100 Happy Days 2: Day 11 – 20

Today we take another look at the 100 Happy Days challenge that I am doing again with Natasha. This is actually a really enjoyable challenge!

Day 11:

day-11

I freaking love my Harry Potter keychain. Seriously. I have had it for years, and it is still awesome.

Day 12:

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Relaxing Friday afternoon for me – crocheted a bit more on a new project, had some Pepsi and watched some Criminal Minds. So good.

Day 13:

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Everything has been stacked against me recently in my quest for iced coffee (I am an iced coffee fiend), but on Saturday I finally won out and got some, and my husband got a frozen strawberry goodie.

Day 14:

day-14

We had the most beautiful stormy weather over the weekend. I love this kind of weather – it’s totally movies/books/bed type of weather.

Day 15:

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Got some new goodies from Avon, so pretty happy about that.

Day 16:

Made some scumptious spaghetti bolognaise for dinner the other night. Hmmmm. Simple, fast, delicious. Ticked all my boxes.

Day 17:

In December I was bold and lopped off a massive amount of hair. I loved it, and all too soon my hair grew out and it was too long. I went over the weekend to have it cut into shape again. Ahhhh, so satisfied!

Day 18:

Oooooh yes, hazelnut cappuccino and speculaas? SOLD! Also – shameless excuse to show off my mug. I love it.

Day 19:

The flowers are in full bloom outside and it is gorgeous! This is a picture of the one tree growing in the back yard. It’s so pretty to see.

Day 20:

Oh yeah! Recently I finished my favourite nail colour to wear (the Gel Envy one in Up The Ante – the shade on the right), and I had to replace it. I went in to buy totally unrelated things (except the primer, I did need that), and ended up with a whole bunch of other things, including a replacement of my favourite colour, as well as the Hold ‘Em that I have been eyeing for a while.

Rapid Review: Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins Poster

“There is nothing to fear, but fear itself!”
– Scarecrow

SYNOPSIS: After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. – via IMDB

batmanbatman begins lighter

GRADE 9The movie was simply amazing, with great cinematography as well as a brilliant score. This is one of my favourite origin stories, if not my most favourite. I know they have been done to death, but let’s face it, not quite the way that Nolan has done it. The man is a master, and he revolutionized the way we perceived the Batman films after they were butchered by Joel Schumacher. Nolan’s casting choices were dead on. Michael Caine is a perfect Alfred and Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon is a solid, trusty character. Christian Bale is my favourite Batman because he manages to pull of both Bruce Wayne and the caped crusader, which is something a lot of actors fail to do. ore often than not in superhero movies the actor can either pull off his identity or the alter ego, but so few times are they a success at both. He is pitted against the awesome Scarecrow, and Cillian Murphy was freaking perfect here, he plays the role so well. You cannot forget about Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul because he was truly a formidable enemy to have. Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox is a character that I thoroughly enjoy. The confused love story between Bruce and Rachel is very sad, too. Never overplayed, never not there. I think that the humour that is put forth in this movie is exactly what it has to be: not enough to make it a comedy, but not so greatly lacking that there is nothing but insurmountable drama. The humour that is laced throughout this is hilarious and gets me giggling good and proper, which is fun. The plot is put together well, and manages to stand on its own, and is definitely more than your average hollow action flick. If you have not watched it, where have you been?! For those who have watched it, watch it again and again! A Christopher Nolan Batman marathon is worth it each and every time. The length of the movie was just right, with plenty time to tell us Bruce’s story as well as take us through the motions of becoming the Batman. It did not feel long or dragged out anywhere, so well done! There is so much great stuff going on for this movie, from the awesome score from Hans Zimmer, to the great performances from the cast, a fantastic story and plenty action that looked fantastic… you can’t help but love this movie!

Fringe: Season 1 (2008 – 2009)

fringe complete season 1

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • The way the lettering is done when indicating location, etc. It just looks awesome, and it isn’t intrusive or overbearing.
  • Slowly but surely uncovering Walter Bishop. The man is an enigma, flipping from a sad, damaged figure to an absolute genius to a right asshat, so it can be quite mesmerising.
  • The way the relationship between Peter and Walter changes. Initially it is anger and resentment, then resignation, but later that changes to a frustrated kind of caring (from Peter’s side, Walter will always love Peter). Peter is quite protective of his father in some ways, and has a soft spot for him, no matter what he holds against the man.
  • The technical and pseudoscience side of the show. It is never presented in a way to lose the viewer, it is done in a technical way but ensures that the audience is not lost, without making us feel like total spazzes for not being as clued up as the writers.
  • John Noble as Walter Bishop. I cannot truly express how freaking perfect he was for this role. He is the best character and endlessly entertaining. He is so intelligent and so broken, with such a dark past, and Noble balances all these things perfectly to give us the drug-loving, Red Vine-munching genius.
  • The ability to spot an Observer in all the episodes somewhere or other, especially after you know that they are watchers. It is so much easier to spot them, but still tricky. Small detail, super awesome.
  • The supporting characters. Phillip Broyles, Astrid Farnsworth and Charlie Francis really add extra to the show. The way Astrid eventually becomes Walter’s right hand is sweet, Broyles is intimidating and badass and super professional, and Charlie? Come on, he is smart, loyal and cool.
  • The friendship between Charlie and Olivia is great – understated, but there.
  • Nina Sharp is another character I like. You never really get a complete read on her, but you know that she is a smart, strong woman, and we don’t get many of them in the show.
  • While Anna Torv had a rough start in the show, and I wasn’t a fan the first time around until a few episodes in, she gets the hang of Olivia Dunham, and eventually you can’t picture anyone researching and investigating these cases with Peter and Walter, she is just the right fit for the role.
  • The relationship that is super subtly starting to grow between Olivia and Peter. Oh, all that potential!
  • How the otherness of Peter has always been present.

