Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This was perfectly heartbreaking

And really rather beautiful.

This 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car…no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe.

The Impala, of course, has all the things other cars have, and a few things they don’t, but none of that stuff’s important. This is the stuff that’s important; the army man that Sam crammed in the ashtray, it’s still stuck there; the legos that Dean shoved into the vents, to this day, heat comes on, they can hear them rattle. These are the things that make the car theirs. Really theirs. Even when Dean rebuilt her from the ground up, he made sure all these little things stayed… because it’s the blemishes that make her beautiful. The devil doesn’t know, or care, what kind of car the boys drive…

In between jobs, Sam and Dean would sometimes get a day, sometimes a week if they were lucky. They’d pass the time lining their pockets. Sam used to insist on honest work, but now he hustles pool, like his brother. They could go anywhere and do anything. They drove a thousand miles for an Ozzy show, two days for a J-Hawks game… and when it was clear, they’d park her in the middle of nowhere, sit on the hood and watch the stars. For hours. Without saying a word. It never occurred to them that sure, maybe they never really had a roof and four walls, but they were never, in fact, homeless.

- From SupernaturalSwan Song [S5, Ep22]

Music: Old haunts - The Gaslight Anthem

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wishing I'd been better designed

I have a broken toe. It is surprisingly painful. Or maybe it’s just the cold making it feel that way.

The urge to run away is so strong today. I don’t even mean run away overseas, I’d settle for Cairns or Broome or somewhere warm. We’re not even halfway and I’m already sick to death of winter.

Overall, had a brilliantly lazy weekend – despite getting extremely pissed at the guy in the Telstra shop when I attempted to acquire a new phone. He insisted there were all these things I couldn’t do (when others had already said I could) and then proceeded to mess about with my sim card despite me telling him not to and in the process I lost basically everything that was saved on said sim. He can be thankful my address book at least restored itself or I would have eviscerated him. Idiot.

That aside, R and I tackled Supernatural season 6. We’re 12 eps in and I’m not sure I know how I feel about this season. It’s improved since we’ve gotten rid of grandpa and the cousins (and Sam’s awful car) though – they were getting on my nerves. It's just a bit weird. I think because with the last season I’d gotten used to Sam and Dean pretty much being the most important people in the world, and now to have them treated as practically insignificant hunters again is…odd. While on the topic, cannot believe Sam wouldn’t hug Cas. The little bitch. Has Cas ever offered to hug anyone before? I don’t think so. Fail. Also, I think I actually prefer “Robocop” Sam to his usual self. It was rather nice to have a break from all his feelings.

Anyway. We should be able to finish it off in one more session, I think. Then I’ll be officially caught up and won’t have any choice but to sit around and wait for the next season with everyone else. Like a sucker. Ah well.

Oh oh, I rather enjoyed last night’s Merlin ep. This was something of a relief because last week I was thinking that I’d kind of gone off the show. It’s just not hitting that same note of ridiculous adorkability for me that it used to and really, how many times can Uther be a raving zealot? And I wish Arthur could just know about Merlin’s magic already – I mean really, how slow can he be?

Conclusion: I really watch too much television.

Music: The death rattle of the (largely useless) aircon

Thursday, June 23, 2011

There's always time

This is a very quick post with a very shitty graphic just to add further proof to my case  -

I would just like to point out that I do this all the time. All the time. Ask my friends, I’m always collapsing in a fit of giggles/mortification on their shoulders. In fact, this picture is pretty much what I looked like at Supanova panels last weekend. So again I feel I have to ask, why aren’t we friends?

Life is so cruel. If you won't be friends with me, Mr. McAvoy, then I must insist that you stop. being. so. adorable. With your eyes, and your laugh, and your geeking out, and your stupid smiling face. It's not fair.

That is all. Carry on.

Music: Supernatural opening monolgue - can't say I miss these

Nothing worse than knowing how it ends

I was thinking about X-Men last night (cause that’s just what I do now) and you know what, it’s all very Harry Potter. Secret school led by benevolent figure with great power randomly plucks ‘gifted youngsters’ from every day life and teaches them to control their powers – and sometimes some of them have adventures.

