My Week in Pictures – February 19 to 26

PicMonkey Collage

Last time I posted my Week in Pictures, I waxed lyrical about going through a period of hibernation. Not much has changed.

It’s not something that worries me. I feel as though I have arrived at a great stage in my life where I don’t have to bend to pressure from other people and if I want to be the homebody I really am, I can go underground, without regret. That said, if I want to go out and dance in trainers until 3am, that is also my prerogative.

Right now, both G and I are on the arse end of a nasty bout of sickness. I’ve been sicker (!) but have miraculously managed to get myself to work, and out on several occasions, despite the above, while my one true love has been signed off work for a week. It’s not that he hasn’t been knocked for six by a chest infection, it’s just that I am far more heroic.

I realise on looking back that I was also talking about being sick in my last pictures post. I’ve been regularly and, it feels, constantly sick in one way or another since Christmas. I will be investing in a flu jab forthwith and taking more vitamins, because this cannot go on!

Pictures, left to right, top to bottom:

  1. I managed to get my aching butt to the pictures to see 50 Shades, as you already know. My reaction was mixed and my review is here, in case you missed it
  2. A good way to measure how I’m feeling about myself is by how many #selfies I take. This one was a turning point after a long flu-like sickness. Hello world!
  3. I got a bit excited when I noticed this Aroe piece right opposite where we live. It’s tucked down a little side alley and I only noticed it when I popped out to buy a pint of milk. I get excited about graffiti and lost my cool a few months back when I spotted this artist live in the act of creating a new piece #totalfangirl
  4. Having fun with rainbows. Spotted this in the car park at work, Instagrammed it. Obvs
  5. Two new babies from Models Own’s Chrome collection. Chrome Rose and Chrome Olive. They are delightful and the perfect little treats to cheer up a dreary day (although this day looks pretty spectac in this image)
  6. Leopard print lifts any outfit and these make me feel like I can do anything!
  7. My husband never puts his foot down about anything I do to modify myself but doesn’t think a septum piercing would suit me. To prove him wrong, I bought a fake one. Sadly, the man in right – it’s not a great look for me…
  8. A bonus of working in our shitty building is the epic view of the sun sets, this one was particularly awe-inspiring
  9. Lips!

Happy weekend loves, Hope you’ve had a good one!

50 Shades of Grey (Film) Review

fifty_shades_of_grey_ver3I’ve thought long and hard (giggle) about this review for some reason and I don’t really know why. I think it’s because reviews of crappy films often annoy me.

I mean, the rule doesn’t necessarily apply here in exactly the same way but with a film such as The Expendables, for instance, there is always so much huff and puff about how it’s light on plot/the dialogue is shit/acting not up to much and I think, well duh but it’s fun, isn’t it? Is this not why we are here? (In style of Maximus Decimus Crowe).

With this in mind, I’m not going to tear this film a new one just because it’s inspired by a very badly written trilogy of books, about a frankly iffy relationship. I had a lot of fun with my movie date and passed through a range of emotions during the viewing, including: embarrassment, mirth, bemusement, rage and indifference.

50 Shade of Grey (2015)

I didn’t like the books but I read them anyway, so I had a point of reference when people talked about them. Wanting to be part of it is why I went to see the film, and because I wanted to see how it’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson had adapted it, even with the input of E.L. James.

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“Ermahgerd you’re, like, so hot Mr Grey, ermahgerd!”

Let’s quickly do the negatives: This film is by no stretch the worst I’ve ever seen but it does have a TV Movie vibe about it. The acting is okay, borderline wooden at times. I think Dakota Johnson is quite likeable, despite being a bit of a caricature of ‘sexy’ with her breathy voice and big eyes. Jamie Dornan really doesn’t do it for me and I just don’t think there’s anything stand out about his performance, though they both do what they can with what they’ve got.

The dialogue is terrible, mainly because James is a truly horrible writer and it seems as though Taylor-Johnson lost the battle to refine it. At least we’re spared the whole ‘inner goddess’ schtick though, which is a massive Pro and should go on the positives list.

The sex scenes are a lot saucier than I expected, which probably sounds like a ridonkulous thing to say about a film about BDSM but I know what I mean. I was reassured by the fact that it was actually quite sexual, I thought it would be pseudo-sexy but somehow decidedly innocent. They actually do fuck, which is nice.

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Worry Woman

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I worry I don’t have this hair

My main act of #radicalselflove this week is to stop worrying so much.

I don’t know when I started being such a fretter but it seems overnight I caught the worry worts and now I lie awake at night remembering things I had aimed to do that day, but didn’t get around to or emails I wanted to send.

Go to sleep woman!

I worry about where I am in life at the age of 37, that I’m not earning very much. I worry that I’m not creatively fulfilled. I worry that everyone hates me and that I’ll be sacked tomorrow.

I won’t be able to get another job either, natch and my husband will leave me. I worry because I can’t seem to muster the energy to be healthier. I worry that I’m old before my time.

