Thursday, 28 February 2013

Spotify: The Good, The Bad, And The Bloody Useless

Spotify was recommended to me last week by Max (from and you know me... I'll try anything once.

I like the idea of social networking for music - that's why I use But, when I downloaded Spotify, I think I was expecting something like Facebook meets Napster. Not exactly what I got.

Sure, it's cool that you can listen to a song without having to beg, borrow, or buy... But that's only helpful if you can find the bloody song. That's the biggest problem with Spotify for me: lack of songs. If Spotify has the however-many-millions of tracks that they claim to, why can't I find any of the song I'm looking for?

And half the songs that do come up are just different versions of the same thing, on different albums. Annoying! So, when it comes to hard to find songs? You're better off using a torrent site. (Not that I advocate illegally downloading music, of course!)

And, how about those downloads? Want to download through Spotify? You're gonna pay for those. Uh... Common sense check: we wouldn't be using the bloody program if we wanted to pay for the songs! If we did, we'd just use iTunes since it's what we're already using. (The look and feel of Spotify is basically iTunes with a different skin anyway.)

I'm only talking about the free version of Spotify, of course, because... Well... I'm broke. If you want to pay for it, I'm sure you get lots of extra features like... Well... I don't know. Because all I can see on the website is no adds, and playing it on all your devices. That's not worth paying £10/month for.

That's right... If you want to sync all your devices, you're going to pay for it! The cheek! So I can have the most kick ass playlist on my computer but, whoops, I can't take a bloody desktop everywhere now can I? If I can't sync between my computer and my iPad for free, why bother?

Speaking of playlists, have I mentioned the share feature? Great! I would love to share my playlists with my friends... Except oh, wait. I can't! If there are songs on my playlist that Spotify doesn't have, my friends can't listen to them. Nice job making that social listening app so social! (Fail.)

I suppose I should be mentioning the radio feature of Spotify - but why bother? has a radio feature too. And I already use that frequently.

It is true that doesn't allow you to listen to random songs for free the way Spotify does (if you can find them!) but it does social networking much, much better. will tell you what your musical compatibility is with your friends and keeps a record of what they (and you) have been listening to for a year. You can add a widget to your blog or website, sharing what you've been listening to recently, recommend songs to your friends, and watch music videos. I've been using Spotify for a week now and I haven't come across any of that.

So what does Spotify do to support the claim of social music sharing? It keeps a Facebook linked feed on the right hand side, telling you what your friends have been up to recently. Mmm... Okay. I like that.

But not enough to keep using Spotify.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Court of the Air, Stephen Hunt

I laughed when my librarian recommended this book to me because of how excited he got. Now I can see why he was so excited. This book is AWESOME!

The only flaw, if I had to find one, is that it's a slow burner. The first half of the book is good but, by about halfway through, when everything starts clicking into place, it becomes impossible to put down.

I thought, when I started reading it, that the vocabulary would put me off but you soon pick it up. (Now... if I can avoid calling all my friends "old stick!") The language is really something. It's as if it was painted with words instead of written - you might think that I'm exaggerating but it really is that beautiful.

It isn't the lightest book to read, though. Seriously, this book weighs a ton! (Sorry... couldn't help it.) It's a heavy read, full of enough symbolism and metaphor to make any high school English teacher clap her hands in glee, but totally worth it.

The Court of the Air is a gloriously steampunk tale as epic as Lord of the Rings and as witty as The Belgariad. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book of the series!

