We’re Painted Red To Fit Right In

[Radioactive – Imagine Dragons]

This will be my review of Catching Fire, the second installment of The Hunger Games film series. Needless to say, this will be rife with spoilers, both plot- and theme-wise.

When I saw the first movie, the aptly titled The Hunger Games, I had just finished reading the entire trilogy within a week, so everything was fresh in my mind. It also meant that I was caught up in the whirlwind of comparing everything to the book, while still reliving the great feeling that I got from reading a dramatic and action-packed series.

Today, I saw the movie having not really come in contact with the fictional world at all for at least a year. I’ve had one night when I came across a trailer, and realizing that I forgot what that trailer was about, I went and had a small peek through the corresponding chapter of the book. But, for the most part, I was coming at the movie with a fresh eye. I mean, obviously I remember the major plot points and deaths, but I’d forgotten a lot of the small things.

Most importantly, I’d forgotten about the themes which Suzanne Collins was probably going for. So, instead of the usual review of a film on its visual and storytelling merits (which I will still do, albeit in a cursory manner), I’ll also talk a bit about the film’s success in drawing out the themes of the series. Note that I’ll be writing with the assumption that you know about the series, and so I’ll be minimally explaining the world.

First of all, I have to say, the film was extremely long. I didn’t exactly keep time, but it took what felt like at least 20 minutes before the ball drops – that Katniss has to go back into the arena. I suppose, though, that that particular ball wasn’t exactly dropping out of the blue, but say for argument’s sake that someone was going in without a single clue, and without having seen the previous film, nor the trailers, they would definitely be wondering if this film was going to go anywhere before they’re treated to the meat of the story. But, I guess that was to be expected, considering that Catching Fire is the transitory middle book/film, which was instrumental in moving the characters and their motives from the passive and oppressed Districts of the first book to the full-on, world-upending rebellion in the third. There is a lot of ground to cover for this – a lot of character development which had to happen to get the viewers up to emotional speed. I can’t remember well, but I’m sure they cut down on a lot of content, yet still had me leaving the theater with a sore bum from sitting for so long.

In Catching Fire, the results of Katniss’ actions in the first film became apparent. What she half intended to be a method or survival and half intended to be a middle-finger to the Capitol (more precisely, to President Snow), was interpreted as an act of rebellion, and encouraged everyone else to do so, too. The film was rather clear in portraying Katniss as a girl who was still stuck in the unwanted role in a publicity game that had become her life the moment she volunteered as Tribute. All she wanted to do in District 11 was to make people feel better, but it directly resulted in the execution of an old man. Katniss said it best when she cried that she didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt, but the fact was, someone did get hurt because of her. Her actions, her body, her life, was no longer her own. This is a theme that will continue even stronger in the next film(s). The film’s end alluded to this, but perhaps in a muffled manner – on the plane, or whatever it is, Katniss wakes up to see that Haymitch, Finnick (who at that point she wasn’t sure whether to trust) and Plutarch (who she definitely didn’t trust) were in cahoots. She was mortified that Haymitch betrayed her, only to be told that they’d all planned ABOUT her, WITHOUT her. This was somewhat overshadowed by the first realization that Katniss had also just lost Peeta, and then the secondary news that District 12 has been destroyed.

The idea that Katniss was no longer her own property seemed to have been a hit-and-miss in both movies, so far. The first movie, whether through time constraints or oversight, heavily omitted any explanation or clarification that the Games was a televised show. That, despite the grim and gory situation placed before her, Katniss was ultimately a contestant on screen, waiting for those watching her to love her and help her. In this movie, it became somewhat more detailed that everything she did, or had to do, was for the camera – that she was a symbol, not just a person. I think that Effie’s lines helped, always reminding Katniss that she had to smile, that she had to be in love, and that she had to convince people that it was all real. Katniss had a personal motive to pretend the love-story was real, but I think the film missed her intelligence in working everything out without having it spelled out to her, too.

And Peeta, let’s not forget that sweet boy who Katniss didn’t deserve. I suppose it’s too early for the film to really delve into it, but it is true that Katniss doesn’t deserve, nor in fact, want, Peeta. Katniss’ heart never went to him the way it went to Gale, but the fact was, Katniss needed Peeta, and ultimately (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) that trumps her heart. Perhaps it’s a comment that in war, what we want isn’t what we should have. Katniss ends up with someone who she needed – a boy who loved and cared for her, even when he (ANOTHER MAJOR SPOILER) lost his grasp on any other reality. You may say that Katniss settled, but that’s not the point – Katniss, at the end of Mockingjay, needed to settle into something safe. Gale would never provide that, but Peeta could, in abundance. Again, this is something which I expect them to delve into in the following two-part installments, but it was nice to see them lightly touch on the topic in this installment.

