Monday, April 30, 2012

Movie Monday: The Avengers


On Saturday afternoon, I took myself off to Ikea in search of cheap picture frames. And as a reward to get me through the torment of going to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon, I followed it up with a little trip to the movies to see The Avengers. First of all, going to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon is a) a terrible idea, and b) an advertisement for remaining childless. SO. MANY. SCREAMING. CHILDREN. Anyway, the point is this: if you go to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon, make sure you have a reward planned for yourself so that you actually GO to Ikea as planned.

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So considering The Avengers hasn't even come out in the US yet (land of the free, my butt!), I'm going to hold back on all the spoilers (you're welcome - all the quotes are from the trailer) and just tell you why you should go and see it.

1. It's completely and utterly amazing. I loved every second of it, even though I was trapped between a group of 13 year old boys, and a guy who took his shoes off, fell asleep and snored through the whole movie.
2. It's written and directed by Joss Whedon. JOSS WHEDON!!! And don't write it off if you're not a fan of Buffy/Firefly/Angel/Dollhouse - Whedon also wrote the screenplay for Toy Story.
3. Robert Downey Jr. He's brilliant. And I'm pretty sure Joss Whedon should ALWAYS write for him, because the two of them together was solid gold.
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4. The novelty of seeing Cobie Smulders in a different role. Thank you to the teenage boys next to me for reminding of this by screaming "IT'S ROBIN SCHERBATSKY!!" every time she was on screen...
5. "Big man in a suit of armour. Take that away, what are you?" "Uh...genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist?" 
6. The Hulk is actually awesome, contrary to what's happened in the Hulk movies made up until now. And Mark Ruffalo is great as Bruce Banner.
7. Tom Hiddleston is once again amazing as the ever so slightly bonkers megalomaniac, Loki.
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8. Samuel L. Jackson being a badass. No one does it better than him.
9. "Doctor Banner, your work is unparalleled. And I'm a big fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster." "Uh...thanks."
10. Jeremy Renner with a bow and arrows.
11. Scarlett Johansson kicking arse and taking names. Well. Mostly just kicking arse.
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12. "I have an army!" "We have a Hulk."
13. Massive explosions and giant alien space beasties.
14. "If we can't protect the Earth, you can be damned sure we'll avenge it."
15. A shit ton of opportunities for bicep appreciation:
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16. 36 hours later and I'm still flailing with excitement and wanting to see it again.

If you've seen it, what did you think (HI KIM!)? If you live in America, are you excited about the release?

K xx

Saturday, April 28, 2012

101 in 1001 #18

It's been a while, but I've finally crossed something else off the list! Except that this time, it was completely and utterly outside of my control - this one was all you guys.



Yes, I've officially reached 100 followers, and I couldn't be more thrilled. So thank you, to each and every one of you for reading and commenting and generally being awesome. A special thank you to Pretzel Thief, for making my 29th birthday complete by getting my follower number off 98, where it had been stuck tormenting me for months!!. And another special thank you to Fire Fairy for getting me over the line! :)

I love you all muchly! <3
K xx

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things I Like Thursday, Volume 2

Seen random stuff on the internet that you find hilarious or just want to share? Head over to Gina's to link up!

Text from Dog is quite possibly one of the funniest things I've ever come across on the internet. Basically, the idea is that some guy's dog texts him while he's at work/out/upstairs.
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THIS VIDEO. Kat sent me this over the weekend with a note that said "She's like the Rebecca Black of middle-aged ladies." I suspect that's being cruel to Rebecca Black. I mean, at least everyone can understand the appeal of Friday. Not everyone can understand what on earth this woman is wibbling about. I honestly assumed it was going to be a song about eating food off the floor which I would never ever do except that sometimes I do. But only when it's candy.



This list by Forbes of the fifteen richest fictional characters. Number one is Smaug. AWESOME.


