Monday, 26 December 2011

The Best Songs of 2011

This is, of course, my most humble opinion, but these are the songs that made my year: I listened to them over and over again, watched the clips on YouTube repeatedly, had them stuck in my head for much of the year. I constantly offered my iPod earphones to friends, saying "You have to listen to this!" and presented them with the opening bars of these songs. It will be close to impossible to think of these songs and not associate it with this year, and vice-versa.

1. VIDEO GAMES - Lana Del Rey
I still remember the first time I heard this song, which is unusual for me. I was in the car on the way to my piano lesson and flicked the radio over to Triple J for a change. The dj announced they were playing 'Video Games, Lana Del Rey'. At first I was distracted as I pondered whether Video Games was the song title or the band's name, and then I listened closer and thought, 'Hang on...this is good.' It grew on me slowly, this sad, strings-driven lovesong, and by the time it was on the second chorus, I was turning it up and listening hard, enraptured. I was determined to Google it that night, but, once home, I settled down on the couch to watch Ringer. In the final scene of the episode, a beautiful song started playing, and I realised it was the same song from that afternoon. It was like the universe was telling me to Google it. I did, learnt more about Lana Del Rey, and fell deeply in love with this song.
I've listened to it so many times, yet it never feels old. Each time I listen to it, something new strikes me. This is a song so beautiful, it sounds as magical as it did when I heard it first time around. I've spent so many days and nights listening to it: in bed, on the bus, at school...this is truly the song of my year.

2. DEFEATIST - Cameras
Close runner-up in the most-played stakes is this haunting little gem of a song. It was the video that caught my attention and left me riveted when it first played on Saturday morning Rage, but it would be nothing without this song. The vocals, the instruments, the rueful, broken-hearted lyrics ("For a minute I was wondering if you'd come around...") - it's all stunning.

3. IT'S NICE TO BE ALIVE - Ball Park Music
How much do I love this? It's a song about the end of the world, for optimists. Dark, sad songs might be beautiful (see previous two songs for proof), but sometimes to listen to something that's just full of joy. Joy is something this song has in spades, encouraging everyone to relax and see the brighter side of life. "Chill out, it's alright, kiss me, it's nice to be alive."

Ok, so pretty much everyone in the Western world knows this one, but for good reason, and I'd be lying if I wasn't one of the millions who listened to this over and over and over.
(Should I link it? Should I? Everyone knows it...oh, why not?)

And...yeah. C'est tout!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Fictional and the Fashionable: Anya Jenkins

Because I'm one of those people who watch TV shows/movies and go "Oh my GOD, I love what Person X is wearing!"
Also because it's the holidays, I have time on my hands, and what better way to spend time than by ruthlessly hunting through screencaps to get pictures of adorable outfits worn by fictional people?

First up: Anya Jenkins, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Born about 1000 years ago as Anyanka, Anya was a vengeance demon who brought pain and suffering on wrong-doing men. Long story short, she ended up in Sunnydale, California, being, in her own words "newly human and strangely literal", and providing the show with an outspoken and hilarious voice.
Plus, she had some pretty nice outfits, too.

From "Two To Go", season 6
The Peter Pan collar! It's delightful.
"All The Way", season 6
The Halloween episode that was boring as.
On the bright side, we got Anya's costume.
You can't see them, but she has rollerblades.

And the hair!
"Beneath You", season 7
She may have gone back to her vengeance demon ways,
but that is an adorable dress. And hair.
Only screencap I could get of the whole outfit.
The shoes!!!

"Hell's Bells", season 6
Despite it being the saddest ever wedding between an ex-demon and a human,
Anya looked gorgeous.
Screw you, Xander.
"Once More With Feeling", Season 6
Fluffy (heeled) slippers, and a red satin bra-and-shorts combo.
The perfect outfit for when you're under a spell causing you to sing and dance in your living room.  
It sure beats Xander's oversize silk pyjama...thing, which makes him look about 45. 

"Selfless", season 7
During the Russian Revolution, in her vengeance demon days
Looks so elegant, you'd never suspect she and Halfrek had just
been on a vengeance spree. Apart from, you know, the blood.  

