Things & Inc #3

I’ve decided to break these posts up into categories, which helps my ailing mind when it comes to remembering all the little things I’ve been digging on.

A few things on my radar this week:

Carrie O, Carrie O, baby!

Television: The Carrie Diaries

I recently figured out how to view the first season of this show which was very exciting for me (not so for my husband). I tried to go in with an open mind (and heart), fearing that it would be teeny bop rubbish and ruin the character of Carrie for me; a character I remain loyal to, to this day.

(Yes, she’s annoying and self-absorbed at times. No, I don’t care.)

I was pleasantly surprised. Set in 1984, Carrie Bradshaw is 16 and still reeling from the death of her mother. She’s just returned to junior year of high school and has all the normal worries of a teenager: does that cute guy like me?, what’s up with my weird kid sister?, friendship, virginity.

But she is also an aspiring writer (yeah she is) and has recently taken up a once a week internship for a law firm in the city. New York City, of course.

As Carrie falls in love with NYC, makes a group of exciting new friends and starts to envisage a life less ordinary, she must also learn to juggle family life and all the people waiting for her back home, including super hot Sebastian Kydd.

It’s no Sex and the City but it’s not bad. It gives Carrie the back story she deserves, but you know it baffles me that I don’t remember a single mention of her history in the show. Did we even know she had a sister?

Also, AnnaSophia Robb, who plays Carrie is great and has an uncanny ability to mimic some of SJP/Carrie’s mannerisms, which is trippy.

You should watch this

Film: White Bird in a Blizzard

Eva Green always plays her parts a little mental and I love her for it. She’s no different in this film, as the enigmatic and beautiful, Eve Connors; house proud uber goddess, wife of Brock, mother of Kat.

Kat (Shailene Woodley) is 17 when her mother disappears. As Kat grows up and deals with all the normal things a teenager does, she is never far away from the question: what happened to Eve?

I really enjoyed this. I’m a fan of a good mystery at the best of times, and this is an interesting one. Shailene Woodley carries the film remarkably as her character navigates friendships, relationships and life with her father, as he unravels. She’s definitely an actress to watch.

The film is beautifully acted, gorgeous to look at and grips you just enough to care about the ending. Recommend.

You should read this

Book: A Fraction of the Whole

This book (by Steve Toltz) really deserves its own review but I can’t do it. It’s a mighty tome and I wouldn’t know where to start.

The Dean family is full of characters. Martin Dean and his brother, Terry have lived a vivid and crazy life. Now from the comfort of his prison cell, Jasper, son of scheming Martin tells their unlikely story.

This tale has everything: sex, violence, love, betrayal, heartache, a labyrinth, a girl called Anouk, a handbook for criminals, a money-making scheme, a vigilante mob, murder, explosions, intrigue and mystery.

The only thing I really need to say is: pick up a copy and read it for yourself.

My lovely boo, Becky gave me a copy for my birthday, citing it as her all time favourite. Although, apparently, I was well behind the curve on this book as, when my Mum spotted it on my shelf, she said “Haven’t you read that yet?”. Trust me, it’ll give you all the feels – and then some.

I’m reading Jackie Collins next though, while my mind knits back together (on account of it being BLOWN).

Book details:

  • A Fraction of the Whole
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (14 May 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0141031824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031828
  • Gifted paperback

So there it is.

What are you watching/reading/digging?

Beards & Germs

“Oh, you’re growing a beard? Cute.”

The hipster has done many things. He* has killed off many well-loved things over the short time he’s been King and as I type this I can’t think of a single relevant example. Tea? Knitting? Scooters, maybe?

You know you’ve seen an adult (hipster) on a scooter at some point and you’ve probably had to fight the urge to gently nudge him off as he passes. It’s a child’s toy, the scooter: walk or cycle like a grown up and get off my pavement, man!

