Yeah, let’s celebrate mediocrity! That’s fantastic.

Skates

This past weekend, my dreams of becoming a roller derby hotshot were laid to rest, as I travelled up to Derby with friends to try out skating.  Bearing in mind I can barely walk in flat shoes without falling on my arse, I somehow believed I would get to grips with skating, and would be swooshing round the rink gracefully in no time.

It didn’t quite work out like that.  I strapped on the above boots, which belong to the ever lovely Triterrortops from Coventry City Derby Dolls (also known as my good friend Nikki) and shuffled over to the edge of the rink which was swarming with speeding children and a couple of old ladies who were much better at skating than I could ever be.

Pathetically, I managed one length of the rink.  NOT EVEN A LAP.  Nikki told me where I was going wrong – looking at my feet was sending me off balance and making me want to topple forward.  Off the rink, I tried to skate whilst looking ahead, and I was relatively successful at that, but I became so self conscious that I couldn’t brave going back onto the rink.  I am sure no one cared that there was a dorky 32 year woman stumbling around but I became convinced that I would fall and everyone would turn and point and laugh.  This is despite the fact that people were falling all over the place without a care in the world.  My fear of being embarrassed is far greater than my fear of breaking my butt.

So my derby career is over before it started.  Shame really.  I’ll stop trying to come up with a creative derby name.

The weekend fun continued into the next day after spending the night at the Triterrortops/Wrecks Merriment household, where some of us went into Coventry for a fried breakfast followed by a showing of Catching Fire.  It was almost the opposite of the first time I saw it – an practically empty screen with a mostly silent crowd.  But my reaction was still the same – almost uncontrollable sobbing.  My BFF asked on the way home why I get so emotionally invested in films and I just don’t know.  I guess I’m just an emotional nutcase.  Needless to say, I loved the film as much on second viewing and CANNOT WAIT for the Blu-ray release.

It’s tough out there in time and space

Before Midnight

I’m still a bit emotionally raw from seeing Before Midnight last night.  I persuaded my esteemed colleague to take a trip to the Everyman on Baker Street, because of course it wasn’t showing anywhere near me.  I live in the country!  People in the country don’t like film.  OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

I adore Everyman Cinemas.  I’ve been to the Winchester and Walton-on-Thames screens (see – country bumpkin!) and they were both the perfect mix of quirky and retro without being awkwardly uncomfortable, and Baker Street was no different.  There was a lovely bit of Neon in the stairwell and we all know how much I like a lovely bit of Neon.  The bar was gorgeous, with plenty of places to sit and wait for your film to begin.  Just two screens, but the two screens happen to be playing my two favourite films of the year (Before Midnight and Behind the Candelabra) so it felt like this was a cinema just for me.  The screening room was the perfect size, with an unusually asymmetric layout – a row of 5 seats on the left, 2 seats on the right.  The two-er would be perfect for a date, but unfortunately for Tim, he just had a sobbing mess sat next to him (me).  And I don’t normally notice the clarity of cinema screens, but this one seemed really good quality – like super mega HD or something.

Screen two

I’ll leave the proper film review to the professionals, but I will just say this film really got to me.  I can’t remember when or why I bought the first two films (I think it was when Before Sunset came out, so nine years ago?) but Jesse and Celine are such fully formed characters, that they feel like real people I know.  I think that’s why their story has captivated me from that first moment on the train 18 years ago.  Their problems aren’t unique – millons of people struggle with the same issues and I think it will be uncomfortably close to home for some.  I don’t have children, and am planning on remaining childfree, but I still was able to identify with Celine (even though she was the mayor of Crazytown at some points).  She only gets time to think on the toilet, so now she associates thoughts with the stench of shit.  One of her biggest fears is that she’ll end up with a man who just wants to domesticate her.  She seems obsessed with the thought that if Jesse met her now, he wouldn’t find her attractive.

I consider myself quite lucky with my lot in life – Husband and I have managed to keep up our connection to each other and still regularly have long bouts of talking nonsense.  Admittedly, we do have some evenings where we’re both so tired after work that we just sit glued to various screens (laptop, TV, DS) so perhaps Before Midnight could be a bit of a cautionary tale for me.

I cried at many points in the film, and began to regret putting eyeliner on pretty much as soon as the title appeared on screen.  These are two people I haven’t seen for nine years – I didn’t realise how much I’d missed them until I saw them both again, talking solidly for about fifteen minutes in the second scene of the film.  It felt weird to have other characters feature to heavily compared to the first two films, but Ariadni’s (AKA the Greek Judi Dench) speech about her husband broke me good and proper.

I can’t wait to see it again, but I will settle for trying to watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset this weekend.  And I’ll try not to cry again.

Emotional Penguin

I feel you, Penguin

Swedish Smörgåsbord

Spreadsheet

I’ve only just realised that I’ve had a bit Swedish weekend.

