Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shopping cart software

Ever thought of selling your own stuff online? I know I have. I have always liked the idea of having my own little online shop, I just thought it would be way too much hassle to set it all up.

These days though it seems to be much easier to do, especially with all this new fancy shopping cart software that you can buy.

Ashop Commerce is one of those services that can get you all the ecommerce software you need to sell your products online both professionally as well as effectively. Their shopping carts have many features, like for example they allow you to accept credit cards online.

You also have the oppertunity to customize many of the shopping cart features, so they nicely fit both your website and your specific needs.

The cool thing about Ashop Commerce software is that it is not just a shopping cart, but it basically comes with everything you need to build a full online store. It does cost you a bit of money, but if you are planning to sell quite a bit of stuff, it is probably worth it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Glass doors

Hi, I am Natazzz, and I am a major clutch. I tend to do the stupidest things. Don’t believe me? Well, let me tell you what I did yesterday.

Somehow I managed to walk straight into a glass door. And when I say I walked into it, I mean I rammed my face full force into the glass. It hurt like hell. For a minute, I thought I might have broken my nose. Luckily, I had not. I sat with an icepack on my nose for a while, and I think it stopped hurting after a few hours.

As if walking into the glass door itself wasn’t embarrassing enough, I made a clear imprint of my nose and lips that were visible on the glass door for the whole world to see what had happened.

The stupid thing was that, just before I smashed my face into the glass, I was actually wondering if anyone had ever been stupid enough to walk into the glass door in question. I guess I got my answer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring is in the air

The weather has been lovely lately. And with lovely I mean no more cold, rain, hail or thunderstorms. It has been warm and sunny, and I have been walking outdoors. A lot.

Why is it that everything seems so much nicer when the weather is good? All of a sudden, life is easier, makes much more sense and people smile more. Everywhere you see peeps walking in the sun with a big happy smile on their face.
Another good thing about warm sunny weather, is that it always makes all the cute girls take all of their clothes off. Well, ok, not all of their clothes, but it is close. I am walking in the park, and all of a sudden I realize I just entered tank-top heaven.

That brings me to a related consequence of nice spring weather: hornyness. I am not quite sure what is more to blame for this, the lovely spring sun or the half naked chicks. It’s probably both.

Spring is in the air, and I am happy and warm and in need of a nice girl in a tank top. Life is good…

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Man crush

I just finished watching the first season of Heroes. At first, I did not think I would enjoy this TV series, but it turns out I really like this show, and I can’t wait to get started on the second season.

I especially like one of the main characters, Peter Petrelli (played by Milo Ventimiglia). He is the guy with the power to take on any of the other heroes’ powers if he comes near them. Not Sylar, the serial killer, but the other one. The nurse, the boring politician’s little brother.

While watching the show, I was wondering why I like this character so much. It is not as if he really is the most interesting person on that show. And then it dawned on me. I think he’s hot.
Yep, I have a man crush on Peter Petrelli. I mean, I do not want to do him, or anything like that, but I do think he is a very attractive man. I remember he used to play Jess on Gilmore Girls, the bad boy Rory was in love with. I think even back then I thought he was hot.

I think he is hot, and at the same time I am thinking, if I was a guy, I’d want to look like him. Hmmm. It can’t be both, because that would mean I’d want to do myself? It’s very confusing.

That does not mean that I am confused though. Let’s not overreact here. I am still gay, I still love women. But damn, he is a nice looking boy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cat sitting

I have been cat sitting at my sister’s house for the last few days. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, cat sitting is like baby sitting only with cats. It was alright. I enjoyed staying at her house, and even though I am not a big pet lover, I do like her cats.

The good thing about cats is that, compared to babies or young children, they do not cry, scream or whine, they do not need changing, and generally they leave you alone.

The bad thing about cats is that, just like kids, they like your attention when it is the least convenient. Like when you are on the toilet, or at six in the morning. Also, cats are very very hairy.