I want to share some of my favourite lines from this novel with you:

"A mind is the hardest thing to improve and the easiest thing to waste." (p. 13)

"The art of leadership is knowing when the mob's applause has become a self-destructive echo." (p. 63)

"Often that which you do not say means as much as that which you do, and sometimes knowing the future can change it." (p. 72)

"Freedom from rules does not equate to safety." (p. 75)

"I find it difficult to focus on the words in the books, old shell. I am not sure if that is a function of my fading sight or the distraction of too many accumulated memoreis." (p. 164)

"When you're faced with mob dynamics, taking the wolf without killing the flock is all but impossible." (p. 172)

"Sanity seems to be a relative term when applied to those who serve in the navy." (p. 180)

"When you see a difference in a person and can find only wickedness in it - you and them - the them becomes fair game, not people anymore but obstacles to the greater good, and it's always open season on the them." (p. 216)

"Are not all of our achievements built upon the soulders of those who have preceeded us in the world?" (p. 250)

"The bonds of friendship dwindles with age, Oliver. But a little blackmail lasts forever." (p. 295)

"She loves us yet, as we scar her skin and consume her resources, she loves us yet, as we steal her power and draw songs of sorcery from her leylines." (p. 447)

"In my experience honest men do not normally insist upon their virtue." (p. 454)

"Strength has no meaning unless it is used in the service of the weak. One stick may be snapped but the bundle is a community, and the community will never break." (p. 474)

"Do not be afraid for us, young fastblood. We do not fear the darkness before we are made activate, why should we fear what may come after?" (p. 516)

"We are notes in a song. The notes are played out and the song of the great pattern goes on forever." (p. 516)


I take after my dad. No big secret there. I take after him in a whole lotta ways - many of which I'll never admit to publicly. But I can't deny that I have his intense (and mostly irrational) anxiety.

There are many types of anxiety and everyone suffers from it to a point. I'm not talking about that kind of anxiety. I don't mean "Is that black dress too tight to wear on my date tomorrow night?" anxiety. I'm not talking about "I've got to walk on stage in five minutes and I'm not sure I can remember my lines" anxiety. Neither am I talking about "I just had a big interview and I'm so nervous" anxiety. Those are normal, healthy anxieties.

No... I mean "Is it really 4AM? How Long have I been lying here, wide awake? Three hours? Four? I'd probably be asleep right now if I hadn't forgotten to brush my teeth. Why didn't I brush my teeth? I don't normally forget that kind of thing... Am I losing my memory? I'm only thirty, I can't be losing my memory already, can I? (I should google memory loss... What if I go to turn the computer on and it dies? I have to have a computer, I can't be without one. If it dies, I'll fail my classes. I'll probably fail anyway... I fail at everything I do...) I can't believe I forgot to brush my teeth. I'll probably lose my teeth before my memory - I can't believe I forgot to brush them! Dad lost his teeth when he was younger than me. Oh, gods, I'm going to lose my teeth and my memory! I'll lose everything eventually, though, won't I? I'll shrivel up and there'll be nothing left of me. (What if I die? Of course I'll die. I'm dying now, every breath...) I'm getting wrinkles already... That big one on my forehead... Is it getting worse? Did I remember to moisturise? I probably forgot to moisturize... No wonder I'm getting all wrinkly. Like I needed any help in being unattractive. (No one will ever be attracted to me. I'm so disgusting. I wouldn't be attracted to me, why should anyone else be?) Did I moisturize? I'm sure I did... I can't remember! That's it, I have to get up RIGHT NOW, brush my teeth, moisturize, take Ginko Biloba and google memory loss." anxiety. That's the kind of anxiety I suffer from, every minute of every day.

Just because you see me laughing and cracking jokes (can you say "coping mechanism") it doesn't mean I'm not FREAKING THE FUCK OUT in my mind. So don't assume that I'm happy and in control because you don't know. Unless you suffer from this kind of anxiety, unless you know what it feels like, unless you break out in a cold sweat as you get up to get a drink from the vending machine because you can feel every eye in the room on you and the walls closing in and your stomach dropping right down to the floor and all the air suddenly disappearing for no other reason that you might slip, trip, fall, fart, bump into someone, lose your pants, walk into a wall or do some other stupid and clumsy thing that you have no control over, don't ever presume to understand the type of anxiety I suffer from.

