Monday, May 31, 2010

Life is a test, and I get bad marks

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah *collapses in giant heap* My life is a hectic mess of nonsense, it's absurd. I demand a pause button, or a better grip on sanity, or the ability to go without sleep, or something. Who'd have thought I'd ever miss boredom...I miss boredom. I see that there will be no such luxuries at work going forward, except maybe the hour reception relief I have to do, but even then it's interrupted boredom. Ugh.

I've got my first deadline on Friday, I think I've got most things sorted for that, it's just a steady trickle of information that keeps coming in and have to be reworked and sorted. I've got two more the following week - well technically it's the week after that, but I won't be there, so I need to get as much done as humanely possible before I go. When I come back, it all starts again.

On the other hand, I'm trying to pull together the latest issue of MobyMag - the site is down at the moment, so if you'd like to contribute (and that really means anything), please email me at

I have finished all my uni stuff, only editing after workshopping left now but, BUT there's still the Torchwood presentation to be written and learnt. Somebody just shoot me. If it wasn't for the fact that I get to go overseas and hang with Abbi, I'd probably just blow the whole thing off. I mean who am I kidding, I don't know anything about anything. I've never given a conference paper, symposium talk, whatever - I am, as they say in Admit it!!!, a faker and a fraud and I see epic failure in my future.

So, in summary, on top of having people constantly underestimating my intelligence and trying to get things for three magazines organized while the person who is supposedly training me is constantly off sick, I also need to:

- Send in forms for conference
- Book flights
- Book hotel(s)
- Book bus tickets
- Get tours organised
- Find Oyster card (suspect pocket of ski jacket)
- Buy new black jeans and luggage set
- Sort out new savings account
- Put in leave application
- Edit, organise images, and send out newsletter for MobyMag
- Edit and hand in uni work
- Work out how this presentation is going to go

I am actually looking forward to twenty three blissful hours on a plane where I can just read and write with zero interruptions. It's funny, I never did these things when I had time, now that I don't, it's all I want to do.

Music: Undisclosed desires - Muse
Mood: Busy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stop! Geek time.

Just before I get started on my truck load of work, here's some geeky things that amused me this morning...

Superhero term papers over here at Comic Alliance, I give Bruce Wayne's props for the use of "woefully" while I'm glad Lois Lane is at least observant (seriously, one of my biggest problems with Superman is that glasses are not a disguise)

I agree Lois, I agree

"Hi, I'm Iron Man." "I'm Batman." "I'm a Marvel." "I'm Batman." Hahaha.

Music: Con-ti-nu-i-tyyyyyyy! Yeah! *jazz hands*
Mood: Amused

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Drag my feet across the floor

I'm in such a chipper mood today, I'm kind of scaring myself. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, or maybe it's just the fact that uni last night ended on such a fun note, who knows? I'm inclined to go for the latter, because it was just so great. Three other people in class had decided to bring in their favourite graphic novels in a pseudo-book club move so they could show them to each other, and I of course could not resist sticking around and flailing. I've wanted to get into graphic novels for a while (I loved comics when I was younger) but I've never known where to start really, and I find comic book stores very intimidating - in that omggtfonoob! way. So yes, I really appreciated this love-in! It just really reinforces my belief that there really is nothing better than hanging out with people who are passionate about something, it doesn't matter what it is, there's just an instant feeling of excitement and community (for lack of a better word). I also loved how protective they all were of their favourite ones, like it's a sacred object no one else is allowed to touch. I kind of have that with my Torchwood dvds which is, you know, insane but then that's the default setting for me on that subject. So yes, a really lovely way to end the class. It's funny actually, class ended early at 8.30 but because of this share meeting, we only left around 9.15. Nerd alert! So much fun.