I do not know how all you cat owners can stand it. I mean, if you have cats as pets you basically live in a house that is covered in cat hair all the time. Not only your house, but also you are covered in hairs.
Then again, that is my only complaint about cats really. I do not think I will ever have my own pets, but if I did, I could live with cats. Do not get me started on other animals, like dogs. There is no way in hell I could live with a dog.

In fact, a friend and I actually talked about what we would do if the love of our lives happened to have a dog. We honestly were not sure if this was something we could get past.

Even if I could get over it, I would never ever let a dog sleep in my bedroom. It is bad enough waking up in the middle of the night, because a cat is lying on your face.

Yes, I had some fun dilemmas the last few days: either let the cats sleep in bed with me or having them wake me up at six every morning. I discovered I enjoy sleeping in more than I hate having cats in my bed.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Ruins: Don’t see it!

Last night I saw the worst movie I have seen in a very very long time. The more I think about how bad this movie was, the more I realize how crap it was, and I honestly cannot believe I freely chose to go see it.

My friend and I spontaniously decided to go to the movie theatre, without really looking at what was playing. We based our decision of watching The Ruins on reading the description in the leaflet that read something like:

A thriller about a group of friends on holiday, who join a German guy to search for his brother who was last seen near an ancient ruin. They soon regret their decision. They get lost in the jungle and slowly come to realize they are in grave danger.

From this decription, I did not expect the world’s best movie ever, but I also did not think the movie would basically entail watching 5 people stuck on top of a ruin for most of the movie, slowly getting killed off one by one, either by the living plants on the ruin or by stabbing each other.
The supposedly creepy living plants were the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Especially the red flowers growing in them, that could mimic sounds. Not scary at all. Just stupid.

And then there was all the needless blood and guts, including the amputation of one guy’s legs with a fishing knife, and the cutting out of living plants crawling under a girl’s skin. Again, this was not scary, just very disgusting.

I usually do not mind a little grossness in my movies, as long as it is at least a good movie. You know, a movie with an actual plot.

The other thing I hated about this film, is that all the characters (ok apart from the pre-med guy, I guess) were so damn unlikable. They were such stupid shallow spoiled (Can you think of a few more S words?) college kids. In the first five minutes I already told my friend that whatever was going to happen to them next, they’d deserve it.

In conclusion: the Ruins SUCKS, don’t see it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Comic of the month: Piled Higher and Deeper

If you are not in grad school, nor ever have been, you might want to skip this post. Never done any research, but you are a big geek anyway? Well, hang on just a second because you just might enjoy this too.

Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD. comics) is an online comic strip about, yes, you might have already guessed it, PhD. students. I first discovered this comic strip while I was in grad school, and I have been reading it ever since.
I heart how it makes fun of academic research and being in grad school. It paints such an accurate picture of the going-ons, from the perfecting procrastination into an art form, to the totally pointlessness of the research that is being done.

I especially love how once in a while they focus on the contrast between how you are supposed to do things, and what people really do. Like the scientific method vs. the actual method.
Anyone familiar with what goes on in grad school or at universities in general, will recognize and appreciate the stories told in this comic strip. If you are not familiar with any of this and the academic world might seem a bit alien and weird to you, you get the right idea, because it is.

Academia is a really freaking weird world that often has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on in the real world. PhD. comics reflects how I feel about it most days. Yet I also heart it, and I could not imagine myself working anywhere else.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I heart Liz Feldman

I am not a huge stand-up fan, but I do enjoy it occasionally…and I do really like to laugh. Well, I guess everybody does, unless you’re really cranky and miserable.

One thing I have always enjoyed over the years are Ellen’s monologues. I am always amazed at how they come up with these things. Everyday and often very mundane occurrences are made to be very entertaining and funny.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one of those people who has been part of writing these monologues for Ellen is no other than Liz Feldman. If you are an AfterEllen reader, you probably know who I am talking about.
Liz Feldman is an amazing writer and stand-up. I really enjoyed the stuff I have seen from her doing stand-up. I also thought she was hilarious on We’re getting nowhere.

