Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts

Sesame Street - Feist Counting Song



I watched this today with Sasha, the little 15 month old who lives in the house we're staying in while in Melbourne. Sesame Street is the best.

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Crazy Courtney


The Dark Night of the Soul from michael mouris on Vimeo.

This short animated film staring Courtney Love is totally crazy and a little bit awesome too. She is really quite insane in kind of a glorious old dame kind of way.

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Paco






We've been looking after Carrie and Micheal's little Chihuahua named Paco while they are on their honeymoon. He's a doll and we're having so much fun with him. He's about two pounds and completely full of beans. 

And yes, that is a little foil hat I made him out of my Kit Kat wrapper. He doesn't like it much.

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New Theme Song?



"You better close your face and stay out of my way if you don't wanna go to fist city." I wouldn't mess with Loretta Lynn.

Oh, this song would have come in handy about four months ago!


(song via Tea Pots Full of Gin)

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Saskatchewan Pops Up in the Most Unlikely of Places



The reference is in the first few minutes of the clip. The nanny is from Saskatchewan (wherever that is?!) from one of my favourite television shows ever, Six Feet Under.

PS: The nanny is played by the actress who is Emma from Glee!

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Happy Friday - Trampoline Dog




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Old Street - Otherwise Known as my Birthday Weekend

Last weekend some of the boys from the Cardiff office came to London and, joined by Jackie, Dave and his lovely lady Jen, we went out on the town in celebration of my 32nd birthday. It was genuinely epic.

We started at our place with burgers and beer, followed by foosball at Bar Kick, bowling at Bloomsbury Bowl, karaoke at the most bizarre place in the world - Nico Nico in Marleybone. Then to Camden and The Word's End and Underworld.

 
  

No idea who these guys were, but they were pretty impressive.

  
 

 Somehow, despite being a bit worse for wear, on Sunday we still managed to head to Islington Farm to feed the pigs, cows and sheep, Sunday lunch at The Charles Lamb pub, cupcakes at Selfridges and finally Chinese New Year celebrations in central London.

 
  
  
 
 
 

You can see all the pictures from our adventure here.

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Dagwood the Ping Pong Cat



Via @pekingspring

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Dancing Robot



Just because.

Image found via the lovely Souvenirs.

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London Naked Bike Ride



The weather in London has been uncharacteristically hot, sunny and dry. Like most everyone who lives here, when the weather cooperates Dan and I scuttled outside to enjoy the sun (actually, Dan doesn't much like the sun. I scuttle and he is a good enough sport to pretend to scuttle along with me). On any given day the question isn't so much what should we do, but what shouldn't we do. The rumours are true. London is just as exciting and filled with possibilities as you imagine and it is usually a matter of deciding what you can fit in rather than being at a loss to think of something to occupy the time.

Yesterday we could have rented a paddle boat and floated around Hyde Park, we could have taken a train to Brighton or some other nearby sea side community, we could have gone to see a theatre production or to any number of wonderful exhibitions. Instead we opted to take in the London leg of the World Naked Bike Ride, which traveled 6 miles through London's centre. To be clear, we didn't participate but rather stood on the side of the road taking in the spectacle and snapping pictures of the colourful naked folk as they rode by.



In past years over a thousand people participated in the London rally and this year was no different. There were people from pretty much every age group - one cyclist even had her small baby strapped to her naked back- ethnic background, men women, big and small... According the website, the rationale is that it is
a peaceful, imaginative and fun protest against oil dependency and car culture. A celebration of the bicycle and also a celebration of the power and individuality of the human body. A symbol of the vulnerability of the cyclist in traffic. The world's biggest naked protest: 50+ cities and thousands of riders participate worldwide, including around 2,000 in the UK in 2008
It was pretty hot in London yesterday and I couldn't help but feel sorry for all those bare asses glued to their hard little black leather seats. It was great entertainment, but there really has got to be an easier way to get the point across...

Ah, London.

Photo by me. To see the rest, visit my Flickr Summer '09 London set.

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Stop. Hammer Time... No, SERIOUSLY.

