Friday, 24 May 2013

Things That Make Ya Go...


A lot of weird things happen during Eurovision. That's part of the draw for (weird) people like me.

I've been watching Eurovision religiously for about six years now and this is by far the weirdest thing I have seen to date (even weirder than the singing grannys with their moving ovens):

I don't know what was funnier, watching this or watching Jay's look of absolute shock as he watched this.

Is it weird that I totally want to go to Sweden now? 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Carnegie Medal

As you probably know, I've been taking a class called Children's Literature - not, as you may think, because it was "and easy one" but because children's literature genuinely fascinates me. I'm one of those cross over readers who enjoys a good children's book every bit as much as a smutty romance novel.

Recently for this class we studied the history of the Carnegie Medal. I wondered how many of the award winning books I've actually read so I visited The CILIP Carnegie Medal homepage to find out.
    2012 Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls, Walker Books

    2011 Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men, Walker Books

    2010 Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book, Bloomsbury

    2009 Siobhan Dowd, Bog Child, David Fickling

    2008 Philip Reeve, Here Lies Arthur, Scholastic

    2007 Meg Rosoff, Just in Case, Penguin

    2005 Mal Peet, Tamar, Walker Books

    2004 Frank Cottrell Boyce, Millions, Macmillan

    2003 Jennifer Donnelly, A Gathering Light, Bloomsbury Children's Books

    2002 Sharon Creech, Ruby Holler, Bloomsbury Children's Books

    2001 Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Doubleday

    2000 Beverley Naidoo, The Other Side of Truth, Puffin

    1999 Aidan Chambers, Postcards From No Man's Land, Bodley Head

    1998 David Almond, Skellig, Hodder Children's Books

    1997 Tim Bowler, River Boy, OUP

    1996 Melvin Burgess, Junk, Andersen Press

    1995 Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials: Book 1 Northern Lights, Scholastic

    1994 Theresa Breslin, Whispers in the Graveyard, Methuen

    1993 Robert Swindells, Stone Cold, H Hamilton

    1992 Anne Fine, Flour Babies, H Hamilton

    1991 Berlie Doherty, Dear Nobody, H Hamilton

    1990 Gillian Cross, Wolf, OUP

    1989 Anne Fine, Goggle-eyes, H Hamilton

    1988 Geraldine McCaughrean, A Pack of Lies, OUP

    1987 Susan Price, The Ghost Drum, Faber

    1986 Berlie Doherty, Granny was a Buffer Girl, Methuen

    1985 Kevin Crossley-Holland, Storm, Heinemann

    1984 Margaret Mahy, The Changeover, Dent

    1983 Jan Mark, Handles, Kestrel

    1982 Margaret Mahy, The Haunting, Dent

    1981 Robert Westall, The Scarecrows, Chatto & Windus

    1980 Peter Dickinson, City of Gold, Gollancz

    1979 Peter Dickinson, Tulku, Gollancz

    1978 David Rees, The Exeter Blitz, H Hamilton

    1977 Gene Kemp, The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, Faber

    1976 Jan Mark, Thunder and Lightnings, Kestrel

    1975 Robert Westall, The Machine Gunners, Macmillan

    1974 Mollie Hunter, The Stronghold, H Hamilton

    1973 Penelope Lively, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, Heinemann

    1972 Richard Adams, Watership Down, Rex Collings

    1971 Ivan Southall, Josh, Angus & Robertson

    1970 Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen, The God Beneath the Sea, Longman

