Friday Lists – Movies

I’ve been watching a lot of movies over the past couple of weeks owing to there not being a great deal of good tv at the moment and it got me thinking about some of my favourite movies. They’re an odd collection but coming from me they always were going to be!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 
No, not the original version (this version has never really appealed to me) but the one with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. I tried reading the book but never got further in than the first couple of chapters. I kind of wish I had read the book before I watched the movie as it would have prepared me for some of the more, erm, graphic scenes. But, apart from Daniel Craig looking nothing like he does in the Bond movies (i.e. old and a little bit wrinkly) the movie was great. Rooney Mara is brilliant as the very emotionally scarred and slightly psychotic Lisbeth.

Not quite James Bond……

American Beauty
This film should come under the heading ‘I watch it because I have a strange celebrity crush on Kevin Spacey’ as well as the ‘it’s just a bloody good film’ one.  A tale of a man having a middle aged crisis whilst lusting after his teenage daughters’ best friend. It’s got sex, violence, drugs and a bit of rock and roll in the form of Pink Floyd. I have watched this movie so many times that I know most of the dialogue off by heart. There’s only one other movie I have done that for and that’s the next one in the list.

Needs a bell button ring I think!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
I remember the first time I saw this movie when I was a lot lot younger than I am now. I also remember trying to get my best friend at the time (who coincidentally is still my best friend now) to do the time warp in her living room while her sister stood in the doorway and laughed at us. I love this film. I know all the songs off by heart. I know all the dialogue off by heart. I could watch it for ever and ever and ever. My most favourite bit, where Tim Curry comes down in the lift for the first time as Frankenfurter. A man in woman’s underwear looking quite sexy! There’s a reason why I’m as odd as I am.

Fabulous

Fast and Furious 5
Well to be perfectly honest, I liked all of the Fast and Furious films (apart from the one without Vin Diesel in it) but I love 5 especially because on one side there is Vin Diesel and on the other there is The Rock. That was what really sold it to me. That and the fast cars. I do love a movie with men with muscles and fast cars. There’s not really a lot else I can say about it!!

I was going to put a promo picture up but why do that when you can have Vin on one side and Dwayne on the other?

Pirates of the Caribbean
Johnny Depp. Eyeliner. Pirates. Davy Jones’ locker. Johnny Depp. Monkeys. Eyeliner. Johnny Depp!!! What else can you say about a film that has Johnny Depp in it? Apart from complaining that he doesn’t take his clothes off enough for me!!

Omnom nom nom

So these are five of my favourite movies. There are more of varying genres, stars, storylines but they’ll come later.

What are your favourite movies?

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Corsets – gorgeous or item of torture?

I love corsets. I think it harks back to my Gothic tendencies that arrived when I was a teenager and have been pretty much present ever since. They also fit in with the whole Steampunk movement too. As much as I love corsets though, they are flaming painful to wear. When made in to a bridesmaid dress, a corset can stop you from being able to get your food in to your stomach (been there, done that). When used as part of a Halloween party outfit they can dig in to your side so much that no amount of alcohol can stop the pain!

Anyway I was thinking about corsets the other day and looking around the internets and found some really nice examples which I thought I’d share with you.

Corsets and feathers - brilliant combination.

Steampunk at its best

I have this one

Nice with a bit of netting

Black and purple. You can't go wrong.

This one reminds me of Beetlejuice

Sexy, sexy

Now if only someone could invent a comfortable corset (and without me looking daft when wearing it to work) I’d happily wear one all the time.

Sunday Internet Stuff

I’m shattered. I’ve had a crap week but I have been cheered up by looking at all the lovely internet funnies.

Hope they make you laugh too.

Apparently this is by Givenchy! Reminds me of something from the Chronicles of Riddick.

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Sleepy kitty, happy kitty, purr purr purr

Erm….. A something or other……..

It’s a ring. It’s got skulls and bones on it. What more could a girl want?

I love bats. I love jewellery. This was a no brainer till I saw the price!

Books books books

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Ok, well technically one book that was split in to three. I used to read loads. All the time. I would snuggle up on the sofa with a good book and a cup of tea and stay there all day. And then I stopped working shifts and started a normal day job and I realised that I didn’t have enough time to do half the amount of stuff I used to do when I was working shifts. I’m shattered when I get home from work and now have several commitments on a week night so sometimes I’m not home till after 9pm. And, as I read in one newspaper this weekend, I’m often too tired to read a book but not too tired to watch some TV.

Reading a book requires imagination and an interaction with the characters and this in itself requires energy. Watching TV (much like watching a movie or listening to music) is something that requires little brain power. You can watch or listen to anything whilst doing something else (just like I’m watching the TV whilst typing this blog entry) and this makes it a more attractive pastime for many. I used to read a lot in the bath but then got a Kindle (and later an iPad) so that wasn’t going to happen. I used to read before I went to sleep  but generally find that I’m so shattered I just want to climb in to bed, pull the covers over my head and go straight to sleep.

