Wednesday October 1, 2003


Category: Life & Me | 17 Comments | Posted 14:22

OK, coffee is the most disgusting thing!!!!!!! :-&
:o How can people drink it, HOW!?!?!
It's repulsive, dreadful, sickening, revolting, horrible!!!
Puke puke puke!

Yes yes, I'm fiiiine. Nothing to worry about. You there, put that straightjacket away, and stop with the worried mumbling everyone. See, the thing is this: I did another bit of self-help research about my headaches earlier, and came across this: "[headaches] can also come from stress, certain medications, eye strain, viral infection, not getting enough sleep or too much or too little caffeine." Now y'all may know I'm rather Coke addicted (Diet, No Ice)... usually, but I haven't had any for over a week. So I thought, "Eureka!" (yes, that's what I thought - maybe it's related to PhotoTime Tuesday's current theme), anyway, Eureka is what I thought, and furthermore, "ah, maybe that's what it is then". Lack of caffeine I mean.

Now, having no Coke in the house, and knowing that the caffeine concentration in Coke is rather low after all, and also hearing my dentist's warning words still ringing in my ears ("Coke is baaad for the teeth, mmkay? If you drink Coke, much drilling must be done to your teeth" *ominous look, drill in hand*), well, with all that in mind, I resolved to brew myself a cup of this awful beverage.

Some explaining must be done. I had not drunk coffee since the age of six, when I'd made the mistake of ordering a cup at school for 4 o'clock tea. I'd wanted to be all big and grown up like the older kids, who all drank coffee. But as soon as I'd taken the first gulp of the horrible brew, I found it to be much to my distaste, in fact, completely undrinkable. But the evil nuns (for I did spend one year at a catholic boarding school, yes, yes, now you know whence my hatred stems) made me drink it up, can you believe it? Poor little child that I was, having innocently ordered the wrong drink, they forced it down my throat and unknowingly (?) scarred me for life. Never again was I going to touch that horrible, horrible concoction.

Until today. After all, it had been 20 years, and though I had never since found the smell of it alluring, or felt tempted to try it again, I thought maybe it was now time to overcome this old trauma of mine, that maybe I would like it after all, and as I said, no Coke in the house, lack of caffeine, yadda yadda.

Well I've been cured for life!
Coffee is the most disgusting thing!!!!!!! :-&
:o How can people drink it, HOW!?!?!
It's repulsive, dreadful, sickening, revolting, horrible!!!
Puke puke puke!

Ahem. Such is the story of Clarissa and Coffee. Incidentally, I do find that my headache has rather improved. Must I return to good old Diet Coke then... *woefully shakes head* Or maybe Caffeine pills? Hm nah, Coke will do. :P *wanders off to the supermarket*

Tis a momentous occasion!

Category: Randomness | 12 Comments | Posted 16:28

Indeed, for I now have 5000 mails from BML Me on my hard drive! This is not the total sum of mails sent, as I also received numerous emails to my work addie at Warwick (which I could not save), and also have 137 on my Yahoo account. But anyway, it's a big moment and it looks rather neat in my mail prog, so you will be graced with a screenshot. Indeedy. All you need to do is click here. Amazing, right? Now rejoice with me! :yay

PS. The headache is gone! Completely disappeared! Can you believe it was something as simple as lack of caffeine?!

Thursday October 2, 2003

Creative output of the day

Category: Photography | 27 Comments | Posted 2:48

With the headache finally gone, I was feeling all creative today. I had all these different things planned - playing with my Drawing Tablet, working on a new layout, taking pictures... in the end, I did several photo shots. Some of the pics will end up on the webcam, hehe. Like right now (giggle).

Right, then I had this idea... and the result is my fabulous Guide to becoming Jamie Leigh. Well, this is only the beginning (if I can be bothered going on with it that is). No offence to Jamie Leigh of course. :))

Buhbye for the w/e...

Category: Life & Me | 16 Comments | Posted 21:54

Eh-oh everyone, rejoice rejoice cuz I'm off for a while. Visiting Katja & Tobias. Will be back Sunday night. Was gonna introduce a new layout but, well, didn't. *hehe*

Monday October 6, 2003

Chance Meeting... & anti-Zionism!

Category: Opinionated | 11 Comments | Posted 1:12

Right now, I have 2 (two) Madonna songs in my mp3 folder. You'll See and Nothing Fails. One I own legally and one I downloaded illegally. I have 298 tracks in my folder in total. I have my mp3 player set to "random" or "shuffle" (whatever you wanna call it). So the chance of the 2 Madonna tracks playing back to back is.... um, er, whatever it is (feel free to work it out), it's extremely low. But they just did. I wonder what that tells me. That I should listen more to Madonna?

Just like last night. I dreamt (among many other things) that my wonderful Lara (car) was stolen. I'd only left her for 2 minutes, so I hadn't locked her, and when I came back, she was gone. What does that mean? That my car will get stolen soon? That I'm still scared because I had a car stolen once? That I was bored and couldn't think of anything else to dream of?

Eeenyway. So I'm back from my trip to Mainz visiting T & K. I had fun as usual; playing video games and watching telly and going shopping and talking and laughing and doing weird things with them. I have to say I am extremely fortunate to have cool friends the way I do. I guess most people do find the friends they're looking for, you know, conformist or extremist, geeky or fashionable, simplistic or genial, diurnal or nocturnal, whatever they're after. But I still do feel rather lucky to have come across people as cool as my friends. :x I love you all! (but you're all fucking mental!)

Right, um. Done some work on a new layout. Might finish it tonight, so if you see a background that ain't black, it's prolly the new look. I'd also like to thank Jamie Leigh for mentioning me in her diary, hehehe. The next part of "how to be JL" will be out sometime soon. As soon as I can be bothered.

There was something else.... ah yes, Israel.

It's stupid, but I just wanted to say something about it. First off: blissful ignorance - how true is that!!

I didn't really check the news over the w/e. I read about the Haifa attack, and read about the Israeli government planning retribution (that bit was predictable anyway). I expected it would be the usual bombing somewhere in the Gaza Strip or whatever. Not saying that makes it any less outrageous. Just less unexpected.

I only found out what had happened after I read Michelle's I declare my Blog an Israel-free Zone entry. I thought 'woah, there must have been something rather extreme for her to react so drastically.'

And so there had. I mean fucking hell!! I have friends from Syria, from Lebanon, from Palestine... partly these are people who've been through the hell of the previous wars, people who still suffer the consequences - so I can't even tell how much this outrages me (and yes I'm aware the terror & the suicide bombings are scary & demoralising too). But apart from my personal, totally subjective point of view, I have to say this is absolutely unacceptable politically.

To quote Michelle: "I'll comment again as soon as some countries invaded Israel to put these people under control" - when is there finally going to be a unanimous, politically untainted condemnation of the injustices perpetrated by the Israeli government? The further this country goes, the more socially acceptable the "Auschwitzkeule" is gonna become!

Actually this is another interesting topic for my "Live and Learn" category. The position of Western Europe regarding the Middle East question. Indeed. Stay tuned for an entry about that! (but before that, hopefully, a new layout)

New Layout... again!

Category: Updates | 18 Comments | Posted 15:58

So here goes, the new layout. Bright and colourful again for a change. The pics on the right are links to the rest of my sites, and the pics at the top are things (er, or people) I love. I even got official permission from BML Me to use that pic of her! :x

I realise there's a problem with the loading of the page. It's probably the script used for the tooltips on the right. If people (or myself) get too annoyed, I'll remove that. The purple for the links was BML Me's suggestion (obviously, lol), tho I might change that at a later date cuz I find it looks a bit weird on the grey.

Yep, that's pretty much it. Hope everyone likes it, and if not, well, you can kiss my massive behind! :))

Tuesday October 7, 2003

This is an Entry

Category: Life & Me | 6 Comments | Posted 3:11

Well, I'm fairly sure it is. Looks like one, doesn't it? I mean it's all there... the entry title... the comments link at the bottom... the text in between... and where I am typing right now it says "Create New Entry" and further below "Entry Body"... so I guess this really is an entry. HOw reassuring.

