Category Archives: about film and art and books and stuff

My Top 10 Buffy Episodes. Ever.

So recently I’ve become obsessed with the awesome site www.listverse.com, which is amazing for a number of reasons. The first one being that it’s a site full of lists and I LOVE lists. The second is that it’s amazingly addictive and if I’m at work, it can take up a good couple of hours. Because I’m not working at work. That would be weird. Anyways, it inspired to create my very own list and maybe the bosses as Listverse will SEE my list and think I’m awesome and want to put it on their site! Oh em gee. It would be like I would be famous. There was something seriously wrong with the grammar in that sentence but I’m really not going to dwell on it.

Seriously, check Listverse out cos it’s interesting. Lists of the top 10 weird travel destinations. Top 10 gruesome ways to die. Top 10 facts that are actually wrong. Top 10 weird scenes in movies. Top 10 political prisoners. Etc etc. And you get to LEARN at the same time! What could be more fun.

This list is dedicated to the Buffy episodes that I can watch over and over. Many fans of Buffy will cite other episodes as being better, more technically correct, significant, etc. For example. The Body is widely recognised as one of the most sophisticated episodes. But let’s face it. It’s certainly not one I can watch a heap of times. BECAUSE IT’S SAD. Same goes for Conversations with Dead People. One word: Creepy. This is MY list of MY favourite episodes.

10. FOOL FOR LOVE

I always love a bit of history and backstory in Buffy and this episode had epic proportions of it. It also did a very fancy crossover with Angel, but I won’t go into it cos it will be confusing and this entire post is lost on non-Buffy watchers anyway.

This gets the Number 10 spot for the above scene where Spike gets all Billy Idol in New York and acquires his leather jacket.

Image from: www.ew.com

9. INNOCENCE

ANGEL.TURNS.BAD. Need I say more? And check it out. His shirt is off. And it’s yum. And look, Buffy is all sad and shit cos she doesn’t understand why her True Love is being a meanie to her. IT’S COS HE HAS TURNED BAD BUFFY!

Image from: www.ew.com

8. BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED

Poor geeky Xander has just been dumped on Valentine’s Day, so gets the help of Amy to make Cordelia fall back in love with him. Spell goes wrong, and every female in Sunnydale falls for him, including Buffy’s mum. Oh, and except for Cordelia. Highlights include Buffy’s technicolor tan.

Image from: Photobucket

7. SOMETHING BLUE

So Willow is all depressed and annoying cos Oz has gone off to Nepal or the Himalayas or whatever to go ‘find himself’ and so she does some Magicks to get Oz to come back to her. But due to her karmic imbalance, or you know, she’s all stressy, the Magicks go wrong and all of a sudden Giles is blind, Xander’s a demon magnet and Spike and Buffy have decided they’re getting married. Comedy gold. Giles at his best.

Image from: www.bbc.co.uk

6. HALLOWEEN

This is a really hard one to cap as I think all the one-liners in it just make it beautiful. I think this was the first episode Joss (I LOVE YOU!) really turned Sunnydale upside down, which are always my favourite ones. As demonstrated by this list.

Image from: www.thetorchonline.com

5. THE WISH

Cordelia makes a wish that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, so enter a Sunnydale without Buffy. See picture: Vampires abound in the form of her bff’s. I remember really loving Buffy’s alternate universe scar across her lip in this episode, and wished I had my very own scar across my lip in weird self harm kinda way. Best finale ever.

Image from: Photobucket

4. GRADUATION DAY (parts 1 and 2)

This is cheating a little bit, cos it’s two episodes, but they have the same name so whatever. Easily the best fight between Buffy and Evil Slayer Faith. I especially like their matching but not matching leather pants. And Faith’s super squiggly evil looking knife. I tried to find a picture but all that was available were them in doll form, which I found a bit too creepy. The graduating class getting all pitchforky is pretty rad too. And the whole Angel biting Buffy thing is actually a bit hot. Which is weird.

