"You're more like Sarah Conner, and in the first movie too, before she could do chin-ups"

The movies in order of the screenshots from my last post ARE:

  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • Kedi
  • The Man from UNCLE
  • Ocean's 11
  • Terminator

After seeing Thor: Ragnarok and being so extremely delighted by it, I resolved to make a point of watching more of Taika Waititi's movies. Hunt For the Wilderpeople was first on the docket and came highly recommended by some pals, and I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that it has quickly taken its rightful place as one of my favourite movies. It's about grief and family and it is hilarious and poignant, I cannot urge you strongly enough to see it at your soonest opportunity, and then to watch it again soon after that. It's joyful and sad and funny and I love it. I also love New Zealand, and want to go back.

PICTURE THIS: your husband announces that he's downloaded a documentary about cats in Istanbul and shows you the trailer, asking if you'd like to watch it. Of course you would, you love cats, and turns out it is a delightful and heartfelt look at cats and the ways cities change over time. It's called Kedi and you're so glad you're married to such a lovely man.

LISTEN, The Man from UNCLE is a cinematic masterpiece, here I stand I can do no other. I could argue the merits of this movie all day (along with another perennial fave, Sahara, of COURSE), but I don't need to, since you need only to watch it to be UTTERLY CHARMED.

I watched Ocean's 11 and it made me even more excited to see Ocean's 8.

My phone's lockscreen is a picture of Arnold sitting on a rock, surrounded by (taxidermied) woodland creatures. I've been asked MULTIPLE TIMES "Oh, is that Josh?" only to have to reply "no....it's Arnold Schwarzenegger" so imagine my embarrassment when I ALSO had to admit to never having seen any of the Terminator movies except for portions of (maybe?) Terminator 3 which I saw in a hotel in Las Vegas after my pals and I realized we hated Las Vegas and before we went to see Ka which is a Cirque du Soliel show which still, years later, haunts me in a good way. ANYWAYS cut to Movie Cocktail Club and a double feature of Terminator and Terminator 2 (the 6th movie I watched this year, you get a fun bonus for the next guessing post) and I am very glad to have filled a severe gap in my Arnold watching history. Terminator was fun and good, featured some special effects that we laughed at now but I'm sure were amazing then, and a story line which maybe wasn't the sleekest but which I enjoyed.

If you only see one of these movies I have to strongly encourage you to make it Hunt for the Wilderpeople, you will not regret it, I promise.


1-5, 2018

New year new movie count!!! You know the drill: I watch the movies, I post the screenshots, you guess what they are. I believe in you.


read in January

When Josh and I got home from Christmas traveling we both fell victim to the Christmas Sickness, and I nursed an intense head cold basically until a day or two before going back to school on the 8th. I feel like my body was like "I have been holding this off for so long, and now that you've got a break from school and you don't have holiday responsibilities, we're going to suffer." I slept a lot! I extremely lost my voice! I had a very bad headache! I was inhaling day- and nyquil! You know how it goes.

This sickness, besides being a bodily-enforced time of rest, was also a HUGE boost to my 2018 reading stats in that, after I became bored with playing the Sims on Dec 30 and 31, I read a book every day until the 7th. Some of them were comic collections, but I'm still counting them! I also actually used my ereader, please give me accolades. I rode the reading wave until the end of January and ended up reading 14 books. It's really nice to look at my reading challenge on Goodreads and see quite a few books there already. What an absolute boon.

So: what I read. I'll lump the comic volumes together, but other than that this'll be chronological.

