Film: Ghost Shark – so bad that it cures Galeophobia

For as long as I can remember I’ve been irrationally scared of sharks. The thought of a big shark with sharp teeth was enough to freak me out enough to make me physically uncomfortable.

This fear is irrational as I’ve never seen a scary shark in the wild – the small ones without teeth don’t count as scary. I haven’t even seen a scary shark in captivity. I have no problems with killer whales – which I have seen in captivity and given their tendency to have incidents with their trainers would be far more sensible to fear.

killer whale

(Photo from a WordPress site)

I’ve not seen a horror film with a shark in – not even ‘Jaws’, so have absolutely no idea why sharks freak me out. There was an incident overseas when I was 11 and was wind-surfing with a borrowed sail that was far too big for me, sliced my foot open and then the wind dropped leaving me stuck about 2 miles out waiting for the breeze to pick up. But I was scared of sharks before that!

The other day I was channel-hopping as a show that I wanted was on in 30 minutes and I had a comfy seat on the sofa (a rarity in this household!), the Sci-Fi channel had a film called ‘Ghost Shark’ on.

The premise sounded so ridiculous that I turned it on – even though the film had started 20 minutes previously and featured a shark!

From what I saw the plot was a dead shark was annoyed at being dead so attacked a small town as a ghost shark. The ghost shark needs the presence of some water in order to eat people, for example a slip and slide or a bucket of water at a bikini car wash.

ghost shark

(Photo from a rag)

Yes the bucket of water had a well-endowed and under-clothed woman vanish into it and I even found a still photo of this.

I watched enough to conclude that the local authorities were useless and the annoyingly perky heroine was probably going to team up with a very drunken sea captain to save the day.

The oddest thing about ‘Ghost Shark’ was that it was so stupid I am now having less issues with the concept of big scary sharks. So whilst the film wasn’t good enough to watch more than half an hour of it did at leave serve a purpose!

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The invasion of high heeled cupcakes

Ever since fairy cakes were rebranded cupcakes there has been a tendency for them to have Over The Top decoration so dayglo that you can almost start bouncing from the e-numbers just by looking at them.

One trend that has really taken off is high heels on cupcakes and some of these look too good to eat – almost…

cupcake - heels

(Photo from somewhere on Pinterest)

They certainly look to have taken a long time to craft, so should be savoured if you really must eat them!

high heel cupcake cakecentral

(Photo from CakeCentral)

Although making the heels pink seems a little populist and uninspired – although the bow is a cute decadent touch

high heel cupcake blogspot

(Photo from BlogSpot)

In fact pink high heels are so popular that you can even buy tape dispensers in that form!

high heel tape dispenser

This cultural obsession with pink shoes almost explains why my sister-in-law is raising her child to be a mini-Barbie… almost…

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Film: Salt – this apple is rotten the core

‘Salt’ is a paint-by-numbers action film starring Angelina Jolie. She plays Evelyn Salt who is accused of being a Russian sleep agent by some random Soviet defector.

Rather than stop and clear up these pesky charges she decides to go on the run. That pretty much sums up the film – all three different versions of it.

Salt poster

There is nothing overly wrong with the film but there isn’t that much to set it apart either. The story originally had a male protagonist; Tom Cruise was attached to the project at one point, which would have rather changed the scene where Liev Schreiber’s character tells Salt to take her panties off the camera…

To be honest Liev Schreiber’s character is probably the best thing in the film, he plays thuggish and scheming pretty well from ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ to ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ to ‘Ray Donovan.’

The faculty

For me ‘Salt’ is the exact opposite of ‘The Faculty’, I like ‘The Faculty’ a lot but having nothing to say about it because pulling it to pieces might make it less fun, pulling ‘Salt’ to pieces would be too easy and no fun at all.

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Nails: Elvis – more flair than One Direction

A woman that I know has a pretty major Elvis obsession, it doesn’t seem to be about the music, instead it is absolute hero worship.

Which is fine, whatever makes her happy and isn’t hurting anyone. I just don’t get it in the same way as I don’t really understand the cult following of the Beatles.

When I was in my late teen and early 20s there were a few bands that I liked more than others, but looking at ticket stubs and CDs there isn’t any one that really stands out as being THE one.

A bit like these nails, they certainly aren’t the one thing that you would want to be remembered for

beauty elvis

(Photo from Beauty.About)

It might be as simple as the 1950s were a time of social change, where new and challenging influences were entertain mainstream consciousness for the first time – although classic red, white and blue nails never look old.

nailsshine elvis

(Photo from NailsShine)

Maybe the appeal of Elvis is he was a showman, something that these nails convey rather well

jeealee elvis

(Photo from Jeealee)

Maybe you had to be there to understand the appeal…

prettynailswag elvis

(Photo from PrettyNailSwag)

On the other hand there aren’t that many bands around these days that can capture the public imagination in an almost cult fashion and leave behind anything worthwhile – One Direction seem to get a scary amount of coverage but the nail art dedicated to them is pretty poor

one direction nail art

(Photo from Packapunch)

Given the choice between them and Elvis I can see why Elvis would win.

