Monday, 31 December 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR FELLOW BLOGGERS! LET'S MAKE 2013 ONE TO REMEMBER! XOXO

So, What is sexy? (ARTICLE)

























What is sexy? It's a basic question yet it has no definitive answer. Every era has a different ideology of what is sexy and, today it seems, there is much emphasis on a particular look for women to have which is deemed "sexy". Blonde hair, small waist, large-ish bum, large breasts, veneered teeth, fake tan with a smokey-eye makeup look (usually Mac) typically seems to be the number one choice for modern day, traditional sexiness - that's according to the young male demographic of the country. Basically, the Page Three/Playboy image.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

BOOK HAUL #1



























One of my main passions is reading, I like all books from all different genres and have recently done a little haul of some that I've heard are good. I will do proper reviews once I've finished reading them;

Monday, 12 November 2012

horror movies list #1

This is a quick list to let you all know about some of my all time favourite horror movies. My love of this genre began when I was 10 years old and managed to steal one of my mum's VHS tapes of 'Scream'. Yes, I was too young to be watching such a thing and I did have problems with sleeping at night in the dark afterwards, however, this was only the beginning of a love affair with scary movies. I hope you like this post and please comment below if you have any suggestions of good horror movies.

In no particular order;

1. Scream 1, 2, 3, 4 - 

Probably being my favourite horror movie series, Scream will always have a solid place in my heart. Set in the small town of Woodsboro, the story tells of teenage girl, Sydney Prescott, who is trying to recover from the brutal murder of her mother the year before. Leading up to the anniversary of the death, classmates of Sydney's are barbarically murdered by an unidentified killer, nicknamed GhostFace. The killings don't stop and thus lead Sydney to believe that it may be the person who in fact murdered her mother; and that that person is after her as well. The best thing about people who watch this film for the first time is that you cannot help yourself from making up your own assumptions as to who the killer is. It has a nice twist at the end which will come as a shocker and will make you keen to watch the others in the series. The director of this, Wes Craven, has done some great work in the past, such as the A Nightmare on Elm Street series and the original The Last House on the Left; so you can be guaranteed a good movie. All the Scream movies are directly related to Sydney and her mother, who happened to have a lot of skeletons in her closet!
If you haven't yet seen this - the pinnacle of teen slashers - then do so, you will not be disappointed.





















































Saturday, 10 November 2012

"failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour." - Truman Capote

Ladies of the night



Those of us who are honest enough will know this saying to be true, "Prostitution is the world's oldest profession." Ladies of the night have been part of our society for thousands of years and, sadly, will almost definitely be here for years to come. So, how should we deal with this politically sensitive issue. Seeing as prostitution is illegal in most countries, many of these sex workers live an unbalanced and quite dangerous life - with the constant threat of arrest and prosecution hanging over their heads - along with being denied the same rights that others have.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Mantra of the month - "There is no such thing as organised chaos"

How crazy am I?

"Crazy", "cray cray", whatever you want to call it these days, is a term that is still flung around with little to no real thought behind it and it seems every other person is calling someone "mental".

I am a firm believer that mental health problems run in families, I just have to look at my own and that of some of my friends to know this to be true. The problem used to be that in our grandparents generation, it was perfectly acceptable to lobotomise someone who was acting "insane", whereas if that person was to be medically treated today, their "insanity" would be named as disorders such as dementia, alzheimer's or schizophrenia and they would've got proper care.
It seems we have done a complete 180 turn and now I believe we have the beginning of an epidemic of young people who are being medicated heavily and, at times, this isn't enough without other forms of therapy. The stats say that one in four of us will suffer some kind of mental health disorder in our lifetime. With the pressures of day to day life, this does not surprise me, however I think so much more needs to be done for those suffering rather than just writing up a prescription and sending them out the door. In my city alone there has been a drastic increase in suicides amongst young adults - most of whom only received strong medication as a form of help. The current system is failing.

I will be honest and say that I have suffered severe depression in the past, it is a disease which is so debilitating that getting out of bed in the morning was a vast struggle (I now know having done my own research that a persons serotonin level is at its lowest in the morning time, which makes perfect sense as to why, at that time of day, I felt so awful) and living a normal happy life was impossible. Feeling useless, worthless and a burden on the family was just some of my symptoms, along with a constant black "fog" in my head which would sometimes leave me in a somewhat zombified state - I can even remember getting a bath one night and just sitting there until the water turned freezing and then physically being so drained I had to get my mum to lift me out. In a desperate bid to actually "feel" something when in these trance-like states, I would sometimes raise my hand and slap myself across my face as hard as I could. Those were the only times I hurt myself and that was defiantly my lowest point.

I cannot exactly pinpoint a trigger in my life which started this, I had some very sad traumas happen in my family such as both my mother's illness and my brother's attempted suicide in the past (my brother's failed attempt left him permanently brain damaged and I am now his primary carer) along with the sudden death of my father. Being bullied throughout my childhood and teen years has also defiantly left its impact and it saddens me that people still don't realise the longterm damage that can be done through bullying, or those who simply shrug it off as "kids being kids". Is it any wonder that I, and many others, found ourselves in a deep depression?
When I finally plucked up enough courage to ask for help, my doctor got me to fill out a questionnaire about how I felt. This alone I now feel is an awful technique as I felt so under pressure and put on-the-spot to answer these questions when I couldn't really focus on it. She then just sat there and marked my answers, tallied them up and told me what my "score" was. This "score" somehow told her what my level of depression was and so she promptly decided on giving me medication at a medium-high dose. The option for therapy was there, however I could only get the first six appointments free on the NHS and then have to pay for them myself. This is still the case today for some of my friends who, after the six weeks, find themselves at loss and end up falling back to where they started.

We live in a society where we shouldn't question what the doctor says, for they know the most about health and how to help us, so I didn't think anything of it and the next morning I started taking my "happy pills". It wasn't before long that I noticed that I felt worse, I was having really vivid, disturbing dreams and developed a teeth-grinding in my sleep (however, it can take a good few weeks for the medications to stabilise in your system and work properly). I also noticed how, for the first time, I had thoughts of a more serious self harm. These thoughts scared me so much that I started to do my own research and discovered that, under certain guidelines, the particular brand of anti-depressant I was on should not be given to young adults as it causes "thoughts of suicide and/or self harm". I promptly went back to my doctor and asked for alternate medications and more forms of therapy and was slowly weaned off the first batch of "happy pills". Regardless of what medication you are on, the most dangerous thing is to just stop taking them, so I knew to seek medical advice. I also questioned why I was put on that type of drug in the first place, I was simply told that "different countries work under their own guidelines and not necessarily that of the primary manufacturer". My advice to people is to ask as many questions as you wish when at the doctors about any kind of treatment you are to receive - that's what they're there for! If you don't agree with something, then get a second opinion from a different doctor.

