Friday, March 29, 2013

Possibly not the best idea ever

So remember last month how I decided I was going to make a vlog every month? It's that time again.

I apologise in advance for my singing voice. I hadn't warmed up and was too lazy to rerecord it once I realised that I sound awful. And for the length of this. And for the fact that I'm posting this at nearly 1am - I started uploading the video at 7.30 and it's LITERALLY JUST FINISHED.

Have a calorific Easter, y'all. (Yes, I'm taking the piss)

K xx

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Awesome books and giant forks

Whoops. Apparently I'm the WORST at telling you guys all about my trip. Previously, Lauren and I saw lots of planes and spy gadgets, and ate delicious cupcakes, as well as discovering the world's weirdest salad and an escalator for shopping trolleys.

SO. The rest of the time in Washington was somewhat less exciting.

Monday: Site visits to big businesses, including Walmart. Except we went to the wrong one on account of no one bothered to give the bus driver the actual address of the store. And then we had to stand around in the stockroom for an hour while the manager talked about supply chain stuff and I tried not to sneeze because we were standing next to box after box of laundry detergent and cleaning products. And then shopping time. At Walmart. Because that was something we desperately needed?? Oh, and after Walmart, we were dropped at Pentagon City shopping centre, where I managed to get stuck in a toilet cubicle. And lose the subway station. And message half of 20SB to tell them about it. The general response was "BAHAHAHAHAHA".

Tuesday: The World Bank in the morning, which was surprisingly awesome, followed by a couple of hours of free time. The Coolest People You'll Ever Meet took advantage of the time to to a mad dash past the White House:

En route to the National Museum of American History. The exhibits were similar enough to 2011 that I was able to steer us around all the important things in under an hour, including the First Ladies dress collection, which was all Inauguration Ball gowns. But mostly the 'important things' consisted of this stuff:
Idina Menzel's Elpheba costume. *flail*

The original Kermit

This was a "Things you'd like to see on display" suggestion board.
I nearly died laughing from this suggestion.

George W. Bush jack in the box
HARRY POTTER'S ROBES. No, I don't know why they're
at the National Museum of American History.

The afternoon was the International Monetary Fund, which was interesting but a little too financial for my brain to be able to process.

Wednesday: The Coolest People You'll Ever Meet got to skip an entire day of boring business studies classes in favour of a behind the scenes tour at the Library of Congress. And it was awesome. Well. Except for the part where we got lost finding the room we were meant to be in. AND the part where we were in a rush so ate lunch (wraps bought at the food court of a subway station) standing on the steps, and the security guards were like ".......You know you can come inside, right?" But I digress. Back to the awesome:


You cannot even begin to imagine how awesome this room smelled

And then that night, Agatha Goodkin and I went to a bar to see a Swedish band called The Amazing. They lived up to their name reasonably well, although people + loud music + not eating dinner until 11pm = Curmudgeonly Kirsti. On the plus side, Angry Orchard cider is freaking fabulous.

Thursday: A millionty years worth of classes. All of which were about marketing, and all of which made me nearly fall asleep a thousand times.

Friday: MORE classes, including four hours about leading change which had us all nearly slitting our wrists. Oh. Except for the video they made us watch about merging two companies that kept including weird shots of the interviewer nodding in response to what the interviewees were saying. It was rather like a bobble head, only weirder. And Agatha Goodkin and I kept giggling as a result. That night was our farewell dinner. We ended up at the same microbrewery where Kat and I spent our last night in DC in 2011. And I discovered that they had GIANT forks:
A full day of business lectures will make you look MUCH older than you are.

I also got laughed at by a bunch of the guys on the trip when I ordered a peach martini at the bar and discovered shortly thereafter that it tasted very much like cough syrup. It pretty much ended up like this:

Like they can talk. A bunch of us ended up at a bar just off U Street shortly thereafter, and the guys proceeded to throw back a round of Picklebacks. *shudder* (To those not in the know, a pickleback is a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of PICKLE BRINE) Needless to say, I bailed shortly thereafter.

