Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday #16

First up, a warning.  This is my most favourite of classic literature.  The way the rest of the world feels about ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and Mr Darcy is the way I feel about ‘Jane Eyre’ and Mr Rochester.  I love it a LOT.

The movie: Jane Eyre

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The menu: McDonald’s

The audience: Me and Nilly.

I don’t think Nilly really enjoyed the movie.  She fell asleep half way through and I kept accidentally waking her up when I would sigh dramatically and say “I can’t stand it anymore” in regards to all that tension or when I would squeal at something romantic.  I think she found me annoying.  So it’s probably very good that the Roomies were also away this week!

I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed it.  The costumes were amazing, the sets and scenery were gorgeous and the two leads of Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester (played by Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender) were outstanding.  They are two of my favourite fictional characters, so real and layered and the actors completely brought them to life.  The support of Judi Dench as the housekeeper was great, it’s a thankless role but she’s Dame Judi Dench and she rocked it.  And then there is recently re-discovered (in my eyes anyway) grown up Billy Elliott aka Jamie Bell who was unfortunately hidden away behind a HUGE pair of sideburns.  Shame.  But probably just as well.

I really liked how they told the story in flashbacks.  Haven’t seen that before so it gave something new to the story that I know so well.  Obviously it’s hard to tell such a long nuanced story in the length of a movie (and the movie fades in comparison to the 2006 miniseries) but I thought the movie did a great job and I look forward to watching it again.  They messed up a couple of things though.  Pilot the dog was completely wrong.  I’m not sure if he has a breed in the book but in my head, he is a huge black shaggy dog.  Also, I super love the epilogue of the book which got cut out of the movie. 

Recommended?  If you love period dramas and all that jazz, then I’ll think you’ll like it.  It’s fairly slow and a lot of the movie is about what is NOT said but it’s in the hands of good actors so it’s not painful.  I loved it times a million but I realise that it’s not for everyone.

Geez, sit on the fence why don’t you, Laura?!?!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Hello!

Wow, I have been a terrible blogger and commenter in recent times. Work life has gotten crazy, I've been doing ten or eleven hour shifts and then I come home, sleep and then get up and do it all again. It's because I am covering for another nurse who has just had an operation. I am very grateful for the experience and I am amazed at how much my confidence has grown in just a short week or so of doing full time nursing. BUT I can't wait until I go back to my piddly short shifts of five or six hours!! I am sick of being exhausted!!

And it's nearly Christmas and who knows when I'll be back to blogging properly. So as a gift in case I don't see you again before Christmas, here are two of my favourite youtube videos of recent time. Enjoy.



Saturday, 17 December 2011

Writing challenge

I was really sad when my NaNoWriMo project fell by the wayside.  It was silly of me to even think about doing it because I was trying to finish my nursing course, have my birthday (and party), work and see my family.  Even though I had very valid reasons, I still felt discouraged and failed as a writer when I realised that there was no way for me to finish NaNoWriMo.

At that very moment in time, Sarah at Desirous of Everything entered my blogging world.  I don’t even know how I found her blog but she was also doing a NaNo project.  But it was different, more realistic.  She was writing 500 words every day.  500 words is manageable.

I have loved following her project.  The pure joy she gets when she goes on an inspired word spree, the frustration she feels when the 500 words just come plodding out.  I’ve loved reading about the mundane-ness of this writing project.  Just sitting your butt down and writing 500 words each day.

So here we go.  I left a comment on her blog and she suggested I blog about the challenge and my progress so I feel a bit more accountable.  I’ve also totally stolen her idea of writing out my wordcount on a chart and placing a rad sticker on the dates I’ve completed.  I’ll post each week.  This is it so far.

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At the moment, I’m not entirely loving my story and I’m not sure where I’m going with it.  My plot is a little weak and as I’m writing it, I’m thinking to myself “That would never happen”.  I’m also completely uninspired, I just sit and write my 500 words a day.  BUT they are 500 more words than I would normally write so I am counting it as a victory.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Did someone go into my brain?!

I had this whole other blog post planned and then I was surfing the internet and this ad popped up on my sidebar and I was transfixed.


Dragons are basically my most favourite creature ever (even though I hate their counterpart of dinosaurs- go figure!). I would LOVE to see this!!!!!!!!!! Since I will never be seeing a dragon in real life, this is definitely my best chance to see them. I'm so excited that they're starting the tour in Australia. It's probably so they can work all the bugs out of the system before they head to America and Europe, but still! I'll take it.

I love that this is coincidentally my desktop background at the moment:
Did anyone see the 'Walking with Dinosaurs' stage show? That looked fabulous!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday #15

The movie: The Losers

The menu: Pizza. It always comes back to pizza.

This movie was recommended to me by Danielle and since my first choice of ‘Jane Eyre’ was out (and I didn’t think I’d be able to coerce the Roomies into watching it anyway), we decided to go with this one. Foreshadowing, Danielle is a self-confessed terrible picker of movies, but maybe that’s why we are friends because we share similar traits.

The first ten minutes of the movie were spent picking what was going to happen. We were correct in our assumptions. The Roomies and I do like to guess what the next line will be or pick what the shot will be.