I have other things I want to blog about. I keep having flashes of ramble topics, but I just don't seem to have time at the moment to get on here and get it out. It's really annoying! First up, 3D television. This premiered here on Monday with the soccer match between Aus and NZ, and had its second outing last night with the rugby league State of Origin match. It sounds like the dumbest thing I've heard of lately. I mean, really, come on. People are buying these television sets without having anything to watch on it really, it's seems utterly pointless. Then they charge over $100 for the glasses (you only get one pair with the TV, two if you are lucky). Who wants to wear glasses to watch television? Especially if you already wear normal glasses. And what if you have people over, do you have to buy a twenty pairs, do they share, or does everybody have to bring their own, what's the protocol here? I, for one, have no interest in 3D viewing, so where does that leave me in the greater scheme of things? It just doesn't seem logical to me - as they said on the radio the other night, the screen should just be covered in a 3D film or something, never mind glasses.

Another question, and this is probably just some technical thing, why don't those old-school blue/red 3D glasses work with this stuff?

So that's one thing I wanted to mention, I've already forgotten the other one, which leaves me with Glee. Oh, Glee. Now I know a lot of people love this show, a lot of people. I was never particularly sold on it, when it's good, it's fantastic, but often I'd find myself sitting there wondering why exactly I was watching it. Now with the new season I'm finding that the more I watch of it, the less I like it. I don't know what exactly it is, but I'm just completely off it. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I just don't like any of the characters and while this isn't usually a problem for me (you don't need to like characters for a story to work), I don't find them engaging either...definitely not relatable. It's a shame really because people just love this show so much, and they get such joy from it, I feel kind of sorry for myself that I'm missing out! Oh well.

What else did I want to say? Hmm. Oh god, yes. How is it the end of May already? I HAVE DONE NOTHING THE LAST TWO WEEKS *breathes into paper bag* I'm going to have a serious study session the next few days, get everything out of the way. I haven't even looked at getting things organised for the UK, and with this stupid volcano doing whatever it wants whenever it wants, it's really unnecessary stress, thank you very much. Actually, Hamish and Andy leave tonight for one of their 'Caravan of Courage' tours across the UK, I wonder if I could email them and ask for a lift. For the international contingent, they are radio hosts, you can find some of their "preparations" for the trip here, notably last night's office jousting challenge. As you do.

I honestly have no work to do. I've written everything I have received, and no one wants to give me anything to do "until I have settled in". How I am supposed to get settled when they won't give me work, I do not know. I'm just going to update the site and hope for more email. After I have lunch, of course.

Oh yeah, my dad's gone to the Phuket for the week with the Qantas Rugby Club. We are such a travelling family this year, everyone is everywhere virtually all the time.

Music: Campus - Vampire Weekend
Mood: Hungry

Monday, May 24, 2010

The trouble is my head won't let me forget

I have nothing useful to contribute, I'm only dropping by to say:

a) Hey Peter Carey, get over yourself. He reportedly said in his closing speech at the Sydney Writers Festival that Australians are getting dumber because all they read are cookbooks and Dan Brown novels. I think all the writers need to lay off Dan Brown because the fact is people do read his books. By the bucketful. And frankly, I don't think they're all bad. They're quite informative in the sense that they have a lot of history and art in them. Good google fodder. That's not going to make you dumber. Also, I think all reading is educational in its way, not just reading prize winning literature. That's just pure elitist reasoning that I don't think really has any place in the modern environment.I learned so much from comics (and television), and continue to learn. The notion that we're getting dumber because we don't read is just absurd - we do read, perhaps just not what Peter Carey wants us to (namely him.) Besides, we're getting dumber because we aren't engaging with a wider objective across the board, and also because society seems to be going a way that no longer expects or even wants intelligence from the people. How else do you explain the popularity of Jersey Shore?

b) I adored Doctor Who last night. So, so much. I just loved everything! Rory is my new Rhys, and considering they have the same last name, I am just going to assume they are related. My silliness amuses me, let me be.

Somewhere romantic
Fish from space have never been so buxom
Yours is bigger than mine / Don't start
I'm a Time Lord, you're a big fish...think of the children
You didn't know her name
No, I kissed her mouth

Picspam lifted from here.

Music: Why do I keep counting? - The Killers
Mood: Busy

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When I gain those ruby slippers, my power will be the greatest in Oz!

