Zarina
08 December 2016 @ 09:02 pm


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Current Music: James Blunt - "Tears and Rain"
 
 
 
Zarina
20 February 2012 @ 02:53 pm

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I went to the Lord of the Rings all-nighter at the BFI Imax this weekend with artic_fox and Fiona, which was quite an experience! It started at about midnight on Saturday and lasted until 10am on the Sunday. I was surprisingly awake during the last film, however once I got home and went to bed for a "quick nap" I remained out cold for the duration of Sunday, oops. Nonetheless I am glad I went as I hadn't seen the movies in ages and it was nice to see them again in anticipation of The Hobbit later this year. And the company was great too, so win! Some scattered thoughts:

The Fellowship of the Ring remains my favourite film as it introduces us to stunning Middle Earth, the amazing key characters and has quite a few scenes in the Shire (I love the hobbits most of all ♥).

The Two Towers is still my least favourite of the three as it primarily focuses on a battle that takes up only a few chapters in the book and I couldn't care less for. Therefor The Battle of Helm's Deep became the battle against deep sleep.

• The seven endings in The Return of the King didn't bother me this time around (though some of the black screens between the endings lingered too long). It was however the first time I didn't shed a tear during the goodbye scene between Frodo and the other hobbits. It may have been the sleep deprivation though.

• Viggo looks so hot as Aragorn! He needs to always have a beard to hide his otherwise awkwardly shaped face.

• And on that note: Orlando Bloom - damn! I forgot how good-looking he is with the long blond hair, pointy ears and bow and arrow.

• Merry and Pippin remain my favourite characters, with all their mischief and clumsiness (I'm looking at you Pip) they provide some much needed comedy in an otherwise very depressing story.

• And Sam, oh Sam ♥ My heart broke every time Frodo questions Sam's genuine support and love (up until the point where I just want to slap some sense into Frodo. Corrupted by the ring and Gollum or not, how can he not see that all Sam's ever done is care for him?). In fact, I believe that if Sam had been the one to volunteer to bring the ring to Mount Doom, he would've done a better and quicker job. I know the ring supposedly corrupt everyone, but Sam doesn't display any signs of this when he's (briefly) in possession of the ring.

• I want to go back to New Zealand and visit all the stunning locations used in the films! When I visited "Hobbiton" last time around it was all bare, so clearly this means I have to go back and see what it looks like when it's not torn down.

(my paid account ran out so now I cannot use a LotR related icon, boo!)
 
 
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Zarina
29 August 2011 @ 05:07 pm


August 14: Portsmouth and SouthseaCollapse )


 
 
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Current Music: Glee OST - "Born This Way"
 
 
 
 
 
Zarina
10 August 2011 @ 10:15 pm


July 23: BrightonCollapse )


 
 
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Zarina
I've been back from my holiday since Wednesday already (which was awesome by the way! I'm determined to actually post about it here - in contrary to my Germany trip last year for which I never found the time), but since I went to work again straight away and have been barely home in the evenings I was too busy to make an update until now.

On Thursday night I went to see Glee Live at the O2 for which I had a pair of free tickets (I would've liked to go anyway, but £60+ for a ticket was just a tad too much). The tickets were part of Sky Rewards and there were two different levels, one of which included a goodie bag. I didn't manage to get those but Mei was sweet enough to give me half of hers so I now have a t-shirt (that from the front looks like a Dalton Academy outfit and on the back lists the UK tour dates ) and a foam finger XD Our tickets also included access to Sky backstage which was a nice little area to avoid the crowds and they had things like a red carpet, photo shoots and apparently massages (though we missed the latter!). And because it was actually backstage we could also hear part of the sound check beforehand which was awesome.

Our seats in the arena were fabulous, much better than I expected anyway as the print-out listed level 4 (nosebleed) ones, but we ended up on level 1 instead. We were two rows higher than the stalls (which gave us perfect view during the show when everyone stood up as we could look over them) on the same level as a second stage in the middle of the arena where a lot of the performances happened. We were also right next to a barrier so when facing the main stage there was no one in my view.

