more. Now, there was a time when a person asking me to break out into song was like music to my ears... especially if they sang their request (get what I did there?), however I've mellowed a lot since my teenage years and so assumed that, should I be placed in that 'centre of attention' situation again, I would either graciously decline or reluctantly agree for one... this is not how this night ended. I have moved in with a singing enabler and last night, my inner Rachel broke out. I was suddenly eight years old again, insisting that my parents come and watch my 3 hour performances of a mesh of singing, acting and dancing, all the while using some particularly inventive props to aid said dancing, such as trolls, my little ponies, baby no tears, and tinsel on a stick. Yeeaaah, I was that kid and that teenager.

I didn't have my trolls, dolls or tinsel this time round, something that I think we can all agree was for the best, but after I was asked to sing my fourth song, that need to perform did begin to rear its ugly head. I'm ashamed to say, I got a little drunk on the attention and before I knew it, I was whipping out performances I had previously recorded, both audio and video... It was like I had kicked Heroin 10 years ago and last night I was given one big massive dosage.

We got through the entire works of Wicked, a particularly emotive performance of All That Jazz, At Last by Etta James, the classic (non Will Smith version) Summertime, Royals by Lorde, and ending on Frozen's Let It Go... I haven't sung that much in such quick succession since I was 16 and performed in a school concert whereby I had managed to convince my music teacher to let me do two solos, two duets, have a solo verse in one of the choir songs, and do a mime/dance number to S Club 7's Bring it all back. When I say I was an addict, I meant it.

Guys, it was glorious but I worry for my future diva side. If I continue down this path, I know I won't be able to stop. Soon, I'll be walking down the street asking strangers if they want to hear me sing, or taking people's hands and spinning in for a ballroom pose, and all of this is starting to happen just as Strictly Come Dancing is starting up its new series. Sure, my singing was cute and whimsical last night, but if I don't reign it in, I think I may have found the thing that will force my housemates to ask me to leave... waking up in the middle of the night jonesing for just one more song to get me through till daylight, disappearing off to seedy bars hoping and praying that one of them has a karaoke bar I could use just the once, which would just end in me the next morning passed out on a pee ridden floor from a music induced coma, the microphone cord wrapped around my neck whilst I quietly choke on the water I had been gargling before hand to make sure my vocal chords were clear... devastating.


... Or, you know, that could have just been a one off and tonight I'll simply go home and continue my marathon of Big Bang Theory as if nothing had ever happened... it's 50:50.

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Awesome night of laughing to the point of uncomfortableness: Jake and Amir brought If I Were You to London...

Monday night I was giddy. I was skipping around like a little school girl whilst One-And-Only-Daniela watched me warily. I met her after work and made her fajitas whilst I talked non stop on all the reasons why the thing we were about to go to was going to be awesome and how it was going to lead to her thanking me forever for all the many different ways her sides had split.

You see, Monday night I was going to see one of the things that I have featured on my 'Fancy Things Friday' list; Jake and Amir: If I Were You. They do an advice podcast that uses the term 'advice' very loosely, and substitutes it with hilarity instead. They're basically two American guys who do everything in America and had decided to mix it up a little by coming to England. So they came and put on just one little live show in London. I took One-And-Only-Daniela with me, partly because of my unhealthy obsession with her, but mostly because, despite their awesomeness, I have yet to find someone I knew in real life who also listened to their podcasts.

One-And-Only-Daniela had only ever heard of them in the context of me saying things like; "You really need to listen to this podcast" and "Why the hell haven't you listened to the podcast yet?" and "Are you deaf? Am I speaking another language? Are you just ignoring me to hurt my feelings? Are you afraid of laughter? Listen to the freakin podcast!" She never did listen to the podcast, but she did agree to go to the show with me.

We arrived and I marvelled as I went from most people around me not even that sure on what a podcast is, to being in a room full of people who knew exactly who Jake and Amir were. We showed our tickets and went to find our seats... One-And-Only-Daniela naturally getting distracted by a sign directing us to the bar and pulling me off course on a detour. Due to only having little pocket sized bottles of wine, we became classy chicks who ordered enough wine to fill a pint glass. Yes, my dream had been realised, I asked for a pint of wine and the barman didn't laugh in my face. In fact, it seemed to be encouraged.

So, we took our wine pints, found our seats and I began wriggling once more. One-And-Only-Daniela just simply looked at me with a slightly confused and dazed look and it became painfully obvious who was more excited about this whole evening.

Guys, the show was awesome. And due to it being a live podcast; as of most probably Thursday, it will be available for all of you lovely people to listen to. Let me tell you, it's worth it. The crowd were... a little loud. There was a very real possibility that a lot of them had been drinking for a while, but this just simply resulted in a lot of chanting of popular lines from previous episodes and a large amount of encouraging both Jake and Amir to 'neck' their glasses of Whiskey, which apparently is a British phrase only and can be translated to 'chug' for all of those from across the pond who are confused. I laughed a lot. One-And-Only-Daniela laughed a lot. It was amazing, but also far too short for my liking, lasting just over an hour in all.