The idea of rebellion is an obvious theme in the films, yet the execution of such rebellion in different characters reached different levels of success. Putting side the overt riots in the Districts, I want to concentrate on the actions of two Capitol characters, Effie and Cinna.

Effie’s transformation from a self-centered publicity agent to a person who genuinely cared about Katniss and Peeta wasn’t aimed to be subtle. Elizabeth Banks did an excellent job during the reaping scene for the Quarter Quell – one has to realize that her character was in the midst of emotional turmoil; grieving, raging yet terrified (not for herself) at the same time, all while on camera – and in subsequent scenes. The way that she portrayed Effie really shone the character’s determination to let Katniss and Peeta know that she felt the indignation of the situation as strongly as they did, in her own little ways. Putting aside makeup, lighting, and camera angles (areas about which I’m not yet knowledgeable enough to comment), the writing of her character was simple, and the delivery succinct.

Cinna, on the other hand, disappointed me. The book Cinna was a crafty, intelligent and kind designer, whose pride and skill in his work outshone the tyranny of the reason for his creations. Katniss resisted and hated him at the start, only to be taught that Cinna did not do his job because he wanted to doll up the lambs for slaughter, but rather do anything he could to give them a fighting chance. Cinna wasn’t just some Capitol lapdog with a makeup brush in his hand – he was an artist who had his own ideas, his own feelings about the life that was being led around him. The Mockingjay wedding dress was the epitome of his artistry, his swan-song (if I may) of his thoughts. It was supposed to be an elegant, subtle and wildly dangerous message that Cinna sent in the best way he could. It was supposed to be a metaphor, for as the dress burned a bright beacon for the rebellion, so too did the dying embers signify the last remaining moments of Cinna’s life; as the snow white dress melted away, surely Cinna resigned himself to a painful doom. But the pain of that moment, when the camera fell on Cinna for his bow, was lost to me.

I feel that my problem was with the editing of this scene. The acting, the script and the camera was spot on, but the editing (or, I suppose, direction) drew attention away from the significance of the moment. Similarly, the sound editing drew significance away from a tragic irony later on in the film, upon Mags’ death. Not a few minutes before, Finnick said that the sound of the cannons was like music to his ears, because it meant one less person out there to kill him. But as the poison fog was rolling in, and Mags leaped into her death to save the others, the sound of her death cannon was drowned out by the music score and all the noise happening on screen. Then, with all the commotion happening later, one never really had the time to properly digest how horrifyingly ironic it was for Finnick to hear the cannon sound upon his mentor’s death. If anything, Finnick seemed more affected by the Jabberjay aftermath (which was a good subtle setup for later), telling Katniss almost indifferently that Mags was going to die, anyway. Perhaps I interpreted the scene wrongly, but his actions in caring about his elderly mentor should have suggested some more weight in his words when he dismissed Mags’ death.

(I want to take a separate moment to mention how great Mags was, especially in that short footage of her volunteering as tribute. When Finnick showed the smallest of weaknesses hugging Mags, she pointed fervently at the camera, reminding him that they were back under scrutiny – but more importantly, that his relief that Annie was saved was a danger to both himself and Annie. They’re the little things which I was grateful the writers had painstakingly put in.)

My take away of this review is that Catching Fire was rather temperamental when it came to its success in the portrayal of the themes. Where it triumphed in showing personal rebellion in Effie, it missed the mark with Cinna. Where it took note of the small tragedies and details of Finnick’s love for Annie, it neglected to do the same for his love for Mags.

Finally, and this is probably more nitpicking than anything: I hope for a better, more rounded portrayal of Prim and Gale for movies 3 and 4. Gale’s tendency for action and war was shown but not elaborated upon in this film, and the efforts to mature Prim to (EXTREME SPOILER ALERT) set her up to volunteer for and die as a medic in the final moments of the saga resulted in an overly aloof and distant girl. Obviously, this film was more of a focus on the gathering forces for a revolution, so little side-character developments aren’t of importance, but it would have been nice to see Prim act a little reckless as a foreshadowing of her seemingly forgetting Katniss’ first sacrifice.

(If you can’t tell, I’ve always viewed Prim as a supreme idiot by the time of her death. I mean, it was a beautiful stroke of irony on Collins’ part, but it made me so frustrated.)

When I have the time, I’m going to go back and re-read the books again. I think it would give me fresh perspectives on both the films and the books, and then maybe I can do a re-write of this review if I deem it necessary (which I know it never is, because no one reads these).

