30 Days of Film: Bel's day 4

| Posted by Bel | The time is 4.04pm here in Wellington NZ |

A film that makes you sad

Three films that make me cry every time:

Aaah, Two Cars One Night. Simple, funny, poignant. So much about this short film cracks me up - and yet by the end of it I still feel the tears welling.

Amelie. Oh Amelie! Obviously I don't mean the whole film here, how could that be, when it is one of the most joyous and uplifting films to watch??

I just mean one scene in particular, which will have me sniffing and snivelling every time - despite the fact that I've watched this film so many times over.

It's the bit when Amelie sets things up so the owner (Bre - to - deau!) of the time capsule she's discovered comes across it seemingly randomly.

He is amazed to see once again all these relics of his childhood and we enter a beautiful swirl of flashbacks. ("La pince! La piiiiiince!")

Amelie is slyly watching this carthatic moment, revelling in her good deed. They then cross paths in a bar, Amelie not revealing her identity as he muses aloud and talks of the childhood he is missing out on by not connecting with his grandson. (Amelie then does this super cute hiccup thing.)

The anticipation and nostalgia of this scene is overwhelming, and beautifully acted and shot. For me, it is the highlight of a film which reigns supreme in my opinions.



My third example is Dancer In The Dark. I assume this is a film that would make me cry every time - except that I will never watch it again.

Have I blogged about this before?? Oh well, gather round while nana retells it.

I had gotten my wires crossed with this film - I'd heard it was a musical and then for some reason thought that the music video for Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet was from in the movie. So I was expecting something in the vein of Hollywood golden age song and dance Singing In The Rain type thing.

SPOILER: totally not like that.

I restarted the DVD twice because I thought that I had accidentally put on a behind-the-scenes feature. Then I realised that this gritty, underplayed cinema veritie style was the actual movie. And then I spent the next two hours getting my emotions pummelled right in the face.

I was home alone with no flatmates around and when it finished (I was sobbing by then), I called a friend and managed to choke out: "I... (cry cry) just watched... Dancer In The Dark... (cry cry) by myself!". My friend was aghast. "You did what?! Why?? Where are you? Stay there! I'm coming round!" And I was then taken out for a restorative hot chocolate and warned thoroughly about the dangers of Lars Von Trier.

(Gasp! I just realised I re-watched Good Will Hunting the other night and THAT made me cry! Evil Lars Von Trier.)

30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 4

Posted by Lou The time is 10.00am here in London UK

A film that makes you sad

I once watched Dancer in the Dark. By myself.

I cried hysterically for about half an hour.

The next day at work Bel had to give me a hug because I was still upset.

As Bel describes it, it is "emotional porn".

I would recommend not watching alone.

As a film by Lars von Trier should probably be disqualified, I am going to include an Irish pair as well.

Films about Irish Independence issues always engage me and get the blood pumping, but these two additionally gave me such a weight of personal sadness for the characters.

In The Name Of The Father because it is true, so when ... you know ... I just feel so sad that he didn't ... you know ... to see his son ... you know ...

Plus watching it recently was especially sad now that the great Pete Postslethwaite is no longer with us. In fact, knowing the storyline I started crying a bit in advance.

And The Wind That Shakes The Barley... my goodness. Um, don't scroll down if you haven't seen it. And definitely don't look at the picture.



You're not scrolling down are you?



Okay, so you know how some films give their characters a false happy ending and you're like "this sucks!!"?

Well, at the end of this one I felt like standing up and shouting (through my sobs) "No!! Rewind!!! Make it a happy ending!! I wanna haaaapppppy eeennnnnndddiinnnng!!!"

Pet peeve #10

| Posted by Bel | The time is 12.17pm here in Wellington NZ |

I get so mad at people who refer to things' time period incorrectly.


  • "Ooh, I love your hair, so retro and 70s!" when hair is CLEARLY in a 60s-influenced back-combed bouffant.
  • "Great dress, very 1960s looking!" when dress is OBVIOUSLY a tribute to Dior's New Look of the 1940s.
  • "I like those T-bar sandals, they look so World War II ish" when T-bar style shoes are a 1920s throwback as EVERYONE SURELY KNOWS.

