Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Seriously, how did we ever raise children before TV's a wonder they survived.

I know I normally talk about things in Britain, but I just have to make mention of two things that came to my attention in the news today. It seems our TV and movie censorship and ratings systems have gotten out of control.

I was reading some news feeds I get online and came across a movie review for something called August Rush. Now it wasn't the review that, it was the reason stated for the PG rating. '"August Rush" is rated PG (Parental Guidance suggested). The title character was conceived out of wedlock.'

I thought it was a little funny so I mentioned it to my other half. He asked if I'd heard that Sesame Street is Adults Only. I instantly did a Google search and sure enough. Sesame Street is not for kids. You have to read this article. It's short I promise.

We are getting too sensitive as a country and allowing people to feel offended over the slightest thing. Soon we will be afraid to say anything to anybody.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Remember, remember the 5th of November

The British may not have Thanksgiving and they may not do Halloween well at all, but they can offer me Guy Fawkes night which is also known as Bonfire Night. Always on the 5th of November, it celebrates the day when Guy Fawkes and his cronies tried to blow up Parliament and failed. Traditionally people would burn statues of Guy Fawkes in effigy, but it has since escalated into burning anything they are against. It is a day to make a political statement for the year.

In 2002 it was a statue of Bush and this year they had a papier-mâché hand holding a cigarette due to this years ban on smoking in doors. It is a holiday that is taken very seriously in England and for months we have heard fireworks being set off around town.

We went to Lewes with a friend where they are quite barbaric about it. They have 6 societies that all do their own bonfire. They start at the high street in town and have a big procession. Then each society separates for it's own fireworks display and bonfire. My friend was telling me that at one of the societies they have a person dress up like a catholic priest, but with fireproof gear, and the priest stands on a pulpit preaching and they throw lighted fireworks at him.

We followed the Waterloo Society which ended up being the best way to go because we got right up to the fire and could see the fireworks from all the other societies surrounding us. It was beautiful! At the end they burn their
papier-mâché statues in effigy, they are full of a ton of fireworks that they set off from inside. I couldn't get any pictures of it because there was so much it was hard to see anything at all on the ground.
This blog I read has a great article about the beauty that is Guy Fawkes day. Below are the pictures that I got of the experience. It was definitely an entirely different kind of day from the fourth of July.

I swear it felt like we were in Vietnam!

By the firelight

Up close and personal

Fireworks over the fire

Friday, 2 November 2007

Swank and Circumstance

Last Thursday I was meant to go to an art exhibition in London. I was really excited because I got to wear my new dress that I bought in an attempt to make myself feel better on day where I felt blah. :) Anyway, I got all dressed up and my friend and I caught a ride into London with her friend who has a flat there when he is in town. We ended up being an hour and a half late getting into London so we decided on an impulse to ditch the art exhibition and go out with her friend. I was all dressed up with no where to go so he decided to take us to see the very swankiest of London.

We wanted to go eat, but the only table we could get at the trendiest Chinese restaurant in London was 11:00 so we took the table and went to a place called Sketch first to have a drink. You can walk in off the street, but there are "members only areas" and he is a member. There was a new girl at the door that didn't know him and therefore wouldn't let us into the parlor. He was all embarrassed, but I was glad for it because while we waited for the guy who knows him we decided to get a drink in the bar that is open to the public.

The room is set under a dome like Griffith Park Observatory with bench seating all around the circular walls. The bar is set into the floor in a circle so the bartenders have to walk down steps to be behind the bar. When they do they are eye level with you if you are sitting down. I ordered an Etch a Sketch. The whole of Sketch is done in such a way that at first things seem normal, but when you look closer nothing is as it seems. I felt like I was Alice and I'd fallen down the rabbit hole. I started looking around and when you look beyond the lighting that made optical illusion patterns on the walls and actually see the white walls of this dome you realize that there are detailed pencil sketchings all over the dome. At the top of the dome you could see up through to the second floor where there is a dog on glass. If you go up to the bathrooms you can see the dog from above.

While we were there I swear a porn director and his minions walked in. He had to have been. He was carrying a case that looked remarkably like it contained a video camera. He was a creepy older guy wearing a floor length trench coat. The girls he had with him were wearing full leather red dresses that were so tight they had to take these little tiny steps. They had glittered fake eyelashes. It was fantastic.

After our drink we went back to find the guy that could get us into the parlor. The girl was still there and she said we could take a seat and wait on chairs that look like they are trying to fight to get through the wall. They had listening stations were you could listen to iPods while you wait. Soon we found who were looking for and were let into the parlor, which I have to say wasn't as cool as the dome. But there were a few things this room had to offer. There were these figures on shelves on one wall, one was a telly screen with an image of a bird and the screen was in the cage. Another was a face with a tv screen attached to it and had a blinking eye on the screen.

We were given complimentary champagne and my friend ordered some drink called the Quiet Storm for me. We chilled there for a bit and then I headed up to the loos. Now that was an experience. It was like Mork and Mindy. The bathrooms were these egg shaped pods. Each pod had it's own sound. He assured me that one pod had a porn soundtrack, but I went in every one and I couldn't find it. I did however find horse sounds, dripping water, carnival music, goats and what I think was supposed to be spooky music. It made me think of walking through the woods in a horror movie.

Around 11 we headed over to Hakkasan in a rickshaw. We ordered way too much Dim Sum and I was politely told they frown on cameras in the restaurant so I only got one shot from the front desk. The food was excellent, especially the ostrich and I know every one of you just cringed, but I am sorry it was yummy. :)

After dinner we took a rickshaw back to dance again at Sketch. We closed the place down. Gotta love it when the lights come on after you've been dancing for an hour and a half. At one point after two drinks and complimentary champagne and who knows what else I went into one of the pods and ran my video camera to capture the horse sounds. I must have been drunk because I was making some of the funniest faces into the camera. As we were leaving the guy that let us in came around and asked if we'd seen the crystal bathrooms. They were roped off to the public and he pulled it aside and let us run up to check them out. I have never spent so much time in bathrooms taking pictures as I did at Sketch. They were so cool!

Once we were done photographing the loos we went back to his flat. OMG what a view! It was such a beautifully done flat with this huge sculpture in the corner that was so my style I wanted to put it in my pocket and bring it home with me. Think he would have noticed? We hung out and went through his iTunes for a while playing songs and comparing musical knowledge. I didn't get home until about 5 in the morning....Oops. :) Oh well it was worth the experience.