I am never going to meet Michael Rooker

Even though I’ve been off my blog for a while, unforeseen circumstances…bit of a long story with that. But you have a blog you often write things in your head, as you think they’re going to happen.

I envisioned this time next week writing a post geeking out to the extreme because I had finally met Michael Rooker, for those who don’t know who he is, well turn in your geek membership…unless you’re not a geek.

If not, well Michael Rooker is a veteran of the screen and has a habit of playing villains, anti-heroes and straight up bastards. Not bad for a guy who got his big break playing the lead in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It’s a very good film, he is awesome in it, and after popping up in everything including Mallrats, Days of Thunder, my favourite episode of Psych “Shawn takes a shot in the dark” and of course The Walking Dead, where he plays Merle Dixon. A character who is such an asshole and an antithesis to the main character, that if the Zombie Uprising ever happened I would actually be on Merle’s side as with him you’ll live.

The guy had to cut off his arm after all and came back more badass than ever; ok he died…that’s not a spoiler. It happened two years ago and The Walking Dead is a show where everyone can die…twice!

So I love this guy, the moment he appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy as Yondu Udonta, my little geek heart leapt with joy, now I’m the type of person, if it’s a film that I really want to see, I watch almost nothing, aside from the first trailer to get my interest. Let’s just say, even though I’m a comic fan, being a DC girl so I had never even heard of Guardians of the Galaxy. My first reactions pretty much went “What the hell is this” and ended with “Oh my God, it’s a raccoon with a machine gun!” And cue the major geek out!

Upon seeing the film, I was amazed, amused and did the big “Shit, it’s Michael Rooker” when the guy walked in covered in blue paint, and as always was awesome incarnate. I officially became a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, not of the comics because I already collect enough DC titles, but of this fantastic film and its placement in the Marvel Universe.

I also think courtesy of this film since it’s been confirmed by James Gunn, the director, that J’Son of Spartax isn’t Peter Quill’s father, whom I think it is …I’ll explain at the end. Though however his “real” father is Yondu, since it’s clear throughout the film that he cares deeply for Peter.

Here is the evidence

  1. Even though he was pissed at Peter about stealing the orb, put out a bounty for him being returned alive, something that Kraglin just went “Yeah” even though Horuz was pissed at this and called Peter “cargo”, something that got Yondu irritated and the first time we saw the Yaka arrow.
  2. Seemed more interested in the whereabouts of Peter than the orb, when he saw the Broker
  3. Was trailing Peter, to Knowhere because he was concerned that Peter had escaped the Kyln with a bunch of misfits.
  4. Rescued Peter from deep space and ok, when you saw him through the port glass, did give the impression of a pissed off parent
  5. Threatened to kill Peter with the Yaka arrow, but turned away from having to watch him do it. I think that was just to save face with his crew
  6. Peter immediately blagged his way out of it and mentioned working together, bringing Gamora into it, making Yondu welcome him back in an instant and using the telling words.
  7. Peter Quill: Hey, what do you say, Yondu, huh? Me and you, taking down a mark side-by-side, like the old days.
  8. This shows that Yondu trained Peter throughout his youth, and the whole “eating you” line was just for the crew. Yondu may be as soft as hell it comes to Peter, but he’s not fond of showing sentiment to others and Peter never took that seriously anyway.
  9. In the Battle of Xander, Yondu was there in his own M-Ship and was the first to tell Peter that he was down
  10. Yondu was there for the end and knew for a fact that the orb didn’t contain the Infinity Stone but thought screw it
  11. The gift of the Troll doll, Peter could have given him nothing, but gave Yondu something that he must have wanted for twenty-six years to add to his collection. Additionally his collection may have been inspired from the trinkets Peter had in his backpack when he was abducted.
  12. Overall he kept him for twenty-six years, and since his father is a jackass and he was doing him a favour. So Yondu Udonta, Captain of the Ravagers is a sentimental bastard to the extreme.

As you can see since I’ve given this some thought, I am a fan of Yondu, and Guardians of the Galaxy, in fact it was the reason I finally upgraded to a Blu-ray player because I wanted to watch it with commentary, which is fantastic by the way.

guardias pics

Some of my Guardians stuff, I have the album too!

