Pilates progress – February

⭐️⭐️⭐️Current form.⭐️⭐️⭐️ Post 1 hour Pilates.

Hey so I figure I may as well post my progress on here to keep better track and motivate myself to keep improving, what do you think!?

Maybe I can inspire someone else in the making. We all need workout buddies! Currently my workout buddy is a flat-coated retriever but I only walk her every now and then so in between that I find other ways to motivate myself. Sometimes it’s even a show on HBO that’s very action-filled or so, that I just think: “Ah, I want to be an actor in action movies.” Or sometimes I use “Man, I was in the army last year around this time, where I could do all this training and 10 x more of it, without sleep so get on with it!” – I’m really glad I’m studying at university right now though, because here in Sweden at least I can ride my bike to university even in winter it seems (or spring as it would be now), and yet sleep in on most days as I want… and also eat really well as I’m able to be near to my apartment and also go home for lunch even in “shorter” 1 hour lunch-breaks… on the occasional longer day.

Sometimes I simply think of any scene with the Absolutely Fabulous girlies… “DARRRRRLING…” Don’t want to end up fat n’ alone, do we… I’m in a happy relationship. But one should never get lazy. Simple as that.

5×1 hour workouts this month and a few smaller ones in between…

In the 1 hour ones includes Pilates at home in front of YouTube training videos (max level-sometimes I add a bit of weight) outdoor biking (up/downhill), weight-training at home… just a few pounds for that lean figure, taking the steps to my apartment and kind of doing side lunges while I’m at it… also walking and running with a puppy, etc! 🙂 creative, nothing too sweaty! But with heartbeat and heavier breath at some point. I find that it has improved my posture and also energy in studying. I remember dance classes in New York, Manhattan, as well as Pilates classes on Saturdays in Brooklyn that I used to take. I love it.

Will keep this up and those abs will be more clear for summer I am sure, and *bubble butt* back on point ☺️

That’s it people, no gym, lots of protein shakes with unsweetened soy and either banana/strawberry and maybe a little bit of peanut butter as lunch or dinner (or both) and then whatever food basically but very little sugar… (quite a lot of fat… yoghurt coated cashew nuts and yoghurt coated pineapple bits are my favorites).

 

Shortcut to my Instagram 

-Bebe

True Holidaze

Applied for the police series casting anyway. I wrote a post about applying previously but I deleted it because it bored me. My hair style is quite like that *Detective Ani Bezzerides*, but longer and lighter, so… Otherwise I suppose I’ll wait until later with reading the Rolling Stones article about what went wrong with Season 2 of True Detective!? I’m watching it. It’s dark.

I got a book too, Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. ‘A masterpiece’, according to New York Times. Anyone read it? I just wanted to read something good.

Heard some fireworks this evening. Can’t be fun for someone who’s a veteran with PTSD, I suppose? As with dogs. Unless they know how so well how different weapons sound that it wouldn’t sound like a small gun or anything. I biked through the woods along an empty road and thought about the forrest as looking kind of welcoming now that I’ve been out there somewhat more this year, then across a river in the dark – which reminded me of running intervalls in winter, up north (most of us looked close to throwing up during that). We’d thrown our ice cleats to rest at the beginning of this bridge, then we put them back on and jogged home in double columns.

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Thinking about joining a gun club across the river and bike there. I’d get the workout from the biking back and forth, and I’d re-live some of the army thrills at the range. Maybe after New York I’m going to go and see them. The thing is that when I do, I want to really commit to it if so. So I’m going to think about it. Can one even bike while carrying here? And can you even store a gun (in Sweden) in a Student apartment? The laws are so strict… speaking of strict: tomorrow I have to code in HTML Strict… yessir. Goodnight.

or “Bon-fn-voyage…

Bebe

Crime victim support staff needed

Hey, it’s been a while. Didn’t forget you! I’m finishing off a UX-design course right now, learning some cool things and am to spruce up this site a bit – make it into my online portfolio, with the blog as well. I soon have to get back to creating more wireframes in Balsamiq. And I booked a much longed-for trip to New York in the new year! Much excited about that!

