Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Hey there beautiful *waves*

Having just deleted acres of spam posts from both my twitter and tumblr accounts, I have to say it's refreshing to log in to Blogger and find it pristine and untouched from the last time I checked in.


Well I've deleted all the posts and changed all my passwords...looks like we're back to normal.

As I type this, I'm sat in the cafe of my University library, eating a panini and swigging down a limited edition Mango and Passionfruit flavour fanta (Delicious, by the way. Like fizzy J20. Officially recommended.)

All is very calm on the York front. There's just me and one of my flatmates in our house - everyone arrives staggered from Thursday to Friday this week. There are a few people scattered around York, but not many. It's peaceful as hell and I really, really like it. I do love living at home but it was starting to get a bit constricting! I was itching to get back in the kitchen and cook for myself, to not have to walk the dog every day, to do my own grocery shopping...ah, it's delicious.

Moving in had a few hiccups: everything broke, the TV wouldn't work, blah blah blah...but it all got worked out in the end. And now I'm luxuriating in having next to nothing to do and living in my own exciting house.

Next stop: working out how the terrifying gas oven works so I can bake some cakes in preparation for my house's arrival later this week. The one flatmate I'm living with at the moment DOESN'T LIKE CAKE. Can you believe that? Who doesn't like cake?!

Wow, I've lost my thread completely. Coolio. See you later branflakes.

Friday, 7 September 2012


I'm having one of those "the TV is too loud and there are too many people in the house and everyone keeps talking" days...which is never a good thing! On the plus side, it's 20 past midnight and the house is good and silent now. Which is handy.

SO I'M GOING TO DO A SERIES. It will probably take a while to complete - I'm internet-less between September 13th-26th due to a mix-up at Sky and moving into my new house - but I thought I'd start it off now because why the blazes not. 

And the title of this exciting new series?



Essentially, I'm a pop culture whore. I watch, read and listen to it. And then I dissect it to death. I read other peoples' dissections. I'm fascinated by meta discussions based on GIFs of one tiny blink of an eye which apparently reveal the innermost thoughts and feelings of a fictional character. I ship obscure ships just because I think they might work together. And occasionally, in the middle of an otherwise mundane task, I will remember just how fuming I am that the main character of an otherwise excellent Nickelodeon cartoon somehow is allowed to steal someone else's boyfriend, and it's morally totally okay. 

But more about that later, I promise.

When I say flawless, I don't just mean attractive, or funny, or successful, or badass. It's kind of hard to pinpoint, actually...maybe it'll flesh itself out as we go along. But mostly, I'm just saying I love this character for a variety of reasons. They make me want to simultaneously hug, high-five and bake a cake for them. I want to live with them. They are good people.

Hopefully that's enough to be going on with!

Anyway, our first entrance to the Flawless Pop Culture Characters comes (naturally) from the Whedonverse - Kaylee Frye of Firefly fame.

For the uninitiated, Firefly is a space-western mostly set aboard Serenity, a firefly-class spaceship. Kaylee is one of the team of smugglers/all round good guys that live on Serenity. If you're weirded out by the concept, good. Watch it anyway. It's a stunning show.

But Kaylee Frye? She is perfection. As you can see from the picture, she's feminine - she likes frilly dresses and parasols and speaks in a kind of girly voice. She's also a mechanic. This kind of masculine/feminine juxtaposition isn't really uncommon in television, particularly with Joss Whedon - think Buffy, who's also pretty, feminine and kills demons on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing - upsetting the norms, challenging gender dynamics, blah blah blah. I always felt that Buffy ran the risk of feeling just a tiny bit tokenistic - look at me, I'm a strong independent woman, how new and important to make a big deal out of! Whedon himself makes no secret of the fact that that's exactly what Buffy is - a reversal of the "blonde girl in a dark alleyway trope." I feel that less with Kaylee - her masculine/feminine dichotomy is very subtly introduced and not really commented on, which is a good thing. I always felt like Buffy was slightly punished for her 'masculine' side - the fighting and the sex, particularly with Spike - but with Kaylee, it's a whole new world of totally fine, as if it ever wouldn't be. 