Ladies and gentlemen, I....have a shoe problem. Over the last two weekends, I have bought a grand total of six pairs of shoes. Would you like to see them? No? Oh well, too bad, here are some of them anyway:

- Black matte flats with a weave thing happening on the front
- Black flats with silver and half-snake-skin-esque trim
- London Rebel 'Della' black kitten heels of the open sandal-type variety
- RMK 'Renta' purple suede stilettoes
- Court Couture 'Ballari' grey ankle boots
- Court Couture Cady brown suede boots

The flats and sandals are justifiable as practical work shoes, the others not so much. Especially since I already have three pairs of boots...four if you count my cowboy boots...wait no, five, including the faux-wellingtons. It was only with tactical persuasion on my mum's part that I didn't buy these Tony Bianco's either. They looked so nice on *wistful sigh*

Thing is, on top of the fact that I have a converse addiction (I have nine pairs), I have nowhere to put any of it. I've had to keep all my new purchases in their boxes and stack them so they'd fit in my closet. It's a organisational mess. I'm going to have to get some of those clear shoe boxes.

I never had a shoe problem before (well, except for the converse) - I blame those super comfy ankle boots I bought last year. All you need is one pair of comfy heels to convince you they're not all symbols of pain and suffering. I'm buying shoes first, and outfits second. It's highly impractical, but I just can't seem to help myself! Like I needed another obsession *shakes head*

Anyway, I still have two essays to write this evening. Wish me luck!

Music: That ridiculous Usher song that gets stuck in my head
Mood: Thirsty

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's time to run

Hello from my lunch break! I am eating fruit salad and listening to Muse, cause that's just how awesome I am. The Muse actually has nothing to do with my lunch break, I'm alone in the office (which will happen a lot apparently) and have been told I can turn up the radio as loud as I want cause "no one can hear anything" - terrifying as that is when put into the context of "no one can hear you scream", I've brought trusty Beckettoo along today for mood music. I couldn't find my iPod dock though, so I'm just blaring it through the headphones. It's surprisingly effective.

Aaaaanyway. The new job is going ok. I hate myself every morning when I roll out of bed at 6am though - it is an obscene time of the morning to be awake, alright? Obscene. I wasn't meant to do this. I can pretend I live in Europe however, since it's dark when I leave the house and dark when I return. Soon, the sun will merely be this mythical object I recall from my childhood. Oh the melodrama, see it, touch it, fear it (why won't you fear my wrath?) I think I'm on top of most of the things I'm supposed to do, I just need to be shown how to update the website, link photos, and create e-tickets. What fun. This job is just PR really. I don't know if I particularly like it, but I don't hate it - so I guess I'm ambivalent at the moment. A job, after all, is a job. I think most of them are annoying and loathsome in certain aspects.

For those absolutely hanging on to know if my sanity has survived another drive into the city - the answer is yes (I know it doesn't sound that way, but please remember that I've always been a It was much better without the torrents of rain, and a firm decision where I was to park. I wasn't late for class either, always a plus. What a funny class too - funny odd I mean. The tutor seemed to misinterpret the vibe of one of the workshops a bit and things went a bit astray. I hadn't done any of the readings though, so I sat there playing catch-up as per usual. Next week I have to workshop. Abject WOE. I do not like my story at all. I'm attempting to re-write my NaNo novel, I just can't seem to get it right. Ah well, that's what workshopping's for I suppose.

Heard on the radio this morning that some random AFL dude called Jason Akermanis (look, I don't follow AFL, there are too many people on the field, I don't know what's going on) basically said gay players should stay in the closet because it would be better for the code. Quoth said the Raven:

"Football clubs are very different environments. Locker room nudity is an everyday part of our lives and unlike any other work place.

"I believe it would cause discomfort in that environment should someone declare himself gay."

"Young people from the ages 15-24 are the main participants in organised sport in Victoria. Some of them must be gay and I hope they thoroughly enjoy their sporting lives without having to experience any form of prejudice."

"But if they are thinking of telling the world, my advice would be forget it.”

The whole thing is over here.

