Are you sick?

Music at Camden Market [I love London]

Image by sara.musico via Flickr

Well, so are the rest of us. Everyone seems to be ill at the moment. My cure this weekend has been lots of alcohol, going to Camden with my boyfriend, and sleazy rock’n’roll. I’m exhausted, moderately down, and dreading my upcoming clinical aptitude exam. This week is going to be one tough week of study study study. But nothing I can do will take away the feeling of uselessness and nerves wracked up like badly mixed drugs in my veins. I’ll most likely delete this post before the day is done.

Advertisements

Cannibals and Snowboarders

Today I watched Scarce (2008), directed by Jesse T. Cook and John Geddes, a film about a group of snowboarders on vacation. During a snow storm they are forced to seek refuge, but little did they know they are safer out in the storm. The people who grant them refuge are cannibals, surviving on what they ‘hunt’ throughout the winter.

Overall a pointless film with a very slow start, but the effects were cool, especially because it was on a low budget. I mean, of course I only watched it for the blood; I wouldn’t sit down and watch a film with that premise if I were looking for an intellectually challenging experience.

Rate my review on IMDB: Click here

Doctors and dentists with HIV/AIDs

Abacavir - a nucleoside analog reverse transcr...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s something I’ve looked into before, but I found an interesting article tonight:

Click here to see

I have deep sympathy for anyone that contracts the disease, but particularly those who simply could not prevent it; rape victims, babies born with it, etc. What makes matters more complex is when someone within Healthcare has this disease. As stated in the article I linked, there are regulations on declaring positive test results, and prohibitions when it comes to surgeries, sutures, and any situation that may pose a risk of transmission.

In short, it is not legal to fire a doctor or dentist for having HIV or AIDs, but their career is effectively over nonetheless. What a terrible thing for them, to have gone through so much schooling and hardship only to be brought down by a disease. In any other walk of life they may continue relatively as normal; because improved medication generally means a higher quality of life, and the delay of full-blown AIDs stemming from testing HIV positive.

But it is necessary, for others safety, that transmission risks are minimised. I must admit I would prefer to be treated by a doctor or dentist whom was not HIV positive, and it would be nothing against the person. A disease shouldn’t dehumanise anyone. I just know that if I were HIV positive I would never want to risk infecting others, and would certainly never want anyone to infect me either.

The best thing anyone can do is protect others, ourselves, and encourage the progression of medical research.

End of my boring rant.

The Bothersome Man

"Den brysomme mannen" DVD cover.

Image via Wikipedia

I watched ‘The Bothersome Man’ (‘Den brysomme mannen’), directed by Jens Lien, quite a while ago, but it stuck with me. These are just my thoughts on it, not a conventional review. (Contains spoilers)

I was impressed by the way the film’s surrealism juxtaposed the very deliberately superficial depiction of reality. The satirical element of the film appears almost to exaggerate the day-to-day monotony of both professional and domestic routine, transforming emotional coldness into emotionlessness, the characters’ wants into complete materialism, and rendering human functions such as eating, drinking and fornication into meaninglessness tasks without pleasure, but with an acknowledgement of the idea of what ‘pleasure’ may be. This would seem to counteract the ideals of hedonism, but actually it appears to depict that the character’s are in fact extremely hedonistic; seeking beauty and luxuries, but that they have merely lost the ideas of what values lie beneath things…the characters seem so preoccupied with the idea of pleasure that they have forgotten what it is to feel it.