Afterwards, we left the place to find that they were going to meet and greet us all. Naturally we got in the queue. One-And-Only-Daniela was highly confused as she had absolutely no idea what it was that she was going to say to them once we met. I hadn't even got that far in my thought process and, until One-And-Only-Daniela mentioned her concerns, hadn't even considered that this would mean we'd have to talk to them. This resulted in a 15 minute queue whereby I tried to think of something to say and being incredibly grateful when, 10 minutes in, someone mentioned having a picture taken and I was all "Of course! We could do that! That's so much better than just getting to the front of the queue and waving manically whilst all words cease to exist in my head."

So we get to the front of the queue and I shake Amir's hand whilst thinking in my head 'have I ever shaken anyone's hand outside of interview situations before? Why the hell am I shaking it now? Is this weird? What's my other alternative? It's not like I can throw my arms around him and hold on for a long embrace... or can I? No, that would be weird.' Once this inner monologue had completed, I was aware that now all I was doing was just smiling like a crazy person, whilst still shaking his hand, so I forced myself to speak.

Me: Hi, I'm Lisa.
Amir: I'm Amir
Me: Yup, I know.

And the room fell into silence once more. I had the good sense to let go of his hand but I was painfully aware that I was still just staring and smiling. Guys, it got awkward. Looking back, it would have been the ideal time to just say "The show was great!" or "I laughed heartily!" or just start quoting lines from previous episodes. But instead, I stood there awkwardly whilst cricket noises played in my head. Shortly after this, I heard One-And-Only-Daniela next to me and suddenly realised I had only spoken to one half of the duo and that there was a very real chance that this same awkward dance was going to have to happen again. I turned, found Jake and went with "It's really nice to meet you!" in some form of mumble whilst also shaking his hand. I was still grinning like a mad man, but judging by both of their reactions, I wasn't coming off as too creepy, at least not to a point where they were visibly showing it on their faces, which I'm sure we can all agree is a win. So I nestled in between them and smiled for my camera... creating this moment:

Naturally, I left the venue thinking that that couldn't have gone any better. I clearly nailed that entire exchange, showing off my winning personality in a level of coolness that must have made both of them immediately want to hang out with me and label me their new England best friend... I'm still waiting on the call from them, I didn't give them any number to call, but I reckon they'll try to find me internetually on the basis of all the amazingness and altogether non-awkward vibes I gave out. Yup... any day now.

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Almost Royal

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

Put simply, if you are not watching Almost Royal yet, then do so. Go to your internet, find it and watch it. Repeatedly. Over and over. Nonstop. Then watch the videos they did on youtube. And then watch them again. Over and over. Nonstop.

I have not been this impressed with a comic TV show since Flight of the Conchords first aired their HBO series. I have also never wanted to advertise a Fancy Thing with such fervour as I do right now. I discovered this little gem as it was advertised on the TV at my gym. The trailer for the series made me laugh heartily and I took that to be a very positive sign that I should be checking this series out.

Let me tell you a bit about it. The premise is that Georgie and Poppy Carlton are two British Aristocrats who are 50th and 51st in line to the throne. Their father died and left them strict instructions in his will to travel to America and do a tour of its biggest cities. The series is a mockumentary about their experience in America and, oh my days, it quite simply rocks my world.

To be clear, these are two actors playing the part of aristocrats, but the poor American population that they come into contact with during their travels have no idea of this fact. They assume that the whole documentary is real, as are Poppy and Georgie. The actors who play Poppy and Georgie (Ed Gamble and Amy Hoggart) are pretty much the masters of straight faces as they interview different people and put themselves in ridiculous situations, pretending to be completely serious about the whole thing. Basically, think Borat but not as mean. Most of the time, they are making fun of themselves rather than the American people they're talking to.

It was put together as an original BBC America series and, as far as I'm aware, has now finished in America. Over in the UK however, it's played on E4 and we're 4 episodes in. If you want to watch it, head on over to 4OD... seriously, I insist. I'll even make it easy for you and put a link right here.

When they were advertising the whole thing for America, they used youtube and interviewed some of the top youtube celebrities, including the holy trinity; Grace, Mamrie and Hannah, and a particularly awesome interview with Chester See. If you're still not convinced that this is going to be the series for you, then just take a moment to check the videos out. I must have watched each one about 10 times.

My reason for wanting the whole world to hear about this is because no one seems to know anything about this series at the moment, and that is a complete travesty. As it is one of the funniest things I have watched this year, I am understandably hellbent on making sure it is making the rest of the world happy as well. So, do me a favour and have a go. Kick back with a bottle of wine tonight, tune in to 4OD and be ready for some serious side splitting.

Also, if you have already watched it, please do let me know what you think because I'm dying to talk to someone who's seen it!

You are very welcome for this nugget and have an awesome weekend.