Just have to talk about the poster for a moment. Aisha (the girl one) has her hair in that style for quite a bit of the movie and it annoyed me immensely. The reason you put your hair up in a ponytail is to keep the hair out of your face and if you are a super cool badass fighting lady, that is an important requirement in a hairstyle. WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE TWO STRANDS AT THE FRONT THAT ONLY SERVE THE PURPOSE OF GETTING IN YOUR FACE?!?!?!?!? I couldn’t get past that whilst watching the movie.

The movie in itself was ok. It’s about a black-ops team who has the chance to clear their name and get their lives back by doing one insanely tough mission. I really, really, really liked the villain. He had a lot of the best lines and was suitably unhinged. Also, luckily for this movie, my Captain America boyfriend Chris Evans dropped in to play his usual goofy sidekick character, which he does ever so well. He made this movie a lot more palatable for me to watch. I think my enjoyment of the movie was ruined by the fact that I do not believe in Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a tough dynamic leader of the group. Which is a shame because I absolutely heart him and know he can play tough and dynamic.

Recommended? Um… ok. If you want to. I’m not going to tell you to watch it but if you come across it and there’s a choice to watch this or something else- at least now, you will know what you get with this one.

And I leave you with a direct quote from the house as we sat in silence as the credits rolled, trying to work out if we liked the movie---

Me: 96 minutes? Oh well. I’ve wasted more time on longer, stupider movies.

Girl Roomie: That should be your review.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Skype Missed Connections

I’m currently sitting waiting for my friend Shelly to talk to me on Skype and I thought I’d take a moment and write about her- because I probably won't get to speak to her. There was a little mix up due to time differences because I didn’t realise that I was one hour behind her, so (in my head anyway) she thinks that I’m an hour late. It’s showing that she’s still logged into Skype but she hasn’t answered my calls or messages. And I’ve left a message on facebook and one on her phone too. But no answer. So I feel like she must think that I’ve forgotten her!

Shelly is one of my best friends. She’s a year older than me and is kind of the cool big sister I always wanted. We met in college and lived in the same dorms. I desperately wanted to be BFFs with her as she was already doing one of the same degrees that I was doing (ancient history) but I bided my time until I was a cool second year and then made my move. She always knows what to say and do which means she’s great in a crisis or if you need advice. We even spent six weeks travelling together and I know I cried like a baby when she left to go home and I stayed on.

But now we live in different states and I miss not being able to go over to her room in the dorms and stay up late watching movies or reading books aloud to each other. AND she is a grown up and just got engaged!! Here is a collection of photos that sum up our friendship pretty well.

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This is us recreating a scene from ‘Highlander’. The castle was used in exterior shots in the movie. This is why I take Shelly with me when I can, she asked a random lady to take this embarrassing super cool photo of us.

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This is Shelly trying to take a FB profile picture of herself and the gorgeous Scottish countryside. I decided to photobomb her. She couldn’t stop laughing when she turned the camera around and saw the picture that she’d snapped.

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This is Shelly scolding the British Museum for stealing the frieze on the Parthenon in the early days of archaeology and then not giving it back to Greece when they asked for it. I am doing my “I’m so disappointed in you” face that I intend to use on my future children.

I can’t believe in this day and age that technology is keeping us apart! Maybe I should write her a letter instead?

What shenanigans do you get up to with your friends? And who's your oldest friend that you still keep in contact with?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I am so punny. I have been putting off writing this post for a while, it’s about a week and a half old. Last Tuesday I got my hair cut. I’ve actually been growing it for a while, in order to donate to charity. I originally wanted to donate my hair to ‘Locks of Love’ an American charity but because the postal system is so finicky, I decided that sending it within Australia might be a better idea. It probably took me the entire time that I was growing my hair to actually find an Australian organisation to donate my hair to. The Princess Charlotte Foundation is one that raises awareness and money for alopecia sufferers, particularly focussing on young girls, most of whom find the sudden hair loss understandably quite traumatic. They have a side organisation called “Tresses for Princesses” where people can donate their hair to be sold by the foundation to people who make wigs for medical hair loss. The money that the foundation makes is then used to buy wigs for those unable to afford them.

This is my before picture, please forgive the squinty expression on my face. And also note the shopping trolleys in the background. My dad will not be hired to be this blog’s full-time photographer.

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Looking at this picture actually shocks me at how long my hair was. It’s crazy! Must be getting used to my new haircut.

And this is the moment of truth:

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Probably just as well you can’t see my face. I put on a brave face because everyone in the shop was freaking out and watching me, but inside I was squealing!!

I actually didn’t mind this haircut. This is what I looked like straight after Wendy the hairdresser chopped my ponytail off. Oh, and this is 40cm of my hair.

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And this is the finished product.

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And this is me and my hair, just chilling in my room.

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And I now have instagram, I feel like I am finally a blogger. Seriously, that was a big week for me- new haircut and I got my very first fancy phone. I am a whole new person!

Answers to Trivia Tuesday

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The answers are as follows:

1) Custard apple (I’d never heard of it either but Girl Roomie knew what it was)

2) Rhubarb

3) Peanut

4) Papaya

5) Olive

6) Chestnut

7) Pumpkin

8) Corn

9) Star fruit

10) Tomato

There was HUGE controversy over the answer to number 4, as most teams (including ours) put down ‘pawpaw’. People were yelling at the poor woman who runs the trivia night. In Australia, we tend to use the terms ‘paw paw’ and ‘papaya’ interchangeably. But apparently ‘paw paw’ is a yellow flesh and ‘papaya’ is an orangey colour. And then people were arguing that the picture looked yellow.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday Hiatus

Oh, this breaks my heart!! I have recently started working a shift at work every other Tuesday that finishes late so I won’t be watching a movie on Tuesdays :( Wahhhh!!!!!