I was reading an article on stuff to do if you’re alone on the holidays (or at least on xmas day). It seems the train tickets are a mess around this time of the year… expensive, and 4-5 changes instead of 1 (train to bus changes that are normally just train), and I have a class in coding over the holidays as well that I need to finish another portfolio for before I fly out.

So, one of the first thing on the list of to-dos that one could do when alone was to volunteer, the article let me know. I thought, hey that’s a great idea – I’ve volunteered before, it’s badass and good for people so why not, I can do that. However, I don’t believe in the “lord”, you know, more like; hard work, motivational strategies, whatever-works-for-yous-all, and the law of attraction!? So, it doesn’t really make sense to me to be participating in a church ceremony and serve food… the “advertisement” said nothing about homeless people, immigrants, or veterans, which may have convinced me more? If you’re in Sweden and want to check for volunteer events yourselves, here is a page I found that posts a lot of volunteer work, incl. what I just mentioned: Volontärbyrån  – you can search by city or anything like. I have volunteer worked at SPCA in Tel Aviv before, and I know for a fact that there is a kitty shelter on the upper east side in New York so definitely check that out. I believe ASPCA of NYC need their volunteers to come in pretty regularly as well (or perhaps just with dog walkers) but I’d encourage you to read up on it.  In Tel Aviv, I helped bring in a malnourished kitty that my friend had found alone and lost on the street – brought it across town in a cardboard box with holes via bus. If you had access to a car there you could help in more “advanced” rescue missions as well, maybe that goes for NYC, too, I’m not sure?

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Well, also I did watch Before The Flood and I’ve had more vegetarian food of late. But when I have time I shall make American Pancakes… I did buy some eggs and milk the other day. Most of my food have been organic of late as well. Dunno, environment has been increasingly on my mind. But it’s caused me to think more now that I’m aware. For example, I thought I’d buy tofu ice cream and I leaned into the “ice cream” ice  box in the store to grab the one I’ve seen so many times when I was younger at kids’ parties where someone was lactose-intolerant… the TofuLine one like. Has an octagon shape, black color like UFC-inspired perhaps. Love the UFC, so it felt cool, right!? Well – PALM OIL. Dammit. What’s better now? Locally produced ice-cream, or who-knows-wherefrom-derived vegan/vegetarian brand incl. palm-oil?

To my point with this post however, I found something in my style in regards to volunteer work… only it wouldn’t do it for just the holidays, I’d have to commit for a longer time. But that may just be what I want to do for this next year… this ! (It’s a crime victim support service) You learn some stuff… call people, help ’em in court… I think it’s awesome. But there’s a lower limit to your monthly involvement. I think something like 6-8 hours, 3 cases (supports) like? Either way, I was in the military and studied some crime stuff and it struck me that there sure is a lack of bravery and lack of staff for these kinda professions. I mean bravery and knowledge about such as what you’re allowed to do when someone attacks you and tries to steal your laptop or something. Can you hit them back? For instance, I learned that if I saw someone do that to you (military or not) I could step in and help ya – with some force, too (matching the level of the criminal) – it’s called “Hjälparens rätt” in Sweden. *Helper’s rights* or something.

How many people knew that? Or what if someone starts a fight in a club or at a bar and goes ballistic, starting to punch on an innocent… it shouldn’t be so that people don’t dare to step in to stop it just because they don’t want to get involved in court later (perhaps they’d think they might be mixed up as being the perpetrator). That’s why I think crime victims should always have someone to talk to and teach them about their rights, and let them know how they may stand up for themselves – at least later on if they couldn’t do it earlier because either they didn’t know of their rights or they were simply outed by the criminal. A lot of people are needed for this I read. I’m considering it. Also because I think it would be a life-experience, and I like law – I noticed however that it takes many years of studying which is costly even in Sweden, and furthermore that it’s bound by country (since national laws differ from place to place)… if I had the money and was born in America I may have at least become a paralegal though. I saw a great award-winning short film last year that I found out about through the course I was taking in Digital Movie Making at the time. It was fantastic! You can read about it on IndieWire. The Phone Call.

Also here is a trailer for it:

Will you be a volunteer this holiday season? Or are you a regular volunteer at some place?