Just this morning I overheard a colleague on the phone:
"Yeah, they've just opened it, over in Miramar. The cinema's been done up completely. It's all in, um, it's in that, ahh - 1940s, 1950s style. Looks great!"

I was resisting the urge to writhe on the floor howling as this went on, as I knew that this person was referring to the Roxy Cinema.

I will borrow a few gorgeous pics from Alice's Niceties blog to demonstrate just how "1940s, 1950s style" this place is. (NOT AT ALL. IT IS 1930s YOU FOOL. AND HOW COULD SOMETHING BE THE STYLE OF BOTH THE 40s AND THE 50s I ASK YOU?)

I mean COME ON!!

30 Days of Film: Bel's day 3

| Posted by Bel | The time is 11.32am here in Wellington NZ |

A film that makes you really happy

I recently re-watched Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Yes, I realise this film doesn't have (SPOILER!!) a happy ending, but I enjoyed watching it so much.

When this film came out in 1996, I was pretty much the same age that Shakespeare first intended his heroine to be. And I was just as malleable, impetuous and giddy as your average young teen - be she living in Verona, Verona Beach or small town NZ.

Re-watching the film was such a pleasure. It was slightly worrying how much of the script was sitting verbatim in my head after so many years. And not just the Shakespearean quotations, but the specific delivery and intonations by this version's actors.

Miriam Margolyes tottering about as the Nurse, crying out "Hhhhhuuulieet!".

Claire Danes actually managing to make the "wherefore" in "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" like a "why" and not a "where".

The police chief Prince growling out "All... are... BANISH-ED!!" in the final scenes.

And, of course, Leo doing the same donkey-like gasping bray of a cry you can trace back to The Basketball Diaries and even saw recently in Shutter Island.

It can be a dangerous territory, going back and re-watching the films that influenced those tender years. And yet so many favourites from the 90s are still standing strong: Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Mallrats, Wayne's World.

Any word on Heathers? Can't Hardly Wait? Empire Records? Have you re-watched something lately and found it just made you so so happy, regardless of the content?

Pet Peeve #9

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.15pm here in London UK |

Posh chips*.

Specifically variations of salt 'n' vinegar:

Don't fix what ain't broke - salt 'n' vinegar is perfect without the sea, and certainly without the balsamic, malt or Suffolk bloody cider!

Today I actually couldn't even find a single decent sized packet of plain old salt 'n' vinegar.

It's madness!!

And don't even get me started on having seen a glimpse of a packet that I swear to god was flavoured "roasted fox"...

*UK translation: crisps

30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 2

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.00pm here in London UK |

First allow me to address the elephant in the room ("hello elephant, that's a mighty fine trunk you've got there!") - yes, by the 2nd day we had failed to make this a daily thing. Thus we have decided it is not going to be a "30 Consecutive Days of Film" kinda deal... more like an excitingly random feast where you'll never know when your next invigorating post about film will appear. Anyhoo...

The most underrated film

An excellent question, and there are two films that stands out for me - the first being Buffalo Soldiers. It is a dark satire about bored American soldiers getting up to naughties in West Germany just before the fall of the wall.

It is underrated because nobody saw it due to the very unfortunate luck of its first screening being September 8th 2001. Starting out as a much hyped upcoming indie release, the 9/11 attacks rendered it immediately unmarketable and blacklisted. The only reason I knew it existed is because it stars one of my all-time favourite actors, Joaquin Phoenix (as well as Our Anna Paquin, Kiwi girl made good). But the film is good - really good.

The story centres around an ever-so-laid-back but smartest-guy-in-the-room soldier Ray (Joaquin) whose modus operandi is to keep his boss (Ed Harris) happy while shagging his wife and running a profitable black market business behind his back. Things are complicated by the arrival of a tough and watchful Sergent (Scott Glenn) who pisses Ray off, provoking him to ask out his daughter (Our Anna) just to spite him. A charming romance, hilarious soldier hijinks, and a bit of serious drama ensue.