"Hush", season 4
However, even Anya had her share of style fails.
That's an alright-looking jumper, though, you say...

 ...And then she turns around.
Not even vengeance demons are immune from the Season 4 Styling Curse.

"Fear, Itself", season 4
To finish, Anya in her first Halloween costume.
She's dressed as her greatest fear.
Because, as we know, "bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes..."

I might do more of these.
Z :)

Saturday, 10 December 2011


So everyone's blogging about Christmas holidays in the snow, or at least the cold. Turkey, snowball fights, rugging up in front of the fireplace, etc. And while I have witnessed a cold Christmas (England, 2008), Christmas for me is something you associate with summer.
Am I alone down here at the bottom of the world?
Christmas, for me, is all about the beach, drinks in the sunshine, BBQs and ridiculously expensive crayfish. You can rock up in thongs, and hang around in the backyard getting sunburnt and wearing those crappy-but-loveable paper hats you get in the Christmas crackers. Christmas, for me, is when you know the summer holidays have truly started.

Speaking of summer, you may have guessed from the caps-heavy post header that the HOLIDAYS ARE HERE. School is over for 8 weeks, hallelujah. I passed all my exams (even Year 11 maths methods, which is nothing short of a freaking miracle!), and now I have no obligations (um, apart from holiday homework), no major plans and nearly two months of freedom stretching before me.
Let the summer begin!


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Blatant Procrastination

Soooo close to the end of the school year.
I have absolutely no patience for end-of-year coursework. I just want the exams over and done with, so I can take the summer.
Summer summer summer. I swear I can smell it. I want the holidays now.
Got to keep my head down, study hard for just another week, live through exams, then I can relax. But I keep getting distracted making playlists of summer songs and trolling Tumblr for photos tagged with 'summer love', and gosh. Summer, why aren't you here?
I want the hot air and the bright blue sky and the sun that shines down until well into the evening. I want to taste salt water on my tongue and spend my afternoon cleaning sand off my eyelashes, towling it off my legs. I want to laugh about our stupid bikini tans. I want to go to the supermarket and buy a tub of ice-cream and a packet of spoons, then sit on top of the primary school playground eating it with the group. I want to lie on my towel in the sand, feel the sun beating down on me, stare through the sunscreen-grease-thumprints on my sunglasses lenses. I want to run towards the water and then realise it's way too cold. I want to have sand and salt tangled in my hair from too many days at the beach. I want to take my camera everywhere I go, take photos of everyone laughing happily, even if half of them turn out to be blurry or have my thumb in them. I want to not have to care about schoolwork for the first time in forever.
No worries, no cares. Just sunshine and friends and days that never end.
Please summer, hurry up.
Got to keep  it together for 4 more days of classes, one week of exams, a few extra other class days, 4 days of orientation. Then I'll have summer.
Then the summer will be mine.  

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Escaping the Tower - Mookychick Feminist Flash Fiction

Once upon a time, a princess was locked in a tower...
'Hang on,' said the princess. 'What am I doing here?'
'Um', said the narrator, 'some witch put you there, remember?
'But why?' asked the princess.
'So a prince can rescue you', replied the narrator.
'Well, I'm pretty sure it's easy to escape from here. Look, there's some conveniently-placed foot-holes in the brickwork.'
'You aren't meant to notice that. That's for the prince.'
'Well...can't I just climb down now and save him the bother?'
'...No. The prince will come, and after he rescues you, you can marry him!'
'What if I don't like him?'
'Of course you will. You'll be eternally in love with him!'
'Can I change my mind?'
'No! You're only meant to have one love your whole life, duh.'
'What about Prince Charming? Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White...he sure gets around. No one calls him a slut. Why is that? And why do you assume I want a prince? Maybe I prefer princesses instead, think of that?'
'Bloody hell,' said the narrator. 'Can you just shut up and be rescued?'
'No,' said the princess. 'I don't think I will.' And she climbed out of the tower.