In other news, heartbreak! I got a call from Telstra today informing me that I need a new mobile as my phone will basically stop working in October. I wasn’t surprised, I’ve been expecting it for months – ever since Gabe Saporta tweeted a pic of the letter he received from T-Mobile about the same thing. The Danger platform that powers the sidekicks is being shut down. He was upset, and so am I. They’re not the coolest phones, or the best, but I loved my sidekick(s, I’ve had three). We understood each other. And now, after six years, I have no choice but to let go.

Which is annoying really, since I’m going overseas in six months and I don’t really want to be saddled with a new bloody mobile phone plan, but what can I do? I also most definitely don’t want to be saddled with a touchscreen, but again, what can I do? They goddamn things are everywhere. Also, the hiptop plan was stupidly cheap. I had unlimited text and web usage, all for $30 a month. Nothing can match that. Now there’s just another new expense for me to deal with. Le sigh.

The first person to suggest I get an iPhone will receive a fork in the eye.

Music: Guys messing around on the roof

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Here it goes again

Right, it’s been ages and ages since I first wanted to talk about it (life just gets in the way sometimes, it’s very inconsiderate), but I’m finally getting there now. Torchwood. Thoughts. Have them.

First up, I’d like to say I’m completely over the horror inflicted upon my poor fangirl psyche by Children of Earth. I still think it’s the most depressing thing and everyone behaves like idiots, but c’est la guerre. In the end, I’ve divorced myself from this show (and its fandom) because frankly, it all got a bit insane. Not because Ianto died – yes, I was upset about that but I’d have gotten over it, characters die, shit happens – but because of the way everything was handled afterwards. It was just very off-putting. Besides, time passed and I filled the hole in my television life with other things – mainly Fringe and, more recently, Supernatural. I’ve come to appreciate a different style of drama, one that doesn’t rely on breakneck pace and shock.

Everything considered, I’m not exactly looking forward to Miracle Day. Mostly because I suspect there’s going to be a dissonance between tone and style, as the old cast is going to be out acted by the new cast. And I am very much thinking of it in terms of old vs new. From what I can gather, it’ll start off with the CIA guy Rex Matheson (played by the excellent Mekhi Phifer) which in my head makes it his story, as much as the original TW was Gwen’s story (it starts with her, it ends with her.) It’s a new take on an existing foundation, and the show that existed once can never be again. And that’s fine, I’m just not keen to sign up just yet.

I think the acting is a valid concern – I love John, and I love Jack Harkness, but the guy isn’t exactly the world’s greatest actor. And that’s perfectly fine when you’re in a slightly cheesy show about secret alien catchers, but transpose it onto a stage that’s not only bigger, but contains actors with weight beyond pantomimes, reality tv and Desperate Housewives, and I’m not exactly filled with confidence that it’ll balance out. The lack of significant contrast between Jack and his surroundings, characterised through his perceived ‘Americaness’ in a Welsh setting, has the risk of making the cheesiness of it more pronounced. And it’s not just that. Even in that scene in the extended trailer with Gwen and Dichen Lachman’s character, I feel like something is just…off. I could be entirely wrong, it has happened before (shock horror). I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Actually, speaking of Gwen, isn’t it nice to see that all that talk of her shooting and fighting with a baby strapped to her chest wasn’t just hyperbole? Look, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I find the whole image of Gwen shooting at someone with a baby in one arm completely fucking insane. And not in the ‘Wow, Gwen is so kick-ass’ way.

Another thing that makes me less than enthused is the premise. Nobody dies? Big whoop. We’ve all been there before. When you mess with death, the universe gets pissed and things get out of wack. We know. Not only have other shows like Supernatural tackled this before, but Torchwood itself has dabbled with it. Gloves? Suzie? Zombie Owen? Anyone? The problem with TW is that it thinks it’s clever and unique – and it isn’t really (I’m not saying that in some ways it isn’t quite progressive, I still love it, but just think about this for a second.) Case in point: Combat. Referencing other things is fine, but tip your hat at your sources at least. Otherwise you just look like you’re taking something and hoping no one would notice. Pro tip: people notice. It’s derivative and it’s not cool. And yes, I know a lot of people loved that episode, but still.

