Sunday, 18 November 2012

THE FRIENDS!

I'm watching The West Wing obsessively. Ever since the U.S. election, which is when I got the sudden urge to continue where I left off a long time ago. So I started watching season three about a week ago, and now I'm on episode eleven of season four. I love C.J., Allison Janney is just perfection, and every appearance of Stockard Channing is pure gold to me. The character of Margaret, Leo's assistant, continues to amuse me. She is a peculiar redhead, and I love everything about her. Martin Sheen is flawless as President Bartlet, and I love Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn and Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler, the two speechwriters on the Bartlet team. I do also adore John Spencer (who sadly passed away only 58 years young in the middle of filming the seventh and final season) as Leo McGarry, and Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman. Actually, I love the whole cast of this brilliant series. I just love them all.

Gabby and I dedicated this weekend to Jennifer Saunders, because the woman is brilliant and amazing and we both want to marry her. Seriously. Here is one of the reasons why:



Isn't she just perfection? This parody is so funny, it's spot on and totally legitimate. Dear Madonna: this is what you get for not agreeing to appear on their show! Jennifer looks gorgeous in this as well.

We spent this weekend watching the new Comic Strip, which was "Five Go to Rehab" as well as a documentary about thirty years of The Comic Strip. Jennifer as Margaret Thatcher is completely hilarious, and the new episode was brilliant as well. LOVE the Famous Five.

We also watched Let Them Eat Cake, as well as two Absolutely Fabulous specials - "Absolutely Fabulous: A Life", and "Gay" which has Whoopi Goldberg in it. I love Ab Fab, Jennifer and Joanna are so great together, and Jennifer's writing is comedy gold.

The Comic Strip and Let Them Eat Cake also star Dawn French, who is another very funny lady. I love French and Saunders, because in a way they remind me of myself and Gabby. There's this card titled "The Friends" which describes us so well:



It's like we share this secret connection that is invisible to everyone else, and it seems like Jennifer and Dawn do as well. There was a blooper in "The Making of "Five Go to Rehab"" where Jennifer is reading something on a piece of paper out loud, and for whatever reason she finds the piece of paper hilarious, so she starts cracking up, and as soon as she looks up and Dawn sees her face, Dawn loses it as well. She has to look away because she cannot look at Jennifer without laughing. The two guys in the scene with them are completely clueless as to what the two women are laughing at. This is the genius of French and Saunders; it's like they share a brain sometimes. That is how stuff like THIS can happen:



"I enjoy the thinking up of it... thinking of it up."
"Thinking... no. It up thinking of."
"That. I enjoy the thinking of up it."

THAT. That is how they work so well together, because they quite simply have arrows in between their heads, as illustrated on the card. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you FRENCH AND SAUNDERS: thinking of up it since 1987! May they continue the it up thinking of for many years to come.

Their male co-star in Let Them Eat Cake shouts the following at them in one of the episodes, after they have been babbling on for much time:

"WILL YOU SHUT UP, YOU TIRESOME TWATS!"

and I am CERTAIN that many people have wanted to shout the very same thing at me and Gabby. The thing is, though, that we are too cool to care, and so are Jennifer and Dawn. They will continue to do their thing, and haters are gonna hate, but so what? It's not about the haters, it's about the lovers. Yes, that sounds a little bit wrong, but I mean, I wanna be Jennifer's lover. I'm sorry, what? I digress.



I love it when these two get married in the "Gay" special. They were practically already married anyway, but it's just so funny to actually watch them say those vows to each other, in front of Whoopi Goldberg. AB FAB FOREVER.




This picture makes me so happy.

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend!

Love
A Norwegian girl in London

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Packing, packing, packing.

I cannot believe I'm going to Gran Canaria in just a few hours, and I've only just started packing. It's already after midnight. Epic fail. At least I've checked into both my flights online and printed off my tickets, so that's all done, but I always get so frazzled when I have to pack, and I keep putting it off until the very last minute. I just feel like I need to remember a hundred-and-one things, and even if I write a list (which I always do, otherwise my packing would be complete and utter chaos) I still feel like my brain is a mess of things and that some things get lost in the shuffle.

I'm quite annoyed at myself because I forgot to wash my big Wicked towel, which I need for trips to the beach. I shall have to do it in the early morning before leaving for the airport.

Currently very discouraged by the state my room is in at the moment. I've just taken a break from the packing to write this blog entry (priorities, people!), and my room is a complete mess. I've also realised that I need to finish watching the documentary Jennifer Saunders did about ballet, which I started viewing on YouTube last night.