This way of thinking actually goes against my personal philosophy and I don’t really mean it. If you want to firmly grasp the things that make you feel young and free, what business is it of mine? You do you, I’ll be me. I’m trying to seamlessly segue into an actual point here, bear with.

God bless you, hipster

The one thing the hipster has been credited with destroying is The Beard. Over the last few years we’ve witnessed a massive increase in beard wearing amongst the male population. Now you can’t move for jostling against a lumberjack or the captain of a naval ship. Thank God.

But the hipster has somewhat over egged the pudding (Brighton, you may be the hub) and now every other man and his canine companion is rocking a similar look and people don’t like that, it seems (I’m cool with it personally). I think the general feel is that being a beard wearer is not just for Christmas, and that only wearing it while it’s cool is disingenuous. Isn’t that the fatal flaw in the hipster make-up? That they’re massive big fakers with no real passion for anything; jumping from bandwagon to bandwagon?

To counteract the hipness of the hirsute male, a recent article did the rounds revealing just how much bacteria actually hides inside those bad boys (the beards, not the hipsters). I didn’t read it, because DUH. Hair is designed to collect the nasties, isn’t it?

Armpit hair, pubes, eye lashes; it’s their main function. Is it so surprising that men with big beards may also be collecting crumbs of food, spittle and germs? I share a bathroom with a bearded honey and he does this old-fashioned thing called washing: his face, his beard, his bits. It’s not hard, honestly, I’ve seen him do it.

So, no, this news is not shocking and it doesn’t put me off my one true love, and it doesn’t remotely turn me off the idea of men with big beautiful beards. I love them in all shapes and sizes and colours and styles; and it will take way more than a bit of grubbiness to convince me otherwise.



*Or she, obvs, this ain’t an exclusively male thing. Beard wearing, maybe, but not hipsterism in general.

Ten What Ifs and a Masterplan

I woke up like this

Imagine this crazy idea:

What if from this moment on I rejected fear?

What if I heard my own voice echoed back to me as I talked and thought, yeah she knows what she’s about. And so, I started talking louder and without hesitation.

What if I trusted my own opinions and when presenting them I thought, this is an amazing idea, who wouldn’t be into it?

What if I didn’t worry so much about who liked me and thought not, I wonder if she likes me instead, Do I like her?

What if I caught a glimpse of myself in a reflective surface and thought, she looks good. And so, I held my head higher?

What if I forgot to refer to myself as the fat one, the old one; THE FRUMPY ONE, and believed I was just as precious as every one of my friends?

What if I stopped wondering, am I’m pretty or ugly, instead I realised my worth regardless of the answer?

And what if, when someone complimented I didn’t counter it with an argument; instead I just said, simply, thank you?

What if I stopped talking about my dreams and picked one to follow; stopped planning to write and just wrote?

What if I stopped thinking, what if and lived my life instead?

What a crazy world that would be.

Grabbers (Film) Review

“You’ll lose you head for this movie!”

It’s been a few weeks since the last Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab and I, personally, think that’s way too long.

I realised, whilst completing this weeks ‘assignment’, that I love the process of choosing/finding out what the new film is, watching and then thinking about it. Then thinking about the next one.

B-movies/horror/dubious monster flicks + being a snarky bitch are my life force so what better way to stretch my film reviewing chops than a combination of the two shared with someone who loves it just as much as I do? Plus, I’ve made a f**king fabulous new friend #winning.

This week we’ve got a very strong entry. Viewing it as a film lover, it’s probably the best looking/acted and special effected movie we’ve collaborated on yet (Sorry Killer Mermaid).

It also had me bellowing with laughter at certain points, which is never, ever a bad thing, but a little disconcerting when you’re actually supposed to be laughing along, rather than laughing at.


The Film: 

Grabbers (2012)

Where to Watch:

US/UK Netflix

The Premise:

When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive. (via IMDB)

The Trailer:

Viewable here.

