Links I Love III

links i love

Happiest of Fridays, everyone! It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, so I thought it was high time. Hope you enjoy!

9 Quotes from Kurt Vonnegaut

This cat that looks like Adam Driver. Dead.

If Movie Titles were honest (Cracked)

9 Wise Words from JRR Tolkien (wordables have been upping their game this week!)

The 17 Funniest Tweets about Grammar (Buzzfeed)

As always, the 20 Funniest Tweets by Women this week (Huffington Post)

If Disney Characters were on Instagram (buzzfeed)

8 Tiny things that stopped suicide (Cracked)

Well, there you have it. If there is anything you thought was great from the shady internet, let me know and I’ll go check it out.

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Movie Review: Play it Cool (2014)

Plot:

Play it cool poster

Plot: Unrequited love motivates a guy to write about his experiences.

Rating: 4/10

Sometimes I am so inspired when I write reviews. I feel like I’ve been completely present in the film, that the acting was good and that the storyline had a point. It is not only during serious stuff like The Godfather or Inglorious Basterds, it happens with romantic movies like Age of Adaline too. Then I get to movies like Play it Cool, and afterwards I don’t even want to talk about it more because it is too terrible to talk about. What can I possible say about this rom-com that is the worst example in its genre? I could possibly mention two leads who are relatively decent actors anywhere else yet somehow got roped in to do this mind numbingly boring movie? Did they have too many bills to pay that month? I can’t imagine Chris Evans not getting enough cash from being the Cap to cover his bills, but maybe he does things we don’t know of. It is possible anyway. I could mention that the film’s writers thought that the storyline: I’m-in-a-relationship-with-a-good-man-but-now-want-to-bang-random-hottie-because-I-have-issues had not yet been fully told and needed to be written again, but this time with a satirical angle, because let’s face it, that has also NEVER been done before. I could mention that if Michelle Monaghan’s smile could save a movie or Chris Evans’ all American looks could make a film redeemable, it still wouldn’t have saved the film. But I won’t, because this film isn’t worth it.

PIC2

PS: I will naturally ONLY forgive Chris Evans if he kisses me like that. DUH

#100HappyDays: Days 17-24

Waddup, lovely people? Here is a run down of my happy challenge for days 17 – 24. Lessons learned: I have a serious shoe problem and I like my birthday. Enjoy!

17

Day 17:

New coloring pens to add to my growing stash and further this unhealthy addiction, new beige heels for work and new large sunnies (just watch the amount of shoes I bought this week… #addiction)

18

Day 18:

This show. I hope to have a review up this week. But. This Show. I was in floodgates at the end. I need it to be a movie too. Please Julian Fellows, please.

19

Day 19:

Here’s to family and friends that became family. Life would be pretty lonely without you.

20

Day 20:

Sad that I didn’t get to photograph my bare burger, but I had one as well as sweet potato chips, and… it wasn’t that bad.

21

Day 21:

Boots, the resident feline, being all super adorable and sleeping just as he pleases.

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Day 22:

Coming in as the second pair of new shoes bought, I found these teal shoes on a sale. And everyone knows if it’s on a sale it’s actually SAVING money, not spending it.

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Day 23:

Hanging with my bestie (I was really hanging there), on her last day in Johannesburg. It was a fantastic and highly entertaining visit, bestest! see you soooon.

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Day 24:

Birthday vibezzzz. (sorry, had to include all those ZZZZs). I took the day off to just relax, got myself a nice breakfast, shopped a bit (third pair shoes and DVDs, took some notes, as well as the lovely watch I got from mom and necklace from sister.

Well, there you have it! What makes you happy??

26 Life Lessons

26

Happy birthday to meeee! I am 26 today. It has been a great and jumpy ride up to here. I am scheduling this ahead of time because I took a day off on my birthday to just loaf, and that is exactly what I am hoping. Past-Me is hoping future-me had a great weekend and a great party and that no one embarrassed themselves – okay, I’m kidding, that always makes for some great stories. So today, in commemoration of me being really adulty, here are 26 life lessons that I’ve accumulated in my 26 years (I really hope I get to 26 here!)