This struck me as odd. I mean, okay, so he's saying he'd be uncomfortable in the locker rooms or with the physical contact if someone came out, but by his own admission, there must be gay team members. At the moment, he isn't uncomfortable because he doesn't know - but that's just denial. Whatever he fears is essentially already happening, he just doesn't know about it. I am not articulating what I am trying to say very well. Put it this way, if a team member he's known for years comes out now, it shouldn't change anything because they've done the whole locker room thing for years anyway. The discomfort ship has sailed, let it go! Blah. It just seems weird to me.

He is trying to be nice about it, I suppose. Overall though it just seems like a very negative thing to be saying, and not for completely convincing reasons. They're all things that could be changed really, if anyone could be bothered. It seems kind of contradictory to say there is too much of a bias in the sport to come out, and then just perpetuate that bias with that very advice. Besides, it's not about being a "gay rights activist" as he puts it, or making "the environment safer" - it's just about allowing people to live their lives. Why should gay players have to hold back who they are, and have this facade, to live their dreams? It's a ridiculous double standard - as ridiculous as the need to have this public outing anyway. Why should they have to announce their sexuality? Can't we just let people be?

We, as a society, spend far too much time worrying about what other people are doing.

Oh, and I love the comment about women sport not having a stigma - no, that's because when you're a female golfer, cricketer, rugby or soccer player, people tend to just assume you're gay anyway. Perhaps not inside the sport, but certainly from outside. Funny how the situation inverts. In fact, maybe none of this is even about sexuality as such, but rather about gender stereotypes...or is that the same thing?

I best get back to work - I'm so happy I don't have class tonight, I get to be home early - 6.30! Woo! Look what my life has become *headdesk* I still have two essays to write as well.

I think I'll bake pancakes when get home though. Hm yes. Pancakes, blanket, my grumpy dog, and Lie to Me. Good plan.

P.S: My computer mouse is driving me mad. It's one of those old school ones with the trackball underneath that I haven't had to use extensively in a very long time. I've forgotten how annoying it can be. Stop sticking, you stupid thing! Don't make me throw you through this window - I haven't been here long enough to justify property damage!

Music: The Resistance - Muse
Mood: Working

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In which Traffic becomes my Nemesis

First thing, thanks for all the good luck wishes (even though I asked for them). You are all so very sweet!

Secondly, what is up with the latest Christina Aguilera song? Now that I'm driving in peak hours and actually listening to popular radio, I would like to take this moment to say....aaaaaaagh. Why can't they just pick a style and stick to it, instead of constantly "re-inventing" themselves to sound like whatever is popular...which at the moment is Lady Gaga. And I don't think it really work for Christina to be honest. Also to local band Amy Meredith, they were called Panic! At The Disco and they did it four years ago - and better too.

Ahem. Moving on.

I have survived two days as one of the working masses. I can't say it's exactly inspirational. I don't rightly know if I like the job or not, I'm still too busy trying to figure out what is actually happening. I have been quite productive though - I think so anyway - and I have managed to get my account set up and all the files I need transferred, so hopefully this means I will be able to be a functioning team member. I work in an office surveying the warehouse with one other person, the deputy editor (though there are desks for about four others). The entire space is covered in magazines and packaging material. I'm going to be in there alone a lot of the time, as the deputy editor goes out on shoots and such. Which is, frankly, the way I prefer it. The rest of the section I'm in is populated by girls, mostly around my age - I noticed one lone guy today, I could practically see his will to live draining as one of the others kept going on about training and calories. I exaggerate. Everyone is super friendly, always a plus. So yes, on we plod.

I had the horrendous experience of driving in for uni today - thought I'd have a brain aneurysm
before I got there. It was dark with rain absolutely bucketing down so I could barely see, I had no idea where I was going, my GPS was being woefully ineffective in the CBD environment, and when I eventually fought my way through 40 minutes of traffic and got to the parking area I had chosen previously, it was closed. At this point, killing myself really seemed like the least painful option. I deserve a medal for persevering, trudging back through the traffic to a parking garage that would charge me almost double, but which was closer to my class so I only got mostly wet walking to it. I was miserable by the time I got there, let me tell you. It was of course whimsical and philosophical as always, which is great, you know, except that it feels like you're covering the same ground again and again to little effect. Sigh.

