Archive for the Personal Musings Category

New Classical Crossover Website

Posted in Diary, Personal Musings with tags on 5 July, 2009 by Nicola

I am starting a new project.  It’s also hosted on WordPress, but it will be less like a blog.  It’s still in its starting stages, but it’s basically dedicated to the music genre ‘Classical Crossover’.  It will aim to have profiles and reviews for as many artists from the genre as possible.  Its unique element is that each artist are given star ratings on their different attributes. 

It won’t be ready for a while, but if you want to see me working on it, check it out anytime: Classical Crossover

I won’t be stopping this blog, as although I do review a lot of my music on here, reviews for artist of that genre will be restricted to that site only.  I will still reviews books, films, talk random stuff and review music from other genres.


Why You Should Shop At CD Baby

Posted in Diary, Music, Personal Musings with tags , , , , , , , , on 30 June, 2009 by Nicola

Aside from the fact that CD Baby is a great place for independent upcoming artists to go to release their albums when their sound is not commercial friendly enough to be picked up by record giants.  And aside from the fact that it’s recommendation system is superb and precise.  And aside from the fact they have so many genre and sub genre categories that you cannot possibly go there without finding something you like, CD Baby have this to say in your dispatch notification e-mail:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole partymarched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Tuesday, June 30th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.  Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


And that is why you should shop at CD Baby.

I Have Added A New Page

Posted in Diary, Personal Musings with tags on 24 February, 2009 by Nicola

My Internet Haunts has been added on this website.  It basically has all the websites I go to and links to my profiles.

You may have also noted the name change.  It’s temporary.  I just can’t think of anything witty or great.  All I know is that anything is better than Nicola’s Thoughts On Anything.  Any suggestions?

Hayley Westenra Marathon is still on.  I still have three more albums to review before I move on.  Though she will probably have released another one by the time I have finished.

Busy, busy, busy.

Hayley Westenra & Jonathan Ansell at the Palladium Theatre

Posted in Diary, Hayley Westenra, Jonathan Ansell, Music, Personal Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16 February, 2009 by Nicola

Hayley Westenra and Jonathan Ansell teamed up for The Valentines Tour

Hayley Westenra and Jonathan Ansell Concert
Palladium Theatre
The Valentines Tour

At about 7pm I found myself in the Palladium Theatre.  I do not really have many preferences regarding venues, but this place gets its stamp of approval from me for simply having more than three cubicles in the toilets – I think it had about twenty!  In an unprecedented event in London, I was able to go into the Ladies, straight to the toilet, straight to a sink, and walk back out again.  I was shocked to the core.  Men will probably not understand how amazing that is, but take it from me: it is amazing.

Enough about the toilets though.  But really.  A sincere highlight to the evening.  That’s the PAL-LA-DI-UM TH-EA-TRE, with the fantastic toilet facilities, ladies.  You must go and see with your own eyes!

Going into the main theatre, I was called over by the blue jumpers (otherwise known as the Hayley Westenra International team, HWI for short).  These people are extremely scary people that remember every single concert date, exactly every single person that was there, exactly what you look like though they have only seen you for two seconds in their entire lives and seem to remember every single word you have ever written on their forums.  Truly frightening.  I was introduced to what seemed like a score of people, all names blazing (which I promptly forgot, no matter how much I tried to remember).  It was a genuine treat to see Roger (big boss man of HWI) again, and to talk to Richard properly.  There were many I had a good conversation with, but their names slipped through the sieve that is my brain, I am ashamed to say.  Ashamed. Continue reading

Reading List for February and March

Posted in Books, Diary, Lists, Personal Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 9 February, 2009 by Nicola

I swear I think of a new book to read with every passing day.  In an attempt to keep track, I am going to write them down here.  Once they are under the watchful eye of my readers (because it seems that I have some, apparently) I will be sure to get through them.  Maybe.

I will try to read in this order, then:

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
I have never tried Stephen King.  Well, he is American, so it is not like I am going to pick him out on my own.  No, a colleague at work, who’s judgement I happen to trust, recommended The Dark Tower series to me.  Since I see her everyday, I better deal with her recommendation first.  I have taken out books two and three from the series, anticipating that I will want to continue (as the first book is yet to arrive), so here’s hoping.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
This book was recommended by somebody who reads my blog (that is a nice thing to do in the first place).  Sometimes I will take recommendations seriously, others I will not.  I decided to take this one seriously because I am ignorant of all things China.  I do not like ignorance.  I must remedy it where I can.  Not that this one book will make me an expert, but I would like to know at least something about the country, even if it just the lives or three women that lived there.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
I watched the film yesterday evening and I loved every frame.  I am very curious about its source material and it is with a heavy heart that it is shoved to third place on my list. Continue reading

A New Month, A New Effort

Posted in Diary, Hayley Westenra, Jonathan Ansell, Music, Personal Musings with tags , , , , on 1 February, 2009 by Nicola

As you know, last month was rubbish.  But I’m fully geared for February.  I have several ideas for articles along with the usual reviews so they’ll be new posts popping up.  It is very likely that I’m going to write a Hayley Westenra marathon.  I have written a review on Amazon for every single album she has realeased, but the majority of them were written when I was younger and quite illiterate, actually.  If you ever check out my Amazon profile, be careful not to go any further back than 2006, otherwise you’ll be met with a young Nicola spelling opera as ‘oprah’ and playing pot luck with “its” and “it’s”; something that now makes me want to cringe and smash my head against things.

But yes, Hayley Westenra.  Been following her career since 2002, it’s time I dedicate some blog space to her.  And I’m going to try to be really nice, because Hayley’s a nice girl, you see.  And you may get a concert review too, as I am seeing her live on the 15th of this month, and I won’t need to try to be nice then because I always love seeing her live.  Jonathan Ansell will be there, too.  Going back to Amazon, I used to write reviews about G4 and continiously say that the guy should go solo – what were the others there for?  I didn’t know.  I still don’t know.  Where are they now?  Nobody knows. Continue reading

An Unproductive January (but this post has a million mini-reviews to make up for it)

Posted in David Attenborough, Diary, Film, Final Fantasy X, Gadgets, Games, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Ansell, Music, Personal Musings, Piano (Instrument), Repo! The Genetic Opera, RyanDan, Sansa Clip 8GB MP3 Player, Television, Three Graces with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28 January, 2009 by Nicola

The amount of articles written in December compared to this month is kind of appalling.  But I have not abandoned my blog.  I came down with the flu!  I was helpless!  It began all innocent enough but then it just turned into something really, very evil.  Just evil.  The incarnation of evil.  I am now almost fully recovered, though my ears are still blocked.

I still have my Christmas presents to go through and review – I got enough of them.  I also have had a good month for finding new music.  I am also wasting money on piano lessons – something I will never be good at.  Being a beginner at 23 is something of a handicap, but it could be worse, I could be starting at 50.  Actually, apart from writing hardly anything on this blog, it’s been a good month (media wise).  Continue reading