Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More "Best of 2010" shit

Before I get started on what is probably going to be a long post, I want to share what I've spent the majority of today doing....

After getting Lauren Conrad's book Style for Christmas, and falling madly in love with it, I decided to clean out my room, move some shit around, and, of course, clear out my overflowing wardrobe. As most people know, I'm not a girly girl. I'm not into shopping or anything, I only just started learning shit about make-up this year, and most of the time I wouldn't be considered glamorous. But I love fashion, and I love clothes, and I've spent years experimenting and taking ridiculous chances, to ultimately create my very own style.

What is that style? I'm not quite sure. I've decided that I get a lot of style influences from Kat von D, Kristen Stewart, Chibi and, of course, Hayley Williams. But other than that, the only way I'd really describe my style is tomboyish, kinda grungy and never too fussy or over put together (in work, it's totally different!).

But since Lauren suggested cleaning out the wardrobe, in order to have a better understanding of what one has, doesn't have and needs, I did exactly that. I was very impressed to discover that I had everything on her "wardrobe staples" lists, although her variations were a lot more conservative than mine. Here are the awe-inspiring before and after shots. This took me three hours to sort out, bearing in mind that a lot of my clothes were not in my wardrobe.

Prepare to be amazed!

Before...





















...After!!





I am so proud! I have everything divided up according to colour and style, all of my reconstructed tees together, basics, trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses, jackets, shirts...this makes me very excited, which I guess is kinda girly, but no matter. I am proud. I don't know how long this is going to last, but for the moment it's awesome to have everything in order. My head feels much clearer as a result. The rest of my room looks good too, in case you're wondering.

Anyway! Christmas was just a couple of days ago, but I don't really want to blab on about it for this post, although it was pretty good this year. The mental weather kind of fucked everything up, but besides that it was pretty awesome. Got some cool shit (new Docs!!!), spent some quality time with the family, ate lots, drank lots, watched Edward Scissorhands and cried like a baby... The emo got me the most incredible present I've ever got - three pencil drawings by Aaron Alexovich (one of my favourite artists) of Kat, Hayley and Chibi, my three idols, in frames decorated with stars in a colour that related to each chick, and Nightmare Before Christmas stickers. They're amazing! He totally showed me up!!!

Okay enough bullshit, it's time to get on to the best and worst of 2010 (the worst list, just like last year, will be small). I hope I don't forget anything...but if I do, it doesn't mean that it wasn't awesome, it just means I've a fucking terrible memory!

Let me just say, though, before I begin, that 2010 was a fucking deadly year, and thank you very much to everybody who made it so!



Finishing college
I'll be honest, by the end
of my four year course, despite how much I still loved what I was doing, I was fucking sick of it... I was sick of the work, the stupid fucking egomaniacs I was forced into working with and, at times, taking orders from, and I was just fucking bored overall. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified that, after choosing to be part of an industry that was creative and didn't guarantee a paid job directly after college (or ever), I would end up broke, on the dole, and suicidal. I was dying to get out into the world and start living by my rules, actually having a life in Dublin (if that is actually possible) and making some fucking money. Graduation itself was pretty boring, and the ball was fairly meh too, but whatever. I graduated without my hat on, which meant I was treated like a bad ass once again without actually doing anything of note (seriously, I'm rarely trying to make a statement, I just do things without thinking). Oh, and I had a pretty awesome dress for the ball too! And a giant spider ring!! All's well that ends well, I guess.


The gigs
I didn't go to that many gigs this year, surprisingly. But I did see the Rocky Horror Show live, which was fucking amazing. I also saw WWE Raw live...that was pretty fucking cool. But, asides from those, I did get to see two of my favourite bands, Lostprophets, and Paramore too. And I saw one of my favourite comedians, Bill Bailey, which was incredible. I feel as if I'm forgetting a few, because I couldn't honestly have just seen two fucking bands this year...but I guess maybe I did. The Lostprophets gig was a special one, because it was my sister's first ever rock gig. And because they were awesome. Ian Watkins is still one of my favourite frontmen, and after seeing the Prophets perform with exactly as much enthusiasm in front of a festival crowd and the paltry amount assembled in the Academy, I know that I'm going to love them forever. Paramore was special for obvious reasons!! I mean, we queued for 8 hours, stayed in a luxurious hotel, got so close to Hayley we could almost smell her...and the gig itself kicked major ass! I still get the same rush going to gigs as I did when I was a little fifteen-year-old grunge kid, which is kick ass. And 2011 is already looking great for gigs, with Rob Zombie and Rock im Park in June, and possibly Slipknot later in the summer.


The people
I'm incredibly lucky with the people that I have in my life, and that was especially apparent this year. At 22, I'm lucky to have several best friends, whom I know and love and trust with my life. They are there for me when I need them (and vice versa), call me out when I'm behaving like a twat, make me laugh, make me cry, keep things exciting, and impress me every day with how creative, artistic, intelligent, talented, beautiful and wonderful they all are. They are all different and strange in their own ways, which means we rarely all become obsessed with the same band or want to see the same film or do the same thing. Thank fuck, otherwise it'd get totally boring! I've learned, especially over the last few years, that it's better to be surrounded by people with their own voices, than sheep who would rather say nothing and keep the peace. Scooby is a MASSIVE Green Day fan, and by the logic of most crazed fans, she and I shouldn't really be buds because I love Paramore, sworn enemies of GD (according to fans, they're not actually enemies). But I believe Scoob and I have more fun comparing and contrasting our opposing bands, as opposed to if we both queued for GD shows together and then discussed it afterwards! Of course, I'm a bit too old to be making new friends at this stage of my life (har de har) so it only makes sense that I adore the ones I've got! However, I did sort of make a few new friends this year, or more correctly, I got closer to a couple of people who were already in my life, i.e. Rich and Ally, who are possibly the coolest couple I know. We'd never really got that much time to chat and get to know each other, not to mention the fact that one of their closest friends fucking hates me, but between the end of last year, and this year, we really got on the same page and that was fucking awesome.

The other new friend I made was a totally new friend, made through the rather shit means of Facebook and mutual friends (I can't remember the exact reason we got talking, but it wasn't a very good one!). We bonded over shared love of stupid emo shit like Lenore and Tim Burton, piercings, tatts and people generally thinking the two of us are dirty whores. It's been fun! I always feel like the weirdest one out of my group of friends, because let's face it, I do look and act the weirdest. But new mate made me feel positively normal! In the short space of time we've known each other (less than a year, I believe) I've vomited in front of this dude twice, been unashamedly drunk (while he was almost ridiculously sober, patient and pleasant), passed out on his sofa and been unable to get up for the following twelve hours, relentlessly made fun of him (and vice versa), been literally picked up off my feet by him, been given shitloads of drink and food and bizarrely perfect insights into life and love and what the fuck we're all really doing here... I think that I would be him if I were male, especially since he is far more feminine than I. Whether we are actual friends or just acquaintances remains to be seen, because sadly we're still kind of in that limbo area where it's unclear whether we can just call each other up or get angry or whatever. I still have some serious trust issues, too, so I'm reluctant to get close to anyone and get hurt...but I will forever be grateful to him for pretending he hadn't heard me puke when he obviously had, feeding me and taking care of me when he really didn't have to, and, of course, giving me his hoodie to hide the fact that I was in work in the same dress as the day before. Whatever fucking happens, he made 2010 memorable, to say the least! Oh, and Noodles is totally in love with him, which makes it even better! I'd stick in a photo of them snuggling up to each other the first time they ever met...but I won't, because the mental image is probably better.


The tatts
This year, I got tattooed on my birthda
y, as has become customary over the past couple of years (the word "Liebe" on my right wrist), which was awesome, but the really awesome tattooing experience of this year was, of course the four-hour marathon session that resulted in the most beautiful, full-colour tattoo on my lower right leg of the dreamiest dream girl of all time, Ramona Flowers. The emo has since been back to my tattoo artist to get his arm inked, and took great pleasure in being told all about how me and Scooby wouldn't shut up during the time he'd tattooed me. I love my tattoo artist. He is very sexy and incredibly talented, not to mention totally mental. I'm already planning when I can head into him for my first tattoo of 2011 (once he returns, because of course, he isn't Irish). Being under his needle is a mind-blowing experience (and yes, I know how bad that sounds). I got pierced this year too, of course, but being tattooed, I must admit, is a far more exciting and fulfilling experience...probably cos it lasts longer and hurts an almost unbelievable amount! I can't wait for more in 2011... Here is me, slightly drunk and dressed like a lolita sailor chick, showing off my tatt without showing off my undies (somehow). Although this is kind of a shit photo, I still think my tatt looks awesome in it. I don't even really remember the pain! Ooh now I'm itching for a new one...should continue on with this list and distract myself!!


The job
I've written at length about how happy I am to be working, how lucky to have found a job, blah blah blah, so I won't bore anyone any further with it here. But I am loving what I'm doing, not to mention that it's pretty fucking awesome to finally have a life in stupid Dublin. Now I'm finally working towards getting the hell out of here, and that in itself is amazing. So if there is one thing that I am thankful for this year, it is definitely my job. I really cannot stress that enough!