This is an entry for the Mookychick FEMINIST FLASH FICTION competition. Enter now.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Defeatist - Cameras

I have no idea why I love this.
I think it's all the elements thrown together that make it so perfect. The black and white, the unplaceable time period, the lack of special effects, the beautiful lingering cinematography, the desperate love, the crooked fairytale.
Not to mention the song itself, which manages to obliterate your heart. That guitar and those vocals and the wrenching chorus all combine to make 4 minutes of sweet and beautiful agony.
It's the story of a wolf, and a girl. But it's not what you think.
I'm running out of praise. Just watch this. Several times.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Band Appreciation: Ball Park Music

Australian band Ball Park Music specialise in quirky, cheerful indie-pop. Their first major album, "Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs" is being released soon, after a couple of years of EPs and singles buzzing around the Rage-level indie scene.
My favourite songs of theirs are -

"Chill out, it's alright, kiss me, it's nice to be alive"

What a glorioius, glorious day.
Sky the colour of a swimming pool, the sun's shining down, the wattle is finally out and is its usual bright yellow, and everything's beautiful. After weeks of cold and rain, this is just what we need down here.
I had a heap of homework, but at 2pm I decided trigonometry could wait. So I put together a playlist, donned my leopard-print sunnies and white lace jacket and took the dog for a walk around the park. Beautiful beautiful weather, makes you believe that everything is right in the world, even if it really isn't.

Photo taken by me a while ago, but it looks the same outside at the moment. Dodgy quality because it was taken on the old camera.

Sunny Days Outdoors playlist (song title first):
  1. Jake Ryan - Summer Camp
  2. Over the Rainbow - Gin Wigmore
  3. Something Easy - Georgia Fair
  4. Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear
  5. Time to Wander - Gypsy & the Cat
  6. It Can Wait - Illy feat. Owl Eyes
  7. Control - Jebediah
  8. Peter Pan - Jinja Safari
  9. You Don't Scare Me - Josh Pyke
  10. Fall - Lanu feat. Megan Washington
  11. Young Love - Mystery Jets feat. Laura Marling
  12. Older Brother - Pepper Rabbit
  13. In the Sun - She & Him
  14. It's Nice to Be Alive - Ball Park Music (Post title comes from that song's lyrics, more on the band soon)
  15. Fall At Your Feet [Crowded House cover] - Boy & Bear
  16. Don't You Think It's Time - Bob Evans
Hope you have good weather wherever you are!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

R.I.P Amy Winehouse

In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed the deaths of Princess Diana (even though I was only two), Steve Irwin, Michael Jackson, Elisabeth Sladen, Elizabeth Taylor and many more. For each of those listed above, it was an unbelievable event, for they all appeared to be such invincible people, who could not be brought down by something like death.
Amy Winehouse, unlike all those listed above, did not appear indestructible. On the contrary, she seemed dangerously fragile in her recent appearances. Yet her death, even though it’s not wholly unexpected, is still immensely shocking.
I’ll always remember this morning, when I found out she was gone. The sick, stunned feeling when I turned on the TV to find them talking about it; standing in my room watching the heavy rain and thinking, ‘Amy Winehouse can’t be dead! She can’t be!’
It took me a while to realise why exactly I was so upset. I can’t claim to be her biggest fan. I’ve listened to both her albums, and have several of her songs on my iPod (which I’ve been listening to all morning). It’s because I was waiting.
No one can deny that Amy Winehouse had amazing talent. Her songs ranged from heart-broken ballads (Back to Black, Love is a Losing Game, In the Box) to brassy odes on avoiding rehab (Rehab, obviously) and paying out gold-diggers (F***-Me Pumps). Yet even her talent couldn’t save her from the problems that plagued her life. As time went on, she seemed to fall deeper and deeper into a black hole. But I waited and waited for her to come out of it, to rise up and stun us all again with another musical masterpiece.
Surely, somewhere under the chaos, that talent was still there, just waiting to be unleashed? Each time there was an article about her doing something positive, I was so happy for her, convinced she was on the way to recovery. I’d been waiting for years, but I hadn’t given up hope. I was sure it was only a matter of time before she put all her trouble behind her and went back to doing what she did best – being an amazing singer/songwriter.
Now we’ll never know. We’ll never know if she would have overcome the drugs and blown the world away with new material. We’ll never know if she had more in her.
I like to believe she did. I like to believe that if she hadn’t died, she would have eventually broken free, cleaned up, gotten back in the studio, released a third album to great acclaim and toured the world, dazzling us with those bruised-velvet vocals and sharp, heartbreaking lyrics.
But now she won’t. Amy Winehouse is gone. It doesn’t make her a sudden saint, but all we can do is celebrate her talent, and cherish the music she did make.
Rest in peace, Amy.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Best Australian Music Videos, part 2

Part Deux.

