Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Of being out of one's depth and other misadventures

I am such a loser. SUCH a loser. I realise now I shouldn't have turned down those boys when I was in high school. I was trying not to mess them around but really I should have been using them for practice like every other girl with half a brain was doing. Sure, I don't necessarily want to date, but damn if the dating hasn't found me. And I have noooo idea what I'm doing. It is rather terrifying. Well no, it fluctuates between being utterly hilarious and rather terrifying. I can't make up my mind which. Not the dating itself, as much as its end/aftermath. I think I need to be a bit drunk to deal with that in the future. Definite note to self.

I've never had the time, patience, or inclination to mess around with this whole thing. It's something that's always just baffled me and I couldn't care less. Because I am an oblivious fruitcake, it turns out I've gone on a series of dates without even realising it. I...I don't even know. Of course last night I had more of an inkling that it was in fact a date, but I chose to ignore it since ignorance does wonders for my tendency to over-think things. And I enjoy his company, before it becomes an issue for me, I wanted to enjoy it some more. So yes, off I went. There was dinner, there was a spectacularly awful 70s movie and much mocking of spectacularly awful b-horror movie trailers. Then there was sitting in the pub near the station for two hours just talking about nothing. I wasn't drinking since I suspected it would be another late one and had no way to get home, so I left it at two rum and cokes, and bought him a lot of beer. Hm. Perhaps I should not be feeding the boy alcohol. But I figured it was only fair, he paid for me last time and he paid for dinner, and I'm sorry but I am not some mooch. But anyway, I veer spectacularly off topic. At twelve thirty I draw the line because I am not taking the night bus home. Of course there's a half hour wait for the damn train and we're on the same platform. By now I am freezing, for I am cursed to always be cold. So hey, dude's right there, might as well put him to good use. He really is a complete gentleman but I feel like smacking him upside the head. Don't leave it to me to make the first move on anything, I don't do this sort of thing! Ever! I don't know what's going on. Eventually his train pulls up before mine and there's the obligatory snogging (I know I am such a romantic aren't I). I think I may have ended thing sooner than he would have liked.

As I'm sitting on the train home trying to convince the group of guys sharing the carraige with me that I am actually this tall and 2cm of cowboy boot does not make that much of a difference, my brain kicks in with a very definite Monty Python 'run aaaaaaway!' I hate being out of my depth. I'm not used to it. And I'm terrified of letting anyone get close to me. That's why in the past when a guy has shown any interest, I get the hell out of there as fast as I possibly can and never look back. I cannot even explain it. Luckily, Em was up finishing season 3 of Doctor Who (something I only knew thanks to the expected freak-out message over 'Blink') and could calmly point out that I should stop acting like an idiot. Well okay, that's not what she said, she was much nicer and more rational, but that was the overall message I'm taking aboard.

Anyway he seems unperturbed by my insanity if his early morning messages are anything to go by. This is such a new thing for me. Not just the dating thing, but a guy that is older than me, smarter than me, completely understanding of my fangirling, and unconcerned with my vocalised appreciation of Stuart Broad. It's all very strange.

But I will now go back to not thinking about it and being indifferent to any protocol. It works much better for me. That and vodka. Honestly, can't I just slap a 'n00b' sticker on my forehead and get it over and done with? It'll really save time in the long run.

On my usual front of useless information, I hear they've confirmed the 'Captain America' movie to go ahead, in the lead up to what will no doubt be an Avengers franchise (btw when I say I've been watching 'The Avengers' I mean the old school television show, with Steed and his umbrella, not the comic series.) Sam Worthington is the man of the moment, so his name is being thrown around for it but there has also been rumours of John Barrowman.. Uuuh. I fear if he plays another Captain, my brain may implode from failure to compute.

A not so subtle segway to the Whoniverse, both Torchwood and Doctor Who have made an io9 list of the worst moments for Sci-Fi and Fantasy television for the year, it is pretty sparse but it be here. Those TW kids have also made the news again. Meanwhile, Top Gear has been voted the best TV show of the decade (not sure who was running the voting), followed by Doctor Who, The Simpsons and The Office. That same list has Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' as the song of the decade, ahead of 'Rehab' and 'Mr. Brightside.'

I must admit I'm still finding it hard to believe a decade has passed. A whole decade! Why did they have to point it out? Of course, the passing must be marked so Lizzie is coming over for NYE shenanigans. There will be dinner and movies and ill-conceived cocktails. Can't wait for 2010 to get here!

Music: Life on Mars? - David Bowie
Mood: Sleepy

Monday, December 28, 2009

The lucky don't care at all

I have been so lazy these past few days, it's beyond sad. I countered my slothful tendencies by having lunch with Em today. It in turn countered her boredom as I supplied some lovely Doctor Who season 3 goodness for her - and got my season 2s back. I breathe easy having my Torchwood back, I know it's silly, but it's like a damned security blanket or something. Ah dear, there is no hope.

Only plans for the near future include lots of writing, movie tomorrow night, and then NYE with Lizzie. Sadly, I am so painfully broke it defies eloquent description. Gah I don't know what I'm going to do. Sell a kidney on the black market? Hm.

Um. Yeah. Look I really have nothing to contribute to the greater blogverse...all I've done in the last four hours is play some epic adventure quest majong game. I fear my eyes are going to start bleeding any minute, but I did win! Yaaaaay *sigh*

Goodbyes should always be brief
Yes, yes: We loved Russell T Davies' run on Doctor Who as much as anyone, but the year of special episodes seemed weighed down by a sense of its own self-importance that reached epic proportions...

[From io9's 'Five entertainment lessons we hope 2009 has taught the future']

Ain't that the truth. These specials have been a painful way to end things.

Yawn. Ugh I'm boring myself. Why do I blog? Who knows. I'm going to'Fragments'...sigh.

Music: Unnatural Selection - Muse
Mood: Thirsty

Sunday, December 27, 2009

If I told you I was dying, would it change you?

The snow crunches under his feet as he walks, a sea of white stretching out in all directions. There’s a cold, crisp feel of morning, the sky a shade of blue that seems indicative of that time somehow, but it is hard to tell in this wilderness. Months of unending darkness against months of unending light. It seems ironic, somehow, that he has arrived here in the latter. It’s almost as if the universe is providing a counterbalance for his mind, to save him from his own madness. Light and dark, yin and yang. He has lost his equilibrium. Truth be told, whether it's morning or night doesn’t matter. None of it does. That’s the whole point of it all after all, to lose himself in meaningless forgetfulness that stretches forever. It’s the blankest of canvases. His limbs are numb, rugged up in a coat that is glaringly insufficient for this walking, and walking, and walking, and walking... No, he’s succumbing to frostbite, the weakness of what he is essentially unavoidable, human and breakable. Soon he will be frozen and immovable, an object captured in time to blend with this landscape, to be uniform and whole, and he feels...nothing. There is no calm, no peace or vindication. There is no anger, no rush to survive. There is no despair, no pain or contemplation. There is only the numbing silence of a crisp morning covered in snow, and an empty, unforgiving landscape that welcomes the traitors and damned home. He cannot be forgiven, and he will not forgive himself. So the snow crunches under his feet as he walks, on and on, until he falls and the landscape leaves no trace of his presence on its shores.

“Our ghosts haunt our dreams, the quiet recesses of minds that never sleep. Parts of us are always dying, and maybe we don’t notice until it’s too late. The shards are embedded, they niggle when we least expect it. Maybe some seek them out, force them deeper to remember, and as they cut into the soft memories of things best left to rest, maybe some feel more alive. Others may notice that a part of them is gone, but they leave it. They leave well enough alone and let it fade, dust motes dancing in the sunbeams. Parts of me are dying, faster than parts can be reborn, and I am merely driven by the fear of forgetting. The faces, and the promises, begging and failing. Twisting shards, making sure they do some damage, pushing them deeper, again and again. As death keeps fighting, I can take my last breath amongst the ghosts of all who have stood beside me.”

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Music: Life on Mars? - David Bowie
Mood: Melancholic

Something's been on my mind

Hey Jack it's me, I don't mean to bother you but somethings been on my mind.
At the end of this road that climbs the horizon will be reached in a matter of miles.
And when the wheels cease to spin the walls and the fences will grow higher than redwood trees.
And I know your demise. And I fear what will happen when the road fails to flow under me.