Alex.

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Moonlight Would Provide The Spark

[Three Cheers For Five Years – Mayday Parade]

Serena brought it to my attention that I never finished this post.

As this was two years ago and I’m not bothered enough to check back, I’ll do them all now. I actually have a post in draft for the last few days that I didn’t write, but since I have to sleep within the hour, this might be faster.

Day 01: Your views on death, how you cope, etc. – If I answered this already, forgive me. I guess my answer will be different now. Since then, I’ve come across two deaths, one close but not extremely close to me, and another in my own family. Both were very sad but not in the shock tragic way. The former is definitely very upsetting, since it was my friend who battled cancer for eight years, and who ultimately lost to it. The thing is, the whole family knew it was coming, so they had time to prepare, to spend time and to smile and laugh. Her last days were spent in the company of her friends and family, so all things considered, it was pretty beautiful. The second death was my own grandfather, and it was a bit of a shock, but he was old, he lived a full, happy life, and there were no prolonged pain and suffering. He left my grandmother with a place to live, money to spend, and they had a lifetime of memories together. So my views? Death sucks, obviously, since it’s the ending of an existence, but I’d prefer to think about them when they lived, and how good they lived, and in that way they can continue existing in a sense, and positively so.

Day 02: How you introduce yourself to new people. – I try to be myself, but for the most part I gauge the situation. It’s easy to create a public persona, a funny, slightly inappropriate jokey, kind of persona, and just let that take care of the social conventions. But let’s be honest, we all do that. It’s how society is made for us to survive in, and instead of condemning it, think about the kind of people in your life around whom you could drop your public persona easily. It makes times with them even more special.

Day 03: What you think about love. – Judging by the time stamp, this was initially written just before I met Amelia. June 2011, I was pretty into someone else, and it wasn’t requited. I would have been a bit naive, hopeful but ultimately cynical about it. Now, I think it’s probably at the stage where I think love is definitely something which can fix someone, but also an elusive something which you may never know you’ve had, because who knows what love is? How can you tell you’re in love, and not just deep infatuation? And more importantly: does it matter? If you’re happy, and they’re happy, and your sex drive is VERY happy, then does it matter if it’s not really “love”?

Day 04: Write about someone you love. – Please see previous posts about Amelia. SORRY I just have to sleep very soon.

Day 05: A list of things you fancy doing. – Lately, I’ve been working more, so I do appreciate down times when I can read a good comic or book, or watch some shows while playing Jetpack Joyride, or reading about cool new techie things. I also really, really enjoy cuddling Amelia’s dog Meg.

MEG3

Day 06: Recommend some books to read. – This might just show my immaturity and taste in literature, but a few books I’ve been recently reading that I really enjoyed:

Perfume – the Story of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind (yes, I saw the movie first)

A Song of Ice and Fire (the series Game of Thrones is based off of) by G. R. R. Martin

Repotting Harry Potter – A Professor’s Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader by James W. Thomas (a wonderful way to also read through the series itself as you go along)

The Casual Vacancy (Where Rowling shows she really, really understands how people work) by J. K. Rowling

White Fang (literally one of the first adult English books I ever read, and I fell in love with it) by Jack London.

I’m also going to recommend some comics which I like.

Saga – Image Comics. The illustration is astonishingly beautiful, and Fiona Staples conveys emotions so artfully that some panels are laugh out loud funny, because of the way she’d draw the characters. The story is also compelling, but now that I’m waiting monthly for them instead of consuming them in one go, I feel like it’s so slow!

Chew – Image Comics. I have a thing for Image. Chew is funny and then punch-you-in-the-guts heartbreaking without notice. It takes quite a lighthearted approach at a really, really morbid theme, and it’s so fun to see where everything is headed.

Rising Stars – Image Comics. This series ended a while back, and I blew through it in one day. I’d wanted to savor it slowly, but before I knew it, it was pitch black and I had a sore butt, but I was just sobbing at how things turned out. It’s like Heroes, but better (which isn’t saying much, I guess).

American Vampire – Vertigo. Ever since reading Preacher (which is also good, but I won’t put it on my list), I thought Vertigo would come out with weird-ass things (just like Hellblazer too), but American Vampire’s story really SUCKED me in, even considering the fact that it had time jumps and deviations in protagonist focus. The world which Snyder created is so engrossing I wish they could make a bigger thing of it.

Fables – Vertigo. Also a surprisingly not weird series. It’s like Once Upon A Time but not so whiney. The reason I got into it was because I read a review for Wolf Among Us, which is the Telltale Game’s prequel to Fables. The game sounded fun, and the comics did too, so I gave it a go. Great decision, cannot wait for the game now.

