House Dreams 

Recently I’ve become obsessed with the notion of owning a home. I’ve started walking again lately, in a twofold attempt to both return to a semi fit state of being, and to hopefully ease the back pain that is now into the third week. On these walks I’ve been paying attention to the houses I pass, and some of them are so tidy and quaint and cute and lovely that I can’t help but fantasise about one day owning one. 

It is at times like this that Pinterest is in equal measures an excellent tool for inspiration, and a blazing reminder of everything I do not (yet) have. I have been scouring the site for the last hour, pinning everything that catches my eye…and where my “home” board is concerned, that’s a lot of pins. I do not need a giant house, and rather have been more drawn to smaller, more unique structures than larger and more modern designs. I am a fan of Tudor cottages, of stone structures with a red doors (Rolling Stones, anyone?), of quaint little places with wide verandas shaded by large trees. Basically, anything small, unique and potentially fairytale-like, and I’m all over it like glitter on a gay pride parade.

My desire to own a house has come in large part from the realisation that, at nearly 25, I am not only back living at home, but without any real savings. At the moment what savings I do have is going towards a trip to the U.S next year, but after that? Put it this way, I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend the rest of my life paying someone else’s mortgage. I want a house of my own because I want to be able to hang art on the walls without fear of losing a bond. I want to be able to own a dog without repercussion from a landlord. I want to be able to set up a sewing room with all the bits and bobs to make it easy and accessible and a complete creative space. 

I have decided that now is the time to start being a proper adult…about certain things, in any case. So I guess, amidst all the repayments I’m making, the tax deductions, the fees I’m paying, the money I’m trying to save and the general cost of living, I’m going to try and set some money aside for the “future house fund”. And since its gonna take me a million years to do it on my wage, I guess I have a lot of time to scour Pinterest and perfect the idea of what I want. Red door and giant veranda, here I come!

Advertisements

IT (2017)

A fear of clowns is one if the most common phobias, but for Stephen King fans, the first word that comes to mind when they think of clowns is not coulrophobia. The word is IT. Written in 1986, the paving slab of a novel about Pennywise the Dancing Clown gave people a whole new reason to be afraid. Then in 1990, it was first adapted to screen, starring Tim Curry as the title character. I have neither read the book, or seen the first adaptation. But the other night, I saw the rehashed version of the film. The trailers looked sufficiently hair raising (even to those of us not afraid of clowns) and the reviews were good, so I braved the Friday night cinema to give it a look.

Unlike the original, which was set in 1960, the 2017 version, starring Bill Skarsgård as the malevolent clown, was brought forward to 1988. Set in Derry (Maine), IT tells the story of seven teenage friends over one summer as they are terrorized by different manifestations of their own worst fears. Led by Bill Denbrough, whose own younger brother Georgie disappears, the friends – collectively known as The Losers Club – band together to try and bring an end to the horror, and to the murderous clown responsible for causing it.

IT opens really well, and the scenes where young Georgie encounters Pennywise in the sewer are in fact some of the best (and more affecting) parts in the entire film. But from there, it kinds of drops off. The first portion of the film is largely just an introduction to The Losers Club, interspersed with individual scenes where Pennywise appears to the kids in the forms of their worst fears. It had the potential to flow nicely but these scenes are singular and feel disjointed, not really building on each other enough to really work properly. The latter half of the film is where it all starts to finally come together, and where the Losers face evil not just from the shape shifting fiend who wants to devour them, but from the bully who is at the very least, equally intent on causing suffering. 

In terms of graphics and the special effects, IT does quite well. It’s a bit of a step up from the fake teeth and face paint of the original (no offence, Tim) and I actually think it’s the kind of film that could benefit from a 3D viewing to make it really pop, so to speak. There’s a particular scene involving Pennywise emerging ferociously from a projector screen that I’m fairly certain made the entire cinema jump. One thing I did really appreciate was that the film wasn’t heavy on the gratuitous gore. The violent or bloody aspects of the film (keep an eye out for the bathroom scene) were almost tasteful in comparison to some modern ideals of horror, and I think in this case it definitely worked to the movie’s advantage. 