  1. It is okay to have a small amount of real friends. In my very early twenties I had this insane drive to be at every party and be liked by everybody. It is impossible. To have people in your life that you can recount past stories with is a priceless gift.
  2. It is okay to delete someone from your social media accounts. I did this on Facebook last week, a person I’ve been keeping on out of pity – it is not worth it. Said person irritated me enough eventually that I just deleted her.
  3. Sugar is Satan. Sorry, guys. I love chocolate as much as everybody but I’ve realized that it is the silent killer. I always feel good when I don’t ingest copious amounts of sugar and always feel sick when I eat a sugary thing again.
  4. It’s okay to be single and secretly prefer it. Okay, I am very vocal about it. I’ve literally become one of those people who say things like: “You are going to be pretty amazing to change my relationship status” Yeah. I’m that one now.
  5. That said, I will tell you my tales about online dating soon. It is priceless.
  6. Get a cover for your phone. We aren’t dealing with our Nokia 3310s anymore, and your phone needs a cover.
  7. Family and friends are worth more than money and objects. I’ve seen this in the past year. When you are dying, you do not want anything fancy. You want your family by your side.
  8. It is possible to grieve and keep on living
  9. It’s not going to kill you to be a bit healthier. It might even make you live longer
  10. Keep a pair of flat shoes with you for when you have a busy day and are wearing heels
  11. You can say NO. It will shock people shitless because they expect to hear yes to everything, but you can and must say it if you feel the need.
  12. You can lose your temper, but don’t be a prick about it. I have a pretty explosive temper, and it is only in the last couple of months that I’ve learnt to keep it contained – even when people thoroughly deserves a talking to.
  13. Happiness isn’t things, it’s a state of mind. This one is especially hard, to be constantly in a state of content. Life is very rarely fair and it sucks a lot of the time, so you have to find the happy in situations where you would usually have a breakdown in.
  14. A calm person saves the situation. Don’t. Freak. Out.
  15. If you are entering a new environment, make sure your clothes are comfortable. It will make the situation that much less stressful.
  16. Coke Zero tastes like soapy water. I can drink Coke Light, I can drink Tab, I can drink Fanta and Sprite Zero. But DO NOT come close to me with your demonic Coke Zero. Eugh.
  17. Drive offensively, not defensively
  18. Block-out curtains are the answer to the universe
  19. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
  20. Do whatever the fuck you want. Seriously. People are going to judge you whether you do what they want you to or if you take your own route in life.
  21. A bottle of water, a tube of hand cream and a tweezer are essential things to always have with you.
  22. You have to sometimes remind yourself to not be self-destructive.
  23. Never teach your mother to tag people on Facebook. You will never forgive yourself.
  24. It is okay to know what you want and not lower your standards.
  25. As you grow older you will become addicted to hand cream. And naps.
  26. Most things are only scary the first time around.

Well, there you have it. I’m very impressed that I actually got to 26 relatively easy!

Reading Challenge for 2016 and what I’m currently reading

Everyone has challenges in the new year. Lose weight, find love of life, clean your room regularly, etc. While I completely share these dedications, I would also like to declare my dedications to my reading addiction this year. Below is a challenge I am going to take, and following that is the books I currently have that I want to finish. Comment, please!

readin list 2016

  1. A book published this year: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  2. A book you can finish in a day: (still looking for one)
  3. A Book you’ve been meaning to read: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
  4. A book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller: Brida by Paulo Coelho
  5. A book chosen by your BFF: BFF, tell me!
  6. A book published before you were born: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  7. A book that was banned at some point: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossini
  8. A book you previously abandoned: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
  9. A Book you own but have never read: The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
  10. A book that intimidates you: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  11. A book you’ve read at least once: Emma by Jane Austen

Currently on my bookshelf waiting to be read:

  1. Currently reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have so much love for this writer and the book at this point. Really having a fantastic time. I can’t read too much at a time, because the book simply has such big ideas.
  2. Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding. I really do love the original Bridget Jones, so quite interested to see what this is about.
  3. Brida by Paulo Coelho. Coelho is such an obscure, strange author. I’m never really sure what to make of his work.
  4. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. Oh, because I need cheese in my life.
  5. Live in Dreams by Josephine Cox. Started it and put it down again, but I will finish it just to be scathing.
  6. Indelible by Karin Slaughter. To continue the series.
  7. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead. Because it was a mad hunt to get a copy and I want to be able to say that I’m done with the series.