Numbercruncher – Titan Comics. This was one of those random new comics recommended by Comixology, and I gave it a go. It was strange to start with but then the premise really grabbed me, then it continued being extremely awesome, and it’s something I’d totally re-read slowly while contemplating the idea behind it.

The Bunker – Hoarse and Buggy Productions. Yet another random digital-only recommendation, which turned out to be very time-travelly mind-bendy stuff. It’s slow in picking up and just started, so it’s not built up to much yet, but the creators are promising something huge, and I hope they deliver!

Day 07: Write about the arts (music, art, dancing). – Obviously, these things are all around us and we don’t realize it. It feels like these institutions have been built to such an elitist state that, if you’re not AMAZING AND TOTALLY ACE at it, then you’re relegated to “sucking” and “keep it as your hobby”. I mean, for most people, it probably is a hobby anyway, but they don’t need you to tell them that. I wish I was good at all three, because musicians/artists/dancers are sexy, but I think I’m okay with just writing and storytelling.

Day 08: Write a poem. – I once took a creative writing class where one of the assessments was to write a poem. I think poems are also built to be something more than it needs to be. Poems are meant to be a gathering of words in a way which draws beauty and instills thought and emotions into the reader. Just because you didn’t write it in a bloody sonnet format doesn’t make it any less special. A limerick isn’t any lesser than a haiku. A kid who wrote an acrostic poem using the word “MOMMY” and writing about how much they love their mother means a lot more to that mother than anything Hemingway could have come up with, because poetry isn’t about how poncy you are, it’s about the emotion behind it. In other words, I can’t really be bothered writing one right now.
Day 09: Photo of your favorite pillow. – I only have one pillow, and it’s light blue. Unless you want a photo of Meg again?

Day 10: How you wake up in the morning. – I tend to wake up more often to alarm clocks than not, then I take 10 minutes to scroll through my overnight Twitter feed, especially for interesting news, then I get up and do my stuff.
Day 11: Write about your sibling(s) or what it’s like to be an only child. – Being an only child can be lonely sometimes, and also your parents pressure you a lot, since they only have you to make them proud. But, you get lots of stuff, so whatevs, right? It’s getting late and these questions ask too much of me!
Day 12: Your relationship with your parents. – I think this is a bunch of worms which need to remain in the can for tonight.
Day 13: Write about what you believe in, be it God, yourself, etc. – I believe in finding happiness, and one’s innate right to be happy, no matter how. Of course, if being happy means you absolutely need to go on a killing rampage, then maybe you shouldn’t be happy, or even alive. I’m not really one for all-life-is-sacred, because in the end we have about 6 billion on this planet, (I’m the only one with the uncanny ability to be awesome,) about half of them is in a constant state of poverty and probably dying, and the other half cares that a deranged gunman not get a death sentence? Again, let’s keep those worms for another day. My point is, being happy is all you should aim for, because once you die, who knows what else comes after?
Day 14: What you do for Valentine’s Day. – I’m not allowed to celebrate this day because Amelia hates it.
Day 15: Write about the best gift you’ve ever received. – It’s hard for me to pinpoint the best gift, since I constantly want and get tired of new things. I think that a photo album that a friend gave me when I left my old school was probably the most heartfelt and sweet thing, though.
Day 16: Write another poem, about the weather. – Roses are red, the sky is blue, the rain is gray, brown is poo.
Day 17: Post your favorite gif.

