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Unpopular opinion time?

I like the Fall Out Boy Ghostbusters theme. It’s neat and if it had come on in a club a few years back, everyone would be like ‘whaaaat? How fun!’ and keep on dancing.
I love Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 and Real Ghostbusters and eXtreme Ghostbusters. I’ll be watching the new movie. People need to stop bashing it until they’ve seen it, because it’s just coming off as misogynistic bull.
The FOB theme will probably be end credits stuff because that’s how it works.
Personally I am looking forward to some badass remixes of the theme. I think it could be a real stomper.

Relativity

America: Reba McEntire is a great Country singer!

Wubz: Reba McEntire is the lady from Tremors!

Rescue pet

We rescued and rehomed this baby piñata. ‪#‎foreverhome‬12592577_10153436997461373_774201322819683134_n

The painful what-if that haunts ‘Ghostbuster’ Ernie Hudson

“When I originally got the script, the character of Winston was amazing and I thought it would be career-changing. The character came in right at the very beginning of the movie and had an elaborate background: he was an Air Force major something, a demolitions guy. It was great.”

Awww Winston. That sounds like it would have been great! :(

The painful what-if that haunts ‘Ghostbuster’ Ernie Hudson via EW

Star Wars

I have been raised on Star Wars. I’ve been held in the arms of Prowse’s Vader when I was less than a year old. I’d worn out video cassettes by the time I was 2. I liked to dress as Darth Vader. My most viewed photo on Flickr is me doing just that.

When I see these trailers and adverts for VII it’s triggering some very deep involuntary emotional responses. All these adverts make me so happy. There’s so many girl positive aspects to them and I am thankful for everyday now and forward that little nerd girls can feel free to love the things they love.

Personal Treasure

One of my most treasured posessions: an ex-rental copy of 1995’s joyous Tank Girl.

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Sabbatical

I am in Arizona, again.

Time has been moving strangely with the advent of a new relationship, a new job and the festive season.

When I left England, it was firmly getting a grip on Springtime, snowdrops faltering and daffodils beginning to bloom. Here in Arizona, there are bougainvillaea, yellow daisies, and pansies throwing splashes of colour amidst the dry terrain and spiked green. The weather is that of an English summer starting up, warm breezes and blue skies. I find myself always with a sweater laughably to hand, but am never in need of it.

You can take a grrrl out of England, but you can’t take away a lifetime of chill summers.

 

Backstreets

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Phoenix

Monday morning arrived too soon; Tucson was over. 3 weeks had flown by in what felt like a few days at most. There was just over a week before I departed for England; we were headed for a week in Phoenix, with a detour to visit the Grand Canyon. A big detour. It was a vacation within a vacation for my hosts. A pre-cation?
The car was full to bursting, filled with luggage and supplies, and I could just about squeeze into the nook that would be my base of operations for the next 2 days. When we cornered, I had to brace the suitcases or else end up crushed or concussed. Adventure! Danger! Lunchables!

Our first port of call was the Rock Springs Cafe, home of some mighty impressive looking ‘world famous’ pies. It was breakfast time, so I didn’t have pie (this time). I had biscuits with sausage gravy. I think this marked the last time I had this particular breakfast this trip – I’d eaten it a lot. I mean, it’s not something I can have in the UK unless I make it, and the last time I tried to make white gravy? I’m still horrified by how it turned out. I hope to never speak of it again.

The food and service was good, and the atmosphere of the place was so welcoming and homely. It’s been a traveller’s rest since, like, America happened. Native Americans used the water springs there, and gradually more and more peoples did until someone claimed the land, and started trading there. Apparently lots of the old movie stars used to stop to eat there (it also used to be a hotel). It’s not fancylike, but it’s a perfect example of how a South Western cafe should be – friendly people, all the decor and fittings made of wood, generous portions of tasty comfort food and amazing pies. It’s worth driving the 45 miles north of Phoenix to visit and eat, and if you’re too full for pie, they also sell them to take home. Do not escape without pie, seriously.

Edit: 20/02/2014

This has been sitting as a draft for over 4 months now. I’ll be honest – to finish this account would just end up as vaguely truth-inspired fiction, so I’m drawing a line under it. Further notes for this post included:

“Grand Canyon/Bedrock/party/tequila/[hair/con]/[pasty/coffee]/karaNOke/[bedding/pack up/Texas roadhouse]/flight”

To sum up: Flagstaff was interestingly chilly. Phoenix was okay; I didn’t like when the rental house got invaded by ants. I was sad to go home, but the ant situation helped me care less. I didn’t have a great time at con, and in retrospect would have rather spent another week in Tucson.

 

Last week.