Now, two years after my treatment begun, I'm much happier in myself and my depression has declined drastically. It is something that will always stay with me but having a better understanding of the disease defiantly helped me with my treatment. If anyone thinks curing mental illness is as easy as a trip to your G.P then you are sadly mistaken, it takes so much strength and inner power.
Unfortunately, there still seems to be this stigma attached to mental illness -  that it makes you "weak" and you should just "man up and get over it" - if only it was that simple! If only I could've just clicked my fingers and felt joy. Education is key for most issues in life, the more education we put out there, the more understanding there is. With a better understanding comes a greater need for change and with that, comes more resources that, most importantly, can get ongoing funding. These services are vital to help us, especially during this awful economic crisis which causes people so much worry and stress (which can then lead into full blown disorders).

By the media putting more articles out there for the world to read, by our own doctors giving us resources that we can look into ourselves, by television dedicating some of its primetime to programmes on mental health (and NOT in a scare mongering way) then hopefully drastic action will be taken to help save lives. If you are reading this and are suffering, I can promise you that you are not alone! Depression is not your fault! You will get better! Ask for help, as that was the best thing I ever did and has made me stronger as a woman for it.

For this is the reality; too many people have lost their battle with depression unnecessarily and we need to create change in their memory.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Even MORE Sister sites

My blog has another couple of new cyber-relatives to add to the mix. I have already introduced my sub-blog all about FASHION and STYLE called STELLAR THREADS

Now let me introduce a new member to the Stellar Family, STELLAR SKIN. This blog will focus on BEAUTY and SKINCARE and all the in-betweens. I will do product reviews on both high-end and budget cosmetics, hair care lines, lotions and potions - basically anything of womanly indulgence. I, like many of you, am still on that never ending journey of discovering that perfect foundation and that perfect blending brush, so hopefully all of you beauty addicts will find my articles helpful. I PROMISE to be 100% honest with any review I do.

Next up is a blog dedicated to what probably is my favourite pastime - FOOD! I have already copied my 'Stellar Recipes' from this site onto my new one and from now on will put all my recipes onto STELLAR RECIPE. As you can see, I'm keeping the "STELLAR" name consistent throughout my little maze of sites as I like to keep a bit of consistency - it makes blogging more wholesome for me. So, with this food blog, I will be regularly adding all different types of dishes and cuisine. I do not want the fact that I am a vegetarian to put you off, I can GUARANTEE you will find my cooking to be as tasty and satisfying as any "meat lovers" dish. GUARANTEE!

There you have it, phase one of my expansion of blogging complete. The next phase will be working on some design ideas for logos and the like whilst coming up with a COLLABORATIVE sub-blog with a special person in my life. That blog will focus on....wait for it....MUSIC, and we hope to have it up and running after winter!
Of course The Stellar Diaries is still my baby and I will continue to freely write away here so stay tuned for new posts.



LINKS:

STELLAR THREADShttp://thestellarthreads.blogspot.co.uk/

STELLAR SKINhttp://thestellarskin.blogspot.co.uk/

STELLAR RECIPE http://stellarrecipe.blogspot.co.uk/



Thanks

RB xx

P.S. I plan on creating link boxes for all of my blogs so you can easily click from one to the other. I am working on that now but as I usually repel anything too technical, it may take a while. (So if you can give me any suggestions lemme know by commenting on this or tweeting me.)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Stellar Diaries Sister Sites

I'm in the midst of evolving this blog by expanding it into sub-sites which will be more focused onto different interests. I have about three more sites to create and work on and shall link them all up together once completed.

First up is my sister site which will focus primarily on the FASHION INDUSTRY.

Click below for STELLAR THREADS


http://thestellarthreads.blogspot.co.uk/



Friday, 5 October 2012

I've joined hitRECord

One thing I did do at the start of the summer is join the online open-collaborative production company, hitRECord. It's a fantastic website where anyone can open an account and make any type of art (called Records) they wish, then upload it and have others remix/remake said Records and vice versa. Whether you are a writer, musician, painter, illustrator, film maker, editor, photographer or you just like looking at other people's work and critiquing it, this site is a goldmine for all of us like-minded artistic persons. The best part is that the company will take a selection of uploaded work and make it into a book or album, for example, and sell it to the general public where the profits made go back to the artists' who created it. That's you and I. Sounds almost too good to be true and I haven't even mentioned the tour that is held at various venues around the States for all the members to attend; a fabulous display, a harmonious and synergetic union of creativity inspired individuals if you will. 

I love this website as, from a personal perspective, now that I am out of Uni I feel a sort of loss at not being in class with my friends making art together and collaborating on the weird and wonderful. Heck, I was lucky, LUCKY to even afford to go to an art school since we live in a time were tuition fees are astronomical. I am sure some people could only look on and just dream about being in that type of environment and, inevitably, felt disillusioned with art. Well, now we have a place where it doesn't matter where you live, what your income is or what grades you got and that place is http://www.hitrecord.org/

I have already put up a few Records, such as the image below, which is a watercolour sketch I did years ago, and have named it 'Pink Doll' (clever, right?). 




Summer Distractions

Apologies, apologies, I am such an awful writer for vanishing into thin air for the past couple of months. I promise this site will be back up and running and I will be back to my best "ay-sap" with regular posts on, well, just about whatever I feel.

The summer has passed and I had found myself in the midst of a complete (well, almost) life-changing turn of events. Ok, that's a tad dramatic. In reality I moved home twice, travelled to France and Ireland on holiday, had an abundance of make-ups and break-ups - some of which led to me tearfully rambling into a cheap bottle of Merlot about my "ever dwindling group of friends" (a few moved away to new jobs) - and seeking out various career opportunities. All in all, a pretty fucking awesome summer to be honest.

Funny how now that I am getting older (not necessarily wiser), I value and cherish the things one takes for granted during those young, hormonally imbalanced years. Family, friends, love and sunny weather means so much more to me now than ever before and I feel as though I cherish whatever time I can get with them. I'm not a student anymore, so I feel fortunate to have time off work at the same period as others and I grab those moments where I can get it.


