Friday, December 30, 2011

Catching Up

From here
Hello dear blog and a very happy holidays to the interwebz at large. Hope everyone enjoyed it. As you can see, I'm aliiiive! And still in love with XMFC. Good times!

I have been endlessly busy for the last 12 weeks, hardly a moment to even catch my breath. It's been insane. And now suddenly I have less than a week to go before I set off into the big bad world for the trip! How did this happen??  But we'll get to that. First we have to pause for a bit of a retrospective so I can catch up on everything that's been missed. And it's quite a lot.

Firstly, the birthday. Since my last post I have entered the dangerous, uncharted waters of 24. Oh, the horror. To say I was unenthused by the prospect is a bit of an understatement. I'm sorry, but 24? When and how did that happen? Shudder. Despite of my lack of enthusiasm at the approach of the mid-twenties, my friends all came over to help me celebrate. There was a barbecue, cake, a predisposition to rum and watching of the first season of The OC.  It was brilliant. Had an absolute blast and I was glad everyone came over to hang out. My friends are awesome. Don't ever doubt it.

Then there was the Elf job. I spent every weekend helping Santa scare small children. It's a noble occupation. Seriously though, it was actually rather fun. I think the season is just long enough so you don't get sick of it. I was a bit over it by the end, but I suppose that's to be expected. Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to do that again when I get back next year - the manager said she'd be offering it to us all first. I did learn a lot about name preferences during this little adventure. The most common names for boys are Lachlan (at least 1 in every 3 is called that), Ethan, Harrison and Riley. There's slightly more diversity with girls but most common is definitely Georgia and Ashley, with Emma, Emily and Olivia also very popular. Spelling for girls names is way crazier though - thinks like Jorja, which just baffles me. If it was just one, fine. But there were quite a few. So bizarre.

Of course, there was Christmas. Ours was a pretty laid-back affair. Just hanging with the family. As is now tradition, our family friends came over on Christmas eve and we had a fondue, followed by walking around the neighbourhood inspect the Christmas lights. The new neighbourhood is pretty good with this and our street in particular put on a good show. The neighbours all have so many lights. Dad is slightly disappointed as we didn't get any new ones this year, but we still put in a good effort. I had many nice presents, including the socks I've been asking for. I need socks, and I don't like buying them for myself. I also got some trip related stuff from the parents, including a sleeping bag liner. Yay, no touching hostel sheets for me! Yes, I'm crazy, what of it? Lots of lovely, and useful, stuff from everyone really. Oh, mum also got me the Harry Potter boxset. So pleased! I've spent years refusing to buy the DVDs, knowing that when the last one came out there'd be some special set. I watched the first one on Christmas day but it doesn't look like I'll manage to get round to the others. Sigh. On boxing day, I spent the morning with the 'rents and in the afternoon, I took the family friend's daughter to see Arthur Christmas. So cute! Very happy I got to see at least one movie I wanted to see before I leave. Why are there so many awesome ones coming out now? I'm missing them all! Bah.

Since my last blog, I have also sold my car. Oh Jack, we had some times. It was actually really sad for me. He was my first car after all, and I've had him for 7 years. Watching someone else drive off with him was not a nice experience. But at least I didn't have to give him to the scrap yard. That would have been worse, I think. They wanted to give me a pitiful amount for him and I just refused. In the end, I got almost triple what they offered me. Still not nearly as much as I though he was worth but I couldn't be particularly fussy, especially since my rego expired the weekend I first put him up for sale. Cutting it a leeeeettle close. But hey, what's done is done.

Obviously, I've also finished up at the magazine company. Last Wednesday was my last day. It was a relief really, but I also had to struggle with my inner control freak as I just wanted to jump in and take over everything my replacement was doing. She's so slooooow. But hopefully she will learn. That job is not for the faint-hearted. And hopefully it will make her less miserable that it made me. It's also a bit sad though cause my editorial team is so nice. Just really great people that I get on with really well. I never had any problems with them, just the company and the actual job. C'est la vie. We had a team Christmas party at the stylist's house and it was lovely to hang out with them beyond the work scene. I will definitely keep in touch and it's nice to know I've made friends in the industry. Even if I don't particularly think I'll ever go back into that industry. My last few weeks at work were actually pretty fun as I volunteered myself to assist on photography location shoots. This is pretty much just visiting houses in the country and shooting quilts, but it was interesting. Definitely nice to get out of the office and see what else happens in the process of putting a mag together. I've hopefully lined up a couple of freelance jobs while I'm away too, so with a little luck I won't be completely income-less.

So current status: no job, no car, no real obligations other than getting on a plane in, oh, two days. I'm not going to lie to you, it's sort of terrifying. But a blog about all that will be forthcoming. I've at least managed to spend a day with Lizzie, who valiantly helped me try on a bazillion pairs of vintage shoes for Abbi's wedding. We attended the Neil Gaiman reading at The Factory Theatre, which was awesome and creepy (the stories, not Neil), even if it did run quite late. I also had a lovely dinner with Em, R and M last night. Seems so weird to think I won't see them again for months. Or weeks in R's case, which isn't so bad. I don't like to dwell on the fact, or on the fact that I won't see my parents or Oreo for months, because I get this really weird sensation in my chest and it's not fun. But again, blog about that forthcoming. Hopefully.

I'm currently in the process of trying not to stress about all the things I haven't done and putting a quilt together. Well not really a quilt, more a wallhanging. My editorial team all got me fabric and stuff for my birthday after I was admiring this quilt in the office. Of course I have never done anything fabric-related before so my ex-deputy editor invited me over yesterday to show me how it all worked. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. Plus, since they actually bought everything for me I feel extra motivated to at least attempt making it. Sort of owe it to them, you know? I have to get all the blocks together so I can do the stitching while I'm overseas. Hey look, I have a lot of flights and long train rides in my future. I have to entertain myself somehow.

Anyway. That's enough for now. I need to iron some fabric and make an attempt at packing stuff. Groan. I really hope to get some more blogs done before I leave but I'm not very optimistic. At the rate things are travelling, I'm lucky if I have time to breathe.

Music: Shake it out - Florence & The Machine

Sunday, November 20, 2011

We never are what we intend, or invent

Oh, you guys, I am so tired. I feel like I have a terrible case of jet lag and it's entirely unfair since I don't have the thrill of new scenery to make it feel worth it. Two and half hours sleep. A for effort, self. But hey, the essay is mostly done. I say mostly because I gave it a cursory glance this morning and it's second half is lacking in substance. I need to flesh it out with another paragraph or two at least, and throwing a couple of more references in won't hurt. I also think I need to qualify why it predominantly focuses on one season (not because I happened to be watching said season at time of writing *cough*) and perhaps rethink the conclusion. Because I'm fairly sure it's the weakest conclusion I have ever written in the history of my life. But maybe that's just because I haven't actually stressed the thread of my argument consistently through my I should probably do that too. And then just finalise the reference list.

So, yes. Mostly done. I have my laptop with me at work today so I'll finish it all off before 5pm. And then it's out of my hands. I can find a dark hole to curl into and weep, and then change my name.

Some men die under the mountain just looking for gold
Some die looking for a hand to hold

Well I carry this box to its proper place
And when I lower it down
I let you fade away
I know that you would do this for me
I'd serve you drugs on a silver plate
If I thought it would help you get away
I hope that you would do this for me

I stole bricks from the dam almost every day
Now I'm drowning in the flood I made
Well explain myself to me on the other side
I'm gonna want some answers when I die

Music: At the bottom - Brand New

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Down by the brimming river

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

'In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

'In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver's brilliant bow.

'O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you've missed.

