Bowery Mural

Bad day turns Good

Monday, 31 January 2011

It's fair to say I've not been feeling good the past day or so. Not sick or anything, just a bit pissed off at a few people. But after a virtual pep talk and a read through some of my favourite blogs I feel a bit better about things. Got it into perspective. Edit out the comparison trap that Twitter can sometimes become. Becka Robinson over at Life as an Artistpreneur describes it perfectly in a recent post.

Add to that, I've only gone and won a mini competition that was on Twitter by the Hoxton Hotel in London. You see i tried but failed to secure one of their £1 rooms in the recent sale last week but today I won the chance to book a room for £1! Pretty good huh. So I've fired an email off asking for some dates, lets see what they come back with. I cannot wait for that.

I received two emails today from friends. Good friends. They fairly cheered me up.

Also... (good things just keep coming!) is a new video sharing platform coming soon to iPhone and Android. If you're a fan of Instagram (which I LOVE) then this appears to be like that but with video. Check the SocialCam link out please. Its due out in March 2011 and I'm hoping to do video posts from my birthday.

AND... here's another thing to cheer me up. Glee is on telly and Mercedes is singing River Deep Mountain High by Tina Turner. If that doesn't get you smiling and moving then nothing will. DANCE!! go...

Finally I'm heading on a trip down south at the end of February and just received a lovely tweet from someone saying they can't wait to meet me. Me too! it'll be a brief but fun mini adventure. One of many this year i hope.

I'm going to learn a lesson from today. And it shall be this. No matter how bad your day might seem there are people and things that will happen and can turn it around a little. Maybe not a complete 360, but certainly a 180.

Angela xx

Movies and Films and Cinemas

Sunday, 30 January 2011

I used to be a movie buff back in the day. When i say buff, what i really mean is i used to buy videos, and then DVDs, all the time. My cupboard doors were adorned with movie posters collected from trips to the Showcase cinema at Coatbridge. It was one of the few nights out i used to get back in the dark days. Then i went through a few lean years and rarely visited the cinema at all. But still the DVD collection grew. I like all manor of films but not things like Star Wars nor Star Trek or that ilk. I do have a fair few rom-coms though. As well as low key movies.

Anyway, over the past few months I've taken a liking to going to see films at the cinema and so the other week i decided to get Cineworld Unlimited card. It costs £13.50 per month and you can go and see any film at any time. There are a few exceptions if you're going to see a 3D film but pretty good value. For years there was one grotty cinema in Stirling at Allan Park. It was a bit of an institution but i couldn't tell you th elast film i saw there. Perhaps it was Braveheart... Yes it was. Anyway they built a new Vue cinema down Forthside and its good but it doesn't do the unlimited card and costs quite a bit. I've been a few times and i've never actually seen the place full. People assure me it does sell out some times! So i opted for the Cineworld card. There's one in Falkirk but Glasgow Renfrew Street has been my weekly haunt.

In the past wee while i've seen Blue Valentine, Black Swan, NEDs and Love and Other Drugs.

Blue Valentine is the story of a couple who meet randomly and fall in love. (Isn't it always the way). I'm not going to tell you the way these stories go but this film was pretty intense. Really intense, perhaps even more so because it seems to be filmed really close up to the actors. Is this some kind of different camera or technique? It really made you feel you were there which at times I felt like i was intruding. The performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling were good. Although I couldn't help but think of her as Jen from Dawson's Creek. And how did they get his hairline to recede?... 4 out of 5.

Love and Other Drugs is Anne Hathway as a young woman with Alzheimer's disease and Jake Gylenhaal as a well he ends up being a pharmaceutical sales rep and also manages to look hot all the way through the film. Again another boy meets girl movie, I won't tell you the ending but there was a particularly moving part at one point. A good solid rom-com-drama-thingy. 3 out of 5.

NEDs. Does exactly what it says on the tin. It is what it is. A tough tale of gangs of N.E.D's in a part of Glasgow in the 1970's. For me the boy playing the lead character does a fantastic job. Likeable in a bad way. Directed by Peter Mullan, he also acts in it. He's as menacing as I've ever seen him and i didn't like him (or rather his character). He was a bad nut. The supporting cast, especially John McGill's gang, are ace. There's one scene when the gangs meet to fight and this leader is running across a bridge with 3 inch platform heeled boots and a three quarter length leatherette coat. Too funny. Its violent at times and really sweary so not for the easily offended. For me this wasn't a problem. I've heard some people remarked that its too over exaggerated but i don't think so. If people think this kind of thing didn't or doesn't go on between gangs, they should take a trip to the real world some time. Excellent film. 5 out of 5.