This reflects a lot of my own thoughts about reality; that everything is just an idea, and we apply our own meanings, which exist in a rather arbitrary function.
The main character, upon arriving in the city by bus with no memory of how he got there, has his new life laid out before him. Initially the perspectives and reactions of those around him have an impact on him; their normalising of the situation in which he finds himself. He is befuddled into compliance. They introduce him to his new job, apartment, and whole life, plaguing him with inquiries as to his level of comfort, offering him further materialistic elements to assist in his settling in; coffee, more breaks at work, a better desk chair perhaps?
Every piece of dialogue from the characters representing the majority consists of small-talk; what sofa would look nice in our living room? Isn’t that nice? The main character mentions a dream he had to his newfound wife, his attempts at emotional connection obvious, and she silences him as if offended. He realises that he is very different from those around him, all but the man he heard early on talking about how everything tasted of nothing when it once had, and so he seeks this man, finally understanding the implications of his words.
The main character even deliberately instigates an affair, cheating on his wife with a colleague as much in desperate want of emotional connection and passion as to induce negative variants of such in his wife. He realises that both the subject of his affair and his spouse have no real emotion whatsoever, merely complacency and ambivalence.
The parts I found most comical included the lack of sufficient emotional response from his wife; for example, when he informs her he is leaving her and she replies with ‘But we have a dinner party on Saturday, are you leaving before then?’ and when he tells her he is in love with somebody else she merely says ‘Why?’ her face blank as she sips tasteless wine. But the most hilarious of all was after he attempted suicide on the train tracks, but impossibly fails, and is driven home by the mysterious caretakers of the city. He enters, one eye completely crushed, his entire flesh coated with blood and injury, and she gazes at him as if blind to it all and inquires whether he would like to go Go-Carting on Saturday, ‘That would be wonderful’ he breathes helplessly.
I think the reason he was able to find pleasure by the end of the film, which was depicted by him stealing a slice of real cake with real taste from beyond the city, is because he retained a memory of what pleasure really was, the meaning behind it and the feeling, as oppose to merely the idea of it. His escape from the ‘reality’ of the city was through a lot of hardship, for which he required stamina, something the male who spoke of tastelessness in the beginning did not have. One of the ‘morals’ of the tale was that having everything you ‘need’ materially, is not the same as having emotional experiences and ideals, and that real happiness cannot come merely from owning an expensive apartment with attractive interior design, and being able to afford luxuries. So in essence, the film informs the viewer that the hardships and struggles in life are necessary to obtain happiness, rather than clinging to false ideas of perfection.

At one part of the film a man is shown impaled on an iron fence, having committed suicide by jumping from a window. The main character stares with fascination as pedestrians walk by unaffected, and the caretakers of the city approach to remove the body. As they remove him from the fence his intestines slide from his body onto the path, this added gore is not for the sake of ‘horror’, but instead truth, and the obliviousness of the pedestrians is almost deliberate, as if they see only what they want to see, which in many ways reflect the world you and I live in. If there is a suicide on a tube the announcement heard is never ‘We are sorry, there is a delay because sometimes decided they want out of this shit hole so they threw their body in front of the train, allowing it to be crushed to death’, instead it’s usually ‘We are sorry, there is a delay due to a fatality at Holborn’ and then the staff scrub up the blood and carry away the body parts, so as not to offend all of our innocent eyes. This is not a perfect world and it never will be…perfection can never exist because it exists in so many forms in so many minds, and there is no way to please everybody. Perfection is just an idea.

The world just agrees to a set of codes used for communication, a set of rules used for social acceptability and ideals that can be commonly shared…anyone deviating from these will be punished, ridiculed or declared insane (or at least ‘weird’).
If only we could all just be aware of how truly absurd everything is, we could all live much more harmoniously with one another. I am aware completely of the pointlessness of life, yet I still do things knowing that, because no matter what I do or do not do it will not change the facts. Everyone works to live and lives to work, we surrender to human bodily function every time we eat, drink or go to the toilet. Cleaning the dishes means they will be dirtied again and washed again in a cycle that can only be broken if you either do not use dishes or you employ a cleaner to do it for you. Everything is a cycle; not just the cycles of the moon or women’s menstruation, but life itself: Be born, live, reproduce, die. We are no different to those dirty dishes really. I am grateful to all those who choose not to reproduce, or who break the cycle or at least to become aware that it is a cycle. That is not to say that everyone who does otherwise is not aware, maybe they are.
The body sleeps so as to absorb the hours that came before, to process them in the mind so that one may accept and deal with them accordingly, waking more readily to a new day than they would have if they never slept at all. Sleep is like blackmail, we can choose to be insomniacs, but the brain will shut itself down in whatever ways it automatically needs to in order to function. Why do you think genuine insomniacs have so much trouble? Or why do you think troubled people sometimes can’t sleep? Dolphins on the other hand are technically schizophrenic to some extent, being that they never sleep because the left side of the brain sleeps whilst the right is active, and vice versa. It could be argued that they have a better way of functioning.
We are practically staying awake so we can sleep, and sleeping so we can wake. We are born so we can live, and we live so we can die. I say ‘so’ we can, not to insinuate that there is a purpose to each, but that there is a function, we are built to function and that is all. Becoming catatonic wont help, you will still be functioning. In a coma or on life support you are still functional, and there is really nothing at all you can do about it except to eradicate your own existence…but is that not just as pointless as existing? That is, of course, assuming you believe there is nothing beyond life. I do not think there is anything beyond it, and I hope not.
One could touch upon a great deal of philosophical or ideological arguments here; bring in religion, as so many tend to do, perhaps. But my writing this is based on the supposition that there is no God, and no magic or wizardry, no life beyond this, and no past lives either.

Grumpy drivers behind you

Indian film dances usually follow filmi songs.

Image via Wikipedia

What do you do when the driver behind you is being a grumpy old cow for no good reason? Wind down the window and play the cheesiest bollywood radio tunes at full volume, grinning with pleasure as the traffic ahead means they can’t escape it.