'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

- As I walked out one evening, WH Auden

Music: Time to Pretend - Jonsi (MGMT cover)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top 10: Comic Book Movies

This is a total cop-out really. Until I saw the first X-Men movie, I never liked comic book or, more precisely, superhero movies so I'm not exactly what you'd call a good judge, well-informed or anything like that. But I do know what I enjoy, and that's enough for a list.

  • V for Vendetta
The great thing about this is even though I saw the film first, it never detracted from my appreciation of the graphic novel. I love them both, but in completely different ways. They're very true to each other and yet somehow they still operate as separate texts. I think the acting in the film is just phenomenal, especially Hugo Weaving who manages to evoke so much with so little to use. The visuals are also perfect. Whenever I watch this film (and I admit, that is a lot) I always end up wishing that I could believe in something that much. Oh, to have a cause! An ideal! I think it was Che Guavara who said, 'We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.'

  • Batman Begins
I didn't particularly care about Batman until this came out. Sure, I saw the Tim Burton ones with Michael Keaton and the George Clooney films - and wasn't there one with Val Kilmer? Honestly, I though they were kind of lame. Batman just seemed kinda...flat to me. Admittedly, I was only 10 when Batman & Robin was released, so it's not like I was exactly the target audience. But I think Nolan's Batman films added pathos to the character that was lacking before, and made it much more 'real.' Plus I love a believable, fallible hero. It's why I can't buy into Superman - far too perfect, it's just not right.

  • The Crow
I actually always forget that this was based on a comic book. I've never read it but I have seen the film countless times and just love it. I think it's a desperately romantic film, which no doubt speaks volumes about my idea of romance, but come on. Guy rises from the dead to avenge your murder? Eternal love and devotion right there.

  • X-Men 

When this film first came out on video or DVD or whatever it was, I must have watched it at least three times in the first week. I loved it. Again, it's that idea of a fallible hero - of being flawed and human (well, you know what I mean) and finding yourself capable of extraordinary things. It also carries a lot of subtext about societal pressures and difference and ostracism which can be easily related to.

  •   Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I think my favourite thing about Scott Pilgrim is that offers absolutely no explanation for its world - it just is the way it is, and you have to roll with it. You always hear people carry on about introducing responders (be they readers or viewers) to your world and providing context and blah blah blah, but with this you're just in this seemingly real Toronto, until suddenly there are people with mystical powers and epic showdowns happening all over the place. No explanation to how or anything, it just is. And I love that. It's so tongue in cheek, witty and, well, awesome. In that fab pop-culture heavy way I adore. Just love.

  • Iron Man
I never expected to fall for this like I did. I didn't know anything about the character and the only bits I knew were from an Avengers cartoon I caught a glimpse of on tv maybe once or twice and didn't find particularly interesting. Up to this point, comic book movies I was familiar with had consisted of the Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman films...and they're all kinda dark and broody. Iron Man, while still dealing with heavy things, is also just a hell of a lot of fun. It's funny, it's fast and it really is just a joy to watch. Up until this year, this was hands-down my favourite comic book film.

  • Thor
As with the above, I didn't really expect to have a blast going into this but that's what ended up happening. All the set photos and stills leading up to it had looked a little fake and disappointing, but in the end, I think it delivered a well-executed action film that I thoroughly enjoyed...and really, I can't ask for more. I was surprised by how funny it is actually, and that really was the clincher. Of course it has it's flaws, particularly where Natalie Portman's character is concerned, but it has Thor and Loki being all Mufasa/Scar and who couldn't want that? Also, Sif. Also also, Hawkeye cameo. (Considering how few of his films I've seen, my championing of Jeremy Renner is somewhat disproportionate.)

  • X2: X-Men United

I know I'm not the only one who watches these films and then starts hoping every random twitch is signs of a mutation manifesting. 'I just had a muscle spasm in my leg, I'm developing super-speed!' The thing I love the most about this entire world is that nothing is really black and white, it's all so messy and convoluted. Good can be bad and bad can be good, and they can switch at any time without you knowing. It's handled well in this film and there's a lot of things that work fine superficially, but have so much more happening under the surface.

  • The Dark Knight

This doesn't need any explanation surely? Epic film is epic. Every time you think it's ended, something else happens (a good or a bad thing depending on your mood really). Also, two words, Heath Ledger. That is all.

  • X-Men: First Class

What's that? I've never mentioned this one before? It must come as a huge surprise then that it's my favourite. Why are your eyes glassing over? Fine. I won't bore you with the hows and whys. Dissertation on X-Men forthcoming as soon as I finish my other academic things :P

Honourable mention: Red. Such a clever, quirky action film with a really stellar cast who I think all did a fantastic job. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend everyone check it out. If you need incentive, Helen Mirren assassinates people and Karl Urban fights Bruce Willis while looking really fine in a nice suit. How could you possibly go wrong?

Also: Sin CityKick-Ass, Hellboy, A History of Violence.

Bad films of note: Any of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man's. I'm sorry (especially to you, R, I really am) but they are dull and Spider-Man is such a whiny little shit. Oooooh noooo, a spider bit me. Mary Ann doesn't love me. No one knows who I aaaaaaam. Waaaaaah. Dude, come on. And I don't think he's supposed to be that bad in the comics really (not like Batman, who can be a real downer - I get it Bruce! Your parents are dead, you made them a promise, you don't have to keep bringing it up.). I've only really read him in a Deadpool arc, but he was actually pretty funny in that so...I don't know. I don't care enough to investigate further. Also Wanted, which is I think is probably a rare case of the movie being pretty bad, but the comic book being even worse. Pedestrian is putting it kindly. Blah. Only watch the film for James McAoy being deliciously bad-ass, and also to make fun of looms. Looms are good. Oh, and then there's Jonah Hex. It has pretty much no story. But it does have Fassbender acting crazy and Irish so, you know. You just have to ask yourself how much nonsense that's worth.

Music: Eloise - Say Anything

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Swim across an ocean

Look what arrived today...

Yes, I really am this lame. But look! Don't X-Men: First Class (aka my life partner) and I make a lovely pair? The best thing is that Charles is on the back of the case so I didn't have to choose after all! Oh, what a weight off my mind that is. (Priorities, I don't have them. What? I keep saying there needs to be a support group.)

In related news, they've hired a writer for a first draft script for the sequel. This makes me very happy. Finally, there is hope! I may actually get what I've been whining about these last few months. Now, get Michael Vaughn on board again and do exactly what you did last time, only better.

Yeah yeah, I know. Just let me have this, ok? Life is chaotic and busy and painful and I've got so much to do and not enough time to do it, and I really don't want to blog about all the angsty nonsense going on. All those and's are totally intentional. So let's all just appreciate the awesome mutants and the glory of McAvoy and Fassbender instead. They make everything better.

Music: MFEO Pt 1 - Jack's Mannequin

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


…and how I’ve decided to abandon it after one day.

Officially, National Novel Writing Month kicked off yesterday. It’s my third year – I won the first, didn’t win last year, and was all set to go for this one. I didn’t have a plan but seeing as I am the type of person who wrote essay plans for submission after I wrote the actual essays, this didn’t phase me. Yesterday I wrote 1363 words, which is 303 short of the daily target but close enough not to really be an issue. And yet here I am today, ready to call it quits.

Look, I like the idea of NaNo. I like that it creates this lively community across the world and all the socialising is a blast. But in many ways, I also feel that this is a valid point of view. 50,000 words is not a novel, and on average, churning out 1666 words a day is not necessarily the greatest way to go about writing. I am notoriously bad at doing what I’m told – for example, I never really did the in-class writing exercises at uni and I never wrote essays during class time in High School. I don’t like the expectation that I should be doing something, especially when everyone else is doing it. So the expectation that during November I should be writing 1666 words a day is not really something my personality is all that compatible with.