And don't ever - EVER - try to tell me how to cope with it because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What I'm Watching Now: Labyrinth

Or should I say "What I Should Be Watching Now"?

I started to watch Labyrinth but had to stop just twenty minutes in when the disc froze. Took the disc out to check for scratches but, nope, no scratches - only a giant patch of fucking disc rot. I don't know exactly what causes disc rot but I've heard poor production quality has something to do with it. Not impressed.

When ya got a craving for The Goblin King, it don't wait for ya to buy a new disc!

So, so pissed off. In the last ten years, Jay's had two or three discs that have gotten disc rot but this is the first one for me.

Since I couldn't get my Labyrinth fix because of the dodgy DVD, I had to resort to You Tube:

Not as good, of course, but at least I could play with Pinterest at the same time...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Meme of the Week

Plenty of good laughs this week... books, bacon, and angry cat. But the best one is a Wondra original:

(I don't believe for a moment that I was the first person to create this meme, I just couldn't be bothered looking for one when I could make it just as easily.)

It's funny because it's true!

(Also... "Smile Time" is one of my favourite Angel episodes.)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Song for Sunday: Young Guns - Stitches

I want to share a British band with you today: Young Guns. I'm loving a lot of their stuff right now but the one that I've picked for A Song for Sunday is "Stitches," which came out a few years ago.

There are a few reasons I selected this song over all the others - first and foremost being that it's my favourite! I also ♥ this video big time because it's so darkly atmospheric. It captures the feelings of frustration and decay perfectly. I also picked this song because it has some of the best lyrics that I've heard in any song.

Well my wings were clipped and even if they weren't 
I've not the guts to fly and leave behind the earth  
There's no poetry in my soul 
Just a list of lies I've told  
And I don't know how much longer I can hold on

How's that for a chorus? Damn.  (And so ironically poetic!)

If you haven't give Young Guns a chance, do it. I don't know why they haven't struck it bigger than they are because they make great music. I suggest you start with "Bones" and "In the Night."

Saturday, 23 February 2013

From Book to Big Screen

I recently saw Warm Bodies and thoroughly enjoyed it. It isn't often that a movie lives up to its book but, this time, I think it did. There are a couple of big ones coming up and I'm both excited and terrified about them.

First is Beautiful Creatures. This one came out last week so I'll definitely be watching it soon. It's been a while since I read the book and I haven't gotten around to the sequel yet. Maybe absence from the book will make the movie more enjoyable?

And, of course, the big one: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We've only been waiting for this one for, like, forever! Talk about a lot to live up to. We're talking Star Wars epic here, folks. Like I said... Excited and terrified.

In an interesting advertising gimmick, an instagram account has been set up for The Mortal Instruments. Nothing like teasing the fans, eh? (And OMG how scrummy does Magnus look?!)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Little Monsters

A friend of Wondra's World has a little monster on the way - which is all the inspiration I needed for this monster themed treasury on Etsy:

Check it out and be sure to comment!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

On My To Watch List...

Thought I'd share a couple of trailers I saw last weekend that have me stoked about their films:

How freaking kick ass does that look? I think it's one of those movies where you have to completely forgo any possibility of historical fact, though. Still... Could be good.

And how about this one:

Eep! More faerie tale goodness. And who doesn't love a bit of Ewan McGregor, eh?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fuck. You.

It was recently brought to my attention that I swear a lot. *snort* Right? Like I ever didn't swear a lot? Bitch, please.

Now, I'm not upset because someone noticed that I swear a lot. Nope. I'm not offended because that person thought I'm less intelligent because I swear a lot. Nope - because you know that shit isn't true. I am a well educated, intelligent, well spoken person. I just happen to like to swear. It's a way of venting... You know, before I explode like the proverbial spleen, killing everyone around me.

I'm upset because that person had the audacity to tell me to tone it down. No. Wait. I was upset. I cried and everything. But then I had a happy pill, threw back a few adult beverages, and shot some mother fuckers on CoD. I'm not upset any more.