Oh Jack you see, I felt like your mirror with the wind whipping through my hair.
When the wheels ceased to spin and I cased my surroundings, I realized I hadn't gone anywhere.

When the problems I'd left with couches in alleys, where no one would ever claim.
And the hardest part was sifting through the pieces of the rain soaked and rotten remains when I got home.

Music: Couches in alleys - Styrofoam feat Ben Gibbard
Mood: Contemplative

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope you all have a lovely festivus.

Merry Christmas
Original here

Late but all the same, here's my five favourite 'alternative' takes on Christmas songs at the moment:
> Last Christmas - Florence + The Machine
> Frosty the Snowman - Fiona Apple
> Christmas (Baby please come home) - Death Cab For Cutie
> Winter wonderland - Hellogoodbye
> Happy Christmas - Street Drum Corps feat Bert McCracken

I've also thrown in:
> The lights and buzz - Jack's Mannequin
> December is for cynics - The Matches
> Santa can you hear me? - The Plain White T's (if only for the line "Santa this is no time for a nap, I want a new sweater from the Gap." Hahaha)

And even though it is terrible, I love it so:

> The 12 days of Christmas - Taking Back Sunday
> All I want for Christmas is you - My Chemical Romance

Music: Fairytale of New York - The Pogues
Mood: Calm

So this is Christmas

Last year:



This year:



World's apart.

Today marks the start of the Christmas celebrations in my house, traditionally through the ages my family has been one of those that makes a big deal out of Christmas Eve. Lots of food, wine and festivities, and of course the presents. Christmas Day is then reserved for a more subdued relaxation of sorts. I used to think it was the done thing, but apparently not. Ah well, everyone has their own traditions I suppose. We have family friends coming over tonight, our little make-shift family over here, it should be nice.

Usually I leave my reflections until closer to NYE, but we might as well get them out of the way now. 2009 has been an...interesting year. Not one of my best to date, I must confess. It started well enough with leftover travel excitement and fangirlish glee, and Abbi coming to visit. Everything seemed to go downhill virtually the minute she went home. It's been trying and most of it I think I'll suppress when we hit 2010, but hey, I suppose that's how we grow. It is sadly in this respect, when looking at the pros and cons of the year, that the cons far outweighed the good.

Reasons why 2009 sucked:
- The insidious moving
- Drama with the owner of the second place
- My dad's bike accident
- My grandfather's heart attack
- Honours coursework
- Lack of consistent, decent gigs
- Two words: Ianto. Jones.
- see also: Children of Earth
- see also: The large scale breakdown of the TW fandom

Incidentally also why the one thing I want for Christmas this year is the one thing I will never have again.

Reasons why 2009 ruled:
- Abbi's visit
- A social life, complete with some new friends
- Completely embracing my geek side
- Completing Honours
- The anticipation leading up to Children of Earth

It's kind of funny because it wasn't just my year that seemed to toss up one curveball after another. Overall 2009 has not been kind to people - there have been personal trials and tragedies galore all over the board, not to mention the slew of celebrity deaths. It's been...tiring. The stress of honours, the moving, my dad getting hurt and my granddad being sick all while I was completely emotionally destroyed, rational or not, really took it out of me. I've been impatient, dismissive and reclusive over November just trying to restore some semblance of balance back to my life. I'm feeling better, and I think I've learned things from the entire process, like sometimes it's alright to be selfish because you can't always just be everyone else's rock - sometimes they should be there for you too; that I am never apologising for who I am or how I feel, whether people think it's weird or not; and that I am very lucky to have my parents and the friends that I do - I don't know how I would have gotten through this year without them.

So in this so called festive season, I am actually feeling festive for a change and I, for one, am going to be ringing in the new year with some relief next week. 2010, bring it on.

I love the stars too much to fear the darkness.

Finally, fair warning, should someone spoil me for the End of Time, that person will receive a rusty fork in the eye. Promise. And on that note, I won't be on Twitter after its airing. I have learnt my lesson there.

Music: Last Christmas - Florence + the Machine
Mood: Festivities imminent

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

These words get overused

I love this song

No, I'm not ready for a big bad step in their direction.
No, I'm not ready for downtown trash, avoid collection.
Four blocks, run and hide, don't walk alone at night.
Cityscape, city change before they die.
Four blocks, I should mention in a song if I want to get along with change,
Who doesn't wanna change this?

Feel a bit lost now that I don't really have anything that *has* to be done. So I'm constructing my own list of things I would like to do before going back to uni:

- Apply for internships
- Make significant progress on Amped
- Finish TV essay I started earlier this year
- Edit/expand NaNo novel
- Start another novel
- Just write more in general
- Read, read, read, read, read

Oh and catch up on all the lovely shows I've neglected the past year. Somewhere in there. Two months don't seem that long, if you consider all the things you wish you had time to do.

Music: Hell - Tegan and Sara
Mood: Weird

You could hope for substance

Wow, I haven't blogged in a while...well Saturday, but that's a while for me. Mostly this is because I haven't done much. Writing and pulling out my hair. I finished everything I had to do yesterday morning though, so I'm taking the rest of the week off before returning to the wonderful world of Amped...and possibly my nano novel.

In other news, I apparently went on a date last night. I didn't even think of it, but it seems that when a boy who is not already your friend asks you for drinks with just the two of you and pays this counts. Who knew? Just call me Captain Oblivious and hand me my cape. It was meant to be a couple of hours, he had a gig to go to, instead it ended up being like seven hours and he blew off his gig. I have never spent that much time with someone I'd just met briefly once before (especially when that first meeting was at a gig which isn't really the best talking environment.) But aaaanyway. I had a good night.

I don't feel that great today though. Too much vodka, far too much vodka. But at least I don't have a headache. That's something. Currently feeling rather peckish...good sign!

Meanwhile, this makes me so happy. I want to see it, so very much. I'm such a Shakespeare fangirl...and a Tennant fangirl, hey can't go wrong, can you?

Music: While you wait for the others - Grizzly Bear
Mood: Hungry

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I can haz holiday!

I am officially on holiday until the fourth and am ecstatic. Broke, but ecstatic. Wooooo! Summer holiday! Bring it on.

Through the all encompassing nature of Twitter, I discovered that the guests for the first leg of Supanova (the closest thing we have to comic con) has been announced. As well as having the wonderful Karl Urban back again, also in attendance will be James Marsters and Gareth David-Lloyd...who by that point will hopefully have had a haircut. It's only Melbourne and Brisbane, so of course, Lizzie and I are ankle deep in travel plans. Fandom, we are powerless to resist! I only ever go to Melbourne for fandom purposes - I feel I should be entitled to some sort of free pass. Though my battle with the trams will no doubt continue. One day, I shall triumph over the evil. One day.

But anyway, we're going to do it in style. After all, why not? If you're spending the money, you might as well go all out for it. So, proper hotel, VIP passes etc etc. Limo transfers optional. Wait, what?

2010 is shaping up pretty fiiiiine. There be gigs, there be festivals, there be geeking out. Let it run wild and free!

Music: Hey Jude - The Beatles
Mood: Amused

Friday, December 18, 2009

I got soul but I'm not a soldier

I could do with a nap right now.
Best nap ever!

PMA are counting down their favourite songs of the last decade, and today I noticed that they have 'All these things that I've done' at number 12. I've been on a Killers binge lately, and I have always been obsessed with that song, so I wholeheartedly approve of their assessment.

The Killers like to think that every song they write is a masterpiece, that Sam’s Town is one of the great all-time rock albums (it is underrated for sure, but come on now). In reality, the Killers have many good tracks, a whole bunch of great tracks, and “All These Things That I’ve Done.” With its glorious hooks, build-ups and sing-along lyrics, it is truly a classic.

Once they've finished the countdown, I'll repost the whole list...if I remember.

Meanwhile, I stumbled upon this via Paul Cornell's blog yesterday.

I think I should probably do a Christmas Playlist soonish.

Music: Rain
Mood: Sleepy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And my affection, well it comes and goes

I still cannot believe this whole cruise control debacle. I mean really people, was ATMOS involved? Also, it seems that he managed to stop the car by pulling the dare I ask why he didn't try this earlier? Ah well, poor sod.