So when I found out that Michael Rooker was doing Starfury Invasion at Heathrow, a few months ago I was ecstatic.

http://www.seanharry.com/

Finally I would have a chance to meet this icon and tell him what I loved about the character, and after a few days of deliberation decided to fork out £160 of my hard earned money for a full weekend gold ticket, in which I get extra goodies and an invite to the parties each night…and we geeks know how to party!

All was well until last week, when I got in from work, went to my facebook page to find out that due to commitments he could have to cancel…the phrase gutted is the understatement of the year. Especially since I only have one weekend off a month, and picked Invasion over the MCM Expo at the Docklands, which was this weekend, so I missed out on meeting Hynden Walch!

Now I’m mature enough to know that Michael Rooker is a busy man, he’s working on Mallrats 2, to which I am looking forward to since it was the first film I ever saw directed by Kevin Smith, but at the  same time since I like Rooker’s Facebook page and this was to be his first UK event.

I have seen so many pictures and videos with his American fans, with the cosplayers, enthusiasts and fellow members of the Geek Nation. To have to accept that it will not happen to us next week…is gutting.

It feel like, since this weekend alone he was at a convention in the USA, since he had no commitments then, to have them this week, the week he should be at Starfury Invasion…is disappointment.

Ok, now that is an underwhelming word to describe how I feel. And I know I’m not the only one. With it being his first UK event, I know people are coming from all over the country and further to meet him, forking out a small fortune in hotel rooms.

I live near the Bath Road…trust me, the nearer you are to Heathrow, the more expensive the hotels are.  This is being held at the Radisson Edwardian, which aside from the fact it can be used as a set in Downton Abby isn’t cheap, and then a week before the event to find out that he can’t come…

At the time, the only thing that consoled me was that I could at least meet Sean Gunn, who is also in Guardians of the Galaxy as Kraglin. Who is the First Mate of The Eclector, the Ravagers ship and is also both technically Thanos and Rocket Raccoon.

He was the stand-in for both characters until Brolin and Cooper were cast and the CGI was completed, but he shares a lot of character traits with Rocket, from the tilt of their heads and the fact that their voices have this natural, almost easy sarcasm. I can see why they cast Cooper but the few moment we did see Kraglin, it was clear that he could have voiced Rocket entire with no issues, but he cancelled too…for the same reasons!

I get that since there are 52 weeks in the year, the chances are that both of them having commitments the same weekend does lead me to think that this is Guardians related. I am not mocking that since I loved the first film so much and 2017 can’t come fast enough for the sequel.

Additionally I have seen Sean Gunn in a few things over the years, but thought he was great as Sammy Capulet in Tromeo and Juliet. I have never seen him in Gilmore Girls because I have never seen Gilmore Girls, was told that he was good though!

Needless to say, even though I will still be going to the Convention, and I know being with my fellow Geek Brethren is always awesome, it’s going to be bittersweet. Which his why I think I’ve probably written the longest post on my blog since the day I started it.

Now this post could be construed as “Jodie is feeling sorry for herself”, and that I just wrote about myself in the third person!

However the people I really feel sorry for in all this is Starfury, they are a company that arranges conventions, bringing people together to celebrate, and suddenly their two headliners can’t make it. For a company, that is gutting even on their own Facebook page they’re still advertising him on their banner, and he’ll be in promotional materials because it’s too late to do anything about it…a bit of a reminder of the fickleness of human nature I imagine.

https://www.facebook.com/starfuryevents

Regarding the Convention, since I can’t get a refund, at least Jena Malone from The Hunger Games is going to be there so I have some consolation.

Now I know that Sean Gunn and Michael Rooker are not going to read this and suddenly change their minds…I’m a geek, but I don’t believe in miracles. If miracles do happen then perhaps James Gunn, Josh Brolin, Lee Pace or even Bradley Cooper since he’s currently in the play The Elephant Man at The Theatre Royal in Haymarket would even consider popping in for a visit.