Cry3I used this reacting to when Amelia said that we were no longer in the honeymoon period.
Day 18: Your plans for tomorrow. – I work 8 hours.
Day 19: Write about something you fear. – I’m scared that Amelia will find being with me too tiresome as times goes on, because we either have to hide it from our families forever, or come out and face the consequences. We’re both bi, so I’m worried she’ll end up finding it easier just to be with a guy who she can be public with. But that’s silly, because she loves me, and her dog has basically imprinted on me so it will take too long for it to love someone else.
Day 20: What did you eat for dinner last night? – Dad fried up some Spam and we ate it with burger buns and he also made soup.
Day 21: Your favorite thing to drink. – SO I HAD MY FIRST WET PUSSY (well…”second”) TONIGHT AND IT WAS DELICIOUS AND I LOVE IT.
Day 22: How you take your coffee or tea. – I usually have a latte with one sugar, but I used to do double shots with one sugar as well. I take tea black with one sugar, unless it’s green, then no sugar.
Day 23: Your favorite thing to wear. – I like wearing hoodies because they feel like mobile blankets.
Day 24: Another poem, about the shoes you wear most often. – Roses are red, my shoes are purple, some bits are black, so black and purple.
Day 25: Write about where you live. – I live on a street predominantly white, and we used to have a problem with some kids down the road, who would ding-dong ditch us, and they escalated to kicking our trash over, harassing my mom when she’s working in the front yard, and once egged our house. They’ve stopped recently, though.
Day 26: Your favorite smell. – Amelia! Also bacon. OH IMAGINE IF AMELIA COOKED BACON!
Day 27: Your thoughts on the internet. – I don’t see a problem with the internet itself, I see a problem with people. It’s like guns. Yes, guns are bad things and they kill people, but honestly, a gun sitting there by itself wouldn’t be that scary, but you put a pair of hands on it and WOAH it’s a problem. It’s the same thing with the internet. It’s a great way to connect things that are otherwise unable to be connected, but once you put a human behind the mouse and….
Day 28: Write about how you feel today. – I’m a bit annoyed that I spent all day watching TV and not doing some writing, but it is my rest day after all, so I should just be happy I got to rest. Next week is a tough working week, but I’ve got Pokemon Y to look forward to on Saturday!

A dotty recap

I’ve been slacking off in the documentation of my activities…so I will dot point what has happened since last week (a feat I don’t often attempt, lest it decreases my writing skills)…

Starting from last Saturday:

Saturday:

  • Went to the dentist to get my teeth checked up and cleaned.
  • Went to the Glen to hang out with Mela a bit.
  • Ended up buying the Hunger Games trilogy box set.
  • Had lunch while standing up from the lack of seats – it was a weirdly busy day at the Glen.
  • Went home and read the Hunger Games (1st book) in one sitting.

Sunday:

  • Rushed out of the house because parents left later than expected, leaving me the tiniest window to catch up to my bus.
  • Did manage to catch the bus, and went to have lunch with Mela before her shift.
  • Went home but didn’t really feel like reading the second book.
  • Downloaded a lot of eBooks – for free!

Monday:

  • Stayed home all day because I promised my parents I would.
  • Mela was having a terrible day, and I couldn’t go out to make her feel better.
  • She ended up going to work as a last minute notice.

Tuesday:

  • Went to Chadstone to hang out with Mela, Cindy and Brendan.
  • Shopped! Got a new pair of Vans, a new YD waistcoat and Mela surprised/snuck past me by buying me a shirt I liked before I could stop her.
  • Pestered Ser- at work. She had her eyes on a “cute” guy who was working at Gloria Jeans opposite her. He wasn’t cute.
  • Took the bus home with Ser-, Brendan and Mela – Cindy went to work.
  • Cindy bought a shirt, which is something she doesn’t usually do. Mela bought a pretty dress. Brendan bought a strawberry milkshake.

Wednesday:

  • Went to Knox with Mela so that she wouldn’t be bored at home before her late shift.
  • Hung out and I checked in everywhere with Foursquare.
  • Were disgusting everywhere we went holding hands and such.
  • Looked at a ring at Michael Hill but I ended up chickening out because it was just a bit above my price-range.
  • Both of us got freaked out when the lady brought up lifetime warranties.
  • Got some chocolate caramel popcorn from the new popcorn place.
  • Had a massive chicken club sandwich for lunch.
  • GOT SLAM DUNK FROM MELA!
  • Big hugs and kisses goodbye because the day ended way too soon.

Thursday:

  • Late start, went to meet up with Annie, Vania, Marvin, Julia and Tiff at MC with Mela.
  • Mela surprised me again by showing up on my bus.
  • Had lunch with the group, then they went to see the mummy exhibition while Mela and I stayed in State Library games room so she could play Pokemon while I watched Despicable Me on her lap.
  • Head scratchies!
  • Caught back up with the group and went to Giraffe for dinner. They were all so hungry they all finished their risottos.
  • Played Big 2 for a bit – Annie remains unskillful.
  • Went home – head scratchies on the train back! Mela says she pampers me too much.
  • Went to bed early because I felt tired and sick – Mela stayed up and played Pokemon until 2 am.
  • Slept 11 hours and got up today to laze around before going to Dani’s dinner later!

More to blog about tomorrow! Why, it’s Brendan’s annual birthday party! How the time flies.

Alex.

Tiny tragedies

[No Such Thing – John Mayer]

Day 06: Recommend some books to read.

The awkward moment when you don’t read as much as your aspirations allude to.

Just recently I got 3 of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series for super cheap, so I’ve been reading those. They’re very good, but I suppose having seen the TV show first I compare the book in relation to the TV show rather than the other way around.