The best part of the film is the satire of the military, with the most shocking (and hilarious) occurrences actually being based on true events. The overall tone and theme is perfectly described in an early voiceover: "War is hell; but peace - peace is fucking boring."

The film is also a good reminder of what a charismatic and interesting actor Joaquin can be when playing "regular guy" characters. I'm sure his name will come up again throughout my 30 Days, but I might speak about him differently next time as mock-doc I'm Still Here is winging its way to me from LoveFilm as I type...

The other film I would like to mention is Dirty Dancing. This film is a true one-of-a-kind - beloved by people the world over and elevated to a legendary status that few films achieve. However, as it is a film that largely appeals to women and sits within the cheesy romance genre, it is totally disrespected.

Well I for one think it is one of the ultimate wish-fulfilment stories (is there a man or a woman alive who doesn't wish they had a teenage love affair this epic?), containing one of cinema's greatest lines of dialogue (it doesn't even matter that she isn't technically in a corner), and ending in a dance that is as iconic as Gene Kelly singing in the rain (The lift! The lift!). This is wrapped in a genius blend of cheese and sentimentally, littered with smokin' hot chemistry that makes a clothed foreplay dance seem positively pornographic.

Dirty Dancing - I salute you.

30 Days of Film: Bel's day 1

| Posted by Bel | The time is 3.16pm here in Wellington NZ |

The best film you saw during the last year

Ooooh tough call. 2010 was a good year for movies!
Let me think about the films I have watched more than once in the last year...

Black Swan

I am firmly in the Loved It camp.

I am a big fan of both Aronofsky and Portman (let alone Vincent Cassell). Also my years working in the home of New Zealand's national ballet company has softened my heart towards to this crazy extreme sport. Because what else could you call something that requires you to perform on the tips of your toes?


I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of this, and then had to drag my husband along to the cinema a week later because I couldn't handle not talking about it in front of him. My spoiler-ridden review is here.

Some of the gloss of its intricate plot was recently taken off when I read a tweet saying "Why didn't Michael Caine just bring the kids over to France to where Leo was?". What?! Oh. Oh. Hmmm.

I realise those are two big obvious choices, but let's face it they both kicked ass.

Oooh Kick Ass! I saw that at least twice!

(I was so shocked when I clicked that he was the guy from Nowhere Boy.)

30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 1

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.10pm here in London UK |

The best movie you saw during the last year

I saw a lot of excellent films in the past 12 months, with the two stand-outs being Animal Kingdom and Inception.

I was thinking "gosh, I raved about them at the time so there's nothing to say"... but it seems I just gave Animal Kingdom a one-liner, and didn't review Inception at all. Go figure!

Mind blown.

The films are in some ways complete opposites - the small indie film from Australia that viscerally captures a criminal underworld, and the mega-blockbuster from Hollywood that takes a surreal action-journey through layers of dreams.

In common are superb writer-directors who have crafted scripts that engage then directed them beautifully, and top-notch casts that give brilliant individual performances as well as having rare group chemistry.

Panic risen.

Both are films I will cherish and watch again and again.

In the interests of gender equality, I'm also going to give a Special Mention to Black Swan. I thought I would hate it - fantasy and surrealism I can give or take, depending on whether something about it feels real.

Instead I loved it for the layer upon layer of theme and genre, parcelled up in such beautiful art direction, and grounded in what for me was a very real and under-represented story in Hollywood (the punishing result of the female search for physical perfection - Hollywood's speciality!).

Vomit tasted.

However, apart from this one film it was again a year bereft of great female characters. (Also bereft of great non-white characters.) I shake my fist at you Hollywood!

30 Days of Film

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.15pm here in London UK |

Bel's all like "do you want to do this?" and I'm all like "hells yeah!" so here we go.