At least there was hot chocolate when I got home. That goes a long way to restoring the will to live of this slightly damp, headache inflicted, mildly stressed individual. Now press repeat.

Music: NCIS LA
Mood: Headache

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yes, I am alive

So, couple of things.

1) Zombie plague flu has infiltrated the household thanks to my dad, it rapidly spread and I have been fighting it off with a wide-variety of things to varying degrees of success. One day I think I've triumphed completely, the next I am not so sure. But we deal.

Good ol XKCD

2) Regardless of the various levels of illness, I have been in a much better mood this week, and it seems the emo teenager has run away for the time being. Life's better when you're not stressing about everything, said Captain Obvious.

3) I have only one major assignment left to do - 1,500 word essay for critical writing. I still need to source the big essay for that subject, but it has been written and everything is basically tied up. This just leaves the Torchwood essay, but at least I won't be stressing too much about things now that I have gainful full-time employment.

4) Saturday was my last day at the Doctor's surgery, they were all very sweet and even got me flowers. I would have been there four years this June, so it is a bit of an adjustment. All this of course means...

5) Tomorrow I start my new job, so wish me luck.

Music: Doctor Who
Mood: Sleepy

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Always nice to see you Watson

I haven't been blogging, I know, terrible. I haven't really been online to be honest. I also haven't been doing work, and that is far, far worse. Oh well. Recap.

Bit of a mad weekend. Had graduation on Friday which was a lot less hectic than the last one. I got home after a bit of an odd day at work dodging the cold shoulder, and set off to lunch with my parents. I took them to the Blackbird Cafe on the harbour for an absolutely gorgeous late lunch, followed by the graduation ceremony, which was mind-numbingly dull. Luckily I sat next to one of the girls who was of similar mind as me last year, and we passed the time with many amusing remarks. The only way to go. My dad got me a giant bouquet of flowers, it's really pretty too. It's all glittered up with ladybugs and butterflies glued on - roses, lavender and carnations. Complete with balloon. Prettiest bouquet I've ever gotten. Mum got me 'Sherlock Holmes' after it finally came out on DVD. I was quite a happy soul.

I can't remember what I did Saturday, but it wasn't what I was supposed to. Oh no, that's right, I organised the study. Everything that's meant to be hung up now is. It's virtually all done except for the photos I'm still to print for the various photo frames hanging about the place - I've been trying to sort that out for over a year but other things keep distracting me. Also, I'm out of ink. Meh. Sunday was of course Mother's Day and, as dad was working, Mum and I spent the day shopping. It wasn't our intention (I was supposed to come home early and do some work) but that's how it played out in the end. We got five pairs of shoes between us, and a whole lot of new work clothes. I also picked up my latest 'best jacket ever' from Sportsgirl. It was a really lovely girly day.

Now I refuse to let today fall into the same unproductive black hole, so onwards we must trudge. R and I have a challenge going on to see if we can finish everything we said we would by Thursday at the latest. Someone yell motivational catch phrases at me while I work!

Music: My teeth clattering
Mood: Cold as bloody usual

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Give me a reason to break with tradition

Last night James and I went to see Dead Cat Bounce at the Factory Theatre as part of the Sydney Comedy Festival. I highly recommend you go while you can (they're there until Friday.) It was absolutely fabulous, and I don’t say that just because I’m ever so slightly in lust with the lead singer. There’s something about him that reminds me of someone, but I cannot figure it out – I think it may be a goofy TAI-TV-esque William Beckett.

Anyway, DCB are a four piece Irish comedy band with wonderful songs about learning to drive, nights on the town, and rugby. Things everyone has struggled with at some point or another *cough* Here they are performing at the Opening Gala of the Melbourne Comedy Festival:

It was after seeing this that I decided I had to go to a show. It was a truly fun time, they’ve got great chemistry. I think I need them to follow me around just singing funny songs all day.

Now for a neurotic, self-indulgent update -

They actually gave me the job. How bizarre. It's a crazy busy role, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it...hopefully. There's no one there to actually teach me, but hey. I start on the 17th, now I have to fun task of resigning from my current position. Ugh I feel so guilty leaving them! But no, I must stay strong.