Anyway, to return to MD – it is not a new concept. Also, that whole ‘pole through the chest’ thing from the extended trailer just made me think of Final Destination and in a way this whole thing does have a touch of the Final Destinations to it. People don’t die. Once whatever is causing it is sorted out and balance is restored, chances are everyone whose number was called will be taken. So! Considering that one of the main characters in MD is run through with a pole in what I can only assume would be the first episode, reason argues that he’ll drop dead in the end. Same with the convict guy. So really, we’re going to spend 9 episodes involved with characters marked for death.

Plus there’s the hint of government conspiracy. Really? Again? Really? Then there’s the length issue as well. They’re dragging this one story line out over 10 episodes. That’s a long time. COE lost pace in the middle, can MD keep up the intensity for double that? It’s a big ask.

There’s something else that rubs me the wrong way about MD. It isn’t exactly rational, but it bugs me all the same. It’s simply the number of Whedon alumni working on this show. Not only do we have Whedon’s writers, but also his production crew and actors. And okay, it’s ridiculous to say ‘his’ like they solely work for Joss Whedon or something, but there’s no denying that they’re a tight-knit group and often intersect across Whedon’s various projects. I'm sure they're talented individuals anyone would be happy to work with. It's just that somewhere, somehow MD starts to feel like it’s trying too hard to be a Joss Whedon project. Of course, we won’t really know until it airs. It just has all these elements of Joss…but it’s not Joss. So it feels a bit like you’re getting some kind of faux-Joss, trying so hard to be something it’s not (and can’t be in fact.) Maybe RTD decided that since everyone was comparing him to Joss, he might as well go the whole way. Or maybe they’re just playing that up in the hopes that the Whedon fans will come across and make it work for them. Who knows. Time will tell.

Overall though, I just don’t know why I should care. I want to, but I can’t. Nothing this franchise does can surprise or shock me, which makes it all rather inconsequential really. I’m holding out hope that the first episode will whip up some enthusiasm at least, get that edge-of-your-seat-what-happens-next excitement going. It’s being fast-tracked here so it airs the same time it does in the States - it premieres on Starz on the 8th of July, so I think that means UKTV are showing it on the 9th here. That’s something at least.

Music: Famous Last Words - My Chemical Romance

Monday, June 20, 2011

Until it was much too late to recover

Worst mood today. I’ve again reached that point in the full-time employment cycle where all goodwill has disappeared and life seems particularly cruel. Why isn’t there a three day weekend? Why must I be awake before sunrise? Why must I have bills? Why can’t I stay up all night writing? Why can’t I just spend my days on R’s couch? These are questions that’ll keep you up at night.

A couple of weeks ago, Amanda Palmer had this thing going on twitter - #FuckPlanB. It was all very encouraging, chucking in all this annoying crap that is supposedly “real” life and following your heart with 100% commitment. Part of me would love nothing more than to do exactly that. But realistically, it’s just an impossibility. Because I do have bills to pay. Though I often feel that this middle ground, doing something to get by just until you get a break to go after what you want, is dangerous. Far too easy to fall into a complete rut and get stuck here forever. Also, I don’t even know what Plan A really is anymore.

But anyway. Had a fun weekend. The geekfest that is Supanova was on and I actually ended up going both days, catching the Q&A with Gareth David-Lloyd with L on Saturday (he was so much happier than the last time. Also, he has cut his hair. Win all round) and shambling about with R and M on Sunday, after catching the James Marsters Q&A (again I feel compelled to say that he’s very good at these things.) We were going to see Tom Felton’s Q&A as well but the line was far too long. Completely baffles me why. He’s just Draco Malfoy after all. Plus you’re not allowed to take sneaky photos of him, what madness. I haven’t sorted through my photos yet, but if there’s anything decent, I’ll post them up later.

I also introduced L to the grosstastic joy of Fringe, and watched yet more Supernatural. Almost halfway through season 2 now, progress! If everything works out, we’ll get through season 6 next weekend. Excitement. Fear. Horror. I’m sure insanity awaits. Well, more insanity. Are there degrees of insanity? There should be.

Other than that, my lungs are hurting. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean my chest infection is back for round two. Oh, and I have a test tonight – I was so excited about it because I’m a total nerd and it’s been years since I’ve had to do a test – but I haven’t exactly studied. Oops?

Really I’m just procrastinating cause there’s a huge disaster brewing at work. Hoped it would sort itself out but that doesn’t seem to have worked. Sigh. I suppose I’d better get back to it.