So, why have I just spent two paragraphs moaning that I don’t have enough time to read when I’m writing a post called ‘Books books books’? Well that’s because of three books I have read in quick succession that have been causing a storm in the literary world, particularly among women. What are these books I hear you cry? Well they are:

Fifty Shades of Grey 

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Freed

Originally these three books were just one very large book but were broken down for publication (attempt to cash in on more cash – I’m obviously too cynical!). The books detail the life of Christian Grey, a buttoned down, young, self-made millionaire with a penchant for young women who are completely submissive (and who are willing to sign a NDA!) and Anastasia, a somewhat sexually repressed virgin who falls in to his life and, as happens in all romance novels, turns the man in to a big teddy bear.

Without giving too much of the plot away for the people who would like to read the books (and I urge you to cos they’re not bad) the reason these books have caused such a furore on the internet and in papers is the subject matter which is basically S&M. So these are just dirty books for women then? Well they could be if you look at them in their most basic elements. The main theme throughout the book is indeed S&M (am I the only one who thinks that Christian’s ‘always up for it’-ness regardless of how long it was since he last performed is a little bit far fetched? No? Well someone introduce me to a guy like him please!) but there are also the usual romantic undercurrents present that you would find in any good Mills & Boons books.

If you listen to the people out there who are reading these books, they have managed to unleash a latent rampant sexuality in everyone and people everywhere are having much more sex than ever before. If you listen to the so-called experts who have read these books then they tap in to out sexual subconscious and make people remember that the most sexual organ is the brain (need more info on that one!)

No matter why people are reading them, for a book of this nature to find it’s way on to the New York Times Bestsellers list is no mean feat and I salute author E L James for bringing what is essentially a taboo subject to the forefront of peoples thoughts, discussions, imaginations and bedrooms!!!

Fair play to her. I’m off to buy a grey silk tie just in case I meet the man of my dreams………

Want one……

I watch a lot of TV. And if you watch TV, then you have to watch adverts. One advert that always makes me smile is the new one for EDF energy. Whilst it doesn’t make me want to swap to their energy company, it does make me want one of the cute little bopping things that star in it.

I know it’s sad but I so want one. I want to put one on my dashboard so it can bop along as I drive around!!

Unfortunately EDF doesn’t seem to be making any of these (*sob*) but I have found an alternative which is available here (this is the cheapest I can find).

The Keepon was originally developed by two scientists to help them study social development and autism in children. When they posted footage of the Keepon on the internet it became huge and now everyone can have one!

I think once payday comes around again, I’ll be getting one of these little cuties!!

Sunday Internet Stuff

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So this week I figured I’d look at funny/cool real estate pictures. There are more of these around than you would think!!!

Imagine how long it takes you to clean that window? Not to mention how ridiculous it looks and how huge the curtain is. My only question is why?

This would be my idea of heaven. Climb on in with a cup of tea, close the doors and forget the outside world.

This would be ace until you realised that anyone can see in and see what you're doing. Extroverts only!

This is another place I would love to curl up in and forget the world. Maybe it's time to do this in my spare room......

This is so awful but the thing that's even more worse is that I could see my mum decorating a room like this!!!

Lazy Sunday morning breakfast

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This Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of the rain hitting the window and the cat snoring his little head off. I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed but dragged myself up so I could have the breakfast of champions – coffee, croissants and Nutella!

One of my friends introduced me to these frozen croissants that you can pick up from a local farm shop. All you do is take them out of the freezer the night before you want to use them, pop them on some baking parchment, cover them with kitchen roll and leave them overnight to defrost and prove.

Just before the oven.

I totally forgot to take a picture of these when they were first out of the freezer but they were more than half the size they are now.

Put these lovelies in to the oven (200degrees for 8-10 minutes) and wait for the coffee to filter. And this is what you get when they come out.

Fresh out of the oven

Now what do you have with lovely croissants that are fresh out of the oven? Well, my friend (the same one who told me about the frozen croissants) also told me that if you put Nutella in the microwave (make sure all bits of foil are off) for about 30 seconds it makes it runny so you can use it for dipping (strawberries etc) or, as I do with my croissants, use a knife to put loads of it on to the croissant and stuff it all in.

So here’s what my breakfast looked like.

The finished breakfast.

What the above photo doesn’t show is the mess I made when I was eating my breakfast (crumbs everywhere) or the fact that I drank the entire pot of coffee!! These croissants are brilliant. They taste so much better than the ones you buy ready cooked from the supermarket and take no time at all to cook. Of course you can eat them with things other than Nutella but why change perfection??!

And I’ll leave you with a picture of the cat pulling his ‘I hate mornings’ face. Well actually it might just be his normal face as he is generally grouchy at all times.

This is his Sunday morning face!