I shouldn't really be here. I should have gone to bed ages ago. But you know how it goes... time flies, or so it seems. So I'm still here. Had a rather pleasant day tho. Stayed in bed reading until quite late, then finished this wonderfully colourful layout, then my friend Claire came to visit (long time diary visitors may remember that I visited her in Cardiff a few times)... later I got some emailing done, and I rang cute Suha shortly after 1am...

I also got a response from one of my (2) temping agencies, they want me to come & register at their office, so I will do that tomorrow morning. Which is why I should go to bed now... because I have to get up tomorrow. Like, before noon. I'll probably read for another hour anyway, hehe. Anne Rice is most divine. Even if she does sue her fans for writing fan fiction. I mean, that does suck, but what the hell.

And now I must depart. Fare thee well, dear reader. Have a safe journey home. I hope I will see you here again in the near future. I can't wait. Please do call again. Soon. And bring your sister and your brother, and any other fleshy relatives. Don't leave a contact number and don't tell anyone where you're going. They won't find you anyway. *hahaha*

PhotoTime Tuesday: Circles

Category: Memes | 9 Comments | Posted 14:27

Photomemes time! This time it's PhotoTime Tuesday again (yes yes, it is Tuesday). The theme is Circles.

This is part of my Lara's dashboard. It's full of circles. Circles everywhere! Them engineers had a circle obsession! On the left you can see part of the big circle that is her steering wheel. Looks rather nice tho, doesn't it. Aaah my Lara... :x

Skype: testers wanted!

Category: The Web | 8 Comments | Posted 18:05

OK so Skype apparently is the next big thing in Internet telephony. It is based on the P2P system, it was invented by the same people who started Kazaa, and it's supposed to be good quality and all that. It looks like a little messenger and is very simple to use.

So I've just downloaded & installed it and I want people to call me so we can try it out! You can download it here (it says you need XP or Win 2000, but apparently it works on Win98 too. You need a microphone obviously). My username is clarissawam, so add me and ring me! :P Come on, you know you want to! :D

Wednesday October 8, 2003

Skype report, my subconscious, jobs and Arnie

Category: Life & Me | 6 Comments | Posted 0:24

OK lemme start with my subconscious... fascinating stuff I tell you! Full of hidden treasures and the like (ahem, right). I did this test, the Inkblot Test at It was fun, and this is what it tells me:

    Clarissa, your subconscious mind is driven most by Imagination
    You have a deep desire to use ideas to change the world around you. This drive influences you far more than you may realize on a conscious level.
    You love to brainstorm and imagine new possibilities. The world is a fuller, richer place because you can contribute new ideas to any experience. Your natural curiosity inspires those around you and encourages them to come up with ideas they wouldn't have discovered without your help.
    Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are.

Don't I have a fascinating subconscious? I wasn't aware of all of that... ok, maybe that's the general idea of subconscious... but um, yeah. Interestingly, the job test I did at Emode earlier gave me sort of a similar result...

    You're a visionary in many people's eyes — able to think outside of the box to come up with your own solutions. You're creative not necessarily in the artistic sense, but because you can expand your mind to do things differently from others.
    It might take a while for colleagues to recognize and reward for your entrepreneurial spirit and abilities. That could be because they envy you, or because they find your ideas slightly rebellious — willing to go against the current.
    All in all, you make it hard for people to pigeon hole you. That is why you, more than others, need a job that allows you to play to your strengths, break out of the mold, and truly excel.

Now the funny thing is, I don't really agree with that... usually I'm far too lazy and insecure to do things differently from others. In a job I mean. I prefer playing it safe. So um yeah. Maybe I should overcome my laziness and insecurity and then I would turn into this total genius? *lmao* Also on the subject of jobs, I went to the temping agency yesterday and tho they had nothing for me right then and there, they said it shouldn't be too hard to find sth, mainly on account of my languages. Tho the fact I only have 2 months is a bit limiting... and my red hair may be a problem at banks :))

Right, then the Skype report... as Vega already commented on the previous entry, the sound isn't that great at all, it's kinda the same as Yahoo's Voice Chat. You can't both talk at the same time, which is annoying. Had interesting conversations tho, with Lo, who only giggled (very cutely tho :x) and finds Luxembourgish cool (ugh), with Seb who doesn't have the same accent as me (as Jess said), and who insulted me by saying I sounded German at some point, and for hours and hours with Mir who sounds really American and who told me fascinating stuff about Norwegian, which I might use in my dissertation if I do indeed write that. *lol*

Finally... Arnie. I don't really have anything to say except URGH :-& of course. I didn't really think he would win, but then I stopped following the whole thing shortly after the beginning. And why shouldn't California have an idiot governor if the whole country has a moronic president? :-?

Thursday October 9, 2003

Geek Entry: All about Google

Category: The Web | 12 Comments | Posted 3:11

Well now, I must have spent at least 3 hours reading Google-related websites. I've had a most fascinating time, so for the geeks among my readers, I will here share some of my discoveries... there are quite a few Google blogs out there. Yes yes, they only write about Google related stuff. This one for instance, or this one, or this one.

Everyone's heard of Googlism of course (obviously you can also just use Google for that). Now here's another neat & useless little thing that uses Google: the Random Personal Picture Finder uses standard digicam pic names (like IMG00012.jpg or DSC02345.jpg) on Google image finder. *lol* Gives you nice insights into random people's lives. :P

Now it gets geekier. You may have heard of Google Bombing - I think I've mentioned it before. You get a link to your (or any other) site posted on as many sites (often blogs) as possible (always using the same keyword or phrase), and this boosts its ranking. Ah but there's also Counter-Googling. Firms, hotels etc googling their costumers (rather than the usual way round, therefore counter).

Let's raise the geekiness level: ever heard of the Google Dance? Sounds a bit voodoo uh? Isn't tho. It's the way the various Google servers give different results during the (more or less) monthly update of their database. Or, well, used to cuz they now seem to update continuously over the month. The nerds at the Webmasterworld forums actually made charts of the dances - and gave them names too, like hurricanes! *lol* For more Google links and a Glossary of google-related terms, go here.

On a different and less geeky note, visit to learn why Google is evil and manipulates its rankings in favour of "friends". Or read here why it isn't so evil after all. *lol*

Ah, and completely random (tho still Google-related of course), this is the coolest T-shirt! I think I might have to buy me it. Ah, and another random & funny fact: Google PageRank is named after co-founder Larry Page, not the fact that it is about web pages. Funny thread btw, so go read.

Oh and btw, I've found my dream job: I wanna be a researcher at Google Answers! Unfortunately they are not recruiting. :((

Hommage à Jacques Brel

Category: You Live & Learn | 7 Comments | Posted 13:30

I know this won't mean much to any of you, as I have next to no French-speaking readers, but I have to mention it anyway. 25 years ago to this day, Jacques Brel died of lung cancer in a French hospital. He was one of the most amazing chansonniers who ever lived, with beautiful, moving and thought-provoking lyrics about friendship, love, beliefs, morals, life and death... the power of his convictions was infectious. I can't say how much this man means to me. When I listen to his songs, I hear my dad speaking. He was incomparable and is sorely missed by many.

If you're interested to know more about him (to make this a Live & Learn entry), go here for an extensive biography in English. To get an idea of his lyrical genius, check these translations of some of his songs. On the left you can stream one of his most popular songs, Ne Me Quitte Pas.

Sooo tired

Category: Life & Me | 20 Comments | Posted 22:02

I only had about 5hrs sleep last night (went to bed at 4.15, woke up at 9.30 and decided to stay awake to finally get back into a more normal sleeping pattern)... so now the time has come to go to sleep. *hehe* Online is boring anyway. Today was generally boring. Which is why I made a ridiculously stupid quiz for you to take: Which of my possessions are you? Not to be taken seriously of course.