Hung out with the girls last night. Lizzie and I met up with Annie and Sam, then the other three joined us at the restaurant later. There was tapas and Sangria. I firmly insist nothing can go wrong if you have Sangria. The Spanish are clearly brilliant. It was a crazy evening and I had an absolute blast. We were loud and inappropriate, so I think the waitstaff were quite glad to be rid of us when we moved to the Three Wise Monkeys. More loud and inappropriate behaviour ensued. Photos were taken. A lot of photos. R'n'B was indulged in. And when it was all over, I dragged the three left over, aka Liz, Roze and Mon, to McDonalds - the place where all good nights end. Haha, we're all class.

I managed to be showered, dressed, and outside by eleven this morning. No small feat on my day off. Got my car registration renewed, which took all of five minutes. The RTA was virtually deserted, that never happens! I was very pleased. So while I had made the effort, I swanned off to finish my Christmas shopping. Just need to pick up another voucher for dad and then I'm done. Woot. I got my usual puzzled looks as I walked about in skinny jeans and combat boots which is becoming rather tiresome. I know it's hot people, but I really don't care, you don't have to look at me like I'm green and I've just arrived from Mars. Relax. I almost bought a cute little sundress at Zimmermann but realised that Christmas shopping does not involve buying stuff for self. Self-restraint, I do have it.

Things I should acquire once the broke Christmas period is over:
- new sun visor
- new car seat covers
- Sims 3
- Tommy Hilfiger Dreaming (I don't care what anyone says, I love Tommy Hilfiger fragrances. This one is perfectly light, just subtle and floral enough for me to use regularly.)
- Tom Ford Black Orchid (I had my doubts about this one but it wears really well, exquisitely in fact. It's all old fashioned charm and smokey vintage 1940 Hollywood appeal - it makes me think of gilded ceilings, kohl eyes, slinky black dresses, champagne and cigarettes.)
- Zimmermann military cut jacket
- Suit from Portmans, including the goooorgeous waistcoat. Seriously it is the single most beautiful piece of clothing I have seen lately. I have such a suit fetish. It's bizarre.

Today's observations - Numb3rs is still awesome, as is Lie to Me. Baskins & Robbins candy floss ice cream is my favourite obsession this summer. Women turn feral in beauty shop sales. Chocolate milkshakes are the best cure to walking ten blocks in the sun. I don't know who the boy in this 'White Collar' show is, but he is rather cute.

Sorry for all the messages I missed or replied to really late, I've been running about all day and spent the rest of it in traffic listening alternately to Green Day and the Killers.

Now. Tea.

Music: All these things that I've done - The Killers
Mood: Content

Monday, December 14, 2009

Passing slowly through a vector

My petulance, which took a break in the face of all encompassing glee on Friday and was subsequently trumped by bliss and exhaustion over the weekend, is back with a vengeance. Everything continues to annoy me. Oh, there is no amount of words I can come up with to fully explain how very little patience I have for this right now.

I'm also wondering whether it is physically impossible for me to just be friends with a boy. Why must everything either dissolve into awkward flirting or girlfriends who loathe me? Let me address these issues - I have no interest in dating you, and I am not interested in stealing your boyfriend. I just want to be friends. Alright? Alright. I don't want to overcomplicate things. I just want to enjoy what it is.

Relationship talk, along with rampant egocentricity, are two leading contributors to my general state of annoyance with the world. Funnily enough, I received two phone calls over the past week concerning the R word. The first was from my maternal grandmother, in which the latest family drama was discussed. She concluded by saying she was so glad I wasn't obsessed with having a boyfriend like the rest of the cousins. I replied that most people just assumed there was something wrong with me and she said, "Tell them just because they made a mistake doesn't mean you should too." Yesterday my paternal grandfather calls because he suddenly remembered it was my birthday recently. First he asks whether I think I passed Honours in a tone that suggests he thinks it may be an issue, despite the fact that I have consistently achieved the highest grades amongst the grandchildren despite the fact that I have the disadvantage of being, you know, a girl. Then there was an exchange that went something like this:
"You turned twenty two didn't you?"
"Yup, I'm getting old."
"Yeah. It's about time you got a boyfriend."
I thought it was kind of funny that those two phone calls pretty much captured the beliefs upon which the two factions of my family are built. My father's side, the traditional fundamentalists who preach and judge at every turn, and my mother's, the keepers of the proverbial family home, that lives and let's live and who have always been proud of me.

I find this obsession with my love life rather amusing. It is true that I am the only singleton left in the family and perhaps this makes me somewhat of a novelty, but they're all so invested in it, it's utterly hilarious. Especially seeing as I have very little regard for it myself. I mean honestly, what part of I don't want one is so hard to understand? Maybe one day someone will come along and change my mind, but I'm not looking, and I am not stringing along some poor fool just because he's available. It's not fair. If he wants to settle down, he should have a fair shot at it, I'm not going to hold him back. No matter how long you hang around thinking you can wear me down, I promise you, you can't. You don't want to be the Millhouse to my Lisa. You're better than that, you deserve better than that. I'm stubborn, I absolutely never compromise on what I believe. Most importantly, I am happy. Hell, I'm proud of that.

Though my grandfather probably only asks because he hasn't heard the lesbian rumour yet...or perhaps because he has and he's merely testing out the waters. In case you're wondering how that one got started, other than the fact that I'm yet to bring a boy "home", I give you two words - my parents. So tired were they of fielding the very same question when family members decided it was no longer socially acceptable to press the issue with me personally, they thought this was both the easiest and most amusing way out. Ah family, who needs soap operas?

Meanwhile, in the land of everyday existence where sleep continues to avoid me and I stumble through booked-out work days, I went to see Zombieland with Sam tonight. It is both gross - cracking bones, trailing innards, gushing blood and regurgitating zombies - and utterly hilarious. We're supposed to see Avatar next, which I'm a bit iffy about - hey, blue people - but it's one of those you should see this season, so what the hell. Tomorrow night, it's dinner and shenanigans with Roze and co. We're celebrating Em's ascent to gainful full-time employment actually relevant to her degree (A proper job! What madness!) as well as jealously toasting Roze's departure to the lovely shores of the United Kingdom. I can fit in her bag, I know, I've checked.

Music: Only the songs in my head
Mood: Sleepy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Slipping in and out of focus

Today's cliff notes - I am exhasuted. Barely slept at all last night, an hour, maybe two at the most. It's insanity. Sore and bruised too. I aggravated matters by banging my elbow into the screen door and it is nice and swollen now. I can barely move it. I am cleary very clever. Now however, post-gig depression seems to have arrived. Sigh. Meanwhile, have a social schedule to maintain this week and I still don't have a functional bank card. That should make life interesting. Anyway, writing to be which I mean, procrastination to be done. But we will get there in the end. Always do after all.

Music: Bling (Confessions of a king) - The Killers
Mood: Sore

Saturday, December 12, 2009

With the ragged sails high, and the radio on

You can tell Gayle, if she calls,
That I'm famous now for all of these rock and roll songs.
And even if that's a lie, she should've given me a try.
When were kids on the field of the first day of school.
I would've been her fool.
And I would've sang out her name in those old high school halls.
You tell that to Gayle, if she calls.

And you can tell Jane, if she writes,
That I'm drunk off all these stars and all these crazy Hollywood nights.
That's total deceit, but she should've married me.
And tell her I spent every night of my youth on the floor,
Bleeding out from all these wounds.
I would've gotten her a ride out of that town she despised.
You tell that to Janey, if she writes.

But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
That will cut you to ribbons sometimes.
And all you can do is just wait by the moon
And bleed if it's what she says you oughta do.

You remind Anna, if she asks why,
That a thief stole my heart while she was making up her mind.
I heard she lives in Brooklyn with the cool,
Goes crazy over that New York scene on 7th Avenue.
But I used to wait at the diner, a million nights without her,
Praying she won't cancel again tonight.
And the waiter served my coffee with a consolation sigh.
You remind Anna, if she asks why.

You know it's hard to tell you this.
Oh it's hard to tell you this.
Here's looking at you, kid.

Music: Here's looking at you kid -The Gaslight Anthem
Mood: Pensive

Friday, December 11, 2009

Epic Gig Flail Post : starring the owners of my soul

Must blog before adrenaline wears off!

My ears are ringing, the muscles in my legs are aching, bruises are no doubt forming on my arms, I have a spasm in my neck, not to mention the fact that my neck is stained bright red thanks to the fact that I had my hair done today and the colour has come off second best to the mosh. Oh, and I really need a shower. But you know what? I don't care. I really do not care one single bit, because right now, in this very moment in time, I am one hundred and ten percent content. Happier than I have been in quite some time in fact. You see, I have just returned from the first Green Day gig, and am so ecstatically happy that I could die right now and have no regrets.