Also recently saw Tomorrow, When The War Began (so behind schedule), which has made me want to read the 7 books again, even though it takes so long, and they’re hard to track down these days. They were good too, but the last I read them was in Yr 8, so my memories and tastes might have been changed.

Other than that, I used to read a lot of teenage sci-fi, most of them about people whose bodies get enhanced, or who gets super awesome tech. Spy High and CHERUB were good series for my phase of secret agents, and who could forgo Animorphs? I also remember a series called Fearless, which was pretty cool, but probably a lot chick-y if I read back on it now.

Ooh Jackie French’s Outland trilogy was also pretty awesome in my memories. And Michael Lawrence’s Withern Rise.

And anything by Isobel Carmody, assuming you can slog through the thick volumes. And Gillian Rubenstien’s Galax-Arena trilogy was pretty neat too. (Very Australian selection, I know, because of my primary school library’s stock.)

Douglas Adams, who can forget him? Totally worth renewing his trilogy of 4 countless times just to work through it!

Yeah I’m nothing special when it comes to books recommendation.

Oh um, that wizards book that got really popular. Movies were made. With the hot actress. You know which one.

Alex.

Come On And Hold You Like Candy

[Thieving – Lovedrug]

Today I went to see Paranormal Activities with Jen, Sonia and Susan.

I got up very early and took an early train to the city. Went to Melb Uni to ask a few questions (mainly asking what other choices I have now that I PROBABLY won’t get into my course. I fell 0.25 short of the required score, which is 97.6 You do the maths). Then went to Allan’s Music (I got lost. Don’t ask) to get a capo – lingered in the guitar section looking at all the cool electric guitars – and then went to the Secret Book Shop (I swear there is a name for that store) to get Wreck This Journal for Katherine.

Okay, errands were done. I went back to Melb Central, where Cathy said she wanted to meet up. I went to the upstairs foodcourt to get something to nom on seeing as I was a bit early, and as I was walking in I saw in my short sighted peripherals some chick with an Asian fringe pointing at me. I veered towards that blob, and I realized it was Mai, with Jenny T and D.P. and Wes. I sat with them for a bit (they’d just come back from staying at an apartment for Esther’s birthday). Ate their food instead of buying some. Win.

Cathy called again, so I went down to see her (HUG HUG HUG I haven’t seen her in so long!!) and teased her a bit about growing out her fringe. Then we went back to Allan’s where Jen was waiting. We went upstairs and Cathy showed off on the electric violin. At around 12 Jen and I went back to Melb Central and met Susan.

Okay, so, bought the tickets (Bel and Julia pulled out) and then ate lunch at Grill’d. Could their burgers BE any bigger? Made so many rude jokes about Jen and her meat. Stuffed ourselves silly, and then basically the three of us played on our iPod/iPhones (Unblock Me!) for ages. Then we went down to the Asian grocery to buy cheap noms for the movie. Jen took ages to decide.

Went to see the movie, Hi Sonia! Pee’d, and then sat down in our seats for the movie. The previews were nothing fresh, so the movie started.

Can I just say.

Do not.

Under any circumstances.

Pay money to watch it.

Ever.

It was so boring! And it wasn’t even scary. I mean, at least Scream was funny, to make up for it being not scary. And if you’re going to do a handheld camera horror about possessions, then at LEAST try to match SOME of Emily Rose’s awesomeness. No, it wasn’t creepy that you tried to pass the whole thing off as “really happened” because we KNOW it didn’t. Instead it was just annoying watching the guy and the girl walk around bitching to each other. The ONLY remotely fun part was Night 21, and when the psychic pissed off after being scared. That WAS pretty funny.

Anyway, I wasn’t really ever taking the movie seriously (Susan, on my left, clawed the air in fright every time a sudden movement happened) and then my phone buzzed. I had forgotten to sign out of MSN. Jenny Z started talking to me and I told her about how bored I was watching P.A. She laughed and told me to be patient and wait for Night 21.

There was this funny bit in Night 20 where they were sleeping and their sheets got blown like there was air under the sheets. It was meant to be creepy because it’s the Demon getting in, but I giggled and said, “Haha she farted” which made everyone laugh. So, moment ruined.

Then in Night 21, when it was really tense, I pushed Jen who screamed, “STOP DOING THAT!” and then the guys behind us started laughing ‘cos they saw me shove Jen. Then when the girl stood up, and, possessed, walked over to the guy still sleeping and “supernaturally” removed his sheets, one of the girls sitting in front of me said, “He-lloooo” in a suggestive tone. Another scary moment ruined.