The Uncondensed Version: 

We start with a view of planet Earth with a meteorite/shooting star travelling at a rate of knots across its surface. Then we close in on a trawler boat floating in the middle of the sea. One of the boat’s crew witnesses the meteorite/shooting star as it hurtles past and lands nearby.

What is it with fishermen being so involved in our movie collaborations anyway? I’m not complaining, I just don’t know how I’ll feel when I next see a crap film and it doesn’t feature a beaten up old sea dog.

But back to our trawler. A particularly beardy seaman (Ron?), looks off-screen at something terrifying coming towards him but before his friends get to him, he is dragged away. One by one our hapless fishermen are picked off by an unseen something, leaving behind a heavy breathing youngster who eventually gets it too. Nice lead in.

The Full Monty line-up had dwindled somewhat, due to budget cuts

The next morning, a (pretty) female police officer travels onto the island by boat and is picked her new and gruff (also hung over) colleague, O’Shea, who doesn’t seem exactly ecstatic to have her around. She’s in town to assist the local police force (of two people) as one of them is going on holiday.

They don’t exactly hit it off straight away but before they have time to discuss things any further, they’re called to deal with a very bizarre occurrence on the beach (directly after Gruff tells Lady Cop that nothing ever happens around here. Oooh!).

“He’s got red on him”

For some inexplicable reason (or is there?!), a load of poor whales have washed up on the beach. Gruff and Lady Cop (Lisa) arrive to find Dr. Smith (the amazing, beautiful Russell Tovey, the nation’s sweetheart), a Marine Ecologist scratching his head (actually, he’s measuring the whales and looking quite busy). He says that it is not uncommon for whales to beach themselves but hella weird for a whole gang of them to die at the same time.

As O’Shea ponders the deep cuts all over the whale they’re standing beside, Smith says that he thinks they were dead before they washed up and were probably torn up on the rocks. Smith then flirts outrageously with Lisa and I gain even more respect for him.

Shortly after this exchange, O’Shea goes to visit a local builder to borrow his trucks. Someone has to move the poor whales, but honestly, I’d love to know what they do with them afterwards. Full-on marine memorial, I hope.

While all this is going on, two fishermen (them again!) ensnare something exotic in a lobster trap (we can’t really see what it is but it’s clear this ain’t no lobster). My favourite character-to-be, Paddy, shows his trawler friend, and his friend gets squirted on for his troubles (not in the good way).

Later that evening, as the sun fades, and the last of the bloated whale corpses is carried away, the foreman shouts at one of his workers to go and get a shovel that’s been left behind. Poor Unassuming Worker (or PUW) runs back to the beach where he discovers some unusual looking eggs. Eggs! Alas, before he can share his discovery with the world, he is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the ocean by… I saw nothing, could be anything…

While PUW is drowned to death, we learn that Paddy has taken his lobster trap, complete with non-lobster prisoner, back to his cottage and placed him in the bath. Seriously, I hope he’s added salt to the tub, you can’t just plonk marine life willy nilly into any old wet environment…

I’m going to skip forward a little bit here because this is a great film with lots of gore and horror, but I don’t want to go completely scene for scene. Basically, quite a few villagers perish, in humorous yet suspenseful ways.

The landlady of the pub decides to play match maker and tells a drunken O’Shea that Lisa obviously has a twinkle in her eye for him. He makes the mistake of going upstairs (she is staying in the Inn above the pub) and propositioning her, which goes down about as well as a cup full of cold sick. The two of them do start to bond though (who knew) after she locks him in the cells overnight to sober up.

“Don’t look directly at it!”

Paddy returns home on the same night only to be attacked by his sea creature, a tentacle heavy blue beast. Miraculously though, it doesn’t kill him and he manages to capture it. Luckily for Paddy, he knows exactly what to do with the creature and hot foots it to see Russell Tovey, along with O’Shea and Lisa.