However, I bring to you a new segment in lieu… Trivia Tuesday. In which I recycle questions from the Trivia game I go to on Mondays. I guess this is the part where I say, pictures are supplied by the trivia company (whose name I will get next week) and are not owned by me. Trivia company, please do not sue me, I love going to trivia and I love your work!

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Place your answers in the comments and I’ll let you know how you guys went in my next post.

Trivia about the trivia: Number 4 caused HUGE controversy. There was actual yelling. It was epic. My team just sat there and giggled because really guys, it was over ONE point… in the FIRST ROUND! And it’s ‘Trivia’, it’s not ‘Answer this question correctly or I’ll kill your whole family’.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Monday Night Trivia

This is a semi-regular thing that the Roomies and I have been participating in at our local RSL club. It’s mainly for middle-aged people but we like it because we are all middle-aged women at heart… even Boy Roomie.

There are several rounds and between the three of us, we have collected enough random information to do pretty darn well. Each round consists of ten questions and if you get all ten questions correct, one team member from each winning team has to go up to the front and participate in a series of sudden death questions. If you make it through the sudden death ‘true or false’ questions, you then get to spin a wheel, like on ‘The Price is Right’ and the team who gets closest to 100 wins $25. Wow, that sounds complicated but it works.

We even have our own arch nemesis team, a team made up of two girls who are about our own age and seem like nice people from what I’ve seen when I try and spy on them. In fact, we should probably team up with them and make a united stronger team against the rest of the oldies. However they are our arch nemesises because on their first night they lucked out and won $50- and for that, I can never forgive them.

Our team name is either “Let’s Get Trivial” (we love a good pun and just shows why I love living with Girl Roomie when she makes up cool names like that!) or “That’s What She Said” (because we are 12 year old boys who still find that funny). We’ve gotten ten out of ten right on several occasions but find it hard to get that elusive $25.

We did get $25 though, one magical night. We’d been doing really badly all night, getting 6/10 for most rounds. We wanted to go home, we couldn’t even be bothered to stay for the last two rounds. But then the last two rounds were something like “Lucky Dip” and “Movies & TV” so we decided to stay. We got 100% for both rounds but failed to make it through the sudden death until the last round. For some reason, I’m the team member that gets nominated to go up and play (thanks guys!). The question was something weird like “An oyster has a row of eyes on the outside of its shell” and I was up against all these old men who were from the teams that always win every week. I decided to go with “true” but all the other teams said that it was “false”. I was like “aw…” because I assumed I’d gotten our team knocked out and then the announcer said “congratulations” to ME! And handed me a voucher for $25. And then I did a little victory dance that made everyone laugh at me. I couldn’t help it, it was a spontaneous outpouring of joy!

Oh, also we love it because the food and drinks are cheap and you get a free pancake with your meal.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Just a little something for the weekend.

Tomorrow I really must have a day away from the computer. I’ve had a number of days off that I think have been wasted because I’ve just sat in front of the computer. I fully intend to do other “time wastey” things like read a book or watch a movie tomorrow, but there’s something completely soul sucking about sitting in front of the computer. I found this great quote today.

“You can't leave footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?”

And I leave you today with some little pictures. I had to throw out my old ipod headphones because they suddenly stopped working. These headphones have been through a lot. All thanks to Timmies.

One earbud had been chewed by this Timmy.

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And then the other earbud was chewed by this Timmy.

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Do not name your pets ‘Timmy’ if you want your headphones to survive. Just a little public service announcement for you.

Also:

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So true!!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Work fun

I feel like I haven't talked about work in the longest time and today's the perfect opportunity to do so. My boss called me yesterday and left a voicemail message that went something like this: “Hi Laura, I’ve just looked at our schedule for tomorrow and it looks a bit crazy. Was hoping you could come in a bit earlier, say ten am… or nine. Hope that’s ok. See you tomorrow at ten! Or nine”. Needless to say, I turned up at nine because I am a sucker and I actually do love my job.

When you de-sex a dog or cat, you have to place a tattoo on the inside of their ear. It’s my FAVOURITE thing to do. I love doing it so much, I always tell my work colleagues that I’m leaving them and going to open up my own tattoo parlour. You just apply the dye to the ear and scrunch (that’s a VERY medical term) the tattoo press to the ear, kind of like doing earrings I guess. I applied the dye to the ear and was so intent on getting the dog’s hair out of the way that I didn’t notice my own hair getting in the way. So my fringe has black streaks in it. I've brushed my hair several times and you can’t really see it anymore, phew!

It was so busy and we all went a little stir-crazy, including one of the patients. In addition to howling for almost the entire day, this little madam used her Elizabethan collar to rattle the bars of her cage, like in the old movies where the prisoners rattle the bars of their cell using a coffee mug. If it hadn’t been so annoying, it would have been funny. She just sat there, deliberately running her collar along the bars to rattle them.

I was glad when it was home time, I can tell you that!! Anyone got any fun work stories to add in the comments?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday #14

The movie: The Eagle

The menu: We all had different things to eat so I’ll tell you what I ate. A huge hunk of birthday cake and a coke slushie. Why yes, I am on a diet starting tomorrow, how did you know?