Awesome nights out
One of the best things about having a job, thus making money, means that I can do more stuff than I could do dream of doing before, from weekends in London, to nights out in bars that makes this city seem less shit. That has resulted in some of the maddest, filthiest,
roughest and coolest nights out than ever before. I finally found a clubbing buddy in Noodles, and we've had some of the best times out dancing to silly pop music and drinking cocktails. I do quite like clubbing every now and again, although clubbing folk usually think I'm quite kinky because of how I look and/or how I'm dressed... Of course, we still frequent our favourite rock bar, and get fucked up there on a regular basis because, let's face it, nobody cares. And we found some cool new places to go as well, which has been fucking awesome. We haven't been going out every night or anything, but when we do go out, it kicks major ass, whether there are two of us, or twenty. And, surprisingly enough, we've managed to find a balance between having fun sober and drunk! The Zombie Walk was another awesome experience, even though it cost nothing!! It was so much fun, and so silly. I got a lot of shit from my mother for turning up covered in blood to a family dinner afterwards, but it was totally worth it!!!


My totally awesome relationship
At the risk of sounding totally mushy, it's been a great year for the emo and I. We celebrated a year together on Halloween,
managed to still see each other as often as possible despite how crazy busy we both are, and we've become even closer than we were before (if that's actually possible). He is my best friend and the one person I trust most in the world. He was there for me when other people let me down, even queueing for four hours in the freezing cold with me to meet Kat von D, and watching silly horror movies with me despite the fact he doesn't particularly appreciate the genre. We give each other shit all the time, we are totally ourselves around each other, and we love each other more and more every day. He showed me with his Christmas present that he knows me better than I probably know myself, and I cannot imagine my life without him. He can be a total shit at times, of course, but even when we argue it doesn't last long, because we know each other so well that after a bit we just give up and get over ourselves!!! It's amazing to be in a healthy relationship with no pretenses and no bullshit. It's very new for me, I must admit!!


My new hair colour
After three years of wrecking my hair with bleach, which resulted in me having to cut it all off towards the end of last year, I decided to take action and, in January, dyed it a deep, permanent black-black. I say "black-black" because everybody else I know with black hair uses "blue-black" and I feel as if perhaps I'm the only person in the whole city dying it black-black (which makes it even more infuriating that Boots always seems to be out of the stuff!). Anyway, it's not a hugely significant life-changing thing...except that it kind of is, because it has totally changed my face and makes me look and feel soooo much better! I love being dark, it suits my personality so much more than the blonde did, even though it isn't as extreme. Ever since I was 14, I've been changing my hair on a regular basis, and the only colour I ever stuck with was white blonde. Now, I think I may stick with black-black for a while which, madly enough, is a serious deal to me!! Oh, and my hair actually looks and feels like hair now, which is pretty fucking cool, because I didn't ever think I'd get there!


Honourable mentions
-
Meeting Kat von D was fucking amazing, but since I've already devoted a whole post to that, I'll just stick it in here at the end! It was awesome! I still get goosebumps thinking about it!
- There were some awesome movies out this year, and it was a decent year for horror too, which was cool. Again, already dedicated a post to that.
- My trip to London, with Saz, in September was really, really good fun. It's become sort of an annual thing now, to go to London (or, more specifically, Camden) and shop till I drop. I've already made plans to go again in the new year. It gets better every time. And this year, we got to see Charley too!
- System Of A Down were announced as the headliners for next year's RIP. This made my whole fucking year, because I didn't think I'd ever get to see them live!!

Best Of 2010
- Album:
Either Pins and Needles - The Birthday Massacre or Diamond Eyes - Deftones. Both of these albums, in my opinion, were ground-breaking. TBM and Deftones have been two of my favourite bands for a long time now, and both never cease to surprise me. These are my two favourite albums of 2010 because I love every single track on both, loved both instantly, was intrigued and delighted by the quality, direction and feel of both. These are albums that will definitely stand the test of time, for sure.
- Book: I read lots and lots of Dennis Lehane this year, but I can't recall if any of the books I read were published this year, likewise those by Daniel Waters. I loved both of Kevin Smith and Kat von D's books, but if I had to choose the best novel I've read this year (I don't think it came out this year, but oh well) it'd be Generation Dead by Daniel Waters, because not only was the protagonist a goth, but the story refrained from being Twilight-esque syrupy bullshit, and actually asked some real questions about the dynamics of society and how teenage friendships and relationships function.
- Movie: Already did this! Either Inception or Toy Story 3. For horror, definitely Frozen.
-
Gig: Paramore in the O2. Nuff said!
- Comic book: I love love love Scott Pilgrim, but this year I re-discoverd Aaron Alexovich's Serenity Rose and Roman Dirge's classic Lenore. What can I say? I'm a sucker for goth comics!
- Song: Possibly Shallow Grave by TBM or Rocket Skates by Deftones... My clubbing song was definitely Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida, while my song to rock out to was Oildale by Korn.
- Guilty Pleasure: 30 Seconds To Mars! Jared Leto's vanity project are totally over the top and silly, but I must admit, I do love a few of their songs! And he's so pretty to look at!!
- New obsession: Gossip Girl recaps on New York magazine's website. Too fucking funny. Mega64 are my new old obsession, because they are that good!
- Hottest chick: Kristen Stewart. She didn't wear a bra for the duration of The Runaways, I still have yet to recover from it! And she is gay, no matter what anyone says. She is.
- Hottest dude:
The gorgeous Jared Leto, any of the Mega64 guys, CM Punk (om nom nom), Robert Sheehan...there were a lot of hot dudes this year, it's difficult to decide!
- Fashion icon: Hayley, Kat, Kristen. They inspire me with their rock 'n' roll attitude, grungy sensibilities and refusal to dress pretty or girly unless they absolutely have to!
- Accessory of the year: Probably my big, silver cross that I got for my grad. Or my trusty Cons.
- Biggest achievements: Finding a job, doing it, fitting in in an office environment, finishing college, keeping my relationship going, liking who I am...etc!


The Lows
Thankfully, there were very few low points this year. I didn't have many low points personally at all, asides from a few run-ins with stupid girls, threats from jealous, insecure girlfriends and the fear of my new job and new people to fit in with. Overall, this year has been a damn good one. The state of the country is not something that I particularly feel like writing about here, not because it doesn't concern me, but due to the fact that I gave up on this place a long time ago and am simply working now to get the hell out of here. Ireland sucks. End of.

The two biggest low points of this year were probably the deaths in the metal world, and the weird non-break-up of Paramore. First, the passing of Pete Steele, Ronnie James Dio and, of course, Paul Gray, were incredibly upsetting and left the metal world shocked and reeling for months afterwards. I've loved Type O Negative since I was a little goth kid, so Pete dying was dreadful. Dio's songs with Sabbath and solo are the soundtrack to my favourite rock bar, so every time I hear them my heart hurts. And, of course, Paul Gray dying means the end of one of my all-time favourite bands. I still can't watch the Slipknot press conference, because it makes me cry to this day. And seeing Corey Taylor struggling through Bother at DL last summer was truly heart-breaking. We lost some amazing men this year, and they will never be forgotten.

The other downer this year happened just last week. I've written at length about it, so I won't repeat myself here. I am very upset that Josh and Zac Farro have left Paramore, thus changing the band forever, and I am even more disheartened by Josh's attack on Hayley in the media. However, this simply ushers in a new era for the band, one which I am really looking forward to, and I have no doubt in my mind that the band will go from strength to strength.


So...that's it for 2010!! It's been a fucking awesome year...can't wait for the next one! Bring on 2011!!!!!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ignorance is your new best friend

I couldn't let this week go by without weighing in on the current debate raging about the demise/reboot of Paramore. In case anybody reading this (all two of you) isn't aware, Josh and Zac Farro, the lead guitarist and drummer of Paramore respectively, decided to leave the band this week. The remaining members, Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor, issued a statement via the band's website, citing issues such as the brothers missing their families, changing relationships and a demanding tour schedule for their departure, and promised to move forward as a band. Hayley's old catchphrase "Paramore is a band" morphed easily into "Paramore is still a band". It seemed fair enough. Things change, they were growing apart, whatever.

And then, the plot thickened. A blog, purporting to have been written by the Farro brothers, appeared, and detailed, in all its' horrible glory, the slow demise of the band over their seven year career, from feuds to Hayley being the main focus, to her solo career, to her crazy, domineering parents, to a record company conspiracy. It made for incredibly difficult reading, and I, along with legions of die-hard fans, secretly prayed that it was fake. And then Josh released a video on his youtube account, assuring us all that the blog was real, and furthermore, although he knew it upset some of us "there's nothing I can do about that".

Now, a lot of fans (mainly crazy, religious, teenage chicks) freaked out, swearing they'd never listen to Paramore again, how they hated Hayley and that we'd all been tricked into believing a lie and a clear marketing ploy.

