Archive for February, 2011

The Immortal… Guns n’ Roses

Posted in Music with tags , on 28/02/2011 by Jen Healey

I feel that I may have ‘jumped the gun’, if you pardon the pun, in my ‘Gothic’ blog the other day by starting with my favourite band – Type O Negative.  In truth, my taste in music today was hugely influenced by the first band I ever listened to over and over again, for what has to be years of my life.  No not East 17, although when they first came out I embarrassingly had a brief pre-teen crush on Brian Harvey (Shhhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone!), it was of course Guns n’ Roses (who offered the much more respectable eye-candy fayre in the forms of Duff McKagan, Gilby Clarke and Axl – in that order).  From the tender age of eleven I listened incessantly to ‘Appetite For Destruction’ and then later ‘Use Your Illusion I and II’, with the compulsory shouting of the naughty swears (with much gusto) on the track ‘Get In The Ring’ on the latter album, at every possible opportunity. 

The video of this concert, below, being left at our house by a lodger was how I stumbled and fell for Gn’R and I’ve never looked back, unless you count nostalgically dipping my toe into a bit of Michael Jackson, Queen, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie on occasion, as that was what I was mostly raised on.  Here’s Guns live in Paris…

From there I discovered all manner of awesome guitar licks, angst-ridden lyrics and kick-ass metal, rock, grunge and all the variants on these themes.  Bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Pantera, Down, Sepultura, Biohazard, Therapy, Nailbomb, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo, Fear Factory, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Tenacious D, Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach… I’m sure I’m forgetting some others!  And not forgetting the classics such as Jimi Hendrix, Journey, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors and the Beatles even, are all bands that I associate with my teens and twenties, that are the soundtrack for my corner of a generation. 

And, for a final bit of name-dropping, my cousin (Martin Kearns) is the drummer of the doom-metal outfit Bolt-Thrower.  A wee fact that I’m pretty proud of.

Midfielding

Posted in Comedy Genius, Journal with tags , , on 27/02/2011 by Jen Healey

On Friday morning I went to the dentist, my new dentist, with whom I am really pleased.  He is quick, professional and talks to me like I’m not an idiot, which is more than I could say for the shop assistant who served me on Friday afternoon in the village shop.  After struggling up to my GP surgery to collect a prescription, holding an umbrella and some bags whilst pushing a pushchair (a Quinny with nowhere to hang the bags onto) and making sure my five year old stays away from the road, only to discover that it was closed, I went into the local shop damp and a bit vexed.  Having a little moan to the lady, who knows me pretty well, did nothing but make me want to swear.  She said “Did you think you could just go up there and be seen?” – er no!  Ok walking about the village in the rain may not be the smartest thing to do, but I had many eBay and Amazon parcels to post, which I’d posted prior to my pointless trip to the doctors’, hence the bags.  However, I didn’t think that I came across as a self-important village idiot! 

At any other time I’d have dealt with that kind of exchange with humour, but not so when tired, damp and with a (then full) grocery bag to lug back home in the increasing rain.  Thankfully my daughter is a good girl, especially with the promise of a pack of Smarties, so the return journey was nothing but a tiring trudge interspersed with me kicking myself for not checking the opening times that are on the side of my fridge.  I guess I am a bit of an idiot.  But I am still owed a lot of sleep to be fair.  Interestingly, at a study day once, I learned that lack of sleep can have the same kind of effect on your performance as being drunk.  So technically I’m managing to (mostly) function absolutely sozzled! 

On returning home I cheered myself up with some clips of Noel Fielding and Bill Bailey, here’s a bit of each for you… 

Midfielding featuring Noel was introduced to me by my very good friend Michelle, who included it on a mix CD she made for me, it always makes me smile. 