  • The Coldest City / Antony Johnson - I read this because it's the source material for Atomic Blonde, and guess what: the movie is better. This is a fairly sparse comic, and the movie has more depth and character development. Plus, one of the best things about the movie was how music and sound were constructed around the story, and obviously that's not part of the experience of reading a book. 
  • From Here to Eternity / Caitlin Doughty - I've been a fan of Caitlin Doughty for awhile, and so when I learned that she had another book coming out I knew I had to read it. This book is thoughtful, funny, and will make you want to write an advance directive. For starters, if I get embalmed when I die, I will come back and haunt whoever is responsible to the seventh generation. 
  • Rosemary's Baby / Ira Levin - Speaking of hauntings, sort of! This book has an increasingly tense and creepy tone, and even if you know what happens and what the situation is, it is still an extremely good read. I haven't seen the movie for various reasons, but I think pretty much everyone knows the jist of the story. Trust me when I say that this book is better than you think it will be. Also, you will hate her husband, TW for sexual violence. 
  • Akata Witch / Nnedi Okorafor - Magic school story set in Nigeria! It's very good! There are heaps of adventures and a different concept of magic than I am used to. I have the second book on hold, but realistically probably won't read it until school is done. 
  • Monstress, v. 1-2 / Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda - I read this because it was on Jenny's 2017 reading wrap-up, and she made it sound extremely excellent. She was right! The art in this series is absolutely stunning, the mythology is fascinating, and it is so refreshing to see so many women on the page. 
  • Hostage / Guy Delisle - This book is monotonous an that is a compliment! It's about a Doctors Without Borders administrator who is kidnapped and held for an extended period of time. It does an excellent job of illustrating how entirely boring it was to be held captive. Guy Delisle is a recurring fave of mine, and while this was a departure from his usual travelogues, both his storytelling and drawing style suit the story extremely well. 
  • M / Jon J. Muth - This was only fine. M is arguably the precursor to film noir, so it's an important movie. This book is a comic-ization of the movie, with paintings of various frames. It feels a little bit unnecessary? Like the art is good but what does the book itself contribute to the story of the movie? I don't know. 
  • Mr. Higgins Comes Home / Mike Mignola, Warwick Johnson Cadwell - A v short, v fun little send-up of vampire stories. 
  • Silk, v. 0-2 / Robbie Thompson, et al - As you may have heard, and which I heard from Alice's 2017 wrap-upSilk is truly excellent and so well done. I was sometimes a little thrown off when the artist changed issue to issue. It has also been cancelled, apparently, so eff you Marvel. 
  • Iron Cast / Destiny Soria - Another book I learned about via Jenny's 2017 wrap-up. It's an alternate history story set just before prohibition, where there are people with special abilities like constructing an illusion by reciting poetry or making people feel an emotion by playing the violin. The friendship between the two main characters is central to the story, and their respective romances are secondary, which is refreshing. It's a good book, and damn I love friendship. 
  • Horrorstor / Grady Hendrix - I wrote about this one previously. 
And that's it! I'm fairly certain that February's reading tallies will be much, much smaller than January. When I graduate I'm going to dedicate some serious time to fun reading. 


something on Sunday, 02/04

I'm taking part in Jenny's something on Sunday, and there are two things that are bringing me joy this week, and here they are: 

1. I presented a research poster at a small conference this week, and my favourite professor who is a) an absolute gem and an inspiration, and b) person whose approval I crave, looked at it, asked thoughtful questions, talked with me about potential future research, congratulated me on my marriage, and said "well done." IT WAS A BIG DEAL, OKAY. ilu, Dr Mackey.

2. Upon being reminded of Sister Wendy Beckett's existence I googled with hope and discovered that not only is she still alive, but also that the entirety of Sister Wendy Beckett's Story of Painting is on youtube, that's right, all ten episodes, you can watch them all right the hell now. Her art criticism is compassionate, smart, insightful, and passionate, and I learned a lot from her as a child. That's one fo her videos at the top of this post, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to watch it. Also, she has an extremely good first sentence on her wikipedia page which lists her as a "nun, hermit, consecrated virgin, and art historian". I love her. 


Horrorstor / Grady Hendrix

IMAGINE THIS: you're in an Ikea at night when it's deserted and suddenly there are GHOSTS and HAUNTINGS, that's right, get ready for both Thrills, and Chills!

Here's what many before me have said about Horrorstor: it has concept in spades and the exact right amount of execution to make it a fun and quick read. The ending is only okay and some of the story beats seem unnecessary BUT, overall it's good and spooky! And isn't that all we can ask or expect from a book like this? A slasher-esque movie turned concept book? BUT WAIT, I hear you say, THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE. Good point, and there is, and it comes in the form of Joey Comeau's slasher thriller The Summer is Ended and We Are Not Yet Saved.

This book not only gave me the satisfying type of fear that comes from a book that is not only extremely over the top but is also very well written, and left me feeling Real Human Emotions to such a degree that although I read this book several years ago, I still think of it often and recommend it to people on the reg. For instance! A couple weeks ago I was getting my nails done and the esthetician and I somehow realized we had a mutual appreciation for true crime podcasts, which led to a discussion of reading, which led to my admitting that I get scared VERY easily and so I can't watch horror movies or listen to horror audiobooks BUT since she loves horror she should DEFINITELY find and read a copy of The Summer is Ended and We Are Not Yet Saved by Canada's own Joey Comeau (If you recognize his name it's probably because of the late great A Softer World).

LISTEN, I do not claim to understand Mr Comeau's mind, but imagine the ramblings of that weird and sad comic translated into a really good and affecting horror novel and out comes a book that is NOT ONLY a really scary bloodbath but ALSO a really touching story about a single mother and her son. I can't explain it!

I normally don't like/can't read horror, despite my yearly quest for spooky scary reads in the Fall, but I can honestly recommend both of these books, although for entirely different reasons. If you are trying your BEST to play Civilization 5 but it Will Not Stop Crashing then I recommend you log on to your nearest library website and get yourself an ebook copy of Horrorstor to read whilst enjoying a quiet evening at home. If you want a book that will spook you til your eyes are wide BUT ALSO will spring into your mind with tenderness years later, read The Summer is Ended and We Are Not Yet Saved.

And really, who among us hasn't shut all the lights off in a normally busy and bright space and felt just a lil bit of the creepy crawlies.