Nails: Easter – You stole my bunny

I’m a little late for looking at Easter nails, it’s been a busy few weeks and is doesn’t look like it is going to slow down for at least a few more.

As a treat I did some reduced price Easter Egg shopping, only to get an email stating that one item was out of stock – naturally it was the chocolate bunny.

Now I want a bunny, thankfully the internet delivered – in nail art form

rabbit bunny nail art

(Photo from fanningthefumes.blogspot)

It isn’t as good as chocolate but nearly…

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TV: Castle – “you kill my patience”

I tried ‘Castle’ on a whim, I’d liked ‘Bones’ when I’d randomly watched some and had accidentally blitzed through 8 seasons of back episodes and am now eagerly awaiting each Wednesday evening for my latest fix of season 9.

‘Castle’ just happened to be the next series with several seasons available on demand and the first couple of episodes were interesting enough to pay some attention to but not so riveting that I couldn’t multitask at the same time.

castle tv

I was vaguely aware that the male lead had a familiar voice but it was about 5 episodes in before I realised he sounded REALLY familiar, like Nathan Fillion from ‘Firefly’ familiar – in my defence I saw the series once through, the film once and it has been on my rewatch list but I hadn’t got around to it yet.

Castle’ is a drama, like very early ‘Law and Order’ but with intentional jokes. Richard Castle is a crime fiction novelist who has a chance encounter with the NYPD homicide investigation unit and much to the horror of Detective Kate Beckett.

Worryingly Castle adds real value to the team so he keeps coming along and so far that is the plot for season 1, even if it doesn’t develop any further it is still amusing and light enough to keep me tuning in. It isn’t a patch on ‘Bones’ though.

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Book: Chris Marie Green’s ‘Night Rising’ – Intangible shagging and mommy issues

As it has been just over 20 years since Kurt Cobain died and, in certain circles, conspiracy theories are still rife it was accidentally topical that I picked up a book where dead celebrities are perhaps not as dead as the masses think.

Dawn Madison is a film stuntwoman and doesn’t put up with cr*p from anyone – which makes her a fairly paint by numbers female lead except for her lack of any sense of humour and her seemingly endless sexual desire (which we see as early as page 16 and she repeatedly has sort-of-sex with what seems to be a ghost). Those two character traits rather put me off Dawn, which is a shame as ‘Night Rising’ is the first in a series of six books, plus a few novellas, all of which have her as the lead.
night rising

Anyway, Dawn has come to Hollywood to find her father Frank who has gone missing. She and her father haven’t been close since her famous movie star mother died but family ties are thicker than blood so she sticks around to look for him. The plot thickens when it transpires that Frank vanished whilst investigating how a long-dead child star was caught on film – *hint* he is a vampire like all sorts of other underdeveloped characters in the book.

Frank’s new PI buddies are a mixed bunch, there is a the mystery boss who remains unseen, a little man who happens to be psych, plus a techie woman who was bonking Frank. They are ok and are also paint by numbers but slightly off.

To be honest the whole book seems slightly off, I like the premise but it didn’t work for me. A cult of celebrities turning into vampires then faking their deaths so they can reinvent themselves in a few years’ time is interesting should be a fun main focus for the book, but instead of the book concentrates on Dawn’s rampant mummy issues.

Salt is rubbed in the gaping wound of a plot with the addition of random pop culture references and jarringly out of place sex bits. I was happy to finish the book and am mildly interested if Dawn’s mother is a blood sucking death-faking celebrity whore, but not enough to read any more of this drivel!

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Crafting: Putting the WRONG into crafting with a paper cutter

Recently my household purchased a Silhouette electronic cutting machine, in theory it was a carefully considered purchase with no impulsive tendencies, theory is a wonderful thing.

The cutting machine can in theory be used for loads of things, it can cut various materials and can be used to make cards, personalised tshirts, more cards, airbrush stencils, more darn cards, wall art, did I mention cards, erm… like something that needs cutting out, seriously you have a mountain of cards and no one to send them to.

paper cutter

(Photo from blog.ponoko.com)

Anyway, parking the issue what you use your cut outs for you can cut out a variety of bits. You can find random pictures on the internet, you can draw your own or you can purchase pre-existing design from the Silhouette store.