Credit where credit is due... except when Bel's forgotten where she got it from. But to whoever you are, thanks! (Hope you don't mind that we changed the lingo. (I mean seriously, who says "movie"?))

  1. The best film you saw during the last year
  2. The most underrated film
  3. A film that makes you really happy
  4. A film that makes you sad
  5. Favourite love story in a film
  6. Favourite made for TV film
  7. The most surprising plot twist or ending
  8. A film that you’ve seen countless times
  9. A film with the best soundtrack
  10. Favourite classic film
  11. A film that changed your opinion about something
  12. A film that you hate
  13. A film that is a guilty pleasure
  14. A film that no one would expect you to love
  15. A character who you can relate to the most
  16. A film that you used to love but now hate
  17. A film that disappointed you the most
  18. A film that you wish more people would’ve seen
  19. Favourite film based on a book/comic/etc.
  20. Favourite film from your favourite actor/actress
  21. Favourite action film
  22. Favourite documentary
  23. Favourite animation
  24. That one awesome film idea that still hasn’t been done yet
  25. The most hilarious film you’ve ever seen
  26. A film that you love but everyone else hates
  27. A film that you wish you had seen in theaters
  28. Favourite film from your favourite director
  29. A film from your childhood
  30. Your favourite film of all time
[ETA: Hi, Bel here - just saying if you wanna jump on the bandwagon too, please do! Leave us a link in the comments so we can read about your film loves and hates.]

Book reviews in short

| Posted by Bel | The time is 3.02pm here in Wellington NZ |

I have read a stack of books over the last month or so and can easily recommend them all (ok, most of them).

(Click to view larger if you wish, but it's a crappy photo)

Books pictured, from top left, clockwise:
  • Breath a novel by Australian Tim Winton
  • The Only Girl In The Car a memoir about teenagehood by former teenager Kathy Dobie
  • When You Are Engulfed In Flames essays by David Sedaris
  • Frida the biography by Hayden Herrera upon which the film was based
  • Dear Dodie a biography on author Dodie Smith by Valerie Grove
  • My Invented Country memoirs by author Isabel Allende

Also pictured: "Bel's Cool Book Mark!" a cool bookmark that I own.

Breath a novel by Australian Tim Winton 

I found this engaging to read but ultimately unsatisfying. The book's structure has most of the narrative told in retrospective flashback, giving the impression that the shadowy present-day events will be illuminated by the escalating drama of the protagonist's teenage years.

Instead, everything peters out, much like one of the oft-described waves in this book. The descriptive language is wonderful - and anyone who enjoys the ocean will appreciate Winton's writing.

The Only Girl In The Car a memoir about teenagehood by former teenager Kathy Dobie 

Dobie's teenage sexuality becomes a threat to those around her as she uses her appeal to cross over to the other side of the tracks in her small town. In a sickening and horribly foreshadowed turn of events, the threat is turned back upon her when she is gang raped in the back of one of those cars which seemed to offer escape.

This happens late in the book, the first two-thirds detailing her commonplace childhood with a busy family and then her deliberate procurement of a "reputation". The naivety of the teenage mindset is forcefully brought to life, but this might not be something you want to relive.

When You Are Engulfed In Flames essays by David Sedaris 

Highly recommended. Laugh out loud funny. Read aloud to other people funny. Think about when you are elsewhere and giggle for seemingly no reason funny.

My highlights were: how he walks slow and his partner walks fast and it always looks like he is trying to run away from him; the external catheter bit; refusing to wear glasses; how his cough lozenge falls out of his mouth and onto the grouchy sleeping lady sitting next to him in the airplane (I thought you would enjoy that Lou!).

Frida the biography by Hayden Herrera upon which the film was based 

This is a big biography and it was used as the main reference for the film starring (and produced by) Salma Hayek. It has lots of photos and reproductions of some paintings. The text quotes from many of Frida Kahlo's letters, letting her own (vibrant, funny, sarcastic, witty) voice tell the story.

If you are going to read up on Frida Kahlo, this is the book.

