RIGHT. I AM GOING TO SIT HERE AND NOT MOVE UNTIL I MANAGE TO WRITE A BLOG.
Thank you for bearing with me, but I’ve had sort of a crazy month; the idea of sitting down and writing something for the pure enjoyment of it just didn’t seem to be happening. I hate chores and sometimes, blogging feels like a chore. Not today though. Today will be magical and productive, as will everyday that follows it. Can you feel all those positive vibes I’m throwing out there? Marvellous.
So, writer’s block has been the worst thing ever, and it has affected far more than my ability to blog (unfortunately), but that’s a whole other thing you don’t want to hear about. What’s that? You do? Tough, I don’t want to talk about it. I want to talk about movies and comic books and the many adorable geeky things I’ve bought in the past month. Those are better things to talk about, don’t you think?
Onwards and upwards towards the actual subject. You may have noted the title of this blog is, in fact ‘Man Of Steel’, and not ‘Let’s Watch A Geek In Her Early Twenties Experience Her First Mid-Life Crisis’. The first one if catchier.
I can’t believe I let Man Of Steel come out without the appropriate amount of adoration and hype from the RefugeekNI corner. I am, after all, a complete DC nut, though I have to admit that I am not a HUGE Superman fan – mostly because he’s a boy scout and everything Batman is not, and because Smallville did nothing but bug me for the however many years it managed to cling to my television. I am, however, a Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan fan, and they did not let me down. This was the Superman movie I really wanted to see.
Henry Cavill played Mr. Kent as moody, confused and conflicted (and he was often topless, which, to the heterosexual female eye, was an art form in itself), while Russell Crowe made Jor-El a complete hard-ass. I loved the armour, and it was interesting to see how Zack Snyder envisioned Krypton. It’s not, not in a million years, how I would have pictured it, but it worked. I guess. I don’t know, maybe I wanted more from such a famous, ill-fated planet. It’s like the Titanic of planets, there should’ve been more…pomp? Circumstance? I don’t know, but I wasn’t disappointed, not really. There were a lot of new ideas about Krypton thrown in there too, ideas that I liked. The idea that they are all bred to serve a certain purpose, and that Kal-El was the first baby born of natural (sexy) means in over a hundred years adds a whole new depth to the character, his civilization and the sacrifice made by his mother (which was heartbreaking to watch, both awful and brilliant).
There are two things that did disappoint me. First of all, I do not think Amy Adams was Lois Lane. Sure, she was spunky and determined, but I felt for most of the movie, she was just sort of…there. Being useful and female. The love story aspect was not convincing at all, it was just rushed and there was no chemistry. Not in my opinion, at least. There needed to be a spark – a spark between Lois and Clark, a spark in Lois at all…for me, it just wasn’t there.
The other aspect of this movie that disappointed me almost to the point of laughing was the RIDICULOUS product placement. Seriously? Did they think we wouldn’t notice?
“Hi there, I’m Lois Lane and I HAVE A NIKON CAMERA.” Pfft. PFFT. Between that and the Ihop that manages to survive an extra terrestrial super battle? C’mon Hollywood, we’re not stupid.
Before I start to sound too negative, I just have to…Zod. Wow. Michael Shannon was a piece of casting genius, he captures the frustration and anger and ruthlessness of the General perfectly. I know he’s appeared in COUNTLESS Superman shows and movies and comics, but for the first time, I found him scary. There was an awful lot of Bane (circa The Dark Knight Rises) and just a little bit of Heath Ledger’s Joker thrown in for good, manic measure. Teeny bit gutted he never said ‘Kneel before Zod’…just me? Okay.
Over everything – over the casting, the costumes and the script, there was an overall highlight from this movie. The sheer scale of it; the visuals, the CGI…Man Of Steel was absolutely mesmerizing to watch. Captivating. The way his cape sways in the breeze, his first faltering attempts to fly, the Fortress Of Solitute. Incredible to watch. I’ve talked to a lot of people who found the actual story to be a let down, and, when I think about it, maybe I did too, but the joy I got from watching this film distracted me from that. That’s no mean feat.
I’ll draw this to a close, because LONG. Well worth a watch.
Just like this blog is well worth keeping an eye on, now that I am determined to be back in business.
You may have noticed, if you notice such things, that I am not quite as prolific in my blogging as I have been in the past. I apologize, but the thing is, on any given day, I HAVE FOUR HUNDRED THINGS TO DO.