Oh boys, what you do to me. No other band makes me feel like this. No other band has this effect on me. There isn't a single other band that I lose absolutely all inhibitions for, that I scream and yell for, that I sing out every word as if my entire existence depends on it, and that I follow every command without even thinking about it. Green Day own my soul, I gave it to them a long time ago, and they have never, ever let me down.

Say what you want about the band, they really are just fantastic live. Absolutely fucking fantastic. The entire time they are on stage, they give it their all, and they are there to entertain, make no mistake about it. Seriously, they could have the shittiest day personally but you wouldn't even know. When they step on that stage, they are there, one hundred percent committed.

The thing I love most about their live shows is the intimacy they manage to create. It may be an arena, or a stadium, or whatever, but they just engage with the audience on so many levels and really strive to interact with everyone, that it feels like it might as well be in someone's living room. Tonight, not even two songs in, Billie Joe was already in the stands, draping his guitar over some unsuspecting man. There were the usual antics with getting audience members on stage to sing and spray us with waterguns, and the constant singing back at them. There was also a t-shirt gun (bazooka?) which I found utterly hilarious...and evidently Billie did too. But that's the thing, you are constantly involved as an audience, and that creates a level of intimacy that many other bands could only ever dream of achieving. You can tell the band is enjoying it, that they absolutely love playing and entertaining, and I think that makes you love it even more.

I brought Roze along as her Christmas present (it was supposed to be The Offspring originally, but they cancelled their tour) and she is one hell of a gig buddy. Totally fearless. Before I even knew what was happening we had shuffled forward to four rows back from the stage, and so ended up in all the mosh action for the night. Before this however, we were intrigued by a guy sitting around reading by himself and Roze in her infinite wisdom started a conversation with him. So we made a friend, who hung out with us the entire night. Win. I also got talking to another girl and her boyfriend, and it was just lovely. Absolutely lovely. The crowd were in general very well behaved. I was expecting us to be crushed in the rush forward when the lights went down, but no one moved. What a change. Obviously in the mosh it is unavoidable to receive a windmilling arm in the face or a finger in the eye, or a knee in the shoulder as one girl clambered onto her boyfriend's shoulders, but hey, whatever. If you're going to complain about things like that, you have no business being in the mosh in the first place.

Things didn't take long to get started either. Jet was the only support and they were way better than I expected them to be. Also oddly attractive on stage. Further proof that any guy automatically looks more attractive with a guitar slung over his shoulder. Nic's guitar was gorgeous, while we're on the topic. I actually want their new album, I love all the singles off it. I feel sort of sorry for them, people give them a bit of a hard time in general and I can't even imagine how tough it must be when your first single is a huge smash like 'Are you gonna be my girl?' The pressure of topping that must be immense. But anyway, I enjoyed their set. Much old school rocking out. Good times.

The Green Day boys however are in a league of their own. Seeing them play the same place I'd seen other bands play, really makes it stand out even more. For exampe, I have seen both Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco (sans !) play at the Acer and I was quite underwhelmed because it seemed too big and empty, the sound too crappy, the extras too sparse (or in Panic's case far too dominating). I blamed the venue for that, arena shows generally tend to be a bit lacking in those departments. Tonight though...holy hell. It's the band, the way they approach the venue and their audience, that makes all the difference. Those two bands have never even entered the same galaxy as what Green Day did tonight. They really are just that good.

The stage set-up was gorgeous. They had a hug electronic backdrop that had a foreground of monitors, set up in the same shape a city skyline would be. At first it was illuminated as buildings against a night sky, but every song had something different happening. It was never domineering or overwhelming, just the perfect balance to accentuate the show. At one point it was a bunch of televisions stacked on top of each other, and the top section started falling and crashing to the ground. There were also cameras running about so that was often projected onto the backing screen. It was all so brilliantly done...I don't even have the words to do a proper description of it all. I always tip my hat to any band that brings out a proper stage show cause hardly anyone ever does it for us here. We had everything tonight though, pyrotechnics that kept going, those flame throwers things (my personal favourite, I love when you're close enough to feel the heat off them), and confetti canons. Huzzah!

The boys themselves were just wonderful too. It is ridiculous how much I love them, seriously. Tre was in fine mad hatter form, Mike was fierce, Billie....oh Billie. The man can do no wrong. He just gets better with age. They have so much energy, it's unbelievable. I don't know how they ever manage to film them, they never stand still. Both Jason's were fabulous too and they had a guy on back-up guitar and vocals (and all sorts of other things) I hadn't seen before and who was totally cute. In general I just want to kidnap them all and keep them in my closet. It's getting very crowded in there.

I can't fault the setlist either. They have such an immense back catalogue that it's impossible to know what you actually want to hear. That's another thing I love about this band, they were on stage for almost 3 hours and they never stop. There's no pointless nattering in between, it's just entertainment city central. It is very rare to get a band who plays as long and as hard as they do. They really make every second (and every cent) worth it. They played 'Hitchin' a ride' and 'She' which is all I ever ask for. 'The King for a day/Shout' medley had the brilliant inclusions of 'Suspicious minds', 'Satisfaction' and 'Hey Jude.' At some point there was also a brief cover of 'Highway to Hell.' It makes me stupidly happy though when they announce the last song and it's 'Jesus of Suburbia'. It's over seven minutes long, that is value for a last song. Also a blatant lie, since the last song was 'Last night on earth' morphing into 'Wake me up when September ends' (which still gives me goosebumps) morphing into 'Good Riddance' - of course, as if we'd go home before we heard that one.

Gah. Everything was just perfect. Utterly, utterly perfect. It reminds me why I love them as much as I do. I'm now seriously considering going to tomorrow, or rather tonight's show as well.

I just want to live like this forever.

Music: The ringing in my ears. I'm so going to be deaf before I'm 40.
Mood: Blissful. Happy. Content. Ecstatic. Jubilant. You name it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's the stream of a motion blur

Having one of my seemingly bi-annual meltdowns in which my brain keeps rambling, at an increasingly frantic pace, variations of "You need to write more. Why does your writing suck so much? Do you have any idea how mediocre you are. You need to write more. You need a proper portfolio. You never do things except for assignments, or half-baked flashfic pieces. You are going to be a receptionist for the rest of your natural existence. Have I mentioned that you need to write more?"

So, in this fit of wide-eyed horror at a life of banality and mediocrity, I yet again manage to spend a day procrastinating instead of actually writing something. The challenge piece is due on Friday and I have yet to put proverbial pen to paper. Ah, what tangled webs we weave.

Still, I'm sure it can be done. I just hate every sentence I write, I glare at every word as if it is a personal affront. Surely I am better than this? I could have sworn there was a time I was better than this. Insert appropriate obscenity here.

Mum emailed me this quote today -

Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.

Perhaps she is trying to tell me something.

Meanwhile I feel like crap and still can't decide whether it is hayfever or an actual cold or such. Fail. I probably do not help my chances by liberating a glass of Tempranillo from the kitchen, but c'est la guerre.

Ah well. Back to the drawing board.

It's the colorless picture
In a heart shaped frame
The silhouette of a dough eyed girl
Who at one point had a name

Let's break the window panes
And separate the walls from all the nails
Cause maybe if we're loud we'll stay alive
While everybody wants to join the fight
But now it's too late

Brush away all the memories
Keep the cries curbside
I'll be ashing on the images
That have all been caught inside

But I couldn't put it down
No I couldn't put it down

Music: Common reactor - Silversun Pickups
Mood: Blank

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Non Sequitor

"There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries... most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved."

- Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Music: I promise you walls - Shiny Toy Guns
Mood: Drained

Monday, December 7, 2009

We had the greatest expectations

My weekend in point form:

> Hung out with mum
> Watched Australia, Becoming Jane, and Star Trek
> Watched two or three episodes of NCIS
> Forgot Homebake was on and led mum on merry walk all over the city anyway
> Took the Ianto bag out for a spin and had a girl stalk me all over Myer because of it
> Lots and lots of window shopping
> Sundaes at the Lindt Cafe
> Cotton Candy Ice Cream at Baskins & Robbins which tastes exactly like cotton candy
> Pink champagne and Belgian truffles
> Tried on a variety of hats and funky sunglasses
> Put up Christmas decorations, taking up virtually all of Sunday

Today it was back to the drudgery of every day life and the only thing keeping my sanity in line is the thought of upcoming holidays. I am thoroughly exhausted and covered in glitter - I had to put up the Christmas decorations at work today too despite my protest that I did my fair share of festive cheer yesterday.