This is one of those moments when I am so very glad that I am in my twenties, and thus able to take a step back from such unfortunate events and gather my thoughts before making emotionally-charged, rash decisions. I've loved this band for years, I queued up for seven hours in the rain and freezing cold to see them, I'm not giving up on them any time soon - at least, not until they give up.

Firstly, let me just say that Hayley Williams is one of my role models. I don't know her personally, obviously, but I doubt that she could fake her public appearance so much so that I'd be fooled into believing she's just like me. I admire strong, independent, confident women, who are who they are without feeling the need to constantly defend and explain themselves. Watching candids of her with the guys, remembering how she used to refuse to wear make-up for photoshoots, reading her blog - it's abundantly clear that not only is she truly herself at all times, but she loves those boys, the band and her career. Claiming that she is some selfish, evil dictator, or the puppet of a strictly-monitored marketing ploy on the part of the record company is just plain stupid. And the fact that Josh, not only her best friend but boyfriend of three years, would imply such things in a blog and publish it for the whole world to see says much more about him than it does her.

I'm interested to hear what she has to say in response, but I wouldn't be surprised if she said nothing. Hayley has stated herself in recent interviews that she is who she is with no apologies, and she has nothing to prove anymore. I feel the same way, and it's after years of people putting me down and saying the worst possible things about me.

Furthermore, if Hayley wanted to be a solo artist, she could be. She is extremely talented, driven, well-accomplished, and has a massive following. The fact of the matter is, she doesn't need Paramore. She chooses to be part of the band because she loves it, because it is her passion, and because that is who she is. This is evident from her lyrics, live performances, and in interviews and candid footage. Look at Gwen Stefani, it hasn't taken her long to morph into a popstar clone. Nobody can hide their true self forever, so if Hayley really does only have her own best interests at heart (which I sincerely doubt) then it will become clear before long.

Josh and Zac mention in the blog that they were offended by some of Hayley's lyrics for Brand New Eyes. If this is true, then why did Josh, who writes the majority of the music, agree to do so around her words? It's common knowledge that the album is about the difficulties within the band, and the fact that they almost broke up during the writing process. This is evident from the lyrics to most of the tracks, especially Playing God and Ignorance. I find it very difficult to believe that two people, who were so offended and so hurt by what Hayley had written, would still agree to play along, and force themselves to act like they were having a good time playing songs live when they felt belittled them. Why the hell would they bother!?

A lot of the shit that's come out doesn't make sense to me. Furthermore, as somebody who is the same age as those in Paramore, it comes as a huge shock to me that the Farro brothers would act out in this way, regardless of how hurt or betrayed they may be feeling. It's tacky and immature, not to mention that they come across like spoilt, bratty children who are ungrateful for their extremely good fortune. Let's not forget that these men are extremely wealthy, and have enjoyed massive popularity, especially over the past few years. Whether they left on bad terms or not, what happened should've stayed within the confines of the group.

I'm not one to bury my head in the sand. I realise that I don't know any of these people personally. I also know that people change as they grow up, and since Paramore have been together since they were 16/17, it was inevitable that they were going to run into problems as they got more famous and entered their twenties. Being in a band, touring, being away from one's family, being stuck with the same people all the time - it can't be easy. Being young and wealthy and famous doesn't make it any less complicated. But the Farro brothers leaving Paramore should not be blamed entirely on one member of the group, especially not because they simply couldn't handle that Hayley was the main focus.

After all, in most bands, the lead singer is the focus. It's just how things go. But that doesn't mean the other members are less important, nor does it mean that they should lash out at the person in the forefront, or simply pack up and leave. Hayley has always maintained that Paramore is a band, even refusing to do magazine covers solo up until this year. It keeps coming back to me - why would she bother with any of that if she wanted to be a solo artist? Why not just steal the spotlight and keep it until she could launch herself on her own? It wouldn't have been difficult, especially since she was offered a solo contract early on (which she flatly refused).

Anyway, whatever happens, Paramore will always be one of my favourite bands. They make great music, put on a fantastic live show, and come across as fantastically down to earth and fun in interviews. I love that they're my age, and that they behave the way me and my mates would if we were lucky enough to be in their position. It's terrible that it has come to this, but shit happens.

Whatever the Farro brothers are playing at, I hope it goes well for them. I can't wait to see what Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor come up with next, because I know it's going to be fucking awesome!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And so, the "Best of 2010" lists begin!

So, my boy Rich, film buff and all-round awesome dude, just did his best of 2010 movie list, and so I've been inspired to do mine. Please bear in mind that I'm not a film buff whatsoever. I'm a total film nut, especially when it comes to horror movies, and I've written quite a few reviews in my time, but I'm not exactly Mark Kermode. Although I do love him very, very much.

So, I am by no means an expert. I like what I like and sometimes I like what everybody else hates, so...well, take it as you will.

So! My top ten movies of 2010 are as follows (if spoilers slip in, I'm sorry):


10. A Nightmare On Elm Street
First, let it be known that I am a HUGE Freddy Krueger fan, and the Nightmare On Elm Street movies are some of my favourites of all time, as far as horror goes, and just movies in general. I was pissed Robert Englund wasn't reprising his role as Freddy, who is probably my favourite villain of all time, but of course, he's a very old man at this stage and I guess they wanted to revamp the series somewhat, which is fine. I love Jackie Earle Haley, and he was the perfect choice for the new Freddy. Some of his one-liners in this new version are hilarious, and he genuinely scared me a few times. Of course, the fact that the whole "did he really do it" storyline is thrown in is a bit stupid if one has already seen the originals. However, the tone of this revamp is spooky and eerie and there are genuinely a few frights. The whole supernatural edge is dealt with very well, without the usual cringey effects. I'm not usually scared by such things, but I genuinely was in A Nightmare On Elm Street. Plus, seeing the big, dumb vampire from the woeful Twilight movies kill himself within the first few moments was fucking AWESOME. This was no way near as good as the original, but it was pretty damn good. And it was also both fun and funny, two elements that I consider to be very important in any horror movie.

9. Piranha 3D
I only saw this yesterday, but it makes it into the top ten because it was so much fun, so silly, so gory, and had all of the key elements of a classic, B-movie, monster-horror movie. I love anything to do with scary things in the water - Jaws, Lake Placid and Deep Blue Sea being three of my favourite horror films of all time. And I love watching stupid people get mercilessly killed. And I love boobies. And I love Christopher Llyod. So, really, Piranha 3D was my perfect movie! I'd read up about it in Total Film prior to seeing it, so I was already a bit geeky about how much fake blood was used, and how certain things were shot. Visually, it's a dream. The location is sun-drenched, the water is crystal clear, and there are some seriously hot bodies on show. In fact, the only real problem with this movie visually, is the terrible CGI job done on the piranhas. Luckily, the acting is fairly good, hammy in places and serious in others, and it's easy to suspend one's disbelief and really believe in the danger posed by the vicious fishies, even if they do look totally shit. Christopher Lloyd is awesomely hammy, and has a lot of fun with his role. The only real downer was when Jessica Szohr, the chick who annoys the hell out of me every week on Gossip Girl, didn't get chomped to bits in the end.

8. Splice
I'll admit, I'm not a big sci-fi fan. And, although I have quite a strong stomach, shit that has to do with biological experimentation or anything of the sort makes me feel slightly ill. Even so, I was excited to see Splice. I love a bit of Adrien Brody and I was intrigued by the much talked about, semi-sexual tone. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed. Splice isn't horror, nor is it sci-fi. It's a thriller and a drama, a study of human nature and a study of a crumbling relationship, and it asks difficult questions about how far one would go for one's career, and how intelligent people can act really, really stupid. Moving, shocking and very, very strange, Splice was a nice surprise that gave me hope that I may, one day, like the sci-fi genre.

7. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallowes part 1
I'm a massive Harry Potter nerd, and I'm delighted that the movie adaptations have got better as the years have gone by. I feel as if I've grown up with the kids, and their acting has got so much better that it's almost hard to believe that they're the same people. The seventh instalment was equal parts terrifying, heart-wrenching, hilarious and thrilling. I laughed, cried, gasped, hid behind my hands - even though I already knew the story well. It is by no means a perfect film, but it was a near-perfect adaptation and it did not disappoint me. A lot of people felt it lagged in the middle, but I didn't notice the long-ass running time, nor did I think any of it was unnecessary. The setpieces were beautiful too. I'll no doubt be seeing it again on Christmas eve, as is tradition, and I can't wait!

6. Shutter Island
Another fantastic adaptation! Denis Lehane is one of my favourite authors, and the other, Ben Affleck-directed adaptation of his novel Gone Baby Gone was fantastic, so I had high hopes for this one, even though the story itself is complicated, and didn't seem like it would translate well to the big screen. Luckily, it did. Leonardo di Caprio and Mark Ruffalo shone as the two leads, and the setting was suitably eerie, complemented perfectly by a booming, foreboding soundtrack. It was another near-perfect adaptation. The only real problem I have with it, and it's a tiny one at that, is the added-in bit at the end, which seemed to only be stuck in there so as not to confuse otherwise stupid viewers. I didn't really feel like it was necessary. But otherwise, the layered, creepy, strange story was perfectly told on screen and the acting was spot on.