Let me know in the comments below, or tweet me!

Take care, and wherever you are, whoever with – happy holidays

-Bebe 

“Batman” appears in England, clown sightings, VR+current tech trends & advertising ethics

2010-2012: Discussion in college (NYC) that the times make people crave a certain kind of movies… like, all the superhero movies could stem out of a need for “escape” from daily life – a hope for something good to come.

2015: VR movie exhibits in New York, “VR” glasses in cardboard appear in Sweden…

2016: VR painting and VR games now emerge, and—while movies are good and all (Marvel had a big deal with Netflix and released a bunch of new series)—people start to create characters in daily life, like: clowns… and Batman – who take it to the (REAL) streets. So, people crave, perhaps, something more than film as their escape now because with time, digitalization has really stepped up as well! Just watch this clip right here. Someone dressed as Batman is currently out “protecting” people against wild clowns in England (Villasor, 2016). It’s supposed to be funny too, but it’s kind of too much for me right now. I just watched clips from someone playing the Batman Arkham VR game for playstation last night – from the look of it, the digital graphics work is quite highly detailed. With both your body and eyes fully immersed… it’s a long step forward from the days of Nintendo Wii (GameRiot, 2016). I’ve read some discussions that people think this whole clown matter is a result of a kind of mass-mania—I wish I remembered where I read that, sorry about that (“Google is your *friend*”)— but basically think about it… the Brexit? Trump potentially becoming the new President of the United States of America? This is all some intense news – no wonder people are in shock! I remember that I saw an online video of BoJo’s (Boris Johnson’s) reaction to the news about the Brexit—or sometime around that result getting official—he was heading to the golf course! Like it wasn’t affecting a whole lot of people. 

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Furthermore, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of scary movies out right now and in the last few days there has been countless of times that the trailer for HBO’s Westworld (HBO, 2016) has popped up at 0:19 seconds in with a strobe light—without warning—in an automatic-ad for other content. Every time it has happened I haven’t been able to help myself but to think about how an epileptic person would’ve felt if they were me and that commercial came on as a surprise.

I’ve also followed to two quite “scary” Swedish podcasts this year. One called “De Dödas Röster”, roughly translated into English: “The Voices of the Dead” (Bergmark Elfgren, 2016)—a documentation and stories in regards to a real murder that happened a few years ago in Sweden, apparently categorized as genre: drama—and another podcast that still is in production: “Creepypodden” – being categorized as: culture/entertainment (Sveriges Radio, 2015), which is basically a podcast telling ghost stories from Swedish folklore and pages like the NoSleep forum and Creepypasta that you can find by a quick Google search.

The so called “Slender Man” case, as mentioned in a Rolling Stones article from this summer (Dunlap, 2016), is originally a fictional story from either Creepypasta or NoSleep that I heard about through Creepypodden which has gone “from horror meme to inspiration for murder”.

I also can’t help but think about much of the latest emerging tech that I’ve seen come up in my Facebook story feed as well, such as boxes for locking up your cellphones while you study? Now that many of us have got rid of the landlines in our homes, how does one call for emergency help with that cellphone locked in a box? I’m certified in CPR from this year and have learned how to work with heart starters, anyway, it’s not like you get a heart attack and you have time to log into your laptop that’s up on a table and Skype-call emergency services! It seems the idea of these *lockup containers* is to make it impossible for you to access a thing for a certain amount of time (unless perhaps you break the box with force, which you won’t be able to during a heart attack so… too bad). As a family looking for family-time (some of you I’ve talked to already), please take security into consideration before shutting off all technical communication methods, OK?

But then again, we may wonder how much other people track us simply by having our electronics switched on. I suppose people may get a little paranoid from thinking about that too much, too. I noticed a message on WhatsApp sometime this year (August) about how my messages now were “secured with end-to-end encryption,” which meant “WhatsApp and third parties can’t read or listen to them.” So I suppose that would be better because before they could track and and read all the things that I sent?

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I haven’t noticed Creepypodden release any new stories in regards to the clown-sightings that apparently have started in Sweden now as well and is fully happening “right now”. According to a Swedish newspaper source video “there have been over 100 clown-sightings in the last two months” and way more in America where it’s supposed to have all *started* (Wikström, 2016). 

