Alien Covenant (No Spoilers Quick Review)

Alien Covenant Trailer

I watched Alien Covenant last night and I’m actually not sure what I thought of it.

I lie. It left me with some serious questions. I feel like I need to go back and watch it again. I’m sure there are things I missed but, overall, it left me with a feeling of confusion…

The story was fine. It was rather similar to the original and I don’t mind that. I like that little bit of fan service. It worked for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it works for this.

The music was great. I love the sound editing and the score for this film. There are some very nostalgic sounds in this film. It had the haunting notes from Alien and some jarring sounds that just worked well.

The scenery was beautiful but I’m totally biased. It was filmed in New Zealand so… But it was beautiful. The landscape was just different enough for you to feel like you were in a different world.

The acting was good though I’d like to have gotten to know some of the characters in a little more detail. Michael Fassbender was brilliant though.

Definitely see this film on the big screen if you’re a fan of the series.

There were some things that didn’t sit right with me but I will do a proper review over the weekend as I wanted to get my thoughts out quite quickly.

Overall I give it six and a half face huggers out of ten.

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Image Source

 

Things I am not good at…

…regular blogging. I get all excited and then I forget things and then this happens… Then again, I’m not that good at being regular… well that could be TMI.

In order to motivate myself to write more and take more time for me I actually paid for a domain name and everything…now that I’ve actually invested money in blogging maybe I’ll actually do something with it. I mean, I have been blogging on and off for the last fifteen plus years so I may as well try to make it more official. Or at least make myself feel a little bit guilty about putting money into something and then leaving it to collect dust.

The next thing is to figure out what I really want to do with this blog. If you click on the about page you’ll see that I’ve made a separate blog for my teaching. Partially because I want something else that I can write about than just teaching. I mean, I love teaching but I am more than just a teacher. I need a proper outlet for my geeky endeavours, right?

So, I am toying around with a few ideas. Some along the lines of more reviews – films, novels, shows etc.

I want to have more of my Five Things lists as well.

If there are any other things that you would like me to write about let me know.

In the meantime you’ll notice that the layout will be changing over the next few weeks while I figure out how I want my blog to look. I’m just fussy – I’ve already spent most of this afternoon fart assing around with the layout and I’m still not happy.

To tide you over here is a quick list of my current obsessions… Continue reading

Today I learned that Carrie Fisher died – that strong, sassy, quick witted and freaking talented inspiration from my childhood that I grew to admire more for her openness about her personal struggles. That woman who showed me that I can be a kick ass human being regardless of gender. That woman who reminded us of the ageism and sexism problem that infiltrates our lives through the screen and the woman who constantly spoke her mind. There are few celebrities who have passed and left a strange void in my heart and Carrie Fisher is definitely one of them. She is one with the force and the force is with her.

I posted this on my tumblr earlier and thought it fitting to post here. I admired Carrie Fisher greatly. She was my first science fiction heroine inspiration. For the longest time I was obsessed with being Princess Leia. It was a name that I always used when I was playing make believe as a kid. (That and Ariel and Belle – I would alternate.) I even grew my hair as long as possible so I could wear it like she does in Return of the Jedi. Unfortunately, long hair is difficult to manage so, eventually, that hair was cut off.

As I grew older I grew to realise the significant impact that she’d had on my life. Fiercely independent, headstrong and not willing to take the crap that society handed her lying down. This inspired me. It inspires me…reminding me that, like her, I am so much more.

As I became more well read, educated, and articulate I came to see how important she was in framing a lot of my critical thinking around women in science fiction and women in film. She was a Princess but she was more than that.

There are many things that I want to say about this woman and the impact she has had on so many people. How she talked openly about mental illness, addiction, ageism, sexism and so much more…How she could laugh at herself and be so brutally honest…but the world knows how important she was (is).

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She is Princess Leia, Leia the Huttslayer, General Organa. She is an actor, a writer, a comedian, a powerhouse…she is brilliant, beautiful, talented and an inspiration…and she will be missed by so many.

My thoughts go out to her family at this time.

May the force be with you, General Organa.

 

Of Tattoos and things…

You know how I talked about crossing things off your bucket list last post? Well, I crossed another thing off.

I got a new tattoo.

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Yep, it’s an origami stegosaur with a splash of water colour.