You guys. THE FUG GIRLS TWEETED ME.
And yes, I made a 70th birthday cake for the brother of a nun and got paid for it. It was all very random!!

What exciting nonsense have you found on the internet this week? Link up here!

K xx

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ancient History, Volume X

Way back in 2007, Ness and I were emailing each other at work multiple times a day very occasionally because we're both total professionals. And whenever one of us was having a bad day, it was invariably followed by "Ugh, I should just quit my job and run away to South America!". And then one day, we decided that maybe our jokey statement wasn't such a terrible idea after all. (Except that Ness failed to follow through on the quitting her job part... Hmmmmm...) Which is how we ended up at the travel agent in 2008, forking over a bazillionty dollars with every visit. Ness left a month before I did to see Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. I was then to meet her in Peru for a nine week trip through South and Central America, culminating with four days in Las Vegas. These - to paraphrase Law & Order - are those stories.

Flying from Melbourne to Lima is...complicated. And more than a little time consuming. (I'm just going to assume it's the same now as it was in 2008)
I'm pretty sure the flight path to Chile wasn't that wonky at the end. I just can't draw straight lines.

First, I flew to Sydney at stupid o'clock in the morning. Then boarded a plane to Auckland. Arrival in Auckland introduced me to a truly amazing New Zealand quarantine video. I've tried very hard to find a copy of it over several years (read: I occasionally search Youtube for it), without success. Basically, it's talking about the quarantine procedures, and features a woman having her hand luggage inspected. From her hand luggage, she pulls an entire salami, a wheel of cheese, and A PINEAPPLE WITH THE TOP STILL ON IT. I have no explanation for this video, but it was astonishingly brilliant.

Anyway, I eventually made it to Santiago, where I was to meet Ness. By that time, I was jetlagged, starving (and had no local currency), and attempting to work out what the little old Chilean lady next to me was saying when she periodically tried to engage me in small talk. Eight hour layovers in these circumstances = no bueno. Eventually Ness turned up, and spent the last of her Chilean currency shoving a hamburger into me so that I didn't pass out (although I *did* nearly fall asleep at the table!) before we had to board our flight to Lima.

Arrival in Lima brought us to one of the world's longest Immigration queues. Four international flights had landed at once, and there were six queues waiting to get INTO the queue for Immigration. It was insane. And took over an hour to get through. But eventually, we got through Immigration and the bizarre Customs system of "push a button and if the light goes red, put your bag through an x-ray machine that no one's manning", and to our hotel.

The following day taught us that "el pan tostado con mantequilla y mermelada" sounds FAR more exotic than it actually is (toast with butter and jam), and that supermarkets in Peru sell shrinkwrapped suckling pig. Also that people like to parasail off cliffs in Lima.

The day after that taught us that museum signs that have been translated using Babelfish are HILARIOUS, and that downtown Lima is pretty:


And that taxi drivers in Lima are FUCKING INSANE. The trip from downtown Lima to our hotel in Miraflores took place at speeds between 80km/h and 120km/h (I know, because I could see the speedometer!), with no seatbelts, and periodic almost-side-swiping-nearby-vehicles. There was much screaming.

The day after that taught us that papaya juice smells like vomit, that Inca Kola is the nectar of the gods, that I can't eat a chicken drumstick (Ness found this hysterical. I still don't know how to eat a drumstick. Her description got as far as "slide your knife between the tendon and the bone" and I started gagging...), and that catacombs in monasteries are cool.
While the catacombs were cool, the number of pigeons here
freaked me the hell out. (I have bird phobia.)

And the day after THAT taught us that you shouldn't get your legs waxed at a Peruvian beauty parlour on a whim, because you'll be there for 45 minutes while the wax is melted in a saucepan on a hot plate. And you'll spend the next 24 hours picking wax off your legs (ahem, VANESSA). Also, that if there's an archaeological site within spitting distance, I'll want to go there:
Huaca Pucllana, for anyone who cares.