Black Swan. Mad, darkly filmed intense, traumatic, gruesome at parts. Its certainly unique in that way. I came out thinking I'd been through the wringer. Natalie Portman gives a fine performance as a starved and mental ballet dancer. Mental probably because of her exhaustion and starving (although it doesn't show you much of this). I watched this the day after I saw NEDs and i have to say this to me was more gruesome. Mainly because of the close up shots of her bending and stretching her toes, ripping the skin from her fingernails, pulling black feathers from her back and cracking almost every bones in her body. The experience was heightened by the accompanying sound effects. There were parts that were a tad...intimate.. but you should be able to put up with that! The boys will like it, if you're into really skinny girls who are a bit mad. It was a good movie, worth seeing but not one I'd go out and buy. 4 out of 5.

Angela xx


Friday, 28 January 2011

Few by Jennifer Lee Tucker

Few are the moments that just are
When they sky shimmers through velvet air
When the heart of the universe whispers
And the field sways
When the sun is your soul
And always was
Its warmth on closed eyelids - the deep sleep
You've been missing all your long, short life
And a sigh is a single white cloud
Small and sweet.

Dedicated to all those special people in my life. You know who you are - hopefully. 2011 is our year. Believe.

Angela xx


Friday, 21 January 2011

I think I trust too much.
I trust that what other people tell me is true.
I trust and believe what they mean.
Except maybe they don't mean it at all.
Maybe I'm too trusting. Naive
That's what it is. I'm naive.
You know, because i always like to see the good in people, except for those that i can tell within the first 20 seconds of meeting if they're a rat or not. Well that's what i thought, but it seems that rats can hide in every corner.

I see the good in a lot of people. And maybe I then get blinkered to their own selfish ways. The way they use you for what you can give them and then when they find you can't really give them what they want: a boost? a plaything? status? glowing reports? and shit like that cos that's all that matters to these folk, then you get left. Left behind like some lost afterthought in the back of their tiny minds.
In front of camera it'll be lets do this, you're great etc etc behind camera, nothing. Not even a fucking how are you doing?

I believe that I'm a nice person. A good person. A fucking amazing person.
I believe that I try to good with people, all people, until they piss me off, then my defence mechanism will kick in and that usually means I won't bother talking to you.
Its my way of dealing with the hurt. The downright fucking gut wrenching anger towards myself for letting myself get too...what's the word?...too.. involved? led up the garden path? let myself be open to friendship?
Whatever. That's how I cope.

They say good things happen to good people. Do you really believe that?
I'm not sure I do anymore because for me and the good people i know, we never seem to have many good things happen to us.
It's always the chancers, the all talk no fucking brains folk, or as someone so eloquently put it to me the other week, all gloss and no substance. I'd rather have all the substance than the gloss.

Some folk just need to remember that you can't play about with folks feelings and folks good nature. You can't pick them up, play around and pretend to be their friend then drop them like a hot tattie when the next new plaything comes along. Some folk should just check themselves before they wreck themselves (I like that saying, I use it often).

Angela xx

Thursday Three

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Today's Thursday Three topic is favourtie foods/meals as suggested by Laura (@Loo_Rah).

Numbero uno

Well, anyone who knows me well will know that my mum's homemade Macaroni cheese is my favourite food. And you 'll also know that I have it every week on the same day. A Tuesday. I never used to eat it until i was a teenager. Pasta was foreign to me until then but i was hooked as soon as i tasted it. I never get the same plate twice as when she makes it she doesn't measure anything. But my favouritest is when there's plenty of the cheese sauce left onthe bottom of my plate that i can soak up with a slice of bread (or two). It's really yummy.

Numero dos

Sausage on a fork. This you might think of as strange but whenever i have a sausage i eat it from the end of a fork like a lollipop. I don';t eat sausages that often but if i'm at a barbecue or something i'll have a sausage on a fork. It all stems back to when i was a kid and we used to go to Chapel on a Sunday. We'd head back to my Granda's for breakfast and he'd have the full bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms, fried tomatoes on the go for my mum and auntie's but i'd just opt for a sausage on a fork. Good times and great memories.

Numero tres

Saturday night dinner is awesome. I've never ever been a fun of Sunday dinners. I can't be doing with roasts all the time and i've recently gone off chicken but one thing i will never tire of is Saturday night dinner. I have the same thing every week and i love it. A nice piece of steak, homecooked chips, sweetcorn and a scrumptious mushroom and onion sauce. Love it. Except, I go to spin on a Saturday night (mostly!) and its ready as soon as i get home at 7.30pm. I think i was eating all of this too soon after spin and it was giving me stomach pains. So a little break between is called for.