Not only is she a very funny lady, I also think she is really hot. Liz if you’re reading this, you’re awesome!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It’s all about intention(?)

We have a saying here, that literally translates as “Fag off”, which we use in the same manner and has the same meaning as telling someone to F… off. Then there is the referring to some guy you do not like as a faggot or a homo. These two examples are very different to me.

The former is so ingrained in everyday language, and is no more or less offensive than just using the F word. I use the expression myself sometimes, and I have never thought anything of it. However, I do take offense to someone calling someone else a homo. Not in general, but when it is supposed to be a bad thing, like calling someone an asshole.

Still, even in that case, it matters to me what someone’s intentions are. Often people just do not realize what they are saying, or how it might be offensive to others. I find it hard to get up in arms about it, when basically intentions are good.

For example, one of my straight friends recently referred to some jerk she works with as a homo, meaning asshole. She realized it was wrong as soon as she had said it, and ended up apologizing to me extensively.

I had not said anything about taking offense, and I was not really offended. I did appreciate her realizing she should not have said that. However, it made me wonder what it really means, because she is the most gay friendly person I know.

Should we always be aware of how we express ourselves? Yes, to a certain extend we should, but these are just two examples of many many ways in which we use words and expressions that might be offensive to others. So sometimes, it cannot be avoided we say the wrong thing.

I do wish we did not have all these derogatory gay terms in our language, just as I wish for a lot of things.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Music Memory Moment (MMM): For the roses-deus

A few years ago, my sister and I used to go to this bar every single week. Sometimes even twice a week, both Friday and Saturday night. It was a small, dark and very hot kind of place, with no windows and no fresh air.

I guess it was known as an “alternative” type place, where the majority of people who frequented the bar wore either black, baggy pants or band shirts. The music was always playing slightly too loud, but we did not care. In fact, we loved it. Somehow they always seemed to play songs we loved, as if we had brought them our own record collection.

On Friday nights the place was usually quiet, and my sister and I would sit at the bar, sipping our bottled beer and talk about our week. Then on Saturday nights, it would be packed with all our friends and the music would be too loud to really have a proper conversation.

Even though I had moved to a big city by then, I loved coming back to visit this bar. It has been a few years since I have been there, but I always think back on that time fondly. Just me and my sister hanging out, enjoying each other’s company, a few drinks and good music.

We would sit at the bar and think of which songs we would ask the DJ to play. It’s funny we spent so much time talking about it, because we always ended up requesting the same few songs. My favourite song during that time was (For the) roses by deus.
Whenever that song would play, my sister would get up to dance and I would just sit there alone at the bar and drink my beer. I would sit there and sing along, or just smoke a cigarette and smile. (For the) roses represents to me those times in my early twenties, going out with my sister, drinking and going to festivals.

Those were amazing years, full of fun and very little worries. Of course, there was lots of self-created drama, but the real world of adulthood and responsibility had not caught up with me yet. I loved that song and everything it represented, and I still love that song to this day.

In fact, I like this song so much I even named my blog after it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Regional attractiveness

Do you think attractiveness of women can be judged based on the country they are from? Or phrased differently, can you generalize by saying, for example, Belgian women are hot?

I was wondering about this after my (hopefully very successful) job interview in Belfast. Walking around in this wonderful town in Northern Ireland, I could not help but notice that the women over there were hot.

Granted, the weather was lovely, with a blue sky and the sun shining bright, which makes everything and everyone seem nicer, but still. I saw plenty of women I really liked. This is not always the case.

For example, I lived in Germany for two years and I cannot really say I found German women all that hot (No offence to any Germans reading this, I am sure you are the exception to the rule, and are quite cute and attractive).