Over another bout of unbelievable flirting from Tovey, the gang work out a few things; a) that their little blue baby is female and b) was pregnant when she attacked Paddy. After this is determined, they figure that the father must be around here somewhere and using a map, chart out the areas these mysterious creatures have been hanging out. They decide to go to Black Rock, to have a poke around.

“I said, “Don’t look directly at it!””

Black Rock (a cluster of black rocks), yields some interesting findings, e.g. some more eggs and… DADDY! Thing is, Daddy is ten times bigger than Mummy, and is seriously PISSED. He’s looking for his wife and babies, so you can’t really criticise him for wanting to take off people’s heads to get to them.

O’Shea, Lisa and Paddy run back to Tovey’s lab and decide it’s a good idea to set fire to Mummy so that Daddy can’t find her. They accidentally letting off the fire alarms, complete with water sprinklers, thus creating an even more soaked environment for Mummy and Daddy to slop about in.

In the kerfuffle to turn off the sprinklers, O’Shea is attacked by Mummy, who’s been to Alien Face Hugger Acting School and plays her part magnificently.

Somehow, O’Shea gets her off his face and she start throwing up blood, repelled by the taste of him. The gang ponder how O’Shea, and Paddy, the night before, managed to survive such an attack and eventually put two and two together; both men are utter piss heads with ridiculously high blood alcohol content, something the sea monster/alien or Grabber (as Paddy has named them) seems to be allergic to.

“This is no time to play WWF, Mr Tovey”

Off the back of this, the gang come up with the frankly amazing plan to get everyone together and pissed up in the only pub on the island, to keep them from harm. Oh yes, did I mention? Police back up can’t come until morning due to the massive storm that’s coming. OBVS.

So they go to the pub, rounding up the villagers as they go. Lisa has never been drunk in her life so the men get her completely inebriated and test out her blood on Mummy Grabber. It seems to more or less work so they get the party started.

O’Shea, uncharacteristically, volunteers to be the only sober person. Lisa is under the impression that he is a widower, which is what the stirring landlady has told her. She’s obviously hot for O’Shea which I didn’t get at first but am sort of coming around to as he proves to be pretty heroic (and looks like a craggier Michael Sheen). Along the way a few of the villagers we have come to know and love, lose their lives (and their heads), I won’t list them but let’s just say, Tovey’s Dr Smith never gets to pull Lisa.

It’s raining tentacles

I’m going to wind it down here because I think people should watch this film without me having ruined absolutely every element of it; but it all comes to a head as the eggs hatch, Daddy Grabber finds his way to the pub and there’s a final fight for survival (on all sides).

Do O’Shea and Lisa kick adequate arse and kill Daddio? Do they ever get off with each other? Does my beloved fisherman friend, Paddy leave with his life? Well, only one way to find out!

The Critique:

I liked it. I liked it a lot. The film is beautifully shot, with stunning scenery. I think I’d be happy to holiday on this island, you know once the Grabbers are finally cleared off the beach.

What I liked most about the film is that it made me laugh, really belly laugh out loud at certain points. It also had the feel of an Edgar Wright movie, making me think of Shaun of the Dead/The World’s End more than once, which might just be my association with the pub lock in, I don’t know but it’s good and is all about the smaller characters; the brilliant Paddy, the village GP, the pub landlords. They’re a riot.

A pretty good British/Irish creature feature all round. And it ends with O’Shea and Lisa agreeing to check on the dog left behind by one of the dead villagers, which is absolutely the way survivors (oops, spoiler alert!) should talk at the end of films of this nature. Dogs always get a bad rap in the movies and I absolutely hate it. So yey, Grabbers!

The Rating:

Cthulhu_Saves_the_World_Emoticon_coolthulhu (1)Cthulhu_Saves_the_World_Emoticon_coolthulhu (1)Cthulhu_Saves_the_World_Emoticon_coolthulhu (1)Cthulhu_Saves_the_World_Emoticon_coolthulhu (1)Cthulhu_Saves_the_World_Emoticon_coolthulhu

4.5 cool Cthulhus out of 5

Pop over to Jillian’s to see what she thought.