Image from: andythesaint.wordpress.com (I just realised the site I stole this image from, (thanks Andy, you rock! I hope it’s okay I stole your picture. If not, please email me and I will feel like I have a fan!) has does the Top 25 episodes of Buffy. Go Andy! I am going to check it out. Though Andy, to be honest, I think letting you have 25 episodes is cheating a little bit, and much easier to do. Fine. If I was allowed 25, I would also include, in no particular order: Pangs, The Body, Doppelgangland, The Gift, Superstar – purely for the opening credits, School Hard, What’s My Line parts 1 and 2, Becoming parts 1 and 2.Phases, Lover’s Walk, and OH MY GOD I’m stopping there. How could you do 25? Far too much.

3. ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING

THEY ALL SING. Well, Willow tries and the rest of them sing. And very catchy, catchy songs too. Didn’t like Tara until this episode. She sold me with her saucy metaphors and cheeky eye dart as she spread herself under her ‘willow tree’. Oh, Tara. You minx.

Image from: Lyrics digger

2. HUSH

This was originally my number one spot and I will explain why it got moved when I talk about my actual number one. Possibly the most frightening Buffy episode ever, with the possible exception of Killed By Death. (Did you SEE that demon guy with the eyeballs that stuck on kid’s foreheads and sucked out their lives? DOUBLE YOU TEE EFF!?) Anyways, Hush is rad for all sorts of technical reasons which are explained much more academically and succinctly on other sites that are not this one. It’s the whole thing of having NO dialogue for the majority of the episode. The highlights for me in this episode is clearly Giles’ slideshow. The lowlight is clearly Buffy’s retarded scream at the end.

Image from: DVD movie reviews

1. BAND CANDY

Yes, this is my all time favourite Buffy episode for so many amazing reasons. It’s the one I can watch many, many times. I think what really sold me on this episode is it’s relationship to one two seasons later. In the scene above, Giles and Joyce are listening to Cream’s, Tale of Brave Ulysses, one of my all time favourite songs. Then, in the episode of The Body, two seasons later, there is a very small scene, with no dialogue, where you see Giles put on the same vinyl recording and listen to it with a glass of scotch as a tribute to Joyce. Or it may have been brandy. Whatever. Anyway, I didn’t even click to this until I was having a mega Buffy marathon run and managed to watch three seasons in about three days, and recognised the song. Oh Joss. You are my hero. You’re so SLY!

Image from: msjacks.wordpress.com

Sophie’s Favourite Photo of the Day

If anyone knows what this picture is called, or where I can find a copy of it in awesome poster sized format, please let me know! Want this hanging next to another similar poster in my house!

Kick-Ass kicks ass. See what I did there?

This is my plug of the day. If you haven’t seen Kick-Ass yet, you’re a loser. It’s amazing. It’s like Quentin Tarantino decided to direct the latest teen movie. But like, the best teen movie that’s ever been made.

That is all.

Sweet Valley High Cover Art Interpretation Vol. I

In which we explore the cover art of #4 Power Play and what we think it might represent.

Three words: Twin. Sister. Porn. Obviously Jessica and Elizabeth are about to make out. There also may be a little bit of stimulated rape going on because Jessica looks slightly apprehensive. Although everyone knows that Jessica is all tease and no tickle so maybe it’s real rape and this is something she’s truly not on board with.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, is clearly going in for the kill. She’s awfully pouty.

Of course, another interpretation of this cover is that Elizabeth wants to spit on Jessica for her appalling feathered fringe and flannelette combo, but I doubt it.

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ACTUALLY ABOUT:

Elizabeth and Jessica in a tug of war…

Chubby Robin Wilson has been following Jessica around for months. First she wanted to be her friend—now she wants to join Pi Beta Alpha, Sweet Valley High’s snobby sorority.

When Elizabeth, Jessica’s twin, nominates Robin for the sorority, Jessica is furious. Robin may be friendly and smart, but she’s certainly not beautiful or popular enough to be a Pi Beta. Jessica’s determined to find a way to keep Robin out.

But Elizabeth is just as determined to make Robin a sorority sister. Soon the twins are locked in a struggle that develops into the biggest power play at Sweet Valley High…

Okay, sororities back up the first interpretation, otherwise it’s evidently a different book from what the cover suggests.

