Jane loves blogging

Hello all

I’ve had a lovely day today, I went to my friend’s house and we watched two films together. First up, Across the Universe, which she loves and has always told me to watch. I really, really enjoyed it. It’s a great story, with a great backdrop and lots of Beatles songs. Then we watched A Few Good Men, which I haven’t seen. Jenny, my friend, always tells me to watch it, because she loves it, and the fact that Aaron Sorkin wrote it is a good enough reason for me to potentially love it, but for some reason I have never been able to summon up the enthusiasm to actually sit and watch it. But I’m glad I did, because it’s very enjoyable! I’ve added both to my Films page, for which you can find the link at the top of the page.

Now, it’s time for my weekly post, number 110 on the WordPress list:

Describe your first encounter with a celebrity

The ‘encounter’ that I am going to describe is not necessarily my first with a celebrity, though I am sure that I can’t really remember anything prior to this. I saw Billie Piper at a Bodyworlds exhibition once (I’m not entirely sure why I paid money to go to one of these, I’m not sure that I would now), but it wasn’t really an encounter. Anna, Rob and I just kept looking at her, and I think Anna and I tried to brush against her at one point, just for the fun of being able to say we’ve touched a celebrity. Also, this was pre-Doctor Who but post-terrible music career, so all she was in the papers for was being married to Chris Evans. I also saw Matthew Perry, Minnie Driver and Hank Azaria once, when we’d seen a play and then went to the stage door to see if we could see them. See them we did, get anywhere near them through the crowds of people that were there, we did not.

Anyway, so the first proper encounter with a famous person (he’s not a celebrity, and frankly, he’s not that famous either), was when I met Richard Schiff.

For those of you who don’t know who Richard Schiff is, he’s Toby in The West Wing. Sure, he’s been in other things – The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Ray, Made in Dagenham, for example – but I think most people will know him as Toby Ziegler, Communications Director in The West Wing, if they know him at all.

I’m not going to go into my love for The West Wing again. Most of you are regular readers, therefore most of you are aware of said love. Suffice to say that it’s my favourite programme in the whole world ever. So when I learnt that Richard Schiff was going to be starring in a play in the West End, in 2006 (I think), I knew that I had to see it, regardless of the quality of the play, just so I could say that I had seen Richard Schiff in person. Anna, Jenny and I went (I can’t remember why Vicky didn’t come, though I’m sure there was a good reason), along with Rob to see Underneath the Lintel. It was, as I remember, an entertaining enough play, it was a one-man play with Schiff playing a man who was returning a library book after many years. That’s all I can remember about it, though there was definitely more to the plot than that. Jenny had a coughing fit about ten minutes from the end, so she sat doing that thing you do when you desperately need to cough, but don’t want to because you know you are just going to be ruining something for everyone else.

Afterwards, we decided to wait at the stage door again, in much the same way as we did when we saw Matthew Perry in Sexual Perversity in Chicago. However, Richard Schiff and The West Wing are in no way as famous or popular as Matthew Perry and Friends, and there was just us and another group of people there, waiting for him. He came out, with a cap on and a cigarette in his mouth, and proceeded to sign our programmes and tickets. I was so incredibly star-struck that my legs actually started shaking. I was waiting for him to finish signing something for one of the other people there, and I realised that my pen wasn’t working. When Mr Schiff asked if anyone had anything he could lean on to sign this other person’s ticket, I said he could lean on my program, but if possible, afterwards, could he use that guy’s pen to sign my thing because mine had stopped working? I obviously sounded a little desperate and ridiculous, because he looked at me and said “Quite the little speech there!” Which would be hideously embarrassing were it not for the fact that it’s Toby Ziegler talking to me about a ‘speech’ that I had made. As it is, it’s amazing.

So, when I tell people that I have met Richard Schiff, I’m generally met with “Who?” These people, of course, are treated with the disdain they deserve as non-believers. I am now collecting encounters with West Wing people, as I have another (tenuous) one.

I sent Rob Lowe a message on Twitter telling him that I very much enjoyed this photograph of him (who wouldn’t?), and he replied! I know that in this age of Twitter, famous people are much more accessible, but that didn’t diminish my joy of this moment whatsoever. Rob Lowe, in that moment, knew that I existed, and that I appreciated his semi-naked form. All is well with the world. Now, how to meet Martin Sheen….?

Until next time

Jane loves links

Hello all

It’s been a while since I posted a links round-up, and I’m still not actually going to! I decided to change the day of my links post to a Friday, just in time for the weekend, and then to maybe just share the odd fun thing with you from time to time. So that’s what I am doing now!

I’ve just finished listening to Sunday’s edition of Desert Island Discs, on the BBC iPlayer. I try to listen to it when I can, though usually only when there is someone of particular interest to me on there. Sunday’s edition featured none other than Mr Martin Sheen, who is obviously of great interest to me! I go on and on about how much I admire Martin Sheen, and if you don’t understand why, I urge you to listen to this program. He speaks about his Catholic faith, his refusal to use private golf clubs because he doesn’t believe in the privilege system, his 50 year marriage and his son, Charlie Sheen. He really is the most remarkable of men, and this is something I believe independently of the fact that he stars in my favourite television programme of all time. If you want to have a listen, you can do so here.