5. The Runaways
I get a lot of shit for being a total Kristen Stewart fanatic, and I'm often told that I'd watch pretty much anything that she's in. I don't know if that's necessarily true. I've seen pretty much everything she's been in, but then again I've been madly in love with her since I saw her in Panic Room at 14....and I am not ashamed! One day she will be mine! And yes, I have seen all of the Twilight movies in the cinema, just for her. (Notice how Eclipse did NOT make it into this list, thus proving that I will not recommend crap just because of Kristen Stewart). So, on to The Runaways, which did make it in. I love Kristen Stewart. I love when she dresses like a dude and doesn't wear a bra. I love Joan Jett. The Runaways is, thus, one of my fantasies come to life on screen - Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett, in leather pants, with a fem-mullet, not wearing a bra. Now, I was totally expecting this film to be total shit. I mean, there aren't a lot of rock biopics out there that I'd recommend. Last Days was one of the worst films I've ever seen, and I am a massive Kurt Cobain nut. Luckily, The Runaways was on a totally different level. The Runaways aren't a very well-known band, and theirs isn't a story that a lot of people could relate to (myself included), or even know about. It's a shame, because the story is an interesting and exciting one, which plays out very well on screen. This film was shot exceptionally well, and looked beautiful. Seeing Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart recreate the infamous Cherry Bomb performance, from Japan in 1977, was pretty incredible. The Runaways kind of bombed, which sucks, because I loved it. But then again, maybe I'm the only one who did!

4. Frozen
Frozen is by far my favourite horror release of 2010. It went straight to DVD over here, which meant practically no one got a chance to see it. It's a real shame, because this is a serious horror gem. It was made for practically no money, and the set itself is claustrophobically small. There are just three actors on screen for the majority of the running time, which nearly always spells disaster. In this case, it was genius. The story revolves around three twentysomethings who get stranded on a skilift. Pretty simple premise, but terrifying nonetheless. Of course, there are only three people involved, so there's no picking everybody off one by one, nor are these characters dumb or irritating. They are layered, believable and it's really easy to sympathise with their plight. Although it does, at times, make for difficult viewing, Frozen is one of the most original movies I've seen this year, and definitely one of the most original horrors in recent years. More people should see this fucking movie!

3. Scott Pilgrim Versus The World
Ah, Scott Pilgrim...one of my more recent obsessions... I've already written a big, long, boring blog about what I loved and hated about this movie adaptation, and I don't want to repeat myself here. But let me just say that, upon closer inspection, my one and only problem with this film is Mary Elizabeth's Winstead shockingly amateur performance, in which she turns Ramona Flowers, the ultimate bad ass dream girl, into the eye-rolling, snarky, evil bitch that fat, 30-year-old nerds living in their mothers' basements always wanted her to be. MEW, I will hate you forever for wrecking an otherwise perfect film, and for making far too many nerds believe that they were right all along.

2. Toy Story 3
This was an easy choice for second place, because it was one of two perfect films for me this year. This is also on everybody's Top 10 list because, not only was it the perfect ending to a perfect trilogy, but it is beautifully shot, perfectly acted, with a well-structured plot that is equal parts funny, sad, moving and thrilling. Of course, I'm part of the generation that has grown up with these films, so I was bawling like a baby by the end, for more reasons than what I was watching on screen. The Toy Story trilogy is that rarest of gems - a trio of animated films that can be watched over and over without losing any of their original magic. And Toy Story 3 rounded off the series perfectly.

1. Inception
I hate to be a cliche, and pick the film for number one spot that practically everybody else on the face of the planet is going to pick, but there really was no other film that came close to comparing to this one. Toy Story 3 was absolute perfection, but Inception went one step further, because it was live action, and somehow Christopher Nolan managed to achieve on screen what had previously only really been achieved in animated films. I saw Inception twice in the cinema, which of course is much less than a lot of other people. But I would've happily sat through it again another few hundred times. It was a joy to behold, and the acting was absolute perfection. Even Ellen Page, who usually irriates the shit out of me, was great. And, of course, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Leonardo Di Caprio were fantastic, as they always are. I have a feeling that Inception, much like The Dark Knight, will only get better with time.


So...that's it, my best movies of 2010. Perhaps now it's obvious that I have no taste in movies, perhaps not. But those are my choices and that's that!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yesterday, I met my hero...

In the midst of some very, very dark times for the joke of a country that is Ireland, I've decided to blog about something positive that happened in my life - something that I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life. Because, after all, it is a very good life that I lead. I'm grateful to be working, to have family and friends and a boyfriend around me who love me for who I am, to be healthy, to have a safe and lovely home, to be educated and hold a first class honours degree...there are loads of things I'm probably forgetting too, but for the moment, let me just say that I am happy and feel the need to write about something that reflects that, as opposed to a long, rambling rant about the state of the country. I understand that these are dark times, but feel no need to dwell on them here, because this, for the most part, should be a positive account. And besides, I'll be out of this shithole soon enough anyway!

So! Yesterday was a very, very important day for me. One of my all-time heroes and idols, the incredible Kat von D, was coming to Dublin to sign her brand new book, The Tattoo Chronicles. I'd made plans to go to this signing with two of my friends, both of whom cancelled on me for no good reason at the last minute. Not deterred by this, or by the snow that chose to appear overnight in Dublin, or the vicious hangover I'd woken up with after a night of heavy clubbing and even heavier drinking, I begged the emo to come with me, and after much, much persusasion, he finally agreed. Of course, given the snow, and the state of the so-called transport system in Dublin, it took me forever to arrive at Waterstone's, and I was late. The emo was not impressed, since he'd got into the queue on my behalf a half hour previous to my arrival. Luckily, we had two tickets (only a limited amount were given out for the signing, I think there were about 300 in total).

We stood patiently for the first hour, but nothing happened. People arrived and joined the queue, others gave up to go shopping, some were turned away when the tickets ran out, I made several runs to Starbucks for hot chocolate (and was accosted by a man who thought we were queueing to meet Stephenie Meyer - vomit)...but still, nothing. Apparently Kat von D was arriving soon. Ten minutes, twenty tops. Another hour passed, and nothing happened. By this stage, she was two hours late (we later discovered her flight had been delayed because of the weather) and people were getting really, really pissy. "Maybe the rumours about her being a bitch are true" said the chick in front of us. I assured her that there was no way in hell that was true, and that we weren't going to be turned away without meeting her (thank fuck I was right or I wouldn't have been able to defend her at all anymore).

It was unbearably cold. I had about five layers on and big, knee-high Docs but I felt like I was going to freeze to death. Then, finally, at 4.30PM (a half hour before the signing was due to finish), the queue finally started moving. Then, within another hour, we were inside the cosy, toasty confines of Waterstone's, in a queue that snaked all around the shop and upstairs to where ms. von D was standing patiently, signing book after book, meeting fan after fan.

I didn't get nervous until we were stood on the staircase. And when I stood on tip-toe and spotted her posing with a fan, I nearly passed out. I didn't know what to say or how to act or if I would even be able to walk over to her. I'd waited four hours in the freezing cold and now I wasn't sure I'd even be able to meet her!

See, I've admired Kat von D for years, as a tattoo artist, as a businesswoman, as a woman, as an alt woman...she's one of my heroes. If I could, I'd completely model myself on her. She's entirely self-made and, despite having many, many critics, she has yet to put a foot wrong in my book. I still watch her show religiously, and one day, if I am ever lucky enough to be tattooed by her, I know my life will be made. She stands for everything I admire and aspire to be, and she gives me strength and hope that, one day, my mother won't give a shit that I look like a freak, and that being myself will eventually pay off. She's made me love who I am and fuck all pretences otherwise, because she does.

And then, I was standing a few feet away from her. She signed my book, one employee had my camera, another was holding the book, and there was Kat von D, standing there smiling and so ridiculously, shockingly beautiful in real life, with her arms outstretched to hug me. I couldn't move. The emo shoved me a little (he was getting impatient and he couldn't feel his toes, not to mention that this had monopolised his whole day) and I slowly closed the distance between us. She embraced me in a hug that was warm and friendly, almost like she'd known me for years. Her perfume drifted up into my nostrils. I felt like I was going to faint, I couldn't believe I was still standing upright, and so close to my hero.

"Hi!" she said, smiling hugely at me. "Hi..." I whispered back, clutching my book to my chest, totally in awe and completely unable to look her in the eyes. "I love what you're wearing...you match the book!" she complimented me, taking a step back to check out my outfit. "Thanks.." I choked, still unable to look up. The emo took his place on the other side of her, I turned my head very slowly toward the camera, she put her arms around both of our shoulders and I tried my best to smile. "I blinked!" I exclaimed as the flash went off. "Do you want to take it again?" she asked good-naturedly. The Waterstone's chick showed me the photo and I shook my head, finally forcing myself to look up at her. She was like a fucking goddess, I couldn't believe she was even looking at me. "It's fine" I whispered, "thank you...". She smiled again, "no probs, see you guys around" and waved as I tried my best to put one foot in front of the other, and slowly make my way back downstairs. It was all over in a flash, but I was in a daze for the rest of the day. I couldn't even believe it'd happened, it was like I was having an out of body experience or I was dreaming or something. Kat von D is the type of person that I never thought, in a million years, that I would get to meet. I've looked at the photo below a thousand times since and I still can't believe that's me she has her arm around.