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TV: ‘The Prisoner’ – now with added Jesus.

Like most people of working age with a family (or arguably anyone of working age!) I am short on time for the things that I want to do.

So whilst I can see the merits in making time for some relaxing yoga I often can’t see the point in watching a slow TV show or film.

For example the recent remake of ‘The Prisoner’, I’d heard almost decent things about it and it was only six episodes so it didn’t seem a huge time investment.

Rover the prisoner

I didn’t even last through the first episode, the plot seemed similar to the original – the chap wakes up in a random idyllic village and can’t leave. The people are all dull and the lead is irritating in his blandness.

In case anyone is interested the lead is Jim Caviezel who played Jesus Chris in Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – which I haven’t seen, but I have seen what watching it did to Cartman so that doesn’t encourage me to watch it!

the passion of the christ

Pretty much all I got from watching ‘The Prisoner’ was a flashback to watching ‘Population 436’ – a rather indifferent film most memorable for having Fred Durst in it.

The plot is a chap from the US Census Bureau goes to a random idyllic village and everyone acts like he can’t leave – daja vu much? I got to the end of that film, it was sort of like a bad Stephen King and to be honest I had rather forgotten about it until ‘The Prisoner’ was duller!

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Book: Kelley Armstrong – Omens

Kelley Armstrong was the first author to come under the urban fantasy or paranormal romance (or paranormal something or another) label that I liked enough to actively seek out and buy all their books.

I wandered into the ‘Otherworlds’ series on about book 3 and really liked them – at least up until book 10 (‘Frostbitten’) which didn’t really work for me and things muddled along from there. I bought all the Otherworlds books anyway and am intending to reread them again soon just to see if books 10 to 13 grow on me at all.

 kelley armstrong

My local library started me on her Young Adult series (‘The Darkness Rising’ and ‘The Darkest Powers’) but didn’t encourage me to continue reading, there was nothing wrong with them, I just didn’t feel that challenged or engaged by the characters and their journey.

Detective-style books are something that I am prepared to read when there is nothing better to hand, despite this I did enjoy the first Nadia Stafford book (‘Exit Strategy’) a lot, the second book not so much (‘Made to be broken’).

As I wasn’t too fussed by the end of the Otherworld series and had found other actively-writing authors who I now prefer I didn’t pre-order ‘Omens’ the first book in the Cainville series.

 omens

But after reading a preview sample on Amazon about a month before the release date and seeing the hardback version at less than half the RRP I gave in.

The plot is fairly straightforward, Olivia is a 24 year old only child of a wealthy family, the family have money and she is engaged to a chap with political ambitions. Randomly it is revealed to the world that she is adopted, her real family as well-known serial killers Todd and Pamela Larsen.

Olivia’s old life is now in tatters and she is hounded by the press, so she ends up in a small town (Cainsville) and starts looking into the truth about her real parents.

 gargoyle

(Photo from blogspot)

Cainsville is an old community with hints of a curious past, the residents take an active interest in Olivia and there are hints that Olivia has powers. There are also hints of monsters lurking just out of sight and that there is a far larger story than Olivia knows.

Unfortunately this is also where the book is limited, because it is part of a larger series this book hint and nudges the reader that there is more, that Olivia didn’t end up in Cainsville by accident, that there is a plan or two that involve her in some way. But the book doesn’t commit to what is going on, instead it focuses on Olivia and a sexy lawyer (Gabriel Walsh) investigating the last murder that her parents were convicted of.

Which makes the book a mystery/detective/police work novel with hints of paranormal and tiny little tastes of things that go bump in the night.

hellboy 2 troll glasses

I did like the book, but it reminded me of Hellboy 2 and troll hunting – without the special magic glasses you only see what they want you to see, which is frustrating when you know there is more out there in the next book (that isn’t published yet!).

Fortunately Olivia is pretty likeable as a character and I am intrigued enough to want to know what is coming next, so I guess I will be buying the next book when that comes out in 2014, but I hope that it has more beasties in it!

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Film: 30 Days of Night – they should have called Blade

Vampire films can be hit or miss, the genre has been around for so long that there are a multitude of films featuring vampires – either directly or indirectly.

I used to like vampire films – although they tend to date very badly, for the example the original ‘The Lost Boys’ feels extremely dated to the extent that only the concept of Chinese take away is in any way relevant to a modern audience.

lost boys

Even the bad ones have merit, largely because they are fairly predictable and are often so bad they tended to be funny – for example ‘Dracula 3000’ which so was bad that even Casper Van Dien’s square jaw was a source of giggles.

‘Lost Boys: The Tribe’ and ‘Lost Boys: The Thirst’ changed that, they were absolutely unwatchable and had no redeeming value. I got to the end of The Thirst using a combination of mute and fast-forward!

Dracula 3000

The former of which came in useful when watching ‘30 days of night’ – mostly because random vampire screeching noises are really annoying!

I’ve watched it before and remembered it wasn’t overly good but I couldn’t remember exactly why, so when it was on TV it seemed an idea to try it again.