Friends from the south and the north descended on friends in the middle for our first Eurovision party.  But this was no ordinary party – we had a spreadsheet projected on the wall.  It was a pretty damn amazing and I almost fainted at the beauty (visit Mild Concern for all your data needs.  Seriously).

After the songs had been heard, notes had been made and data had been entered, our winner was decided – Krista Siegfrids from Finland with Marry Me.  I loved it for the Vegas theming and the song was so damned catchy.  Whether there was a political message behind it or not, it deserved to win and I genuinely can’t believe she came third from last – SCANDAL!  A very close second for me was Gianluca Bezzina from Malta with Tomorrow.  It was adorable, and I loved the kinetic typography projected behind him.

I’m trying to remember where I placed the actual winner in my voting – Emmelie de Forest from Denmark with Only Teardrops.  I think I had her third.  It was very catchy and it will mean that Copenhagen will be even more expensive to visit next year (I still love it though).  I loved the (inadvertent?) symbolism of Emmelie walking across the Øresund Bridge – taking Eurovision from Sweden to Denmark.  Cute!

However, this all paled into comparison when we saw Petra Mede performing the Swedish Smörgåsbord.  THIS SHOULD HAVE WON! Man, it’s making me want to visit Sweden.

And to complete my Swedish weekend, Tim and I took an impromptu trip to Ikea on the way home from Middle England where I spent £50 on stuff I don’t need and hadn’t really considered too much before today.  And some seeds, which we’re both going to grow separately and try not to kill.

Sweden, I love you.

There’s Clea DuVall!

Saturday night was spent snuggled under a blanket in my PJs in a very comfortable cinema seat at the Prince Charles Cinema.  This was the fourth PJ party I’ve been to – an all night teen movie marathon lasting from 9pm Saturday night to about 8am Sunday morning showing nothing but cheesy teen films.  My guilty pleasure.

I’ve been to every PJ party with the famed film blogger, Mild Concern (who just happens to be my BFF) and one of our favourite things is pointing out actors we recognise from current TV and film.  Most of the of the time, it’s Clea DuVall (seriously, that woman was in everything in the 90s) and the first film from this marathon – Can’t Hardly Wait – was a great example of this.   A new game for this marathon was pointing out the high proportion of redheads in main character roles and Can’t Hardly Wait had a whole bunch of them!

The night continued on with Clueless which is so quotable (although it was at the first PJ party).  We then watched Get Over It, which is a Mild Concern favourite, and another film with a red headed lead.  This film made me laugh more than I thought it would, mainly because of the genius of Martin Short as Desmond Forrest-Oates – “Keep icing your front bum” gave me the giggles, as did “You’d tell me if you’d had a stroke.”  Everything Martin Short does is just amazing.  I want to re-watch this film just to hear him yell “That’s enough out of your MUCK MOUTH!”

Next up – Cruel Intentions.  This film is still amazing, with such a great soundtrack.  I haven’t seen it for a while, but it instantly regressed me to my teens.  I forget how good Sarah Michelle Geller is.

The most recent film on the schedule was Easy A – something I’ve not seen before.  And sadly, it was about 4am at this point so I did fall asleep towards the end, but Emma Stone was as endearing as ever.  Despite the fact it was only released 3 years ago, I think the film fit in quite well with the others.

And lastly, She’s All That which I had forgotten existed (and also featured Clea DuVall and a cameo from Sarah Michelle Geller).  I think everyone in the audience was waiting for Rachel Leigh Cook to take her glasses off so they could sarcastically gasp at her hidden beauty, but we were just excited to see Torrance High School where Buffy was filmed.  Hysteria had set in at this point from the lack of sleep (as it always does) and pointing out where certain scenes from Buffy were set made me laugh far more than it should.

I think I’ve just about recovered from the sleep deprivation, although I do feel a nap coming on now…

Whip it real good

DSC_4103

Yesterday, I travelled up to a freezing Northampton with a couple of friends to see some roller derby.  I first heard of the sport with the film Whip It – I was fortunate enough to attend the UK premier a couple of years ago and watched the girls play on the Southbank before the screening.

I’ve since been to a couple of London Roller Girl bouts and loved every second, but this bout was different – I knew one of the girls so this time it was personal!

This was the first open door bout that my friend Triterrortops has played – a “cherry popping” bout for girls who hadn’t played in front of a crowd before.  Gnomes vs Trolls, and my girl Triterrortops was on the Trolls team.  It was a closely matched bout, with the Gnomes winning out in the end.  But the Trolls fought hard, and I was so proud of ‘Terror – she played as the Pivot for a lot of the jams and she was so commanding!

We were then treated to a second bout between the Vendetta Vixons and the Lincolnshire Bombers, and it was a very strong bout.  The girls on all of the teams were very passionate and played so well.  I am such awe of them.

I cannot wait until my next bout, Anarchy III which is going to be on my turf, with my local team, the Surrey Roller Girls hosting a whole bunch of international teams. I’m so excited!