I’ve been waiting to see this for AGES!! It’s a movie based on a much loved book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The movie did badly in the States and so was held back for a year or two before even coming to DVD in Australia. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get anyone else to watch this but Girl Roomie took one look at the front cover, saw her celeb boyfriend Channing Tatum on the front and said a big “yes” and in this household majority rules so Boy Roomie had to watch it whether he wanted to or not.

The story is a rather simple one of a young man trying to regain his family’s honour by having a glittering military career. He’s off to a fine start before being wounded and given an honourable discharge. He’s at a bit of a loss at what to do with his life but to cut a long story short, he decides to go on a secret mission with his reluctant slave, played by the kid who played Billy Elliot who has matured very, very nicely.

At the heart of the story is the friendship between the two young men. Billy Elliot is very resentful at the invasion of the Romans to his native land, not to mention his capture at their hands and being forced to become a slave. However, they realise that they share many of the same values and through saving each other’s lives, they learn to trust one another. I did have to giggle at several points during the movie because my mind took their friendship to a WHOLE other level. Although I usually complain when there is a romance "shoehorned" into an action movie, so I guess I should be grateful for one movie where there is no romance to get in the way- and I should probably not make up a romance that is not there.

I think that if I hadn’t read the book I would have been quite lost. Boy and Girl Roomie were both fiddling with their phones by the end of the movie so I don’t think the movie held their interest. Whilst it’s not a terrible movie, it’s certainly a quiet, gentle movie. I use the word ‘gentle’ despite there being several quite bloody battle scenes even though the movie's only PG-13. There are long periods in the movie where I guess you could say that nothing happens but the real enjoyment of the film is watching the two characters interact and see their friendship grow (and blossom into love- I can’t help it!!!!!!!!)

Recommended? Yes, if you like character driven movies. And attractive men. And gorgeous scenery (filmed in my beloved Scotland). The costumes and sets aren’t too shabby either.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Wednesday with Danielle

Danielle is my vintage blogging friend from back in the Livejournal days. We met once before and had an excellent time and so we knew we had to repeat the venture.

LAST Wednesday (I know, I know, I’m a terrible blogger!), we met up for movies and lunch. Because I am a greedy person obsessed with popcorn, I managed to convince Danielle to come and see an early session so that I could eat popcorn and still have room for lunch. Because Danielle is nice, she agreed.

We were lining up to get our tickets and made some non-committal comments about the Twilight popcorn bucket and related merchandise. The lady in front of us who was honestly about 70 turns round and starts a rambling monologue about how much she loves Twilight and how much her friends who are in their 70s also love Twilight and went to the midnight screening and how this is her second time to see Twilight in a week. Super awkward a) because I’m not really a Twilight fan so I didn’t have much to add to the conversation and b) random lady had interrupted our private conversation to wax lyrical about Twilight.

Random Twilight pensioner went off to see Twilight and we went off to see The Three Musketeers! SO much fun!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, there is not enough swashbuckling in movies these days. There were airships and awkward romances and double crossing and people outrunning bullets. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. As I watched Mr Darcy swordfight his way through a bunch of guards, I thought to myself “*That’s* what was missing from Pride & Prejudice!”. Plus it stars my inappropriate crush Christoph Waltz making an appearance as the polite psychopath Cardinal Richelieu (and then there was sword fighting which just increased my love for him!) Hollywood needs to make more ‘olde worlde’ action adventures that don’t take themselves too seriously. So if any big shot Hollywood producers read this blog, you know what to do.

Afterwards we went and had lunch, in the food court because we are fancy. AND Danielle presented me with a belated birthday present!! How cute is that?! It’s funny how well she knows me: a book and some chocolates- my perfect kind of present!! We met at 10am, saw the movie and then chatted until about 3pm when Danielle had to go and be a grown up and do her assignments! My throat actually hurt from talking way more than I'm used to! Can’t wait til next time :)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Aftermath

The party was fab! People arrived, they had a good time and then they left.

The frozen daiquiri machine was a rip-roaring success- even though it possibly broke halfway through the night. I mean, everything was still frozen, the machine just got real noisy.

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Usually people are a bit “too cool for school” when it comes to themes but everyone got into the spirit of Hawaii and dressed up. I was pleasantly surprised. And when I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE!

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Even the dogs! This is Tessa who is my new doggy. And when I say “mine”, I mean Boy Roomie’s family’s dog. She is living with us for a bit, along with their other dog Katie (who’s too cool to pose for pictures). Tessa was gracious enough to dress up. I don’t think she entirely hated it- she didn’t like wearing the hula skirt but she liked being the centre of attention so it all balanced out!

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The patio was decorated beautifully (fantastic work, Roomies!) and the weather was perfect- warm and not too humid. Please note the rad ‘Survivor’ torches by the pool.

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We had games planned but we ended up not playing. The next morning, we did break the piƱata and there may possibly be photos floating around the internet of me in my PJs wielding a little rolling pin whilst attempting to hit a paper mache hula girl.

But it’s not a party without cake and look at this one!!! Girl Roomie’s mum pulled out all the stops and baked this one for me, isn’t it AMAZING?!?!?! Girl Roomie would want me to tell you that her mum got a bit over excited with her decorative chocolate swirls on top of the cake. Girl Roomie tried to cover it up with frangipanis but I have to say I love the dog poo look. I’m a vet nurse, I have a healthy love of dog poop. And yum, look at all that icing!!!