Speaking of the cuteness that is Jennifer, here is a reminder of just how cute she is:


And Joanna Lumley! They both look gorgeous in this picture. I really love Joanna as well, she is a remarkably beautiful human being, inside and out. We should all aspire to be more like her.

I'm bringing quite a lot of reading material with me on holiday. Since I haven't done much of anything this week, I plan on doing much reading out in the sun in the next few days. Might do some on the plane as well. Having an inner debate about whether I need to bring my laptop or not. I'd like to do my work on it, but if I'm honest with myself I'm probably not going to start doing any serious writing while I'm there, so what's the point? I'll start writing my Music in Context essay when I get back. Yes, I'll definitely start then. Totally. (You're all very convinced now, aren't you?)

Seriously, though, I do need to start my writing soon. Maybe I'll just motivate myself by saying things like, "if you make good progress on your work, you can reward yourself by seeing a show!", because that makes it sound so much better. I think I'll do that. I plan on seeing Wicked again, with Louise Dearman as Elphaba, and I wanna see Matilda because Tim Minchin is hilarious, and then of course Viva Forever, I can barely contain my excitement about that musical! The next few weeks shall be amazing, full of productive library sessions and fun times! YAY LIFE. (Yes, this is totally me writing this overly enthusiastic paragraph.) Might schedule some ACTUAL museum trips as well. There's so much to see!

I really dread the day that's coming up, I hate traveling. Lugging your bags around, especially in the underground, just flat out sucks. It's so tiring. As soon as I am on the plane, everything is fine, but to actually get there is usually a nightmare. And this time I have to go all the way to Stansted, which is in the middle of fucking nowhere, and I have to change trains/tube three times in order to get there. It's not even IN London, it's a bollocks airport!

On second thought, I'd like to bring my laptop so I can charge my iPod and listen to music, as well as watch stuff during the 4-hour long flight. I'm trying to get my sister to bring the iPod charger, which is home in Norway, but I don't know if she'll remember to do it and I really don't want to end up without music because my iPod has run out of battery. Decisions, decisions.

Waaah, it's 1:30! Crap crap crap. Ugh, happy thoughts! Happy thoughts! *imagines dancing hippies like the ones Edina Monsoon keeps seeing* Okay, I'm calm.

Jennifer.


That is all.

Love
A Norwegian girl in London

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A new month & crushing tiredness

Have you ever been so tired that you can't actually open your eyes long enough to write a two-sentence text? Because today, that was my reality. I forgot to take my quetiapine last night, and only remembered at 2am. As a consequence, I was dead tired this morning. I barely managed to send Gabby a text saying that she should just go to central without me, and it took me several minutes to send this text because my eyes kept closing shut against my will. There was no way I was going on a museum trip.

Instead, I slept until 3pm, and then did some more laundry. Then I watched the three most recent Ab Fab episodes, which I really enjoyed, especially the one where Saffy brings home her friend from prison and she turns out to be Patsy's drug dealer. Hilarious.

Speaking of hilarious, the Mamma Mia parody for Red Nose Day in 2009! I cannot stop laughing, it's so amazing.




"Chicken tikka, tell me what's wroooong?"

I love how it's "Jennifer Saunders is... Meryl Streep", "Dawn French is... Julie Walters", and "Joanna Lumley is... Patsy" - hahaha. Joanna's dancing in "Does Your Mother Know?" is brilliant, as is her singing.

"The sheer acting of Meryl Streep!"

Jennifer is so gorgeous in this! She really looks the part, and her singing is amazing. Is there anything this woman can't do?

Philip Glenister's mumbling of the final song has me in stitches, especially when they all start joining in. So frickin' funny.

But seriously. I love Jennifer.


How cute is she?! She's so pretty. Here are some extra adorable pictures of her and Dawn:




 

Aren't they super cute? Best comedy duo of all times. Legendary people are legendary.

And just because she is too cute, here is another picture:



I'm gonna put the laptop away and do some serious reading now, because it's reading week, and so far no reading has been done on my part. Sad times.

Hope you are all doing well!

Love
A Norwegian girl in London

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

End of October - A Rant.

I would just like to take a moment out of my day to express my love for Jennifer Saunders.

Jennifer Saunders is amazing. She is hilarious, she is a comic genius, she's incredibly smart, she sings like a motherfucking boss, and she's off the charts, totally banging hot. Yes, you read that right. Jennifer: I would.