And it’s not writing under pressure that’s the problem, I excel under pressure. The whole reason I first decided to do NaNo was because I usually work far better with a deadline hanging over my head (and leave everything to the last minute). I think it’s more the idea of everyone writing at the same time – like every time you turn around someone is there, writing, and what are you doing? Shouldn’t you be writing? Why aren’t you writing??? Stop nagging me! I do what I want! If I’m honest, listening to everyone talk about their writing and their word counts completely puts me off doing my own. I know it’s meant to be inspiring and encouraging, and for many people it works brilliantly to be writing with others. That's great! Doesn't really work for me though. I don’t know why, it just doesn’t. It’s completely irrational, but that’s just how it is. Maybe I’m just too much of a loner to really embrace a communal effort.

Of course, whatever you write in November will have to be edited. Probably more painstakingly and stringently than a first draft novel written on a “normal” schedule needs to be edited. This is a given. There are few things in life I hate more than editing – in 6 years at uni I never once, ever, edited an assignment. The only re-drafting I did was for my creative pieces done under a supervisor, which is really like working with an editor telling me where I need to lift my game. But me, for myself? Not great at the editing thing. Which is precisely why my first NaNo novel continues to languish in a ridiculous, didactic state. Not that it didn’t serve a purpose – I’ve certainly never stopped thinking about the premise, even if I do now want to turn it into a graphic novel.

Now I’m at an impasse of sorts. I don’t want to feel like I’ve given up without even trying, but we’re two days in and I’m already feeling a nagging apathy settling in. I have a cool story that I’m dying to tell, but I don’t want to have to write huge chunks of it at breakneck pace while others are doing the same thing. So I don’t know, maybe this format isn’t really for me. And considering that I write, on average, 2500 words at work a day, I’m pretty tapped for words as well. Even if it’s just boring craft terminology, it’s still using the same part of my brain. Oh, and I still have an essay to write within the next week too.

I think NaNo is a great thing as a motivational tool, it gets people writing, brings people together and generally it’s quite fun. For me personally though, maybe it would be better if I was just 'racing' myself and my writing practice. So maybe I should just be more rational about this and instead of trying to fit into this model, I need to adapt it to suit my own style. Who knows, I might still finish anyway – sometimes it’s hard to stop once you get going. But I won’t beat myself up about it if I don’t. With that in mind, I think this November I’ll aim for 20,000 words and then just keep going. 700 words a day, give or take, is not such a huge ask.

Music: Fairytale of New York - The Pogues feat Kirsty MacColl

Monday, October 31, 2011

Everybody wants to rule the world

Not quite a return to my top 10 list-making, but here are 5 ‘bad guys’ I shouldn’t love, but do anyway. And hey, t’is a far better way to spend a Monday morning than the alternative. Come along, my loves, let’s take over the world!

  • The Master
John Simm’s version, naturally. With the smart suit, and the dancing, and event-appropriate music choices, what’s not to love here? So he’s a little unhinged, it’s still good! Even when he rises Voldemort-esque from the void and impersonates Iron Man in a dodgy track suit, I still find his craziness rather endearing. Forget that Lucy woman, let’s watch the world burn (I am terrible person, aren’t I?)

The Master approves of my destructive tendencies.
  • Loki
Oh, Loki. You just want to be loved, don’t you? With that burly older brother always stealing the spotlight and acting like he’s the greatest thing ever, when everyone knows brains > muscle. But don’t worry, not everyone is totally blinded by Thor’s abs, I know you’re the interesting one. You might have to work on your mythical penchant for shapeshifting, but I’m not here to judge! Hey, you know what, he’s the Scar of Asgard. And say what you will, life would certainly never be boring.

That's right, I'm talking about you.
Trust me, brother. Mwhahaha. Oh wait, I’m not cackling out loud again, am I?
Aaaand the promo poster because that smirk is just…unfh.
  • Ozymandias
But only in the movie! Not in the graphic novel. He’s a totally annoying prat in that. In the movie, I find his lofty ideals sort of intoxicating, and considering what a woeful state the rest of the world’s in, who can blame him for wanting to take over? Plus he’s very pretty here, without being too terrifyingly Aryan. Also he bio-engineers his own weird pets. That’s a pretty good rainy-day pastime. (I don’t care what anyone says, Matthew Goode, you single-handedly redeemed this thing for me. Who are you calling shallow? Stop it. I do what I want, Thor!)
Yeah. Ozymandias is unimpressed with my reasoning. As he is with everything else.
Also, what is it with supervillains and the colour purple?
  • The Phantom of the Opera
While he’s not evil in a hell-bent-on-world-domination way, he's still kind of a 'bad guy.' Some people (ie my mother) think the Phantom is a creepy murderer. So he hangs the odd stage hand from the rafters, does that mean he doesn’t deserve affection? Stage hands can be annoying okay, and they were totally disrespecting his genius. I am a firm champion of the Phantom’s cause – so much so that I harbour a strong dislike for Raoul. He totally ruins everything! And alright, sure, maybe the Phantom comes on a little strong with the whole wedding-dress-in-the-lair thing, but please. The dude has no social skills at all, give him a break! 
Oh forget her, Erik. She doesn’t understand your tortured genius.
Quite a sharp dresser too.
  • Magneto/Erik Lensherr etc etc (too many names)
Let's face it, humans suck. They routinely do horrible things to each other. Can you blame mutants for thinking it might be better if we weren’t around? Especially mutants who have suffered first hand the cruelty we inflict upon each other? Come on, you can totally understand where he’s coming from. Ugh and to think it could so easily have been different – if Charles was just a little less self-assured, and Erik just a little less unyielding, it could have gone the other way and he wouldn’t even be on this list. But here we are. Not that I’m naive enough like Mystique to think I can come between Magneto and his totally made for each other ex-BFF. And yes, this choice has everything to do with the brilliant acting skills of Sir Ian McKellen and the fantastic Mr Fassbender. It doesn’t hurt that the latter also looks great in a turtleneck. Not at all.

Somehow I don’t look as ridiculous in my
supervillain get-up as my younger self…
…but he makes up for it in other ways.
Oh yes, he does.
And now I kind of want a comic strip with this lot trying to take over the world in an Evil League of Evil/ Pinky and the Brain kind of way. I don’t think they’d play well together. It’d be hilarious. To the Villain mobile!

Anyway! Happy Monday.
Click for source

PS. I still don't understand why we're not friends, McAvoy. Life is cruel.

Music: Here in your arms - Hellogoodbye

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Echoes of a city

I have the new Florence + The Machine playing, the neighbourhood is quieting down and Oreo is snuffling outside under the window. All in all, things aren't too shabby. I'm utterly exhausted and should really be doing other things but you know, still.

The move is pretty much complete. Just a couple more boxes to unpack and things to move into place, but generally, it resembles a house.

New room
New study
I at least won't be heading back to the old place again. I'll miss it, but I can't deny the new place has a lot more room. Dad's certainly appreciating the lack of stairs. The community is very friendly too - and very family-orientated. All the kids in the street seem to be playing together outside all the time. It's sort of charming in an old-fashioned kind of way.

I took time out of the horrors of moving/cleaning last night to attend a Halloween shindig hosted by lovely people from my writers group. As I'm too cheap to invest in a proper costume at the moment, I instead raided my wardrobe and went as Ramona Flowers. I think it worked out pretty well!
Not the greatest pic - someone, somewhere has a full-length I'll share at some point. But I have to admit I really loved being Ramona. She's awesome. It was a fun night too, I'm glad I managed to drag my sore, sorry self out for it. Everyone made an effort and dressed up and were generally brilliant - quite a feat for an Australian Halloween thing (I blame the heat, it's always too hot for any costuming). Also, almost everyone recognised who I was meant to be which I feel is a testament to the level of awesome of the people I hang out with. Yes, awesome is my word du jour lately. Don't know why.

