Liquid Molten Saturday, Nov 27 2010 

In the bustling little suburb of Mt Eden, Auckland (New Zealand) is a restaurant/bar that has captured both my fancy, and my wallet. This great little place is called Liquid Molten.

On one side, you will find Molten – a higher end dining experience where the food is matched only by the superb service and wine selection. On the other, is Liquid – my home away from home. A classy little bar that opens up at the back to a private courtyard that boasts not only ambiance and style, but funky music and blankets for those cooler nights.

Open until late, this hidden refuge is where my friends and I go for coffee, wine, dessert and a good old gossip. The staff are fantastic, the coffee strong and the food divine – need I say more? I spend at least two or three nights there every week, either leisurely sipping coffee with girlfriends or stopping in for a quick drink before heading elsewhere.

So, my recommendation if you are looking for a quiet, classy coffee spot in central Auckland? Go to Liquid, it will be worth your while.

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Single White Female in 2010 Saturday, Nov 13 2010 

At 24, I am learning for the first time about being single and independent. I was one of those girls that met a nice guy when I was still in High School, and managed to stay with him for over five years before coming to the abrupt realisation that not only had I changed completely, but what I wanted in life had too. So after much soul searching, I decided to fly solo.

Now, there are plenty of single girls like me out there, right? Well, not in my life. Basically, all of my girlfriends are gorgeous, funny, successful and sexy biatches – hence they were snapped up quickly by their smart thinking boyfriends. So being single is as much a mind-boggle to them as it has been for me. They have been wonderful (I have played the happy third wheel on many, many occasion), but at the end of the day, I don’t have anyone to go home to. I don’t have that person to cuddle with on the couch whilst watching some inane soppy movie, or to argue with. (“I want you to WANT to do it!”.)

And you know what?

I bloody love it. Don’t get me wrong, I am a woman, so I have certain white-knight type fantasies. (Lets face it – It’s in my DNA) I watch Katherine Heigl movies and get lost in the romance, see old people holding hands on the street and utter a soft “Awww!”. But at the same time, I am 100% enjoying getting to know ME.

Instead of basing my life around someone else, I have been able to do the things for myself I never would have done before. Meet new friends and put in the needed effort to make them integral parts of my life, try new cafes every week, stay up late watching reruns of Will & Grace, hell – even dye my hair pink! Suddenly a whole world was open to me, where the only person who’s permission or judgement meant anything was my own. (I tend to shut out my Mothers voice during these times.)

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying being single is better. I am merely saying that for ME, it has given me the opportunity to figure out who I am (Queue the cheesiness!). To find out what I really do and don’t like. To develop independence in everything I do, think and feel. My friendships have flourished, I have become happier, and my wardrobe is MUCH better now that I don’t have a guy telling me I should be budgeting. (Although my best guy friend has taken it upon himself to take on THAT particular role.) 😉

Now, I consider myself single, but that doesn’t mean I live in a Nunnery. And that’s the other great thing about not being tied down to one person – experimenting with dating different men and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. (I sound like a kid in a candy shop here, don’t I? Hmm..) But seriously – dating has been fun. I have been lucky, and not met any freaks or psychos, and taken something from each tryst. And I will continue to do this, until I either meet “The One”, or give up entirely and go live with my four cats and gay best friend (though sadly has more luck with men than I).

So my lesson for 2010 is: being single is wonderful, and a great love story all of its very own. Me, myself and I.

Scattergories Wednesday, Mar 24 2010 

Recently I was reintroduced to board games by some friends of mine. At first I thought, yeah, why not. We were all hanging out, with nothing to do, so it seemed like an okay idea. Well.

The game that was chosen for the night was Scattergories. I’m a bit of a board game virgin, having not played very many of them growing up. So I had no idea how BLOODY ADDICTIVE these things can be! Especially Scattergories! What a game!

Scattergories is a Hasbro game (through the Milton Bradley Company) that was first released in 1988. Wikipedia puts it quite nicely: The objective of the 2-to-6-player game is to score points by uniquely naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit.

This game is amazingly difficult, surprisingly so, and an absolute must for parties in my opinion. Forget SingStar, I think this is the best way to get people laughing and yelling and jumping up and down! So fun, and gets you really thinking due to the fact its actually quite difficult to list 12 things starting with one letter within a 2-minute time limit! Think about it – being on the spot and trying to come up with things starting with, say, the letter B. An animal, a singer, a thing found in the sea, a vegetable etc. And it’s not the same questions each time! Argh! 😀

Brilliant, crazy fun! This board game has now become a staple to sunday night drinks within my group of friends, instead of unsociably watching a movie or just hanging around chatting. Go out and buy it (approximately NZD$49.99) and you’ll see how much fun you can have.