In terms of actual scares though, I rather felt IT to be somewhat lacking. There were a couple of mildly tense moments, and there was at least one scene that got a scream from one of the other people in the cinema. But rather than the clown, for me it was his other forms that were more unnerving. In particular, the painted woman that plagues Stanley had a kind of menacing presence that gave me the wiggins, and Eddie’s leper was especially gruesome. As for Pennywise himself, I found no true horror there. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the voice adopted by Skarsgård is a kind of raspy lisp, which I found more grating than spooky. 

Honestly, IT felt a lot more like a kind of coming of age drama than a real horror, with perhaps more focus on the themes of friendship and (loss of) innocence, and less actual scares. Whilst the film was still enjoyable despite its shortfalls, I think I was expecting something a little more…creepy. With a second instalment in the works, I hope that chapter two will not skimp on the heart (and the charm) of the Losers, but improve on the scares, and give the opportunity to make something genuinely terrifying. 

Hello, Spring

Yesterday was the first day of spring, and the first time I’ve taken a day off work due to illness in…well, years actually. I don’t get sick very often, but this time, whoa mama. I’ve been so unwell that I actually spent all day in bed yesterday – another thing I don’t ever do. I do not like being sick. Especially when it throws me around like this has. But, I am hoping I will improve by Monday. It’s very difficult to take calls when you have to stop every ten seconds to cough so hard that you give yourself a headache. Hence the day off yesterday.

Anyway, today is the second day of spring. Which makes sense, given how the second day usually comes after the first. I’ve missed spring, if I’m being honest. I mean, I love winter. But lately it seems to have gone too long. I wanna wear a dress without tights, a tee without a jumper. I wanna make cute clothes that I don’t have to layer. And also, the non fashion related reasons of course. Day trips to cute little towns to explore without the risk of getting rained out. Picnics with my friends under blooming cherry blossom trees. Getting a little vitamin D into my pale (oh so pale) body. And being motivated to get out and walk, and lose a little of this chubby I’ve been carrying around all winter.

My birthday is in spring. I will be 25 this year. A quarter century…shit, I’m getting old, y’all. But it’s such a nice, solid number. And to be honest, I won’t really be all that sad to say goodbye to 24. It’s not been a super spectacular year and so, since my birthday is in November, I get to wave goodbye to 24 and then to 2017 shortly after. Not that I necessarily think turning a year older will make any exceptional difference, but ageing is kinda like the natural and unavoidable version of white sage cleansing; new year, rid yourself of old demons and begin again anew. Yeah, I get a little New Agey from time to time, so sue me.
Little side note before I wrap things up here. I applied for a house this week. A cute, small little two bedroom unit close to town. If I get it, it means my savings will be gone, and I will have very little money to spare until I look for a better paying job after my contract runs out. But wish me luck anyway, because it’s been a long time since I lived on my own, and I miss it.

Anyway, that’s it from me today. This sick girl has to pee, and eat, and then get back into bed and start watching the latest series of Game of Thrones. Is it Spring for you too? Regardless of the season, have a good weekend (if it’s applicable) and remember to stay well! 

Baby Driver (2017)

I went to see Baby Driver the other night with a friend of mine, and yes, I’m lazy and that’s why I’m only writing about it now. Put your judgy eyes away and just read, will ya?

Written and directed by Edgar Wright (the chap who directed Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs the World), Baby Driver is a fast paced crime/action film with a killer score and an array of awesome characters. Rounded out with some quippy dialogue and a winning combination of originality and style, this film pretty much has it all. Baby (Ansel Elgort) is the best getaway driver in the biz, timing everything to the beat of his own personal soundtrack. Kevin Spacey plays Doc; Baby’s suave, shady employer and the crime boss who runs the show. And Lily James plays Debora, the pretty young waitress that captures Baby’s eye.

Honestly, this film had me hooked from the very first scene. Opening to the sound of ‘Bellbottoms’ by John Spencer Blues Explosion, Wright pretty much throws us into the passenger seat of an expertly choreographed getaway after an in-and-out bank robbery. His direction is so smooth and clean, that the scenes flow effortlessly, without the jarring cuts often employed in this kind of film.