Finally, today marks the tenth anniversary of our arrival in Australia. It feels like it's been a lot longer somehow. I am forever grateful to my parents for making the hard decision when it came up. No matter where I may wander off to, I'll always love you Sydney.

Now I think I might go and collapse in a pile somewhere. And catch up on some Merlin.

In the meantime, tell me which cover of the X-Men: First Class limited edition I should buy! Charles or Erik? I can't decide!

Music: Heartlines - Florence + The Machine

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A whole lot worse for wear

Things that suck about moving…

Oh wait, making a list of that would take far, far, faaaar too long. It is not an enjoyable undertaking whatsoever. Still, things are chugging along. It seems to be taking forever because we’re sort of doing it in drips and drabs as we all coem home from work. So far I’ve managed to completely transpose my room, study and bathroom – although the latter is not completely unpacked due to a lack of shelves. Most of the kitchen has also been moved, thanks to the very efficient assistance from M and A. Awesome friends are awesome.

I’ve been staying in the new place by myself since Sunday night, the house creaks like there’s an axe-murderer on the roof so it’s taken some getting used to. I also desperately miss having Oreo with me all the time – I can’t even imagine how much I’m going to miss her next year. Woe. But! Tomorrow the movers will be transporting all the big stuff over and then it’ll pretty much be home. Only have to unpack and clean the old place. Ugh.

I am covered in so many bruises I can’t even count them. There are three on my left hand alone. It’s quite the worry being both spatially challenged and an easy bruiser. I also have to wear a wrist support since I’ve managed to acquire a pretty nasty case of RSI and lugging stuff up and down stairs isn’t really helping. So yeah, pretty much just falling apart.

Cannot wait for it to be over. No mooore booooxes.

In other news –

I didn’t realise how much this meant until they finally actually won it. I’m just so proud of this team, my team, I could combust with happiness. They nearly gave me a heart attack, but hey, they did it.

I would just like to give credit to Stephen Donald’s shirt — in a highly stressful time, the fact that it clearly wasn’t made for him amused me greatly. The poor guy! That number 10 shirt must’ve been cursed. Insanity.

How lame is this, I still break out in a giant grin just thinking about it *shakes head*

There has also been progress on the Trip front – I booked our Venice accommodation last night which means we’re all set for Carnevale. Excitement abounds!

There’s a lot more to be said but no time to say it. Busy times at work (as usual) and chaos at home. I’m so tired, I feel like my head is floating somewhere near the ceiling.

Music: Casanova, baby! - The Gaslight Anthem

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend's worth of thoughts

Out of all my pet peeves, I think the thing I hate the most is being copied. It makes me irately annoyed. But it’s also funny because Em knows how much I loathe it and she always starts laughing in a knowing sort of way whenever it happens and that, in turn, gets me laughing. It’s probably a more healthy response. So thanks for that Em, you’re probably doing wonders for my blood pressure!

On the opposite end of the mood scale, pure euphoria last night with the All Blacks through to the final. Woo! I was almost too nervous to watch the game, I just couldn’t bear the thought of it all going horribly wrong – especially against Australia. I was majorly stressed for most of it, but luckily everything held together. We have to win this thing. Not only because we deserve it, but also for Dan. Ugh, my heart breaks for the guy. If I feel utterly devastated, I can't imagine how he feels. So anyway. I am so excited for the final. It really should have been against Wales though. France has been playing terribly all tournament, it’s pure luck that they’ve made it this far. Ah well.

In other news, applying for my visa tonight. Eee! And probably buying tickets and booking accommodation this week. I’ve just this moment sent off a message to my cousin with dates so if he can put me up, I’ll be off to Botswana at the end of December. I am hoping it works out, I am dying for a safari. I can’t believe how soon it all is – it feels both insanely real and somehow intangible. I’m itching to set off and at the same time, I’m already missing everyone and everything. My puppy mostly, I’m constantly randomly attacking her with cuddles much to her confusion.

She’s very unsettled at the moment cause mum and I started packing on the weekend. She sits and watches me with this look that says ‘There is mischief afoot!’ And then she’s poking her nose in boxes and titling her head in a way to clearly asks ‘What witchcraft is this?’ But seriously, she’s not keen on all this packing activity. She probably thinks we’re going on holiday without her again.

Ugh. Packing. Slow and arduous. We did most of the study on Sunday. Books! So many books! I did throw out about three bags worth of stuff and have another bag to donate (not books, we don’t throw out books in my household) but there’s still so much! How does one accumulate so much crap and fit it all in tiny rooms? Sigh. We’ll probably start the kitchen tonight. Double sigh. I’m already covered in bruises and we haven’t even started the actual moving yet. Bodes well.

Can't stop yawning. I was up at 5.30 this morning, a time reserved for those in the first circle of hell. I have so much work to do, I figured I’d come in early but even though I left home way earlier than normal, I still got to work at the time I usually do. WHAT. Why dost thou mock me, traffic?

Speaking of work and its quantities, better get back to it. Can’t even think about how many profiles I need to write or I’ll be paralysed with apprehension.

Music: American Slang - The Gaslight Anthem

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pretending to live in The Lion King

This is my cousin’s (technically uncle, but he’s only 4 years older than me so we don't bother with semantics) photography page. He works in the Chobe National Park which I think makes him the person with the best workplace I know. Do you get to see lions and leopards and wild dogs at your office? Precisely.

Anyway, on one of my rare forays onto Facebook last night we got to chatting and he invited me to visit. Dudes. I am too weak to resist. You have no idea how much I love the African bush. Just…yes. Cue one of my typical flights of fancy! I'm seriously considering it. Seeing as my family are all in bloody Cape Town in December when I was going to stay with them I’m thinking hey, maybe I can just pop up to Botswana for a bit instead. If I fly out here on Boxing Day and then catch a flight up to Livingstone (cause I’m not flying into Zimbabwe, thanks), he can just come pick me up. Right? Right?? It’s totally doable. Plus I can write lots of travel pieces for them so it’s value added having me there. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Logistically, it's not too much of a stretch. I can fly up there for $250 and stay for a week, go back to Jo’burg in preparation for ze wedding (and for that I still need to convince someone to drive me there/back) and then off to Londres. There for about a week until R arrives and then Paris! I am starting to get a little (see also: hugely) excited.

Before then I still need to do a boatload of stuff though. Get visa(s), an international drivers license maybe), travel insurance…tickets. Buy supplies like new headphones and socks and a light-weight towel and one of those sleeping bag insert thingies. Look into internet options and phone options. Talk to all the mag editors and set up freelance work – and for that I think I need a BSB. All sorts of things!

And time is running out. It’s already the middle of October. Little over two months until I’m jobless and getting ready to leave. Did I mention I’m also a little terrified? Cause I am. Bit of a big deal, taking off for so long. But good too. Necessary. I earned it.


Music: The quiet things no one ever knows - Brand New

Monday, October 10, 2011

Catch me if you can

Okay. Lots of things have happened and most have been detrimental to my mood, which has been consistently terrible since Wednesday.

Firstly, The Academy Is… has officially called it quits. William announced it yesterday. It’s not entirely unexpected – with them all being all over the place – but it’s still sad. TAI was one of my favourite bands, and they’re one of the few bands that I’ve known since before their official first album. I wasn’t there for the whole 8 year journey, but it had to be 5 years at least. That said, I completely understand where they’re coming from. We’re all practically the same age and if I think of how I have changed, and what I’ve wanted to move on from, through the last 8 years, it only makes sense for them to feel the same. Such is life.