What are your reading plans for the year?

Movie Review: Superbad (2007)

Super bad film poster

Plot: Two co-dependent high school seniors are forced to deal with separation anxiety after their plan to stage a booze-soaked party goes awry.

Rating: 5/10

Superbad was, well, SUPER BAD. It is quite likely that I am simply now too old in my 26 years to connect to a movie based entirely on teenage hormones. Jonah Hill’s character is a prick anyway you look at it –being fat does not allow you to be a complete douchebag. Michael Cera’s character is presented as the noble teen – we all know it is a myth, noble teenagers don’t exist. Emma Stone’s character is at least something to connect to, she’s as cool as ever. The best thing about this film is certainly Christopher Mintz-Plasse as McLovin. The kid is hilarious and steals every scene he is in. Well, that is it. The movie is vulgar and over the top, the kids are gross and icky, and I really would have preferred a film exclusively about McLovin. Now THERE is a movie idea.

SB

Series Review: Homeland Season 5 (2015)

H5 poster

Rating: 8.5/10

So, I saw the latest season of Homeland. It is amazing. It is some of their best work (and season four was amazing as well). It was on my watching list, but I really thought I would finish Supernatural Season three first and then go watch the final season of the love of my life, Downton Abbey. Yet I felt myself inclined to watch this first and I loved it immensely. As usual, I’ve done a Like and dislike section, and sorry for the lengthy post, but I LOVED it 🙂

What I liked:

The new characters. YES all the way. Otto During, Jonas, the bitchy journalist with some very valid points, Miranda Otto’s trademark coolness in her role as Berlin station chief and all the German intelligence workers complemented the main characters very well this season.

I am huge fans of Otto and Jonas especially. The Nazi history and Otto’s determination to rectify his family’s terrible past makes him a complete fucking awesome guy. His clear-headedness in times of big trouble perfectly balances out his philanthropic idealisms – really liked the guy. What I liked the most was that he is a man who has seen how terrible the world is but still believes he can do some good in in.

 H5 Jonas

Jonas is in contrast the normal, kind and beautiful man any woman could ever hope to come across. He has such goodness in him and it is so rare to find such a humane and relatable character in Homeland (they are all cooked).

It is really good to see Miranda Otto again in a great role. I, Frankenstein was so terrible I won’t even refer to that as somewhere I’ve seen her. Anyway, I really like the woman. She has this perpetual frostiness of character that makes her seem so dangerous. She seems like such a conflicted person and it is impossible to pin down whether you like or dislike her.

Then there is Astrid – the German police officer that was so adept with dealing with people’s bullshit. One of my favorite new additions to Homeland and keeping it all crossed that she returns in the next season.

H5

The old characters

Carrie is (almost) normal. Can anyone who doesn’t hate Carrie M on an Umbridge level please raise their hand? Thought so. Carrie is impossible throughout seasons 1-4. She has moments where you are like, okay, I’ll deal with her, then she tries to drown a baby she’s crazy again and you’re just like “fuck off you mad fucking lunatic” This doesn’t happen in Season 5. There are a few seconds when you genuinely dislike her, but it isn’t the hate we’ve gotten accustomed to. She’s more normal than she’s ever been and it is miraculous.

 H5 quinn

So much more Quinn. I think everyone was really concerned when our favorite assassin went and did his own thing at the end of season four. Well, he’s back, and his storyline is very well developed. He meshes in and out with Carrie’s drama – because it remains a fact that if you know Carrie M you are going to be in a sticky situation because of her, but he also has an arc that is entirely his own and that I immensely enjoyed. He has a pretty rough season and some parts are actually hard to watch, but it makes great television and very worthy gasps.

Saul Berenson. This guy is still my favorite character in the show. I get a thrill every time he says: “I am a spy” I don’t know why, but it comes through so incredibly confident – he knows how good he is in his job. He made some pretty questionable decisions this season, but I will forgive him because he is great and he is badass.

Homeland didn’t particularly accuse any given country of crimes they really work their asses off to show that they aren’t part of terrorism.