Music: Stay lucky - The Gaslight Anthem

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I love a good golf cart theft story

I just...I don't understand how we aren't friends. We should be friends.

"It's the most rock n roll I've ever been, going 12 miles an hour in a golf cart."

Music: What light - Wilco

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The sea will rise and the sun will die

This is a X-Men: First Class appreciation blog. Possibly spoilery, depending on your strict adherence to that. So maybe if you don't want to know anything, it's best not to read this. I'll try not to, but you never know. Really, you should go watch it.

Lookit, I'm not blogging about myself, isn't it a nice change? I do try to limit my angst and self-pity. My angst bucket is just filled after a weekend of Winchester-goodness and the movie mentioned above.

The more I think about it – and frankly, I can’t stop thinking about it, it's been running on a loop in my head all week – the more I just appreciate the subtleties in the characters. Not across the board, when it comes to characters like Emma Frost there’s still a lot left to work with, but definitely with Charles and Erik. And really, at the end of the day, this film is all about them. And they have broken my heart, goddammit! Magneto is just amazing. And I know he’s “the bad guy” in the end, but it’s so ambiguous. You can understand why he’s doing it, where he’s coming from, and while that’s not justification, it does allow for a certain amount of compassion. (Though every time there was any mention of revenge, R and I did call him Sam with disapproving tuts.) I think Charles understands that as well, which is why he doesn’t have it in him to stop him.

Ugh. That scene where Erik finally confronts Shaw and Charles just stands there, holding it in – angst angst angst. Not to even mention the beach scene. Just…ugh. I definitely overdosed on angst. But, being a sucker for all things impossible and ill-fated, I’m off to see it again tomorrow night. And I'll see it again too, so you know, if anyone is looking for company, I'm your girl.

This is why I can't have nice things.

There's some really great promo and behind-the-scenes stuff for First Class. This photo cracks me up for some reason. I don't know why, but it's like James is just lying there going 'Okay, I'm going to have a little nap, you sit there and point.' The costume designer took that pic, she's got quite a few cool ones up on her blog (spoilers) if you're into that kind of thing. Really though, the BTS and promo stuff for this film is just gold. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are the greatest thing since those silly Supernatural boys at a con. So many ridiculous interviews to watch. It’s killing me with adorability (not a word, but it should be!)

From Tumblr, where else? Click through for original.
Not mine, click through for original yadda yadda get with it.
“What powers would you want for dating?”
Michael: I don’t know, the power to make somebody feel comfortable?

Oh! I nearly forgot about this -
I don't actually know here this one came from. If you do, before you get spittingly furious at me for re-appropriating it, just let me know and I'll credit (ah, joys of the internet)
GPOY. Also, I love you Wolverine. Also also, Hugh Jackman is a king amongst men. I don’t care what anyone says, I love the guy. If you disagree, please let me direct your attention to his bit with Neil Patrick Harris at the Tonys.

How can you not love that? There simply isn’t a way.

Wait. I've gone off topic.

The thing I love about Marvel is they aren’t afraid to deviate from the comics. While that (understandably) upsets fans, it also opens it up to so many other people – people like me who have always been intimidated by the sheer scope of the comic-verse. So yes, they might fuck around with the canon a bit to get things like Iron Man and Thor and X-Men off the ground, but they’re good solid movies. Movies I absolutely adore with every fibre of my miserable misfit being. Whereas movies that are too faithful to the original text, for example Watchmen, are a bit much for n00bs. And I understand why that would upset purists, I really do. I know how it feels when they fuck up the things you love to make it into movies – but I'm beginning to think rather than worrying about the adaptation, it may be better to just look at it as new texts, in their own right, rather than placing them in the same frame as what you love so much. Just a thought. (That said, if they screw up 'The Princes' Tale' in the last Harry Potter movie, there will be blood.)

Anyway, I'm slowly getting into the graphic novel thing. In a splashing-about-drowning sort of way. Well, ok, not really. I'm reading The Sandman and Scott Pilgrim at the moment, and I have V For Vendetta, Watchmen, Wanted and a random Superman arc on my TBR pile. I've already read the first volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Fables, which I really enjoyed (intertextuality FTW) and someone has lent me X-Men: Magneto Testament and recommended Human Target. But I'm such a crazy perfectionist, it kind of goes against my natural instinct to just read them. I feel like I need to go back to the very first one ever and start from there...but of course then I'd be dead before I ever got anywhere with it.

