DEPRESSING

Today I am coming down to earth with a bump!

I’ve had just over two weeks of annual leave and although we didn’t have holiday plans, it’s been lovely just pottering around at my own pace.
We’ve been exceptionally naughty and spent way too much.
Take out’s, meals out, cinema trips with and without the kids, a day out at Twycross Zoo, cupboards always loaded with naughty treats, fridge always stocked with beer and wine.

I haven’t totally wasted my time though.
I have been keeping up with the washing and the ironing because Mum has been away and I’ve also been working to finish my college course.
I thought I’d test the water with my final project and uploaded it to my portfolio for my assessor to look at and she came back to tell me that it was brilliant and covered all the outcomes. No tweaking necessary!!
All I need now is my witness statement from my Playleader colleague at work who help me with it.
I also need to get another witness statement but apart from those, my college course is complete.

98% complete!!

The only thing that suffered this year is my garden.
Plenty of new flowers planted and coming up. Really hope they come back next year.
The only problem is that with all the recent rain, it’s all beginning to look a bit overgrown and unkempt.
The casualty of my college course.
It will get extra special treatment next year.

So today is depressingly going to be spent catching up on some washing and ironing.
I’ll be doing my best to finish off the beer and wine.
Then I need to be getting ready to go back to work tomorow.
It’s going to be a long week followed by a stressful week as Marjorie gets her surgery on the 24th.

The treadmill has been sitting in the corner calling for me to use it.
As we now have the possibility of not 1 but 2 family weddings in the not too distant future, I’d better start being good and actually use the damned thing!

All I have to decide now is what movie am I going to put on?

GRUMBLE GRUMBLE GRUMBLE

As you can tell from the title, it’s time for a grumble.
A grumble is not quite a rant.

Anyway, today was supposed to be a trip out to Twycross Zoo with two of the kids but after all the rain yesterday and the same threat today, we have postponed it to tomorrow.
Have we made the right choice?…. only time will tell.
So today will be filled with the delights of house work but we have planned to take Dharma and Marji to see see ‘Pixels’ and go out to dinner, so the day is not a total washout.

So, grumble number 2.
I recently subscribed to Amazon Prime, simply because I wanted to see the show ‘Outlander’ because every other big TV channel was too chicken shit to pick it up because of the Scottish Independence vote.

Now, we already have Netflix which we love, love, love! so subscribing to another service was a big decision.
However, am I enjoying the service?
No not particularly.
Why is that?
Because I spent an hour the other night exploring and finding loads of stuff that I wanted to watch but NONE of it was included in the prime subscription.

NONE OF IT!!!!

Every single thing I came across had to be purchased.
WHY?
I subscribe and pay out monthly so everything should be available to me like Netflix.
I shouldn’t be having to fork out more money every time I want to watch something.
I am now in two minds to cancel the service because paying for it monthly to wait for a show that airs for just 16 weeks of the year is stupid.
I might as well just wait and buy the DVD box set!

Grumble number 3.
Exams.
A friend of one of my daughters got her exmas results yesterday and although they were pretty good, there was one disappointment.
It happened to be in a subject she needed to continue into college so she is going to take it again.

Why is this a grumble?

This is a grumble because during the school year, her work in this subject picks up A’s and B’s.
She falls apart in exams.

I cannot understand, and will NEVER understand how 2 years of schoolwork can be graded correctly from a 2 hour exam.
The pressure placed on kids going into an exam means that the result is not a fair reflection of that student’s abilities.

I know for a fact that if my end of school results had been based on my actual work over the previous two years and not on a single exam, I would probably be in a much better situation in life.
My lack of qualifications has always held me back and yet I was a hard worker in school and always did well.
It just did not reflect in my exam results because I was a nervous wreck taking them!!

Kids should be graded on their work as they go through the last two years of school.
Those grades should then ALL be taken into consideration when giving a ‘final’ graduation grade to the student.
This is a much better way of ensuring a child’s ability is fairly graded and their final grade will be a better reflection of their ability.

