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Advent Thanksgiving: I just love your brraaiins (Warm Bodies review).

Warm bodies cover isaac marionMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

My review of Warm Bodies is up at Slacker Heroes today. I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this, not being a big zombie fan, but it was gorgeous.  Funny, full of art and music and just the right side of sentimental.  Zombie romance – who knew?

I just love your brraaiins: 3 reasons to fall in love with a zombie

He lives in a plane

Post zombie plague, the undead hang out in large groups at abandoned places while the living hide in barricaded, joyless camps. ‘R’, our zombie narrator, lives in an abandoned airport, and has claimed a 747 commercial jet as his private pad. He spends his days travelling up and down the airport escalators, then up and down again. I guess they’re operating at the same level of animation. His friend ‘M’ is more down to earth (all zombies have forgotten their full, living names; M and R think they remember the first initials of theirs, at least) and is as sleazy and female obsessed in death as he was in life. M lives in the ladies bathroom, watching soft porn and tripping on hits from fresh brains. I know which bachelor pad I’d prefer.

‘My friend ‘M’ says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can’t smile, because your lips have rotted off.’

He loves music

It’s hard for the zombies to remember what happened to them, or what their lives were like before. R seems to be the only one who cares, and his inability to piece anything together is upsetting him. He collects records and memorabilia, paintings, movies and dolls, and piles them up in his plane-pad. He’s certain they were things of importance but unable to remember why. His mind is stretching beyond his zombie lot in life, but his memory won’t play ball and his vocabulary, limited to the occasional shuffling syllable, can’t help him ask what he wants to know. In one of the cutest, coolest scenes of the novel, he uses his vinyl stash to ‘scratch’ the words he wants to say, skipping through lines of Sinatra records to articulate his thoughts.

Who’s he trying to communicate with? Well. When he eats the brain of a twenty something soldier, he experiences the love the boy had for his bright, full of life girlfriend and decides to rescue her and bring her back to his plane. Yes, you’re right, not the cleverest idea ever. Bring a living girl into an airport full of zombies in order to protect her? Hmm. Anyway, while she’s there they start playing the records he’s amassed, and have a strange few days of hanging out, playing records and eating Thai food. Sounds like my 20s. Though I never had to cover myself in the blood of the dead to hide my scent from the hordes of hungry dead outside.

He values pop culture

Frustrated that none of the other zombies seem to remember or want more, R loses his temper and shouts at a zombie he meets when looping the escalators one day. She has a name tag – she has a name, a clue to her old life, but zombies can’t read so all it does is taunt him.

‘Name,’ I say, glaring into her ear. ‘Name?’

She shoots me a cold look and keeps walking.

‘Job? School?’ My tone shifts from query to accusation. ‘Movie? Song?’ It bubbles out of me like oil from a punctured pipeline. ‘Book?’ I shout at her. ‘Home? Name?’

I think I’d get on with this guy. Picture it. We’re in his plane, listening to Sinatra, eating pad Thai and talking about books. He’s kinda immortal. He’s got DJ skills. He wants to know where I’m from, what my favourite movie is. He’s eaten my boyfriend’s brain to get to know me better – if that’s not commitment, what is?

Every few pages of this novel has a reference to what this new, dead world is missing; Julie’s eyes are likened to ‘classic novels and poetry’, while R’s cravings for brraaiins pulse like pink Pollock fractals. Polaroids are valuable because memories are fading, Beatles songs weave in and out of the chapters, and R and his crew are a ‘cadaverous cadre…roaming the open roads like Kerouac beats with no gas money’. The people behind the barricades have no time to teach their children about art and music, because learning to load a gun and cut a zombie’s brains out are more urgent life skills. They dress in khaki and there’s no booze left in the pub. They are alive, but what for? Warm Bodies is a love letter to what we still have – culture, creativity, emotion, (vodka) – and inspires me to relish it now, before the zombie apocalypse takes it all away.

from ‘3 reasons to fall in love with a zombie’

– Click here for the review at Slacker Heroes (and if you are a zombie fan, check out the rest of the site’s Zombiethon)

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Advent Thanksgiving: Crafty Cool

Source: whitezine.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Last week I posted on the coolest kitchenware of 2011 – today I bring you the very best in knit & crochet fandom. You’re welcome ;-). Click on the images for sources/patterns.

 

Knit your own Death Star. One time you want holes in your knitting, or else how will the rebels get in?

Source: etsy.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

Look at these Star Wars amigurumi! You can buy the patterns from Etsy here, make all of them and send them to me. Please. I can crochet but I’m too lazy. I think I like the ewok best (my dark side should obviously prefer Darth, but I’m on a kawaii tip at the moment. I think it’s from all the Studio Ghibli films on Film4 at the moment. Bliss).

 

More amigurumi genius – bow down to smapte for making these perfect Star Trek: New Generation figures. She’s also made characters from The Big Lebowski, Dune, Doctor Who, Tron, Firefly, Mad Men and Lost. I think I just fell in love. Gallery of the others here.

 

In the future, we won’t need Zoidberg costumes because the sea-levels will have risen and it’ll be ‘Evolve or Die’. We’ll have our own tentacley crustacea thing going on. Til then, why not knit this Zoidberg balaclava and mittens. They’ll call you futuristic. They’ll be right.