The Best Australian Music Videos, part 1

Australian music doesn't get much attention overseas. Well, apart from Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John and the Bee-Gees, and with the last two there's controversy about whether they're actually Aussie or not.
But there are some amazing Australian music videos too. I couldn't pick all of them - these are just a select few from my lifetime - but over 2 posts, here's 17 of them. Some are gorgeously artistic, some are sad and some are just wacky. Enjoy.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

"Goodbye, Mr Anderson." "My NEO!"

The Matrix.

I finally saw it after my friend lent all 3 DVDs to me. Well, firstly, I can see why people have compared it to Inception, with the whole dreaming/what is reality? theme. It's also different too, MUCH more dystopian. The plot's not quite as mind-bending as Inception, but there's still a fairly complex storyline.

The action scenes were spectacular, and so were the special effects. It's hard to believe it was made over 11 years ago. The famous bullet-dodging scene was just as cool as I'd expected, if not more, while the opening scene with Trinity (who I adore, by the way, with her being a non-damselly, completely awesome female lead) kicking the crap out everyone in the room left my jaw on the floor.

The whole look of the film was great, leading me to a couple of questions: 1. Just how much leather did they buy to make everyone's costumes?! and 2. Why is every scene inside the matrix so GREEN? I get the whole showing genre through tone thing, but really - do things need to be that green?!

I loved it, though. Can't wait to watch the second and third ones now!


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes...

...I'm exposed
And it's no big surprise

Don't you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand

I can’t actually remember when I knew I was a feminist. I know, I should be able to recall the exact moment when the light bulb went off over my head and I realised it. But I can’t. It was definitely after I started high school, maybe some time in Year 8? I think it just occurred to me one day that this anger I felt whenever someone said anything sexist, this disgust at the treatment of women in society, this want for equality between girls and had a name. Feminism.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I read Never Let Me Go for the second time recently. It’s just as sad, profound and emotional as it was last time.

It’s hard to talk about NLMG without giving away the twist. When asked, you say, “Well, it’s about these 3 kids, and...” And then you stop, mouth open as you realise there’s not much else you can say. This twist is such a huge part of the novel – there would be no story without it – and yet saying it straight off ruins the mystery. So I’ll do my best to review it without major spoilers.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Musings on a lazy Saturday

Long weekend, yay! Plus we have next Friday off school because it's report-writing day.
It's a gorgeous Saturday...well, it was morning, but somehow it's slipped away into afternoon. It's been terribly cold this week since it's June, but outside it looks beautiful right now. The sun's shining and the sky is a wonderful clear blue, peeking through the branches of the gumtrees outside my window. (That all sounds so cliched-ly Australian, but it's true. I live near the coast, in a small town. It's not like this everywhere in Aus.)
Not much else to say. My friend's coming over this afternoon, it'll be awesome. And the Doctor Who final's on tonight, can't wait.
I need to get Jebdediah's new album from the library, and buy the new Arctic Monkeys one. J'adore AM <3
And I saw the clip for Boy & Bear's "Feeding Line" on Rage this morning, it's an amazing video clip. It doesn't make much sense, but God, the whole look of it is beautiful. The song's really good too. I was going to link to it, but it's not up on YouTube yet, grr. Look out for it!

That's all!
Enjoy the weekend, long or not :)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

See, I can write about serious stuff too, sometimes!