Hell, if we’re going to go to extremes perhaps Tom Hiddleston could even pop in since you know…I do think Loki is Peter Quills father! Yeah, you read that right, and here is my evidence

  1. Peter can survive in space longer than an average human should; indicating a connection to the Frost Giants…god knows how long Loki was falling through Space after all
  2. Peter can talk his way out of danger, a trait he shares with Loki. Both of them have the gift of the gab after all
  3. Peter is from an ancient face of people, who are a mystery…it’s clear that Asgard doesn’t really get involved with the rest of the Galaxy, hence the mystery, also the swirling pattern of Peter’s central nervous system does look like the soul forge in Thor: The Dark World
  4. After Peter touched the infinity stone and sees the image of his mother, the background looks like a rainbow with the colours, giving a hint to the rainbow bridge of Asgard
  5. I was re-watching Thor and Loki could blend in easier than Thor ever could indicate that he’s been on earth before. Thor pretty much acted like a plank and Loki well he’s Loki so everything he touches becomes awesome incarnate
  6. So Loki, because he was bored and wanted to explore travelled to Earth, met Meredith Quill, since I did notice upon re-watching Thor they all arrived on Earth in a glow of light. He convinced her that he was an Angel or something similar because he’s the trickster God for a reason. They made sweet sweet love which resulted in Peter Quill, but Loki knowing that Odin was looking for him had to leave with the promise he would be back later…which never happened.
  7. Loki using the Bifröst, and courtesy of this Heimdall also knows of Peter, learns that Meredith is dying so since at the time he thinks he’s a full Asgardian and is concerned that his son may be coming into his powers so decides to get his son off Earth.
  8. Loki since he needs time to get his son off, and aware that Odin hates hybrids as does much of Asgard he needs to do it quietly, since he knows that Odin will either be pissed beyond belief or accepting to Peter. Since he thinks (at the time at least) this will be his legitimate grandchild and heir to the throne, which brings the Ravagers into the story.
  9. Through a third party, Yondu is contacted and knows who the buyer is but decides that Loki is such a dick, just from his reputation that alone that Peter would be better off with him. The best thing is, is that Loki can’t do anything about it, because he’s realised he wants the throne too much, and that Odin would never accept Peter.

The biggest clue, however, is the final line of Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy. Here’s the exchange.

Kraglin: Yeah, Quill turned out okay. It’s probably good we didn’t deliver him to his dad like we was hired to do.

Yondu Udonta: Yeah, that guy was a jackass.

Right, now Jackass is a simple word meaning fool, but according to several sources, here’s a link to a great article

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kemal-argon/how-can-benevolent-tricksters-fools-and-clowns-like-wavy-gravy-often-really-help-us_b_3007079.html

Jackass – Fool – Trickster

Loki is the Trickster God in Norse Mythology…and this is my head canon and I’m sticking to it

However Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn, if there is any chance you could change your commitments, attend Starfury Invasion and let me know if I’m right, I would be really grateful

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An open letter to my editor

So the book I wrote then I was learning to walk again, (sorry for the melodrama but I’m setting the scene) is finished, and it’s been with you for about ten months. I have never seen it; I have actually forgotten what I wrote, so when I do get it back, perhaps I’ll be dazzled, perhaps not. Who knows?

Because I’m in London and it’s with you in America. A country I’ve ever been too, yet really would like to visit one day. I like America, I like Americans. You fascinate me, we colonized you…ok, we or you really could have been a bit more sensitive about that.  You wanted your freedom, you fought for it…and you won.

Since then we’ve kept an eye on you, seen you become a global superpower and you deserve it. You’re a fascinating country, you’re not perfect, no country is. A few things you need to work on, a free health service for all and Gay marriage in all fifty States…especially the latter.

So I like you America, I believe in your virtues and I champion the “American Dream”, which is why when I found an American editor, to send my book too…I got good vibes from you. I was happy to pay upfront courtesy of your website and testimonials and back in October of 2014. I sent my baby book to you, signed a contract and never saw it again.

I was prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, sure I googled you, I know you’re unwell and I know how that feels. Perhaps I felt a kinship because we both know what it’s like to go through so much drama and emerge in the end. I’m not at the end yet…but I should be.

But then it never came back to me, my emails were and are still being ignored…it feels like you don’t care about my book. Your blog states that even though you’re a small town press, you would take anything and wouldn’t judge, because I guess it’s your job not to judge. So what is the reason you never sent my book back to me?

Is it because my character swears?

I didn’t give you Trainspotting; it’s a novella with a few swear words. My lead character Alex gets stressed, she smokes and she’s tense…I think anyone would be under the circumstances.

Is it because of her lifestyle?

