Happy, geeky quilts for two boys

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I had a lot of fun making these quilts. Two lovely friends of mine adopted two little boys this year. I thought it was such a gracious, loving thing to do for the community at large that I wanted to help somehow. I chose to help by making the two boys their own patchwork quilts. I was advised of their likes: superheroes, minions, fruit.. and made two almost matching but not quite quilts. It was a lot of fun using so many of my geeky fabrics.

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Star Wars (Rey and BB-8 highlighted because of personal preference), Iron Man, Thor, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman (fave of their new mama) and a fantastic Justice League group fabric with lots of characters. Then Minions, kawaii fruit and vege, owls, school supplies, sky sharks… this quilt has a lot going on. I kept the colours bright and cheerful and used some Island fabric from Rarotonga for nice wide borders. Both came out about single bed sized and by all accounts were well received.

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Also I didn’t shy away from pinks, purples or ‘girly’ prints, because to be frank, gendered colours shouldn’t be a thing. And I’m really happy with the colour combinations in these. The binding is coloured calico I bought off Trade Me, which I love having to hand and is lovely and soft to work with.

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I’ve been using this same Ikea children’s fabric for years, sourcing it where-ever I could – through friends in Australia, off Trade Me. Sadly This is the last big chunk used for these two quilts, but I don’t mind too much. It’s just such fantastically weird animal designs.

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Army of Darkness (1992)

Army of Darkness
Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Sam ad Ivan Raimi
(number 380)

Okay this is going to be another of these movies which is only on here for the nostalgia of men of a certain age, isn’t it? Oh, it’s a third place sequel…and the second film in the series is in the top 100? Eh, I’m watching this now anyway.

I don’t have nostalgia for this film, in fact I have never seen it before. In the 90s I was too much of a fraidy cat to watch stuff like this. I would skirt the horror aisle of the video shop, sort of fascinated by the art on the covers but not nearly brave enough to rent or watch any of them. Once I was past 18 I was too interested in arty films like Clerks or Before Sunrise so I didn’t watch them then either. Possibly my lack of ever doing the stoner thing also feeds into this. Video Nasties just generally ain’t my thing, unless I’m watching something like Troll 2 with friends and we’re all making fun of it.

Its an early 90s cheesy horror, totally corny special effects and shoddy over the top acting. Weird moments that make no sense, such as Ash being able to catch his chainsaw on his arm stump in mid air while being attacked by zombie. The mini-Ash sequence was unsettling but mostly because it gave me flashbacks to a play called The Pillow Man, and was weirdly Freudian when he consumed himself. Then it went to creepy body horror and I noped out. This story made very little sense.

Sam Raimi is responsible for a lot of cult entertainment, including other horror movies and Xena and Hercules: the legendary journeys as an executive producer or producer. Actually there’s a lot of similar cheesiness between this and Hercules now that I know that.

Does it make me love the people? neh. I dunno, I liked that Ash was happy to scream with fear and generally get thrashed, but he’s such a cartoon character with sex jokes, being poked up the nose by a skeleton and shaking his distorted face until it goes back to it’s regular shape. It’s not about a human character or understanding, it’s a comedic horror romp and there’s no need for proper humans in that.

Bechdel test: don’t be silly. Girls are just there to gasp at the awesomeness which is Bruce Campbell and be kissed by him/serve him or turn sort of ugly when evil.

Best line: Klaatu Barada …necktie

State of Mind: Look, I’m glad that movies like this exist, because they’re the grandparents of cool stuff like Cabin in the Woods and Dead Snow and Tucker and Dale vs Evil but… urgh. I don’t want to have to watch them. This was poorly written and poorly acted. There were stop motion skeletons and not in a good way. Eh, well at least now I’ve seen it. A piece of crap, says I.

Watched movie count

Paris, Texas (1984)

Paris, Texas
Directed by Wim Wenders
Written by L.M. Kit Carson and Sam Shepard
(number 400)

A yes, one of these films which I start to watch with no idea what it’s about or what to expect. First up, we see a Mathew Mcconaughey in True Detective looking guy wandering through the desert with no water. Mostly I was struck by the beauty of the landscape. From there the film reminded me of Electra Glide in Blue and Rain Man.

Those big wide open white deserts with the intense blue sky is starting to be familiar to me now. I’m impressed with how quickly this film drew me in, how much I was interested right away in the characters and the stories. It’s not a fast paced film, and the answers aren’t immediately forthcoming, you need to wait and be patient.

I enjoy watching movies which spend so much time with the architecture and layout of the city. You don’t often see these angles of the highways of Los Angeles, the gently inclinging suburban hill, the view over the airport. It’s charming.

Does it make me love the people? Absolutely. I loved Walt almost immediately on account of it being Harry Dean Stanton, whom I’ve loved since Quantum Leap back in the 80s.

I took a bit longer to warm to Travis, but I got there. Walt’s wife and the kid, Hunter are generally very likeable. They don’t do anything particularly outstanding or unexpected, but the sequences about Travis wanting to walk Hunter home are a great mini-arc within the bigger story. First rejection, then tentative acceptance. It was very sweet.

I loved Jane right away when we met her, and the monologue scene is heart rending to watch. Throughout the movie you’re wondering what happened to Travis for those four years, and finally when you do find out… you don’t want to know. That stuff is dark. I also don’t love the association between abused woman and the sex industry. It’s a common line drawn and I don’t think it’s necessary. But that said, I found her very compelling to watch and was pleased to see her reunited with her son.

Bechdel test: Three named women; Anne (the perfect suburban housewife), Jane (the lost love, fallen woman) and Carmelita (the Latina maid)… but they only talk to the men.