And this Bill Bailey clip features a freak-out that I would’ve dearly loved to have had the guts to do at my previous dentist, he deserved it for charging me £600 for bridges that fell out twice!  Cue my new dentist to fix the damage done by them and to make me feel like a real old maid by fitting me for a partial denture!  At thirty! 😦

It’s different, but good!

Posted in TV with tags , , on 26/02/2011 by Jen Healey

Warning – contains True Blood spoilers! 

I’ve just watched the latest episode of True Blood season 3 (twice) and, as I’ve said before, it deviates a lot from the books.  But it is stonkin’ good tv!  Firstly, a great big ‘Yippee’ for the opening scene and Lorena finally getting staked, it is about time.  Loved the way Sookie distracted Debbie, just randomly screaming, is it me or does she do that a lot?   

Jason and Hoyt are so sweet and funny.  Jason saying he never thought he was smart enough to get depressed!  Bless him.  Hoyt is still so in love with Jessica, Summer needs to go, I hope Hoyt doesn’t eat her biscuits! 

Lafayette continues to be fabulous, the way he told Jason ‘no’ about the Meth – funny.  “Jason Nah!”  Hilarious.  I also love how rude he was to that woman who was talking to Jason about making decisions, he just doesn’t give a shit, love that.  Also it was pretty comical when he told off Jason and Tara for cussing at Sookie, just as I was starting to feel a little choked-up at how upset Jason was. 

Sam is absolutely my hero in kicking back at his crappy parents/mother, just like Lafayette was for Tara’s god-awful mother.  Despite being called a little fucker and having the size of his balls commented upon!  That seems to be a recurrent theme in True Blood, bad parents that are so well written you really hate them.  Selfish and emotionally manipulative buggers.  Yay for Tommy’s liberation! 

I’m glad they stuck to the storyline with Bill getting carried away whilst in the back of the van, although they missed out the sexual assault, which I’m a bit glad about – I still haven’t forgiven him for that.  Also, I recall it was Debbie’s fault that happened, after she pushed Sookie into the boot of the big car used to rescue Bill and locked them in together whilst it was parked in Alcide’s parking garage.  Although, Stephen Moyer is excellent as Bill. 

New interesting twist, that I’m not sure about yet, is that drinking Sookie’s blood apparently enables vampires to walk in the daylight.  That was unexpected.  Also, that she has no recognisable blood-type is odd.  I’m not 100% sure, but I thought that the queen was interested in Sookie because of her telepathic ability? 

Glad to see they have included Claudine, although I’m not sure about the casting, I need to see her a bit more before I can decide if it’s right.  But please, no more dancing!  Yes faeries dance in their circle, we know, but I’ve only just got my hubby to stop moaning about the dancing that the Maenad instigated. 

Russell Edgington is FAST and funny!  My little Puddin’.  Glad he killed the Magister, rubbish character, although I’m intrigued about who or what they are going to write in as the ‘Authority’.  And I loved the shocked faces of Sophie-Ann, Pam and Eric at the splattered skull. 

Next week looks GOOD! 

Here, as promised, is that abominable video…

Aaaaarrrgggghhhhhhhhhh!  It’s SO bad!

I’m so jealous!

Posted in Music with tags , on 25/02/2011 by Jen Healey

Whilst floating around you tube yesterday I came across and re-watched the following video, mouth agape at this obviously incredibly talented woman from Iceland.  I say re-watched because my hubby has previously found and shown it to me, albeit at a time when I was a little distracted by one of my little people, or both of them, I don’t recall.  It’s too early here at 6am to be coherent.  Anyway, here is what I aspire to play on my humble little 99p piano… 

And the coolest thing about discovering Vika, that’s her name, is that she will cover and provide sheet music for any song you like for 90 euros (however much that is?) from her website http://www.vkgoeswild.com/.  She has a lot of cool songs already covered with sheet music ready to download for a donation of your choice – loads of Metallica and Nine Inch Nails! 

I’m really going to have to learn how to read music.

Duh!