Source: ravelry.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

Pessimists among you may dispute my ‘in the future we’ll all have gills’ theory. Perhaps you think it more likely that a zombie plague will wipe us out before we get to evolve to Zoidberg heights. Knit yourself a zombie brraaiins hat and go to war against the zoidberg-balaclava people. Fight! Fight! Fight!

 

Me, I’m a pacifist, more about the theorising than the fisticuffs, so I won’t get involved in the dispute even though I started it. I’ll be at home, snuggled under my Doctor Who quilt. Night night. Sweet dreams.

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Advent Thanksgiving: cool kitchenalia

grr argh buffy whedon apronMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – and today, novelty kitchenware.

Firstly, if you’re going to be preparing food then you’d best wear an apron. What better way to express your love for all things Whedon than with this jaunty ‘Grr Argh’ apron from Cafepress? They also have a ‘Browncoat’ apron, which would be brilliant if only it were brown. Call me OCD but I couldn’t wear a lemon yellow apron with the word brown on it, though I would like to see someone try to get Jayne Cobb wearing one. Shiny.

star trek enterprise pizza cutter think geek

Suitably apronned, you may now adopt a devil-may-care approach to cutting pizza, perhaps using this AMAZING Enterprise pizza wheel. I would have to hum the Star Trek music while slicing, and I just know I’m going to think of the clever pizza/Picard pun that’s eluding me *after* I publish this.

r2d2 peppermill think geekPizza too bland? Not enough spice? R2D2 to the rescue, in the form of this peppermill. It probably doesn’t beep and warble when it grinds – but it should. death star cookie jar think geek

Two Star Wars options for dessert – you know the Empire would have the best sweets, full of delicious, nasty sugar and over-processed flour. Remember the edible clone troopers I linked to before? Darth was breathless and puffy from diabetes, not evil. Whereas the rebels would be all hemp and granola, not a snickerdoodle in sight. Here’s a Death Star Cookie Jar from thinkgeek, and a Darth Cake tray from Incredible Things. Luke, I am your baker.

darth vader cake tin

Lastly, somewhere to stash any leftovers. Bento boxes aren’t really my thing, as they seem to only be for tiny portions, not the Bowley-sized hunks of food I prefer. Anything from Studio Ghibli is always good, though, and this Ponyo bento box is super kawaii. I’d have difficulty eating anything fishy from it, though, without feeling like I was eating one of Ponyo’s sisters. Vegan treats only.

ponyo ghibli bento box

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Advent Thanksgiving: Lost Girl

lost girl tv show

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea..

I’m going to kick off with ‘Lost Girl‘. The first series ended last Thursday (in the UK), which means I have nothing to watch tonight. Pout. Missing a tv programme is a sure sign it’s doing something right.

The show is not without flaws. It is very light, and there are often gaps or contradictions in the narrative. Characters and plotlines get dropped without notice or explanation, and even at its climax, last week’s season finale, there was hardly any tension. But I don’t care. It’s actually a welcome change to watch something that doesn’t wrench my heart and/or guts every week. Buffy broke my heart every few episodes, I rarely got through an episode of Walking Dead‘s first season without weeping, and Lost chewed me up and spat me out with no regard for my sanity. Even Eureka, previously my go-to tv for soft sci-fi storylines, stressed me out this season. Whereas Lost Girl just makes me happy.

What’s that? There’s something weird happening, beyond human ken? Does something appear to be eating people? Worry not. Let Bo, slinky succubus turned P.I., help you out. I’m sure that her wise-cracking, uber-kohled sidekick Kenzi will assist, and if they get in trouble her brooding, sexy-as-hell werewolf policeman lover is sure to help them out. 45 minutes later, case solved, all is well in fae-land, and I am struck down once more with raging lust for Dyson, the aforementioned werewolf-policeman.Though I dismissed him during the pilot as a dull Chris Martin look-alike named after a vacuum cleaner, I have since developed Strong Feelings for Mr Holden-Ried and would like him to call me. Or even just show up at my door unannounced, I’d be cool with that. Please.

dyson lost girl kris holden-ried

I'm sorry I said you looked like Chris Martin. Please call me.

Women more your thing? You’re spoiled for choice. Lost Girl has a slew of strong, interesting female characters.Lauren, Bo’s other love interest, has made a lot of LGBT viewers happy by providing a f/f storyline that rivals that of Bo and Dyson, and I predict more of that after the way Season 1 ended. Bo herself is an alright character, naive and selfish but kickass and likeable enough. The main star, though, is Kenzi. She’s Bo’s side kick and the funniest non-Whedon character I’ve seen in a while. Most episodes find an excuse to put her in a ridiculous outfit, kinda like Alias did with Sydney, and every episode gives her the best lines.

Kenzi Ksenia Solo Lost Girl

Kenzi

I haven’t yet praised the Siren, who’s a whistling black guy rather than a slutty mermaid, or how most of the stories start in the pub, like a Fae version of Eastenders. I could go on. I won’t. I have to go play Skyrim now (a post in itself, coming later this month). Here are two youtube videos for you instead – a great mashup of highlights from the first season, and Kenzi at a speed dating event quoting Ludacris. Enjoy.

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