The point is - I had one when I started this, I'm not sure it's really worked out. Still, I really, really loved this movie.

And this song is apt.

When the lightning strikes you'll find me there
With my head in my hands to evade your stare
Cause a shive speaks to my bones so well
No I'll never speak, no I'll never tell

Music: Apocalyptic Renegade - Twin Atlantic

Held in some dreaming state

I am the very picture of annoyance at the moment. I have no patience so I may snap at you should you dare to ask me anything. Be warned.

Firstly, we seem to be waging an endless war against our company. I’d prefer it if they just shut the stupid magazine down, instead of trying to cut corners everywhere. We’re a high quality mag and I’d rather have it die now, respected as it is, rather than see it run into the ground. I’m kinda hoping they shut down the SB mag soon, I’m so sick of it.

Magazine publishing, man. It’s a fucked up industry. I still entertain vague notions of having my own mag though – considering the state of publishing, it’d have to be online only. Any designers willing to volunteer their time and goodwill to hook us up with a platform? I’ve got enough writers to commission – by commission, I of course mean work for free. Until it starts turning over some revenue at least.

Anyway, ridiculous ideas aside, gaaaaaaaaaaah. Everything has yet again gone to hell. My cousin sent out Save The Dates yesterday for his wedding on the 12th of November. Couldn’t wait a month, or even two, oh no. Couldn’t help out his dearest cousin there /Sam-like self-entitlement

I’m trying so hard to avoid continually flying up and down but I feel like I'm thwarted at every turn. First I put off going overseas cause I didn’t want to have to go Sydney-London-JHB-London within three months of each other. Don’t get me wrong, I love flying, that isn’t the problem at all. The amount of funds it burns on the other hand…slight issue there. Instead I decided to wait until after Abbi’s wedding so I could just go straight Sydney-JHB-London. Good plan, no? Ha. Ha ha ha. Sigh.

Now I’m stuck yet again. I want to go to his wedding but if I do, I have to return less than two months later. I had plans to fly in on Christmas Day (it is so the best day to fly) so I could spend it with my grandmother and everyone before the wedding shenanigans in January. So yes, we’re talking a matter of weeks here. Also, this poses a problem with my leave as I don’t have any, and it’s stupid taking time off work, going back for two weeks and then quitting. PLUS there’s the money issue, dear lord, don’t get me started. I’m trying to get a second job but unless that happens within the next month, it’s not going to be much help either.

Anyway. Back on point. My other option was then to just quit my job in November, go for cousin’s wedding, and then…hang around until January. I have family I could stay with, but then spending any significant amount of time in South Africa makes shooting myself in the foot seem like a fun idea. So we come to the reason I was looking up staying in the Kruger National Park yesterday – it’s the only place in that country I could quite happily spend four weeks. None of this solves the money problems – I naively thought I could get a job there but then I remembered they have enough people to employ.

Mum had a rather excellent idea last night though. My cousin (well, uncle really, but he’s only a couple of years older than me) is a game warden and manages a lodge in Botswana, and he may possibly be able to get me a job there. Working reception, guest liaison, all that sort of stuff. This would be, to put it mildly, an EPIC WIN. Working on a game reserve? Awesome.

But none of this would be concrete until waaaaay later in the year. Leaving me, effectually, with absolutely no idea what I should do. I hate it when this happens. I like having vague plans of where my life is going. Why is that so much to ask for?

Of course, people keep asking me stupid questions about work and the trip and everything, and I’m tired of having to deal with it. I don’t know, ok? I just don’t. Everything hinges on so many arbitrary things. If I get a second job. If I get a good sum back on tax. If my insurance isn't astronomical. If I can get work overseas. Dad keeps messing around saying things and thinking he’s really funny, not realising that he’s really damaging my equilibrium. Blah. I can only come to the conclusion that I have put too much into this ‘gap year’ business. I want everything too much. I’m overthinking and it’s driving me nuts.

Music: Blinded - Florence + The Machine

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Before I melt into the ground

I’m looking up accommodation at the Kruger National Park for reasons I’ll explain later, and these are some of the stupid things that have just left my mouth –

‘I don’t think I’ve been to this one *squints at pic* Oh wait, I think this is where I played in the mud.’ (All class, me.)