I'm fucking mad as hell.

Who the fuck do you think you are to tell me that I can't swear. MY mouth. MY words. MY fucking choice. If I want to swear, you can damn well bet that I fucking will.

And if you don't like it because I do it at work, fine. Show me any place in my contract or my unacceptable practices that says I can't swear when I'm in the building but not working and then we'll talk. Until then?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Meme of the Week

It's a well known fact that I rarely use Facebook anymore for anything that isn't photos and memes. There's a very good reason for that and, if you know my family, you know what that reason is.

(A girl accidentally comes out of the closet and half her family disowns her. WTF?)

But that's okay because I love memes. I love the concept and I love to see them in action. I deliberatly seek out new ones every day and post them to my Facebook wall. Sure, it still causes fights sometimes, but I don't think any member of my family has blocked me over a meme. (Yet.)

My favourite meme from last week came as hints of a new Star Wars movie and the resignation of the pope dominated the news:

Come on... You can't tell me you didn't see the resemblance there!

In all seriousness, I never approved of Benedict XVI as the pope. No one who was ever a member of the Hitler Youth should have been allowed to lead anything, much less the whole Catholic population of the world. Not to mention the fact that he creeped me the fuck out. Let's hope that the next candidate is less freaky looking and maybe doesn't say stupid shit like condoms give you AIDS. *fingerscrossed*

Monday, 18 February 2013

A Day at the Pictures

Well, two days, actually.

Yesterday I saw Wreck it Ralph. I couldn't convince Jay to go because it just wasn't his thing.

I thought it was too freaking adorable. I loved all the little nods to all the other games, like Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros. On that note, I should mention that I nearly had to murder Jay for this comment: "Who's Bowser?"


Anyway... The use of pixelated graphics was cute and who doesn't love Jane Lynch as the bad ass ball buster? It was just oodles of fun.

Today Jay took me to see A Good Day to Die Hard and Warm Bodies. It was a late Valentine's Day treat.

Neither of us were terribly impressed with the latest installment of Die Hard. Lots of explosions and gunfire but very little in the way of story. Not enough back story, not enough character development, not enough humor. Even the parts that were obviously meant to be funny weren't.

Warm Bodies, on the other hand, had everything: humor, romance, action, and pathos.

It was exactly what someone who read and loved the book (that's me) would have wanted. I don't think it was exactly what Jay was expecting, though. But, hey... I can't be blamed if he refuses to read, can I? 

A Song for Sunday: Of Mice and Men - Little Talks

If you hadn't noticed, I spend an awful lot of time on You Tube, clicking through music videos, looking for something that catches my attention. Sometimes it's a song with a wicked beat, sometimes it's a music video that makes me go "WTF?!" This week's song is one of those:

The video is so wild and out there that I had to watch it and the tune is so catchy I just fell in love with it. It's kind of folksy and kind of indie and it just works. (The female lead reminds me a bit of Florence Welch.)

This is the one I was listening to earlier this week when Jay shook his head and said, "You'll listen to any shit, won't you?" If he hates it, I know it's a good song! ;)

Friday, 15 February 2013


Jay got, for Valentine's Day, a complete tattooist's kit. Because he wants to pursue a new career and I just happen to be the best wife ever.

Since we're on the topic, I thought I'd share the one and only tattoo I have:

 (How strange is it that instead of digging through folders of photos, I can just google it?)

Yes, that's a Scorchio. I've only met one other person with a neopets tattoo. She had a faerie aisha.

I didn't enjoy the experience of getting a tattoo. Some people are addicted to the pain. I, however, am a pussy and almost passed out. Twice. That being said, I plan on getting my second tattoo this year, a symbol of the Triple Goddess. I want something like this:

The third and final tattoo will wait until I'm 50 - and then I'm pulling a Juel.

Anywho. Like I was saying... Jay is looking to get into tattooing and could use a bit of advice... If you're in the biz, get in touch!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Best marraige proposal ever?