Saturday: A "tour" of Georgetown, which basically consisted of "Here's the main building. Here's a classroom. We're done now." Agatha Goodkin and I were not even remotely impressed with the tour leader for that. Still, Georgetown is pretty:

Once our "tour" was finished, we had about three hours of free time. So while a bunch of the others went shopping, Agatha Goodkin and I went for a walk along the Potomac:

After a rather rushed lunch, we had three hours of class about culture and social responsibility, which mostly seemed to be about marketing to different ethnic groups. Which was weird, because I don't think that's really something that happens outside the US...

ANYWAY. It was actually pretty interesting, plus there were massive boxes of Georgetown Cupcakes for afternoon tea. WIN. The Key Lime was pretty good, and the chocolate² was kind of amazing, but neither of them compared to the flavours I tried at the Bethesda one.

The trip back to College Park was...interesting. Have you ever tried to hail a taxi in peak hour on a Friday night? I recommend not doing it. I ended up in a taxi with three of the guys, one of whom proceeded to torture the taxi driver by alternating between a British and an Australian accent to prove how different they were.

And thus we come to the end of the Washington segment of the trip. Next up, FLORIDA AND ALL THE FABULOUS FRIENDS EVER.

K xx

Monday, March 25, 2013

Movie Monday: Down with Love

Between lack of sleep, excessive amounts of essay writing and a choir concert over the weekend, I was in definite need of fluffiness for today's viewing. And this certainly fits the bill nicely. A fabulous Rock Hudson/Doris Day-esque piece of ridiculousness, it's got brilliant casting, a hilarious script, and a truly terrifying amount of innuendo.


Reasons why Down with Love is awesome:
1. Ewan McGregor.
2. Discussions about socks. Crying with laughter.
3. Renee Zellweger.
4. The costumes.
5. The songs.
6. David Hyde Pierce. He's PERFECT.
7. The opening credits.
8. Sarah Paulson.
Pretty much her expression throughout. Source.
9. A three minute monologue.
10. The sets. Phenomenal.
11. Any scene involving helicopters.
12. The old school blue screening for car scenes.
13. Split screen phone calls.
14. The Ed Sullivan Show.
15. Montages of the book on sale around the world.
16. Men who change women as often as they change their shirts.
You're welcome. Also, source.
17. Fake astronauts.
18. Beatniks.
19. Catch and Peter bitching about wanting to be married. That quote down there about wanting to be married? That's these two.
20. All the Rock Hudson/Doris Day references.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "Quick! Taste my sauce. Too tart?"
- "Where's my geisha? I need my shoes..."
- "Can you keep a secret?" "Yes." "Me too."
- "Catch, you're the best friend a guy with twenty diagnosed neuroses could ever have." "Oh, we've been friends a long time. I knew you when you only had twelve."
- "You said she was a spinster!" "I've never used the word spinster in my life. Okay, once, when I told my mother it was technically incorrect to call her son a spinster..."
- "Another ruse, Catcher? You know I have no interest in seeing you." "But you know you have to, and you know I know you have to. I'm sure you know how things are at KNOW ever since your new NOW." "I have no way of knowing how things are now at KNOW. I knew how things were at KNOW before NOW." "Then you should know now at KNOW things are a lot like they are at NOW, we have to interview every applicant for every job, and so do you or you'd be going against NOW's definition of discrimination and you wouldn't want the readers of NOW or KNOW to know that, now would you?" "Have a seat, Mr. Block."
- "What would you say is the average length, for most men?" "How would I know? You think I spend all my time in the locker room at the club making a comparative study?" "Let me see yours again, then. We could measure. I'll get a ruler." "Better make it a yardstick!" "Let's be accurate. Make sure you've got it fully extended. Have it up the whole way." "It stays up all the way, all day long, man! That's the miracle I was telling you about: better living through chemistry. You got... 16 inches." "16 inches! How long does a man's hose have to be?" "That's 32 inches of confidence in every step. Don't forget - I've got two of 'em!" [it's in regards to socks, you smutty minded individuals]
- "I'd like to get to know you better." "How much better?" "All the way better." "Well, I can't know you all the way better till I know you much, much better." "Do you feel you know me well enough for me to buy you a drink?" "I sure could go for a Tang."
- "At one point, I had even convinced myself that life was all one big zany sex comedy and you had switched keys with the lead to use his swinging pad to snare me." "I did! I did switch keys with the lead!"
- "I don't get it. How could a person lose their built-in bar?"
- "Have a candy bar for your trouble, and thanks again for thinking of us." "But I'm always thinking of you, Miss Novak. I can't stop thinking of you, and I'd like you to reconsider considering me." "Even at a pay cut of 96.6%?" "It's only money. Besides, I've been on top so long I thought it might be nice to try a new position." "And you think you could be comfortable in a position under a woman?" "I look forward to it. Starting at the bottom, working my way up slowly to the top."
- "The only man who could have his way with me now is Milton Hershey."
- "I don't care about sex anymore. I just want to get married." "Well me too. But fat chance now."
- "At the risk of sounding like my mother, just stay perfectly still and let him get it over with."
- "This is the first time I've lost a future with a man before we've had time to have a past."
- "She's thrown away everything you've sent her; flowers, chocolates, a $6000 Celestron telescope that wasn't yours to send because it was mine."
- "It's not like Catch to be late." "No, he usually calls to cancel right on time..."

