Film: ‘Universal Soldier Regeneration’ – “We’ve been over this all before”

“Regeneration” is a word that seems to be used a lot to sell face cream that I am, thankfully, too young to be the target audience of. The adverts for these creams promise they will work wonders and throw around the names of various chemicals – some of which are probably made up.

universal soldier regeneration

I think various chemicals were used during the creation of ‘Universal Soldier Regeneration’ as the film coms across as hiring Van Damme and a couple of Mixed Martial Arts guys then filming in Eastern Europe on the cheap.

The plot doesn’t matter, which is the norm for Van Damme films, but the action scenes were over long and not very interesting. Watching my cat sleep was far more entertaining even when he wasn’t trying to catch mice and accidentally grabbing my toes.

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Book: Rosalind Wiseman’s ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes’ – “the other half only like me because they think I pushed somebody in front a bus, so that’s not good.”

A few years ago I picked up ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes’ for about 50 pence from WH Smiths, it went to the charity shop sometime ago but the main message I took away from it was being a teenage girl is messed up – which is pretty much what I’d established on my own!

I also sort of remembered the bits about how females are both the victim and the cause of other people victimisation. I’m currently trying to make an effort to be nice to everyone as I said some rather mean thing about someone who is REALLY annoying and REALLY incompetent at her job. However just because what I said was true, accurate and funny in a bitchy sort of way that doesn’t make it ok.

queen bees and wannabes

It was in this frame of mind that I watch ‘Mean Girls’ for the first time, it was ok, but the insults in the burn book were rather tame. It wasn’t as if they compared someone to a dog humping your leg in that “there is a lot of movement and no output that you want.”

There were a couple of funny bits and it was wonderfully cringe-inducing to see the inevitably negative impact of the “cool mom”, but I didn’t end up understanding why this film has a cult following – it certainly isn’t a patch on ‘Heathers’.

It did encourage me to try to be nicer – even to those people who are too dumb to function.

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A hairdresser wearing a hat doesn’t inspire confidence

I wish my hair would behave slightly more well behaved, even as a child everyone commented that my hair was really thick and this was seen as being an enviable quality.

It might be enviable if each strand wasn’t very fine, as it is my hair has a habit of eating brushes and I have to be very fussy about the shampoo and conditioner that I use if I wasn’t want an unmanageable mess of tangles.

This means that I’ve preferred long bob length since I was 15, however I did start to wonder how it would look longer – and it that would let me avoid going to the hairdressers for longer. I am not good at random small talk and being in situations where it is required can stress me out a little.

fedora

It doesn’t help that my last hairdressers looked like a tattoo convention and had a massively high staff turnover – every time I started to get comfortable with someone they left.

There aren’t that many hairdressers in the nearest town by the time you exclude the specialists in African hair, the overpriced designer hair care places and the places that also offer to style & colour hair on another part of the body!

The one that I ended up trying had less obviously tattooed staff and was playing radio-friendly pop music rather than sounding like a rave – so was already an improvement on the last place. However it was a little odd to have a stylist who kept her fedora on the entire time – which made me wonder if she was hiding a style disaster under there.

Dodgy hats aside I was pretty happy with what she did, bearing in mind that all I wanted was a trim there really wasn’t much scope to go wrong! Although it does seem that they are into really sleek and feathered finishes which aren’t really very me, I’ve going to go again in a couple of months, but I might ask if she can remove the hat this time.

 

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Knee: Helpful muscles that I should know – “the knee bone connects to the wrist bone”?!

Off the back of the throwaway comment from the NHS ‘Specialist’ I decided to look up how my leg muscles actually work. However I don’t like gross pictures of the inside of legs and have a short attention span when it comes to medical names for stuff.

Which means that even before my knee failure, back when I could still run, I wasn’t overly into the mechanics of it, I wasn’t overly fussed what muscle connected to which other thingies, I just wanted them to work and for my IT band (aka Iliotibial band) to not get so darn tight!

However the internet tells me that the IT band is not simply one big muscle that happens to get tight and get annoying all by itself. It transpires to be made up for several muscles which join the party at various different points along the leg.

peanuts dinosaur

(Picture from collectpeanuts.com/)

For the purposes of my limited attention span there are two key leg muscles towards the top of the IT band: the Gluteus Maximus (GM), aka the Butt, and Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL).

There is also one somewhere around/below the knee, the Tibialis Anterior (TA).