Scattergories Board Game

Outtakes, Bloopers and Gag Reels Saturday, Feb 6 2010 

Not very informative or educational, sure, but here are a few of my much loved bloopers picks care of YouTube! They made me laugh, so I figured they were worth posting! And it’s always fun to watch behind the scenes stuff ups from some of your fave movies and shows.

Ashley Green and Justin Long doing an ad for Teens For Jeans, a campaign that encourages people to donate their old jeans for the teenage homeless in the U.S. (Awww bless) Watch the footage here.

Behind the scenes of the TV show Extras with Ricky Gervais and a mass of Hollywood celebs. Watch The Art of Corpsing Part 1 and Part 2. So funny, made me laugh until I cried! God bless Ricky, always the consummate professional! (Note: Sarcasm)

The gag reel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall – if you’ve seen the movie you will crack up. I don’t know how they even completed the film considering how funny it is… to keep a straight face and act out some of these lines shows real willpower and talent! Watch it here.

Bloopers from the movie The Hangover.

The movie Anchorman is funny enough on it’s own, but these outtakes are great!

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the TV show Friends – and to be honest, I don’t want to! Obviously, with 10 seasons, there is a multitude of gag reels for this epic show, but here is a good one just for a taste! These guys are just so brilliant! *Grins*

So that’s enough of my finds from YouTube – hope one of them gives you (at the very least!) a bit of a chuckle!

The Man Who Loves Causing Bloopers

New Years at Omaha Sunday, Jan 3 2010 

So normally I blog about objects, activities, movies etc but I really wanted to write a small piece about my New Years in Omaha with my very good friends. 

The past year has been quite tough for me – for a lot of reasons. But this holiday absolutely wiped the slate clean and made me really look forward to 2010. I was surrounded by my best friends, friends from the past, and people that (by the end of the holiday) became new friends. We sunbathed on the white sand, letting the crystal blue water lap at our toes as the sun turned us a gorgeous red (whoops, pass the sunblock!) and I looked on as those wonderful people zoomed around on a jetski, dragging behind a water-biscuit carrying screaming victims (think flailing limbs and massive fails into the water!).

We played card games like Skip-Bo, Bastard and Last Card. We played board games like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit. We played Buzz on the Playstation, and watched Girls Of The Playboy Mansion on TV. We ate bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast – then had BBQ’s, pizza’s, pasta’s and roasts for dinner. Copious amounts of alcohol was drunk, peels of laughter were constantly emanating from our overcrowded deck (covered in sandy towels, blow up chairs and sports gear) and the time for bed was often 4 A.M. 

The days were long and filled with sun, sports, swimming and the reading of good books. The nights were longer and filled with all the silly games we could think of, all the while singing along to music, discussing relationships, life and everything in between. 

In my life, I have never been part of such an eclectic group. People from different walks of life, with different beliefs and goals, but it just clicked. And I came away feeling so very grateful to know these wonderful, fun, interesting people. Thank you guys.

Happy New Year everyone. 

Omaha Beach

Painting of Omaha Beach

My Top Ten Movie and TV Couples Sunday, Dec 6 2009 

So, I was out the other day, and overheard someone going on about couples in literature that had changed romance and relationships as we know it. Too true, and a very interesting topic. It got me thinking about the couples on TV and in movies that had influences ME, and came up with the following list. This is probably very generational, but hey.

1) Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga movies and books – Now, everyone knows Twilight. And most women who have seen the movies and/or read the books, just melt at the idea of Edward Cullen. Sure he’s a vampire, but he is also dark and tormented, which women invariably love. (Maybe we all wish for the challenge of being able to soothe his pain? I know I do!) Plus he is an utter gentleman who never deviates from loving Bella, a girl who is, even in her own words, ordinary. Their relationship is deep, full of pain and temptation, with both of them only wishing for a life with each other. This is the kind of relationship most women dream about – complicated, loyal, complete. So it probably wouldn’t work in real life, but thats not the point now, is it? 

Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

 

2) Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the TV and movie phenomenon The X-Files – Now these two characters played on the edge of innuendo for eight seasons before their first “real kiss” (they almost kiss in the first X-Files movie, but Scully is stung by an genetically modified bee before their lips could lock) let fans finally see their favourite characters move towards the relationship they were born to have. Two complete opposites – Mulder the believer in the unexplained and Scully the scientist the believer in cold, hard fact – they weren’t really suited to being partnered together in the FBI, and yet found an even ground where they balanced each other out. Their deep trust in each other, their respect and friendship, strengthens their characters bond over the years. Each continuously saves the other from peril and death, and despite many disagreements and varying beliefs, never turn their backs on each other. The romantic angle is built up excruciatingly slowly over the seasons, never blatant, but always there enough through furtive looks and body language. Theirs is a relationship of utter truth and trust, of danger and respect. 

