Things I Love Thursday

three trolleys full

Donations from work got close to $1k so today Cat and I went to Pak’n’Save and spent up large. Three huge trolleys of stuff to give to the Wellington City Mission. When we told the staff what it was all going to they donated a whole lot of toys and magazine extra giveaways that they had to the cause!

christmas donations

I’ve been decluttering some more as well, and I donated three bags of books and toys to the Women’s Refuge collection. Here’s what I love about taking things I like but am not really using and giving them away: I can imagine such great things. Instead of the worst case scenario stuff I usually imagine, I can think ‘yeah, that pink elephant is gonna go to a little kid, and the kid will love it and maybe it will become one of their best toys….’ etc. And that’s super awesome. Plus knowing that you’re doing something for people truly in need, it warms the soul.

bleep bloop

This collection of my jams from this year is really satisfying to me. I like that it shows how many other people have shared the same song and I also feel a little hipster thrill for the things I’m ‘first’ for sharing.

MY NEW CAR oh man I’m a bit in love. I’ve never had such a new car which is just all mine before and… *sigh* so blue. So shiny. So good.

On the weekend I took Anna to the ballet, which I had already seen in Wellington but it was so so good to see it again, and it was awesome to get dressed up and take Anna out, she’d never been to the ballet before so that was neat. And then afterwards we went to dinner at Tanuki’s Cave and the food was so so good.

Christmas miracles – okay they’re mostly marketing stunts, but I just love these videos…

Last year’s one from the same company:

Honourable Mentions: fresh pine Christmas tree, Christmas lunch at work, Christmas present wrapping, crafting, lunch with awesome people, awesome roleplaying, soft clean sheets, lots of laundry and snuggles.

Okay so it’s everywhere, but… I finally actually listened to this song and I freaking love it! Taylor Swift addressing all the stupid rumours about herself, trying and failing to do various forms of dance and singing a song about letting go of the hate and just enjoying yourself. (It does suck that the black twerking women in this video almost never have faces though D:)

Things I Love Thursday

Christmas is coming! Craft and trees and pretty things! I have shopped and sewn and had genius ideas and am looking forward to a marathon session of giftwrapping and using the gift bags I’ve made. Plus, Christmas movies and candy and looking forward to getting a real pine Christmas tree! (Was going to collect it tonight but it’s very very rainy out.)

jennitalula christmas tree

New car on Monday! I’m very excited to get my new car 🙂

A new job and a month off over Christmas! I signed on for a role in the Trade Me Auckland office, but I have a whole month off to move and settle and relax in. I’m really looking forward to the break!

SMBC hitting the truth in the balls once more.

Last trick o’treaters okay, so it’s really disturbing and creepy but I love the depth of story in these things. I love these tiny horror stories.

Introspection and personal revelations – it’s triggered by the smallest things, but it’s good and important to sometimes rethink the way you think and behave.

I’ve had some super awesome Roleplaying this week: Buffy game on Sunday, The One Ring on Monday and Monsterhearts on Tuesday. I love having so much great gaming!

Serious request from me to you… sponsor a kid! It’s just $15 a month to sponsor a New Zealand kid in need. Bear in mind that John Key is doing everything he can to not provide support for kids in need so we may well need to step up.

Honourable Mentions: warm sweaters, going to sleep to the sound of rain, milkshakes, getting packing done, new music, Christmas stickers, cake and delicious tacos.

Fire Escape ~ Foster the People

Things I Love Thursday

I can’t believe I’ve nearly been on holiday for a week! I feel like I’ve been doing so much.

Christmas! So much delicious food, laughter, giving people things, catching up with people, spending time with nieces and nephews and just… relaxing. I got some lovely presents.

Scorched almonds. They just rock.

Christmas Bubbles:

jennitalula bubbles

My wonderful friends always always. I got some extremely thoughtful and kind gifts this year, three books I’m very excited to read… no four… and of course the Robin plushie I adore. It’s just nice to spend time with people.

Honourable Mentions: New sheets, washing on the line, plants doing well, new plants, slowly unwinding, writing (finished a short story!), new things to watch and rewatch, video games, craft and sleeping in.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Happy Christmas Eve!

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Directed by Henry Selick
(number 335)

Ellen noticed that I have seen this movie once or twice before… okay so… maybe I can recite along with pretty much the whole movie… Maybe.

The first time I ever saw this was when my brother took me to it in the film festival, in 1993 or 4 and I have loved it ever since. I owned it on video I think and then DVD. The soundtrack is so very lively and fun.

There are many flaws, the portrayal of women, the weird abuse of Sally by her creator, and her inability to speak to Jack about what she’s worried about. But it’s pure Tim Burton and it’s gorgeous to look at, so many wonderful moments and weird characters that I can let it slide.

Jack Skellington is a wonderfully flawed hero, who is convinced that his vision, his passion for Christmas is more important than anything else. He’s an ambitious dreamer who gets utterly caught up in his own dream – in a way that ultimately hurts people, but he works to remedy this – and the whole experience gives him energy to pursue his actual job with more of the same passion.