BTW I think I've decided against Lasik surgery after all. According to independent studies, the risks are really quite high (around 30% of patients have side effects like double vision or light distortion). Another problem is that the procedure is still very young and little is known about long term effects. The considerably thinner cornea may well lead to complications later on.

PS I'm top result on Google for Crazy Obsessed. How appropriate. :))

Saturday October 11, 2003

OMC is Shite

Category: Michael Jackson | 20 Comments | Posted 3:01

So I have a Category called "Michael Jackson". Long time no entry, so here is one. His new song, One More Chance, is crap. The more I hear of it the more I dislike it. I ain't judging, maybe he really only released this song cuz he owed Sony sth, what do I know (I don't go to MJ boards anymore), all I know is it's even less imaginative than Cry (and personally I don't have a problem with R. Kelly's songs). So *yawn*.

Sunday October 12, 2003

Da squiZZ in Lux!

Category: Life & Me | 20 Comments | Posted 1:06

Hehe, so the crazy squiZZle has booked a flight to come & visit me next week-end!! :D :D :D How exciting is that!? And I have booked a ticket for him to come & see Placebo with me on Monday night, hehe. The BML is probably gonna be quite outraged about this (tho of course she knows I love her most!! :x), but, well, squiZZ is rather adorable in a warped sort of way, and I have nothing else to do anyway, so will be a welcome distraction! *muahaha*

So like, Death right?

Category: Opinionated | 9 Comments | Posted 2:51

How do you feel about it?

I mean I'm not sure, there are all these different ideas about death in our society. Mostly it's still a taboo. People don't talk about it. Esp. not their own death. And if they do, they exclude any emotional aspect. They talk about inheritances, and burial arrangements. You get that a lot here. That practical, distanced approach. I guess you get that a lot everywhere. Have everything cleared up & sorted out before you die. But you always leave these emotional wrecks behind, people struggling to get on with their lives, to adjust to the world being without you all of a sudden.

My mum's been hinting that she wouldn't mind dying. That her killing herself now wouldn't be a bad thing. I'd inherit the house and the money, I'd have a couple of months to sort everything out (here we go), and then I could move on to a new life with no strings attached and a reassuring capital to back me up. She thinks that's a marvellous solution (esp. when she's had a few drinks too many). She has nothing to live for after all. She's scared of seeing me fail in life (as she's convinced I will), so she'd rather not witness it. She doesn't enjoy her own life, she doesn't have anyone to live for, so she doesn't see why she shouldn't kill herself.

I believe it's everyone's choice to do with their lives whatever they want - this has always been our belief in this family. I don't condemn suicide, and tho I would always try to talk someone out of it, and would try to understand their motives and make them see that that life is worth living, I would still respect someone's choice if they felt that really they would rather die than live.

And who am I to force my mum to stay alive, just because I think I need her, when I'm running off to a far away country, leaving her here on her own, with no family except 3 old decrepit women to take care of? All I can do (with respect to my own convictions) is letting her know that no, I would not find it neat and convenient if she died now to leave me her money. That I'd much rather have her than the money. That I don't know if I could take another year like the one I've been through. That I can't quite see myself an orphan at 26. But never would I try to force her to stay with me. I couldn't plead with her, begging her not to leave me. That would be an extremely selfish and unfair thing to do.

There are so many ways of dying aren't there. At 18, in a car crash, oblivious until the last 10 seconds that this will be the end of your life. Of a heroin overdose, at 25, after 5 or 10 or 15 years of your life spent unconsciously expecting this final moment. Painfully of cancer at 48, regretting to lose this life so early, with all the possibilities still left, but eagerly waiting for the suffering to end. At 87, sitting lonely in your little room, counting the deaths among your friends, and counting the hours until it will be your turn.

Death is always the same, it's dying that's different each time. I'm afraid of dying, who knows what will be my fate. Who knows if I will have the courage to put an end to it before it becomes unbearable. But death I'm not afraid of. I don't desire it, I know I want to live, for my own sake, for all the things I'm excited about, and also for those around me who love and need me. I don't want to leave them because I know now how much it hurts to be left behind.

But I'm not utterly adverse to death. I've rarely thought about suicide. Sometimes during my dreadful puberty years, and on a few occasions over the first few months after my dad's death. I don't crave it often, but I don't mind it one bit. I'm convinced, I know that death is the end of all things, so there will be no regrets, no bad conscience. That of course is a selfish thing to say in a way, but if you do die there's no way around it and no reason to get upset about it.

We all turn to dust. It's nice in a way. I think of my dad and Jacques Brel together right now. Not sitting on a cloud, not sharing a new dimension, but just because they are here no more. Neither believed in an afterlife, so both are where they thought they would be - gone. And in that they are together. In a very strange way that is very comforting. One day I will be joining them in our common nothingness. We all will.

*yawns and stretches*

Category: Life & Me | 4 Comments | Posted 15:53

Delicious! I've just spent 7 hours in bed reading. :D I finished my Anne Rice book (finally, it had over 1000 pages, hehe) and I read the latest book by Benjamin Lebert, Der Vogel ist ein Rabe (only 125 pages). It was nice. The frustrating thing about the Anne Rice book is that I immediately want to read the follow-up, Lasher, and it's damn hard to get hold of. I ended up ordering it at German Amazon (in English). It will be a week or so before I get it! :(( Can't wait to see what happens next. The funny thing is, I started with the 3rd book, so I kinda know how it will end, but I need to know the details. But it's reassuring to know in advance that such-and-such is not gonna die, and that the baddie will lose in the end. :))

OK well it's sunny outside so I will get dressed and visit my horsey now. Bit of fresh air after a whole day of reading, should do me good. :P My space bar squeaks btw. Sorta annoying. What is it with my keyboards...

Monday October 13, 2003

What idiots!

Category: The Web | 7 Comments | Posted 15:53

I was watching this auction for a Gia DVD... it was pretty low for days, then the price shot to £10.50 in the end. What utter idiots! The same thing costs £5.99 at Amazon! So obviously I ordered it there now. Was a bit annoyed cuz I'd already ordered books yesterday, so would pay p&p twice, then I remembered Amazon lets you "combine" open orders - so all's cool now. :D Amazon rocks!

The Jess Entry

Category: Randomness | 5 Comments | Posted 19:14

OK so here's an entry dedicated to the lovely Jessypoo because

  1. today is her Birthday! :yay She's turning 20 which is a fab age. *heehee* Far better than 19. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY hun! :* :x :hug
  2. she is moving to London next year, so she'll be muchly close to us, which I find very exciting, so I thought I'd mention it. :P

That is all. :D Now everybody sing with me... :))

Tuesday October 14, 2003


Category: Life & Me | 9 Comments | Posted 1:45

... is my life.
... is a wonderful thing.

Staying up until the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning, chatting to cool people from around the world. Sleeping until noon or later. Not doing anything useful all day. Not a care in the world. Marvellous. Why can't I spend the rest of my life like this? I love it, I truly do. Shame about the occasional bouts of bad conscience. :))

Clarissa Searchers & Confessions

Category: The Web | 21 Comments | Posted 22:04

I have a remarkable amount of visitors who come here from Google looking for Clarissa. Now I do wonder, what are these people really looking for? A long lost friend called Clarissa? Or maybe Clarissa the book? The show Clarissa Explains It All which actually inspired my name? Or maybe they just like the name and wanna see who's called that? If you are one of the Clarissa searchers, please leave me a comment and let me know :P

Ah also, I must recommend this wonderful site, It's linked in the Right Now section already, but I must stress its coolness. You can confess anonymously there and a lot of the stuff people confess is truly hilarious. Stuff like I got very very drunk two years ago at a mates housewarming party and was desperate for the toilet. Unfortuneately someone was in there being sick. I wholehartedly appologise for leaving a floater in his garden pond. There is lots of sex (and infidelity), lots of pooing and peeing, lots of stealing... all rather amusing. Some sad stuff too, but don't let that deter you.