Back to The Stellar Diaries...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Stellar Recipe: Chocolate Cinnamon Palmiers

I like to call these my "little chocolate puffs of Heaven", and when you make them yourself and eat warm, you will understand why. These are part of my baking desserts recipe's and are to be considered treats for when you want a break from your usual healthy eating. A few of these little gems won't pile on the pounds and are completely satisfying, if you have a love for chocolate like me. These are also so incredibly easy to make, you will wonder what the catch is! Well, just try to resist munching the entire batch once made. If you have kids these are perfect for baking, it will give them a nice change from rice crispy buns. Perfect for sharing, or to have as nibbles for a party. You will need a butter knife, sharp knife, baking tray and oven.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sex, Lies and Twilight

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Poor Kristen Stewart. It almost seemed too shocking to be true but the simple fact is, Kristen has been publicly caught red-handed cheating on her boyfriend, Robert Pattinson. The Twi-hards are in mourning and feel it is the end of the world, for what is the point of living without Edward and Bella united as one? Everyone, myself included, have come together in wondrous confusion as to what has happened to what was the love story of Hollywood and sci-fi dreams. One question, What the FUCK were you thinking Kristen?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Edie Sedgwick

"You're the boss, apple sauce", was one of the many adorable catchphrases said by artist Andy Warhol to his waif of a muse Edie Sedgwick in the semi-biographical film of their time together, Factory Girl. The story of Andy and Edie has fascinated me for years, it seemed a real love story of sorts, even though it would of probably only been a platonic love.
Edie Sedgwick was born into American Royalty and was thus the heiress to a mass fortune, with her long dark hair, elphin features, slim frame and big bambi eyes, she was beautiful as well as educated, talented and wealthy. Being an excellent artist herself, Edie moved to New York to attend art school and found herself in the middle of the mass sixties social revolution, in which people did not conform to societies usual straight-laced attitudes towards life. Hippies, rock and roll and Pop Art were introduced to the world simultaneously at this time, the birth place being that of New York City, and as the old saying goes, "If you remember the sixties, you weren't there".

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Real Fear dot com

Fear is something we all have to endure as a species, after all, it's that flight or flight mode which separates the strong from the weak. Survival of the fittest and all that. However, are we now becoming so preoccupied with fear that even just the idea that it's coming, even without any actual arrival, is causing us more harm that what it is we fear?
For example, are we so afraid of the idea of burglars breaking into our house at night that we behave in irrational ways, barricading ourselves in with ten bolts on the doors and a loaded gun in our bedside table, that we would actually feel less frightened by a burglary happening. Have we all been incorporated into a fear culture which is making us paranoid and terrified to the point of phobia?

Monday, 16 July 2012

Modern Day "Celebrity" Culture

Something strange has happened in the last fifty odd years, gone are the days of beautiful Hollywood Glamour; with women wearing long evening gowns, wrapped in a fur stole, evening gloves on and decked out in diamonds sashaying along red carpets, suave gentleman on arm. It has been replaced by a breed of fake-tanned, fake hair, fake nails, barely-any-clothes-on clones who embody this craze of faux notoriety. How can these people, who are famous for no apparent reason, become icons in this day in age? How can common women such as Katie Price become such household names and have hoards of young women turning up at their book signings - for books they didn't even write?

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Fifty Shades of Sex

Never in all my years have I seen such hype over a particular book. Everywhere you go, you will see signs of Fifty Shades, whether it be a supermarket with noticeably empty shelves or every single magazine with reference to this new wave of "mummy porn" culture. All of my friends have read the said novel, even my mum just finished it, and truth be told, it is an erotic masterpiece of sorts which definitely gets the ladies going.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Big Gay Debate

It appears everywhere you turn now is a story regarding gay rights and, in particular, gay marriage. The current US election hopefuls campaigns are completely focused on whether gays should have the legal right to be married under law. To be honest, I personally think there currently are far bigger issues to be primarily discussing and heading the limelight, such as our horrendous economy and the fact millions are out of work and I do believe that the US candidates are just avoiding the bigger issues at hand by using gay marriage as a smokescreen, however, I also do understand this is fast becoming a human rights issue verses a morality one.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

My Idea of Modern Day Feminism

Does modern day feminism actually exist? It's a question thats been plaguing my thoughts as I've reached my womanhood years, especially when looking at the roles of women in todays society as opposed to that of my mother's/grandmother's generation. Women have choice to do as they please now, with most being expected to gain careers first and leave marriage and motherhood for later. However, isn't it ironic that since we have become the most independent we've ever been as a gender, we feel the most insecure about ourselves?

Women's Health

This blog post was inspired by my findings whilst clearing out my handbag, such a mundane task. Anyway, I was flicking through my random crumpled up papers and found two letters with invitations to attend my first smear test. The irrational part of my brain told me to just tear it up, sure I was young and healthy was I not? Was there any need to put myself through something so uncomfortable for no reason? These thoughts are incredibly foolish, I know that, but justified it by my having a bad phobia of most things medical related. Whether it be a needle or a speculum, I severely dislike any foreign objects going into my body and especially loathe the agonising week long wait for results. I doubt I'm the only one who feel this way.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Stellar Recipe: Easy Veggie Fajitas



This recipe is a personal favourite of my family and friends. It's a more hearty dish which all the meat-loving men in my life can be satisfied with, seeing as it's a vegetarian dish. Again, like my other recipes, it's inexpensive and easy to make; with just a frying pan, knife and spoons being your tools of choice for this one. This fajita is full of flavour and packed with vitamins and nutrients. My recipe makes 4 servings - enough for the whole family.

When the Music Takes Over

This post will be about some of my favourite albums and musicians. When I was a youngster typical pop music was my preferred noise of choice, with Britney, Christina, Nsync and S Club 7 tapes littering my bedroom floor. Inoffensive manufactured music was the peak of my childhood years, with my older brother trying in vain - and failing miserably - to get me to listen to anything else. He even took me to my first Radiohead concert when I was about fourteen to convince me that his type of music was more appealing and interesting than mine, however, I recall spending the entire concert looking bored and painting my nails with a little light up compact mirror I had in my bag. I just didn't get it, the way today I have some friends who still don't get this style of music.

Those Incredibly Stylish Twins

Yes, I'm referring to the Olsen Twins, with their quirky, tailored outfits, pretty faces and luscious long locks. My generation particularly have grown up with these girls and witnessed them evolve from innocent mini munchkin's in Two of a Kind, to the grown up business women and fashion designers of the day with an empire worth over a billion dollars. The former child stars could of followed the steps of so many of their peers down the Hollywood scandal lifestyle, full of DUI's and STD's, and ended up a joke in the industry. Not these girls. They have recently won the most prestigious award from the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) for their fashion line, The Row, and they are still only twenty-five years old.

As they grew up and out of the bubblegum children's television networks, the twins began to form their own identities. Some saw this as an act of rebellion, however, I think that they were just becoming young adults and developed their own individual tastes. Today, Mary-Kate is seen as the more daredevilry twin when it comes to taking chances with fashion, and with that some of her outfits are completely hit and miss. She also thinks nothing of wearing dresses which look fives times too big for her, with long mermaid hair and an abundance of costume jewellery.
Ashley on the other hand, is more tailored and quintessentially feminine with her outfit choices. Lots of casual structure, monotone colours all mixed with nude make-up and beautifully glossy blonde locks is her safe bet fashion choice.