My article is up on the Fbomb. Whoo-hoo!
It's here: Click the link! --->

If you have no idea what the Fbomb is, you are deprived. Fbomb is this *awesome* website where people (mostly young women, though not always) submit articles about feminist issues, and have discussions about it. Whether you don't know much about feminism or you're passionate about it, I highly recommend you check it out. As a proud feminist, I look through it regularly ^-^

My article's about the recent controversy with David Busby meowing at Penny Wong in the Senate. I've also done another article for the FBomb, about the sexist backlash against Julia Gillard when she became Prime Minister. You can read it here: I wrote this, like, 5 days after JG became PM. Now it's nearly a year after she started ruling the country and I've lost a lot of faith in her; some of her policies have really disappointed me. I wrote the article before she'd become PM and let us down, but regardless of that, I still dispute the fact that everyone seemed to jump on the "She's a woman! She'll be crap!" bandwagon as soon as she moved into Rudd's office, before she'd even done anything in her capacity as leader.

So, there you go.
Check it out if you want,

Sunday, 29 May 2011

"It should take you about 4 seconds to get from here to the door. I'll give you two."

Today, for what seems like the first time in over a month, I have no homework. This is a small miracle when it comes to a predominently VCE course. So I celebrated by:

- Watching the Doctor Who episode that I recorded, since I was at a friend's 16th last night and couldn't watch it all when it aired. He did put it on TV, but we missed most of the plot. So I got to see it this morning. Gangers! Tubs of acid! Jennifer hitting on Rory! (leave Rory alone you fool, he's married to the fabulous Amy Pond!!) Clone Doctor! Cruel cliff-hanger!
- Watching the end of Amelie, which made me feel quite a bit sunshiney and happy, and which I plan to review soon
- Watching some Season 2 Angel (I finally have time to watch it, not being bogged down by assignments and worksheets)
- Eating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The only place I've found them is in the David Jones food court, and that's up in Melbourne. They're delicious, but the packet is rapidly emptying thanks to i) my cravings, and ii) my friend Eclair, who grabs some whenever she's over, and also uses them as a wager in any bet.
-  Re-reading Breakfast at Tiffany's. While I love the movie (mostly because I love any Audrey Hepburn film), I also love the book, and it's impossible for me to compare them because they're so different. The quote in the title of this post actually comes from the book, but it's in the movie too.
- Despairing about the fact that we have school tomorrow.

Very non-productive. But isn't that what Sundays are all about?

Clinging to the edges of the weekend,

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Community Service Announcement

My best friend Eclair is not, as her name suggests, sticky and full of chocolate. She is, however, quite a lurvely person, and is capable of making me laugh until I cry, or roll off the couch and onto the floor (this has happened). We can have whole conversations made up of Doctor Who and Confessions of Georgia Nicolson quotes, and accomplish many nerdy, awesome things together. She is as insane as I am, and for that I love her a lot.

And now she has a blog! It's at and it's full of brilliant randomness, mostly about Doctor Who and her love for Matt Smith (and his hair. Also his chin. And his bow tie. Basically everything about him. I mean, can you blame her? He's sex on legs.). It's rather legendary, and everyone should go read it.

Just putting it out there.

Your informant,

Sunday, 22 May 2011

It's an Apocalypse, Let's Party!

So, obviously, the world didn't end yesterday.
I wonder if that guy in America feels really stupid now? I would've loved to have seen him standing there, all "wait for it...wait for it...wait....Oh. Darn."
My friend C came over for a sleepover last night, not because of the "apocalypse", but to watch Doctor Who together. At 6 o'clock we sat there with a packet of gummi bears between us, waiting to see if there'd actually be a giant earthquake and apocalypsey demons and all that jazz...but there was nothing. So we did a victory dance at not being dead.

But what if the world was actually going to end? I mean properly, not just based on the word of some religious extremist. What would you do? My answer is, of course, throw a giant party. Go out in style. You could do what you want with no regrets, since the world would be ending. You could watch 2012 or any other sort of apocalyptic-dystopian fiction film. And of course, you'd need a great playlist.

So, here are my musical choices for an end-of-the-world party:

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Top 5 Best Musical Moments from Non-Musicals

Sounds strange, I know, but these are moments of brilliant song and dance. Yet the films they’re from aren’t musicals, which makes these displays of theatricality even more...well, theatrical. Whether they’re performances or hallucinations, this is my Top 5 (with honourable mentions). These are only from movies, though. Musical moments from TV shows is an entirely different post, which I might will definitely do later.