I now have three tattoos and this is the most visible one. I love it but it is also so new that I still haven’t really come to grips with the reality of it. (It’s on my left forearm in case you were wondering).

I’ve always loved tattoos but have always been apprehensive of getting them in overly visible places. However, I have been through a lot this year and I decided that I wanted to control the next visible change to my body. I have so many scars from various surgeries that I’ve had no choice in receiving (and I don’t regret them at all, let me state that up front right now) so I wanted the chance to control the next “scar” that I got. I mean, my scar from my gallbladder removal is shockingly huge… Not that I really need to justify why I got this… just wanted to explain some of my thought process…

So, I got a dinosaur. Those who know me, irl, know about my obsession with dinosaurs. Heck, I wanted to be a palaeontologist all the way through primary school and then most of high school. Unfortunately, money played a huge part in my decision to go to uni in New Zealand. No regrets though.

So, another thing crossed off the bucket list.

Also, I start a Post Grad Course next month. It’s all to do with Digital and Collaborative Learning.  It’s  done through Unitec and The Mind Lab. It also counts toward 1/3 of a Master’s Degree.

Not to mention that next month is NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month – where the aim is to write 50 000 words in the month of November. I’m managed to successfully achieve this for the past five years.

So, all in all, I’m setting myself up for a busy few months. I’m looking forward to the positive changes.

Oh – and I’m still going with the whole #31daysofhorror – and it’s getting a little tedious but I am still loving it.

Until next time…peace and pancakes.

Also, question: Do you have any tattoos?

What goals are you setting yourself for the last two months of the year?

Things I Learned Yesterday…

I have a bucket list. In fact, I have several bucket lists scattered around on bits of papers and in half written journals. Doesn’t everyone?

For the longest time my bucket list was pretty average. Go travelling, write a novel (I’m working on it) learn how to do a handstand (still working on that one as well) and fall in love (how freaking cliched…right? ahem … right? Still haven’t fallen in love so…). From all accounts it looked like my bucket list was just a random list of ideas…but, this weekend, I knocked something off my bucket list.

I did an adventure race.

I’m a relatively active person but not to the levels that I could or should be. There are always excuses. But, when one of my dearest friends invited me to join her family as part of their team my first instinct was…no I’m not ready. But, I thought it over and said yes…

So, yesterday, I sports bra-ed and suited up. (Two bras if you were wondering… and yes, it was painful but I didn’t want to give myself a black eye…) I gave it my best shot. My friend and her family were much fitter than I but they put up with me. Plus, I remembered why I slowed down on my running…my knees.

But, I had a lot of fun. It was mostly up hill and there were times when I was crawling up the hill as it was rather steep. I nearly lost my shoes in the mud run and the down hill made my knees swell but I’d do it again. (Not right now…I’m currently resting my knee…a little bit…) But it was a lot of fun. And, even though we weren’t the first, we weren’t the last. I would actually recommend this to any body who likes a challenge. It was a lot harder than I expected and my friend said it was harder than last year but I had a lot of fun doing it.

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Goodbye Dear Shoes

I learned a lot from this race and one is that I need to take more time for my own health and fitness if I want to get better. (Better at running and at being a healthier person.) I don’t often admit that I struggle with self esteem and my weight because I really love the body positivity movement and advocate it. Healthy at any size! But I also like being fit and running and dancing…so here’s to taking more time for my own health.

Also, my bucket list will always been changing but I can cross that one thing off. Next on the list – I need to finish my second novel and edit my first one more.

And maybe, just maybe, it’s time for me to be more creative with my bucket list. Or, maybe it’s time for me to do more…

What’s on your bucket list? What should I add to mine?

 

 

31 Days of Horror, Bullet Journaling and Stuff

Admittedly 2016 has not been a good year for me. There have been highlights – most notably San Diego Comic Con – which was so awesome. There are words but none of them are intelligible at this present moment.

But, generally, 2016 has been a ‘suckfest’ in numerous senses. I guess the gallbladder thing takes the cake and I’m still dealing with all that. You’d be surprised at what foods seem to hate me at present. (For those of you who can eat anything after your surgery I’m actually glad and happy for you. Unfortunately, some food goes through me faster than … well I’ll let you finish that off.) It’s been 17 weeks since the surgery and I’ve done a lot of traveling and teaching and thinking. Maybe a little too much in the way of thinking but that’s me.

