04 December 2010

Google Rules them All

This post is not academic of any sorts.  Just me showing how blown away I am by the Google Lords.

You ever have a song stuck in your head but you can't remember who sings it, what key it's in, any words to it - just random noises or parts to the song?  This happens to me all the time, my brain works in mysterious ways. It's normally along the lines of 'that song with the triangle' or 'the song that sounds like that other song that sounds like a race car anthem'.  Believe it or not, other people think this way too!  Most of the time when I use those bits and bobs in a simple Google search, I find what I'm looking for!

It's happened again and I was blown away by the results.  It started when I began listening to Temper Trap.  They played at Glastonbury this year, but I didn't see them.  I did however hear them at the end of every set.  "Sweet Disposition" seemed to be the song playing at every stage when a band wasn't actually playing.  Although Glasto was over the summer, I didn't get the Temper Trap album until about 2 months ago.  I love it, I think they're a great, fun band to listen to. But something about their sound reminded me of a band from my past.

I couldn't put my finger on what this falsetto voice made me think of for the longest time.  After a month of this torment, I began to visualise the music video of the band that I was thinking of, but I couldn't get much out of that.  Today I finally decided to type in what I did know into Google and see what I could get. I knew it was a band from 1998 (I remember times in my life by music, I have a soundtrack, I know it's weird..), I knew it was set in a mall of sorts, and there was an escalator.  So I typed into Google: "music video 1998 escalator shopping mall" and this was the first result:

I wasn't alone! Someone else was trying to remember the song too! So I'm then taken to see EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!
Yes Temper Trap's Fader in some ridiculous way reminds me of an updated version of New Radicals' You Get What You Give, which apparently also used to be the Glasto stage song.  So maybe I'm not the only one that made that connection.
I'm just glad that those few search words put me out of my musical misery! 

25 November 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

This is what I hope to serve up, on my adopted Thanksgiving day as the UK doesn't think it's important to give thanks to getting rid of the prudes that killed off another race with their icky European diseases.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Warmed Brie with raspberries
Italian Skewers

Feta and spinach salad (w/or w/o walnuts or bacon) and a red wine vinaigrette

Baked Mac n Cheese
Green beans and bacon
Candied yams
southern BISCUITS (don't get me started)

Cornbread stuffing
Cranberry sauce

Sweet potato pie and whipped cream
Baked apple crisp

Mulled Wine
Spiced Brandy Alexander

19 October 2010

Social Media Events in London

Just copy and pasting what I saw in this Mashable article this AM. Wanted to have all of London in one place.

November 11, 2010, London, UK: The first London Social Gaming Summit is a one day event focused on the intersection of games and the social web. The event focuses on helping social games developers build, monetize, and grow their social games. We’re bringing together the leaders in free-to-play games, social networking, and payments infrastructure for a full day of panels and talks.

November 12, 2010, London, UK: The first London Virtual Goods Summit is a one day event focused on the emerging market opportunity for virtual goods and economies. Once restricted to the world of online gaming, virtual goods and currencies are beginning to influence the development of social networks, community sites, and many other new and exciting markets. The market for virtual goods continues to grow – join us for engaging talks and panels designed to highlight important trends in this fast growing market. This is a must-attend event for those in the games, social media, and entertainment markets. Register now with the promo code MASHABLE010 for 15% off!

November 15–18, 2010, London, UK: Europe’s definitive customer strategy experience. Focusing on the strategy behind the concept of loyalty, Loyalty World will provide you with the insight and tools to develop the ultimate loyalty initiative to support your business goals and add measurable value to your bottom line. Loyalty World will examine the relationship between your brand and your customers, look at what drives consumer behaviour, and help you understand how you can identify and harness new trends and tools to really drive engagement. Loyalty World attracts participants from some of the world’s most reputable brands. With speakers from retail, financial services, travel, leisure, utilities and telecoms, you will gain cross-transferable loyalty insights and experiences that will help rejuvenate your loyalty strategy, attract, engage and retain customers, and strengthen your market. Register here and SAVE 10%.

November 15, 2010, London, UK: The Social Technology Not for Profit Summit ’10 caters specifically for those that work in or on behalf of charities and not-for-profit organizations. We’re bringing you answers to the big questions across the industry, discussing how to make the most of little or no budget, and how to utilize social media to turn supporters into advocates. This event will bring you practical advice with a human perspective and tangible takeaways that you can implement seamlessly into your not for profit organization. Register and use the promo code mash80 for an additional 20% off the ticket price.

November 15, 2010, London, UK: The virtual goods model is the revenue-generating sensation that is taking the world by storm, from games publishers to media companies, from social-networking sites to consumer brands. The Virtual Goods World Europe 2010 promises to be the next step for your business! Major brands will come together to discuss the opportunities presented by the rise of virtual goods. Social networking sites will participate, to learn more from the brands and create business models for the future. Games publishers and developers will learn best practice customer acquisition strategies. All participants will learn new opportunities presented by advances in alternative payment systems. Register now with the promo code VGWMASH and save 10%!

November 17-18, 2010, London, UK: The Corporate Social Media Summit is a two-day conference focused exclusively on how big businesses can use social media to enhance their marketing/comms strategy. The conference is tailored exclusively to a corporate – not a social media – audience. It features 20+ senior executives from European corporations speaking – including Vodafone, Honda, Nokia, Cadbury, PepsiCo and more. 14 in-depth, interactive workshops deliver best practice examples and practical next steps from companies that have already experienced marketing/comms success using social media. For our brochure, click here. Register and use the promo code MSH200 to save £200 off the ticket price .

November 24, 2010, London, UK: The New Brand Rules: Capitalising On The Online & Social Media Space – Following the success of our inaugural social media event in July, we will explore the issues of control, measurement and understanding of your brand’s reputation online that will drive ROI and business success. This event offers marketers an unrivalled opportunity to come face-to-face with experts from a variety of brands at various points of their social media and online strategies to thrash out these and other pressing questions. Please click here for more information.