Peace out my lovelies.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Weekly Review: Doctor Who; Into the Dalek


Also, if you don't watch Doctor Who, you're probably going to find this whole post entirely confusing and boring. Might I suggest you go to Netflix and start watching the series instead? It may take you a while as there are 7 series until you get to this episode, but I absolutely promise you that your life will be altered permanently for good and you will spend the rest of your life so grateful that you took the time to watch hour after hour of pure TV awesomeness. Tomorrow I'll talk about something a little less niche, I promise. 

So, I had every intention of doing one of these reviews for all the new Doctor Who episodes but then failed miserably on the first one, due to the whole 'moving house' and 'general laziness' shizzle going on last week. As such, I'm going to start with Episode 2 of Series 8 and reference certain highlights from Episode 1 as I go along... 

First off, can I just say I am 100% on board with the new Doctor. With most Doctors, I tend to take a while to get used to them in the role whilst I move on from the previous Doctor and deal with the change. With Matt Smith it took me approximately halfway through his first season before I was fully in sync with him, and that was a Doctor who eventually became my favourite of them all. 

That being said, you would think that I was going to struggle a lot with his leaving my screen but Capaldi swept into Victorian London and I found myself accepting him as the Doctor almost instantaneously. For that I congratulate Capaldi. He clearly knows what he's doing and I'm excited for what he's going to continue to do. 

When finding out that this episode was going to be another Dalek orientated episode, I can't say I was as excited as I normally am. As a deep rooted Whovian, I will always love any new episode thrown my way, but the Daleks are never my favourite of the storylines when they occur. Having said that, I did like the take that they gave this particular Dalek episode. The idea being that they had found the first 'good' Dalek and were miniaturised and inserted into its body... 'Inner Space' style (now there's a blast from the past movie to take a moment to remember and reflect on...). 

The storyline was okay, a bit samey in places, the antibodies feeling very similar to a certain 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode in Season 6 and the afore mentioned recycled Dalek premise, but I enjoyed seeing Capaldi's Doctor being the Doctor and not spending the entire episode questioning who he was and trying to prove to everyone else that, although he's old, he can still be the Doctor... Just a side note, as much as I enjoyed Episode 1, I did feel that they basically got Clara to play the part of all fangirls out there who watched Doctor Who because they fancied Matt Smith. It clearly spent an hour and 15 minutes trying to convince this particular group of people that, although Capaldi might not be as young as Matt, he is still worth watching, then going ahead and begging them all not to turn off their TVs because they can no longer see him as boyfriend material... granted, I do feel that this needed to happen, otherwise they ran the risk of losing a bunch of fans, but still I don't buy that Clara would have had as big an issue over the whole 'regeneration' thing as she is the only companion to have been present at every one of the Doctors generations. Just a thought. 

Capaldi was great in this, and I did like him. I'm still not 100% there, but that's just due to not being used to him. As I did with Matt Smith, I'm sure after this series is over and I go back to watch them all again (which is what will inevitably happen... a couple 100 times) I'm going to love all his lines and the way he delivers them, but the first time round, I'm still trying to work him out, and that's okay. However, as mentioned above, I'm a lot further on with him than any of the others... like 90% there. 

The main change in Capaldi's Doctor that I am simultaneously most excited about as well as it terrifying me to my very core, is the dark side of him that is coming out. Episode 1, when he left Clara, I genuinely didn't know if he was going to come back and the question of whether he pushed the Cyborg out of the spaceship sent shivers down my spine. If I'm honest, I'm leaning towards the idea that he did... or at least said something that convinced him to jump. 

The one that has shocked me the most so far however is his decision to not even try to save the soldier in Into the Dalek. You know the bit I'm talking about, they're in the Dalek, one of the soldiers has damaged the Dalek, the antibodies are coming to kill this person, and instead of the Doctor frantically scrambling around to at least try to save this man, he gives him a tracker to eat with the hinted promise that he was saving him, and then lets him die without batting an eyelid; already deciding that his death is going to be more useful to him than him being alive. This is the biggest thing that I have seen this Doctor do so far that made me say "Matt Smith's Doctor would never have done that." Again, this isn't a bad thing, I wasn't disappointed that this happened, but it did terrify and excite me a lot. He has lost that desperate need to save everyone and anyone and now seems to be focusing on the bigger picture only, the one that is the most logical... his emotional side seems to have taken a back seat. Considering that both episodes so far have shown him to do something to this effect, I can't help but expect that something equally as ethically blurred will continue to happen in all future episodes as well... Again, both terrified and excited and not quite sure what to do with myself. 