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

 

3) Ross Geller and Rachel Green from the hit TV show Friends – Here is a couple that truly shaped a generation. The up and down relationship between Ross and Rachel is well known to all. Ross’ character always held a flame for Rachel from their High School days, and ten years later when they come to be in the same group of friends, that spark is still there. Over the many seasons you see Ross and Rachel fall in love, fight, get jealous, go on a break and ultimately break up. They both go on to date other people, but with at least one of them still nursing strong feelings for the other at any given time. They struggle with letting the other move on, Ross even getting married to another woman at one point much to Rachels heartbreak, but he stuffs it up at the alter by mistakenly naming Rachel in his vows as opposed to his wife-to-be. They go through copious amounts of real-life situations together, as well as the ludicrous, but always come through it with a strong sense of friendship, respect and ultimately, love. By the last episode of the last season, Ross and Rachel have come to find they cannot live without the other. (Which is great because by then they have a kid together, from a passionate “one more time”) A modern, deprecating look at love in this day and age – along with being hilariously rediculous!

Ross Geller and Rachel Green

 

4) Max Evans and Liz Parker from the TV show Roswell – Not everyone was a fan of Roswell, but I certainly was. It focused on Roswell, New Mexico (you know, where the 1947 UFO crash was supposed to have happened and the US government covered it up?) and three aliens that came down with the UFO. Crashing to earth in the guise of kids, the show opens on them as teenagers who have been adopted into the human world. Max is the unofficial leader of this band of aliens, whose goal is solely to find out where they came from and why they ended up on earth. Liz is a popular, sweet High School student who one day see’s Max for what he is when he saves her from being shot in a freak accident. Liz and Max quickly fall hopelessly in love with each other, both fascinated by the other to the extreme. Liz (and eventually some of her human friends) helps Max and the others search for the answers they need, cementing her place in his life. There is nothing they wont do for each other, despite their obvious differences. It’s a deep, very sweet, one of a kind type relationship. In a way doomed, but also pregnant with possibilities.

Max Evans and Liz Parker

 

5) Buffy Anne Summers and Angel (aka Angelus) from the award winning TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and the Spinoff Angel) – Buffy and Angel is one of the most heartbreaking unions ever created for TV, in my opinion. Buffy, a vampire slayer, and Angel, the vampire with a soul, have obvious complications from the start. Despite their deep and honest love for each other, they face both disgust from those around them, and danger due to who and what they are. They “meet” in season one, and go on to fall hopelessly for each other, despite their better judgement. By season two, Angel loses his soul when his curse is lifted due to one moment of happiness – a night in Buffy’s arms. He turns evil, and starts killing the people Buffy cares about and wreaking havoc on the town in general. He tries to end the world and Buffy is forced to kill him and send him into a hell dimension to stop this from happening, causing her to break down. Angel returns in season three by The Powers That Be, but after tortuous months trying to be with Buffy but unable to “Be” with Buffy, Angel leaves Sunnydale to start a new life in LA. But over all of the Buffy seasons and the Angel (spinoff) seasons, neither of them ever finds love again quite like what they had. They both take on partners, but it always comes back to wanting to be with each other. It is true love, dark and filled with pain, and given up due to their responsibilities to keep others safe. It doesn’t have a happy ending as they never really let go of each other, never truly move on, and so are forever doomed to be detached to whomever they are with in the meantime. But ahhh… So sexy!

Buffy Summers and Angel

 

6) Marge and Homer Simpson from the animated TV show The Simpsons – Okay okay, they aren’t “real people”, but they are an extremely famous TV couple, are they not? Their marriage is one of uneven footing, with Marge being attractive and sensible, and Homer being a bit of a lovable, idiotic slob. Homer creates more trouble than he is worth, throwing the Simpson family often into upheaval (losing the house, getting fired from his job, gambling away all of their money etc) but Marge ALWAYS stands by him. She gets frustrated, she gets upset and worried – sometimes gets even! – but she always supports Homer and helps him get them back on track. They love each other, and Homer often reminds himself how very lucky he is to have Marge as his wife, and Marge is constantly having to remember that her love for him is more important than the amount of crap he creates for her. Great, hilarious couple. It may be a cartoon, but I think their relationship is quite poignant. 

