Film: ‘Black Swan’ – “He always said you were such a frigid little girl”

I’ve wanted to see ‘Black Swan’ since my sibling raved about it, psychological horror is a genre I like and I adore Tchaikovsky’s  ‘Swan Lake’ – although it does depend which ending is used.

I prefer the ending where the prince tears off one of the evil wizard’s wings and beats him to death with it – giving Odette a truly happy ending.  The endings which see the lovers commit suicide don’t really work for me, if I want a tragedy I can always watch ‘Giselle’ and even that isn’t totally dark.

Black Swan

(Photo from The Guardian)

So on a rare solo evening in I curled up on the sofa and prepared to be dazzled.

I definitely saw some nice ballet, Natalie Portman lose it and Mila Kunis play the slightly slutty yet innocent character that she does so well. My sibling’s raving was understandable, however I wasn’t expecting to be reminded of ‘Showgirls’ so much.

This may sound an outrageous statement, but I can back it up: there is the jealous older dancer who has been forced out, the sleazy male character who treads a line somewhere between a father-figure and a lover, girl on girl sexual tension and the adversarial yet semi-supportive interactions between the dancers.

showgirls

(Still from ‘Showgirls’)

Thankfully there isn’t a scene in a swimming pool, that would have been a bit creepy given for rather a lot of the film Natalie Portman’s facial expression doesn’t change … at all! I don’t like broken toes or fallen off toenails so I did have to fast forward some bits  and even during those her face remained unblemished by any pesky signs of humanity. The woman is a fantastic example of Uncanny Valley.

It was a good film, if rather weird in places – which I suppose is the point, and it could even be seen as a morality tale; don’t try to be perfect – or if you do then avoid sharp objects.

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.

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Book: Open to suggestions

I have not had a good couple of months for books, I blame the cold & dark weather and the novelty of having more than the basic terrestrial TV channels for  the first time in my life.

I am not proud of myself, but am very open to any book suggestions that anyone might have! Please?!?!

 

Food shopping for putrid peppers as a metaphor for my workplace

I dislike food shopping, we have no good local shops anywhere near us so we are stuck with supermarkets. This means that it takes ages, there is at least one item that is impossible to find, the queues are always horrible, it tends to get horribly expensive very quickly and it is far too easy to pop in many things you don’ t really need.

So in theory online food shopping should be perfect for me. I can look for the items I want and avoid the frivolous things. This sounded ideal and I wanted a piece of this!

I considered my priorities for getting started and decided on the following: a supermarket who had an straightforward website, delivered reliably in the chosen timeslot and reasonable delivery charges.

shopping trolley canal

(Photo from The Guardian)

It didn’t cross my mind that there would be more basic criteria that wouldn’t automatically come as standard from all supermarkets – like the shop rarely delivering rotting food and not cramming a week’s worth of shopping into two fast-ripping bags…

Supermarket A were £3 to £4 delivery, ok website, clear & easy to read receipt and the packing was ok – but the bags struggled to hold anything heavier than 2 pints of milk or pointier than a blunt cucumber. The packing was iffy, basic items were often out of stock and their substitutions were ridiculous (citrus bleach is not a valid sub for orange juice). Their delivery drivers were a whingey lot.

Supermarket B were cheap in terms of delivery cost, the packing was ok, the website was iffy, but the vegetable quality was so bad that I only tried them once!

rotten pepper

(Photo from oisat)

Supermarket C came with an eye-watering £6.99 delivery charge if you didn’t spend £100! The packing was ok, the receipt was a standard till receipt complete with meaningless abbreviations. They weren’t anything special so I didn’t bother more than twice.

Due to lack of options as much as anything else, my business went to Supermarket A. It went ok for a while then they started only delivering half the shopping and one eventful evening they lost an entire van after the 2nd delivery out of 22nd – this would have been funny except my shopping wasn’t delivered and it took two weeks of ringing them to complain before they processed the refund!

I hadn’t considered using Supermarket D as I always thought they were part of Supermarket E and just the prospect of doing weekly shopping at E makes me feel very very poor.

It turns out that D are entirely separate from E but they do delivery Waitrose products – if you are feeling rich! D also price match certain products with A, so in theory with some careful shopping you could do a shop with them and not spend any more!

The reality is I see interesting looking things and want to try them, so I am spending more but the veg is fresher – mostly… there was the putrid peppers incident the other week that ruined an entire bag of shopping, but it was easy to request a refund online so I didn’t bear much of a grudge.

baileys choclat luxe

The major thing that is making me stick with D is they sometimes give me free things – some of them randomly in the shopping (very rarely!) and some using a voucher code published on their website. Recently I got a little bottle of chocolate Baileys, which was a funky – although I haven’t actually tried it yet!

So despite the preconceptions of what I thought I wanted from online shopping it turns out that what I really want is as follows (in order):

  • A clear receipt
  • Minimal rotting vegetables
  • On-time deliveries – or advance notice if they are going to be late!
  • The opportunity to get free stuff
  • Easy to use website
  • Reasonable delivery cost

I am wondering if I need to perform a similar preconception blasting exercise on my job, just to check that I am not settling for the workplace equivalent of putrid peppers…

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Music : Evanescence cause global warming – As Boxing Day is a day for blazing rows

My CD purge is starting off with the dregs – the CDs that live on the top rack and that I can barely reach, the CDs that I haven’t listened to in about a decade.