Now for the others: 

Clara: I've not exactly been on board with Clara up until this series. I've liked her but she hasn't really stood out for me... she was going the way of Martha Jones in my books; okay to watch when she was on, but very quickly forgettable once she had gone. However, in this series, I am beginning to become a fan. Her speech in 'Deep Breath' about being terrified and therefore dangerous etc, sent shivers down my spine, and when she reached behind her for the Doctor to take her hand I stopped breathing altogether in anticipation... which was quite fitting considering the title. (I also tried to hold my breath for as long as she did and failed miserably, that woman has some lungs on her... either that, or she was cheating and breathing through her nose.) In Into the Dalek, I also really liked her. I like the way the relationship between her and the Doctor has changed. She's no longer the doting 'I well fancy him' companion, but rather someone who is a lot more of use to him. As awesome as the line was:

Clara: I'm his carer 
Doctor: Yes, she's my carer, she cares so I don't have to

(I laughed heartily) by the end of the episode, I was beginning to realise that this was actually pretty true. Her slap was awesome, her keeping him in check throughout was awesome, and Moffat is really pulling it out of the bag when it comes to her speeches. Yup, she keeps this up and I may have to bump her up my list of favourite companions... 

Danny Pink: I instantly liked Danny. I'm intrigued by him and I'm excited that they've brought in a soldier as a regular character. This is the first time they've really done this since the rebirth of Doctor Who, I reckon it's going to be intriguing. I get a sneaky suspicion we might not see him in the next episode, but you never know. I'm very excited for the inevitable 'Danny starts to travel with the Doctor' episode which must be soon. 

And now for the most exciting mystery character ever: 

Missy: We've had mystery characters pop in and out of episodes throughout series before, but this one? This character? Oh my days. I love her. Yes, I was biased beforehand as the actress plays my all time favourite character; Sue White in the Green Wing, but even without that, I am sold and happy and altogether buzzing with anticipation. I love it when Doctor Who brings in slightly unhinged characters... you just don't know where the hell they're going to take it. 

There are a ridiculous amount of guesses and predictions on who Missy is. I have my favourite, which I also think is the majority of Whovians' favourite as well. The Master-The Mistress-Missy... she's a female regeneration of The Master. If that is the case, I can't imagine a better actress to play that role. I'm most sold on this, but knowing Moffat, I'm also not convinced that it isn't going to be that simple so I'm fully prepared for a twist of epic proportions. Also, even if she is The Master, we still have no idea how she's talking to dead people, if she is talking to dead people, or she's somehow saving them... I'm pretty much convinced that she isn't in some form of heaven, but I think she's building an army for something, and I cannot wait to find out what it's all about... All in all though, her appearances in the episodes are beginning to become my most looked forward to part. I really hope she makes an appearance in each one... 

So, this review may have been a mostly generalised review of the two episodes, rather than just Into The Dalek, but now that I'm caught up, we can go forward with the strict episodes review. If you have any disagreements, agreements, topic points, or reasons to yell obscenities for my blatant lack of understanding of something, then please feel free to comment below. 

Very excited about Robot of Sherwood on Saturday. It looks highly amusing and I love it when Doctor Who does funny. 

Peace out my lovelies.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Had a bit of a holiday but I'm back; new and improved

Okay, so I haven't actually been anywhere but the landlord of my place in North London wanted to sell the house so I've been spending a remarkable amount of time finding a new place to live, moving to said place, unpacking in said place and then marvelling in the beauty of said place.

I didn't want to move initially but let me tell you, now that I have, I am so glad I did! I moved last weekend. I think it's safe to say that every part of the move was an upgrade in my life. I moved from North London to (and I really am telling the truth right now) Kensington. For those of you who don't know where Kensington is, let me explain it to you...

Imagine London and all its bustling goodness, now imagine central London where you have Big Ben and the Thames and the West End and culture and the London Eye, move a little bit away from that, just a small bus journey, slightly further west and you reach the place where famous people and royalty reside... There. Right in that place. That is where I am living right now.

No, I'm not famous, nor am I royal, nor do I have anything close to the money that famous and royal people have. Compared to them, I am poop on their shoes. However, I work in Kensington now and I thought, as I had to move anyway, I'd try my luck and see if there was any way at all that I might be able to find a place nearby to live in. For a long while, the answer was 'no.' Actually, a more accurate answer would be: "Are you mad? You want to live in one of the poshest areas of London on your budget? The only way that that will happen is if you find a cardboard box and a porch somewhere. Downside to that is it's not entirely waterproof, upside is that it's completely rent free!"

There was one opportunity that came up for a place nearby whereby someone was trying to rent out a flat for the cheapest amount you would ever believe. However, once it got to the point that they were asking for deposits before seeing the place as the owner was 'out of town' and 'needed reassurance that I was serious enough' I began to suspect that something was a little fishy in this area... guys, just a little tip, if you are looking for a place to rent and someone asks for a deposit before signing a contract, say no. They are scam artists and it just isn't worth it, you will lose money and then cry for a long time on account of said lost money. It's not pretty.

So, with that flat as a definite no no and plenty of other places that were either miles away or had a 'student halls' kind of feel about it, I was beginning to despair... okay, I was downright stressing. I had got to a point where I had a week and a half to find a place and any time I found somewhere I did like, there were so many people who also wanted it, I was usually bumped out of the race early on... I've never been that great at selling myself, as previously discussed. I was looking for a houseshare, so when I visited a potential house and spoke to the current housemates and they asked me what it was about me that made me fabulous to live with, I would usually panic and start saying that really I was the wrong person to ask this question to, and that they should be asking others who know me, which led to me taking out my phone, scrolling through my contacts and then panicking because I didn't know for certain that my friends wouldn't mention my tendency for thinking the world was going to end every day or how I enjoy to eat a person now and then; which in context, I think we can all agree, is perfectly understandable and a wonderful personality trait to have, but to be thrown into first time conversation might lead a person to get the wrong idea...