Oh, and we also left Lima with our tour group, via the first of our many MANY bus rides. This one was to Pisco. We also discovered that pisco (the drink, not the city) tastes like lighter fluid. Mmmm, lighter fluid...

Next up, Peru's answer to the Galapagos, dune buggying, mummies, and the tiniest aeroplane of ever.

K xx

Monday, April 23, 2012

Movie Monday: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


On Friday night, I went to the movies with my parents because I'm cool like that. We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was amazing.
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It's the story of seven Brits who, for a variety of reasons, decide that they're going to spend their lives at a luxury hotel in Jaipur - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful. There's Douglas and Jean, a married couple who've lost their savings and can't afford to live in a retirement village in the UK. Though neither wants to admit it, their relationship is strained at best. There's Evelyn, who's recently widowed and whose husband did everything, leaving her with a world of new experiences to discover. There's Madge, who's looking for a husband, and Norman, who's lonely. There's Muriel, who needs a hip replacement but can't deal with the six month waiting list in the UK, but who's more than a little bit racist. And finally, there's Graham, who grew up in India and is searching for a lost love.
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The brochures bill the Marigold as newly renovated and top-of-the-line. Upon arrival, it is revealed to be anything but. It's a ramshackle building, where many rooms have no doors and are inhabited by pigeons. But the manager, Sonny, has a heart of gold and a vision of how the hotel can be, if he can just scrape together a little more money.
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Let's talk about the casting, shall we?

  • Maggie Smith as Muriel. Yes, Muriel's a bigot, and her luggage consists of 30 packets of Hobnobs, jars of Branston pickle, pickled eggs and pickled onions. But it's when she sees herself in one of the hotel staff that things start to change. Also, IT'S MAGGIE SMITH. She's an international treasure. Also, I now want to watch Harry Potter. And Downton Abbey.
  • Judi Dench as Evelyn. Evelyn takes everything in her stride, getting a job for the first time, embracing the culture, and writing a blog. And let's be honest - I would read the shit out of a blog written by Judi Dench. Also an international treasure. I now want to watch a bunch of James Bond movies.
  • Bill Nighy as Douglas. He's kind and thoughtful and eager to experience the people and sights around him. Also also an international treasure. I now want to watch Love Actually.
  • Tom Wilkinson as Graham. A High Court judge, he's returning to the place he knew and loved in his youth. His story is heartbreaking. Also, I now want to watch The Importance of Being Earnest and Shakespeare in Love.
  • Penelope Wilton as Jean. There's no other way to say it - Jean is a bitch. She's mourning the life she left behind, the life she can no longer afford. And she resents Douglas for getting them into the situation they're in. Also, I now want to watch all the "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister" episodes of Doctor Who
  • Celia Imrie as Madge. She's sick of being used as a babysitter by her children, and decides that she can still find love. A lot of the time, she's the comic relief, but she does it brilliantly. Also, I now want to watch Bridget Jones' Diary.
  • Ronald Pickup as Norman. Norman's basically a dirty old man, who's tired of being alone. Again, he's often the comic relief, but he plays the male bravado face incredibly well. Also, I now want to watch Prince of Persia.
  • Dev Patel as Sonny. I haven't seen him in anything before (I know, I know. Slumdog Millionaire is on my to-watch list!!), but the emotion that he brings to the role of Sonny is extraordinary.
  • ALL THESE PEOPLE IN THE ONE MOVIE. 

It's hilarious and heartwarming, and the supporting cast are all wonderful. The friendships that develop and the changes in the characters are beautifully done. And you should all go and see it, because it's brilliant.

Have you seen it already? If so, what did you think?

K xx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dessert Day: Pinterest edition

Today, I headed over to Deidre's for another installment of Dessert Day. It's been a while since we had one, what with her having surgery and me starting back at uni. We ummed and aahed for quite a while about what we were going to make. Eventually, I figured I'd delve into my Pinterest boards and see if there was any inspiration there.