Right, now I have to write this carefully because I don’t want to give anything away, but if you have an issue with it, well too bad. It’s never been illegal for her in the UK. It’s perfectly legal for her to love another in the same way as everyone else since 2003, and in a more meaningful way since last year.

I’m not accusing you of anything, how can I when you’ve never got in touch with me? All I know is that I paid you $130, and got nothing back. The only thing I feel about you is a disappointment. And since you’ve failed to get in touch with me, now I write this.

It’s quite sad really, since it’s a Christmas story and it was delayed last year, since it’s the most wonderful time of the year after all. And yes I still haven’t engaged a cover artist yet, but how can I, if my book isn’t back with me?

Now, I’m not saying that I’ve written the great British novella, I haven’t. It’s a Christmas story, not The Metamorphosis. But I’m proud of it, I wrote it at a time when was going through so much drama, called having to learn to walk all over again. It was a distraction, a distraction from the pain, from the frustration and I took pride in it, no I still take pride in it. But then you took it, and I guess discarded it. Why?

That’s all I have to say, but out of all the editors out there I choose you for a reason, and now…I have no more words to say.

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Finding a professional editor and a new smiley face!

So since I’m playing catch-up with my life and my blog, let’s see where I should begin.

Well since I’m still healing from having that lump of useless removed, my left arm is still practically dead, I can’t stress about anything this month, and I have to keep from pulling on my stitches, which is causing me some frustrations.

But I finally engaged a professional editor for my book and courtesy of google came across Windy Hill Editing, a purple website which is always a good thing in my eyes, the rates were good and Heather D. Sowalla the editor, seems nice, since she lives in the States and I live in the UK but I am entrusting my “baby” to her. But I got good vibes from the emails, so right now it’s out of my hands and in America!

http://windyhillsediting.blogspot.co.uk/

So really not thinking about it at the moment, give it a few weeks, also very strange since I’m not touching the Zombie Anthology for a few more weeks, but also can’t wait to crack on with that. Right now I do feel like this is the calm before the storm.

Additionally I wasn’t selected as a finalist for Miss Plus Size, kudos since a few of the woman I met had been selected, and I really do hope they do well. Someone did ask me though if they thought it was because of the whole “I have a limp issue?”

No, end of the day no one is that cruel and in the great scheme of things I know it would have cost a small fortune to get to Manchester for the finals so at least I don’t have to worry about that. At the same time it would have been nice to wear a stunning gown, to walk down a runway have my hair styled, but not straightened…and all that stuff. I do happen to believe in total equality, but the only time that’s ever happened is the three occasions I’ve been a bridesmaid. I was even happy to show off my scars, I have no issue with showing off my scars, since they are totally marvellous. The latest addition to my body is, of course, from the surgery…and it is so cute! Seriously, I have the cutest little scar ever, it’s like a little smiley face!

But besides that, since my book is literally out of my hands it feels sort of liberating.

I’ll let you know how it goes

Xx

 

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The Accident: one year on

So, it’s to the exact minute exactly a year ago that I had the accident that gave me the two plates and nine screws of titanium which have not plagued my life, but have me adjust my life.

I’m not writing this to sound conceited that I remember almost every little detail of that night, even down to the way the shadows were falling on the ground.

It’s been an interesting year, and I did think when I got to this point, I would have finally turned the corner and be able to dance at least…I’m not there yet, hopefully soon.

Of course right now I didn’t expect to be sitting here typing this with one hand, since my left is bloody useless and hurts like a demon…I’m deliberately not taking painkillers so I have to blame myself for this.

So a year since I had to deal with the fact that I had to learn to walk again, this would be the moment that I become sentimental and think that this gave me some perspective on how it is to be disabled and gave me a reality check on how it feels to have to learn to walk again. But mine was only temporary so I can’t compare it to anything, I had enough highlights and low lights to never to want to go back to that time.

But a year, perspective…let’s find some. In writing news since I can’t exactly type like normal, I’m running my book though Grammarly and for some reason every sentence over five words, become “Wordiness”. I had no idea wordiness was even a word until now!

I am however going to run it through a professional, yet have to wait until payday to see if I can afford such an endeavour. But it looks good, not trying to be biased, but I really enjoyed putting the finishing touches to it.