Meanwhile, someone has gone on a merry online shopping spree with my Mastercard details. Luckily my bank were being vigilant and so their evil plan was foiled. Now I am without access to my bank account until a new card arrives. Honestly people, EPIC FAIL. What is wrong with you? I still don't know where they got the details from, I can only imagine one of the secure bases must have been hacked or some such.

Now, the only other thing I can say before I pass out from sheer exhaustion is to prepare my friends to forgive me my soon to occur indiscretions. I'm being utterly selfish and, though I love you all dearly, I will crack one of these days and you'll see what I'm talking about. Not now though, sleep beckons.

Music: Great Expectations - The Gaslight Anthem
Mood: Tired

We move along

Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking
When you fall everyone stands
Another day and you've had your fill of sinking
With the life held in your...
Hands are shaking cold
These hands are meant to hold

So a day when you've lost yourself completely
Could be a night when your life ends
Such a heart that will lead you to deceiving
All the days held in your...
Hands are shaking cold
Your hands are mine to hold

From Donna, with love.
[[Watch it, spaceman!]]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Me, myself, and I

Days like today remind you life is worth living. Strip back all the drama and the noise. Relax.

Reflections of Summer

Original here.

Music: Frogs and crickets chirping by the river
Mood: Mellow

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hair raven and a heart like a tomb

It feels like I have done nothing but watch movies in the last twenty four hours...which broadly speaking I guess I have. So, reviews!

Roze, Mon and I went to see Dorian Gray at Cinema Paris last night, apparently the only place in Sydney screening it. It is, of course, based on Oscar Wilde's only published novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, detailing the life of a young man who trades his soul to remain eternally young and beautiful while the effects of his increasingly more corrupt and debauched lifestyle are reflected on a self-portrait he keeps in the attic.

The film is quite weird and does differ from the original text a bit as these things always do, but while it has gotten some mixed reviews, I loved it. I thought the production was slick, the characterisation of the society very effectively done, and that it was overall engaging. But honestly, after about five minutes of staring at Ben Barnes, who even cares anymore? It is true that originally the first thing I thought of when I looked at him was William Beckett, observe:



But by the end of Dorian Gray however I think we were all more than a little enthralled. Besides, the more deranged Dorian becomes, the hotter he is. It is quite a kink fest. The debauchery made for lots of shirtless shots and we three girls certainly weren't complaining. It's shameless sure, but hey, the boy is worth the price of admission alone. Besides I doubt Oscar Wilde would blame us. We also had the opportunity to make so many stupid jokes and innuendo (which was actually delivered on) so really, could not have asked for a better night out. Oh, Colin Firth is in it too. He's always a good endorsement of a film.

Dorian Gray

This morning I had to be up at some ungodly hour as a guy was coming out to have a look at our garage door, so while I waited for him, I watched Idiocracy. This film first came to my attention in one of Abbi's film studies and it is every bit as great as she said it is. I was a bit iffy on pursuing this actually, since I'm really specific on what comedy I like and Abbi and I do have rather varied taste in that particular movie genre (despite our shared love of zany things like The Mighty Boosh, I wouldn't for example touch anything starring Will Ferrell even if you paid me.)

Regardless, I gave it then benefit of the doubt, and it paid off. Idiocracy is gold. Starring Luke Wilson as the distinctly average Joe Bauer who is frozen in a military experiment that goes slightly awry and awakes in a future devoid of any semblance of intelligence. It is a population spawned by advertising, junk food, and reality-tv tropes. The scary thing is that I can see it happening. Shudder. Despite the film being rather thin in parts, it is really enjoyable and just the perfect length for some escapism. It never feels forced, and doesn't feel stupid at all, which is rather ironic, but quirky nod to intelligence none the less. I'm surprised it wasn't a bigger film on release.


I followed this with There Will Be Blood. Um. I realise it is an award-winning, critically acclaimed film and all that, but the pacing was driving me mad. I tweeted this film silly, a sure sign that I was getting distracted during it. It is an odd one. I believe it goes for around ten minutes before there is even dialogue. It is very much about mood, and intensity. Loosely based on a novel entitled Oil!, it follows a miner-turned-oil-prospector as he pursues wealth in early 20th Century Southern California.

There is no denying that Daniel Day-Lewis is absolutely fantastic as Daniel Plainview, the oil prospector in question. Paul Dano puts in a superb performance as the thorn in his side, the religious Eli. It is an intense film that really packs a punch in its last hour. At the end of the day though, I do not like films like this. It has no real plot. Okay yes he wants to buy up all the farms and build a pipeline to the coast, but there's no real opposition to this, it's just something that happens. That makes it a character piece, it's about Daniel Plainview and his descent into madness - power corrupts, money doesn't buy you happiness, yadda yadda yadda. Nothing you haven't heard before. He becomes progressively more and more nuts, and less and less likeable, which is hard when I barely cared in the first place. That's why, when it was nearing the two hour mark, I was about ready to throw in the towel. It's just too slow. Nothing happens. I was lying on the couch reading tweets. The only thing that kept me going was thinking of how many films Abbi has suffered through for her film study.

Then, suddenly, everything happens and we're ten or something years in the future and he's passed out across the two bowling lanes in his house. As you do. Then the film just ends, leaving me with only one response to the whole thing - um, okay. It must be said I was glued to the screen for the last half hour, but it's truly only a testament to the magnificent performances by Dano and Day-Lewis. This would have been a disaster if not for them and the absolute intensity of the landscape the film created. Still, wouldn't watch it again if I could help it.

There Will Be Blood

By this point it was time for me to drive to Penrith in order to accompany Lizzie to a screening of The Time-Traveler's Wife. Again, a film based on a book. No, I have not read said book. Despite being told to do so by various individuals at various times, I never got around to it. It takes a lot of motivation for me to pick up a book like that. Yes, I'm being completely presumptuous but I have a bad track record with them. So I never bothered. I think in this instance it may have worked in my favour since it seems a lot of fans hate the movie version.

Anyway, it's a love story about Henry,a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to travel in time completely erratically, and his wife Clare, an artist who has to deal with his disappearances. She's known him since she was six years old and spends her entire life waiting to "meet" him in everyday life, which is actually the first time that he meets her. Then it's that whole time-travel headache of free will and you know, if he never met her in the meadow when she was six, she never would have met him later, but he only meets her because she told him and so on - cause and effect, who, where, what, why, and so on. Other than one brief scene, that's not actually really in the film, but something to ponder whenever time travel comes up in general I think.

I am entirely neutral on the film, I was neither awed nor disappointed. It's not really my thing. I never would have gone to see this if Lizzie hadn't wanted to, but I thought it was alright. Typical of its genre. I quite like Eric Bana so I don't mind. I did find Clare quite annoying though, something about the character just grated. Also am I the only one who thinks Rachel McAdams and Jennifer Garner look rather alike? The good thing is that with the time travel, the whole thing feels constantly in motion, so it never felt like it dragged to me. That said, the film does feel quite thin, as if it's missing something, but that might be remedied by reading the book, I don't know.

Time Travelers Wife

I think out of all of them I enjoyed Dorian Gray the most. Now, as it has yet again reverted back to winter, I think I shall get under the covers and watch some television. Hmm. Laziness. Bliss.

Music: Great Expectations - The Gaslight Anthem
Mood: Sleepy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Caught up in the fable

John Barrowman has said he expects Torchwood is to return for a fourth series as a full 13 episode run. Speaking on Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2, Barrowman confirmed he was signed up for the long rumoured return, although a production date has yet to be finalised.

Hm. See, I don't know how to feel anymore. Just, just, ugh. And whyyyyy? I bet Jack pops up in the End of Time just long enough to be told to go back to Earth, re-uniting with Gwen and a succession of red shirts and then at the end of this supposed 13 episode run Rhys promptly dies. Yeah, I've got your number, drama, don't you worry about that. On that note, I can't fight the overwhelming sense that RTD has blown everything out of the water in the End of Time. He's already nicely laid the foundation for Ten's character assassination, and there will probably be impressive collateral damage. So let's prepare permanent goodbyes for Donna. You know, for the good of the story. And yeah, sure, it'll probably be gripping television. But you'd probably still wish you'd rather never seen it.