Surprisingly enough, among all the pictures of puppies and shoes, and the patterns for TARDIS sleeping bags (TARDIS SLEEPING BAGS!!!!!!), I found a couple of things that fit the bill perfectly.

We ended up making two of them: orange creamsicle cupcakes, and lemon raspberry bars. Of course, we had to make a few modifications so that they were gluten free. We replaced the base for the lemon raspberry bars with one of Deidre's own concoction - a mixture of butter, gluten free flour, sugar and almond meal. We used frozen raspberries, because fresh ones cost a bazillion dollars. And contrary to the claims, the cupcake recipe only made six. Or at least it did the way WE made them!

In typical Dessert Day fashion, there was much consumption of cheese and crackers and dip, along with a few near disasters (namely, me trying to separate eggs. Sometimes, Dessert Day is very much like My Drunk Kitchen, but with far less alcohol... One of these days, we should vlog Dessert Day so you can see just how incredibly inept we are!!)

The icing on the cupcakes is less than expertly piped, and far more yellow than in the picture I pinned. I'm not sure if the bleached status of American butter is to blame, or if it's actually some kind of marshmallow fluff instead. And the raspberry bars aren't the prettiest looking things on the planet. But they both tasted pretty damned good, so that's all that really matters!!


Hopefully by the time the next Dessert Day rolls around, I'll have my replacement 50mm lens and will be able to present some slightly lighter (read: better) photos!

K xx

Saturday, April 21, 2012

30 Days of Photography - Day 17

I picked up my shiny new replacement camera on Wednesday (wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Although I still don't have my 50mm prime lens because they've had to order it in - SAD FACE FOREVER), and can therefore FINALLY start up this series again! Hopefully now I'll get it finished, rather than leaving things hanging as they've been for the past however many months...

Anyway, the theme for day 17 is "technology". To be honest, I had no idea what to do for this. I mean, photos of mobile phones or modems or laptops aren't particularly exciting. So I figured I'd use this as an opportunity to show you what I spend chunks of my time doing now:

MARC coding. Fascinating, no? (For the record, this isn't actually something I coded. The records I've done are far sloppier than this, and have way less lines of data in them!)

The joys of training to become a librarian... And yes, that does make sense to me!

K xx

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things I Like Thursday, Volume 1


Today, I'm linking up with my bloggy BFF, Gina for a new series. The idea is to share awesome things on the internet - sites you've come across, interesting articles, random bits of entertaining nonsense. You know, basically the stuff you come across when you're procrastinating...

So here goes!

Let's start with a bunch of people who don't know that The Onion isn't a real newspaper. (Public service announcement: IT'S SATIRICAL.) When people don't understand this, hilarity ensues. For the rest of us. Check out Literally Unbelievable.

Jacksfilms. In particular, his videos entitled "YOUR GRAMMAR SUCKS". Amazingness.

This:
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I'm laughing far too hard about it.

Busty Girl Comics. Almost every single one is an "Yup, that's me..." kind of a moment. Not to mention she uses incredible gifs in her replies to followers!!

This article on what can happen if you fly with Jetstar...

I'm probably very late to the party on this one, but I've recently discovered Forever Young Adult. AMAZING.

And that's probably quite enough for this week!

What are you loving on the internet at the moment? Head over to This Is Not Your Blog to link up!

K xx

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ancient History, Volume IX

When I last left off, it had taken Megan and I SEVEN HOURS to make the drive from Nashville to Memphis. Upon arrival in Memphis, we decided to make the most of what was left of the afternoon, and headed to the National Civil Rights Museum. According to my travel diary, 23 year old Kirsti was greatly upset by the fact that she couldn't take photos inside, and thought there should have been less reading involved. It also made her want to watch Elizabethtown. 28 year old Kirsti recognises the fact that objects can be sensitive to light, and that it's difficult to convey certain concepts through an object on a plinth, thus requiring additional explanation through text. It still makes her want to watch Elizabethtown.