Personally, I prefer Ashley's look as I don't think I could confidently pull off the more daring outfits of Mary-Kate. I like a classic look that isn't too over-the-top, however, maybe in a few years time I could be eating my words and dressing in oversized apparel.
The Olsen twins have such a dedicated following of fans that there are even blogs just dedicated to pictures of them and not much else. Such example can be found at this link. I feel a lot of this almost obsession is that fact that today, they rarely covet the spotlight and hardly ever give interviews. They value their privacy too much nowadays. They want to be seen as dedicated designers and don't want to be involved with the superficial celebrity culture they were once contracted to be apart of. That in itself is very inspirational, along with the fact that their designs are actually very good and not at all what some people would of expected. Yes, they still get the odd bit of bad press for either using too much fur and/or animal skins or for the fact that some of their accessories pieces are ridiculously overpriced, however, one thing you cannot deny is that these twin's have an eye for style and they have impeccable taste. Their achievements should only be applauded, not criticised.























(images via favim and pinterest.com)


Marchesa Sex

There are some designers that I can only refer to as fashion porn. You will hear me describe beautiful threads in this way quite a lot, as, a well crafted piece of fabric excites me in a way no other object could. This may sound extreme to my readers who are not interested in the fashion world per se, however, you will probably never heard of Marchesa.
Any time you look at a major red carpet event, be it The Oscars or The Golden Globes, you can bet that carpet is overflowing with structured, delicate fabrics that drape the female frames on show in a way that could correlate to a fairytale dream land. These stand-out ball gowns, along with the cute and desirable shorter cocktail dresses, are the artistic creation of Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, the co-founders of Marchesa. 
The brand name is taken from legendary socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati, and, both Chapman and Craig met at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. They brought together their strong points, Chapman's draping and design paired with Craig's textile creations resulted in the birth of Marchesa in 2004


Nowdays, the elite of the entertainment industries are all vying to be dressed in the girl's couture creations and I'm sure the fact that Georgina recently married Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein helped her brand somewhat.
Personally, I feel Marchesa is one of the most beautiful dressmakers of all time. They are still quite a new brand, and will no doubt keep coming out with bigger and more visually stunning pieces in the years to come. If I had the money, I would absolutely make my first shopping spree stop at one of their stores, regardless of if I had anywhere to go in them in - I would just be eccentric and wear the ball gowns whilst watching television - as I would like to know what it felt like to be a real-life Disney princess for a day. They have also recently added a Bridal section to their designs, can you imagine?























(images via pretty stems and pinterest.com)


Monday, 2 July 2012

Stellar Spotlight: Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy is a name that will probably ring a few bells with the vast majority of you. Ever get that feeling that you know a name, you've heard it before, but pester yourself wondering where have I heard that name? Well, you will more than likely now remember this particular name running across your television screen as credits for well seen programmes such as Glee and Nip/Tuck. Ryan Murphy is the producer and genius creator behind such shows and also has the groundbreaking horror drama series American Horror Story under his belt.

Murphy started on his career by working as a journalist for various news publications such as The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald, and ended up getting his big break into the entertainment industry when legend Steven Spielberg purchased a script be wrote titled Why Cant I Be Audrey Hepburn? With his foot in the door, Murphy continued to write and eventually - with a few lesser successful pilots done and out of the way - created Nip/Tuck which is basically a drama surrounding two best friends and business partners, who are plastic surgeons, and live in Miami. The show itself completely captured the divine mixture of beauty and the sheer ugliness hidden beneath such a superficial way of life. This, along with plenty of sex, drugs, scandal, doomed relationships and very lifelike surgeries being carried out, all came together to make a drama so great it ran for six seasons and won Murphy numerous awards including a Golden Globe for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
Tell me what you don't like about yourself? became the now iconic tagline for the series, which the surgeons opened most episodes with, when interviewing new patients.

Personally, I absolutely adored Nip/Tuck whilst it ran and was so heartbroken when it ended. Usually I'm one to shy away from any medical-themed television series, however, Ryan Murphy was so good at what he did he made the show ooze style and class; even the set designs were perfection. It didn't feel like a clinical type of show were I had no clue what the doctors were talking about, it was done in such an intriguing way with each new episode having a new patient with their own personal story and therefore particular chosen surgery. This way I, the viewer, witnessed all different types of surgeries from the common breast enlargement, to the likes of a clitoral reconstruction (from a character who suffered female genital mutilation). The main show characters, Dr Christian Troy (played by Julian McMahon) and Dr Shaun McNamara (played by Dylan Walsh), have a deeply passionate, volatile friendship that is balanced with a pure brotherly love for each other, a love that can stand the test of time, and, throughout the six seasons, their love was surely tested. This incorporated with some of the most bizarre love triangles I have ever witnessed, makes Nip/Tuck a show which in years to come, will be looked back upon as a classic.

Coming out of my mourning for the loss of Nip/Tuck, I wondered what Murphy would come up with next. Glee isn't exactly my kind of program, it is fun, uplifting and the young ones have an whole new set of starlets to idolise, but I prefer my shows with a little substance. Then along came American Horror Story.
This is the latest show from Murphy and is a horror-drama with an absolutely stellar cast. "The first season takes place in 2011 and is themed on infidelity. The story follows the Harmon family: Ben, Vivian and teenage daughter Violet, who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivian gives birth to a stillborn baby and Ben has an affair with Hayden, one of his students. The family moves to a restored mansion, unaware that the house is haunted"(link). It isn't before long that the family encounter strange goings on and meet peculiar people, including the sexy young house maid, Moira (who appears as an elderly woman to some of the family but not others) and next door neighbour Constance. Constance is, for me, the stand out character in the drama and knows all of the ins and outs of the haunted house. Jessica Lange plays Constance in a way that can only be commended, with such grace and wisdom and has since won various awards for her part. She is confirmed to play in the second season of the show alongside new addition, Adam Levine. The best thing about American Horror Story is that it is actually scary, very scary indeed which is such a nice change from so many horror genre shows that aren't particularly frightening. It takes me to pluck up some courage to attempt to watch an episode with the lights out and I usually end up regretting it. I like my sleep, God knows I don't get enough of it, but now I'm scared of a strange faceless man in a rubber suit crawling in besides me wanting some happy times.

I look forward to what masterpieces of television Ryan Murphy has up his sleeve for the next chapter in his amazing career. Titillating times ahead I suspect.























(images via AmericanHorrorStoryFan and zimbio)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Tory's Strike Again

Now, this isn't some Conservative bashing post full of uneducated ramblings by some muesli munching, left-wing head case. Well not completely anyway. The news channel have been dominated over the last few days surrounding plans the Government (or "big G" as I like to call them) have to completely take away housing benefit money for under 25's in order to save a couple of billion, which can be better used on public services - or so they say. Well, I'm not on benefit money but I definitely know quite a few people who are and this is the first problem we encounter with this joke of a coalition. David Cameron nor any of his Tory members are able to truly empathise with the average, working class man who is surviving on minimum wage. They don't have a clue what it's like to have money worries or what it's like to panic at the end of every month wondering whether or not there is enough rent money; nor do they understand using the spare change at the bottom of your handbag to buy food with. These are actual examples I've encountered with people and I feel as though the Government doesn't seem to understand this. How does creating more money worries, solve money problems? It's like Cameron is dying to leave some sort of legacy from his time as Prime Minister by pushing this "we need change"-esque mottos into our lives. His ego is getting in the way of doing the right thing. I'm no finance expert, but even I can see the madness in thinking we can solve a multi-trillion pound debt within the world's economy in a few short years. It will take time, years and years probably to get our economy back to anywhere near what it once was, and by taking such drastic actions over and over again in such a short space of time can only be detrimental to the society as well as the economy.