Well, it's Valentine's Day and I can't let the occasion pass without some kind of horribly romantic post. Since I have little romance of my own to share, I'll pass along someone else's...

I was having a look around Huffington Post (like ya do) and I came across a slideshow of the world's best marriage proposals. Some of them were *meh* but one or two of them made me grin. This one was, by far, my favourite:

Brilliantly done.

Doesn't every girl (or guy!) deserve a proposal that ends up on You Tube? I think so!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Things That Make Ya Go...


Yup. Pretty much my reaction when my boss showed me The Harlem Shake yesterday. (On his phone, obviously, not just randomly freaking out in the office - but how cool would that be? I'd love to see all the managers at my place doing the Harlem Shake.)

Apparently this is a You Tube sensation that has been around for a while? First I've heard (or seen) of it. But then... I'm like a granny already, staying at home with my knitting and a good book while the rest of the world is out hitting the clubs. I can live with being out of the loop for a whole week. ;)

The song itself is by Baauer and actually isn't bad - you know, for dance music. The videos are... Well...

Just watch them. Seriously. Watch them all. Won't take long, they're only thirty seconds or so. It's worth a few minutes of your life, trust me.

This one is by far my favourite, just for the little girl with the doll:

WTF, right? I still "don't get it" either but the more I watch them, the harder I laugh. I'm starting to suspect that I'm actually laughing at my own stupidity but that's okay too.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

I ♥ Pinterest

Happened across a couple of people at work yesterday discussing my obsession with Pinterest. Totally amused because... Well... I am way obsessed.

So I thought it was time for a wee Pinterest update:

Number of boards: 187
Number of pins: 7,805
Number of likes: 6,954
Number of followers: 881
Number of people following: 573
(Check me out here.)

If that's not obsessed, I don't know what is.

I may need to make an Obsessed with Pinterest board...?

Anywho... Today I thought I'd share a couple of boards you wouldn't expect me to have:

Laugh and I'll cut ya. (Both were a result of drunken pinning - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

I'm actually starting to wonder what I have left to pin... I can't think of any new themes for boards. What do you suggest? Have I missed anything that screams "Wondra!"?

(FYI: I won't follow any boards dedicated to dieting because comments like "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" make me see red. I also won't accept invitations to pin to your boards if I don't already follow you.)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Weekend in Pictures

On the premise that a picture is worth a thousand words, I give you my weekend in pictures:

And that about sums it up: some reading, some crafting, some gaming, and some good food. (Through in some chatting with friends, a few hours at work, some cwtches, and some fangirling.) A nice, relaxing weekend. What did you get up to this weekend?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A Song for Sunday: Adam Ant - Cool Zombie

When I first heard this song, I didn't like it one bit. I'm more than willing to admit that it was nothing but my own prejudices getting in the way; I was expecting something more like Prince Charming or maybe Wonderful. Cool Zombie is neither, of course.

But then Adam isn't the person he was 20 years ago or the person he was 30 years ago - so why should his music be the same as it was then? Even with that in mind, I might not have given Cool Zombie another chance if Jay hadn't asked if I'd watched the video for it. My reply was something along the lines of, "Pah. Why would I? Pile of..." and his was, "Watch it."

So I did. And it floored me.

The kind of place a lost soul could hide...

Whoa. The video makes this song, just for the occasional knowing look from Adam that makes me think that fighting (Fighting? Finding? Maybe both...) yourself isn't any easier at 50 than it is at 30. (Of course, I might be reading too much into it but I don't think the man himself would mind what I'm reading into it, as long as I'm getting something from it, eh?) I love the imagery of the video as well, this weird combination of pure Southerness mixed with old school Rule Britannia - and the odd bit of latex, of course!

There are definitely hints of Tennessee in the flavour of Cool Zombie that lie beside the more subtle tribal beats of yore. It makes me want to get up and dance - even as it brings a tear to my eye and that is what makes Adam Ant's Cool Zombie a great song.