In fact, I am only doing this blog now because I’ve just done an hour and a half of uni work and I need a break before my brain explodes and redecorates my bedroom. With brain gunk.
On the plus side, for those of you that dabble in the reading of blogs, I shall be much, much easier to keep up with. Instead of, like, eight blogs a day about what I’ve just eaten or the episode of the Clone Wars I’ve just watched.
SO. I did, in a past blog, promise you that I would go to the Game Of Thrones Exhibition over the weekend and then tell you about how great it was. I assured you it would be face-melting (or something to that effect), so HOLD ONTO YOUR FACES.
First of all, I would like to say that getting tickets for this free (that’s my favourite word) event was much, much more difficult that it should have been. I mean, the internet is all powerful, surely ‘click and possess’ is a fairly straightforward concept? Alas, the website was crashing all over the show and the phone lines were busy and I was starting to hyperventilate and stress. I did a mean, awful thing – don’t judge me. I was scared I would end up with no tickets at all, so I sent a nasty email to Titanic telling them to wind their neck in and make things work better.
I am a mean, bad person. I am ashamed.
To make the shame even worse, some lovely bloke from Titanic Customer Services emailed back immediately, with an apology, and then offered to book the tickets for me. Eek. I still feel bad about being a grump.
Good on you though, Titanic, your people are marvellous.
Ticket drama aside, I was so excited about this. The little clip advertising it was immense…and WordPress still won’t let me embed videos. I had forgotten that. Oh well,here’s the link.
I had never actually been inside the Titanic building before (I know, I know, I am a museum geek and a touch patriotic, so I really should go for a proper visit), but it’s pretty flippin’ cool. And busy, which is always nice to see. The guys at the coffee shop thing were dressed like ye olde times paper boys, and the toilets were ultra clean and shiny. What more can you ask from anywhere, really?
Wisely, when booking tickets for the exhibition, you had to choose a time slot – this sounds kind of like hassle and a bit odd, but it meant the displays weren’t too crowded and you didn’t have to queue for too long to get a good look at anything. AND OH, the things there were to look at.
The exhibition was divided up according to family – the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Greyjoys and Targareans all had their own little areas, as did the Nights Watch (although characters from North of the Wall were stuffed in that display too, which makes sense, I guess). There were videos playing all around the place too, and although they were really just behind the scenes videos from the DVDs, always worth a watch. Some of the main characters did little ‘Welcome to the Game Of Thrones Exhibition’ clips too, which was a nice feature.
I don’t want to trawl through every single item I saw, but highlights included some of the Starks’ costumes (all lined up beside each other, like in the first episode before they all shoot off in opposite directions all over Westeros), Ned Stark’s head on a spike (which I only noticed because I tipped my head back to yawn – it was pretty high up), Ice and Needle (among LOADS of other weapons) and the dragon eggs and scale models of Drogon. All in all, it took around 40 minutes to see everything.
So neat. Some of Emilia Clarke’s costumes were out on display along with said dragons, and man, that chick is TINY. The detail that does into all the costumes in mind blowing – small stitches and teeny details that a camera would never pick up, just proof that this show takes itself seriously! As well it should.
I think that’s more than enough of my talking, here are some blurry, dark, badly taken Iphone photos. You’re so welcome.
You may notice that there are only two dragon eggs here; one of them hatched! Teehee, I kid, obviously – the third egg was given to George R.R. Martin as a wedding gift! I thought that was a nice gesture.
The exhibit is in Belfast until June 17th, but there are no tickets left now. If you are elsewhere in the world, see where it goes next on their site!
If you’re heading down to the exhibit, or if you have already been, nip over to Facebook and tell me if you liked it!
So, you may or may not be aware that I am a girl. Of the female persuasion, if you will. Actually, that makes me sound like a lesbian, but I’m just trying to convey to you that I am a chick. Anyway, I can’t speak for all the other geeky lady folk out there, but from time to time, I do like to embrace my inner Barbie. I just like pink, is all. And glitter.
Only sometimes, mind you. Mostly, I like Batman and converse and cats.
With this in mind, here are some pink bits and bobs that I’ve seen around; don’t worry gentlemen, I’m sure you can pull off pink just as well as any lady. Smash the gender roles.