It goes on and on. It’s not good, is it?

So, I’m taking time out from tying myself up in knots. I know how lucky I am, to have a home, a loving relationship and the most awesome family.

I have a job and I know I’m good at it, even if I’m not doing exactly what I want to be within it. If I do decide to move on, then this is the only area that really needs to change, it can’t be that difficult. I’m a moderately intelligent human. I have a nice smile.

And I live in a world where Patricia Arquette has an Oscar and topped off her win with a kick ass feminist speech that made Meryl Streep fist pump (it’s more of an impassioned finger point). It’s a good time to be alive.

I think they call this period the Blues, usually it stays in January but with climate control and the polar ice caps, it drags on even longer these days.

Relax, I might sound incredibly negative in this post but there are lots of exciting blog things coming up and I love lots of things about my life. I know this is just a week of illness and PMS talking. I feel better sharing it with all of you already, you lucky, lucky people!

How’s your Monday been?

Image via Google.

Frankenstein’s Army (Film) Review

Frankenstein's Army banner

It’s time for the next exciting instalment of Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab 2015 and believe me, this one’s a corker. Our short list is getting ever plumper and more bizarre, which makes me feel very excited about my Sundays.

This week was Jill’s choice.

NB: You know the score re: spoilers. There are some.

The Film:

Frankenstein’s Army (2013)

Where to Watch:

US Netflix

The Premise:

Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The scientists have used the legendary Frankenstein’s work to assemble an army of super-soldiers stitched together from the body parts of their fallen comrades — a desperate Hitler’s last ghastly ploy to escape defeat. (via IMDB)

The Trailer:

Viewable here.

The Uncondensed Version:

We start with a home video of a young solider, Dimitri, pledging his allegiance to Stalin. He and his party appear to be going on a secret mission and Dimitri claims to be proud of the fact.

Dimitri appears for most of the rest of the film as a disembodied voice from behind his camera, for he has been entrusted to record the journey for posterity. We meet the other guys through his eyes and they are a rag tag bunch if ever there was one. We are treated to a montage of sorts (love a montage) while the boys take selfies with the local villagers and generally lark about.

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Still I Rise

This weekend, share with us a poem that you love (by someone who isn’t you,Maya_Angelou please). Via Writing 201: Poetry Potluck (21st February 2015)

This may not be the most surprising choice from me but this is without question my favourite poem.

It works on every level and is essentially perfect.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

~ Maya Angelou

Imagine if you could encapsulate the sentiment behind this and give it to every woman in the world?

Miss you, girl.

image via Google.

Trust

tumblr_nf689cKfMw1r1vjs5o1_1280Today’s word is trust: write a poem in which you address, reflect on, or tell a story about the feeling of trusting or being trusted by another (person, animal, object, potted plant…). Or about distrusting them (or not being trusted yourself). Via Writing 201: Trust (17th February 2015)

Today’s form: acrostic

This was a hard but satisfying style to try and crack. I’m quite sure you could argue that I didn’t quite hit the mark but I did what was asked and that is enough for me.

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Frank (Film) Review

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Never judge a film by its poster

I’m sick as a parrot, snotting and coughing all over the place and to top it all off, I royally fucked up my pancakes. It’s generally been a very mediocre Shrove Tuesday (and regular Tuesday) in the life of this Voluptuous Mind.

Except.

Except I think I might have just found my new favourite film of all time, on Netflix, just there for the plucking.

Frank (2014)

Synopsis: Jon is a wannabe musician, writing his own songs, with varying degrees of success, around his day job. By chance one day he finds himself playing keyboards with eccentric pop band, the Soronprfbs.

Verdict: Oh my gosh. I avoided this film at first because I didn’t know what to expect. I have to admit to not being that musical and although I do love music (90’s hip hop/The Smiths), I’m just not that into music biopics or the like.

This is something along those lines and in my mind I thought it would be boring and more than a little wank. I stand corrected as it’s neither of those things. In fact, it’s pretty close to perfect in terms of story (if a little flimsy), characterisation and dialogue. Mixing genuinely funny moments with poignant scenes, it gives you the feels where you don’t expect to have them.

The titular Frank, in particular, is an enigma far beyond his mask. Wearing a papier mâché head at all times (even to sleep), he carries a certificate that permits him to keep it on, even in the face of authority. He has a phenomenal singing voice while the rest of the band have varied and unique musical talent. Somehow it kind of sort of works.

Frank-Movie-PosterFrank is bolstered by his not very warm girlfriend, Clara, who takes an instant dislike to Jon, telling him early on to ‘go home’. The band have traveled to Ireland to record their first album and none of them seem that fussed about Jon, only Frank wants him around.

But Jon is convinced that he has the potential to access the far corners of his mind creatively. Will he be able to do that with a little help from his new friend? As the bond between the two of them grows, so too does Clara’s hatred for Jon.