1.      “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” performed by Heath Ledger, Ten Things I Hate About You
I loved this movie from the moment it started, but the moment that crowned it all was this performance. Having upset Kat (Julia Stiles), Patrick (Heath Ledger) decides he must sacrifice his dignity to win her back. So while she’s on the oval doing soccer practice, he bribes the leader of the marching band, hijacks the PA system, and serenades her with “Can’t Take my Eyes Off You” from the bleachers. The whole marching band joins in, he dances wildly and continues to sing even when security tries to drag him away. A moment of pure awesomeness and one that makes you miss Heath Ledger even more.

2.       “Moon River” performed by Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The most iconic image of Audrey from BaT’s is surely the one with the jewellery and the LBD and the cigarette holder. There’s no doubt she’s glamorous as Holly Golightly. Yet this scene shows just how beautiful she is, as she sits on the fire escape in jeans and a towel-turban, plucking a guitar and singing in her thin, whispery voice. I have to admit I like the song Holly sings in the book better, but Moon River is a fantastic song. Holly looks so far away from the high-class prostitute, and you get a sense of just how lonely she really is.

3.      La Marseillaise”, performed by every non-Nazi at Rick’s, Casablanca
Casablanca is a truly wonderful film, and this has to count as one of the most emotional scenes. In Rick’s (Humphrey Bogart) bar, German soldiers start to sing the German national anthem. The others, mostly runaways from invaded countries, begin to look disheartened. Then Laszlo orders the house band to play the French national anthem. Slowly, everyone else begins to sing. The look on their faces as they sing are breathtaking – such emotion, such patriotism, such determination. They drown out the Germans, and the audience cheers while wiping their eyes.

4.      Random Morning-After Dance, performed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a large crowd, (500) Days of Summer
This is quite an odd movie, but I like it. Clearly, events are seen from Tom’s (JGL) point of view and this scene is the best example. After finally sleeping with Summer (Zooey Deschanel), Tom is exultantly happy to say the least. He walks down the street imaging everyone congratulating him and when he gets to the park, thing go full-on Glee-like and everyone starts dancing while “You Make My Dreams Come True” plays in the background. Then a little blue cartoon birdie flies down to see Tom. No, I’m not making that up. It’s that kind of movie.

5.      “Jai Ho”, performed by Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, and a bunch of randoms, Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire is played as a straight romance-drama all the way through, but at the end it’s like the writers went ‘Damn, this is meant to be an Indian movie and we don’t have anything remotely Bollywood in it’. So, throwing conventions and possibly reality out the window, the movie ends with Jamal and Latika dancing in a train station, backed by everyone else on the platform. “Jai Ho”, a joyous song about love, fits the movie’s triumphant end well. At the end, the crowd boards the trains and Jamal and Latika walk off hand-in-hand. It’s a beautiful and somewhat unexpected way to end the film.

Honorary mentions:
·         The scene in, of all movies, Scream 2, where Derek upset by Sidney’s ‘we can’t go out because I don’t want you getting hurt’ speech earlier, sits glumly at the cafeteria table with her and two others. Suddenly, he starts singing “I Think I Love You”, quietly at first, then at full volume, jumping onto the table and being clapped by the rest of the students. Sidney, unable to resist such a declaration of love, kisses him. An unexpectedly sweet moment for a slasher flick.
·         The Plastics (and Cady) performing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ in Mean Girls. Yet another hilarious moment in this sharp, observant, genius film.
·         In Girl, Interrupted where Susannah steals a guitar and she and Lisa sing to a locked-up Polly, trying to keep her spirits up. One of the few heart-warming moments from this wonderfully dark, thought-provoking movie.  

My Top 5 Fictional Heroines

With their courage, intelligence and toughness, these women were/are the ones I idolise/d, from Disney girls to the heroines from literature, film and TV today. ‘Heroine’ doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be indestructible ninjas, although the ones in this list did quite a bit of ass-kicking. And it’s the more realistic, not-always-perfect girls that are the true fighters.