In other news, since the reason I’ve had to delay everything because of my accursed arm I’m going to flashback to a few days to explain what happened. Since it is operation number 3 after all.

As anyone who’s read my last post could figure out, I was having trouble sleeping. So, much trouble since sister K was meant to be dropping me off at 7:30 in the morning and I didn’t wake up.

Yes, you’re read that right, the day I was having surgery and my alarm clock didn’t go off. So since K had to go to work, I had to get the bus…to go to the operation.

In some ways I was actually pleased about this since the roads were busy, and if I was in the car with K I would have got nervous, at least on the bus which is something I do all the time so it felt natural. Until I got to Hillingdon and on some level was expecting a repeat of all the drama last year. Thankfully in the Day Surgery part, I was seen by Ward nurse Christy who was wonderful, got settled and given one of those tie back nightgowns…and they are no fun to tie.

At this point in my cubicle seeing the faces of the people who were going ahead of me, I felt pretty Zen; I felt fine…until my Surgeon came in and told me, it was going to be a 45-minute operation.

45 minutes, I was going to be out for 45 minutes!

And almost on cue, I started crying. I had no idea I was holding back the tears until that moment. I was going to be out for almost an hour! I imagine they were used to seeing people like this, so they just left me and give me time to prepare, in which I did by reading or napping until 10:30 when I was told that I was going down to surgery.

I do give them that since if I had more of an idea of the time i know I would been more freaked out but I was strangely calm as I was going down. Old pro at this, more of a sense of déjà vu than anything else. Whilst I was waiting for oblivion, a plastic catheter was put in my hand, this time the right over the left, and because apparently I had a guy who was doing work experience, so soon blood was dripping down my hand!

After that was cleaned up they set to work on my cocktail of drugs to knock me out as soon as they mentioned the word “cocktail” I asked for a Pina Colada, I have no idea why since I hate that drink but perhaps I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy way too many times…because it is that good of a film.

I was suddenly worried that I was going to sign off singing that in my head for the next few hours I began to sing “Hooked on a Feeling” instead! Being knocked out again; having to breathe through the oxygen before it gave way to oblivion didn’t bother me.

But this time I woke up in recovery, totally disoriented and since I was without my glasses everything was hazy, but there was someone at the foot of my bed and I squinted as the door was opening and saw someone being brought in clearly post-surgery with a breathing tube down their throat. This was strange to think since I know that was me not that much earlier. At this point, I blanked out again and woke upon on the ward, learning that I had been out for five hours!

Getting to my feet, and getting out of the cubicle, nurse Christy came over to get me some tea…since I’m British and it makes everything better and I wasn’t in the mood to tell them that I can’t stand the stuff.

After a while I decided to get dressed and at the time I was fit enough to get discharged since K was picking me up, only I learned that she wouldn’t  be able to pick me up for at least an hour.

Since I was starving I just got a sandwich and a drink and was trying not to think that I had just had surgery, in retrospect I could have just got the bus home but the last thing I wanted was to pass out on the U4!

When I was picked up, I had to option of going back to hers, instead I told her I’d go back to mine since according to rules after surgery is a no-no as you’re meant to have someone with you at all times.

Nice thought in hindsight, but all I wanted to do was go to bed since the cocktail I was given was starting to wear off and I was coming to realise how much pain I was actually in. But since K is the eldest she did stay with me that night to keep an eye on me. I was obviously fine.

The first night was the worst, followed by the worst day since the pain still hasn’t subsided, but I knew this at the time. I knew it would happen, but like before this isn’t forever and I feel a lot better this time. Even though I have no idea what the scar looks like since it’s still dressed up

So one year one, still standing and moving on. Not too shabby I think

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Pre-Op Blues

So if you’re reading this, if anyone is reading this since I’ve set it for 24 hours’ time. By this time tomorrow, my operation or procedure will be over and I’ll be missing the little lump of uselessness that has plagued me for the last month.

It’s been a very interesting month, another understatement of the year. Because I know this will affect my left arm, which since irony is the name of the game and I was doing a social experiment, I type faster with my left hand, than my right. So this month I’ve been typing like a demon and straight after I type this I’ll be extending the final date for the Zombie Anthology.