Anyway, it’s October (seriously, where the hell did the year go) and now it’s heading into Spring (which soon means summer holidays but who’s counting anyway?)

On tumblr the Northern Hemisphere is going wild with it’s fall aesthetic and pumpkin spice lattes (something I have never tried but have heard all about…the nearest Starbucks is over an hour away so … yeah). Plus, all the Halloween pictures appearing  has got me in the mood for horror films. And, thus, I have arrived at the actual topic of my blog today.

I am doing a 31 Days of Horror challenge wherein I attempt to watch 31 horror films this month. I jumped in a little late, starting on the 3rd so watched 3 horrors in a row.

Krampus (2015) which now ties with Gremlins and Die Hard for best Christmas film ever. The Chernobyl Diaries which was terrible but it counts and then I re-watched From Dusk Til Dawn which totally counts cause vampires…Then, on the 4th, I watched Rogue which is about a giant crocodile and stars Radha Mitchell,  Sam Worthington and Mia Wasikowska. Pure and unashamed cheese.

I love horror films. Always have. Especially the slashers of the late 70s and 80s.

If you want to join me jump in and tweet me @inkblotsquills with film recommendations or let me know what you’ve been watching.

I also decided to start bullet journaling last night. This came about after I did some tidying and found no less than 15 unused notebooks/journals in my craft room. I have a problem…

Anyway, I will add some pictures once I get it fully underway.

I also started a teacher focused tumblr if you wanted to check it out. The Caffeinated Teacher. I will probably use that to do more teacher posts and turn this blog back into just a blog about me and the nerdy stuff I like. (Though teaching is a huge part of my life so there will be ideas and thoughts etc… but less of the technical stuff and more of the real stuff…)

So there you go. An update. A not so great update but an update none-the-less.

If you have any suggestions for what you’d like me to watch let me know.

Also, if there is anything you’d like me to write about, well leave a comment. Let’s do this.

Peace and Pancakes

Jaime

 

My gallbladder tried to kill me…

I have the best excuse for not updating…

Previously I wrote about my hospital stay here. This was back in April and I was popped on the waiting list for an elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy which was supposed to be done in May …

Fast forward to the end of May where I found myself back in hospital. The doctor who would have done my surgery was going to be away but said that the surgery would definitely be a go for the 9th of June. So, I was in hospital until the Saturday and then I was off until the surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is the easier option and a lot less invasive where, at most, you’ll have to take a week off work and take it easy for a wee while. Four incisions are made and the gallbladder and stones are whipped out. There is a 1-10% chance that during this surgery they may have to go to an open cholecystectomy – meaning they have to cut you open.

Guess what happened…

So I wake from what was supposed to be routine surgery to find out that they had barely started the laparoscopic surgery when I started to bleed and they had to go straight into the open surgery…apparently my gallbladder had begun to go gangrenous and, according to my nurses and surgeon (who were brilliant btw) it was the most stones that they had removed from a gallbladder. One of the stones was also stuck in one of the ducts…according to people I’m bloody lucky to be alive. Of course, when I woke up, I began to apologise profusely to the nurse for causing any trouble. I apologised for the fact that my gallbladder had tried to kill me…

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I managed to lose a lot of blood but, luckily, didn’t need a transfusion though it was close. I’ve been off work for two weeks and start back on Monday but can only work half days. The doctor and nurses originally recommended taking three days off but I need to build up my strength because I’m still going to America in a couple of weeks. (I’ve been cleared to fly so there is no worry there. It will be four weeks after surgery that I fly so I’m good.)

Anyway, I just thought I’d do a quick update. I’m doing really well though I’m too bloody stubborn for my own good. I have overdone it a couple of times and given myself a fright but I am feeling so much better than I have in a long time. The professionals believe that I’d been growing those stones for some time which could explain my general ill health and lethargic nature more readily than stress. It might also explain several other things, health wise, that had been getting me down for at least the last year or so.

I’m tender and have a 22cm scar from the middle of my chest to my lower side but I’m no longer attached to Bert the Bile Duct Drain (check my instagram for more images). I have trouble getting comfortable but, like everyone keeps reminding me, it’s barely been two weeks since surgery.

So that’s why it’s been a little quiet on the blogging front…

Peace and pancakes,

Jaime

P.S. This is surgery number 19 if anyone is keeping score…