But I will miss TAI terribly all the same. Though I’m sure the boys will pop up in other things from time to time. I’ll always have three albums I adore and, of course, the memories – seeing them play every time they came out here, the meet and greet, the surfboard…oh dear god, the surfboard *headdesk*

On some level it feels like 2011 is holding up a giant neon sign declaring ‘It’s over. You’re grown up.’ And I can’t say I particularly care for it. It feels like everything has ended, the last remnants of life before responsible adulthood have all crumbled away. And honestly? I’m just not ready yet. This adulthood thing…it’s not good. I’ll have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it, and I’ll have to be caught first. Ah well. At least I’ll always have Green Day.

On the topic of responsibility and reality and how much it sucks, we were informed on Thursday that the house we’re in is being sold. You know what that means – it’s moving time. Again. I’m not going to lie to you, internet, I was utterly devastated by this news. I love the house we’re in now, it’s pretty much the kind of house I’ve always wanted. I love the deck and being able to lie in my hammock and just let the world go by. I love that it has a open, sprawling kitchen. I love that everything is on levels. I love that I have a room that’s not a shoebox. I love that it backs onto a reserve so it doesn’t feel like your fenced in and stuck in suburbia. I love that there’s even wildlife popping up these days – at the moment we have ducklings waddling down the street. Ducklings. And I love the area, with shops nearby, great library and the beach 20 minutes away. Just…yeah. I’m very disappointed. If I was three years old, I would chuck a giant tantrum and refuse to leave. And I’d expect my parents to sort it out.

Unfortunately, that sort of attitude doesn’t really work anymore so instead I’m saddled with a feeling of responsibility and general unhappiness. See? There's that adulthood thing again. My parents aren’t taking it too well – especially my dad who takes every reminder that we rent as a personal attack on him. They're not natural renters (which is why they keep building/painting etc at our own expense and inadvertently pushing the property values up, idiots that we are) and it hits dad very hard that he doesn’t have a place of his own. Despite my numerous attempts at convincing him that owning a house in Sydney is actually rather shit cause you’re stuck with a ginormous mortgage that you’ll probably never pay off, he still gets depressed about it. But you know, the simple fact of the matter is that my parents gave up a house and a comfortable lifestyle when they moved here, and I think it makes him feel like a failure that he can’t buy a house here. Frankly I think having an great standard of living is way better than being saddled with a huge debt-in-house-form but you know, whatever. When it comes to packing up all your crap and trying to find a new place for the third time in two years, I can understand why the lack of stability makes him miserable.

Of course, despite knowing me all my life, my parents still fail to realise that I am highly tuned to other peope’s emotions and the fact that I have a habit of suppressing my own in favour of carrying theirs goes completely unnoticed. But when I’m stressed and I snap, I’m the one who ends up in the dog house. Good times.

Anyway. We’ve applied for a new place so hopefully we’ll get that. It would be as straightforward and as painless as these things can be. Which probably means it won’t happen. What? I’m a natural pessimist. It helps me manage disappointment. The area we’re looking at is about twenty five minutes from where we are now…in fact, it’s just down the road from the doctor’s surgery I used to work at. It’s further away from my current job, so that’ll mean even more traffic (thankfully only 52 days to go) and it makes the weekend job I got kind of annoying as well (what used to be my local shopping centre is now a 30min drive away.)

It’s a nice area and I'm trying to be upbeat about it, but it’s definitely not as great as where we are now. Unfortunately the houses in our current area are going for about $800-$1000 a week, which is pretty steep – especially since I won’t be contributing to rent next year. But you know, all things told, it’s probably better to move. Both the 'rents have messed up their knees and the stairs weren’t really helping things. The house we’re hoping to get is freshly painted and carpeted and quite big, so there won’t be a lack of room at least.

Oh whatever. Doesn’t help to ponder these things. It has to be done and that’s it. We’ll deal. It’s more a case of it being unexpected…and being too comfortable were we are. I am going to do a major clean out this time though – I’m not lugging all that junk around again. I’ve reached the point where I’m quite happy to be ruthless. Ebay all the things!

In other news, yes, I finally got a second job. So I’ll be working pretty much all the time from mid November until Christmas eve. At “normal” work, things continue to be entirely batshit insane and one of the ad reps made a complaint about me to management on Thursday because he doesn’t like my attitude. I am cheerfully setting his car on fire with my mind. My parents aren’t speaking to me because I got annoyed at them for keeping me out all day Saturday after I was promised it wouldn’t be a late one and because I made the mistake of telling them I just wanted to be left alone, which they’re now taking to petty extremes. I’m not going to apologise either cause I’m still resentful of the fact that I always have to be everyone’s emotional support and yet the minute I slip up, that’s held up as some sort of trademark behaviour. It’s just like at work – no one ever notices when you’re doing things well, but make one mistake and you never hear the end of it.

It’s especially aggravating because I only went along on Saturday to help them out, a) by driving into the city and b) by keeping mum company as I know she doesn’t like going to these rugby things by herself because dad is useless and usually abandons her within 2 seconds flat (he is like a toddler, you have no idea). And I voiced all my reservations before we left so they were well aware of how I felt. But my dad doesn’t think, ever, so he agrees to things on a whim and so, at 11pm, I’m in Chinatown with a bunch of middle-aged couples. And all of them keep telling what a good daughter I am, how they wish their kids would come out with them and blah blah blah. Do my parents think so? No. Two days later, I'm still a pariah. Charming.

BUT! It’s not all annoyance. I attended a lovely High Tea at the Shangri La hotel yesterday, courtesy of L. It was prefectly decadent and exactly the right kind of escapism. Plus I got to catch up with R and K for a bit, always nice and relaxing. My friends always know when to save my sanity.

Now, back to work I suppose. The way things are going here, I won’t be surprised if I’m working till 7 or 8 every night this week. Sigh.

Music: Daytripper - The Beatles

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Washed out by the side of the road

While I’m waiting for my new phone to arrive, I’m using one of my ye olde phones – a flip phone from what must be about 7 years ago. I’ve had the hiptops so long that it feels practically prehistoric. The last time I used it was in 09, when I took it to Europe with me in order to avoid ginormous roaming charges (it worked.) It didn’t feel quite so outdated then, but now…well.

It’s a bit of a time warp – a unique insight into the past, if you will. The phone’s display screen on the front has a pic of William Beckett, the background is Billie Joe and the ringtone is ‘There’s a good reason these tables are numbered.’ The hilarious thing however is that it’s filled with old text messages from first year of uni. Mostly about bands and band boys. And lots of subterfuge messages from M about transferring out of her course. And lots of picture messages of really random things, including one of Pete Wentz with the subject line ‘Bringing Sexy Back’. Hahahaha. Ah dear. My friends are awesome.

There are some stellar examples of eloquence, I just have to share some of it.

Run rabbit run rabbit run run run. Don’t give the farmer his fun fun fun…BLAHAHA!

I agree. The braaaaaaiiins made us do it.

But we DO all know that frogs go la di da di da la di da di da la di da di da! They don’t go gloomp gloomp gloomp!

This whole trip was as useless as that yellow lemon shaped rock over there. Wait a minute, there’s a lemon behind that rock!

Ryan, what the FUCK are we going to do about these mimes!?

O Wise One, where would I be without your infinite wisdom?

Lord Vader... Rise...

We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy!

Beware of women with prams!

I’m sending my Brian as extra protection.

*cue power rangers style arm flailing*

We clearly mostly conversed in quotes and/or obscure references. We also liked exclamation marks. So really, not much has changed. Although I have realised I don’t text nearly as much as I did back then – I guess it’s been supplanted with email and twitter. Ah technology, always morphing into something else.

But enough of the blast from the past, time to get to work. Two deadlines coming up - gah. It’s enough to make one weep.

Music: Film Noir - The Gaslight Anthem

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All hail the four day weekend

I have just returned from my graduation. Third time, don't you know. It all went smoothly, even though I had to navigate stairs in heels - it was at the Conference and Exhibition Centre this time, rather than the uni Great Hall. I didn't fall over and that is the main thing. It was nice to catch up with some of the others, I made at least two good friends during Masters. The parentals spent far too much time running around being nutters and buying a lot of random stuff, but what can you do. We rounded the day off with an early dinner in the city.  Overall, not a bad end to a long weekend.