Anyway, the National Civil Rights Museum is an amazingly moving place, and you should all go there.

After the museum, we decided that we'd drive over to Graceland and find a hotel nearby so that we could get there as soon as it opened and still be able to sleep in. We managed to turn the wrong way half a dozen times, because I'm awesome at reading maps. But we eventually got there and found a hotel right across the road from Graceland. The pool was shaped like a guitar and there were two channels on the TV that showed nothing but Elvis movies. Sadly, I neglected to take pictures of either of these things, because I'm an idiot and have no idea what will make hilarious blog fodder six years down the track.

The next morning, we were up bright and early to visit Graceland. Because we were epic cheapskates poor starving students/unemployed bums, we elected to only see the house, because all the other stuff was hella expensive. Eventually, our tour started. I'm going to quote directly from my travel diary, because LOL: "It was fun, if horrifically tacky. I mean, Elvis could sing and all but my God, the man had no taste! Although I guess in the 70s no one had any taste..." You have to admit, 23 year old Kirsti kind of has a valid point.

To prove my point:
So he could watch all the stations at once.

The Jungle Room. It has shag pile carpet ON THE CEILING.

Because carpet in the kitchen is always a great idea.

Because you need to feel like you're in a giant fabric tent while playing pool. Or something.

And that was pretty much all we did in Memphis. We drove through the centre of town to take a photo of the Beale Street sign, and then headed for the interstate. Thankfully, the drive BACK from Memphis was incident free. Oh, also? Have you guys seen the Memphis Convention Centre?? It's SHAPED LIKE A PYRAMID:


The remaining few days of my trip were a bit of a blur. We went to the museum in Nashville to see an exhibition of Egyptian New Kingdom stuff. The audio tour was narrated by Jeremy Irons, and he reminded you of that CONSTANTLY. Like every single bit you listened to would start with "Hello. I'm Jeremy Irons." (Did you just read that in his voice? Because I TYPED THAT WITH HIS VOICE IN MY HEAD. It was a bit creepy, to be honest)

We also hung out with some of the girls Megan worked with. One in particular came out with some truly astonishing (and memorable!) quotes.
On inbreeding in the South: "They don't have a family tree. They have a family WREATH!"
On Jedi as a religion: "Do you think instead of "Go to Hell!", they say "Damn you to the Death Star!"??"

And that concludes my trip to the US. Next up, South and Central America and everything that happened!
K xx

Monday, April 16, 2012

Movie Monday: Empire Records


I honestly can't remember how, but at some point during the awesomeness that was hanging out with Caro yesterday afternoon, this movie came up in conversation. And I immediately knew that I was going to be watching it when I got home in preparation for today's post.
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Yup. Empire Records.

Reasons why Empire Records is amazing:
1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that would be the greatest place to work EVER.
2. Ethan Embry as Mark. He's brilliant.
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3. The soundtrack.
4. Liv Tyler being all angsty teenage girl. It makes for a nice change from her being an elf.
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5. The scene where Lucas is chasing Warren, the shoplifter.
6. Debra. She's awesome.
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7. AJ glueing quarters to the floor.
8. The stunning mid-90s fashions.
9. A spontaneous street party to save a non-chain record store is pretty kickass.
10. The ridiculousness of Rex Manning's video clip.
11. Renee Zellweger.
12. I'm pretty sure Joe is the best boss of EVER.
13. The scene featuring AC/DC's If You Want Blood.
14. All the weird little dances that they do throughout the movie.
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15. Lucas carrying the sofa cushion around with him all day.
16. Basically, everything.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "Damn the man, save the Empire!"
- "A responsibility like this requires the obedience of a saint."
- "Listening to this crap is guaranteed to make you sterile!" "[mutters] Maybe I WANT to be sterile..."
- "Happy Rex Manning day!!"
- "What's with today today?"
- "I swear to God, you get smarter the shorter your skirt gets."
- "Empire Records, open 'til midnight. This is Mark. [pause] MIDNIGHT."
- "No visible tattoos." "No revealing clothing." "We're both screwed. At least you're used to it."
- "How old are you?" "Old enough to kick your butt through your skull and splatter your brains on the wall!" "Yeah, he's a juvenile."
- "In the immortal words of The Doors, the time to hesitate is through."
- "Let's not fight. Let's just rip."
- "Shock me shock me shock me with that deviant behaviour."