November 25, 2010, London, UK: BrightLemon Drupal Training – Introducing Drupal (London): This Drupal course quickly gets you up to speed with building dynamic database-driven websites with Drupal (). It begins with a basic introduction into the main concepts behind Content Management Systems (CMS) and the types of websites they are meant to help create. We then map these concepts onto Drupal as a CMS and take you through installation to creations of a series of websites – each one adding an additional layer of functionality. Buy tickets here.

November 25, 2010, London, UK: The media and marketing industry’s Global GREEN Awards 2010 recognise and reward creative work that communicates the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable development and ethical best practice in any sector and across any marketing discipline. Now in its fifth year the GREEN AWARDS™ are going Global, this year for the first time, all the categories are opened for entry from all over the world. The Awards illustrate the crucial role that needs to be played by green marketing and sustainability communications in informing people about green issues, products and lifestyle choices, and showcase examples of excellence and best practice in communicating sustainability and green issues. The Awards are now open for entry. For more information about the 16 categories and entry process, please visit http://www.greenawards.co.uk.

November 25, 2010, London, UK: The Digital Brand Strategy Summit is designed to create a unique showcase from leading brands and industry experts on how to create, launch and implement an effective Digital Marketing Strategy for your brand. During this one day event delegates will be presented with strategic information, case studies and hot tips enabling delegates to walk away with a clear understanding of the digital concept and the knowledge and tools necessary to deliver an effective strategy.

November 30, 2010 – Dec. 2, 2010, London, UK: Online Information is the largest UK event dedicated to the information industry. Taking place in the Grand Hall at London’s Olympia, the exhibition attracts more than 9,000 visitors each year from around the world. This unique, free to attend event consists of an exhibition with more than 200 international exhibitors alongside an extensive seminar programme. Online Information covers 6 core segments: Content Resources, ePublishing Solutions, Library Management, Content Management, Search Solutions and Social Media, providing an annual meeting place for this global industry. Mashable readers may register to attend here.

November 30-December 1, 2010, London, UK: Apps World aims to address the entire app ecosystem and the challenge of delivery, development and design of apps across multiple platforms. The event will bring together leading operators and app stores worldwide, and draw in parallels between the mobile & TV app platforms. Register now to receive the early-bird discount.

November 30, 2010, London, UK: Social Recruiting Conference will gather together leading employers and recruitment industry professionals, to passionately discuss and practically demonstrate the power of Social Recruiting. The conference will be unlike any other Social Media Recruiting conferences you have attended. Our aim is to take the talk from theory to practice; and shift conversations from hype and hope to reality and results. #SRCONF will focus on Social Recruiting case studies, with measurable ROIs. Save 10% when you register with the code MASH10 at http://www.srconf.com.

November 30, 2010, London, UK: Hear how 21 heavyweight brands, including Facebook, Sainsbury’s, Google-YouTube, COI, King of Shaves, Motorola, JustGiving, BBC, Volvo, M&S, FT, Jaguar, Eurostar and Santander are demonstrating real results from social media at the Social Media Results For PR & Comms Conference. Tried and tested strategies to genuinely engage audiences, fully embed and integrate social media practices and clearly demonstrate real results. Mashable readers receive a £150 discount with the promo code MASHABLE if you book before August 19. Click here to download the conference brochure.

December 1, 2010, London, UK: The Mobile Cloud Computing Forum will provide a full perspective of mobile cloud computing and SaaS from business value through integration and implementation and to the emergent trends in the industry. Meet some of the best known mobile cloud computing and SaaS professionals in person and exchange your experiences. Register with promo code MCMASH20 and save 20%!

Anyone interested in going to any of them?

17 October 2010

Asian Persuasion

Hands down, next to all the fantastic people I've met through life and travel, meeting their cuisine is the next best part.  Over the past year, I shared a kitchen with 2 Japanese, 2 Cubans, 1 Chinese, 1 Greek and 1 Ukrainian - their cooking styles will stay with me for years to come.  I like to take bits and pieces of different recipes that I like and put them in one dish as I did tonight.  This dish was practically done in a hobo style, that is, I just took random things I had and threw it together - but some of the greatest meals started that way, no?

One of my all time favourite dishes is chicken adobo, a Filipino dish that was cooked for me while I was living in Australia.  I wasn't going to go all out on the adobo, but I still had those drumsticks from before.  I really have a thing for vinegar for some reason, but that's one of the most familiar flavours/smells of this dish.  So I whipped out my white vinegar, and soy sauce, turned a frying pan on high heat with some vegetable oil and threw in the drumsticks.  A bit of salt and pepper, naturally, for taste.  When the drumsticks were nearly done I poured out the excess oil and covered them in the vinegar and put it back on the heat.  But wait, I need rice! 

Here are a few cool tips learned from my former kitchen mates: Put extra cooked rice in the freezer, and when you need it later, use it.  More importantly, if you're making a dish that requires fried rice old rice is better than freshly cooked rice!  So, when I ordered a Chinese takeout earlier last week and I didn't finish my white rice, I popped that in the freezer.  Zapped that in the microwave today for about 2 minutes and then added it to my vinegar chicken fry-up situation.  Now I've got fried rice, which I added about 2 or 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in the pan to get those fried rice characteristics.

One thing that the English grocery stores do well is help with pre-selected, single-serving veggies.  I feel a bit bad buying a bag of mixed vegetables when I could just as easily buy each of the ingredients and mix it together myself, for probably cheaper (if you think in bulk).  But in reality, a lot of people do house/flat shares here - I don't have all the space in the world in my fridge.  So I picked up a bag of what was considered "Mushroom stir-fry vegetables" including cabbage, carrots, mung beans, red onions and mushrooms and threw that in to the pan as well.  

Semi-chicken adobo, fried rice and mushroom stir-fry vegetables in the pan and sizzling away.  To me, no dish is complete without garlic.  Literally, I could eat a whole clove, I love garlic that much.  I didn't this time, I finely chopped some garlic and sat it to the side.  One root that has grown on me is ginger, which one of my housemates used a lot for her dishes.  To be honest, ginger practically made this dish, and almost gave it a Thai taste with the tangy-ness from the vinegar. I chopped it, zested it, diced it - there was a lot of 'it' in there.  Also I had some spring onions left over from many many dishes ago (I made a mexican layered chili dip - which unfortunately I haven't documented on here as of yet) and I chopped those and added it to the mix. 