For an easy life, and because there is a $10 store card included in the box, I thought seeing what was in the store could be fun and then I found the “easter bear dressed as lamb” – who appears to  be simultaneously violating and eating a bunny.

easter bear - wrong wrong wrong

The above image is designed by Stinkin’ Cute Paper Piecings and I’m very sure that they deserve lots of support… although I am really not sure that I want to send a card with this design on to anyone I like.

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Easter Egg frenzy – So good that I didn’t wait for the sale

I prefer reduced price festive chocolate, I’m pretty sure that it tastes better… or I did… then I saw the Hotel Chocolat Extra Thick Easter egg filled with happy smiling chocolate. In a random burst of covetousness I wanted it… a lot.

Based on past experience Hotel Chocolat’s more funky pieces sell out long before the end-of-season sale, so despite the eye-watering price of the chocolate egg I paid full price. I felt masses of guilt about spending that much money on chocolate, until I bit the head off a smiling face.

egg 2014

The chocolate was divine and the smiling faces were wonderful for my cold-ridden and stressed out little brain.

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Nails: Unicorn nails – Rainbows and cat butts

Work is still being random, it has got so bad that one of my co-workers has changed his LinkedIn profile to list his current job as being the Advertising Manager for his dad’s taxi company – to be fair he did design the website.

As such I am in need of some rainbows to block out this pesky reality, but not Nyan cat as that is scary. It transpires than rainbows can be scary even if they aren’t coming out of a cat’s butt.

sparkle unicorn

(Photo from amberdidit.com)

But they did totally make me forget about work.

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Film: Robocop – “I am now authorized to use physical force!”

From an early age one of my parents ensured that I had access to age-inappropriate media – largely books but when my parents finally decided to buy a TV there were also films available to utterly ignore the age ratings on.

However one film that I wasn’t exposed to as a child was ‘Robocop’, there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why this wasn’t on the table as the Terminator films were firm favourites and one that my younger sibling developed a fixation with that lasted several years.

robocop

The release of the remake prompted a strange series of events whereby I am now in possession of the family copy of all three original Robocop films, so now I finally got to watch the original!

I rather like this vision of a dystopian future, the idea of corporations manipulating people to that extent and with such disregard is concerningly likely, the intercut adverts were amusing and sinister all at once, I now really want an ED-209 enforcement droid for work and I can’t understand why someone would want to remake this film.

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Book: Melissa de la Cruz’s ‘Blue Bloods’ – “And when he leaves her, I’ll be there”

The thought “that cover looks interesting” has led me to picking up a number of disappointing books – many of which were the reason that I started this blog as an easy way of documenting my literary mistakes. One day I might even work out how to stop making mistakes, however ‘Blue Bloods’ proves that today is not that day.

The premise is that there were vampires on the Mayflower and they prospered in American high society to the extent that anyone who is Anyone is a vampire. The vampires hide in plain sight protected by their wealth & power and they basically reincarnate, only remembering their past lives when they turn fifteen.

blue bloods book cover

Schuyler Van Alen is one such 15 year old, although her family doesn’t have money anymore, her mother is in a coma, her father is an unknown and there are dead bodies turning up.

I was feeling in a particularly sarcastic mood when I started this book and took great delight in reading it in entirely the wrong way, for example “They’d settled on a sexy-but-in-an-off-beat-bohemian-way-with-straps-just-falling-off-the-shoulder-just so-Marni camisole, a tiny denim Earnest Sewn miniskirt and a sparkly Rick Owens cashmere wrap” was just too funny for words as if you are an immortal who cares about brands?

The characters were largely two dimensional, badly described and shallow but there were in-depth descriptions of food, clothing and the trappings of wealth. I almost got confused at one point and thought  that a white Chanel handbag was the main character.

Every teen and most of the adults possess a silly name – although they were at least high-class silly as oppose to my sister-in-law who has blessed both her children with names straight from a soap opera.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Photo from commons.wikimedia.org)

Despite the unfortunate name I did want to like Schuyler, she is the main protagonist after all – she also seemed to be nice enough and doesn’t deliberately set out to hurt people, but she was an interesting as a stale white bread sandwich with no filling.