I probably sound like a fucking lunatic, but this was honestly one of the greatest moments of my life. I will never, ever forget it. And I'm so glad she was so beautiful and sweet and friendly in person, because I was so scared that all of the shit I'd heard about her was true. But now, I couldn't believe even for a moment that it is...

Eep!! I still have goosebumps at the thought of it!

So, that was my happy memory for the next...I dunno, probably ten years or so. I can't imagine getting pissed off about anything stupid ever again, when I got to meet my idol in the flesh... The snow didn't even really bother me today either! Here I am frollicking in it with the emo's adorable little puppy this morning. It was such a lovely walk.




In case it isn't obvious, I am still totally buzzing from yesterday. Oh. My. God.



Song of the day: High Voltage - Eagles Of Death Metal.





Currently reading: The Tattoo Chronicles - Kat Von D. I didn't think it was worth thirty quid when I bought it, but it's a great book. Full of gorgeous colour photos and lots of really in-depth info about her clients and personal life. Well worth a read.
Currently listening to: Songs that suit the weather, because I think it's too early for Christmas songs. I've had a lot of goth on today, but as it's got later, I've drifted into The Birthday Massacre. Their newest album, Pins and Needles gets even better with every listen.
Currently wearing: The outfit that KAT VON D said she liked!!!!!!!!!! Still can't believe it! I'll probably be mostly in warm clothes and boots while it's snowy, but I'll still have to make an effort to look corporate for work during the week. My winter wardrobe consists of lots of black, big jumpers, chunky, statement accessories, skinny jeans and big Docs or New Rocks.
Currently feasting my eyes on: The Tattoo Chronicles - Kat Von D. Loving it. Still can't believe it's signed. Holy shit I'm lucky...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Must update more regularly

I've called this post that, and even now, ten seconds after writing it, I know I won't stick to it. Life has been so wonderfully busy, I haven't had time to write in, well, months. I suppose that's a good thing. I'm not too sure who's even reading this anymore. Maybe my buds who live abroad, or those I don't get to see all the time...I'm not too sure. But I'll continue to write whenever I can anyway, just in case somebody enjoys reading this. And because I love writing so much that this is still a fairly decent exercise for me.

Right! So, what's new then?

Well, I'm officially employed in a proper, grown-up, 9-5 job. It's both terrifying and exhilirating in equal measures. I'm writing every day, I'm getting ridiculously good experience, I'm learning how to do marketing, which is something I'd never really considered doing but still! It's been great. I have to dress like a normal human being for it, i.e. take out my piercings, cover up my tattoos, wear blazers and...*shudder*...heels, but it's actually pretty good fun. It kind of feels like I'm playing a character. One of the lads who sits across from me (it's a very swanky office that I work in, unfortunately, or fortunately depending on what you're into) noticed I had a tattoo on my arm and has been very hurt ever since, seeing as, in his words he "used to be the office freak". The people I work with are really good fun, and very inspiring too, especially the main chick I deal with, who is so good at her job that I could sit there all day and simply watch her in awe. She is my inspiration! Anyway, it's been really good fun. It's challenging and scary, but great. I'm so happy to be making money again and to be doing something I enjoy, getting valuable life experience, writing every day...and just generally having a life. It's awesome!

In other news, I got my biggest tattoo yet about...eh...almost two months ago, at this stage. It's Ramona Flowers, one of my absolute favourite comic book characters, in one of her classic ass-kicking, tough girl stances, on my right lower leg (apparently also referred to as the calf, but it's not on the back of my leg, it's the side, and it creeps slightly onto my shin). It took four hours of intense pain (the most delicious kind), but it was also an excuse for some quality time with my girl Scoob and our shared, incredibly sexy tattoo artist. We ended up staying in the tattoo shop till way after closing, just having a laugh swapping stories. It's awesome to have finally found a great tattoo artist in Dublin. I was kind of losing hope there for a bit. Afterwards, I had to make my way ever so slowly to Noodles' house, seeing as I've been giving his adorable 18-year-old sister German grinds for the past month or so. I looked crazy, my leg was all bandaged up and I was limping about, but luckily his mother is used to this sort of shit with me.

I love getting tattooed. It's one of my favourite things to do in the whole world. I know a lot of people don't understand the desire to get pierced or tattooed, but I really, really love both. I don't consider myself to be hardcore or incredibly unique or alternative or anything of the sort. I'm just me.

I can't wait for my next tatt...but I'll probably want to get pierced again first seeing as it's quicker, and usually something I do on the spur of the moment. Last one I got was a scaffold, and it was (surprisingly) more painful than my nipple piercing. It was a bitch to heal, as most ear piercings are, but it looks AWESOME. My mother still hates how pierced and tattooed I am, but luckily, at 22, I really couldn't give a shit anymore.

Last weekend I took my adorable little sis to see her favourite band (and one of mine), Paramore, in the O2. I splurged on a suite for the two of us in the hotel across the road (one of the fanciest hotels I've ever been in) for the weekend, we queued outside in the rain for seven hours to get to the front, made friends with mad Brits, took on hipster pricks, watched dozens of kids pass out and get pulled out of the crowd by massive, burly security guards, didn't pee for twelve hours, ended up bruised and exhausted...but it was totally worth it. This was the third time I'd seen them, and they blew me away. I get a lot of shit for liking Paramore, but a quick chat with Scoob (she of the mad Green Day obsession) and I feel totally normal again! Hayley Williams is definitely one of my heroes... Here's a photo of her from the show that I did not take because my camera sucks.


I have almost ten Paramore tees at this stage...which would be kinda weird if Scoob didn't have 30 GD tees. Now I feel normal again! I love this band. I'm probably going to see them every time they come here. And abroad too. And at festivals. Yup. It was a great weekend all round though, and we left with some fantastic memories.

What else...

Oh yeah! I graduated the week before Paramore. It was pretty standard; long, boring ceremony with too many speeches, lots of fake questions about "what I'm doing with my life" from ex-classmates, ridiculously high shoes that the chicks wearing em could barely walk in...and my mother cried. Then we had a lovely dinner in my favourite Chinese restaurant, which included not just my mad family (minus my father of course) but my lovely boyfriend too! He did a pretty good job of impressing everybody (especially my cousin and sister) too, which was pretty awesome.

The following night was the grad ball. I had my perfect dress, awesome shoes, great hair and make-up, and some fucking KILLER accessories (namely a giant cross necklace and a spider ring that was almost as big). The night itself was a bit blah. The emo was bored as hell and less than impressed when one of my old hookups shamelessly hit on me in front of him (and texted me from across the room) but, all in all, it was a fun night. Saz had a great time, which was really cool because usually she gets a bit self-conscious in those kind of social situations. O looked beautiful as always, and we had some fun breaking it down on the dancefloor, which gave me some hope that the people who are supposed to be in my life will be... I suppose it was a great end to four years that I didn't think I was going to survive.

Oh! I also took my little sis to see the West End production of The Rocky Horror Show, which was fucking awesome. Dill came along and swept her off her feet with his perfect Chris O'Dowd impression (although he's still not her fave of my boys, but that's a pretty difficult feat). The show was AMAZING, easily the best musical I've seen on stage. Of course, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is one of my favourite films of all time, but seeing it live on stage was something else... It was incredible. I'd definitely go again. The company wasn't bad either!

So, all in all, life is pretty fucking good at the moment. I feel incredibly lucky to be working, and even when I feel exhausted at the end of the day, I force myself to take a step back and give myself a mental kick up the ass. I usually stick on "Starbucks" by A too, because I think it's the best "Fuck this, at least I'm working!" song. That probably sounded sad, but it's true. I'm making more money than I ever have in my life, which means I get to go out, go to shows, get tattooed and pierced, buy shitloads of drainpipes and band tees and, in some kind of pathetic effort to be somewhat girly, I've even bought some proper make-up and hair products. I got my hair done before grad and it felt very...odd. I hadn't had my hair done in a year, and thank fuck, it wasn't in as bad condition as I'd feared, which means soon it will be long and wavy and awesome! Oops that was pretty girly...

I should stop writing this now and get some translating done before I pass out... I did nothing but laze about with the emo, fuck, eat junk food, watch movies, Mega64 and "Veronica Mars" (yeah, we're a maaad couple) all weekend...but even so I'm absolutely exhausted! Must be getting old.



Song of the day: B.O.B feat Rivers Cuomo - Magic (he supported Paramore and he totally won me over).