Last but not least - an egg.  In my opinion any asian dish is made awesome-er when an egg is involved. I made an open spot on the pan, cracked an egg there, and scrambled it in the same spot before stirring it into the other ingredients.

At the end I threw in a quick dash of this "Chinese 5 spice" BS that I've never heard of before.  My current housemates had some in the drawer, but I have a bit of a hate for store-bought and packaged spices that are a mix of spices that you can put together yourself. Italian seasoning, Emeril's Essence, even All-spice, I have all those things lying around anyhow, I'm not gonna buy a specific container that you so conveniently mixed for me! Argh!  Anyhow, this 5 spice really overpowers with the anise, so I didn't want much of it - but if you like liquorice scents, add more.

So there we go, left over rice, left over onions, some drumsticks, garlic, ginger, and pre-packaged stir-fry veggies.  Quick cook, cost about a fiver, and delicious.

Soul Food a la Europe

I think the biggest qualm I've had since moving to London, is that I miss American food.  I miss the taste, I miss the smell, I miss the convenience, but most of all I think I miss the diversity.  I'm sure some Brits could argue that the UK is a hub of diverse food, but in my opinion 15 curry shops and twice as many kebab stands isn't my idea of diverse.  It breaks my heart when I go to the shop, ready to make some sweet Mexican food and the only "Mexican" flavours they have come from Old El Paso (Oh how I miss the days of Goya) and to be quite frank, when asked if I want peppers on my burrito I want to punch someone in the face. If I wanted a fajita I would've asked for one damnit - get those peppers outta here!  Recently I've been craving what I consider to be the tastiest food ever - soul food.

To be honest, this post is a bit of a disgrace to soul food, as what I actually made is far too healthy to be listed in this category.  Nonetheless I was determined to get some form of collard greens, cornbread, fried chicken and/or pork in my belly.  Being in London, I was a bit limited, so I settled for a bag of mixed veggies, some drumsticks and I made cornbread...sorta.

I'm quite used to seeing the happy Quaker guy on my box of corn meal so I'm weary of anything outside of that.  I had to make due with whatever was eventually found at the shop, but it seemed to be ground a lot finer than the typical corn meal.  I used the standard recipe sans the Pam cooking spray since I haven't seen any of that here either.  Also I forgot to pay attention to the recipe whilst shopping and didn't have any milk!!! Luckily I made some buttermilk pancakes the day before and had leftover buttermilk and yogurt.  I took the last of my buttermilk (about an ounce) and filled a measuring cup to about 3/4 with that and the yogurt.  Poured that in to the cornbread recipe and added about 1 cup of water and had my milk substitute! It actually worked quite well!!

For the chicken, I decided to bake it rather than fry.  I love baking chicken because you don't have to add anything to it for it to taste great. EVOO, salt, pepper, high heat, 20 mins, done. The second day I made this I added rosemary and diced potatoes and had a mini English roast.  I made gravy the English way as well.  Granules + boiling water. I've never seen anything like that before. I still like the natural way (juices from the meat your cooking + flour + stock etc) but this was quick and worked just fine.  And of course, I can't do just what a recipe says, so I added some sauteed mushrooms and onions to the mix. Good choice!

The veg was a pre-selected assortment from Sainsbury's; broccoli, carrots and green beans and 'courgette' (aka zucchini).  I couldn't find any greens that I trusted to taste the way I wanted.  But let me tell you, when mom makes baked mac n cheese, collard greens with vinegar and ham hock, and cornbread I mix it all together it put it directly in my face. Words can not describe the deliciousness that comes from these dishes, but I shall try.  Everyone loves butter, everyone loves cheese, and how can you not like pork?! If you like them all, your mouth will be happy having them all at once.  But I digress, I didn't make this, I just steamed the veg and went for the healthiest half-assed 'soul food' meal I've ever made.  Someone's rolling in their grave right now.

09 September 2010

UAE Bans Communication

Recently, my boyfriend left for two weeks to Abu Dhabi to visit his family.  Normally, when he leaves we at least exchange Facebook messages if he can't text or e-mails if we're really desperate.  I was a bit surprised when he'd been gone for a week-and-a-half and I had yet to hear from him!

I'm not sure how I, social media uber geek, forgot about the dramas they had with Blackberry and didn't put 2+2 together.  But this was just a mobile phone, it didn't explain why there were no e-mails going through either.  However, we were able to communicate through his Hotmail account. A quick Google search and I found an article saying that they were possibly blocking Google mail thanks to the reintroduction of Google Voice! As progressive as UAE likes to make itself, one can forget that they have a [somewhat valid] concern for smart phone capabilities.  The boyfriend also has a Skype based phone, which would explain why his phone would not work at all - VoIP.

Because of the UAE response to this form of communication, it reminded me of something I mentioned before (I haven't archived my tweets so it's a bit hard to find).  I was concerned that studying politics and focusing on social media would be an unlikely pair.  However, the more I work in this industry, and the more governments respond to social media's existence, I realise that they are quite compatible.  I think while my educational background taught me focus on countries such as China, India and Iran as the major political actors, my interest in social media is linking those concerns with the Google, Apple and Microsoft issues of the world.  The further we move with social media and Internet technologies, the more involved politics will become in these matters.

How worried do you think the UAE should be of Internet communication?

03 August 2010

Social Media Virus

I wanted to try and keep the tone of this blog a bit more on politics and social media, but given the environment of my current internship I'm venturing into an unknown territory.

After I read this article I felt it was very much appropriate to blog on the topic. Last night I had a discussion with a few friends on how useless they viewed some forms of social media to be. They saw it as a space for shouting out the trivial moments of our unimportant lives and trying to make it something it's not. While there are some people that use these forms of communication to tell everyone how they just ate a cheeseburger, I think critics, or people who don't truly understand social media, are missing the point.