Posted in Notes on 24/02/2011 by Jen Healey

When I started this blog I knew I was risking making myself look a total cotton-headed ninny-muggins, and this morning I proved I am one, by putting blocked videos into the Gothic entry! 

Therefore, this afternoon you got the links to the videos that I had intended to show but are blocked from being shared by the meanies at Roadrunner Records! 😦

I truly am a techno-retard!  But, hey, I try my best!

Gothic

Posted in Music with tags , , on 24/02/2011 by Jen Healey

After reading Caroline‘s blog post ‘A place of sadness’ yesterday and viewing her fantastic pictures, I feel it’s time to take our first steps together into the sub-culture that is Goth.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to start cutting myself or professing to be a vampire.  I have no desire to drink blood or get all maudlin about the bleakness of existence, at least not today – that was a joke! 🙂   Yes, Goths like to laugh too.  I just want to reassure you that we’re not going anywhere that’s too weird, or that reeks of teenage angst-y rebellion that is just trying too hard to be different.  I certainly don’t think I’m misunderstood in that adorably narcissistic way that young ‘uns do when they start wearing black and getting pierced.  I just like what I like, it’s as simple as that, and I’d like to share some of it with you.  

So we’ll begin with music, that’s where it really started for me.  Let me introduce you to, if you’re not already acquainted with, my absolute favourite Goth-metal band ever… Type O Negative. 

A band who entered my life in my very early teens and have tattooed themselves onto my soul.  A little romantic, yes, but their music is worth such sentiment.  Here’s a little taste… 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD5No_JRrZw

At about 4 minutes into that video you saw them be very naughty to a piano, but given their general awesomeness, I don’t think I can hold it against them.  Especially given that their frontman, (the very sexy) Peter Steele, sadly died on the 14th of April 2010 at the age of 48 from heart failure. 

I’ll admit to still being sad about that.  His sudden passing makes this next video, which is in my top five favourite Type O songs, all the more beautiful and poignant.  I still get goosebumps. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ3aiM8K6D0&feature=channel

He is certainly missed. 

However, as I said earlier, Goths do like to laugh.  So here’s a video (the last one today) of Type O Negative not taking themselves too seriously…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXIWRan3XGY&feature=channel

No stars

Posted in Astronomy, Comedy Genius, Journal with tags , , , on 23/02/2011 by Jen Healey

Well I’m up before the sun again, but I’m actually not bothered.  My little boy impressed me again last night with sleeping in his own room, after 10pm he didn’t make a peep until 5am, so I’m starting off the day pretty pleased.  Although, the sky is being less than cooperative, as it is cloudy which prevents me from seeing any stars.  If it wasn’t being awkward, this is what is on offer from the universe to view this month…

http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/tonights_sky/

I love astronomy and I plan, one day, to do a course in it so that I’ll actually be able to know what I’m looking at, beyond a few of the major constellations.  It fascinates and humbles me to gaze into the night sky, when it is clear.  It has a similar effect to that of watching the sea, for me at least, in that it can make all the everyday hassles, worries and inconveniences seem insignificant and trivial.  It really is a wonderful, beautiful and peaceful way to quiet a stressed mind.  When you consider the sheer vastness of it all, everyday niggles become just that, niggles that can (sometimes) become instantly manageable, because in the grand scheme of things it is a minute, tiny, fleeting moment in the cosmos. 

There are an infinite number of things that are much greater, more powerful and important than, for example; being late for work, someone being rude to you, what dress size you are or how much sleep your children let you have.  In comparison with the billions of years that the universe has existed, life truly is too short to sweat this very small stuff. Especially when you consider that each one of the stars pictured below is a gigantic nuclear sun, similar to our own, with its own set of planets with their own satellites.  Also, this is a very small portion of the night sky, which is full of billions and billions other celestial wonders… 

Star Cluster NGC 290

It really is Pringle sandwich time! 

Crush crush crush, yum yum yum yum yum…

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