I am completely obsessed with this woman. I love watching her appearance on Top Gear, her funny bits with Dawn French (who is also very cool), not to mention AB FAB. "Sweetie, darling!" Love it. I wish she would give more interviews, but sadly she's quite shy, even though she fucking rocks. Her lap around the race track on Top Gear was so much win, I was like, fuck to the yes, she's faster than all those guys. Gordon Ramsay, SUCK IT.

I cannot wait to see Viva Forever, the Spice Girls musical, which Jennifer has written the script for. I mean, that HAS to be awesome. Hopefully Patrick will come up from Cornwall to go see it with me and Gabby.

Oh my god, we saw Margaret Cho this Sunday, and she is too cool for words. Her impressions of her mother are the best. Also, her facial expressions - priceless! I love how much of a fag hag she is. She also bared her ass to show us the tattoos on her butt cheeks. She then proceeded to shake her ass so it would look like her tattoos were talking to each other, or laughing, or whatever. It was hilarious. It's funny how she seems so loud and outspoken onstage, and then when you meet her after the show she's all quiet and sweet. Aw, she's so adorable. When she saw us standing around there waiting, she immediately walked up to us and was like "hi, thanks for coming!" and when I held my arm up and pointed at my bracelets and said "we were here last year as well, and we loved it so much we had to see you again. We're the ones with the bracelets", her response to this was "oh yeah! I still have mine!" and when I was like "oh wow, seriously? How cool" she was like "yeah, I totally still have mine!" Love her.

It is now reading week, so there are no lectures. I should have been studying, but instead I've spent my week so far hanging around with Gabby. Last night we went out with Patrick, though, as he was here for his graduation which was this morning. He's already on his way back to Cornwall, which is sad, as I wish he would have stayed a bit longer. At least we got to see him and have some fun while he was here!

Gabby, Lyndon and I are going to the British Museum tomorrow, which should be interesting. We also might pop into the Cartoon Museum, as apparently that is nearby. I haven't been to many museums in this city yet, so I'm looking forward it. I really need to visit more museums, like the Victoria and Albert one and the National Gallery. I've been to the National Portrait Gallery once, as well as the Tate Modern (which is full of ridiculous pieces of "art"), but that's about it.

I also miss going to the theatre. I went to see Les Miserables with my mum and sister, but that's all I've seen for the past few months, and there are so many shows I would like to see. I really hope I get my loan soon! The whole mess with my one failed module has just created a lot of obstacles for me, one being of the financial kind. At least my dad is there to save me, love him for that. I wouldn't have managed without him.

I really want to go see Louise Dearman as Elphaba. It will be strange, as I've already seen her as Glinda and that's who she is to me. I just don't think you can be both. I am intrigued to see Louise's take on this part, though.

Well, that's all for now. I shall now return to my piles of laundry. Hope you are all having a good week.

Love
A Norwegian girl in London

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Music is love.

I love music. I love discovering new music, and I love listening to whole albums of wonderful artists, often over and over again. My most recent discovery is Priscilla Ahn, whose music is absolutely beautiful. I especially love the song "A Good Day (Morning Song)", which I think you should all listen to right now if you haven't done so already.


There are several other songs on her newest album, which is called "A Good Day", that are amazing, such as "Dream", "Wallflower" and "Red Cape". Go listen to her music, and be mesmerized.


Whilst watching Switched at Birth, which I LOVE, I also discovered Girl Named Toby. Her song "Holding a Heart" is absolute LOVE. Have a listen:


She only has an EP with five songs out so far, and I'm eagerly awaiting a full album from this wonderful new talent.


I have also fallen in love with Katie Herzig, also after hearing one of her songs on Switched at Birth. Don't you just love television? Anyway, this is the song "Free My Mind", quirky music video and all:


It's so wonderfully weird, and the song is so joyful, it makes me want to dance around in public and sing along!

Another song by Katie Herzig that I absolutely adore is "Lost and Found":



I'm also pretty obsessed with Erin McCarley's new album. Here is a video of her performing "Re-Arrange Again", which is one of my favourite tracks:


Amazing. She has such a unique sound; such a sweet voice. Both of her albums are fantastic, I highly recommend them!


Love,
A Norwegian Girl in London

Monday, 8 October 2012

Back on track.

Hello all you beautiful people!