So I was sucking really hard and the whole 'You want to live with me because I'm awesome' sell. In fact, I had had a good response at one place to the fact that I write books, so I figured I would just use that in every correspondence I had with people. This was fine at first, and people were genuinely interested, but when they asked me what kind of TV I liked and I panicked and just said "I write books" again, people began to look tired with the conversation and I began to worry that I had slightly overdone the one interesting thing I could think of about me in that 'on the spot' situation... which is ridiculous because if there is one question I could talk about for hours on, it's the question 'what do you like on TV?' freaking hell, I'm an expert on the subject!

Yeeeaaah, so there was some disappointment, and there was some serious overdoing of my CBT training just to keep me going, but eventually, after seeing one of the most drabbiest looking places but trying to convince myself of the fact that I could live there because, although the small flat was lived in by 9 people and the bed is on a makeshift shelf above the desk, there was a particularly good looking ginger man also living there who would be nice to look at on a daily basis, I went to look at an ad which hadn't uploaded any pictures (usually a big no no for me) but was just round the corner to my work... in Kensington... the posh place... how bad could this flat be?

The answer to that question is not bad, not even slightly bad, but actually amazing and awesome and affordable and leaving me at a loss as to how it can be all of those things. What made things even better was that I walked in, met one of my new housemates and we just clicked. We talked for ages, we laughed, we cried, we fought then made up again, and so much more... okay, so maybe we just talked and laughed, but still... we could have done the other things as well, if we had wanted to. In short, it was perfect. None of the other places, even the ones that I had really wanted prior to this one, came anywhere close to how perfect it was. When I say round the corner to my work, I mean a 10 minute walk. 10 minutes. It's clean, it's got a brand new kitchen, the rooms are huge, and both flatmates are lovely.

The day after seeing the place, I went back and was told I have it. I danced, I cried, I laughed, I put on a dramatic improvisation based on my feelings, and then I fluttered away to pack all my belongings and move once again... this time, I was convinced it would be the last time I moved in a while. I'm still convinced of this. Guys, I ain't going nowhere. The place is too much of a good thing to give up.

The packing and moving experience was also an emotional rollercoaster as I decided that I was going to cleanse myself of pretty much everything I owned... seriously, I threw away about 80% of my belongings. I took with me 10% of my clothes, a handful of books, and all my DVDs, and that was it. Everything else was recycled, thrown away or given to charity. This meant that I managed to unpack everything I owned in the space of one day. One single day. And this even included alphabetising 600+ DVDs because, well, how else am I going to find the one I want to watch?

The actual move took longer to do. Older-Brother-Glyn and Sister-In-Law-Amy helped massively in this whole ordeal. I have no car nor a license to drive one (who needs one in London?) and I had to get from one side of the city to the other with a large amount of stuff, whilst also getting to a skip with an even larger amount. What I had hoped would only take one day, ended up taking two, and both beautiful members of my family were amazing in helping me get it done. They even took me back to their house in Essex on Saturday night which meant that I could watch Doctor Who (don't get me started, I'll talk about that another day (I will say that I am very happy with how it's all going at the mo, as I'm sure all Whovians are)).

So now I'm in... I have a beautiful little room, smaller than the one I had before but I kinda like that it is. I don't really need any more space than what I have. For the past two days, I have been getting up at 8am, leaving the house at 8:45am and arriving at work at 8:55am. I even went home for lunch yesterday, because I could. The flat is beautifully decorated by one of my lovely housemates, we are all getting on wonderfully so far, and everything is awesome... By the way, I'm pretty certain this is all just a dream and I'm going to wake up any moment back in North London, realising that none of it happened, but until then, I'm going with it.

Never before have I felt so much like my life has been given a new start. I squandered away most of my 20s due to illness, and the good things that came out of that time (of which there are a fair few) I now have with me and am taking forward into my next chapter. Everything else, all that clutter I had, all the baggage I'd kept, I threw it all away on Sunday afternoon August 31st 2014... well, actually Older-Brother-Glyn threw it away, I was cleaning the house, but still... the imagery is still there. Here's a couple of pictures of the stuff I actually kept, see if you can spot the fandom...:

I feel like I'm on a completely clean slate. I don't know where I'm going in the future. I don't know if my dream career as an author of books, films, TV shows and a double episode of Doctor Who will ever happen, or whether my writing will only ever be at the level it is now (which is still awesome, by the way) and I end up doing something else. I don't know if I'll ever find the energy to do the dating thing and get married, or how I'm going to bring children into this world, but I know that I'm on the right track to see good things happen and I'm excited about it. Life is good at the mo, peeps. In fact, life is better than I had thought it would be, and I can't wait to see what it has in store for me next...