There was something else I wanted to mention... can't remember now. Am very very tired as I didn't get much sleep last night, so I will be off to bed in a minute. That wasn't what I was going to say, but it makes a nice ending to the entry anyway. :D Nighty!

Thursday October 16, 2003

100 greatest novels of all time?

Category: Opinionated | 12 Comments | Posted 20:51

This entry is inspired by this one by Lo, as she brought to my attention this (very subjective, but interesting) 100 greatest novels of all time list at the Observer. Since I'm sorta bored (and too lazy to tidy my room for squiZZ's arrival tomorrow), I've decided to go thru the list and comment on the ones I've read. :P This is probably gonna be quite boring so I won't blame you if you don't read it. :))

1. Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
Not read. Probably done at school tho as I kinda know the story, but not interested in reading. :P

2. Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan
Haha, I must admit I've never heard of the guy :))

3. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
Interesting... I'm not sure if I've read it tbh. I have it, so I must have bought it for some course, but I don't think I've actually read it... the story is so well known anyway and I know I've read the french rewrite Vendredi ou la Vie Sauvage by Michel Tournier.

4. Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
I've read parts of this. It's very funny.

5. Tom Jones Henry Fielding
Read it (for a course) and hated it.

6. Clarissa Samuel Richardson
LOL yes yes, my name. I've done it for a course, but I think I only read a summary or sth. I didn't like the morals and the tone of the novel.

7. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne
Loved it!! I have to admit I never finished it cuz I read it at a very busy time with lots of exams, but I will finish it one day. It's absolutely fabulous. Hilarious, and I got totally immerged in it. :x

8. Dangerous Liaisons Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
Not read.

9. Emma Jane Austen
Eugh. I hate Jane Austen. I know she's incredibly fashionable at the moment and all the girls love her, but eugh. (have read it tho. Had to, obviously)

10. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
Gothic fiction. :x One of my specialist subjects. I think I've written three essays on this novel, including one with a socialist approach. :))

11. Nightmare Abbey Thomas Love Peacock

12. The Black Sheep Honore De Balzac
Um. Read lots of Balzac, but this doesn't ring a bell. I'm sure it must be called sth completely different in French, but I don't recognize it even by its synopsis. (ok done some research, it's La Rabouilleuse.)

13. The Charterhouse of Parma Stendhal
Um. Studied it briefly at school, but not read.

14. The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
Same thing.

15. Sybil Benjamin Disraeli
LOL I'm sure I've mentioned the book in one of my "social novel" essays, but never read it. :P

16. David Copperfield Charles Dickens
Read, written essay... was ok. Read better Dickens. (obviously this is a totally subjective opinion)

17. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
I wouldn't say I loved it, but I liked it a lot, and loved writing an essay about it.

18. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
"the madwoman in the attic" :)) It's an ok novel. I preferred her sister's.

19. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray

20. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
Yeah I think I read this ages ago. Or maybe I just watched the film :)), but I definitely had to study it for a course. :P

OK from now on I shall only mention the ones I have actually read (or have sth to say about). Getting a bit too long otherwise. You can find the whole list here anyway.

22. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
I even read this twice at school, both times compulsory, but enjoyed it both times.

24. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
Oh yeah. It's an amazing book. Loved it, written essay about it. Fascinating use of language. Nevermind if he was a paedophile. :P

25. Little Women Louisa M. Alcott
Read this in French as a kid. Twice even, so I guess I liked it. :P

27. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
Again, read it in French as a kid. Liked it, tho I think I stopped just before the end (yes yes I knew she'd kill herself. Oops!)

28. Daniel Deronda George Eliot
I really dislike George Eliot. Not read, but done for a course.

30. The Portrait of a Lady Henry James
Read ages ago, don't remember much, but think I liked.

32. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson
Gothic. :x So yes, read, and written essay about. :))

34. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
:wh Tho I call myself a fan of Wilde, I've not read this in its entirety.

39. Nostromo Joseph Conrad
Hate Conrad. Nuff said.

41. In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust
:x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x what more can I say? OK - I'll be honest. I'm half way thru the 2nd book... out of 7 (and I started 7yrs ago :))). It's really intense reading, so I don't often find the courage to pick it up. But, well, it's still one of the most beautiful things ever written. Some passages make me cry, just because of their incredibly beautiful style. :x :x :x

45. Ulysses James Joyce
Er.. I tried once. Never expected to finish it. Got to about page 5 or sth. It's dreadfully unreadable. :))

47. A Passage to India E. M. Forster
Um.. yeah I think I've read it. No no I'm quite sure. I have vague memories. Can't have left a big impression. :)) I liked Howard's End better.

49. The Trial Franz Kafka
:-& No offence to Katja, hehe, but I hate Kafka. His novels give me the creeps.

51. Journey to the End of the Night Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Céline is deemed "uncool" in France cuz of his dealings with Nazis. Um, not read the book, tho I have it and it keeps leaping out at me on the shelf.

58. The Plague Albert Camus
Camus rocks. Did this at school. Not read it since, tho done some others of his works. Hooray for existentialists! (er, Sartre rocks harder :)))

59. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
Yeah well, who hasn't read this. It's, um, ok.

61. Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
I did this at school, at around 16 (same age as the narrator, Holden Caulfield). It left a good impression, so I did it again with my class as a teacher, and we all hated it. I found Holden immature and self-indulgent, and they found him boring and uncool. :))

69. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Heeheehee... (;;) @ Lo & Val). Didn't like this much.

70. The Tin Drum Gunter Grass
I haven't read this, I just wanna mention it cuz if Tobias reads the list, he'll go "What? You haven't read Die Blechtrommel??" So, um, no. Have written an essay about it tho if that helps. :)) Actually I think I've read bits of it.

76. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Not yet, but it's on my "to read" shelf and will be one of the next books I read. Well, one of the next 10 or 20. :))

Right, that's it. Interesting how the final 30 novels or so are contemporary, whereas the Top50 is almost exclusively made up of classics.
Just worked it out, so I've read about 20 of the 100. Not too impressive uh? :P

Friday October 17, 2003

I'm strange

Category: Life & Me | 11 Comments | Posted 0:23

Says squiZZ. I think I can live with that. Have tidied room tho, am well proud of myself, it looks almost respectable.

I'm tired although I've spent most of today in bed with a headache. I can live with that too, I think. Being strange and all. My horse is strange too. I've been told he likes to switch the light on & off near their stables. I think that's fucking hilarious, my horse is a genius. But I knew that anyway. Mind you, not a very ecological one (they're halogen lights), but how should he know about that.

So tomorrow morning I will drive to Charleroi to pick up squiZZ (who incidentally, is very strange in his own right). I should bed. Hmmm... bed. Talking nonsense uh? Ok will stop. I love you all. :D

Saturday October 18, 2003

YAAAAWN!!!! (squiZZ & Citz I)

Category: Life & Me | 13 Comments | Posted 12:55

OMG I don't think I've been this tired since June last year (you know, MJ trip). And no, it's not what all you obsessed people out there are thinking! Is just that were up for ages... then were in bed chatting for ages... I remember before I fell asleep I heard the heating come on, so it was 6am. And I didn't exactly sleep too much. Must have had about, dunno, 4hrs? Definitely not enough. (damn, where is a yawning smiley when you need one?)

squiZZ is still in bed tho (surprising uh?) - otherwise I would be entertaining him instead of updating my diary of course. ;;) Er, so you want an events summary so far? Um... picked him up, raced him home (I drive erratically, hehe), then we went into town (after a short trip online), walked around for a while then met up with Martine for a little chat, er, then went food-shopping, then came home, went online and got moderately drunk. Didn't have many people to chat to somehow (am not impressed with Miriam ("we want a webcam show", yeah yeah), BUT the :x BML :x was finally online again so we did talk to her, and Jar and Mel. Er that's it. Then we went to bed and chatted until the early hours of the morning. :)) Tomorrow I will sleep tho. :|

Sunday October 19, 2003

Woopla!! (squiZZ & Citz II)

Category: Life & Me | 7 Comments | Posted 13:50

Good morning and welcome to the daily "squiZZle in bed, Citz bored" entry! :)) Hehe, we broke our staying up late record by going to bed at 7.30 last night. :P What did we do... I do wonder. I'm fairly sure alcohol was involved pretty much the whole way through... the Internet too... well we were basically chatting to Mir, Seb, BML, Sinead (and JarJar for a short while)... I only remember little bits and pieces... like squiZZ selling himself to Seb (but Seb tricked us! Now we don't like him anymore, so we had to ban him from ChitChat), and the appearance of Piotr, the polish student who literally had me in stitches for an hour straight. What else did we do... can't remember tbh, but it was fun.