The major drag with having a real job is going to be the eight hour days that for me will have to start at like 5.30 or some equally obscene time (in winter too, I weep for my future). The office is in Ryde which is technically only 20 minutes away, but with traffic it's sadly over an hour. I have asked whether I can start and finish early, so I have time to get to the city for class at 6, so that means I have the lovely work hours of 7.30 - 4. My best friend is going to be my keepcup.

What this means is mostly that my social life is going to wither and die, and I may never see my friends again. While uni is on, I mean. Of course the option is there to go part-time, and add an extra semester onto my Masters. See how we go, I suppose.

On the plus side, it's a good position to have on le resume and there's the joy of steady income and sick leave. And being paid for public holidays. Imagine that!

Aaanyway, they've given me unpaid leave from 14 - 23 June to go to this symposium. With staff travel we are usually told not to fly Friday through Sunday, but I'll see if I have any luck getting out late on the 11th (I think the London flight is something like 8pm, isn't it?) That'll give me a zombie day in London before heading off, and then returning on the 19th. I'll try to get a flight home Monday, which gets me here Wednesday I think, leaving a day to vegetate before going back to work. Phew. Luckily uni is finished by then, or my brain might melt.

Speaking of uni, um yeah, suddenly SO MUCH WORK. You see procrastination, if we did this in the break like we were supposed to, we wouldn't have this problem now. Sigh. I am supposed to volunteer at the Writer's Festival (only two days but with compulsory orientation this Saturday) but now I think I should probably pass on that, and focus on getting these assignments out of the way asap. So I'm not stressing myself to death as I am inclined to do. You may have noticed.

Now I must stop and go to the hairdresser. Graduation tomorrow.

Music: Everything is alright - Motion City Soundtrack
Mood: Cold

The blind leading the lame

My perfectionism, this godforsaken compulsion to be perfect, to be all things to everyone at all times, is immobilising me. I thought I had a handle on it, but apparently not when it comes to the big picture. I feel like my entire life has fallen into complete chaos. Most people would be happy at developments in their lives, but I am not most people. In trying to deal with the instability that comes with these developments, I constantly doubt myself and all my decisions. I have no equilibrium, and I hate it.

The thing that’s really throwing me for a loop is this unexpected job business. I mean really, what am I doing? Am I really that arrogant that I think I can take on a busy full-time job and study Masters full-time? A full time job in magazine publishing no less, in which I have absolutely no formal training. Then there’s the angst of having to tell the practice manager that I’m leaving and thereby leaving her hanging. But I cannot please everyone, and I cannot do things in life just to accommodate others, and I have to take the opportunities when they come. Somewhere within me I know this, but it’s like I can't quite process it.

Then there’s the Cardiff thing. Oh dear. See, if these things happened separately, there wouldn’t be a problem, but as they’re both virtually going down simultaneously, I’m not quite dealing as well as I perhaps should. I cannot plan anything, because nothing is certain at the moment. If I get this job, and mind you it is a big ‘if’ since I’ve told them about the Cardiff thing, it means I won’t be able to take as long as I would have liked, I’d virtually be in and out, and straight back to work. Disappointing on one hand, necessary on the other.

I don’t want to sacrifice one thing in favour of the other. I don’t want to have to deal with this indecision and uncertainty. I want my life to be organised, to be certain, I cannot deal with this, well, everything. I feel like my head is going to explode from all the scenarios running through it. I’m trying so hard to deal with things the way a normal person would, to think of things in a healthy context, but I’m failing miserably. And I’m stressed, I’m stressed. I’m trying to write a creative piece, finish my critical essay, write the reviews, and write the Torchwood paper. I just don’t understand what I was thinking, what was I possibly thinking when I brought this all upon myself. Did I think I could handle it? What, do I not know myself at all?