Of course, this is only aided by the aforementioned brilliant soundtrack. Each scene is set by the song that plays at the time, and it fits in so well with the dialogue and the action, that you gotta give Wright his credit; the man knows how to capture an audience. I gotta be honest here, I knew none of the songs in the entire film, but each and every one of them just…worked. And it’s a good thing too, because music is what literally drives this film. (geddit?)

But it’s not just the rad tunes that make this film so good. The characters; oh man, the characters. Baby’s moral compass is in stark contrast with the vaguely psychotic Bats (Jamie Foxx) and perpetually moody Griff (Jon Bernthal), who is in turn at odds with the cool, easygoing Buddy (Jon Hammer) and his sassy wife, Darlin’ (Eiza Gonzalez). The characters kind of offset each other, and each one adds something different to the film.

And beneath it all, the promise of young love and the only getaway Baby really wants; the one that will take him out of his life of crime, with Debora and “a car [they] can’t afford, with a plan [they] don’t have.”

Honestly, Baby Driver is one of the coolest films I’ve seen this year. If you like your car chases smooth, your soundtracks funky, and your characters cool, I recommend giving it a look.

Love is Love

I don’t often get political. I have what has been called a dangerous apathy about the state of the world. Which is to say, I mostly think we’re all fucked, and it makes me too angry and frustrated to pay too much attention to current events. However, there are certain things that I can not, and will not remain silent about. Things such as marriage equality. 

If you’re Australian, or happen to pay attention in any way to what goes in in the world, you will be aware of the current battle to win marriage equality for same sex couples. It’s been a bitter fight so far, with some of the ugliest reasons for voting against an issue that I’ve ever seen. The very idea that government can deny anyone the right to marry legally (who is of legal age to consent) makes me angry. 

In 2004, former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, amended the Marriage Act. It currently reads;

“A union solemnised in a foreign country between: a man and another man; or a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.”

With that change, Australia took away the right to allow same sex couples to marry. Without any reason. And, perhaps more importantly, without any difficulty. Now that the shoe is on the other foot however, things are considerably different. It’s not a matter of simply changing the wording, as Howard did thirteen years ago. No, this time the weak government, too scared of potentially upsetting the bigoted jerks in the world, have decided on a plebiscite to determine how many Australians are in favour of same sex marriage. Let me reiterate; this is a non-binding, non-compulsory postal vote. Which, by the way, they’re spending $122 million dollars on. I don’t know about you, but I think there are plenty of better things to spend money on.

The thing is, it makes no sense to deny marriage to same sex couples. There’s no reason to it, aside from homophobia and misguided religious belief, and that’s not a good enough reason. There’s no reason to have a debate about it, no reason to even have to call it “same sex marriage”. It’s fucking marriage, and it should be legal.

Oh, the opposing side has tried everything to make themselves heard. We’ve heard the cries of “think of the children” as if allowing same sex marriage is going to destroy the lives of the younger generations (it’s really not). Offensive posters were seen in Melbourne claiming that children of same sex families are considerably worse off than those of same sex couples, and Malcolm Turnbull brushed it off like it was nothing. The religious ones who like to pick and choose which parts of the bible they adhere to are claiming that it goes against “God” and that it’s unnatural and wrong. But that’s homophobic bigots for you. Though there are some who will vote yes, regardless. 

Now, me? I don’t want to get married. To a man, or a woman. It’s not for me, at least not at this particular juncture of my life. But I have friends who do want to get married, and I stand in solidarity with them. I fight for, and with them. My friend Monika posted something on Facebook the other day, and she summed up so much about why she, an openly gay and amazing young woman, wants the right to marry her Ally. She called for people to make sure they were enrolled correctly, to vote in this plebiscite and make the most of the only option we’ve been given.

“I implore you to vote “yes” if and when the time comes. Do it for me. Your friend, sister, daughter. Because I want to add the word “wife” to that list of descriptors. I don’t just want to have marriage equality because I want to have a wedding (but let’s be real, it’ll be fabulous, darling). I want marriage equality because I am not recognised as being the most important person in Alex’s life. Because if she is sick, I am not allowed to make medical decisions on her behalf even though I am the person who knows her the best and knows what she wants. Because if she dies, I am not entitled to make decisions on the funeral or bereavement process. I will not have access to our JOINT bank accounts because I do not have a marriage certificate to prove that we were together. I will not have access to her superannuation or life insurance. And it’s BULLSHIT because de facto heterosexual couples have those rights. But as gay people, we do not. 