Hm oh yeah, before that we watched Gia with the lovely Angelina - we liked it (esp. the lovely Angelina)... we also at some point watched Dangerous videos and drooled over MJ and Naomi... and over MJ and MJ... I found out that altho my Dangerous DVD has no region code on the box, it won't play on region 2, but that I can play all regions with my DVD Writer and AnyDVD. Hooray!

Er, before that still we went for a walk with my horsey... and had pizza... but you can read all about that here. Also viewed the squiZZle holiday pics. Er... ok this is the most unchronological report ever... anyway, back to the middle of the night, at some point everyone buggered off and left us on our own (hhmmmmmm =P~) so we, er, watched funny videos, then moved on to the couch and chatted & bitched about people O:) until it started getting light outside and we thought it was time to go to bed. :))

Such was the 2nd day of the incomparable squiZZle & Citz experience... stay tuned for more antics, possibly including an embarrassing video (tho I can well imagine us never getting round to it...). No other definite plans yet, except that we'll watch David Blaine come out of his box tonight. :))

Cuuuuute squiZZ pic!!!!!!

Category: Photography | 7 Comments | Posted 23:14

Mir has been taking screenshots of squiZZ&Citz-cam and this pic is just one of the CUTEST things I have ever seen!! So am sharing it with the world. His squiZZness isn't too happy about it but there ain't much he can do. If he didn't let me post it now, I'd post it once he's gone.

Isn't that just the most adoooorable look on his face?? I'd marry him for it if... if I didn't not wanna. :P

Monday October 20, 2003

So David Blaine came out

Category: Randomness | 4 Comments | Posted 2:10

.. of his box. Like, tonight. So he spent 44 days in there... and then there's this whole final climax thing yeah? Like "he's coming out on Sunday 19th", blabla, so we actually fucking watched it... and all that happened was that.... well he just walked out of his box!!!! He said a few words, they measured his heart rate, and off he was!!

So this whole ordeal for, like, THAT!??!!? I mean fair enough if he "learnt more during those 44 days than in his whole life" (slurring speech), but WTF did he need US for?!?!? He could have just stayed in his box on his own, somewhere, with no one watching, no bloody TV channel broadcasting him 24/7 and all that shit!!

We are deeply disappointed. And very drunk. BUT we still have a fucking point!!!!!!

The obligatory video entry

Category: Video | 18 Comments | Posted 13:49

Yeah so er... it's here. It's basically squiZZle teaching me how to cook pasta (I'm not actually as ignorant as I sound in the video tho). It's... well, kinda big, kinda boring in places but kinda funny in others. It's 9:29min, 3.1MB and only available in Real format. Deal with it.
[edit]All for Lo, there is now also a WMV version (but that's even bigger).[/edit]

PS I feel sooooo sick you have no idea! :-&

Tuesday October 21, 2003

Bob the banana

Category: Life & Me | 6 Comments | Posted 18:40

I ate him. That's disturbing apparently. The naming bit, not the eating bit. At least I can peel my Bobs myself! ;;)

Sooo the squiZZ has left (mainland) Europe to return to funnyspeak-land (btw squiZZ, I got home around the time your plane took off :))). Right now he's probably sat in some boring lecture. :| (:)) haha)

Twas muchly fun as I'm sure you've gathered from the previous more or less nonsensical entries. We went to that Placebo concert last night - you know, the one I'd booked after the one in August - it was good. I think I preferred the Lux one - Brian was more dedicated & the crowd was more enthusiastic; but even so it was very cool and much drooling was done - well at least on my part.

Sooo now it's all back to boring normal life... I have stuff to do and things. My mum despises me for the life I lead at the moment, apparently it was even worse while squiZZ was here (I think the only difference was that she could hear us better). She really has a problem with what I do now (which is: nothing whatsoever), and I can kinda understand it, but she still annoys me.

I hope I can snap out of this once I move to London, but right now I'm enjoying it too much. See, almost all the people I talk to online (except BML Me) are lazy students who go to bed at 4am, so obviously I have to adapt. Hehe, so I've decided to blame it on them. :)) But of course I know I can't go on like this. Not forever anyway. Only til January. :D

Er anyway. I'd also like to use this opportunity to congratulate Daniel aka Stained Glass Bimbo for being so darn successful and irresistible in my old hood (er, Sussex Uni). Am well proud of him! :D

Wednesday October 22, 2003


Category: Randomness | 2 Comments | Posted 0:20

Shexay album by shexay band with shexay lead singer. Indeed.

PS fucking hell, past midnight already :|

Fucky Lucky

Category: Opinionated | 3 Comments | Posted 1:37

LOL I know you don't say that. Sounds fun tho. Nicer than "fucking lucky", which I was gonna write originally. I like being able to swear on my diary.

I'm a bit confused at the moment, also the music is too loud. I've found my hifi remote tho. That's a good thing, at least I think so. I'm still listening to the Placebo album (cf entry below), same album for about the 5th time tonight. =P~

Yeah so anyway, this "I'm very lucky" entry is sth I've wanted to write for a while... it was originally inspired by sth my mum said... can't remember what, but it was all about how she can't at all relate to the sort of life I have. The MJ obsession of course, and the online thing, and the whole "freaky friends from weird places".... most of them much younger than I am (or in fact much older)... and travelling up and down the continent to visit friends and all that shit.

And I was thinking how, well, she must be either really stupid or plain jealous. Cuz, well, I've got all these amazing friends from near and far, and they're always within reach. I've been to countless exciting places, I've had people from all over the world visiting me... I know I can go to all sorts of places and crash on somebody's floor... I mean that's fucking cool right?

It is. And she can find my friends weird or freaky or too much this or not enough that, but I love them, and I feel veeery lucky for having them. They make me feel all special cuz they are amazing and they still care about me. I'm not sure if everyone has that feeling about their friends... judging by some of the entries on Grouphug there seem to be a lot of people who hate and despise their friends. Well I don't, I think they're bloody amazing, the whole lot of them, and I couldn't have found better ones if I'd paid money for them.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. I rock cuz I have cool friends. And I don't give a fuck if people go 8-| at me cuz I'm a geek or an MJ fan or whatnot. And my mum blows for not getting me.

In the Spotlight - Interview

Category: You Live & Learn | 2 Comments | Posted 19:58

Sabrina Setlur is a German HipHop artist. I like her a lot, but that's irrelevant now. I came across this interview with her and she said some wise things, so I'd like to quote (& translate) them here. I'm quoting this in reference to Michael Jackson's situation.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What have you learnt from your relationship to Boris Becker for instance?

Setlur: This relationship was a very extreme experience for me. Suddenly I was all over the papers, not because of my job, but just because we were going out. I am used to dealing with the media, but this episode was a completely new experience for me. All of a sudden there were these things written about me that had nothing to do with my job. I was on tour, I was working with great artists - how come nobody wrote about that?
But all of a sudden there were these people rummaging around my personal life, questioning my friends - it frightened me a lot how far that went.
Also how unfairly you are suddenly treated. I seriously started to hate these people, I mean, I haven't killed or raped a child or anything like that. That has nothing to do with what you believe or what you live for. I just wanted to be left alone in the end.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Did the fuss there was about you affect your relationship with him?