I’ve been advised post-surgery not to get stressed until it’s healed and let’s face it, putting together an Anthology for Charity will be stressful. Also in the great scheme of things, Halloween is a better date to end these things on; I just hope that everyone will be alright with this. I was so adamant that it wouldn’t change anything and now I have to go back on my own word, but I will have to take it easy.

I am nervous about the procedure, unlike my first stay in hospital in which I was there for days until they told me I was going to be operated on, this time I’ll be going there in the morning, and waiting all day, only thing time my bag is packed and soon I’ll be nil-by-mouth, and as a distraction I’m watching Downton Abby!

Ok, what the hell is wrong with me? I don’t even like Downton Abby but for some reason I watch it. I find most of the characters annoying especially Lady Mary. I only watch it because I genuinely love the actress Sophie McShera who plays Daisy and I think she will be fantastic as Druzilla in Disney’s live action version of Cinderella, even if I think the rest of the film is miscast. I mean seriously, they cast Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine and Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother. Can you see Helena Bonham Carter singing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” can anyone?

Ok, I’m drifting as always so back to lump news. Since I’m now officially nil-by-mouth, this is it, the final countdown. In a few hours, I’ll be in the hospital I’m lucky once again to have sister K dropping and picking me up as well as staying all night to make sure I’m ok. As well as my other sister R reminding me this evening that “We’re Portugal’s, we’re tough.” I think that’s my family mantra or something!

I don’t mind the scar, I actually think it’s quite cool that I finally have a scar on the left side of my body; so far everything has always been on my right. Breaks, scars…so my body’s finally starting to even itself out.

I know this is off topic from what I normally talk about, but when you read a blog, you’re not reading the words you’re also getting to know the writer, to try to find their personality within the margins, and I couldn’t continue with what I was doing unless I talked about this too.

But anyway thanks for reading and I’ll let you know how I get on

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I miss the Twin Towers

This is something that had been on my mind for a while, and what better day to post than September 11th. Right now as with every year, it’s the usual slew of various documentaries, for example Falling Man, 9/11 Conspiracy, The 9/11 Faker. Reminding us once more of the events of the terrible day. Not that anyone who witnessed that the day would ever forget it, where you were and what you were doing is imprinted indelibly on your mind as a defining point in your life.

Standing in The Entertainer Toyshop in Uxbridge, when my friend Peter came in to tell me that the “World Trade Centre had been bombed!”

Full props to him for remembering that I was standing in a Toyshop and didn’t want to say anything more.

I was wrapped up in my own ignorance, and naturally concluded that it was just like The Docklands bombing in 1996, and almost everyone was alright. Besides it was the World Trade Centre, how much damage could be done to that building?

Harsh words in hindsight, but several hours later when I got home, I watched the highlights and saw in seconds how different the world now was. What I assumed was a simple accident, suddenly because an act of Terrorism when the second plane hit, we learned the Pentagon had been damaged by another plane, and United Airlines Flight 93 committed the ultimate act of bravery and fought back to the very end.

Almost 3000 people never made it home that night, in perhaps the most cruellest day in American history, in a moment that caused the world to suddenly stop.

That one day that changed everything, we saw how Airports tightened their security; shoes had to be removed, and everyone was a potential suspect. Buildings now had concrete barriers surrounding them…just in case.

As expected Britain joined America on “The War on Terror.” Which today still sounds like a cheesy 1950’s B-Movie title, and in retaliation of this act we are still bearing witness to the aftermath 13 years later.

I watched the first responders, fireman and everyone else trying to pick up the pieces of New York City, to try to process this terrible act, as the Towers disintegrated, in a day that gave birth to many hero’s.  April 4, 1973 was the day it was officially born, it took years but here it was a beacon of progress for the City of New York, and suddenly it was gone, along with so many people.  In the media, it was an establishing moment, it became part of opening credits, it became a part of films. As soon as you saw it, you know exactly where you were the same way, Big Ben (Or the Palace of Westminster, but no one ever calls it that) is used to establish London. It was familiar, ok it was a cold Skyscraper, of steel and glass but it became familiar…and then in seconds it was gone. Making everything, from 1976 to 2001 an unintentional period piece.

As time went on, and as New York began to process and learn to pick up the pieces…something London has experience with; then it became the question of what to do with the Towers, what to do about the films that came before and after. The first victim of this was The Simpson episode.  “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson”, pulled from syndication because it shows both Towers, the Plaza and the funny (at the time at least) line “They stick all the jerks in Tower One!” To this day, it’s only shown on Channel 4 after nine o’clock with a warning that some viewers may find the images distressing!