Or beautiful person, depending on how many people are reading my blog. Which I realise may only be me, and I don't consider myself particularly beautiful, so maybe I should just say "hi, Ingelinn!" and leave it at that.

Anyway, I am back in Kingston. It has been a busy few weeks. I failed a module in my second year, and the exam board's original decision was to make me spend a whole year retaking just that one module. However, I decided to appeal on the grounds of having bipolar disorder, and I ended up winning said appeal. Therefore, I get to continue as a full-time third year student and at the same time retake the one module I failed. I feel like I have finally caught a break for once in my life. I'm used to being miserable and dragging my feet, but thanks to the medication I am on after being diagnosed as bipolar, I am now feeling much better. It feels like I have woken up from a six-year-long nightmare. I'm alive. I'm still not going to climb any mountains, at least not the tallest ones. Let's start with the smaller hills, shall we?

My mum and 14-year-old sister were here for a few days last week, from Sunday to Thursday. Most of their time here was spent shopping, as that is what my 14-year-old sister wanted to do (obviously). We did, however, squeeze in some time to go see a musical. My mother wanted to see Les Miserables, so we went and got discount tickets for Wednesday evening. It was my third time seeing it, but it's a good show so I didn't mind. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Sierra Boggess was playing the role of Fantine. Actually, I squealed with joy when I saw the programme. Yes, I am infinitely cool. She was amazing, as per usual, and so was the guy playing Jean Valjean. The girl playing Cosette was a bit irritating, but the girl playing Eponine, my favourite character, was really good. I didn't cry this time, which I guess is because I've already seen it twice. The first time I bawled my way through pretty much the whole show. The second time I just cried at certain parts. This time I just got a bit teary eyed at the ending, which gave me the opportunity to actually pay more attention to the performances. I picked up new things about the show that I didn't notice the other times I saw it.

On Wednesday afternoon my sister wanted to go to Forever 21, and I knew there was a massive shop in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, so I took her there. My sister was in heaven, but my mum was more in hell than anything else. Towards the end of our visit she started getting pretty terrifying, because the music in there was so loud, and it was the kind of music you'll hear in nightclubs. It was extremely exhausting. I'm usually drunk when I go to places with music like that. Sober, it was NOT a pleasant experience. I rather enjoyed spending Tuesday in Notting Hill, though.

I'm getting very tired of the whole student loan situation I am in at the moment. Because student funding at home thinks I am a part-time repeat student, I cannot get a loan until they receive confirmation that I am, in fact, not. So now I am waiting for the university to give me such a letter so I can actually get funded, so I will be able to enroll and pay my tuition fee. I could proceed to go on an angry rant, but I'd probably realise that I'm not angry with anyone in particular, I'm just frustrated by how complicated things always are.


I'm doing a module called Special Study this year, and I've chosen the musical museum option, so tomorrow I am going on a tour of an actual musical museum, which I think is going to be cool. I am quite interested in the theatre organ, or rather, the "Mighty Wurlitzer." It was made to sound like a full orchestra played by only one person. However, I know they had these jukeboxes that they used as well. I think it's funny how they just let this machine play random music to accompany a silent film, because this would sometimes mean listening to a happy tune whilst watching a sad scene. Knowing how much the film score can influence a film today, and how important music is, it seems weird to just play music at random, but they didn't always have an actual pianist available to play, so the random jukebox seemed like the next best option at the time, I suppose. But it would have caused some interesting clashes with music and picture, which I would love to write an essay about.

I'm also doing some other interesting modules this semester, particularly A Change Is Gonna Come, which is a political module which puts music in context with politics. Very interesting stuff.

I am slowly, but surely, getting into a healthy sleeping pattern. My sleeping habits have been quite bad in the past few years, but I am now trying to change that. I try to be in bed by midnight, at the latest, and if I go out on weekends I try to get in before 2am. Any later than that, and the following day will be spent on what feels like trying to come back from the dead, because of the medication I have to take every night. There have been times when I have got home at 6 in the morning, and that has just been a complete disaster. At the time it seems reasonable, because I was "having fun," but honestly? It is not worth it.

So no, I will not go back to my messed up ways of life. I will try to stick on this path I am currently on, because it is enabling me to live life like a relatively normal person. One that gets out of bed BEFORE noon, and goes through the day WITHOUT taking a three-hour nap. I like that person a whole lot better than that slob who sometimes spent several days in bed without doing anything. I mean, that slob was suffering from depression, but she still felt very much like a slob. Being sick makes you feel like a slob, and that is a very bad feeling.