All images via Google.

My Week in Pictures – March 17 to 20

PicMonkey Collage

This edition of My Week in Pictures is sponsored by cake, and dedicated to one of my favourite people on the planet, Tatty of who celebrates her 21st birthday on Sunday.

On Wednesday we celebrated her (fake) birthday in style with cake, crown and candles, before she jetted off to Sri Lanka yesterday. I am beside myself with jealousy and have been pining quietly (not that quietly) at my desk all day, while she frolics in the rain forest with the elephants.

Pictures, left to right, top to bottom:

  1. (Fake) birthday #selfie with the Queen Bee
  2. I’ve made a conscious effort to record my Outfits of the Day this week. I personally bloody love an #ootd and I think they can be great for recording the days you feel good about yourself, which I am. So, yey
  3. My beautiful girl, Tatty
  4. This amuh-zing table in Presuming Eds was sending me subliminal (yet somehow not that subtle) messages while I caught up with a work friend over coffee. As we supped our favourite caffeine treats, we made a pact to view each other’s CVs next week. Neither of us are exactly overjoyed about our working situations at the moment, and both need a change
  5. Rocking polka dots for the obligatory bathroom #ootd
  6. This great piece of bizarre and beautiful #brightongraffiti (is it still graffiti if it’s basically a big sticker?)
  7. Tatty making a wish. I wished for cake, and I got it straight after this picture was taken #winning
  8. You can’t really see the print or the colour in this image, but this is my favourite dress, given to me for my birthday by my sister-in-law #ootd
  9. Do-nut criticise me for my love of baked treats, okay?

On the subject of photography, I have fallen hopelessly behind on my #photo101 assignments. But don’t worry. I’m going to try to use this weekend and next week to catch up!

Happy weekend, all!

Three Films I’ve Recently Watched – Mini-Reviews

I thought I’d condense this trio of celluloid offerings into the same post and keep them short n’ sweet, just for the sheer hell of it. I’m not always up for a massive waffle about what I’ve seen but each of these are so different from the other that I thought the contrast between them would be fun. This is what I’ve been watching:

tumblr_nflytoSlNY1sh1ixdo1_1280Interstellar (2014)
Christopher Nolan
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

Well. I admit that I didn’t watch this on the big screen and I knew when I started talking about how I didn’t get why people were raving so much about it, that they would spit back that it was because of this. Poppycock! Sure, something is lost in the visuals when you watch at home but it was the hodge podge of ideas in Interstellar that surprised me, not the underwhelming space scenes (I’m being harsh, they were totally fine).

I didn’t hate this film by any means. I love Christopher Nolan and I like the concept of this film. I also very much appreciated the horrible dilemma McConaughey’s Cooper finds himself in when he’s called to choose between saving his family, or all mankind. It’s heart-wrenching in all the right places but it is also dull at times, over long and jerky. It feels like a big pot of ideas all thrown together, where previously Nolan has presented us with exquisitely crafted pieces, intricate and fine to the last detail.

I think it’s definitely worth a look, particularly for any Nolan fan, but it’s not perfect and is a little messy, honestly. I enjoyed the ending, which was surprising clear-cut (looking at you Inception/The Dark Knight Rises) and I loved the most Nolan-esque scene, which occurs about two-thirds into the film, you’ll know it when you see it. All in all, okay but not stellar. (GEDDIT?)

What We Do In The Shadows (2015)d6c95ae80b74cebd86a0e82344cf6d70
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Stars: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh

Sorry, what? A mockumentary from the makers of Flight of the Conchords, starring Jemaine (Marry Me Now) Clement, about vampires? Where do I sign?

Written by Clement and Taika Waititi (best name ever), who also penned one of the greatest films of all time, Eagle Vs. Shark (2007), this is just a joy from start to finish. Honestly, it’s joyful and funny. And clever, good clean fun funny which sometimes you just need. I think that’s the beauty of the Conchords, that it’s witty but delivers a nice, happy humour.