I would like to point out that Robin goes on to lose about 100kgs in about, oh I don’t know, three days, and becomes popular. Ah Francine, giving the fatties the message they so clearly need. Or not.

Image from 90’s Flashback.

The Rape Alleys of Melbourne

A little while ago, myself and my friend Helen from Scream Under Streetlights fame, went on an Adventure to explore the alleyways of Melbourne. Our Adventures were called ‘The Rape Alleys of Melbourne’, because as everyone who is from Melbourne knows, most of the alleyways that haven’t been invaded by chic cafes look like the perfect place to go if you want to be raped and murdered.

I should explain that you won’t get raped and murdered in the Rape Alleys—at least I really hope not—but you will discover awesome bars and crazy graffiti.

This is what we found: (pictures by the lovely Helen)

Turn to the right (you can turn to the right, it doesn’t look like it but you can) and you’ll find The Croft Institute, another post for another day.

WHERE DOES THIS DOOR LEAD!? I don’t know. I am excited about it though.

There are many more photos but then this will just go for a really long time.

Helen and I walked all over the city to find these alleyways, but somehow, SOMEHOW, we missed The Best One.

On Friday night I was walking up Lonsdale Street and I passed an alleyway that was about the width of my head. Okay, slight exaggeration. But it was pretty tiny. I was pretty spacey at the time, not for any fun reason but mostly because I have been suffering from a mysterious illness* for the past two weeks that comes and goes like something that comes and goes a lot. See, even my analogies are suffering. So I’m all la la la, spacey sickness land, and I pass this alleyway and I have enough presence of mind to text Helen about twenty minutes later going oooooh woooow, rape alley extravaganza! but not enough to actually remember where it is or what it’s called except it’s somewhere on Lonsdale Street, which let’s face it, is a pretty long street.

So Helen and I plan to pack our Exploration Bag and go Looking and Report Our Findings. Our Exploration Bag will contain:

1 tape measure

1 camera

It’s a pretty small bag. But then I will Report Our Findings and Post Photos.

* I have Googled my illness to the point that I think I am suffering from a tumour of some kind and will probably die soon. I have to stop trying to self diagnose. It does not help me and I should have learned my lesson ever since the internet told me I was going to have a heart attack. I didn’t. I had a pulled muscle.

The Rules of Sweet Valley High

One of my favourite things is Sweet Valley High.

Sweet Valley High is a series of books circa 1983 to well into the 90s that follow the ‘adventures’ of two identical twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth. They are so awful they are AMAZING. If you want to read some wonderful recaps, I highly recommend The Dairi Burger which is so steeped in snark I die a little bit inside from sheer awesomeness whenever I read it.

Sweet Valley High spawned, or was spawned from (I really don’t know what series came first) Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley Senior Year, Sweet Valley University and a bunch of other series. It is Sweet Valley High, however, that my sister and I have collected over the years. We call them ‘bath books’ because we read them in the bath and it doesn’t matter if you drop them.

Due to the fun I had with my Famous Five entry, I have compiled a list of rules you have to follow if you would like to go to Sweet Valley High. If you don’t follow these rules then you don’t belong.

1. If you are sociopathic, snobby, rich, attractive, a cheerleader, a footballer or an asshole, you are friends with Jessica. If you are ugly, talented, come from a broken home, or like homework, you are friends with Elizabeth.

2. If you have divorced parents, or have something else wrong with you indicating you’re from a broken home, you must allow Liz to put her hand condescendingly on your shoulder a lot. You are also only allowed to to be in one book. At the most, two. If you are very rich though, and your parents are divorced, you are not allowed to be friends with Liz. You are friends with Jessica. If you are very rich then obviously your life isn’t that bad, and Liz cannot waste her time feeling sorry for you.

3. If it is Friday, there must be a dance. The dance must have Mr Collins and Ms Dalton as chaperones. The dance must always have a ‘Queen’ and the Queen is always Jessica. Always.

4. If your name is Enid, you must agree with everything Liz says. You are allowed to look pretty, but only sometimes. And you’re NEVER allowed to look as pretty as Liz does. You may have a boyfriend for a little while, but mostly you have to look wistfully at Liz and Todd a lot.