But that is unhealthy. That’s not the way I’m supposed to be looking at things. It’s good that I took chances on things as they presented themselves, it’s good that I was confident enough to explore basically on the spur-of-the-moment. These are all things you’re supposed to do, behaviour that is supposed to help get rid of that “all-or-nothing” mentality. I have my moments of clarity, I have these periods of times where I think I’ve mastered it, but at the end of the day I’m dealing with hypotheticals. When these things see the light of day, I’m right back where I started and I can’t so much as breathe for the belief I’m doing it wrong.

It’s hard constantly being a disappointment to yourself.

Music: Hate everyone - Say Anything
Mood: Stressed

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One more thing


I'm going to start working now. I promise.

Music: Night and Day - Kevin Kline, John Barrowman
Mood: Writing

And since then I've been so good at vanishing

Now I do as I please, and I lie through my teeth
Someone might get hurt, but it won't be me
I should probably feel cheap, but I just feel free
And a little bit empty

No it isn't so hard to get close to me
There will be no arguments, we'll always agree
And I'll try and be kind when I ask you to leave
We'll both take it easy

Music: Take it easy (love nothing) - Bright Eyes
Mood: Sleepy

Iron Man love-in masquerading as a review

For some reason, I am fascinated by the fact that Iron Man 2 was written by Justin Theroux, who I know as he-of-the-dodgy-Irish-accent, Seamus O'Grady from Charlie's Angels 2. You know, the guy who was trying to kill Drew Barrymore? Not really relevant to anything, just an observation on my part.

Oh by the way, spoiler warning, so if you haven't seen the movie yet and intend to do so, go away and stop wasting time. I know, I'm rude, some of that Stark ego has transferred it seems.

This just in: Iron Man loves donuts

I did not have any particular expectations of this film, other than I wanted to have a good time. The first one was such a surprisingly great movie, I never once thought the sequel could live up to it. Sequels hardly ever do, after all - The Matrix Reloaded, Spider-Man 2, there's an exhaustive list. I must admit, for the first few minutes of the film, I wasn't sold either. Mikey Rourke's Ivan Venko didn't quite pull out the "Noooooo!" moment, but it was close, and this all before the opening sequence even finished. Hm. But then Tony came on, and I forgot to care. If ever there was proof that flawed, dysfunctional characters were the most interesting, he is it. Within the first fifteen minutes, the conflict, setting and characters are all introduced, and we're ready to get on with it. We do so with a bang.

Except for the plot hole at the Monaco Grand Prix (If no-one knew Tony was going to race, how did Ivan know? I suppose he could have gone just to terrorise Tony in general, and the race was just a luck. But it seems a bit too much like a happy coincidence that he's part of the intervention team), it's a tight story that keeps moving. It clocks in at just over two hours, and it definitely benefits from good pacing. Nothing worse than a film that drags in the middle *cough* Spider-Man *cough* I like a film with a convoluted storyline, I've heard complaints that there is too much happening in this film but I thought it all dove-tailed well in the end. The personal angst of Tony's rapid deterioration contrasts well with the combined team of the competitive Justin Hammer and the personal vendetta of Venko.

Don't mess with the bird

By far my favourite thing about this film is the fast witty dialogue - it's not just fun and effective, it's also intelligent. The Pepper/Tony interaction in particular is still blindingly quick. They've kept little things that recall the golden moments of the first film, but it's subtle and well-crafted, not just put in for comedic effect (something the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is guilty of.) All I really wanted of this film was the same attitude and sense of humour of the first, and it delivered, in spades. I think what sets Iron Man apart from many other superhero franchises is the fact that all the characters are well-developed. They're not just stand-ins to round out the lead, but they're given agency in their own right which in turn gives depth to the lead. You can believe in all of these characters as individuals who exist on their own terms when they're not on screen. They are not just props, or a means to an end, they build on each other. They have their own agendas and motivation, their own reasons for being, and that makes the entire thing much more interesting.

I just have to mention that Sam Rockwell, who plays weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer, is perhaps the most disco villain ever. Something about him is just so...disco. There's no other way to describe it. Actually, you might remember him from the first Charlie's Angels film, in which he played much the same villain - I think there was dancing in that one too. He is a phenomenal actor though, as I'm sure anyone who has seen 'Moon' would agree. I like the three piece suit look he sports in the film actually, it's better than the long jacket they've got RDJ in at the start. But I digress. The acting in this film is really solid all round, from Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury, Scarlett Johanssen's Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanov, Don Cheadle as Rhodey, and Rourke's turn as Ivan Vanko (it's always the Russians), I'm on board for all of them.