There’s a kind of subtle – do what you’re best at kind of lesson there… don’t aim too high, don’t dream to big – but I think the key is that Jack is too caught up to think about what he’s doing. Maybe if he was more mindful things would have gone better.

Does it make me love the people? Oh yes. And it fills me with all sorts of spooky Christmas spirit.

Bechdel test: No. Sally’s really the only female character with any plot and it’s entirely about how much she admires Jack, but cannot tell him that she thinks he’s being an idiot or that she loves him.

Best line: “But I never intended all this madness, never
And nobody really understood, how could they?
That all I ever wanted was to bring them something great
Why does nothing ever turn out like it should?”

“Next time you get the urge to take over someone else’s holiday, I’d listen to her, she’s the only one who makes any sense in this insane asylum”

State of Mind: always love 🙂

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life
Directed by Frank Capra
(number 203)

I’m skipping well forward here because it’s Christmas and I wanted to watch it anyways. This movie is a huge holiday classic in the States but I can’t remember it ever being on TV when I was growing up. I first watched it a few years ago when I hired it from the library.

Of course I’d seen many versions of it, the old story where a character wishes they were never born and then they see how much worse off the people they love are. The Muppets have done it, but I mostly remember it on Family Ties (because I loved Michael J Fox so very much).

It’s a very familiar story shape, and this is where it all started. The things which lead George to want to die are very much real concerns even now, losing money, not knowing how to support your loved ones, losing your job… it’s all kind of… horribly relevant to today’s society as well.

James Stewart and Donna Reed are amazing in this, top of their games, effervescent and charismatic and endearing. Not to mention hilarious and absolutely devoted to each other.

Does it make me love the people? Oh yes. It doesn’t do much else except make me love people 😄 Well, except for evil Mr Henry F Potter, who is very bad indeed. Aside from him….

Bechdel test: As with many movies on this list, it’s a male POV movie, and although there are many named female characters, they only interact with George himself. Well… two little girls talk to each other but they’re talking about little boy George, so… doesn’t pass.

Best line: there are so many good ones, but this one is kind of the essence of the whole thing:

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

[but I also love: “He’s making violent love to me, Mother.”]

State of Mind: Dawwwwwww people are awesome. *wipes away tear* Happy Christmas!

Things I Love Thursday – nearly Christmas edition!

Christmas is an odd time of year. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t suddenly morphed into a Christmas resenting grinch, but it really is strange for a lot of reasons.

It’s the end of the year and people are finishing up work, feeling stressed/pressured to get things done and looking forward to holidays. We’re all tired out and that brings emotions to the surface, so it’s especially important to be kind to yourself and to others at the moment.

The other thing about Christmas is that there are lots of charity drives and opportunities for you to make a difference to someone you may never meet. I helped Emma take the donations from my workplace to the car for women’s refuge on Monday. She had an envelope stuffed with cash, lots of gifts for children and gift vouchers for teenagers. It was pretty magical, helping to load it all up and imagining the people it will go to. (There’s one more day to take gifts to the Warehouse for women’s refuge, or you can make a donation direct here.

Or just give love, the best way you know how, a la Jerome Jarre.

Friends who know you so well they can see into your soul and tell you exactly what you’re doing (which you can’t actually see yourself, sometimes, because you’re too close to it), friends who buy you ice cream or take you to blow bubbles out in the sun, friends who are brand new and sweet and lovely, friends who are old and endearing and excited to see you, friends who you should really catch up with more often and miss, but life gets in the way. I love my friends.

Honourable Mentions: giving presents, chocolate, fairy lights, prescription sunglasses, seeds growing in the sunroom, strong sunflower plants, soft toys, cuddles, Christmas movies, Christmas songs, Secret Santa and texting late at night, random RP on social media. Tacos Thursday.

It’s in the singing of a street corner choir

aaaaand hipster song of the week: “Night sky” by Chvrches

Things I Love Friday

Christmas Christmas Christmas!

awkward family photo under the tree

awkward family photo under the tree

Staying with my parents was relaxed and awesome, and so warm! Hot enough to swim in the sea and although I have a summer cold which meant my energy levels weren’t up where they should have been it was awesome. Especially getting to catch up with Sam, Luke and the girls.

Road tripping with Ellen. She had the odd moment of yelling ‘scary clown!’ while I was driving, but other than that she was an excellent person to have riding shotgun and we had an awesome amount of fun. She introduced me to my new favourite christmas song:

We made lots of plans for living together at Giffy’s too, which is exciting.

My Totoro onesie.

jennitalula

It just makes me really, really happy.

Honourable Mentions: sharing knowledge (taught Ellen sock monkey making on Christmas Day), coco pops chex, fresh juice, Wreck It Ralph, photos which make you laugh, ice cream on the beach, talking with children, swimming in the sea, thoughtful gifts and feeling accepted.