London is considered one of the fashion capitals of the world along with New York, Paris and Tokyo. As a result of this, walking down the street on an average day it isn't uncommon to see people exploring avant garde trends. Although sometimes I can't resist pointing a particularly odd ensemble out, I genuinely find this to be a really interesting and inspiring part of living here. The diversity and creativity in a city like London is made into a physical thing through the interesting things people wear.

But there is a line and these people have crossed it:


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Almost daily, I see people walking around London wearing what can only be described as a hideous combination of Hammer pants and bloomers. Apart from conjuring up the memory of terrible music and dancing from a year when I undoubtedly had a perm and spotty skin, on its own they look very much to me like the wearer is wearing a baggy diaper, soggy with some kind of body fluid that I would really rather not think about. Even in the pictures above, the people have an unsure look on their faces (maybe with the exception of the last image). I feel like they are looking at the camera thinking, "Someone told me this is cool, but I'm really not sure. I kind of feel like my ass is dragging on the ground."

I remember a long time ago a horrible expression was going around my high school. I am almost embarrassed to post it here but there is really no other word... Deep breath and read no further if you are easily offended:

The word is gunt. I am not going to define it, but will leave it at saying that these trousers make even these stick people look like they have one. Use your imagination.

Seriously people. Don't touch this.



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Hell Hath No Fury…



On Sunday night, thanks to an ICA membership and quick thinking by Dan, I got to see an advance screening of Sam Raimi’s new horror film Drag Me To Hell starring Justin Long and Alison Lohman. I have never been a huge fan of Raimi’s films, with the exception of enjoying the quick-paced, big budget fun that is Spiderman. It’s not that I’ve actively disliked films like Evil Dead but I’ve found that the gross, slap-stick factor outweighs the scariness with the result of constantly reminding me that I am watching a film. I’ve never been able to get lost in them.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Drag Me To Hell. The trailers make it look like a straight up horror film. I was pleased to find that it was much more than that.

The plot isn’t complicated. Christine (Alison Lohman) works at a bank and is looking to get a promotion. Her boss gives her the impression that she may not get it because of a perception that she is unable to make the hard decisions that are required in the position. One day a weird (disgusting) old woman comes in. She’s had two extensions on her loan and is asking for a third. If the request isn’t granted, she will be evicted from the home she’s lived in for decades.

Initially our girl tries to help her but then, acutely aware of her manager’s disapproval, she denies the woman the extension. The old woman gets down on her hands and knees and begs but Christine calls security and, feeling shamed, the old woman curses her. From that point on Alison Lohman’s character is trying to out run a very creepy curse, which will drag her to burn in hell for all eternity after three days of torment.

At first read, this might not sound funny but it really, really is! There is a fight scene towards the beginning of the film between Alison Lohman and the old woman that manages to jump between being full of scares that actually made me jolt in my seat to being completely ridiculous as the old woman keeps coming and coming, spewing all kinds of nasty body fluids in the process.

There were other, much more subtle moments that managed to move easily between terror and hilarity. In one scene a psychic advises her to make a blood sacrifice to the demon by killing an animal. Although she is initially horrified by this idea, after a particularly brutal (and scary) altercation, Raimi cuts to Lohman tip toeing through the house looking for her kitten, a butcher knife in hand calling out, “Here kitty, kitty!”

My favourite moment happened during a s̩ance when a possessed goat suddenly began talking in the voice of the demon Рa wicked expression on his face. Funny and horrible!

I don’t know how Raimi achieved this balance. The problem I had with Evil Dead is that the comedy yanked me from the horror and I couldn’t get back to a place of feeling afraid. In contrast, Drag Me To Hell felt like a roller coaster ride where I was thrown between being genuinely scared and laughing my ass off from one moment to the next. I felt outside of myself but still trapped inside my senses, which is really the most one can hope for when seeing a good film.

I won’t tell you what happened at the end because I genuinely hope you go and see it yourself. Even if you don’t like horror, even if you aren’t an Evil Dead fan boy, it’s a very fun way to spend an hour and a half. There were some minor moments of discontinuity in the story but they were small and this ride isn’t really about the plot anyway.