So I beg you. As your friend, sister, niece, cousin, daughter…please vote yes. Vote yes because you care about me. Because you love me. Let’s make sure that love wins. #loveislove”

Now tell me; how can you, in good conscience, argue with that? If you’re reading this, and you’re an Australian citizen, the cut off to make sure you’re enrolled correctly is in two days. You have two more days to make sure that your voice is heard with mine, with Monika’s, with everyone else who is going to do what they know is the right thing, and vote yes. We need to do all that we can to make sure that marriage equality becomes a reality. You can check your details or enrol to vote here: http://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/. Let’s do this. Let’s make it count.

Who I Am Now

I feel a lot of empty right now, kind of like a shell person. Not like, a crab or a lobster kind of shell. More like…a hollow husk of humanness.

Where did that girl go? The one that wasn’t so bitter and jaded? I’m sure she existed, once upon a time. I’ve lost her, though. And I think she’s so lost to me now, that there isn’t even a tiny hope of finding her. This is who I am now.

I hate what these years have made me. They have stolen so much. Left me with so little. And the worst part is, I’m not sure how to move forward. I’m a coward, see. And I am certain I will be stuck here until I die.

The Insidious Nature of Social Media

Social media is like a poltergeist. It’s malicious and sneaky and sometimes frightening. And pushy. So, so pushy.

Earlier this year I deactivated my Facebook and became largely inactive on all other social media sites I’m subscribed to. It was amazing how much better I felt without that (in my case) mostly unwanted connection to the world. The useless nature of social media for me was rendered void, because I no longer had the apps taking up space in my phone.

After a few blissful months, I succumbed to a weak, stupid idea that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad to get my social media back up and running. And then it all came flooding back, like some kind of tidal wave of awfulness. There were all the useless posts; I don’t care that you’ve taken a trip to the supermarket and can’t decide what to have for dinner – and why is it that you need to share such a mundane detail with the world anyway? I went through a series of culls, unfollowing almost my entire friend list. If you bore me or annoy me, chances are I will have unfollowed you ages ago. Then there were the pointless tests; taking a test to find out which minor character from the third Harry Potter book you are most like on a Wednesday afternoon is not my idea of a fun way to spend my time. And let’s not forget all those stupid click bait articles; “this high school student took on a ten foot chicken in down town London and you won’t believe what happened next!” yeah. And I also don’t care.

It tries to keep you “connected”, which I understand is the point. But I think we should be allowed to connect when, and with whom, we want, without the pressure to make everyone happy by announcing our presence. Yesterday I got a notification from my sewing page connected to Facebook that demanded I write a post. Excuse me, Facebook, but I will post when I like and no more or less frequently. You can take your demands and shove them firmly up your Zuckerberg.


It’s so strange to me how much time we dedicate to keeping connected with the world. If you can even call it that. We’re more interested in a screen than a face and a conversation. I’m guilty of it too, and I don’t even like most social media. So why do we do it? What is so entertaining about wasting our lives in front of screens? I’m seriously considering taking it all down again. I rarely use Facebook myself anyway, only checking it occasionally when I get a high enough volume of notifications. Which in my case can easily take a month. In fact, the two sites I use the most are this blog, and Instagram. Which is in large part, due to the cool creators that I follow, because I love all the inspiration and creation I get to see.

I’m not social in real life, so social media itself has very little value or merit for me. It’s creepy, and irritating and a significant waste of space. But that’s just me.

Bra Shopping Adventures

Inspired by a post I read the other day (from a woman who has quickly become one of my favourite bloggers), I went bra shopping over the weekend. Ever since I put on a little weight, the lingerie I had no longer fits quite so well as it used to. I’ve always been a busty gal, but now I’m constantly running the risk of the “dreaded” nip slip. My morning ritual involves putting on a bra, taking two steps and having to push my boobs back in place. Two steps is all it takes. So, with that in mind, and the fact that it’s been ages since I last purchased a new bra, I went in to get fitted.