If the clowns are simply a PR-stunt for a movie or alike that comes out in a while – I don’t think it’s ethical to threaten people by walking around with machetes near or on people’s yards as some of these clowns seem to have done. So maybe change tactics now, huh? The joke is not on “you”, *PR-firm*, this whole thing has spiralled too far. I just find it hard to believe that someone would do this for PR, you know? I know it’s close to Halloween but, come on?

To walk around in ‘V for Vendetta’ masks has been banned before (Pollak, 2013) and I even saw one article mention that the ‘Anonymous’ mask (same thing?) has now been banned in America… but don’t quote me on that because I’m not completely sure about my source there, so I’ll leave it for you all to find out. Overall though, who likes to see people wear masks around anyhow? It’s creepy! Perhaps in a museum or somewhere boxed in where you know that it’s for art purposes and don’t have to feel threatened – or how about keeping it to the good old amusement parks or something? But I guess the amusement parks want to expand on their creative approaches too. So much or art is “free” to get access too nowadays, you know, you don’t have to pay any service fee on youtube for example, but rather you pay for the ads that cross your path. Perhaps youtube will have to start implementing a premium-option where you can get rid of all the ads? They haven’t got that yet, right? 

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I can’t say that it’s easier to handle creepy stories just because I live in Sweden, even though crime is a big genre here. I feel like horror and reality-based fiction is the new crime of late. I’ve noticed a lot of covers on hardcover books are way more graphic these days… perhaps in the last 5 years or so? From what I’ve seen, that is (my mother is an avid reader)! Some murder stories are apparently categorized as dramas, such as the case with that podcast I mentioned, and you can’t be sure to avoid getting scared these days. I’m simply curious as to where all this will lead?

We discussed picture ethics in class the other week and I wrote this analysis about an advertisement (by The Royal Opera House of Sweden) that had brought about an ethical debate in the news at the end of year 2015. The immigration number during that time was really high (in Sweden) too – you can check out October through November stats from that year via Migrationsverket. Another world crisis that may have caused that kind of mass-anxiety and such, right!? Not having a home and having to flee your country on a boat must be absolutely terrible and I can’t imagine the fear and worry… fleeing from war… I can’t go into it all in this post but these are some harsh times right now. Pictures from these kind of news have also stirred up much debate. Nightcrawler from 2014—movie—great performance by Gyllenhaal… the story about a guy who does anything to get that news footage – definitely touched on a similar kind of ethical debate.

Anyway, so in class, we also got to see examples a bunch of pictures and materials created, etc. that had been questioned sometimes many years later for being potentially or sometimes clearly unethical. OK, so I asked the teacher: “How can we ever be artists if what we put out now, being ethically alright at the moment, won’t be in 10-80 years?”
“Well,” the teacher said. “Interesting point! You can’t know that it all will be fine but without any kind of risk-taking in art, how can you expect to create something original or noteworthy?”

Clown phobia, or “coulrophobia” (Goldhill, 2015) may have existed for some time, but I can think of countless comedy sketches, movies and examples where clowns are portrayed as fun but albeit a little sad characters – supposed to cheer people up. I had a friend who worked extra as a clown in America, at kids parties. Well, I suppose nobody would pay to have a clown come to their party now, right? Or am I wrong? Maybe old clown ads will be the subject of ethics class for future college students? The Ronald McDonald clown has been around from 1963… that’s 43 years ago. But will *he* (/it) be around 10 years from now? 

People thought old playstation games etc. influenced kids to get crazy ideas and have a hard time separating life from fiction. What about the breakthrough or VR? Could it be more than just a cool advancement of tech – how will it affect the kids of tomorrow who won’t have reference to the world as it was before this kind of technology strongly mixed with everyday life?

 Thoughts?