Dear Dodie a biography on author Dodie Smith by Valerie Grove 

Another example of a great, definitive biography. Dodie Smith is the author of one of my all-time favourite books, I Capture The Castle, but also wrote 101 Dalmatians and kicked off her career as a wildly successful playwright when in her 20s. Her life in the UK and the US and the life-long dedication of her husband all make for very interesting reading.

Grove also had the advantage of Smith's extensive personal writings - she kept journals like a mofo and is estimated to have written around a million words about her own day-to-day life. Her personality traits shine through - such as keeping a blacklist of writers who mistreated animals in their books and refusing to read their work!

My Invented Country memoirs by author Isabel Allende

Author of another all-time favourite, The House of the Spirits. The house itself is such a central character in that book, it was fascinating to read about the real world experiences that went into creating it on the page.

Allende is very funny and I found her non-fiction writing just as evocative as her fiction. Her passion for her country (home and adopted) and for her family (ancestral and immediate) makes for captivating reading.

Pet Peeve #8

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.00pm here in London UK |

How much do you want to grab people's phones from their hands and throw them over a bridge into the filthy, filthy waters of the Thames when they are writing a text message and you realise with horror that they must still have their keyboard tones on because it sounds like this:

Beep beeeep beep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep Beeep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beeeep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep BEEEEEP Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep beeeeep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beeeeeeeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep BEEEEP Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beep BEEEEEEEEEP beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beeeeeeeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep Beep beeeep BEEEEEP beeep beep Beep BEEEEEEP beeep beep beep BEEP beeeep Beep


Yesterday was World Health Day, today we are still talking about abortion rights

| Posted by Bel | The time is 8.37am here in Wellington NZ |

World Health Day is April 7th and it was acknowledged and celebrated round these parts with a blogswarm on the topic: Abortion: it's a health issue, not a crime.

Head over to The Hand Mirror for a comprehensive index of posts from pro-choice bloggers and get up to speed.

But the issue of abortion law reform in New Zealand and improving the associated health services cannot be assumed as a once-off flurry.

That this medical procedure is in the Crimes Act is unacceptable. The law has remained unchanged since the 1970s. Most of the public is unaware because clinicians work hard to ensure the process is as free of red-tape as possible.

Open up discussions with the people around you. We need to be debating this and raising awareness of it. And, in election year more than ever, we must let our politicians know that this will not go away.

Gill Greer - former Executive Director of Family Planning, current President of International Planned Parenthood, she is aaamaze - is interviewed in this week's Listener magazine. Grab a copy, it's worth a read (online here but not readable in full yet).

She talks about how we can use sex to sell anything these days, have it in any context - but when we actually need to talk about the nuts and bolts of it, this becomes an impossible subject.

Put yourself in an awkward situation. Be the dork writing letters to Parliament. Ask your mum what she thinks about the right to choose. Put a link up on your facebook page to an article about our country's statistics. Pay the measly amount and get a membership to Family Planning or ALRANZ and stay up to date with the work they are doing.

April 7th was a great day to write and talk and link about why abortion is a health issue, not a crime. So are the other 364 days of the year. And you can be guaranteed that we will be out there making a ruckus until things change here in New Zealand.

Another reason to hate housework

| Posted by Bel | The time is 12.36pm here in Wellington NZ |

Remember when I wrote that rant to the tradesmen who were still working on our place when we moved in, as part of the 30 Days of Me extravaganza? I'm sure you do.

Do you remember me mentioning "all the dust and debris" that was left everywhere? Because I did. I used quote marks just then because I quoting. Myself.

Ok. Well!!

With my reluctance I realised on the weekend that our floors were so filthy I would actually have to vacuum. After making an initial attempt and getting nowhere, I recalled the last time this happened, and my beloved descending into an angry cursed-filled fury, kicking the vacuum cleaner as it made a lot of noise and sucked up sweet F-A.