    1969 Kathleen Peyton, The Edge of the Cloud, OUP

    1968 Rosemary Harris, The Moon in the Cloud, Faber

    1967 Alan Garner, The Owl Service, Collins

    1966 Prize withheld as no book considered suitable

    1965 Philip Turner, The Grange at High Force, OUP

    1964 Sheena Porter, Nordy Bank, OUP

    1963 Hester Burton, Time of Trial, OUP

    1962 Pauline Clarke, The Twelve and the Genii, Faber

    1961 Lucy M Boston, A Stranger at Green Knowe, Faber

    1960 Dr I W Cornwall, The Making of Man, Phoenix House

    1959 Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers, OUP

    1958 Philipa Pearce, Tom's Midnight Garden, OUP

    1957 William Mayne, A Grass Rope, OUP

    1956 C S Lewis, The Last Battle, Bodley Head

    1955 Eleanor Farjeon, The Little Bookroom, OUP

    1954 Ronald Welch (Felton Ronald Oliver), Knight Crusader, OUP

    1953 Edward Osmond, A Valley Grows Up

    1952 Mary Norton, The Borrowers, Dent

    1951 Cynthia Harnett, The Woolpack, Methuen

    1950 Elfrida Vipont Foulds, The Lark on the Wing, OUP

    1949 Agnes Allen, The Story of Your Home, Faber

    1948 Richard Armstrong, Sea Change, Dent

    1947 Walter De La Mare, Collected Stories for Children

    1946 Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse, University of London Press

    1945 Prize withheld as no book considered suitable
    1944 Eric Linklater, The Wind on the Moon, Macmillan

    1943 Prize withheld as no book considered suitable

    1942 'BB' (D J Watkins-Pitchford), The Little Grey Men, Eyre & Spottiswoode

    1941 Mary Treadgold, We Couldn't Leave Dinah, Cape

    1940 Kitty Barne, Visitors from London, Dent

    1939 Eleanor Doorly, Radium Woman, Heinemann

    1938 Noel Streatfeild, The Circus is Coming, Dent

    1937 Eve Garnett, The Family from One End Street, Muller

    1936 Arthur Ransome, Pigeon Post, Cape
Seriously? I've only read five of the Carnegie Medal winning books?

I don't deserve to call myself a bibliophile.

(Well... There's a new challenge in the making...)

How many of these books have you read?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Here's an actual conversation I had with a waiter recently...

Waiter: What would you like?
Me: What have you got in the way of bourbon?
Waiter: (pause) Uh... (pause) We have Jack Daniels? That's (pause) like bourbon, right?
Me: (stare) Oh, honey... go away and send back someone who's old enough to drink.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Crafts and Crafting: Captain America Mitts

I had so much fun making these Iron Man mitts that I just had to make another pair. But, this time, I wanted to make a Captain America pair...

The pattern that I used for the mitts was good but a few small changes made it even better. I altered the way it was joined, removed some unnecessary slipstitches, and added some decreases and they turned out a lot neater.

The stars were trial and error. Eventually I came up with a design that worked out the right size and... Ta da! Captain America mitts!

These are easy to make (maybe two hours, start to finish) and fit perfectly. The pattern works well for men and plus size girls but would be baggy on smaller people.

One of these days  - like when I've not got two assignments due - I'll work up the pattern to share.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Meme of the Week

Slow week. There were still a few really good memes - like this one and this one - and this one nearly won but here's this week's Meme of the Week:

Ha! That is so me!

A Song for Sunday: Empire of the Sun - Alive

I'm not normally a fan of dancy electro pop. (If that's even a thing.) But this song I liked immediately:

I like this partly because the video made me go "What the fuck?" and partly because the beat made me want to move.

I know next to nothing about the band except that (I think) they're from Australia. If you happen to like any of their other songs, I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

On My To Watch List...

I'm kind of torn about this movie, though I definitely plan to watch it.

This is either going to be very good or very, very bad.

I like the concept: Earth has become hostile towards humans. (Long overdue, if you ask me.) The imagery looks fantastic. So why am I worried?

Because it stars Will and Jaden Smith. A whole movie centered around a real life father and son pair? That just seems like it can become totally over-the-top and emotional. 

The action scenes had better be epic.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Crafts and Crafting: Iron Man mitts

I went to see Iron Man 3 this past weekend and these just had to be done in honour of the event:

How freaking adorable, right?

I used this pattern - with a few alterations. I forgot to pick up blue yarn so I just substituted felt for the power circles. Yarn would definitely have looked better.

I also joined the cuff together using a simple slip stitch, which I think worked just as well. The only part of the pattern that I didn't really like was the slip stitch at the top of the glove. I think reducing would have worked better.