Shield: not just a super-secret *boy*band

By the way, revelation, how did I never notice that Paul Bettany was the voice of Jarvis, the world's coolest computer? Aaaah, brain freeze. (Now I want to watch 'A Knight's Tale', I know, my brain works in weird ways.)

Anyway, as my friends know, I have always had a strong aversion to comic-book/superhero movies. Spider-Man is my least favourite of the lot, though I am contractually obliged to see them all with lovely R whenever they come out as she is a big fan - I'm always willing to support others' fandoms. But through the years, I've generally tried to stay as far away from hero films as possible, I found them painfully didactic, predictable, cliched, and rather dull. Mostly because I never cared about the characters. I don't care about Peter Parker, I don't care about Clark Kent, they're boring, one-dimensional characters that I wish would be crushed by the ludicrous villain, but I know they won't be because they're superheroes and so frankly, why should I sit through a film I already know the outcome of? What has actually always annoyed me, and this is especially true of the Superman franchise (the old-school animation actually), is the way this near-invincible character always gets their ass kicked half-way through the thing and it's this big, dramatic "oh no!" moment, but you know he's going to get back up at the end and defeat the villain anyway. Not to mention the whining, and perfection. It's so formulaic, I can't bring myself to be interested. It's the same reason I don't read generic romance novels, I know from the first page exactly how it's going to play out. Now I know most things in life are derivative, and I'm not asking them to re-invent the wheel here, merely to pimp it out - make it interesting, give me something to care about. As it turns out, there are only three comic-book film franchises that I've watched and adored: X-Men, Batman (Nolan's) and Iron Man. They still had the formulaic story arcs, but they also had conflicted and multi-faceted characters that I could actually become invested in.

So, when Tony Stark stares into the mirror in Iron Man 2, thinking he's going to die, I feel it, and right there is the strength of this franchise; well-rounded characters that you want to believe in, faults and all.

Music: Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Mood: Procrastinating

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mischievous leprechaun shenanigans

First things first, here is a list of 38 reasons why Iron Man is cooler than Darth Vader. I want Tony Stark. Make it happen, minions.

Oh wait, I don't have minions. That's definitely going on the to-do list. Note to self: Become supervillain.

International/intergalactic villainy does not seem so far fetched in light of the madness of the last two days - my entire life seems to have received some sort of electric shock and is suspended in the air.

I applied randomly for a job Wednesday night - being in one of those moods where I lamented the fact that I appear to be constantly broke - and got a callback the next day. This never happens! I was completely stunned. They organised an interview for the next day, so off I went yesterday. It went really well. I think this proves yet again that the key to a good job interview is to be completely indifferent to the outcome. It's an entry-level position, so it's definitely not rocket science, but it is a good opportunity, and the pay isn't bad, so it's definitely something I will consider should they offer it to me.

On the other hand, my proposal was accepted for the Torchwood symposium, which means I'm off to Cardiff in June. My bank account has had a seizure at the thought. I swing between excitement and nauseating nervousness. I hate giving presentations, what was I thinking even applying for this? To be honest I never thought I'd actually get it. But on the other hand, UK! I get to see Abbi a whole lot sooner than anticipated! Woo! The travel potential is partially why I applied for it. I'm such a conflicted individual. Of course, now I have to write the paper and study it and do fake presentations until I can do it in my sleep....and get new anti-anxiety meds so I don't suffer a coronary en-route. Minor details.

The problem of course is, if I get the job offer, they probably won't want me swanning off less than two months after starting - but this is a great academic opportunity, especially if I'm looking at doing a PhD in this line.

It's just funny how I thought I had everything planned, I had dug myself into a happy little rut and life was just going along unperturbed, then suddenly everything is surrounded in maybes and what ifs.

Anyway, I'm off to the movies with Lizzie. I'll give your regards to Tony Stark.

Music: Super 14
Mood: Confused