5. You must be aware that kidnappers, murderers and rapists take up a large amount of the Sweet Valley population. They can usually be found in the ‘bad part’ of town. If you’re friends with Jessica, you must look down on this town. If you are friends with Elizabeth, you must help her write an article about it and think about how lucky you are not to live there.

6. If you don’t like the twins, you obviously have something wrong with you. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to star in a book. Be aware that Jessica will try and ruin your life, and Elizabeth will interfere with you until she finds a problem with you that she can fix. In which case you must be eternally grateful to her and thank her for helping you change your ways.

7. Do not have sex. You are not allowed to have sex and be popular in Sweet Valley.

8. You are not allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs and be popular in Sweet Valley.

9. In fact, if you have sex, drink alcohol, take drugs, come from a broken home, get poor grades or wag classes, you are probably a lost cause and no amount of shoulder touching by Elizabeth will help you. You are probably just a visitor to Sweet Valley anyway because Sweet Valley does not encourage those sorts of people.

10. You can find Mr Collins attractive. This is actually a rule too. But absolute no inappropriate conversation is allowed no matter how much alone time you spend with him.

11. Elizabeth is allowed to cheat on Todd as much as she likes, but she’s still the good one. Jessica will cheat too, but she’s the slutty one. Do not forget this.

12. If there are no kidnappers, murderers or rapists around, don’t worry. A werewolf or a vampire will come along soon.

13. Under no circumstances can you mention what happened in previous books. This is absolutely forbidden.

14. You can eat waffles for breakfast, have burgers and fries after school, and then a sit down dinner after that, and if you’re name is Jessica or Elizabeth you never gain weight. If your name is not Jessica or Elizabeth however, you will. And then Jessica and Elizabeth will judge you. Jessica in a malicious way, Elizabeth in an incredulous way. (Note: there is still hope for you if you go on an incredibly dangerous diet and manage to lose a ridiculous amount of weight in a ridiculous short period of time. If you can do this, you will become popular.)

15. There are approximately 100 people who go to Sweet Valley High. About 70 of these students are mentioned exactly once. If you want to be mentioned more then once, then you have to be best friends with one of the twins. Improve your chances by being either blonde or rich.

16. Wear horrid clothes. This is the 80’s remember. If you want to be friends with Elizabeth, she responds well to: barrettes that match polo shirts, khakis, ponytails, chinos (I don’t know what a ‘chino’ is, but Elizabeth wears them a lot), blouses that she never wears but Jessica borrows. Jessica responds well to: anything slutty.

17. Take your dates to the Box Tree Cafe, Guido’s Pizza, Casey’s, the Dairi Burger or an expensive French place along the coast.

18. There are three rich people in Sweet Valley. They live on top of a hill. Don’t try and move there. You will probably live in a nice neighbourhood that has a lot of split level Spanish style homes. They will be decorated by the twins’ mother. The deal was probably settled by the twins’ father. He is a lawyer. But he can also help you if you are getting divorced, want custody of your child, get raped, get murdered, framed for fraud, etc. He is quite versatile.

19. If you have a party, hire The Droids to play. They having nothing else better to do.

20. Congratulations if you’re black, hispanic, gay or Asian. This means you are Special and you represent the entire community because you’re the only one. You’re only allowed to appear in a few books though because you’re not blonde and perfect.

21. ‘Perfect’ means you are blonde and a size 6 with aquamarine eyes. If you don’t come close to this you may as well kill yourself.

Image from: The Closet

Scream Under Streetlights

For those who like music—and I’ve heard rumours that people do—click on this little link here:

http://screamunderstreetlights.blogspot.com/

Scream Under Streetlights is Very Funny. I can’t go without some copy and paste action here, and even though you’re clicking, I still want this marvellous sentence on my blog:

For six tracks out of eight it’s as if someone poured blazing hot sulphuric acid into my ear cavities then Mr. Blonded me Reservoir Dogs style. First single Party In The USA is a hillbilly pop nightmare where kiddy strippers trade their six inch clear plastic heels for some equally awful cowboy shit kickers. Still, it’s so darn catchy you can’t help singing along even if you’re bleeding from every orifice in your head.

This is in reference to Miley Cyrus’ The Time of our Lives album and trust me, there’s more.