Best line:

Walt: We live in the suburbs, but I’ve got my business in town
Travis: Oh yeah? What’s your business?
Walt: I make billboard signs for advertising.
Travis: Oh yeah? So *you*’re the one who makes those signs, I love those. Some of them are beautiful.
Walt: I’m not the only one who makes them, Trav.

State of Mind: I enjoyed that quite a lot but I don’t love the ending. I guess there’s too many unanswered questions, specifically ‘what happens next?’ but some people have found a bit of peace or closure so that’s satisfying. I suspect I may watch this film again, at least the first half or so…

Watched movie count

Things l Love Thursday

Things have been pretty hard lately, mostly for health reasons – it’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. So, this is short, but at least it’s done 🙂

Eurovision! We had some friends over and ate lots of snacks and played an excellent drinking game. So much fun.

seriously though the staging on this…

I don’t like the colder weather at all but I am grateful for a house, which has heaters and blankets in it.

I’ve been getting a lot of patchwork quilting and sewing done, and that’s been very satisfying – calming even.

Honourable Mentions: Anna, trading books with friends, library books, people coming to me for advice, emotional roleplaying, dreams, my Robin teddy bear, spotify playlists, laughing with workmates, popcorn, chocolate and Bucky Barnes.

Things I Love Thursday

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Mission Bay is probably one of my favourite Auckland things. It has ice cream, beach, mountains, boats, people walking dogs, tasty food and a real holiday feel to it. I also have some pretty important/great memories there so 🙂

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On the weekend Anna and I went to see Romeo and Juliet at the Pop Up Globe Theatre on Saturday. I didn’t exactly know what to expect beyond ‘audience participation’ and seeing the scale of Shakespeare’s Globe. It’s a funny wee building, built out of scaffolding and full of hidey holes. I loved it! The play was spectacular, moving and funny and shocking as it should be. Favourite moments include Romeo hiding amongst the audience, the balcony scene, any time the Prince showed up and the moment when Romeo slit Paris’s throat and a police siren happened to sound right outside.

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Mango is best cat.

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Because we’re addicts, we went to Baristacats cat cafe again. This is their newest charge, a tiny three legged girl ginge called GG (after Jen Genie, because of Bowie passing). She’s super affectionate and likes to chirp. She also said ‘meow’ to me, like… exactly how meow sounds. I called her out on it ‘did you just say meow?’ and she blinked all innocent like.

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Many cats.

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Miss Molly Snugglington is either asleep like this, or super energetic and playful. It’s mostly the sleeping though.

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Orson is maybe a bit big for this hammock, but whatever, she looks so comfy.

Roleplaying I got to play in the Tuesday game, and I used a character I’ve played in a couple of previous sessions and it was so much fun. Snoops for lyfe! Tonight I have Apocalypse World and I get to play my totally-not-Bucky-Barnes-what-are-you-talking-about? Quarantine character. I am excited to see if there’s retribution for the violent helping out I gave the Battlebabe last time…


Honourable Mentions:
Anna, Anna looking after me when I’m sick, codral cold and flu tablets, sleeping, the exceptionally good books I’ve been reading this year, story ideas, motivation to edit and improve games and short stories, powering through 500 list movies, rewatching Face Off and Ribena.

Mitchiri march!

Things I Love Thursday

Kapcon was really good this year! I played lots of fun rounds, my game went well and I had a brilliant time at the flagship LARP. I love catching up with my friends for creative collaborative story telling and I got a surprise present from Brooklynne which was nice ❤

Anna, who is cute and funny and special and the best ever.

Star Wars, especially BB-8, Poe Dameron and Finn and Rey and basically The Force Awakens is a great movie and I love it.

Spacious Lounge, right before I went back to work we rearranged our lounge and it’s so big and spacious and it’s great. Dance Central!

Honourable Mentions: Most Haunted on netflix, watching 500 movies and ticking them off the list, excellent books (bird box and Room), updating read books on GoodReads, new Face Off episodes, getting money for my old DVDs, Hallmark Itty Bitties dolls, lovely friends and Fiasco Rat Patrol.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai
Directed by David Lean
Written by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson based on the novel by Pierre Boulle
(number 169)

The movie starts in the sweltering jungle of a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Thailand where valiant English soldiers are digging graves for their fallen comrades. The iconic tune is introduced pretty much right after with the new prisoners marching in and whistling it. Oh man, I was sick of it by the end of that scene.

The beautiful scenery seems oppressive. It could be the colour palette or the awfulness of the characters’ situation. Being forced to build a bridge for the enemy does seem like a pretty bad situation, and ‘the oven’ is freaking terrifying.

But I can’t help but feel that this movie is cheerful and downright pleasant compared to The Deer Hunter. Like, it’s long and not super action packed, there’s a lot of men who look similar wearing the same clothes and they talk a lot. But it’s pleasant enough.

1957, it was a simpler time. By simpler I mean a lot more racist. But then, you know. What are you going to do? Sigh, it makes it hard to watch this kind of movie. The racism is so hard to look past.

There’s a pretty high body count, as warned by the opening shots of the men digging graves. But over all I just found it pretty… slow… not super exciting. For a movie with so many deaths the action isn’t super compelling. The swimming in the river and blowing up the bridge sequence is pretty good.

Does it make me love the people? I… nah, not so much.

Bechdel test: hahahahahaha no. There’s the one woman who makes out with Chapman as soon as meeting him, so that’s pretty telling I guess.

Best line:
Shears: Nicholsen was a hero, they were about to shoot him and he didn’t bat an eye.
Major Warden: I suppose if you’re about to be shot there isn’t much else you can do.

State of Mind: That was very long and I am pretty happy that it’s over.

Watched movie count