Peace out my lovelies.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Stop my brain, I want to get off; RIP Robin Williams. You will be missed.

Today our internet is filled with the very sad news about an awesomely talented man. Robin Williams left us yesterday for good and it has well and truly knocked me for six.

I am of a generation who grew up on this man. Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Hook and Aladdin were regularly played on loop in our house and Marmie decided he was good enough of an influence on us, so she had this tendency of buying pretty much any film he was in, some good, some... interesting... (Toys and Jack were particularly special, I would say). As I hit my teens, he continued to be one of my favourite actors, three of his films in particular spoke to me and even, to a point, influenced my life in certain ways. Good Will Hunting was my favourite film for many years, Patch Adams gave me my first inspiration for a career, and What Dreams May Come spoke to me as I reached a point where sadness and depression had begun to creep into my life.

To this day, my all time favourite film is Hook. I can't fault a single thing about it. When I look back on his body of work, it really does surprise me how much his performances, whether serious or silly, had had a major effect on my life at different points.

Reading through my feed on facebook this morning, it's amazing to see how many people also feel the same way about this man. There is so much love for a man who brought so much joy to our childhoods and life in general. He was funny and inspirational and performed excellently in both types of roles. There's no doubt about it; this world loved him. Which is what makes the way he died all that more devastating.

I've been thinking this morning about whether, if he had been aware of just how much people loved him, he would have ended his life the way he had. I have no clue and I'm not even going to try to guess, it's not my place. However, even he had known, if he had received regular affirmation of this every day, because of the way depression works in a person, it can act as a block between positive words and the happiness they should make you feel.

I didn't know he was suffering. I didn't really look into his personal life all that much, apparently he suffered from substance misuse which I also didn't know until today, even though he was quite vocal about it. But I know that people are shocked at the level in which he could appear to be happy and bring joy to others, although all the time suffering from depression.

As horrible as it is, this surprises me less. It has also got me thinking about the stupid illness in general and all the other lives it has taken. I have spoken to countless people who suffer from depression and spend their entire lives working on masking it from the rest of the world. They smile, they move through life and even socialise, but they rarely talk about it because, put simply, they don't see how saying it out loud would make a blind bit of difference. Maybe they've tried talking about it before but it hadn't gone well or they are so stunned by how their own efforts don't appear to make any improvement on it, they can't see how someone else would be able to offer anything different.

Quite often, they don't want to impose. They know how crippling it feels for them and they look at others who are happy with envy. They want what these people have, but they can't access it so they only see talking about it as a way of bringing other people down. Besides, quite often depression and anxiety goes hand in hand and to talk about this inexplicable illness would only draw attention to it and make others worry, which will lead to unwanted attention on them and force them to make a bigger deal about it than they are prepared to do, so they try to put it all in a little box and contain it, because that seems the only way to control what's happening, and it might even work for a time, but eventually things go south and situations get worse and that little box starts to bulge and want to burst open. At this point, they might find that they are faced with a new problem. They now can no longer deal with how they are feeling but they have spent so much time and effort convincing others that they're fine and the life and soul of the party, no one's actually going to believe them should they come clean and say it had all been a lie, or if they do, they won't realise just how bad it's got because no one can be that sad and yet appear so happy at the same time.

The truth is, quite often the sadder some people with depression get, the louder and more outlandish they appear. The need to seem happy and well becomes the one thing to live for. There are people who are scared of coming clean about how they feel because they don't want to upset people or because they simply don't know where to begin. Maybe their brains tell them that there's no point, bad thoughts, dreams and negative influences play on loop around their heads. They can't focus on anything because their brain is so distracted by what depression brings. It builds and builds and suddenly they think that there is no other way to silence it other than one. One final decision and that's the only option they have left. They can't last one more day this way, it's too much. They've tried everything and nothing seems to work. The thought of having to live their lives this way for any longer is excruciating, so they decide to stop altogether. It will release them from it. It will stop the bad thoughts and the emotions that bog them down even though they have no reason to feel them. Death is the way out and they won't have to suffer any more.

Guys, if you feel that way, please realise that there is no illness too severe, no emotion too big that means death is the only option. Sure, it will stop you from feeling any more negative feelings, but it will also stop everything else. You have no clue what your future holds for you, things could change at any moment and, with a little help, you can find release another way, a way that not only stops the sadness, but also shows you the other side of the coin.

I say this because I speak from experience. 12 years of depression and I never thought I would find a way out. I got dangerously close to giving up but somehow got nudged into getting help instead. I did CBT therapy and last year I came out the other side. I never thought I would know what it was to live my life without depression, but I have for a whole year. Please, please, please always choose help over dealing with this alone. People around you love you and care about you and want to help you. You have potential for great things in your future and you don't want to miss out on it.

