Movie Review: No 98. Princess Mononoke

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Movie Review: No 98. Princess Mononoke

Worst. Movie. Ever.

I’m not even exaggerating. I’ve watched a shedload of terrible movies since I started this challenge but none, not even ‘Once Upon a Time in the West‘, can compare to the sheer shiteness of this piece of Japanese garbage.

Movie Review: No 58. The Lives of Others

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Movie Review: No 58. The Lives of Others

Those who know me know that I am a big fan of colour. I love colour. Colour makes me happy. Watching over 2 hours of “50 shades of brown and grey” does not. Although, for those playing at home, there are plenty of sex scenes (if you’re into that kind of thing!)

You’ve gotta give it to them… the many slight variations of brown and grey in this supposedly ‘colour’ film would rival a Dulux paint chart. It’s almost as bleak as the detox diet I started this week.

The film is set in the 80s. I was born in the 80s and I distinctly remember it being a colourful era. Not so for the poor East Germans…

Welcome Back Stalker!

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Welcome Back Stalker!

This Queen’s Birthday long weekend I was lucky enough to escape the dead of Sydney winter and hightail it to Far North Queensland, (where they enjoy the far more respectable temperatures of around 27 degrees).

Speaking of FNQ, did you know that the wet tropics Heritage Area covers just 0.1% of Australia’s land surface, yet the Daintree Rainforest contains 62% of our 385 butterfly species?

God, I love this sunburnt country and my own sunburnt skin.

But this blog post isn’t about rubbing in my holiday (that’s merely an added bonus!) No, this post is to acknowledge some important people that I have neglected since beginning this blog on 1 July 2012…

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Guest Post: Mirror mirror on the wall…

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Guest Post: Mirror mirror on the wall…

By Rachael L.

As one of the main characters in Amanda’s first book High Doses of Obsession (whose only hard-copy edition sits lovingly on my bookshelf), I thought it was only fitting that my suggestion for her ’30 things’ list would be for her to write another book. But Dave already beat me to it, and just about every other idea I had was taken too. Lacking in creativity (and yes, being rather indecisive), I couldn’t think of anything else so asked her to find someone else to contribute.

With 30 being a looming milestone for so many of my friends (and sadly for me too), I started to notice how it was becoming a time for reflection. But everyone seemed to be reflecting about all they things they hadn’t accomplished or wouldn’t achieve by the time they turned 30. A bunch of Negative Nellies

I thought Chris’s challenge for Amanda to spend a weekend in solitude was the perfect time for some self-reflection. Anyone who knows Amanda knows that she is full of love, compliments and great advice for her friends, but tends to be the self-deprecating type when it comes to herself.

Being a bit of a Positive Polly, I set Amanda a little bonus challenge – to reflect positively on herself and to think about some of the things she likes about herself and the things she’s good at. 30 of them, in fact.

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All by myself

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All by myself

List item number 26 challenged me to ‘Spend a weekend alone in silence – no TV, internet, iPhone, etc – to think, reflect, pray, whatever it is you do’. The challenge came from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Chris, who is currently in training to be an Anglican priest (and can therefore no doubt speak from experience when it comes to this kind of thing).

I don’t really pray much these days – I leave that to my skydiving friends. I’ve never spent enough time thinking (especially when it comes to thinking before speaking), and I’m sure I could benefit from a bit more time reflecting. It was a good challenge.

But, I didn’t pray this weekend either (well, not unless you share my rather convenient theory that to enjoy and appreciate life is to pray – I did plenty of that). I did, however, spend plenty of time thinking and reflecting… and doing “whatever it is I do” which is, of course, writing!

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Guest Post: Whoa-Oh Running On a Prayer

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Guest Post: Whoa-Oh Running On a Prayer

By Dane L.

When Amanda asked for some challenges for her birthday some 10 and a half months ago, it seemed like such a good idea to give her one with a healthy kick. Probably for the best given that other challenges included such indulgences as “Blow a stack of cash”, “Eat McDonalds-esque food” and “Watch 100 movies”.

Still, 10 and a half months ago, a 21.1km (don’t forget the .1) “fun” run didn’t seem like an impossible task. And given the amount of time we had to train and prepare, it was sure to be a positive experience for her, and myself. Yet, life gets in the way (or 29 other challenges) and we both found our training a little lacklustre. I have at least run the City2Surf in the past, and Amanda has done the Central Coast Bay2Bay, but we are both far from fitness freaks. As the date drew nearer and nearer we both felt a growing sense of dread, much rather than excitement for the challenge itself.

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What goes up…

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What goes up…

When I was a kid I used to be quite proud of the fact that I wasn’t scared of roller coasters. It was one of the few things I was tougher at than my big brother (and don’t go denying it now Ryan – while not a scaredy-cat by any means, you did sit out a couple of rides!)

I don’t know why it mattered to me so much to feel tough, but it did. The first time I braved a ride my brother refused was a proud moment only equal to the first time I finished my dinner before my Dad. The repercussions of both of these early experiences are still being felt today… I still eat like a duck and I’m still not a scaredy-cat (with the exception of my automatonophobia, but that’s a whole other story).

But a funny thing happens as you get older… It’s not that you become more scared, it’s more like you just forget how to be brave. It’s easy to find excuses not to do reckless things. Think of the mortgage! Think of how you’ll feel at work tomorrow! (And, won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!) We’re all guilty of finding our comfy little rut and nestling in for the winter. It’s human nature, but it’s also a big, fat shame.

Thanks to my list and thanks to another almost-thirty-year-old, today I got the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs – and what better way to dust yourself off than to jump out of a plane at 14,000 feet?

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Crossing the Finish Line

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Crossing the Finish Line

Okay so Dane and Andy looked cool as cucumbers at the half marathon… and I looked about as cool as…. a beetroot!

So, if you’re curious to see exactly how fast a beetroot can run, check out this video!

(Skip to 2:27 if you’re short on time and see if you can spot me!)

What did you think of my “marathon” effort? Leave me a comment below!

 

Movie Review: No 76. Chinatown

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Movie Review: No 76. Chinatown

This movie has received the following accolades:

  • The line “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” was voted as the #74 movie quote by the American Film Institute and #71 by Premiere (it also featured on The Simpsons);
  • In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it as the #21 Greatest Movie of All Time;
  • In 2008, the American Film Institute ranked it #2 on the list of the 10 greatest films in the ‘Mystery’ genre;
  • It’s number 76 on imdb’s Top 250 movies list; and…
  • It has now received 4 lousy, stinkin’, semi-rotten pumpkins on the Top 30 Countdown scale of overall movie whelmingness.

A much worthier film once posed the question, “I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”

And to that I say “Yes. Watch this movie”.

Run to Paradise

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Run to Paradise

Yesterday I completed one of the most difficult challenges of my life, and it’s all thanks to my little brother. When he first set the challenge I just thought he was being cruel. Run a half marathon?! You’ve got to be joking! His alternative challenge, “Have a baby”, was starting to look pretty good, but I’d made a pact to accept each challenge as it came and not get picky. So, much to the dismay of the would-be grandparents, I’d have to run that half marathon!

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