Which sort of brings me on to Part 2 of Kaylee is The Best - the sex. Again, to bring it back to Buffy, sex was almost always coded as a bad thing - particularly with Spike ("Last night was the most perverse, degrading experience of my life.") but also with Faith, bad girl extraordinaire and big fan of casual sex; Angel, the good vampire who turns bad when the sex thing happens; even good-guy Riley - remember the crazy haunted-house-fuelled-by-sex episode? And don't get me started on the whole penetration/blood drinking/sex parallels* Meanwhile, Kaylee enjoys sex. It's as simple as that, and there are no repercussions. And again you have that unexpected dichotomy, the pretty princess who's open and upfront about just how much she likes sex. Unexpected. And fabulous. Two of my favourite Kaylee lines: 

"Kaylee Frye: Goin' on a year now I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries! 
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Oh, God! I can't *know* that! 
Jayne Cobb: I could stand to hear a little more."

Girl has needs and she's not ashamed of it. Kaylee has none of the (traditionally female) pretensions about talking about sex and I love her for that. 

Dr. Simon Tam: In all that time on the ship... I've always regretted... not being with you. 
Kaylee Frye: With me? You mean to say... as in sex? 
Dr. Simon Tam: I mean to say. 
Kaylee Frye: To Hell with this. I'm gonna live! 

This whole exchange is hilarious, mostly because Simon is being so ridiculous about it all. And instead of going for the heartfelt declarations of love as Simon does, Kaylee's like...damn, I'm going to shoot some reevers now. 

All of the women in Firefly are excellent...just excellent. To the extent that I feel bad splitting the cast down the middle, into women and men, because they all embody different aspects of humanity rather than gender, which is a beautiful thing to see. But Kaylee is by far and away my favourite. Not just because of her gender and its representation, but also her relationship with River, with Wash, with Mal...she's just a fabulous person. Which is why she's included on the list. So there.

*I think it's fairly obvious, but I could actually write a dissertation on sex and sexuality in Buffy. In fact, I really, really want to do it at some point. Watch this space.

Gotta get down on...

Is it Friday? I'm finally getting that annual summer problem of  having absolutely no clue what day it is...and I only broke up for the summer 13 weeks ago! I think it might be something to do with the fact that the sun has finally come out to play. Hooray! Without further ado, though, the blanks. Always important.

Or something.

1. My favorite grade in school was: easily, by a mile, my final year of sixth form. The work was hard, but I'd done enough the year before to know I didn't have to panic too much...I was super comfortable there, I had loads of frees, the teachers were wicked, the work was almost fun, and leaving was a seriously bittersweet occasion - so much fun even though there were lots of tears!

 2. My favorite teacher was probably my English teachers...nearly all of them, with a few notable exceptions because the problem with English is that it's fascinating and wonderful and excellent and perfect and marvellous but if the teacher makes it boring, then it's boring. So it takes a really good teacher to make it feel like a good student.

 3. The highest level of education I have completed the first year of my degree. You may have already guessed, but I study English. Surprise!

4. School lunches for me were a sandwich, a cheesestring and a frube for the vast majority of my life! Chips on a Friday. Sixth form was the best: trips to the Sainsburys down the road were a regular thing and we had a little kitchen for the common room, so we had stuff like cous-cous, rice, noodles, and even beans on toast a couple of times. Nom.

 5. The amount of money you'd have to pay me to go back to high school would be ooh, as much as I loved it I was ready to move on by the end! I don't know what you'd have to pay me...money. Lots and lots of lovely money.

6. A few things that will always remind me of going back to school are last minute plans for buses and schoolbags and that weird feeling you get knowing you're back to the old grind the next morning. Weird.

7. The first day of school was always part 'oh God not again,' part 'my God summer's been boring, get me out of the house!' Bit of a mixed bag, really :)

Nostalgia fest aside, have a lovely weekend everybody :)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Domestic goddess.


Lime marscarpone ice cream, banana muffins with cinnamon frosting, and a truly delicious chilli, all in the space of about 3 hours. Tell me I'm not a domestic goddess. I dare you.*

*none of these pictures are mine, but they do look ROUGHLY the same so it's all gravy :)