Have you seen it? If not, why not??

K xx

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Top ten movies

The other day, the lovely Gina (and yes, I will eventually get to the point in my trip where I stay with Gina and all kinds of awesomeness happens) joined in a blog hop featuring people's top ten movies. Due to pesky timezones and whatnot, I wasn't able to join in the blog hop (stupid timezones...), but I wanted to give you guys a countdown of my top ten movies anyway. BECAUSE OF REASONS.

First of all, I'm going to give out a couple of honourable mentions. These are movies that I love, but if I had to take ten movies with me to a desert island (which apparently comes with a TV and a DVD player and a power source...), these wouldn't QUITE make the cut.

Honourable mentions:
- Bridget Jones' Diary
- The Mummy
- Hot Fuzz
- Back to the Future

So, now to my top ten. And I'm going to copy Gina and include my favourite quote from each one as well.

10. Dirty Dancing
I knew every song from this movie years before I'd even seen it, thanks to the soundtrack being one of about four cassettes on high rotation in my mum's car when I was little. This movie is equal parts Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet, and The Breakfast Club. Or something...

Favourite quote: "I carried a watermelon."

9. The Count of Monte Cristo
Sure, it's a dramatic deviation from the original text, but it's definitely for the best. I love every second of it. Plus? RICHARD HARRIS.

Favourite quote: "Why not just kill them? I'll do it! I'll run up to Paris, bam, bam, bam, bam, I'm back before week's end, we spend the treasure. How is this a bad plan??"

8. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
I'm aware that most people's favourite Indy movie is Raiders of the Lost Ark. And that is a pretty phenomenal movie. But the addition of Sean Connery to the cast and Petra to the settings puts Last Crusade ahead for me. 

Favourite quote: "Water?" "No thank you, sir. No. Fish make love in it."

7. Mean Girls
There's pretty much a Mean Girls quote for every single occasion. And I'm fairly certain that every woman on the face of the earth can relate to it in some way or another. Tina Fey is a freaking genius, yo.

Favourite quote: "That's why her hair's so big. It's full of secrets."

6. The Princess Bride
If you don't love this movie, I don't think we can be friends any more. Between Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant and Billy Crystal, it's complete and utter genius.

Favourite quote: "INCONTHEIVABLE!!!" "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Yes, I'll admit it. I have an irrational soft spot for 80s movies and teen movies. Combine the two of them and you get this piece of cinematic genius. Everything about it is perfect.

Favourite quote: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
The original and the best. I loves me pretty much anything set on a sailing ship (hmm, maybe I should break out the boxset of Hornblower over Easter!!), and - as Little Miss A could tell you while rolling her eyes - I have a small obsession with pirates. Combine those two things with Johnny Depp, and you have pure genius.

Favourite quote: "I can't bring this ship into Tortuga all on me onesies, savvy?"