So, without further ado, the list, in no particular order:

Mulan, Mulan (1998) (also Mulan 2, but that’s...not worth mentioning)
Between the ages of 4 and 7, I think I watched this movie at least 10 times. Whenever Dad took me down to the video shop, I’d choose it, ignoring his subtle suggestions that I choose something else for a change (Dad was forced to sit through all viewings of Mulan too. Sorry Dad.). But it’s a great story. Set in China, Mulan’s father is an old, weak man, yet the army still wants him to fight. Mulan doesn’t want him killed, so she does the obvious thing: she disguises herself as a boy and enlists in the Chinese army, knowing it’s the only way she can save him. With impeccable courage and quick wit, she manages to defeat the Huns, save China and keep her secret under wraps...almost to the end. But Shang, the army leader, falls in love with her, so it all works out Disney-ly well. I have to mention Mushu the talking dragon too, simply because he’s hilarious and at one stage I could recite nearly all his lines. Mulan was brave, resourceful and determined, and one of the first Disney girls who didn’t need a man to save her.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter books/movies
Well, it’s Hermione, constantly referred to as the brightest witch at Hogwarts. She was gifted at magic, always one step ahead and saved Harry and Ron too many times to mention. Yes, Harry was the hero of the series, but arguably if it hadn’t been for Hermione, he would’ve died several books ago. Famous for the quote, ‘It’s leviosa, not leviosaaaaaa’. Everyone in the Potter-verse would be stuffed without her, basically.

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy
Katniss, to be, frank, is a legend. Like Mulan, she put herself in danger to save her family. In this case, she couldn’t bear the thought of her little sister being in the Hunger Games, the annual national contest where 24 kids enter a giant arena and forced to kill each other until one survivor is left (yes, it is as horrific and brutal as it sounds), so she takes her place instead. Katniss goes through a hell of a lot in the trilogy. She must survive the games, suffering numerous nightmares that the area conjures up, and things don’t get easy even once she makes it out alive. There’s the sinister, murderous Capitol to worry about too. Katniss isn’t neccesarily a nice girl. She isn’t polite or sweet or notably pretty. She can be snarky and mean and violent. It's a refreshing change from the usual nice-as-pie protaganists. She’s a good shot with a bow and arrow, and fights damn hard to get what she wants. She’s epic.

Romana, Doctor Who
Romana was a companion of the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) in the 1970s. A female Time Lord (same species as the Doctor), her full name was Romanadvoratrelundar and she gained a Triple First at the Academy on Gallifrey, their home planet. She took no nonsense from the Doctor, delivering such speeches as this: ‘Of course, now I realize that your behaviour simply derives from a sub-transitory experiential hypertoid-induced condition aggravated by multi-encephalogical tensions.’ (What?!) She helped the Doctor find the pieces of the Key to Time, and when they finally parted ways she became President of Gallifrey. Much-loved by the fandom and one of the first of the Doctor’s companions who was more than just a shrieking assistant.

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Well, of course I have to mention Buffy, the Chosen One, the vampire slayer who had supernatural powers and saved the world too many times to mention. Anyone who doubted the tiny, cute-looking blonde could even fight a butterfly shortly found themselves being proved very, very wrong. She destroyed vampires, demons, even Hell-Gods, all while juggling school (later college), friendship and romance. Even in her less-than-well-written hours (late Season 6 and most of S7, I’m looking at you), you couldn’t help but cheer for her, whether she was decapitating an uber-vamp or killing her boyfriend and sending him to hell. Buffy Summers, I salute you.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

"...a pot of coffee, 12 jammy dodgers and a fez!"

Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut

Wow. Just, wow. I might not be capable of writing a coherent review for this episode that isn't just comprised of  "AWESOME" and "holy gods!" and "WTF WAS THAT?!". 

*deep breath*

Review, and spoilers under the jump...

A Note of Nerdy Fangirl-ness

A quick moment of "squee!" to say that Doctor Who series 6 starts tonight in Australia. We've had to wait a week until after England (and America and Canada!) got it, and I've been valiantly avoiding any internet spoilers all week.

So I don't know much about tonight, except that it features 1960s America, River Song, the Doctor in a Stetson and some seriously creepy looking aliens called the Silents (Matt Smith said in DW Magazine that they're scarier than the Weeping Angels, and they scared the hell out of me, so I'm looking forward to it. I love it when DW gets actual, proper scary).