Then slowly it became much more, a repeat of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, removed the stunning panorama when Kevin was on the observation deck. A friend of mine who lives in New York was telling me that she saw a version of Crocodile Dundee and scenes where the Towers should had stood were now empty. Both Friends and Sex and the City removed them from their opening credits, because it was too soon, because America was too raw. I’m not going to go into the mentality of this, but as a European, it bothered me. I can understand that it would be upsetting, to see something that what once, especially in New York, but removing it from the sphere pretending that it doesn’t exist…that doesn’t seem healthy. I think everyone needed to see them, focus on them and never forget they were there, not erase them from history, because to quote from Martin Scorsese when he refused to remove the WTC from Gangs of New York, because the film is about the creation of the City, not the fall

One thing I really miss is life before 9/11. I’m not going to look thorough it with a rose-tinted view because life is never as perfect as we want it to be. But it was a new Millennium, a chance to wipe the slate clean, and one year in, the world went to hell. At 21, suddenly I had to learn a bunch of new words, al-Qaeda, jihadist, Osama Bin Laden, just to name a few, and I had to face up to the reality that the childhood of my nephews, was now going to be radically altered, and they would live through one war after another. Life before, the only thing we ever had to worry about was if the IRA… Real or otherwise would be up to their usual tricks, but now this Earth inherited something much darker, and all because of those assholes.

I have never visited New York; I have never skated outside the Rockefeller Centre or gone up the Empire State…and I will never stand on the top of the World Trade Centre, but I miss the buildings because it was familiar to all of us. New York only had it for 28 years, which is nothing in terms of structures, but that’s the impact of the image, and not the demise that carried it over the world.

I know almost 3000 people died on that day, in an act that hopefully will never be repeated on American soil, and every time I watch Ghostbusters, Coming to America, Superman or even Working Girl, I get a lump in my throat when I see the Towers, and I’m glad it’s there.

In memory of the people and all their families who lost their loved ones

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Guess who entered a Beauty Pagent?

Things have been changing in my life recently and a good way. Last week, literally on a whim after an ad popped up in my facebook feed for the Miss Plus Size International Competition. I did this on the last day of the competition, with about 2 hours to the deadline,  because I just thought it would be fun, and there would be no “Oh I wish I had done it” moment later on.

Imagine to my surprise, on the first of September, when I got an email saying I had been selected for an interview! Yes, little old me, selected for an entry for a Beauty Pageant.

Having seen Miss Congeniality, American’s Next Top Model, and Miss World, and with the latter these woman are so well trained in what they should say, instead of what they want to say, it strips them of any personality they actually have.

I was expecting an environment of nastiness, bitchiness and someone standing there proclaiming that they “Weren’t here to make friends.”  Also, when I looked at the details, I had a feeling it would be like the aforementioned ANTM, and everything down to my walk would be scrutinised. Since I was clueless at what to wear, I  did however head down to Yours Clothing in Uxbridge and treated myself to this gorgeous Kimono top in my signature colours of purple, black and red, paired with a purple vest since I need to get more colour in my life!

When I finally got to Aldgate, and ventured down to Le Paris Grill a very nice restaurant and I saw the other entrants and what they were wearing; now I got nervous. They were all dressed to perfection, with immaculate makeup. (I brought mine with me and put it on in the toilets…yes, I do own makeup!) And they were all wearing heels, something I still can’t do, so I decided to wear the above, with jeans and trainers. I walked in with a feeling of inadequacy; everyone looked stunning…and I was wearing jeans.

So how do I look?

So how do I look?

After I had a quick word with the judges, if it was alright to blog about this later…obviously they said yes, and a massive thank you right now for saying so. I was given a list of questions, they could potentially ask me, and we were all divided into groups of four and assigned numbers, and I was given the number 16, which meant that I was the final contestant of the day. In our group, we all introduced ourselves to each other, and I was placed with Scarlett, who has experience in graphic design, Jenny who is a body artist and Eva who has experience working as a model and actress.  After we got to know each other, since we had more time being in the latter part of the groups to do so, we discussed our potential answers and I learned that their all very talented and creative individuals, but with no trace of ego between them which was not what I was expecting at all.