The gist of Shadows: three vampires, Viago, Deacon and Vladislav share a house with Petyr, the oldest of them all and are struggling with modern life. Hundreds of years old each, the friends must get to grips with very ordinary tasks such as the household chores, paying rent and getting into nightclubs.

Along the way they make new friends, revisit old loves and learn to play well with others. Eventually. It’s just the best. Please see it.

_1415201213Clown (2014)
Jon Watts
StarsEli Roth, Peter Stormare, Laura Allen

I love shitty shitty horror more than is healthy, I think. I’m happy to spend my time on a B-Movie with no budget and no real integrity, as long as it does just one thing: entertains me.

A friend posted the trailer for this on his FB wall this week and I thought, OMFG a film about a possessed clown suit, I am so in, when can I watch? ‘Presented by’ Eli Roth was sort of a draw, he’s been alright in the past, let me down a few times (Hostel (2005), I hate you) but I thought we could be gentlemen about this and see where it went.

Ugh. I haven’t even finished this steaming pile of *poo emoji* because, while there are plenty of killings and the gore factor is turned up to max, it’s just plain boring. B-O-R-I-N-G! B-Movies are meant to be atrocious but never boring and this is where I zone out, I’m afraid.

I don’t know if Peter Stormare ever helps the main dude get out of his suit. I don’t know if Clown (main dude) slaughters the rest of the bullies terrorising his son (kind of love this bit) and I certainly don’t know if he ever gets that damn rainbow fright wig off. In short, I no longer care. Plus, a dog gets killed and that usually messes up the whole movie for me. Avoid like the plague and maybe watch It (2009) again, instead.

So that, movie fans, is me. Vampire house shares and Mr Clement with a Dracula pompadour have been the highlight of this week, film wise.

What have you been watching? Do share!

All alternative movie posters via Google.

#one becomes #two


Just under a year ago I claimed the blog title Two Girls One Book Club in a moment of absolute genius. I mean, you have to be a bit of a filth pot to get the thinly veiled reference but it’s classy as well, you know? Just like me.

The plan was to blog with another friend about books but it never came to fruition. Busy bees and all that.

Don’t weep for me just yet though, as there is a happy twist to this tale of how the #onewomanbookclub is well on her way to becoming one half of a perfect pair. It’s quite beautiful, actually, to have found a partner in literary crime. What? I’ve got dust in my eye.

A bit about my gorgeous reading buddy, S. Not long ago she sent me a lovely email asking for book recommendations. We’ve met only once in the flesh, through her boyfriend, who I’ve known for a good few years. In her message, S said she wanted to get into reading more and I bang on about books more than is strictly necessary because the printed word is my friend, so I guess I was a good bet. Not that I’m an expert obviously, I just know what I like.

I swiftly sent back a list of my favourites (and titles that I actually own), she shot back her own picks; which included some biographies, and a few that are right up my alleyway, genre-wise.

Luckily for us, our partners work together, which means we can send care parcels back and forth without much effort and this is always a great thing. But the best thing about #twogirlsonebookclub? Our emails. I love when I can talk frankly about my geeky obsessions and although this is something I can do in my own home, with my family and certain friends, it’s nice to find a girl after my own heart, not just when it comes to literature.

I don’t know where #twogirlsonebookclub will lead. I’m sure we’ll move on from emails to double dates (whether our boys like it or not), so we can talk books face to face. Maybe we’ll start an actual book club one day. Maybe we’ll take on new members.

Maybe the Two Girls One Book Club blog with become a thing, with actual posts on it. Maybe it won’t.

All I know for sure is that books are great and I’ve made a beautiful new friend because of them. We probably would have become real friends anyway, in some way or another, but books paved the way.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

tumblr_n0c8amSTuP1svu7e2o1_1280All images via Google.