I was regaling my mum with theories and opinions on this the other day, poor long suffering woman, and she suggested I may as well do my PhD on it. And you know what, my qualifications are of a sufficiently random sort that I could actually do that. There are however more than a few books on Doctor Who already though but, but, a quick search of the UTS library reveals nothing on Torchwood. There's a niche! Hahahahaha. I can have a doctorate in Torchwood.Well, technically it would be a doctorate in television and fandom, on which there are many books but most of them on Star Trek. Gigglesnort. The poor lecturer who suggested I do a PhD in 20th Century French Literature would be so disappointed in me.

Speaking of the insanity of tertiary education, I decided today to accept the place at UTS for Masters. It's been over a month that they first issued it and since USyd don't seem to know when or if I will get an offer from them, I don't want to wait too long. If I do get another offer, I'll weight up both options and see what's best. UTS is going to be a lot more intense as it's full time, but I know UTS. I know I am more than capable of working in their environment. Superficially speaking, the subject choices are bit more to my liking. I've done half of the ones USyd offer, whereas with UTS it is more of a progression on top of what I've already studied. It's only the exchange thing that fucks me over.

Anyway, if I do end up going to UTS I'm thinking of taking professional editing and experiments in writing as electives. I have another one but I cannot decide whether to do novel writing, popular fiction, or critical writing. There's also 'writing television drama' which goes beyond screenwriting to encompass the entire world of series writing as you develop a show. It would obs be great for Amped. Guess I'll see what's available when the time comes, no point in making plans in advance with these universities, they change something every week.

I do find it amusing however that when looking at the "requisite(s)" previous units of study, I have done virtually all the subjects they list. I've been at uni too long. Sigh.

But I digress. I am off to see Dorian Gray with Roze and co tonight. Right after I take Oreo to the vet. There's no rest for the wicked...but there is still cake.

Music: Who'll stop the rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Mood: Cold

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cue the superhero music please


I cannot believe I actually pulled it off. Today I wrote over 8,000 words despite the fact that I had a full day at work and spent my lunch break rushing to and from the city to submit a piece for the Anthology. Delia is editing and I ran into her in the hallway. She said she had hoped I would be submitting something. I know it's silly, but that does kind of make me feel happy. I mean they're published writers who see hundreds of students every year, but they still take a personal interest in little old me. It's a boost I need at the moment since I'm beginning to suspect USyd does not want me despite my 3.3GPA and recommendations.

But yes, NaNoWriMo. It is a mess. The pacing is all over the place, especially now that I rushed it all in near the end. The ending is skeletal at best. But it's there. And that, after all, is the point of NaNoWriMo. It's not about quality, consistency, or anything like that, it's just about getting words down on paper and a story out of your brain and into the real world. I did that, all 50 906 words of it. So I'm quite proud of myself.

I was close to giving up quite a few times. The first week was by far the hardest for me, just trying to find the enthusiasm to start and watching everyone else's word counts rocket ahead. That's definitely not a mistake I'll be making again next year, staying far away from other people's counts. And yes, I'm fairly sure I'll be doing it again next year. It was also a bit of a struggle to get through words when my brain just felt so fried in a sort of uni/thesis induced hangover of sorts. Last week I didn't think there was any possible way I'd be able to finish cause Ii was just so far behind the recommended daily count, but Abbi insisted and so with a little faith from my friends, I pressed on. Yes, I left it to the last minute (finishing 20 minutes before midnight) but hey, that's how I do everything.

So I managed to achieve to goals for November - NaNoWriMo and a piece for the Anthology. It's not an entirely new piece, it's true, but I did spruce up one of my old ideas that I was rather fond of. Just to say I tried. It's all in the attempting. I don't want to look back one day, like I do with most things, and wish I'd just at least tried to particiapte in something. So this year I made an effort.

Now it's on to the next writing project, the reel challenge. Which is due in two weeks. Joy.

Meanwhile, I am flat broke and oh so much to do. Still have to pay my car registration, Oreo is going to the Vet tomorrow, petrol, movies, getting hair done next week, It's times like these that I want a full time job because I am looking forward to having my two week Christmas holiday but not so much going two weeks without pay. Sigh.

Work, while on the topic, was actually pretty hectic today. I ended up having to do end of month since the practice manager couldn't make it in. That's always fun *cough* The only thing that even vaguely amused me was all our ex-pat British patients wandering in and complaining about the "London weather." It was rather wet and miserable today, you can just see them all thinking they did not move halfway across the world to put up with this crap in summer. Made me smile at any rate.

Music: Peacemaker - Green Day
Mood: Thirsty

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I will bend the light pretend that it somehow lingered on

Aaaaah. Birthday weekend was absolutely lovely. Lovely! That can be said in an Eliza Doolittle voice if you so wish.

My dad insisted we go out to dinner last night as a family, so off we went to some place he saw in the paper and decided we needed to try. It was quite unique, once we eventually got there. Parking was a nightmare and I was rather less than enthused when I realized I had to walk 6 blocks in stilettos. These shoes were not made for walking over uneven terrain. It was not as bad as I expected, shockingly enough I think my feet are getting used to such abuse. But anyway. It was a Brazilian BBQ place that is sort of like an all you can eat buffet except they constantly walk around with plates of food that they bestow upon you when they pass your table. I must admit I was more interested in their jugs of Sangria, the solution of all of life's problems. I possibly drank a little too much, at my father's encouragement which makes him a terrible influence. Just for the record.

This morning I went into the city to drop some things off at uni and mum tagged along. We stopped at some factory outlets on the way back, which led to too much walking but I did acquire a frozen cocktail mix that comes with the instructions "Add bottle of dark rum and freeze." Perfect for the next 49 degree day with the girls, me thinks. Speaking of, my gorgeous friends all came over late afternoon, Lizzie first, followed by Roze, Em and boyfriend. There were board games, a lot of loud talking and teasing, quoting of Troy, Glee watching, Thai food, cake, lollies of all description, and it all ended in Uno. Yes, we are that hardcore. It was epic amounts of fun, so much thanks to the girls for talking me into doing something.

Roze also gave me a brilliant birthday card, which she always does, but it bears mentioning. Oh and also got my laptop bag! Heeeeeee. Em got me a gorgeous Paris themed suitcase-container-thing (technical term) which I've been coveting. My room is slowly morphing into a France theme, unsure when exactly this happened.

All the shenanigans means I have not worked on NaNo much, which leaves me with about 4 chapters to do tomorrow if I wish to break 50K. To the writing mobile!

Music: Clarity - John Mayer
Mood: Pleased

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Om nom nom

From Donna, with love.
[[Watch it, spaceman!]]

I can haz cake

Remember that post I did the other day on how I have moved into geekdom? My birthday continues to support the trend. I've hardly received a birthday message that did not involve some reference to the Doctor or something related. My parents, having already given me my present months ago as it is hard to store a 2m canvas, still got me a little something today...a robot shaped flash drive. Sooooo cute! So, you see, all my presents continued to be in some way fandom or tech related. Thus again we can only conclude that a geek. Fantastic.

I sadly had to go to work this morning, blah. We did a batch of H1N1 vaccinations so we were rather busy. I have next weekend off thankfully. I'm still hoping to go away. Currently though, I'm sitting at home, pontificating over the fact that I should really be writing, and awaiting the arrival of cake. Hmmmm cake. Going out to dinner tonight, there may be shopping tomorrow, and the weekend is to be capped off with a night in, shenanigans to no doubt ensue. Considering how little enthusiasm I had for my birthday, I must say I'm rather enjoying it. It's calm and relaxed, something I haven't had much of this year. Sigh. Twenty two. All the milestones are behind me for the forseeable future. To think last year on this very day I was wandering around London with exceedingly wet jeans (I know, stupid tourist), and met Abbi for the first time in RL. It feels like forever ago.

Now, the random 'Risk Assessment' extract for today:

'Gin would be lovely,' said Jack firmly.
Mandy giggled. 'Oh no, my love,' she said. 'We've got tea or instant. And I can probably find you a digestive.'
Jack swung around to look at her, his smile whacked up to 11. 'This instant coffee? Would it be a very cheap brand?'
Caught out, Mandy flushed slightly. 'Oh, well, more of a discount really. Special offer. It's not branded, see, and quite powdery, but Ruth, she swears it's - '
Jack's smile peaked. 'Wonderful. I would love a cup of your unbranded instant coffee!' He winked, and turned back to Rhys, just in time for Rhys to catch what looked like a smirk of childish rebellion on Jack's face.