‘Lower Sabie used to be so much nicer before it burnt down.’

‘I can’t stay here anyway, it’s the source of my bee trauma.’

‘I don’t understand why the morning walks are more expensive than the morning drives when the risk of getting eaten is exponentially higher.’

Anyway, if you’re not doing anything between November and December and you want to try a holiday with a difference, how about going on a safari adventure? It’s not as expensive as you’d think, with the dollar doing so well and the Rand being its normal shit self, and if we split it between two (or more), it should be fine. We could camp! That’s even cheaper. And camping is awesome in the KNP. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a lion roar and woken up convinced it was snuffling at your tent flap. Trust me.

Oh, come on. Someone come with me. We can go to Olifants for the best pie, or have ice cream at the river in Skukuza. We can have breakfast in Tshokwane while desperately trying to protect our toast from baboons. We can watch the little weaver birds flitting about and stalk owls through the camp at night. It will be hot, but not more unbearable than a hot Sydney day, and you will have to take malaria pills, but I promise you, it is worth it. It is worth every single thing. If Africa has only one good thing going for it, this is it.

And now that I’ve made myself so nostalgic I feel physically ill, I’ll get back to doing some actual work.

Music: Baby, come on - +44

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fire starting in the dark

Well, it's happened. I have completed my course. On Thursday, I handed in my final two assignments, and all things said and done, I will be walking away with a MA in October. The last year has been harder than the others - not because it was academically harder, just more difficult to manage. Truth be told, I'm more confident with my academic abilities than I've ever been, but that's how it should be, that's the point of progressing through all these damn stages. On the other hand, juggling it with full-time work has definitely been tricky. It's been exhausting and mind-numbing...but hey, we got there in the end. And that's what I'm relieved about.

Funny thing is, despite my endless whining and stressing out, I'm going to miss uni. It's sort of bittersweet, having to finish up. I've spent nearly six years of my life at UTS and I've enjoyed it, really. It sounds weird, I know, but then I've spent more time at uni than I did at high school. So maybe my reaction to finishing up is sort of what people feel when they finish school. I don't know. I have every intention of doing my PhD after I've had a bit of a break (I'm even considering adding an extra major onto my BA if they'll let me) but it won't be at the same uni. So it's a definite end. Not a bad thing, by any means, it just...feels a bit weird.

Anyway. To celebrate the fact that I don't have any immediate academic deadlines hanging over my head (I'll worry about the remaining one next month), I've spent the entire weekend geeking out. Mostly this involved watching the first season of Supernatural (and I discovered that I've become far too invested in the Impala.) I also finally saw X-Men:First Class. So really, it's been an exercise in how much angst can be handled in a weekend. Answer: a lot. I loved First Class, so very much. And obviously I love those silly Winchesters too. Even though R and I spend most of our time yelling at Sam. Oh weeeell.

Still, it made for a lovely long weekend. Too bad I have to drag my sorry self to work again tomorrow. And there's so much to do too, gah. Stupid deadlines. But hey, only four days to go to more geekery. The insanity of Supanova awaits.

Music: Rolling in the deep - Adele

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What are we doing tomorrow night, Brain?

For reasons unknown, my father decided to buy me a graphics tablet. I mentioned wanting one back in January and on Thursday he apparently thought it was time to to act on it - maybe it's meant to be an end of uni surprise, or perhaps he feels guilty for implying I should move out so he can get a bigger desk for the study - who knows? Either way, I'm grateful. Like I said, I've wanted one for a while.

So Jen, what did you do with your new tablet?

Oh well, how nice of you to ask. I'm quite fond of my desktop background so I thought hey, let's try and draw that. Having never used a tablet before, I had no idea what I was doing.

And so we learned that I have just as few artistic skills on-screen as I do on paper o_o But the tablet is very nice to use - much more manageable than a mouse.

Prior to this artistic failure, I was over at R's, kicking off our long weekend Supernatural-a-thon. We're watching season 1. Everyone is so young and adorable *hugs tv*

Right at this very moment, however, I am introducing mum to the world of indie music. It's fun. So far she's taken to The Decemberists and Wilco. I think it's going well.

Music: Is there a ghost - Band of Horses

Friday, June 10, 2011

You either love it or I guess you don't

This sums up my entire mood today.