There are the people who use it rather casually, but the majority of users making the most noise in this setting aren't just shouting "OMG i painted my toenails today!" You'll find that these key influencers are posting photos of restaurants and food they really liked, or tagging a geo-location to somewhere they saw a really cool street performer, or providing traditional news media with the material that they'll be reporting later that evening, as the average citizen was the actual first person on the scene. The point is, social media isn't just a space that's being used to play Farmville and 'tell people every detail of your life'. Those that have embraced the features of the various platforms understand that it's more about sharing information and connecting with people around the globe.

I really liked the opening story to the article I've linked. It pretty much sums up how important social media is to our daily lives. It's the point I make in my dissertation and it seems to be the point that other sectors are making as well. It's not a fad, it's not something only for teens or hipsters; social media has spread and made the shift to connecting our digital life to our real life.

[LINK TO ARTICLE] - http://bit.ly/9dyrbp
Another article, talking about people who don't understand Social Media/Twitter - http://bit.ly/aEiRe4  
one more on ppl that love to hate twitter - http://bit.ly/cUWtUN

What do you think? Are social media sites just a glorified digital ego trip, or is there real value in the somewhat utopian freedom of speech open zone?

29 June 2010

Glastonbury 2010

My phone died this weekend.  My camera died this weekend. What can only be defined as one of the greatest music festivals I have ever attended in my life, can only be documented with my words.  I was definitely NOT ok with being detached from the digital world, but I suppose this will be a good exercise for my descriptive writing style.  This was the 40th Anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival and I feel so privileged that I was able to attend this event!! Here's hoping this blog will be so vivid, even Stevie Wonder could see green.

DAY 1: Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Travel Day  
The road from London to Worthy Farm. Our tents, sleeping bags and wellies were packed.  Even though the forecast for rain wasn't likely, we assumed it would rain at some point anyhow.  So better to be prepared than soaking wet for 5 days.  We were to find our charter coach across from Embankment Station at the Tattershall Castle boat set to depart at 12:30.  We got there around noon, and were greeted by many other Glasto-goers hauling their camping gear outside of the station.  The bus system was to work as such:  Prior to Glasto day, we were sent our bus tickets in the post.  This ticket had a coach number assigned to you and you would receive your personalised festival ticket on this coach only.  Of all the buses that were there....our bus numbers were nowhere to be found.  Awesome.  The closer it got to 12:30 the more nervous I became.  One of the bus drivers, who appeared to be running the show, spent most of his time complaining about how unorganised this is every year.  It seemed like a system that made perfect sense to me, but maybe I was missing something.  His advice was that maybe our bus had already left...so I quickly quit listening to what he had to say.  Finally around 12:45 our bus arrived.  I think it took us a good hour to finally leave though.  Aside from the fact that there was an issue with where and for how long each bus could park up at Embankment - our bus driver lady figured that the most efficient way to hand out our tickets was to stand in the middle of the aisle towards the front of the bus and shout each name.  I suppose the idea of those speaker systems built into buses wasn't good enough for this situation.  Or maybe when they checked our ticket to get on the bus handing over our ticket at the same time was too much of an effort as well. Regardless, pretty close to almost 2:00pm we finally set off out of London due West for Somerset.

The drive was so-so.  I'm from Ohio, I know what farm lands look like so nothing was that breathtaking.  Unlike the drive back from Scotland where it was on the coast - that was beautiful.  Anyhow, we listened to some version of KISS FM but not too many people were up for gettin in the party mood on the drive - which was a lil bit sad, but whatever.  This Australian girl sitting in front of me was gearing up for her first Glasto like we were - but she had WAY more enthusiasm about it then I ever imagined could be possible.  About halfway into the low traffic drive, the England - Slovenia game was turned on the radio.  So we heard that, had a lil bit of excitement and as soon as the game ended we were pulling into the coach parking area for the Glastonbury Festival :D

Setting Up Camp
I went to Glasto with some friends that I live with on my floor, 1 Chinese girl and 1 Japanese girl and guy.  There were another set of Asians sitting across from us and we were intrigued as to where they were from.  I think my floormates were more intrigued that there were other Asians going!  After we left the bus, showed our ticket, and got our shiny cool wristbands we stood looking at the camping map to decide where would be the best place to stay.  The other two guys were there as well and after talking with them we found out they were from Singapore! So we hitched up our things and made our way towards Silver Hayes Camping area which I think is a new camping area.

You should be able to click the image to see a larger version of the still not-entirely-correct version of this map. Silver Hayes was in the Bushy Ground area just above the blue line - that's where we stayed.  This next section is probably best read with the map open in one screen and this blog in another.

Exploring part 1
Anyhow, we set up camp and then decided at about 5pm that it was DEFINITELY time to get some food and a beer.  I'm not even sure if I ate anything straight away - I had been munching on some breakfast bars in hopes that I would save money -womp womp- not so much.  Anyhow, had a bit of a walk around and made it...Oh wait I just remembered we DID eat.  We took a RIDICULOUSLY long walk around down towards what's listed as "South Park" but stopped somewhere in Dairy Ground.  One of the girls had asked where there was a good place to grab some food - and the worker promptly offered a "Chinese" stand.  Really people?  Anyhow, we all went there 'cause we couldn't be bothered walking any further without food.  I just got some chips, the guys had a burger and the floormates had some noodles.  After this we walked further on towards The Other Stage which appeared to be a festival within a festival.  There were tons of food options here!  We then headed towards the Orange Chill n' Charge tent.  Orange is a phone network out here in the UK and they sponsored a tent where nearly every possible phone charger would be provided and you could charge your phone.  There was also a theatre screen to watch the Football, computers to check your e-mail, and a mini-Pyramid stage playing Glasto Highlights.  I was wearing one of my fav shirts, which I felt was fitting for the festival: 
It says, "Keepin' It Green" the reason this is relevant is because, right before this photo, after we left the Chill n Charge Tent, the 'bouncer' for the place felt the need to call me over and feed me what he thought was a good chat up line.  Picture the beefiest English black dude ever goin all "Hey I love how you're keepin it green but how 'bout keepin it black! If I'm lyin I'm dyin and I ain't lyin" Me: yeaaaaa uhhh thx dude.  Deffo time for that cider now.