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Ok, maybe parties aren’t so bad after all.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Birthday times

Seriously, for someone who hates birthdays and parties, I do go on about them a lot.

I am having a super special awesome and exciting birthday/graduation party on Friday night. Me, socially awkward Laura not only going to a party but HOSTING a party. I know. I think hell just froze over. Luckily I have two super cool roomies who like parties and people and will make having a party in our house not a weird experience.

The food = awesome.

The decorations = awesome.

The theme = awesome.

The theme is Hawaii. We kind of ran out of oomph when it came to food but made up for it when it came to drinks. And decorations. Man, you should see our decorations. We went a little overboard but in a good way. Instead of 'less is more', we believe 'more is more'. I will post pictures if my camera is being good.

I was nearly going to have to miss my own party due to work but another nurse stepped in. I brought her chocolates to say thank you. She was outraged that I might be late to my own birthday party and she offered to stay late and do the closing shift for me. She actually unironically used the phrase "You *will* go to the party" as if she was my own personal fairy godmother.

Also this post may not make sense but I just worked a ten hour shift and closed by myself for the first time. My brain is dead.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday #13

The movie: Bad Teacher

I started watching this movie and I didn’t like it. The main character was a thoroughly unlikeable person and I wasn’t in the mood to watch it. To be fair to ‘Bad Teacher’, I’d had a really long day (going to the zoo, SUCH a first world problem, I know, I know!) and I’m sure any other day I would have laughed my bum off but I just wasn’t feeling it. Jason Segel made it worth watching (that HIMYM cast are a wonderful bunch of scene stealers!) but about halfway through I slipped off to my room.

I turned off the lights and put in my new DVD that I brought yesterday on a whim, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (aka my favourite Christmas movie… tied with “Elf”). The overture started, mixing snippets of songs from the movie with Christmas classic songs and my bad mood was gone.

I was reminded why this movie is so good. The Victorian London set is fabulous, as are the costumes. The world created by the movie of Dickensian Londoners living alongside Muppets is strangely believable. The script is surprisingly witty. I love the use of Dickens’ original narration, as performed by Gonzo in the movie. For some reason, it works well alongside Rizzo the Rat’s ramblings, mainly about food.

Michael Caine is so, so good as Scrooge, particularly in the beginning as they’re setting the scene and showing you just how despicable Scrooge is. Even when he has no lines, he’s brilliant. A lot of the movie balances on him being able to portray how the Spirits have changed him with simply a look and he knocks it out of the park. Plus there’s the added bonus of seeing an Oscar winner singing along with Muppets.

Recommended? Yes. Definitely gets you ready for Christmas!

Monday, 21 November 2011

F is for… Furies

This is a story about the time I drank too many energy drinks and went crazy. And is the reason why I will never take drugs because if this is what happens when I get too much caffeine, imagine how much worse it could get??

It was my final year in college and one of my final assignments too. I can’t even remember what the class was called, something to do with ancient Greek drama. My assignment was writing about the Oresteia by Aeschylus. The story goes that Orestes kills his mother because she killed his father and is swanning around with her new lover and in general being a total b*tch- oh and was planning to kill her son. Even though we're all cheering when Orestes kills his mum, he's still in trouble. Mainly from the Furies.

The Furies are some super scary mythological beings. They are these three old women with snakes for hair and burning coals for eyes who fly around chasing down someone who has done something naughty. Like an evil version of Santa, they know if you’ve been bad or good- so be good for goodness sake! They would basically hound someone to death, the very sight of them was so terrifying that it drove most people crazy. And if they catch you, they’ll kill you in the most hideous of ways. Orestes realises that these ladies will be on his tail so he goes on the run but it’s a little difficult to hide from supernatural beings. Luckily the gods love Orestes and he’s saved, cutting a very long story short.

I had the most fantastic professor for that class whose name I can’t remember. Seriously, can I remember ANYTHING from college?!?! He brought to life all those old and dusty plays, making the comedies funny and the tragedies horrific. The one thing I do remember is that he said something along the lines of “You must never call The Furies by their name. You must always call them ‘The Eumenides’, meaning the Kindly Ones. If you call them that, you can talk about them as much as you want because they'd never think you were talking about them with a name like that. But the second you say their name, it brings their attention onto you and they’ll be standing behind you, suddenly reminded of that thing you did that one time… waiting for you to run”

I still remember him saying that and the way it sent a chill down my spine. Those Greeks sure knew how to spin a good yarn! Anyway, *this* story is getting far too long. I had to pull an all-nighter and I had my bottles of energy drink. It says on the label only to drink one a day. I had four. As I was writing the essay, I realised I had written ‘Furies’ instead of ‘Eumenides’. I remembered my teacher’s words. And I was convinced, ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED, that those old bags were going to come and find me. However, I was more worried about not finishing my assignment in time so I kept writing but I was so, so afraid. Every sound in the night’s silence were the Furies after me. I finished the assignment but was still too afraid to go to sleep. Every time I shut my eyes, I would picture the Furies convening in my room standing around my bed, watching me, waiting for me to wake up.

