Monday, November 29, 2010

Glee Highlights: Season 2, Episode 7: The Substitute

Another late one, since the next episode is airing tonight!

I thought this episode was mostly just a bunch of fun. Sure, there were a few issues with the plot and certain characters' actions, but overall it was just enjoyable to watch.

I did have one MAJOR ISSUE within the first five minutes though.

Principal Figgins

He has monkey flu! When is he coming back? I find him hilarious, so I hope he gets well soon. And as someone who worked as a supermarket cashier for five years throughout high school and uni, can I just say I identified one million percent with Figgins' facial expression of complete and utter total revulsion at being sneezed on. As a cashier, you get sneezed on, coughed on, people wiping their nose and then handing you money with that SAME HAND and a myriad of other disugsting things that only the human race is capable of inflicting on others. Let's cover those mouths during flu season, people!

Forget You

One of the catchiest songs of the moment done in a simple, fun way. I love Cee Lo Green's Fuck You, (language is NSFW) and I loved that New Directions got to perform such a funky and current song. Gwyneth isn't the best singer, but she did an admirable job in this number.

Mercedes and Kurt

Kurt bugged me in this episode. For a smart guy, he was being pretty dense. Mercedes didn't necessarily want her own boyfriend, Kurt, she just didn't like the fact that you dropped her as soon as you met Blaine. It's the classic girl dumps her best girlfriend the millisecond she gets a boyfriend move. It's a dick move and he should know better.

New Directions Mini-Me members


Sooooo adorable. Seriously, check out this video of the behind the scenes with the kids. It may just be the cutest thing you'll ever see. Mini Mercedes was my favourite.

Make 'Em Laugh

This was so good. Mike Chang and Mr Schue play well off each other, and it's always great to see Matthew Morrison's broadway talents on show. I thoroughly enjoyed this number.

Nowadays / Honey Hot Rag

Gwyneth looked really, really awkward in this number. REALLY awkward. BUT. Lea Michele was wonderful, and again, it was good to see her broadway talent. She seemed so relaxed and happy, and it was nice to see Rachel Berry having fun for once.

Umbrella ella ella eh eh / Singin' In The Rain

I loved this number. LOVED IT. Although I don't know why exactly Mr Schue needed Gwyneth's help to do it. I could see Mercedes or Santana easily singing the female lead a LOT better than Gwynnie, but what can you do. Obviously the producers wanted Gwyneth to finish the show for them, but I think it was unnecessary.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Book review - Seriously, you HAVE to read this

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books
Year of publication: 2008
Page extent: 400+

I had heard a little bit about The Hunger Games on the internet, but I didn't really know what it was about. Finally, I managed to get hold of a copy from my library. To sum things up, I spent nearly every waking moment (when I wasn't at work) with my head buried in this book for about a week. It. Was. Incredible.

Sixteen year old protagonist Katniss Everdeen lives in Panem, a post-apocalyptic land that use to be known as North America. Global warming and natural disasters have eroded the land immensley and the states we know today no longer exist. Instead, everyone lives in a District - there are 12 in all, each controlled by the Capital. There used to be a District 13 until an uprising against the goverment and the population was annihilated, ensuring no other rebellions would occur once the other Districts could see how badly the folks in District 13 had behaved.
Katniss lives with her widowed mother and twelve year old sister, Prim. She provides for them by hunting with her trusty bow and arrows in the forest beyond the barbed wire perimetre that fences in the poplation in District 12. Her hunting partner is Gale, an older boy whom she befriended in the forest after her father died. They kill anything that moves, as long as it can provide food for their families, and have a solid knowledge of the plant life in the forest that also helps keep food on the table when a hunt hasn't yielded any results.
Each year, the Capital holds a festival known as The Reaping, which is a thinly veiled punishment for the rebellion of District 13 many years before. Townspeople gather in the main square in each District and watch as two children, a boy and a girl, aged between twelve and eighteen are chosen at random to compete in The Hunger Games. The Games are a televised reality show where the children (known as 'tributes') are placed in an arena (which is a man-made enivronment consisting of anything from forest, snow, beaches or mountains) and are pitted against each other with one main goal: kill or be killed. The last child alive wins.
When Prim's name is drawn for in The Reaping, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Before The Hunger Games can commence though, the tributes are styled and paraded around for the televison audiences, so people can choose their favourites and sponsors from each tributes' District can decide if they're worthy of gifts while they're in the arena. They are then sent to a training centre where they have a chance to learn new skills and see what their opponents' strengths and weaknesses are, and should they choose to, form alliances. Along with Peeta, a boy her age from their District, Katniss enters the arena suspecting everyone and trying to form a strategy that will keep her alive until the end.