After the ciders we kept walking NE towards Kidz Field and the Cinema area/Acoustic stage. Lots of walking - nothing was really set up yet no artists were playing on Wednesday so I used this time to see as much of the festival as I could before the bands started.  After investigating the cool area the kids get to play in, we headed south towards Circus Field.  Tried to have a pint there but the bugs were out in full force and we just weren't having that.  I paid £4 for my pint, I prefer it to be bug-free. So we started hiking back towards our campsite via Pyramid Stage.  I think the sun was setting pretty far down by now. We picked up some more noodles that were again only mildly satisfying near Pyramid and kept walking.  Things are getting a bit hazy for my memory now and this is only day 1.  I'm glad I still have some pictures to jog my memory.  I think we went back to the tent after this, put on some warm clothes and head back out to see what this "Dance Village" was all about.  I think our first stop was a place called Cocktails & Dreams, which from the inside made it very hard for you to believe that you were on a farm and not in a beach club in Miami.  We stayed there for a bit, the awesome music we heard earlier when walking past (Arctic Monkeys) was NOT playing at the time (too crap for me even to remember). We we left there and walked further into dance village and found some techno place bangin music.  Only stayed for a short while and then we gave up on trying to find something to do all night on day one of the festival.  I feel like something is missing because it was 2am when we made it to the tent.  Let it be known that during the majority of this weekend, a beverage was in my hand.

DAY 2: Thursday, 24 June 2010

Exploration and Discovery
This day is particularly hazy - I confuse it with Friday a lot, but this was only Thursday.  The festival still hadn't officially started, so things were still sorta weird when it came to entertainment.  A few bands did start playing at smaller stages. Wasn't really sure who to check out, but for some reason this band "Two Door Cinema Club" playing at 7pm in the Queen's Head stood out in my mind as something someone told me at some point to go watch.  So I kept this in mind.  At the same venue around 10pm a friend had told me Local Natives were a band to check out as well.  We started our day.....-shrug- doin something. I think I was slightly hungover this morning, so we walked towards the Pyramid Stage via John Peel and I picked up a "Bacon Roll" aka English bacon thrown in a hotdog bun.  They could've put a lil effort into it and added some egg mang! Anyhow it hit the spot but still didn't take the hangover away - and I really wanted to get my drink on again - it was BLAZING hot!  I think I went to the chill n charge tent and spent quite possibly the longest 4 or 5 hours of my life in there.  One of the guys from Singapore had an iPhone as well and the battery needs charged pretty much every day to survive.  The others went off to explore, I think they went to watch Ponyo at the cinema field while we waited in this stupid Orange tent for ages! There was nothing "Chill" about the chill n charge tent.  Some idiots had already broken half the iPhone chargers because they just pulled them out rather than squeezing the sides to release the charger UGH no0bz!  Long - long - long queuing time for iPhones, it was sickening.  Ian and I finally got our iPhones on a charger and then took hostage of a lil tipi that was near our phones so we could keep an eye on them.  Remember the mini-Pyramid stage I mentioned earlier??? Yea I hate that frickin thing.  It kept looping the same 10 mins of video!!! They didn't even make an effort to put a DJ up there, or provide a different set of things to loop it was THE SAME THING all day long.  I suppose I should feel worse for the people that had to work in the tent - but listening to the same crap repeat in the hot blazing sun really took away from my "chill" experience.  And the sun took away from my "charge" experience as well.  Apparently my iPhone overheated and stopped charging for a good 30 mins - it was charging super slow to start with.  I had the screen turned over so the sun wouldn't hurt the screen, but I never thought about the phone itself overheating and not charging.  That could be a big reason why I was there for hours on end. HOOOOOURRS I tell you. /rant.

Ian and I were more than ready for a beer at this point, and the others met up with us around 3pm or so.  Had a beer and some lunch (I had a pasta that was NOT FILLING and not worth the £7 at all!) and then continued our trek further south towards Stone Circle which we hadn't done yet.  We made a long way of getting there, from Leftfield, through Bella's Field,then the Field of Avalon, and the Craft Field (I knew then that we were getting close because the air was full of hippies).  Finally I found Stone Circle and really wanted some time to just sit and look around for a bit. So I quickly walked to the other "peace" gardens where people were being "one with nature" and sat there to have a moment and not get too stressed.  Then i remembered my boyfriend that doesn't live in London anymore was supposed to be getting in to Glasto but I hadn't heard from him yet.  I called him and he answered "I'm here I'm at the Stone Circle." me: "OH MY GOD SO AM I!!!!" It was slightly miraculous and all too perfect really.

So I found Rob and met up with his friends and parted ways from my floormates for the time being.  This was about 7pm.  We were not going to make it for Two Door Cinema Club...Stayed at the circle for a good while drinking and such., Rob and I went to get some food near West Holt stage got some Brother's Cider, then went back to the circle...then it was nighttime .  Made our way to Rob's friends' tent near Kidney Mead and brought his stuff to my tent with his brother Rich.  We made our way to Rich's tent, for some reason I still don't know - but I think we walked all the way there just to walk back to our tent in the end. I don't remember doing anything Thursday night.  No matter -Friday is when the fun begins!

DAY 3: Friday, 25 June 2010

Bring on the bands!!!
Finally the thing i spent £185 for - time to start rockin out to some music!  Unfortunately I think we started the day spending, once again, a copious amount of time in the Chill n Charge tent. I hate that place.  So did Rob, his huffing about queuing wasn't helping any, along with THE SAME music being looped at that mini-Pyramid stage, and the sun screaming at us, life was looking pretty bleak at 10am.  No worries with our phones charged we could easily get ahold of each other eventually. Rob wanted to do his own thing and I had some bands I wanted to see on my own so no worries.

Joshua Radin, The Other Stage 12:30 - 13:30
I didn't really go to listen to him, but I walked past him as he was playing.  It took a good 15 mins to get around The Other Stage so I felt I had heard enough.  He's from Shaker Hts, so I felt I had to give a fellow Clevelander some love.  I wasn't really in the mood for his mellow music tho, which is too bad, I'm sure he's fairly decent to have made it to The Other stage - but I was more interested in getting to the John Peel Stage for Tegan & Sara.