To top the whole thing off, when the movie finished and the curtains closed, music came on in the theater. Guess what song? Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” WHAT?! “I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night” after a (supposed) horror movie? WHO THOUGHT OF THAT?

Left the cinemas laughing.

Walked around with Sonia and Jen for a bit (Susan went home) and then said bye to them pretty quickish. Got home, dinner’d, and then went driving for a bit (first time in 2 years). I was actually still pretty okay at it. So. Here’s to muscle memory.

Alex.

P.S. Didn’t mention Jenny Z enough. Hi Jenny Z. My master.

It Was A Fun Day, It Was A Fail Day, It Was A Ducking Fantastic Day

That was a long title.

Today, instead of going to singing rehearsals (which I think now that I think about it, I was actually aware of last week, then forgot about until last night) I went out with Katherine again. We went to the city to “research” webcams, speakers etc. Also, I had to run errands.

Got to the Glen uber early because I couldn’t be bothered catching a bus so got mom to drop me off as she went to work, meaning I waited around at Maccas using their free wifi for about an hour. Got the 10:11 train, and Katherine got on at Mt Waverley. This doesn’t sound exciting. It isn’t.

Got to Melbourne Central and needed to pee. Then got Caramellatte. Still isn’t that exciting.

(What WAS funny, however, as right before I went into the bathroom I told Katherine to “stay here” and the look she gave me could only be described as “oh-no-you-didn’t-just-treat-me-like-your-dog”.)

So first of all we went to Myer to look at speakers. It took ages to find the entertainment section because we had to go down down down down.

Katherine also looked at cameras because she wants a DSLR. Anyone gonna help her out? Didn’t think so.

By the way, and this has been bugging me all day; to my friends: do any of you use Versace New Woman? Because Katherine was wearing it, and I SWEAR I know someone else who wears it but I cannot for my LIFE remember who. It would, I assume, be someone who I get close enough to smell. Just ignore how ducking perverted I sound right now.

I think that’s the bottle. Google does tend to duck with me sometimes.

Then we left Melbourne Central and went to Bourke St to head for JB. We went into Target first, and got lost. I told her to “ask the Asian chick!” but she refused to. “We can find it ourselves!” “You’re such a guy!” “What?!” “Guys never ask for directions.” “FINE I’ll ask the Asian chick!”

Then we got out of Target and went into JB. This is gripping stuff this is.

We saw the speakers that she wanted. Z4 or something? She gasped. Then saw the pricetag. She gasped again.

Well, at this point (and I just consulted Katherine who also has “NO idea”) I forgot the chain of events, so I’ll just throw in stuff that happened and hopefully the universe doesn’t collapse into itself in a mess of chronological mess.

Mess of…chronological…mess. I need to sleep.

At some point we traversed Russel St. We walked around in the shade (thank you vampirism). We walked a hell of a lot. We went to the Dirt Cheap Books store. Haha. Ha. I made Katherine look at a book about sex or something naughty starting with S. I found it funny. She found it fit to simply walk away from me. I tried calling her name but to no avail. I contemplated using the tried-and-true “MARCO POLO” tactic but felt it not emergency enough.

At some other point I took Katherine to the “secret shop” that Eunice once showed me except she’s been there before with another Alex. We looked at PostSecret books and random books. She found this book called “Wreck This Journal”. At the back of the book, it says “tape this book together, and mail it to yourself!” I think I might actually mail it to her.

At some other point we traversed Elizabeth St. That was painful on my feet too. We walked into a lot of electronic stores. Most of the time I just whinged about how Katherine doesn’t watch FRIENDS, and never has.

(I started marathon-ing Season 2 of FRIENDS again last night. I gotta say that summer when I marathon-ed it all was such a wonderful summer. Michelle, can I borrow all of them again?)

At some yet other point we ate lunch. Had an interesting conversation at lunch. It was interesting because I made Katherine talk and eat. You know she doesn’t do either in public right? Apparently she doesn’t sing in public either. I mean. Who doesn’t or hasn’t once sung in public?

At some yet other other point I ran my errand. We went to National Geographic and I got Eunice her Sea Monkeys.

At some fail point I started going up in the down escalators because my brain said, “No one is going to that one, it’s empty!”

Finally, we were bushed. We were so bushed we decided to find a place to sit down except the downstairs foodcourt at Melb Central was too hot and one of the good couches upstairs was taking by a really PDA couple (there was a lot of space next to them – they were REALLY PDA – but yeah we thought it would be WAY awkward to go sit with them).