 

Bebe

Bibliography

Bergmark Elfgren, S. (2016). [podcast] De dödas röster. Available at: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/741005?programid=4947 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

Dunlap, B. (2016). ‘Slender Man’ Trial: Why Trying These Girls as Adults Is Absurd. [online] Rolling Stone. Available at: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/slender-man-trial-trying-these-girls-as-adults-is-absurd-w431464 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

GameRiot, (2016). Batman Arkham VR Gameplay Walkthrough Part 2 – PENGUIN (PLAYSTATION VR) Full Game. [online video] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njQgPkR0AhA&feature=youtu.be [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

Goldhill, O. (2015). Why are we so scared of clowns?. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/halloween/11194653/Why-are-we-so-scared-of-clowns.html [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

HBO, (2016). Westworld Trailer (HBO) – MATURE VERSION. [online video] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuS5huqOND4 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

Sveriges Radio, (2015). Avsnitt 1: Black eyed children. [podcast] Creepypodden. Available at: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt?programid=4845 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

Villasor, T. (2016). Real-life Batman stands against Clown Attacks. [online] GMA News Online. Available at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/585064/scitech/technology/real-life-batman-stands-against-clown-attacks [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

Wikström, S. (2016). Clowner sätter skräck – flera larm till polisen. [online] Expressen. Available at: http://www.expressen.se/gt/brak-med-clowner–polisen-pa-vag/ [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

Imagination and Potential with Movement, Magic and Design

I had placed the banana cartons that I’m to pack my stuff in for my move on the veranda – BAD IDEA – with the first box I brought in I found a little spider, so I ran out and shook it off but it stayed dangling in spider-web. Had to cut the cord with my fingers shaped like a pair of scissors. But then I figured I should bring in a least another box to let it “dry up” from any dampness from the outdoors too, in preparation, and as I opened the lid on that yet another spider appeared! A long-legged one! But I shook it off with a shriek, “OOOH” because I had stayed outside this time. 

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Anyway, I figure I needed a little break from watching The Magicians after one episode. It reminded me of a lot of things. Like, how I used to want to be a magician as a kid… one of my first “goals” you might say. Yeah, this was way before Harry Potter. I sat alone in the dark hallway of the house while my parents were watching TV and I thought of ways to make a white dove appear out of nowhere. I went into their bedroom and got a red silk scarf with white stripes and I sat back onto the floor and tried moving the fabric up and down from the floor and around to make it appear and said a few magical-sounding lines, kinda like “Dove – Appear!!!” ha ha

I’d found a dove made of silvery paper – I’d say less than an inch big – on my way home from school. Thinking back it kind of looked like a mark on credit cards. I got the keys to walk home by myself when I was pretty young. I also had a pretend-friend that I called “Nobody”. Sad!? Maybe. Maybe scary? Have you ever thought about those ghost-stories that are about what kids see? I mean who knows what really was there, at least the imagination runs wild when you’re a kid and that’s a good thing, you know. If you have good acting teachers, you’ll learn not to be afraid of the imagination itself later on. That it is OK to imagine. It’s for the sake of ART. I’ve experienced awesome things in college due to like body movement and training that would be so basic and yet intense – so very human – and the focus would get so utterly clear and the experiences half-way into it and after so very vivid… as with the Feldenkrais Method that we practiced, for example. It’s so wonderful. 

Anyway, listen to this whole thing and but specifically 12:53 minutes in:

The kid has brain damage, right, but as Feldenkrais says in the video, “By minimising the variability of his actions and make him capable of suddenly realizing that he can learn, he’ll find himself that his brain damage is minimized. He’s actually being able to learn in an hour more than an average child can learn in an hour.”

And it makes me think back to yesterday. I was driving this machine around at work and it made an awful sound. I knew it had been said to be bad, and that they’re going to replace it, but my dad (who’s very technical, smart and innovative) always tells me to react if something sounds wrong and check it out… basically, to try and solve it. Well, I figured, I tried different buttons, different speeds… and I found that the button I specifically needed for the machine to do its thing was the one that caused the sound. And I discovered that a fast pace did not help either. So I drove around for a few more minutes, thinking like alright, well this is my job and I had planned on doing this and few people are still working so they shouldn’t be too bothered if I do it quick and short. Well, then I drove over the bit farther away and got back, but pretty soon I spotted one guy working on the other side of the hall and I felt like I had to think of something else. Turns out… slowing down at a much slower pace did not cause the sounds at all, even with that button pressed… so, then I could finish the whole job and I did solve part of the problem by figuring out when the problem is Not a problem and by focusing on the little bits that worked.