It is unfair to say it is all snark, but as we all know, making fun of people (whether it’s myself or no) is one of my favourite things, so you can’t blame me if the snarky bits are what I think are the highlights on Helen Barradell and Ben Gunzburg’s music and photography blog.

If you like your music journalism, or just your music, or just making fun of people, it’s quite the radtastic read.

The Famous Five

So I have moved from Collingwood to St Kilda East which is not really a real suburb is just calls itself that because for some reason it doesn’t want to be associated with the suburb of Ripponlea which is where it is really.

Ripponlea is a suburb in between Balaclava and Elsternwick and has it’s own station and everything but for reasons I don’t know, doesn’t seem to exist in the Melways. The Melways, for those of you who don’t know because CLEARLY I have such a wide international fan base, is the Melbourne street directory.

So I live in St Kilda East that is really Ripponlea that doesn’t exist. Good times.

Anyway, so I’m unpacking all my boxes and I unearth my complete collection of The Famous Five, by Enid Blyton.

Some things you need to know about The Famous Five if you have never read them. The Famous Five consist of Julian, Dick, Anne, George who is really Georgina and who wants to be a boy, and Timmy the dog. The Famous Five have an exciting adventure every single holiday. There are 21 books or something, there is a different summer holiday in each one, but somehow they all stay the same age and George never hits puberty and can go on convincing anyone she meets she’s really a boy.

If you would like to be part of The Famous Five, it’s very easy. Just follow these simple rules:

1. Always carry a torch in your pocket. Even if you’re going swimming.

2. Try and use the words ‘Smashing’, ‘Wizard’, or ‘Super’ to describe anything good, especially in regards to a picnic lunch you are particularly impressed with.

3. Start eating the following foods: tinned tongue, ginger cake, sticky buns, macaroons, tomato sandwiches, potted meat, and make sure you drink ‘lashings’ of ginger beer. Talk a lot about how eating things outside makes everything taste nicer. If you have no ginger beer, don’t worry. There is usually a convenient spring nearby.

4. Insist that Timmy, but any dog will do, can understand ‘every word you say’.

5. Carry around notepaper and a pen. You will need these when you are being kept prisoner in some underground caves and need to write a note to attach to Timmy’s collar. Don’t worry. He will be able to find an extra large rabbit hole to squeeze through and carry the note to someone who can help.

6. Have no parents. Or, if you do, make sure they understand the importance of going on hiking, camping, boating or biking expeditions completely unsupervised even when you are under 13.

7. It is imperative that you find a secret passage every single school holiday and be surprised that such a thing could exist no matter how many times you find one. If you don’t find a secret passage in a house, a quarry, a lonely tower, a farm or beach caves, then you’re not really ready to be part of The Famous Five.

8. Don’t try and be ‘all of sudden, quite grown up.’ That’s Julian’s job.

9. Julian is the boss. Do not defer to Dick, George or Anne. In special circumstances, Timmy the dog may be the boss instead of Julian.

10. When George does something particularly outdoorsey, make sure you exclaim loudly she’s ‘as good as boy!’

11. If you are a girl, you must help Anne wash the dishes. It is probable she has found a rocky ledge/hollowed out piece of rock, in whatever cave or secret passage the Five happen to be camping out in. Do not help her arrange the tins of biscuits on the rocky ledge/hollowed out piece of rock. That is Anne’s job alone. However, you can help her collect heather to make beds.

12. If you are a boy, you must collect firewood and go to the stream to fetch water at Anne’s request. You are allowed to spill some water because it is ‘just like a boy’ to do this. Remember Julian is still the boss. Feel free to wink to each other in a patronising fashion in regards to Anne ‘keeping house’.

13. When seeing Timmy for the first time when holidays begin, make sure you say that his tongue is ‘as wet as ever’.

14. Gypsies are decidedly ‘un-British’ and usually up to no good, but circus folk are good to make friends with. Make sure you are very condescending. However, be prepared that both gypsies and circus folk can neither read or write, have proper manners, or smell very nice. Circus folk however, ‘have good hearts.’