This is a very good pattern, though, overall. I'll probably use it again in the winter.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Day at the Pictures

As you know, I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness on opening night and I absolutely loved it.

Actually... I loved it so much I just had to see it again. Right away. It was murder to have to wait until the weekend.

I won't say too much about the film itself - except that it made me bawl like a bitch - because it's not out yet in America. I will say that if you are a Trekkie or a Trekker or just love sci-fi, you have to watch this. In fact, I plan on going to see it again very soon!

I've been waiting awhile now to go see Iron Man 3. Believe it or not, I haven't seen Iron Man 2 yet. No reason... Just haven't gotten around to it yet. (Seriously. My To Watch list is worse than my To Read list.) But Jay didn't like it and it made me wonder how good the third movie could be. Reviews were good, though, so I decided it was worth a go.

I'm kind of torn on this one. Firstly, I hated the ending. Hated it. I get why it needed to end that way but it sucked. Also - as much as I love him - Robert Downing Jr can't act well enough to pull off an anxiety attack. It was too emotionless. BUT watching 40+ Iron Men kicking ass was pretty sweet. It was also good to see Penny kicking some ass.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Meme of the Week

Pagan humour?

Fangirl humour?

Relationship humour?

This week I went for the LOLZ:

I mean... How DUMB is that? But it still makes me laugh every time I look at it! :D

Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Song For Sunday: The Heavy - Curse Me Good

I spent an hour or so this week clicking through random videos on You Tube. That may sound weird but I've found some great music that way. This week was no exception. My favourite of the songs I came across was "Curse Me Good" by a British band called The Heavy:

I'd never heard of the band before but now I'm totally a fan. They've got a great rocky soul sound that makes me want to move.

The music video is old school. It makes me think of the likes of Hootie & the Blowfish. Actually... I can see me having a playlist with both bands in it.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A Day at the Pictures

Well... an afternoon, really.

Jay has been promising for some time now that he would go and see a movie with me. (He's more of a watch-it-at-home kind of guy, whereas I'm a I'd-be-at-the-cinema-every-day-if-I-could kind of gal.) He doesn't particularly want to go see Star Trek: Into Darkness with me - because he's not "really" a Trekkie, even though he's seen every Star Trek series and movie and met much of the casts - but he did agree to see Evil Dead with me instead.

My brother-in-law saw the movie the week before and told us that he didn't like it; that it was just a gorefest. Sure, it was a gorefest but... um... hello? Anyone seen the original? Yeah... that was a gorefest too.

(I should point out here that my brother-in-law doesn't like anything so his opinion doesn't really count.)

Jay didn't hate the movie but he wasn't impressed either. The original was still better, he told me.

(But Jay thinks everything was better in the '80s...)

Me? It was pretty gruesome. I don't really like a lot of gore in movies, believe it or not. I'd rather watch a mind fuck than a bloodbath. But as a remake, I thought it was good. I mean... what else could they have done? If they didn't make it gory enough, people would have complained. If they stuck too close to the original, people would have complained. If they made the daemons too similar, people would have complaint.

Basically, people were going to complain, no matter what they did.

And that's the problem with doing a remake.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Meme of the Week

Another good week of memes. (Even with all the stupid animal and baby ones that I hate so much.)

It was difficult to choose, especially with this music related one and this band related one. Oh, and we can't forget this Ash meme, which was also epic. But the winner this week, for making my jaw nearly hit the floor, was this:

This meme is from and is both funny and a little scary. Surprisingly, none of my relatives have blocked me since I shared it on Facebook. 

Guess I have to try harder...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A Song for Sunday: Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait

I caught this song on an advert earlier in the week and haven't been able to get it out of my head since:

The music video isn't much, and the lyrics aren't especially deep or powerful, but the song is catchy as hell. I love the country/bluegrass feel and can't help but dance along when it's on.

The thing that I love about Mumford & Sons is their twangy, folky sound. It's like... country for people who are too cool to be caught listening to country. If I didn't know better, I would have sworn that they were from the American south.