Obviously it's the PM's advisors who are also to blame, but, Cameron put himself forward as wanting to be in charge of the country so he should take the blame when the ideas, that are his parties are being pushed forward, are reckless. First it started with the tuition fees and the horrid u-turn of Nick Clegg (who I voted for) and his party for the rise of over triple the cost to attend university. When the country is in such a debt, where money is hard to come by, when people can't get jobs, is it really wise to start mimicking the education system of the likes of America and charge ridiculous fees for the average teenager wanting to better themselves? If I had been in the UK at the time of the student protests, I would of joined them. Does the Government not realise it's the youth of today who will be in charge tomorrow? By making going to university an elitist option, society will inevitably suffer and the divide between rich and poor, as well as bitterness and hatred, will only grow. Sure, if there are no jobs anyway, why would the average student risk taking a loan of over thirty grand without the guarantee of a job. Only the wealthy can afford to take such risks, it's probably what got us into this mess in the first place.

Regarding the housing benefit, now young adults will be forced to move back in with their parents and not live the independent life they should be doing. When you reach those vital years, from late teens to early twenties, and move out on your own for the first time, you gain confidence as well as life skills which all go hand in hand with looking, applying for and hopefully getting a job. How demoralising will it be now for young adults? Even embarrassing for some to have to be forced to go back home because the Government say so. Unemployment is so high at the moment as there aren't enough jobs available for graduates as employers want experience, yet you can only get experience if you get a job. It's a vicious circle and if the Government wanted any suggestion it would be to make all internships paid - first and foremost. I personally know a few people who are wealthy enough to do internships for no pay for months on end. Internships are one of the most vital tools you can use to end up in full time employment as it gets you a foot in the door of a particular company and it's unfair that they are places secured only for the well to do. They should change the current system to give everyone a fair chance.

I suppose as I am an under 25, I realise how the real situation is. Young, single people with no dependants are seen as an easy target for Government cuts. This isn't like the olden days where families all stuck together and they children only left the home when they were getting married. Times have changed, we as a society have become more independent and pay enough taxes in order to have temporary support when it is needed. Of course I am not referring to the benefit fraudsters who have never worked a day in their lives and somehow live rather extravagant lifestyles - I will do a post on them at a later date - but the genuine members of the public - my friends included - who are panicking about what to do should their housing benefit stop and then still not have a full time job. A lot of them live in London where there are the most opportunities, should they have to move back to various parts of the UK to cities that are even worse off? I cannot see the sense in it.

If you want to save a couple of billion, then get at the 1% who keep their billions in offshore, tax haven accounts to pay their taxes. I'm sure Cameron and his companions know a few of them.





















(images via Guardian and toonpool)


Remember that movie 'The Aviator'?

I was recently doing a bit of shopping at my local charity shops (they are a gold mine) and came across the DVD section finding The Aviator for a pound. Having a little nostalgia induced twinge, I purchased said movie and watched it. Do you ever get one of those feelings where you can't understand how you forgot about such a good movie from years earlier? That was me, and I thus went on to search for documentaries about Howard Hughes as he was such an interesting and complex character.

The movie is a biopic of the life of Howard Hughes, who, acquired many job titles throughout his career including businessman, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director and philanthropist. He lived a very privileged life and was one of the richest men in the world at the time, since the death of his parents who left him their fortune. He romanced some of the worlds most beautiful women, made some of histories most expensive films and created groundbreaking aircrafts which broke all the world air-speed records.
This amount of talent mixed with unlimited limitations would to some be seen as a recipe for greatness but for Hughes it would end up a disaster. Being diagnosed as having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would be the ultimate limitation for a man who could have everything. OCD is described as, "an anxiety disorder characterised by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry, by repetitive behaviours aimed at reducing the associated anxiety, or by a combination of such compulsions and obsessions. Symptoms of the disorder include excessive washing or cleaning; repetitive checking; extreme hoarding; aversion to particular numbers; and nervous rituals"(link).

The Aviator is one of the most stylish films I've seen, with incredible detail for every set and garment worn. The women character clothing is beautiful and give me a longing for the hope that the fashion world will somehow revolve itself to bring back some of the fashions of that time. It oozes sophistication and glamour, showing the world how it's done properly.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hughes in the movie in what I feel is the best role he has ever done. The character is played with such resounding sadness especially at parts where Hughes himself is finding his condition extremely painful to live with. At times even opening a restroom door-handle gives such great distress to Hughes, it is reminiscent to that of a terrified child who hates the dark.
Love is a major theme throughout, with the main loves of Hughes being that of Hollywood movie stars Katherine Hepburn (played by Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (played by Kate Beckinsale) who both played the now iconic females of the time with complete grace and elegance. Blanchett particularly stood out for me, she is one of my favourite actresses anyway and can only be described as an acting chameleon.
The movie shows Hughes love for Hepburn which was so great that there is a touching scene where he takes her out for a impromptu private flying lesson and shares his bottle of milk for her to drink out of, showing him letting his guard down in his own way. However it wasn't meant to be as Hughes determination to constantly be the worlds best aviator/director/businessman took centre stage and Hepburn felt left out and then fell in love with someone else, someone who gave her the attention she was so accustomed to in her professional life. It also didn't help that Hughes was frequently pictured out with every starlet in town, a fact that humiliated and infuriated Hepburn.

This heartbreak was to set Hughes off into an oblivion of mental health disorders which gained more strength everyday. The more the pressure got to him, the more grasp his OCD took hold, as if his own illness fed off his self. He began bugging his phone lines and repeating sentences before eventually becoming a self imposed reclusive, stuck in a deep depression and locking himself in a screening room where he didn't wash and even went as far as urinating in his empty milk bottles - before lining them up in order. The movie captures these painful times with, what I feel, is great respect and honesty.