I am pretty sure that this series must be aimed at young adults and female adults looking for a light read, which is why it was a little surprising that characters who are meant to be 15 years old were depicted in a way that seemed to condone drinking, swearing, skipping school and funerals, sex with strangers and modelling wearing just a pair of jeans with plasters over your nipples.

Also blood sucking was a blatant and clear metaphor for sex – not exactly hyper-original but given Cruz’s vampires like sunlight I guess she needed some link to the more traditional myths.

The obsession with the trappings of wealth were beginning to get a bit dull by half way through the book – even before the four page description of how the expensive furniture was arranged to accommodate a high-class house party. There had been hints of a larger plot, something to do with a cover-up around how vampires can die, hints that vampires had angelic origins and the historic relationships between the reincarnated teens, but then the fashion show started again and I got distracted giggling at it.

This is the first in a series of seven books, plus assorted shorter stories and spinoff series, but ‘Blue Bloods’ was too obsessed with consumer goods and too vacuous for my tastes so the charity shop can have it back.

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Knee: Wrong diagnosis but then I took an arrow in the knee

My knee utterly broke in July, it was swollen, sore, stiff, acutely painful and apparently covered by the vague term Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) aka “runner’s knee”. The GP had no idea what the problem was, the physiotherapist said it was a tracking problem of the patella femoral joint and I pretty quickly stopped caring as long as it got fixed.

It took months to get physio on the NHS and then even longer to get a MRI  scan (Magnetic resonance imaging) which led to a written report that I didn’t understand. I was patient with the medical professionals, so very very patient despite the pain and the building irritation.

Until a week ago, when a doctor’s receptionist told me that they hadn’t made the referral that had been promised three days earlier and that they wouldn’t give me a phonecall to confirm when it had been made.

knee

(Photo from bthcc.co.uk)

At this point I got cross and said that I’d been nice up to this point but I’d cheerfully put in a formal complaint over this. Oddly enough I got a referral that afternoon, although apparently the initial unit they wanted to refer me to had closed down a week before – cutbacks apparently.

I ‘only’ had to wait a week to see the Orthopaedic specialist at the local NHS hospital. Although on the day of the appointment I had to wait over 90 minutes for what transpired to be under 5 minutes of face time with the specialist – this included him making a reference to what I guess is some football player.

The five minutes was useful in a rushed sort of way, the specialist confirmed that it wasn’t fundamentally tracking issue, it isn’t ligaments or cartilage. He thinks it is the infrapatellar fat pad (aka hoffa’s fat pad) and that I need to go back to physio now that we know the cause.

Which is certainly better than saying let’s try keyhole surgery! But still vexing as now I’m (hopefully) back on a waiting list!

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Dogs: If a bad man gets eaten by dogs would they get sick?

I’m currently slightly bothered by a situation that I can’t influence directly.

Two people, let’s call them mum and dad, moved to a house in the middle of absolutely nowhere and got two very big dogs who bark at things – sometimes a lot. Their nearest neighbour is an Ass, this is undeniable, however perhaps the correct response to his playing crap military matching band music at stupidly loud volume was not to play Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ at similar volume.

Dad did try to talk to the Ass but the Ass was horrendously rude and didn’t want to have a conversation. For some reason the Ass now fixated on the dogs and complained about them constantly. Even going so far as to say that his grandchildren might get hurt by the dogs – although why they would be in someone else’s garden is a good question.

weimaraner (Photo from dogs.about.com)

So now we are in a situation where he got a reaction, he now seems to want a bigger reaction. He’s been setting off some sort of firearm, seemingly intending to scare the dogs. As it is the French custom to set off firearms near puppies they are both unbothered by the Ass’ noise.

Things now seem to be escalating, there has been putrid meat put in mum and dad’s garden. It can only be by the Ass and it’s intent can only be to make the dogs ill.

The meat was taken to the vet, but without handing over large sums of money it can’t be tested for poison. My concern is that things seem to be escalating and I can only think of two solutions a) move or b) the Ass has an accident.

I would like that they move, their current location is inconvenient – although the house is gorgeous. I’m not sure what option B can be relied on (well not without direct involvement which would be naughty – although increasingly justifiable). But I’m open to other ideas.

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