The I ♥ to Blog Giveaway!

Well... I did promise that I got to 10k visitors, Wondra's World would have itself a giveaway and, guess what... We finally did it!

So a great big thanks to everyone who's stopped by over the last few years. You're, like, AMAZING. :) You really know how to pick a girl up, ya know?

And as a token of my appreciation, I have this wee trinket from Kawartha Beads to give away:

It's easy to enter. Just get clicky:

I ♥ to Blog Giveaway

Remember: The giveaway won't last long. It'll be all over by Valentine's Day so enter now!

Thanks again, folks!

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Darkness Within

You all know by now that I suffer from extreme bouts of Depression. You could probably tell from my last post that I've had another dip. I'm not telling you so you can hug me or pat me on the back or tell me you love me or any shit like that. I'm telling you because this is my blog, it's about me, and that's how I'm feeling.

I don't even care if you don't care.

Hell, sometimes I don't know if I fucking care.

Times like this, I go back to this board on Pinterest. It chronicles my battle with Depression and says it a whole lot better than I can.

Please don't ask me how I'm doing today. If you've ever suffered from Depression, you know how asinine that question is. If you haven't, you wouldn't understand my answer anyway. And if you do ask me how I'm doing today, I'll smile and say "Fine!" when what I mean is "I went to bed a low 1 and woke up a mellow 3."

Thursday, 7 February 2013


Depression isn't a fought-it-and-won kind of disease. It's a learning-to-live-with-living disease. People who have suffered with real Depression (not "I need a break from work so I'll say I'm depressed" Depression) never "get better." They learn new coping mechanisms, they train themselves to avoid triggers, they accept that 5 is their new 10. But get better?

Doesn't happen.

If you've recently been diagnosed with this disease, if your shiny new therapist told you that it's "gonna get better one day!" then I'm real damned sorry 'cause you've been sold a pack of lies. Well, half-lies. It does get better... You'll probably crawl your way up from a 0 to a 5, all right, but you're never going to get that 10 back - and that's what we all expect when we hear the word "better," right?

Better is a lie.

Give it up. Let it go. You'll never see it again. Don't be angry with the people who lied to you, just lie right back. From now on, when people ask you how you are, smile. (That's the first thing a person with Depression learns: how to smile convincingly.) Say, "Oh, fine!" when you've managed to make it up to a 3. I'll know it's a lie. You'll know it's a lie - but the normals, the ones who don't spend every day fighting themselves to get to the next, they don't know.

Gods willing they never will.

And if you're a real fighter, if you've scrapped your way up to a 5, say "Good!" More lies, but who cares? Every now and then you'll come across someone who meets your eye and gives you a nice, long stare. They won't say anything, but maybe they'll give you a small nod. When that happens, you'll know you met another survivor.

We don't wear happy "I fought Depression and won!" tee shirts. We don't run marathons - hell, some days it's hard enough to get out of bed.

We don't get better. We just get better at surviving - and if we're the only ones who know that there's a fine line between surviving and living, that's "fine."

Needle Felting: Triforce

Being thousands of miles away from your besties doesn't mean not spending time with them. Luckily, I have free international calls and Skype so I can talk to my friends back home pretty much whenever I want. It takes the edge off being so far from home and helps keep a bit of the madness at bay.

Wednesday night craft dates with Jess from a Shimmering Star have become a sort of ritual. We chat, craft, and have the odd adult beverage. This craft project came from such a night.

This is actually the second attempt at a needle felted triforce because, on the first go, I had slightly more to drink while wielding a pointy object than I should have. (Don't let your friends drink and poke!) This attempt is much better:

I'm happy with it! What do you think? This mini hoop is going on my hoopla wall, for sure!

