Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ode to the Black Cat

Yesterday was National Cat Day and tomorrow is Halloween so I see it fitting that on this day, sandwiched between the two, that I shall pay my respects to the black cat.

I never believed in superstitions and always felt sorry for black cats because people often hate then due to the possibility of them causing bad luck when they cross your path. I also own a black cat and she crosses my path all the time and so far nothing, if anything my luck has increased.

Another thing that prompted this posting was a recent interview actor Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon on AMC's The Walking Dead) did with He revealed 25 facts people/fans didn't know about him, and all are interesting but my particular favourite, and the one I can relate to, is number 17:

"17. My best friend is my cat."

And his cat is a black cat, and really adorable. I'm pretty sure if I ever met the guy I wouldn't talk about walkers or crossbows or even a pair of saints, I would talk about his cat.

But there are other famous black cats out there as well that we can't forget about.

Luna from Sailor Moon

Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus

The Cat from Coraline

Salem from Sabrina, The Teenage Witch

Exotica from Cats

Black Cat from Marvel Comics

Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service 
 "It's Me!" - Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service by Hayao Miyazaki

In fact, Jiji was the reason my family got a black cat in the first place. We've always had at least one pet cat in the house, never more than two, and after our last one went missing we had a long period without a cat. When we finally decided to get another one my parents and I went to the local animal shelter and got to look at the different cats they had for adoption. Going in, my mum and I knew we wanted a black cat and when we voiced this to the worker she was surprised and explained how those were the ones never adopted, because of superstition.

Adopt a black cat! I did! I heard they were the least adopted but never saw proof until I visited a Pet Smart in Arizona, ALL of the cats there without homes were black :/

The shelter had three black cats for adoption, I don't really remember the first one, the second one was a big male that immediately loved my dad so that one was the one we were going to get by that point, but we still wanted to see the third one. As we were walking to the holding room we walked passed the glass that had the final black cat in it but all we could see were these golden green eyes from inside a carpeted cat house following our every movement. Once inside the worker struggled to coax the cat out but once she did we saw this fairly small cat who was nervous and hesitant but still checked us out and immediately I started to bond with it.

My mum and I knew we had to have this cat, and we knew that if we ever got a black cat we would name it Jiji, but since this cat was a girl we changed the spelling to Gigi and we got her a red collar, just like the red bow the stuffed animal cat wears in the film. She has happily been living with us for almost four years now.

Black cats are not bad luck, they are sleek and elegant, adorable and creepy. The only problem you have to watch out for is black blankets on the sofa and walking around in the dark. My cat likes to play ninja and curl up into the black blankets we have on our sofa, she has been lightly sat on occasionally because we did not see her- we've gotten in the habit of checking before sitting. Additionally, she likes to follow me around the house, which is cute but I don't always turn lights on so sometimes she will be right in front of me and I'll walk right into her, I've gotten use to shuffling my way along in case she was there.

Edmund during hide-and-seek. Love those curtains.Also, they are really good at playing hide and seek, even better than the Pevensie's.

So not all black cats are bad, I'm sure there are the occasional cranky ones, but that applies to cats just in general. As far as the ones I know of, and own, they are just like any more cats. Only more awesome because when they stretch by arching their backs, it is a lot cooler than when other cats do it. She is our permanent Halloween decoration!


And now some more pictures!


Friday, 25 October 2013

Flashback Friday: The Third

Since Halloween is less than a week away I shall tell a Halloween story...sort of.

It really is a story about a costume piece that I was wearing a week or two before Halloween, just because I loved it.

This takes place during my middle school years, and as I recall them I often feel that shiver of horror run down my back. During this time I was OBSESSED with Harry Potter- it was pretty bad. I knew every little useless fact about Harry Potter and the films that was possible, so now I have a pretty vast Harry Potter knowledge, which isn't a bad thing, I just don't use it much anymore.

At this point there was only five books released and I had read every one of them about six times because I loved them so much and they were quick reads. I particularly loved reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because one of my favourite characters of all times was introduced: Luna Lovegood. I immediately felt a connection with her because she was a Ravenclaw like myself, but she was also odd and an outcast and didn't care what others did or said, she also read books upside down and I would do that sometimes just to mess with my teachers. I loved Luna so much I would even dream of playing her in the movies but I knew that would never happen because I didn't look anything like her and I wasn't crazy enough to even try.

But I could be her for Halloween right?

So I got started on my costume. It would be some years before I actually would start cosplaying but each Halloween I would usually make my Halloween costume because I would want to be characters that you can't find at a costume shop, and I would make costume pieces with whatever I can.

The particular piece of interest here is Luna Lovegood's butterbeer cap necklace. I had a recipe for butterbeer that was amazing and I felt is was essential to make this necklace as a great little character detail- which is why I was sad I didn't see it in the movies. I took all the leftover bottle caps laying around my kitchen and collected them for a while then painted them gold, scrolled black 'BB' on them and strung them all together to create a necklace. And voila: A butterbeer necklace.