The Tensor Fascia Latae is the front (anterior) muscle on the thigh part of the leg and it joins the IT band from the hip along with the Butt – except the Butt joins from behind (weird that).

I then got very confused by the internet and concluded that basically the TFL and the Butt need to work against each other (but in a collaborative way) in order for the hip to be stable and reliable.

funny bones

Then the Tibialis Anterior (TA) links into the IT band from the front and is a big muscle near the shin and is apparently used by pretty much every leg movement ever.

My yoga teacher, the ‘Funny Bones’ books by Janet & Allan Ahlberg and the ‘Dem Bones’ song, tell me that everything is interconnected, therefore a stable hip must be good for the knee. A stable TA feeding into the IT band, which has also got the hip muscles linking in from the TFL and the Butt, must have some positive influence on what happens around the knee.

I did finally look up what the difference between hip adduction and hip abduction. Adduction is squeezing together motions, abduction is away. Abducting seems to tighten the IT band so is not my friend.

Really not sure how much of that actually went into my brain and I didn’t really find any exercises which is a shame as I probably need to search the internet some more now… plus there was that other throwaway comment about the correlation between core strength and knees.

Maybe another day.

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Nails: True Blood – “I almost died last night… again!”

In the midst of watching ‘True Blood’ series 2 and being surprised how campy it can be – enjoyably campy but oh my gosh.

I’m not sure that I’d actually want to advertise my viewing habits at work, there has been rather a lot of nudity – although a wide enough range to be all inclusive, some weird cult stuff and lots & lots of nutters.

However I can appreciate the outcome of someone having way too much time and not enough embarrassment to hide their TV viewing choices!

true blood nails

(Photo from Pinterest)

And now onto Season 3

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Film: ‘ Freddy VS Jason’ – “Now it’s time to put this bad dog to sleep”

The main message that I took away from ‘Freddy VS Jason’ was that abusive relationships will get you killed by Freddy after you’ve been lured through a cornfield.

Although frankly ‘Children Of The Corn’ put me off wandering through cornfields over a decade ago.

The secondary message was that I really must avoid remakes or reinventions of 1980s horror films.

freddy vs jason

‘Freddy VS Jason’ was one of a string of horror films from the late 1990s and 2000s to have a rock/metal soundtrack which is more interesting that the actual film plot.

A little stoned Jay lookalike had the best line pretty early one with “Dude, that goalie was pissed about something”

Apart from that it is standard teens in a horror movie running around in entirely the wrong direction and getting butchered.

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Book: Nancy Holzner’s ‘Deadtown’ – Teenage zombies are annoying

There are probably going to be six books in the ‘Deadtown’ series and I’m probably never going to get further than the third book.

The first book ‘Deadtown’ introduced Victory Vaughn, aka Vicky, as Boston’s only professional demon slayer and Welsh-origined shape shifter.

There are a surprising number of  demons in Deadtown, in addition to  werewolves, vampires, witches and zombies. The zombies appeared after a mysterious plague killed loads of people in Boston and then they resurrected as zombies three days later. Most of  the zombies that we see in the books appear to have having a constant pity-me-party which gets very old very quickly; for example Tina is an irritating side-kick wannabe who needs a slap but instead is just allowed to continue to be a brat.

deadtown

There are some solid ideas and themes in the book but it felt like not a lot happened for too much of the book and the central characters simply weren’t that strong

Vicky is a strong female led with an independent streak… and a refusal to listen to anyone else or stop and think about a situation before acting. I ended up feeling very sorry for Kane as her sort-of boyfriend.

I do think that Juliet, Vicky’s vampire roommate might have been a more entertaining lead character and she certainly had better people skills. Vicky’s sister is a stupid self-absorbed cow too and  even her Aunt Mab doesn’t want to give a straight answer when it would be really useful.

The second book ‘Hellforged’  decided to move into dwelling on prophecies and dodgy relatives, it muddled along and had a couple of neat bits – mostly the existence of a Glitch. A Glitch is like the electrical Gremlin from Gremlins 2’ that messes up technology but can be defeated by hairspray.

Juliet made herself scarce and Tina was even more annoying than previously.

Book three is ‘Bloodstone’ and features a serial killer. It was an improvement on the second book but the ending is a let down. Vicky is also still an egotistical moo cow and I don’t want to play with this series anymore.

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