So we went down to the Basement and found a couch to crash on. Listened to Katherine’s iPod. Then this group of guys came down and sat on the couch next to us and it was majorly awkward turtle ‘cos we just basically sat still and pretended we weren’t there. Then they left. So we had the gummy people I bought her, and I made her drop one in my mouth except she missed (I swear, oh my god, my mouth was 10 cms from her hand. She missed).

At some point after that we took the train home together after I made her take Glenny with me (the guilty puppy face actually works on her. Wow.) and we tried to solve the Sudoku except I ducked it up. Then we were doing the crossword, and 16-across was “Ass-like”. I wrote “Katherine” next to it.

I guess I can’t be bothered explaining the huge in-joke behind that except just simple to direct you towards “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas.

There was a clue that was “seize”. So far we had _rap___ and at the same time both of us wondered out loud, “Crapture?”

After she left I was sending her a text and I tried to write the f word except it came out as “duck”. I think that’s how I’m going to swear as from now on.

Well, I was aiming for 1000 words and I hit it.

Alex.

P.S. Apparently singing rehearsals sucked. Yay. (Annie…Annie…ah duck it)

P.P.S. 14 days ’til Sorrento!

For You In Full Blossom

A.k.a. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. A.K.A. Hana Kimi.

I watched it 2 years ago, when it came out. Twice. But just this weekend I’d gotten legit copies of it so I’ve been watching it again.

Right, so the reason I haven’t blogged in such a long time is because of this:

Firstly, my net capped. As per usual when my net caps, I wait until the new month to blog, because WordPress takes a while to load on a capped net. However, just a few days ago my computer decided to die on me. Apparently viruses finally got the better of it. We’d taken it to a family friend’s so he can reformat it (and hopefully back up all my files somewhere) but yeah it’s pretty sad not having the computer there. Walking into the study and seeing the empty space where the CPU used to be, it’s like walking into a room where someone had just moved out forever. Well it’s coming back but I still miss it.

As a result, I can’t go online at all, except at school, which is where I am right now, writing a delayed blog post. I can’t go on Facebook, and as Emily had noted I have been absent on MSN for a long time (which is how she figured something was wrong with my computer). I shudder at how many notifications I’d have to sort through when I get back. OR, alternatively and true to FML, I’d go back and realize I don’t have a single notification from a friend asking for my whereabouts. I’m reading a lot more now (what else can I do?) so the other day, neglecting to read my school set texts of In the Lake of the Woods and Hard Times, or not even finish my Hitchhiker’s Guide series, I borrowed a teen novel called Unwind, as well as Frankenstein and The Green Mile by Steven King. No idea if I will finish any of those, considering I should get my computer back soon.

So so, what has been happening in my life outside of my technological setback?

On Tuesday, school started late because of the parent-teacher interview the evening prior. BRuCE went to school early to make breakfast in the Common Room (Eunice had found a recipe for microwave omelette) only to find others with similar ideas. Except Sanj. Sanj went to school early because she thought she was being on time.

We heated up soup, and then Eunice made the omelette, which was really nice – totally worth making the Common Room smell like onions – and then, since the Yr 9s were having a year level breakfast, all their left over food came to us. So we have 7 2L bottles of milk and 3 large tins of Milo at our disposal. We even went as far as THANKING the Yr 9s for their contribution.

On Wednesday I had my hair cut. It’s not that big a deal but I have to style it now. It’s the 2nd day with the haircut but I’m still receiving a few compliments. Yay! Again, totally worth waking up 10 minutes early just to do my hair.

Tomorrow I start my English tutoring at Tye for Hard Times, which is a problem seeing as I haven’t really READ THE BOOK! I wonder if that’ll matter. Oh wel the shit will come when it comes.

My cousin’s birthday was last week, I don’t know if I mentioned. I called her up over the weekend and we had a talk, and then started to exchange emails. It’s pretty nice to be in touch with my cousin again, I feel. Hopefully it’s the same for her. I should probably give her the link to this blog when I frequent my entries again.

Well, here comes May. Time seems to be playing tricks. For a period of time it seems like the week will never end, yet we’ve stepped into May, nearly halfway through. I am loving my time with my friends now more than ever, because I am often being told by last year’s Yr 12s that after graduation you hardly get to see your friends. I really really don’t want to be distanced from my best friends.

Ahhh too sentimental. I have to write this quickly because I may not get another chance to blog until after the weekend (hopefully computer will be back by my next entry).

Finally:

To be able to discern the re-twining of the netting in our safety net, I feel much more at ease. Four pairs of hands, and four hearts and minds are simply so much stronger and efficient.

Alex.