Can you guys believe this movie is nearly twenty years old?? ARGH. (Also, who else now has Sugar High stuck in their head??)
K xx

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On internet friendships

(I was originally planning on writing this for my 400th post, which is coming up very soon. But I'm feeling extra schmaltzy this evening, so you get it now instead!) 

When you're a blogger, there are certain things that you get used to. It becomes perfectly normal to share stories of public humiliation or total heartbreak on the internet. You become adept at becoming insta-friends with a person you've known for months/years online but never met before RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. Mentioning blogs and Twitter in everyday conversation becomes second nature. And you sigh when people tell you that you can't possibly form real friendships with people on the internet. Because those people aren't real, and they could be ANYBODY, and how could you possibly know them?

I call bullshit. Yes, it's true that online friendships aren't the same. You can't turn up at the house of an internet friend with booze and chocolate when they're having a crappy day or going through a break up. You can't attend birthdays, weddings, or baby showers. You can't go to the movies with them, because (at least in my experience) they live on the other side of the world.

But this doesn't mean that you can't have real friendships with them. I've had people say to me that my internet friends can't possibly know me as well as my "real" friends. To them I say this: You're exactly right. In some cases, they know me better. And so I want to say thank you to them.

To Kat, who was willing to sign up to spend a week in Thailand with me and meet me for the first time at the airport. And who was willing to visit a millionty museums with me in the US. Where's our next trip going to be to??

To Lor and Sweeney. An hour hanging out at the 20SB cocktail party in Chicago, and we were being force fed chunks of ice cream sandwich by a bouncer, and being asked "What time do the panties come off?" by a crazy man on the street. You can't get much more real than that. We'll always have mac and bonfire!

To Deidre, who knew me well enough after an hour-long lunch to suggest ongoing Dessert Days, and who agrees with me that Bill Pullman's hair deserves equal credit in his movies.

To Gina, who shares my love of books and movies, and always has the time to have a conversation on Twitter or Facebook or via email, even though she's raising three kids and doing a Masters.

To Alice, who just plain *gets it*. All of it.

To Kim, who turned my "something fun and kind of bluey-greeny. Hey, that reminds me of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey and now my brain's in a David Tennant place, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, DOCTOR WHO IS AWESOME!!!!!" instructions into the amazingly perfect design you see on my little corner of the interwebs. And who knows me well enough to know when I'll get on with her friends like a house on fire, as happened when I met up with Caro this afternoon. 

To Pink Gingham Girl, who shares my love of Pacey Witter Dawson's Creek.

To Lauren, who was willing to take me on my word that I wasn't an axe murderer, and drive from New York to Boston with me.

To Emmy, with whom I can squee about Broadway musicals, and who was willing to jump on the Doctor Who train so that she'd know what the Hell the rest of us were talking about. 

To Tim, for having the world's most amazing stories and for being America's Greatest Ambassador.

And to my BFF, Nikki, without whom I would have no one to rant to about the dramas of grad school, public transport, and Spooks

I'm enormously grateful to have each and every one of you in my life. I love you guys like whoa. <3

</schmaltz>
K xx

Friday, April 13, 2012

If you vote for me, I'll love you forever

Happy Friday, my lovelies!