The support act was a dance group named LXD which honestly didn't interest me very much. There was only one guy who I thought was phenomenal, but other than that, meh. The main show however was amazing! All the kids were there (I'll be calling them by their character names in this post as they did too and were in character the entire time on stage, for example when everyone was dancing properly Finn was woodenly moving around) except for Santana who was ill. They even had all the Warblers! And Sue and Will were on the main screen a few times during the show providing commentary. Particularly hilarious was Sue's opening where she was warning everyone they'd fall asleep and said she provided barf bags for those who need it during the show (at which time people dressed up as William McKinley High cheerleaders did in fact hand out barf bags to the audience).

I do not remember all the songs that were performed during the show but it included my favourites Lucky (Sam/Quinn), Fat Bottom Girls (Puck) and Teenage Dream (The Warblers). As well as Don't Stop Believing, New York, New York, Kurt and Brittany danced to Single Ladies, Jessie's Girl (Finn, who sounded so much better than on the show!), True Colours (Tina, a replacement song for Santana's Valerie), Firework (Rachel), Slave 4 U (Brittany), Raise Your Glass (The Warblers), Dance (Artie, who was in his wheelchair for most of the show but during this song showed what a great dancer he is) and Born This Way. The only ones who did not get to sing solo were Lauren and Mike, and Sam and Quinn didn't have an individual solo song, just their duet.

There was also a hilarious little sketch about midway in which Brittany said that she liked Kurt before she realised that he would never like her back and she wasn't going to make an idiot out of herself again so now she was going for someone more realistic... Blaine! During this sketch Kurt came on claiming his "man" and comparing himself and Blaine to the royal couple. When Blaine asked who he'd be Kurt said that of course he (Kurt) is Middleton. But something that the royals have that they do not are commemorative plates. Cue Chris throwing handmade commemorative Klaine plates into the audience, lmao! Then he laid down on the stage and said that the one thing that could make this even better is a proposal: "Blaine Warbler, will you join New Directions?" Hee! And from that moment on Blaine performed with the rest of the cast (no longer in his Dalton Academy outfit) on stage which was fab.

I really enjoyed the show and it was all quite spectacular with fireworks and tons and tons of confetti in the end (I've never been to a concert in an arena before - 20,000 people!) so I am glad I went to see it in the end :D

On Friday I went to see Paul Simon with Elli at the Camden Roundhouse as part of the iTunes Festival and he was great too (though I did enjoy the Glee show more, which was probably due to a large fact that I was so very tired on Friday). He sadly didn't perform Graceland, but he did do other favourites (for which I've included videos behind the cut) including Sound of Silence and You Can Call Me Al.



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Current Music: The Warblers - "Hey Soul Sister"
 
 
 
Zarina
This past week has been excellent so far: Work went really well, received my first pay check, gawked at the new pretty and huge Disney store on Oxford Street went to an unexpected Razorlight gig and saw David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing.

Tuesday afternoon I read a random Tweet about Razorlight performing a "secret gig" in London which spiked my interest. I only knew a handful of their songs but hey it was free and likely going to be quite small as it was announced last minute so I figured I'd give it a shot. I am very glad I did as it was amazing. Not only did I think their performance was wonderful, but it was really intimate as well which made it even more awesome.

Nearly straight after the gig was finished I had to go to the Wyndham Theatre for the start Much Ado About Nothing. The reviews online are a bit mixed so I wasn't sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. There were many, many laughs and while some of the jokes were a bit mindless fun and slapstick I didn't think this was a hindrance as because of that the play became really uplifting. Other than the comedy scenes I particularly loved the eighties music and outfits (yes, this Shakespeare play is set in the 1980's...). Not all of the supporting cast were on par with the leads but as it was very much the Tennant and Tate show anyway that didn't matter to me. Besides, a show that puts Tennant in a tiny denim skirt with fishnets, a sequin top and a blond wig can do very little wrong imho.