So in conclusion, next time you find yourself in ancient Greece always call the Furies, the Eumenides. And hopefully I’ll come up with something less nerdy and more interesting for ‘G’.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Last Friday Night

Now that you’re all singing that Katy Perry song, I can tell you what I got up to on Friday. My church held a “Fairtrade Market” where only “fairtrade” products were sold. There were local stalls and international stalls. The international stalls obviously couldn’t have the makers working the stalls, so I volunteered to help run one of the stalls. My stall was ‘Afri Beads’. These were beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets made from rolled up bits of paper. They were made by The Kind Mothers Project, a group of women in Uganda who make these beads and sell them in order to send children to school and care for them.

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I can’t imagine how much work must go into making them. They look fabulous. I spent my entire time working on the stall, trying to pick which necklace I wanted. I still couldn’t work out which one I wanted, so I just picked one at random!

I brought presents too. One for myself, this gorgeous necklace from India. I hardly ever see anything in this bronze colour and it’s so unusual, it caught my eye and I had to have it! It kind of matches my hair colour (just not in this photo!).

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And then I brought this t-shirt for my friend Jess for her birthday. I hope she loves it as much as I do! The t-shirt is called Pegapuss, which just makes me giggle. It’s made from a print by a local artist who does some fantastical animals designs, I spent ages on her website! Please go and have a look. I wish I could buy some of her work. I really want this one.

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Friday, 18 November 2011

Yay for employment!

I feel like I’ve become one of those bloggers that starts every post off with an apology. Sorry that I haven’t been around much and even sorrier that I haven’t been commenting on your posts. My birthday weekend threw me. And now I am no longer using this blog as procrastination for school work, I am less motivated to write. However, hopefully we’ll be back in business soon.

Anyway, onto better things- I got a job!! This will be my second job and I think I’m going to keep an eye out for a third… although I think my hours at the vet clinic will pick up (fingers crossed).

My interview was done at my new boss’ house whilst Jersey Shore played in the background. I had to tune it out but kept getting distracted by the TV! My new boss seems really lovely and we chatted for ages. I want to be friends with her in real life!!

I am working for a pet sitting company. They do daily visits and walking and even house-sitting. I will be able to pick and choose which jobs fit in around my vet clinic work which is the best part of the deal. I also had to obtain an Australian Business Number because I will be working on a sub-contractor basis so I feel like I am a business woman and I need to go and buy a pant-suit or something similar.

I haven’t been sent any jobs yet but I will be SO nervous for my first meet-and-greet with the pet and their owners!

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and best wishes! I wanted/needed this job so badly and am completely grateful and happy to have it.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Package Pals Party

A little while back, Gentri sent the call out to bloggers who wanted to send a parcel to another blogger and receive one in return. I’m always up for receiving a present in the mail so I signed up. I was paired up with Jenna. Oh sweet Jenna! We instantly became great friends, we have so much in common and she introduced me to my latest obsession, Vampire Diaries. We’re both crazy animal ladies and also have far too many celebrity crushes and share a penchant for YA fantasy. Not only are we now blogging friends but we’re email pals too… when I return her emails anyway :)

I went a little overboard with stuff for Jenna and she went the same way too. I think we were paired together perfectly!! There was a LOT of candy involved.

This is what I sent to her:

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CHOCOLATE!! Bird photo holders, “The Princess Bride” (aka the best book in the world), jewellery (I liked those bracelets so much I brought them for myself too!), a magnet about cats being awesome and a snood or cowl, as I have been informed they call them in the States. Although my knee is in the picture, I did not send this in the parcel.

And this is Nilly trying to get in on the action:

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It took absolutely AGES for Jenna’s parcel to reach me but it was definitely worth the wait. I think Nilly was just as excited as me to get the parcel.

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Look how much chocolate I got!!!

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I got a TALKING John Krasinski birthday card, a super cute cat to-do list, a Florida mug and magnet, two books that are MUST reads, bookmark, jewellery. And chocolate. And a photo of Miss Trixie sending greetings all the way from Florida.

Then Nilly got bored. But look at our babies being friends!!!

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I know Gentri’s keen to do another one some time next year so definitely get involved! It’s been such fun doing this. Yes I learned about another country, but I got chocolate and made a friend out of the deal too. Sounds pretty good to me.

Blu Ray Tuesday #12

The movie: Country Strong

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The menu: Chicken Tandoori pizza… guess I’m getting fancy in my old age :)

Let’s preface this review with the fact that I am not a country fan. But I do like those country pop songs that turn up on the radio every now and then. I am not a Gwyneth Paltrow fan. But she is in two of my favourite movies (Sliding Doors and Shakespeare in Love, for those of you playing at home). I am not a fan of the “washed up singer” movie. But I really, really, really liked this movie.

When I went online to find the picture for this review, I couldn’t believe that it was so hated by critics! I thought they loved this kind of movie. But I never listen to those fools anyway. I listened to my friend Jenna who said I would like this movie.

The movie is about Gwyneth Paltrow’s character who is a super famous country star attempting a comeback tour after a very public breakdown and stint in rehab. Like I said, I’m not a fan of the “washed up singer trying for redemption” storyline so thank goodness there was another storyline in the form of her support acts and their relationship with each other and with Gwynnie’s character.

I thought the acting was great, not to mention the plot. Me and the roomies had a fun time trying to come up with the ending, making up several alternate plot lines. Seriously, Hollywood should give us a call some time. The singing was also excellent, as were the songs. As a non-country fan, I really enjoyed the songs and will probably youtube them while I’m doing work today. But also because I am a girl and not blind, my very favourite part was Garrett Hedland and his character.