Angela xx

Random Acts of Kindness

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Today, with  much surprise and delight, I received a lovely little brown envelope in the post from someone. Some people in fact. People I don't know in the real life but have come to know in the virtual life (via Twitter). It was unexpected and just a little ray of light on these drawn out January days. Inside were two handwritten notes and something else. The notes were wonderful and I liked them very mucho. Little random acts of kindness like this are something I'm going to do much more in 2011. I sent a few little gifts to various people over Christmas. To people that had filled my life with some joy. I hope they had this feeling when they received my little packages!

Angela xx

Thursday Three

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Welcome to the first Thursday Three on here for 2011! For those who don't know Thursday Three posts are posts where we list three things about a subject chosen by the people and post them on a Thursday, simple. See previous Thursday Three posts for further details. For example, there have been Three ideal dream holidays, Three things you want to do before the end of 2010. This weeks Thursday Three subject is... Three things you are looking forward to in 2011. So lets begin...

I'm looking forward to taking a holiday this year. Maybe not a big fancy two week thing in an exotic land but a nice change of scenery away from the norm. I calculated it has been nearly 6 years since i even had a long weekend away, barring the trek to Nepal of course but, although a wonderful and fantastic time, that was no holiday I can assure you. So yes, a holiday. Its been a very very long time since i felt the warmth of the sun on my face and the breeze of a foreign wind tickle my skin. I need this. Where would you recommend I take my little mini holiday to?

This might seem like a boring one but I'm really looking forward to getting some savings in the bank. I don't make resolutions at the tun of a new year but I've decided  I'm going to make a budget and stick to it. I keep a spreadsheet with all my monthly spendings on it each and so I've planned all the way up to June. It looks pretty healthy, well for me anyway, so I can't wait to get on that road and sticking to it. Hopefully by doing this then my holiday above will be good.

I think I'm just really looking forward and excited for the next 11 months of this year. I hope they will be filled with fun, laughter, good times, sunshine, bikes, snow, friends old and new, meeting new people, meeting old people, nephews, work, outdoors, hills, runs in the car, a beach walk, a gorgeous sunrise, a bungee jump!, a Chinese lantern, writing in my diary, lots more blogging, making people smile and being a good friend to the people who have shown me kindness and confidence and understanding and friendship. I hope you all want to join me on the journey of this year, my year, our year, 2011.

Angela xx

Twitter: My advice

Saturday, 1 January 2011

I thought it was about time I put my two pence worth of advice to folks out there who use or are maybe new to using Twitter. I'm coming at it from a purely personal point of view. You might not agree with me if you are trying so very hard to push your business on Twitter. But if you have a business I might be a potential customer so you might wanna listen.

Don't beg for followers. Followers should find you organically. Don't tweet "please follow me" under any circumstances. In the same vain, don't slag off people for unfollowing you. I saw a baaaaad case of someone totally slagging off people who'd unfollowed them and I promptly unfollowed them too. It was childish, it was crude and it was bad taste. It just means that to them you were not that interesting. Believe it or not, you are not the centre of the universe to all people. Get over yourself.

New Followers
If you get new followers don't feel obliged to say hello to them. It might seem nice but tweeting "hello new followers, if you don't say hi I don't know you're there..." is not a good tweet, is it!! This might seem odd but when i follow someone new i don't expect them to say hello to me first off, to me its the same as an auto-DM that everyone seems to repel. Think about it. It is. You hate auto-DM's, auto-tweets after new followers are just as bad.

Tweet whenever about whatever you like. There will be people who tweet snide tweets along the lines of "less is more.." blah blah. I've notched up over 20k tweets in just under 2 years. I don't think that's too much. Sometimes I don't feel like tweeting, other times i feel like tweeting 100 times an hour. Do it whenever you like. Be careful about what you tweet though, every one can read it. In general don't go bullying folk and crude sex talk innuendos makes you look foolish and desperate.

Please don't use those auto-list things. I've found myself in a few new lists lately and I don't like it. The lists were called People My Friends Talk To and People I'm Talking Too. Yuck. Frankly if you can't be bothered doing your own personal lists and adding individuals to it that you value then you probably shouldn't do those auto-lists. It's impersonal and i don't want to belong to one of them.