I may have had four days off but predictably, I have done nothing I was supposed to. I had a list and everything! Ugh. I need more time and/or self-discipline. Especially when it comes to shopping. But, as I keep telling myself, it's trip related.

I have acquired the following -

I am in love with these Dr. Martens. Mum took me to see them on Sunday and I just couldn't turn my back on them. She knows me oh so very well. They're very vintage, very WWI military style and they have these awesome ribbon laces. You can fold it down so it's a half-boot as well, nice and versatile.

Mum's been on my case about getting "proper walking shoes" for the trip but as I have an aversion to hiking boots, it's been fairly painful for both of us. Until I discovered Converse do an 'outsider' range of shoes based on a design they did for the military way back when. It's leather, removing the rain problem you'd have with cons, and also has a little more lift in the heel and thicker soles. Kinda vintage, totally awesome. I'm very pleased with it cause let's face it, cons suit my wardrobe way better than a hiking shoe ever would.

Of course today also marks the day that Donna, my hiptop/sidekick, officially stopped working. The operating system has been switched off and she's no longer with us. I loved that phone, we've had some great times. Out of all the phones I've had so far in my life, I was most attached to these. But technology waits for no man and until it eventually rises up and enslaves us, I guess you have to keep up. So I ordered this instead, still waiting for it to arrive -
It's a Samsung Galaxy 551, which has now been discontinued. I went for it purely because it was the only relatively new Android with a keyboard I could find. I must have a keyboard. My OCD is not compatible with a touchscreen at all.

My parents bought all of these things for me. Well, mum went halves with me on the Docs, but everything else they got. I'm not entirely sure why they're being so nice (or rather I should say I am suspicious of my dad's motives, but I'm sure this will emerge in due time as always) but I am very grateful all the same. Awesome things are awesome! Yay!

In other news, watched the Doctor Who finale. Oh Em Gee, people! 'Silence will fall when the oldest question is asked. The question hidden in plain sight.' It’s so deceptively simple that it’s genius. I was rather pleased with the finale, even if I saw the beach thing coming. But I like the underlying idea behind it – it’s sort of an allegory for the show’s success in a way. But I can’t really get into it without spoiling things and it’s only showing here next week. So.

I also watched the Merlin premiere, cause I figured if I didn’t take things into my own hands I would never see it. Such a huge improvement on last season already, well up until the informant was revealed in Camelot. Really, again?? They really need to introduce some sort of security screening or something. At least with Morgana revealed, she gets to do more than smirk evilly – big improvement, even if her amazing wardrobe is going to suffer. I also love having the knights around. Gwaine’s internal monologue must consist entirely of ‘These idiots have no sense of self-preservation’ and I love that Percival has sleeveless armour. Haha. Also, Lancelot being around is always a nice change cause at least someone knows about Merlin and that sort of dilutes the fact that Arthur is a blind fool. The knights are just awesome, okay? Okay. And Uther! Will there be no shrieking about magickz and rash overreactions? Only time will tell! I think it bodes well for the season though.

Now, is it too early to go to bed? I am absolutely dying from hayfever but the tablets make me sleepy. I'll need to be up early tomorrow too -no doubt I'll have about 200 emails waiting for me. Sigh. Further updates as events warrant!

Music: How I Met Your Mother

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Winter is coming

Just did a quiz on which A Song of Ice and Fire House I belong to and I am, drum roll please, a Stark. Can't say I'm surprised. Now if only I had time to read the books, gah.

You Scored as HOUSE STARK.

Brrr. You hail from House Stark. Your house seat is Winterfell way up North. You are responsible, trustworthy, and know how to be a leader when called upon. You are a workhorse for the realm, and even with all those good things, sometimes you don't come out on top.

Your house motto: Winter is Coming.

House Stark                       85%
House Greyjoy                   75%
House Tully                         75%
House Martell                     65%
House Targaryen                 55%
House Tyrell                         55%
House Baratheon                50%
House Arryn                        50%
House Lannister                  40%
House Frey                          10%

Music: Play crack the sky - Brand New

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If your life had a face I'd punch it

Scott Pilgrim is awesome. That is all.

I don't know why that last one cracked me up as much as it did...but it did *shrug*

Music: NCIS is on in the background somewhere

One track mind

Work is blocking travel sites as quickly as I can access them. Seems they are on to me and my trip planning ways. I’m just check things as they come to me, alright? I’m still working too, promise.

Anyway. I’ve been AWOL, apologies. Despite what the above might suggest, work has been entirely mad the last few weeks and I’ve barely had time to breathe. And since it feels like I hardly ever have time at home in front of ze computer, blogging suffers. C’est la vie.

My life at this very moment in time revolves pretty much entirely around airfares. Specifically, how to get out of paying them. It offends my delicate sensibilities to have to deal with how expensive everything is. Wah. And staff travel, it appears, is failing me. While staff are entitled to fly with partner airlines, most of them only allow staff’s children under 24 years of age. I just miss it by mere months! Life is cruel. And yet more proof that it's the worst age ever. You cannot imagine my horror when I discovered this the other night. And, not only that, BA are even more cruel and insist the staff member fly with you or they won’t let you on at all. Sigh.

I know most of you have absolutely no sympathy for me in this particular regard, but you don’t understand. This is a way of life for me. I’ve never known any other kind of travel. And to have it so suddenly yanked out from under me is…well, painful. Woe. Anyway. I can still fly Qantas till I’m 26, so screw all you other airlines. I’m going everywhere they fly before then, dammit! Even though they’re becoming very obnoxious and swapping their routes out with Jestar, like Hawaii *headdesk*

But my very, very, very vague plans until someone at the airport rains on my parade is to fly Qantas to JHB, Lufthansa to London (via Frankfurt) and then probably Swiss Air to NY (via Zurich – which seems a bit counter-intuitive to me, but hey, whatever). I’ll have to buy an actual ticket to get to Honolulu from San Fran/LA, and then I think it’ll maybe work out better for me to fly Honolulu – Sydney, then on to Auckland from here. Or wherever we decide to go when we don't want to come back to this so-called real life.

In other news, travel insurance is rather expensive as well. Don’t they realise I have a very strict budget for this trip? I’d take my chances but it seems like tempting fate…and my mother would have an apoplexy if I left without insurance. Or if I couchsurfed. Which is looking mightily tempting, let me tell you. But never mind. Being broke is all part of the adventure, right? Right.

If only someone would give me a weekend job, and buy my car for a decent amount, I could stop being such an annoying penny-pincher. I don’t think it suits me at all.

Music: Disappearing boy - Green Day

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tired eyes

Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt, we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

I tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Right in this moment this order's tall

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind

In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different kind
I'll be holding all the tickets
And you'll be owning all the fines

Come on skinny love what happened here
We suckled on the hope in lite brassieres
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Sullen load is full, so slow on the split

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind

And now all your love is wasted
And who the hell was I?
I'm breaking at the bridges
And at the end of all your lines

Who will love you?
Who will fight?
Who will fall far behind?

Music: Skinny love - Bon Iver

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Climbing up the top sails

Hey look, another blog. Shock horror. I guess you can tell that I don’t particularly feel like working this week.

For those following my descent into full-blown geekiness, I finished Watchmen last night. I now understand why a friend of mine insists Matthew Goode was miscast as Ozymandias… but seeing as Ozymandias was the only character I really paid attention to in the movie, I’m not particularly fussed about this. On the page, he’s a bit of a prat. On the screen, I was totally on his side. Vanity? Perhaps. Obviously it’s been ages since I saw the film, but a lot of things make a lot a more sense now – the music, for example. Not that I don’t love the soundtrack (best part of the film really) but I would maybe not have been so quick to burst into hysterical laughter at ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ had I know how it was referenced in the text. This is a big maybe though because unfortunately I can only ever think of Mr Burns when I hear it. Poor Wagner, I’m sure he never anticipated that for his music.