Also, on the Radio 4 Extra section of the website, they are making available some gems from the archive, and you can currently listen to J.K. Rowling, who recorded hers back in 2000, when only the first four Harry Potter books had been published. You can listen to her Desert Island Discs here.

I’m busy at the moment trying to revise some GCSE subjects to help my nephew with his revision. So far I’ve been trying to relearn lots of Maths that I had forgotten, and some key themes of Lord of the Flies, which, luckily, he is studying, as I did it myself at GCSE. I had forgotten just how depressing a story it is though!

Until next time

Jane loves blogging

Hello all

So it’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for my weekly post. I am really enjoying these, as they are a bit of a departure from the rest of the week. I feel that this is the one post that really properly allows me to write, and that’s always a good thing. This week I’m tackling Topic #33.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Funnily enough, last night, my friend Vicky was talking about how, having watched The Good Wife, she wished that she had trained to be a lawyer. My response was this: “Every time I start watching a new programme, I wish I had the job featured.” Past possibilities have included Criminal Minds – FBI agent; Grey’s Anatomy – Surgical Intern; CSI – Crime Scene Investigator; Bones – Forensic Anthropologist; Lie to Me – Deception Specialist; Mad Men – Advertising Executive in the1960s. You get the picture.

The big one, though, as I’m sure most people who have ever met me will know, is The West Wing. My love for the The West Wing is no small thing. It will, I’m sure, be a love for the ages. I’m pretty sure that I’ve waxed lyrical about the show before, and you know I will again, so I won’t go on about it here. Suffice to say, The West Wing inspired in me a love for American politics, specifically the executive branch, and I would dearly love to do a job that somehow lends itself to that area. To be honest, I have to say, I really want to work in that White House – I want to work in the West Wing with Leo, Josh and C.J., and be on first names terms with President Bartlet (I mean, for him to know my first name, because of course, he’s Mr President or Sir). This of course, isn’t possible, except in my dreams. And the truth of the matter is that I am nowhere near clever enough to have anything to do with actually running a country. I’d also baulk at the idea of spending an indefinite amount of time abroad, after I coped so abysmally when I was in the U.S. for four months. But this topic asks if I could have any job in the world, and I don’t think it’s asking for me to consider all the practicalities of the matter. If I could have any job in the world, I would like to work in an advisory capacity to the president of the United States of America.


I’m actually going to cheat slightly, and give two answers to this post. Working at the White House is a dream job; one that I can’t ever see happening, despite how much I want it. My second answer is one that is definitely achievable. I’ve expressed this before; the fact is the one thing I’d like to make a career out of it is writing. I love to write, and it’s probably one of the few talents that I have (I’m trying to walk a fine line here, between sounding confident in my abilities and just sounding like an arrogant idiot). I would love to write in any form, but I don’t think that I have the right skills to be a journalist – I would enjoy the writing part but I don’t think I could cope with the searching out of stories, etc. I think, if I could do anything, I’d write novels. I’m always writing things down, ideas for stories, but for one reason or another they never come to much. But I have decided that 2011 is the year when I’m going to do something. I’m going to write a novel. I’m just going to write and write and write and see what happens. Of course, writing a novel and getting it published are two very different things. I can but try though. So that’s my second choice for dream job. If I could realistically have any job in the world, I would be a writer.


Finally, as you may have noticed, I decided on a signature for the blog. It was the one that got the most votes on the poll, and I had some positive feedback from someone who said that it was “more me” than any of the others. So I added a kiss and it has been on the last two posts. I hope you all approve!

Until next time!


Jane loves The West Wing

Anyone who has met me for even a passing moment will probably know of my love for a television programme called The West Wing. To be honest, it surpasses love, it borders on obsession. I started watching when it aired in the UK, in 2001, and it sparked an interest in the American presidency that continues to this day. If I am honest, it certainly contributed to my choice of a degree.

I still don’t own the full boxset, but I have seasons 1-3, plus 5 on DVD, and am currently in possession of a borrowed 6 and 7. I don’t spend all my time watching them, but they are my safeguard against boredom, I know that I can just randomly put a disc from any season (apart from 5, possibly), and I’ll be entertained for a few hours.

I’ve been quite scathing in my views of Tumblr before, but I do have an account over there, and I often take a look at what’s going on. There are quite a few West Wing fansites that I browse through from time to time, and as a result, I found a meme called 30 Days of The West Wing. It’s basically just a writing exercise with different themes for different days, so I thought I would give it a go. I won’t be doing one a day for thirty days, but I will try and do them all. Of course, this will be interesting only to people that have watched The West Wing. Primarily, it’s just an excuse for me a) spend more time thinking about it, and b) write about something I love.

I was just going to press straight on with Day 1: Your favourite character. However, this post is already too long, and I want to go to bed. So I am going to ruminate on exactly who my favourite character is, and continue in a day or two.