fringe season 1 walter bishop lsd

What I didn’t like:

  • In the first few episodes things were a little stunted, the show was finding its feet and forgot to bring people in on a few things smoothly, sort of like the audience was just expected to know, which was a little disconcerting at times.
  • Some cases did not have certain things explained (in one episode, how was the woman picking people with special abilities to solve that formula? How did she know?) and some unexplained logic like that could sometimes become an issue.
  • The acting was a little stiff at times, but never so bad that you cringe and don’t want to keep watching.

fringe charlie

Rating:
GRADE 8I am a huge fan of this show. Truly I am. When it started, I watched it with my fiancé and the first few episodes are a little heavy to take in, there is so much going on all the time and the show immediately starts by pushing the boundaries. He called it after four episodes, he was not impressed and said he was over it. Me, on the other hand? I had started this, I was going to see at least season one through before deciding. Boy, am I glad that I did. By the time I got to season two, I told him that, no matter what, he had to just try again. Now? Biggest Fringe addicts of all time.

Walter Bishop is a scene stealer and a bundle of laughs all the time – his penchant for drugs is simply amazing. He can take you from laughing to terribly sad in moments, and his transition back into the new world was gradual. His mentality was almost that of a child at times. Then there is Peter Bishop – bright as hell, a little sketchy, definite asset to the Fringe division. Joshua Jackson gets into his role, becomes a favourite. Plus the way that man dresses… oh my gosh. Then he opens his mouth, and he is amazingly intelligent. So much hotness going on right there. WOW. Moving right along, I might get stuck in a whole Peter obsession here if I don’t.

The characters that we get are all pretty cool. Astrid is beautiful, smart and super sweet, and the way she and Walter almost become a unit is fantastic, even though he has hurt and scared her beyond anything. Charlie is also a character that I am a fan of because he is just so cool. Well dressed, private but not too much so that you worry he is a serial killer, serious but can have quite a good sense of humour at times and a great partner and agent, he’s a joy to watch. He is also so good at his job, and that is something that I will always appreciate.

Massive Dynamic is an interesting company to bring in, and William Bell is shrouded in so much mystery, too, that it is really such a gratifying experience to finally see him, and the fact that William Bell is played by Leonard Nimoy is just awesome. Trust that he would play some brilliant scientist that is missing. The supporting characters all really round this show off, and the score is so fitting, too.

The show starts off running, no slow introductions, but it is perfect for this. However, there are some gripes that I have with the first episode or two, with the way that characters were introduced and later you see they are nothing like the way they were brought in (think Broyles calling Olivia “sweetheart” in the heat of the moment). Also, some things were a little rushed to get us involved with a plot (think the relationship between Olivia and John Scott – it didn’t mean anything to me when he was killed). Other minor plots are introduced, too, and then not addressed again until much later, which just makes for some messy storytelling in places. But these things are all minor for me. I love Fringe. This show is something that needs to be appreciated for numerous reasons.

fringe season 1 olivia and peter

Review: Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

eleanor and park cover

SYNOPSIS: Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. – via Goodreads

GRADE 9I would like to thank and cuss out Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are in equal measure for recommending this book. Let me tell you, from those first few pages, Eleanor & Park took over my whole darn life. I consumed this novel. I loved it and I hated it and I wish it never ended. It was truly a thing of beauty. I really wish that I had the words to describe how this book was. I found myself smiling and giggling like a little girl at times, and so quickly that mood could be crushed and soured. And just as you think the world is the nastiest place ever, Rowell picks it all up again and makes things right. This really was one of the most amazing books I have read in a long time. I don’t know when last I read a book that took over every waking minute, where I could not think further than getting my hands on it and reading, where I lay in bed at night, itching to read more but knowing I had to rest for work, and getting to the office and putting everything on hold until I could finish it. I did. I blew through the book, not only because it is a fast read, but because it demands to tell the story, to be heard. Eleanor & Park was thrilling and beautiful, painful and inspiring, everything all at once. I am crushed but not, depressed but happy… it’s like I want to read this book over and over again so I can commit every single detail to memory. Obviously I am a fan. This book spoke to many things I understood, many things that people deal with daily and hide. I appreciated it. I thoroughly enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s writing style, and I loved how she told the story. It draws you in from the opening pages, basically, and keeps you there all the way. I am gushing I know, but this book speaks of so many issues, and this feeling settles in your chest – anticipation, excitement. Butterflies. Like love. Exactly like that. This will remind you of youth, in all its fantastical glory and seemingly endless misery. It reminded me of what it was to be sixteen and be in impossible situations and seeing no way out of it, every problem being massive and insurmountable, yet having your whole life ahead of you but the inability to see it as such. I enjoyed the characters of the book quite a bit. Granted, the supporting characters were not as in depth or layered as Eleanor or Park, but they definitely contributed to what was going on. I was fascinated to read about Park’s conflicted feelings, how he had to make peace with himself about Eleanor as a whole, screw what everyone else thought, and it was a lovely thing to see how Eleanor no longer completely despised herself or her life. Their confusion at first love but determination to be together was amazing. I was grinning like a total goofball at the beginning of the book, and I found my facial state returning to that more often than not. They were both just adorable, and a bit like misfits. If you were ever a little different in life, something here is bound to make sense and resonate. I  wish I had the words to do this book justice, to share how amazing and awesome it is, to get everyone to understand the brilliance, to understand how much I loved it.

stitch crying