Film: Dentists in Film

The Husband has been having teeth issues of late, they could be less self-inflicted and are costing a pretty penny so I’m feeling oh-so-very sympathetic.

Which is why I decided to try to find some horror films with dentists in for his enjoyment…

Much to my surprise I couldn’t find many – yes there are a couple of trashy B movies but nothing worth tracking down or spending good money on.

There is Steve Martin’s character in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and of course that scene in ‘Marathon Man’ but other than that I ended up at ‘Teeth’ which is an odd little film but not really suitable.

It is surprising as there are lot of films about evil clowns and I’m sure at least as many people are unhappy about dentists as about clowns. Perhaps it is because seeing a dentist is mandatory whilst clowns are generally avoidable and everyone is too scared to risk annoying their dentist…

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Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Iron Kissed’ – “It was like being leaned on by a very heavy, warm brick. A sexy brick”

‘Iron Kissed’ is the third book in the Mercy Thompson series and the one that I knew I had issues with.

The issue is largely around my personal feeling that rape is not a valid plot device. I am aware that it is a handy way of putting a female led in peril but it crops up in a fair number of urban fantasy books to the extent that it feels like rape is being trivialised.

With the Mercy Thompson series you can at least say it was foreshadowed so wasn’t a complete surprise, in the first book Moon Called there is heavy implication of something inappropriate and sexual happening to a young teen who is being held hostage and Mercy’s branding of someone as a rapist, in book 2 Blood Bound Mercy concludes the chap she accused of being a rapist probably isn’t but she uses a rape analogy for when a vampire fed from her without consent – I can see why that would feel a potentially appropriate description as it is a bodily violation.

iron kissed

(It is curiously hard to find images of the old UK covers online despite the fact they are far more tasteful than the US covers or the new UK ones)

Which means that is isn’t a huge surprise that book three goes THERE, I dislike the scene but at least Briggs does deal a bit with the aftermath, Mercy isn’t magically expected to pick herself and carry on as normal – except she sort of does.

What I find most disappointing is that the rest of the book is actually interesting, ok so there isn’t much werewolf stuff or shifter stuff but the fae plotline is really interesting and was something that I’d have liked to not associate with rape.

On the plus side, the book does at least make sure the reader will remember to not trust the fae.

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Garden: Scarlet Lily Beetles ate my Snake’s Head

A couple of months ago I purchased a Snake’s Head lily, AKA Fritillaria meleagris or snake’s head fritillary.

I’ve generally seen them in damper environments than my garden so I was aware they might need extra watering. What I didn’t think about was how tasty they would be…

The Scarlet Lily Beetles were a  fixture of my parents garden when I was little, my sibling and I used to carefully catch the little bugs (about 8mm in length) to listen to them squeak – in the straightforward naming convention that children use we called them “red squeaking beetles” and had rather fond memories of them.

snake's head lily

(Photo from Ebay)

What I’d forgotten was how quickly the lily beetles chomped through lilies (they utterly strip the foliage) and kill off the plant – my snake’s head has now entirely died.

Having done some reading it sounds like some pesticides might work but they will also kill everything else which seems a bit overkill.

Which probably means I won’t get another lily for the garden, I will just have to search the internet for photos of other people snake’s heads that didn’t get eaten.

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Food: Robinsons apple and blackcurrant jelly pot

The Robinsons No Added Sugar Apple & Blackcurrant Jelly Pot has no added sugar and is suitable for vegetarians but it isn’t really jelly, it is more akin to slightly solid water in a pot which tastes a bit weird but nothing like apple or blackcurrant.

robinsons apple and blackcurrant jelly

Looking at the ingredients it quickly becomes clear why apple and blackcurrant don’t feature in the taste:

Water , Maltodextrin , Stabilisers (Locust Bean Gum, Agar) , Acidity Regulators (Citric Acid, Trisodium Citrate) , Purple Carrot Juice Concentrate , Flavourings , Sweetener (Sucralose) .

Goodness only knows why Robinsons’ didn’t just call this Purple Carrot jelly, they’d probably get as many people buying it the once and only once!

Boycotting Robinsons seems an appropriate response to this lying jelly.

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Nails: Birthday!

Work don’t know it is my birthday – I am very glad of this fact as their taste in cards is garish and the tradition is that the birthday person brings in cakes.

I’m going to bring in biscuits for the gannets that I work with, that is definitely sufficient!

birthday nails

(Picture from Pinterest)

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Film: Ex Machina – “Isn’t it strange, to create something that hates you?”

The official blurb is along the lines of “A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.” – thank you IMDB.

I would personally rephrase it to “an annoying programmer with zero social skills is selected by his creepy pervert boss to perv on an android with boobs in an isolated environment which screams of a set-up.”

ex machina

(It is a film poster for a film about a robot… I know lets make her pose so both her boobs and her butt are the main focus points)

This might be a bit of a hint that I didn’t get on with the film, it was slow, the two human leads were annoying and irritating. The female androids were unnecessarily sexualised – which just rammed home how male orientated this film was.

I wish there had been less random female nudity, I wish the film had an actual point – other than “don’t be a pervert” – although that is the point that I draw from the film rather than the one the maker probably wanted me to take away.

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Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Blood Bound’ – “Of course, eating him would work, too”

Blood Bound’ is the 2nd book in the Mercy Thompson series.

Mercy is still a mechanic, still a coyote and gradually getting more involved in both the local werewolf pack and with the local vampire seethe.

It seems slightly odd that in book two of a series with a walker/shapeshifter main character and strong werewolf links is primarily interested in vampires. Specifically how the local vampires feel a demonically-possess vampire.

Stefan is an interesting vampire character, he was different to any other portrayal of a vampire that I’ve read – although I’m very open to  recommendations of similar portrayals!

blood bound

There werewolves don’t shine in this book, they are interesting but they aren’t the main focus – apart from the mention that Ben isn’t the rapist that Mercy thought he was in the first book there isn’t that much werewolf character development.

Some people would argue with this statement, but I honestly feel that Mercy making excuses for the two werewolves who want to get into her pants isn’t character development.

A fair few times there were lines that tracked as follows: “It wasn’t his fault, werewolf instincts are very strong.”

It feels that a lot of a book is making excuses for unequal relationships and repressing women – the entire species of werewolves have never heard of female liberation and it is clearly stated that females take their status in the pack from their (male) mate’s status.

If there first two-thirds of the book had contained more action I wouldn’t have been able to dwell on this, but there wasn’t much happening for most of the book so I got to considering how I kept half expecting Mercy to be clubbed over the head and dragged back to a cave by one of the two male leads. This makes me root for Mercy less than I would usually – she is a funny narrator and she is intelligent but she get involved in stupid situations and gets in avoidable trouble by being headstrong.

My biggest issue with the book is I couldn’t shake one phrase “he ate me” – the scene linked to this was unnecessarily disturbing and it really bugged me.

Overall I don’t like this book as much as the first one, I don’t think I want to keep it.

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