With the now chubby Amy occupying formerly petite Amy’s (increasingly tight) clothes, I had to go up a band size. I’ve gone from an 8E/10DD to a 10E/12DD (depending on the bra). That’s a lot of boob. I spent approximately twenty minutes in the fitting room, taking bras off and putting them on, and getting the lovely sales girl to adjust the straps and check out my shirtless chest for double boob or ill fitted cups. In the end, I walked out of the shop with a $300 layby.

Sound like a lot of money? That’s because it is. And it’s sadly necessary. Because when you have my cup size, you can’t just walk into any old department store or popular chain to acquire a bra. They don’t cater for the girls with small frames and large chests. Those of us out there who aren’t blessed with just a nice, small handful of boob can’t get away with spending anything less than $50 per bra. At least, that’s always been my experience. 

Eventually I want to start making my own lingerie. Because that would be the coolest thing ever, amirite? But in the meantime, I have to spend all the monies on lingerie that fits. And maybe start going a little harder at the gym. Or, my favourite alternative, win the lottery so that spending my money on pretty things doesn’t hurt my bank account so much!

I love boobs. Like, I’m pretty much the biggest boob man on the planet…and I do mean that in every sense of the word (seriously, they’re huge). And I love lingerie. And I guess…that was pretty much the point of this post, since I’ve been trying to write it for three days now and have officially forgotten the initial point I was trying to make. So…yeah, sorry for wasting your time, guys. 

Sewing Dreams

Last week, I finished my friend’s wedding dress. It took me a whole lot of weekends, a whole lot of stress (mostly of my own creation), a whole lot of travelling back and forth between home and the city, and a whole lot of fiddling about with tricky fabric…lots of tricky fabric. Now. Until she gets married next weekend and the dress gets revealed to the world, you’re not allowed to see it (so there). But now that this year’s greatest sewing triumph is complete, I’m dreaming about all the things I want to make a start on.

I follow a few sewing enthusiasts (and geniuses) on Instagram, and every day I see things that other people are creating. Everything from lingerie to shoes, and every cute, wearable thing in between. It gets my fingers itching to guide fabric through a machine. When I see crisp lines and perfectly overlocked seams, I just can’t shake that urge to set myself up at the table and just create in a frenzy of fabric and fatigue. Because sewing endlessly until I can’t see straight, and my back is aching like a labourer after a hard day, is exactly the way I roll. 

I sometimes get frustrated with how little time I manage to find to sew. I envy those gals on Instagram who are forever posting their sewing successes and I wish I could do it all day every day. I dream of once again having my own dedicated sewing room. I had one when I lived on my own, and it suited me perfectly fine. But if I could, I would have a big room, fully kitted out and completely dedicated to the craft. Oh, how I long for the day.

I have so many things I want to try. I am passionate when it comes to extending my skill and learning new ways to make things easier, or better. At the moment, I would say I am a decent sewist (still gonna keep saying that). I can take flat fabric and make it into something wearable. I’m past the point of things I make looking distinctly home made. And I’ve been trying to tackle new things this year instead of sticking to my comfort zone – i.e woven fabrics with no stretch. But even in the last project, there were things I would have liked to do better. And I know that will probably always be the case – indeed, my lovely friend insisted that she loves the dress, and that I am being too hard on myself. She’s probably right, and at the end of the day it’s mostly about her feeling beautiful and comfortable on her wedding day. But I now know that I have areas of improvement to focus on to unsure I keep getting better.

I have a few more projects to finish for other people, and then I think I’m going to put a hold on commissions for a while. There are a couple of things that I’ve had in my head for ages now, and I think it’s about time I started to get them out of my head and onto the table. Even without a sewing room, I can’t wait to throw myself into something new. And I’m excited for the creations yet to come.

Cracks


I hate my own weaknesses. They are many, and they tear at me from the inside. I’m not strong. The exterior is a farce. A mask, created to hide the fragile pieces and hope to hold them together. But I’m falling apart, and the cracks are starting to show.