I made my way to the stagedoor afterwards and while busier than most stagedoors I've been at the actors were generous with their time and I managed to get both David Tennant and Catherine Tate's signature on my programme, which I am really pleased with. In all a fabulous day :D



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Current Location: United Kingdom, London
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Zarina
24 April 2011 @ 12:32 pm


Enjoy feasting on bunny shaped chocolate and other assorted deliciousness :D
 
 
 
Zarina
I have attended several hilarious and brilliant Cabin Pressure recordings (with guest stars such as Anthony Head, Mark Williams and Tom Goodman-Hill!), succeeded in buying good seats for a Josh Groban concert in October and I have been to the Game of Thrones preview screening which had a Q/A with Sean Bean and Harry Lloyd. However the one thing that made this week an absolute double rainbow is that this afternoon I got offered a permanent full-time job!!!

I'll go into detail more in a later update (I just got home and am super tired so I'll be heading off to bed in a few minutes) but I will say that it is for a media/publishing company and my official title is "Junior Web Content Editor". My day to day tasks will include updating websites and editing (& possibly writing) blogs and articles, which fits perfectly with my journalism and web design background and I am terribly excited to start working in this industry again. The one downside is that it pays absolute shite, but there is the prospect to better this in the future so that would be a fantastic goal to work towards.

I am absolutely ecstatic that after all these months I finally have a job, and a fun one at that! So much stress and worries disappeared instantly after I finished this phone call; I can actually stay in London and I have a proper and realistic start to my dream career :D

Next on my wish/to do list: move house so I have more than just a bedroom to hang out in...
 
 
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Zarina
My next week is going to be quite insane as I am basically spending my days either queuing/attending Cabin Pressure recordings or running from a job interview to a temp job to another job interview and more temp work and then I also have a few movie screenings and the Bafta preview + Q/A for Game of Thrones to cram into my days (my life, it is so hard). Anyway, I was getting pretty stressed about it and what I'd like to do best to clear my head is hike. I am not a sporty person at all but give me a hill or a mountain to climb with the promise of a beautiful view at the top and I am game (must be mountain envy because I am from a country known for being entirely flat XD). Sadly I am no longer living in Australia, New Zealand or Canada, instead I am living in a big city not particularly known for its scenic mountain ranges, but I read somewhere about "Primrose Hill" and figured it'd might be worth checking out. So on Saturday I spent a few hours enjoying the beautiful weather and exploring a part of London I had not been before. I started off in an area nicknamed Little Venice, where an arm of the Grand Union Canal meets Regent's Canal, wandered along Regent's Canal to Primrose Hill and Regent's Park and finally worked my way down to Queen Mary's Gardens. While not exactly comparable to the Blue Mountains or Whistler it was still a very nice walk and of course I took pictures along the way:



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Current Location: United Kingdom, London
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Current Music: Linkin Park - "What I've Done"
 
 
 
Zarina
23 March 2011 @ 07:44 pm
I have been feeling quite down lately because of the lack of success in my job hunting and the increasing stress and money worries that come with that but today's sunny weather certainly lifted my mood somewhat (I was able to wear a t-shirt instead of a hoodie, omgwtfbbq!). And I decided to spend some time outside with my camera as it's been ages since I have taken the time for photography (stage door pictures hardly count). My camera is absolutely rubbish as I am still using the compact one I bought in a rush in the US when my other one broke down (a proper DSLR is on my to wish list for when I actually manage to find a job) and I still cannot figure out how to upload pictures to Facebook without them being resized and turning slightly grainy but even so I wanted to share a few of the photos:



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Can anyone recommend me nice parks or gardens to visit in London? I don't mean a general place such as Hyde Park but somewhere a little more colourful where I will be able to photograph the up and coming Spring flowers (wildlife a bonus!). Many thanks ♥
 
 
Current Location: United Kingdom, London
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Current Music: Cabin Pressure 2x05
 
 
 
Zarina
10 March 2011 @ 04:09 pm
Last night I went to see In a Forest, Dark and Deep at the Vaudeville Theatre which stars Matthew Fox and Olivia Williams (and only them as it's a two-hander). The play centres around two siblings, Bobby and Betty, and their rather complicated relationship. It's supposed to be provocative and disturbing and while at points I did think: "They did not just go there...", let's be honest the storyline was also highly predictable and the 'shocking' twist near the end could be seen from miles away. Highlight by far to me was the dialogue given to the character of Bobby. It got a fair few laughs from the audience throughout, both when intentionally funny as well as after the more cringeworthy moments 'shocking' the audience into a sudden burst of laughter.