30 days of night

The film was ok in certain respects but there were a couple of things that bugged me

1)    Josh Hartnett seemed too young to be sheriff – I am aware that the town of Talkeetna in Alaska has a cat as mayor but London has Boris Johnson so the concept of a joke Mayor is pretty familiar. A sheriff who looks 16 just doesn’t seem like they should be holding a gun.

2)    I didn’t see the point in the vampires babbling in some random language made up of clicks – maybe the comics explain the point but expecting me read the comics just to understand the film is a risky tactic.

3)    Josh’s character’s wife was irritating beyond belief and was too stupid to deserve the sacrifices made on her behalf.

blade

Other than that it was an ok film, but I did need then to watch all three Blade films to remind myself what a fun vampire film is!

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Nails: Aliens – the little green men are out to get you

Aliens, aka Extraterrestrials, can be anything that comes from another planet.

The events in Roswell in 1947 cemented the concept of alien beings and UFOs into popular culture

It just happens  that popular culture has decided that aliens should be little, with tentacles and preferably green.

blogspot

(Photo from Blogspot)

Although if they are cartoon-styled then they can be a variety of colours.

flickr

(Photo from flickr)

Grey aliens are a sign of a serious believer, they are too creepy to be cute and they have big creepy eyes.

little grey men

(Photo from a different Blogspot)

As cute as ‘Toy Story’ made their aliens look I am going to agree with Stephen Hawking that trying to contact alien life forms is unlikely to end well,

Or as he put it “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”

toy story alien nails

(Photo from some TArt)

They don’t look so cute now.

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Little tips that would have made my first trimester much easier

Some women seem to breeze through pregnancy without a care in the world and certainly not with any pesky bodily-discomfort. These women must be humanoid robots, they certainly aren’t ‘normal’.

I had a few challenges in my first trimester, had I known a few of the below things in advance then life would have been easier, less painful and perhaps even less stressful!

I’m jotting these down for myself mostly, but if they help anyone else then that would be fab.

stepford wives

Cramps and pain relief:

Cramps, abdominal pain and discomfort in the stomach region are often described as “normal” and the general impression that doctors and the internet give is that they are a bit like period pain, a mild pest but nothing dire.

My cramps so much worse than anything I’ve ever felt before. They reduced me to tears and rendered it so I couldn’t move for a good 20 minutes.

Paracetamol does take an edge off and is ok to take in pregnancy.

But do not take nurofen or anything with ibuprofen in – these increase the chances of miscarriage and abnormalities to the baby/fetus/whatever you wish to call it at this stage.

Churning stomach and feeling sick:

Often lumped under the term Morning Sickness this really isn’t an accurate term. Feeling constantly sick and with a constantly churning stomach is more accurate.

I was advised the peppermint tea would help, it didn’t.

poison teacup

(Photo from etsy)

However Gaviscon does take an edge off and is safe to use.

Eating plain foods seemed to help and small portions of carbs on a regular basis.

Sometimes you will feel that someone has hooked up an air hose to your stomach, you will feel bloated and full of air- air which wants to come out with a burp or through breaking wind. You may feel mortified but there is nothing you can do – except find a quiet corner if you feel the air might escape soon!

Smells aggravate the sickness -I found that avoiding putting on perfume helped a lot. Although this didn’t protect me from the smell of other people! The smell of cooking food was always bad.
baby air hose

(Source unknown as it is all over the internet to the point where I sort of want to slap her)

Tired and Emotional:

Feeling stupidly tired and flat-out exhausted is normal for the first trimester, it is also miserable.

Randomly feeling sad or angry also seemed to be par for the course, listening to music was a way of trying to level out but this wasn’t always reliable. Sometimes going on a crying jag for an hour was going to happen whether I wanted to or not

Adding to the fun was bloating of the stomach, there doesn’t seem to be a way around this but it really doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. If your partner has any sense they will pay you lots of complements and generally try to be helpful – they have to develop a thick-skin as sometimes nothing they will do will be right!

national geographic hot air balloon ice

(Photo from National Geographic)

Medical staff:

Appointment times are more advisory than fixed – make sure you have a book, some water and a small piece of comfort food.

Unless you are very lucky you will find that the medical staff that you encounter will have a tendency to see you as a number. You will spend a lot of time waiting around; this can be very stressful but is a good time to practise deep calming breathes.

I am a bit ashamed to admit to this, but having waited 90 minutes after my appointment time to have a scan that revealed absolutely nothing the staff wanted me to join the ten people queue to get processed back into the department so I could to get a blood test.

I may have politely turned around and said in a clear but distressed tone of voice “no, it is ok, I’ve had enough, and I am going home.”  At which point I may have been dealt with very quickly and was done in around 5 minutes – although I stress that I inconvenienced no one else by doing this and I really was planning to walk out.

duck crossing the road

Last but not least:

In the event that something does go wrong, and you tried your best, then it isn’t your fault, sometimes things just don’t work out.

Talking to someone might help, my preference is someone who doesn’t know me and who I don’t have to worry about interacting with again.

Set some time aside to get your head straight and to put yourself first. Your partner may want to do the same for themself too.

Then find a way to face the world together and carry on going.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.