OK, now that’s all off my chest, time to get dressed and actually get some work done.

DISH OF THE WEEK #62 – JAKE GYLLENHAAL

So, it’s been a nice relaxing first week of annual leave.
Pottering around the house, finishing another college unit (only one to go!!), celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary and just spending time with the kids.

It was pointed out to me yesterday however, that I seem to have become addicted to yet another actor.
I can’t explain why or how it happens but it does.
The husband and the kids are used to it.
I suppose you could say it’s my drug of choice.
I’d say it was quite a healthy choice!!

Anyway, looking back over the last couple of weeks of movie viewing I’d say it started just before my annual leave when I went to see Southpaw, on my own.
A wonderful, powerful, heartbreaking and exillerating movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Having said that, Jake was actually one of my Dish of the Weeks, way back at number 2 in August 2010, so he’s been a bit of a slow burner.

Southpaw 2

Anyway, Jake Gyllenhaal has made some amazing movies over the last couple of years and he literally puts his heart and soul into his characters.
He manages to transform himself completely when needed.
Just take a look at his character, Louis Bloom from last year’s ‘Nightcrawler’ and compare it to this year’s Billy Hope in ‘Southpaw’

Southpaw 11
He’s a lean and trim man to start with and he lost around 30 pounds from his usual body weight to play Louis Bloom and pulled off one of the creepiest characters in film history.
Then he goes back to his usual body weight and then gains 14 pounds of muscle mass to play Billy Hope.
An actor with dedication and serious self control.

Anyway, going back over my movies of the last week, it was pointed out to me last night that I may have a bit of an obsession brewing!!
Since starting my annual leave I’ve watched the following in this order…..

Source Code.
Source Code
A film I’ve owned for a few years.
Jake plays Colter Stevens.
IMDB states…. A soldier wakes up in someone else’s body and discovers he’s part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete.
It ticks all my boxes as a sci-fi nerd. I love this film.

Zodiac
Zodiac
I tried to watch this film a few years ago and just couldn’t get into it.
I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind at the time for a psychological film that runs for 2 and a half hours!
However, I did some research into the subject of the film and went back to try again.
I can say it was totally worth it!!
Jake plays Robert Graysmith who wrote the book the film is based on.

IMDB states….. A San Francisco cartoonist (Robert Graysmith) becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

Jarhead
Jarhead
I discovered this one sitting in my DVD collection although I’ve never seen it before.
I think it’s a film my husband may have bought as he’s into military stuff.
Anyway, I watched it and loved it!
Jake plays Anthony Swofford, again, a character who actually wrote the book the film is based on.

IMDB states… Based on former Marine Anthony Swofford’s best-selling 2003 book about his pre-Desert Storm experiences in Saudi Arabia and about his experiences fighting in Kuwait.

Accidental Love
Accidental Love
After this abortion of a film, I’m surprised I carried on watching Jake films!!
Next to Fantastic 4, it’s been the only disappointment this week.
I find it hard to believe that this is what he chose to do between Nightcrawler and Southpaw!!
A film soooo bad I couldn’t stop watching.

IMDB states…..A small town waitress gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, D.C., where sparks fly when she meets a clueless young senator who takes up her cause – but what happens when love interferes with what you stand for?

Ordinarily not a film I would choose to watch but as I was in a Gyllenhaal mood I gave it a go.
The only good thing about this movie is that you get to see Jake smiling a lot.
He needs to smile more!!
Jake smile

Anyway, that film didn’t put me off and the next one I saw was my second viewing of Southpaw when I talked my husband into seeing it.
Southpaw 12
Like I said in my review, one of the most predictable story lines in movie history.
That said, it’s also one of the best films.
Don’t go into this thinking ‘Rocky’. There are undertones of Rocky, but this film is something else.
It concentrates on family.
Jake Gyllenhaal is mindblowing!

IMDB states….. Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.