I will now go back to not being a slob. What? I only watched two episodes of Parenthood and three episodes of Up All Night. That's not that bad, right?

Love,
A Norwegian girl in London

Friday, 31 August 2012

Everything has changed.

What major difference a seemingly small thing in your life can actually make. As September is upon us, I realise that I will no longer spend my Mondays watching a new episode of Desperate Housewives. It is a daunting thought. What a tremendous change this TV series made in my life; life-long friends and memories, and endless amounts of laughter and tears.

I am trying in vain to find a TV show that can replace the life on Wisteria Lane, but everything else comes up short. A show that was very dear to me, Brothers and Sisters, came quite close, so obviously it was cancelled a year ago after only five seasons.

I would say that I still have Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, but I know this is going to be the last season of the latter, and I'm worried that Grey's Anatomy is going to change too much from the death of certain characters. Body of Proof is still great, of course, but what's happening with Peter?

I'm so glad I have found comfort in Switched at Birth. It can never replace my beloved housewives, but it is a show with a lot of lovable characters, as well as including the amazing and adorable Lea Thompson in its cast, an actress who I absolutely love. I can't wait for this show to return on September 3rd.

I watch a lot of television, that is no secret to anyone who knows me. I love half-hour comedies; 30 Rock (Tina Fey is my future wife), Modern Family, Up All Night, Cougar Town, Community, New Girl, The Middle, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. These are all great shows, but I relate to them in a whole other way from how I relate to my drama shows. I watch them for the humorous writing, and not so much because I'm interested in the characters. Of course I AM interested in their lives, but not to the extent that I was emotionally invested in the lives of Lynette, Bree, Gaby and even Susan, and not in the same way that I care about Addison, Violet, Sam and Cooper. The drama shows I watch have all these emotional hooks, and it's hard to let go.

It has to be said, though, that I do have a few shows I love. The Good Wife is absolutely amazing, I am in love with it and all its characters. Parenthood is pretty great, and so is this new show, The Secret Circle, which I started watching because I loved Life Unexpected - THAT was a fantastic series. I never thought I'd like a show about witches, but I believe this show is different. It's more about the relationships between the people, and how they deal with their emotional struggles, and I enjoy the psychological aspects of it. And finally, I do love Castle, no matter how infuriating I find Beckett at times. Castle himself is totally awesome. And actually, I do get emotionally involved in HIMYM, and Cougar Town, even if they are half-hour comedies.

I just re-watched my favourite moments from the series finale of Desperate Housewives. I cannot believe it's not coming back. My life would be so much less than it is today if it weren't for this show, and I am eternally grateful. I don't think I've let go of it yet, no matter how many months have passed since it ended. In fact, I don't think I ever will. I will take it with me, and return to it whenever life gets tough. It's always been there for me, and it will continue to be there for me through the good times and the bad. It sounds like a massive cliche, but it's true. It may not have always been the best in terms of writing, but it was always there for me, and so were its fans in the online community. Some of them saved my life, and they know who they are. Thank you.

My life is quite different today from what it was back in 2006 when I first discovered the show. Today I am living in London, studying music and trying to follow my dreams. I have found some of the best friends that I could ever have hoped to find, but I still have my "online friends" to turn to even today. Facebook is a brilliant thing, isn't it! I love it.

It's funny to me how much life changes over the years. Having gone through six years of continuous depression, it is nice to finally have a proper diagnosis for it. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder changed my life for the better. Once I started taking mood stabilisers, my life slowly but surely returned to me, and even though it is still hard, it is getting better, and for now that is improvement enough. Nothing happens overnight, and that is an important thing to keep in mind when life turns on you, which in my case is quite often. I have to constantly tell myself that I can't do more than try my best. In some cases it won't be enough, but those are the times when I have to keep trying. Not everyone will understand that having a mental illness makes things much more difficult, and therefore I will, no doubt, be expected to live up to the standard of perfectly healthy people. These are expectations I can't always meet, but that's okay. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am limited, and it's not going to stop me.

If I have passed my second year of university, and I am crossing fingers and toes and everything else hoping that I have, I will go on to my third year with a lot more enthusiasm and energy than I have had in the past two years, because I finally know the truth about my struggles, and thus I am able to deal with them. This makes everything easier, and my plans for the future seem more achievable than they did before. I may not be the happiest person alive, but I am ALIVE, and that's all that matters.

Love,
A Norwegian Girl in London (currently in Norway)