It needed a test run so I wore it to school the next day and while I was waiting in line during lunch to get a cookie, because those were the best cookies ever, someone caught sight of my necklace and decided to comment on it. This person was, what I could only come up with, a Yard Guard. She liked to tell students what was wrong with their uniforms and give them trash duty. She had given my friend and me trash duty our second week of school there ever for eating past a pole....yeah, I don't know either. To this day I cringe when I see her, and even worse, she was exactly like Umbridge. She would be happy and smiling while she tortured you, and still claim that she was just looking out for you.
Mamma Umbridgemama umbridgeUmbridge -_-Umbridge - Villain Affirmation Posters by Christopher Ables

Well I made it to the front of the line where Umbridge was standing and she decided to ask about my necklace.

"What does the BB stand for? Bad Boy?" she tried. I almost vomited in my mouth at that. I would never wear something like that. Also I didn't look like the kind of girl that would with my frizzy hair, large backpack, notebooks and large book tucked under arm, and school trousers that were baggy yet still too short for my legs.

My response was a simple, "no." She then proceeded to try to guess a multitude of random words that started with B's and lump them together, never quite getting even remotely close. Finally she gave up.

"Well what does it mean?" she asked.

"It stands for butterbeer," I responded wishing the kid at the counter would hurry up so I could end this.

"Beer? As in alcohol?" she asked in a somewhat joking manner but there was seriousness in her words.

"It is non-alcoholic, unless you are a house elf." She kind of gave me a blank stare before asking some smart ass question that pretty much translated to 'what'? I sighed and you know that large book I had tucked under my arm, it just so happened to be my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so I pulled that out and held it up in front of her face and said:

"Butterbeer is a drink found in the wizarding world from the Harry Potter series. On page 185, of this specific book, the character Luna Lovegood has a necklace made of the caps of this drink and that is what my necklace is in reference to. It isn't some gang related thing and it isn't alcoholic- it's literature. Have a great afternoon."

And then I bought my cookie.
Cookie Monster
I just think this Umbridge finally irked me enough to just be a smart ass right back at her. I did see her again, just last year. I was at a restaurant with my parents that we call The Brit and it is located near my old middle school so I guess sometimes the faculty would go there in the evenings. Their group was sitting outside while we were inside but when I saw her pass by I still felt that cringe inside me and immediately looked the other way. It is a shame that she wouldn't remember me, but she shall forever haunt my memories of those three years in middle school.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Relief

Last Saturday, while procrastinating on school work, I found myself on BuzzFeed- a place I usually find myself when procrastinating. I opened up the 'entertainment' section and found a posting about Tom Hiddleston. I have found that usually BuzzFeed is obsessed with Benedict Cumberbatch pretty much at an incorrect, scary level, so seeing a post about Hiddleston interested me in just how weird they are going to make things. Let me tell you, it got weird.
Only one time have I witnessed the horror that is Tumblr, particularly in reference to a Tom Hiddleston search (a friend was showing me a picture- I was tricked into it!), and therefore I know just how scary some fans can get. I wish I could say that a dying wish to bear his children was the worst thing I saw on Tumblr but alas it was not and I'd rather not re-live it, just know that it ended with me thinking:

Anchorman well that escalated quickly 966.jpg

 It is just that Hiddleston fans seem to hold the guy at the height of perfection, and I understand where they are coming from. He is very handsome, definitely falls into my description of ideal guy- lean, tall, geeky, manners (i.e. Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant, Cillian Murphy, Conan O'Brien)- an amazing actor, and he's British.
Bahahaha totally <3
a true gentleman

But sometimes I feel like they see him as so perfect that when he does something that isn't good, they'll think it is still amazing anyway. To fully explain, this BuzzFeed 'article' was posted after his recent trip to Korea. Hiddleston has been touring the Eastern Hemisphere to promote the release of his new movie, Thor: The Dark World. While in Korea he obviously did interviews and press releases and things like that but he also made a guest appearance on SNL Korea. For those that don't know, SNL is short for Saturday Night Live, which is an American sketch style comedy show filmed in New York. Well apparently Korea has their own version, with writers that are just as awkward as the American ones, and Hiddleston participated in a sketch during it before doing an interview.

I'm guessing at the interview he was asked questions in regards to it because on this BuzzFeed 'article' they went crazy over footage of him doing the dance from the sketch:

And I'm guessing just for kicks and giggles they asked him to sing as well (once more covered in the same BuzzFeed 'article').


And the fans went wild. We can tell because the BuzzFeed 'article' was entitled 'Tom Hiddleston Defies All Odds And Does His Most Amazing Thing Yet'. Further proof is supplied when you read some of the comments left at the bottom of the 'article'.

Here is my impressions of what I witnessed on this 'article'. His dancing was quite reminiscent of the 11th Doctor's drunken giraffe style while his singing would most probably earn some snarky comment from Simon Cowell. In other words, his dancing was litterally all over the place and his singing was just bad. Now his dancing I don't really care too much about, since I love the Doctor's drunken giraffe, all limbs dance style, but the singing. People keep asking him to sing, and so far it has always been strained and not very good.