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Yum! Any man that can sing and play guitar and look good in a cowboy hat is alright by me. I think I swooned several times during the movie because his character is so lovely. I need someone who can swoop in and save the day, with guitar in hand. When talking about him, Gwynnie says “He thinks he’s so tough, but I’ve never had a man be so gentle with me”. Excuse me y’all, I’m moving to the country!

Recommended: Yes indeedy!

Monday, 14 November 2011

More Birthday celebrations!

They just don’t stop, do they?

On the Sunday afternoon, Kristy came to the house for dinner and gave me what can only be described as a very, very good present. I kind of feel bad for her though because how is she going to top that next year?

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For those of you not sitting at the table with the rest of the cool kids, that is a life-sized cardboard cut out of the Doctor from ‘Doctor Who’. SO awesome!! Except for the fact that I keep walking into my room and getting mini-adrenalin rushes because for a split second I think that there’s someone lurking in the corner. Although I am not the only one in the family who gets a little freaked out by the Doctor.

It was so silly because she’d actually been in my room for the WHOLE day but just not seen him. And now she doesn’t really go into my room anymore!

I had this little guy hanging out by my window for two days last week. I was a bit worried about him as possums are supposed to be nocturnal and he was running around, having a great time in the daylight. But after two days, he didn’t come back so I guess he went back to his normal home or died.

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I also got my ‘craft’ on last weekend. I brought wire to make some candle holders for my party in a few weeks time. Me and the roomies had fun making them. Although me and Girl Roomie both got frustrated that Boy Roomie was a natural at making them and it took us blood, sweat and tears to even make one!

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We made about half a dozen and they looked SO good when it got dark. You couldn’t see the wire and it looked like the little tea lights were floating in the air. And here is the actual picture via Pinterest (of course!).

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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Birthday weekend celebrations

Yes, it’s the birthday weekend and as a result, I went home and stayed with the grandparents. Staying with my grandparents is what I imagine being a celebrity is like- you’re the centre of attention, you've always got to be 'on' and you get asked lots of personal questions, like ‘are you dating anyone?’ and ‘what do you plan to do next with your life?’.

In response to the question “Is there a special chap in your life?” and me saying “no”, my nanna came out with “Aw, so you’ll be an old maid then”. Please note that I turned 26 on my birthday, not 66! Although it ranked slightly better than the time they outright asked me if I was gay simply because I had never brought any boy home to meet them!! I never expected my grandparents to ask me that question!!

Luckily, I managed to escape and helped my friend Kristy chaperone her cousin’s 11th birthday party. So much fun. And I got ice cream and a party bag for my troubles. Awesome!!

And then I went and visited my aunt, who told me that I’d put on weight. Not awesome. She tried to tell me that it looked good on me, but the damage was done.

Despite all that, I do actually love my family. But it was nice to escape back home and hang out with my new family of friends. This family is much less stressful and exhausting! If only I could do Christmas with them!!!

I heard about this article on the radio. Based on statistics, those born in November have a higher chance of being a serial killer and suffering from schizophrenia. I know there's at least one other of my bloggy friends who's a November baby. Although I think April sounds much worse. Do these statistics ring true for you and your career?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday #11

The movie: Water for Elephants

Now, I have been told by Boy Roomie (specially requested, actually!) that I have to come clean and confess that I watched ‘Bridesmaids’ in the time slot dedicated to Blu Ray Tuesday. And then Boy Roomie sang Wilson Phillips to me, complete with over the top dance moves. That’s all well and good but I feel like everyone and their mother has seen ‘Bridesmaids’ but not everyone has seen ‘Water for Elephants’ which I watched beforehand. And I have to say, going against popular opinion- I liked ‘Elephants’ more than ‘Bridesmaids’ and it impacted me more than 'Bridesmaids'.

I had read the book a while back and absolutely loved it. I love that 1930s era, the extreme decadence whilst the financial world slowly crashes down around them (sound familiar?!) and I think the book captured that really well. The book had some imagery that played absolutely beautifully onscreen: a woman atop a rearing elephant with her diamante headdress sparkling in the lights, the excitement and sweat that went into the setting up of the Big Top. Costumes were gorgeous, the sets were pitch perfect and seeing all those animals was wonderful.

Ok, so *visually*, it was amazing and I certainly wasn’t bored despite the movie taking just over two hours. I actually liked most of the changes that they’d made to the book (Interestingly enough, the author wrote this book as part of NaNo!). Now, I’m not particularly a big fan of Robert Pattinson or Reese Witherspoon and the whole movie is basically their love story which I didn’t really believe.

So by now you’re thinking “um… Laura… if you didn’t like the main actors and thought they weren’t very good at telling their story, why did you like the movie so much?”. Well, dear readers, it is because the fabulous Christoph Waltz was so fabulous in it. He plays the ringmaster and did SUCH a great job. Knocked it outta the park. I'm afraid he's probably now horribly typecast but he's just so darn good at playing the polite psychopath. I have to confess that I have an inappropriate crush on him. There, I've said it.

And all the supporting actors were also amazing. Camel who was my least favourite character in the book became one of my favourites in the movie. I think what I’m trying to say (in a very long-winded way!) is that despite not liking the things that I should have liked (such as the main actors and the romance), every other little thing in the movie- I went crazy for which made up for it. I hope that makes sense!