Following the screening we were treated to a Q&A with Raimi, Long and Lohman. Shallow though it may seem, I was immediately struck by how much better looking Long and Lohman were in person then in the film. Raimi and Long were easy, interesting and really funny and engaging to listen to. They had a natural rapport with the audience and like the film itself, didn’t take things too seriously. Lohman was just kind of there - a vacuum taking up space. She has always been one of those actresses who are a bit of a blur for me. I know I’ve seen her in films, but until now I couldn’t name one. She didn’t make much more of an impression in person.

The thing I will most remember about her from now on is all the disgusting goo Raimi poured on her (and in her) during the film.

Go and see it.

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Yo Canadians!


Maybe things have changed, but when I was in Canada I had never heard of Spotify. We were all still downloading things on iTunes or, more often, illegally on Limewire. Everyone in the UK listens to music on Spotify.

You simply create a free account and download a bit of software, which allows you to search and then listen to full tracks of music on your computer. It's super fast, there's tonnes of music on there (even indie stuff), no risk of viruses and it is completely legal and supported by the occasional advertisement. Unlike Last FM, you can listen to tracks you like over and over again and even create play lists. It can also function as a radio station if you want your music selected for you based on some parameters about what you want to hear. Otherwise you are free to choose from their huge library of music and listen to whatever you want.

The only downside is that the music doesn't belong to you, so you can't download it or make Cd's for your friends (though you can share play lists) and you can't load it onto your iPod. You also need the internet to run it.

Go and set up your account and let me know so we can share music. Now!

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Emily Haines is a Goddess of Rock

Last night I saw Metric play at the Electric Ballroom in London's Camden Town. I didn't have high expectations because, in my limited experience, the sound at the Electric Ballroom is less than stellar but mostly because when I saw Metric a few years ago they were kind of shit. Things have changed. Not only do they now sound great, but Emily has clearly been taking some lessons in being a rock star or has been practicing a lot in front of the mirror. The girl has moves. My fellow Canadian danced her ass off for nearly an hour and a half and sang with a voice that moved easily between being sweet and pure to screechy and angry in the best possible ways. My only complaint is the few times she stopped to talk and kind of rambled about genius and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and how Metric endeavours to be the best, most legendary band of our time... Blah... Blah... Holy cow Emily! Stop talking! Luckily it only happened a few times during the show and when the music started up again she was so good that it was easy to forgive her foibles.

To be fair, I think she was a bit (a lot) wasted, a fact that was confirmed when she began to take swigs straight from a bottle of champagne. Still, there was no puking or slurring and no one fell off the stage or anything. A good time had by all.

I am happy to say that the show last night was everything that Synecdoche wasn't - exuberant, energetic, colourful, fun... Basically it was everything a good rock show should be. I recommend checking out their new album Fantasies if you haven't already. It's on Spotify, Itunes and I think you can hear a good sample on their My Space page.

(Image via Boboroshi. You can vote for this image in JPG Magazing by following the link.)


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Blythe

I can't really justify my obsession with Blythe dolls, it is just there. Lately I've reignited my obsession with them and have been stalking the collector shops of London looking for one of my own. These ridiculously expensive little gals are nearly impossible to find outside of Japan. After about two dozen visits to this particular doll online, I've finally just accepted that some things cannot be overcome and I've splurged for her. I won't tell you how much she cost! Hopefully she'll be here within the next week.

Any suggestions for names?

The story of Blythe.

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Raindrop Melody Maker

I love this simple, beautiful little online tool, which allows even those (like me) who are not musically inclined to create pretty little lullabies.

I just wish there was a way of saving or sharing your creation.

Rainbow Melody Maker.

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Hannah, Emma and Me

From a night out about a month ago. Lady friends are good. The thing I am looking most forward to about being in Canada: time with family and lady friends. Swoon!

I've been in London all weekend and am here next week as well. It's been hectic but fun. On Friday night Dan and I went to a concert by Frankmusic at the original Barfly in Camden. Though dance music isn't my number one favourite genre, it was really good. He's got a pretty amazing voice. Well worth checking out.