When we were escorted down, since we were first being interviewed together I knew at this point I should have been nervous but with these woman sitting next to me, I wasn’t. They all answered all their questions eloquently and brilliantly and it wasn’t like an interview with the four judges but more like a casual relaxed conversation, and when they got to me I didn’t have any pretence. I just told them about my life, my accident and my projects and things like that, and the fact that I was feeling underdressed was no longer an issue. Yes, I’m deliberately not going into too much detail because the competition is still ongoing.

As a plus size woman you’re naturally made to feel like a failure, in media and market press it always says the same message. If you’re big there is something wrong with you, you are stupid; you are lazy, and you deserve the jibes thrown at you, because your skin’s so thick it surely can’t penetrate into your soul. In all the inspirational magazines, you have someone like Adele who’s celebrated for her curves, but only has a head shot on the front cover. Even our most famous actresses bear this scrutiny; Jennifer Love Hewitt apparently lost her dream role on Criminal Minds, because she hadn’t lost the weight after giving birth fast enough. Academy Award Winner Jennifer Laurence has been condemned because according to some readers and of course the media with regards to The Hunger Game “Katniss is too fat”.

This sadly can go both ways, many actors have had to change themselves for the roles they crave, but when a certain actor who in the past has been celebrated for their curves, and proclaiming how much they love their bodies. To then lose a large amount of weight in a way that cannot be considered healthy, and instead of saying something truthful in a heartfelt way, and claim that they have lost it for whatever reason, be it for health, or the role that can finally secure them an Oscar. Instead they denounce their bodies back then, claiming how fat and unhappy they were at a size 14 and of course now their more beautiful/successful/happy.  Insert your own phrase. All this negativity has a huge impact on us, growing up we could never be ourselves, having to develop the thick skin early, to make people like us. To go into school on the first day, too see the ones who would be friends with us, and to try to make them laugh with us instead of at us, to the point you become a walking Beryl Cook caricature.

But then again as a 5 foot, (until a growth spurt when I was 17) messy haired, glasses wearing, introvert, I didn’t stand a chance otherwise. Having to become when people expected of me, instead of whom I truly was and still am. Outside, I’m fun loving, and passionate and ok those are traits I do possess, yet at home I’m the quiet one, normally found with her head in a book or behind her laptop, creating masterpieces like this one.

End of the day this is the world we grew up in made to feel like failures because we’re not a size zero. And this is what I was feeling as I walked in, in jeans, trainers trying to hide the fact that I was limping slightly, and surrounded by beautiful woman.

Afterwards, before we were being seen individually, which led to a bit of a waiting game, which was also cool because I had some time to process things, I began to think about why I was there. According to the email sent to me, I had been chosen from 740 applicants…so why had I been chosen?

I’m not writing that, just to stoke my ego, as I try not to have one but at the same time…is there more to me than I’m even aware of?

Being a plus size woman, we’re taught once again courtesy of the media that we are lacking somewhat in some areas, to the point when I have dared to ask the question “Do I look pretty?” The answers I usually receive, only focuses on one aspect of my person, being told I have nice eyes (that maybe true), I have great lips (that is true) and the usual, I have a great personality…well that’s always nice. If you’re going to reduce me to mere body parts, instead of answering “yes or no”, and I could take the latter by the way, then what am I meant to think?

But they choose me as an interviewee, deep down as an ego boost, it’s pretty high as these things go, and I guess has given me some perspective on the last year of my life. Nothing will ever change the fact that I disappeared on the 26th of September 2013, and what was left was a struggle to try to get myself back to where I needed to be, to be able to stand tall once more, and as I was standing there, that part of me started to emerge…and it felt fantastic. What I’m typing right now whilst feeling a massive swell of pride within myself, on Saturday I did something I could never have imagined doing, I stood there and did something just for me…and it still feels fantastic.

Being the last one to be interviewed and the last one to leave, and there are still the overseas and the Birmingham interviews to get through. After I post this I’m deliberately not going to think any more of it, but having met so many fantastic woman on that day, if my experience of Missplussize ends at this moment, then I’m ok with that. Just to be there felt like an accomplishment and I left the place on a massive high note. Can I just sincerely say to the other contestants, good luck and you are all going to do brilliantly.

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