For the record, I do actually enjoy Asian radio stations, but other road users don’t seem to appreicate.

Nazi siege in the present?

Sergey Larenkov shows us exactly what it is to merge present images of locations such as Lenigrad, and to combine them with old photographs of the same locations. In particular he merges those depicting the Siege of Lenigrad, the siege being of Axis (Nazi) objective.

This has the effect of forcing viewers to realise that those who are old or dead were also young once, and intensifies the realisation that such events really happened, it forces them into present relevence.

Of course what makes the images most prominent is the stark contrast between the suffering of the past, and the safe indulgence of the present; but some people feel the past is just the past and will never be repeated on any level. Yet awful things still do happen in the world, maybe not on this scale in Western culture, but there is still suffering, and it helps if we realise our own fragile mortality, and that just because times change, it does not mean everything should be forgotten or buried.

(If I have made any errors or inaccuracies, please let me know and they will be ammended.)

Piccadilly at night

This isn’t meant to be photography, despite being tagged as such…just little snappies from my iPhone, seen from my point of view as I wandered back from working overtime at the Mobile Fusion event

London isn’t New York! iPhone isn’t iPad!

owussaustralasia.org/.../Yellow%20taxi.jpg

Why do all average drivers in London seem to think they’re a glorified yellow New York cab? And that is excluding the obvious mention of London mental black cabs! On my way to work (in quite a rush I might add) I innocently waited my turn for the traffic lights to change as blocks of cars gushed past. The lights went green, which cars on each side could see very clearly on their approach, but no, the obviously not-so-bright lady in the grey car just HAD to park ACROSS the area intended for us struggling pedestrians…it wasn’t even a case of the lights changing too fast for cars to be aware, no, not at all.

On my approach to squeezing past the grey car, I gestured in annoyance by raising my arms like Al Pacino, “the fuck’s your problem, eh?”, with a faux smile, to which the woman shrugged guiltily, pursing her lips and knowing she was in the wrong. I clicked off in my heels until, luckily, my espresso and I got into work on time.

It was nice to see my friend Gemma today, on the early train. We spoke of old times…like where our mutual friend Kelsey’s hands swelled up to twice their normal size from groping poison Ivy, and Gemma drinking copious amounts of Vodka thinking the Vittel bottle was full of water. Too many tales, most of which too illegal or confusing to include in a blog, so there are the innocent snippets.

I suppose this post was relatively pointless, typical of me to write about the micro to avoid the macro of the mind, but…I tried out an iPad today, after tracking down the Apple store nearest my workplace, good old Regent Street. I’m still very mixed in my views on them, of course I see the downsides, but if they went down in price I won’t lie and say I wouldn’t go for it in a heartbeat. New tech makes me drool…could use it as a graphics tablet, have digital versions of all my favourite books on it (and films and music), and have already looked into many of the useful free apps. I wasn’t prepared for just how amazingly lightweight and sleek they are, despite having watched many videos about them. The useability, interactivity and overall feel of the iPad is totally different to the iPhone, despite similarities, it offers extra dimensions, which I will review in detail once I get my mucky hands on one (once I get paid).

Forgive this haphazard post! End of a long day

London and life

The little cuddly dog is called Storm, my boyfriend gave it to me at the weekend, even though there was no occasion ^_^ The rest of the pictures are all in Piccadilly where I work…the slight pink blur in all the photos is the edge of the protective iPhone case…can’t be helped.

Starbucks

In Starbucks, Piccadilly where I work. As in I work in Piccadilly, not Starbucks. I’m only here because it’s pouring rain outside, so I scurried in for refuge…and extremely fattening White hot chocolate…an unfortunate indulgence of mine lately. So much for my plans to “tone up”! Yes, i’m a failure, but it’s ok, I still fit in this work dress (it’s elastic-stretchy, but that is beside the point, and anyone who dares say otherwise…well, I’m too tired for threats.)

I better head back to the office…

*slurps the remnants of frothed cream from the bottom of the cup*

Feel like Mall Cop =[

Sushi places

http://www.ozulondon.com/

Above: Ozu

With views of Parliament, and Izakaya style dining, Ozu is definitely a place to check out. It’s more reasonably priced than some London Japanese restaurants, and a lovely place to dine in.

Below: Wasabi Sushi & Bento

http://www.wasabi.uk.com/

Quite recently, Wasabi Sushi & Bento opened at London Liverpool Street station. It’s about £3.75 for single portion, but the portions are MASSIVE. You get literally an entire bucket of noodles, so make sure you know what you’re ordering…or that you have someone to share with.

You can actually order online from their website!