I have missed your stupid face, Brendon. Also, that first jacket is very nice - I don't care what anyone says, you can never have too many military jackets!

Music: Ready To Go - Panic! At The Disco

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Because reading is love

On Twitter right now there's a discussion going about YA fiction in response to this ridiculously agitating article from the Wall Street Journal. Check out the #YASaves tag for the whole deal.

I joined in easily enough because YA lit, and reading, gave me something to hold on to when I needed it the most – as reading continues to do to this very day. But this got me thinking. This year marks our tenth anniversary of arriving in Australia. On the 30th of October, it will have been exactly ten years since I first set foot on Sydney soil (and I was promptly harassed by flies…a true Australian welcome.) I have no problem admitting that I had an incredibly hard time. Really, I fell apart. I completely lost any sense of myself, and generally speaking I have very little recollection of anything that happened that first year.

Turning 14, becoming a full-fledged teenager, is hard enough in itself, but to loose everything you’d ever known at the same time…well, it’s devastating. I was depressed, properly depth of darkness depressed. I would stay in bed until mum forced me out, and I would barely eat or speak. Then my dad bought me a book to cheer me up and suddenly there was a light at the end of the tunnel again. If you'll forgive the cliche. I didn’t really buy books before we moved here (big library supporter), but after that first one, it became a cascade. I read books faster than my parents could have them ordered in for me, and now instead of sleeping all the time, I was reading. And sure, I was still spending 99% of my time holed up in my room, but I didn’t feel so utterly miserable and alone anymore. I had always loved books, but that year it became something else. It became intrinsically part of who I was.

And that’s the thing, you know. When you’re a teenager, you’re always trying to figure yourself out somehow, trying to make sense of the world. And in a way, you’re making yourself up as you go along. Some people complain that YA lit is too dark, but I don’t think they remember what it’s like to be a teen – being a teen is dark from a teens pov. To quote Andy Greenwald – as long as there are teenagers, there will be emo. Teens want something that makes them feel part of something bigger, something that gets it and doesn’t judge. And these days it’s not just about the books themselves, but about the community created around that. If it’s dark, so what, life is dark. Trust kids, teens, everyone, to know what they want. Censoring doesn't help anyone.

But to get back to my main point – I was entirely unmade when I moved here. I think back to the time before that now and I can’t remember what it felt like to be me, who I was, what I wanted. It’s like watching a recording of some other person’s life. I still wonder, ten years on, what I might have been like had we never moved. It’s just so impossible to imagine. Life strikes me as a series of dominoes, one things leads to another, and would I have discovered somethings if certain dominoes hadn’t toppled? Would I even recognise myself? Would I even like myself? Truth be told, I can’t imagine being happy.

And I don’t regret any of it for a moment. I love Sydney, I love living here, I love my friends, my life, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve done. Knowing how hard it was, how it nearly destroyed me, I’d still do it again – because I know how it turns out, and it’s worth it. Books were the first building block to getting where I am now though. It’s the foundation upon which everything I am is built, followed closely by music. If I didn’t have those things, I never would have made it this far. And those are still the things I trust in today because I know they can get me through anything.

Music: Your Protector - Fleet Foxes

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The stars have all been blown out

Click through for original
Guyssss, come on. River can't possibly be the Doctor's daughter or his mother - they've made out! They flirt all the time! I'm all for weirdness but that's taking it a bit far for Who. If it was Game Of Thrones on the other hand...

Anyway, seems like I'm in the minority with this but I have got to say, I've really been fascinated by the latest series of Doctor Who. The interwebs, Tumblr in particular, is all abuzz with how unbearably convoluted and rampant in mind-fuckery it is (complete with urban dictionary entry.) But, you know what, I like that. I like that it's intricate and that the arc is playing out in every episode across the series. I saw one comment somewhere that said 'this series has been more complicated, but I think more engaging and coherent too' - I agree with that, I think it is more coherent. Provided the pay-off at the end of the season is big enough, it'll be satisfying having the slow reveal across the season. (Kind of like how at the end of a SPN season you go 'Fuck yes! It all makes sense now! Sam, you idiot!' - except obviously without the Sam part.) 