(Aside: Do the Silents look slightly like the Gentlemen from the Buffy episode Hush, or is that just me? It's the whole grey face/suit/creepy/silent thing.)

I can't wait. Me and my friends are sure to discuss it all on MSN straight afterwards. So this is just me, writing to tell you that I am indeed a nerdy Doctor Who fangirl.


See you in the time vortex,

The Coat

Isn’t it funny how sometimes you really want something, and suddenly it just appears?

When I was 12, I wanted a pink surfboard. ‘Bright pink, it has to be bright pink!’ I told my dad as we drove to the surf shop. Lo and behold, when we got inside, my gaze fell upon a pink surfboard, exactly the right size and surprisingly inexpensive. Fate? Coincidence? I don’t know. But it happened again last week.

I was in search of a coat. Not just any coat, but a long black leather coat, the kind worn by Spike and Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or other mysterious and badass fictional heroes/villains. In Melbourne the other day, we found ourselves at the giant op-shop, Savers. I dodged around the inner-city hipsters wearing fedoras and Doc Martens, and found it on the rack as if by magic.

(That's what I'm talking about. Pic copyright

Floor-length, vintage black leather. In my size, too! Praise upon the fashion gods, I had found my coat of badassery. I tried it on. Thought about it. Ummed and ahhed. A hipster girl in a bowler hat and eyeliner caught my eye and gave me an encouraging nod. That was good enough for me.

Now it’s hanging in my cupboard. It’s the kind of coat you wear for fighting the forces of darkness and solving mysteries. However, there’s a bit of a shortage on evil where I live, so I think I’ll wear it for walking the dog around the park. Only when it gets really cold though.

Or I could wear it to get inspired. It is the kind of coat a writer would wear, though probably while they’re starving in a garret, not typing on a laptop in their bedroom.  (Query: what is a garret? And why do creative types always live in them? And why must you starve in them? Can you not be a writer in a garret who lives on nachos and chai latte?)

So, yeah, just like that, I have my coat. Now I’d really like to find a million dollars.


Damn. It was worth a try.

Au revoir,

Book Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die tells the story of sixteen-year-old Tessa, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Throughout the book she struggles with the knowledge that she will die before she can grow old, leaving behind everyone she loves. She creates a list of things she has to do before she dies, and the main plot revolves around her trying to do everything, as well as her relationships and her thoughts and feelings about her imminent death.
Obviously, any book about a teenager dying from cancer is going to be sad, and this one is no exception. Some parts of the book are joyously happy, but mainly it’s incredibly sad (and I cried at the end, like the sentimental teenage girl that I am). This isn’t to say it’s not a good book. Just don’t read it if you want to be in a cheerful mood. It will make you think about life and really consider everything we have, how we take so much for granted. I know that sounds cliched but it's totally true for this book. Throughout the book you just want to be there for Tessa and assure her that things will be alright. She’s a great protagonist, even though she has her flaws. Her family and friends make up a diverse cast of characters, all helping or affecting Tessa in some way.  
I would recommend this for anyone who likes dramatic, moving novels, such as My Sister’s Keeper and The Lovely Bones. I think it’s best for ages 14 and over.
Rating: 9/10

Friday, 22 April 2011

The Dreaded First Post

Hi. Welcome to my world.
Or should I say your world, since this is and this is my first blog. *looks nervous*
Sooo...I'm Z. I'm from Australia. I like movies, music, books, TV shows. (See my profile for the full list) Hopefully this blog will be where I write about the movies and TV shows I watch, the music I hear and the books I read, so I can inform people and also improve my writing skills. There'll be reviews, there'll be lists, and also the general random gibberish that you get when you put me next to a keyboard.
The title of my blog, obviously, comes from that old saying "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". Except being the internet, we don't speak, we write. And we blog. The picture at the top of the page is some webcam shots cobbled together on Photoshop with my amateur VCE Media student skills. I'll probably change it, because right now it looks...amateur. :P
To anyone reading this (all 2 of you!), hi, and thanks for even taking the time to look at this. I'll be posting some actual interesting stuff soon.
Au revoir,