The CDs which I am not sure I ever listened to more than once or twice, that I was bought or told were worth buying. These are the CDs that acted as a cautionary tale and are the reason why I am very careful what I buy.

To avoid any ambiguity, I don’t download music, I like a physical object to hold and I dislike piracy.

deadsy commencement

(CD on it’s way to the charity shop)

A lot of the dregs I have disposed of without fanfare, a dirty little secret dropped off in darkness and never admitted to. However some I am so happy to be rid of that I must celebrate their departure, for example Deadsy’s ‘Commencement’ and Orgy’s ‘Vapour Transmission’.

Deadsy was (is?) Cher’s fault, her son Elijah Blue Allman formed an eletro-pop band with a silly name. Technically I am sure Elijah would rather call Deadsy’s noise to be darkwave or nu metal, but having listened to ‘Commencement’ I can safely say it is just noise.

Orgy are pretty much the same difference and also helped break Korn’s record label (Elementree Records).

evanescence on fire

(Evanescence cause global warming on some video for some song of theirs)

Actually Orgy are slightly more annoying they swear on the CD but have printed the lyrics on the booklet with the words starred out, which is just pathetic.

There are many theories as to what caused nu metal’s mainstream decline,  whether you liked or hated the genre the rot was definitely growing by 2002 and I happily blame Deadsy to ensuring the rot spread past the point where it could be contained.

Personally I also blame Evanescence, but I would cheerfully blame them for global warming , famine, death and earthquakes if there was a jot of evidence. They were one of two bands that I declined to help promote back in the day when I’d cheerfully prompt most things in return for free CDs, stickers and posters – the other band was Lost Prophets and I am very happy with that decision

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.

Nails: Santa – Merry Christmas one and all!

Happy Christmas!

Hopefully Santa brought you everything that you wanted! And that you assisted Santa in giving other people what they wanted too!

Whatever you are doing I hope that you enjoy yourself!

Be it festive clothing

santa suit nails

(Photo from swatchandlearn)

Time with friends and family

santa and co

(Photo from girlshue)

Or just good food

santa and pudding

(Photo from nuthinbutanailthing)

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.

TV: Hawaii Five-0 – A Toaster in Hawaii

I didn’t watch the original ‘Hawaii Five-0’ but I have seen a couple of episodes of ‘Magnum ,P.I.’ so I assume that it is pretty much the same thing – pretty locations, pretty girls and some mild peril.

Somehow I have seen a couple of the new series of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and it seems to be following the same vein as when the ‘A-Team’ was turned into a film – ok locations, strong female characters and over the top firepower.

hawaii five-0

(DVD box set cover, photo from Amazon)

I spent the first couple of episodes wondering how many bikini-clad women the show wanted to cram into the first couple of minutes, apparently more than I can count without pausing and I wasn’t that interested…

Once I moved on from that question I then tried to work out where I recognised Alex O’Loughlin from, it turns out that he was in ‘Moonlight’ as the lead vampire.

cylon

(Photo from Wiki)

Then I found a new distraction, waiting for Grace Park to reveal herself as a Cylon and possibly kill the rest of the cast. ‘Battlestar Galactica’ didn’t really address if Cylons (sometimes derogatorily referred to as Toasters or Skinjobs) liked sun, sea and surf, but so far it looks to have kept her evil robot tendencies under control so she can’t hate them.

After three episodes the Toaster uprising hasn’t come to pass and I am not inclined to watch any more just to see if that happens. It is a shame that the location wasn’t used more as that would probably have been worth watching.

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Book: Faith Hunter’s ‘Blood Cross’ – “I figured even the most jaded and cynical inhabitant might report a bloody girl in a party dress carrying a severed head by its hair.”

It probably would have been helpful to start with the first book in Faith Hunter’s Skinwalker (aka Jane Yellowrock) series, but the charity shop only had the second book.

Jane is a hunter and a skinwalker – the second part being a secret (mostly). Despite the Master of New Orleans being annoyed at her due to the events of the first book Jane is still hanging around the city and has been hired to track down (and kill) a rogue vamp who is creating bad and mad little vampires with the help of something decidedly witchy.

Blood Cross

Jane has a permanent beast inside her, imaginatively called Beast, who was rather chatty when it suited her. This was somewhere between interesting and annoying depending on how you feel about that sort of thing.

There are a couple of males to act as potential love interests who float through the book, as does Jane’s witch friend Molly and her two children. Also there were some nice Native American ladies who are helping Jane understand her people’s traditions.

skinwalkers

There seems to be a lot of build-up and piecing together of various clues, but the actual end sequence is a bit of a blur and felt somewhat rushed – although it definitely built upon the groundwork laid earlier in the book.

‘Blood Cross’ wasn’t overly funny, action based, certainly not romantic, there was a tiny bit of Native American culture in there that did set the book apart – but it is only a tiny aspect of the book.

In short, the book was many things and was interesting but ultimately unfulfilling – it would help if the quote I used in the title even came from this book as oppose to the first one. It has survived my current purge but I suspect will fall victim to the next one.

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.