So passive aggressive, it's brilliant. Another classic moment brought to us by the mind of James Goss. There are oh, so many.

Music: Uprising - Muse
Mood: Content

Friday, November 27, 2009

If you want flowers you can buy a bouquet

Today I was alerted to the fact that it's been a decade since The Matrix was first released. It really doesn't feel that long. Ah, The Matrix, remember when it was the height of cool and people ran around in long black coats and shades, when we realised that Keanu really did his best playing someone not quite human, and that there was no situation that couldn't be enhanced with a "Missster Anderson." Then there's the conspiracy theories, whispers of "If this really was the matrix..." Ah 1999, you were good to us.

In honour of this, I present lego Matrix, not to be confused with lego Darth Vader. This is something completely different:

This is it in frame with the original.

Anyway, here are two random photos! The first one is of the new notebook, nicknamed Sheldon but networked and registered as Torchwood Four. The second is a t-shirt I couldn't resist buying which arrived today, just in time to be a birthday present to myself.



I know, my life is just so exciting, isn't it?

Music: I want to know your plans - Say Anything
Mood: Writing, writing, writing

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I see a bad moon rising

The key to really enjoying a film is to go into it with absolutely no expectations and with a good sense of humour (because ok maybe you have the expectation that it is going to suck, whatever). Last night I saw New Moon with Em and her boyfriend, who was by far more into it than either of us. Really, his enthusiasm is adorable. For those who live under a rock, it is the second film of four based on the immensely popular Twilight novels written by Stephenie Meyer, and is all about vampires and werewolves but without the pesky constraints of horror convention and tradition.

Amazingly enough, I actually enjoyed this movie. In my opinion, it was much better than the first one. This is probably in no small part due to the fact that Cedric is barely in it. Minimal stuttered dialogue and lack of chemistry topped with pained facial expressions mean less eye-rolling for me. Yay! Taylor Lautner, who of course plays Jacob Black, surprised me by out-acting virtually everyone. He is the most natural and most believable of the lot of them. Save perhaps Alice, who is adorable. Jasper has maybe all of two lines and still stands around like he's been caught in headlights, but it's Jasper so who cares - plus I loved his final line. The Laurent scene in the meadow was comic relief, though I doubt that was intended. He said something that sent me into a fit of giggles but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Nobody else really warrants any attention...oh except that Mike character, man he's annoying. I mean he was annoying in the books, but he's just moron level of annoying now. Oh, I also realised Em and I totally have a thing for Carlisle though. Every time he came on screen (which is not nearly often enough) we'd both just sigh happily.

I know Lizzie for one will disagree with me here, but I actually love the Volturi. They have an edge of creepiness that's generally lacking in this franchise. I thought they captured the vibe I got from them in the books perfectly, with the other two being alternately deathly bored and unamused, while Aro just runs around all gleefully. It's amusing. While he is not a reflection of my mental image of Aro, I think Michael Sheen did a great job with what little he had to work with. Also, Dakota Fanning as Jane is just perfect. I would love to see more of them, especially her "brother" Alec...for no other reason other than he's adorable. So if we could have him, Jasper and Carlisle in the back of every scene, I will stop complaining about how much Cedric is ruining everything.

Seriously, not once while reading the books did I ever think "Man I wish someone would take out Edward." Jake yes, Bella yes, never Edward. But watching the films I catch myself thinking that quite often. That's why I shall forever refer to him as Cedric, for he is not, nor shall he ever be, anything remotely close to the Edward in my head. Ugh why couldn't we have had Tom Sturridge or Gaspard Ulliel or something? I'm sure there's an unknown actor out there that would have done a great job much like Taylor. I am sorry that I keep picking on the guy, really I am. In the back of my head I know that I should give him a break...but I just can't seem to help myself.

But I digress. The point is, I did not loathe this and I may even watch it again when it comes out on DVD - something I certainly never felt like doing with the first one. So yes, by all means go see it and bring your own opinion on the hype. Just don't expect anything and it'll be fine.

Meanwhile, I've started watching The Avengers and I love it way more than I really should. It's on at 1am on Fridays and it just cracks me up.

Music: Resistance - Muse
Mood: Sleepy

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered

I am feeling emo about NaNoWriMo (convenient that it kind of rhymes). I don't like failing things, it drives me ever so slightly loopy. It gnaws at me. That's why I have this terrible habit of not pursuing things I am not immediately good at, I cannot stand the possibility of failing so I don't even try. That's the odd twist of my perfectionism.

My perfectionism is also what is making this so hard. I'm self-editing and thinking too much as I go along, wasting time over where to break sentences, and whether to include a comma there or not. It's counterproductive to just getting the damn story out there. I keep telling this to myself and yet my brain keeps going "yes, yes, in a minute." Now I need 19,000 words to end this madness and I have what, 5 days left.

I'm annoyed more than anything. I don't do failure. I don't do not reaching word limits. After everything I've managed to do this year, am I really going to let a little bit of creative writing get the better of me? Creative writing, for crying out loud, it's supposed to be my playground.

The answer is no, I am not. NaNoWriMo thinks it can upset me and keep me down, well it clearly doesn't know me very well.

Music: Hum Hallelujah - Fall Out Boy
Mood: Determined

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're all in the gutter

I guess we all think we grow up, but some things you can never outgrow. It's coded into the very essence of you. Most of the time that's a comfort, but some nights it just feels like a prison.

There used to be a blog I'd read that tended to reflect melancholy nights like these when there's nothing but my own mediocre existence buzzing through my thoughts. In a way I suppose I was in love with the boy who wrote it. Not for the real person he (is)was, or the way he acted, or who he pretended to be. Just the simple words, on the other side of the keyboard, sitting in front of a screen when he should have be sleeping. Friends will say now "you had such a crush on him" but it was never him, it was just the words. The outpouring of the inner self of a depressive, insomniac, compulsive, control freak who acknowledged when the world overwhelmed him, both in the good and the bad. It alternately gave me something to think about, and something to grab hold of. Sometimes it just simply kicked my own thoughts back into drive - I would just write. Most of the time it was just the disconcerting familiarity that existed when someone seemed to mirror and capture your own thoughts so perfectly, that you would no longer feel alone or unique, and you didn't whether that was good or bad.

That blog no longer exists. I'm sure the words still do though, even if they're no longer meant for prying eyes. I can understand that. Growing up, after all. But I'll always remember. Maybe that will be enough. Though I'll always be missing that little something that complimented me so perfectly, when I knew it didn't matter whether I had a reason to feel what I feel or whether I could even put a name to it, because he knew what it was like.

I say this now because I'm teetering on the edge of recognition. I can feel it in the back of my mind, beyond this weird melancholy that came uninvited and stayed for dinner. The words and the feelings are churning around, a dull press against my eyes. All it takes is a well placed phrase and they'll come spilling out without rhyme or reason, paragraph or punctuation. Just images and phrases. Somewhere in there I recognise that I shouldn't need this push off the proverbial cliff. I shouldn't need a spark from someone else to set this night on fire. It'll happen by itself eventually, no doubt. Something will catch my eye, free my imagination and let the words flow. I just know this would be easier if that blog was still around, and this night would seem a little more productive with an end game for the whole tortured artist routine.

i am a wing and a prayer
ill give you heatstroke
you and i
gave our lives to strange times
ill take your sun
ill shake your son
and make him shine on you
ill sing all of your favorite songs
one more time
out of tune

Music: Across the universe - Rufus Wainwright
Mood: Pensive

In which a day of procrastination is revealed

NaNoWriMo is going poorly. I really need to stop bloody procrastinating. Yet here I am. Fail.

It doesn't particularly help that I'm so beyond tired all the time, I don't know what's wrong with me. Yawn after yawn, it's annoying. I spent my afternoon napping on the couch.

I know I've mentioned it before, but Lie to Me really is a great show. I am surprised it doesn't get more hype. I've also started watching Better off Ted which is amusing in that 30 Rock kind of way.