Miike Snow, John Peel Stage 13:05 - 13:40
Miike who??? Whoops I guess I got to the stage a lil early, but no worries, Glasto is all about the music and I'm all about hearing new tunes.  I still had the Twitters at this time, so I was able to get some friendly thumbs-ups for Miike Snow. So I chilled outside of the tent, with my burger and my Patron Gold in my flask and watched the other festival-goers that knew the tunes get into the groove.  I would listen to him again sounded like fun stuff.

Tegan and Sara, John Peel Stage, 14:15 - 15:00
Yay, finally a band I know!!! I was happy about that, to finally get my festival on.  They were clashing with Corinne Bailey-Rae at the Pyramid Stage and The Stranglers at The Other, each probably would've been pretty good to check out.  It was really cool to see them live, they were a bit chatty tho - apparently Tegan was offering for Sara to sleep in a random's tent.  To be fair, Sara was lookin mighty-fine. Lesbian, twin, Canadian, indie thing aside - it was a chill way to start off my festival.

The Courteeners, The Other Stage, 15:15 - 16:00
Yea I didn't really know who they were, but apparently the Mancunian boyfriend was all about these tunes.  Clashed with Willie Nelson at The Pyramid Stage and Bombay Bicycle Club at John Peel Stage. So I met Rob and his mates there to listen to this band I knew nothing about.  Once again, I can't hate on hearing new music.  And they weren't too bad.  I got on a friend's shoulders and took a picture - but it wasn't too stable up there hahah.  Anyhow, I was really there for the next band...

Phoenix, The Other Stage, 16:30 - 17:15
This was probably the one act I was most excited to see!! And they delivered! I don't even know how I first heard about them, all I know is their Wolfgang Amadeus has been on repeat since I first got it.  It was fantastic being in a crowd of people singing along to every song.  And we were blessed with an extra long version of 1901 that kept the crowd pretty hyped up.

Snoop Dogg, Pyramid Stage, 17:00 - 18:00
Whoops Phoenix clashed with Snoop Dogg. Oh well I did not care.  To be honest, seeing a farm field full of middle class English people bouncing along to Snoop Dogg wasn't really my cup of tea.  And it was PACKED. So I hung off to the side and watched him from the screen.  Not that big of a Snoop fan - now if he would've brought all of his "featuring" artists on stage with him, that would've been a different story.  But it was just him, some random posse dude, and his blinged out mic for an hour, in the hot sun. Meh

Vampire Weekend, Pyramid Stage, 18:30 - 19:15
Hey they're cool, I knew a few of their tunes.  Was a little torn because at The Other Stage, La Roux had been twurkin it out for about 30 mins, but finished quite soon. Also clashed with Ellie Goulding at John Peel (but I saw her at John Mayer's concert) and Local Natives (so I missed them twice) at The Park which was quite a hike from where we were.  So we positioned ourselves near the top of the hill where a set of orange-hued flags were blowing.  This made for a good common location point - someone from our group was always there.  Fantastic.  Vampire Weekend were good sunny-day music, I enjoyed it!  My phone was still alive, and the Twitter hashtag, #glasto and @glastofest/@glastolive were tweeting rumours about the Special Guests that were to be at The Park Stage at 20:30 and informed us that Mos Def had to cancel due to a death in the family :(. 

Special Guests: Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, The Park Stage, 20:30 - 21:15
Twitter research was saying Radiohead would be the special guest - this was close enough to it.  It was very unplugged and mellow, and perfect with the sunset falling behind the stage.  I feel I should get a guest blogger on this section because I won't give it any justice with my description - I was never a massive Radiohead listener.  I knew the main songs, ya know?  But ending with 'Karma Police' and the crowd chanting "For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself" well after the set was over, against the purple and orange sky was quite poetic.
This clashed with Florence and The Machine at The Other Stage and Mumford & Sons at John Peel - but I think being a part of a Glasto moment as big as that will make up for what I missed.  PS we heard the first two tunes of Dizzee Rascal on our way there - shoot me in the face, that was good-e-fucking-nough, I didn't want to stick around for all of that anyhow.  However Hot Chip and The Black Keys were on at The Other stage and John Peel stage, respectively.  I would've liked to at least hear some of The Black Keys and get some more Ohio-rep in there, but they were too far away.  I did hear a lil bit of Hot Chip as they were playing 'Ready For the Floor' so that made me happy, that's all anyone wanted to hear anyhow right?? But had to press on and make our way to the headliner of the night.

Gorillaz, Pyramid Stage, 22:00 - 23:45
This was quite good! I was hoping that the screen would show more of the cute cartoon videos tho.  I wanted to take photos and send my youngest bro a message to share the moment with him - but the phone was dead.  Awe-some! [not]. Gorillaz were the band of surprise guests - it was fantastic.  Although we're all sure Mos Def would've been up there for 'Stylo' if there wasn't a family issue, seeing Snoop come out to freestyle for the last song, 'Clint Eastwood' was quite hott! It was a beautiful end to the first day of music as the moon shone brightly over the mini town that erects once a year for music lovers.

Everything after this consists of going out to party and drink.  On our walk to find somewhere to go we heard Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs twanging it out.  Not my kinda music at midnight, but we stopped there to pick up some other friends.  It took a while for us to get there but we finally went to Arcadia (I hope you still have your map open) where we heard Kissy Sell Out spinning some awesome tunes.  This was accompanied by a massive stage that shot fire that could be seen and heard a few miles away, a girl with a fire hula hoop, another girl with a fire gun, and some acrobats that liked to twist around on a suspended string.  I think the best part was when he put on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and it turned into a massive singalong - but for the sweet guitar break it was replaced with a very sweet electronic riff - SO HOTT!  A very, very good night. Stopped for "Don-Uts" and walked through very dry fields with dust flying into my lungs all the way home. Boo.  I also think I finally decided that night that I wouldn't wear my wellies anymore - as they were rubbing against my calf and hurting me :(