I don’t know if you see the connection I’m seeing with Feldenkrais and this machine, magic, and more… but it’s basically a “trick” I’ve learned over the years, as in motivation – that if you can figure out what you DON’T WANT, then you can turn it around and make it about what you DO WANT… figure out what IT IS that YOU DO WANT by knowing what you don’t want and yeah, just flip it around. And now, I know magic is a lot about illusions such as you want to make someone focus on something else while you’re doing another thing. Magic is basically the ART of politics and the CIA, right… if you want to use it for that. Hopefully not, I mean I wish magic was used only for good stuff. Sometimes it gets a bit too alien for me. I’ve been watching Stranger Things on Netflix and then watched real videos from survivors of the MKUltra experiments on youtube. Scary stuff!

How about this badass marketing method of Hitchcock… or is it badass, or a little… PSYCHO? A quick google search gives you “Psychological Marketing”… but what is and what is even brainwashing or mind-control? Like, these are totally relevant subjects considering there are current talks about possible SPIES and insiders at Swedish authorities on the radio and it seems many experiments in history stem from a fear of the “commie”! And, speaking of fear, Psycho was a scary movie that used some wicked marketing tactics. Brilliant or crazy I don’t know, but it sure sold:

Moreover, I started watching, The Magicians… got me thinking about autumn, pumpkin latter and hot cider because the girl in the first episode wore the kind of flannel scarf that seems to be connected to all magical shows… you know, Harry Potter like. BTW, the first “thick” book I finished was Harry Potter. Why? Because I liked the subject of magic but I specifically remember the black and silver pages with stars after each chapter. You remember those? Every time I got to those I’d put down the book and go to sleep… or I’d be inspired to read another chapter to reach the next starry page, or read on half-way and think… ah, at least soon I’ll be at another page with those stars… like that saying, uh, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” Or, I’d feel like I got a step closer to my “goal”, you know!? That was a great design. Really left a mark on me… got me excited about reading more. A great, simple design. Think about it… one picture on a page like. A film is just a bunch of pictures or frames at high-speed… I was so annoyed when I heard somebody say on a ghost-story podcast recently that “Film doesn’t blink.” Well, of course it does. It blinks like a billion times or whatever, mate! Otherwise it’d just be a still picture and not a movie. A quick google picture search on Harry Potter + star pages showed me that people got these as tattoos… so I guess I’m not the only one that they meant something to. I don’t love the books but I did like this design for the purpose.

Also, it got me thinking about some 2 years ago like, when I had applied for a US green card lottery for… well, not the first time. And my friend, old class-mate, who’s now working as an actor, even got his name in The LA Times for his acting… well, he told me about Chaos Magic and Sigil Magic. So for a while I looked that up and a bunch of other magic-related content on youtube. And I created an inspiration board or whatever, just for myself, on Pinterest – with all those videos. I think I’ve seen two magicians in my childhood. One which really surprised me, and another that was more of a showman. I don’t know, I didn’t win, you know, but I find it fun to think about. Did you see Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? Another magic show I started watching with my brother before… some year back I’d say.

This one (below) is pretty cool, you know a documentary. I didn’t know how much magic went on by… Coney Island, was it!? It was a while ago since I watched this, I gotta watch it again – it was saved on that board I created. I mean, I’ve been to Coney Island and I can absolutely imagine it being a thing there… I shot a bit of film on my Ipad there for class before. Feels like a magical place from the moment you get off the subway and feel the sea breeze… You know, perhaps we just like these magic shows because they remind us of being kids again as we had a better imagination then – like it’s some kinda longing within us? Or maybe I’m speaking for myself. I love acting and it’s a lot about the imagination – and I haven’t been able to keep it up so much as of late so maybe it’s just my own craving. But either way, perhaps somebody feels the same… 😉

Oh well, have a magical day! 😉 I need to keep on packing etc. Hopefully no spiders! What are your experiences with magic and the rest of it? 

The Brave Blonde