Sounds gruesome? It is. But it's also the most heart poundingly suspenseful action/thriller I've read in a really, really long time. If you want a book that will literally make your heart pound with anxiety, this is it. Suzanne Collins writes in such a way that at times you forget you're reading about children. The basic need to survive is what drives Katniss, not her deisre to end lives. While some tributes train for The Hunger Games their enitre lives, Katniss and Peeta must battle it out using just their instinct (which Katniss has in spades thanks to her talent for hunting) and whatever skills they managed to pick up at the training centre.
To be honest, I've never been a fan of sci-fi, fantasy or novels with a distinctly dystopian feel to them, but this book falls somewhere outside of those themes. Yes, they live in a dystopian society, but the universally relatable themes of love, courage and devotion are what make Katniss Everdeen's journey through The Games so gripping. Her constant flux between wanting to give in to the urge to kill her competitors before they kill her, and just wanting to survive without inflicting too much pain so she can go home to her family and Gale create such an emotional roller coaster for the reader that the book is an instant page turner from the get-go.

If you haven't checked out these books yet, I highly recommend you do so, but make sure you also get the second and third books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay as well, because they're the kind of books you HAVE to read one after the other, they are that intense.
In a word: Incredible.
Spoiler alert! If you want a little taste of the book in movie format, check out this amazingly well crafted fan video. Be aware that it does contain strong violence (against children) though, and has some major spoilers for a certain part of the book. The Hunger Games is has already been bought by a production company, so expect the movie version in a year or so. I hope the producers see the fan video though, and realise that someone found their Katniss for them

And on that note...

"Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favour!" - Effie Trinket
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Glee Highlights: Season 2, Episode 6: Never Been Kissed

A disappointingly underwhelming episode for me, saved only by a couple of things, so this is less of a 'highlights' list and more of a 'stuff I like and stuff I didn't like' list from the episode.

Here tis:

Mr. Shue's "glasses"

I found these glasses ridiculously amusing. The fact that Mr. Shue would wear "glasses", let alone almost-half-glasses was really, really weird. Considering he marks essays, and reads of bits of paper and the whiteboard all the time without them, this seemed like a really weird costume idea. Kind of like how he "teaches Spanish" but we never see it anymore. He must only ever wear "glasses" when he's "teaching Spanish" off screen. Also, could they have chosen a more old-man pair for him to wear? He just needs to add the chain thing to them to complete the eighty year old man look.

The Artie/Puck alliance

Can we please stop having storylines where Artie behaves like an ass to females? It's getting really tiresome. Surely they could have found a different way to create an "Artie and Puck help each other" storyline without having them both be asses. Although I am glad Artie picked up the cheque at the restaurant.

Dalton Academy's Teenage Dream

It was nice to see a gay kid's fantasy played out for once and I really, really loved this number. It was pure, unadulterated pop music and I adored it. Also, it was nice seeing a straight-up fun musical number without having to go through the sometimes poorly written storyline and high school politics behind it that we see so often with New Directions. Oh, and did anyone catch the kid near the doorway getting really into it? I mean, really, really into it, with the hip shimmies and the flat-palmed hands patting the air in front of him? It cracked me up.

Kurt's mood board

Besides the fact that he made a mood board for the mash ups project (I love a good mood board, especially for interior design inspriation), I love that he is at the centre of it wearing a giant feather head dress. Someone put this kid on a catwalk, please.

Kurt's first kiss

I may be the most dense person on the planet, but I didn't see this coming. I honestly though Kurt was going to get beaten to a pulp. It was a great scene for both actors, and I'm interested to see where this stroryline goes.

The mash ups

The less said about the mash ups the better, in my opinion. In a nutshell I just don't think the song choices were very good. Also, why does Rachel have to have every solo? The girls' mash up would have been so much better if it had been sung by Mercedes or Santana - Rachel/Lea Michele just doesn't have a rock chick voice. Or the moves to go with it. Towards the end of the number I was cringing for her, with the leaning back to screech into the microphone and the crazy eyes as she skipped around. It was awful.

Sue's confetti canons

I would like confetti canons to explode whenever I have something important to say. Like Sue, I also would like someone else to clean the confetti up for me afterwards.

I don't think that's too much to ask. Pin It

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gadding About - Ingrid Michaelson

New Yorker Ingrid Michaelson made her first trip to Australia this past week to perform four shows in Queensland, New South Wales and  Melbourne. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Melbourne show, which was held at The Corner Hotel, in Richmond ( place I haven't been to since I was about 16 years old - man, I feel old). The band room she performed in was probably slightly bigger than my house, so it was a nice intimate venue for the gig.

Michaelson only performed with two band members, which created a low-key, comfortable vibe between her and the crowd. Largely performing songs from her 2009 album, Everybody, Michaelson kept the energy of the set upbeat and entertaining, providing witty anecdotes as introductions to each tune and inviting the audience to participate with her during the choruses (with bonus hand actions - the ironic jazz hands were a favourite). Her acerbic wit and quirky personality clicked with the crowd  (how can you not love someone who references Dawson's Creek, Britney Spears and an ill-fated pet hamster story in the space of an hour?), and during the first song of the set she included a mash up of one of  Lady GaGa's hits, which was greeted with cheers of appreciation. 