Setlur: I'm not so sure in hindsight. Back then I was mainly very pissed off with the people who encouraged and fueled this unfairness. I was aware that I was a person of public interest, but I hadn't expected this unbelievable hype and I couldn't deal with it. I wasn't aware of the consistency the media used in dealing with us. It just got on my nerves when I wanted to have some peace.
But I've made that experience now, it's now part of my past. I have since started analysing the press more. I just need to check the titles of the papers - I can classify it pretty well and I know what's wright and what isn't. I was wondering back then, when will someone I'm a drag queen or a guy or a transvestite.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How great was your feeling of powerlessness back then?

Setlur: Very big, it was frightening. But it also pisses you off. What annoyed me most of all was that my family & friends suffered a lot. I can deal with being kicked, I'm not that sensitive. But they should leave my family alone, that was definitely too much.

[...] While we're at it, and on a less serious level, she also said very clever things about the whole Popstars phenomenon (she's on the jury of one of the German shows), so I thought I might as well quote those too...

There were some people there [at the castings], that was competely unrealistic. You're sat at this table and wondering "doesn't this guy have friends or family who will advise him against making a fool of himself? We often felt like people were taking the piss, that's how bad some of them were. My parents would never have let me go to a talent show with such blatant lack of talent. But of course you also have to admire the courage of these candidates for facing so many viewers & cameras.

Thursday October 23, 2003

So life goes on...

Category: Life & Me | 21 Comments | Posted 13:58

Yep, my site is back as you can see... as is my boring life. Just been wondering... what about all us Internet freaks, will we keep our online diaries for the rest of our lives? I know a lot of people get rid of them after a while, but I can't see myself doing that any time soon. So will I still be sat here at 50? Wonder how many domain names I'll have by then - 20? :))

Eenyway. Stuff to do. I got a letter from uni today, they have granted me an extension until April 2004 - so could theoretically start working on my dissertation now. If only I could be bothered. Will try to call Piotr (director) & get an appointment for a telephone tutorial with him or sth. Maybe I can change the subject to sth other than boring Luxembourg. :-&

I also got another paycheck... isn't that wonderful? I'm getting paid all this money for sitting at home doing nothing. Shame they'll take it all away from me again once they've caught up with their accounts. Hehe, I'd like it if they 'forgot' me and kept paying me for the rest of my life! :)) One can always dream...

Yeah, what else is there on my to do list... must find a flat for my mum... I have yesterday's paper here, but I haven't even looked at the ads yet. Maybe I should do that now. Hm, I know there was sth else that needed doing... ah well. Ah yes, what I wanted to say also, I want more Necks for my collection - so if anyone's reading who hasn't sent his or hers yet, get that cam out already! And anyone who wants to send me new ones, or a variety from different angles, or maybe a little story involving their neck, feel free! :D

Another Day Wasted

Category: Life & Me | 9 Comments | Posted 23:56

Isn't that terrible? I feel like I should be confessing this on Grouphug... like: "I am wasting my life away, my mum has totally given up on me for being such a useless shit, I know I am totally despicable but I can't help it". :))

Aaah but right now the whole thing is rather amusing to me. Maybe I should declare my life a work of art or sth like that, and then it would all be part of a bigger design. That would be fun. But I'd rather be paid for doing nothing at all. :)) Anyone?? ;;)

Friday October 24, 2003


Category: The Web | 8 Comments | Posted 14:02

Luvvit luvvit luvvit!!!! :x :x :x :x
Anyway, here are some more funky searches people have been using to get to my wonderful little Blog...

Hehehehe, I like results like that.
Brian Molko gifs
hhhmmm yum! That person must have been disappointed tho :P
crazy blog
Yep, that would be me! *hehe*
crazy obsessed
Hmm, can you see a pattern there? Hooray for my Meta tags! :))

Then of course there's the usual Clarissa, clarissa blog, clarissaweb and so on. And someone translated my blog into portuguese. :D Oh, and funny: my blog in Zilla and in Malkovich. :))

PS You can now text me! 00352 091 644 756 (it's not my main number, obviously not posting that here, but I check that one too). Doesn't work from every country tho... e.g. from Australia it doesn't. Anyone from there can ask me for my UK# - will only give that to ppl I like of course! :P You can also ring me if you insist, but that will cost you a fortune. :))

Saturday October 25, 2003

Self Hate

Category: Self-analysis | 37 Comments | Posted 1:37

Sooo just had time to think. Because... well because. Been to friend's & is a while to drive, and am usually a bit drunk when driving home, so doing all that deep thinking shit.

Anyway. This is nothing new and nothing exceptionally surprising. I'm kinda messed up. I'm unable to deal with stuff at the moment - I say at the moment because I have no idea what things will be like in 6 months or 6yrs, but I may well be unable to deal with things then too. I hate myself for living life the way I do now - don't get me wrong, I love my life, I love getting up around noon and spending all day online. But I hate myself for loving it. And I know it will be hell once I have to get back to what society expects of me.

And I figured (this too is nothing new) that I will never really get out of this the way things are now. Because what I have, what makes up my life now are people who are like me. I'm not sure if I seek them out for being fucked up, or if they just happen to be fucked up anyway and I come across them by mistake, but they're there. They're around me, and they're not good for me.

Maybe if I was someone else it wouldn't matter. I used to think I attracted freaks because I was so stable, rational, interested and sympathetic. That they sought me out because I was so understanding. Which is partly the truth - but there's a bit missing there. I suck, and I dislike myself, and maybe - quite probably in fact - I spend my time analysing other people who dislike themselves (or are fucked up some other way) because it's so much less effort than analysing myself. Well, I do a lot of analysing. But I don't draw the necessary conclusion which is "pull yourself the fuck together, this is something you have to fight against yourself, it's gonna be hell but it's the only way".

I just can't. Instead I surround myself with people just like me, because they legitimate what I do. We're all like that aren't we. That's the way it is these days, all messed up, we can psycho-analyse each other without ever getting any further, but at least we're not alone. And we drag each other down even further.

So the useful thing to do would be to run off and try & find "normal" friends. Ones that can inspire me by the way they deal with life, cuz hey, THEY are cool, they have a job and a family and they love what life shoves their way! I should leave all them freaks behind and mingle with 'respectable society' and become just like them, right?

I should. Who cares about my friends. Must... become... successful. Must have a life. Cannot fail. I wanna be cool too!! So sod you all! If you are reading this, you're probably bad for me! What do you even want from me? Go away!

PS and listening to Placebo doesn't help either! Anyway, I will now go back to talking to my messed up friends.

Stupid White Men

Category: Opinionated | 3 Comments | Posted 22:43

Hm yeah so I read this a while back, in fact started reading and didn't finish cuz when my latest Anne Rice arrived I had to move on to that. Anyway, I did mean to write something about it, just cuz, well, everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Like for instance in this thread on ChitChat.

I have to say personally I didn't like it (which is one of the reasons I didn't finish it, tho I may at some point). Moore makes me feel like a stupid schoolkid that he has to explain things to. I mean for one, it is very much aimed at Americans, with his advice and stuff... a lot of the stuff he talks about I knew anyway, or I don't care cuz I'm not concerned. I also just feel that, well, he sounds very condescending. Maybe they like being treated like that over there - seeing as they can't seem to think for themselves.

But I have to say his arguments suck big time. I mean he comes across as downright manipulative. So he has his points, he definitely does, there is little I don't agree with on principle, but some of the stuff he comes up with to make his points is a bit dubious to say the least.