3. Jurassic Park
Like you weren't expecting this to be on the list. I have a plastic velociraptor named Clever Girl, for crying out loud! I will admit, when ten year old Kirsti first saw this movie, she spent about 90% of it hiding behind the sofa in terror. But I love it a little bit more with every subsequent rewatch. And you can bet your sweet ass I'll be seeing this in 3D for the 20th anniversary next month. And yes - Clever Girl will be coming with me.

Favourite quote: "Now, eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur tour, right? Hello?" "I really hate that man."

2. Love Actually
As much as ridiculous nonsense like Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve has tried to replicate this, all others have failed miserably. Love Actually is phenomenal, and Christmas isn't Christmas without it. Perfect casting, perfect stories, perfect overlap.

Favourite quote: "Hello, David. I mean "sir". Shit, I can't believe I've just said that. And now I've gone and said "shit" - twice. I'm so sorry, sir." "It's fine, it's fine. You could've said "fuck," and then we'd have been in real trouble.""Thank you, sir. I did have an awful premonition that I was gonna fuck up on the first day. Oh, piss it!"

1. The Avengers
I honestly don't know when it happened, but somewhere in the past ten months or so, this slipped quietly into number one as my absolute favourite movie. The combination of Joss Whedon, quiet possibly the most perfect cast ever assembled, a sass-filled script, the combination of humour and seriousness, and the culmination of SO MANY MARVEL MOVIES all tying together into one? Flawless.

Favourite quote: Okay. I can't limit myself to one here. Ready? 
- "I am Loki, of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose." 
- "I was having 12% of a moment."
- "Phil? Uh, his first name is 'Agent'."
- "Hulk? Smash."
- "You and I remember Budapest very differently."
- "I got red in my ledger. I'd like to wipe it out."
- "Doth your mother know you wearest her drapes?"
- "Puny god."
- "You people are so petty...and tiny."
- "It seems to be powered by some sort of electricity!"

So. What's in your top ten?

K xx

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rule Britannia

It's been over ten years since I was last in the UK. Fifteen years since I've visited anywhere on the Continent. It seems that I inadvertently spent all of my 20s travelling to the Americas. I think that now I'm heading into my 30s, I should try for a to travel. Yes?

I've had England on the brain for a while now. Between catching up with my BFF Sara in Florida (and I promise, I will eventually get my act together and blog about my trip more than once a week, otherwise we'll be here FOREVER), a friend from Brewery Land who now lives in London and posts pictures of his walk to work every day, all the London-filled promos for the upcoming half season of Doctor Who, and the news last week that a slightly questionable Chinese airline is offering return flights from Sydney to London for $1,400? My brain has turned into this:
But now? Now, I have an excellent excuse to start planning a trip.

Why? Because last week, my little brother, C, announced that he's moving to London for two years for work from July. Which is very exciting, and made me equal parts "OMG, ANOTHER REASON TO VISIT ENGLAND AGAIN!!!!" and "OH GOD, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME TO DEAL WITH THE PARENTALS AND THEIR TECHNOLOGY QUESTIONS ALONE..." (Hi, Mum...)

I have no idea when it's going to happen. But at some point in the next year or so? I'm going to indulge my brain and answer its call.

And you can guarantee that I'm going to go here:

And also here:

(That's the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, in case you're also flailing with excitement about the thought of visiting the TARDIS)

And probably a castle or 500, because let's be honest - this is me we're talking about...

Does your brain ever get "HEY, YOU. Go here now, 'kay?" on you? Please tell me it does.

K xx

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

101 in 1001 #55

It's been a while, but it's time to cross something else off my Day Zero list!!

This one actually took some forward planning - Task #55 was to keep a food journal for a month.
Given that I joined MyFitnessPal last month and have now logged for thirty days in a row, it was easier than I thought. Being able to add stuff via the app or website as I ate it rather than having to remember it all at the end of every day.

Plus, as an added bonus, the automatically calculating calories thing has given me a nice dose of "Wow, that's way worse for me than I thought it was...". Turns out, popcorn is much better (less bad??) for you than hot chocolate and Saladas. WHO KNEW?!