It was born of "Aw, crap. I'm outta felt. What'll I do instead? Oooh... Look! A pack of wool for needle felting. That'll do!" - which proves the saying that necessity is the mother of invention entirely true. Incidentally... I have enough left for possibly two more of these little fellows. Remember that I'm open to all forms of bribery! :)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

On My To Watch List...

I saw a few trailers this past weekend that got my attention. Thought I'd share them with you now...

The first is a new movie by one of my favourite directors, Guillermo Del Toro. I've never seen anything of his that I didn't like so I can't wait to see this one.

The second one is just fucking awesome and needs no explanation: A Good Day To Die Hard.

And, finally, Oz The Great and Powerful. Seriously. Who isn't stoked about this? (I love the way they tease you with glimpses of The Wicked Witch. Eep!)

So these are the three newest movies on my To Watch List. What's on yours?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Day at the Pictures

Jay and I have an agreement: if there's a rugby international on, he gets to go hang out with his mates - AFTER he drops me off at the cinema. I'm not a waitin' around for your man to come home kinda gal!

It was hard to pick what to watch this past weekend (being the start of the internationals) because none of the movies I've been waiting for are out here yet. But after checking out my meager choices, I opted for Django Unchained and Les Miserables. I've been wanting to see Les Miserables for some time but couldn't convince Jay to go. He's not a hater or anything... In fact, he's seen the stage show several times!

When I went up to the box office to get my tickets, the guy there said, "Those are both three hour films. That's pretty hardcore." Ha! I wanted to say, "I used to work in a cinema, sonny, you're not scaring me!" But I settled for "It's better than watching the rugby all day" to which the woman next to him nodded sagely.

I would never have given Django Unchained a chance if it hadn't been for the fact that there was FUCK ALL else on at the time. I'm not a Tarantino fan. I can stomach From Dusk 'Til Dawn but that's about it. But since my other option was Movie 43, I decided to give it a go - and I'm glad I did!

I loved this movie. I'd go so far as to say it was EPIC. It harkened back to the Spaghetti Westerns of old with a touch (or a splatter) of Tarantino's gore.The soundtrack was a mix of old fashioned cheesiness with thumping rap beats that somehow worked. And Jamie Foxx is a BAD ASS MOTHER FUCKER. For real.

Les Miserables made me glad that, unlike Jay, I hadn't seen the stage show first. I think it would have been too much to live up to - and my expectations were pretty high already. I knew a lot of the music and the story lines already thanks to Jay and his mother so I knew what to expect. Some of the scenes disappointed me - like Carter and Cohen as the Thenardiers doing 'Master of the House' - but some of the scenes were much better than I was expecting - like Samantha Barks as Eponine doing 'On my Own.' (DESTROYED me.)

Hathaway and Crowe gave very good, very powerful performances. Jackman's performance was emotional but slightly marred by the fact that he can't sing as well as the rest of the cast. (I was distracted by his big fat tongue laying in his mouth like a dead fish.) I was feeling quite proud of myself for getting through the whole movie without crying. And then Fontaine returned to take Jean Valjean... Cue waterworks.

(Yeah, I bawled like a little bitch. You wanna make something of it?)

I would definitely recommend both movies but, surprisingly, I liked Django best!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Super Bowl Sunday, Miserable Monday

Ya'll know that I love football. (The American kind, not the whiny British kind. Obviously.) That means that I was there watching The Super Bowl along with everyone else -  I just had to do it much, much later.


The time difference means that I had to stay up until 3AM to catch The Super Bowl. Was it worth it? You betcha. (But I wouldn't want to be a customer dealing with me today. *yawn, snark*)

And since we're on the subject anyway, I may as well share my football board on Pinterest again:

No Superbowl Party for me, sadly. Because I got annoyed by Jay's plans to go his friend's for the night (we always watch the game together), I was suitably punished by him stubbornly watching a movie in the dining room and refusing to acknowledge the game was even on.

If I'd backed anyone, it would have been The Ravens (because ravens are cool, yeah?) - which is why I almost went to bed at half time. I didn't think the lead they had could be beaten.