Like this for instance. He's trying to convince us that the rich people of the world (or of the US) are living at the expense of the poor ones. Which is absolutely true of course. Who would deny it? But he has to prove & illustrate his point... so he says this:
From 1979 until now, the richest 1% in the country have seen their wages increase by 157%; those of you (notice how he uses "you", addressing the reader directly!) in the bottom 20% are actually making $100 less a year (adjusted for inflation) than you were at the dawn of the Reagan era.
Sounds shocking doesn't it. But it's inaccurate, right? How come inflation gets ignored in the "rich bit"? I mean I ain't no economist (thank God), but to me this sounds like a big manipulative distortion. And the worst part is, he has a point of course, so why does he need to twist things like this? I assume it's because of the way Americans work. Because they are kinda stupid, you only get their attention if you come up with a really shocking injustice. Nevermind if it's misleading.

Same with his black/white opposition. So he tells us that black people aren't any more criminals than whites. He could argue that the increased crime rate among black Americans is due to the fact that they happen to be over-represented in the poorest sections of society (something he does mention at another point in the book), or that they get convicted/persecuted/picked on more frequently due to their race. But that would be too deep and complex. So what does he do? He says this (and this is how his whole argument works):

As white people, we've been lulled into thinking it's safe to be around other white people. We've been taught since birth that it's the people of that other colour we need to fear. They're the ones who'll slit your throat!

Yet as I look back on my life, a strange but unmistakable pattern seems to emerge. Every person who has ever harmed me in my lifetime - the boss who fired me, the teacher who flunked me, the principal who punished me, the kid who hit me in the eye with a rock, the executive who didn't renew TV Nation, the guy who was stalking me for three years, the accountant who double-paid my taxes, the drunk who smashed into me, the burglar who stole my stereo, the contractor who overcharged me, the girlfriend who left me, the next girlfriend who left even sooner, the person in the office who stole cheques from my chequebook and wrote them out to himself for a total of $16,000 - every one of these individuals has been a white person. Coincidence? I think not.

Yeeaaah, you freak, so you haven't come across many black people in your little sheltered 'whitey' life! Of course your landlord, your girlfriend and the executive who didn't like your crappy show weren't black! (he actually points that out at some point, but doesn't dwell on it) Thing is, he has a point in both instances - that blacks aren't "criminal by nature" and that blacks in influential positions are extremely rare - but he just simplifies it to this completely idiotic and populistic level. I am guessing it must work for Americans, but to me all it does is exasperate me.

Is he taking me for a fool? Or is he a fool himself? It just doesn't make me like the book, and it makes me become more hostile to his ideas than I originally was. So, well, what can I say about the book - I rarely find it funny, I definitely don't agree that "the angrier he gets, the funnier he gets" (San Francisco Chronicle) - in fact I find him less and less believable the angrier he gets. I don't like being manipulated either way, even if it is by someone I am actually supposed to agree with. But I guess as long as it makes some Americans switch their brains on, the book has served its cause. Now let's hope they don't vote Bush again.

Sunday October 26, 2003

Soooo boooooored...

Category: Life & Me | 27 Comments | Posted 23:50

I haven't been this bored in a long time - and considering I spend most of my life doing nothing at the moment, that's quite a feat. There's nothing going on online at the week-end. Damn you people, do you have to be out doing things?! X(

Anyway. I took pictures of me making my yummy Chicken wraps and posted them on ChitChat - nothing hugely clever, but the only, well, active thing I've done today. Oh and I got a neck from lovely Mel which has been added to the Collection! Thanks babe! :* And I updated my boring Fanlisting. Never again am I starting one of those. Too much work! I also meant to redo the layout of my HomePage as I'm bored of the Google thing, but I don't really have inspiration for anything else. And I wanted to do a video entry, but have nothing to talk about since my life is so uneventful.

Ah well. I'll go iceskating next week tho, and I'll go visit Suha around the first week-end of December. That's ages yet, but very exciting. Also, Craig will come to stay again at the end of November, which is very cool too. I was thinking maybe I should arrange for more trips around the continent, it's always better than being bored at home. So if anyone with a Ryanair airport in their vicinity wants me over, let me know. :)) Not sure what's gonna happen about the trip to London in November... must ask BML Me. That would be another week-end sorted. :P

Tuesday October 28, 2003

My eventful day...

Category: Life & Me | 8 Comments | Posted 17:46

Sooo far. Well sorta. I mean I've done stuff. I think that's good. Yes yes, it must be good. I didn't do what I meant to do, but I did stuff anyway.

Like, I got up in the morning - ok ok I admit, it was more like, in the afternoon, but that's not something I can change so soon. I obviously came online (haha), and spoke to BML Me and we decided to book our flights to London... so we'll be going 14-17 Nov. That's exciting, verily (I say unto you). Isn't that long to go now. :yay

Yeah, then my mum suggested going to the museum today - there was this exhib I've wanted to see for ages - well see again, as had been with Craig, so we went to that... theeen because the weather was nice I decided to go see horsey (hadn't been since squiZZ was here :-s) and actually went for a ride too... meanwhile at home my DVD-writer was burning lots of rubbish so I could free my F:/ drive... which has now gone down from 20GB used to 8GB. :D Hooray! I hate cluttered drives.

Right, and tonight I will go out for dinner with my mum and defragment my F:/ drive while I'm away. Isn't that exciting? It is right? I'd tell you something more interesting if I knew anything. Taken some pics and made some films while at horsey, so I'll see if they're any good and might share. Speak soon, tarah!

Wednesday October 29, 2003

The Church of $cientology

Category: You Live & Learn | 10 Comments | Posted 0:24

Right, since I haven’t done a proper “Live & Learn” entry for a while, I thought I would do one about the Church of $cientology (Co$ hereafter). I know most people have vague ideas that they're "bad", but few know exactly why... and a lot fall into the "religious freedom" trap which in relation to Co$ is downright ridiculous. I'd think most of you have come across the Co$ at some point in your lives - most probably in the shape of their "Oxford Capacity Analysis", a personality test they distribute and use to lure people into the Sect.

I’ve been very strongly anti-Co$ for years, and it’s become kinda topical now because one of the charities (H.E.L.P.) Michael Jackson supports with his What More Can I Give project has ties with the Co$, something I find extremely disturbing. I did a presentation in my French class about them years ago, so I will translate and update that for this entry. If you want more info about the Co$ I suggest you visit Operation Clambake, probably the most comprehensive anti-Co$ site on the Web.

PS - H.E.L.P. has now been removed from the list of supported charities on the WMCIG site.

What is it all about?

Right, so to start off I will give you a short introduction into the mysteries of the Co$... let's start with its founder, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, born in 1911. An absolutely mediocre person, a mythomaniac, and pretty much a failure in life (biograpy here). In 1947 he declared "If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." So he did. After writing a couple of science fiction books (without much success btw), he writes "Dianetics" in 1950. This book and the ideas described therein lie at the basis of $cientology, altho at the time of writing the book, there is no mention of a religion at all.

So let's have a look at the guy's ideas - superficially or we'd be here all day, but you should know that much of what you are reading here you aren't allowed to know it until you've paid lots of money and gone through extensive brainwashing. But of course it is all available on the Internet (something the Co$ don't like and have repeatedly been trying to prevent).

Right, our origins according to Hubbard: 75 million years ago, the evil prince Xenu came to our planet from a far away galaxy, known as Teegeeack, to solve the overpopulation problems on his planet. He brought the souls of many of his subjects. These are called "thetans" and are, basically, clams. So he deposits these clams in some volcanoes in Hawaii and Las Palmas and spreads them in the atmosphere with the help of Hydrogen bombs.

Help is at hand - from the Co$ of course!

So what happens next is that the thetans take over our (humans') bodies. There are good and bad thetans, and of course it is our duty to fight the bad ones. This is done, of course, with the help of $cientology!

The methods employed are taken from psychoanalysis, but of course adapted to suit the needs of the Co$. It goes like this: we have all suffered "engrams" - traumatic experiences from previous lives that we have buried in our unconscious. These are stored in our reactive mind. It's these engrams (the 'psychoses' of psychoanalysis) which make our thetans evil and turn them into body-thetans.