I really do not like Nite Owl though. I kinda just want to smack him around. Don’t know why Rorschach doesn’t do me the favour. Anyway. I should really have read it before I saw the film. It was a pretty faithful adaptation, so it’s not like there was any mystery. It’s a good read - very nuanced, very clever – but it didn’t exactly blow my mind. And I know, I know. It’s supposed to be this genius work and the ultimate of the medium and what have you but…eh *shrug* I liked V for Vendetta more. I read it last week and that was just mind-bendingly good.

You know what else is a good read? One Day by David Nicholls. This book is a modern classic. It does everything a good book should and it’s presented in an interesting, engaging way that’ll keep you hooked. It’s one of those that, if you read it at the right time in your life, defines who you are. Read it before you see the movie. That’s the new rule.

Next on my reading list is the first Sally Lockhart novel and probably Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. I have to say reading graphic novels is much more compatible with work cause I just blitz through them in an evening. I'm one of those people who likes to read a book pretty much in one sitting if I can, all that stop-starting completely puts me off it. I've actually organised my TBR pile in order of the number of pages - anything around the 300 mark I can still finish in one night if I start early enough, so they're at the top. The ones I know will take longer, I'll leave to last.  Like A Game of Thrones which I'm dying to read but it's so huuuuge. I just know I'm never going to be able to put it down. Sadly it'll just have to wait. It seems like a ridiculous system, but if I didn't have one, I'd just end up reading nothing.

Now. Back to the craft shops. Joy.

Music: I'm shipping up to Boston - Dropkick Murphys

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Living The Big Bang Theory life

Today’s random observation: I really like Matthew Vaughan. I think he’s a really slick producer and director. Also, he’s got screenwriting credit on Kick-Ass, XMFC and Stardust. All things I love. Ah, if only he stayed on to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, what awesome it could have been.

Speaking of directors, apparently Kenneth Branagh will not be directing Thor 2. This seems like a mistake to me. No one really had high hopes for Thor, but it turned out to be great. Why mess with something that works? And it’s supposed to be out in 2013? Sheesh. They’re just churning out Avengers scripts over there. While I’m aware that Marvel really just sees all these films as a giant marketing campaign to sell merch, is it really necessary to keep rushing everything so much? Imagine what a perfect film X-Men: First Class could have been if they’d given them time to refine the script, more time to turn it around and a bigger budget. The fact that they’ve had a pretty good run with these films so far doesn’t mean they can keep tempting fate. One wrong note and you’ve got a Green Lantern on your hands (what Rolling Stone has described as a lesson in “how not to make a superhero film.”) You just need one bad film to lose people. We’re fickle like that.

Also, shouldn’t someone be concerned with saturating the market? If there’s a steady stream of these films every year, won’t people get sick of it? Especially since all the build-up is to next year’s Avengers. Once that has passed…well, I don’t know. Seems a bit much to me. And hey, Chris Nolan’s Batman movies don’t suffer at all for having longer intervals in between. If you tell a good story, people will watch it, regardless of when you release it (well okay, it can’t be too long after the previous, but within five years should be fine.) I can understand that they’re probably worried this superhero bubble is going to burst so they’re trying to cash in as much as they can, but I think that behaviour is what contributes to the bubble bursting. There’ll be The Avengers (first of 3?), Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, all within a year? It’s not like a studio releasing four separate films, after all. This is all the same ‘universe’, the same continuity. Sooner or later, you're going to get fed up. And sure, you don’t have to watch them all, but if you’re an idiot like me who likes seeing how things come together, you’ll feel compelled to.

Goddamn comic books. I can’t believe I got suckered into this. Curse you, Marvel! I hear DC is rebooting its entire universe today. It’s a never-ending cycle! Aaaaah *weeps*

Anyway, forget Thor. Make me some more X-Men movies. How have all these Avengers sequels been announced when XMFC was critically the best received of the lot (excluding the first Iron Man)? I know it didn’t drag in the same amount at the box office, but come on. Look, to help save money, I’ll even graciously offer to write it. I may only have read one comic, but I have wikipedia and I am not afraid to use it. Also I took a screenwriting class at uni once and got a distinction for it. I hated it, but you know, I’ll do it to help out.

PS: Yes, I'm this geeky now. Bear with me.

Music: Synesthesia - AFI

Monday, August 29, 2011

All these crazy Hollywood nights

You guys! This is so cute. I can't stand it.

"And then they made me their chief."
I can imagine what you're thinking. You're thinking, What? They're just sitting in a field. But if you're thinking that, you don't understand how amazingly, brilliantly, perfectly awesome these two are. Awesome (adj): made of win. I mean, come on. I think the fact that they're in a movie together is perhaps both the greatest and the worst cinematic thing to ever happen to me. Brain. Mush.

Also, I'm sleep-deprived and dehydrated. My glee at this is no doubt hugely out of proportion. But I regret nothing! Nothing! A dose of McAvoy and Fassbender is good for whatever ails you.

While on the topic of movies and the people who are in them, I find it a bit disconcerting how Sydney has shifted into 'stalk' mode with The Great Gatsby kicking off filming (has it started? I'm just guessing here.) There was a FP in the paper on Sunday of where the best spots were to catch filming and everything. It included things like Leonardo DiCaprio likes to ride his bike round the park and Tobey Maguire likes to frequent Bourke Street Bakery, and even something about a preferred ice-cream flavour. A real Stalking For Dummies guide. Now, far be it for me to judge the odd bout of stalking, but surely this is a bit excessive. Really? Really? This is what we're doing as a city? We're not going to pretend to have a little class? No? Alright then.

Incidentally, Bourke Street Bakery is very nice, I highly recommend the sourdough. What? Sleep-deprived and dehydrated, remember?

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

My pockets hurt

Here follows the tale of my odd weekend. Shenanigans kicked off Friday night as I helped a family friend plan her upcoming holiday (with all this trip planning going on I’ll soon be able to start my own touring company.) For some inexplicable reason I was craving a martini but after packing out the entire liquor cabinet, I came to the sad conclusion that we didn’t have vermouth. (I did find a bottle of tequila though – no idea where that came from.) So instead I made kamikazes which is great, yes, but not really what I wanted. First world problems, people. Fell into bed sometime after 1.

On Saturday morning I woke up with that parched, awful feeling in my mouth that I always have when I’ve had too much vodka. I’d have happily slept for another eight hours, but instead I dragged myself entirely unwillingly out of bed and into the city. I’d made plans to go comic book shopping with a uni friend and I definitely couldn’t cancel again (did that the last two Saturdays.) Anyway, after comics were acquired I dragged him along to Darling Harbour so I could stock up at the British lolly shop and then decided that, you know, I could really still do with that martini. Oh dear. A couple of martinis later, we found ourselves laughing our way through Conan The Barbarian (just...don’t. Trust me. All the action in this film is driven by a girl falling down a hole.) What even. I finally got home to more assisted trip planning and rugby. Fell into bed sometime after midnight.

On Sunday morning I woke up with that parched, awful feeling in my mouth that I always have when I’ve had too much vodka. I’d have happily slept for another nine hours, but instead I had to help my mum move all the living room furniture. This took an inordinate amount of time. All I wanted was a nap, do you think I got it? Short answer – no. I shambled my way through some chores, sat in the sunshine and read Deadpool: Suicide Kings (new obsession alert!), took Oreo for a walk until I finally had to concede defeat and drag myself entirely unwillingly out of the house and to the Roundhouse. I honestly kept forgetting about this gig. You Me At Six were co-headlining with We The Kings and I, for one, was rather put out when I discovered YM@6 would be playing last. It’s a Sunday night people, I wanted to go home early! Sigh.