(Side note: have you ever created recipes for baked goods in a calorie counter? It's TERRIFYING. I mean, if you're talking about a cookie recipe that makes 40-odd cookies, the end result isn't that bad. But when you add 200g of flour to the recipe and the calorie counter is all "Oh, that's a lazy 1000 calories", you tend to have a slight wiggins...)

Have you guys ever kept a food diary? Did you find your eating habits changed when you did?

K xx

Monday, March 18, 2013

Movie Monday: Music and Lyrics

I have an irrationally large soft spot for today's installment. I'm fully aware that it's quite terrible, and yet I will love it forever. I think in the year that she was in Australia, Sara and I watched it about five times. One of which was on her MP3 player in the car at Cataract Gorge in Launceston because it was pissing with rain and we had an hour and a half to kill before we had to head for the airport. Good times...


Reasons why Music and Lyrics is awesome:
1. The opening hilariously 80s music video.

2. Hugh Grant. He totally takes the piss out of himself in this, and he's fabulous. Plus, he's incredibly sarcastic.
3. The songs. I mean, come on. They're genius.
4. Drew Barrymore.
5. Pop! hip.
6. Brad Garett.
7. Trading outfits in the bathroom to one-up a douchey ex-boyfriend.
8. Cora. She's hilariously awful.
Actual lyric from a Cora song. Source
9. Trying out lyrics on the tonedeaf concierge.
10. The lyricist. OMG.
11. Ridiculous moving statues on the stairs at Cora's party.
12. Kristen Johnston. Quite possibly my favourite part of this movie. She's brilliant.
13. Sophie constantly putting her handbag on the piano and Alex snatching it off.
14. Rhonda piling mashed potatoes onto Alex's plate.
15. Alex teaching Sophie's niece and nephew has to do Pop! dance moves.
16. Matthew Morrison as Cora's manager. LOL FOREVER.
17. The dance coaching scene, where Alex just keeps doing his Pop! dance moves over and over.
18. The song Alex writes for Sophie.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "Why do you have a plant lady? Why do you even have plants?" "Because, from time to time, ladies accompany me back to the apartment and one of them once mentioned that plants make women comfortable." "Is that true? Plants make women comfortable? Well, maybe if I had plants I'd still be married." "Yes, I think that was the problem; not Susan's affair and raging nymphomania but your lack of vegetation."
- "Just hold that thinly veiled insult for one second."
- "Sleeping with a clown above my bed... "Clown" is not right..." "That's "cloud." Why would you put a clown in your bed?" "It would not be the first time."
- "The best time I've had in the last fifteen years was sitting at that piano with you." "That's wonderfully sensitive... especially from a man who wears such tight pants." "It forces all the blood to my heart."
- "My face is in the butter..."
- "Are you trying to tell me that you enjoyed that orgasm set to the "Gandhi" soundtrack?"
- "Just a little bit louder, because this song is intended for humans, okay? Way Back Into Love, take two."
- "Are you OK?" "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. It's just my Pop! hip. It comes from years of doing our patented dance move. My God, I've suffered for my art."
- "Well, that's just ridiculous. Nobody grows up in Florida, unless they're an orange."
- "You should get some ice on that." "Only if it's attached to some whisky."
- "She wants to know if we like wheatgrass." "Sounds ominous..."
- "I wanna show you the roof. It's upstairs!" 

So. Thoughts??

K xx

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An ode to Google Reader

So today Google announced that as of July 1st, they're killing off Google Reader. I find this both incredibly perplexing and more than a little bit irritating, and I pretty much have my GReader open 24/7.

At least half of my Twitter feed is "...But WHY???" and "Does anyone have any alternatives?!". (The other half, obviously, is "OMG VERONICA MARS MOVIE KICKSTARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!")

Based on the alternatives that were offered, I've signed up for Bloglovin', even though I strongly object to a letter being replaced by an apostrophe. We'll see how it goes. If nothing else, I should probably take it as a sign to remove the feeds to all the blogs that haven't been updated in two and a half years...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Are you guys freaking out about this whole no more GReader thing? Or is it just me and Twitter??