Simon had organised a birthday party for me on Saturday, a little ahead of my official one, but the weekend gave people a chance to head over from out of town.
During the day I’d been treated to a visit to Sportsman’s Warehouse, an outdoor pursuits store loaded with guns, kayaks and camo gear. It was a trove of useful and practical and deadly things for activities I’ve never wanted to do, but an interesting chance to see inside American leisure retail.

Sept 7th and 8th

We had dinner at Sir Veza’s Taco Garage where I learnt that there was only so much alcohol you could order per table at a time. I’m guessing it’s local laws, but at the time it just seemed silly. I opted for vegan tacos on the principle that there’d be no hidden cheese, and I was proved correct, though as I’m lactose intolerant there’s always the fear before any dish arrives that somewhere within lurks horror – especially in the US where pretty much everything is laden with dairy.
Heading back to the house, we proceeded to have what was the longest and most awkward game of Settlers of Catan to round the night off on.

Breakfast proved a revelation in that it was (of course) possible to make breakfast burritos at home – and for breakfast – a double first. I never eat breakfast burritos at breakfast, but I guess I would if the burrito place back home was open earlier. There was the option of real tea as well, but at some point I must have vowed never to pass up fresh coffee at breakfast time, so I didn’t. A perfect and delicious Sunday morning breakfast passed in good company with good conversation, and whilst I was grateful, I knew it would only make it harder when I had to leave town a week later.

The overcast afternoon was spent trawling 4th Ave with Janine, hanging out in coffee shops and visiting the moai tiki at The Hut. The lady at Chocolate Iguana made me an excellent raspberry sorbet slushie as I was coffeed out by that point. We were there to meet a friend’s fiancée as Janine is to officiate their wedding in October. Unlike my escapades in 2011, I won’t be able to attend their wedding, which is about 3 weeks after I leave.
2011 was my first visit to Arizona (as an adult – an afternoon trip to the Grand Canyon in 1994 totally doesn’t count). I came to the state to attend KoLCon – the yearly convention for Kingdom Of Loathing players, held in Mesa.
I was staying with a friend from the game who’d stayed with me during her tour of England a few years back.  I was happy to take up her return offer of hospitality and we had a week of adventure culminating in the weekend of the con. She’d introduced me to Janine and Simon when we attended their party. We all got on most excellently, and thus formed my main social group. So excellently, in fact, that by the end of Con, we’d exchanged mailing addresses for Christmas.

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Weeks later, back in England, their wedding invitation arrived in the mail and I’d sighed, touched by the sentiment. About a week later, after checking my finances, I’d said to hell with it, put in a holiday request and booked a flight. The lure of good friends, a ridiculous adventure and the best pulled pork I’d ever tasted was too much. (Seriously, I left that party with a redcupful of pork and beans. It was gone before we were even on the highway. I would’ve happily taken the entire tray – I still dream of it.)

Monday was a day of conversations; a long story, filled with sighs.

Tuesday, my actual birthday, was a simple affair: playing more Diablo 3 and ending with a birthday dinner of steaks and sweet potato. I’d been left unattended for the day; everyone was at work. I walked to the nearest Circle K and bought myself a ridiculously sized self-serve beverage – Diet Dr.Pepper with cherry and vanilla shots. I’ll never get over a 44oz (2.2pt) drink for under a dollar (60p). It tastes like Arctic roll. There’d been a bunch of fancy dinners recently, and an easy day to gather my thoughts and slay demons was spot on. I drifted off to sleep listening to the trains in the distance.

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Wednesday was a day of manic writing fuelled by leftover bagels from a work conference Janine had attended. The afternoon marked the start of her vacation time, so we ran some errands and bought taco fixings for dinner. Debate still rages over whether 5 tacos is a reasonable amount to consume. I say yes. She disagrees and thought I was going to die. Star Trek: Into Darkness is still enjoyable upon 4th watch, it turns out.

Thursday was a day that started with the gym, and salad for lunch. All-you-can-eat salad that is. I fought shy of having a third baked sweet potato, but I’m not actually sure why. I can eat a lot of sweet potatoes. I could eat them until I was sick, I love them sooooo much. There was also what looked like strawberry Angel Delight, but it was zingy. ZINGY.
Taking advantage of my hosts, I roped them into playing hairdresser. Simon gave my undercut a very close shave and Janine did the colouring, because I don’t have eyes in the back of my head and it’s really awkward.

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Friday night was magical; shy glances,

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By Saturday night, I was fully into the swing of ‘Murica. We went out for barbecue, ordered greasy trays of meat, sauce and fries. I wore a skort patterned with camouflage colourings. I drank lite beer. I took charge.

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Sunday was a day for packing and saying goodbye to local friends. Even with the internet and all its wonders, a year can feel more like an age to not see people you like. Brunch was had and tokens of affection were given.  Whilst affairs were pleasant, the day was subdued throughout. I managed to cram all the trinkets I’d accumulated into my luggage, barely, and settled down for a last night of restless sleep in Tucson.

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