As I waited for my gig buddy to arrive, I watched the crowd massing (doors were late, as per usual), quietly sang ‘Teenagers’ to myself and valiantly resisted the urge to smack at least five of them in the face with a serving tray. Self-control, I have it. I’m getting too old for this stuff. A shared my sentiments so it’s no surprise that we spent most of WTK’s set outside commenting on a) the noise, b) the disturbing demin cut-off shorts trend (especially with the black ankle socks – what the hell is that about?), c) the prevalence of underaged smoking, and d) how easily pleased teenagers are. Would that I were 17 again and just so happy to be at a gig that I didn’t care every song sounded the same or that everyone kept squealing cause the lead singer kept saying he wanted to marry them. Oh wait, no, that’d be horrible. Get off my lawn! Man, I’m so jaded.

Anyway, back on point, I don’t think I’ll be bothering with We The Kings in the future. It felt like the set just dragged on for aaaaaages and while Travis clearly knows how to target his audience, it’s also very clear that I am not that audience. That ship has well and truly sailed. And I’m fine with that, there are plenty of pop-punk bands who do it better. On the other hand, You Me At Six was electric and Josh’s ridiculously adorable smile made up for the fact that we’d spent three hours waiting in some sort of teen purgatory where boys with McAvoy-blue eyes asked if they could kiss me and girls fought over Travis Clark in the bathroom (I wish I was joking).

It’s so easy to get swept away by a band when you can tell that they absolutely love what they do. Every time the crowd sang back, I thought Josh would combust with happiness. It’s enough to make anyone grin like an idiot. They put on a fun, solid set (despite the rather shit sound) and I’m glad A convinced me to go. Even if it does mean I woke up this morning with that parched, awful vodka-induced feeling in my mouth for the third day in a row.

What is my life, seriously. It was meant to be a quiet, uneventful weekend. Now I’m yawning so much I fear I am in danger of swallowing my own head. Something tells me this is not going to be the most productive of work days.

Music: Trade mistakes - Panic! At The Disco

Friday, August 26, 2011

Link it to the world

I've just discovered this Henry Rollins quote. I thought it rather epic.

Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile. You will never know how you have cauterized my wounds. So sad that we will never touch. How it hurts me to know that I will never be able to give you everything I have.

Music: New Born - Muse

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Silly conversations at work

Girl 1: I think he’s called Erik.
Me: What? Another one?
Girl 1: But with a ‘k’.
Girl 2 (entering): What you doing?
Me: Talking about Erik.
Girl 2: The vampire?
Girl 1: The penguin.
Girl 3 (entering): Is Eric going to play a penguin?
Me (to Girl 1): You see the problem.

And that’s only with two Eric(k)s – I ‘know’ three others, one of them being my own character. At any one time when someone is talking about an Eric(k), I need clarification on which one. So please, creators of things, pick another name! (And changing it to a ‘k’ clearly does not help.)

Although this did lead to an interesting thought of Eric, or rather Alexander Skarsgard, playing Batman’s The Penguin, but of course he’s a bit too tall for that. Just a bit.

Music: She's a genius - Jet

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Top 10: Things I watched this week

I've been less than consistent with this, I know. The same old excuses, I won't bore you with it. I haven't done anything exciting and I don't have anything terribly creative to contribute, so instead here's a list of ten random things I've watched in the last week (or two).

  • Captain America: The First Avenger
Somewhere in the last two years, I seem to have sold my soul to Marvel. That said, this was probably my least favourite of the lot so far. It was...okay, entertaining, good production as always, but I just didn’t really care about it. It also had a significant number of Star Wars moments, so by the time it finished I kind of just wanted to watch Return of the Jedi. Still, The Avengers trailer at the end was enough to have me flailing like the pathetic fangirl I am. Loki! Tony! Hawkeye! Thor! I just hope it can live up to the hype.

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This type of film is kind of unsettling. On one hand, you feel compelled to identify with the humans…after all, you are human. But then you sort of want the monkeys to have their revenge. Bit of a weird situation. I didn’t actually want to see this – it just not my kind of thing. That said, I think it deserves all the good reviews it’s had. The CGI is really amazingly well-done, and Andy Serkis is disturbingly good at playing these non-human characters so believably.

  • The Fountain
Um. It has Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz in it? I honestly don’t know what to say about this film. It’s so very existential. But I did watch all of it, so it has that going for it. In a nutshell, it’s about death. The film tracks three parallel stories over I don’t know how many years in a weird sci-fi-fantasy like way. It’s directed by Darren Aronofsky so really, weirdness is to be expected. Now I like weird movies, but this didn’t really do it for me. I didn’t think it was bad, but it didn’t make me think either – which is probably what it was trying to do. But I do like the film score though.

  • The Young Victoria
I’m not going to lie to you Marge, I loved this. Loved. It. I think I'm developing an unfortunate love for films dealing with royalty…wonder what that’s all about. But never mind! This film is so pretty. And I thought the cast were solid. However the real question is, will Mark Strong ever not play a bad guy? It’s a dead giveaway when I see him in a film. "It was him! I don’t know what happened, but whatever it was, he did it." I do like his evilness though…but maybe that’s just because I love Septimus from Stardust so much.

  • Jonah Hex
The things I watch for you, Fassbender. I sincerely doubt the people behind this gave it any significant thought. It’s barely over an hour long and would really have benefitted from some actual character development.

  • Band of Brothers
So. Much. Heartache. The tears, the tears everywhere. I fully expected this to destroy me. But it is so, so phenomenally good. Luckily mum was into as well, so that gave me someone to cling to – and I really did, I was cowering behind her arm pretty consistently from the moment they made the jump at the start of ‘Day of Days'. And ‘Bastogne’, oh dear god. As a general rule I avoid watching war-based things (well, realistic modern war things.) After Saving Private Ryan had me in tears within the first ten minutes, I decided I just wasn’t cut out for this sort of thing. It thoroughly depresses me and makes me hate humanity. But I'd heard such great things about BoB and since Life showed me what an amazing actor Damian Lewis is, I just couldn’t resist. And really, this series is just packed with brilliant actors. They’re all there! You can’t recognise them, but they’re there. It is a brilliant series. I cannot recommend it enough.

  • Brothers & Sisters
I’m just taking forever to get through the first season - only three episodes left! But my slowness doesn’t mean I don’t love the show. I really do. It’s consistently brilliant and often has me laughing like an idiot. Ah dysfunctional families, they’re the best kind.

  • Hex
A terrible show that makes me question what I’m doing with my life. There’s a reason I never got into it the first time it was on air. It makes so very little sense. I want to give it the benefit of the doubt but I’ve just realised there’s only 6 episodes in the first season and I’m already halfway. What the hell!

  • Wilfred
The only reason I paid attention to this was because I saw Elijah Wood in the ad. Fickle, me? Never. It’s based on an Aussie comedy show that I’d never heard of – not that it’s saying much, I’m not the most up-to-date with local things. But anyway, the show is basically about Ryan and his neighbour’s dog Wilfred, which Ryan sees as a man in a dog suit. I am actually ashamed to admit that I watch this because every fibre of my being tells me I shouldn’t, and I definitely shouldn’t enjoy it as much as I do. Ah well.

  • Spirited
This show. It’s like someone had a photo of me on their desk and thought ‘Hey, let’s write something for her!’ With the ghost of a punk rocker, how can you go wrong? It’s quirky, a little odd and awkward, with characters that are frequently cringe-worthy. And I adore it. I’m only two episodes into the second season, hopefully I'll have a chance to catch up soon.

Music: Holiday - Green Day