I remember watching a documentary years ago about the life of Howard Hughes and it was more traumatic than the movie. It interviewed those who knew him back then (they are elderly now) and some shocking claims were made. Apparently during the last years of Hughes life, he signed his company assets over to a cult-like organisations (reportedly that of a Mormon background) who severed what little contact he had with the outside world, including friends and business associates who had always loved and worried about him. This group played up to his metal illness and even encouraged it with harrowing memories being retold such as the time Hughes wanted to live in a hotel in Las Vegas. Vegas to Hughes was the dessert. which was clean and empty, therefore comfortable and somewhat safe for him. When took to a hotel and shown to his suite, Hughes apparently saw a bright room with a view out over Nevada and stated he liked it and asked whether they (his 'people') thought he should stay there. They then disgustingly said no and ushered him into a windowless room where he was told he would be safe from germs. He had an excruciating ending to his life, full of neglect and mental abuse and upon his death in 1976 weighing as little as seven stone which for a man who was six foot four inches tall, is horrendous. His legacy now lives on with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute being funded with some of his billion pound fortune left in his estate. This is a non-profit medical research organisation which Hughes founded in 1953 and is now the second-wealthiest philanthropic organisation in the US and is the second best endowed medical research foundation in the world.

Personally, I feel as though Howard Hughes story is as relevant now as it was then. Speaking from a mental health point of view, I can only imagine how hard to must of been for him back in those days to live with something like that. I mean those were the days where people with, what now is classified as schizophrenia, were lobotomised for acting odd. Even now almost eighty years since the time of Hughes, are the general public that different when it comes to mental health disorders as they were then? To me there seems to be a great shame in that subject, which is still a taboo condition to talk about openly and accept. Hopefully, though, as the world is evolving and we understand ourselves better as a species, we can educate ourselves and not be prejudice to those who need our sympathy and help with mental health problems.




















(images via GoogleImages and altgf)

Stellar Recipe: Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Pastry Puff

This is the first recipe I am going to share with you all on this blog. So I thought I should provide my all time favourite quick dish. This meal is simple to cook, healthy, inexpensive and delicious. I have tried many variations of this dish and have settled on these few favourite ingredients, spices and herbs. You can also play around with the ingredients as much as you want to get a taste which is perfect for you and a dish that is completely unique. It is also vegetarian which is a plus as you can guarantee healthy vegetables are essential addition to most vegetarian dishes.

I have been vegetarian for about four years and have never enjoyed food more. There really is a wealth of flavours out there that can get overlooked of you solely rely on meat for taste. Recently, I decided to make as much of my food as I could from scratch and started off small by buying a couple of different spice jars per week. I have quite a good collection now and I'm actually rather proud of myself for achieving this small goal.

Now onto the recipe;

INGREDIENTS


  • 3 Bell peppers (I used 2 red and 1 orange), sliced
  • 1 red onion, Diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 radish, sliced 
  • 1 packet of buffalo mozzarella, thickly chopped
  • 1 pre-rolled puff pastry sheet
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chillies
  • 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon of dried paprika
  • crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180oC 
  • On a baking tray, roll out the puff pastry sheet and add the tomato puree.
  • Use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the puree and make sure to leave an inch-wide boarder on the pastry. This lets it rise.
  • Once puree is spread, use the green pesto to add small dollop's around the pastry.
  • Sprinkle the crushed garlic onto the pastry.
  • Start to arrange the peppers, onion, radish and tomato's onto the pastry.
  • Add the mozzarella and the spices/herbs.
  • Top off with a quick drizzle of good quality olive oil.
  • Put baking tray into the oven and cook for approx 15 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on the pastry throughout
  • Once cooked, slice into quarters and serve with side salad. Enjoy.





































Reader's Block

Writer's block is a well known syndrome amongst us, it is an irritating condition that toys with our minds and prevents us from doing what we usually find oh so simple to do. It is predominantly defined as a condition in which an author and/or writer loses the ability to produce new work. The severity of this can be vast, from minor difficulty at a current assignment or, on the other end of the spectrum, writers giving up their careers altogether as they have had a mental 'block' for years.
As yet I have been fortunate enough to only endure to lesser of this problem. I can't imagine how dreadful it must be to have your passion, your hobby, your love even cruelly snatched away from you.

However, this post is about something in relation to writer's block, a mirroring torment of sorts. It's reader's block and it's an exasperating evil that's currently plaguing my life and preventing me from partaking in my most essential skill. Usually, I go through phases in which I need to read everything in sight - this includes those leaflets that come in Paracetamol boxes - to mild periods in which I take a much needed break to recharge my mental batteries. It has been four months now and I have a pile of a dozen books on my dressing table, unread and gathering dust. I have tried copious amounts of times to read the first couple of chapters of said books but my attempts seem fruitless. Basically I read them and absorb nothing at all and need to re-read almost every paragraph. Not normal. The situation is manifesting itself so I'm finding myself watching television and barely understanding the plot of most programmes. I wonder why this happens? Do any of you, my readers, have any problems like this one?

Since inheriting this from my Mother, reading has become one of the biggest parts of my life in which I profusely enjoy. Its quite amusing to think of the many people who give up reading books once they leave school or university. It became too studious for them to enjoy and only saw as a learning task, however, I only really started to experiment with my reading material when I left uni. I used to play it safe and focus on easy reading, chick lit, trilogies and the like. Now having read some classics and material from a much more niche market, I can say that variety really is the spice of life.

Hopefully, this reader's block will burn itself out and I can once again get back to my passion. I can only think that it must be suppressed stress that is causing this delay and if I find a solution, I will definitely be posting it here. For the time being though, writing and working on this blog is sure helping me from falling into a no-novel induced withdrawal.




























(images via GoogleImages and csebastian)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

House Hunting Woes and Estate Agent Hoes

T'was the fifth property I've viewed in as many weeks and I'm slowly losing the plot to live. How the times have changed over the past few years thanks to the destruction of the worlds economy by a group of greedy, grubby bankers. Yes, I'm royally effed' off at the state of the property market in these current times as none of us can really afford to sell our homes and none of us are cash ready to buy and begin a lifelong, hopefully worthwhile investment. I've heard gut wrenching claims that the estimated time for the markets to stabilise and improve enough to what it was five years ago could take twenty years. Such a horrible, depressing thought.
So it is now a renters market, with landlords rubbing their cheap hands together with cunning glee and us lot, the tenants. Trying not to be taken advantage of as I do have the appearance of an innocent teenage girl (so I've been told as I look so young), I have been researching my behind off for comparisons and differences for postcode pricing and room values. So far I've discovered that for the price of a four bedroom, standard, small, semi-detached in a rather poor state, I could afford a luxury two bedroom apartment with the plus of a master en-suite, just two streets further out from the city. The age old question when house/flat hunting is, should I be looking for the best house in the worst location, or the worst house in the best location?