XO

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These Have All Made Me Laugh

Paris and birthday details are coming (I promise). In the meantime, here are some funnies:

Everything is Amazing, Nobody is Happy


On Love and Relationships


Racist Dolphin


American Idol


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Beat Boxing in the Victorian Toilet



Last night I went to a show in a place called Ginglik, an old Victorian washroom in Shepard's Bush in London that has been converted to an art centre/bar. The night was called 'Best of the Buskers' and was a performance/advocacy event to raise awareness about stupid laws that have been enacted to make busking difficult. For example, buskers need to call ahead to book their spot in Tube stations. The catch is that the call is expensive, they charge by the minute and people often have to wait as long as an hour before they can get through and book their spot. It seems crazy that in a town as artful and dynamic as London these kind of barriers would be in place.

The talent was mostly hit with a little bit of miss built in. The first two acts were, by far the best. Steel Pan Sam was the first act and plays the steel drums. He introduced himself by remarking that most people think that all that steel drums are good for is calypso and then proceeded to wow us by playing Bach. It was amazing and at points sounded like he was playing a range of instruments, not just one. He was followed up by MC Xander (from the video above) who makes noises with his mouth, loops them and turns them into fully completed songs. He was by far my favourite act of the night and I would love to see him perform again.

The rest of the acts were kind of meh in my opinion. A man played a didgeridoo and really, I don't think there's a lot you can do with that instrument. Then there was a folk singer who reminded me a bit of Phoebe from Friends and finally a drummer who used a bike instead of a drum kit. He was pretty good and the crowd was really into him but after the Steel Pan Sam and MC Xander, he left me a little cold.

From their website:

"Ginglik is west London's premier suburban beat bunker, which has rapidly established a reputation as one of the finest alternative venues in the capital. Boasting a members base of over 16,000 it fuses some of the city's premier electronic and underground DJs , musicians and bands with comedy nights, film nights, exhibitions & video installations, with a friendly, pretension-free atmosphere; the club has become a focal point for artists, musicians and general connoisseurs of cool."

It is quite an experience to visit it as from the outside it really does look like one of those sidewalk bathrooms that you can find anywhere in London (but that you never, ever want to use). The only difference are the Christmas lights that are strung around the entry way. You go down a steep stair case and enter this teeny, warm little bar. It's really quite charming.

As is sadly the case with many cool, arty venues, Ginglik is having trouble with City Council who wants to shut them down so they can develop the space (Ginglik is located on the edge of a small urban park). It is always amazing to me that councils are often willing to give breaks to retail chains like Walmart but are so quick to try and destroy authentic, independent places.

Instead of the Council being upfront about their intentions, they are couching things in expensive repairs they want Ginglik to make. Again, from the Ginglik website:

"Due to the planned £3.3 redevelopment of the Common, which starts next year, the council have said that our roof will need to be stripped back and the corroded iron supports repaired. We also have damp walls, which has never really bothered us but apparently if the council were to offer us a new lease they would have to completely damp proof all walls too, which is a costly and time consuming process. The cost the council said of getting the property into this state would cost £300,000 more than the cost of filling the venue with concrete, which is what they've decided to do."

A North American might read this and think that it sounds reasonable. Damp walls are not OK, right? In the UK, damp walls and structural problems are an accepted fact of life. I would venture to guess that the majority of buildings over 50 years old (which is almost everything over here) have a problem with the damp. Hello! It's the UK! All it does is rain over here! It is interesting that city councils only get involved when they suddenly have an agenda for a particular building or space.

If you care at all about maintaining a very cool, unique venue you might want to join the mailing list and think about signing the petition. You can do that here: http://www.ginglik.co.uk/saveginglik.html

Paris and my birthday were fab. More next week when I get back to Cardiff and have a chance to download some pictures.



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Tilly and the Wall Does Sesame Street


Tilly & the Wall on SESAME STREET from Team Love on Vimeo.

I can't remember what it feels like to be a child but if this is any indication, it must be like a very powerful hallucinogenic.

PS: Though this post might indicate otherwise, Tilly and the Wall rock. What could be better than a tap dancing drummer?

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