I've just hit "Submit" on a 3,000 word catalogue evaluation and am now looking forward to a weekend spent NOT thinking about libraries. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Ahem. In other news, voting is now open on the People's Choice award for the Best Australian Blogs competition for 2012. There are over 940 blogs in the running, including my little corner of the intertubes. If you've got a spare five minutes, would you mind popping over here and voting for A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings?

There are a TON of great blogs in the running, so if you're stuck at work and have nothing to do you have a spare half hour, there's plenty in the list to keep you entertained!

Voting is open until 5pm AEST on 9th May, and you don't have to be in Australia to vote!! Oh, and if you want to follow the action on Twitter, you can check out the official hashtag: #bestblogs2012

Thank you muchly - it's a huge thrill just to be involved! :)


Hope you've all got lovely things planned for the weekend!
K xx

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things that are awesome

1. I received a (two week early) birthday present from my BFF Kat in the post today. I would take a photo of it for you, but....... Anyway, it's a bag from Mushy Wear and I love it!! It's the perfect size for uni notebooks without looking like a boring book bag.
2. We heard from the insurance company today, and I should have a replacement camera within a week!! I'm super-excited about it. It looks like it's going to be the next model up from my old camera, which comes with more megapixels, higher ISO capability, and full video. It's still an entry level model, but a brand new camera is not to be sneezed at! I'll make sure to take photos of my awesome new bag when the camera turns up :)
3. THE DALEKS ARE COMING BACK IN SERIES 7. And not just the Daleks. ALL the Daleks.
4. Discount Easter eggs at the supermarket.

That last one has nothing to do with anything else. It's just awesome. Wouldn't you agree, David Tennant?

I rather thought you would!

What's been awesome for you recently?
K xx

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ancient History, Volume VIII

When I last left off, Megan and I had just arrived back from New York, complete with a bus that caught fire. Upon arrival back in Tennessee, we spent a good week packing up Megan's apartment and moving everything across town. Because everyone knows there's nothing people like better than a houseguest when they're in the middle of moving! Or something. Random word of advice? Plastic grocery bags do not make effective rubber gloves. Do not clean a stove with Easy Off Bam using plastic grocery bags as gloves. They will dissolve...

We interspersed the moving activities with trips to a bar with a couple of other girls. On one of these visits, we had the dubious pleasure of making the acquaintance of a couple of Southern rednecks. Which is how I got to hear conversations like this:
Megan's drama-attracting roommate: "So, what are you guys doing tomorrow?"
Redneck guy: "Goin' frog-giggin'!"
Me: [whispers] "WTF is frog...gigging?"
Megan: [whispers] "Hunting frogs with a trident/spear thingy."
Me: "PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THAT????" *head explodes*

I don't think I ever expected Tennessee to be quite *THAT* Southern...

The new house proved to be quite exciting, because it came with dogs. This is Charlie, who was convinced he was a lapdog, despite being an enormous Labrador:

Somewhere in amongst the moving and the learning about weird Southern things, we headed up to Nashville and visited Opryland. I'm sure it was interesting, but I honestly don't remember a thing about it!

Just after 4th of July, Megan and I loaded up her car with a whole lot of junk food and hit the road, heading for Memphis. After about an hour on the road, we heard a noise that sounded like a helicopter coming up behind the car. And then the car started acting weird.

We pulled over to the side of the interstate, and promptly discovered that one of the tyres had a giant nail in it. Megan was wearing a skirt, which is how I (the least car-savvy person on the planet) ended up laying on the interstate, trying to work out where under the car a jack is supposed to go. We soon came across another problem. The car had been serviced a few days before our roadtrip, and they'd rotated the tyres. And put the hub caps back on with the pneumatic wrench thingy. Which meant that we couldn't even BUDGE the lug nuts (as further proof of my cluelessness about cars, I just had to Google the names of ALL those things).
File under "things that could change a tyre better than me". Also, source.