Personally, as I'm not in the position of looking for a home to buy and decorate and nurture, I need to be practical. At this moment in time the luxury apartments are looking my best option, as, I don't need all the space of a house, and, I can't afford a house that looks any better than a student squalor squat. So that eliminates one battle, the next being a postcode wars of such with rather farcical price hikes to live as little as two streets closer to the city centre. This is the area in which I'm feeling the strain, as, at times it is infuriating to see corporate greed at work again and making living in comfortable housing an elitist matter. We all have the right to comfortable affordable housing, especially at a time when the rental market is so powerful, you would think there would be more choice. Estate agents are now taking advantage of the potential tenants and charging ridiculous pricing for rents and its nothing but disgusting. Also, is it just me or can anyone see what actual work estate agents do? I would love to hear your suggestions. Viewing unoccupied properties on a selected open house and not even bothering to open the curtains so we can see the property in its best light, along with turning up late, and, either not returning calls or going to the next extreme and calling/emailing/texting you to the point of harassment is just some of the unfortunate situations I've found myself in with these jobsworths. The worst so far? Having to pay an application fee of around forty pounds any time I want to just apply for a property - and thats forty pounds for each potential tenant - with zero guarantee that you will be chosen. As you can imagine, the estate agents will say almost anything to get you to apply, even though they have a pretty good idea of what type of tenant the landlord will want to vacate their property, and that might not necessarily be you.

I had to wait today in the rain for about half an hour for an estate agent to bother to arrive to let me in to view a property. I got wet, then angry as the particular place was as dark as a coven - did the agent even turn the lights on to show me around? Do you really need me to answer that?

Here is a link to use if you are in my position as an almost homeless person and in need of a rental property.
Click here for the information - A Tenant's guide to renting

(image via rose2roses )



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Real-ish Housewives of Orange County

Today is a sad day for me, it was the season ending of Real Housewives of Orange County. I now have to wait about six months for the next collection of hard hitting, quality television. I joke. To be honest, most people I know who in public look down on these types of reality t.v trash are actually franticly looking online for links to the newest episodes as soon as they go live when they are home alone. There is nothing worse in life than those god awful wannabe faux intellectuals who say "I don't watch television", sure you don't.
The fact is these programmes give us a much needed escape from the pressures of our own tortuous, mundane lives and we do all get pleasure from watching a bunch of wealthy, age defying women bitch and fight and throw soiree's and apply copious amounts of MAC bronzer. In that exact order as well.

Well, on tonights finale of RHoOC, we saw what would appear to be the demise of one of the shows longest and strongest friendships - that of Vicky and Tamra. Ever since Vicky split from her husband and shacked up with that poor excuse of a redneck, Brooks, we all knew parts of her life would erupt and I don't mean in the bedroom! You see, Vicky is one of those women who was so in love with her career that she forgot how to love her then husband, Don. I thought Don was such a gentleman who adored his wife and family but he was obviously too vanilla for Vicky. She needed a strapping southern Texan man to look after her and give her some excitement. Problem is, we hear he's been arrested for not paying child maintenance for his four children, who he left back in Texas, so he could come to sunny California and live in Vicky's house and drive Vicky's car and spend Vicky's money and get fed and clothed by Vicky. You can hear the alarm bells now, can't you?
She also has now caused a rift with her own children over her new choice of lover and from what I can gather, she's defiantly putting her love life before that of her children's well deserved concerns.  It's all very "me and my man against the world" syndrome.
Then you have Tamra, good old Tamra, with her feisty, pugnacious ways. Of course she was going to try to protect her friend from this sponger of a man, it was just a shame that Vicky let big sexy Brooks whisper sweet nothings in her ear regarding Tamra giving her the evil eye. Then all Hell breaks loose. It was one of these cringe worthy moments when you witness someone (Vicky) screaming so loudly in someones face (Tamra), you can see actual saliva particles flying out. My fault for having such a large HDTV I guess. This all took place at the marbled mega mansion of fellow cast member Heather Dubrow, who, was having a soiree to celebrate her legally taking her husbands surname - such a hard life. Anyway, this particular conflict of Iraqi proportions ended with a Cruella de Vil dressed Vicky storming out, redneck in tow, only to come back in for a champs' toast and to, yet again, publicly state her love for her man "Im gonna stand by my man". Tamra's a tough cookie though, so I'm sure she will get over it.

Other lesser important scenes of the finale where that of the Paris Hilton meets Mrs Bucket (from Keeping Up Appearances) wannabe, Alexis, and her control freak of a husband Jim (think Patrick Bergin Sleeping With The Enemy) getting into a minor altercation with the soiree hosts husband over a bit of light name calling or something. Both husband and wife stormed out nonetheless. Very predictable. Also, we see Vicky's lovely daughter Brianna who is newly married show off her husband in a much more loving and healthy way - at the end scene we find out she's six months pregnant - Brianna is a clever girl who also had to deal with her mothers neurosis, so only time will tell if the rift can be fixed. Slade and Gretchen seem to be huddling along with their love affair and I actually think those two will make it for the long haul. They are two peas in a pod by being image obsessed, money obsessed, fame obsessed, trying-to-find-any-hidden-talent obsessed - Slade is now doing stand up comedy - so they both gel perfectly. I hope next season we see a completely Swarovski induced, ostentatious wedding of the pair. Fingers crossed! 

Overall, this season had been a stellar one and it bemuses me that this show had been airing for years now and I've been following it every step of the way. 


All I have to say is, bravo to Bravo.

(image via googleimages )

Epic day for Northern Ireland

Well well well, what do we have here? Belfast has been the stage for a momentous occasion which will now go down in history as a landmark step for Britain and Ireland. HRH Queen Elizabeth arrived in Northern Ireland today along with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh initially to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee with a garden party at Stormont Parliament Buildings. Prior to this, however, came the astonishing meeting of the Queen and none other than that of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, who is also the Deputy First Minister of the country. They shook hands for the first time in which by many can only be seen as a gesture of healing. Healing for all the bloodshed and lives destroyed during The Troubles which lasted for over thirty years.
If you had asked whether this meeting would of occurred even ten years ago, people would of laughed at you. Martin McGuinness was a former IRA commander, who was a major player in the war against the British for the land of Ireland. It went as far and as personal as the terrorist organisation murdering the Queens cousin, Lord Mountbatten in 1979. As the Queen is head of the British armed forces - who were sent into Northern Ireland during The Troubles - many thought it would be too raw a deal for both parties to even be in the same county let alone the same room, shaking hands.

It has happened though, of course there has and will be the inevitable backlash from the republican nationalists who believe that McGuinness is a traitor to 'the cause' and still despise the Monarchy and all  it represents. Yes McGuinness has blood on his hands, even Royal blood, but this can only be taken as a positive step in the future for Northern Ireland. So much more needs to be done to secure a decent, healthy future for the coming generations of the country. What good is it going to do to keep rehashing the same nonsense over and over again? To poison our children's minds with the same toxins that have infiltrated yours? Lets be honest, do we want NI to end up like Israel? Before The Troubles, NI was the third fastest growing economy in Europe. That statistic can only be looked upon with sorrow for what the country could of been.

We need the hatred to stop, we need the bitterness to stop, we need change.

