One World, Many Stories

Tuesday, 8th December 2009, 9:23pm

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie discusses the tendency for only one perspective of a non-Western population to become representative of its entire experience. Great talk.

(via Racialicious and ChinaBlue)

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FlashForward Void

Monday, 7th December 2009, 9:38pm

Every Monday night for the last 10 weeks, I’ve prepared myself in anticipation of the next instalment of FlashForward. Now it’s on hiatus until the new year, and I’m not sure what to do with myself for the next hour.

I may end up rewatching the previous 10 episodes to remind myself of all the various plot threads, and to giggle at all the silly bits. I’m interested in seeing how the stories will unravel, and whether any of the essential questions will be answered by the end of this season.

I’m also interested in the show’s exploration of determinism vs free will, and the eternal question about whether knowing the future could cause it to happen (as in the myth of Oedipus). While several characters in the show have embraced their FlashForwards and are working towards making them come true, others have been resistant to their FFs, or concerned about not having one.

I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have a sneak peek into my life in 6 months time. I don’t even know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

I’ve got to share this video that someone made featuring the moment when Mark Benford finally admitted that he was drunk in his FlashForward. I love the look of disbelief on his boss’s face. The rest of the vid is okay, but I would have liked to add some of the other mental moments of the series so far, like Mark chasing after the guys in Halloween masks or the Blue hand death fest.

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Next

Sunday, 6th December 2009, 10:42pm

Sorry to leave you in suspense after my last post about my job situation. I actually did resign from my job a month ago, but I’ve struggled to write about it, presumably because I’m feeling so mixed up about it.

I did it at the end of one of my weekly meetings with my manager. She seemed glad on my behalf, but I wasn’t sure if she was just glad to see the back of me. She also asked me not to discuss it with anyone at work as she was planning to implement several big changes in our department and she didn’t want my leaving to distract from those issues.

So no one knew about it for a couple of weeks, until the director mentioned it to one of my colleagues. Then I was able to tell my co-workers, but I only told a couple of the counsellors, the ones that I was friendlier with. So it’s been really strange, having this big secret which has only been shared with a few people at a time at every stage.

About a week ago, my colleague sent around a memo about my leaving, so now everyone knows. Everyday last week I had counsellors telling me how sad they were to hear that I was leaving, and asking about my plans for the future. They’ve all been really sweet, and it was nice to know that my hard work has been appreciated there, even if my relationship with management hasn’t been great.

Although the plan had been to leave by the end of December, I’ve ended up offering to stay until the 3rd week of January as they owe me so much overtime that I’d have to leave tomorrow if I took it all this month. The benefit for me is having another month’s pay, and they get my knowledge and experience for another month. My post has already been advertised on Gumtree, and had 50+ responses before I left there a few hours after the ad went live, so they may even find a replacement before I leave.

I still haven’t told my parents about my decision to leave. My initial reason for delaying was that I wanted to have a clear plan of action before I told them. I still haven’t sorted my plans out, and I know my mum will panic if I tell her this without something else up my sleeve. And then I’ll feel even more anxious with that added pressure. I’ll have to tell her soon though.

I feel like I’ve made the right decision. It feels right to leave, but I’m worried about what I’m going to do next. Should I travel? Should I study? What would I study? Should I look for another job?

The only thing that I’m considering is to carry on with the website stuff, and try to make some money that way. It’s not an easy option, and there are no guarantees (but nothing in life is guaranteed anyway). I guess if things get difficult, I could do some office work/temping, but I’m reluctant to go straight back into that field. I’ve been looking for work online and in the newspapers, but nothing really jumped out at me.

I would like to travel abroad for a few weeks. I’ve been thinking about going to Senegal to have some African drumming lessons with my old teacher, but I’m not sure how safe it would be for me to be out there as a solo female, so more investigation is needed.

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Vampires in Heat

Thursday, 26th November 2009, 8:08pm

Wish I’d seen this version at the cinema instead. Hilarious.

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New Moon

Sunday, 22nd November 2009, 3:35am

It’s been impossible not to know that New Moon was going to be released last Friday. As well as the usual ads on the TV and on the sides of buses, we also had themed magazine editions with free pull out posters, re-released tie-in versions of the books and other shameless promotions that I can’t remember at this moment.

Since the Harry Potter franchise is coming to an end, it’s lucky for us all that another series of novels has captured the hearts (and purses) of numerous young girls (and plenty of women too).

I’ve read Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, and will probably read the fourth one out of curiosity at some point. I saw the Twilight movie last year and didn’t think much of it, but it was basically watchable. I decided to see New Moon because I was curious about whether they could turn that depressing book into a halfway decent film.

My local cinema had 2 screenings of the movie at 4pm in different screens, and luckily most of the girls who’d come straight from school in their uniform seemed to have been allocated to the other screen. My screen seemed to have a good mixture of teens, guys in their late teens/early 20s, a few mums with their daughters, and couples on dates…

On balance, I’d probably say that New Moon was slightly better than Twilight, but only because there was less Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and more shirtless, meaty Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Plus if you manage to stay awake until the end, you’ll be treated to a delightful yet all-too-brief scene featuring Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning.

I don’t want to spoil the plot too much (if that’s possible), but it stayed quite close to the novel. After a troubling incident, Edward dumps Bella. She falls into a deep depression for months and months, until she starts to spend time with Jacob. She also starts a disturbing habit of engaging in risky behaviour (riding motorbikes, jumping off cliffs) after she experiences hallucinations of Edward warning her not to risk her life during those stupid moments.

Then we discover that Jacob has become a werewolf, which sucks for Bella since his entire focus is not on her any more. Luckily, these werewolves only kill vampires, and they wear magic shorts which don’t require disrobing before the metamorphosis. But who cares about magic shorts when we can focus on Taylor Lautner’s torso?

Even though the guy must be at least 10 years younger than me, I still couldn’t stop myself grinning everytime I saw him shortless shirtless, and it was clear that plenty of girls watching alongside me were loving the view too. It was a great distraction from the dodgy plot, dialogue and pacing.

The only problem with all that meatiness on show, was that when Edward appeared again at the end of the movie, he seemed especially pale, gaunt and lifeless in comparison.

There were several cheesy moments in the movie, but the cheesiest for me was when we saw Alice’s vision of Bella as a vampire in the future. I couldn’t help giggling as I watched her running in slow-mo through a forest in a floral dress alongside Edward.

However, I enjoyed the musical background, which complimented the emotional scenes. I also liked those high wide shots, which gave a sense of scale to the forests in which much of the movie was set. Though the wolves looked quite unrealistic to me, I did like the scene where they were chasing Victoria, a redhead vampire who wanted Bella dead, through the forests. I also liked Charlie, Bella’s dad, who always comes across in a believable way. The fight scenes weren’t too bad either.

Overall though, my advice would be to give this one a miss.

Urban Recluse Rating: ★★½☆☆

Further Reading:

For a much snarkier review of New Moon, check out Dustin’s hilarious review on Pajiba.

Also check out SamuraiFrog’s weekly summaries of Twilight (the first novel).

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Thanks for staying! Come again soon.