Summer Holidays

Man, it’s been super quiet around here. Sorry folks! It’s just Christmas holidays have been nice and lazy, so I’ve been enjoying chilling out, reading, catching up on some TV and movies and spending time with the fam. Here’s a quick round up of what I’ve been doing!

– The Princess Bride: This has been on my to-watch list for a number of years. I KNOW, I’ve never seen it. Crazy, right? Because people love this movie. Like, it’s their first-born child love. I have to say…I didn’t love it. I was expecting it to be a lot more cheesy or twee or cute. Or something. I think it’s the kind of movie that you need to see when you’re young. I liked Mandy Patinkin’s role, but other than that? I really did not get all the hype. SORRY INTERNET.

– Kicks! Skids! And I’m pretty sure I heard someone say Slorps! If you get that reference then I love you forever. For a long time now I’ve been wanting to get a pair of casual sneakers for mum-stuff. Trips to the park, the play centre (which feel like sticky, germ infested, noisy houses of horror at times, let me tell you), running errands, etc. In summer I just wear my thongs, but during winter I need something to keep my feet warm that I can get dirty and stay comfy as well. Normally I just wear ballet flats in winter, but on wet grass that doesn’t really work. I was reading one of my favourite style blogs, What I Wore, and this post in particular caught my eye. Styling slightly retro looking sneakers with everyday stuff really appeals to me, and I was looking for a pair at the outlets in Hawaii but couldn’t find anything I liked in my size. The other day I was at my local Westfield and the sneaker shop Platypus still had their Boxing Day sale running. I tried on a few pairs, and almost walked away with a navy and white pair of New Balance sneakers, but realised they wouldn’t go as well with black pants. So I bought these grey and mint ones and I love them. They were on sale, reduced from $119 to $59, which is a good price, and they’ll go with blue denim, black denim, shorts and whatever else I need them to. I think this winter, now that I have sneakers, I’ll look for some gumboots and I’ll be all set.

– The Mindy Project, season 2: I’ve talked about my love for The Mindy Project before. It came highly recommended last year by Natalie, and I grabbed season 1 on DVD in about June. Season 2 isn’t available here, but I saw it for about $20 at the Target in Hawaii and grabbed it. Luckily it works in my laptop, and I breezed through season 2 over the past two weeks. I found season 2 a little more all over the place, plot wise, and I hoped for a little more focus on Mindy’s work life as well as her love life, but the addition of Adam Pally, who I love in Happy Endings, is brilliant casting. I wish they would get rid of the crazy old receptionist because characters like that irritate the hell out of me. But other than that I love the show and I think it’s utterly CRAZY that it doesn’t get aired here. Also, it’s important to note that she has some of the cutest ensembles. I wouldn’t necessarily wear a lot of it all at once the way she does because pattern mixing scares me, but she looks so cute 100% of the time.

– How To Build a Girl: I read this towards the end of the year and I loved it. It’s a lot more heavy on the sexy stuff than I expected, but it’s very funny, and really quite touching. A definite coming of age novel, it’s about teenager Johanna Morrigan who lives with her family in working class Wolverhampton. Set in the early nineties, Johanna decides she needs to reinvent herself as alter ego Dolly Wilde, and after she discovers the amazing world of music, she begins writing music reviews for magazine D&ME. However, she quickly learns that the more cynical and bitter she is, and the more outlandish her sexual adventures are, the more people want to spend time with her. She ends up learning some weighty lessons about trying to be an adult well before she’s ready, and it’s written in a very funny, yet very innocent way. It’s the first book I’ve read by Caitlin Moran, and I definitely want to check out some of her other stuff after finishing this novel.

– One Chance: This is based on the true story of Paul Potts, the opera singer who got his start on Britain’s Got Talent. Paul worked as a mobile phone salesman who dreamed of being an opera singer, and the film chronicles his journey up to the BGT auditions. It’s what my Italian Nonna would have called a “nice film” – it’s a little more sedate than other British comedies; there’s little to no swearing or anything too raunchy (no doubt to keep the rating family friendly), and it’s a quiet film, but overall it’s a sweet story about a seemingly unextraordinary man with extraordinary dreams and the talent to make them come true. It’s a good film for a quiet Friday night in, I think.

– Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend (podcast): I first discovered this podcast in late 2013, I think, when I was browsing the comedy section of the iTunes store. Most of the podcasts I listen to are about film or TV or interviews with people, and I wanted something a little lighter for my drives to work and my lunch break strolls to the shops. This was one of the podcasts that appeared in the popular podcast list, and when I had a quick read of the synopsis of some of the shows I was intrigued. The first one I ever listened to involved a fairly intense discussion about which wedding cake flavours were the best, so it was right up my alley. I mean, discussions about cake? YES, PLEASE. Alison Rosen is a TV and news personality from the States and she was, up until about a week ago, the news lady on The Adam Carolla Show. There was a bit of drama last week when she was told via email by Adam that she would not be returning to the ACS show in 2015 (which is a cowardly move), but she’s been allowed to take her podcast with her. The podcast is her and five other people who sit around and basically shoot the breeze chatting about life. There’s a fun segment called Just Me Or Everyone where listeners tweet in things like “Just me or everyone: I hover over a toilet seat if it’s even the tiniest bit warm when I go to sit on it”, and other such important things. I like it because it’s just nice to listen to people who are genuine, honest and open to discussing things like which Skittles flavour is the best, if there is such a thing as a butter sandwich and if they’re shower travellers, or they stay in one spot to wash. The only word of warning is that Alison does read out advertisements during the podcast, usually about two of three, but that’s basically what keeps her podcast free to download, so I just fast forward those parts. I highly recommend it!

– Lost & Found: This was one of the top downloaded titles of 2014 on iTunes. I’m about halfway through it at the time of writing this and it’s…interesting. It’s about a seven year old girl, Millie, who is abandoned by her mother in a busy department shop. She enlists the help of Agatha Pantha, the angry old woman who lives across the street from her, to help her find her mother. Along the way, she befriends another senior citizen, Karl the Touch Typist, and together they try to help Millie find her mum, who is preparing to flee the country by herself. Millie is a sweet, honest little girl curious about the world, and Agatha’s short temper and Karl’s bravery is nicely tempered alongside Millie’s innocence. I’m not sure yet if I’m completely enjoying it, but the writing style is a little different to what I normally read and the story is intriguing me.

– Friday Night Lights: This is another thing that has been sitting on my to-watch list for a long time. Kimberley lent me season 1 on DVD a few months ago and I finally popped it in to the DVD player a couple of weeks ago and watched the first three episodes. I don’t know a lot about American football, but I’m hooked already. The characters seem so layered and the politics of football within not just the school, but the entire town seems so interesting. SO many people love this show, like, hardcore LOVE IT, so I’m interested to watch at least season 1 and see how it is. Plus, so many recoginisable faces! George from Hart of Dixie! Taylor Kitsch from…movies! The guy from Early Edition! Other people I recognise! I’ve heard it becomes less about the football and more about the characters’ lives which sounds promising as well.

– The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1: We finally, finally got around to watching Mockingjay at the movies last week. I was apprehensive going in, because it was my least favourite of the three books. When reading the book I was frustrated that a lot of the action seemed to be taking place away from Katniss, but I was pleasantly surprised while watching the film. I think they did a really great job of keeping a certain level of tension throughout the film, even in scenes without Katniss in it. Julianne Moore as Coin was brilliant, I didn’t know going in who they had cast as Coin and she has that polished leader facade concealing a cold dictator down pat. Also: Phillip Seymour Hoffman! He was great, really, really great, and it made me sad to watch him. I really enjoyed the film, and while I don’t know that it reeeeaallllyy needed to be split into two films (can anyone say studio cash grab?), I’m looking forward to the final conclusion when part 2 is released.

What’s been on your Summer reading/watching/shopping agenda?

Until next time,

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