Unfortunately there were no jears to be seen at any point during or after the performance, I was a tad disappointed by that I have to say. However I thought Matthew was absolutely fabulous as Bobby in every other aspect (and he plays a mean air guitar!). Admittedly no matter how much I love Lost and Party of Five I did not have very high hopes for his live acting skills, but I was pleasantly surprised when proven wrong. Olivia Williams on the other hand I have to say was underwhelming. She was by no means terrible but I did not find her to have a very strong stage presence either. And her American accent was nowhere near as believable as in Dollhouse making me question for a while if I was watching the understudy instead.

The performance we went to was part of a What's On Stage outing and because of that was followed by a Q/A with Matthew, Olivia and writer/director Neil LaBute. It lasted for about half an hour and we got warned beforehand that the only questions allowed had to focus on the play and not anything else the actors have been involved in "such as TV-shows they may be known from". In other words: don't mention jears, the numbers, Dharma or randomly shout omgwtfpolarbear. For the most part of the Q/A it was Neil who was speaking though both Olivia and Matthew talked briefly about their opinion on Neil, the play and their characters as well. I recorded a few answers but I think the sound quality is fairly poor and I can't check properly right now because my headphone jack seems to be buggered (ie. when watching movies I can't hear the dialogue though the sound effects and background music sound flawless and when listening to music the sound wavers. Anyone familiar with this problem? I think it's the headphone jack but ugh I don't want to send my laptop away - who knows how long it takes to be returned?). I do have pictures, which you can find below. The programme looks fabulous and has a few fantastic photos in it so I included those as well (and completely unrelated but it mentions both Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant - can't escape those two!).

Afterwards some people moved towards the stage to see if they could get pictures and their programme signed (think Jeffster after the Comic Con panel) so we followed suit and I believe all tree of use managed to get our programme signed by both actors. They were both personalising which was fantastic (& Olivia said she liked my name, pronouncing it with a long z and very rolling r and Matthew had to ask me to spell it about 25 times before he got it right).



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Current Location: United Kingdom, London
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: American Idiot OST - "Jesus of Suburbia"
 
 
 
Zarina
07 March 2011 @ 06:04 pm
This year marked the first World Book Night (not to be confused with World book Day on March 3) and I had the great pleasure of not only helping them out as a volunteer but also to be one of the 20,000 givers to get a batch of 48 books of one of the 25 chosen titles to hand out on the night of March 5th and thereafter. A total of one million free books will have 'released' across the UK and Ireland when everyone has given all their books away (I know 20,000 times 48 does not equal one million, the remaining books are given to hospitals, prisons, etc. by WBN directly).

I received 48 copies of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman to give away (with a special World Book Night cover and info on the inside and everything) and I picked them up at my local library on Saturday morning where I also met two other givers who were kind enough to offer me copies of their books One Day and A Fine Balance! Receiving free books is a fabulous start to the day, I must say. I spent most of Saturday morning/afternoon registering the books on bookcrossing.com, writing the individual identification numbers in them and basically getting them ready for handing out in the evening. While it was a long process it was a satisfying one too (even though writing in the books felt so very, very wrong).

There were thousands of events across the country for WBN and I went to the one in the South Bank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in London which consisted of readings from debuting and well-known authors. The first few weren't particularly interesting to me until Joe Dunthorne came on and read the first chapter of his novel Submarine (of which a movie adaptation will be released in cinemas soon). It was very quirky and funny and definitely made me want to seek out the novel. Also wonderful were Margaret Atwood and Mark Haddon. I even managed to catch Mark afterwards to get him to sign my copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which he not only personalised but also drew a picture in, awesome! When all the guest speakers had finished I (and several other givers) gave away the books I had brought with me (not all 48 copies though as I couldn't carry them all) and it was wonderful to see people's faces lit up after receiving a free book without any strings attached. Some people asked me questions about the book and I also got into discussions about the various other titles being handed out on WBN which was just fabulous.