Below is the video of the meeting.

(video via YouTube )


* If you watch the video on YouTube, you will see the comments underneath which do sadden me as people still don't get it. There is far too much hatred in the world.

The ideology of idolisation


*(The first paragraph of this post has miraculously vanished! I will try and fix it soon. Apologies.)


For me, ever since I first heard Baby One More Time I was hooked. And I use the word "hooked" with much literal sense. I'm not talking about simply being a 'fan' of something or someone, but, stepping over that thin line into the category of idolisation. Britney, to me, was everything I thought I should be when I reached young adulthood. She was beautiful, talented, a good dancer, desired by men, popular, rich and famous. I had my room covered in her posters, as a shrine of sorts to what I aspired to be like. I bought all her songs on tapes (CDs weren't even popular then) and listened to them repeatedly. I still to this day know every dance step from of her music videos, especially Oops I Did It Again. By obsessively buying into that persons merchandise, by watching all of an actors movies or buying all the magazines a model is on the cover of, we feel we are connecting with them more so than other people.

Part of me believes that we make ourselves empathise with the particular person we idolise, whether its an important comparison or not. For example, all of the women I have listed above could be described as having 'troubled' periods of their lives, Kate with the substance abuse, Britney with the mental health problems, Marilyn with the failed marriages etc. Everyone has had some trouble in their lives but we see these people in the public eye as beating their demons and coming out the other end, getting endless amounts of attention, just as rich and beautiful as ever. Well it didn't end up so good for Marilyn, however, she has now been immortalised forever as some heroin of her time, a martyr of fame. Another example could be as simple as a person standing up for an issue you feel passionate about and bringing to the spotlight, think Lady Gaga and gay rights, or even just succeeding at a certain niche market genre that you are interested in.
A more troubling aspect of idolisation could be down to our own self esteem issues. We don't feel as beautiful or talented or thin as these people, so we aspire to be clones of them. Believing that working towards the life that someone else has will inevitably make us happy. If I had a pound for every time I heard a pop star say "just follow your dreams" or "never give up on your dreams" I would be a happy girl.

I believe it all comes down to success. Success can come in many forms and can have many different worths. Westerners particularly are drawn to success being based on materialism and beauty. Or how many twitter followers you have. Simple. There comes a time though where you have to stop focusing all your energy outwards towards anyone except yourself. People do eventually grow out of idolisation as they realise that they should be investing their time/money/intellect on themselves rather than an actor. If we don't then we end up seeing that middle aged man with a dozen tattoos of Julia Roberts all over his body and think it's the norm. Many may argue that by having stars who we idolise, a bar is set for what we are hoping to achieve in life. That is true to a certain extent but then why should we let the entertainment industry dictate what the value of achievement is? Or any industry for that matter? Surely it should be individual goals for individual people. Not some subliminal mind screw of marketing and smoke screening conducted by some high-up share holders. Not all of us should be Beliebers!

I still love Britney, just not to the extent where I buy her perfumes or watch all her interviews on YouTube. I'm still a fan, but I'm a fan of many things in life but now I put my own worth forward as the most important thing. As sad as it sounds, we should all be our own no.1 fans.


























(image via dreamwallpapers )


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

We need to talk about 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'

Im talking about the movie right now, I have the book sitting untouched on my desk just waiting to disturb my thoughts. It was only recently that I was looking around Xtra-Vision (yes I still rent out DVDs) and that out of sheer I-can't-find-anything-ness picked up We Need to Talk About Kevin. 
Well I'm happy I did as it is one of the most entertaining movies I've seen all year. I can actually genuinely call it "gripping" as usually I have a poor attention span due to a mild psychosis and with this movie I was glued to the screen.

For those of you who don't know, the movie is based on the 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver about a school massacre caused by one of its students. It revolves around the relationship between the boy who commits the atrocity and his mother, following their story throughout his upbringing. It follows the destitute life his mother now has to endure in the aftermath of what her son did, along with flashbacks throughout the movie of their times together in the past. They always had a very strained relationship and it's very intriguing to see how even a childs' behaviour from the youngest of years can show personality problems which will manifest in other ways in later life.

Now I'm no movie critic, I can't really make some sort of brilliantly co-ordinated review on character development or expository dialogue. However, Tilda Swinton (who played the mother) acted impeccably well and had a very convincing on-screen partnership with Ezra Miller (who played teenage Kevin). As all of us know about real-life events mirroring this, such as Columbine, so it makes you sympathise with the mother. She will always punish herself trying to think, why didn't I bond with my child? Is it all my fault? How did I not do more?

Im a person who is transfixed by the human mind and the actions of those who do wrong in the world. What Kevin did was evil. What the Columbine kids did was evil. All these evil people are supposed to be sociopaths and/or psychopaths. So where does the line get drawn between just being 'evil' and having a severe mental disorder which you cannot control?

Makes you wonder...

(image via dvdactive )


Introduction

As I'm writing this, I'm trying in vain to work out how to use the Blogger design tools properly. I'm failing. You see, I'm actually a bit of a technophobe and usually get bored of the social media networks that everyone (well most people I know) seem to base their central sociological existence on.

Yet here I am, joining the masses on an epic voyage of my narcissistic ramblings and (limited) photography/imagery presentation abilities. Don't ask me yet why I named this blog The Stellar Diaries, I'm as unsure as you are but in time should come up with some pretentious, suave induced dribble for you all to immerse in. I just liked the word 'Stellar'. Also, I am blogging as a way to practice my writing as one day I hope to have a spot on a shelf in the Easons fiction section.
This is a lifestyle blog and will focus not only on fashion but will incorporate all aspects of my life that I have an interest in; literature, music, film, food, art, life, love, sex, politics and 'hipster mentality' to name but a few.

If I had started this blog several years back, it would of been solely a fashion blog as I studied Fashion Design and then Fashion Marketing. No disrespect to the genre but now I feel as though I've matured somewhat and have become slightly disillusioned with the ideology that all trendy girls should primarily love fashion and fashion alone. When I was younger I would of done anything to get past those gates of Somerset House every season. Yes, watching shows is very nice but now I realise they are actual business events which are essential for designers to make a living from. Not necessarily for me to swan around, Vogue cigarette in hand, and pose at. Obviously not all fashion bloggers are blaggers, so many have made a successful name for themselves and have become an invaluable part of the industry. They have no hidden agendas, they work hard at what they love on a freelance basis and many up and coming designers rely on their exposure for advertising/PR purposes. Good on them.

Personally, I want to use this blog like a diary for all the million mile an hour thoughts that run through my mind at any given time. A collection of think pieces even. I want to give my two cents on books that I've recently read, movies I've seen, recipes I'm trying, current popular culture, tactics David Cameron is using to punish the youth of Britain, etc...

Now, back to trying to find out how to make my blog heading nicer (it's all about the aesthetics, no?).



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