And I must admit I like all the mysteries, how they build. I like how the monsters are more scary on a psychological level, rather than in that straight up creepy monster way. They head straight for the primitive fears, and there's something to be said about Freud's uncanny in it as well. Is it all over the place? Sure is, but I don't mind that. So instead of having a two-part season finale where the series arc is highlighted and brought together like in previous seasons, now the seeds of that arc is blatantly obvious throughout the season instead. So what? I for one am perfectly content to just go with it.

It's big, it's clever, and I'm suitably invested in the characters to stick around and see how it plays out. It may not be the straight up fun and enjoyable ride it once was, but if whatever they're setting up works out, it'll be incredibly satisfying. It just feels like the stakes are higher somehow. Frankly, I like knowing I have to actually pay attention to make sense of it all,, and I like that I, as a viewer, am being treated with the expectation that I can follow along and make sense of it. A lot of people keep banging on about it being too complicated or scary for kids...I don't know. Kids are an incredibly discerning audience. Adults often don't give kids enough credit, and forget that they view things in a different way. I say give them the benefit of the doubt, and at least it doesn't condescend,

Overall though, I say bring it on. It just better have a phenomenal ending. 

Side note: The Doctor's Wife was so beautiful. Neil Gaiman is a genius. 

Music: Cosmic love - Florence + The Machine

In their plastic little cover

Obligatory procrastination post while struggling through uni work. Here are a few actors I'm appreciating at the moment...

James McAvoy

Micheal Fassbender

No, I haven’t seen X-Men: First Class yet but asdfghjkl; can’t wait.
Yet again lifted from Tumblr, natural habitat of GIFs.

Matthew Goode

Kit Harrington
This boy is so emo.
The latter because I’m watching Game of Thrones. It’s sort of unfortunate that my brain constantly yells ‘BOROMIR!’ whenever Sean Bean appears. What? It’s all rugged and mythical! I’ve been conditioned  – I can’t help it. 

Speaking of Game of Thrones, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time staring at this guy with my head half-titled to the side -

Other than the fact that the character is a deplorable Grade A jerk, he just looked so familiar. IMDB soon revealed why -
"Have you enjoyed it, Doctor? Being human? Has it taught you wonderful things? 
Has it made you better? Richer? Wiser? Then let's see you answer this: 
Which one of them do you want us to kill? Maid, or matron? 
Your friend, or your lover? Your choice!"

Nfgh, I loved that two-parter. I can’t believe it's the same guy! I remember he was all jittery, asking Tennant for advice. Oh, how funny life is. He was also Will Scarlet in Robin Hood, but I never got into that show.

I fear I will always find him creepy. Actually, while I was looking for a decent pic of Jeremy Baines/Son of Mine,  I came across a blog speculating on the Doctor’s property ownership here. I thought it was quite funny. 

In other news, if I don’t watch more Supernatural soon, I’m going to combust. I need those silly Winchesters. And a helping of Castiel certainly wouldn’t hurt. And yes, I am pouting.
Gah, you boys! Why are you so awesome?? What have you done to meeeee...
Music: Blood Bank - Bon Iver

Friday, June 3, 2011

All shall love me and despair

Apparently, I am a 'Cool Nerd Queen.'

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd Queen.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

Please. Tell me something I didn't know. (Although I feel a bit dishonest, having 79% for science/math. I know a lot of sciency/mathy things, but I can't actually apply any of it convincingly...or at all. Ah well.)

In other news, tried to get dad to watch Lord of the Rings today - we made it to the part where the Nazgul chase Frodo to Buckleberry Ferry before he walked off. It's too scary for him. Bless. Nice to know that if Ringwraiths ever knock on our door in the night, it'll be up to me to protect everyone. Good enough reason to procure a sword?

Don't look at me like that. Nerd Queen, remember? Fear my wrath!

...why won't you fear my wrath?

Music: Game of Thrones

Running on bravado

Been home sick for the last two days - well, yesterday I was working from home, but today I've taken as a proper sick day. Anywho, I've got not one, not two, but three delightful infections. I'm so lucky. Antibiotics seem to be kicking in though, yay for small mercies. I have about 15,000 words to write this weekend, after all. Don't really have time for this being diseased business.

Point is, found this GIF on Tumblr (from here) and I just had to share it.

Supernatural/Doctor Who! What could possibly go wrong?

Music: Helicopter - Bloc Party