I really love the hell out of Homeland. It is a solid show about real world problems with really flawed characters. It is rough and honest and scary because it is mostly about extremist Muslim organizations. However, and I am inclined to take their side on this, Pakistanis were very offended when their government was portrayed as terrorist-enablers in Season 4. Homeland Season 5 1) only sasses countries that are used to sassing (i.e. Germany, Russia and the USA). They use a legitimate terror organization as their chosen group to focus on, but it more focuses on different cells within ISIS. So good up to the writers to coming up with something that doesn’t offend a particular brand of people who aren’t already used to being offended and focusing on an actual terrorist organization. I think.

The storyline changed completely.

The Brody Arc worked well in season one and two, and was really tiring in three. Season four still had some dregs about that whole scenario (even though four was an excellent season), we were all done with Brody. (Sorry, Damian Lewis). Season five is two years after season four and it allows a time frame to give Carrie to sort herself out – which she miraculously did. There are also new arcs within Homeland that didn’t exist before – focusing on Quinn, traitors in the CIA and the tension between Saul and Dar Adal, billionaires and their philanthropy and how that is not always the best idea.

The storyline went crazy dark Yeah, you are wondering if I’m a lunatic because the previous seasons were already dark. Season 5 deals with such complex and tense situations and I really enjoyed the following:

  • The moral dilemma between free journalism and keeping a country safe
  • What the Syrian government is actually doing to their people right now
  • The insanity that is the Syrian environment right now
  • A look into the mind of people who help terrorists and why they do it

Not all Muslims belong to ISIS.

Homeland never ever hinted that all Muslims are extremists, but it sure wasn’t anything they loudly vetoed. Season 5 changes that and adds to the growing number of voices ensuring Islamophobia doesn’t become an out of control problem.

What I didn’t like:

There are a few things that I would have liked more information on. I get that Allison wanted to hide her Russian ties and that her Iraqi (triple) agent was the secret to that, but 1) why was it in the secret documents and 2) they could have developed that more. It was probably hard to get all that into only twelve episodes though.

That’s really it for what I didn’t like. The season was great, and Homeland is really building a reputation as a show that remains good, even when they completely changed large parts of their story – it is a very difficult feat.

What’s your opinion on Homeland? Have you seen it?

#100HappyDays: Days 9 – 16

day 9

Day 9: When I moved into my new place at the beginning of #2015wasashittyyear last year, my dog had to go live with my sister. While I am really grateful and happy that Nicci Noodle got to go to a safe and happy environment and be with people that love her, I still miss her snuggly warmth every day. I got to spend some time with her recently and that made me really happy. I’ve also been kind of obsessed with block heels since they came back at the end of last year. They are great – you can actually work in them because they provide support for your feet, and they look uber cool – I feel like I can do anything when I wear them. I saw this pair in the shops but they didn’t have my size, and when even the online store for the retailer didn’t list them anymore I wrote it down as bad luck. So when I found them in another branch, my happy cup filled over and I was dancing (at least in my head) in the shop.

day 10

Day 10: Started watching Homeland Season 5 – oh goodness, what a crazy great and intense season! Also did nails in a gorgeous new color and continued with my adult coloring book.

day 11

Day 11: This sassy little book bag gave me such joy when I bought it.

day 12

Day 12: I’m busy reading this incredible book from Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic. It is everything I want in a book that wants to be self-helping. I am having such a great time. The woman is sensational and I just want to be like her when I grow up.

day 13

Day 13: Johannesburg was being lovely

day 14

Day 14: Had some delicious meals throughout the day and updated blog’s look as well.

day 15

Day 15: These Paris prints in my room makes me so happy. Motivation and reminders of what I want to do in my life.

day 16

Day 16: I’m doing really well with the no-sugar thing so far. However, with amazing cappuccino I don’t even think about sugar. How amazing is that?!

What made you happy this week?

 

 

Movie Review: Inglorious Basterds (2009)

inglorious basterds

Plot:In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.

Rating: 9.5/10

So, I’m saying this at the start so I can get this off my chest: Is there anything more rewarding to a movie lover than an excellent film? I don’t think so, for very obvious reasons. I’m going to try and write out something for this but if you get halfway and decide that I sound like a lunatic, know that I loved this really really really.