I started reading the first one of the last batch of TW novels last night, 'Risk Assessment' by James Goss. You may remember him from my mention of his other TW novel, the crack-fest 'Almost Perfect'. Though I am only four chapters in, I think it is safe to say that out of all the Torchwood novelist, James Goss probably has the firmest handle on the demographic he is writing for. Out of all of them, his work also reads the most like fanfiction and seems to stumbled a little over the fine line of crack-territory that sci-fi often toes. All this is fine however because James Goss, as it turns out, knows how to entertain. Besides, I do so love intertextuality and he does it so well. The man's chapter headings! Honestly, I would not have believed chapter headings could be so joyful if I had never seen his. I though the status-update 'Almost Perfect' ones would never be topped, but those in 'Risk Assessment' come pretty close:

Bleeding Heart Yard: In which something quite remarkable must account for herself, there is sad mention of a submarine, and the domestic skills of Mr Jones are brought into question.

Moving In Society: Containing the Children of Emo, an adventure in a horseless carriage, and Miss Havisham's brief career as an exotic dancer.

Is it particularly well-written? I don't even know. I don't even care. I do know it's amusing however.

I really need to do something about how easily amused I am. Also, I fear I am a disappointment to academia considering my lack of respect for any boundaries of supposed high and low brow culture. It's all fair game to me.

This book talk actually dovetails nicely with the conversation I had with Miss L this morning which alluded to the question whether canon was something to be respected, or something more malleable that can be tested and changed. It came on the back of your discussion about a quote from everyone's favourite megalomaniac regarding the Whoniverse and the whole number of regenerations issue.

I find it interesting to think about these things, not only as a viewer/reader/responder, but from a writer's perspective as well. Personally I feel that it is vital to consider your responders when you are composing something within an existing format. A whole world has already been created and though you may not particularly like it, you are still bound to the laws of that world. If you want to go nuts and do your own thing, you have to start a different verse, do an AU, or just come up with your own original creations. Thus we have comic books - so many variations of the same thing, all tweaking the rules ever so slightly as they go. It's an indefinite number of worlds out there.

Again I can only comment on what I personally prefer, but I am such a stickler for details, when someone makes a throw-away comment in a show, even if it is just a single line, I expect it to be adhered to within the limitations of that show...or book, whatever really, it's all the same. To me it's canon, and so I expect a level of consistency to be carried for the duration. I mean sure you can come along three years later and say a genie appeared from a lamp and made it all go away [Lizzie is thinking "A wizard did it!" - yeah I know, I'm in your head, creepy huh?], but that's just sloppy and totally compromises immersion in said fictional world. You can't just run round making stuff up as you go along, alright yes it's fiction, but you're still working within existing parameters and so surely there is some responsibility to stick to them. Otherwise nothing means anything and that is not fair on the audience. How can someone maintain trust in something that constantly changes to suit its needs? There are ways for this to be circumvented I suppose, but I don't think one should enter into such means lightly.

I'm not talking about, you know, who shot JR and it all being a dream anyway, or other miraculous re-appearances from characters who have been killed (that's simple Back From The Dead tactics, an old stand by in entertainment and a definite case of never say never), I'm more concerned with major things that impact upon your protagonist and form part of the audience's basic understanding of how the fictional world works. It's like saying actually Tony's family never cut him off, or Larry never truly went into space. Elements of what make the characters who and what they are, shape the world in which they exist. Or, to perhaps stretch the image a bit thinly, it's like finding out Batman was actually an alien all along. Changing the fundamental make-up of the character will change everything, not only for the future, but also how the past is viewed.Take one from the other, and you risk cheapening the whole experience.

What did I say yesterday about straying completely into geekdom? In the words of Comic Book Guy - But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills, you're from two different worlds! Oh, I have wasted my life.

So, any opinions? Think it's alright to tamper with existing mythology to suit your own aims as creator? Or should you sacrifice your "creative vision" to adhere to the world that already exists?

Music: Little Dreamer - Future Islands
Mood: Sore

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I just don't know what to do with myself

You know you have really strayed into full-blown geekdom the day you no longer think it would be weird to buy say a R2-D2 Peppermill, and instead believe everyone will think it is totally cool. I found myself thinking that this surely was the height of kitchen coolness and so, dear readers, I have stumbled well and truly from part-time dabbler into Big Bang Theory nerdom. I'm a comic book addiction away from the point of no return.

...and I love it.


A homo habilis just discovering his opposable thumbs says what?

Meanwhile, I noticed in the paper this morning that Harvey Norman were having a laptop sale, so of course I go have a look. Now honestly, I didn't need to. This laptop, while being unable to run live messenger, having sound card problems, a wonky cd drive, periodic crash dumps, and a screen that blacks out whenever it chooses, is actually still working fine. I cannot justify purchasing a new laptop.

I still did though. I love, love this HP Pavilion I've had the last three years, it's gorgeous and has a 15.4" widescreen and full sized keyboard that has served me well. Now I've gotten a superlightweight HP Pavilion dm3 Notebook, which is only 13.3 inches and it's taking some getting used to. There's not nearly as much space to work with and of course all my desktops are way too big now. That said it's probably going to be better for taking around with me to uni and such. Plus I could only get a 13" or 16" and higher, the laptop bag my friends had made for me only takes up to 15.6" and hell, I haven't even used it yet, I'm not going to get a laptop that doesn't fit.

Anyway yes. Now I have a new laptop. Why don't people stop me from doing this to myself?

I'm doing the set-up as I type this. Oh god I hate change...

Music: The whir of the fan
Mood: Annoyed

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm not one for lovesongs

Just saw the teaser from the next Doctor Who special. Epic glee. I seriously should not experience such joy at the return of my favourite lunatic, especially not when it promises Ten's demise, but I can't help it. I just love John Simm's Master and cannot wait to see what new madness he will bring with him this time.

In unrelated news, stumbled upon this on the movie blog I read:

Summit Entertainment announced today that "New Moon" completely trounced midnight opening records by "Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince" ($22.2 million) and "The Dark Knight" (previous record holder with $18.5 million) by taking in a whopping $26.27 million in midnight screenings from 3,514 theaters last night. Predictions for box-office receipts this weekend are ranging in the $90-$100 million range which is outrageously good numbers if they can hit those targets and pretty good indication that no matter how much critics and many adults hate "Twilight" it is here to stay.

Wait, whaaaat? How did it do better than The Dark Knight? I mean come on, seriously? And alright, I haven't seen it yet but I will at some point provided someone is going with me since I can't very well go by myself, but my expectations are about as low as they were for the second Transformers movie. Just the thought that it is put in the same frame of reference as the Dark Knight is a bit laughable really. I mean hell, that had Christian Bale (who I'd back against Cedric any day) and a brilliant performance by Heath Ledger. There was excellent cinematography, dramedy, explosions, a great score, facial expression...aaaah I am so petty, I'll stop. The New Moon reviews have been less than promising. I'm always a bit sceptical when it comes to this because often reviewers will just hate something because they expect they should hate it. It's not really about the actual output at all. The whole Twilight franchise gets so much crap, people just mock if because that's the expected thing. That said, I've heard a couple of fans saying that it isn't as good as the first one. Now in my humble opinion the first one was rather ridiculous, so I'm concerned where we can go from there.

This is from another review:

We're the first to admit that we're not the target audience for "New Moon" (you know, because we have taste and aren't swooning teenage girls). But there's playing to your base, and there's making a bad film, and this is more a case of the latter. Even teenage girls (who have previously been responsible for the success of Hanson and "Saved by the Bell") are too smart for this movie. And if they're not, we're in trouble as a species.

Promising, isn't it? I really don't understand why these movies aren't better. I don't know if it's the casting, the direction, the script or just a basic problem with the source material. So the books aren't exactly prize winning literature, but they still had a spark about them that made it readable and enjoyable enough to spawn such a rabid fanbase, and that is clearly not translating. It probably has something to do with the books having a heavy internal reflection going on that can't really be carried into film. I have half a mind to try and script them myself just to see if it can be done properly.

Yes, that is delusions of grandeur you sensed in that last line. Studying a semester of screenwriting and watching Adaptation does not qualify such throw-away lines. But hey, I may be bored sometime, you never know.

Anyway, I'm revelling in the breeze and my freedom from the evils of air-conditioning. It makes me feel so sick, it's insane. Meanwhile, they're predicting 49 degrees for the inner west tomorrow. Beach, yes/yes?

Music: The world has its shine - Cobra Starship
Mood: Lazy