Currently reading: Shooting the shit with Kevin Smith - Kevin Smith. Looooove him. His podcast with Jason Mewes, "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" is awesome too. Has made me laugh and cry in equal measure.
Currently listening to: Lots of Paramore. Lots of Combichrist. Some pop, just because it's nice to mix it in every now and again.
Currently wearing: For work, conservative shit. For downtime, band tees, drainpipes, cons, scarves and hats, my leather jacket. Got some stuff ordered too that I'm very excited about.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Lenore - Noogies. I fucking love Lenore, I can't wait to get a Lenore tatt...or several. Also, Kristen Stewart, as always. I'm pretty obsessed with Hayley Williams at the moment (obviously). Her style really influences mine, so I like to check out what she's wearing all the time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An epic of epic epicness


I actually have that poster up in my room...I'm such a loser...

So! Today was FINALLY the day. After six books, tonnes of hype and a year-long obsession, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the movie adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's awesome Scott Pilgrim comic book series finally hit Irish cinemas.

I was nervous, apprehensive, anxious and...well, excited would be an understatement. I couldn't calm myself down enough to get much sleep last night, and the emo joked that it felt like Christmas eve. I've been waiting for this day to come since he sent me the first instalment while I was on Erasmus last summer. I've been hooked ever since. Scott Pilgrim was my first, proper introduction to the nerd world, and luckily I took to it like a fish to water, proudly proclaiming "Ich bin ein Nerd" while engaging in deep, seriously intricate conversations about the series with die-hard fans and newbies alike. I introduced my good friend Dill to it, too, and then gave out shit to him for not getting as excited about it as I did.

See, to me, Scott Pilgrim is more than just an awesome comic book series, it's a representation of my own generation in the most honest, hilariously accurate way. And, of course, given my own shitty relationship history, I saw more than a bit of myself in the character of Ramona Flowers. I fell in love with the comic books instantly and I eagerly anticipated the arrival of the movie adaptation, feeling ever more frustrated by the "post-production" notices on IMDB. The trailers whetted my appetite somewhat, and the additions of Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Evans and, most of all, Kieran Culkin, to the roster of stars made me even more excited. However, the decision to cast Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the leads left me somewhat underwhelmed. But I was never going to go easy on this movie, though, because I love Scott Pilgrim far too much for that. But anyway, here are my thoughts.

The emo and I arrived at the cinema to find queues of nerds eagerly attempting to purchase tickets for the showing we'd selected. We stood, terrified and silly in our newly-purchased Scott Pilgrim T-shirts (not matching, and from the comics, not the film) and waited for our turn. Luckily, we got tickets by the skin of our teeth. The screening we attended was PACKED and more than a few teenyboppers who'd clearly only recently hopped on the bandwagon pissed us off before the credits even rolled to signal the beginning. Luckily, nothing could turn us off, we'd waited too long.

The opening sequence was fantastic, and caught my attention immediately. It was funny and looked as if the artwork of the comics had been directly translated to the screen, but not in an incredibly obvious way. It wasn't too brash and comic-booky but it captured their essence nonetheless. Even the credits looked cool.

The film itself, which shoved all six books into just under two hours, was funny, great to look at, well-acted, perfectly scripted and ingeniously blended the style of the comic books into the film. Mark Webber (Stephen Stills), Ellen Wong (Knives Chau), Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells), Anna Kendrick (Stacey Pilgrim), Allison Pill (Kim Pine) and Johnny Simmons (Young Neil) were all part of a fantastic supporting cast. Chris Evans was particularly hilarious as Lucas Lee, and Jason Schwartzman nerdy but still threatening as the evil Gideon.

The fight scenes were perfectly choreographed, the video game references were well-executed and, thankfully, the whole feeling of the comic books translated very well to the big screen, thanks to superb direction from Edgar Wright. The addition of 60s Batman style sound effects such as POW! in bright, colourful bubble writing was a particularly nice touch, and the wit of the comics was delivered through little inserts of speech blocks here and there. The dialogue was snappy, the jokes from the books were perfectly executed and the characters truly came to life with a wonderful score against the beautifully wintry backdrop of Toronto.

In fact, the only negatives in an otherwise perfect film, were the two leads, Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers). Since I'm a die-hard Scott Pilgrim fan, I was most displeased when I found out that Cera, who to me is the same in pretty much everything he's in (although his goofy, nerdy George Michael character in Arrested Development is hilariously funny) was to be cast in the lead. Michael Cera cannot play Scott Pilgrim. Michael Cera cannot play anything besides Michael Cera. And, as I'd predicted, he played Scott Pilgrim as if he were doing an impression of Michael Cera. Although he was goofy and silly, the character was not brought to life in the same way as the others were. He did a good job delivering some of Scott's ridiculously silly one-liners, but that of course has more to do with O'Malley's superb writing than Cera's sub-par acting skills. Critics are claiming that he just barely pulled it off. I strongly disagree. He looked like Scott Pilgrim, and his dialogue sounded like him. But he wasn't him in the same way Kieran Culkin was Wallace Wells or Mark Webber was Stephen Stills.

Furthermore, Mary Elizabeth Winstead turned Ramona, who is the bad-ass, mysterious, dream girl who appears out of nowhere and forces Scott to re-evaluate his life and, ultimately, fight for the right to call her his girfriend. It's true that many fans of the series detest Ramona. They think she's an evil bitch, that Scott shouldn't have to fight for her, etc, etc. It should be noted that the fans in question are mostly bitter nerdy dudes in their 20s who either never got the girl or never tried.

I, on the other hand, adore Ramona. I saw a lot of myself in her from the very beginning, despite how controversial she is. She has these evil exes who refuse to let her be happy (so much so that they've joined forces to stop anybody else from being with her), she's afraid of being hurt, she refuses to really get close to anyone and she's always running away from her past. She kicks ass and she changes Scott's life. In the series, she leaves to clear her head, and when she returns, Scott fights Gideon (the boss, if you will) for her love and wins. They finish the book by deciding to give their relationship another try. It's a positive, realistic message of young love and, to me, it was perfect.

The film is slightly different. Ramona runs off with Gideon in the end and then Scott has to fight to save her. First, this makes no sense. Ramona was never a damsel in distress. Nor did she ever intend to willingly go back to Gideon. Furthermore, Winstead has clearly taken the bitch label to heart as she plays the character cold, emotionless and completely deadpan. She smiles a total of twice, and the kisses she shares with Cera are completely forced and ice-cold. The wigs she wears are laughably bad, and don't move for the entirety of the film. She doesn't seem to feel comfortable in Ramona's skin and is more than a little standoffish towards all of the other characters.

Although she does kick some ass (namely Roxy's, using her awesome hammer), mostly she just stands around looking bored or pissed off. It's difficult to sympathise with Cera's Scott, because he seems kind of lost throughout, but at least he learns his lesson in the end. Winstead's Ramona is so cold and uncaring and...bland that it begs the question - what the fuck does he even see in her!? This chick is supposed to be THE dream girl, not just some kooky bitch with coloured hair and rollerblades. I dunno if Winstead is a talented actress or not, seeing as I've only seen her in this and the silly but fun Final Destination 3, but I have no idea what kind of Ramona she was trying to represent, unless it was the angry nerd boys' bitch Ramona (which is not the real Ramona, if you ask me).

Anyway, besides those two slight downfalls, the movie adaptation of Scott Pilgrim was absolutely fantastic. It looked amazing, the dialogue was great, the acting, for the most part, was on point and, above all else, it did the excellent series justice. I was nervous, but I need not have been. It just made me love the series even more. Hats off to Edgar Wright and Bryan Lee O'Malley for making a near-perfect comic book adaptation that really did the series justice.

I can't wait to see it again and I really REALLY can't wait to get my tattoo!!!







Song of the day: The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Life As Joey

Lately I've been watching this silly MTV mockumentary called "My Life As Liz", which stars this cute, nerdy, skinny little hipster chick called Liz, who doesn't really fit in at her high school and hangs out with all of these nerdy boys and has lots of mad thoughts and collects comic books, etc, etc. It's totally sad for me to be watching it, seeing as I'm 22 years of age and actually claim to have a life most of the time, but I'm doing so anyway because, as much as I hate to admit it, I quite like it. It' s not very often that the female protagonist of a TV show or movie or whatever is nerdy, gawky, weird, awkard or, most of all, tomboyish. And it's nice to see. So that's why this entry title is what it is. I really am that cool and inventive.

So I haven't blogged in a while because...time has been flying by lately and I haven't really been able to find any time to do...well...anything, really! I've been incredibly lucky this summer. I'm working about...three or four...jobs at this point (one of which is brand new as of a couple of weeks ago, and is a proper, grown-up job with a salary and I can't wear my piercings for it and I have to dress like a normal person and smile lots and it's soooo exciting!) and I'm absolutely loving it. I feel like, at the age I'm at now, I'm finally FINALLY settling in to who I am. When I was about 18 until I was about 20, I was sort of forced into trying desperately to be somebody I was not. I was all overtly sexual and burlesque-y and, although it was fun, I wasn't happy and I certainly wasn't comfortable. As I've said many times before, I'm more Hayley Williams than Dita Von Teese and, after many, many years and mistakes, I'm finally accepting that and refusing to fight it anymore. And I have lots of people who love me just as I am, which is fucking awesome. I'm actually kinda glad to be me.. A few weeks back, one of my boys said to me "You just love being awkward, don't you?" and I blushed like crazy because I hadn't realised that I was being awkard but I guess I was and...anyway, yeah, I like being treated as an equal. It beats being treated like...a girl... Urgh...