K xx

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cupcakes and aeroplanes

Yes, it's time for me to stop slacking and give you another installment of my trip!! Previously, I hung out with Sarah at the Newseum and she introduced me to Fuddruckers.

I got back to the motel about 15 minutes before Lauren arrived. When she did, we headed to the Applebee's next door to the motel to take advantage of the half price appetisers and the $1 brownie bites, and were met by the least enthusiastic and quite possibly surliest waitress of all time. She pretty much threw the cutlery at us, and literally slid my drink across the table at me. And then she didn't come back for half an hour. Coming from the land of "HAHAHAHA, TIPPING WHAT'S TIPPING?", I thought it was pretty hilarious. Until Lauren reminded me that I had to tip her...

The following morning, we had breakfast at the motel (YAY, FREE THINGS) before plugging in Lauren's trusty GPS and heading out towards Dulles to the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Centre. If you get the chance, you should really go. Because it's pretty freaking awesome, and I'm not particularly into planes. Of course, I failed to plan ahead and had totally the wrong lens on my camera, so most of my photos were taken on my phone. Still, you get the idea:
Felix the Cat on a plane? Awesomeness.

STOVL Propulsion System

Blackbird. It was freaking awesome. And pointy.

Ridiculously tiny Nazi helicopter

Concorde. There was no way to get the whole thing in the frame at once.

The Enola Gay. It was absolutely ENORMOUS.

Space Shuttle Discovery

The great space stingray?

Best mailbox EVER


Discovery's heatproof shield thing

The hangar from the outside

After several hours of "HOLY CRAP, LOOK AT *THAT* ONE!"-ing, we ran out of planes to look at, and headed into Bethesda to get lunch. After spending approximately a thousand years stuck in roadworks, we found ourselves at a restaurant with the world's most bizarre salad:
Stolen from Lauren
Yeah. Mixed greens, angel hair pasta and wontons. Mmmmmm... 

Needless to say, we quickly decided that we didn't fancy anything on the menu, so headed next door to a Thai restaurant with far When we'd had our fill of delicious Thai food, we headed down the block towards the REAL reason for our visit to Bethesda:

Yup. THAT HAPPENED. We queued for about five minutes to get in the door, most of which was spent reading the menu and going "OMG, HOW DO I DECIIIIIIIIDE????". We ended up getting two each, because OBVIOUSLY. I got double milk chocolate birthday cake, and mint cookies and cream. Lauren had caramel praline crunch and red velvet:

And then we sat in the car and shoved cake into our faces like there was no tomorrow. I can't speak for Lauren's choices, but mine were freaking AMAZING. Quite often, I find that the cake part of schmantzy cupcakes can be a little dry and disappointing. These were not even remotely that. Totally worth the visit. 

Back in College Park, we took a little trip to see Testudo:

Then headed to Columbia Heights for dinner, because that was how far we got on the train before we were too hungry to go any further. After dinner at a pizza place where we got stuck in a queue behind people who didn't understand that a beer called "Chocolate City" would be stout-like, we headed to Target, just for the hell of it. 

I found this special piece of hilarity:

Which came in a pair with a matching suitcase:

And then we discovered that the Target was TWO STOREY and that there was a special escalator for the shopping trolleys. INSANITY. And awesomeness. 

On Sunday morning, we headed downtown for a little trip to the International Spy Museum. Being a Sunday morning at around 10.30, there were tons of people in suits and ties or twin sets and heels. It took me a good ten minutes to work out why: that they'd been to church. Clearly, the eight years I spent at church schools was TOTALLY worth the money!! 

Anyway, the International Spy Museum didn't let you take photos, so I can't share the awesomeness of the James Bond exhibition with you. In summary: the museum was fun, and I would make a truly TERRIBLE spy. 

And we finished off the weekend with lunch at an Irish pub. In Chinatown. Because that's how we roll. 

Next up, more classes, the Library of Congress, and Georgetown. Yes, there were more cupcakes. OBVIOUSLY.

Has anyone else ever seen an escalator for supermarket trolleys? Because WHUT.

K xx
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