Monday, August 29, 2011

Time for an overhaul

What's that? I hear you say...Isn't that what she's been doing for the last 18 months?
Well, yes and no. I have been doing a little 'life' overhauling: changing my job, my motivators and my attitude (but sadly not my waistline). Overall, it's been great, and I'm happy about the direction my life is taking (except for the obvious big hole that I now have in my life).

But no, when I say it's time for an overhaul, I'm talking about my blog.
Let's face it, the original reason for starting this blog has kinda run its course. That's not to say I am now magically cured of the grief that I have carried all this time, it's just that the things that I used to post about it here are no longer quite so dominating.

My mum suggested that I close the chapter of the 'grieving mother' part of my blog, and begin a new one. I've got almost enough in there for a little book, and there may come a time that I turn it all into one. But she's right. It's a good idea I think.

I've asked you (my dear, loyal, and lately neglected readers) before just what I should be plonking in here, and you have kindly furnished me with suggestions.

Many of which I hope to take up. Some of the more 'writery' figures in the world say that we should 'write what we know'. For me, that's both easy and incredibly difficult. Easy, because there's lots of stuff that I like, but difficult because there's so much bloody stuff that I like! TRicky to narrow it down...

So, you'll probably notice some changes over the coming months. Perhaps some regular posts, like my movie reviews, some of my everlasting battle with my bulge (oh yeah, it's coming!), not so much about work (though I do have another blog based around that stuff - I do get it to it very occasionally), lots about Oliver and his adventures, and maybe even some music and photography (I'm sure spring will bring out my inner photographer again - at least I hope so!). And of course there will always be that odd moment when it all becomes too much, or something sparks a wonderful memory of my beautiful boy.

I thank you, fine people, for the time you have shared with me. Some of it's been...well, shitty, but I've always appreciated that there were people there that were there with me, that shared it with me. It's hard to explain but having you here with me has been a big part of my healing.
I know some of you are probably here because of the grief stuff, and I'll understand if you don't love the new stuff, but I hope you'll check in occasionally.

Stay tuned for come changes...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mellie at the Movies

I've seen a couple of movies in the last week. So I thought I'd pile my reviews up for you...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I must admit that on going in to this movie, my expectations were fairly low. The last 'apes' movie was in part responsible for this, much as I love the eternal sookiness of Mr. Wahlberg. Even the fact that the wonderful Tim Burton directed it didn't make it as wonderful as they would have hoped.
Anyway, I was a little apprehensive, but interested to see it after hearing a couple of good reviews.
Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was a pretty good movie.

The basic premise is that Will (James Franco) adopts an chimpanzee (Caesar) orphaned during lab testing. The chimp is ultra-intelligent but eventually makes a mistake that leads to interaction with other apes. It's the precursor to the Charlton Heston film, so we all know what's going to happen, but it's still an interesting ride.

The acting was probably one of the only areas of the film that brought my rating down, as well as some of the side-story (the romance wasn't especially sparkly).  James Franco was OK, if not a little subdued. Brian Cox was his usual gruff self, with Tom Felton (a little overstretched on the American accent I thought) and Jamie Harris (good in a small role) playing his offsiders. John Lithgow, as his father with Alzheimer's was solid, as always.  

The CGI is first-class, with Andy Serkis providing some amazing work as the basis of Caesar's intelligent chimp. You can tell it's CGI, but you don't really care, because it's done so well. The scenes with the animals are well put together, and the climactic action scene is clever and well-shot.

There were a couple of little plot holes, but overall I found it an engaging story that found a way to tell a story (that we all know the ending of) without making it too unbelievable or unsympathetic for anyone involved. I don't want to give any more away than that, but I thought the end moments were quite well handled.

I'd give this one 4 out of 5.


This one is new to DVD, and we'd been keen to see it for a while (we couldn't take Oli to see it at the movies as it's MA, but he totally handled the swearing and mild drug references that were obviously the main reason for rating it this way).

Paul is about two British nerds who are travelling the 'alien trail' in the U.S, when they meet Paul, an alien on the run.

I do love this kind of humour. I loved Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, which were also co-written by Simon Pegg. There's just something about British humour that gets me. It's the uptight-ness I think (if you haven't seen Death at a Funeral - the British version - please do!).

Anyway, the performances are good comedy: from Seth Rogan's gorgeous portrayal of Paul, to the absolute geekiness of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, to the idiotic fanatacism of Kristen Wiig's religious girl and Jason Bateman's always reliable straight man. He's actually even a little evil. The only let down was Sigourney Weaver. Her portrayal is flat and boring and doesn't add much to the comedy.

The effects that created Paul are clever, but that's not what the movie's about. It's a fun story with lots of laugh-out-loud moments. A good one for a relaxing Saturday night.

4 out of 5.

Monday, August 15, 2011


When I was young, I thought it would be nice to get married. The romance, the ring, the big shindig and the tropical honeymoon...
I guess like (almost) any young girl, it seemed so romantic and wonderful. Movies with men sweeping pretty young things off their feet didn't do anything to hurt my semi-fantasies either.
As time went on and I started seeing a bit more of the world (and the ways that people could truly hurt each other if they wanted to), the sheen started to wear off a bit. My parents were always good marriage role models (they've been married 40 years), but there were plenty of people around me that marriage didn't agree with.

When I got myself knocked up and decided that I'd stick with Anthony for a while, he pretty much vetoed marriage right from the start. I don't know what it was, perhaps growing up in a single parent family, but he just didn't want to do it. Perhaps at the time he didn't want to commit to anything, but he's also pretty introverted, and would feel fairly uncomfortable when involved in any public display of affection.

At first I was worried about it - I'd always thought it would be nice for my dad to walk me down the aisle, but after a while I forgot about it. We spent some money buying a house instead (which was a pretty good move - just the unimproved land value is worth three times what we paid for it!)

We've been together nearly 17 years (I know, I know, I've heard it before: 'you get more time for murder'). In that time, I've seen more than one marriage fail. There are people that I know who are on their second. Or third.

So now, when I see all the fuss that gets made about marriage, I wonder why we (the societal we) do make such a fuss about it? Many people don't enter into marriage with the conviction that it will be lifelong. And then you have the people who want to get married but that aren't permitted by our laws to do it.

Oh, weddings are nice I guess, if you've got the money and lots of friends. I'm even going to one this year which will no doubt be lovely. I'm all for it if that's what people want to do. In fact, for many people the best part of a marriage is possibly the wedding!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as an institution, marriage is changing. There are some who would have us believe that it still means the same as it did 500 years ago, but I beg to differ.
So why can't we change it? Make it a bit more fun. If it's not going to be permanent, then perhaps we could shake it up a bit, make it more exciting. And allow anyone to do it. If that's what they want.

What do you think? Did you get married? Was it worth it?

And while I'm on the subject, did you hear about the folks in the U.S who  started a petition calling for Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie to get married?
Is it just me, or is this just silly?
They're so totally not gay. If they were, I'd be all for the marriage (the best wedding I've ever been to was a lesbian/pagan handfast thingy), but they're not gay. But gee people are making a fuss about it!

I think Armistead Maupin summed it up quite well actually:
"The folks who fret that a wedding between Bert and Ernie would "sexualize" a kids' show were remarkably silent about a frog porking a pig."

What do you think about it all?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Just wanted to let you know I'm still here. Just a little blocked at the moment.
Stick with it folks, I'll be back...