I recently came into a shitload of money and, like the ridiculous excuse for a girl that I am, I dumped a load of it in my Paypal to spend on band tees and other cool shit from America, got some new Criminal Damage jeans, got a new piercing (the worst pain I've had yet - even worse than nipple, which is truly bizarre because I didn't think that possible) and spent the rest on drinking, new Converse, catching up with my buds, seeing movies (Inception blew my mind) and...oh yeah, more band tees! I'm seriously addicted to them, I think I have a problem. Although I still don't have as many as my girl Scoob, who can't even fit hers into her dresser anymore! Having money again is fucking awesome, and thankfully I'm not as much of a dumbass with it as I once was. I've also managed to squeeze in a few dates with the emo along the way, which has been a lot of fun. When we hang out, he just feels like one of my boys...but we kiss and hold hands and fuck and all too, so it's kind of like the coolest relationship I could ever imagine! He gives me so much shit too, and vice versa. I love it!

I am so, so, so happy with my life right now. I dunno why, but it's as if everything has just clicked into place finally. Obviously, nothing is ever perfect, but it's pretty damn close! Everybody seems to be doing really well right now, actually.. My boy Noodles just got back from touring the UK with his awesome band, meaning he is a real rock star now. Surprisingly, when he arrived home, we ended up going clubbing with my other boy, Dill, instead of our usual plan of going to get hammered somewhere where rock tunes are playing and everybody gets really sweaty and messy. Although we did get very messy. I hadn't been clubbing in FOREVER and it was so much fun, although I could barely keep up with the amount they were drinking and I definitely wasn't dressed for the occasion (Vans...ahem). I've always thought that I could take a decent amount of drink (especially compared to most chicks) but they really gave me a run for my money that night! Oh yeah, and we danced in foam with 18-year-olds. And I woke up in bed with an inflatable dolphin we'd named Markus. I should probably mention that Noodles is currently engaged in a bit of a bromance with my newest boy (who I guess is still in training and has yet to see me puke or bruise me or bust my balls...oh wait, never mind...) but the less said about that, the better. They are very cute though. And their sweet reunion when Noodles got back from tour melted my little black heart!

What else... Oh yes! Graduation is coming up! Sadly it's the day before Halloween, which means the Grad Ball falls on my favourite holiday, but no matter, it'll be fun anyway. It has to be, it's the end of...eh...college? I dunno what else it's supposed to represent. I'm not into the girly side of it, obviously, so I'm not as excited as most other girls would be... I don't care about my make-up or anything. I might get my hair done that day or the day before, but that's more because I need a haircut! I want to wear Docs, too, but I dunno whether my mother will try to force heels onto me before I leave the house... I need to make a trip to Camden to get a dress, but who knows when the fuck that'll happen. First of all I have to book and get my next tattoo, which is going to be AMAZING. Thankfully, my artist is back this week after being away for almost a month, so I should be able to go in and see him in all his sexiness soon. After seeing my piercer, I was a bit weak at the knees, so I'll probably faint when I go in to book my tattoo. I do love my boys alt and weird, after all. I dunno why, just do.

The Scott Pilgrim movie is out this Wednesday, so the emo and I will probably do a little date that day (provided my sis doesn't tag along) and either rave or give out about it for much of the day... We'll wear our T-shirts (not matching, thank fuck) and be all hyper and loud and complain about the hipsters in attendance who are only there to see Michael Cera, but even so it's going to be fun! I dunno whether I'm expecting the film to be shit or great, I'll probably have mixed feelings either way. But I'm excited. It'll probably suck, but I'm excited anyway! I'll probably end up blogging again this week after I see it, actually.. I shouldn't have said that. Now I have to. Fuck.

I dunno who the fuck I'm even talking to with this! Blogging is so weird...






Song of the day: That Maniac choooon from when I was, like, 12 cos they played it in the club the other night and it's been stuck in my head ever since!


Currently reading: Generation Dead - Daniel Waters. I love zombie stuff.
Currently listening to: Lots of pop! And Paramore, cos I'm still really REALLY excited to see them. Oh, and Less Than Jake cos they do some great summer songs.
Currently wearing: All of my new band tees! I got some AMAZING Paramore ones. I got a great, green zombie chick tee too. She's got great boobies. I like her.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Lots of Tim Burton stuff. I've had a mad Nightmare Before Christmas thing going on lately. I'm trying to decide where to put my Jack Skellington tatt, and who I want to draw it for me, so I've been looking at loads of Tim Burton artwork lately. (I spotted Tim Burton playing cards in a shop the other day and I was sooo tempted to buy them, even though it'd be a really dumbass purchase). And Kristen Stewart! (Cannot WAIT for The Runaways to finally come out in September). And Jared Leto, who is FIT but a total twat.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

As good as it gets (at least so far!)

I've sat down about a hundred times over the past few months to write a post in here, but I've never managed to finish one. Perhaps this time I will! So, it's been a long while since I've blogged and an awful lot has changed over the past while so let's try to catch up a bit, shall we?

I finished college and got an amazing grade that I never expected, so all's well that ends well I guess. I went to a smaller college than most, so I never really felt like I got that real college experience that most people get. I loved my course though, and while I never really felt like I fit in or people really got me, I managed to make two best friends who I will keep for life. I also managed to create a friend out of an enemy, which is a pretty huge achievement, I think. I'm very happy that I chose to study journalism, because I now know more than ever that I want to write for the rest of my life, no matter what medium. I'm also glad I studied German too, because not only did I have the best experience of my entire life on Erasmus in Munich, but I've got a second language, which opens an endless amount of doors for me. All in all, my college experience was a good one, and I'm glad I stuck it out because there were times when I really felt like I couldn't. I learned a lot about life and love and everything in between, but most of all I learned a lot about myself.

Since I finished up, I've been writing every single day. My home life is a bit complicated still, seeing as my mother is feeling the strain of having a waster for a son and an asshole for an ex-husband. She used to take that stress out on me, but thankfully she has had a new man in her life for the best part of a year, and he has been the voice of reason, and often my only cheerleader. I'm not rich and famous quite yet, but I'm making money and I'm doing what I love so I'm happy. On top of that, I'm in the best relationship of my life with the most awesome guy I could ever ask for. Sometimes I find myself wondering how the fuck I got so lucky, but I suppose I must have built up my karma in a past relationship because things could not be better. Life in this city is the same as ever, but there's still room for new friends and some amazing nights out so I'm content here for the time being. I'm dying to get out and see more of the world, but the timing isn't quite right yet.

I'm itching to get more piercings, and my next tattoo is all planned out. I finally found a worthy artist in this city and I can't wait to get it done, but the funds aren't there yet. Soon though!

Hayley Williams has become one of my strongest role models, especially in the wake of a scandal involving a topless photo she sent to her boyfriend. A lot of people (by people I mean Christian fundamentalists and 15-year-old girls) were disappointed in her, but it made me like her even more because now she seems even more human to me, not to mention even more like me. It took me a really, really long time to figure out who I was, but I know now and if there is anybody I look up to, it's Hayley. And Kat von D, because she's completely self-made...actually, there are lots of women I look up to. But Hayley is one of the key players right now. I mostly look up to strong women who aren't afraid to be different, especially those who refuse to be girly or overly feminine just to be accepted. That being said, I still don't connect with a lot of females (unless it's in a romantic way). I have less than five close girl friends, and none of them are in any way girly or conventional (which is awesome).

Paul Gray, the Slipknot bassist, passed away on May 24th and, as a result, a band I've loved for the past ten years are pretty much over. There's talk of them doing a tour dedicated to his memory, with an unmasked guest bassist playing his parts, but if that does happen it'll be the last thing they do together as a band. Words cannot explain how much Slipknot mean to me, or how much they've meant to me over the past ten years. I've only seen them live twice, and both times they blew me away. Their music made me feel less alone when I was a depressed, suicidal teenager and they've helped me work through my anger and pain in times of serious distress. Slipknot have always been there for me, and will probably continue to be there despite Paul's death, whether they break up or not. I wish I could write an entire entry about what his death means to me, about what this band means to me, but I dunno if I'll ever find the time to do so. But it was almost two months ago at this stage and it still hurts just as much.

Pete Steele, lead singer of Type O Negative also passed away on April 14th. I've loved Type O Negative since I was a little Goth teenager, and his death really shocked me because, although they're not the kind of band I listen to on a daily basis, I still love them to bits and couldn't imagine my life without their music. Pete was ten years older than Paul when he died, but he was still quite a young man. With the two of them dying, and Dio, it's been a bad few months for metal. Luckily, I have absolute faith in this genre as one that cannot and will not die. As Corey Taylor once said, metal is the only genre of music that gives teenagers a positive outlet to unleash their anger. It's better to do so in a moshpit than on the streets with a knife, after all.

What else...