Now the Co$ offers so-called "audits" where the patient recovers these memories and confesses his or her mistakes. They often make use of an "electrometer" - some kind of lie detector which in fact measures how much a patient is sweating. These E-meters are also sold to Co$ members at exorbitant rates.

I don't want to go into too much detail, but basically, a member will go through different stages - first he becomes a "Clear", then an OT (Operating Thetan). He will then fulfill intergalactic missions and will one day reach divinity. There are different OT stages, the highest is OT8. Getting there costs approx. $300,000.

Ok, let's take a few minutes to have a look at some of the repulsive stuff that goes on inside the Co$...

Rehabilitation Project Force.

RPF in short. These are kinda the goulags of the Co$, for $cientologist with "low ethics". To end up there, all you need to do is doubt Hubbard's ideas, commit a professional mistake, not make enough progress during the audits etc... at the RPF you'll find extremely long working days, little sleep, you'll live off leftovers, you're not allowed to talk, and absolute obedience is required. You're not allowed to walk - you must run at all times. This can go on for several years! But that's not all, there's also the "Running Program", which basically consists of you running around a pole or a tree for 8-12hrs a day.

Lisa McPherson died of neglect in 1995: when she was finally transferred to a hospital, she weighed 49kg (108lbs) for 1.75m. She suffered from coronary thrombosis triggered by severe dehydration and forced bedrest, evidence of violence and abrasions as well as insect bites (cockroaches etc). The Lisa McPherson case is one of the most shocking and most widely known - you can find more info here.

Co$ and the "SP"

SP are "suppressive persons" - basically any enemy to the "church". Militant ex-scientologists, journalists that are too investigative, sceptic lawyers... the list is long. These people keep being threatened, followed, often sued. The Co$ spends approximately $200m a year in legal costs - not aiming to win, but just to exasperate their enemies.

Here's an extract from the Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin 7 oct 1962 (retranslated from French, sorry): "The suppr. person can be deprived of their possessions, and hurt by any means, by any Scientologist without them suffering any disciplinary action from the Co$. You are allowed to deceive a SP, sue them, or lie to them, or destroy them."

The children of the Co$

Children in the Co$ are said to be of feable productivity, therefore it isn't highly regarded if parents give them too much attention. $cientology also encourages abortion and prohibits members of their Sea Org (the Co$ elite, a maritime organisation) to procreate. The Co$ child nurseries are in a shocking state: scarcely furnished rooms, no toys, no books, smelly & disgusting urinals, kids that no one takes care of...

$cientology - a religion or a sect?

You can address the issue of the Co$ from so many different points of view and probably discuss it for hours. One of the most interesting aspects is that of its status as a religion.
What does this status give the organisation?

  • Exempt from taxes in numerous countries

  • The right to visit the sick, which are easy targets

  • An easy defence strategy: religious persecution
In the United States and many other countries, $cientology is indeed recognised as a religion. In Germany it isn't, where in January 1991 the Administrative Court of Hamburg ruled that the Co$ was to be recognised as a commercial organisation. Consequently, the Co$ have undertaken many attacks against Germany, notably comparing the treatment they received to the persecution of the Jewish people during the Nazi period.
It is striking however that in South America, where religious organisations are not allowed to own land, the Co$ is registered as a "philosophic society".

As a general rule, the case is quite complicated. The commercial status of the Co$ is pretty obvious. However, as Scott McGlare (an online critic of the Church) points out, the followers of the Church are of good faith and do indeed believe what they are being told. For them, $cientology is indeed a religion. And in fact, a mistake that is made all too often is taking action against the members of the Church - they are singled out and therefore driven even further into the arms of the Sect.

The Co$ and their famous members

I believe that it is important here to say a word or two about the celebrity members of the Co$. There are quite a few - Tom Cruise, Juliette Lewis, Presley mum and daughter, John Travolta to name but a few - and of course they seem to legitimate the Church (and that is their role) - after all they are not poor lost souls who run to Co$ centres because no one loves them. Now obviously these people don't receive the same treatment as the common follower. They do contribute to the Church as far as I know (and I suppose they do so because they believe in it?), but they of course receive preferential treatment and would never end up at an RPF. A complete list and FAQ about Co$ celebrities here.

Taking action

It's true that it is difficult to legally define the Co$ as a commercial organisation. However, once you inform yourself about the methods employed by the Church, you can't help but get infuriated. It is actually quite surprising that this information, freely available on the Internet, is not more widely known, and that not more people take action. It's true that the Co$ tends to intimidate their enemies, but they cannot be all that powerful - they are said to have 40,000-100,000 members (these are numbers from 1998, am too lazy to look up more recent ones, but they'd rather have shrunk than increased).

But even if there was no way of denying the Co$ their religious status, that would still not give them the right to violate human rights and abuse their members. It's hard to say how many Co$ members act out of conviction and how many do it for profit. It does seem in fact that most of those who harrass others do so because they truly believe they are saving the planet, even if this seems absurd to us.
However, even this good faith does not permit them to do anything they please: in the US for instance, you are free to believe whatever you wish, but not to practice whatever you wish. So even as a religion, the Co$ can be held responsible for their actions.

The Co$ lose a lot of the lawsuits they start or that others initiate against them. The problem is that there are not enough, and that most people (deliberately?) ignore what is going on. The Co$ profits from people's ignorance and often works under different names (as seen with the H.E.L.P. charity, or the fairly well known Narconon drug program). Which is why people must be informed above all, again and again. Those who know how $cientology works will not fall for their tricks!


Category: Randomness | 4 Comments | Posted 18:03

So I'm sat here at my PC - as I've done pretty much all day - and my mum is out there rummaging around the hall and cleaning pigs or whatever else she's doing. I should be feeling bad about that I guess, but I'm not even acknowledging her. I'm evil I'm telling you. Lazy and evil. Hmmmm. :))

Thursday October 30, 2003

So they want me to update...

Category: Life & Me | 9 Comments | Posted 17:36

Ok ok fine then. I have nothing to say tho. At least my comments work. :|

Needless to say I spent all day online... I always do don't I. Was fun tho, and sod bad consciences and other grown up stuff. Fun fun fun is all my life should be about! :D

There are interesting clouds outside... very 3D. There is also some blue sky. I'm guessing it's pretty cold tho. Can't tell for sure as I haven't been outside all day. Wow, German Amazon have an offer on a 17" flat monitor... €399, still quite expensive. I'll keep waiting.

My mum has bought me a new loo-smelling-thingy... you know, them things with a cleansing effect that you hang in the toilet bowl. It says it smells of "green tea". But it ACTUALLY smells like you've just trickled lemon over a piece of fish. Makes me hungry every time I go for a pee. :))

Did I mention I went iceskating last night? Hadn't been in nearly 6yrs. Last time was in Brighton... in my first year.... Shayda from Bangladesh fell (she was only standing there, and holding on to the railing too!), so we spent a few hours in A&E after that. *lol* Anyway, last night was nice. Might go again once my legs stop hurting. :P

Has anything else happened? Hm let me think... Vega has a veeery cool new layout, you should go check... Jess will have a new layout soon (nudge nudge), and maybe some day soon I will have a new layout too. Not on here tho, still love this one.

Friday October 31, 2003

Random craptalk video

Category: Video | 19 Comments | Posted 2:02

Yeah so I was bored and I'd meant to do a video entry for ages and bla and bla, anyway, this is what I came up with... me talking about random stuff people suggested to me...

I recommend the .rm version, it's much better. Other than that I have nothing to say except... I was bored! :))

PS Now available: underwear and chewing gum (alternative version, 983KB).

Random craptalk video II

Category: Video | 6 Comments | Posted 15:39

OK so I encoded this earlier version of the video (983KB) for the squiZZ who wanted to hear me talk about my cheese-squiZZ-dream, and well he said it was cute so I decided to put it online too... it's not actually longer than the other one, but I talk about different things... as you will see. :))