DAY 4: Saturday, 26 June 2010

Chill n' Charge again?!!?
UGH seriously you have got to be kidding me with that Orange tent.  Everyone at the festival was hip to the idea of charging before any of the bands start, so the Orange geniuses decided it was best to limit the amount of time you could charge your phone to TWENTY MINS!!! ::blank stare:: It took me a bit longer to get ready in the morning with no showering, only using baby wipes to get myself sorted and putting contacts in my eyes (I'm pretty sure that wasn't sanitary) so I asked Rob to take my phone there and charge it with his for me and I would meet him there.  The tent opened at 10, I made it there about 10:30 or 11, only to be greeted by a queue of 30+ mins.  I had also brought Rob a breakfast sandwich (Mmm bacon AND egg this time!) to repay him for taking my phone there.  But the douches at Orange said there was a 'capacity' issue and even if your phone was in there you had to wait in the queue.  Luckily Rob walked around another side where I could see him and he told me about the charging limit, and I told him I'd just wait outside since by the time I made it in the charge time would be over anyhow.  What a waste of a day. It only charged to 6% after 20 mins - probably because it was sat in the hot sun, probably because it was charging from dead.  Either way, at this point I decided I would not have my beautiful iPhone again until I made it back to London.

Tinchy Stryder, Pyramid Stage, 11:00 - 11:45
Well, this was our second chance to catch some of Two Door Cinema Club, at The Other Stage, but there was a bit more interest in getting to that spot on the hill to find people since everyone's phones were dying.  I think we still could've seen it - since, as previously mentioned, everyone is just to the left of the flags, always. No big deal. Right, so I should be reviewing Tinchy Stryder....ummm he sucks. That's about it. It was too early in the day for all that bull! And the crowd was NOT having it participating in his "c'mon sing the words wiv me!" crap. A waste of a good time block that also had I Blame Coco playing at The Park (far away I know).

SUNSTROKE - it should be noted that today was the 4th day of straight sun, little to no breeze and it was about 30°C if not more. Moods and emotions were high, and water was scarce, like a friggin drought.  The water stands ran out of large bottles of water, the Ice cream trucks probably made a fortune by making up prices knowing people would buy regardless - it was, what @glastofest tagged as a #scorcher.

Reef, The Other Stage, 12:00 - 12:45
We probably could've seen more of them but it took way longer than necessary to walk the group from Pyramid to Other.  So we saw maybe 3 tunes.  I was mostly about finding some shade.  We eventually walked over to The Glade and sat for a lil bit, but basically just made a big triangle and headed back towards Pyramid after Reef finished.  Not much to say about the band - wasn't that eventful, and we missed 'Place Your Hands' anyhow.

Somehow this walk back to Pyramid took a long time as well - but I think we heard a bit of Jackson Brown, which I thought was crap.  I was more interested in what was going on at the Other Stage. I spent a good amount of time at the ATM while some TERRIBLE band played utter crap, I can't even find who or where they were in the programme so I can save your ears from ever crossing this BS.

Imogen Heap, The Other Stage, 14:45 - 15:30
I swear I'm not leaving anything out. How we had a two hour block of just walking between some stages that take no longer than 30 mins is beyond me.  I blame the heat.  We finally make it over to the Other stage, and see the last 3 or 4 songs.  I was a little disappointed with what I saw.  I was really looking forward to her using experimental instruments, but I guess she did that at the beginning.  When I got there she was being extra goofy, which was quite cute, but making an epic fail and trying to get the crowd to sing the background vocals of 'Just For Now'.  That was too bad, because that's actually a really good tune, but she did it pretty much a cappella.  The highlight of this was when Shlomo came out and did a song they had rehearsed just before performing.  Her voice, and his beatboxing was a very happy mix.

I'm not really sure if we saw anyone between this, because I think we missed Seasick Steve not that I wanted to hear that. I think we actually walked over to West Holts and listened to Devendra Banhart, whomever that is.  I think I only remember cider being involved at this point. but this must've been somewhere between 16:30 and 17:15. All of this is very, very fuzzy until Shakira

The Dead Weather, Pyramid Stage, 17:00 - 18:00
I'm quite positive we heard them.  I remember Rob telling me it was Jack White's band.  I don't remember being that impressed tho.  It was really just too hot to remember anything that wasn't already important in your mind.

Shakira, Pyramid Stage, 18:45 - 19:30
I was completely awake and aware for this part. I love Shakira, I've been wiggling my hips to her stuff since she made it big in the States, so to see her live and being able to "dance with her" really made my day.  I was particularly ecstatic when she sang 'Waka Waka' The World Cup song for this year.  I danced the entire routine! Wyclef came out to help with her hips telling the truth. And that was about it. Thank goodness the sun was going down by this point.

Scissor Sisters, Pyramid Stage, 20:30 - 21:15
HOLY FRIGGIN HOTTNESS AWESOME.  They are so sweet, and have so much energy!! And I mean c'mon they brought out KYLIE MINOGUE for a song as well.  My life was pretty much complete after this.  Definitely a good vibe to dance to as the sun sets on day two of the festival. But nothing could've prepared me for what was to come next as the headliner.

Muse, Pyramid Stage, 22:30 - 23:45
Muse is one of those bands where I know a lot of their songs, but I never really realised that they were the ones singing it. I always knew that I liked them, but I just never really knew them in an A-Z kind of way.  On the other hand, Rob knew them A-Z and Z-A.  So I really thought we should get quite involved and move from that usual spot in the back of the hill and get in closer to the crowd.  This was AWESOME.  Seriously, when I think about the performance it almost makes me cry, that's how amazing it was.  This clashed with Pet Shop Boys and George Clinton, but I think I would've hated myself had I not experienced Muse this way.  Time for another special guest: THE EDGE! So what if Bono couldn't make it - that doesn't mean the rest of the band should go unnoticed right??? So Muse and the Edge rockin out to 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. Such a brilliant moment. The Muse performance was definitely a top-five moment of Glastonbury.

We called this one an early night - sun and alcohol were working against us.