15. You can change the name of your Cook from Joanna to Joan as you see fit.

16. Make sure you have an Uncle or Father who is very hot tempered, famous and learned in science. Be prepared that whatever adventure you fall into probably has something to do with the secret scientific plans your Uncle/Father is working on. Make sure you know that the baddies who are stealing the scientific plans/kidnapping your Uncle/Father, are always foreign.

17. Remember, there is always a farm a short walk away where you can buy all you want while camping. The farmer’s wife is most probably fat and a marvellous cook. If you are a boy, make sure you say ‘super’ a lot, and joke about wanting to marry said farmer’s wife when she presents you with the food. This is okay. She will laugh and probably give you a simply enormous chocolate cake as a present. In which case you should respond with ‘you’re a brick!’

18. Anyone with a big nose is probably going to be a baddie.

19. Have very strict ideas about ‘snooping’ and ‘prying’. However, if you have to stalk someone in the middle of the night or break into a cottage to solve a mystery, then this is okay.

20. If you are a girl, you have to stay and look after Anne while the boys solve the adventure. This is even if you think you’re as good as a boy. You’re not.

Image from: http://www.paulmagrs.com/blog/2009/11/we-are-famous-five.html

My new favourite thing

I am not usually a recommender  of things to read unless it is a big fat book. Like big fat. Like Gone With the Wind fat. I find people whose reading material consists of the tv guide and their iPod playlists a little disturbing and I feel sorry for them and think they must have grown up in one of those houses that didn’t have books and they ate their dinner in front of the television and didn’t know what the game 500 was and didn’t play street cricket and didn’t know what it was like to get a Q on a triple word score.

I had an idyllic childhood. Very nerdy, but idyllic.

But today I am recommending a magazine cos it’s awesome. And it’s not just a picture book of pretty girls in pretty dresses with pretty airbrushing. I don’t like those magazines. And there are no bullshit articles about why grapefruit and egg whites on your hair makes you skinny and pleases your man at the same time.

frankie is fun, cute, cheeky, whimsical and informative. It has lots of cute things in it that they’ve found to make your life that much more awesome (my favourite in the current issue being a pony lamp. That’s right, a lamp and a pony, created together to make a pony lamp. Best thing ever.) interviews, commentary on the wonders of being a 20 something (which I am) or a 30 something (which I’m looking forward to somewhat), profiles on designers, beautiful artwork and photography and etc. It’s a pretty damn good read, very inspiring and very pretty to look at.

My love affair was cemented when they referenced Heathers which is the quintessential 80s black comedy cult classic which I am incidentally writing my thesis on.

So you should totes check it out. It’s quite the radtastic publication:

http://www.frankie.com.au/

My Little Sister Is Amazing

For all you arty people out there, who like art, and stuff, check out my sister’s blog here:

http://thewarmingroom.blogspot.com

It has lots of her stuff on it like this:


And this:

And a bit of this:

It is all very fun and freaky and awesome.

ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHTED

Graeme Base is my Hero

This is quite possibly the best book ever written. Or made. Graeme Base has been my hero since I was eight years old and I read ‘The Sign of the Seahorse’ and wrote my first ever fan letter. I may have also written a poem. Anyway, Mr Base very kindly replied to my letter and I still have his reply. It’s one of those things I would save if my house was on fire.

Graeme Base lives in Melbourne and my new plan is to find him* and tell him that after nearly 20 years, I still buy his books and think he’s awesome. Considering everyone knows everyone in Melbourne due to the incestuous nature of the private schooling system, you would think this wouldn’t be particularly hard. However, as Mr Base was my age in the 80s or thereabouts you never know. I am waiting for people to reply to my Facebook status update to tell me he’s their uncle or something and he would like nothing more then to meet the girl who wrote him a god awful poem when she was in Grade Three nearly 20 years ago.

My Facebook status update is my less stalker way to find him before I’m reduced to create a group with myself as admin asking people to help me.

I wish I still had a copy of that poem. I’m convinced it was a complete rip off of his style – or as much of a rip off as an 8 year old can manage – but I do have the comforting feeling that all the rhyme and measure were correct. Comforting thoughts.

* I realise I sound like a stalker. But seriously, Graeme Base is totally rad.