Jon’s social networking skills, meanwhile, start to build up a small but strong following for the band, promising them an audience they never knew they wanted. Frank believes that Clara doesn’t want people to like them, but following a genuine tragedy within the group, she agrees to the band travelling to perform at the South by Southwest festival in Texas. This is not a sign that Clara is softening though, as she threatens to stab Jon if he ‘fucks up America’.

I’ll let you watch for yourself to learn the rest but I do highly recommend this film, which was inspired by the book, Frank by John Ronson (about 70’s Comedian and musician, Frank Sidebottom).

I will just sign off by saying that I love Maggie Gyllenhaal always and this performance is no exception. There’s a scene in which Jon calls Clara a really bad name (spoiler alert: it starts with a ‘C’ and ends in ‘unt’) and I thought to myself, yes that’s exactly what this character is (oh my but what a fabulous one).

Fassbender too plays his part well. Who knew that one man could elicit such genuine emotion whilst wearing an expressionless helmet/mask? He has an inimitable charisma that makes people follow him and somehow too, believe in his vision. There’s an element of something else there too that makes you want to protect him.

Finally, Domhnall Gleeson is just a little gem. His comic timing is wonderful and he puts me in mind of a young Murray Hewitt in Flight of the Conchords. I can’t wait to see him in more, especially Ex Machina.

Rating: I give this charming and genuinely heartwarming flick a not at all shabby 4.5 out of 5. And I’m tempted to pop the missing 0.5 on top anyway for taking my mind off just how shit I feel.

That’s me for tonight, I’m heading to bed now. Nighty Night.

Images via Google.

Journey

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Not actually me as a kid

Today’s word prompt is journey. Write a poem about anything that word evokes for you, from the excitement of a trip you’re about to embark on, the mental progress you witnessed someone make, or the struggles, pleasures, and extreme emotions that travel can bring about. Via Writing 201: Journey (16th February 2015)

Today’s form: limerick

I decided to base my limerick today on the journey of self love. It was fun to do and I think, quite effective.

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Water

Today, let’s write a poem about water. And/or a haiku. And/or use a simile. Via Writing 201: Water (15th February 2015)

For some reason I thought it would be a nice challenge to do the Writing 201: Poetry course via The Daily Post this time around. I was looking for Writing 201, the normal edition but couldn’t find it, so might make that my next port of call.

When the first poetry assignment popped into my inbox, I was a little deflated – write a poem, preferably a haiku! A haiku! I have done one, it’s not very good but then it is my first one, by the last prompt, I’m sure I’ll be a regular John Keats. Maybe.


Water is my theme.
Water is my biggest fear.
‘cos of sharks, innit.


You’re welcome. I’m here all week, etc.

 

 

Ginger Snaps (Film) Review

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I have a new favourite film blogger (and movie buddy); it’s Jillian of The Pink Panther Snipes Again.

Jillian reviews films on her blog that could be considered a little bit off the beaten track. It’s not like they are all obscure though, Sabrina Goes to Rome and Sabrina Down Under were quite popular TV movies back in the late nineties, though I had forgotten about both of them until Jillian reviewed them in her inimitable style.

It was when she reviewed Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same that I knew this was a girl after my own heart (before, actually but what? I’m playing it cool here). A bit of back and forth by email culminated in us arranging a virtual movie date and this is it. Welcome to our virtual movie date!

Since Jillian and I live on opposite sides of the world, we have been forced to watch the same film at different times, rather than share a tub of popcorn on the same couch. We’re aiming to post our reviews on the same day (today).

I think this is such a fun idea and it was all Jillian’s. I know we have to see how the first date goes but if it works and we both have a good time, I hope we’ll do this again. J, I’ve sort of based the structure of this post on yours as a tribute and… next movie choice is yours.

NB: Beware of spoilers. If you haven’t seen this film yet but intend to, you might want to look away now. 

The Film:

Ginger Snaps (2000)

After shortlisting a few gems on Netflix (both the US/UK versions), we decided on this one. I’ve seen it before and am a big fan, while this will be the first time for Jillian (who had to source a copy as, surprisingly, US Netflix doesn’t have it). UPDATE: She has seen it before, I lied. My bad.

Where to Watch:

UK Netflix

The Premise:

The Fitzgerald Sisters are obsessed with death and suicide, and in keeping with this theme, have made a pact to each other to get ‘out by sixteen or dead on the scene’ (which I think means killed themselves). Unfortunately, the sisters’ bond is tested when Ginger is bitten by a werewolf.

The Trailer:

Viewable here.

The (Very) Uncondensed Version*: 

*This sh@@ is looooong

Ginger Snaps opens with a fairly innocuous establishing shot of a normal overcast day in suburbia. A mother is raking leaves in the yard while her young son plays in the sand pit. The kid appears to have blood on his face but as he has his back to his mother, she doesn’t notice straight away. Oh but we do, we dooooooo!

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