Anyway, I can’t believe it took me so incredibly long to get to this. My sister, who really hates violence in movies, told me about the horrendous scalpings and I steered quite clear. I knew I should give it a try when my Bestie said that she thought I would like it a lot (and threatened to scalp ME if I didn’t educate myself in the Tarantino-business).

IB

It is madly intense. The first opening scene is a nail biter and Christoph Waltz is utterly charming and utterly terrifying. He seems so calm and pleased about being called the “Jew Hunter” that you can’t help but wonder if he is truly insane, whether he is very cruel or incredibly ambitious. Honestly, I think the character is all three.

Then there is Mr. Waltz himself, who speaks English with the clear precision that people who aren’t speaking their first language use. Hearing his voice is so lovely. I can also sit and listen to him for days speaking in his native German. Gosh.

bawnjourno

Then there is Mr. Bawnjourno Brad Pitt. It is so obvious that he is having the time of his life on set – he is so cocky, that ridiculous accent, the exaggerated mustache and the BAWNJOURNO. I’m still laughing my ass off at it every time I remember.

I also really cheered for the strong female characters, most notable Shoshanna Dreyfus. Melanie Laurent did an absolutely fantastic job with her portrayal as our Jewish heroine. She manages to portray that innate classiness of French woman while accurately expressing her dislike in anything Nazi.

Inglorious basterds 2

I’ve discovered the following thing that I love about Tarantino: He is able to address heavy subject matter in a way that still has a few laughs but it never takes away that he is acutely aware of the atrocities he is addressing. He never shies away from a taboo subject and he never lends sympathy to the oppressors. Inglorious Basterds is such a film – I can’t even say the Nazis were terrible because that is too tame a word. IB does nothing to diminish that fact and shows through a little bit of humor and a whole lot of crazy what the Nazis were and how wonderful it would have been if the war had ended in such a way.

So, I hope you take it that I loved the film – if you haven’t seen it yet, put it on your Blindspot list and get it done!

#bawnjourno

Series Review: Supernatural Season 2 (2006)

SN 2 cover

Rating: 8.5/10

 

Re-watching Supernatural is proving to be so much fun. Sam and Dean Winchester together are a prize package full of entertainment, and I am often unable to distinguish when it is time to go to bed while watching. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have the biggest bromance that comes across through the screen, and the chemistry between them is the biggest thing that makes the show work.

The monsters and storyline remain well written and thought out. There is an abundance of breathless moments, heart wrenching scenes (who can possibly remain untouched when Dean is struggling to deal with the possibility of Sam going to the dark side???) and gales of laughter as the brothers continue to bicker and prank each other.

SN 2 still 1

Season two has a recurring theme that introduces the theory that not all supernatural creatures are evil, and that Sam and Dean needs to be able to distinguish between the two. Dean’s insecurities and childhood trauma also plays a big role in here and shows you why he is so protective of his only remaining family member. Sam also has some character development and is able to still be likeable despite whining incessantly about his soul (I mean, seriously, get over it dude). I loved the inclusion of Henriksen, who is the purest form of a boss you can ever hope to meet – that conversation over the phone with Dean was epic! – Jo and Ellen, their MIT dropout redneck and Bobby. These semi-permanent characters and their return every few episodes shows that the boys have family even if they aren’t aware of it.

One of my favorite episodes is where Henriksen appears with a second shapeshifter incident, because despite being gross every time a shape shifter comes along, it is hilarious when Dean continues to unintentionally land under the scrutiny of the law so much. I’m really glad the actress that played Meg is out of the picture, because that was my only main irritant in Season 1. The JJ. Holmes episode is naturally freaky as fuck and extremely well thought out. Gosh, a ghost of a serial killer and him peering at them through their coffins… shudders.I also enjoyed the route 66 one again – I threw my tablet on my face the first time I watched it with that stupid ghost jumping through the window – but the episode highlighted again that all the supernatural beings aren’t bad.

I really enjoyed the season. It is great to see the show while it was still fresh and in its’ teething phase. I can’t wait to roll onto season 3 – if I remember correctly this is where Sam starts being really irritating, but the show is still really good. EEK!