£4 in H&M! Such a bargain, and they still have them in the store in Belfast. They don’t appear to be on the website any more, but if you click the picture, there is an even cuter Iphone cover for under a fiver…it’s panda shaped! If, however, you are a crazy cat lady like myself, you can get something very similar on Amazon. I can personally recommend this one, because I went and ordered myself one when I needed cheering up recently. It has a little tail on the back, too! Bless.
Cute, yesyes? Spotted in H&M in Belfast (the Royal Avenue one, I think). I can’t remember the exact price, because it was a while ago and I was skint and didn’t want to look too closely, lest I get depressed.
Also, I’m not actually a fashion blogger, go look and find the price yourself. Leave me alone.
More Primark love now, in the form of Hello Kitty. The little slippers were £4, but when I went back after payday to buy a pair, they were nowhere to be found! Typical. The onesie is around £14, complete with Hello Kitty ears and bow.
I know I said earlier that this was a boy friendly blog…and I truly meant it. I would greatly like to see a picture of a man in that purple onesie. Not for any weird sexy reasons, just for a giggle. Honest.
Finally, another pink pick from Primark (Lisburn). I’m not entirely sure about this, because it doesn’t really make any sense, grammatically. I do so love a garment that lets everyone know that you’re smarter than them, though. It saves telling everyone you pass in the street, which is time consuming.
I think that’ll do nicely for girly moment, I am all pinked out. I might scrounge up the energy to do a ‘Feelin’ Blue’ for the male types out there…but only if you comment nice things.
My ego needs the boost.
Finally! I have been waiting so very long for this precious announcement, and it was starting to look as though it might not be coming at all…but yes, TitanCon 2013 has been confirmed and announced.
For those of you that have read by blog faithfully and devotedly (lovely people), you’ll know that it was at TitanCon last year that I decided I should start a blog for the geeks and nerds of Northern Ireland. With this in mind, I sort of consider TitanCon weekend to be RefugeekNI’s birthday. I should get a cake or something, maybe. However, the date has changed. As has the venue. While the last two conventions have been held in the Europa Hotel in Belfast City Centre, this year, proceedings have been moved to the Wellington Park Hotel (up Malone Road direction). At first I was a bit like…’oh’, because I like the Europa (so fancy!), but apparently this venue change means that the organizers can spend more of the limited budget on guests – obviously, this is a good thing.
For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it’s over three days and is essentially a sci-fi fantasy convention – with a whole lot of Game Of Thrones. A Friday evening event (last year, Belfast Culture Night. This year, a TitanCon specific Literature Night, with readings by the author guests), the convention on a Saturday, and then the coach tour on the Sunday. Friday night is a free event, but the rest of the weekend requires a membership to the event. It’s so worth it, though. I promise.
While guests have yet to be announced, the extra budget should mean even shinier people to adore – I’ll try my very best to keep you updated, as long as you promise you’re not planning on kidnapping anyone.
If you are intent on getting a Game Of Thrones cast member to keep for your very own, well. That might be okay, too. I want an Alfie Allen, after all.
I am a huge fan of finding geeky things in places in which you may not expect to find geeky things. Like Tesco or a cat boot sale. I was wandering around Toys ‘R’ Us rather recently, and was pretty darn impressed with some of the toys that are out there for tiny children to gnaw on. They are the geeks of the future after all, and it is our responsibility to leadeth them in the ways of the force/Star Fleet protocol/One Ring.
We should also instill in them an idiot proof zombie apocalypse plan, because if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, it’s sure as hell going to happen in theirs.
Click for hilarious captions/insights.
I have to admit, out of all the many hundreds of geeky toys for kids, the Lego has always been my favourite; I think it always will be. Video games and light-up-singing-wonder-dolls are fairly amazing, yes, but there is no joy in childhood like building something vaguely resembling a spaceship all by yourself. And then hurling it at walls and siblings until you get a good wreckage to start all over again with.
Many happy childhood memories. Although there is no pain like standing on a Lego brick in your bare feet.
While I was taking my little break away from my laptop and my irritating need to blog my every thought, something pretty cool happened in Belfast. No – not riots or sales, the Heroes & Legends convention returned to W5 for it’s second year. In case you didn’t know, Heroes & Legends covers pretty much all aspects of science fiction and fantasy, and features costumed characters, props, sets and ‘celebrity’ guests.