Recommended?: Yes. And/or read the book. It’s an easy read and a great page turner.

Has anyone else read the book and seen the movie? What did you think? Am I alone in liking this movie? From what I’ve seen on the internet, I think I am!

Also I apologise for getting this to you late, it’s just that I don’t have any more procrastinating to do because I have handed in ALL my assignments and done ALL my exams! You now have a fully qualified veterinary nurse on your blog roll :) Holla!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Updates

So, life has been crazy busy again. But on Wednesday, it will pretty much all be over unless I fail something and have to do a re-sit. I’ve been doing a lot of ‘pick up’ shifts at work, covering for someone who’s away. It’s been fun going into work so often and feeling more involved. And I applied for a super cool job that I REALLY want so hopefully I'll have an update about that soon too.

I decided to do Nano this year but because of busy-ness, I haven’t actually written a single word so far. What is NaNo, you ask? It is this crazy thing that some people do to celebrate November being National Novel Writing Month, they write a 50,000 word novel. Or 1667 words a day, if I remember correctly. I’ll be attempting to finish my story from last year, I made it to the 50,000 word mark but I had absolutely no idea where my story was going as my willful side characters completely hijacked the plot. I still want to re-read my original 50,000 words and see if I can figure out where this darn thing is going so already I’m on the back foot.

And now I have to catch up on everyone’s blogs. I feel so bad, I’ve done such a poor job of being a bloggy friend. Please forgive me!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Getting to see the man of my dreams!

My delightful mother brought me an early birthday present, tickets to see the live QI stage show. She was going to take me but now she’s in New Zealand and so I asked my buddy Jess who is an even bigger QI fan to accompany me.

Right about now you’re probably asking yourself “What is QI?”. I tried to explain it yesterday to Boy Roomie and it’s just so hard to sum up in a few sentences, so here goes. It’s a television panel game show where comedians are asked mainly obscure questions. Nobody’s supposed to know the answer but you do get points for stumbling upon the right answer or for adding some quite interesting knowledge to the mix. And because comedians are the guests, it’s pretty darn funny.

Stephen Fry is the host of the show, as well as being one of my most favourite people that I don’t actually know. I absolutely adore him and love hearing him speak on just about any subject. The man has a gift for words. Besides, any person who still bears a grudge against the Spartans for beating the Athenians and winning the Peloponnesian Wars in the 5th century BC is alright by me! Ancient history nerd alert!!

It was wonderful to see him in the flesh and hear him talk. The show started out with Stephen Fry talking about his last visit to Australia and also about how the show got started . He told some absolutely terrible ‘dad’ jokes that made me laugh really hard. I love that the smartest man alive tells terrible jokes. But really the real reason I will always love him can be found here.

And then the game started. The panellists for the show were Wil Anderson, Colin Lane and Genevieve Morris. Oh and regular panellist Alan Davies made the trip too and was fantastic. He was his usual distracted self and got a big cheer from the audience. It was such a fun night and I was completely exhausted afterwards from smiling so much and getting my brain filled with incredibly useless knowledge!

And so I leave you with a short clip from the television show… the answer to the question “Why would you undress for a polar bear?”

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Blu Ray Tuesday #10

The movie: Take Me Home Tonight

The menu: McDonalds. Well, just for me actually. Everyone else had a late lunch and didn’t want dinner!

Wow. This movie. Let’s just say that I know how to pick an instant classic! I actually couldn’t even remember the title of the movie so I had to imdb Topher Grace in order to see what the title was… *that’s* how much this movie made an impact on me.

And I’m just going to steal imdb’s quote about this movie too “Four years after graduation, an awkward high school genius uses his sister's boyfriend's Labor Day party as the perfect opportunity to make his move on his high school crush”. It was set in the 80s but it didn’t really need to be. I was looking forward to seeing Anna Faris but she was in it for about two seconds. I actually preferred her storyline and wished I could have seen more of it. Thank goodness for Topher Grace who had enough charm and likeability to make this movie slightly watchable. Oh and there was also a dance off and if there’s a dance off in a movie that is played for laughs, it’s pretty much my favourite thing ever. That helped too.

Recommended? This is actually a big moment for me and “Blu Ray Tuesday reviews”. This is the first time I am NOT recommending a movie. Even though this movie clocks in at a short and sweet 97 minutes, I still wouldn’t recommend it- and normally I’d recommend something bad because it’s short and it’s not going to steal your life away from you if you watch it. I do have one addendum though. If you’re a Topher Grace fan, then I think you might like it. But you’d have to REALLY like him.

Friday, 28 October 2011

E is for… Edinburgh

I’m feeling a little melancholy tonight. Not sure why. Although Edinburgh was only my home for six months, I miss it. I think I miss the hope that I had there, hope that absolutely anything could happen. Scotland is most definitely my ‘spiritual home’. Love it to pieces. But I’m a bit afraid to ever go back in case it’s not the same as I remember.

I got to walk with Vikings in a torchlight procession

Visit magical ruins

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Discover the best library in the world (complete with secret passage ways!)

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While away the hours in beautiful graveyards

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Spend hours upon hours wandering through streets that look like this

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Watch far too much Gossip Girl and having a headband club and practise giving my best ‘Serena’ impression.

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I must try and remember not to romanticise it too much.