I also attended the launch in Trafalgar Square on March 4th and while it was absolutely freezing I had a great time. The evening started of with receiving a World Book Night t-shirt and a free book and book magazine from the Waterstones booth (score!) and it only got better from that point onwards. The event consisted of readings from books, poems and short stories and was hosted by Graham Norton who was absolutely hilarious throughout (point in case: "Many of you may be surprised to learn I can actually read."). Celebrity speakers included: PHILIP PULLMAN, STANLEY TUCCI, DBC Pierre, Sarah Waters, BORIS JOHNSON, Alan Bennett, RUPERT EVERETT, John Le Carré, Nick Cave, Hayley Atwell, MARGARET ATWOOD, Monica Ali, Suggs, Lemn Sissay, DAVID NICHOLLS, Edna O'Brien and MARK HADDON. Highlights: Boris Johnson reading an account of a hangover, Philip Pullman reading an excerpt from Northern Lights with wonderful voices for Iorek Byrnison and Lee Scoresby, a lovely poem reading by Stanley Tucci and Hayley Atwell, a touching reading from Stuart: A Life Backwards and David Nicholls reading a hilarious excerpt from his novel One Day (which I want to read asap now!).

As mentioned before I've given a bunch of my books away on the night itself and I am planning to 'release' the rest in the London public transport over the course of the next week. However before doing so I wanted to offer them up on here! So, who would like a free copy of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights? I am afraid I do have to see you in person in the next few months though so I don't have to hoard the books forever (and unfortunately I do not have the funds to send them over post either). Comment below if interested!



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Current Location: United Kingdom, London
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Current Music: Music: Lord of the Dance - "Don Dorcha and the Warlords"
 
 
 
Zarina
• After being unsuccessful in grabbing free tickets to A Flea in her Ear at the Old Vic I finally managed to nab some earlier this week! Unfortunately it clashed with my plans of going to see I Am Number Four with Anneke (for which I also had free tickets) but since the theatre show is in its final weeks and the movie only in previews we eventually did decide to go to the theatre instead.

A Flea in her Ear is a farce with all the usual ingredients; over the top characters and situations, mistaken identities, sexual innuendos, etc. While the play has a bit of a slow start we spent most of the second act in stitches as it went from one ridiculous scene to the next and by the time the interval came around we were both saying how pleasantly surprised we were by how much we were enjoying the show. Unfortunately the third act was the complete opposite from what we had just seen and very few laughs were had. Overall it was an enjoyable play though (even more so because we didn't have to pay for it!) and we had a lot of fun debating whether two of the characters that look identical in the play were portrayed by the same actor or not. Anneke was convinced she's seen them on stage at the same time where I was certain that it was the same actor. However by the end of it even I was confused as character one leaped off stage and character two (dressed differently and coming from another entrance onto the stage) came back on what seemed only seconds later. All was cleared up though when I saw a poster outside saying "Tom Hollander is so wonderful they cast him twice!"

• In other news: I have a temp job. It's sadly not working for the make-up department at the National Theatre (as advertised on their website) and not even remotely related to the publishing or journalism industries. Plus it's only for two weeks and a mere five hours each day at that. But it's *something* and it means I will get a much-needed income right about the time I have been seriously contemplating giving up on my dream of permanently living in the UK. I am not out of the woods by any means, but at least it's a postponement of having to make that agonising decision.

• Also, because I am ever so slightly obsessed I had to make icons as soon as the first Frankenstein pictures trickled in yesterday. Admittedly I really should stop with these six month or longer gaps between my icon making sprees as it proved to be a lot more effort to produce only these 20 icons than I'm used to and they're not even that great (plus I had to break open my old laptop as all my Photoshop resources were still hiding out on that hard drive!). Ah well, hopefully I'll get into the swing of things again soon.


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