The very nature of depression is all consuming and tells you that you won't ever recover. As with most mental illnesses, it stops you from being able to think about it rationally because it's the brain that is the infected part. No matter how many times you might think it, don't believe it. Believe that you deserve more than that, because you do. If you're suffering, find someone today and tell them. Contact help from the Samaritans possibly (08457 90 90 90) if in the UK, or alternatives in your country if elsewhere. Please don't ever think ending your life is the answer, because it never is, no matter how tempting it might sound.

Also, if you know of someone who is depressed, please remember that patience is needed with them. Chances are they know how little sense their emotions make as much as you do, it doesn't make it any less easier to solve. It's not going to be fixed in one day, it's going to take time.

Depression might not be something that you are able to control if you have it, but suicide is. You always have the option to say no. Please choose it, because people aren't ready to say goodbye to you yet.

I love you all deeply and wish you all the happiness in the world.

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

It's that magical time of the year again...

Yes ladies and gents, it's that time of the year where I have been told I need to move out of my house and into a new one... people might see this as an adventure most of the time, but I am definitely not one of them. I have a set of DVD shelves that have officially fallen apart from the sheer amount of times I've had to take them apart and put them back together again, I have boxes that haven't even been touched in my room from the last time I moved, let alone unpacked, and every sodding time I have to sign up to anything that requires addresses, I have to ask for extra paper because I can't fit all the addresses I've lived in, in the past 5 years...

Yup, this will be my 5th house in 4 years and my 13th house in 28 years. I am getting to a point where even the thought of having a house for 2 whole years is so out of this world, I can't even fathom it in my imagination... and this is coming from a gal who frequently gets told that her imagination is stupidly over the top and spends most of her life being dominated by it... yes, I believe that one day I will write the world's most perfect TV script with Joss Whedon, and another with the Moffat/Gatiss team, as well as making my way to Rowling levels of popularity with my books, but I cannot, for the life of me, work out what it would be like to stay living in one place for longer than 13 months... Something will happen and something will change and then on I will have to go to the next place to live, and so on and so forth until I become a travelling nomad who had no intention of doing this on purpose so therefore is permanently pissed off at the notion that I have to do this once again whilst grumbling about the costs of deposits and rent and how it's near impossible to start saving for a future of babies and settling down, no matter how much I actually want to... then people will stop talking to me because I only seem to communicate in muffled groans and sudden outbursts of "why me?" or "who's taking all my money?" before quietening down again and retreating back to my fully packed house which has been that way since I moved in because, let's face it, what's the point in unpacking anymore?

Good news is it is doing wonders for my figure. My appetite is almost non existent now! Don't worry, I am eating, though. No need to call any rehab centres for me yet.

So I've not written in this thing this week yet as my usual routine of 'lunchtime writing' has been taken over my 'lunchtime hunting for houses'. I've applied to a few sites where you look for houseshares as well as put your own ad up for people to look for you for their house. This has been a fairly useful experience and I've had a few decent offers... there was one however that was slightly interesting... I was offered a hotel room Monday to Friday for no charge whatsoever, only the joy of giving this man my company... is it wrong that my gut reaction was "but where would I stay at the weekend?" before realising that this was probably not the best option in the world and one might even associate it with 'whoring myself out for rent'. Marmie and Father, if you are reading this, I haven't responded and am 99.9% almost certain I won't, don't worry... although free rent...

But aside from that offer, I do have a viewing tonight with a place that prefer to do it the old fashioned way in paying rent and bills for a house. I know it's boring, but I'm probably going to use that method instead... it just feels less prostitutey. My main plan is to find a place closer to work, which means leaving the only area of London I have ever lived in... goodbye North London, hello West London... it doesn't really help however that I work in a particularly posh area of London that does everything fancy and has prices to match that. Therefore I'm having to be a little inventive in my search for the ideal affordable place, but I'm quietly confident... most of the time... when I'm not rocking backwards and forwards, pulling out clumps of hair whenever I think about the sheer amount of work involved in moving properties once again.

Oh dear. Guys I need you to wish me all the luck in the world... seriously, luck, love, good thoughts, prayers, animal sacrifices, whatever floats your boat. I have less than a month until I am homeless... I know, de ja vu for the fifth time. I don't mean to be repetitive but life keeps on forcing me to. Stupid life.

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Well, that went south very quickly...

So, I happened to notice on facebook that a couple of my friends had been typing their names into the urban dictionary to see what the urban definition of their name is.

Immediately intrigued, I typed my name in to see what came up. What occurred next was a whirlwind of emotions that I wasn't quite prepared for on a Friday lunchtime activity...

I open up my Urban dictionary, type in my name and come across this:

To say that my ego was suitably stroked would be an understatement. I had no idea that in urban circles I represented such a highly admired group of people... Not to mention, I got called 'Chica!' I read this and felt resolved to make all people refer to me as chica from now on.

On reading the second description, I spent a small amount of time running through the previous Davids in my life and trying to work out if I classified them as weird or not. I couldn't really think of any but then noticed that that fitted in with the rest of the definition as these Davids probably had done nothing for me so logically I wouldn't remember them... and then I blushed because the definition called me 'luscious'... Chica and luscious are both names never mentioned to me before but I am very excited about being used in the future.