Other crowd favourites during the set included her hits The Way I Am, Keep Breathing and the adorable You and I from previous albums. Her cover of Radiohead's Creep made a lot of people lose their shit (that link is from an Atlanta gig in the States), and the final number of the evening was her at a keyboard performing Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love which was absolutely perfect - soft and sweet and slightly melancholy (this version from youtube does not even do it justice, not one tiny little bit). From start to finish, the entire set was a wonderful ride through the emotions of betrayal, longing, friendship and love, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable ninety minutes.

If Ingrid Michaelson ever performs at a venue near you, I highly recommend you check her out. It was possibly one of the best performances I've seen in recent years, and I'm surprised more people in Australia haven't heard of her by now. 

In a word: amazing.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boredom Abounds Wears

Finally! The warm weather has reached dreary Melbourne, so it's time to break out the sundresses! This is the newly purchased dress I'm wearing today:

Diana Ferrari Halle Flutter Sleeve Dress - $149.95

I love the Diana Ferrari range this year - so versatile, affordable and they stock sizes for real women.

Although I have paired it with a black cardi and black peep toe flats, and I black string of beads, I kind of wish I had the matching peach cardi to go with it instead. The dress is jersey fabric, lined, and unbelievably comfortable!

Oh, and the sleeves are handy for jiggly, upper-arm issues.

Just sayin'.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glee Highlights: Season 2, Episode 5: The Rocky Horror Glee Show

Disclaimer: I have never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show in it's entirety.
Despite the fact that they came up with sets and costumes awfully quickly, I thought this episode of Glee was really good. It flowed nicely and the storyline was mostly alright. So, here are my highlights from the episode:

The most important highlight: MEATLOAF.

That is all.

Will Schuester, aka Desperado

This isn't so much of a highlight as it is an annoying character trait, but Will's desperation with Emma is getting a little pathetic. You like her, we get it. Stop trying to engineer situations that leave her alone in a room with you. She's with Uncle Jesse now, so just keep a lid on it, okay?

Speaking of Emma, I'm glad she's making a comeback. I've missed her adorable crazy in most of these episodes.

I've also missed her totally adorable outfits. I couldn't find a good capture of it, but I adored the skirt/blouse combo she had in this scene.

Principal Figgins' throwaway lines

I love his office rants. My favourite from this episode was his outraged "I had to bring in a grief counselor!" to deal with Finn's hallway underwear walk. That dude cracks me up.

The costumes

The really nailed it (in my humble opinion anyway).

My favourite costumes were Brittany as Columbia (fantastic) and Kurt as Riff Raff (deliciously creepy).

And there you have it, just in time for the new episode tonight. Somehow we've caught up with the States and we're seeing the latest episode one day later. Woo!
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Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 ARIA Award Fashion

Look, I didn't watch the ARIA Awards. I kind of forgot it was on, then whenever I flicked over to it there was random sutff going on out the front of the Opera House and the crowd didn't seem that enthused by it all, so my husband took over the TV and ended up watching his recorded Formula 1 Brazil Highlights (someone beat their own time by ONE SECOND!!)

But. The ARIAs do bring out the quirky/ugly/pretty parade every year, so let's take a look at my fashion hits and misses.

The Irrelevant Award - Jane Gazzo
Dear Jane: It is no longer 1997, you are no longer a "cool" triple J radio announcer and no one really gives a shit about your weird-ass red carpet "outfit." Please stop.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010


Cape Schanck, Victoria.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I love a spontaneous sing-a-long.....

I just hate when it ends up being for a telco ad campaign.

Still, this is awesome. Watch it:
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Glee highlights - Season 2, Episode 4: Duets

Oops, so behind on blogging this week! We were away from Chez Boredom Abounds for a mini-break, and consequently I'm blogging about the Duets episode while watching the Rocky Horror Episode!

Anyway, here's a super quick round up of my highlights from Episode 4:

Kurt and Burt's father/son discussion.
It was about time someone addressed the force with which Kurt projected his crush onto Finn last season. What Finn said was correct: if he had done that to a girl he would be looking at a restraining order. Kurt does need to learn that boundaries need to be put in place if his crush doesn't reciprocate. It's a fair point and one that Burt made gently and concisely.

The Mercedes/Santana alliance.
Or duet. Whatever you want to call it. Anyway, River Deep - Mountain high has to be one of my all time favourite songs, and I loved that it was the first duet performed in the episode. The girls rocked it, and I particularly loved the bad-ass Tina Turner dancing. They totally nailed it. That song better make the next CD or I will cut a bitch.

Victor/Victoria number sung by Kurt.
He also totally nailed it. Enough said.

Tina and Mike singing Sing!
Such a fun number. What really sold the whole thing though, was the choreography. Just perfect. Quick, sharp and totally perfect. We need Mike Chang dancing prominently in every episode, please.

Rachel and Finn's interpretation of With You I'm Born Again.
It was such an odd interpretation, and the other Glee clubbers' responses (and facial expressions) were hilarious. But Rachel and Finn being so earnest and deliberately inappropriate was comedy gold (gold, Jerry, gold!). It cracked my shit up.

Mercedes' voting slip.
The girl has attitude. She rocks.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My favourite

The best thing about the end of Winter /  start of Spring?

Ranunculus. My favourite flower.

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