The Scott Pilgrim movie is about to come out in August, but the sixth book is coming out beforehand on July 20th. I am so so so so SO excited!!! My next tattoo is SP themed too, which should coincide nicely with the movie's release. I've also given the honour by Aaron Alexovich, writer and creator of the Serenity Rose comic book series, to translate his amazing stuff into German, which is an absolutely amazing opportunity, and even though it's a lot of work, I don't mind because it's so much fun!

There are three Kristen Stewart movies due out by the end of this year, the first of which I'm seeing tomorrow. I've been collecting all of her magazine covers too, I am just that obsessed with her. Not only is she sexy as hell, she's tomboyish, laidback, awkward and totally down to earth. If I were rich and famous, I'd be her (only not as hot, obviously!!).

I just got tickets to see one of my favourite bands, Paramore, for the third time in November. I missed them when they played with Green Day and (sob!!) Joan Jett and the Blackhearts the other week, but my good bud Scoob (who follows GD around the world) got me a lovely photo of Hayley from the Paris show so I was happy. This will be my little sister's second rock gig, and it is such an honour for me to be the one to take her again. She wants to queue outside to get up the front too, which is fine by me. The closer to Hayley we are, the better! Lately I've had to defend Paramore a lot, but I don't really mind. I love this band, they're fun and talented and they rock live. I'm lucky that Scooby loves GD though, because it means I feel a bit less sad for loving Paramore so much! Lately it's becoming more apparent to me that real friends and real boy/girlfriends are those that one can be totally goofy and silly around.

I should probably give honourable mention to my two bestest friends in the world, Noodles and Scooby. Collectively, we are Team JIR, i.e. the maddest and best people to party with. We've had a lot more time to hang out lately, whether it's because the timing is just right or we've been making more of an effort, but it's been awesome. Whether we're getting hammered and rocking out or eating too much junk food while bitching about the bands on Kerrang, we always have the best time together and I dunno what I would do without them. Life wouldn't be worth living!

I dunno what else to write about really....life is fucking awesome right now, and the best is yet to come because it hasn't even really begun yet! I should really blog more though...if only I could find the time!





Song of the day: Paramore - Looking Up.


Currently reading: I've taken a break from Dennis Lehane to read Lauren Conrad's LA Candy. I am not ashamed!
Currently listening to: Lots and lots of Paramore, plus Deftones and Murderdolls. Again, I am not ashamed!
Currently wearing: I have become re-obsessed with band T-shirts, so lots and lots of those, either loose or customised and grungy. I've been rotating my many pairs of drainpipes too, my current favourites being my neon pink ones (just like Hayley's!!). Still loving my leather jacket and Cons.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Kristen Stewart! Lots of Miami Ink and LA Ink, Tim Burton shorts and the Scott Pilgrim series all over again in preparation for the new one.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Your mouth is like a funeral, where kisses go to die

Shit, it's been a while...maybe I have no life anymore...

All right, let's get started then, shall we? It's Monday and it's exactly 15.17 as I type these first few words. It is lashing rain outside and has been for the entire day so far. I'm in the library in college, where I practically live these days, staring out at the rain, hugging the radiator next to me for warmth and writing this blog instead of doing more work. I've been here since 10AM and this is my one and only proper break, so I'm taking full advantage (sort of).

I dunno why I started writing this when I've nothing really of interest to say...

Life has been pretty boring and routine as of late. Like I said, I've been doing nothing but college work pretty much since my birthday. I've been doing one to two hours of cardio every night because I had a three day long depressive episode last week and haven't felt right since (I worked through it, I'm that much of a lunatic). I haven't been out, I've barely seen any of my friends. I make time for the emo on weekends but it's never enough. He's exhausted too because he's just finished up his portfolio for college. I really hope he gets in, he really really deserves it. I also hope that, when this is all over in...what...five weeks time? I hope it's worth it and I get a first. I deserve it, I've been working tirelessly. And, judging by our careers talk last week (which 7 out of 32 people in my class attended) there isn't much to celebrate once this degree is done. Apart from it being done, of course.

I've been thinking a lot about the future lately. Actually, "thinking" isn't the right word...more like "panicking". Unfortunately, my passion is part of a very tough industry. We were told at the careers talk, by a working journalist no less, that we'd be better off getting the hell out of here, working in another country and returning with more experience under our belts because otherwise the chances of getting a job are slim to none. The current economic crisis doesn't help, clearly, but journalism is a tough industry regardless and it's not the kind where one can step into a job right after college. So moving seems like the most viable option career-wise, which is fine by me.

I've been dying to get out of here ever since I got back from Munich. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that travelling is the best option for a full life. I mean, I love Dublin, and I probably always will. But I want to see other places, experience different cultures, make friends all over the world. Right now, I've got a hundred different places I'd love to move to but the top four are probably Berlin, London, San Diego and Toronto. Toronto is number one because it's the furthest away and seems like a pretty cool city to live in. I'd love to be somewhere with really cold winters and really hot summers. Toronto has been my dream place for almost a year, with Berlin and San Diego close behind. Berlin would be awesome because it's such an amazing city, and because I'd get to speak German all the time. San Diego is warm and I could stalk Mega64 and go to comic con. London has felt like home my whole life, but it's not where I want to go first because it isn't unknown enough for me. Anyway, I don't know why I'm getting excited about this now because I will need to save up a SHITLOAD of money before I get to leave here. It'll be worth it though. I feel as if, when college ends, I'm going to be just itching to get my life started. Actually I'm itching a bit now. The end is so close, but it's not really the end...it's more like the beginning.. I hope that doesn't sound too corny!

In other news, the Scott Pilgrim versus The World teaser trailer came out last week and the final book is due for release on July 20th which means it's going to be an AWESOME summer no matter what else happens (although hopefully the weather will be good too). The films looks pretty awesome, the Batman-esque sound effects like POW! look really fun and Chris Evans (Gideon), Anna Kendrick (Stacey Pilgrim) and Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells) all look like they're going to do an amazing job (okay Wallace wasn't in the trailer, but there's no way he'll be crap) but the casting for Ramona and Scott is really bugging me. First off, Michael Cera is once again playing HIMSELF. Scott Pilgrim is not goofy and quiet like Cera's usual characters, he's oblivious, silly and a hopeless romantic. He's ditzy as opposed to goofy, kind of careless and lazy and likeable all at the same time. There were moments in the trailer when Cera looked like he might do a decent Scott Pilgrim but mostly not. As for Mary Elizabeth Winstead...she looked as if she was reading badly off an autocue, like she didn't believe her own fucking lines. Although the part when they were in bed together melted my dirty little heart. She doesn't look like nerd dream girl material at all... However, it was only a teaser and I will still be excited for this no matter what.

Speaking of movies, my Mam was over in Newcastle visiting her manfriend this past weekend so the emo was over hanging out with me and my sis (and my brother and his friends who popped in from time to time and were obnoxious but funny, as always). He brought over the brand new New Moon Rifftrax and they were fucking AWESOME! We were laughing so hard we were crying. I'll never be able to repay him for introducing me to so many brilliant things. We watched Mega64 Version 3 too and my sis, of course, developed a crush on Shawn Chatfield (who wouldn't!?). And we ate junk food. And we watched all of the Sunday night reality TV shit. And it was fucking deadly. I've never been as happy as I am with the emo. I don't know what I'd do without him. I can't imagine him ever hating me but I know there's a possibility that he might. It scares me, but I have to try to be strong like Ramona (yes, I know she's fictional but even so) and just take each day as it comes and be happy, which I am. Finally.

Today begins my two week Easter break, but seeing as I am in the library it's probably pretty clear that I have little intention of actually taking a break. I've got plans to see Scooby and Noodles later in the week which will kick major ass because I haven't seen them in over a month and we have so much to discuss. Scoob is trying to convince me to come see Green Day in Marlay Park in June, with her and her die-hard fan friends. I don't like GD much anymore, but the almighty Paramore are supporting and, seeing as the GD loons (not meant offensively, I am a 22-year-old proud maggot after all) are camping overnight, thus cementing their places at the barrier right in front of the stage...well...the question is, would I pay 60 quid to see Hayley up close..?






....probably!

Time to get back to work. There are people to be trolled on FB (another hobby of the emo's that I adore) and feminist readings to be ploughed through (Greer and Zoonen need to leave me alone and stop trying to convince me that all men are pigs). I'm sure this post was life-changing. No need to thank me.



Currently reading: A Drink before the war - Denis Lehane (he scares me in the best possible way).
Currently listening to: Liebe ist für alle da - Rammstein (REALLY want to see them this summer).
Currently wearing: Drainpipes, T-shirts, jumpers, dresses, Converse. I've been taking style inspiration from Hayley lately, but I bought a new dress the other week. It's black and white striped with lace sleeves and detailing and a photo of Taylor Momsen (I dunno why) with the word "Glamour" across it. I thought it was so naff but also pretty cool and I just had to get it.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Anything to do with Kristen Stewart because I'm obsessed with her right now, also upcoming movie trailers for the summer and the second instalment of Gloom Cookie.





Song of the day: Jack off Jill - Clear Hearts Grey Flowers.