Feeling empowered, I continued on with the next definition.

Smart, sexy, great hair and great face?? How am I only just being made aware of this now? Surely, by these standards, I should be some kind of model superstar having people swoon over me whilst I am chased down by the paparazzi. It was also nice to read confirmation that I wasn't a slut. I was pretty convinced of this anyway, but sometimes you just need someone else to say it as well, you know? As far as my phone ringing and travelling states for parties... I can't say I've experienced too much of this, but I imagine it's just because I haven't told enough people my name. Once it's more well known, there will be no stopping me and my "blessed good genes."

The next definition, although still complimentary, had lost a little of its fervour:

This was the first one that had added a caveat in case there happened to be any 'non-hot' Lisas in the world. It was sensible and covered all bases, but it did lead me to wonder if I still classed as one of the hot ones...

I should have taken it and stopped there however, because what happened next... well. Aside from the contradiction in the next statements that almost made my brain explode trying to combine together with the previous definitions, I also began to feel a deep seeded despair. I mean, if it's in the urban dictionary, then it must be true:

This struck me as a pretty indecisive definition... almost like it wasn't written by an Urban professional... I could only deduce by this that I was a type of person who would piss someone off to begin with due to my lack of wanting to party (despite the fact that I travel places to party as well) but somehow win them round with my general okayness that seems to be so charming in a really non specific 'don't know her because she won't attend my parties' kind of way. It cut me a little, but again, I felt that I could accept this side of me.

But then:

... I have just one question to ask my loved ones at this moment, why on earth did no one tell me my face shared similarities to a horse? I understand if you wanted to spare my feelings, but come on! People clearly are beginning to notice and it's being advertised on the internet for all to see! For other Lisas who might be reading this, what did you do about your general horselike look? Should we accept it and wear it proudly? Is there a good plastic surgeon you can recommend that might help make us look more human? I feel like I should now be taking action on this, but I don't know where to start. Maybe we could all meet up and protest on the prejudice against Lisas who look like horses. We can't help it. We didn't name ourselves. And anyway, apparently the horse face is still hot because of the previous definitions... wow, I had no idea so many people found horses attractive... perhaps there's nothing we actually need to do, other Lisas. It would appear that we've lucked out with a rather attractive and majestic animal.

Now... the second definition in this section... as I am not yet anyone's baby mama, I assume that this is something that I will only have to look forward to in my future... I'm not going to lie, I had hoped for a little bit of a more positive lifestyle than what was outlined, but clearly I have no choice.

The next definition may include words of the swearing variety which will be a first in this blog. I do apologise, although I think the words probably offended me more than they will you... unless you are also called Lisa, and in that case, my condolences. We will get through this together.

"Don't be a Lisa". Ouch.

To all my friends and loved ones, I am so sorry for breaking your spirits so badly. To be honest, I had thought that loving you all loads and being too lazy and passive to get into any confrontation had been good things to have in relationships, but clearly I've been offending everyone... I had no idea I was such a bitch, but I'm going to start working on it. This has all been very eye opening.

People have started calling HPV that now??? Or has this been something that's been happening for years? Wait, Marmie and Father, please don't tell me that you named me after an STD?? No wonder I haven't dated a guy in years, they probably think I'm riddled!! ... I'm not, by the way... Dammit. I'm going to have to start adding that into my introductions to all new potential dates... "Hi, my name's Lisa, but don't worry! I'm one of the few that isn't carrying crabs." And even then, what's the likelihood that they'll believe me? Especially when they have such a credible source to refer to...

And then lastly:

Bad grammar aside (seriously, apart? And you write for a dictionary? Never in my life have I been so shocked) this definition I think revealed the most that I didn't know about me. For example, I was certain that I was born in Great Britain, but clearly I will need to have a chat with The-Parents at some point about that lie. Also, horses and gorillas? What kind of half breed are we? I'm no longer offended but slightly proud. As for the half naked photos... I had a quick look and found this from my brother's wedding last week:

I think this is where the confusion has come in. I feel I need to clarify things. Guys, I did not attend my brother's wedding naked (despite the fears that I might have to when I could fit into the dress). The dress was strapless, my clothes are on... I promise. I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused and I want to make perfectly clear that this photo, by no means, suggests that I would then "cheat on my boyfriend" or that I'm in any way a "big slut or bitch." Once again, sorry I should have been more clear.

Despite the promising start to this little exercise, I've definitely had better dictionary reading experiences. It's given me a lot to think about and I will have to go and do a bit of soul searching... maybe even befriend a horse or monkey as it would appear they are closer family than I thought... although technically we're all descendants of monkeys, so I'm not quite sure why the Lisas have been singled out... if it helps, I'll try to cut down on my house ransacking to let the bad reputation simmer down a little bit.

Not a Fancy Things Friday this week, but it was too good not to share. Try out yours, yourself... just have some tissues ready and prepare yourself for some pretty earth shattering truth bombs that will be coming your way...

Peace out my lovelies