DAY 5: Sunday, 27 June 2010

Last Call for Music
While some were interested in seeing the England - Germany game, I was sticking to my plan of not watching football all week and only listening to music.  Wasn't wasting my time with charging my phone either - so I set off for breakfast with my floormates.

Paloma Faith, Pyramid Stage, 12:15 - 13:00
This must be year of the goofy chick.  She does have a great voice, but she seemed about as goofy as the other "out-of-space" looking acts. Read: Imogen Heap, Florence + The Machine...  Anyhow, it was the end, so I can't make a good comment on her music. I only know of her music, I don't know it that well.  But Sunday is supposed to be the chill out day, and her groovy soul sound sorta made it work.  Too bad it was still BLAZING HOT and my tan was turned on to extra-crispy-burn at this point.  Made it hard to relax to music at this point.

Norah Jones, Pyramid Stage, 13:45 - 14:15
She played too many new songs, so I didn't really know them that well.  But I think the bigger talk of the day is how GORGEOUS  she is.  She has a very cute bob cut now.  She's doin the whole dark hair, bright rouge lips look - and it worked very well.  Other than that, not too much to say about her - nothing stellar at this time of day.

Slash, Pyramid Stage, 14:45 - 15:30
I KNOW RIGHT? What the eff on a Sunday afternoon??? I think the England game was on by this point - too bad for those who went to watch that and not Slash.  Granted I don't know any of his solo crap - but seeing him play Sweet Child O' Mine and Paradise City was borderline panty-throwing worthy.  No joke.

Keane, Avalon Stage, 16:35 - 17:30
I bolted over here - it was a decent walk away from Pyramid, and I was by myself so I had more chance to get up close and personal.  This is a fairly small tent/stage for Keane to play on.  They weren't even expecting this many to turn out, assuming that everyone would be watching the football. WRONG! This was fantastically intimate!! Aside from them being late, this makes it into my top five moments at Glasto as well, including their own tribute to U2's 'With or Without You'. Beautiful.

Jack Johnson, Pyramid Stage, 18:00 - 19:15
I made it seriously JUST IN TIME for good ole Jack.  This was a great way to bring the day to an end.  So chill. I also appreciated the English trying to get into the Hawaiian feel of things with their faux grass skirts n' such.  America thanks you for the effort.  It really made me want to go back to Maui with the quickness.  I was also quite thankful for the sun finally leaving - that was a rough week of sun. It was during this that I realised I've seen pretty much every band that I've been listening to since circa 2000, and that made me feel pretty good about life. He clashed with We Are Scientists and MGMT

Faithless, lcd soundsystem, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Stevie Wonder, Pyramid Stage, The Other Stage, West Holts Stage back to Pyramid 20:00 - 23:15
These are all lumped together, because this was my attempt at proving you can see all the bands you want to see even if they are on at the same time.  None of them were ones that I wanted to see the entire set of ...maybe Rodrigo y Gabriela, but for the most part doing a "tapas" of music worked quite well.

I took Rob on this whirlwind with me.  Even though he's the Glasto Vet, I think too much time is spent by the tree on the hill.  Anyhow Faithless....I only really know one song by them, 'Mass Destruction' and we stayed for the first half until they played that.  I think if we would've been more 'involved' and gotten in closer it could've been quite good. But when you're bouncing between stages you gotta stay close to an exit route.

I thought lcd soundsystem, would've been a good set.  Which, to be fair, they really were.  They had a lot of energy still and that was hot.  But the crowd was too mellow to make it a great experience.  Stayed for the end of their set then ran off for a cider to hear what I think was the highlight of this quartet.

If you haven't heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela I strongly suggest you YouTube them.  It was really unfortunate that they started and ended at the EXACT SAME TIME as Stevie Wonder.  I think someone was trying to take the piss in the planning process - they are SOOOO good and should be given the chance to have a massive crowd hear them.  No singing, no dancing, just Gabriela beating on her guitar as some sort of bongo that plays chords and Rodrigo plucking in a Spanish guitar speed competition.  They are so amazing, and beautiful to watch and I really wish we would've stayed to see more of them.

Stevie Wonder, didn't really do it for me, and that's unfortunate.  I was looking to get my Motown on, but I wasn't that amazed by anything.  I think the best part is that you got to see a legend play live - but I don't think that made it an amazing performance that brought down the house or anything.  And EVERYONE AND THEIR M'EFFIN MOMMA came for this.  It was ridiculous.  He did play the tunes that everyone knows, but ya know, I could just imagine my mom sitting there listening to it, as someone who grew up with Motown, and thinking....-meh-.   And I felt the same.  Nonetheless, stage-hopping with Rob made the rest of it worth it, and this was a good final performance to end our Glasto festival with.

If you've been following along with your map you'll notice there's still an area that I haven't covered.  Well I made it there that night.  Block 9, Shangri-la, The Unfair Ground, and The Common.  I did all of them except for the Common which I'm really upset about because apparently there was some wall with people riding motorcycles and it was all scary like.  The "Wall of Death" I think they coined it.  These were all night club type things so it was pretty sweet to see it finally.  Shangri-La had a lot of underground looking stuff.  We walked into a few "un-cha, un-cha" type techno music places, but it wasn't the kind I liked. There was a big area where this reggae band was gathering a really good crowd though.  Block 9 was basically gay village, and I really, really, really, wanted to get my gay on.  But, I suppose we'll have to wait until next year to get in there.  Rob and I spent a good amount of time in The unfair Ground - which had the type of "un-cha, un-cha" techno i liked. Shit, I think House is even starting to grow on me.  But we heard some wicked DnB going too -i would've loved to be a bit more drunk and just wild out over that way. Alas, our tent was clear on the oposite side of the farm, in probably the longest line that can be drawn from one end of the farm to the other.  So we ended our night, and our time in Glasto on that note.  I am TOTALLY going back for 2011.

Oh and that wristband?? It glows in the dark!!! I didn't find out until I got home!

Wow this took me ages to write. The font editor sucks on this blog as well and ruined my clashing bands fonts in hopes to help you see who I missed as well without reading the entire thing. Sorry. *sigh* now If only the words would come this easily for my dissertation! Back to real life...

Swimming with this Mermaid