Boredom Baking

So this weekend I was bored. Very bored. I couldn’t quite bring myself to go anywhere (too apathetic) but didn’t want to just sit around and do nothing (amazing I know!). So I figured I’d do what I normally do when I’m either bored, stressed, need to think (anytime really) and I made some cupcakes.

Finished cupcake

These are just plain old normal cupcakes (not vanilla – don’t like vanilla flavouring). I nicked the idea of putting jam in the middle and topping with buttercream from An American Cupcake in London blog (recipe found here). For the first time I used the old ‘weigh your eggs and then however much they weight, match that weight with your butter, flour and sugar’ that my mum used to use when I was little. I’d forgotten all about that but I figured it turned out pretty well. Normally I only have enough mixture for 10 cupcakes (I like big cupcakes) but this time I had enough for a full dozen.

Cupcakes before the oven

Cupcakes after the oven

I may have left these in the oven for a minute or so too long but hey, at least they’re golden brown and not burnt!

Next I cut out a hole from the middle of the cupcake and filled it with jam.

Holes and the bits from the middle which I ate whilst mixing the buttercream!!!

With jam

The amount of butter you need for buttercream always frightens me!

Buttercream. So wrong yet so right!

Finished cupcakes. My icing needs a lot of work (and the buttercream could have done with being a bit more melted) but they're going to be edible!

Things I have learnt!

  1. I really need to learn how to ice cupcakes.
  2. I made the holes for the jam too big.
  3. I put too much jam in the holes (see previous entry)
  4. My buttercream was too stiff to pipe easily.
All in all though, they taste ok and no doubt people will happily eat them.

Sunday Internet Stuff

This week I thought I’d follow a theme for my internet post. I have been looking through pictures of foreign places and wishing I had the opportunity to go and see some of these wonderful sights.

How cool is this? Baby waterfalls all over the place and the water is the bluest blue.

This seems like somewhere that wouldn't be out of place in Hobbit land.

Oh if only I could ever afford to go and holiday in the Maldives! I'd want to stay in one of the huts with a view like this - morning dip anyone?

This looks like something out of an episode of Grimm. I bet it gets really spooky when it's dark.

How cool is this? Imagine how good it would be to see a sight like this?

What other cool photos have you seen around the internet lately?

Friday Lists

So, Friday is going to be the day of lists and favourites and generally stuff I like. There’ll be several links so feel free to hop on over and see why I’m liking what I’m liking!

TV I’VE BEEN LOVING

GRIMM – Anything that comes from the mind of Buffy producer and Angel co-creator is bound to be something that I’m going to like and Grimm hasn’t disappointed. I love the premise (Nick is a Grimm who has to keep the balance between the human world and the mythological one whilst still staying true to himself) and the fact that it’s loosely based on Grimm’s fairytales which I loved reading when I was little. I also love Monroe played by Silas Weir Mitchell. He’s the right mix of sweet (and very tall) guy who has a dark and beastly side. I really hope that this series gets renewed but with a bigger budget so that they can get some better special effects!

FRINGE – I have forgiven J.J. Abrams for giving us Lost (which I managed to watch for all of two episodes before I gave up on it and just read episode synopsis’) because he has now given us Fringe. A wonderful amalgamation of Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and lots of weird and wonderful ‘Fringe events”. It reminds me of The X Files but without the annoying Scully and the pathetic Mulder. It also has some interesting premises with two parallel universes which reminds me of Newton’s Third Law ‘To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction’ (do I sound intelligent now?!)

CSI – The original and most definitely NOT Miami or New York. I loved the show when Grissom was in it. I hated it when Laurence Fishburne was in it (sorry, loved him in The Matrix, hated him in CSI!). I expected to hate it when Ted Danson took over but I was completely wrong. He’s brilliant. He’s enough like Grissom to take the show back to what it was like in the beginning but enough like his own person to be different. And he’s funny. Who knew?

CRIMINAL MINDS – Again the original and not the LA spin-off. I got in to this series late, watched all of them up to the current one and am still addicted. Admittedly it does help that there is some definite eye candy in there (Shemar Moore) but I generally like crime shows and this one doesn’t disappoint. It comes with it’s own geeky techie and there are even a few appearances from Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy) to keep me going although he doesn’t look like he used to do – guess we all get old right?!

Finally, I’ve saved the best till last.

GAME OF THRONES – I cannot get in to the books to save my life but boy do I totally and utterly love this show. There is no one thing that makes me love it but the dragons help, as does Tyrion played brilliantly by Peter Drinklage. There’s the right amount of intrigue, fantasy, and mass market genre appeal. And (spoiler – don’t read on if you haven’t watched the first series) I have to admit that I sat in my living room and screamed at my TV set when the main characters head was chopped off. That was unexpected!!!

There are many other TV shows out there that I like watching and enjoy but I’ll save them and put them in to another list as some other time!