BUT there is no denying that Tom Hiddleston is a superb actor. I've seen majority of what he has been in and he owns each role perfectly from Africa Boy Bill Hazeldine in Suburban Shootout to Henry V in The Hollow Crown. Each one you forget that is it Hiddleston because he has such a great grasp of the character and you really believe that he is them. And frankly, I think him being that amazing of an actor really doesn't need to be combined with other things like singing and dancing. Sure he is no triple threat and we probably won't see him in any Broadway, or West End, musical, but that is all right by me.

awwwIn all honesty, it is relief that he can't sing and can't really dance because no one can be that perfect, it would be inhuman and that would open up a whole alien can of worms. So, instead of people continuing to ask him to sing, I would much rather, in an interview, ask him to act because it is always fascinating to see a genius at work.

But if he ever did sing, the only thing I would want him to sing, now that he's been to Korea, is this: 



Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Dead are Walking


I love The Walking Dead.

I was first introduced to it by the comic books because at the time that was all that existed. It was my first horror comic book and usually my monster of preference is a vampire but this series made me like zombie stories. I loved the story lines and that fact that the creators weren't afraid to go that extra mile to make it really disgusting and how a true zombie appocalypse could possibly turn out. One major thing that I love about The Walking Dead is that they don't call them zombies.

Robert Kirkman specifically said that the characters come from a world where zombies didn't exist, as in the concept of what we know as a zombie never existed in their world so they didn't know that these dead bodies coming back to life were called zombies and that is why as you watch the show you'll hear characters call them all sorts of things but the main group we follow call them 'walkers' so that is what we call them as well. Zombie seems like such a taboo subject nowadays and so I am really happy that in The Walking Dead world, there are no zombies only walkers.

Being an avid fan of the comic book series I was thrilled when AMC announced that they were making a television series based off of it and I could not wait to see it. Then I worried. A show like this seemed like it would have a narrow target audience of fans of the comic book and fans of horror, but how far can this show reach? Would it be enough to keep it going? I love the series and wanted to see the television take on it for as long as possible but if there are low ratings then it can be canceled. Well it aired and I loved it to death and amongst the fantastical television shows that are being released these days The Walking Dead was a big hit and soon there was a second, third, and now a fourth season.

I still enjoy the television show and the comic book and I like the differences between the two as well as the similarities. The only problem I sometimes run into is mixing the two up. Another problem is ever since I got my family into the show, it has taken over our holidays.

For Christmas I got seasons 1 and 2 on Blu-Ray for my father and so we spent the time from Christmas to New Years watching The Walking Dead, except and three day vacation to Disneyland. I did an experiment that morning before going to the park and started playing Walking Dead on my laptop and both my brother and father stopped and just watched. Yes folks, they were hooked. When we returned from Anaheim, we picked up right back into the show and on New Years we missed midnight by 7 minutes because we had to finish the episode. We also watched it on Valentine's Day, Easter (that's appropriate right?), and some other holidays as well.
Typically what happens with me, is when I start to like a show and then everyone else does and the fans are crazy and weird I loose interest in the show, unless that show is just so amazing. This is one of those amazing shows. A lot of the fans are crazy and only found The Walking Dead because of the show or really only love it for Daryl Dixon, and I don't really care if that is how/why you are a fan, a fan is a fan, the more there are the longer the show will last. Just sometimes there is a certain image people get when you say you are a fan of the show especially if you are a girl. I don't like that these kind of sterotypes are true, but let's face it, they are. So to show I'm not just another Daryl Groupee (but I do love the addition of the Dixon brothers!) here is how I show my Walking Dead Spirit:

Last year for my birthday I made myself a Walking Dead cake:
Zombie Head cake 2012 It was a spice cake with vanilla buttercream, poured sugar eyes, marzipan teeth, marzipan chocolate covered ears, white chocolate skull, and marshmellow brain. I also made coagulated blood with cherry tea and blackberries.

I am slowly decorating my apartment bedroom to be Walking Dead themed:

Hand painted zombie bed spread.
That my cat loved:

Skull bow on outside of door.

Bloody curtains. And yes those are drawings I did of the Walking Dead characters at the top, but I'm making a light fixture with them.

Caution tape on doors, and I intend to get a 'Keep Calm and Kill Zombies' poster to put next to the original.

Skull pencil holder. I call him sick Yorick.

My cell phone ring tones:

Despite having this as my case , this as my wallpaper, and this as my lock screen, I still have the Walking Dead theme song as my ring tone and alarm tone, and zombie moans as my text tone.

And my favourite character in the series is Alice who is only in the comic book series and even though I doubt anyone will really recognize me as her, I made a cosplay of it.

Worn at Zombie-O-Rama...

I'm not obsessed, the only thing I really am obsessed about is The Avengers but I truly love The Walking Dead both comic books and television show. I shall read and watch both as much as I can and will continued to support long after the last book is complete and the last episode has aired.

 And yes I have played some of the video game and read some of the first novel, I just haven't had much time to dedicate to those as I have the television show and comic books. They are both really good and I fully intend to become more versed in those.

I eagerly await tonight's episode because the bloody eyed, nose, mouth zombie is probably my favourite zombie ever so far might even beat out Michonne's pets.