Because I am a slob, but an organised slob, I found the warranty amongst a pile of random papers and headed out to Kaiwharawhara (what an adventure!) to sort out the hunk of junk.

A very wisened and trustworthy looking man peered over the vacuum cleaner that I had hoisted up onto his benchtop. Various lids had been opened, shutters prised and filters removed. His glasses were slid halfway down his nose in a very professional way. He muttered. He tutted. Then he paused, and said, "Ooh. What's this?"

I froze. I was horrified at the prospect. I couldn't see what he was gesturing at. My mind spun. A condom. A tinny. A condom with a tinny inside. A hot pink lacy G-string with skidmarks and bloodstains AND a condom stuck to it with a tinny inside. A tiny TV playing a tape of me getting ready for my 6th Form ball, using a curling wand to make ringlet tendrils drape down either side of my face as I sing along to Ace of Base. WHAT COULD IT BEEEEEE?????????

I leaned in to look. I looked harder. I looked again.

His finger was pointing at something. No, his finger was the something. There was a fine coating of dust, which he wiped from deep inside the vacuum cleaner's guts.

"What is this?", he said again, almost gleefully, rubbing the gritty microscopic particles between his fingertips, "What do we have here?"

Was it a trick question? Was it a rhetorical question? Was it the babbled ranting of an oft electrocuted madman?

"I think it's, um, dirt?" I said quietly, trying not to sound over-confident. After all, he's the professional here.

The technician slid his glasses up to the bridge of his nose and looked me right in the eye. I was ready to retract my clearly foolish "dirt" claim. What he said next chilled me to the bone.

"Have you had the builders in, have you?"

He proceeded to educate me in the dangers of ever using a vacuum cleaner to tidy up after tradesmen. Apparently nasty substances such as sawdust and dust from OH I DON'T KNOW using an electric saw to cut up tiles in the middle of the kitchen OR SOMETHING can do terrible damage to vacuum cleaners. Particularly snazzy modern bagless varieties that a lovely brother might give to his sister as a present for her wedding anniversary because she is a bit of a slob and doesn't have one.

That kind of dirt (which also extends to talc and baby powder, so watch out nanas and littlies!) will slowly eat away at the engine, gradually making even more frustrating and redundant your attempts at keeping the place tidy.

The vacuum cleaner was declared a write-off and I was advised to buy a cheapie next time I needed to clean up a domestic building site and just chuck it out afterwards. Sadly, I wandered in the direction of their gleaming rows of latest models of cleaners to do some window shopping.

And this is when the only good thing about this story happened!!

They had a DJ ROOMBA! (But I didn't buy it. I just pointed and went "DJ ROOMBA!!" really loudly.)

My hair is glossy and shiny and smells like coconut.

| Posted by Lou | The time is 6.15pm here in London UK |

Rather a long time ago Pretty Pretty Pretty posited a hairific use for surplus coconut milk, which I tried and was not overly whelmed by. It is rather messy and I found didn't really do much, but at the same time it costs fuck-all and does at least as much as a commercial hair treatment. (Sorry for forgetting to comment saying that, PPP. Better late than never?)

However, reading the post and exploring it further did lead me to discovering that coconut oil is supposedly the holy grail of hair treatments. (And a make-up remover! Will let you know after I've tried that.)

So when I stumbled upon a massive tub of coconut oil for £1 the other day, I decided to give it a go.

Note for any UK people reading this: coconut milk and coconut oil are waaaaaaay cheaper in the "ethnic" food aisles at That Evil Giant Supermarket Chain than they are in the regular aisles. Branded coconut milk with the noodles and cooking sauces = £1.39. Coconut milk in '70s tin with the Caribbean food = 79p*. Every little bit helps! ;-P

For me it was much more convenient to leave it in overnight than to be stuck at home for a couple of hours during the day. Therefore my pillow was covered in an old towel (actually I covered it in two old pillowcases and a towel, but there was no need to worry as it barely transferred onto the towel), I rubbed it through, and slept on it.