In contrast, I always find Dutch women very attractive, but of course I am biased. Same goes for Belgians, and British girls.

I know many people always mention French or Italian girls. I have to agree, they have their share of beautiful women over there, however, these are not really the kind of girls I usually go for. I am not sure where I am going with this. Maybe just to say: the women in Belfast are hot. I really hope I get a job there…

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Retro TV: Party of Five

Remember Party of Five? I used to love that show. This was years ago, early nineties I think, before Grey’s Anatomy, Six Feet Under, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and all those other great shows.

Every week I would watch those orphans deal with life. It is one of the first TV series I remember watching, that focused on all the every day self-created drama of being a teenager or young adult. All those crushes, unrequited love, and self-esteem issues.

Not only did I love all the drama and misery, I also loved the soundtrack of the series. That show had some great songs that always started playing whenever things got really awful and dramatic.

Another reason why I enjoyed watching Party of Five so much was because of Neve Campbell. I had such a crush on her, and this was years before I had ever seen her in Scream or watched her make out with a chick in Wild Things.

Julia was such a great character. The young insecure girl, trying to fit in and falling for the wrong boys. At least I recall her dating this bad boy named Griffith. I think she also experimented a little with girls during her college years, but unfortunately I had stopped watching the show by then.
I also loved the little sister Claudia. I never really cared much for the two boys, I thought they were both very annoying, especially Charlie. I had forgotten how much I disliked his character until the actor reappeared on Lost. It took me a whole season to start seeing him as Jack and not as dumb Charlie.

I recently bought the first season on DVD and I have to say, even though it was a little dated, I really enjoyed watching it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Razor: BSG geekyness

I finally watched Razor last night, the Battlestar Galactica TV movie that aired in the United States some time ago. I have to say, that even though I really enjoyed it, I also found it a little disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love anything BSG related, they cannot do any wrong. I thought the idea of a background story to events that happened in Season II was great. As usual, there was some great action, and of course, Starbuck was her usual awesome self, not to mention very very hot.

Still, I had expected a little more from Razor. This is probably because of everything I heard and read about it beforehand. I had high expectations for this film, and these expectations could not be met.

For example, I thought I was going to understand better what made admiral Cain do those horrible things she did on Pegasus. Even though we are told more about what let up to the events, I was still not convinced it explained, or more importantly, justified her behaviour.

I still think of her as a cold-hearted bitch. The only time we see a softer side of her is when she is with Gina-but as soon as she finds out she is a Cylon she treats her former lover in such a horrible way, I cannot even start to comprehend.

I guess my second disappointment was they spent so little time on the Cain-Gina relationship. I would have liked to have seen that explored a little more. We finally get some gay characters on BSG, and this is all they give us.

Overall though, I did think it was a really good movie. If you love BSG, hell even if you just love sci-fi, or hot women like Katee Sackhoff, you are going to enjoy Razor.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Only women make me cry

The other day I was thinking about one of my past relationships. If you learn one thing from each relationship you have, I would say that from this particular relationship I learned how to cry.

Let’s get one thing straight right away: I am not a crier. In general, I am not a very emotional or sensitive person, and there are very few things that make me cry. Or at least, there used to be very few things that made me cry. But this one girlfriend changed all that. No one has ever made me cry the way she did.

Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t a horrible person and our relationship was not all that bad either. It was more the combination of being crazy in love with someone who was not ready to be in a relationship. Or more precisely, someone who had not fully come out yet, not to herself or to the world.

I will not bore you with the details, but let’s just say I never felt so strongly about someone, and never did I get my feelings hurt more deeply or more often.

There was a lot of crying involved in the time we were together. Most of the crying was done by me.
I guess it is good that I found out about my Achilles heal. I am just not sure if it is such a good thing that only women make me cry. Ok not just women. Women and slamming my hand between the door or walking full force into a table. Yes, I am a crier and a clutch.