Saturday, 23 July 2011

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse (27) was found dead today in her flat. Very sad news. I guess many people were afraid that she might not grow old, but this? Poor, poor woman.

She seemed so desperately unhappy.  I sincerely hope she's at peace now.

RIP Amy Winehouse


What horrible news from Norway. Horror beyond words. So many young people dead, so many people traumatised. It's scary to realise how little effort is apparently needed to cause this much death and suffering.

So much grief.
Imagine how many lives are touched by what happened yesterday. All the family and friends of the people who died or were wounded, the survivors (quite a few of them will develop post traumatic stress disorder), the lives of all these people will never be the same after yesterday's attacks. Just horrible.

What could possibly drive someone to do such a terrible thing?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Guilty Pleasure: Private Practice

This is one guilty pleasure that I'm actually ashamed of. This badly written soap about a group practice filled with unbelievably shallow doctors and therapists masquerades as a serious medical drama. It's really, really bad, but I still can't resist watching it every week.

The writers of this show are very conservative. Consequently, almost every story to do with sex ends badly. And if it's about teenagers having sex, watch out: death of one or both teenagers is imminent. Because sex is bad for you, people who are pro-choice are evil and the only people considering  euthanasia are would-be murderers.

It's as if this series takes place in a different world than the one you and I live in, sort of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer had the Buffyverse. The kind of world where a judge in  Family Court tells a woman whose kid was taken into care: "Sorry, but you can't have your child back, because your friends think you're not quite ready to be a mom again". What? I mean, really? No assessment by a social worker or anything?   Well no, as apparently they don't exist in the world of Private Practice. Neither do less than beautiful people, so it seems. Or people without too white, perfect teeth.

I feel quite sorry for Amy Brenneman, playing psychiatrist Violet. Quite a comedown for her after starring in the excellent Judging Amy. Amy's Violet is a sorry excuse for a psychiatrist. I don't think I've seen a therapist as bad as Violet, ever! She's vain, consistently does the wrong thing for the wrong reason, shares the intimate details of her patients lives with  anyone who'll listen and is self-absorbed beyond words. In other words, she fits right in with all the other completely unprofessional doctors and therapists of Private Practice.

So what exactly is the appeal of a show this bad? Well, it's very nice feeling sooo much smarter than the people you're watching on screen. In a way Private Practice fills the void in my life that Charmed left. Everyone should feel this good about themselves at least once a week! It's not so much a guilty pleasure as feel-good medication.

And of course, as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Even Private Practice had some great episodes. The episode where Charlotte King was raped was surprisingly good, I admit I even shed a tear or two. KaDee Strickland is a fine actress, she and Amy Brenneman really deserve a much better show.

Pure Delight: George Michael anno 2011

My other half and I were talking about Amy Winehouse the other day. We both feel so verry sorry for her, addiction is a terrible, terrible thing. She looked so very unhappy and lost on stage during what was supposed to be her come-back. And she's only just 27. So much talent , so much promise and it's all come to this. I hope it's not too late for her, that she can get well again.

On an entirely different note, I just love seeing George doing so well. It's like he really turned his life around. Not an easy thing to do, and I for one am very happy for him.

It's great to see him not down on himself, but happily chatting away on twitter, posting nice vids of his home life. That's one adorable animal they have!
I'm a cat person myself, but I have to admit I quite like golden retrievers. They look so loving and loyal, and while cats are lovely creatures they're not exactly known for their loyalty. Basically anyone with a tin opener for the cat food will do.

Write what you know

So what shall I write about? Well, there are a lot of things I feel really passionate about.

George Michael
I'm a big George Michael fan. In fact, it's fair to say that I'm completely mad about him. In a nice way I hasten to add; I'm not a stalker or anything. I just happen to think George Michael is an amazingly talented singer-song writer with loads of charisma. And he's not bad looking either!

This is not a dedicated GM fan blog, but I find the phenomenon that is George Michael endlessly fascinating and I'll probably blog a lot about him

This Autumn, George Michael will go on tour with his Symphonica Tour and I will post reviews of all the concerts I go to. I'll also post reviews from his last tour, the wonderful 25 Live Tour.

Gay Rights
As a gay woman I'm very passionate about gay rights. It's a disgrace that there's still so much homophobia in the (western) world. Over the past three years I've done my bit to make things a bit better. I've joined our national GLBT organisation, COC, and am a member of a group that aims  to educate teenagers about gay rights. We go to schools (only if we're invited of course) and tell a class full of kids the story of our own coming out, and then we lead a group discussion about homosexuality. It's an uphill struggle but I think it's important to keep the dialogue going. And kids need to see with their own eyes that gay people are normal people, just like them.

Delightful things
Everyone has stuff that makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The things that put a smile on your face just thinking about them. Your wedding day, the day your children were born, that sort of thing. Those are the big things, but there's also lots of small things that can make you smile, even on tough days. I'm going to write about my little things of pure delight, to remind myself of the nice things life has to offer.

Guilty Pleasures
Self-explanatory really. You know those things you're not supposed to like, but you just can't help yourself? I decided to confess a few of my sins, it's supposed to be good for the soul!

Favourite books
I love reading books. It's one of the safest (look Ma, no drugs!) and cheapest ways to transport yourself to another world. Occasionally I'll blog about a book I liked a lot. Some of them might be well-known and popular, some might be a bit more obscure

Not an aspiring writer

I love to write. I used to call myself an aspiring writer, but no more. It took a long time for me to understand what is obvious to me now, but I finally got there. I'm not an aspiring writer, I'm a writer. Period

Writing is what I love to do and what I have to do. If I want to keep on living a somewhat normal life, I have to keep on writing. It's as simple as that. Writing is the only thing that stands between me and the black and bottomless pit commonly known as depression.

I've suffered from depression on and off for years, ever since I was a teenager. And believe me, 'suffer' is the right word. To me it's unbelievable that there are still ignorant people out there that believe that you can get out of a depression by 'pulling yourself together' or 'thinking happy thoughts'

Silly people, depression is a disease and a debilitating one at that. It's not easy to find the right way to cope with it all. For some psychotherapy can be very helpful. Others turn to mindfulness (this really helped me), and for some people anti-depressants are the way to go.

As for me, right now writing is about the only thing that helps to keep the darkness at bay. So I write. And so ... this blog.