Next was End of Watch.
End of Watch
Violent is an understatement!!

IMDB states……. Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

It was a good film but I’m not sure if I could watch it again.
I found the foul language and viloence a bit overwhelming and that’s saying something for me!!

Then last night I watched Prisoners
Prisoners
Another 2 and a half hour film!!
A little slow going at times but a good film.
Gritty and suspenseful.
Bonus is that Hugh Jackman is in it too!!

IMDB states… When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

I wanted to watch Love and Other Drugs which looks quite ammusing with lots of smiley Jake but unfortunately it’s not on any of my services!!
Oh well, just have to wait for the DVD I ordered to turn up…. hopefully today!

Love and other drugs
Seriously hoping it’s not a disaster like Accidental Love!!

Anyway, he has a few films in the pipeline.
Everest looks like it’s going to be a good one and Demolition could be another heart wrencher.
Only time will tell.

FANTASTIC 4

This is my quick review of Fantastic 4 and may contain spoilers.
So, if you don’t want to know anything and you carry on reading anyway it’s your own fault.
You have been warned.

We had the afternoon out without the kids today.
We were celebrating our 21st anniversary in the way we both enjoy by seeing a couple of movies and going out for dinner.

Our first film choice was Fantastic Four.

Fantastic Four
I went in with high hopes of another Marvel masterpiece but unfortunately it was far from it.
It lacked everything.
Story, excitement, special effects, the right actors.

I’m afraid that it just did not hit the mark for me.
The characters were simply too young!
They all needed another 5 years minimum to make their characters believable.

The special effects weren’t that special.
A bit of dubious wire work for sue.
Reed’s leaping around using his stretching ability was good but the effect used for him to change his face was exceedingly poor. I’ve seen better in a computer game.
An all CGI Thing wasn’t too bad.
The human torch was done better in the previous two movies.

The story was rushed.
I know it’s a setup movie, but even so, just when we get Doom he’s defeated by the team in record time.
Most of the film is about how the Fantastic 4 become fantastic and how Doom becomes Doom but just as they’re about to get into the swing of things……..BOOM….. Doom is defeated, the world is saved, the team make demands and get a new secret workbase and it’s onto the next movie.
Something else that kind of bugged me too, Reed Richards should be the heart of the team, he never would have run off and left them for a year.

To finish of my disappointment and make it complete, there wasn’t even a clip for anything at the end of the titles!
Very disappointing.

Good job we had a Wagamama’s to cheer us up and the chance for another film to redeem the day.
I desperately wanted to go and see Southpaw again and actually talked Ian into agreeing to it.
He begrudgingly took his seat and said ‘wake me up at the end’. I didn’t care.
However, as the film got going, I noticed he was still paying attention and not snoring.
I have to admit it was actually even better the second time around and when it finished Ian was grinning sheepishly.
He finally admitted he enjoyed it and the words ‘OK, it was actually better than Fantastic 4’ escaped his lips!!

So the day wasn’t a total loss.
My only problem now is that I have to take Marjorie to see Fantastic 4 tomorrow.
I hope she’s not too disappointed.

21 YEARS

So today is a milestone.
One of many this year.

The first was Ian’s 50th birthday.
The second was Dharma’s 13th.
We still have Marjorie’s 16th and Murron’s 18th in a couple of months.

Today though, is our 21st anniversary.
21 years….. really?
Where has that time gone?

Wedding

Time to reminisce and embarrass a few peeps!!

Carly, Rhys and Louise.

015 (2)

Ian and Derek…. nice legs!!

006 (2)

Andrew and Mick…….. erm…..

016 (2)

The Brother. Hasn’t improved much.

005 (3)

Suppose I had better put me in there.
Yes, that’s me on the floor in my wedding dress doing ‘Oops Up’
Mum had kittens!

006 (3)

So, time to abandon the kids for the afternoon and do what we enjoy the most.
A trip to the cinema to see one or two movies and a meal out.