So Megan was trying to get the spare tyre out of the boot, and I was laying in the road. And that's about the time that a truck driver stopped to help us. Apparently all the passing truck drivers had been talking about us on the CB radio. Awesome... Anyway, random truck driver man was able to change the tyre for us (and also inform me that I had the jack in completely the wrong place. FAIL...) But Megan's car only had a space saver spare, which meant we had to drive super-slow. And which meant we got to drive to the next exit, and sit around a garage for 45 minutes waiting for the mechanic to come back. At which point, he told us that he didn't have the right sized tyre. So we had to keep driving until we reached Jackson.

Eventually, we found a place in Jackson that had a tyre the right size, and after sitting around for an hour so it could be changed, we were on the road to Memphis again. We got there at around 3pm, having left the house at 7.45am. Yeah. A 400km drive took us over seven hours...

Oh, and the best part of the flat tyre story? When I told my mum, she totally freaked out because all she could think of was Duelling Banjos. Sorry, Tennessee...

Next up, touristy things in Memphis. Including Graceland, the tackiest place on Earth!

So, who else can't change a tyre? And have you ever been frog gigging? If so, WHY?????

K xx

Monday, April 9, 2012

Movie Monday: The Life of Brian


So, how's everyone's Easter been? Like I said on Saturday, I'm pretty sure that I'll be going to Hell, so mine went pretty well! I also received the world's biggest Easter egg from my parents:

2 litre milk bottle for scale. Terrible quality courtesy of my webcam.

Anyway, if I wasn't already going to Hell for saying that you can eat as much as you want at Easter because Jesus takes the calories away, I'd be going to Hell for today's movie selection:
Source

Yes. The Life of Brian.

Reasons why The Life of Brian is awesome:
1. It's MONTY PYTHON. And they're brilliant.
2. The centurion telling Brian that the grammar in his graffiti is wrong, and making him write it out 100 times.
Source
3. Brian's mother yelling "SPEAK UP!!" at Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount.
4. The Roman character names. You can't help but laugh hysterically.
5. The opening song, taking the piss out of Goldfinger.
6. George Harrison has a cameo. GEORGE FREAKING HARRISON!!
That's Harrison on the right. Source
7. Brian's mother wearing a fake beard so that she can go to the stoning.
8. How six blokes played FORTY characters between them.
9. Michael Palin as Pontius Pilate. It's hard to single out one of the Pythons over the others, or even one of the characters out over the others, but he makes this movie for me.
Source
10. Singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" to Brian when he's being crucified.
11. The suicide squad.
12. The followers arguing over whether the gourd or the sandal is more important and how to show you're a follower of Brian. Hilarious.
Source
13. It was banned in Ireland for blasphemy. UNTIL 1987.
14. The ridiculous food Brian is selling at the colosseum.
15. When Brian opens the window completely starkers and there are hundreds of people standing outside waiting for him.
16. "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" at the end.


Plus, the following completely brilliant quotes:
- "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"
- "Now FUCK OFF!!!" [pause] "How shall we fuck off, O Lord?"
- "Blessed is just about everyone with an interest in the status quo."
- "Alms for an old ex-leper?"
- "I'm a Red Sea pedestrian and I'm proud of it!"
- "Crucifixion? Good. Out the door, line on the left, one cross each."
- "What's so funny about the name...Biggus Dickus?"
- "All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"
- "He has a wife, you know. She's called...Incontinentia. Incontinentia Buttocks."
- "If you want to join the People's Front of Judea, you have to really hate the Romans." "I do!" "Oh yeah? How much?" "A lot!" "Right, you're in."
- "STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone *anyone* until I blow this whistle!"
- "Stwike him, Centuwion. Stwike him vewy wuffly!"
- "From now on you shall be called Brian that is called Brian."
- "It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them." "But you can't have babies!" "Don't you oppress me." "You haven't got a womb! Where's the fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?"
- "Vewy well! I shall welease... Wodewick!"

So, who else is joining me in Hell for watching this movie at Easter? Or, you know, just thinks it's awesome?

K xx
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