Sunday, January 28, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The grass is always greener the other side of the fence is an old adage that it seems millions have taken to heart. Many UK citizens are heading to pastures new in the former colonies of America, Canada and Australia, while the UK is bracing itself for a wave of Romanians and Bulgarians trying to enter as these countries become the latest inductees of the European Union. This on top of the influx of immigrants - especially from the middle and far east - which is increasing the population by 500 bodies a week on an already crowded island (the UK population density is four times greater than the rest of Europe and 12 times greater than the USA). This has given rise to hysterical headlines and intense debate on the benefits and detriments of this perceived inpouring of legal entrances, without introducing the vexed subject of illegal immigrants. In a further twist, Romania is seeing an increase of migrants from China.
Is it me? The National Operatic and Dramatic Association (Noda) reckon panto needs new gags and new stories. Noda chief executive Mark Pemberton said the vast majority of amateur theatre groups want to perform traditional titles, such as Cinderella and Mother Goose.
"There is nothing wrong with this, of course," he said. "The titles are tried and tested, and some audiences are attracted to the traditional.
"But there are some groups and pantomime publishers who hunger for something different.
"It is also the content of pantomimes that needs reviewing for the 21st century. Are some of the traditional titles and gags over-used and exhausted? Most date back to the 19th century and the days of Victorian music hall and Dan Leno.
"And some of the titles, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Robinson Crusoe, are becoming more difficult to stage in this age of political correctness.
"So perhaps it is time for pantomime writers to think of new titles – why not Big Brother the Panto? – and new gags."
Mr Pemberton said that Noda, which publishes pantos for the amateur theatre market, would be delighted to offer something modern and different to its membership.
He added: "It is frustrating to be sent scripts by aspiring writers that show little originality, shoe-horn in the same gags and read like production-line fodder. We need new titles and new jokes for a new century." With panto people know what they're getting, a major reason they go in the first place. And while the formula goes way back, the story evolves each year to incorporate highlights of the year, so I'm pretty sure that big brother will have been incorportated in a panto at some time. Progress is fine, but aren't some traditions worth keeping?
Is it me 2? Rail fares have gone up to reduce passenger numbers. Brilliant. Why don't we raise the price of cars so less people drive? Put up air fares so less people fly? (Oh, they have). It's not as if poor people have to travel anyway....
Friday, January 12, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Ok thought I, no problem, my username and password were different so I updated them in the Digg profile. The same error came up. After numerous attempts at updating the info and trying to post, I decided to see if anyone else had experienced the same problem. The upshot is that the Digg link won't work with the new Blogger, nor will some other third-party websites. Flickr was one of them, but they have since updated their software to accept the new Blogger. Guess I'll just have to wait until Digg does the same. Until then, here are the stories I wanted to post.....
Sunday, January 07, 2007
New Year's resolutions have a tendency to be made with enthusiasm and determination. Unfortunately, very often they're forgotten by the time February rolls around.
Here are 7 simple ways to make New Year's resolutions that stick and help you accomplish your goals.
1. THINK SHORT TERM.
For most people, making a resolution for the entire year is way too difficult. Instead, make your resolutions once per month; January resolutions, February resolutions, etc. They're much easier to achieve and the accomplishments can be celebrated sooner. Plus, if you don't quite reach what you want to accomplish in any given month, you can simply move that resolution into the next month--no more feeling so guilty that you have to wait an entire year to start over again!
2. FOCUS ON A FEW.
It's nearly impossible to do everything you've always wanted to do in a short period of time. To be sure you don't forget about the goals you'd like to accomplish, write them all down on a Master Goals List. Then, each month throughout the year, focus on the one or two that are most important to you. You won't get overwhelmed and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
3. MAKE YOUR RESOLUTIONS S-M-A-R-T:
- SPECIFIC: Your resolutions must be specific. For instance, saying that you'd like to spend more time with your kids in the new year is too general. However, saying that you vow to spend 1 hour of quality time with your kids each Friday and Wednesday, immediately following dinner, is very concrete and specific.
- MEASUREABLE: Resolutions that are worked on and achieved, are those that can be measured and tracked. When you think of making a resolution, think in terms of numbers. Perhaps you'd like to lose weight. Thinking in numbers, you might state that you'd like to lose 5 pounds--1 pound per month for the next 5 months. Or possibly you'd like to go on a short vacation. Thinking in numbers, you may state that you'd like to save £51 (£52 ($100)) per month, so you can go on a bed and breakfast weekend in June.
- ATTAINABLE: You can certainly make challenging resolutions, but don't make them so difficult that they're going to be almost impossible to achieve. You can always break your resolution down into smaller goals. For instance, if you'd like to put aside £26 (£26 ($50)) per month, make a resolution to set aside £6.42 (£6.45 ($12.50)) per week.
- REALISTIC: You might want to be a pro golfer this year, but if you haven't even started training yet, then this resolution is going to be unrealistic and unattainable. Instead, set more realistic goals, such as taking a few basic golf lessons or playing golf once per week on Tuesdays for practice.
- TIMELY: The word 'someday' is indefinite. Yet, often people say they have so many things they'd like to accomplish ... someday. Resolutions with no start or end date in mind never get accomplished. Be sure all of your resolutions have both a deadline, and a starting date. For example, you might say you'd like to change your job. Your deadline might be March, 2001, and your start date might be next week--determining what you'd like to do, seeking available positions, etc.
4. TELL THE WORLD.
It's so important to be motivated about the things you'd like to accomplish. When you make a resolution, tell your spouse or a friend. Post a message on a discussion forum. Tell a co-worker. You'll be more determined to accomplish your goal, if other people are cheering you on.
5. GIVE YOURSELF SOME VISUALS.
If you're constantly staring your resolution in the face every day, you're bound to keep it uppermost in your mind. If you'd like to lose weight, keep a photo of an actress or actor you want to use as a model, on your refrigerator. Want to go on a vacation? Post a photograph of your dream destination where you're sure to see it throughout the day.
6. CONQUER MINOR SETBACKS.
There are so many things going on in your daily life, and you may experience a day or two when you lose track of the resolutions you set. That's ok. Get right back on track. No need to wait until next year, or the 1st of next month. Simply make any day of the week DAY ONE, and begin working on your resolution again. Winston Churchill once said, in the shortest speech ever made, 'Never, never, never give up.' Heed his words of wisdom.
7. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS.
Celebrating your accomplishments along the way will give you the motivation to keep going! Set appropriate rewards for each mini-resolution you make, and have a small celebration for each one you achieve. Let's say you'd like to put aside £5.14 (£5.16 ($10)) per week in January. For every £5.14 (£5.16 ($10)) you're able to save at the end of each week, you might indulge yourself in an hour's worth of free time to enjoy one of your hobbies. Reward yourself. You deserve it!
by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now!
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