I did a double-shampoo, but that was probably unnecessary. (Actually a lot of people use coconut oil as a leave-in treatment, and I did notice that it provided instant shine that would be passable if sparingly used.) I also elected to condition, though apparently this is also unnecessary.

And as I said, my hair is now delightfully glossy and shiny and smells like coconut.

It was much more effective than recent commercial treatments I have tried, a heck of a lot cheaper, and bonus: no chemicals!

*My sister works in supermarket management and has this pet peeve that people buy brands and then complain how much they cost when there is an identical non-branded product for half the price that they have chosen not to purchase. I just thought I'd put that out there in the interests of our pet peeve adoration. (As a food snob, I do not have this pet peeve.)

Pet Peeve #6

| Posted by Lou | The time is 6.34pm here in London UK |

I hate paying to be advertised to.

When I go to the cinema and they play more than twenty minutes of ads (and that's not including the previews) I start to feel pathological anger. (Yes Odeon, I'm looking at you.)

When I buy/rent a DVD and pop it in and a whole bunch of ads come on, I start to feel pathological anger.

But my biggest pet peeve of this realm is that stupid - STUPID - anti-priacy ad. You know the one: "you wouldn't steal a car... you wouldn't steal a hand-bag..."

1. This ad only ever shows up on legit DVDs/ cinema screenings. You know, after you've paid. Which sort of implies that you are actually supporting the industry and not in fact pirating. Preaching to the choir much?

2. The examples are not comparable. Stealing a car is a very different thing than downloading a film.

3. Downloading something you actually wouldn't pay for so would never see otherwise actually does enhance the word-of-mouth marketing of that film. (Well, unless it's shit. In which case, who cares?) And in this world of spin-offs and sequels that potentially creates a paying customer for the next film's cinema release.

4. Fundamentally, how do they know I wouldn't steal a car?

5. Oh, and did I mention that the ad just generally sucks? And that if I see it one more time it might push me over the edge?

N.B.: I strongly advocate against the downloading of Kiwi cinema, of course. But when it comes to those Hollywood fuckers, go for your life. Unless the protagonist is a genuinely great female character, in which case you should give them money.

Pet Peeve #5

| Posted by Bel | The time is 10.01am here in Wellington NZ |

Something that always mortifies me is when I see someone strutting down the street looking fine in their finery - and then I spy price stickers still adhered to the bottom of their shoes.

This upsets me on many levels. Let's explore!

1) I am upset with myself because essentially I am just being judgemental because really my problem with it is that I think it looks common. Biiiiiiiitch.

2) It looks common. SHUT UP IT DOES!!

3) One of my favourite weird OCD pleasures in life is removing stickers off things after I have bought them. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • CD jewel cases
  • Paperback books
  • Crockery sets
  • Shoes
4) I feel an irrational personal concern for the bestickered person in the same way I do for people who are driving along with their coat or skirt caught outside of the door, or standing in front of me in a queue with a label sticking up out of their collar.

Visual examples sourced from Google Images:

This is someone called Fearne Cotton. I have no idea who she is and yet I feel such mortification on her behalf.

This is that woman Eva Longoria off telly. She always reminds me of a dear friend of mine to the extent that they are pretty much the same person in my head and thus seeing this, I am like "Oh Bee! How did I let this happen to you!" and feel personally responsible as well as mortified.


| Posted by Lou | The time is 3.05pm here in London UK |

Bel and I really like to discuss science.

Nail science, that is.

Not so long ago nail polish was relegated to decorating my toenails in times of summer, but after Bel dragged me along to the O.P.I. counter at Kirks last year I've become a little bit addicted.

Hence after she sent me this link to some nail science of the highest order, I decided to try and do something different.

Turns out I'm as unco-ordinated as I expected to be, and only managed this appallingly simple effort despite being fairly ambi-dexterous:

This is A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find with a touch of Big Apple Red on the tips
(yes I do select colours based on their names)
(and yes, my hand is so wrinkly that the macro zoom did indeed focus on the wrinkles)

That is all.