Marge and Homer Simpson

 

7) Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big from the TV series (and recently, box office movie) Sex and the City – The relationship between Carrie and Big is one many can relate to. Both with their twenties long behind them, they face all the pressures of life – careers, ex’s, their expectations of relationships – which invariably get between them. Their relationship is realistic in the sense that despite the fact their feelings for each other are true and passionate, they often let everything else come in the way. Dramatic, filled with hurt and betrayal, their relationship is one that seemingly should work, but never does. Of course, everyone around them pushes them to move on, get away from each other and find happiness with more appropriate people. This works on and off over the series many seasons, but inevitably they end up back in each others arms. Their relationship isn’t perfect, their characters are flawed and often selfish, but at the end of the day they love each other. They like each other. By the end of the last episode of the last season, the two of them deicide that being together is the only thing that really matters – even if it is going to be a lifetime of hard work! This relationship is a great example of modern day couples facing the stresses of work, money, appearance and acceptance – all the while getting older!

Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big

8 ) Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore from the movie 50 First Dates – This is a comedy, and not even a particularly big budget film. Henry is a laid back, commitment-phobic ladies man who is quite happy being a bachelor and living on the beautiful Island of Hawaii. That is, until he meets Lucy by chance one day in a diner. Lucy is beautiful and quirky, funny and sweet – and he falls for her almost immediately. But then he finds out the horrible truth about her – years before she was in a terrible car accident and suffered a serious head injury, and every day she wakes up she thinks it is the day before the accident, and every night her memory resets itself and she forgets everything she did that day and starts again. Obviously, a relationship with Lucy would seem impossible, especially for a guy who has never been in a serious relationship with anyone. But the absolute beauty of this movie is the journey Henry goes through as he falls more and more in love with Lucy and decides no matter how hard it got, just being with her was worth it. So every day, he sets about making her fall in love with him all over again. He creates albums,videos and diaries of their times together, puts this woman above his own wants and needs for the first time in his life. Lucy, on the other hand, struggles every day with new and fresh guilt, with confusion, but ultimately falls in love with him by the end of each day. This is a uniquely sad and equally funny movie that tugs at your heartstrings. 

Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore

 

9)  Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Johnny Castle from the movie Dirty Dancing – Dirty Dancing is one of those iconic movies that everybody has seen and almost everyone loves. It’s set in the 1960’s, and Baby and her family arrive at a resort in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains for a holiday. Baby is an ambitious, intelligent and slightly bookish 17 year old with aspirations to join the Peace Corps before marrying a Doctor just like her Father. To kill time at the resort, she starts a few dance classes and finds she has an interest in it. And then she meets Johnny, one of the resorts dance instructors. He is gorgeous, he is sexy, and he dances like no one she has ever seen before. In the repressed 1960’s, Baby has never witnessed the dirty style dancing that Johnny does, but she is drawn to him and to his dancing style. They are thrown together as dance partners due to Baby trying to help another resort worker, and from there an impossible romance blossoms. They dance, and you can see the passion flaring between them. They talk, and Baby’s eyes are opened to a much harsher world than she has ever known, while Johnny is suddenly hopeful at a future, pushed by Baby. Their love is one that struggles with their differing socioeconomic groups, with their varying views on the wold and people as a whole, but their love is so pure it washes everything else aside. It is a coming of age love, and a beautiful one at that.

Frances "Baby" Houseman and Johnny Castle

 

10) Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen from the movie Ghost – Another famous flick, and if you haven’t watched it your life is most certainly lacking. Sam and Molly are a couple that are happy and have just moved in together. While Molly is openly in love with Sam, Sam is still a little bit reserved and hasn’t quite worked up to the “I love you” bit yet, and instead replies “Ditto” whenever she says it. While walking home together one night from the theatre, they are accosted in a dark alleyway and Sam is shot and killed. Obviously, this puts an early end to their relationship, and Molly is devastated. Sam, on the other hand, becomes a ghost and chooses to stay as an earth-bound spirit rather than moving on because he can’t yet let go of Molly. As he watches over her, he also starts to piece together that his murder didn’t happen by chance and that now Molly is in danger too. He finds a woman that can see and hear him in his new form and begs for her help him save Molly from an untimely end. He does everything he possibly can, and runs the gamut of emotions, to keep the woman he loves safe. By the end of the movie there is no question how very much he loves Molly, and their connection is beautiful, epic and worth a bit of a cry. They really are soulmates.

Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen

So, there you have it! My top ten screen-based romances. Hopefully you learned something, or at the very least went “Awwwwwwww” 🙂