I know it may seem a tad pointless for me to be telling you about all this now, given that it’s already happened and I gave you absolutely no prior warning, but never fear, darling geeks – there is another one! A bigger, better convention is being held alongside the 2D Comics Festival in Londonderry (the ‘London’ is silent, depending on whereabouts in the country you are from), at the very start of June. So really I’m being very organised, and preparing you months in advance.
I suppose it wouldn’t really be like me if I didn’t start with some criticisms, so, here goes. For whatever reason, I just didn’t enjoy this year’s convention as much as I enjoyed last year. The layout of the exhibitions and photo opportunities just seemed bizarre to me – I felt like I was constantly queuing, even just to go up stairs or to get out of the place. W5 is pretty big, but it seemed like only the hallways and lobbies were really given over to the convention, giving the whole thing a bit of a cramped and crowded feel. Bummer.
I also ended up going on the Sunday afternoon, so although there were tables for each of the guests, there were very few about. I can only assume they got bored and wandered off, as there were no signs or anything to explain their absence. To be fair, they charge for the autographs and…well, I wouldn’t pay £15 for that anyway. The option would’ve been nice, is all.
Goodness, I am getting terribly miserable and snippy in my old age. Let’s look at the bright side, shall we?
The guys who organize/work at the event are obviously really into it – I am a sucker for good customer service, and these guys had it in spades. Well done, nerds. Well done. The costumed folks were really nice too, even to giant, annoying children like me. To the guy who dressed as Silent Bob and put up with my loving stares all day – I salute you.
Also, Bane. He was so friendly. It ruined the whole illusion for me, but whatever.
The exhibits and sets are pretty damn worthwhile going to see, too. What stood out for me this year was the life sized (ish) Optimus Prime, the little Hogwarts set up they had going on (I got nowhere near it because of all the stupid kids, but still) and the work of William Simpson, that had a floor pretty much to itself.
William Simpson deserves to be googled much more than I’m sure he is already. The guy designed a load of weapons for Game Of Thrones (notably Ice!), and I met him at TitanCon and he signed my autograph book in the right colour of pen. I don’t have OCD or anything, I just like it when people do things right. A lot of his conceptual designs and art work had been blown up for the convention, and they were fascinating to look at.
Also, this was the only exhibit in the bloody place not surrounded by toddlers dressed as the Hulk, so it was lovely. Not that the fat toddlers weren’t.
All in all, worth a look. Would I go the whole way to (London)Derry for it? Probably not, but the 2D Comics Festival will be there too, so it’s like, half the effort, really.
p.s. Here are some more random pictures. Just because I took them, and figure they should go to some use.
I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime in the recent past, ‘geek’ became a trend. I am not about to go on a rant about how this is disgraceful and how I hate that people are wearing Batman t-shirts when they probably don’t know a thing about him (I do hate it, by the way, but that’s a whole different thing). Instead, I thought I would take a more positive look at this trend, and how it affects ‘us’.
‘Us’ being the geeks who got bullied in school for our strange ways and lack of fashion sense, of course.
Where before, we were mocked and poked for liking superheroes more than real people, for playing Xbox more than dating and for understanding the meaning of the word ‘cosplay’, now we are highly desirable, fashionable figures of wisdom, and everyone is dying to know what we thought of Avengers Assemble and The Dark Knight Rises.
Oh! How the times have changed! Northern Ireland is usually so gloomy and stuck in it’s ways (see, for example, any thing on the news about the country, ever), that I had resigned myself to the fact that I would forever be considered ‘odd’. That I would bump into people from school, and they would walk away whispering about how I haven’t changed a bit, and isn’t that a shame?
Instead! Suddenly my Captain America t-shirt is the most admired thing in my wardrobe, my comic book collection actually played a huge part in getting me a boyfriend and my job as a history geek makes me ten times more interesting.
I’m not sure entirely where I’m going with this rant, but surely, I’m not the only one to notice this? It’s sort of a great thing – people are getting into comic books and video games in a way that they never have before, especially women, because these things now carry more of an air of normality and acceptability. Video games are now part of social events (my house has weekly Halo nights, it’s about as much socializing as we actually do), Halloween is now an opportunity to whip out your cowl (rather than yer baps, yeo), and geeky girls are not recognised as being a wonderful, hot commodity (rather than a rare, skittish, basement-dwelling creature).
I love this. I know it’s just a trend, and it will all be over soon, but in the meantime, I am content to bask in the adoration that my huge knowledge of Batman has earned me, and to take advantage of the geeky t-shirts and pyjamas popping up all over the high street.