Ah the good old retweet. Don't retweet someone just because its your pal. Retweet because its a tweet that you are genuinely interested in, that you've actually taken time to read what's in the tweet and you think others would benefit from it. I'll repeat this again, do not retweet just because its your pal and you're doing the old I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Be yourself
This may be the most important piece of advice i could give you. Be yourself. Be honest - I feel there is a lot of fakeness on Twitter (I can hear gasps of shock). Its true. There is. Folk won't be honest about it though. I look at my stream some days and think to myself "what the fuck are you on about?" "why are you acting like that!". But know this, you probably don't even realise you're being led up a garden path until you're at the front door and its been slammed shut in your face. Be honest, be your true self, don't ever say anything you don't mean, be grumpy if you want to be grumpy, shout from the rooftops if that's your current mindset but please don't be something you're not. You'll get found out. Please.

Traditionally done when you want people to follow certain conversations or added into to a convo for fun. Whatever it is enjoy it but this is a word of wisdom to guys over 40: It's kinda sleazy when you join one of those weirdo hashtag games that are crude/rude/sex related. I just think of you as someones Dad and i for one wouldn't like to think my Dad was tweeting rude things in timelines that consist of all ages. I know i said above tweet whatever you like but rudeness, vile sex talk in hashtag games, things that demean women only make you look like a fool.

#FF/Follow Friday
Friday: traditionally the day when people want to recognise folk they've been tweeting with by mentioning them in a tweet with the hashtag #FF. But be warned, you probably shouldn't just do a big list of folk in a tweet. Its so impersonal and frankly lazy. By the same token i think its a little bit vain to RT(Retweet) a tweet that you've been mentioned in in a #FF tweet. Don't do it, you'll look egotistic and you'll clog up your followers stream.

Agitators/Confrontational tweeters
I've had a few of these kinds in my stream in 2010 and i have only one piece of advice for you for these types: Quite simply IGNORE THEM. They're not worth it, ever.

Oh yes this happens in the virtual world as well as in the real world. Try not to belong to one.

SM/Social Media/Experts/Gurus
You'll hear this a lot, no, i mean A LOT on Twitter. Mostly from people trying to distance themselves from that very title. I'll admit the word guru is horrid and no-one should ever call themselves a guru unless they sit and meditate for 23.5 hours each day. I personally think there are people whose job it is to produce social media strategies, whose job it is to introduce social media to new business are experts and yet these very same people who make money from doing so, who take home a monthly salary from doing so DO NOT CALL THEMSELVES EXPERTS. It must be the only job where people are not experts in their field!!! Fucking strange eh, strange. I mean I would call myself an expert at my job, if you came to me and asked me a question about my workplace and duties i could regale song and verse about the intricate nature of my everyday tasks. I'm sure the experts on social media, the social media executives, the bloggers who blog on behalf of other people could too so why oh why oh why do they hate to be called experts. Its like its some dirty word. Embrace it, you are an expert. Simple.  Here's a wee aside...I heard that some people (who are not experts or gurus remember!!) are paid up to £20k to go to conferences/seminars and talk to you. Also..I heard that some folk ask up to circa £500 for writing one blog post per month on behalf of other companies! Fuck. Sake. As I say every now and again - money for old rope. I'll do it for £100 per post! Seriously companies, you should probably have someone internally do your blog posts. It'll be more real. I mean can someone external really commit to raving about how great you are, for example, I couldn't rant and rave about how great certain alcoholic drinks are since i've never touched the stuff. You know what i mean eh, you get my point. Someone who knows your company ethos/values/way of life/end game, someone who has a vested interest in the success of your company (an employee) in my opinion would be better placed than someone who, lets face it, you probably only talk to once a month via email and who writes a bit of copy.

Apologies, i went off on a tangent where was I.

Perhaps one of the greatest things you will find on Twitter is that you will make friends with people you would never have had the opportunity to meet, ever. You will realise that people are just the same as you, some of them at least. You will realise that as in real life, people will come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime. You will soon recognise the keepers. The ones who you can turn to for anything. The genuine good people of life. That smile when you smile, that are sad when you're sad. These are the keepers. The others? well there'll be folk who drop in and out from time to time. There'll be folk you really care about and if they are missing you wonder why, what, where they are. You could even find a soul mate. Someone who you instinctively know are here for the duration in the same way you'll know the people who are only here because they want to show face. You will find inspiration, not from people who think they're inspiring, but from genuinely good unassuming people. People who really don't like to blow their own trumpets. People who know how to be human and natural and inspiring without even realising it. Mostly, what I've found, is that there are a handful of genuinely good good people in this place we call Twitter. And for me that's what keeps me going back each day. These are why I'm here, for them.

Now go, tweet, be cool, peace out.

Angela x