Pretty close, though, huh?

Beyonce would not have been my first choice for half-time entertainment *yawn* but I did like the elementary school choir opening the game. Nice touch.

(We won't even talk about the power outage. WTF?)

I guess it was a good game but my experience was soured by a foul mood.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

A Song for Sunday: Delta Rae, Morning Comes

This week, in honour of @Nurse_Arch5's recent discovery of them, my Song for Sunday comes from Delta Rae:

I cannot even say how much I love this band. Their music is country-ish without making me want to stick my head in the oven. (You know... "Mah wife done run off and mah dawg got hit by a tractor" shit.) As @Nurse_Arch5 said, Delta Rae is 'Southern music with an IQ.'

Couldn't have said it better myself!

I love the combination of foot stomping beats and soul searching lyrics. Delta Rae has been known to drive me to tears immediately after making me dance around the room.  (I'm not bipolar, honest.)

This song, 'Morning Comes,' is one of my absolute favourites. It's got the feel of someone who's been beaten down by life so many times that they're trying to find a reason to keep hoping. (Gee... Why would that appeal to me?)

The music video is an odd one. At first, the juxtaposition of the heavy lyrics with the playfulness of the video didn't sit well. But, after watching again now, I realised that it was sort of a metaphor for all of the crappy stuff life throws at you - and somehow getting through it all with a smile on your face. (Like the lyrics: 'But I'm keeping it steady, that's just how I was raised/Head held up, walking tall into each broken wave.')

At least... That's what I took from it. If you have other thoughts, please share!

Also, I'm always looking for new music so if you have something you'd like me to consider for A Song for Sunday, please comment, tweet, or facebook share. I'll give anything a go once... Even "Mah wife done run off and mah dawg got hit by a tractor" shit. ;)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

2013 Reading Goal: January Reads

I said to Jay yesterday, "I only read FOUR books last month!" with a look of absolute horror on my face. He replied, "No! What's WRONG with you?!?" One of us was being sarcastic - and, considering Jay hasn't read four books in ten years, it wasn't me.

I'm already behind! I need to be reading 8 books a month to hit my 90 book goal by the end of the year.

I blame Call of Duty and Highlander. ;)

The books I did read last month were:

1. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, book 1), Julie Kagawa
2. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
3. Peter Pan, J.M. Barry
4. Vampires: The Twilight World

This month, I need 12 books to get caught up again. Books that I have in progress are The Court of the Air, The Iron King, and A Princess of Mars. Let's see if I can finish them and hit my towering To Read Pile next week!

I'm also keeping a visual guide to my 2013 Reading List on Pinterest:

Friday, 1 February 2013

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey

I recently had to re-read Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey for school. I don't remember anything about it standing out the first time I read it but this time around I found it deeply profound (if a bit pretentious.)

Several of the lines stood out - such as 'I could not, without effort constrain myself to the task of either recalling, or constructing into a regular narrative, the whole burthen of horrors which lies upon my brain.'

For someone who has been fighting their own personal darkness for so long, that one sentence means so much.

And that's how I'd sum up Confessions. If you've ever been the victim of a mental disorder, or if you've ever fallen prey to an addiction, it should resonate deeply within you. Another favourite of mine is this: 'if a veil interposes between the dim-sightedness of man and his future calamities, the same veil hides from him their alleviations; and a grief which had not been feared is met by consolations which had not been hoped.'

(I think that's the 19th Century equivalent of Alanis's 'Ironic,' isn't it?)

De Quincey had a lot to say about drinking and not much of it was good. (He thought opium was better for you. Obviously.) I did like this, though: 'it is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liqour: for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety.'

How true is that?

Confessions is well worth a look - but I warn you that it's not an easy read. (Check it out at Project Gutenberg.) And, if you do happen to suffer from mental illness or addiction, I suggest you tackle it on a "good day."